OR, Diuers Treatises, containing Di­rections about sixe of the waigh­tiest things can concerne a Christian in this life.

By N. BIFIELD late Preacher of Gods Word at Isleworth in Middlesex.

The seuenth Edition.


LONDON, Printed by Iohn Legatt, and are to bee sold by P. Stephens, and C. Meredith. at the golden Lyon in Pauls Church-yard.


TO THE RIGHT HO­NOVRABLE AND most Noble Ladie, the Ladie Lucie, Countesse of Bedford.


THESE ensuing Treatises, ha­uing receiued their birth at seuerall times, (being but little Ones) sought them seuerall Guardians to protect them: being now all ioyntly to goe into the world [Page] together to seeke entertain ment, they humbly present themselues vnto your Honour; beseeching your generall pro­tection, and your noble admis­sion, to doe you and your Noble Family their first ioynt-ser­uice, and from thence they are contented to beare their ad­uenture for their entertain­ment abroad in the world. And the rather am I embold­ned thus to (end them, with this Petition to your Honour, because in the first conception of them in the publike Do­ctrine, you were pleased to conceiue so good hope of them, as to desire the profit of their seruice, as they should be [...] and fitted thereunto. As they are mine, they are worthy of little respect; but as they haue receiued spirit and life [Page] from the heauenly Word, and will of God: so they are meete to attend your most retired presence, and to be trusted with the charge of your greatest treasure, not doubting of your Honours noble and religious respect herein, I desire to re­maine

Your Honours Chap­laine in the things of Iesus Christ, [...]o serue you euer, N. BIFIELD.


OR, A Catalogue of sinnes: Shewing how a Christian may finde out the euils he must take notice of in his Repentance.

With Rules, that shew a course, how any Christian may be deliuered from the guilt and power of all his sinnes.

By N. BIFIELD late Preacher of Gods Word at Isleworth in MIDDLESEX.

Lament. 3. 40.

Let vs search and try our wayes, and turne againe vnto the Lord.

LONDON, Printed by Iohn Legatt, and are to bee sold by P. Stephens, and C. Meredith. at the golden Lyon in Pauls Church-yard.


THe Contents of all the six Trea­tises, thou shalt finde in the first Chapter of the first Booke.

TO THE MVCH HONORED LADIES, the Ladie ANNE CLEERE, and the Ladie ANNE PINCH, and the Ladie IONE HERICKE: N. Bifield wisheth all increase of the true grace of Christ, and the blessed fruition of the glory of God in heauen.

Worthie Ladies,

LAmentable are [...]he ruines, into which the na­tures of men are generally fallen by their sinnes: which appeares especially by the waies men take in the bu­sinesse of their soule. The most men are cleane out of the way to heauen, and walke in by wayes [Page] of their owne, which are cal­led in Scripture, The waies of the wicked; The waies of their owne hearts; Peruerse waies; Darke and slipperie wayes; The way of iniquity. All mee­ting in that broad way that leadeth to destruction, being wholly ignorant of the way of life and peace, yea, the most of them speake euill of the good way of God, and persecute it. Some there are, that are so farre enlightned, as not to like the common roade way of the multitude; and after some enquirie haue found them out wayes that seeme good in their owne eyes; and they are wonderfully well pleased with their course, but the issues of these wayes are death too, as well as the former. And the more is this [Page] danger increased vpon men, because the way of life is but one, and it is a narrow way, and hard to find, and may be sought by many, and yet not found. Yet this hope is left vnto forlorn men, that there is a way to heauen and hap­pines: A way of righteousnesse and peace, a way of mercy and truth, a way of wisedome: A way that men may securely and safely walke in; a way, in which Christ will guide thē, God the Father will keepe them, and the holy Ghost leade them by the hand, and direct them in all the passa­ges thereof. Onely it concer­neth vs to aske the way, with all importunitie, of God, and to attend vnto the directi­ons of the Word of God, & apply our hearts, and suffer [Page] our selues to bee disposed a­right, that our eyes may see the saluation of God. And in particular wee must looke to three things: First, that if the Lord shew vs that mercy, to direct vs in the way, we must take heede that wee neglect not, or despise notthe care of walking in the way. Second ly, that with all diligence we auoide going about, and make straight stops to our feet. And thirdly, with all feare watch our selues, that we fal not off with the errors of the wicked, from the good way of God, and so our latter end be worse then our beginning.

I haue vndertaken by the assistance of God, and the direction of this, blessed word, to single out the choi­sest things I could finde in [Page] the Scriptures, concerning the entrance into the way of God, and those first path: which are called Holy. Th [...] substance of these directi­ons I haue digested into the Treatise following: which I dedicate vnto your Ladi­ships, as a testimonie of my thankfulnesse, for the respect you haue shewed vnto my Ministerie, both in your constant resort vnto it in the weeke dayes, while you li­ued in a neighbour Parish; and in that two of you are pleased to come to liue amongst vs, and so are be­come a part of my charge. As also to manifest to the world my obseruance of your Ladiships, for the good report you haue amongst the godly for the grace of [Page] Iesus Christ, and your vn­feigned loue of the truth. Beseeching your Acceptation, Perusall, and Patronage of these, I take my leaue, and commend your Ladiships to the God of Mercie and Truth, who guide, comfort, deliuer, sanctifie, and preserue you all vnto the day of Iesus Christ.

Your Ladiships to be commanded in Iesus Christ, N. BIFIELD.

The chiefest things contained in the first Booke.

  • THE Contents of all the sixe Treatises, briefely set downe pag. 1. to the 7.
  • The persons whom those Trea­tises doe concerne. p. 8
  • Encouragement to the studie of these things. p. 8. to 11
  • Generall directions by way of pre­paration. p. 11. 14.
  • THe Rules that shew distinctly what men must doe about their sinnes. p. 14. to 36
  • Motiues to perswade to the care of these Rules. p. 15
  • [Page] Three Rules of preparation. pag. 16. 17
  • Foure things deliuer vs from all sinnes past. p. 17
  • About the gathering of the Ca­talogue of sinnes. p. 17
  • About the confession of our sinnes p. 22. to 24
  • About sorrow for our sinnes, and how [...]t may be attained. p. 24. to [...]7
  • About the application of the promises, and how it may bee done. p. 27. to 3 [...]
  • The speciall promise made to such as have-confessed and sorrowed for their sinnes. p. 29. 30
  • How men may know, whether their confession and sorrow for their sinnes, be right or no. p. 32. 33. 34
  • Three sor [...]s of men may profit by these Directions. p. 34
  • Other vses of the Catalogue of sinnes. p. 35
  • The misery of such as will not bee aduised to take a sound course about their sinnes. p. 35
  • [Page]THE sinnes against the whole Law: where of originall sinne, ignorance, procrastination, vaine­glory, security, hypocrisie, self-loue, inconstancy, &c. p. 37. to 41.
  • THE diuision of the sins against the first Table, and the sorts of sinnes against Gods Nature. pag. 42 to 53
  • Seuen monstrous offences. p. 43
  • Of naturall Atheism [...]. p. 44
  • And Epicurisme. p. 45
  • Of the defects of grace, and the mis-placing of our affections. p. 45 46
  • How many waies men sin against the mercy of God. p. 48. 49
  • and the feare of God. p. 50. 51
  • and the trust in God. p. 51. 52
  • [Page]HOw many wayes men offen [...] against the meanes of God [...] worship. p. 53.
  • How many wayes men offend,
  • By not-worshipping. p. 53, 54
  • By will-worshipping. p. 55
  • By Idol-worshipping. p. 56
  • HOw many wayes men sinne against the manner of Gods worship. p. 57.
  • Offences that may be committed in the manner of doing any part of Gods seruice. p. 58
  • Sinnes en hearing. p. 58
  • Sinnes in prayer. p. 59
  • Sins about the Sacraments. p. 59
  • Sinnes about an oath. p. 60
  • [Page]SInnes about the time of Gods worship. p. 61.
  • Three secret offences against the Sabbath. p. 61.
  • The open breaches of the Sab­bath. p. 62, 63.
  • THE diuision of the sins against the second Table.
  • The sinnes
  • Of wiues and Hus­bands. p. 64, 65.
  • Of Children and Pa­rents. p. 65, 66.
  • Of Seruants and Ma­sters. p. 67, 68.
  • Of Subiects and Ma­gistrates. p. 68.
  • Of Hearers and their Ministers. p. 69.
  • [Page]SInnes against the persons of men. p. 69
  • 1 By omission. p. 70
  • 2 By commission; where
  • The sinnes internall. p. 71. to 74
  • The sinnes externall:
  • In gesture. p. 74
  • In words. p. 74
  • In workes. p. 76, 77
  • How we sinne against the bodies of men. p. 78
  • How against the soules of men. p. 79. to 81
  • THe sins against Chastity. p. 81
  • In the grosse acts. p. [...]2
  • In the thoughts, and affections, and senses, and gestures, and words. p. 83
  • The occasions of vncleannesse. p 84. 85. 86
  • [Page]SIns against the estates of men. p. 86
  • Internall. p. 86
  • Exterrnall.
  • Of omission. p. 87. 88
  • Of commission, where the seue­rall waies of stealing. p. 88. 89
  • with the aggrauations to p. 90. 91
  • SInnes against the good names of men. p. 92
  • By omission. p. 92
  • By commission.
  • Internally. p. 92
  • Externally. p. 93. to 99
  • OF the sinnes without consont p. 96
  • [Page]HOw many wayes men offend against the Gospel. p. 97.
  • Sins against Christ. p. 97, 98.
  • Sins against repentance. p. 98, 99
  • Sinnes against Faith. p. 100
  • Sins against the Spirit of grace. p. 100.

THE PREFACE TO THE READER, containing the Scope of all the Sixe Treatises, and certaine generall things, which by way of Introduction belong vnto them all.

FOrthy sake (Christian Reader) I haue beene willing to prepare for the Presse, Sixe little Treatises: Which may informe thee of six things, of the greatest consequence, that I know can concerne thee in this life. And though I haue reason to abase my selfe in the acknowledge­ment of mine owne frailtie and [Page 2] insufficiency for these things, ye [...] thou hast cause to awaken to th [...] consideration of the matter which so neerly concerneth thee vsing the helpe of this labour, ti [...] God affoord thee better helpe from more able instruments. The matter in all of them is so neces­sary, that I know not which of them thou mayest safely neglect

The first thing which any man The Con­tents of this Trea­tise. disposing himselfe for the King­dome of God, will and ought to inquire after, is, What he should doe to be rid of those so many sinne [...] he hath beene and is guilty of? Rid (I say) from th [...] guilt and danger of them, and from the power and dominion of them. For the satisfaction of thy conscience in this most needfull question, I haue in this first Treatise gathe­red for thee, out of the whole Bible, a Catalogue of those sinnes, which in our repentance God will haue with speciall notice to be confessed and auoided. And [Page 3] these sinnes I haue set downe, as neere as I could, in the expresse words of the text, that thou migh­test see the Lord himselfe de­scribing thy offences: and so mightest haue no excuse or doubt, to imagine that it was but the iudgement of some men, that made such things to bee thought to bee sinnes. By this course of surueying the whole Scriptures, I haue both found out diuers particular offences plainely proued to be so, which I could not obserue to be mentio­ned in any exposition of the com­mandements which I had, and also diuers things proued cleare­ly to be sinnes, which were one­ly barely [...]ffirmed to bee so in other writers. I haue likewise plainely shewed thee by expresse Scripture, what course thou maiest distinctly take to be rid of thy sinnes: a course that cannot faile thee, being grounded on the most euident directions, [Page 4] which God himselfe hath pre­scribed vnto thee, if thy owne slothfulnesse & proc [...]astination, or wilfull peruersenesse binder thee not: And I doubt not but by experience thou wilt con­fesse, the course is comfortable & easie, considering the great be­nefit and rest thou mayest bring to thy conscience thereby.

The second thing a man would 2. The con­tents of the second booke. desire to bee satisfied in, (that hath beene entred into the pra­ctise of Repentance) is, How hee might come to bee infallibly assu­red, concerning Gods fauour, and his owne saluation; and for an­swer hereunto, I haue in the se­cond. Treatise gathered out of the Scriptures, signes of Gods owne making, by which men may try their estate, & these such, as both describe wicked men, not yet in Christ, and such, as describe godly men that shall certainly bee saued. And withall, I haue now added directions, how by the [Page 5] helpe of those signes men may settle their assurance, and how such as yet want those signes, may attaine them.

The third thing euery Christi­an ought to seeke satisfaction in, 3. The Con­tents of the third booke. is this, How a man that hath at­tained vnto the assurance of salua­tion when hee dies, may comfort and establish his heart against all the miseries and distresses, which may, and will befall him in this life before his death. And to this end I haue gathered out of the whole Scriptures those admirable conso­lations which may bee abundant­ly sufficient to vphold him with much ioy in the worst estate that can befall him. And this is done in the Treatise which I call the Promises.

The fourth question, a carefull Christian, that hath thus found 4. The Con­tents of the fourth booke. out the gaine of godlines, would aske, is this, what he should doe in the whole course of his life to glo­rifie God, who hath thus loued [Page 6] him, and giuen his Sonne to dye for him, and purchased such a glorious inheritance for him. And for answer hereunto, I haue likewise out of the Scripture ga­thered the rule of Life, which will shew him distinctly, how he should carrie himselfe towards God, and towards men in all parts of his life; how hee should be­haue himselfe at home and a­broad, in company, and out of com­pany, &c. and all this shewed him by the expresse words of the Scriptures.

In the fifth place, if a man aske himselfe what yet he wants that 5 The con­tents of the fift booke. is necessarie for his state, he may and ought to bethinke himselfe of this question; What are those necessarie truths, which God hath absolutely tied him to know and be­leeue, without which he cannot bee saued, and which are fundamental­ly needfull for him? To this end I haue collected a fift Treatise, cal­led the Touch­ing t [...] Trea­tise of the Principles, reade the Aduertise­ment, prin­ted at the end of the Rules of Life, pag 640. Principles: which are [Page 7] an extract out of all the Doctrine of religion: of such truths in eue­ry part of religion, as a man is bound of necessitie to know. And this I haue not onely pro­ued by Scripture, but shewed what vses hee may put such knowledge to, all the dayes of his life.

The sixt and last thing which 6 The con­tents of the last booke. ought to bee enquired after, is, how a man thus fitted to liue the life of God, may also bee cured of the feare of death; and to this end I haue published that Treatise of the Cure of the feare of Death, which shewes plaine and com­fortable wayes, how any Chri­stian may deliuer his heart from Whom these Treatises concerne. those feares.

I suppose that no man that rea­deth this, will conceiue, that any of these is needlesse. And as I would aduise such Christians as abound with abilitie and l [...]i­sure, to furnish themselues with the labours of such worthy Di­ [...]ines, [Page 8] as haue written of any of those subiects: so vnto such Chri­stians as haue not that abilitie or leysure I commend these Trea­tises, both for their breuity, and the distinct digesting of the things he would seek after; there being nothing of mine in these, but the labour of disposing them, the maine substance of them being Gods owne Word, and things deuised and inuented by God himselfe. I may lawful­ly commend the care and study of these things vnto thee, and that with so much authority from the Lord, as to tell thee, that thou maiest not safely bee negligent in any of these, if thou consider the worth of them, or thy owne n [...]ed.

If thou say, that here is pre­scribed a hard tas [...]e, and so many [...] to the s [...]y of t [...]se [...]. things are to bee done, as may make any man afraid to m [...]ddle with directions of such variety, and number;

[Page 9] I answer; that in many of these Treatises the way is not made harder then is required; or in the doctrine of the Church mani­fested: but rather things are made more plaine, and so more easie. Besides, thou knowest already, that the way to heauen is a nar­row and straight way, and f [...]w find it. But especially thou shouldest weigh with thy selfe the great encouragements and motines to abide the hardship and difficul­ties of any godly and necessary course. Though the way to Ca­naan (with the Israelites) were through a solitary wildernesse, yet it should comfort thee, that it is but a way of three dayes, as they say, being about to get out of Egypt, God will keepe thee at worke but a little time, and therefore thou shouldst not thinke much of thy paines. And further thinke of it, that this is a course of wonderful comfort and safety: when a Christian followes [Page 10] the euident directions of Gods Word in these most weighty things, he walks safely: He is in the good way, the way of life, the way of peace; he is sure to see the saluation of God. To follow those directions soundly, is to keepe our soules. All Gods waies will be mercy and truth to vs. God will cause vs to heare his louing kind­nesse in the morning. Our way will be full of refreshing: Gods waies are wayes of pleasure, and if any man set himselfe exactly to take notice of Gods will in these things, and will be at paines to store his heart distinctly in such solid truths: it is certaine, the Lord will recompence his way vpon him, God will not cast away the exact man, till he fill his mouth with laughter, as it is said, Iob 8. 20, 21. Sure it is, that in the study of these things lyeth the way of eternity, and though thou thinke the way to be hard and narrow, yet this may somewhat case thee; [Page 11] it is a plaine way: For the simple may profit by it, as is auouched to bee true of all the courses which God by his Word so ex­presly required, Psal. 119. Isaiah 26. 7. & 52. 16. Prou. 8. And be­sides thou hast many helpes; the word of God will not only shew thee what to d [...]e, but it will be­get in thee a secret power to doe it; God will teach thee to profit, and the Spirit of God will helpe thy infirmitie: and God will send his Angels to guide thee in thy way: Christ will be the Way and the Life to thee. And thou hast good company; for this is the old way, the way of all Gods ser­uants in the substance of the course.

Onely before thou set vpon a­ny Generall directions by way of preparati­on. of these directions, let mee giue this generall aduice, to looke to these few things.

First, thou must giue ouer, and forsake vngodly company; for else it is in vaine to meddle with [Page 12] any religious course, as these pla­ces will shew thee, Psal. 1. 1, 2. Prou. 4. 14, 15. & 9. 6. & 23. 19, 20, & 29 27. Psal. 26. 2 Cor. 6.

Secondly, thou must get thee into the way of good men, prouide 2 for thy self [...] (if it be possible) the fellowship and societie of godly persons, Prou. 2. 20. Isai. 19. 23, 24, 25. For this fellowship will take away the tediousnesse of the way, and much preserue thee a­gainst giuing ouer; and their ex­amples will bee as patternes for thee, and by acquaintance with them, thou wilt be brought into acquaintance with God him­selfe, Isaiah 16. 23, 24. 2 Cor. 6. 16, 17, 18. Prou. 2. 20.

Thirdly, thou must remember to pray vnto God by all meanes to 3 direct thee, and shew thee the way in all these things, thou must beg a way of God, and beseech him to remoue from thee all lying and de­ceitfull wayes, Ezra 8. 21. Psal, 119. 26. Ier. 2. 33. [Page 23] Fourthly, thou must, when thou comest to Gods directions, lift 4. vp thy soule, and giue not way to thine owne carnall reason, and the sluggishnesse of thy owne na­ture, and the deceitfulnesse of thy owne heart: but let the Lord see thou art willing to doe any thing thou canst, Psal. 143. 8. Bring a Note. mind desirous to obey in all things. By any meanes take heed, thou be not like those complained of, Isaiah 58. 2. that haue a great mind to know Gods wayes, and to read all sorts of directions, as if they sought righteousnesse in a speciall manner of care, and yet do not follow any of the courses they so much desire to kn [...]w, & seeme to commend and like. If euer thou wouldest haue thy soule to dwell at ease, choose out for thy selfe those wayes which God doth teach thee, Psalme 25. 12, 1 [...]. Let the Lord know, that if hee will be pleased to teach thee a sure way, thou wilt [Page 14] walke in his paths; and to that end, beforehand beseech him to vnite thy heart to his feare, Psal. 86. 11. Thou shouldest bee of Dauids mind, to say, O that my way [...]s were directed to keepe Gods statutes, and then thou wouldst resolue to keepe them, Psal. 119. 5, 8.


Shewing what rules hee must ob­serue, that would be deliuered from his sinne.

HItherto in generall. The first thing then to be done The course to be rid of sinne. by that Christian that would set­tle himselfe in a sound course, to lay as it were the foundation of his saluation, is to practise those rules that may deliuer him from the horrible danger and distresse he is in, in respect of al the pow­er of all the sinnes he hath hither­to committed.

[Page 15] If he consider of the dreadfull curses which he is liable vnto in Motiues. respect of all his sinnes, he ought not to thinke it much to vnder­goe the hardest taske can bee en­ioyned, to make himselfe capa­ble of the grace of God, and par­don for so many offences. And therefore with so much the more willingnesse and vnchangeable­nesse of resolution, should hee with much desire set vpon these rules now to bee giuen, seeing they are but few in number, and such as he may performe, by the grace of God, with much ease and comfort. And the more may he encourage his owne heart, be­cause when he hath done, he may clearely see he hath done distinct­ly that which God required of him, and that, with which he is satisfied through Christ. But be­fore hee set vpon th [...] practice of these rules, he must in iudgement bee throughly resolued of three things.

[Page 16] First, that Iesus Christ hath 3 Things he must be resolued of in his iudgement. made a full and sufficient satisfa­ction for the sinnes of all men: As he became a sacrifice for sinne, he payed a price in his blood, suffi­cient 1 to redeeme vs, Eph. 1. 6. He is the Lambe of God, that ta­keth away the sinnes of the world, Ioh. 1. 29. 1 Pet. 1. 18, 19. Ephes. 1. 10.

Secondly, that God is well plea­sed 2 with this satisfaction made by Christ for our sins, which he de­clared by that voyce from hea­uen, Mat. 3 and 17. &c. Yea, hee hath set Christ forth in the view of all men, as the propitiation for their sinnes, Rom. 3. 25. and hath sent vs the word of reconciliation, and beseecheth vs by the word, to be reconciled. 2 Cor. 5. 19, 20.

Thirdly, that thou mayest at­taine vnto this redemption by 3 Christ, if thou wilt practise those things which are required of thee: and this thou mayest bee assured of, both because Christ [Page 17] is said to take away the sinnes of the world, and because God offers this reconciliation in the Gospel to euery creature, and exempts none; and because the Apostle saith, If any man sinne, hee may haue an Aduocate with the Fa­ther, euen Iesus Christ the righte­ous; and besides, thou feelest the Spirit of God knocking at the doore of thy heart, and would come in, Iohn 1. 29. Marke 16. 15. 1. Iohn 2. 1.

When thou hast thus prepa­red If we do 4 things wee are r [...]d of the danger of all sins past. thy selfe by these three reso­lutions, then if thou doe these foure things following, thou mayest be sure to bee clearely rid of all danger that can any way befall thee for thy sinnes past, though they were neuer so many or great.

The first rule concernes the 1 Make a Catalogue of thy sins. examination of thy selfe, and it is this: thou must take thee a Ca­talogue of all the sins thou canst discerne by thy selfe, and be sure [Page 18] thou doe this seriously and effe­ctually; and for this purpose re­tire thy selfe into some secret place, and set thy selfe in Gods presence; and then call to minde all the sinnes thou canst remem­ber by thy selfe particularly, write them downe as they come to thy mind; aske thy selfe this question: What haue I done all the dayes of my life, which if I were now to dye, would feare me if they were not forgiuen? Take the an­swer to this question, as thy sins come to thy mind, till thou canst remember no more, so as thou couldst in the sincerity of thy heart say, that thou dealest plainly before the Lord, and doest not hide any fault; and out of the li­king thou hast of any sinne, doest not forbeare to set it downe.

Trouble not thy head with the thoughts of any other thing, till this be done: and thou needest not care for order or phrase in set­ting it downe, but doe it in such [Page 19] words as thou hast to vtter it in, and be sure to spare none of thy speciall knowne sinnes, but let the Lord see, that thou art as willing to indite thy selfe for them in his presence, as thou art willing hee should forgiue them. When thou hast in this manner taken a par­ticular notice of thy sinnes, then looke vpon the Catalogue fol­lowing, and examine thy selfe distinctly by it. For this Cata­logue will be like a Looking glasse from all parts of Gods Law, to shew thee thy offences. And so thou mayest obserue what faults thou couldst not find or remem­ber by thy priuate examination; and withall see in what phrase or order to digest thy sins. Let not thy thoughts trouble thee, but chearefully endure this tryall of thy selfe; and take heed thou do it not cursorily, but take time enough, and so thou maiest, if thou wilt onely take one of the Chapters, or two of them, as they [Page 20] lie in the Catalogue, and no more in a day, till thou come to the end of the Catalogue: neither needst thou to trouble thy selfe about such sinnes as thou doest not clearely see that thou art guilty of, but take onely such as thou art most sure thou hast offended in. It is enough in the practise of Repentance, to take particu­lar notice of knowne and appa­rent euils: a generall acknow­ledgement will serue for the rest. If thou thinke thy sinnes bee in­numerable, and so cannot be ga­thered How our sins are in­numerable. into a Catalogue, vnder­stand, that the acts of sinne are in­numerable, but not the kindes of sinne. There is no sinne, but it is condemned in the Scripture: and if there were as many sinnes as there bee liues in the Scripture, yet they might bee numbred; and therefore that speech of Dauid, that his sins were innumerable, must be vnderstood of the acts of sinne; for he might in one sinne [Page 21] be guiltie of innumerable acts: as if it were a sinne in thought, it might be committed oftner then can be by vs numbred. But in re­pentance, it is enough to humble our selues for the seuerall kindes of sinnes wee haue beene guiltie of, which will not bee so many, but they may be easily numbred. The seuerall acts of the same sin serue but as a generall aggraua­tion of the offence. Onely in this examination look to two things: The one, that thou beseech God by prayer, to shew thee the sins Look to a things. are most displeasing vnto him. The other is, that thou take heed thou leaue not out any speciall knowne sins; because else those sinnes so spared, may buffet thee a long time after thou hast fini­shed this course: and besides, they may get head and preuaile against thee in practice, if by this course they bee not brought vn­der.

Now that thou oughtest thus The proof [Page 22] seriously to examine and call to minde thy sinnes, and that this is one of the things God requireth of thee to bee distinctly done, these places of Scripture do eui­dently proue, and withall shew, that God doth take euen this be­ginning of thy repentance well, Lament. 3. 40. Psal. 4. 4. Ezec. 16. 43, 61. & 20. 43. & 36. 31. Ier. 8. 6. 1 Cor. 11. 28. Gal. 7. 3, 4. Iob 11. 13. While thou art doing this, thou shalt do well to doe no other exercise of Religion at that time, but onely to attend this.

The second thing that God requireth of thee distinctly to be 2 Secondly, thou must confesse thy sinnes particular­ly in the best words thou canst. done, is the confession of those sins thus gathered into the Cata­logue; and for the performance of this dutie, set sometime apart, and present thy selfe before the Lord: and if thy memory will not carrie all the particulars of thy offences, take with thee the writ­ten Note. enditement, and as Hezechiah did with his letter, spread thy [Page 23] Catalogue before the Lord, and then take vnto thee words in the best manner thou canst, to iudge thy selfe for those offences. Let the Lord know, that it is thy hearts desire to pleade guiltie to each of those sins, and in speciall, vrge against thy selfe those sinnes wherein thou hast more especi­ally offended. Be not ouer-care­full for words; the Lord requi­reth thee but to doe it in the best words thou canst; onely let thy words bee the true voice of thy heart, and thou maiest bee sure the Lord vnderstandeth the mea­ning of thy heart. Let no ob­iection driue thee off from the practice hereof, but doe it so, as thine owne conscience may wit­nesse with thee, that thou hast done it in the best manner thou canst. Now that it is a dutie necessarily required, these Scrip­tures The proofes. plainly shew, Hos. 14. 2, 3, 4. Pro. 28. 13. Leuit. 16. 21. & 26. 40, 51. Iob 33. 27, 28. Psal. 32. 5. [Page 24] Ier. 3. 12, 13. Mat. 3. 6. Act. 19 18. Dan. 9. Neh. 9. 2. Rom. 10. 10 1 Cor. 11. 1. Ioh. 1. 8, 9. This is the second dutie.

The third thing thou must la­bour for distinctly, is to conceiue 3. Thirdly thou must seek godly sorrow & not giue outr, till thou feele thy heart melt with­in thee. true mourning and sorrow for these sinnes thus confessed. This is that sacrifice is so well pleasing to God, and this is euery where in Scripture expresly required, and the promises fastened (diuers of them) vpon this condition, as these places manifestly sh [...]w, Mat. 5. 4. Iam. 4. 9. Ioel. 2. 12, 13. Zach. 12. 12. Isai. 1. 16. Psal. 31. 9, 10. Isai. 61. 1, 2, 3. Ier. 50. 4. Ier. 31. 18, 19. Now that thou How it may bee attained. mayest attaine vnto softnesse of heart, I aduise thee to take this course: Resolue with thy selfe to set some time apart, at least once euery day for this businesse; and when thou doest stand be­fore the Lord with thy former mournefull inditement, & while thou striuest to iudge thy selfe, [Page 25] and to keepe an assise vpon thy owne soule, begge of God to giue thee that soft heart he promi­sed, Ezech. 36. 26. begge it (I say) of God, but let thy prayers bee without limitation for the time. If the Lord heare th [...]e not the first time, yet pray for it the next time againe, and so the third day, and so still, till the Lord doe heare thee, and make thee feele thy heart to melt, and (if it may bee) teares to trickle downe thy ch [...]kes before the Lord; yea, put on this resolution, that thou wilt neuer stand before the Lord for any request while this course lasts, but thou wilt remember this Petition, to beseech him to giue thee secret sorrow and sen­sible for thy sinnes. It may bee, the Lord will heare thee at the first, or in the beginning, while thou art preparing thy selfe to speake vnto him, or while thou callest vpon him at the first or se­cond time; but yet if he doe not, [Page 26] persist thou, thy sute is iust; and importunity will ouercome the Lord: and this very desire to sor­row being resolute, is a degree of true godly sorrow. But yet that thou maiest be sure of it, giue not ouer, till the Lord heare the letter of thy desire, if it may be. And withall striue against the per­plexities of an vnquiet heart; feare not, but that time of the day which thou setst apart for religi­ous duties, bee as earnest as thou canst, and when that is done, goe chearfully about the works of thy calling. Hang not downe thy h [...]ad like a bulrush, as if thou must do nothing else but sigh and bemoane thy selfe, and shew a troubled mind in all things: Euen the freer and readier thy mind is, the more fit thy heart will be for this or other holy employments.

And further know, that the vse of this Catalogue is not for euer, nor do I require this speci­all mourning all the dayes of thy [Page 27] life, but in this case of first repen­tance, by which the body of sinne may be remoued. Therefor [...] thou oughtest so long to vse the Cata­logue of thy confessions of sins, till thou feele in some measure this sorrow and melting of heart, which when thou hast attained, eith [...]r sooner or later, then ad­dresse thy selfe to the fourth rule.

The fourth r [...]le concernes the 4. Fourthl [...], thou must th [...] lay h [...]ld vpon the promi­ses distinct­ly. [...] of the Promises, espe­ci [...]lly the Promises of two sorts. First, s [...]ch as shew that God hath giuen Iesus Christ to make satis­faction for the sinnes of men: and [...] Sorts of promises. then in speciall, such promises as shew, that through the merit of Christ, hee that hath thus con­fessed and felt sorrow for his sin, shall be receiued to fauour. Now How this may bee done. for this purpose, thou must get thee a distinct Catalogue of pro­mises made to such as confesse their sinnes with sorrow and mourning, and in them thou [Page 28] shalt see most plainly vnto how much riches and treasure thi [...] entrance vnto godlin [...]sse hat [...] brought thee. For the conditio [...] of the Promises being alread [...] formed in thee by this grace [...] God, thou maist safely assure th [...] soule of so much fauour fro [...] God in particular, as is expres [...] contained in those promises. Mar [...] it, thou as y [...]t dar'st not claim [...] all the prerogatin [...]s or goo [...] things contained in any Promis [...] in Scriptur [...],) et thou maist safe­ly lay vp as treasure, so muc [...] Note. as the Promises that concern [...] confession and godly sorrow d [...] assure and estate vp [...]n thee, an [...] so thou shalt finde t [...]at th [...]u has [...] [...] in C [...]rist already for [...] and rich fauours, and maist sh [...] Gods expresse Word to warra [...] thy claime; as for example, Go [...] 1. A taste of the [...] hap­ [...]e of s [...]ch as haue [...] [...]arte. hath assur [...]d thee;

First, that thou shalt not bee damned, thou maist rest vpon it, th [...]se be plaine Scriptures, 1 Cor. [Page 29] 11. 31, 32. Iob 13. 18, 19.

Secondly, that God will haue mercy vpon thee, and loue thee 2. freely, and take away his anger from thee, Prou. 28. 13. Ioel 2. 12, 13. Hos. 14. 3, 4. Ierem. 31. 18, 19, 20.

Thirdly, that all thy sinnes are forgiuen thee, 1 Ioh 1. 7, 9. Zach. 3. 12. 10. and so forward to the 2. verse of the 13. Chapter.

Fourthly, that God is at peace, and reconciled, and that thou 4. hast a free right vnto his word, and shalt finde his presence in his word, Isaiah. 57. 15, 16, 17, 18.

Fiftly, that God will now 5. henceforth heale the nature of thy sinfulnesse, Hos. 14. 3, 4.

I do but instance in these few particulars; but I could wish thee to make thee a full Catalogue, and write out the words verba­tim, and learne them without booke, or at least study them soundly to vnderstand them. And [Page 30] for thy ease I haue set downe the chiefe places of Scriptur [...] as they lye in order.

Leuit. 26. 41, 42, 44.

2 Kings 22. 19, 20.

Iob 33. 27, 28.

Psal. 32. 5. and 51. 17.

Prou. 28. 13.

Isaiah 57. 15, 16, 17, 18. and 61. 1, 2, 3.

Ierem. 31. 18, 19, 20.

Zach. 12. 10. and so forward to the second verse of Chap. 13.

Hos. 14. 3, 4, 5, 6.

Math. 5. 6.

1 Cor. 11. 31, [...]2.

Iam. 4. 9, 10.

Now when thou hast written How th [...]se promises are to bee vs [...]d. o [...]t th [...]se Promises, and dost vn­derstand the meaning of th [...]m, then carrie them into Gods pre­sence, as thou diddest the Cata­logue of sinnes, and now be­seech God, for Iesus Christs sake, to incline thy heart to beleeue these promises of Grace; and to [Page 31] this end pray vnto God from time to time, till the Lord bee pleased to let thee feele life in the Promises, or a cleare perswasion; and withall, beseech GOD by the Spirit of Promise from hea­uen, to seale vp thy interest here­in; and if thou feele the ioyes of the holy Ghost fall vpon thee in any of these promises, O hap­py man that euer thou wast borne to such a rich estate. I say the same of this sensible life in the promises, that I did before of godly sorrow: It may bee, the Lord will heare thee at the first; if not, persist thou to begge this grace till thou obtainest it. Thou seest, forgiuenesse of all thy sins, which thou hast conf [...]ssed is pro­mised thee, vrge the Lord with most humble depr [...]cation to h [...]are thee for the pardon and forgiuenesse of them, f [...]r the me­diation sake of Iesus Christ and his merits, that sits at his right hand, to make request for poore [Page 32] sinners that seeke mercy. Now when thou hast felt the Promi­ses to bee any of them spirit and life to thee, then hast thou done this most glorious exercise, and thou hast cause to praise God all the dayes of thy life, and what thou shouldest afterwards doe, the Treatises following wil shew thee; but for thy more cleare sa­tisfaction, I will answer a questi­on.

Quest. Thou wilt say, I could take comfort in this course, ha­uing done these things, but that I doubt whether my consession or sorrow bee right, or no. For I finde, that wicked men in Scrip­ture haue confessed their sinnes, and mourned too.

Answ. Thou maist euidently try thy confession and sorrow, How wee may know whether our confes­sion bee tigh [...] by these signes of difference.

First, wicked men haue con­fessed their sinnes, and sorrowed, but both were compelled, whereas 1. thine is voluntarily, and so a fre [...] ­will-offering.

[Page 33] Secondly, Cain and Iudas con­f [...]ssed sin, but it was not all sorts 2. of sinne, but onely the capitall crimes knowne by them, by which they had shamed and vn­done themselues.

Thirdly, the sorrowes of wic­ked 3. men were more for the pu­nishment, then for the sinne; nor did they sorrow for all sorts of sinnes, but for the sinnes before described.

Fourthly, their confession and 4. sorrowes were not ioyned with an vnfained desire to forsake sinne; whereas this is an infallible signe of true repentance, when a man can as heartily desire that he might neuer commit sinne, as heartily (I Note this well. say) desire it, as he would that God should neuer impute it. When a man can say before the Lord, that there is no sinne, but hee [...] doth as vnfainedly desire God to giue him strength to leaue it and forsake it, as hee doth desire [Page 34] that God should forgiue him' and not plague him for it: I say this is such a signe, as was neuer found in a wicked man in any age of the world.

Fifthly, the confession and sor­rowes of the wicked were not 5. ioyned with any perswasion of Gods goodnesse, or any constant desire to finde mercy with God in Iesus Christ.

Thus haue I shewe [...] thee the directions, which concerne this first and most weighty businesse that can concerne thee.

There are three sorts of men whom this direction concernes. This dire­ction con­cern [...]s three sort [...] of men First, such as neuer repented. Se­condly, such as though they haue repented, yet haue not the com­fort and assurance of their repen­tance, who by following these directions, may make all out of doubt. Thirdly, such as after calling fall into gr [...]sse sin [...]: These haue n [...]ed to recouer themselues by the helpe of these directions. [Page 35] The Catalogue following may Other vs [...]s of the Ca­talogue. serue for other vses, besides this of a mans practice in his repen­tance at his first conuersion, or after apostacie: For

1. As in a small Map, a man may here see the sorts of sinne, and so may get knowledge quickly, what euill to auoyde, which hitherto he hath not ta­ken n [...]tice of.

2. It may serue before the Communion, for such as would make a generall suruey of their sin [...]es, in discharge of that exa­mination which the Apostle men­tion [...]th, 1 Cor. 11. For howso­euer this large Catalogue be not of necessitie requisite to that ex­amination, yet vnto such as haue leasure and fitness [...], it is profita­ble for their more abundant sa­tisfaction. T [...]e mise­ry of such as will not b [...] [...] to [...] a [...] th [...]ir [...].

To conclude, if any man that reades these pres [...]nts, and is guil­tie to himselfe, that hee hath hi­therto taken no sound course a­bout [Page 36] his sinnes, and yet will not bee perswaded to practise these directions: l [...]t him consider, that so long as his sinnes be vnr [...]pen­ted on his part, and vnremitted on Godspart, the pollution of all the sins he euer committed, still cl [...]aues vnto him; so as he may iustly with the L [...]per cry, Vn­cleane, vncl [...]ane: y [...]a all his sinnes are written, as it were with a pen of iron in Gods booke of remem­brance, and that hee is a meere strang [...]r from all Gods promises; [...]nd liues without God, and without Christ in the world, and that all he doth, euen his best workes, are abo­ [...]inable to God, and that seas of wrath hang ouer his head, and vn­speakable woe will bee to him in the appearing of Iesus Christ, if he preuent it not by sound and spee­die repentance.


The diuision of Sinnes, and the Ca­talogue of sinnes against the whole Law.

ALl the sinnes mentioned and condemned in the Bi­ble, may be cast into foure ranks. For they are,

Either sinnes against the whole 1. Law, that is, such as may be com­mitted against any of the Com­mandements.

Or sins against the first Table 2. of the Law.

Or sins against the second Ta­ble 3. of the Law.

Or sinnes against the Gospell. 4.

The first sort of sinnes, are sins against the whole Law, and thus The first s [...]rt of sin. Originall sinne. hee sinneth that is conceiued in sinne, Psal. 51. 5.

That allowes not the good he doth, Rom. 7. 15.

That doth the euill hee hates, verse 15. 19.

[Page 38] That hath not goodnesse dwel­ling in him, ver. 18.

That doth not the good hee would, ver. 19.

That hath euill present when he would doe good, ver. 21.

That hath a law in his mem­bers, rebelling against the law of his minde, ver. 23.

That hath not knowledge to Ignorance. do good, Ier. 4. 22. Hosea 4. 6. Isaiah 1. 3.

This is aggrauated,

  • 1. If thou refuse knowledge, and wilt not vnderstand, Iob. 21. 14. Psal. 36. 4.
  • 2. If thou walke not in the light, whilst thou hast the light, Iohn 12. 36.
  • 3. If thou hate him that in­structeth thee, Amos 5. 10.
  • 4. If thou detaine the truth for the loue thou bearest to wic­kednesse, Rom. 1. 18.
  • 5. That will not vnderstand, though the foundations of the earth be moued, Psal. 82. 5.

[Page 39] That hath present occasion to Procrasti­nation. doe good, and yet puts it off, though but till the morrow, Pro. 3. 28.

That seeketh his owne glory, Vainglory. Prou. 25. 27.

That boasteth of a false gift, Prou. 25. 14.

That praiseth himselfe, Prou. 27. 2.

That is pure in his owne eyes, being not washed from his filthi­nesse, Prou. 30. 12.

That causeth others to goe a­stray, especially the righteous, Prou. 28. 10.

That cals euill good, or good euill; or puts light for darknesse, or darkenesse for light; or that puts bitter for sweete, or sweete for bitter, Isaiah. 5. 20.

That changeth the ordinan­ces, or addeth to Gods Word, or diminisheth ought from it, Isa. 24. 5. Deut. 4. 2. Prou. 30. 6.

That protects or defends o­thers in sinne, Ier. 44. 15.

[Page 40] That sits still, and is at rest ill Security. sinne, Zach. 1. 11. And considers not that God remembers his wickednesse, Hosea 7. 2. and is without feare of Gods iudge­ments, Prou. 28. 14. 1 Thess. 5. 3.

That receiueth not correction, Incorrigi­blenesse. but proudly hardeneth his heart, and is wilfull in euill, Ier. 5. 23. Ezech. 7. 10. Heb. 3. 15, 16.

That feares reproach for well­doing, Carnall feares. Isaiah 51. 7. or feares the displeasure of God for breaking mans traditions, Math. 15. 2, 9. or in things indifferent, makes con­science of sinne, where there is no sinne, Rom. 14.

That doth his worke to bee Hypocris [...]e seene of men, Math. 6. and 23.

That hath the forme of godli­nesse, but denyeth the power of it, 2 Tim. 3. 5.

That is a louer of himselfe, 2. Selfe-loue. Tim. 3. 2.

That is neither hote nor cold, Reu. 3. 15. Luke. warmnesse

[Page 41] That doth not good with a Vncheare­fulnesse. ioyfull heart, Deut. 28. 47.

That esteemes the way of the multitude, Exod. 23. 2.

That is not circumspect, but Inconside­ration. foolish and rash, and rusheth vp­on things without knowledge or counsell, or consideration of opportunities, circumstances, meanes or end, Ephes. 5. 15. Prou. 15. 22. Ier. 8. 6.

That is childish or vnconstant, Inconstan­cy. Ephes. 4. 14. as he is,

  • 1. That is carried about with euery winde of doctrine.
  • 2. That hath a diuided heart, Hos. 10. 2.
  • 3. That is mutable in his affe­ction to godlinesse, Gal. 4.
  • 4. That falleth away from the truth, or goeth backe, Ier. 15. 6. Hos. 6. 4. Isai. 1. 4.

Hitherto of the sinnes against the whole Law.


The diuision of the sinnes against the first Table: and the sorts of sinnes against Gods nature.

TThe sinnes against God, for­bidden in the first Table of the Law, are of foure sorts.

  • 1. Some against his nature.
  • 2. Some against the meanes of his worship.
  • 3. Some against the manner of his worship.
  • 4. Some against the time of his worship.

For the first, the sinnes against the nature of God, are of two sorts.

  • 1. Some more vnusuall and personall.
  • 2. Some more vsuall and na­turall.

The more vnusuall sinnes are such, as are not found amongst [Page 43] Christians, except it be in such persons onely, as are most mon­strously vile, such as are,

  • 1. Blasphemie, to reproach God.
  • 2. Idolatrie, to worship the creature.
  • 3. Witchcraft, or the seruice of the Diuell.
  • 4. Atheisme, to defend there is no God, or to desire constantly there were no God.
  • 5. That matchlesse Pride, for a man to say hee is God, or to exalt himselfe aboue all that is called God.
  • 6. Heresie, to hold after con­ [...]ction, errors against the foun­dation of Religion.
  • 7. The inward hatred and loathing of God. It shall [...] to haue thus touched th [...]se sins.

The more vsuall sins, and such as are found in the most men by nature, are such as these.

That naturall Atheisme, of 1. Naturall Atheisme. which he is guiltie,

  • [Page 44]1. That customarily spends his time without God in the world, Ephes. 2. 12.
  • 2. That conceiues Atheisticall thoughts; and of such thoughts he is guilty,

That with inward reasonings, whether there be a GOD, to which his heart inclineth, Psal. 14. 1.

That saith or thinketh, God will neither doe good nor euill, or that he neither seeth or regar­deth, Isai. [...]9. 15, 16. Zeph. 1. 12. Ezech. 9. 9. Iob 22. 13.

That saith or thinketh, there is no profit in seruing the Almigh­tie, Iob 21. 14. & 22. 17.

That in affliction saith or thinketh, it is impossible to be deliuered, 2 Kings 7. 2.

That hath inward boylings a­bout such things as God sheweth not reason of, Iob 33. 13.

That conceiueth rebellious thoughts about the decrees or prouidence of God, Rom. 9.

[Page 45] Thus of naturall Atheisme.

The second sin is Epicurisme, 2. Epicurisme which is shewed,

By fulnesse of bread and idle­nesse, Ezech. 16. 49. Phil. 3. 19.

By liuing in pleasure, Eccl. 11. 9. Iames 5. 5.

By vanitie and strangenesse of apparell, Isai. 3. Zep. 1. 8.

The third sinne, is the defect 3. Defects. of those graces, by which wee should cleaue vnto God; and that also when we want tha [...] life of them should be in vs; such are the defects of the warmth of the knowledge, loue and feare of God, and of our ioying and tru­sting in God, Psal. 36. 1. Zeph. 3. [...]. Prou. 30. 1, 2. Rom. 7. These defects are the worse, by reason of our impotency and extreme indisposition to seeke to mend those things. And therefore it is an aggrauation of any of these defects, that men doe not stirre vp themselues to take hold of God, [...]sai. 64. 7.

[Page 46] Fourthly, the misplacing o [...] 4. [...] of our affe­ctions. our affections, in setting, them vpon earthly things, employing our confidence, feare, ioy, or loue vpon the world, and the things thereof, whereby our hearts are any way alienated from God, Ier. 17. 5. Isai. 51. 7. 1 Ioh. 2. 15. Math. 6.

Fiftly, Pride: and there is a 5. 4 Sorts of pride. foure-fold pride:

1. Arrogancie, shewed

By high lookes, or indignati­on of spirit, Isaiah 10. 12. and 16. 6.

By fearlesnesse of a fall in pros­p [...]ritie, and that boasting hope­fulnesse in a broken estate, Psal. 30. 6. Isai. 9. 10. Obad. 3.

2. The pride of life, which hath in it the secret lifting vp of the heart, & glorying in friends, money, meanes, houses, riches, beauty, or the like, 1 Iohn [...]. 17. 2 Kings 20. 3. with 2 Chron. 32. 25.

3. The pride of gifts, exprest,

[Page 47] By great thoughts of our selues, being wise in our selues, Rom. 12. 16.

By fretting with enuy at the gifts and respects of others, Num. 1 [...]. 2, 8, 9.

By being ouer-confident of our owne innocency, Iob 34. 5, 6.

By desire to prie into the se­cret things of God, being not content with things reuealed, Deut. 29. vlt Rom. 12. 3.

4. Pride in sinning, and so he is guilty,

That dares commit great euils against his knowledge.

That seemes wise in maintai­ning sinne, Prou. 3. 7. Psal. 52. 7.

That hardens his heart against repentance, 1. Sam. 15. 22, 23. Numb. 15. 30, 31. Ierem. 16. 12. Iob 34. 37.

That sinnes with affectation, that glories in it, as he that takes a pride in drunkennesse, Isai. 28. 1, 3.

[Page 48] That frets because he is cro [...] in sinne, Prou. 19. 3. And thus [...] Pride.

The sixt sinne is the neglect [...] 6. How many waies men sin against Gods mer­cy. Gods mercy: and this is the mor [...] grieuous offence, because merc [...] is the most eminent attribute [...] God. For the sinnes of this kind worlds of men are damned i [...] hell, Iohn 3. 19.

And against Gods mercy hee offends,

That askes wherein God hath loued him, Mal. 1. 2.

That abuseth Gods blessings, Hos. 10. 1. & 11. 3, 4.

That obserues not the mercy of God in his prouidence, Hosea 2. 8.

That in aduersitie saith, God cares not for him, or hath passed ouer his iudgements, or hath for­saken him, Isaiah. 40. 28. and 49. 14.

That enquireth not after God, Zeph. 1. 6.

That beleeues not Gods pre­mises, [Page 49] through neglect or de­spaire.

That blesseth his heart against Gods threatnings, Deut. 29. 19.

That forsakes his owne mercy, by trusting to lying vanities, Ionah 2. 8.

That scoffes at the signes of Gods mercy, Isai. 7. 12, 13.

That sacrificeth to his owne net, ascribing the praise to him­selfe, Hab. 1. 16.

That seekes not to God in his distresse, 2 Chron. 16. 12.

That sayes God cannot deli­uer, 2 Kings 6. 33. and 7. 2.

That answers not when God calls, Isai. 50. 2.

That limits God, Psal. 78. 41.

That hath a spirit of bitter­nesse through discontent, Hosea 12. 14.

That dishonours God by his euill life, Rom. 2. 24.

Thus of the sins against Gods mercie.

The seuenth sinne is resorting 7. [Page 50] to witches, Isai. 8. 19, 20. Leuit. 20. 6. Deut. 18. 11.

Eightly, hee offends, that dis­regards 8. Gods Workes, Isaiah 5. 12.

Ninthly, that lies against God, hauing professed to haue God to 9. be his God Isai. 29. 13. And so he doth,

That opposeth the truth and objects against it.

That performes not what hee promised in his sicknesse, or ad­uersity, or at the Sacraments.

That falleth away from the truth.

Tenthly, that feares not God, 10. Offences against the f [...]re of God. or not in a right manner: and so he sinneth,

That feares God onely for re­ward, Iob 1. 9.

That feareth God onely be­cause of punishment, Hos. 3. 5.

That is not afraid of Gods presence, or threatnings, Psal. 36. 1, 2. Isaiah 66. 1. Ierem. 6. 10.

[Page 51] That comforts not men in mi­sery, Iob 6. 14.

That meddles with changers, or the seditious, Prou. 24. 21.

That in matter of sinne is wise in his owne eyes, and will not depart from iniquitie, Prou. 3. 7.

That sins, because God doth forbeare to punish, Eccles. 8. 13. Psal. 50. 19, 21.

That feares the signes of Hea­uen, Ierem. 10. 2.

That finds an hardnesse of heart against Gods feare, Isaiah 63. 17.

Thus of the sinnes against the feare of God.

Eleuenthly, That trusts not in 11. Offences against the trust in God. God, and so he offends.

That asketh not counsell of God, Isaiah 31. 1. and 30. 1, 2. but vseth carnall helpes.

That saith, there is no hope, Ierem. 3. 23.

That trusts in man, and makes flesh his arme, Ierem. 17. 5.

That puts his confidence in his [Page 52] wealth, Prou. 10. 15. Iob 31. 24.

That leanes to his owne vn­derstanding, Prou. 3. 5.

That drawes not neere vnto God in aduersitie, Zeph. 3. 2.

That impatiently desireth death, Iob 7. 15.

Thus of the sinnes against trust in God.

Twelfthly, That neglects com­munion 12 with the godly: he hath not God for his God, that is, no [...] ioyned to Gods people: and this is aggrauated against him,

That in contempt of godliness [...] goeth in the company of the wicked, Iob 34. 8, 9.

That reprocheth Gods people Psal. 74. 10, 18. Esay 57. 3, 4.

That accounts the godly as signes and wonders, Esay 8. 18.

That reioyces in their disgra­ces, Ezechiel 25. 6.

That forsakes their fellowship, either through carelesnesse and apos [...]y, Heb. 10. 25. or through [...]hisine, Esay 65. 2, 5.

[Page 53] That for malice persecutes them, or casts them out of the Church, Esay 66. 5.

And thus of the sinnes against the nature of God.


Shewing how men offend against the meanes of Gods worship.

THe sins against the meanes of Gods worship follow, and these are of three sorts.

  • 1. Not worshipping.
  • 2. Will-worshipping.
  • 3. Idoll worshipping.

For the first, he offends in ge­nerall,

That worships not God, Zac. 14. 17. 1. Not wor­shipping.

That calls not vpon the Name of the Lord, Ps. 14. 4. Esay 64. 7.

That comes not to the Church 2. Chron. 29. 6, 7.

[Page 54] That prayes not in his family, Ier. 10. 25.

That receiueth not the Prea­chers of the Gospel, Matthe [...] 10. 14.

The aggrauations are, when a man is so far from worshipping The ag­grauations. atight,

That hee offers the blind and the lame for the maintenance [...] Gods seruice, Mal. 1. 8, 14.

That he deuoures things san­ctified, that should be employe [...] for the furtherance of Gods ser­uice, Prou. 20. 25.

That forbids Gods faithful Ministers to preach in the Name of Christ, Acts. 4. 17. 1. Thes. 2. 16

That disswades men from Gods worship, vpon preten [...] that it is either polluted, Mal [...]. 7, 12, 13. or vaine, Mal. 3. 14.

That is wayward, or neue [...] pleased with all, or any part [...] Gods worship, or the mean [...] thereof, Math. 1 [...]. 16.

Thus of sinnes of irreligious­nesse, [Page 55] or not worshipping.

Will-worship followes, and so 2 Will wor­ship. he offends,

1. That deuiseth any thing of himselfe, to the intent to serue God by it, Numb. 15. 38, 39.

2. That serues God for cu­stome, or after the old manner, making the example of Fathers, or fore fathers the rule of his ser­uice, 2 Kings 17. 34. Ier. 9. 13, 14 Amos 2. 4. 1. Pet. 1. 18.

3. That feares God after the precepts of men, Esay 29. 13.

4. That being not a Minister, doth the worke of a Minister, vpon pretence of necessity or deuotion, 2 Chron. 26. 16.

5. That vrgeth the lesser things of the Law, and neglects the greater, Math. 23. 23.

The aggrauations are,

To vrge menstraditions with The ag­grauations. opinion of necessity, and with neglect of Gods Law, Matthew 15. 2, 3, 9.

To desire to bee taught vaine [Page 56] things, Esay 30. 9, 10, 11.

To borrow rites and obserua­tions from the professed ene­mies of God, to adde them as parts of Gods worship, 2 Kings 17. 34. Deut. 12. 3, 4, 13. Ezech. 11. 12.

Idoll worship followes, and so men offend, either first in­wardly, 3. Idoll wor­shipping. or second outwardly.

Inwardly he offends, that con­ceiues of God in the likenesse of any thing created, and manifests his offence. If he direct his wor­ship to that likenes, Comman. 2. Acts 17. 16. 1 Iohn 2. 2 [...].

Outwardly he offends,

That makes an Image to re­semble God by it, Deut. 4. 12, 15. Esay 40. 18.

That vseth any gesture of loue and reuerence vnto such Images, by whomsoeuer made, Hos. 13. 2

That mentions the names of Idols, either by way of swearing or apologie, Exodus 23. 13.

That is present at the Idola­trous [Page 57] feasts, and therefore hee much more offends that is pre­sent at the seruice of the idoll, 1 Cor. 10. 21, 22. Exod. 34. 15. Psal. 106. 28.

That worshippeth the Image or God in the Image, Comm. 2 [...] Exod. 32. Iudg. 17. 3.

Thus of the sinnes against the meanes of Gods worship.


Shewing how many wayes men sin against the holy manner of Gods worship.

THe sins against the manner of Gods worship follow.

And because it were tedious to reckon vp the seuerall sinnes against each part of Gods wor­ship, because in diuers things the same offences may bee commit­ted against any one of the parts of Gods seruice: Therefore I [Page 58] will briefely touch the generall wayes of offending in the man­ner of any worship of God, and then more specially reckon the sins against those parts of Gods worship, that are most vsuall and ordinary.

It is an offence in any seruice Sins in any part of Gods worship. due to God, to serue him

Hypocritically; in shew and not in deed, Esay 29. 13.

Without repentance: to bring the loue of any sinne to any part of his seruice, Esay 1. 15.

Without delight and willing­nesse, Ioshua 24. 15.

Without constancie: to serue him but by [...]its, Hosea 6. 4.

Without consideration or re­uerence, Eccl. 5. 1, 2.

Thus in generall.

In particular.

1. He offends in hearing the 1. Sinnes in hearing. VVord.

That is vnteachable, Esay 28. 9, 10, 11.

That hath idols in his heart [Page 59] through lust, or malice, or coue­tousnesse, Ezechiel 14. 7. Iames 1. 21.

That heares without attenti­on, and comes for custome sake, Eccl. 5. 1. Ezech. 33. 31, 32.

That is not a doer of the word, Matthew 7. 26.

2. He offends in Prayer, 2. Sinnes in Pray [...]r.

That praies not at all times, or with perseuerance in prayer, Iob 27. 10. Luke 18. 1.

That prayes without vnder­standing, or power of the Spirit 1 Cor. 14. 15.

That delights not in the Al­mighty, Iob 22. 26.

That regards wickednesse in his heart, Psalme 66. 18. Pro. 21. 27. Esay 1. 15, 16.

That doubts and wa [...]ers, or is discontented vpon false surmises that God heareth him not, Iames 1. 5, 6. Mal. 2. 13. 3. Sins abou [...] the Sacra­ments of [...]he Lord [...] Supper.

3. He offends in the Sacrament of the Lords Supper,

That discernes not the Lords [Page 60] Body, 1 Cor. 11. 29.

That examines not himselfe before hee eates of that Bread, and drinkes of that Cup, refu­sing to iudge himself for known offences, 1 Cor. 11. 28.

That beleeues not the opera­tion of God, Col. 2. 12.

That reconciles not himselfe to such as hee hath offended by trespassing against them, Mat. 5.

That despiseth the Church and people of God, 1 Cor. 11. 22.

4 He offends in swearing, 4. About swearing. That sweares by that which is no God, Ier. 5.

That sweares in common talke and feares not an oath, Ier. 23. 10. Math. 5. 34. Eccl. 9. 2.

That sweares falsly, Zach. 5. 4.

That loues false oathes, Zach. 8. 17.


Which shewes how men offend in breaking the Sabbath.

HItherto of the sins against the meanes and manner of Gods, worship, thetime of Gods worship followes, which is principally the Sabbath.

Now sinnes against the Sab­bath are either more secretly, or more openly.

More secretly he offends, More se­cret off [...]n­ces against the Sab­bath.

That remembers not the Sab­bath day before it come, to vn­loade his heart of worldly cares and businesse, Comm. 4.

That longs to haue the Sabbath ouer-past, Amos 8. 5.

That spends the day in idlenes.

That flourisheth not according to the blessings of God, in re­spect of the meanes on the Sab­bath day, Psal. 92. the title, with verse 13, 14.

[Page 62] That honours not the Sabbath with delight to doe Gods worke on that day, Esay 58. 13.

That is vnwilling to be infor­med concerning the authoritie and seruice of the Sabbath. This is to hide his eyes from the Sab­bath, as the phrase is, Ezechiel 22. 26.

More openly he offends, The open breaches.

That omits publike or priuate duties, or comes in too late, or goes out too soone, Ezech. 46. 10. Psal. 92. the title with vers. 2. Leuit. 23. 3.

That doth any manner of worke on that day, Exod. 20. 10, 11. and 31. 15.

And thus he offends,

That sels wares, Neh. 10. 31. and 13. 15, 20.

That carries burthens, Neh. 13. 15, 19. Ier. 17. 21.

That trauels abroad, Exodus 16. 29.

Yea, he offends,

That works in haruest on that [Page 63] day, Exod. 34. 22. Neh. 14. 15.

That workes, vpon pretence Note. it is a light worke, Exod. 16. 27, 28. and 35. 2, 3. Numb. 15. 32. Matth. 12. 1, &c.

That employes his cattell or seruants, though he worke not himselfe, Exod. 23. 12.

That finds his pleasures, that is, that vseth recreations, Esay 58. 13.

That speakes his own words, Esay 58. 13.

That hauing power, reformes not the abuses of others against the Sabbath, Nehem. 13. Ier. 17.

The aggrauation is, to doe a­ny of these things presumptu­ously.


The diuision of the sins against the second Table; and how men offend in the Familie, Church, or Common-wealth.

HItherto of sinnes against God.

The sinnes against man are to be considered, either more spe­cially, or more generally.

More specially we offend a­gainst others, in respect of that relation wherein we stand as su­periours, or inferiours to them; and so men offend,

  • 1. In the Family.
    The sins
  • 2. In the Common-wealth.
  • 3. In the Church.

In the Familie,

1. The wife offends, 1. Of wiues.

That is not subiect to her husband, or not in euery thing, Eph. 5. 22, 24. Col. 3. 18.

That is wastfull, Prou. 14. 1.

[Page 65] That is froward, Prou. 21. 9, 19.

That is idle, Prou. 31. 13.

2. The husband offends, 2. Of hus­bands.

That loues not his wife, Eph. 5. 25.

That dwels not with her as a man of knowledge, 1 Pet. 3. 7.

3. The childe offends, 3. Of chil­dren.

That disobeyes his parents, Rom. 1. 30. Tit. 1. 6. Eph. 6. 1.

That vseth any vnreuerent be­hauiour, or any way sets light by them, Commandement 5. Ezeck. 22. 7.

That receiueth not rebuke or correction with submission and reuerence, Prou. 13. 1. Hebr. 12. 9.

That relieues not his parents in their wants, Math. 15. 6.

The aggrauations are, The ag­grauati­ons.

To despise their instructions, Prou. 15. 5.

To discouer their infirmities, Gen. 9. 22.

To despise their infirmities, ei­ther [Page 66] for deformity or infirmity, Prou. 23. 22.

To shame them, or grieue them, Prou. 28. 7. and 27. 11. and 10. 1.

To mocke them, Prou. 30. 17.

To curse them, Prou. 20. 20. and 30. 11. Exod. 21. 17.

To smite them, Exod. 21. 15.

To waste their estates, or chase them away from him, Prou. 19. 29.

4. The parents offend, 4. Of Parents

In generall, that bring not vp their children in nurture and in­struction of the Lord, Ephe. 6. 4.

In particular,

That restraine not sin in them, 1 Samuel 3. 13.

That correct them not, but leaue them to themselues, Prou. 22. 15. and 23. 13. and 29. 15.

That prouoke them to wrath by immoderate correction, or rebuke, or intemperate spee­ches, Ephes. [...]4.

That prouide no [...] or them in [Page 67] their callings, or outward e­states, or marriage, 1 Tim. 5. 8.

5. Seruants offend, 5. Of ser­uants.

That are idle and slothfull.

That are disorderly, as

Without reuerence & feare.

Without singlenesse of heart, not as vnto Christ.

With eye-seruice, as men­pleasers.

Grudgingly, and not from the heart, Eph. 6. 5, 6, 7, 8.

That are vnfaithfull, and shew it either by purloyning, Tit. 2. 10. or by carelesnesse, when they are such as cannot be trusted in any businesse, Prou. 13. 17.

The aggrauations are, The aggra­uations.

To answer againe, Tit. 2. 9. or out of contempt or sullennesse, not to answer, Prou. 29. 19. Iob 19. 16.

To runne away, Philem.

Through pride and folly to seeke to rule, Prou. 19. 10. and 30. 22.

6. Masters offend, 6. Of Masters

[Page 68] That entertaine wicked ser­uants, Psal. 101.

That gouerne their family negligently, 1 Tim. 3. 4.

That with-hold what is iust and equall, in diet, wages, encou­ragement, &c. Col. 4. 1. Iam. 5. 4.

That vse indiscreete and im­moderate threatning, Eph. 6. 9.

Thus of the offences in the Family.

In the Common-wealth.

1. Subiects offend, 1. Of subiects

That speake euill of their Ru­lers, Exod. 22. 28. Eccles. 10. vlt.

That are disobedient to them, Rom. 13.

That pay not tribute nor cu­stome, Rom. 13.

That rebell, or are seditious, 2 Tim. 3. 4.

2. Magistrates offend, 2. Of Magi­strates.

That oppresse the people by exactions, or otherwise, Prou. 28. 15. Ezech. 45. 9.

That make vniust lawes, or execute not iust lawes, Esa. 10. 1. [Page 69] Ier. 5. 1. Mic. 3. 9.

That are vnrighteons in iudge­ment, either by bribery, or leni­tie, or rigour, or couetousnesse, or wresting the Law, Leuit. 19. 15.

In the Church,

1. The people offend,

That pay not their tithes or 1. Of hearers. contributions, Mal. 1. 1 Cor. 9. 13, 14. Gal. 6. 6.

That subiect not themselues, but disobey them that haue the ouersight of them, Heb. 13. 17.

2. The Ministers offend, 2. Of Mini­sters.

That preach not, or not con­stantly: but more of their sinnes afterwards amongst the sinnes against the soules of men.


Of the sinnes against mans person.

THus of the sins against man, considered more especially.

[Page 70] More generally, man sinnes against man,

Either with consent of his will: or without consent.

The sinnes with consent, are,

Either against the person of man:

Or the puritie of man:

Or the possessions and state of man:

Or the name and praise of man.

The sinnes against the persons of men, are,

Either against the whole per­son:

Or against their soules:

Or against their bodies.

The sinnes against the persons of men generally considered, are

Either by omission:

Or by commission.

1. By omission he offends, 1 By omissi on

That pitties not the afflicted, Iob 6. 14.

That relieues not the afflicted 1 Iohn 3. 17. Mat. 25. Iob 31. 19

[Page 71] That is implacable, and will not forgiue, Rom. 1. 29. Iames 2. 13.

The aggrauations are, The ag­grauations

To professe to take no charge of his brother, Gen. 4. 9.

To stop his eares at the cry of the poore, Prou. 21. 13.

To estrange our selues from the very seruants of God in their misery, Psal. 38. 11.

2. By commission, men sinne, 2. By com­mission. either outwardly, or inwardly.

Inwardly he offends,

1. That enuies his neighbour, Gal. 5. 21. either 1. Enuie.

For his wealth, Gen. 26. 14.

For his respect with others, Gen. 37. 11.

For his giftes, Num. 11. 27, 28, 29. 1. Cor. 3. 3.

The aggrauations are

So to enuy others, as to desire their restraint, Num. 11.

To enuy the very wicked, es­pecially so, as to desire to par­take of their delights, Pro. 24. 1

[Page 72] 2. That is angry vnaduisedly 2. Anger. Mat. 5. 22.

The aggrauations.

To be hasty to anger, Eccles. 7. 9. Prou. 14. 17, 29.

To continue long in anger, A­mos 1. 11.

To rage, and to bee confident without feare or care, Prou. 14 16.

To be incensed against the ser­uants of God, and striue with them, Esay 41. 11.

To make friendship with the angry man, Prou. 22. 24, 25.

3. That hates and is malici­ous; 3. Hatred. which sinne is not auoided, though the person thou hatest

Be poore, Iam. 2. 6.

Bee infirme, and haue many weaknesses, Mat. 18. 10.

Yea, though they sinne, Leuit. 19. 17, 18.

The aggrauations are,

To increase in anger and ha­tred vpon euery occasion, Gen. 37. 8. Ezek. 25. 15.

[Page 73] To wish a curse to others, Iob 31. 30.

To reioyce at their destructi­on, Prou. 24. 17. Iob 31. 29.

To recompence euill, Prou. 24. 29.

Not to bee satisfied with the trouble of those whom he pur­sueth, Iob 19. 22.

That hates righteous men, and shewes it,

By wishing their euill, Psalme 40. 14.

By reioycing at their hurt, Psal. 35. 26.

By gathering sinfull surmises into his heart when he comes a­mongst them, and then telling them when hee comes abroad, Psal. 41. 6.

By iudging vncharitably of their afflictions, Psal. 41. 8.

Especially, that hates them for this reason, because their works are better then his, 1 Ioh. 3. 12. and 2. 11.

4. That vexeth himselfe with 4. Worldly sorrow. [Page 74] worldly sorrow, and causes [...] distraction, Prou. 17. 22. 2 C [...] 7. 10. and vseth crying, Eph [...] 4. 31.

The aggrauations are,

To refuse comfort; Psal. 77. [...].

To wish his own death, Num. 14. 2. Iob 3. Ionah 4. 3.

Thus of the sinnes internall.

The externall sinnes are, Sinnes ex­ternall.

Either in gesture,

Or in words:

Or in workes.

1. In gesture, men offend, by 1. In gesture. shaking of the head, sharpening of the eyes, casting downe of the countenance, putting out of the finger, gnashing of the teeth, Iob 16. 4, 9. Esay 58. Psal. 35. 19. and 37. 12. and 5. Gen. 4. 5.

2. In words he offends, that 2. In words. speakes euill of any man, Tit. 3. 2. Matth. 5. whether it be

By censuring, Rom. 14. 10. Iam. 4. 11. Gal. 5. 15.

Or by reuiling or reproa­ching, Math. 5.

[Page 75] Or by any kinde of piercing bitter words, Pro. 12. 18.

Yea it is an offence, to render reuiling for reuiling, 1 Pet. 3. 6.

To whisper euill of others, though neuer so secretly, Psalme 41. 7.

To wrest the words of others for euill, Psal. 56. 5.

The aggrauations are, The ag­grauations.

1. To speake euill of dignity, Iude 8.

2. To reproach Gods seruants, this is blasphemie, Colossians 3. 8 and it is worse when men teare their names, Psalme 35. 15. and it is increased when men [...] reuile Gods Ministers, 1 Corin. 4. 13. 2 Kings 2. 23.

3. To curse the deafe, or put a stumbling blocke before the blind, Leui. 19. 14.

To deride men in miserie, Iob 30. 1.

5. To take a pleasure in braw­ [...]ing and contention, Iames 4. 1. Psal. 52. 4.

[Page 76] 6. To haue a mouth full of cursing and bitternesse, Rom. 3. 14. Iames 3. 9. and an habit of forwardnesse and peruersnesse of lips, Prou. 4. 24. and an vnruly tongue that cannot bee tamed, Iames 3. 8.

7. To boast of his mischiefe herein, Psal. 52. 1.

8. To complaine of his neigh­bour in all places, and to be giuen to it, Iames 5. 9.

Thus he offends in words.

3. In workes he offends,

1. In generall, that practiset [...] 3. In w [...]rks. any way the hurt of the persons of others, either by fraud or vio­lence.

The aggrauations of hurtfull practices are,

1. To adde affliction to the af­flicted, Psal. 96. 26.

2. To deale vnfaithfully with our friend, and to betray him, Psal. 41. 9.

3. To practise against the righteous, or any way to trouble [Page 77] them, Psalme 37. 12, 14. 2 Thes. 1. 6. and this receiueth increase of aggrauation:

If thou practise against them because they follow goodnesse, Psal. 38. 19, 20.

If thou wrong them, when thou hast receiued good from them, Psal. 38. 20. and the worse, if thou do it daily, Psal. 56. 1.

If thou marke their steps, wai­ting for occasion to bring euill vpon them, Psal. 38. 12. & 56. 6.

If thou set on others to hurt them, out of delight, and with ioy, Ezech. 36. 5.

If through dissimulation thou priuily betray them, Gal. 2. 4.

If thou abuse them when they are dead, Psal. 79. 2.

2. In particular.

That is contentious, Rom. 13. 13.

The aggrauations are,

Through contentions to bee scandalous, Gen. 13. 7. 1 Cor. 6. 1, 4.

[Page 78] To sow discord, Prou 6. 14.

To fall at strife without con­sideration, especially to bring o­thers in troubles too, Pro. 17. 14. & 20. 3. & 26. 17. & 19. 19.

To oppresse the fatherlesse in suites, Iob. 31. 21.

Thus of sinnes against the whole person.

Sinnes against the body fol­low, Sinnes a­gainst the body. and so men offend,

1. By fighting, and so hee of­fends that any way woundeth o [...] blemisheth another, Exod. 21. 24. Leuit. 24. 19. Exod. 2. 13, 14. Whether he smiteth in scorne or in fury, 1 Kings 22. 24 Especial­ly, that hurts a woman with child, Exod. 21. 22.

2. By murther, and so hee of­fends that takes away the life of another willingly.

The aggrauations of murther are,

To kill father or mother, 1 Ti­mothy 1. 9.

To kill ones children, 2 Kings [Page 79] 3. 27. though it were done for sa­crifice.

To kill Gods seruants, Heb. 11. 37. Reuel. 16. 6.

To kill himselfe.

Thus of offences against the body.

The sinnes against the soule Sinnes a­gainst the soule. follow.

Against the soule offend,

1. Ministers: and so he that is ignorant, and cannot teach and warne the people of their sinnes, Esay 56. 10. Ezech. 33.

That is prophane in his dispo­sition and life, Ier. 23. 14, 11.

That runnes before he be sent, Ier. 23. 21.

That is negligent in his cal­ling, and vseth not his gifts, 1. Tim. 4. 14.

That teacheth false doctrine, and prophecieth in Baal, Ier. 23. 13.

That preacheth peace to wic­ked men, and strengthneth them in their euill courses, Ezech. 13. [Page 80] 18. 22. Ier. 23. 14, 15, 17.

That teacheth vnprofitably, doating about vaine questions, and strife ofwords, vsing railing or oldwiues fables, and prophant conceits &c. or the like vnprofi­table matter, 1. Tim. 3. 4, 7. and 4. 7. & 6. 4.

That in his teaching disgraceth and reuileth the godly, Ezech. 13 22. Phil. 3. 2, 18.

2. The people, who may bee guiltie of murthering either o­thers or themselues.

Others, and so he offends,

That suffereth his brother to sinne, and doth not reproue him, Leuit. 19. 17.

That giueth offence and is a stumbling blocke to the weake, Rom. 14. 3. 1 Cor. 10. 32. Math. 18. 6.

That instructs not others when he may and ought.

That maketh or partaketh in any Schisme in the Church, 1. Cor. 12.

[Page 81] 2. Our selues, and so hee of­fends,

That neglects Vision, or the meanes of knowledge, & grace, Hos. 4. 6.

That is subiect to no settled Ministry, but hath itching eares, and seekes a heape of Teachers, 2 Tim. 4. 3.

That is wilfull in impenitency, Ezech. 18.

That forsakes the fellowship of the Saints, Heb. 10. 25.

That refuseth admonition, 2. Chron. 16. 10. Prou. 29. 1.

That resisteth the truth, 2 Tim. 3. 8.

Thus of sins against the persons of men.


Shewing the sinnes against Chastity.

THe sinnes against the purity of men follow, and are [Page 82] either more grosse and vnusuall, and against the light of nature, or else more vsuall.

The grosse offences are,

1. Buggerie, Exod. 22. 19.

2. Sodomit [...]ie, Rom. 1. 27. 1 Tim. 1. 9, 10.

3. Incest, Leuit. 18.

4. Poligamy, Mal. 2. 15.

5. The vnnaturall filthinesse of women one with another, Rom. 1. 26.

6. Selfe poll [...]tion, or the transgression of Onan, Gen. 38. 9.

7. The sinnes about diuorce: so he offends,

That puts away his wife, and not for fornication, Math. 5. 23.

That marrieth her that is vn­iustly diuorced.

That marrieth himselfe againe, after he hath vniustly put away his wife, Math. 19. 9.

8. Fornication, Ephes. 5. 3.

9. Whoredome or adulterie, 1 Cor. 6. 9. Iude 15.

[Page 83] The aggrauations of whore­dome are,

1. To force any to it, 2 Sam. 13. 14.

2. That a man and his father should goe into a Maide. Amos 2. 7.

3. To condemne it in others, and yet to commit it himselfe, Rom. 2. 22.

4. To entice others, Gen. 39. 7. Prou. 2. 16.

10. To marry the daughter of a strange god, Mal. 2. 11. Nehe. 13. 27. 2 Cor. 6. 17.

The more vsuall sinnes fol­low:

And so men offend either in­ternally, or externally.

Internally he offends,

That hath impure thoughts, Math. 5. 28. Ephes. 2. 3. 1 Thes. 4. 5.

That hath inordinate affecti­ons, and burning lusts, Colos. 3. 5.

Externally men offend,

[Page 84] 1. In their senses, as by impu [...]e lookes, Iob 31. 1. Matth. 5. 27. 2 Pet. 2. 14.

2. In their gestures, and so they are guiltie of chambring and wantonnesse, Rom. 13. 13.

3. In their words, by filthy speaking, Col. 3. 8.

4. By vsing the meanes, or occasion of vncleannesse.

And in respect of the meanes The means of vnclean­nesse. of vncleannesse he offends,

That makes light of the forni­cation of others, 1 Corinth. 5. 2. 2 Pet. 2. 7.

That keepeth company with fornicators, 1 Cor 5. 9. Pro. 7. 25.

That giues himselfe to ease and pleasure, Amos 6. 4, 5, 6. Tit. 1. 12.

That vseth lasciuious dancing, Zeph. 1. 9. Marke 6. 22.

That vseth lasciuious bookes or pictures, 1 Thes. 5. 22. 1 Cor. 15. 23.

That hauing not the gift of continencie, doth not marry, [Page 85] 1 Cor. 7. 2.

That disposeth not his children in marriage, 1 Cor. 7. 37.

That sorteth with winebib­bers, and the riotous, Pro. 23. 20.

That is desirous of dainties, or any way giuen to gluttony, Pro. 23. 3. Ier. 5. 7, 8.

That is giuen to prattling, or idle gadding from house to house, Prou. 7. 11. 1 Tim. 5. 13.

That vseth whorish attire, or perfumes, Prou. 7. 10, 16, 17. Ze­phaniah 1. 8.

That vseth the attire of ano­ther sexe, Deut. 22. 5.

That beguiles another in mar­riage by error of person, state, or disease, or the like, Gen. 29. 25.

That marrieth without con­sent of parents, Gen. 26. 34, 35.

That is guilty of drunkennes, or vseth excessiue drinking, 1. Pet. 4. 4.

The aggrauations of drunken­nesse, are,

To take a pride in it, Esay 28. 1

[Page 86] To be mighty to drinke wine, Esay 5. 22.

To continue long at it, Esay 5. 1 [...]. Prou. 23. 30.

To make others drunke, Hab. 2. 15.

Thus of sinnes against Cha­stitie.


Shewing the sinnes against mans estate.

THe sins against the estates of men follow, and these are either internall, or externall.

Internall, and so he offends,

That is discontented with his estate, Heb. 13. 5.

That is worldly, and distresseth himselfe with bootlesse cares a­bout his estate, Prou. 15. 27. Mat. 6. 25, 34. Luke 21. 34.

That delights not in his cal­ling, Prou. 12. 17.

[Page 87] That is couetous, and in loue with the things of this world, Eph. 5. 5. 1 Tim. 6. 10. 1 Ioh. 2. 15

The externall signes follow, and so men offend both by omis­sion and commission.

By omission he offends,

That employes not the good things he hath, Iames 5. 2, 3.

That relieues not the poore, and so with-holdeth the good from the owner thereof, Prou. 3. 28.

The aggrauations are,

To forsake the poore, Iob 20. 19.

To hide his eyes from the poore, Prou. 28. 27.

That brings not foorth his corne to sell, Prou. 11. 26.

That detaines wages, Deut. 24. 14, 15. Leuit. 19. 13. Iames 5. 4.

That payes not what hee hath borrowed, Psalme 37. 21.

That is idle, and neglects his calling, Eccl. 4. 5. And of this sin he is guilty also,

[Page 88] That with-draweth not his foot from his neighbours house, Prou. 25. 17. 1. Tim. 5. 13.

That is giuen to much sleepe, Prou. 6. 9, 10.

That is slacke in businesse, Prou. 10. 4. and 15. 19.

That neglects the opportuni­ties of his calling, Prou. 10. 5.

The aggrauations are,

To be pertinacious in the de­fence of it, Prou. 26. 16.

To be a busie-bodie in other folkes matters, 2. Thess. 3. 11.

That is slothfull in the busines of others, Prou. 26.

That prouides not for his Fa­mily, 1. Tim. 5. 8.

Thus of sinnes of omission.

By commission he offends,

That steales, robbes, or pi [...]fers, which is the sinne mentioned in the eighth Commandement.

That steales by consequent; as he doth,

That is an Vsurer, Exod. 22. 25. Leu. 25. 36. Deut. 23. 19.

[Page 89] That is guiltie of oppression, Iob 31. 38, 39. Amos 4. 1. Prou. 4. 17. Esay 5. 8. and [...]0. 12. espe­cially hee that loues oppression, Hosea 12. 7. Micha 2. 9.

That vseth fraud in buying and selling, in mete-yard, waight and measure, Deut. 25. 13, 14, 15. and he is guilty of this sinne also,

That selleth reffuse, Micha 6.

That maketh aduantage of the pouertie of others, Leuit. 25. 39. &c. Prou. 22. 22.

That takes the Mill-stone to pledge, &c. Deut. 24. 6, 12.

That being a buyer, saith, It is naught, contrarie to his owne iudgement: and so likewise on the other side, that being a seller, doth commend it for good, when he knowes it is not so, Prouerb. 20. 14.

That vseth any other fraud, though it bee not in buying or selling, 1 Thes. 4. 6.

And this sinne of stealing, is to be extended further also, as,

[Page 90] 1. To lesser stealths, as robbing of vineyards, or orchards, or cor [...] in the field, Deut. 23. 24, 25.

2. To rash suretiship, Prou. 6. 1, 2. and 22. 26.

3. To extremities vsed in re­couering our owne rights, Iob 24. 3, 4, 9, 10.

4. To not restoring of euill­gotten goods, Ezech. 33. 15.

5. To remoouing of Land­markes, Deut. 19. 14.

6. To liuing in vnlawfull cal­lings, such as begging is, 2 Thes. 3. 11.

7. To vnthriftinesse, in follow­ing vaine persons, or spending prodigally on pleasures, or diet, Prou. 12. 11. and 21. 17. and 22. 26. and 23. 26.

8. To the concealing of theft, Prou. 29. 24.

9. To the Lordly vsage of the borrower, Prou. 22. 7.

The aggrauations of the sinne of stealing, are,

To take from the poore, Deut. [Page 91] 24. 14. Iob 20. 19.

To reproue it in others, and yet commit it himselfe, Rom. 2. 21.

To doe it vnder pretence of Religion, 2 Cor. 11. 20.

To oppresse strangers, or wid­dowes, or the fatherlesse, Exodus 22. 21, 22.

To blesse the couetous, Ps. 10. 3

To commit it in the place of Iudgement, by peruerting of Iu­stice, or by extortion, Ezek. 22. 12. or by briberie, Amos 5. 12. Exodus 23. 8. or by refusing to doe Iustice, Prou. 21. 7.

To steale thy masters goods, Titus 2. 10.

To steale consecrated things, by sacriledge or simonie, Mal. 3. 8. Acts 8. 18, 20.

To steale a man or maid, Exo. 22. 16.


THus of the sinnes against mans goods.

The sinnes against mens good name follow: and so men offend by omission, or by commission.

By omission he offends,

That sets not forth righteous­nesse, Prou. 12. 17.

That doth not cleare or deli­uer the afflicted, when hee may, Gen. 40. 23.

That disgraceth others, by for­bearing their company without iust cause, Iob 19. 3, 19. Psalme 58. 3.

That is vnthankfull, 2 Tim. 3. 2.

By commission men offend, internally, or externally.

Internally he offends,

That despiseth his neighbour in his thoughts, Prou. 14. 21.

That disdaines at the credit and prayse of others, as the Pha­risees did.

[Page 93] That thirsts after all occasions of the contempt of others, Iob 34. 7.

That is suspicious, and thinketh euill, 1 Cor. 13. 5.

Externally he offends,

1. In witnesse-bearing; and so 1. In witnesse bearing. he offends,

That condemnes a man with­out witnesse, Deut. 19. 15.

That beares false witnesse.

That is fearefull to beare wit­nesse to the truth, Deut. 21. 7, 8.

That furthers the euill causes of wicked men, Exodus 23. 1.

2. In lying, Reuelation 22. 15. 2. Lying. and the blame of this sinne rea­cheth

To such as vse dissimulation, Gal. 2. 13.

To such as speake vntruth for feare, Gen. 38. 2.

The aggrauations of lying, The aggra­uations. are,

To loue lyes, Reuelat. 22. 15. Psalme 52. 3.

To hate those thou haste [Page 94] wronged with thy lyes, Prouerbs 26. vlt.

To breake promise, 2 Tim. 3. 3

To preach falshoods, 1 Cor. 15. 15.

To say to men in distresse, There is no helpe, Psalme 3. 2. Iob 13. 14.

To colour sinne with pretence of Religion, Marke 12. 40.

3 In slandering and euill re­ports, 3. Slandering Exodus 23. 1. which is to be extended also to

Biting iests, Ephes. 5. 4.

2 To reuealing of secret infir­mities, Prou. 11. 13. and 20. 19.

3 To the carrying about of tales, Leu. 19. 16. Prou. 16. 28.

To the receiuing and furthe­ring of slanders, Ier. 20. 10.

5. To the wresting of mens words, or telling the truth of malice, 1 Sam. 22. 9, 10. Psalme 52. 1, 2.

The aggrauations of slander, The ag­grauations. are,

1. To encourage themselues [Page 95] in an euill matter, and to com­mune together about it, Psalme 64. 5.

2 To boast of his wickednesse therein, Psalme 52. 1.

3 To slander the righteous, and quiet of the Land, Psalme 31. 18 and 59. 2. and 102. 8. and 35. 20 and 83. 3. 5. and 4. 2.

4. To raise an euil report of his Parents, Gen. 9. 22.

5 To fill the eares of Princes with clamour, Hosea 7. 3.

6 To be a make-bate, or a rayler, 1 Cor. 6. 9. 2 Tim. 3. 3.

4 In censuring and iudging, Iames 2. 4.

The aggrauations are, 4 Censuring

To search and pry for faults in others, that hee might censure them, Psalme 64. 9. Prou. 16. 27.

To doe it for things indifferent Rom. 14.

To censure smal faults in others, and to be guilty of great offences himselfe, Mathew 7.

5 In vain-glorie, and minding 5. Vainglory [Page 94] [...] [Page 95] [...] [Page 96] too much our owne praises.

And so also he offends,

That boasteth of a false gift, Prou. 27. 1.

That iustifieth himselfe ouer­much, Iob 35. 2.

That boasts of to morrow, Prou. 17. 1.

That measures himselfe by himselfe, 2 Cor. 10. 12.

6. In flatterie, Psalme 12. 3. Prou. 27. 14. and 26. 26. 6. Flaterie.

7. In iustifying the wicked, Prou. 17. 15. and 24. [...]4.


HItherto of the sinnes with consent of the will.

The sinnes before consent of the will, are,

1. To want desire of the good and well-fare either of himselfe, or other men.

2 To conceiue euill thoughts, Matth. 15. 19. or couer euill.

[Page 97] 3. To delight in the inward contemplation of euill, whether in dreames or awake, though it bee without purpose to act them outwardly, Iude 8. Iames 1. 14.

Hitherto of the sinnes against the Law.


Shewing how many wayes men offend against the Gospel.

THe sinnes against the Gospel may bee referred to foure heads: as they are sinnes,

Against Christ.

Against Repentance.

Against Faith.

Against the graces of the Spi­rit.

1. He sinnes against Christ,

That saith, he is Christ, Math. [...]. Sins against Christ. 24. 5.

That denyeth directly, or by [Page 98] consequent, that Christ is come in the flesh, 1 Iohn 4. 3. and 2. 23.

That hath base thoughts of Christ, Esay 53. 3.

That saith, hee hath no sinne, 1 Iohn 1. 7, 8, 10.

That worships God without Christ, Iohn 17. 3. 1 Iohn 2. 23.

That vseth not Christ as his own and onely Aduocate, 1 Ioh. 2. 2. 1. Tim. 2. 5.

That loues not the Lord Iesus Christ with inflamed affections, 1 Cor. 16. 22. Eph. 6. 24. Philip. 3. 8.

2 Hee sinnes against repen­tance, 2. Sinnes against repen­tance.

That confesseth not his sinnes without hiding, distinctly, Prou. 28. 13. Psalme 32. 5.

That mourns not for his sins, Ier. 5. 3.

That forsakes not his sinnes, Prou. 28. 13.

Yea hee sinnes against repen­tance,

[Page 99] That repents fainedly, Ieremi. 3. 10.

That repents desperately, as Cain and Iudas.

That repents too late, Iob 27. 8, 9.

That repents by halues, and in some things onely, as Ahab and Herod.

That falls away from his re­pentance, 2 Peter 2. 19, 20.

The aggrauations are, The ag­grauations.

To be wise to do euill, Ier. 4. 22

To pursue euill, Prou. 11. 19.

To reioyce in doing euill, and make a mocke of sinne, Prouerbs 2. 14. and 14. 9.

To be without shame, and to declare his sin like the Sodomites, Esay 5. 9. Ier. 3. 3.

To be incorrigible, Ier. 5. 3.

To fret, because hee is crossed in sinne, Prou. 19. 3.

To blesse himselfe against the curses of the Law, Deut. 29. 19.

To freeze in security, Zephan. 1. 12.

[Page 100] To refuse to returne.

3. He sinnes against Faith, 3. Sinnes against Faith.

That beleeues not in Iesus Christ for his iustification and saluation, Iohn 3. 17.

Yea he offends,

That is carelesse, and neglects the assurance of Faith, Heb. 6. 12. Rom. 1. 16.

That in affliction doubts of Gods fauour and goodnesse, Esay 41. and 49. 14, 15.

The aggrauations. The ag­gra [...]ations.

Not to seeke after God at all, Zeph. 1. 6.

Not to stir vp our selues to take hold on God, when mercy is offe­red, Esay 64. 7.

Not to answer when God calls, Esay 50. 2.

To forsake our owne mercy, or scoffe at the signes of it, Iohn 2. [...]8.

4. He sinnes against the graces 4. Against the graces of the Spi­ri [...]. of the Spirit,

1. That receiues the grace o [...] God in vaine, 2 Cor. 6. 1.

[Page 101] 2. That turnes the grace of God into wantonnesse, Iude 4.

3. That falls away from the grace of God, either wholly, by forsaking the acknowledgement of the truth, 2 Peter 2. 20. Or in the same measure, by losing his first loue, Reuel. 2. 4.

4. That tempts, grieues, or quencheth the Spirit, Eph. 4. 30. 1 Thess. 5. 19.

5. That despites the Spirit of grace, and of malice persecutes the knowne truth, which is the sinne against the Holy Ghost, Hebrewes 10. 26.



Drawne in so plaine and profita­ble manner, as all sorts of Christians may try them­selues thereby.

Together with directions, how the weake Christian, by the vse of these Signes, may establish his assurance.

By N. BIFIELD late Preacher of Gods Word at Isleworth in MIDDLESEX.

2. Cor. 13. 5.

‘Examine your selues whether ye be in the Faith: proue your selues: Know ye not your owne selues, how that Iesus Christ is in you, except yee bee Reprobates?’

LONDON, Printed by Iohn Legatt, and are to bee sold by P. Stephens, and C. Meredith, at the golden Lyon in Pauls Church-yard.


TO THE MVCH HONORED LADIES, the Ladie Ruth Scydamore, increase of peace and ioy in beleeuing.

HOw great the be­nefit of assu­rance of Gods fauour, and of our owne salua­tion is, those onely know that are either scourged with the conflicts and terrors of their owne doubtings, or that are solaced and established with the sweet dewes of refreshing that arise from a rooted [...]nd well grounded Faith. If men studie assurances so much for [Page 106] their outward possessions in this world, how much more earnest and diligent should men be to assure Gods loue and the inheritance of the glory to come? There is not a clearer signe of a prophane heart, then to account these cares need­lesse: nor doe I know a iuster exception against any religion, then that it should teach, that when a man hath done what he can to obserue the directions of that Religion, yet he cannot be sure he shall goe to Heauen.

But since I know that all that are possessed of the grace of Iesus Christ, doe account as­surance great riches, I there­fore conceiue hope that my paines about this subiect will not be altogether vnacceptable: and the rather because in this present Treatise I haue endea­uoured [Page 107] to expresse the signes of triall in a much more easie way then before; and besides haue added directions, that shew how a weake Christian may establish himselfe in his assu­rance.

I make bold to dedicate my new assay herein vnto your Ladiship, You haue heard the substance hereof preached, and receiued it with much gladnesse; and in the priuate vse of these signes, you haue beene pleased to professe (to the glory of God) that you haue found much contentment and establishment of your owne assurance. Your eminencie in the sincere profession and pra­ctise of true Religion, and the shining of the graces here trea­ted of, long acknowledged by many witnesses, haue made [Page 108] you worthy to bee publikely obserued and praysed in the Churches of Christ: and your great respect and fauour shew­ed to mee, hath made this way of testifying my thankefulnes, but as a small pledge and assu­rance of my desire to doe your Ladiship any seruice in the things of Iesus Christ. Thus beseeching God to enlarge the comforts of his Spirit in your heart, and to prosper you in all things that concerne the bles­sed hope of the appearing of Iesus Christ our mighty God and Sauiour, [...]end and rest,

Your Ladiships to be commanded, N. BIFIELD.


Describing the godly man by such signes as discouer him to the obseruation of other men.

THe signes of the true Christian, that hath true grace in this world, and shall be saued in Heauen when he dies, may be cast into two Catalogues. Two Ca­talogues of signes. The one, more briefe: the other, more large. The one Catalogue of signes, describe him by such markes, as for the most part doe outwardly distinguish him amongst men. The large Cata­logue [...] intend especially as a more infallible and effectuall way of triall, as containing such signes as [Page 110] for the most part are not obserued by other men, or not fully, but are knowne to himselfe, and can bee found in no reprobate.

For the first Catalogue: the true The shorter Cata­logue handled in this Chapter. Christian vsually discouers him­selfe by these markes.

First, he will not haue fellowship with the vnfruitfull workes of darkenesse; he will not walke in the 1 He au [...]ides the com­pany of the wick­ed counsell of the wicked, nor stand in the way of sinners: He will not sort himselfe with workers of iniquity, Psalme 1. 1. and 26. 4, 5. 2, Cor. 6.

Secondly, Hee will afflict and [...] Hee is s [...]rrowfull for his sin. humble his soule for his sinnes, mourning and weeping for them till the Lord be pleased to shew mercie and forgiue him. He doth account his sins to be his greatest burthen. He cannot make a mock of sinne, &c.

Thirdly, He labours to be holy [...] Hee is [...]hroughly, reformed [...]n his con [...]ersation. in all parts of his conuersation, watching ouer his owne waies at all times, and in all companies, Ps. 50. 23. Esay 56. 1. 2. Peter 3. 4

[Page 111] Fourthly, he makes conscience 4 He ma­keth con­science of lesser [...]ns as well as greater. of the least commandements as well as the greatest, auoyding silthy speaking, and vaine iesting, and laciuiousnesse, as well as whoredome: lesser oathes as well as the greater; reprochfull spee­ches as well as violent actions, &c.

Fiftly, hee loues and esteemes, 5 Hee loues prea­ching and labours for the powerfull preaching of the word, aboue all earthly treasures.

Sixtly, he honours and highly 6 He e­steemes the go [...] aboue all men. accounts of the godly, & delights in the company of such as truely feare God aboue all others, Psal. 15. 4.

Seuenthly, hee is carefull of the 7 He is carefull of the sancti fication of the Sab­bath. sanctification of the Sabbath; neither daring to violate that ho­ly rest by labour, nor to neglect the holy duties belonging to Gods seruice publike or priuate. Esay 56. and 58.

Eighthly, hee loues not the 8 He is not in loue with the world. world, neither the things there­of, [Page 112] but is more heartily affected in things that concerne a better life, and so doth in some degree loue the appearing of Christ.

Ninthly, He is easie to be intrea­ted, hee can forgiue his enemies, 9. He loues his enemies desires peace, and will doe good, euen to them that persecute him, if it lye in his power, Mat. 5. 44.

Tenthly, Hee goeth on in the 10. He is constant in good cour­ses, though opposed. profession of the sinceritie of the Gospel, and doth such duties as he knoweth God requires of him in businesse of his soule, notwith­standing the oppositions of pro­phane persons, or the dislike of carnall friends, &c.

Eleuenthly, He setteth vp a 11. He serues God in his family. daily course of seruing God, and that with his family too, if hee haue any; and exerciseth himselfe in the word of God, as the chiefe ioy of his heart, and the daily re­fuge of his life, calling vpon God continually, &c.


Shewing the generall diuision of the signes, and the wayes how the signes were found out.

THus of the shorter Cata­logue of signes. Now it fol­lowes, that I proceed to those infallible markes of Election and Saluation. And whereas I haue The occa­sion of this Treatise. diuers yeeres since published a Treatise which I called Essayes, or Signes of Gods loue and mans saluation: Hauing obserued that diuers haue accounted the man­ner of setting the Signes downe somewhat obscure in diuers parts of the Booke, I will now, by Gods assistance, for the helping of the weakest Christians, in this Treatise, endeauour to expresse my selfe in this Doctrine of the tryall of a true Christian estate, in a more plaine and easie course [Page 114] of ex [...]mination; and leaue both the former Treatise and this new Catalogue vnto the blessing of God, and the free choise of the godly Reader, to vse which hee findeth most agreeable to his owne taste, being both such as are warranted and founded vpon the infallible euidence of Gods vnchangeable truth.

In this proiect then, I consi­der of the triall of a true Chri­stian The signes ref [...]rred to six heads. sixe wayes.

First, in his humiliation.

Secondly, in his faith.

Thirdly, in the gifts of his minde, with which he is quali­fied.

Fourthly, in the workes of his obedience.

Fiftly, in the entertainment he hath from God.

Sixtly, in the manner of his re­ceiuing of the Sacraments.

In all which hee differs from all the wicked men in the world, so as neuer any wicked man [Page 115] could finde these things in his condition, which are true of the weakest Christian in each of these signes.

And that the true Christian may not doubt of his estate, ha­uing found these signes in him­selfe, The infal­libility of the signes. let him consider the proofes annexed to each signe: and that nothing may bee wanting to his aboundant consolation, I will tell him, how I found out these signes, and by what grounds I proceeded.

There are three sorts of places 3. W [...]ies to find out the signes of a god [...]y man in Scripture in Scripture (as I conceiue) which do point out the grounds of infallible assurance in those that can attaine vnto them: as first, such places as expresly doe a [...]firme, that such and such things are signes. As for example, 1 Ioh. 3. 14. Hereby we know, that we are translated from death to life, be­cause we loue the brethren. Here the holy Ghost shewes vs ex­presly, that the loue of the bre­thren [Page 116] is a signe, by which a Chri­stian may know, that he is tran­slated from death to life: and so the Apostle Paul giues signes to know whether their sorrow were after God, or no, 2 Cor. 7. 11. So doth the Prophet Dauid, Psalme 15 giue diuers signes, by which the man that shall dwell in Gods holy hill, may be knowne. So the Apostle Iames tells vs, how wee may know the wisedome from aboue, by reckning the fruits and effects of it, Iames 3. 17. So doth the Apostle Paul tell vs, how we may know, whether we haue the Spirit of Christ in vs, or no, Rom. 8. 9, 15, &c. Gal. 5. 22. and 4. 6, 7.

Secondly, I find out signes, by marking what graces in man the promises of God are made vnto. For thus I reason: What­soeuer gift of God in man brings him within the compasse of Gods promises of eternall mercie, that gift must bee an infallible signe [Page 117] of saluation. But such are such and such gifts, as the instances in diuers Scriptures shew: And therefore the man that can finde those gifts in himselfe, shall bee certainly saued. As for example: The Kingdome of heauen is pro­mised to such as are poore in spirit, Mathew 5. 3. From thence then I gather, that pouerty of spirit is an infallible signe. The like I may say of the loue of the Word, and of vprightnesse of heart, and of the loue of God, and the loue of the appearing of Christ, &c.

Thirdly, I finde out other signes, by obseruing what godly men in Scripture haue said for themselues, when they haue pleaded their owne euidence for their interest in Gods loue, or their hope of a better life. For looke how godly men in Scrip­ture haue proued that they were not hypocrites: euen so may any Christian proue that he is not an [Page 118] hypocrite neither. As for exam­ple, Iob being charged to bee an hypocrite, and lying vnder the heauy hand of God, pleades his cause, and proues that hee was not an hypocrite, by his constan­cie in Gods wayes, and by his constant estimation of Gods Word, and desire after it, as after his appointed food, Iob 23. 10, 11, 12. More of this kinde thou maist find in the proofes of particular signes.

Now whereas some signes are general, and thou mightest doubt of the exposition, namely how that signe is infallible in such and such sences; for thy esta­blishment heerein, thou mayest obserue, that I expound the signe as it is expounded in other seue­rall Scriptures. As for example: The loue of the brethren, is a ge­nerall signe. Now how shall I know that I haue the right loue of the brethren? This I explaine, by flying to diuers other Scrip­tures, [Page 119] wherein the particular ex­plications of this signe are plea­ded.


The tryall of a Christian by the signes of true humi­liation.

THe first way then, by which a Christian may trie him­selfe, is to examine himselfe a­bout his humiliation for sinne, whether it bee right or no. For vnder this head is comprehen­ded the explication of the do­ctrine of pouerty of spirit, and godly sorrow, and so in generall of repentance for sinnes.

Now the true Christian in this [...]6. Signes of true hu­miliation. matter of humiliation, shewes himselfe to haue attained that, which no reprobate could euer attaine, and that in diuers particu­lars, as,

[Page 120] First, Hee hath a true sight and 1. Hee sees his sinnes. sence of his signes. Hee discernes his sinfulnesse of life both past and present, and is affected and payned vnder the burthen of his daily wants and corruptions, and sees his miserie in respect of his sinnes, Ier. 3. 12. Mathew 11. 28. Mathew 5. 4.

Secondly, He trembles at Gods 2. He feares Gods dis­pleasure. Word, and feares his displeasure while it yet hangs in the threat­nings, Esay 66. 1, 2.

Thirdly, He renounceth his owne 3. He trusts not vpon the merits of his own workes. merits, and disclaimeth all opini­on of true happines in himselfe, or in any thing vnder the Sunne; as being fully perswaded that he cannot be saued by any worke of his own, or be happy inenioying any worldly things; and there­fore is fully resolued to seeke for the chiefe good in Gods fauour in Iesus Christ onely.

Fourthly, He mournes heartily 4. Hemours and secretly for his sinnes; and so he doth,

[Page 121] 1 For all sorts of sinnes: for For all sorts of sins. secret sinnes as well as knowne sinnes; for lesser sinnes as well as greater; for the present euils of his nature and life, as well as sins past: yea, for the sinnes he hath loued, or haue beene gainfull and pleasing to him. Yea, he grieues for the euill that cleaues to his best workes, as well as for euill workes, Esay 6. 5. Rom. 7. Esay 1. 16. Matth. 5. 4.

2 For sinne as it is sinne, and For sin as it is sinne. not as it doth or might bring him shame, or punishment in this life, or in Hell.

3 He is as much troubled for his As much as for crosses. sinnes, as hee was wont, or now should be for crosses in his estate. Hee mournes as heartily for the sorrowes that fell vpon Gods Sonne for his sinne, as if hee had lost his owne and onely Sonne, Zach. 12. 10, 11. or at least this he striueth for, and iudgeth him­selfe, if worldly afflictions doe trouble him more then his sins. [Page 122] Psalme 38. 5.

Fiftly, hee is truely grieued and 5. And for the sinnes of others. vexed in soule for the abominati­ons that are done by others, to the dishonour of God, or slander of true religion, or the ruine of the soules of men. Thus Lot, 2 Pet. 2. 7. and Dauid, Psal. 119. 136. and the mourners marked for Gods owne people, Ezech. 9. 4.

Sixtly, he is heartily affected, 6. And for spirituall iudgemēts. and troubled, and grieued for spi­r [...]tuall iudgements, that reach vnto the soules of men, as well as wic­ked men are wont to bee trou­bled for temp [...]rall crosses; and so he is greiued and perplexed for hardnesse of heart; (when he can­not mourne as hee would,) and for the famine of the word, or for the absence of God, or for the blas­phemie of the wicked, or the like, Psalme 42. verses 2. 3. and Psal. 137. Nehemiah 1. 3, 4. Esay 63. 17.

Seuenthly, he is most stirred 7. And is moued. [Page 123] vp to abase himselfe, and mourne for his sinnes, when hee feeles God to bee most mercifull. The good­nesse of God doth make him feare God, and hate his sinnes, rather then his iustice, Hos. 3. 5.

Eightly, his griefes are such as 8 And [...]ee is eased onely by spirituall meanes. can be asswaged onely by spirituall meanes. It is not sport or merrie company that easeth him: his comfort is onely from the Lord in some of his ordinances. As it was the Lord that wounded him with the sight of his sinnes, so to the Lord onely he goeth to bee healed of his wounds, Hos. 6. 1. 2. Psal. 119. 23, 24, 50.

Ninthly, in his griefs hee is in­quisitiue: he will aske the way, & 9 And is carefull to learne how to be saued. desire to know how hee may bee saued. Hee cannot smother and put off his doubts in so great a businesse. He dares not now any longer be ignorant of the way to heauen. He is not carelesse, as he was wont to bee; but is seri­ously bent to get directions from [Page 124] the word of God about his re­conciliation, sanctification, and saluation, &c. Ier. 50. 4, 5. Acts 2. 37.

Tenthly, he is fearefull of be­ing deceiued, and therefore is not 10 And is fearefull of being deceiued. slightly satisfied. He will not rest vpon a common hope, nor is hee carried with probabilities; nor doth it content him that other men haue a good opinion of him; nor is hee pleased that hee hath mended some faults or begun to repent: but repenting he repents stil, that is, he takes a sound course to bee sure his repentance be ef­fectually performed, Ieremie 31. 16.

Eleuenthly, he is vehemently 11 And earnestly desires to lead an ho­ly life. carried with the desires of the sound reformation of his life. His sorrow is not water but washing; nor is it euery washing, but such as maketh cleane. Worldly sorrow may haue much water, but it maketh nothing cleane; whereas godly sorrow alwaies tendeth [Page 125] to reformation & sound amend­ment.

Twelfthly, in all his sorrowes 12 And trusts vpon Gods mer­cy in his griefe. he is suppored by a secret trust in the mercie and acceptation of God: so as no miserie can beate him from the consideration and inward affiance and hope in the mercie of God. In the very dis­quietnesse of his heart, the desire of his soule to the Lord, and before his presence; though it be neuer so much cast downe, yet hee waits vpon God for the helpe of his coun­tenance, and in some measure condemnes the vnbeleefe of his owne heart, and trusts in the name of God, and his neuer sai­ling compassions, Psalme 38. 9. and 42. 5, 11. Lam. 3. 21. Zepha. 3. 12.

13. He is wonderfully infla­med 13 And is in loue with God if he heare his praiers with loue to God, if he at any time let him know that he hea­reth his prayers. In the midst of his most desperate sorrowes his heart is eased, if he speed well in [Page 126] prayer, Psalme 116. 1, 6.

14. Hee daily keepes an assise 14 And daily iud­geth him­selfe for his sinne. vpon his owne soule: hee iudgeth himselfe for his sinnes before God, arresting, accusing, and con­demning his sinnes. Hee confes­seth his sinnes particularly to God, without hiding any sinne, that is, without forbearing to pray a­gainst any sinne hee knowes by himself, out of any desire he hath still to continue in it; and by this signe he may be sure he hath the Spirit of God, and that his sinnes are forgiuen him, Esay 4. 4. Psal. 32. 5. 1 Iohn 1. 7, 9. 1 Cor. 11. 32.

15 His requests are daily pow­red 15 And prayers in the holy Ghost. out vnto God. Hee cryes vnto God with affection and confi­dence, though it be with much weakenesse and many defects, as the little child doth vnto the fa­ther, and thereby hee discouers the Spirit of adaption in him, Rom. 8. 15. Zacha. 12. 10. Ephesians 3. 12.

[Page 127] 16 Hee is vnfainedly desirous 16 Desi­ring to be rid of all sinne. to be rid of all sinnes; as well as one. There is no sin he knowes by him­selfe, but he doth desire as heartily that he might neuer commit it: as Note this. he doth that God should neuer im­pute it. This is a neuer failing signe, a fundamentall one, 2 Tim. 2. 19.

17. Hee is content to receiue euill at the hand of God, as well as 17 And is willing to suffer affli­ction. good, without murmuring, or let­ting go his integrity; as beeing sensible of his owne deserts, and desirous to approue himselfe to God, without respect of reward. This proued that Iob was an holy and vpright man, Iob 1. 1. and 2 3, 10.

18. Hee dislikes sinne in all, e­uen 18 He dis­likes sinne in all. in those that are neere and deare vnto him in other respects, 1 King. 25. 12, 13, 14.

19. Hee is innocent from the 19 Sinne reignes not in him. great transgressions, and keepes himselfe from his owne iniquity. He is not subiect to the damnation of [Page 128] sinne. Sin doth not reigne in him, Psal. 19. 13. 2. Sam. 22. 24.

20 He finds a desire to be rid 20 Hee humbles himselfe for sin e­uen in his prosperitie of sinne, and to humble himselfe for it in prosperitie as well as ad­uersitie. He leaues sinne, before sinne would leaue him. He for­sakes it then, when hee could commit it without apparent dan­ger, Iob 8. 5, 6.

22 Or if he be in aduersity, his heart is vpright, without lying 21 And in aduersitie his heart is vpright. or dissimulation. Hee so seeketh the pardon of his sinnes then, and so promiseth amendment, as that he is also carefull to practise it when he is deliuered. He is not like the Israelites mentioned, Psal. 78. 36. 37.

22. Hee makes a supernaturall 2 [...] He ac­cou [...]ts of spirituall things as thy best things. valuation of spirituall things, ac­counting them as pearles of the best price, not too deare bought, if he purchased them with all the worldly things he hath; and con­trariwise, accounting himselfe exceeding poore if hee want [Page 129] them, or the means of them, Mat. 13. 45, 46. Ps. 42. & 63. 1, 3.

23. Hee hath lost his wonted 23. He doth not fauour the things of the slesh and the world. taste in earthly things; his heart is not transported with the admi­ration of them, or the inordinate desire after worldly things. He loues not the world and this life as he was wont to doe. Though he vse the world, yet he easily con­fesseth himselfe to be a stranger and pilgrim here. He giues ouer the vnnecessary pleasures and pro­fits of this life, Heb. 11. 13. 1 Ioh. 2. 14, 15. Rom. 8. 5. He is wearie of the world, and willing to for­go societie with the men of this world, the workers of iniquitie, Psal. 6. 8, 9. and 36. 12. and 26. 1, 2, 3, 4.

24. If the Lord be silent, and 24. He is much grieued if God hide himselfe. answer not his desires, but hides his face; his spirit faileth, and he is as one that goeth downe into the pit: it troubles him as a sore crosse; and so contrariwise, Psal. 26. 1. and 88. 13, 14, 15. and 143. 7. [Page 130] Iohn 16, 23, 28.

25. If hee hath beene a man subiect to boisterous, violent, and 25. Of a Lyon hee be­comes a Lambe. hurtfull affections, he is now be­come tame: Of a Lyon hee is be­come a Lambe, and a little child may lead him, Esay. 11. 6.

24. Hee hath a spirit without 26. His spirit is without guile. guile, Psalme 32. 2. Hee is more desirous to be good, then to bee thought to be so; and more seeks the power of godlinesse, then the shew of it, Iob 1. 1. Prou. 20. 6, 7. His praise is of God, and not of men, Rom. 2. 29.

And thus much of the triall of his humiliation. The signes of his faith follow.


The tryall of a godly man by his Faith.

FAith is the next thing to bee tryed in a child of God. And [Page 131] in as much as there are diuers Why wee should try out faith. kindes of faith, and experience shewes in many that giue no signes of repentance, that they will not bee beaten from a con­fident presumption that Christ dyed for them, euen for them in particular: it stands vs in hand to try our perswasion by true rules of Scripture, that so, if it will abide the trial of the touchstone, we may lay it vp as a hid trea­sure and a wonderfull grace of God; and if otherwise, wee may repent vs of presumption, as a deceiueable sinne.

But before I open the signes of this sinne, the Reader must be admonished of three things.

First, that I intend not by these The drift is to sh [...]w how faith may bee proued, not how it may b [...]e bred. signes to shew how faith may be bred or begotten in vs, but how faith may be proued and declared to be in vs. For it is the promises of God in the Scripture that breed faith: nor can humane reason beleeue such great things [Page 132] from God for any thing that is in vs, but onely because wee see the Word of God assuring such happinesse vnto such as lay hold vpon them. So that, that which breeds faith, is the reuelation of Gods promises, by his Word and Spirit. Yet notwithstanding the assurance of faith is much increa­sed and confirmed by the sight of those signes of the truth of our faith, and other graces of God in vs.

Secondly, that I stand not pre­cisely A second c [...]ueat. vpon the order of these graces of God in vs, nor deter­mine that question, which gra­ces are wrought first in the heart of a man: but that which I haue specially aimed at in the order of setting them downe; is to begin at those that either first appeare in a Christian, or are easiest (as I conceiue) to bee discerned in him.

Thirdly, that I intend especi­ally The [...] note by way of preface. the tryall of such Christians [Page 133] as agree in this, that they are perswaded that Christ died for them; that so the true Christian may see reason to comfort him­selfe, that his perswasion is no presumption, as is the perswa­sion of the most. It is true, that diuers of the signes of faith here to be handled, will shew faith in the weakest Christian; though he will not yet be brought to ac­knowledge any perswasion. For this perswasion may bee secretly wrought vpon the heart: as it is when it relieth vpon the merits of Christ onely for saluation, though the iudgement of the Christian be not resolued against his doubts.

The question then is, how a Christian may trie his perswasiō of Gods mercy, and his interest of Christs mer [...]ts, whether it be right or no.

For answer hereunto, I say, The true f [...]ith. that the true Christian doth proue his faith and petswasion [Page 134] to bee right, by these signes fol­lowing.

First, His faith or perswasion was wrought by the hearing of 1. Was wrought by the Word preached. the Word preached: And there­fore thou must first aske thy selfe, how thou commest by thy per­swasion. For if thou say, thou wast alwayes so perswaded, or didst attaine it by meere naturall meanes or helpes, thou are decei­ued. For, faith is first wrought by the Holy Ghost, in the preaching of the Gospel, as it is most cleare by the words of the Apo­stle, How shall they beleeue in him of whom they haue not heard? and how shall they heare without a Preacher? Romans 10. 14. And whereas it may bee, that many Christians haue not obserued the workings of their faith, and haue forgotten the time of their con­uersion, & haue not iudgement to discerne how the Lord by the mi­nistery of his seruants did change their hearts, and leade them to [Page 135] Christ: therefore when this first signe cannot comfort, they must try themselues by the rest that follow.

Secondly, Hee hath an high estimation of Iesus Christ. For 2. Esteems Christ aboue all things. the man that hath true Faith, ac­counts all things most base in comparison of the knowledge of Christ, and the loue of God in him. He had rather be sure of Christ, then to gaine the whole world. Christ is more precious then all the world: Yea, is the onely thing in request in the desires of the Christian. Now Christ is precious onely to them that beleeue, 1 Peter 2. 6. and by this signe Paul knew that he was growne farre beyond himselfe in his former life, and beyond all the Pharises in the world, Phil. 3. 9.

Thirdly, Hee readily receiues 3. Receiues the testi­mony of Gods Mi­nisters be­fore all the world. the testimony of Gods Ministers speaking out of the Word, and stickes to it against all the con­tradictions [Page 136] of the World. The Apostle Paul, 2 Thess. 1. 10. shewes, that this signe will bee pleaded and acknowledged in the day of Christ: Christ, saith hee, will be made admirable in them that beleeue.

Now some may say, But how shall wee know that wee doe be­leeue?

Why, saith hee, you are true beleeuers, because yee receiued our testimonie; and this shall bee to your praise in that day.

Fourthly, Hee cannot abide 4 Casts out by pocrisie. counterfetting and hypocrisie. If it bee a right perswasion, it is a faith vnfained: Vnfained, I say, as in other respects, so in effect, because it cannot abide fainting, but with speciall hatred purgeth out hypocrisie, which the per­swasion of hypocrits neuer doth, 2 Tim. 1. 5.

Fifthly, This perswasion is 5. Will abide triall. permanent: it will endure triall, it will hold out in the euill day; [Page 137] it inclines the heart to cleaue to Iesus Christ, euen in the fire of tribulation, in the midst of mani­fold afflictions, and disgraces, and temptations. It is like the Gold in the Fornace that perisheth not: nor will it barely hold out; but a Christian by his faith comforts and supports himselfe in afflicti­on, so as his faith becomes to him both a brest-plate and an helmet: whereas the best faith, that is not the faith of Gods Elect, will proue but drosse, if it be cast into the Fornace of temptation, further then it is supported by carnall meanes and helpes, 1 Peter 1. 6, 7. 2 Tim. 1. 12. 1 Thess. 5. 8. Epho. 6. Luke 8. 13.

Sixthly, Hee will beleeue all 6. It be­leeues all things. things, I say, all things that he ap­prehēdeth to be required, threat­ned, or promised in the word. To beleeue some things only, may be in any other kind of faith, especi­ally when they are such things as stand with their own reasons, [Page 138] or wils, or affections, or the com­mon opinion of other men: But this is the glory of a liuely iusti­fying faith, it will giue glory to God in all things. What can God speake, it can beleeue, so soone as it knowes it is spoken of God, though it bee neuer so contrarie to the iudgement of flesh and blood, Acts 24. 14.

Seuenthly, Hee will not make 7 Will not make hast. haste. This was the signe giuen in the Prophet Esayes time: He that beleeueth will not make haste. He had prophesied of hard times to fall vpon all the people: now this would shew amongst them, who were true beleeuers. For those that trusted in God, would not make haste to vse ill meanes to helpe themselues; they would stay their hearts in [...]est and quiet­nesse, and they would stay their feet too from running to Aegypt or to Ashur, which God had for­bidden, Esay. 28. 16.

If faith be right, and thy per­swasion [Page 139] a sound perswasion, and well grounded, there are ioy­ned with it these things fol­lowing.

Eighthly, His perswasion is 8. Is accom­panied with a pure con­science. ioyned with a good and pure conscience; a conscience, I say, that makes him carefull to auoid sinne, and doe good duties, and to serue God in sinceritie, whereas the perswasion that is in wicked men, is not accompanied with a good conscience, they doe not make conscience of their wayes. Now this is a cleare rule of diffe­rence, 1 Tim. 1. 5, 19. and 3. 9. Hebr. 10. 22.

Ninthly, He hath a spirit of discerning. There is a great deale 9. And a spi­rit of dis­cerning. of light comes into the heart with faith. A man cannot be­leeue, and bee ignorant still. The Christian that is endued with faith from aboue, is endued with wisedome from aboue: so as he can conceiue of the things of God that concerne saluation, which [Page 140] the naturall man perceiueth not. Though he may want still in ma­ny knoledges, yet he hath skill in some measure to learne how to be saued. The doctrine of sal­uation hee can now vnderstand, which is taught in the ministery of the Word; and hee now can make some good vse of reading the Scriptures, that before discer­ned little or nothing in them. The veile that lyeth vpon the hearts of all flesh, is now taken from his eyes; yea the very entrance into Gods Word giueth light to the simplest beleeuer. He that was stupid and vnteachable before, doth now heare as the learned, with an holy kind of in-sight and iudgement, 2 Tim. 3. 15. Psalme 119. 130. Prou. 1. 4, 8. and 9. 4, 5.

Tenthly, Hee hath a witnesse 10. And the witnesse of the Spirit of adoptiō. within himselfe, He that beleeueth, hath a witnesse in himselfe, 1 Iohn 5. 10. For hee hath the Spirit of adoptiō to certifie him infallibly of Gods loue to him, and that he [Page 141] is the child of God, Rom. 8. 15, 16. & thus the beleeuers are said to be sealed by the Spirit of pro­mise, Eph. 1. 13, 14. God leaues a pawne, a pledge with euery Christian that shall bee saued, to be as the earnest of his saluation, and this pledge and earnest is Gods spirit. And the Spirit testi­fies to the beleeuer, partly by re­uealing vnto him the certainty and truth of Gods promises in his Word; and partly by prin­ting vpon his heart these sauing graces, which distinguish him from all others; and partly by powring vpon him the ioyes, which are called the ioyes of the Holy Ghost, in the vse of Gods Ordinances, as the inward ratifi­cation of the assurance of Gods loue and goodnesse to the belee­uer. Of which after.

Lastly, Faith may be discer­ned 11. Beareth those fruits following. by many things it worketh, which are the fruits of it: and by the fruits of Faith, wee may [Page 142] know faith it selfe. Faith is like the roote of a tree, that lyeth vnder the ground, and cannot be seene without much digging; but by the fruit the tree beareth, wee may know what kinde of roote it hath, and of what sort it is. Now the fruites of faith are these that follow, and such like, as,

1. Loue to God and the godly: 1. Loue for faith worketh by loue, Gallat. 5. 6.

2. Cleannesse of the thoughts 2. Purity of heart. and affections. For faith purifieth the heart. It maketh a man striue after inward purity, as well as outward: to get a cleane heart, as well as cleane hands. It work­eth humiliation for inward sins as well as outward, Act. 15. 9. and driues a man to seeke pardon in the Name of Christ, for all sorts of inward perturbations and se­cret euils.

3. Victorie ouer the World. Faith 3. Victory o­uer the World. ouer commeth the world, 1 Iohn [Page 143] 5. 4, 5. and so it doth, when it ma­keth a man so rest vpon God, and his truth and promise, as if he be put to it, to deny the respect of his owne credit, or profit, or pleasures, or the displeasure of carnall friends, or his hopes in matters of this world; resting satisfied with the expectation of the treasures and pleasures of a better world, yeelding himselfe ouer to be guided by Christ, and his truth, vnto the death, Psalme 18. 14. Hee liues by his faith, Gal. 2. 20.

4. Humilitie. For a true faith ex­cludes boasting of our owne la­bours, 4 Humili­ty gifts, or praises; and makes vs able, out of the sense of our owne vilenesse, to acknowledge all the glorie to Gods free grace and loune in Iesus Christ, Rom. 3▪ 27. Gal. 3. 22.

The confession and professi­on of the truth. Faith will make a 5 Confes­sion. man speake in defence of the truth: I haue beleeued, therefore [Page 144] haue spoken, saith Dauid, Psalme 116: which the Apostles plead to proue their faith also, 2 Cor. 4. 13, 14.

6 The putting on of righteous­nesse, 6 Applica­tion of Christs righteous­nesse. which is not by the workes of the Law done by vs. The ap­plication of, and relying vpon the righteousnesse of Iesus Christ, is the proper and onely worke of true faith, Rom. 10.

7 It opens a spring of graces 7 A very spring of grace. in the heart of a true Christian: he that is a true beleeuer, is quali­fied with sundry heauenly gifts which were not in him by na­ture; which gifts do daily disco­uer themselues in his heart, flow­ing from thence, as if there were a spring of liuing water in his belly. Sanctification of the Spirit and faith of the truth, be insepar­able, Iohn 7. 38. 2 Thess. 2. 13.


The tryall of a godly man by such heauenly gifts as serue him in his iourney to Heauen.

THus of his tryall in his hu­miliation, and in his faith, It followeth in the third place, to try him by his gifts, which are the fruits of faith. The true Christian differs from the wick­ed Two sorts of graces in a Chri­stian. man, in two sorts of gifts: Some of them are such gifts as are bestowed vpon him from aboue, but serue him onely for spirituall vse, while he is on the way in his iourney to Heauen, and so onely in this life; such as are the sacred thirst: The loue to the word and meanes of his holinesse: The spirit of supplication: The loue of his enemies; and his de­sire after the apparance of Iesus Christ. Other gifts hee hath, which will accompany him home [Page 146] into his heauenly Countrey, and abide vpon him for euer, and are not abolished by death: such as are sauing knowledge, the loue of God, and the loue of the godly. First therefore of those heauenly gifts, which will passe away; and so he is qualified with fi [...]e distinct ho­ly gifts, which cannot be found in any reprobate.

The first is, his holy thirst; The holy thirst that is in the godly Christian, tryed by foure signes. which is an heauenly kind of ap­petite, by which hee is carried to the desire of things aboue nature; such as are the merits and righte­ousnesse of Christ: the fauour of God: the presence of God: the full deliuerance from all sin: the remo­uing of spirituall iudgements: the saluation of other men, and the like; and this thirst is a signe the more infallible:

1 Because it is constant and indelible in this life. There is no part of this life, but it continueth either in the sense of his affecti­on, or in the iudgement of his vn­derstanding, [Page 147] so as hee accounts spiritu [...]ll things to bee the best things: and though at some times his affection may be the lesse mo­ued after them, yet his appetite is daily renewed, as it is in the hunger or thirst that is bodily.

2. Because it is industrious. For this holy thirst will guide him to a carefull vse of all the meanes, by which good things may bee at­tained; and doth not breathe it selfe out onely with sudden and vaine wishes, or flashes of desire, Psa. 27. 4. 1 Pet. 2. 2. Psa. 63. 1, 2. Psa. 1. 2. Acts 2. 37.

3. Because it workes a constant and secret meditation of heauenly things desired, the heart fre­quently seekes after God day and night, Esa. 26. 9. Psal. 63. 1, 6. For what wee desire feruent­ly, wee thinke on almost con­tinually:

4. Because if the Lord quench his thirst, and satisfie his desire in spirituall things, the soule becomes [Page 148] as a watred garden; and then fol­lowes in him an heauenly kinde of satisfaction and contentment, with singular delight in the soule, and vowes and wishes of in­finite and eternall thankfulnesse, Psalme 63. 4, 5. Ieremiah 31. 25, 26.

And thus much of the first gift.

Secondly, The loue to the His tryall by his loue to the Word. Word is another signe that hee is the Child of God, and a cleare euidence of his saluation. Now because all sorts of wicked men may resort to the exercises of the Word, and those that haue but a temporarie faith may shew a great estimation of the VVord, and find ioy in the hearing of it, and shew much zeale in things that concerne the word, and may yeeld some obedience to the di­rections of the VVord also: it is profitable to consider how the true Christian may proue that his affection to the VVord is more [Page 149] sincere then that affection which any wicked man can bring to the word. And thus he may find that his heart is sound in his loue to the Word, by these markes.

1 By his manner of receiuing 13. Signes to try his af­fection to the Word by. it, when hee doth receiue the Word, as the Word of God, and not of men: setting his heart before Gods presence, & being affected as if the Lord himselfe should speake vnto him. This no wic­ked man dares doe: he dares not present himselfe with the whole intendments of his heart before the Lord. For this signe the A­postle Paul acknowledgeth the Thessalonians to bee true Chri­stians, 1 Thess. 2. 13.

2 By his appetite to his Word. For there is in a godly man as true an hūger after the Word, as the food of his soule; as there is in his stomacke after the food of his body; which shewes it selfe to be the more sincere, because it is constant; hee desires the [Page 150] Word at all times, and as his ap­pointed foode daily; as it is in the bodily appetite, though after feeding, the stomack may seeme to bee full and satisfied, yet the hunger reuiues againe euery day, so is it with the heart of a Child of God: whereas wicked men regard the Word but by fits, and in a passion, and then at length fall cleane away from the af­fection to it, Psal. 119. 20. Iob 23. 12.

3. By his loue to them that loue the Word.

4. By his sorrow, because other men keepe not the Word, Psal. 119. 136.

5. By his vnfained estimation of the Word aboue all worldly things, accounting it to bee an happy portion to enioy the word in the power and profit of it, Psa. 119. 14, 72, 111.

6. By his desire and delight to exercise himself in it day and night, that is, constantly, Psa. 1. 2.

[Page 151] 7. By his griefe, either for the want of the m [...]ans by which the Word might be taught vnto him with power, accounting such want of the meanes to be a sore famine; or for want of successe in the vse of the meanes when he doth enioy it, Psalm. 42. 3. Amos 8. 12.

8. By the extent of his loue to all the Word of God, euen the Law, that with threatning shews him his sin, and searcheth out his most secret corruptions; being most affected with that ministe­ry that doth most sharply rebuke sinne.

9. By his resolution to labour as hard for the food of his soule, as men doe, or he would doe for the food of his body, Iohn 6. 27. Amos 8. 12.

10. By the cōstant sweet taste he finds in it, especially when it is powerfully preached, Psal. 19. 10 2 Cor. 2. 15.

11. By the end hee propounds [Page 152] vnto himselfe in the vse of the word, which is, that hee might not sin: and that his wayes might be pleasing to God, hiding the word in his heart to this purpose, Psal. 119. 11.

12. By his willingnesse and re­solution to deny his owne reason and affections, his credit, his car­nall friends, his profites, or his pleasures in anything, when God should so require it of him, and vpon any occasion to shew his heartie respect of the Gospell, Marke 10. 29. 1 Cor. 1. 18.

13. By the effects of it: as,

1. When for the loue he bears to the Word, hee will seperate himselfe from the wicked, that might any way with-draw his heart, or endanger his disobe­dience, Ps. 119. 115.

2. When he accounts the Word to be his chiefe comfort in affli­ction, and finds it to be the maine stay and solace of his heart, Psal. 119. 23, 24, 50, 51, 54, 143.

[Page 153] 3. When it workes in him effe­ctually the redresse of his wayes, and freedome from the domini­on of sinne, Iohn 8. 32. Psalme 119. 45, 9, 59, 1 Thessalonians 2. 13.

4. When it workes in him cer­taine and sensible assurance of heart before God. This assurance is an infallible signe of the right vse of the Word, 1 Thessalonians 1. 5.

And thus of the second gift.

The third gift is the spirit of praier or supplication, as the Pro­phet His triall by his gift of prayer. Zachary cals it, Zach. 12. 10. and this gift hee hath aboue all wicked men, which hee shewes many wayes: as,

1. Hee askes according to Gods 13. Rules of tryall. will, 1 Iohn 5. 14.

2. He prayes with perswasion that God will heare him. Hee beleeueth in some measure that hee shall haue what hee prayes for. Hee prayes in faith, Marke 11. 24. Iames 1. 6, 7. Psalme 6. 9. [Page 78] 1 Iohn 3. 22.

3. He prayes in the Name of Christ, and is affected with the sense of his owne vilenesse, and relies vpon the merits and medi­ation of Iesus Christ, Iohn 14, 13. Psa. 86. 1, 2. and 143. 1, 2.

4. He will pray at all times, Iob 27. 9. Psal. 106. 3.

5. He is feruent in prayer: his heart praieth: he hath the affecti­ons of prayer, Iames 5. 16. Psalm. 6. 8.

6. Praier makes him exceeding weary of the world: it giues him such a taste of his owne sin­fulnesse, and of Gods goodnesse, and of the glory of Heauen, that he is vehemently carried with desire to bee absent from the body, that hee might be present with the Lord, Psa. 39. 12.

7. When he knowes not how to pray as hee ought, the Spirit pre­pares his heart, excites in him holy desires, supplyes him some­time with words, sometime with [Page 155] affections, and sometimes work­eth inward vnexpressable groanes, which yet it presents to God, as effectuall prayers, Romans 8. 26, 27.

8. Hee findes an holy rest, and quietnesse in his conscience and heart, with spirituall boldnesse and confidence of trust in God, if he heare him graciously, and answer him in mercy, Psalme 3. 4, 5, 6. and 116. 17. and 91. 15. Ieremiah 33. 3.

9. He loues the Lord exceeding­ly for hearing his prayer, and desires to keepe himselfe in the loue of God, Psalme 116. 1. Iude 20. 21.

10. His prayers proceed from an heart that loues no sinne, but desires to depart from iniquitie, and to doe that which is pleasing in Gods sight, 2 Tim. 2. 19. 1 Ioh. 3. 22.

11. He loues prayer in others, 2 Tim. 1. 21.

12. Hee striues against dead­nesse [Page 156] of spirit and distractions, as an heauie burthen, Psalme 86. 3. 4.

13 He makes praier his chiefe refuge: and he will pray, though prayer bee in neuer so much disgrace. Psalme 69. 10, 13. and 142. 25.

And thus of the third gift.

The fourth gift is the loue of His loueto his ene­mies tried his enemies. Any Christian may loue such as loue him; but to loue his enemies, is onely to be found in the true Christian, which he proues by these tokens of the sin­ceritie of his loue:

1. He can pray heartily for them yea in some cases he can mourne and humble his soule before God for them in their distresses, Psal. 35. 13, 14.

2. Hee desires their conuersion so vnfainedly, that hee is sure, if they were conuered, hee could reioyce in them as heartily, as in those hee now much delights in.

[Page 157] 3 Hee can likewise forgiue them their particular trespasses against him; being more grieued for their sinnes against God, then for the wrongs they doe him, Math. 6. 14.

4 He can freely acknowledge their iust praises.

5 He cannot onely patiently endure their reuilings, but can forbeare, when he could bee re­uenged by bringing shame or miserie vpon them, 1. Peter 3. 9. Rom. 12. 14. 1 Sam. 24. 18, 19. yea he doth, as he hath occasion, striue to ouercome their euill with goodnesse; being willing to helpe them, or relieue them in their miserie, and doe th [...]m any good for soule or body.

The last gift which is found in His tryall by the loue to the app [...]aring of Christ. the true Ch [...]istian, while he is in the way in this life, is, His loue of the appearing of Christ, which hee shewes:

1 By the longing after the time of Christs comming, whether [Page 158] by death or iudgement.

2 By his gladnesse at the pro­mises, or signes of his particular or generall commings.

3 By his often meditations of that day, and his hearty prayers for the hastening of it, Neuelat. 22. 10.

4 By his daily care to dispach all those godly duties which hee desires to doe before his death, and accordingly by his willing disposing of his estate, and ende­uours to set his house in order.

And this desire of Christs comming is apparently the more sincere in him:

1 Because it ariseth out of his loue to God, and his hatred of his owne sinnes, and his wearinesse vnder the obseruation of other mens sinnes.

2 Because this desire is accom­pained with the care of the meanes, by which he may be pre­pared for saluation.

3 Because hee is thus affected [Page 159] euen in his prosperity, when hee thrines in the world, and is not in any uotable distresse.

Hitherto of his triall in such gifts as he is endowed withall in this life onely: his triall in the gifts that will abide in him for euer, follow.


His triall in respect of such hea­uenly gifts as will not bee abolished by death.

THe gifts that will abide in The triall of his knowledge him for euer, are these three: Knowledge, the loue of God, and the lou [...] of the brethren. These are perfected, and not abolished by death.

And first, in this knowledge, And so he differs from wic­ked men. he differs from all wicked men, and so in diuers things: as,

First, in the things he knowes: In the things hee knowes. he knowes the nature of God in [Page 160] a right manner: he knowes God in Iesus Christ: hee knowes the vilenesse of his owne sinnes: hee knownes after an effectuall man­ner the mysteries that concerne the saluation of his soule: hee knowes his owne conuersion, and the forgiuenesse of his sinnes, and the things that are giuen him of God, Math. 13. 13. Iohn 17. 3. Ier. 31. 34. 1 Cor. 2. 12. Hee knowes that Iesus Christ is in him, 2 Cor. 13. 5.

Secondly, In the cause of his 2. In the cause of his know­ledge. knowledge. For flesh and blood did not reueale those things vnto him hee came not by them by the vse of naturall meanes, but they are wrought in him by the word and Spirit of God, Mathew [...]6. 17. 1 Iohn 2. 27. and 5, 10. 1 Cor. 1. 30.

Thirdly, In the effects of his knowledge: for, 3. In the ef­fects of his knowledge

1. It breeds in him an vn­speakeable refreshing and glad­nesse of heart in Gods presence, [Page 161] Psalm. 36. 9, 10. Psalme 119.

2 It inflames him to a wonder­full loue of the Word of God aboue all earthly things, Psalme 119. 97, 98.

3 It workes in him an effectu­all sauouring and tasting of the goodnesse of spirituall things, Rom. 8. 5.

4 It inclines him to a constant obedience and practise of Gods will, Prou. 8. 9, 17. Iohn 7. 17. Deut. 46. It redresseth his waies, Psalme 1 [...]9. 10. 1. Iohn 2. 3. and 3, 24.

5 It beares downe pride, and conceitednesse, and frowardnesse and makes him humble and teachable, Prou. 3. 5, 6. and 8, 13, 14. Iames 3. 17.

Fourthly, In the proprieties of 4 In the properties of his knowledge his knowledge: for,

1 It is infallible: his know­ledge hath much assurance in many things, with strong con­fidence and resolution at some times, especially when hee is be­fore [Page 162] God, 1 Thes. 1. 5.

2. It is indelible, it cannot be vtterly blotted out, it is fast gra­uen in his heart; cōtrary doctrine or persecution cānot raze it out, Ierem. 3 [...]. 34. Ephes. 4. 13. Pro. 4. 5, 6.

4. It is sincere; for first it in­clineth him to giue glory to God, and receiue all truth as well as any truth. He receiues the do­ctrine of God, though it bee a­boue reason, & against the com­mon opinion of men, or crosse his profit, or desires, or the like. Se­condly, it leades him principally to vnderstand his owne way, and guides him to study the things chiefly that concerne his owne reformation and saluation, Prou. 14. 8. Col. 3. 16.

And thus he differs from wic­ked men in his knowledge.

Secondly, in his loue to God, His loue to God, tried by nine signes hee hath these things which no wicked man can attaine to.

1. Hee hath a deliberate in­ward [Page 163] inflamed estimation of God aboue all things, accounting his louing kindnesse better then life, and the signes of his fauour his greatest ioy, Psal. 63. 3, 11.

2. He loues and longs for the Lord Iesus Christ with certaine and sincere affection, Ephe. 6. 24. 2 Tim. 4. 8.

3. He delights in Gods pre­sence, and shewes it by his vnfai­ned loue to his house, Psal. 26. 8. and by his heartie griefe for Gods absence, Cant. 3. 1. and by his carefulnesse to set the Lord daily before him, walking in his sight, Psal. 16. 8.

4. He hates sinne heartily, be­cause God hates it; and he dis­likes sinners, because they hate God; accounting Gods enemies as if they were his owne ene­mies, Psal. 139. 21, 22. and 97. 10.

5. He constantly desires to be like God in holinesse, being carefull to approue his affection to God, [Page 164] by his obedience to his commande­ments, so as it is not grieuous to him to receiue directions, but serues God with all his heart, be­ing fearefull to displease God in any thing, Ioh. 14. 21. 1 Ioh. 5. 3. Deut. 10. 12. and 11. 22. and is more affected with Gods appro­bation, then al the praise of men, Rom. 2. 29.

6. Hee is much affected with Gods mercie, and the blessings bestowed vpon him, which hee thankefully remembers to the praise of Gods free grace, Esay 63. 7. Psa. 63. 2, 3, 4, 6, 8. and 107. 22. Iob 36. 24. Deut. 16. 2.

7. Hee loues all the godly, for this reason chiefely, because they are like vnto God in holinesse, as being begotten by him, 1 Iohn 5. 1.

8. Hee is heartily vexed for any dishonour done to God, as for any disgrace offered to himselfe.

9. Finally, He shewes it in di­uers cases that befail him in his [Page 165] course in this life: as,

1. If he bee put to suffer any thing for Gods sake, he endures it with much ioy and patience, 1 Thes. 1. 6. Acts 5. 14. Iohn 22. 15 to 19.

2. If at any time hee offend God by his owne faultinesse, hee is heartily grieued & cast downe, and doth constantly desire to for­sake any sinne, though neuer so pleasing and gainefull vnto him, rather then he would displease God, Math. 26. 75.

3. In all streights and wants, he runnes to God, relying vpon God, as his defence, rocke, and re­fuge in all times of troubles, ma­king his moane vnto him, and powring out his prayers and complaints before him, Psa. 18. 1, 2.

Thus of his loue to God. His loue to the god­ly tried by ten signes.

Thirdly, his loue to the godly doth also distinguish him from all the wicked men in the world, because here are diuers things to [Page 166] be noted in his affection to them which cannot bee found in wic­ked men:

1. As first, he loues the godly aboue all other sorts of men in the world; he accounts them as the onely excellent people, Psal. 16. 3. 1 Iohn 3. 14. and affects them as if they were his naturall kin­dred, Rom. 12. 9, 10.

2. He loues them not for car­nall respects, but for the graces of God in them, for the truths sake, and because they are begotten of God, 1 Iohn 5. 1. 2 Iohn 1. 2. 3 Iohn 1.

3. He delights in their fellow­ship and societie in the Gospell, as accounting them the happy companions of this life, Psal. 16. 3. 3 Iohn 8. Phil. 1. 5.

4. He hath a fellow feeling of their miseries: he is in some mea­sure affectioned to weepe with them that weepe, and reioyce with them that reioyce; especi­ally he is glad when their soules [Page 167] prosper, Rom. 12. 15, 16. 3 Ioh. 3.

5. His desire is to walke in­offensiuely, as being loth any way to be an occasion of stumbling, or scandall to any Christian, 1 Ioh. 2. 10.

6. He can beare their infirmi­ties, take things in the best sense, suffer long, and is not easily prouo­ked: hee hopeth all things, and boasts not himselfe, nor enuies not them, nor will receiue an euill re­port against them, 1 Pet. 3. 8. 1. Cor. 13. 4, 5, 6. but rather makes apologie for them.

7. Hee easily praiseth them in all places, for their grace or obe­dience, Rom. 16. 19. 3 Iohn 6. Psal. 15. 4. 1 Thess. 1. 8.

8. His wel-doing extends it selfe to them to his power; he is boun­tifull, pitifull, and tender; hee hath bowels of mercy, according to the occasion of mercy, either corporall or spirituall. He gladly receiueth them, and with a ready mind communicates to their ne­cessities, [Page 168] Philemon 7. 1 Pet. 3. 8. & 4. 8. 1 Iohn 3. 17. 3 Iohn 5.

9. He loues all the brethren. He hath not the glorious faith of Christ in respect of persons, Iames 2. 1, 2. Ephes. 1. 15. Col. 1. 4. Hee can make himselfe equall to them of the lower sort, Rom. 12. 16.

10. Lastly, hee loues them at all times, euen when they are in aduersitie, disgrace, sicknesse, or any other miserie.

Hitherto of the godly mans triall by his gifts.


The triall of the godly man by his workes of obedience.

THE fourth way to trie him, is by his workes, or by his obedience in his life and conuer­sation; and so his workes excell all the workes of vnregenerate men many wayes: as,

[Page 169] 1. Because what he doth, ri­seth out of the loue he beares to God and goodnesse; and therefore hee doth good heartily, and not by constraint, or with repining or delay: yea he is so stirred vp with the sense of Gods goodnesse to him, that hee is much humbled when he hath done his best, that hee cannot bring more glory to God, Deut. 30. 20. Ios. 22. 5. Math. 4. 19, 20. Rom 6. 17.

2. In doing good he hath re­spect vnto all Gods Commande­ments: there is no part of an holy life, but he desires to practise it; and therefore he will obey Gods will in some cases when it is a­gainst his profit, credit, ease, or the liking of carnall friends, pre­ferrings Gods commandements aboue all things, yea life it selfe, Ier. 35. Heb. 11. 8. Gen. 22. 12. Prou. 7. 2. Act. 5. 29. Mat. 16. 25. Exod. 15. 26. 1 King. 9. 4. Ierem. 11. 4. Iohn 15. 14.

3. He will do good at all times, [Page 170] and not for a fit; making consci­ence of his wayes in all compa­nies as well as any; absent as well as present; before meane Christi­ans as well as before the best; at home as well as abroad, Philip. 2. 12. Gal. 5. 7. 2 Kings 28. 6. Psal. 106. 3.

4. Hee makes conscience of the least commandement as well as the greatest, Mat. 5. 19. Iames 2. 10.

5. He comes to the light, that his deeds might be manifest, that they are wrought in God, Iohn 3. 21. Hee is desirous in all things to bee guided by the warrant of the Word of God.

6. He exerciseth his faith in the very discharge of the duties of his outward conuersation. Hee liues by the faith in the Sonne of God, and commits his way to God, and trusteth vpon the Name of the Lord, Gal. 2. 20.

7. Hee knoweth that his obe­dience is right, because God hea­reth [Page 171] his prayers, and entertaines him gratiously, when he calls vp­on him in secret; whereas God heareth not sinners; and if wick­ednesse were in his heart, God would not regard his prayers, Iohn 9. 31. Psalme 66. 18.

And thus of his workes.


His tryall by the entertainment hee hath from God.

THe fifth way by which hee 5. Six fauours God be­stowes vp­on him which the wicked ne­uer feele. may bee tryed, is by the en­tertainement that God vouch­safeth him in this life, which hee neuer vouchsafeth to wicked men. There are diuers specialties of fauour which God sheweth to him, and not to any vnregenerate man: As,

1. His election in time is a ma­nifest 1. Election in time. token of Gods election of [Page 172] him before time: the Lord shews [...]hat hee hath chosen him from enerlasting, when by the power of the Gospel hee seizeth vpon him particularly, and effectually perswades him to leaue the world, and the sinfull society hee liued in, and to deuote himselfe as a liuing sacrifice vnto God.

2. He is baptized with the Holy Ghost and with fire: the baptisme 2. The bap­tisme by fire. by fire, is onely proper to Gods Elect: the Holy Ghost at some times falls vpon him, & sets him all on a fire, on a fire I say, both of sudden and violent indigna­tion at sinne, as it is sinne; as also the fire of holy affections, with which from God hee frequently and on a sudden is enslamed, while he stands before the Lord. For besides the affection which a godly man bringeth with him to Gods worship, he doth feele his heart oftentimes on a sudden surprised with strange impressi­ons, sometimes of sorrow, some­times [Page 173] of feare and awefull dread of God; sometimes of feruent desires after God: sometimes of strong resolutions of holy duties to be done by him, and the like, Matthew 3. 11.

3. He feeles at sometimes in the 3. Much assurance. vse of Gods ordinances a mar­uellous work of the Holy Ghost, in respect of much assurance and strange establishment of his heart, both in the certaine per­swasion of Gods loue, and the infallible beliefe of the truth; so as at that time no danger of death could amaze him, but hee could willingly witnesse his con­fidence by vndergoing any thing could befall him, 1. Thessalonians 1. 5.

4. He feeles at some times the 4. Ioy vn­speakeable vnspeakeable and glorious ioyes of the Holy Ghost which are diffe­ring from the carnall ioyes or il­lusions may bee found in wicked men, because they are such ioyes, as hee feeles onely in the vse of [Page 174] some ordinances of God, and such as by effect make him more humble, and vile in his owne eies, and doe inflame him to an high degree of the loue of God and goodnesse; which illusions can neuer doe.

5. The sanctification of his af­flictions 7. The san­ctification of his af­flictions. is another infallible signe of Gods loue to him. For God makes his crosses to become bles­sings vnto him, and worke his good, so as hee may plainely see, that it was good for him to be af­flicted: and besides, God giues him many times the experience of his goodn [...]sse, both by vnex­pected consolation in his distres­ses, and gratious deliuerance out of them, Rom. 8. 28. Psal. 119.

6. Lastly, To this place I may referre Gods hearing and answe­ring 6 The an­swer of his prayers. of his prayers; whereas God doth not heare sinners, as was shewed in the end of the former Chapter.


His tryall by the Sa­craments.

THe sixt and last way of triall Sixe Rules of his trial about the Sacrament of the estate of a Christian, is by the Sacraments, and in par­ticular by the Sacrament of the Lords Supper. For God hath ap­pointed the two Sacraments to bee his broad Scales to assure his fauour vnto his people: and be­cause none but worthy receiuers can bee partakers of so great a priuiledge as the Couenant of Gods grace, and the Gospel of Iesus Christ: therefore hereby doth the true Christian distin­guish himselfe from all men. For in becomming a worthy receiuer, hee doth diuers things not onely required in communicants, but such as none but godly men can attaine vnto: As,

1. He doth forgiue his enemies, [Page 176] as heartily as hee desires God to forgiue him his trespasses.

2. Hee examines himselfe, and vpon examination he both eateth with sowre herbes (that is) comes with some measure of griefe for his offences, and withall finds as vnfained a desire, that he might neuer offend God in anything, as that God should there assure him of the forgiuenesse of his sinnes, and that he will neuer punish him for any of them, 1 Cor. 11.

3. The couenant of his heart is to cleaue to God, and the care of godlinesse all the daies of his life, 1 Cor. 5. 8.

4. He is in some measure per­swaded of Gods loue to him in Christ; and discernes the Lords Body, so as he is secretly in some degree perswaded of the spiritu­all presence of Iesus Christ, and of the operation of God: so as he beleeueth, that Christ will as certainly nourish his soule, as the outward elements can any way [Page 177] be fit to nourish his body, Marke 16. 16. Col. 2. 12. 1 Cor. 11.

5. He somtimes feeles the Holy Ghost inwardly, setting to Gods Priuie Seale by sudden refresh­ings, falling like the dew vpon his heart, and establishing his soule before the Lord, Eph. 1. 13. 2 Cor. 1. 12.

6. His heart is knit vnto the godly more and more, and in­creaseth in his resolution to cleaue to them onely, and forsake all other professions of men in the world; louing them vnfai­nedly, and desiring it for euer to a partaker of their lot, 1 Cor. 10. 16, 17.


The directions that shew him how to get assurance by the helpes of those signes.

HItherto of the signes of the godly man. Now followes the course that the weak Christi­an should take by the vse of the former signes of tryall, to esta­blish his heart in the assurance of Gods fauour, and his owne eter­nall saluation.

My aduice is therefore, that the weake Christian that findes want of establishment and cleare assurance, should take the former signes of tryall, and goe apart, and set himselfe in Gods presence, emptying his heart of worldly distractions, and seri­ously consider of euery rule of tryall apart; and gather out into some little paper-booke so much as in euery signe hee can clearely [Page 179] find to be in himselfe, and that which hee durst through Gods mercy resolutely auouch to bee wrought in him by the grace of God. And this I would haue him to doe with deliberation, trying himselfe by one or two of the chiefe heads at most in a day, spending no more time about it then he may well allow, without wearinesse or dulnesse.

Now because he may be per­haps discouraged with the obser­uation of diuers things, which he may find wanting in himselfe in euery signe; hee must therefore take sound notice of the distin­ction of Christians made by the Apostle Iohn, 1 Iohn 2. who casts al true Christians into three sorts. Some are Infants, and either new borne, or but weakely qualified with the graces of Christ; yet are right, and haue true grace in some measure. Others are strong men, that is, such as haue the gifts of the Spirit [Page 180] liuely and in their power in them. Others are Fathers, that is, such as haue had long experience in the powerful practice of god­linesse, and haue beene long exer­cised in all kinds of well-doing. Now all these three sorts may be supposed to come to these signes. The weake Christian onely takes to a few of the plainest markes in the explication of each signe. The strong Christian he takes to the most of the markes. The Fathers they in a manner dis­cerne all the particulars of Gods graces, and the seuerall workings of them. Each of these, euen the weake Christian, may see so much as may stay his heart in assurance, and so settle his faith and ioy.

When there are many signes of one and the selfe-same thing, it is sufficient if it can be demon­strated, though it be but a few wayes, seeing euery particular marke being warranted by Scrip­ture, [Page 181] hath force to conclude for assurance, and to proue that wee differ from all the wicked men in the world.

Though at the first in reading but a signe or two, thou get but a few things may comfort thee, yet hold out till thou come to the end of all the signes, and then thou shalt see a faire armie (as it were of arguments) to prooue thy election and saluation. For whereas the most and best of vs if wee be asked this question, By what markes doe we know that we are the true children of God, and not wicked men? If we an­swer on a sudden, and by present memory, we can scarce giue two sound reasons to prooue the infallibilitie of our happy estate: which shewes, that the most of [...]s liue at a great vncertaintie. Now he that hath gone through the signes, shall finde perhaps twenty, or thirty, or fortie seueral and distinct arguments or [Page 182] markes, which when he hath collected them all together, may serue to answer all the ob­iections of all the Diuels in Hell. The gates of hell cannot preuale against his faith: which I declare thus: If the Diuell say, Thou art a wicked man, and an hypocrite; thou mayest readily answer, that by the grace of God in Iesus Christ thou art none such; and mayest put the Diuel to proue by the Word of God; that euer any wicked man did attaine to all those signes thou hast collected. Which, because it cannot bee done, thou mayest with much rest and full assurance commit thy selfe to God, and bind thy selfe by Couenant, neuer more to dishonour him by such vnbe [...]efe, as to call his loue and his saluati­on into question. If a three-fold cord cannot bee broken, how weake then should thy heart be, if thou shouldst feare thy estate, vnto which God hath so sealed, [Page 183] and so many wayes marked thee out for himselfe?

And for thy further satisfacti­on: after thou hast collected thy signes together, thou mayest car­rie them to thy godly Pastor, and desire him to peruse them, and accordingly giue thee his mini­steriall testimonie concerning them in the name of Iesus Christ, and this may adde much satis­faction and rest to thy consci­ence.

If in reading any of the signes, thou finde any speciall doubts, at any hand suppresse them not, but seeke resolution from doubt to doubt, and from signe to signe. Thou mayst gaine much profi­table knowledge by propoun­ding these cases of thy particular conscience.

The least gaine that can bee imagined by this course, is, that whereas before thou hadst few euidences or none for thy estate, thou shalt now haue many of all [Page 184] sorts: and it must needes bee thy owne way wardnesse, if assurance follow not. For these signes will ransacke thee, and try thy very heart and reignes, and all thy se­cretest desire and practices.

Yea, this benefit thou maiest reape by the signes, that they wil tell thee all the dayes of thy life, how it is with thee, whether thou goe forward or backward. For if by examination now thou gather out all thou canst finde by thy selfe, these will not onely lie by thee to helpe thee against any temptation at any time; but besides, if thou try thy selfe a­gaine, either against the next Sa­crament, or the next yeere, thou mayest discerne what ground thou hast gotten or lost. If thou prosper, thou wilt discerne it, by taking in diuers things in each signe, which before thou durst not acknowledge; and besides, it will exceedingly shew thee what thou wantest in each grace [Page 185] of God, and so what thou shoul­dest set thy selfe about, and get thy wants supplyed. It will at all times make a true Anatomie of thy estate; which to the well ad­uised Christian ought to bee ac­counted a matter of great mo­ment.

The God of peace giue thee all peace and ioy in beleeuing. If thou receiue any good by this Treatise, praise God, and pray for me.



TOGETHER WITH Directions that shew how the se­uerall Gifts and Graces of Gods Spirit may be maintained.

NEEDFVLL FOR SVCH AS want those Graces, and for such as desire to increase in them.

By N. BIFIELD late Preacher of Gods Word at Isleworth in MIDDLESEX.


LONDON, Printed by Iohn Legatt, and are to bee sold by P. Stephens, and C. Meredith, at the golden Lyon in Pauls Church-yard.


TO THE MVCH HONORED LADIE, the Ladie Bridget Tracie: Nicholas Bifield wisheth all prosperity in the things of the Kingdome of CHRIST.


BEing destitute of a better gift to bestow vp­on your Ladi­ship, to testifie my thankefulnesse or obser­uance, I present this little Treatise vnto you. It may haue more vse then it shewes for. For if things shine more [Page 190] cleerly when their contra­ries are set by them; then may this description of the estate of a wicked man by Signes, serue much to esta­blish the godly in the point of Assurance, when he seeth himselfe freed from those fearefull & forlorne markes. And if men vse to make much of all those directions, by which any gaine or trea­sure may be certainely com­passed, then ought the Di­rections not to bee despised, that shew how the Spirit of God and the Graces thereof may bee attained: For by these directions, both those that want the true graces of Christ, may here learne how to get them; and such as haue them but in weake measure, may by the same [Page 191] Rules learne how to increase them.

I haue beene induced to thinke of your Ladiship in this Dedication, partly in acknowledgement of the great respect due to the Fa­mily out of which you came, as it hath beene a prin­cipall meanes of causing the light of the Gospel for many yeeres to shine in those pla­ces where the people had sitten in darkenesse and in the shaddow of death: And partly drawne by the many praises I haue obserued in your Ladiships, since the time of your noble soiour­ning in the noble Familie you now liue in. Your great respect of my Ministery, and your constant paines to em­ploy your selfe about religi­ous [Page 192] duties, deserue from mee more acknowledgment then so meane a gift as this can discharge. Madam, you are happy aboue many, that God hath inclined your heart to beare the yoke of Christ in your youth, and discerne the glory of the spi­rituall kingdome of Iesus Christ. Your meeknesse as­sures me libertie to beseech you to goe on in the good way of God, and to cleane fast with all heartie affection vnto the Truth, as you haue learned Iesus Christ. It shall bee a great increase of your glory, to increase in the knowledge and grace of Christ, and (in sound deniall of your selfe, and contempt of the world) to fashion your selfe to all the courses, by [Page 193] which you may bee pleasing in the eyes of God, whiles multitudes in the Gentri [...] of the land, of both sexes, by following foolish vani­ties, forsake their owne mer­cie.

Now the God of peace sanctifie you throughout, & so prosper his owne worke in you, that your whole spi­rit, and soule and body may bee preserued blamelesse vn­to the comming of our Lord Iesus Christ, March 9. 1618.

Your Ladiships to bee commanded in Christ Iesus, N. BIFIELD.


  • THE Preface, shewing the ne­cessitie of the tryall of mans estate; and the causes why wicked men will not try themselues; and also why diuers godly persons are negligent herein. Page 119. to 209.
  • THirtie signes of an open wic­ked man. pag. 209. to 218.
  • THirteene signes of an hypo­crite. pag. 218. to 222.
  • [Page 196]SIxteene signes of such Profes­sors as are likely to fall away. page 222. to 226.
  • SEuen arguments of hope, that shew a wicked man that he may bee saued, if hee will bee directed. page 226. to 230.
  • HOw hee may get faith. page 230. to 234.
  • HOw he may get to be poore in spirit. pag. 234. to 239.
  • How hee may attaine godly sor­row. page 239. to 245.
  • [Page 197]HOw the Spirit of Adoption may be had. pag. 245. to 247.
  • How hee may get alone to the Word. pag. 247. to 250.
  • How hee may get the gift of prayer. pag. 250. to 255.
  • How he may attaine to the feare of God. pag. 255. to 256.
  • How he may be made to loue his enemies. page 256. to 258.
  • HOw sauing knowledge may be gotten and increased, pag. 238. to 260.
  • How the loue of God may bee wrought in vs. pag. 260. to 262.
  • How the loue of the godly may be attained, and how it may bee pre­serued. pag. 262. to 366.
  • [Page 198]HOw vprightnesse and sound sincerity of conuersation may be attained. pag. 266. to the end.


HOw necessary it is for all sorts of men in the visi­ble Church, to trie their estates whetherthey be true Christians or no, may ap­peare by the expresse charge gi­uenin the Scriptures concerning it. The Apostle Paul chargeth men to examine themselues whe­ther they be in the faith, and whe­ther Christ Iesus be in them, vn­lesse they be reprobates, 2. Cor. 13. 5. And the Apostle Peter would haue all Christians diligently to make their calling and election sure, 2. Pet. 1. 10. And the like com­mandemēt [Page 200] lay vpon them in the Church of the Iewes in the old Testament, as may appeare by that exhortation, Lam. 3. 40. Let vs search and try our wayes, and turne againe vnto the Lord: and the Prophet Dauid in this case, chargeth men to commune with their owne hearts, Psal. 4. 4. How can men draw neere vnto God in the full assurance of faith, if they will not be at the paines to exa­mine themselues? Heb. 10. 22. Or how shall we euer know that wee are of God, or attaine vnto any confidence of faith, as we ought to doe? 1 Ioh. 5. 19. Eph. 3. 12.

How fearefully this point of sound triall is neglected, and how miserably most men are de­ceiued for want of it, may ap­peare by this obseruation, which may vsually be made of men in the most places, viz. that many Note. that are carnall men, say, they are godly; and many that are godly men, say, they are but carnall. Be­sides [Page 201] that, a multitude of men, both good and bad, liue in secu­ritie: the one not caring to get out of so wofull an estate; and the other not regarding the ri­ches of Assurance.

The causes of this miserable securitie, may be obserued and noted both in wicked and in godly men.

In wicked men these things may be easily discerned.

1 A lothnesse to examine Why wic­ked men neglect the triall of their estates. [...] Because they are a­fraid all is no [...] well. themselues and try their estates exactly, for feare lest they should finde that they are not in a good estate. Their hearts secretly con­demne them, and they thinke, if they should take particular no­tice of their owne condition, it would be found, that they haue indeed no true grace in them: and therefore they rather chuse to liue in that doubtfull estate, then to be put out of doubt, and made to know, that they haue yet no right to the Kingdome [Page 202] of heauen: neuer considering that the knowledge of our mi­sery, may be one degree to get out of it.

2. In such as see all is not well 2. They are sloth­full. with them, the cause is slothful­nesse, mingled with horrible pre­sumption: they had rather weare out their dayes in danger, then be at the paines to vse the means for their owne repentance and reformation: they will wretch­lesly put it to the venture.

3. Others will aduenture vpon 3. They rest vpon the com­mon hope. their common hope of mercy: they haue certaine generall confused apprehensions of mercy in God, vpō which they wilfully engage their hopes, without care of re­formation, or the particular warrant of their hopes from the Word of God, and so miserably perish: their hopes prouing but as the house of the Spider: and the imaginarie mercy failing them, they die either as stockes with­out sense, or as Iudas in hor­rible [Page 203] despaire. Or 4 vpon their out­ward pro­fession of Religion.

4. Others rest themselues vp­on their outward profession of Religion and some general things wrought in them, and the good opinion others haue of them: & so being somewhat neare the kingdome of God, they are con­tent to rest there, as the Israe­lites did neare Canaan, though they neuer possessed it. We see many think, there needsno more to be sure they are in a good cō ­dition, then to heare Sermons, & abstaine from grosse outward prophannesse, and to be well re­puted of among the godly, &c. pleasing themselues with the shew of godlinesse, though as yet they deny the power of it, as hauing attained to other righteousnesse then the righteousnesse of the S [...]ribs and Pharises.

5. In multitudes of men, there Or 5. they [...] eu [...]l opinions [...] as­suranc [...]. are seated euill opinions about assurance: They thinke either it is impossible to bee had, or it is [Page 204] needlesse, or it is presumption to seeke it.

6. All wicked men are hinde­red 6. They are lett [...]d by their be­loued sins. by their beloued sinnes, which they are not willing to part with; but of purpose forbeare the care of heauen, that they may the more securely liue in sinne.

Thus of wicked men: It is Why so [...]e that are godly, neg­lect the triall of their e­states. true also, that many godly Chri­stians haue beene, and are ex­treamly faulty in neglecting the triall of their estates, and their assurance: and the causes of this negligence in them are diuerse: as,

1. Some are so much mis-led 1. Euill opi­nions. by the surmises of their owne hearts, that they think that assu­rance would breed security, and that it is a better way to keepe their owne hearts humble, to be somewhat doubtfull: not know­ing, that vnbeliefe is the chiefe cause of slothfulnesse and secu­ritie: and that the assurance of faith is the chiefe meanes to [Page 205] purge the heart, and quiet the soule, and works effectually in all the duties of loue.

2. In the most, Ignorance of 2. Ignorance. their owne gifts and Gods pro­mises, is the cause: for if Chri­stians did see distinctly; how far the Lord hath brought them by his grace, and withall did behold the euidences of their faith and hope in Gods promises, they should not faile of comfort, and establishment of heart.

3. Smothering of doubts and temptations, is a great let in ma­ny: 3. Smothe­ring of doubts and temptatiōs diuers Christians are secret­ly, and daily assaulted with cer­taine strange doubts; which, if they did propound, & get sound answer vnto their hearts, would heale within them, and the worke of faith prosper.

4. Some Christians are kept They are wicked o uerm [...]ch. without assurance, through the ouermuch viewing of their owne daily infirmities in all parts of Gods seruice: They are wicked [Page 206] ouermuch: wheras if they would study those Scriptures that shew how graciously the Lord stands inclined toward his people, not­withstanding their daily wants, their hearts would be much ea­sed, and their minds cleerely re­solued to trust vpon the euerla­sting mercies of their God.

5. In some, the cause is found 5. Melan­choly. in the disease of their bodies: Melancholy; when it is growne to a disease, is a most stiffe and pertinacious aduersary to Com­fort and Assurance: it doth fill the heart with so many sad con­ceits and fancies, and is an hu­mour so vnteachable, that com­fort for the most part is as water spilt vpon the ground: And the more difficult it is to remoue this let, because vsually the parties possest by this humour, are so far from seeking help, that they will not be perswaded that they are troubled with any such disease.

6. Some Christians are hin­dred 6. Passions. [Page 207] by their owne Passions; they are so froward and vnquiet in their dispositions, that their hearts are daily lifted off from the benefit of setled assurance, by their own habituall discont [...]nts. Frowardnes is a mischieuous di­stemp [...]r, that weakens both bo­dy and minde; and assurance and strength of faith, seldome dwels in an vnquiet minde.

7. Others want assurance, be­cause 7. Neglect of the meanes. they neglect the meanes of assurance: they doe not try all things, and keepe that which is good; or they call not vpon God daily, feruently, and constantly, to giue them the spirit of reuela­tion, to shew them the hope of their calling, and their glorious inheritance, Eph. 1. 18, 19.

8. A barren life is an vncom­fortable 8. A bar­ren life. 1 Cor. 15. 58 life: and contrariwise, to abound in good workes, hath stedfastnesse, and a secret rest of heart, as an vnseparable compa­nion of it.

[Page 208] 9. The loue of earthly things 9. Too much loue of earthly things. is another great impediment. Many professours haue their thoughts and cares so eaten vp with worldlinesse, that they can­not seriously seeke Gods King­dome, nor constantly hold out in any course for the attainement of assurance. This degree of faith requires some degree of the con­tempt of the world.

10. In some, there lodgeth some 10. Secret sin. secret sin, which they know, and do not purge themselues for, and doth daily preuaile in them; and this either keepes out Faith, or keepes it downe in the cradle, that it can get no strength. When I say, secret sins, I meane, secret from others, not from themselues. For sinnes of meere ignorance God doth not scourge in his seruants so, as to withhold his graces from them.


Containing the signes of open wicked men.

THe tryall of the estates of all sorts of Christians, may be perform [...]d by examining them­selues by two sorts of signes; some are such as describe the wicked man, & some such as de­scribe the godly man; and of the tryall of the godly man; I haue intreated before. Wicked mē in the Church are not all of a sort: for some are manifestly prophane and carelesse of the Kingdome of God; and some are in outward shew, such as professe the seek­ing of Gods Kingdome, but yet in deed and in heart are without God and without Christ, and such are all Hypocrites. VVicked men of the first sort, are discer­ned by such markes as these: and so he is a wicked man,

[Page 210] 1. That can spend whole daies 1 He is a wicked [...]an, 1 That liues with­out God. or weekes without seeking after God, or Christ; that accounts it no part of his care to looke after God, or any secret acquaintance or communion with God in Ie­sus Christ; that liues, as the Apo­stle saith, without God, and without Christ, and therefore without hope in the world; that seldome or neuer thinkes seriously of God, Eph. 2. 12.

2. That continually shuns and [...] That auoids the societie of the godly striues to auoid the company & society of such as feare God, and in his heart loues not such as bee religious, and makes consci­ence of their wayes. This man is certainly in darkenesse, that hates Gods children, as the Apostle Iohn often shewes in his first Epistle; especiall when he hates them, because they follow good­nesse.

3. That sauors onely the things 3. That sauours o [...]ly earth­ly things. of the slesh, that findes a taste and rellish only in earthlythings, that [Page 211] placeth all his contentment in the things of this life, Rom. 8. 5. 1 Ioh. 2. 15.

4. That is vncapeable and vn­teachable 4. That i [...], discernes not the things of God. in the things of God and godlinesse, hauing the Gos­pel and the glory of Religion hid from his heart, so as he sees no­thing in the Kingdome of Iesus Christ to be admired and desired of him; and when he enioyes the meanes, cannot discerne the things of God, 1 Cor. 2. 14.

5. That willingly haunts with 5. That sorts with wicked men. wicked and prophane persons, and delights in them, and choo­seth them for the companions of his life, Psal. 50. 2 Cor. 5. 11.

6. That of malice persecuteth, 6 Tha [...] of malice persecuteth the truth. and reproacheth, and despiteth the knowne truth, speaking euill of the good way of God, which he himselfe hath knowne and ackhowledged before, He­brewes 10.

7. That hath in him thoughts 7. That allowes himselfe in Atheisticall thoughts. of Atheisme reigning, concerning [Page 212] vile things of God, without sorrow or trouble of heart for them, or rather desiring he could proue them to be true, wishing there were no God at all, Psalme 14. 1.

8 That calles not vpon the 8 That cals not vpon God. Name of the Lord, who is such a one as wholly neglects this ser­uice of God in himselfe and his Family, vnlesse it be for fashion sake, without care or vnderstan­ding, Psal. 14. 4.

9 That was neuer chastened 9 That is not chaste­ned of God. of the Lord: for they are ba­stards and not sonnes, Heb. 12. 7, 8.

10 That can spend his dayes 10 That neuer exa­mines him­selfe [...]n knowne sinnes. without examining himselfe, whether Iesus Christ be in him or not: that minds it not to be sure, that hee is in the Faith, 2 Cor. 13. 5. Ioh. 17. 3.

11 That flattereth himselfe in 11 That applaudes himselfe in knowne sinne. his own eyes, when he is threat­ned for sinne, and blesseth him­selfe in his heart, when his iniquity [Page 213] is found worthy to be hated, Psal. 36. 1, 2. Deut. 29. 19.

12 That secretly lothes, and 12. That lothes the Word of God con­stantly. contemnes, and in his heart con­stantly frets at the Word, when it is conscionably & powerfully preached: that finds in the good Word of God a deadly sauour, 2. Cor. 2. 15, 16.

13 That liues in hypocrisie, 13. That allowes himselfe in hypocrisie. and knowes he dissembles con­stantly in the seruice of God, and doth not desire to leaue it, nor take any course to resist it, or humble his soule in secret for it.

14 That desires not the know­ledge 14. That refuseth knowledge of Gods wayes, and seriously accounts good courses to be vn­profitable courses, Iob 21. 14, 15, 16.

15 That hauing the hand of 15. That in great distresses humbles not him­selfe. God vpon him, and liues in sor­row and miserie, and yet neuer seekes to God, nor humbles his soule before God, nor acknow­ledgeth Gods hand; or if he doe, [Page 214] doth not labour to make his peace with God, 2. Cor. 7. 10. Ier. 5. 2, 3.

16. That cannot bee touched 16. That care not for the af­flictions of the godly. with compassion, or care for the afflictions of the Church and people of God, Amos 6. 5. and is mercilesse, Math. 25. Iames 2. 13 1 Iohn 3.

17. That hath no desire to be 17. That will not vnderstand to do good taught to doe good, but either cares not for Heauen and godli­nesse, or thinkes himselfe wise enough to find the way without asking, Psalme 36. 1, 3.

18. That is not affected with 18. That is [...]esensible of spiritual iudgemēts. feare or sorrow vnder spirituall iudgements; such as the famine of the Word, absence of God, hardnesse of heart, or the like.

19. That is a customary swea­rer, 19. That is an ordina­ry swearer. and repents not of it: God threatens hee will not iustifie such offenders, but pursue them as his enemies, Commande­ment 3.

[Page 215] 20. That makes not conscience 20. That is carelesse of Gods Sabbath. to keepe Gods Sabbath: for God hath giuen the Sabbath as a signe betweene him and the people in the point of their Sanctification: so, he that cares not to prophane the Sabbath, by that signe is knowne to bee none of Gods people, Exodus 31.

21. That not onely commits 21. That is a worker of iniquity sinnes against his knowledge, but serues sinne, and is a worker of iniquitie, loues it, defends it, and resolues to con­tinue in it, and placeth his felici­ty in it.

22. That beleeues not in the Son 22. That beleeues not in Christ. of God: as they do not, that either deny his comming in the flesh, or his person, or his offices, or else rest not vpon him for life and happinesse, Math. 16. Iohn 3 17. 1 Iohn 4. 10.

23. That in any one particular 23. That hates to be reformed. sinne, knowing it to be a sinne, hates to bee reformed, Psalme 50. 17.

[Page 216] 24 That hath not the Spirit 24. That hath not the Spirit of Christ. of Christ. For if a man haue not the Spirit of Christ, the same is not his, Rom. 8. 9.

25 That cannot forgiue his 25. That cannot forgiue his enemies. enemies, nor pray for them that hate him, and wrong him, Mat. 6. For if men forgiue not vnto men their trespasses, neither will God forgiue them their sinnes, as is likewise shewed by the parable, Math. 18. 32.

26 That loues not God, and 26. That loues not God. shewes it,

First, by an habituall forget­fulnes of God, of which before.

Secondly, By his vnwillingnes to do Gods worke, his comman­dements being alwayes grieuous vnto him, and it seemeth euill vnto him to serue the Lord, 1 Ioh. 5. 3.

Thirdly, By insensiblenesse of the dishonour of God.

Fourthly, By louing his plea­sures, or profits more then God.

27. That feares not God, and 27. That [...]ares not God. shewes it,

[Page 217] First, By not caring for Gods displeasure, so he might escape Gods punishment.

Secondly, By comming into Gods presence constantly, with­out any awefull regard of Gods Maiestie.

Thirdly, By sinning in secret with all securitie, being onely careful to auoid the eyes of men.

Fourthly, By contempt of the threatning of God in his Word.

28. That is dead in trespasses [...]8. That is dead in sin. and sinnes, Eph. 2. 1, 2. that can be guiltie of many and monstrous crimes, and as if he were a dead man, continues vnder the bur­den of them without sorrow, or feare, or remorse, or care of a­mendment, Eph. 2. 1.

29 The Apostle Paul puts a 29. That is guiltie of any of his sinnes in the A­postles Ca­talogue. number of offenders in diuers grosse sinnes, into a Catalogue, and pronounceth of them all, that without repentance they cannot inherite the Kingdome of Heauen, 1 Cor. 6. 9. Fornica­tors, [Page 218] Idolaters, Adulterers, the Effeminate, Sodomites, Theeues Couetous persons, Drunkards, Reuilers, and Extortioners: and so in the Galatians.

30. All those that cannot repent, 30. That cannot repent. that is, such as cannot pray, nor confesse their sinnes to God, nor bewayle them, nor any way set themselues soundly to reforme them.


Containing the signes of Hypocrites.

THus of the markes of noto­rious and wicked men. The signes by which Hypocrites may bee knowne, follow; and these are of two sorts: Two sorts of these signes.

First, Such as describe them so, that themselues may thereby know themselues.

Secondly, Such as giue occasi­on to men to feare their sound­nesse, [Page 219] and shew, that they are likely to fall away, though for the present they make shew and profession of religion, and doe escape much of that filthinesse, which is in the outward liues of others.

For the first, these are the signes of an hypocrite.

1. To professe Gods Couenant [...] Signes of hypo­crisie. with his month; and deny it in his workes, Psal. 50. 16.

2. To do his workes of purpose to be seene of men, when he might conceale the knowledge of them, and doth this of purpose, chiefly because he would haue the praise and applause of men, not seeking the approbation, or praised of God, Mat. 6. Rom. 2. 29.

3. To make cleane the out-side of the platter, and let the inside bee foule; To bee like a painted sepul­cher: To auoide apparant out­ward faults, and yet to harbour a world of wickednesse in his heart, without any true repen­tance [Page 220] for it, Math. 23.

4. To censure small matters in others, and be guiltie of great crimes himselfe: To see a moate in another mens eye, and not care to cast out the beame in his owne eyes, Mat. 7.

5. To pretend care of pietie towards God, and yet be vnmer­cifull to men; or neglect workes of mercy to the poore, that he is able to do, and yet vnconsciona­bly omits it, Iam. 1. 26.

6. To require many things of others in their practice, and yet make no conscience of obseruing them in his owne practice: To binde heauy burthens vpon other mens shoulders, and not to touch them with his owne finger, Math. 23.

7. To arrogate to himselfe the titles of godlinesse, and yet enuie and hate godlinesse in o­thers, and to endeauour to hinder them, o [...] opposethem, that would enter into the kingdome of heauen, [Page 221] Mat, 23.

To praise the dead, or the ab­sent seruants of God, and yet de­spise and persecute such of Gods faithfull seruants, as are set ouer them, and to disobey them, Mat. 23.

9. To speake faire to mens fa­ces, and behinde their backes to reuile and slander them.

10 To draw neere to God with his lips, when his heart is far from him: In the daily seruice of God to allow himselfe in the habit of distractions, making no conscience to worship God in his spirit, Esa. 29. 13.

11. Neuer in secret to make conscience of prayer to God; and not to cry to God, except it bee in sickenesse, or great aduersity; disregarding prayer in health and prosperity, Iob Chap. 27. ver. 9, 10.

12. With prophanenesse to neglect Gods commandements, and to be onely diligent to vrge [Page 222] and obserue mens precepts, or the traditions of men, Mat. 15.

13. To punish, or reproue sin in some, because he hates them; or to forbeare reproofes or pu­nishments of others, because he feares or fauours them.


Containing the signes of such as are likely to be vnsound, and will not hold out.

THus of the first sort of signes of hypocrites: Now follow such probable signes of hypo­crites, as men may take notice of, and do vsually foreshew their falling away at length, though for the present they make great shewes. Amongst them then that 16 Signes of an vn­sound Pro­fessor. make profession of religion a­boue the common sort of people; these are likely to bee vnsound, and not to hold out.

[Page 223] 1. That ioyne not themselues to Gods people, but forbeare constantly, or forsake apparently their fellowship, Hebrewes 10. 24, 25.

2. That are not carefull and desirous to reforme their hous­holds, and to set vp Gods wor­ship in their Families; that are good abroad, but practise not godlinesse at home.

3. That customarily liue in any sin knowne to be so to them­selues, without sorrow or a­mendment, whether it be in their particular calling, or gene­rall conuersation.

4. That constantly and with delight choose out vngodly men to bee their chiefe companions and friends.

5. That are wilfull in the vse of the vanities of the world, and will not bee reclaimed from their excesses, or offences that way.

6. That are stiffenecked, and [Page 224] will not abide reproofe and ad­monition, but shew themselues conceited, and selfe-willed.

7. That are full of rash zeale, and shew it by passions, and vio­lent furies about lesser matters, and yet haue some notable faults in themselues, which they make no conscience of.

8. That are swift to speake, and full of words, and forward to expresse their masterlike con­ceits, when they neither haue cal­ling, nor fitnesse, nor power of the holy Ghost. The language of an humble Christian, that hath Note. true grace, differs wonderfully from the empty and impertinent language of an hypocrite, who is seldome assisted with efficacy of matter.

9. That liues inordinately be­ing idle, and attends not the la­bours of a lawfull calling, that is found ordinarily in his neigh­bours house, and is apparently negligent and slothfull in the [Page 225] duties of his calling.

10. That is more vexed for want of respect from others, then for his owne disabilities in his conuersation.

11. That seemes glad of the company of some that feare God, but cannot abide others, ei­ther for the meanenesse of their place, or because the world con­temnes them, (though without cause, and though there be no iust exception against their sinceri­ty.) They that haue religion in respect of persons, loue not any for religion sake.

12. That liues customarily in the sinne of swearing, or ly­ing.

13. That is carelesse of the sanctification of Gods Sabbath.

14. That hath had no manner of affliction of spirit for particu­lar sinnes.

15. That is perti [...]acious in the [...]fence of gainefull and delight­full sinnes.

[Page 226] 16. That confirmes himselfe in the customary neglect of some of Gods ordinances, either pub­like, or priuate.


Shewing vnto the wicked the hope to be saued, if the fault be not in himselfe.

HItherto of the signes of wicked men, who must bee perswaded to abide the tryall without despaire; for the signes doe not shew them, that they cannot be saued; but onely, that for the present they are not in the estate of saluation actually, which though it may, and ought to be grieuous vnto them, to con­sider in what fearefull misery and sinne they liue in: yet they haue reason to know and beleeue, that they may bee saued as well as others: yea the acknowledgemēt [Page 227] of their misery is one step to sal­uation.

Now that wicked men may not die, but take a course to bee saued, two things are by them to be attained; first, the arguments Arguments of hope. of hope, that proue they may bee saued, and that there is remedi [...] for their miserie. Secondly, the rules, that shew them what they must doe, which being done, they may be certaine of their saluati­on.

For the first, that they may be saued, these things may hopefully assure [...]

1. That God hath sworne, that 1 Gods oath. he desires not that the wicked should die, but rather that he should turne from his [...]uill [...], [...]d liue, Ez [...]k. 18. 31.

2. That God hath with singu­lar 2 Gods Patience. patience borne with him all this while, and hath not laid him beneath for all his sinnes, w [...]o long since deserued hell; and the Lord hath taught it too, that he [Page 228] is patience, that men might repent and be saued, Rom. 2. 4. 2 Peter 3. 9.

3. That God offers his grace to 3. The of­fer of grace to al all, and hath made no exception against any particular man, and therefore why shouldest thou ex­cept thy selfe from saluation, when Gods grace is tendred to thee as well as others? God sends his Gospell to euery creature, euen to all Nations, Marke Chap. 16. ver. 15.

4. That God hath sent his owne Sonne to bee a sufficient sacrifice 4. Suffi [...]i­ent satis­faction made by C [...]st. and propitiation for the sinnes of men. He is the Lambe of God, that taketh away the sins of the world, Iohn 1. Romanes 3. 25. 1 Iohn 2. 1. and in him God is well pleased, and would haue all men know, that hee is content to take satis­faction from Christ, Math. 3. 17.

5. That God hath placed them 5. The meanes continued. in the visible Church, and doth yet continue the mean [...]s that is [Page 229] able to saue their soules, Acts 20. 32. Iam. 1. 21.

6. That God hath declared 6. One on­ly sin vn­pardonable himselfe concerning sinne, that there is one onely sinne that in it selfe is simply vnpardonable: all the rest may be forgiuen.

7. That God hath saued as 7. As gr [...]t sinners sa­ued. great sinners as they, such as were Manasses, Mary Magdalen, Da­uid, Paul: Many amongst the Corinthians were fornicators, drunkards, raylers, and the like, yet were iustified, sanctified, and saued, 1 Cor. 6. 10, 11. And these haue obtained mercy, that in them Iesus Christ might shew forth all long-suffering, for a patterne to them which should afterwards be­l [...]eue to euerlasting life, 1 Tim. 1. 13, 16.


Shewes how faith may be gotten.

THE rules of directions fol­low. This then is the que­stion: What should a man doe that he may be sure of his salua­tion, the man, I say, that for the present doth not finde the grace of Christ in his heart? I answer: That his principall care must be to vse, all meanes to get the gra­ces of the godly Christian for­med in his heart: And herein the Lord hath shewed vnto men sin­gular mercy, that as hee hath shewed wayes in his Word; how his seruants may discerne the gra­ces, that are so many signes and pledges of Gods loue, and their owne saluation; so hath he in the same word laid downe cleere di­rections, that shew how euery grace may be attained, and for­med, and nourished in the hearts of men.

[Page 231] And first I will begin with Faith; And the question is, What Quest. should a man doe that hee might attaine Faith?

Hee that would beleeue, must Answ. obserue these rules:

1. Hee must in the first place 1. He must consider of Gods pro­mises. betake himselfe to Gods promi­ses: For without the promise of grace, it is impossible Faith should euer bee formed aright in a man, hee must labour to see what the Lord saith distinctly vnto sinners: I will instance in that one promise, Ioh. 3. 16. God so loued the world, that hee gaue his onely begotten Sonne, that whosoe­uer beleeued in him, should not pe­rish, but haue life euerlasting. Now his care must bee, seriously to marke, and cleerly to vnderstand Gods meaning, which in this promise is to assure saluation to any in the world that wil beleeue 2. He must take notice of Gods comman­dement to beleeue. in Christ.

2. He must then consider Gods commandement concerning faith, [Page 232] that God doth require him to beleeue; and is so farre from being displeased with him for beleeuing in Christ, that for this cause hee will damne him in hell if hee beleeue not, Iohn 3. 18. 1. Iohn 3. 23. Hee doth as exactly require vs to relye vpon this course of saluation by Iesus Christ, as hee doth require any thing of vs in the morall Law: and as we ought not to sweare, or commit adultery, or steale; so ought wee not to dare to liue without beleefe in Iesus Christ.

3. Hee must pray heartily to 3. Hee must pray for faith. God, to giue him a heart to be­leeue, and to forme faith in him; for faith is the gift of God, Eph. 2. 8. Hee should pray ouer the promises, and beseech God to in­cline his heart to rest vpon them, as the best treasures in the world: cry vnto the Lord, Lord, helpe my 3. He must renounce his owne righteous­nesse. vnbeleefe.

4. Hee must absolutely lay aside all thought of his owne [Page 233] righteousnesse by the workes of the Law, and looke onely to Iesus Christ, and the righteousnesse in him, else he will faile of the righte­ousnesse of God, Rom. 10. 3.

5. Hee must waite vpon the 5. He must waite vpon the Word preached. powerfull preaching of the Gospell, as the onely outward ordinarie meanes to beget faith, offering his soule daily vnto God, and at­tending to the Word of God, ready to obey the motions of the Spirit, knocking at the doore of his heart in the ministerie of the Word, knowing that from this ordinance of God, he is to expect the gift of faith: he should betake himselfe to it, with resolution to waite with daily expectation, till the Lord bee pleased to send the Holy Ghost into his heart. And this is a generall rule for this and all other graces of the Spirit: as men loue their owne soules, so they must prouide to liue where the Word of God is preached constantly, & in the power of it: [Page 234] for from thence they shall receiue vnspeakeable helpe and furthe­rance in all the wayes of God, Rom. 10. 14.


Shewing how true humiliation may be attained.

THus of Faith. In the next place, he must labour for true and sound humiliation for his sins; and to this end he must distinctly striue to get formed in him two things: 1. pouerty of spirit; 2. godly sorrow: for to these two belong all the branches of true humiliation.

For the attaining of spirituall pouerty, these rules are of great vse.

First, make a Catalogue of thy 1 Gather a Catalogue of thy sins, either by memory. sinnes, which thou m [...]yest [...]o, ei­ther by memory or by booke. By memory thus: Goe aside, set thy [Page 235] soule before the Lord, as if thou werest presently to be iudged of him; call to minde particularly whatsoeuer thou canst remem­ber by thy selfe: consider thy want, thy omissions, and com­missions of euill, in youth or riper age, in heart or life, in things that concorne God, or man, or thy owne soule, and disposition, thoughts, affections, words or deeds. Thou mayest then see an armie of rebellious euils thou hast beene guilty of. By booke thus: Procure thee the labour of Or by booke. some reuerend Diuine, that hath briefly gathered the sins of euery commandement; & from thence gather out so many sins as thou knowest by thy selfe that thou hast beene guilty of: lay those sins daily before thy conscience, and consider how many wayes thou hast made thy selfe guilty.

Secondly, consider then the 2. Consider Gods iu­stice. iustice of God, how he hateth all sinne; which thou maiest be assu­red [Page 236] of, if thou remember how he plagued our first parents, the old world, Sodom and Gomorrha; how fearefully he neglected the Gentiles, cast off the Iewes; yea how he spared not his owne Sonne Iesus Christ, when he became a surety for other mens sinnes.

Thirdly, thinke of the terrible 3 Think of his threat­nings. woes, and threatnings, and cur­ses which are denounced euery where in Scripture against such offences as thou art guilty of.

Fourthly, force vpon thy selfe 4 Remem­ber thy lat­ter end. the remembrance of thy latter end, and thy appearance before the tribunall seat of Christ, to re­ceiue according to all that thou hast done in thy flesh.

Fifthly, obserue with what iudgement the Lord euery day 5. Obserue Gods iudg ments vpon the wicked fights against wicked men in all parts of the world, sometimes by common plagues, sometimes by speciall & particular calamities.

Sixtly, aboue all things, marke 6. Especial­ly Gods goodnesse to thee. with all thy heart Gods good­nesse [Page 237] to thee in particular, in enduring all this at thy hands, his blessings, of all sorts daily bestowed vpon thee, chiefely his mercy offered to thee in Iesus Christ, that can be content to forgiue thee all thy debts, so thou bee sorry and weary of offending. Nothing can more breake thy heart, then to obserue how God dealeth with thee, euen with thee in particular, that hast deserued so much euill at his hands.

Seuenthly, Try thy selfe by a 7. Try thy selfe by the signes. particular examination of thine owne estate, by euery particular of the signes of Gods children, and then thou mayest see, what a poore creature thou art, what shew soeuer thou makest in the world, and what naturall gifts or prayses soeuer thou hast: for then thou shalt find how exceeding emptie thy heart is of solid gifts and the best graces, and that ma­ny a poore creature, that maketh [Page 238] little shew in the world, hath an heart better graced by farre then thine.

Eightly, thou must beg hartily 8. Beg an humble heart of God. an humble heart of God, and a greater discerning of thine owne vilenesse. The Lord wil be sought vnto, and he is ready to be found if thou seeke him constantly and diligently. It is not a small worke to breake the pride and stoninesse of thy heart: it needs power from aboue.

Ninthly, Pruoide to liue, if it 9. Liue vnder [...] searching ministery. may bee, vnder a forceable mini­stery, where thou mayest heare such doctrine daily as will search thy heart, and ransacke thy life, where thou maist feele the Word of God go downe into thy heart and reynes.

Tenthly, Marke what things 10. W [...]tch against the things [...]hou art natural­ly proud of they are, which by nature thou art proud of, and labour seriously both by arguments and restraint, to alienate thy affection from them: In particular, take heed of [Page 239] the snare that is in gay Clothes, delicious fare, worldly titles, and the like.

Eleuenthly, Shun and auoide 11 Auoide the flat­terer. with detestation the flatterer, and seeke vnto thee a righteous com­panion, that may smite thee for thy fallings, and reproue thee, and not hate thee in his heart.

Twelfthly, Labour to keepe in thy memory and thoughts, 12 Thinke still of some of thy worst fruits. six, or eight, or more, or fewer of thy faults, that thou wouldest be more ashamed of, and hast more offended in, and compell thy selfe daily to remember them: this will wonderfully doe thee good, and tame thy pride, & make thee more meeke, and more tractable, and mercifull all the day after thou hast duly thought of them.

Thus of the way how to get thy spirit to bee truly poore and humble.

The next question is, What a man should do to get a soft heart Quest. and true godly sorrow, that hee [Page 240] might be able to mourne for his sinnes before God.

1 Hee must first consider of Answ. 1 Consider Gods pro­mise about a soft heart Gods promises, who hath bound himselfe by couenant to take away the stony heart, and giue an heart of flesh vnto them that seeke vnto him for it, Ezech. 36. 16.

2 Hee must daily in the best 2 Daily confesse thy sinnes to God, and beg sorrow. words hee can, keepe a constant course in the confession of his sinnes before God, begging of God with all importunitie this mercie, that hee would melt and soften his heart; and resolue, that hee would neuer stand before the Lord, but hee would remember this petition alwayes iudging himselfe, giuing glory to God. It may bee the Lord will heare at the first or second time of prayer: but if he doe not, thou must resolue to watch and pray still, without limiting God to the time of effecting thy desire, as knowing that it ought not to seeme grieuous vnto thee, that [Page 241] the Lord doth not presently worke what thou prayest for, considering how long the Lord hath called vpon thee, and thou didst not answere; and withall, the Lord is well pleased with these preparations in thy heart, and excepts thy endeauour to mourne, because thou canst not mourne.

3 Hee must obserue how the 3 Bee thankefull for euery mercie in prayer. Lord deales with him in prayer, and be sure with all thankfulnesse to acknowledge any mercy God shewes him in prayer; as if hee make him willing to pray, or giue him words in prayer, or let him feele any ioy in the time of prayer, or that hee find his heart in any degree to melt: he should be wonderfull thankfull, if he can get but one teare in prayer, or that hee find his heart in any de­gree to melt; and this obserua­tion of Gods goodnesse letting him know, that hee regards his particular requests, will melt his [Page 242] heart indeed further, and perhap [...] set him all on a flame in desires to praise God, and to abase him­selfe euen to the dust before th [...] Lord, Hos. 14. 3. 1. Thes. 5. 18.

4. That rule of the Apostle 4 Acknow­ledge thy faults to othe [...]. Iames is sometimes of singular vse in this case of breeding soft­nesse of heart, and that is, acknow­ledging your sinnes one to another: when in secret wee make our moanes to wise and mercifull Christians, and shame ourselues for our speciall offences, it many times hath melting of heart ioy­ned with it: so as that heart, that before seemed hardned and dry, now easily dissolues into teares, Iam. 5. 16.

5. To goe into the house of 5 Go into the house of mour­ning. mourning, may bee in this case profitable; resort to such as be in sorrow for the hand of God vp­on them, especialy such as mourn through the affliction of their spirits: conuerse with humble & tender-hearted Christians. Ecc. 7 2.

[Page 243] 6. [...]n all the seruices of God be 6 [...]e heed of di­straction in God [...] ser­uice. sure to draw neare to God, and keepe thy mind from distraction and hypocrisie: The Sun cannot haue such force to melt the waxe, as the beames of Gods presence haue to melt the heart, Iames 4. 6, 7, 3.

7. The Apostle Paul being a 7 Study the tenth comman­ment. sturdy Pharisee, had his heart beaten to power with the feare of the tenth Commandement, that told him, Hee must not lust. The knowledge and considera­tion of the abundance of sinne­guiltinesse he hath drawne vpon himselfe by the inward fruits of his euill nature, kil'd him out­right, brake his pride, and morti­fied him, as hee at large repeates, Rom. 7.

8 Remember the passion of thy 8 Remem­ber the sor­rowes of Christ for thy sinne. Sauiour, the pouerty, banishmēt, ignominie, temptations; the ap­prehension, forsaking, arraign­ment, condemning, and cruell death which hee suffered for thy [Page 244] sinnes: Looke vpon him that was pierced for thy sake, Zach. 12. 10.

9. If of thy selfe thou canst not 9. Get o­thers to pray for thee. yet attaine vnto sorrow for thy sins, get some godly Christian, that is endued with the gift of prayer, to ioyne with thee in pri­uate, that so the Lord may bee pleased to grant in Heauen, what we of him doe aske on earth.

10. Lastly, If all other meanes faile, then set a day a part by fast­ing; 10. Vse fa­sting. for the day of a fast was cal­led the day of afflicting or hum­bling the soule, Leu. 16. 29. both because it was the maine duty to bee driuen after on that day, and besides, because the Lord vsually did blesse his owne ordinance so, as hee gaue an humbled heart to those that sought it of him.


Shewing how the Spirit of adoption may bee attained, and also how the seuerall gifts of the Spirit may bee framed in vs.

THus of humiliation: If fol­loweth that I shew how he may attaine to the other sacred gifts which are markes of a godly man: as in the first sort of gifts, how he may attaine to the loue of the Word, the gift of Prayer, the f [...]are of God, the loue of his ene­mies, and the desire of the com­ming of Christ: But before I en­ter vponthese, it is necessary to shew him how he may attain the Spirit of Adoption, which is ne­cessary for these & al other graces

And concerning the Spirit of Adoption, if any aske how it may Quest. How the Spirit of Adoption may be had. bee attained: Or rather how it may bee stirred vp in vs, that we may feele his working in vs?

[Page 246] I answer, That hee is had and Answ. 1 He must pray for it stirred vp by inuocation. God is pleased to declare himselfe wil­ling, and ready to bestow his Holy Spirit vpon men, If they aske him of him by hearty praier. Hee that hath giuen vs his Sonne, will not deny vs the Spirit of his Sonne, to be giuen into our hearts, Gal. 4. 6. And this our Sauiour Christ assures vnto vs in the Pa­rable, Luke 11.

9. And I say vnto you, Aske, and it shall bee giuen you: Seeke, and ye shall find. Knocke, and it shall be opened vnto you.

10. For euery one that ask [...]th, receiueth; and hee that seeketh, find [...]th▪ and to him that knocketh, it shall be opened.

11. If a Sonne shall aske Bread of any of you that is a Father, will he giue him a Stone? Or if he aske a Fish, will he for a Fish, giue him a Serpent?

12. Or if hee aske an Egge, will he giue him a Scorpion?

[Page 247] 13 If yee then, which are euill, can giue good gifts vnto your chil­dren, how much more shall your heauenly Father giue the Holy Ghost to them that desire him?

2 Wee must waite vpon the 2 Waite vpon preaching. preaching of the Gospel, where the Holy Ghost vsually falls vpon the hearts of men.

3 When we feele the motions 3 Cherish the moti­ons of the Spirit. of the Spirit knocking at our hearts, or any way surprising vs, we must with all readinesse open the doores of our hearts, that the King of Glory by hi [...] Spirit may enter into vs.

The next question is then, Quest. How wee may get a loue to the Word. What wee should doe to get and preserue in vs the constant loue to the Word?

1 The answer is, First, That we should seeke to settle our selues Answ. 1 S [...]ttle v [...] ­der a pow­erfull mi isterie. vnder the powerful preaching of the Word; euen such a ministerie, as doth set out the glory of the truth▪ and of the Kingdome of Iesus Christ.

[Page 248] 2 Wee must make conscience 2 Pray God to quicken thee. of it to pray vnto God to quicken vs, and inflame our hearts to the loue of his Lawes, as Dauid often did, Psa. 119.

3 Take heed of excessiue cares, 3 Take heed of worldly cares. and the ouer-reaching of desires in the emploiments of the world, or the immoderate vse of world­ly delights; for those choake the seed of the Word, and alienate the affections from it; and so doth any grosse or beloued sin, Heb. 3. Math. 13.

4 Take heed also of personall 4 And of personall discord with such as feare God. discord with such as feare God, especially with thy Teachers; for this doth by secret degrees make the heart carelesse and negligent, and in some things wilfull; and if it be not looked to in time, will bring men from the liking of the Word, as they haue been drawne from the liking of such as loue the Word.

5 Take heed of vngodly com­panie: 5 And of vngodly companie For in such companie is [Page 249] quenched the sparkles of liking, when they are kindled; yea, and the flames of affection are much dulled, in whom they are best ex­cited, Psal. 119. 115.

6. Such as find some begin­nings 6. And of neglect of the increase thereof. of desire after the Word, and liking to it, must take heed, that they estrange not them­selues from the exercises thereof: For if they heare, or reade but now and then; either the heart will neuer bee throughly heated, or if it bee, it will easily waxe cold againe: and yet herein some are to bee warned to take heed of disordered excesse; for that will breed dulnesse, as well Or excesse. as neglect: As when they will reade daily for diuers houres; or when they prouide vnto them­selues an heape of Teachers, as some that liue in great Cities, thinke it Religion to heare all sorts of men, and all the Sermons can bee come vnto: As if the power of godlinesse lay onely in [Page 250] the vse of the meanes of godli­nesse.

7. We must practise what we 7. Practise what thou hearest. heare, and labour to shew foorth the fruit of the doctrine. He that would bee in loue with hus­bandry, must sow his seed in his ground, and then the gaine of the Haruest will still allure him to like the Trade. If wee be fruit­lesse hearers of the Word, wee cannot loue it; or if we doe, it will be but for a flash, or small time.

Thus of the loue to the Word.

He that would learne to pray, To attaine the gift of prayer. 1. Pray God to teach thee. must follow these directions:

1. He must goe to God in the Name of Christ, and beseech him to giue him words, and by his Spi­rit teach him to pray. It is God onely can make a man speake a pure Language; For hee onely can instruct the heart of man, and endue it with this heauenly gift, Romans 8. 26, Ephesians 6. 18.

[Page 251] 2 It will much helpe him to [...] Ioyne w [...]h such as can pray ioyne himselfe to such as call vpon the N [...]me of the Lord with a pure heart, [...]specially in the dayes of their humiliation, 2 Timothy 2. 22.

3 There are three distinct things: which a man may with 3 How he [...]y [...] him­s [...]lfe in euer [...] part of prayer. singular profit propound vnto himselfe in his prayers: Conf [...]ssi­on of sinnes: Petition for grace: and thanks-giuing for mercies receiued. N [...]w the weakest Christian may be, through Gods bl [...]ssing, comfortably furnished for his owne particular, if hee take such a co [...]e as this; to goe aside, and with all s [...]cie and attention of heart before the Lord, aske himselfe these three Questions.

1 What sinnes haue I commit­ted, Three Questions. which either now do trouble me, or if I were to dye, would make mee afraid? Let him set them downe in a paper, or in his memory distinctly, till hee can [Page 252] can bethinke himselfe of no more. It is no great matter for the order how hee sets them downe, so hee be sure he haue the chiefe sinnes, in which hee daily offends, or hath offended.

2 What would I haue the Lord doe for me, if I might haue what I wish? let him set the particulars downe, till he can remember no more. As for example, I would haue him forgiue mee my sinnes, and I would haue him giue mee strength against such and such sins, and I would haue him giue mee faith and assurance; and I would haue him giue me Heauen when I dye; and so goe on with all the things he feeles a desire in his heart to seeke of God, till he can remember no more: and if at any other time hee remember some speciall thing, which hee would further haue, which hee hath not in his Catalogue, let him set it downe, as from time to time he sees cause.

[Page 253] 3 What speciall fauours hath God shewed to mee, which I see I ought to take special notice of? Let him set them downe distinct­ly, whether they be deliuerances, or such and such spirituall or out­ward mercis, preseruing the me­morie principally of the chiefest of them.

Now when hee hath thus furnished these three heads with things that in particular con­cerne himselfe, they being all matters of weight, hee must now carry these things, or the chiefe of them in his mind, and frame his heart to speake to God in the best words he can get, to signifie his detestation of those sinnes, his humble requests for those graces, and his vnfained thanke­fulnesse for those blessings. How­soeuer hee may be rude or vnper­fect in his Language about these at the first, yet exercise will bring him to a ripenesse; and by this course hee shall be sure to speake [Page 254] of things that concerne himselfe neerely; and that God which hath taught Parents to regard the vnperfect language of their little Children when they begin to speak vnto them, will himselfe much more delight to heare the desires of his Seruants, that are grieued, that they cannot speake in a better sort vnto him. The profit and comfort of this course will appeare by experience to be exceeding great: besides it is an easie way, where there is in any a true desire to bee at the paines to learne this Language of spea­king to God by prayer; and Gods Spirit will helpe and teach the poore Christian, and draw his petitions for him, and prompt him both with words and affe­ctions: And the Christian must know this, that when hee hath confessed his sinnes, and shewed what hee should haue God doe for him, with the best words hee could in the truth of his heart, [Page 255] he hath made a most effectuall prayer to God.

Thus of prayer.

The awefull of God, and How the feare of God may b [...] [...]got­ten in vs. the reuerent dreading of God, may bee begotten and increased in vs, if we throughly remember and deepely ponder vpon:

1. The surpassing glory, and transcendent excellēcie and per­fection of his Nature, his abso­lute purity and exact lustice, and Holinesse.

2. The wonderfull workes of God, especially those standing miracles shewed in the hanging of this mighty earth, and those huge heapes of water in the cloudes, and the bounding of these mighty Seas, and such like.

3. His fearefull threatnings of all sorts of woes against the trans­gressions of men.

4. The terrour of the last day, and the dreadfulnesse of death and Iudgement.

5. The fearefull and sudden [Page 256] iudgements which haue fallen vpon wicked men; either recor­ded in Scripture, or reported in Histories, or obserued in experi­ence.

6. Especially, if wee thinke much and seriously of the great goodnesse of God to vs, how hee hath striuen with vs to ouer­come vs with his mercies.

Thus of the feare of God. How loue to our ene­mies may be excited.

We should striue to stirre vp in vs affection and loue to our very enemies, by such considera­tions as these:

1. Because Christ, to whom we are infinitely bound, hath ex­presly charged vs to look to this; That we doe loue our enemies; and therefore for his sake wee should deny our selues, and our owne corrupt desires and affecti­ons, and striue to shew the truth of our loue euen towards them that hate and persecute vs.

2. There is none so wicked but they haue something good [Page 257] in them, and worthy to be respe­cted.

3. Our enemies doe vs good, though they intend it not; wee ought to like the very rod that mends vs, and regard the water that washeth vs white, and make much of the stone that tries vs, and the glasse that shewes vs our spots, and not mislike the tents that search our wounds.

4. If euer God turne their hearts, they will be effectuall in­struments of our praise, & Gods glory in the day of their visitati­on, they will not willingly beare the shame of their owne sinfull oppositions.

I forbeare to set downe the di­rections for the attainement of the loue of the appearing of Christ, because I haue at large handled that point in the Trea­tise of the Cure of the feare of Death.


Thus of the directions that con­cerne the first sort of gifts: con­cerning the attainement of the other graces, the directi­ons now follow.

AND first for the attainment How to in­crease sa­uing know­ledge. of sauing knowledge, and the increase of [...], these directions are of excellent vse:

1. In hearing or reading the 1 He must be wise for himselfe. Scriptures, hee must bee wise for himselfe, that is, marke distinctly what he heareth or readeth, that may especially concerne himself, Prou. [...]. 12.

2 He must study those things 2 He must study only profitable things. exactly, which most concerne him, auoiding vaine questions, and fruitlesse contemplations, and vaine ianglings, and controuer­sies: he must especially labour to know Gods Nature aright, and the distinct manner of Gods true [Page 259] worship, how he may serue him: he must studie to know his owne particular offences, and Christ crucified as his Sauiour, with the benefits of his mediation, and the necessary things that con­cerne his owne Iustification, Sanctification, and finall Salua­tion.

3. He must redeeme the time, 3. He must redeeme the time. and by forecast and order, pro­uide so, that some time may be daily allowed for holy studies to recouer his former time lost.

4. Hee must enquire and take 4. He must propound [...] his doubts counsell, hee must take heed of smothering his doubts, but must carefully seeke satisfaction to his conscience, as occasion ariseth. There is more profit in this rule, then many Christians are aware of.

5. Hee must take heede of 5 He must not consult with flesh and blood. consulting with flesh and blood: he must not regard other mens o­pinions, or his owne carnall rea­son; but resolue to giue the glory [Page 260] to Gods Word, so as to submit himselfe to what he shall finde therein required to be beleeued, or done, or auoided,

Other rules he may finde in the directions for the priuate reading of the Scriptures: as also in Rules of life.

Thus of sauing Knowledge,

That thou maiest inflame in How the loue of God may bewrought in thee. thy heart the loue of God:

1. Thou must auoid with spe­ciall care, these things: 1. Thou must auoid forgetful­nesse of God, and the loue of the world.

First, Forgetfulnesse of God; Thou must not dare to go whole daies, or weekes without com­munion with God, or remem­bring his holy presence.

Secondly, the loue of the World; We cannot loue the Father, while our hearts dote vpon any earthly thing. Of necessity some degree of the contempt of the world must be bred in vs before we can loue God.

2. Wee must labour for a di­stinct 2. Thou must study Gods prai­ses. knowledge of the dreadfull [Page 261] prayses of Gods Nature and Workes, as they are described in the Scriptures, or may be obser­ued by experience. This is a need­full direction, and miserably neg­lected.

3. VVe must frequent his house; 3 Thou must fre­quent his house. especially when his glory doth shine in the power of his Ordi­nances in his Sanctuary.

4. Wee should especially stu­die 4 Thou must study Gods mer­cies. the mercies of God, and all the good things hee hath promi­sed, or giuen vnto vs, that wee may after a solid manner cause our hearts to know how infinite­ly we stand bound to God.

5. Wee should obserue care­fully and daily, our owne sinful­nes, 5Thou must ob­serue thy daily in­firmities. and vilenesse, and vnworthi­nesse: For vnlesse wee cast out selfe-loue, wee shall neuer get in the true loue of God.

6. Wee should pray much; 6 Thou must pray much. for an holy course in prayer doth breed in men a wonderfull loue of God; and admiration of that [Page 262] fellowship, which thereby they haue with God.

7. We should resort often to 7 Thou must r [...]sort to experi­enced Christians. such as vse to speake much of the praises of God, and marke the experience of Gods wonderful prouidence, or the glory of his Word.

8. It will much further the 8 Thou must be­haue thy selfe lo­uingly to­wards the godly. loue of God, to get and increase in vs a louing respect of, and be­hauiour towards such as feare God, and beare his Image.

Thus of the loue of God.

Concerning the loue of the brethren, two questions may bee demanded: The one, what wee must doe to get a hearty loue to What wee must do to get the loue of the godly. the godly: and the other, what we must doe to preserue it when it is gotten.

For the first, hee that would heartily bee affected towards all the godly with a brotherly loue, must obserue these Rules: 1 Auoide the com­pany of the wic­ked.

1. Hee must not haunt with vicious persons, nor goe with dis­semblers, [Page 263] nor hold needlesse so­ciety with such as hate godlines and godly persons, Psalme 26. 4, 5.

2. He must much meditate of Gods loue to him, and of the 1. Meditate much of Gods loue to vs. great things were done by Iesus Christ, and of those rich mercies are offered him in Christ, and of the wonderfull loue that God and Christ do beare to true Chri­stians, and how glorious they shall be in the kingdome of hea­uen.

The arguments taken from Gods loue to vs or Christs suffe­ring for vs, are often vsed in the first Epistle of Iohn, to perswade vsto the loue of the brethren, as 1 Iohn 4. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12. Psalme 16. 2, 3.

3. Hee must take notice of 3. Consider Gods Com­mandemét Gods peremptory commande­ment, who requireth this of him as one principall duty, that hee loue the godly: with an vtter dis­claiming of him, if hee doe not [Page 264] loue them, 1 Ioh. 3. 10, 11, 12, 13.

For the second, That he would continue and increase, and a­bound in loue.

1. He must seeke, and hold, and For the preseruatl­on of our loue three things must bee looked to. not forsake the fellowship that he hath with the godly in the Gospel, but make them the con­stant companions of his life, Heb. 10. 25.

2. When he finds his affections stirred vp, he must make vse of all opportunities, by his deeds to shew the fruits of his loue vpon all occasions of mercie and well­doing, else affections will dye in him. The fruits of righteousnesse must be sowed by practise, 1 Ioh. 3. 18. If affection bee onely in shew, or in words, or in the con­ceptions of the heart, and be not expressed and made fast by the engagements of practise, it will much decay, if not wholly be lost.

3. He must by all meanes take heed of discord with any of them, striuing with a resolution to take [Page 265] things in the best part, to beleeue all things, and endure all things, suffe­ring long without enuy, or reioycing in iniquity; doing all things with­out reasonings or murmurings, or censuring or complaining; auoi­ding vaine ianglings and selfe­conceitednes, begging of God an ability to beare with the infirmi­ties of others. See further directi­ons about this point, in the Rules of Life.


Hitherto of the directions that concerne the attainment of the sa­cred gifts of the minde. Now it fol­loweth to shew what thou must doe, that in all thy wayes thou mightest walke vprightly, and attaine vnto sound sincerity of heart and life.

HEE that would walke vp­rightly, How sound sincerity of conuer­sation may be formed in thee. or take a sound course to continue in his vpright­nesse, must earnestly looke to these rules:

1. If thou haue beene guiltie of any grosse sinne, know it is vnpossible thy heart should bee vpright, till thou haue with spe­ciall repentance humbled thy selfe before God for that sinne; and that also by conscionable practise thou keep thy selfe from the great transgression, Psalme 19. 13.

[Page 267] 2. Thou must in a speciall manner watch and striue against hypocrisie, and that intwo things chiefly: First, that in thy setting out into religion, thou fashion not thy course more to get credit then grace. Secondly, that in Gods seruice thou by all meanes auoide distractions, and so resist and checke thy pronenesse of heart thereunto, iudging thy selfe seuercly, when thou so offendest, till thou bee able in some happie degree to serue God with thy spirit as well as with thy body. The habit of dissembling with God is extremely dangerous.

3. In thy conuersation take heed of that feare full carelesnesse of the most [...], shewed in the knowne and wilfull practice of sinne, vpon pretence that it is but a small offence, or secret. Take heed of the sinnes of deceit, how gain of all so euer they might be to thee: thou maiest together with vprightnesse lose the kingdome [Page 268] of heauen, for daring so wilfully to breake one of those little com­mandements, Math. 5. 19. Take heed in generall of a stiffe and wilfull heart: they are seldome vpright, that are heady and pe­remptory, and hard to bee per­swaded, Iam. 3. 17. Prou. 21. 29. Heb. 2. 4.

4. As much as may bee accu­stome thy heart to the obseruing of Gods presence; walke, as be­fore him, Gen. 17. 2.

5. Yeeld thy selfe ouer to bee wholly guided by Gods Word; Without knowledge the minde can­not be good, Prou. 19. 2. and hee that walketh according to this rule, shall haue peace in his heart and conscience, Gal. 6. 16. Let Gods Law be the light for thy seete, and the lanthorne for thy paths. Psal. 119. Labour therefore to get a particular warrant for the law­fulnesse of thy practice in the oc­casions of thy calling, either ge­nerall or particular: where thou [Page 269] doubtest enquire, so shalt thou walke in a sure way, and delight thy selfe in much peace.

6. Take heede of idlenesse, and prouide to walke faithfully and diligently in some honest cal­ling of life.

7. Bee sure thou hold a con­stant course of confession of thy sinnes to God, and do it without hiding, or extenuating; iudging thy selfe for euery knowne sinne, and especially praying against, and resisting the sinne thou art most prone vnto.

8. Bee not well pleased with they selfe, till thou canst approue thy care to be good at home, as well as abroad; looke to this rule, and take heede of froward­nesse, and peruerse behauiour in thy family. Thou wilt hardly get any comfortable euidence, that thou art sound at heart, if the vsu­all family sinnes reigne in thee.

9. Thou mightst wonderfully aduance, and establish vpright­nesse [Page 270] of heart in thee, if thou wouldest carefully but acknow­ledge this honour to God in his Word, that whensoeuer thou didst [...]le [...]hy conscience woun­ded, or smitten for any particular offence by the word of God, that then without delay thou wouldst in secret [...] to God and humble thy self [...] by confession, and from that time forward remember to striue against that sinne: And so like wise when God with some speciall glory of [...]is tru [...] doth affect thee in the hearing of some needfull duty to be done, not to dare to delay, but [...] to the o­bedience of that good Word of God.


THE PROMISES: OR, A TREATISE SHEWING how a godly Christian may support his heart with comfort.

Against all the distresses which by reason of any afflictions or temp­tations can befall him in his life.

Containing all the most comfortable places through the whole Bible, orderly digested.

By N. BIFIELD late Preacher of Gods Word at Isleworth in MIDDLESEX.


LONDON, Printed by Iohn Legatt, and are to bee sold by P. Stephens, and C. Meredith, at the golden Lyon in Pauls Church-yard.


TO THE MVCH Honored and right worthy, Sir William Throgmorton, Knight and Baronet, and Sir Francis Darcie Knight: N. Bifield wisheth the increase of all Grace and hap­pinesse that, accompanieth the loue of the Lord Iesus in sincerity.

IF the many crosses and temptations, with which the life of all men, euen the most godly is distressed, b [...] seriously weighed, and withall the great disconsola­tion that too often surpriseth the hearts of most Christi­ans, bee compassionately thought on: and if withall the singular glory of a godly mind framed vnto vnmoue­able [Page 274] rest, and stedfast con­tentment, be throughly con­ceiued of; it cannot but bee manifest, that if a way may bee shewed how a Christian may fill his heart with com­fort in any condition hee can fall into, in respect of affli­ction, that such a course is profitable, and all ought to take notice of it, and with all care & paines employ them­selues about it. This by Gods assistance vpon apparent grounds of Scripture I haue endeuoured to shew in this Treatise, and doubt not but by experience humble and godly Christians will finde much refreshing and esta­blishment of heart, if they apply themselues distinctly and diligently to draw of the water of life, out of those [Page 275] wels of saluation, opened for them euery where in this role of Gods promises.

This Treatise I present to your Worships, & vnder the countenance of your names, desire to cōmend it vnto the Church of God: & this I am induced to do for diuers rea­sons▪ your forwardnesse in the profession of sincere re­ligion for many yeeres, the publike seruice you haue done in the Countrey in the administration of Iustice, for the incouragement of the good and reformation of a­buses▪ your great care from time to time to plant painful & profitable teachers in the places of your abode, toge­ther with the excellent gifts with which God hath fur­nished your minds, deserue [Page 276] to be freely & publikely ac­knowledged in the Church of God; & in mine owne par­ticular I haue beene so many wayes obliged, that with much gladnesse I embrace this occasion, to let the world know my desire to be thank­full for the many helps & fur­therances my ministery hath receiued from the counte­nance and endeuours of both your Worships, as occasion [...]h at any time bin offered. Desiring your acceptance hereof, and praying God to preserue you in his fear with­out offence, till the day of Christ, and to enlarge in you the desire and power of wel­doing in all things, I end and rest, Isleworth, Octo. 161 [...].

Your Worships in the seruice of Iesu [...] Christ to be co [...]anded, N. Bifield.

The chief Contents of this Booke.

  • THE drist of the whole booke is, to shew abundant comfort against any distresse. p. 282.
  • Two things taken for granted. viz. both the godly man shall bee distressed and also that comfort may be had in any distresse. p. 284.
  • The worth of those promises. p. 283. 284.
  • To whom the promises belong. p. 284.
  • The vse they will serue for being learned. p. 255. 286.
  • The infallibility of those promi­ses proued by 13. arguments. p. 288. to 293.
  • The promises sealed foure waies. p. 291.
  • Six rules to be obserued if we will profit by the promises. p. 293. 294.
  • Three sorts of promises. p. 295.
  • [Page 278] Sorts of afflictions in which wee need comfort. p. 296. 297. 298.
  • 12. Priuiledges of the godly. p. 300. to 308.
  • What is meant by outward affli­ctions. p. 309.
  • 10. Arguments of consolation to support vs against outward affli­ctions. p. 3 [...]0. to 319.
  • Men need comfort against re­proaches. p. 319.
  • 12. Arguments of consolation against reproaches. p. 320. to 328.
  • Many principall obiections of the godly about reproaches answered. p. 328. to 335.
  • Directions in the case of reproa­ches. p. 335. to 336.
  • How the godly may c [...]fort themselues in case of aduersaries. p. 336. to 343.
  • [Page 279]3. Things taken for granted, a­bout temptations. p. 343. 344.
  • Satan tempts vs fiue wayes. p. 344. 345.
  • 3. Sorts of temptations by sug­gestion. p. 346. 347.
  • 9. Occasions of temptation. p. 347. to 35 [...].
  • How many wayes a godly man may comfort himselfe against temp­tations. p. 342. to 356.
  • Sixe things in Christ comfort vs against temptations. p. 353. 354.
  • How farre forth wee may pray against temptations. p. 366.
  • How wee may know that wee are not ouercome of temptations. p. 356. 357.
  • Two sorts of promises about in­firmities. p. 35 [...].
  • What is meant by [...]. p. 359.
  • 9. Arguments of consolation [Page 280] against our daily infirmities. p. 360. to 370.
  • The goodnesse of Gods nature shewed in four [...] things. p. 361, 362.
  • Many things comfortable in Christ. p. 363. 364.
  • 9. Priuiledges about infirmities, ass [...]ed vs in the Word. p. 365. to 368.
  • Diuers obiections about our in­firmities answered. p. 370. to 375.
  • About ignorance diuers comfor­table meditations: p. 373. 374.
  • The explication of two excellent places of Scripture, with the sundry answers of many obiections met with­all in all these places, from p. 377. to 385.
  • Many consolations to support vs against the feare of falling away, taken fro [...] the considerations,
    • 1. Of God. p. 387. to 361.
    • 2. Of Chri [...]. p. 391. 392.
    • 4. Of our owne estate in Grace. p. 392.
  • [Page 281]Three sorts of [...]ost comfortable pr [...]ises about prayer. p. 393 to the end of the Booke.


Containing the Preface.

THe drift of this Trea­tise is, to shew a god­ly Christian (who is already assured of Gods fauour, and know [...]s he shal haue abundant happines when h [...] dyes, in Heauen) how hee may support his heart with sufficient contentment against all the mise­ries can assault him from the time of his conuersion, till his death. For this purpose I shall breake open a Mine of Treasure. For I intend from all parts of the book of God to select and set befo [...]e thee those rich Promises, which God hath there recorded, to be as wells of comfort vpon all occasi­ons.

Two things of necessitie must bee granted. The one is, That though wee haue gotten the assu­rance of Gods fauour, and free­dome [Page 283] from the power and guilt of our sins; yet many things will still aile vs, and oppose our conso­lation. We shal meet with temp­tations and afflictions of al sorts, reproches, aduersaries, trouble of spirit, and such like. The other is, that there can be no such discou­ragement, difficultie or affliction but in the Word of God we may haue a sure consolation or di­rection for it, able euery way a­bundantly to sustaine vs.

But before I enter vpon the vnfolding of this great Role of Promises, I must preface about fiue things, which tend to make vs more fit to receiue them.

First, it will be profitable for vs to cōsider briefly the worth of 1 The worth of the pro­mises Eph [...] 6 9 the promises; they are called, the vnsearchable riches of Christ, to assure vs that he is a very rich man that hath his hart stored with the promises of God well applyed. The Apostle Peter saith, that they are great, and precious promises, P [...] 4 [Page 284] which God hath giuen to vs. Promises in our hearts, are better then pearles or precious st [...]nes in our Chests. They are the inheri­tance God giues to his people in this life, & therefore they are cal­led the heires of promise; a greater Rom. 4. portion then any King on earth can giue to his Child. The very keeping of the Records of these promises, was a great prerogatiue to the Iewish nation: and it is ac­counted Rom. 9. a singular happinesse for the Gentiles, that they may now partake of those promises. Little do Eph. 3. 6. we know what wrong we do to our soules, when we keepe them ignorant of the promises: & it is one of the greatest offices vnder the Sun, to dispence these promi­ses to mā, [...] Tim. 1. 1. Tit. 1. 1, 2, 3

Secondly, Before I enter vpon 2. To whom the promi­s [...] belong. the explication of the promises, I must likewise tell you, to whom they belong, and who they are that haue interest in them. For al vnregenerate men, that liue in [Page 285] their sins without repentance, are strangers from the [...] of Eph. 2. 12. Gal. 4. promise. The children of the bond­wo [...]an haue no part in the Testa­ment of Grace; onely they that are Christs, haue the benefit of the promises in Christ. The children of God are the heires of promise. Gal. 3. 22. Heb. 6. 17. Men must haue godlines, that haue the promises [...]ither of this life, or that to come. In short, all those 1 Tim. 4. 8 that haue repented them of their sins, and beleeue in Iesus Christ, may come to these promises with large h [...]arts, as knowing that th [...]y reade and heare that which they haue cleare & full interest in.

Thirdly, Concerning the vse 3. The vse of the promi­ses. these promises may bee put vnto all our life long. They will driue [...]way griefe, discouragement, or feares that at any time may seize [...]pon vs. They will sweeten all [...]ur afflictions. They will excee­dingly nurse vp and confirme our faith: and further, they will haue [...] singular vse in preseruing vs [Page 286] against the enticements of the profits, pleasures, and lusts of the world, and against the cares of this life. Our affections are the feet of our soules, and with the promises we may be daily shod; so as neither thorny cares pricke vs, nor foule pleasures defil [...] vs, Eph. 6. The Gospel shews vs still a better proiect, when the Diuell or the world entice vs. And a true reason why many times we are not able to resist enticements, is, because our hearts are not filled with the promises, which else would shew vs so much sweet­nesse, as all other things would seeme but base in comparison of them. When we are tēpted with the pleasures of sinne, if we haue not a more delightfull proiect to offer to our hearts, it is easie for vs to bee seduced. And further, these promises soundly studied and layd vp in our hearts, will breed cheerfulnesse of spirit, and that contentation which makes [Page 287] godlinesse to bee so great gaine. And besides, they will daily ex­cite [...] Tim. 6. 7. 8. in vs all encouragements to well-doing; and they doe also set out maruellously the glory and splendour of Gods loue, power, presence, prouidence, and grace toward vs. What shall I say? The promises giue vs euen Heauen vpon earth, and set ou [...] the incomparable gaine of true godlinesse; yeaby them we ap­proach so neere vnto God, that as Peter saith, By them wee p [...]ke of [...] Pc [...]. [...]4 the Di [...]ne nature.

A fourth thing which I would preface about, is, concerning the infallibilitie of the promises: for that may much inflame in vs the des [...]e to store our heart [...] with 4 The infa [...] ­libilitie of the promi­ses proued by [...]waies their (ha [...]ing heard of their worth) if wee likewise bee fully assured concerning the certaine accomplishment of all the good which is cōtained in them I sup­pose [...] [...]n doubts, but that if it could be made good, that a poore [Page 288] Christian might haue al those ex­cellent things were contained in all the promises of the Bible, hee were in a matchlesse estate. Now there are many things which may put vs out of all doubt in that point; marke them heedfully, for they may doe thee singular good.

1 For, obserue that the promi­ses are in some Scriptures ca [...]d in [...] They are all but a [...] o [...]e pro­mise. the singular number, the promise: and why so? as for other reasons, so to assure thee, it is as sure and as easie for God to fulfill all that goodnesse contained in all those promises, as if they were but one onely promise.

2 Consider the na [...]ure of God: [...] From the na­ture of God. He cannot lye, it is impossible for him to deny his Word, hee may as easily deny himselfe. If God haue said it, it must needs come to passe. This argument is vsed in this point, Titus 1. 1, 2.

3 The antiq [...] of these pro­mises [...] From the anti­quity of them. adde much to our assurāce. The Apostle in T [...]r. [...]. [...]. faith, that [Page 289] these promises were made before the world was: and hitherto in all this time God neuer failed of one word of his goodnesse.

4. We haue the writing of God to shew for them; they are vpon 4 From Gods wri­ting. record in the Scripture: and shall we mistrust when we haue Gods owne hand to shew for it? His Word is true, and righteous altoge­ther, Psal. 16. 9.

5. Yea we haue the oath of God 5 Fromm Gods oath too, that by two things, in which it is impossible for God to chang [...], the heires of promise might haue abun­dant consolation, whensoeuer they make recourse vnto the promi­ses, Heb. 6. 17, 18.

6 Wee haue these promises 9 From the mes­sengers sent about them. preached vnto vs by Ambassa­dours sent of purpose, at the com­ [...]andement of God, who hath en­ioyned them to make it manifest, that God will bee as good as his word in all those, Tit. 1. 3. 7 From the mini­sterie of Christ him selfe.

7. Yea, Christ Iesus himselfe did employ his ministery, to as­sure [Page 286] and confirme the promises made before to the Fathers, as the Apostle shewes, Rem. 15. 8. 8 From the death of the Testator.

Yet more, wee haue the blood of Christ, and the death of the Testator to confirme this New Testament, and all the promises contained therin, Hebr. 9. 16. so as in Christ they are now all, Yea and Amen: there can bee no nay nor deniall of them: they well may bee now pleaded in any Court of the Iustice of God.

6 The Ano [...]uting that is vpon 9 From our An­o [...]uting. vs, may assure vs, and establish vs. Was there euer any king anoin­ted of God to bee a King, that made doubt of the kingdome? why the anointing of God is vpō our harts: the graces of the Spirit poured out vpon vs, are our assu­rāce that God wil not with hold from vs our regall pri [...]edges, if we seeke them, 2 Cor. 1. 20, 21.

10 It is some settling to vs, to 10 From the exte [...] of the pro­miser. consider the exte [...] of the right to those promises: For God hath [Page 291] excepted no sort of men, but in Christ they may get to haue their part in those promises, as the A­postle shewes, Galatians 3. 27, 28, 29.

11 The Law was the onely 11 From the time of giuing the pro­mise. thing that might hinder vs of the enioying of the promises. And the Apostle hath proued, that the Law cannot disanull the Promises, in which the Nations of the earth should be blessed, made foure hundred yeeres before the Law was giuen on Mount Sinai, Gal. 3. 17, 21.

12 We haue the Seale of God to this Writing: Now God hath The pro­mise sealed 4 wayes. sealed foure wayes.

First, in his Councell. The Book [...] In his Councell. of his eternall councell was writ­ten within and without, & it had seuen Seales, to signifie that it was perfectly ratified, and though none in Heauen and Earth could reade it, yet for our comforts wee know [...], that the Lyon of the Tribe of Iuda, the Lord Iesus [Page 292] Christ our Sauiour, hath opened it now, and made it manifest, Reu. 1, 2, &c.

2. In his Sonne: For him hath God the Father sealed, Iohn 6. 27. 2. In his Sonne. God made all sure, when he sent out Christ; He sealed his Com­mission in all things, that concer­ned the happinesse both of Iewes and Gentiles.

3. In his Spirit: And thus all 3. In his Spirit. the beleeuers are said to be sealed by the Spirit of Promise: And this is Gods Priuy Seale.

4. God hath sealed to all his promises in the Sacraments, 4. In the Sacraments which are giuen vs as Gods Broad Seales, and outward to­kens and pledges to confirme our faith.

13. We haue the experience al­so of al the Saints, who in all ages 13. For expe­rience. found God as good as his Word, and had euer reason to say as Dauid did, In the Lord will wee prayse his Word, Psalme 56. 10. The Patriarches embraced the [Page 293] Promises, as the chiefe stay of their liues in their pilgrimage on earth, Heb. 11. 24.

Thus of the fourth point.

5. A fifth thing I would preface about, is concerning certain rules 6. Rules to be obser­ued if wee will profit by the promises. to be obserued, if we would euer receiue the sound profit of these promises, and so we must looke to sixe directions.

1. When wee come to these promises, we must renounce our owne merits, and all opinion of our owne worthinesse, and ac­knowledge from our hearts, that all the grace we find in the pro­mises, is in and through Iesus Christ, All the promises are yea and Amen through him, and onely 2 Cor. 1. 20. Rom. 4. 14 in him.

2. When we haue the promises laid open before vs, wee must be­leeue Gal. 3. 22. Rom. 4. 16 them, and apply them to our selues, or else they will do vs no good.

3. We must be further carefull to hide them in our hearts, and to [Page 292] [...] [Page 293] [...] [Page 294] commit them to memorie, that wee may bee often thinking of them, and musing vpon them. It will not serue the turne that wee haue them written in the Bible, or in our Note-bookes, but wee must get them written in our hearts too: Wee must be at the Ps. 119. [...]1 paines to acquaint our selues di­stinctly with them, and to fill our heads with store of them.

4 When any thing ayleth vs, we must fly to them for-refuge, and cast the anchor of hope vpō them, Hebr 6. 18. that God himselfe may see, that our hearts are bent to trust vpon his Word.

5 We must neuer cast away our confidence in them, but waite with patience, and not limit God to the time, or manner, or meanes of ac­complishment, but hold fast to his promises, and leaue the rest to God, as in many places of Scrip­ture may appeare, especially, Hebr. 10. 36. Rom. 4. 21, 22.

6 In short, Wee must looke to [Page 295] it, that we be not slothfull and idle, and such as will not bee at the paines to study and commit to memorie, and rest vpon these glorious comforts; but wee must follow them which through faith Heb. 6. 12. and patience doe inherite the promi­ses.

Thus of the Preface.


The diuision of the Promises.

THe promises may be diuided 3. Sorts of promises. into three parts.

The first may containe such 1. Priui­ledges. places of Scripture, as shew the Priuiledges of the godly aboue other men; and that is one chiefe way by which the Lord doth refresh the hearts of his people, by assuring them in generall of such & such prerogatiues, which he will confirme vpon them, and [Page 296] vpon none but them.

The second may containe 2. Comforts in afflictiō. comforts; that is, places of Scrip­ture which doe foretell what goodnesse the Lord will shew to his people in affliction. For hither-vnto belong all those pro­mises which are giuen of purpose for the comforting and sup­porting of the godly in all their tryals.

The third part may containe such Promises, as are made to cer­taine 3. Rewards of certaine graces. particular graces in the god­ly, as promises, made to prayer, faith, trusting in God, or such like It is the second part of promises, which I intend here more at large to intreate of. I should shew what variety of comforts they are, with which a godly man may inflame his hart according to the seuerall distresses may fall vpon him, and these may bee thus sub­diuided.

All afflictions are either out­ward, or inward. For outward Sorts of afflictions. [Page 297] afflictions, it were too tedious, and to little purpose, to gather comforts against euery particular crosse, and therefore one head may suffice for the generall, viz. the promises or consolations against all outward afflictions. Now, be­cause godly people are often­times more troubled with the stormes and reproaches of the world, which are cast vpon them for well-doing, then with the or­dinary afflictions of life; there­fore I would in the second place gather the comforts against reproa­ches, and withall I would adde in the third place, consolations against aduersaries.

Now for inward afflictions; they are the afflictions of the spi­rit of man, and arise either from the temptations of Satan, or from the trouble of the consci­ence vnsatisfied in diuers scru­ples. I would therefore in the fourth place shew how we might bee comforted against the tempta­tions [Page 298] of Satan; and because the trouble of conscience ariseth vsu­ally either from the burthen of our daily infirmity, or from the feare of our falling away: I would in the fifth place shew how we may be comforted against our daily infirmities; and then in the last place I would vnfold those promises, that may assure vs of perseuerance.

Now suppose a Christian soule clearly informed with the know­ledge Note. of those priuiledges wher­in he excels all the people of the world; and withall that he knew how to comfort himselfe against any outward afflictions, and had store of consolations in his heart against the temptations of Satan, and did know how to support himselfe against the sense of his daily weaknesses, & withall were settled and out of feare for falling away; Would you not thinke such a one wonderfull happy? And this may bee here attained [Page 299] vnto, if wee be not slothfull: and what can in this life be grieuous vnto vs, if wee be soundly fenced in those things? There can bee nothing that can seeme a misery vnto vs, but wee may find com­forts vnder some one of these Titles.


Shewing the priuiledges of the godly aboue all other people.

THe first sort of promises, or comfortable places of Scrip­ture, are such as in generall shew the happinesse of the godly in all estates of life; these I call Priui­ledges. These are such comforts as are not restrained vnto some certaine time, but are such as hee is enriched withall at all times. These wee ought to know as the Foundation of all the rest, and [Page 300] wee should striue to haue them perfectly in our memories, so as any time we could number them if need were.

Euery godly Christian hath 12. Priuiledges of the god­ly. twelue priuiledges, wherein hee excels all the men of this world.

The first is, The loue and fauour 1. The loue of God. Eze. 36. [...]8 Ioh. 14. 21. of God: The especiall grace of God towards him; this is the foundation of all his happinesse: and if hee could order his owne heart aright, hee would easily see that hee could not bee miserable, so long as hee was in fauour with his God. If the fauour of great persons bee so much accounted of, what reckoning is to be made of Gods fauour, who is Lord of Lords? Yea King of all Kings? And the more should a Christian fill his heart with ioying in this prerogatiue, if he consider three 3. Properties in Gods loue. properties in the loue of God. For first, It is a free loue, he stands not vpon desert: He is gracious, 1. It is free. looking vpon his own goodnes, [Page 301] and not on ours, Hosea 14. 4. Secondly, It is an eternall loue, 2. It is eter­nall. and vnchangeable, God will neuer be wearie of louing him, Ier. 31. 3. His louing kindnesse is better then life; for it lasts vnto all eternitie, without alteration. The fauour of man in this world is mutable; Kings may extreme­ly loath, whom they yer-while loued with their entirest affecti­on; But in God there is no shad­dow of changing, he loues with an euerlasting loue. Thirdly, It is infinitely immense, and great, no 3. It is infi­nite. affection in any, or in all the creatures in this world, if they could be fastened vpon one man, can reach to the thousandth part of Gods loue to vs, Eph. 2. 4, 7. Esay 40. 15, 16. This light of Gods countenance shining vpon vs, makes vs at all times more rich then they that are increased most in Corne, and Wine, and Oyle, Psal. 4. 7, 8.

2. The second is, The donation [Page 302] of Christ; Christ is his, God hath The secōd priuiledge is, the gi­u [...]ng of Ch [...]t to them. giuen him Christ, Rom. 8. 32. so as all Christ is his portion: And how is Christ his? Euen in all dearenesse of relation. He is his Prince, his Priest, and Redeemer, his Father, his Lord, his Master, his Friend, his Brother, &c. All these titles are giuen to Christ, to signifie, hee is all that, which those things could shadow out. No Father, Brother, friend, could so loue their Child, Brother, or friend, as Christ loues the Chri­stian. No Lord, Master, Prince, can so preferre, prouide, or care for their Seruants, or Subiects, as Christ cares for the Christian. Looke what the fauour or power of any of those, or all those could doe, Christ is, and will be­come much more vnto the godly Christian. The third is deliue­rance, and th [...]t from diuers grie­uous things

3. The third Priuiledge is Deliuerance: And the Christians deliue [...]ance is exceeding great, if hee consider seriously how hee is [Page 303] deliuered from the kingdome of darkenesse, from this present euill world, from the hand writing of or­dinances that was against him, from the rigour and curse of the Law, and from condemnation.

The fourth is free pardon of all The fourth is forgiue­nes of sin. his sins past, his soule being wash­ed in the bloud of Christ from all his sinnes, so as now they are as white as snow, though they had beene red like scarlet, 1 Iohn 1. 7. Esay 1. 18. What rest and peace would this breed in our hearts, if we did daily thinke of it in our particulars, that we had obtained pardon and remission of all our sinnes?

The fifth priuiledge is, the in­habitation The [...] is, the inhabi­tation of the holy Ghost. of the holy Ghost. The soule and body of a Christian, is the Temple of the holy Ghost, and the Spirit of God doth verily and truly dwell within the brest of a Christian, and that not in a naked presence; but the holy Ghost is there, to teach him to [Page 304] guide him into all truth, to tell him when he is ready to go out of the way, on the right hand or on the left, and to comfort him in all di­stresses, and to seale the promises to his heart, and to anoint him with the oyle of true knowledge and grace, and to be as a pledge and earnest of his inheritance, looked for from h [...]auen, and to teach him to pray when, he knowes not how to pray for himselfe; and many other excellent benefits he reapeth from the Spirit of God, whom the world cannot receiue. He hath for this respect a very spring of knowledge, and ioy and grace in his belly.

The sixth priuiledge is, the I­mage The sixt is the resto­ring of Gods I­mage. of God restored in him, by the mighty power of Christs voyce in his first resurrection, be­ing made now a new creature to God, and so partaking of the di­uine nature, in respect of the qua­lities wherein he doth excellent­ly resemble God.

[Page 305] The seuenth priuiledge is the The 7 is, freedome in Gods house. freedome of Gods house, and to all the feasts, and diuine entertain­ment which God makes there, Psalme 36. 9. and 65. 4. Esay 25. 6. Luke 14. 17. Reuel. 2. The Word and Sacraments are his: hee is Gods bidden guest: hee may alwayes come and well­come: The fatnesse and pleasures of Gods house, oh how sweete are they! Who can tell the excel­lencie of the Manna that is hid?

The eight priuiledge is, en­trance The 8 is, the hea­ring of his prayer. and accesse, and audience with God in all his suites. He may aske almost what hee will of God, he will not deny him any thing hee askes in the name of Christ. And sure he is worthily miserable, that will not make himselfe happie, when he may haue what hee will aske of him, that is able to giue what hee can aske, Marke 11. 24. Ephes. 2. 10.

[Page 306] The ninth priuiledge is, The The nin [...] is the at­tendance of Angels. seruice and attendance of the An­gels. The Angels doe pitch their tents about those that feare God, Psal. 34. 7. and are ministring spi­rits to euery heire of saluation, Heb. 1. vlt. Oh the dignity and safety of that man, whom the glorious Angels do guard and at­tend vpon! The poorest Christi­an hath a better guard vpon him, then the greatest Monarch in the world, that is not a Christian.

The tenth priuiledge is, the Communion of Saints; he is my­stically The te [...]h is the c [...] munion of Saint▪ vnited in one body to all the worthies that are in heauen or earth, and doth effectually en­ioy the benefit of communion of Saints; too large to be here reck­oned vp. If it were no more but the profit he hath by the prayers of the godly all ouer the world, were it not a great fauour? Eph. 2. 19, & 3. 6. Phil. 1. 5. Col. 2. 19. besides all the comforts hee hath in the fellowship with the godly.

[Page 307] The eleuenth priuiledge is, the The [...]. is, the inheri­tance of the earth. inheritance of the earth, which is restored to him in Christ, so as he now possesseth that which he hath of the earth, by as good a title as euer Adam held Paradise; yea so, as whatsoeuer in the whole earth is good for him, shall not be withheld from him, Math. 5. 5. Psal. 84 11, 12. Out­ward prosperity he is sure of, so farre as it is good for him, Iob 8. 7. Psal. 37. 5.

The last priuiledge is, that In­heritance The [...]. is, the inheri­tance of heauen. immortall, incorruptible, and that fadeth not, reserued for him in heauen; which for excel­lency passeth all that which euer the eye of m saw, or the eare of man heard, or the heart of man can conceiue, 1 Pet. 1. 3, 4.

Now then, to summe vp all this, let a Christian tell his owne soule plainly, and vpon cleare proofe, by the signes of a childe of God, that he is in fauour with God, and that Christ is his, and [Page 308] that he hath obtained strange de­liuerance, and that all his sinnes are forgiuen, and that the holy Ghost dwels in him, and that the image of God is restored in him, and that he is free to Gods house, and that he may beg any thing of God, and that he hath Angels to waite vpon him, and that he is neere of kinne to all the Saints in the world, and that he is Lord of the earth, and that hee shall cer­tainly goe to heauen when he di­eth. Let this, I say, be told to his soule, can he be dismaid? will not the Peace of God which passeth all vnderstanding, keepe his heart and minde, and that constantly for e­uer?


Shewing how the godly may sup­port their hearts against all outward afflictions.

HItherto of the Priuiledges. Now it followeth, that I should open those consolations, that may support the hearts of men against all the distresses of this life. And first I would shew, how the Lord is pleased to com­fort his seruants in seuerall Scrip­tures, against all the outward af­flictions may befall his seruants in this world.

By outward afflictions, I meane What is meant by outward afflictions. The godly man may comfort himselfe against af­flictions, by the consi­deration such as these; wants, losses, wrongs, troubles, exile, impri­sonment, sicknesse, feares, pouer­ty, or any other thing, where­with the life of man is molested in any condition.

Now there are many excellent wayes of abundant comforts a­gainst [Page 310] these, or any of these, as

First, if wee consider by the 1. Of t [...]e common­nesse of the [...]. commonnesse of them, All thing [...] fall alike in these things, Eccles. 9. 2, 3. Euery man that is borne of a woman, hath but few dayes, and is full of trouble, Iob 14. 1. Christ had no Disciple, but he is told afore hand, Hee must take vp his crosse, and that daily, Luke 9. 23. There can be no affliction, but what accompanieth, or may accompany the nature of man, 1 Cor. 10. 13. The same afflicti­ons are accomplished vpon our brethren which are through the world, 1 Pet. 5. 9. And we haue the Prophets and greatest wor­thies of the Lord for an example of suffering, Iam. 5. 10. And [...] the godly must through many tri­bulations enter into the kingdome of God, Acts 14. 22.

Secondly, if wee consider that God takes notice of vs, and Of Gods knowledge of [...] and desires of all our trials: The Lord knowes the way of the righteous, Psal. 1. 6 [Page 311] None of our [...] are hid from him: All our desires are before him, and our groaning is not hid from him, Psal. 8. 9. & he knowes our soule is in aduersity, Psal. 31. 7. And as he takes notice of all our troubles, so he takes notice of all that is good in vs: Hee knowes them that are patient, and trust in him. Na [...]um 7. Of Gods compassi­on.

Thirdly, if wee consider the wonderfull compassion of God in the afflictions of his people: he doth not willingly afflict, but re­gards vs with pitie, & with loue thinkes of redeeming vs, and sends the Angell of his presence to comfort and saue vs, and in all our afflictions is afflicted with vs, Esay 63. 8, 9.

Fourthly, i [...] wee consider Of Gods high esti­mation of vs. the high estimation that God holds of his seruants, notwith­standing their afflictions. Crosses may make men loue vs the lesse, but they doe not a i [...] discom­mend vs before God. Hee can [Page 312] take notice of his seruants in their distresses, as well as if they did shine in the greatest out­ward splendor in the world. This is the consolation, that GOD speakes to vs (euen when he cor­rects) as to his children; and for that reason wee should not refuse his chastening, Heb. 12. 6. Prou. 3. 11. We may bee honourable in Gods sight, though wee be in a most forlorne and despised con­dition in the world: we may, I say, bee precious in Gods sight, greatly beloued, Esay 43. 4, 5, 6. The Apostle Peter shewes, that a poore seruant, when he suffers hard words and ill vsage from his master, doth herein finde ac­ceptation with God, 1 Peter 2. 19, 20. Now this is an instance beyond exception. For, what condition more vile then of a seruant? and what crosses were likely to be disregarded of God sooner, then these domesticall in­dignities? & yet we see a proofe [Page 313] of the regard and loue of God e­uen in those things.

5. Fifthly, if we consider the Of the vi­ctorie of Christ. victory of Christ ouer the world. Our Sauiour vseth this as a con­solation; he tels his Disciples, In the world they shall haue trouble, but hee would haue them bee of good comfort, hee hath ouercome the world, so as now they shall neuer bee hurt by their troubles. Their crosses may bee too hard for thē to master, but Christ can order them so, as in him they shal haue victorie ouer them. But of this, more afterwards, Ioh. 16. 33

Sixthly, if wee consider the Of the ho­ly Ghost comfor­ting vs. presence of the holy Ghost, hee is giuen of Christ and the Father to bee our Comforter; and as our afflictions abound, so shall our con­solations also, Ioh. 14. 16. 2 Cor. 1. 4. Now, how shall a man be dismayed, that hath Gods Spirit within him, to hearten him, and assist him, and refresh him, and make glad his heart?

[Page 314] 7. Seuenthly, if wee consider Of the is­sue o [...]t of trouble. the issue out of all troubles: Ma­ny may be the troubles of the righ­teous, but God will deliuer them out of them all, Psalme 34. 19. If God make vs sore, he will make whole: if he wound hee will binde vs vp againe. In sixe troubl [...]s he shall deliuer them, and in seuen there shall no euill touch them, I [...]b 5. 18, 19. God will giue his people rest from the daies of aduersity, till the pit be digged for the wicked, Ps. 94. 13. Light is sowne for the righ­teous, and gladnes for the vpright in heart, Psa. 67. 11. It is wel said, It is sowne; for though God doe not presently giue vs ease and comfort, yet the haruest will come, if with patience wee rest vpon God, and be truely sincere, and keepe his way: God will set­tle his people, as in the former daies, and it may bee, doe better vnto them, then at the beginning, E­zech. 36. 11. For Gods thoughts to­wards his people, are thoughts of [Page 315] peace, and not of euill, to giue an ex­pected end, Ier. 29. 11. so as Gods seruants shall sing for ioy of heart, when wicked men howle for vexa­tion of spirit, Esay 65. 14.

8. Eightly, if we consider the Of the measure of out affli­ctions. wond [...]rfull care of God about the measure of our crosses: For God will not lay vpon man more then right, that he should enter in­to iudgement with God, Iob 34. 23. Therefore Iacob should not feare, because God will not make a full and finall end of him, as he will of the Nations, but will correct him in measure, not leauing him wholly vnpunished, Ieremie 46. 28. God doth waite to be gra­cious to his people, hee is a God of iudgement, and doth not consider what sinne they haue committed to deserue affliction, but what strength they haue to beare it: After hee hath giuen them the bread of affliction, and the water of aduersity, he will not restraine his mercies from them, Esa. 30. 18, 20. [Page 316] There is great difference betwixt Gods dealing with wicked men that are enemies to the Church, and his dealing with the godly. From hence the Prophet asketh, Hath hee smitten them as hee smot them that smot him? And resol­ueth, that God smites in measure, and but in the branches, hee will not cut them vp by the rootes, Esay 27. 7, 8.

9. Ninthly, If we consider the Of th [...] short con­tinuance of them. short time of these afflictions▪ Heauinesse may bee in the euening, but ioy will come in the morning▪ For Gods anger endureth but a moment, but in his fauour is life, Psal. 30. 5. The rod of the wicked shall not rest on the lot of the righ­teous, Psa. 125. 3. For the Lord will not cast off for euer, but though he cause griefe, yet will he haue com­passion, according to the multitude of his tender mercies, Lam. 3. 31, 32. For a small moment God may forsake, but with great mercy will he gather vs. In a little wrath hide [Page 317] I my face, but with euerlasting kindnesse will I haue mercy on thee, saith the Lord thy Redeemer, Esay 54. 7, 8. Hence Christ saith, A l [...]le while, and ye shall not see mee. And againe, A little while, and yee shall see me, Ioh. 16. 16. The godly may be in heauinesse, if need re­quire, but it is but for a short sea­son, 1 Peter [...]. 6. And Paul saith, The afflictions of this life are but light, and for a moment, 2 Cor. 4. 17.

10. Lastly, If we consider the Of the good [...]ffects of them. good we get by these afflictions: For God will make all worke to­gether for the best, vnto them that loue him, Rom. 8. 28. The godly may be troubled on euery side, and yet not be distressed: They may bee perplexed, and yet haue no cause to despaire, &c. 2 Cor. 4. 8. The god­ly in affliction may bee like the burning bush which Moses saw, which was not consumed: And there are many particulars of the good they get by their crosses. [Page 318] For affliction is as the fire, onely to refine them, and trie them, and make them more bright, Zach. 13. vlt. they lose nothing, but their drosse, and this is all fruite, euen the taking away of their sinnes, Esay 27. 9. Besides, they meete with many consolations in affli­ction, which otherwise they had not experience of 2 Cor. 1. 7. and therefore we should count it all ioy to fall into many temptations, as knowing that the tryall of our faith worketh patience; and if pa­tience haue her perfect worke, wee shall bee entire, wanting nothing, Iam. 1. 3, 4. Lastly, the tryall of our faith, which is more precious then gold that perisheth, will bee found vnto praise, and honour, and glory, in the reuelation of Iesus Christ, 1 Pet. 1. 7. and our light and short afflictions will worke vnto vs an eternall weight of glory, 2 Cor. 4. 17. and if wee endure temptation, we shall receiue the crowne of life, Iames 1. 12. Lo thus wee haue [Page 319] searched it, and thus it is, heare it, What thou must do in thy affli­ction. and know thou it for thy good, Iob 5. vlt. Learne thou therefore in nothing to bee carefull, but in all things to make thy request knowne vnto God with giuing of thankes, Phil. 46. And if any man lacke wise­dome, to know what to doe in af­fliction, let him aske it of God, who giueth liberally, and reproacheth no man, Iam. 1. 5.


How the godly may comfort them­selues against reproaches.

HItherto of the comforts a­gainst all outward afflicti­ons in general. Now it followeth, that I instance in reproaches, and aduersaries.

For reproaches; it is euident, Men need comfort a­gainst re­proaches. there is neede of consolations, more specially against them, be­cause naturall men stumble at it, when they see Religion cen­sured [Page 320] and scorned, and it hardens many men, when their hearts are infected with this preiudice, that they heare this way euery were ill spoken of. Sometimes men are dis­maied at the disgrace of sincerity in the generall. Sometimes they are troubled for what they them­selues doe suffer, or may bee in danger to suffer. Sometimes the weak are scandalized, when they heare or see what others suffer. And it is manifest, that the best men haue beene put to a great plunge when they haue beene la­den with reproaches. This makes Ieremy so vnquiet, Ier. 18. 18, [...]1. Now there are many wayes, by Thoumaist comfort thy selfe in th [...] consi­deration, which a Christian may establish his owne heart against all the scornes and reproaches of the men of this world.

First, If they consider that God 1. Of the notice God takes of them. takes notice of all the wrongs of that kind done vnto them. Thus Dauid, O Lord, thou hast knowne my reproch, and my shame, and my [Page 321] dishonour, mine aduersaries are all before thee, Ps. 69. 19. It easeth his heart, but to talke with God, and tell him that he knowes his dis­honour.

Secondly, It is an increase of [...]. Of Gods great ac­count of vs the comfort, if wee further consi­der that God fauours vs, and ac­counts vs deare and honourablt, whatsoeuer the wicked thinke of vs: And in this argument the Lord himselfe pleades withall, Esay 43. 4, 5. If Gods Face shine vpon his Seruants, what cares Dauid for all the reproches of all sorts of men, euen of his neigh­bours and familiar acquaintance? It is enough to him, that his best and next neighbour and friend respects him, Psal. 31. 11, 12, 16.

Thirdly, Thou maiest comfort [...] Of thy good re­port a­mong the godly. thy selfe by opposing the good report thou hast amongst the godly, against the reproaches with which wicked men pursue thee. As thou goest through ill [Page 322] report, so doest thou through good report: thou hast honour as well as dishonour, and it is a great recompence to obtaine good re­port amongst the godly, 2. Cor. 6. 8. Heb. 11. 2.

Fourthly, were it so that thou 4 Of thy Praise thou shalt haue in the day of Christ. hadst no honour in thy name on earth, and that well-doing were in no respect at all: yet this should comfort thee aboundant­ly, that thy faith, and sinceritie, and innocency, will be found vn­to praise, and honour, and glory in the reuelation of Iesus Christ. Thou shalt haue vnspeakeable praise at that day, 1. Pet. 1. 7.

Fiftly, the same persons that 5 Of praise from them that now re­proach thee. now reproach thee, may bee so turned about by the power and grace of God, that in the day of their visitation they will admire thee, and glorifie God for thee, 1. Pet. 2. 12.

Sixtly, we should bee the lesse 6 Of the small things-thou suf­ [...]rest. troubled with our reproaches, because this is not to resist vnto [Page 323] blood. God deales fauourably with vs. If wee had liued in the dayes of our fathers, when to professe the Gospell of Christ, had beene occasion of terrible death; then we might haue had some pretence of grieuance: but now in these dayes, when the hurt is done only with the tongue of infamous men, it is a great weakenesse to bee disquieted, Heb. 12. 3, 4.

Seuenthly, let vs looke vpon the Of the example of Christ. author and finisher of our faith, [...]en He was exposed to these in­dignities, and yet for the glory set before him, despised the shame, and endured the dr [...]sse, and is now crowned in heauen, Heb. 12. 2 What should the seruant com­plaine of, when the Lord and Master is called Beelzebub? 8 Of the cause of thy re­proaches.

Eightly, Dauid easeth him­selfe, by considering the cause of his suffering. For thy sake (saith he to God) haue I borne reproach: shame hath couered my face: The [Page 324] zeale of thy house hath eaten mee vp, and the reproches of them that reproached thee, haue fallen vpon me: When I wept and chastened my soule with sasting, that was to my reproach, Psa. 69. 7, 9, 10.

Ninthly, Why should we be [...] Of the condition of all the godly. [...]oubled at that which is the Lot of all the Saints? We haue heard of Dauid before, how hee was standered by many, and on euery side, Psal. 31. 12, 13. Ieremy com­plaines, That they consulted how to deuise deuises against him, and how they might smite him with the tongue, I [...]r. 18. 18. False witnesses were suborned against Stephen, and in that case of Religion, Acts 6. 11, 13, 14, Many and grieuous complaints were laid against Paul, Acts 25. 7. Yea, it was the condi­tion of all the Apostles and the principall men of the Christian world, to be made a A spectacle to men and Angels, and to bee ac­counted forlorne, and as the off­scouring of all t [...]ings, 1. Cor. 4. 9, [Page 325] 10, 13. And our Sauiour Christ supposeth it the case of any bles­sed man, that men may say all manner of euill sayings of them, Matth. 5. 12, &c.

Tenthly, The Spirit of God 10 Of the presence [...]nd assi­stance of the Holy Ghost. and of glory doth rest vpon you, 1 Peter 4. 14. Ye haue the Spirit of God in you, what neede you care what the world accounts of you? You haue aboundant trea­sure in your hearts, and you haue an heroicall or diuine Spirit in you, And therefore why are yee troubled about such mean things? And your patience & their rage, is a signe you are in a happy con­dition, and haue Gods Spirit; and the Spirit of God which is in you is a Spirit of Glory, and leades you to a better life. And there­fore seeing you are but trauellers here, why turne you againe at the barking of euery dog? Yea, these reproaches signifie, that wicked men doe s [...]e some glory of God shining in you, which [Page 326] they striue by all meanes to vili­fie and despise, being vext in their hearts at it.

11. God will certainely take an order with all that reproach 11 Of the condition of those men that doe re­proach thee. his people. For first, he will rec­ken all their reproaches, as cast out against himselfe; and there­fore will indite them of blasphe­mie, Psal. 74. Colos. 3. 8. 1. Peter 4. 14. 1. Cor. 4. 13. 1.

Secondly, in his due time he 2. will put to silence those lying lips which speake grieuous things proudly & contemptuously against the righteous, Psal. 31. 18.

Thirdly, all that were incen­sed against the godly, shall be re­warded 3 with shame, which God will powre vpon them for the contempt with which they haue dishonored his seruants, Esay 41. 11, 14. And to conclude, God will certainely bring them to iudgement for these things; they must make their accounts before the Iudge of the quicke and dead [Page 327] that speake euill of other men, be­cause they will not run with them into the same excesse of riot, 1 Pet. 44, 5.

12. Lastly, God will prouide for his owne innocent Seruants. 12 Of the course God will take for thy clear­ing and comfort. His thoughts are not to let his people be ashamed, Mic. 4. 11, 12 And besides, he will bring forth their righteousnesse as the the light, they shall be cleared, Psal. 37. 6. Iob 5. 15. and they shall receiue double for all their shame, Esay 61 7. and their reward shall be great in Heauen, Mat. 5. 12. For which reason, Moses accounted the re­proaches of Gods people to be grea­ter riches then the treasures of Aegypt, Hebr. 11. 26. And in the meane time there is an hiding place with God from the strife of tongues, Ps. 31. 20.


Wherein many principall Obiections of the godly are answered.

NOw for the better establish­ment of mens hearts in the former comforts, it will not bee amisse to take off the obiections with which many times godly men doe aggrauate their distresse aboue the respect of the former consolations.

1 Ob. If they were ordinarie Ob. reproaches, it would not so much trouble mee, but they are vile things which are obiected against me.

Sol. They cannot bee viler Sol. things then haue beene obiected against Christ and the godly. For there haue beene obiected

  • Grieuous things, Acts 25. 7.
  • Gluttony, Math. 11. 18, 19.
  • Madnesse, Iohn 10. 20.
  • Blasphemie,
    • Math. 26. 65.
    • Act. 6. 11, 13, 14
  • [Page 329] Deceiuing, Iohn 7. 12.
  • Rebellion, Acts 17. 6, 7.
  • Rayling, Acts 23. 4.
  • Schisme, Acts 28. 22.
  • Wickednesse of life, 1 Pet. 2. 12.

2 Ob. But base persons doe Ob. 2. reuile me, the verie scum of the people doe scorne me.

Sol. This is no strange thing. Sol. The abiects gathered themselues together against Dauid, they did teare and ceassed not, Psal. 35. 15. The drunkards sang of him, Psalm 69. 12. Those that der [...]ded Iob, were such, whose fathers he would haue disdained to set with the dogs of of his Flocke, Iob 30. 1.

3 Ob. But I haue liued long Ob. 3. vnder such disgraces.

Sol. Rest thy selfe, and fret not Sol. at the man that prospereth in his way, the Lord will find a time to bring forth thy innocencie, as the light, Psal. 37. 7 Zeph. 3. 18, 19. God will finde a time to get thee praise in euery place where [Page 330] thou hast beene put to shame.

4 Ob. But I am almost buried Ob. 4. with the almost infinitenesse of scorne and reproaches.

Sol. That was no more then was in Dauids case; Hee was so Sol. buried in disgrace, that he was as a dead man, forgotten, and out of mind, Ps. 32. 12, 13. He was a re­proach of men. Psal. 22. 12. A by­word, Ps. 44. 14, &c. A prouerbe, Ps, 69. 11. A wonder to many, Ps. 71. 7. And the Apostles were a gazing stock to men and Angels, 1 Cor. 4. 9. 2. Cor. 6. 8.

5 Ob. But great men set against me. Ob. 5.

Sol. That was Dauids case; Feare was on euery side, he heard Sol. the raylings of great men, which consulted together against him, Ps. 31. 13.

6 Ob. But I am sentenced and accused as an euill doer most vn­iustly, Ob. and that publikely.

Sol. So was our Sauiour Christ, Sol. and that by a whole Councill of [Page 331] men, Math. 27. 1 Iohn 11. 47, 48. And so was Stephen, Acts 6. 12. And so were the Apostles, Act. 4. 6, 15. and 5. 27. And so was Paul, Acts 23. 1. The most righteous may suffer as euill doers, 2 Tim. 2. 9. The wicked so compasse about the righteous, that many times wrong iudgement proceeded; but this is his comfort, The Lord will not leaue him in the hand of the wick­ed, nor condemne him when he is iudged, Psal. 37. 32, 33. If God condeme vs not, it matters not for the sentences of vniust men. And the rather, because God hath further promised the godly man, that he will stand at his right hand, to saue him from the iudges of his soule, Psa. 109. 31.

7. Ob. But I am by slander cast Ob. 7. out of the Church, with great pretence of the glory of God.

Sol. The Lord in the Prophet Sol. Esay's time had obserued such a thing as this. For the Prophet tels the godly, that their brethren had [Page 332] hast cast them out, and said, Let the Lord be glorified. But he as­sures them from the Lord, that God would appeare to their ioy, and their brethren that cast them out, should be ashamed, Esay 66. 5.

8. Ob. But they which haue thus grieuously wronged mee, Ob. 8. liue in all prosperitie, no iudge­ment lighteth vpon them, God doth not plead my cause against them.

Sol. Thou knowest not how Sol. God dealeth with them, God can iudge them secretly, and consume them insensibly, so as the world shall take no notice of it, as the moth eateth vp the garment, with­out making any great rent, Esay 51. 8. And for this reason, they are exhorted in that place, not to feare the reproach. Secondly, What knowest thou what God will yet doe with them? For God hath pleaded the cause of his ser­uants many times by bringing strange iudgements vpon the [Page 333] wicked. This Pashur shall be made Magor-missabib, that is, a terrour round about, and all that heare it shall tremble, Ier. 20. 3. God can cloathe thy aduersaries with shame, and couer them with their owne confusion, as with a mantle, Psa. 109. 29.

9. Ob. But I am censured by Ob. 9. good men with much bitternesse, as if I were guiltie, and there is none to comfort or pittie mee.

Sol. So was Iob deepely censu­red Sol. by his godly friends: And so was Paul of his owne hearers, 1 Cor. 4. 4, 10. Thus Dauid was forsaken in his wrongs, so as none would comfort him, Psalme 69. 20.

10. Ob. But yet one thing much troubles me, that is, that Ob. 10. since these slanders, the hand of God hath been vpon me in diuers particular iudgements, and this makes people to thinke, sure I am guiltie:

[Page 334] Sol. So they thought of Paul when the Viper fell on his hand, Sol. being a man that was before ac­cused, and now sent as it were a prisoner, Acts 28. So they iudged of Dauid when he was sicke, that some euill disease did cleaue to him, Psa. 41. 8. Yea, this was our Lord Iesus Christs case, For they iudged him as plagued and smitten of God, Esay 53. 4.

11. Ob. But the things obiected Ob. 11. against me, are so foule, that when I here those things spoken of publikely or priuatly, I blush, and that may cause mee to bee thought to be guilty.

Sol. This was Dauids case be­ing innocent: he saith, Shame co­uered Sol. his face when he bore reproch, Psal. 69. 7. And his confusion was continually before him; and the shame of his face couered him, for the voice of him that reproacheth and blasphemeth, by reason of the e­nemie, Psa. 44. 15.


Directions in the case of Reproaches.

I Conclude this point cōcerning reproaches, with certaine di­rections. Foure wayes to auoid re­proaches. There be diuers things to be done of vs, if wee would be rightly ordered in the case of re­proaches.

1. We should shun the compa­ny of such as are giuen to slander: as it is said of Paul, when diuers were hardened, and spake euil of the way, he departed from them, and separated the Disciples, Acts 19. 9.

2. The daily refuge against the scornes of reproaches, must be to get to God, & hide thy selfe with him by prayer. When Dauid is thus encountred, if you aske what he did; he saith, when they railed, but I betooke my selfe to pray­er, Psa. 109. 4. and Psal. 31. 13.

[Page 336] 3. Looke to thy tongue, be silent, see thou render not reuiling for reuiling, but rather trust in God, and blesse them that curse thee, Psalme 37. 7. 1 Peter 3. 9. Psalme 31. 14. 1 Cor. 4. 12. Ier. 18. 20.

4. Liue inoffensiuely, and bee sure thou keepe Gods way: For if any thing will medicine their tongues, that must be it, 2 Cor. 6. 3, 8. 1 Peter 2. 12. and 4. 14, 15. Psalme 37. 34. For it may bee at length, the same mouth that cur­sed thee, will blesse thee, and glo­rifie God for thee.


Shewing how the godly may com­fort themselues against their aduersaries.

HItherto of the consolations against reproaches. Now it followeth, that I should shew [Page 337] how a Christian may comfort He may comfort himselfe from the considera­tion himselfe against his aduersaries, that oppose him in his course of godlinesse; and so there are many arguments of consolation.

The first may be taken from 1. Of the common condition of all the godly. his condition therin, as it is com­mon to all the godly. For this may stay a mans heart, to know for certaine, that euery man that will liue godly, shall bee opposed, and must suffer persecution, 2 Tim. [...]. 12.

The second may bee taken 2. Of Gods appoint­ment. from the appointment of God herein: And this stands of two Branches. First, That God from all eternity hath decreed euery mans sufferings this way. Thus Paul leffeneth the thought of the crosse, by pleading that God had appointed them thereunto, meaning by his eternall Decree, 1 Thes. 3. 3. Secondly, That God hath likewise appointed the end, and measure, and deliuerance out of the affliction. Thus the Church [Page 336] [...] [Page 337] [...] [Page 338] is comforted, Reuel. 2. 10. If it were grieuous to them to know that the Diuell should raise vp wicked men that should call them into prison, yet this may re­fresh them, that God hath set the time when they shall come forth againe. It shall bee but for ten dayes. It shall neither be so long as the Diuell and wicked men would haue it, for then they must neuer come out; nor so little a while as they themselues would haue it; for then they would ne­uer come in, or stay but a while: but God will rule, by determin­ing the time for their good.

The third may be taken from the refuge we may haue in God: 3. Of our re­fuge in God. Wee may alwaies make our re­course to God in all our wrongs, who hath promised to be our re­fuge, euen our refuge in due time, Psal. 9. 9. If God will receiue vs, and heare our moanes, and vnder­take our protection, it should bee no great thing for vs to en­dure [Page 339] the opposit [...]ons of [...].

The so [...]th may be taken from the pre [...]ion [...] we [...] 4 Of the prediction of Christ. bee [...] told before plainely what we should expect. [...] may haue. p [...]c: in [...]; bu [...] [...] fore­te [...] is, [...] he world [...]ee shall [...] troubles [...]oh. [...]. 3, [...]. you, that wee must pr [...]ide to take vp our [...]se daily Luke. 9 23,

The s [...]h may bee taken from the de [...] [...]ce God. hath pro­mise 5 Of the d [...]liue­rance pro­mised. [...]vs; so [...]lius hee assures vs, The hand [...]. the Lord shall bee knowe towa [...]ds his ser [...]s, and his indig [...]on towards the [...] and his enemies, Es [...]y. 6 6. [...]. for that God will [...] the strength of the [...]eous in then [...]ble, will be their saluation out of their trou­ble [...] he will helpe them and de­liuer them, hee will del [...]er them fr [...] the wic [...]ed, and [...] them [...] they trust in [...]ny Psal. [...]. [...]9, 40. This glory of the Lord shall [...]oe known and feared from the East to [Page 340] the West, that if the enemie com [...] like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall chase him away, Esay 59. [...]. Therefore feare not thou, O worm [...] Iacob, for thus saith the Lord, I am thy God, I will sustaine thee with the right hand of [...]y Iusti [...]: Be­hold, all they that pr [...]uoke the [...], sha [...] be ashamed, they shal be as nothinge the men of thy strife shall perish, E­say 41. 10, 11. For the Lord knoweth how to deliuer the godly out of temptation, & to reserue the vniust to the day of iudgement to be punished, 2. Pet. 2. 9. God will deli­uer the poore when he cryeth, the needy also, and him that hath no helper, Psal. 72. 21.

The sixt may bee taken from 6 Of Gods iudgement vpon our aduersarie [...] the certaine iudgement of God that shall fall vpon their aduersa­ries: The men of thy strife shall pe­rish, and they that warre against thee, shall be [...] a thing of no [...]: They shall seeke them and not finde them, Esay 41. 11, 12. All these curses will the Lord lay vpon their [Page 341] enemies, and vpon them that hate them and persecute them, Deut. 30. 7. All those euill neighbours that touch the inheritance of Is­rael, God will plucke them out of their land, and plucke his people from among them, Ier. 12. 14. The wicked draw their swords, & bend their bowes against the godly; but their sword shall enter into their owne heart, and their bow shall bee broken; for the armes of the wic­ked shall be broken, and the Lord wil vphold the iust, Psal. 37. 14, 15, 17. And besides, for their full payment, they are reserued vnto the day of iudgement to be puni­shed.

The seuenth may bee taken from the consideration of the 7 Of the effects and conse­quents. effects and consequents of this opposition: For first, hereby wee giue our testimony to Christ and the Gospell, when wee partake of the afflictions of the Gospel, 2. Tim. 1. 18. Secondly, these oppositions do as much good for the present, [Page 342] when Gods seruants fall into these troubles, the fruite will be, it will try them, and purge them, & make them white, till their time be come, for there is a time appoin­ted, Dan. 11. 35, 36. Thirdly, God may turne the hearts of the wic­ked, and make them of Lyons and Tygers, to become Lambes, & no more to doe hurt in the mountaine of the L [...]rd, Esay 11. The W [...]lfe and the Lambe may come to seede together, and the Lyon eate straw like the Bullocke, Esay 65. 25.

Lastly, wee shall gaine excee­dingly [...] Of our own gaine by them. by these sufferings; for we are assured, that if we suffer with Christ, we shall reigne with him in another world, 2 Tim. 2. 11, 12. We should therefore reioyce that we partake in the sufferings of Christ, because we are assured, that when Christ appe [...]res in his glory, we shall then be glad and re­ioyce, 1 Pet. 4. 13.


Of the wayes how Satan tempts vs, and the occasion of temp­tation.

HItherto of outward afflicti­ons, and the comforts a­gainst them. The inward afflicti­ons follow; and here in the first place come temptations to bee considered of, euen those con­flicts which men haue in their soules euen with euill angels.

Three things must be granted 2. Things taken for granted. concerning temptations.

First, that the doctrine of temp­tations is obscure, because the disease lies inward in the soule, and is such as the vnregenerate world h [...]th little care of, or iudgement in.

Secondly, that when God leaues his children to be tried by this affliction, and softens their hearts to feele this combate with [Page 344] diuels, it doth wonderfully amaze and disquiet them, and therefore this is a point needfull to bee handled.

Thirdly, that there is sure re­medie in the Word of God, euen for this affliction also.

Now, because this doctrine of temptation is somewhat obscure, I would, before I intreate of com­forts against them, consider of three things.

  • 1. How many wayes Satan tempts men.
  • 2. To what things he tempts.
  • 3. What are vsually the occa­sions he takes of tempting.

For the first, Satan tempts Satan tempts vs fiue waies. diuers wayes.

1. One is, when hee tempts God against vs, labouring to bring God out of liking with vs. Thus he insinuated the dispraises of Iob to God, Iob Chap. 1. & 2. And thus Satan stood at the right hand of Ioshua the high Priest, to resist him before the Angell of the [Page 345] Couenant, Z [...]hary 3. 1.

2. Another way is, when he appeares in some shape, and by voyce, or otherwayes terrifies men.

3. When he brings distresses vpon mens bodies, o [...] other hea­uy calamities: and thus also he tempted Iob by Gods permissi­on.

4. When he stirres vp other men to tempt vs: thus hee stirred vp Peter to tempt Christ, and disswaded him from [...] his suffe­ring, Mat. 16. And thus he temp­ted the woman by meanes of the Serpent. And thus also hee im­ployeth wicked men, daily to tempt by euill counsell and en­ticements.

5. The last and most vsuall way is, by iniecting, exciting, or suggesting euill internally with­in our spirit. This is that kind of temptation I heere especially meane.

For the second, that wee may [Page 346] finde out the nature of temp [...]a­tions, and the things wh [...]reabout Satan workes, wee may re­ferreall the temptations to three [...]. Sorts of temptati­ons by sug­gestion. 1 T [...]mpta­tions to blasphemy sorts.

The first sort of temptations, are temptation [...] to b [...]sphemie▪ and thus he [...] when he suggests monstrous things against God, or the Word of God, or the prouidence of GOD, or the like.

The second sort are, temptati­ons [...]. Tempta­tions to particular sinnes. to particular sinnes, as when hee tempts to the denyall of Christ, as he did Peter, and so hee tempts to lusts of all sorts. And so the Diuell is the father of lust, Iohn 8. 44. and euill angels are spirituall wickednesses, Eph. 6. 2 [...]. And thus also he tempts to rage or reuenge; and therefore the Apostle implies in his speech a­bout anger, that to giue place to wrath, is to giue place to the diu [...]ll, who vsually excites those [...]o­lent passions, Ephes. 4. [...]7. And [Page 347] thus also hee tempts to couetous­nesse, in respect of which sinne, the deuill is said to enter into Iu­das: And thus also he tempts to lying, as in the case of Ananias and Saphira, Acts 5. And so hee tempts men to murther, either of themselues of others. Temp­tations to despaire.

The third kinde of temptati­on is, temptation of despaire, which is, when hee perswades with men to despaire of all mer­cie in God. Thus hee made Iudas despaire: and in some degree of despaire for the time was Dauid himselfe entred, Psalme 77.

Thus of the sorts of temptati­ons.

3. Now it is wonderfull ne­cessarie in the third place to 9 Occasi­ons of temptati­ons. take notice of the occasions of temptations. Satan vsually tempts not, but vpon some ad­uantage giuen him, and so there are many things, which as it were, tempt the diuell to tempt men, as

[Page 348] First, solitarinesse: the Diuell Solitarines. watched to finde the woman a­lone from her husband, and then set vpon her. Such persons as loue solitarinesse, loue not their owne soules; for they giue great aduantage to Satan to assault them and circumuent them, and therefore wee should take heede of it.

The second occasion is securi­tie: Security. when the diuell spies that men be carelesse, and keepe no watch ouer their owne hearts, & are wretchlesse in their courses, and goe from day to day, and feare not euill, then he lyes in waite to assault, by iniecting some vile or base temptation to sinne.

The third occasion is Pride: Pride. when Paul is somewhat lifted vp with the consideration of his re­uelations, then doth Satan take his aduantage, and set vpon him with his messenger, euen some vile temptation. When we take liberty to make our selues great [Page 349] in our owne eyes, and nourish the pleasing thoughts of high o­pinion, and selfe conceit, if God do not greatly guard vs, wee are neere some desperate assault of Satan.

The fourth occasion is anger. Anger. The diuell seldome forbeares to enter into the heart of the wrath­full person, when anger hath set open the doore, as was noted be­fore out of Ephes. 4. 26.

The fifth occasion is dalliance Dalliance with euill thoughts. with euill thoughts, when the di­uell sees vs play with contempla­tiue wickednesse, and be well con­tent to [...]et our thoughts runne vpon sinfull proiects or imagi­nations of sinnes, which perhaps wee intended not euer to com­mit: this tempts him to employ his skill to put fire to those thoughts, so long till the whole heart bee e [...]nared by them, to draw vs into mischiefe. These lusts will draw away, and Satan engendring with them can make [Page 350] them conceiue, &c. Iames 1. 14.

The sixth occasion is, The 6 Intemperate vse of outward things. intemperate vse of outward things. For the Diuell walketh about as a roaring Lyon, seeking whom hee may deuoure. And when he finds a man excessiuely bent to the things of this world, as meat, drinke, apparel, riches, pleasures, honours, &c. He sets vpon him by some of his methods, to carry him away captiue at his will. Therefore the Apostle Peter wils vs to be s [...]en, if we would pre­uent him; implying, that the Diuell will [...] the [...], when he finds vs intemperate, (1) Peter 5. 8.

The seuenth occasion is, Vnset­lednesse 7 Vnsetled [...]es in faith in the assu [...] of Gods fauour, and our owne saluation. We cannot resist the Diuel, if we bee not stedfast in the faith, and wee giue him wonderfull aduan­tage, if wee be tossed about like the waues of the Sea, and are vn­constant or carelesse in manner [Page 351] of our faith; we neuer barre out the Diuel soundly, till [...]ve be sted­fast in our assurance, 1 Pet. 5. 8, 9.

The eighth occasion is, when 8. Triall of faith. sometimes the Lord will haue vs tempted, only for the triall of our faith, and the grace which he hath giuen vnto vs.

Lastly, The ninth occasion is, a relapse into some grosse sinne after 9. Relapse into some grosse sin. calling, which is scourged with hideous temptations, through a secret depth of Iustice in God, who thereby can shew how fear­full a thing it is so to offend.


How the godly may comfort them­selues in their temptations.

THE consolations against temptations follow.

A Christian, that feeles him­selfe assaulted by the Diuell, may rayse vp in his thoughts diuers [Page 352] contemplations, able to succou him in his distresses: as,

First, If he consider that this is the case of all the godly, to bee Hee may comfort himselfe from the considera­tion, 1. Of the common condition of the godly. tēpted. It is no new thing which hath befallen him. Thus Paul comforts the Corinthians, No temptation hath befallen you, but what accompanies the nature of man, 1 Cor. 10. 13. The Apostle Peter hartens them to whom hee writes, by this argumet: The same afflictions are accomplished vpon your brethren that are in the world, 1 Pet. 5. This also the Apostle to the Ephesias [...]ffirmes, that those spiritual wick [...]dnesse are found euen in the most ho [...] [...]nly places on earth, Eph 6. 12. Il. Apostles théselues were not free [...]rom this comba [...], & therefore Paul [...]; We wrastle with principalities and powers, &c.

Secondly, If hee consider the 2. Of the measure. measure of them: God will not lay any more vpon him, then he is able to beare, he may feare his owne strength, as Paul did, but [Page 353] God will make his grace sufficient for vs, 1 Cor. 10. 13. 2 Cor. 12. 9. Satan is limited, hee can goe no further then his chain wil reach, and for that cause it is, that we are taught to pray, that God would not lead vs into temptation, as acknowledging that God doth dispose and order the measure of this kind of affliction. 1 Of the short con­tinuance.

Thirdly, If hee consider the short continuance of his tempta­tions; they may be fierce, but they are not long: God will shortly tread downe Satan vnder feet, Rom. 16. 20. Wee shall suffer but a while, 1 Peter 5. 9, 10.

Fourthly, If hee seriously me­ditate 4 Of di­uers things in Christ: as, of diuers things in Christ his Sauiour: as,

First, His example. It should be 1 His ex­ample, lesse grieuous to be tempted, be­cause Christ himselfe was tempted in all things, as hee is, sinne onely excepted, Heb. 4. 15.

Secondly, Christ hath atchiued an admirable victorie ouer [...] His vi­ctory ouer the diuel. [Page 354] these principalities and powers, and hath triumphed ouer them, and made a shew of them openly, Col. 2. 15.

Thirdly, There is in Christa sympathy and fellow feeling. Hee [...] His sym­pathy. is touched with our infirmities, and doth much compassionate our case, Hebr. 4. 15.

Fourthly, He hath made inter­cession, 4 His in tercession. and prayer for vs, that our faith might not faile. For that which he assured to Peter, he per­formeth also for all the elect.

Fiftly, Christ is the true brazen Serpent, which is lift vp of God, 5 His ver­tu [...] for he. ling vs. that when wee feele our selues stung with these fiery Serpents, by looking vpon Christ, wee are sure to be healed, Iohn 3. 14.

Lastly, We are sure to be helped and succoured by Christ in the 6 His suc cour combat: He was tempted himselfe that hee might succour them that are tempted, Hebr. 2. 18.

Fiftly, If he consider the issue 5 Of the [...]sue out of temptatiō. that God will giue: He will giue [Page 355] issue out of temptation, 1 Cor. 10. 18. Hee will cread downe Satan, Rom. 6. 20. Hee will [...]stablish vs, after wee haue suffered a while, 1 Pet. 3. 9, [...]0. If we resist the Di­uell, he shall flie from vs I am. 4. 7, 8 If he leade vs into temptations, he will deliuer vs from euill, Math. 6. 13. The Lord will breake the head of the great Loui [...]han, the crooked Serpent, the Dragon of the Sea, Esay 27. 1.

6. If he consider the effects of 6. Of the effects. temptation; it is the Schoole of Christ, to traine vs vp in spiritual souldierie; they cannot hurt vs, they make vs more humble, 2 Cor. 12. 8, 9. They are for our tryall, 1 Pet. 1. 7. Satan doth but win [...]ow vs, we lose nothing but our chasse, Luke 22. 31.

Ob. But it seemes, temptations Ob. ar [...] a grieuous euill, because wee are taught to pray against them in a speciall manner in the Lords Prayer, which shewes that my estate is miserable, in that I [Page 356] am led into temptation.

Answ. It is true, that we must pray against temptations, and How wee m [...]y pray against temptations. that it is a iudgement; but yet no other, then sicknesse, pouerty, or the like: and therefore we are not to pray against them simply, but with submission to Gods will; onely wee must pray ab­solutely to be deliuered from the euill of temptation, which latter words do restraine or correct the former.

Quest. But when I am temp­ted, how may I know that I am not ouercome of the tempta­tion?

Answ. Obserue thine owne heart in the entertainment of How wee may know that wee are not o­uercome of temptations those vile iniections. If thou ab­horre them as soone as they come in, and giue no [...] of consent vnto them, thou art free. For Christ himselfe was tempted by euill cogitations cast into his mind: (for the Apostle saith) He was tempted in like manner as we Note. [Page 357] are, and yet he was not guilty of the euill of the temptation. It is true, that for the most part we are infected in some degree or other by it: But yet it is not impossible for man to be free from the euill of temptation, as that example shewes.

But secondly, thou maist know Two signes whether thou bee ouercome or no, by two signes. For first, If thou feele the temptation to bee an affliction to thee, and account it an euill day, and art burthened vnder it, as if it were a verie buffe­ting of thy body, thou art yet safe: The Diuell hath no victory, thou art not led captiue, all this while Paul was worse feared then hurt, 2 Corinthians 12. 7, 8, 9. Se­condly, All the while thou re­sistest by prayer, and wrastlest with it, and keepest thy spiritual weapons in thy hands, thou art the conquerour; for thou art assu­red of God, If thou resist, the Di­uell will slye from thee in due time. [Page 358] Thou art neuer ouercome, till the temptation please thee, and thou resoluest to make no resistance spiritually, Iames 4. 8.

Quest. But what if I be ouer­come? Am I not in a desperate cnodition, if the temptatiōs haue preuailed ouer me?

Answ. Thy case is mournfull, but not desperate: For Peter and Dauid were ouercome of the temptation; and though it cost them many teares, yet they were recouered. Christ hath made in­tercession for thee, and will heale thee, if thou make thy recourse vnto him, and penitently plead for mercy before the Throne of Grace.


Comforts against our daily infirmitics.

HItherto of the consolations against the temptations of [Page 359] Satan. There remaine two other distresses of the Spirit; the one arising from the sense of daily in­firmities; the other from the feare of falling away, and losing of what we haue.

For the first, There are many wayes by which a Christian may fence his heart against the dis­couragements that arise from the sense of daily infirmities▪

And these promises are of two Two sorts of promi­ses sorts: For they are either such as giue vs arguments of coōsolatin in themselues, or such as withall remoue the obiections are wont to arise in our hearts vpon some particular consideration of the manner of the infirmities in vs.

By infirmities, I meane de­fects, What is meant by infirmities. ignorance, indisposition, feare, discouragements, forget­fulnesse, omissions, distractions, particular falles through frailty, some kindes of euill thoughts, dulnesse, vnchearfulnesse, doubts, [Page 360] and the euil of our good workes.

The Arguments of Consolation The com­forts raised from the conside­ration, 1 Of thy age in Christ. are:

1 There are differences in the degrees of the age of Christ in vs Some Christians are but weake, young ones, Lambes, Babes, new formed; and God knowes it, and lookes for no more from such, then what agrees to their age. Hee is a compassionate Fa­ther, that doth not require the same power of gifts in a weake Christian, which he lookes for in a strong.

2 It should much ease vs to remember, that wee are not 2 Of thy condition now vnder Grace. vnder the Law, but vnder Grace, Rom. 6. 14. Wee are deliuered from the rigour of the Law, God now doth not expect perfection from vs, nor accounts vs as trans­gressors, because we are imper­fect, but hath receiued vs to the benefit of the new Couenant: In which, perfection is onely required in Christ, and vpright­nesse [Page 361] in vs.

3 Wee may be very weake in strength and power of gifts, and 3 Of the fruitfulnes may b [...] in a weake Christian. yet verie fruitfull: Wee may doe much good while wee are in the Infancie of Grace, which the cōparis [...]n of the vine, (to which the godly are resembled) shewes. The Vine is not the strongest of Trees, and yet is more fruitfull in pleasant fruit, then many other Trees, not of the field onely, but of the Garden also. Now the godly are likened to the Vine, Esay [...]7. 2. to shew, that all their weakenes not withstanding, they may be [...] aboundant in pleasing fruit.

4 The goodnesse of God [...] na­ture should much encourage and 4 Of the goodnesse of Gods nature: For he is comfort vs herein: And so if wee consider foure prayses in the na­ture of God.

First, He is gracious: he stands 1 Gracio [...] not vpon desert, we may buy of him without money; he can loue vs for his owne sake, though we be [Page 362] able no way to pleade our owne merits, Esay. 55. 1, 2, 3.

Secondly, He is mercifull, yea 2 Merciful mercie pleaseth him; it is no trou­ble to him to shew mercy, but he delighteth in it, Mich. 7. 18.

Thirdly, He is slow to anger In­firmities 3 Slow to anger. wil not prouoke him to wrath; hee can d [...]light in vs still, though we haue many wants and weakeness [...]s, Ps. [...]05.

Fourthly, Hee is ready to for­giue. 4 Ready to forgine If [...]y our too much careles­ [...]sse a [...]d frequencie in offen [...]ing he be [...]eged to d [...]leasure, yet [...]e is quickly pacified, a few prayers and teares in the confession of our faults will turne away all his displeas [...]re, so as he will remem­ber our iniquitie [...] no more, Psalme [...].

[...]soly The I [...]l will s [...]eng then his own worke in vs by his 5 Of the hope of strength. Spi [...]it; and though grace bee but in th [...] bu [...], yo [...] his bl [...]ssing shall bee upon [...]r bud [...], and [...] gr [...] as the will owes planted by [Page 363] the water-courses: The hopes of increase, should stay vs against the present sense of weakenesse, Esay 44. 2, 3, 4.

6. There are many things com­fortable Of many things in Christias, to bee thought vpon in Christ.

For first, He makes account to 1 His opi­nion of vs. find vs sicke, and sinners, he doth not expect to find vs righteous altogether: Hee came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repen­tance, Marke 2. 17.

Secondly, Wee haue such an 2 His com­dassion. High Priest, as knowes how to haue compassion vpon those that are out of the way: Hee is touched with our infirmities, hee doth ra­ther pitty vs, then hate vs for our weakenesses, Hebr. 4. 15.

Thirdly, His intercession couers 3 His In­tercession. our infirmities. If any man sinne, wee haue an Aduocate, euen Iesus Christ the righteous, who is the propitiation for our sins. He takes an order in Heauen, that God shall not bee turned away from [Page 364] vs, he makes daily intercess [...]ō for vs.

Fourthly, His blood will pow­erfully 4 His blood. cleanse our conscience from the deadnesse which is in our works, Heb. 9. 14.

Fiftly, Hee is the Lord our 5 The im­putation of his righteous­nesse. righteousnesse, & that is his name by which hee will bee called, Ier. 23. 6. His perfect righteousnesse is as truly ours, as if we had per­formed it our selues: So as al­though we be most vnperfect in our selues, yet in Christ God can find no fault in vs, nor see any trangression: though our sancti­fication be spotted, yet our iusti­fication hath no blemish in it.

7 The helpes God hath affoor­ded The helpe of the Ministerie. vs in his Ministers, may bee some ease vnto vs: though for weakenesse we be but [...]ambs, yet God hath prouided for vs; hee hath giuen vs Shepherds to feede vs, and giuen them a charge to looke to his Lambes, as well as his Sheepe. The Church is com­pared [Page 365] to a nurse with brests, and we haue a promise to suck out of the brests of her consolations, Ierem. 23. 4. Esay 56. 11, 12, 13. Iohn 23. 19.

8 Wee should especially bee Of diuers particular fauors God hath assu [...]ed vs of. refreshed with the consideration of diuers particular fauours God hath assured vs of in his Word: as,

First, That he will not deale with vs after our sinnes, nor re­ward vs after our iniquities, Psal. 103.

Secondly, That he wil spare vs, as a man spareth his sonne that ser­ueth him. No father can shew compassion like to that which God will bee bound to shew to his children, Mal. 3. 17.

Thirdly, that the smoking flax shall not be quenched, & the bruised reed shall not bee broken; though grace were in vs but like the heate in the weeke of the Candle when the light is out, yet God hath taken order that it shall not [Page 366] bee extinguished, Esay 42. 3.

Fourthly, That in all times of need wee shall haue accesse vnto the Throne of Grace, and obtaine a supply of all our wants; so as we may goe boldly to aske what we need in the Name of Christ, and it shall be giuen vs, Hebrewes 4. vlt.

Fifth, That hee will accept of our desires, and our will to doe his seruice shall be taken for the deed, so as he will reckon of so much good to be done by vs, as wee desired and endeuoured to doe: our workes are as good as Note. wee desired to haue them to be: The preparations of our hearts are reckoned with God as great things, Esay 55. 1. Ierem. 30. 2. 2 Cor. 8. 12.

Sixthly, That in all his dealing with vs, he will vse vs in all com­passion with a tender respect of our weakenesse. Our weeping and supplication shal be accepted before him, and hee will cause vs [Page 367] to walke in a straight way, in which we shall not stumble, Ier. 31. 9. In all our afflictions, hee is afflicted. In loue, in care, in pittie, hee will re­deeme vs, and carry vs as in the dayes of old, Esay 63. 9. As he hath borne vs from the wombe, so will hee bee the same still vnto old age, euen vnto the gray haires. He will carry vs in the armes of his com­passion: Hee hath made vs, he will beare, euen he will carry, and will deliuer vs, Esay 46. 3, 4. He will gather the Lambes with his armes and carrie them in his bosome, and gently leade those that are with young, Esay 40. 11.

Seuenthly, That he will supply all our necessities out of the riches of his glorie, Psa. 4. 19.

Eighthly, That he will passe by our meere frailties, and take no notice of the errours of our liues that arise from meere infir­mities; There is no God like vnto him for passing by transgressions, Mich. 7. 18.

[Page 368] Ninthly, That he will strength­en vs, and make vs grow in the gifts bestowed vpon vs: The Lord will bee the hope of his people, and the strength of his Children of Israel, Ioel 3. 16. He giueth power to the faint, and to them that haue no might, he increaseth strength: they that waite vpon the Lord, shall renew their strength, Esa. 40. 29, 31 He will be as the dew to his people. They shall grow as the Lilly, and cast forth their rootes as Lebanon. Their branches shall spread, and their beautie bee as the Oliue tree, and their smell as Lebanon. They shall reuiue as the Corne, and grow as the Vine, Hosh. 14. 5, 6, 7.

And to assure all this, God would haue vs to know that hee hath married vs vnto himselfe, and holds himselfe tyed in the coue­nant of marriage with all kind­nesse and faithfulnesse, to take the care and charge of vs for euer, Hosh. 2. 19.

[Page 369] 9. To conclude the first sort of Of what God may bring thee to. promises, what knowest thou what God may bring thee vnto, notwithstanding thy weaknesse? Hee can make thee to multiply as the bud of the field. He can make thee increase and waxe great. He can make thee attaine vnto excel­lent ornaments, Ezech. 10. 7. Since thou art the branch of his plant­ing, the worke of his hand, hee may greatly glorifie himselfe in thee, so as thy little one may be as a thousand, and thy small one as a strong Nation. God can performe it in his due time, Esay 60. 21, 22. Though thou haue but a little strength, God hath set before thee such an open doore, as no man can shut: and God can make thee stand in the loue of the truth, without denying his Name when the houre of temptation comes vp­on the World, and many of great vnderstanding fall, Reu. 3. 8, 9, 10.

Hitherto of the principall con­solatiōs in the case of infirmities.


Diuers obiections are answered.

IT followeth that I should an­swer certain obiections which do vsually depresse the hearts of men, and by the trouble of which they neglect the former consola­tions.

Ob. Some one may say, My infirmities are the more grie­uous, because I find affliction of spirit ioyned with them. These terrors and passions vpon my heart doe dismay me, and make me doubt, those comforts do not belong vnto me.

Sol. God may afflict thy spirit and yet be wel pleased with thee; yea therfore thy case is the more comfortable because thou fee­lest the weight and burthen of thy sinnes, as the places of Scripture following, most eui­dently [Page 371] and comfortably shew: namely,

Psalme 34. 15. The eyes of the Lord are vpon the righteous, and his eares are open vnto their cry.

Math. 11. 28, 29. Come vnto me all ye that are wearie and heauy laden, and I will ease you.

Takemy yoke on you, and learne of me, that I am meeke and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest vn­to your soules.

Ierem. 31. 25. For I haue satiate the wearie soule, and I haue reple­nished euery sorrowfull soule. And their soule shall bee as a watered garden, and they shall haue no more sorrow: the latter part of the 12. verse &c.

Esay 63. 9. In all their troubles he was troubled, and the Angel of his presence saued them. In his loue and in his mercy hee redeemed them, and he bare them and carried them alwaies continually.

Psalm 31. 21, 22. Blessed be the [Page 372] Lord: for hee hath shewed his mar­uellous kindnesse towards mee in a strong Citie.

Though I said in my haste, I am cast out of thy sight; yet thou heardest the voyce of my prayer, when I cryed vnto thee.

Psal. 103. 9. He will not alwayes chide, neither keepe his anger for euer.

Ob. But I offend daily.

Sol. That is cleerely answered in Gods promise: For he saith, he will multiply pardon, or abundant­ly pardon, Esay 55. 7.

Ob. But I find I grow worse then I haue beene, my heart is much out of order.

Sol. If there be an heart in thee desirous to returne; there is com­fort also against this distresse. The Lord will heale thy backe-sti­ding, if thou take vnto thee words to confesse thy falling away, Hosh. 14. 2, 3, 4. Behold (saith the Lord) I will bring it health and cure, and I will cure them, and [Page 373] reueale vnto them the abundance of peace and truth, Ieremie 33. 6. There is healing in the wings of the Sonne of righteousnesse, and yee shall goe forth and grow vp as the Calues of the Stall, Malachy 4. 2.

Ob. But I am extremely bur­thened with my ignorance, this is a continuall grieuance vnto mee.

Sol. There are many comforts against ignorance.

1. It is a speciall promise of 8. Constru­ctions. about ig­norance in the godly. God in the new Couenant, that he will write his Laws in thy heart, and hee will make thee to know the Lord: Thou maist goe boldly to the Throne of Grace, to beg fur­ther illumination of the Spirit of God. This is one of the suits God cannot deny.

2. God hath promised to leade thee by a way which thou hast not knowne: Hee will preserue thee by his knowledge, though thou bee vnacquainted with the way [Page 374] thy selfe. He that lede his people from Babel to Sion, when they scarce knew a foote of that long way, wil leade thee in the straite way, from Earth to Heauen, if thou seeke a way of God as they did, Esay 42. 16.

3 We haue such an High Priest as knowes how to haue compassion on the ignorant. He that required that propertie of the High Priest in the Law, will much more expresse it himselfe, Hebrewes 5. 1, 3.

4. This must be thy glory, and the crowne of reioycing, that though thou be ignorant of ma­ny things, yet thou knowest God, and Christ crucified, and this is eternall life, Iohn 17. 3.

5 The Ministers of the Gospel are ours, and therefore if wee at­tend vpon the Word, and conti­nue in it, we shal know the truth: their instructions shall bee daily distilled into thy heart like drops of raine, 1 Cor. 322, 23.

[Page 375] 6 The anointing thou hast re­ceiued, shall teach thee all needfull things, and leade thee into all truth, 1 Iohn 2. 27.

7 There is a seed of heauenly doctrine cast into thy heart, which shall euen remaine in thee. It is in­delible, it cannot be blotted out, 1 Iohn 3. 9.

8 Lastly, Knowledge is the gift of Christ, and as wee know that he is come, so we beleeue that he will giue vs vnderstanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, euen in his Sonne Iesus Christ: this is the true God and eternall life, I Iohn 5. 20.

Ob. But we want or haue lost the meanes of knowledge; our Teachers are taken frem vs.

Sol. It is true; Where vision faileth, the people faint, but yet:

1 After God hath giuen you the bread of affliction, and the wa­ter of aduersity, hee will restore Teachers, and no more restraine in­struction, [Page 376] Esay 30. 20.

2. Though thou see no way of helpe, yet thou knowest not how God can prouide: He can open Riuers on the tops of moun­taines, and he maketh the wilder­nesse a standing poole, when his people thirst and cry vnto him, Esay 41. 17. 18.

3. If ordinary meanes faile and bee denied, God will then supply of his Spirit, & make that meanes which is left, to suffice for thy preseruation and building vp, Philip. 1. 19.

Now that there may bee the more abundant support vnto our hearts in this case of infirmities, I will open two places of Scrip­ture that doe meet with the most obiections of our hearts.

The first is, Exodus 34. 6, 7. where the Lord proclaimeth the The full explication of the words in Exo 34. 6, 7. goodnesse of his nature, that all men may take notice of it, and giue him the praise of his rich grace, where hee so describeth [Page 377] the Lord, that in his titles hee gi­ueth an answer to many obiecti­ons.

1. If thou say, thy infirmities may alienate the Lord from thee:

He answers, that he is Iehouah, alwayes the same, vnchangeable. Hee will not alter his loue to­wards thee, but loue thee to the end: and for the more assurance, he repeated that title twice, be­cause he knowes, we most doubt of that, and haue most need to be succoured with that argument, as the foundation of all our com­fort.

2. If thou say, thou hast strong inclination to sinne, or strange temptations, or great impedi­ments, or many aduersaries and discouragements:

Hee answers, that hee is God, or strong; to signifie that no­thing shall hinder the worke of his grace towards thee, but hee will keepe thee by his power, [Page 378] and maketh his grace sufficient for thee.

3 If thou say, Hee is of pure eyes, and cannot but discerne thy faults, and sinne is sinne in the sight of God:

He answers, That he is merci­full.

4 If thou say, Thou deseruest no such mercy:

He answers, That he is graci­ous, and doth not stand vpon de­sert: He will shew mercy, not be­cause thou art good, but because he is good.

5. If thou say, The daily repea­ting and renewing of thy sinnes may prouoke him, though hee be mercifull and gracious.

He answers, That hee is long­suffering.

6 If thou say, Thou hast many defects and wants to bee sup­plyed:

He answers, That he is full of goodnesse.

7 It thou say, Thou art asha­med [Page 379] of thy ignorance, which is more then can be conceiued.

Hee answers, That he is abun­dant in truth to supply thy de­fects, and to performe his pro­mise, though thou haue but a lit­tle faith.

8. If thou say, Thou doest be­leeue that God is all this vnto some men; and that Abraham, and Dauid, and others that were in great fauour with God, haue found all this: But for thy selfe, thou art so vile a creature, and so meane a person, as it is not for thee to expect such great things of God.

He answers, That hee keepes mercy for thousands. He hath not spent all vpon Dauid, or the Pa­triarks, or Prophets, or Apostles, or Martyrs, or Ministers; but he hath an Ocean of goodnesse still to be shewed, without respect of persons, to al that come vnto him for mercy.

9. If thou yet say, Thou art [Page 380] guiltie of diuers sorts of sinnes and that it is not one offence onely, but many that lye vpon thee, and some of them such as thou darest not name, they are so vile.

He answers, that he forgiues iniquitie, transgression, and sinne, that is, all sorts of sinnes, of na­ture, of weaknes, or of presump­tion.

10. If any other should say, this is a doctrine of liberty, and may embolden men to sinne:

Hee answers to that, hee will by no meanes cleare the wicked, those are fauours onely hee will declare to the penitent, that are weary of their sinnes, and would faine [...]ffend no more.

2. The second place is, Ezek. The full explicati­on of the words in Ezek [...]6. [...]5, &c. 36. 25. to the 37. where many ob­iections are euidently answered, the consolations being fitted of purpose, so as euery word almost preuents some doubt might arise in mens minds: as

[Page 381] 1. Ob. I am exceeding loth­some, and a creature extremely filthy in respect of my sinnes.

Sol. I will powre cleane water vpon you; that is, I will wash your soules in the fountaine of my grace, and both forgiue you, and sanctifie you.

2. Ob. Oh it cannot bee that any meanes should doe me good, I am so totally defiled.

Sol. Ye shall be cleane: it is easie for God to cleanse vs, it is our owne vnbeleefe hinders vs: God hath promised our cleansing.

3. Ob. O but my sins are great and grosse sinnes, I haue offen­ded more grieuously then other men.

Sol. From your Idols and from your filthinesse will I cleanse you; though thy sinnes were as great as idolatry in the first Table, or whoredome in the second, yet God can forgiue and sanctifie thee.

4. Ob. But my nature is so bad, [Page 382] that if I were forgiuen, I should off [...]nd againe.

Sol. A new heart will I giue thee; Where God forgiues our sinnes, he giues vs another dispo­sition, and change our natures, verse 26.

5. Ob. O, but I am so ignorant I cannot but offend.

Sol. A new spirit will I put within you; Hee will giue vs vn­derstanding and wisedome.

6. Ob. But I am so dull and hard-hearted, that I am not sensi­ble of my owne distresse and wants, and cannot bee affected with the excellency of the good­nesse or promises of God.

Sol. I will take away the stony heart out of your body; God will cure vs of hardnesse of heart.

7. Ob. But if my heart were softned, and that I had some fee­ling, it would grow hard and senslesse againe.

Sol. I will giue you an heart of flesh.

[Page 383] 8. Ob. O, but if all this were done for me, yet I know not how to order my selfe, and what to do to goe on in a religious course of life.

Sol. I will put my Spirit with­in you, verse 27.

9. Ob. If the Lord do giue me his Spirit, yet I feare I shall not be ruled by it, but offend and grieue the Spirit of God, through ignorance and want of strength.

Sol. I will cause you to keepe my statutes, and yee shall keepe my iudgements, and doe them. The Lord will worke our workes for vs, and teach vs to obey, and giue vs power to doe what hee com­mandeth.

10. Ob. I finde a maruailous vnfitnesse in the very things of my outward estate.

Sol. Yee shall dwell in the land; the Lord will blesse vs in out­ward things, as well as in spiri­tuall.

[Page 384] 11. Ob. But when I come to vse the creatures, me thinks I see such vnworthinesse in my s [...]e, that I am almost afraid to meddle with them.

Sol. I gaue the land to your fa­thers: you hold these outward blessings, not by your deserts, but by my gift; and my gift is anci­ent, I bostowed these things on your fathers.

12. Ob. It may be so; our fa­thers were in couenant with God and more eminent men, and more worthy then we.

Sol. Ye shall be my people, and I will be your God; Gods couenant of grace is with the fathers, and their generations after them▪ if he haue bene the fathers God, he will be thy God also, and thou shalt be of his people.

13. Ob. O, but I finde such dai­ly sinnes, and I am polluted in e­uery thing I do: I am many waies vncleane.

Sol. I will also saue you from [Page 385] your vncleannesse. God will mul­tiply pardon, he will forgiue vs, and comfort vs against our sinnes after calling.

14. Ob. But how shall I be­leeue all this? for I see, God hath plagued vs by famine, scourged vs with great want, which still lies vpon vs.

Sol. I will call for the corne, and increase it, and lay no more famine vpon you, and I will multiply the fruite of the trees, and the increase of the field, &c.

15. Ob. But there is no con­dition on our part?

Sol. Yes, for all this shall bee done vnto you, when you remem­ber your owne euill wayes, and your doings that were not good, and shall lothe your selues for your iniquities and for your abominations. These comforts belong to vs, when we are throughly displeased with our selues for our faults. And be­sides, for all this must the Lord be sought vnto; we shall obtaine all, [Page 386] or any of these, but we must aske first, verse 31. 37.


Shewing how a godly man may comfort himselfe against the feare of fal­ling away.

HItherto of the comforts a­gainst our daily infirmities. The consolations against the feare of our falling away fol­low.

We may three wayes comfort our selues against this feare, namely, if we consider God, or Christ, or our selues.

1. In God there are two things of excellent obseruation, both of them exprest in the Scriptures. The first is, that he hath vndertaken to preserue vs from falling away. The second shewes vs distinctly, how he will [Page 387] performe this.

For the first, that God will keepe vs from falling away, wee haue foure things to assure vs.

First, the promises of God direct­ly Foure things may assure vs that God will keepe vs from fal­ling away. 1. His pro­mises. to that end: for he assures vs, that his Elect shall enioy the worke of their hands, and shall not labour in vaine, Esay 65. 22, 23. The smoking weeke shall not bee quen­ched, nor the bruised reed broken, Esay 42. 3. Not one of them shall bee lacking in the whole flocke, Ierem. 23. 4. God will build them. and not plucke them downe, he will plant them, and not pull them vp, Ier. 24. 6. He will confirme vs, in and to the end, that wee may bee 1 Cor. 1. [...], [...] blamelesse in the day of our Lord Iesus Christ: for God is faithfull, who hath called vs to the fellow­ship of his Sonne Iesus Christ our Lord.

Secondly, the Decree of God, 2. Hi [...] [...] ­cree. concerning which the Apostle saith, That the foundation of God remaineth sure: hee knowe [...]h who [Page 388] are his. Though Hymeneus and Philetus fall away, yet none that call vpon the name of the Lord, and depart from iniquity, can e­uer be lost, 2 Tim. 2. 19.

Thirdly, the attributes of God: 3 Three attributes in God, viz. and so there bee three things in God may wonderfully settle vs against this feare. The one is his faithfulnesse. The other is his po­wer. The third is his immutable loue: All three are laid to pawne for the performance of this pre­seruation, & so pleaded in Scrip­ture. For his faithfulnesse, the A­postle thence concludes, that the His faith­fulnesse. godly shall bee confirmed to the end, as was alleadged before, 1. Cor. 1. 8, 6. and so he reasoneth writing to the Thessalonians: The Lord is faithfull, who shall sta­blish you, and keepe you from euill, 2 Thess. 3. 3. And of the power of God these places speake, we are His power kept by the power of God to salua­tion, 1 Pet. 1. 5. I know (saith) Paul whom I haue beleeued, and I am [Page 389] perswaded that hee is able to keepe that which I haue committed to him against that day, 2 Tim. 1. 12. Now vnto him that is able to keepe you from falling (saith Iude) and to preserue you faultlesse before the presence of his glory, with excee­ding ioy: to the onely wise God our Sauiour be glory, and maiestie, do­minion, and power, now and euer, Iud. 24. And for the loue of God, His loue. that it is vnchangeable, there is apparent proofe, Whom he loueth, he loueth to the end, Iohn 13. 1. so as we may bee confident in this, that hee which hath begun a good worke in vs, will performe it till the day of Christ, Philip. 1. 6.

Fourthly, wee haue the seale of 4 His seale God for it, and he hath giuen vs earnest, that we shal certainly en­ioy the inheritance purchased for vs. And thus euery one that bele­ueth, is sealed by the holy Spirit of promise, which is our earnest, Eph. 1. 14, 15. and therefore, we shall be established, 2 Cor. 1. 22.

[Page 390] Now for the second; If any aske how God will doe this?

I answer, that the Scripture shewes how this will be perfor­med thus: For

1. God will not cast off his peo­ple, What God will doe to keepe vs from fal­ling away. he will neuer forsake his in­heritance, Psal. 94. 14. 1 Sam. 12. 22. For the Lord loueth iudge­ment, and forsaketh not his Saints, and therefore they are preserued for [...]uer, Psal. 37. 28.

2. God will put his feare into their hearts, that they shall not de­part from him: For this is his Co­uenant with his people, that he will not turne away from them, to doe them good, and hee will put his feare into them, that they shall not depart from him, Ier. 32. 40, 41.

3. To make all the surer, he will put his Spirit into them, which shall leade them into all truth, and cause them to keepe his statutes, and to doe them, Iohn 14. Ezech. 36.

4. He will vphold them, and order their wayes, and keepe [Page 391] their feet, that they fall not. The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and he delighteth in his way: Though he fall, he shall not vt­terly bee cast downe: for the Lord vpholdeth him with his hand, Psal. 37. 23, 24. He holdeth our soule in life, and suffereth not our feet to bee moued, Psal. 66. 9. He will keepe the feet of his Saints, 1 Sam. 2. 9.

5. Lastly, God will worke their workes for them, and continually assist them with his presence, and blessings, Esa. 26. Ezech. 36. Phil. 2. 13. And thus the comforts that we may gather from God.

Now secondly, in Christ there Three things in Christ may comfort vs are three things may minister much establishment in our harts against this feare.

1. His intercession: hee hath specially prayed for vs, that God 1. His inter­cession. would keepe vs from euill, Iohn 17. and therefore is able to saue vs to the vttermost, because hee euer liueth to make intercession for vs, Heb. 7. 15.

[Page 392] 2. The consideration of his of­fice 2 His of­fice here in herein. It is his worke to be Omega as well as Alpha; to bee the finisher of our faith, as well as the author of it: He is the end as well as the beginning, Reuel. 21. 6. Heb. 12. 2.

3. The power of Christ. None 3 His pow­er. can take vs out of his hand, Iohn 10. and as was said before, he is able to saue vs to the vttermost, Heb. 7. 25.

Thus of the consideration of Christ also.

Now thirdly, in our selues wee 3 Things in our selues may comfo [...]t vs may looke vpon three things, as we are in the estate of grace.

For first, we are borne againe to a liuely hope of an immorall inhe­ritance reserued for vs in heauen: Our new birth intitles vs to hea­uen, and it is kept for vs, and our hope is liuely, 1 Pet. 1. 3.

Secondly, our seed abideth in vs: It cannot be blotted out. Hee that is borne of God, sinneth not, because his seed remaineth in him, [Page 393] 1 Iohn 3. 9.

Thirdly, eternall life is begun in vs, Iohn 17. 3. Now if it be life eternall, how can it end? How can we fall away from it? Natu­rall life may end, but Splrituall life can neuer end.


Promises that concerne Prayer.

HItherto of Promises that concerne affliction. And in as much as my purpose was but to fence the godly man (settled in his iustification) against the grieuances which might befall him in respect of afflictions, du­ring the time of his pilgrimage here, I shall end with the dis­course of those promises: sauing that I will giue a taste of the last sort of promise, viz. such as are encouragements to holy graces or duties.

[Page 394] I will not instance in the pro­mises made to the loue of God, to meeknesse, to such as seeke God, to the loue of the word, and the like: but onely I wil open the promises made to the prayers of the godly, and the rather, because Christians are most troubled a­bout their prayers.

The promises that concerne Those pro­mises re­ferred to three he [...]des. prayer, may be referred to three heads; For either they are such as assure vs that God will heare the prayers of his seruants; or they shew vs, what in prayer he will heare: or else they describe the wonderfull goodnesse of God in the manner how he wil heare. For the first, that the Lord will certainly heare prayer, these pla­ces of Scripture doe most com­fortably assure vs.

Esay 58. 9. Then shalt thou call, and the Lord shall answer: thou shalt cry, & he shall say, Here I am.

Math. 21. 22. And whatsoeuer ye shall aske in prayer, if ye beleeue, [Page 395] ye shall receiue it.

Iohn 14. 13. And whatsoeuer ye aske in my name, that will I doe, that the Father may be glorified in the Sonne.

1 Iohn 5. 14, 15. And this is the assurance that wee haue of him, that if w [...] aske any thing according to his will, he heareth vs.

And if we know that he heareth vs, whatsoeuer we aske, we know that we haue the Petitions that wee haue desired of him.

Iob 22. 27. Thou shalt make thy prayer vnto him; and hee shall heare thee, and thou shalt render thy vowes.

Iob 33. 26. He shall pray vnto God, and he will be fauourable vn­to him, and he shall see his face with ioy, for he will render vnto man his righteousnesse.

Psal. 34. 15, 17. The eyes of the Lord are vpon the righteous, and his eares are open vnto their cry.

The righteous cry, and the Lord heareth them, and deliuereth them [Page 396] out of their troubles.

Psal. 50. 15. Call vpon mee in the day of trouble, so will I deliuer thee, and thou shall glorisie mee.

Iohn 15. 16. That whatsoeuer ye shall aske of the Father in my name, he may giue it you.

Iohn 16. 23. And in that day shall ye aske me nothing: Verily, verily I say vnto you, whatsoeuer ye aske the Father in my name, hee will giue it you.

For the second, it may much comfort vs, if we consider that God will not onely heare our praiers in generall, but our voice, Psal. 5. 3. Our very desires, Psal. 10. 17. Our teares, Psalme 29. 12 The very naming of Christ shall not be done without regard, 2. Tim. 2. 19. Our groaning, Psal. 102. 20. When we are destitute of words to expresse our selues, our groaning, our teares, yea the very desires of our hearts is an ef­fectuall prayer to God. He doth not looke what wee doe say, [Page 397] but what wee would say. If we come like little children, and but name our Fathers name, and cry, making moane, it shall bee heard.

3. But in the third point ap­peares the wonder of his com­passion: For

1. God will heare without despising their prayer, Psalm. 102. 17.

2. He will not reproach them, nor hit them in the teeth with what is p [...]st, or their present frailties, Iam. 1. 5.

3. He will prepare their hearts too; he will as it were helpe them to draw their petitions, Psal. 10. 17.

4. He takes delight in hearing their prayers, Prou. 15. 8.

5. Hee lookes from heauen of purpose to heare their groanes, Psal. 102. 19, 20. his eares are open, there is not the least impedi­ment in his hearing, Psal. 34. 15. It is his very nature to be a God [Page 398] that heareth prayers; It is not contrary to his disposition, Psal. 65. 1, 2.

6. Hee thinkes thoughts of peace, to giue an end, & expecta­tion, Ier. 29. 11, 12, 13.

7. He will be plenteous in mer­cy, to them that call vpon him, Psal. 86. 5. Iam. [...]. 5. He giueth li­berally.

8. He will answer them, and sometimes shew them wonderous things, which they know not, Ier. 33. 3.

9. Hee will refresh them also with much ioy and comfort of heart: He will be many times as the dew vnto their hearts, Iob 33. 26.

10. It is a singular compassion, that he will heare euery one that comes with petitions to him, he will except no man: all shall bee heard: whosoeuer asketh shal haue, Mat. 7. 7. Luke 11. 10.

11. It is yet more compassion, that God will heare them in all they aske, whatsoeuer they desire [Page 389] of him in the Name of Christ: They may haue what they will, Marke 11. 24. Iohn 15. 7.

12. The Spirit shall helpe their infirmities, when they know not what to pray for as they ought, Rom. 8. 26.

13. God will crowne the prai­ers of his Seruants with this ho­nour, that they shall be the signes both of their sanctification, and of their saluation, Iohn 9. 31. Rom. 10. 13. If God heare their prayers, hee will receine them vp to glory.

14. Lastly, The Lord shewes a wonderfull compassion in the very time of hearing prayer: he will heare in the morning, Psa. 5. 3. In the very season, the due time, when wee are in trouble: yea so, as hee will in our affliction in a speciall manner let vs know, that hee is our God, and that hee will deliuer vs, Zach. 13. 9. Psa. 50. 15. and 91. 15. He is ready to be found, Psal. 46. 1. Daniels praiers were [Page 400] heard from the very first day he made them, Daniel 10. 12. Yea God will heare vs while we speake vnto him, and answer vs before we can expresse our selues vnto him many times, Esay 65. 24. Yea the Lord heareth the prayers of his people, euen when they thinke they are cast out of his sight, Psalme 31. 22.



OR, A TREATISE CONTAINING the holy order of our liues pre­scribed in the Scripture, concerning our

  • Towards God,
  • Towards men,
  • Towards our selues.

With generall Rules of Preparation, that concerne either the helpes or the manner of a holy conuersation.

By N. BIFIELD late Preacher of Gods Word at Isleworth in MIDDLESEX.

Psalme 50. vlt.

‘To him that ordereth his conuersation aright, will I shew the saluation of God.’

LONDON, Printed by Iohn Legatt, for Robert Allot, at the signe of the Beare in Pauls Church-yard.


TO THE NOBLE AND RELIGIOVS Lady, the Lady Mary Vere, increase of ioy and peace in beleeuing.


IT was most truely said by the Apostle of the Gentiles: Godlinesse is great gaine; Importing thereby, that if a man would be inci­ted to the care to get any thing, for the profit might come thereby, it should bee godlinesse. No skill in the world being comparable to that skill of beeing able to lead a godly life, for the sure [Page] [...] [Page 403] [...] [Page 404] and speedy, and matchlesse gaine it will bring vnto a man. For (besides that it only hath the promise of a better life) godlinesse were to bee desired, and with all possible diligence to be sought after, for the very gaine of it in this life. For (to omit the consideration of the fauour it breeds with God, and the vnspeakeable treasures of the grace of Christ, which al­wayes goe with it) it were to be desired for the immediate effects it workes vpon men in it selfe. For if men loue themselues, what should they desire more then that which tends to make them­selues perfect? What should it aduantage a man to haue all things good about him, if himselfe bee ill and vile? If [Page 405] men, that were onely guided by the light of nature, could (some of them) see clearely, that nothing was so good for a man, as to liue well (when yet they knew no other li­uing well, then what was prescribed in their naked and naturall Ethickes) then how much more happy must it be for a man to liue a Religious life, by which he is brought more neere to God himselfe, and farre aboue the condition of any naturall man? Yea if there were no more to be had by it, but the peace and rest it brings vnto a mans heart, it were aboue all outward things to bee de­sired. For no man walkes safely, that walkes not reli­giously; nor can any actions of men produce any sound [Page 406] tranquillity and rest of heart, but such actions as are pre­scribed by true Religion. What shall I say? If for none of these, yet for it selfe were a godly life to bee had in singular request. For if men, with much expence of outward things, seeke but the skill of diuers naturall and artificiall knowledges, and thinke it worth their cost but to be able to attaine these skills; how much more ought man to bee at the paines, yea and cost too (if it were required) to get this admirable Skill, to liue a reli­gious life? This most gaine­full subiect is intreated of in this little Volume. I may truely say, that almost euery sentence in this little Treatise leads vs to much and rich [Page 407] treasure, if the promises be­longing to each dutie were annexed thereunto: And therefore no Christian that loues his owne soule, should thinke much of the paines of learning or practising these Rules.

I shall not need to exhort your Ladiship to the hearty care of those things you haue beene taught of God (long since) to profit, & haue learned Iesus Christ, as the truth is in him: your sincere profession and practise hath many witnesses; and since you beleeued the Gospel of Saluation, and were sealed by the Spirit of promise, you haue a Witnesse within your selfe, which will not faile in life or death to plead your aboundant consolation. [Page 408] When I intreate of pietie, righteousnesse, mercie, and temperance, I intreate of things you haue aboue many profited in.

I haue presumed to dedi­cate these Directions to your Ladiship, and not without reason: You haue heard the preaching of them with spe­ciall attention, and haue bin a principall perswader to haue them published for the common good. Being many wayes bound to acknow­ledge your Ladiship amongst my best hearers and friends, I cannot but beseech your Ladiship to accept of this small testimonie of my vn­fained obseruance of your many prayses in the Gospell, and as a pledge of my thankefulnesse of all your [Page 409] workes of loue to mee and mine.

The God of Glorie, and Father of our Lord Iesus Christ, make you abound yet more and more in all the riches of his grace in this life, and fill you with the comforts of the blessed hope of the appearing of Iesus Christ.

Your Ladiships in the seruice of Iesus Christ to be euer commnaded, N. BIFIELD.

THE Contents of the whole Booke.

Chapter 1. page 441. to the 448.

THe Scope of the whole Booke, is, to shew briefly the choysest Ru [...]s of life of all sorts.

Some obiections against this course answered, and the warrant and pro­fit of it shewed.

The easinesse of the course, with some generall Directions.

Chap. 2. p. 448. to 470.

THe Rules are either generall or particular.

[Page 412] The generall Rules concerne ei­ther the help [...]s to an holy life, or the manner of well-doing.

Hee that would prepare himselfe to an holy course of life, must doe diuers things, and auoide diuers things.

The things he must doe are these:

  • 1. He must bee sure hee hath re­peuted, and doth beleeue.
  • 2. He must get knowledge how to doe well: and that he may attaine knowledge:
    • 1. He must esteeme it.
    • 2. He must not consult with flesh and blood.
    • 3. He must redeeme the time.
    • 4. Hee must bee wise for him­selfe.
    • 5. He must be swift to heare.
    • 6. He must study onely profita­ble things.
    • 7. He must striue to increase in knowledge.
    • 8. Hee must propound h [...] doubts.
    • 9. He must be rightly ordered [Page 413] towards his Pastor, to pray for him, and obey him, and not discourage him.
  • 3. Hee must auoid ill compa­nie.
  • 4. Hee must resolue to practise these rules.
  • 5. Hee must order his outward calling so, as he be freed from all needlesse incumbrances.
  • 6. He must keepe companie with such as doe liue well.
  • 7. He must not be a seruant of man.
  • 8. He must accustome himselfe to the thoughts of the comming of Christ.
  • 9. He must not regard what the multitude doth.
  • 10. He must carefully remem­ber, to be in all things thankefull to God.
  • 11. He must studie to be quiet.
  • 12. He must be carefull to go on in a direct course.
  • 13. He must reade the Scrip­tures dayly.
  • [Page 414] 14. He must be carefull to pre­serue his first loue.
  • 15. He must especially striue for such good things as would make him more excellent in his place and calling.
  • 16. He must be often in the du­ties of mortification.
  • 17. He must obserue the oppor­tunities of well-doing.
  • 18. He must be carefull of kee­ping the Sabbath.
  • 19. He must often meditate of the examples of the godly that ex­cell in holinesse.
  • 20. He must daily pray God to direct him.

Chap. 3. p. 470. to 475.

THus of what ee must doe: what he must auoid followes: and so he must take heed,

  • 1. Of [...].
  • 2. Of rashnesse.
  • 3. Of carnall confidence.
  • 4. Of [...]asting to be rich.
  • [Page 415] 5. Of distrustfull f [...]ares.
  • 6. Of adding to, or taking from the Word of God.
  • 7. Of contempt of reproofe.
  • 8. Of beholding of vanitie.
  • 9. Of the beginnings of sinne.

Chap. 4. p. 475. to 491.

NIne things to bee euer in our minds, that in generall con­cerne the manner of well-doing: for in all good workes wee must shew:

  • 1—1. Zeale.
  • 2—2. Sinceritie, which hath in it:
    • Truth,
    • Respect to all Gods commande­ments.
    • A right end,
    • Obedience without obi [...]cting,
    • Obedience in all companies.
  • 3. Constancie, when wee doe good.
    • Without wearinesse.
    • Without discouragement.
    • [Page 416] Without resistance.
    • Without wauering.
    • Without declining.
  • 4. Feare.
  • 5. Simplicitie: which is,
    • To rest vpon the word for the forme of holinesse and happi­nesse.
    • To be harmelesse.
    • To be simple concerning euill.
    • To loue goodnesse for it selfe.
    • To be meeke and lowly minded.
    • So to feare God, as not to enuie the wicked.
  • 6. Circumspection, which hath in it,
    • A respect of lesser commande­ments,
    • Abstaining from appearance of euill,
    • Obseruation of the circumstances of things,
    • Vnrebukeablenesse,
    • Auoyding euill when good might come of it.
  • 7. Growth, which hath in it,
    • [Page 417]Abounding in goodnesse.
    • Finishing of holinesse.
    • Progresse.
  • 8. Moderation, to bee neither iust nor wicked ouermuch, which is expounded at large.

Chap. 5. p. 491. to 499.

THus of the generall Rule: the particular rules concerne ei­ther God, or other men, or our selues.

Our whole dutie to God, con­cernes either his loue, or his ser­uice.

The loue of God must be conside­red either in the foundation of it, or in the exercise of it.

The foundation of the loue of God, is the knowledge of God.

The Rules about the knowledge of God, concerne either the right conceiuing of his Nature, or our acquaintance with God.

That we may conceiue aright of the Nature of God:

  • [Page 418]1. Wee must cast out all like­nesses.
  • 2. We must striue to conceiue of him according to his speciall praises in his Word.
  • 3. Wee must bring with vs the faith of the Trinity.
  • 4. Wee may helpe our selues by the thinking of the Godhead in the humane Nature of Christ.
  • 5. We must get cure for Atheisti­call thoughts.

That we may be acquainted with God.

  • 1. Wee must prepare our hearts.
  • 2. We must begge acquaintance by prayer, praying with all our hearts, and early, and constant­ly.
  • 3. Wee must giue our selues to God.

Chap. 6. p. 499. to 515.

THus of the foundation of the loue of God: the Rules that [Page 419] concerne the exercise of our loue to God, either shew vs how to manifest our loue to God: or how to pre­serue it.

We manifest our loue to God,

  • 1. By auouching him to bee our God.
  • 2. By prouiding him a place to dwell with vs.
  • 3. By louing Iesus Christ.
  • 4. By walking with him, which hath fiue things in it.
  • 5. By honouring God: and we honour him,
    • By seeking his kingdome first.
    • By open profession of his Truth.
    • By grieuing for his dishonour.
    • By directing all our actions to his glory.
    • By suffering for his sake.
    • By honouring such as feare him.
    • By hating his enemies.
    • By speaking of his truth with all reuerence.
    • By free-will offerings.
    • By praising him: where di­uers [Page 420] Rules.
  • 6. By trusting in him: and this trust in God we shew:
    • By relying vpon his mercie for our saluation.
    • By committing all our workes to his blessing.
    • By beleeuing what he saith.
    • By staying vpon him in all di­stresses, praying to him, and casting our care vpon him, and relying vpon his helpe,
    • Without leaning to our owne vn­derstanding,
    • Without murmuring,
    • Without feare,
    • Without care,
    • Without vsing ill meanes.
  • 7. By obeying him.

In the manner also of our mani­festing our loue to God, wee must doo it,

  • 1. With feruencie.
  • 2. With feare: and our feare of God we shew,
    • By awfull thoughts of God.
    • By departing from euill.
    • [Page 421] By all reuerence of minde.
    • By not fearing men.
    • By remembring his presence.
    • By trembling at his iudgements.
    • By humilitie in the vse of his Ordinances.
    • By the reuerend vse of his very Titles.

Chap. 7. p. 515. to 522.

THus of the manifestation of our loue to God: for the preser­uation of our loue to God.

  • 1. We must separate our selues from all others to be his.
  • 2. We must beware that we for­get not God.
  • 3. Wee must edifie our selues in our holy faith.
  • 4. Wee must pray in the holy Ghost.
  • 5. We must waite for the com­ming of Christ.
  • 6. Wee must seeke his speciall presence in his Ordinances.
  • 7. We must preserue the Truth, [Page 422] he hath deliuered to vs.
  • 8. Wee must studie his prai­ses.
  • 9. Wee must study to reioyce in God, which containes in it 4. things: where eight rules to obtaine this ioying in God.

Chap. 8. p. 522. to 525.

THus of our loue to God: his seruice followes, and the rules about the seruice of God, concerne either the parts of his seruice, or the time of it.

The rules that concerne the parts of Gods worship, and either generall to all parts, or speciall.

Nine things to be remembred in all parts of Gods worship:

  • 1. Preparation.
  • 2. Godly feare.
  • 3. Penitencie.
  • 4. Griefe that others serue not God.
  • 5. That all be done in the name of Christ.
  • [Page 423] 6. Precedencie before other busi­nesses.
  • 7. That wee serue him with all our hearts.
  • 8. Desire to please him.
  • 9. Detestation of what might draw vs from his seruice.

Chap. 9. p. 525, to 531.

THe speciall Rules concerne ei­ther his publike seruice or the particular parts of his seruice: Vnto the publike seruice,

All must come,

With speciall reuerence,

And zeale: and this zeale to be shewed sixe wayes.

And with our consent.

With speciall gladnesse before God,

And trusting in his mercie,

And thankefulnesse for all suc­cesses.

Chap. 10 p. 531. to 536.

THe speciall parts of Gods wor­ship, are,

  • 1. Hearing: where the rules con­cerne vs.
    • 1. Before hearing.
      • A resolution to deny our owne wits and affections.
      • A meeke and humble spirit.
    • 2. In the time of hearing:
      • Speciall attention.
      • Prouing of the doctrine.
    • 3. After hearing:
      • 1. Meditation.
      • 2. Practice.

Chap. 11. p. 536. to 543.

2. THe Sacraments, which are, either Baptisme or the Lords Supper.

Concerning Baptisme wee haue diuers things to doe:

  • 1. About our children to present them to Baptisme,
    • In due time.
    • [Page 425] In faith.
    • With thankefulnesse.
  • 2. About our selues, to make vse of our owne Baptisme.
    • In case of doubting.
    • In the case of temptation to sinne, where our Baptisme serues for vse three wayes:
    • In the case of doubting of our per­seuerance.
  • 3. About others to acknowledge the Baptized.

Chap. 12. p. 543. to 546.

COncerning the Lords Supper, we are charged with,

  • 1. Examination.
  • 2. The discerning of the Lords Body.
  • 3. The shewing forth of the death of Christ.
  • 4. The vowes of louing the godly.
  • 5. Reconciliation.
  • 6. Vowes of holy life.

Chap. 13. p. 547. to 550.

3. PRayer: about which the Rules are,

  • 1. Thy words must be few.
  • 2. Thy heart must be lifted vp: which hath three things in it: vn­derstanding, freedome from distra­ctions, and feruencie.
  • 3. Thou must vse all manner of prayer.
  • 4. Thou must perseuere in prayer.
  • 5. Thou must be instant, without f [...]inting or discouragement.
  • 6. With supplications for all sorts.
  • 7. In all things thou must giue thankes.

Chap. 14. p. 550. to 554.

4. REading the Scriptures: the rules are:

  • 1. Reade daily.
  • 2. Meditate of what thou rea­dest.
  • 3. Conferre vpon it.
  • 4. Resolue to obey.

Chap. 15. p. 554. 555.

5. Singing of Psalmes: the rules are,

  • 1. Teach one another by Psalmes.
  • 2. Sing with the heart.
  • 3. Sing with grace.
  • 4. Make melody to the Lord.

Chap. 16. p. 555. to 558.

6. VOwes: the rules are,

  • 1. Before thou vow, con­sider.
  • 2. When thou hast vowed defer not to pay.

7. Swearing: the rules are,

  • 1. Sweare not by any thing which is not God.
  • 2. Sweare in truth.
  • 3. Sweare in iudgement.
  • 4. Sweare in righteousnesse.

Chap. 17. p. 558. to 560.

8. FAsting: the rules concerne,

  • 1. The strictnesse of the ab­stinence.
  • [Page 428] 2. The humbling of the soule.

Chap. 18. p. 560. to 566.

HItherto of the parts of Gods worship. The time followes, which chiefly is the Sabbath: and the rules about the Sabbath, con­cerne,

  • 1. The preparation to it:
    • End thy worke.
    • Auoide domesticall vnquietnes.
    • Cleanse thy selfe.
  • 2. The celebration of it, where is prescribed,
    • 1. Rest from all worke.
    • 2. Readinesse and delight.
    • 3. Care and watchfulnesse.
    • 4. Sinceritie to be shewed.
      • By doing Gods workes with as much care as our owne.
      • By obseruing the whole day.
      • By ausiding the lesser violations of the Sabbath.
    • 5. Faith, by trusting vpon his blessing.
    • 6. Discretion.

Chap. 19. p. 566. to 570.

HItherto of the Rules that concern our carriage towards God. Towards man followes: and so either towards all men, or to­wards some men.

The Rules that order vs in our carriage towards all men, concerne either righteousnesse or mercy.

The Rules that concerne righte­ousnesse, either order vs in company or out of company.

In company, we must be ordered, either in respect of Religion, or the sinne of others, or the way how to carry our selues inoffensiuely.

For matter of Religion, looke to it,

  • 1 That thou take not vp the name of God in vaine.
  • 2 That thou auoid vaine iang­lings, about doubtfull disputations, or curious questions, or vnprofitable reasonings.
  • 3 If thou be asked a reason of thy hope, answer with all reuerence and meekenesse.
  • [Page 430] 4. Let thy communication bee yea, yea, and nay, nay.

Chap. 20. p. 570. to 574.

AS for the faults of others,

  • 1. Iustifie not the wicked, nor condemne the righteous.
  • 2. Conuerse without iudging.
  • 3. Walke not about with tales.
  • 4. Reprooue, but hate not.
  • 5. Passe by frailties.
  • 6. Giue soft answers.

Chap. 21. p. 574. to 582.

THat thou mayest conuerse in­offensiuely, thou must looke to three things, humilitie, discretion, and puritie.

Vnto the humilitie of thy conuer­sation, bel [...]ng these rules:

  • 1. Be soft, shew all meekenesse to all men.
  • 2. Harken to the words of those that are wise.
  • 3. Stand not in the place of great men.

[Page 431] Vnto the discretion of thy conuer­sation, belong these rules.

  • 1. Speake what is acceptable.
  • 2. Auoid those that cause diui­sions.
  • 3. Make no friendship with the angry man.
  • 4. In the euill time be silent.
  • 5. And communicate not thy se­crets.
  • 6. Withdraw thy foot from thy neighbours house.
  • 7. Restraine thy passions.
  • 8. Blesse not thy friend with a loud voyce.

Vnto the paritie of thy conuersa­tion, belong these rules:

  • 1. Refraine thy tongue from euill.
  • 2. Especially auoid filthy spea­king, foolish talking and iesting.
  • 3. [...] re [...]elling and drinking.

Chap. 22. p. 582. to 584.

OVt of companie [...]

  • 1. Conceiue loue to all men.
  • 2. Pray for all sorts of men.
  • [Page 432] 3 Prouide to liue,
    • Honestly, without scandall.
    • Iustly, without deceit.
    • Peaceably, without strife.

Chap. 23. p. 584. to 592.

THus of righteousnesse. Mercy followeth: and vnto Mercy is requisite,

  • 1 Willingnesse.
  • 2 Labour.
  • 3 Laberalitie.
  • 4 Humilitie to be shewed fiue wayes.
  • 5 Faith, in two respects.
  • 6 Discretion, in foure respects.
  • 7 Sympathie.
  • 8 Sinceritie, in fi [...]e things.

Chap. 24. p. 592. to 601.

THus of the Rules that order our carriage towards all men. Towards some men, followes: as they are either wicked, or godly.

As for the wicked.

[Page 433] 1. Hold no needlesse societie with them.

2. When thou must needs come into their companie, carry thy selfe wisely, that thou mayst, if it be pos­sible, win them: and to this end shew,

  • 1. Thy mortification.
  • 2. Reuerend speech in matters of God and Religion.
  • 3. Meekenesse of wisedome.
  • 4. Reseruednesse, in eight things.
  • 5. Mercie.
  • 6. Vndauntednes in a good cause.
  • 7. Patience.
  • 8. Loue to thy enemies.

Chap. 25. p. 601. to 608.

THus of our carriage towards wicked men. In our carriage towards the godly, the summe of all is, Walke in loue: and the particular Rules concerne either the manife­station of our loue vnto them, or the preseruation of loue to them.

Sixe wayes to manifest our loue to the godly.

  • [Page 434]1. By courtesie.
  • 2. By receiuing them.
  • 3. By bearing their burthens.
  • 4. By prouoking them to good duties.
  • 5. By faithfulnesse in their busi­nesse.
  • 6. By employing our gifts for their good.

Chap. 26. p. 608 to 613.

FOr the preseruation of our loue to the godly, some things are to be done, & other things to be auoided.

The things to be done, are,

  • 1. Labour to be like minded.
  • 2. Follow peace.
  • 3. Couer their nakednesses.
  • 4. Confesse your faults one to another.

Chap. 27. p. 613. to 618.

TEn things to be auoided:

  • 1. Suites in Law.
  • 2. Dissimulation.
  • 3. Conceitednesse.
  • [Page 435] 4 Reioycing in iniquitie.
  • 5 The minding of our owne thigns.
  • 6 Ficklenesse.
  • 7 Vaine-glorie.
  • 8 Iudging.
  • 9 Euill words & complaining.
  • 10 The forsaking of their fel­lowship.

Chap. 28. p. 618. to 622.

OTher Rules which concerne onely some of the godly.

  • 1 Such as are falne.
  • 2 Such as are weake.
  • 3 Such as are strong.
  • 4 Such as are especially knit to vs in friendship.

1 Those that are falne, are ei­ther falne from God, or from thee; from God, either grosly or by infir­mitie; and so are guiltie of foule vices, or extreme omissions.

  • 1 Warne them, and reprooue them.
  • 2 If they mend not, auoid them.
  • 3 If they repent, for giue them.

Toward such as are falne from [Page 436] thee, by trespassing against thee, ob­serue these rules:

  • 1 Either speake not of it; or so, as thou vexe not as it.
  • 2 In great wrongs, two things are to be done:
    • First, When the trespas is secret, reproue him priuately: If he mend not, reproue him before witnesse: If he yet mend not, make the Church acquainted with it: If he will not then a [...]nend, hold him as an Heathen or a Publican.
    • Secondly, If hee repent, forgiue him, as often as he saith, it repenteth him.

Chap. 29. p. 622. to 625.

2 TOwards such as are weake.

  • 1 Wee must not intangle them with doubtfull Disputations concerning Ceremonies, or things indifferent.
  • 2 Wee must beare with their weakenesses.
  • 3 We must not offend them.
  • 4 We must encourage and com­fort them.
  • [Page 437] 5 In things indifferent, we must suffer a little restraint of our owne libertie to please them.
  • 6 Towards strong Christians.

First, We must acknowledge them.

Secondly, We must set their practise before vs as examples of imitation.

Thirdly, We must submit our selues to them to haue their iudge­ments in all doubtfull thing,

Fourthly, How we may carrie our selues towards our speciall friend.

  • 1 Neuer forsake him.
  • 2 Giue him heartie counsell.
  • 3 Be friendly to him.
  • 4 Communicate thy secrets to him.
  • 5 Loue him with a speciall loue.

First, As thine owne soule.

Secondly, At all times.

Thirdly, It must be a sincere loue that lookes not for bribes.

Fourthly, It must be such a loue as will reach to his posterity, if need be.

Chap. 30. p. 625. to 631.

RVles that concerne our selues, are of two sorts.

[Page 438] 1 Either our generall, or parti­cular calling.

Concerning our generall calling.

  • 1 Our Faith.
  • 2 Our Repentance.
  • 3 Our Hope.

1 Concerning our Faith, wee must be expert in the Catalogue of Promises, that concerne infirmities, mentioned in the third Treatise. Our iudgement must be established particularly in the Doctrine of the Principles expressed in the fifth Treatise.

2 Concerning our Repentance, one Rule is of singular use, and that concernes the Catalogue of present sins, mentioned in the first Treatise.

3 Concerning our Hope, foure things:

  • 1 Wee must pray earnestly for the knowledge of the great glorie is prouided for vs.
  • 2 We must vse all diligence to perfect our assurance of Heauen when we dye.
  • 3 Wee must accustome our [Page 439] thoughts to the daily contemplation of Heauen, that our con [...]ersation may be in Heauen.
  • 4 Wee must striue to enable our selues for the expectation of the comming of Iesus Christ, and to be able to wait for his comming.

Chap. 31. p. 631. to 6. 6.

SEuen things to bee auoided in our particular calling.

  • 1 Slothfulnesse.
  • 2 Vnfaithfulnesse.
  • 3 Rashnesse.
  • 4 Passion or perturbation.
  • 5 The temptations of our calling.
  • 6 Worldlinesse.
  • 7 Prophanenesse.

Chap. 32. p. 636. to 640.

HOw wee must carry our selues in affliction.

Eight things to be auoided:

  • 1 Dissembling.
  • 2 Shame.
  • 3 Impatience.
  • 4 Discouragement.
  • 5 Trust in carnall friends.
  • 6 Perplexed cares.
  • [Page 440] 7 Sudden feares.
  • 8 Carelesnesse of thy wayes.

Fiue things to be done in the time of affliction.

  • 1 Wee must pray, and call vpon the Name of the Lord.
  • 2 Wee must beare our crosse with patience and contentation.
  • 3 Wee must vse all good mean [...]s for our deliuerance.
  • 4 Wee must be sure to shew our trust in God, and cast our burthen on the Lord.
  • 5 Wee must shew our obedience to God foure wayes.
    • First, By submitting our selues to Gods will.
    • Secondly, If wee iudge our selues, and acknowledge our sins to God.
    • Thirdly, If we be constant in the good wayes of godlinesse.
    • Fourthly, If we learne more righ­teousnesse, and are made by our cros­ses to doe holy duties with better affections.


Containing the Preface, which shewes the drift, warrant, profit and vse of the ensuing Treatise.

THE only thing inten­ded The scope in this Treatise is, to collect for thy vse (Christian Reader) those directions scattered here and there in the Scripture, which may, throughout the whole course of thy life, tell thee, what thou must do in the right order of thy conuersation: how thou shouldest behaue thy self towards God, and how thou shouldest car­ry thy selfe towards men, in all the occasions of thy life: in company out of company: in all duties either [Page 442] of righteousnesse or mercie: and how thou shouldest dispose of thy selfe in affliction, and out of affliction, at all times.

And thou maiest bee the more encouraged to studie and practise Thy war­ra [...]. these rules, because thou hast the most expresse and apparant word of God to warrant and require thy obedience herein.

Be not so profane, as to thinke, that heere is more to doe then needs, or that I burthen the liues of Christians with a multitude of vnnecessarie Precepts, and so make the way harder then it is: For I require thy obedience in nothing thou hast not reason to be perswaded to be enioyned thee by the pure Word of God: and thou must know, to the confusion of thy securitie, that he that will walke safely, must walke by rule, Gal. 6. 16. He is yet in darkenesse, and walkes on in darkenesse, and sees not what he doth, or whither he goeth, that doth not make the [Page 443] Word of God the light vnto his sect, and the Lanterne vnto his paths, Ps. 119. There is an holy order of life commended in the godly, Col. 2. 5. And Gods pro­mises are made to such as will di­spose of their whole wayes aright. A loose conuersation is an ill con­uersation; and if euer we would see the saluation of God, we must be at the paines to dispose of our wayes, and to see to it, that wee dispose of our wayes aright, Psal. 50. vlt.

The benefit thou maiest reape The profit of the course. by this Treatise, is much euery way, if the fault bee not in thy selfe: for here thou maiest briefly behold the substance of a godly life; thou maiest in a short time informe thy knowledge in that great Doctrine of practicall Di­uinitie: But especially thou maiest by the helpe of this Treatise, see a sound way how to beautifie thy owne conuersation, with the ad­dition of diuers rules, which per­haps, [Page 444] hitherto thou hast not ta­ken notice of: God hath pro­mised much peace, and comfort vnto such as will walke according vnto rule, Gal. 6. 16. Yea he hath promised, that they shall see the sal­uation of God, that dispose their way aright, Psal. 50. vlt. It is true, it is a greater labour to trauaile in the way, then to shew it; but yet it is a greater benefit to bee shewed the way. Howsoeuer, it may not bee denied, but it is a greater glory to obserue these Rules, then to know them, or prescribe them.

It may be thou wilt obiect, that the Rules are so many, thou canst The easinesse of the course. neuer remember them, and so not profit by them. I answer:

If I haue made the Rules no more in number then God hath made them in his Word, thou mayest not finde fault with me.

Secondly, No man that is to learne any Trade or Science, but he meeteth with more directiōs [Page 445] then he can on the suddain reach to, or practise, and yet he reiects not his Trade or Science, because in time hee hopes to learne it all. Would we put on a resolution to serue a Prentiship to Religion, and to worke hard one seuen yeeres: Oh what worke would we dispatch! How many Rules and knowledges would we grow skilfull in! But alas, after many yeeres profession of Christiani­tie, the most of vs, if all were put together, haue not done the worke that might haue beene done in few dayes.

Thirdly, I answer, that it is not Marke this direction. necessarie thou shouldest lay all these Rules before thee at once, but marke out certaine choise Rules, so many as thou canst well remember, and striue, by daily practise, to bring thy selfe to some kinde of dexteritie in ob­seruing them. There bee some Rules of each kinde, which, if thou bee a true Christian, thou [Page 446] knowest and obseruest alreadie: These thou mayest continue to obserue still, without loading thy memory about them. Now if those be omitted, then consider of the rest that remaine, which of them do most concerne thee, or would most adorne thy practice and profession, or are such as thou neuer hitherto didst make con­science of: Extract or marke out so many of those at that time, as thou wouldest in daily practice striue to attaine, and when thou hast learned them, then goe on, and prescibe to thy selfe new Lessons. To a carnall mind all the way of godlinesse is impossible, but to a godly and willing mind, all things, through the power and assistance of God are possible. God will accept thy desire and endeuour, and will adde strength and might, and encourage thee in all his wayes. By prayer thou mayest forme any grace in thee, by reason of the power the Lord [Page 447] Iesus hath to preuaile for any thing thou dost aske the Father in his name.

The last benefit may come to thee, if thou daily reade these di­rections, is that they wil quicken thee to a great care of weldoing, and giue thee cause to walke hum­bly with thy God, and abase thy selfe for thine owne insufficien­cie. The Lord giue thee vnderstan­ding in all things, and vnite thy heart vnto his feare alwayes, that thou mayest obserue to doe, as hee commandeth thee, and not turne from the good way all the dayes of thy life.


Containing such Rules as in gene­rall, men must take notice of as preparations and furtheran­ces to a godly life.

THE Rules of a holy life may The rules of life are either ge­nerall or particular. be cast into two rankes: the first containing such rules as are Generall: and the other, such as are Particular.

The generall rules are likewise The gene­rall rules concerne either, The helps to a godly life. of two sorts: some of them con­cerne certaine generall prepara­tions, helpes, or furtherances to an holy life, without which men in vaine beginne the cares or ende­uours of a reformed life. And some of them comprehend those necessarie rules which are to bee obserued in the manner of doing Or second­ly, the▪ manner of wel doing. all holy duties, and so are of sin­gular vse to bee alwayes remem­bred, when wee goe about any seruice,

[Page 449] Of the first sort there are many Who so will ad­dresse him­selfe to an holy course of life. rules; for they that will addresse themselues to order their con­uersation aright, must be sound­ly carefull in the obseruation of these directions following.

1 Hee must examine himselfe about his faith and repentance; he must be sure hee is reconciled to God, and hath truely repented himselfe of his sinnes, 2 Cor. 13. 5. For vnlesse he be a new crea­ture, he is no creature, but a dead man, and so vtterly vnable for the practice of these rules following: And without God wee can doe no­thing; and without God wee are till we liue by faith. Besides, the pollution of our hearts or liues drawne vpon vs by the custome of sinne past and present, will so infect all we doe, that it will bee abominable to God, and so lost labour.

This is the first Rule.

2. His next care must bee to learne the knowledge of the rules [Page 450] of life. Wee can neuer practise what we know not; and there­fore our next care and paines must be to get the knowledge of Gods wayes distinctly and effe­ctually into our heads and hearts. Our direction must not be in our bookes, but in our heads: and a Christian must haue his rules al­wayes before him, that so hee may walke circumspectly, by line and leuell, Ephes. 5. 15. vnder­standing the will of God in what he is to do. He is in the way of life, that hath and keepeth instruction, how to liue, Prouerbs 10. 17. whereas hee that will not be at the paines of getting instruction, er­reth, as Salomon saith: And there­fore wee must take fast hold of in­struction, and not let her goe, but keepe her for she is our life, Prou. 4. 13. Knowledge then, of neces­sitie must be had, or in vaine wee goe about to liue well. Now this is such a rule, as must not slightly bee passed ouer: and it [Page 451] is not enough thus in generall to require knowledge, but withall, I would shew certaine choise rules to be obserued by vs, if wee would take a sound course to at­taine knowledge. Hee then that And hee that would prosper in seeking knowledge must ob­serue nine Rules would prosperously seeke sound knowledg, must remember these directions.

First, hee must esteeme know­ledge, and labour to frame his 1. He must esteeme knowledge heart to an high estimation of it, accounting it as great treasure, accounting the getting of wise­dome aboue all gettings, Prou. 4. 7. Wee must seeke for knowledge as for siluer, and search for her as for treasure, and then with wonder­full successe shall wee vnderstand the right feare of the Lord, Prou. 2. 4, 5. else our labour will bee blasted and fruitlesse, if we bring meane thoughts to the exercise of directions for the attaining of knowledge.

Secondly, hee must take heede 2 He must not consult with flesh and blood. that hee consult not with flesh and [Page 452] blood, Gal. 1. 16. Hee must not re­gard other mens opinions, or his owne carnall reason, but resolue to giue glory to God and his Word, as willing to beleeue or do what­soeuer the Lord saith vnto him.

Thirdly, hee must redeeme the time, Ephes. 5. 16. Inasmuch as he 3. He must redeeme the time. hath lost so much time past, hee must now prouide to allow him­selfe conuenient and certain time to bee spent this way for the at­taining of knowledge; else to stu­dy by snatches and vncertainely, will be to little or no purpose. To complaine of ignorance, will not serue the turne, nor will the pre­tence of worldly businesse excuse vs: and therefore we must buy so much time of our occasions as may be competent for the supply of our wants in knowledge.

Fourthly, in seeking know­ledge, 4. He must be wise for himselfe. he must be wise for himselfe, Prou. 9. 12. Hee must striue to vnderstand his owne way, so to be carefull to know the generals a­bout [Page 453] Religion, as his speciall care bee in all things to referre what he reads or heares, to the particular directions of his own soule. This is a rule of singular vse, if it could bee beaten into mens heads; and for want of this, many Christians, after long pains and much time spent, haue beene found exceeding ignorant.

Fifthly, hee must bee swift to 5 He must be swift to heare. heare, Iames 1. 19. with all fre­quencie and attention, making vse of the publike ministery, stri­uing with his owne heart against deadnesse and drowsinesse, and remouing all impediments might be cast in his way from the world or his worldly occasions, obser­uing all opportunities for hea­ring, especially when hee seeth the heart of his Teacher enlar­ged, and the power of doctrine more then at other times or in other things.

Sixthly, he must auoide vaine 6 He must study only profitable things. questions, and fruitlesse contempla­tions, [Page 454] Tit. 3. 9. 1. Tim. 6. 20. 2 Tim. 2. 23. When the light of do­ctrine was so great in the Primi­tiue times, this was one practice of Satan, to draw aside the stu­dies of Christians from necessa­rie and solid truths, to Genea­logies, or quarrels about words or vaine controuersies, falsly cal­led oppositions of science. We must therefore be warned of this me­thod of Satan; and till we know cleerely the wayes of life, allow our selues no time for more re­mote studies, or fruitlesse con­trouersies. What riches of know­ledge might some Christians haue attained to, if they had spent the time (they haue em­ployed about controuersies, ge­nealogies, and generall know­ledge) in the sound building of themselues vp in such things as their s [...]ules apparently stand in need of?

Seuenthly, he must not rest sa­tisfied 7 He must st [...]ue to increase in knowledge with a small measure of [Page 455] vnderstanding; he must not giue ouer when he hath gotten a little knowledge more then he had: he must desire to increase in know­ledge, and neuer be well pleased with himselfe, while hee is but a child in vnderstanding, [...] Cor. 14 20.

Eighthly, he must enquire and 8 He must propound his doubts. take counsell, hee must propound his doubts daily and carefully. He that would know much, must aske much; hee must breake off that wretched silence he is prone to, and prouide, if it [...]ee possible, to enioy the fauour of some one or moe, that are able to resolue his doubts from time to time. This rule hath incredible profit in it, if it be rightly practised, Prou. 15. 12. and 20. 17, 18, and 27. 9.

Ninthly, and lastly, he must be 9 He must be rightly ordered towards his Pastor. rightly ordered in respect of his Pa­stor. For the principall meanes of knowledge, is assigned of God to be in the ministerie of his ser­uants: and therefore if we would [Page 456] attaine knowledge, we must dis­pose our selues aright towards our Teachers; and to this end we must looke to it.

First, that wee pray for them, 1. To pray for him. that their word may run and haue free passage; and that God would make them able to open vnto vs the mysteries of his will. 2 Thess. 3. 1, 2, Col. 4. 3. Ephes. 6. 19.

Secondly, we must keepe then 2 To obey him. directions, and make conscience of it to bee carefull to obey them; in what they command vs in the Lord, 1 Cor. 11. 2.

Thirdly, we must take beede of discouraging them: for this is not profitable for vs. For the more cheerefull and comfortable their hearts are, the more apt they are to finde out profitable things for vs, Heb. 13. 17, 18. 1 Cor. 16. 10, 11.

And thus of the first and se­cond The third rule. Hee must get out of euill com­pany. rule.

Thirdly, hee that would re­dresse his wayes aright, must get [Page 457] out of the way of wicked men: hee must giue ouer euill company and sequester himselfe from the counsell and society of carnal and prophane persons. The necessity of this rule is, both proued and vrged in these and many other Scriptures; Prou. 4. 14. Psal. 1. 1. 2 Cor. 6. 17. Ephes. 5. 7, 8.

Fourthly, hee must bring a 4 He must resolue to practise. minde full of care, and desire, and resolution to practise the rules when hee hath learned them: he must, as the phrase is, obserue to doe Gods will, Deut. 5. 32. He must be watchfull and diligent; he must ponder vpon the wayes of God, be­waring lest hee either neglect or forget to doe them, Deut. 6. 17. and 32. 46. and 8. 11. 1 Cor. 16. 13. Prou. 4. 26. We must follow after righteousnesse, 1 Tim. 6. 11. and binde directions as signes vpon our hands, &c. Deut. 6. 8. If wee could bee thus awakened, this rule would breed vs vnspeakable good in our conuersation.

[Page 458] Fifthly, he must endeauour to 5 He must settle his outward estate. settle his head and his estate, in respect of his worldly affaires. It is a singular helpe to godli­nesse, to reduce our outward cal­lings in order: and euery dayes experience shewes, that confusi­ons in worldly businesse breed miserable neglect in Gods ser­uice. And therefore hee that would profite in an orderly course of life, must prouide to vse the world so, as hee may serue the Lord without distraction. He that would runne a race, abstaineth from all things that might encom­ber him. No man that warreth, in­tangleth himselfe with the affaires of life, that hee may please him who hath chosen him to bee a soùldür. And therefore we may not think it much, if in our spiritual course, God lay some restraint vpon vs, in respect of the cares and en­combrances in our outward cal­lings, 1 Cor. 7. 29, 35, &c. 2 Tim. 2. 4. 1 Cor. 9. 25.

[Page 459] Sixtly, hee must walke in the 6 He must keepe com pany with the godly. way of good men, both setting be­fore him their practice, as pat­ternes of imitation, as also by conuersing with them, that there­by hee may gather encourage­ment, and helpe in well-doing. Hee is deceiued, that thinkes to go alone, and yet go prosperously in the course of a godly life: He may profit, and learne by many things he heareth, receiueth, and seeth among the godly, Prou. 2. 20. Phil. 4. 8, 9.

Seuenthly, hee must not be the seruāt of men, 1. Cor. 7. 23. Other 7. He must not be the seruant of men. mens humours must not be the directiō of his practice. H [...] must so depēd vpon persons by hopes to get any thing by in this world, as he be not thereby hin­dered in workes of Religion, knowing, that he is Christs free­man.

He must haste to, and looke for 8. He must looke for the com­ming of Christ. the comming of Iesus Christ, 2. Pet. 3. 12. Hee must often remember [Page 460] his latter end, and daily set be­fore his eyes the comming of Christ, striuing to stirre vp in his heart the desire after Christ, praying for it, and dispatching those workes that may prepare him therevnto. The remem­brance of our accounts in the day of Christ, will wonderfully quicken men to the care of well-doing; and the cause of vicious­nesse, and miserable neglect, and procrastinations of many, is, their forgetting of their latter end. A great reason why the di­rections about godlinesse are not entertained, is, because men put far away from them the Day of the Lord: whereas the remem­brance of the reuelation of Iesus Christ, would put spirit and life into vs. He dares not say from the heart, Come, Lord Iesus, come quickly, that is not resol­ued diligently to worke the works of Christ.

9. He must not stay for com­pany, [...] H [...] must not regard what the multitude doth. [Page 461] but rather choose to runne alone; or with a few, then ha­zard the losse of the Crowne. Our life is a race, and as in a race men stay not for company, but striue who may runne formost: so it is in the race of godlinesse: He must so runne as he may obtain: hee must set out with the first, and runne as it were for his life: As hee must make vse of the so­cietie of the godly, so hee must not stay, till his carnall friends and acquaintance will set out with him: He must be of Ioshua's minde, that if the whole world will liue in wickednesse and prophanenesse, yet hee and his house will serue the Lord, 1. Cor. 9. 24. and 14. 12. Ioshua 24. 15.

Tenthly, hee must in all things giue thankes; when God giues 10 Hee must in all things giue thanks. him successe in any thing, or prospers the meanes to him, and helpes him with victory ouer any sin, or strength to performe [Page 462] any duty, or bestowes vpon him any spirituall blessing, hee must remember to praise God in the name of Iesus Christ. This will quicken him: Daily thankefulnesse will breede daily alacritie in well doing. He that will not be thank­full for beginnings of successe in the practice of holy duties, will not hold out: This is the spe­ciall will of God in Christ, that we should in all things giue thankes, 1. Thess. 5. 18.

11. He must studie to be quiet, 11. He must stu [...]y to be quiet and follow peace with all men, med­ling with his owne businesse, and auoiding all occasion of conten­tion, that might distract him in his owne course. A busie bodie is as good as no body in respect of sound progresse in sanctification. It is an excellent skill to be able Note. to auoide the intanglements of discord; especially he must pro­uide to haue perfect peace with the godly. Though God be able to sanctifie the oppositions of [Page 463] vnreasonable men, yet wee must take heed of drawing needlesse troubles vpon our selues; for that makes vs neither to be; nor to be accounted the more holy, but contrariwise. The Apostle could not speake vnto the Corinthi­ans, as vnto spirituall men, but as vnto carnall; at the best, but Babes in Christ: and the reason was, because there was strife, and enuie, and diuision amongst them, Heb. 12. 14. Mark. 6. vlt. 1 1 Thes 4. 11 Cor. 3. 3.

12. His eyes must looke straight, 1 Hee must k [...]epe a strict co [...]rs in follow­ing onely profitable things. and his eye-lids right before him, Prou. 4. 25. He must take heed of going about, and fetching of compasse in religion, Ier. 31. 22. Hee must bee still amy [...] at the marke of the high price of his cal­ling: being sure that the things he employeth himselfe in, tend directly to the furtherance of his saluation, & not lose his time in vnprofitable studies, or practi­ces, proceeding frō one degree [Page 464] to another, till he come to a ripe age in Christ.

13. He must be conuersant in [...] He must be [...] daily in the reading of the ho­ly Scrip­tures. the Scriptures, and be familiarly acquaint [...]d with them, that they may dwell plenteously in him: For those good words of God haue not onely light in them to direct vs, but power also to assist vs to do what they require, and by the daily reading and h [...]ring of them, wee shall bee excited to more care of wel-doing: we must excercise our selues [...]n the Word day and night; and neuer let them de­part out of our hearts, but keepe our hearts still warme with the heate that comes from them, ne­uer suffering the warmth to goe out through our long forbea­rance of the vse of them, Col. 3. 16. Psal. 1. 2. Iosh. 8. Esay 8. 16, 20.

14. He must carefully [...] in [...] first lo [...]e, Reuel. 2. 4. The 14 Hee must k [...]pe his fi [...]st loue. Lord is wont at some times or other, about the first conuersion [Page 465] of a sinner, to shew himself with such power in his ordinances, and to reueale vnto him such glories in the merits and gifts of Iesus Christ, and the happinesse of his estate in him, that his heart is thereby fired to a cheerefull liking of the means of saluation, and of godly persons, and to a wonderfull desire of God, and care to please God. Now he that would prosper in a Christian course, must be wonderfull care­full to preserue affection, & this spirituall loue in his heart, and watch against, and resist the first beginnings of decay, or cold­nesse, or declining in his heart, and take heede of suffering his heart to be drawne away by the deceitfulnesse of sinne, or the en­ticements of the world.

15. He must couet earnestly the best gifts, 1 Cor. 12. vlt. There 15 He must couet the best gifts. are some duties in piety, or Mer­cie, or Righteousnesse, which in respect of our places doe most [Page 466] concerne vs, & would in a more speciall manner adorne our par­ticular profession: so are there some gifts which do aduance our communion with God, and doe make vs more profitable a­mongst men. Now these things we should study, and earnestly labour to frame our selues to, & to expresse them more effectu­ally in our conuersation. This no doubt is the reason why the holy Ghost doth in the Scripture make Catalogues of certaine speciall duties, or graces singled out from the rest, and sitted to the cōditions of the people who are written to: and this would be a singular aduantage to vs, if we also would single out to our vse some few of the chiefest ver­tues or duties which we would daily set before vs, an [...] striue by prayer and all holy endeauour to fashion them to the life in our hearts a [...]d liues.

16. He must renew often his 16. He must often [Page 467] mortification; mans heart is like humble his soule be fore God. fallow ground, which is not fit to receiue seed, till it be broken vp, and at best it is like a garden which will often need weeding. If wee doe not at some times in speciall manner humble our soules before God, worldly cares, or carnall delights will ouer-grow our desires and our practice, and choake the seed of the Word receiued by vs: wee must keepe vnder our bodies, and bring them in subiection, and be often dragging our lusts to the crosse of Christ, there to crucifie them. Our practice is like to sowing, which presup­poseth plowing before, Ier. 4. 3, 4. Hosh. 10. 12. 1. Cor. 9. 27.

17. We must watch for the op­portunities 17 He must watch for the oppor tunities of w [...]-doing. of well-doing, and take heed of procrastination: he must seeke righteous [...]esse, and haste to it, he must not put it off till to morrow, Esay. 6. 8. Prou. 3. 28. and 2. 4. Amos. 5. 14.

[Page 468] 18. Hee must remember the 18 Hee must be [...] of sanctifying the S [...]b­bath. Sabbath Day to sanctifie it. The commandement concerning the keeping of the Sabbath, to san­ctifie it, is placed in the midst betweene the two Tabels, of purpose to shew that the kee­ping of the Sabbath, is a singu­lar helpe to all piety and righte­ousnesse; and God hath promised a speciall blessing to the obser­uers of the Sabbath, and giues strength by the rest of that day, [...]he better to performe holy du­ties all the weeke after, Com­mandement, 4. Esay 38. 1 [...].

19. Hee must meditate much on the example of the godly of all 19. Hee must often thinke of [...]he ex­ample of the godly that ha [...]e exc [...]lled. ages, and striue diligently to learne their wayes, and to quicken himselfe by the thought of their care, zeale, and sinceritie. And thus hee may also profitably set before him the examples of such of his owne acquaintance, as excell in the gifts of Christ, and fruits of weldoing. The example [Page 469] of good men should be as forci­ble to draw vs to good, as the example of euill men is to in­cline others to euill: wee haue beene compassed about with a cloud of witnesses, who haue liued in all ages of the Church: wee must therefore stand in the wayes & see, and aske for the old way to walke in it, and with all gladnesse follow any that are fit to bee guides to vs therein, Hebr. 12. 1. Ier. 12. 19. & 6. 16.

20. He must go daily to him that 20. He must daily seek [...] way of God. teacheth to profit, begging of God to shew him a way, and to leade him by his Spirit vnto the right pra­ctice of euery holy duty, euen to guide him in the plaine path, Esay 48. 17. [...]sal. 27. 11.

Thus I haue s [...]t downe those rules which are generall helpes vnto godlinesse, and must be at­tended by a Godly Christian.


Shewing the things that are to bee auoided by such as would order their conuersation aright.

NOw before I proceed vnto the rules that concerne the manner of weldoing, I will adde to the former directions, nine Cautions, or nine things which a Christian must take heed of in He must [...]oide, his practice of holy duties: As

First, hee must take heed of wretchlesnesse, or a scornefull 1. Careles­ness [...]. carelesnesse of his owne wayes: he must not despise his wayes, as if he cared not how hee liued, or rested satisfied to bee still as he was: this carelesnesse proues the bane of many a soule, where­as Hee that keepeth his soule, kee­peth his way, Prou. 19. 16. and 2 [...]. 8.

2. He must take heed of pre­cipitation, or rashnesse, or too Rashnes. [Page 471] much haste: this is the ground of much false zeale, and the cause of strange euils in the presence of some Christian: but the godly Christian must learne of Salomon to prepare his worke in the field, and then build his house: he must get sound knowledge of the warrant of his actions, & guide his affaires by aduice, and with serious preparation fit himselfe to the doing of what hee is sure is good. Hee that hasteth with his feete, sinneth: what is done rashly, cannot be done well: Prou. 19. 2. As procrastination is a great vice; so precipitation is no vertue, Prou. 24. 27. & 28. 26.

3. Hee must haue no confidence 3. Carnall confidence. in the flesh, he must not rely vpon his own wit, memory, reason, de­sires, vertues, praises, or power; but all his comfort and affiance must be in the merits, interces­sion, vertue and assistance of Ie­sus Christ his Sauiour, Phil. 3. 3.

4. He must not haste to be rich, 4. Hast to be rich. [Page 472] for the desire of money is the roote of all euill: and they cannot be at leasure for good duties, that are so eager to compasse great things in the world, Pro. 23. 4. & 28. 20.

5. Hee must take heed of the 5. Distrust­full [...]. snares that rise from distrustfull feares: There is a snare in feare, Pro. 29. 25. There are many feares will assault a man that re­solues to liue well; as the feare that he cannot doe good duties; the feare that God will not ac­cept what he doth; the feare lest men should scorne him, or con­temne him, or lest he should lose the fauour of his friends, or such like. Now against all these must the godly minde be armed, and take heede that those feares proue not great hinderances to him; and especially take heed of that vnbeliefe, or counterfeit humilitie, by disabling himselfe, or mistrusting God contrary to his nature and prom [...]

[Page 473] 6. Hee must take heed of ad­ding 6 Adding to, or ta king from the Word of God. to or detracting from the word of God: Hee must not imagine more sins then God hath made; that is, not trouble himselfe with feare of offending in such things as God hath not in his Word forbidden: and so like­wise hee must not impose vpon his owne conscience, or other mens, the necessitie of obseruing such rules of practice as God ne­uer prescribed. This caution would ease the hearts of many Christians, if it were discreetly obserued and applied, Pro. 30. 6.

7. He must take heed of har­dening 7 Co [...]tēp of reproof his necke against reproofes: Pro. 26. 1. Hee must needes run into headlong euils, that is so proud as not to heare aduice, or to reiect reproofes; and it will be a singular furtherance to an holy life, to be easie to be intreated to leaue his offences, and to mend his errours.

8. Hee must take heed of be­holding 8. Behol­ding vanity [Page 474] vanitie Dauid. praies, that God would turne away his eyes from beholding vanitie. He that would forsake vanitie, must a­uoide the presence of vaine per­sons, and the too much contem­plation of vanitie, shunning the reading and discourse of the en­ticement of others vnto any sin, Psal. 119. 37.

9. And lastly, hee must take 9. The be ginning of sinne. heed of the beginning of euils in his owne heart: he must keep his heart with all diligence, for there on com­meth life. His practice will be ea­sie to him, if he resist sinne in the beginning, and driue out Satan from his holds, within his soule; whereas he cannot but be much entangled and encumbred, that allowes himselfe in the secret entertainement of contemplatiue wickednesse; hee must watch his heart, and striue for inward pu­ritie, Prou. 4. 23.


Containing the generall Rules to be remembred in the manner of doing all good duties.

HItherto of the first sort of generall Rules. The second sort concernes the manner of well­doing. There are diuers things in the generall, which are to be ob­serued of the godly Christian in all good duties, which he ought There are 5 things to be still re­membred, which con­cerne the manner of wel-doing. to haue perfect in his memorie, and such as he might bring with him at all times to form his heart in respect of them, to beget in him that holy m [...]ner of carrying himselfe, which is requisite vnto the acceptation of the good things he employeth himself in: and the rather should he be mo­ued to the care of learning and expressing of these things, be­cause the matter of good duties may be done by wicked men, as [Page 476] they were by the Pharises, and yet all abomination to the Lord. That therfeore hee may not lose that he worketh, hee must striue in euery good action to expresse these nine things following in the manner of his behauiour.

The first thing required in the Zeale with con­tinual wil­lingnes and feruen cie. manner of euery holy duty, is, Zeale. It is not enough that hee doe the duty, but he must doe it affectionately, bringing with him the stirring of the desires of his heart, answerable and agree­able to the duty hee would per­forme. Zeale hath in it two di­stinct things, willingnesse and fer­uencie. It must not seeme euill to him to doe Gods worke; and in doing it, he must lift vp his heart, so as hee performe it with all his might, and with all his soule: and this hee doth, when either he brings an heart delighting in good workes, or when he iudg­eth himselfe for what deadnesse, or distraction, or vnwillingnesse [Page 477] he findes in himselfe: he is ac­counted zealous, when he striue [...] for it, and lifts vp his soule a­gainst the impediments which burthen him. This zeale is n [...]ces­sary; Christ died to redeeme a peo­ple vnto himselfe, not onely that would do good workes, but that would bee zealous of good workes, Tit. 2. 14.

2. The second thing required 1. Sinceritie which hath in it fiue things. in the manner of good duties, is sinceritie; all his actions must be done in the sincerity of his hart. The life of a Christian is like a continuall Passe-ouer: Now this Feast, hee must keepe alwaies with the vnleauened bread of sincerity, 1. Cor. 5. 8.

Now this sinceritie hee must shew diuers wayes, as,

1. By the truth of his heart, as 1 Truth. it stands opposed to hypocrisie: he must not talke of well-doing, or seeme to doe it, but he must doe it indeed.

2. By his respect to all Gods 2 Respect to al Gods [Page 478] commandements; when he can say comman­dements. with Dauid, I esteeme all thy pre­cepts, concerning all things, to bee right, and I hate euery false way. He that is truly sincere, accoun­teth that euery word of God is good, & desires to yeeld obedience in all things. He hath not his reser­uation, or exception. He doth not with Herod giue himselfe li­berty to lie in the wilfull breach of one commandement, resting sa­tisfied to haue reformed himself in other things. And he would haue God to forgiue him all his sinnes, so his heart desires to forsake sinne, and so hee desires also to doe euery part of Gods worke.

3. By propounding the glory of 3 Right end. God, as the chiefe end of all his actions: His praise must not bee of men; nor must he do good duties for carnall ends, 1. Cor. 10. 31.

4. By obeying without expostu­lating, 4. Obedi­ence with out expo­stulation. though God giue no ap­parent reason of his commande­ment. [Page 479] Thus Abraham shewed his sincerity, when God bade him goe out of his owne coun­trey, though he knew not whi­ther he should goe, Heb. 11. 8. This is to obey simply, because God hath commanded it.

5. By obeying absent as well as 5. Obedi­ence in all places. present, in all companies as well as one. This praised the sinceritie of the obedience of the Philippi­ans, Phil. 2. 12.

Thus of sinceritie, which is the second thing required in the manner of wel-doing.

3. The third thing is constancy: He is blessed that doth righteousnes The third thing re­quired in the maner of well­doing, is constancie. alwaies. Doing righteousnesse will not serue the turne, but it must be at all times, Psal. 106. 3. Our righteousnesse must not bee like the morning dew. It is not suf­ficient to do good by fits; we are no day-labourers, but Gods hi­red seruants. He that is righteous, must be righteous still, Rom. 6. 19. Reuel. 22. 11. There must be con­tinuance [Page 480] in welldoing, Rom. 2. 7, 8.

Now to bee constant in well-doing, And hee is constant, that doth good du­ties. it is to doe good duties.

1. Without wearinesse. It is re­quired as a thing necessarie to the manner of well-doing, that we be not wearie of it, and that wee faint not, Gal. 6. 9. This we must striue for by prayer.

2. Without discouragement; we [...] With­out dis­courage­ment. must lift vp the hands that hang downe, and the feeble knees, and make straight steppes to our feete. How much hinderance to well-doing, discouragement is, may appeare by this similitude: Feeble knees will dispatch but a little space of the iourney, and hands that hang downe, are not fit for worke: great is the hinderance comes to many by their discou­ragements and aptnesse thereun­to, which ariseth vsually from pride, and the dregs of worldly sorrow, and ought much to bee resisted by true Christians, Heb. 12. 12, 13. Iosh. 1. 6, 7.

[Page 481] 3. Without impediment: that is' notwithstanding all the impedi­ments 3. Not­withstan­ding impe­diments. may be cast in the way: iudgement should runne downe as waters, and righteousnesse as astowing streame; we should ouer­come all difficulties. You cannot stop the flowing streame, though you cast in great logs or stones, yea though you would goe about to dam it vp; and such should be the resolution of a godly Chri­stian, Amos. 5. 24.

4. Without wauering or vncer­tainetie. 4 With­out waue­ring. It is vncertaine running the Apostle impliedly forbids, 1. Cor. 9. 26. Our life is like a race: Now in a race it is not e­nough that a man runne now & then, though he run fiercely for the time; hee must not trifle and looke behinde, and stand still at his pleasure, and then run againe, but he must be alwaies running: so ought it to bee with vs in the race of godlinesse. It will not serue the turne to bee good by [Page 482] fits, and to be forward in good things onely at sometimes, and then bee carelesse, and off the hookes, as wee say, at other times.

5. Without declining or going backe. Iob comforts himselfe a­gainst 5. Without declining. the aspersion of hypocri­sie, by this, that his foote had held on his steps, and Gods wayes he had kept, and not declined, nor had hee gone backe from Gods commande­ments, Iob 23. 11, 12. Though he had not made such progresse as he desired, yet this was his com­fort, he had not backe slided by Apostasie.

And thus of the third thing also required in the manner of well-doing, which is Constan­cie.

4. The fourth thing required, is feare: thus Prou. 28. 14. The 4. Feare. man is blessed that feareth alwaies. And 1. Pet. 1. 17. & 3. 2. Our con­uersation must be with feare. This feare excludes rudenes, careles­nesse, [Page 483] conceitednesse, pride, and the like, and includes reuerence, lawful regard of Gods holines, or holy presence, (whom wee should set alwaies before vs) and the feare of the deceitfulnesse of sinne, and our owne corrupt dis­positions, and the care to auoid all occasions of offending God or men.

The fifth thing is Simplicitie. Simplicitie which is, This is so necessary, as the Apo­stle mistrusted most the subtiltie of the diuell, in beguiling Chri­stians of this simplicitie which they had in Iesus Christ, 2. Corinth. 11. [...].

Now this simplicity con­taines in it distinctly diuers things.

1. A resting in those formes of holinesse and happinesse which 1 To rest vpon the Word for the formes of holines and happi­nes. God hath prescribed, when a man desires no more to make him happy, then what God hath offe­red and giuen in Iesus Christ, 2. Corinth. 11. 3. and when hee [Page 484] accounts nothing to defile him, but what God hath forbidden, and nothing needfull to be done by him, what God hath in his word required.

2. A Doue-like innocencie, and 2 To bee harmelesse harmlesnes, when the Christian shewes a desire to be iniurious to no man, but rather to seeke the good of others, as well as his owne, 1. Cor. 10. 24.

3. An ignorance of the depths 3 To bee simple concer­ning euill. of Satan, and the methods of sin, when hee is not cunning in sin­ning, but simple concerning euili, no way desirous to get subtil ex­cuses, or arguments to defend himselfe in euill, Romanes 16. 19.

4. A loue of Godlinesse for it 4 To loue goodnesse for it selfe. selfe, and hatred of sinne, as it is sinne.

5. Meekenesse of Wisedome, 5. To [...]. [...]mes. 3. 13. which is shewed three wayes. First by lowlines [...]e of mind, when a man is not concei­ted, or wise in himselfe, but re­taines [Page 485] a sense of his owne vnfit­nesse; and vnworthinesse, Iob 37. 24. Secondly, by silence from his owne praises, Prou. 27. 2. Thirdly, by auoiding vaine iang­lings, which arise out of enuy, or contempt of others.

6. The preseruing of himselfe 6. Feare God, and not enuie the wicked in the feare of God, notwithstan­ding the prosperitie of euill do­ers, not enuying the wicked, that hath successe in his way, Prou. 23. 17.

The sixt thing required in the The sixth is circum­spection, which hath fiue things in it. manner of well-doing, is Cir­cumspection, Ephes. 5. 15.

Now he walketh circumspect­ly or exactly:

1. That makes conscience to obserue the lesser commande­ments as well as the greater, Math. 5. 19.

2. That abstaines from the very appearance of euill, 1. Thess. 5. 22.

3. That with discretion lookes to the circumstances of things [Page 486] to be done, as time, place, per­sons, order, and the like: that doth not onely doe good, but is wise to doe good, Romanes 16. 19.

4. That liues without rebuke, and is vnspotted of the world, Phil. 2. 15. Iames 1. vlt. that is not guilty of any scandall, and giues no iust cause to the wicked to blaspheme, but prouides for things honest in the sight of all men, 2. Cor. 8. 21.

5. That will not doe euill, though good might come of it, Rom. 2. 8.

The seuenth thing required in the manner of well-doing, is The 7 is growth or increase. growth and increase: Wee must not onely get grace and know­ledge, and do good, but we must grow in the grace and knowledge of Which hath three things in it. Iesus Christ, 2. Pet. 3. 18. and this growth should haue in it di­stinctly three things. 1 Abounding in good­nes.

1. Abounding in good workes, or a more frequent practice of al [Page 487] sorts of duties, that we haue op­portunitie and power to pra­ctise, 1. Corinth. 15. 58. Coloss. 1. 10.

2. The perfecting of holinesse, 2. Perfe­cting of holinesse. 2. Cor. 7. 1. or the ripening of our gifts, and finishing of the good things we begin, not lea­uing off till wee haue accom­plished them in some good mea­sure and manner.

3. Progresse, so as our 3. Pro­gresse workes bee more at last then at first.

And all this we should striue for, both that so our profiting might appeare, 1. Tim. 4. 15. and we may be fit to be an example to [...] T [...]m. 4. 2. 1 others, 1. Thess. 1. 7.

The eighth thing required in the manner of well-doing, is Faith: wee must walke by faith in all our actions, 2. Cor. 5. 7. Now 8. Faith. faith is employed partly in ta­king notice of Gods will, as the warrant of our actions, and partly in ouercomming the diffi­culties [Page 488] of well-doing, making vs hold out, though we be scorned, or disgraced, or opposed in the world, and raising vp our hearts to beleeue Gods assistance, not­withstanding our owne weake­nesses, and partly in trusting God for the successe, beleeuing Gods promises.

The ninth and last thing re­quired The last is modera­tion. in the manner of well-doing, is Moderation. This rule is expressed in these words, Ec­cles. 7. 16. Be not iust ouer much, The place in, Eccles. 7. 16. ex­pounded. neither be thou wicked ouer much. Now for the sence of these words, we must know in the ne­gatiue, that this place is most prophanely alleaged by such as produce it as a reproof of strict­nesse of life, and the refusall of the excesses of the time.

There are many things said to giue a sence of those words.

1. Some referre these words to Iustice, either Distributiue, or Commutatiue, and that either [Page 489] in the case of a priuat person, or of a Magistrate. A priuate man must neither stand too much vp­on his right, nor yet suffer his innocencie to bee too much wronged. A Magistrate must not be too seuere in a selfe-con­ceited iustice, not yet too remisse in sparing or fauouring wicked­nesse.

2. Some thinke it restraines cu­riositie and carelesnesse, as if the sense were, Bee not curious to pry or search into secret things, that are not reuealed: for he that will be searching into Gods ma­iestie, may bee oppressed by his glorie: nor yet be so carelesse, as not to take notice of the truth reuealed.

3. Some thus: Exceede not by too much precisenesse on the right hand, or by too much pro­phanenesse on the left hand. On the right hand they goe out, that bring in workes of supereroga­tion, and such as worship God [Page 490] after the precepts of men, & such as tye mens consciences to ob­serue or auoide things without warrant of Scripture, and such as say they haue no sinne, and neede not the grace of God.

4. Lastly, the fittest interpre­tation is theirs, that expound the words in this sense, Bee not iust ouer-much, that is, thinke not too highly of thy selfe in any thing thou doest well, nor yet be wicked ouer-much, that is, ac­count not too vilely of thy selfe, denying Gods gifts in thee, and refusing the iust comforts thou shouldest take to thy selfe; ag­grauate not against thine owne soule thy weakenesse aboue rea­son and measure.


Intreating of the rules that concerne our carriage towards God, and in particular about the know­ledge of God.

HItherto of the generall The diuisi­on of the particular rules. rules: The particular rules that concerne the right ordering of our conuersation, may be cast into three heads, as they direct vs in our carriage,

  • 1. Towards God.
  • 2. Towards men.
  • 3. Towards our selues.

All the rules that concerne The subdi­uision. our duties to God, may bee cast into two heads: For they con­cerne either the loue of God, or the seruice of God. This is an exact di­uision; for all we owe to God, is fitly comprehēded in these two, Loue and Seruice, and the Scrip­ture so diuides in these and the like places, Commandement 2. [Page 492] Deut. 11. 22. & 30. 16. Iosh. 22. 5. Esay. 56. 6.

Now that we may be rightly ordered in respect of our loue to God, we must cōsider of this loue either in the foundation of it, or in the exercise of it. The foundation of our loue to God, is the true knowledge of God, 1. Chron. 28. 9. The rules that con cerne the right know­ledge of God, of [...]. sorts That w [...]e [...]ay conceiue [...]right of Gods na­ture. So that in the first place we must soundly informe our selues con­cerning this knowledge of God. Now the rules that concerne the right knowledge of God, con­cerne either the right conceiuing of his nature, or our acquain­tance with God, when we doe a­right conceiue of him. That we may conceiue aright of Gods nature:

1. Wee must exclude out of our thoughts all likenesses, so as 1 Wee must cast [...] all likenesses men do not thinke of God, re­presenting him by the simili­tude of any creature: Hee that forbids Images of him in Churches, forbids it also in our [Page 493] heads, Commandement 2. Esay 40. Deut. 4.

2. We must striue to conceiue 6. Wee must con­ceiue of him accor­ding to his pray­ses. of him according to his praises declared by his workes, or in his Word. This is an excellent and easie way to think of God. Since our hearts cannot conceiue his nature, we should fill them with the impression of his praises, and according to them direct our af­fection and seruice to him: as I would bring this mind to prayer or any other seruice of God, I cannot make any resemblance of the diuine substance, whom I am about to serue: yet this will I doe, I will remember that hee that I pray vnto, is most wise, most omn potent, most iust, most gracious, &c. Thus God pro­claimes himselfe by his praises, Exo. 34. 6. where God himselfe shews vs a way how to conceiue of him. 3. Wee must be­leeue the Trinity of Persons.

3. Thou [...] silence thy reason, and exalt thy faith in the [Page 494] point of the Trinity, which must be conceiued of necessitie, be­cause all seruice is due to the whole Trinity. Now thou nee­dest not to striue to resemble the Trinity in any likenesse in thy minde, but onely bring faith to beleeue that thy God is three in one.

4. It may yet helpe thy vnder­standing 4. Thou maist con­ceiue of God in the Humane Nature of Christ. to conceiue, that God is in Christ, and the fulnesse of the Godhead dwels in him bodily: and therefore when thou commest to worship, thou maist set before thy minde the Humane Nature of Christ, adoring the Godhead in him, as conceiuing of God in that humane nature thou thin­kest of, Col. 2. 9. Ioh. 17. 3.

5. That this may be the more 5. Thou must resist Atheistical thoughts clearely and comfortably done, thou must labour by sound ad­uice and direction, to expell out of thy head those secret and re­bellious Atheisticall thoughts, which arise in thee about his na­ture, [Page 495] Decrees, Attributes, or Workes. Men must take heed of smothering these obiections, but seeke helpe against them in time.

Thus of the knowledge of God, as it concernes the right conceiuing of his Nature.

There is required further such 2. Of ac­quaintance with God a knowledge, as brings vs ac­quainted with God: we are com­manded to acquaint our selues with God, Iob 22. 21, 22.

Now, because it is an excee­ding That thou maiest bee aquainted with God. hard way for a mortall man to finde out God, so as to enioy familiaritie with him: therefore I will adde some directions about it: For if thou wouldest acquaint thy selfe with God,

1. Thou must prepare thy 1. Thou must pre­pare thy heart. heart for this Vision of God, by driuing out filthy and vnholy thoughts and affections: For without holinesse no man can see God. The pure in heart shall see God, Math. 5. 8. Hebr. 12. 14. 1. [Page 496] Chron. 19. 3. God delights to shew himselfe familiarly in a cleane heart.

2. Thou must begge this ac­quaintance 2 Thou must beg it by pray­er. by prayer: if thou seeke it of him earnestly, though God bee in himselfe inuisible to mo [...]tall eyes, yet he will shew himselfe to the eyes of thy mind; pray for his acquaintance, and he will be acquainted with thee: This is to aske after the Lord, and to seeke God: if we seeke him, hee will be found, Psal. 105. 3, 4. But then we must remember three things.

1. To seeke him with our whole hearts, we must pray with great earnestnes and desire, Psa. 119. 10

2. To seeke him early, and while 2. We must be­leeue the Trinitie of Persons. hee may bee found, Hos. 5. 15. Esay 55. 6. God offers acquaintance in his Ordinances, and some­times comes neere, and knock­eth at mens hearts, and workes greater impressions vpon them, now if thou wouldest call vpon [Page 497] God heartily, hee would shew thee his presence.

3. To seeke him constantly; we must seeke his face continually: 3. both til we finde it, and after we haue had acquaintance with him, it must be continued: wee must not thinke much, if we be put to pray often and long, be­fore wee ataine such an incom­parable benefit.

4. Thou must giue thy selfe, 4. Thou must giue thy selfe to God. soule and body, to God serious­ly, and from thy heart, deuoting & promising to spend thy dayes in his seruice, and then he will reueale himselfe vnto thee, Rom 12. 1, 2.

5. Thou must waite vpon his Ordinances, and watch how the Lord speaks vnto thee, either by his Word, or by his Spirit: For in them he shewes himselfe to men, and conuerseth with them.

6. It is a great furtherance to our acquaintance with God, to keepe company with his Hous­hold; [Page 498] for with them he dwels: and by conuersing with them, we may occasionably often see God, 1. Ioh. 4. 6, 7, 8, 12.

Thus of acquaintance with God.

There are other things to bee Other things a­bout our know­ledge of God. further noted concerning our knowledge of God, such as these:

That when wee attaine vnto any acquaintance with God, we must neuer rest, till wee know him to be our God, Col. 2. 2.

That it must be our daily care to increase in the knowledge of God, labouring to plant in our hearts a more large and affectio­nate contemplation of the glories of Gods Nature and Loue.

That aboue all earthly things we should glory in it, if wee at­taine some happie admission in­to Gods presence, and abilitie to conceiue of God, and to bee acquainted with him, Ier. 9. 24.


Rules that order vs about the manifestation of our loue to God.

HItherto of the Rules that concerne the knowledge of God, as the foundation of our loue to God: The Rules that should order vs in the exercise of our loue to God, follow; those are of two sorts: for either they concerne the manifestation of our Rules a­bout the exercise of our loue to God. loue; or our preseruation in the loue of God: we must shew our loue to God, and we must keepe our selues in the loue of God, Iude 21.

In our manifestation of loue to God, wee must looke to both the matter, (as the thing whereby;) and also the manner how wee should expresse our loue to God.

For the first, there be diuers [Page 500] excellent Rules to be heeded of vs in our practice, in obseruing whereof we may soundly proue S [...]en wayes to manifest our loue to God the truth of our loue to God: if we say we loue God, wee must shew it by these things follow­ing.

1. We must auouch God to be 1. By a­uouching him to be our God. our God, Deuter. 26. 27. and so we doe, if we do not onely make choise of God aboue all things to set our hearts vpon him, but also maintaine our choise, by a constant refusall of all idols in the world, euen all things which might entice vs to loue them in stead of God, by sound affection and practice declaring our reso­lution to cleaue to God, as our sufficient happinesse, though all the world follow their profits or pleasures, &c.

2. We must prouide and pre­pare 2 By pro­uiding him a place to dwel where wee dwell. a place for God, that he may dwell with vs, wheresoeuer wee dwell, Exod. 15. 2. It is a signe of our true loue to God, why wee [Page 501] cannot liue without him. Hee that can be content to liue in a­ny place where he is not power­fully present in his ordinances, shewes no loue to God. It should be our chiefe care to seate our selues so in the world, as the Lord and his presence may bee prouided for, that he may reigne amongst vs by the Scepter of his word.

3. We must shew our loue to 3. By shewing our loue to Iesus Christ. God, by our loue to the Lord Iesus the Sonne of God: we must kisse the Sonne, Psal. 2. vlt. And if any man loue not the Lord Iesus, hee hath not the Father, 1. Cor. 16. 22 Wee shew that wee loue God, when wee highly esteeme Iesus Christ, and make much of him in our hearts, and striue to fire our affections towards him; and this must bee our care through the passages of our life, to forme in vs the loue of the Lord Iesus, that we may long after him, and haue the desires of our soules af­ter [Page 502] him and his comming.

4. We must shew our loue to God, by walking with him, Gen. 4. By wal­king with God. 17. 1. Mic. 6. 8. The Lord doth not account it a signe of loue to offer to him a thousand rams, or riuers of oyle: but this is it that pleaseth him, To humble our selues to walke before him.

Now we walke with God di­uers wayes.

1. When we set the Lord al­waies Men walke with 5. wayes. before vs, remembring his holy presence, and not daring to goe alone without thinking of God, Psal. 16. 8.

2. When we nourish the mo­tions of the Spirit, and retire our selues of purpose to entertaine them.

3. When wee daily haue re­course to those meanes by which the Lord is pleased to conuerse with men, and not rest in the base vse of the meanes, but striue to finde out the Lord in his holy presence, in euery ordinance of [Page 503] his, Psalme 63. 1, 2.

When we vse our selues to Soliloquies with God, taking all occasions to speake to God by prayer, and priuate meditation of things offered to vs, out of which we could extract matter for frequent ciaculations, lifting vp our hearts vpon the very first motions of good vnto God, Psal. 63. 5, 6.

5. When our hearts are fired with longing desires after his pre­sence of glory in heauen, 2. Gor. 5. 8.

Thus of our walking with God.

6. We should manifest our 6. By ho­nouring God. loue to God, by honouring him: For this is one speciall way by which God requires to haue our loue shewed to him, Mal. 1. 6. Now there are many wayes by which in our conuersation, we may declare our desire to ho­nour to waies of hono­ring God. our God: as,

1. By performing the care of [Page 504] businesses that concerne his King­dome, aboue all other businesses, and shewing our respect of the duties of the first Table that con­cerne God, before the duties that concerne men in the second Table: wee honouring him by seeking his kingdome first: First (I say) in the precedencie of time, and first, in respect of the measure of our affections, Math. 6. shewing a desire to please him rather then all the world.

2. By making a bold and open profession of Gods truth vpon all occasions, without feare of op­positions or snares of the world.

3. By grieuing heartily for the dishonour done vnto him, by the blasphemies or profanenesse of his enemies, Psal. 42. 3.

4. By directing all our actions to his glory, striuing in all things to order them so, that some way God may be praised by vs or o­thers, 1. Cor. 10. 31.

5. By our willingnesse to suffer [Page 505] any thing for his sake, though it were extremities, euen the losse of all worldly things, yea and life it selfe, if it were called to it.

6. By honouring them that feare his Name, and are begotten of him, and beare his Image, receiuing them, and making much of them, and defending them for the loue we beare to God himselfe, Psal. 15. 4. 1. Ioh. 5. 1.

7. By hating them that are his enemies, as if they were our own; conceiuing more dislike of them for dishonouring God, then for any wrongs they could doe vnto vs, Psal. 139. 21, 22.

8. We honour God when we speake of the Oracles of God with all reuerence, as may become the nature and glory of them, Com­mandement 3. 1. Pet. 4. 11.

9. We honour him by gifts be­stowed vpon him, when we bring to him our free-will offerings, such as are the first fruits of all our in­crease, [Page 506] when out of all things wherin God hath prospered vs, wee with gladnesse consecrate a part for the furtherance of his worship, or the maintenance of his poore: Prouerbs 3. 6. Esay 60. 6.

10. We honour him, when we praise him. One vsuall way by which we honour great persons in the world, is by taking all oc­casions to magnifie them, by commending their vertues, or their worthy acts: And this is likewise one great way of hono­ring God; and therefore with sorrow for our neglects herein, we should study his prayses for the time to come, and striue for language to be able readily to do so.

Now God is praysed diuers Rules a­bout the praise of God. wayes: some of them belong not properly to this place, and there­fore I will but touch them.

We praise God:

1. When wee keepe and obserue [Page 507] carefully the solemnities set apart for his prayse; as when wee ce­lebrate the Sacrament of the Lords Supper, which is there­fore called the Eucharist, because it is to be performed as a thanks­giuing and praysing of God.

2. When dayly we take all oc­casions in priuate to blesse God for his dayly mercies: But let these and such like passe, as not proper to this place. We must prayse him in our discourse to others. This is required of vs in many Scrip­tures, Psal. 33. 1. Iob 36. 24. Psal. 96. 4. But because this must When wee commend God, diuers things are to be ob­serued. not bee done cursorily, diuers rules are to be obserued: As,

1. That wee may prayse him effectually, wee must wisely con­sider of his workes, and so of his nature, to extract from thence sound arguments of prayse, Psal. 64. 9.

2. We should do well, for this purpose, to keepe Records, and Re­gister vp the speciall glorious [Page 508] works of God, Iob 36. 24. & 37. 14. Psal. 78. 7.

3. When we do prayse him, it must be done with our whole heart, speaking of his prayses with all possible affection, and not as if we speake of ordinarie things, Psal. 9. 1.

4. We must thus prayse him, not once, or for one worke of his, but we must prayse him for all his workes, especially his wonde­rous workes, Psal. 9. 1. and 105. 1, 2. and 106. 2.

5. We must prayse him from day to day, and continue to doe it, while wee liue, Psal. 63. 4. and 96. 23.

6. This is a dutie that all the kindreds of the people are bound to: All the people must prayse him, Psalme 148. 12, 13. and 96. 6, 7, 8.

Thus of the fift way of shew­ing our loue to God: and that is by honouring him.

The sixt way by which wee [Page 590] must shew our loue to God, is 6 By tru­sting in him. by trusting in him; as men shew, whom they loue most, by rely­ing most vpon them, and their fauour and helpe. Now there are diuers cases, in which we must shew our trust in God.

1. By relying vpon his mercie How wee must shew it that wee [...]rust God. for our iustification and saluation: and in this wee should most vse our trust, as being in a businesse that most highly concernes vs, Esay 44. 24, 25.

2. By committing all our workes to him, for assistance in them, or successe of them: This is to com­mit our way to God, to be carefull to seeke his assistance to helpe vs, to doe our duty, and then to leaue the successe of all to his blessing, Psalme 37. 3, 5. Prou. 16. 3.

3. By beleeuing all that he saith is true, whether h [...]e pro [...], threaten, or cōfort by his wo [...], vpon all occasions beleeuing his Prophets, 2. Chron. 20. 20.

[Page 510] 4. By staying our hearts vpon him in all our distresses. Now in the time of distresse wee may How wee may proue that wee trust God in distresse. proue, that wee trust in God di­uers wayes: As,

1. By running to him, and powring our hearts before him, ma­king our moane vnto him, Psal. 18. 2. & 62. 8, 10. Looke amongst men, to whom we first runne to make our moane in our distresse, and that person is he whom we most loue, and trust: so is it to­wards God.

2. By casting our cares and bur­thens vpon him, Psal. 55. 22.

3. By not respecting the proud, and such as turne aside to lyes, Psal. 40. 4.

4. By relying vpon his helpe, In rely­ing vpon God in affliction. [...]oel 3. 16. Esay 50. 7. But then wee must obserue, how wee must relye vpon Gods helpe: for there are many things wee must cast cut of our hearts in affliction. When wee haue beene with the Lord, and committed our selues [Page 511] to him, wee must relye vpon We must auoid fiue things. him.

1. Without leaning to our owne vnderstanding, or wilfull inclina­tion to follow our owne courses, and proiects, Prou. 3. 5.

2. Without murmuring, or re­pining at our condition, or vex­ing our selues at the prouidence of God towards vs, Psal. 37. 7.

3. Without feare, that is, with­out mistrustfull feares, and ser­uile perturbations, imagining euils, which the Lord hath not brought vpon vs, Psal. 3. 6. and 27. 1.

4. Without vsing ill meanes to get out of distresse, Amos 5. 4, 6.

5. Yea, lastly, without care, that is, without distrustfull carking cares, Phil. 4. 6.

Thus of the sixth way of shew­ing our loue to God, and that is by trusting in him.

The seuenth and last way, by which wee must shew our loue 7 By obey­ing him. to God, is, To obey him: For this [Page 512] is the loue of God, that we keepe his commandements: Neither is the signe in this, that we doe what God requires for the matter, but that his commandements are not grieuous vnto vs: We loue God, if we loue to doe his worke, and if we lift vp our hearts in his wayes, setting vpon his worke with a speciall readinesse, and strength of desire, and more then ordina­ry care, 1. Ioh. 5. 2. 2. Chron. 17. 6. and 19. 2.

Thus of the matter, that is, the thing by which wee must shew our loue to God; the man­ner also is to be considered: For in all those things which wee would doe at any time to prooue our loue to God, we must looke to the manner how we do them, as was a little touched before: Now distinctly wee must bring to the declaration of our loue to 2 Things in the manner of shewing our loue to God. God, two things;

  • 1. Feruencie.
  • 2. Feare.

[Page 513] For the first, wee must loue 1. Feruen­cie. God, and shew it in feruencie of [...]ur loue. How? Euen with all our hearts, and all our soules, and all our might, and all our vnderstan­ding. Our hearts must be more inflamed, then they are in shew­ing loue to Wife, Children, Friends, Parents, &c. We must loue God aboue all, Deut. 6. 5. and 30. 6.

For the second, we must loue 2. Feare. God, and shew it too, but it must be with feare. Howsoeuer with men, true loue casts out feare; yet God being so infinite in glo­rie and maiestie, wee must loue him, but yet with feare. Now that this may not be mistaken, I will set downe the particulars of this feare.

We must shew our feare:

1. By entertaining lawfull Eigh [...] wayes by which wee shew our feare of God. thoughts of his dreadfull Maie­stie, casting out all vile, meane, and vaine thoughts of him, Dan. 6. 26.

[Page 514] 2. By departing from euill, that might any way displease him: being tender in this point, not daring to presume, or plead im­punitie, or freedome from dan­ger, but in all things desire to a­uoide what might anger him, Prou. 3. 7.

3. By vsing all tearmes of hear­tie abasement of our selues, when we come before him. Thus A­braham cals himselfe dust and ashes; and thus we should humble our selues vnder the mightie hand of God, 1. Pet. 5. 6.

4. By doing his will, without fea­ring man, or any other creature, Esay 8. 12, 13.

5. By a dayly and reuerent remembrance of his continuall holy presence.

6. By trembling at his iudge­ments, Psal. 4. 4. Hab. vlt.

7. By the humble vsing of all the meanes of communion with God; vsing his Ordinances with all conuenient reuerence, atten­tion, [Page 515] and abasement of our selues, Mal. 2. 5.

8. Lastly, by the reuerend vse of his very Titles, fearing that great and fearefull Name of the Lord our God, Deut. 28. 58.


Rules that concerne the preserua­tion of our loue to God.

HItherto of the Rules that concerne the manifestati­on of our loue to God: The rest of the Rules serue to teach vs, how to preserue in vs this loue to God. Now that wee may con­tinue in our loue to God, wee must obserue these rules:

1. We must separate our selues from all others, to be his, Leuit. 20. 26. auoyding fellowship with the seruants of a strange god, that might any way entice vs from the loue of God; yea we should [Page 516] so much alienate our heart [...] from all idols, that wee should not make mention of their names, and therefore daily confirme our hearts in that purpose to cleane to God alone, Mal. 2. 11. Exod. 34. 11, 14, 15. and 23. 13. Act. 11. 23. Iosh. 23. 8.

2. We must beware, that wee forget not God, nor goe too long without effectuall remembrance of him. They that can liue whole dayes and weekes without any care to thinke of God, may bee sure their hearts are voide of the loue of God; and as euer wee would continue to loue God, we must be carefull euery day to remember him, and thinke vpon him, Deut. 6. 12. & 32. 18.

3. We must labour to edifie our selues in our most holy faith; wee must build vp our hearts in the assurance of that wonderfull loue God hath shewed to vs: and this will preserue and keepe vs in our loue to him againe, [Page 517] Iude 20.

4. Wee must pray in the holy Ghost, as is shewed in the same place: prayer preserues acquain­tance with God, and exceeding­ly quickens the heart; and besides, drawes from God new pledges of his loue to vs, which may serue to kindle our affections towards him.

5. In the same place another rule is imported: and that is the daily expectation of the comming of Christ: for the terrour of that Day will mooue vs to shew all possible loue to God, and so will that singular glory we are assu­red to receiue in that day.

6. In the vse of all Gods Or­dinances, we must be carefull to seeke out the face of God, which is that speciall presence of his grace. For the loue of God will decay in vs, if once we come to vse the meanes only for forme, and an outward shew, Psal. 105. 4. And if we misse of God in his [Page 518] Ordinances, we must neuer be quit, till we finde him whom our soule loueth, Cant. 3. 1. Psal. 63. 1.

7. We must preserue the truth he hath deliuered to vs; yea, we must contend for it: for sound do­ [...]rine laid vp in our hearts, will preserue in vs soundnesse of af­fection to God, Iude 3.

8. We must get Catalogues of Gods praises in particular, and fill our hearts with the knowledge and contemplation of them.

9. If we would be preserued in the loue of God, we must la­bour to attaine to the abilitie to reioyce in God, and delight our selues in God. A wife that would increase her loue to her husband, must striue to solace her selfe often with her husband, and to forme in her heart a speciall de­light in him: So must wee doe to God. This is miserably neg­lected, and yet exceedingly ne­cessarie. Nor is it an ordinarie ioy we should take in God, but [Page 519] we should ioy in him, first, with all our hearts: secondly, not for a time, but alwaies, euery day; nor with common, but with excee­ding ioyes, Phil. 4. 4. Psa. 37▪ 4. and 68. 3, 4. & 105. 3. Now that this About re­ioycing in God. point may bee the better vnder­stood, I will consider of two things: first, what it is to delight and ioy in God: secondly, what we should do that we might de­light, and take pleasure in God.

For the first, this delight in What it is to reioyce or delight our selues in God. God hath in it foure things di­stinctly.

First, a spirituall satisfaction, or contentment, arising from the assurance of Gods loue to vs, as [...]ing enough, that hee regards vs; thus Dauid saith, his soule was [...]tisfied as with marrow, Psal. 63. 5. and 149. 2.

Secondly, a ioyfull entertain­ment of all passages of loue be­tweene God and vs; especially in the vse of his Ordinances.

Thirdly, a delightfull contem­plation [Page 520] of God and his mercies.

Fourthly, a glorying in God, and extolling of his praises, as by discourse, so by singing of Psalmes, 1. Cor. 1. 31. Psal. 33. 1. & 105. 3. & 68. 3, 4.

Now for the attainment of the ioying in God:

1. We must mourne often for our disabilities herein, and pray What wee must doe that wee might bee able to ioy in God. to God to forme this delight in vs.

2. We must restraine carnall ioyes, and cares: for the excesse of both doth exceedingly dull the heart, and withdrawes it care of delight in God, Phil. 4. 4, 5, 6.

3. Wee must exercise our selues with all the ioy wee can in the Word of God, Psal. 119. 14, 16.

4. We must take heed of liste­ning to Obiections against the loue of God to vs, whether they arise from Satan, or our owne flesh.

[Page 521] 5. Wee must often obserue the miseries of the wicked, in comparison of our happy estate in Christ, Hab. 3. 17, 18.

6. We must seeke a delight­full conuersation with the god­ly.

7. We must take heede of do­mesticall euils, our home sinnes, the corruptions that would dai­ly preuaile in vs, Iob 22. 23, 26.

8. Wee must restraine our owne beliefe about the accep­tation of the good duties wee performe; and to this end wee must take heed, that we bee nei­ther iust ouermuch, by attributing too much to our selues: nor yet wicked ouermuch, in condemning all wee doe, as hatefull to God. For this last doth maruellously hinder vs from ioying in God.


Containing generall Rules about Gods seruice.

HItherto of the first sort of Rules, that concerne o [...]r carriage towards God, namely, those tha [...] concerne our loue to God. Now the second sort of Rules follow, and that is, those Rule [...] a­bout the seruice of God. that cōcerne the seruice of God; and these may bee cast into two rankes: for they either concerne the parts of Gods worship, or the time of Gods worship.

The Rules that concerne the parts of Gods worship, are ei­ther generall, which binde vs to the good behauiour in all parts of Gods worship; or else certaine specialties of Direction, that con­cerne some part of Gods wor­ship onely.

Now for the generall rules, 9. Things to bee re­membred in eu [...]ry part of Gods worship. we should know and remember, that there are nine things to bee looked to, and brought to the [Page 523] practice of euery part of Gods [...]orship.

The first is preparation: wee must i [...] some sort conferre with [...]ur owne hearts, and prepare [...]m, before we goe before God to doe any seruice, Iob 11. 13. Psal. 4. 4. Ezech. 7. 10.

Secondly, we must come with [...]ll reuerence and godly feare, Heb. 12. 28. Psal. 2. 11.

Thirdly, wee must performe the seruice in repentance for our sinnes: Wee must not come be­fore God in the loue of any sinne; if wee doe, wee lose our labour, and God will loathe our workes, Esay 1. Iob 11. 14. Wee must haue cleane hands, and a pure heart, or else no seruice of God will be accepted, Psal. 119. 11. & 24. 4.

Fourthly, it must grieue vs, that others will not serue God, Psal. 119. 139.

Fifthly, wee must performe euery seruice in the name of Christ, [Page 524] or else it cannot be accepted, b [...] r [...]ason of that euill that cleane to our best workes: whether w [...] pray, or giue thanks, or whatsoeuer we doe, we must doe it in the name o [...] Christ, Col. 3. 17.

Sixtly, in euery seruice of God wee must, as neere as it may bee, giue God the first prayse, prefer­ring the respects of God and his worship, before our selues, or the regard of others: wee must serue him betimes, seeking God in the first places, Iob 8. 5. Matth. 6. 34. Psal. 5. 3.

Seuenthly, when wee doe any seruice to God, wee must doe it with all our hearts, with as much willinguesse as may be, so as it may appeare, that wee loue to be his seruants, as the Prophets phrase is, 1. Sam. 16. 7. 1. Chron. 28. 9. Esay 56. 6.

Eightly, in all seruice wee must striue so to serue God, that wee may please him: not onely carefull to doe t [...] dutie, but carefull of [Page 525] Gods acceptati [...]. [...] good du­ties being chies [...] carefull to see Gods appro [...]ation, not caring so much for the pr [...]ise of [...]as as the praise of God. [...]n e [...]ery part of Gods worship our praise m [...]st be of God an [...] not of men, Heb. 12. 28. Rom. 2. 29.

Ninthly, wee must cleane to God, with detestation of all things o [...] persons that might a [...] way draw vs away from his s [...] ­uice, Deut. 13. 4, 5.


Shewing how we should carry our selues in Gods house.

HItherto of the Rules to be obserued in all parts of Gods worship generally.

The speciall Rules concerne, Rules a­bout the publike worship of God. either Gods publike worship in his house; or else the particu [...]ar parts of Gods worship each by themselues.

[Page 526] The godly Christian ought with all care to lay before him the Rules that binde him to the good behauiour in Gods house, and to striue to fashion his nature and practice, as may become the glorie of Gods publike seruice and presence; and so there be di­uers things which in a speciall manner he must looke to, in per­forming Gods publike seruice.

For cōcerning these publike du­ties, these rules must be obserued.

First, that all sorts and degrees 1. All must come. of men must appeare before God publikely to do him homage and seruice. None must be spared or freed; men, women, and children must all take notice of it, that they are bound hereunto, Deut. 31. 11, 12.

Secondly, we must come our selues with all possible reuerence, 2. With all possible re­uerence. and looke to our feete when we enter into the house of God, and striue to shew before all men our most carefull respect of God and his [Page 527] holy Ordinances. For God will be sanctified in them that come nigh him; and he lookes for it at our hands, by our reuerent behaui­our, to be glorified before all the people, Leu. 10. 3. Eccl. 5. 1. Wee should then shew a most holy feare of Gods name and presence, Psal. 5. 7.

Thirdly, in publike duties that 3. And zeale of the Prophet Dauid should be true of vs: The zeale of Gods house should eate vs vp, Ps. 69. 9. and this And this zeale wee sh [...]uld shew sixe wayes. speciall zeale we should shew,

1. By louing Gods house aboue all the places in the world: Our hearts should be fired in vs in th [...] respect, that we may truly say with Dauid, O how I loue thy house, Psal. 2 [...]. 8.

2. By confirming our owne hearts in a resolution, to resort to Gods house with ioy and gladnesse, notwithstanding the scornes & oppositions of world­ly men and persons.

3. By stirring vp others with [Page 528] all importunitie to goe vp with them to worship God in Sion, Esay 2. 2.

4. By making haste to Gods worship, going to the house of God with the first, and with willing hearts, with an holy thirst after the meanes, flocking and flying thither as the clouds, or as so many doues to their windowes, Zach. 8. 22. Psal. 110. 3. Esay 35. 1. and 60. 8.

5. By forwardnesse and cheare­fulnesse, in contributing towards the maintenance of Gods house and seruice in the meanes there­of, Esay 60. 8, 9.

6. By grieuing heartily, because other men neglect or contemne the house of God, and haue no more minde to keepe Gods law, Psal. 119. 136.

Thus of that speciall zeale we should shew about Gods publike worship.

Fourthly, wee should in all 4. With one con­sent. publike duties serue God with [Page 529] one consent and one heart. There should appeare in Gods seruants a wonderfull desire of vnanimity and concord. They should serue the Lord with one shoulder, that when they speake to God, it may be as the voice of one man; when the Lord speakes to them, they should heare with one heart. It is a maruellous glory in Religi­on, when people can come once to this, to serue the Lord with one shoulder, Zeph. 3. 9.

Lastly, in the 52. Psalm. v. 8, 9. Three o­ther rules gathered out of the Ps. 52. 8, 9. wee may gather three other rules, which in a speciall manner fit vs for a right behauiour in Gods house.

First, we should alwayes be as greene Oliue trees in the house of the Lord. Howsoeuer it goe with men in the world, yet when wee come before the Lord, our hearts shall reioyce and reuiue, and our spirits be fresh & cheer­full, and our affections should be healed of all the cares or distem­pers [Page 530] were before in them: Gods Ordinances should haue such a power ouer vs, as to make a sud­den fresh spring of desires and holy thoughts in vs. There is this power in the Ordinances of God to effect this, if the fault be not in vs: I meane, when these Ordinances are exercised in the power and life of them.

Secondly, wee must trust on the mercie of God, bringing an heart readie to beleeue euerie good Word of God: resoluing, that if the Lord will speake comfor­tably to his seruants, wee will not dishonour his consolations, through carelesnesse, or vnbe­liefe; but receiue them with all our hearts, and establish our selues in the safe-keeping of his good Word.

Thirdly, wee must resolue to be thankefull, with all tendernesse, for all experiences of Gods pre­sence and goodnesse toward vs in the meanes, vowing with Da­uid, [Page 531] to praise him for euer for them. And if the Lord doe withhold his power and presence for a time, so as we feele not the effe­ctualnesse of his ordinances: yet wee should resolue without di­stemper, to waite vpon the Lord, and obserue him according to the seasons of his grace.


Rules that order vs about hearing of the Word.

THus of the rules that wee must obserue in all publike seruice of God. Now there bee certaine speciall rules which must bee particularly heeded in each part of Gods worship by it selfe. And first I will begin with Rules that order vs in hearing the Word of God. those rules, which wee must more specially obserue in hea­ring the Word of God, and these are of three sorts.

  • [Page 532]1. Some bind vs to the good behauiour, before wee come to heare.
  • 2. Some at the time of hea­ring.
  • 3. Some after we haue heard.

1. Before we come to heare, wee must bring with vs two 1 Before we come things.

1. A resolution to deny our owne wits, reasons, opinions, and conceits, and emptie our heads of all perswasion of our owne skill, to iudge in the things of the kingdome of God, being ready to beleeue and thinke in all things, as God shall teach vs out of his Word. Wee must be fooles, that we may be wise, 1 Cor. 3. 18. humbling our selues at his very feete to receiue his Law, Deut. 33. 3.

2. Wee must bring with vs a meeke and quiet spirit, a minde quieted from passions, lusts, and perturbations, and at rest from the turmoyling cares of this [Page 533] world. The Word is able to doe great things in our hearts, if we receiue it with meeknesse, Iames 1. 21.

Secondly, at the time of hea­ring, 1. In the time of hearing. wee must looke to two rules.

First, we must hearken with­out distraction: we must heare, as if it were for our liues, wee must incline our eares, and shake off all impediments arising from our owne drowsinesse, preiu­dice, or vaine thoughts, or di­stracting obiects, Esay 55. 3. Psal. 116. 113.

Secondly, wee must proue all things, and keepe that which is good. We must heare with iudge­ment, & hearken for our selues, hauing speciall care to looke to that doctrin which in particular concerns vs, to lay it vp in our hearts, and apply it effectually. This is a rule of singular thrift in godlines. If we did marke what sin in vs the Lord reproues, or [Page 534] what comfort is speedily fitted to our hearts: or what direction doth specially concerne vs: He No [...]. hath an honest memory that will bee sure to keepe these things, though he forget all the rest; and hee hath a wretched memory, and heart too, that forgets these things, though he could repeate all the Sermon verbatim.

Thirdly, after we haue heard, two things also must be further 3. After we haue heard done.

First, we must by meditation la­bour to make those things wee haue heard, which concerne vs, fast, that they runne not out of our mindes, and we must take heed that neither the diuell steale a­way the good seed, nor our owne heart through negligence forget it. Neither is this a worke for an houre after, to keepe these things till we may repeate them to o­thers, but ought to be our daily worke, especially the weeke af­ter to thinke so often of them, [Page 535] till there be a sure impression of the Word in our hearts, Hebr. 2. 1, 2.

Secondly, wee must yet fur­ther see to it, that we be doers of the Word, yea we must obserue to doe, as the phrase of the holy Ghost is. It is the wisedome of God so to dispose of his ordi­nances, that we receiue our di­rections by parcels, and there is a time of interim betweene Sab­bath and Sabbath, Sermon and Sermon, that we might in that space learne to frame our selues to the obedience of the truths re­ceiued, that so we might be rea­dy to receiue new lessons from the Lord. The surest way for the husband man to keepe his seede, is not to lay it vp in his ba [...], but to cast it into the ground: for what is sowed, he may receiue againe with aduantage; or if he might faile of an haruest from his seede in nature, yet godly men shall neuer faile to receiue what [Page 536] they sow by practice, with in­crease. So much of the truth, as is put into practice, is sure for e­uer; the rest may be lost: and it is a singular helpe to a Christi­an, if he set vpon his obedience while the doctrine is yet fresh in his minde; for delay will com­passe him about with many dif­ficulties, and he will want those inward incitations, that might stirre vp his heart with power and strength to obey.


Rules about the Sacrament of Baptisme.

THus of the rules of our car­riage about hearing: Next we are to consider, how we are to order our liues in respect of the Sacraments: The Sacraments are two: Baptisme, and the Lords Supper.

[Page 537] The duties we are bound to Rules a­bout Bap­tisme. in respect of Baptisme, concerne either

  • 1. Our children.
  • 2. Our selues.
  • 3. Others.

For our children, it is our du­ty to present them vnto Bap­tisme, 1. Abou [...] our chil­dren. but withall we must looke to it, that it be done in due time, and with faith and thankfulnesse to God. In due time, so as there­by we signifie our great estima­tion of Gods mercy to our seed, and our great desire to haue the Couenant sealed, euen vnto them. We must also bring them to Baptisme with saith in Gods couenant. The Lord hath bound himselfe to bee our God and the God of our seede▪ Now it is our parts to giue glory to God, and to declare before the Lord our perswasion of his goodnesse, and claime to that part of his Coue­nant. By faith we plead our right, whereas by vnbeleefe wee giue [Page 538] God occasion to neglect our seed. I adde also, with thankeful­nesse, because we ought with great ioy and acknowledgement of the free grace of God to be­hold our seede admitted, in the sure couenant of mercy and sal­uation with our selues, and ought to thinke that God hath done more for our children, to admit them into the couenant by Bap­tisme, then if the greatest per­son on earth had made vpon them the assurance of some great estate of maintenance or preferment.

Secondly, for our selues, we 2. About our selues. must make conscience of it, to make vse of our owne Baptisme, and that throughout the whole course of our life: It is giuen vs as a seale of Gods promises, and as a vow of our obedience, and so we must make vse of it all the dayes of our life, especially in three cases.

First, in the case of doubting and In [...] thing [...]. [Page 539] feare of the forgiuenesse of our sinnes; or of the saluation of our soules: for Baptisme saueth vs, that is, effectually assures vs of our saluation; and we doe not offend in trusting Gods promise made in his word, & signed and sealed in Baptisme. As certainly doth it saue our soules, as the Arke saued the bodies of Noah and his hous­hold; so as we cannot miscarry, if we leape not out of the Arke into the Seas of water. Let vs sticke to our Baptisme, and then we are safe: The washing in Bap­tisme did assure the washing of our soules by the blood of Christ for our sinnes. If I be tempted to doubt of my saluation, I must say to my owne soule: Hath not the Lord prouided me the Arke of Baptisme to preserue me from the seas of his wrath? And if I doubt the forgiuenesse of sinnes, I must say [...] Hath not the Lord washed mee [...]om my sinnes by the blood of his Sonne? Did he [Page 540] not shew mee so much in Bap­tisme? We sin shamefully, in that we doe not make this vse, but neglect the confidence Baptisme should worke in vs, as if the Lord had but dallied with vs, or that Baptisme were but some i­dle Ceremony, 1 Pet. 3. 21. 1 Cor. 15. 29. Acts 22. 16.

Secondly, in the case of temp­tation How Bap­tisme may help vs a­gainst sin. to commit sin: we ought to fight against sin by this migh­ty weapon of our Baptisme, and so we may do by diuers Arguments: As

First, in my Baptisme I haue made a vow to God, that I would cleaue to him in Iesus Christ, and renounce the world, the diuell, and sinne: and shall I breake my vow to God, that would be ashamed to breake my promise to men?

Secondly, my Baptisme was the Baptisme of repentance: and shall I yet liue in sinne? My body was washed: and shall my soule [Page 541] be still impure? Mat. 3. 11. Mark. 1. 4. Acts 13. 24.

Thirdly, by Baptisme I was assured of the vertue of the death of Christ to kill sinne in me: and shall I not beleeue the operation of God, that he can deliuer mee from the powerfull temptations, or inclinations to any sinne? Shall I not seeke strength of Christ? or shall I betray my selfe to the diuell and the flesh? In Christ I am dead to sinne, and shall I yet liue therein? Rom. 6. 1, 3. Col. 2. 12.

Thirdly, our Baptisme must bee vsed against the doubts of perseuering, or whether we shall be kept vnto saluation, and whe­ther our body shall be raised againe at the last day: for God hath assured all this vnto vs in our Baptisme, that we haue our part not onely in the death of Christ, but also in the resur­rection of Christ: and if Christ be raised in vs, Christ can dye no [Page 542] more, either in himselfe, or in our hearts, and the same power that raised him out of the graue, will also raise vp our bodies at the last day, as is pleaded, Romans 6. 10. &c. Galat. 3. 27, 28. 1 Cor. 15. 29. 1 Pet. 3. 21. If we be baptized and beleeue, we shall certainely be saued, Mark. 16. 16.

Thus as it concernes our selues.

3. In respect of others, we are 3. In respect of o [...]hers. bound to the good behauiour in Baptisme: as to acknowledge the communion of Saints; so are we tied to preserue our selues in all brotherly loue with the god­ly, who weare the same Liuery with vs, and are Souldiers prest to the same warre, and haue ta­ken vpon them the same holy Vow with vs: we are bound in Baptisme to loue them, to stand for them aboue all other peo­ple, and to liue with them in all holy loue, to our liues end, Eph. 4. 3, 4, 5. 1 Cor. 12. 1 [...]. & 1. 13. Gal. 3. 27, 28.


Rules about the Lords Supper.

HItherto concerning Bap­tisme: The rules that con­cerne Rules about the Lords Supper. the Lords Supper follow.

Now concerning this Sacra­ment, we are charged with these things.

First, Examination, 1 Cor. 11. 1. We must examine our selues we must examine our selues, and so eate and drinke: Examine our selues, so as we be sure there bee no sinne in our hearts and liues, which we haue committed, but we are desirous to forsake, and doe vnfainedly iudge our selues for it, being as desirous to for­sake, as we desire God should in the Sacrament forgiue it.

Secondly, The diseerning of the 2. We must discerne the Lords Supper. Lords Body and Blood: so com­ming to partake of these out­ward signes of Bread and Wine, [Page 544] as we withall know and beleeue the presence of Christ; and that God doth as effectually giue Christ to the soule of the belee­uer, as he giues Bread and Wine to his body: yea, we must thus discerne and beleeue, that he is there offered and giuen vnto vs also, and that God doth not de­lude vs, but as truly giues vs the Body and Blood of Christ, as he doth by the Minister giue vs the Bread and Wine, 1 Cor. 11.

Thirdly, The shewing forth of the death of Christ: This is a so­lemnity, 3. We must shew forth Christs death. where we must intend to make a solemne remembrance of the Passion and Death of our Sauiour, not onely in being pre­sent at the breaking of the Bread and powring out of the Wine, but in raising vp in our heart a thankefull remembrance of his grieuous sufferings and death for our sins, Math. 26. 1. Cor. 11.

Fourthly, Fellowship and louing 4. We vow to cleaue to the godly. communion with the godly, which [Page 545] we both signifie, and vow in the Sacraments, and testifie before God and men, that we wil cleaue vnto them aboue all the people in the world, as being the same bread with vs, euen members of the same mysticall Body of Christ, 1 Cor. 10.

Fifthly, speciall reconciliation 5. We must be reconci­led. with such as we haue offended, bearing malice to no man, and desiring and seeking peace with all sorts of men, Matth. 5. Rom. 12.

Sixtly, and lastly, The vowes of sincerity, resoluing to keepe this 6. We vow an holy life. feast all our life in the vnleauened bread of sinceritie and truth, euen to spend our daies in all vpright­nesse of heart, and vnfeigned ha­tred of all sinne and hypocrisie, 1 Cor. 5. 8.


Rules about Prayer.

THus of the Sacraments.

The Rules concerning prayer follow; where besides Rules about prayer. the generall Rules that belong to all worship, these things in speciall must be heeded concer­ning prayer.

1. Thy words must be few, Eccl. Thy words must be few. 5. 1, 2. and the reason is, be­cause God is in heauen, and thou art on earth. He is full of maie­sty and wisedome, and thou art an infirme and sinfull creature. Length of it selfe doth not com­mend prayer; we must speake as becomes the Maiestie of God, without vaine repetitions and bab­lings; pattering ouer of the same things is not pleasing to God: as affectation is ill in any thing, so much more ill in prayer. This rule may be vnsauory to the taste [Page 547] of some that are transported with rash zeale: but let them take heede of wil-worship; the words are so plaine in the text, as they must informe themselues about them: The Lord knew what was fittest for vs, when he gaue vs this charge.

2. Thy heart must be lifted vp 2. The heart must bee listed vp. in the performance of this du­tie: this is often imported in di­uers Scriptures; and this lifting vp of the heart hath diuers things in it.

1. Vnderstanding: thou must bee aduised what thou prayest for, and know thy warrant, that what thou askest is according to Gods will, 1 Cor. 14. 15. Ioh. 5. 30.

2. Freedome from distractions: thy heart must be cleansed from passions and lusts: thy prayer must bee without wrath, 1 Tim. [...]. 8. And as the distractions ari­sing from passion must be auoi­ded, so must al other distractions.

[Page 548] 3. Feruencie, or the stretching out of the affections according to the matter of prayer; thou must expresse the affections of prayer: for God lookes at the prayer of thy heart, not at the prayer of thy lips onely.

3. Thou must pray with all 3. Vse all manner of prayer. manner of prayer, according to the occasions of prayer. Thou must pray at thy set times daily, and thou must pray also with eiaculations (as the Diuines call them) that is, those sudden and short speeches to God, when thy heart is moued vpon speciall oc­casion. Thou must vse Supplica­tions, Deprecations, Intercessions, Confessions, giuing of thankes, or the like, according to thy neces­sities, or the other occasions of thy life. Thou must striue to get a fitnesse and language to speake vnto God for thy selfe in thine owne words, as may best ex­presse the desires of thine heart, Eph. 6. 18.

[Page 549] 4. Thou must continue and per­seuere 4 Thou must per­seuere in prayer. in prayer without ceasing: prayer must be the worke of thy whole life, not an exercise for a fit, for a day or two, or a weeke or two, or a moneth or two: thou must make conscience of prayer alwaies, Eph. 6. 18. 1 Thes. 5. 17.

5. When thy prayer is groun­ded 5. Thou must be in­stant with­out fain ting or dis­courage. [...]tat. vpon Gods will, thou must be instant and not faint, or be dis­couraged. Thou must pray with­out doubting and wauering, as re­solued neuer to cease praying, till God heare and shew mercy. It is basenesse of minde, not hu­militie, to be quickly discoura­ged: if God entertaine vs not ac­cording to our expectation or li­king, we must not be weary of seeking to God, but set vpon prayer, with a resolution to take no nay, Luk. 18. 1. Iam. 1. 6.

6. Thou must remember sup­plication 6. With supplicati­on for all Saints. for all Saints, especially to pray heartily for Magistrates [Page 550] and Ministers, especiall those vn­der whose charge thou art, Eph. 6. 18, 19. 1 Tim. 2. 1.

7. Thou must looke to it, that 7 In all things giue thankes. in all things thou giue thankes. Let the Lord see the truth of thy heart herein, that what thou ob­tainest from God, especially by prayer, thou wilt with all glad­nesse remember and acknow­ledge: this Rule must by no meanes be forgotten, 1 Thess. 5. 18. Col. 4. 2.


Rules about reading the Scrip­tures.

THus of the Rules that con­cerne prayer. There re­maines the reading of Scrip­ture, and singing of Psalmes, as the other part of the ordinary worship of God.

Concerning the reading of Rules a­bout rea­ding the Scripture. [Page 551] the Scriptures, I will instant in one place of Scripture onely, which containes the charge gi­uen to Ioshua, Cha. 1. 8, 9. which comprehends the substance of the necessary directions about priuate reading. I say necessary; for godly men may, and haue ad­uised diuers courses for reading of Scripture, which are not abso­lutely necessary, but arbitrary, as may stand with the leasure and capacity of the persons that will reade; such are those directions that shew how many Chapters may be read in a day, and what things may be obserued in rea­ding, &c. which, as they may be profitable to many Christians, and expedient too, yet they must not bee vnderstood so, as that those persons sinne, which reade not so often, or so many Chap­ters, or the like. The things therefore that must necessarily be obserued by such as can reade the Bible, I take to be these.

[Page 552] First, they must exercise them­selues 1 Reade daily. therein daily, they must con­stantly be employed therein; and if their occasions interrupt them at some time, they must redeeme it at other times. This is the praise of the blessed man, That he exerciseth himselfe in Gods Law day and night, that is constantly, Psal. 1. 2.

Secondly, in reading they 2 Meditate of what thou rea­dest. must meditate therein, that is, they must obserue profitable things as they reade, attending to rea­ding, and marking what the Lord saith vnto them by that part of the Word which they reade. This is that meditation which is chiefly required of Christians, to get into their hearts good thoughts from the matter they reade of, so as they may the bet­ter be enabled to employ their thoughts all the day after.

Thirdly, the Word of God must 3. Confer vpon it. not depart out of their mouth; they must make the best vse of it they [Page 553] can, in conference to speake of it to others, for the edification of themselues and others.

Fourthly, they must obserue 4. Resolue to obey. in their reading what the Lord saith vnto them, that concernes their practice. They must obserue to doe according to those holy directions they reade of. They must bring a mind desirous and resolued to let the Word of God both informe them and reforme them, making conscience of it, to let God direct them by his holy Word read, and not onely by the word preached to them: their liues must bee bettered by their reading; and to that end they must obserue the chiefest things they can out of their rea­ding, to remember them in their practice.


Rules about singing of Psalmes.

THe rules that concerne the singing of Psalmes, are summarily comprehended in that place, Coloss. 3. 16. and they are these.

First, they must teach one ano­ther Rules a­bout sing­ing of Psalmes. by their Psalmes and Hymnes and spirituall songs. They must learne to profit, and make good vse of the holy matter contained in the Psalmes they sing.

Secondly, they must sing with their hearts; they must attend to the matter they sing of, and lift vp their hearts, as well as their voices.

Thirdly, they must sing with grace in their hearts: they must employ the graces of Gods Spi­rit in singing of Psalmes, as well as in praier, or any other ordi­nance [Page 555] of God.

Fourthly, they must make me­lodie to the Lord: They must di­rect their songs to God, and to his glory, and not vse them as meere ciuill employments, but as parts of Gods seruice.


Rules about Vowing and Swearing.

HItherto of the Rules that concerne the most vsuall part of Gods seruice: there are other parts of Gods seruice, which are to be vsed but at cer­taine times, and vpon speciall occasions, and these are Vowes, and Oathes and Fasting.

The rules about Vowing are The rules about vow­ing. briefly comprehended in that place, Eccl. 5. 4, 5. and they are chiefly two

First, before thou vowest, consi­der: [Page 556] consider, I say, thine owne strength, whether thou be able to doe it: and consider also the end, that it be to Gods glory: and consider the matter, that thou vow not things vnlawfull: and consider what may be the euents of thy vow, for all vowes being made before the Angell that takes notice of all couenants, it will be in vaine afterwards to pleade; It was an errour, thou wast mista­ken: God may bee angry at thy voice, and destroy the worke of thy hands: Be not rash therefore, to cause thy flesh to sinne therein.

Secondly, when thou hast vowed thy vow to God, deferre not to pay it; be sure thou performe it: it is a grieuous offence to breake a lawfull vow: Better it is thou shouldest not vow, then that thou shouldest vow, and not pay.

Thus of vowing.

Concerning the Oath, when th [...]u art called to sweare, thou Rules a­bout swea ring. must obserue these rules.

[Page 557] First, that thou sweare not by any thing which is not God, Ier▪ 5. 7.

Secondly, that thou sweare in truth, that is, that thy conscience know, what thou swearest is true.

Thirdly, that thou sweare in iudgement, that is, with due con­sideration of the nature of God, and with sound deliberation, not rashly, diligently weighing all things that belong to the matter thou swearest about.

Fourthly, that thou sweare in righteousnesse, that is, about law­ful things, and iust matters: Thou must not sweare to doe vniust things, as Dauid sware to kill Nabal: nor must thou sweare a­bout impossible things, or about things that are doubtfull and vn­certaine, nor in the forme of thy oath must thou vse such words, as bee contumelious to God, or expresse not sufficient reuerence to the Diuine Maiesty, [Page 558] as they that wickedly sweare by any part of Christ, or such like.


Rules about Fasting.

THus of Vowes, and Swea­ring; Fasting followes. Now if wee would keepe a religious Fast vnto God, we must obserue these two Rules.

First, wee must looke to the The rules about a re­ligious fast strictnesse of the abstinence of the day of our Fast; for so we must abstaine from all sort of meate as well as one, and from our costliest apparell, and from recreations and vsuall delights: We must keepe the day, as we keepe the Sabbath, in forbearing our owne workes, Ion. 3. 6, 7. 1 Cor. 7. 5. Ioel 1. & 2. Leuit. 16. 29.

Secondly, the time must bee sp [...]t in religious duties, as a [Page 559] Sabbath, especially in the exer­cises that concerne the humilia­tion of the soule, in renewing of our repentance, for the obtai­ning of pardon of sinne, or some speciall blessing of God, or the preuenting, or remoouing of some great iudgement of God.

The former rule concernes onely the ceremony, or out­ward exercise of the body: but this rule containes the substance of the dutie, without which a religious Fast is not kept vnto God; who regardeth not the hanging downe of the head like a bull-rush, if the soule be not hum­bled before God for sinne: Leui­ticus 16. 29. Ioel 1. 14. and 2. 16, 17.


Rules about the Sabbath.

HItherto of the Rules that concerne the parts of Gods worship: The rules that concerne the time of Gods worship, follow: and this time especially is the Sabbath Day.

Now the rules that binde vs Rules a­bout the Sabbath. to the good behauiour concer­ning the Sabbath, concerne ei­ther the preparation of the Sab­bath, or the manner of perfor­ming holy duties on the Sab­bath.

The preparation to the Sab­bath, 1. The pre­paration to it. containes in it these things.

First, the ending of all our works on the sixe dayes, as God did his, Gen. 2. 2.

This example of God is set downe, not onely to shew what he did, but to prescribe vnto vs, [Page 561] what we should doe, as is mani­fest by vrging this example in the reason of the commande­ment. We must then take order to finish the works of the weeke dayes with such discretion, that neither our heads bee troubled with the cares of them, nor our hands tempted to worke about them on the Sabbath Day.

Secondly, the preuenting of domesticall grieuances, and per­turbations, Leuit. 19. 3. Ye shall feare euery man his mother and his father, and keepe my Sabbath. Dis­cords and contentions, and heart­burnings in the members of the family, extend their infection and hurt, euen to the propha­ning of Gods Sabbath. The Lord lookes not to be serued a­right in his house, if people liue not quietly, and louingly, and dutifully in their owne houses.

Thirdly, we must cleanse our selues, that wee keepe the Sabbath, Nehemiah 13. 22. Which place, [Page 562] though it speake of Legall clean­sing, yet it shadowes out that Morall and perpetuall care of cleasing our selues, that ought euen to be found in vs. And thus we do cleanse our selues, when we humble our selues, that we may walke with God, confessing our sinnes, euen the sinnes of the weeke past, and making our peace with God, through the name of Iesus Christ.

Thus of the duties of prepara­tion: 2. Of the celebration of the Sab­bath. Now for the manner of keeping the Sabbath, the rules prescribe vnto vs these things:

1. Rest from all your works, whe­ther they be works of labour, or workes of pleasure. Works of la­bour the Scripture instanceth in such, as are selling of victuals. Ne­hemiah 13. 15. Carrying of bur­thens, Ier. 17. Iourneying from our places, Exod. 16. 29. the businesse of our callings done by our selues, our children, seruants; or cattell, which the words of the [Page 563] Commandement forbid? And as workes of labour, so also workes of pleasure are forbidden, Esay 58. 13.

2. Readinesse and delight. We should loue to be Gods seruants on this day, Esay 56. and consecrate it with ioy, as a glorious priuiledge to vs, Esay 58. 13. abhorring wearinesse, or a desire to haue the Sabbath gone, and ended, Amos 8.

3. Care and watchfulnesse. We must obserue to keepe it, Exod. 31. 16. wee must take heed to our selues, that no duty bee omitted, and that wee no way prophane it, attending our hearts, and our words, Ier. 17. 21.

4. Sinceritie: and this sin­ceritie wee should shew diuers wayes.

First, by doing Gods worke with as much care as we would do our owne; or rather shewing more care for the seruice of God. They had their double sacrifices [Page 564] on the Sabbath, in the time of the Law; and we should studie, how wee might please God in especiall manner on that day, choosing out the things that might delight him. God hath ta­ken but one day of seuen for his worke; and shall wee not doe it willingly? Further, if we respect our selues, shall wee not bee as carefull to prouide for our soules on the Sabbath, as for our bo­dies on the weeke dayes?

2. By obseruing the whole day, as well as a part, and keepe the Sabbath in our dwellings, as well as in Gods house: God requires the whole day, and not a part. As wee would be contented our seruants should worke for vs onely an houre or two in the sixe daies: so neither should we yeeld lesse vnto God, then we require for our selues. Nor will it suffice to serue God by publike duties in his House, vnlesse we serue him also by priuate duties in our [Page 565] owne dwellings, Commande­ment 4. Leuit. 23. 3.

3. By auoiding the lesser vio­lations of the Sabbath, as well as the greater, especially not trans­gressing of contempt, or wilful­nesse in the least things we know to bee forbidden. The Prophet instanceth, Esay 58. 13. We must not speake our owne words. Thus of sincerity.

5. The fifth thing required of vs, is Faith: wee must glorifie God by beleeuing, that he will make it a day of blessing vnto vs, and performe that blessing he hath promised, accepting our desire to walke before him in the vprightnesse of our hearts, and passing by our infirmities, and frailties. Wee many times di­sturbe the rest and Sabbath of our soules by vnbeleefe, Com­mandement 4. Gen. 2. 2. Exo. 31. 13. Ezech. 20. 20. & 46. 2, 5.

6. The last thing is Deprecati­on: we must beseech God, when [Page 566] we haue done our best, to shew vs mercie, and spare vs for our defects and weakenesses. Thus we must end the day and recon­cise our selues to God, that the Rest of Iesus Christ may bee e­stablished in our hearts, Nehe. 13. 22. And thus of the rules that bind vs to the good behauiour in respect of the time of Gods worship.


Rules that shew vs how to carrie our selues, when we come into companie, in respect of Religion.

HItherto of the Rules that concerne our carriage to­wards God.

Now it followes, that I breake open those directions, that Rules that direct our carriage to­wards men. should bring our liues into order in respect of men: And these [Page 567] rules are of two sorts, for either they are such as binde vs to the good behauiour towards all men, or such as order our conuersa­tion towards some men onely, as they are considered to be either wicked or godly.

The rules that concerne all Towards all men. men, may be cast into 2. heads, as they belong either to righteous­nesse or to mercy.

The rules that belong to righ­teousnesse, order vs either in company, or out of company.

The rules which wee are to And so 1 in company. obserue in company, concerne ei­ther,

  • 1 Religion, or
  • 2. The sinnes, and faults of o­thers: or
  • 3. Our owne inoffensiue behaui­our towards all men.

For the first; when wee come W [...]th due r [...]spect of Religion. in company, we must be carefull to bee that which may become the glory of Gods truth, and the Religion wee professe, that wee­take [Page 568] not vp the name of God in vaine: and thus wee shall rightly order our selues, if wee obserue these rules:

First, to be soundly aduised, before we fall into discourse of Religion, not doing it till God may be glorified by it. A wise man concealeth knowledge; but the heart of fooles will publish foolish­nesse: It is a great discretion to know how to conceale know­ledge, as it is to know how to vse knowledge.

Secondly, auoide vaine iang­lings Auoiding vaine iang­lings in three thing [...] and contradictions of words, such as are,

1. Doubtfull disputations about Ceremonies, and things indiffe­rent, which may entangle the weake, and keepe them from more necessary cares and know­ledge, Rom. 14. 1.

2. Curious Questions, about things that are not reuealed in the Word, Rom. 12. [...]. Bee wise to sobriety.

[Page 569] 3. Vnprofitable reasonings, such as were those about Genealogies, in the Apostles time, 1 Tim. 1.

Thirdly, if thou be asked a reason of the hope that is in thee by such as haue authority to re­quire it, or need to seeke it, then answer: But be sure to remem­ber two things; namely, that thou answer with all reuerence, as may shew how much thou art affected with the maiestie of Gods truth, and withall with meekenesse, that is, without pas­sion or frowardnesse: and with­out affectation, or conceited­nesse, or wilfulnesse in our owne opinions, 1. Pet. 3. 15.

Fourthly, let thy communica­tion be yea, yea, and nay, nay: other­wise customary and vain swea­ring, is a most damned sinne, and such as God will surely plague.


Rules that shew vs how to carry our selues in company, in respect of the faults of others.

THus of our carriage in com­pany in respect of Religi­on. How wee must be­haue our selues in company concerning the faults of others. Now concerning the faults of others, we must obserue these rules:

First, we must neuer in our dis­course iustifie the wicked, or con­demne the righteous; all excesse in words is euill, but this is an abomination to the Lord: We must euer honour those that feare the Lord; and as for vile persons, they are to be contemned, Psal. 15. 4. A­mos 5. 15. Prou. 17. 15.

Secondly, let thy conuersation and discourse be without iudging, Math. 7. 1. Iam. 3. 17. It is time exceeding ill spent, that is spent in censuring of others. And the [Page 571] rather should wee take heede of iudging, if wee consider how the holy Ghost hath matched that sinne in that place of Iames, wee must be without iudging, without Note. hypocrisie: as if hee would signi­fie, that great Censurers are commonly great Hypocrites; & as any are more wise, they are more sparing of their censures.

Thirdly, thou must not walke about with tales; take heede of tale-bearing: He goeth about as a slanderer that reuealeth a secret, though it bee true hee speaketh. It is a maruelious euill custome that many haue, to fill vp their discourse with the report of the frailties of others, which they by some meanes or other come vnder-hand to know: this is an [...]uill frequently condemned in Scripture, and yet more vsually practised, as if it were lawfull to speake of anything which they know to be true: Thou shalt not walke about with tales, nor stand a­gainst [Page 572] the bloud of thy neighbour: a strange connexion, by which the Lord imports, that this tale­bearing is a kind of murther; and it is true in the case of many a man, thou wert as good lay vio­lent hands vpon him, as with that licentiousnesse of words to di­vulge tales concerning him, Pro. 20. 19. and 11. 13. Leuit. 19. 16. And for the better strengthning of this rule, thou art yet charged to looke to thy eares too, as well as thy tongue; thou must not re­ceiue euill report against thy neigh­bour, but make it appeare thou art not pleased with such tales, Psal. 15. 3. Yea, thou art forbid­den the societie of such persons as carry tales; thou must not meddle with tale-bearers, nor with such a [...] flatter with their lips: cer­tainly such creatures commonly flatter the present, and reproach the absent, Prou. 20. 19.

Fourthly, if thou doe know an offence in any with whom thou [Page 573] conuersest, thou shalt not hate him Reproue, but hate not. in thy heart, but rather reproue him plainly. For, hee that rebuketh a man, shall afterwards finde more fa­uour then he that flattereth with his tong [...], Leuit. 19. 17. Prou. 28. 23.

Fiftly, as for the meere frail­ties Passe by m [...]re frailties. of others, hold thy tongue, passe by them. A foole despiseth his neighbour, but a man of vnderstan­ding will hold his peace, Prou. 11. 12. Commonly they that haue most defect in themselues, are aptest to contemne others for their weakenesses: but a wise man must so distinguish of the faults of others, that hee couer meere frailties, and learne of God to passe by the infirmities of his seruants. The Antithesis shewes, that a wise man doth not onely hold his tongue, but restraine his thoughts from thinking the worse of others for such infirmities.

Sixthly, against the passions [Page 574] and wrongs of others thou must arme thy selfe with a soft answer, and bee sure thou render not euill for euill, Prou. 15. 1. 1 Thess. 5. 15. or rebuke for rebuke, 1 Pet. 3. 9.


Rules that shew vs how to carry ourselues in companie, and not giue offence.

THus of our carriage towards Rules that concerne the inoffen­siuenesse of our carri­age in com­pany. others in company, as it re­spects their faults. Now follow­eth the third sort of rules, which order our behauiour towards others in company in respect of inoffensiuenesse. It ought to be our principall care to carry our selues so, as no body may take offence at vs.

Now these rules may bee di­rected to their heads, as they concerne,

1. The humilitie,of our beha­uior toward others.
2. The discretion,
3. The puritie

Wee must carry our selues humbly, discreetly, and honestly in our conuersation with others: so shall wee conuerse with much amiablenesse and reputation.

First, vnto the humility of An humble behauiour hath three things in it. our conuersation, belong these Rules.

First, be soft, shew all meekenesse to all men, restraining the inordi­nation 1. of thy heart, endeuouring to shew thy selfe gentle, and peaceable, and harmelesse, and easie to be intreated, Tit. 3. 1, 2. Prou. 8. 13. Iam. 3. 13.

Secondly, thou must bow downe 2. thine care, and heare the words of the wise, and apply thy heart, to get knowledge, and profit thy selfe by others, Prou. 23. 12. This is the same with that of Iames, Be swift to heare, and slow to speake, Iam. 1. 19.

Thirdly, put not forth thy 3. [Page 576] selfe, nor stand in the place of great men, till thou bee called, Prou. 25. 6.

In generall, concerning hu­mility, the Apostle Peters phrase is much to be noted: he saith, we should clothe our selues with humi­litie: which notes both the great measure of it, it should couer all our actions, and also the conti­nuance of it. When we goe a­mongst men, we should stirre vp our hearts, and fashion our selues to expresse his grace, and not dare to be seene without humi­litie, Note no more then wee would be seene without our clothes. Hu­militie hides our nakednesse, and pride and passion lay it open to the view and contempt of o­thers.

Secondly, neither is humility all that is required to make our 8 Rules that con­cerne dis­cretion in our beha­uiour. conuersation without offence or prouocation; but wee must also carry our selues discreetly; and to this end there are these ex­cellent [Page 577] Rules.

First, thou must consider to speake what is acceptable, and a­uoid what may irritate; there is singular vse of this rule, if it were followed, Prou 10. 31, 1 [...]. and 13. 3.

Secondly, thou must marke those that cause diuision and off [...]n­ces, and auoide them, and shun the society of such, Rom. 16. 17, 18. This will breed thee much peace, and deliuer thee from much sus­pition in others.

Thirdly, thou must make no friendship with the angry man; for either by much conuersing with him, thou maist learne his waies, or else it will be a snare to thee, that thou shalt neither know how to keepe his fauour, nor yet how to breake off from him, without much vnrest and incon­uenience, Prou. 22. 24, 25.

Fourthly, it is a great discre­tion in euill time to bee silent. In things wherein thou mayest en­danger [Page 578] thy selfe, and not profit others, it is thy best way, and a wise course, to forbeare speech of such things, Amos 5. 13.

Fiftly, so likewise it is thy dis­cretion in matters of dangers to forbeare the communicating of thy secret to any, though thou migh­test be tempted to a perswasion of trust in those to whom thou wouldest reueale them. It may often repent thee to haue spo­ken, but seldome to haue held thy peace, Mica. 7. 5.

Sixthly, withdraw thy feet from thy neighbours house, lest he be wea­rie of thee, and hate thee: this is an excellent rule giuen by Salo­man, Prou. 25. 17. If thou woul­dest conuerse with reputation, take heed of idle gadding from house to house, when thou hast no occasion or employment: thou mayest draw hereby much secret contempt and loathing of thee, when thy emptinesse and vanity shall be thereby discoue­red. [Page 579] An empty conuersation, that hath in it no exercise of pi­erie or vertue, if it bee frequent, occasioneth secret, and vnutte­rable scorne.

7. Restraine thine owne passions in conuersing. There are none so wise, but if they shew their pas­sions of immoderate anger, feare, griefe, yea, or ioy, they discouer much weaknes in their disposi­tion, which would bee couered if they did bridle the excesse of their passions. A wise man coue­reth shame, when a foole is presently knowne: It is the best praise not to haue such weaknesses; but the next to this, is by discretion to bridle our selues, so as we may hide our weaknesses from brea­king out.

Lastly, thou maist make good vse of that direction of Salomon about thy friend, Blesse not thy friend with a loud voice, rising early in the morning; for it may bee ac­counted a curse to thee: Take heede [Page 580] of flattery, which in stead of ef­fecting thine owne ends, may bring thee out of all respect. He doth not forbid the iust praise, and encouragement of friends, but the intending of praise of purpose to the vttermost notice of thy friend, (this is to praise him with a loud voice) and the affectation of preuenting others in praising; and of doing it in such things as are not yet su [...]i­ently knowne to be praise-wor­thy, and to set ones selfe so to praise, as if he studied to doe no­thing else, but humour his friend; especially if it be but once per­ceiued, that thou doest it but for thy owne ends. It is a great part of wisedome, to know how to speake of the praise of others, so as neither sinister ends be inten­ded, nor the humouring of those we praise: to doe it sparingly and seasonably, is a great discre­tion.

And thus of the Rules, that [Page 581] make our conuersation amiable, in respect of discretion.

Thirdly, that our conuersation Three rules that con­cerne the purity of our con­uersation. may not be hurtfull & offensiue, we must looke to the purity of it: and so these rules following are of singular vse.

First, in generall, Refraine thy tongue from euill, and thy lips that they speake no guile, Psal. 34. 13. For he that keepeth his mouth, kee­peth his soule, Prou. 21. 23. Take heed of the vsuall vices of the tongue: for thereout may come much mischiefe, and discontent to thy selfe and others.

Secondly, in particular looke to thy selfe carefully, that thou a­uoide those three euils mentio­ned by the Apostle, Ephes. 5. 4. viz. filthy speaking, foolish talking and iesting. By iesting he meanes those biting iests, that vnder pretence of shewing wittines, or conceit, doe secretly leaue dis­grace vpon the persons whom they concerne.

[Page 582] Thirdly, auoid with detesta­tion the excesse in drinking and re­uelling, and suffer thy selfe vpon no pretence, to bee drawne to giue way to thine owne practice in them, 1 Pet. 4. 3.


How we must carry our selues out of company.

THus of thy carriage in ge­nerall in company. Now out of company thou must looke to these things.

First, thou must fashion thy 1. The rules that order vs out of company. heart, by the vse of all good meanes, to the loue all sorts of men. This [...], loue of men, is a vertue little thought on, yet greatly necessary, as a foundati­on of all practice in conuersing with others, and we should la­bour to abound in loue towards all men, 1 Thess. 3. 12.

[Page 583] Secondly, remember to pray for all sorts of men. This is a pre­cept giuen vs in charge by the Apostle, 1 Tim. 2. 1. and belongs to this place, and we ought to make conscience of it according to the occasions of our callings, or acquaintance with other men: wee should euen in secret seeke to profit our neighbours by praying for them.

Thirdly, we should prouide, euen out of company to order our affaires so, as that we may liue

  • 1. Honestly, without scandall, 1 Cor. 10. 32. Phil. 1. 10.
  • 2. Iustly, without deceit or frau­dulent dealing, Leuit. 19. 35, 36. 1 Thess. 4. 6.
  • 3. Peaceably, without strife with any, if it be possible, Prou. 3. 29, 30. Zach. 7. 10. Heb. 12. 14.


Rules about worke of Mercy.

HItherto of the Rules that concerne Righteousnesse: Mercy followeth. Now in shew­ing mercy, diuers things are charged vpon v [...].

First, willingnesse. We must 8. Things required in shewing mercy. 1. Willing­nesse. giue cheerefully: For the Lord lo­ueth a cheerefull giuer. We must loue mercy, as well as shew mer­cy. Our hearts should be euer answerable to our power. We must bee readie and prepared to shew mercy, abhorring delayes and putting off of time, or see­king excuses: Our eares should be open to the cryes of the poore. Yea (rather then be behind hand) we should sel, that we might giue almes, Mich. 6. 8. 1 Tim. 6. 18. 2 Cor. 9. 4, 5, 6, 7. Prou. 22. 22, 23. Luke 12. 33. Prou. 3. 27, 28.

Secondly, Labour and Dili­gence. [...]. Labour. [Page 585] We should take paines, and worke hard according to all the occasions of mercy. This is the Apostles phrase: God will not for­get your worke, and labour of loue, Heb. 6. 10. We must be forward to doe those workes of mercy, that require our paines and tra­uell about them, as well as those we may doe and sit still, 2 Cor. 8. 16, 22.

Thirdly, Liberalitie: We must 3. Liberal [...] ty. open our hands wide, Deut. 15. 8. we must be rich in good workes, 1 Tim. 6. 18. We must not giue sparingly, 2 Cor. 9. 6. we must giue to our power, and sometimes beyond our power, 2 Cor. 8. 2. we should desire to answer the expectation had of our bounty, especially the expectation of our teachers that know vs and our estates, 2 Cor. 8. 24. we should striue to abound in this grace also, as well as in o­ther graces of the Spirit, 2 Cor. 8. 6. we should giue to seuen, and also to eight, Eccl. 11. 2. we must [Page 586] giue good measure, yea and pressed downe, Luke 6. 30.

Fourthly, Humility. There is 4. Humili­ty. Humility shewed fiue waies in doing workes of mercy. great vse of humility, in shew­ing mercy. Now we should shew our humility diuers waies about mercy: As

First, in helping others, with­out exalting our selues, and do­mineering ouer them. The rich must not thinke to rule the poore, and to command them, as if they were their vassals: we should so shew mercy, as not to stand vp­on termes of their beholding­nesse, to whom we shew mercy, Prou. 22. 7.

Secondly, in not despising the poore; wee must not thinke of them meanely, and contemptu­ously, because they stand in need of our helpe, whether it bee in body or minde, Prouerbs. 14. 21.

Thirdly, in accepting exhorta­tion, shewing our selues willing to bee called vpon, and stirred [Page 587] vp to mercie, 2 Corinthians 8. 17.

4. By our penitencie, when we goe to God, after we haue done our best, and confesse the cor­ruption that cleaues vnto vs, euen when we haue shewed our best desires to communicate to others; and withall striuing to plow vp the fallow ground of our hard hearts, that wee may bee more fit to expresse the bowels of mercie, Hos. 10. 12.

Fiftly, the Macedonians shew­ed their humilitie in this, that they prayed the Apostle to accept their gift, giuing themselues also to bee disposed of to the Lord, and vnto them by the will of God, 2. Cor. 8. 5.

Thus of the Humilitie to bee shewed in doing works of mer­cie.

A fifth thing required in shewing mercie, is Faith; and 5. Faith in two re­spects. faith is needfull in two respects.

First, to beleeue Gods accep­tation [Page 588] of the mercy shewed. For a godly Christian, that is not vaine-glorious, hath so meane an opinion of his best workes, that hee finds neede to flie to Gods promises, and da [...]es not trust vp­on his owne goodnesse. Now God hath promised to accept of that we doe, if there be a willing minde: The will is accepted for the deed, 2 Cor. 8. 12.

Secondly, to beleeue the suc­cesse and reward from God, and that wee shall not lose by what is so expended. Though the per­sons to whom we shew mercie, should be so vngratefull, that it were as bread cast on the waters: yet we ought to beleeue, that our seed cast on the waters, shall bring vs a plentifull haruest, Eccles. 11. 1. And it is certaine, whatsoeuer the persons be, yet what is giuen, is sowed. And if the Husbandman doe not thinke his corne spoiled that hee casts vpon his land, no more ought a [Page 589] Christian to think that to be lost that is giuen to the poor. Nature may disappoint the hope of the Husbandman, but in workes of mercy, there is no venture, but a sure increase from the Lord, 2. Cor. 9. 9, 10. and therefore our faith should make vs get bags to put vp the certaine treasure wee shall gaine by mercy from the Lord, Luk. 12. 33.

A sixt thing required in shew­ing 6. Discre­tion in 4. things. mercie, is discretion; and dis­cretion should shew it selfe.

First, by distributing our almes in the fittest course wee can, ha­uing a principall respect to godly poore. He that sheweth mercy, ought to haue a good eye, Prouerbs, 22. 9.

Secondly, by obseruing our owne abilitie, so to ease others, that wee burden not our selues, 1. Cor. 9. 14, 15.

Thirdly, by taking heede, that wee spend not vpon the rich by needlesse entertainments, what [Page 590] oughtto be bestowed vpon the poore, Prou. 2 [...]. 16. Luk. [...]4. 13.

Fourthly, by auoiding scandall, or giuing offence, that no [...] blame vs in our abundance, but prouiding things honest in the sight of God and men, 2. Cor. 8. 20, 21. yet so as we endeuour in an holy life and discreet manner to prouoke others by o [...]zeale, 2 Cor. 9. 2.

A seuenth thing required in 7. Sympa thy. shewing mercy, is Sympathie, Pitty, a Fellow-feeling of the distresses of others, being like af­fectioned, and laying their mise­ries to heart▪ Heb. 13. 3. Col. 3. 1 [...]. Romans 12. 16. Iob. 30. 25. There should bee bowels in our mercie.

The last thing is Sinceritie. 8. Sinceri­tie in fiue things. Now this sinceritie should bee shewed diuers wayes, As,

1. In the matter of our almes. It must be of goods well gottē. For God hateth robbery, though it were for burnt offrings, Esa. 61. 8.

2. In the manner wee must [Page 591] shew mercie, without wicked thoughts, or griefe of heart, Deut. 15. 7, 8. to 12. and without hiding our selues from the poore, E­say 58. 7. and without excuse to shift off the doing of it, Prou. 24. 11, 12.

3. In the ends. That we doe not our workes to be seene of men, or to merit of God: but with an vn­fained desire to glorifie God, and make our profession to be well spoken of, and shew the true loue and pitty wee beare to the creature in distresse, Matth. 6. 2 Cor. 9. 19.

4. In continuing our mercy, not forgetting to distribute, but still remembring the poore, Heb. 13. 16. Galath. 2. soundly performing the [...] mercie with constancie, which we haue purposed, wil'd, or promised. It were an excellēt order, if Christians would fol­low the Apostles rule, Euery weeke, as God hath prospered them, to lay aside for the poore, 1. Cor. [Page 592] 16. 2. 2 Cor. 8. 11.

5. In the kinds of mercy, that we be ready to shew spirituall mercy, as well as corporall; and in corpo­rall mercy to doe good all the waies wee can, as well as one way: As by lending, protecting, re­leasing, visiting, and giuing; & thus to the poore, to such as are fallen into decay, and to the strangers also as many Scriptures require.


Rules that shew vs how to carry our selues towards wicked men.

HItherto of the Rules that concerne all men: now the particular rules direct our car­riage either towards wicked men, or towards godly men.

Our conuersation towards wicked men may bee ordered by these rules:

First, we must auoid all needlesse societie with them, and shunne [Page 593] their infectious fellowship, espe­cially Needlesse socretie with them must bee auoyded. wee must take heed of any speciall familiarity with them, or vnequall yoaking our selues with them, by marriage, friend­ship, or leagues of amitie, Psalme 1. 1. 1 Cor. 6. 17. Ephes. 5. 7, 11. Prou. 23. 20. & 4. 14, &c.

Secondly, when wee haue oc­casion Great wis­dome re­quired in conuersing with them. to cōuerse with them, we must studie how to walke wisely towards them, so as we may be so farre from giuing scandall, as, if it be possible, wee may winne them to glorifie God and his truth in our profession. It re­quires much skill to order our selues aright in those things that are to be done in the presence of wicked men, or in such things as must come by report vnto them, and their scanning. Now there are diuers things of admirable Diuers things that affect the hearts euen of the worst men, are: vse in our carriage to put them to silence, and to take them in their consciences, at least to thinke well of vs: Such as are:

[Page 594] 2. Mortification. A sound care 1. A morti­fied life. to reforme our wayes, and true hatred and griefe for our owne sinnes, will cause many times wicked wretches to say of vs, that wee are the people of the Lord, Esay 61. 3, 8. I say, a sound care of reformation; for to professe a mortified life, and yet in any thing to shew that we can liue in any fault without repentance, this prouokes them exceeding­ly to speake euill of the good way of God. Therefore the first care of a Christian, that would be rightly ordered toward wic­ked m [...]n, must be to liue without offence, and to discouer a true mortified minde, and an heart broken for sinne.

Secondly, to speake with all 2. Reue­rend speech of Religi­on. reuerence and feare, when we in­treate of matters of Religion, much amazeth the prophane conscience of a wicked man; whereas cursorie discourses of such grand mysteries, & emptie [Page 595] and vaine ianglings doe excee­dingly occasion a confirmed wilfulnesse and prophanenesse in such men, 1. Pet. 3. 16. and Prou. 24. 26.

Thirdly, it is a most winning 3. Meekenes of wisdome qualitie in all our carriage, to shew meekenesse of wisedome, to expresse a mind well gouerned, free from passions, and also from concei­tednesse, frowardnesse, affecta­tion, and the vaine shew of what wee haue not in substance. For each of these haue in them singu­lar matter of irritation, and pro­uoke wicked men to scorne, and hatred, and reuiling.

Fourthly, there is an holy kind of Reseruednesse, which may a­dorne the life of a Christian, in his carriage among wicked men: and this Reseruednesse is to be shewed,

1. In not trusting our selues too 4. Reser­uednesse in foure things. farre with them, not beleeuing e­uery word, not bearing our selues vpon euery shew of fauour from [Page 596] them. For as too much suspition of them breeds extreme alie­nation, if they perceiue it; so cre­dulitie is no safe way, Prou. 14. 15. Ioh. 2. 24.

2. By abstaining from iudging of them that are without. It is a most intemperate zeale, that spends it selfe in the vaine and bootlesse censure of the estate of those that are without. Those censures haue in them matter of prouocation and nothing of edi­fication. It were happy for some Christians, if they could with the Apostle, say often to their owne soules, What haue I to doe to iudge them that are without? 1 Cor. 5. 12, 13.

3. By studying to be quiet, and meddle with our owne businesse; ca­sting about, how to cut off all occasions, by which we might bee tangled with any discord or contention, or much businesse with them. It is a godly ambition to thirst after this quietnesse of [Page 597] life, 1 Thess. 4. 11, 12.

4. By our silence in euill times; alwayes auoyding all such dis­courses, as might bring vs into danger, without any calling for our owne edification, or the edi­fication of others. Many a man hath smarted sorely for want of this bridle for his tongue, when his words could doe no good to others, and much hurt to him­selfe, Amos 5. 13. Dauid held his peace while the wicked were present, Psal. 39. 1.

5. In forbearing to reprooue scorners, Prou. 9. 7, 8. and 23. 9.

6. In seasoning their words with salt, so as they discouer no vani­tie, lightnesse, vainglory, malice, or desire of reuenge, or the like faults in their speeches.

7. In answering the foole, but not according to his follie, that is, not in such pride, passion, or re­uiling fashion as the foole obiects in, Prou. 26. 4, 5.

8. In getting out of their com­panie, [Page 598] when wee perceiue not in them the words of wisedome. If wee see they grow once to be per­uerse, outragious, or wilfull in any notorious offence of words or workes, we must get from a­mongst them.

Thus of the eight wayes wherein we should shew reser­uednesse: they are of excellent vse, if men would studie them, and practise them.

5. Mercie is amiable euen in 5. Mercy. the eyes of wicked men: and mercifull Christians, that are full of good works, doe bring a great deale of honour to religion. It is true Religion and vndefiled, to visit the fatherlesse and widowes, and to be vnspotted of the world. A con­uersation that is vnrebukeable, and full of mercie also, cannot but be very honorable: whereas Religion it selfe, when it is [...]a­ted in the brests of such Chri­stians as haue forgotten to shew mercy, and not studie how to [Page 599] bee doing good to others, is ex­ceedingly darkened in the glory of it, and many times extremely ill spoken of. A true Christian should hold it a great disparage­ment, that any Papist, or carnall man in the world (in equall com­parison) should put them downe for either the tendernesse or the abundance of workes of mercie, 1 Peter 1. 12. Math. 15. Iames 27.

6. When we haue cause and a 6. Vndaun­tednesse in a good cause. calling to speake for the truth, or to reprooue sinne, it is an ex­cellent grace to bee vndaunted, and free from s [...]ruile feares or flattery. To giue place to wic­ked men in Gods cause, or to feare their faces in the quarrell of Religion, or to shew a minde that would repent of wel-doing, or that basely would stoupe some way to honour vngodly persons for our owne ends, is so farre from gaining true fauour with euill-minded men, that it [Page 600] makes them to scorne and hate vs and Religion so much the more: whereas a godly man, that is vnmoucable, and refuseth to praise the wicked, or iustifie the vn­godly; and when he hath cause, will contend with them, as Salomons Phrase is, and not be like a trou­bled fountaine, or acorrupt spring: hee may for the time receiue ill words from the wicked, but his heart is afraid of him, and his conscience doth admire him, Prou. 24. 25. and 28. 4. and 25. 26 1 Cor. 16. 22.

7. The like aduantage is 7. Patience in afflicti­on. brought to the conuersation of a godly man, when he can shew like patience and firmenes of mind in bearing all sorts of afflictions and crosses. Patience in afflicti­on, makes a great shew before a wicked man, that well knowes how vnable he is so to carry him­selfe, 1 Pet. 3. 14.

Lastly, to loue our enemies, and shew it by our suies in forgiuing [Page 601] them, or being ready heartily to please them, and to ouercome their euill with goodnesse: To pray for them when they reuile and persecute vs, is a transcendent vertue; euill men themselues be­ing Iudges, Luk. 6. 27. to 31. Pro. 10. 22.


Rules that shew vs how to carry our selues towards godly men.

THus of our carriage towards the wicked. How we should carry our selues toward the god­ly, followeth to bee considered of.

The summe of all is, that we must walke in loue. If wee can soundly discharge our duty to the godly, in respect of louing them vnfainedly, and heartily, and constantly, we performe all [Page 602] that is required of vs toward them. And this loue to the god­ly is so necessary, as that it is im­posed vpon vs, as the only com­mandement giuen by Christ, who in one word tels vs the sub­stance of our duties, Ioh. 13. 34. Eph. 5. 2. 1 Pet. 2. 7. 1 Cor. 16. 14.

Now the rules which in par­ticular bind vs to the good be­hauiour in respect of our loue to the godly, concerne either the manifestation of our ioue to them; or the preseruation of our leue to them.

We must shew our loue to Sixe waies of mani­festing our loue to the godly. 1 By cour­tesie. the godly diuers wayes:

First, by courtesie and kind­nesse towards them, and that in a speciall manner, being affecti­oned towards them with a bro­therly loue and kindnesse. No bre­thren in nature should shew more kindnesse one to another, then Christians should, Eph. 4. 32. Rom. 12. 10.

[Page 605] Secondly, by receiuing and en­tertaining them: we must receiue 2. By recei­uing them one another, and be barbarous one to another; and this with entire­nesse of affection Negatiuely, it must be without grudging, 1. Pet. 4. 9. Affirmatiuely, we must re­ceiue one another, as Christ re­ceiued vs into glory, that is, First, without respect of desert; We haue done nothing to deserue hea­uen; yet Christ hath receiued vs to glory: So, though the godly haue not pleasured vs any way greatly, yet because they are the children of God, wee should make much of them, and enter­taine them gladly. Secondly, not thinking any thing too deare for them: Christ hath not ennied vs the very glory of heauen, and therefore what can we doe to the brethren, that should answer the example of Christ? Rom. 15. 7.

Thirdly, by bearing their bur­thens; for so we should fulfill the 3. By bearing their bur. thens. Law of Christ, Galat. 6. 2. There [Page 604] are two sorts of burthens presse the godly: One inward, such as are temptations, and their owne corruptions; the other outward, such as are afflictions of all sorts. Now in both these, this rule holds; for when we see a godly Christian mourne and lament his distresse in respect of his [...]fir­mities, or temptations, we must beare his burthen, not by soo­thing him in his sinne, as if it were no sinne, but by laying his griefe to our owne hearts, and striuing to comfort him with the promises of God. This is not to make our selues guilty of their sinnes, but to helpe them out of their griefe by consolation, out of their sin by direction. Note, Note. that this is charged vpon vs, when sinne is a burthen to them, not before; for till then wee are rather to reprooue them, or ad­monish them: But then we are to ta [...] notice of this rule, when they confesse their sinnes, and [Page 605] are weary of them, and sorry for them. And thus also in their out­ward burthens wee must beare them, by comforting them, and aduising them, and helping them, and shewing our affection to them, as if it were our owne case, so farre as we haue a calling, and power to helpe them.

Fourthly, by considering one an­other, 4. By pro­uoking them to good du­ties. to prouoke vnto loue, and good workes, Heb. 10. 24. Note the dutie, and the manner how it is to be done: The dutie is, to stirre vp others all we can, to the increase of loue and abundance of all good workes: the manner is shewed two waies; First, we must prouoke them to it, both by example, and by exhortation, and all good wayes, that might fire in them the desire of well­doing. Secondly, we must con­sider one another, we must study the estates of others, their wants, impediments, meanes, gifts, cal­lings, &c. and accordingly apply [Page 606] our selues for the best aduan­tage to helpe them forward. It is not enough to doe it occasional­ly, but we must meditate of it; and castabout, how, where, and when we must yeeld this helpe, and incouragement, and furthe­rance.

Fiftly, by doing whatsoeuer we 5. By faith­fulnesse in all their businesse. doe for the godly, heartily, and with all faithfulnesse, as if it were for our selues, or our owne brethren, or kindred in nature, not being slothfull in seruice; or such as dis­appoint the trust reposed in vs: we should doe all things we vn­dertake for them, with all side­lity and care, 3 Ioh. 5. Rom. 12. 6, 7, 8, 9, 11. Yea, we should care for their good and profit, as we would care for the good of the members of our owne body, for such are they to vs in the mysti­call body of lesus Christ, as the former place to the Romanes sheweth.

Lastly, we should shew our 6 By enioy­ing our. [Page 607] loue to the godly, by employing gifts for their good. the gifts of our mind, as may be best for their good: As euery man hath receiued the gife, hee must so minister the same, as good Stewards of the manifold grace of God. There are diuersity of gifts in the godly, as knowledge, vtte­rance, prayer, and the like. Now these are giuen to profit withall, 1 Pet. 4. 10. 1 Cor. 12. As for example, The lips of the wise must disperse knowledge, Prou. 15. 7. So when Christians meete together, as any haue receiued a doctrine, or a Psalme, or an Interpretation: so must he minister it for the profit of others, 1 Cor. 14. 26. and so must we help one another by prayer, either absent, or present, 2 Cor. 1. 11.


How we should preserue our loue to the godly.

THus of the rules that con­cerne the manifestation of our loue to the godly. Now there are further diuers things to be obserued for the preserua­tion of our loue to them: and these may bee cast into two heads: for, they are either such things as we must doe; or such things as we must auoide.

The things that wee must doe What wee must do to pr [...]serue our loue to the godly. We must labour to be of one iudgement with them. to preserue loue, are these:

First, we must striue to be like minded in matters of opinion; many discords or abatements of affection grow among Christi­ans for their offences of opi­nion in diuers things. It is true, that difference of Iudgement should not cause difference in affection: If we cannot be of one [Page 609] minde, yet we should be of one heart: yet we see the contrary, and therefore euery Christian should make conscience of it, to be so wary and so humble in his opinions, especially in things doubtfull, or not so necessary, as to take heed of admitting what might shew dissent from the godly; or if he must needs dis­sent, yet to be very wary how he discouer it to the vexation or entanglement of others. Now because this is very hard to per­swade Christians vnto; marke how vehemently the Apostle speaks of it, Rom. 15. 5, 6. Now the God of patience and consolation grant you to bee like minded, that ye may with one mouth and one mind glorifie God. Wee must learne of the Apostle to pray feruently for this, that our natures, and the natures of others, with whom we conuerse, may be fit­ted hereunto: and, 1 Corinth. 1. 10. the Apostle adi [...]res them [Page 610] by the name of Iesus: I beseech you brethren, by the name of our Lord Iesus Christ, that ye all speake the same thing, and that there be no di­uions amongst you, but that yee bee perfectly ioyned together in the same mind, and in the same iudge­ment. And in the Epistle to the Philippians, Chap. 2. ver. 1, 2, 3. he vrgeth them with strange ve­hemencie, to import the necessi­ty of this duty: If, saith he, there be any consolation in Christ, or any fellowship of the Spirit, or any bo­wels of mercy, be like minded, ha­uing the same loue, being of one mind. And certainely, this ear­nestnesse in requiring this duty imports, that some peruerse Christians will smoake one day for th [...]ir presumption, and waywardnesse, and pride of o­pinions.

2. Wee must follow the things 2. We must [...] peace. which may make for outward peace; and to this end we must labour to shew all meekenesse in our car­riage, [Page 611] and long-suffering in for­bearing one another, and for­giuing one another, Ephesians 4. 2, 3, 4.

3. Wee must striue to heare [...]. We must couer their weakenesse. our affection to such a degree, as that it may be able to couer the infirmities of others: He must get a couering loue, that will liue con­stantly in the loue of the godly: A loue, that will couer a multi­tude of faults, 1 Pet. 4. 8. Prou. 10. 10.

4. We must confesse our faults 4. We must confesseour faults one to another. one to another, Iames 5. 16. It doth exceedingly preserue loue, if men, when they haue offen­ded, or wronged others, would quickly, and easily, and heartily acknowledge their offences. Nor doth this rule hold in case of trespasse onely, but when wee haue not wronged others, yet discrcetly to complaine of the corruption of nature that cleaues to vs, and the infirmities which daily trouble vs. This [Page 612] doth worke not onely compas­sion, but great increase of af­fection in others towards vs: For acknowledgement preuents their secret loathing of vs for such frailties if they should dis­cerne them. And besides, it makes them the willinger to giue vs leaue to reprooue their faults, when they see we are as willing to reprooue our owne; besides the ease it brings to our own hearts many times to make our moane to others, when our consciences are troubled.


What we must auoide, that our loue may be preserued.

THus what wee must doe to 10. Things to be auoi­ded. preserue loue; Now further that loue may bee preserued a­mongst the godly, these things following are to be auoided.

First, Suits in Law; A Chri­stian 1. Suits in Law. must haue many conside­rations of his cause, before it can be lawfull for him to goe to law with his brother. These kinds of contentions are most vnnaturall amongst Christians; and proue not onely scandalous in respect of others, but ex­tremely grieuous and poisonous to themselues, 1 Cor. 6. 1, 4.

Secondly, Dissimulation: our 2. Dissimu­lation. loue must bee without faining, in deede, and in truth; not in shew, or in words, Rom. 12. 9. 1 Iohn 3. 18.

[Page 614] Thirdly, Conceitednesse. This [...]. Concei­tednesse. is a vice that extremely vexeth others, and alienateth affection: we must not be wise in our selues, but rather in lowlinesse of minde esteeme another better then our selues, & shew it both by making our selues equall to them of the lower sort, and by going before others in giuing Honour and Praise, Rom. 12. 10, 16. Phil. 2. 3, 4. Pro. 12. 15.

Fourthly, reioycing in iniquity. 4. Reioy­cing in ini­quitie. Our loue must be holy and pure, if we would haue it preserued. It must haue nothing in it that is vnseemly, nor must it be an affe­ction, that will take pleasure in the vices or faults of those with whom we cōuerse, 1 Cor. 13. 5, 6.

Fifthly, the minding of our owne things: we must not study for our 5. Worldli­nesse and selfe-loue. selues, and our owne ends onely in conuersing, 1 Cor. 13. 5. The meaning is not, that we should leaue our callings and our hou­ses, to spend the greatest part of our time in our neighbors hou­ses; [Page 615] but he prohibits, 1. World­linesse, and excessiue cares about our businesse, and the things of this life, which hinders needfull society with the godly: and se­condly, hee forbids selfe-loue in conuersing, when men in all things aime at their owne pro­fit, or pleasure, or credit, and doe not as well seeke the good of o­thers: we may minde our owne things, but not onely.

6. Sixthly, Ficklenesse and Vn­constancy: 6. Fickle­nesse. we must looke to it, that brotherly loue continue, Heb. 13. 1. and to this end wee must looke to the leuity of our owne natures, and striue to make good by continuance, the affection we haue conceiued and professed to others. Some are of such vncon­stant dispositions, that they will loue vehemently for a fit, and suddenly fall off without reason, but not without singular shame and blemishing of their reputa­tions. For such tempers are hard­ly [Page 616] fit for any societie. Now this must be repented of, and refor­med.

Seuenthly, we must take heed 7. Vaine-glory. of vaine-glory, and ouer eager desire of credit and estimation aboue others. For this is the cause of much vnrest in our own hearts, and of much interruption in brotherly loue. And why wouldst thou be so highly estee­med of? Thou considerest not the hard taske thou layest vpon thy selfe, to be euer carefull to answer that great praise, or esti­mation thou desirest: Nor mar­kest thou, how thereby thou art made to offend against thy bro­ther: by enuying him, by back­biting, or other wayes of pro­uocation, nor yet how little this commends thee to God, Gal. 5. 26.

Eighthly, take heed of iudging 8. Iudging thy brethren, not but that thou mayst say, that sinne is sinne, but looke to thy selfe in two things:

[Page 617] First, that thou censure not thy brother about things indiffe­rent, or doubtfull: such as cere­monies were and are. This is flatly forbidden, Rom. 14. 3, 13.

Secondly, that thy suspitions transport thee not to condemne thy brother for hidden things, the things of darkenesse and coun­sels of the heart: till thou be sure of the fault, or offence, thou maist not iudge, or censure, 1 Cor. 4. 5.

Ninthly, if there be any occa­sion of grieuance, that loue may be renewed, or preserued, looke to two things:

First, that thou render not reui­ling 9. Euill words and complai­ning. for reuiling, 1 Pet. 3. 9.

Secondly, that thou grudge not against thy brother, or by whispe­ring depraue his actions, or back-bite him, or complaine a­gainst him to his disgrace, in things where the right is not ap­parently discouered; Iam. 5. 9.

Lastly, if thou wouldest pre­serue [Page 618] thy selfe in the loue of the 10. Forsake not their assembly. godly, then thou must take heed of forsaking the assembling toge­ther of the Saints: Thou must preserue all wayes of exercising the Communion of Saints, and hold fellowship with them in Gods House, and in your owne dwelling: Prophanenesse must not draw thee from the Temple: nor worldlinesse from society, and louing, and profitable con­uersation with thy godly friends and acquaintance, Heb. 10. 25.


How we must carry our selues towards such as are fallen.

HItherto of such rules of con­uersation, as direct vs in our carriage towards the godly, con­sidered in generall. Now there are other rules which concerne [Page 619] onely some of the godly: namely

  • 1. Such as are fallen.
  • 2. Such as are weake.
  • 3. Such as are strong.
  • 4. Such as are especially knit vnto vs in friendship.

For the first, those that are fallen, are either fallen from God, or fallen from thee. Such as are fallen from God, are either fallen grosly and of habit, or by infir­mity and suddenly.

Those that are fallen grosly, are either guilty of soule vices, or else of extreme omissions, such as that which the Apostle instan­ceth in, of idlenesse, and the gene­rall neglect of their callings.

Now towards both these, thou How we must carry our selues towards such as are fallen from God. must be thus ordered.

First, warne them in the be­ginning, and reprooue them sharp­ly, 1 Thess. 5. 14.

Secondly, if they mend not, auoide them, withdraw thy selfe from them, conuerse not fami­liarly with them, let them not be [Page 620] the companions of thy life, 1 Cor. 5. 11. 2 Thess. 3. 6, 14.

Thirdly, if they repent, forgiue them, and comfort them, left they be swallowed vp of griefe, 2 Cor. 2. 7, 8.

Now if they be fallen by in­firmitie, either they are likely to offend againe, or not. If they be likely to fall further, saue them with feare, pulling them out of the fire, Iude 23. but if not, th [...]n re­store such a one with the spirit of meekenesse, comfort him, deale gently with him, Gal. 6. 1.

Thus of thy carriage to such as are fallen from God.

As for those that are fallen How wee must carry our selues towards such as trespasse against vs. from thee, by trespassing against thee, thou must obserue these rules of carriage towards them.

First, in slighter wrongs do all things without reasonings or mur­murings: either speake not of it, or so, as thou shew no repining or vexation about it, Phil. 2. 14.

Secondly, in great wrongs, [Page 621] thou must doe two things:

First, obserue the method of our Sauiour Christ: when the trespasse is secret, go and tell him of it betweene thee and him: if hee mend not, then take two or three other discreete godly persons with thee, and tell him of it a­gaine. If he yet mend not, then divulge it, and acquaint the Church with it; either seeke a publike sentence vpon him from authority, or acquaint the godly generally with it. And if these courses will not amend him, then abandon his society, as if hee were an Heathen or a Publican, Math. 18. 15.

Secondly, if by any of these courses he repent, forgiue him; yea, and that as often as he saith, it repenteth him, if hee should doe thee many iniuries, Luke 17. 3, 4.


How wee must carry our selues towards the weake Christian, &c.

THus of thy carriage toward How wee must carry our selues towards weake Christians. them that are fallen.

Towards weake Christians we must be thus ordered:

First, we must take heed, that we intangle them not with doubt­full disputations in matters of ce­remonies, or things indifferent, Rom. 14. 1.

Secondly, wee must get the skill to beare with their weaknesses and meere frailties, Rom. 15. 1.

Thirdly, we must be wonder­full carefull that we doe not offend them, or cast any stumbling blockes in their way, Matth. 18. 1 Cor. 10. 32.

Fourthly, we must encourage them, and comfort them, and sup­port them all we can, 1 Thess. 5. 14.

[Page 623] Fiftly, in things indifferent, we must not thinke it much to crosse our selues to please them, and to suffer a little bondage in the re­straint of our liberty, rather then vexe them, especially for the furtherance of their soules in the meanes of their saluation, we should become all things to all men, Gal. 5. 13. 1. Cor. 9. 20, 21, 22.

3. Towards strong Christians, How wee must carry our selues towards the strong. we must be thus ordered:

1. First, we must acknowledge such, 1. Cor. 16. 18.

2. Wee should set them and their practice before vs, as pat­terns and examples of imitation, Phil. 3. 17. 1 Thes. 1. 7.

3. We should submit our selues to such, to let them aduise vs, and admonish vs, and withall should submit our iudgements in things doubtfull to theirs, 1 Cor. 16. 16. How wee must carry our selues towards our special friend. 1 Pet. 5. 5.

4. Towards thy friend, thou must be thus ordered:

  • [Page 624]1. Neuer forsake him, Prou. 27. 10.
  • 2. Giue him hearty counsell, Prou. 27. 9.
  • 3. Be friendly to him, Prou. 8. vlt.
  • 4. Communicate thy secrets to him, Iohn 15. 15.
  • 5. Loue him with a speciall loue.
  • 1. As thine owne soule, Deut. 13. 6.
  • 2. Let thy loue be at all times, euen in aduersity, Prou. 17. 17.
  • 3. It must be a sincere loue, that looketh not for gifts or rewards, Prou. 19. 6.
  • 4. It must bee such a loue as will reach to his posterity also, if need be, 2 Chron. 20. 7.


Rules that concerne our selues: and so first in our generall calling.

HItherto of the rules of or­der in respect of God, or our neighbours. Now follow the rules that concerne our selues. And these are of two sorts. For they are either such as order vs at all times, or such as order vs in the times of affliction.

The first sort concerne either [...]ur generall, or priuate calling.

The rules that concerne our How we must carry our selues in our [...]e­nerall cal­ling. 1 In mat­ters of faith. generall calling, as in this place they are to bee considered of, concerne either, 1. our Faith, 2 or [...]ur repentance, 3. or our hope.

1. The rules that concerne our Faith (supposing the Christian to be informed in the things con­tained in the former Treatises) are onely these two.

[Page 626] First, thou must be expert in the Catalogue of Promises, that concerne infirmities, mentioned in the third Treatise. For those will preserue thy faith in Gods fa­uour, against the daily experi­ence of frailtie and infirmitie in thy selfe. For thou maist by them see, that thou hast no reason to doubt of the continuance of Gods loue to thee, onely because of thy many weaknesses. For in those promises, he hath and doth declare, how graciously he is inclined to his seruants, and passeth by their frailtie, and ac cepteth their desires and endea­uours, &c. This rule will proue a maine support of the content­ment of thy life: and therefore let not Satan make thee either despise, or neglect it.

Secondly, thou shalt doe well to establish thy iudgement par­ticularly in the doctrine of the Principles, expressed in the fifth Treatise; and by sound learning [Page 627] of them settle thy self, so as thou be no more carried about with the wind of any contrary doctrine. It should be the labour and care of all good Christians to keepe the patterne of wholesome words, 2. Tim. 1. 13. 2 About thy repen­tance.

Concerning thy repentance, as now it is to bee vrged vpon thee after thy assurance, one rule is of singular vse, and that con­cernes the Catalogue of present sinnes. By the directions in the first Treatise, I suppose thou hast deliuered thy selfe from the bo­dy of sinnes, so as the most of those euils mentioned in the first and great Catalogue, are shaken off, neuer to bee committed a­gaine, and so thou hast no more to do about them, but giue God thanks for thy deliuerance from them through Iesus Christ. Now because after thy first repentance there will remaine some corrup­tions, which as yet are not roo­ted out; thy course for thy whole [Page 628] life, for these remainders of sin, would be this: Make thee a Ca­talogue of thy present sins, euen of such euils as thou findest thy selfe yet daily prone vnto. Exa­mine thy selfe seriously to this end: it may be thou wilt finde 6. or 8. or 10. or more, or fewer euils, which yet hang vpon thy nature and life. Thy course for the vse of this catalogue may be this: I suppose thou art instruct­ed so farre, as to know the profit of daily calling vpon God: Now whereas in prayer thou dost, or oughtest to make confession of thy sins, in stead of a more ge­nerall confession, vse still thy Catalogue, that is, labour euery day to iudge thy selfe distinctly for those sins that doe presently annoy thee: Hold on this course constantly, till thou hast gotten power against al, or any of them, & as thou findest vertue against any of them, so alter thy Cata­logue, giuing thankes for the [Page 629] sinnes thou gettest head against, and putting them out of thy Ca­talogue. The paines is little, it is once done for a long time, and thy memory will easily carry thy speciall present faults. Besides, this distinct daily remembrance of thy present sinnes, will make thee more watchfull against those sins; and thou maiest once a yeere, or once a quarter, or be­fore euery communion, examine thy selfe anew, and mend thy Ca­talogue, by putting in any cor­ruption which thou discouerest then, or at any time, to arise anew in thee, and putting out such e­uils as by prayer thou hast got­ten victory against. Thus maiest thou see the state of thy soule di­stinctly all the dayes of thy life, discerning when thou goest for­ward or backward. Besides, this course of daily iudging thy selfe, keepes thee out of the danger of any wrath of God.

Concerning thy hope, there 3 About thy hope. [Page 630] are foure things for thee to do.

First, pray constantly and ear­nestly, for the knowledge of the great glory is prouided for thee. Thou must forme the admiration of heauen in thee, by prayer: for naturally it is not in vs, Ephes. 1. 18, &c.

Secondly, thou must vse all di­ligence to perfect thy assurance of heauen, when thou diest, Heb. 6. 12. 1. Pet. 1. 13.

Thirdly, thou must striue to accustome thy thoughts to the daily contemplation of heauen, that thy conuersation may be in heauen, Phil. 3. 20.

Fourthly, thou must striue to direct thy heart, and enable thy selfe to the expectation of the com­ming of Iesus Christ; thou must la­bour for that skill distinctly, to be able to waite for the comming of Iesus Christ, and to shew that thou louest his appearing, 1. Thes. 1. 10, and 2. Thes 3. 5. Gal. 5. 5. 2. Tim. 4. 8.


Rules that order vs in our parti­cular calling.

THus of the rules that con­cerne 7. Things to be auoi ded in our particular calling. thy generall calling: In thy particular calling there are seuen things to bee auoided.

The first is slothfulnesse, and thou art guilty of this sinne, both when thou doest not the labours of thy calling, and when thou obseruest not the reasons, and op­portunities of thy calling, Prou. 10. 4, 5. And that thou maiest be free from this sinne, thou must a­uoide together with it the occa­sions of it: And so thou must a­uoide, 1. The loue of sleepe, Prou. 20. 13. 2. Good fellowship, and haunting of Alehouses, and Ta­uernes, and keepi [...]g company with dissolute persons, Prou. 21. 17. 3. Wandring from thine owne house, euen that vnnecessary going from house to house, though it be not to places of ill fame. Fourthly, thou must take heede of pertinacious [Page 632] entertainment of doubts and ob­iections about thy calling: thou shouldest be afraid of excuses for idlenesse, especially to be so selfe­willed, as to be glad of any thing may seem to patronize thy sloth­fulnes, Pro. 20. 4. & 15. 19. & 26. 16. And therefore to conclude this rule, when thou art about thy calling, what thou dost, do with all thy power, Eccl. 9. 10. & rest not in words or pratling. He is not diligent, that brags much of what worke he can or will doe, but he that doth it indeed, Pro. 14. 23.

The second sin to be auoided [...]. Vnfaith­fuln [...]sse. in thy particular calling, is vn­faithfulnesse, Pro. 20 6. and so thou must take heed of breach of thy promise in thy dealings with men, Psa. 15. 4. and also thou must take heed of all deceitfull courses, all waies of fraud and coozenage. It is an hatefull thing in men, when they are such as canot be trusted, either because they make not cō ­science of keeping their words, [Page 633] or because they will vse so much cunning & deceit, and dissimula­tion and lying in their dealings.

The third sin to bee auoided, 3. Rashnes. is Precipitation, hastines, and vn­aduised rashnes, rising out of the leuity of mens minds, or their wilfulnes. Prouidence and wise diligence is wonderfull requisite vnto a right ordering of our selues in our callings, Pro. 21. 5.

The fourth sinne to be auoy­ded, is Passion, or perturbation; 4 Passion. and that hath in it both vncheer­fulnesse and vnquietnesse. Vnch [...]er­fulnesse, when men are not con­tent with their callings, or gifts, or estates, 1. Cor. 7. 17. Vnquiet­nesse, when men are froward, and carrie themselues peeuishly, or cholerickly with those that are about them. This sinne of frowardnes is vehemently cen­sured and condemned in Scrip­ture, Pro. 11. 29. Psa. 37. 8. Pro. 16. 32. & 19. 11. & 25. 28. where­as God requires a quiet, conten­ted [Page 634] and merrie heart, Pro. 17. 22. Eccl. 9. 7, 8.

The fifth thing to be auoided and shunned, is the Temptations 5. The temptati­ons of thy calling. of thy calling; euery calling in the world is assaulted with certaine temptations, & they are vsually of two sorts; For first, in all cal­lings there are certaine vnlaw­full courses held for gaine by wicked men, which we call the sins of such a calling. These vniust courses thou must learn to auoid and abhorre, and so exercise thy calling, as thou shun those sinfull courses vsed by wicked men in that calling. Secondly, euery cal­ling is assaulted with crosses and afflictions: now in these afflicti­ons the diuell is wont to tender ill counsell, to perswade to sinne, or the vse of vnlawfull meanes, or other sins of distrust in God: all these thou must auoid.

Sixtly, thou must take heede of worldines, or setting thy heart vpon those earthly things thou [Page 635] art to deale with in thy calling. Thou must euer be ready to con­fesse, and shew it by thy practice, that thou accountest thy selfe to be but a stranger and Pilgrim in this world, Heb. 11. 13. and if riches increase, thou must looke to it, that thou set not thy heart vpon them, Psal. 62. 10. Thou must vse the world, but not loue the world, 1. Ioh. 2. 15. Thou maist & ough­test to be carefull to doe the du­ties of thy calling; but thou must in nothing bee carefull about the successe, but submit thy selfe in all things to God, Math. 6. 1. Cor. 7. 32. Thou must behaue thy selfe like a weaned child, Psal. 131. 1, 2. Take heed of eating too much hony, Pro. 25. 16, & 27. 1, 2.

The seuenth, and last thing 7 Profane­nesse. thou must auoid, is profanenesse, which is to vse the workes of thy calling without exercising thy selfe in the Word of God, and daily prayer for Gods blessing vpon thy labours, and the crea­tures [Page 636] thou art to vse, Psal. 90. 1. Tim. 4. 3, 4. Gen. 24. 11, 12, 26, 27.


How wee should carrie our selues in the time of affliction.

THus of the Rules of carriage which concerne thy selfe at all times: Now follow the How wee must carry our selues in a [...]licti­on. 8. Things to be auoi­ded. Rules that shew thee how to be­haue our selues in time of afflicti­on and aduersitie. When thou art in affliction, thou must con­sider what thou must auoid, and what thou must doe.

Thou must auoid eight things.

First, Dissembling: Make not 1 Dissem­bling. thy selfe poore, when thou ar [...]rich; nor sicke, when thou art well, Prou. 13. 7.

Secondly, Shame. Be not asha­med 2. Shame. of that condition God brings thee into: beare thy cros­ses with spirituall magnanimity; account not thy selfe dishonored by Gods hand, who doth all for the best, 1. Pet. 4. 16.

[Page 637] Thirdly, Impatience: grieue not 3. Impati­ence. at Gods works: sorrow not after the world: Fret not at God or man; Refuse not Gods chastening, but with patience beare what is laid vpon thee: It is the Lord, let him do whatsoeuer he will with thee, Prou. 3. 11.

Fourthly, Fainting, or discou­ragement 4 Discou­ragement. of heart: Liue by faith; call not Gods loue into question: keepe thee in the good way, Pro. 24. 10.

Fifthly, Trust not vpon carnall friends: Relye not vpon man, 5 Trust not in carnall friends. but vpon God: Trust not in the arme of flesh, Prou. 27. 10.

Sixthly, Too much Carefulnes 6 Perplex­ed cares. for the meanes how to get out of affliction: Commit thy way to God, and put thy trust in him; vse all lawfull meanes, but distresse not thy heart with bootlesse cares: Cast thy care vpon God, for he ca­reth for thee, Phil. 4. 6. 1 Pet. 5. 7.

Seuenthly, Sudden feares. Be not so amazed with the first ty­dings, 7. Sudden feares. [Page 638] or beginnings of any af­fliction, discouer not such want of faith, as to be guiltie of those violent passions of feare; Gods loue is vnchangeable; & though heauen and earth should goe to­gether, yet God will bee with thee; Hee will not leaue thee, nor forsake thee, Prou. 3. 25.

Eighthly and lastly, carelesnesse 8. Careles­nesse of thy wates of thy wayes. Be not secure in sin­ning, but let thy crosses melt off some of thy drosse, and draw thee neere to God: Goe not on boldly to sinne without regard; if the Lord haue any quarrell a­gainst thee, humble thy selfe and depart from iniquitie, Pro. 14. 16.

The things then thou must do 5 Thi [...]gs to be done in the time of afflicti­on. on the contrary side, are these: When thou art in affliction, thou must do these things:

First, thou must pray, and call vpon the name of the Lord; as these expresse Scriptures re­quire, Iam. 5. 13. Psal. 50. 15. 1. Cor. 4. 12, 13.

[Page 639] Secondly, thou must beare thy crosses with patience, and contenta­tion, lam 1. 4. 1. Pet. 3. 15. Esay 5. Phil. 4. 5, 6. 2. Cor. 6. 8. Pro. 12. 9.

Thirdly, thou must labour for wisedome, to know how to carry thy selfe discreetly, and to vse all good meanes for thy deliue­rance, Iam. 1. 5.

Fourthly, thou must be sure to shew thy trust in God, and cast thy burthen on the Lord, Iam. 5. 7, 8. Nahum 1. 7. Psal. 27. vlt. & 37. 7. & 55. 22.

Fiftly, thou must shew thy obe­dience to God; & that thou dost,

1. If thou submit thy selfe to Gods will, Heb. 5. 8.

2. If thou iudge thy selfe, and acknowledge thy sins to God, Hosh. 5. vlt. Iob 36. 8, 9.

3. If thou be constant in the good wayes of godlinesse, Psal. 37. [...]4.

4. If thou learne more righte­ousnesse, and art made by thy cros­ses to do holy duties with better affections, Esay 26. 10.

An Aduertisement to …

An Aduertisement to the READER.

REligious Reader, be pleased to take no­tice of the purpose and intention of the reuerend Author of these Treatises, which he hath more fully expressed in the beginning of this Booke, and in the sixt page directeth to the vse of his Treatise of the Principles of Religion; a Worke well approoued, and acceptable with good men: Which Booke should in order follow next after the Rules of a holy Life. But the Authors purpose hath beene hitherto disappointed, by reason the right of Printing these Treatises did be­long to seuerall men. Which inconuenience is now prouided for; all the whole sixe Trea­tises being to be had entire in one Volume, if thou be not wanting to thy selfe.

Thine in the Lord, Adoniram Bifield.


Containing a Collection of such Truths as are of necessity to be be­leeued vnto Saluation, separated out of the Body of all THEOLOGIE, Made euident by infallible and plaine proofes of Scriptures.

And withall, The seuerall vses such Principles should be put to, are abundantly shewed.

A proiect much desired, and of singular vse for all sorts of Christians.

By N. BIFIELD late Preacher of Gods Word at Isleworth in MIDDLESEX.

The fourth Edition, corrected and amended.

LONDON, Printed by Iohn Legatt, for Robert Allot, at the signe of the Beare in Pauls Church-yard.


This is the Title of the Treatise mentioned in the Aduertisement: The Treatise it selfe ought to follow in this place.


Shewing the course Christians may take, to bee deliuered from those Feares about Death, which are found in the hearts of the most.

A Treatise of singular vse for all sorts.

By N. BIFIELD late Preacher of Gods Word at isleworth in MIDDLESEX.

HEB. 2. 15.

He died, that he might deliuer them, who through the feare of death, were all their life time subiect to bondage.

LONDON, Printed by Iohn Legatt, and are to bee sold by P. Stophens, and C. Meredith, at the golden Lyon in Pauls Church-yard.


TO THE RIGHT Honorable and Noble Lady, the Lady Anne Harrington: Grace and comfort from God the Father, and the Lord Iesus Christ, be multiplied.


VVHen I had seriously be­thought my selfe, in what Doctrine especially to im­ploy my Ministerie, in the place in which the Lord had by so strong and strange a prouidence settled mee: Amongst other things, I was vehemently incli­ned to study the Cure of the Feare of Death; both because it may be vsually obserued, that the most men are in bondage, by reason of these Feares; as also because I am assured, that our liues will become: more sweet, [Page 646] yea, and more holy too, when the feare of death is remooued. And the rather was I incited hereun­to, because I haue obserued some defect about this Point, in the most that haue written about Death. I am not ignorant of the censure which many may giue of this proiect, as accounting it an impossible thing to bee effected: but my trust is, that godly and discreete Christians will re­straine censure, when they haue throughly viewed my reasons.

My vnfained desire to doe ser­uice vnto Gods Church, in relie­uing such Christians herein, as are not furnished with better helpes, hath emboldened me to offer this Treatise also to the publike view. I haue presumed in your Honors absence to thrust forth this Treatise vnder the pro­tection of your Honors name: and withall, I desire heartily to testi­fie my thankefulnes for the many fauors shewed vnto me & mine, [Page 647] while your Honor was pleased to be my hearer. I should also much reioyce, if my testim my (con­cerning the singular graces God hath bestowed vpon you, & the many good workes in which you haue abounded in the places of your abode) might adde any thing either vnto your Honours prayses in the Churches of Christ, or vnto the establishment of the comfort of your owne heart in God, and his Sonne Ie­sus Christ.

I haue not made choyse of your Honour in this Dedication, for any speciall fitnesse in this Treatise for your Honours condi­tion, in respect of your age, or absence in a place so far remote; for my earnest trust is, that God will adde yet many yeres to your happy life on earth: and besides, I haue had heretofore occasion to know how little you were a­fraid to dye, when the Lord did seeme to summon you by sicknes.

[Page 648] That GOD, which hath en­nobled your heart with heauenly gifts, and so made you an instru­ment of so much good and con­tentment vnto that most excel­lent Princesse with whom you now liue; and towards whom, you haue shewed so much faith­full obseruance, and dearenesse of affection, and carefulnesse of attendance; euen the Father of mercie, and God of all consola­tions, encrease in you all spiri­tuall blessings, and multiply the ioy of your heart, and make you still to grow in acceptation, and all well-doing.

Humbly crauing pardon for my boldnesse herein, I commit your Honor to God, and to the Word of his Grace, which will build you vp to eternall life: resting

Your Honors in all humble obseruance, N. BIFIELD,

The chiefe Contents of this Booke.

  • THE drift is, to shew how wee may be freed from the feare of Death. pag. 6. 35
  • First, it is prooued by eight appa­rent Arguments, that it may be at­tained to. pag. 655. to 660
  • Secondly, it is shewed by fifteene Considerations, how shamefull and vncomely a thing it is for a Christi­an to be afraid to die, pag. 660. to 670.
  • Thirdly, the way how this feare may be remooued, is shewed: where may be noted,
  • An exhortation to regard the directions. p. 670, 671
  • Two wayes of Cure: the one, by Meditation; the other, by Practice. p. 671.
  • 1. The Contemplations either serue to make vs to like Death, or else to bee lesse in loue with life, pag. 672.
  • [Page 650] Seuenteene Priuiledges of a Christian in death, pag. 670. to 685.
  • The contemplations that shew vs the misery of life, are of two sorts: for either they shew vs the miseries of the life of nature; or else, the mi­series that doe vnauoidably accom­panie the very life of grace, p. 685. &c.
  • The miseries of the life of nature, from p. 8 [...]. to 693.
  • The mi [...]eries of a godly mans life are two-fold: which appeares both in the things he wants, and in the things hee hath while he lives, pag. 693. &c.
  • Sixe things which euery godly man wants while he liues, p. 694. to 698.
  • What should make a godly man wearie of life, in respect of God, pag. 698. to 704.
  • And what in respect of euill angels. p. 704. &c.
  • And what in respect of the World, p. 706. &c.
  • [Page 651] And what in respect of himselfe. p. 721. &c.
  • Eight aggrauations of Gods cor­rections in this life. p. 702.
  • Eight apparent miseries from the world. p. 706. &c.
  • Fifteene manifest defects and ble­mishes in the greatest seeming fe­licities of the world. p. 712. to 721.
  • Many aggrauations of our mise­rie, in respect of corruption of nature in this life. p. 721. &c.
  • The remainders of the first pu­nishments yet vpon vs. p. 725.
  • The remoouall of the Obiections men make about death, from whence their feare ariseth, and these Obie­ctions are answered. p. 7 [...]7.
  • 1. About the paine of dying, where are ten answers. p. 721. &c.
  • 2. About the condition of the body in death. p. 733.
  • 3. About the desire to liue lon­ger yet. p. 736.
  • 4. About the pretence of desire to liue long to doe good. p. 740.
  • 5. About casting away of ones [Page 652] selfe. p. 472.
  • 6. About parting with friends. p. 745. &c.
  • 7. About parting with wife and children. p. 747.
  • 8. About leauing the pleasures of life. p. 748.
  • 9. About leauing their honours of life. p. 750.
  • 10. About leauing their ri­ches. p. 753. &c.
  • 11. About the kind of death. p. 756.
  • The second way of curing the feare of death, is by practice, where seuen directions are giuen: from p. 757. to the end.



Shewing the Scope and parts of this Treatise.

THat which I intend in this The drift of the whole Treatise. Treatise, is to shew how a godly man might order himselfe against the feare of Death; or what course hee should take to liue so, as not to be afraid to die. This is a maine point, and excee­ding necessary. Life is throughly sweet, when death is not feared: The pr [...] followin [...] these dir [...] ctions. A mans heart is then like Mount Sion, that cannot be moued. He can feare no enemie, that doth [Page 654] not feare death. As death is the last enemy, so it workes the lon­gest and last feares: and to dye happily, is to dye willingly. The maine worke of preparation is effected, when our hearts are perswaded to be willing to dye.

Now in the explication of this The parts of the trea­tise. point, I would distinctly handle three things.

First, I will proue, that to liue without feare of death, is a thing may bee obtained; one may be deliuered from it as certainly, as a sicke man may be cured of an ordinary disease.

S [...]condly, I will shew, how vn­comely a thing it is for a Christian to be afraid of death: that so wee may be stirred vp the more to seeke the cure for this disease.

Thirdly, I will shew by what m [...]anes wee may bee deliuered from the feare of death, if we vse them. Of the two first more briefly, and of the last at large.


Prouing, that we may be cured of the feare of Death.

FOr the first: That the feare of Eight ar­guments to prooue we may be helped against the feare of death. Christ died to this end death may be remoued: and that we may attaine to that re­solution, to be willing to dye, without lothnesse, is apparent diuers wayes.

First, it is euident, Christ dyed to deliuer vs, not onely from the hurt of death, and from the di­uell, as the executioner; but also from the feare of death too. Now Christ may attaine to the end of his death, vnlesse we will deny the vertue of Christ, and his death, and thinke that, notwith­standing, it cannot be obtained, Heb. 2. 14, 15. And the more ap­parent in this, because in that place he shews, that there is ver­tue in the death of Christ, to cure this feare of death in any of the Elect, if they wil vse the meanes: [Page 656] For as our sins will not be mor­tified, though there be power in the death of Christ to kill them, vnlesse we vse the meanes to ex­tract this vertue out of the death of Christ, so is it true, that the feare of death may be in some of Gods elect: but it is not because Christ cannot deliuer them; but because they are sluggish, and will not take the course to bee rid of those feares. The Phy­sician is able to cure them, and vsually doth cure the same dis­ease; but they will not take his Receipts.

Secondly, the Apostle intrea­ting of the desire of death, saith, 2. It was intended in our rege­neration. That God hath wrought vs vnto the selfe same thing, 2 Cor. 5. 5. We are againe created of God, that we might in our selues as­pire vnto immortality; and are set in such an estate, as if we an­swered the end of his workman­ship, we should neuer be well, till we be possessed of the happinesse [Page 657] in another world: which hee shewes in those words of being absent from the body, and present with the Lord, verse 8.

Thirdly, the prophesies haue runne on this point. For it was 3 This cure hath bin foretold. long since fore-told, that Chri­stians knowing the victory of Christ ouer death, should bee so farre from fearing death, that they should tread vpon him, and insult ouer him: O death, where is thy sting? &c. Esay 25. 8. Hosea 13. 14. 2 Corinthians 15. 54, 55.

Fourthly, it is a condition that Christ puts in, when he first ad­mits 4 We were bound to it when we were ad­mitted to be Christs Disciples. Disciples, that they must deny their owne liues: and not only be content to take vp their crosse in other things, but their liues must not bee deare vnto them, when he calls for it, Luke 14. 26.

Fifthly, We are taught in the 5 It is taught in the Lords Prayer. Lords Prayer, to pray, That Gods kingdome may come: And by this [Page 658] kingdome, he meanes the king­dome of Glory, as well as the kingdome of Grace. Now, in that wee are taught to pray for the kingdome, it shewes, wee should desire it, and that by prai­er we should be more and more heated in our desires.

Sixtly, wee are borne againe Liuely hope doth include it. to a liuely hope of our inheritance. Now if we be afraid of the time of our translation thither, how doe we hope for it after a liuely manner? A desire of going to heauen is a part of that Seed cast into our hearts in our regenera­tion, 1 Pet. 1. 3, 4.

Seuenthly, we haue the exam­ple Examples of such as haue attai­ned to it. of diuers men in particular, who haue desired to die, & were out of feare in that respect: Gen. 49. 18. Iacob waited for Gods sal­uation: and Paul resolues, that to dy, and to be with Christ, is best of all for him: Phil. 1. 21, 23. yea, in Romans 7. 24. hee is vehement; O wretched man that I am, who [Page 659] shall deliuer mee from this body of Death? Sim [...]on prayes God to let him dye, Luke 2 29. And the Prophet in the name of the god­ly, said long before Christ: O that the saluation of Israel were come out of Sion! Psalme 14. 7. And we haue the example of the Martyrs in all ages, that accoun­ted it a singular glory to die: And in 2. Corinth 5. 2, 7. the godly are said, to fight for it, that they might be absent from his body, and present with the Lord; and so doe the first fruits of the holy Ghost, those eminent Christians men­tioned, Rom. 8. 23.

Lastly, not onely some par­ticular godly men haue attai­ned 8. The whole Church taught to seeke. to this, but the whole Church is brought in, in the 12. Chapter of Reuelation, praying for the comming of Christ, and desiring too, that hee would come quickely: And 2. Timothy 4. 8. The loue of the appearing of Christ, is the [Page 660] Periphrasis of the childe of God.

Thus of the first point.


Shewing how vncomely it is to feare Death.

FOr the second, how vncome­ly a thing it is in Christians to feare death, may appeare ma­ny F [...]ene R [...]asons why it is an vncomely thing to be afraid to dye. waies.

1. By the feare of death we shame our Religion; while we professe it in our words, we de­ny it in our workes. Let Papists 1 Wee shame our religion. tremble at death, who are taught, that no man ordinarily can be sure he shall go to heauen when he dies. But for vs, that professe the knowledge of sal­uation, to bee astonished at the passage to it, shewes (at least) a great weakenesse of faith, and doth outwardly giue occasion of disgrace to [Page 661] our Religion.

2. By that which went be­fore, we may see how vncomely it is to be afraid of death: For thereby we disable the death of Christ: wee frustrate the end of Gods workemanship: we stop the execution of the Prophesies: we renounce our first agreement with Christ: we mocke God in praying that his kingdome may come: we obscure the euidence of our owne regeneration; and wee transgresse against the example of the godly in all a­ges.

3. Many of the Pagans great­ly 3. We are worse then some Pa­gans. settled their hearts against the feare of death by this very rea­son: because there was no being after death; and therefore they could no more feele misery then, then before they were borne. And shall wee Christians, that heare euery day of the glorious saluation we haue by Christ, be more fearefull then they were? [Page 662] Let them feare death that know not a better life.

Shall we be like wicked men? 4 Wicked men dye vnwilling­ly. Their death is compelled; shall ours be so too. They by their good wils, would not lose their bodies in this life, nor haue their bodies in the next life: but since God hath made vs vnlike them in the issues of death, shall wee make our selues like them in the lothnesse to dye? Let Felix trem­ble at the doctrine of death and iudgement, Acts 24. 25. but let all the godly hold vp their heads, because the day of their redemp­tion draweth nigh, Mathew 24. &c.

5. Shall we be afraid of a sha­dow? 5 Death is but a sha­dow. The separation of the soule frō God, that is death, if we speake exactly: but the separa­tion of the soule from the body, is but the shaddow of death. When see we men trembling for feare of spirituall death, which is cal­led the First Death? and yet this [Page 663] is farre more woefull then that we call the bodily death. But as if the death of the body were nothing, the Scripture cals dam­nation, The second death, neuer putting the other into the num­ber.

6. This feare is called a bon­dage 6. It is a bondage to feare. here in this text: And shall wee voluntarily make our selues vassals? Or shall we be like slaues that dare not come in our Ma­sters sight?

7. If we loue long life, why are wee not much more in loue 7. If wee loue this life, why not eternal life? with eternall life, where the du­ration is longer, and the estate happier? Are wee not extreme­ly insatuated, that when God will doe better for vs then wee desire, yet wee will be afraid of him?

8. Shall wee bee worse then children, or mad men? Neither 8. Are wee worse then children & mad men? of them feare death; and shall simplicity, or Ideotisme, doe more with them, then rea­son [Page 664] or Religion can doe with vs?

9. Do not all that reade the storie of the Israelites (in their 9. Wee make our selues like the Israe­lites, or ra­ther more absurd then they. passion desiring to bee againe in Egypt, and violently murmuring at the promise of going into the Land of Canaan) condemne them of vile ingratitude to God, and folly in respect of them­selues? For what was it for them to liue in Egypt, but to serue cru­ell Taske-masters about bricke and clay? And was not Canaan the place of their rest, and a Land that floweth with milke and hony? Euen such is the condition of all that wish life, and are a­fraid to dye. What is this world but Aegypt, and what is to liue in this world, but to serue about bricke and clay? Yea, the Church, that is separate from the world, can find it no better then a bar­ren wildernesse. And what is Heauen, but a spirituall Canaan? And what can death bee more, [Page 665] then to passe ouer Iordan; and victoriously ouercomming all enemies to bee possessed of a place of matchlesse rest; of more pleasures then Milke or Hony can shadow out?

10. Adam might haue had 10. Is not death or­dinary? more reason to feare Death, that neuer saw a man die an or­dinary death; but for vs to bee affrighted with death; that see thousands die at our right hand, and ten thousand at our left, and that daily, is an inexcusable di­stemper. The gate of Death is continually open, and wee see a prease of people, that daily throng into it.

11. When Moses had cast 11. The ex­ample of Moses. downe his Rod, it turned into a Serpent; and the Text, noting Moses weakenesse, saith; He fled from it: But the Lord commanded him to take it by the Taile; and be­hold, it became a Rod againe. Euen so death at the first sight is terrible, like a new-made [Page 666] Serpent, and the godly them­selues, through inconsideration, flye from it: but if at Gods com­mandement, without feare they would lay hold vpon this see­ming Serpent, it will be turned into a Rod againe; yea, into a golden Scepter in our hands, made much better by the change. Neither doe we reade, that euer at any time after Moses had any feare of this Serpent, when he had once known the experience of it. And haue we offen, by the eyes of faith, seene the experi­ence of this great work of God, and shall we still be running a­way?

12. It is said, Rom. 8. 12. that all creatures groane, wayting for 12 The ex­ample of al creatures. the libertie of the sonnes of God: and shall wee bee worse then bruit beasts? Doth the whole frame of nature, as it were, call for this time of change; and shall man be so stupid, or carried with such senslesse feares, as to shun [Page 667] his owne felicity?

13. Consider whether it bee 13. It is bet­ter we goe to death, then that death shuld come to vs more commodious for vs, that Death come to vs, or that we go to Death. For one thing is cer­taine; it is vaine to shunne that which cannot bee auoided. For it is appointed vnto all men once to die, Heb. 9. 27. What man is hee that liueth, and shall not see death? Psal. 89. 48. Death is the way of all flesh, Iosh. 24. Now this being granted, let vs consider of it: Death is like an armed man, with whom we must once fight. Now if we be aduised, and will goe to Death, we must get on our ar­mour beforehand, and so the encounter will be without dan­ger to vs, because the weapons of our warfare are mighty through God, & we are assured of victory through Iesus Christ. On the o­ther side, to tarry till Death come vnto vs, is as if a man that knowes he must fight with a sore aduersary, would through sloth­fulnesse [Page 668] goe vp and downe vnar­med, till he fall into the hands of his enemy, and must then fight with him at such disaduan­tage.

14. It is most vncomely to 1 [...]. It is vn­comely to feare that which is common & ce [...]taine feare that which is both com­mon and certaine. Death, of all afflictions is most common. For from other afflictions it is possi­ble some might bee free; but from death can no man be deli­uered: and God of purpose hath made that most common which is most grieuous, that thereby he might abate the terrour of it. It is monstrous foolishnes, to striue in vaine to auoid that which ne­uer man could escape. And to teach men their vnauoydable mortality, the Lord clothed our first Parents with the skinnes of dead beasts, and feeds vs with dead flesh, that as often as wee eate of slaine beasts, we might remember our owne end: and shall we be euer learning, and [Page 669] neuer come to the knowledge of this truth? Is this such a les­son as cannot be learned? Shall we be so stupid, as daily to passe by the graues of the dead, and heare their knels, and yet be vn­taught and vnarmed?

15. Lastly, shall we be afraid 15. Shal we be afraid of an enemy that hath bin soossen vanquished of such an enemie as hath beene ouercome hand to hand, and beaten by Christ, and thousands of the Saints? especially if wee consider the assurance wee haue of victory. In this combate e­uery Christian may triumph be­fore the victory, [...] Corinth. 15. 55.

And thus much of the two first points.


Shewing that a Christian is many wayes happy in death.

NOw I come to the third point, which is the maine thing here intended; and that is the meanes how we may be cu­red of the feare of Death: and in this we had need all to attend with great carefulnesse. The dis­ease is stubburne, and men are sluggish, and extremely loth to An exhor­ta [...]ion to attend vpon the mean [...]s of cure. be at the trouble of the cure; and Satan by all meanes would keepe vs from remembring our latter end: & the world affoords daily distractions to plucke vs a­way from the schoole of Christ herein, and our owne hearts are deceitfull, and our natures apt to be weary of the doctrine, be­fore wee put in practice any of the directions; and we are apt [Page 671] to a thousand conceits, that it is either vnpossible, or vnnecessa­ry to attend this doctrine, or the like. Yea, it may be, it will fare with many of vs, as it doth with those that are troubled with the raging paine of the teeth; their paine will cease when the Bar­ber comes to pull out the tooth: so it may be you may finde this deceit in your hearts, that you will not feel. the feare of death, till the discourse of the medicine be ouer; and so let it be as water spilt on the ground. But let vs all awake, and in the power and strength of Christ, that died to deliuer vs from the feare of death, let vs lay all the plaisters close to the sore, and keepe them at it, till it bee throughly whole.

There be two wayes then of curing this feare of Death: The 2. Wayes of curing the feare of Death. 1. By con­templation 2 By pra­ctice. one is by contemplation: The o­ther is by practi [...]. There be some things if we did chuse them out, [Page 672] soundly to thinke of them, would heale vs wonderfully.

There be some things also to bee done by vs, to make the c [...]re perfect. If contemplation be not auaileable, then practice will without faile finish the cure.

The contemplations are of two sorts: For either they are such Th [...] wayes of curing this feare by contem­plation. meditations as breed desire of Death, by way of motiue, or they are such as remoue the obie­ctions, which cause in mans mind the feare of Death. For the first, there bee two things, which if they be soundly thought on, will worke a strange alteration in our hearts. The one is, the happinesse wee haue by death. The other is, the miseries we are in by life.

Can any man be afraid to bee happy? If our heads and hearts were filled with arguments, that shew vs our happines by death, we would not be so senslesse as [Page 673] to tremble at the thought of dy­ing.

Our happinesse in death, may bee set out in many particulars, The hap­pines of a Christian [...] death, shewed 17. waies. 1. Death i [...] the ha­uen. and illustrated by many simili­tudes, full of life and vertue to heale this disease of feare.

1. Death makes an end of all the tempests and continuall stormes, with which our life is tossed: it is the Hauen and Port of rest: and are we so mad as to desire the continuance of such dangerous tempests, rather then to be in the Hauen whither our iourney tends?

2. Death is a sleepe: For so 2 It is but a sleepe. the dead are said to to be asleepe, 1 Thess. 4. 14. Looke what a bed of rest and sleepe is to the weary labourer, such is Death to the diligent Christian. In death they rest in their beds from Iob 14. 12. the hand labours of this life, E­say 38. Reuel. 14. 13. And was euer the wearie labourer a­fraid of the time when hee must [Page 674] lie downe and take his rest?

3. The day of Death is the day 3. It is the day of receiuing wages. of receiuing wages, wherin God payes to euery godly man his penny. And doth not the hireling long for the time wherein hee shall receiue wages for his worke? Iob 7. 2. And the rather should wee long for this time, because we shall receiue wages infinitely aboue our worke; such wages as was neuer giuen by man, nor can be, if all this visible world were giuen vs.

4. In death the seruant comes to his freedome, and the heire is 4 Then the seruant is free, and the heire at full age. at his full age; and it is such a li­berty as is glorious: neuer such a freedome in the world, Rom. 8. 21. Shall the heire desire to bee still vnder age, and so still vnder Tutors and Gouernours? or shall the seruant feare the day of his freedome?

5. In death, the banished re­turne, 5 Then the banished returne. and the Pilgrims enter in­to their Fathers house. In this [Page 675] life we are exiled men, banished from Paradise, and Pilgrims and Strangers in a farre countrey, absent from God and heauen. In death wee are receiued to Para­dise, and settled at home in those euerlasting habitations in our Fa­thers house, Luk. 17. Ioh. 14. 2. Hebrewes 11. 13. And can we be so senslesse, as to bee afraid of this?

6. Death is our birth-day; we 6. It is our birth-day. say falsly, when wee call Death the last day. For it is indeed the beginning of an euerlasting day: and is there any grieuance in that?

7. Death is the funerall of our 7. It is the funerall of our vices, &c. vices, & the resurrection of our graces. Death was the daughter of Sinne, and in death shall that be fulfilled: The daughter shall de­stroy the mother. We shall neuer The disso­lution of the body. more be infected with sinne, nor troubled with ill natures, nor be terrified for offending: Death shall deliuer vs perfectly whole [Page 676] of all our diseases, that were impossible to bee cured in this is the abso­lution of the soule. life, and so shall there bee at that day a glorious resurrecti­on of graces: Our gifts shall shine as the Stars in the firma­ment; And can wee bee so sot­tish, as still to bee afraid of death?

8. In death the soule is deli­uered 8. Then the soule is de­liuered out of prison. out of prison: For the bo­dy in this life is but a loathsome and darke prison of restraint. I say, the soule is restrained, as it were in a prison, while it is in the body, because it cannot bee free to the exercise of it selfe ei­ther in naturall or supernaturall things: For the body so rules by senses, and it is so fiercely carried by appetites, that the soule is compelled to giue a way to the satisfying of the body, and cannot freely follow the light either of Nature or Religion: The truth, as the Apostle saith, is with-held or shut vp, through [Page 677] vnrighteousnesse, Romanes 1. 28. I say, it is a loathsome prison, be­cause the soule is annoyed with so many loathsome smels of sin and filthinesse, which by the body are committed. And it is a darke prison; For the soule loo­king through the bodie, can see but by little holes, or small case­ments. The body shuts vp the light of the soule, as a darke Cloud doth hide the light of the Sunne; or as the interposition of the earth doth make it night. Now death doth nothing, but as it were a strong wind, dissolue this cloud, that the Sunne may shine clearely, and puls downe the walles of the prison, that the soule may come into the open light.

9. The liberty of the soule in 9. Shewed by another similitude. death may be set out by another similitude. The world is the Sea; our liues are like to many Gal­lies at Sea, tost with continuall Tides or Stormes: our bodies [Page 678] are Gally-slaues, put to hard seruice by the great Turke the Diuell, who tyrannically, and by vsurpation, doth forcibly command hard things. Now the soule within, like the heart of some ingenious Gally-slaue, may be free, so as to loath that seruitude, and inwardly de [...]est that tyran [...] but yet so long as it is tyed to the body, it cannot get away. Now death comes like an vnresistable Gyant, and carries the Gallies to the shore, and dissolues them, and sets the prisoners free: And shall this glorious libertie of the soule be a matter of terror vnto vs? Had we rather be in captiuitie still?

10. In this life wee are cloa­thed 10. It is but to put off our old clothes. with rotten, ragged, foule garments: Now the Apostle shewes, that death doth nothing else but pull off those ragged garments, & cloath vs with the glorious robes of saluation, more rich then the robes of the grea­test [Page 679] Monarch, 2. Cor. 5. 2, 3. It is true, that the godly haue some kinde of desire to bee cloa­thed vpon: They would haue those new garments, without putting off their old: but that is not decent, for a Prince to weare (without) gorgeous attire, and (vnderneath) base ragges. To desire to goe to heauen, and not to die, is to desire to put on our new cloathes, without putting off our old. And is it any grie­uance to shift vs, by laying aside our old cloathes, to put on such rich garments? We are iust like such slothfull persons, that loue well to haue good cloathes, and cleane linnen; but they are so sluggish, they are loth to put off their old cloathes, or foule lin­nen.

11. In the same place, the A­postle 11. it is but to remoue out of an old house. compares our bodies to an old mud-walled house, and to a rotten tent; and our estate and heauen, to a most glorious and [Page 680] Princely palace, made by the most curious workman that euer was, and it is such a building too, as will neuer bee out of re­paire. Now for a godly man to die, is but to remoue from a rot­ten old house, ready to fall on his head, to a sumptuous palace. 2. Cor. 5. 1. Doth that Landlord doe his Tenant wrong, or offer him hard measure, that will haue him out of his base cottage, and bestow vpon him his own Man­sion house? No other thing doth God to vs, when by death he re­moues vs out of this earthly Ta­bernacle of our bodies, to settle vs in those euerlasting habitati­ons, euen into that building made without hands in heauen, Ioh. 14. 2. Luk. 17.

12. A man that had neuer 12. The seed cast into the ground, is not spoiled. seene the experience of it, per­haps would haue thought, that the seed cast into the ground, had beene spoiled, because it would rot there; but Nature hauing [Page 681] shewed the returne of that graine with aduantage, a man can easily be cured of that folly. The Husbandman is neuer so simple, as to pitty himselfe or his seede; he saies not, Alas, is it not pitty to throw away and marre this good seed? Why, brethren, what are your bodies, but like the best graine? The bo­dies of the Saints are Gods choisest corne. And what doth death m [...] vnto Gods graine, then cast it into the earth? Doe we not beleeue our bodies shall rise like the graine, better then euer they were sowed? and are we still afraid?

13. Paul saith, he would be 13. Then we shall be in Christ. dissolued, that hee might bee with Christ, Philip. 1. 2 [...]. In which words he imports two things in death. First, that there is a disso­lution of the soule from the bo­dy: and secondly, that there is a coniunction of the soule with Christ. Now, which is better for [Page 682] vs, to haue the body, or to haue Christ? The same Apostle saith else-where, that they are confi­dent in this, they had rather be ab­sent from the body, and so to bee present with the Lord; then to bee present with the body, and ab­sent from the Lord, 2. Cor. 5. 7, 8.

Now the true reason why men feare death, is; because they looke vpon the dissolution one­ly, and not vpon the [...]oniuncti­on with Christ.

14. In the 1. Cor. 9. 24. our 14 It is but to come to the [...]nd of the Race, and receiue the prize. life is compared to a race, and e­ternall life to a rich prize; not a corruptible, but an incorruptible Crowne. Now death is the end of the race; and to dye, is but to come to the goale or race end. Was euer Runner so foolish, as to be sorrie, that with victorie he was neere the end of the race? And are we afraid of death, that shall end the toyle and sweate and danger of the running; and [Page 683] giue vs, with endlesse applause, so glorious a recompence of re­ward.

15. In the Ceremoniall Law, 15. It is our Iubilee. there was a yeere they called the yeere of Iubilee: and this was ac­counted an acceptable yeere; be­cause euery man that had lost or sold his lands, vpon the blowing of a trumpet returned; and had possession of all againe; and so was recouered out of the extre­mitie in [...]hich hee liued before. In this life we are like the poore men of Israel, that haue lost our inheritance, and liue in a manner and condition euery way strait­ned: now death is our Iubilee, and when the trumpet of death blowes, we all, that die, returne and enioy a better estate, then euer we sold, or lost. Shall the Iubilee be called an acceptable time, and shall not our▪ Iubi­lee be acceptable to vs? Esay 61. 2.

16. Death is the day of our 16 I [...] is the day of our Coronati­on. [Page 684] Coronation: we are Heires ap­parent to the Crowne in this life; yea, we are Kings elect, but cannot bee crowned till death, 2. Tim. 4. 8. And shall not that make vs loue the appearing of Christ? Is a King afraid of the day of his Coronation?

17. To conclude this first part 17. Consi­der the glory to come. of Contemplation: If we did se­riously set before our eyes the glory to come; could our eyes be so dazeled, as not to see, and admire, and haste to it? Aske Paul that was in Heauen, what hee saw; and he will tell you, Things that cannot be vttered; Happinesse beyond all language of mortall man. If there were as much faith on Earth, as there is glorie in Heauen; Oh how would our hearts bee on fire with feruent desire after it! But euen this faith is extremely wanting: it is our vnbeleefe that vndoes vs, and fils vs with these seruile and sot­tish feares.

[Page 685] And thus of the Meditations taken from the happinesse wee enioy by death: which should make vs conclude with Salo­mon▪ That the day of Death is better then the day when one is E [...]l. 71. borne.


Shewing the miserie of life in wicked men.

NOw it followes, that I should breake open the mi­series of life; the consideration whereof should abate in vs this wretched loue of life.

The miseries of life may bee The mise­ries of life two wayes considered. two waies considered: for they are of two sorts; either such mi­series, as load the life of Nature, or such miseries as doe molest the very life of Grace. The mise­ries of a naturall life shew­ed thr [...]e waves.

The miseries that accompany the naturall life of man, while he [Page 686] remaines in the state of Nature onely, who can recount? I will giue but a briefe touch of some heads of them.

First thinke of thy sinnes; and so three dreadfull things may a­maze Three dreadfull considera­tions a­bout sin. 1. Thou art guilty of Adams sin. thy thoughts. For first, thou art guilty of Adams sinne; for by that man, sinne came in vpon all men; euen the guilt of his sin: Rom. 5. 12. Secondly, thy nature is altogether vile and abominable 2. Thou wast con­ceiued in sin; which is like a Leprosie hard to cure. from thy birth, thou wast conceiued in sinne, Psal. 51. 5. And this staine and leprosie hangs on fast vpon thy nature, and cannot be cured but by the blood of Christ only, Heb. 12. 1. And this is seated in all the faculties of thy soule. For in thy Minde, there is Ignorance, Spread o­uer thy▪ whole soule▪ or in thy minde. and Impotency to receiue know­ledge; and a naturall approouing of euill and errour, rather than the truth and sound doctrine. Those wayes seeme good in thine eyes, which tend vnto death, 1. Cor. 2. 14. Rom. 8. 7. 2. Cor. 3. 5. Pro. 14. [Page 687] 12. And this thou maiest per­ceiue by this, that thou art not able to thinke a good thought, but canst goe free, for dayes and weekes, without any holy cogi­tation; and besides, thy minde is infinitely prone to swarmes of e­uill thoughts, Gen. 6. 5.

Againe, if thou behold thy An [...] in thy Con­science. Conscience, it is impure, polluted, without light, or life, or glory in thee; shut vp in a dungeon, excu­sing thee in many faults, and ac­cusing thee for things are not faults, but in thy conceit: and when it doth accuse thee for sin, it rageth and falleth mad with vnbridled fury and terrors, kee­ping no bounds of Hope or Mercie.

Further, if thou obserue thy And in thy Affe­ctions. Affections, they are altogeth [...]r impotent in that which is good, there is no lust in thee after that which is good; and yet they are all out of order, and prone to cō ­tinuall, rebellion, against God, [Page 688] ready to be fired by all the en­ticements of the World, or the Diuell, Gal. 5. 24. Thirdly, vn­to these adde thy innumerable 3 Innume­rable Actuall sins. Actuall sinnes, which are more then the haires of thy head; mul­tiplyed daily in thought, af­fection, word, and deed; the least of them deseruing hell fire for euer: thy sinnes of Infancie, Youth, Old age; sinnes of O [...]ission and Commission; sinnes in Prospe­ritie and Aduersitie; sinnes at Home and Abroad; sinnes of In­firmitie and Presumption. If Da­uid looking vpon his sins, could say, They haue so compassed me, and taken such hold on mee, that I am not able to looke vp: Oh then, if thou haddest sight and sense, how might'st thou much more cry out of the intolerable bur­then of them? and the rather, if thou obserue, that many of thy corruptions reigne tyrannically, and haue subdued thy life to their vassalage, so as thou art in [Page 689] continuall slauerie to them.

Thus is thy life infested with these vnspeakeable inordinati­ons: and thus of the first part of thy infelicitie in life.

Secondly, if thou obserue, but The pu­nishments inflicted vpon wic­ked men. how God hath auenged himselfe vpon them, and what yet remai­neth vnto thee, how can thy heart sustaine it selfe? For

1. Thou art a banished man, 1. They are banished from Pa­radise. exiled from Paradise, and made to liue without hope to returne thither: The best part of the earth thou shalt neuer enioy.

2. The earth is cursed to thee, 2. The earth cur­sed. and it may bee a wofull spectacle to see all the creatures subiect to vanitie, and smitten with the strokes of God for thy sinne, and groaning daily round about thee.

3. Looke vpon thy most mi­serable soule, for there thy minde 3. Their soules in wofull di­stresse. and conscience liue shut vp with darknesse and horror. The Diuels haue within thee strong holds, and [Page 690] liue intrenched in thy thoughts, Ephes. 4. 17. 2. Cor. 10. 5. Thy heart is spiritually dead, and like a stone within thee, Ephes. 2. 1. Ezech. [...]6. 26.

4. Thy body is wretched 4 And so the [...]r bo­dies. through deformities and infirmi­ties, diuersly noisome to thee with paines that grieue thee, ei­ther in respect of labour or disea­ses, vnto which thou art so prone, and there is no part or ioynt of thee, but is lyable to many kinds of diseases, Deut. 28. 31, 22. Gen. 3. 19. And of the labours of thy life, which is but the least part of thy bodily miseries. Salomon saith, All things are full of labour, who can vtter it? and for that rea­son, life is but a vanity and vexa­tion, Eccles. 1. 8.

5. If thou looke vpon thy out­ward 5. And so their e­states in foure re­spects. estate in the world, with wh [...]t fearefull frights may thy h [...]art bee griped? If thou con­sider.

1. The common, or gen [...]rall, 1. Commō plagues. [Page 691] or publike plagues (with which God fights against the world) as wars, famines, earthquakes, pesti­lence and yeerely diseases, inunda­tions of waters, and infinite such like.

2. The particular crosses, with 2. Particu­la [...] crosses. which hee vexeth thee in parti­cular, either with losses of thy estate, or the troubles of thy family, Deut. 28. 15, 16. &c.

3. The preterition of God, re­straining 3. Neglect­ed of God. many good things from thee, so as thou wantst ma­nie of those blessings of all sorts which yet God doth bestow vpon others, Esay 56. 1, 2. Iere­mie. 5. 25.

4 The cursings of thy blessings; 4 Their blessings cursed. when God blasts the gifts of thy minde, that thou canst not vse them for any contentment of thy life, or makes thy prosperity to be the occasion of thy ruine, Malach. 2. 3. Eccles. 5. 13. This is a sore euill.

Lastly, consider yet further [Page 692] what may fall vpon thee, in re­spect of which thou art in daily danger. There are seas of wrath, Fearefull things that may befall them. which hang ouer thy head, Iohn 3. 36. and God may plague thee with the terrors of conscience, like Cain, Gen. 4. 14. or with a repro­bate sense, or the spirit of slumber, Rom. 1. 28. Rom. 11. 8. strong illu­sions, 2 Thess. 2. 11. or such other like dreadfull spirituall iudge­ments: besides many other fear­full iudgements, which thy h [...]art is not able to cōceiue of, as paine­full diseases in the body, or an vt­ter ruine in thy estate, or good name: but aboue all other things, the remembrance of the fearefull iudgement of Christ, and the euer­lasting paines of hell, with a mi­serable death, should compell thee to cry out: O men and bre­thren, what shall I doe to bee saued, and get out of this estate?

But because it is my purpose here chiefly to perswade with godly men and not with naturall [Page 693] men; and because death it selfe is no ease vnto such men as liue in their sins without repentance, who haue reason to loath life, and yet haue no cause to loue death, I passe from them, and come to the life of godly men, and say, they haue great reason to loath life, and desire the day of death.


Shewing the miseries of godly men in life.

NOw the miseries of the godly A go [...]ly man hath great cause to be wea­ry of life, if he consi­der. 1. What he wants. 2. What he cannot a­uoid. 6. Thing [...] euery go [...]ly man wants, while hee liues h [...]re in th [...]s [...]. 1. [...] [...] [...]f God. mans life are of two sorts: for either hee may consider what he wants, or what he hath in life, for which he would be weary of it.

I will giue but a touch of the first: consider of it; in this life there are sixe things, among the rest we want, and can neuer at­taine [Page 694] while wee liue here.

The first is, the glorious pre­sence of God; while the body is present, the Lord is absent, 2. Cor. 5. 8. And is not this enough to make vs loath life? Shall we [...] more esteeme this wretched car­ [...]asse, then our glorious God, whose onely presence in glory shall fill vs with eternall delight? O the vision of God! If we had but once seene God face to face, we would abhorre that absence that should hinder the fruition of such vnspeakable beauties, as would enamour the most secure heart to an vnquenchable loue.

The second thing wee want in 2 Fellow­ship with his best friends. life, is the sweete fellowship with our best friends: A fellowship matchlesse; if we either consider the perfection of the creatures, whose communion we shall en­ioy; or the perfect manner of en­ioying it. Who would be with­held from the congregation of the first borne, from the societie with [Page 695] innumerable Angels, and the spirits of iust men? Alas! the most of vs haue not so much as one entire and perfect friend in all the world; and yet wee make such friends as we haue, the ground of a great part of the content­ment of our liues. Who could liue here, if he were not beloued? Oh, what can an earthly friend­ship bee, vnto that in heauen; when so many thousand Angels & Saints shall be glad of vs, and [...]ntertaine vs with vnwearied delight. If we had but the eyes of faith to consider of this, we would thinke euery houre a yeere till we were with them.

Thirdly, in this world we want 3 The per­fection of his nature. the perfection of our owne na­tures: we are but maimed & de­formed creatures here; we shall neuer haue the sound vnderstan­ding of men in vs, till we bee in heauen; our holinesse of nature and gifts will neuer be consum­mate, till we be dead.

[Page 696] Fourthly, in this world wee want libertie: Our glorious li­berty 4. Liberty. will not [...]e had here: a thing which the spirits of the best men haue with much sighing longed after, Rom. 8. 21, 22. Oh who would liue in a prison, a dunge­on, rather then a palace of royall freedom? It hath been implied­ly shewed before, that wee are many waies in bondage here.

Fiftly, we shall euer want here 5. Con­tentment. fulnesse of contentment. If a man liue many yeeres, so that the dayes of his yeeres be many, if his soule bee not filled with good, Salomon saith, an vntimely birth is better then bee. And it is certaine, if a man liue a thousand yeeres twise told, he shall neuer see solid good to fill his heart, his appetite will neuer be filled, Eccle. 9. 3, 6, 7. There is nothing in this life can giue a man solid and durable content­ment; but a man findes by expe­rience, vanitie, and vexation of spirit, in what hee admires or [Page 697] loues most: and shall wee be so ottish as to forget those riuers of pleasures that are at Gods right hand? Psal. 16. vlt.

6. The sixth thing we want in 6. Th [...] Crowne. this world is our Crown, and the immortall and incorruptible in­heritance bought for vs with the [...]loud of Christ: and shall not [...]ur hearts burne within vs in [...]onging after possession? Can we [...]sire still to liue in wants, and to be vnder age? What shall moue vs, if such an incomparable crowne cannot moue vs? Wee that sweate with so much sore labor for the possession of some small portion of earth; shall we. I say, be so sluggish, as not to de­sire, that this kingdome, which our Father hath giuen vs, might come quickly vpon vs▪ or are we so transported with spirituall madnesse, as to be afraid to passe through the gate of death, to at­taine such a life? What Prince would liue vncrowned, if hee [Page 698] could helpe it, and might possesse it without wrong or danger? and what great heire would be grie­ued at the tydings, that all his lands were fallen vnto him?


The miseries of a Christian in respect of God in this life.

THus of what hee wants in this life. Secondly, he ought to be as much troubled to think what hee hath, and cannot auoide while he li [...]es: and thus his life is distressed, and made vnlouely, either if he respect God, or the euill angels, or the world, or him­selfe.

For first, if he respect God, there are two things should Life bitter in r [...]spect of God di [...]ers wayes. marre the taste of life, and make it out of liking. The first is the danger of displeasing of God: who [Page 699] would liue to offend God▪ or grieue his H. Spirit? or any way to make hi [...] angry? Th [...]gh this reason will mooue little in the hearts of wicked men, yet it is of singular force in the heart of an humble Christian, who as he accounts Gods louing kindnesse bet­ter then life: so he findes nothing more bitter, then that he should displease God: that God (I say) who is so great in maiestie, and hath shewed himselfe so aboun­ [...]nt in mercy to him. It would lie as an heauy load vpon our hearts to [...] of the displeasing of our best friend; specially if hee were a [...] person, or a Prince. How much more should wee de­si [...] to bee [...] of tha [...] condition [...] may displease our good God; and to be there, where wee are sure neuer to anger him more? Th [...] second thing [...]hat should [...] looke with [...] vpon life, [...] God [...]oth con [...]ally [...] the [Page 700] things of this life: The Lord doth of purpose so watch vs, that when hee sees vs settle any contentment in life, he drops in some thing, that makes all ex­tremely bitter. And those corre­ctiōs of God should be the more noted, if we consider but diuers aggrauations about them, as

1. That God will correct eue­ry Eight ag­grauations of the mi­series of li [...]e, in re­spect o [...] the co [...] ­ctions of God. sonne whom he loueth, none can escape, Heb. 12. 7.

2. That a man is vsually most opposed and crossed in that [...]ee loues best.

3. That a man shall euer want what he wisheth, euen in such things as other men doe not w [...]. There is a secret vexatiō cleaues vnto mans estate, that their hearts runne vpon such thing [...] which cannot be had, but in the callings of other men. The coun­tryman praiseth the Citizens life; and the Citizen is full of the praises of the Countrey: and so is there in all men a liking of the [Page 701] callings of other men, with a dislike of their owne, Eccles. 6.

4. That there is no discharge in that warre, but that a man must euery day looke for crosses. Eue­ry day hath his griefe, Eccles. 8. 8. Luke 9. 24. Ma [...]. 6. vlt.

5. That God will not l [...]t. vs know the times of our correcti­ons, but executeth them accor­ding to the vnchangeable pur­pose of his owne counsell: so as they come vpon vs as a snare vp­ [...]n a bird. For this reason Salo­mon saith: That the misery of man is great vpon him, because there is [...] time for euery purpose, which can­not be auoided, nor can man know before ha [...]d, that which shall bee; for who can tell him, when it shall bee? Eccles. 8. 6, 7, 8. and 9. 12.

6. That no man knoweth either loue or hatred, by all that is before him. A godly man can haue no such blessings outwardly, but a wicked man may haue them in as great abundance as hee: nor [Page 702] doth there any misery fall vpon the wicked in outward crosses, but the like may be [...]all the god­ly. All things come alike to all: there is one euent to the righteous and to the wicked; to the cleane, and vn­clean [...], to him that swe [...]eth, and to him that [...] an [...]ath; as is the good so is the [...]. This, saith Sa­lomon, is an euill among all things that [...]e done vnder the Sunne, that there is one [...]uent vnto all, Eccles. 9. 1, [...], [...].

7. This bitternesse is increa­sed, because God will not dis­pose of things according to the meanes or likelihoods of mans estate. The race is not to the swi [...], nor the battell to the strong, nor yet br [...]ad to the wise, nor riches to men of vnderstanding, nor yet [...]our to men of skill, but time and chance hapneth to them all, Eccles. 9. 11.

8. That besides the present miseries, there are many miseries to come; so as it is an argument to proue the happines of the dead, [Page 703] that they are taken away from the misery to come, Esay [...]57. 1, 2. Which should likewise mooue vs to loue life the lesse, because we know not what fearefull al­terations may come, either in our outward estate, [...] [...] ters of Religion. What [...] were we in, if war should come vpon vs, with all the desolation [...] and terrors that accompany it? What if the [...], should come againe? or wee be l [...]t in, the hands of the violent? or God fight against our estates▪ by [...], or inundations, or the like? Who can tell what fearefull al­terations may bee [...]in Religion? And is it no [...] best to bee in hea­uen, and then are we safe? Be­sides, the miseries may fall vp­on our owne bodies, or our chil­dren, or friends, &c. And these things should [...] life as we [...]espect God.


The miseries of life, in respect of euill angels.

NOw secondly, let vs turne our eyes to the euill angels, and then these things may af­fright vs.

1. That they are euery where 1. The world full of diuels. vp and downe the world; in the earth, ayre, seas; no place free. Those fiery serpents are euery where, in the wildernesse of the world. Wee lead our liues here in the midst of innumerable dra­gons; yea, they are in the most heauenly places in this life: the Church is not free from them. A man can stand no where before the Lord, but one diuell or other is at his right hand, Eph. 2. 2. and 6. 12. Zac. 3. 1. Iob 1. And sure, it should make vs like the place the worse, where such foule spi­rits are: the earth is a kind of hell [Page 705] in that very respect.

Secondly, it should more trou­ble 2. Our con­flict with diuels. vs, that we must of necessity enter into the Conflict with the di­uels, and their temptations, and to bee buffeted and gored by them.

A man that knew he must goe into the field, to answer a chal­lenge, will be at no great rest in himselfe: But, alas, it is more easie, a thousand fold, to wrest [...] with flesh and blood, then with these Principalities and Powers, and spirituall wickednesses, and great Rulers of the world, Ephes. 6. 12.

Thirdly, besides, it addes vnto 3. Their subtilty & cruelty. the distresse of life, to consider of the subtiltie and cruelty of these diuels, who are therefore like the crooked Serpent, and Leuia­than, and Dragons, and roaring Lyons, seeking whom they may de­uo [...]re. Though these things will little moue the hearts of wicked men; yet vnto the godly minde, [Page 704] [...] [Page 705] [...] [Page 706] the temptations of life are a grieuous burthen Thus much of euill angels.


The misery of life, in respect of the world.

THirdly, consider but what the world is, in which thou liuest; and that either in the ap­parent miseries of this world, or in the vexations that accompa­nie the best things the world hath to offer to giue thee. First, for the apparent miseries:

1. It is exquisitely like a wil­dernesse; 9 Appa­rent mise­ries [...] in this world. 1. Like a wildern [...]. [...]. like Egypt. no man, but for innume­rable wants, liues as in a desart here.

2. It is a true Aegypt to the godly; it continually imposeth hard taskes, and seruile condi­tions. Life can neuer bee free from grieuous burthens and in­exorable [Page 707] molestation.

3. This world is verily like 3. Like Sodom. Sodom, full of generall and vn­speakeable filthinesse: All the world lyeth in wickednesse; scarce one Lot to be found in a whole Citie, or Parish. If God would seeke but fiue righteous men; that are truly or absolutely god­ly, they are not to bee found in the most assemblies in the world; nay, in the Church too.

4. Yet more; this world is a 4. Like a P [...]st-house very P [...]st-house, spiritually consi­dered. Euery man that a godly man comes neere, hath a mis­chieuous plague-sore running vpon him, yea, the godly them­selues are not without this dis­ease: so as there i [...] a necessity, as it were, to infect, or be infected, still in all places, or companies. Oh who would loue to liue in a Pest-house, that may dwell in a place for euer free from all infe­ction?

[Page 734] 5. Yet more, this World, why, it is a very Golgotha, a place 5. Like a very Golgotha. of dead men; we liue amongst the Graues: almost all we see, or haue to deale with, are but men truely dead. Alas, what should wee reckon of the life of mens carkasses, when their soules are In this world the dead bury the dead. dead, and both soule and body sentenced to eternall death? Al­most all that we meete with, are malefactors, vnder sentence, rea­dy to bee carried to execution; the wrath of God hanging ouer their heads, and vnquenchable fire kindled against them; and shall wee bee so besotted, as to loue the dead more then the li­uing? or the society of vile and miserable malefactors in a pri­son, rather then the fellowship of the glorious Princes of God, in their Palace of endlesse and matchlesse blisse?

6. Why should wee loue the 6 It hates VI World that hateth vs, and casts vs off, as men dead out of minde? [Page 709] Are we not crucified to the world? Galat. 6. 14. and doe not wicked men hate vs, and enuy vs, and speake all manner of euill sayings of vs, because we follow good? The World loues her own, but vs it can­not loue, because we are not of this world. Can darknesse loue light? or the sonnes of Belial care for the sonnes of God? In this world we shall haue trouble; and if wee found not peace in Christ, wee were of all men most miserable, Ioh. 15. 19. Eccles. 4. 4. Ioh. 17. 14. 2 Cor. 6. 17. Ioh. 16. 33. And if they hate vs for well-doing, how will they triumph, if our seet do but slippe? Wee should desire death, euen to bee deliuered from the feare of giuing occasion to the world to triumph, or blaspheme in respect of vs. Yea, so extreme is the hatred of the World, that a iust man may perish in his righte­ousnesse, when a wicked man pro­longs his dayes in his wickednesse, Eccles. 7. 17. & 8. 4.

[Page 710] 7. Do we fall into any speciall miserie in this world? why, be­hold 7 It wil not helpe vs, if wee be in miserie. the teares of the oppressed, and there is none to comfort them. We are either not pittied, or not re­garded: or the compassion of the world is like the morning dew, it is gone as a tale that is told our mistery will last, but there will soone bee none to comfort vs. Miserable comforters are the most that can bee had in the world, and for this reason Salo­mon praised the dead, that are al­ready dead, aboue the liuing, that are yet aliue, Eccles. 4. 1, 2.

8. There is vsually no Chri­stian, but in thi [...] wo [...]ld hee hath 8 Euery Christian hath some speciall miserie. some speciall miserie vp [...]n him, either pouerty, o [...] deb [...] [...] dis­ease in his body, or the [...] &c.

9. We daily [...]ffet th [...] [...]se of our friends, that were the com­panions of our life, and the causes of contentment to vs. Now who would tarry behind them, or e­steeme of this world, when they [Page 711] are gone from vs?

And thus much of the appa­rent miseries of this world.


The vanities of the seeming fe­licities of the world.

NOw it followeth, that I should intreat of the vani­ties that cleaue to the seeming felicities of the world, and proue that there is no reason to bee in loue with life for any respect of them.

The best thing the world can What th [...] seeming feli [...]ties of the world are. make shew of▪ are Honours, Cre­dit, Lands, Houses, Riches, Plea­sures, Birth, Beauty, Friends, Wit, Children, Acquaintance, and the like. Now there be manythings which apparently proue, th [...]re can be no sound contentment, or felicity in these: For,

1. All things bee full of la­bour, [Page 712] who can vtter it? Ecclesi­asticus 18. Men must gaine the Fifteene arguments to proue the vanity of the best worldly things. 1 All full of labour. blessings of the earth with the sweate of their browes: there is seldome any outward blessing, but it is attained with much dif­ficultie, paines, or danger, or care, or grieuance some way.

2. How small a portion in these things can the most men 2. A small portion that is at­tained. attaine? If the whole world were possessed, it should not make a man happy; much lesse those small parcels of the world, which the most men can attaine, Eccles. 1. 3.

3. It is manifest, men cannot 3. Men can­not agree about the good [...]hat i [...] i [...] them, which should be best. agree about the chiefe good in these things. Life is therefore ap­parently vaine in respect of these things, because there are almost infinite proiects, and variety of opinions: and in all these suc­cessions of ages, no experience can make men agree to resolue which of these things haue feli­city in them. Who knows what [Page 713] is good for a man in this life, all the daies of his vaine life, which he spendeth as a shadow? Eccles. 6. 12.

4. In all these things here is nothing now, but it hath beene; 4. No­thing. the same or the like to it. Now things that are common, are out of request, Eccles. 1. 9, 10. and 3. 15.

5. The world passeth away, and 1. The de­sire after these things will not last. the lusts thereof: the eye is not sa­tisfied with seeing, nor the care with hearing. If a man liue many dayes, his soule is not filled with good; the desire after these things will vanish; men cannot loue them still: Our life is spent in wishing for the future, and bewailing of the past; a loathing of what wee haue tasted, and a longing for what wee haue not tasted: which, were it had, would neuer more satisfie vs then that wee haue had. Hence it is that men wearying themselues in see­king of variety of earthly things [Page 714] and yet cannot be contented. The vexation that cleaues vnto them still, breeds loathing. We are like men that are Sea­sicke, that shift from roome to roome and from place to place, thinking to find ease; neuer considering, that so long as the same Seas swell, and winds blow, and hu­mors are stirred, alteration of place will not profit. So it is with vs; so long as wee carry with vs a nature so full of ill hu­mours, and that the pleasures of the world haue so much vanity in them, no change of place, or delights can satisfie vs: Seeing there are many things that increase vanity, what is man the better? Eccles. 6. 13.

6. How can these earthly things satisfie, when the nature 6 Their [...]re is va [...]e. of them is so vile and vaine? They are but blasts; a very shadow, which is something in appea­rance, but offer to lay hold vpon it, thou graspest nothing. Man [Page 715] walketh in a vaine shadow, and dis­quieteth himselfe in vaine. He that [...]ueth siluer, shall not bee sati [...]fied with siluer, Eccles. 1. 9. Psal. 39.

7. Besides, there is a snare in all these earthly things; they are 7. Th [...] a­m [...]y of the world is [...]he enm [...]ty with God. like pitch to defile a man; there is euer one temptation or other lodged vnder them; and the frui­tion of them, and desire after them, breed may nolsome lusts in the soule, 1. Tim. 6. 6.

8. These outward things are 8. All sub­ [...]ect to va­n [...]ty or violence. Ma. 6. 19, 1 [...]. They may be lost at t [...]e very seate of i [...] [...]gement. [...] [...]6 1 [...]. & 4 1, 2 also all vncertaine, & transitory: Riches haue wings, & will suddenly fly away: and Fame is but a blast: and the glory of man is but as the [...]wer of the field, which is to day, and tomorrow withered. The fa­shion of this world passeth away: and at the l [...]st day they shall all be burnt [...] consumed in in the fire: I meane 9 T [...]y w [...] [...]ot helpe v [...] [...]n the [...] day. these senslesse things, we now set our hearts vpon, Esa. 40. 6. 1. Cor. 7. 31.

9. There is no support in these things, in the euil day they cannot [Page 717] helpe vs, when the houre of temp­tation comes vpon vs.

10. A man may damne his 10. The loue of them is [...]amnable. owne soule by two much liking of these things: the abuse of them may witnesse against men in the day of Christ: Iam. 5. 1. and Phil. 3. 19.

11. In these things there is 11. One condition to all. one condition to all; as it falleth to the wise man, so it doth to the foole, Eccles. 2. 14.

12. All things are subiect to 12 God wi [...] dispose Gods vnauoidable disposing. Let man get what hee can, yet God will haue the disposing of it; and whatsoeuer God shall doe, it shall abide; to it can no man adde, and from it can no man diminish, Eccles. 3. 1.

13. A man may haue all abun­dance 13. A man may want an heart to vse them. of these things, and yet not haue a heart to vse them. Euill is so set in the hearts of the sonnes of men, and such madnesse cleaues vnto them, that they cannot take the contentment of the things they [Page 717] haue; and so they bee worse then an vntimely fruite, Eccles. 6. 1, 7. and 9. 3.

14. Euery day hath his euill; and 14. The e­uils of life euer [...]ing­led with them. afflictions are so mingled with these outward things, that their tast is daily marred with bitter­nesse which is cast into them; no day without his griefe: and vsu­ally the crosses of life are more, then the pleasures of liuing; so as they that reioyced, ought to bee as though they reioyced not.

15. Lastly, if all these consi­derations 15. Thou art mortall may not suffice, then remember that thou art mortall; thy life is short, it passeth as a dreame, it is but as a span long, thy dayes are few and euill; all these things are clogged with a neces­sity of dying. Life was giuen thee with a condition of dying, Gen. 47. 9. Iob 14. 1. Thy life passeth like the winde, Iob▪ 7. 7. Yea, our dayes consume like smoake, Psal. 102. 3. All flesh is grasse, Esa. 40. 6. And hence arise [Page 718] many considerations deduced Our mor tality ag­grauated by 4 consi­derations. from the head of our mortalitie: For,

1. All these things are but the 1 All [...]hou ha [...]t [...] but the proui­sion of a Pilgrim. necessaries of thy Inne: Thou art a stranger and a pilgrim, and canst enioy them but as a passenger; thou canst carry nothing out of this world but in all points as thou cam­mest into the world so must thou goe hence, Eccles. 5. 13, 14, 15.

2. The time, place, and manner 2 Thy death is vncertaine. of thy death is vncertaine: there is no time nor place, but man may dye in it; the Court, the Church, the Campe: yea the ve­ry wombe is not excepted. There is but one way to come into the world, but there are a thousand wayes to goe out; and therefore the possession of all things is wonderfull vncertaine.

3. When thou diest, all will be forgotten, there is no more re­membrance 3. When thou diest, all will bee forgotten. of former things, nor shall there bee any remembrance of things which are to come, with those [Page 719] that [...], Eccles. 1. 11. [...], in the daies to [...] [...]gotten. Yea, [...] forgotten in the [...] hee hath done right; Eccles. 8. 10. For this very rea­son Salomon hated life, Eccles. 2. 17.

4. Wh [...]n thou diest, thou shalt 4 Thy case in death, whether thou die with, or without issue. die either without issue, or leaue children behind thee. If thou dye without issue, how hast thou beene▪ infatuated in seeking these outward things with so much care and toile, and couldest neuer say to thine owne soule, For whom doe I [...]rauell, and defraud my selfe of pleasure? Thou gatherest these things, and know [...]st not who shall in­ioy them. Eccles. 4. 8. If thou die and leaue issue; thou mayest be frighted and amazed with one of these things. For either thou mayest be d [...]spisest while thou liuest, of those for wh [...]m thou endurest [...]ore trauell, so as they that shall come af­ter thee, doe not reioyce in thee, Ec­cles. [Page 720] 4. 15, 16. Or else thou mayest leaue the fruite of thy labours to a foole, or a wicked wretch. For who knoweth whether hee that shall rule ouer thy labours, shall be a wise man or a foole? This very conside­ration made Salomon hate all his labour which hee had taken vnder the Sunne; and he went about to make his heart despaire of all his la­bours, that he should vse all his wisedome and knowledge for attaining of great things, and yet might bee in danger to leau [...] all for a portion to him that hath not laboured in wisedome: and all this is vexation of spirit, Eccles. 2. 18. to 24. Or else thou mayest beget children, and thy riches perish before thy death, and then there is nothing in thine hand to leaue them, Eccles. 5. 14.


The miseries of life, in respect of our selues.

THus haue wee cause to be wearie of life, in respect of God, the euill angels, and the World. Now if there were none of these to molest vs, yet man The causes in our selues why we should not be in loue with life: as. hath enough in himself to marre the liking of this present life. For,

1. The remainders of corrup­tion 1. The re­mainders of corrup­tion of na­ture. of nature still lie like a poy­son, a leprosie, a pestilence in thee: thou art vnder cure indeed but thou art not sound from thy sore, thou art La [...]rus still. This very consideration made Paul wearie of his life, when he cried out, O wretched man that I am! who shall deliuer mee from this body of death? Rom 7. And if in this respect we be not of Pauls mind, it is because wee want of Pauls [Page 722] goodnesse and grace. And thus corruption of nature is the more Which is the more grieuous. grieuous, if we consider either the generalitie of the spreading the infection, or the incurable­nesse of it, or the ill effects of it.

For the first, this is a lepro­si 1 Because it is spred all ouer vs. that spreads all ouer. There [...] no sound part in vs, our [...] ▪ our memories, our wills and affe­ctions: yea our very consciences are still impure within vs: there is no good nature in vs in any one faculty of our soules, but there is a miserable mixture of vile infection.

Secondly, this is the worses, because this is incurable. There 2 Because in vs v [...]cu­rable. lieth vpon vs a very [...] of sinning, wee cannot but offend. Of the flesh it is well said, I can neither liue with the [...], nor without thee. The flesh is an in­seperable ill companion of our li [...] ▪ wee can go [...] to [...] it, &c.

[Page 723] Thirdly, if wee consider but some of the effects of this cor­ruption 3. 4 Effects of [...] of na­ture in vs. 1. Ciuil war within vs. in [...] as▪

1. The eiuill warre it causeth in our soules: there is no busi­nesse can bee dispatched, that concernes our happinesse, with­out a mutiny in our owne hearts. The flesh is a domesticall Rebel, that daily lusts against the Spi­rit, as the Spirit hath reason to lust against the flesh, Galatians 5. 17.

2. Secondly, the insufficiency 2. Insuffici­encie for our calling it [...]eeds in vs for our callings. The greatest Apostle must in this respect cry out, Who is suf­ficient for these things? Though Gods wor [...]e be all faire worke, yet we see that euery man is ex­tremely burthened with the defects and mistakings, and in­sufficiencies which befall him in his course of life.

2. It works a perpetuall mad­nesse [...]. A stirring kinde of madnesse. in the heart of a man, in some respects worse then that of [Page 742] some lunatickes: For they are mad at some times of the yeere, onely, or chiefly; but man is sel­dome, or neuer free from this inward madnes of heart. Salomon saith, The heart of the sonnes of men is full of euill, and madnesse is in their hearts while they liue, and after thnt, they goe to the dead. Now this madnesse appeares in this, that men can neuer bring their hearts to a settled content­ment in the things they enioy, but death coms in vpon them, be­fore they know how to improue the ioy of their hearts in the bles­sings they enioy, whether tem­porall or spirituall. This vile cor­ruption of nature diffuseth gall into all that a man possesseth; so as it marreth the taste of euery thing.

4. It fils our hearts and liues with innumerable euils; it in­genders, 4. Swarms of euill thoughts and actions and breeds infinitely swarmes of euill thoughts, and desires, and abundance of sinnes [Page 725] in mens liues and conuersations, so as godly Dauid cries out; In­numerable euils haue compassed me about, and I am not able to looke vp. They were more then the haires of his head, therefore his heart failed him, Psal. 40. 12.

5. It is continualy madnes, to be­ [...]ray vs to Satan and the world, in all the occasions of our life.

6. It will play the Tyrant, if it get any head: and leade vs capti [...]e, and giue wretched lawes to the members: yea, eue­ry sinne, which is the brat bred of this corruption, is like a fury to fright and amaze vs: there is a very race of diuels bred in vs, when Satan and the flesh ingen­der together in vs.

2. And as wee are thus misera­ble 2. In res­pect of the remainders of the pu nishment of sinne. in respect of the remainders of corruption, so are we in respect of the remainders of the punish­ment of sinne vpon our spirits: Our hearts were neuer fully free since the first transgrssion, our [Page 726] minds are yet full of darkenesse; that euē godly men do seriously cry out, They are but as beasts; they haue not the vnderstanding of men in them: And in many passages of life they carrie them­selues like beasts, Psalme 32. 9. Eccles. 3. 18. The ioyes of Gods presence are for the greatest part kept from vs: our consciences are still but in a kind of prison: when they goe to the s [...]at of iudgement to giue sentence in any cause, they come forth with fetters on their legs, as priso­ners themselues; besides the ma­ny personall scourges light vpon our soules in this life.

3. Lastly, the very condition of our bodies should not bee o­uerpleasing 3 If wee respect the condition of our bo­dies. to vs: our deformi­ties, and infirmities, & the dan­gers of further diseases, should tire vs out, and make vs account it no louely thing to be present in the body, while wee are absent from the Lord. And thus of the mise­ries [Page 727] of our liues also. Now it re­maines that I should proceed to the second sort of contemplati­ons, that is, those that are remoo­uals: namely, such meditations, as take off the obiections, which are in the hearts of men.


Comforts against the paine of Death.

THere are in the minds of all men certaine Obiections, which if they could be remoued, this feare of Death would bee stocked vp by the very rootes. I will instance in some of the chiefe of them, and set downe the an­swers to them.

Some men say, they should not Ob. 1. be afraid of death, considering the gaine of it, and the happi­nesse after death, but that they are afraide of the paine of dying: [Page 728] It is the difficulty of the passage troubles them.

For answer hereunto, diuers things would be considered of, Sol. to shew men the folly of this feare.

First, thou likest not death, Teareasons to shew the folly of men, in pretending the feare of the paine of death. because of the paine of it. Why? there is paine in the curing of a wound, yet men will endure it: And shall death doe so great a cure, as to make thee whole of all thy wounds and diseases, and art thou so loth to come to the Cure?

Secondly, there is difficulty in getting into an Hauen. Hadst thou rather bee in the tempest still, then put into the hauen?

Thirdly, thou likest not death, thou sayest, for the paine of it: Why then likest thou life, which puts thee to worse paine? Men obiect not at the paines of life, which they endure without death. There is almost no man, but he hath endured worse [Page 729] paines in life, then he can endure in death, and yet we are content to loue life still: Yea, such is our folly, that whereas in some pains of life we call for death to come to our succours; yet when wee are well againe, we loue life, and loath death.

Fourthly, we are are manifestly mistaken concerning death; for 4. the last gaspe is not death. To liue, is to dye; for how much wee liue, so much we die: euery step of life, is a step of death. He that hath liued halfe his dayes, is dead the halfe of himselfe. Death gets first our infancie, then our youth, and so forwards: All that thou hast liued, is dead.

Fiftly, it is further euident, 5. that in death there is no paine; it is our life that goeth out, with paine. Wee deale herein, as if a man, after sicknesse, should ac­cuse his health of the last paines. What is it to be dead? but not to be in the world. And it is any [Page 730] paine to bee out of the world? Were wee in any paine before we were borne? Why then ac­cuse we death, for the paines our life giues vs at the parting? Is not sleepe a remembrance of death?

Sixthly, if our comming into the world be with teares; is it a­ny wonder, if our going out be so too?

Seuenthly: besides, it is eui­dent that wee make the passage more difficult, by bringing vn­to death a troubled and irre­solute minde: It is long of our selues there is terrour in par­ting.

Eightly, consider yet more, the humours of the most men. Men will suffer infinite paines for a small liuing, or preferment here in this world: yea we see, soul­diers for a small price will put themselues into vnspeakeable dangers, and that many times at the pleasure of others that com­mand them, without certaine [Page 731] hope of aduantage to them­selues. Will men kill themselues for things of no value; and yet be afraid of a little paine to be en­dured, when such a glorious e­state is immediately to be enioy­ed in heauen?

Ninthly, let not man pretend 9. the paines of death; that is but a [...]igge-leafe to couer their little faith: For they will languish of the Gout, or Stone, a long time, rather then die one sweet death with easiest conditions possi­ble.

Tenthly, if none of these will 10. perswade, yet attend, I wil shew [...] a mystery: Feare not the paines of death: for first, death 1. is terrible, when it is inflicted by the Law; but it is easie, when it is inflicted by the Gospel: the Curse is taken off from thee; thou art not vnder the Law, but vnder Grace: And besides, for this cause did Christ die a terrible an [...] 2. [...] cursed death, that euery death [Page 732] might be blessed to vs. And fur­ther; God, that hath greatly lo­ued thee in life, will not neglect thee in death: Precious in the fight of the Lord, is the death of his Saints. What shall I say against the terror of death, but this Text of the Apostle? Thanks be to God, that hath giuen vs victory through Iesus Christ. Hee hath pulled the sting out of Death: O Death, where is thy sting? 1 Cor. 15. 55.

Lastly, thou hast the Spirit of Christ in thee, which wil succour 3. and strengthen, & ease thee, and abide with thee all the time of the combate. Why should wee doubt of it, but that the godly dye more easily then the wicked? Neither may we guesse at their paine, but the pangs vpon the body: for the body may bee in grieuous pangs, when the man feeles nothing, and the soule is at sweete ease, in preparing it selfe to come immediately to the sight of God.


Comfort against the losse of the body in death.

OH! but in death a man is destroyed, hee loseth his Ob. 2. body, and it must bee rotted in the earth.

Sol. 1. It hath bin shewed be­fore, 1. that the separation of the soule from God, is properly Death; but the separation of the soule from the body, is but the shadow of Death: and we haue no reason to be a­fraid of a shadow.

2. The body is not the man: 2. the man remaines still, though hee be without the body. Abra­ham, Isaac, and Iacob, are proued to be liuing still, by our Sauiour Christ, though their bodies were consumed in the earth; and God was their God still. It is true, Death seizeth on thy body; but a Christian, at the most, suffers [Page 734] but aliquid mortis▪ a little of death.

Death is like a Serpent; the Ser­pent must ea [...]e dust: now death therefore can feed vpon no more but our dust, which is the body, it cannot touch the soule: where­as wicked men suffer the whole power of death, because it sei­zeth both vpon body and soule too; and in their case onely it is true, that death destroyes a man.

3. Grant▪ that we lose the bo­dy in death, yet that, ought not 3. to be terrible; for what the body is, it hath beene before shewed: It is but a Prison to the Soule, an old rotten House, or a ragged Gar­ment; it is but as the Barke of a Tree, or the Shell, or such like: now what great losse can there be in any of these?

4. This separation is but for a time neither; we doe not for eu [...]r 4. lose the body, we sh [...] haue our bodies againe, they are kept safe for vs till the day of Christ. Our [Page 735] graues are Gods Chest's, and he makes a precious account of the bodies of [...]is Saints, they shall be raised vp againe at the last day. God will giue a charge to the earth to bring forth her dead, and make a true account to him, Re­uel. [...]. And God hath giuen the assurance of this, not onely in his Word, by promising it, but in his Sonne, whom hee hath raised from the dead. If any say, What is that to vs, that Christs body is raised? I answer, it is a full assu­rance of the safety, and of the resurrection of our bodies: for Christ is our Head. Now cast a man into a Riuer, though all the body be vnder water, yet the man is safe, if the head be aboue water; for the head will bring out all the body after it. So it is in the body of Christ: though all we s [...]nke in the riuer of death, yet our Head is [...]isen, and is a­boue water, and therefore the whole body is safe.

[Page 736] 5. It should yet more satisfie vs, if we throughly consider, that 5. we shall haue our bodies againe much better then now they are. Those vile bodies we lay downe in death, shall be restored againe vnto vs glorious bodies, like the body of Christ now glorified, Philippians 3. 21. And therefore death loseth, by taking away our bodies; we haue a great victory ouer death: The graue is but a furnace to refine them, they shall come out againe immortall and incorruptible.


The desire of long life confuted.

OH! but if I might liue long, I would desire no more: Ob. 3. If I might not dye till I were fiftie or threescore yeeres old, I should bee contented to dye then.

[Page 737] Sol. There are many things may shew the vanity and folly of men, in this desire of long life▪ For,

1. If thou art willing to die at Nine argu ments to shew the van [...]y of men in de­siring to liue long. any time, why not now? Death will be the same to thee then, it is now.

2. Is any man angry and grie­ued when hee is at the Sea in a 2. Tempest, because hee shall be so quickly carried into the Hauen? Is he displeased with the Wind, that will soone set him safe in the Harbour? If thou beleeue that death will end all thy miseries, why art thou carefull to deferre the time?

3. Till thy debt be paid, time 3. will not ease thee, thy care will continue; and therfore thou wert as good pay at the first, if thou be sure it must be paid at all.

4. In this world there is nei­ther young nor old. When thou 4. hast liued to that age thou desi­rest, thy time past will be as no­thing. [Page 738] Thou wilt still expect that which is to come; thou wilt bee as ready to demand longer re­spit then, as now.

5. What wouldst thou tarry here so long for? There will be 5. nothing new, but what thou hast tasted; and often drinking, will not quench thy thirst: thou hast an incurable dropsie in thy hart, and these earthly things haue no ability to fill thy heart with good, or satisfie thee.

6. Wouldst thou not [...]dge him a sot, that mournes because 6. he was not aliue an hundred yeeres agoe? And thou art no bet­ter: thou mournest, because thou canst not liue an hundred yeeres hence.

7. Thou hast no power of the 7. morrow, to make it happy to thee. If thou die young, thou art like one that hath lost a Die, with which he might as well haue lost as wonne.

8. Consider the proportion of [Page 739] time thou desirest to thy selfe, reckon what will bee spent in sleepe, care, disgrace, sickenesse, trouble, wearinesse, emptinesse, feare; and vnto all this adde sinne: and then thinke, how smal a por­tion is left of this time, and how small good it will doe thee. What can that aduantage thee with such mixtures of euill? It is cer­taine, to liue long, is but to be long troubled; and to die quick­ly, is quickly to be at rest.

9. Lastly, if there were nothing else to be said, yet this may suf­fice, that there is no comparison betweene time and eternity. What is that space of time to eternity? If thou loue life, why doest thou not loue eternall life? as was said before.


Of them that would liue to doe good.

BVt I would liue long to doe good, and to doe God ser­uice, Ob. 4. and to benefit others by mine example.

Sol. First, search thine owne Six reasons against their pre­tence▪ that would liue long to do good, as they [...]ay. heart: it may be, this pretence of doing good to others, is plea­ded onely, because thou wouldest further thine owne good. Thou wouldst not seeke the publike, but to finde thine owne parti­cular.

2. God that set thee to do his 2. worke, knowes how long it is fit for thee to be at the same; hee knowes how to make vse of the labors of his workmen: He will not call thee from thy work, till it bee prouided to dispatch his businesse without thee.

3. It may be, if thou be long 3. [Page 741] at thy worke, thou wouldst marre all; thy last workes would not bee so good as thy first: it is best to giue ouer, while thou doest w [...]ll, &c.

4. If God will pay thee as much for halfe a day as for the whole, art thou not so much the more to praise him?

5. It is true, that the best com­fort of our life here, is a reli­gious conuersation: but thy Reli­gion is not hindered by going to heauen, but perfected. There is no comparison betweene thy goodnesse on earth, and that in heauen. For though thou may­est doe much good here; yet it is certaine, thou doest much euill heere too.

6. Whereas thou perswadest thy selfe, that by example thou maiest mend others, thou art much mistaken. A thousand men may sooner catch the plague in an infected Towne, then one be healed. It is but to tempt God, [Page 742] to desire continuance in this in­fectious world, longer then our time: for the best way is to get farre from the contagion. I [...] di­uers fresh waters fal into the sea, what doth that to take away the saltnesse of the sea? No more can two or three Lots reforme a world of Sodomites.


Why men may not make away themselues to be rid of the miseries of life.

Ob. 5. BVt then it seemes by this, that it were a Ob. 5. mans best course to take away life, seeing so much euill is in life, and so much good to bee had in death.

Sol. 1. I thinke, the most of vs 1. may bee trusted of that danger. For though the soule aspire to [Page 743] the good to come, yet the body tends vnto the earth, and like an heauie clog weighs men downe­wards.

2. That is not the course; we must cast the world out of our 2. Against selfe. mur­der. hearts, not cast our selues out of the world. It is both vnseemely and extremely vnlawfull. It is vn­seemely: for it is true, we ought willingly to depart out of this world; but it is monstrous base, like cowards to runne away out of the battell. Thou art Gods souldier, and appointed to thy standing; and it is a miserable shame to runne out of thy place. When Christ the great Captaine sounds a retrait; then it is hono­rable for thee to giue place. Be­sides, thou art Gods tenant, and doest hold thy selfe as a tenant at will: the Landlord may take it from thee, but thou canst not without disgrace surrender at thy pleasure; and it is extre [...]me slothfulnesse to hate life, onely [Page 744] for the toyles that are in it. Se­condly, and as it is vnseemely, so it is vnlawfull, yea damnable. It is vnlawfull: for the souldier that runnes away from his Captaine, offends highly; so doth the Chri­stian that makes away himselfe: and therefore the commande­ment is not onely, Thou shalt not kill other men, but generally, Thou shalt not kill, meaning neither thy selfe, nor other men. Besides, wee haue no example in Scripture of any that did so, but such as were notorious wicked men, as Sa [...]l, Achitophel, Iudas, and the like. Yea, it is damnable: for hee that leaueth his worke before God calls him, loseth it, and besides incurres eternall death. As the souldier that runneth away, dy­eth for it, when he is taken: so the Christian that murdereth himselfe, perisheth; I say, that murdereth himselfe, being him­selfe.


Why we should not bee troubled to part with our friends.

MIght some other say, I Ob. 6 could more willingly dye, but mee thinkes it is grie­uous vnto mee to part with friends and acquaintance; I can­not willingly goe from my kind­ [...]ed and my familiars; life is sweete in respect of their pre­sence and loue and socie­tie.

Sol. It is true, that vnto some mindes this is the greatest con­tentment of life of any thing; but yet many things must bee considered: For,

First, amongst an 100. men, scarce one can by good reason 4. 6▪ Reasons about par­ting with our friends in death. pleade that, I meane, cannot say that hee hath so much as one sound friend in the whole world, worthy to be reckoned, as the [Page 746] stay of his life.

Secondly, those that can plead felicitie in their friends, yet what is it? one pleasing dreame hath more in it, then a moneths con­tentment which can bee reaped from thy friends. Alas, it is not the thousandth part of thy life▪ which is satisfied with delight from them.

3. Thou s [...]st thy friend [...] drop away from thee from day to day; for either they dye, or they are so farre remoo [...]d from thee, that they are as it w [...]e dead to thee; and sith they are gone, who would not long to go after them?

4. The friends that are left, are not sure to thee: men are muta­ble as well as mortall; they may turne t [...] be thy foes, that now are dearest vnto thee: or if they fall not into tearmes of flat enmi­tie, they [...] grow full and wea­ [...]e of thee, and so carelesse of thee.

[Page 747] 5. If none of these would sa­tisfie thee, yet what are thy 5. friends on earth, to thy friends thou shalt finde in heauen? This is an answer beyond all excepti­on.

6. Lastly, by death thou doest 6. not lose thy friends neither, for thou shalt finde them, and enioy them in another world to all e­ternity; and therefore thou hast no reason forthy friends sake to be loth to dye.

7. But might some one say: Ob. 7. All my griefe is to part with my wife and children, and to leaue them, especially in an vnsettled estate.

1. Hast thou forgotten the Sol. 1. consolation that saith, God will bee a father to the fatherlesse, and a Iudge, and a Protector of the widowes cause? Hee will releeue both the fatherlesse and the wi­dow, as many Scriptures doe assure vs, Psal. 146. 9. and 68. 6. Pro [...]. 15. 25.

[Page 748] 2. Thou leauest them but for a time; God wil restore them to thee againe in a better world.

3. Thou gainest the presence of God, and his eternall coniun­ction, who will be more to thee, then many thousand wiues, or children could be. He can be hurt by the losse of no company, that findeth God in Heauen.


Why we should not be sorry to leaue the pleasures of life.

BVt might some other say: My heart is sorely vexed, Ob. 8. because in death I must part with the pleasures of life?

There are many things might quiet mens mindes in respect Sol. Fiue argu­ments a­gainst the [...] of life. of this obiection: For thy plea­sures are either sinfull pleasures, or [...] pleasures: if they bee [...] [...] [...]west thy hatred [Page 749] of God by louing them, and hea­pest vp wrath vpon thin [...] owne soule, by liuing in them. But say, thy pleasures be lawfull in them­selues: yet consider,

First, that the paines of thy life 1. are, and will be greater both for number and continuance, then thy pleasures can be. No plea­sure at once, euer lasted so long as the fit of an Ague.

2. Thou forgettest, what end 2. they may haue: For thy plea­sures may goe out with gall. For either shame, or losse, or euill sicknesse may fall vpon thee: or if not, yet thine owne heart will loath them; as they are vanity, so they will proue vexation of spirit: Thou will bee extremely tyred with them.

3. Thou art far from giuing 3. thy life for Christ, that wilt not forgoe the superfluity of life for him.

4. That in thy delights thou 4. shewest the greatest weakenesse; [Page 750] so as thou maist say of Laughter, Thou art mad, Eccles. 2. 2.

5. That death doth not spoile thee of pleasures: for it bringeth thee to the pleasures that are at Gods right hand for euermore, Psa. 16. vlt.


Why wee should not be loth to leaue the honours of the world.

9. IF any other obiect the Ob. 9. lothnesse to leaue his honours, or high place in the world: I may answer diuers things.

1. Why shouldest thou bee so in loue with the honours of Sol. 1. Fiue ob­seruations abo [...] the honours of this world. this world, if thou but consider how small the preferment is, or can be? [...]e whole earth is, but as [...]e [...] point and [...]nter, in com­parison with the circumference [Page 751] of the whole world besides.

1. Now in true iudgement, it is 1. almost impossible to discern, how a man should rise higher in a Center. If thou hadst all the earth, thou wert no more exal­ted, then to the possession of a full point; a little spot in compa­rison: & therfore how extremely vaine is thy nature, to be affected with the possession of lesse then the thousand thousandth part of a little spot, or point?

2. Consider seriously the 2. thraldome, which thy prefer­ment brings thee vnto: Thou canst not liue free, but still thou art fettered with the cares, and feares, and griefes that attend thy greatnesse. There is little difference betweene thee and a prisoner, saue that the prisoner hath his fetters of Iron, and thine are of Gold; and that his fetters binde his body, and thine thy minde: He weares his fetters on his legs, and thou thine on thine [Page 752] head; and in this thou art one way lesse contented then some prisoners: for they can sing for ioy of heart, when thou art de­iected with the cares and griefes of thy minde: If thou hadst a Crowne, it were but a Crowne of thornes, in respect of the cares it would put thee to, &c.

3. Say thou shouldst get ne­uer so high, thou canst not pro­tect 3. thy selfe from the miseries of thy condition, nor preserue thy selfe in any certainty from the losse of all [...]hou enioyest. If thou wert as high as the top of the Alpes, thou canst not g [...]t such a place, but the clouds, winds, stormes, and terrible lightnings may find th [...]e out, so as thou wouldest account the lower ground to bee the safer place. Thou standest as a man on the top of a pinacle, thou canst not know, how soone thou maiest tumble downe, and that fearefully.

[Page 753] 4. If thou shouldest be sure to enioy the greatnesse of place 4. in the world, yet thou art not sure to preserue thine honour; for either it may bee blemished with vniust aspersions, or else some fault of thine owne may marre all thy prayses: For as a dead Flye may marre a whole Boxe of Oyntment, so may one sinne thy glory, Eccl. 10. 1.

5. Thou losest no honour by 5. dying: for there are Crownes of Glory in Heauen, such as shall neuer wither, nor bee corrupted; such as can neuer bee held with care or enuy, nor lost with in­famie.


Why it should not trouble vs to part with riches.

10. IF thou bee infected with the loue of riches and Ob. 10. that thou art loth to dye, because thou wouldest not be taken from thy estate and outward possessi­ons; then attend vnto these consi­derations.

1. Thou camest naked into the world; and why should it grieue Sol. 1. thee to goe naked out of the 1. Seuen mo [...]ues to leaue the loue of riches. world?

2. Thou art but a Steward of what thou possessest: and there­fore why should it grieue thee to 2. leaue, what thou hast employed, to the disposing of thy master?

3. Thou hast tried by experi­ence, & found hitherto, that con­tentment 3. of heart is not found, or had by abundance of outward things. If thou hadst all the pearls [Page 755] of the East, and wert master of all the mines of the West, yet will not thy heart bee filled with good: by heaping vp of riches, thou dost but heape vp vnquiet­nesse.

4. Riches haue wings: thou maist 4. liue to lose all, by fire, or water, or theeues, or suretiship, or in­iustice, or vnthrifty children, or the like.

5. They are riches of iniquitie. There is a snare in riches, & nets 5. in possessions; thy gold and siluer is limed vp, or poysoned. It is wonderfull hard, and in respect of men, impossible for thee to be a rich man, but thou wilt be a sinfull man, especially if thy heart be growne to loue money, and haste to be rich.

6. Thou must leaue them on [...], & therefore why not now? Thou 6 canst not enioy them euer, and therefore why shouldest thou trouble thy heart about them?

7. By death thou makest ex­change 7 [Page 756] of them for better riches, and shalt be possessed of a more euduring substance: Thou shalt enioy the vnsearchable riches of Christ: thou canst neuer be fully rich, till thou get to heauen.

Might some one say: I should not [...] d [...]ath, were it not that Ob. 11. I know not what kinde of death I shall dye: I may dye suddenly, or by the hands of the violent, or without the presence or as­sistance of my friends, or the like.

1. Sith wee must dye, it is the lesser matter what kind of Sol. 1. death wee dye: wee should not so much looke how wee dye, as whither wee shall goe when we are dead.

2. Christ dyed a cursed desth, 2. that so euery death might bee blessed to vs: For hee that liues holily, cannot dye miserably. Hee is blessed that dyeth in the Lord, what kind of death so­euer it be.


Shewing the cure of this feare of death by practice.

HItherto of the way of cu­ring this feeare of death by meditation. It remaines now, that I proceed to shew how the cure is to be finished & perfected by practice; for there are diuers 7 Things tha [...] cu [...]e the feare of death in practice. things to be heeded by vs in our daily conuersation, which serue exceedingly for the extinguish­ing of this feare, without which the cure will hardly euer bee soundly wrought for continu­ance.

The first thing we must frame [...] The con­tempt of the Word. our liues to, for this purpose, is the contempt of the VVorld: wee must striue earnestly with our owne hearts, to forgoe the loue of worldly things. It is an [...] thing [...]o be willing to dye, when our hearts are cleansed [Page 758] of the loue of this world. Wee must leaue the world before the world leaue vs, and learne that lesson heartily, To vse the world as if wee vsed it not. Neither ought this to seeme too hard a precept: for they that striue for masterie, ab­staine from all things, when it is but to obtaine a corruptible crowne; how much more should we be willing to deny the delights of this world, and striue with our na­tures herein, seeing it is to obtaine an incorruptible crowne? 1. Cor. 9 24, 25.

VVe must learne of Moses, who brought himselfe to it willingly, to [...]orsake the pleasures of Egypt, and to choose rather to suffer afflicti­on with Gods people, then to be called the sonne of Pharaohs daughter, Heb. 11. 26.

And to this end, we should first How the contempt of the world may [...]ee wrought in vs. restraine all needlesse cares, and businesse of this world, and study so to be quie [...], as to meddle with our owne busines, and to a [...]idge th [...]m [Page 759] into as narrow a scantling as our callings will permit. Secondly, we should auoid, as much as may be, the societie with the fauorites and minions of the World: I meane such persons, as admire nothing but worldly things, and know no other happinesse then in this life; that speake onely of this World, and commend no­thing, but what tends to the praise of worldly things, and so to the enticing of our hearts after the World: And withall, wee should sort our selues with such Christians, as practise this con­tempt of the World, as well as praise it, and can by their dis­course make vs more in loue with heauen. Thirdly, we should daily obserue, to what things in the world our hearts must run, and striue with God by prayer to get downe the too much liking and desire after those things. Fourth­ly, we should daily be pondering on these meditations, that shew [Page 760] vs the vanitie of the world, and the vilenesse of the things there­of. Thus of the first medicine.

Secondly, we must in our pra­ctice soundly mortifie our belo­ued 2. The mortifica­tion of be­loued sins. sins: our sins must dye before we dye, or else it will not be well with vs. The sting of death is sin, and when we haue pull'd out the sting, we need not feare to enter­taine the Serpent into our bo­some. It is the loue of some sin, and delight in it, that makes a man afraid to dye; or it is the re­membrance of some foule euill past, which accuseth the hearts of men: and therefore men must make sure their repentance, and iudge themselues for their sins, and then they neede not feare Gods condemning of them. If a­ny aske me, how they may know when they haue attained to this rule; I answer, VVhen they haue so long confessed their sinnes in How wee may know when sin is morti­fied. secret to God, that now they can truely say, there is no sinne they [Page 761] know by themselues, but they are as desirous to haue God giue them strength to leaue it, as they would haue God to shew them grace to forgiue it. Hee hath soundly repented of all sin, that desires from his heart to liue in no sin. And vnto this rule, I must adde the care of an vpright and vnrebukeable conuersation. It is a maruellous encouragement to dye with peace, when a man can liue without offence, and can iustly plead his integrity of con­uersation; as Samuel did, 1 Sam. 12. 3. and Paul, Acts 20. 26, 27. and 2 Cor. 1. 12.

Thirdly, Assurance is an admi­rable 3. Assurance medicine to kill this feare: And to speake distinctly, wee should get the assurance first of Gods fauour, and our owne cal­ling and election; for hereby an entrance will bee ministred into the Heauenly Kingdome: And there­fore haue I handled this doctrine of the Christians assurance, be­fore [Page 762] I meddled with this point of the Feare of Death. Simeon can dye willingly, when his eyes haue seene the saluation. Feare of death is alwayes ioyned with a weake faith; and the full assu­rance of faith, doth maruellously establish the heart against these feares, and breeds a certaine desire of the comming of Christ. Paul can be confident, when he is able to say, I know whom I haue beleeued, and that hee, is able to keepe that which I haue committed to him, 2. Tim. 12.

Besides, wee should labour to get a particular knowledge and assurance of our happinesse in death, and of our saluation: Wee would study to this end, the Ar­guments that shew our felicitie in death. And to this purpose, it is of excellent vse to receiue the Sacrament often: For Christ by his Will, beq [...]eathed heauen to vs, Ioh. 17. and by the death of the Testator, this Will is of [Page 763] force, and is further daily sealed vnto vs, as internally by the Spirit, so externally by the Sa­craments.

Now if wee get our Charter sealed and confirmed to vs, how can we be afraid of the time of possession? He is fearelesse of death, that can say with the Apo­stle, Whether I liue or dye, I am the Lords, Rom. 14. 8.

4. That charge giuen to He­zekiah, 4 The setting of our houses in order. concerning the setting of his house in order, Esay 38. is of singular vse for this cure. Men should with sound aduice settle their outward estates, and dis­pose of their worldly affaires, and according to their meanes prouide for their wife and chil­dren. A great part of the feare and trouble of mens hearts is o­uer, when their Wills are dis­creetly made: but men are loth to dye, so long as their outward estates are vnsettled and vndis­posed. It is a most preposterous [Page 764] course for men to leaue the ma­king of their Wils to their sick­nesse: for besides their disabili­ties of memory, or vnderstan­ding, which may befall them, the trouble of it breedes vnrest to their mindes; and besides, they liue all the time in neglect of their duty of preparation for death.

5. Wee may much helpe our 5 To make fri [...]nds with riches. selues, by making vs friends with the riches of iniquity: we should learne that of the vniust Steward, as our Sauiour Christ sheweth. Since wee shall be put out of the Stewardship, we should so dispose of them while wee haue them, that when wee dye, they may re­ceiue vs into euerlasting habitati­ons, Luk. 16. An vnprofitable life is attended with a seruile feare of death.

6. It would master this feare, 6. A fre­quent me­ditation of death. but to force our selues to a fre­quent meditation of death. To learne to dye daily, will lessen, [Page 765] yea, remooue the feare of dying. Oh this remembring of our latter end, and learning to number our daies, is an admirable rule of pra­ctice. It is the forgetfulnesse of death, that makes life sinfull, and death terrible, Deu. 32. 29. Psa. 90. 12. And wee should begin this exercise of meditation betimes; Remember thy Creator in the dayes of thy youth, Eccles. 12. 1. This is that is called for, when our Sauiour Christ re­quires vs, and all men, so to watch: and here in lay the praise of the fiue wise Virgins, Matth. 25. 3. Thus I [...]b will waite till the time of his change come, Iob 14. 14. And of purpose hath the Lord left the last day vncertaine, that we might euery day prepare. It were an admirable method, if we could make euery day a life to begin and end, as the day be­gins and ends.

7. Lastly, because yet we may find this feare cumbersome, and 7. Heartie prayer for this thing. [Page 766] our natures extremely deceitful; there is one thing left, which can neuer faile to preuaile, as farre as it is fit for vs; and that is hearty prayer to God for this very thing. Thus Dauid prayes, Psal. 39. 4. and Moses, Psal. 90. 13. and Simeon, Luke 2. 19. And in as much as Christ dyed for this end, to deliuer vs from this feare, wee may sue out the priuiledge, and by prayer striue with God to get it framed in vs. It is a suite God will not deny them that aske in the name of Christ, be­cause it is a thing that Christ e­specially aimed at in his owne death.

To conclude then; wee haue prooued, that it is possible to be had, and most vncomely to want it; and likewise the way hath beene shewed how both by me­ditation and practice, this Cure may be effected. If then it be not wrought in any of vs, we may here finde out the cause in our [Page 767] selues: For if wee would hereby be soundly aduised and ruled, we might attaine to it all the dayes of our life, to sing with the Saints, that triumphant Song mentioned both in the Old and New Testament: Oh death, where is thy sting? O hell, where is thy victory? so as we are now the con­querors through him that loued vs, and gaue himselfe to death for vs, euen Iesus Christ the righteous; to whom with the Father and the holy Ghost, bee all praise in the Churches, throughout all ages for euer.



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