TIME WELL SPENT IN

  • Sacred Meditations.
  • Divine Observations.
  • Heavenly Exhortations.
SERVING TO
  • Confirme the Penitent.
  • Informe the Ignorant.
  • Reforme the Obstinate.
  • Convince the Hypocrite.
  • Encourage the Fearfull.
  • Resolve the Doubtfull.
  • Comfort the Afflicted.
  • Vphold the Tempted. And,
  • Cherish the true-hearted Chri­stian.

By that late able, painefull, and worthy Man of God, Mr. EZECHIEL CVLVERVVEL Minister of the Word.

LONDON, Printed by T. Cotes, for Tho. Payne, and are to be sold by M. Sparke. 1635.

THe lips of the righteovs feed many. Pro. 10. 21.Time well spent.

He that winneth soules is wise. Pro. 11. 30.

The Preacher was wise, hee still taught the people knowledge, yea he gave good heed, and sought out and set in order many pro­verbs. Eccles. 12. 9.

I will meditate also of all thy Meditati­on. workes and talke of all thy doings. Psal. 77. 12.

O how love I thy Law! it is my meditation all the day. Psal. 119. 97.

Who so is wise and will observe Observati­on. those things; even they shall un­derstand the loving kindnesse of the Lord Psal. 107. 43.

Preach the word, bee instant in season, and out of season, re­prove, rebuke, exhort. 2 Tim.Exhortati­on. 4. 2.

TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFVLL and truely religious Mrs. MORE.

Right Worshipfull and worthy Mi­stresse More:

THe Church of God hath not onely be­nefit by exact, and just treatises knit together in a Methodicall de­pendancy of one part [Page] from another, but like­wise of sententious in­dependent speeches, that have a generall lu­stre of themselves, as so many flowers in a gar­den, or Iewels in a cas­ket, whereof every one hath a distinct worth of themselves; and this maketh them the more acceptable that being short, they are fitter for the heart to carry, as ha­ving much in a little.

This moved, this re­verend man of God, to spend what spare houres his sicknesse [Page] would afford him a­bout thoughts in this kinde. He was many yeeres Gods prisoner under the Gout and Stone, such diseases, as will allow but little liberty to those that are arrested and tortured by them. So fruitfull an expence of time, in so weake and worne a body is seldome seene, scarce any came to him but went away better than they came; God gave much strength of spirit to uphold his spi­rit from sinking under [Page] the strength of such diseases. It were a hap­py thing if we that are Ministers of Christ, would in all conditi­ons and times thinke of our calling, that our office is not tyed to one day in a week, and one houre or two in that day, but that upon all fit occasions we are to quicken our selves and others in the way homeward, as guides to heaven. We read not of the opening of hea­ven but to some great purpose. So it should [Page] bee with the man of God, he should not o­pen his mouth and let any thing fall (so far as frailty and the necessa­ry occurrences of hu­mane life will permit) but what might mini­ster some grace to the hearers.

The reason why I made choise of you to dedicate them unto, is not that I might dis­charge mine own debt unto you with another mans coyne, but that I could not thinke of a­ny fitter than your self, [Page] whom this ancient minister of Christ e­steemed alwayes very much for eminency of parts and grace, and you him as a man faith­full and one that main­tained his ministeriall authority with good successe in his place; God allotting your ha­bitation in your youn­ger yeeres in that part of the countrey where hee lived, and where you first learned to know God and your selfe. In those times though those parts [Page] were in regard of theThe hundreds in Essex. ayre unhealthfull, yet that ayre was so sweet­ned with the savory breath of the Gospell, that they were termed the holy land. Here­upon I thought meete to commend these sen­tentious speeches by your name, to others. Which though (divers of them) may seeme plaine, yet what they want in shew they have in weight, as comming from a man very well experienced in all the wayes of [Page] God. The Lord fol­low you with his best blessings, that you may continue still to adorne the Gospell of Christ in your place.

Yours in all Christian service: R. SIBBS.

TO THE CHRISTIAN READER, THE PVB­LISHER HEEREOF wisheth, Grace, mercy, and peace, from God the Fa­ther, and from the Lord Iesus Christ our Saviour.

CHristian Reader, Thou hast heere offered unto thee (a rare boxe of precious pearles) on most sub­jects, many sweete, grave, a­curate, wholesome, fit, and choise passages. What the Author was, what his care for Gods glory, his delight in Gods worship, his desire of the good of others, his hatred of [Page] sinne, his griefe for sinne, his zeale and fervencie in pray­er, his knowledg of the word, his contempt of the world, his experience of Satans subtil­ties, his compassion towards the afflicted members of Ie­sus Christ, his skill in ex­horting, dehorting, repro­ving, comforting; his joy­fulnesse in the society and company of Gods children, his usuall endeavours and employments, his dayly me­ditations, his ordinary spee­ches, his grouth in grace, and measure of sanctification, &c. may be easily perceived, and plainely discerned by this his ensuing Treatise. Well knew he the worth of time, well knew he, in like manner, how to employ the same to his best advantage. Apparent it [Page] is, that he thought that time to be ill spent, wherein he was not doing some good to him­selfe or others, and there­fore endeavoured alwayes to be thus employed. Was he a­lone? then was be either oc­cupied in prayer, reading, meditation, or such like Chri­stian exercise. Was hee in company? then were not his words, idle, vaine, worldly, unprofitable, but gracious, poudered with salt, tending to edification. Was he at din­ner or supper? then would he take occasion to speake of the use of Gods creatures, the thankefulnesse we owe unto God for the plenty wee enjoy, together with the usual abuse of Gods mercies by most men and women. Was there a question propounded unto [Page] him? in the resolution there­of would he take occasion to dehort from some one or other vice, exhort to some one or other vertue. Did he observe in himselfe any thing defe­ctive? how did he labour for humiliation; for a supply? Did he observe sinnes in o­thers, which were not in himselfe? how did he pitty and pray for them, blesse God for himselfe, yea be hereby perswaded that the Lord lo­ved him, as through whose goodnesse he was made to see and hate such things as are so highly esteemed in the world, and pursued by men of this world, whence he became de­sirousThis Booke (being of M. Gulver­wels owne hand wri­ting) doe I finde to have beene begun a­bout 40. yeeres agoe and to have beene writ­ten at seve­rall times, and upon severall oc­casions, some passa­ges being night me­ditations, some utte­red at din­ner or sup­per, some upon occa­sion of a question propoun­ded, as o­thers upon occasion of some one or other trouble. &c. the more to love the Lord with all his heart, and to be so delighted in him, that hee might esteeme no­thing [Page] without him, nor bee carryed away by any thing from him, in whose favour is all fulnesse of joy for ever­more. A faithfull Steward hee was of the mysteries of God, and who well knew, how [...]o divide the Word aright, [...]nd give every man his due [...]ortion. Thus much no doubt and much more might [...]e sayd by any of those which [...]ntirely knew him, my selfe [...]aving at no time otherwise [...]eene him than in his workes, [...]his especially, warranting [...]ll that I have affirmed of [...]im. Whatsoever thou art, whatsoever thy condition, [...]hou mayest here have suta­ [...]le matter which concerneth by good. Here may parents earne their duty, children heirs. Here may Pastors [Page] learne their duty; people theirs. Here may all learne, both young and old, rich and poore. This will informe thy judgement, this in like man­ner stirre up thy affections. Thou then who wouldst learn to performe thy duty towards God, thy duty towards thy neighbour: Thou who would­est learne at all times to em­ploy thy time well: Thou who wouldest know with whom thou shouldst converse, and what use to make of good com­pany, &e. come here, and en­joy thy hearts desire: What is here offered thee despise not, but blesse God for the same, accordingly making use thereof to his glory and thine owne good.

Farewell.
A. SYMSON.

THE AVTHOVRS PRAYER AT the writing of this Booke.

MOst gracious God, and lo­ving Father, pardon & for­give all my sinnes, and write those things in my heart by thine holy Spirit, which shall be written in this booke, that as this booke shall through thy [Page] grace helpe my memorie, so thy Spirit may sanctifie my meditations, that tho­row this grace, I may heare to understand, understand to be moued in my affecti­ons, and not for a time, but for ever to remember, meditate and practise thy word, with an holy and humble perseverance, tho­row thy deare Sonne, and our onely Lord and Savi­our, Jesus Christ.

Amen.

THE PRINCIPAL heads of things con­teined in this book.

A.
  • A Dominion. Page. 1
  • Affections. 2
  • Affliction. 3
  • Angels. 11
  • Anger: ibid.
  • Assurance of Gods favour, Ele­ction and salvation. 12
  • Athisme. 24
B.
  • Baptisme. 24
  • Benefits or Blessings. 26
  • Birth-day. 31
  • Buying and selling. ibid.
C.
  • Calling. 33
  • Christ. 34
  • Christian. 36
  • [Page]Christianitie. 36
  • A Civill life. 40
  • Comforts. ibid.
  • Communion [...] 46
  • The Communion of Saints. 48
  • Compassion. ibid
  • Complaint. 49
  • Coneupiscence. ibid.
  • Conference. [...]50
  • Confidence. 53
  • Conscience. 54
  • Consent. 57
  • Contempt of grace. ibid.
  • Contentation. 59
  • Contracts. 60
  • Corruption. 62
  • Good Counsels. 63
D.
  • Holy Dayes. 64
  • Death. ibid.
  • Decay in grace. 68
  • Delay. 73
  • Delight. ibid.
  • Divels. ibid.
  • Discerning. 77
  • Discipline. 78
  • [Page]Despaire. 79
  • Distrust. 80
  • Doctrine. 82
  • Doubting. ibid
  • Dreames. 99
  • Dulnesse and deadnesse. 100
  • Duty. 102
E.
  • Earnestnesse. 102
  • Ease. 103
  • Elect and Reprobate. ibid.
  • Evils. 104
  • Excuse. ibid.
  • Examples. 105
  • Exercise. ibid.
F.
  • Failings. 106
  • Faith. ibid.
  • Falls. 133
  • Familiarity. 135
  • Fasts. 136
  • Feare. 137
  • Feasts. 139
  • Feeling. 140
  • Fellowship with the wicked. ibid
  • The Flesh: 141
  • Flock. 142
  • [Page]Friends. 142
G.
  • Gift. 143
  • Gods fauour. ibid
  • Gods goodnesse. 144
  • Gods glory. ibid
  • Gods mercy. 147
  • Gods patience and long-suffer­ing. 148
  • Gods providence. 149
  • Gods will. 150
  • Godly. 151
  • Godlinesse. 153
  • Gospell. 158
  • Grace with the growth therein. 159
  • Greefe. 182
H.
  • The Heart. 184
  • Helpe. 185
  • Heretickes and Heresies. ibid
  • An Holy life. 187
  • Hope. 188
  • Humiliation. 189
  • Humilitie. 193
  • Hypocrisie. ibid
I.
  • [Page]Ignorance. 193
  • Indifferent things. 196
  • Infirmities. 197
  • Ioy. 198
  • Iudge. 202
  • Iudgements. ibid
K
  • Knowledge. 205
L.
  • Law. 205
  • Learning. 206
  • Love. ibid
  • The Lords day. 210
M.
  • Magistrate. 211
  • Man. ibid
  • Marriage. 213
  • Meanes. ibid
  • Meditations: 214
  • Memory. 218
  • Mercies. 219
  • Ministers or preachers. 220
  • Mirth. 230
  • Mistrust. ibid
  • Mortification. ibid
  • [Page]Motions. 231
N.
  • A good Name. 231
  • Nurcery of the Church. 240
O.
  • Offences. 240
P.
  • Parents. 241
  • Patience. 242
  • Peace and joy. ibid.
  • To please God. 246
  • Poore. 248
  • Popery. 249
  • Praise and dispraise. 250
  • Prayer. ibid.
  • Pride. 260
  • Priviledges of the Saints. ibid.
  • Profession and professors. 263
  • Promises, 265
  • Punishment of sinne. ibid.
R.
  • Reconciliation. 267
  • Regeneration. 269
  • The Regenerate and unregene­rate. ibid.
  • Remembrance of good. 277
  • [Page]Renewing. 278
  • Repentance. ibid
  • Reports. 279
  • Reproofe. 280
  • Riches. 282
S.
  • Sacrament. 282
  • Saints. ibid
  • Salvation. 283
  • Satans courses, subtilty, and temp­tations. 285
  • The Scriptures. 295
  • Selfe-love. ibid
  • Sicknesse. 299
  • Sinne. ibid
  • Slander. 304
  • Sorrow for sinne. ibid
  • Soule and Body 318
  • Spirituall decay. 319
  • Disquiet Spirit. 320
  • Godly Strife. ibid
  • Students. ibid
  • Suffering. 321
  • Selfe-suspition. 322
T.
  • Table-Talke. 323
  • [Page]Teares. 323
  • Temptations. 324
  • Thankes. 328
  • Thoughts. 329
  • Tryall of a mans selfe. 331
  • The truth. 335
  • Time. 336
V
  • Vertue. 337
  • Visions. 339
W
  • Warfare. 340
  • Watchfulnesse. ibid
  • Wishes. 341
  • The Word of God. ibid
  • Worldly mindednesse. 346
  • Worldly Wisedome. 347
Y
  • Young Children. 349
Z
  • Zeale. 350

TIME WELL SPENT.

Admonition.

1. MAny can stirreNot every one is fit to admonish. up themselves, which cannot admonish others, much lesse they which admonish themselves, can admonish others.How to deale with those that follow not counsell.

2. Having admonished our brother in meekenesse, and not prevailing, its good [...]o require him to trie his conscience after his sleepe, [Page 2] what peace he hath in refu­sing our admonition.

3. To speake to the con­sciencesHow a man may speake to the con­science of another. of others, and to rip up secret sinnes, a man must marke diligently his owne heart, whereby hee shall see the secret corrup­tions of flesh and blood which are in all men.

Affections.The triall of our affe­ctions.

1. An excellent tryall of our affections of anger, griefe, joy, &c. is by this, whether they make us fit to serve God or not.

2. It is a notable point ofOur affe­ctions are in company to bee made knowne as little as may be. wisedome to make our affe­ctions knowne in company as little as may be, as did Io­seph, and not to be extraor­dinary at the table either in joy or sorrow, without speciall cause; but privately [Page 3] with some godly friend, or onely before the Lord to powre out our hearts.The hurt of affections when they are exces­sive.

3. Every excessive affe­ction bringeth its own pu­nishment, anger, griefe; love, jealousie, and the rest, as daily experience shew­eth.

Affliction.How to moderate [...] sancti­fie our worldly griefe.

1. The only way to mo­derate and sanctifie our earthly and naturall sorrow (which in it selfe is not un­lawfull, but necessarie as a meanes to make us seeke to the Physitian of our soules) is this; so oft as we feele the prickes thereof (which bee [...]n none continuall, but have their fits;) so oft wee [...]hould consider of the end why the Lord hath sent them, and so continueth [Page 4] them, that so by labouringThe end and use that is to bee made of af­fliction, is to be consi­dered. to make the right use of them, not onely our mindes may bee withdrawne from vaine discoursing of our losse, but also by making some profitable use of them wee may sooner attaine to the end why they were sent, which alone comfort­eth the Christian heart; for otherwise it were a doubleTo suffer and not to profit ther­by is feare­full. griefe, to suffer these things in vaine; yea not to profit by chastisements is and ought to be a fearefull terrour to our conscience.

2. As for such as haveSimil. Dangerous to be with­out afflicti­ons. running sores to be without physick is dangerous for fe­stering, so for us that have running sores of sinne, to be without afflictions.The end of afflictions.

3. All outward afflictions [Page 5] serve to work inward griefe for sinne, which being wrought, those are then un­necessary.

4. An especiall remedieThe profie of prepara­tion for trouble. against trouble, is to be pre­pared to undergo the same, whensoever it commeth.

5. Our wofull experienceAfflictions unwelcome to flesh and blood. daily shewes how unwel­come any affliction is unto the utward man, & therfore what neede we have to bee well armed in the inner man, against greater tryalls, lest we sinke under them.

6. It cannot be denyedPsal. 89, 31, 32. but that sinne is the onely deserving cause and occasi­on, of whatsoever evill be­falleth us, and therefore the Lord is just in all the evills he bringeth upon us, how­beit he hath many ends why [Page 6] hee layeth them as well onWhy the Lord affli­cteth as well the godly as the un­godly. the elect as repobate. The wicked he plagueth to shew his justice on them, to en­crease their sinne and con­demnation, as also to make them inexcusable. The e­lectIob 33. 17. 1 Cor. 11. 32. Psal. 94. 13. Heb. 12. 10. hee chastiseth to turne them from sinne and keepe them from damnation: to make them partakers of his1 Pet. 1. 7. Psal. 119. 67. holines, and preserve them from further danger: to exercise their faith, man­fest their strength or weak­nesse, and draw them nigher unto himselfe.

7. When wee are in affli­ction,Mans Sot­tishnesse in the time of affliction. wee are not so witty of our selves, as to see the cause of it; or if wee see the cause, wee see not the mer­cy of God, that his hand which is upon us, is not a [Page 7] destroying, but a delive­ring hand.

8. Whereas all Gods children bee in continuall warfare against sinne more or lesse, it falleth out for the most part, that as earth­lySimil. soldiers living at ease in their campe, the enemie hath more vantage, and more prevaileth; so in our prosperity the flesh usually prevailes over the Spirit;Affliction a speciall meanes to subdue the flesh. but when God sends some one or other affliction, its as a fresh band of men to helpe the Spirit against the flesh, whereby it daily gets more victorie.

9. This is a speciall com­fortWhat com­forteth the Saints in their trou­bles. in all afflictions, when first wee beleeve that Gods meaning is to make us bet­ter; and Secondly we finde [Page 8] by experience that we bee so, and daily hope for more gaine thereby.

10. The gaine we are toWhat gaine we are to make of our afflicti­ons. make by our afflictions is to be brought to more sight of our chiefe sins, and sor­row for the same; to seeke more earnestly for pardon thereof, and power to a­mend: to fight the more against them, wherby they may bee the more over­come.Why God layeth his hand upon us.

11. When God layeth his hand upon us, its that our faith and patience may bee the more tryed and ex­ercised to his glory, the ex­ample of others, and ourAfflictions are to bee taken as Physick to cure our infirmities. owne comfort.

12. Howsoever, God hath divers ends in the affli­cting of his, and all are not [Page 9] for the same; yet its safer for most Christians to take them as Physick to cure their infirmities, which else would fester.

13. Wee must take allAfflictions draw us neerer to God. afflictions as meanes to pull us neere unto God from slothfulnesse.

14. The visitation of suchProsperity more to bee feared than adversity. as grow in grace is not so much to be feared, as their deliverances, least through unthankefulnesse and ease they lose the fruit they have so dearely purchased of the Lord.

15. A Christian in theIn afflicti­on a Chri­stian can­not judge of himselfe aright. Simil. time of his affliction, for the hardnesse of his heart, can­not judge of himselfe, no more than a man sleeping of that hee did waking, whence it is, that many de­ceive [Page 10] themselves in looking to see alwaies the like mea­sure or greater of Gods graces in them, for there is some intermission in the worke of the new birth. Though the Spirit never depart, yet must not they bee secure herein, for this must humble them, though not dismay them.

16. No affliction so muchWhat affli­ctions doe most worke on the god­ly. crucifieth a true hearted Christian, as his owne cor­ruptions and temptations.

17. Its good for affli­ctedRemem­brance of our future state a com­fort in trouble▪ Psal. 126. 5. Private troubles do more affect us than the publick. consciences to remem­ber the state to come, that they which sow in teares shall reape in joy.

18. Its a common fault to bee more touched when the crosse privately tou­cheth us, than when the [Page 11] whole Church suffereth.

Angels.

How the good Angels ofHow the Angels watch over us, is not curiously [...]o be searched. God watch over us, is not curiously to be searched af­ter, but we must pray, that by faith wee may feele that they pitch their tents round about our Tabernacles.

Anger.

Whether our anger beeHow spi­rituall an­ger may be discerned from car­nall. carnall or spirituall may be thus discerned, If it hinder not but quicken our holy exercise of prayer and o­ther religious duties: if it interrupt not our medita­tions, nor withdraw us from performing our duty to the party offended, neither make us peevish to others, its spirituall, not carnall.

Assurance of Gods favour, Election, and Salvation.

1. As it is a most blessedWhat it is to bee hid under Gods wing. estate to be hid under Gods wing, that is, to be sure by faith of Gods favour and protection, that hee will keepe us from danger, or preserve us in it, that it hurt us not, & so in the end deliver us, & make it profi­table unto us; So its hard toHow hard it is to have an assurance of Gods fa­vour. The causes [...]hereof. come to this, and hard to keepe it, whereof amongst others, these may bee the causes: We too little thinke of such matters or prise them not when we doe; yea either we despaire, or pre­sume & post off; & if we goThe reme­dies. about them, yet through ig­norance or sloth we attend not thereon. The remedy [Page 13] 1 is to labour and pray to see the gaine which commeth hereof, whereby our paine shall be made pleasant; till then all will bee tedious. 2 Wherein this may further: to consider these our pre­sent times wherein no small store have beene suddenly taken away from all they sore toiled for. 3 And seeing our Father hath allowed us sufficient of these things be­low, what childish follie is it to spend our time in play as it were, and leave our chiefe duties, wherein wee should most please God, and most procure our owneWhat wee must finde in our selves to assure us of Salvation and that we are beloved of God. welfare, present peace, and eternall happinesse.

2. For our comfort in the assurance of salvation, wee must consider what worke [Page 14] of Gods Spirit we doe cer­tainely finde in our selves, as in particular, these. 1. A sound knowledge of the doctrine of Salvation. 2. a true beliefe of it. 3. joy and comfort in it. 4. desire and care to glorifie God for it, in hating and striving to for­sake all sin, in loving and en­devouring to doe all good, in every of them, being humbled by reason of our weakenesse, yet comforted through the measure of Gods grace in us.

3. As Gods children beThe Saints infirmities hinder them of comfort that God is well pleased with them. hindred many other waies so this way not the least, that by reason of our com­mon infirmities in our best actions wee have not com­fort that God is pleased with us, and so are discou­raged, [Page 15] and finde not that joy in our profession wee might doe, for redresse herof know we thus much; that herein wee offer greatThey are injurious to God which thinke no­thing will please him that hath infirmitie. injurie to God & our selves, in thinking God so strait and hard, that nothing will please him which hath in­firmitie; whereas indeede as hee knoweth what wee doe or can doe, so hath hee revealed himselfe to bee as readie to bee pleased with the meanest endevours, andThrough Christ our infirmities are covered. to forgive and beare with wants, as ever parents were. Againe, if we had not infir­mities, what need we Christ Whence i [...] it commeth to passe that so few be assured of Gods favour. one maine benefit of his be­ing, to cover our infirmities. So then wee ought to be­leeve that God in Christ will forgive and accept us.

[Page 16]4. To have a sweete fee­ling of Gods fatherly love and so to know and be assu­red our names are written in heaven, & that we cannot perish, being (as Christ tea­cheth) the matter of grea­test joy, as whereon all o­ther comforts depend, and without which there can be no sound joy, no marvaile though so few attaine ther­unto, it being reserved for such of Gods children as be deepest in favour with him, the rest but seldome, & the hypocrite never soundly, but in fancy enjoying the same. Though this bee the free gift of God, given to whom, and so long as plea­seth him, yet be there many lets which keepe men from it, and meanes to attaine and [Page 17] keepe it. Besides the com­mon contemners, even in those that faine would haveLets of this assurance. this assurance, & oft mourne for it, there bee many lets. 1. A great part be ignorant1. Igno­rance in most, how or whereon to build it. how or whereon to build this assurance, the most building their faith on their life, which cannot be sound, and oft faileth & can never bee constant; whereas the true building is to build life on faith, & faith only upon Gods mercy and truth re­vealed in his word, not to the righteous & godly, but sinners and ungodly: thus, Seeing the Sonne of GodThe true foundation thereof. who hath given himselfe to worke mans redemption hath freely offered himself to save mee a wretched sin­ner voide of all grace, and [Page 18] subject to damnation, pro­mising fully to save me, if I will come to him, & whol­ly cast my selfe upon him, receive him for my Savi­our, Lord, and Husband, and giving my selfe wholly body and soule to be his to serve him for ever; there­fore knowing and belee­ving that hee both can and will indeede fully performe his promise, and desiring to enjoy the same, doe faith­fully give and betroth my selfe to him, and thereon do build my assurance, that I in him shall obtaine Gods favour, and all the fruits thereof, for my present cō ­fort, and eternall happines.2. Many will not goe to the price of it.

2. Another great & com­mon let of this spirituall joy and comfort in the Lord e­ven [Page 19] in those that oft com­plaine of the want thereof, is this, that they will not goe to the price of it, that is, valuing it above all we can aske or thinke, to sell all for it, forgoe any thing in lieu whereof; and see­ing what will keepe us from it, to put it away, though as deare as our right eye, our gaine, credit, ease, and pleasure; and knowing any meanes that will helpe us to it, to spare no cost, no time, no labour, but constantly to use all meanes till wee get it, and so to keepe it. Now seeing3. Many are forgetfull therein. this is tedious to our cor­rupt nature, many through meere forgetfulnes (mind­ing other things too much) let all this care and travell [Page 20] alone, seldome or sleight­ly minding this matter. O­thers4. Slothfull. of meere slothfulnes neglect to take the paines for it, whereas without much paines it will not bee gotten and kept, and none can bee too much. Others5. In love with the world. too much in love with the world, seeing the attaining and keeping of the assu­rance of Gods favour, will not stand with the use of a­ny unlawfull gaine, credit in the world or vaine de­light; or with the abuse of lawfull; therefore the cove­tous, ambitious, and volup­tuous loath to forgoe any part of their wealth, pomp, and state, of their braverie, feastings, pastimes, and the like, can never get or hold this pretious treasure of re­joycing [Page 21] in the Lord. A­mong those may bee also reckoned such who not so much choaked with these, yet seeing that to hold this confidence will cost them6. Fearefull and over­tender. sore trouble and many affli­ctions, of meere fearefulnes and overtendernesse, being loath to suffer any thing, are discouraged from seeking it, and so content to live without it. Others through7. Distrust­full. meere distrust that they shal never attaine or hold it, faint and give over. Finally, In8. Given unto some foule and reproach­full sinne. some there hath been some foule and reproachfull sin which lyeth as a thorne in the flesh, that til it be pulled out, there is no ease, which they loath to see, and more loath should bee seene, and they should beare the shame [Page 22] of, do so hide and smother, that in the end it flameth out to their greater confu­sion. In all, the Lord hath his stroke, who for these or other most just causes often hideth his loving counte­nance from his owne chil­dren, and though hee love them, will not let them see it, lest they should abuse it, and to make them set more by it, to seeke it earnestly and above all things when they want it; and to keepe it charily when they have it. The remedies of all theThe reme­dies of the forementi­oned lets. former diseases be the ear­nest labour for the contrary vertues, more to value this pearle, more to minde it, to spare no paines in prayer, meditation and other good exercises; love and desire [Page 23] nothing in comparison hereof: to hearten our selves against all discouragements, and to be content to suffer any thing for it, and to rest on Gods mercy and truth, that as he hath given an heart to seeke, so wee shall in the end obtaine, and therefore to be patient and constant to the end, to pull up any stub in our consci­ence, by wise meanes clea­ring our selves before God and the world as neede re­quires; and lastly to consi­der the many tokens wee have of Gods love, though hee seeme to frowne upon us, and to hide his face.

5. He that most denyethWho may have most assurance. himselfe, and of love yeelds himselfe wholy to God, may have most assurance of [Page 24] his effectuall vocation and election.

6. Hee that feeleth hisHow to try the truth of our assu­rance. heart fully perswaded of his Salvation, must examine whether it breede answe­ble love, zeale, and care to please God, with griefe for offending his Majesty; else may it be but presumption.

Atheisme.

Atheisme is more to be feared than Papisme, seeingAtheisme more to bee feared than Popery. many renounce Popery, who yet care not for Chri­stianity.

Baptisme.

1The Mini­sters bad­nesse hinde­reth not the efficacie of the Sacra­ment. A Godly man may have his childe baptized of a Minister, though unreve­rently handling that holy [Page 25] mysterie, that being alone the Ministers sinne, and which cannot hinder the blessinng of Gods ordi­nance, the Apostles beingIoh. 4. 2. very ignorant, baptised.

2. The Fathers presenceThe Fa­thers pre­sence re­quisite. is requisite at the bapti­zing of the childe to pro­mise for it; or if he cannot come, to certifie the con­gregation that hee would have his childe baptized, and make that promise by others, which present hee ought.

3. Baptisme is a sealeBaptisme a seale of Christs Crosse. An har­lots childe may be baptized. of the Crosse of Christ.

4. The childe of an harlot may bee baptized, though not for her sake, yet for the forefathers within the same generati­on.

Benefits or blessings.

1. In all our mirths andWe are to be mind­full of the Spanish invasion and gun-powder Treason. Ann. 1605. rejoycings we are to re­member the great benefit of our deliverance from the Spaniards in 88. and from the Gun-powder-treason on the 5. of No­vember, by meanes where­of wee enjoy those bles­sings we dayly partake of.

2. As our hearts mustWe must be perswa­ded that Gods bles­sings flow from his love in Christ. rejoyce in Gods benefits, so we must bee perswaded that the same flow from Gods Fatherly love in Christ; else can wee not give spirituall thankes, but either none at all, or onely carnall.

3. Being perswaded that Gods benefits towardOur love must bee kindled thereby. us proceede from his love, the same should so kindle [Page 27] our love, that we should hate thereby all that come neere us, as fire doth; the want whereof shewes our great unthankfulnesse.

4. Whereas the mostAbuse of earthly blessings an hinde­rance from growth in grace. professors bee in nothing more hindered, from growth in grace, yea and most from true happinesse, than by the abusing of those earthly blessings they enjoy, health, wealth, beauty, strength, wit, lear­ning, credit, friends, &c. which through their sinne further their misery, and shall witnesse against them; this must be accounted an high favour to a true belee­ver to have grace so to useRightly to use them is Gods spe­ciall bles­ those, that they all may be­come his friends to further his happinesse, whereby [Page 28] hee shall become more assured of Gods everla­sting favour, and have so many witnesses of the same.

5. This right use stands either toward
  • God
    • 1. That they bee received
      Wherein the right rule of bles­sings con­sisteth. Rom. 12. 1. 1 Cor. 10. 33.
      thankefully, so as every way they bind us more to him, more to love him, rest upon him, secke to him, and serve him.
    • 2. That they bee all used to his glory.
  • Man
  • Our selves
    • Temperatly: so as they
      Luc. 21. 34. 1 Cor. 9.
      no way hinder our proceeding, but make us fitter.
    • Providently
      • Soule.
        Luc. 16. 9. Eph. 4. 28.
      • Body.
  • Neighbours.
    • Iustly. Psal. 15. 2. 3.
      Psal. 15. 2.
    • Mercifully. pro. 14. 21
      Pro. 14. 21.

6. Whereas there is noEarthly care a maine hin­derance of our spiritu­all life. one thing which more hinders our spirituall life, than our care for earthly, [Page 29] its the speciall favour of our Lord Iesus, to free us from this care, and to shew us a way how we may bee abundantly provided for of all things necessary for this present life, that so wee may more seeke spi­rituall: this he doth by tea­chingHow the Lord fre­eth his there from. Mat. 6. 11. us thus to pray, Give us this day our daily bread, whereby he puts as it were a privie key into our hands, to open all Gods treasures that by prayer of faith wee may fetch from God.

7. Many times the LordWhy the Lord sometimes blesseth e­ven above meanes. above all meanes doth be­stow a blessing upon his children, even more than they could looke for, that they should not stay too much upon the meanes, but acknowledge every [Page 30] good gift to come from him, and therefore stay themselves on him: and to the same end also manySometimes crosseth in the meanes. times he crosseth them in the meanes, that either they cannot use them, or using them they prevaile not, even to humble them that he may be God above all.

8. When God bestow­ethThe crosse seasoneth Gods bles­sings. any good gift upon us, its good to feele some crosse to seale and season it in us.

9. We often want out­wardWhy many want out­ward bles­sings. blessings, because we so little esteeme inward graces.

10. Its a common thingGod bles­seth before he punish. with the Lord to blesse be­fore he punish.

Birth-day.

The celebration of aHow a mans birthday may be ce­lebrated. mans birth-day may bee used of some and at some times, without pompe, su­perstition or carnall plea­sure.

Buying and selling.

1. In buying and sellingRules to be observed in buying and selling. we must be carefull that e­very one may have bene­fit; and in selling rather to be under the market, than otherwise.

2. In buying and selling this may bee a good rule to guide us, to doe as wee would be done unto: for example, when wee sell, consider wee whetherThe tryall of the rules. knowing the marketable price, and goodnesse of the thing, wee would gladly give so much as wee de­mand, [Page 32] if wee would not, we deale not justly; so in buying: but herein take we heede that our hearts de­ceive us not, whereto wee be very prone.

3. Its a sore disease com­monThe love of gaine how common, dangerous, and preju­diciall. and dangerous among the best professers, that they for love of gaine, doe many wayes injure their neighbours, and allow themselves many practises contrary to love, as buying a thing deare to sell for more than its worth, when they sell it, and so casting their losse on their neigh­bour.

4. In buying and sel­lingWe must be sure our neighbours gaine by us. this is a sure rule, to be sure our neighbour gaines by us.

Calling.

1. IF earthly men in earth­lyCheereful­nesse re­quired in our callings especially the Mini­sterie. things doe swallow up great troubles, and with cheerefulnesse undertake and accordingly undergoe many hard travels for the satisfying of their desires in pleasure or profit; how much more ought wee which be Christians, espe­cially Ministers to cheere up our hearts with the hope of our gaine, that with glad hearts we might studie, pray, preach, and performe the like exerci­ses?

2. They who haveThe rich must bee most pain­full in their callings. double allowance of food and wages, should doe [Page 34] double service; therefore the rich should more pain­fully labour in their voca­tions.

3. No troubles unlesseWee must not forsake our cal­lings. they bee in case of meere ungodlinesse may make us forsake our callings, which are never free from trou­ble.

4. Whensoever wee beHow dan­gerous to be out of our calling. out of our calling, Satan hath fit occasion of temp­ting us.

Christ.

1. Two things are ne­cessarilyWhat doe espouse us to Christ. required to e­spouse us to Christ, the one, to use the pure meanes, the other to use these meanes with pure hearts.The way to come and receive Christ.

2. The onely way to come to, and receive [Page 35] Christ, is upon good knowledge of his excel­lencie to desire him, and by the free offer and faith­full promise of himselfe to us poore sinners, to give credit to his Word, taking him for our Lord and Sa­viour, to give our selves wholly body and soule to him to bee his faithfull Spouse and servants for e­ver.

3. By this among ma­nyHow one may know whether he hath recei­ved Christ. other notes, may one know whether hee indeed hath received Christ, If hee finde such affection to Christ in heaven, as is in a betrothed virgin to one whom shee dearely loveth being beyond sea, think­ing the time long till shee enjoy his sweete fellow­ship. [Page 36] This is too too rare.

Christian.

It were a very profita­bleThe ana­tomie of a Christian in his seve­rall parts how need­full for us. labour for our selves and others, to have the whole Anatomie of a Christian, laid forth di­stinctly in all the vertues pertaining to him, in all the corruptions cleaving to him, with all the promi­ses of God, and priviledges both in this life, and the life to come, for encou­ragement; as in like man­ner all the threates and mi­series of the wicked here and hereafter, to enforce abstinence from sinne; eve­ry of them gathered cleere­ly out of the Scripture with the quotations.

Christianitie.

1. It may be justly com­plained, [Page 37] that if the whole course of our best profes­sors (except very rare men, ministers and people, here and there one) were rightly examined, that they are so far off from that course which is by precept and example layd out to us in the Scriptures, that the most have neede to beginMost have need to begin all againe. all againe, and to lay a better foundation in the assurance of their salvati­on;The want of a good foundation what wo­full effects it produ­ceth. for want whereof wo­full effects follow, gene­rally such a contentednesse in their estate, because of some conscience of duty remaining in them, that there is no sighing after a better life, and therefore no great endeavouring for it, which breeds an uncom­fortable [Page 38] reckoning in the end; and indeed from hence it comes that the se­cret wayes of the Lord are not knowne nor sought af­ter, but so it is for the most part, that if a man have any grace more than is in the common multitude, he is highly reckoned of, though hee come more short of the true Christian course which hee should attaine to, (and some care­full Christians doe) than he goes beyond the multi­tude: and to such a passe is our Christian profession come, that if any should step beyond this common coldnesse and backward­nesse, he is thought worse of; as if in godly griefe, too melancholique; if in zeale, [Page 39] too heady and undiscreet; if in humilitie, too sillie and foolish; if in love and liberalitie, too carelesse of his estate, and so in other particulars.

2. Christianitie seemesChristia­nity the onely li­berty. a bondage, that a man may not doe what hee list, but is forced; yet indeede its the onely liberty to the re­generate, who would not doe otherwise: to whom onely sinne is a bondage. Those having within them a good conscience, (whichPro. 15. 15. is a continuall feast) doe finde here even in this life no small pleasure in the service of God. Besides their joy in the assurance of the reward to come; which is unspeakeable. Contrarily, there is no [Page 40] peace to the wicked,The wic­ked Satans bondslaves. though to outward appea­rance they live pleasantly, yet are they Sathans bond­slaves, and after this life shall bee tormented with him and his angels world without end.

A civill life.

Many living a civill ho­nestGods goodnesse in making civill men on their death-bed reveale their hid­den sinnes. life, (as its termed) and yet lying in some se­cret sinnes, doe at or be­fore their death often de­test the same, and shame themselves; which is Gods goodnesse, to shew the truth of his threatning, to stop the rage of the wic­ked, and keepe his from se­eurity.Whence it commeth to passe that the godly live not merily in this world.

Comfort.

1. Its much to bee la­mented, that God having [Page 41] provided that his children might live merily in him, few finde this more than in prosperitie as world­lings doe, which comes by our ignorance, or light re­gard, or want of faith of obtaining those sweet com­forts the Lord hath provi­ded for us.

2. They bee few thatWhy so few have assurance they be in Christ. have good assurance they be in Christ; which comes by our meere negligence in making sure our calling and Election: no marvell though such feele small comfort in their profession; contrarily, who so hath this assurance, it must needs be great ignorance or sloath which deprives them of the same.

3. To an afflicted con­science [Page 42] this is comforta­ble, that although it come to passe after some travell in the new birth that Gods graces be not so sweete, nor sinne so grievous as it was at our first entrance into regeneration, but wee are now weaker in the lesse assaults, than at the begin­ning in our stronger temp­tations, yet are wee not to despaire, considering that gracious proceeding comes from God, who shewedWhy God shewes himselfe more fa­vourable in the be­ginning of our con­version than after­ward. himselfe more favourable in our first beginning, lest hee should discourage us, and for that we wholly re­sted on him, even in our least temptations, deny­ing our selves, and now hides himselfe for a season, to make and give us tryall [Page 43] of our strength, when as wee lesse forsake and sus­spect our selves; no not in greater temptations, that we taking the foile might be humbled, and acknow­ledge the continuance of our health to come onely from him.

4. Many hinder them­selvesAll true comfort comes from Gods rich mer­cie. from true comfort in seeking it from their owne worthinesse, which they doe in being without hope because of their un­worthinesse; when as all true comfort comes from Gods rich mercie withPsal 130. 7. whom is plentifull redem­ption.

5. As its dangerous to perswade our selves of comfort, when there is no feeling of inward corrup­tions, [Page 44] so it is perilous to refuse all comfort when our sincere purposes are defiled with many corrup­tions in our practises: and therefore they from whom Satan laboureth to stealeIts some­times Sa­tans policy that wee should still complaine and grieve for our corrupti­ons. away the sincerity of their hearts must take heed they be not still complaining and grieving for their cor­ruptions, as that they ob­scure the worke of Gods Spirit (which must encou­rage us against our mani­fold faintings) and make them to walke uncheerful­ly in their callings; seeing that the glorious blood­shed of Christ is not so impotent, as being of force to save the greatest sinnes and sinners, it should not be able to purge the [Page 45] smaller insirmities of the Saints, and if any thinke their prayers and obedi­ence all but in fashion, this sense with griefe sheweth that it is not altogether in fashion, and the sense of this imperfection doth more please the Lord, than the imperfection doth dis­please him.

Gods children often seeThe godly are often deprived of the com­fort which they had before. no comfort in their life, though they have had true comfort, and have forgot­ten it, or suspect it: who though they should die, without that sense of com­fort they desire, yet their salvation is not to bee doubted of, seeing they shall not be judged accor­ding to the instance of their death, but the course of [Page 46] their life. Wee are notGods mer­cies to­wards such in their death not to be mi­strusted. therefore to mistrust Gods mercie in death, bee wee never so uncomfortable, if so be it hath beene before sealed in our vocation and sanctification.

Communion.

1. For sitting or knee­lingThe peace of the Church to be sought. at the communion, its good to seeke the peace of the Church, lest the reme­die of evill bee worse than the evill it selfe.

2. A good Minister willA minister must pre­pare his people be­fore hand. take great care to prepare his people for the Com­munion, both privately and publiquely, marking their proceeding thereaf­ter.

3. These promises arePromises to be re­quired of Commu­nicants. fit to bee taken of them who first are received to [Page 47] the communion, and that in the sight of God, and presence of some faithfull witnesses, that they would labour, 1 1. To grow in knowledge of the Word. 2 2. To depart from their former sinnes, and to leade an holy life. 3 3. To keepe the Sabbaths in godly ex­ercises as much as may be, and come to bee instructed publiquely and privately. 4 4. If they fall into any sin, to abide the censure of the Church, yea not profiting in knowledge to bee sus­pended from the Sacra­ment.

4. After wee have par­takedExamina­tion requi­red after our parti­cipation thereof. of the holy commu­nion, wee are to examine our selves, whether wee receive the same worthi­ly, [Page 48] and whether we have therein received Christ; the tryall whereof is byWhether or not wee have recei­ved Christ therein. our comfort of all good from him and our consci­ence to yeeld our selves wholly to be his, and to serve him; Oh the happines of such as have received him, they watch & pray lest they enter into temptation.

The Communion of Saints.

Its a principall part ofWe must still be do­ing or re­ceiuing good. the communion of Saints to bee most carefull either to bee doing or receiving good; therefore when wee joy to see our friends, this must humble us, that wee want this Communion.

Compassion.

Wee must learne toWe are to sympathize with others in their griefe. pittie them that being grieved with themselves, [Page 49] and finde no peace with God, are grieved with o­thers and impatient; for this was in David and o­thersPsal. 73. 13 of Gods deare ser­vants.

Complaint.

1. Wee complaine ofWee make little use of our com­plaints. many things amisse, but see not, nor search for the cause, much lesse labour to remoove it, and so make lit­tle use of our complaints.How dan­gerous to complaine of our weakenesse, and yet therewith to please our selves.

2. It cannot bee but a most dangerous estate, to bee ever complaining of our weaknesse, and yet therewith to please our selves, though wee finde no prevailing against the same.By what meanes concupi­scence may be avoided.

Concupiscence.

To avoide concupis­cence, continually exa­mine [Page 50] thy selfe by the law; meditate with reverence on the word; walke paine­fully in thy honest calling, shame thy selfe before thy friends; use temperate di­et, sleepe, apparrell; watch over thine owne eyes, eares, and other parts of thy body; have a zealous jealousie of places, persons, and all occasions, to avoide the evill, and seeke the good; humble thy selfe with shame of sinnes past, griefe of sinnes present, and feare of sins to come, with a diligent use of fa­sting, prayer, and wat­ching as neede requires.

Conference.

1. Its too commonly seene even among deare friends, and those also true [Page 51] Christians, that in much talking even about goodIn confe­rence con­tention often ari­seth. things also, there fall out diversities of opinions, which commonly (if great care and conscience be not had) breede contrary rea­sonings, in which most of­fend by stiffenesse in main­taining thereof, and hard it is not to let slip some incon­siderate speech, which if it bee ill taken makes breach of love, and falling out ma­ny times when no ill was meant: which being dulyThe fault is principally in the ill ta­king of things spo­ken. considered, me thinkes the greater fault is in the ill ta­king of any thing spoken or done, rather than in do­ing or speaking; for this proceedeth rather from temeritie and inconside­ratenesse, upon a sudden [Page 52] motion, which a right good man may offend in against him whom hee dearely loveth, and pro­ceeds not simply from so great want of love, as might be thought, even as wee may see in a loving mother to her childe. But ill taking proceeds fromThe reason. more deliberation and rea­soning of the matter, and more manifestly bewrayes want of love to take any thing worse than is meantThree seve­rall faults compared together. in either party. Its a sinne to speake inconsiderately that which may offend, a greater to take that speech in ill part, and the greatest for the first to take in ill part that his speech was illPrayer re­quisite be­fore confe­rence. taken.

2. Being to conferre of [Page 53] any weightie matter, wee are to prepare our selves by prayer both to speake and heare.

3. The viewing, tou­ching,Suspition of evill to be avoided. or familiar talking with a woman, especially religious, either without necessary occasion, or then without prayer for holy af­fection, is dangerous.

Confidence.

1. It is a sinfull feareful­nesseHow dange­rous it is not to con­fesse our confidence in God. in any fond Christi­an, not to professe his con­fidence in the Lord, and not to glory in his porti­on, and to have no com­fort that hee glorifieth God. This is found very dishonourable to God, un­profitable to themselves, and hurtfull to good and bad.

[Page 54]2. It seemeth that of allConfidence and com­fort in God the Chri­stians crowne. the gifts of the Spirit, our confidence and comfort in God, should especially bee called our crowne, as eve­ry way the chiefest for our selves.

3. Herein may wee beeHow to bee confident about Gods judgements confident, that God hath provided a way, whereby wee may be assured either to scape the judgement which falls upon others, or at least to bee bettered thereby, that it doe us no hurt.

Conscience.

1. The testimonie ofA good conscience may breede joy, a bad sorrow: with the reasons of either. a good conscience may, ought, and doth breede joy, because it confirmeth to a man that hee doth be­leeve, and ought not make him beleeve who did not. [Page 55] So the accusation of mans conscience, that his life shewes no sound fruite of faith, may, ought, and doth oft breede sorrow and feare, for that it be­wrayes the want of faith, and ought not hinder him from beleeving, who doth not at all, or very little; whereupon followes, that all such as be so carelesse inWhat the carelesse in their life are to doe. their life, ought to doubt whether they truely be­leeve, and so bee grieved for it, that they rest not, till they by application of Gods promises unto them doe soundly beleeve, that thereby their life may bee amended, and their hearts soundly rejoyced; by all which appeares that true Godlinesse increaseth not [Page 56] faith, but sheweth faith,True godli­nesse en­creaseth not faith; nor ungodlines decrease it. and so makes more sure of salvation than bare faith: neither ought any ungod­linesse decrease our faith, but rather shew the want of faith, and thereby drive men to seeke more sound­ly to beleeve, lest they pe­rish.

2. In affliction especi­allyHow to comfort the conscience in time of affliction. when the conscience (though perswaded that the Lords intent hereby is to make us better) can hardly finde comfort of Gods love that hee is not offended, its good to ap­ply this comfort, that, be­ing in Christ nothing shall be laid to our charge, nei­therRom. 8. 1. any thing condemne, seeing God in Christ is ful­ly satisfied.

Consent.

If once wee give consentDangerous to give con­sent to sin. to sinne, wee are made ready to fall into more and many sinnes, and ma­king no conscience of one sinne, wee shall not make conscience of many and great sinnes; and so beeing once inwrapped in sinne,Hard to get out of the devills clawes. its an hard thing to get out of the clawes and cluches of the Devill. Lord give us grace to see and resist the very first sinne.

Contempt of Grace.

1. Though it bee won­derfullWhence it is that ma­ny doe not embrace pardon and life offered to them. that any sinner knowing pardon and life to bee offered to him, should at least not embrace it, yet both Scripture and experience daily shew it to bee so, even as in many [Page 58] earthly cases is to be seene: let a Prince offer pardonSimil. to many rebells, or a fa­ther reconciliation to his disobedient sonne, or a Physitian healing medi­cines to his diseased pati­ents, not a few of them re­ject the same. The causes1. From ignorance. of this contempt may bee many; some men of meere ignorance know not the excellencie of the benefit, and therefore neglect. O­thers2. From feare it would cost too deare. would bee glad of it, but judge it would cost them too deare, too much travaile and paine to come by it. Others through in­fidelitie3. From infidelitie. (naturally run­ning in all, till God give more grace) doe distrust they shall never have it, and so deprive themselves [Page 59] of it: by all which and the like meanes it comes to passe, that though grace in the Gospel bee offered to all, and many know so much, yet very few truely embrace it, even such a­lone whom God draw­eth.

2. Such is the corrup­tionWhy the Gospel is not now so respected before. of our nature that the best things waxe vile by the commonnesse of them, no marvell then that the Gospel have no such credit, and bee so loved, reverenced, and embraced now, as it was at the first entrance thereof amongst us.

Contentation.

1. Vnlesse a man bee perswaded by faith that hee discharging his duty [Page 60] for his maintenance, thatHow to use this world well. portion which God send­eth is fittest for him, and that hee can bee content to be poore, hee can never use this world well.

2. To breede content­mentHow to bee content with our condition. with our condition whatsoever; weigh wee. 1. That nothing comes to passe without Gods decree and providence. 2. That the same is not onely good in respect of God, but also for the best to all Gods children, wherewith ther­fore wee ought to bee con­tented.

Contracts.

1. Contracts beforeDirections touching contracts before ma­riage. they bee published by the Minister are to bee knowne of him, and therein this is a good orderly proceeding [Page 61] before some honest wit­nesses to demand, 1 1. How neere or farre off in con­sanguinity they bee. 2 2. Whether they together or either of them to o­ther have beene precon­tracted. 3 3. Whether they have their parents consent, without the knowledge whereof hee is not to pro­ceede. 4 4. Whether they purpose to solemnize their marriage in the congrega­tion. 5 These being granted before the parents or their vicegerent, 6 to proceede to prayer, and exhortation to some generall duties of men and women, and so to contract according to the common Liturgie in the sight of God with prayer. The exhortation [Page 62] may bee briefly a discourse of the doctrine of the law and faith applyed to their estate of marriage, and so their speciall callings, and most neede.

2. They which contractThe Pa­rents con­sent to bee had. themselves without their governours or parents con­sent, if they bee alive, are to confesse their fault pub­liquely before they bee marryed, that others may heare and feare.

Corruption.

1. Such is the corrupti­onMen doe lesse esteem Gods gra­ces when they most abound. of our nature that though wee bee wonder­fully delighted with Gods graces, yet when wee a­bound with them, we lesse esteeme them, than when wee begunne to enjoy them.

[Page 63]2. Our corruption isOur cor­ruptions like the wantonnes of children. like to the wantonnesse of children, who either will do as they list, or else leave all undone.

3. Its a common cor­ruptionImmode­rate griefe occasioneth forgetfulnes of former mercies. so to grieve at e­vills present, that unthank­fully wee forget former mercies.

4. Its too common a cor­ruptionDangerous to reveale some con­ceale our greatew infirmities. that wee can dis­close many of our infirmi­ties, and keepe the greatest close.

Good Counsells.

Beleeve to bee saved, asHow to be­leeve to bee saved, live, pray, labour for grace, provide for our soules. a Publican; live as a justi­ciarie: Pray as idle beg­gars who live by begging: Labour for grace, as worldlings toile for wealth: Provide for thy soule as thou doest for thy bodies, [Page 64] rest, foode, apparrell, andNote. such like necessaries; feede to bee fitter to labour: so labour, as to get a stomack to thy foode.

Holy Dayes.

IN those, wee must re­deemeThe use of holy dayes. the time in re­sting from our callings.

Death.

1. This amongst othersWe art to be in readi­nes against our depar­ture out of this world, daily prepa­ring for the same. ought often to bee thought on, to have all things in a readinesse against our de­parture out of this wret­ched world, and therefore not onely to set out out­ward estate in order (which naturall wise men doe) for the good and peace of our posteritie, [Page 65] but especially to set our spirituall state in such a readinesse, that wee may with continuall care and comfort, waite for our change, and our Saviours second comming; and withall to leave to our po­steritie some testimonie of Gods Fatherly dealing with us, and fidelitie in performing his promise to us, the seede of faithfull pa­rents, that our posterity may bee hereby stirred up to serve the Lord God of their fathers.

2. Wee can better a­wayTo medi­tate on death or judgement, which best liked. to meditate on death which Sathan covereth with eternitie following; than on the day of judge­ment where wee all must make our accounts.

[Page 66]3. The bare meditati­on of death doth so farre move us from suffering with delight to dwell on earthly things, as reason disswadeth us to make any cost about a tenement, where wee know wee shall dwell but a while; yet such imaginations of death build up in the meane time the kingdome of pride in us. Wherefore it shall beeHow to meditate on death profi­tably. more availeable, when we meditate of putting off this Tabernacle, we thinke al­so of putting on the Ta­bernacle of righteousnesse, and how without that wee shall never stand with com­fort before Christ in his Kingdome.How to thinke of life and death.

4. As wee are so to thinke of life that wee bee [Page 67] content to die, so we are to thinke of death, that we be contented to live. TheThe feare of death not to be dis­liked. feare of death is no more to bee disliked, than not to feare: for both may be with good conscience, and in faith, if they exceede not; for its allowed by grace and nature to feare Gods judgements.

5. To call to minde oldThe use to be made of dying peo­ple. sinnes of them which are a dying is necessary to bee done of those which visite them; for if they have tru­ly repented them, then are they not guilty of them, and others may pro­fit thereby. If they be guilty, the trouble of their minde shall turne to their good, in that they finde their judgement in this [Page 68] world, and escape the e­verlasting judgement to come.

Decay of Grace.

1. A most grievousA great judgement it is not to thrive by the many helpes wee have of our spirituall nourish­ment. judgement of God it is (though secret, and there­fore not to us so sensible) that having many excel­lent helps for our spiritu­all nourishment, yet Gods curse seemeth to bee there­on, in that wee thrive so little thereby: wherein notwithstanding the Lord is to bee cleared, who (gi­vingThe causes hereof. his grace ordinarily by meanes) doth most just­ly keepe it from us, partly for our unworthinesse, 1 ei­ther for some olde sinne unrepented of, or some present corruption not re­sisted; 2 and partly for our [Page 69] contempt of it, in that wee setting so little by it, have so sleightly sought it, and having received it in any measure, were no more charie and carefull in kee­ping it, but through our carelessenesse lost it, and through our pride and pre­sumption provoked theThe Re­medie. Lord to take it from us: let our earnest purpose and prayer bee, for the better obtaining of it, to avoide the letts, and to use more carefully and constantly all good helpes, and parti­cularly holy conference, which by experience wee shall finde to bee exceeding profitable.

2. The causes why manyThe causes why many decrease in godlinesse. decrease in godlinesse bee divers, as namely the [Page 70] neglect of those meanes 1 which before they used, especially of the private dealings with themselves, and brotherly conferences in such strict manner as be­fore, whereof we be soone weary, in that by nature wee seeke our ease, and through custome grow cold, and through security and pride waxe blinde and see not our neede thereof. 2 So also that wee by Satans suggestion and our owne corruption doe privily fall into a good liking of our estate in regard of for­mer grace received, wher­by it comes to passe, that wee feeling our selves to bee freed from the danger of sinne and condemnati­on, doe not so feare it, nei­ther [Page 71] are terrified with the sight of it in us, but through a privie presump­tion of our safety, wee easi­ly pardon our selves, and deale not so strictly with our selves as before; and thus sinne creepes sore up­on us to our great hurt. 3 Some there bee, though the fewer, who more than they ought torment them­selves for their little growth. 4 Others (and thofe the greater sort) who have and doe continue in a carelesse peace, whom indeede it much concer­neth to bee humbled for their little growing in grace. The meane where­inThe Reme­dies. a man may with some comfort stay himselfe must partly arise from a [Page 72] wise judgeing of himselfe by comparing his former and present estate both in the use and profit received by the meanes: wherein this may fitly be conside­red, that a young plant doth more sensibly shew his growth, than an oldeSimil. tree, but the olde tree brings forth more sound fruit in his season; the de­cay or want whereof wee must thus remedie, even by calling our selves to a strait account, to see upon what warrant wee enjoy our peace, and so to feare our hearts with such testi­monies of Scripture as doe tell us that this life is not the life of a Christian, who must bee a new creature, and must walke in the spi­rit, [Page 73] and must mortifie the deedes of the flesh, that so wee may withdraw peace from our consciences till wee see some change of our troubled state, and re­coverie thereof.

Delay.

Many times when weeWhy the Lord often delayeth comfort. have used all good meanes the Lord deferreth the successe, that we being the more humbled, may bee the fitter to receive com­fort.

Delight.

Who so delighteth inWho the Lord de­lighteth in. the Lord, in him doth the Lord delight.

Devills.

1. By creation goodA descripti­on of the devills or evill spirits. Spirits; by their fall dam­ned and wicked spirits, changed into evill: finite, [Page 74] immortall, invisible, ad­versaries to mans salvati­on, exceeding many, of great power, Lyons, able to doe any thing not above nature; in respect of their malice, compared to Dra­gons; their subtiltie, Ser­pents; their experience, termed olde, using secret ambushes with shewes of good: tempting the pro­phane, never to minde salvation, the civill to rest in common honestie, as the carnall Protestant in outward holinesse; the weake beleever either to bee scrupulous, or to take vice for vertue through ig­norance; the strong to sin against knowledge and presume; to hinder a grea­ter duty by a lesse, to use [Page 75] good actions to bad ends, to doe evill that good may come thereof, to greive so for one sinne as to neglect others; so running into ex­tremities, yea to winke at sinne, to thinke it tolerable, to taste it, to commit it, to continue in it, to defend it.

2. This is much to bee lamented, that in time of superstition men were more feared with the de­vill when they heard of his hornes, clawes, hollow voyce, and such like, thanOf olde, men were more affraid of the de­vill than now. now in the Gospel when they heare of his privie working and fighting a­gainst mens soules, which is much more dangerous, and yet it is nothing feared; and yet wee can never be­leeve [Page 76] and feele the graci­ousNote. help of Gods holy An­gels, till wee beleeve and feele the hidden assaults of Satan and his spirits.

3. As God and his goodThe pro­tection of the good angels comforteth in well do­ing; as the evill spirits being about us hum­bleth in e­vill doing. Angels are about us, so is the devill and his evill spi­rits; and as good Angels have beene seene, so have and may bee the wicked spirits, not soules of men, but devills in the ayre; and the knowledge hereof is greatly for our comfort in well-doing, that beeing in great danger void of all helpe of man, yet God is with us, and his Angels, and for our humbling in e­vill doing, that though no man see or can hurt us, yet the devill and his spirits be about us.

Discerning.

1. Many are outward­lyMan seeth not as God seeth. well, that is, rich in this world, which are inward­ly ill, that is, poore in Gods account; and many hate outward evill things, which for want of spiritu­all knowledge, or the spi­rit of discerning, see not the corruptions of the heart.

2. Wisedome must beeWisedome and charitie requisite. desired in discerning of men, but charitie in judge­ing, and praying for them.

3. They with whomThree notes whereby to try those with whom we would converse. wee would converse may bee tryed by these three notes, 1. Whether in pro­fessing godlinesse, they speake upon grounded knowledge. 2. What fee­ling they have of their in­ward [Page 78] corruptions. 3. How loving they are to others in being ready to doe them good, and warie to speake of their infirmities, and that with griefe.

Discipline.

1. Wee are bound to bee thankefull to God for that discipline wee have, (though there bee great want of it) for its the Lords will to advance his gloryGods wis­dome in af­fording no stricter dis­cipline. hereby, in taking that to himselfe, which if we had stricter Discipline wee would attribute to it; for besides that hee doth that by his word and prayer which may bee done by discipline, it may bee disci­pline would hide many hypocrites, which now are discovered, and cover [Page 79] many a Christian heart which now are knowne; for they that bee godly now, bee godly of consci­ence, being a discipline to themselves, but many may seeme godly under disci­pline which doe it for feare rather than for love.

2. This is a good orderA good or­der of dis­cipline. of discipline, first generally to declare that, 1. Sinne is broken forth. 2. To name the sinne. 3. The partie of­fending, after to admonish him, then to suspend him, lastly, to leave him to Sa­tans

Despaire.

1. Its a fearefull and dangerous policie of Satan to make men continue in sinne without care of reco­verie, in taking from them [Page 80] all hope thereof, which heeHow the devill dri­veth to des­paite. doth by perswading them that their sinnes bee so great, so many, and of so long continuance, that they cannot be forgiven.Satan tem­pteth at sometimes to despera­tion, as at other to presump­tion.

2. A dangerous policie of Satan it is to provoke men to despaire in perswa­ding them they have no faith at all, because they have it not in this and that particular: againe in pro­voking to presumption to perswade them thus, I hope I have faith in gene­rall, and therefore my faith is sound in every par­ticular.

Distrust.

1. Distrust is a doubt­ingHow capi­tall a sin di­strust is. of Gods helpe in our neede: its a capitall sinne above others, robbing [Page 81] God of his truth, power, wisedome, mercie, and his other attributes, drawing others by our example to distrust, which in like manner robbeth man of his chiefe comfort in all distresses.

2. How prone wee areWee are prone to it. to it may appeare in our tryalls of paine, debt, and the like, wherein wee trust to meanes.

3. We fall into this by re­stingHow we fall therein too much on meanes, neglecting to meditate on Gods truth.

4. To trust on God isHow to remedie it. the speciall remedy to cure this maladie.

5. Its a commoe temp­tationGods for­mer libera­litie doth not preju­dice his fu­ture mercies to afflicted consci­ences to perswade them­selves after some few deli­verances [Page 82] that they can looke for no more, be­cause the Lord hath beene so liberall: but these must know that God is not like man, for his gifts are with­out repentance, and when hee beginnes to shew mer­cie he will never cease.Note.

Doctrine.

When there is a doctrine generall or equitie in the word, the examples though particular may bee gene­rally applyed.

Doubting.

1. What manner ofHard to dis­cerne what doubting stands with faith. doubting may stand with faith, though it weaken faith, and what doubting quite shuts out faith, is not easily seene, and more hardly uttered to the sight of the weake.

[Page 83]2. Although this be by the wise providence of God that many of Gods true children, who there­fore have had sound com­fortGods chil­dren doubt and waver oftentimes, which the Lord dispo­seth to good in Christ, doe especi­ally in their infirmitie oft greatly waver and doubt and so become uncom­fortable, which the Lord for good cause disposeth, lest by their sudden change from so damnable State and uncomfortable, to so happie and joyfull, they should bee lifted up, made conceited and secure, and so presumptuous, the fore­runners and causes also of a fearefull fall; yet this is certaine, that this is their sinne, a weakenesse whichTo doubt is a sinne, and to bee withstood. must bee withstood and o­vercome, for the attaining [Page 84] whereto, the cause of this doubting must be searched and so removed, which ordinarily is our owne in­firmities, neglect andHow to re­move the same. weakenesse in good duties, too great pronenesse and strength in sinne, where­upon the tender consci­ence feareth his former comfort was vaine, and so doubteth of his estate; for the right removing here­of, this is duly to bee con­sidered that as the roote of our comfort in Christ is not the strength of our Christian life, so the weak­nesse herein ought not to breede doubting of our salvation by Christ. ButCauses of Salvation. for so much as all our com­fort stands in this, that God who justifieth the un­godly [Page 85] hath freely given his Sonne, and in him is reconciled to us being his enemies, and hath by his Gospel called us, and by his Spirit wrought faith in our hearts to receive Christ so given unto us; whereby, wee being dead in sinne and having no goodnesse in us, were made alive to God, and so were new borne, and then doe beginne to bee changed first in affection, and then in conversation by little and little, from a childe growing to a riper age inThe assu­rance of our new birth a remedie against doubting. Christ. Therefore if wee have this assurance of our new birth, though we feele much weakenes of the spi­rituall life, yet wee ought not to doubt whether wee [Page 86] bee Gods children, seeing hee that is so new borne as aforesaid, can never dy, but rather wee are to remem­ber, 1. Wee are but chil­dren, and therefore weake. 2. Wee are very subject to many spirituall diseases, some such as take away sense of life, and therefore must seeke to bee cured and not despaire of life seeing wee cannot perish. This cannot breede secu­ritieSense of our weake nesse and infirmities no breeder of security. in sinne to any, for hee that seeing himselfe mise­rable doth beleeve to bee saved by Christ, cannot but love God, and for love study and travell to obey him, no more than fire can bee without heate: so that they who say they thus be­leeve, and live not Christi­anly, [Page 87] are lyars and the truthFaith and an holy life go together. is not in them. If any ten­der conscience, ignorant and weake (for so must they needes be) should say, I am such a one, because theyComfort to a tender conscience. feele so little grace in them, they may manifest­ly be disproved by the true effects of faith, (which no faith can bee without) true love of God, his Word, his Saints, desire to please God, griefe for former and present sinnes, and such like. If any hypocriteThe hypo­crite dis­proved. will say he thus beleeveth, and in some measure thus liveth, let him try his in­ward affections why hee doth all duties; it will bee found not in love to God and recompence of his kindnesse, but either for [Page 88] the credit of the world, or mercenarily for obtaining Gods favour, whom his securitie, jollitie, presump­tion, and want of sense of his infirmities, and of an ho­ly feare of falling and care to please God in secret will descrie.

3. A true beleever fal­lingHaving fal­len into sin to doubt of Gods fa­vour will not raise up into sinne, ought (if hee can) hold his confi­dence, though he be foulie fallen, and rather lament that he Gods childe should so dishonour his Father; for the doubting of Gods fa­vour cannot raise him from his fall, but the beholding of it, is that alone which will breede holy and ac­ceptable sorrow for sinne, and conscience of amend­ment.

[Page 89]4. Its evident that manyThey who most suspect their owne weakenesse prove strongest in the time of triall. of the carefullest Christi­ans seeing their infirmities, doe most doubt whether they have faith, who yet for the most part in time of triall finde more than o­thers who bee more secure and confident: but yet this is their fault, that they looke too much to effects and not to the cause of their justification, and in be­holdingThe saints looke too much on the effects, too little on the causes of justifica­tion. the effects, through ignorance and feare, judge amisse, not seeing the true effects of faith in them, being blinded with their wants.

5. This is found in ma­ny true Christians, that they oft doubt of their sal­vation, and feare they bee not Gods children, because [Page 90] they see such sinnes and wants in themselves, and hereupon bee oft moved to greater care of an holy life thinking that otherwaiesMany see­ing much corruption in them­selves, wea­ken their faith that they might by feare be made more carefull in life, who should in­deede in­crease their faith, that they might be more quickened there by to an holy life they may not beleeve; and on the other side, that if they see more mortificati­on of their corruptions, and more strength to good duties, that they may boldly beleeve: wherein they pittifully deceive themselves many waies. 1. That they often ob­taine not their desire in mortification. 2. That if they by this meanes pricke themselves to more care for a season, yet so soone as their feare is slacked their care is ended. 3. That if their care should conti­nue, yet this is not that [Page 91] which can either cause them first to beleeve, or else any way encrease their faith: onely this can more certainely prove, that they have and doe in­deede beleeve, and so may comfort them; for there is nothing that can beget or encrease faith, but Gods promise, and seales there­of truely applyed. They therefore who doubting doe thus thinke to increase faith by leading a better life, doe take a wrong course, and plainely shew that in their holy life, they seeke themselves and not the Lord, and are not mo­ved thereto by the true love of God, which is the chiefe mother of true obe­dience, whereas they [Page 92] ought rather, (having good cause to doubt whe­ther they have soundly be­leeved, seeing they finde in themselves no comfort­able fruits of their faith) to labour more stedfastly to beleeve, that so their faith, as fire increaseth by the heate of it, may send forth more fervent effects of love to God and obedi­ence, which shall then ef­fectually comfort them, seeing such fruits of such a root.

6. In the deepestA principal meanes of weakening of faith. thoughts of our salvation this oft riseth up to wea­ken our faith, that God having ordained some to destruction, and yet (to make the sole cause of mans perdition to bee in [Page 93] himselfe) prepared a re­medy for all, and in his te­stament bequeathed it to all, and publiquely pro­claimed it to the world, though for his part deter­mining to give grace to re­ceive it onely to his cho­sen, and to leave the other to themselves; what war­rant wee have to beleeve, that wee are of them to whom God hath determi­ned to give his grace, and who indeed shall receive it; and not of those who here­in deepely deceive them­selves. Whereunto theThe remo­vall thereof. soundest answer is this, that, the secret determina­tion of God is to himselfe, and not to bee enquired in­to of us, who cannot know our election till wee know [Page 94] our effectuall calling; who to this end must attend to his revealed will, wherein hee certifieth all to whom the Gospel commeth, that he would have none pe­rish, but beleeve, and there­fore inviteth all of them, exhorteth, entreateth them by his ministers to bee re­conciled unto him, and sore threatneth if they be­leeve not. Vpon all which this may bee concluded, that its great sinne and fol­lie for him to whom the Lord hath revealed his will concerning his salva­tion, and by many meanes prepared him thereto (as giving him sight and sense of his miserie, knowledge of, and unfained desire of Christ the onely remedy, [Page 95] calling and commanding him to receive him, toge­ther with cleere know­ledge that hee in his word hath promised this reme­die to him) for him I say its great sinne notwith­standing all this (upon no ground, but onely a suspi­cious feare) to doubt that God will not yet save him, but doth this to his farther condemnation, whereof there is no feare, but to such as contemne this grace, or receive it in vaine, not being drawne thereby in truth to love and seeke Gods honour by unfained obedience to his will, whereas all they who knowing the benefit by Christ in respect of the greatnesse of it, and their [Page 96] owne great unworthinesse, doe feare they shall never obtaine it, though they a­bove all desire it; they I say ought to bee bold andIts no pre­sumption to give credit to God in his Word. count it no presumption to give credit to God in his word, that hee will ac­cording to his promise be­stow his Sonne, and in him eternall life upon them; for such doth Christ ex­pressely call unto him, Matt. 11. 28. Yea here­upon ought they boldly without feare to adven­ture their soules health and eternall happinesse, that by this perswasion they may bee drawne to love and obey God, and so bee confirmed; yea more to feare their hearts from this horrible sinne of unbe­leefe [Page 97] (the greatest of all o­ther)Vnbeleefe an horrible sinne. whereby they know­ing what God hath sayd, yea unto them, doe yet in not giving credit to him that he will be as good as his word, make him a lyar, and so a false God; much more such as have received the earnest of Gods Spirit renewing their hearts and lives, ought to be of good comfort and shake off suchCauses of distrust. doubts. The cause of this distrust is in many their own unworthinesse, which bewrayeth great igno­rance and errour, that God giveth his Sonne to the worthy, though not of merit (which no Prote­stant holdeth) but of meere mercy to those that truely repent them, (which is [Page 98] pettie Poperie) whereas the truth of God is, that he having given his Sonne to none but such as had no grace nor repentance in them, that they by recei­ving Christ by faith, might receive grace to beginne to repent, and so dayly to grow therein; therefore as none ought to beleeve be­cause they have repented, so none ought to bee afraidOur un­worthinesse must not let us from beleeving. to beleeve because of his unworthinesse, the sense whereof doth make him most fit to beleeve, and re­ceive Christ. The want of knowledge and due regard of this one point is a prin­cipall cause of distrust on the one side, and vaine pre­sumption on the other, both workes of perdition.

[Page 99]7. For removing ofHow to remove doubts of Gods fa­vour. our doubts of Gods favour either generally or in some particular actions, there must be, 1. A sound judge­ment to direct when wee ought to doubt or not, and 2. A dayly labour ac­cording to our judgement to doubt and beleeve as cause is.

Dreames.

Of dreames which makeThe use to be made of dreames whether. some deepe impression in us, and abide longer, its good to make some profit, and they may bee thought to come from God or the devill, according to their divers ends and effects. AnEvill, evill dreame shewes an e­vill heart, in some sinne either committed, or whereto we be subject, and [Page 100] may shortly follow. If they be terrible, they mayterrible, forewarne of some evill to come, that we may a­voyde it by good meanes, yet so as we neither feareor them too much, nor quite contemne them: so for the good, that wee perswadegood. not ourselves of having it, nor yet neglect it. The same may be sayd for the event of witcheries and slanders.

Dulnesse and Deadnesse.

1. A common thing itDulnesse when chiefely found. is in Gods children after their greatest joyes to feele great dulnesse and dead­nesse of minde. When the same seiseth upon us,The causes thereof to be searched. 2. We ought to search the cause, whether doing some evill, leaving off some [Page 101] good to bee done, negle­cting the meanes of salva­tion, not seeing or not re­penting some sinne seene, or not repenting so sound­ly, or for unthankefulnesse for former graces. 2. WeThe reme­die to bee used. must use the remedie, not pleasing our selves in this deadnesse, but stirring up our selves as from slumber, calling to minde Gods spe­ciall mercies on us, and our unworthy receiving and using of them, using all good meanes to quicken us. 3. In using the meanesGods helpe to be wai­ted for. to offer our selves to God, waiting patiently for his helpe, esteeming neither too little nor too much ourNote. affliction.

2. It falleth out that Gods children are some­times [Page 102] more dull with theWhy the godly are sometimes more dull with the publique meanes than with­out. publique meanes, than without, which may arise from hence, that either they are too remisse in the use of the private, or else fall to loathing the pub­lique, because they have them so often, or put too much confidence in such places, which the Lord correcteth by denying the use, and such like.

Dutie.

For infirmities sake toThe omis­sion of a duty for infirmities sake how dangerous. leave a duty undone, is to cover sinne, not to over­come it.

Earnestnesse.

IN our earnestnesse itsIn earnest­nesse the heart is to be searched. necessary to search our [Page 103] hearts, whether it bee of the Spirit, or of the flesh; and if wee cannot see the depth of our hearts, it ar­gueth want of prayer and travailing with our affecti­ons to know them.

Ease.

Long ease how dan­gerous.

Long ease will bring ei­ther superstition, prophane­nesse or heresie through our corruption.

Elect and Reprobate.

A Reprobate of know­ledgeDifference betweene the faith of the elect and of the epr obate. lying in despaire, may beleeve that both Christ can and would ease him, if he could beleeve and come unto Christ to be eased; but distrusting this, comes not, turnes away from God. But the elect beleeving that Christ will ease all commers to him, is [Page 104] drawne by Gods Spirit to apply this to himselfe, and make reckoning hee com­ming shall bee eased, and therefore indeed seeketh with faith to Christ, and is eased; to come to Christ is not simply to beleeve,What it is to come to Christ. but (beleeving Christ will be as good as his word) in spirit to goe unto the throne of grace, and desire the same, as a begger invi­ted comes for reliefe.Simil.

Evills.

These be two evills ve­ry dangerous: To pretend great comfort, and make small conscience in our life, and to confesse our faith is weake, and yet toVnwilling­nesse to doe good to be striven a­gainst. be content therewith.

Excuse.

When we are unwilling [Page 105] to doe good, an excuse is too readie; its good there­fore earnestly to strive to overcome this, and then to take opportunitie to doe the same.

Examples.

Particular examples when to be made gene­rall instru­ctions.

Particular examples may be made generall in­structions, when the cause of them is generall.

Exercise.

As God hath givenThe varie­ty of hea­venly exer­cises tedi­ous to our nature. great variety of heavenly exercises, and matters to be exercised in, so we shall finde such irkesomenesse in our nature, that wee care not to use this variety for our reliefe.

Failings.

WHen we see where­inWhat use is to be made of our fai­lings. we have failed in any part of our dayly pra­ctise, we are not to make slight account thereof, or favour our selves therein, but labour speedily to re­cover, lest [...]w grow hardned and incurable.

Faith.

1. Such as by hearing of Witches and fearefullA proofe of a weake faith. practises of Satan bee sore frighted, are to know their faith is weake and comfort small (for the sound belee­verPsal. 112. 7. shall not feare for any evill tidings) and there­fore they must never cease striving for faith and com­fort, [Page 107] till they finde a sweet and bold resting in the Lord their Father, who will preserve them.

2. Faith being the bandWhat be­nefits we enjoy by faith. of our Vnion with Christ, wee doe thereby enjoy peace with God, are fa­vourably accepted of him, joy in the hope of happi­nesse, have comfort in af­fliction, patience, experi­ence, hope, boldnesse to pray, love to God and de­light to serve him, wee please God, long for hea­ven.

3 The way to encreaseHow to en­crease faith. faith is to apply to our selves Gods promise in his word and Sacraments, by hearing the word, praying, meditation, conference, and the like, and to this [Page 108] end also every one who desires to finde strongMeanes whereby to be en­couraged unto all godlinesse. comfort in the Lord, and thereby good encourage­ment unto all godlinesse is daily to consider deepely, 1 1. His owne miserable e­state by nature, that there­by he may be stirred up to cry with the Apostle, O wretched man that I am, Rom. 7. 24. who shall deliver mee from the body of this death? And 2. he is no lesse to re­gard 2 the remedie hereof in Christ, that beholding the singular benefit thereof, he may more uncessantly de­sire it: and so 3. the truth 3 of Gods promise, that he may be more and more as­sured that Christ is his, and hee the Lords, that this may comfort and encou­rage [Page 109] him in all godlinesse.

4. There is great diffe­renceDifference betweene knowledge and faith. betweene know­ledge and faith, for a re­probate may know by the Word of God, and so be­leeve that God hath pro­mised his Sonne to him (as well as to others) and yet not lay hold on this pro­mise, which is true faith, which he onely doth who so reciveth Gods promise that thereby he is certain­ly perswaded that he shall have the thing promised, which makes himselfe stay for his salvation hereon, and patiently to waite and looke stedfastly for the same.

5. The true doctrine ofThe true doctrine and pra­ctise of faith a stranger. faith is a stranger, much more the practise of it, [Page 110] that men seeing them­selves most cursed wret­ches, yet should be assured that God hath given them his Sonne, and in him eter­nall life; for hee that hath this assurance, cannot but have much comfort even in afflictions; and this onely is it, which will make a man willing to deny him­selfe.

6. Its a matter veryFew know or doe e­very thing in faith. weakely knowne, much more weakely practised of most Christians to doe e­very thing in faith, which must needes deprive them of much comfort, if they live not securely, content­ingFoure things to be labou­red for of him that would doe any thing in saith. themselves with opus operatum: for remedy here­of this is to bee knowne and laboured for of him [Page 111] that doth any thing in faith, 1 1. That he knowes the thing he doth in omit­ting or committing, bee commanded of God, and therefore endeavour to please God therein. 2 2. That he know and remember Gods promise made in Christ to such obedience. 3 3. That he give credit to this promise, that God for Christs sake will accept his true (though weake) obe­dience. 4 4. That hee with this perswasion doe offer up his service to God in the name of Christ. How infinitely in all wee all doe faile is lamentable to con­sider, especially that weeNote. doe not the things we doe in faith, and therefore no marvell it is, though God [Page 112] withhold many sweet com­forts which otherwise wee might finde.

7 True faith in myTrue faith never throughly quenched. judgement, is never so quenched, that neither the owner nor any other can see any life thereof, but there is ever some fruite of the Spirit to be seene if we marke it.

8. An holy life cannot make any unbeleever toAn holy life sheweth in what sort wee beleeve, as iniquity who be­leeve not. beleeve, neither properly increase faith, but onely as fruites prove the tree good, and shew in what sort we beleeve: so no ini­quity ought to hinder anyHinderan­ces of faith 1. Security occasioned through ig­norance, neglect, or contempt. from beleeving, but onely sheweth who beleeve not.

9. Hinderances from faith are these, 1. Securi­tie, making no reckoning [Page 113] of it, or too small, or both, either of ignorance, neg­lect, or contempt, and therefore either never goe about it, or too slightly, using some meanes, not all, or not constantly to the2. Presump­tion or dis­courage­ment. end. And 2. in such as make reckoning of it, ei­ther presumption, (that they have it when they have it not, or may and shall have it without such meanes used, as without which it cannot be looked for) or discouragements, 1. That it is impossible for any, or for them either so weake, that they shall never hold out, or so un­worthy that God will not give it them. 2. That it is over tedious to attaine to, will cost too much paines, [Page 114] or bring too much trouble, by forgoing all delights and gaine, or falling into many dangers and per­secutions. To remedieRemedies hereof. which, 1 1. we must make chiefe reckoning of it, asMat. 13. 46. the pearle for which wee will sell all. 2 2. Consider the difficultie, that we sus­pecting our false hearts, and weake strength, may use all meanes to attaine it. 3 3. Comfort our hearts by the word of the Lord, that its not onely possible but easie, even for us in our owne eyes most un­worthy, through him who is able to performe what hee hath spoken, and is more willing to grant, than wee to seeke, as ap­peares by his inviting us, [Page 115] who seeke not after him.

10. Faith is well liknedFaith like­ned to fire. to fire, whereof if a man have a sparke covered in the ashes, if he shall con­tent himselfe therewith, not labouring to encrease it, in time it will goe out; and if not, hee shall yet have but small use of it, and oft have much to doe to finde it. So they who finde some faith in them, and therewith content themselves, shal soone leese it, or bee so to seeke of it, that they have small use of it in their lives, either to comfort them that they are the Lords, or to guide their lives; whereas every one ought to kindle his li­tle sparke, so that he might alwayes have the heate of [Page 116] it, and warme others.

11 Whosoever armesHow dan­gerous not to be ar­med with faith. not himselfe with faith, shall live securely or feare­fully, not comfortably.

12. Qu. Whether isLuc. 15. 18 Whether this speech, [I will goe to my Fa­ther] be of faith or be­fore it. this speech, I will goe to my father, of faith, or may it be before faith? An. The parable is to bee under­stood of professors such as the Iewes were, who were in profession the children of the covenant, and had God for their Father; and therefore the ungodly a­mongWhence it is that be­ing per­swaded that God is true in all that he saith, wee should yet not beleeve some things which he saith. them and us, are like the prodigall childe who returnes to his Fa­ther.

13. It seemeth strange that a man being fully per­swaded that God is true in all that he saith, should yet [Page 117] not beleeve some things which hee knoweth God doth say, and so make God a lyar, which is yet the sin of all men who know God, and his Word. The cause hereof is not easily seene, and therefore so hardly removed: indeede if God speake any thing which our judgement can­not object against why it should not be, we doe rea­dily beleeve, as of all things past, and many to come, that our bodies shall rise, and we come to judgement, the wicked bee damned, the godly saved; but that we being ungodly shall bee justified by Christ, this is hardly beleeved, not onely because wee be naturally moved to feare that God [Page 118] for sinne will condemne us, but also because wee measure God by man, that he will not love such as hate him, and doe good to his enemies.

14. Our most holy faithFaith com­pared to a noble prin­cesse. worthily compared to a noble princesse, who hath ever harbengers, going before to prepare for her, anda goodly traine after: so faith hath knowledge,Graces preceding and succee­ding faith sorrow, feare, desire of pardon, going before it, as all the honourable Ladies of vertue; peace of consci­ence, love of God and men for his sake, and such others follow after.

15 The easiest tryallBy the temper of the heart faith may be best tried. whether our faith be alive and burning, not halfe dead and cold, is by the [Page 119] temper of the heart; for if faith be lively, then shall we finde our hearts cheer­ed and ready to serve God in any duty, prayer, heare­ingNote. the word, and the like; yea then will our zeale burne to bee thankfull to God, and willing to die, ready to forsake all: but if the heart be dull, drow­sie, or dumpish, then is faith cooled; For how can any have feeling of Gods love, and not be quickened in love to God againe, which will con­straine us to deny our selves, and to seeke his glo­ry, and to please him in all things.Many de­ceived in thinking they have faith, and have not.

16. We doe in nothing more deceive our selves than thinking and quietly [Page 120] resting, herein, that wee have faith, when indeed if we saw the want thereof it could not but shake us.

17. Musing what is theChiefe lets of faith or causes why so few be­leeve chiefe cause why wee so hardly beleeve, and put not such confidence in Gods Word and seales, as wee doe in mans, I ob­serve these, 1 1. That this is our feeble nature, that we [...] can hardly but feare so long as there appeares any danger, that may fall on us, though we have great se­curitie against it▪ as a man at sea, or on an high scaf­foldSimil. or tower, when wee looke downeward we can­not but feare though there be great safety. Howbeit as they who have had oft experience and be acquain­ted [Page 121] with these doe feare lesse, so in matters of the soule some are hardened and desperate, others re­maine quaking and feare­full, the best keepe the meane betweene both, so feare the danger as that they are made carefull to avoide it, and that with hope of escaping. 2 2. That this also is in all by nature till it be defaced, that sinne condemnes and drivesWee more easily be­leeve what God hath sayd shall be, though it be above nature, than things concerning our selves if they bee contrary to nature. from God▪ and its as much against nature for a sinner to looke for favour from God, as fire to be cold; we more easily may beleeve that shall bee, which God hath said shall bee, though it be above nature, as our bodies to arise, but in mat­ters concerning our selves [Page 122] if they be contrary to na­ture, we ever feare that e­vill will come, which wee have deserved, and wee shall not have that benefit, which wee are unworthy of, though God by his Word and seales give us great securitie to the con­trary. And this I note the maine errour, that we mea­sure▪ Gods goodnesse by some worthinesse in us, whereas his truth should bee set against all in us whatsoever. Although I doubt not but that there bee divers measures of faith in divers men, and in one and the same at divers times, yet there is no faith without some certaintie, and none withall, but even the best faith hath feare and [Page 123] doubting, when we looke upon our vile unworthi­nesse.

18. Faith to our spiri­tuall life is in many thingsFaith like unto fire in sundri [...] ▪ particulars. like to fire in the naturall, than which what is more necessarie, for without it, what comfort can wee have? It is it which make­eth our prayers, and our Christian endeavors acceptable. As fire will goe out, so faith, therefore it must bee daily repaired as the Levites holy fire,Lev. 6. 12. which else will be hardly recovered. The way is, toHow its to be kept. lay on matter enough, oft to renew the fire, this is by oft meditation on Gods goodnesse promised and performed.

19. The way to get [Page 124] faith, (whether yet none or but weake) is this, that knowing what true faith isThe way to get faith. (namely to know by Gods word that God is our Fa­ther in Christ) 1 1. We ex­amine whether we have a­ny, and then how weake: which may be most sound­ly knowne by causes and effects among all, the pur­ging of the heart by faithAct. 15. 9. the surest. 2 2. Finding either no faith or weake, deepely weigh the great miserie of want of faith, and benefit of true faith, as whereby all grace is, and whatsoever is to bee desired, and with­out it none; that this may breede an insatiable desire of faith, and daily encrease of the same. 3 3. Being thus desirous of faith, but ha­ving [Page 125] no abilitie to get it, (it being the gift of God) runne to Gods word, and see there to whom God promiseth to give it, where you shall finde, that God heares the desires of the Psal. 10. 17. poore, and satisfieth the hungry with good things, Mat 7. 7. and bids us aske and wee shall receive. Whereupon all that feele a true desire of faith may take holde even upon Gods word, that hee will give them faith, which is indeede a beginning of faith. 4 4 Here­by they must bee moved to use these two meanes, prayer, and labour to get true saving faith; they must pray to God to worke it in them by his word and Spirit, meditating on Gods [Page 126] mercie in free offering Christ to all sinners, and on his truth in bestowing Christ on all that come to him with a true heart in assurance of faith; both which being continued, will certainely obtaine faith in the time and mea­sure which God seeth most meete.

20. Its without questi­onThe surest proofe of faith is by the causes and effects thereof. many be deceived about their being in the faith; most presume, some few mistrust. The surest proofe is by the causes and effects both joyned, otherwise no certainty: under causes we comprehend all workes of Gods Spirit, by which hee leades men by faith,The causes. which principally be these three, 1. True humiliation, [Page 127] 2. Earnest desire of Christ. 3. True beleeving in him: in all which many be de­ceived with shaddowes in stead of substance, or at best with tasts for full see­ding. The best evidence wee can thinke of that all those be sound, bee these;The tryall of our hu­miliation. for humiliation, if a man carry about with him a true feeling of his, wretch­ednesse, Rom. 7. 24. ForThe tryall of our de­sire of Christ. his desire of Christ, if hee be not full, but having ta­sted, hunger more after Christ. For his drawingThe tryall of draw­ing to Christ. to Christ by the spirit, if af­ter all stormes to draw him from beleefe, he yet findes Gods Word and spi­ritThe ef­fects. causing him to rest on Gods faithfulnesse. Now for the effects which bee [Page 128] many, the principall is the receiving of the Spirit, not as a stranger to doe a worke and so away, but as an in­habitant to dwell for ever: which Spirit is as the sap which comes from the vine Christ to the faith­full the branches; this spi­rit compared to fire hathThe spirit compared to fire. two effects, light and heat, joy and love, comfort and conscience: many times when the fire is covered there appeares no light,Simil. but if you come neere there will bee some heate; So it is with weake belee­vers, they have still some love, though joy be cover­ed, not felt: as in the causes so in these effects many be deceived, with false fire in both. There be comforta­ble [Page 129] notes of soundnesse inComfort­able notes of a sound heart. both, which though a de­ceived person will dreame to bee in himselfe, yet where they bee indeed it will not bee hard to finde, and therein wee may rest quietly. 1 1. One speciall marke of a sound heart is a feare of being deceived, which beedes care to search well our selves, and to bee glad to bee tryed by God and men. 2 2. Vpon sight of our selves that we have some grace, that wee have a sight also of our po­vertie; a mourning for it, and meane judgeing of our selves, with better estee­ming and love of those, which have more grace, and an hunger after more. 3 3. In our whole life to ap­prove [Page 130] our selves to God more than unto men. 4 4. Not to rest in the deed, but to have more care of the right manner how we doe any thing. 5 5. To make conscience to be the same in secret by our selves, which we be before others. 6 6. To make con­science of leaving our dea­rest sinnes, and doing such duties as the flesh most shunnes.

21. This is the exceed­ingA speciall point of Gods mer­cie. mercy of God, with encrease of temptation to encrease our faith, as with decrease of faith, to de­crease also the temptati­on.

22. Experience shew­ethHow to prove we have faith. that wee prove our selves to have faith, when [Page 131] we mourne for want of it and thirst after it: and then our faith may bee least when wee seeme to have most, for then we least feare and suspect our selves, and so are in grea­test danger, lying open to Satans temptations; this is an excellent comfort for such as are grieved through want of faith, which groweth partly through feeling of the Word, and humble thankes, and by humb [...]g our selves before God.

23. Though some­timesA reverend estimation of Gods mercies to be retained. we feele small or no faith in us, yet we must re­taine a reverend estimati­on of Gods mercie, and most vile account of our sinnes, and wretchednesse, [Page 132] for to him that thinkes no­thing more vile than hisA sweete comfort. sinne, nothing so precious as Gods mercy, assuredly there is no sinne, but is par­donable.

24. When God affli­ctethIn afflicti­on of minde what is to be done. our mindes, if wee have received knowledge, then must we be thankefull for it, and pray for faith; and though we have no feeling, yet must wee waite for it, and that long time, for in the end God will surely send it those that w [...]e for it; which cannot bee with­out great faith, for the grea­test faith is, where there isThe grea­test faith is where there is least fee­ling. least feeling, for it is more easie in glorious feeling to beleeve.

Falls.

1. No man can promiseNo man but many fall, they soonest that thinke least of it. unto himselfe but hee may fall foullie, and bee sore shaken from his comfort; which soonest befals them that least thinke of it; there­fore feare, watch, pray al­waies.

2. Seeing the Lord in these our dayes exerciseth his displeasure in so grie­vous manner upon many who have seemed long sincere professors, that many are given up to adul­terie and other grievous sinnes, yea even to Aposta­sie, and sundrie to mad­nesse, What use to make of the falls of others. and so to wofull ends, it ought to be an ear­nest admonition to us all to looke to our state, that wee deceive not our [Page 128] [...] [Page 129] [...] [Page 130] [...] [Page 131] [...] [Page 132] [...] [Page 133] [...] [Page 134] selves, nor provoke God to humble us so low being his.

3. Seeing the deareHe that standeth is to take heed lest he fall. children of God, Gen. 9. 21 Noah, Num. 20. 12. Moyses, 2 Chron. 32. 25. Ezekiah, and many other excellent men did fall in their later dayes, every Christian ought to use all meanes, most care­fully, and bee admonished hereby, lest he in like man­ner fall.

4. There is no man soEven the best have some slips, the worse some goodnesse. good, but that the Lord sometimes letteth him­slip, that he may be hum­bled nor so evill, but that sometimes the Lord con­veyes goodnesse into him, that so his condemnationThe elect hardly fall twice into one grosse sinne. may be the juster.

5. It hardly falleth out, that a Christian effectually [Page 135] called and of sound know­ledge should fall twice into one grosse sinne.

Familiarity.

Familiari­tie with sinne how dangerous.

1. The familiaritie with sinne bringeth pu­nishment of sinne; for this ought to feare us, that if the wicked which be with­out the tuition of God, and stand onely upon hisFellowship with the ungodly how feare­full. long-suffering, and every minute of an houre lye o­pen and subject to Gods curse and vengeance, bee our companions, that when they are punished, we shall not escape.

2. Wee may have fa­miliarityWith what sort of per­sons and how farre we are to converse. with some, in whom though there be no great love of religion, yet there is no misliking of re­ligion, nor love of heresies, [Page 136] yet must our acquaintance be in outward things, and wee bee wearie lest theirs draw us from our familia­rity with God.

Fasts.

1. Wee must not comeHypocrisie is to be a­voided in fasting. to fast untill the Trumpet bee blowne, the bell bee rung, but wee must fall downe at the trumpet of Gods word, as the bell of our guiltie conscience; for without this private exer­cise, we are but hypocrites in publique fasts.

2. By fasting thoughBenefits by fasting. wee have not obtained all our desires, yet have wee had some mitigation of those evills which have beene laid upon us; and if no reformation, yet conti­nuance of the Gospel, and [Page 137] especially to our selves a recoverie of our losse in grace.

Feare.

1. Feare and mistrust ofDifference betweene feare and presumpti­on. our false hearts is painefull, but safe, presumption of our case to be good, is plea­sant but dangerous.

2. The children of GodHow pro­fitable to feare even those things which ne­ver come to passe. often feare those things, which never come to passe, the which is very profita­ble, for thereby God gives us to see our hearts, as if the things feared came to passe indeede, and hereby wee have experience of his graces, and of our owne corruptions, and hereby wee are prepared to suffer the like when they come, which will not so much af­flict us, seeing they were be­fore [Page 138] feared, so that we are not to account those fri­volous feares which have not their event, but to re­gard the use of them seeing that by these the Lord humbling his children be­fore hand, keepeth manyThose feares which have not their events not to be ac­counted triviall. times the Plague away which was feared; and on the otherside, he often both more suddenly and more violently bringeth punishment upon those who never feared them: yet herein we must be­ware of the other extreame immoderate feare, whichWe are to feare though not immo­derately. rather hinders faith than beates downe securitie; and the meane is to bee embraced, that is, to feare and forethinke of evill to come, not of necessitie to [Page 139] fall upon us, because either God could not or would not deliver us, but ac­knowledging our just de­sert thereof doe humbly submit our selves to Gods hand resting in his father­ly love, that as he is able so he is most willing, even then to succour us, when we most feare; for as a wise father doth, the Lord makesSimil. his hand heavier in corre­cting according to the stubbornenesse of his childe.

Eeasts.

At such meetings weeWhat use to be made of feasts. ought to consider the bountifulnesse of God to­wards us in comparison of many of his deare Saints: neither when we are fed must we kicke against our [Page 140] owner, Lord and master, but be more thankefull and obedient, considering wee partake of those and all o­ther blessings in the right of Christ for the comfor­ting of our hearts.

Feeling.

Wee must not cease toWant of feeling to be prayed against. pray against want of fee­ling, but stay our selves by faith on Christ till hee send feeling, seeing that God maketh the sense of sinne by degrees; they are to be suspected which are muchNote. moved with every little sinne.

Fellowship with the wicked.

1. The nature of theWhere and why the ungod­ly love or hate. wicked is, that there growes their love, where they be not gainsaid, and [Page 141] reproved for sinne, and where they be admonished there groweth their ha­tred.

2. Great inconveniencesAffinitie with the wicked dangerous. 1 King. 22. 32. follow the joyning of our selves in affinitie with the wicked, as appeareth by Iehosaphat who made affi­nitie with Ahab.

3. The friendship ofThe friend­ship of the wicked de­ceitfull. 2 Chron. 18 29. the wicked is such, that to save themselves they will endanger their friend, so did Ahab with Iehosaphat.

The Flesh.

Its our great corruption that wee so much savourThe flesh is to bee beaten downe, the motions of the spi­rit to bee entertai­ned. the flesh; to which wee are not debtors, wherein wee injure our selves, and in sa­voring the flesh quench the Spirit, whereas otherwise in daily beating downe the [Page 142] flesh, that is, all motions of sinne, we provide much for our safety and comfort, and so kindle with much encrease the spirit in us.

Flocke.

Being demanded of theThe dutie of Mini­sters to­wards their flockes. welfare of those commit­ted to our charge, its good to take occasion to pray for them, to be thankfull for them, and to examine our hearts, what meanes we use present and absent for them.

Friends.

1. A common fault it isA fault in friends meeting. in friends meeting, so to re­joyce therein, that the spi­rituall fruit in edifying oneHow to have com­fort of our friends. another is lost.

2. The best way to have [Page 143] comfort of our friends is to pray continually and ear­nestly for them.

Gift.

1.What gift may bee received. A Gift of thankefulnesse after our labour may be received.

2. When we bestow a­nyVpon the event of spirituall blessings upon any, how to be­have our selves. spirituall gift upon any, we must watch what suc­cesse it hath, and to be com­forted when our travaile findeth a blessing, and to be humbled when it wanteth.

Gods favour.Whence it commeth to passe that wee are more affecte [...]d with mans favour than Gods.

A sore evill it is in our nature that we are so much affected with the favour of mortall men who may pleasure or annoy us; and [Page 144] make so small reckoning of Gods favour (wherein is life, as in his anger, death)Psal. 63. 3. which commeth to passe especially by not consi­deringPsal. 2. 12. those particulars, for then should wee la­bour more to get in and to keepe our selves in Gods favour than in any mans.

Gods goodnesse.

To thinke oft and deepe­lyTo medi­tate on Gods goodnesse how profi­table it is. on Gods goodnesse to us, will stirre up in us faith and love.

Gods Glory.

1. Its a matter much to bee bewayled of us that whereas the honour of God ought to bee the most precious. treasure in our eyes, and above all desired, it is so horribly defaced in [Page 145] the world, and lightly re­gardedChristians are to bee humbled for their light e­steeme of Gods glo­rie. even of Gods chil­dren, who doe not so burne in zeale after it as were meet. It shall be therefore highly needfull for us deepely to weigh our sin, to feare and shame us, that we poore wretches should more greedily seeke our selves than the honour of God, which should be so in request with us, that if the Lord should grant us, but one thing at request, it should be that one thing, which above all wee de­sire.

2. When we thinke that our chiefest care is to glo­rifieIn glorifi­ing God we seeke our owne glory. Gods glory still to be aymed at. God, we indeed seeke our owne glory.

3. It cannot be expres­sed how little conscience [Page 146] is made to make God glo­rious in the world, and therefore in all our spee­ches of God wee must as well for manner, as mat­ter, yea and to such end, so behave our selves as may most further the same.

4. God is glorifiedHow to know when God is glorified both in private and pub­lique, when wee doe ac­knowledge his goodnesse, confesse our sinnes, seeke of him all good things, and so exercise our selves in his Word, prayer, and the like, wherein if there be a willing minde to please God, it shall be accepted, though accompanied with many wants. This is much more when it is in the great congregation so as [Page 147] to excite others. And here­in this is a great encou­ragement,An encou­ragement to glorifie God. that in those we doe feast the Lord, who is more delighted in our poore service which is presented in faith, than we can be in the best graces hee bestowes upon us, which is his love and praise, but our great blame: yet this should exceeding­ly move us to bring the Lord the fattest of our flocke, and as to be hum­bled wee have no better, so to be comforted that be­ing in truth, the same shall be accepted.

Gods Mercie.

It is not with the LordGod in shewing mercie is farre unlike unto man. as it is with men, who for one displeasure will not remember the former o­bedience [Page 148] of their servants, but cast them off; such is his mercie that for one sin or offence he will not cast us off.

Gods patience and long­suffering.

1. Its exceeding neces­sarieThe [...]se to b [...] of G [...] long [...]uffe­ring. often to remember, why the Lord hath reser­ved us, and given us a lon­ger time of repentance, even that we may labour to make such gaine hereof as the Lord would, in ma­king us fitter fot the Lord, wherein wee must thinke how short this time is.

2. If wee play with ourHow dan­gerous it is to play with our affections. owne affections, sinne in the end from sport will spurre us to confusion; for though wee are given to flatter and presume of our [Page 151] selves, that being twice or thrice spared we dare sinne againe, yet we must knowSerò sed se­riò. that the Lord will recom­pence his long tarrying with wrath.

Gods Providence.

1. An excellent pra­ctiseGods pro­vidence in every thing is duely to be weigh­ed. of Christianitie it is for every Christian duely to weigh the wise provi­dence of God, as towards others, so especially in himselfe and those that appertaine to him, both in his blessings, and chastise­ments; that in every of them we may see the end of all Gods Workes, and so make that right use of them, for which God hath sent them, registring the speciall: by which practise a good Christian shall not [Page 146] [...] [Page 147] [...] [Page 148] [...] [Page] [...] [Page] onely be able readily to see the proper end of all Gods dealings, but withall have plentifull store of heaven­ly matter at any time fit both to humble him and raise him up.

2. The providence ofGods pro­vidence to be observed in the speeches of our ene­mies. God may be highly regar­ded even in the abrupt speeches of our enemies, which to a diligent obser­ver will bring their profit, though presently none be seene, as Pharoahs to Iosiah. 2 Chron. 35. 21. Deut. 29. 29. Secret things are for the Lord: the revealed for us.

Gods Will

The secret things are for the Lord; the revealed belong to us. In the con­version of a sinner this is most manifest, for herein wee are to looke to Gods revealed will, in which we1. Tim. 2. 4. shall see how hee would [Page 151] have all men saved, and hath prepared a remedie, and freely offered it, and invites all to receive it; which makes much to set out Gods mercie so pro­claimed in the Scriptures as to make all to beleeve, which is so comfortable to the elect, and which shall make all refusers un­excusable.

Godly.

The godly are in manyWherein the godly are like children. things like children. 1 1. As sucklings they feele un­quietnesse in the want of the Milke of the Word, are contented and quieted with it, yea and desire to lye at it. 2 2. As weaned children (though natural­ly corrupted) not so much to be devisers of sinne; as [Page 152] to sinne by imitation, as it were violently drawne unto it, 3 3. Being growne to mans state, to leave childishnesse both in our knowledge and manners. 4 Againe, as children bee brought to good and with­held from evill, either being wonue with faire words, or allured with tri­fling benefits, or awed with a checke, or feared with a frowning looke, or stilled by seeing another beaten before them, or quieted by the rod; so must Gods children, else its to be feared they are no chil­dren or babes in Christ, but more carnall than spi­rituall, or degenerated. 5 And further, though they bee most liberall children [Page 153] which are easily reclaimed with faire meanes and more moved with promi­ses to serve God than drawne by threates, yet are they children also, which not profitting so much by Gods wayes, are reclaimed by his corrections.

Godlinesse.

1. Whereas every thingThere must be a growth in godli­nesse. hath his time of growing, and his growing in time, its most unreasonable that any godlinesse should bee so straitned, that no growing is to bee looked for in it; yea also its a grosseIn know­ledge of the truth there must be no stay. errour that in knowledge of the truth there may be a stay and rest, in true zeale too great a fervencie, in holinesse of life too great precisenesse; when [Page 154] as our knowledge shall al­wayes be in part, our zeale too cold, our conversati­on too much corrupted, be we never so precise.

2. This is a good com­fortThere is to be no li­king of our estate but in the pra­ctise of godlinesse. to any Christian heart, never to be quiet or liking his state when hee feeles not some readinesse and cheerefulnesse in the pra­ctises of godlinesse.

3. That we may be fur­theredThat we may be furthered in godli­nesse what things we are to con­sider. in the practise of pietie, consider we these particulars. 1 1. That the enjoying of earthly trea­sures is uncertaine and dangerous, the dealing with them great hinde­rances, the great delight most hurtfull. 2 2. That the unchangeable purpose of a godly life is a continuall [Page 155] consolation. 3 3. That the bold reprehension of sinne in others is a notable bri­dle to our selves. 4 4. That the daily use of all holy ex­ercises, prayer, meditati­on, reading, conference, are the onely nurses of a Christian life, and of much comfort and assurance of Gods favour to our salva­tion. 5 5. That seeing the Lord is at hand wee must not bee weary of this course, but labour so to hold out to the end, that we may be found thus oc­cupied. 6 6. That the dai­ly consideration and use of these will make our bat­tell against sinne more ea­sie and fruitefull, for our very hearts will be better kept in order than other­wise. [Page 156] 7 7. That if we well behold what exceeding comfort and joy through the assurance of salvation we finde in this godly life, and what heavinesse in the neglect thereof, its reason sufficient to perswade us to hold on to the end; yea this present sense and fur­ther hope of the unspeak­able reward to come makes Christs yoke easie.

4. He hath most profi­tedWho pro­fiteth most in godli­nesse. who spends most time in this practise of godli­nesse, denying himselfe, and taking no thought toRom. 13. 14. satisfie his carnall minde.

5. Except wee keepeHow ne­cessary it is to have a resolute purpose to practise pi­etie. this in the purpose of our hearts, and resolutely bind our selves hereto, it can­not bee wee should stand [Page 157] fast: but many things, as the rarenesse of this course in others, and our owne dulnesse, will beate us from it, and sore shake us.

6. We have great needeThe Apo­stafie of o­thers must awaken us to beware. to take heed of leaving off, seeing so many fearefull examples, who harkening to the world, seeking themselves, and waxing weary of this strait way and practise of repentance, have given over their di­ligence in teaching, fer­vencie in exhorting, zeale in prayer, painfulnesse in private instructing, and readinesse in conference for the edifying of others in meetings, and daily me­ditation; lamenting their owne and other mens sins, earnest desire of forgive­nesse, [Page 158] daily purpose of a­mendment, meeknesse, pa­tience, liberalitie, great rejoycing in God, with earnest thankesgiving and the like. The oft perusing of those will awaken us, when we are fallen asleep.

Gospell.

The bare historie of the Gospel not applied by faith how hurt­full it is.

1. The letter of the Gospell, that is, the bare historie thereof being re­ceived without the Spirit thereof, that is, the true use thereof applyed unto us by faith, doth no lesse kill than the Law; for what comfort can it bring to a wounded conscience, to know Christ dyed, &c. nay it woundeth them more if by faith they apply it not to themselves.The Gos­pel strange to Reason.

2. Nothing more [Page 159] strange to reason, than the Gospell of salvation by Christ.

Grace with the growth therein.

1. This may be justlyThe meanes considered greater growth in grace might have beene got than is. complained of by many good ministers and people of our times, that exceed­ing much more grace of wisedome and strength to every [...]ty and experience for guiding others, might have beene obtained un­der so long peace, and ma­ny helpes, had they not trifled out much time un­profitably, and beene as floathfull in paines taking as affraid to bee ill occu­pied.

2. Its our s [...]e and ought to bee our griefe, that we having had so ma­ny [Page 160] helpes above others, are so farre behinde them, that hardly we can follow them, whom wee should have gone before; for what is it but our owne sinne thatWhy there is so little growth of grace a­mongst us. we are not as patternes for others to follow? A princi­pall cause hereof is this, our too great respect of all earthly things which must needes hinder this godly proceeding; as also that wee are not capable of such a lifting up, being too much conceited for the lit­tle grace we have, and not humbled sufficiently with our many wants.

3. Considering with my selfe what the cause should be why almost all Christians doe very little grow since their first cal­ling [Page 161] though they use ordi­narily the exercises of re­ligion, and many of them dwell under a profitable ministerie; mee thinkes this may bee sayd, that ei­therMost Christians use not a full but an halfe dyet, or else by some ill meanes hinder the same. they use not a full, but an halfe dyet, or else by some ill meanes hinder the same. There is no Christian who useth not some meanes whereby he maintaines life; and by Gods blessing on his ordi­nance all holy meanes have their profit; there­fore the more is our sinne, in not using all whereby we might bee fat and flouri­shing in Christianitie. ButSimil. as it fareth with crasie bo­dies, they must have a dy­et prescribed, and rules to order their whole life, else [Page 162] can they not long hold out but weaknesse and disea­ses will oppresse them, whereas otherwise by pre­cise keeping their dyet in all points they bee much preserved, and freed from much griefe and paine. So for all the world it is with our soules, the best where­of is so crasie that without a good direction precisely followed, long health and peace cannot be held, but our lives will be filled with many griefes and troubles. And if these be not felt at first, the longer they fester inwardly, they will cost the more paine and griefe be­fore they bee cured. It shall bee our wisedome therefore never to rest till we have a good direction [Page 163] fit to preserve our soulesChristians must seeke and keepe an holy dy­et and di­rection for their lives. in peace, and good estate, and then precisely to keep it in all parts, lest the neg­lect of one marre another and so wee much hinder our selves. At least thisChristians must not be as men sold to their appe­tite. care must be had, that we doe not as men sold to their appetite, who to please their taste will leave that which is wholesome, and take that which is poyson to their nature; who therein for a short pleasure bring long and te­dious paine, which makes them repent too late: when this yet is more; that some be so farre spent, that they having once or twice bro­ken their dyet, and finding no present paine, doe wil­fully proceede, saying. As [Page 164] good bee sicke for some­thing as for nothing; and in the end cast off utterly all care, and so bring upon themselves incurable dis­eases, horrible paines, and certaine death. That this former advice may bee the more profitable, that is, that wee may see what good cause wee (who beWhat things we are to con­sider that we may keepe an holy dyet, and dire­ction for our lives. Gods children) have to seeke after and precisely keepe an holy dyet and direction for our lives, these things are most needfull to be thought on. 1 1. How crasie and feeble soules wee have, how sel­dome in any good temper, how soone distempered, how hardly recovered to any good plight; all which may be seene by looking [Page 165] backe into our lives, and considering how our lives have beene much out of frame, seldome a good stomacke, ever weake unto any good duty, and ever some piseases breaking out upon us, some sores e­ver running, never long without paine, without some deadly palsies be­numming our senses, ever in feare of death and such like. 2 2. How unpleasant an estate this is, and little to be desired, is duely to be weighed, that hereby weeOur emp­tinesse in grace, bar­rennesse in good workes, many and strong cor­ruptions too too palpable. may be much more quic­kened to seeke the remedie aforesayd.

4. How empty of Gods grace we be, and how full of noysome thoughts and lusts, how negligent and [Page 166] unprofitable in all heaven­ly exercises, may wee our selves perceive; as in like manner our barrennesse in all good workes, that few are moved to blesse us and God for us, doth appeare unto others; as likewise our many and strong cor­ruptions no lesse to be seene in our profession, than spots in our face, such as our apparant negligence and drowsinesse in all holy duties, our overmuch lightnesse and mirth, our vaine talke, pride, cove­tousnesse, frowardnesse, hastinesse, impatience, and such like.

5. A principall cause ofA princi­pall cause of the lit­tle growth in grace. the little growth of most Christians doe I finde to be this, that whereas all the [Page 167] strength of a Christian commeth from his food Christ, and this food is re­ceived by faith onely, in such sort that the more strongly we beleeve, the more we receive Christ, be nourished by him, and so on the contrary: yet few they be who so much as know how to edifie themselves in their most holy faith, more than to heare and pray, which are found in­sufficient, as if a man in aSimil. ditch should cry for helpe and use no other meanes, or pray for meate and seeke none; and how then can they resume the sheild of faith as the Christian Soul­dier is exhorted? yet many take a wrong way which brings little helpe, namely [Page 168] to encrease their faith by repentance, whereas there is no sound repentance which comes not from faith, and therefore ratherNo sound repentance which comes not from faith. we must by our faith en­crease our repentance, which as the fruit shall ju­stifie the tree good. The onely right way that I canThe onely right way to encrease faith. conceive of to encrease faith, is to remember, and duely weigh all Gods pro­mises generall and particu­lar, that beholding what the God of truth in the Word of truth doth say un­to us, we may give credit unto it, and so be assured of receiving whatsoever he hath promised; which cannot but singularly com­fort a Christian, and so en­courage him to all cheere­full [Page 169] obedience. This be­ing so, the chiefe cause I speake of, of our little growth in Christianitie is this, that of all matters in the Scriptures, Gods pro­misesOf all matters in the Scrip­tures Gods promises are now least regar­ded. are least remembred and regarded in our pri­vate meditations or con­ferences, yea I may say in our publique ministerie; whereas these above all other as the nurses of our faith, and so of all Christi­anity, are daily to be me­ditated on and dealt with: and for this cause I doe commend it to every true Christian as a singular meanes of bettering his whole course, that he la­bour by all meanes to have in memory store of Gods promises generall and par­ticular, [Page 170] that whatsoeverStore of Gods pro­mises to be had in me­morie, a­bout every particular duty. he take in hand, to heare, reade, pray, conferre, fast, give almes, admonish, cor­rect, exhort, and the like, yea also in all his outward and earthly affaires, that, I say, before he set on any of these, to lay before him Gods promises, that so he may doe all in faith, and therefore with com­fort of Gods blessing there­in: the practise whereof what charge it will bring, let experience shew, sure I am it will be great.

6. Forasmuch as wee1 Cor. 13. 9. know but in part, and be­leeve in part, and there­fore even they who are re­generate must grow up in Christ, therefore it is a du­ty belonging to them also, [Page 171] as well as to the unrege­nerate,Even the regenerate must daily desire to be further partakers of Christ. What wee are to strive against. dayly to desire more and more to be par­takers of Christ, that they may be more cured.

7. That which even the best are to strive a­gainst, be vaine wandrings of the minde about need­lesse matters, and a sloath­full neglect of good medi­tations, and other private exercises the nourishers of all grace.

8. The earnest pantingThe ear­nest pan­ting after grace com­pared to the breath of the bo­dy. and desire after grace is fit­ly compared unto the breath of the naturall bo­die, which is alwayes in him that hath life, though weaker at one time than another, yea sometimes in a swoune seeming quite gone.

[Page 172]9. All graces are like toGraces like to tender plants. tender plants, whereof many will so goe into the ground, that all their life is in the roote, which in time will spring out againe; and others, if they be not cherished, and have the Sunne to shine on them, wither.

10. Wee pray oft forMeanes to obtaine and en­crease grace. many graces but either know not or use not the fit meanes to obtaine and encrease the same, as 1 1. For knowledge to read, heate, studie and conferre. 2 2. For having God in due re­membrance, to stirre up our mindes often to thinke of him in all things. 3 3. To meditate on Gods great­nesse and glory for reve­rence. 4 4. On his pomises [Page 173] for faith. 5 5. On his pow­er and truth for trust and hope. 6 6. On his Wise­dome and Righteousnesse for patience. 7 7. On his love to us for love. 8 8. On his glory for zeale. 9 9. On his truth and justice for feare.

11. Our growth inGrowth in grace wherein it chiefely appeareth. grace doth in nothing more shew it selfe than in our continuall care to please God in all things, for they that seldomest looke to their wayes how they please God, shew they least love God: andNote. they be forwardest, and may have most rejoycing who most care to please him, wherein as many be ignorant how to please God, so even of them the [Page 174] fewer have such regard as were meete.

12. A great enemie of our growth in grace is aAn enemie of growth in grace. light regard of our disease as in the bodily, if wee thinke it small wee lookeSimil. not for helpe, but if wee feare it is deadly wee use all meanes for recoverie.

13. There can be small joy to any of their life ifNothing harder than to get grace. they gaine not grace, yet nothing harder: Its so contrary to nature and hath so many hinderances, yet there be meanes which well used wee shall surely grow, else not, but indeed either we use the meanes too seldome, or too slight­ly, a speciall gift of God it is to keepe a constant de­light in them.

[Page 175]14. Its not enough for the comfort of a Christian that he is perswaded he is new borne, but hee must see that hee grow up inIt is more than appa­rant that who so groweth not in grace is not in Christ. Christ, and be encreased in grace, for its a sore token he is not in Christ, who growes not, but is well contented, for they that have tasted how sweet the Lord is, cannot but desire more, howbeit this is very hard and rarely seene; ther­fore few true Christians. As all trades some moreSimil. some lesse, bee not easily learned to become skilfull in, so that we allow seven yeares to bee Apprentise thereto, so much more the Christian trade whereinAmong Christians many bot­chers▪ we see many botchers, few cunning to make the wed­ding [Page 176] garment meete, wher­in to grow is not seene of most who looke not after it. The Scriptures oft summe all to these twoIn what particulars our growth must ap­peare. heads, faith and love: more particularly. 1 1. Our growth must be in cleerer sight of our owne vilenesse and herein specially what most hinders, which cannot bee but by a tracing out the wayes of our hearts and lives, and to this end to take the glasse of the Law, and not as blinde, but ha­ving the light of know­ledge to examine our selves, and that particularly in every one, so shall we see matter more to hum­ble us, and drive us to Chrih. 2 2. Spreade before us, and deepely and often [Page 177] meditate on Gods promi­ses, to heale the wounds of the Law, and to comfort us, that we may rest on God, for this life and that to come. 3 3. In thanks and o­bedience studying to please God in all things both to know and doe his will.

15. Its a common and just complaint of many true Christians, that often­times they see their whole course is farre out of frame and such as yeelds them small comfort, though they be well thought of by their neighbours, which as they grieve at, so they have many purposes to doeMost see­ing their want of grace yet profit but a little therein. better, but in the end these come to nothing, and they never the better, and so go on from yeare to ye [...]re [Page 178] with little growth, much lesse, such as their profiting might appeare to others: which is especially to bee observed of us Ministers: casting with our selves what might be the best re­medieThe cau­ses hereof. hereof, we searched what might be the causes which chiefely hinder the profiting of such, who saw and sorrowed for their wants, and purposed a bet­ter course, which wee found these three, besides that common, that men see not in particular their chiefe defects. 1 1. That being thus prickt and wounded wee did suffer this to close up, and quick­ly let this purpose die, and so we fell to our old course againe, and so the longer [Page 179] the worser. 2 2. That wee neglect or carelesly use the meanes, whereby our course might bee better, and grace encreased, as specially, private prayer, reading, meditation. 3 3. That we harbor some ma­ster sinne which robbes us of all our gaine, and keepes backe Gods grace andRemedies. blessing from us. The re­medie then is, 1 1. To keepe the wound open by thin­king oft what will bee the fearefull end of this course, continuall uncomfortable­nesse, and some foule fall. 2 2. While the wound is o­pen to ply carefully all good meanes to cure our soules, and to performe our holy purposes. 3 3. To search out what speciall [Page 180] sinne spoyles us, and to strive most to keepe it downe.

16. We have so lost our time, and neglected theWe are like to die beg­gers. meanes that we are like to die beggers, and never at­taine to such grace as o­thers doe, and we might: the principall use whereof is, to keepe downe our pride, and quicken prayer.

17. Its an excellentOur after fruits must exceed our first. care of a good Christian that his after fruits of the Spirit exceede the former, that he may answer to the good opinion conceived of him.

18. The care for in­wardWhat the care for in­ward gra­ces work­eth. graces and obtaine­ing of them will breede a godly neglect of outward commodities.

[Page 181]19 Many be barren inWhy ma­ny be so barren in grace. What gra­ces do not alwayes succeede one ano­ther. Gods gra­ces are the sweetest in our new birth. grace, because they be bar­ren in prayer.

20. Knowldege, faith, feeling, joy, and practise doe not alwayes succeede one another.

21. The graces of God are sweetest in our new­birth, because wee fall a­gaine somewhat to the flesh, otherwise it is not so, and its the worke of Gods Spirit, when and in what measure; although in respect of our selves, that wee differ from the world, that they thinke that their present plea­sures are sweetest, wee that the present feelings of the Spirit, alwayes least, whereas on the other side wee thinke our present [Page 182] temptations and corrupti­ons ever greatest, though in both we may bee decei­ved.

Griefe.

1. If wee will truely la­mentHow we may la­ment the sinnes of others. the sinnes of others, wee must first bee touched for our owne, and as tou­ching others so to lament as the sinne requireth, and with love, not contempt of the person, and pray for him.

2. When wee have noThe want of feare or griefe how dangerous. feare or griefe, wee can hardly profit in any godli­nesse.

3. In cares of extremi­tieThe use to be made in cares of extremity. by bodily paines and griefes, and feares of the minde, we must make this use, to trie our hearts, wherein particularly wee [Page 183] have deserved this cha­stisement, and so to hum­ble our selves: or having no such particular accusati­on, to prepare our selves for the Lords tryall; who forewarneth us of his com­ming to us, or that he will passe by us, and therefore we must arme our selves especially with prayer, the effect whereof is exceeding great: but we must take heede in such cases, lest we make hast to end our pray­er, as desirous to be rid out of it, and so commit our selves to God.

The Heart.

1. ITs vaine to controuleThe heart chiefely to be con­trouled. the outward senses without rebuke▪ of the heart.

2. The Lord is bestThe Lord best plea­sed with the heart. pleased with their intents which prepare their hearts to seeke him.

3. A true token of anA signe of an hard heart. hard heart, when the con­sideration of all Gods mer­cies cannot bend us to du­ty.

4. Hardnesse of heart isAn hard heart how dangerous it is. the sorest plague, com­mon, infectious and dead­ly, if it breake nor, or stop up againe: our remedie isThe reme­die thereof to take the opportunitie of this time and helpes we [Page 185] have, to deale more effe­ctually than before, to search our sinne, mourne for it, seeke to God in Christ by prayer of Faith for pardon and amend­ment, and then shall wee with more boldnesse and comfort of speeding pray for the poore sheepe that so perish.

Helpe.

Then is the fittest timeThe fittest time for God to helpe. for God to helpe, when all hope of helpe is gone, for this most sets out Gods glory and nurtures our faith in resting upon him who is above all meanes.

Heretickes and Heresies.

What use to make of the practi­ses of he re­tickes.

1. Wee must humble our selves to see heretickes doe more for vaineglory and for their sect, than we [Page 186] will doe for Gods glory and for his truth.

2. As there were in the bookes of the fathers dis­persedThe ground of heresie. sentences, which as a seede did lurke in them, and by an evill spirit being gathered together did make an heresie, so in the writings of others. For the family of love hath drawne their sects out of writersHeresie now to be feared. new and olde: As the Gospell first beganne in simple men and after came to the more learned sort, so heresie beginning now in the simple people, may for so little love of the truth, invade the best lear­ned, and a lying spirit may as soone through Gods judgements fall upon 400. learned men (such as A­habs [Page 187] Priests may bee thought, as on the com­mon Israelites.

An holy life.

1. Considering what the Scriptures in sundrySuch are not in Christ which are aliue unto sinne, dead unto God. places witnesse, of all those that bee the members of Christ, namely that they be dead and buried unto sinne, but alive to God, I cannot but wonder how any can so securely assure themselves to be in Christ, who be so living to sinne, that they serve it; so dead to God, that they are farre off from all obedience.

2. A principall hinde­rancePresump­tion an hinderance to an holy life. to an holy life, is a presuming of Gods Father­ly affection that hee will spare us, whereof this mayThe Re­medie. be the remedie, to have [Page 188] oft before us the terror of his judgement, to nourish a continuall feare of pro­voking his anger, a nurse of an holy life.

3. The commodities ofThe com­modities of a godly life induce­ments thereunto. a godly life be such as will enforce any, that knowes them, thereto, namely li­berty, tranquillitie, plea­sure, and such like; where­of whosoever truly tasteth he will thinke no paines too much to bestow there­in.

Hope.

1. True waiting must be 1. Outward aswell asFoure pro­perties of true hope. inward. 2. On the word, for many waite rather for hope of some profit then for Gods glory. 3. Con­tinuall, though God deferre long. 4. Without weari­nesse [Page 189] and vehemently.

2. Wee are not to beeHope of others how long to be con­tinued. without hope of any that hath sometimes shewed effectuall workes of Gods childe, till all bee blotted out.

Humiliation.

1. Among many frail­ties of our nature remai­ning in Gods children,A grievous frail [...]ie in travailing about some du­ties to for­get and neglect o­thers. this is a very dangerous and grievous one, that when wee have by much travaile gotten strength to one duty, wee forget or neglect another as need­full as the former, where­by our comfort is much a­bated, and we are or ought to bee much humbled which in measure theWhy the Lord thus exerciseth his Saints. Lord leaveth in his dear­est Saints, to exercise them [Page 190] in true humilitie for their wants, in faith to depend upon him for grace, and in prayer to seeke it from him continually.

2. Such ought to bee humbled after an especiall manner, which having through Gods blessing onChristians must not be content with the doing of some du­ties but grow in all. their travailes in Christia­nity, attained unto some graces and conscience of discharge of duty in some things, specially, common and ordinary, such as pri­vate prayer, conscionable dealing with men, and the like, doe so content them­selves with these testimo­nies of their faith, that they enquire not after o­thers to grow up into full holinesse in the feare of God, whence it commeth [Page 191] to passe, that haply they are very zealous, yet veryNote. much wanting in love, ve­ry just dealers, but hard hearted, having little mer­cy or liberalitie, not so for­ward in some, as backward in other duties.

3. We cannot obtaineHow to obtaine Gods spe­ciall mer­cies. Gods mercies in speciall measure; unlesse we use to humble our selves in speci­all meanes.

4. Though dangerAt what time dan­ger work­eth most. worke in a man much, yet it never prevaileth more than when it commeth with the Word of God, which may both give a more lively and cleere sight of sinne, and shew us the mercies of God with­all, to deliver us from our evills, the profit whereof [Page 192] is so great, that wee pre­vaileThe pro­fit of hu­miliation. more by humbling our Soules, then by all chastisements of the Lord whatsoever, for Iehosaphat was more humbled by the speech of Iehu the Seer, than he was being com­passed2 Chron. 19. 2. with an Host of ene­mies.

5. This fruit of hum­blingAn effect of fruit of humiliati­on. our selves is to bee looked for, even to enter upon a farre better course of Christianitie, to bee more like the faithfull in former ages, in comfort of faith, in mortification, in love, in zeale, that so wee may shine as lights in this darke world.

6. To be touched withA note of true humi­liation. the sense of sinne in parti­cular is a note of true humi­liation.

[Page 193]7. This is a note of aA note of a man truely humbled. man truely humbled, when he is readie to shame him­selfe that God may be glo­rified.

Humilitie.

A true tryall of humilitieA true tri­all of humility. is this, to be content to be taught of our inferiours, and admonished of our faults.

Hypocrisie.

Its hypocrisie, in pub­lick to dispraise ones selfe,Hypocrisie in disprai­sing ones selfe. seeking thereby a secret praise.

Ignorance.

1. ITs to be lamented thatPalpable ignorance in these times. after so long preaching of the Gospell, the most yea many true Christians, [Page 194] are yet so ignorant of, and therefore so much want­ing in the practise of many speciall duties, and indeed so farre off from that strait course not onely which God requires, but the faithfull in times past and some too now adayes doe carefully and constantly walke in: for example, toHow to goe, and come from the house of God. goe to the publicke assem­blies as to a feast, with such hunger, and carefull trim­ming of our soules, as wee use for our bodies, and to come from them so chere­fully, as men refreshed withHow to worke on the igno­rant, by setting be­fore them the joyes of heaven, and paines of hell. good cheere.

2. By oft proofe this is found a chiefe meanes, to pierce the hard skinne of the heart of the ignorant sort to set before them the [Page 195] joyes of heaven and paines of hell, as forcibly as may be, and then shewing that they when they die (which is like to bee sooner than they bee aware of) shall goe into one of these, to aske them what war­rant they have, God will have mercy on them, and so to strip them of all vaine confidence, to teach them that they can never have the least hope, that God will save them, till they feele such a feare of hell, and desire of heaven, as moves them above all to seeke how to be saved, and therefore so long as they goe on as they have done, with no more care for their soules, they can have no hope of mercie.

Things indifferent.

1. Whatsoever is nei­ther forbidden nor com­mandedWhy at sometimes they may be done, at sometimes not. in the word, may sometimes bee done for maintenance of love, and sometimes bee undone for avoiding of superstition.

2. Where the Scrip­tures give generall rules,From ge­nerall rules particulars may bee drawne. the Church may give par­ticulars▪ keeping order, decencie, and edification: so that hereby a man of authoritie may have his assistant a Chaplaine, and the father in Baptisme may have an helper to wit­nesse and promise for his childe, and afterwards to helpe him in his educati­on, being such a necessary dutie of love; and gloria patri may bee used to shew [Page 197] our Curch an enemie to Ar­rianisme, so wee may to a­voyde Anabaptisme have witnesses to testifie to the Church that we are Chri­stianly baptised.

Infirmities.

1. Its to be laboured af­terWhat the sense of our wants ought to worke in us that the sense of our in­firmities and many wants may abase us before God, and bring us neerer to him.

2. It were not possibleThe sight of our selves a meanes of perseve­rance. for us to continue in a good course, if God did not give us to see our selves, and so abased to come to him.

3. Particular infirmi­tiesHow parti­cular infir­mities are no hinde­rances. doe not hinder the preparing of our hearts for the Lord, if wee have a true love of his Word, as [Page 198] Iehosophat, had, and Heze­kiah. 2 Chron. 20, 3, & 30. 19. How to speake cha­ritably of others in­firmities.

4. This will teach us to speake charitably of o­thers infirmities, when as wee remember the like may befall us, and to bee often teaching it to others, and to remember the rea­son of the thing, if wee would remember the thing it selfe.

5. Gods children coverDifference betweene the godly and un­godly a­bout the infirmities of others. many infirmities under one good gift in another, the wicked contrarily bu­ry good gifts in another under one infirmitie, and that a small one.

Ioy.

1. Wee reade in Scrip­tureTwo chiefe causes of joy. of two chiefe causes of rejoycing for a Christian, 1 One, that hee is by faith [Page 199] made Gods childe with­out any righteousnesse of his owne: the other, that he hath received the grace of Gods spirit, to leade an holy life; either of which alone can give no sound rejoycing, but both must goe together. Rom. 5. 2. Cor. 1. 12. Gal. 6. 14.

2 2. No Christian pro­fessorComfort in the re­membrance of Christs second comming. can have any sound comfort of his faith, if he finde no such matter in the remembrance of Christs comming as doth rejoyce his heart, and so in some measure stirre up in him a longing after his appearance; for howsoe­ver a true faith may bee without some other ef­fects, yet this being the ve­ry principall of all, cannot [Page 200] bee wanting, the wantTrue faith cannot be without this effect. whereof shewing the want of faith is the cause of that little profiting, and so of that little comfort which is to bee found in many, whereas if this were more laboured for, and so more attained to, it would soone cause a great change in any mans profession, and here­by indeede the face of our profession would bee even almost renewed, the altera­tion would bee so great in all respects publicke and private.

3. There is no well or­deredGodly sor­row and joy fit compa­nions. course in Christiani­tie, where godly sorrow and joy bee not continuall companions, for severed wee runne into some extre­mitie.

[Page 201]4. Whatsoever is the mat­terThe matter of joy and thanksgi­ving one. of true joy ought to be a matter of thanksgiving to the Lord.

5. This is much to beeMany want delight in Gods ser­vice. lamented, that even a­mong such as make some good profession, very few finde that comfort in the Lord as to serve him with delight and so rejoyce in their portion, as might draw others to desire the like. This comes to passeThe cause. by our securitie, content­ing our selves with our course of living, without open reproach, and our sloathfulnesse, loath to straine our selves any fur­ther.The reme­dy. The remedie must bee by considering better our estate how short wee come and be wanting as in [Page 202] many duties, so in many comforts, and finde not that full contentment in the Lord for this life, and that to come, which others doe, and so leese the sweet, and have the sowre of our profession.

Iudge.

1. Its not safe to judgeNot safe to judge of one action. of our selves or others for one action, but to waite Gods leasure in revealing the truth.

2. For the most partThe effect of hard judging. hard judging and false is the fountain of all breaches between Christianes.

Iudgements.

1. The Lord will spare his judgements in them inIn whom God will spare his judgments. whom he seeth a true love of true religion, for they that love religion, will [Page 203] heare, and hearing the word, will not lye long in any knowne sinne.

2. Its the greatestA great judgement to thrive in sinne. judgement that can bee to thrive in sinne.

3. Let the wicked re­bellGods judg­ments shall seise upon the wicked. as they will, and thinke how by their subtilties they may escape Gods threatened judgements for a while, yet they shall be pursued from farre, and shall taste the heavie hand of God both fearefully and wonderfully, as came to passe in Ahab. 2 Chron. 18. [...]3.

4. In denouncing Gods judgements against any, we ought to be so affectedHow wee are to bee affected in denounce­ing Gods judgments. that we earnestly pray for them, that they may bee delivered from them.

[Page 204]5. The carefull behol­dingWhat pro­fit to make of Gods judgements on others. of Gods judgements on others is very profita­ble, as whereby observing the causes thereof, we may warily avoide them, lest the like fall on us.

6. The not observing ofNot to ob­serve them, how hurt­full. Gods judgements maketh us so little either to feare them, or love his mercies.

7. Who so maketh notNot to make con­science of our wayes how dange­rous. conscience to walke up­rightly, I will not free him from povertie, from sick­nesse, from heresie, for as well can and will the Lord punish the minde as the bo­dy, and the body as the minde.

Knowledge.

KNowledgē must goe before obedience, obe­dienceObedience must fol­low upon it. must follow know­ledge apace.

Law.

1. THe Law is often taken for the morall Law ofThe Law; Gods pre­cepts, judg­ments, or righteous­nesse how taken. God, his precepts for the ceremoniall, his judge­ments or righteousnesse for the sanctions of the Law, whether the Lord either accomplish his promises to his children, or executethThe prea­ching of the Law necessary. his wrath on his enemies.

2, In these dayes of se­curity, [Page 206] the preaching of the Law is the neerest way to draw men to Christ out of themselves.

Learning.

The greatest SchollarsDefects is the grea­test Scho­lars. have often most unstable mindes, fullest of doubt­ing, and least stayd in that they know, and not able to keepe themselves from foule fallings, or being fallen to comfort them­selvesWhat is the chiefest di­vinitie. or others. There­fore the greatest Divinitie is in teaching or learning2 Cor. 10. 12. To doe good unto others is the end of all duties, without which all our profes­sion [...]s vaine. the Word of God, as the Word of God, comparing spirituall things with spi­rituall things.

Love.

1. All our travaile in Religion, to know God, to beleeve in him, to love [Page 207] and feare him, and all our prayers, exercises in the Word, and the like, are re­ferred to this, to doe all good to our neighbour in our severall callings, agree­able to that, Hee that lo­veth another hath fulfilled the Law, Romans chap. 13. verse 8. and Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father, is to visit the fa­therlesse, &c. Iam. 1. 27. Therefore as we are to be carefull of all those duties we owe to our selves, so to others, good or bad: for all zeale in Gods service, and profession of our love to God is vaine, unlesse it make us carefull for the salvation and bodily pre­servation of our neigh­bour.

[Page 208]2. There are no stron­gerHow to live in love and peace. meanes to make man and wife, or two brethren or sisters living together, in peace and love, than to joyne together often in prayer and christian con­ference.

3. By musing upon thatThe excel­lency of love. which often the Scriptures doe teach us concerning love, that it is the fulfilling of the Law, and to give all Rom. 13. 8. wee have to the poore with­out love is nothing, and1 Cor. 13. 3. 8. especially, that when our faith and hope shall cease, love shall remaine and most flourish in the life to come, I doe grow to an admira­tion of the excellencie thereof, the sense where­of I most feele, when as by some good meanes (as [Page 209] some sweete conference) my affection is enlarged to any of Gods Saints, mee thinkes I taste of the happinesse to come, then which, what more dele­ctable? How great there­fore is our folly and sinne, who provide no better forNote. our selves by encreasing this pleasure.

4. The Lord doth oftenLove draw­eth love, as hatred doth hatred. so worke that the good af­fection wee beare to others doth breed the like love in them to us, and so the con­trary, they of whom wee thinke hardly, have in like manner an heart burning a­gainst us.

5. Wee must bewareThose are to be loved whom God loveth. that we never further sin, but if we love God; wee must love them whom [Page 210] God loveth, hate them whom God hateth, Psal. 15. 3. and 139. 21. 22. how dare they then in whom are some good things, hand over head be friends with Gods ene­mies?Pro. 29. 27.

The Lords day.

1. Seeing by the ap­pointmentThe Chri­stian Sab­bath, a me­moriall of Christs re­surrection. of the holy Ghost the Apostles did change the Iewish Sab­bath one the seaventh day, unto the next day, for the memoriall of the Re­surrection, therefore wee are bound especially on that day to keepe a me­moriall of Christs resur­rection, with thankes untoHow to bee upheld in a consciona­ble sancti­fication of the Sab­bath. God for the same.

2. There bee two things specially needfull to bee [Page 211] much every Lords day in our mindes to uphold us in a conscionable sanctifi­cation thereof.

1. The gaine to be gotten thereby, which is glory to God, grace to our selves and others.

2. The sweetnesse of the duty, to be all day suck­ing honey.

Magistrate.

A Magi­strate may conceale a fault.

A Magistrate having a thing privately tolde him may upon some occa­sion keepe it close.Man the most excel lent crea­ture doth most disho­nour God, Gods ju­stice here­in.

Man.

It seemeth to many men a wonder, that man in the whole frame of his soule and body excelling [Page 212] all the creatures upon earth, and in most wonder­full manner expressing the image of his Creator should yet in highest measure dis­honour him, and be there­by most loathsome unto him, yet this is most just with the Lord seeing hee preferred man by creati­on above all earthly crea­tures, for his rebellion to take away all grace from him, for whereas hee was most able above all other earthly creatures to glori­fie his maker, his sinne must be the greater, and by Gods justice his punishment answerable for so wilfull disobedience: and this com­monly is seene among men, the more excellent naturall gifts any man hath, if they [Page 213] be not sanctified, the vilerNaturall gifts not sanctified make the possessor thereof more odi­ons. that man is in Gods sight above others, and his sinne more grievous: for armed iniquitie is more dangerous than naked. Note.

Marriage.

Such as finde themselvesWhen to submit ones selfe unto this condi­tion. unfit for this condition are to use all lawfull meanes, and that a good while, and so not prevailing to sub­mit themselves to Gods or­dinance.

Meanes.

1. There is a corrup­tionWhy many are more dull when they have most meanes. of nature which ma­keth us most dull when wee have most meanes, which ariseth from hence, that when wee have the meanes publickely, wee e­steeme lesse of them then [Page 214] when we wanted them, using the private meanes, likewise more sparingly, yea because wee put too much confidence in the outward, the preaching of the word, not so earnestly seeking the inward and principall, which is the blessing of Gods most ho­ly Spirit.

2. Its not safe to tye theGods Spi­rit not to be tyed to any one meane. working of Gods Spirit to any one particular meane, seeing all must be used.

Meditations.

1. Christians must of­tenVpon what things Christians are ro me­ditate. meditate and consider what blessings and what afflictions they have in private and in common, and how they undergoe both, and what use they make of them, likewise, to [Page 215] what corruptions they be most carryed, and what meanes they use against them, and what profit they finde by them, also how constant or unsetled they be in a good course, and what be causes of ei­ther.

2. What infinite storeMost are unskilfull in the Art of medita­tion. of heavenly matter is to bee meditated on, seeing every doctrine in the Scripture containes more than ever wee can suffici­ently consider, and yet so unexpert are most profes­sors in this exercise of me­ditation, that they are empty of any fit matter to meditate on. A principall cause whereof is, they sa­vourThe cause hereof. the things of the flesh, and very little the [Page 216] things of the Spirit.

3. Those things weeWhen the things we heare or reade be­come our owne. heare and reade are other mens, untill by applying them unto our selves by meditation, they bee our owne.

4. Matters fittest forWhat things bee fittest for our daily meditation. dayly meditation be such as every man in his condi­tion hath dayly most neede of, as to humble or breede sorrow in us, to comfort us, to awake us being a­sleepe, and when we think our selves senselesse or be­nummed, to soften our hardnesse, to pull us backe from any evill way, to weaken any corruption, to strengthen such graces as be weakest in us, to weane us from the love of this world, to teach us a sober [Page 217] use of our prosperitie, to arme us against and unhold us in adversitie, and such like.

5. Meditation is a stu­dyWhat me­ditation is. to get grace, whereby upon all occasions wee make some good use of all that comes to our minde, whereof the frequentest use shewes the most hea­venly soule, as contrarily the neglect thereof the car­nall.

6. Wee are to meditateThe oft­ner wee meditate the better. at set times and on speci­all occasions, the oftner the better, but hard to doe it well.

7. To have our medi­tationHow to meditate on the Word. tyed to the word, we must occupie it upon some particular matter, and reverently consider [Page 218] that wee as it were draw neere the Lords privie chamber.

8. To reade, and not to me­ditateReading, meditation, and prayer, must ac­company one ano­ther. is unfruitfull, to me­ditate and not reade is dan­gerous for error, to reade and meditate without pray­er is hurtfull.

Memorie.

Whereas many com­plaine of ill memorie in good things, thinkingHow to remember good things. thereby to cover many wants, this is found the one­ly remedie, that they must first reforme their hearts, and bring them to affect such heavenly doctrines, and then valuing them as they be, they would aswellSimil. remember, as a worldly man hearing of a good bargaine, whereby hee is [Page 219] assured he may have great gaine, will hardly forget the same, yet hereto let this be added, an hiding of Gods Word, and treasu­ring of it up in our hearts, which oft recounting with our selves and others, the same shall not be forgot­ten.

Mercies.

1. In speaking of any of Gods mercies towardsAt what time wee are to speake of Gods mer­cies, and what then we are to thinke up­on. us, its profitable to thinke upon our sinnes, lest wee be too proud, and robbe God of his glory; and also a fit opportunity in respect of others must be chosen, least the same be not belee­ved, and so edifie not.

2. Of all the mercies of God this is a principall, not to be left without some [Page 220] favourable exercise of con­scienceFavoura­bly to bee exercised in consci­ence is a principall mercie. 2 Cor. 12. 9. (though it bee grie­vous to the flesh) thereby to bee drawne neerer to God, if for Paul it were so necessary, how much more for us?

Ministers or Preachers.

1. Its a matter whereof we that are Gods ministersMany in teaching others doe not teach themselves. may justly complaine, that in teaching others we doe not so carefully teach our selves, but too often binde heavie burthens upon o­thersMat. 23. 4. which wee our selves will not set our hands un­to, urging the people to many excellent practises of Christianitie, and not so carefully urging our selves to the practise of the same, that wee might by experience commend [Page 221] the excellencie of such heavenly medicines, and so perswade by our pra­ctise as well as doctrine, which is in our dayes most necessary, seeing men looke most to our lives. A chiefeThe chiefe cause here­of. cause of this evill is, that through our corruption we deale with the Word as merchants doe with theirSimil. wares, they seeke after the best wares, not to use them themselves, but to utter them to others, so we seeke out most heavenly instru­ctions not to use our selves, but to commendThe Re­medies. to others. The remedie whereof is, when wee first finde out some precious matter which wee like of, then to make use of it our selves, and as it were trie [Page 222] the medicine on our selves so shall wee better com­mend it.

2. To content our selves with preaching pro­fitably to others, and notNot to practise what we preach how dan­gerous it is. to practise those things our selves, is very dange­rous, and cannot bee free from hypocrisie, and must needes breede hardnesse, and so a very bad course, the end whereof is mise­rable and wofull. In any hand therefore wee are toWe must be trou­bled here­at. be disquieted with such an estate, else no amend­ment: and it must feare us that we be not disquieted, when as we heare Gods children professe that they have no longer peace, than they themselves bee ready to every Christian duty, andNote. [Page 223] have some delight there­in: and therefore we mustThe Re­medie. by all meanes in such an estate before sayd, deny our pleasures, and provoke our selves to humiliation till God reforme us (this being indeede a just cause of fasting) and generally not to rest in any exercise of religion whereby the heart is not bettered.

3. Wee should so e­steemeHow wee are to e­steeme the preaching of the Gospell. the benefit of preaching the Gospell, that wee should redeeme it with our losse, travailes, griefe, &c. as Saint Paul, 2 Thess. 3. 8. and therefore bee farre from refusing to preach to those that would, but cannot releeve us forHow wee may de­light in our mini­sterie. want of living.

4. That we may be oc­cupied [Page 224] in this high service of the ministerie with the greater delight, and so re­joyce therein, wee are to remember that its a most high honour to be admit­ted and used of God as his instruments in saving soules; that no worke is more profitable; that here­unto the Lord himselfe called us, not wee intruded our selves; that the Lord in some sort blesseth our labours, bestowing upon us not a few encourage­ments therein.

5. The externall mini­sterieDifference betweene the exter­nall mini­sterie and inward worke of the Spirit. must proclaime sal­vation by Christ to all without exception, and compell all, but its the in­ward operation of the Spi­rit, to draw and incline a­ny [Page 225] one to apply by faith the generall to himselfe.

6. They that teach notWho are unfit tea­chers. themselves cannot teach o­thers.

7. Where the peopleTo whom the Lord sendeth carefull or carelesse teachers: heartily desire by prayer the ministerie of the Word, the Lord will send them faithfull Ministers, and will multiply his graces in them, but if the people be care­lesse, they shall have a mi­nister which for abilitie ei­ther cannot, or for affecti­on will not deliver the truth unto them.

8. Although the LordIn beget­ting or en­creasing faith Gods wisedome is not to be tyed to the ordina­ry meanes. hath promised a speciall blessing to the publicke mi­nisterie of his Word, yet we must not tye his wise­dome to the ordinarie meanes either of beget­ting [Page 226] or encreasing our faith; but if any shall at any time have more effectuall feelings by private confe­rence, let him neither con­temne nor neglect the publicke ministerie, but with all holy and humble thankfulnesse yeelde this soveraignty to the Lord, that hee is to dispose his gifts, when, to whom, by whom, and where it plea­seth him.

9. It is not to be doub­tedHow to know whe­ther the Lord hath pardoned the sinne of rash en­trance into the mini­sterie. but that God hath par­doned the sinne of rash en­trance into the ministerie, unmeet through want of gifts, when as he blesseth the minister both with a­ble gifts and a pure minde, and also giveth a blessing thereby unto his people. [Page 227] Therefore though one have no assutance for his first calling, yet from hence may he gather that God now accepteth there­of.

10. A minister must beeWherein a Pastor must resemble a plowman. like a wise tills-man, who having sowen his seede long after lookes for the fruit of his labour.

11. Two things espe­ciallyThe truest triall of doctrines. may warrant both the speakers and the hea­rers of their doctrine; If their calling bee good and godly, and if the generallIer. 16. 17. course of their doctrine be sound and pure.Pro. 29. 18.

12. When there is noWho they are that shall be sa­ved, who not. Rom. 10. 15. vission the people perish, those then onely to whom the feete of them which bring glad tidings of sal­vation [Page 228] be precious, shall be saved, others that neglect them, neglect salvation.

13. In bringing men to God, first shew them thatAn order in bring­ing men to God. there is certaine salvation for them if they will, then that there is a way thereto, which is by the sight of sinne, wherein they must be humbled as low as may be.

14. A minister comming in a new place ought firstWhat a mi­nister is first to preach when he commeth to a place. to Preach the truth, there­by to win credit in the con­sciences of the people, then to envey against corrupti­ons, which may breede ma­ny hurts to himselfe and o­thers.

15. In examining aHow to deale with a mans conscience. mans conscience a mini­ster is thus to proceede; by [Page 229] the law to try whether hee hath a knowledge, feeling and misliking of his sinnes, or not: whether he hath a­ny feare of Gods judge­ments for sinne, or faith in his promises: whether by particular applying of these things to himselfe he can shew any effects by prayers, Sacraments, new birth and repentance.

16. Its a greater thingWherein the skill of a minister doth most appeare. in a Pastor to deale wisely and comfortably with an afflicted soule, and sound­ly and discreetly to meete with an hereticke, then to preach learnedly.

17. Its a fault of ourToo hasty tryall of a mans gifts hurtfull. time that too hastie tryall is made of a mans gifts in the ministerie, to the great hurt of the Church.

Mirth.

We must be merry in the Spirit, not in the flesh.What mirth is requisite.

Mistrust.

In mistrust, its good to set before us Gods wayes upon others; in our pre­sumption Gods judge­ments.What course to take in mi­strust and presumpti­on.

Mortification.

Its very profitable to quicken us in mortificati­on to set our olde sinnesHow to be quickned to mortifica­tion. often before us, and to search the bottome of our corruptions in day sinnes, night sinnes, &c. that sha­ming our selves we may be humbled, and seeing the height, length, and depth of sinne, wee may the neerer comprehend the same mea­sures of Gods mercies to us in Christ.

Motions.

1. When good moti­onsGood mo­tions are to bee drawne into pra­ctise. are stirred up in us, its good as soone as may bee to draw them to practise, lest either we forget them or want opportunity to doe them, and for helpe of me­mory to set them downe in writing.

2. The cause of muchWeaknesse in body and minde whence it commeth. weakenesse in minde and body comes not from Sa­tan alwayes, but from our selves in wandring after the motions of the flesh.

A Good Name.

THese be two effects ofFavour and a good name two effects of godlinesse. godlinesse, and notably maintaine one another, fa­vour and a good name, [Page 232] which bee better thanPro. 22. 1. riches, as at all times, and in all persons may be seene, without which all gifts helpe little.

2. Wee ought in noOur bre­threns good name not to bee empaired. case to hurt the good name of our brethren, as whereby he is more wron­ged than by the losse ofNote. goods.

3 Wee ought to bee most carefull by all goodWe must be carefull to main­taine our good names. meanes to maintaine our owne good name, and therefore learne how it may be gotten and preser­ved, as also if we be discre­dited what profit to make thereof.

4. Seeing a good name ariseth of a good life, with­outWhence a good name ariseth. this to be well report­ed of, is a fierce punish­ment [Page 233] of God, being a greatHurtfull to be well repor [...]ed of unde­servedly. hardening of the heart in sinne and hinderance from repentance.

5. The first step to aThe first step to a good name. good name is to avoyde carefully and continually all evill outward and in­ward, and especially wher­unto wee bee by nature most inclineable: for as oneSimil. dead flye corrupteth an whole boxe of oyntment, so doth some one sinne of­ten cracke the credit of a man of good report before. Gods children are especi­allyWhy the godly must care fully avoyd evill. to bee carefull herein, because of the hatred of the world, who will com­mend their owne though never so prophane, if there be but any naturall gift, but contrariwise if any ofNote. [Page 234] Gods children be never so full of grace, if hee have but one infirmitie or bee once overtaken with some sinne, the world will count him a wicked man, and thereby take occasion to speake evill of their pro­fession. As open, so secretEven the corruptions of the heart doe bring us out of Gods fa­vour. sinnes and corruptions of the heart doe bring out of favour with God, who will soone detect us, and make our secret sinnes come to light, as he often hath, for hee can make his dumbe creatures reveale them: or our friends to fall out with us, and so reveale them, to whom before we made them knowne: or our owne mouth to con­fesse them, either at una­wares, or in sleepe by [Page 235] dreames, or in sicknesse by raving, or in frensie to vo­mit out our owne shame, or else the torment of our evill conscience shall wring it out, yea if all these should faile, the Lord is able to raise a strong suspi­tion in the hearts of others that wee are ungodly per­sons and thereby discredit us: as this is a good meanes to provide for a good name, so is it a good rule of all godlinesse to be affraid of secret evills, yea in heart and thought. A secondThe second step to a good name step of procuring and kee­ping a good name is to have a godly jealousie o­ver all our doings that they give no occasion of suspicion of evill, though wee doe not that which is [Page 236] simply evill, procuring things honest, following and seeking after things ofPhil. 4 8. good report, so also to be plentifull in good workes, one or two being insuffici­ent, our light must shine be­foreMat. 5. 16. men.

6. In doing good, weeIn doing good what is to bee lookt unto. must looke that it bee with a sincere affection, and 2. with discretion: the want of either takes away the credit of well-doing, by Gods just punishment; so that a simple soule shall see the shifts wherewith the wise worldlings bleare mens eyes.

7. When wee are ill re­portedWhat wee are to doe when we are ill re­ported of for well doing. of for well doing its good first before wee cleare our selves, to exa­mine our hearts in what [Page 237] manner wee did it, and finding wickednesse there­in, to be humbled for it be­fore the Lord, and receive it as Gods correction to a­mend us: if wee finde our heart upright, then let us learne that God tryeth us whether we will leave do­ing well for ill report, and therefore with patience to endure this tryall, and com­mend our innocencie unto him who maintaines good and honest hearts.Who doe little pro­fit by the magistrate.

8. They which are so past shame that they care not for the Church disci­pline for their open sinnes, little profit by the Magi­strate.Why men are sorrow­full being put to open shame.

9. Many that are put to open shame are sorrowfull therefore, but not aright, [Page 238] for it is not because they sinne against God: others are sorrowfull for their sinne which wrought them shame, but the divell be­witcheth them that their sinne is not so great, and many doe worse; and this shame will not continue long, prove a wonder but of nine dayes continuance, whereby they be hindered from repentance, and though at the first they without dissembling pro­mised amendment, yet neglecting the meanes to further their repentance, thus bewitched, they fall to their sinnes againe.What they are to doe who would profit by open dis­credit. They that will profit by such discredit, are to labour that as their faces blush before men, so their soules [Page 239] may be confounded before the Lord, that being hum­bled by godly sorrow, it may please God to raise them up. Now to try godly sorrow these be two rules, 1. If we can with conten­tedTwo rules whereby to try godly sorrow. mindes take the pu­nishment as correction from the Lord, and yet mourne for our sinne, and that in such manner, as giving place to Gods ju­stice in punishing, we can labour for forgivenesse of sinnes. And 2. if when we can conceale our sinne, yet wee freely with Da­vid 2 Sam. 12. 13. confesse it: when a sinne is committed, yet so close­lyPsal. 32. 5. as none can probably suspect him, the offendant may conceale his sinne, if it can bee done without a­nother [Page 240] sinne, but if an oath be lawfully required, the truth must be told.

Nurcerie for the Church.

It were an happy nur­cerieA minister to traine up some toward Scholar in his house. for the Church if e­very grounded Pastor would traine up in life, learning, doctrine, disci­pline, some toward Scho­lar to make him more fit for the Church as Moses did Ioshua; Elias, Elisha; Iere­mie, Baruch; Christ his Di­sciples, Paul, Timothy.

Offences.

IN private offences aPrivate of­fences must not hinder pri­vate pray­ers. man may goe to his pri­vate prayers before hee be reconciled, till opportuni­tie be had.

Parents.

1. WHen children haveWhat Pa­rents are to doe a­bout their childrens infirmities▪ infirmities their pa­rents are to see whether they have not received such finnes from them, if they have, they are rather to pray for their children, than too much to correct them, lest they persecute their owne sinnes in their children.

2. The Lord often inThe im­moderate love of pa­rence to their chil­dren puni­shed. his children correcteth the immoderate love of pa­rents to their children, for naturall causes, as Abra­ham with Ismael, Isaac with Esau, David with Absolon and Adoniah; so of husbands to their wives.

[Page 242]3. If a maide may notNum. 30. 5. Contracts not to be without the parents consent. performe her vow to the Lord without her fathers consent, much lesse her con­tract to man.

Patience.

1. In greatest troubles there is no greater easePatience an ease in trouble. then patience and suffe­rance: as a great cause of madnesse is impatiencie of minde, or Gods sudden wrath for sinne against con­science.

2. Patience then pos­sessethWhen pa­tience pos­sesseth the soule. the soule when our outward wants are thereby supplyed.

Peace and Ioy.

1. Its not to bee mar­velledWhy so few rejoyce in Gods love. though so few at­taine to the joy in the holy Ghost, and to such sweete rejoycings in Gods love [Page 243] which is the height of our happinesse here, so that the more this is felt and kept, the more heavenly is the life and death. 1. The worser sort have no know­ledge nor care whether God like or dislike their wayes, but blindly hope all is well till evill come, and some of these though they feare, God is angry with them, yet shake it off and forget it, at least slightly appease him. 2. A second sort bee grieved hereat, and this takes away their joy as it ought, but seldome come they to sound comfort and lesse rejoycing, though feare­full to offend. 3. A better sort bee warned by their harmes, and so more wise­ly [Page 244] keepe their peace, not willingly angering God, by leaving undone their duty, or presuming to doe contrary, but indeede to please God, those usually walke with much peace, and can come boldly in Gods presence, and so sometimes finde a glory­ing in the Lord, and exul­tation in the Spirit, best ofHow to maintaine our peace and so re­joyce. all. The way then to main­taine our peace, and so re­joyce, is to consider how we please God: if not, then first, not to bee quiet, but mourne; secondly, not to languish in sorrow, but seeke reconciliation, third­ly, to be chary in maintai­ning peace, which in time will breede rejoycing, for which labour wee by due [Page 245] meditation on Gods love: for infirmities ought not to breake our peace, so as there bee a true bewailing and striving against them, but presumptuous sinnes; and God much more will beare with many faults, where there is a care to doe better.

2. Although the loveGods love [...] the origi­nall of our salvation, yet the grace of Christ doth first assure us thereof. of God be the originall cause of our salvation, yet in respect of us the grace of Christ is the first to worke assurance thereof in our hearts; for this cause in blessing the people, that is set in the first place (The Grace of our Lord Iesus Christ,) which they first conceive to bee the begin­ning of their blessing.

To Please God.

1. Its a common and aLittle care or labour to please God. sore evill, that there is so little care whether God be pleased or not, and there­fore so little labour to please him, without which there is no fruit or comfort of prayer.

2. That we may pleaseThree things re­quired in those that would please God. God, there must bee first an endeavour to pray ac­cording to his will. 2. when we doe best, yet to dislike our workes as unworthy the Lord. 3. a beleefe that God will pardon our wants and accept us in Christs worthinesse; not one of ma­ny thus please God, most few in prayer.

3. The true meanes toWhat things joyne us to God. please God, is true religion, and a true heart in religion [Page 247] which joyne us to God, for if either our heart bee un­cleane, which is abomina­ble before God, or religi­on be corrupted, which is loathsome in his sight, we cannot please the Lord, how glorious soever wee bee in the sight of the world.

4. Who so would pleaseObedience required in those that would please God. God must both in deede, and manner of doing en­deavour to obey him.

5. The chiefest thingWhat thing God is most plea­sed with. that God is pleased with, is to be truely religious, to love the truth with single­nesse of heart and a prepa­red minde, to be obedient to it: without the which though a man could live an Angels life in outward shew, yet by how much [Page 248] the more it is praised of the world, by so much it is the more abominable in the fight of God.

Poore.

1. For releeving beg­garsHow farre, and what sort of beg­gars are to be releeved. at the doore, or by the high way side, I judge this a good course, seeing the law hath well provided who should bee releeved and who not, for many great damages to the Land by releeving such, and therefore hath set a penal­tie on such releevers, ther­fore to releeve such as bee allowed by law in a godly discretion according to their necessitie, unlesse we can on some good ground avouch them to bee coun­terfeits, and then as wee may, to see them punished: [Page 249] as for the other not licen­ced, not to releeve them, except wee be assured of their present necessitie, which is also by law excep­ted.

2. In our lawfull laboursThe tenth to be given to the poore. whatsoever we get, its good to give the tenth to the poore.

Poperie.

1. Many thinke it religi­onNot enough to leave Poperie and stand on faith without fruits. enough to leave Pope­rie, and stand on faith with­out fruits, so hard is it for flesh and blood to admit a continuall strugling, a go­ing on forward.

2. The mysterie of ini­quityThe ground of Popery. began even streight upon the Apostles times, by this meanes, that holy men and the fathers of the Church were not so wary [Page 250] in deliverie of the truth, but gave advantage to Sa­tan, some one way, some another, whereby out of all their errours joyned to­gether, was at length raised up to the kingdome of An­tichrist.

Praise and dispraise.

Its our corruption asWee are neither to praise nor dispraise too much. well to praise some too much, especially such of whom wee have received some good things, as to dispraise some too much especially of whom wee have beene some way hurt.

Prayer.

1. As it is dangerousTwo extre­mities to be avoided about pray­er. when wee like well our prayers, to bee therefore perswaded God liketh them, seeing they have [Page 251] their spots which not seene defile our prayers, so con­trarily when wee dislike them.

2. How few prayers are there made in faith?Few pray­ers made in faith. not one of many; for be­sides all cold and carelesse prayers, even then when wee see and feele our wants and earnestly desire grace, yet hardly can wee bee perswaded that God so loveth us, and liketh our prayers, that hee is well pleased and will accept thereof: Its true, whenAt what time we thinke God is pleased with us, at what time not. wee please our selves and feele not our wants, wee easily rest, and say, God is with us, (which for the most part is either security or pride and presumption) but when we feele our un­worthinesse [Page 252] and have our conscience accusing us of many wants, then wee feare, the Lord regardeth us not, but abhorreth our service, which likewise for the most part is meere un­beleefe, although I say not but in either of those there may lye covered some sparke of faith not seene: but in our best pray­ers to see our wants, to abhorre them, and in our greatest defects to see Gods Spirit to comfort us therein, and so in both tru­ly to bee perswaded that God will for the merit of Christ pardon our wants, and accept the worke of his Spirit, this is true faith, seldome seene in our pray­ers.

[Page 253]3. Prayer is as thePrayer the Christians pulse. pulse shewing the state of the heart. If the spirituall life be weake, such will our prayers be, and contra­rily, whosoever is very godly hath great life in prayer.

4. As a sicke body feelesThe sicke soule reli­shes not prayer. no relish in good meate and drinke: so the sick soule in prayer, whereby, who so findeth sweete taste, com­fort, and strength, is in good case.

5. We often pray moreThough we too often fa [...]e, yet is there a constant course to be kept in prayer. for custome and company than drawne by our wants, yet its good to keepe a con­stant course, that as in meate one morsell may get downe another, so by praying wee may get more stomach to pray.

[Page 254]6. The unregenerate may come to God in pray­er,Difference betweene the godlies and ungod­lies com­ming to God by prayer. with knowledge that he is a mercifull God to his enemies, specially to all that seeke to him, and so may desire and sue with feare, for some favour; but the faithfull are to come as to their father with joy and comfort of favour.

7. The Lord our God tendering our good, hathPrayer commen­ded unto us by ma­ny argu­ments. among many meanes, commended unto us pray­er to be an helpe at hand in all our necessities, Phil. [...]. 6. and because we by nature be altogether un­apt to it, it being so hea­venly and wee so earthly, he h [...]th by all arguments commended it to us, as [...]. from his owne precept, [Page 255] Psal. 50. 15. Math. 7. 7. 2 from its nature a most heavenly worke of the Spirit. Ephes. 6. 3 that its a chiefe meanes of Gods glory. Psal. 50. last, 4 that its the most gaine­full trade Iames 5. 5 that it hath great promises. ibid. 6 that its most practised of the most godly, and may be had when all other meanes be taken away.

8. There bee two com­monTwo com­mon evills▪ about pray­er. evils, either we know not how to pray, or wee want conscience to use our knowledge.

9. Prayer is a speakingWhat pray­er is. to God in Spirit according to his will, or a crying of the heart to God, which sets out the matter and manner, not cold but fer­vent.

[Page 256]10. The voyce is butThe voyce not of the nature of prayer. an helpe sometimes, not of the nature of prayer, yea its more than a minding what we say or heare, for the heart must be occupi­ed, else no prayer.

11. These three affecti­onsThree af­fect [...]ons to be occupi­ed in pray­er. must be specially occu­pied in prayer, joy in Gods mercies, sorrow for our sins and punishment there­of, desire of mercie.

12. Pure prayers arePrayer me­lodious. sweete melodie.

13. As one man excellsIn prayer one may excell another. A double [...]ift in pray­er, of speech. another in musicke, so in skilfull prayer.

14. There is a double gift in prayer, one of speech effectuall for edifi­cation of others, which so farre fourth is to be labou­red for, but this may be in [Page 257] a reprobate. The other, inof Spirit. Spirit, whereby specially our selves be inflamed, and so doe heate others with whom wee pray, which is rare and proper to the e­lect: this God likes.

15. As they who wouldFrequency bringeth skill in prayer. be skilfull in any thing must be much exercised therein, so in prayer.

16. Its a matter of singu­larMatter of comfort and ter [...]our in prayer. Rom. 8. 27. comfort to a true heart that God seeth our mea­ning, as of terror that God seeth our corruptions in prayer: both must breede conscience.To pray in faith is hardly got and kept.

17. As its a rare mercie to pray in faith, which God gives to none but to his children, and not al­wayes to them, but when hee is well pleased with [Page 258] them, so this is hardly got and kept, and therefore such as will enjoy it, must spare no cost for it, and be carefull not to displease God.

18. Its not meete in va­rietiePrayer up­on occasion to be vary­ed. of Gods dealings, to have alwayes one forme of prayer, but upon occasion to varie the same.Repetitions in prayer not alwaies unlawfull.

19. Repetitions in prayer are not unlawfull, when as they arise upon some great sense of sinne, or our wants, or seeing our selves to have prayed before in fashion, would now desire to pray in truth, or if it bee through forgetfulnesse of what we prayed for before, else they are vaine.

20. To avoyde tedious­nesse [Page 259] in prayer it is goodHow to a­voide tedi­ousnesse in Prayer. Mat. 26. 39. to pray briefely and often, as our Saviour did in the garden, yet as in long pray­er we must take heede of custome, superstition and ambition, so in short of pro­phanenesse and carelesse­nesse.

21. If it come to passeWhy the Lord of­ten cros­seth our fervent, blesseth our cold and weake pray­ers. that the Lord crosse our fervent prayers, and blesse our cold and weeke ones as oft he doth, it is not to quench our zeale, and fa­vour our coldnesse, which is the way to heresie and prophanenesse, but to teach that on the one side wee leane not too much to our prayers; as tying the Lord to them, and one the other side to heate our coldnesse in prayers, that seeing the [Page 260] Lord heareth our cold prayers, how much more will he heare our fervent and faithfull prayers.

Pride.

1. If God preferre usIn prospe­rity pride to be avoy­ded. and lift us up, take wee great heede of pride, lest God cast us downe into some foule sinne or re­proach.

2. The Lord hath suffe­redWhy many have fallen by women, many strong, pure, and wise men to fall by women, to punish their pride in his graces.

Priviledges of the Saints.

1. Assurance of salvati­on,Ten privi­ledges of the Saints. Gods protection, a godly life, to bee kept from reproachfull falls, to enjoy the helpes to godli­nesse, to delight in Chri­stianity, to use prosperity [Page 261] well, as also adversitie, to encrease in grace, perseve­ring therein.

2. Its a sore evill that we,Most think not of, nor know, or glory in their pri­ledges. who perswade our selves to be heires of salvation, doe so little thinke of, there­fore so little know, there­fore so little glory in our priviledges, and comfort our hearts in the expecta­tion of them, and so by all good meanes hasten for the possession of them, the want of all which is no small cause of our so little profit­ing in godlinesse.

3. The Saints are free:Seaven o­ther privi­ledges. God is their father, loves them, will withhold no good thing from them; will save them, are prote­cted by him, are taught to live godly.

[Page 262]4. They which bee inDivers pri­viledges out of the eight to the Ro­mans. Christ are freed from con­demnation being justified by him, Rom. 8. 1. 1 2 They have Christs Spirit dwel­ling in them, and guiding them so to live as pleaseth God, whereby their cor­rupt nature is mortified, and a new nature quick­ned in them. ibid. 9. 3 By the same spirit they bee boldned to call God their sweet Father, ibid. 15. 4 be­ing sure they bee his chil­dren, and therefore co­heires with Christ, that suffering with him, [...] may be glorified also. ibid. 17. 5 They bee taught also by the same Spirit to sigh waiting for their adoption even their full glory. ibid. 23. 6 and truely hoping for it [Page 263] is with patience to abide it. ibid. 25. 7 likewise they be taught so fervently and faithfully to pray as God will accept thereof. ibid. 26 8 Howsoever God dealeth with them, and whatsoe­ver befalleth them, God disposeth it so, that its bet­ter so than otherwise, which comes to passe by the eternall determination of the Lord accordingly effecting the same in every degree. ibid 28.

Profession and Professors.

Foure sorts of professors.

1. Foure sorts there are of Professors 1 1. false bre­thren, great professors but grosse hypocrites, know­ing they dissemble. 2 2. such as are choaked with world­ly cares of honour, riches, and the like. 3 3. such as a [...] [Page 264] forward in Christian exer­cises, but neglect the pra­ctice of godlinesse. 4 4. which so heare, that they doe un­derstand, and that doe they practise in their words, workes, thoughts.

2. If wee will have joyHow to rejoyce in our profes­sion. in our profession, the Word must winne ground dayly in us, in subduing sinne, even in the roote of the heart, as well as in the branches, otherwise we do onely draw nigh with ourMat. 15. 8. lips.

3. This seemeth a soundDifference betweene true and false pro­fessors. difference betweene true and falfe professors, the true preferring grace be­fore all vanities, and thin­king them that have most, most happie, ever com­plaine of their spirituall [Page 265] povertie, thrusting and la­bouring for grace more and more. The falfe, they rest in that little grace they thinke they have, and are drawne to the earnest pur­suit of vanitie.

Promises.

Promises properly ap­pertaineDifference betweene promises and threat­nings. to the renewed part, threatnings to the un­renewed.

Punishment of sinne.

When our sinnes pro­ceedeWhat sort of sinnes the Lord doth espe­cially pu­nish. of particular and not of generall defects, if we offend of infirmity and not of presumption, the Lord will not punish so straitly in temporall things; for the particular sinne bringeth not wrath, but the being in that sinne, and not repenting for it, which [Page 266] drawing in other sinnes withall, may draw wrath from the Lord, so that one sinner is sayd to bee spared, five punished, if for his particular sinnes he being admonished shall be humbled as David by Na­than; 2 Sam. 12. 13. 2 Chron. 19. 4. Iehosaphat by Iehu, or being afflicted shall pro­fit thereby, because in this cause hee seeketh not to draw other sinnes but la­boureth to put away that one sinne punished, when notwithstanding admoni­tions for mercie, and threatnings for judge­ments, hee maketh away for the Lords indignation: so that wee may comfort our selves for particularComfort against perticular offences. offences, if in the generall course of our life wee fol­low [Page 267] the Lord: neither have the wicked here any liber­ty to nourish sinne secretly, who use to sinne by de­grees: but when they pre­sumeGods judg­ments on the wicked. to lye still in one sin, thinking that for it they shall not be punished, it is the judgement of God to suffer them to fall from one sinne to many, so from little sinnes to grosse of­fences.

Reconciliation.

1. IN reconciliation ma­king,How ene­mies may become friends. this is the best way, that either party weigh­ing their owne sinne (which shall most hurt them) doe chiefely accuse themselves [Page 268] and excuse the other, and withall doe professe they will no more so offend, but will love though they should not be loved againe.

2. Its in vaine to speakeHow need­full recon­ciliation with God is. unto God for others, un­lesse wee our selves be re­conciled unto him through Christ.

Redemption.

By what meanes a man may prise re­demption.

Vnlesse a man see him­selfe even utterly lost, un­able any wayes else to bee delivered, he never priseth redemption, wherefore this is the power, profit, and praise, that when all helpes faile, and all creatures bee against us, yet a full ran­some is given to our hands, and perfect restitution be­yond all hope.

Regeneration.

In regeneration or dyingThe tryall of the heart in regene­ration. unto sinne, wee then come to the tryall of our hearts, when wee come at those things wherein either na­ture or custome doth breed delight.

The Regenerate and un­regenerate.

It often falleth out byHard to discerne betweene the rege­nerate and unregene­rate. the wise providence of God, that the unregene­rate bee in outward appea­rance so like the regenerate that they cannot be discer­ned one from the other, these falling so low in sinne, those rising so high in obe­dience: which the LordGods ends herein. so disposeth for the good of his children that they should never be so conten­ted nor pleased with their [Page 270] measure as to cease their travaile for increase and so to waxe secure, but ra­ther that they might here­by bee stirred up to make their calling and election more sure, and so worke out their salvation in feare and trembling. In conside­rationWe must not be dis­maid at the falls of o­thers. hereof wee must not be dismayed when as wee heare and see such to fall away, of whom we have thought very well, for the foundation of God remai­neth2 Tim. 2. 19. sure; neither must we be disquieted for that be­fore-hand wee cannot de­scry such, who deceive themselves, but charita­bly judge the best, yet wisely tarrying till the Lord shall discry them. Notwithstanding this is [Page 271] evident by the Scriptures and experience, that there bee certaine notes and markes so proper to Gods children, that every childe of God may bee led to see them in himselfe, and no unregenerate person can in truth have, howsoever many of them doe fondly dreame they have them, and so deceive themselves who for the most part may by wise dealing with them bee cleerely convin­ced in their owne consci­ences, though through pride they will not con­fesse it. These markes we speake of, are of divers measures in Gods children according to their growth in Christ: wee must take the least measure of them [Page 272] (in this question) least in seeking to shut out the un­regenerate, wee also shut out many of Gods truely begotten children though young and weake, and yet on the other side, lest inTwo markes whereby the regene­rate may discerne that they are regene­rate, name­ly from the causes of their new birth and pro­per effects thereof. letting in the one wee ad­mit the other, wee must take such as be most speci­all though rarely to bee found in professors. Of this sort there be two, the causes of our new birth, and the proper effects thereof: the causes bee more certaine, the effects more apparent proofes thereof. The causes of Regeneration be these, and in this order. God the Fa­therThe causes of regene­ration. of all the regenerate when hee will ordinarily beget any sinner and child [Page 273] of wrath to become his childe, doth of his owne mercy freely send his word and holy Spirit to effect the same, 1 1. Working in him the sight of his mise­ry, and sound griefe of heart for the same, which breedes a fervent desire to be delivered. 2 2. The know­ledge of the remedie with a like desire of obtaining the same. 3 3. A sound knowledge that God hath given them this remedy, and therewith a certaine perswasion it is theirs, which they receiving are delivered from their mi­serie, and so made Gods children, being now newThe ef­fects of re­generation. borne. The effects of this new birth bee these. 1 1. A speciall joy of heart in the [Page 274] benefit received. 2 2. An unfained love of God the sole Author of so great a benefit. 3 3. Which breeds for the time past a deepe displeasure for dealing so wickedly with so merci­full a father. 4 4. For the time to come an earnest desire and care to please God with, 5 5. True obe­dience to his holy Word, even of meere love. 6 So also 6. A conscionable use of all such meanes as bee knowne fit to further this obedience. 7 7. A godly sorrow in the sight of our inabilitie to please God; and a longing desire to bee dissolved, and to bee with Christ: all which are in their measure in every re­generate person, and doe [Page 275] at least in some measure grow more and more tillNot any one of the preceding effects must be wan­ting. he bee dissolved. Now if any unregenerate shall fondly dreame all these to be in him (for if hee be ut­terly wanting in any of them, then thereby hee may be convinced to bee unregenerate) he is as nar­rowly by his life to bee searched as may be, and a thousand to one hee shall be convineed, but if such cannot discry himselfe, nor bee by others; let him hold his comfort so long as hee can, till it shall bee manifest he deceived him­selfe.Their e­state is not good whose ve­ry life shewes the contrary. If yet any shall thinke himselfe in good estate, when as his life shewes the contrary, then is it to be avouched to him that [Page 276] hee utterly deceives him­selfe, imagining that to be in him which is not, even as it is with an hungary man, in his dreame heeSimil. thinkes hee eateth, and when hee awakes, his souleEsai. 29. 7. is emptie, even so this worldling rockt a sleepe, with his present peace, thinkes himselfe in good case, but when hee is awa­ked by Gods judgements, then hee findeth himselfe most miserable, such were many of the Church of Laodicea, which sayd theyRev. 3. 17. were rich, &c. and knew not they were wretched.Simil. Againe, mee thinkes it fa­reth with these men, as it is with many in some dan­gerous disease which hath deprived them of the sense [Page 277] of their paine and weake­nesse, who therefore say, they bee well, and feare nothing; so these being deadly sicke in soule have no sense thereof, and thinke themselves in a good e­state: or as it is with oneSimil. that is drunke; They have stricken me but I was notPro. 23. 15. sicke. So these, drunken with the world, feele not the wounds of sinne, see not their owne misery.

Remembrance of good.

1. Seeing there is noVpon eve­ry occasion we must have some good mat­ter in store to be re­membred. action of our life, for which wee have not learned at some time or other, some profitable direction for the same, its much to bee endeavoured that such [Page 278] matter may bee present with us as is fittest for the time, otherwise much danger must needes en­sue.

2. The best meanes toHow to re­member the word best. remember the word is to be truely touched with it, either in griefe or joy; for they leave strongest impre­ssion.

Renewing.

Its an happy thing to re­deemeHow to re­deeme the renewing of our inner man. the renewing of the inner man with the decay of the outward.

Repentance.

A Godly Physitian ha­vingHow a godly phy­sitian brought his dis [...] ­sed patients to a sight of their sins. patients grievously tormented, willed them first to be reconciled to God before they sought his helpe, which they neg­lecting, and hee knowing [Page 279] them open sinners, dismis­sed them saying, The Lord having layd his rod upon you, I dare not take it off you without the shew of some fruites of repentance, which they doing were healed.

Reports.

1. Men by ill reports rai­sedWhat use to make of ill reports. of them must learne to be forewarned lest they fall into such a sinne, and thankfully must receive the correction, that whereas God might have made them suffer for ill, he doth rather for well doing.

2. This is Gods greatGods mer­cie that ill reports are sometimes raised a­gainst us. mercy, that when men have evill thoughts, God doth cause them to be e­vill spoken of for the act, whereby they ought to [Page 280] bee moved to search their hearts, and finding it with­in, though it never burst forth, they are to profit hereby to correct their hearts, and to be thankefull to God, that hath kept them by this meanes from the act, which otherwise might have broke forth to their discredit.

3. God by false reportsWhy God letteth false reports be raised a­gainst us. doth often correct us for sinne long agoe commit­ted and yet not fully re­pented, or for some contra­ry corruption, or general­ly hee would have us see and amend some sinne wee saw not before.Reproofe doth not alwayes profit for present.

Reproofe.

1. It falleth out often that some, grudging at re­prehension, profit after­ward [Page 281] when their choller is past: others, receiving it well, after neglect it.

2. At a table its good for them whose duty it is,How to re­proove sin at Table. so to rebuke sinne that it may bee reformed, rather than the person shamed, without there be necessary cause so to doe.

3. No reprehension mustWhat to be observed in reproving. be but upon good ground, and according to mans cal­ling, with care not to dis­credit our brother, and prayer unto God for a bles­sing thereon.

4. For the most partA note of an unchari­table and unquiet spirit. its a note of an uncharita­ble and unquiet Spirit in those that governe, to ad­monish, rebuke, or chide as we call it by ironies, que­stions, and scoffes.

Riches.

The love of riches orThe abuse and use of riches. earthly things, hinders us in good things, but the use of them furthers us therein.

Sacrament.

1. A Pastor may not debar­any from the Sacra­mentWhen a Pa­stor is not to debarre there from. for a secret offence though being admonished he repent not.

2. The Sacraments ofDifference betweene ours and the Iewes Sacraments the Iewes were obligations to binde them; of Christi­ans, to absolve them.

Saints.

In comparing our selves with Gods Saints we mustIn compa­ring our selves with▪ Gods Saints how to be affe­cted. not despaire in our weake­nesse, because we be not like them nor presume to bee like them.

Salvation.

Even of those that have knowledge and sense ofDivers sorts of people de­ceived a­bout their salvation with the remedies to be used herein. their miserie, and of Christ the onely remedie, yea of Gods large and free offer of Salvation unto them, and faithfull promise to save them, if they will come to him, not a few never be sa­ved, for that not beleeving, either they goe not, or goe amisse, not Drawing neere with a true heart in full assu­rance of faith; having their hearts sprinkled from an evill Heb. 10. 22. 23. conscience and their bodies washed with pure water, hol­ding fast the profess on of their faith without wave­ring, but some ignorantly, some fainedly, some doubt­ingly, some prophanely, some not constantly, and [Page 284] therefore have no answere or a deniall and an heavie answere; who can have no comfort. But besides these even such as have in their perswasion a gratious an­swere from God that hee will save them, which they shall finde by the inward comfort it brings them, are to looke whether this bee not a lying Spirit, where­with thousands be begui­led, one sort taking their comfort and building their perswasion that God will save them only and chiefe­ly on this, that their lives be amended; which as it may be true, so it may be false, and is no good ground of our perswasion, but at the best a prop: whereas the true Spirit teacheth us to [Page 285] build all our perswasion on Gods goodnesse freely of­fered and faithfully to bee performed, of both which we are assured by the Gos­pell the word of truth, the onely ground of our assu­rance. But further seeing how many be beguiled ha­ving a good ground, but building loosely thereon, this is to be tryed by the ef­fects of the true Spirit, whereof all (though many) may be referred to this one, a conscionable studie to please God in all things.

Satans courses, subtiltie, temptations.

1. Our common adver­sarySatans procee­dings to draw men and women to destru­ction. Satan never ceasing to seeke our destruction doth chiefely labour, 1 1. to rocke us asleepe, and so quiet in [Page 286] securitie, that we may not see the state of our soules. 2 2. if we be awaked and look about how it is with us, then through our. privie pride he drawes us to think better of our estate than it is, and by that meanes gets us asleepe. 3 3. If this pre­vaile not, but our infirmi­ties and many wants doe humble us, then doth hee with all his power beate us downe to discourage us and weaken our profession. In all which severall conditi­ons, 1. Some doe whollyWho are insnared by him, and yeeld unto them and who not. and long lye, and either a­sleep see nothing, or are too well pleased and jocond, or else altogether cast downe and uncomfortable. 2. A better sort goeth through all these, sometimes asleep, [Page 287] sometimes too much con­tented and so fall asleepe againe, sometimes oppres­sed with griefe, and after a while either lifted up or fall asleep againe, and thus they spend their dayes uncon­stantly, and therefore in­deede with little sound re­joycing, and doe hereby lye open to many tempta­tions on every side. 3. A third sort, and indeede the best, through the strength of grace received, seldome fall asleepe, so as they see not how they walke, nei­ther bee so lifted up as to forget their wants▪ nor so cast downe as to have no joy in the Spirit; but wise­ly considering what is the condition of Gods true children in this world, and [Page 288] watching over their hearts especially doe rejoyce inPsal. 2. 11. trembling, and goe on con­stantly in their christian course, though with infir­mitie, yer rarely or never falling into any offensive trespasse, or doubting of Gods favour.

2. Satan under a pre­tenceSatans po­licie driuing some to be too strict, others too lavish in the use of Gods crea­tures. of Repentance brings many unto extreame sad­nesse and strictnesse in the use of Gods creatures, as un­der a pretence of lawfull li­bertie he stirreth up others to excessive, and unsanctifi­ed mirth, and an untempe­rate use of Gods creatures.

3. Wee must pray thatHow farre we are to pray unto God to re­straine Sa­tan. the Lord give not out that measure of leave to the divell to tempt us, which wee give out to sinne to [Page 289] worke rebellion in us a­gainst his majestie, but that God would make Sa­tan a Chirurgion to open our sinnes.

4. Its the policie of Sa­tanSatans po­licie in hi­ding Gods blessings setting be­fore us our wants. to hide Gods present blessings upon us, that wee may be unthankefull, and to set before us greater which we want, to make us mur­mur against God.

5. Satan is most readyWhat we are most unwilling to. to make us unwilling to that which shall bee most for Gods glory, and the good of his Church.

6. This is a commonSatans po­licie in hin­dering from the perfor­mance of one duty by setting men on a­nother. practice of Satan, where­by hee much hindreth Gods children from many duties, even both by out­ward object and inward temptation to draw them [Page 290] to some other thing, (though lawfull) than at that time ought to be, and thereinto hold them what he can whereby hee may keepe them from the du­ty, and also accuse them of neglect of duty, and so at least disturbe their quiet, and make them unfit for other duties: it shall bee therefore high wisedome for every true Christian, both to discerne what is toThe reme­die. bee done in his time, and to watch straitly that hee bee not any way pulled therefrom. But if he can­not keepe men from doing their duty, yet will he notHis endea­vour to corrupt men in do­ing their duty. cease to corrupt them in the manner of doing, either through hypocrisie or care­lessenesse, and so either [Page 291] make them content them­selves with that which is nought worth before God, or else oppresse them with feare that they have not done their duty in such sort as they ought. The reme­die is manifest, To haveThe reme­die. special care over our hearts that they be sound and fer­vent, humbling our selves in our wants, and comfor­ting our hearts in the testi­monie of a good consci­ence.

7. Through the subtleFaith and obedience joyntly to be urged. malice of Satan working on our corrupted nature it commeth to passe, that if faith be taught, most abuse it to libertie in sinne; if o­bedience be urged, to put confidence therein for justification, they are [Page 292] therefore joyntly to bee urged, yet faith as the in­strumentall cause of justi­fication, workes as the ef­fects of the man justified.

8. Its a matter much toA fault in most that they like and em­brace Sa­tans as­saults. bee bewailed as cause of great danger to many a soule, that Satan our sworn enemie in every part of our life so annoying us, yet most seldome, or ne­ver, see or avoid his assaults but rather like and embrace them.

9. Satan being a spiritSatans fa­miliarity with us. hath a very familiar, though secret communion with our spirits.

10. Its safest in allThe course to be taken in every temptation. temptations to keepe the meane, neither to be quiet without griefe, for then Satan will account we bee [Page 293] his without any paines, neither to be too unquiet as without comfort, for then Satan will bee the prouder and bolder to take more paine to overcome us.

11. As Satan temptingA compa­rison be­tweene Sa­tans temp­ting of Christ and Adam. Adam, overcame him and all in him, so tempting Christ, as he could not o­vercome him, so neither shall he us in him.

12. Satans temptati­onsSatans temptati­ons follow our affe­ctions. follow our affections: if wee lightly account of him hee bleares our eyes with Gods mercies, if we bee pricked with consci­ence of sinne, then he la­deth us with the judge­ments of God making us as ready to aggravate our sinnes, as by the former to [Page 294] extenuate them.

13. Subtilty, and vio­lenceDistincti­ons be­tweene Sa­tans and the fleshes temptati­ons. Whom Sa­tan cannot one way▪ vanquish he seeketh to over­come ano­ther. are the chiefest di­stinctions betweene the temptations of the devill, and of the flesh.

14. When Satan can­not drive into security, hee laboureth to discourage that they may have no heart to good exercises, and so make small use of them, for as they who eate with ill stomackes have least strength by their meate; so nothing more hinders our profiting by good exercises than want of comfort in them. This policie of Satan many notMany here by en­snared. observing, doe of purpose discomfort themselves, thinking the same best, and so take corrasives for [Page 295] cordials. The remedieThe reme­die. hereof is this, that such as bee hindered by discou­ragement should in their meanest discharge of duties feede on these com­forts. 1. the nature of God so proclaimed and proved more tender, pittifull and ready to beare with, par­don, and accept our least endeavours (in truth) than parents the frailties of their children. 2. that in our weakest duties there is some conscience and fruit.

The Scriptures.

1. Men that digge inThe Scrip­tures the veine of heavenly▪ treasure. Mines for any treasure e­ven for the hope of gaine labour sore before they finde any veine, and many times misse, but when [Page 296] they finde the silver veine with what cheerefulnesse doe they labour; it makes them forget their paine though sore, and other­wise tedious: now wee who studie the Scriptures are even in the veine of hea­venly treasure, how much than should we be encoura­ged?

2. The Scriptures bare­lyNot e­nough barely to reade the Scriptures. reade without particular looking into the severall doctrines contained there­in, is like a comming into a treasurie, wherein we see many costly things folded up, and some ends appea­ring out, but when they bee all uncovered then doth their glory more af­fect us for the present, and leave a deeper impression [Page 297] of their excellencie: so in the Scriptures by the par­ticular view of the excel­lent doctrines, our memo­ry is more confirmed, be­sides our present use there­of.

3. Its a most worthyA worthy travaile for Students in divinity. trauaile for Students in di­vinity to referre all their studie, first for the true sense of the Scripture, which onely will make a man a grounded Divine to teach, and confute all er­rour; and secondly for the right use in himselfe and others for amendment of life and all godly duties.Time to be redee­med to reade the Scriptures.

4 We must redeeme time even from our ordinary callings to reade the holy Scriptures.

Selfe-love.

This is a dangerous de­ceitTo ab­staine from sin for by­respects dangerous. and bewrayes an un­sound heart, that when our sinne is like to bee re­proachfull to us, then wee can hold in for our credits sake, but in our private dealings there is no such stay: and indeed if it bee observed wee shall finde that this selfe-love is a greater cause of leaving much ill, and doing good than the true love of God which ariseth from a sound faith.

The number of Seaven.

The number of seavenWhy the number of seaven is often used in Scrip­ture. is oft used in the Scrip­tures, for that God fore­seeing mans unbeleefe provided many things to call him to the remem­brance [Page 299] of the creation, and so bring him to meditating, beleeving, and trusting in God.

Sicknesse.

Its most meete in theA necessa­ry course to be taken about the providing a minister to instruct the infe­cted. time of a contagious sick­nesse that there be one Mi­nister to teach the whole, and another to visite the sicke, and that by choyce of the people: if people admonished will not take this order, a godly pastor may in wisedome to his power provide for both, speaking to the infected a farre off: if any danger eome, he is free.

Sinne.

1. As hee that once could not abide to taste bitter or sowre things when hee was in health [Page 300] may justly suspect that hisThe tryall of a mans selfe by his love or ha­tred of sin. stomacke and body is out of frame when he can well away therewith: so he that could not once abide any corruption of sinne in himselfe or others, and now can, is to feare his soule is sick; and therefore no man though never so godly otherwise, but is to suspect himselfe and to be grieved when he can passe over his infirmities, or see sinne in others without ear­nest griefe.

2. Hee rhat will pro­fit in truc repentance, mustWhat must be done of him that would profit in true repen­tance. not by viewing the sinnes of others, whether prea­chers or people, be drawne from sight of his owne in his particular calling of Magistrate, Minister, Pa­rents, [Page 301] &c. but must so see those, that first he cast out the beame out of his owne eye.

3. The Lord punishethSin not re­pented, pu­nished. every sinne not repented of, either in our selves or in our posterities.

4. The conscience ofConsci­ence of sin what it breedeth in the godly. Gods graces, with the con­science of sinne breedeth an hell in the hearts of Gods children: when we are given to sinne we are blinde even in the sight of our owne dangers and cu­stome of sinne, which preach such iniquitie untoMiserable to be given to sinne. us, that neither Gods judg­ments can terrifie us, nor his mercies move us.

5. Wee shall neverHow sinne may be left. throughly leave sinne, un­till we know and acknow­ledge [Page 302] sinne to be sinne, and be truely sorrowfull for the same.

6. This above manyThe ache of sin will be carryed to our graves. things is to be lamented in the lives of most profes­sors, that by long custome in sinne it is so confirmed, that we shall carry the ach thereof to our grave, as bruised men in their youth.

7. Wee may comfortHow to comfort our selves for parti­cular sins. our selves for particular sinnes, if being admonish­ed wee bee humbled for them as David and Iehosa­phat; but if being admoni­shed wee still lye in sinne, and so tye one sinne to a­nother, than are wee to feare Gods wrath, for it is the generall falling into sinne, not one particular [Page 303] which displeaseth God.

8. There is no sinne,The seede of every sinne is naturally in every man. whereof every man hath not the seede in himselfe which without the Lords mercie would in time break­out.

9. A good helpe to avoideHow to a­voide sin. sinne is to remember what punishments wee have felt for sinne, and what are threatned.

10. Though it bee veryHow to finde out our speciall sinne. hard to finde out our spe­ciall and secret sinnes, yet by oft examining our selves, acquainting our selves with our owne e­state, by often prayer that God would reveale them, by often hearing, reading, meditating the word, by marking the checkes of our consciences▪ and reproches [Page 304] of our enemies wee may be much helped therein.

11. Some sinnes againstThe kindes of sinne. knowledge are of frailtie and bee remissible; others are not, being of a rebelli­ous and finall obstinacie, which is not in those whoWho sin not of fi­nall obsti­nacie. feare it, and carefully a­voide it, rejoycing that its not in them.

Slander.

By well doing to stopHow to stop the mouthes of slande­rers. the mouthes of slanderers is the onely remedie of all slanders.

Sorrow for sinne.

1. It is observed that even of those that areMany are more grie­ved at sinne because of the danger of it, than otherwise. grieved for sinne the cause is in most, for the danger it brings them unto, and not for dishonouring of God whereby it comes to [Page 305] passe that when they ga­ther hope of deliverance from the danger, then the griefe and feare for sinne decayeth, which if it were otherwise would dayly en­crease: for the more wee are assured of Gods love the more we love him, and the more we love him, the more we desire Gods ho­nour, and therefore the more are we grieved with our sinne which offends him. This may bee a most sufficient answere to thatWhy many ny are more grie­ved a [...] sin at first than after­wards. doubt which troubleth many, why divers of those that bee true Christians, were moved to feare sinne, and be grieved at it more in the beginning, than af­ter.How dan­gerous to make light of sinne.

2. There is no greater [Page 306] bane of sound godlinesse than to favour and make light of our sinne, not be­ing grieved thereat.

3. It is found by wofullWhy most Christians are unwil­ling to lead the strict life of godlinesse. experience that a princi­pall cause why many, who hope to be saved by Christ and be indeed true though weake Christians, are so floathfull and unwilling to take any paines to leade the strait life of godlinesse, and to come under and pre­cisely keepe the Christian dyet, namely the holy di­rection that prescribeth how we are the whole day long and so all our life long to be well occupied: the cause I say hereof is manifest to be this, that they be little grieved with their diseased estate, and [Page 307] feele not such smart of their sinnes as should make them never cease till they found some ease by this so­veraigne dyet, which is proved so sufficient to re­leeve and refresh a true Christian heart. This there­foreGriefe for sinne is to be labou­red for. above others is to be travailed in, that wee may feele our sinne so bit­ter and grievous unto usMeanes to attaine the same. that we may never bee at rest till wee come under this dyet, and thereby also may be held to a constant keeping thereof. To this end these things are with all conscience continually to be thought on, 1. that our sinnes bee most disho­nourable to God, such as much offend him and grieve his holy Spirit [Page 308] whereby wee are sealed. 1 These if they be not grie­vous unto us wee, may just­ly feare that either we be bastards; and no true chil­dren, or at least that wee are fallen into a deepe se­curity, which will hardly in long time be recovered, and will cost us much griefe and sorrow to be­wayle our dcay. 2 2. that they bee very hurtfull to man, our selves and others, both good and bad; to our selves, as which hinder good things from us, earthly and spirituall, bring judgements temporall and eternall; to others, provo­king Gods wrath on our Land, Church, Congrega­tion, Familie, Kindred, Posteritie, offending the [Page 309] godly, as whereby they are made sorrie; the wic­ked, making them re­proach our profession; the weake also being strength­ned in sinne by ill exam­ple.

4. It is a speciall sinneThe hurt that pro­sperity workes in many professors. amongst most professors that by reason of outward prosperity and peace they doe not walke humbly with God; so little griefe of heart or feare of God is any wayes to bee found: indeed sorrow is tedious, and unwelcome, and there­fore except there be great cause and that outward, wee put sorrow away, and soone ease our selves of the burthen, whereby it comes to passe that men being loosed as it were [Page 310] from the Lords bands live securely, and serve God carelessely, and spend their dayes in jollitie, which is the bane of all godlinesse, and enemie to all heaven­ly rejoycing; whereas God gives grace to the humble, and hee will dwell with those that be of a contrite spirit. In regard hereof, I judge it highly necessary for the most of us by allOccasions of carnall rejoycing must be shunned that wee may truely grieve at sinne. meanes to turne our laugh­ter into mourning and our joy into heavinesse, which that we may doe we are to put away and withdraw our selves from all occasi­ons of carnall rejoycing, as pastimes, merry-meetings, bravery, belly-cheere, foo­lish jesting, and other such companies as might make [Page 311] the heart light and merry, and insteed thereof to occu­pie our mindes much upon our old and late sinnes, to see how farre wee come short in grace of others, and more short of that which God requires, and by the meanes which we have we might attaine to, and herein particularly to deale so much as may be. Herewith to consider theNecessary considera­tions pro­voking to godly sor­row. terrour of Gods wrath, heare how many wayes he may make our lives bitter unto us, by bodily and spi­rituall plagues on our selves, or such as be neere us, our wives, children, parents, kindred, families, and acquaintance, and in the world to come the torments of hell how ex­treame [Page 312] and everlasting and easelesse, in what dan­ger hereof wee bee who have so little or no faith at all, and so little pray to escape this endlesse woe; how God is angry with us and regards not our pray­ers, and this is the more that we offend so mercifull a Father. Besides these causes of griefe for our selves, this should grieve us for others, either the faithfull, their infirmities and grievous punishments of God upon them bodily and spiritually, deprived of the meanes of salvation, and the like; or the wicked that they live so prophane­ly, and licenciously perse­cute the godly, and cast a­way their owne soules [Page 313] whose case if we did pitty, it would move to many teares & prayers for them.Note. In all these this ought to be chiefe, that the honour of God, which is the most precious treasure that can be, is not onely so lightly esteemed, but defaced and contemned.

5. There is a doubleA double sorrow for sinne. sorrow for sinne, one spe­cially in respect of the pu­nishment, which both go­eth before faith, (and mayThe for­mer. be in those who never come to faith, in whom it either weares away of it selfe, or is eased with a false faith; or if it continue, it drives to despaire; and may also remaine after faith by reason of the weakenesse of faith, which is sometimes [Page 314] more or lesse. The otherThe latter. sorrow for sinne ever fol­lowes faith, which thus ariseth; when wee consi­der Christs love to us (which breeds love in us to him with a desire and purpose to please him) and then how by our cor­rupt nature we faile herein it cannot but grieve us ac­cordingly; and this sorrow onely is a proofe of faith.

6. These bee two rulesTwo rules to try god­ly sorrow. to trye godly sorrow, 1 1. if wee can with contented mindes take the punishment laid upon us, as correction from the Lord, and yet mourne for our sinne, and that in such manner, that in giving place to Gods ju­stice in punishing, we can la­bour for forgivenesse of our [Page 315] sinnes: 2 2. if when wee can conceale our sinne, yet wee with David freely confesse1 Chron. 21. 17. it.

7. When many areDangerous to grieve more at worldly things than at sinne. more grieved with the losse of wordly credit, (the motion whereof is sinne) than with the sense of their sinnes and losse of Gods glory, the Lord stri­keth them with the want of that which is most pre­cious to them as who make no conscience of his ho­nour, which is most preci­ous unto him.

8. If we will truely la­ment the sinnes of others,How truely to lament the sinnes of others. we must first bee touched for our owne; and as tou­ching others, so to lament as the sinne requireth, and with love, (not contempt) [Page 316] of the person, and prayer for him.

9. When we have causeHow long we are to grieve. of sorrow it is good not to cast it off, till wee see the fruit thereof.

10. Heavenly sorrow itKindes of heavenly sorrow. is, to talke of good things which we want, or ill which we have.

11. Wee cannot hearti­lyWhence it is that wee are not grieved at sinne in others. be grieved for that sin in others, whereof wee have made no great conscience our selves.

12. That is a true god­lyTrue sor­row for sinne how tryed. sorrow for sinne when no outward pleasure can steale it away, nor conti­nuance of time waste it, but onely Christ.

13. This ought to beeThe want of affecti­on to any good to be grieved at. alwayes in Gods children that in the want of affecti­on [Page 317] to any godly exercise when they should have it, at least, they bee grieved thereat.

14. Two notes thereTwo n [...] of godly sorrow. are of godly sorrow, 1 1. that it be for a just cause, and 2 2. in a proportionable measure to the cause: for it is a subtle policie of Sa­tan against tender consci­ences, to urge them to a continuall sorrow, where­by hee may more prevaile in his accusation against them: for when they sor­row so much for little of­fences, hee will dismay them in their greater faults, or accuse them of hypocrisie in making no more account of great sinsIts Satans policie to make us grieve con­tinually. than of common infirmi­ties: wee are then to take [Page 318] heede how wee give our selves to sorrow continu­ally, especially seeing we are commanded to rejoyce1 Thes. 5. 16. alwayes and never to sor­row alwayes, although there bee a necessary timeEccles. 3. 4. of sorrow: and moreover, this ought to bee conside­red, that God will not ac­count of men for one par­ticular defect, but accor­dingNote. to his generall course and tenour of life.

Soule and Body.

1. It were great wise­dome and grace to be moreMore care i [...] to bee had of the soule than of the bo­dy. carefull to feede and pro­vide for our soules (which even a world cannot ran­some) than our bodies, not feeding these till those bee fed.

2. There is never any [Page 319] corrupt action in the bo­dy,The soule first sin­neth. whereof there hath not beene first a corrupt motion and affection in the soule, so that the soule is the enemie of the body in using it to sinne, and notA preposte­rous course in most professors. the contrary, as many falsely complaine, and therefore punish their bo­dies and spare their soules, whereas wee ought rather to nourish the body as the friend to the soule for the exercise of repentance, mortification, and sanctifi­cation.

Spirituall decay.

Its high wisedome whenVpon the sight of any plague earthly or spirituall what is to be done. wee see any plague upon us earthly or spirituall, as losse of our spirituall com­fort and cheerefulnesse in well-doing, or wound of [Page 320] conscience by sinne remit­ted, then to turne to the Lord and crave help of him both to shew us the cause and to teach us truely to remove it, that so hum­bling our selves, wee may obtaine mercy and be free­ed from the Plague.

Disquiet Spirit.A disquiet spirit what.

A punished minde is a dis­quiet Spirit.

Godly Strife.What we are to strive chiefely to doe.

Seeing wee are natural­ly unwilling to any good thing, it is good to strive to that thing, which wee are most unwilling to doe.

Students.A necessary course to profit in learning and bee more and more fitted for the mi­nisterie.

This course have I by experience found profita­ble, and resolved upon, namely to bee diligent in reading the holy Scrip­tures, [Page 321] and of them at the least every day foure chap­ters; in like manner (for the encrease of my know­ledge) to spend three houres in the forenoone in searching out the sense of the hardest places, as two in the afternoone in the searching out the pro­prieties of the tongues, and other two in perusing the tracts, and commenta­ries of learned men; one in meditation and prayer; what time remaineth to spend the same in brother­ly conference.

Suffering.

They that will sufferHow to be firted for great try­als. great things in persecuti­on, and that of Papists, must suffer smaller in peace, and that of Protestants.

Selfe-suspition.

He that can neglect theWho may justly sus­pect that their state is bad. private meanes, and use them without any lively touch, and hee that can heare the word without a­ny checke of his consci­ence when the word rebu­keth his corruption, or hee that hath his heart accu­sing him of sinne, and can be merry, and follow the world, and passe over his sinne, is greatly to suspect himselfe, and to deny com­fort to his heart till God truely humble him. TheNote. best may accuse them­selves, and this is comfor­table, if we truely judge our selves in this case.

Table-talke.

SEeing all are anointedEvery Christian is at table to move and fur­ther good matters. with the same oyle and not the Minister alone, all men at a table are to move and further good matters with reverence and dis­cretion.

Teares.

Howsoever wee pleaseMost are seantie in teares. our selves with small grace, yet if wee compare our selves with that wee see should bee in us, and is in some, wee are exceeding short, as in this one thing, that so few teares come from us in any cause; we are too ready to excuse our selves hereby, that we are not so prone to weepe [Page 324] as others, and yet for earth­ly things we can readily. What was it in Paul thatAct. 20. 19. How we may a­bound therein. drew so many teares con­tinually from him, but his tender love to God and his Saints? Let this be in us, so shall we weepe.

Temptations.

1. As it is a great com­fortWhat may comfort and hum­ble us in temptation. that no temptation invade us, but that which taketh hold of the nature of man, so this ought to1. Cor. 10. 13. make us with profit hum­ble our selves, that there is no temptation in any man which may not take hold on us in time.

2. Wee are never theHow to prevent temptati­ons. further from temptation for misliking it, but the neerer, unlesse as in judge­ment we mislike it, so in [Page 325] affection wee humble our soules in feare and prayer before the Lord, as know­ing the same in time may invade us.

3. Satan in good causesGolden temptati­ons. doth use golden tempta­tions to allure the chil­dren of God, as in prayer hee affordeth meditation, in meditation, prayer; in hearing, almesgiving; in reading admonition; and still envyeth the good thing whereunto wee are called.

4. As there is a vicissi­tudeA vicissi­tude of comforts and temp­tations. of the meanes and comforts of our salvation, so is there of temptation, which being repelled willTemptati­ons some­times take away fee­ling. come againe.

5. As some sicknesse takes away all sense of life, [Page 326] so some temptations may take away the feeling of spirituall life.

6. In any grievous temp­tationWhat course the Saints are to take in time of temptation. we must flee to pray­er, and to reading the Word that part thereof especial­ly which is fittest: and this not prevailing, to conferre with some faithfull bro­ther, and bee diligent in these meanes: when if yet we prevaile not, then must we follow our callings di­ligently, and with pati­ence waite the Lords lei­sure, not reasoning with our temptation, lest there­by we be made dull or de­sperate, neither yet wholly contemning it as a tri­fle, lest we fall into securi­ty, and Satan overcome us without wrestling: for [Page 327] if wee feare it too much, orNote. not at all he overcomes us before we fight.

7. All temptations comeWhence temptati­ons come. either of ignorance or want of feeling.

8. As Iacob left not stri­vingWe must not faint in temptation. Gen. 32. 26. though his thigh were loosed till he had the blessing, no more must we faint in our temptation, though wee be humbled, till wee obtaine the victo­rie.

9. As striving againstTo strive against temptati­ons how profitable, not to resist them how dangerous. our temptations they soone depart, and for little paines we enjoy longer ease and quietnesse, so in not resi­sting the temptation, the same encreaseth, and our little pleasure is paide with long griefe and bitternesse.

10. This is a sure expe­riment [Page 328] whether the sinneHow wee may know whether or no we shal yeeld to temptation. which often tempteth us shall prevaile or not; if the more we bee tempted, the more wee be grieved for it, strive against it, and la­bour more for the contra­ry vertue, it shall not long continue: but if the first comming of sinne wrought this care and griefe, and the second waxed lesse, then it will prevaile, un­lesse the former course be speedily repaired.

Thankes.

Such are meere mock­ersThanksgi­ving in words not accompa­nied with obedience, discovers hypocrisie. of God, and deepe dis­semblers, which make great profession of thankes in words, but have little or no care by their lives in obedience to testifie the same.

Thoughts.

1. A man is not toThoughts not to be spent on the world. spend his thoughts after the abundance of these earthly things, for the roving of the heart after the world is a wonderfull hinderance to a godly course.

2. It is found by manyWhy its found hard to keepe our thoughts on hea­venly mat­ters. true Christians a very hard thing to keepe their mindes upon heavenly matters, the reason is manifest, that being by nature earthly, our mindes sinke downe thither, as the stone down­ward, and will not with­out force be carryed up­ward.The Re­medie. Our onely help must be, that we doe acquaint our mindes to ascend up­ward, that at length they may be acquainted with [Page 330] the path, and so as readyly goe in it, as in the former.

3. A principall causeWhence it is that ma­ny in their holy exer­cises are troubled with by­thoughts. why so many be troubled in their holy exercises with by-thonghts is this, that they be not exercised at other times to govern their mindes in chasing away vaine and evil thoughts, and in holding their mindes and hearts to good things, without which travaile I see not how the former disease can bee cured: on the other side, he that shall bestow good travaile thisThe reme­die. way, shall finde the yoke of Christ easie, and no te­diousMat. 11. 30 thing to live godly, but shall be freed from ma­ny falls, reproches, sor­rowes, and discourage­ments, which many dayly [Page 331] meet with, and be filled dai­ly with such comforts, as many professors seldome tast of though they would.

Tryall of a mans selfe.

1. Then may a Christi­anAt what time a Christian may judge his state good. soundly judge his state good, when he findes all heavenly matters a recrea­tion to him, and his earthly affaires his labour.

2. There is nothing more necessary than dailyHow wee may cleer­ly see our state whe­ther good or bad. 2. Pet. 1. 10 more and more to make sure our calling, which most professors bee either ignorant of, or negligent in, deceiving themselves. Let every one therefore du­ly examine himself in these points, whereby hee shall cleerely see his state, as whether he be carelesse of his state towards God, [Page 332] (such as doe not know or not regard how it is, being most miserable) or care­full; whether fearefull, (ei­ther not knowing or not assured how to be saved,) both dangerous and dam­nable to such as dye so, Revel. 21. 8. or comforta­ble; whether upon faith a lone, or workes alone, both deceitfull; or upon faith confirmed by works, which onely is sound: for tryall whereof, consider, what thou beleevest; that thou shalt bee saved by Christ, this onely justifi­eth, the beleefe of nothing else: why thou beleevest, because thou knowing thy selfe miserable, and ChristMat. 11. 23 as willing as able to ease thee laden comming to [Page 333] him; doest therefore in heart come unto him, with assurance to be eased, see­ing hee hath so promised. Whether thou have thy conscience bearing thee re­cord, and (because the heartIer. 17. 9. is deceitfull) whether thou seest the effects hereof in the change of the heart; peace in God, love, feare, and the like, whereby both thy self and others may see thy course, whereupon a­mended and daily bettered.How to try whether or not wee have recei­ved Christ.

3. The soundest tryall whether we have received Christ, is by our comfort and care, 1. such as finde neither, must bewaile their state, else no hope, 2. such as be in doubt must never give over till they finde those. 3. such as [Page 334] finde those must encrease them, which will not bee easie; for prosperity and adversity will quench joy in the Spirit. Thus must wee seeke for comfort by removing all that may dis­comfort, and using all meanes to maintaine it, as above all to thinke oft and deeply on Gods goodnesse to us, which still stirre up faith and love.

4. Its godly wisedomeA point of godly wise­dome. to suspect and try our wil­lingnesse and unwilling­nesse to any thing; so strong and deceitfull are our affe­ctions.

5. Many are altogetherWe are to looke as well to outward as inward corruptions looking to the outward corruptions, others to the inward, the meane be tweene both is best: as a [Page 335] man is in tryall and tempta­tion,Note. such a one is he.

The Truth.

1. The best thing in usWhy wee ought to love the truth. is to love the truth, and to hate heresies, and that (not because the time doth so serve, as to praise, profit, or preferre them that love the truth) but though all the world loved heresies, and heretickes yea though all be against us, and love them

2. As for the love ofWant of love of the truth whereof it may make us affraid. the truth, the Gospell pro­ceeded from fishermen to be embraced of the more learned sort, so for want of love thereof its to be fea­red that heresie beginning in the simpler sort, will in­fect the learned: and if God purpose to punish the blindnesse of our age, hee [Page 336] can as well spend an hereti­call Spirit into 400 of our learned preachers as hee sent a lying Spirit into 400 Prophets.1 King 22. 23.

Time.

1. To have a watchfullHow to walk with God all day long. eye over the expence of our time that no part of it slip away without doing some good, and that espe­cially which most apper­taines to us, is a notable meanes to make us walke all the day long with GodGen. 48. 15 as the holy fathers did.

2. As the wicked willThe time to be re­deemed. dearely buy the time to commit iniquity, and that secretly which they dare not publiquely; so Gods children in the midst of sinners, if they want that strength to professe pub­lickely, [Page 337] yet ought they to redeeme all opportunities, for exercise of godlinesse,Eph. 5. 16, prayer, and fasting.

Vertue.

AS the rightway is butVertue is but one, the contra­ries there­unto many. one, and by-wayes ma­ny, so the vertue comman­ded being one, the sinnes contrary thereto be many, which as its to bee seene in all other, so in true libe­ralitie, and that kinde of goodnesse which pertainesThe proofe to the goods of our neigh­bour; The vertue requi­red is that we have an ear­nest desire that our neigh­bour may have a benefit as well as our selves, and therefore that wee procure [Page 338] their good as our owne, but the contrary vices bee many, not easily seene, for our hearts bee deceitfull, for when wee finde our selves indifferently voyde of one sort of covetous­nesse, we imagine we are as free from all, when as itNote. is nothing so: for many in buying and selling can deale conscionably, and be worthy of commendation, who yet in free giving are very backward, who there­by may see their love to the world; others be frank enough in giving, and hard in buying and selling, too much seeking them­selves, who may besides their covetousnesse suspect their hearts bee false, and moved to give for some [Page 339] sinister respect, as privie pride to be well spoken of, or secret merit to please God thereby, or that their conscience could not else bee quiet but feare Gods displeasure, whereas the true roote of this grace ought to be faith in Christ, love to his needie mem­bers,Who they are that truely re­leeve o­thers. for which cause onely freely to releeve is in none but Gods deare children. Againe, some are not so scraping in getting, as pine at their losses, and are mi­serable in spending; others prodigall, yet be extreame in getting by hooke or crook: so that this love of the world shewes it selfe in many things.

Visions.

How farre visions are to be cre­dited.

There may bee visions [Page 340] now, but extraordinarie, which must have no credit without the word, for Sa­tan will twice or thrice shew the truth, that there­by in weightier matters he may seduce.

Warfare.

HE that feeles not his life a battle, and so fearesOur life a warfare. his adversarie, and is grie­ved with the wounds of sinne, can have small com­fort in Christianity.

Watchfulnesse.

1. Watchfulnesse is a looking to our selves, forWhat watchful­nesse is. our soules health oft re­quired, standing in avoi­ding all hurtfull things, and procuring all good.

[Page 341]2. As security sets openThe con­trary effects of security and watch­fulnesse. 2 Sam. 11. 2. 1 King. 11. 4. Mat. 26. 70. The kinds of watch­fulnesse. to all danger whereby ma­ny fall, as appeareth by the examples of David, Sa­lomon and Peter, so through watchfulnesse are many up­holden.

3. Watchfulnesse is ei­ther generall, which must be in every action, or spe­ciall at set times, and up­on speciall occasions.

Wishes.

There is care to be had hereof.

We must bee carefull of our wishes, lest the Lord grant them, when we would not have them, as often fal­leth out.

The Word of God.

1. It is ever best to noteThe gene­rall vertue of the word to be noted. the generall vertue of the Word, and not to use ex­ceptions, but upon parti­cular and constraining ne­cessitie.

[Page]2. The cause why weeWhy we [...]fit not in the word profit not in the word is because wee pray not to have our hearts stricken therewith.

3. Who so heares the WordThe effect of carelesse hearing. carelesly, no marvel though he have no delight there­in.

4. The Word of God ofThe word and Spirit must goe together. it selfe doth onely as a light reveale Gods will, and cannot worke on the heart but that is onely the worke of the Spirit, who by the Word, lighteneth, hum­bleth, feareth, comforteth, perswadeth.

5. This sore evill haveWhy most profit not by hearing the word. I observed among many diligent hearers (of whom is to bee well hoped for some worke of grace in them) as a chiefe cause [Page 343] why they heare much with little profit, and there­fore no growth can bee seene in them, yea rather a decaying, namely that they content themselves with such a marking of that which is delivered, as that they can in any mea­sure report what they heard, and approve there­of, which as its necessary, so its insufficient and can little edifie the soule in sound godlinesse, and there­foreWhat kinde of hearing edefieth. ought not to pacifie the conscience, whereas that onely hearing can soundly edifie and ought to pacifie, when as our hearts be delighted in the knowledge revealed or confirmed, and our con­sciences pricked with the [Page 344] sense of those sins which be rebuked, in such sort that we can at our most conve­nient time turne aside and bewaile them and labour by prayer with the Lord for forgivenesse and pow­er unto amendment, or o­therwise bee drawne by hearing of our duties to desire and purpose to per­forme them, and so make new covenants with the Lord to this purpose, wher­in this care is so much the more necessarie, for that this fruitfull hearing is theThe bene­fit of fruit­full hea­ring. principall nurse of all Christianitie. Besides this, there is another great dan­ger, in that we so soone let slip our hold, forget or neglect our purposes, and so soone waxe weary in [Page 345] good courses. But its to be hoped that they who have in truth purposedNote. and begunne well shall be recovered from their falls, and quickned a fresh by new instructions, which especially doth commend the necessity of continuall hearing or living under an ordinary ministerie.

6. As nothing more con­cernesThe word is food for the soule. our bodily life than food, so for our spirituall life, the word.

7. Our chiefe default inA chiefe default in hearing. hearing is, that we are not so affected with sorrow or comfort, as that wee bee perswaded to leave the sinne, and doe the duty spo­kenWhether we are to goe to Church on the weeke daies or not of.

8. Touching the hea­ring of the word on the [Page 346] weeke dayes, this may bee resolved, that if our worke be such as cannot at ano­ther time bee done, or bee for the present well omit­ted, its lawfull for us to stay there from. A tryall whereof may bee had in this, if a man of honour, or great credit with us should require us at such times to come to him, whether wee would deny him or not, if wee would not deny him, how can we with good conscience deny the Lord our pre­sence in the congregati­on?

Worldly-mindednesse.

Its a matter much toWordly mindednes a common sinne a­mong pro­fessors. bee lamented that among so many professors wee see so exceeding few, scare [Page 347] one of a thousand who hath apparently overcome the world by his faith, set­ting light by these things below, the heavenly ha­ving wholly his heart. Though it be our desire to have our hearts withdrawn here from, yet so weakely doe wee labour the same, that with shame we may be­waile our want.

Worldly Wisedome.

Its the shame of our ho­lyGods chil­dren not so wise for their soules as are worldlings for their bodies. Luc. 16. 8. profession that the chil­dren of the world are in their kinde wiser than the children of light. The wisedome of worldlings for this world is admira­ble, how deepe a reach have they to see into their matters? how quicke to spie out all advantages, to [Page 348] forecast all doubts, to pre­vent all that may crosse them, and to follow all op­portunities to attaine their desires, and to make all sure, O but how wretchles and babish bee most Chri­stians for grace and happi­nesse! Some securely de­ferre all to God, taking no thought what shall become of them: others content themselves with bare shewes to have a name of Christianitie: others, with small beginnings, as though every little were enough: most deceive themselves with foolish conceit their case is better than it is: few or none match the worldling in prying into the privie commoditie of Christianity, and so valu­ing [Page 349] it aright, in deepe reach to compasse these, in fore­casting all doubts; and pre­venting all impediments, taking and pursuing all occasions, sparing no cost, time, paines of attaining, and never give over till we be sure, and then with all watch and ward to hold fast that wee have gotten and dayly to encrease the same.

Young Children.

YOung children may beInstruction of young children. taught things concer­ning God.

Zeale.

1. SEeing the most zealous. in time doe coole, its aPrayer to [...] kept [...]om the [...]nnes of [...]e time. most necessary prayer that God would keepe us in our age, from the sinnes of the time we live in.

2. We are to take heedThere must bee both zeale and [...]ove in re­buking. that the love of mens per­sons slack not our zeale in rebuking sin in them, and that our zeale against sinne slacke not our love to the person.

3. Its a godly zeale to Gods glorie to feare every [...]ale to [...]ods glory wherein [...]anifested. least thing in our brethren, and yet in love to hope the best.

FINIS.

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