THE CHRISTIANS FREEDOME, Wherein is fully expressed the Doctrine of CHRISTIAN LIBERTIE.

By the Rt. Reuerend Father in God, GEORGE DOWNEHAM, Doctor of Diuinity and Ld. Bp. of Derry.



GOdlines and Christianity are the sure Grounds of Saluation, I haue here in this treatise following gi­uen thee the true Patterne of a godly life which I desire thee to per­use dayly, to practise faithfully, and hold on constantly, and thou shalt bee sure to haue blessings in this world and euerla­sting happinesse in the Kingdome of Hea­uen. When thou hast attained to liue well and feele the comfort of godlines in thy heart, then be sure to set downe thy reso­lution neuer to fall into the snare of vn­godlines any more.

[Page]Be sure not to faint in well-doing,1 Thes. 6. be­cause the reward is not promised to him that doth but to him that continueth to doe▪ A three fold blessing of God, vp [...]n those which seeke him hee promiseth [...] will awake vnto them, and for those which pray vnto him, He will make the righteousnesse of their habitation pros­perous. And to those which are pure and vpright, Hee will make their latter end increase exceedingly: Yea though their beginning be but small.

But deferre not, put not of thy amend­ment from time to time least thou art sorry for thy mispent leud life when thou shalt not haue time to repent. There­fore know ô man what soeuer thou art, that Godlinesse▪ will crowne thee with honor and glory and furnish thee with true godlinesse and perfect felicity and exalt thee vnto the Heauens and co-vnite thee and thy soule with God.

The many excellent [...]. [...]erkins. Rogers. Bolton. treatises and lar­ger discourses concer [...]ing, the power of Godlinesse, which it hath pleased the Lord of glory to furnish his Church withall in these last dayes; as they haue made good [Page] the faithfulnesse of our God vnto vs of this Church of England, so if they shall not bee a witnesse against vs, they doe ne­cessarily require the right vse thereof, that wee bee transformed into the same i­mage from glory to glory. And therefore howsoeuer it may seeme both needlesse and pre [...]udiciall after so many graue, and ex­perimentall rules concerning sanctificati­on, to adde any more in this kind: yet see­ing it hath pleased God in direct mee to a further labour herein, weigh with mee I pray thee in equity these reasons thereof.

1. I doe hereby professe my thankful­nesse vnto God for those excellent labours of his Saints that now rest from their la­bours and th [...]ir fruites foll [...]w them.

2. I wo [...]ld haue thee know that I am not ashamed of this foolishnesse of preach­ing and practicke Diuinity, which is such a mistery to the world, and stumbling blocke vnto the wisdome thereof.

3. Howsoeuer I doe professe that I am not able to attaine such perfection, as I haue herein conceiued, yet I would haue thee know farther, that I would rather haue a rule to condemne sinne in the flesh, [Page] and so c [...]nf [...]und the old man, that there­by the new man may follow hard after the marke, then not to giue testimony to that light which hath shined so graciously vnto me, or to conceale my iudgement, though it may condemne the practice.

4. May it please thee to consider with me: Can a man walke in the Sunne, and not bee warme, and where two lye to­gether, will there not bee heate? and can the light bee [...]idden, nay, ought it to bee [...]idden?

5. Can we doe lesse in these dayes then conuince a prophane world?

6. Can we doe better then strengthen that which is ready to die?

7. Shall not Gods remembrancers re­new their strength, when the Diuels In­struments [...] so rage with all licentious­nesse?

8. Doe wee not iustify the Good by seeking out their wayes?

9. Should we not discourage the wic­ked by making a good profession?

10. Owe wee not duety to our Mo­ther?

11. Shall not this redound to the Glo­ry [Page] of God. Let this content thee: and pro­uoke thee to make vse of these labours, and the Lord giue thee vnderstanding in all things: that thou mayest trie the Spirits, and hereby thine owne, whether thou art in the faith or no, and so for euer maiest follow the true Shepheard. Now vnto him that is able to keepe you from falling, and to preserue you faultlesse before the pre­sence of his glory with exceeding ioy I hartily commend you desiring that this weake labour may bee carefully read, and diligently practised, that so your soules may be eternally saued in that great and dreadfull day of his visitation.


IOHN 8. 36. If therefore the Sonne shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.’

THESE words are a con­clusion of the verses go­ing before.§. Sect. 1. The context. For whereas our Sauiour CHRIST hauing promised some of the hearers, who,Vers. 3 [...]. whiles he was yet speaking of his person and office, began to beleeue in him, that if they did ap­proue themselues to be hisVers. 31. true disci­ples, by their perseuerance and con­stant abiding in his word, theyVerse. 32. should know the truth, (that is he would more fully manifest himselfe vnto them, as [Page 2] he speaketh Ioh. 14. 21.) and this truth, (which is himselfe, Ioh▪ 14. 6. [...]hn 14. 6. 21. should make them free; the captious Iewes (pre­tending that they vnderstood him as speaking of a corporall or ciuill libertie) Vers. 33. cauilled at this promise, which indeed did not belong vnto them, as if hee had offered them great indignitie, by pro­mising them libertie, to presuppose their seruitude; alleaging that they were alreadie free, and therfore scorned his promised libertie, which they needed not, being neither seruants by nature or birth, for they were Abrahams seed, nor yet by their fortune or personall condi­tion, for they neuer serued any. Our Sa­uiour therefore, both to refute their cauill, and also to iustifie his promise, proueth these foure things vnto them: 1. That they were seruants. 2. That they had great need to bee made free. 3. That this freedome must come by him. 4. That being freed by him, they should bee free in­deed.

The first he proueth thus:Vers. 34. whosoe­uer committeth sinne, that is, in whom­soeuer [Page 3] sinne raigneth, he is the seruant of sinne; but such he insinuateth they were, yea such are all menTit. 3. 3. by nature, vntill they be ingrafted into Christ by faith, and renued by the holy Ghost; and therefore hee would haue them to con­clude, that for all their bragges, they were the miserable seruants of sinne, and consequentlie the slaues of Satan1. Ioh. 3. 8., sub­ject to the curse of the law, and to eter­nall damnation.

2. That they had great need to bee made free, hee sheweth both by the in­conuenience of their seruitude; for being Vers. 35. seruants, and not sons, howsoeuer now they had a place in the house of God, as Ismael Gen. 21. 10. had, yet the time should come, that they should bee cast out;) and also by the benefit which should ac­companie their freedome, that being made the sonnes of God, they should as heires of eternall life, abide, not only to the end of their daies in the Church militantTim. 3. 15. (which is the house of God vpon earth) but also for euer in the Church triumphant, which is Gods Iob. 14. 1. house in heauen.

[Page 4]3. That the faithfull attaine to this freedome by adoption in Christ. For, to so Iob. 1. 12. Gal. 3. 26. m any as receiue him by faith, hee hath giuen this liberty or power to be the sonnes of God. And,Rom. 8. 17. Gal. 47. if sonnes, then also heires. This a [...]ertion is presupposed in this place, as being the hypothesis wherupon this inference is grounded. Those that be the sonnes of God, abide in the house of God for euer; therefore if the Sonne shall make you free, &c. presupposing that men attaine to the freedome of Gods sonnes, by the benefit of Christ, the onely begotten Sonne of God.

Wherupon, as I said, is inferred the fourth thing, which is my text; If the Sonne therefore shall make you free, you shall be free indeed.

As if hee had said: you haue no cause to cauil at the promise of libertie, which I make to all them which truly beleeue in me. For I tell you vpon my word, which is Amen (that is, true and infal­lible) that both you, and all men by nature, though the seed of Abraham (as you are), though liuing (as you do) in the visible Church of God, are the [Page 5] very seruants of sinne; that being ser­uants and not sonnes, they must not looke to inheriteGalath. 4. 28 with the sons of the promise, or to abide in the house for e­uer; but when the time of separation commeth, they shall asMatth. 3. 12. 13. 30. 25. 33 chaffe be se­uered from the wheate; as tares, from the corne; as goates, from the sheepe; as Gen. 21. 10. Galath. 4. 30. Hagar and Ismael, from Isaak the sonne of the promise. Therefore, though your pride will not suffer you to see and ac­knowledge thus much: yet certainly great need haue you to bee made free; that of the seruants of sinne, you may become the sons of God. But you, who are (as allEphes. 2. 3. men by nature are) the chil­dren of wrath, cannot possiblie bee the sons of God, except you beleeue in me, who am the only begotten Son of God; that I may by the grace of adop­tion communicate that vnto you, which I my selfe am by nature and eternall ge­neration. So shall you, of the seruants of sinne, sons of Satan, and heires of Hell and damnation, be made the sons of God, heires of eternall life, citizens and free denizens of the kingdome of hea­uen. [Page 6] Whereas now therefore you are miserable seruants, notwithstanding your corporall and carnall libertie, whereof you vaunt, which is not a true libertie, but a voluntarie seruice of sin: if you shall beleeue in me, and approue your selues to be my true disciples, by abiding in my words; I, who am the truth, will make you free, not with a counterfeit or imaginary freedome, such as is your libertie, but with a true and spirituall freedome, which is the gra­cious, and the glorious libertie of the sons of God.

Thus haue you heard the context, or coherence of these words with the for­mer, (whereunto wee are referred by this word of inference, therefore) wherein diuers things might profitablie bee obserued, but that the text calleth me vnto it, as containing matter of greatest importance.

For Christian libertie,§. Sect. 2. The text. The argument wherof is Christian li­bertie. which is the argument of my text, is, as the Apostle [...]aith,Rom. 14. 16. [...] the verie good of Christians; which Christ our Sauiour, taking vpon him the forme of a seruant, [Page 7] hath purchased with his owne most precious1. Pe [...]. 1. 18. blood; which is the benefit of the Messias, whereunto wee are called Gal. 5. 13., Galath. 5. 13. which hee hath promi­sed as a reward to his true disciplesIohn. 8. 32., vers. 32. which as himselfe came to preachLuke. 4. 18., Luk. 4. 18. so doth he send vs his Embassadours to the same end, viz. to preach the Gospell, which is theIames. 1. 25. 2. 12. law of libertie, and the doctrine of redemption and freedome by him: that by our MinisterieAct. 26. 18. men may be brought out of spirituall bondage, vnto the liber­tie of Gods children. The consideration whereof, as it bindeth me with all re­uerent care and intention of mind, to in­treate of this argument; so ought it to moue you to heare the same with great diligence and attention. And the rather, not only because among vs, who pro­fesse the Gospell, many do not know the Christian libertie, and more do abuse it to their owne perdition; but also because the Papists are both enemies of the liberty it self, endeauouring by their Antichristian doctrine, to bereaue vs of the chiefe parts thereof, and also mali­cious [Page 8] standeres of the most Christian & cōfortable doctrine of our Churches concerning the same.

But to come to the words of my text,The explicati­on of the text. the summe and effect whereof is this: that Christ the Sonne of God, is the author of true libertie, to all those that truly be­leeue in him. For the explication wher­of, wee are first to speake of this libertie in generall, and afterwards to descend vnto the particulars.The generall doctrine of Christian li­ [...]ertie. In the generall doctrine wee are to consider these foure things. 1. What it is, and wherein gene­rally it doth consist. 2. Who is the au­thor of this libertie, which in the text is expressed to bee the onely begotten Sonne of God. 3. The subiect or the parties on whom this libertie is confer­red, which is plainly gathered out of the context or in [...]erence of these words vp­on the former, to bee all the sonnes of God by adoption. 4. The generall pro­perty of this liberty, that it is not a counterfait or imagina [...]y, but a true li­berty. Of all which points, I will speake very briefly.

As touching the first: for as much as [Page 9] Logicians teach,§. Sect. 3. The definition of Christian libertie. Arist. Post­er. 1. 14. that the definition of the speciall, is to bee [...]etched from the distribution of the generall; for which cause, thePlato in Sophista. diuine Philosopher calleth a distribution [...], as being the ready, and as it were the Kings way to a definition: wee will therefore take a suruey of the diuers sorts of liberty. For there is an outward or externall liberty, and there is an inward or internall li­be [...]ty. The former, is the liberty of the outward man from externall or bodily seruitude; which may be called the cor­porall or ciuill liberty. Of this our Sa­uiour speaketh not, though the Iewes would seeme so to vnderstand him; but of the internall, which may well stand with the outward or ciuill bondage. For as our Sauiour Christ noted them, Iohn. [...]. 33. 34. though outwardly free, to bee in spi­rituall bondage: so contrariwise, those who in respect of the inner man are free, may notwithstanding bee subiect to the external or ciuill seruitude; which nothing impeacheth or impaireth the liberty of the soule and conscience be­fore God. In which regard the Apostle [Page 10] saith;1. Cor. 7. 21. Hee that is called in the Lord, be­ing a seruant, is the Lords freeman. So that the liberty whereof we speake, is a liberty of the soule, or inner man. Wic­ked therefore is the doctrine of the Anabaptists, who therby exempt them­selues from all subiection to the ciuill Magistrate, vnder pretence of Christian liberty. I call their doctrine wicked, be­cause the Apostle Peter 1. Pet. 2. 16. saith; that they who vnder pretence of Christian liberty deny obedience to the Magistrate in lawfull things, doe vse their liberty for a cloake to couer their wickednesse.

Againe, the inward liberty is either a carnall, or spirituall libertie. The car­nall libertie is that, whereby the soule of man is free from righteousnesse: which indeed is a voluntary seruice of sin. For when men be free from righte­ousnesse, they are seruants of sinne, and contrariwise; as the ApostleRom. 6. 20. sheweth. But our Sauiour speaketh of a liberty, which, as it freeth men from the serui­tude of sinne, and all the spirituall yokes of bondage, which accompany the same; so it maketh them the seruants [Page 11] of righteousnesse. For whē we are Rom. 6. 18. made free from sinne, wee are made the seruants of righteousnes. Wherefore, as in respect of the former, we say with the Apostle; Hee that is called, being a seruant, is the freeman of Christ: so in respect of this latter,1. Cor. 7. 22. he that is called being free, is the seruant of Christ. Diuellish therefore is the Doctrine of the Libertines, who vnder pretence of Christian liberty, dis­charge Christians from all obedience to the law of God, setting them free to do whatsoeuer themselues thinke good. And such is the slander of the Papists, laying that doctrine to our charge, who notwithstāding are further from it then themselues. For by the Popes indul­gences and pardons, and the Priests absolutions, setting men free from sinne for small, and oft times for ridiculous penances, what doe they else but teach men to make but a sport of sinne? Of such Libertines the Apostle Peter 2. Pet. 2. 19. spea­keth, that whilest they promise liberty to others, themselues are the seruants of corruption.

It remaineth therefore, that Christian [Page 12] liberty is a spirituall liberty, freeing the true Christian from the seruitude of sinne, and from all other yokes of spiri­tuall bondage, wherewith sinne had intangled vs.

Neither is Christian liberty onely priuatiue, as being a freedome and im­munity from bondage; as though this were all, that by it we are not seruants: but as appeareth by this Scripture, it is also positiue, as being a liberty, power, right, and interest to the priuileges of Gods children, who are also heires of God, and coheires with Christ. For when hee had said that seruants abide not in the house for euer, but that such as bee sonnes, abide in the house of God for euer, hee inferreth, If therefore the sonne shall make you free, you shall bee free indeed. Giuing vs to vnderstand, that those whom hee freeth, hee doth not onely make them not seruants, viz. of sinne, but also sonnes and heires of God, and citizens of heauen. Euen as they who are made freemen of Lon­don, or any other terrestriall Citie, are not only exempted from being seruants [Page 13] or apprentises; but also are indowed with the liberties and priuileges of free Burgesses and Citizens. So saith the A­postle, Gal 4. 5. 6. 7 Gal. 4. 5. that Christ hath re­deemed those who were vnder the law, that wee might receiue the adoption of sonnes, &c.

Christian liberty therefore is a spiri­tuall liberty, which as theGalath. 2. 4. [...] The partition. Apostlo speaketh, the faithfull haue in Christ Iesus. That is the definition.

The essentiall parts wherof generally it consisteth, are two. For partly it is priuatiue, as being an immunity from all spirituall bondage; in which respect it is called in the ScriptureHeb. 9. 12. Luk 2. 38. [...] and Rom. 3. 24. Colos. 1. 14. [...], that is redemption, and is sometimes expressed by the verbes Heb. 2. 15. [...] and [...],Col. 1. 13. 1. Thess. 1. 10 signifying deliue­rance: and partly it is positiue, as being a right, title, and interest to the priui­ledges and prerogatiues of Gods adop­ted children in Christ, the citiziens of the Celestiall Ierusalem: and in this res­pect it is called [...], as Ioh. 1. 12. to those that receiue Christ by faith, hee hath giuen [...], libertie, right or power [Page 14] to bee the sons of God,1. Cor. 8. 9. 1. Cor. 8. 9. Take heed, lest [...] your liberty, right or power, bee not an offence to the weake. Thus you see what this libertie is, and wherein generally it doth consist.

The author of this libertie is Christ the Sonne of God,The efficient or author of this libertie. as it is heere said: If the Sonne therefore shall make you free, &c. so the Apostle calleth itGalath. 2. 4. the libertie with wee haue in and by Christ: and a­gaine. Galath. 5. 1 the libertie wherewith Christ hath made vs free. For hee is [...], Rom. 11. 26. that Deliuerer which should come out of Sion, who deliuereth vs 1. Thess. 1. 10. from the wrath of God, from the tyrannie of Sa­tan, 1. Iohn 3. 8. dissoluing the works of the diuell, Mat. 12. 29 binding the strong man and casting him out,Colos. 2. 15. spoiling principalities and powers, andEphes. 4. 8. leading captiuitie captiue; from the bondage of sinne, for hee is theIohn 1. 7. Lambe of God that taketh away the sinnes of the world, whose blood doth 1. Iohn 1. 7. Hib. 9. 14. 1. Pet. 1. 18. cleanse vs both from the guilt of sinne, and also from the corruption: for there­fore hee Tit. 2. 14. gaue himselfe for vs, that he might redeeme vs from all iniquitie, and might purge vs to bee a peculiar people to [Page 15] himself, Zealous of good workes. And he is that perfect Sauiour, out of whose side did issue bothIoh. 19. 34. 35. 1. Ioh. 5. 6 blood and water; the blood of redemption, to free vs from the guilt of sinne; and the water of ablution, to cleanse vs from the corruption. From the lawGal. 4. 4., for therefore was he borne of a woman, and made vnder the law, that hee might redeeme them that were vnder the law. From death and damnation; for therfore hee became aGal. 3. 13. curse, that wee might bee freed from the curse; there­fore hee died, that through Heb. 2. 14. 15. death hee might vanquish him, who had the power of death, that is, the diuell; and that hee might deliuer them, who through feare of death, were all their life time subiect to bondage.

But this needeth no proofe; for in that wee professe him to bee our redee­mer, by whom wee haueEphes. 1. 7. 1. Cor. 1. 30. redemption, wee all acknowledge him to bee the au­thor of our libertie. Let vs rather consi­der, how hee procureth this libertie vnto vs. This he doth two waies; both meritoriously, and effectually. By his merit, in1. Tim. 2. 6. giuing himselfe to bee a price [Page 16] of ransome for vs. For, as Peter 1. Pet. 1. 18. 19. saith, we are redeemed not with any corruptible things, as siluer and gold, but with the precious blood of Christ, byHeb. 9. 12. which blood hee is entred once into the holy place, hauing procured an eternall redemption for vs. Secondly, by the efficacie of his spirit, for wee are not to imagine, that Christ hath only merited and purchased this libertie for vs; but that also hee doth confer, applie, and bestow it vpon vs: which he doth by giuing vnto vs his Rom. 8. 9. 19 Gal. 4. 6. Spirit. For, as in the naturall bodie, the animall spirit, which causeth sense and motion, is from the head sent into all the members of the bodie; so in the mysticall bodie of Christ, the Spirit of Psal. 51. 14. libertie is communicated to all his members; by which spirit hee dwelleth in vs, and effectually worketh this liber­tie, in the degrees of our saluation, viz. vocation, iustification, sanctification, glorification, (as you shall heare anon) and by the meanes of our saluation. The principall where of is the preaching of the Gospell, which is the Law [...] 1. 25., or do­ctrine of libertie, the ministerle where of [Page 17] was ordained to this end, toA [...]t. 26. 18. open mens eyes, to turne them from darknesse vnto light, and from the power of Satan vnto God, that by faith in Christ, they may re­ceiue forgiuenesse of sinnes, and inheri­tance with them that be sanctified.

This teacheth vs,The vse of this doctrine con­cerning the author of our libertie. that in our selues we are seruants, (for else wee needed not a redeemer) and of our selues not able to free vs out of bondage: that there was no meanes to set vs at libertie, but the most precious ransome, which Christ our blessed Sauiour paid for vs. That wee should acknowledge the infi­nite loue of GodIoh. 3. 16. 1. Ioh. 4. 10. the Father, who gaue his Sonne, and of the SonneIoh. 15. 13 who gaue himselfe to bee a ransome for vs. That we may acknowledge our selues bound to bee thankfullPsal. 107. 20. Col. 1. 12. 13. 14. Rom. 7. 25. 1. Cor. 15. 57. vnto him, for let them giue thankes whom the Lord hath redee­med. That we may highly esteeme of this libertie, which cost so deare a price: that with all diligence wee vse the mea­nes to obtaine it, and neuer bee at rest vntill wee be made partakers of it: when we haue obtained it, toGalath. 5. 1. stand fast in it; not to abuse it to licentiousnes, but to [Page 18] vse it to the glorie of our Redeemer, who hath freed vs frō the spirituall bondage of sinne and Satan, not that we might sin freely, but that we mightLuke 1. 74. serue God without feare, in holines and righteousnes before him all the daies of our life. Wee must remember, that being1. Cor. 6. 19. 20. bought with a price, wee are not our owne, but his that bought vs: and therefore should not seeke our selues, or serue our owne lusts, but should glorifie him both in our soules and bodies, which are not ours, but his that hath bought vs, &c. & so much of the author of this liberty.

Now followeth the subiect or parties to whom this libertie belongeth, which by the context appeareth to bee those, who by the grace of adoption and rege­neration,§. 5. The subiect of this libertie, or parties on whō it is conferred. are made the sonnes of God in Christ. For naturally we are all ser­uants, seruing a most seruile and slauish seruitude vnder sinne and Satan; which must seriously bee acknowledged of vs, before we will either truly desire to bee made partakers of this libertie, (for none need to bee freed, but those that are in bondage) or will profit by this [Page 19] doctrine, as appertaining vnto vs. Our Sauiour therefore, according to the Esay. 61. 1 prophesie of Esay, saith,Luke 4. 1 [...] that he was sent to preach libertie and deliuerance to the captiues, and to set at libertie the bro­ken hearted. He came to seeke and to saue Mat. 18. 11. that which was lost: neither came hee toMatth. 9. 13. call the righteous (in their owne conceits) but sinners vnto repentance: to fill theMatth. 5. 3. 6. poore and the hungryLuke 1. 53. with good things, whilest the rich are sent emptie away.

Neither must wee deceiue our selues with this conceit, that because wee pro­fesse our selues to bee redeemed; and do liue in the house of God which is his visible Church, therefore wee haue all attained this libertie alreadie. For in the house of God, there bee as well2. Tim. 2. 20. vessels of dishonor, as vessels of honor; in the Matth. 3. 12. floore of God, as well chaffe as wheat; in theMatth. 13. 47. net of God, as well bad fish as that which is good; in theMatth. 13. 24. field of God, as well tares as corne; in the fa­milie or house of God as wellIob. 8. 34. 31. ser­uants as sonnes; in the flocke of God, as wellMatth. 25. 32. 33. goates as sheepe. Vn­lesse [Page 20] therefore you bee the sons of God by faith, truly called, engrafted into Christ as his members, regenerated by the Spirit of God, this libertie as yet doth not belong vnto you. For it is a li­bertie, as the Apostle saith,Galath. 2. 4. which wee haue in Christ, that is, which wee being in Christ haue by him, as after we shall heare: (which also) is conferred vpon vs, in and by our vocation, iustification and sanctification; and therefore none enioy it, as actually made free, but such as are sanctified, iustified and cal­led.

But heere some will obiect: Are not wee the Church of God, and is not the Church a company of men called? haue wee not beene baptized, and by bap­tisme regenerated, made the members of Christ, and children of God? How then do you say, wee are not free? Be­loued, as this obiection is not vnlike the cauill of the captious Iewes in this place; so must it receiue the like answere. Veri­ly, verily I say vnto you, saith our Saui­our, hee that committeth sinne is the ser­uant of sinne, and the seruant shall not a­bide [Page 21] in the house, &c. I know that you are the Church of God, as these Iewes were; and that you haue beene baptised, as they had beene circumcised. But you must distinguish, first, of the Church; that there is a Church visible, and a Church inuisible, which is the mysticall body of Christ. And you are to know, that there bee many in the Church visible, which are not1. Ioh. 2. 19. of the Church inuisible; many in the house of God, which bee seruants and not sonnes. Secondly, of calling; that there is an outward calling by the Word, which is common to all in the Church, of which it is said,Matth. 20. 16. & 22. 14. many called, and few chosen. And there is an inward and effectuall calling, according to Gods purpose, of which it is said, Rom. 8. 28. 30 whom hee elected, hee called. Thirdly, of Baptisme; there is an outward Bap­tisme, which is the sprinkling of the 1. Pet. 3. 21. flesh with water, and an inward Bap­tisme, wherein the soule isHeb. 12. 24. sprinkled with the blood of Christ, and with the water of the holy Ghost, whereof the outward is a signe. Fourthly, of vnion with Christ, for there is a sacramentall [Page 14] [...] [Page 15] [...] [Page 16] [...] [Page 17] [...] [Page 18] [...] [Page 19] [...] [Page 20] [...] [Page 21] [...] [Page 22] vnion in Baptisme, and a spirituall by the1. Cor. 12. 13 holy Ghost and by faith. Lastly, of Christians, members of Christ, sonnes of God. For as the Apostle distinguish­eth theRom. 2. 28. 29. Iewes, that they were either outwardlie Iewes and in shew, or in­wardly and in truth; and our Sauiour in the nextIoh. 8. 37. &c. words, the seed of Abraham according to the flesh, and according to the promise. For as Paul also saith, they Gal. 3. 7. which be of faith, are the sonnes of Abra­ham: so men are called Christians, mem­bers of Christ, sonnes of God, not only who are such indeede and in truth; but also such as are Christians onely in pro­fession, members of Christ in appea­rance, Ezech. 16. 20. 21. sonnes of God in respect of the outward couenant.Matth. 8. 12. Wherefore though you liue in the visible Church, though you bee called, though you haue beene baptized, and by baptisme sacramentally vnited to the body of Christ, which is his Church; though in your owne pro­fession, and in the reputation of others, who conceiue of you (as they ought) according to the iudgement of charitie, you are Christians, members of Christ, [Page 23] and sonnes of the kingdome: notwith­standing, if you doe not truely beleeue in Christ and vnfainedly repent of your sinnes, you are seruants and not sonnes. Yea, so farre shall these outward priui­ledges bee from exempting you from damnation, that they shall greatly ag­grauate your iudgement. For hath God called vs, and wee are not called? hath hee inuited vs to turne vnto him, and wee are not conuerted? hath hee by his Ministers2. Cor. 5. 20. intreated vs, that wee would bee reconciled vnto him, and wee will not bee reconciled? hath hee offered vs infinite mercy in the mysterie of our sal­uation by Christ, and wee haue despised the same, not caring to apprehend the mercies of God and merits of Christ, but suffering his precious blood to bee spilt as it were on the ground in vaine? hath hee often soughtMatth. 23. 37. togather vs vnto him, as the Hen gathered the Chickens vnder her wings, and wee would not? Then haue the meanes of saluation been the meanes of obduration vnto vs; and the Word, which to the faithfull is the 2. Cor. 2. 16. sauour of life vnto life, vnto vs is be­come [Page 24] come a sauour of death vnto death. Yea, for this contempt of the Gospell, if wee persist in it, our estate in the day of iudgement shall bee moreMatth. 10. 15. intolerable, then theirs of Sodom and Gomorah. And vnto vs belongeth that fearfull wo denounced by our Sauiour Christ,Matth. 11. 21. 23. Wo to thee Bethsaida, woe to thee Caper­naum: for if the meanes which you haue had, had beene vouchsafed to them of Tyrus and Sidon, yea to them of So­dom, they would haue turned vnto God, but I say vnto you, it shall bee easier for them in the day of iudgement, then for you. Againe, hath the Lord sent his Sonne to redeeme vs, giuen vs meanes to applie Christ vnto vs, hath he entre­ated vs to beleeue and repent, and put to his seale in Baptisine, thereby assuring vs, that if wee beleeue and repent, our soules are washed with the blood of Christ, that wee are ingrafted into him, and in him are made the sons of God, and heires of eternall life? Shall not wee therefore most worthily perish in our sinnes, if notwithstanding wee will not beleeue and repent; especially hauing [Page 25] in our Baptisme by a solemne vow bound our selues thereto? The conside­ration whereof must force men, who are not yet regenerated, vnfainedly to turne vnto God, and to lay hold vpon Christ by faith. For it is most certaine, though they liue in the house of God, which is his Church, yet vntill they tru­ly beleeue and repent, they are servants and not sonnes: and such servants as are held vnder the most miserable and ba­fest slavery of sin and Satan: being not only bound hand and foot, yea in heart and mind, so that they can neither doe nor thinke that which is spiritually good; but are also caried away2. Tim. 2. 26 Titus 3. 3. cap­tiue, to performe the will of Satan, and the lusts of the flesh; whereby it comes to passe, that as they can doe no good, so can they doe nothing but sinne.

The next thing to bee considered,§. 6. The quality or property of this liberty. is the quality of this liberty, viz. that it is a true liberty. For neither is it an ima­ginary liberty, as in the paradox of the Stoicks, who held that wise men of the world were only free, when they also, being not freed by Christ, were and are [Page 26] no better but servants; or in the secure imaginations of carnall men, who with these Iewes, though being in bondage thinke themselues free. Neither is it a loose liberty or licentiousnesse, such as Libertines assume to themselues, but a true and a holy liberty, whereby wee being freed from sin, become servants of righteousnesse, and being deliuered from the hands of our spirituall ene­mies, are inabled to worship God with willing mindes, and chearefull hearts: for that is the only true liberty: and such is the liberty of the Saints in heauen, and of the blessed Angels, who count it not only their liberty, but also their hap­pinesse, willingly & cheerefully to serue the Lord. For if the Sonne, who is the truth, shall make you free, then shall you be free [...], in deed, and in truth.

This therefore, as it serueth for the comfort of the godly; so also for the terror of the wicked. For, from this speech of our Saviour, we may conclude both waies. 1. Whosoeuer are made free by Christ, they are free indeed: but all the faithfull are made free by [Page 27] Christ; therefore (whatsoever the di­vell or their owne corruption can ob­iect to the contrarie) they are free in­deed.

Againe, If the Son make you free, saith Christ, then are you free indeed; but you (say I to vnbeleevers and impe­nitent sinners,) are not free indeed: For he that committeth sin, is the servant of sin; therefore, howsoever you professe your selues redeemed by Christ, and howsoever also it bee most true, that Christ hath paid a ransome sufficient for the redemption of all; yet are you not actually redeemed, nor the benefit of re­demption applied vnto you, vntill you be ingrafted into Christ by faith, and renued by the holy Ghost. And the same may be confirmed by the oath of the Lord, (wherein Heb. 6. 18. it is impossible that he should lie,) the oath which hee sware to our father Abraham, that hee would giue vs, both that we should bee delive­red from the hand, that is, the power & dominion of our spirituall enemies; and Luk. [...] being deliuered, should also haue grace to worship God without feare, in holines [Page 28] and righteousnesse before him, all the daies of our life. If therefore wee doe not en­deavour to worshippe God in holinesse and righteousnesse, with willing minds and vpright hearts; it is as sure as the oath of the Lord is true, that as yet wee are not actually freed and redeemed by Christ. For if the Sonne make you free, you shall be free indeed.

And thus much of the generall do­ctrine of Christian liberty: wherein I haue beene the shorter, because all these points, whereof I haue thus generally and briefly spoken, viz. that Christian liberty is a spirituall liberty, which the faithfull haue in and by Christ Iesus▪ that it consisteth on two parts, an immu­nity and freedome from all spirituall bondage, & an [...], & right to the pri­viledges and liberties of Gods children: that Christ our redeemer is the author of this liberty, both in respect of his merit and efficacie: that it is bestowed only vpon the faithfull, who are the sonnes of God and members of Christ: and lastly, that this liberty of Christi­ans is a true liberty; all these points, I [Page 29] say, will more plainly and fully appeare in the particulars, whereunto wee are now to descend.

Christian liberty thererfore is either libertas
  • Viae,
    §. T.
    of this life,
    The special [...] doctrine of Christian li­berty.
    such as is incident vnto vs whiles wee are in the way, whereof
    Luk. 12. 58.
    some not vnfitly vnder­stand our Saviour to speake, Luk. 12. 58. Giue diligence to be delivered from thy ad­versary, whiles thou art in the way, &c. vnderstanding by the Governour, God; by the Iudge, Christ; by the ad­versary, the divell, sin, a guil­ty conscience, the sentence of the law; by the way, this life; by the officer the An­gels; by prison, hell, &c.
  • Patriae, of the life to come, which we shall enioy, when being come to the end of our way, wee shall haue the
    1. [...]. 1. 9.
    end of our faith, which is the salvation of our soules.

The former is freedome from the bondage of sinne, the other from the [Page 30] Rom. 8. 21. bondage of corruption. The former is simply called [...],Eph. 1. 7. 14. redempti­on, the latter [...], the redemption of possession: for by the former we are heires, spe, in hope and expectation; by the latter, re, in deed and possession; the one is begun and in part, the other perfect and complete: the one, the liberty of grace, the other, as the Apostle speaketh,Rom. 8. 21. [...], the liberty of glory.

Of these in order:The liberty of grace. And first of the liberty of grace, which even in this life the faithfull doe enioy in and by Christ. And it is either common to all the faithfull, as well of the old Testament as of the new; or peculiar to the faith­full vnder the Gospell. The faithfull vn­der both Testaments were and are sonnes; who as they haue the same [...] 1. 4. common faith; so haue they the same [...]. 3. common salvation, and therefore the same liberty and right, in respect of the inheritance it selfe, and all the degrees thereof. Notwithstanding there is dif­ference betweene sonnes vnder age, and in their minority, in respect of discipline [Page 31] and gouernment, & those who are come to yeares: the former being nurtured by schoolemasters, and governed by tutors, as the Apostle saithGal. 4. [...]. 3. & 3. 24. of the faith­full before the incarnation of Christ; the latter set at liberty from such disci­cipline and government. Otherwise, as they had the same faith, and the same iustification (for all the faithfull both before Christ and after, were and are justified by faith, as Abraham Rom. 4. 23. 24. was, Rom. 4. and by suchIam. 2. 20. 21. a faith, Iam. 2.) so haue they the same liberty which is obtained by faith, and in some chiefe points thereof is, asInstit. lib. 3. cap. 19. §. 1. Calvin saith, an ap­pendix of iustification.

The common liberty of grace,The liberty of saving grace. which may fitly be called the liberty of sauing grace, containeth many particulars; which, for your easiest remembrance, may be reduced to these three heads.

For it is a liberty which we haue in and by our

  • Vocation.
  • Iustification.
  • Sanctification.

For, although these three concurre in time, because a man is no sooner effe­ctually called, but he is also iustified be­fore [Page 32] God, and no sooner iustified, but he beginneth also to bee sanctified (which is duly to be obserued of those, who presuming, and that perhaps for a long time, that they be called and iusti­fied, doe still remaine vnsanctified) not­withstanding in order of natureRom. 8. 30. voca­tion goeth before iustification, and iu­stification before sanctification. And let this also by the way be observed for the comfort of the godly. For whosoever, professing the true faith, hath a true pur­pose and vnfained desire to walke be­fore God in the obedience of his will, making conscience of all his waies: that man, howsoever besides his generall purpose he may faile ( [...] 3. 2. as wee all doe) in many particulars; yet he is sanctified, and from his sanctification may certain­ly conclude, that he is iustified, that hee is called, that he is elected, that he shall be saued. For the fruit could not bee good, vnlesse the tree or the branch that beareth it were good, and the branch cannot be good, vnlesse it bee ingrafted into Christ, [...] 15. 1. 5. the onely true vine: that is to say, a mans conversation is never [Page 33] acceptable vnto God, before his person be accepted; and his person is not accep­ted, vntill he be vnited vnto Christ. For the better vnderstanding of this point, we must remember, that Christ at a deare price hath long since purchased this liberty for vs, and hath meritori­ously wrought our freedome. But none are actually and effectually set at liber­ty, but those alone, who haue actuall vnion and communion with Christ. Now in our effectuall vocation, wee haue vnion with Christ; and in our ju­stification and sanctification, commu­nion with him. In the former, in respect of his merits apprehended by faith, and communicated vnto vs by imputation; in the other, in respect of his graces, which being in him without measure, are by his spirit from [...]. him derived, and in some measure communicated vnto vs by infusion.

But let vs speake of them severally▪ And first,§. [...]. as [...]ouching our vocation, [...]. I say with the Apostle, [...]. Gal. 5. Brethren, you are called vnto liberty: which words we are thus to vnderstand, that by our [Page 34] calling wee are not only invited vnto Christian liberty in generall, as a maine benefit of our Christian profession; but also by it are enfranchised, being there­by put into possession of a good part of it, and entituled to the rest. For whereas naturally wee are wholy, and not only in part (for that may be verifi­ed of the faithfull, Rom. 7. 14.) carnall, sold vnder sinne; by our calling wee are first made spirituall, being in some mea­sure indued with the spirit of Christ. Now the spirit of Christ, being the spi­rit of liberty, as David speaketh,Psal. 51. 14. Psal. 51. we may resolue with the Apostle, 2. Cor. 3. 17 that where the spirit of the Lord is, there is liberty.

But the liberty which wee haue by our calling standeth on these degrees. First, as it is an immunity; our mindes are therein freed from the servitude of blindnesse and incredulity, our hearts and willes from the bondage of that, which the Apostle callethRom. 11. 32 [...], (vn­der which all men naturally are conclu­ded) that is, disobedience and infidelity; our selues, from the servitude of Satan, [Page 35] being called and as it were culled out of the world, whereby is meant the com­pany of worldly men, which is the king­dome of the divell, (who is theIohn. 12. 31. Prince, yea the God2. Cor. 4. 4. of the world, working ef­fectually [...],Ephes. 2. 2. in the children of infidelity and disobedience, blinding their vnderstandings, and2. Tim. 2. 26. cap­tivating their willes:) and lastly transla­ted from the most slavish estate of dam­nation, beingApoc. 14. 4. redeemed from among men, and deliuered out of theGal. 1. 4. world, which because it wholy, as Saint Iohn 1. Iohn. 5. 19 saith, [...], lieth vnder the subiection of the divell,For he it [...] of whom he had spoken, verse. 18. (who hath the Heb. 2. 15▪ power of death) is also subiect to death and damnation.

As it is [...], that is, a power and in­terest; wee are in our calling indued, as I said, with the spirit of liberty, which freeth our soules by enlightning our minds, perswading our iudgements, and softening our hearts, enspiring thereinto godly desires and gratious resolutions; whereby he beginning the grace of faith in vs, doth regenerate vs and vnite vs vnto Christ. So that by our effectuall [Page 36] calling, in regard that therein the spirit of liberty is communicated vnto vs, and the saving grace of faith is therein be­gotten in vs, we are made the sonnes of God and members of Christ, and are not only entituled to all the rights and priviledges of the children of God, and members of Christ; but also are present­ly Iohn. 5. 24. translated, as it were from death to life, and from the state of damnation vnto the state of grace and salvation.

But these things doe need some far­ther explanation. First, therefore in the ministry of the Gospell, which is the ministry2. Cor. 3. 8. 1. P [...]t. 1. 23. of the spirit, the word of faith,Rom. 10. 8. the seed of regeneration, theIam. 1. 18. 25 law or do­ctrine of liberty, and the ordinary meanes of our2. Thes. 2. 14 vocation, the lord, pre­venting vs with his grace, sendeth the spirit of his sonne into our hearts; which being, as I said, the spirit of liberty; first, freeth our mindes from the bondage of ignorance, incredulity & vanity, where­in vntill then wee are held captiue, not onceable of our selues to entertaine a 2. Cor. 3. 5. good thought, the whole frame of our thoughts beingGen. 6. 5. & 8. 21. onely evill continual­ly; [Page 37] the wisdome of our flesh,Rom. 8. 7. or that which our flesh mindeth, being enmity against God; our selues, not only not perceiuing, but being1. Cor. 2. 14. not able to per­ceiue the things which are of the spirit of God, and much lesse able to giue as­sent vnto them (for no man can say that 1. Cor. 12. 3. Iesus is Christ but by the holy Ghost) and much lesse to assent effectually, or by a liuely faith. The spirit of God therefore by the ministry of the word (which is aPsal. 119. 105. light vnto our feete) as the meanes, and by the Ministers of the Gospell as his instruments (who are therefore called theMat. 5. 14. light of the world, and are sent by Christ toActs 26. 1 [...]. open our eyes, and to giue light to them that sit in Luk. 1. 79. darknesse, and in the shadow of death) enlighteneth our mindes to vnderstand, and openeth our hearts as hee did the heart of Lydia, perswading our soules Act. 16. 14. [...], that is, not only to attend, but as the word also signifi­eth, to assent to those things which are spoken by the Ministers; and thereby maketh vs vnfainedly to acknowledge and seriously to consider, both our mi­serable [Page 36] servitude, and damnable estate in our selues, and also the gratious liber­ty and sauing grace of God offered in Christ. And this is the first degree of the liberty which we haue in our calling, that therein we are called out of1. Pet. 2. 9. dark­nes into light. Of this liberty the Apostle speaketh, 2. Cor. 3.2. Cor. 3. 15. 16. 17. that whereas there is naturally a vaile over mens hearts, that they cannot vnderstand the word; this vaile is taken away by the spirit of God, when they turne vnto the Lord. Now the Lord (saith he) is the spirit, & where the spirit of the Lord is, there is li­berty. In this regard the spirit is com­pared to anApoc. 3. 18. eye-salue, and is called that1. Ioh. 2. 27. anointing, which, being receiued from Christ, teacheth vs all things.

Hauing thus revealed vnto vs both our owne miserable estate in our selues, and the infinite mercies of God in Christ, and moued vs truly to assent thereto; in the next place hee toucheth our hearts with a sense of our misery, and with a hatred of sinne, which hath brought vs into that miserable estate, and by the ministry of the Word, which is [Page 37] hisRom. 1. 16. power to our salvation, and his Esai. 53. 1. arme to draw vs vnto him, hee turneth our will and affections from darknesse (which naturallyIoh. 3. 19. Act. 26. 18. wee loue) vnto light, not only working in vs hearty desires, to come out of that damnable estate, and to be made partakers of Christ (which desires also he being theZac. 12. 10. Rom. 8. 26. Spirit of sup­plication, helpeth vs to expresse in hear­ty prayer;) but also inspiring into vs a setled resolution, that for as much as li­berty and salvation is promised to all that receiue Christ by faith; wee will therefore resolue vndoubtedly to ac­knowledge him to be our only Saviour, and to rest vpon him alone for salvati­on. Thus by working, 1. In our mindes an effectuall assent to the promise of the Gospell. 2. In our hearts an earnest de­sire to bee made partakers of Christs merits, and 3. In our will a setled reso­lution, to acknowledge him to bee the Messias and to rely vpon the mercies of God and merits of Christ, for justifi­cation and saluation, (by which three we doeIohn 1. 12. receiue Christ,) the spirit of God begetteth the grace of iustifying faith in [Page 40] vs. In the begetting whereof, hee doth not onlyA [...]t. 26▪ 1 [...]. turne men from darknesse to light, and from the power of Sa [...]an vnto God; but also regenerateth them, and v­niteth them vnto Christ, making them of the children of wrath, the sonnes of God; of the impes of the old Adam, members of Christ; and of the-subiects of Satan in the kingdome of [...]. 1. 13. darknesse, fellowEphes. 2. 19. cittizens with the Saints in the kingdome of God. And this is the liber­ty which we haue by our calling. As for the teachers of free will, and the magnifiers of our pure naturals; they neither acknowledge the wofull bon­dage wherein we are by nature, nor the happy liberty, whereunto wee are, not borne, but called. For this is a liberty, ad quam non nati, sed renati sumus; which we haue not by generation, but by regeneration. Neither is it a common liberty of all, but a liberty peculiar to the people of God, who are a people [...]. [...]. 2. 9. set at liberty, peculiar to the sonnes of God, and members of Christ. But it will be said, if there bee no freedome in our willes before we be called, then be­like [Page 41] we are called and saued against our willes, and we must looke with the En­thusiasts for violent raptures. I answere, that there is in our willes a freedome of nature, whereby it is free from compul­sion. For, that the will should bee for­ced, it implieth a contradiction: for then it should both will and nill the same thing at one time. Notwithstanding this freedome of the will, vntill it bee freed by grace, is a voluntary service of sinne; voluntarily and with greedinesse, wil­ling that which is evill, although it can will nothing else. But the preventing grace of God, whereby we are called; is perswasiue, and not ordinarily by the Word; drawing vs indeede, and so of vnwilling making vs willing, but this is by perswasion, and not by compulsion. For although our willes in the first act of our conversion bee meerely passiue, and none can come to Christ vnlesse the Ioh. 6▪ 4 [...] Father draw him, yet we can no sooner conceiue a man to be effectually called, then that he is made willing. For in the very act of our calling, of vnwilling we are made willing; and no sooner are wee [Page 40] effectually drawne but wee willingly come: in which sense true is that say­ing of Chrysostome, [...], God indeed draweth, but hee draweth him that is willing. Wherefore though our willes doe not concurre, ad vocationem, vnto our calling; yet they concurre, in vocatione, in our calling, be­ing therein made free.§. 9.

Now we are to intreate of the liberty which we haue both in our iustification,Iustification and sanctifica­tion not to be confounded. and also in our sanctification. For how­soeuer these graces doe alwaies so con­curre, as that whosoeuer hath the one, hath the other; and whosoeuer hath not both, hath neither; yet are wee carefully to distinguish them. For the Papists in not distinguishing them, confound the Law and the Gospell, abolish the maine benefit of Christ, which in the Scrip­tures goeth vnder the name of iustifica­tion, and with it the liberty which wee haue by it; and lastly, by their Antichri­stian doctrine teach men to place the matter of their iustification, and the me­rit of salvation in themselues. For they doe teach, that a man is iustified, when he is made righteous by righteousnesse [Page 41] inherent in himselfe, and performed by himselfe, and accordingly make two de­grees of iustification: The one, which they call the first iustification, when a man of a sinner is made iust, by the in­fusion of faith, hope, and charity; the other, which they call the second iusti­fication, when a man of a iust man is made more iust by bringing forth good workes. So that according to their do­ctrine, the righteousnesse of the first iu­stification, is habituall and inherent in themselues; of the second, actuall, and performed by themselues. And where­as iustification standeth on two parts, viz. remission of sinne, and the making, or, as theRom. 5. 1 [...]. Apostle speaketh, constitu­ting of vs righteous; as they teach, that we are made righteous, not by imputa­tion, but by infusion of righteousnesse: so they teach, that remission of sinne is the deletion of sinne, and that sinnes are then pardoned, when by infusion of the contrary graces they are expelled. Even as water is then said to bee warmed, when by the accession of heate the cold is expelled. Againe, where the Scrip­ture [Page 44] saith,Rom. 3. 14. that we are iustified by grace, that is, by the meere favour of God in Christ, by faith without workes, by the righteousnesse of God, which without the law is manifested in the Gospell; they by grace vnderstand the graces of God in vs, which they say concurre with faith vnto iustification; by righte­ousnesse, not the righteousnesse of Christ apprehended by faith, but a righteousnesse from Christ infused into vs, &c. Which doctrines, being vnder­stood of sanctification, are for the most part true. For we doe not deny, but that the matter of our sanctification is inhe­rent in vs, and performed by vs; and that it is partly habituall, and partly actuall; that it consisteth in our dying vnto sin, which is called mortification, and liuing vnto righteousnesse, which is called vi­vification: that there be degrees thereof, according to the measure of grace re­ceived: that wee are sanctified by the grace, or rather graces of God in vs▪ and that thereunto not faith alone, but hope and charity, & other both inward gra­ces and outward obedience doe concur, &c.

[Page 45]But if the iustification which the Pa­pists teach, be nothing else but sanctifi­cation; what then is become of that, which in the Scriptures goeth vnder the name of iustification, and is the maine benefit of the Messias, whereby wee are not only freed from the guilt of sinne, which bound vs over to death and dam­nation; but also are in Christ accepted as righteous, and made heires of eternall life; by which wee are freed from the feare of damnation, and are entitled vnto the kingdome of heauen? Surely by the Popish doctrine it is in a manner aboli­shed, and with it the liberty which wee haue by it, which is no lesse then our deliverance from hell, and our title to the kingdome of heauen, which if wee haue not by Christ, we haue no salvati­on by him. For it is certaine, that whereby we are iustified, thereby wee are saved.

This most pre [...]ious and Antichristi­an errour they seeke to justify by the like notation of the Latine words. For as to be sanctified, is to be made holy, by holinesse wrought in vs; so to be iu­stified, [Page 44] in their conceit, is to bee made iust, by righteousnesse wrought in vs.

Wherevnto I answere, that if the Latine notation were to bee respected, it would not hinder our cause. For, wee doe freely confesse, that whom the Lord iustifieth, he maketh iust. But then the question is, whether by imputation, or by infusion. By imputation, we say, as he iustifieth; by infusion, not as hee iu­stifieth, but as he sanctifieth. But the La­tine word is no farther to be vrged, then as it is the translation of the Hebrew word in the old Testament, and of the Greeke in the new, which signifieth to iustify. Now it is plaine, that both the Hebrew [...], and the greeke [...], is verbum forese, a iudici­all word ascribed vnto God, as the Iudge; to teach vs, when wee thinke of iustification, to summon our selues before the iudgement seat of God. And in this sense it is opposed to condemn­ing, as in theDeut. 25. 1. Prov. 17. 15. iudgements of men, Deut. 25. 1. Prov. 17. 15. so in theMat. 12. 37. iudgemēt of God, Mat. 12. 37. By thy words thou shalt be iustified, a [...]d by thy words thou [Page 45] shalt bee condemned; 1. King. 8. 32. Rom. 5. 16. 18. and Rom. 8. 33.1. King. 8. 32. Rom. 5. 16. 18. Rom. 8. 33. Hereby then appeareth, both what iustification is, and wherein it differeth from sancti­fication. For the contrary to sanctify­ing, is polluting; but the contrary to iu­stifying, is condemning. Wherefore as sanctifying being the contrary to pol­luting, doth signify making holy; so iu­stifying being the contrary to con­demning, doth signifie absoluing, ac­quitting, pronouncing iust. And in this sense evermore, in the question of iusti­fication, it is vsed when it is ascribed vn­to God. Neither are the Papists able to produce any one testimony, where iu­stification being ascribed to God, (as Rom. 3. 26. & 8. 33. It is God that doth iustify) doth sig­nify making righteous by infusion. This then is the first note of difference, where­unto others may be added. For in iusti­fication,2 as I said before, we haue com­munion with Christ, in respect of his merits imputed vnto vs, to free vs from the guilt of sinne, and feare of damnati­on, and to entitle vs to the kingdome of heauen. In sanctification we haue com­munion [Page 48] with Christ in respect of his graces, which being in him without measure, are by his spirit deriued to vs in measure, and communicated by infu­sion, to free vs from the corruption and dominion of sinne, and to prepare and fit vs for the kingdome of heauen.

The matter therefore of Iustification, or that whereby we are absolved, and in respect whereof, God doth acquit vs from our sinnes, and accepting vs as iust, doth so pronounce of vs, is the merits, righteousnes, and obedience of Christ our Saviour. For by what we are redee­med, by that wee haueEph [...]s. 1. 7. Colos. 1. 14. remission of sinnes, or iustification; but wee are re­deemed only by the merits and righte­ousnes of Christ, and not by our owne; and therefore wee are iustified by the righteousnesse of Christ, and not by that which is inherent in vs, or perfor­med by vs: but our sanctification con­sisteth in the graces of Gods spirit inhe­rent in vs, and the new obedience per­formed by vs.

4 Wee are iustified by imputation of Christs righteousnes, when God im­puting [Page 49] to a belieuer the righteousnesse of Christ, and accepting of it in the be­lievers behalfe, as if he had performed it in his owne person, doth not only ac­quit him from his sinnes, but also ac­cepteth of him as righteous in Christ, and as an heire of eternall life. For as Christ was made a sinner for vs, so are wee made2. Cor. 5. 21. righteous before God in him: Christ was made a sinner for vs, by imputation of our sinnes to him: there­fore we are made righteous before God in him, by imputation of his righteous­nesse vnto vs. Againe, as we were made [...]inners, that is, guilty of the first Adams transgression;Rom. 5. 18. 9. so are we iustified by the obedience of the second Adam. But wee are guilty of the first Adams transgressi­on by imputation. For how should that being an action, and therefore transrent, be communicated vnto vs? Let Bellar­mine answere: It is communicated to vs, saith he,Adoe peccatis nobis commu­nicatur per generationem o modo, quo communic [...] potest idquo [...] transit, nimi­rum per impu­tationem. as transient things vse to bee communicated, that is to say, by impu­tation. Omnibus enim imputatur, qu [...] ex Adamo nas­cuntur, quoni­am omnes in lumbi [...] Adami existentes, in e [...] et per eum pec­cauimus, cum ipse peccauit. Bellarm. tom. 3 de amiss. gra [...]. & stat. pe [...]. li [...] 5. cap 17. Therefore wee are iustified by imputation of the obedience of the se­cond Adam. For the obedience of [Page 50] Christ which hee performed on earth, being transient, how could it bee com­municated vnto vs, but as Bellarmine saith, all transient things are communi­cated, viz. by imputation? The reason of wich imputation is this. For as all men being in Adam as the roote of man­kind, originally, are guilty of his sinne, it being imputed vnto them, because in him and by him, by reason of their vni­on with him, all sinned: so the faithfull being in Christ as their head or roote, are iustified by his obedience, if being imputed to them, because in him, and by him, by reason of our vnion with him, we fulfilled the Law, and in him, and by him wee satisfied the iustice of God. But we are sanctified by the infu­sion of grace wrought in vs by the holy Ghost.

5 Iustification is the very intitling of vs to the kingdome of heauen. Sanctificati­on is both the badge and cognizance, whereby they are to bee discerned and knowne who are iustified, and shall bee Act. 26. 18. & 20. 32. saued, and the fitting and preparing of vs to that kingdome, whereinto no vn­cleane [Page 51] thing shall enter.

The righteousnesse of iustification is 6 perfect, (for it is the righteousnesse of Christ) and therefore of iustification it selfe there are no degrees, though of the assurance thereof there bee degrees, ac­cording to the measure of faith. The righteousnesse of our sanctification, which is inherent, is vnperfect in this life, and stained with the flesh; & there­of there are degrees, as wee grow in grace.

Wee are both iustified and sanctified 7 by faith, but in divers respects. We are iustified by faith, because by it wee ap­prehend the righteousnesse of Christ, & therefore are iustified by it, not formal­ly, as it is a power or habit in vs, or as it is a part of inherent righteousnesse, but relatiuely in respect of the obiect which it doth apprehend; and by it alone wee are iustified, because it is the only grace in vs, which apprehendeth the merits of Christ to iustification. Wee are sancti­fied by faith, as a chiefe part of our sanctification, being as it were the roote, both of other inward graces, and out­ward [Page 52] obedie [...]ce: but we are not sancti­fied by it alone, because not only other graces inherent, but also outward obe­dience concurre thereto.

These things thus premised,§. 10 let vs consider what that liberty is,The liberty of iustification. which we haue both in our iustification, and also in our sanctification. In both (as our free­dome is an immunity) wee are freed from sinne, and from the Law, which is the strength of sinne, though in different respects, which will bee so many more differences betwixt iustification and sanctification. In sinne there are two things, the guilt thereof, and the cor­ruption. In iustification wee are freed wholly from the guilt of sinne: for to be iustified, is to haue remission of sinne, Rom. 4. 6. 7. Freedome from guilt of [...]inne. Rom. 4. 6. 7. or which is all one, to be freed, or absolued from the guilt of it. And so certaine it is, that in iustification we haue this freedome, that to be iusti­fied, is to bee freed, according to the Scriptures phrase,Rom. 6. 7. Rom. 6. 7. he that is dead is freed from sinne: the Greeke is [...]. SeeAct. 13. 38. [...]9. Act. 13. 38. 39. Bee it knowne vnto you, that through Christ is [Page 53] preached vnto you forgiuenesse of sinnes. And from all things, from which you could be iustified by the law of Moses, by him every one that beleeueth is iustified. Where, to be iustified, is to haue par­don of sinne, or freedome from the guilt of it.

The guilt of sinne is the obligation or binding over of the sinner vnto pu­nishment: and this bond is partly in the Law,As the [...] or proposition. which is the hand-writing or obligation that is against vs, binding o­ver the transgressor of it, to the punish­ment threatned in it; and partly in the [...] or assumption conscience, applying the Law, morall or naturall, to the sinner, and from thence [...], or conclusion. pronouncing him subiect to pu­nishment. From this obligation or guilt we are freed before God, and as it were in the court of heauen, so soone as wee beleeue: and we are freed from the same in the court of conscience, when wee know that we beleeue, and are assured of our iustification. For,Act. 26. 18. by faith wee haue remission of sinne: and whosoeuer Act. 13. 38. 39. beleeueth in Christ, hee is iustified from the guilt thereof.

[Page 54]This our freedome containeth in it happinesse, for as their estate is misera­ble, whose sinnes are not forgiuen, be­cause by their sinnes they are debtors vnto God, owing in respect thereof e­ternall death and damnation (though they only feele this burthen, whose con­science is throughly touched, of whom it is said, [...] 1 [...] 14. A wounded spirit who is able to beare?) so their estate is happy, who are freed from the guilt of sinne. David, though a King, flourishing in great ho­nor, wealth, and delights; notwithstand­ing he reposeth his felicity in the for­giuenesse of sin, [...] 32. 1. 2. [...]. 4. 6. Psal. 32. Blessed is the man whose wickednesse is forgiuen, and whose sinne is covered, blessed is the man to whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity. Which should moue vs aboue all things to labour for the forgiuenesse of sin, and for the assurance thereof. If thou be­leeue in Christ, and withall confesse thy sin1. Ioh. 1. 9. and forsakeProv. [...]8. 13. it, thou maist bee sure that it is pardoned.

Secondly,§. 11. in our iustification we are freed from theGal. 4. 4. 5 [...]. law, and that in two re­spects. First, from the malediction or [Page 55] condemnation of it: secondly, from the lawes exaction of inherent and that per­fect righteousnesse vnto iustification. Vnder which double yoke of bondage all men are, that are not iustified by faith in Christ: that is, all men in them selues are subiect to the curseGal. 3. 1 [...]. who in the least degree doe at any time in their whole life transgresse any part of the law, as all men oftentimes doe; and againe, no man who is not in Christ, can be exempted from the curse, and attaine to iustifica­tion, vnlesse he continue in all the things which are written in the booke of the law to doe them; which no man is able to doe, the law by reason of the flesh be­ing Rom. 8. 3. impossible vnto vs. Let naturall or vnconuerted men apply this to them­selues. Canst thou not by the sentence of the law be exempted from the curse, vnlesse thou dost not only not commit the things forbidden, but also doe the duties commaunded; vnlesse thou dost all, and vnlesse thou continuest in doing all, neuer failing in any one particular; and finally, vnlesse thou continuest in doing all, and euery thing commaunded [Page 56] in that perfect manner and measure which the law prescribeth? Alas then, how wilt thou escape the dreadfull curse, who in stead of doing the duties commaunded, hast done the vices for­bidden; who in stead of keeping all the commaundements, hast broken them all; and in stead of continuing in a totall per­petuall and perfect obedience of the lawe, hast continued in the disobedience thereof? Hence we may conclude with the Apostle, that all men in themselues, euen thoseGal. 3. 10. who seeke to be iustified by the law, be concluded vnder sinne, and consequently vnder the curse: and therefore haue extreame neede to seeke vnto Christ, that by him they may be set free from this two-fold bondage; which is, to be vnder the curse of the law if we breake it, when we can doe nothing else but breake it; and to be ex­cluded from iustification, if we doe not continue in the perfect performance of the law, when we are not able so much as to [...] Cor. 4. 5. Freedome from the curse of the Law. thinke a good thought, or once to will that which is spiritually good. But by Christ we are freed from both. Frst [Page 57] from the curse, as the Apostle in expresse tearmes teacheth:Gal. 3. 13. Christ hath redeemed vs from the curse of the law, when he was made a curse for vs. He hath freed vs from the punishment of sinne, by vnder­going the punishment for vs, he hath ac­vs quitted frō our debts by discharging them for vs. For as Esay Esa. 53. 3. saith, He was wounded for our transgressions, he was broken for our iniquities, the chastisement of our peace (that is, which was to pro­cure vs peace and reconsiliation with God) was laide vpon him, and by his stripes we are healed. And againe,Ve [...]s. 6. The Lord hath laide vpon him the iniquitie of vs all, that is, the punishment of all our sinnes. And,Vers. 11. My righteous seruant by his knowledge, that is, by the knowledge of him, or faith in him, shall iustifie ma­ny, for he shall beare their iniquities.

Now, by the curse of the law from which Christ doth free vs, we are to vn­derstand all euillPsal. 9 [...]. 10. of punishment, as well temporall as eternall: for it is absurd to imagine with the Papists, that Christ ha­uing freed vs from the eternall punish­ment, hath not freed vs from the tempo­rall. [Page 58] By temporall, we meane the euils both of this life, whether corporall or spirituall (which are innumerable) and also in the end of this life, viz. an euill death. Against both these it will be ob­iected, and first against the former; that notwithstanding their iustification, the faithfull are as subiect to afflictions and calamities of this life as others, and therefore to punishment. But I deny that consequence, if you speake of pu­nishments properly, which be the curses of the law afflicted vpon men by way of vengeance, to satisfie the iustice of God. * For the Lord hath imposed the punish­ment of all our sinnes vpon Christ; who hath fully satisfied the justice of his Fa­ther for them. And therefore as there is no condermnation, so no punishment (properly vnderstood) to them that are in Christ Iesus. Neither can it stand with the iustice of God (who is not on­ly mercifull, but alsoRom. 3. 25. 26. iust in iustifying of vs) to exact a punishment of the faithfull for the satisfying of his iustice,1. Iohn. 1. 9. for whom Christ hath already fully sa­tisfied his iustice by bearing the punish­ment: [Page 59] this were to punish the same sinnes twice, once in Christ, and againe in vs. Indeed the faithfull are subiect to cros­ses and afflictions: but all the afflictions of the godly are either trials for their good, or such iudgements as are simply fatherly chastisements proceeding from loue, and meerely respecting the good of the party chastised, whereof the A­postle speaketh, 1. Cor. 11. 32.1. Cor. 11. 32. When we are iudged we are chastised of of the Lord, that we should not be condemned with the world, or else they be also [...] (according to theOf [...] honor and [...] care. erymoligie of the word which by some is giuen) when God besides the chastisment of the par­ty, hath also care to his owne honour, which would beimpeached, if he should seeme to winke at the scandalous offen­ces of his children, as though he would maintaine them in their sinnes. In which regard iudgement, as Peter 1 Pet. [...]. 17 saith, begin­eth at the house of God. For the Lord many times correcteth those sinnes in the Godly, both for his owne honour, and their good, which he seemeth to passe by in the wicked. Of this kinde [Page 60] we haue an example in Dauid, to whom the Lord vpon his submission forgaue his greeuous sinnes of murther and adul­terie, notwithstanding both for Dauids chastisement, and for the example of o­thers, but chiefly for the maintenance of his owne glory (which by the scanda­lous offences of Gods children, is by the wicked blasphemed, as though such sins were the fruits of the religion and ser­uice of God,) he would not suffer the child begotten in adulterie to liue. Why? because by that sinne Dauid had 2. Sam. 12. 14. caused the enemies of the Lord to blas­pheme. The vse which we are to make hereof, is not with the Papists, to teach men to make satisfaction to God for their sinnes, as though Christ had not fully satisfied for them already: but to teach men, both to beware that they doe not commit sinne, especially scan­dalous sinnes; because thereby they dis­please and dishonor God their mercifull Father, prouoking him to powre his iudgements vpon them, for their a­mendment, that they be not condemned with the world, and for the maintenance [Page 61] of his owne honor: and also that hauing sinned, we doeA [...]os 4. 12 meete the Lord in his iudgements, by humbling our selues be­fore him, confessing our fault, and cra­uing pardon, that1. Cor. 11. 31 iudging our selues, we may not be iudged of the Lord.

Against the second it is also obiected, that notwithstanding their iustification, the godly die as well as the wicked. I answere, that as of all afflictions, so also of death, the nature is changed in re­spect of the faithfull; to whom death it selfe, though brought in by the malice of the diuell, is not a curse or punish­ment properly. I doe not denie, but that many times in respect of the time and manner of death, the godly iudged and chastised, the Lord in mercy killing their bodies, that hee many1. Cor. 11. 30. 32. saue their soules; but from the evill of death they are wholly freed, for to them it is the end of sinne, and is therefore inflicted vpon vs, that sinne might dy with vs, as Methodius Apud Epi­phan. hares. 64 saith, and being the end of sinne vnto vs, it is also the end of mi­sery, the hauen of rest, a happy passage out of this vaile of misery vnto the [Page 62] kingdome of glory; and so not onely no curse, but also a blessing, no losse, but an advantage, as after wee shall shew. For yet we speake but of the immunities of iustification, the principall whereof yet remaineth to be spoken of; that is, free­dome from subiection to damnation, to everlasting death, to the eternall wrath of God, which is the most miserable bondage and subiection of all those, who are not iustified by faith in Christ. But from this curse also Christ hath freed the faithfull. For this is the immunitie which we haue by him; thatIoh. 3. 16. whosoeuer beleeueth in him shall not perish, that there isRom. 8. 1. no condemnation to them that bee in Christ Iesus; that by his deathH [...]b. 2. 15. hee hath destroyed him that had the power of death, that hee might deliuer them all, which for feare of death, were all their life time subiect to bondage; that Ie­sus our Sauiour deliuereth vs from the 2 Thes. 1. 10 wrath to come.

And thus wee haue heard of two im­munities, which wee haue in our iustifi­cation: that wee are freed from the guilt of sinne, and from the curse of the Law [Page 63] whereto our sinne had made vs subiect. And from hence ariseth vnspeakeable peace and liberty to the distressed con­science, terrified with the guilt of sinne, the curse of the Law, and feare of dam­nation; when it receiuing Christ by faith, hath immunity and freedome from them all.

Now followeth the other immunity from the law,§. 12▪ in respect of the exaction or perfect righteousnesse to be inherent in vs, and perfect obedience to bee per­formed by vs,Freedom from the lawes ex­action of inhe­rent righteousnesse, to iusti [...] cation. vnto our iustification and salvation: vnto which yoke of bondage, as I said, all men by nature are subiect. For it is sure and certaine, that without righteousnesse, and such a righteousnes, as is fully answerable to the perfect law of God, no man can be iustified.

Now, this righteousnesse must either be inherent in our selues, which is the righteousnesse that the Law requireth vnto iustification; or being performed by another, (which is Christ) for vs, must be imputed vnto vs: and that is the righteousnes which the Gospell pro­poundeth vnto iustification.

[Page 64]A third righteousnes, whereby wee should be iustified, cannot be named. If therefore wee bee not partakers of Christs righteousnes apprehended by faith, we must stand to the sentence of the Law; which is, either to performe perfect and perpetuall obedience, or not to be iustified. But if Christs righteous­nes be imputed vnto vs (as it is to all that apprehend it by faith) then are we iusti­fied, notwithstanding the sentence of the Law, by Rom. 3. 28. Galath. 2. 16. faith, (that is, by the righ­teousnes of Christ apprehended by faith) without the workes of the Law, that is, without any respect of obedience performed by our selues. And in this li­berty from the Law, standeth the chiefe comfort and stay of a Christian, when hee summoning himselfe, as it were in the court of his conscience before the iudgement seat of God, to bee iustified, or condemned, shall consider that by Christ he is freed, both from the con­demnation of the Law, and from the ex­action of inherent righteousnes to iusti­fication: so that hee shall not neede to stand to the sentence of the Law, or to [Page 65] trust to any obedience performed by himselfe, as it were to a broken staffe, wherein there can be no comfort, (for if God should enter intoPsal. 143. [...]. iudgment with vs according thereto, no man liuing could be iustified) but may safe­ly and freely, without respect, either of his owne obedience, or of the sentence of the law, rely vpon the mercies of God, and merits of Christ; that for as much as the Lord hath giuen him grace to beleeue, & by that faith hathHos. 2. 20. espou­sed him to Christ, and vnited him vnto him as his member; he hath also com­munion in Christs merits, whereby without regard to any righteousnesse of his owne, he is iustified before God.

Against this part of Christian liber­ty, which is most comfortable, the Church of Rome (as it well becomes the synagogue of Antichrist) doth by might and maine oppose it selfe: con­tending not only that we are iustified by righteousnes inherent; but also that the same obedience, which the Law pre­scribeth, is in greater perfection requi­red in the Gospell vnto iustification. By [Page 66] which doctrine of thei [...]s, they con­ [...]ound the Law of the Gospell, and in so doing abolish the covenant of grace, an­nihilate the maine promise of the Gospell, which is the charter of our li­berty, the ground of our faith, the foun­dation of all our assurance for iustifica­tion and salvation. For if the Gospell promise and propound iustification and salvation, vpon the condition of our owne obedience, a [...]d that in more per­fection then the law it selfe required: then is it not only a covenant of workes, as well as the law, but also imposeth a heavier yoke vpon mens consciences, then the Law did. But it is manifest that the Gospell is the covenant of grace made with Abraham Galath. 3. 8. 16. 17., concerning iusti­fication by faith in Christ; whereas the Law contrariwise is the covenant of workes, which 430. yeares after was deliuered by Moses, and did not disanull the former promise, concerning iustifi­cation by faith. The condition whereon the Gospell promiseth iustification, is faith in Christ; the condition of the Law, our owne perfect and perpetuall [Page 67] obedience. For the GospellRom. 10. 5. &c. saith; If thou beleeue in Christ, thou art iustifi­ed and shalt be saved: the Law, If thou dost these things, thou shalt liue there­by. The righteousnesse exacted in the law to iustificatiō, is a righteousnes both habituall inherent in our selues, and a­ctuall performed by our selues. The righteousnesseRom. 3. [...]1. 22 which without the Law is revealed in the Gospell, is the Righ­teousnes of God, that is, of Christ who is God, (for he isIerem. 23. 6. Iehova, our righteous­nes, and was given vnto vs of God1. Cor. 1. 30. to be our righteousnes) by the faith of Iesus Christ, vnto all, and vpon all that beleeue, that is, the righteousnesse of Christ, who is God (though not the righteous­nes of the Deity, as O siander thought, but the righteousnesse both inherent in him, as hee was man, as his innocencie and holinesse, and also performed by him, as his passiue & actiue obedience) being apprehended by faith, is accord­ing to the doctrine of the Gospell, im­puted to every beleeuer vnto iustifica­tion.

That Christ is our righteousnes, and [Page 68] the Rom. 10. 4. end of the Law vnto righteousnes to all that beleeue, that whosoeuer Ioh. 3. 16. Mark. 16. 16. beleeueth in Christ shall be saved, it is the maine doctrine of the Gospell, the chiefe arti­cle of our religion, the charter of our in­heritance, the assurance which wee haue of salvation: which wee are so to hold, as that if anGalath. 1. 8. 9 Angell from heauen should teach vs another Gospell, or propound vnto vs another way of iustification, (as namely by inherent righteousnesse, and our owne obedience) wee ought to hold him accursed, and our selues also, if wee yeeld to him. For whosoeuer looke to be iustified by the obedience which the Law prescribeth, theyGalath. 5. 4. are separated from Christ, and fallen from grace.

Wee doe not deny, but that the Gospell teacheth repentance as well as faith; and commendeth the duties of san­ctification, as well as it promiseth iusti­fication. Yea, as it promiseth the grace of justification to those that beleeue; so to them that are iustified and redeemed, it promiseth theLuk. 1. 74. Ier. 31. 33. 34. grace of sanctification by the spirit, whereby they are inabled in some measure to worship God in ho­nesse [Page 69] and righteousnesse. Wee doe also confesse, that a greater measure of know­ledge and obedience is required of the faithfull vnder the Gospell, then was vnder the Law; because to whom more is given, of them more is required, and the greater benefit requireth the greater duties of thankfulnesse. But when the question is of the matter of our iustifi­cation, and merit of our salvation, whereby wee being sinners and lost in our selues, should bee iustified before God, and entituled vnto the kingdome of heauen; what that is, whereby we are absolued from our sinnes, and accepted as righteous, and as heires of eternall life; what that is, which will stand in iudgement before God, and which wee may trust vnto, when we appeare before the iudgemens seat of God, why the sen­tence of condemnation should not bee pronounced againstvs; what that is, whereby wee are re [...]eemed from death, and reconciled vnto God, or, as the Scripture vttereth the same thing in o­ther tearmes▪ 2. Cor. 5. 19. Ephes. [...]. 7. whereby we haue remis­sion of sinnes: it is most plaine, that the [Page 70] doctrine of the Gospell placeth the whole matter of iustification, and merit of salvation in the righteousnesse and o­bedience of Christ alone; by whose blood, as the ApostleR [...]. 5. 9. 18. 19. speaketh, and by whose obedience, wee are iustified. As for that righteousnesse which is inhe­rent in our selues, though infused of God, and that obedience which is per­formed by our selues, though proceed­ing from grace; the Gospell teacheth vs, in the question of iustification,Philip. 3. 8. 9. to e­steeme it as drosse and dung, yea as losse, that we may gaine Christ, and may bee found in him, not hauing our own righte­ousnesse, which is prescribed in the law, but that which is through the law of Christ, the righteousnesse which is of God through faith.

This therefore is the liberty which we haue by the grace of iustification, that we are freed from that miserable bondage of the law, which exacteth an obedience and righteousnesse inherent vnto iustification, which no man is able to performe, and therefore holdeth men in [...] to damnation, engendring [Page 71] with Agar Gal. 4. 24. &c. as the Apostle speaketh, none but servants which shall not inherit with the children of the free woman, that is, who are begottē by the Gospell, to be the heires of that righteousnesse which is by faith.

And thus much of the liberty of iu­stification as it is an immunity.§. 13. For as it is [...],The liberty of iustif [...]cati [...] as it is a right. with the [...] ledges thereof. or right; it also containeth many notable priviledges.

First that we are not only freed from the guilt of sinne, but also are accepted pronounced iust, & by imputation of Christs, bothRom. 5. 9. 19. passiue and actiue obedi­ence made rihgteous, whichRom. [...]. 6. 7. 2. Cor. 5. 21. immedi­ately followes vpon the former, so that by our iustification we are not only made not guiltie, but also stand righte­ous before God, and that, by the righte­ousnesse of Christ.

Secondly, what we are not only fre­ed from the curse of the law, but also are made pa [...]takers of theGal. 3. 13. 14. 16. blessednesse promised to Abraham viz. that in h [...]s Gen. 22. 18. seed, which is Christ, the faithfull of all nations should be blessed. But this will best appeare in the particulars: for [Page 72] the faithfull are not onely freed from the euils of this life, whether corporall or spirituall, as they be curses; but they are all turned into blessings vnto them. For this is the priviledge of the faithfull, that the Lord causeth all things, whether good or bad,Rom. 8. 28. To worke together for the good of those that doe loue him. In which sense Dauid saith,Psal. 1. 3. that all things succeede well with the righteous man. As for af­flictons, he both professeth in particular of himselfe,Psal. 119. 71 that it was good for him that he had beene afflicted; and also in ge­nerall pronounceth the manPs [...]l. 94. 12. 13. blessed, whom the Lord doth chastise and teach in his law.

Againe, corporall death is not only no losse to the faithfull; but also an advan­tage; because in it they change a sinfull and mortall life, for a life blessed and immortall. It is not only no curse, but also a blessing: for it is not only the end of sinne and miserie, but the beginning of perfect and everlasting happinesse; wherevpon the holy GhostApec. 14. 13 pronounc­eth them all Blessed that die in the Lord.

Neither are the faithfull only freed [Page 73] fom feare of damnation, but also are put in assurance of euerlasting life, being Rom. 8. 24. saued in hope, which is the cheife happinesse that can be enioyed in this life.

Thirdly we are not only freed from the sentence of the law, exacting of vs perfect obedience vnto iustification, but we haue also liberty to plead the righte­ousnesse propounded in the couenant of grace; and to appeale from the sentence of the law, to the promise of the Gos­pell; from the tribunall of iustice to the th [...] one of grace; and in the question of iustification not at all to regarde our owne obedience, but wholly to rest vp­on the mercies of God and merits of Christ our Sauiour.

Vpon this liberty of iustification fol­low other priuiledges. For first, where­as by nature we are the children of wrath; now,Rom. 5. 1. being iustified by faith, we haue peace with God, through our Lor [...] I [...]sus Christ, who hathColos. 1. 20. 21. reconciled vs to

2 Whereas sinne maketh aEsay. 59. 2. separa­tion betweene God and vs, so that natu­rally we shunne the presence of God, as [Page 74] of a seuere Iudge; being iustified by the righteousnesse of Christ, we also haue freeRom. 5. 2. Eph [...]s. 3. 12. 1. Ioh. 5. 14. accesse vnto God by faith, and haue liberty with boldnesse and assu­rance that we shall be heard, to make our requests to God in the name of Christ.

3 Vpon our iustification by faith,Rom. 5. 5. Ephes. 1. 13. Rom. 8. 15. 16. Gal. 4. 6. Ephes. 4. 30. we are endued with the spirit of adopti­on, which assureth vs of Gods fatherly loue towards vs, teaching vs to crie in our hearts, Abba Father; by which, be­ing the earnest of our inheritance, we are sealed vp vnto the day of our full re­demption.

4 With the hope of salvation, which isRom. 8. 23. Tit. 2. 13. a companion of iustifying faith, & a consequent of iustification, whereby we liue in expectation of euerlasting happi­nesse.

5 With ioyRom. 5. 2. 3. 1. Pet. 1. 8. in the holy Ghost, which Peter calleth ioy vnspeakable and glorious. For the Apostle denying that the liberty of Christians doth cheifly stand inRom. 14. 17. meat and drinke, and in the free vse of outward things; sheweth also wherein it principally doth consist. For the kingdom of God (saith he) is not meat [Page 75] and drinke but righteousnesse, which is the priuiledge of iustification it selfe, and peace and ioy in the holy Ghost, which are consequents of the former.

Lastly,Iohm 8 35. with perseuerance. For as the Sonne abideth in the house for euer, be­ing 1. Pet. 1. 5. [...]. safely kept by the power of God through faith vnto saluation. For if Rom. 8. 17. sonnes, then heires, heires of God, and coheires with Christ, &c,

Now I come to the liberty which we haue in our sanctification,§. 14 and so farre forth as we are sanctified.The liberty of sanctification. 1. From the dominion of sin. Now our sanctification in this life being but in part, so is this liberty: which, as it is an immunity, is also a freedom from the bondage of sinne, and of the law; though in other respects, then those that haue beene mentioned in the liberty of iustifi­cation.

For, in iustification we are freed from the guilt of sinne, in sanctification, frō the corruption of sinne. But here we are to consider, how farre forth we are set free therefrom. For the Hypocritall Pa­pists teach, that when a man is regene­rated, or as they also speake, iustified, o­riginall [Page 76] sinne is so abolished, as that it doth not only not raigne, but not so much as remaine or liue in the partie sanctified. By which doctrine they teach men to bee desperate hypocrites, ei­ther searing their conscience, that they may haue no sense of sinne, and may please themselues with this conceit, that they haue no sinne▪ in which respect the saying of Peter 2. Pet. 2. 19. is verified of them, that whiles they promise liberty to them­selues and others, they are indeed ser­uants of corruption: or if they haue a­ny sense of sinne dwelling in them, they must perswade themselues they are not sanctified, nor iustified, and therefore not to be saued: such miserable comfor­ters they are of poore sinners, as to per­swade them that they haue not remission of sinne, vntill sinne be quite abolished in them. But this doctrine they teach contrary to the euident testimonies of Scripture, contrary to the perpetuall ex­perience of the faithfull, contrary to the light of their owne conscience; that they might thereby vphold their Antichristi­an doctrine of iustification by inherent righteousnesse, and of the merit of good [Page 77] workes, which otherwise would fall to the ground. For, if in respect of originall sinne, remaining and dwelling in vs, we be in our selues sinners: how can we be iustified by inherent righteousnesse? If our best actions be stained with the flesh, and our righteousnesseEsay. 64. 6. be like pol­luted clouts; how should they merit e­ternall life?

We are therfore to hold, that in re­generation we are freed from the cor­ruption of sinne; not wholly, and at once, but in part, and by degrees; that sinne (though mortified in part, and we freed from the tyrannie of it, that it raigne no more with full swinge and authority in vs) still remaineth and dwelleth in vs, hindering vs from good, provoking vs vnto euill, defiling and cotaminating our best actions, neuer suffering vs with the full consent ofGalath. 5. 17. will, to performe or de­sire that which is good. As the Apostle plainely sheweth by his owne example, Rom. 7.Rom. 7. 14. &c. where the concupiscence re­maining in him, is not only plainly cal­led a sinne, but described as a sinne, & as an [...], or a repugnancie to the law of [Page 78] God: the sense whereof (though the Pa­pists haue no sense of it) made the holy Apostle crie out,Rom. 7. 24. Miserable man that I am, who shall deliuer me from this body of death? Accursed therefore was the coun­sell of TrentSess. 5. which confessing that the Apostle calleth it a sinne; notwith­standing pronounceth them accursed, that shall say it is a sinne. But if we say we haue no sinne, we deceiue our selues, saith S. Iohn. 1. Iohn. 18., and there is no truth in vs.

The freedome therefore which we haue in our sanctification, which as Augustine saith, is but begun in this life, is not from the being of sinne in vs altogether and at once, though we be freed from it, in part and by degrees, but from the dominion of it, that wee should no more bee ser­vants of sin, but being freed from sinne, might become servants of righteousnes, Rom. 6. 6. 18. which Augustine [...] Ioh. tract. 41. did well obserue out of the words of the A­postle, dehorting vs that sinne should not remaine in our mortall bodies. Hee doth not say, let it not be; but, let it not raigne: for whiles thou liuest, it cannot be [Page 79] avoided, but that sinne will bee in thy members; neverthelesse let dominion bee taken from it, &c. Of this liberty the A­postle speaketh, Rom. 8.Rom. 8. 2. the law of the spirit of life which is in Christ, hath made mee free from the law of sinne and of death. That is, the power of the quickning Spi­rit, which being in Christ our head, and from him communicated vnto vs, doth rule in vs as a law, doth free vs from the power of sin which worketh death, that it no more haue dominion (as it were a law) in vs. And Rom. 6.Rom. 6. 2. &c [...] 12. hauing pro­ued, that sin neither doth, nor can any more raigne in the faithfull, because af­ter the similitude of Christs death and resurrection, they are dead to sin and ri­sen againe; and therefore, as death can no more haue dominion over Christ, being [...] from death, no more can sin haue dominion over the faithfull being once risen from the graue of sin: after­wards vers. 14. hee assureth the faithfull, that sin shallRom. 6. 14. not haue dominion over them, because they bee not vnder the Law, but vnder grace. Likewise Saint Iohn [...] saith, He that is borne of God, doth [Page 80] not commit sin, namely, as a servant of sin: yea, he addeth, that he cannot sin, namely, with full swinge and consent of will, as those which bee servants of sin; because the seed of God remaineth in him, whereby he is partly spirit, and not only flesh. And therefore as he can­not perfectly will that which is good, because of the reluctation of the flesh; so can he not will with full consent, that which is evill, because of the reluctation of the spirit.

Secondly,§. 15. 2. Freedome from the domi­nion of the law. wee are in our sanctificati­on freed from the Law. But we are here also to consider, quatenus, now farre forth. For theBellarm. de iusti [...]. lib. 4. cap. 5. &c. 1. Papists charge vs, that we place Christian liberty in this, that we are subiect to no law in our consci­ence, and before God; and that wee are free from all necessity of doing good workes: which is a most divelish slan­der. For although they absurdly con­found iustification and fanctification; yet they know we doe not: neither are they ignorant, but that wee put a great difference betweene them in this respect. For though we teach that the obedience [Page 81] of the Law is not required in vs to iusti­fication, but that wee are freed from the exaction of the Law in that behalfe: yet we deny not▪ but that vnto sanctificati­on the obedience of the law is required, and wee by necessity of duty, bound to the observation thereof. Wee confesse that to be free from obedience, is to be the servants of sin, and the willing and cheerefull worship of God, inLuk. 174 [...] holines and righteousnes without feare, to bee true liberty. Wee acknowledge that the morall law of God is perpetuall and immutable; and that this is an everlasting truth, that the creature is bound to wor­ship and obey his Creator, and so much the more bound, as hee hath received greater benefits. Indeede wee say with Luther De li [...]rt, Christ., that in our iustification wee are restored to a state of iustice, from which Adam fell; but yet, as wee teach that wee are no more bound to obedi­ence, that thereby we might be iustified, then Adam who was already iust; so we professe, that in allegiance and thankful­nesse, we are more bound to obey then he, yea, wee professe that God doth [Page 82] therefore free vs from the curse, and the bondage of the law, that wee might be inabled with freedome of spirit to obey it; and that being freed from sinneRom. 6. 18., wee are made the servants of righteousnesse. We teach, that God hauing sworneLuk. 173. 74., that to those whom he iustifieth, he will giue grace to worship him in holines and righteousnes; no man can be assured of his iustification without obedience: that sanctification being the end of our Ephes. 1. 4. 1. Thes. 4. 7. Titus. 2. 14. Ephes. 2. 10. election, calling, redemption and re­generation, it is a necessary consequent of sauing grace. We teach and professe, that howsoever good workes doe not concurre with faith, vnto the act of iu­stifica [...]on, as a cause thereof; yet they con [...]re in the party iustified, as neces­sary fruits of faith, and testimonies of iustification. And as wee teach with Paul Rom. 3. 28. G [...]l. 2. 16., that faith alone doth iustifie; so with Iames Iam. 2. 14. &c., that the [...]aith which is a­lone doth not iustifie. Wee teach, that the blood of Christ, as it acquitteth vs from the guilt of sin; so doth it also purgeHeb. 9. 14. our consciences from dead workes, to serue the liuing God; that [Page 83] he bare 1. Pet. 2. 24. in his body vpon the crosse our sinnes, that we being deliuered from sinne, should liue in righteousnesse: that whom Christ doth iustifie by faith, them hee doth sanctify by his Spirit; that whosoe­ver [...]. Cor. 5. 17. is in Christ hee is a new creature, Gal. 5. 24. crucifying the flesh with the lusts there­of, andRom. 8. 1; walking not after the flesh, but after the spirit. Wee professe that good workes are necessary to saluation, though not necessitate efficientiae, as cau­sing it as the Papists teach; yet necessita­te praesentiae, as necessary fruits of our faith, whereby wee are to glorifie God, and to testifie our thankfulnesse, to doe good to our brethren, and to make sure 2. Pe [...]. 1. [...]. our election, calling and iustification vnto our selues; as necessary forerunners of salvation, being the vndoubted bad­ges of them that shall bee saued; being the way wherein wee are toEphes. 2. [...]. walke to everlasting life, being the evidence ac­cording to which God will iudge vs at the last day. And lastly, that as by iusti­fication God doth entitle vs vnto his kingdome; so by sanctification he doth sit and prepare vs thereto.

[Page 84]We do not therefore by the doctrine of iustification through faith, abolish the Law, but rather as the Apostle saithRom. 3. 31., stablish it. For the more a man is assured of his free iustification, the bet­ter he is enabled, and the more hee is bound to obey it.

But although we bee bound to obey the Law, as the subiects of God, and ser­vants of [...]; and although the Law [...] in those that are iusti [...]d, as being a rule of direction for our obedience, in the per [...]ormance of the duties or piety towards God, of iustice towards our neighbour, of so­briety towards ourselues; and a glasse of detection to manifest the imperfecti­ons of our obedience, to keepe vs from Phari [...]sme: and lastly, a rodde of cor­rection, in respect of flesh or the old man yet remaining in vs, that by precepts, by exhortations and comminations, it more and more may be mortified in vs, and wee kept from the spirit of slumber and security:) yet notwithstanding wee are not vnder the law, as theRom. 6. 14. Apostle saith, but vnder grace. Wee are there­fore [Page 85] in our sanctification freed, though not from the obedience, yet from the servitude and bondage of the law, and that in three respects:

First,§. 16. Freedom from the irritation of the law. in respect of the irritation of it. In which regard especially the law is called the1. Cor. 15. 56 strength of sinne: not that the law causeth or prouoketh sinne pro­perly, for theRom. 7. 12. law is holy, iust and good; but only by accident, and occasionally. For such is the corruptiō of our vntamed nature vntill we be renewed by the spi­rit of God;Nitimur in vetitum s [...]m­per cupimu [...] negata. Gens human [...] ruit in vetitun [...] ne [...]as. qu [...]d [...]on lic [...]t, acrius vrit. that when the law, which is holy and good, forbiddeth sinne, seeking to stoppe the course of our concupiscen­ces, and to bridle our sinfull affections; thereby our vntamed corruption rebel­leth so much the more; and that it might appeareRom. 7. 13. 8. [...], exceed­ingly sinfull, by occasion of the law wor­keth in vs all manner of concupiscence. Euen, as a deepe riuer, when nothing hindreth his course, hath a still, and as it were a dead motion; but if you seeke to restraine or stoppe his course, he will sinell and ouerflow all, now disdai­ning, as it were, a bridge: so our corrup­tion, [Page 86] when it freely taketh his owne course, seemeth to be quiet, and as it were dead: but when the commande­ment commeth,Rom. 7. [...]. [...]aith the Apostle, as it were to dam it vp, sin reuiueth & riseth against it, swelling and ouerflowing as it were, his wonted bankes. In this respect, the law (saith the Master of theLib. 3. dict. [...]. [...]. Senten­ces) is called a killing letter, because for­bidding sinne, it increaseth concupiscence, and addeth transgression vntill grace doe free vs. But we are regenerated by the spirit of sanctification, and by the bond of the same spirit coupled vnto Christ; we are freed from this bondage, euen as the wife is freed from the dominion of her husband by his death. For euen as whilest we were in the flesh altogether vnregenerate, the law, as it were our hus­bands, occasionally and by accident begot in our soules, wholly corrupted with sinne, euill motions and concupiscences, as the fruites and issue of our flesh tend­ing vnto death: so we being regenerated, and after a sort dead vnto this corrupti­on, and consequently being mortified to the law in respect of the irritation [Page 87] thereof, and the law in that regard dead vnto vs, the spirit of Christ, who hath vnited vs vnto him as our second hus­band, begetteth good motions in vs as the fruites of the spirit, acceptable vnto [...]od. This is that which the Apost. teach­eth, Rom. 7. [...] &c. Rom. 7. for hauing said chap. 6. 14. that sinne shall not haue dominion ouer vs, because we are not vnder the law but vnder grace, after he had answe­red an obiection, & preuented the abuse of this Doctrine, which carnall men would make thereof, as though they might sin freely, because they are not vn­der the law: in the beginning of the sea­uenth chapter he proueth, that we are not vnder the Law, but vnder grace, by that similitude which euen now I mentioned: because being regenerated and dead vnto sinne, we are mortified to the law, and the law to vs in respect of the irritation thereof, caused by our corruption; and consequently are deliuered from the power of it, as a wife is freed from the dominion of her husband, when he is dead.

Secondly in our sanctification we are [Page 88] freed from the coaction and terror of the law,Freedome from the terror or [...] of the L [...]w. breeding servile feare in men vnregenerate; whereby, as bon-servants or gally-slaues by the whip, they are en­forced to the performance of some out­ward duties, which otherwise they are vnwilling to doe. For those who are vn­der the Law, as all men are by nature, are like bond-slaues; who for avoiding of punishment, are by terror drawne to doe some forced service, which is so much the more vnwilling, because they looke for no reward. This in the Scrip­ture is called sometimes [...], Rom. 8. 15. the spirit of bondage, and sometimes [...], [...]. 1. 7. the spirit of feare, from which we are delivered, when wee re­ceiue the spirit of adoption and sanctifi­cation; whereby wee are enabled to wor­ship God in holinesse & righteousnesse, [...], without servile feare, according to the covenant of grace made with A­braham, Luk. I. [...]. 1 74. And in this sense it is said, that the Law [...]. Tim. 1. 9. is not imposed on the iust, to whom, being as it were a law vn­to themselues, & willingly performing that which is right, the terror and coa­ction [Page 89] of the Law, so far fo [...] [...] they are regenerate, is needlesse.

Thirdly as we are freed from the co­action and terror of the Law,Freedome from the rigor or exaction of the law. so also from the exaction and rigour of the Law, which they call [...]: which though it be a liberty of sanctifi­cation, and appertaining to our new o­bedience; yet it dependeth on the liber­ty of iustification. For as there we were freed from the Lawes exaction of inhe­rent righteousnesse, to the acceptation of our persons: so heere we are freed from the lawes exaction of perfect obe­dience, to the acceptation of our actions. So that whereas the law condemneth e­very the least imperfection or defect, not agreeing with that perfection of iu­stice, which it prescribeth, as a sin, or [...], and pronounceth the party in whom that defect or imperfection is, ac­cursed: notwithstanding the new obedi­ence of Gods children, wrought in them by the spirit of God, and performed ac­cording to the measure of grace recei­ved; though defectiue in it selfe, and stai­ned with the flesh, is accepted of God; [Page 90] who covereth their imperfections with the perfect obedience of Christ, and not so much respecteth the perfection of the outward act, which hee doth not expect from such weaknesse, as the integrity of the heart, the vprightnesse of the will and desire, the sincerity of the indevour; which if it bee not wanting, the Lord 2. Cor. 8. 12. accepteth the will for the deede, and true endeavour striuing [...] Phil. 3. 14. 15. towards per­fection, for the perfect performance. In which respect, the Lord according to his gratious promise,Malac. 3. 17 Psal. 103. 13. vseth clemency towards vs, as a tender father vseth cle­mency towards his sonne, taking in good part the childish endeavour of his chil­dren, proceeding from an vnfained de­sire to please him.

But our liberty in sanctification is not only an immunity,§. 17. The liberty of sanctification as it is a right, with the priuiledges thereof. but also an [...], or right, consisting of great priviledges. For, first wee are not only freed in part from the corruption of sinne, which we call mortification; but are also positiue­ly made righteous, being, as the Apo­stle Peter speaketh, made partakers2. Pet. 1. 4. of the divine nature, in that flying from the [Page 91] corruption which is in the world by lust, we are renued according to the Ephes. 1. 24. image of God, in holinesse and righte­ousnesse. For as the sacred oyle being powred on the head ofPsal. 133. Aron (who was a type of Christ) distilled vnto his lower parts: so thePsal. 45. 8. oyle of grace wherewith Christ our head was annointedIohn. 3. 34. with­out measure, is derived even to his infe­riour members here on earth, who are also therewith2. Cor. 1. 21. 1. Iohn. 2. 20. 27. annointed,Iohn. 1. 16. receiuing of his fulnesse, even grace for grace. Neither are we only freed from the ser­vitude of sin, Satan, and the world, but in Christ our King, who hath overcome Ioh. 16. 33. Coloss. 2. 15. the world, and triumphed over sinne and Satan, wee are also made KingsApocal. [...]1. 6 [...] Rom. 16. 20. 2. Cor. 2. 14. Rom. 8. 37. with assurance to bee co [...]querers of all the enemies of our salvation.

And as touching the Law, we are not only freed from the irritation thereof, wherevnto our owne corruption did make vs sub [...]ect, as vnto a husband, who begot foule issue of vs tending to death, and so left at large: but we are also ioy­ned to another husband which is Christ, by his Spirit, wherebyRom. 7. 4. he pro­duceth [Page 92] in vs the fruits of the spirit, to the glory of God. Neither doth the law only cease to provoke vs vnto sinne; but, when we are once sanctified, it becom­meth, as David Psal. 119. 24. speaketh, a counsel­lour vnto vs, and a directour vnto good things.

Neither are we freed only from the spirit of bondage and feare, but are also indued with the spirit of liberty and grace, the spiritRom. [...] 15. of adoption, the spirit of2. Tim. 1. 7. power and of loue, and of sobriety: which spirit hauing shedRom. 5. 5. abroad the loue of God in our hearts, testifying vn­to vs our adoption, and as anEphes. 1. [...]4. earnest assuring vs of our inheritance, and en­flaming our hearts with a reciprocall loue of God, and of our neighbour for his sake: we begin to delightRom. 7. 22. Psal. 1. 2. 119. 24. in the law of God, as concerning the inner man, neither are the commandements of God 1. Iohn. 5. 3. grievous vnto vs, & we begin to serue the Lord not only without feare, but also with [...]. Chron. 28. [...]. willing mindes and vpright hearts. For those who are redeemed & sanctified by Christ, are [...],Psal 110. 3. a people of willingnesse, [...]. 2. 14. a people peculi­ar [Page 93] to himselfe, zealous of good workes.

And lastly, concerning the rigour of the Law; we haue not only this immu­nity, that the imperfections of our sin­cere obedience are not imputed to vs; but also this priviledge, that our imper­fect obedience, which in it selfe is wor­thy to bee reiected, notwithstanding is both accepted of God, and rewarded. For Christ hauing washed vs with his blood, and sanctified vs by his spirit, hath made vs both kings, as I said be­fore, & alsoApocal. 1. 6. Priests, or as Peter speak­eth, 1. Pet. 2. 5. [...] a royall and holy Priest hood, to of­fer spirituall sacrifices acceptable to God by Iesus Christ: the sacrifice of obedience whereby we offer our seluesRom. 12. [...]. as a liuely, holy and acceptable sacrifice vnto God, which is our reasonable service: the sacri­fice of almes, whereby wee offer our goods, with whichHeb. 13. 16. sacrifices God is well pleased: the sacrifice of a broken and contrite heartPsal. 51. 19., which is to God in stead of all sacrifices: the sacrifice of prayer, which is acceptedPs [...]l. 141. [...]. as incense, & as the euening sacrifice: the sacrifice of praise, that is, theHeb. 13. 15. fruit, or as Hosea [...]os. 14. 3. speak­eth, [Page 94] the calues of our lips, which the Lord preferrethPsal. 50. 13. 14. 23. before the sacrifices of goats and bulles: all which, though in themselues defectiue and imperfect▪ are notwithstanding acceptable vnto God, through the mediation of Christ; who, making intercession for vs, per­ [...]umeth Apo [...]. 8. 3. 4. all these sacrifices of ours, with the odours of his owne sacrifice, that so they may bee acceptable, and sweet smelling favours vnto God.

Neither are they only accepted, but also rewarded. For ourProu. 11. 18. Psal. 19. 11. obedience, ourHeb. 10. 35. Iames. 1. 12. confidence, our patience, ourMat. 6. 4. 6. 18. prai [...]er, fasting, almes, andLuk. 6. 35. charitable deeds haue their rewards, in so much thatMat. 10. 4 [...]. a cup of cold water giuen in charity, shall not lose his reward. In respect whereof, we may well say with Dauid Psal. 62. 13., vnto thee Lord, mercy: for thou rewardest a man according to his worke. Which plainly proueth, that the reward of our obedi­ence is not to be ascribed to the merit of our works, (which in themselues cannot stant in iudgement) but to the mercies of God in Christ. For there is greater mercie in not imputing vnto vs the im­perfections [Page 95] of our workes; greater in ac­cepting of them as if they were perfect; but greatest of all in rewarding them. The consideration whereof, ought to a­nimate and stirre vs vp with willing and cheerefull mindes, to obey God, to serue him, to call vpō him, & to performe such duties as he requireth of vs; because we are to be assured, that he doth not impute vnto vs our wants, but accept our imper­fect obedience, and not only fauorably accept it, but also graciously reward it.

Hitherto we haue spoken of the com­mon liberty of Christians:§. 18. The speciall liberty of Chri­stians, or that which is peculitar to the faith­full vnder the Gospell. which being (as we haue heard) conferred vpon vs in our vocation, iustification, and sancti­fication; we are to be exhorted to giue all diligence, both that we may be called, iustified, and sanctified, and that our cal­ing, iustification, [...]and sanctification may be made sure vnto vs, by leading a godly life. For if we be not sanctified, nor iusti­fied, nor called, then are we (whatsoe­uer we are, rich or poore, noble or base, learned or vnlearned) the most misera­ble bond-slaues of sinne and Satan; and being seruants, howsoeuer for a time [Page 96] we retaine a place in the house of God, yet we shall not abide for euer, but when the time of seperation commeth, we shall be cast out: whereas contrariwise being made free by our calling, iustifica­tion, sanification, as the sons of God, we shall haue the priuiledge of sons, which is,Iohn. 8. 35. to abide in the house of God for euer.

Now followeth the Christian liberty, which is peculiar to the faithfull vnder the Gospell. For the faithfull vnder the old Testament, though they were sonnes and heires, and therefore enioyed the former liberties by Christ, in whom they beleeued: notwitstanding vntill the fulnesse of time came, which was the full age of the Church, they were vnder yeeres; and therefore as sonnes during their minority, were subiect toGal. 4. 1. [...] 3. 24. schoole­masters and Tutors, whereby are meant the peadagogy and gouernment of the typicall Church of the Iewes, contained in the ceremoniall and iudiciall lawes of Moses; in which regard, they, though sonnes, seemed little to differ from ser­uants. Both these lawes were appendices of the law morall: the ceremoniall, of [Page 97] the first table, determining the particu­lars of that peculiar worship which hee prescribed to the typicall Church, vntill the comming of Christ. The iudiciall, of the second, determining the particu­lars of the peculiar pollicy which he pre­scribed to the Common wealth of the Iewes. So that the ceremoniall, were the Ecclesiasticall lawes of that Church; the iudiciall, the ciuill lawes of that Common wealth. Both were yokes of bondage, as the Apostle speakethGal. 5. [...]., in re­spect of the Iewes, on whose conscien­ces these lawes were imposed, binding them to the strict obseruation thereof; in regard whereof, they are called an Act. 15. 10. vnsupportable yoke, vnder which not­withstanding, the faithfull were [...], Gal. 4. 3. held in bondage. And as touching the Gentiles, they were as aEphes. 2. 1 [...] wall of se­peration betweene thē & the Iewes, & as the dore of Noahs Arke, excluding all frō saluation that were not of that Church, either as borne Iewes, or as proselytes. For the rest were without Ephes. 2. 1 [...] Christ, aliants from the Common-wealth of Israell, stran­gers from the couenants of promise, hauing [Page 98] no hope, liuing without God in the world. This wall of partitionEphes. 2. 14. &c. our Sauiour Christ by his death hath dissolued, tak­ing away all differenceAct. 15. 9. betweene Iewes and Gentiles, freeing and exempting both the one and the other, from the o­bedience both of the iudiciall and cere­moniall law, which were giuen to put a difference betweene the Iewes and the Gentiles, vntill the fulnesse of time,Gal. 4. 4. Gal. 4. 4. the timeHeb. 9. 10. of reformation, that is, vntill the comming of the Messias, by whose death they were to be2. Cor. 3. 11. 13. abrogat­ed. For howsoeuer the faithfull, before the Church came to full age, were in bondage vnder the ceremoniall, and iu­diciall law, as vnder schoolemasters and Tutors; yet [...], whenGal. 4. 3. 4. 5 [...] the fulnesse of time came, God sent his Sonne borne of a woman, and borne vnder the law, that he might redeeme them that were under the law: meaning that we are redeemed, not only from the morall law, in the respects be­fore named; but also from the ceremo­niall and iudiciall, euen in respect of o­bedience.

For as touching the ceremoniall law, [Page 99] as it was anColoss. 2. 14. [...], Ephes. 2. 15. hand-writing of ordinances which was (though vnderhand) against vs; Christ hath cancelled it, and nailed it to his crosse. As it was aHeb. 10. 1. Coloss. 2. 17 [...] Iohn. 1. 17 [...] shadow and figure of things to come, Christ hath a­bollished it, by performing that indeed, which it did but shadow and prefigure: for the law was giuen by Moses, but grace and truth by Christ. For as grace is opposed to the curse, so truth to fi­gures: the ceremonies therefore of the law gaue place as shadowes to the body, and as figures to the truth.

The ciuill or iudiciall law, being the positiue lawes of that people, Christ ab­rogated, when according to the prophe­sie of Daniel Dan. 9. 26 [...] 27., he destroying the Com­mon-wealth of the Iewes, their city and temple, did withall abollish their polli­cy and lawes. For the very city, temple, and whole state of the Iewes, being types and shadowes of Christ and his Church, were, when Christ was exhibited, and his vniversall Church by preaching the Gospell to all nations, plantedMat. 2 [...]. [...]., to giue place; and with them, their lawes; which were to hold but till the fulnesse of time. [Page 100] For as the Apostle saith, the Priesthood (namely, of Aaron) being translated,Heb. 7. 1 [...]. the law (namely of Moses) is also transla­ted.

Howbeit there is some difference be­tween the abrogating of the Ceremoni­all, & of the iudiciall law: the ceremonial rites, because they were principally or­dained to prefigure Christ, are so abol­lished, that it is not lawfull for Christi­ans to obserue them, for that were to de­ny that Christ is come. Ea non obseruant Christiani (saithContra Fan­stum M [...]ich. lib. 19. cap. 18. Augustine) per quae Christus promittebatur; nec adhuc promit­tuntur, quiaiam impleta sunt: Christians doe not obserue those things, by which Christ was promised; neither are they still promised, because they are already fulfill­ed. The judiciall ordinances, because they principally tended to the obserua­tion of iustice and equity, may be vsed, so they be not imposed or obserued by vertue of the iudiciall law: for that were, though indirectly, to deny that the Mes­sias is already come. Both lawes were dead with Christ, though they were not buried, but as it were kept aboue groūd, [Page 101] euen by Christians among the Iewes, vntill the dissolution of the temple and city of Ierusalem. After which time, the ceremoniall precepts were not only dead, asTho. 1. 2. quaest. 104. one saith, but also deadly to the obseruers of them,§. 19. Peculiar Christian libe [...]ty, as it is an im­munity. but the judicials not so.

Now, this Christian liberty as it is an immunity, is a freedome from from all bond of conscience, in respect of out­ward things, which are neither com­manded nor forbidden in the eternall law of God. Of which there are two sorts, the ordinances of men concerning things indifferent, and the creatures of God.

For as touching the former, seeing there is no law that bindeth the consci­ence properly, but only the law of God, in which sense he is calledIame. 4. 12. our only Law-giuer, and seeing we are freed from those lawes of God, which determined those particulars, which are neither com­manded nor forbidden in the morall law of God: it is plaine therefore, that our conscience is free in respect of these things. As for the lawes of men, whe­ther [Page 102] they be ecclesiasticall or ciuill, they do not properly binde the cōsciēce; be­cause neither is simple obedience due vnto them, neither can they make any particular, which in respect of the mo­rall law, is indifferent, as being neither commanded nor forbidden, to be simply necessary. The conscience of a Christi­an is exempted from humane power, and cannot be bound, but where God doth binde it. And therefore the Apo­stle, as he chargeth the Corinthians, that, seeing they were1. Cor. [...]. 23. bought with a price, they should not be the seruants of men, (which is not to be vnderstood of ex­ternall seruitude, but of the bondage of the conscience) and likewise the Colos­sians, Coloss. 2. 16. that no man should condemne them, (that is, take vpon him to binde the con­science with guilt of sinne) in respect of meate and drinke, or holy-dayes: so he re­proueth theColoss. 2. 20. 21. [...]. Colossans, for obseruing the traditions of men, with opinion of necessity, as if the conscience were bound by them, or religion were to be placed in them.

Herein therefore the Church of Rome [Page 103] is also an enemy to Christian liberty, not only in burthening Christians with an heape of innumerable traditions and ce­remonies; but chiefly, in imposing them vpon the conscience: teaching, that the traditions of the Church are with likeConc. Trid. Sess. 4. reuerence, and equall affecti­on of piety to be receiued, as the written word of God; and that the commande­ments of the Church, euen concerning outward things, doe binde the consci­ence, And although many of their cere­monies be wicked; more, ridiculous; most of them, superfluous; yet so ab­surd they are, as to impose them to bee obserued, not only with opinion of ne­cessity, as binding the conscience, but al­so of worship, of perfecton, of merit, of spirituall efficacy.

Secondly, by this liberty we are freed frō scrupulosity of conscience, in respect of the creatures, which are ordained for our vse; the difference of cleane and vn­cleane (which was made by the ceremo­niall law) being taken away. Nothing, [...]aith our Sauiour Christ,Mat. 15. 11. that goeth into the mouth, de [...]ileth a man. And Paul, [Page 104]Rom. 14. 14.I know, saith hee, and am perswaded by the Lord Iesus, that there is nothing common or vncleane of it selfe.

But this liberty is not only an immu­nity,§. 20 span [...] but also an [...] or power, both in respect of the ordinances of men, and al­so of the creatures of God. For, being freed from the ceremoniall, and iudiciall lawes of God, and therefore not tyed to any particular or certaine lawes, which should determine the particulars not mentioned in the word of God: herevp­on ariseth a liberty, both to law-giuers, and those who are subiect to lawes. The Law-giuers are not restrained to any particulars, but haue liberty to ordaine such holsome, either constitutions Ec­clesiasticall, or lawes ciuill, as are not repugnant to the word of God. Lawes there must be, to determine the particu­lars not mentioned in the generall law of God: for they are the very bond of hu­mane societyes, necessary for the execu­tion of the lawes of God, and for the maintenance of peace and order among men. Neither can it be denyed, but that as the iudiciall law being abollished, it is [Page 105] lawfull for Law-giuers to ordaine ciuill lawes; so likewise the ceremonial law be­ing abrogated, to establish lawes Eccle­siasticall. Only the question is, who must be these Law-giuers. Surely, not the Presbyteries of euery parish, which ne­uer were in vse in the Primitiue Church, but Synodes; as appeareth by the perpe­tuall practice of the Church, both in the Apostles times, and euer since. Sy­nodes, I say, either prouinciall, or natio­nall; and those assembled, either out of some nation, or out of some more then one, which some call Consilia media, or lastly generall. The authority of Sy­nodes prouinciall and nationall hath al­wayes beene of great regard, though there want a Christian Magistrate to se­cond and confirme them, being both assembled and moderated by the autho­rity of Metropolitanes and Arch-bi­shops: but when both nationall Synodes are assembled, and the Synodall consti­tutions ratified by the authority of the Soveraigne, and that according to the positiue lawes of the land, authorizing him so to doe; I see not, why men should [Page 106] not as well thinke themselues bound to obserue lawes Ecclesiasticall, as Civill. For though some make a difference be­tweene them in this behalfe, because ci­vill lawes determining particulars be­longing to the second table, cannot bee violated without breaking the second table, whereas ecclesiasticall lawes de­termining particulars appertaining to the first table, may bee broken without transgressing of the first table; yet, who seeth not the weaknesse of this distincti­on? Seeing the second table is broken by disobeying the lawfull authority of su­periors (which wee ought to obey for conscience sake) as well by transgressing the one, as the other. Superiours in the Church are to be honoured and obey­ed by the fifth commandement, and o­ther ScripturesHeb. 13. 17., as well as superiours, in the common-wealth. And if their constitutions, when they wanted the concurrence of a Christian Magistrate, were of force in the Primitiue Church; then much greater is their validity, be­ing confirmed by the authority of the Soveraigne, and the Soveraigne autho­rized [Page 107] therevnto by Law.

The freedome of the subiect is, that being freed from the yoke of the iudici­all and ceremoniall law hee may with a free conscience obey any other lawes whether Ecclesiasticall or Civill, which being not dissonant from the word of God, are or shall be imposed vpon him. Which, though it be a plaine and evi­dent truth, yet by some men it is not ob­served.

And as touching the vse of the crea­tures, and of all things indifferent, wee are to know, that the right and domini­on we had over the creatures, which was lost in Adam, is restored in Christ, (for all are yours, saith the Apostle1. Cor. 3. 21., & you are Christs) and that not onely for Christians vnder the Gospell, but also for all the faithfull from the beginning. For we reade, Gen. 9.Gen. 9. 2. 3. that to Noah, who was the heireHeb. 11. 7. of the righteousnes, which is by faith, the graunt was renew­ed, and free vse of the creatures permit­ted. Howbeit this freedome was by the ceremoniall law restrained, not only af­ter the giuing of the law of Moses; but [Page 108] also before, a difference being putGen. 7. 2. 9. 4 be­tweene things cleane and vncleane: which difference by Christ is taken a­way. For, noRom. 14. 14. creature is vncleane of it selfe, but every1. Tim. 4. 4. creature is good, and nothing to be refused, but may be recei­ved with thanksgiuing. Yea of all out­ward things, not forbidden of God, which commonly are called things in­different, the Apostle affirmeth in gene­rall, that1. Cor. 6. 12. all things are lawfull, andTit. 1. 15. to the pure all things are pure. By this liber­ty therefore the faithfull are priuiled­ged, with freedome of conscience, to vse or forbeare any of the creatures of God created for our vse, or things indif­ferent, without opinion of necessity to bee brought1. Cor. 6. 11. vnder the power thereof, or placing religion therein. In which re­spect, Basil fitly calleth things indiffe­rent, [...], things in our power or left to our liberty.

But here for avoiding of error, three things are from the generall doctrine to be repeated. First, that this also is a li­berty§. 21. Application of the generall doctrine to this particular. 1. That this al­so is a liberty of the sons of God. of the sonnes of God: secondly, that it is spirituall: and thirdly, that it is [Page 109] a true liberty. For as touching the first; though all things bee pure to the pure; yetTit. 1. 15. to them that are vncleane and vnbe­leeuing, nothing is cleane. Though to Cor. 6. 12. 1. Tim. 4. 3. the faithfull all these outward things are lawfull; yet to the wicked and vnbe­leeuers nothing is lawfull, yea, those actions, which are materially good as being commanded of God, as they pro­ceed from them, are turned into sinne. Which is spoken, not to this end, to deriue mē into desperate courses; but to force them, without farther delaies, to breake off the course of their sinnes by speedy and vnfained repentance, and to sue vnto God for mercy and pardon in Christ; because this is the only thing which they may lawfully doe and with­out sinne, and which vntill they doe, they doe nothing else but sinne, and by sinne hoord vp wrath against the day of wrath, &c.

Secondly,2. That this [...] is a spiritu­all liberty. though this liberty con­cerne outward things; yet it selfe is in­ward and spirituall, as being a liberty of the conscience. Now the conscience re­specteth God, as our outward actions [Page 110] and the externall fruits of our consci­ence respect men; who may moderate or restraine the externall actions, wherein the outward vse of our liberty consist­eth; the inward liberty notwithstanding of the conscience before God, remain­ing entire. They greatly erre, Instit. Lib. 3. [...]ap. 19. §. 10. faith Cal­vin, who thinke that their Christian li­berty is nothing, vnlesse they vse it before men. But they ought to thinke, that by their liberty they obtaine no new thing in the sight of men, but before God; and that their liberty consisteth as well in abstain­ing, as vsing. If they know, that it is a thing indifferent before God, whether they eate flesh or egges, put on red or blacke apparell: it is enough and more then e­nough. The conscience is now loose, where­to the benefit of this liberty doth apper­taine: therefore, though hereafter they ab­staine from flesh all their life, and alwaies weare one colour; they are neverthelesse free. Yea therefore because they are free, they doe with a free conscience abstaine.

Thirdly,3. That this also is a true li­berty. as this liberty is spirituall, so also a true liberty. Now all true and lawfull liberty of creatures, is limited & [Page 111] bounded: the liberty of the Creator a­lone, being vncircumscribed. Where­fore if any arrogate to themselues an vn­bounded liberty, it is a licentiousnesse, and not a true liberty. As first, in regard of lawes and commandements of men; there are bounds set, first to the lawgi­vers, in respect both of the things com­manded, & also of the manner of com­manding. For, lawgiuers may not as­sume vnto them a liberty to command what they list, but only such things as they know, not to bee repugnant to the law of God. For they must know, that all their lawes are limited by the law of God, and themselues vpon paine of damnation, restrained from command­ing that which God forbiddeth, and from forbidding that which God com­mandeth. For by wicked lawes, they make themselues like Ieroboam, who caused all Israel to sinne. Moreover, they must be carefull, not only to command that which is lawfull; but also in civill lawes, those things which be expedient, and profitable for the weale publike; & in lawes Ecclesiasticall, such things as [Page 112] tend1. Cor. 14. 26. 40. to decency, to order, and edifi­cation. Otherwise, though the subiect may lawfully obey, in such cases; yet the Lawgiuer offendeth in abusing his authority, which was giuen him for the good of the inferiours.

Againe, in respect of the manner, su­periours must keepe them within their bounds, and not take vpon them the au­thority of ourIames. 4. 1 [...] one only Lawgiuer, who hath power to saue, and to destroy; which is, to bind the consciences of men, as, by imposing that vpon the conscience as simply necessary, which God by his law hath left indifferent; or by teachingMa [...]. 15. 2. 9. men to place religion in the observation of their traditions. For this is the practise of the Antichrist of Rome; who, vsurping the authority of God, and challenging to himselfe a boundlesse power, sitteth in the consci­ [...]nces of men, as God.

Likewise to the subiect; for as hee may not thinke, that he hath liberty to obey any lawes of men, though vnlaw­full, and much lesse to place religion or perfection in the observation of them, [Page 113] as the Papists doe: so on the other side, he may not thinke, that he hath liberty to breake the lawes of men, though not vnlawfull, and much lesse to place reli­gion or perfection therein; as they seeme to doe; who vse to bee opposite to the Papists in the contrary extreame. For, I beseech you, doe not many among vs, thinke themselues the more religi­ous, for refusing obedience and confor­mity to the lawes, and censure others as formalists and time-servers? But be­loved, as wee are not to iudgeRom. 14. [...] ▪ &c. those, who out of weaknesse refuse conformi­ty; so those which bee refractary should not thinke, either the better of them­selues for not conforming, or the worse of others for conforming. The king­domeRom. 14. 1 [...]. of God doth not stand in these things. And ce [...]tainly, ifGal. 5. 6. &. 6. 15. neither cir­cumcision, nor vncircumcision auaile a­ny thing; then much lesse the vse or for­bearance of those ceremonies, which are in controversy among vs. Doth not the Apostle plainly tell vs,1. Cor. 8. [...]. that these outward things doe not commend vs vnto God, and that neither the vse or [Page 114] forbearance of them in it selfe doth make vs either better, or worse before God? But when they bee vsed or for­borne with disobedience to lawfull au­thority, without due regard of avoiding scandall, with vncharitable censuring and iudging one of another, with aliena­tion of the affection of one brother from another; doubtlesse there is fault committed. And who seeth not, that while contentions grow hotte about these things, both charity and piety waxeth cold?

Secondly in respect of the creatures and things indifferent, though wee haue free liberty to vse or forbeare them; yet it is not a boundlesse liberty. For the law of God hath set it foure bounds, viz. piety, loialty, charity, and sobriety. Piety, respecting Gods glory and wor­ship: Loialty, hauing reference to supe­riours; Charity, to all men; Sobriety to our selues. Canst thou not vse thy liber­ty in some particular, without Gods dishonour, or neglect of his service? Remember, that whether 1. Cor. 10. 31 you eate or drinke, or whatsoever you doe, you must [Page 115] doe all to the glory of God. Cannot thy liberty bee vsed, without contempt of the Magistrates lawfull authority? Re­member, that God hath commanded thee to obey thy superiours in all law­full things, as1. Cor. 6. 12. all things (not forbid­den by God) are lawfull; that all autho­rity is Rom. 13. 1. 2. 5. from God, and that, hee which re­sisteth lawfull authority resisteth God; that they which resist, shall receiue to themselues iudgement; and that thou must obey not only for feare, but also for conscience sake. Remember what S. Pe­ter saith,1. Pet. 2. 13 16. Be subiect to all humane or­dinance, whether the soveraigne, or sub­ordinate governours. But how? As free, and not as hauing the liberty for a cloake of naughtinesse, but as the servants of God. Can it not be vsed without the of­fence of thy weake brother? Take heed, saith the Apostle,1. Cor. 8. 9. 10. 24. Rom. 14. 15. 16. lest thy liberty be an offence to the weake. For hee that scanda­lizeth his brother, sinneth against Christ. Wherefore if meate offend my brother, I will not eate flesh whiles the world stand­eth, rather then I will offend him. Lastly, can it not be vsed in some particular, vn­lesse [Page 116] thou shalt passe the bounds of so­briety, temperance, humility, modesty, frugality, &c. Remember, what the A­postle saith,Gal. 5. 13. Brethren you are called to liberty, only vse not your liberty, as an oc­casion to the flesh.

But here ariseth a doubtfull question,§. 22. Decision of a doubtfull que­stion, what is to be done, whē we seeme to be in a strait be­tweene disobe­dience to the Magistrate, and offence to the weake. the explication whereof is needfull for these times. For sometimes there seem­eth to be a conflict betweene the law of loyalty, and the law of charity; as when that which the Magistrate command­eth, cannot (as wee thinke) be observed without the offence or scandall of the weake, In which case of Antinomy (which some say is our case) divers know not which way to turne them, and others erroneously chuse to diso­bey the Magistrate, rather then seeme to offend their weake brethren.

Consider therefore vprightly what I shall say, and the Lord giue you vn­derstanding mindes, and tractable hearts, to see and embrace the truth.

First therefore vnderstand, that wee are neuer cast into such an exigent be­tweene two sinnes not yet committed; [Page 117] but there is an issue from them both without a third. Suppose therefore, that in this case there were an Antimony, or such an opposition betweene the two lawes of loyalty and charity, as that the one could not be observed, without the neglect of the other. In such cases of Antimony, we are to know, that if wee obey the superiour law, vnto which we are more bound, as hauing higher and more principall ends; the inferiour Mat. 12. 7. Ierem. 7. 22. Luk. 14. 26. (which giueth place vnto it) is not broken. Now, the supreme end is the glory of God; then, the common salva­tion of the Church; then, every mans owne salvation; then, the salvation of his neighbour; then, the common out­ward good of the Church, or Com­mon-wealth; then, our owne; then, our neighbours. So that publike and com­mon goods are to bee preferred before private, and spirituall before corporall, and the glory of God before all. Well then, thou saist thou maist not yeeld to the ceremonies, as namely, the Surplice, the Crosse, and kneeling at communion; because these things cannot bee done [Page 118] without scandalizing of thy brother. Suppose it were so, and remember that I doe but suppose it. But on the other side, thou refusing the vse of indifferent things, whereunto thy Christian liberty extendeth, being enioyned by lawfull authority, with such conditions as these are enioyned; I say vnto thee without supposition, that besides thy disobeying the lawfull authority of a Christian Church, and of a Christian Magistrate, whom thou oughtest to obey even for conscience sake; thou dost scandalize, first, thy weake brethren being affected as thy selfe, who by thine example, for which thou perhaps thinkest thou hast good ground, are animated, or, as the Apostle1. Cor. 8. 10. speaketh, edified, without ground, to contemneIn this scan­dall they are deepest, who are of greatest note. the authority of the Magistrate, and of the Church; and from that contempt doe many of them proceed to mislike of the State; & from mislike, either to separation, or to some degree of disloyall discontentment. Be­sides those of thine owne disposition, thou doest offend them who are more loyally affected; who, if they bee not [Page 119] the better grounded in ourIud. 20. most holy faith, doe stumble at your practise, and begin to stagger in the profession and practise of religion, when they see men seeming most zealous in our religion, & professing, (as they pretend) the cause of sincerity, vpon no iust cause to aban­don their ministry, to oppose them­selues against authority, to maintaine a faction in the Church, and wilfully (for any thing that they can see) to persist in a bad course. And hereupon many take occasion to rest in outward civility, without grace, and to mislike all for­wardnesse in religion for your sakes, &c.

Now here seemeth to be [...] a scādall falling two ways; indeed a sin­gle supposed offence, opposed to a dou­ble scandal, ioyned with disobedience. If no more could be said, who could doubt on which side rather to encline? But to these I adde other respects, that ought to be regarded more then a supposed scā ­dall. The question is not, as many would seeme to vnderstād it, whether, it being a thing arbitrary, & meerely left vnto our [Page 120] owne choice, either to vse these ceremo­nies, or to forbeare them, (as it was in the Apostles question of eating flesh) whether (I say) we ought to abstaine, if we vnderstood that a brother would bee offended at the vse of them, or not: for then there were no question, but that for avoiding of scandall, we ought to ab­staine. But these things are not arbitrary, in our choice; but imposed by lawfull authority, and that with such condition, as that the obseruation of these things being indifferent in themselues, becom­meth respectiuely necessary. First in re­spect of authority, which not only for feare, but also for conscience [...]. 13. 5. sake, wee are bound to obey in all lawfull things. This one necessity of obedience is suffi­cient to excuse me from scandall, especi­ally if I doe my endeauour to preuent it, as after shall be shewed. Secondly in re­spect of the conditions wherewith they are imposed; as, not to receiue the cōmu­nion vnlesse we kneele; not to goe on in our ministery, vnlesse we conforme. For, care of avoyding scandall respecteth ar­bitrary matters, and not necessary duties [Page 121] appertaining to Gods glory, and our sal­vation: which we must performe, though all the world would be offended there­at. The care of thine owne saluation must be preferred to the supposed dan­ger of another mans fall: the care of the Churches saluation, much more, the glo­ry of God, most of all. Well then, maist thou not receiue the Communion, be­ing a duty appertaining to thine owne saluatiō, to the edificatiō of the Church, & communion of Saints, to the glory of God, vnlesse thou wilt receiue it vpō thy knees? (it being a gesture not only law­ful, but most cōuenient to be vsed in such a part of Gods worship, as is performed with inuocationI meane not only prayer, but also with thanksegiuing in regard whereof it is called the Eu­charist. on the name of God; especially seeing the gesture vsed at meales is not to be vrged, vnlesse the Sa­crament were with our meales, as at the first institution with Christ last supper, and in the primitiue Church with their loue feasts, receiued; for the cause of the gesture being worthily taken away, the So the cause of standing at the Passeouer ceassing, the gesture it selfe was altered by the Church, & that alterati [...] confirmed by the practise of Christ, (who notwithstand­ing perfectly fulfilled the Law.) Luke. 22. 14. reason of retaining it ceasseth; for which cause the Councill of Laod. c. 28. Et Concil. Constantinop. in Trullo. c. 74 as it forbad loue-feasts the Church: so [Page 122] also accubitus, the gesture vsed at feasts.) I say vnto thee confidently, if thou may­est not receiue it, vnlesse thou doest kneele; thou oughtest to receiue it knee­ling, though another would be offended thereat.

Mayest thou not preach the word (to omit other parts of the ministeriall func­tion, the necessity whereof should pre­vaile with vs more then a supposed scan­dall, for it shall suffice to insist in this one particular) mayest thou not, I say, preach the Gospell of Christ, being a duty whereof necessity is imposed vpon thee, and1. Cor. 9. 16. Woe be vnto thee if thou preach not the Gospell; a duty whereby thou art bound in especiall manner to edify the Church, and to glorify God; vnlesse thou yeeld to the vse of such things, as are neither in themselues vnlawfull (I meane the Surplice & the Crosse, where­of the one in the iudgmēt of the Church serueth for decencie, & the other rightly vnderstood tendeth to edification,) nei­ther as they are vsed in our Church, be­ing neither imposed nor obserued with superstition, or opinion of necessity in [Page 123] themselues, or of worship, as though we placed religion in them, and much lesse with the other popish conceits of merit, with which they obserue all their tradi­tions, or efficacy, which they ascribe e­specially to the Crosse? Thou oughtest to preferre the glory of God in the sal­vation of his people by thy ministery, before the supposed, and perhaps but pretended scandall of others.

Obiect. Yea butRom. 3. 8. we may not doe e­uill, that good may come of it.

Answ The question is of things indif­ferent. For though we may & must obey Magistrates, though they be euill; yet we must obey neither good nor bad vnto e­vill. For we must obey,Ephes. 5. 25. only, in the Lord.

Obiect. But though the things be indif­ferent in themselues, yet their vse may be vnlawfull.

Answ. That is, when they be imposed either with opinion of necessity in them­selues, of religion to be placed in thē, of perfection or merit to be attained by them, (all which conceits our Church detesteth, as is manifest by the doctrine, [Page 124] whereby ceremonies are to be weigh­ed:) or with scandall (I doe not say ta­ken, but) giuen to others.

Obiect. Yea but it is euill to offend my weake brother, that euill I may not do, that good may come of it.

I answere, in not yeelding to confor­mity, thou both disobeyest the Mage­strate, & offendest thy weak brother too. So that when thou seemest loath to doe that which is lawfull and good, for feare of an imagined euill; thou addest euil to euill, that is, to disobedience, scandall; and besides, to the most necessary dutyes of Gods worship, preferrest the auoyd­ing of a supposed scandall.

For all this while I speake but by sup­position. For here is a supposall of Anti­nomie or opposition of the two lawes of loyalty and charity, as though the one could not bee obserued without the breach of the other; which is not so. For where the Magistrate enioyneth the vse of an indifferent thing, whereat it is fea­red some will take offence; his duty is, for preuenting the scandall, to giue some time of information; that the weake may [Page 125] be instructed, as touching the indifferen­cy of the thing, and the sufficiencie of his authority to command it, and of their duty in submitting themselues to the obseruation thereof. It is also the duty of the Minister, to endeauour to preuent the scandall, by informing his hearers, that those things which God hath nei­ther commanded nor forbidden, are things indifferent; that no such thing is vncleane in it selfe; that all such things are lawfull: and such as wherevnto Christian liberty doth extend; that in all lawfull things the Magistrate is to be o­beyed; and therefore that these things being enioyned, they not only may, in respect of their Christian liberty, with free conscience vse them; but also must, in respect of Gods commandement re­quiring obedience, yeeld to the obser­vation of them. Which course hauing beene taken (as it hath among vs) if any will still be offended, it is peeuishnesse and obstinacy, rather then weaknesse; and an offence taken, but not given: in which case, the law of charity it selfe doth not binde vs: and that, in two re­spects, [Page 126] not yet mentioned. The one, in respect of God; the other, in respect of his truth. For, I may not offend God, not to offend my brother. And it is Gods truth, that Christian liberty pri­viledgeth both Christian Lawgiuers (with such cautions as before haue bin mentioned) to ordaine such lawes con­cerning outward things, as they shall iudge expedient: and also the subiects, without scrupulosity of conscience to obserue them. Now, it is a principle, Satius est nasci scandalum quam deseri verum: It is better a scandall should arise, then the truth to be forsaken or betrayed. Is our Christian liberty in this point called into question, whether Magi­strates may command such things, and whether subiects may obey? We must maintaine our liberty, though others would be offended thereat. The Apo­stles, though for a time they yeelded much to the weaknesse of the Iewes, do­ing and forbearing many things, to a­void their offence; yet when their liber­ty [...]. 2. 3▪ 4. was called into question, they reso­lutely [Page 127] maintained it, not regarding their offence. And when as by Peters with­drawing himselfe from the Gentiles, for feare of offending the Iewes, the liberty of Christians was called into question; Gal. 2. 11. 12. 13. 14. Paul withstood him to his face, and re­proved him before them all, as halting in the profession of the Gospell. And so must they bee content to be vsed, who follow Peters example in this behalfe. Thus much by the way to perswade the people to obedience and loialty, and the Ministers to conformity; which I be­seech God to effect for his Christs sake.

These things thus premised concer­ning the nature and quality of this pecu­liar liberty of Christians,§. 23. Obiections concerning Chistian li­berty in out­ward things answered. it will not be hard to answere the obiections of those, who runne into contrary extreames con­cerning the same.

Obiect. 1. For first, on the one side, it is obiected; that seeing Christ hath set vs free concerning things indifferent, no man ought to restraine vs; and therefore the lawes commanding or forbidding the vse of indifferent things, are against Christian liberty.

[Page 128]Wherevnto I answere, first: that Christian liberty is wholly spirituall, being a liberty of the conscience and in­ner man, which may stand with the out­ward servitude of z bondslaues, much more with the subiection and obedience of free subiects. For though the outward vse of the liberty be moderated by the Magistrate, and confined; yet the inward liberty of the conscience is not impai­red, so long as the subiect may obey with free conscience before God; that is, so long as the Magistrate seeketh not to binde the conscience, and to impose things not commanded of God as ne­cessary in themselues, and as matters of religion before God, &c.

Secondly, that the liberty of Chri­stians is a true, and therefore not an vn­bounded liberty. Now, one of the boundes and limits which God hath set it, is, as you haue heard, the law of loy­alty, requiring obedience to superiours. Wherefore a Christian man, though in respect of the inward man he be free, as being the sonne of God by adoption in Christ; yet in respect of the outward [Page 129] man, he ought to bee a servant not only to his1. Pet. 2. 13. 16. superiors, in loyalty and obedi­ence; but also toGal. 5. 13. 1. Cor. 9. 19. &c. all, in benevolence and charity.

Obiect. 2. On the other side, it is ob­iected. 1. That for conscienceRom. 13. 5. sake we are to obey the Magistrate; that is, that we are bound in conscience so to doe; therefore the lawes and commande­ments of the Magistrate doe binde the conscience.

Answ. It followes not, for although we are bound in conscience, to obey the lawfull commandements and lawes of superiours; yet that bond is not in the particular lawes of men, but in the gene­rall commandement of God.

Obiect. 3. Againe: A thing indifferent enioyned by the Magistrate, becometh necessary,Rom. 13. [...]. for Paul saith, [...], it is necessary that you bee sub­iect: therefore the commandement of the Magistrate doth binde the consci­ence.

Answ. Neither doth this follow. For it becometh necessary, not by the par­ticular commaundement of man, but [Page 130] by the generall commandement of God. For, notwithstanding the com­mandement of the Magistrate, the thing commanded remaineth indifferent in it selfe, and before God; and so to be vsed with free conscience, without placing a­ny religion therein; howsoever it be­commeth necessary so farre forth as by the generall commandement of God, I am bound thereto. And this is that which Peter [...] 2. 16. saith, that wee must obey Magistrates, as free, and yet as the ser­vants of God. Free, in respect of our consciences exempted from humane power; & yet as servants of God bound in conscience to obey him in obeying them, so farre forth as hee doth com­maund vs to obey them.

The truth of these answers shall not only be demonstrated as it were before your eyes by a syllogisme, wherein is concluded the bond of conscience, and necessity of duty in obeying the com­mandements of men, but also by other reasons proved.

The Syllogisme.

All lawfull commaundements of [Page 131] Magistrates thou art bound in con­science by the law of God to o­bey, so farre forth as hee requireth such commandements to bee o­beyed:

This or that particular is a lawfull cōmaundement of the Magistrate:

Therefore this or that particular thou art bound in conscience by the law of God to obey, so farre forth as God requireth such com­mandements to be obeyed.

By which argumentation wee may conceiue, that the distinction of necessi­ty vsed in schooles, viz. that there is ne­cessit as consequentis, which is simple or absolute, & necessitas consequentiae, which is not simple, but vpon conditi­on of other things presupposed, may not vnfitly be applied to the necessity of du­ty imposed by the lawes, either of God, or man. For Gods commandement im­poseth the necessity as it were of the consequent, (without presupposing o­ther things) requiring simple and abso­lute obedience. The law of man doth not impose the necessity of the conse­quent▪ [Page 132] or require simple obedience; but it imposeth onely a necessity of the con­sequence, that is, such a necessity and no other, as may soundly be concluded from the law of God, and so farre forth as it may bee concluded thence. Or to speake more plainely: in a simple sen­tence without interpositing any conditi­on, or presupposing any anteceden [...] whereupon it is to bee inferred, I may say, either particularly this commande­ment of God is necessarily, or by necessity of duty to be obeyed, or generally, all Gods commandements are necessarily to bee ob­served. And this speech is of necessary truth. But concerning mens commaun­dements, If I shall say in the generall, All the commaundements of men are ne­cessarily to be observed, the speech wil [...] be false and absurd: if in particular, this commaundement of the Magistrate is necessarily to bee observed this speech cannot be necessary simply, or by the necessity of the consequent, or (to speake more plainely for the explicating of that phrase) by the necessity of a simpl [...] sentence, wherein the consequent (or [Page 133] predicat) is both simply and necessarily affirmed of the antecedent or subiect; it cannot, I say, bee simply necessary, be­cause (as you heard) the generall is false. Notwithstanding if you presuppose these two things: first, that all lawfull commaundements of Magistrates are by the commaundement of God necessa­rily to be observed, so farre forth as hee commaundeth them to be observed: se­condly, that this particular is a lawfull commaundement of the Magistrate; vp­on these premises you may proue that speech to be true by necessity of conse­quence, viz. that this particular com­maundement of the Magistrate is neces­sarily to be observed, &c.

But some sophister will obiect, that I might as well conclude thus;

Propos. All lawfull commaundements of the Magistrate must necessarily be o­beyed:

Ass. This or that particular is a law­full commaundement of the Magistrate:

Concl. Therefore necessarily to bee o­beyed.

I answere, that the proposition of this [Page 134] syllogisme needeth proofe, as not being manifest of it selfe. You will say, it may thus be proued.

Propos. What is commanded of God, must necessarily be performed.

Ass. Obedience to all law full com­maundements of Magistrates is com­maunded of God.

Concl. Therefore obedience to all lawfull commaundements of Magi­strates, is necessarily to be performed.

But I say againe the assumption of this syllogisme needeth some explanati­on. For the Lord would haue difference put between his owne commandements and the lawes of men; and therefore we may not thinke, that he command­eth all lawes of men simply to be obey­ed: not simply, you must say then, but so farre forth as he requireth them to be obeyed.

By which short discourse wee learne, that those additions by which I expla­ned the proposition of the syllogisme, were necessare; and that the bond of cō ­science is not the law of man, but of God: that we are bound to obey mans [Page 135] lawes not simply, but so farre forth as God requireth. And lastly that this speech, (All lawfull commandements of Magistrates are necessarily to be obeyed) is true, not by the necessity of the conse­quent, as an axiome or principle which is manifest of it selfe; but by the neces­sity of consequence, as a conclusion ma­nifested by discourse.

Now that the lawes of men doe not binde the conscience, it may further ap­peare by these reasons: first, because our freedome from the lawes iudiciall and ceremoniall, which in the Scriptures is extolled for so great a b [...]nefit, would be a burthen rather then a benefit, if wee should in like manner be bound to the ecclesiasticall and ciuill lawes of men. A­gaine, if they did binde the conscience, there would be no difference betweene Gods lawes and mans lawes (in respect of outward actions (and the one sort would require simple obedience as well as the other, yea vnlawfull commande­ments would also binde the conscience. But it is plaine, that simple obedience is to be performed onely to the lawes of [Page 136] God. To the laws of men we are bound, not simply, but so farre forth as in obey­ing them, we also obey God, and no fur­ther; thas is, as I said, so farre as God command [...]th [...]s to obey them. Now, how farre forth God commandeth vs to obey the lawes of men, will easily ap­peare by this disti [...]tion; for either they command such things as God forbid­eth, and forbiddeth such things as hee commandeth, (which kinde of cōman­dements are so farre from binding our consciences, as that we are bound by the law of God to obey him in disobeying them:) or they command such things as God commandeth, and forbid such things as he forbiddeth, that by their authority the lawes of God may the better be obseru [...]d, (to which kinde of commandements we are simply bound, because as in obeying them we obey God, so in breaking them we transgresse the law of God: or lastly, they com­mand such things as God hath not for­bidden, and forbid such things as God hath not commanded [...]o the particular [...] of this kinde wee are [Page 137] not simply bound, but so farre forth as God hath commanded vs to obey them; that is, as1. Pet. 2. 16. free (being not simply boūd to those particulars, as necessary in themselues, but vsing them with free conscience, as being indifferent, and therefore such, as wherevnto our Chri­stian liberty extendeth,) and yet as ser­uants of God, thinking our selues so farr bound to obserue them, as is necessary for auoyding of scādall or cōtempt, which God by his law hath forbidden. Con­tempt: for it is necessary, saith the A­postle, Rom. 13. 5. 1 Pet. 2. 13. 16 that we should submit our selues to lawfull authority, not onely for feare of punishment, but for conscience sake. For although we be free, as concerning the inner man; yet in respect of the out­ward man, wee must as the seruants of God, submit our selues to such superi­ours, as God hath set ouer vs, and not haue our liberty, as a cloake of naughti­nesse. Scandall also is to be auoyded. First, in respect of the superiour, that by our disobedience wee doe not scan­dalize or offend him. Wherein our Sa­uiour hath giuen vs a notable example, [Page 138] who, although he were (as heMatth 17. 25▪ 26 27. saith) free; yet was content to pay tribute-mo­ney, for auoiding of offence. Secondly, in respect of the subiect; that he stumble not at the example of our disobedience, being animated thereby to doe the like. For whereas some thinke, that we are not to obey the Magistrates comman­dement concerning a thing indifferent, if wee imagine that some weake brother will be offended thereat; they greatly mistake the rule of Diuines, who say these commandements are to be obeyed for avoyding scandall, and not, that they are to be disobeyed for auoyding of scandall. For if this were a sufficient rea­son to excuse our disobedience, wee should not neede to obey almost any commandement of this kinde, there be­ing scarce any cōmandement concerning things indifferent, wherewith wee may not imagine some weake & scrupulous conscience will bee offended. But wee must thinke our selues more bound, for [...]uoyding of contempt and scandall, to obey a lawfull commandement, then to disobey, for auoyding a supposed of­fence. [Page 139] That which we are to doe in this case, is this: If wee feare any will take offence, we must labour to preuent it, by informing the party, as before hath beene said. And hauing so done, wee must doe our owne duty (whether hee will be offended or not) in obeying the lawfull commandement of the Magi­strate, so farre as it shall be necessary for auoyding of scandall and contempt.

Hitherto I haue intreated of the liber­ty of grace,§. 24. The liberty of Glory. both that which is common to the faithfull in all ages; and also that which is peculiar to Christians vnder the Gospell. There remaineth (in a word to bee spoken of) the liberty of glory; which is not only a perfect deli­uerance from sinne, misery, and all im­perfections, (whereunto because wee are subiectRom. 7. 24. in this life, for here is as, Augustine saith, inchoata, non perfecta li­bertas, we ought to aspire towards this perfection) but also a fruition of happi­nesse and all the priuiledges of the citi­zens of heauen.

This liberty is either of the soule alone, as at our death; when wee may freely [Page 140] and with comfort resigne our soules into the hands of God, that he may commit the same to theLu [...]. 16. 22. blessed Angels to bee transpo [...]ed into heauen, where wee are vnto the end of the world, comfortably to expect our full redemption. Or it is of the body also at the day of iudgement (and is therefore calledRom. 8. 23. the redempti­on of our body) when it rising vnto glo­ry, shall be freed from the seruitudeRom. [...]. 11. of corruption, this1. Cor. 15. 53. 54. mortall putting on immortality, and this corruptible put­ting on incorruption; that death being swallowed vp in victory, we may enioy, both in our bodyes and soules, theRom. 8. 21. glo­rious liberty of Gods children in the kingdome of heauen. This ought wee with ear [...]stnesse of desire [...]. 22. 23. to aspire vn­to, & with [...] of [...]. 2. 1 [...]. [...]. 21. 2 [...]. faith to expect; that thereby we may be weaned f [...]om the world, hauing [...] our conuersatio [...] in heauen; and not either by the desires of the world (which are but [...]. 1. 2. vanityes) be all [...]red and ensnarred, or by the ter­rors thereof, (which are [...] [...] [...]. 12. worthy the glory that shall be reuealed,) drawne into bondage.

[Page 141]Thus haue you heard the doctrine of Christian liberty. Now heare the vse.

For seeing this liberty is a benefit of so great excellency in it selfe,§. 25. The applica­tion or vse. and of such profit and necessity to vs: Our first du­ty is, to try and examine our selues by that which hath beene said, whether wee haue as yet obtained this liberty, or not. If not, (asIoh [...]. 8. 34. he which committeth sinne, is the seruant of sinne) we must labour to acknowledge and feele that miserable seruitude, wherein wee are, vnder sinne and Satan (for hee that is not free, and yet feeleth not his bondage, is drowned in sinne, euen as he that is ouer head and eares in [...]he water, feeleth no weight thereof) that in the sense of our misery we may not only truly and earnestly de­sire; but also carefully vse all meanes to attaine this liberty, and never be at rest, vntill we haue obtained it. It is strange to see what hard services men will vn­dergoe, and what great summes they will forgoe, to get an earthly freedome; whiles this spirituall freedome, which is worth many worlds, will scarcely be accepted, when men are called and in­vited [Page 142] vnto it. Which sheweth, that men naturally, are not only servants, but wil­lingly & wilfully continue in servitude. But you will say, what meanes are wee to vse? I answere, 1. Diligently and conscionably to heare the Word, as be­ing the meanes. which God hath ordai­ned to call you to liberty. 2. To aske, seeke, knocke by earnest and hearty prayer vnto God the author of this li­berty, that he would giue you the spirit of liberty. 3. To turne vnto God vnfai­nedly, laying hold vpon Christ by faith, and repenting of your sinnes. Eris liber, saith Augustine August. in Ioan. tract. 41. si fueris servus, liber peccati, servus iustitiae: You shall be free from sinne, if you will become the ser­vants of righteousnesse. If God hath al­ready called vs vnto this liberty, our du­ty is two fold, both which the Apostle mentioneth, Galath. 5. the one,Gal. 5. 1. that we stand fast in this liberty, wherewith Christ Iesus hath made vs free, and not suffer our selues to bee entangled againe with the yoke of bondage. And the rather we must be carefull to stand fast in this liberty, because it is mightily assaul­ted [Page 143] by all the enemies of our salvation, the flesh, the world, the divell. Now, we are to stand stedfast, both in the do­ctrine of Christian liberty, which is the doctrine of the Gospell, and not suffer our selues to be allured, or intoxicated, either with the goldenApoc. 17. 4. 18. 3. cup of the Ba­bylonian strumpet, the Church of Rome, which doth not only bereaue men of Christian liberty, but also draw them into Antichristian bondage: or with the Cyrcean cup of the Liberti­nes, which transformeth Christianisme into Epicurisme, and the liberty of the spirit into the liberty of the flesh. And we are also to be stedfast and resolute in the practise of Christian liberty: as of vocation, not to bee entangled againe with the servitude of sin and Satan, (for, if hauing professed our selues freed thereof, we be againe entangled there­in, our latter end, as S. Peter saith2. [...]. 2. 20. 21., will be worse then our beginning.) Of iusti­fication, as not to subiect our selues to the lawes exaction of inherent and per­fect righteousnesse to iustification, (for they which areGal. 3. 10. of the workes of the [Page 144] law, are vnder the curse) but without re­gard of our owne righteousnesse, to re­ly wholly for our iustification on the mercies of God, and merits of Christ apprehended by faith; and to hold him Gal. 1. 8. accursed, though he were an An­gell from heauen, that should teach otherwise. Of sanctification, as not to subiect our selues to the dominionRom. 6. 12. of sinne, or to the terror or rigour of the law; but without servile feare, willingly and cheerefully to serue our heavenly Father, being well assured that hee will cover our wants, and accept of our vn­perfect endeavours. Of Christian liber­ty in respect of outward things; as not to suffer our consciences to be bound by the authority of any creature, inioyning them as necessary in themselues, and much lesse to bind our owne conscien­ces, as scrupulosluy and superstitiously putting religion either in the vse or for­bearance of them. Of the glorious li­berty, as not to suffer our selues by all the machinations of the world, the flesh and the divell, to bee withdrawne from the hope and expectation of it; but com­fortably [Page 145] to liue as menRom. 8. 2 [...]. saued in hope.

The other duty, is that which the A­postle mentioneth, Galath. 5. 13. Brethe­ren, saith he,Gal. 5. 13. you are called to liberty: on­ly vse not your liberty as an occasion to the flesh, but by charity serue one another. That is, that we should be carefull,The abuse of Christian li­berty. both to auoyd the abuse of Christian liberty, and also to vse it aright. The abuse is ma­nifold. As first, of the sauing grace of God; when men doe turneIud 4. it into wan­tonnesse, their freedome from sin, into a freedome to sin as though they were so freed frō the law, as that they need not to obey it; as though good works, be­cause they are not exacted to iustificatiō, were in no respect needfull to salvation. We are not fr [...]e, saith Luther De liber [...] Christ., by faith in Christ from workes, but from the opinion of workes, that is, frō the foolish presump­tion of iustification sought by workes. Se­condly, of Christian liberty, in respect of the creatures of God, & the vse of things indifferent; when we doe vse them with­out regard of our duty, to God, our neighbour, or our selues.

The duty which we owe to God, is [Page 146] piety; to our neighbour in generall, charity; and in particular to our superi­our, obedience and loyalty; to our selues, sobriety. For these, as I said, are the bounds of our liberty, which if we passe in the vse thereof, we abuse it. The vse of our liberty is contrary to pi­ety: First, when we our selues are impi­ous, and irreligious. For though the things in themselues bee cleane, yet the vse of them is vncleane to them that are impure. For asTitus 1. 15. to the pure, all things are pure, so to the vncleane nothing is cleane. Secondly, when the vse of them is not sanctified vnto vs,1. Tim. 4. 5. either by the Word, as when we make more indiffe­rent things, then God in his word hath made, as drunkennesse, fornication, vsu­ry, &c. or when we doe not vse them in faith and sound perswasion out of the word of God, which is the charter of our liberty, that we may lawfully and with a good conscience vse them (for though nothing in it selfe be vnclean, yet to him [...] that thinketh or doubteth that it is vncleane, it is so to him; for as the Apostle, speaking of this particular, [Page 147] saith, Whatsoeuer is not of saith, is sinne:) or by the dutyes of inuocation. As the vse of meat and drinke, without either prayer to God for his blessing in the vse, or thanksgiuing for the same. Thirdly, we abuse our liberty irreligiously, when we vse it to the dishonor of God, or to the hinderance of his worship and ser­uice, as in the immoderate and vnseaso­nable vse of recreations, &c. whereby men shew themselues to be [...]. 2 Tim. 3. 4. louers of pleasures more then of God.

Likewise our vse of the creatures, and of things indifferent, is against charity, when we vse them without due regard of auoyding scandall and offence. A­gainst loyalty, when vsing our liberty with contempt of lawfull authority, wee make it a cloake to couer some naugh­tines. And lastly, against sobriety, when vnder the pretence of Christian liberty, the creatures of God, and other things indifferent, are vsed, either as instru­ments to serue, or as ensignes to display, our pride or intemperate lusts, as in the excesse of meat and drinke, recreations, the vse of the mariage bed, apparell, buil­ding [Page 148] and such like.

But let vs come to the right vse of our Christian liberty;§ 26. The right vse of Christian li [...]erty. which is two-fold, either the sanctification of our liues, or the pacification of our consciences. As touching the former: the right vse of the liberty of sauing grace is, when it is vsed to the free, voluntary, and cheere­full worshipp and seruice of God, in ho­linesse and righteousnesse, forLuk. 1. 74. 75. that is the end of our liberty and redemption. The right vse of Christian liberty in outward things, is, when it is vsed to a free and cheerefull seruing, both one ofGal. 5. 13. another in charity, and of the superiour in obe­dience and loialty; that being free1. Cor. 9. 19. from all, we make ourselues servants vnto all, for their good. For as Luther saith,De li [...]ert. Christ. A Christian in respect of the inner man, is free, but in respect of the outward man hee is (through charity) the servant of all. And herein wee are to imitate the exam­ple of Christ; who,Philip▪ 2. 5. though hee were God, tooke vpon him the forme of a servant to make vs free; and though hee were the Lord of all,M [...]t. 2 [...]. 28. came not to bee ministred vnto, but to minister. And [Page 149] wise of the blessed Angels; who, though they be glorious spirits, notwithstand­ing take no scorne to be sent forth into theHeb. 1. 14. ministry and service of our good.

The right vse of the doctrine con­cerning the liberty of glory, is, truly to beleeue it, and to liue as in expectation of it; knowing, that he which hath this 1. I [...]hn. 3. 3. hope, that he shall be like vnto Christ at his appearance, will purify himselfe, as he is pure; that as hee hopes to be like him, in respect of the liberty of glory, so hee may in some measure resemble his gratiousnesse, by the liberty of grace.

But the cheife vse of this doctrine, is, to pacifie mens consciences; without which (vnlesse they sleepe in carnall se­curity) they are so wonderfully per­plexed, that neither can they liue in peace nor attempt any thing almost with quiet mindes. For whereas there befoure things which trouble perplexed consci­ences, this doctrine is a soueraigne reme­dy to cleare and to appease the consci­ence, in respect of them all. The first, is the guilt of sinne, and feare of damnati­on. For when thy conscience is summo­ned [Page 150] before the iudgement feat of God, or terrified with the apprehension of his wrath, as in [...]ime of temptation, or affli­ction, or in the houre of death; when thou doest consider the seuerity of Gods iustice, who will not suffer sinne to goe vnpunished, the rigour of the law, de­nouncing the curse of God against eue­ [...]y euen the least transgression, the testi­mony of thine owne conscience, which is in stead of a thousand witnesses, accu­sing and condemning thee of innumera­ble transgr [...]ssions; how canst thou thinke of appearing before God, who is greater then thy conscience, to be iustified or cond [...]mned, without horror of consci­ence, and confusion of mind? But blessed be God, who hath granted vs this liber­ty of grace, that in the question of [...]ustifi­cation, whereby in this life we are freed from feare of damnation, and entituled vnto the kingdome of h [...]uen, we need not looke into our obedi [...]nce, or to the sentence of the law; but may b [...] assured, if we beleeue in Christ, that God doth iu­s [...]ifie vs, being [...] in our selues, with­out respect of our [...]; that he hath [Page 151] freed vs from the lawes exaction of in­herent righteousnesse, to the acceptation of our persons; that he imputing the righteousnesse of Christ to the beleeu­er, accepteth of him as righteous in Christ; that the faithfull man hath liber­ty to appeale from the tribunall of iu­stice, to the throne of grace, from the sentence of the law, to the promise of the Gospell, and renouncing his owne righ­nesse, yea esteeming it as dung in the que­stion of iustification, to rest alone in the mercyes of God, and merits of Christ.

But because the world is so apt to a­buse this most comfortable doctrine, and to turne gratious liberty into carnall licentiousnesse; it shall bee needfull to adde this caution: That howsoeuer we are by our iustisication in this life, enti­tuled vnto the kingdome of heauen; and although by the righ [...]eousnesse and me­rits of Christ alone apprehe [...]ded by faith, we are both iusti [...]ied and also sa­ued: yet for as much as many deceiue themselues with an idle conceit of faith, and with a vaine presumption that they are iustified, when notwithstādingP. [...] they [Page 152] remaine in their sinnes: therefore wee must thinke it most necessary, being once iustified by faith, and entituled vnto the kingdome of heauen, to demonstrate our faith, and our iustification by a godly life; walking in that way of good works, which God hathEphes. 2. 10. prepared for vs to walke in towards our country in heauē. For though wee are iustified and saued by the merits of Christ alone apprehen­ded by faith; notwithstanding sanctifica­tion is theAct. 20 32. cognizance of them that are saued, and good works are the euidence, accordingRom [...]. 6. vnto which God will pro­nounce the sentence of saluation. For as the [...]ree is knowne by his fruite; so hee that [...] worketh righteousnesse, is righte­ous, and in like manner by sanctification our iustification is manifested. For true [...]aith [...] worketh by loue, & good works are as the breathing of a liuely faith. And therefore though saith alone doth iusti­fie, as Paul [...] teacheth, because it alone doth apprehend the righteousnesse of Christ vnto iustification; yet as S. Iames [...] teacheth, that faith which alone seue­red from obedience doth not iustifie, nei­ther [Page 153] alone, nor at all, because it it is not a true faith. For euen as the body without breathing is knowne to be dead:Iam. 2. 26. so faith with workes is dead. We are there­fore iustified in this life, and entituled vnto the kingdome of heauen, as to our inheritance, by faith withoutRom. 4. [...]. workes; but none are actually saued, nor inherit that kingdome in the life to come, but such as first are sanctified. For as our Sa­viour saith, we haue indeed not only re­mission of sinnes by faith, but also by faith we haue our inheritance; but yet, as he saith,Act. 26. 18. among them that are san­ctified.

The second is the conscience of our manifold wants and imperfections, in those duties which we doe performe. For how can a man be perswaded, that God, toIob. 15. 14. 16. 16. whom no creature being com­pared is pure, will allow of his imper­fect and stained obedience. And if he be not perswaded, that his seruice is accep­table vnto; God with what heart can he performe it? The doctrine therefore of Christian liberty assureth our conscien­ces, that wee are freed from the lawes [Page 154] exaction of perfect obedience, to the ac­ceptation of our actions: that, God coue­ring our imperfections, as an indulgent Father, with the perfect righteousnesse and obedience of Christ, imputeth not our wants vnto vs, but accepteth of the truth of our will and desire for the deed, and our sincere endeauour for the per­fect performance. And therfore a Chri­stian may, in respect of this liberty, with comfort and cheerefulnes performe o­bedience, according to the measure of grace receiued, being assured that our defectiue and stained obedience, will be accepted of God through the mediation and intercession of Iesus Christ.

The third is the s [...]ruple of conscience, concerning the vse of outward things, how far forth they may bee vsed or forborne. For if a man be not rightly informed herein, there will be no end Vid [...]. Cal [...] ­in, [...]it. lib. 3. cap. 19. 7. of scrupulosity and superstition. From this scrupi [...] also, the doctrine of Christi­an liberty doth free vs: assuring vs, that to all these things our liberty doth ex­tend, either to vse thē freely, or freely to forbeare them; & that nothing is vnclear [Page 155] in it selfe, nor yet vnto vs, if we be so per­swaded; & that to the cleane, all things are cleane, provided alwaies, that the vse of this liberty be kept within the bound [...] before mentioned, of piety, charity, loyalty, and sobriety.

The fourth and last is the horror of conscience in the houre or death. For can a man with cō [...]ort giue vp his soule to bee seuered from the body, when he knoweth not, either what will beco [...] of his soule after the seperation therec [...] from the body, or how, and in what [...] his body shall rise againe? But [...] doth assure vs, that Chr [...] [...] purchased, not only a liberty of [...] in this life, but also of glory for [...] soules against the end of our life, and for our bodyes also, against the day of iudg­ment. So that weHeb. 10. 19. 20. haue liberty or bold­nesse, to enter into the holy places by the blood of Iesus, by the new and liu­ing way, which he hath prepared for vs through the vaile, that is to say, his flesh; being assured, that by reason of our vni­on with Christ, we are risenEphes. 2. 6. again with Christ, and with him set in the heauenly [Page 156] places, whether he is ascendedIohn. 14. 2. 3 [...]. &. 17. 24. to pre­pare a place for vs:Philip. 3. 20. 21. and from whence he will come againe to bring vs thither, that where he is, there we may be also. Wherefore in respect of this liberty, the faithfull may with comfort, both surrē ­der our soules into the hands of God our mercifull Father, and also bequeath our bodyes to the earth, in full assurance that our soules shall by the Angels bee translated into heauen, and that our bo­dyes shall at the day of iudgement, bee freed from the seruitude of corruption, and rise againe to glory: this mortall ha­uing put on immortality, & this corrup­tible incorruption, that it being againe e [...]vnited to the soule, we may for euer & euer, enioy both in body and soule, the glorious liberty of the citizens of hea­uen. Vnto which liberty of glory he [...] bring vs, who hath so dearely purcha [...] ­ed it for vs, euen Christ Iesus the righte­ous; to whom with the Father and the holy Ghost, be eternall praise and glory. Amen.

2 Tim. 2. 19. The foundation of God, standeth sure, hauing this seale, The Lord knoweth them that are his. And let euery one that nameth the Name of Christ, depart from euill.’

FOr theS [...]luian I [...] de [...] laying the first foundation of Religion (without which all other grounds are of no effect:)C [...]el Rho [...]. [...]. [...]5. That there is a God omnipo [...]ent, mercifull, and iust, Gods workes doe sufficiently demonstrate.Gen. 1. 1. If he build, it is a world: if hee bee angry for the sinnes of the world,Gen. 7. 17. he sends a deluge,V [...]ncont. [...] Ly. inen [...]is. Mat. 2. 1. If hee will shew the loue hee beares to the world, hee sends his Sonne,Mat. 27 5 [...]. and suffers him to die vpon the Crosse to saue the world: if hee will reward the godly, it isL [...]ke 23. 43. with Paradise; when hee armes the Angels2 King. 6. 17. march vpon the heads of his Troupe [...] the [...]lements are the Mar­shalls of his Campe, the rocks remoue from their Center, and follow to giue it water,Exod. 13. 21. the Cloudes guide by day and the Pillers of fire by night,Exod. 14. 9. the Sea opens to giue them passage, and the [Page 2] SunneIosh. 10. 12. stayes to end their victories. To inlarge the wonderfulnes of his works Num. 22. Balaams Asse shall speake & reprooue his MasterIoh. 2. 9., waters turne into wine, theMat. 9. 22. dead are raised,Mat. 20. 24. the blind seeMat. 9. 20. the d [...]afe heareMark. 2. 12. the Lame goeMat. 14. 19. and thousands of people are fed with a few loaues and fishes.

If hee will shew mercy,Mat. 14. 19. Peter after that hee had denyed Christ shall weepe bitterly,Io. 21. 15. and bee made Pastor of his sheepe.Act. 19. 15. Paul of a persecutor become an elect vessell and faithfull preacher of the Gospell; when hee will exalt the humbleSam. 16. 11. little Dauid shall bee taken from the sheepe and bee made both KingSam. 16. 13. and Prophet: humbleGen 41. 24. Ioseph from the prison and preferred to bee Pharaohs high steward:Dan. 5. 26. Daniel from the Lions den and cloathed with purple. When he will execu [...]e iustice,Gen. 19. 24. Sodome is deuoured with fire and brimstone:Mat. 27. 45. Iudas hanging himselfe, confessed that hee had betrayed the innocent:Euseb. H [...]st. Iulian the Apostate tearing out his bowels (in the horrour of his conscience) cries out [...]icisti tandem Galilaee. When hee will [Page 3] humble the proud, Idolatrous,Dan. 4. 45. Nabu­chadne [...]ar shall eate Grasse among the Beasts of the field; the basest of Gods creatures shall make hard heartedExod. 9. 27. Pha­raoh send for Moses and confesse the true God. Finally in all his works of power, mercy and iustice, (out of the fiery fornace)Dan. 3. 35 Shadrach Messech and Abednego shall proclaime his glory.

Thus you see that Gods works de­clare that hee is God, powerfull, mer­cifull and iust, and that the meanest of these works are of force either (by the least dramme of grace) to conuert the most obstinate Atheists, to the true knowledge of God, or in iustice to con­fo [...] him.

Of the knowledge of [...]od.

ALthough I doe not allow the [...] cu­rious searching of diuine misteries not reuealed, for admitting that in na­tures Schoole, wee are taught to boult out the truth by logicall [...] reason yet in [Page 4] Gods Schoole, it is quite contrary; he is the best Scholler that reasons least, and assents most, conceiues so farre as humane frailties will permit, belieues and admires the rest, God louing better a credulous heart then a curious head: Yet because your duty towards God consisteth chiefely in the ardent desire to know God (which is the surest testi­mony of your loue toward God, and of Gods loue towards you) there is a more speciall knowledge required of you, which is, that you endeauour your selues to know him, so farre as he hath reuealed himselfe in the Scriptures cal­led his Word, as proceeding from his Spirit, to bring you to this knowledge: hee hath manifested himselfe in the Scriptures by three sort of names.

The first are these that signifie his es­sence. [...] nomi­nibus.

The second, the persons in the Es­sence.

The third, his essentiall works.

The names that denote Gods essence, are 5. Ichouah, Eheiech, Iach, Kurios, Theos.

[Page 5] Iehouah Cyprian. Mart. Arnob. lib. 1. aduers­gent. Tertul. lib. 2. de Car. Christ. signifieth eternall, being of himselfe without beginning, and end almighty, both in promising and per­forming. The second name isExod. 3. 14. Eheiech, of that same roote of Iehouah signify­ing, that I am that I am, or I will bee, that I will, Eheiech, Asher, Eheiech, The third namePsal. 21. 12. 15. 16. 17. Iach which is Lord is ascri­bed to God, when any notable deliue­rance or benefit comes to passe accord­ing to his promise. The fourth name is Iohn, 21. 7. 12. 15. 16. 17. Kurios vsed oft in the new Testament: when it is absolutely giuen to God, it answereth the Hebrew name Ieho [...]ah; for God is so Lord, that hee is of him­selfe Lord, and of all others.

The fifth name is Theos, God, it is deriued, [...], becauseAug. hee runnes through and compasseth all things: when it is properly taken, it signifieth the eternall essence of God, being aboue all things, giuing life,Lips. lib. [...] de constant. and light to all creatures, preseruing and gouerning them in their wonderfull frame and order, God seeing all, and in all places.

The names that signifie the persons [Page 6] in the Es [...]ence are chiefely one.Ber. Elo­him, signifieth the mighty iudges. It is a name of the plurall number, to ex­presse the Trinity of persons in the vni­ty of the Essence. To this purpose, the Holy Ghost begins the Bible with this plurall Name of God, ioyned with a verbe of the singular number, as Elohim baradi [...] creauit, the mighty Gods, or all three persons in the God-head created. When you heare of this name Elohim, consider that in one diuine Essence there are three distinct persons, and that God Iehouah Eloh [...]m. The names that signi­fie Gods essentiall works are fiue.

El Shaddai, Ado [...]ai, Helion, Abba.

El, is as much to say,Exod. 24. 6. as the strong God, sheweth that God is not onely strong and strength it selfe, but that it is hee that giueth all strength to his crea­tures.

By this name Shaddai which is om­nipotent, God stileth himselfe vsually to the Patriarches, calling himselfe El Shaddai the strong God, Almighty: this name belongs only to God, and to none other Creature.

[Page 7] Adonai, my Lord; is found one hun­dred thirty foure times in the old Te­stament: by this name wee challenge God, to bee our God, and with Tho­mas say, thou art my Lord and my God.

Luk. 1. 32. Helion which signifieth most high, was giuen vnto God by Gabriell, telling the Virgin Mary that the child that should bee borne of her, should be the Sonne of the most high.

Abba, a Syriacke name,Mar. 14. v. 36. signifying Father,Rom. 8. 15. by it remember what you recei­ue from God, proceedeth from a Fa­therly loue and that you owe him a­gaine Filiall obedience.

All these sacred names of God,Aug. de De [...]mis [...]r [...]cord. cap. 7. are as pledges and remembrances of Gods omnipotency and loue towards you, and of your dutie towards him.

As the true knowledge of God, is the onely inducement to the exercise of your dutie towards him, so the religi­ous practise of that dutie is the onely rule whereby you may liue reposedly, and die cheerefully.

In this exercise, I doe commend foure things vnto you, Heare, pray, me­ditate, and doe.

of Hearing and reading the Scriptures.

THis hearing, whereof I speake con­sisteth 1 Tim. 3. 16. in the reading of Gods sa­cred word contained in the Books of the old and new Testament, and hearing it from preachers: For the whole Scrip­ture is [...], giuen by inspiration of God and is profitable to teach to im­prooue, to correct, and to instruct in righteousnes that the man of God may be made perfect in all good works. The Scriptures are diuided into the old and new Testament: [...] the first is called the the old because it was reuealed in the former time, the other New because it was reuealed in the latter time.

The difference betweene the old andAug. Tom. 3 d [...] Spirit. & l [...]t. cap. [...]. new Testament is onely in certaine ac­cidents Ceremonies and dispensation of things, in externall forme, and diffe­rence of time, but in substance all one and tending to one effect in vertue and efficacy.

[Page 9]In the old, the new is figured and sha­dowed: in the new, is the declaration and manifestation of the old.

By Moses was the old Testament re­uealed and the law giuen, being holy, iust and goodAug. Tom. 3. ad Marcel. cap. 20. seruing rather to bring vs to knowledge of our owne insuffici­ency to fulfill the same, then for laying vpon the corrupted sonnes of Adam, that which they were not able to vnder­goe. The new Testament was reuealed by Christ, when hee was manifested in the flesh in whom did appeare the righteousnesse of God, or the good­nesse that comes from God to vs, wit­nessed by the Law and Prophers.

In the Euangelicall dispensation of the Gospell is the deliuerance of Gods people, not from an earthly,Vincentiy Lyrinensis, but from a spirituall bondage of sinne and Sa­than.

Here is a triumph ouer the suppres­sed enemy not Pharaoh, but Sathan him­selfe.

Here is an introduction to possesse not earthly Canaan but heauenly Ieru­salem.

[Page 10]Here is a Law giuen not in Sinai, but in Sion; not by Angelicall ministery but by the presence of the Lord himselfe; not after a fearefull sort, but with wonder­full lenity and gentlenesse; not grauen in stony tables, but effectually printed in the hearts of the elect.

In the old testament was bondage & feare; in the new, liberty & glad tidings, the ministry not of death, but of life; not a rigorous exacter, but a mercifull Sauiour; not the Sacraments of circum­cision and the passeouer (the administra­tion whereof was blood) but baptisme, and the Lords supper, both [...], vnbloudy.

In the new testament is a preisthood, not Aaronicall not externall, not tyed to any one nation Family or tribe, but spi­rituall and common to all the faithfull throughout the world.

In it is a sacrifice and that bloudy, but not of beasts but the sweet smelling sacrifice of the pretious bloud of our Lord and Sauiour Christ Iesus; not ite­rated but finished once for all vpon the Crosse.

[Page 11]In the new testament are ceremonies few and easie, to wit, the word, Sacra­ments and prayers.

(In one word) in the old testament were figures, shadowes, and promises; in the new, the fulfilling and accom­plishment of all: this new couenant of grace shall continue to the worlds end, and shall giue place to no other, but to the eternall fruition of the Kingdome of heauen.

Hereby the excellency of the new testament is manifest and that both the old and new, differing in accidents and circumstances, are in substance and truth all one, and that the one is contai­ned in the other, making vp an absolute bodyTertull. lib. de prescript. ad [...]ers. Heret. containing perfect sufficiency to saluation and whereto wee must neither adde nor diminish, neither seeke for Christ and saluation else where; for this cause wee are commanded to search the Scriptures.

Therfore wouldest thou know what sinne is, and the punishment thereof by the law?Gen. 50. Exod. 19. Le [...]it. 29. Deut. 26. The [...]iue bookes of Moses shall teach thee the historicall parts of [Page 12] these:Iosua. 29. Iud. 21. 1. 2 Sam. 55. 1. 2 King. 57. 1. 2 Chron. 6. 5. Es [...]a. 10. Nch. 13. Ester. 10. Iob. 42. the bookes of the Prophets, Pro­uerbs of Salomon and Ecclesiastes, will let you see the reward of the godly, and punishment of the wicked, and furnish you with a rich store-house of goulden sentences, and diuine morall precepts.

The kingly Psalmes of Dauid shall plentifully admi [...]ister vnto you hea­uenly phisicke for all spirituall diseases.Psal. 150. Pro. 31. Eccles. 12. Esai. 66. Iere. 2. 52. La [...]. 5. Eze. 48. Dam. 11. Hosea. 14. Ioel. 3. Amos. 9. O [...]d 1. [...] 4. M [...]th 5. Nahum. 3. Abacu [...]. 3. [...]pha. 3. H [...]gar. 2. [...]. 14. M l. 4. [...] Luk. 24. Iohn 2 [...]. The foure Euangelists shall teach you the life and doctrine, and death of our Sauiour.

Acts 28. The Acts of the Apostles shall ac­quaint you with the practise of Christs doctrine in the Primitiue Church.

Rom. 16. 1. 2. Co [...]nth. 29. Gal. 6. Ephes 6. Phi. 4 Col. 4. 1. 1 [...] 1. 2 Tim. 10. [...] 3. Pla [...]l. 1. Heb. 13. Iames. 51. 2. Pet. [...] 5. Iu [...]. 1. Reu. 22. The Epistles of the Apostles shall traine you vp particularly in Christ his Schoole. Make vse of the rest of the books called3 Esd. 4. Esd [...]a. Tob. [...]ud. Ester. [...] The history of [...]. 1. Marc 2 [...] Apocrypha so far as they agree with the Scripture and no farther. Read the [...]crip [...]ures with a sanctified & chast heart: for vnlesse they be read by the inspiration of Gods spirit by the [Page 13] which they were written, with humili­ty, & desire to know, they remaine as a dead letter in the efficacy thereof (as I did aduise you before). Admire reue­rently such obscure places, as by your weake capacity you cannot vnderstand, neuer going farther in the curious search of diuine misteries, then either by con­ferring some other place of Scripture, or by conference with some learned Di­uine you may bee informed: so haue they that easinesse, and plainenesse, that the simple may be comforted & taught,

They are that admirable Riuers (both shallow and deepe) wherein as the Lambe may wade, the Elephant may swimme; and it is only the dulnesse of our capacity, that makes them hard to vs, and the vaile of our hearts that cannot bee remoued, except by him that hath the Key of Dauid that opens where no man shuts, and shuts where no man opens.

Delight most in such places of Scrip­tures,Rom. 10. [...] as serue best for your instructions in your owne calling; for many men are too busie in others callings and negl [...] ­c [...]ers [Page 14] of their owne.

The hearing of Gods word by the Scriptures and by Pastors, and the pra­ctise there of will giue you knowledge, worke holinesse if you breake downe your naturall corruptions, and fill you with strength against all assaults.

of Prayer with the fruits thereof.

Prayer is a simple, vnfaigned, humble and ardent opening of the heart be­fore God wherein we either aske things needfull for our selues and others, or giue thanks for benefits receiued: it is either Publique in the congregation of the faithfull; or priuate, when wee pray alone.

There bee foure chiefe reasons that ought to induce vs to prayer: first the commandement of God: Secondly our sinnes, which driue vs of necessity to God for life, succour, & helpe; Thirdly, our weake nature, (being of it selfe [...]nable to subsist) requires prayer to [Page 15] strengthen it, as a house pillars to vp­hold it.

Lastly the subtilety of the enemy (who euer attendeth to ouerthrow vs, euen in those things wee thinke to bee best done) ought to stirre vs vp vehe­mently to prayer.

The excellency of prayer is manifest by the dignity of the commander and the admirable effects that follow it. The commander is God Lord of hea­uen and earth, of our life and death, the fountaine of all goodnesse: the effects ther of are such that (prayer proceeding from a faithfull soule, and squared by Gods word) will stay, the Sunne to end our victories, the falling of the raine from heauen, and at our desire againe, send downe plenty of it to increase the fruits of the Earth for our comfort, it will pierce the heauens for mercy, and pardon for our sinnes, stay the wrath of God against vs for the same, and ob­taine whatsoeuer good thing is need­full for vs in this life, or in the life to come.

Let our prayers bee daily without [Page 16] intermission: for de [...]otion that is de­ferred vpon conceit of present vnfit­nes or worldly respects, at last groweth irkesome and altogether neglected: suffer not your heart to entertaine the least thought of lothnesse in the taske of deuotion, but violently breake through such motions, with a deepe check to your selfe for your backwardnesse.

And because holinesse doth not (like Ion. 3 6. 7. Ionas Gourd) grow vp in a day, it is better to go on safe and sure, then for a hasty [...]it, (as many doe) runne out of wind, and then stand still. Goe to pray­er, as you would goe to the water to swim, goe not hot in, but take a time to coole your selfe by meditation, [...]. feeling that your words touch the very depth of your soule.

An. bros. l [...]b. Frame not your prayers (as some Hi­pocritically do [...] (according to the phā ­tasies of your owne braine; neither (as others superstitiously) thinke to mooue God by iterations and babling, neither with the proud Pharisee presuming vp­on your owne worth, but (like the poore Publi [...]ane▪ humbly with all reue­ [...]ence, [Page 17] (throwingExod. 3. 5. Aug. de Ci [...]t. Der. off the shooes of all your corrupt affections) prostrate your selfe at the footstoole of Gods throne of Grace, demaunding nothing that is repugnant to his will (lest you tempt him) who out of his insearchable wise­dome knoweth bestMat. 6. [...]. what is good for you.

In your prayers haue a speciall care that you keepe euer as a patterne before youMat. 6. [...]. that prayer set downe by the mercy-Master, Christ Iesus, called the Lords prayer. It is the pure fountaine from whence the riuers of life must flow.

of Medit [...]tion.

MEditation is a carefull considera­tion or a deuour calling to mind, and examination both of our spirituall and temporall estate, by a serious con­templation of Gods goodnesse towards vs what duty hee requireth of vs to­wards him; & for his sake to our neigh­bour, and how we haue performed the [Page 18] same, what reward remayneth for the godly, and punishment for the wicked that wee haue an account to render not onely of euery mispent-day, but of e­uery word, in what estate either spiri­tuall or temporall we stand for the pre­sent.

This holy meditation stirreth vs vp to a thankefulnesse for Gods goodnesse, to sorrow, and repentance for our by­past offences, and to a setled resolution of amendement of our liues in the time to come.Psal. 49. 3. Ciel. Rod. lib. 25. Meditation is the most soue­raigne cure of the soule: in it keepe this course; retire your selfe euery day (at some [...]it time)Mat. 6. 6. to your chamber, study, feild, or some secret place; and hauing prayed to God for a recalled mind, en­ter into a consideration of your sinfull estate,Cor. 11. 28. Examine your selfe, take notise of your passions, disposition and incli­nation whereby you may come to the knowledge of your selfe and by calling for helpe from God, resolueAmbrose. to con­querre your selfe as a walled citty.

Call to mind if any vnkindnesse hath passed betwixt you andRom. 3. 10. Mat. 5. 22. your neigh­bour, [Page 19] or any other; and if you remem­ber any remnant, or the least coale of enuy or malice (lurking vnder the ashes of your peruerse natures) wipe away and extinguish them byEphes. 4. 26. not-letting the Sunne goe downe vpon your wrath; for he that craueth pardon and will not forgiueMat. 6. 14. 15., is like to him that breaketh downe a bridge, that hee must passe o­uer himselfe.

In your meditation, inquire dilli­gentlyAug. de Mott. after the day of your death by setting it before your Eyes, by exami­ning your selues whether you bee pre­pared,Cor. 5. 54. and ready, and by incouraging your cowardly soule, to looke death in the face, flying euer in this point to thy Sauiour for helpe.

Conclude thy meditation, with thin­king vpon thy wordly estate: if it pros­per, lay vp humility in thy heart;1 Psal. 11 [...]. If poore, pray for supply, and thinke vp­on some lawfull and honest meanes.

The performance of a godly life.

THe Fourth and most necessary part (belonging to a Christian) is doing, being the life of all; for it is nothing (and yet vsuall to Hipocrites) to bee religious in Ceremonies: ioyne therefore (as indiuidui con [...]ites) the liuely faith of Paul with S. Iames, good works: Faith without workes, makes but a carnall Gospeller, and works without Faith, a Pharasaicall Hi­pocrite.

Euer in doing, beware of doing a­gainst thy Conscience: for the treasure of a good consc [...]ence is the best store you can prouide, for a quiet life here, and a blessed hereafter, when a dram of it shall serue you to better vse then innumerable millio [...]s of Gold.

Omit neither time, place, nor person, if thou canst do good; remēber Christs last iudgement wherein he sheweth that the best good in the world is compassi­on [Page 21] on, almes, and comforting in distresse, as in sicknesse, pouerty, and imprison­ment, or banishment; for although God accepteth of good thoughts, yet to­wards man they are little better then good dreames: exercise therefore thy charitable office, (as Gods Steward) vpon thy brethren. Remember it is now the time,Sen. de mort. thy life is short, thy dayes Heb. 9. 17. euill, thy death certaine, thyMat. 25. 9. account most certaine; thy ioyes vnspeakable, if thou doest well: for this cause labour to husband the talent that God hath put into thy hands, that thou mayst returne thy soule better then thou didst receiue it. If thatMat. 25. 30. seruant was condemned as euill, that did giue his Master no more but his owne? What will become of him that robs God of his owne?

Sloth, the mother of euill.

SLothPro. 6. 6. 11 [...]. Zenop. de d [...]et So [...]. is the mother of many euils, and the chiefe corrupter of Christi­an duty; banish it by diligence, in all [Page 22] these former exercise, neitherAug. defer­ring repentance for thy by-past ne­glects, neither amendment of thy for­mer life.Ci [...]e de sen. Who knoweth, but death may shut vp thy breath at an vnproui­ded time? Repentance and amendment being the free gifts of God the tree of Faith (watered by Gods Grace) onely produceth (not common in euery mans garden) this tree must be planted in the spring of thy youth & not in the frosty winter when the day shall come whe­rein thou shalt say I haue no pleasure in them. It must be daily laboured, hedged and preserued from the anoyances, Catterpillers, and choaking weeds of the world; by this meanes it shall pro­duce plentifull store of fruit in thy life, and at thy death prepare thee, with old Simeon in the peace of a good consci­ence to say,Lu. 2. 27. Lord now lettest thou thy Seruant depart in peace, for mine Eyes haue seene thy Saluation.

I haue brief [...]ly pointed at Gods won­derfull works of Power, mercy and iu­stice at those names, whereby hee hath chiefely reuealed himselfe in his word, [Page 23] and at the duties that are required in his seruice.

Now I will touch something con­cerning Christian Liberty, the fredome of Christians from the bondage and tiranny of the law. A point which all would gladly appropriate to themsel­ues, though the most parte faile in the true vnderstanding of the words of S. Paul, Gal. 3. 13. That Christ was made a curse for vs that he might redeeme vs from the Curse of the Law [...]. Gal. 1. and stand fast in the liberty wherewith Christ hath made you free and bee not entangled againe with the yoake of bondage.


THE declaration whereof hee must not omit, whose purpose is to cōprehend in an abridgmēt the summe of the doctrine of the Gospell. For it is a thing principally necessary, and with­out the knowledge whereof, conscien­ces dare in a manner enterprise nothing, without doubting they stumble & start backe in many things, they alway stag­ger [...], [Page 26] and tremble: but especially it is an appendant of iustification, and auaileth not a little to the vnderstanding of the strength thereof. Yea, they that ear­nestly feare God, shall hereby receiue an incomparable fruit of that doctrine, which the wicked and Lucinianicall men doe pleasantly taunt with their scoffes because in the spirituall darkenes wherewith they bee taken euery wan­ton rayling is lawfull for them. Wher­fore it shall now come forth in fit sea­son, and it is profitable to deferre to this place, the plainer discoursing of it (for some haue already in diuers pla­ces lightly touched it, because so soone as mention is brought in of Christian li­berty; then either filthy lusts doe boile, or mad motions do rise vnlesse the wan­ton witts be timely met withall which doe otherwise most naughtily corrupt the best things. For some men by pre­tence of this liberty, shake off all obedi­ence of God, and breake forth into an vnbridled licentiousnesse; and some men disdaine it, thinking that by it all mo­deration, order, and choise of things, is [Page 27] taken away. What should wee here doe, being compassed in such narrow straights? Shall wee bid Christian li­berty farewell, and so cut off all fit oc­casion for such perills? But as wee haue said, vnlesse that bee fast holden, nei­ther Christ nor the truth of the Gos­pell, nor the inward peace of the soule is rightly knowne: Rather we must en­deauour, that so necessary a part of do­ctrine be not suppressed, and yet that in the meane time those found obiections, may be met withall which are wont to rise thereupon.

Christian liberty consisteth in 3. parts.Part of Christian li­berty. The freedome from the bon­dage and tir [...] ̄ ­ny of the La [...]. The first, that the consciences of the faithfull, when the affiance of their iu­stification before God is to be sought, may raise and aduance themselues a­boue the law, and forger the whole righteousnesse of the Law.

For since the law (as we haue already in another place declared) leaueth no man righteous, either we are excluded from all hope of iustification, or wee must bee loosed from the law, and so that there bee no regard at all had of [Page 28] works. For who so thinketh that hee must bring somewhat, bee it neuer so little of good works to obtaine righte­ousnesse; hee cannot appoint any end or measure of them, but maketh himselfe debter to the law. Therefore taking a­way all mention of the Law, and laying aside all thinking vpon works, we must embrace the only mercy of God when we entreat of iustification, and tur [...]ing away our sight from our selues we must behold Christ alone. For there the que­stion is not how wee bee righteous, but how although wee be vnrighteous and vnworthy, wee bee taken for worthy. Of which thing if Conscience will at­taine any certainety, they must giue no place to the law. Neither can any man hereby gather that the Law is superflu­ous to the faithfull, whom it doth not therefore cease to teach, and exhort, & prick forward to goodnes, although before the iudgement-seat of God, it hath no place in their consciences. For these two things, as they are most di­uers, so must they bee well and dili­gently distinguished of vs. The whole [Page 29] life of Christians ought to bee a cer­taine meditation of godlines, because they are called into sanctification; he­rein standeth the office of the Law, that by putting them in minde of their duty, it should stirre them vp to the endea­uour of holinesse, and innocency. But when consciences are carefull how they may haue God mercifull, what they shall answere, and vpon what af­fiance they shall stand if they bee called to his iudgement; there is not to bee reckoned what the law requireth, but onely Christ must be set forth for righ­teousnesse, which passeth all perfection of the law.

Vpon this point hangeth almost allThe liberty disputed of [...] the Epistle to the Galathi­ans. Gal. 3. 13. & 5. 1. the argument of the Epistle to the Ga­lathians. For that they be found expo­sitors which teach, that Paul there con­tendeth onely for the liberty of Cere­monies, may bee proued by the places of the arguments. Of which sort these. That Christ was made a curse for vs, that he might redeeme vs from the curse of the law. Againe, stand fast in the li­berty, wherewith Christ hath made you [Page 30] free, and bee not againe entangled with the yoake of bondage. Behold, I Paul say if yee be circumcized, Christ shall nothing profit you. And he which is circumcisized is debtor of the whole law. Christ is made idle to you whosoeuer ye be, that are iustified by the law: ye are fallen away from grace. Wherein truly is con­tained some higher thing thē the liberty of Ceremonyes. I grant indeed, that Paul there intreateth of Ceremonyes, because hee contendeth with the false Apostles which went about to bring againe into the Christian Church the old shadowes of the law, which were abolished by the comming of Christ. But for the discussing of this question, there werehigher places to be disputed, in which the whole controuersie stood. First, because by those Iewish sha­dowes, the brightnes of the Gospel was darkened, he sheweth that wee haue in Christ a full giuing indeed, of all those things which we shadowed by the ce­remonyes of Moses. Secondly, because these deceiuers filled the people with a most naughty opinion, namely, that [Page 31] this obedience anailed to deserue the fauour of God: here he standeth much vpon this point, that the faithfull should not thinke that they can by any workes of the law, much lesse by those little principles, obtaine righteousnesse be­fore God. And there withall hee tea­cheth that they are by the Crosse of Christ, free from the damnation of the law, which otherwise hangeth ouer all men, that they should with full assu­rednes rest on Christ alone. Which place properly pertaineth to this pur­pose. Lastly, hee maintaineth to the consciences of the faithfull their liber­ty, that they should not be bound with any religion, in things not necessary.

The second part which hangeth vp­on that former part,The second part of Chri­st [...]an liberty free and by the Law vn­constrained obedience. is that consciences obey the law, not as compelled by the necessity of the same law, but being free from the yoake of the law it selfe, of their owne accord they obey the will of God. For because they abide in perpe­tuall terrors, so long as they bee vnder the dominion of the law, they shall ne­uer bee with cheerefull readinesse fra­med [Page 32] to the obedience of God; vnlesse they haue first this liberty giuen them. By an example wee shall both more briefely, and plainely perceiue what these things meane. The commande­ment of the law is, [...]. 6 [...]. that wee loue our God with all our heart, with all our soule, and with all our strengths. That this may be done, our soule must bee made voide of all other sense and thought, our heart must bee cleansed of all desires, all our strengths must bee gathered vp and drawne together to this onely pur­pose.

They which haue gone most farre before other in the way of the Lord, are yet very farre from this marke: For though they loue God with their minde, and with sincere affection of heart, yet they haue still a great part of their heart and soule possessed with the desires of the flesh; by which they are drawne backe, and stayed from going forward with hasty course to God. They doe indeed trauell forward with great endeauour, but the flesh partly feebleth their strengths, and partly [Page 33] draweth them to it selfe. What shall they here doe? When they feele that they doe nothing lesse then performe the law? They will, they coue [...], they endeauour, but nothing with such per­fection as ought to bee. If thou looke vpon the law, they see that whatsoeuer worke they attempt or purpose, is ac­cursed. Neither is there any cause, why any man should deceiue himselfe with gathering that the worke is therefore not altogether [...]uill, because it is vnper­fect: and therefore that God doth ne­uerthelesse accept that good which is in it. For the law requiring perfect loue, condemneth all imper [...]ection vnlesse the rigour of it be mitigated. Therefore his works should fall to nought, which hee would haue to seeme partly good, and he shall find that it is a transgression of the law, euen in this▪ because it is vn­perfect.

Lo [...] [...]how all our works are subiect to the curse of the law. But how should then vnhappy soules chearefully apply themselues to worke, for which they might not trust that they could get any [Page 34] thing but curse? On the other side,Men freed from the acti­ons of the law [...] as children [...]we [...]tly wōne vnto cheerfull obedien [...]e by th [...] [...] where w [...]th they know that [...] to [...] them. if being deliuered from this seuere ex­acting of the law, or rather from the whole rigour of the law, they heare that they be called of God with father­ly gentlenes, they will merrily and with great chearfulnes answere his calling, and follow his guiding. In a summe, they which are bound to the yoake of the law, are like to bondslaues, to whom are appointed by their Lords certaine tasks of worke for euery day. These seruants thinke that they haue done no­thing, nor dare come in the sight of their Lords vnlesse they haue perfor­med that full taske of their workes; But Children (which are more liberal­ly, and more freemanlike handled of their Fathers) stick not to present to them their begunne & hal [...]e-vnperfect works, yea & those hauing some faults, [...], that they will accept their o­bedience and willingnesse of mind, al­ [...]hough they haue not so exactly done so much as their good wills was to doe.

So must we be, as we may haue sure affiance, that our obediences shall be al­lowed [Page 35] of our most kind Father, how little soeuer, and how rude and vnper­fect soeuer they bee. [...] As also hee assu­reth to vs by the Prophet: I will spare them (saith he) as the Father is wont to spare his sonne that serueth him. Where this word spare, is set for the bearing withall, or gently to winke at faults; for as much as he also maketh mention of seruice. And this affiance is not a little necessary for vs, without which wee shall goe about all things in vaine. For God accounteth himselfe to bee wor­shipped, with no worke of ours; but which is truly done of vs for the wor­shipping of him. But how can that bee done among these terrors, where it is doubted whether God be offended, or worshipped without our worke?

And that is the cause why the author of the Epistle to the Hebrewes, [...] refer­reth all the good works which are read of in the holy Fathers, to Faith, and weigheth them all by Faith. Touching this liberty there is a place in the Epistle to the Romans, where Paul reasoneth that sinne ought not to haue dominion [Page 36] ouer vs because wee are not vnder the law, but vnder grace. For when he had exhorted the faithfull, that sinne should not reigne in their mortall bodyes, and that they should not giue their members to bee weapons of wickednesse to sinne, but should dedicate themselues to God,Rom. 11. 2. Rom. 6. they that are aliue from the dead, and their members weapons of righteousnesse to God: and whereas they might on the other side, obiect that they doe yet carry the flesh full of lusts, and that sinne dwelleth in them, hee adioyneth that comfort by the liberty of the law as if hee should say; Though they doe not yet throughly feele sinne destroy­ed, and that yet righteousnesse yet li­ueth not in them, yet there is no cause why they should feare, and bee discou­raged, as though hee had beene alway displeased with them for the remnants of sinne, for as much as they are by grace made free from the law that their workes should not bee examined by the rules of the law. As for them that gather that wee may sinne because wee are not vnder the Law, let them [Page 37] know, that this liberty pertaineth no­thing to them, the end whereof is to en­courage vs to good.

The third part is,The third part of Christian liberty is free­dome of con­science touch­ing the vse of indifferent things, as cloth meat, drinke, wherein it is vnnecessary to know how much is per­mitted vs, lest too much straightnesse driue vs to in­conuenien [...]. that wee bee bound with no conscience before God of out­ward things, which are by themselues indifferent, but that we may indifferent­ly sometime vse them, and sometime leaue them vnused. And the knowledge of this liberty, also is very necessary for vs; for if it shall bee absent, there shall bee no quiet to our consciences, no end of superstitions. Many at this day doe thinke vs fond to moue disputation, a­bout the free eating of flesh, about the free vse of dayes, and garments, and such other small trifles, as they indeed thinke them: but there is more weight in them then is commonly thought. For when consciences haue once cast themselues into the snare they enter into a long and cumbersome way, from whence they can afterward finde no ea­sie way to get out. If a man beginne to doubt whether hee may occupy linnen in sheets, shirts, handkerchei [...]es, and napkins, neither will hee bee out of [Page 38] doubt, whether he may vse kempe, and at the last hee will also fall in doubt of matters, for he wil weigh with himself, whether hee cannot [...] without nap­kins, whether hee way not bee without hādkerchi [...]fes. If any think dainty meat vnlawfull, atlength hee shall not with quietnesse before the Lord, eate either browne bread or common meates; when he remembreth that he may yet [...]ustaine his body with baser food. If hee doubt of pleasant wine, afterward he will not drinke dead wine with good peace of conscience, last of all, hee will not bee so bold to touch sweeter and cleaner water then other. Finally, at the length hee will come to this point, to thinke it vnlawfull (as the com­mon saying is) to tred vpon a straw lying a-crosse. For here is begunne no light strife, but this is in question; whether God will haue vs to vse these, or those things whose will ought to guide all our counsells & doings. Here­by some must needs bee carried with desperation into a confuse deuouring yit: some must (despising God, and ca­sting [Page 39] away his feare (make themselues away through destruction, when they haue no ready way: for whosoeuer are [...]tangled with such doubting, which way soeuer they turne themselues, they see euery where present offense of con­science.

I know S. Paul) that nothing is com­mon (meaning by common vnholy) but who so thinketh any thing common, Wee cannot with thanke­fulnesse vnto God enioy the vse of out­ward things vnlesse the knowledge of our liberty re­moue all seru­ple of con­science and trouble of mind from vs to him it is common. In which words he maketh all outward things, subiect to our liberty, prouided alway, that our mindes haue the assurance of the liberty before God. But if any superstitious o­pinion cast into vs any doubt, those things which of their owne nature were cleane, are defiled to vs. Where­fore hee addeth: blessed is hee that iud­geth not himselfe in that which hee allo­weth. But hee that iudgeth, if hee eate [...] condemned because he eateth not of Faith. And that which is not of Faith, is sinne. Among such narrow straights, who so neuerthelesse with carelessely venturing on all things, shew themsel [...]es bolder, doe they not as much turne themselues [Page 40] away from God? But they which are throughly peirced with some feare of God, when they themselues also are compelled to doe any thing against their conscience, are discouraged and doe fall downe with feare. All that are such doe rec [...]iue none of the guifts of God with thanksgiuing, by which a­lone yet Paul [...]estifieth that they are all sanctified to our vse: I meane the thanks­giuing that proceedeth from a heart that acknowledgeth the liberality, and goodnesse of God in his guifts. For many of them indeed, doe vnderstand that these are the benefits of God which they vse, and they praise God in his works: but [...]ith they are not perswa­ded, that they are giuen to themselues, how should they thanke God as the gi­uer of them? Thus in a summe wee see, whereto this liberty tendeth, namely that wee should vse the gifts of God to such vse, as he hath giuen them vnto vs, without any scruple of conscience, without any trouble of minde, by which confidence our soules may both haue peace with him, and acknowledge [Page 41] his liberality towards vs. For here are comprehended all ceremonyes, that are at liberty to bee obserued, that our consciences should not be bound with any necessity to keepe them, but should remember that the vse of them, is by Gods benefits subiect to themselues vnto edification.

But it is diligently to bee noted,The vse and abuse of do­ctrine which [...] Christian l [...]bertie. that Christian liberty is in all the parts of it a spirituall thing, the whole strength whereof consisteth in appeasing feare­full consciences before God, if either they bee vnqui [...]ted or carefull for the forgiuenesse of sinnes, or if they bee pensiue, whether our imperfect works, and de [...]iled with the faults of our flesh doe please God, or if they bee troub­led about the vse of indifferent things. Wherfore they doe wrōgfully expound it, which either doe make it a cloake for their owne desires, that they may abuse the guifts of God to their owne lust, o [...] which doe thinke that there is no liberty but that which is vsed before men, and therefore in vsing it haue no regard of the weake brethren. In the [Page 42] first kind, men doe at this day much offend. There is almost no man which may by his ability of wealth bee sumptuous, which delighteth not in excessiue gorgeousnesse, in furni­ture of banquets, in apparell of body, in building of houses, which hath not a will to excell other in all kind of statelinesse, which doth not maruai­lously flatter himselfe in his [...]inenesse. And all these things are defended vnder the pretence of Christian liberty. They say that they are things indifferent, I grant, so that man indifferētly vse them. But when they are too greedily coue­ted, when they are proudly boasted, when they are wastfully spent: it is cer­taine, that those things which otherwise were of themselues lawfull, are by these faults defiled. This saying of Paul, doth very well put difference between things indifferent, [...] 1. 15. [...] 6. 24. Amos 6. 1. Esay 5. 8. All things are cleane to the cleane, but to the defiled and vnbelieuing, not hing is cleane because their minds and consciences is defiled. For why are accur­sed the rich men, they which haue their comfort, which are satisfied with meat, [Page 43] which doe now laugh, which sleepe in beds of Iuory, which ioyne land to land, whose bankets haue Lute, Harpe, Taber, and wine? Verily both Iuory, and Gould, and riches are the good creatures of God, permitted; yea and appointed by the prouidence of God for men to vse. Neither is it any where forbidden, either to laugh or to bee sa­tisfyed with meat, or to ioyne new pos­sessions to their old possessions of their ancestors, or to bee delighted with mu­sicall melody, or to drinke wine. This is true indeed. But when they haue plenty of things, to wallow in delights, to glut themselues, to make their wit & mind drunke with present pleasu [...]es, and alway to gape for new: these things are most farre from the lawfull vse of the gifts of God. Therefore let them take away vnmeasurable desire, let them take away vnmeasurable wasting, let them take away vanity and arrogance, that they may with a pure conscience purely vse the gifts of God. When the minde shall bee framed to this sobriety, they shall haue a rule of the lawfull vse. [Page 44] On the other side let this moderation bee wanting, euen base and common de­licates are too much. For this is truely said, that oftentimes in frize and course cloath, dwelleth a purple heart, & some­time vnder silke and purple, lieth sim­ple humility. Let euery man in his de­gree so liue, either poorely, or meanely, or plentifully, that they all remember that they are fed of God to liue not to bee riotous; and let them thinke, that this is the law of Christian liberty: if they haue learned with Paul to bee con­tented with those things which they pre­sently haue: [...]. 4. if they can skill both to bee humble, and to excell: if they be taught in all places, and in all things to bee both full, and hungry, to haue plenty and to suffer want.

Herein also many men doe erre, [...] and vnseaso­nable vsing of liberty. be­cause as though their liberty should not bee sound and safe, vnlesse it had men­witnesses of it, they doe vndiscreetly and vnwisely vse it. By which vnseaso­nable vsing, they many times offend the weake brethren. You may see at this day some which thinke that their li­berty [Page 45] cannot stand, vnlesse they take possession of it by eating flesh on Friday. I blame not that they eate, but this false opinion must bee driuen out of their mindes. For they ought to thinke, that by their liberty they obtaine no new thing in the sight of men, but before God, and that it standeth as well in ab­staining as vsing. If they vnderstand, that it maketh no matter before God, whether they eate flesh, or eggs, whe­ther they weare red, or black garments, that is enough. The conscience is now free, to which the benefit of such li­berty is due, Therefore although they doe afterward abstaine all their life long from flesh, and weare alway but one colour, yet they are no lesse free. Yea therefore because they are free, they do with a free conscience abstaine. But they doe most hurtfully offend, because they nothing regard the weak­nes of their brethren; which wee ought so to beare with, that wee rashly com­mit nothing with offence of them. But sometime also, it behooueth that our liberty be set forth before men. And [Page 46] this I graunt. But there is a measure most heedefully to bee kept, that wee cast not away the care of the weake, of whom the Lord hath so earnestly giuen vs charge.

I will in this place therefore speake somewhat of offences,Of offences [...]ising vnto o­thers in the vse of our li­berty. in what diffe­rence they are to be taken, which are to be auoided, and which to be neglected: whereupon wee may afterward deter­mine, what place there is for our liberty amongst men. I like well that common diuision, which teacheth that there is of offences one sort giuen, another taken: for as much as it hath a plaine testimony of the Scripture, and doth not vnfitly expresse that which it mea­neth. If thou doe any thing by vnsea­sonable lightnesse, or wantonnes [...]e, or rashnesse, not in order, not in fit place, whereby the ignorant and weake are offended, that same may bee called an offence giuen by thee: because it came to passe by thy fault that such offence was stirred vp. And it is alway called an offence giuen in any thing, the fault whereof came from the do [...]r of the [Page 47] thing it selfe. It is called an offence ta­ken, when a thing which is otherwise not euill [...] done, nor out of time, is by euill will or by some wrongfull mali­tiousnesse of mind drawne to occasion of offence. For in this case was not of­fence giuen, but these wrongfull con­struers do without cause take one. With that first kind of offence, none are of­fended but the weake. But with the se­cond kind, sowre natures, and pharisai­call scornefull heads are offended. Wherefore wee shall call the one the offence of the weake, the other of the Pharisees: and we shall so temper the vse of our liberte, that it ought to giue place to the ignorance of the weake brethren but in no wise to the rigorous­nesse of the Pharisees. For what is to be yeelded to weakenesse, Paul sheweth in very many places. Beare (saith he) with the weake in Faith. Rom. 14. 1. & 1 [...] Againe let vs not hereafter iudge one another, but this rather, let there not bee laid before our brother, an offence or occasion of falling: and many other sayings to the same in­tent, which are more fit to bee read in [Page 48] the place it selfe, then here to be rehear­sed. The summe is, that wee which are strong should beare with the weaknesse of our brethren, and not please our selues, but euery one of vs please his neighbour vnto good for edifying.1 Cor. 8. 9. 1 Cor. 10. [...]5. In another place But see that your liberty bee not in any wise an offence to them that are weake. Againe eate yee all things that are sold in the shambles asking no question for conscience: of your conscience (I say) not another mans. Finally bee yee such that yee giue no offence neither to the Iewes nor to the Greekes nor to the Church of God.Gal. 15. 14. Also in another place yee are called brethren into liberty; on­ly giue not your liberty to bee an occa­sion to the flesh but by charity serue yee one another.

Thus it is. Our liberty is not giuen toward our weake neighbours, whose seruants charity maketh vs in all things: but rather, that hauing peace with God in our mindes, wee may liue peaceably among men. As for the offence of the Pharisees, how much it is to be regar­ded, wee learne by the words of the [Page 49] Lord, whereby hee biddeth them to bee let alone,Mat. 15. 14. because they are blind and guides of the blind. The disciples had warned him that the Pharisees were of­fended with his sayings: hee answered that they were to bee neglected, and the offending of them not to bee cared for.

But yet still the matter hangeth doubtfull vnlesse wee know who are to bee taken for weake and who for Pha­risees:How far our liberty exten­deth in res­pect of others whom it may offend. which difference being taken a­way, I see not among offences what vse at all of liberty remaineth which might neuer bee vsed without great danger. But it seemeth to mee that Paul hath most plainely declared both by do­ctrine and by examples how farre our liberty is either to bee tempered or to bee defended though with offences.Act. 16. 3. [...]al. 2. 3. Cor. 9. 19. & 21. When he tooke Timothy into his com­pany he circumcised him, but he could not bee brought to circumcise Titus; Here were diuers doings and no change of purpose or of minde: namely in cir­cumcising Timothy when hee was free from all men, hee made himselfe a ser­uant [Page 50] to all men: and hee was made to the Iewes as a Iew that hee might winne the Iewes: to them that were vnder the law as if hee himselfe were vnder the law that he might win them that were vnder the law: all things to all men that hee might saue many as he writeth in another place. Thus we haue a right moderation of liberty if it may bee indifferently restrayned with some pro­fit. What hee hath respect vnto when hee stoutly refused to circumcise Titus hee himselfe testifieth writing thus: But neither was Titus which was with me although hee was a Gretian com­pelled to be circumcised because of the false brethren which were come in by the way, [...] which had priuily crept in, to espy our liberty which wee haue in Christ Iesus, that they might bring vs into bondage, to whom wee gaue no place by subiection so much as for a time that the truth of the Gospel might continue with you. There is also a time when wee must of necessity defend our liberty if the same bee in weake consci­ [...]ces endangered by the vniust ex­actings [Page 51] of false Prophets. Wee must in euery thing study to preserue charity and haue regard to the edifying of our neighbour.1 Cor. 10. 23. All things (saith hee) are lawfull for me but not all things are ex­pedient: all things are lawfull for mee but all things doe not edifie. Let no man seeke that which is his owne but that which is anothers. There is nothing now plainer by this rule then that wee must vse our liberty if it may turne to the edifying of our neighbour: but if it be not so expedient for our neighbour, then wee must forbeare it. There bee some which counterfeit the wisedom of Pa [...]l in forbearing of liberty, while they doe nothing lesse then apply the same to the dutyes of charity. For so that they may prouide for their owne qui­etnes, they wish all mention of liberty to be buryed, whereas it is no lesse be­hoouefull for our neighbours, some­time to vse liberty for their benefit and edification then in fit place to re­straine it for their commodity. But it is the part of a godly man to thinke, that free power in ou [...]ward things, is [Page 52] therefore graunted him, that hee may hee the freer to all dutyes of chari­ty.

But whatsoeuer I haue spoken con­cerning of auoiding offences my mea­ning is that it bee referred to meane and different things. [...] For those things that are necessary to bee done are not to bee left vndone for feare of any offence. For as our liberty is to bee submitted to charity, so charity it selfe likewise ought to bee vnder the purenesse of faith. Verily here ought also to bee had regard of charity, but so far as to the altars, that is, that for our neigh­bours sake wee offend not God. Their intemperance is not to bee allowed, which doe nothing but with trouble­some turmoiling and which had rather rashly to rend all things then leasurely to rip them. Neither yet are they to be harkned to, which when they bee lea­ders of men into a thousand so [...]t of vn­godlinesse, yet doe feigne that they must behaue themselues so, that they be none offence to their neighbours. As though they doe not in the meane edifie the [Page 53] consciences of their neighbours to euill specially whereas they sticke fast in the same mire without any hope of getting out. And the pleasant men forsooth, whether their neighbour bee to bee in­structed with doctrine or example of life, say that he must be fed with milke, whom they fill with most euill and poy­sonous opinions. Paul reported that he fed the Corinthians with drinking of milke,1. Cor. 3. 2. but if the Popish Masse had then been among them, would hee haue sa­crifized to haue giuen them the drinke of milke? No: for milke is not poy­son. Therefore they lie in saying that they feed them, whom vnder a show of flattering allurements they cruelly kill. But gra [...]ting that such dissembling for a time is to bee allowed, how long yet will they feed their childrē with milke. For if they neuer grow bigge that they may at the least bee able to beare some light meat, it is certaine that they were neuer brought vp with milke. There are two reasons that moue me, why I doe not now more sharply contend with them: first because their follies are [Page 54] scarcely worthy to bee confuted, [...]ith they worthily seeme filthy in the sight of all men that haue sound wit: second­ly because I haue sufficiently done it in peculiar bookes I will not now doe a thing already done. Onely let the rea­de [...]s remember this, that with whatso­euer offences Sathan and the world goe about to turne vs away from the ordi­nances of God, or to stay vs from fol­lowing that which hee appointeth, yet wee must neuerthelesse goe earnestly forward, and then, that whatsoeuer dangers hang vpon it, yet is it not at our liberty to swarue one haires bredth from the commandement of the same God, neither is it lawfull by any pre­tence to attempt any thing but that which he giueth vs leaue.

Now therefore sith faithfull con­sciences,The [...] of faith­full men ex­empted from humane pow­er. hauing receiued such prero­gatiue of liberty as wee haue aboue set forth, haue by the benefit of Christ ob­tained this, that they bee not entangled with any snares of obseruations in those things in which the Lord willed that they should bee at liberty: we conclude [Page 55] that they are exempt from all power of men. For it is vnmeete, that either Christ should loose the thanke of his so great liberality, or consciences their profit. Neither ought wee to thinke it a sleight matter which we see to haue cost Christ so deare, namely which hee valued not with gold or siluer but with his owne blood: 1. Pet. 1. 18. Gal. 5. 1. & 4. so that Paul sticketh not to say, that his death is made voide if we yeeld our soules into subiection to men. For hee trauaileth about nothing else in certaine Chapters of the Epistle to the [...]alathians, but to shew that Christ is darkened, or rather destroyed to vs, vn­lesse our consciences stand fast in this liberty which verily they haue lost, if they may at the will of men bee snared with the bonds of lawes and ordinances. But as it is a thing most worthy to bee knowne, so it needeth a longer and plainer declaration. For so soone as any word is spoken of the abrogating of the ordinance of men, by and by great troubles are raised vp: partly by seditious men, partly by slanderers, as though the whole obedience of men [Page 56] were at once taken away and ouer­throwne.

Therefore that none of vs may stum­ble at this stone, first let vs consider that there are two sorts of gouernment in man:Christians are not therefore according to the outward behauiour of their persons priuiledged from subiecti­on to the lawes of men, because their cons [...]iences are at l [...]berty before God. the one spirituall, whereby the conscience is framed to godlinesse, and to the worship of God: the other ciuill, whereby man is trained to the duties of humanity and ciuility which are to bee kept among men. They are commonly by not vnfit names called the Spirituall and Temporall iurisdiction, whereby is signified, that the first of the two formes of gouernment pertaineth to the life of the soule, and the later is occupied in the things of this p [...]esent life: not onely in feeding and clothing, but in setting [...]orth of lawes whereby a man may spend his life among men holily, ho­nestly and soberly. For that first kind hath place in the inward mind, this later kind ordereth onely the outward beha­uiours. The one wee may call the spiri­tuall Kingdome, the other the ciuill Kingdome. But these two, as we haue diuided them, must bee either of them [Page 57] alway seuerally considered by them­selues, and when the one is in consider­ing, wee must withdraw and turne a­way our minds from the thinking vpon the other. For there are in man as it were two worlds, which both diuers Kings and diuers Lawes may gouerne. By this putting of difference shall come to passe, that that which the Gospell teacheth of the spirituall liberty, wee shall not wrongfully draw to the ciuill order, as though Christians were accor­ding to the outward gouernment, lesse subiect to the lawes of men because their consciences are at liberty before God: as though they were therefore exempt from all bondage of the flesh, because they are free according to the spirit. Againe, because euen in those ordinances which seeme to pertaine to the spirituall Kingdome, there may bee some error: we must also put difference betweene these which are to bee taken for lawfull and agreeable to the Word of God: and on the other side which ought not to haue place among the Godly▪ Of the Ciuill gouernment as al­so [Page 58] so of the Ecclesiasticall lawes, I omit to speake of at this time, because it hath beene discussed sufficiently by learned Authors already. Of this discourse let this bee the conclusion, The question as I haue said of it selfe not being very darke or en [...]angled, doth for this cause trouble many because they doe not wi­sely put difference betweene the out­ward court as they call it, and the court of conscience. Moreouer this increaseth the difficulty, [...]. 13. that Paul [...]eacheth that the Magistrate ought to bee obeyed not onely for feare of punishment but also for conscience sake. Whereupon followeth that consciences are also bound by the ciuill lawes. If it were so, all should come to nought which wee both haue spoken, and shall speake of the spirituall gouernment. For the loosing of this knot, fi [...]st it is good to know what is con­science. And the definition thereof is to be fetched from the deriuation of the word, For as when men doe with mind and vnderstanding conceiue the know­ledge of things, they are thereby said [...]) to know, whereupon is also [Page 59] deriued the name of science: Know­ledge: so when they haue a feeling of the iudgement of God, as a witnesse ioyned with them, which doth not suf­fer them to hide their sinnes, but that they bee drawne accused to the iudge­ment seat of God, that same feeling is called conscience. For it is a certaine meane betweene God and man, because it suffereth not man to suppresse in him­selfe, that which hee knoweth, but pur­sueth him so far till it bringeth him to guiltinesse.

This is it which Paul meaneth,Rom. 2. 17. where hee saith, that the conscience doth to­gether witnesse with men, when their thoughts doe accuse or acquit them in the iudgement of God. Therefore this feeling which presenteth man to the iudgement of God, is as a keeper ioyned vnto man, to marke and espie all his secrets, that nothing may remaine bu­ryed in obliuion. Whereupon also co­meth that auncient Prouerbe: Consci­ence is a thousand [...]. 1 Pet. 3. 21. And for the same reason, [...] Pete [...] hath set the exami­nation of a good conscience for the quietnes [Page 60] of minde, when being perswaded of the grace of Christ, wee doe without feare present our selues before God. And the author of the Epistle to the Hebrewes setteth to haue no more con­science of sinne,Heb. 10. 2. instead of to bee deli­uered or acquitted that sinne may no more accuse vs.

Therefore as worke hath respect to men,In what sort the conscience is bound or fiec. so conscience is referred to God, so that a good conscience is nothing else but the inward purenesse of the heart.Tim. 1. 5. In which sence Paul writeth that Charity is the fulfilling of the law out of [...] pure conscience and faith not faigned. After­ward also in the same chapter, he shew­eth how much it differeth from vnder­standing, saying that some had suffered shipwrack from the faith, because they had forsaken a good conscience. For in these words hee signifieth, it is a liuely affection to worship God, and a sincere endeauour to liue holily and godlily. Sometime it extendeth also to men, as in Luke, Act. 24. 16. where the same Paul protested, that hee endeauored himselfe to walke with a good conscience toward God and [Page 61] men. But this was therefore said, be­cause the fruits of a good conscience, doe flow and come euen to men. But in speaking properly, it hath respect to God onely, as I haue already said. Hereby it cometh to passe, that the law is said to bind the Conscience, which simply bindeth a man without respect of men; or without hauing any consi­deration of them. As for example: God commandeth not onely to keepe the minde chaste, and pure from all lust; but also forbiddeth all manner of filthi­nesse of words, and outward wanton­nesse whatsoeuer it bee. To the keeping of this law, my conscience is subiect, al­though there liued not one man in the world. So hee that behaueth himselfe intemperately, not only sinneth in that hee giueth an euill example, to the bre­thren: but also hath his conscience boūd with guiltinesse before God. In things that are of themselues meane, there is another consideration. For wee ought to abstaine from them, if they breede any offence, but the conscience still be­ing free. So Paul speaketh of flesh con­secrate [Page 62] secrate to Idols. If any (saith he) mooue any doubt touch it not for conscience sake. I say for conscience, not thine owne but the others. For a faithful man doth not sinne which being first warned should neuerthelesse eate such flesh. But how­soeuer in respect of his brother it is ne­cessary for him to abstaine as it is pre­scribed of God.

I haue deliuered you the freedome and liberty of Christians, wee are not to please our selues but edifie our neigh­bour: vse it not deceitfull, make it not a cloake to couer your vnrighteousnesse, but rather hauing peace with God in our mindes, wee also may liue charita­bly amongst men. For your liberty a­uaileth nothing if you cast not away your sin God (when the measure of your iniquity is full) will cast you of for your sinne: [...]en. 15. 15. for as he is iust, so hee hath power to kill and cast into Hell all hardened and [...]npenitent sinners. If therefore, you will auoyd the cursed effects of sinne in this life, and eternall wrath thereunto in the world to come & be assured that you are not of the number of those, [Page 63] who are giuen ouer to a reprobate sence, Dan. 4. 24. Let then my counsaile bee acceptable to you: breake of your sins by righteousnes, and your iniquity by shewing mercy to your brethren. O let there be (at length) an healing of your errors. Nathan vsed but one parable,2▪ Sam. 12. 13. and Dauid was con­uerted. Ionas preached but once to Ni­niuy, and the whole citty repented: Christ looked but once on Peter, and hee went out and wept bitterly. And now that you are oft, and so louingly entrea­ted; not by A Prophet onely, but by Christ the Lord of Prophets:2 Cor. 5. 20 yea, that God himselfe, by his embassadors en­teates you to bee reconciled to him: leaue of your Adulteryes with Dauid, repent of your sins like a true Niniui­te, & weepe bitterly for your offences. Content not your selues with that for­mall religion, which vnregenerate men haue framed to themselues, instead of sincere deuotion: for in the multitude of opinions, most men haue almost lost the practise of Religion. Thinke not that you are a Christian good enough, because you doe as the most, and are [Page 64] not so bad as the worst. No man is so wicked, that hee is addicted to all kind of vices, (for there is an Antipathy be­twixt some vices) But remember that Christ saith;Mat. 5. 20. Except your righteousnes, exceede the righteousnesse of the Scribes and Pharisees; yee shall in no case enter into the Kingdome of Heauen.

Consider with your selues, how far you come short of the Pharisees in fa­sting, praying, frequenting the Church and in giuing of Almes. Thinke with your selues, how many Pagans who neuer knew Baptisme, yet in morall vertues, and honesty of life, doe goe far beyond you. Where is then the life of Christ your Master? and how far are you from being true Christians? A true Christian, must haue respect to walke in the truth of his heart; in all the commandements of God alike,Iam. 2. 10. for hee that shall offend in one point of the law, is guilty of all. 1 Pet. 2. 1. And Peter bids vs, Lay aside, (not some, but) all malice, guile, and hypocrisies, One sinne is enough to damne a mans soule, vvithout Repen­ [...]ce; dreame not to goe to Heauen, [Page 65] by any nearer or easier way then Christ hath trained vs in this world.Mat. 7. 14. The way to Heauen,Mat. 19. 23. is not easie or common; but streight and narrow,Mat. 7. 14. & 22. 14. yea so narrow that Christ protesteth,Luke 13. 24. that a rich man, shall hardly enter into the Kingdome of Heauen; and that those who enter are but few: and that those few cannot get in but by striuing: and that some of those who striue to enter in, shall not be able. This all Gods Saints (whilst they here liued) knew well, when with so often fasting, so earnest prayers, so fre­quent hearing the word, and receiuing the Sacraments, and with such abun­dance of teares, they deuoutly beg'd at the hands of God for Christs sake, to be receiued into his Kingdome.

O then trie your spirits whether they are of God, deceiue not your selues, by diffi­dence, despaire, or too much fidelity; dote not too much vpon these wodden cottages, these houses of moulding clay, which are but the tents of vngodlinesse, the receptacle, & habitation of sinners, but looke rather, and long for this Hea­uenly citty, whose builder and maker is [Page 66] God: Heb. 11. 10. which he, (who is not ashamed to be called our God:) hath prepared for you. Heb. 11. 6.

By all these things which haue beene deliuered to you, you may easily per­ceiue, how destitute & naked, mankind is of all good things: and how he wan­teth all helps of saluation. Wherefore if he seeke for releifes whereby he may succour his necessity, hee must goe out of himselfe, and repaire to the fulnesse of riches laid vp in Christ. This is after­ward declared to vs, that the Lord of his owne free will and liberality, doth giue himselfe to vs in Christ, in whom he offereth vs, instead of our misery, fe­licity, instead of our need, wealthinesse, in whom hee openeth to vs all heauenly and celestiall treasures; that ou [...] whole Faith should behold his beloued sonne, and so bee filled with all manner of di­uine pleasures, [...]. 16. 11. [...] 36. 8. at his right hand, and drink out of the riuers of pleasures that vpon him our whole expectation should hang, in him our whole hope should rest: This verily is the secret and hidden Philosophie, which cannot bee wrung [Page 67] out with Logicall arguments: but they learne it whose eyes God hath opened, that they may see light in his light. But since wee are taught, by faith to ac­knowledge, that whatsoeuer wee haue neede of, whatsoeuer is wanting in vs; the same is plentifully in God, and in our Lord Iesus Christ, namely in whom the Lord, willed the whole ful­nesse of his largenesse to rest; that from thence wee should all draw, as out of a most plentifull fountaine: now it re­maineth that wee seeke in him, and with prayers craue of him that, which we haue learned to be in him. Other­wise to know God, to bee the Lord, and giuer of all good things, which al­lureth vs to pray to him, and not to goe to him and pray to him; should as little profit vs, as if a man should neglect a treasure shewed him buried and digged in the ground. Therefore the Apostle to shew that true Faith cannot bee idle from calling vpon God, hath set this order:Rom. 8. 26▪ that as of the Gospell springeth Faith, so by it our hearts are framed to call vpon the name of God. And this is [Page 68] the same thing which hee had a little before said, that the spirit of Adoption which sealeth in our hearts the witnesse of the Gospell, raiseth vp our spirits, that they dare shew forth their desires to God, and stirre vp vnspeakable groa­nings, and crie with confidence Abba, Father: It is meete therefore, that this last point because it was before but one­ly spoken of, by the way, and as it were lightly touched; should now bee more largely treated of. Wherein I will brief­ly shew you some particular, and espe­ciall commodities; which the faithfull by constant, feruent, and earnest prayer attaine at the hands of the Almighty.

This we get by the benefit of prayer,By prayer we are both en­riched with grace and quieted in di­stresies. that wee attaine to those riches with are laid vp for vs with the heauenly Fa­ther. For there is a certaine communi­cating of men with God whereby they entring into the sanctuary of God, doe in his owne presence, call to him tou­ching his promise; that the same thing which they beleeued him, affirming onely in word, not to bee vaine, they may when need [...] so requireth find in [Page 69] experience. Therefore wee see that there is no thing set forth to vs, to bee looked for at the hand of the Lord which wee are not commanded to craue with prayers: for true it is, that by prayers are digged vp the treasures which our faith hath looked vpon, be­ing shewed to it by the Gospell of the Lord. By prayer wee are enriched with all the graces of the Almighty; and in our distresses, and calamities both quieted and releiued; what blessing so­euer wee would haue, or from what plague, trouble, or necessity soeuer bee deliuered, we may procure from God, by faithfull prayer.

By prayer we doe as by the hand of Faith, violently seize and take posses­sion of Heauen, for our inheritance: & make our selues free Citizens of the heauenly Ierusalem, where all the elect shall enioy, these excellent preroga­tiues.

1. They shall bee all Kings,Three super­excellent pre­rog [...]tiues the Elect e [...]oy in heauen. and Priests: Spirituall Kings to raigne with Christ, and to triumph ouer Sathan, the world, and Reprobates: and spiritu­all [Page 70] Priests, to offer vnto God the spiritu­all Sacrifice,1 Pet. 2. 5. of Prayse and Thankes­giuings for euermore. And therefore they are said to weare both Crownes, and Roabes.Heb. 13. 15. Oh what a comfort is this to poore Parents, that haue many Chil­dren, if they breed them vp in the feare of God, to be true Christians: then are they parents to so many kings & Priests.

2. Their bodies shall shine as the brightnesse of the Sunne in the firma­ment:Mat. 13. 43. like the glorious body of Christ, which shined brighter then the Sunne at Noone, when it appeared to Paul: Act. 12. 6.Phi [...]. 3. 21.

A glimpse of which glorious bright­nesse, appeared in the bodyes of Moses and Elias, tranfigured with our Lord in the holy Mount. Therefore (saith the Apostle) it shall rise a Glorious Bo­dy:Luke 9. 31. Ma [...]. 9. 3. yea, a Spirituall Body, not in Sub­stance, but in quality preserued by spi­rituall meanes,1 Cor. 15. 43. vers. 44. and hauing as (an An­gell) agility to descend and ascend.1 The [...] ▪ 4. 1. What a honour is this? That our bo­dyes (falling more vile then a carrion,) should thus arise in glory, like vnto the [Page 71] Body of the Son of God.

4. Lastly, they (together with all the holy Angels) there, keepe (with­out any labour to distract them) a per­petuall Sabbath, to the glory, honour, and praise of the all Blessed Trinity, for the Creating, Redeeming, and Sancti­fying, of the Church: and for his Power, Wisdome, Iustice, Mercy, and goodnesse, in the gouernment of Heauen and Earth.

They shall know God with a perfect knowledge so farre as creatures can pos­sibly comprehend the Creator.The effect of those preroga­tiues. For there we shall see the Word,1 Cor. 1 10. Aug. solil [...]q. cap. 36. Nihil notum in ter­rà, nihil igno­tum in coelo [...] the Crea­tor; and in the Word, all Creatures that by the Word were created, that we shall not neede to learne (of the thing which wee made) the knowledge of him by whom all things were made. The excellentest creatures of this life, are but a darke vaile, drawne betwixt God and vs: but when this vaile shall bee drawen aside, then shall wee see God face to face, and know him as wee are knowne. Wee shall know the power of the Father, the Wisdome of [Page 72] the Son, the grace of the Holy Ghost; & the indiuisible nature of the blessed Trinity.1 Cor. 13. 11. The greatest knowledg that men can attaine vnto in this life, comes as farre short of the knowledge which wee shall haue in Heauen, as the knowledge of a child that cannot yet speake plaine is to the knowledge of the greatest Philoso­pher in the world. They who thirst for knowledge, let them long bee Students in this Vniuersity.Lumen est vmbra Dei, & Deus est. [...]umen lumi­nis. Plato Po­lib. For all the light by which we know any thing in this world, is nothing but the shadow of God. But when wee shall know God in heauen, wee shall in him, know the manner of the worke of the Creation, the miste­ries of the worke of our Redemption. Yea so much knowledge as a Creature can possibly conceiue of the Creator and his works. But whilst wee are in this life, wee may say with Iob, how little a portion heare we of him? Iob. 26. 14. and as­sure our selues with Siracides, that there are high yea greater things then these bee, and that wee haue seene but a few of Gods works.

For so soone as she is admitted into [Page 73] actuall fruition of the beatificall essence of God: shee hath all the goodnes, be­auty, glory, and perfection, of all crea­tures (in all the world) vnited together; and at once presented to her, in the sight of God.

If any be in Loue, there they shall en­ioy that which is more amiable: If any delight in fairenesse; the fairest beauty is but a dusty shadow to that: hee that de­lights in pleasures, shall there find varie­ties, without either interruption of griefe, or distraction of paine. Hee that loueth Honor, shall there enioy it; with­out the disgrace of cankered enuy: hee that loueth treasure, shall there possesse it and neuer bee beguiled of it. There they shall haue knowledge, void of all ignorance; health, that no sicknesse shall impaire; and life, that no death can de­termine.

By vertue of this; the penitent soule, may bouldly goe and say vnto Christ (as Ruth vnto Boaz Spread o Christ the wing of thy garment of thy mercy, Ruth. 3. 9▪ ouer thine handmaid: for thou art my kinsmā. Indeed,1 Cor. 15. 28. God is all in all to vs, in Earth: [Page 74] but by means and in a small measure. But in heauen, God himselfe immedia­tely (in fulnesse of measure, without all meanes) will bee vnto vs, all the good things that our soules and bodyes can wish and desire. Hee himselfe will bee saluation, and ioy, to our soules: life, and health to our bodyes: beauty to our Eyes: musick to our Eares: honey to our mouthes: perfume to our no­strils: meat to our bellyes: light to our vnderstandings: contentment to our wils; delight to our hearts: and what can bee lacking, where God himselfe will bee the Soule of our soules? When therefore wee behold any thing that is excellent in any creatures, let vs say to our selues; how much more excellent is hee; who gaue them this excellency? When wee behold the wisdome of men, who ouerrule creatures stronger then themselues; outrunne the Sunne, and Moone in discourse,Seneca de be­nefici [...]s. lib. 2. cap. 19. prescribing many yeeres before, in what courses they shall be eclypsed: let vs say to our selues how admirable is the wisdome of God, who made men so wise? when [Page 75] we consider the streng [...] of Whales, and Elephants, the tēpests of winds, and ter­ror of Thunder; let vs say to our selues, how strong, how mighty, how terri­ble, is that God, that makes these migh­ty and fearfull creatures. When wee taste things that are delicately sweete let vs say to our selues, O how sweete is that God from whom all these crea­tures haue receiued this sweetnesse. And if our louing God, hath thus prouided vs so many excellent delights, for our passage through this Bachin, or valley of teares;Iudg. 2. 5. what are those pleasurs which hee hath prepared for vs, when we shall enter into the pallace of our Masters ioy? How shall our soules, bee there rauished with the loue of so louely a God? In a word looke how farre this wide world, surpasseth for light, ple­asures and comfort, the darke and nar­row wombe, where in thou wast con­ceiued a child: so much doth the world to come, exceede in ioyes, solace, and consolation, this present world. How happy then shall wee bee, when this life is changed, and wee thither translated?

[Page 76]This shall bee thyne eternall happi­nesse, in the Kingdome of Heauen; where thy life shalbe a communion with the blessed Trinity, thy ioy, the presence of the Lambe: thy exercise singing; thy ditty, Alleluiah; thy con­sorts, Saints and Angels; where youth flourisheth, that neuer shall waxe old; Beauty Lasteth, that neuer fadeth; loue aboundeth, that neuer cooleth; health continueth, that neuer slaketh: and life remayneth, that neuer endeth.

A Prayer.

O Lord God, heauenly Father; when I doe consider how many wayes, and by how many sorts of sinnes I haue offended thee night and day; and doe duely call to minde how [Page 77] graciously thou hast kept me this night, and how many blessings and fauours I haue receiued of thee without num­ber: I am euen astonished at my great ingratitude, and doe vtterly condemne my selfe of highest rebellion against thee. Many haue been the dayes, weeks, moneths and yeeres, that thou hast here afforded mee to liue; and in all the time of my life hitherunto, thou hast graci­ously preserued mee, plentifully relie­ued mee, and continually kept me vnder thy Fatherly protection, in all my nights and dayes; and hast beene euer­more watchfull ouer mee; that I haue from time to time, from night to day, and from day to night, beene euer su­stained through thy grace, though I haue sometimes felt thy correcting rod by some crosses for my sinnes, yet haue they beene euer easy, in comparison of my deseruings; and profitable vnto me. Lord pardon and forgiue mee my sins, forgiue my manifold offences, wash me throughly by the blood of Iesus Christ my Redeemer, and cleanse mee from all my pollutions, for they are many, [Page 78] and I am ashamed that euer I gaue way vnto them. But now Lord, now, though late, I pray thee to leade mee by thy Spirit in more obedience; stay me, that I runne not this day into any vnseemely or vngodly actions; withhold mine eyes from vanities; keep vnder the vngodly affections of my corrupt heart, that though they may begin to worke sinne in me, Lord suppresse them before they come to execution. Disperse Lord, and dispell all the clouds of ignorance and errors, that darken mine vnderstanding, and giue me wisdome rightly to know thee, and thy Son Christ, and what hee hath done for my soule; and through thy grace restraine mee this day from that thou hast commanded me to shun: and let mee doe nothing but what may please thee, then whatsoeuer I shall thinke, speake or determine, shall bee to thine owne glory, profitable to my selfe and others. Preserue mee from the secret and hidden snares of Satan, who is restlesse to allure me to sinne, enticing me to imbrace the vanities of the world, and to yeeld to the lusts of mine owne [Page 79] corrupt nature. But Lord, as I haue by thy prouidence, past the darkenesse of this night, and doe now enioy the ioy­full benefit of the light of this day: so let mee this day auoid all the workes of darkenesse; and as the day doth admini­ster light vnto my corporall eyes, the better to doe the works and offices of my calling; let the light of thy Spirit, O Lord, shine in my soule, that I may walke in the light of thy truth in true o­bediēce, to the good example of others. Thou hast allotted mee a calling in this life; giue me power and wisdom rightly to performe it: my best endeauours can little preuaile without thy blessing & di­rection; and therfore I humbly pray thee to prosper whatsoeuer I take in hand this day. Blesse mine vnderstanding O Lord, that I may rightly know and bee able truely and faithfully to performe what belongeth vnto my place and cal­ling. Blesse the health of my body, the strength & continuall vse of my limbes and senses, which of themselues are weake, and may soone decay without thy blessing. Increase O Lord, and con­firme [Page 80] my faith, grace, wisedome, and obedience euery day more and more, that I may euery day more and more dye vnto sinne, and bee made stronger & more perfect in righteousnesse. Heale O Lord, all my corporall and spirituall infirmities, and dispose my heart, that I may bee euery day more and more mindfull, that this my life is short, and that this day may bee my last day: and let mee so walke this day, as if it should bee the last day of this my mortall life; that I may be assured of the immediate entrance into that life which is eternall with Christ my Redeemer. And vntill that last day shall come, O Lord, I in­treate thee in the name of Iesus Christ, that this day and all the rest of my dayes and nights, may bee prosperous and blessed vnto mee; the day for the performance of my calling, the night for my rest, vntill I come to my finall and perpetuall rest with thee and thy Sonne, to whom with thy blessed Spi­rit, I ascribe all honour, praise and glo­ry. Amen.


This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.