By Stephen Denison, Minister of Gods word, at Katherine Kree Church, in the Citie of London.

2. COR. 5. 17.

Therefore, if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature.

GAL. 6. 15.

For in Christ Iesus, neither circumcision a­uaileth any thing, nor vncircumcision, but a new creature.

LONDON, Printed by Richard Field, dwelling in great Woodstreete.


[Page] TO THE RIGHT HONORABLE, SIR SEBASTIAN HARVEY Knight, Lord Maior of the hono­rable Citie of London:
STEPHEN DENISON wisheth increase of all sauing grace in this world, and eternall glorie and happinesse in the world to come.

Right Honorable,

THE doctrine of Repen­tance and of the new Creature, is very neces­sarie in all places, and for all assemblies. This doctrine is fit for all persons; it is fit for men of high degree, to cause them to be­thinke [Page] thēselues. It is fit for men of low de­gree, to cause them to know thēselues. It is fit for the true iudicious hearer, to cause him to adde practise to his knowledge. And it is fit for the itching care or curi­ous hearer, to teach him the true vse of hearing Sermons, which is, not to haue his vncircumcised eare carnally plea­sed, but rather to haue his poore soule regenerated, edified, and refreshed. With Ioel 1. 2.this doctrine was Ioel sent vnto the old men, and to all the inhabitants of the land. With this doctrine was Ionas sent Ionas 3. 4.vnto Nineue, Fortie dayes, and Ni­neue shall be destroyed. With this do­ctrine was Christ himselfe sent vnto the Iohn 3. 3.lost sheepe of the house of Israel: Except a man be borne againe, he cannot see the kingdome of God. And with this doctrine is this weake messenger or smal Treatise sent into the world at this time. I desire that it might do much good vnto the soules of Gods elect▪ which if it do, I do vnfainedly confesse, it is [Page] not in respect of any worth or sufficiency that is in the author, but meerly by Gods free blessing following my poore and weake endeuours.

The reasons which haue moued me to make this doctrine and Sermon pub­licke, are these, viz.

First, the consideration of the neces­sitie of it: for what is more necessarie then to vnderstand the mysterie of re­generation? without which no flesh can be saued.

Secondly, the consideration of the ge­nerall extent of this doctrine: for it con­cerneth not onely them which heard the Sermon, but also all others; for God ex­horteth Act. 17. 30. all men to repent.

Thirdly, the desire of diuers holy Chri­stians, whose earnest and godly request I desire to fulfill to my power.

And in that I do commend vnto your Honour, these my poore en­deuours contained in this booke, it is:

[Page] First, because your Honour was an eare-witnesse of this Sermon, enduring the coldnesse of the season, to heare it with much attention.

Secondly, because your Honour hath purchased to your selfe a good report a­mong men, by your inst and vpright ca­riage in that worthy place and calling whereunto you are called▪

Thirdly, because your Honour hath had, and I hope will haue vnto the end, a singular care of Gods Sabbath, that it may not be profaned by the leudnesse of men, which are more set vpon their own gaine and pleasure, then in any sort vpon Gods glorie: which desire not onely to sinne themselues, but also to make Christian magistrates partakers of their sinnes, by giuing licence and libertie vnto them.

Fourthly, that I might hereby testi­fie my loue vnfained vnto this famous Citie; for the which I will alwayes pray, that God would turne his iudgements [Page] from it, and preuent it with his liberall blessings, especially in heauenly things in Christ.

I beseech your Honour to accept this Treatise, which I offer as the widowes mite, to be cast into Gods treasurie. And so I will pray the very God of 1. Thes. 5. 23.peace to sanctifie you wholly; and that your whole spirit, and soule, and bodie, may be preserued blamelesse, vnto the coming of our Lord Iesus Christ. Amen.

Your Honours in all things in the Lord, Stephen Denison.


EZEKIEL 18. 31.‘Cast away from you all your transgres­sions whereby ye haue transgressed, and make you a new heart and a new spirit: for why will ye die, ô house of Israel?’

AT the fiue and twen­tieth verse of this pre­sent Chapter, the Pro­phet Ezekiel tells vs, that the house of Israel had complained against the Lord, that his wayes were not equall. Vnto the which impudent, sawcie, and blas­phemous complaint, the Lord in his owne most iust defence giueth a dou­ble [Page 2] answer: first in the 26 and 27 ver­ses, in these words: If a righteous man for saketh his righteousnesse, and com­mitteth iniquitie, and dieth in them: for the iniquitie that he hath done, shall he die. Againe, when the wicked man turneth away from his wickednesse that he hath committed, and doth that which is equall and right, he shall saue his soule aliue. As though the Lord should say: He that condemneth the impenitent, though formerly neuer so righteous in shew; and he that iu­stifieth the penitent, though formerly neuer so wretched in deed, his wayes must needs be equall. But God doth all this: Therefore his wayes must needs be equall. The second answer which the Lord giueth to the former vniust complaint, is contained in the words of my text: Cast away from you all your transgressions, whereby ye haue transgressed, &c. As though it were said: He which offereth you life [Page 3] and saluation, vpon condition of re­pentance and amendment for the time to come, his wayes must needs be equall. But God offereth you this offer. Therfore his wayes must needs be equall.

Cast away all your transgressions, &c. The parts of this text are two, to wit, an exhortation, and an expostulatiō; or a counsell, and a reason. In the ex­hortation or counsell, the Church of God is taught, first, what to auoid, in these words, Cast away all your trans­gressions, whereby ye haue transgressed. Secondly, what to labour fot, in the words following, And make you a new heart and a new spirit. And the expo­stulation or reason, is taken from the danger that will ensue if the counsell be reiected, in these words, For why will ye die, ô house of Israel?

Cast away frō you all your transgressions.

Cast away: by this is meant a finall forsaking of sin; yea such a forsaking [Page 4] is here vnderstood, as is with an holy detestation or indignation: much like vnto that speech of the Prophet Isa. 30. 22.Isaiah, Ye shall defile also the couering of thy grauen images of siluer, and the or­nament of thy moulten images of gold: thou [...]ast them away as a polluted cloth: thou shalt say vnto it, Get thee bence.

All your transgressions. The word in the originall signifieth properly slips, or failings, or lesser sins. Where­by is not meant, that the Church must onely cast away or forsake her smaller sinnes, and retaine her grea­ter; for that were with the Pharises Mat. 23. 24.to straine out a gnat, and to swallow a Camell: but by transgressions in this text (by a Synecdoche, part being put for the whole) we are to vnder­stand all sinne, from the greatest to the least; from grosse, crying, reig­ning sinne, euen to our very infirmi­ties. The like figure is to be obserued [Page 5] in the words of the third comman­dement, Thou shalt not take the name Exod. 20. 7 of the Lord thy God in vaine: for the Lord will not hold him guiltlesse, &c. Where it is not meant, that we should onely make conscience of ta­king Gods name in vaine by light vse in common talke, and in the meane time make no conscience of periury before a magistrate: but the true mea­ning and scope of the cōmandement is, to teach vs to make conscience of all profanation of Gods name, euen from the very sinnes of periury and blasphemy, to the least oath. Euen so in my text, by transgressions we are to vnderstand all sinnes, both great and small. For we must not fauour or abet our selues in our very infir­mities.

And make you a new heart and a new spirit. By heart and spirit here is meant the whole inner man. For by the heart is meant the memory the [Page 6] will, the affections, and the consci­ence; and by the spirit is meant the spirit of the mind, or the vnderstan­ding. So that that which God requi­reth here to be renewed, is the whole inner man: according to that holy Pro. 23. 26.Prouerb, My son giue me thine heart. But here a questiō may be demāded: Will God therefore be content with the bare renewing of the inner man? or is he indifferent, whether the out­ward man be renewed or no? Not so: 1. Cor. 6. 20 For we are bought with a price: there­fore we must glorifie God both in our bo­dies and in our spirits: for they are Gods. But the Lord nameth the inner man, because the true renouation begins there, namely at the heart and in the mind. Secondly, because God knew full well, that if once the inner man were throughly renewed, the out­ward man would quickly be refor­med. According to that speech of our Mat. 23. 26.blessed Sauiour to the Pharisee: Thou [Page 7] blind Pharisee, cleanse first that which is within the cup and platter, that the outside of them may be cleane also.

Why will ye die? There is a three­fold death mentioned in the holy Scriptures: First, naturall, and that is nothing else but a separation for a time of the soule from the body. Se­condly, spirituall, and that is a sepa­ration of the soule from the life of God. Thirdly, eternall, and that is a finall separation both of body and soule, from the comfortable presence of God. Of the first kind of death, is spoken in Heb. 9. 27. It is appointed vnto men to die once. Of the second, is spoken in Luke 15. 32. This thy brother was dead, & is aliue again. Of the third is made mentiō in Reu. 21. 8. The fear­full, and vnbeleeuing, & abhominable, & murderers, and whoremongers, and sorcerers, and idolaters, and all lyers, shall haue their part in the lake which burneth with fire and brimstone: which [Page 8] is the second death. My text is meant of the third kind of death: why will ye die? that is, why will ye incurre the danger of the second death, which is eternall damnation both of soule and bodie, to be tormented with the Di­uell and his Angels for euer.

O house of Israel. By the house of Israel in this place, is meant the Church of God both among the Iewes and among the Gentiles. For the name Israel is giuen to both peo­ples, in Gal. 6. 16. And I am sure the matter of the exhortation concernes vs Gentiles as much as euer it did the Iewes. For I appeale to euery mans conscience: haue not we as great need to be exhorted to cast away all our transgressions, as euer had the Iewes? Haue not we as much need to be stirred vp to become new crea­tures, as euer had the Iewes? Iudge we in our selues. Furthermore, this name Israel is taken from the Patri­arch [Page 9] Iacob, who was named Israel by Gen. 32. 28.the Angell which wrastled with him, because as a Prince he had preuailed with God. And it is a very fit name for all Gods people, because they are a generation that can wrastle with God in prayer, and also preuaile. Thus much of the literall meaning of the words.

Cast away all your transgressions. Before I come to the points of do­ctrine which I principally aime at, two questions are first to be answe­red: First, whether repentance be in a mans owne power or no, because the Church is here exhorted, as by her owne action, to cast away her trans­gressions, and to make her selfe a new heart and a new spirit? And the se­cond question is, whether a man haue free will or no? because it is said here, Why will ye die, ô house of Israel? As see­ming to imply, that it was in the free choise of Israel her selfe, whether she [Page 10] would be saued or damned.

Concerning the first question, I an­swer, that true repentance, or that re­pentance which is neuer to be repen­ted of, it is not in mans power, but it is the especiall gift of God: according to that in 2. Tim. 2. 25. In meeknesse instructing them that oppose thēselues, prouing if God peraduenture will giue them repentance, to the acknowledging of the truth. And furthermore, euery vnregenerate person, man or woman, Ier. 13. 23.is a very blacke More, yea a Leopard: and therefore as the blacke More can­not change his skin, nor the Leopard his spots, no more can any vnregene­rate person do good, which is accu­stomed to do euill. We do not denie, but natural men and women may at­taine Mat. 27. 3.some degree of sorrow, as Iudas did; & some degree of outward humi­liation, 1. Kin. 21. 29 Exod. 9. 27as Ahab did; and some degree of confession, as Pharao did; and some degree of the restraining spirit, as [Page 11] Abimelech did; and some degree of Gen. 20. 6.satisfaction vnto men for iniuries done, as the same Iudas did. But to Mat. 27. 5.the sauing sight of sinne, or to the contrite spirit, which God wil not de­spise; or sound inward mortification vnto sin, which is by the Spirit; or to true conscience of sin, and louing en­deuour after righteousnesse: hereunto a meere naturall person can neuer at­taine by his owne naturall strength. For it is spiritually, and not naturally attained: it is the worke of God, and not of man. And therefore Ephraim is heard bemoning himselfe to God in these termes, Turne thou me, and I Ier. 31. 18. shall be turned: for thou art the Lord my God. Wherein he doth secretly ac­knowledge, that he had not repen­tance in his owne power, but that it was the gift of God.

But here remaineth still another difficultie. For it may be obiected fur­ther: If repentance be not in a mans [Page 12] owne power, then why doth God exhort vs here to cast off all our ini­quities, and to make our selues new hearts and new spirits? God doth not this because he presupposeth an abi­lity in vs to perform that which he re­quireth; but because he himself is rea­dy to do that for vs, which he requires at our hands. For the word of God is not as the word of man, to wit, a bare sound or voice; but being ioyned with the Spirit, it offereth grace, and effecteth that in the harts of the elect in some measure, which it doth re­quire. As we reade concerning Tho­mas, Ioh. 20. 27. 28. Christs word cō ­manded Thomas not to be infidelious but beleeuing, and the same word wrought faith in him to beleeue: so that he immediatly fell downe at Ie­sus feets, and said vnto him, Thou art my God and my Lord.

Concerning the second question, which is, whether a man haue free [Page 13] will, because it is said, Why will ye die? To this I answer, a man or woman may haue a free choise in things ciuill and indifferent: thus, if any one be in­uited to a feast, he is at his own choise whether he will go or no; and if he go, he is at his owne choise of what dishes he wil taste or eate: according to that in 1. Cor. 10. 27. If any one that beleeueth not, bid thee to a feast; and if thou wilt go &c. But to make choise, or to refuse to go to a feast, or to make choise to feed moderately for conscience sake, or for Gods glorie, this is immediatly frō God the foun­taine of all holinesse. For we are not 2. Cor. 3. 5. sufficient to thinke any thing as of our selues, but our sufficiencie is of God. Again, that a Christian hath in some measure a freed will after conuersion, though not an absolute free will, we do not gainsay: for Christ came to proclaime libertie to the captiues, and Esai. 61. 1. the opening of the prison to them that [Page 14] 2. Cor. 3. 17 are bound. And where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is libertie. But to say, that a man hath absolute freedome, and that he hath power of himselfe, without the Spirit, to will that which is good, and to nill that which is euil; Phil. 2. 13.to affirme this we cannot. For it is God which giueth both to will and to do, of his good pleasure. We haue not free will before conuersion: For euery ima­gination Gen. 6. 5. of the thoughts of our hearts are onely euill continually. And, in vs, Rom. 7. 18.that is, in our flesh, abideth nothing which is good. Neither haue we free Ioh. 15. 5. 4.will after conuersion: For without Christ can we do nothing. And, As the branch cannot beare fruite of it selfe except it abide in the vine, no more can we, except we abide in Christ.

And therefore we Christians haue iust cause to reiect the doctrine of Poperie, as in other points funda­mentall, as namely in the doctrine of iustificaton by a mans owne merits; [Page 15] and in the doctrine of praying, or gi­uing diuine worship vnto Saints and Angels; and in the doctrine of Pur­gatorie; and in the doctrine of the Popes authoritie to dispense with sin, or to forgiue sin; in the doctrine of Transsubstantiation; in the doctrine of the Popes power to dethrone Christian Kings, &c. As we haue, I say, iust cause to reiect these vaine in­uentions, with innumerable other Antichristian traditions: so likewise we haue iust cause to dissent from the Papists and new vpstart Arminians in the doctrine of Free will. And the doctrine of Free will, in that sence as it is maintained by Papists and Armi­nians, is so much the more to be ab­horred: first because it denieth the doctrine of the erernall truth of God concerning election and reproba­tion; maintaining that one person is not elected more then another, ex­cept it be for foreseene faith or fore­seene [Page 16] workes. Contrary vnto that in Rom. 9. 11. For the children being not yet borne, neither hauing done any good or euill, that the purpose of God accor­ding to election might stand, not of workes, but of him that calleth, it was said vnto her, The elder shall serue the yonger: as it is written, Iacob haue I loued, and Esau haue I hated.

Secondly, the doctrine of freewill is so much the more to be reiected, because it derogates from the glorie of God, and maketh a man his owne sauiour: for if a man haue absolute power of himselfe, by his owne will to be saued or damned, then if he be saued, he may thanke himselfe and not God. Thirdly, if the doctrine of freewill were receiued, then we must also grant, that there is no assurance of saluation in this life: contrary to that in 2. Pet. 1. 10. Make your calling and election sure. Yea we must grant also, that a Christian might fall fi­nally [Page 17] and totally from sauing grace: contrary to that in Math. 16. 18. The gates of hell shall not preuaile, &c. and thus one grosse absurdity being granted, a thousand would follow. The reason therefore that God ex­postulates thus with his Church, Why will ye die? is not to implie any free­will in vs, but rather to intimate a great frowardnesse in vs vnto that which is good, and a desperate for­wardnesse and pronenesse vnto that which is euill. Why will ye die? that is, why will ye desperately resist the Spi­rit when he offers grace vnto you? and why will ye wilfully rush into sinne as the horse into the battell, and so incurre the danger of damna­tion, when ye are sufficiently fore­warned? Thus much for the meaning of the words and matter.

Cast away from you all your trans­gressions. I purpose not to collect all the doctrines which I might out of [Page 18] this text, because the time would be too short for so large a discourse. I will therefore (if God will) insist one­ly vpon such points as stand best with the scope of the holy Ghost in this text or portion of Scripture, and which I think to be the most necessa­ry doctrines concerning the time and place.

Cast away from you all your trans­gressions. Where note, that it is not said, lay by all your transgressions for a time, but cast them away. Againe, it is not said, cast away some of your transgressions, or such transgressions which you can best spare, but cast a­way all, euen to your very infirmi­ties.

1. Doctrine. Whence obserue we, That a true penitent sinner must not not fauour or allow himselfe in any sinne or trans­gression whatsoeuer, but he must be content to part with all, yea with his best-beloued sinnes: he must cast a­way [Page 19] all his transgressions whereby he hath transgressed.

For the proofe of which point, I commend vnto you these places of Scripture following:

Ezechiel 18. 30. Repent and turne your selues from all your transgressions, so iniquitie shall not be your ruine.

Math. 18. 8. 9. Wherefore if thy hand or thy foote offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or mai­med, rather then hauing two hands or two feete, to be cast into euerlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, plucke it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, ra­ther then hauing two eyes to be cast into hell fire.

2. Cor. 7. 1. Hauing therefore these promises (dearely beloued) let vs cleanse our selues from all filthinesse of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holinesse in the feare of God.

[Page 20] Heb. 12. 1. Wherefore seeing we are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let vs lay aside euery weight, and the sinne which doth so easily beset vs, and let vs runne with patience the race that is set before vs.

By all which places of holy Scrip­tures, and by many other, it is cleare and manifest, that it will not serue our turnes, to forsake some sinnes vp­pon our conuersion, but we must be content to part with all, yea with our best beloued sinnes.

For further euidencing of this ne­cessary truth, consider we the exam­ples of former Conuerts: when the 1. Cor. 6. 9.Corinthians were conuerted, they washed themselues by the cleane wa­ters of Gods Spirit, from their vn­cleannesse, theft, couetousnesse, re­uilings, extortions, and the like.

When the Thessalonians were 1. Thes. 1. 9. conuerted, they turned from idols to serue the true and liuing God, and to [Page 21] looke for his Sonne from heauen. And so for particular persons.

Math. 9. 9. When Mathew was conuerted, he left the receipt of custome: when Zaccheus was conuerted, he left his Luke 19. 8.forged cauillation: when the hard hearted iaylour was conuerted, he Act. 16. 33.ceassed to deale cruelly with poore prisoners: when Moses was conuer­ted, he abhorred the vanities of Pha­raoes Heb. 11. 33.Court.

Reason 1. By all which examples and many other mentioned in the word of God, it is euident that a true Con­uert or penitent person must turne, not from some, but from all his sinnes.

And great reason there is that a man or woman should turne from all iniquitie.

First, in respect of God himselfe, for Iehouah is a God of purer eyes then to be­hold Hab. 1. 13. euill, he cannot looke on iniquitie, as saith the Prophet. He abhorreth all [Page 22] iniquitie, his iealousie smoaketh a­gainst all sinne, and especially against that sinne after which we haue gone a whoring from God. And therefore whosoeuer they be that desire to get into Gods fauour, they must of ne­cessitie forsake their beloued sinne, which is Gods corriuall.

Reason 2. Secondly, a Christian must for­sake all sinne. For euery sinne is 1. Ioh. 3. 4. Iam▪ 2. 10. the transgression of the Law: and he that shall keepe the whole Law, and yet offendeth in one point, he is guiltie of all. For howsoeuer he breakes not euery linke of the chaine by this or that particular sinne, yet he may be truly said to breake the chaine, if he breake any linke at all of it. So that though a man sinne not particularly against euery Commandement, yet by fa­uouring and allowing himselfe in this or that particular breach of the Law, he is guiltie of the breach of all Gods Commandements, because he [Page 23] offendeth against the authoritie and integritie of the whole Law. And therfore whosoeuer they be that loue and respect Gods Law, they must of necessitie breake off their beloued sinnes. For the sound loue of the word and the loue of sinne, can no more stand together then the Arke and Dagon.

Reason 3. Thirdly, a Christian must forsake all sinne in respect of sinne it selfe. For what is any sinne but the very worke of the diuell? and therefore to 1. Io [...]. 3. 8.be abhorred. What is any sinne but a fruite of the filthy flesh? and there­fore Gal. 5. 19.worthy to be hated. Yea what is any sinne but very filthinesse it selfe? as it is termed 2. Cor. 7. 1. Yea what is any sinne but the vomit of a dog and filthy mire? as Peter phraseth it in his 2. Epistle 2. Chapter: and there­fore what iust cause hath euery Chri­stian to forsake and abandon all sinne?

[Page 24] Reason 4. Fourthly, euery Christian ought to forsake all sinne, yea euen his be­loued sinne, in respect of the danger that will accrue vnto him, if he do not forsake it. He that will not for­sake his sinne, he remaineth vnder the Rom. 1. 18.wrath of God. For the wrath of God is reuealed from heauen against all vn­godlinesse and vnrighteousnesse of men. He that will not forsake his sin, he is continually subiect to Gods Psal. 68. 21.vengeance in this world, for God will wound the hairie scalpe of such an one as goeth on in his wickednesse. He that will not forsake his sinne, he shall ne­uer enter into the kingdome of hea­uen, according to that in Gal. 5. 21. Of which I tell you before, as I haue also told you before, that they which do such things shall not inherite the kingdome of God. Lastly, he which will not for­sake his beloued sinne, he shall be sure to haue his portion in the lake Reu. 21. 8.that burneth with fire and brimstone; [Page 25] he shall not be able to stand in iudge­ment, Psal. 1. 5.yea he shall desire the very mountaines to fall vpon him, to hide him from the wrath of the Lambe. And therefore whosoeuer they be that desire to escape these dangers, they must of necessitie breake off their beloued sinnes.

5. Reason. Fiftly, euery Christian ought to breake off his beloued sinne in re­spect of the good which he shall reape thereby: and the true Christian shall receiue infinite benefite by the forsaking of sinne. For first, if he will touch no vncleane thing, God will 2. Cor. 6. 17receiue him for his child.

Secondly, if he will forsake all his sinnes, be shall be made fit for Gods seruice, as for prayer, hearing Gods word, receiuing the Sacrament: whereas otherwise if he forsake not sinne, he is vnfit for all these; for if we regard wickednesse in our hearts, Psal. 66. 18.God will not regard our seeming de­uotion, [Page 26] but it is abhomination to him.

Thirdly, if a Christian will forsake his beloued sinne, he shall haue peace of conscience, which he shall neuer haue vnlesse he forsake his sinne. For Isay 57. 21. there is no peace to the wicked, saith my God.

Fourthly, if a Christian forsake his sinne, he shall profite by the word; Luke 8. 14.wheras otherwise the word is choked by the venime of his beloued sinne.

Fiftly, if a Christian forsake his Isay 1. 16.sinne, he shall haue fellowship with God and ioy in the holy Ghost; whereas if he forsake nor his sinne, he Eph. 2. 12.remaineth an alien to God; and in ve­ry laughter his heart shall be sorrowfull. Pro. 14. 13.

Sixtly, if a Christian forsake his beloued sinne, he shall approue the truth of his repentance, whereas o­therwise his repentance is no better then the repentance of Herod. For [Page 27] Herod was content to do many Marke 6.things at the preaching of Iohn Bap­tist, but he would not forsake his He­rodias: and therefore his obedience was no obedience, and his repen­tance no repentance.

1. Obiection. Pro. 24. 16. But doth not the righteous man fall seuen times a day? and do we not in many things offend all? are we not Iam. 3. 2.all sinners? is there any man that li­ueth and sinneth not? Therefore what necessitie is there that any man should endeuour to purge himselfe from all sinne?

Answer. It is very true that we are all sin­ners, For if we say we haue no sinne, we lie, and speake not the truth; but there is great difference betwixt sinnes of infirmitie whereunto the children of God are subiect, and sins of presumption whereunto the wic­ked are giuen.

First, sinnes of infirmitie are com­mitted vpon the sudden, by a present [Page 28] and vnexpected temptation, as we see in the example of Dauid, Psal. 116. 11. I said in my haste, all men are liers. But a sinne of presumption is com­mitted with premeditation and plot­ting. For the wicked deuiseth mischiefe vpon his bed; he setteth himself vpon a way that is not good, &c. Psal. 36. 4.

Secondly, a sinne of infirmitie is done vnwillingly, with much striuing against the flesh, yea with the very hatred of the sinne committed: as we see in the example of blessed Paul, Rom. 7. 15. That which I do, I allow not: for what I would, that I do not; but what I hate, that do I. Whereas on the contrary, a sinne of presumption is committed willingly, with the whole heart, with great delight, yea euen with greedinesse, Ephes. 4. 19. Who being past feeling, haue giuen themselues ouer vnto lasciuiousnesse: to worke all vncleanenesse with greedi­nesse.

[Page 29] Thirdly, a sinne of infirmitie is commonly committed in things of a lower nature. For few of the children of God after conuersion (as I sup­pose) do fall so grosly as did Dauid and Peter. The child of God after re­generation may be assailed with euill thoughts, and may be subject to like passions as others are: yea idle words may sometimes slip from them at vnawares, and some failings there may be in their actions and dealings: and they may also come short in the well performing of holy duties and the like. But a sinne of presumption is vsually committed with an high hand in grosse matters. Rom. 3. 13. Their throate is an open sepulcher, with their tongues they haue vsed deceit; the poyson of aspes is vnder their lips: whose mouth is full of cursing and bit­ternesse, their feete are swift to shed bloud, &c.

Fourthly, a sinne of infirmitie is [Page 30] commonly of ignorance, as was the sinne of Peter when rashly he desired that three Tabernacles might be made, one for Christ, one for Mo­ses, Mark 9. 6.and one for Elias, not knowing what he said; whereas a sinne of pre­sumption is alwayes against the light of knowledge. For the wicked know­ing the iudgement of God (that they which do such things are worthy of death) not onely do the same, but haue pleasure in them that do them. Rom. 1. 32.

Fiftly, a sinne of infirmitie when it is knowne, it is presently repented of, and is more carefully shunned and bewar'd of for the time to come: as we see in the example of holy Iob, in his fortieth chapter, and fourth and fifth verses: who perceiuing that he had bene too bold with God, pre­sently vpon the sight of his sinne breaketh out into these termes of re­pentance, Behold I am vile, what shall [Page 31] I answer thee? I will lay my hand vpon my mouth, once haue I spoken, but I will not answer againe: yea twise, but I will proceed no further. Whereas on the contrary a sinne of presumption is commonly made a trade of, and con­tinued in, yea many times defended and boasted of. The children of Israel made a trade of prouoking God vn­to anger in the wildernesse, and con­tinued therein fortie yeares, Psal. 95. 10. The wicked idolaters offer to de­fend their offering of cakes to the Queene of heauen, Ier. 44. 17. And the vngodly boasteth of his hearts de­sire. Psal. 10. 3.

Now therefore considering what great difference there is betwixt sins of infirmitie and sinnes of presump­tion, let no man deceiue himselfe in being encouraged to liue in his grosse sinnes of presumption, because the true children of God, sore a­gainst their wils, are subiect to many [Page 32] slips and imperfections.

2. Obiection. I am conuinced in my conscience (may some say) that I ought to liue better then I do, and that I ought to breake off my best-beloued sinnes: but may I not do this hereafter? what necessitie is there of present amend­ment? Answer.To this I answer: It is not for thee (my poore brother) to put off thy repentance from day to day; and that for diuerse weightie reasons.

First, because God himselfe calleth vpon thee for present repentance: To Heb. 3. 7.day if ye will heare his voyce, harden not your hearts, as in the prouocation, and in the day of temptation in the wil­dernesse.

Secondly, because through pro­crastination thine heart may be made hard and impenitent, as is implied in Heb. 3. 13. Exhort one another daily, while it is called to day, lest any of you be hardened through the deceitfulnesse of sinne.

[Page 33] Thirdly, because thy life is fraile and vncertaine; thou knowest not what a day may bring forth; thou mayest be aliue and in health to day, and dead and buried by to morrow: therefore it behoueth thee to repent whilest thou hast yet time.

Fourthly, there be (no doubt) mul­titudes at this instant in hell fire for deferring their repentance, notwith­standing that they purposed, as thou doest, to repent hereafter. And there­fore, lest thou be like such foolish vir­gins, and lest thou also come to that place of torment, thou must not one­ly repent, and cast away all thy trans­gressions whereby thou hast trans­gressed; but this thou must do to day, without any minutes procrastina­tion.

3. Obiection. I am content (will some haply say) to part with whatsoeuer I am conuinced of to be a sinne; but how shall I be conuinced of sinne, or by [Page 34] what meanes may I come to find out Answ.my beloued sinne? I answer, if thou knowest not (my Christian brother) thy beloued sinne, which euery man doth more easily know then forsake, take these few directions for the fin­ding out of thy sinne:

First, pray vnto God (but pray fer­uently, and in the name of Christ) that he would vouchsafe to discouer vnto thee thy sins. For it is the Spirit Iohn 16. 8.of God which conuinceth the world of sinne; and he is that eye-salue which must cause thee to see.

Secondly, thou must be very con­uersant in Gods word, but especially in the reading of the Law of God: Rom. 3. 20for by the Law cometh the knowledge I am. 1. 23. of sin. And the Law is that true cri­stall glasse, wherein thou mayest dis­cerne and see thy vgly deformities.

Thirdly, thou must carefully ob­serue the checkes of thy conscience. For if thou hast not feared thy con­science; [Page 35] with an hote iron, it will at one time or other checke thee for thy beloued sinne; and thine owne heart will smite thee, as Dauids heart smote him, when he had cut off the lap of Sauls garment.

Fourthly, thou must be content to suffer the word of exhortation from thy Minister, from thy friend, yea from thy very enemy, if thou desirest to come to the sight of thy sin. Many times others see more in vs, then we can see in our selues. How came Da­uid to the sight of his sin, but by Na­than 2. Sam. 12.the Prophet his ministery?

Vse 1. Now hauing proued vnto you at large the truth of the doctrine, name­ly, that a true conuert must turne, not from some, but from all his sins: the vse of the point is, first to condemne the practise of grosse hypocrites, vn­to whom sin is sweet, and they hide it Iob 20. 12.vnder their tongues: which with Saul spare their fat sinnes of pleasure and [Page 36] profit; and learne of Naaman to say, Lord be merciful vnto vs in these sins; when in the meane time they neuer meane to forsake them. But I leaue such to their iust condemnation, vn­lesse they repent.

2. Vse. Secondly, it serues for exhortation, to excite euery one of you, and mine owne soule also, to forsake all sin. Let Ministers learne to beware of false doctrine, and bad example, lest many therby be defiled. Let Lawyers learne to beware of bribes, to peruert iudge­ment and iustice. Let Magistrates learne to beware of too much seue­ritie towards some, and of too much partialitie towards others. Let trades­men learne to breake off all fraud and deceit, and all shamefull secret cor­ruptions of their particular callings. In a word, let euery man and woman, rich and poore, yong & old, one and other, learne to cast off all their trans­gressions, whereby they haue trans­gressed. [Page 37] And that we may obtaine the happie victory against our espe­ciall corruptions, these rules are to be obserued with all carefulnesse.

First, we must daily examine our selues: for thus saith the Lord of hoasts by the Prophet, Consider your Agg. 1. 12. wayes; and by his beloued Disciple, Remember from whence thou art fallen Reu. 2. 5..

Secondly, we must daily confesse them, and bemoane our selues daily for them to God; yea we must con­demne our selues for them, and de­sire strength against them by prayer. All this did Paul for the remouing of the messenger of Satan, which was 2. Cor. 12. 7▪sent to buffet him, 2. Cor. 12. 7.

Thirdly, we must daily renew our couenant with God, vowing against our sins, as Dauid did; I haue sworne, Psal. 119. 106. and will performe it, that I will keepe thy righteous indgements. A resolute vow and stedfast resolution, are nota­ble preseruatiues against all sinne.

[Page 38] Fourthly, we must be very con­uersant in the vse of Gods ordinan­ces, to wit, of praying, aduised rea­ding, frequent hearing, prepared re­ceiuing of the Lords Supper, &c. Di­ligence in these things is an especiall meanes, with the helpe of Gods Spi­rit, to mortifie any sinne.

Fiftly, we must auoid the compa­nie of such as haue bene the instru­ments of Satan formerly to allure vs to sin. For in vaine shall we purpose to keepe the commandements of our God, vnlesse with Dauid we say to our Psa. 119. 115gracelesse companions, Depart from me ye wicked.

3. Vse. Thirdly, considering that all sinne must be cast off, it may serue more particularly for the instruction both of Ministers and Magistrates. Of vs Ministers; we must hereby be excited to take diligent notice of the sinnes that reigne in this land, and especially amongst that people of which God [Page 39] hath made vs ouerseers: and let vs without respect of persons endeuour to subdue all sin. Let vs not feare the rich, not fauour our benefactors. Let vs not desire to speak pleasing things, but profitable things. Let vs Cause Ie­rusalem Ezek. 16. 2. to know all her abhominations. Let vs deliuer our selues from bloud­guiltinesse, by giuing warning; and so When the chiefe Shepheard shal appeare, 1. Pet. 5. 4.we shall receiue the crowne of glorie, which fadeth not away.

Secondly, this may serue for the instruction of all such as are in autho­ritie either in Church or Common­wealth: they must labour to suppresse to their power all sin; but especially such sins as reigne in this Land, and in this famous Citie of London. Let Ecclesiastical power suppresse all he­resie and schisme, such as are Popery, Arminianisme, Anabaptisme, Fami­lisme, deprauing of the Sabbath, and such like. Let the maintainers of these [Page 40] cursed sects be sharply censured, and sought out, and diligently enquired after. Let these skulking foxes be ta­ken; for these are they that spoile this vine, perswading vnstable soules to desperate separation.

Here likewise let the secular Magi­strate learne to suppresse and punish the grosse abuses of the time, such as are, swearing, Sabbath-breaking, theft, whoredome, drunkennesse, idle­nesse, and innumerable other. For be­cause Eccles. 8. 11. sentence against an euill worke is not speedily executed, therefore the heart of the sonnes of men is fully set in them to do euil. Let Magistrates learne of Nebuchadnezzar to punish swea­rers and blasphemers; for he (though an heathen) made a solemne decree, Dan. 3. 29. That euery people, nation and language, which should speake any thing amisse against the God of Shadrach, Meshech, and Abednego, should be cut in peeces, and their houses should be made a dung­hill. [Page 41] Surely this heathen man may iustly rise vp in iudgement against vs professed Christians, in that we suffer the glorious and fearefull Name of God, and the precious bloud and sa­cred wounds of Iesus Christ, so com­monly and ordinarily to be profa­ned and blasphemed. Let Magistrates learne of Nehemiah to be zealous Neh. 13. 21.for the Lords Sabbath; that as he threatned to lay hands on all such as broke the Sabbath by their selling wares on that blessed day, so they would take notice of the profana­tion of the Sabbath in euery kinde, and labour to suppresse all abu­ses, and not to giue the least tol­leration at the request of any, for any carnall libertie: knowing the ill disposition of mans nature, that if it haue an inch, it will take an elne. Let Magistrates therefore learne of Phinees, to execute seuere iudgement Psal. 106. 30.vpon the adulterer and the whore. [Page 42] Let them not winke at filthy houses, nor streete and field adulteries, but let them take with Phinees the iaue­line of iustice, and suppresse these grosse enormities for the which the Hos. 4. 3.land mourneth. Let Magistrates learne to suppresse all deceit among tradesmen, and let them not suffer the throate of the Common-wealth to be vnnaturally cut by her owne children nor by strangers. Let Magi­strates learne to suppresse that com­mon and ordinarie sinne of drunken­nesse, and for the same purpose to suppresse the superfluous number of Tauernes and Alehouses, which too ordinarily are houses of disorder and cages of vncleane birds; and let them strengthen the hands of vnder-offi­cers, which may narrowly looke vnto the abuses and disorders of such pla­ces. Let Magistrates learne to sup­presse the Sodomiticall sinne of idle­nesse, and therefore let them ende­uour [Page 43] to restraine those sturdy beg­gers which are able to worke, and wil not; and for this purpose let them re­member the rule of the blessed Apo­stle, If there be any that will not worke, 2. Thes. 3. 10. let him not eate. And here I wish that a more Christian care might be ta­ken of certaine poore children, which take vp their lodging in the cold streets, and many of them are found dead in the morning. I pray God their bloud be not one day required at the hands of those that should see these things reformed. In a word (be­cause time would be too short to en­ter vpon all particulars,) let Magi­strates learne of Dauid, to destroy all Psal. 101 8 the wicked of the land, that they may cut off all wicked doers from the Ci­tie of the Lord. And for the same pur­pose let them haue an especiall care of the choise of vnder-officers, for Exod. 18. 2.the bad choise of them is the bane of all iustice.

[Page 44] 4. Vse. Fourthly and lastly, considering that a true Conuert must cast away all his transgressions, therefore let the profane stageplayer forsake his vn­lawfull youth-polluting trade, and betake himself to some lawfull cal­ling: remembring that euery Chri­stian Eph. 4. 28.is bound to worke with his hands the thing which is good. Let the scoffer at religion and religious persons, which cries downe all holinesse and feare of God vnder the colour of a hell inuented nick-name, ceasse from Esay 28. 22.his Ismaelitish mocking, lest his bonds increase. Let the couetous person ceasse from his couetousnesse, consi­dering that it is not frugality or good husbandry, as the diuell would make him beleeue, but it is idolatrie, odi­ous Col. 3. 5. Psal. 10. 3. 1. Cor. 6. 10.to God, hatefull to men, and in it selfe damnable, as the Scripture speaketh. Let the proud person ceasse from pride, both in heart and coun­tenance, and speech, and apparell, [Page 45] both in respect of outward gifts and inward gifts; and the rather, first be­cause pride is one of the sixe things Pro. 6. 17.which God abhorreth: Secondly, be­cause God will visite the sin of pride in apparell euen in Princes children, Zeph. 1. 8.and much more in others which will content themselues with no fashion in apparell, nor with any naturall countenance, but will needs haue a painted face of their owne making, because they like it better to be like 2. Kin. 9. 30vnto that strumpet Iesabel, then to conforme themselues after the mo­dest manner of holy women. Let the malicious person ceasse from his ma­lice, knowing that it is murder in the 1. Ioh. 3. 14.sight of God; let him ceasse to hate his brother in his heart; let him ceasse to curse another, lest it light vpon Psal. 109. 17himselfe; let him ceasse to seeke re­uenge, either cunningly or openly, either vnder pretence of law or o­therwise, knowing that vengance be­longs [Page 46] Rom. 12. 19 to God, and he will repay. Let the deceitfull person ceasse to liue by his wits (as he termes it,) let him not get his liuing by carding, dicing, bow­ling, cosening, periuring, and such like forged cauillation; knowing that 1. These. 4. 6. God is auenger of all such things. Let the vsurer learne to forsake his vsury though it be a gainefull sinne.

First, because he hath no warrant for his practise from any one place of Gods word truly and faithfully vn­derstood.

Secondly, because the word of God, doth expresly condemne his practise in diuerse places, as in Psal. 15. 5. Ezekiel 18. 13. Luke 6. 35. and in many other texts of holy Scrip­ture.

Thirdly, because it is a matter of e­uill report, and euer was so, both a­mongst Christians and heathens.

Fourthly, because it is maintained with a trembling conscience: many [Page 47] vsurers doubting, some vpon their death-beds repenting, and others af­ter conuersion turning from the pra­ctise of vsuty, acknowledging that when they were vsurers, they were in the way to hell and destruction.

Fiftly, because the vsurer liues by the sweate of another mans browes, whereas it were Christian honestie for a man to liue by his owne labour.

Sixtly, because vsury is the cause of idlenesse, it is the cause that men giue ouer their lawfull trades and commendable employment in the common wealth, and liue idlely; or else giue themselues to running to stageplayes, or bowling, or vicious life, or to such like epicurisme.

I do not purpose solemnly to han­dle this controuersie concerning vsu­ry in this short Treatise. For other­wise I would see what could be plea­ded for this Baall, and would easily (as I hope) giue a Christian answer [Page 48] vnto such as desire not to be conten­tious, but to be resolued in the case of their conscience. But I may not stand vpon this point at large at this time. I rather aime to speake at large vpon the point of vsury if I liue to come to the handling of the eight Commandement, whereof vsury is a breach. In a word, let the factious person auoid schisme, & let him pray for, and endeuour the peace of Ieru­salem. Let the hypocrite auoide his hypocrisie, knowing that God is not mocked, yea let him be assured that Eccl. 12. 14. God will bring all things to iudgement, yea euery secret sinne. Let the slande­rer ceasse from slandering, knowing Deut. 27. 24that he which smiteth his brother se­cretly is accursed. Let vs all cast away all our transgressions whereby we haue transgressed. Thus much of the first doctrine or instruction.

And make you a new heart and a [Page 49] new spirit. Now we come to the se­cond branch of the diuine coun­sell giuen vnto the Church in this text: and that is the grace which the Church must labour for, to wit, a new heart and a new spirit. And the doctrine hence to be noted, is, that It is the part and dutie of euery 2. Doctrine. true Conuert, not onely not to fauour himselfe in any one corruption whatso­euer; but also he must become a new creature in true sauing grace. And this blessed renouation must not onely be in the reforming of the outward man, as of the speech, countenance, appa­rell, behauiour, and such like; but it must be in the inner man, in the vn­derstanding, memory, will, affections and conscience: it must be in the heart and in the spirit. For indeed God re­quireth truth in the inward parts. And Psal. 51. 6.howsoeuer man looketh on the out­ward appearance, and contents him­selfe with it, yet God beholdeth the 1. Sam. 16. 7▪ [Page 50] heart. No seruice will please God, vn­lesse Ioh. 4. 24.it be in spirit and troth. To this purpose also Paul speaketh notably in Ephes. 4. 22. That ye put off concer­ning the former conuersation, the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitfull lusts, and be renewed in the spirit of your mind: and that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousnesse and true holinesse. And vnto this may be added that o­ther place in 2. Cor. 5. 17. Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away, be­hold, all things are become new. By both which places it is manifest, that it is not sufficient to ceasse to be old, but there must be also a renewing. It is not sufficient for a Conuert to cast a­way all his transgressions whereby he hath transgressed, but also he must make him a new heart and a new spi­rit.

Now concerning the new crea­ture, [Page 51] or state of renouation, which is a great Euangelicall mystery, I pro­pound these necessary points to be considered of: First, what necessitie there is of this renouation. Second­ly, by what meanes it is wrought. Thirdly, by what degrees. Fourthly, what be the concomitants of it. Fift­ly, concerning the constancie.

1. Point. Concerning the necessitie of this inward renouation or regeneration, we are to consider, first, that without it no flesh can be saued: for Christ himselfe saith, Except ye be conuerted, Mat. 18. 3. and become as litle children, ye shall not enter into the kingdome of heauen. And againe he saith, Except a man be borne againe, he cannot see the kingdome of God. Againe, we are all vassals of Sa­tan by nature, and are taken of him 2. Tim. 2. 26 at his will: and therefore it is necessa­ry that we should be set free out of spirituall bondage by vertue of rege­neration. Againe, by nature all the [Page 52] faculties of our soules are out of frame, our members being the mem­bers Rom. 6. 19of vnrighteousnesse: and there­fore it is necessary that we should be set in ioynt againe by regeneration. Lastly, without regeneration our ve­ry sacrifices, our prayers, our hearing the word, our almes, our ciuill liues, are vnpleasing to God. For as much Rom. 8. 8.as they that are in the flesh (that is, vn­regenerate) cannot please God, as the blessed Apostle speaketh.

Vse. Let euery man and woman lay to heart this necessitie; & let them not deceiue themselues with that fond conceit, that if they liue ciuilly, and pay euery man his owne, and go to the Church as others do, that then they shal surely be saued, though they remaine as ignorant of regeneration as euer was Nicodemus. I tell you nay: for vnlesse you be regenerate and borne againe, you remaine in danger of eternall condemnation, you re­maine [Page 53] the very slaues of Satan; and the best things that you do or can do in your naturall condition, are abho­minable and odious to God.

2. Point. Concerning the meanes whereby regeneration is wrought, we are to note first, that the efficient cause of it is not man, nor Angel, but Gods Spi­rit. There is no creature in heauē nor earth that can conuert a soule by his owne power: this worke belongs to God alone: for we are borne not of bloud, nor of the will of man, nor of the will of the flesh, but of God; as S. Iohn speaketh in his first chap. and 13. verse. And therefore the whole glory of the admirable worke of regeneration is due to God alone, and is not to be ascribed to any creature.

Secondly, the most ordinary in­strumentall cause (not to speake of the extraordinary meanes) which God vseth for the conuersion of soules, is the word of God, especially [Page 54] preached: as appeares by these pla­ces of Scripture:

Psalme 19. 7. The Law of the Lord is perfect, conuerting the soule.

1. Cor. 4. 15. For though you haue ten thousand instructors, yet haue ye not many fathers: for in Christ Iesus I haue begotten you through the Gospell.

Iames 1. 18. Of his owne will begat he vs by the word of truth, that we should be a kind of first fruites of his creatures.

1. Pet. 1. 23. Being borne anew, not of mortall seed, but of immortall, by the word of God, which liueth and endureth for euer.

By all which places, and many more, it is euident, that the especiall instrumentall cause of regeneration is the holy word of God contained in the Canonicall Scriptures. Whereby it appeareth, what infinite wrong the Pope doth vnto the soules of the cōmon people, by withholding from [Page 55] them the vse of the Scriptures: and also what enemies they are vnto Christs kingdome and to mens salua­tion, which labour to their power to suppresse and extinguish the pow­erfull preaching of Gods word. Last­ly, this should teach vs to glorifie God for the plentie of preaching in this Land, but especially in this Citie: for hereby there is good hope of the conuersion of many soules. And let vs alwayes, as we haue all iust cause, pray against Poperie, and that not onely in respect of the bloudthirsti­nesse of that religion, displayed in that most barbarous plot of the gun­powder treason, but also because it seekes to depriue vs of the vse of Gods word, the especiall instrument of mans saluation.

3. Point. Concerning the degrees where­by regeneration is most commonly wrought, they are these following:

First, the holy Ghost quickens the [Page 56] soule which it doth conuert, finding it dead in trespasses and sins. Thus it quickened the prodigall son, Luke 15. 32. This thy brother was dead, and is a­liue againe: and thus he quickened the Ephesians, in the fifth Chapter of that Epistle, the eighth verse; and in the second Chapter, the first verse. Where we are to note, that the soule is not said to be dead by nature, or to be quickened by regeneration, because the soule is destitute of all life, but be­cause naturally it is an alien from the life of God, as Paul speakes in Eph. 4. 18. God doth not exercise the life of grace in the soule of any vnregene­rate person, as he doth in the hearts of those that are regenerate. And this first act of regeneration or spirituall quickening, is termed in Scriptures, Reu. 20. 6. the first resurrection. First, because as in the day of the generall resurrectiō, Many that sleepe in the dust shall awake, Dan. 12. 2: so by vertue of this first [Page 57] resurrection, many that sleepe in sin shall awake to liue righteously. 1. Cor. 15. 34. Secondly, as in the generall resurrection the bodies of the Saints shall be made like vnto the glorious body of Christ himselfe, Philip. 3. 21: so by vertue of this first re­surrection the soules of the Saints come to beare the image and stampe of God himselfe, being made holy as he is holy, Eph. 4. 24. And hereby a man or woman may trie whether they be regenerate and quickened or no, if they will but examine whether they be awake to liue righteously or no, and whether they beare Gods image in true holinesse or no. If these things be in thee, thou art vndoub­tedly quickned; if not, thou remainest still but a dead man.

The second degree whereby rege­neration 2 is wrought, is illumination: for when we begin to stand vp from the dead, then immediatly Christ giues [Page 58] vs light, Ephes. 5. 14. the God which commanded light to shine out of dark­nesse beginneth to shine in our hearts, 2. Cor. 4. 6. Yea then the day of salua­tion beginneth to dawne, and the day­starre of sauing knowledge to arise in our hearts. 2. Pet. 1. 19. By vertue of this heauenly light a man or wo­man is brought to see in some mea­sure the danger of their natural state, and what need they haue of repen­tance, and of Christ, and of Gods mercy, and of inward purging from their corruptions; and what reason they haue of denying themselues, car­rying about with them such a masse of corruption, whereof now they are aware. Where it is to be noted, that the reprobate may in some mea­sure be enlightened also. He may haue so much light as to leaue him without excuse. This is manifest out of Heb. 6. 4. where it is said of the a­postates and finall backsliders, that [Page 59] they were once enlightened. But the difference is, first, the child of God is enlightened and quickened: but the reprobate is onely enlightened and not quickened; for he remaines still an alien from the life of God. Ephes. 4. 18. Secondly, the elect are enligh­tened to see their sinne, as we see in the example of Paul, Rom. 7. 27. I see another law in my members, &c. but the reprobate are enlightened e­specially to behold the danger of sin, and the punishment of the same; as we see in the example of Cain, Gen. 4. 13. My punishment is greater then I can beare. Thirdly, the elect are en­lightened to amendement, as we see in the example of Iob, in his 40 Chap­ter, fift verse, I haue spoken once, but I will do so no more; or I will not answer. But the reprobate are enlightened to despaire, and to desperate courses. As we see in the example of Iudas, Math. 27. 5. who so soone as he was [Page 60] enlightened to see the danger of his estate, went immediatly, and despe­rately hanged himselfe. And hereby we may examine and try our selues, whether we be sauingly enlightened or no. For if we be enlightened and quickened, if we be brought to the sight of our secret corruptions, and to amendment, then it is a comforta­ble signe, that we are sauingly enligh­tened; otherwise we remaine in dark­nesse vnto this houre.

3 The third degree wherby regenera­tion is most vsually wrought, is con­trition. Thus when those three thou­sand were cōuerted by Peters sermon, Acts 2. 37. it is said that they were pricked in their hearts; and the ci­tie sinner when she was regene­rate, she stood behind Christ at his feete weeping, Luke 7. 38. The like may be said of Peter and diuerse others.

Where also it is carefully to be ob­serued, that the very reprobate may [Page 61] haue a kind of sorrow, and may hang down their heads like a bulrush for a time, Esay 58. 5. Is it such a fast that I require, that a man should afflict his soule for a day? &c. But the difference is, first the elect mourne for the of­fence against God, as we see in the ex­ample of Dauid, Psal. 51. 4. Against thee, against thee onely haue I sinned. But the reprobate mourne especially in respect of the punishment, as we see in the example of Pharaoh, Exo­dus 9. 27. who when he saw the iudgements of God vpon him, and vpon his land, could then confesse with a seeming sorrow, that He and his people were wicked. Secondly, the elect mourne with a godly sorrow vn­to repentance not to be repented of, as we see in the example of the Corin­thians, 2. Cor. 7. 10: but the repro­bate sorrow with a worldly sorrow that causeth death. Thirdly, the elect mourne, but with some grounds of [Page 62] hope. For they know in the midst of their sorrow, that their sinne is not greater then can be forgiuen, vn­lesse it be in case of temptation: they know also that Gods mercy is greater then their sinne; and that the bloud of Iesus Christ is able to wash them from all iniquitie: and so by these generall grounds at the least in the middest of their sorrow, they sustaine their heart in some degree of hope: but the reprobate mourne as men quite bereft of all hope, think­ing their sins to be greater then can be forgiuen.

And hereby also we may try our selues whether we haue sauingly sor­rowed for sinne or no. For if we haue sorrowed for the sinne, as well as for the punishment; and if we haue sor­rowed to repentance and amende­ment; and lastly, if we haue sorrowed in hope, it is a good signe that our sorrow is true. Otherwise our sorrow [Page 63] is not the true sorrow of the Con­uert, but rather the worldly sorrow of the wicked.

The fourth degree whereby rege­neration is commonly wrought, is the spirituall hunger and thirst after righteousnesse. The conuert soule thirsts and pants after Christ, As the heart brayeth after the riuers of wa­ters. Psal. 42. 1.If God would giue riches, ho­nours, pleasures, and not Christ, they would be accounted as dung and drosse, Phil. 3. 7. And the child of God thirsteth after Christ, not onely in re­spect of his benefits, and to serue his owne turne, but also out of loue to Christ his person, in respect of his excellencies. Whereupon the Church is said to be sicke of loue to Christ, Cant. 5. 8. And to this degree no reprobate in the world attaineth. For to loue Christ for himselfe, and to loue his glorious appearing, is pe­culiar to the elect, and to such as shall [Page 64] receiue the crowne of righteousnesse, 2. Tim. 4. 6.

Secondly, as the true Conuert thirsteth after Christ, so likewise he longeth after the word and sacra­ments, as appeareth by the example of the 3000 in Acts 2. 42. who pre­sently vpon their conuersion conti­nued in the Apostles doctrine, and fellowship, and breaking of bread, and prayers.

Now the reprobate and wicked may attaine a kind of desire after the word, but it is either with Eue, meere­ly to get knowledge, or with Simon Magus to make gaine, or with the Pharisee to get a name; or with the carnall Gospellers amongst the Co­rinthians, for affectation to the per­son of him that deliuers it. Or if it be for any taste of sweetnesse which they find in the word, then that taste lasteth but for a season. As the phan­tasticke Iewes could reioyce in Iohn [Page 65] Baptists light for a season, Ioh. 5. 35. whereas the true Conuert loues the word for it selfe, and continues in the study of it, and endeuours to attaine sauing grace by it, labouring to bring forth the fruits in holy practise.

The sift degree whereby regenera­tion 5 is commonly wrought, is by de­clining from sin. For so soone as any soule is conuerted to God, and made partaker of the diuine nature, pre­sently it begins to distaste sin, and to striue against it. Euen Paul so soone as he was conuerted, he ceassed per­secuting Gods Church, Act. 9. The like may be said of Zaccheus and di­uers others. Where we must note, that the reprobate and wicked may abstaine from many sinnes, as well as the true Conuert: as appeares by the example of the Pharisee, Luk. 18. 11. I thanke God I am not as other men, ex­tortioners, vniust, adulterers, &c. But the difference is, the true conuert de­clines [Page 66] from sin by vertue of the san­ctifying Spirit of God; he is washed by the Spirit of our God, 1. Cor. 6. 10. 11: But the wicked abstaineth onely by the restraining spirit, as we see in the example of Abimelech, Gen. 20. 6. I haue kept thee, &c.

Secondly, the true Conuert is con­tent to part with all his sins, euen with his beloued sins, as we see in the ex­ample of Dauid, Psal. 119. 101: I haue refrained my feete from euery euill way. But the wicked person is like Herod, he will not part with his Herodias or darling sinne, Mark. 6. 20.

Thirdly, the true Conuert forsa­keth sin for conscience sake, as we see in the example of Ioseph, Genes. 39. How shall I do this great wickednesse, and sinne against God? whereas the wicked shunneth sin, not for consci­ence, but either for feare of men, or for feare of shame, or for feare of hel, or in respect of sauing charges, or the [Page 67] like: as we see in the example of the high Priests, who would faine haue bene medling with Christ, but they did forbeare, howbeit not for consci­ence sake, but for feare of the people. Mat. 21. 46Let all Christians examine thēselues by these differences, whether their de­clining from sinne be the right decli­ning or no.

The sixt degree whereby regene­ration is wrought and perfected, is, full assurance of Gods fauour. For when the holy Ghost hath in some good measure sanctified the heart, & made it pliable to Gods will in vni­uersall obedience, then it becomes the Spirit of adoption, crying, Abba, Fa­ther in our hearts, and testifying toge­ther with our spirits that we are the children of God, Rom. 8. 15. 16. Where we must also note, that the very wic­ked may haue a kind of perswasion of Gods fauour towards them, as they seeme to haue in 1. Thess. 5. 3▪ which [Page 68] crie Peace and safetie. But the diffe­rence is; first, the assurance of the elect is wrought by the Spirit of adoption; but the perswasion of the wicked is not so, but is wrought rather by Sa­tan which lulleth them asleepe. Se­condly, the assurance of the elect hath a sure foundation, to wit, the promises of the Gospell, the mercy of God, and Christ: but the perswasion of the wicked is grounded vpon the sandy foundation of his owne merits. Thirdly, the assurance of the elect breedeth an especiall care to please God: but the perswasion of the wic­ked breedeth carnall securitie and boldnesse to sinne.

4. Point. The fourth generall point pro­pounded concerning this great my­stery of regeneration, is touching the concomitants of this grace. And the concomitants or things accōpanying this grace of regeneration, are these:

First, an vniuersall change. For [Page 69] there is none truly regenerated, but they are truly changed, yea vniuer­sally changed, All things are become 2. Cor. 5. 17 new with them: yea they are changed 2. Cor. 3. 18 from glorie to glorie, as by the Spirit of the Lord. Where we are to note, that the very reprobate may also be chan­ged; as we reade of Saul, that God gaue 1. Sam. 10. 9 him another heart. But the change in the reprobate is far different from the change wrought in the elect. For the change in the reprobate, is but in common gifts of the Spirit, as we see in Saul, he was changed onely to pro­phesie, or to rule; whereas the elect are changed by speciall and sauing gifts, as, to be regenerate, sauingly to 1. Pet. 1. 23. Phil. 1. 29. 2. Cor. 7. 10.beleeue, to repent with repentance neuer to be repented of, &c. Second­ly, the reprobates are changed but onely in part; they are like Ephraim, or as a cake baked on the one side: but the elect are vniuersally changed, both inwardly and outwardly; in [Page 70] iudgement, wil, affections, conscience, conuersation, outward behauiour, and the like.

Secondly, the second concomitant of regeneration, is the combat be­tweene the flesh and the spirit. For there is none truly regenerate, but they haue a combat within them. Thus it was with Paul, who found in himselfe after regeneration, a law re­belling against the law of his mind, Rō. 7. 18. Where we must also note, that the very reprobate may haue a kind of reluctation, by vertue of the light of their natural consciences; as we see in the example of Pilate, he was loth to condemne Christ, he had a kind of Iohn 19. 12striuing within him, yea he sought to release him. But the difference is, the reprobate haue a striuing against sin, either in respect of the shame of sin, or in respect of the feare of hell fire, or for such like carnall ends; so that their striuing is not the combat of the [Page 71] flesh and the spirit, but the combat of the flesh and the flesh: whereas the e­lect haue a striuing against sinne, for conscience sake, and in loue to God. Gen. 39. [...].

Thirdly, the third concomitant of regeneration, is fruitfulnesse. There be none truly regenerate, but they are made fruitful. We might instance for the proofe of this point, in the exam­ple of Zaccheus, and many other. Where obserue, that the wicked and vnregenerate may do many seeming good works, as we see in the example of the Barbarians, who laded Paul with things necessary, Acts 28. 10. But the difference is, the reprobate and wicked do many seeming good Luk. 6. 33.works, either mercenarily to receiue the like againe, or vaingloriously for the praise of men, or superstitiously Mat. 23. 5. Isay 58. 5.with opinion of merit. Whereas the elect do good works vnto such as are not able to requite them, and that in true sinceritie and humilitie, not see­king [Page 72] their owne praise, but Gods glo­ry, confessing when they haue done all that they can, that they are vnpro­fitable seruants.

Fourthly, the fourth concomitant of regeneration, is the matter of per­secution. For there is none regene­rate to liue godly in Christ Iesus, but they must suffer persecution in one kind or in another, as Paul speakes in 2. Tim. 3. 9. Where we are also to note, that the very wicked may suffer for their profession; yea and suffer many things for the truths sake also, as Paul implieth in 1. Cor. 13. 3. that they that are without loue, may giue their bo­dies to be burned: and as we see in the examples of Papists, Arrians, and o­ther wretched heretikes, which some­times are ready to lay downe their liues for their profession sake. But the difference is in the cause of suffering: for it is not the suffering, but the cause of suffering, that makes the [Page 73] Martyr. The wicked and vnregene­rate suffer commonly for error, and not for the truth; or if at any time for the truth, then it is not for loue of the truth it selfe, but for some other by­respect: whereas the elect child of God suffers for the truth it selfe, and that in loue to the same, and with zeale of Gods glory.

5. Point. The fifth and last generall point propounded concerning the mystery of regeneration, is concerning the constancy of the same. For we are to know, that a man or woman being once regenerate, they are for euer re­generate; and being once made the children of God by adoption, they are for euer the children of God.

For the proofe of this point, I com­mend vnto you these places of Scrip­ture following:

1. Ioh. 3. 9. His seed remaineth in him.

1. Pet. 1. 23. Being borne againe, not of mortall seed.

[Page 74] Rom. 11. 29. The gifts and calling of God are without repentance.

Ioh. 14. 16. The Comforter shall re­maine with you for euer.

Rom. 11. 1. Hath God cast away his people? God forbid.

Psal. 37. 28. The Lord forsaketh not his Saints.

By all which places, and many o­ther, it is manifest that they which are once effectually called, and truly regenerate, and haue receiued the Spirit of adoption, they are for euer the children of God.

Reason 1. And the reason is, first, because God is constant, both in his decree, for the foundation of God remaineth sure, ha­uing 2. Tim. 2. 19 this seale, The Lord knoweth who are his; and in his loue, for whom he lo­ueth, he loueth to the end, Ioh. 13. 1.

Reason 2. Secondly, because God hath pro­mised that the gates of hell shall not pre­uaile against his Church, Math. 16. 18. and Gods promises are Yea and A­men, [Page 75] as we know.

Reason 3. Thirdly, because God is able to preserue his children to the end: He is stronger then all, and none is able to plucke the weakest babe in Christ out Ioh. 10. [...]9. of the hands of the blessed Father.

Obiection. And if any Papist or Arminian shall obiect the examples of Iudas or Demas, or the stony ground; or of many Professors that turn carnal, &c. To this I answer, that those that fi­nally and totally fall away from the truth, They were neuer of vs; for if they had bene of vs, they would haue con­tinued with vs, 1. Ioh. 2. 19. These might possibly receiue certaine com­mon gifts of the Spirit, as to be en­lightened, &c. but they neuer were truly regenerate.

Answ. We do not deny but the true child of God may be much weakened con­cerning the degree of true sauing grace which formerly he hath felt: which cometh to passe either by the [Page 76] neglect of the publicke and priuate meanes of saluation, or with Dauid by relapse into sin: but to fall totally from all sauing grace, or finally with­out any recouery, this we confidently deny, according to that in Micha 7. 8. Reioyce not against me, ô mine enemie: for though I fall, I shall arise, &c.

Thus I haue passed through the fiue necessary points concerning re­generation; and haue first shewed vnto you the necessitie, secondly the meanes, thirdly the degrees, fourthly the concomitants, fiftly the constan­cie of this famous worke of regene­ration. Fanne your selues by that which hath bene spoken; consider what I haue said, and the Lord giue you vnderstanding in all things.

For why will ye die, ô house of Israel?

Now I come to the last part of the text, which is the expostulation or reason: Why will ye die? From whence [Page 77] I obserue, that Mans destruction is of 3. Doctrine. himselfe. For else why should God expostulate with his Church in this place? Why will ye die?

For the proofe of which point, take these places following:

Hos. 13. 9. O Israel, thou hast destroyed thy selfe; but thy helpe is of me.

Prou. 6. 32. He that committeth a­dultery with a woman, lacketh vnder­standing: he that doth it, destroyeth his owne soule.

Psal. 51. 4. Against thee, against thee onely haue I sinned, and done euill in thy sight: that thou mightest be iust when thou speakest, and pure when thou iudgest.

1. Reason. And it must needs be, that destru­ction is of a mans selfe, and not of God; first, because God created man perfect at the first, and gaue him free will to stand if he would; and man hauing free will in Adam to stand, yet willingly and wilfully eat of the [Page 78] forbidden fruite, and lost both him­selfe and his posteritie, and the free­dome of his will.

2. Reason. Secondly, destruction must needs be of a mans selfe, and not of God, be­cause God hath sent a sufficient re­demption by the meanes of his owne Son; and hath commanded it to be Mark. 16. 15 preached to euery creature: yea he hath commanded vs to beleeue in Christ, whom he hath sent, 1. Ioh. 3. 23. And therefore if when a pardon is offered, we wilfully refuse it, then our destru­ction is of our selues.

3. Reason. Thirdly, God hath giuen vnto vs a most powerfull word, yea a word which is able to saue our soules, I am. 1. 21; and therefore if we neglect or despise so great saluation, the bloud is vpon our owne heads.

4. Reason. Fourthly, God giueth sufficient warning, by his threatnings out of the word, and by his iust iudgements shewed vpon others: and therefore [Page 79] if we will take no warning, neither by threats, nor by iudgements, nor by signes from heauen, we shal worthily perish without mercy.

5. Reason. Fiftly, God giueth vnto man suf­ficient time of repentance; as he gaue vnto the old world in the dayes of Noah, an hundred and twentie yeares, Gen. 6. 3. And therefore if with cur­sed Iesabel we haue time giuen to re­pent, and repent not, we shall iustly perish with her, Reu. 2. 21. 22.

6. Reason. Sixtly, what could haue bene done more vnto the vineyard of our soules, then what hath bene done? Isa. 5. 4. And therefore if after all dig­ging, and dunging, and pruning, we remaine still barren, we shall iustly be hewne downe, and cast into the fire.

Obiection. But what say you then to these places of Scripture, which manifestly confirme the doctrine of reprobatiō?

Rom. 9. 11. 12. 13. For the children [Page 80] being not yet borne, neither hauing done any good nor euill: it was said, Iacob haue I loued, and Esau haue I hated.

Iude 4. For there are certaine men crept in vnawares, who were before of old ordained to this condemnation.

Ier. 6. 30. Reprobate siluer shall men call them: for the Lord hath reiected them.

Answer. We acknowledge the truth of these holy places; we acknowledge also the truth of the doctrine of re­probation, to wit, that God as the mightie Potter, hauing absolute au­thoritie of the lumpe of mankind, hath made some vessels to honor, and some to dishonor; and that of his owne free will, for the declaring of his power, and manifesting of his iu­stice, Rom. 9. 23.

But here it is carefully to be ob­serued, that howsoeuer a mans repro­bation be of God, yet his destruction is of himself; & that for these reasons:

[Page 81] First, because howsoeuer God in his iustice and wisedome doth repro­bate many, and that before the foun­dation of the world was cast; yet he throweth no man nor woman, yong nor old into hell, before they come to their personall appearance before Christ, and be found guiltie at the barre of Gods iudgement seate, of sin either actuall, or at the least origi­nall, 2. Cor. 5. 10.

Secondly, though God do repro­bate men and women, yet he doth not tempt or enforce any man or woman to sinne for the accomplish­ing of his owne decree. For God tempteth no man; as Iames speaketh in his first Chap. v. 13. And it were hel­lish blasphemy to affirme, that God were in any sort the author of sinne.

2 Obiection. If destruction be of a mans selfe, then it seemeth that he hath free will to be saued if he will, contrary vnto that which was deliuered before.

[Page 82] Answer. Man indeed in Adam had once free will, as well as he had the liuely image of God; but now hauing lost it, he may iustly be condemned for the losse of it: and now he hath no further wil vnto good then he is mo­ued by Gods Spirit; nor further power against euill, then he is preser­ued by the power of God through faith.

3. Obiection Yea but it might seeme still, that a mans destruction is of God, because he doth not restraine men from sin, nor preuent them with his grace. For is not he guiltie of a childs death, that seeth it run toward a pit, and stayeth it not, when there is power in his hand to do it?

Answer. We must not measure God who is aboue the Law, by man vnder the Law. A man in this case is indeed guiltie, because he is bound by the Law to saue life if he can; but God is a free worker, it is in him to haue [Page 83] mercie on whom he will; it is also law­full Rom. 9.for him to do what he will with Math. 20. his owne, for he is bound to no man.

1. Vse. Cōsidering therfore that a mans & womans destruction is of themselues, this sheweth what spitefull enemies we are to our selues. We make our selues liable to Gods wrath, we bring vpon our selues iudgements in this world, we wilfully lose heauen, and the comfortable presence of God, and Christ, and of blessed Saints and Angels; yea we purchase to our selues eternall torment in hell fire with the diuell and his angels, in that horrible darke and deepe pit which the diuels themselues do tremble to thinke vpon. O consider this all ye that forget God, and which sport and delight your selues in your sin­full courses, which drinke iniquitie as the Oxe drinketh water, which drinke I say, and are neuer satisfied: O why will ye die, ye poore house of Israel?

[Page 84] 2▪ Vse. Let all good Christians learne, that as the wicked and vngodly do diligently worke out their owne damnation, so to be carefull on the contrary to worke out their salua­tion; and this they shall do by the power of God, and not by their owne power, or by any thing in them­selues.

First, if they be carefull to vse all the meanes which God hath appoin­ted for the working of sauing faith, and the nourishing of the same in their hearts.

Secondly, if they labour in all the parts of repentance, if they daily exa­mine themselues, if they daily hum­ble their soules for their sinnes, if they daily labour for mortification, and if they endeuour to serue God in holinesse and righteousnesse all the dayes of their liues.

And for this purpose take these few directions: Let euery Christian [Page 85] which desires to grow in grace be carefull of Gods publicke ordinan­ces. Let them heare Gods word with Marie, acknowledging that to be the Luk. 10. 41. better part; but let them not vnder that pretence quite cast off their par­ticular lawfull callings, and so liue in­ordinately, contrary to the rule of the Apostle in 2. Thes. 3. 12. Now them that are such, we command and exhort by our Lord Iesus Christ, that with quietnesse they worke, and eate their owne bread. And concerning the right hearing of Gods word, take these rules, before thou repairest to Gods house. First, prepare thy selfe with repentance, and with an heartie purpose of amendment of life. For otherwise if thou comest to Gods house with thine hands full of bloud, God may iustly say vnto thee: What hast thou to do, to tread within my Courts? Isaiah 1. 12. Secondly, pre­pare thy selfe by reading some part [Page 86] of Gods word, according to the ex­ample of the Eunuch, Act. 8. 30. who was well prepared to heare Philip preach, when he had prepared him­selfe first by reading the Prophet Isaiah. Thirdly, prepare thy selfe for publicke hearing by priuate prayer, praying for thy selfe, for the Minister, and for the Congregation: beseech­ing God of his mercie to open vnto Eph. 6. 19.the Minister the doore of vtterance, and to thy selfe and the rest of the Acts 14. 27.Congregation the doore of faith. Fourthly, repaire vnto Gods house with an honest heart, not to see fa­shions, not to carpe at the Minister, not vpon custom, not to be noted to be religious, nor for feare of mās law: but go with a true desire to worship God, and to reape to thy owne soule eternall benefite; according to the example of the Church in Isay. 2. 3: which saith, Come, let vs go vp to the house of the Lord: he will teach vs his [Page 87] wayes, and we will walke in his paths.

Fiftly, when thou art come to the Church, hearken with all diligence and reuerence to Gods word, accor­ding to the example of Lydia, who attended to the doctrine of Paule, and Acts 16. 14.was conuerted. Beware of gazing in the time of Gods ordinance, lest Sa­tan tempt thee. Beware of sleeping in the Congregation, lest God shew his iudgement and execute his ven­geance vpon thee, as he did vpon Eu­tychus. Acts 20. 9.Take heede of praying and reading other matters in the sermon time, when thou shouldest attend vnto the preaching, lest thou offer the Eccles. 5. 1. sacrifice of fooles. Remember that there is a time for all things, and euery Eccles. 3. 1.thing ought to be done in its fit time and season. Sixtly, after thou hast heard the word, meditate throughly of the points deliuered, lest Satan come and steale the good seed out of thine heart; examine thy selfe by [Page 88] that which was preached; and if thou findest thy selfe rebuked for sinne, let that rebuke preuaile with thee to re­pentance and amendment.

Also when thou hast heard Gods word, marke the directions, and pra­ctise them: For, not the hearers but the doers of the Law are iust before God, Rom. 2. 13. And concerning the pro­mises, apply them to thy selfe if thou findest thy selfe capable, that is, if thou endeuourest to keepe the con­dition of them: and indeed the word will profit thee nothing, vnlesse thou hast faith to apply it, Heb. 4. 2.

Secondly, that thou mayest worke out thine owne saluation, be carefull frequently and often to be partaker with Gods Church of the Lords Supper. For the Sacrament worthily Iohn 6. 55.receiued is meate indeed, and drinke indeed. Thou must not thinke it suffi­cient to receiue the Sacrament once or twise by the yeare, but thinke it an [Page 89] especiall fauor of God if thou mayest receiue it often; alwayes prouided that thou beest prepared thereunto, with knowledge, faith, repentance, and charity.

Thirdly, be carefull also of priuate duties, reade the Canonicall Scrip­tures diligently: refresh thy soule morning and euening with some Chapter of Gods word. The King himselfe is not exempted from this holy duty, but the Lord would haue his word to be with him, that he might reade therein all the dayes of his life, Deut. 17. 19. And concerning reading Gods word in priuate, ob­serue these directions if thou woul­dest profite. First, lift vp thine heart by prayer before thou readest. Se­condly, reade with diligent heede, ac­cording to that of Math. 24. 15. Let him that readeth, consider it. Desire not to reade fast, but sure. Also exa­mine thy selfe by that which thou [Page 90] readest; and ruminate or meditate, that thou mayest extract nourishmēt and comfort out of that which thou readest. Thirdly, reade the word in order, not here a Chapter and there a Chapter; but begin at the begin­ning of a booke, and leaue it not off vntill by degrees thou hast passed through it. Fourthly, if thou readest a difficult place, take diligent notice of it, that thou mayest aske the iudge­ment of others, especially of Gods Ministers, concerning the meaning.

Fourthly, if thou desirest to worke out thine owne saluation, and not wilfully to runne vpon thine owne destruction, be diligent of priuate prayer. If thou beest a maister of a family, pray with thy family, and in­struct it, that thou and thine house may serue the Lord: according to the example of Iosua, in the last chap­ter of that booke, the 15 verse. Let e­uery one also in the family pray apart [Page 91] and in secret, according to the exam­ples of Dauid and Daniel, which made conscience to pray constantly thrise euery day, to wit, morning, euening, and at noone, Psal. 55. 17. Dan. 6. 10.

Fiftly and lastly, if thou desirest to worke out thy saluation, walke worthy of thy holy calling whereun­to thou art called. Let thy conuersa­tion be answerable to thy profession: endeuour to liue holily towards God, righteously towards men, and soberly concerning thy selfe. Thus thou shalt glorifie God, adorne the Gospell of Christ, and purchase to thy selfe through Gods free mercie and Christs merits, an inheritance in­corruptible and vndefiled, which fa­deth not away, reserued in heauen for thee. Vnto the which glorious in­heritance, he bring vs which hath so dearely bought vs, euen Iesus Christ the righteous; to whom with the Fa­ther [Page 92] and the holy Ghost, three glo­rious persons, but one God, be ascri­bed, as most due, all honour and glorie, from this time forth vnto all eternitie. A­men, Amen.


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