ECCLESIA ANGLICANA.

Read. Pray.

The WHOLE DUTY of MAN Plainly layd down for the use of the mea­nest Reader, with PRAYERS [...]

Take heed and beware of false Prophets.

Matt. 7.

The Practice of Christian Graces. OR The WHOLE Duty OF Man LAID DOWN In a Plaine and Familiar WAY for the Use of All, but especially the MEANEST READER. Divided into XVII. CHAPTERS. ONE whereof being read every LORDS DAY the Whole may be read over THRICE in the YEAR. WITH PRIVATE DEVOTIONS For Several OCCASIONS; Viz. For

  • MORNING
  • EVENING.
  • SACRAMENT.
  • The SICK, &c.
  • Times of PUB. CALAMITIES.

London, Printed by [...]. Maxwell for T. Garthwait at the little North door of S. Pauls. 1658.

Mr. GARTHVVAIT.

YOu needed not any Intercession to recom­mend this task to me, which brought its Invitations and Reward with it. I very willingly Read over all the sheets, both of the Dis­course, and the Devotions an­next, and find great cause to bless God for both, not dis­cerning what is wanting in any part of either, to render it with Gods blessing, most [Page] sufficient, and proper to the great End designed, the Spi­ritual supplies and advanta­ges of all those that shall be exercised therein. The sub­ject matter of it, is indeed, what the Title undertakes, The whole Duty of Man, Set down in all the Branches, with those advantages of brevity and Partitions, to in­vite, and support, and en­gage the Reader, That Con­descension to the meanest capacities, but with all, That weight of Spiritual Argu­ments, wherein the best pro­ficients will be glad to be as­sisted, [Page] that it seems to me e­qually fitted for both sorts of Readers, which shall bring with them a sincere desire of their own, either present or future advantages. The De­votion part in the conclusion is no way inferior, being a most seasonable aid to every mans infirmities, and hath extended it self very parti­cularly to all our principal concernments; The Introdu­ction hath supplyed the place of a Preface, which you seem to desire from me, and leaves me no more to add, but my Prayers to God, That the [Page] Author which hath taken care to conveigh so liberal an Alms to the Corban so secretly, may not miss to be rewarded openly, in the vi­sible power and benefit of this work, on the hearts of the whole Nation, which was never in more need of such supplies, as are here af­forded. That His Allsuffici­ent Grace will bless the seed sown, and give an abundant encrease, is the humblest re­quest of

Your assured Friend. H. HAMMOND.

A TABLE Of the CONTENTS of the several CHAP­TERS or PARTITIO [...]S in this Book. Which according to this Division, by Reading one of these Chapters every Lords Day, the whole may be Read over Thrice in the year.

  • PARTITION 1. OF the Duty of Man, by the light of Na­ture, by the light of Scripture: Of Faith, the Promises, of Hope, of Love, &c. page 1.
  • PARTITION 2. Of Humility, of Submission to Gods Will, in respect of Obedience, of Patience, in all sorts of Sufferings; and of Honour due to God in several wayes, in his House, Possessions, His Day, Word, Sacraments, &c. page 34.
  • PARTITION 3. Of the Lords Supper, Of Preparation be­fore Receiving, of Duties to be done at the Receiving, and afterwards, &c. page 67.
  • [Page]PARTITION 4. Honour due to Gods Name; Of Sinning a­gainst it; Blasphemy, Swearing, Assertory Oaths, Promissory Oaths, Vnlawful Oaths Of Perjury, Of Vain Oaths, and the Sin of them, &c. page 98.
  • PARTITION 5. Of Worship due to Gods Name. Of Prayer and its several parts. Of Publick Prayers i [...] the Church, in the Family: Of Private Pray [...]er. Of Repentance, &c. Of F [...]sting, page 109▪
  • PARTITION 6. Of Duties to our Selves. Of Sobriety Humility; The great Sin of Pride, the Dan­ger, the Folly of this Sin. Of Vain-Glory the Danger, Folly, Means to prevent it. O [...] Meekness, the Means to obtain it, &c. page 136▪
  • PARTITION 7. Of Contentedness, and the Contraries t [...] it, Murmuring, Ambition, Coveto [...]sness Envy; Helps to Contentedness. Of Dutie which concern our Bodies. Of Chastity, Help [...] to it. Temperance, Rules of Temperance i [...] Eating, &c. page 158.
  • PARTITION 8. Of Temperance in Drinking, False Ends o [...] Drinking, viz. Good fellowship. Putting away Cares, &c. page 177.
  • PARTITION 9. Temperance in Sleep; The Rule of it, &c. Of Recreation, of Apparel. page 197▪
  • [Page]PARTITION 10. Of Duties to our Neighbours. Of Justice, Negative, and Positive. Of the Sin of Mur­ [...]her. Of the Hainousness of it, The Punish­ments of it, And the Strange Discoveries there­of; Of Maiming, Wounds and stripes, page 206.
  • PARTITION 11. Of Justice, about the Possessions of our Neighbour; Against Injuring him as Con­cerning his Wife, His Goods. Of Malice, Covetousness, Oppression, Theft: Of Paying Debts, &c. page 226.
  • PARTITION 12. Of Theft; Stealing the Goods of our Neigh­bour. Of Deceit in Trust; in Traffick. Of Restitution, &c. page 238.
  • PARTITION 13. Of False Reports, False Witness, Slanders, Whisperings. Of Despising and Scoffing for Infirmities, Calamities, Sins, &c. Of Posi­tive Justice, Speaking the Truth. Of Lying. Of Humility and Pride. Of Envy, Detra­ction. Of Gratitude. &c. page 251.
  • PARTITION 14. Of Duty to Parents. Magistrates, Pastors, &c. Of the Duty of Parents to Children, &c. page 278.
  • PARTITION 15. Of Duty to our Brethren and Relations; Husband, Wife, Friends, Masters, Servants. page 305.
  • [Page]PARTITION 16. Other Branches of our Duty to our Neigh­bour. Of Charity to Mens Souls, Bodies [...] Goods, &c. page 329.
  • PARTITION: 17. Of Charity, Alms-giving, &c. Of Chari­ty in respect of our Neighbours Credit, Of Peace-making. Of going to Law: Of Cha­rity to our Enemies, &c. Christian Duties both Possible and pleasant. page 358.
A TABLE of the PRAYERS.
  • Prayers for Morning 562
  • Prayers for Night 570
  • Collects for several Graces 577
  • A Paraphrase on the Lords Prayer 591
  • Pious Ejaculations out of the Book of Psalms 594
  • Brief heads of Examination before the Sacra­ment 598
  • Prayers before the Sacrament 613
  • Ejaculations at the Lords Table, &c 619
  • Prayers after the Sacrament 621
  • Prayers for the Sick 631
  • Ejaculations for the Sick 63 [...]
  • Prayers for Publick Calamities 644
A PREFACE To the ens …

A PREFACE To the ensuing TREATISE, Shewing the Necessity of Caring for the Soul.

§ 1. THE only intent of this ensuing Treatise, is to be a short & plain direction to the very meanest Readers, to behave themselves so in this world, that they may be happy for e­ver in the next. But because 'tis in vain to tell men their duties, till they be perswaded of the necessity of performing it; I shall, before I proceed to the particulars required of every Christian, endeavour to win them to the pra­ctice of one general duty preparatory to all the rest, and that is the consideration and care of their own Souls, without which they will ne­ver think themselves much concern'd in the o­ther.

2. Man, We know is made up of two parts, a body and a soul: The body only the husk or shell of the soul, a lump of flesh, subject to ma­ny diseases and pains while it lives, and at last to death it self, and then 'tis so far from being valued, that 'tis not to be endured above ground, but layed to rott in the Earth. Yet to [Page] this viler part of us we perform a great deal of care, all the labour and toil we are at, is to maintain that. But the more precious part, the Soul is little thought of, no care taken, how it fares, but as if it were a thing that nothing concerned us, is left quite neglected, never consi­der'd by us.

3. This carelesnesse of the Soul is the root of all the sin we commit, and therefore whosoever intends to set upon a Christian course, must in the first place amend that. To the doing wherof, there needs no deep learning, or extraordinary parts, the simplest man living (that is not a na­tural fool) hath understanding enough for it, if he will but act in this by the same rules of common reason, whereby he proceeds in his worldly business. I will therefore now briefly set down some of those motives, which use to stir up our care of any outward thing, and then apply them to the Soul.

4. There be four things especially, which use to awake our care, the first is the worth of the thing, the second the usefulnesse of it to us, when we cannot part with it without great damage and mischief, the third the great danger of it, & the fourth the likelyhood that our care will not be in vain but that it will preserve the thing cared for.

5. For the first,The worth of the S [...]ul. we know our care of any worldly thing is answerable to the worth of it; What is of greatest price, we are most watchful to preserve, and most fearful to lose; no man locks up dung in his chest, but his money▪ or what he [Page] counts precious, he doth. Now in this respect the Soul deserves more care, then all the things in the world besides, for 'tis infinitly more worth. First in that is made after the image of God; it was God that breathed into man this breath of life; Gen 27. Now God being of the greatest excellency, and worth, the more any thing is like him, the more it is to be valued. But 'tis sure that no creature upon the earth is at all like God, but the Soul of man, and therefore nothing ought to have so much of our care. Secondly, the Soul never dies. We use to prize things according to their durablenesse: what is most lasting, is most worth. Now the Soul is a thing that will last for ever, when Wealth, Beauty▪ Strength, nay our very bodies themselves fade away, the Soul still continues. Therefore in that respect also, the Soul is of the greatest worth; and then what strange madnesse is it for us to neglect them as we do? We can spend Days, and Weekes, and Moneths and Years, nay our whole lives in hunting after a little wealth of this world, which is of no durance or continuance, [...]nd in the mean time [...]et this great durable treasure, our Souls, be sto­ [...] from us by the Divel.

6. A second motive to our care of any thing is the usefulnesse of it to us,The mise­ry of lo­sing the Soul. or [...]he great mischief we shall have by the [...]osse of it. Common reason teaches us [...]his in all things of this life: If our [...]aires fall, we do not much regard [...], because we can be well enough with­ [...]ut them: But if we are in danger to [Page] lose our eyes or limbs, we think all the care we can take little enough to prevent it, because we know it will be a great misery. But certainly there is no misery to be compared to that mise­ry, that followes the losse of the Soul. 'Tis true we cannot lose our Souls, in one sense, that is so lose them, that they shall cease to be; but we may so lose them in another, that we shall wish to lose them even in that. That is we may lose that happy estate, to which they were created, and plunge them into the extremest misery. In a word we may lose them in Hell, whence there is no fetching them back, and so they are lost for ever. Nay in this consideration our very bodies are concerned, those darlings of ours, for which all our care is layed out: for they must certainly after death be raised again, and be joyned again to the soul, and take part with it in whatever state; if then our care for the body take up all our time and thoughts, and leave us none to bestow on the poor Soul, it is sure the Soul will for want of that care, be made for ever miserable. But it is as sure, that that very body must be so too. And therefore if you have any true kindnesse to your body, shew it by taking care of your Souls. Think with your selves, how you will be able to endure everlast­ing burnings, if a small spark of fire, light­ing on the least part of the body, be so intole­rable, what will it be to have the whole cast into the hottest flames? and that not for some few howres or days, but for ever; so that when you have spent many thousand of years in that un­speakable [Page] torment, you shall be no neerer com­ [...]ng out of it, then you were the first day you went in: think of this, I say, and think this withall, that this will certainly be the end of neglecting the Soul, and therefore afford it some care, if it be but in pity to the body, that must bear a part in its miseries.

7. The third Motive to the care of any thing,The dan­ger the soul is in. is its being in danger; now a thing may be in danger two wayes, first by enemies from with­out: This is the case of the sheep, which is still in danger of being devoured by wolves, and we know that makes the Shepheard so much the more watchful over it. Thus is it with the soul, which is in a great deal of danger, in respect of its enemies: Those we know are the World, the Flesh, and the Divel, which are all such noted enemies to it, that the very first▪ act we do in behalfe of our Souls, is to vow a continual war against them. This we all do in our Ba­ptism; and whoever makes any truce with any of them, is false not only to his Soul, but to his vow also, becomes a forsworn creature: A consideration well worthy our laying to heart, But that we may the better understand, what danger the Soul is in, let us a little consider the quality of these enemies.

8. In a war you know there are divers things that make an enemy terrible. The first is subtilty, and cunning, by which alone many victories have been won, and in this respect the Divel is a dangerous adversary, he long since gave sufficient proof of his subtlety, in beguiling [Page] our first parents, who yet were much wiser then we are, and therefore no wonder if he deceive and cheat us. Secondly, the watchfulness and diligence of an enemy, makes him the more to be feared, and here the Divel exceeds, it is his trade, business to destroy us, and he is no loiterer at it, he goes up and down seeking whom he may devour, 1 Pet 5. 8. He watches all oppor­tunities of advantage against us, with such di­ligence, that he will be sure never to let any slip him. Thirdly, an enemy neer us is more to be feared then one at a distance; for if he be far off, we may have time to arm, and prepare our selves against him, but if he be neer he may steal on us unawars. And of this sort is the flesh, it is an enemy, at our doors, shall I say? nay in our bosoms, it is always neer us, to take occasion of doing us mischiefs. Fourthly, the baser and falser an enemy is, the more dangerous; he that hides his malice under the shew of friendship will be able to do a great deal the more hurt. And this again is the flesh, which like Job to Abner, 2 Sam. 3. 27: Pretends to speak peaceably, to us, but wounds us to death; 'tis forward to purvey for pleasures and delights for us, and so see [...]s very kind, but it has a hook under that baite, and if we [...] at it, we are lost. Fifthly, the number of enemies make them more terrible; and the world is a vast army against us: There is no state or condition in it, nay scarce a crea­ture which d [...]th not at sometime or other fight against the Soul: The honours of the world [Page] seek to wound us by pride, the wealth by cove­tousness; the prosperity of it tempt us to forget God, the adversities to murmure at him. Our very Table becomes a snare to us, our meat draws us to Gluttony, our drink to Drunkeness, our company, nay our neerest friends often bear a part in this war against us, whilest either by their example, or perswasions they intice us to sin

9. Consider all this, and then tell me, whether a Soul thus beset hath leisure to sleep; even Dali­lah could tell Samson, it was time to awake when the Philistims were upon him. And Christ tells us, if the good man of the house had known in what hour the thief would come, he would have watched and not have suffered his house to be broken up, Mat. 24 43. But we live in the midst of thieves, and therefore must look for them every hour, and yet who is there among us, that hath that common providence for this precious part of him, his Soul, which he hath for his house, or indeed the meanest thing that belongs to him? I fear our Souls may say to us, as Christ to his disciples. Mat 26. 40. What could ye not watch with me one hour? for I doubt it would pose many of us to tell when we bestowed one hour on them, thoug [...] we know them to be continually beset with most dangerous enemies. And then alas! what is like to be the case of these poor Souls, when their ad­versaries bestow so much care, and diligence to destroy them, and we will afford none to preserve them, surely the same as of a besieged town, where no watch or guard is kept, which is ce [...]tain to fall a prey to the enemy. Consider this ye [Page] that forget God, nay, ye that forget your selves, lest he pluck you away and there be none to deliver you, Psal. 50. 22.

10. But I told you, there was a second way, whereby a thing may be in danger, and that is from some disorder, or distemper within it self. This is often the case of our bodies, they are not only lyable to outward violence, but they are within themselves sick and diseased. And then we can be sensible enough that they are in danger, and need not to be taught to seek out for means to recover them. But this is also the case of the Soul; we reckon those parts of the body diseased, that do not rightly perform their office, we account it a sick palate that tastes not aright, a sick stomack that digests not. And thus it is with the Soul, its parts do not rightly perform their offices.

11. The parts of the Soul are especially these three: The Understanding, the Will, and the Affections. And that these are disordered, there needs little proof; Let any man look seri­ously into his own heart, and consider, how little it is he knows of spiritual things, and then tell me whether his understanding be not dark: How much apter is he to will evil then good, and then [...]ell me whether his will be not Crooked: And how strong desires he hath after the pleasures of sin, and what cold and faint ones towards God, and goodness, and then tell me whether his af­fections be not disordered, and rebellious even against the vice of his own reason within him. Now as in bodily diseases, the first step to the [Page] cure is to know the cause of the sickness, so like­wise here it is very necessary for us to know how the Soul first fell into this diseased condition, and that I shall now briefly tell you.

12. God created the first man Adam without sin, The first Covenant. and endued his Soul with the full know­ledg of his duty, and with such a strength, that he might if he would perform all that was re­quired of him. Having thus created him, he maks a covenant or agreement with him, to this purpose, that if he continued in obedience to God, without committing sin; then first that strength of Soul, which he then had should still be continued to him; and first, that he should never dye, but be taken up into heaven, there to be happy for ever. But on the other side, if he committed sin, and disobeyed God, then both he and all his children after him, should lose that knowledg and that perfect strength, which ena­bled him to do all that God required of him; and secondly, should be subject to death, and not only so, but to eternal damnation in Hell.

13. This was the agreement made with A­dam and all mankind in him (which we usually call the first covenant) upon which God gave A­dam a particular commandment, which was no more but this, that he should not [...] of one only tree of that garden wherein he had placed him. But he by the perswasion of the Divel [...] of that tree, disobeys God, and so brings that cu [...]se upon himself, and all his posterity. And so by that one sin of his [...]e lost both the full knowledg of his duty, and the power of performing it. And [Page] we being born after his image, did so likewise and so are become both ignorant in discerning what we ought to do, and weak and unable to the doing of it, having a backwardnesse to all good, and an aptnesse, and readiness to all e­vil, like a sick stomack, which loaths all whol­some food, and longs after such trash, as may nourish the disease.

14. And now you see where we got this sicknesse of soul, and likewise that it is like to prove a deadly one, and therefore I presume I need say no more, to assure you our souls are in danger. It is more likely you will from this de­scription think them hoplesse. But that you may not from that conceit, excuse your neglect of them, I shall hasten to shew you the contrary, by proceeding to the fourth motive of care,

15. That fourth motive is the liklyhood▪ that our care will not be in vain, That our care will not be in vain. but that it wil [...] be a means to preserve the thing cared for; where this is wanting, it disheartens our care. A Physi­cian leaves his patient when he sees him past hope, as knowing it is then in vain to give him any thing, but on the contrary when he sees hopes of recovery, he plies him with medicines. N [...] in this very respect we have a great deal of rea­son to take care of our souls, for they are not so far gone, but they may be recovered, nay it is certain they will if we do our parts towards it.

16. For though by that sin of Adam al [...] mankind were under the sentence of eternal con­demnation, The s [...]cond Covenant. yet it [...] God so far to pity o [...]r [Page] misery, as to give us his son, and in him to make a new Covenant with us after we had broken the first.

17. This SECOND COVENANT was made with Adam, & us in him, presently after his fall, & is briefly contained in those words, Gen. 3. 15. Where God declares that the SEED OF THE WOMAN SHALL BREAK THE SER­PENTS HEAD; and this was made up, as the first was, of some mercies to be afforded by God and some duties to be performed by us.

18. God therein promises to send his only Son, who is God equal with himself, to earth, to be­come man, like unto us in all things, sin only ex­cepted, and he to do for us these several things.

19. First to make known to us the whole will of his Father, in the performance whereof we shall be sure to be accepted and rewarded by him. And this was one great part of his business, which he performed in those many Sermons and precepts, we find set down in the Gospel. And herein he is our prophet, it being the work of a prophet of old not only to foretel, but to teach. Our duty in this particular is to hearken diligently to him, to be most ready, and desirous to learn that will of God, which he came from heaven to reveal to us. This 2d. thing he was to do for us, was to satis­fie God for our sins, not only that one of Adam; but all the sins of all mankind, that truly repent and amend, & by this means to obtain for us for­giveness of sins, the favour of God, and so to re­deem us from hell, and eternal damnation which was the punishment due to our sin. All this he did for us by his death, he offered up himself a [Page] sacrifice for the sins of all those who heartily bewail, and forsake them. And in this he is our Priest, it being the Priests office to offer sa­crifice for the sins of the people. Our duty in this particular is first truly, and heartily to repent us of, and forsake our sins, without which they will never be forgiven us, though Christ have died. Secondly, Stedfastly to be­lieve, that if we do that, we shall have the be­nefits of that sacrifice of his, all our sins, how many and great soever, shall be forgiven us, and we saved from those eternal punishments, which were due unto us for them: Another part of the Priests office was blessing and pray­ing for the people, and this also Christ per­forms to us. It was his especial commission from his Father to bless us, as St. Peter tels us Acts 3. 26. God sent his Son Jesus to bless you, and the following words shew wherein that blessing consists, in turning away every one of you from his iniquity, those means which he has used for the turning us from our sins, are to be reckoned of all other the greatest bles­sings, and for the other part, shat of praying, that he not only performed on earth, but conti­nues still to do it in Heaven, He sits on the right hand of God and makes Request for us, Rom. 8, 34. Our duty herein is not to resist this unspeak­able blessing of his, but to be willing to be thus blest in the being turned from our sins, and not to make void, and fruitless all his prayers, and intercessions for us, which will never prevail for us, whilst we continue in them.

21. The third thing, that Christ was to do [Page] for us, was to enable us, or give us strength to do what God requires of us. This he doth first by taking off from the hardness of the Law, given to Adam, which was never to commit the least sin, upon pain of damnation, and requi­ring of us onely an honest and hearty endea­vour to do what we are able, and where we fail, accepting of sincere repentance. Secondly, By sending his Holy Spirit into our hearts, to govern, and rule us, to give us strength to overcome temptations to sin and to do all that he now under the Gospel requires of us. And in this he is our King, it being the office of a King to govern, and rule, & to subdue enemies. Our duty in this particular is to give up our selves obedient subjects of his, to be governed, and ruled by him, to obey all his Lawes, not to take part with any Rebel, that is, not to cherish any one sin. But diligently to pray for his grace to enable us to subdue all, and then carefully to make use of it to that purpose.

22. Lastly, He has purchased for all that faithfully obey him an eternal glorious inhe­ritance, the Kingdom of Heaven, whether he is gone before, to take possession for us. Our duty herein is to be exceeding careful, that we forfeit not our parts in it, which we shall cer­tainly do, if we continue impenitent in any sin; Secondly, Not to fasten our affections on this world, but to raise them up, according to the precept of the Apostle, Col. 2. 2. Set your affe­ctions on things above & not on things on the earth, continually longing to come to the posses­sion of that blessed inheritance of ours, in com­parison [Page] whereof all things here below should seem vile and mean to us.

23. This is the summe of that second Covenant we are now under, wherein you see what Christ has done, how he executes those three great offices of King, Priest and Prophet, as also what is required of us, without our Faithful performance whereof, all that he hath done, shall never stand us in any stead; For he will ne­ver be a Priest to save any, who take him not as well for their Prophet, to teach, and their King to rule them; nay, if we neglect our part of this Covenant, our con­dition will be yet worse, then if it had never been made; for we shall then be to answer not for the breach of Law onely, as in the first, but for the abuse of mercy, which is of all sins the most provoking. On the other side, if [...] faithfully perform it; That is, set our selves hear­tily to the obeying of every precept of Christ, not going on wilfully in any one sin, but bewailing and forsaking whatever we have formerly been guilty of, it is then most certain, that all the afore-mentioned benefits of Christ belongs to us.

24. And now you see how little reason you have to cast off the care of your Souls, upon a conceit they are past cure, for that it is plain th [...]y are not; Nay, cer­tainly they are in that very condition, which of all others make them fittest for our care. If they had not been thus REDEEMED by CHRIST, they had been then so hopeless, that care would have been in vain; On the other side, if his Redemption had been such, that all men should be saved by it, though they live as they list, we should have thought it needless to take care for them, because they were safe without it. But it hath pleased God so to order it, that our care must be the means, by which they must receive the good even of all that Christ hath done for them.

[Page] 25. And now, if after all that God hath done to save these souls of ours, we will not bestow a little care on them our selves, we very well deserve to perish. If a Physician should undertake a patient that were in some desperate disease, and by his skill bring him so far out of it, that he were sure to recover, if he would but take care of himself, and observe those rules the Physician set him, would you not think that man weary of his life, that would refuse to do that? So certainly that man is weary of his soul, wilful­ly casts it away, that will not consent to those easy condi­tions, by which he may save it.

26. You see how great kindness God hath to these souls of ours, the whole Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy-Ghost have all done their parts for them. The Father gave his only Son, The Son gave himself, left his glo­ry, and endured the bitter death of the cross, meerly to keep our souls from perishing. The Holy-Ghost is be­come as it were our attendant, waites upon us with conti­nual offers of his grace, to enable us to do that which may preserve them; Nay he is so desirous we should accept th [...]se offers of his, that he is said to be grieved, when we refuse them, Eph. 4. 30. Now what g [...]eater disgrace; and af­front can we put upon God then to dispise what he thus values, that those souls of ours, which Christ thought worth every drop of his blood, we should not think worth any part of our care? We use in things of the world, to [...]ate them according to the opinion of those who are best skilled in them, now certainly God, who made our souls, [...]ist knowes the worth of them, and since he prizes them [...] high, let us (if it be but in reverence to him) be a­ [...]amed to neglect them. Especially now, that they are [...] so hopeful a condition, that nothing but our own [...]arelesnesse can possibly destroy them.

27. I have now bri [...]fly gone over those four motives of [Page] care I at first proposed, which are each of them such, as [...]ver misses to stir it up towards the things of this world and I have also shewed you, how much more reasonable nay necessary it is, they should do the like for the Soul ▪ And now what can I say more, but conclude in the words of Isaiah 46. 8. Remember this and shew your selvs men▪ That is, deal with your Soul as your reason teaches you to do with all other things that concern you. And sure this common Justice binds you to, for the Soul is that which furnishes you with that reason, which you exercise in all your worldly business, and shall the Soul it self receive n [...] benefit from that reason, which it affords you? This is a [...] if the Master of a family, who provides food for his ser­vants, should by them be kept from eating any himself and so remain the onely starved creature in his house.

28. And as Justice tyes you to this, so Mercy doth like­wise, you know the poor Soul will fall into endlesse and unspeakable miseries, if you continue to neglect it, and the [...] it will be too l [...]te to consider it. The last refuge you ca [...] hope for is Gods mercy, but that you have despised, and a­bused. And with what face can you in your greatest nee [...] beg for his mercy to your Souls, when you would not as ford them your own? No not that common Charity [...] considering them, of bestowing a few of those idle hours you know not (scarce) how to passe away, upon them.

29. Lay this to your hearts, and as ever you hope so Gods pity, when you most want it, be sure in time to pity your selves, by taking that due care of your preciou [...] Souls, which belongs to them.

30. If what hath been said, have perswaded you to [...] so necessary a duty, my next work will be to tell you [...] this care must be imployed, and that in a word, is in th [...] doing of all th [...]se things, which tend to the making [...] Soul happy, which is the end of our care, and what th [...] are I come now to shew you.

PARTITION I.

Of the DUTY of MAN by the Light of Nature, by the Light of Scripture; of FAITH, the Promises, of Hope, of Love, &c.

THe benefits purchased for us by Christ, are such as will undoubt­edly make the soul happy, for e­ternal happiness it self is one of them; but because these benefits belong not to us, till we perform the Condition required of us, whoever desires the happiness of his soul, must set himself to the performing of that condition; what that is, I have already mentioned in General, That it is the hearty honest endeavour of obeying the whole Will of God. But then that Will of God containing under it many particulars, It is necessary we should also know, what those are; That is [Page 2] what are the several things, that God now requires of us, our performance whereof will bring us to everlasting happiness; and the neg­lect to endless misery.

2. Of these things there are some,Of the light of N [...]tu [...]e. which God hath so stamp't upon our souls, that we N [...]turally knew them; that is, we should have known them to be our duty, though we had never bin told so by the Scripture. That this is so, we may see by those heathens, who having never heard of either Old or New Te­stam [...]nt, do yet acknowledg themselves bound to some General duties, as to worship God; to be just, to honour their Parents, and the like. And as S. Paul saith, Rom 2. 15. Their consciences do in those tbings accuse or excuse them, That is, tell them, whether they have done what they should, in those particulars, or no.

3. Now though Christ have brought grea­ter light into the world, yet he never meant by it to put out any of that Natural light, which God had set up in our souls: There­fore l [...]t me here by the way, advise you not to walk contrary even to this lesser light, I mean not to venture on any of those Acts, which meer natural conscience will tell you are sins.

4. It is just matter of sadness to any Chri­stian heart, to see some in these dayes, who profess much of Religion, and yet live in such sins, as a meer heathen would abhor; men that pretending to higher degrees of light, and ho­liness, [Page 3] then their brethren do, yet practice con­trary to all Rules of common honesty, and make it part of their Christan liberty so to do, of whose seducement, it concerns all that love their soules to beware; and for that purpose let this be laid as a foundation, That that Re­ligion, or opinion cannot be of God, which al­lowes men in any wickedness.

5. But though we must not put out this light, which God hath thus put into our soules, yet this is not the only way, whereby God hath revealed his will, and therefore we are not to rest here, but proceed to the knowledg of those other things, which God hath by other means revealed.

6. The way for us to come to know them,The light of Scriptures. is by the Scriptures, wherein are set down those several commands of God, which he hath given to be the Rule of our duty.

7. Of those some were given, before Christ came into the world, such are those precepts we find scattered throughout the Old Testa­ment, but especially contained in the Ten Com­mandments, and that excellent book of Deute­ronomy; others were given by Christ, who added much both to the Law implanted in us by Nature, and that of the Old Testament, and those you shall find in the New Testament, [...]n the several precepts given by him and his Apostles: But especially in that divine Sermon [...]n the Mount, set down in the fifth, sixth, [...]eventh Chapters of S. Matthews Gos­ [...]el.

[Page 4] 8. All these should be severally spoke to, but because that would make the discourse ve­ry long, and so less fit for the meaner sort of men, for whose use alone it is intended, I chuse to proceed in another manner: By summing all these together, and so as plainly as I can, to lay down, what is now the duty of every Ch [...]istan

9. This I find briefly contained in the words of the Apostle, The Three great bran­ches of man, duty. Tit. 2. 12. That we should live soberly, righteously, and Godly in this pre­sent world; where the word soberly contains our duty to our selves, righteously, our duty to our neighbour, and Godly, our d [...]ty to God. These therefore shall be the heads of my dis­course, our duty to God, our selves, and our neighbour. I begin w [...]th that to God, that being the best ground-work whereon to build b [...]th the other.

10. There are many parts of our duty to God, Duty to God. The two chief are these: First to ac­knowledg him to be God, Secondly, to have no other; under these are contained all those particulars, which make up our whole duty to God, which shall be shewed in their order.

11. To a [...]knowledg him to be God,Acknow­ledging h [...]m to be God. is [...]o believe him to be an infinite glorious Spirit, that was from everlasting, without beginning and sh [...]ll be to everlasting, without end. That he is our Creator, Redeemer, Sanctifier, Fa­t [...]er, Son, and Holy-Ghost, one God, bles­sed for eve. That he is suject to no altera­tions, but is unchangeable; that he is no bodil [...] [Page 5] substance, such as our eyes may behold, but Spiri­tual, and invisible, whom no man hath seen, nor can see, as the Apostle tell us, 1 Tim. 6. 16. That he is infinitely great, and excellent, be­yond all that our wit or conceit can imagine, that he hath received his being from none, and gives being to all things.

12. All this we are to believe of him, in re­gard of his essence, and being; But besides this, he is set forth to us in the Scripture, by several excellencies, as that he is of infinite goodness, and Mercy, Truth, Iustice, Wisdom, Power, All-sufficiency, Majesty: That he dis­poses, and governs all things by his providence; that he knows all things, and is present in all places; these are by Divines called the Attri­butes of God, and all these we must undoubt­ingly acknowledg, that is, we must firmly be­lieve all these Divine excellencies to be in God, and that in the greatest degree, and so that they can never cease to be in him, he can never be other, then infinitely Good, Merciful, True, &c.

13. But the acknowledging him for our God, signifies yet more then this, it means that we should perform to him all those several parts of duty, which belong from a Creature to his God; what those are, I am now to tell you.

14. The first is Faith, Faith. or belief, not only that forementioned of his essence, and Attributes, but of his word, the believing most firmly, that all that he saith, is perfectly true. This ne­cessarily [Page 6] arises from that Attribute, his truth, it being natural for us to believe whatsoever is said by one of whose truth we are confident. Now the holy Scriptures being the word of God, we are therefore to conclu [...]e, that all that is contained in them, is most true.

15. The things contained in them are of these four sorts: Of his Af­firmations. First, affirmations, such are all the stories of the Bible, when it is said, such and such things came so and so to pass; Christ was born of a virgin, was laid in a manger, &c. And such also are many points of Doctrine, as that there are three Persons in the God-head, that Christ is the Son of God, and the like. All things of this sort thus delivered in Scrip­ture, we are to believe most true. And not only so, but because they are all written for our instruction; we are to co [...]sider them for that purpose, that is, by them to lay that founda­tion of Christian-knowledg, on which we may build a Christian life.

16,Com­mands The Second sort of things contain'd in the Scripture are the Commands, that is, the several things enjoyned us by God to perform; these we are to believe to come from him, and to be most just, and fit for him to Command. But then this belief must bring forth obedience, that what we believe thus fit to be done▪ be indeed done by us; otherwise our belief that they come from him, serves but to make us more inexcusable.

17. Thirdly, the Scripture contains threat­nings;Threat­nings many texts there are which th [...]eaten [Page 7] to them that go on in their sins, the wrath of God; and under that are contain'd all the pu­nishments, and miseries of this life, both spi­ritual and temporal, and everlasting de­struction in the life to come. Now we are most stedfastly to believe, that these are Gods threats, and that they will certainly be per­formed to every impenitent sinner But then the use we are to make of this belief is to keep from those sins, to which this destructi­on is threatned, otherwise our belief adds to our guilt; that will willfully go on in spight of those threatnings.

18. Fourthly, Promises. the Scripture contains Pro­mises, and those both to our bodies, and our soules; for our bodies there are many promises, that God will provide for them what he sees necessary; I will name only one, Mat. 6. 33. Seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righ­teousness, and all these things, that is, all out­ward necessaries shall be added unto you: But here tis to be observed, that we must first seek the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, that is, make it our first and greatest care, to serve and obey him, before this promise even of temporal good things belongs to us. To the soul there are many and high promises, as first, that of present ease, and refreshment which we find, Mat. 11. 29. Take my yoke upon you, and learn of me, and ye shall find rest to your soules: But here it is apparent, that before this rest belongs to us, we must have taken on us Christs yoke, become his servants, and dis­ciples. [Page 8] Finally there are promises to the soul, even of all the benefits of Christ; but yet those only to such, as perform the condition requir­ed; that is, pardon of sins to those that repent of them, increase of grace to those that diligently make use of, what they have already, and humbly pray for more, and eternal salvation to those that continue to their lives end, in hearty obedience to his Commands.

19. This belief of the promises must there­fore stir us up to perform the condition, and till it do so, we can in no reason expect any good by them; and for us to look for the benefit of them on other termes, is the same mad pre­sumption, that it would be in a Servant to chal­lenge his Master, to give him a reward for having done nothing of his work, to which a­lone the reward was promised; you can easily resolve, what answer were to be given to such a servant, and the same are we to expect from God in this case; nay further, it is sure God hath given these promises to no other end, but to invite us to holiness of life, yea he gave his Son in whom all his promise [...] are as it were sum'd up for this end. We usually look so much at Christs coming to satisfie for us, that we forget this other part of his errand. But there is nothing surer, than that the main purpose of his coming into the world, was to plant good life among men.

[Page 9] 20. This is so often repeated in Scripture, that no man that considers, and believes what he reads, can doubt of it. Christ himself tells us, Mat 9. 13. He came to call sinners to re­pentance; and S. Peter, Acts. 3. 26. Tell us, that God sent his Son Iesus to bless us, in turning every one of us from his iniquities; for it seems the [...]rning us from our iniquities▪ was the grea­test special blessing, which God intended us in Christ.

21. Nay we are taught by S. Paul, that this was the end of his very death also, Tit. 2. 14. Who gave himself for our sins, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purifie to him­self a peculiar people, zealous of good works; and again, Gal. 1. 4. Who gave himself for us, that he might deliver us from this pre­sent evil world, that is from the sins, and ill customes of the world. Divers other texts there are to this purpose, but these I suppose sufficient to assure any man of this one great truth, that all that Christ hath done for us, was directed to this end, the bringing us to live Christianly; or in the words of S. Paul, to teach us, that denying un­godliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and Godly in this present world.

22. Now we know Chr [...]st is the foun­dation of all the promises, in him all the promises of God are yea, and Amen, 2 Cor. 1. 20. And therefore if God gave Christ to this end, certainly the promises [Page 10] are to the same also. And then how great an abuse of them is it, to make them serve for purposes quite contrary to what they were in­tended, viz. to the encouraging us in sins, which they will certainly do, if we perswade our selves, they belong to us, how wickedly soever we live. The Apostle teaches us ano­ther use of them, 2 Cor. 7. 1. Having there­fore these promises, let us cleanse our selves from all filthiness of the flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God. When we do thus, we may justly apply the promises to our selves, and with comfort expect our parts in them. But till then, though these promises be of cer­tain truth, yet we can reap no benefit from them, because we are not the persons, to whom they are made, that is, we perform not the condition required, to give us right to them.

23. This is the Faith, or belief required of us towards the things God hath revealed to us in the Scripture; to wit, such as may answer the end, for which they were so revealed, that is, the bringing us to good lives; the bare believing, the truth of them, with­out this, is no more then the Divels do, as S. James tells us, Chap. 2. 19. Only they are not so unreasonable, as some of us are, for they will tremble, as knowing well this Faith will never do them any good But many of us go on confidently, and doubt not the sufficiency of our Faith, though we have not the least fruit of obedience to approve it by; let such hear S. [Page 11] James judgment in the point, Chap. 2. 26. As the body without the spirit is dead, so Faith, if it have not works, is dead also.

24. A Second duty to God is Hope, that is,Hope. a comfortable expectation of these good things he hath promised. But this, I told you before of Faith, must be such, as agrees to the nature of the promises, which being such as requires a condition on our part, we can hope no fur­ther, then we make that good; or if we do, we are so far from performing by it this duty of hope, that we commit the great sin of presumption, which is nothing else,Presumpti­on. but hoping where God hath given us no ground to hope. This every man doth, that hopes for pardon of sins, and eternal life, without that repentance and obedience, to which alone they are promi­sed, the true hope is that which purifies us; S. John saith, 1. Ep. 3 5. Every man that hath this hope, purifieth himself, even as he is pure, that is, it makes him leave his sins, and ear­nestly endeavour to be holy, as Christ is, and that which doth not so, how confident soever it be, may well be concluded to be but that hope of the Hypocrite, which Job assures us shall perish.

25. But there is another way of transgres­sing, D [...]sp [...]ir. this duty, besides that of presu [...]p [...] and that is by Desperation, by which [...] not that, which is ordinarily so calle [...] [...] the despairing of mercy, so long as [...] in our sins▪ for that is but just for [...]: But I mean such a desperation, as makes us [...]e [Page 12] over endeavour, that is, when a man that sees he is not at the present such a one, as the pro­mises belong to, concludes, he can never be­come such, and therefore neglects all duty, and goes on in his sins. This is indeed the sinful desperation, and that which if it be continued in, must end in destruction.

26. Now the work of hope is to prevent this, by setting before us the g [...]nerality of the promises, that they belong to all that will but perform the condition. And therefore though a man have not hitherto performed it, and so hath yet no right to them, yet hope will tell him, that that right may yet be gained, if he will now set heartily about it. It is therefore strange folly for any man, be he never so sinful, to give up himself for lost, when if he will but change his course, he shall be as certain to partake of the promises of merey as if he had never gone on in those former sins.

27. This Christ shews us in the parable of the Prodigal, Luke 15. where we see that Son, which had run away from his fa­ther, and had consumed the portion gi­given him, in riotous living, was yet upon his return and repentance used with as much kindness by the Father, as he that had never offended, nay with higher and more passio­nate expressions of love. The intent of which parable was only to shew us how gra­ciously our heavenly Father will receive us, how great soever our former sins have bin, if [Page 13] we shall return to him with true sorrow for what is past, and sincere obedience for the time to come; nay so acceptable a thing is it to God, to have any sinner return from the error of his wayes, that there is a kinde of triumph in heaven for it, there i [...] joy in the presence of the An­gels of God, over one sinner that repent­eth: Lu. 15. 10. And now who would not rather chuse by a timely repentance, to bring joy to heaven, to God, and his holy An­gels; then by a sullen desperation to please Satan and his accursed Spirits; especially when by the former we shall gain endless happiness to our selves, and by the latter as endless torments.

28. A third duty to God is love; There are two common Motives of love amongst men,Love its Motives. the one the goodness and excellency of the person; the other his particular kindness, and love to us, and both these are in the highest degree in God.

29. First he is of infinite goodness, and excel­lency in himself;Gods ex­cellency. This you were before taught to believe of him, and no man can doubt it, that considers but this one thing, that there is nothing good in the world, but what hath received all its goodness from God: His goodness is as the Sea, or Ocean; and the goodness of all creatu [...]es, but as some small streames, flowing from that Sea; now you would certainly think him a mad man, that should say the S [...]a were not greater [Page 14] then some little brook, and certainly it is no less folly to suppose, that the goodness of God doth not as much (nay infinitely more) exceed that of all creatures. Besides the goodness of the creature is imperfect and mixt with much evil; but his is sure, and entire, without any such mixture. He is perfectly holy, and can­not be tainted with the least impurity, neither can he be the Author of any to us, for though he be the cause of all the goodness in us, he is the cause of none of our sins. This S. James expresly tells us, Chap. 1. 13. Let no man say when he is tempted, [...]e is tempted of God; for God cannot be tempted with evil; neither tempt­eth he any man.

30 But secondly, His kind­ness to us▪ God is not only thus good in himself, but he is also wonderful good; that is, kind, and merciful to us, we are made up of two parts, a soul and a body, and to each of these God has exprest infinite mercy, and ten­derness. Do but consider what was before told you of the second Covenant, and the mer­cies therein offered, even Christ himself, and all his benefits, and also that he offers them so sincerely and heartily, that no man can miss of enjoying them, but by his own default. For he doth most really and affectionately desire we should embrace them, and live: As appears by that solemn oath of his, Eze. 33 11. As I live, saith the Lord, I have no pleasure in the death of the wicked, but that the wicked turn from his way and live; whereto he adds this passionate expression; turn ye, turn ye from our evil ways, [Page 15] for why will yee die: To the same purpose, you may read, Ezek. 18. Consider this, I say, and then surely you cannot but say, he hath great kindness to our souls. Nay let every man but remember with himself, the many calls he had to repentance and amendment, somtimes outward by the word, somtimes in­ward by the secret whispers of Gods Spirit in his heart, which were only to wooe and intreat him to avoid eternal misery, and to accept of eternal happiness; let him, I say, remember these, together with those many other means, God hath used towards him for the same end, and he will have reason to confess Gods kindness, not only to mens soules in general; but to his own in particular.

31. Neither hath he bin wanting to our bodies, all the good things they injoy, as Health, Strength, Food, Rayment, and whatever else concerns them, are meerly his gifts; so that indeed it is impossible, we should be ignorant of his mercies to them, all those outward com­forts and refreshmets we daily injoy, being con­tinual effects, and witnesses of it, and though some enjoy more of these, then others, yet there is no person, but injoyes so much in one kind or other, as abundantly shews Gods mer­cy, and kindness to him, in respect of his body.

32. And now surely you will think it but reasonable we should love him, who is in all respects thus lovely: Inde [...]d this is a duty so generally acknowledged, that if you should [Page 16] ask any man the question, whether he loved God or no, he would think you did him great wrong to doubt of it; yet for all this, it is too plain, that there are very few, that do in­deed love him, and this will soon be proved to you by examining a little, what are the com­mon effects of love, which we bear to men▪ like our selves, and then trying, whether we can shew any such fruits of our love to God.

33. Of that sort there are divers, but for shortness I will name but two.Fruit of Love. Desire of pleasing. The first is a desire of pleasing, the second a desire of enjoying. These are constantly the fruits of love. For the first 'tis known by all, that he that loves any person, is very desirous to approve him­self to him▪ to do whatsoever he thinks will be pleasing to him; and according to the degree of love, so is this desire more▪ or less; where we love earnestly, we are very earnest, and care­ful to please. Now if we have indeed that love to God we pretend to, it will bring forth this fruit, we shall be careful to please him in all things. Therefore as you judg of the tree by its fruits, so may you judg of your love of God, by this fruit of it, nay indeed this is th [...] way of tryal, which Christ himself hath give [...] us, Jo. 14. 15. If ye love me keep my comand­ments; and S. John tell us, 1 Ep. 5. 3. That this is the love of God, that we walk after his com­mandments, and where this one proof is want­ing, it will be impossible to testifie [...] our love to God.

34. But it must yet be farther considered [Page 17] that this love of God must not be in a low or weak degree, for besides that the Motives to it, his excellency, and his kindness are in the highest; the same Commandment which bids us love God, bids us love him with all our heart, and with all our strength; that is, as much as is possible for us, and above any t [...]ing else▪ And therefore to the fulfilling of this Com­mandment, it is necessary, we love him in that degree; and if we do so, then certainly we shall have not only some slight, and faint endeavours of pleasing, but such as are most diligent, and earnest, such as will put us upon the most painful and costly duties, make us willing to forsake our own ease, goods, friends, yea life it self, when we cannot keep them without disobeying God.

35. Now examine thy self by this: hast thou this fruit of love to shew? dost thou make it thy constant and greatest care to keep Gods Commandments? to obey him in all things? earnestly labouring to please him to the utmost of thy power, even to the forsaking of what is dearest to thee in this world? if thou dost, thou maist then truly say thou lovest God. But on the contrary, if thou willfully con­tinuest in the breach of many, nay but of any one Command of his, never deceive thy self, for the love of God abides not in thee. This will be made plain to you, if you consider what the Scripture saith of such, as, that they are enemies to God by their wicked works, Col. 1. 21. That the carnal minde (and such is every [Page 18] one that continues wilfully in sin) is en­mity to God, Rom. 8. 7. That he that sins wilfully, tramples under foot the Son of God, and doth despite unto the Spirit of grace, Heb. 10 29. and many the like. And therefore unless you can think enmity, and trampling, and despite to be fruits of love, you must not believe you love God, whilest you go on in any wilful disobedience to him.

36. A Second fruit of love, I told you, was desire of injoying. Desire of enjoying. This is constantly to be seen in our love to another. If you have a friend, whom you intirely love, you desire his conversation, wish to be alwayes in his com­pany; and thus will it also be in our love to God, if that was as great, and hearty, as this.

37. There is a twofold enjoying of God, the one imperfect in this life, the other more per­fect, and complete, in the life to come; that in this life is that conversation, as I may call it, which we have with God in his ordinances, in praying, and meditating, in hearing his word, in receiving the Sacrament, which are all intended for this purpose, to bring us into an intimacy, and familiarity with God, by speak­ing to him, and hearing him speak to us.

38. Now if we do indeed love God, we shall certainly hugely value, and desire these wayes of conversing with him, it being all that we can have in this life; it will make us with David, esteem one day in Gods courts better then a thousand, Psal. 84. 10. We shall be [Page 19] glad to have these opportunities of approach­ing to him, as often as is possible, and be care­ful to use them diligently; to that end of uniting us still more to him, yea we shall come to these spiritual exercises with the same cheerfulness, we would go to our dearest friend. And if indeed we doe thus, it is a good proofe of our love.

39. But I fear there are not many have this to shew for it, as appears by the common backwardness; and unwillingness of men to come to these; and their negligence, and heart­lesness, when they are at them; and can we think that God will ever own us for lovers of him, whilst we have such dislikes to his com­pany, that we will never come into it, but when we are drag'd by fear, or shame of men or some such worldly Motive; It is sure you would not think that man loved you, whom you perceived to shun your company, and to be loath to come in your sight. And therefore be not so unreasonable as to say you love God, when yet you desire to keep as far from him as you can.

40. But besides this, there is another in­joyment of God, which is more perfect, and com­plete, and that is our perpetual injoying of him in heaven, where we shall be for ever united to him; and injoy him not now and then on­ly, for short spaces of time, as we do here, but continually without interruption, or breaking off. And certainly if we have that degree of love to God we ought, this cannot but [...]e most [Page 20] earnestly desired by us so much, that we shall think no labour too great to compass it. The se­ven years that Jacob served for Rachel, Gen. 29. 20. Seemed to him but a few dayes for the love that he had to her: and surely if we have love to God, we shall not think the service of our whole lives too dear a price for this full injoyment of him, nor esteem all the injoyments of the world, worth the looking on, in comparison thereof.

41. If we can truly tell our selves we do thus long for this injoyment of God we may believe we love him. But I fear again, there are but few that can thus approve their love. For if we look into mens lives, we shall see they are not generally so fond of this injoy­ment, as to be at any pains to purchase it. And not only so, but it is to be doubted, there are many, who if it were put to their choice, whether they would live here alwayes, to enjoy the profit and pleasure of the world, or go to heaven to enjoy God, would, like the Children of G [...]d and Reuben, set up their rest on this side Jordan, Num. 32. and never desire that heavenly Canaan, so close do their affections cleave to things below, which shews cleerly they have not made God their treasure, fo [...] then according to our Saviours Rule, Mat. 6. 21. Their heart would be with him. Nay, further yet; it is too plain, that many of us set so little value on this injoying of God, that we prefer the vilest and basest sins before him, and chuse to injoy them, though by it we utter­ly lose our parts in him, which is the case of e­very [Page 21] man that continues willfully in those sins.

42. And now I fear, according to these rules of trial, many that profess to love God will be found not to do so. I conclude al with the words of S. John, 1 Ep. 3. 18. Which though spoken of the love of our brethren, is very fitly appliable to this love of God, let us not love in word, nei­ther in tongue, but in deed and in truth.

43. A Fourth duty to God is Fear; Fear. this arises from the consideration both of his Justice and his Power; his Justice is such that he will not clear the wicked, & his Power, such that he is a­ble to inflict the sorest punishments upon them; & that this is a reasonable cause of fear, Christ himself tells us, Mat. 10. 18. Fear him which is able to destroy both body and soul in hell. Many other places of Scripture there are, which com­mend to us this duty, as Psal. 2. 11. Serve the Lord with fear: Psal. 34. 9. Fear the Lord yea that be his Saints: Pro. 9. 10. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom, and divers the like; and in­deed all the threatnings of wrath against sin­ners, which we meet with in the Scripture, are only to this end, to work this fear in our hearts.

44. Now this fear is nothing else, but such an awful regard of God, as may keep us from of­fending him. This the wise man tells us, Prov. 16. 17. The fear of the Lord is to depart f [...]om evil: so that none can be said truly to fear God, that is not thereby withheld from sin; & this is but an­swerable to that common fear we have towards man, whoever we know may hurt us, we wil be­ware of provoking, & therefore if we be not as [Page 22] wary of displeasing God, it is plain we fear men, more then we do him.

45. How great a madness this is,The Fol [...]y of fearing M [...] more then God. thus to fear men above God, will soon appear, if we compare what man can do to us, with that which God can. And first, it is sure, it is not in the power of man (I might say Divels, too) to do us any hurt, unless God permit and suffer them to do it: so that if we do but keep him our friend, we may say with the Psalmist, The Lord is on my side, I fear not what man can do unto me. For let their malice be never so great, he can restrain, and keep them from hurting us, nay, he can change their minds to­wards us, according to that of the wise man, Pro. 16. 7. When a mans wayes please the Lord, he maketh even his enemies to be at peace with him. A notable example of this we have in Jacob, Gen. 32. who whem his brother E­sau was coming against him as an enemy, God wonderfully turned his heart, so that he met him with all the expressions, of brotherly kind­ness, as you may read in the next Chap­ter.

46. But Secondly, suppose men were left at liberty to do thee what mischief they could; Alas, their power goes but a little way, they may perhaps rob thee of thy goods, it may be they may take away thy liberty, or thy credit, or perchance thy life too; but that thou knowest is the utmost they can do. But now God can do all this when he pleases, and that which is infinitely more, his vengeance reaches [Page 23] even beyond death it self, to this eternal Mi­sery both of body and soul in hell; in compari­son of which death is so considerable, that we are notto look upon it with any dread. Fear not them that kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do, saith Christ, Luk. 12. 4. And then immediately adds, But I will forewarn you whom ye shall fear, fear him which after he hath killed, hath power to cast into hell, yea, I say unto you fear him. In which words the comparison is set between that greatest ill we can suffer from man, the loss of life, and those sadder evils God can inflicton us; and the latter are found to be the only dreadful things, and therefore God only to be feared.

47. But there is yet one thing farther con­siderable in this matter, which is this, it is possible we may transgress against men, and they not know it, I may perhaps steal my neighbours goods, or defile his wife, and keep it so close that he shall not suspect me, and so never bring me to punishment for it; but this we cannot do with God, he knows all things even the most secret thoughts of our hearts, and therefore though we commit a sin never so closely, he is sure to fit us, and will as surely if we do not timely repent, punish us eternally for it.

48. And now surely it cannot but be con­fest, that it is much safer displeasing men, then God; yet alas our practice is as if we believed the direct contrary, there being nothing more ordinary with us, then for the avoiding of [Page 24] some present danger we fear from men, to rush our selves upon the indignation of God. And thus it is with us, when either to save our e­states, or credits, or our very lives, we commit any sin, for that is plainly the chusing to pro­voke God, rather then man.

49. But God knows this case of the fear of men is not the only one wherein we venture to displease him, for we commit many sins, to which we have none of this temptation, nor indeed any other; as for instance, that of common swearing, to which there is nothing either of pleasure, or profit to invite us. Nay, many times, we, who so fear the mischiefs that other men may do to us, that we are ready to buy them off with the grea­test sins, do our selves bring all those very mis­chiefs upon us, by sins of our own chusing. Thus the careless prodigal robs himself of his estate, the deceitful & dishonest man, or any that lives in open notorious sin, deprives himself of his cre­dit, and the drunkard, & glutton brings diseases on himself, to the shortning his life: And can we think we do at al fear God when that fear hath so little power over us, that though it be backt with the many present mischiefs, that attend one sin, it is not able to keep us from them? surely such men are so far from fearing God, that they rather seem to defie him, resolve to provoke him, whatsoever it cost them, either in this world or the next. Yet so unreasonably partial are we to our selves that even such as these wil pretend to this fear: you may examine multitudes of the most gross scandalous sinners, before you shall [Page 25] meet with one that will acknowledg he fears not God. It is stran [...]e it should be possible for men thus to cheat themselves, but however it is certain, we cannot deceive God, he will not be mock [...]; and therefore if we will not now so fear as to avoid sin, we shall one day fear, when it will be too late to avoid punishment.

50. A Fifth duty to God is, that of trusting in him,Trust. that is, depending and resting on him: and that is first in all dangers, Secondly in all wants. We are to rest on him in all our dangers both spiritual and temporal. Of the first sort are all those temptations, by which we are in danger to be drawn to sin. In all spi­ritual dan­gers. And in this respect he hath promised that if we resist the Divel he shall flie from us, Iam. 47. Therefore our duty is first to pray earnestly for Gods grace to ena­ble us to overcome the temptation, and Second­ly, to set our selves manfully to combat [...] with it, not yielding or giving consent to it in the least degree; and whilst we do thus, we are confi­dently to rest upon God, that his grace will be sufficient for us, that he will either remove the temptation, or strengthen us to withstand it.

51. Secondly, In all tem­poral. in all outward and temporal dan­gers, we are to rest upon him, as knowing that he is able to deliver us, and that he will do so, if he see it best for us, & if we be such to whom he hath promised his protection, that is, such as truly fear him. To this purpose we have many promi­ses in Scripture, Ps. 34. 7. The Angel of the Lord tarrieth round about them that fear him, and de­livereth them; & Ps. 34. 20. The Lord delivereth [Page 26] the souls of his Saints, and all that put their trust in him shall not be destitute; and divers the like. And also we have many examples, as that of the three children in the furnace, Dan. 3. That of Daniel in the Lions Den, Dan. 6. And many others, all which serve to teach us this one lesson, that if we go on consci­onably in performing our duty, we need not be dismayd for any thing that can befall us, for the God whom we serve, is able to deliver us.

52. Therefore in all dangers, we are first humbly to pray for his aid, and then to rest our selves cheerfully on him;Not seek to deliver our selves by a­ny Sin. assuring our selves that he will give such an issue as shall be most for our good. But above all things, we must be sure to fix our dependance wholly on him, and not to relie on the creatures for help, much less must we seek to deliver our selves by any unlawful means; that is by the committing of any sin, for that is like Saul, 1 Sam. 28. 7. To go to the witch, that is, to the Divel for help; such courses do common­ly deceive our hopes at the present, and in stead of delivering us out of our streights, plunge us in greater, and those much mroe uncomfor­table ones, because then we want that which is the only support, Gods favour and aid which we certainly forfeit when we thus seek to res­cue our selves by any sinful means. But sup­posing we could by such a way certainly free our selves from the present danger, yet alas we are far from having gain [...]d safety by it, we [Page 27] have only removed the danger from that which was less considerable, and brought it upon the most precious part of us, our soules; like an un­skilful Physician, that to remove a pain from the finger, strikes it to the heart; we are there­fore grosly mistaken, when we think we have played the good husbands, in saving our Liber­ties, or Estates, or Lives themselves by a sin; we have not saved them but madly over­bought them, layed out our very souls on them; And Christ tells us how little we shall gain by such bargains, Mat. 17. 26. What is a man profited if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul. Let us therefore resolve never to value any thing we can pos­sess in this world at so high a rate, as to keep it at the price of the least sin, but when ever things are driven to such an issue, that we must either part with some, perhaps all our worldly possessions, nay life it self or else com­mit a sin, let us then remember that this is the season for us to perform that great and excel­lent duty, of taking up the Cross which we can never so properly do, as in this case; for our bea­ring of that which we have no possible way of avoiding, can at most be said to be but the car­rying of the Cross, but then only can we be said to take it up, when having a means of escaping it by a sin, we rather chuse to endure the Cross then commit the Sin, for then it is not lay­ed on us by any unavoidable necessity, but we willingly chuse it; and this is highly accepta­ble with God, yet withall so strictly required [Page 28] by him, that if we fail of performing it▪ when we are put to the tryal, we are not to be ac­counted followers of Christ, for so himself hath expresly told us, Mat. 16. 24. If any man come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his Cross and follow me; and so again, Mar. 8. 34. It were therefore a good point of Spi­ritual Wisdom for us▪ sometimes by some lower degrees of self-denyal, to fit our selves for this greater, when we shall be called to it; we know he that expects to run a race will before­hand be often breathing himself, that he may not be foiled when he comes to run for the prize; in like manner 'twil be fit for us, somtimes to abridg our selves somewhat of our lawful pleasure, or ease, or profit, sothat we may get such a mastery over our selves, as to be able to renounce al, when our [...]bedience to God requires it.

53. And as we are thus to trust on God for d [...]liverance from danger, In al wants spiritual. so are we likewise for supply of our wants; and those again are either spiritual or temporal: our spiritual want is that of his grace to inable us to serve him without which we can do nothing; and for this we are to depend on him, provided, we neglect not the means, which are prayer, and a careful using of what he hath already bestowed on us: For then we have his promise for it, he will give the holy spirit to them that ask it, Luke 11. 15. And unto him that hath shall be given, Mat. 25, 29. that is, To him that hath made a good use of that grace he hath already, God will give more. We are not therefore [Page 29] to affright our selves with the difficulty of those things God requires of us, but remem­ber he commands nothing, which he will not enable us to perform, if we be not wanting to our selves. And therefore let us sincerely do our parts, and confidently assure our selves, God will not fail of his.

54. But we have likewise temporal and bo­dily wants,Temporal wants. and for the supply of them we are likewise to relie on him. And for this also we want not promises, supposing us to be of the number of them to whom they are made, that is, Gods faithful Servants. They that fear the Lord lack nothing, Psal. 34. 9, & v. 10. They that seek the Lord shall want no manner of thing that is good: Again, Psa. 33. 18, 19. Behold the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy, to deliver their souls from death, and to feed them in time of fa­mine. Examples also we have of this, as we may see in the case of Eliah, and the poor widdow, 1 Kings 17. And many o­thers.

55. We are therefore to look up to him for the provision of all things necessary for us, ac­cording to that of the Psalmist, The eyes of all wait upon thee, O Lord, and thou givest them meat in due season. And our Saviour hath taught us to pray for our daily-bread; thereby teaching us, that we are to live in con­tinual dependance upon God for it. Yet I mean not by this, that we should so expect it from [Page 30] God, as to give up our selves to idleness and expect to [...]e fed by miracle. No, our honest industry, and labour is the means by which God ordinarily gives us the necessaries of this life, and therefore we must by no means neg­lect that. He that will not labour, let him not eat, sayes the Apostle, 2 Thes. 3. 10. And we may believe God will pronounce the same sen­tence, and suffer the slothful person to want even necessary food. But when we have faith­fully used our own endeavour, then we must also look up to God for his blessing on it, with­out which it can never prosper to us. And having done thus, we may comfortably rest our selves on his providence for such a measure of these outward things, as he sees fittest for us.

56. But if our condition be such, that we are not able to labour, and have no other means of bringing in the necessaries of life to our selves, yet even then we are cherfully to rest upon God, believing that he who feeds the Ravens, will by some means or other, though we know not what, provide for us, so long as he pleases we shall continue in this world, and ne­ver in any case torment our selves with Cark­ing, and distrustful thoughts, but as the Ap [...]stle, 1 Pet. 5. 7. Cast all our care on him who careth for us.

57. This is earnestly prest by our Saviour, Mat. 6. Where he abundantly shews the folly of this sin of distrust. The place is a most excellent one, and therefore I shall set [Page 31] it down at large, Ver 25 Therefore I say unto you, take no thought for your life, what you shall eat, or what you shall drink; neither for your body, what you shall put on, is not the life more then meat, and the body then rayment? Behold the fowles of the air, for they sow not neither do they reap nor gather into barnes, yet our heavenly Father feedeth them. Are ye not, much better then they? which of you by taking thought can add one cubit to his stature? and why take ye thought for rayment? consider the lilies, of the field how they grow, they toil not, neither do they spin, and yet I say unto you, that even Solomon in all his glory was not arayed like one of these. Wherefore if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little Faith? Therefore take no thought, saying, what shall we eat, or what shall we drink, or where with all shall we be clothed. (for after all these things do the Gentiles seck) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things? But seek ye first the Kingdom of God and his righteousness, and then all these things shall be added unto you: Take therefore no thought for the morrow, for the morrow shall take thought for the things of it self, sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof: I might add many other texts to this purpose but this is so full, and convincing, that I suppose it needless.

58.The bene­fits of tru­sting on God. All therefore that I shall say more con­cerning this duty is to put you in mind of the [Page 32] great benefits of it; as first, that by this trusting upon God, you engage and hind him to pro­vide for you. Men, you know, think them­selves highly concern'd not to fail those that depend and trust upon them: and certainly God doth so much more. But then Secondly, there is a great deal of ease, and quiet in the practice of this duty; it delivers us from all those carkings, and immoderate cares which disquiet our minds, break our sleep, and grieves even our very heart. I doubt not but those that have felt them, need not be told they are uneasie. But then methinks that uneasiness should make us forward to imbrace the means for the removing of them, and so we see it too often doth, in unlawful ones; men will cheat, and steal, and lie and do any thing to deliver themselves from the fear of want. But alas, they commonly prove but deceitful remedies: They bring Gods curse on us, and so are more likely to betray us to want, then to keep us from it. But if you desire a certain and un­failing cure for cares, take this of relying up­on God.

59. For what should cause that man to fear want, that knows he hath one that cares for him, who is al-sufficient, and will not suffer him to want what is fit for him. If a poor man had but a faithful promise fro [...] a wealthy per­son, that he would never suffer him to want, it is sure he would be highly cheered with it, and would not then think fit to be as carking as he was before, and yet a mans promise may [Page 33] fail us, he may either grow poor, and not be able, or he may prove false, and not be wil­ling to make good his word. But we know God is subject neither to impoverishing nor deceit. And therefore how vile an injury do we offer to him, if we dare not trust as much upon his promise, as we would on that of a man, yea and how great a mischief do we do our selves by loading our minds with a multitude of vexatious, and tormenting cares, when we may so securely cast our burden upon God. I conclude this in the words of the Apostle, Phil. 4. 6. Be careful for nothing, but in eve­ry thing by Prayer, and supplication, with thanksgiving; let your requests be made known unto God.

PARTITION II.

Of HUMILITY Of Submission to Gods Wil, in respect of Obe [...]ience of Patience in all sorts of sufferings; and of HONOUR [...]ue to God in several wayes in his House, Possessions, His Day, Word, Sacraments, &c.

§ 1. A Sixth duty to God is humility, that is, such a sense of our own meanness, Humility. and his excellency, as may work in us a lowly and un­feigned submission to him; This submission is twofold, First to his will, Secondly to his Wis­dom.

2. The submission to his will is also of two sorts,Submissi­on to Gods will in res­pect of obe­dience. the submission either of obedience, or pa­tience. That of obedience, is our ready yield­ing our selves up to do his will, so that when God hath by his command made known to [...] what his pleasure is, cheerfully, and readily to set about it. To enable us to this, humility is exceeding necessary, for a proud person is of all others the unaptest to obey, and we see men never pay an obedience but where they ac­knowledg [Page 35] the person commanding to be some way above them. And so it is here, if we be not throughly perswaded, that God is infinite­ly above us, that we are vileness, and nothing in comparison of him, we shall never pay our due obedience.

3.The great distance be­tween God and us. Therefore if ever you mean to obey in­tirely (as you must if ever you mean to be sav­ed) get your hearts possest with the sense of that great unspeakable distance that is between God and you. Consider him as he is a God of infinite Majestly, and glory, and we poor worms of the earth; he infinite in power, able to do all things; and we able to do nothing, not so much as to make one hair white or black, as our Saviour speaks, Mat. 5. 36. He of infinite purity and holiness, and we polluted and defiled, wallowing in all kind of sins, and uncleanness; he unchangeable and constant, and we subject to change and altera­tion every minuts of our lives. He eternal and immortal, and we frail mortals, that when e­ver he taketh away our breath we die; and are turned again to our dust, Psal. 104. 29. Con­sider all this, I say, and you cannot but acknow­ledg a wide difference betwixt God and man, and therefore may well cry out with Job, af­ter he had approach't so near to God, as to discern somwhat of his excellency, Iob 42. 56. Now mine eyes seeth thee, wherefore I abhor my self and repent in dust and ashes.

4. And even when this humility hath brought us to obedience, The un­worthiness of our best work. it is not then to be cast [Page 36] off, as if we had no farther use of it; for there is still great use, nay necessity of it, to keep us from any high conceits of our performances, which if we once entertain, it will blast the best of them, and make them utterly unaccep­table to God; like the strictness of the Phari­see, which when once he came to boast of, the Publican was preferred before him, Luke 18. The best of our works are so full of infirmity and pollution; that if we compare them with that perfection, and purity, which is in God, we may truly say with the Prophet, All our righteousnesses are as filthy rags, Isaiah 64. 6. And therefore to pride our selves in them, is the same madness, that it would be in a begger, to brag of his apparel when it is nothing but vile rags, and tatters. Our Saviours precept in this matter must al­wayes be remembred, Lnke 17. 10. When you have done all those things which are com­manded you, say, we are unprofitable servants; if when we have done all, we must give our selves no better a title, what are we then to esteem our selves, that are so far from doing any considerable part, of what we are com­manded? Surely that worser name of slothful and wicked servant, Mat. 25. 26. We have no reason to think too bad for us.

5. A Second sort of submission to his will, Submissi­on in res­pect of Pa­tience. is that of patience, this stands in suffering his will, as that of obedience did in acting it, and is [Page 37] nothing else, but a willing and quiet yield­ing to whatever afflictions it pleases God to lay upon us. This the formentioned hu­mility will make easie to us; for when our hearts are throughly possest with that re­verence and esteem of God, it will be impos­sible for us to grudg or murmure at what ever he does. We see an instance of it in Old Elie. 1 Sam. 3. Who after he had heard the sad threatnings of God against him, of the destruction of his family, the loss of the Priesthood, the cutting off both his sons in one day, which were all of them afflictions of the heaviest kind, yet this one considera­tion, that it was the Lord inabled him calmly and quietly to yield to them; saying, Let him do what seemeth him good, ver. 18. The same effect it had on David, in his suf­ferings, Psal. 39. 9. I was dumb, I opened not my mouth, because thou didst it: God do­ing it silenced all murmurings and grumblings in him. And so must it do in us, in all our afflictions, if we will indeed approve our hu­mility to God.

6. For surely you will not think that child hath due humility to his parent or that servant to his Master, that when they are corrected, shall flie in the Father or Ma­sters face. But thus do we when ever we grudg and repine at that which God layes upon us. But besides the want of humility in our [Page 38] so doing, there is also a great want of justice in it; for God hath as we are his creatures, a right to do with us what he will, and there­fore for us to resist that right of his, is the high­est injustice, that can be; nay farther, it is also the greatest folly in the world, for it is only our good that God aims at in afflicting us; that heavenly Father is not like our earth­ly ones, who sometime correct their children, only to satisfie their own angry humour, not to do them good. But this is subject to no such frailties, he doth not afflict willingly, nor grieve the children of men, Lam. 3. 33. They are our sins, which do not only give him just cause, but even force, and necessitate him to punish us. He carries to us the bowels and af­fections of the tenderest Father; now when a Father sees, his child stubborn, and rebellious, and running on in a course that will certain­ly undo him, what greater act of Fatherly kindness can he do then chasten and correct him, to see if by that means he may amend him; nay indeed he could not be said to have true kindness to him, if he should not. And thus it is with God when he sees us run on in sin, either be must leave off to love us, and so leave us to our selves, to take our own course; and that is the heaviest curse that can befal any man; or else if he continue to love us, he must correct and punish us, to bring us to amendment. Therefore when ever he strikes, we are in all reason, not only patient­ly to lie under his rod, but (as I may say) kiss [Page 39] it also; that is, be very thankful to him,Thankful­ness for Gods Cor­rections. that he is pleased, not to give us over to our own hearts lusts, Psal. 81. 12. But still continue his care of us, sends afflictions, as so many messengers to call us home to himself. You see then how gross a folly it is to murmure at those stripes, which are meant so graciously; it is like that of a froward patient, which reproaches and reviles the Physician that comes to cure him, and if such a one be left to die of his disease, every one knows whom he is to thank for it.

7. But it is not only quietness, Fruitful­ness under them. no nor thank­fulness neither under afflictions, that is the full of our duty in this matter; we must have fruitfulness also, or all the rest will stand us in no stead. By fruitfulness I mean the bring­ing forth that, which the afflictions were sent to work in us, viz. the amendment of our lives. To which purpose in time of affliction it is very necessary for us to call our selves to an account, to examine our hearts and lives, and search diligently, what sins lie upon us, which have provoked God thus to smite us, and whatsoever we find our selves guilty of, humbly to confess to God, and immediately to forsake for the rest of our time.

8. All I shall add concerning this duty of patience, In all sorts of suffer­ings. is, that we are as much bound to it in one sort of sufferings, as another, whether our suffering be so immediately from Gods hand, that no creature hath any thing to do in it, as sickness, or the like; or whether it be such, wherein men are the instruments [Page 40] of afflicting us. For it is most sure, when any man doth us hurt, he could not do it, without Gods permission, and sufferance, and God, may as well make them the instruments of punishing us, as do it more directly by him­self; and it is but a counterfeit patience, that pretends to submit to God, and yet can bear nothing from men; we see holy Iob, who is set forth to us as a pattern of true pati­ence, made no such difference in his affli­ctions, he took the loss of his Cattel, which the Chaldeans and Sabeans rob'd him of, with the very same meekness, with which he did that, which was consumed by fire from heaven. When therefore we suffer any thing from men, be it never so un­justly in respect of them, we are yet to con­fess it most just in respect of God, and therefore in stead of looking upon them with rage, and revenge, as the common cu­stom of the world is, we are to look up to God, acknowledg his justice in the af­fliction, begging his pardon most earnest­ly for those sins, which have provoked him to send it, and patiently and thankfully bear it, till he shall see fit to remove it; still say­ing with Job, Blessed be the name of the Lord

9. But I told you,Submission to Gods Wisdom. humility contained in it a submission not only to his Will, but also to his Wisdom; That is, to acknowledg him infinitely wise, and therefore that whatever he doth, is best and fittest to [Page 41] be done. And this we are to confess both in his commands, and in his disposing, and or­dering of things: First,In his Com­mands. whatsoever he com­mands us, either to believe or do, we are to sub­mit to his wisdom in both, to believe whatever he bids us believe, how impossible soever it seem to our shallow understandings, and to do what­ever he commands us to do, how contrary soever it be to our fleshly reason, or hu­mour; and in both to conclude that his commands are most fit and reasonable however they appear to us.

10. Secondly, In his dis­posals. We are to submit to his wisdom in respect of his disposal and ordering of things, to acknowledg he disposes all things most wisely, and that not only in what concerns the world in general, but also in what concerns every one of us in particu­lar, so that what condition soever he puts us in, we are to assure our selves, it is that, which is best for us, since he chuses it for us, who cannot erre. And there­fore never to have impatient desires of any thing in this world; but to leave it to God to fit us with such an estate and condition, as he sees best for us, and there let us qui­etly and contentedly rest, yea though it be such, as of all others we should least have wisht for our selves. And this surely cannot but appear very reasonable to any, that hath hu­mility; for that having taught him, that God is infinitely wise, and he very f [...]olish, he can never doubt, but that it is much more for [Page 42] his good that God should chuse for him, then he for himself, even as it is much more for the childs good, to have the parent chuse for it, then to be left to those silly choices it would make for its self. For how many times would it cut and burn, and mischief it self, if it might have every thing it desires? And such chil­dren are we, we many times eagerly desire those things, which would undoe us, if we had them. Thus many times we wish for wealth and honour and beauty, and the like, when if we had them, they would only prove snares to us, we should be drawn into sin by them. And this God who knows all things sees, though we do not, and therefore often denies us those things, which he sees will tend to our mischief, and it is his abun­dant mercie, that he doth so. Let us there­fore when ever we be disappointed of any of our aimes and wishes, not only patiently but joy­fully submit to it, as knowing that it is cer­tainly best for us, it being chosen by the un­erring wisdom of our heavenly Father.

11. A Seventh duty to God is Honour; Honour. that is, the paying him such a reverence and respect as belong to so great a Majestie. And this is either inward or outward. The inward is the exalting him in our hearts, having alwayes the highest and most excellent esteem of him. The outward is the manifesting and shewing forth that inward, and that is the first general in the whole course of our lives, the living like men that do indeed carry that high e­steem [Page 43] of God. Now you know if we bear a­ny special reverence but to a man, we will be careful not to do any foul or base thing in his presence, and so if we do indeed honour God, we shall abhor to do any unworthy thing in his sight. But God sees all things, and therefore there is no way to shun the doing it in his sight, if we do it at all; therefore if we do thus re­verence him, we must never at any time do any sinful thing.

12. But besides this general way of honour­ing God, Several wayes of Honouring God. there are many parti [...]ular acts, by which we may honour him, and those acts are divers according to the several particulars, about which they are exercised. For we are to pay this honour not only immediately to himself, but also by a due estimation, and ac­count of all those things, that neerly relate or belong to him. Those are especially Six, First his House. Secondly his Revenue or incom, (as I may say) Thirdly his Day, Fourthly his Word, Fifthly his Sacraments, and Sixthly his Name; and every one of these is to have some degree of our reverence and esteem.

13. First his House, In his house that is, the Church, which being the place set apart for his publick worship, we are to look on it, though not as holy in respect of its self, yet in respect of its use, and therefore must not prophane it by imploying it to uses of our own. This Christ hath taught us by that act of his, Mat. 21. 12. In driving the buyers and sellers out of the Tem­ple, saying, my house shall be called the house of [Page 44] prayer: And again, Jo. 2. 16. Make not my Fathers house of a house merchandice: by which it is clear, Churches are to be used only for the services of God, and we are to make that the only end of our coming thither, and not to come to Church, as to a market, to make bargains, or dispatch businesses with our neighbours, as is too common among many. But when ever thou enterest the Church, remember that it is the house of God, a place where he is in an especial manner present, and therefore take the counsel of the wise man, Eccles. 5. 1. And keep thy foot when thou goest into the house of God; that is, behave thy self with that godly awe and reverence, which belongs to that great Majestie, thou art before. Re­member that thy business there is to converse with God, and therefore shut out all thoughts of the world, even of thy most lawful bu­siness, which though they be allowable, at another time, are here sinful. How fear­ful a guilt is it then to entertain any such thoughts, as are in themselves wicked? It is like the treason of Judas, who pretended indeed to come to kiss his Master, bu [...] brought with him a band of souldiers to appre­hend him. Mat. 26. We make shew in our coming to Church, of serving and worshipping God, but we bring with us a train of his enemies, to provoke and despite him. This is a wickedness that may out­ [...]ie [Page 45] the profaneness of these dayes, in turn­ [...]ng Churches into stables; for sinful and [...]olluted thoughts are much the worst sort of [...]beasts.

14. The Second thing to which respect be­longs,His Poses­sions. is his revenue or income; that is, what­soever is his peculiar possessions, set apart for the maintenance of those that attend his ser­vice; those were the Priests in time of the Law, and Ministers of the Gospel now with us. And what ever is thus set apart we must look on with such respect as not to dare to turn it to any other use. Of this sort some are the free­will-offerings of men, who have sometimes of their own accord given some of their goods or lands to this holy use; and whatsoever is so given, can neither by the person that gave it, nor any other be taken away without great that sin of sacri­ledg.

15. But besides these, there was among the Jews, and hath alwayes been in all Christian Nations, something allotted by the Law of the Nation, for the support and maintenance of those that attend the service of God. And it is but just and necessary it should be so, that those who by undertaking that Calling are taken off from the wayes of gaining a lively­hood in the world, should be provided for by them, whose souls they watch over. And therefore it is most reasonable, which the A­postle [Page 46] urges in this matter, 1 Cor. 9. 11. If we have sown unto you spiritual things, is it a great thing if we shal reap your carnal things? That is, the most unreasonable for men to grudg the bestowing a few carnal things, the outward necessaries of this temporal life on them, from whom they receive spiritual things, even instruction and assistance towards the obtaining an eternal life.

16. Now whatsoever is thus appointed for this use,The great sin of Sa­criledg. may by no means be imployed to any other. And therefore those tithes which are here by Law allotted for the maintenance of the Ministry, must by no means be kept back, nor any tricks or shifts used to avoid the payment either in whole or in part. For first it is certain, that it is as truly theft as any other robbery can be, Ministers having right to their tithes by the same Law, which gives any other man right to his estate. But then Secondly, it is another manner of robbery, then we think of, it is a robbing of God, whose service they were given to maintain, and that you may not doubt the truth of this, it is no more then God himself hath said of it, Mal. 3. 8. Will a man rob God? yet ye have robbed me; yet ye say, wherein have we robbed thee? in tithes and offerings Here it is most plain, that in Gods account the withholding tithes is a robbing of him. And if you please, you may in the next verse see, what the gains of this robbery amounts to, Yea are cursed with a curse. A curse is all is got­ten by it, and common experience shews us, [Page 47] that Gods vengeance doth in a remarkable manner pursue this sin of Sacriledg, The pu­nishment. whether it be that of withholding tithes, or the other of seizing on those possessions, which have been voluntarily consecrated to God. Men think to inrich themselves by it; but it usually proves directly contrary; this unlawful gain becomes such a Canker in the estate, as often eates out even that we had a just title too. And there­fore if you love (I will not say your souls, but) your estates, preserve them from that danger by a strict care never to meddle with anything set a part for God.

17. A Third thing,The times for his ser­vice. wherein we are to ex­press our reverence to God, is the hallowing of the times, set apart for his service. He who hath given all our time, requires some part of it to be paid back again, as a rent or tribute of the whole. Thus the Jews kept ho­ly the seventh day: Lords Day and we Christians the Sun­day, or Lords day, the Jews were in their Sab­bath especially to remember the Creation of the world, and we in ours, the resurrection of Christ by which a way is made for us into that better world we expect hereafter. Now this day thus set a part, is to be imployed in the worship and service of God, and that first more solemnly and publickly in the Congregation, from which no man must then absent himself without a just cause: and Secondly, privatly at home; in praying with, and instructing our families, or else in the yet more private du­ties of the closet, a mans own private prayers, [Page 46] reading meditating, and the like.

And that we may be at leisure for these a rest from all our worldly business is commanded; therefore let no man think that a bare rest from labour is all that is required of him on the Lords day, but the time which he saves from the works of his calling, he is to lay out on those spiri­tual duties. For the Lords Day was never or­dained to give us a pretence for idleness, but only to change our imployment from worldly, to heavenly; much lesse was it meant, that by our rest from our callings, we should have more time free to bestow upon our sins, as too many do, who are more constant on that day at the Alehouse, then the Church. But this rest was commanded, first to shadow out to us that rest from sin which we are bound to all the dayes of our lives. And secondly to take us off from our worldly business, and to give us time to attend the service of God, and the need of our souls.

18. And surely if we rightly consider it, it is a very great benefit to us that there is such a set time, thus weekly returning for that pur­pose. We are very intent, and busy upon the world, and if there were not some such time appointed to our hands, it is to be doubt­ed, we should hardly allot any our selves: And then what a starved condition must these poor soules of ours be in, that shall never be afforded a meal, whereas now there is a constant diet provided for them, every Sunday, if we will conscionably imploy [Page 49] it, may be a festival day to them; may bring them in such spiritual food, as may nourish them to eternal life. We are not to look on this day with grudging, like those in Amos 8. 5. Who ask, When will the Sab­bath be gone, that we may set forth wheat? As if that time were utterly lost, which were ta­ken from our worldly business. But we are to consider it, as the gainfullest, as t [...]e joyful­lest day of the week, a day of harvest, where­in we are to lay up in store for the whole week, nay for our whole lives.

19. But besides this of the weekly Lords day,The Feasts of the Church. there are other times, which the Church hath set apart for the remembrance of some special mercies of God, such as the Birth, and Resurrectoon of Christ, the Descent of the Holy Ghost, and the like; and these dayes we are to keep in that manner which the Church hath ordered, to wit in the solemn worship of God, and in particular thanksgiving for that special blessing we then remember. And surely who­ever is truely thankful for those rich mercies, cannot think it too much to set apart some few dayes in a year for that purpose.

But then we are to look that our Feasts be truly spiritual, by imploying the day thus ho­lily, and not make it an occasion of intempe­rance and discords as too many do, who con­sider nothing in Christmas and other good times, but the good cheers and jollity of them. For that is doing despight, in stead of honour to Christ, who came to bring all purity and [Page 50] soberness in the world, and therefore must not have that coming of his remembred in a­ny other manner.

20. Other dayes there are also set a part in memory of the Apostles, and other Saints, wherein we are to give hearty thanks to God, for his graces in them, particularly that they were made instruments of revealing to us Christ Iesus, and the way of salvation, as you know the Apostles were by their Preach­ing throughout the world. And then farther, we are to meditate on those Examples of holy life, they have given us, and stir up our selves to the imitation thereof. And whoever does uprightly set himself to make these uses of these several holy dayes, will have cause, by the benefit he shall find from them, to thank and not to blame the Church for ordering them.

21. Another sort of dayes there are,The Feasts. which we are likewise to observe, and those are dayes of fasting and humiliation; and whatever of this kind the Church injoynes, whether con­stantly at set times of the year, or upon any special and more sudden occasion, we are to observe in such a manner as she directs; that is, not only in a bare abstaining from meat, which is only the bodies punishment, but in afflicting our soules, humbling them deeply before God, in a hearty confessing, and bewailing of our own, and the nations sins, in earnest Prayers for Gods pardon, and forgiveness, and for the turning away of those judgments, which those [Page 57] sins have called for, But above all, in turning our selves from our sins, loosing the bands of wickedness; as Isaiah speaks, Chap. 58. 6. And exercising our selves in works of mercy, dealing our bread to the hungry, and the like, as it there followes.

22. Fourthly, Gods word we are to express our re­verence to God, by honouring his Word; and this we must certainly do, if we do indeed honour him; there being no surer sign of our dispising any person, then the setting light, by what he sayes to us; as on the contrary, if we value one every word he speaks will be of weight with us. Now this word of God is expresly contained in the holy Scriptures, the Old and New Testament, where he speaks to us,The holy Scripture. to shew us his Will, and our duty. And there­fore to this Word of his we are to beare a won­derful respect, to look upon it, as the rules, by which we must frame all the actions of our life; and to that end to study it much, to read in it as often as we can, if it may be never to let a day pass us, without reading, or hearing some part of it read.

23. But then that is not all: We must not only read, but we must mark what we read, we must diligently observe, what duties there are which God commands us to perform, what faults they are, which God there charges us not to commit, together with the rewards pro­mised to the one, and the punishments threat­ned to the other. When we have thus mark­ed, we must lay them up in our memory, not [Page 52] so loosely, and carelesly, that they shall presently drop out again; but we must so fasten them there by often thinking, and meditating on them, that we may have them ready for our use. Now that use is the directing of our lives; and therefore whenever we are temp­ted to the committing of any evil, we are then to call to mind, this is the thing, which in such a Scripture is forbidden by God, and all his vengeances threatned against it; and so in like manner when any opportunity is offer­ed us of doing good to remember, this is the duty, which I was exhorted to in such a Scrip­ture, and such glorious rewards promised to the doing of it: and by these considerations streng­then our selves for resisting of the evil and per­formance of the good.

24. But besides this of the written Word, it hath pleased God to provide yet further for our instruction, by his Ministers, whose office it is to teach us Gods Will, not by saying any thing contrary to the writ­ten word; (for whatsoever is so, can ne­ver be Gods Will) but by explaining it, and making it easier to our understandings, and then applying it to our particular oc­casions, and exhorting, and stirring us up to the practice of it; all which is the end, at which first their Catechizing and then their preaching aimeth. And to this we are to bear also a due respect, by giving diligent heed thereto, not on­ly being present at Catechizings and Sermons, and either sleep out the time, or think [Page 53] of somewhat else, but carefully marking what is said to us. And surely if we did but rightly consider, how much it concern us, we should conclude it very reasonable for us to do so.

25. For First as to that of Catechizing, Catechi­zing. it is the laying the foundation upon which all Christian Practice must be built, for that is the teaching us our duty, without which it is impossible for us to perform it. And though it is true, that the Sriptures are the Fountains, from whence this knowledg of duty must be fetched, yet there are many who are not a­ble to draw it from this fountain themselves, and therefore it is absolutely necessary it should be thus brought to them by others.

26 This Catechizing is generally look't on as a thing belonging only to the youth, and so indeed it ought, not because the oldest are not to learn, if they be ignorant, but be­cause all children should be so instructed, that it should be impossible for them, to be ignorant when they come to years. And it neerly concerns every Parent, as they will free themselve; from the guilt of their chil­drens eternal undoing, that they be care­ful to see them instructed in all necessary things; to which purpose it will be fit early to teach then some short Catechism, of which sort none so fit as the Church-Catechism; yet are they not to rest on these endeavours of their own; but also to call in the Ministers help, that he may build them up farther in Christian Knowledg.

[Page 54] 27. But alas! it is too sure, that parents, have very much neglected this duty, and by that means it is that such multitudes of men and women, that are called Christians, know no more of Christ, or any thing, that con­cerns their own soules, then the mearest hea­then.

28. But although it were their Parents fault, that they were not instructed, when they were young, yet it is now their own if they remain still ignorant; and it is sure, it will be their own ruine and misery, if they willfully continue so. Therefore whoever it be, of what age or condition soever, that is in this ig­norant estate, or in any such degree of it, that he wants any part of necessary saving know­ledg; let him as he loves his soul, as ever he would escape eternal damnation, seek out for in­struction, & let no fear of shame keep any from it; for first it is certain the shame belongs only to the wilful continuing in ignorance, to which the desire of learning is directly contrary, and is so far from a shameful, that it is a most com­mendable thing, and will be sure to be so ac­counted by all wise and good men. But Se­condly, suppose some prophane, senseless peo­ple should deride it, yet sure that shame were in all reason to be undergon joyfully, rather then venture on that confusion of face, which will at the day of judgment befal those, who to avoidalittle false shame amongst men, have gone on in a wilful ignorance of their duty, which ig­norance wil be so far from excusing any sins they [Page 55] shall commit, that it adds one great & heavy sin to all the rest, even the dispising that knowledg, which is offered to them. How hainous a sin that is, you may learn in the First Chapter of the Proverbs, where hating knowledg, ver. 29. is said to be the thing that draws down those sad vengeances forementioned, even Gods forsak­ing men, laughing at their calamity, in stead of helping them: Wch is of all other conditions in the world, the most miserable, & surely they are madly desperat, that will run themselves into it.

29. As for those who have already this foundation laid, by the knowledg of the grounds of Christian Religon, there is yet for them a farther help provided, by Preaching. Preaching. And it is no more then needs, for God knows, those that understand their duty well enough, are too apt to forget it; nay, sometimes by the violence of their own lusts to transgress it, even when they do remember it, and therefore it is very useful, we should often be put in mind of it, to prevent our forgetting, and also often exhorted and assisted, to withstand those lusts which draw us to those transgressions. And to these purposes preaching is intended; First, to warn us, to be upon our guard against our spiritual enemy, and then to furnish us with weapons for the fight; that is, such means and helps, as may best enable us to beat off temp­tations, and get the victory over them.

30. Since therefore this is the end of preach­ing, we must not think we have done our du­ty, when we have heard a Sermon, though [Page 56] never so attentively, but we must lay up in our hearts those instructions, and advices we there meet with & use them faithfully to that end of overcoming our sins. Therefore when ever thou comest to the Physician of thy soul, do as thou wouldst with the Physician of thy body; thou comest to him not only to hear him talk, and tell thee what will cure thee, but also to do according to his directions; and if thou dost not so here, thou art as vain, as he that ex­pects a bare receipt from his Doctor shall cure him, though he never make use of it. Nay, thou art much more vain and ridiculous, for that though it do him no good, will do him no harm [...] he shall be never the worse for having bin taught a medicine, though he use it not: but in these spiritual receipts, it is otherwise, if we use them not to our good, they will do us a great deal of harm, they will rise up in judg­ment against us, and make our condemnation so much the heavier. Beware therefore not to bring that danger upon thy self, but when thou hast heard a Sermon, consider with thy self what directions there were in it, for enabling thee to eschew evil, or to do good. And if there were any thing especially concern'd thine own bo [...]ome sin, lay that close to thy heart, and all the week after make it matter of medi­t [...]tion, think of it even whilst thou art at thy work, if thou wantest other time; and not only think of it, but [...]et to the practice of it, do what thou wert advised to, for the subduing sins and quickning grace in thee. Finally look [Page 57] carefully to practice the counsel of the Apostle, Ia. 1. 22. Be ye doers of the word not hearers on­ly deceiving your own soules: to hope for good from the word, without doing of it, is, it seems, nothing but a deceiving our selves; Let us ne­ver therefore measure our godliness by the number of Sermons which we hear, as if the hearing many were a certain mark of a good Christian, but by the store of fruit we bring forth by them, without which all our hearing will serve but to bring us in that heavier por­tion of stripes, which belongs to him that knows his Masters will and does it not, Lu. 12. 47. But this reverence which is due to preaching we must not pay to all that is now a dayes called so, for God knows there are ma­ny false Prophets gone out into the world, as the Apostle speaks, 1 Jo. 4 1. And now, if ever, is that advice of his necessary, to trie the Spirits whether they be of God: But what I have sayed, I mean only of the preaching of those, who first have a lawfull calling to the Office, and secondly frame their doctrine accord­ing to the right rule, the written word of God. But if any man say he is not able to judg whe­ther the doctrine be according to the Word or no, let him at least try it by the common known rules of duty, which he doth understand, and if he find it a doctrine, giving men liberty to com­mit those things, which are by all acknowledged sins; such as rebellion, injustice, unmercifulness, uncleanness, or the like he may conclude it is utterly contrary to God, and his Word, [Page 58] and then abhorence, and not reverence belongs to it.

31. Fifthly, The Sacra­ments. we are to express our honour­ing of God, by receiving his Sacraments, those are two, Baptisme, and the Supper of the Lord. And this we are to do; First, by our high e­steem of them; Secondly, by our reverent usage of them; we are first to prize them at a high rate, looking on them, as the instru­ments of bringing to us the greatest blessings we can receive. The first of them, Bap­tisme that enters us into covenant with God, makes us members of Christ, & so gives us right to all those precious benefits, that flow from him, to wit pardon of sins, sanctifying grace, and heaven it self, on condition we perform our parts of the covenant. And as for the Lords Supper, that is not only a signe and remembrance of Christ, and his death; but it is actually the giving Christ, and all the fruits of his death to every worthy receiver, and therefore there is a most highest estimation, and value due to each of them.

32. And not only so;Of Bapti­sme. but in the second place we must shew our r [...]erence in our usage of them, and that First before, Secondly at, and Third­ly after the time of receiving them. It is true that the Sacrament of Baptisme being now administered to us, when we are infants, it is not to be expected of us, that we should in our own persons do any thing, either before or at the time of receiving it, those performances were strictly required of all persons, who were [Page 59] baptised, when they were of years. But for us, it suffices to give us right to Baptisme, that we are born within the pale of the Church, that is, of Christian parents; and all that is required at that time, is, what we can only perform by others, they in our stead promising that when we come to years, we will perform our parts of the Covenant. But by how much the less we are then able to do, so much the greater bond lies on us, to perform those af­ter-duties required of us, by which we are to supply the want of the former.

33. Now if you would know what those duties are, look over those promises which yourThe vow of Baptisme. Godfathers and Godmothers then made in your name, and you may then learn them. I can­not give you them in a better form, then that of our Churches Catechisme which tells: That our Godfathers and Godmothers did promise, and vow three things in our names; First, that we should forsake the Divel and all his works, the pomps and vanities of this wicked world, and all the sinful lusts of the flesh: where by the Divel is meant. First, the worshipping of all false gods, which is indeed but worshipping the Divel: A sin which at the time of Christs coming into the world, was very common; most part of mankind then living in that vile Idolatry. And therefore when Baptisme was first ordained, it was but needful to make the forsaking of those false gods, a principal part of the vow. And though those false worships are now much rarer, yet there was one spe­cial [Page 60] part of them, which may be feared to be yet too common among us, and that is all sorts of un [...]leanness, which though we do not make ceremonies of our religion as the heathens did of theirs, yet the committing thereof is a most high provocation in Gods eyes, such as drew him to destroy whole Cities with fire and brimstone, as you may read, Gen. 19. Nay, the whole world with water, Gen. 6. and will not fail to bring down judgments, and strange ones on any that continue therein; and therefore the forsaking them well deserves to be look't on, as an especial part of this promise. Besides this all dealing with the Divel is here vowed against, whether it be by practising witcheraft our selves, or consult­ing with those that do upon any occasion whatever, as the recovery of our health, our goods or what ever else. For this is a degree of the former sin, it is the forsaking of the Lord, and setting up the Divel for our God, whilst we go to him in our needs for help

34. But we also renounce all the works of the Divel, and those are either in general all those which the Divel tempts us to, or else those particular kinds of sin, which have most of his image on them; that is, those which he himself most practices, such are pride (which brought him from being an Angel of light to the accursed condition he is now in) and ly­ing; he is, as our Saviour saith, Jo 8. 44. A liar, and the Father of it; and such also are malice and envy, especially killing, and de­stroying of others, for he was a murderer from [Page 61] the beginning. Io 8. 44. But above all, there is no­thing wherein we becom so like him, as in temp­ting & drawing others to sin; which is his whole trade, and business, and if we make it any part of ours, we becom like that roaring Lyon, that goes about seeking whom he may devour, 1 Pet. 5. 8.

35. The second thing we vow to forsake, is the pomps and vanities of this wicked world. By the pomps and vanities there are several things meant, some of them, such as were used by the heathens, in some unlawful sports of theirs, wherein we are not now so much concern'd, there being none of them remaining among us but besides that, there is meant all excess ei­ther in diet or sports, or apparel, when we keep not those due measures, which either by the ge­neral rules of sobriety, or the particular circum­stances of our qualities and callings we are bound to. Next, by the wicked world we may understand, first the wealth and greatness of the world, which though we do not so totally re­nounce, that it is unlawful for a Christian to be either rich, or great, yet we thus far promise to forsake them, that we will not set our hearts upon them, nor ever either get, or keep them by the least unlawful means. Secondly by the wicked world, we may understand the companies and customes of the world; which so far as they are wicked, we here renounce; that is, we pro­mise never to be drawn by company to the com­mission of a sin, but rather to forsake the most delightful company, then be ensnared by it; nor yet by custome, but rather venture the shame of being thought singular, ridiculous persons, walk [Page 62] as it were in a path by our selves, then put our selves into that broad way, that leads to destru­ction, by giving our selves over to any sinful custom, how common soever it be grown. If this part of our vow were but throughly con­sidered, it would arme us against most of the temptations the world offers us, company and custome being the two special instruments by which it works on us.

36. A third thing we renounce is all the sinful lusts of the flesh: where the flesh is to be understood in that sense, wherein the Scrip­ture often uses it, for the fountain of all dis­ordered affections. For though those unclean desires, which we ordinarily call the lusts of the flesh, are meant here, yet they are not the only things here contained, there being divers other things, which the Scripture calls the works of the flesh; I cannot better inform you of them, then by setting down that list S. Paul gives of them, Gal. 5. 19, 20, 21. Now the works of th [...] fl [...]sh are manifest, which are these, adultry, fornication, uncleanness, lascivi­ousness, idolatry, witcheraft, hatred, variance, emulations, wra [...]h, strife, seditions, heresies, En­vyings, murders, drunkenness, revilings, and such like. This with those other discription [...], you w [...]ll find scattered in several places of Scrip­ture will shew you, there are many things con­tained under this part of your vow, the forsak­ing all the sinful lusts of the flesh.

37. The secend thing our Godfathers and Godmothers promised for us, was that we should [Page 63] belive all the Articles of the Christian faith. These we have summed up together, in that which we call the Apostles Creed, which since we promise to believe, we are supposed also to promise to learn them, and that not only the words, but likewise the plain sense of them, for who can believe what he either never heard of, or knows not any thing of the means of it? Now by this believing is meant not on­ly the consenting to the truth of them, but also the living like them that do believe; As for Example, our believing that God created us, should make us live in that subjection and obedience to him, which becomes creatures to their Creator; the believing that Christ re­deemed us, should make us yeild up our selves to him as his purchase, to be disposed wholy by him, and imployed only in his service. The be­lieving a judgment to come, should give us care so to walk, that we may not be condemned in it. And our believing the life everlasting should make us diligent so to imploy our short mo­ment of time here, that our everlasting life may be a life of joy, not of misery to us. In this manner from all the Articles of the Creed, we are to draw Motives to confirm us in all Christian Practice; to which end it is that our learning, and believing of them tends and ther­fore without it we are very far from making good this part of our vow, the believing all the Articles of the Christian faith.

38. The last part of our vow is, that we should keep Gods holy will and commandments, [Page 64] and walk in the same all the dayes of our lives. Where by of Gods holy will and command­ments, is meant our doing of all those things, which he hath made known to us to be his will we should perform; wherein he hath given us his holy Word to instruct us, and teach us, what it is that he requires of us, and now he expects that we should faithfully do it with­out favouring our selves in the breach of any one of his commands. And then in this entire obedience, we must walk all the days of our lives: That is, we must go on in a constant course of obeying God, not only fetch some few steps in his ways, but walk in them, and that not for some part of our time but all the dayes of our lives, never turn out of them, but go on constantly in them, as long as we live in this world.

39. Having now thus briefly explained to you this vow made at your Baptisme, The strict obligation of this vow of Baptism. all I shall add concerning it, is not only to remem­ber you how neerly you are concern'd in the keeping it: and that first in respect of justice, secondly, in respect of advantage and benefit. That you are in justice bound to it, I need say no more, but that it is a promise, and you know justice requires of every man the keeping of his promise. But then this is of all other pro­mises the most solemn and binding, for it is a vow; that is, a promise made to God; and therefore we are not only unjust, but forsworn, when ever we break any part of it.

40. But secondly we are also highly con­cern'd [Page 65] to keep it, in respect of our own bene­fit. I told you before, that Baptisme enter­ed us into Covenant with God, now a Cove­nant is made up of two parts; that is, some­thing promise by the one party, and something by the other of the parties that make the Co­venant. And if one of them break his part of the Covenant; that is, perform not what he hath agreed to, he can in no reason look that the other should make good his. And so it is here, God doth indeed promise those benefits before mentioned, and that is his part of the Covenant. But then we also undertake to perform the several things contained in this vow of Baptisme, and that is our part of it, and unless we do indeed perform them, God is not tied to make good his, and so we for­feit all those precious benefits and advanta­ges, we are left in that natural and miserable estate of ours, Children of wrath, enemies of God, and heirs of eternal damnation. And now what can be the pleasure, that any or all sins can offord us, that can make us the least degree of recompence for such a loss, the loss of Gods favour and grace here, and the loss of our own soules hereafter: for as our Saviour saith, Mar. 8. 36. What shall it profit a man; if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul: yet this mad bargain we make, whenever we break any part of this our vow of Baptisme. It therefore most neerly concerns us to consider sadly of it; to remember, that every sin we commit, is a direct breach of this [Page 66] vow, and therefore when thou art tempted to any sin, seem it never so light, say not of it, as Lot did of Zoar, Gen. 6. 20. Is it not a little one? but consider, that whatever it is, thou hast in thy Baptisme vowed against it, and then be it never so little, it draws a great one at the heeles of it, no less then that of be­ing forsworn, which whoever commits, God hath in the third Commandment pronounced, he will not hold him guiltless. And that we may the better keep this vow, it will be very useful often to repeat to our selves the several brea­ches of it, that so we may still have it ready in our minds, to set against all temptations; and surely it is so excellent a weapon, that if we do not either cast it aside, or use it very negligently, it will enable us by Gods help to put to flight our spiritual adversary. And this is that reverence we are to pay to this first Sa­crament, that of Baptisme.

PARTITION III.

Of the LORDS SUPPER, of Preparation before, of Duties to be done at the Receiving, and afterwards, &c.

§ 1. NOw follows the reverence due to the Sacrament of the Lords Supper; The Lords Supper. and in this I must fol­low my first division, and set down first what is to be done before, secondly, at, and thirdly, after the time of receiving, for in this Sacrament we cannot be excused from any one of these, though in the former we are.

2. And first for that which is to be done be­fore, Things to be done be­fore re­ceiving. S. Paul tells us it is examination, 1 Cor. 11 28. But let a man examine himself and so let him eat of that bread and drink of that cup. But before I proceed to the particulars of this examination, Examinati­on. I must in the general tell you that the special business we have to do in this Sacrament, is to repeat, and renew that cove­nant [Page 68] we made with God in our Baptisme, which we having many wayes grievously broken, it pleases God in this great mercy to suffer us to come to the renewing of it in this Sacrament, which if we do in sincerity of heart, he hath promised to accept as, and to give us all those benefits in this, which he was ready to bestow in the other Sacrament, if we had not by our own fault forfeited them. Since then the re­newing of our Covenant is our business of this time, it followes that these three things are necessary towards it; First, that we under­stand what that covenant is; Secondly, that we consider, what our breaches of it have bin; and Thirdly, that we resolve upon a strict observance of it, for the rest of our life. And the trying our selves in every one of these particulars, is that examination which is re­quired of us, before we come to this Sacra­ment.

3. And first we are to examine, Of our knowledg. whether we understand what this Covenant is; this is, exceeding necessary, as being the foundati­on of both the other, for it is neither possible to discover our past sins, nor to settle purpose a­gainst them for the future without it. Let this therefore be your first business. Trie whether you rightly understand what that Covenant is, which you entered into at your Baptisme, what be the mercies promised on Gods part, and the duties on yours. And because the Covenant made with each of us in Baptisme, is only the applying to our par­ticulars; [Page 69] the Covenant made by God, in Christ, with all mankind in general, you are to consider, whether you understand that; if you do not, you must immediately seek for instruction in it. And till you have means of gaining better, look over what is briefly said in the entrance to this treatise, concerning the second Covenant, which is the foundation of that Covenant, which God makes with us in our Baptisme. And because you will there find, that obedience to all Gods Commands is the condition required of us; and is also that, which we expresly vow in our Baptisme, it is necessary you should likewise know, what those Commands of God are. Therefore if you find you are ignorant of them, never be at rest, till you have got your self instructed in them, and have gained such a measure of knowledg, as may direct you to do that Whole Duty of Man, which God requires. And the giving thee this instruction is the only aim of this Book; which the more ignorant thou art, the more earnestly I shall intreat thee, diligently to read. And if thou hast heretofore approacht to this holy Sacrament in utter ignorance of these necessary things, bewail thy sin in soe do­ing, but presume not to come again, till thou have by gaining this necessary knowledg fitted thy self for it, which thou must hasten to do. For though no man must come to the Sacra­ment in such ignorance, yet if he wilfully con­tinue in it, that will be no excuse to him for keeping from this holy Table.

[Page 70] 4. The second part of our examination is concerning our breaches of this Covenant, Sins. and here thou wilt find the use of that know­ledg I spake of. For there is no way of dis­covering what our sins have bin, but by try­ing our actions by that which should be the rule of them,Several sorts. the Law of God. When there­fore thou settest to this part of examination, remember what are the several branches of thy duty, and then ask thy own heart in every particular, how thou hast performed it. And content not thy self with knowing in general, that thou hast broken Gods Law, but do thy utmost to discover in what particulars thou hast done so. Recal as well as thou canst, all the passages of thy life, and in each of them consider, what part of that duty hath bin transgrest by it. And that not only in the grosser act, but in word also, nay even in thy most secret thoughts. For though mans Law reaches not to them, yet Gods doth; so that whatever he forbids in the act, he forbids like­wise in the thoughts and desires, and sees them as cleerly as our most publick acts. This par­ticular search is exceed [...]ng necessary; For there is no promise of forgiveness of any sin, but on­ly to him that confesseth and forsaketh it. Now to both these it is necessary, that we have a distinct and particular knowledg of our sins. For how can he either confess his sin, that knows not his guilt of it? or how can he resolve to forsake it, that discerns not himself to have formerly cleaved to it? Therefore we may [Page 71] surely conclude, that this examination is not only useful, but necessary towards a full, and compleat repentance; for he that does not take this particular view of his sins; will be likely to repent but by halves, which will never avail him towards his pardon; nothing but an entire forsaking of every evil way, being suffi­cient for that. But surely of all other times it concerns us, that when we come to the Sa­crament, our repentance be full and compleat, and therefore this strict search of our own hearts is then especially necessary. For al­though it be true, that it is not possible by all our diligence to discover, or remember every sin of our whole lives: And though it be al­so true, that what is so unavoidably hid from us, may be forgiven without any more parti­cular confession, then that of Davids, Psalm 19. 12. Cleanse thou me from my secret faults, yet this will be no plea for us, if they come to be secret, only because we are negl [...]gent in searching. Therefore take heed of deceiving thy self in this weighty business, but search thy soul to the bottom, without which it is impossi­ble that the wounds thereof should ever be throughly cured.

5. And as you are to inquire thus narrowly concerning the several sorts of sins,Degrees. so also must you concerning the degrees of them; for there are divers circumstances, which in­crease, and heighten the sin. Of this sort there are many. As first, when we sin against knowledg, that is, when we certainly know such a thing [Page 72] to be a sin, yet for the present pleasure or pro­fit (or whatever other motive) adventure of it. This is by Christ himself adjudged to be a great heightning of the sin. He that knows his Masters will, and doth it not, shall be bea­ten with many stripes, Luke 12. 47. Second­ly, when we sin with deliberation; that is, when we do not fall into it of a sudden, ere we are aware, but have time to consider of it, this is another degree of the sin. But thirdly a yet higher is, when we do it against the resi­stances and checks of our own conscience, when that at the time tells us, this thing thou ough­test not to do; Nay, layes before us the dan­ger, as well as the sin of it, yet in spight of these admonitions of conscience, we go on and commit the sin; this is a huge increase of it, such as will raise the lest sin into a most high provocation. For it is plain, a sin thus committed must be a wilful one, and then be the matter of it never so light, it is most hai­nous in Gods eyes. Nay, this is a circumstance of such force, that it may make an indifferent action, that is in it self no sin, become one. For though my conscience should erre in tel­ling me such a thing were unlawful, yet so long as I were so perswaded, it were sin for me to do that thing; for in that case my will consents to the doing a thing, which I believe to be displeasing to God, & God (who judges us by our will, not our understandings,) imputes it to me as a sin, as well as if the thing were in it self unlawful, & therefore surely we may con­clude [Page 73] that any thing which is in it self sinful, is made much more so by being committed a­gainst the checks of conscience. A fourth ag­gravation of a sin is, when it hath bin often repeated, for then there is not only the guilt of so many more Acts, but every Act grows also so much worse, and more inexcusable. We alwayes judg thus in faults committed a­gainst our selves, we can forgive a single in­jury, more easily then the same, when it hath bin repeated, and the oftner it hath bin so re­peated, the more hainous we account it. And so surely it is in faults against God also. Fifthly, the sins which have bin committed after vows, and resolutions of amendment are yet more grievous: for that contains also the breaking of those promises. Somewhat of this, there is in every wilful sin, because every such is a breach of that vow we make at Baptisme; But be­sides that, we have since bound our selves by new vowes, if at no other time, yet surely at our coming to the Lords Supper, that being (as was formerly said) purposely to repeat our vow of Baptisme. And the more of these vowes we have made, so much the greater is our guilt; if we fall back to any sin, we then renounced. This is a thing very well worth weighing, & therefore examine thy self parti­cularly, at thy approach to the Sacrament, con­cerning thy breaches of former vowes made at the holy Table. And if upon any other occasion, as sickness, trouble of mind, or the like, thou hast at any time made any other, call thy self to a [Page 74] strict account how thou hast performed them also, and remember that every sin committed against such vowes is besides its own natural guilt, a perjury likewise. Sixthly, a yet higher step is, when a sin hath bin so often committed, that we are come to a custome and habit of it: and that is indeed a high degree.

6. Yet even of habits some are worse then others; as first, if it be so confirm­ed, that we are come to a hardness of heart, have no sense at all of the sin; or secondly, if we go on in it against any extraordinary means used by God to re­form us, such as sickness, or any other affliction, which seemes to be sent on purpose for our reclaiming. Or thirdly, if all reproofs and exhortations either of Ministers or private friends work not on us, but either make us an­gry at our reprovers, or set us on defending the sin. Or Lastly, if this sinful habit be so strong in us, as to give us a love to the sin, not only in our selves, but in others; if as the Apostle saith, Rom. 1. 31. We do not only do the things, but take pleasure in them that do them, and therefore intice and draw as man [...] as we can into the same sins with us: Then it is risen to the highest step of wickedness, and is to be look't on as the utmost d [...]gree both of sin and danger. Thus you see how you are to examine your selves concerning your sins, in each of which you are to consider how many of these heightning circumstances there have [Page 75] bin, that so you may aright measure the hainousness of them.

7. Now the end of this examination is to bring you to such a sight of your sins, Humiliati­on. as may truly humble you, make you sensi­ble of your own danger, that have pro­voked so great a Majesty, who is able so sadly to revenge himself upon you. And that will surely even to the most carnal heart appear a reasonable ground of sorrow. But that is not all, it must likewise bring you to a sense and abhorrence of your baseness, and ingratitude, that have thus offended so good and gracious a God, that have made such unworthy and unkinde returnes to those tender and rich mercies of his. And this con­sideration especially must melt your hearts into a deep sorrow and contrition, the de­gree whereof must be in some measure an­swerable to the degree of your sins. And the greater it is, provided it be not such as shuts up the hope of Gods Mercy, the more acceptable it is to God, who hath promised not to despise a broken and con­trite heart, Psal. 51. 17. And the more likely it will be also to bring us to amend­ment: For if we have once felt what the smart of a wounded Spirit is, we shall have the lesse mind to venture upon sin a­gain.

8. For when we are tempted with any of the short pleasures of sin, we may then out of our own experience [Page 76] set against them the sharp pains and terrors of an accusing conscience, which will to any that hath felt them; be able infinitely to outweigh them. Endeavour therefore to bring your soul to this melting temper, to this deep un­feigned sorrow, and that not only for the dan­ger you have brought upon your self, for though that be a consideration that may and ought to work sadness in us, yet where that alone is the motive of our sorrow, it is not that sorrow which will avail us for pardon; and the reason of it is clear, for that sorrow proceeds only from the love of our selves, we are sorry, because we are like to smart. But the sorrow of a true penitent must be enjoyned also with the love of God, Contrition. and that will make us grieve for having offended him, though there were no punishment to fall upon our selves. The way then to stir up this sorrow in us, is first to stir up our love of God, by repeating to our selves the many gracious Acts of his mercy towards us, particularly that of his sparing us, and not cutting us off in our sins. Consider with thy self how many and how great provocations thou hast offered him, perhaps in a continued course of many years wilful disobedience, for which thou mightst with perfect justice have bin ere this sent quick into Hell; Nay, pos­sibly thou hast before thee many examples of less sinners, then thou art, who have bin sud­denly snatcht away in the midst of their sins. And what cause canst thou give, why thou hast thus long escaped, but only because his [Page 77] eye hath spared thee. And what cause of that sparing, but his tender compassions towards thee, his unwillingness that thou should'st perish? This consideration if it be prest home upon thy soul, cannot chuse (if thy heart be not as hard as the neather Milstone) but awake somewhat of love in thee towards this gracious, this long-suffering God, and that love will certain­ly make it appear to thee, that it is an evil thing, and a bitter, that thou hast forsaken the Lord, Ier. 2. 19. That thou hast made such wretched requitals of so great mercy; it will make thee both ashamed and angry at thy self, that thou hast bin such an unthankful crea­ture. But if the consideration of this one sort of mercy, Gods forbearance only, be such an engagement, and help to this Godly sorrow, what will then be the multitude of those other mercies, which every man is able to reckon up to himself? and therefore let every man be as particular in it as he can call to mind as many of them as he is able that so he may attain to the greater degree of true contrition.

9. And to all these endeavours most be ad­ded earnest prayers to God, that he by his ho­ly spirit would shew you your sins, and soften your hearts, that you may thorowly bewail, and lament them.

10. To this must be joyned an humble con­fession of sins to God, Confession. and that not only in ge­neral, but also in particular, as far as your memory of them will reach, and that with all those heightning circumstances of them, which [Page 79] you have by the forementioned examination discovered. Yea even secret, and forgotten sins must in general be acknowledged; for it is cer­tain there are multitudes of such, so that it is necessary for every one of us to say with Da­vid, Psal. 19. 12. Who can understand his er­rors, cleanse thou me from my secret faults. When you have thus confest your sins, with this hearty sorrow, and sincere hatred of them, you may then (and not before) be concluded to feel so much of your disease, that it will be seasonable to apply the remedy.

11. In the next place therefore you are to look on him, whom God hath set forth to be the propitiation of our sins, Rom. 3. 25. Even Ie­sus Christ that Lamb of God, who taketh away the sins of the world Io. 1. 29. And earnestly beg of God, that by his most precious blood, your sins may be washed away, and that God would for his sake be reconciled to you. And this you are to believe will surely be done, if you do for the rest of your time forsake your sins, and give your selves up sincerely to obey God in all his commands. But without that, it is vain to hope any benefit from Christ, or his suffer­ings. And therefore the next part of your preparation must be the setting those resoluti [...]ns of obedience which I told you was the third thing you were to examine your selves of be­fore your approach to the holy Sacrament.

12. Concerning the particulars of this re­solution, Resolutions of obedi­ence. I need say no more, but that it must answer every part, and branch of our du­ty; [Page 81] that is, we must not only in general resolve, that we will observe Gods Commandments, but we must resolve it for every Commandment by it self; and especially where we have found our selves most to have failed heretofore, there especially to renew our resolutions. And here­in it neerly concerns us to look, that these resolutions be sincere, and unfeigned, and not only such slight ones as people use out of cu­stome to put on at their coming to the Sacra­ment, which they never think of keeping after­wards. For this is a certain truth, that who­soever comes to this holy Table without an en­tire hatred of every sin, comes unworthily; and it is as sure, that he that doth intirely hate all sin, will resolve to forsake it; for you know forsaking naturally followes hatred, no man willingly abides with a thing, or person he hates. And therefore he that doth not so re­solve, as that God the searcher of hearts may approve it as sincere, cannot be supposed to hate sin, and so cannot be a worthy receiver of that holy Sacrament. Therefore trie your resolu­tions thorowly, that you deceive not your selves in them, it is your own great danger, if you do, for it is certain you cannot deceive God, nor gain acceptation from him by any thing, which is not perfectly hearty and un­feigned.

13. Now as you are to resolve on this new obedience, Of the meanes. so you are likewise to resolve on the meanes, which may assist you in the per­formance of it. And therefore consider in [Page 82] every duty, what are the means that may help you in it, and resolve to make use of them, how uneasy soever they be to your flesh; so on the other side consider what things they are, that are likely to lead you to sin, and resolve to shun and avoid them: this you are to do in re­spect of all sins whatever, but especially in those, whereof you have formerly bin guilty. For there it will not be hard for you to find, by what steps and degrees you were drawn into it, what company, what occasion it was that ensnared you, as also to what sort of tempta­tions you are aptest to yeild. And therefore you must particularly fence you self against the sin, by avoiding those occasions of it.

14. But it is not enough that you resolve you will do all this hereafter, but you must instantly set to it, and begin the course by doing at the present whatsoever you have op­portunity of doing: And there are several things, which you may; nay, must do at the present, before you come to the Sacrament.

15. As first you must cast off every sin, Present re­nouncing of sin. not bring any one unmortified lust with you to that Table; for it is not enough to purpose to cast them off afterwards, but you must then actu­ally do it by with-drawing all degrees of love and affection from them; you must then give a bill of divorce to all your old beloved sins, or else you are no way fit to be married to Christ. The reason of this is clear; For this Sacrament is our spiritual nourishment; now before we can receive spiritual nourishment [Page 83] we must have spiritual life (for no man gives food to a dead person) But whosoever conti­nues not only in the act, but in the love of a­ny one known sin hath no spiritual life, but is in Gods account no better then a dead car­kass, and therefore cannot receive that spiri­tual food. It is true, he may eat the bread, and drink the wine, but he receives not Christ, but in stead of him, that which is most dread­ful; the Apostle will tell you what, 1 Cor. 11. 29. He eates and drinks his own damna­tion. Therefore you see how great a necessity lies on you thus actually to put off every sin, before you come to this Table.

16. And the same necessity lies on you for a second thing to be done at this time,Imbracing vertue. and that is the putting your soul into a heavenly and Christian temper; by possessing it with all those graces which may render it acceptable in the eyes of God. For when you have turned out Satan and his accursed train, you must not let your soul lie empty; if you do, Christ tells you, Luke 11. 26. He will quickly return a­gain, and your last estate shall be worse then your first. But you must by earnest Prayer invite into it the holy Spirit, with his graces, or if they be in some degree there already, you must pray that he will yet more fully possess it, and you must quicken and stir them up.

17. As for example, Quickning of graces. you must quicken your humility, by considering your many and great sins; your Faith, by mediating on Gods pro­mises to all penitent sinners; your love to God, [Page 84] by considering his mercies, especially those remembred in this Sacrament, his giving Christ to die for us: and your love to your neighbour, nay to your enemies, by considering that great example of his suffering for us, that were enemies to him. And it is most particu­larly required of us when we come to this Ta­ble, that we copy out this pattern of his in a perfect forgiveness of all that have offended us, and not only forgiveness, but such a kind­ness also, as will express it self in all offices of love and friendship to them.

18. And if you have formerly so quite for­got that blessed example of his,Charity. as to do the direct contrary, if you have done any unkind­ness or injury to any person, then you are to seek forgiveness from him; and to that end first acknowledg your fault, and secondly restore to him to the utmost of your power, whatsoe­ver you have deprived him of, either in goods or credit. This reconciliation with our brethren is absolutely necessary towards the making any of our services aceptable with God, as appears by that precept of Christ, Mat. 5. 23, 24. If thou bring thy gift to the Altar and there remembrest that thy brother hath ought against thee, leave there thy gift before the Altar; and go thy way, first be re­conciled to thy brother, and then come, and of­fer thy gift. Where you see, that though the gift be already at the Altar, it must rather be left there unoffered, then be offered by a man that is not at perfect peace with his [Page 85] neighbour. And if this charity be so necessary in all our services, much more in this, where by a joynt partaking in the same holy mysteries, we signifie our being united and knit, not only to Christ our head, but also to each other, as fellow-members. And therefore if we come with any malice in our hearts we commit an act of the highest Hypocrisie, by making a so­lemn profession in the Sacrament of that cha­rity and brotherly love, whereof our hearts are quite void.

19. Another most necessary grace at this time is that of devotion, Devotion. for the raising whereof we must allow our selves some time to with­draw from our worldly affaires, and wholy to set our selves to this business of preparation, one very especial part of which preparation lyes in raising up our soules to a devout and heavenly temper. And to that it is most necessary, that we cast off all thoughts of the world, for they will be sure as so many clogs, to hinder our soules in their mounting towards heaven. A special exercise of this devotion is prayer, wherein we must be very frequent, and earnest at our coming to the Sacrament, this being one great instrument, whereby we must obtain all those other graces required in our preparation. Therefore be sure this be not omitted, for if you use never so much en­deavour besides, and leave out this, it is the going to work in your own strength, without looking to God for his help, and then it is im­possible you should prosper in it; For we are [Page 86] not able of our selves to think any thing, as of our selves, but our sufficiency is of God, 2 Cor. 3. 5. Therefore be instant with him so to as­sist you with his grace, that you may come so fitted to this Holy Table, that you may be partakers of the benefits there reached out to all worthy receivers.

20.Necessity of these graces. These and all other spiritual graces our Souls must be clothed with when we come to this Feast, for this is that wedding garment, without which whosoever comes, is like to have the entertainment, mentioned in the para­ble, of him who came to the marriage without a wedding garment, Mat. 22. 13. who was cast into utter darkness, where is weeping and gnash­ing of teeth; for though it is possible he may sit it out at the present, and not be snatcht from the Table, yet St. Paul assures him, he drinks damnation to himself, and howsoever it may fall on him, is uncertain; But it is sure, it will, if repentance prevent it not, and as sure that when ever it does come, it will be intole­rable, for who among us can dwell with ever­lasting burnings, Isa. 33. 14.

21. I shall add but one thing more concer­ning the things which are to be done before the Sacrament, The useful­ness of a spiritual guide. and that is an advice. That if any person upon a serions view of himself can­not satisfy his own Soul of his sincerity, and so doubts, whether he may come to the Sa­crament, He do not rest wholly on his own Judgement in the case; For if he be a truly humbl [...]d Soul, it is likely he may judge too hardly of himself, if he be not, it is odds, but [Page 87] if he be left to the satisfying of his own doubts, he will quickly bring himself to pass too favourable a sentence. Or whether he be the one or the other, if he come to the Sa­crament in that doubt, he certainly plunges himself into further doubts and scruples, if not into sin; On the other side, if he forbear, because of it, if that fear be a causeless one, then he groundlesly absents himself from that Holy Ordinance, and so deprives his Soul of the benefits of it. Threfore in the midst of so many dangers, which attend the mistake of himself, I would, as I said before, exhort him not to trust to his own judgement, but to make known his case to some discreet and Godly Minister, and rather be guid [...] by his, who will probably (if the case be duely and with­out any disguise discovered to him) be better able to judge of him, then he of himself. This is the councel the Church gives in the exhor­tation before the Communion, where it is ad­vised, that if any by other means therefore mentioned, cannot quiet his own conscience, but require farther counsel, and comfort, than let him go to some discre [...]t and learned Minister of Gods Word, and open his grief, that he may receive such Ghostly cou [...]sel, advice, and com­fort that his conscience may be relieved, &c. This is surely such advice, as should not be neglected neither at the time of coming to the Sacrament, nor any other, when we are un­der any fear or reasons of doubt concerning the state of our Souls. And for want of this, [Page 88] many have run into very great mischief, ha­ving let the doubt fester so long, that it hath either plunged them into deep distresses of con­science; or which is worse, they have to still that disquiet within them, betaken themselves to all sinful pleasures, and so quite cast off all care of their Souls.

22. But to all this it will perhaps be said,Not to be ashamed to discover our selves to one. that this cannot be done without discovering the nakedness, and blemishes of the Soul, and there is shame in that, and therefore men are unwilling to do it. But to that I answer, that it is very unreasonable, that should be a hin­derance. For first, I suppose you are to chuse onely such a person as will faithfully keep any secret, you shall commit to him, and so it can be no publick shame you can fear. And if it be in respect of that single person, you need not fear that neither; for, supposing him a godly man, he will not think the worse of you, but the better, that you are so desirous to set all right between God, and your Soul. But if indeed there were shame in it, yet as long as it may be a means to cure both your trouble and your sin too (as certainly Godly and faithful counsel may tend much to both) that shame ought to be despised, and it is sure it would, if we loved our Souls, as well as our body, for in bodily diseases, be they never so foul or shameful, we count him a fool, who will rather miss the cure, then discover it, and then it must here be so much a greater folly, by how much the Soul is more precious then the body.

[Page 89] 23. But God knows,As necessa­ry to the confident as to the doubtful. it is not onely doubting persons, to whom this advice might be useful, there are others of another sort, whose confi­dence is their disease, who presume very ground­lesless of the goodness of their estates; And for those it were most happy, if they could be brought to hear some more equal judgements, then their own in this so weighty a business. The truth is, we are generally so apt to savour our selves, that it might be very useful for the most, especially the more ignorant sort, sometimes to advise with a spiritual guide, to enable them to pass right judgements on them­selves, and not onely so, but to receive dire­ctions, how to subdue and mortify those sins they are most inclined to, which is a matter of so much difficulty, that we have no reason to despise any means that may help us in it.

24. I have now gone through those seve­ral parts of duty we are to perform before our receiving.At the time of re­ceiving. In the next place, I am to tell you, what is to be done at the time of receiving. Meditation of thy un­worthiness. When thou art at the Holy Table, first hum­ble thy self in an unfeigned acknowledgement of thy great unworthiness to be admitted there;The suffe­rings of Christ. and to that purpose remember again between God and thine own Soul, some of thy greatest, and foulest sins, thy breaches of for­mer vows made at that Table, especially since thy last receiving. Then meditate on those bitter sufferings of Christ, which are set out to us in the Sacrament, when thou seest the [Page 90] bread broken, remember how his blessed body was torn with nails upon the Cross, when thou seest the wine poured out, remember how his precious blood was spilt there. And then consider, it was thy sins that caused both. And here think, how unworthy a wretch thou art to have done that, which occasioned such torments to him? How much worse then his very crucifiers? They crucified him once, but thou hast, as much as in thee lay, crucified him daily. They crucified him, because they knew him not, but thou hast known both what he is in himself, The Lord of Glory, and what he is to thee a most tender and merciful Saviour, and yet thou hast still continued thus to crucify him afresh. Consider this, and let it work in thee, first a great sorrow for thy sins past, and then a great hatred, and a firm resolution a­gainst them for the time to come.

25. When thou hast a while thus thought on these sufferings of Christ for the increasingThe atone­ment wrought by them. thy humility and contrition; Then in the se­cond place think of them again, to stir up thy Faith; look on him as the sacrifice offered up for thy sins, for the appeasing of Gods wrath, and procuring his favour, and mercies toward thee. And therefore beleevingly, yet hum­bly, beg of God to accept of that satisfaction made by his innocent and beloved Son, and for the merits thereof to pardon thee; whatever is past, and to be fully reconciled to thee.

26. In the third place consider them again to raise thy thankfulness. The thank­fulness owing for them. Think how much [Page 91] both of shame and pain he there endured, but especially those great agonies of his Soul, which drew from him that bitter cry, My God, my God why hast thou forsaken me. Mat. 27. 45. Now all this he suffered only to keep thee from perishing. And therefore consider what unexpressable thanks thou owest him, and endeavour to raise thy Soul to the most zealous and hearty thanksgiving; For this is a principal part of duty at this time, the praising, and magnifying that mercy, which hath redeemed us by so dear a p [...]ice. There­fore it will here well become thee to say with David, I will take the Cup of Salvation and will call upon the Name of the Lord.

27. Fourthly, The great love of Christ in them. look on these sufferings of Christ, to stir up this love, and surely there cannot be a more effect [...]al means of doing it, for here the love of Christ to thee is most ma­nifest, according to that of the Apostle, 1 Jo. 3. 16. Hereby perceive we the love of God towards us, because he layed down his life for us. And that even the highest degree of love, for as himself tels us, Jo 15. 13. Grea­ter love then this hath no m [...]n, then that a man lay down his life for his friend. Yet even grea­ter love then this had he, for he not onely died, but died the most painful and most reproachful death, and that not for his friends, but his utter enemies. And therefore if after all this love on his part, there be no return of love on ours, we are worst then the vilest sort of men, for even the Publicans, Matth. 5. 46. [Page 92] Love those that love them. Here therefore chide, and reproach thy self, that thy love to him is so faint and cool, when his to thee was so zealous and affectionate. And endeavour to enkindle this holy flame in thy Soul, to love him in such a degree, that thou mayest be ready to copy out his example, to part with all things yea even life it self, whenever he cals for it, that is whensoever thy obedience to any command of his shal lay thee open to those sufferings. But in the mean time, to resolve never again to make any league with his ene­mies, to entertain, or harbour any sin in thy brest. But if there have any such hitherto remained with thee, make this the season to kill, and crucify it, offer it up at this instant a sacrifice to him, who was sacrificed for thee, and particularly for that very end, that he might redeem thee from all iniquity. Therefore here make thy solemn resolutions to forsake every sin, particularly those, into which thou hast most frequently fallen. And that thou mayest indeed perform those resolutions, ear­nestly beg of this crucified Saviour, that he will by the power of his death mortify and kill all thy corruptions.

28. When thou art about to receive the consecrated bread and wine, The bene­fits of the New Cove­nant sea­led in the Sacrament. remember that God now offers to seal to thee that New Co­venant made with mankinde in his Son. For since he gives that his Son in the Sacrament, he gives with him all the benefits of that Cove­nant, to wit, pardon of sins, fanctifying grace [Page 93] and a title to an eternal inheritance. And here be astonished at the infinite goodness of God who reaches out to thee so precious a trea­sure. But then remember, that this is all but on condition, that thou perform thy part of the Covenant. And therefore settle in thy Soul the most serious purpose of obedience, and then with all possible devotion joyn with the Minister in that short, but excellent prayer used at the instant of giving the Sacrament, The body of our Lord, &c.

29. So soon as thou hast received,Upon recei­ving give thanks. [...]ffer up thy devoutest praises for that great mercy, to­gether with thy most earnest prayers for such assistance of Gods Spirit,Pray. as may enable thee to perform the vow thou hast now made. Then remembring that Christ is a propitiati [...]n not for our sins onely, but also for the sins of the whole world, let thy charity reach as far as his hath done, and pray for all mankind, that every one may receive the benefit of that sacrifice of his; commend also to God the estate of the Church, that particularly, whereof thou art a member. And forget not to pray for all to whom thou owest obedience, both in Church and State, and so go on to pray for such par­ticular persons as either thy relations, or their wants shall present to thee If there be any collection for the poor (as there alwayes ought to be at this time) give freely according to thy ability; or if by the d [...]fault of others there be no such collection, yet do thou privately design something towards the relief of thy [Page 94] poor brethren, and be sure to give it the next fitting opportunity that offers it self. All this thou must contrive to do in the time that o­thers are receiving, that so when the publick prayers, after the administration begin, thou mayst be ready to joyn in them, which thou must likewise take care to do with all divoti­on: thus much for thy behaviour at the time of receiving.

30. Now followes the third and last thing;After the Sacrament. That is▪ what thou art to do after thy receiv­ing. That which is immediately to be done, is as soon as thou art retir'd from the Congre­gation, to offer up again to God thy Sacri­fice of praise for all those precious mercies con­veyed to thee,Private Prayer and Thanksgiv­ing. in that holy Sacrament, as also humbly to intreat the continued assistance of his grace to enable thee to make good all those purposes of obedience thou hast now made. And in whatsoever thou knowest thy self most in danger, either in respect of a­ny former habit, or natural inclination, there especially desire and earnestly beg his aid.

31. When thou hast done thus,Not pre­sently to f [...]l [...] worldly affaires do not presently let thy self lose to thy worldly car [...]s and businesse. But spend all that day, either in medi [...]ating, praying, reading, good confe­rences, or the like; so as may best keep up that holy flame that is enkindled in thy heart. Af­terwards, when thy calling requires thee to fall to thy usual affaire [...], do it, but yet still re­member that thou hast a greater business then [Page 95] that upon thy hands; that is, the performing of all those promises, thou so lately madest to God, and therefore whatever thy outward im­ployments are, let thy heart be set on that,To keep thy re [...]o [...]utions still in me­mory. keep all the particulars of thy resolution in memory, and whenever thou art tempted to any of thy old sins, then consider, this is the thing thou so solemnly vowedst against, and withal remember what a horrible guilt it will be,The danger of breaking them. if thou shouldst now wilfully do any thing contrary to that vow; Yea, and what a hor­rible mischief also it will be to thy self. For at thy receiving, God and thou enteredst into Covenant, into a league of friendship and kind­ness. And as long as thou keepest in that friendship with God, thou art false, all the ma­lice of men or divels can do thee no harm: For as the Apostle saith, Rom. 8. 31. If God be for us who can be against us. But if thou breakest this league (as thou certainly dost,Making God thy e­nemy. if thou yeild to any wilful sin) then God and thou are enemies, and if all the world then were for thee, it could not avail thee.

32. Nay thou wilt get an enemy within thine own bosome,Thy own conscience. thy conscience accusing and upbraiding thee, and when God and thine own conscience are thus against thee, thou canst not but be extremely miserable, even in this life, besides that fearful expectation of wrath, which awaites thee in the next. Remember all this, when thou art set upon by any temp­tation, and then sure thou canst not but look upon that temptation, as a cheat, that co [...]es [Page 96] to rob thee of thy peace, thy God, thy very soul. And then surely it will appear as unfit to entertain it, as thou wouldst think it to har­bour one in thy house, who thou knowest came to rob thee of what is dearest to thee.

33. And let not any experience of Gods mercy in pardonning thee heretofore incourage thee again to provoke him;Gods for­mer pardons no in­courage­ment to sin. for besides, that it is thy highest degree of wickedness and un­thankfulness to make that goodness of his, which should lead thee to repentance an incou­ragement in thy sin; besides this, I say, the oftner thou hast bin pardoned, the less reason thou hast to expect it again, because thy sin is so much the greater, for having bin committed after so much mercy. If a King have several times pardoned an offender, yet if he still re­turn to the commission of the same fault, the King will at last be forced, if he have any love to Justice, to give him up to it. Now so it is here, God is as well just as merciful, and his justice will at last surely and heavily a­venge the abuse of his mercy; and there cannot be a greater abuse of his mercy, then to sin in hope of it, so that it will prove a miserable deceiving of thy self then to presume upon it.

34. Now this care of making good thy vow must not abide with thee some few dayes only,The obliga­tion of this vow perpe­tual. and then be cast aside, but it must continue with thee all thy dayes. For if thou break thy vow, it matters not, whether sooner or latter. Nay perhaps the guilt may in some respects be [Page 97] more, if it be late, for if thou have for a good while gone on in the observance of it, that shews the thing is possible to thee; and so thy after breaches are not of infirmity, because thou canst not avoid them, but of perversness, because thou wilt not: Besides the use of Chri­stian-walking must needs make it more easie to thee. For indeed all the difficulty of it, is but from the custome of the contrary. And therefore if after some acquaintance with it, when thou hast overcome somwhat of the hardness, thou shalt then give it over, it will be most inexcusable. Therefore be careful all the dayes of thy life, to keep such a watch o­ver thy life, and so to avoid all occasions of temptations, as may preserve thee from all wilful breaches of this vow.

35. But though the obligation of every such single vow reach to the utmost day of our lives,Yet often to berenewed. yet are we often to renew it; that is, we are often to receive the holy Sacrament, for that being the means of conveying to us so great and unvaluable benefits; and it being also a Command of Christ, that we should do this in remembrance of him, we are in respect both of reason and duty to omit no fit opportunity of partaking of that holy Table. I have now shewed you what that reverence is, which we are to pay to God in his Sacrament.

PARTITION. IV.

HONOUR due to Gods name; Of Sinning against it; Blasphemy; Swearing; Assertory Oaths; Promissery Oaths; Unlawful Oaths; Of Perjury; Of vain Oaths, and the Sin of them, &c.

§. 1. THe last thing wherein we are to express our reverence to him,Honour due to Gods name. is the honouring his name. Now what this honouring of his name is, we shall best understand by consider­ing what are the things by which it is [...]shonoured, the avoiding of which will be our way of honouring it.

The first is all blasphemies, Sins a­gainst it. or speaking any evil thing of God, the highest degree whereof is cursing him, or if we do not speak it with our mouths, Blasphemy. yet if we do it in our hearts, by thinking any unworthy thing of them, it is lookt on by God, who sees the heart, as the vi­lest dishonour. But there is also a blasphemy of the actions, that is, when men who profess to be the servants of God, live so wickedly, that they bring up an evil report on him, whom they own as their Master and Lord. This blasphemy the Apostle takes notice of, R [...]m. 2. 24. Where he tells those who protest to be observers of the Law, That by their wick­ed [Page 99] actions the name of God was blasphemed a­mong the Gentiles. Those Gentiles were mov­ed to think ill of God, as the favour of sin, when they saw those, who called themselves his servants, commit it.

A second way of dishonouring Gods name,Swearing. is by swearing, and that is of two sorts, either by false oaths or else by rash, and light ones. A false oath may also be of two kinds, as first that by which I affirm somewhat, or secondly that by which I promise. The first is when I say such or such a thing was done so or so; and comfirm this saying of mine with an oath, Assertory oaths. if then I know there be not perfect truth in what I say, this is a flat perjury, a down right being forsworn; Nay if I swear to the truth of that, whereof I am only doubtful, though the thing should happen to be true, yet it brings upon me the guilt of perjury. For I swear at a venture, and the thing might for ought I knew be as well false as true, whereas I ought never to swear to any thing, the truth of which I do not certainly know.

2. But besides this sort of oaths, Promissory▪ by which I affirm any thing, there is the other sort, that by which I promise somwhat. And that promise may be either to God or Man, when it is to God, we call it a vow, of which I have already spoken, under the head of the Sacra­ments, I shall now only speak of that to man; & this may become a false oath, either at, or af­ter the time of taking it. At the time of taking, it is false if either I have then no real purpose of [Page 100] making it good or else take it in a sense diffe­rent from that which I know, he to whom I make the promise understands it; for the use of oaths, being to assure the persons, to whom they are made they must be taken in their sense. But if I were never so sincere at the taking the oath, if afterwards I do not perform it, I am certainly perju [...]ed.

3. The nature of an oath being then thus binding, Unlawful oaths. it neerly concerns us to look that the matter of our oaths be lawful, for else we run our selves into a woful snare. For Example, suppose I swear to kill a man, if I perform my oath, I am guilty of murder, if I break it, of perjury. And so I am under a necessity of sin­ning one way or other. But there is nothing puts us under a greater degree of this unhappy necessity, then when we swear two oaths, whereof the one is directly cross and contradi­ctory to the other. For if I swear to give a man my whole estate, and afterwards swear to give all or part of that estate to another, it is cer­tain I must break my oath to one of them, be­cause it is impossible to perform it to both, and so I must be under a necessity of being forsworn. And into this unhappy streight every man brings himself that takes any oath which cros­ses some other, which he hath formerly taken; which should make all that love either God, or their own souls, resolve never thus misera­bly to [...]ntangle themselves, by taking one oath cross and thwarting to another. But it may perhaps here be asked, what a person [Page 101] that hath already brought himself into such a condition shall do? I answer, he must first hear­tily repent the great sin of taking the unlaw­ful oath, and then stick only to the lawful, which is all that is in his power towards the re­pairing his fault, and qualifying him for Gods pardon for it.

4. Having said this concerning the kinds of this sin of perjury, God greatly dishonour­ed by perju­ry. I shall only add a few words to shew you, how greatly Gods name is disho­noured by it. In all oaths you know, God is solemnly called to witness the truth of which is spoken; now if the thing be false, it is the basest affront, and dishonour that can possibly be done to God. For it is in reason to signifie one of these two things, either that we be­lieve he knows not whether we say true or no. (And that is to make him no G [...]d, to suppose him to be as deceiveable, and easie to be delu­ded as one of our ignorant neighbours) or else that he is willing to countenance our lyes; the former robs him of that great attribute of his, his knowing all things, and is surely a great dishonouring of him, it being even a­mongst men accounted, one of the greatest dis­graces to account a man fit to have cheats put upon him; yet even so we deal with God, if we venture to forswear, upon a hope that God discerns it not, But the other is yet worse, for the supposing him willing to countenance our lies, is the making him a party in them; and is not only the making him no God (it be­ing impossible that God should either lie him­self [Page 102] or approve it in another) but it is the make­ing him like the very Divel. For he it is that is a lyer, and the Father of it, Jo. 8 44. And sure I need not say more to prove that this is the highest degree of dishonouring Gods name.

5. But if any yet doubt the hainousness of this sin;The punish­ments of it. let him but consider what God him­self sayes of it in the Third Commandment, where he solemnly professes, he will not hold him guiltless that taketh his name in vain, and sure the adding that to this commandment, and none of the rest, is the marking this out for a most hainous guilt: and if you look into Zac. 5. You will there find the punishment is answera­ble, even the utter destruction, not only of the man; but his house also. Therefore it con­cerns all men as they love either their temporal or eternal well-fare, to keep them most strictly from this sin.

But besides this of forswaring, I told you there was another sort of oaths, Vain oaths. by which Gods name is dishonoured, those are the vain and light oaths, such as are so usual in our common discourse; and are expresly forbidden by Christ, Mat. 5. 34. But I say unto you swear not at all; neither by heaven, for it is Gods throne, nor by the earth, for it is his foot-stool; where you see we are not allowed to swear even by meer crea­tures, because of the relation they have to God. How great a wickedness is it then to prophane his holy name by rash and vain oaths, this is a sin that is (by I know not what charm [Page 103] of Sathans) grown into fashion among us, and now its being so, draws d [...]ily more men into it. But it is to be remembred that when we shall appear before Gods Iudgement seat, to answer for those prophanations of his name; it will be no excuse to say, it was the fashion to do so, it will rather be an increase of our guilt, that we have by our own practice, help­ed to confirm that wicked custome, which we ought to have beat down, and discountenan­ced.

6. And sure what ever this prophane age thinks of it,The sin of them. this is a sin of a very high nature. For besides that it is a direct breach of the precept of Christs, it shews first a very mean, and low esteem of God; Every oath we swear is the appealing to God, to judge the truth of what we speak, and therefore being of such greatness, and majesty, it requires that the matter concerning which we thus appeal to him, should be of great weight, and moment, somewhat wherein either his own glory, or some considerable good of man is concerned. But when we swear in common discourse, it is far otherwise, any the tristingest, or lightest thing serves for the matter of an oath, nay often men swear to such vain and foolish things, as a considering person would be ashamed barely to speak. And is it not a great despising of God, to call him solemly to judge in such childish, such wretched matters, God is the great King of the world, now though a King be to be resorted unto in weighty ca­ses, [Page 104] yet sure he would think himself much de­spised, if he should be called to judge between boyes at their childish games: And God knows many things whereto we frequently swear, are not of greater weight, and therefore are a sign, that we do not rightly esteem of God.

7. Secondly, They lead to perjury. This common swearing is a sin which leads directly to the former of forswea­ring; for he that by the use of swearing hath made oaths so familiar to him, will be likely to take the dreadfullest oath without much consideration? For how shall he that swears hourly, look upon an oath with any reverence and he that doth not? it is his chance, not his care, that is to be thanked, if he keep from perjury. Nay further, he that swears com­monly, is not onely prepared to forswear, when a solemn oath is tendered him, but in all probability does actually forswear himself of­ten in these suddener oaths: for supposing them to come from a man, ere he is aware (which is the best can be said of them) what assurance can any man have, who swears, ere he is a­ware, that he shall not lye so too? And if he doth both together, he must necessarily be forsworn. But he that observes your comm [...]n swearers, will be put past doubt, that they are often forsworn. For they usually swear indif­ferently to things true or false, doubtful or certain. And I doubt not, but if men who are guilty of this sin, would but impartially examine their own practice, their hearts would second me in this observation.

[Page 105] 8. Thirdly, This is a sin,No tempta­tion to them. to which there is no temptation, there is nothing either of pleasure, or prefit, got by it. Most other sins offer us somewhat either of the [...]re, or the other, but this is utterly empty of both. So that in this sin the Devil does not play the M [...]rchant for our Souls, as in others he does, he doth not so much as cheapen them, but we give them freely into his hands without any thing in ex­change. There seems to be but one thing pos­sible for men to hope to gain by it, and that is to be beleeved in what they say when they thus bind it by an oath. But this also they constantly fail of, for there are none so little beleeved, as the common swearers. And good reason, For he that makes no conscience thus to profane Gods name; Why shall any man beleeve, he makes any of lying? Nay, their forwardness to confirm every the slightest thing by an oath, rather gives jealousy, that they have some inward guilt of falseness, for which that oath must be the clo [...]k. And thus you see in how little stead it stands them, even to this onely purpose, for which they can pretend it useful; and to any other advantage it makes not the lest claim, and therefore is a sin without temptation, and consequently without excuse: for it shewes the greatest contempt, nay unkindness to God, when we will provoke him thus, without any thing to tempt us to it. And therefore though the commonness of this sin have made it pass but for a small one, yet it is very far from being so, either in it self, or in Gods account.

[Page 106] 9. Let all therefore,Necessity of abstaining from them. who are not yet fallen into the custome of this sin, be most careful never to yield to the least beginnings of it, and for those who are so miserable, as to be alrea­dy [...]s [...]ared in it, let them immediately, as they tender their Souls, get out of it. And let no man plead the hardness of leaving an old custome, as an excuse for his continuing in it, but rather the longer he hath been in it, so much the more haste let him make out of it, as thinking it too too much, that he hath so long gone on in so great a sin. And if the length of the cust [...]me have increased the diffi­culty of leaving it, that is in all reason to make him set immediately to the casting it off, left that difficulty at last grow to an impossibility, and the harder he finds it at the present, so much the more diligent and watchful he must be in the use of all those means, Means for it. which may tend to the overcoming that sinful habit, some few of those means it will not be amiss here to mention.

10. First let him possess his mind fully of the hainousness of the sin,Sence of the guilt and danger and not to measure it onely according to the common rate of the world. And when he is fully perswaded of the guilt, then let him add to that, the considera­tion of the danger, as that it puts him out of Gods favour at the present, and will, if he continue in it, cast him into Hell for ever. And sure if this were but throughly laid to heart, it would restrain this sin; For I would ask a man, that pretends impossibility of leaving [Page 107] the custome, whether if he were sure he should be hanged the next oath he swore, the fear of it would not keep him from swearing? I can scarce beleeve any man in his wits so little Master of himself, but it would. And then surely damning is so much worse then hanging, that in all reason the fear of that ought to be a much greater restraint. The doubt is, men do either not heartily believe that this sin will damn them, or if they do, they look on it, as a thing a great way off and so are not much moved with it; but both these are very unreasonable. For the first, it is certain, that every one that continues wil­fully in any sin, is so long in a state of damna­tion, and therefore this being so continued in, must certainly put a man in that condition. For the second, It is very possible, he may be deceived in thinking it so far off, for how knows any man that he shal not be struck dead with an oath in his mouth, or if he were sure not to be so, yet eternal damnation is surely to be dreaded above all things, be it at what distance soever.

11. A second means is to be exactly true in all thou speakest,Truth in speaking. that all men may believe thee on thy bare word, and then thou wilt never have occasion to confirm it by an oath, to make it more credible, which is the onely colour, or reason can at any time be pretended for swearing.

12. Thirdly, Forsaking the occa­sions. Observe what it is that most betrayes thee to this sin, whether drink, or [Page 108] anger, or the company and example of others, or what ever else, and then if ever thou mean to forsake the sin, forsake those occasions of it.

13. Fourthly, Endeavour to possess thy heart with a continual remembrance of God, Reverence of God. and if that once grow into a custome with thee, it will quickly turn out that contrary one of pro­faning. Use and accustome thy self there­fore to this reverence of God; and particularly to such a respect to his name, as if it be pos­sible, never to mention It without some lif­ting up of thy heart to him; Even in thy or­dinary discourse, when ever thou takest his Name in to thy mouth, let it be an occasion of raising up thy thoughts to him. But by no means permit thy self to use it in idle by­words, or the like. If thou doest accustome thy self to pay this reverence to the bare men­tion of his name, it will be an excellent fence against the prophaning it in oaths.

14. A fifth means is a diligent and constant watch over thy self,Watchful­ness. that thou thus offend not with thy tongue, without which all the former will come to nothing. And the last means is prayer, Prayer. which must be added to all thy endea­vours, therefore pray earnestly, that God will enable thee, to overcome this wicked custom; say with the Psalmist, Set a watch O Lord over my mouth and keep the door of my lips; and if thou doest sincerely set thy self to the use of means for it, thou mayest be assured, God will not be wanting in his assistance. I have [Page 109] been the longer on this, because it is so reign­ing a sin: God in his mercy give all that are guilty of it a true sight of the hainousness of it.

15. By these several waies of dishonouring Gods Name you may understand,What it is to honour Gods Name. what is the duty of honouring it, viz. A strict abstaining from every one of these, and that abstinence founded on an awful respect, and reverence to that sacred Name, which is Great, Wonderful, and Holy, Psal. 99. 3. I have now past through the several branches of that great duty of ho­nouring of God.

PARTITION V.

Of WORSHIP due to Gods Name. Of Prayer and its several parts. Of Publick prayers in the CHURCH, in the FAMILY; Of PRIVATE PRAYER: Of REPENTANCE, &c. Of FASTING.

§. 1. THE eight duty we owe to God is worship; Worship. This is that great duty by which especially we acknowledg his Godhead, wor­ship being proper only to God, and therefore it is to be lookt on as a most weighty duty. This is to be performed first by our Souls, Prayer its parts. secondly by our bodies: The Souls part is praying. Now [Page 110] prayer is a speaking to God, and there are di­vers parts of it, according to the different things about which we speak.

2. As first, There is Confession, that is,Confession. the acknowledging our sins to God. And this may be either general, or particular; The general is, when we onely confess in gross, that we are sinful, the particular, when we men­tion the several sorts, and acts of our sins. The former is necessary to be alwayes a part of our solemn prayers, whether publick, or pri­vate. The latter is proper for private prayer, and there the oftner it is used, the better, yea, even in our daily private prayer it will be fit constantly to remember some of our greatest and foulest sins, though never so long since past. For such we should never think suffi­ciently confest, and bewailed. And this be­wailing, must alwaies go along with confession, we must be heartily sorry for the sins we con­fess, and from our Souls acknowledge our own great unworthiness, in having committed them, for our confession is not intended to in­struct God, who knows our sins much better then our selves do, but it is to humble our selves, and therefore we must not think w [...] have confest aright, till that be done.

3. The second part of prayer, is petition. Petitions. That is the begging of God whatsoever we want either for our Souls, or bodies. For our Souls we must first beg pardon of sins,For our Souls. and that for the sake of Jesus Christ, who shed his blood to obtain it. Then we must also beg the [Page 111] grace and assistance of Gods Spirit, to enable us to forsake our sins, and to walk in obedience to him. And herein it will be needful parti­cularly to beg all the several vertues, as faith, love, zeal, purity, repentance, and the like, but especially those which thou most wantest; And therefore observe what thy wants are, and if thou beest proud; be most instant in praying for humility, if lustful, for chastity, and so for all other graces, according as thou findest thy needs. And in all these things that concern thy Soul, be very earnest and importunate, take no denial from God, nor give over, though thou do not presently ob­tain what thou suest for. But if thou hast never so long prayed for a grace, and yet find­est it not, do not grow weary of praying, but rather search what the cause may be, which makes thy prayer so ineffectual; see if thou do not thy self hinder them, perhaps thou prayest to God, to enable thee to conquer some sin, and yet never goest about to fight against it, never makest any resistance, but ye [...]ldest to it, as oft as it comes, nay puttest thy self in its way, in the road of all temptations. If it be thus, no wonder though thy prayers avail not, for thou wilt not let them. Therefore amend this, and set to the doing of thy part sincerely, and then thou needest not fear, but God will do his.

4. Secondly, Bodi [...] We are to petition also for our bodies; That is, we are to ask of God such necessaries of life, as are needful to us, [Page 112] while we live here. But these onely in such a degree, and measure, as his wisdom sees best for us, we must not presume to be our own c [...]rvers, and pray for all that wealth, or greatness, which our own vain hearts may perhaps desire, but onely [...]or such a condition, in respect of outward things, as he sees may most tend to those great ends of our living here, the glorifying him, and the saving of our own Souls.

5. A third part of prayer is Deprecation, Depr [...]ca­tion. that is when we pray to God to turn away some evil from us. Now this evil may be ei­ther the evil of sin, or the evil of punishment. The evil of sin is that we are especially to pray against,Of sin. most earnestly begging of God, that he will by the power of his grace preserve us from falling into sin. And whatever sins they are, to which thou knowest thy self most inclined, there be particularly earnest with God, to preserve thee from them. This is to be done daily, but then more especially, when we are under any present temptation, & in dan­ger of falling into any sin; In which case we have reason to cry out, as St. Peter did, when he found himself sinking, save Lord, or I pe­rish; humbly beseeching him either to with­draw the temptation, or strengthen us to with­stand it, neither of which we can do for our selves.

6. Secondly, Of punish­m [...]t. We are likewise to pray a­gainst the evil of punishment, but principally against spiritual punishments, as the anger of [Page 113] God, the withdrawing of his grace, and eter­nal damnation. Against these we can never pray with too much earnestness; but we may also pray against temporal punishments, that is any outward affliction, but this with submis­sion to Gods will, according to the example of Christ, Mat. 26. 39. Not as I will, but as thou wilt.

7. A fourth part of prayer is intercession; that is,Intercession praying for others: This in general we are to do for all mankind, as well strangers, as acquaintance, but more particularly those, to whom we have any especial relation, either publick, as our Governours, both in Church and State, or private, as Parents, Husband, Wife, Children, Friends, &c. We are also to pray for all that are in affliction, and such particular persons, as we discern especially to be so; Yea we are to pray for those that have done injury, those that despightfully use us and persecute us, for it is expresly the com­mand of Christ, Mat. 5. 44. and that whereof he hath likewise given us the highest example, in praying even for his very crucifiers, Luc. 23. 34. Father forgive them. For all these sorts of persons we are to pray, and that for the very same good things we beg of God for our selves, that God would give them in their seve­ral places and callings, all spiritual and tem­poral blessings, which he sees wanting to them, and turn away from them all evil whether of sin, or punishment.

8. The fifth part of prayer is thanksgiving; Thank [...] ­ving [Page 114] That is, the praising, and blessing God for all his mercies, whether to our own persons, and those that immediatly relate to us, or to the Church and Nation whereof we are members, or yet more general to all mankind. And this for all his mercies both spiritual and temporal: In the spiritual, first for those wherein we are all in common concerned, as the giving of his Son, the sending of his Spirit, and all those means he hath used to bring sinful men unto himself. Then secondly for those mercies we have in our own particulars received, such are the having been born within the pale of the Church, and so brought up in Christian Religion, by which we have been partakers of those precious advantages of the word, and Sacraments, and so have had, without any care, or pains of ours, the means of e­ternal life put into our hands. But besides these, there is none of us but have received other spiritual means from God.

9. As first Gods patience, Spiritual Mercies. and long-suffering, waiting for our repentance, and not cutting us off in our sins. Secondly, his calls and invi­tations of us to that repentance, not only out­ward in the ministry of the word, but also in­ward, by the motions of his Spirit. But then if thou be one that hath by the help of Gods grace been wrought upon by these calls, and brought from a prophane, or worldly, to a Christian course of life, thou art surely in the highest degree tyed to magnifie and praise his goodness, as having received from him the greatest of mercies.

[Page 115] 10. We are likewise to give thanks for temporal blessings,Temporal. whether such as concern the publick, as the prosperity of the Church or Nation, and all remarkable deliverances offered to either; or else such as concern our particulars, such are all the good things of this life which we enjoy, as health, friends, food, rayment, and the like; also for those minuitly preservations, whereby we are by Gods gra­cious providence kept from danger, and the e­special deliverances which God hath given us in time of greatest perils. It will be impos­sible to set down the several mercies which everyman receives from God, because they dif­fer in kind and degree between one man and a­nother. But it is sure that he which receives least, hath yet enough to imploy his whole life in praises to God. And it will be very fit for every man to consider the several passages of this life, and the mercies he hath in each received, and so to gather a kind of list, or Catalogue of them, at least the principal of them, which he may alwayes have in his me­mory, and after with a thankful heart repeat before God.

11. These are the several parts of prayer and all of them to be used both publickly and privately. Publick Prayer in the Church. The publick use of them is, first that in the Church where all meet to joyn in those prayers, wherein they are in common concerned. And this (where the prayers are such as they ought to be) we should be very constant at, there being an especial blessing [Page 116] promised to the joynt requests of the faithful, and he that without a necessary cause absents himself from such publick prayers, cuts himself off from the Church, which hath alwayes been thought so unhappy a thing, that it is the greatest punishment, the Governours of the Church can lay upon the worst offender; and therefore it is a strange madness for men to in­flict it upon themselves.

12. A second sort of publick prayer,In the fa­mily. is that in a family, where all that are members of it, joyn in their common supplications, and this also ought to be very careful attended to; first by the Master of the Family, who is to look that there be such prayers, it being as much his part thus to provide for the souls of his children and servants, as to provide food for their bodies. Therefore there is none, even the meanest housholder, but ought to take this care: If either himself, or any of his Fa­mily can read, he may use some prayers out of some good book, if it be the service book of the Church, he makes a good choice; if they can­not read, it will then be necessary they should be taught without book some form of prayer, which they may use in the Family, for which purpose again some of the prayers of the Church will be very fit, as being most easie for their memories by reason of their shortness, and yet containing a great deal of matter. But what choice soever they make of Prayers, let them be sure to have some, and let no man that professes himself a Christian, keep [Page 117] so heathenish a Family, as not to see God be daily worshipped in it. But when the Master of a Family hath done his duty in this providing, it is the duty of every member of it to make use of that provision, by being constant, and dili­gent at those Family-Prayers.

13. Private or secret Prayer is that which is used by a man alone, Private Prayer. a part from all others, wherein we are to be more particular, accord­ing to our peculiar needs, then in publick it is fit to be. And this of private prayer, is a duty, which will not be excused by the perform­ance of the other of publick. They are both required, and one must not be taken in ex­change for the other. And whoever is diligent in publick prayers, and yet negligent in pri­vate, it is much to be feared, he rather seeks to approve himself to men, then to God, con­trary to the command of our Saviour, Mat. 6. Who enjoyns this private prayer, this praying to our Father in secret, from whom alone we are to expect our reward, and not from the vain praises of men.

14. Now this duty of Prayer is to be often performed,Frequency in Prayer. by none seldomer then evening and morning, it being most necessary that we should thus begin, and end all our works with God, and that not only in respect of the duty we owe him, but also in respect of our selves, who can never be either prosperous, or safe, but by com­mitting our selves to him; and therefore should tremble to venture on the perils either of day or night, without his safeguard. How much [Page 118] oftner this duty is to be performed, must be judged according to the business, or leisure men have, where by business, I mean not such business as men unprofitably make to them­selves, but the necessary business of a mans cal­ling, which with some will not afford them much time for set, and solemn Prayer. But even these men may often in a day lift up their hearts to God in some short Prayers, even whilst they are at their work. As for those that have more leisure, they are in all reason to bestow more time upon this duty. And let no man that can find time to bestow upon his vanities, nay perhaps his sins, say be wants leisure for prayer, but let him now endeavour to redeem, what he hath so mispent, by im­ploying more of that leisure in this duty for the future. And surely if we did but rightly weigh, how much it is our own advantage, to perform this duty,The advan­tages of Prayer. we should think it wis­dom to be as frequent as we are ordinarily so­lemn in it.

15. For first it is a great honour for us poor wo [...]mes of the earth to be allowed to speak so freely to the great Majesty of heaven;Honour. if a King should but vouchsafe to let one of his meanest subjects talk familiarly, and freely with him, it would be looked on as a huge ho­nour, that man how despiseable soever he were before, would then be the envy of all his neighbours; and there is little question, he would be willing to take all opportuni­ties of receiving so great a grace. But alas! [Page 119] this is nothing to the honour is offered us, who are allowed nay, invited to speak to, and con­verse with the King of Kings, and therefore how forward should we in all reason be to it.

16. Secondly, it is a great benefit, Benefit. even the greatest that can be imagined, for prayer is the instrument of fetching down all good things to us, whether spiritual, or temporal, no pray­er, that is qualified as it ought to be, but is sure to bring down a blessing according to that of the wise man, Eccl. 35. 17. The Prayer of the humble pierceth the clouds, and will not turn away, till the highest regard it. You would think him a happy man, that had one certain means of helping him to what ever he wanted, though it were to cost him much pains, and labour, now this happy man thou mayst be if thou wilt. Prayer is the never-failing means of bringing thee, if not all that thou thinkest thou wantest, yet all that indeed thou dost, that is, all that God sees fit for thee. And therefore be there never so much weariness to thy flesh in the duty, yet considering in what continual want thou standest for something or other from God, it is madness to let that uneasi­ness dishearten thee, and keep thee from this so sure meanes of supplying thy wants.

17. But in the third place this duty is in it self so far from being uneasie,Pleasant­ness. that it is very pleasant. God is the fountain of happiness, and at his right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Psal. 16. 11. And therefore the nearer we [Page 120] draw to him▪ the happier we must needs be, the very joys of heaven arising from our neerness to God. Now in this life we have no way of drawing so neer to him, as by this of Prayer, and therefore surely it is that, which in it self is apt to afford abundance of delight and plea­sure, if it seem otherwise to us, it is from some distemper of our own hearts, which like a sick palate cannot relish the most pleasant meat. Prayer is a pleasant duty, but it is withal a spiritual one; and therefore if thy heart be carnal, Carnallity one reason of its seem­ing other­wise. if that be set either on the contrary pleasures of the flesh, or dross of the world, no marvail then, if thou taste no pleasantness in it; if like the Israelites thou despise Manna, whilst thou longest after the flesh pots of Egypt. Therefore if thou find a weariness in this du­ty, suspect thy self, purge, and refine thy heart from the love of all sin, and endeavour to put it into a heavenly and spiritual trance, and then thou wilt find this no unpleasant exercise, but full of delight and satisfaction. In the mean time complain not of the hardness of the duty, but of the untowardness of thy own heart.

18. But there may also be another reason of its seeming unpleasant to us,Want of one another. and that i [...] want of use. You know there are many things, which seem uneasie at the first tryal, which yet after we are accustomed to them, seem very de­lightful, and if this by thy case, then thou knowest a ready cure, viz: to use it oftner, and so this consideration naturally inforces [Page 121] the exhortation of being frequent in this du­ty.

19. But we are not only to consider how often, but how well we perform it.To ask no­thing un­lawful. Now to do it well, we are to respect, first the matter of our Prayers, to look that we ask nothing that is unlawful, as revenge upon our enemies, or the like; secondly the manner; and that must be first in faith, we must believe, that if we ask as we ought,To ask in Faith. God will either give us the thing we ask for, or else something which he sees better for us.In humili­ty. And then secondly in humility we must acknowledg our selves utter­ly unworthy of any of those good things we beg for, and therefore sue for them only for Christs sake; thirdly with attention, we must mind what we are about,With at­tention. and not suffer our selves to be carried away to the thought of other things. I told you at the first, that Prayer was the business of the soul, but if our minds be wandering, it is the work only of the tongue and lips, which makes it in Gods account no better then vain babbling, and so will ne­ver bring a blessing on us. Nay, as Jacob said to his mother, Gen. 27. 12. It will be more likely to bring a curse on us then a blessing, for it is a profaning one of the most solemn parts of Gods service, it is a piece of Hypocri­sie, the drawing neer to him with our lip, when our hearts are far from him, and a great slight­ing and despising that dreadful Majesty we come before: And as to our selves it is a most ridiculous folly, that we who come to [Page 122] God upon such weighty errands, as are all the concernments of our souls and bodies, should in the midst forget our business, and pursue eve­ry the lightest thing that either our own vain fancies, or the Divel, whose business it is here to hinder us, can offer to us. It is just as if a malefactor, that comes to sue for his life to the King, should in the midst of his supplication happen to espie a butterflie, and then should leave his suit, & run a chace after that butterflie: Would you not think it pitty, a pardon should be cast away upon so wretchless a creature. And sure it will be as unreasonable to expect that God should attend & grant those suits of ours, which we do not at all consider our selves.

20. This wandring in Prayer is a thing we are much concerned to arm our selves against,Helps a­gainst wan­dring. it being that to which we are naturally won­derful prone. To that end it will be necessary first to possess our hearts at our coming to Prayers with the greatness of that Majesty we are to approach, [...] that so we may dread to be vain and trifling in his presence. Secondly, We are to consider the great concernment of the things we are to ask, [...] some whereof are such, that if we should not be heard, we were of all creatures the most miserable, & yet this wan­dring is the way to keep us from being heard. Thirdly, We are to beg Gods aid in this particu­lar: And therefore when thou settest to Pray­er, Prayer for Gods aid. let thy first petition be for this grace of at­tention.

21. Lastly, Watchful­nesse. Be as watchful as is possible o­ver [Page 123] thy heart, in time of prayer, to keep out all wandering thoughts, or if any have gotten in, let them not find entertainment, but as soon as ever thou discernest them, suffer them not to abide one moment, but cast them out with indignation, and beg Gods pardon for them. And if thou dost thus sincerely, and di­ligently strive against them, either God will en­able thee in some measure to overcome them, or he will in his mercy pardon thee what thou canst not prevent. But if it be through thy own negligence, thou art to expect neither, so long as that negligence continues.

22. In the fourth place we must look our Prayers be with zeal and earnestness, With Zeal. it is not enough that we so far attend them, as barely to know what it is we say, but we must put forth all the affection and devotion of our souls, and that according to the several parts of Prayer before mentioned. It is not the cold faint request, that will ever obtain from God. We see it will not from our selves; for if a beggar should ask relief from us, and do it in such a scornful manner, that he seemed indif­ferent; whether he had it or no, we should think he had either little want or great pride, and so have no heart to give him. Now surely the things we ask from God, are so much above the rule of an ordinary almes, that we can ne­ver expect they should be given to slight and heartless petitions. No more in like manner will our Sacrifice of praise and thanksgiving ever be accepted by him, if it be not offered [Page 124] from a heart truly affected with the sence of his mercies; it's but a kind of formal complemen­ting, which wil never be approved by him who requires the heart, and not the lips only. And the like may be said of all the other parts of Prayer. Therefore be careful when thou draw­est nigh to God in Prayer, to raise up thy soul to the highest pitch of zeal and earnestness thou art able. And because of thy self alone thou art not able to do any thing, beseech God that he will inflame thy heart with this heaven­ly fire of devoti [...]n, and when thou hast obtained it, beware that thou neither quench it by any wilful sin, nor let it go out again for want of stirring it up, and imploying it.

23. Fifthly, we must Pray with purity, With puri­ty. I mean we must purge our hearts from all affe­ctions to sin. This is surely the meaning of the Apostle, 1 Tim. 2. 8. When he commands men to lift up holy hands in Prayer, and he there instances in one special sort of sin, wrath and doubting, whereby doubting is meant those unkind disputes, and contentions which are so common amongst men. And surely he that cherishes that, or any other sin in hi [...] heart, can never lift up those holy hands, which are required in this duty. And then sure his prayers, be they never so many, or earnest, will little avail him. The Psalmist will tell him, he shall not be heard, Psal. 66. 18. If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me. Nay Solomon will tell him yet worse, that his prayers are not onely vain, [Page 125] but abominable, Pro. 15. 8. The sacrifice of the wicked is an abomination to the Lord. And thus to have our prayers turned into sin, is one of the heaviest things can befal any man; we see it is set down in that sad Catalogue of cur­ses, Psal. 109. 7. Therefore let us not be so cruel to our selves, as to pull it upon our own heads, which we certainly do, if we offer up prayers from an impure heart.

24. In the last place we must direct our prayers to right ends, To right ends. And that either in the respect of the prayer it self, or the things we pray for; First, we must pray, not to gain the praise of devotion amongst men like those hy­pocrites Mat. 6. 5. Nor yet onely for compa­ny, or fashion sake, to do as other do; But we must do it first as an act of worship to God; Secondly, as an acknowledgment, that he is that great spring, from whence alone we expect all good things; And thirdly, to gain a supply of our own, or others needs. Then in respect of the things prayed for, we must be sure to have no ill aimes upon them, we must not ask, that we may consume it upon our lusts, Ia. 4. 3. as those do, who pray for wealth, that they may live in riot, and excess; and for power, that they may be able to mis­chief their enemies, and the like But our end in all must be Gods glory first, and next that our own, and others Salvation, and all other things must be taken in, onely as they tend to those, which they can never do, if we abuse them to sin. I have now done with [Page 126] that first part of worship, that of the Soul.

25. The other is that of the body, Bodily worship. and that is nothing else, but such humble, and reverent gestures in our approaches to God, as may both express the inward reverence of our Souls, and may also pay him some tri­bute from our very bodies, with which the Apostle commands us to glorify God, as well as with our Souls; and good reason, since he hath created, and redeemed the one, as well as the other, whensoever therefore thou offer­est thy prayers unto God, let it be with all lowliness as well of body, as of mind, accord­ing to that of the Psalmist, Psal. 95. 6. O come let us worship, let us fall down and kneel before the Lord our maker.

26. The ninth duty to God,Repentance is REPEN­TANCE. That this is a duty to God we are taught by the Apostle, Acts 20. 21. where speaking of repentance, he stiles it repentance towards God. And there is good reason this should be a duty to him, since there is no sin we commit, but is either mediatly, or imme­diatly, against him. For though there be sins both against our selves, and our neigh­bours, yet they being forbidden by God, they are also breaches of his Commandements, and so sins against him.

This repentance is,A turning from sin to God. in short, nothing but a turning fr [...]m sin to God, the casting off all our former evils, and in stead thereof, con­stantly practising all those Christian duties, which God requireth of us. And this is so ne­cessary [Page 127] a duty, that without it we certainly perish, we have Christs word for it, Luke 13. 5. Except ye repent, ye shall all likewise pe­rish.

27. The directions for performing the se­veral parts of this duty have been already gi­ven in the preparation to the Lords Supper, Times for this Duty. and thither I refer the reader. Onely I shall here mind him, that it is to be lookt upon as a duty to be practised onely at the time of re­ceiving the Sacrament. For this being the onely remedy against the poyson of sin, we must renew it as often as we repeat our sins, that is daily.Daily. I mean we must every day repent of the sins of that day, for what Christ saith of other evils, is true also of this, sufficient to the day is the evil thereof; we have sins e­nough of each day to exercise a daily repen­tance, and therefore every man must thus daily call himself to account.

28. But as it is in accounts, At set times. they who con­stantly set down their daily expences, have yet some set time of casting up the whole summe; as at the end of the week or moneth; so should it also be here, we should set aside some time to humble our selves solemnly before God for the sins, not of that day onely, but of our whole lives. And the frequenter these times are, the better. For the oftner we thus cast up our accounts with God, and see vast debts we are run in to him, the more hum­bly shall we think of our selves, and the more shall thirst after his mercy, which two are the [Page 128] special things that must qualify us for his par­don. He therefore that can assign himself one day in the week for this purpose, will take a thriving course for his Soul. Or if any mans state of life be so busie, as not to afford him to do it so often, let him yet come as neer to that frequency, as is possible for him, remem­bring alwayes, that none of his worldly im­ployments can bring him in neer so gainful a return as this spiritual one will do, and therefore it is very ill husbandry to pursue them, to the neglect of this.

29. Besides these constant times,In the time of affliction there are likewise occasion all times for the performance of this duty, such especially are the times of ca­lamity, and affliction, for when any such be­fals us, we are to look on it as a message sent from Heaven, to call us to this duty, and therefore must never neglect it, when we are thus summoned to it, lest we be of the num­ber of them, who despise the chastisements of the Lord, Heb. 12. 5.

30. There is yet another time of repentance, At Death. which in the practice of men hath gotten away the custome from all those, and that is the time of death, which, it is true, is a time very fit to renew our repentance, but sure not proper to begin it, and it is a most desperate madness for men to defer it till then. For to say the middest of it, it is the venturing our Souls upon such miserable uncertainties, as no wise man would trust with any thing of the least value.

[Page 129] For first, I would ask any man,The danger of defer­ring it till then. that means to repent at his death, how he knows he shall have an hours time for it? do we not daily see men snatch'd away in a moment? and who can tell that it shal not be his own case? But se­condly, suppose he have a more leisurely death, that some disease give him warning of its ap­proach, yet perhaps he will not understand that warning, but will still flatter himself, as very often sick people do, with hopes of life to the last: and so his death may be sudden to him, though it come by never so slow de­grees. But again thirdly, if he do discern his danger, yet how is he sure he shall then be able to repent? Repentance is a grace of God, not at our own command, and it is just and usual with God, when men have a long time refused, and rejected that grace, resisted all his cals, and invitations to conversion and a­mendment, to give them over at last to the hardness of their own hearts, and not to af­ford them any more of that grace they have so despised. Yet suppose in the fourth place, That God in his infinite patience should still continue the offer of that grace to thee, yet thou that hast resisted, it may be thirty, or forty or fifty years together, how knowest thou,The disad­vantages of a death-bed repen­tance. that thou shalt put off that habit of resistance upon a sudden, and make use of the grace afforded? It is sure, thou hast many more advantages towards the doing it now then thou wilt have then.

31. For the first, The custom of sin. The longer sin hath kept [Page 130] possession of the heart, the harder it will be to drive it out. It is trne, if repentance were no­thing, but a present ceasing from the acts of sin, the death-bed were fittest for it, for then we are disabled from committing most sins, but I have formerly shewed you, repentance contains much more then so, there must be in it a sincere hatred of sin and love of God. Now how unlikely is it, that he which hath all his life loved sin, cherisht it in his bosome, & on the contrary abhorred God and goodness, should in an instant quite change his affections, hate that sin he loved, and love God, and goodness, which before he utterly hated?

32. And secondly, Bodily pains. The bodily pains, that attend a death-bed, will distract thee, and make thee unable to attend the work of re­pentance, which is a business of such weight, and difficulty, as will employ all our powers, even when they are at the freshest.

33. Consider those disadvantages thou must then struggle with,Danger of unsincerity. and then tell me what hope there is, thou shalt then do that, which now upon much easier terms thou wilt not. But in the fifth place, there is a danger behind, beyond all these, and that is, that th [...] repentance which death drives a man to, will not be a true repentance, for in such a case it is plain, it is onely the fear of hell puts him on it, which though it may be a good beginning, where there is time after to per [...]ect it, yet where it goes alone, it can never avail for Salvation. Now that death-bed repentances are often one­ly [Page 131] of this sort, is too likely, when it is observed, that many men who have seemed to repent, when they have thought death approaching, have yet, after it hath pleased God to restore them to health, been as wicked (perhaps worse) as ever they were before; Which shews plainly, that there was no reall change in them, and then surely had such a man died, in that seeming repentance, God, who tries the heart, would not have accepted it, which he saw was unsincere. When all these dangers are layed together, it will surely appear a most disperate adventure for any man to trust to a death-bed repentance. Nor is it ever the less for that example of the penitent thief, Luc. 23. 43. which is by many so much depended on. For it is sure, his case and ours differ widely, he had never heard of Christ before, and so more could not be expected of him then to embrace him as soon as he was tendred to him; But we have had him offered, nay prest upon us from our cradles and yet have rejected. But if there were not this difference, it is but a faint hope can be raised onely from a single example, and another we find not in the whole Bible. The Israelites we read were fed with Manna from Heaven, but would you not think him stark mad, that should out of ex­pectation of the like, neglect to provide him­self any food; Yet it is full as reasonable to depend upon this example as the other. I con­clude all in the words of the wiseman, Eccl. 12. 1. Remember thy Creator in the dayes of thy [Page 132] youth before the evil dayes come, &c.

34. To this duty of repentance, Fasting. fasting is very proper to be annexed. The Scripture usually joyns them together, among the Jews the great day of atonement was to be kept with fasting, as you may see by comparing Levit. 16. 31. with Isa. 58. 5. and this by Gods e­special appointment. And in the Prophets, when the people are called on to repent, and humble themselves, they are also called on to fast. Thus it is Joel 2. 12. Therefore now thus saith the Lord, turn ye unto me with all your hearts, with fasting, and with weeping, &c. Yea, so proper hath fasting been ac­counted to humiliation, that we see even wicked Ahab would not omit it in his, 2 Kings 21. 27. Nor the Heathen Ninevites in theirs, Jonah 3. 5. Nor is it less fit, or less accepta­ble since Christ, then it was before him. For we see he supposes it as a duty sometimes to be performed, when he gives directions to avoid vain-glory in it. Mat. 6. 6. and also assures us, that if it be performed, as it ought, not to please men, but God, it will surely be re­warded by him. And accordingly [...]e find it practised by the Saints: Anna Luk. 2. 37. Served God with fastings and prayers; where it is observable, that it is reckoned as a service of God, fit to be joyned with prayers. And the Christians of the first times were generally very frequent in the practice of it. Now though fasting be especially proper to a time of humiliation, yet is it not so restrained to it, [Page 133] but it may be seasonable, whensoever we have any extraordinary thing to request from God. Thus when Esther was to endeavour the deli­verance of her people from destruction, she & all the Jews kept a solemn fast, Esther 4. 16. and thus when Paul and Barnabas were to be ordained Apostles, there was fasting joyned to prayer, Acts 13. 3. And so it will be very fit for us, whensoever we have need of any extra­ordinary directions, or assistance from God whe­ther concerning our temporal or spiritual con­cernments, thus to quicken our prayers by fasting. But above all occasions, this of hu­miliation seems most to require it, for besides the advantage of kindling our zeal, which is never more necessary, then when we beg for pardon of sins, fasting carries in it somewhat of revenge, Fasting a a revenge upon our selves which is reckoned as a special part of repentance, 2 Cor. 7. 11. For by de­nying our bodies the refreshment of our ordi­nary food, we do inflict somewhat of punish­ment upon our selves, for our former excesses, or whatever other sins we at that time accuse our selves of; which is a proper effect of that indignation which every sinner ought to have against himself. And truly he that is so tender of himself, that he can never find in his heart so much as to miss a meal, by way of punishment for his faults, shews he is not much fallen out with himself, for committing them, and so wants that indignation, which the Apostle in the forenamed text mentions, as a part of true repentance.

[Page 134] 35. There is no doubt,Such re­venges ac­ceptable with God. but such Holy re­venges upon our selves for sins are very ac­ceptable to God, yet we must not think that either those, or any thing else we can doe, can make satisfaction for our offences,Yet no sa­tisfaction for sins. for that nothing but the blood of Christ can do. And therefore on that, and not on any of our per­formances we must depend for pardon. Yet since that blood shall never be applyed to any but penitent sinners, we are as much concern'd to bring forth all the fruits of repentance, as if our hopes depended on them onely.

36. How often this duty of fasting is to be performed,Times of fasting. we have no direction in Scripture. That must be allotted by mens own piety, ac­cording as their health, or other considerations will allow. But as it is in humiliation, the frequenter returns we have of set times for it, the better; so is it likewise in fasting, the of [...] ­ner, the better, so it be not hurtful either to our healths, or to some other duty required of us. Nay perhaps fasting may help some men to more of those times for humiliation, then they would otherwise gain. For per­haps there are some, who cannot, without a manifest hinderance to their calling, allow a whole day to that work, yet such a one may at least afford that time, he would otherwise spend in eating; And so fasting will be doubly useful towards such a mans humiliation, both by helping him in the duty, and gaining him time for it.

37. I have now gone through the first [Page 135] branch of our duty to God, Second bran [...]h of our d [...]ty to God. to wit the acknow­ledging him for our God. The second is the having no other. Of which I need say little, as it is a forbidding of that grosser sort of heathi­ness Idolatry, the worshipping of Idols, which though it were once common in the world, yet is now so rare, that it is not likely any that shall read this, will be concerned in it. Onely I must say, that to pay divine worship to any creature, be it Saint or Angel, yea or the Image of Christ himself, is a transgression against this second branch of our duty to God, it being the imparting that to a creature which is due onely to God, and therefore is strictly to be abstained from.

38. But there is another sort of Idolatry, Inward Idolatry. of which we are generally guilty, and that is when we pay those affections of love, fear, trust, and the like, to any creature in a higher degree then we do to God. For that is the setting up that thing, whatsoever it is, for our God. And this inward kind of Idolatry is that, which provokes God to jealousy, as well as the outward of worshipping an Idol. I might inlarge much upon this, but because some se­verals of it have been toucht on in the former discourse, I suppose it needless. And there­fore shall now proceed to the second head of duty, that to our selves.

PARTITION. VI.

Of DUTIES to our SELVES, Of Sobriety other Hu­mility; the great Sin of PRIDE, the Danger, the Folly of this Sin. Of VAIN GLORY, the Dan­ger, Folly, The Means to Prevent it. Of MEEK­NES, the Means to obtain it, &c.

§. 1. THis duty to our selves, Duty to our selves. is by St. Paul in the foremetioned text, Tit. 2▪ 12. summed up in this one word, soberly. Now by soberly is meant our keeping within those due bounds which God hath set us. My busi­ness will therefore be to tell you, what are the particulars of this sobriety. And that first in respect of the soul, secondly in respect of the body: the sobriety of the soul stands in a right governing its passions, and affections; and to that there are many vertues required. I shall give you the particulars of them.

2 The first of them is humility, Humility. which may well have the prime place, not only in respect of the excellency of the vertue, but also of it usefulness towards the obtaining of all the rest. This being the founda [...]ion, on which all others must be built. And he that hopes to gain them without this, will prove but like that foolish builder Christ speaks of, Luke 6. 49. Who built his house on the sand. Of the humility [Page 137] towards God I have alread [...] spoken, and shew­ed the necessity of it, I am now to speak of humility, as it concerns our selves, which will be found no less necessary, then the former.

3. This humility is of two sorts, the first is the having a mean and low opinion of our selves, the second is the being content that others should have so of us. The first of these is contrary to pride, the other to vain glory. And that both these are absolutely necessary to Christians, I am now to shew you [...] which will, I conceive, best be done by laying before you first the sin, secondly the danger, and third­ly the folly of the contrary vices.

4. And first for pride;The great sin of pride. the sin of it is so great, that it cast the Angels out of heaven, and therefore if we may judg of sin by the pu­nishment, it was not only the first, but the greatest sin that ever the Divel himself hath bin guilty of: But we need no better proof of the hainousness of it, then the extreme hate­fulness of it to God, which besides that instance of his punishing the Divel, we may frequently find in the Scriptures, Prov. 16. 5. Every one that is proud in heart, is an a­bomination to the Lord. And again, Chap. 6. 16. Where there is mention of several things▪ the Lord hates, a proud look is set as the first of them: So Jam. 4. 7. God resisteth the proud; and divers other texts there are to the same pur­pose, which shew the great hatred God bears to this sin of pride Now since it is certain, God who is all goodness hates nothing, but [Page 138] as it is evil, it must needs follow, that where God hates in so great a degree, there must be a great degree of evil.

5. But secondly, The danger. pride is not only very sin­ful, but very dangerous, and that first in re­spect of drawing us to our sins,Drawing into other sins. secondly of be­traying us to punishments. First, pride draws us to other sins, wherein it shews it self indeed to be the direct contrary to humility, for as that is the root of all vertu, so is this of all vice. For he that is proud, sets himself up as his own God, and so can never submit himself to any other rules or Laws, then what he makes to himself. The ungodly, sayes the Psalmist, is so proud that he careth not for God, Psal. 10. 4. Where you see it is his pride, that makes him despise God. And when a man is once come to that, he is prepared for the commission of all sins. I might instance in a multitude of par­ticular sins, that naturally flow from this of pride, as first anger, which the wise man sets, as the effect of pride, Pro. 21. 24. calling it proud wrath; secondly, strife and contention, which he again notes to be the off-spring of pride, Pro. 13. 10. Only by pride cometh con­tention. And both these are indeed most n [...] ­tural effects of pride. For he that thinks very highly of himself, expects much submission, and observance from others, and therefore cannot but rage and quarrel, whenever he thinks it not sufficiently payed. It would be infinite to mention all the fruits of this bitter root, I shall name but one more, and that is, [Page 139] that pride not only betrays us to many sins, but also makes them incureable in us, for it hinders the working of all remedies.

6. Those remedies must either come from God or man;Frustrating of remedies. if from God, they must be either in the way of meekness and greatness, or else of sharpness and punishment. Now if God by his goodness essay to lead a proud man to repentance, he quite mistakes Gods meaning, and thinks all the mercies he receives, are but the reward of his own desert, and so long 'tis sure he will never think he needs repentance. But if on the other side, Gods use him more sharply, and lay afflictions, and punishments upon him, those in a proud heart work no­thing but murmurings and hatings of God, as if he did him injury in those punishments. As for the remedies that can be used by man, they again must be either by way of correcttion, or exhortation; correcttion from man will sure never work more on a proud heart, then those from God; for he that can think God unjust in them, will much rather believe it of man. And exhortations will do as little. For let a proud man be admonished though never so mildly and lovingly, he looks on it as a dis­grace. And therefore in stead of confessing, or amending the fault, he falls to reproach­ing his reprover, as an over-busy, or censo­rious person, and for that greatest and most precious act of kindness, looks on him as his enemy. And now one that thus stubbornly re­sists all means of cure, must be included [Page 140] in a most dangerous estate.

7. But besides this danger of sin,Betraying to punish­ment. I told you there was another, that of punishment; and of this there will need little proof, when it it con­sidered, that God is the proud mans profest enemy; that he hates and resists him, as ap­peared in the texts forecited: And then there can be little doubt, that he which hath so mighty an adversarie shall be sure to smart for it; Yet besides this general ground of con­clusion, it may not be a miss to mention some of those t [...]xts, which particularly threaten this sin, as Pro. 16. 18. Pride goeth before de­struction, and an haughty spirit before a fall: Again, Pro. 16. 5. Every one that is proud in heart is an abomination to the Lord, though hand joyn in hand, yet they shall not be unpu­nished. The decree it seems is unalterable, and whatever endeavours are used to preserve the proud man, they are but vain, for he shall not go unpunished. And this is very remarkable in the story of Nebuchadnezar, Dan. 4. Who though a King, the greatest in the world, yet for his pride, was driven from among men, to dwell and feed with beasts. And it is most frequently seen, that this sin meets with very extraordinary judgments even in this life. But if it should not, let not the proud man think that he hath escaped Gods vengeance, for it is sure, there will be a most sad reckoning in the next; for if God spared not the An­gels for this sin, but cast them into hell, let no man hope to speed better.

[Page 141] 8. In the third place,The folly. I am to shew you the great folly of this sin, and to do that, it will be necessary to consider the several things, whereof men use to be proud; they are of three sorts, either those which we call the goods of nature, or the goods of fortune, or the goods of grace.

9. By the goods of nature, In respect of the goods of Nature. I mean beauty, strength, wit, and the like, and the being proud of any of these is a huge folly. For first we are very apt to mistake, and think our selves hand some or witty, when we are not, and then there cannot be a more ridiculous folly, then to be proud of what we have not, and such every one e­steems it in another man, though he never supposes it his own case, and so never dis­cerns it in himself. And therefore there is nothing more despiseable amongst all men, then a proud fool, yet no man that entertains high opinions of his own wit, but is in danger to be thus deceived, a mans own judgment of himself being of all others the least to be trusted. But Secondly, suppose we be not out in judging, yet what is there in any of these natural endow­ments, which is worth the being proud. There being scarce any of them, which some creature or other hath not in a greater degree then man. How much does the whiteness of the Lilly, and the redness of the Rose exceed the white, and red of the fairest face? [Page 142] what a multitude of creatures is there, that farr surpass man in strength and sweetness? And divers others there are which as far as con­cerns any useful end of theirs, act much more wisely then most of us; and are therefore of­tentimes in Scripture proposed to us by way of Example. It is therefore surely great un­reasonableness for us to think highly of our selves, for such things as are common to us with beasts and plants. But thirdly, if they were as excellent as we fancy them, yet they are not at all durable, they are impaired and lost by sundry means; a phrensy will destroy the rarest wit, a sickness decay the freshest beauty, the greatest strength, or however old age will be sure to do all. And therefore to be proud of them is again a folly in this respect. But lastly, whatever they are, we gave them not to our selves. No man can think he did any thing towards the procuring his natural beau­ty or wit, and so can with no reason value himself for them.

10 In the second place,The goods of fortune. the folly is as great to be proud of the goods of fortune; by them I mean wealth and honour, and the like; for it is sure, they add nothing of true worth to the man, somewhat of outward pomp, and bravery they may help him to, but that makes no change in the person. You may load an Asse with money, or deck him with rich trap­pings, yet still you will not make him a whit the nobler kind of beast by either of them. Then secondly, these are things we have no [Page 143] hold of, they vanish many times, ere we are aware, he that is rich to day, may be poor tomorrow, and then will be the less pitied by all in his poverty, the prouder he was when he was rich. Thirdly, We have them all, but as Stewards, to lay out for our Masters use, and therefore should rather think how to make our accounts, then pride our selves in our receipts. Lastly, Whatever of these we have, they, as well as the former, are not owing to our selves. But if they be lawfully gotten, we owe them onely to God, whose blessing it is, that maketh rich, Pro. 10. 22. If unlawfully, we have them upon such terms, that we have very little reason to brag of them. And thus you see in these several re­spects, the folly of this second sort of pride.

11. The third is that of the goods of grace;The goods of grace. that is any vertue a man hath. And here I can­not say, but the things are very valuable, they being infinitely more precious, then all the world, yet nevertheless this is of all the rest the highest folly. And that not onely in the fore­going respect, that we help not our selves to it, grace being above all things most immediatly Gods Work in us, but especially in this, that the being proud of grace, is the sure way to loose it. God, who gives grace to the hum­ble, will take it from the proud. For if, as we see in the parable, Mat. 25. 28. the talent was taken from him who had onely put it to no use at all, how shall he hope to have it [Page 144] continued to him, that hath put it to so ill, that in stead of trading with it for God, hath trafficked with it for Satan? And as he will loose the grace for the future, so he will loose all reward of it for the time past. For let a man have done never so many good acts, yet if he be proud of them, that pride shall be charged on him to his destruction, but the good shall never be remembred to his reward. And this proves it to be a most wretched folly to be proud of grace. It is like that of chil­dren, that pull those things in pieces, they are most fond of, but yet much worse then that of theirs, for we not onely loose the thing (and that the most precious that can be imagi­ned) but we must also be eternally punished for doing so, there being nothing that shall be so sadly reckoned for in the next world, as the abuse of grace, and certainly there can be no greater abuse of it, then to make it serve for an end so directly contrary to that for which it was given, it being given to make us humble, not proud, to magnify God, not our selves.

12. Having shewed you thus much of this sin,Means of Humility. I suppose it will appear very necessary to be eschewed, to which purpose it will first be useful to consider, what hath been already said concerning it, and that so seriously, as may work in thee▪ not some slight dislike, but a deep, and irreconcileable hatred of the sin; secondly to be very watchful over thine own heart, that it cherish not any beginnings of it; [Page 145] never suffer it to feed on the fancy of thy own worth, but when ever any such thought arises, beat it down immediatly with the remem­brance of some of thy follies or sins, and so make this very motion of pride an occasion of humility. Thirdly, Never to compare thy self with those thou thinkest more foolish or wicked then thy self, that so thou mayest like the Pharisee Luk. 16. 11. extol thy self, for being better, but if thou wilt compare, do it with the Wise, and Godly, and then thou wilt find thou comest so far short, as may help to pull down thy high esteem of thy self. Lastly, To be very earnest in Prayer, that God would root out all degrees of this sin in thee, and make thee one of those poor in Spirit, Mat. 5. 3. to whom the blessing, even of Heaven it self, is promised.

13. The second contrary to humility I told you was vain glory. Vain glory. That is a great thirst after the praise of men.The sin. And first, that this is a sin, I need prove no otherwise, then by the words of our Saviour, Jo. 5. 44. How can ye believe, that receive honour one of another? Where it appears, that it is not onely a sin, but such a one, as hinders the receiving of Christ into the heart, for so believing there signifies.The danger This then in the second place shews you likewise the great dangerousness of this sin, for if it be that, which keeps Christ out of the heart, it is sure it brings infinite danger, since all our safety, all our hope of escaping the wrath to come, stands in receiving him? [Page 146] But besides the authority of this text, com­mon experience shews, that where ever this sin hath possession, it endangers men to fall into any other. For he that so considers the praise of men, that he must at no hand part with it, when ever the greatest sins come to be in fashion, and credit (as God knows many are now a daies) he will be sure to commit them, rather then run the disgrace of being too singular, and precise; I doubt there are many consciences can witness the truth of this, so that I need say no more to prove the danger of this sin.

14. The third thing I am to shew,The folly. is the folly of it, And that will appear first by con­sidering, what it is we thus hunt after, no­thing but a little air, a blast, the breath of men, it brings us in nothing of reall advan­tage: for I am made never the wiser, nor the better, for a mans saying I am wise, and good. Besides if I am commended, it must be either before my face, or behind my back, if the former, it is very often flattery, and so the greatest abuse that can be offered, and then I must be very much a fool, to be pleased with it. But if it be behind my back, I have not then so much as the pleasure of knowing it, and therefore it is a strange folly thus to pursue, what is so utterly gainless. But se­condly, It is not onely gainless, but painful, and uneasy also. He that eagerly seeks Prayer, is not at all Master of himself, but must suit all his actions to that end, and in stead of [Page 147] doing what his own reason and conscience (nay perhaps his wordly conveniency) directs him to, he must take care to do what wil bring him in commendations, and so enslaves him­self to every one that hath but a tongue to commend him. Nay there is yet a further uneasiness in it, and that is, when such a man fails of his aime, when he misses the praise, and perhaps meets with the contrary re­proach, (which is no mans lot more often then the vain glorious, nothing making a man more despised) then what disturbances and disquiets, and even tortures of mind is he un­der? A lively instance of this you have in Achitophel, 2 Sam. 17. 23. who had so much of this upon Absoloms despising his counsel, that he chose to rid himself of it, by hanging himself. And sure this painfulness that thus attends this sin, is sufficient proof of the folly of it. Yet this is not all, it is yet further very hurtful: For if this vain glory be concerning any good, or Christian action, it destroyes all the fruit of it; he that prayes or gives almes to be seen of men, Mat. 6. 2. must take that as his reward, Verily I say unto you they have their reward, they must expect none from God, but the portion of those hypo­crites that love the the praise of men more then the praise of God. And this is a miserable folly to make such an exchange. It is like the dog in the fable, who seeing in the water the shadow of that meat he held in his mouth, catcht at the shadow, & so let go meat. Such [Page 148] dogs, such unreasonable creatures are we, when we thus let go the eternal rewards of Heaven, to catch at a few good words of men. And yet we do not onely loose those eternal joyes, but procure to our selves the contrary eternal mercies, which is sure the highest pitch of folly and madness. But if the vain glory be not concerning any vertuous action, but only some indifferent thing, yet even there al­so it is very hurtful; for vain glory is a sin, that wheresoever it is placed, endangers our eter­nal estate, which is the greatest of all mischiefs. And even for the present it is observable, that of all other sins, it stands the most in its own light, hinders it self of that very thing it pursues. For there are very few that thus hunt after praise, but they are discerned to do so, and that is sure to eclipse whatever praise worthy thing they do, and brings scorn upon them in stead of reputation. And then certainly we may justly condemn this sin of folly, which is so ill a manager even of its own dedesigns.

15. You have seen how wretched a thing this vain glory is, [...]elps a­ [...]inst vain [...]ry. in these several respects, the serious consideration whereof, may be one good means to subdue it, to which it will be necessary to add; first, a great watchfulness over thy self; Observe narrowly, whether in any Christian duty thou at all considerest the praise of men, or even in the most indiffe­rent action, look whether thou have not too eager a desire of it; And if thou findest thy self inclined that way, have a very strict eye [Page 149] upon it, and where ever thou findest it stirring, check, and resist it; suffer it not to be the end of thy actions; But in all matters of Religion, let the duty be thy motive; In all indifferent things of common life, let reason direct thee; and though thou mayest so far consider in those things the opinion of men, as to observe the rules of common decency, yet never think any praise, that come in to thee from any thing of that kind worth the contriving for; Secondly, Set up to thy self another aime, viz that of pleasing God; let that be thy inquiry when thou goest about any thing, whether it be approved by him, and then thou wilt not be at leisure to consider what praise it will bring thee from men. And surely he that weighs of how much more moment it is to please God, who is able eter­nally to reward us, then men, whose applause can never do us any good, will surely think it reasonable, to make the former his onely care. Thirdly, If at any time thou art praised, do not be much overjoyed with it, nor think a jot the better of thy self, but if it be vertue thou art praised for, remember it was God, that wrought it in thee, and give him the glo­ry, never thinking any part of it belongs to thee; If it be some indifferent action, then remember that it cannot▪ deserve praise, as having no goodness in it; But if it be a bad one (as amongst men such are sometimes like­liest to be commended) then it ought to set thee a trembling, in stead of rejoycing, for [Page 150] then that woe of our Saviours belongs to thee, Luk. 6, 26. Wo unto you when men speak well of you, for so did their Fathers to the false Prophets, and there is not a greater sign of a hardned heart, then when men can make their sins the matter of their glory. In the last place let thy prayers assist in the fight with this corruption.

16. A second vertue is meekness, Meekness. That is a calmness and quietness of spirit, contrary to the rages, and impatiences of anger. This vertue may be exercised either in respect of God, or our neighbour. That towards God I have already spoken of, under the head of humility, and that towards our neighbour I shall hereafter; All I have here to say of it, is, how it becomes a duty to our selves; that it does, in respect of the great advantage we reap by it,Advan­tages of it. which, in meer kindness to our selves, we are to look after. And to prove that it brings us this great advantage, I need say no more, but that this meekness is that to which Christ hath pronounced a blessing, Mat. 5. 5. Blessed are the meek, and not onely in the next world, but even in this too, they shall inherit the earth; Indeed none but th [...] meek person hath the true enjoyment of any thing in the world, for the angry, and impa­tient are like such people, who we use to say, cannot enjoy the greatest prosperities; For let things be never so fair without, they will raise storms within their own breasts. And surely whoever [...]ath either in himself, or others ob­served [Page 151] the greatest uneasiness of this passion of anger, cannot chuse but think meekness a a most pleasant thing.

17. Besides it is also a most honourable thing, for it is that whereby we resemble Christ, learn of me, saith he, for I am meek and lowly in heart, Mat. 11. 28. It is also that whereby we conquer our selves, over­come our own unruly passions, which of all victories is the greatest, and most noble. Last­ly, it is that which makes us behave our selves like men, whereas anger gives us the fierce­ness and wildness of savage beasts. And ac­cordingly the one is by all esteemed, and lov­ed, whereas the other is hated and abhorred, every man shunning a man in rage as they would a furious beast.

18. Farther, yet meekness is the sobriety of the mind, whereas anger is the direct madness, it puts a man wholly out of his own power, and makes him do such things, as himself in his sober temper abhors; how many men have done those things in their rage, which they have repented all their lives after? and there­fore surely as much as a man is more honou­rable then a beast, a sober man then a mad man, so much hath this vertue of meekness the advantage of honour above the contrary vice of anger.

19. Again, meekness makes any condition tollerable, and easie to be endured. He that meekly bears any suffering, takes off the edg of it, that it cannot wound him, whereas he [Page 152] that frets and rages at it; whets it, and makes it much sharper then it would be; Nay in some cases makes that so, which would not else be so at all; as particularly in the case of re­proachful words, which in themselves can do us no harm, they neither hurt our bodies nor lessen our estate, the only mischief they can do us is to make us angry, and then our anger may do us many more; whereas he that meek­ly passes them by, is never the worse for them; nay the better, for he shall be rewarded by God for that patience. Much more might be said to recommend this virtue to us, in respect of our own present advantage, but I suppose this may suffice to perswade men to esteem of it. The harder matter will be to gain them to the practice of it, wherein men pretend I know not what difficulties of natural constitu­tions and the like; Yet sure there is no man of so Cholerick a temper; but if he did heartily set about it, would find it were not impossible in some good measure to subdue it: But then he must be diligent in using means to that end. Divers of these means there are I shall menti­on some few.

20 As first. Means of obtaining it. The imprinting deep in our mind the loveliness, and benefits of meekness, toge­ther with the ugliness and mischiefs of anger. Secondly, To set before us the examples of Christ, who endured all reproaches, yea tor­ments with perfect, patience that was lead as a sheep to the slaughter, Isaiah 33. 7. That when he was reviled, reviled not again; when [Page 153] he suffered, threatned not, 1 Pet. 2. 23. And if he the Lord of glory suffered thus meekly and unjustly from his own creatures, with what force can we ever complain of any in­jury done to us? Thirdly, To be very watch­ful to prevent the very first beginnings of an­ger, and to that purpose to mortifie all in­ [...]ard peevishness, and frowardness of mind, which is a sin in it self, though it proceed no farther, but will also be sure, if it be cherish­ed to break out into open effects of anger. Therefore whenever thou findest the least rising of it within thee, make as much haste to check it as thou wouldst to quench a fire in thy house, but be sure thou bring no fuell to it, by entertaining any thoughts, that may increase it. And at such a time especially, keep a most strick watch over thy tongue, that it break not out into any angry speeches, for that breath will fan the fire; not only in thine adversary, but thy self too; therefore though thy heart be hot within stifle the flame, and let it not break out, and the greater the tem­ptation is▪ the more earnestly lift up thy heart to God, to assist thee to overcome it. Fourth­ly, Often remember, how great punishments sins have deserved, and then whether thy suf­ferings be from God or man, thou wilt ac­knowledg them to be far short of what is due to thee, and therefore wilt be ashamed to be impatient at them.

21. The third vertue is [...]onsideration, Considerati­on. and this in a most special manner we own to our [Page 154] souls. For without it, we shall, as rash, un­advised people use to do; rush them into in­finite perils. Now this consideration is either of our state, or of our actions. By our state I mean what our condition is to God-ward,Of our state. whether it be such that we may reasonably conclude our selves in his favour. This it much concerns us to consider and examine, and that not by those easie rules men are apt to frame to themselves, as whether they believe that Christ died for their sins; that they are of the number of the elect; and shall certainly be saved, if these and the like were all that were required to put us into Gods favour, none but some very melancholly person could ever be out of it, for we are apt enough generally to believe comfortably of our selves. But the rules God hath given us in his word, are those by which we must be tryed at the last day, and therefore are certainly the only safe ones, by which to trie our selves now.The rule by which to trie our state. And the summe of those are, that whosoever continues in a­ny one wilful sin is not in his favour, nor can if he so die, hope for any mercy at his hand.

22. Now it is highly necessary, we should consider what our condition is in this respect For since our life is nothing but a puffe of breath in our nostrils, which may for ought we know be taken from us the next minuite, it neerly concerns us, to know how we are pro­vided for another world, that so in case we want at present that oile in our lamps, where­with [Page 155] we are to meet the Bride-groom, Mat. 25. 8. We may timely get it, and not for want of it be ever shut out like the foolish virgins, from his presence.The danger of inconsi­deration. The neglect of this consi­deration hath undon many soules, some by too easie a belief that they were in a good conditi­on, without considering and trying them­selves by the foregoing rule, but presuming either upon some slight outward performan­ces, or upon such a false faith, as I even now described others by the wretched careless go­ing on, without so much as asking themselves, what their condition is, but hope they shall do as well as their neighbours, and so never in­quiring farther; which wretched carelesness will as certainly undoe the spiritual, as the like would do the temporal estate; yet in that e­very man is wise enough to foresee, that a man that never takes any accounts of his estate to see whether he be worth somthing or nothing, will be sure to be a begger in the end. But in this far weightier matter we can generally be thus improvident.

23. The second thing we are to consider,Our acti­ons. is our actions, and those either before, or after the doing of them. In the first place we are to consider before we act,Before we do them. and not to do any rashly or headily. But first to advise with our consciences, whether this be lawful to be done, for he that followes his own incli­nation, and does every thing which that moves him to, shall be s [...]re to fall into a mul­titude of sins. Therefore consider soberly and [Page 156] be assured of the lawfulness of the thing, be­fore thou venture to do it. This advisedness is in all worldly things accounted so necessary a part of wisdom, that no man is accounted wise without it; A rash man we look upon as the next degree to a fool: And yet it is sure there is not so much need of looking a­bout us in any thing, as in what concerns our souls, and that not only in respect of the great value of them above all things else, but also in regard of the great danger they are in, as hath been shewed more at large in the beginning of the treatise.

24 Secondly, We are to consider our acti­ons,After they are done. when they are past also, that is, we are to examine whether they have been such, as are allowable by the Laws of Christ, This is very necessary, whether they be good or bad; if they be good, the recalling them helpeth us to the comfort of a good conscience, and that comfort again incourageth us to go on in the like; and besides it stirrs us up to thankful­ness to God, by whose grace alone we were enabled to do them. But if they be bad, then it is especially necessary, that we thus exa­mine them, for without this it is impossible we should ever come to amendment; for un­less we observe them to have been amiss, we can never think it needful to amend: But shall still run on from one wickedness to another, which is the greatest curse any man can lie up­on.

25. The oftner therefore we use this consi­deration, [Page 157] the better;Frequency of conside­ration. for the less likely it is, that any of our sins shall escape our know­ledg. It is much to be wisht, that every man should thus every night try the actions of the day, that so if he have done any things a­misse, he may soon check himself for it, and settle his resolutions against it, and not let it grow on to a habit and course. And that he may also early beg Gods pardon, which will the easier be had, the sooner it is asked, every delay of that being a great increase of the sin. And surely whoever means to take account of himself at all, will find this the ea­siest course, it being much easier to do it so, a little at a time, and while passages are fresh in his memory, th [...]n to take the account of a long time together.Danger of omitting it. Now if it be considered, that every wilful sin must have a particular repentance before it can be pardoned, me thinks men should tremble to sleep without that re­pentance, for what assurance hath any man that lies down in his bed, that he shall ever rise again; and then how dangerous is the con­dition of that man, that sleeps in an unre­pented sin? The weighing of these several motives may be a means by Gods blessing, to bring us to the practice of this duty of conside­ration in all the parts of it.

PARTITION. VII.

Of CONTENTEDNES and the Contraries to it; Murmuring, Ambition, Covetousness, Envy, Helps to Contentedness, Of DUTIES which concern our BODIES Of CHASTITY, &c. Helps to it. Of TEMPERANCE▪ Rule of Temperance in EATING.

§. 1. THe fourth vertue is contended­ness, Contented­ness. and this surely is a du­ty we much own to our selves, it being that without which it is impossible to be happy. This con­tentedness is a well-pleasedness with that con­dition, whatever it is that God hath placed us, not murmuring, and repining of our lot, but cheerfully well-c [...]ming whatsoever God sends. How great, and withal how pleasant a vertue this is, may appear by the contrarie­ty it hath to several great and painful vices, so that where this is rooted in the heart▪ it subdues not only some such single sin, but [...] cluster of them together.

2. And first it is contrary to all murmuring i [...] general,Contrary to murmuring. which is a sin most hateful to God, as may appear by his sharp punishments of it on the Israelites in the wilderness, as you may read in several places of the book of Exodus, [Page 159] and Numbers. And sure it is also very pain­ful, and uneasie to a mans self, for if, as the Psalmist saith, it be a joyful and pleasant thing to be thankful, we may by the rule of contra­ries conclude, it is a sad and unpleasant thing to be murmuring; and I doubt not every mans own experience will confirm the truth of it.

3. Secondly, It is contrary to ambition, the ambitions man is alwayes disliking his present condition,To ambiti­on. and that makes him so greedily to seek a higher, whereas he that is content with his own, lies quiet out of the road of his tem­ptation. Now ambition is not only a great sin in it self, but it puts men upon many other; There is nothing so horrid, which a man that eagerly seeks greatness will stick at; lying, per­jury, murder, or any thing will down with him; if they seem to tend to his advancement. And the uneasiness of it is answerable to the sin. This none can doubt of, that considers what a multitude of fears and jealousies, cares and distractions there are that attend ambiti­on in its progresse, besides the great and pub­lick ruines that usually befal it in the end. And therefore sure contentedness is in this respect as well a happines, as a vertue.

4. Thirdly, it is contrary to covetousness; To covet [...]us­ness. this the Apostle witnesseth. Heb. 13. 5. Let your conversation be without covetousness, and be content with such things as ye have, where you see contentedness is set as the direct con­trary to covetousness. But of this there needs [Page 160] no other proof, then common experience, for we see the covetous man never thinks he hath enough, and therefore can never be content, for no man can be said to be so, that thirsts after any thing he hath not. Now that you may see how excellent, and necessary a virtue this is, that secures us against covetousness, it will not be amiss a little to consider the nature of that sin.

5. That it is a very great crime, is most certain, for it is contrary to the very founda­tion of all good life, I mean those three great duties to God, to our selves, to our neigh­bour. First, Covetous­ness con­trary to our duty to God. It is so contrary to our du­ty to God, that Christ himself tels us Luk. 16 13. We cannot serve God and Mammon; he that sets his heart upon wealth, must neces­sarily take it off from God. And this we daily see in the covetous mans practice, he is so eager in the gaining of riches, that he hath no time or care to perform duty to God, let but a good bargain, or opportunity of gain come in his way, prayer and all duties of Re­ligion must be neglected to attend it. Nay, when the committing the greatest sin against God may be likely either to get, or save him ought, his love of wealth quickly perswades him to commit it.

6. Secondly, To our selves. It is contrary to the duty we owe our selves, and that both in respect of our Souls, and bodies▪ The covetous man despises his Soul, sels that to eternal destru­ction for a little pelf; For so every man does, [Page 161] that by any unlawful means seeks to enrich himself; Nay though he do it not by unlaw­ful means, yet if he have once set his heart upon wealth, he is that covetous person, of whom the Apostle hath pronounced, that he shall not enter into the Kingdom of God, 1 Cor. 6. 10. Nor doth he onely offend against his Soul, but against his body too. For he often denies that those necessary refreshments it wants, and for which his wealth (as far as it concerns himself) was given him. This is so constantly the custome of rich Misers, that I need not prove it to you.

7. In the third place. Covetousness is contra­ry to the duty we owe to our neighbours. To our neighbour [...] And that in both the parts of it, Justice and Chari­ty: he that loves money immoderately, will not care whom he cheats, and defrauds, so he may bring in gain to himself, and from hence spring those many tricks of deceit and couse­nage, so common in the world. As for Cha­rity, that is never to be hoped for from a co­vetous man, who dreads the lessening of his own heaps more then the starving of his poor Brother. You see how great a sin this is that containes under it so many others; so that we may well say of it, as the Apostle doth 1 Tim. 6. 10. The love of money is the root of all evil. And it is not much less uneasy, then wicked, for between the care of getting, and the fear of loosing, the covetous man enjoyes no quiet hour. Therefore every man is deeply concerned, as the tenders his happiness, either in this world, or the next, to guard [Page 162] himself against this sin, which he can no way do▪ but by possessing his heart with this ver­tue of contentedness.

8. In the fourth place, it is contrary to en­vy, Contented­ness con­trary to envy. for he that is content with his own condition, hath no temptation to envy anothers; How unchristian a sin this of envy is, shall hereafter be shewed; At the present, I need say no more, but that it is also a very uneasy one, it frets and knawes the very heart of him that harbours it. But the worse this sin is, the more excellent still is this grace of contentedness, which frees us from it. I suppose I have said enough to make you think this a very lovely, and desirable Virtue. And sure it were not impossible to be gained by any, that would but observe these few di­rections.

9. First, To consider,Helps to contented­ness. that whatever our estate and condition in any respect be, it is that which is allotted us by God, and therefore is certainly the best for us, he being much bet­ter able to judge for us, then we for our selves; and therefore to be displeased at it, is in ef­fect to say, we are wiser then he. Secondly, Consider thorowly the vanity of all worldly things, how very little there is in them, whi [...]e we have them, and how uncertain we are to keep them, but above all, in how little stead they will stand us at the day of death or judgement, and then thou canst not think any of them much worth the desiring, and so wilt not be discontented for want of them. Thirdly, Suffer not thy fancy to run on things [Page 163] thou hast not: many have put themselves out of love with what they have, onely by think­ing what they want. He that sees his neigh­bour possess somewhat, which himself hath not, is apt to think how happy he should be, if he were in that mans condition, and in the mean time never thinks of enjoying his own, which yet perhaps in many respects may be much happier, then that of his neighbours which he so much admires. For we look but upon the outside of other mens conditions, and many a man that is envied by his neigh­bours, as a wonderful happy person, hath yet some secret trouble, which makes him think much otherwise of himself. Therefore ne­ver compare thy condition in any thing with those thou countest more prosperous then thy self, but rather do it with those, thou knowest more unhappy, and then thou wilt find cause to rejoice in thine own portion. Fourthly, Consider how far thou art from deserving any good thing from God, and then thou canst not but with Jacob Gen. 32. 10. confess, that thou art not worthy of the least of those mercies thou enjoyest, and in stead of murmuring that they are no more, wilt see reason to ad­mire, and praise the bounty of God, that they are so many. Fifthly, Be often thinking of the joyes laid up for thee in Heaven; look up­on that as thy home, on this world, only as an Inne, where thou art fain to take up in thy passage; and then as a traveller expects not the same conveniences at an Inne, that he hath [Page 164] at home, so thou hast reason to be content with whatever entertainment thou findst here, knowing thou art upon thy journey to a place of infinite happiness, which will make an abun­dant amends for al the uneasiness, and hardship thou canst suffer in the way. Lastly, Pray to God, from whom all good things do come, that he will to all his other blessings, add this of a contented mind, without which thou canst have no taste or relish of any other.

10. A fifth duty is diligence: Diligence. This is made up of two parts, watchfulness, and industry, and both these we owe to our Souls

11. First, Watchfulness, Watchful­ness a­gainst sin. in observing all the dangers that threaten them. Now since nothing can endanger our Souls, but sin, this watchfulness is principally to be imployed a­gainst that: And as in a besieged City, where there is any weak part, there it is ne­cessary to keep the strongest guard; so it is here, wherever thou findest thy inclinations such, as are most likely to betray thee to sin, there it concerns thee to be especially watch­ful; Observe therefore carefully to what sins either thy natural temper, thy company, or thy course of life do particularly incline thee, and watch thy self very narrowly in those; Yet do not so lay out all thy care on those, as to leave thy self [...]open to any other▪ for that may give Satan as much advantage on the other side; but let thy watch be general, a­gainst all sin, though in a special manner against those, which are like oftnest to assault thee.

[Page 165] 12. The second part of diligence, Industry in improving gifts. is indu­stry, or labour, and this also we owe to our Souls, for without it they will as little prosper as that vineyard of the sluggard, which Solo­mon describes, Prov. 24. 30. For there is a husbandry of the Soul, as well as of the estate, and the end of the one, as of the other, is the creasing, and improving of its riches. Now the riches of the Soul are either natural, or Divine. By the natural I mean its faculties of reason, wit, memory, and the like; by the Divine I mean the graces of God, which are not the Souls natural portion, but are given immediatly by God, and both these we are to take care to improve, they being both talents intrusted to us for that purpose.

13. The way of improving the natural is by imploying them so,Of Nature. as may bring in most honour to God: we must not let them lye idle by us, through sloth, neither must we overwhelme them with intemperance, and brutish pleasures, which is the case of too many, but we must employ them, and set them on work. But then we must be sure it be not in the Devils service, like many, who set their wit onely to the profaning of God, or cheating their neighbours, and stuff their me­mories with such filthiness, as should never once enter their thoughts; our use of them must be such, as may bring in most glory to God, most benefit to our neighbours, and may best fit us to make our accounts, when God shall come to reckon with us for them.

[Page 166] 14. But the other part of the Souls riches, Of Grace. is yet more precious, that is grace, and of this we must be especially careful, to husband, and improve it. This is a duty expresly com­manded us by the Apostle, 2 Pet. 3. 18. Grow in grace. And again, in the first chapter of that Epistle, verse 5. Give all diligence to add to your Faith vertue, and to vertue knowledg, &c. Now the especial means of improving grace is by imploying it, that is, by doing those things for the enabling of us whereunto it was given us; This is a sure means, not only in respect of that easiness, which a custome of any thing brings in the doing of it, but prin­cipally, as it hath the promise of God, who hath promised, Mat. 25. 29. That to him that hath (that is hath made use of what he hath) shall be given, and he shall have abun­dance. He that diligently, and faithfully em­ployes the first beginnings of grace, shall yet have more, and he that in like manner hus­bands that more, shall yet have a greater de­gree; so that what Solomon saith of temporal riches, is also true of spiritual, The hand of the diligent maketh rich.

15. Therefore whenever thou findest any good motion in thy heart,To im­prove good motions. remember that is a season for this spiritual husbandry, If thou have but a check of conscience against any sin, thou livest in, drive that on till it come to a hatred, and then that hatred, till it come to resolution, then from that resolution, pro­ceed to some endeavours against it. Do this [Page 167] faithfully, and sincerely, and thou shalt cer­tainly find the grace of God assisting thee, not onely in every of these steps, but also enable­ing thee to advance still higher, till thou come to some victory over it. Yet to this industry thou must not fail to add thy prayers also, there being a promise, that God wil give the ho­ly Spirit to them that ask it, Mat. 7. 11. And therefore they that ask it not, have no reason to expect it. But it must be asked with such an earnestness, as is some way answerable to the value of the thing, which being infinitely more precious then all the world, both in re­spect of his own worth, and its usefulness to us, we must beg it with much more zeal and earnestness then all temporal blessi [...]gs, or else we shew our selves despisers of it.

16. Having directed you to the means of improving grace, The dang [...] of the contrary. I shall, to quicken you to it, mention the great danger of the contrary; And that is not as in other things, the loosing onely those further degrees, which our indu­stry might have helped us to, but it is the loosing even of what we already have, For from him that hath not (that is again hath not made use of what he hath) shall be taken away even that which he hath, Mat. 25. 29. God will withdraw the grace, which he sees so ne­glected, as we see in that parable, the talent was taken from him that had onely hid it in a Napkin, and had brought in no gain to his lord. And this is a most sad punishment, the greatest that can befal any man, before he [Page 168] comes to hell, indeed it is some kind of foretast of it, it is the delivering him up to the power of the Devil, and it is the banishing him from the face of God, which are not the least parts of the misery of the damned. And it is also the binding a man over to that fuller portion of wretchedness in another world; For that is the last doom of the unprofitable servant, Mat. 25. 30. Cast ye the unprofitable servant into outer darkness, there shall be weep­ing and gnashing of teeth. You see they are no light dangers that attend this neglect of grace, and therefore if we have any love, nay any common pity to our Souls, we must set our selves to this industry. I have now done with those vertues, which respect our Souls. I come now to those which concern our bo­dies.

17. The first of which is chastity, Chastity. or puri­ty, which may well be set in the front of the duties we owe to our bodies, since the Apostle 1 Cor. 6. 18. sets the contrary as the especial sin against them, He that committeth fornication sinneth against his own body.

18 Now this vertue of chastity consists in a perfect abstaining from all kinds of unclean­ness, not onely that of adultery, and forni­cation, but all other more unnatural sorts of it, committed either upon our selves, or with any other. In a word, all acts of that kind are utterly against chastity, save onely in lawful marriage. And even there men are not to think themselves let loose to please [Page 169] their brutish appetites, but are to keep them­selves within such rules of moderation, as ag [...]ee to the end of marriage, which being these two, the begetting of children, and the avoiding of fornication, nothing must be done, which may hinder the first of these ends; and the second aiming onely at the subduing of lust, the keeping men from any sinful effects of it, it is very contrary to that end, to make marriage an occasion of heightning, and en­flaming it.

19. But this vertue of chastity reacheth not only to the restraining of the grosser act,Unclean­ness forbid­den in the very lowest degrees. but to all lower degrees; it sets a guard upon our eyes, according to that of our Saviour, Mat. 5. 28. He that looketh on a woman to lust after her, hath committed adultery with her already in his heart; and upon our hand as appears by what Christ adds in that place, If thy hand offend thee, cut it off; so also upon our tongues, that they speak no immodest or filthy words, Let no corrupt communication proceed out of your mouth. Eph. 4. 29 Nay upon our very thoughts, and fancies, we must not en­tertain any foul or filthy desires, nor so m [...]ch as the imagination of any such thing. There­fore he that forbears the grosser act, and yet allowes himself in any of these, it is to be suspected that it is rather some outward re­straint, that keeps him from it▪ then the con­science of the sin. For if it were that, it would keep him from these too, these being sins also, and very great ones in Gods sight. [Page 170] Besides, he that lets himself loose to these puts himself in very great danger of the other, it being much more easy to abstain from all, then to secure against the one, when the other is allowed. But above all, it is to be considered, that even these lower degrees are such, as make men very odious in Gods eyes who seeth the heart, and loves none that are not pure there.

20. The loveliness of this vertue of cha­stity needs no other way of describing,The mis­chiefs of it. then by considering the loathsomness, and mischiefs of the contrary sin; which is first very brutish; those desires are but the same, that the beasts have, and then how far are they sunk below the nature of man, that can boast of their sins of that kind, as of their special excellency? When if that be the measure, a goat is the more excellent creature.To the Soul. But indeed they that eagerly pursue this part of bestiality do often leave themselves little, besides their humane shape, to difference them from beasts; this sin so clouds the understanding, and defaceth the reasonable Soul. Therefore Solomon very well describes the young man, that was going to the harlots house, Pro. 7. 22. He go­eth after her, as an Ox goeth to th [...] slaughter.

21 Nor secondly are the effects of it better to the body then to the mind.To the Body. The many foul and filt [...]y, besides painful diseases, which ofte [...] follow this sin, are sufficient witnesses, how mischievous it is to the body. And alas, how many are there that have thus made [Page 171] themselves the Devils martyrs? Suffered such torments in the pursuit of this sin, as would exceed the invention of the greatest tyrant? Surely they that pay thus dear for damnation, very well deserve to enjoy the purchase.

22. But thirdly, The Iudg­ments of God a­gainst it. Besides the natural fruits of this sin, it is attended with very great and heavy Judgments from God; the most extra ordinary and miraculous Judgment that ever befel any place, Fire and Brimstone from Hea­ven upon Sodome and Gomorrah, was for this sin of uncleanness. And many examples like­wise of Gods vengeance may be observed on particular persons, for this sin. The incest of Amnon cost him his life, as you may read, 2 Sam. 13. Zimrie and Cozhi were slain in the very act, Num. 25. 8. And no person that commits the like, hath any assurance it shall not be his own case. For how secretly soever it be committed, it cannot be hid from God, who is the sure avenger of all such wick­edness. Nay, God hath very particularly threatned this sin, 1 Cor. 3. 17. If any man defile the Temple of God, him shall God destroy. This sin of uncleanness is a kind of sacriledge, a polluting those bodies, which God hath chosen for his Temples, and therefore no wonder, if it be thus heavily punished.

23. Lastly, It shuts out from Heaven. This sin shuts us out from the Kingdom of Heaven, wherein no impure thing can enter. And we never find any list of those sins, which bar men thence, but this of uncleanness hath a special place in it. Thus [Page 172] it is Gal. 5. 19. and so again 1 Cor. 6. 9. If we will thus pollute our selves, we are fit com­pany onely for those black spirits, the Devil and his Angels, and therefore with them we must expect our portion, where our flames of lust shall end in flames of fire.

24. All this layed together,Helps to chastity. may surely re­commend the vertue of chastity to us, for the preserving of which, we must be very careful; first, to check the beginnings of the tempta­tion, to cast away the very first fancy of lust, with indignation, for if you once fall to parley, & talk with it, it gains still more upon you, and then it will be harder to resist, therefore your way in this temptation is, to flye rather then fight with it. This is very necessary, not onely that we may avoid the danger of pro­ceeding to act the sin, but also in respect of the present fault of entertaining such fancies, which of it self, though it should never pro­ceed further is, as hath been shewed, a great abomination before God; Secondly, have a special care to flye idleness, which is the pro­per soil for these filthy weeds to grow in; And keep thy self alwayes busied in some innocent, or vertuous employment, for then these fan­cies will be less apt to offer themselves. Thirdly, never suffer thy self to recall any unclean passages of thy former life with de­light, for that is to act over the sin again; and will be so reckoned by God, nay perhaps thus deliberately to think of it, may be a greater guilt, then a rash acting of it. For [Page 173] this both shews thy heart to be set upon fil­thiness, and is also a preparation to more acts of it. Fourthly, forbear the company of such light, and wanton persons, as either by the filthiness of their discourse, or any other means, may be a snare to thee. Fifth­ly, pray earnestly that God would give thee the spirit of purity, especially at the time of any present temptation. Bring the unclean Devil to Christ, to be cast out▪ as did the man in the Gospel; And if it will not be cast out with prayer alone, add fasting to it, but be sure thou do not keep up the flame by any high or immoderate feeding. The last remedy, when the former prove vain, is marriage, which becomes a duty to him, that cannot live innocently without it. But even here there must be care taken, lest this which should be for his good, become not to him an occasion of falling, for want of sobriety in the use of mar­riage. But this I have toucht on already, and therefore need add no more, but an earnest intreaty, that men would consider seriously of the foulness, and danger of this sin of un­cleanness, and not let the commonness of it lessen their hatred of it, but rather make them abhor that shamelesse impudence of the world, that can make li [...]ht of this sin, against which God hath pronounced such heavy cur­ses, Whoremongers and adulterers God will Iudge, Heb. 13. 4. and so he will certain­ly do all sorts of unclean persons whatsoe­ver.

[Page 174] 25. The second vertue,Tempe­rance. that concerns our bodies is temperance: And the exercises of that are divers; As first temperance in eating, se­condly in drinking, thirdly in sleep, fourthly in recreation, fifthly in apparel. I shall speak of them severally; and first of temperance in eating. This temperance is observed,In Eating. when our eating is agreeable to those ends, to which eating are by God and nature designed; those are first the being,Ends of eating. secondly the well being of our bodies

26. Man is of such a frame,Preserving of life. that eating becomes necessary to him for the preserving his life, hunger being a natural disease which will prove deadly, if not prevented, and the onely Physick for it is eating which is therefore become a necessary means of keep­ing us alive. And that is the first end of eating; and as men use not to take Physick for plea­sure, but remedy, so neither should they eat.

27. But secondly, Of Health. God hath been so boun­tiful, as to provide not onely for the being, but the well being of our bodies, and there­fore we are not tyed to such strictness, that we may eat no more then will just keep us from starving, but we may also eat whatsoe­ver either for kind or quantity most tends to the health, and welfare of them; Now that eating which is agreeable to these ends, is within the bounds of temperance, as on the contrary whatsoever is contrary to them, is a transgression against it; He therefore that [Page 175] sets up to himself other ends of eating, as ei­ther the pleasing of his taste, or (what is yet worse) the pampering of his body, that he may the better serve his lust, he directly thwarts and crosses these ends of Gods; for he that hath those aimes, doth that which is very con­trary to health, yea and to life it self; as appears by the many diseases, and untimely deaths, which surfetting and uncleanness daily bring on men.

28. He therefore that will practice this ver­tue of temperance, Ru'es of Temperance in eating. must neither eat so much, nor of any such sorts of meat (provided [...]he can have other) as may be hurtful to his health: what the sorts or quantities shall be, is impos­sible to set down, for that differs according to the several constitutions of men; some men may with temperance eat a great deal, because their stomacks require it, when another may be guilty of intemperance in eating but half so much, because it is more then is useful to him. And so also for the sort of meat, it may be niceness and luxury for some to be cu­rious in them, when yet some degree of it may be necessary to the infirmities of a weak stomack, which not out of wantonness, but disease cannot eate the courser meats But I think it may in general be said, that to health­ful bodies the plainest meats are generally the most wholsome, but every man must in this be left to judg for himself; and that he may do it aright, he must be careful, that he never suffer himself to be enslaved to his pa­late, [Page 176] for that will be sure t [...] satisfie its self, whatever becomes of health or life.

29. To secure him the better,Means of it. let him con­sider, First, How unreasonable a thing it is, that the whole body should be subjected to this one sense of tasting, that it must run all hazards only to please that. But it is yet much more so▪ that the diviner part, the soul should also be thus enslaved; and yet thus it is in an intemperate person, his very soul must be sacrificed to this brutish appetite, for the sin of intemperance, though it be acted by the body, yet the soul must share in the eternal punishment of it, Secondly, Consider how ex­treme short and vanishing this pleasure is, it is gone in a moment, but the pains that at­tend the excess of it, are much more durable, and then surely it agrees not with that com­mon reason, wherewith as men we are indu­ed, to set our hearts upon it. But then in the third place it agrees yet worse with the temper of a Christian, who should have his heart so purified, and refined with the expe­ctation of those higher and spiritual joyes he looks for in another world, that he should very much despise these gross and brutish plea­sures, which beasts are as capable of, as we, and to them we may well be content to leave them, it being the highest their natures can reach to; but for us, who have so much more excellent hopes, it is an intolerable shame, that we should account them as any part of our happiness. Lastly, the sin of Gluttony [Page 177] is so great and dangerous, that Christ thought fit to give an especial warning against it; take heed to your selves, that your hearts be not o­vercharged with surfetting, &c. Luke 21. 34. And you know what was the end of the rich glutton, Luke 16. He that had fared deli­ciously every day, at last wants a drop of wa­ter to coole his tongue. So much for that first sort of temperance, that of eating.

PARTITION VIII.

Of Temperance in DRINKING, False Ends of Drink­ing, viz. Good Fellow-ship. Putting away cares, &c.

§. 1. THe second is temperance in drinking, Temperanc [...] in Drink [...]ing. and the ends of eat­ing and drinking being much the same, I can give no other direct rules in this, then what were given in the former, to wit, that we drink neither of such sorts of liquor, nor in such quantities as may not agree with the right ends of drinking, the preserving of our lives and healths: Only in this there will be need of putting in one cau­tion, for our understandings being in more danger to be hurt by drink then meat, we must take care to keep that safe, and rather not drink what we might safely in respect of our healths, if it be in danger to distemper our [Page 178] reason. This I say because it is possible some mens brains may be so weak, that their heads cannot bear that ordinary quantity of drink which would do the [...]r bodies no harm. And whoever is of this temper must strictly absta [...]n from that degree of drink or that sort of it, which he finds hath that effect, yea though it do in other respects appear not only safe, but useful to his health. For though we are to preserve our healths, yet we are not to do it by a sin, as drunkenness most certainly is.

2. But alas, of those multitudes of drun­kards we have in the world,False ends of drink­ing. this is the case but of very few, most of them going farr be­yond what their health requires, yea or can bear even to the utter destruction thereof. And therefore it is plain men have set up to them­selves some other ends of drinking, then those allowable ones forementioned, it may not be amisse a little to examine what they are, and withal to shew the unreasonableness of them.

3. The first, Good fel­lowship. and most owned is that, which they call good fellowship: One man drinks to keep another company at it. But I would ask such a one whether if that man were drinking rank poison, he would pledg him for compa­ny? If he say he would not, I must tell him▪ that by the very same, nay, far greater reason, he is not to do this. For immoderate drink­ing is that very poison, perhaps it doth not always work death immediately (yet there want not many instances of its having done even that, very many having died in their drun­ken [Page 179] fit) but that the custome of it does usually bring men to their ends, is past doubt, and therefore though the poison work slowly, yet it is still poison. But however it doth at the present work that which a wise man would more abhor then death; it works madness, and frenzy turns the man into a beast, by drowning that reason which should difference him from one. Certainly the effects of drink are such, that had being drunk been first enjoyned, as a punishment, we should have thought him a more then ordinary Tyrant, that had invented it.

4. A second end of drinking is said to be the maintaining of friendship and kindness a­mongst men.Preserving of kindness But this is strangely unreaso­nable, that men should do that towards the maintaining of friendship, which is really the greatest mischief that can be done to any man. Did ever any think to befriend a man by help­ing to destroy his estate, his credit, his life? Yet he that thus drinks with a man does this, and much more, he ruines his reason, yea his soul; and yet this must be called the way of preserving of friendship; this is so ridiculous that one would think none could own it, but when he were actually drunk. But besides, Alas, experience shews us, that this is fitter to beget quarrels then preserve kindness, as the many drunken brawles we every day see, with the wounds, and sometimes murders, that ac­company them, do witness.

5. A third end is said to be the cheering of Cheering the spirits. [Page 180] their spirits, making them merry and jolly. But sure if the mirth be such that reason must be turned out of doors before it begin, it wil be ve­ry little worth; one may say with Solomon, Ecc. 2. 2. The laughter of such fools is madness. And sure they that will be drunk to put themselves in this temper, must by the same reason be glad of a frenzy, if they could but be sure it would be of the merry sort. But little do these merry folks think what sadness they are all this while heaping up to them selves, often in this world, when by some mad pranks, they play in their jollity, they bring mischief upon themselves, but however certainly in another, where this mirth will be most sadly reckoned for.

6. A fourth end is said to be the putting a­way of cares; Putting a­way cares. but I shall ask what those cares are? be they such as should be put away? perhaps they are some checks and remorses of conscience, which must be thus charmed. And I doubt this hath proved too effectual with many to the laying them asleep: But this is the wickedst folly in the world; for if thou think­est not these checks to have somthing conside­rable in them, why do they trouble thee But if thou do, it is impossible thou canst hop [...] this can long secure thee from them. Thou maist thus stop their mouths for a wh [...]le, but they will one day cry the louder for it. Suppose a thief or a murderer knew he were pursued to be brought to justice, would he think you to put away the fear of being hang­ed, fall to drinking, and in the mean time take no care for his escape, or would you not think [Page 181] him desperately mad if he did? Yet this is the very case here, thy conscience tells thee of thy danger, that thou must ere long be brought before Gods judgment-seat; and is it not madness for thee, in stead of endeavour­ing to get thy pardon, to drink away the thought of thy danger. But in the second place, suppose these cares be some worldly ones, and such as are fit to be put away; then for shame do not so disgrace thy reason, thy Christianity, as not to let them be as forci­ble to that end, as a little drink. Thy reason wil tell thee it is in vain to care, where care wil bring no advantage; and thy Christianity will direct thee to one, on whom thou must safely cast all thy cares, for he careth for thee, 1 Pet. 5. 7. And therefore unless thou mean­est to renounce being both a man and a Chri­stian, never betake thee to this pitiful shift, to rid thee of thy cares. But besides, this will not do the deed neither; for though it may at present, whilst thou art in the height of the drunken fit, keep thee from the sense of thy cares, yet when that is over, they will return again with greater violence, and if thou have any conscience, bring a new care with them, even that which ariseth from the guilt of so foul a sin.

7. A fifth end is said to be the passing a­way of time. Passing a­way time. This though it be as unreasona­ble as any of the former, yet by the way it serves to reproach idleness, which is, it seems, so burdensome a thing, that even this vilest i [...]ployment is preferred before it. But [Page 182] this is in many a very false plea. For they often spend time at the pot, not only when they have nothing else to do, but even to the neglect of their most necessary business. How­ever it is in all a most unreasonable one, for there is no man, but he may find somewhat, or other to imploy himself in. If he have little worldly business of his own, he may yet do somewhat to the benefit of others; but how­ever there is no man but hath a soul, and if he will look carefully to that, he need not complain for want of business; where there are so many corruptions to mortifie so many inclinations to watch over, so many tempta­tions (whereof this of drunkenness is not the least) to resist the graces of God, to improve and stir up, and former neglects of all these to lament, sure there can never want sufficient imployment; for all these require time, and so men at their deaths find; for then those that have all their lives made it their business to drive away their t [...]me, would then give all the world to redeem it. And sure where there is much leisure from worldly affairs, God ex­pects to have the more time thus imployed in spiritual exercises. But it is not likely those meaner sort of persons, to whom this book is intended, will be of the number of those that have much leisure; and therefore I shall no farther insist on it; only I shal say this, that what degree of leisure they at any time have, it concerns them to imploy to the benefit of their souls, and not to bestow it to the ruine [Page 183] of them, as they do, who spend it in drinking.

8. A sixth end is said to be the preventing of that reproach, which is by the world cast on those that will in this be stricter then their neighbours;Preventing reproach. but in answer to this, I shall first ask, what is the harm of such reproach? sure it cannot equal the least of those mischiefs, drunkenness betrayes us to. Nay, if we will take our Saviours word, it is a happiness, Blessed, saith he, are yee when men shall revile you, & say all manner of evil against you for my sake, Mat. 5. 11. And St. Peter tells us, 1 Pet. 4 14. If ye be reproached for the name of Christ, happy are ye, and sure to be reproached for obedi­ence to any command of Christs, is to be re­proached for his name. Secondly, Let it be remembred, that at our Baptism we solemnly renounced the world; and shall we now so farr consider it, as for a few scoffs of it to run our selves on all the temporal evils before mentioned, and which is much worse, the wrath of God and eternal destruction? But Thirdly, if you fear reproach, why do you do that, which will bring reproach upon you from all wise and good men; whose opinion alone is to be regarded? And it is certain, drinking is the way to bring it on you from all such. And to comfort thy self against that, by thinking thou art still applauded by the foolish and worst sort of men, is as if all the mad men in the world should agree to count themselves the only sober persons, and all others mad, which yet sure will never make [Page 184] them the less mad, nor others the lesse sober. Lastly, consider the heavy doome Christ hath pronounc'd on those that are ashamed of him, and so are all those that for fear of reproach shall shrink from their obedience to him, Mat. 8▪ 38. Whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful gene­ration, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed when he cometh in the glory of the father with the holy Angels. There is none but will at that day desire to be owned by Christ: But whoe­ver, will not here own him; that is, cleave fast to his commands, notwithstanding all the scornes, nay, persecutions of the world, shall then certainly be cast off by him. And he that will adventure thus to maintain his credit a­mong a company of fools and madmen, de­serves well to have it befal him: But after all this is it not sure that even these will despise thee for thy sob [...]iety, it is possible they may seem to do so, to fright thee out of it; but if their hearts were searched, it would be found, they do even against their wills, bear a secret reverence to sober persons, and none fall more often under their scorn, and despising then those that run with them to the same ex­cess of riot, for even he that sticks not to be drunk himself, will yet laugh at another that he sees so.

9 There is a seventh end,Pleasure of the drink. which though every man think too base to own, yet it is too plain, it prevails with many. And that is the bare pleasure of the drink; but to these [Page 184] I confesse it will not be fit to say much, for he that is come to this lamentable degree of sottishness, is not like to receive benefit by any thing can be said. Yet let me tell even this man, that he of all others hath the most means of discerning his fault, for this being such a ground of drinking as no body wil own, he is condemned of himself, yea, and all his fellow drunkards too, for their denying it is a plain sign, they acknowledg it a most abo­minable thing. And if Esau were called a profane person, Heb. 12. 6. For selling but his birth-right for a m [...]sse of pottage▪ and that too, when he had the necessity of hunger upon him, what name of reproach can be bad e­nough for him, who sells his health, his rea­son, his God, his soul for a cup of drink, & that when he is so far from needing it, that per­haps he hath already more then he can keep? I shall say no more to this sort of persons, but let me warne all those that go on in the sin, on any of the former grounds, that a little time will bring them even to this, which they pro­fess to loath, it being daily seen, that those which first were drawn into the sin for the love of the company, at last continue in it for love of the drink.

10 I can think but of one end more:Bargain­ing. That is, that of bargaining. Men say it is necessary for them to drink, in this one respect, of trading with their neighbours, bargains being most conveniently to be struck up at such meetings. But this is yet a worse end, then [Page 186] all the rest, for the bottome of it is an aime of cheating & defrauding others▪ We think when men are in drink, we shall the better be able to over-reach them: And so this adds the sin of cousenage and defrauding to that of drunk­enness. Now that this is indeed the intent, is manifest, for if it were onely the dispatch of bargains were aimed at, we should choose to take men with their w [...]s about them, there­fore the taking them, when drink hath di­stempered them, can be for nothing, but to make advantage of them. Yet this often proves a great folly, as well as a sin; for he that drinks with another in hope to over­reach him, doth many times prove the weaker brain'd, & becomes drunk first, & then he gives the other that opportunity of cheating him, which he designed for the cheating of the other. Now this end of drinking is so far from becoming an excuse, that it is a huge heightning of the sin; For if we may not drink intemperately upon any occasion, much less upon so wicked a one, as is the cousening and defrauding of our brethren.

11. I suppose I have now shewed you the unreasonableness of those motives,Degrees of this sin. which a [...]e ordinarily brought in excuse of this sin. I am yet further to tell you, that it is not only that huge degree of drunkenness, which makes men able neither to go nor speak, which is to be lookt on as a sin, but all lower degrees, which do at all work upon the understanding, whe­ther by dulling it, and making it less fit for [Page 187] any imployment, or by making it too light and airy, apt to apish, and ridiculous mirth, or, what is worse, by inflaming men into rage and fury. These, or whatever else make any change in the man, are to be reckoned into this sin of drunkenness; Nay further, the drinking beyond the natural ends of drinking; that is, beyond moderate refreshment, is a sin, though by the strength of a mans brain it makes not least change in him, and therefore those that are not actually drunk, yet can spend whole dayes, or any considera­ble part of them, in drinking, are so far from being innocent, that that greater woe belongs to them, which is pronounced Isa. 5. 22. against those that are mighty to drink. For though such a man may make a shift to pre­serve his wits, yet that wit serves him to very little purpose, when his imployment is still but the same with him, that is the most sottish­ly drunk; that is, to powre down drink.

12. Nay,The great guilt of the strong drinkers. this man is guilty of the greater waste; First, of the good creatures of God; That drink, which is by Gods providence in­tended for the refreshing and relieving of us, is abused and mispent, when it is drunk beyond that measure, which those ends require, and sure there is not the meanest of these creatures we enjoy, but the abuse of them shall one day be accounted for, and he that drinks longest, hath the most of that gnilt. But in the second place, this is a waste of that which is much more precious, our time, which is al­lowed [Page 188] us by God to work out our Salvation in, and must be strictly reckoned for, and therefore ought every minute of it to be most thriftily husbanded to that end in actions of good life, but when it is thus laid out, it tends to the direct contrary, even the working out our damnation. Besides, he that thus drinks, though he escape being drunk himself, he is yet guilty of all the drunkenness, that any of his company fall under, for he gives them en­couragemennt to drink on by his example, especially if he be one of any authority, but if he be one whose company the rest are fond of, his drinking is then a certain ensnaring of them, for then they will drink too, rather then lose him. There is yet a greater fault, that many of these stronger brained drinkers are guilty of; That is, the setting themselves purposely to make others drunk, playing, as it were, a prize at it, and counting it matter of triumph, and victory to see others fall before them; This is a most horrible wickedness, it is the making our selves the Devils factors, endeavouring all we can to draw our poor brethren into eternal misery, by betraying them to so grievous a sin; and therefore it may well be reckoned as the highest step of this vice of drinking, as having in it the sin of mischieving others, added to the excess in our selves. And though it be lookt upon in the world as a matter onely of jest and merriment to make others drunk, that we may sport our selves with their ridiculons behaviour, yet [Page 189] that mirth will have a sad conclusion, there being a woe expresly threatned by God to this very sin. Hab. 2 15. Woe unto him that giveth his neighbour drink, that puttest thy bottle to him and makest him drunk, that thou mayest look on their nakedness: And sure he buyes his idle pastime very dear, that takes it with such a woe attend­ing it.The great mischiefs of this sin.

13. I have now gone through the several motives to, and degrees of this sin of drunk­enness, wherein I have been the more parti­cular, because it is a sin so strangely reigning amongst us, no Condition, no Age, or scarce Sex free from it, to the great dishonour of God, reproach of Christianity, and ruine not onely of our own Souls hereafter, but even of all our present advantages and happi­ness in this life; the [...] being no sin which be­trayes each single committer to more mis­chiefs in his understanding, his health his credit, his estate, then this one doth. And we have reason to bel [...]eve this sin is one of those com­mon crying guilts, which have long layen heavy upon this Nation, and pulled down those many sad judgements we have groaned under.Exhorta­tion to for­sake it.

14. Therefore, Christian Reader, let me now intreate, nay conjure thee, by all that tenderness and love thou oughtest to have to the honour of God, the credit of thy Chri­stian profession, eternal welfare of thine own Soul, the prosperity of the Church and Na­tion, [Page 190] whereof thou art a member; Nay, by that love which certainly thou hast to thy own Soul, to think sadly of what hath been spoken; And then judge, whether there be any pleasure in this sin, which can be any to­lerable recompence for all those mischiefs, it brings with it; I am confident no man in his w [...]s can think there is & if there be not, then be ashamed to be any longer that fool, which shall make so wretched a bargain, but begin at this instant a firm and a faithful resolution, never once more to be guilty of this swinish sin, how often soever thou hast heretofore fallen into it, and in the fear of God betake thee to a st [...]ct temperance, which when thou hast done, thou wilt find, thou hast made not onely a gainful, but a pleasant exchange; For there is no man that hath tryed both courses, but his own heart will tell him, there is infinitely more present comfort, and pleasure in sobriety and temperance, then ever all his drunken revelli [...]gs afforded him.

15. The main difficul [...]y is the first break­ing off the custome,The diffi­culties of doing so considered. and that arises partly from our selves, partly from others. That from our selves may be of two sorts, the first is, when by the habit of drinking, we have brought such false thirsts upon our selves, that our bodies seems to require it,Seeming n [...]ssity of drink. and this wants nothing bnt a little patience to overcome. Do but refrain some few daies, and it will after­wards grow easy; for the hardness arising onely from custome, the breaking of that [Page 191] does the business. If thou say, it is very un­easy to do so, consider whether thou hadst [...] me disease, which would cer [...]ainly kill thee, [...]f thou didst not for some little time refrain [...]mmoderate drinking, thou wouldst not rather forbear, then dye; If thou wouldst not, thou art so brutish a sot, that it is in vain to perswade thee; but if thou hadst, then con­sider how unreasonable it is for thee not to do [...]it in this case also; the habit of drinking may well pass for a mortal disease, it proves so very often to the body, but will most cer­tainly to the Soul, and therefore it is madness to stick at that uneasiness in the cure of this, which thou wouldst submit to in a less danger. Set therefore but a resolute purpose to endure that little trouble for a small time, and this first difficulty is conquered, for after thou hast a while refrained, it will be perfectly easy to do so still.

16 The second difficulty is that of spend­ing the time,Want of imployment which those that have made drinking their trade and business, know scarce how to dis [...]ose of. But the very naming of this difficulty directs to the cure, get thee some business, somewhat to imploy thy self in, which, as I have already shewed, will be easily found by all sorts of persons, but those meaner to whom I now write, can sure never want it ready at hand; they being generally such as are to be maintained by their labour, and therefore to them I need only give this ad­vice, to be diligent in that business they have, [Page 192] to follow that close as they ought; and they will have little occasion to seek out this way of spending their time.

17. There is another sort of difficulty,Perswasi­ons and re­proaches of men. which I told you arises from others, and that is either from their perswasions, or reproaches. It is very l [...]kely if thy old companions see thee begin to fall off, they will set hard to thee, to bring thee back to thy old course, they will urge to thee the unkindness of forsaking the company of thy friends, the sadness of renounc­ing a [...]l that mirth and jollity, which good fel­lows (as they call them) enjoy, and if thou canst not thus be won, they will affright thee with the reproach of the world, and so trye if they can mock thee out of thy sobriety.

18 The way to ove come this difficulty is to foresee it,The means of resisting them therefore when thou first enter­est on thy course of temperance, thou art to make account thou shalt meet with these (per­haps many other) temptations, and that thou maist make a right judgment, whether they be worthy to prevail with thee, take them before hand, and weigh them, consider whether that false kindn [...]ss, that is maintained among men by drinking, be worthy to be compared with that reall and everlasting kindness of God, which is lost by it;Which the advantages [...] the hurt. Whether that foolish, vain mi [...]th bear any weight with the present joyes of a good conscience here, or with those greater of Heaven hereafter. Lastly, whe­ther the unjust reproach of wicked men▪ the shame of the world be so terrible, as the just re­proof [Page 193] of thine own conscience at the present, and that eternal confusion of face that shall befal all those, that go on in this sin, at the last day; Weigh all these, I say, I need not say, in the balance of the Sanctuary, but even in the scales of common reason, and sure thou wilt be forced to pronounce, that the motives to temperance infinitely out-weigh those a­gainst it; When thou hast thus advisedly judged, then fix thy resolution accordingly, and when ever any of these temptations come to stagger thee, remember thou hast formerly weighed them, knowest the just value of them, and that they are a most unworthy price for those precious advantages thou must give in exchange for them. And therefore hold fast thy resolution, and with indignation re­ject all motions to the contrary.

19. But be sure thou thus reject them at their very first tender,Reject the temptation [...] at the ve [...] beginning▪ and do not yield in the least degree; For if once thou givest ground, thou art lost, the sin will by little and little pervail upon thee. Thus we see many, who have profest to be resolved upon great tempe­rance, yet for want of this care, have adven­tured into the company of good fellowes, when they have been there, they have at the first been over intreated to take a cup, after that another, till at last they have taken their rounds as freely as any of them, and in that floud of drink drowned all their sober re­solutions▪ Therefore whoever thou art, that dost really desire to forsake the sin, take care [Page 194] to avoid the occasions, and beginnings of it; To w [...]ch end it w [...]ll be good openly to de­clare, and own thy purpose of sobriety, that so thou mayest discourage men from assaulting thee. But if either thou art ashamed to own it, or seemest to be so, they will quickly make use of that shame to bring thee to break it.

20. If thou be thus wary to keep thee from the first beginnings,The se [...]uri­ty of doing so. thou art then sure never to be overtaken with this sin; For it is like the keeping the out-works of a besieged City, which so long as they are stoutly defended, there is no danger, but if they be either sur­prized or yielded, the City cannot long hold out: The advice therefore of the wise man is very agreeable to this matter, Eccles. 19. 1. He that despiseth small things shall perish by little and little. But because as the Psalmist saith, Psa. 127. 1. Except the Lord keep the City the watch-man waketh but in vain; therefore to this guard of thy self add thy most earnest prayers to God, that he will also watch over thee, and by the strength of his grace enable thee to resist all temptations to this sin.

21. If thou do in the sincerity of thy h [...]art use these means,The effica [...]y of these means if not hindred by love of the sin. there is no doubt, but thou wilt be able to overcome this vice, how long soever thou hast been accustomed to it there­fore if thou do still remain under the power of it, never excuse thy self by the impossibili­ty of the task▪ but rather accuse the falseness of thy own heart, that hath still such a love [Page 195] to this sin, that thou wilt not set roundly to the means of subduing it.

22. Perhaps the great commonness of the sin and thy particular custome of it may have made it so much thy familiar thy bosome acquaintance,That lov [...] makes m [...] loth to be [...]lieve it dangerou [...] that thou art loth to enterta [...]n hard thoughts of it, very unwilling thou art to t [...]ink that it means thee any hurt, and therefore art a [...]t to speak peace to thy self, to hope that either this is no sin, or at most but a frailty, such as will not bar thee out of Heaven; But deceive not thy self, for thou mayest as well say there is no Heaven, as that drunkenness shall not keep thee thence; I am sure the same word of God which tels us there is such a place of happiness, tels us also that drunkards are of the number of those, that shall not inherit it. 1 Cor. 6. 10. and again, Gal. 5. 21. Drunkenness is reckoned among those works of the flesh, which they that do, shall not inherit the Kingdom of God. And indeed had not these plain texts, yet meer reason would tell us the same; That is, a place of infinite purity, such that flesh and blood, till it be refined, and purified, is not capable of, as the Apostle tels us, 1 Cor. 15. 53. and if as we are meer men, we are too gross, and impure for it, we must sure be more so, when we are changed our selves into swine, the foulest of beasts, we are then pre­pared for the devils to enter into, as they did into the herd, Mark 5. 13. and that not onely some one or two, but a Legion, a troop [Page 196] and multitude of them. And of this we daily see examples, for where this sin of drunken­ness hath taken possession, it usually comes as an harbinger to abundance of others; each act of drunkenness prepares a man not onely for another of the same sin, but of others; lust and rage, and all brutish appetites are then let loose, and so a man brings himself under that curse, which was the sadest David knew how to foretel to any, Psa. 69. 28. The fall­ing from one wickedness to another. If all this be not enough to affright thee out of this drunken fit, thou must still wallow in thy vo­mit, continue in this sottish, senseless condi­tion, till the flames of Hell rowse thee, & then thou wilt by sad experience find, what now thou wilt not believe, that the end of these things, as the Apostle sayeth, Rom. 6. 21. is Death. God in his infinite mercy timely awake the hearts of all that are in this sin, that by a timely forsaking it, they may flye from that wrath to come. I have now done with this second part of temperance, concern­ing drinking.

PARTITION. IX.

Temperance in SLEEP; The rule of it, &c. Of RECREATION; Of APPAREL.

§. 1: THE third part of Temperance concerns sleep; Sleep. And tempe­rance in that also must be measured by the end for which sleep was ordained by God, which was onely the refreshing and supporting of our frail bodies, which being of such a temper, that continual labour and toil tires, and wea­ries them out, sleep comes as a Medicine to that weariness, as a repairer of that decay, that so we may be enabled to such labours, as the duties of Religion or works of our calling require of us. Sleep was intended to make us more profitable, not more idle; as we give rest to our beasts, not that we are pleased with their doing nothing▪ but that they may do us the better service.

2. By this therefore you may judge what is temperate sleeping, The rule of tempe­rance therein. to wit, that which tends to the refreshing, and making us more lively, and fit for action. And to that end a moderate degree serves best; It will be impossible to set down just how many hours is that mode­rate [Page 198] degree, because as in eating so in sleep, some consti [...]utions require more then others. Every mans own ex [...]erience must in this judge for him, but then let him judge up­rightly, and not consult with his sloth in the case▪ for that will still with S [...]lomons slu [...]gard, cry, a little more sleep, a little more slumber, a lit [...]l [...] more folding of the hand [...] to sleep, Prov. 24. 33. But take onely so much, as he really finds to tend to the end forementioned.

3. He that doth not thus limit himself,The many sins that f [...]l [...]w t [...]e transgres­sing of it. fals into several sins under this general one of sl [...]th; As fi [...]st, he wastes his time, that pre­cious talent which was committed to him by God to improve, which he that sleeps away, doth like him in the Gospel. M [...]. 25. 18. Hides it in the earth, when he should be trad­ing with it; and you know what was t [...]e doom of that unprofitable servan [...], vers. 30 Cast ye him into outer darkness; he that gives him­self up to the darkness of sl [...]ep here, shall there have darkness without sl [...]ep, but with weeping, and gnashing o [...] [...]. Sec [...]ndly, he injures his body, immoderate sl [...]ep fils that full of diseases▪ makes it a very sink of humours, as daily experi [...]nces shew us. Thirdly, he in­ju [...]es [...] is Soul also▪ and that not onely in rob­bing it of the service of the body, but in dul­ling its proper fac [...]lties▪ m [...]king them use­less, and unfit for those implo [...]ments, to which God hath designed them, of all which ill husbandry the poor Soul must one day give account. Nay lastly, he affronts and despises God himself in it, by crossing [Page 199] the very end of his creat on, which was to serve God in an active obedience, but he that sleeps away his life, directly thwarts▪ & contra­dicts that, and when God saith, Man is born to labour, his practice saith the direct contra­ry that man was born to rest. Take heed there­fore of giving thy self to immoderate sleep, which is the comm [...]tting of so many sins in one.

4. But besides the sin of it, it is also very hurtful in other respects,Other mis­chiefs of sloth. it is the sure ba [...]e of thy outward estate, wherein the sluggish per­son shall never thrive, according to that ob­servation of the wise man, Proverb. 23. 21. Drowsiness shall cover a man with rags; that is, the slothful man shall want convenient clothing; nay, indeed it can scarce be said, that the sluggard lives; sleep, you know, is a kind of death, and he that gives himself up to it, what doth he but dye before his time. Therefore if untimely death be to be lookt upon, as a curse, it must needs be a strange folly to choose that from our own sloth, which we dread so much from Gods hand.

5. The fourth part of temperance concerns re­creations, Tempe­rance in Recreation which are sometimes necessary both to the body and the mind of a man, neither of them being able to endure a constant toil without somewhat of refreshment between; and therefore there is a very lawful use of them, but to make it so, it will be necessary to observe these cautions;

6. First, We must take care, that the kind of them be lawful,Cautions t [...]he observe [...] in them. that they be such as have nothing of sin in them; we must not, to re­create [Page 200] our selves, do any thing which is dis­honourable to God, or injurious to our neighbour, as they do, who make profane or filthy backbiting discourse their recrea­tion; Secondly, we must take care that we use it with moderation; And to do so we must first be sure not to spend too much time upon it, but remember that the end of re­creation is to fit us for business, not to be it self a business to us; Secondly, we must not be too vehement, and earnest in it, nor set our hearts too much upon it, for that will both ensnare us to the using too much of it, and it will divert, and take off our minds from our more necessary imployments, like school-boyes, who after a play-time know not how to set themselves to their books again. Lastly, we must not set up to our selves any other end of recreations, but that one lawful, of giving us moderate refreshment.

7. As first, we are not to use sports onely to pass away our time,Undue end of sports. which we ought to study how to redeem, not fling away; and when it is remembred how great a work we have here to do, the making our calling and election sure, the securing our title to Heaver hereafter, and how uncertain we are what tim [...] shall be allowed us for that purpose, it will appear our time is that, which of all other things we ought most industriously to im­prove. And therefore sure we have little need to contrive waies of driving that away, which flyes so fast of it self, and is so impossible to recover. Let them that can spend whole [Page 201] dayes and nights at cards, and dice, and idle pastimes, consider this, and withal, whether they ever bestowed a quarter of that t [...]me towards that great business of their lives, for which all their time was given them, and there think what a woful reckoning they are like to make, when they come at last to ac­count for that precious treasure of their time. Secondly, we must not let our covetousness have any thing to do in our recreations, if we play at any game, let the end of our doing it be meerly to recreate our selves, not to win money; and to that purpose be sure never to play for any considerable mat­ter, for if thou do, thou wilt bring thy self into two dangers, the one of covetous­ness, and a greedy desire of winning, the other of rage and anger at thy ill fortune, if thou happen to loose; both which will be apt to draw thee into other sins besides them­selves; Covetousuess will tempt thee to c [...]eat, and cousen in gaming, and anger to swearing and cursing, as common experience shews us too often. If thou find thy self apt to fall into either of these in thy gaming, thou must either take some course to secure thy self a­gainst them, or thou must not permit thy self to play at all; for though moderate play be in it self not unlawful, yet if be the occasion of sin, it is so to thee, and therefore must not be ventured on. For if Christ commands us so strictly to avoid temptations, that if our very eyes or hands offend us (that is, prove snares to us) we must rather part with them, [Page 202] then be drawn to sin by them: How much ra­ther must we part with any of these unneces­sary sports, then run the hazard of offending God by them? He that so playes layes his Soul to stake, which is too great a prize to be played away. Besides, he loses all the re­creation, and sport he pretends to aime at; and instead of that sets himself to a greater toil, then any of those labours are he was to ease by it. For sure the desires and fears of the covetous, the impatience and rage of the angry man, are more reall pains, then any the most laborious work can be.

8. The last part of Temperance is that of apparel, Tempe­rance in Apparel. which we are again to measure by the agreeableness to the ends for which cloth­ing should be used. Those are especially these three; First, the hiding of nakedness. This was the first occasion of apparel, as you may read, Gen. 3 21. and was the effect of the first sin,Apparel designed fo [...] cove­ring of shame. and therefore when we remember this or [...]ginal clothes, we have so little reason to be proud of them, that on the contrary we have cause to be humbled and ashamed, as having lost that innocency which was a much greater ornament, then any the most glorious apparel can be. From this end of clothing we are likewise e [...]gaged to have our apparel modest, such as may answer this end of covering our shame; And therefore all immodest fashions of apparel, which may either argue the wan­tonness of the wearer [...] or provoke that of the beholder, are to be avoided.

[Page 203] 9 A second end of apparel, Fencing from cold. is the fencing the body from cold, thereby to preserve the health thereof, and this end we must likewise observe in our clothing; we must wear such kind of habits, as may keep us in that conve­nient warmth, wh [...]ch i [...] necessary to our healths. And this is transgrest▪ when out of the vanity of being in every phantastick fashi­on, we put our selves in such clothing, as ei­ther will not defend us from cold, or is some other way so uneasy, that it is rather a hurt then a benefit to our bodies to be so clod. This is a most ridiculous folly, and yet that which people that take a pride in their clothes are usually guilty of.

10. A third end of apparel is the distin­guishing or d [...]fferencing of persons,Distinction of persons. and that first in respect of Sex; Secondly, in respect of qualities. First, clothes are to make diffe­rence of Sex; this hath been observed by all Nations, the habits of men and women have alwayes been divers. And God himself ex­presly provided for it among the I [...]ws, by commanding, that the man should not wear the apparel of the woman, nor the woman of the man. But then secondly, there [...]s also a distinction of qualities to be observed in appa­rel; God hath placed some in a higher con­dition then others, and in proportion to their condition, it befits their clothing to be; Gorgeous apparel, our Saviour tels us, is for Kings Co [...]ts, Luk. 7. 25. Now this end of apparel should also be observed. Men and [Page 204] women should content themselves with that sort of clothing, which agrees to their Sex and condition, not striving to exceed, and equal that of a higher rank, nor yet making it matter of envy among those of their own estate, vying who shall be finest, but let every man cloth himself in such sober atire, as befits his place and calling, and not think himself disparaged, if another of his neighbours have better then he.

11. And let all remember that cloths are things, which add no true worth to any, and therefore it is an intolerable vanity to spend any considerable part either of their thoughts, time or wealth upon them, or to value them­selves ever the more for them, or despise their poor brethren that want them. But if they desire to adorn themselves, let it be as St. Pe­ter advises the women of his time, 1 Pet. 3. 4. In the hidden man of the heart, even the orna­ment of a meek, and quiet spirit, Let them cloth themselves as richly as is possible with all Christian vertues, and that is the raiment that will set them out lovely in Gods eyes, yea, and in mens t [...]o, who, unless they be fools and Idiots, will more value thee for being good, then fine, and sure one plain Coat th [...]u puttest upon a poor mans back will better be­come thee, then twenty rich ones thou shalt put upon thine own.

12. I have now gone through the several parts of temperance; Too much sparing a fault as well as excess. I shall now in conclu­sion, add this general caution, that though [Page 205] in all these particulars I have taken notice only of the one fault of excess, yet it is possible there may be one on the other hand; men may deny theirbodies that which they neces­sarily require to their support, and well being. This is, I believe, a fault not so com­mon, as the other, yet we sometimes see some very niggardly persons, that are guilty of it, that cannot find in their hearts to borrow so much from their chests, as may feed their bel­lies, or cloth their backs, and that are so in­tent upon the world, so moiling, and drudg­ing in it, that they cannot afford themselves that competent time of sleep, or recreation, that is necessary. If any that hath read the former part of this discourse be of this tem­per, let him not comfort himself, that he is not guilty of those excesses there complained of, and therefore conclude himself a good Christian, because he is not intemperate, for whoever is this covetous creature, his abstain­ing shall not be counted to him as the vertue of temperance, for it is not the love of tem­perance, but wealth, that makes him refrain; And that is so far from being praise worthy, that it is that great sin which the Apostle tels us, 1 Tim. 6. 10. is the root of all evil; such a mans body will one day rise in judgement a­gainst him, for defrauding it of its due por­tion, those moderate refreshments▪ and com­forts which God hath allowed it. This is an Idolatry beyond that of offering the chil­dren to Moloch, Lev. 20. 3. they offered but [Page 206] their children, but this cove [...]ous wretch sa­crifices himself to his god M [...]mmon, whilest he often destroyes his health, his life, yea, final­ly h [...]s [...]oul too, to save his purse. I have now done w [...]th the second head of duty, that to our selves, contained by the Apostle under the word soberly.

PARTITION X.

Of D [...]TIES to our NEIGHBOURS. Of JUSTICE, Negative, Positive. Of the sin of MURTHER, Of the H [...]inousness of it, the Punishme [...]ts of it, and the strange Discoveries thereof. Of Maining, wounds and strip [...]s.

§ 1. I come now to the third part of duties,Duty to our Neigh­bour. those to our Neighbour, which is by the Apostle summed up in gross in the word [righ­teousness,] by which is meant not onely bare justice, but all kind of charity also, for that is now by the law of Christ become a debt [...]o our neighbour, & it is a piece of unrigteousness to defraud him of it. I shall therefore build all the particular duties we owe to our neigh­bour, on those two general ones, Justice and Charity.

2. I begin with Justice, Iustice. whereof there are two parts, the one negative, the other posi­tive, [Page 207] the negative justice is to do no wrong, or injury to any. The positive justice is to do right to all; that is, to yeeld them w [...]at so­ever appertains or is due unto them. I shall first speak of the negative justice the not in­juri [...]g [...]r wronging any.Negative. Now because a man is capable of receiving wrong in several re­spects; this first part of justice extends its self into several branches, answerable to those ca­pacities of injury. A man may be injured ei­ther in his Soul, his body, his possessions, or credit; and therefore this duty of negative justice layes a restraint on us in every of these. That we do no wrong to any man in respect either of his Soul, his body, his possessions, or credit.

3. First, To the Soul. This justice tyes us to do no hurt to his Soul; and here my first work must be to examine what harm it is that the soul can receive; it is, we know an invisible substance which we cannot reach with our eye, much less with our swords and weapons, yet for all that it is capable of being hurt and wounded; and that even to death.

4. Now the soul may be considered either in a natural or spiritual sence;In the natural sence. in the natural it signifies that which we usually call the mind of a man, and this we all know may be woun­ded with grief or sadness as Solomon saith Pro. 15. 13. By sorrow of heart the spirit is broken. Therefore whoever does causlesly afflict or grieve his neighbour; he transgresses this part of justice, & hurts, & wrong [...] his soul. [Page 208] This sort of injury malicious and spiteful men are very often guilty of, they will do things, by which themselves reap no good, nay, of­ten much harm, onely that they may vex and gr [...]eve another; This is a most savage, inhu­mane humour, thus to take pleasure in the sadness, and afflictions of others; and who­ever harbours it in his heart, may truly be said to b [...] possest with a Devil, for it is the na­ture onely of those accursed spirits to delight in the miseries of men; and till that be cast out, they are fit onely to dwell as the possest person did, Mar. 5. 2. Among graves and tombs, where there are none capable of re­ceiving affliction by them.

5. But the Soul may be considered also in the spiritual sense,In the spi­ritual. and so it signifies that immor­tal part of us, which must live eternally, ei­ther in bliss, or woe in another world. And the Soul thus understood is capable of two sorts of harm; first, that of sin; secondly, that of punishment, the latter whereof is certainly the consequent of the former; and therefore though God be the inflicter of pu­nishment, yet since it is but the effect of sin, we may justly reckon, that he that dr [...]wes a man to sin, is likewise the betrayer of him to punishment, as he that gives a man a mor­tal wound, is the cause of his death; there­fore under the evil of sin both are contained, so that I need speak onely of that

6. And sure there cannot be a h [...]gher sort of wrong,Drawing to sin the greatest in­jury. then the bringing this great evil [Page 209] upon the Soul; sin is the disease and wound of the Soul, as being the direct contrary to grace, which is the health, and soundness of it; Now this wound we give to every Soul, whom we do by any means whatsoever draw into sin.

7. The ways of doing that are divers,Direct means of I shall mention some of them, whereof though some are more direct then others, yet all tend to the same end. Of the more direct ones there is first, the commanding of sin; that is when a person that hath power over another, shall require him to do something which is unlawful; An example of this we have in Nebuchadnezzars commanding the worship of the golden Image, Dan. 3 4 and his copy is imitated by any parent or master, who shall require of his child or servant to do any unlawful act. Secondly, there is coun­selling of sin, when men advise and perswade others to any wickedness: Thus Jobs wife counselled her husband to curse God, Job 2. 7. And Achitophel advised Absolom to go into his Fathers concubines, 2 Sam. 16. 21. Thirdly, there is enticing and alluring to sin, by setting before men the pleasures or profits they shall reap by it. Of this sort of enticement Solo­mon gives warning, Prov. 1. 10. My son, if sinners entice thee, consent thou not, if they say come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us l [...]rke privily for the innocent without cause, &c. and verse the 13. you may see what is the bait, by which they seek to alure them; [Page 210] we shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our souls with spoile, cast in thy lot among us, let us all have one purse. Fourthly, there is assistance in sin; that is, when men aid and help others either in contriving or acting a sin. Thus Jonadab helpt Amnon in plotting the ravishing of his sister, 2 Sam. 13. all these are direct means of bringing this great evil of sin upon our brethren

8. There are also others,Indirect. which though they seem more indirect, may yet be as ef­fectual towards that ill end: As first, example in sin; he that sets others an ill pattern does his part to make them imitate it, and too of­ten it hath that effect; there being generally nothing more forcible to bring men into any sinful practice, then the seeing it used by o­thers, as might be instanced in many sins, to which there is no other temptation, but their being in fashion. Secondly, there is incou­ragement in sin, when either by approving, or else at least by not shewing a dislike, we give others confidence to go on in their wick­edness. A third means is by justifying and defending any sinful act of anothers, for by that we do not only confirm him in his evi [...], but endanger the drawing others to the like, who may be the more inclinable to it, when they shall hear it so pleaded for. Lastly, the bringing up any reproach upon strict and Christian living, as those do who have the ways of God in derision; this is a means to affright men from the practice of duty, when [Page 211] they see it will bring them to be scorned and despised, this is worse then all the former, not only in respect of the man who is guilty of it (as it is an evidence of the great profaneness of his own heart) but also in regard of others; it having a more general ill effect then any of the former can have, it being the betraying men not only to some single acts of disobedi­ence to Christ, but even to the casting off all subjection to him: By all these means we may draw on our selves this great guilt of in­juring and wounding the souls of our bre­thren.

9. It would be too long for me to instance in all the several sins,Men sadly to consider whom they have thus injured. in which it is usual for men to ensnare others, as drunkenness, un­cleanness, rebellion, and a multitude more. But it will concern every man for his own par­ticular, to consider sadly what mischiefs of this kind he hath done to any, by all, or any of these means, and to weigh well the greatness of the injury: Men are apt to boast of their innocency towards their neighbours, that they have done wrong to no man, but God knows many that thus brag, are of all others the most injurious persons: perhaps they have not maimed his body, nor stolen his goods; but alas! the body is but the case and cover of the man, and the goods some appurtenances to that, 'tis the soul is the man, and that they can wound and pierce without all remorse, and yet with the adulteress, Prov. 30. 20. say, they have done no wickedness; but glory of [Page 212] their friendly behaviour to those whom they thus betray to eternal ruine, for whomsoever thou hast drawn to any sin, thou hast done thy part to ascertain to those endless flames. And then think with thy self how base a treachery this is, thou wouldst call him a treacherous villain, that should while he pretends to em­brace a man, secretly stab him; but this of thine is as far beyond that, as the soul is of more value then the body, and hell worse then death. And remember yet farther, that be­sides the cruelty of it to thy poor brother, it is also most dangerous to thy self, it being that against which Christ hath pronounced a woe, Mat. 18. 7. & ver. 6. he tells us that whoe­ver shall offend (that is, draw into sin) any of those little ones, it were bettter for him that a milstone were hanged about his neck, and that he were drowned in the depth of the Sea. Thou maist plunge thy poor brother into perdition, but as it is with wrestlers, he that gives ano­ther a fall, commonly falls with him, so thou art like to bear him company to that place of torment.

10. Let therefore thy own and his danger be­get in thee a sense of the greatness of this [...],Heartily to bewail it. this horrid peece of injustice to the precious soul of thy neighbour. Bethink thy self seriously to whom thou past bin thus cruel, whom thou hast enticed to drinking, advised to rebellion, alured to lust, stirred up to rage whom thou hast assisted or encouraged in any ill course, or discouraged, and disheartned by thy profane [Page 213] scoffings at piety in general, or at any conscio­nable strict walking of his in particular; and then draw up a bill of indictmtnt, accuse and condemn thy self, as a Cain, a murderer of thy brother, heartily and deeply bewail all thy guilts of this kind, and resolve never once more to be a stumbling block, as St. Paul calls it, Rom. 14. in thy brothers way.

11. But this is not all, there must be some fruits of this repentance brought forth;Endeavour to repair it. now in all sins of injustice, restitution is a necessary fruit of repentance, and so it is here thou hast committed an act (perhaps many) of high injustice to the soul of thy brother, thou hast robbed it of its innocency, of its title to heaven, thou must now endeavour to restore all this to it again, by being more earnest and indu­strious to win him to repentance, then ever thou wert to draw him to sin, use now as much art to convince him of the danger, as ever thou didst to flatter him with the pleasures of his vice; in a word, countermine thy self by using all those methods, and means to recover him, that thou didst to destroy him, and be more diligent and zealous in it, for 'tis necessary thou shouldst both in regard of h [...]m and thy self: First, in respect of him, because there is in mans nature so much a greater prompt­ness and readiness to evil, then to good, that there will need much more pains and diligence to instil the one into him, then the other: be­sides, the man it supposed to be already ac­customed to the contrary, which will add much [Page 214] to the difficulty of the work, then in respect of thy self; if thou be a true penitent, thou wilt think thy self obliged, as St. Paul did, to labour more abundantly, and wilt be asham­ed, that when thou art trading for God, bringing back a soul to him, thou shouldst not pursue it with more earnestness, then while thou wert an agent of Satans; besides the remembrance, that thou wert a means of bringing this poor soul into this snare, must ne­cessarily quicken thy diligence to get him out of it: So much for the first part of negative justice, in respect of the souls of our bre­thren.

12. The second concerns the bodies,Negative justice to the body. and to those also this justice binds thee to do no wrong nor violence. Now of wrongs to the body there may be several degrees, the high­est of them is killing,In respect of the life. taking away the life, this is forbid in the very letter of the sixth Commandment. Thou shalt do no mur­der.

13. Murder may be committed either by open violence,Several ways of be­ing guilty of murder. when a man either by sword, or any other instrument takes away anothers life, immediately, and directly, or it may be done secretly and tracherously, as David murdered Vriah, not with his own sword, but with the sword of the Children of Ammon, 2 Sam. 11. 17. And Jezabel N [...]both by a false accusation, 1 Kin 21. 13. And so divers have committed this sin of murder by poison, false witness, or some such concealed ways. [Page 215] The former is commonly the effect of a sud­den rage, the latter hath several originals, sometimes it proceeds from some old malice fixt in the heart towards the person, sometimes from some covetous or ambitious desires; such a one stands in a mans way to his profit or pre­ferment, and therefore he must be removed; and somtimes again it is to cover shame, as in the case of strumpets, that murder their infants, that they may not betray their filthi­ness. But besides these more direct ways of killing, there is another, and that is, when by our perswasions and enticements, we draw a man to do that which tends to the shortning of his life, and is apparent to do so; he that makes his neighbour drunk, if by that drun­kenness the ma [...] [...]ome by any mortal hurt, which he would have escaped if he had been sober, he that made him drunk, is not clear of his death, or if he die not by any such sud­den accident, yet if drinking cast him into a di­sease, and that disease kill him, I know not how he that drew him to that excess, can ac­quit himself of his murder in the eys of God, though humane Laws touch him not. I wish those who make it their business, to draw in customers to that trade of debauchery, would consider it: There is yet another way of bringing this guilt upon our selves, and that is by inciting, and stirring up others to it, or to that degree of anger, and revenge which produces it: As that sets two persons at vari­ance, or seeing them already so, blowes the [Page 216] coales, if murder ensue, he certainly hath his share in the guilt, which is a consideration that ought to affright all from having any thing to do in the kindling, or encreasing of contention.

14. Now for the hainousness of this sin of murder, The Hai­nousness of the sin. I suppose none can be ignorant, that it is of the deepest dye, a most loud crying sin; This we may see in the first act of this kind, that ever was committed, Abels blood cryed from the earth, as God tels Cain, Gen. 4. 10. Yea, the guilt of this sin is such, that it leaves a stain even upon the land, where it is committed, such as is not to be washt out, but by the blood of the murderer, as appears, Deut. 19. 12, 13. The land cannot be purged of blood, but by the blood [...]f him that shed it, and therefore though in other cases the flying to the Altar secured a man, yet in this of wilful murder no such refuge was allowed, but such a one was to be taken even thence, and delivered up to justice, Exod. 21. 14. Thou shalt take him from my Altar, that he may dye. And it is yet farther observable, that the onely two precepts which the Scrip­ture mentions, as given to Noah after the floud, were both in relation to this sin, that of not eating blood, Gen. 9. 4. being a ceremo­ny to beget in men a greater horror of this sin of murder, and so intended for the pre­venting of it. The other was for the punish­ment of it, Gen. 9. 6. He that sheddeth mans blood, by man shall his blood be shed, and the [Page 217] reason of this strickness is added in the next words, For in the Image of God made be man; where you see that this sin is not onely an in­jury to our brother, but even the highest contempt, and despight towards God himself, for it is the defacing of his Image, which he hath stamped upon man. Nay yet further, it is the usurping of Gods proper right, and authority. For it is God alone, that hath right to dispose of the life of man; 'twas he alone that gave it, and it is he alone that hath power to take it away, but he that murders a man, does, as it were, wrest this power out of Gods hand, which is the highest pitch of rebellious presumption.

15. And as the sin is great,The great punish­ments at­tending it. so likewise is the punishment; we see it frequently very great, and remarkable, even in this world, (besides those most fearful effects of it in the next) blood not onely cryes, but it cryes for ven­geance, and the great God of recompences, as he stiles himself, will not fail to hear it: very many examples the Scripture gives us of this: Ahab and Jezabeel, that murdered in­nocent Naboth, for greediness of his vine­yard, were themselves slain, and the dogs licked their blood in the place, where they had shed his, as you may read in that Story; so Absalom, that slew his brother Amnon, after he had committed that sin, fell into ano­ther, that of rebellion against his King and Father, and in it miserably perished. Rechab, and Baanah, that slew Ishbosheth, were them­selves [Page 218] put to death, and that by the very per­son they thought to endear by it; many more instances might be given of this out of the Sa­cred Story, and many also out of Humane, there having been no age, but hath yielded mul­titudes of example [...] of this kind, so that every man may furnish himself out of the observa­tions of his own time.

16. And it is worth our notice,The strange discoveries of it. what strange and even miraculous means it hath often pleased God to use for the discovery of this sin; the very bruit creatures have of­ten been made instruments of it, nay, often the extreme horrour of a mans own con­science has made him betray himself, so that it is not any closeness a man uses in the acting of this sin, that can secure him from the ven­geance of it, for he can never shut out his own consc [...]ence, that will in spite of him be privy to the fact, and that very often proves the means of discovering it to the world, or if it should not do that, yet it will sure act revenge on him, it will be such a hell within him, as will be worse then death: this we have seen in many, who after the commission of this sin have never been able to enjoy a mi­nutes rest, but have had that intolerable an­guish of mind, that they have chosen to be their own murderers, rather then live in it. These are the usual effects of this sin even in this world, but those in another are yet more dreadful, where surely the highest degrees of torment belong to this high pitch of wicked­ness, [Page 219] for if as our Saviour tels us, Mat. 5. 22. Hell fire be the portion of him that shall but call his brother fool, what degree [...] of those burnings can we think proportionable, to this so much greater an injury?

17. The consideration of all this ought to possess us with the greatest horrour,We must wa [...]ch dili­gently a [...]gainst all approaches of this sin. and abo­mination of this sin, and to make us extreme­ly watchful of our selves, that we never fall into it, and to that end to prevent all those occasions which may insensibly draw us into this pit. I mentioned at first severall things, which are wont to be originals of it, and at those we must begin, if we will surely guard our selves. If therefore thou wilt be sure ne­ver to kill a man in thy rage, be sure never to be in that rage, for if thou permittest thy self to that, thou canst have no security against the other, anger being a madness that suffers us not to consider, or know what we do, when it has once possest us. Therefore when thou findest thy self begin to be inflamed, think be­times, whether this may lead thee, if thou lettest loose to it, and immediately put the bridle upon this head-strong passion; so again, if thou wilt be sure thy malice shall not draw thee to it, be sure never to harbour one mali­cious thought in thy heart, for if it once settle there, it will gather such strength, that within a while thou wilt be perfectly under the power of it, so that it may lead thee even to this horrible sin at its pleasure; be therefore care­ful at the very first approach of this treache­rous [Page 220] gift, to shut the doors against it, never to let it enter thy mind; so also if thou wilt be sure thy covetousness, thy ambition, thy lust, or any other sinful desire shall not betray thee to it, be sure thou never permit any of them to bear any sway with thee, for if they get the dominion, as they will soon do, if they be once entertained in the heart, they will be past thy controul, and hurry thee to this or any other sin, that may serve their ends. In like manner if thou wouldst not be guilty of any of the mortal effects of thy neighbours drunkenness, be sure not to entice him to it, nor accompany him at it, and to that purpose do not allow thy self in the same practice, for if thou do, thou wilt be labouring to get company at it. Lastly, if thou wilt not be guilty of the murder committed by another, take heed thou never give any incouragement to it, or contribute any thing to that hatred, or contention, that may be the cause of it. For when thou hast either kindled or blowed the fire, what knowest thou whom it may consume; bring alwayes as much water, as thou canst, to quench, but never bring one drop of oil, to increase the flame. The like may be said of all other occasions of this sin, not here mentioned; and this careful pre­serving our selves from these, is the only sure way to keep us, from this sin; therefore as ever thou wouldst keep thy self innocent from the great offence, guard thee warily from all such inlets, those steps and approaches to­wards it.

[Page 221] 18. But although murder be the greatest,Maiming [...] great in­jury. yet it is not the onely injury that may be done to the body of our neighbour; there are others which are also of a very high na­ture, the next in degree to this is maiming him, depriving him of any member, or at least of the use of it, and this is a very great wrong and mischief to him, as we may discern by the Judgment of God himself, in the case of the bond-servant, who should by his Masters means loose a member, Ex. 21. 26. the freedom of his whole life was thought but a reasonable recompence for it, He shall let him go free, saith the text, for his eye; Nay, though it were a less considerable part, if it were but a tooth, which of all other may be lost with the least damage, yet the same a­mends was to be made him, ver. 27.

19. But we need no other way of measuring this injury,That which every man dreads for himself. then the judgement of every man in his own case; how much does every man dread the loss of a limbe, so that if he be by any accident or disease, in danger of it, he thinks no pains or cost too much to preserve it. And then how great an injustice, how contrary to that great rule of doing as we would be done to, is it, for a man to do that to another, which he so unwillingly suffers himself.

But if the person be poor, Yet worse if the man be poor. one that must labour for his living, the injury is yet greater, it is such as may in effect amount to the former sin of murder, for as the wise man sayes, Ec­clesiasticus [Page 222] 24. 21. The poor mans bread is his life, and he that deprives them thereof is a blood-shedder. And therefore he that deprives him of the means of getting his bread by disabling him from labour, is surely no less guilty. In the law it was permitted that to every man that had sustained such a damage by his neighbour to require the Majestrate to inflict the like on him, eye for eye, tooth for tooth, as it is Exod. 21. 24.

20. And though unprofitable revenge be not now allowed to us Christians,Necessity of making what satis­faction we can. yet sure it is the part of every one, who hath done this injury, to make what satisfaction lyes in his power, 'tis true he cannot restore a limbe again (which by the way should make men wary, how they do those mischiefs, which it is so impossible for them to repair) but yet he may satisfie for some of the ill effects of that losse; If that have brought the man to want and penury, he may, nay, he must, if he have but the least ability, relieve and support him, yea, though it be by his own extraor­dinary labour: for if it be a duty of us all to be eyes to the blind, and feet to the lame, as Job speaks, much more must we be so to them, whom our selves have made blind and la [...]e. Therefore who ever has done this injury to any of his poor brethren, let him know, he is bound to do all that is possible towards the repairing of it, if he do not, every new suffe­ring that the poor mans wants bring upon him, becomes a new charge and accusation [Page 223] against him, at the tribunal of the just Iudge.

21. There are yet other degrees of injury to the body of our neighbour,Wounds, and stripes, injuries also. I shall men­tion onely two more, wounds, and stripes; A man may wound another, which though it finally cause loss neither of life nor limb, is yet an endangering of both; and the like may be said of stripes; both of which how­ever are very painful at the present, nay, per­haps very long after, and pain, of all tempo­ral evils, is to be accounted the greatest, for it is not onely an evil in it self, but it is such a one, that permits us not, whilest we are un­der it, to enjoy any other good; A man in pain having no taste of any the greatest de­lights: If any man despise these, as light injuries, let him again ask himself, how he would like it, to have his own body slasht or bruised, and put to pass under those painful means of cure, which are many times necessa­ry in such cases? I presume there is no man would willingly undergo this from another, and why then should thou offer it to him?

22. The truth is,This cruel­ty to others the effect of pride. this strange cruelty to others is the effect of a great pride, and haugh­tiness of heart, we look upon others with such contempt, that we think it no matter how they are used; we think they must bear blowes from us, when in the mean time we are so tender of our selves, that we cannot hear the least word of disparagement, but we are all on a flame. The provocations to these [Page 224] injuries are commonly so slight, that did not this inward pride dispose us to such an angri­ness of humour, that we take fire of every thing, it were impossible we should be mov­ed by them. Nay some are advanced to such a wantonness of cruelty, that without any provocation at all in coole blood, as they say, they can thus wrong their poor brethren, and make it part of their pastime, and recreation to cause pain to others. Thus some tyrannous humours take such a pleasure in tormenting those under their power, that they are glad, when they can but find a pretence to punish them, and then do it without all moderation, and others will set men together by the ears, only that they may have the sport of seeing the scuffle, like the old Romans, that made it one of their publick sports to see men kill one ano [...]her, and sure we have as little Christia­nity as they, if we can take delight in such spectacles.

23. This savageness and cruelty of mind is so unbecoming the nature of a man, that he is not a lowed to use it even to his beast; how intollerable is it then towards those, that are of the same nature, and which is more, are heires of the same eternal hopes with us? They that shall thus transgre [...]s against their neigh­bours in any of the foregoing particulars, or what ever else is hurtfnl to the body, are un­just persons, want even this lowest sort of ju­stice, the negative, to their neighbours, in respect of their bodies.

[Page 225] 24. Neither can any man excuse himself by saying what he has done was onely in return of some injury offered him by the other, for suppose it be so, that he have indeed received some considerable wrong, yet cannot he be his own revenger without injury to that man, who is not, by being thine enemy, become thy vassal, or slave, to do with what thou list; thou hast never the more right of dominion over him, because he hath done thee wrong, and therefore if thou hadst no power over his body before, 'tis certain thou hast none now, and therefore thou art not onely uncharitable (which yet were sin enough to damn thee) but unjust in every act of violence thou doest to him. Nay, this injustice ascends higher, even to God himself, who hath reserved ven­geance as his own peculiar right, Vengeance is mine, I will repay, saith the Lord, Rom. 12 19. and then he that will act revenge for himself, what does he, but incroach upon this special right and prerogative of God, snatch the sword, as it were out of his hand, as if he knew better how to weild it? which is at once a robbery, and contempt of the Divine Majesty.

PARTITION XI.

Of JUSTICE, about the Possessions of our Neighbour, against [...]njuring him as concerning his WIFE, His Goods. Of Malice, Covetousness, Oppression, Theft, Of Paying of Debts, &c.

§. 1. THe third part of negative ju­stice concerns the possessions of our neighbours;His posses­sion. what I mean by possessions, I cannot better explain, then by referring you to the tenth Commandment, the end of which is to bridle all covetous appetites and desires towards the possessions of our Neighbour. There we find reckoned up not only his house, servants, and cattel, which may all pass under the one ge­neral name of his goods or riches, but parti­cularly his wife, as a principal part of his pos­sessions, and therefore when we consider this duty of negative justice, in respect of the pos­sessions of our Neighbour, we must apply i [...] to both, his wife, as well as his goods.

2. The especial and peculiar right,H [...]s wife. that every man hath in his wife, is so well known that it were vain to say any thing in proof of it; the great impatience that every husband hath to have this right of his invaded, shews that it is sufficiently understood in the world, and [Page 227] therefore none that does this injury to ano­ther, can be ignorant of the greatness of it. The corrupting of a mans wife, enticing her to a strange bed, is by all acknowledged to be the worst sort of theft, infinitely beyond that of the goods.

3. Indeed there is in this one a heap of the greatest injustices together;The enti­cing a mans wife, the greatest in­justice. some towards the woman, and some towards the man: To­wards the woman, there are the greatest ima­ginable; it is that injustice to her soul, which was before mentioned as the highest of all o­thers, 'tis the robbing her of her innocency,To the wo­man. and setting her in a course of the horredst wick­edness (no less then lust and perjury together) from which it is probable she may never re­turn, and then it proves the damning of her e­ternally. Next it is in respect of this world, the robbing her of her credit, making her abhor­red and despised, and her very name a reproach among all men; and besides it [...] is the depriving her of all that happiness of life, which arises from the mutual kindness and affection that is between man and wife, in stead whereof this brings in a loathing, and abhorring of each other; from whence flow multitudes of mis­chiefs, too many to rehearse, in all which man hath his share also.

4. But besides those,To the man. there are to him ma­ny, and high injustice; for it is first the rob­bing him of that, which of all other things he accounts most precious, the love and faithful­ness of his wife, and that also wherein he hath [Page 228] such an incommunicable right, that himself cannot, if he would, make it over to any o­ther; and therefore sure it cannot without the utmost in justice be torn from him by any: Nor is this all, but it is farther the ingulfing him (if ever he come to discern it) in that most tormenting passion of jealousie, which is of all others the most painful, and which oft puts men upon the most desperate attempts, it be­ing as Soloman says, Prov. 6. 34. The rage of a man. It is yet farther, the bringing upon him all that scorn, and contempt, which by the unjust measures of the world falls on them, which are so abused, and which is by many esteemed the most unsufferable part of the wrong; and though it be true that it is very unjust, he should fall under reproach, only be­cause he is injured, yet unless the world could be new moulded, it will certainly be his lot, and therefore it adds much to the injury: A­gain, this may indeed be a robbery in the usu­al sense of the word, for perhaps it may be the thrusting in the child of the adulterer in­to his family, to share both in the mainte­nance and portions of his own children; and this is an arrand theft; first, in respect of the man, who surely intends not the providing for another mans child; and then in respect of the children, who are by that means de­frauded by so much as that goes away with. And therefore whoever hath this circum­stance of the sin to repent of, cannot do it effectually, without restoring to the family, [Page 229] as much as he hath by this means rob'd it of.

5. All this put together will sure make this the greatest and most provoking injury that can be done to a man,The most irrepaira­ble. and (which heightens it yet more) it is that, for which a man can never make reparations; for unless it be in the circumstance before mentioned, there is no part of this sin, wherein that can be done; to this purpose it is observable in the Jewish Law, that the thief was appointed to restore fourfold, and that freed him; but the adulte­rer having no possibility of making any resti­tution, any satisfaction, he must pay his life for his offence. Lev. 20. 10. And though now a days adulterers speed better, live many days to renew their guilt, and perhaps to laugh at those, whom they have thus injured, yet let them be assured, there must one day be a sad reckoning, and that whether they repent or not: If by Gods grace they do come to repentance, they will then find this to be no cheap sin, many anguishes of soul, terrors, and perplexities of conscience, groanes, and tears it must cost them, and indeed were a mans whole life spent in these penitential ex­ercises, 'twere little enough to wipe off the guilt of any one single act of this kind; what overwhelming sorrows then are requisite for such a trade of this sin, as too many drive? Certainly it is so great a task, that it is high­ly necessary for all that are so concerned, to set to it immediately, lest they want time to [Page 230] go through with it; for let no man flatter himself, that the guilt of a course and ha­bit of such a sin can be washt away with a single act of repentance; no he must propor­tion the repentance to the fault, and as one hath been a habit and course, so must the o­ther also. And then how strange a madness is it for men to run into this sin (and that with such painful pursuits, as many do) which he knows must at the best hand, that is, supposing he do repent of it, cost him thus dear; but then, if he do not repent, infinitely dearer; it looses him all his title to heaven, that place of purity, and gives him his portion in the lake of fire, where the burnings of his lust shall end in those everlasting burnings: For how closely soever he have acted this sin, be it so that he may have said with the adulterer in Job 25. 15. No eye seeth me, yet 'tis sure he could not in the greatest obscurity shelter himself from Gods sight, with whom the darkness is no darkness, Psal. 139. 12. And he it is, who hath expresly th [...]eatned to judg this sort of offender, Heb. 13 4. Adul­terers God will judg. God grant that all that live in this foul guilt may so seasonably, and so throughly judg themselves, that they may prevent that severe and dreadful judgment of his.

6. The second thing,His goods. to which this nega­tive justice to our neighbours possessions reacheth, is his Goods, under which general word is contained all those several sorts of [Page 231] things, as House, Land, Cattel, Money, and the like, in which he hath a right and propor­ty; these we are by the rule of this justice to suffer him to enjoy, without seeking either to work him damage in any of them, or to get any of them to our selves: I make a dif­ference between these two, because there may be two several grounds, or motives of this inju­stice; the one malice, the other covetous­ness.

7. The malicious Malicious injustice. man desires to work his neighbour mischief, though he get nothing by it himself; 'tis frequently seen, that men will make havock, and spoile of the goods of one, to whom they bear a grudg, though they ne­ver designe to get any thing to themselves by it, but only the pleasure of doing a spight to the other: This is a most hellish humour, directly answerable to that of the Divel, who bestows all his pains and industry, not to bring in any good to himself but only to ru­ine and undoe others: and how contrary it is to all rules of justice, you may see by the Precept given by God to the Jews concerning the goods of an enemy, where they were so far from being allowed a liberty of spoile and de­struction, that they are expresly bound to pre­vent it, Exod. 23. 45. If thou meet thine e­nemies oxe, or his asse going a stray, thou shalt surely bring it back to him again: If thou see the asse of him that hateth thee lying under his burden, and wouldst forbear to help him, thou shalt surely help with him: Where you see [Page 232] it is a debt we owe to our very enemies, to prevent that loss and damage, which by any accident he is in danger of: and that even with some labour, and pains to our selves. How horrible an injustice is it then, purposely to bring that loss, and damage on him? Who­ever is guilty of this let him never excuse him­self by saying, he hath not inricht himself by the spoil of his neighbour, that he hath nothing of it cleave [...] to his finger; for sure this malici­ous injustice is no less a fault then the covetous one; nay I suppose in respect of the principle & cause, from which it flowes, it may be greater, this hatred of another being worse then the immoderate love of our selves; whoever hath thus mischieft his neighbour, he is as much bound to repair the injury, to make satisfaction for the loss, as if he had inriched himself by it.

8 But on the other side,Covetous injustice. let not the covetous defrauder therefore judg his sin light because there is another, that in some one respect out­weighs it, for perhaps in others his may cast the scales; certainly it does in this one, that he that is unjust for greediness of gain is like to multiply more acts of this sin, then he that is so out of malice; for tis impossible any man should have so many objects of his malice, as he may have of his covetousness; there is no man at so general a defiance with all mankind that he hates every body; but the covetous man hath as many objects of his vice, as there be things in the world he counts valuable: But I shall not longer stand about this comparison, [Page 233] 'tis sure they are both great and crying sins, and that is ground enough of abhorring each; let us descend now to the several branches of this sort of covetous injustice; 'tis true they may all bear the name of robbery, or theft for in effect they are all so, yet for methods sake it will not be amiss to distinguish them into these three Oppression, Oppression. Theft, and Deceit.

9. By oppression I mean that open and bare­faced robbery, of seizing upon the possessions of others, and owning, and avowing the doing so. For the doing of this there are several instru­ments: as first that of power, by which many Nations and Princes have been turned out of their rights, and many private men out of their estates; sometimes again. Law is made the instrument of it; he that covets his neigh­bours lands or goods, pretends a claim to them, and then by corrupting of justice by bribes and gifts, or else over-ruling it by greatness and authority gets judgment on his side: This is a high oppression, and of the worst sort, thus to make the Law, which was intended for the protection, and defence of mens rights, to be the means of overthrowing them; and it is a very heavy guilt, that lyes both on him that procures, and on him that pronounces such a sentence, yea and on the lawyer too, that pleads such a cause, for by so doing he assists in the oppression; sometimes again, the very necessities of the oppressed are the means of his oppression; thus it is in the case of extortion, and griping usury; a man is in extreme want of money, and this gives [Page 234] opportunity to the extortioner two rest uncon­scionably from him, to which the poor man is forced to yeild, to supply his present wants. And thus also it is often with exacting Land­lords, who when their poor tenants know not how to provide themselves elsewhere, rack and skrew them beyond the worth of the thing. All these and many the like are but several wayes of acting this one sin of oppression which becomes yet the more hainous, by how much the more helpless the person is, that is thus oppressed, therefore the oppression of the widow, and fatherless, is in Scripture mentioned, as the height of this sin.

10. It is indeed a most crying guilt,Gods ven­geance a­gainst it. and that against which God hath threatned his heavy vengeance, as we read in divers texts of Sriptures: Thus it is, Ezek. 18. 12. He that hath oppressed the poor, and hath spoiled by vio­lence, he shall surely die, his blood shall be upon him: and the same sentence is repeated a­gainst him. ver. 18. Indeed God hath so pe­culiarly taken upon him the protection of the poor, & oppressed, that he is engaged as it were in honour to be their avenger, and accordingly, Psal 12. We see God solemnly declare his re­solution of appearing for them, ver. 5. For the oppression of the poor for the sighing of the needy, now will I arise, saith the Lord, I will set him in safety from him; the advice therefore of So­lomon is excellent, Prov. 22. 22. Rob not the poor, because he is poor, neither oppresse the afflicted in the g [...]te, for the Lord will plead their cause, and [Page 235] will spoil the soul of those that spoiled them; they are like in the end to have little joy of the booty it brings them in, when it thus enga­ges God against them.

11. The second sort of this injustice is theft, Theft. and of that also there are two kinds, the one the withholding what we should pay, and the other taking from our neighbour what is al­ready in his possession.

12. Of the first sort is the not paying of debts,Not paying what we borrow. whether such as we have borrowed, or such as by our own voluntary promise are be­come our debts, for there are equally due to him, that can lay either of these claims to them; and therefore the withholding of ei­ther of them is a theft, a keeping from my neighbour that which is his; yet the former of them is rather the more injurious, for by that I take from him that which he once actu­ally had (be it money, or whatsoever else) and so make him worse then I found him: This is a very great, and very common inju­stice; men can now a days with as great con­fidence deny him that asks a debt, as they do him, that asks an alms, nay many times 'tis made matter of quarrel for a man to demand his own, besides the many attendances the cre­ditor is put to in pursuit of it, are a yet far­ther injury to him, by wasting his time, and taking him off from other business, and so he is made a looser that way too. This is so great injustice, that I see not how a man can look upon any thing he possesses as his own [Page 236] right, whilst he thus denyes another his. It is the duty of every man in debt, rather to strip himself of all, & cast himself again naked upon Gods providence, then thus to feather his nest with the spoiles of his neighbours. And surely it would prove the more thriving course, not only in respect of the blessing, which may be expe­cted upon justice, compared with the curse, that attends the contrary, but even in worldly pru­dence also; for he that defers paying of debts, will at last be forst to it by Law, and that upon much worse terms, then he might have done it voluntarily, with a greater charge, & with such a loss of his credit, that afterwards in his grea­test necessities he will not know where to bor­row. But the sure way for a man to secure him­self from the guilt of this unjustice, is never to borrow more then he knows he hath means to repay, unless it be one, who knowing his disabi­lity, is willing to run the hazard. Otherwise he commits this sin at the very time of borrowing for he takes that from his neighbour upon promise of paying, which he knows he is never likely to restore to him, which is a flat robbery.

The same justice which tyes men to pay their own debts tyes also every surety to pay those debts of others, for which he stands bound, What we are b [...]und for. i [...] case the principal either cannot or will not: for by being bound, he hath made it his own debt, and must in all justice answer it to the creditor, who, its presumed was drawn to lend, on confi­dence of his security, and therefore is direct­ly cheated and betrayed by him, if he see him not satisfied. If it be thought hard, that a man [Page 237] should pay for that, which he never received benefit by, I shall yeild it, so far as to be just matter of wariness to every man how he enter into such engagements, but it can never be made an excuse for the breaking them.

As for the other sort of debt, that which is brought upon a man by his own voluntary promise, What we have pro­mised. that also cannot without great inju­stice be withholden; for it is now the mans right, and then 'tis no matter, by what means it came to be so. Therefore we see David makes it part of the description of a just man, Psal. 15. 4. that he keeps his promise, yea, though they were made to his own disadvantage; and surely he is utterly unfit to ascend to that Holy Hill, there spoken of, either as that signifies the Church here, or Heaven hereafter, that does not punctu­ally observe this part of justice. To this sort of debt may be reduced the wages of the servant, the hire of the labourer, and the withholding of these is a great sin, and the complaints of those that are thus injured, ascend up to God. Behold (saith St. James) the hire of the labourers which have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, c [...]yeth, and the cryes of them that have reaped, are entred into the ears of the Lord of Sabbaths: and Deut. 24. 14, 15. we find a strict command in this matter. Thou shalt not oppress an hired servant that is poor and needy, at his day thou shalt give him his hire, neither shall the Sun go down upon it, for he is poor, and setteth his heart upon it, lest he cry against thee to the Lord, and it be sin unto thee. This is one of those loud clamou­rous [Page 238] sins, which will not cease crying, till it bring down Gods vengeance, and therefore though thou have no justice to thy poor bro­ther, yet have at least so much mercy to thy self, as not to pull down judgemenns on thee by thus wronging him.

PARTITION XII.

Of THEFT; Stealing the Goods of our Neighbour. Of DECEIT in Trust, in Traffick. Of RESTI­TUTION, &c.

§. 1. THE second part of theft is the taking from our neighbour that which is already in his possession;Stealing the goods of our neigh­bour. and this may be done either more violently, and openly, or else more closely, and slyly; The first is the manner of those that rob on the way, or plun­der houses, where by force they take the goods of their neighbour; The other is the way of the pilfering thief, that takes away a mans goods unknown to him; I shall not dispute, which of these is the worst, 'tis enough that they are both such acts of injustice, as make men odious to God, unfit for humane society, and betray the actors to the greatest mischiefs even in this world, death it self being by Law appointed the reward of it; and there are few that follow this Trade long, but at last meet with that fruit of it. I am sure 'tis madness [Page 239] for any to believe he shall alwayes steal secure­ly, for he is to contend with the industry of all those, whom he shall thus injure, whose losses will quicken their wits for the finding him out, and which is infinitely more, he is to struggle with the justice of God, which doth usually pursue such men to destruction, even in this world; witness the many strange disco­veries, that have been made of the craftiest theeves. But however, if he were secure from the vengeance here, I am sure nothing but repentance and reformation can secure him from the vengeance of it hereafter. And now when these dangers are weighed, 'twill surely appear, that the thief makes a piti­ful bargain, he steals his neighbours money, or cattel, and in exchange for it he must pay his life, or his Soul, perhaps both, and if the whole world be too mean a price for a Soul, as he tels us, Mar. 18. 36. who best knew the value of them, having himself bought them, what a strange madness is it, to barter them away for every petty trifle▪ as ma­ny do, who have got such a habit of stealing, that not the meanest worthless thing can es­cape their fingers? Under this head of theft may be ranked the receivers of stoln goods, whether those that take them, as partners in the theft, or those that buy them, when they know or believe they are stoln. This many (that pretend much to abhor theft,) are guilty of, when they can by it, buy the thing a little cheaper then the common rate. And here [Page 240] also comes in the concealing of any goods a man finds of his neighbours, which whosoe­ver restores not, if he know, or can learn out the owner, is no better then a thief, for he withholds from his neighbour that which pro­perly belongs to him: and sure 'twill not be uncharitable to say, that he that will do this, would likewise commit the grosser theft, were he by that no more in danger of Law then in this he is.

The third part of injustice is deceit, Deceit. and in that there may be as many acts as there are occasions of entercourse and dealing between man and man.

2. It will be impossible to name them all, but I think they will be contained under these two general deceits in matters of Trust, and in matters of Traffick, or bargaining; unless it be that of Gaming, which therefore here by the way, I must tell you, is as much a fraud and deceit as any of the rest.

3. He that deceives a man in any trust, In Trust. that is committed to him, is guilty of a great injustice, and that the most treacherous sort of one, it is the joyning of two great sins in one, defrauding, and promise-breaking; for in all trusts there is a promise implyed, if not exprest, for the very accepting of the trust contains under it a promise of fidelity; these trusts are broken sometimes to the living, sometimes to the dead; to the living there are many wayes of doing it, according to the several kinds of the trust; sometimes a trust [Page 241] is more general, like that of Potiphar to Jo­seph, Gen. 39. 4. a man commits to another all that he hath, and thus guardians of chil­dren, and sometimes stewards are intrusted; sometimes again it is more limited, and re­strained to some one special thing: A man intrusts another to bargain, or deal for him in such a particular, or he puts some one thing into his hands, to manage, and dispose: Thus among servants it is usual for one to be intru­sted with one part of the Masters goods, and another with another part of them. Now in all these, and the like cases, whosoever acts not for him that intrusts him, with the same faithfulness, that he would for himself but shall either carelesly loose, or prodigally im­bezel the things committed to him, or else convert them to his own use, he is guilty of this great sin of betraying a trust to the living. In like manner he that being intrusted with the execution of a dead mans Testament, acts not according to the known intention of the dead man, but enriches himself by what is assigned to others, he is guilty of this sin, in respect of the dead; which is so much the greater, by how much the dead hath no means of remedy, and redress, as the living may have. It is a kind of robbing of graves, which is a theft of which men naturally have such a horrour, that he must be a very hard­ned thief, that can attempt it. But either of these frauds are made yet more hainous, when either God, or the poor are immediately con­cerned [Page 242] in it; that is, when any thing is com­mitted to a man, for the uses either of piety, or charity: this adds sacriledge to both the fraud, and the treachery, and so gives him title to all those curses, that attend those se­veral sins, which are so heavy, that he that for the present gain will adventure on them, makes as ill, nay, a much worse bargain, then Geh [...]zi, 1 Kings 5. 27. who by getting the rayment of Naam in got his leprosie too.

4. The second sort of fraud is in matters of traffick and bargain, In Traffick wherein there may be deceit both in the seller, and buyer; That of the seller is commonly either in concealing the faults of the commodity, or else in over-rate­ing it.

5. The wayes of concealing its faults are or­dinarily these,The sellers concealing the faults of his ware. either first by denying that it hath any such fault, nay, perhaps commending it for the direct contrary quality, a [...]d this is down-right lying, and so adds that sin to the other, and if that lye be confirmed by an oath, as it is too usually, then the yet greater guilt of perjury comes in also; and then what a heap of sins is here gathered together? abun­dantly enough to sink any poor Soul to destru­ction, and all this onely to skrew a little more money out of his neighbours pocket, and that sometimes so very little, that 'tis a miracle that any man that thinks he has a Soul, can set it at so miserable a contemptible price. A second means of concealing is by using some Art to the thing, to make it look fair, and to [Page 243] hide the faults of it, and this is acting a lye, though it be not speaking one, which amounts to the same thing, and has surely in this case as much of the intention of cheating, and defrauding as the most impudent forswearing can have. A third means, is the picking out ignorant chapmen; This is, I believe, an Art too well known among tradesmen, who will not bring out their faulty wares to men of skill, but keep them to put off to such, whose unskilfulness may make them passable with them; and this is still the same deceit with the former, for it all tends to the same end, the cozening and defrauding of the chapman, and then it is not much odds, whether I make use of my own Art, or his weakness for the purpose. This is certain, he that will do justly, must let his chapman know what he buyes, and if his own skill enable him not to judge (nay, if he do not actually find out the fault) thou art bound to tell it him, otherwise thou makest him pay for some­what, which is not there, he presum [...]ng there is that good quality in it, which thou knowest is not, & therefore thou mayest as honestly take his money for some goods of another mans, which thou knowest thou canst never put into his possession, which I suppose no man will deny to be an arrant cheat. To this head of concealment may be referred, that deceit of false weights and measures, for that is the conceal­ing from the buyer a defect in the quantity, as the other was in the quality of the commo­dity, [Page 244] and is again the making him pay for what he hath not. This sort of fraud is pointed at particularly by Solomon, Prov. 11. 1. with this note upon it, that it is an abomination to the Lord.

6. The second part of fraud in the seller, lyes in over-rating His over-rating it. the commodity; though he have not disguised, or concealed the faults of it, and so have dealt fairly in that respect, yet if he set an unreasonable price upon it, he defrauds the buyer: I call that an unreasonable price, which exceeds the true worth of the thing, considered with those moderate gains, which all tradesmen are presumed to be allow­ed in the Sale; Whatever is beyond this must in all likelyhood be fetcht in by some of these wayes: As first, by taking advantage of the buyers ignorance in the value of the thing, which is the same with doing it in the good­ness, which hath already been shewed to be a deceit: or secondly, by taking advantage of his necessity; thou findest a man hath present and urgent need of such a thing, and therefore takest this opportunity to set the dice upon him, but this is that very sin of extortion, and oppression spoken of before; for it is sure, nothing can justly raise the price of any thing, but either its becoming dearer to thee, or its being some way better in its self, but the ne­cessity of thy brother causes neither of these; his nakedness doth not make the clothes thou f [...]llest him stand thee in ever the more, nei­ther doth it make them any way better, and [Page 245] therefore to rate them ever the higher, is to change thy way of trading, and sell even the wants and necessities of thy neighbour, which sure is a very unlawful vocation. Or thirdly, it may be by taking advantage of the indiscre­tion of the chapman; A man perhaps ear­nestly fancies such a thing, and then suffers that fancy so to over-rule his reason, that he resolves to have it upon any termes; If thou findest this in him, and thereupon raisest thy rate, this is to make him buy his folly, which is of all others the dearest purchase, 'tis sure his fancy adds nothing to the reall value, no more then his necessity did in the former case, and therefore should not add to the price. He therefore that will deal justly in the busi­ness of selling, must not catch at all advan­tages, which the temper of his chapman may give, but consider soberly, what the things is worth, and what he would afford it for to another, of whom he had no such advantage, and accordingly rate it to him at no higher a price.

7. On the buyers part there are not ordi­narily so many opportunities of fraud, Fraud in the Buyer. yet it is possible a man may sometimes happen to sell somewhat, the worth whereof he is not acquainted with, and then it will be as unjust for the buyer to make gain by his ignorance, as in the other case it was for the seller; but that which oftner fals out, is the case of neces­sity, which may as probably fall on the sellers side, as the buyers; A mans wants compell [Page 246] him to sell, and permit him not to stay to make the best bargain, but forces him to take the first offer; and here for the buyer to grate upon him, because he sees him in that strait, is the same fault, which I before shewed it to be in the seller.

8. In this whole business of traffick there are so many opportunities of deceit that a man hadMany Tempta­tions to de­ceit in Traffick. need fence himself with a very firm resolution, nay, love of justice, or he will be in danger to fall under temptation, for as the wise man speaks Eccles. 27. 2. As a nail sticks fast be­tween the joinings of the stones, so doth sin stick close between buying and selling; it is so interwoven with all trades, so mixt with the very first principles, and grounds of them, that it is taught together with them, and so becomes part of the Art, so that he is now a dayes scarce thought fit to manage a Trade, that wants it, while he that has most of this black Art of defrauding, applauds and huggs himself, nay, perhaps boasts to others, how he hath over-reacht his neighbour.

What an intolerable shame is this,The com­monness of injustiee a reproach to Christiani­ty. that we Christians, who are by the precepts of our Master set to those higher duties of Charity, should in stead of practising them, quite un­learn those common rules of justice, which meer nature teaches? For, I think, I may say, there are none of those several branches of injustice towards the possessions of our neighbour, which would not be adjudged to be so by any sober Heathen, so that, as Saint [Page 247] Paul tels those of the Circumcision, that the name of God was Blasphemed among the Gen­tiles, by that unagreeableness that was be­twixt their practice, and their Law, Rom. 2. 24. So may it now be said of us, that the Name of Christ is Blasphemed among the Turks and Heathens, by the vile and scandalous lives of us, who call our selves Christians, and parti­cularly in this sin of injustice; For shame let us at last endeavour to wipe off this reproach from our profession, by leaving these practices, to which me thinks this one single considera­tion should be enough to perswade us.

9. Yet besides this,It is not the way to en­rich a man. there want not other; Among which, one there is of such a nature, as may prevail with the arrantest worldling, and that is, that this course doth not really tend to the enriching of him; there is a secret curse goes along with it, which like a canker eats out all the benefit was expected from it. This no man can doubt that believes the Scrip­ture, where there are multitudes of Texts to this purpose: thus Prov. 22. 16. He that op­presseth the poor to encrease his riches, shall surely come to want. So Hab. 2. 6. Woe to him that encreaseth that which is not his, how long? And he that ladeth himself with thick clay: shall they not rise up suddenly that shall bite thee, and awake that shall vex thee? and thou shalt be for booties to them. This is com­monly the fortune of those that spoil and de­ceive others, they at last meet with some that do the like to them. But the place in Zachary [Page 248] is most full to this purpose, Chap. 5. where under the sign of a flying roll is signified the curse, that goes forth against this sin, ver. 4. I will bring it forth, saith the Lord of Hosti, and it shall enter into the house of the thief, and into the house of him that sweareth falsly by my Name, and it shall consume it with the timber thereof, and with the stones thereof. Where you see theft, and perjury are the two sins, against which this curse is aimed (and they too often go together in the matter of defrauding) and the nature of this curse is, to consume the house, to make an utter destruction of all that belongs to him that is guilty of either of these sins. Thus whilest thou art ravening after thy neighbours goods, or house, thou are but gathering fuel to burn thine own. And the effect of these threatnings of God we daily see in the strange improsperousness of ill got­ten estates, which every man is apt enough to observe in other mens cases; he that sees his neighbour decline in his estate, can presently call to mind, this was gotten by oppression or deceit, yet so sottish are we, so bewitcht with the love of gain, that he that makes this ob­servation, can seldome turn it to his own use, is never the lesse greedy, or unjust himself for that vengeance he discerns upon others.

10. But alas, if thou couldst be sure that thy unjust possession,It ruines the Soul Eternally. should not be torn from thee, yet when thou remembrest, how dear thou must pay for them in another world, thou hast little reason to brag of thy prize. Thou [Page 249] thinkest thou hast been very cunning, when thou hast over-reacht thy brother, but God knowes all the while, there is another over-reaching thee, and cheating thee of what is infinitely more precious, even thy Soul; the Devil herein deals with thee as fishers use to do; those that will catch a great fish, will bait the hook with a less, and so the great one coming with greediness to devour that, is himself taken; So thou that art gaping to swallow up thy poor brother, art thy self made a prey to that great devourer. And a­las! what will it ease thee in Hell, that thou hast left wealth behind thee upon earth, when thou shalt there want that, which the mean­est beggar here enjoyes, even a drop of water to cool thy tongue. Consider this, and from henceforth resolve to imploy all that pains and diligence thou hast used to deceive others, in rescuing thy self from the frauds of the grand deceiver.

11. To this purpose it is absolutely necessary,The neces­sity of Re­stitution. that thou make Restitution to all whom thou hast wronged; For as long as thou keepest any thing of the unjust gain, 'tis as it were an earnest penny from the Devil, which gives him full right to thy Soul. But perhaps it may be said, it will not in all cases be pos­sible to make Restitution to the wronged par­ty, peradventure he may be dead; in that case then make it to his heirs, to whom his right descends. But it may further be obje­cted, that he that hath long gone on in a [Page 250] course of fraud, may have injured many, that he cannot now remember, and many that he has no means of finding out; In this case all I can advise is this: First, to be as diligent as is possible, both in recalling to mind who they were, and endeavouring to find them out; and when, after all thy care, that proves impossible, let thy Restitutions be made to the poor, and that they may not be made by halves, be as careful as thou canst to reckon every the least mite of unjust gain, but when that cannot exactly be done, as 'tis sure it cannot by those who have multiplied the acts of fraud, yet even there let them make some general measures, whereby to proportion their restitution: as for example, a tradesman that cannot remember how much he has cheated in every single parcel, yet may possi­bly guess in the gross whether he have usually over-reacht to the value of a third, or a fourth part of the wares, and then what proportion soever he think he has so defrauded, the same proportion let him now give out of that estate he hath raised by his Trade; but herein it concerns every man to deal uprightly, as in the presence of God, and not to make advan­tage of his own forgetfulness, to the cutting short to the Restitution, but rather go on the other hand, and be sure rather to give too much, then too little. If if he do happen to give somewhat over, he need not grudge the charge of such a sin offering, and 'tis sure he will not, if he do heartily desire an atone­ment. [Page 251] Many other difficulties there may be in this business of restitution, which will not be foreseen, and so cannot now be particular­ly spoke to; but the more of those there are, the greater horrour ought men to have of run­ning into the sin of injustice, which it will be so difficult, if not impossible for them to re­pair, and the more careful ought they to be to mortify that, which is the root of all inju­stice, to wit Covetousness.

PARTITION. XIII.

Of FALSE REPORTS, False Witness. Slanders Whisperings. Of Despising and Scoffing for infirmi­ties; Calamities; Si [...]s. &c. Of POSITIVE JU­STICE, Speaking the TRUTH, Of LYING. Of Humility and Pride. Of Envy and Detraction. Of Gratitude, &c.

§ 1: THe Fourth Branch of Nega­tive Justice concerns the cre­dit o [...] our neighbours,His credit. which we are not to lessen, or im­paire by any means, particularly not by false reports: Of false reports there may be two sorts, the one is when a man sayes some­thing of his neighbour, which he directly knows to be false, the other when possibly he has some slight surmize, or jealousy of the [Page 252] thing; but that upon such weak grounds, that 'tis as likely to be false as true. In either of these cases, there is a great guilt lies upon the reporter; that there doth so in the first of them, no body will doubt, every one acknow­ledging that it is the greatest baseness to in­vent a lie of another; but there is as little reason to question the other, for he that re­ports a thing as a truth, which is but uncer­tain, is a lyar also, or if he do not report it as a certainty, but only as a probability, yet then though he be not guilty of the lye, yet he is of the injustice, of robbing his neighbour of his credit; for there is such an aptness in men to believe ill of others, that any the lightest jealousy will, if once it be spread abroad, serve for that purpose; and sure it is a most horrible injustice upon every slight surmize, and fancy, to hazard the bringing so great an evil upon another; especially when it is considered, that those surmizes commonly spring rather from some censoriousness, pee­vishness, or malice in the surmizer, then from any reall fault in the person so suspe­cted.

2. The manner of spreading these false r [...] ­ports of both kinds,False wit­ness. is not alwayes the same; sometimes it is more open and avowed, some­times more close and private: the open is ma­ny times by false witness before the Court of Justice; and this not only hurts a man in his credit, but in other respects also; 'tis the de­livering him up to the punishment of the Law, [Page 253] and according to the nature of the crime pre­tended, does him more or less mischief; but if it be of the highest kind, it may concern his life, as we see it did in Naboths case, 1 Kin. 21. How great and crying a sin it is in this respect, as also in that of the perjury, you may learn from what hath been said of both those sins. I am now to consider it only, as it touches the credit; and to that it is a most grievous wound, thus to have a crime pub­lickly witnessed against one, and such as is scarce curable by any thing that can afterwards be done to clear him, and therefore whoever is guilty of this, doth a most outragious in­justice to his neighbour; this is that which is expresly forbidden in the ninth Command­ment, and was by God appointed to be pu­nisht by the inflicting of the very same suffer­ing upon him, which his false testimony aim­ed to bring upon the other. Deut. 19. 16.

3. The second open way of spreading these reports,Publick slanders. is by a publick and common declar­ing of them; though not before the Magi­strate, as in the other case, yet in all compa­nies, and before such as are likely to carry it farther, and this is usually done with bitter railings, and reproaches, it being an ordina­ry act of slanderers, to revile those whom they slander, that so by the sharpness of the accu­sation they may have the greater impression in the minds of the hearers; this both in re­spect of the slander, and the railing, is a high [Page 254] injury, and both of them such, as debarre the committers from heaven; thus Psal. 15. where the upright man is discribed, that shall have his part there, this is one special thing, vers. 3. That he slendereth not his neighbour; And for railing, the Apostle in several places reckons it amongst those works of the flesh, which are to shut men out both from the Church here by excommunication, as you may see 1 Cor. 5. 11. and from the King­dom of God hereafter, as it is, 1 Cor. 6. 10.

4. The other more close and private way of spreading such reports, is that of the Whispe­rer, Whisper­ing. he that goes about from one to an o­ther, and privately vents his slanders, not out of an intent by that means to make them less publick, but rather more; this trick of delivering them by way of secret, being the way to make them both more believed, and more spoken of too; for he that receives such a tale▪ as a secret from one, thinks to please some body else, by delivering it as a secret to him also; and so it passes from one hand to another, till at last it spread over a whole Town: This sort of slanderer is of all other; the most dangerous, for he works in the dark, tyes all he speaks to, not to own him as the author, so that whereas in the more publick accusations, the party may have some means of clearing himself, and detecting his accu­ser, here he shall have no possibil [...]ty of that, the slander, like a secret poison, works incure­able [Page 255] effects, before ever the man discern it. This sin of whispering is by St. Paul menti­oned among those great crimes, which are the effects of a reprobate mind, Rom. 1. 29. It is indeed one of the most injurable wounds of this sword of the tongue; the very bane and pest of humane society; and that which not only robs single persons of their good names, but oftentimes whole families, nay, publick societies of men of their peace, what ruines, what confusions has this one sin wrought in the world? 'Tis Solomons obser­vation, Prov. 18 28. That a whisperer sepe­rateth chief friends, and sure one may truly say of tongues thus imployed, that they are set on fire of Hell, as St. James saith, Chap. 3. 6.

5. This is such a guilt that we are to beware of all degrees of approach to it,Several steps to­wards this sin. of which there are several steps; the first is the giving ear to, and ch [...]rishing of those that come with slanders, for they that entertain and receive them, incourage them in the practice; for as our common proverb sayes, if there were no receivers, there would be no thief; so if there were none, that would give an ear to tales, there would be no tale bearers. A se­cond step is, the giving too easy credit to them, for this helps them to attain part of their end, they desire to beget a general ill opini­on of such a man, but the way of doing it must be by causing it, first, in particular m [...]n: and if thou suffer them to do it in thee, they [Page 256] have so farr prospered in their aime. And for thy own part thou dost a great injustice to thy neighbour, to believe ill of him without a just ground, which the accusation of such a person certainly is not. A third step, is the reporting to others, what is thus told thee; by which thou makest thy self directly a party in the slander, and after thou hast unjustly withdrawn from thy neighbour, thy own good opinion, endeavourest to rob him also of that of o­thers. This is very little below the guilt of the first whisperer, and tends as much to the ruine of our neighbours credit. And these several degrees have so close a dependance one upon another, that it will be very hard for him that allowes himself the first, to escape the other; and indeed he that can take de­light to hear his neighbour defamed, may well be presumed of so malicious a humour, that 'tis not likely he should stick at spreading the slander. He therefore that will preserve his innocence in this matter, must never in the least degree cheris or countenance any that brings these false reports. And it is not less necessary to his peace, then to his innocency; for he that once entertains them, must never expect quiet, but shall be continually incited and stirred up even against his neerest, and deerest relations; so that this whisperer, and slanderer is to be look't on by all, as a com­mon enemy, he being so as well to those to whom, as of whom he speaks.

6. But be [...]ides this grosser way of slander­ing, [Page 257] there is another, whereby we may im­pair,Despising and scoffing. and lessen the credit of our neighbour, and that is by contempt, and despising; one com­mon effect whereof is scoffing, and deriding him. This is very injurous to a mans reputa­tion, for the generallity of men do rather take up opinions upon trust, then judgment; and therefore if they see a man despised, and scorned, they will be apt to do the like. But besides this effect of it, there is a present in­justice in the very act of despising, and scorn­ing others. There are ordinarily but three things, which are made the occasions of it (unless it be with such, with whom virtue and godliness are made the most reproachful things, and such despising is not only an in­jury to our neighbour, but even to God him­self, for whose sake it is, that he is so despised) those three are first the infirmities, secondly the calamities, thirdly the sins of a man, and each of these are very farr from being ground of our triumphing over him.

7. First, for infirmities, For infir­mities. be they either of body or mind, the deformity and unhandsome­ness of the one, or the weakness, and folly of the other, they are things out of his power to help, they are not his faults, but the wise dispensations of the great Creator, who be­stows the excellencies of body and mind, as he pleases, and therefore to scorn a man be­cause he hath them not, is in effect to re­proach God who gave them not to him.

8. So also for the calamities, For calamities. and miseries, [Page 258] that befall a man, be it want, or sickness, or what ever else, these also come by the provi­dence of God, who raiseth up, and pulleth down, as seems good to him, and it belongs not to us to judg, what are the motives to him to do so, as many do, who upon any afflicti­on that befals another, are presently conclu­ding, that sure it is some extraordinary guilt, which pulls this upon him, though they have no particular to lay to his charge. This rash judgment our Saviour reproves in the Jews, Lu. 13. where on occasion of the extraor­dinary sufferings of the Galileans, he asks them, ver. 2. suppose ye that these Galileans were sinners above all the Galileans, because they suffered such things? I tell you nay, but ex­cept you repent, ye shall all likewise perish: when we see Gods hand heavy upon others, it is no part of our business to judg them, but our selves, and by repentance to prevent, what our own sins have deserved. But to reproach, and revile any, that are in affliction, is that barbarous cruelty, taken notice of by the Psalmist, as the heighth of wickedness, Psal. 69. 26. They persecute him whom thou hast smitten, and they talk to the grief of them whom thou hast wounded: In all the miseries of o­thers, compassion becomes a debt to them; how unjust are they then, that in stead of pay­ing them that debt, afflict them with scorn and reproach?

9. Nay the very sins of men,Forsi [...]. though as they have more of their wills in them, they [Page 259] may seem more to deserve reproach, yet cer­tainly they also oblige us to the former duty of compassion, and that in the highest degree, as being the things, which of all others make a man the most miserable; in all these cases, if we consider how subject we are to the like our selves; and that is not only Gods mercy to us, by which we are preserved from the worst that any man else is under, it will surely better become us to look up to him with thankfulness, then down on them with con­tempt, and despising. Thus you see the direct injustice of scorning and contemning our bre­thren, to which when that other is added, which naturally followes, as a consequent of this, to wit, the begetting the like contempt in others, there can sure be no doubt of its be­ing a great, and horrible injustice to our neigh­bour, in respect of his credit.

10. Now how great the injury of destroy­ing a mans credit is,Destroying the credit; a great in­jury. may be measured by these two things, first the value of the thing he is rob'd of, and secondly the difficulty of making reparations. For the first, 'tis commonly known, that a mans good name is a thing he holds most precious, oftentimes dearer then his life, as we see by the hazards men some­times run to preserve even a mistaken reputa­tion; but 'tis sure it is that, which hath even by sober men been esteemed one of the greatest happiness of life: And to some sorts of men, such especially as subsist by dealings in the world, tis so necessary, that it may well be reck­oned [Page 260] as the means of their livelyhood, and then sure 'tis no slight matter to rob a man of what is thus valuable to him.

11. Secondly, And irre­pairable. the difficulty of making re­parations increaseth the injury, and that is such in this case of defamation, that I may rather cal it an impossibility, then a difficulty: For when men are possest with an ill opinion of a person, 'tis no easy matter to work it out; so that the slanderer is herein like a young Conjurer, that raises a Divel he knows not how to lay again. Nay suppose men were generally as willing to lay down ill conceits of their neighbours, as they are to take them up, yet how is it pos­sible for him that makes even the most publick recantation of his slander, to be sure that eve­ry man that hath come to the hearing of the one, shall do so of the other also? And if there be but one person, that doth not (as probably there will be many) then is the repa­ration still short of the injury.

12. This consideration is very fit to make men afraid of doing this wrong to their neighbour;Yet every guilty per­son must do all he can to repaire the injury. but let it not be made use of to excuse those, that have already done the wrong, from endeavouring to make the best reparations they can; for though 'tis odd, it will not equal the injury, yet let them how­ever do what they are able towards it: And this is so necessary towards the obtaining par­don of the sin that none must expect the one, that do not perform the other. Whosoever therefore sets himself to repent of his faults [Page 261] of this kind, must by all prudent means endea­vour to restore his neighbour to that degree of credit he hath deprived him of; and if that be not to be done without bringing the shame upon himself, of confessing publickly the slan­der, he must rather submit to that, then be wanting to this necessary part of justice, which he owes to the wronged party.

13. Thus have I gone through these four branches of Negative Iustice to our neigh­bour,Iustice in the thoughts. wherein we must yet farther observe, that this justice binds us not only in respect of our words, and actions, but of our very thoughts, and affections also; we are not on­ly forbid to hurt, but to hate, not only re­strained from bringing any of these evils fore­mentioned upon him, but we must not so much as wish them before, nor delight in them after they are befallen him: We must take no pleasure either in the sin of his Soul, or hurt of his body; we must not envy him a­ny good thing he injoys, nor so much as wish to possess our selves of it: Neither will it suffice us, that we so bridle our tongue, that we neither slander, or revile, if we have that malice in our hearts, which makes us wish his d [...]scredit or rejoyce, when we find it procur­ed, though we have no hand in the procuring it. This is the peculiar property of Gods Lawes, that they reach to the heart, whereas mens can extend only to the words, and acti­ons; and the reason is clear, because he is the only Law-giver, that can see what is in the [Page 262] heart, therefore if there were the perfectest innocence in our tongue, and hands, yet if there be not this purity of heart, it will never serve to acquit us before him. The counsel therefore of Solomon is excellent, Prov. 4. 23. Keep thy heart with all diligence, for out of it are the issues of life. Let us strictly guard that, so that no malicious unjust thought en­ter there, and that not only, as it may be the means of betraying us to the grosser act, but also as it is in it self such a pollution in Gods sight, as will unfit us for the blessed vision of God, whom none but the pure in heart have promise of seeing, Mat. 5. 8. Blessed are the pure in heart, for they shall see God.

14. I come now to speak of the Positive part of Justice, Positive Iustice. which is the yielding to every man that which by any kind of right he may challenge from us. Of these dues there are some, that are general to all mankind, others that are restrained within some certain condi­tions, and qualities of men, and become due onely by vertue of those qualifications.

15. Of the first sort,Speaking Truth a due to all men. that is those, that are due to all men, we may reckon first the speaking truth, which is a common debt we owe to all mankind; speech is given us as the instrument of intercourse and society, one with another, the means of discovering the mind, which otherwise lyes hid, and concea­led, so that were it not for this, our conver­sations would be but the same as of beasts; Now this being intended for the good and ad­vantage [Page 263] of mankind, 'tis a due to it, that it be used to that purpose. But he that lyes, is so far from paying that debt, that on the con­trary he makes his speech the means of injury and deceiving him he speaks to.

16. There might much be said to shew the several sorts of Obligations we lye under,Lying ex­presly for­biden in Scripture. to speak truth to all men; but supposing I write to Christians, I need not insist on any other, then the Commands we have of it in Scrip­ture, thus Eph. 4. 25. the Apostle commands, that putting away lying, they speak every man truth with his neighbour: and again, Col. 3. 9. Lye not one to another: and Pro. 6 17. a lying tongue is mentioned as one of those things that are abominations to the Lord. Yea, so much doth he hate a lye, that it is not the most pious and Religious end, that can recon­cile him to it, the man that lyes, though in a zeal to Gods glory, shall yet be judged as a sinner, Rom. 3. 7. what shall then become of those multitudes of men that lye on quite other ends? some out of malice, to mischief others, out of covetousness to defraud their neighbours, some out of pride, to set them­selves out, and some out of fear, to avoid a danger, or hide a fault. But of a yet stranger sort, then all these, are those, that do it without any discernable temptation, that will tell lyes by way of story, take pleasure in tell­ing incredible things, from which themselves reap nothing, but the reputation of imperti­nent lyars.

[Page 264] 17. Among these divers kinds of falshoods,The great common­ness and folly of this sin. Truth is become such a rarity among us, that it is a most difficult matter, to find such a man as David describes Psal. 15. 2. That speaketh the truth from his heart. Men have so glibbed their tongues to lying, that they do it familiarly upon any or no occasion, ne­ver thinking that they are observed either by God or man. But they are extremely decei­ved in both, for there is scarce any sin (that is at all endeavoured to be hid) which is more discernable even to men: they that have a cu­stome of lying, seldome fail (be their memo­ry never so good) at some time or other to betray themselves; and when they do, there is no sort of sin, meets with greater sco [...]n, and reproach; a lyar being by all accounted a title of the greatest infamy, and shame. But as for God, 'tis madness to hope that all their Arts can disguise them from him, who needs none of those casual wayes of discovery, which men do, but sees the heart, and so knowes at the very instant of speaking, the falshood of what is said; and then by his title of the God of Truth, is tyed not onely to hate, but punish it, and accordingly you see Rev. 20. that the lyars are in the number of those that are shut out of the New Ierusa­lem, and not onely so, but also have their part in the lake that burneth with Fire and Brim­stone. If therefore thou be not of the humour of that unjust Judge Christ speaks of, Luk. 18 2 Who n [...]ither feared God, nor regarded [Page 265] man, thou must resolve on this part of Justice the putting away lying, which is abhorred by both.

18. A second thing we owe to all is humani­ty and courtesie of behaviour,Courteous behaviour a due to all men. contrary to that [...]ullen churlishness we find spoken of in Nabal, who was of such a temper, that a man could not speak to him. 1 Sam. 25. 17. There is sure so much of respect due to the very na­ture of mankind, that no accidental advantage of wealth or honour, which one man hath above another, can acquit him from that debt to it, even in the person of the meanest; and therefore that crabbed and harsh behaviour to any that bears but the form of a man, is an injustice to that nature he partakes of. And when we consider how much that nature is dignified by the Son of God his taking it upon him, the obligation to reverence it is yet greater, and consequently the sin of thus con­temning it.

19 This is the common guilt of all proud and haughty persons,Not payed by the proud man. who are so busie in ad­miring themselves, that they over look all that is valuable in others, and so think they owe not so much as common civility to other men, whilest they set up themselves as Nebu­chadnezzar did his Image to be worshipped of all. This is sure very contrary to what the Apostle exhorts, Rom. 12. 10. In honour pre­fer one another: and again Phil 2. 4. Lo [...]k, not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others; and let such re­member [Page 266] the sentence of our blessed Saviour. Luk. 14. 11. He that exalteth himself shall be abased, and he that humbleth himself shall be exalted, which we often find made good to us, in the strange down-fals of proud men. And it is no wonder, for this sin makes both God and men our enemies, God, as the Scripture every where testifies, abhorres it, and all that are guilty of it, and men are by means of it used so contemptuously & unkind­ly by us, that they are by nothing more pro­voked against us, and then whom God and man thus resist, who shall secure and uphold?

20. A third thing we owe to all is Meek­ness; that is,Meekness a due to all men. such a patience, and gentleness towards all, as may bridle that mad passion of anger, which is not onely very uneasy to our selves, as hath already been shewed, but also very mischievous to our neighbours, as the many outrages, that are oft committed in it, do abundantly testify. That this duty of meekness is to be extended to all men, there is no doubt, for the Apostle in express words commands it, 1 Thes. 5. 14. Be patient to­wards all men, and that it should seem in spite of all provocation to the contrary, for the very next words are, See that none ren­der evil for evil, or railing for railing; and Timothy is commanded to exercise this meek­ness even towards them who oppose them­selves against the Doctrine of the Gospel, 2 Tim. 2. 25. which was a case, wherein some heat would probably have been allowed, if it might have been in any.

[Page 267] 21. This vertue of meekness is so necessary to the preserving the peace of the world,Brauling very in [...]uf­ferable. that it is no wonder, that Christ, who came to plant peace among men, should injoin meek­ness to all. I am sure the contrary effects of rage and anger are every where discernable, it breeds disquiets in Kingdomes, in Neighbour­hoods, in Families, and even between the neerest relations; 'tis such a humour, that So­lomon warnes us never to enter a friendship with a man that is of it, Prov. 22. 24. Make no friendship with an angry man, and with a furious man thou shalt not go. It makes a man unfit to be either friend or companion, and indeed makes one insufferable to all that have to do with one, as we are again taught by So­lomon, Prov. 21. 19. where he preferres the dwelling in a wilderness, rather then with a contentious and angry woman, and yet a woman ha [...] ordinarily onely that one weapon of the tongue to offend with. Indeed to any that have not the same unquietness of humor, there can scarce be a greater uneasiness, then to con­verse with those, that have it, though it ne­ver proceed farther, then words. How great this sin is, we may judge by what our Saviour sayes of it, Mat. 5. where there are several degrees of punishment allotted to several de­grees of it; but alas! we daily out go that, which he there sets as the highest step of this sin; the calling thou fool, is a modest sort of reviling, compared with those multitudes of bitter reproaches we use in our rages.

[Page 268] 22. Nay,It leads to that great sin of cur­sing. we often go yet higher; re­proaches serve not our turn, but we must curse too; How common is it to hear men use the horridst execrations, and cursings upon every the slightest cause of displeasure? nay, perhaps without any cause at all; so utterly have we forgot the rule of the Apostle, Rom. 12. 14. Blesse and curse not; Yea, the pre­cept of our blessed Saviour himself, Mat. 5. 44. Pray for those that despitefully use you. Christ bids us pray for those, who do us all injury, and we are often cursing those, who do us none. This is a kind of saying our prayers backward indeed, which is said to be part of the ceremony the Devil uses, at the making of a witch, and we have in this case also reason to look on it, as a means of bring­ing us into acquaintance, and league with that accursed spirit here, and to a perpetual abide­ing with him hereafter. 'Tis the language of Hell▪ which can never [...]it us to be Citizens of the New Ierusalem, but marks us out for in­habitants of that land of darkness. I con­clude this with the advice of the Apostle, Eph. 4 31. L [...]t all bitterness, and wrath, and an­ger, and clamour, and evil speaking be put a­way from you with all malice.

23. Having spoken thus farr of those com­mon dues,Particular dues. wherein all men are concerned, and have a right, I am now to proceed to those other sorts of dues, which be­long to particular persons, by vertue of some especial qualification. These qualifica­tions [Page 269] may be of three kinds, that of excellen­cy, that of want, and that of relation.

24. By that of excellency I mean any ex­traordinary gifts,A respect due to men of extraor­dinary gifts. or endowments of a per­son; such as wisdom, learning, and the like, but especially grace: these being the singular gifts of God, have a great value and respect due to them, wheresoever they are to be found; and this we must readily pay by a willing, and glad acknowledgment of those his gifts in any he has bestowed them on, and bearing them a reverence, and respect, answe­rable thereunto, and not out of an overween­ing of our own excellencies, despise and un­dervalue those of others, as they do, who will yeild nothing to be reason, but what them­selves speak, nor any thing piety, but what agrees with their own practice.

25. Also we must not envy,We are not to envy them. or grudg that they have those gifts, for that is not only an injustice to them, but injurious also to God, who gave them, as it is as large set forth in the parable of the labourers, Mat. 20. where he asks them, who grumbled at the Masters bounty to others, Is it not lawful for me to do what I will with my own, is thine eye evil be­cause mine is good? This envying at Gods goodness to others, is in effect a murmuring against God, who thus disposes it, neither can there be a greater, and more direct op­position against him, then for me to hate and wish ill to a man, for no other reason, but because God has loved and done well to him [Page 270] and then in respect of the man, 'tis the most unreasonable thing in the world, to love him the less, meerly because he has those good qualities, for which I ought to love him more.

26. Neither must we detract from the ex­cellencies of others,Nor de­tract from them. we must not see to eclipse or darken them by denying either the kinds, or degrees of them; by that means to take off that esteem, which is due to them. This sin of detraction is generally the effect of the former of envy, he that envies a mans worth, will be apt to do all he can to lessen it in the opinions of others, and to that purpose will either speak slightly of his excellencies; or if they be so apparent, that he knows not how to cloud them, he will trye if he can by report­ing some either reall, or feigned infirmity of his, take off from the value of the other, and so by casting in some dead flies, as the wise man speaks, Eccles. 10. 1. Strive to corrupt the savour of the ointment; this is a great injustice, and directly contrary to that duty we owe, of acknowledging, and reverencing the gifts of God in our brethren.

27. And both these sins of envy, and de­traction do usually prove as great follies,The folly of both those sins. as wickedness; the envy constantly brings pain, and torment to a mans self, whereas if he could but cheerfully, and gladly look on those good things of anothers, he could never fail to be the better for them himself; the very pleasure of seeing them would be some advantage to [Page 271] him; but besides that, those gifts of his brother may be many ways helpful to him, his wisdom and learning may give him instruction; his piety, and vertue, example, &c. but all this the envious man loseth, and hath nothing in exchange for it, but a continual fretting, and gnawing of heart.

28. And then for detraction, that can hardly be so managed, but it will be found out; he that is still putting in Caveats against mens good thoughts of others, will quickly discover himself to do it out of envy, and then that will be sure to lessen their esteem of him­self, but not of those he envies, it being a sort of bearing testimony to those excellencies, that he thinks them worth the envying.

29 What hath been said of the value,A respect due to men in regard of their r [...]nks and qualities. and respect due to those excellencies of the mind, may in a lower degree be applyed to the out­ward advantages of honour, greatness, and the like. These though they are not of equal value with the former (and such for which no man is to prize himself) yet in regard, that these degrees, and distinctions of men are by Gods wise providence disposed, for the bet­ter ordering of the world, there is such a ci­vil respect due to those, to whom God hath dispenc'd them, as may best preserve that order, for which they were intended. Therefore all inferiours are to behave themselves to their superious with modesty, and respect, and not by a rude boldness confound that order, which it hath pleased God to set in the world, but [Page 272] according as our Church-Catechism teaches, order themselves lowly and reverently to all their betters. And here the former caution against envy comes in most seasonably; these outward advantages being things, of which generally men have more taste, then of the o­ther, and therefore will be more apt to envy, and repine to see others exceed them therein, to this therefore all the former considerations against envy will be very proper, and the more necessary to be made use of, by how much the tempt [...]tion is in this case to most minds t [...]e greater.

30. The second qualication is that of want;Dues to those that are in any sort [...]f want whoever is in distress for any thing, wherewith I can supply him, that distress of his makes it a duty in me so to supply him, and this in all kinds of wants. Now the ground of its be­ing a duty is, that God hath given men abi­lities not only for their own use, but for the ad­vantage and benefit of others, and therefore what is thus given for their use becomes a debt to them, whenever their need requires it. Thus he that is ignorant and wants knowledg is to be instructed by him, that hath it, and this is one special end, why that knowledg is given him: The tongue of the learned is gi­ven to speak a word in season, Esay. 50. 4. He that is in sadness▪ and affliction, is to be com­forted by him that is himself in cheerful­ness. This we see St. Paul makes it the end of Gods comforting him, that he might be able to comfort them that are in any trouble, [Page 273] 2 Cor. 1. 4. He that is in any course of sin, and wants reprehension and counsel, must have that want supplyed to him by those, who have such abilities, and opportunities, as may make it likely to do good. That this is a justice we owe to our neighbour, appears plainly by that text, Levit. 19. 17. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart, thou shalt in any wise reprove him, and not suffer sin upon him; where we are under the same obligati­on to reprove him, that we are not to hate him. He that lies under any slander, or un­just defamation, is to be defended, and cleer­ed by him, that knows his innocence, or else he makes himself guilty of the slander, because he neglects to do that which may remove it; and how great an injustice, that of slandering our neighbour is, I have already shewed.

31. Lastly, he that is in poverty and need,To the poor must be relieved by him that is in plently; and he is bound to it, not only in charity, but even in justice. Solomon calls it a due, Pro. 3. 27. Withhold not good from him to whom it is due, when it is in the power of thine hand to do it: and what that good is, he explains in the ve­ry next verse: Say not to thy neighbour, go and come again, and tomorrow I will give, when thou hast it by thee: It seems, 'tis the withholding a due, so much as to defer giving to our poor neighbour. And we find God did among the Jews seperate a certain portion of every mans increase for the use of the poor, a tenth eve­ry third year (which is all one with a thirtieth [Page 274] part ever year, Deut. 14. 28, 29. And this was to be paid not as a charity, or liberality, but as a debt, they were unjust, if they with­held it. And surely we have no reason to think, that Christian justice is sunk so much below the Jewish, that either nothing at all, or a less proportion is now required of us. I wish our practice were but at all answerable to our ob­ligation in this point, and then surely we should not see so many Lazaruses lye unre­lieved at our doors, they having a better right to our superfluities, then we our selves have, and then what is it, but arrant robbery to bestow that upon our vanities, nay our sins, which should be their portion?

32. In all the foregoing cases,God with­draws those abilities which are not thus im­ployed. he that hath ability is to look upon himself, as Gods stew­ard, who hath put it into his hands to distri­bute to them, that want, and therefore not to do it, is the same injustice and fraud, that it would be in any steward to purse up that money for his private benefit, which was in­trusted to him, for the maintenance of the fa­mily, and he that shall do thus, hath just rea­son to expect the doom of the unjust steward, Luke 16. to be put out of the stewardship, to have those abilitie, taken from him, which he hath so unfaithfully imployed. And as for all the rest, so particularly for that of wealth, 'tis very commonly to be observed, that it is withdrawn from those that thus de­fraud the poor of their parts, the griping miser coming often by strange undiscernable [Page 275] wayes to poverty; and no wonder, he hav­ing no title to Gods blessing on his heap, who does not consecrate a part to him in his poor members. And therefore we see the Israe­lites before they could make that challenge of Gods promise to bless them, Deut. 26. 15. Look down from thy holy habitation and bless thy people Israel, &c. they were first to pay the poor mans tithes, ver. 12. without which they could lay no claim to it. This withhold­ing more then is meet, as Solomon sayes, Pro. 11. 24. tends to poverty; and therefore as thou wouldst play the good husband for thy self, be careful to perform this justice according to thy ability to all that are in want.

33. The third qualification is that of relation, Dues in re­spect of re­lations. and of that there may be divers sorts, arising from divers grounds, and duties, answerable to each of them. There is first a relation of a debter to a creditor, and he that stands in that relation to any whether by vertue of bar­gain, loan, or promise, 'tis his duty to pay justly what he owes, if he be able (as on the other side if he be not, 'tis the creditors, to deal charitably and Christianly with him, and not to exact of him beyond his ability.) But I need not insist on this, having already by shewing you the sin of with holding debts, in­formed you of this duty.

34. There is also a relation of an obliged person to his benefactor,Gratitude to Benefa­ctors. that is one that hath done him good, of what kind soever, whether spiritual, or corporal; and the duty of that per­son [Page 276] is, first thankfulness,, that is a ready and hearty acknowledgment of the courtesie re­ceived: secondly, prayer for Gods blessings and rewards upon him; and thirdly an endeavour, as opportunity and ability serves, to make re­turns of kindness, by doing good turnes back again. This duty of gratitude to benefa­ctors is so generally acknowledged by all, even the most barbarous, and savagest of men, that he must have put off much of his humane na­ture, that refuses to perform it. The very Publicans and sinners, as our Saviour sayes, do good to those that do good to them.

35. Yet how many of us fail even in this,The contra­ry too com­mon. how frequent is it to see men, not only neglect to re­pay courtesies, but return injuries in stead of them? It is too observable in many particu­lars, but in none more, then in the case of ad­vice, and admonition, which is of all others, the most precious part of kindness, the real­lest good turn that can be done from one man to another. And therefore those that do this to us, should be look't on, as our prime and greatest benefactors. But alas! how few are there that can find gratitude, shall I say? nay patience for such a courtesie? Go about to admonish a man of a fault, or tell him of an error, he presently looks on you, as his e­nemy, you are, as St. Paul tells the Galatians, Chap. 4. 16. become his enemy because you tell him the truth; such a pride there is in mens hearts, that they must not be told of any thing amiss, though it be with no other in­tent, [Page 277] but that they may amend it. A strange madness this is, the same that it would be in a sick man, to flie in the face of him that comes to cure him, on a fancy that he disparaged him in supposing him sick; so that we may well say with the wise man, Pro. 12. 1. He that hateth re­proofe is brutish. There cannot be in the world a more happy temper, for it fortifies a man in his sins, raises such mounts, and bul­warks about them, that no man can come to as­sault them, and if we may believe Solomon, de­struction will not fail to attend it, Pro. 29. 1. He that being of ten reproved hardneth his neck, shall suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy. But then again in respect of the admonisher, 'tis the greatest injustice, I may say, cruelty that can be, he comes in tenderness, and compas­sion to rescue thee from a danger, and to that purpose puts himself upon a very uneasy task; for such the general impatience men have to admonition, hath now made it; and what a de­feat, what a grief is it to him, to find that in stead of reforming the first fault, thou art run into a second, to wit that of causeless displeasure against him? This is one of the worst, and yet I doubt, the commonest sort of unthankfulness to benefactors, and so a great failing in that duty we owe to that sort of relation. But per­haps these will be look't on as remote relations (yet 'tis sure they are such as challenge all that duty I have assigned to them) I shall in the next place proceed to those relations, which are by all acknowledged to be of the greatest neerness.

PARTITION XIV.

Of DUTY to PARENTS. Magistrates, Pastors, &c. Of the DUTY of PARENTS to Children, &c.

§. 1. THE first of those neerer sorts of relations, is that of a Pa­rent; Duty to Parents. And here it will be necessary to consider the se­veral sorts of Parents, according to which the duty to them is to be measured. Those are these three, the Civil, the Spiritual, the Natural.

2. The Civil Parent is he,Dues to the Supreme Magistrate whom God hath establisht the Supreme Magistrate, who by a just right possesses the throne in a Nation. This is the common Father of all those that are under his authority. The du­ty we owe to this Parent is,Honour. first, Honour and Reverence, looking on him, as upon one, on whom God hath stamped much of his own power and authority, and therefore paying him all honour and esteem, never daring, upon any pretence whatsoever, to speak evil of the ruler of our people, Acts 23. 5.

3. Secondly, Tribute. Paying Tribute; This is ex­presly commanded by the Apostle, Rom. 13. 6. Pay ye tribute also, for they are Gods Mini­sters [Page 279] attending continually upon this very thing. God has set them apart as Ministers for the common good of the people, and therefore 'tis all justice, they should be main­tained, and supported by them. And indeed when it is considered, what are the cares, and troubles of that high calling, how many thorns are plated in every Crown, we have very little reason to envy them these dues, and it may truly be said, there is none of their poor labouring subjects, that earns their living so hardly.

4. Thirdly, We are to pray for them:Prayers for them. this is also expresly commanded by the Apostle, 1 Tim. 2. 2. to be done for Kings, and for all that are in authority. The businesses of that calling are so weighty, the dangers and ha­zards of it so great, that they of all others need prayers for Gods direction, assistance, and blessing, and the prayers that are thus poured out for them, will return into our own bosomes, for the blessings they receive from God tend to the good of the people, to their living a quiet and peaceable life, as it is in the close of the verse forementioned.

5. Fourthly, Obedience. We are to pay them Obe­dience. This is likewise strictly charged by the Apostle, 1 Pet. 2. 13. Submit your selves to every ordinance of man for the Lords sake, whether it be to the King as Supreme, or unto Go­vernours as those that are sent by him; We owe such an obedience to the Supreme power, that whoever is authorised by him, we are to sub­mit [Page 280] to, and St. Paul likewise is most full to this purpose, Rom. 13. 1. Let every Soul be subject to the higher powers; and again, ver. 2. Whosoever resisteth the pouers, resisteth the Ordinance of God. And 'tis observable that these precepts were given at a time, when those powers were Heathens, and cruel per­secutors of Christianity, to shew us, that no pretence of the wickedness of our rulers can free us of this duty. An obedience we must pay either active, or passive: the active in the case of all lawful commands; That is, when­ever the Magistrate commands something, which is not contrary to some Command of God, we are then bound to act according to that command of the Magistrate, to do the thing he requires. But when he injoins any thing contrary to what God hath Command­ed, we are not then to pay him this active obedience, we may, nay we must refuse thus to act, (yet here we must be very well assured that the thing is so contrary, and not pretend conscience for a cloak of stubborness) we are in that case to obey God rather then man. But even this is a season for the passive obe­dience, we must patiently suffer, what he in­flicts on us, for such refusal, and not, to secure our selves, rise up against him. For who can stretch his hand against the Lords anointed, and be guilt less? sayes David to Abishai, 1 Sam. 26 9. and that at a time when David was under a great persecution from Saul, nay, had also the assurance of the Kingdom after [Page 281] him; and St. Pauls sentence in this case is most heavy, Rom. 13. 2. They that resist shall receive to themselves damnation. Here is very small incouragement to any to rise up against the lawful Magistrate, for though they should so far prosper here, as to secure themselves from him by this means, yet there is a King of kings, from whom no power can shelter them, and this damnation in the close will prove a sad prize of their victories. What is on the other side the duty of the Magistrate to the people will be vain to mention here, none of that rank being like to read this treatise, and it being very useless for the people to in­quire, what is the duty of their Supreme, wherein the most are already much better read, then in their own, it may suffice them to know that whatsoever his duty is, or how­ever performed, he is accountable to none but God and no failing of his pa [...]t, can war­rant them to fail of theirs.

6 The second sort of Parents are the spiri­tual;Duties to our Pa­stors That is, the Ministers of the Word, whether such, as be Governours in the Church, or others under them, who are to perform the same Offices to our Souls, that our natural Parents do to our bodies. Thus St. Paul tels the Corinthians, that in Christ Iesus he had begotten them through the Gospel, 1 Cor 4. 15. and the Galatians, chap. 4. 19. that he travels in birth of them, till Christ he formed in them; and again, 1 Cor. 3. 2. He had fed them with milk; that is, such Do­ctrines [Page 282] as were agreeable to that infant state of Christianity they were then in, but he had stronger meat for them of full age, Heb. 5. 14. All these are the Offices of a Parent, and therefore they that perform them to us, may well be accounted as such.

7. Our duty to these is first to love them,Love. to bear them that kindness, which belongs to those who do us the greatest benefits. This is required by St. Paul, 1 Thes 5. 13. I be­seech you, brethren, mark them which labour among you and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you, and esteem them very highly in love for their works sake. The work is such as ought in all reason to procure them love, it being of the highest advantage to us.

8. Secondly, Esteem. 'Tis our duty to value and esteem them, as we see in the text now men­tioned; and surely this is most reasonable, if we consider either the nature of their work, or who it is that imployes them. The nature of their work is of all others the most excellent; we use to value other professions proportion­ably to the dignity and worth of the things they deal in. Now surely there is no Mer­chandize of equal worth with a Soul, and this is their Traffick, rescuing precious Souls from perdition. And if we consider further, who it is that imployes them, it yet adds to the re­verence due to them. They are Ambassadours for Ch [...]ist, 2 Cor. 5. 20. and Ambassadours are by the Lawes of all Nations to be used with a respect, answerable to the quality of [Page 283] those that send them. Therefore Christ tels his disciples, when he sends them out to preach, He that despiseth you despiseth me, and he that despiseth me despiseth him that sent me. Luk. 10. 16. It seems there is more de­pends on the despising of Ministers, then men ordinarily consider, 'tis the despising of God and Christ both. Let those think of this, who make it their pastime, and sport to affront, and deride this calling. And let those also, who dare presume to exercise the Offices of it, without being lawfully called to it, which is a most high presumption; 'Tis as if a man on his own head should go, as an Ambassadour from his Prince; the Apostle sayes of the Priests of the Law, which yet are inferiour to those of the Gospel, That no man taketh this honour to himself, but he which was called of God, Heb. 5 4. How shall then any man dare to assume this greater honour to himself, that is not called to it; Neither will it suffice to say, they have the in­ward call of the spirit; for since God hath establisht an order in the Church, for the ad­mitting men to this Office, they that shall take it upon them without that authority, re­sist that ordinance, and are but of the num­ber of those theeves and robbers, as our Sa­viour speaks, Jo. 10. which c [...]me not in by the door. Besides the sad experience of these times shew, that many who pretend most to this inward call of the Spirit, are called by some other spirit, then that of God, the do­ctrines [Page 284] they v [...]nt being usually directly con­trary to that word of his, on which all true Doctrines must be founded. Such are to be lookt on as those seducers, those false pro­phets, whereof we are so often warned in the Epistles of the Apostles. And whosoever countenances them, or followes them, par­takes with them in their guilt. It is recorded of Jereboam, as a crying sin, that he made of the meanest of the people Priests; that is, such as had by Gods institution no right to it, and whoever hearkens to these uncalled preachers, run into that very sin, for without the incouragement of being followed, they would not long continue in the course, and therefore they that give them that incourage­ment, have much to answer for, and are cer­tainly guilty of the sin of despising their true Pastors, when they shall thus set up these false apostles against them. This is a guilt this age is too much concerned in, God in his mercy so timely convince us of it, as may put a stop to that confusion and impiety, which breaks in so fast upon us by it.

9 Thirdly, Mainte­nance. We owe to them maintenance: but of this I have spoken already in the first part of this Book, and shall not here repeat. Fourthly, We owe them obedience, Obey them, Obedience. saith the Apostle, that have the rule over you and submit your selves, for they watch for your Souls, Heb. 13. 17. This obedience is to be paid them in spiritual things; that is, what­soever they out of Gods word shall declare [Page 285] to us, to be Gods Commands, these we are diligently to obey, remembring that it is not they, but God requires it, according to that of Christ, he that heareth you heareth me, Luk. 10. 16. And this whether it be delivered by the way of publick preaching, or private exhortation, for in both, so long as they keep them to the rule, which is Gods Word, they are the Messengers of the Lord of Hosts, Mal. 2. 7. This obedience the Apostle inforceth from a double motive, one taken from their Ministry, another from themselves. They watch, sayes he, for your Souls, as they that must give account that they may do it with joy, andt no with grief; The people are by their obedience to enable their Pastors to give a comfortable account of their Souls, and it is a most unkind return of all their care and la­bours; to be put to grieve for the ill success of them. But then in the second place, 'tis their own concernment also; they may put their Ministers to the discomfort of seeing all their pains cast away, but themselves are like to get little by it, that (sayes the Apostle, Heb. 13. 17.) will be unprofitable for you; 'tis your selves, that will finally prove the loosers by it, you loose all those glorious rewards, which are offered, as the crown of this obedience, you get nothing but an addition to your sin, & punishment, for as our Saviour tels the Phari­sees, If he had not come and spoken to them they had not had sin, Jo. 15. 24 that is in compari­son with what they then had; so certainly they [Page 286] that never had the Gospel preached to them, are much more innocent then they that have heard and resisted it. And for the punishment, what Christ told those to whom he had preached, That it should be more tolerable for Tyre and Sydon, which were Heathen Cities, then for them, the same undoubtedly we may conclude of our selves.

10. Lastly, Prayer for them. We are to pray for them; This St. Paul every where requires of his Spiritual children; thus Eph. 6. 7, 8. having commanded prayer for all Saints, he adds, And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the Gospel; and so again, Col 4. 3. And this remains still a duty to these Spiritual Fathers, to pray for such assistances of Gods Spirit to them, as may enable them rightly to discharge that Holy Calling. I shall omit to set down here, what is the duty of Ministers to the people, upon the same consideration, on which I forbare to mention the duty of Magistrates.

11. The third sort of parent is the natural, Duties to our natural Parents. the fathers of our flesh, as the Apostle calls them, Heb. 12. 9. And to these we owe seve­ral duties, as first we owe them reverence,Reverence. and respect; we must behave our selves towards them with all humility, and observance, and must not upon any pretence of infirmity in them, despise or contemn them, either in out­ward behaviour, or so much as inwardly in our hearts. If indeed they have infirmities, [Page 287] it must be our business to cover, and conceal them; like Shem, and Japhet, who while cursed Cham publisht and disclosed the nakedness of their father, covered it, Gen. 9. 23. and that in such a manner too, as even themselves might not behold it. We are as much as may be to keep our selves from looking on those naked­ness of our parents, which may tempt us to think irreverently of them. This is very con­trary to the practice of too many children, who do not only publish and deride the infir­mities of their parents, but pretend they have those infirmities they have not; there is or­dinarily such a pride, and headiness in youth, that they cannot abide to submit to the coun­sels, and directions of their Elders, and there­fore to shake them off, are willing to have them pass for the effects of dotage, when they are indeed the fruits of sobriety, and experi­ence. To such the exhortation of Solomon is very necessary, Pro. 23. 22. Hearken to thy father that begat thee, and despise not thy mo­ther when shee is old. A multitude of texts more there are in that book, to this purpose, wh [...]ch shews that the wisest of men thought it neces­sary for children to attend to the counsel of their parents. But the youth of our age set up for wisdom, the quite contrary way, and think they then become wits, when they are advanced to the dispising the counsel, yea mocking the persons of their parents. Let such if they will not practice the exhortations, yet remember the threatning of the wise man, Pro. [Page 288] 30. 17. The eye that mocketh his father and despiseth to obey his mother, the ravens of the valley shall pick it out, and the young Eagles shall eat it.

A second duty to them is love; Love. we are to bear them a reall kindness, such as may make us heartily desirous of all manner of good to them, and abhor to do any thing that may grieve or disquiet them. This will appear but common gratitude; when 'tis remembred, what our parents have done for us, how they were not only the instruments of first bring­ing us into the world, but also of susteining and supporting us after; and certainly they that rightly weigh the cares and fears, that go to the bringing up of a child, will judg the love of that child to be but a moderate return for them. This love is to be exprest several ways, first, in all kindness of behaviour, carrying our selves not only with an awe, and respect, but with kindness and affection, and therefore most gladly and readily doing those things, which may bring joy and comfort to them, and care­fully avoiding whatever may grieve, and afflict them. Secondly, this love is to be exprest in praying for them. The debt a child owe to a parent is so great, that he can never hope himself to discharge it; he is therefore to call in Gods aid, to beg of him, that he will re­ward all the good his parents have done for him, by multiplying his blessings upon them; what shall we then say to those children, that in stead of calling to heaven for blessings on [Page 289] their parents, ransack hell for curses on them, and powre out the blackest execrations against them? This is a thing so horrid, that one would think there needed no perswasion a­gainst it, because none could be so vile, as to fall into it, but we see God himself, who best knows mens hearts, saw it possible; and there­fore laid the heaviest punishment upon it: He that curseth father or mother, let him die the death, Exod. 21. 17. And alas! our daily expe­rience tels us, 'tis not onely possible, but com­mon even this of uttering curses. But 'tis to be feared, there is another, yet more common, that is the wishing curses, though fear or shame keep them from speaking out. How ma­ny children are there, that either through im­patience of the Government, or greediness of the possessions of the Parents, have wisht their deaths? But whoever doth so, let him remem­ber, that how stylie and fairly soever he carry it before men, there is one that sees those se­cretest wishes of his heart, and in his sight he assuredly passes for this hainous offender, a cur­ser of his Parents. And then let it be considered, that God hath as well the power of punishing, as of seeing, and therefore since he hath pro­nounced death to be the reward of that sin, 'tis not unreasonable to expect he may himself inflict it; that they who watch for the death of their Parents, may untimely meet with their own. The fifth Commandment promiseth long life as the reward of honouring the Pa­rent, to which 'tis very agreeable that untime­ly death be the punishment of the contrary, [Page 290] and sure there is nothing more highly contra­ry to that duty, then this we are now speaking of, the cursing our Parents.

14. The third duty we owe to them is obe­dience; Obedience. This is not onely contained in the fifth Commandment, but expresly injoined in other places of Scripture. Eph. 6. 1. Children obey your Parents in the Lord, for this is right; and again, Col. 3. 20. Children obey your Pa­rents in all things, for this is well pleasing to the Lord. We owe them an obedience in all things, unless where their commands are contrary to the commands of God, for in that case our duty to God must be preferred, and therefore if any Parent shall be so wicked, as to require his child to steal, to lye, or to do any unlaw­ful thing, the child then offends not against his duty, though he disobey that command, nay, he must disobey, or else he offend against a higher duty, even that he owes to God, his Heavenly Father. Yet when 'tis thus necessa­ry to refuse obedience, he should take care to do it in such a modest, and respectful manner, that it may appear 'tis conscience onely, and not stubborness moves him to it. But in case of all lawful commands; that is, when the thing commanded is either good, or not evil, when it hath nothing in it contrary to our du­ty to God, there the child is bound to obey, be the command in a weightier or lighter matter; How little this duty is regarded is too manifest every where in the world, where Parents generally have their children no lon­ger [Page 291] under command, then they are under the rod; when they are once grown up, they think themselves free from all obedience to them, or if some do continue to pay it, yet let the motive of it be examined, and 'twill in too many be found onely worldly prudence; They fear to displease their Parents, lest they should shorten their hand toward them, and so they shall loose somewhat by it; but how few are there that obey purely upon con­science of duty? This sin of disobedience to Parents was by the Law of Moses punishable with death, as you may read Deut 21. 18. but if Parents now a dayes should proceed so with their children, many might soon make themselves chidless.

15. But of all acts of disobedience, Especially in their Marriage. that of marrying against the consent of the Parent, is one of the highest. Children are so much the goods, the possessions of the Parent, that they cannot without a kind of theft, give away themselves without the allowance of those, that have the right in them, and therefore we see under the Law, the Maid that had made any vow, was not suffered to perform it, without the consent of the Parent. Num. 30. 5. the right of the Parent was thought of force enough to cancel, and make void the Obligation, even of a vow, and therefore surely it ought to be so much considered by us as to keep us from making any such, whereby that right is infringed.

16. A fourth duty to the Parent is to assist, Ministring to their wants. [Page 292] and minister to them in all their wants of what kind soever, whether weakness, and sick­ness of body, decayedness of understanding, or poverty, and lowness of estate, in all these the child is bound according to his ability, to relieve and assist them: for the two former, weakness of body, and infirmity of mind, none can doubt of the duty, when they re­member how every child did in his infancy re­ceive the very same benefit from the Parent, the child had then no strength to support, no understanding to guide it self; the care of the Parents was fain to supply both these to it, and therefore in common gratitude, whenever either of these becomes the Parents case, as sometimes by great age, or some accident both do, the child is to perform the same offi­ces back again to them. As for that of re­lieving their poverty, there is the very same Obligation to that with the former, it being but just to sustain thy Parent who has former­ly sustained thee; but besides this Christ himself teaches us, that th [...]s is contained within their precept of honouring the Parents, for when Mar. 7. 13. he accuses the Pharisees of rejecting the Commandment of God, to cleave to their own traditions, he instances in this particular, concerning the relieving of Parents, whereby 'tis manifest that this is a part of that duty which is injoined in the fifth Commandment, as you may see at large in the Text, and such a duty it is that no pre­tence can absolve, or acquit us of it. How [Page 293] then shall those answer it, that deny relief to their poor Parents, that cannot part with their own excesses, and superfluities, which are indeed their sins, to satisfie the necessities of those to whom they owe their being? Nay, some there are, yet worse, who out of pride scorn to own their Parents in ther po­verty; Thus it often happens, when the child is advanced to dignity or wealth, they think it a disparagement to them to look on their Parents that remain in a low condition, it being the betraying, as they think, to the world the meanness of their birth, and so the poor Parent fares the worse for the prosperity of his child. This is such a pride and unnatural­ness together, as will surely find a sharp ven­geance from God, for if Solomon observe of pride alone, that it is the fore-runner of de­struction, Prov. 16. 18. we may much rather conclude so of it, when it is thus accompa­nied.

17. To this that hath been said of the duty of children to the [...]r Parents,Duty to be paid even to the worst Pa­rents. I shall add onely this: That no unkindness, no fault of the Parent can acquit the child of this duty, but as St. Peter tels servants, 1 Pet. 2. 18. that they must be subject not onely to the good and gentle masters, but also to the froward, so certainly it belongs to children to perform du­ty not onely to the kind and vertuous, but even to the harshest, and wicked'st Parent. For though the gratitude due to a kind Pa­rent, be a very forcible motive to make the [Page 294] child pay his duty, yet that is not the onely, nor chiefest ground of it; That is laid in the Command of God, who requires us thus to honour our Parents, and therefore though we should suppose a Parent so unnatural, as ne­ver to have done any thing to oblige the child, (which can hardly be imagined) yet still the Command of God continues in force, and we are in conscience of that, to perform that duty to our Parents, though none of the other tye of gratitude should lye on us.

But as this is due from the child to the Pa­rents,Duty of Parents to children. so on the other side there are other things also due from the Parents to the child, and that throughout the several states, and ages of it.

18. First, To Nourish them. There is the care of nourishing and sustaining it, which begins from the very birth, and continues a duty from the Parent, till the child be able to perform it to himself; This is a duty, which nature teaches, even the savages beasts, have a great care and tenderness in nourishing their young, and therefore may serve to reproach and condemn all Parents, who shall be so unnatural as to neglect this. I shall not here enter into the question whether the mother be obliged to give the child its first nourishment, by giving it suck her self, because 'twill not be possible to affirm universally in the case, there being many circumstances, which may alter it, and make it not onely lawful, but best not to do it; all I shall say, is, that where no impedi­ment [Page 295] of sickness, weakness, or the like does happen, 'tis surely best for the mother her self to perform this office, there being many ad­vantages to the child by it, which a good Mother ought so far to consider, as not to sell them to her own sloth, or niceness, or any such unworthy motive, for where such onely are the grounds of forbearing it, they will never be able to justifie the omission, they being themselves unjustifiable.

But besides this first care,Bring them to Bap­tism. which belongs to the body of the child, there is another, which should begin neer as early, which belongs to their Souls, and that is the bringing them to the Sacrament of Baptism, thereby to procure them an early right to all those precious ad­vantages, which that Sacrament conveyes to them. This is a duty the Parents ought not to delay, it being most reasonable, that they who have been instruments to convey the stain and pollution of sin to the poor Infant, should be very earnest and industrious to have it washt off, as soon as may be: Besides the life of so tender a creature is but a blast, and many times gone in a moment, and though we are not to despair of Gods mercy to those poor children, who dye without Bap­tism, yet surely those Parents commit a great fault, by whose neglect it is, that they want it.

19. Secondly,Educate them. The Parents must provide for the education of the child; they must, as Solomon speaks, Prov. 22. 6. Train up the [Page 296] child in the way he should go. As soon there­fore as children come to the use of reason, they are to be instructed, and that first in those things, which concern their eternal well-being, they are by little and little to be taught all those things, which God hath Commanded them, as their duty to perform; as also what glorious rewards he hath provided for them, if they do it, and what grievous and eternal punishments, if they do it not. These things ought as early, as is possible, to be instilled into the minds of children, which (like new vessels) do usually keep the savour of that, which is first put into them, and therefore it neerly concerns all parents to look they be at first thus seasoned with Vertue and Religion. 'Tis sure if this be neglected, there is one rea­dy at hand to fill them with the contrary, the devil wil be diligent enough to instil into them all wickedness and vice, even from their cradles, and there being also in all our natures so much the greater aptness to evil, then to good, there is need of great care and watch­fulness, to prevent those endeavours of that enemy of Souls, which can no way be, but by possessing them at first with good things, breeding in them a love to vertue, & a hatred of vice, that so when the temptations come, they may be armed against them. This surely is above all things the duty of Parents to look after, and the neglect of it is a horrible cruel­ty; We justly look upon those Parents, as most unnatural wretches, that take away the [Page 297] life of their child; but alas! that his mercy and tenderness, compared to this of negle­cting his education, for by that he ruines his Soul, makes him miserable eternally; and God knowes, multitudes of such cruel Pa­rents there are in the world, that thus give up their children to be possest by the Devil, for want of an early acquainting them with the wayes of God; nay, indeed how few there are, that do conscionable perform this duty, is too apparent by the strange rudeness, and ignorance, that is generally among youth: the children of those who call themselves Christians, being frequently as ignorant of God and Christ, as the meerest Heathens. But whoever they are, that thus neglect this great duty, let them know that it is not one­ly a fearful misery they bring upon their poor children, but also a horrible guilt upon them­selves. For as God sayes to the careless watch­men, Ezeck. 3. 18. That if any soul perish by his negligence, that soul shall be required at his hands, so surely will it fare with all pa­rents, who have this office of watch-men in­trusted to them by God over their own chil­dren: A second part of education is the bring­ing them up to some imployment, busying them in some honest exercise, whereby they may avoid that great snare of the Divel, Idle­ness, and also be taught some useful art or trade, whereby when they come to age, they may become profitable to the Commonwealth, and able to get an honest living to themselves.

[Page 298] 20. To this great duty of educating of children, Meane to­wards the educating of children. there is required as means, first en­couragement, secondly, correction: incourage­ment is first to be tryed, we should endeavour to make children in love with duty, by offer­ing them rewards and invitations, and whene­ver they do well take notice of it, and encou­rage them to go on. It is an ill course some parents hold, who think they must never ap­pear to their children, but with a face of sowre­ness and austerity; this seems to be that, which St. Paul forwarnes parents of, when he bids fathers not to provoke their children to wrath, Col. 3. 21. To be as harsh and unkind to them, when they do well, as if they do ill, is the way to provoke them; and then the Apostle tels us in the same verse, what will be the issue of it, they will be discouraged, they will have no heart to go on in any good course, when the parent affords them no countenance. The second means is correction, and this becomes seasonable, when the former will do no good, when all faire means, perswasions, and encou­ragements prevail not, then there is a necessi­ty of using sharper; and let that be first tryed in words, I mean not by railing and foul lan­guage, but in sober, yet sharp reproof; but if that fail too, then proceed to blowes, and in this case as Solomon sayes, he that spareth his rod, hateth his son, Prov. 13. 24. 'Tis a cruel fondness, that to spare a few stripes at present, will adventure him to those sad mis­chiefs, which commonly befall the child, that [Page 299] is left to himself. But then this correction must be given in such a manner, as may be like­ly to do good; to which purpose it must first be given timely; the child must not be suffer­ed to run on in any ill, till it have got a habit, and a stubborness too. This is a great error in many parents, they will let their children alone for divers years, to do what they list, permit them to lye, to steal, without ever so much as rebuking them, nay, perhaps please themselves to see the witty shifts of the child, and think it matters not what they do while they are little: But alas! all that while the vice gets root, and that many times so deep a one, that all they can do afterwards, whether by words or blowes, can never pluck it up. Secondly, correction must be moderate, not exceeding the quality of the fault, nor the tenderness of the child. Thirdly, it must not be given in rage, if it be, it w [...]ll not only be in danger of being immoderate, but it will lose its effect upon the child, who will think he is corrected, not because he has done a fault, but because his parent is angry, and so will rather blame the parent then himself, whereas on the contrary, care should be taken to make the child as sensible of the fault, as of the smart, without which he will never be throughly a­mended.The parent to watch o­ver their souls even when they are grown up.

21. Thirdly, after children are grown up, & are past the age of education, there are yet o­ther offices for the parent to perform to them: the parent is still to watch over them in respect [Page 300] of their souls, to observe how they practice those precepts, which were given them in their education, and accordingly to exhort, incourage, or reprove, as they find occasion.

22. So also for their outward estate,To provide for their subsistence. they are to put them into some course of living in the world; if God have blest the parents with wealth, according to what he hath, he must distribute to his children, remembring that since he was the instrument of bringing them into the world, he is according to his ability to provide for their comfortably living in it, they are therefore to be look't on very unna­tural parents, who, so they may have enough to spend in their own riots, and excess, care not what becomes of their children, never think of providing for them. Another fault is usu­al among parents in this business; they defer all the provisions for them, till themselves be dead, heap up perhaps great matters for them against that time, but in the mean time afford them not such a competency, as may enable them to live in the world There are several mischiefs come from this: first it lessens the childs action to his parent, nay, sometimes it proceeds so far, as to make him wish his death, which though it be such a fault, as no tempt [...] ­tion can excuse in a child, yet 't [...]s also a great fault in a parent to g [...]ve that temptation. S [...] ­condly, it puts the child upon shifts, and tricks; many times dishonest ones, to supply his ne­cessities; this is, I doubt not, a common ef­fect of it, the hardness of parents has often [Page 301] put men upon very unlawful courses, which when they are once acquainted with, per­haps they never leave, though the fi [...]st occasion cease; and therefore parents ought to beware, how they run them upon those hazards. Besides the parent loses that contentment, which he might have in seeing his children live prospe­rously and comfortably, which none but an arrant earth-worm would exchange for the vain imaginary pleasure of having money in his chest. But in this business of providing for children, there is yet another thing to be heeded, and that is, that the parent get that wealth honestly, which he makes their porti­on; else 'tis very far from being a provision, there is such a curse goes along with an ill-got­ten estate, that he that leaves such a one to his child, do but cheat, and deceive him, makes him believe he has left him wealth, but has withall put such a canker in the bowels of it, that is sure to eat it out. This is so common an observation that I need say nothing to con­firm the truth [...] of it; would God it were as generally laid to heart, as it seems to be gene­rally taken notice of: Then surely parents would not account it a reasonable motive to unjust dealing, that they may thereby provide for their children, for this is not a way of pro­viding for them; n [...]y, 'tis the way to spoil them of whatever they have lawfully gather­ed for them, the least mite of unlawful gain being of the nature of leaven, which sowres the whole lump, bringing down curses upon all [Page 302] a man possesseth. Let all parents therefore satisfie themselves with such provisions for their children as God shall enable them honestly to make, assuring themselves how little soe­ver it be, 'tis a better portion then the greatest wealth unjustly gotten, according to that of Solomom, Pro. 16. 8. Better is a little with righteousness, then great revenues without right.

23. A fourth thing the parent owes to the child is good example. To give them good example. he is not only to set him rules of vertue, and godliness; but he must himself give him a pattern in his own practice, we see the force of example is infinitely beyond that of precept, especia [...]ly where the person is one, to whom we bear a reverence, or with whom we have a continual conversation; both which usually meet in a Parent. It is therefore a most necessary care in all Parents to behave themselves so before their children, that their example may be a means of winning them to vertue; But alas! this age affords little of this care, nay, so far 'tis from it, that there are none more frequently the instru­ments of corrupting children, then their own Parents. And indeed how can it be other­wise, while men give themselves liberty to all wickedness, 'tis not to be hoped, but that the children which observe it, will imitate it; the child that sees his father drunk, will sure think, he may be so too, as well as his father. So he that bears him swear, will do the like, and so for all other vices, and if any Parent [Page 303] that is thus wicked himself, should happen to have so much more care of his childs Soul, then his own; as to forbid him the things which himself practices, or correct him for the doing them; 'tis certain the child will ac­count this a great injustice in his father, to punish him for that, which himself freely does, and so he is never likely to be wrought upon by it. This consideration layes a most strict tye upon all Parents, to live Christianly, for otherwise they do not onely hazard their own Souls, but those of their children also, and as it were purchase an estate of inheritance in Hell.

24. A fifth duty of Parents is blessing their children; To bless them. the way of doing that is double, first, by their prayer; they are by daily and earnest prayers to commend them to Gods protection and blessing, both for their spiritual and tem­poral estate, and secondly by their piety they are to be such persons themselves as that a bles­sing may descend from them upon their poste­rity. This is often promised in Scipture to godly men, that their seed shall be blessed. Thus in the second commandment, God promises to shew mercy to the thousand generation of them that love him and keep his commandments. And it is very observable in the Jews, that though they were a stiffe necked generation, and had very grievously provoked God, yet the god­liness of their forefathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, did many times move God to save them from destruction: on the other side, we see that [Page 304] even good men have fared the worse for the iniquities of their fathers. Thus when Josiah had destroyed idolatry restored Gods service, and done good beyond all the Kings that were before him, yet there was an old arreare of Manasseh his grandfather, which all this pie­ty of his would not blot out, but he resolves to cast Judah also out of his sight, as you may read at large, 2 Kings 23. If therefore parents have any bowels, any kindness towards their children, any real desire of their prosperity, let them take care by their own godly life to entaile a blessing upon them.

25 Sixthly, To give no unreasonable com­mands. parents must take heed, that they use their power over their children with equity, and moderation, not to oppress them with unreasonable commands, only to exercise their own author [...]ty, but in all things of weight to consider the real good of their children, and to presse them to nothing, which may not con­sist with that. This is a rule whereof parents may often have use, but in none greater, then in the business of marrying their children, wherein many that otherwise are good parents have been to blame, when out of an eagerness of bestowing them wealthily, they force them to marry utterly against their own inclinations, which is a great tyranny, and that which fre­quently betrayes them to a multitude of mis­chiefs, such as all the wealth in the world can­not repaire. There are two things, which parents ought especially to consider in the matching of their children; the first, how they [Page 305] may live Christianly, and to that purpose to chuse a vertuous and pious person, to link them with: the second is, how they may live cheer­fully and comfortably in this world; and to that end though a competency of estate may be necessary to be regarded, yet surely abundance is no way requisite, and therefore that should not be too vehemently sought after; that which much more tends to the happiness of that state, is the mutual kindness, and liking of the par­ties, without which marriage is of all other the most uncomfortable condition, and there­fore no parent ought to thrust a child into it. I have now done with the first sort of relation, that of a parent.

PARTITION XV.

Of DUTY to our BRETHREN, and Relations; Husband, Wife, Friends, Masters, Servants.

§. 1: THE second sort of relation is that of a brother; Dues to brethren, now bro­therhood may be two fold, either natural, or spiritual, the natural may in the largest extent contain under it all mankind, all that partake of the same nature; but I shall not consider it so in this place, having already mentioned those ge­general [Page 306] duties,Natural▪ which belong to all as such: I now speak of that natural brother-hood, that is between those that are the children of the same immediate parent; and the duty of these is to have united hearts, and affections: This nature points out to them, they partaking in a more especial manner, of each others sub­stance, and therefore ought to have the great­est tenderness and kindness, each to other; thus we see Abraham make it an argument, why there should be no contention between him and Let, because they were brethren, Gen. 13. 8. And though by brethren there is meant only cousins, yet that helps the more strongly to conclude, that this neerer relation is in rea­son to be a greater barr to strife, as also that this kindness is in some degree to be extended to all that have any neerness of blood to us.

2. This kindness and love between brethren and sisters ought to be very firmly grounded in their hearts,The necessi­ty of love a­mong bre­thren. if it be not, they will be of all others in most danger of disagreeing; for the continual conversation that is among them, whilst they are at home in the fathers house, will be apt to minister some occasion of jar. Besides the equality that is among them in re­spect of birth, often makes them inclinable to envy each other, when one is in any respect advanced above the other. Thus we see Jo­sephs brethren envyed him, because he had most of his fathers love, and Rachel envyed her sister Leah, because she was fruitful; there­fore for the preventing of such temptations, [Page 291] let all who have brethren and sisters, possesse their mind with a great and real kindness to them, look on them as parts of themselves, and then they wil never think fit either to quar­rel with them, or to envy them any advantage, any more then one part of the body does ano­ther of the same body, but will strive to ad­vance, and help forward the good of each other.

3. The second kind of brotherhood is spiri­tual; Spiritual brotherhood that contains all those who profess the same faith with us: the Church in our baptism becomes a mother to each baptized person, and then surely they that have the relation of chil­dren to her, must have also the relation of bre­thren to each other; and to this sort of bre­thren also we owe a great deal of tenderness and affection; the spiritual bond of Religion, should of all others the most closely unite our hearts. This is the brotherhood which St. Peter exhorts us to love. 1 Pet. 2. 17. And to it we are in an especial manner bound to do all good offices, Do good, saith the Apostle, to all, but especially to them that are of the houshold of faith, Gal. 6. 10. Our compassions are to be most melting towards them of all others, in all their needs; Christ tels us, that whosoe­ver gives but a cup of cold water to any in the name of a disciple shall not lose his reward, Mat. 10. 42. From whence we may assure our selves that this peculiar love to Christians, as Christians, is very acceptable in his sight.

4. Several duties there are required of us to these brethren; one principal, is the holding [Page 308] communion with them,Our duty to hold com­munion with these brethren. and that first in do­ctrine; we are constantly to continue in the belief and profession of all those necessary truths, by which we may be markt out as fol­lowers, and disciples of Christ; this is that faith, which St. Jude speaks of, which was once delivered to the Saints, Iude 3. by keep­ing whereof we continue still united to this spiritual brotherhood, in respect of profession, which we must constantly do, what storms and persecutions soever attend it, according to the exhortation of the Apostle, Heb. 10. 22. Let us hold fast the profession of our faith with­out wavering. Secondly, we are also as oppor­tunity serves, to communicate with them in all holy offices; we must be diligent in frequent­ing the assemblies of the Saints, which is as it were the badg of our profession; and there­fore he that willingly withdraws himself from these, gives ground to suspect, he will be apt to renounce the other also. But these parts of communion we find strictly maintained by the first Christians, Acts 2. 42. They conti­nued stedfastly in the Apostles Doctrine and fellowship, and in breaking of bread, and in pray­ers: they continued, and that stedfastly, they were not frighted from it by any persecutions, though that were a time wherein they were tryed with the sharpest sufferings; which may teach us, that it is not the danger, that at­tends this duty can acquit us of it.

5. Secondly, To bear with their infirmities. we are to bear with the infir­mities of our Christian brethren, according [Page 309] to the advice of St. Paul, Rom. 15. 1. We that are strong ought to bear the infirmities of the weak. If one that holds all necessary Chri­stian truth, happen yet to be in some error, we are not for this either to forsake his com­munion, or despise his person. This St. Paul teaches us in the case of that weak brother, who by error made a causlesse scruple about meats, Rom. 14. where he bids the stronger Christians, that is, those who being better in­structed, discerned him to be in an error, yet to receive him neverthelesse, and not to despise him, as on the other side, he bids that weak one not to judge the stronger; the lesser dif­ferences in opinion must be born with on both sides, and must not in the least abate our bro­therly charity towards each other.

6. Thirdly, To restore them after falls. we are to endeavour the restor­ing of any fallen brother, that is, to bring him to repentance, after he hath fallen into any sin. Thus St. Paul commands the Galati­ans, that they should retore him that was o­vertaken in a fault, considering themselves least they also were tempted. We are not to look on him as a cast-away to give him over as utterly desperate, neither are we to triumph over him, in respect of our own innocence, like the proud Pharisee, over the poor Pub­lican, Luke 18. 11. but we are meekly to en­devour his recovery, remembring that our own frailty is such, that we are not secure from the like falls.

7. Fourthly, To sympathy with them. We are to have a Sympathy, [Page 310] and fellow feeling-with these brethren, to be neerly toucht with whatsoever befals them, either as they are considered in society, or in single persons. In society first, and so they make up a Church, & that either the universal, which is made up of all Beleevers throughout the world, or any particular Church, which is made up of all the Beleevers in that particular Na­tion, and whatever happens to either of these, either the whole Church in general, or any such single part of it, especially that whereof our selves are members, we are to be much affected and moved with, to rejoice in all the prosperities, and to mourn and bewail all the breaches, and desolations thereof, and daily and earnestly to pray with David, Psal. 51. 18. O be favourable and gracious unto Sion, build thou the wals of Ierusalem; and that especially when we see her in d [...]stress, and persecution. Whosoever is not thus toucht with the condition of the Church, is not to be lookt on, as a living member of it, for as in the natural body every member is concer­ned in the prosperity of the whole, so certainly 'tis here: it was the observation of the Psalm­ist, that Gods Servants think upon the stones of Sin, and pity to see her in the dust. Psal. 102. 14. and surely all his servants are still of the same temper, cannot look on the ruins, and desolations of the Church, without the great­est sorrow, and lamentation. Secondly, we are to have this fellow-feeling with our bre­thren, considered as single persons; We are to account our selves concerned in very parti­cular [Page 311] Christian, so as to partake with him in all his occasions either of joy or sorrow. Thus the Apostle exhorts, Rom. 12. 14. Re­joice with them that rejoice, weep with them that weep; and again, 1 Cor. 12. un­der the similitude of the natural body he urges this duty, Whether one member suffer, all the members suffer with it, or one member be ho­noured, all the members rejoice with it. All these several effects of love we owe to these spiritual brethren. And this love is that, which Christ has made the badge of his disci­ples, Jo. 13. 35. By this shall all men know that ye are my disciples, if ye have love one to another; so that if we mean not to cast off discipleship to Christ, we must not for­sake this love of the brethren.

8. The third relation is that between Husband and Wife. The wife owes to the husband obedience. This is yet much neerer then ei­ther of the former, as appears by that Text Eph. 5. 31. A man shall leave Father and Mother and cleave to his wife, and they two shall be one flesh. Several duties there are owe­ing from one of these persons to the other; and first for the wife, she owes obedience. This is commanded by the Apostle, Col. 3. 18. Wives submit your selves to your own hus­bands, as it is fit in the Lord. They are to render obedience to their Husbands in the Lord, that is in all lawful commands, for otherwise 'tis here as in the case of all other superiors, God must be obeyed rather then man, and the wife must not upon her hus­bands [Page 312] command do any thing which is forbid­den by God. But in all things, which doth not cross some command of Gods, this pre­cept is of force, and will serve to condemn the peevish stubborness of many wives, who resist the lawful commands of their husbands, onely because they are impatient of this duty of subjection, which God himself requires of them. But it may here be asked, what if the husband command something which though it be not unlawful, is yet very inconvenient, and imprudent, must the wife submit to such a command? To this I answer, that it will be no disobedience in her, but duty, calmly and mildly to shew him the inconveniences there­of, and to perswade him to retract that com­mand; but in case she cannot win him to it by fair intreaties, she must neither try sharp lan­guage, nor yet finally refuse to obey, nothing but the unlawfulness of the command being sufficient warrant for that

9 Secondly, Fidelity. The wife owes Fidelity to the husband, and that of two sorts; first that of the bed, she must keep her self pure and chast from all strange embraces, and therefore must not so much as give an ear to any that wou'd allure her, but with the greatest abhorrence eject all motions of that sort, & never give any man that has once made such a mot on to her, the least opportunity to make a second. Se­condly, She owes him likewise Fidelity, in the managing of those worldly affairs, he commits to her; she must order them so, as may be most [Page 313] to her husbands advantage, and not by de­ceiving, and cozening of him imploy his good to such uses as he allowes not of.

10. Thirdly, Love. She owes him Love, and to­gether with that all friendliness and kindness of conversation; she is to endeavour to bring him as much assistance, and comfort of life, as is possible, that so she may answer that special end of the womans creation, the be­ing a help to her husband, Gen. 2. 13. and this in all conditions, whether health, or sickness, wealth, or poverty, whatsoever estate God by his providence shall cast him into, she must be as much of comfort and support to him, as she can. To this all sullenness, and harsh­ness, all brawling, and unquietness is directly contrary, for that makes the wife the burden, and plague of the man, in stead of a help and comfort; And sure if it be a fault to behave ones self so to any person, as hath already been shewed, how great must it be to do so to him, to whom the greatest kindness and affe­ction is owing?

11. Nor let such wives think that any faults,The faults of the Hus­band ac­quits not from these duties. or provocations of the husband can justifie their frowardness, for they will not, either in respect of Religion or discretion. Not in re­ligion for where God has absolutely Comman­ded a duty to be paid, 'tis not any unworthiness of the person can excuse from it; Nor in Discretion, for the worse a husband is, the more need there is for the wife to carry her self with that gentleness and sweetness, that [Page 314] may be most likely to win him. This is the advice St. Peter gave the wives of his time, 1 P [...]t. 3. 1. Likewise ye wives be in subje­ction to your own husbands, that if any obey not the word, they may without the word be won by the conversation of the wives. It seems the good behaviour of the wives was thought a powerful means even to win men from Heathenism to Christianity, and sure it might now a dayes have some good effects, if wo­men would have but the patience to try it: At the least, 'twould have this, that it would keep some tolerable quiet in Families, whereas on the other side the ill fruits of the wives un­quietness are so notorious, that there are few neighbourhoods, but can give some instance of it. How many men are there, that to avoid the noise of a froward wife, have fallen to compa­ny keeping, & by that to drunkenness, poverty, and a multitude of mischiefs? Let all wives therefore beware of administring that tempta­tion. But whenever there happens any thing, which in kindness to her husband, she is to admonish him of, let it be with that softness, and mildness, that it may appear 'tis love, and not anger, that makes her speak.

12. There are also on the Husbands part several [...]. [...] There is first Love, which Saint Paul requires, to be very tender and passio­nate towards the wife, as appears by the simi­litudes [...]e [...]nieth in that matter, Eph. 5. The one that of the love a man bears to his natu­ral body, No man, sayes he, ver. 2 7. ever [Page 315] hated his own fl [...]sh, but nourisheth, and che­risheth it. The other the love that Christ bears to his Church, which is far greater, ver. 26. both which he sets as patterns for this love of husbands towards their wives. This utterly forbids all harshness, and roughness to them; Men are to use them as parts of them­selves, to love them as their own bodies, and therefore to do nothing, that may be hurtful, and grievous to them, no more then they would cut, and gash their own flesh. Let those husbands that tyrannize over their wives, that scarce use them like humane crea­tures consider, whether that be to love them, as their own bodies

13. A second duty of the Husband, is Faithfulness to the Bed.Faithful­ness. This is by God as well required of the husband, as the wife, and though the world do seem to look on the breach of this duty, with less abhorrence in the husband, yet sure before that Just Judge, the offence will appear no less on the mans side, then the womans. This is certain, 'tis in both a breach of the vow, made to each other, at their Marriage, and so besides the un­cleanness, a down-right perjury, and those differences in the case, which seem to cast the scale, are rather in respect of civil and world­ly consideration, then meerly of the sin.

14. A third duty of the husband is to maintain, Mainte­nance. and provide for the wife. He is to let her partake with him in those outward good things, wherewith God hath blest him, [Page 316] and neither by niggardliness debar her of what is fit for her, nor yet by unthriftiness so waste his goods, that he shall become unable to support her. This is certainly the duty of the husband, who being, as hath been said, to account his wife as a part of his own body, must have the very same care to sustain her, that he hath for himself. Yet this is not so to be understood, as to excuse the wife from her part of labour and industry, when that is re­quisite, it being unreasonable the husband should toil to maintain the wife in idleness.

15. Fourthly, Instruction The husband is to instruct the wife in the things which concern her eternal welfare, if she be ignorant of them. Thus St. Paul bids the wives learn of their husbands at home, 1 Cor. 14. 36 which supposes, that the husband is to teach her. Indeed it be­longs to every Master of a Family to endea­vour, that all under his charge be taught all necessary things of this kind, and then sure more especially his wife, who is so much nee­rer to him, then all the rest. This should make men careful to get knowledge them­selves, that so they may be able to perform this duty they owe to others.

16. Lastly, Husbands and Wives, Husbands and W [...]ves mutu [...]lly to pray for and assist each other in all good. are [...]u­tually to pray for each other, to beg all bles­sings from God, both temporal and spiritual, & to endeavour all they can to do all good to one another, especially all good to each others Souls, by stirring up to the performance of duty and disswading, and drawing back from [Page 317] all sin, and by being like true yoke-fellowes, helpful and assistant to each other in the doing of all sorts of good, both to their own Fa­mily, and all others within their reach. This is of all other the truest, and most valuable love. Nay, indeed how can it be said they do love at all, who can contentedly let each other run on in a course that will bring them to eter­nal misery? And if the love of husbands and wives were thus grounded in Vertue and Religion, 'twould make their lives a kind of Heaven on earth, 'twould prevent all those contentions, and brawlings, so common a­mong them, which are the great plagues of Families, and a lesser Hell, in passage to the greater, and truly where it is not thus founded, there is little comfort to be expected in mar­riage.

17. It should therefore be the care of every one that means to enter upon that state,The vertue of the per­son the chief consi­deration in Marriage. to consider advisedly before hand, and to choose such a person, with whom they may have this spiritual friendship, that is such a one, as truly feares God. There are many false ends of Mar­riage lookt upon in the world: some Marry for Wealth, others for Beauty, and generally they are onely worldly respects, that are at all considered; but certainly he that would Marry as [...]e ought, should contrive to make his Marriage useful to those better ends, of serving God, and saving his own Soul; at least he must be sure it be no hinderance to them, and to that purpose the vertue of the [Page 318] person chosen in more conducing then all the wealth in the world, though I deny not, but that a competency of that may likewise be considered

18. But above all things, let all take heed,Unlawful Marriages. that they make not such marriages, as may not only be ill in their effects, but are actual sins at the time; such are the marriages of those that were formerly promised to some o­ther, in which case 'tis sure they rightly belong to those, to whom they past the first promise, and then for any other to marry them, during the life of that person, is to take the husband or wife of that other, which is direct adultery, as St. Paul tels us, Rom. 7. 3. The like unlaw­fulness there is also in the marriage of those, who are within those degrees of kindred for­bidden by God, the particulars whereof are set down in the 18. and 20 of Lev. and who­ever marries any that is within any of those degrees of neerness, either to himself, or to his deceased wife, which is as bad, commits that great sin of incest, and so long as he con­tinues to live with such his unlawful wife, re­mains in that fearful guilt. This wariness in the choice of the person to be married, would prevent many sad effects, which we dai­ly see follow such rash or unlawful matches; it were well therefore if people would look on marriage, as our Church advises, as a thing not to be undertaken lightly, unadvisealy or wantenly, to satisfie mens carnal lusts and ap­petites, but reverently, discreetly, advisedly, so­berly, [Page 319] and in the fear of God; and in so doing no doubt a blessing would follow, which o­therwise there is little ground to expect. I have now done with this relation between husband and wise.

19. The next is that between friends;Friendship. and this relation if it be rightly founded, it is of great neerness, and usefulness, but there is none more generally mistaken in the world; men usually call them their friends, with whom they have an intimacy, and frequency of conversation, though that intimacy be indeed nothing but an agreement and combination in sin. The drun­kard thinks him his friend that will keep him company, the deceitful person, him that will aid him in his cheats, the proud man, him that will flatter him: And so generally in all vices, they are look't on as friends, that advance and farther us in them. But God knows this is far from friendship, such a friend as this the Divel himself is in the highest degree, who is never backward in such offices. The true friendship is that of a direct contrary making, 'tis a concurrence and agreement in vertue, not in vice: in short, a true friend loves h [...]s friend so, that he is very zealous of his good, and certainly he that is really so, will never be the instrument of b [...]inging him to the greatest e­vil. The general duty of a friend then must be resolved to be the industrious pursuit of his friends reall advantages,Its duti [...], in which there are several particulars contained.

20. As first, Faithful­ness. faithfulness in all trusts com­mitted [Page 320] to him by his friend, whether that of goods or secrets; he that betrays the trust of a friend in either, is by all men look't upon with abhorrence, it being one of the highest falsnesses and treacheries, and for such treache­rous wounds the wise man tels us, every friend will depart, Eclesiasticus 22. 22.

21. Secondly, Assistance. 'tis the duty of a friend to be assisting to his friend in all his outward needs; to counsel him, when he wants advice; to cheere him, when he needs comfort; to give him, when he wants relief, and to endeavour his rescue out of any trouble or danger. An admirable example we have of this friend­ship in Jonathan to David, he loved him as his own soul, and we see he not only contrives for his safety when he was in danger, but runs ha­zards himself to rescue and deliver his friend, draws his fathers anger upon him, to turn it from David, as you may read at large, 1 Sam. 20.

22. The third and highest duty of a friend is to be aiding and assisting to the soul of his friend,Admoniti­on. to endeavour to advance that in piety and vertue, by all means within his power, by exhortations and encouragements to all vertue, by earnest and vehement disswasions from all sin, and not only thus in general, but by ap­plying to his particular wants, especially by plain and friendly reproofs, where he knows or reasonably believes there is any fault com­mitted. This is of all others the most pecu­liar duty of a friend, it being indeed that which [Page 321] none else is qualified for such an unwillingness there is in most men to hear of their faults, that those that undertake that work, had need have a great prepossession of their hearts, to make them patient of it: Nay, it is so gene­rally acknowledged to be the proper work of a friend, that if he omit it, he betrays the of­fender into security, his not reproving will be apt to make the other think he does nothing worthy of reproof, and so he tacitely acts that basest part of a flatterer, sooths, and cherishes him in his sin; when yet farther it is consider­ed how great need all men have at some time or other, of being admonished, 'twill appear a most unfriendly, yea cruel thing to omit it; we have that natural partialities to our selves, that we cannot so readily discern our own mis­carriages, as we do other mens, and therefore 'tis very necessary they should sometimes be shewed us by those, who see them more cleer­ly: and the doing this at the first may prevent the multiplying of more: whereas if we be suffer­ed to go on unreproved, it often comes to such a habit that reproves will do no good And then how shall that person be able to answer it either to God or himself, that has by his silence betray­ed his friend to this greatest mischief. 'Tis the expression of God himself speaking of a friend, thy friend which is as thine own soul, Deut. 13. 6. And sure we should in this respect account our friends as our own souls, by haveing the same jealous tendernesse and watchfulnesse over their souls, which we ought to have of our own. It will therefore be very fit for all that have [Page 322] enter'd any strict friendship, to make this one special article in the agreement, that they shall mutually admonish and reprove each other; by which means it will become such an avowed part of their friendship, that it can never be mistaken by the reproved party for censorious­ness or unkindness.

23. Fourthly, Prayer. To these several parts of kind­ness must be added that of Prayer, we must not only assist our friends, our selves, in what we can, but we must call in the Almighty aid to them, recommending them earnestly to God for all his blessings, both spiritual, & temporal.

24. Lastly, We must be constant in our friendships,Constancy. and not out of a slightness of hu­mour grow weary of a friend, only because we have had him long. This is great injustice to him, who if he have behaved himself well, ought the more to be valued, by how much the longer he has continued to do so: And it is great folly in our selves, for it is the casting a­way the greatest treasure of humane life, for such certainly is a tryed friend. The wisest of men gives warning of it, Prov. 27. 16. Thine own friend and thy fathers friend forsake not. Nay farther, 'tis not every light offence of a friend, that should make thee renounce his friendship, there must be some allowance made to the infirmities of men, and if thou hast oc­casion to pardon him somewhat to day, perhaps thou maist give him opportunity to requite thee to morrow; therefore nothing but unfaithful­ness, or incorrigible vice should break this band.

[Page 323] 25. The last relation is that between Ma­sters and Servants, Servant [...] owe to the Masters [...]bedience. both which owe a duty to each other: That of the servant is first obe­dience to all lawful commands; this is expresly required by the Apostle, Eph. 6. 6. Servants obey in all things your Masters, &c. and this obedience must not be a grumbling and unwil­ling one, but ready and cheerful as he there proceeds to exhort, ver. 7. with good will do­ing service, and to help them herein, they are to consider that it is to the Lord, and not un­to men; God has commanded servants thus to obey their Masters, and therefore the obe­dience they pay is to God, which may well make them do it cheerfully, how harsh, or un­worthy soever the Master be, especially if what the Apostle farther urgeth, ver. 8. be consi­dered, that there is a reward to be expected from God for it.

26. The second duty of the servant is faith­fulness,Fidelity. and that may be of two sorts, one as supposed to eye service, the other to purloyn­ing or defrauding. The first part of faithful­ness is the doing of all true service to his Ma­ster, not only when his eye is over him, and he expect punishment for the omission, but at all times, even when his Master is not likely to discern his failing, and that servant that doth not make conscience of this, is far from being a faithful servant; this eye-service being by the Apostle set opposite to that singleness of heart, which he requires of servants, Eph 6. 5. 6. The second sort of faithfulness consists in [Page 324] the honest managery of all things intrusted to him by his Master, the not wasting his goods (as the unjust steward was accused to have done Lu. 16.) whether by careless embezelling of them, or by converting any of them to his own use without the allowance of his Master. This latter is that purloyning of which the A­postle warnes servants, Tit. 2. 10. And is in­deed no better then arrant theft, of this kind are all those ways, that the servant hath of gaining to himself by the loss and damage of his Master, as the being bribed to make ill bar­gains for him, and many the like: Nay, in­deed this sort of unfaithfulness is worse then common theft, by how much there is a greater trust reposed, the betraying whereof adds to the crime. As for the other sort of unfaithful­ness, that of wasting though without gain to themselves, it differs not much in effect from this, the Master may lose as much by the one as by the other, and then what odds is it to him, whether he be robb'd by the covetousness or negligence of his servant, and it is still the same breach of trust with the former, for eve­ry Master is supposed to intrust his affairs as well to the care as the honesty of his servant for t'would be little advantage to the Master to be secured, that his servant would not him­self cheat him, whilst in the mean time he would by his carelesness give opportunity to others to do it; therefore he that does not carefully look to his Masters prof [...]t, dece [...]ves his trust, as well as he that justly provides for his own.

[Page 325] A third duty of a servant is patience and meekness under the reproofs of his Master;Submission to rebuke. not answering again, as the Apostle exhorts, Tit. 2. 9, That is not making such surely and rude replies, as may encrease the Masters dis­pleasure: A thing too frequent among ser­vants, even in the justest reprehensions, where­as St. Peter directs them patiently to suffer, even the most undeserved correction, even when they do well and suffer for it, 1 Pet. 2. 20. But the patient suffering of rebuke is not all that is required of servants in this matter, they must also mend the fault they are rebuked for, and not think they have done enough, when they have (though never so dutifully) given the Master the hearing.

28. A fourth duty of a servant is diligence; Diligence. he must constantly attend to all those things; which are the duties of his place, and not; give himself to idleness, and sloth, nor yet to compa­ny keeping, gameing, or any other disorderly course, which may take him off from his Ma­sters business. All these are necessary duties of a servant, which they are carefully and conscio­nably to perform, not so much to escape the Masters anger as Gods, who will certainly call every one of them to an account, how they have behaved themselves towards their earth­ly Masters.

29. Now on the other side,Masters owe to their Servants Iustice. there are some things also owing from the Masters to their servants: As first the Master is bound to be just to them, in performing those conditions, [Page 326] on which they were hired, such are commonly the giving them food and wages, and that Ma­ster that withholds these, is an oppressor.

30. Secondly, The Master is to admonish and reprove the servant in case of fault,Admoniti­on. and that not only in faults against them, wherein few Masters are backward, but also and more espe­cially in faults against God, whereat every Master ought to be more troubled then at those which tend only to his own loss, or in­convenience; the dishonour of God and the hazard of the meanest mans soul, being infi­nitely more worthy our disquiet, then any thing of the other kind can be. And therefore when Masters are presently on fire for any little neg­ligence or fault of a servant towards them­selves, and yet can without trouble see them run into the greatest sins against God, 'tis a sign they consider their own concernments too much, and Gods glory and their servants souls too little. This is too commonly the tem­per of Masters, they are generally careless how their servants behave themselves towards God, how disorder'd and profane their fami­lies are, and therefore never bestow any exhortation, or admonition, to perswade them to vertue, or draw them from vice; such Masters forget that they must one day give an account how they have governed their fami­lies. It is certainly the duty of every Ruler to endeavour to advance piety and godliness a­mong all those that are under his charge, and that as well in this lesser dominion of a fami­ly, [Page 327] as in the greater of a Realm or Nation. Of this David was so careful, that we see he professes, Psal. 101. 7. That no deceitful per­son should dwell in his house, that he that told lies should not tarry in his sight, so much he thought himself bound to provide that his fa­mily might be a kind of Church, an assembly of Godly upright persons: And if all Ma­sters would endeavour to have theirs so, they would besides the eternal reward of it, hereaf­ter find a present benefit by it, there worldly business would thrive much the better; for if their servants were brought to make conscience of their wayes, they would then not dare ei­ther to be negligent or false.

31. But as it is the duty of Masters to ad­monish and reprove their servants, so they must also look to do it in a due manner, that is so, as may be most likely to do good, not in passi­on and rage, which can never work the ser­vant to any thing but the despising or hating him, but with such sober and grave speeches, as may convince him of his fault, and may al­so assure him, that it is a kind desire of his a­mendment (and not a willingness to wreck his own rage) which makes the Master thus to re­buke him.

32. A third duty of the Master is to set good example of honesty and godliness to his ser­vants,Good ex­ample. without which 'tis not all the exhorta­tions, or reproofs he can use, will ever do good; for else he puls down more with his ex­ample, then tis possible for him to build with [Page 328] the other, and 'tis madness for a drunken, or profane Master, to expect a sober and godly family.

33. Fourthly. Means of Instruction. the Master is to provide that his servants may not want means of being in­structed in their duty, as also that they may daily have constant times of worshipping God, publickly by having prayers in the family; but of this I have spoken before under the head of Prayer, and therefore shall here say no more of it.

34. Fifthly, The master in all affairs of his own,Moderation in com­mand [...] is to give reasonable and moderate com­mands, not saying greater burdens on his ser­vants then they are able to bear, particularly not requiring so much work, that they shall have no time to bestow on their souls, as on the other side he is not to permit them to live so idely as may make them either uselesse to him, or may betray themselves to any ill.

35. Sixthly, The Master is to give his ser­vants encouragement in well doing,Encourage­ment in well-doing. by using them with that bounty and kindness which their faithfulness aud diligence and piety de­serves: And finally in all his dealing with them, he is to remember that himself hath as the Apostle saith, Eph. 6. 9. A Master in hea­ven, to whom he must give account of the u­sage of his meanest servant on earth. Thus have I briefly run through those several relati­ons, to which we owe a particular duty, and so have done with that first branch of duty to our neighbours; that of Justice.

PARTITION XVI.

Other Branches of our DUTY to our Neighbour. Of CHARITY to mens S [...]uls, Bodies, Goo [...]s, &c.

THE second branch of Duty to our Neighbours is Charity or Love. Charity. This is the great Gospel-duty, so often in­joined us by Christ, the New Com­mandment as himself calls it, Jo. 13 34. That ye love one another, & this is again repeated twice in one Chapter, John 15 12. 17. and the first Epistle of St. John is almost wholly spent in the perswasion to this one duty, by which we may see 'tis no matter of indifference, but most strictly required of all that profess Christ. Indeed himself has given it as the badge and livery of his Disciples, John 13. 35. By this shall all men know that ye are my Disciples if ye have love one to another.

This Charity may be considered two waies;In the Affections. first, in respect of the affections; secondly, of the actions. Charity in the affections is a sincere kindness, which disposes us to wish all good to others, and that in all their capa­cities, in the same manner that justice obliged us to wish no hurt to any man, in respect ei­ther of his Soul, his Body, his Goods, or his [Page 330] Credit, so this first part of Charity binds us to wish all good to them in all these.

And first, for the Soul. If we have any the least spark of Charity,To mens Souls. we cannot but wish all good to mens Souls; Those precious things which Christ thought worth the ran­soming with his own blood, may surely well challenge our kindness, and good wishes; and therefore if we do not thus love one ano­ther, we are far from obeying that Command of loving, as he hath loved, for 'twas the Souls of men which he loved so tenderly, and both did, and suffered so much for. Of this love of his to Souls there are two great and special effects; the first, the purifying them here by his grace, the second, the making them everlastingly happy, in his glory; and both these we are so far to copy out in our kind­ness, as to be earnestly desirous that all men should arrive to that purity, and holiness here, which may make them capable of eternal hap­piness hereafter. It were to be hoped, that none that himself carried a Soul about him, could be so cruel to that of another mans, as not sincerely to wish this, did not experience shew us there are some persons, whose malice is so divelish, as to reach even to the dire [...] contrary, the wishing not onely the sin, but the damnation of others. Thus may you have some, who in any injury, or oppression they suffer, make it their onely comfort, that their enemies will damn themselves by it; when alas! that should to a Christian be much [Page 331] more terrible, then any suffering they could bring upon him. He that is of this temper, is a disciple of Satans, not of Christ, it being directly contrary to the whole scope of that grand Christian precept, of loving our neigh­bours as our selves. For 'tis sure, no man that beleeves there is such a thing as dam­nation, wishes it to himself; Be he never so fond of the wayes that lead to it, yet he wishes that may not be his journeys end, and therefore by that rule of Charity should as much dread it for his Neighbour.

Secondly, We are to wish all good to the Bodies of men,To their Bodies, Goods and Credit. all health and welfare, we are generally tender enough of our own bo­dies, dread the least pain or ill, that can befal them; Now Charity, by vertue of the fore­mentioned precept, extends this tenderness to all others, and whatever we apprehend as grievous to our selves, we must be unwilling should befal another. The like is to be said of the other two, goods and credit, that as we wish our own thriving and reputation, so we should likewise that of others, or else we can never be said to love our neighbour as our selves.

This Charity of the affections, Effects of this Chari­ty. if it be sin­cere, will certainly have these several effects, which are so inseparable from it, that they are often in Scripture accounted as parts of the duty, and so most strictly required of us; First, it will keep the mind in a peaceable and meek temper towards others, so far f [...]om [Page 332] seeking occasions of contentions, that no pro­vocation shall draw us to it; for where we have kindness we shall be unapt to quarrel, it being one of the especial properties of Chari­ty, that it is not easily provoked, 1 Cor. 13. 5. and therefore whoever is unpeaceable, shewes his heart is destitute of this Charity. Second­ly, it will breed comp [...]ssion towards all the miseries of others every mishap that befals, where we wish well, is a kind of defeat and disaster to our selves and therefore if we wish well to all, we shall be thus concerned in the calamities of all, have a reall grief, and sor­row, to see any in misery, and that according to the proportion of the suffering. Thirdly, it will give us joy in the prosperities of others; Solomon observes Prov. 13. 19. That the de­sire accomplished i [...] swee [...] to the Soul, and then whoever has this real desire of his neighbours welfare, his desire is accomplished in their prosperity, and therefore he cannot but have contentment and satisfaction in it. Both these are together commanded by St. Paul, Rom. 12. 12. R [...]joice with them that rejoice, weep with them that weep. Fourthly, it will excite and stir up our prayers for others; We are of our selves impotent, feeble creatures, un [...]ble to bestow blessings, where we most wish them, therefore if we do indeed desire the good of others we must se [...]k it on their behalf, from him, whence every good and perfect gift com­eth, Ja. 1. 17. This is so necessary a part of Charity, that without it our kindness is but an [Page 333] unsignificant thing, a kind of empty comple­ment. For how can he be believed to wish well in earnest, who will not thus put life and efficacy into his wishes by forming them into prayers which will otherwise be vain and fruitless. The Apostle thought not fit to leave men to their bare wishes, but exhorts that supplications, prayers, and giving of thanks be made for all men, 1 Tim. 2. 1. which precept all that have this true Charity of the heart, will readily conform to. These seve­rals are so naturally the fruits of this Charity that it is a deceit for any man to perswade himself he hath it, who cannot produce these fruits to evidence it by.

But there is yet a farther excellency of this grace,It casts out Envy. it guards the mind, and secures it from several great and dangerous vices; as first from Envy; This is by the Apostle taught us to be the property of Charity, 1 Cor. 13. 4. Charity envieth not; And indeed common reason may confirm this to us, for envy is a sorrow at the prosperity of another, and therefore must needs be directly contrary to that desire of it, which we shewed before was the effect of love; so that if love bear sway in the heart, 'twill certainly chace out Envy. How vainly then do those pretend to this ver­tue, that are still grudging, and rep [...]ning at every good hap of others?

Secondly, It keeps down Pride and Hau [...] ­ [...]iness. Pride. This is also taught us by the Apostle in the forementioned place, Charity vaunt­eth [Page 334] not it self, is not puffed up; and ac­cordingly we find, that where this vertue of love is commanded, their humility is joyn­ed with it. Thus it is, Col. 3. 12. Put on there­fore bowels of Mercies, Kindness, Humble­ness of mind, and Rom. 12. 10. Be kindly af­fectioned on towards another with brotherly love in honour preferring one another, where you see how close an attendant humility is of love. Indeed it naturally flowes from it, for love al­ways sets a price and value upon the thing be­loved, makes us esteem and prize it; thus we too constantly find it in self love, it makes us think highly of our selves, that we are much more ex­cellent then other men. Now if love thus plac'd on our selves, beget pride, let us but divert the course, and turn this love on our brethren, and it will as surely beget humility, for then we should see and value those gifts and excel­lencies of theirs, which now our pride, or our hatreds make us to overlook and neglect, and not think it reasonable either to despise them, or vaunt and magnifie our selves upon such a comparison; we should certainly find cause to put the Apostles exhortation in practice, Phil. 2 4 That we should esteem others better then our selves. Whoever therefore is of so h [...]ugh­ty a temper, as to vilify and disdain others, may conclude he hath not this charity rooted in his heart.

Thirdly, it casts out censoriousness and rash judging charity,Censorious­ness. as the Apostle saith, 1 Cor. 13. 5. Thinketh no evil, is not apt to entertain [Page 335] ill conceits of others, but on the contrary as it follows, ver. 7. believeth all thing, hopeth all things; that is, it is forward to believe and hope the best of all men, and surely our own experience tels us the same, for where we love we are usually unapt to discern faults, be they never so gross (witness the great blindness we generally have towards our own) and therefore shall certainly not be likely to create them, where they are not, or to aggravate them be­yond their true size and degree: And then to what shall we impute those unmerciful cen­sures and rash judgments of others, so frequent among men, but to the want of this chari­ty.

Fourthly, It casts out dissembling and feigned kindness;Dissem­bling. where this true and reall love is, that false and counterfeit one flyes from before it, and this is the love we are commanded to have, such as is without dissimulation, Rom. 12. 9. Indeed where this is rooted in the heart, there can be no possible use of dissimulation, because this is in truth all that the false one would seem to be, and so is as far beyond it, as nature is beyond art, nay indeed as a devine vertue is beyond a foul sin, for such is that hy­pocritical kindness, and yet tis to be feared that does too generally usurp the place of this reall charity, the effects of it are too visible among us, there being nothing more common then to see men make large professions to those who as soon as their back are turned, they either de­ride or mischief.

[Page 336] Fifthly, it casts out all mercenariness, and self-seeking,Self-seek­ing. 'tis of so noble and generous a temper, that it dispises all projectings for gain or advantage, love seeketh not her own, 1 Cor. 13. 5. And therefore that huckstering kind of love so much used in the world, which places it self only there, where it may fetch in benefit, is very far from this charity.

Lastly, It turns out of the heart all malice and desire of revenge which is so utterly con­trary to it,Revenge. that it is impossible they should both dwell in the same brest; 'tis the proper­ty of love to bear all things, 1 Cor. 13. 7. To endure the greatest injuries, without thought of making any other return to them then prayers and blessings, and therefore the mali­cious revengeful person, is of all others the greatest stranger to this charity.

'Tis true if this vertue were to be exercised but towards some sort of persons,T [...]is chari­ty to be ex­tended even to enemies. it might con­sist with malice to others, it being possible for a man that bitterly hates one to love another; but we are to take notice that this charity must not be so confined, but must extend and stretch it self to all men in the world, particularly to enemies, or else it is not that divine charity commended to us by Christ. The loving of friends, and benefactors is so low a pitch that the very Publicans and sinners, the worst of men were able to attain to it, Mat. 5. 46 And therefore 'tis not counted rewardable in a Dis­ciple of Christ; No, he expects we should soar higher, and therefore hath set us this more [Page 337] spiritual, and excellent precept of loving of enemies, Mat. 5. 44. I say unto you, love your enemies, bless them that curse you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you, and whoever does not thus, will never be owned by him for a disciple. We are therefore to conclude, that all which hath been said concerning this Charity of the affe­ctions must be understood to belong as well to our spitefullest enemy, as our most obliging friend. But because this is a duty, to which the froward nature of man is apt to object much, 'twill not be amiss to insist a little on some considerations, which may inforce it on us.

And first consider,Motives thereunto. what hath been already toucht on, that it is the Command of Christ, both in the Text above mentioned,Command of Christ. and mul­titudes of others, there being scarce any pre­cept so often repeated in the New Testament, as this of loving and forgiving of enemies. Thus Eph. 4. 32. Be ye kind one to another, tender hearted, forgiving one another; and a­gain, Col. 3. 13. Forbearing one another and forgiving one another, if any man have a quar­rel against any, even as Christ forgave you, so also do ye. So also, 1 Pet. 3. 9. Not ren­dring evil for evil, nor railing for railing, but contrariwise Blessing. A whole volume of Texts might be brought to this purpose, but these are certainly enough, to convince any man, that this is strictly required of us by Christ, and indeed I think, there are few that [Page 338] ever heard of the Gospel, but know it is so. The more prodigiously strange is it, that men that call themselves Christians, should give no degree of obedience to it, nay, not onely so, but even publickly avow, and pro­fess the contrary, as we daily see they do, it being ordinary to have men resolve, and de­clare, that they will not forgive such, or such a man, and no consideration of Christs Com­mand can at all move them from their purpose. Certainly these men understand not what is meant by the very word Christian, which signifies a Servant, and Disciple of Christ, and this Charity is the very badg of the one, the lesson of the other; and therefore 'tis the greatest absurdity, and contradiction, to pro­fess themselves Christians, and yet at the same time to resist this so express Command of that Christ, whom they own as their Master. If I be a Master, saith God, where is my fear? Mal. 1. 6. Obedience and reverence are so much the duties of Servants, that no man is thought to look on him as a Master, to whom he payes them not. Why call ye me Lord, Lord, and do not the things that I say? saith Christ, Luk. 6. 46. The whole world is divided into two great Families. Christs, and Satans, a [...]d the obedience each man payes, signifies to which of these Masters he belongs, if he obey Christ, to Christ; if Satan, to Satan. Now this sin of malice, and revenge is so much the dictate of that wicked spirit, that there is no­thing can be a more direct obeying of him, [Page 339] 'tis the taking his livery on our backs, the proclaiming whose servants we are; What ridiculous impudence is it then, for men that have thus entred themselves of Satans Family, to pretend to be the Servants of Christ? Let such know assuredly, they shall not be owned by him, but at the great day of accompt, be turned over to their proper Master, to receive their wages, in fire and brimstone.

A second consideration is the example of God:Example of God. this is an argument Christ himself thought fit to use, to impress this duty on us, as you may see Luk 6. 35, 36. where after having given the Command of Loving ene­mies, he incourages to the practice of it, by telling, that it is that which will make us the Children of the Highest (that is, 'twill give us a likeness and resemblance to him, as children have to their Parents) for he is kind to the unthankful and the evil; And to the same purpose, you may read Mat. 5. 45. He maketh his sun to rise on the evil and on the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust; And sure this is a most forcible con­sideration to excite us to this duty. God, we know, is the fountain of perfection, and the being like to him, is the summe of all we can wish for; and though it was Lucifers fall, his ambition to be like the most high, yet had the likeness he affected been onely that of Holy­ness and Goodness, he might still have been an Angel of light; This desire of imitating our Heavenly Father is the especial mark of a [Page 340] child of his. Now this kindness and goodness to enemies is most eminently remarkable in God, and that not onely in respect of the temporal mercies, which he indifferently be­stowes on all, his sun and rain on the unjust, as in the Text forementioned, but chiefly in his spiritual mercies; We are all by our wicked works Col. 1. 21. Enemies to him, and the mischief of that enmity would have fallen wholly upon our selves, God had no motive besides that of his pity to us, to wish a reconciliation, yet so farr was he from re­turning our enmity, when he might have re­venged himself to our eternal ruine, that he designes, and contrives how he may bring us to be at peace with him. This is a huge de­gree of mercy and kindness, but the means he used for effecting this, is yet far beyond it; He sent his own Son from Heaven, to work it, and that not onely by perswasions, but suffe­rings also; So much did he prize us miserable creatures, that he thought us not too dear bought with the blood of his Son. The like example of mercy and patience we have in Christ both laying down his life for us ene­mies, and also in that meek manner of doing it, which we find excellently set forth by the Apostle, 1 Pet. 2. 22. 23. 24. and commended to our imitation. Now surely when all this is considered, we may well make St. Johns in­ference, Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another, 1 Iohn 4. 11. how shameful a thing is it for us to retain displea­sures [Page 341] against our brethren, when God thus layes by his towards us, and that when we have so highly provoked him?

This directs to a third consideration,The dispro­portion be­tween our offences a­gainst God and mens a­gainst us. the comparing our sins against God, with the of­fences of our brethren against us, which we no sooner shall come to do, but there will appear a vast difference between them, and that in several respects; For first, there is the majesty of the person, against whom we sin, which exceedingly encreases the gilt, whereas between man and man, there cannot be so great a di­stance; for though some men are by God ad­vanced to such eminency of dignity, as may make an injury offered to them the greater yet still they are but men of the same nature with us, whereas he is God blessed for ever; Second­ly, there is his soveraignity and power, which is original in God, for we are his crea­tures, we have received our whole being from him, and therefore are in the deepest manner bound to perfect obedience, whereas all the so­veraignity that one man can possibly have over another, is but imparted to them by God, and for the most part there is none of this neither in the case, quarrels being most usual among e­quals. Thirdly, there is his infinite bounty and goodness to us, all that ever we enjoy, whether in relation to this life, or a better be­ing wholly his free gift, and so there is the foulest ingratitude added to our other crimes; in which respect also 'tis impossible for one man to offend against another in such a degree, [Page 342] for though one may be (& too many are) guil­ty of unthankfulness towards men, yet because the greatest benefits that man can bestow, are infinitely short of those which God doth, the ingratitude cannot be neer so great as towards God it is. Lastly, there is the greatness and multitude of our sins against God, which do infinitely exceed all that the most injurous man can do against us, for we all sin much oft­ner and more hainously against him then a­ny man, be he never so malicious, can find op­portunity is of injuring his brethren This ine­quality and disproportion our Saviour inti­mates in the parable, Mat. 18. where our offences against God are noted by the ten thou­sand talents, whereas our brethrens against us are described by the hundred pence, a talent hugely out-weighs a penny, and ten thousand out numbers a hundred, yet so and much more does the weight and number of our sins exceed all the offences of others against us: Much more might be said to shew the vast inequality between the faults which God forgives us, and those we can possibly have to forgive our bre­thren: But this I suppose may suffice to silence all the objections of cruel and revengeful per­sons, against this kindness to enemies. They are apt to look upon it as an absur'd and unrea­sonable thing, but since God himself acts it in so much a higher degree, who can without blas­phemy say 'tis unreasonable? If this, or any o­ther spiritual duty appear so to us, we may [...]earn the reason from the Apostle, 1 Cor. 2. 14. [Page 343] The carnal man receiveth not the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness unto him; 'tis the carnality and fleshliness of our hearts, that makes it seem so, and therefore in stead of disputing against the duty, let us purge our hearts of that, and then we shall find that true which the spiritual Wisdom affirms of her Do­ctrines, Pro. 8. 9. They are all plain [...] to him that understandeth, and right to them that find knowledg.

Nay, this loving of enemies is not only a reasonable,Pleasant­ness of this Duty. but a pleasant duty, and that I propose as a fourth consideration; there is a great deal of sweetness and delight to be found in it; of this I confess none can so well judge as those that have practised it, the nature even of earthly pleasures being such, that 'tis the injoy­ment only that can make a man truly know them: No man can so describe the taste of a­ny delicious thing to another, as that by it he shall know the relish of it, he must first actu­ally taste of it, and sur [...] 'tis more so in spiritu­al pleasures, and therefore he that would ful­ly know the sweetness and pleasantness of this duty, let him set to the practice and then his own experience will be the best informer: But in the mean time, how very unjust, yea, and foolish is it, to pronounce ill of it before tryal: for men to say this is irksome, and intolerable, who never so much as once offered to trie whe­ther indeed it were so or no? Yet by this very means an ill opinion is brought up of this most delightful duty, and passes currant among men, [Page 344] whereas in all justice the testimony of it should be taken only from those who have tryed it, and they would certainly give another account of it.

But though the full knowledg hereof be to be had onely by his neerer acquaintance,Compared with the painfulness of the con­trary. yet methinks even those who look at it but at a di­stance, may discern somewhat of amiableness in it, if no other way, yet at least by compar­ing it with the uneasiness of its contrary, ma­lice and revenge are the most wrestlesse, tor­menting passions that can possesse the mind of a man, they keep men in perpetual study and care how to effect their mischievous purposes, it disturbs their very sleep, as Solomon observes Pro. 4. 16. They sleep not except they have done mischief, and their sleep is taken away, except they cause some to fall: Yea, it imbit­ters all the good things they enjoy, so that they have no taste or relish of them; a remarkable example of this we have in H [...]man, who though he abounded in all the greatnesse and felicity of the world, yet the malice he had to a poor despisable man Mordecai, kept him from tasting contentment in all this, as you may see, Esther 5. where after he had related to his friends all his prosperities, ver. 11 he con­cludes thus, ver. 12. Yet all this availeth me nothing, so long as I see Mordecai the Iew sit­ting in the Kings gate. On the other side, the peaceable spir [...]t, that can quietly passe by all injuries and affronts, enjoyes a continual calm, and is above the malice of his enemies, for let [Page 345] them do what they can, they cannot rob him of his quiet, he is firm as a rock, which no stormes or windes can move, when the furious and revengeful man is like a wave which the least blast tosses and tumbles from its place. But besides this inward disquiet of revengeful men, they often bring many outward calami­ties upon themselves, they exasperate their e­nemies, and provoke them to do them greater mi [...]chiefs, nay oftentimes they willingly run themselvs upon the greatest miseries in pursuit of their revenge, to which 'tis ordinary to see men sacrifice Goods, Ease, Credit, Life, nay soul it self, not caring what they suffer them­selves so they may spite their enemy; so strangly does this wretched humour besott and blind men. On the contrary, the meek per­son he often melts his adversary, pacifies his anger; A soft answer turns away wrath, saith Solomon, Pro. 15. 1. And sure there is nothing can tend more to that end: but if it do hap­pen that his enemy be so inhumane, that he misse of doing that, yet he is still a gainer by all he can suffer. For first, he gains an oppor­tunity of exercising that most Christian grace of charity and forgivenesse; and so at once of obeying the command and imitating the exam­ple of his Saviour, which is to a true Chri­stian spirit a most valuable advantage; and then secondly, he gains an accession and en­crease to his reward hereafter. And if it be ob­jected, that that is not to be reckoned in to the present pleasure of the duty: I answer, that the [Page 346] expectation and belief of it is, and that alone is a delight infinitely more ravishing then the present enjoyment of all sensual pleasures can be.

The fourth consideration is,If we for­give not. God will not forgive us. the danger of not performing this duty; of which I might reckon up divers, but I shall insist only on that great one, which contains in it all the rest, and that is the forfeiting of our own pardons from God, the having our sins against him kept still on his score, and not forgiven. This is a consideration, that methinks should afright us into good nature; if it do not, our malice is greater to our selves then to our enemies. For alas! what hurt is it possible for thee to do to another, which can bear any compari­son with that thou doest thy self, in loosing the pardon of thy sins? which is so unspeak­able a mischief, that the Divel himself with all his malice cannot wish a greater, 'tis all he aimes at, first, that we may sin, and then that those sins may never be pardoned, for then he knows he has us sure enough, Hell, and dam­nation being certainly the portion of every unpardoned sinner, besides all other effects of Gods wrath in this life; consider this, and then tell me what thou hast got by the highest revenge, thou ever actedst upon another. 'Tis a devilish phrase in the mouth of men, that revenge is sweet: But is it possible there can be (even to the most distemper'd palate) any such sweetnesse in it, as may recompence that everlasting bitternesse that attends it? [Page 347] 'Tis certain, no man in his wits can upon sober judging, imagine there is. But alas! we give not our selves time to weigh things, but suffer our selves to be hurryed away with the heat of an angry humour, never considering how dear we must pay for it; like the silly Bee, that in anger leaves at once her sting and her life be­hind her, the sting may perhaps give some short pain to the flesh it sticks in, but yet there is none but discerns the Bee has the worst of it, that payes her life for so poor a revenge; so it is in the greatest acts of our malice, we may perhaps leave our stings in others, put them to some present trouble, but that compared with the hurt redounds to our selves by it, is no more then that inconsiderable pain is to death. Nay not so much, because the mischiefs, that we bring upon our selves are eternal, to which no finite thing can bear any proportion. Re­member then, whensoever thou art contriving, and plotting a revenge, that thou quite mi­stakest the mark thou thinkest to hit thy enemy, and las! thou woundest thy self to death. And let no man speak peace to himself, or think that these are vain terrors, and that he may ob­tain pardon from God, though he give none to his brethren. For he that is truth it self has assured us the contrary, Mat. 6. 15. If ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your father forgive your trespasses. And least we should forget the necessity of this duty, he has inserted it into our daily Prayers, where we make it the condition, on which we [Page 348] beg pardon from God; Forgive us our tres­passes as we forgive them that trespass against us. What a heavy curse then does every re­vengeful person lay upon himself, when he sayes this Prayer, he does in effect beg God not to forgive him; and 'tis too sure that part of his Prayer will be heard, he shall be forgi­ven just as he forgives, that is not at all. This is yet farther set out to us in the parable of the Lord, and the servant, Mat. 18. the ser­vant had obtained of his Lord the forgivenesse of a vast debt, ten thousand talents, yet was so cruel to his fellow servant, as to exact a poor triflng summ of an hundred pence, upon which his Lord recals his former forgiveness, and charges him again with the whole debt, and this Christ applies to our present purpose, ver. 35. So likewise shall my heavenly father do un­to you, if ye from your hearts forgive not eve­ry man his brother their trespasses. One such act of uncharitablenesse is able to forfeit us the pardon God hath granted us, and then all our sins return again upon us, and sink us to utter ruine. I suppose it needlesse to heap up more Testimonies of Scripture, for the truth of this, these are so cleere, as may surely serve to per­swade any man, that acknowledg Scripture, of the great and fearful danger of this sin of uncha­ritableness. The Lord possess all our hearts with such a just sense of it as may make us avoid it.

The Last consideration I shall mention, is that of gratitude,Gratitude to God. God has shewed wonderful mercies to us, Christ has suffered heavy things [Page 349] to bring us into a capacity of that mercy and pardon from God: And shall we not then think our selvs obliged to some returns of thanfulness? If we will take the Apostles judgment he tels us, 2 Cor. 5. 15. That since Christ dyed for us all, 'tis but reasonable that we should not hence­forth live unto our selves, but unto him that dyed for us. Indeed were every moment of our life con­secrated to his immediate service, 'twere no more then common gratitude requires, and far less, then such inestimable benefits deserve; what a shameful unthankfulnesse is it then, to deny him so poor a satisfaction as this, the forgiving our brethren? suppose a man that were ransom­ed either from death or slavery, by the bounty & sufferings of another, should upon his release be charged by him, that so freed him in return of that kindnesse of his, to forgive some slight debt, which was owing him by some third per­son, would you not think him the unthankfullest wretch in the world, that should refuse this to so great a benefactor? yet such a wretch, & much worse is every revengeful person: Christ hath bought us out of eternal slavery, and that not with corruptible things, as silver and gold, 1 Pet. 1. 8. But with his own most precious blood, and hath earnestly recommended to us the love of our brethren, and that with the most moving arguments drawn from the greatnesse of his love to us; and if we shall obstinately refuse him in so just, so moderate a demand, how unspeakable a vilenesse is it? and yet this we do downright, if we keep any malice or grudg [Page 350] to any person whatsoever. Nay, farther this is not barely an unthanfulness, but there is al­so joyned with it a horrible contempt, and de­spising of him. This Peace and unity of brethren was a thing so much prized and valued by him, that when he was to leave the world, he thought it the most precious thing he could bequeath, and therefore left it by way of le­gacy to his Disciples, Jo. 14. 27. Peace I leave with you; we use to set a great value on the slightest bequests of our dead friends, to be exceeding careful not to lose them, and there­fore if we wilfully bangle away this so preci­ous a Legacy of Christ, 'tis a plain sign we want that love and esteem of him, which we have of our earthly friends, and that we despise him as well as his Legacy. The great prevail­ing of this sin of uncharitablenesse has made me stand thus long on these consideration [...], for the subduing it. God grant they may make such impression on the reader, as may be availa­ble to that purpose.

I shall add only this one advice, that these or whatsoever other remedies against this sin must be used timly:The first ri­ [...]ing of ran­cour to be supprest. 'Tis oftentimes the frustrating of bodily medicines, the applying them too late, and 'tis much oftner so in spiritual, therefore if it be possible, let these and the like conside­rations be so constantly and habitually fixt in thy heart, that they may frame it to such meek­ness as may prevent all risings of rancour or re­venge in thee, for it is much better they should serve as armour to prevent, then as balsome to [Page 335] cure the wound. But if this passion be not yet so subdued in thee, but that there will be some stirrings of it, yet then be sure to take it at the very first rise, and let not thy fancy chew, as it were, upon the injury by often rolling it in thy mind, but remember betimes the foregoing considerations, and withal, that this is a time, and season of tryal to thee, wherein thou mayest shew how thou hast pro­fited in Christs School, there now being an opportunity offered thee either of obeying and pleasing God, by passing by this offence of thy brother, or else of obeying and please­ing Satan, that lover of discord, by nourish­ing hatred against him. Remember this, I say, betimes, before thou be inflamed, for if this fire be throughly kindled, it will cast such a smoak, as will blind thy reason, and make thee unfit to judge even in this so very plain case, whether it be bettet by obeying God, to purchase to thy self eternally bliss, or by obeying Satan, eternal torments. Whereas as if thou put the question to thy self before this commotion, and disturbance of mind, 'tis impossible but thy understanding must pronounce for God; And then unless thy will be so perverse that thou wilt delibe­rately choose death, thou wilt surely practice according to that sentence of thy understand­ing; I shall add no more on this first part of Charity, that of the Affections.

I prooceed now to that of the Actions; Charity in the Actions And this indeed is it, whereby the former [Page 352] must be approved, we may pretend great cha­rity within, but if none break forth in the Actions, we may say of that love, as Saint James does of the Faith he speaks of, that it is dead, Jam. 2. 20. It is the loving indeed, that must approve our hearts before God, 1 Jo. 3. 18. Now this love in the Actions may l [...]kewise fitly be distributed, as the former was, in relation to the four distinct capacities of our brethren, their Souls, their Bodies, their Goods, and Credit.

The Soul I formerly told you may be consi­dered either in a natural or spiritual sense,Towards the mind of our Neigh­bour. and in both of them Charity binds us to do all the good we can. As the Soul signifies the mind of a man, so we are to endeavour the comfort and refreshment of our brethren, desire to give them all true cause of joy, & cheerfulness, especially when we see any under any sadness or heaviness, then to bring out all the cor­dials we can procure, that is, to labour by all Christian and fit means to chear the troubled spirits of our brethren, to comfort them that are in any heaviness, as the Apostle speaks, 2 Cor. 1. 4.

But the Soul in the spiritual sense is y [...]t of greater concernment,His Soul. and the securing of that▪ is a matter of much greater moment, then the refreshing of the mind onely, in as much as the eternal sorrwes and sadnesses of Hell exceed the deepest sorrowes of this life; and therefore though we must not omit the former, yet on this we are to imploy our most [Page 353] zealous charities; Wherein we are not to content our selves with a bare wishing well to the Souls of our brethren, this alone is a slug­gish sort of kindness, unworthy of those who are to imitate the great Redeemer of Souls, who did and suffered so much in that pur­chase: No, we must add also our endeavour to make them what we wish them. To this purpose 'twere very reasonable to propound to our selves in all our conversings with o­thers, that one great design of doing some good to their Souls. If this purpose were fixt in our minds, we should then discern perhaps many opportunities, which now we overlook, of doing something towards it. The brutish ignorance of one would call upon thee to en­deavour his instruction; the open vile of ano­ther, to reprehend & admonish him; the faint and weak vertue of another, to confirme and incourage him. Every spiritual want of thy brother may give thee some occasion of exer­cising some part of this Charity, or if the cir­cumstances be such, that upon sober judging, thou think it vain to attempt any thing thy self, as if either thy meanness, or thy unac­quaintedness, or any the like impediment, be like to render thy exhortations fruitless, yet if thou art industrious in thy Charity, thou mayest probably find out some other in­strument, by whom to do it more success­fully. There cannot be a nobler study, then how to benefit mens Souls, and therefore where the direct means are improper, 'tis fit [Page 354] we should whet our wits for attaining of o­thers. Indeed 'tis a shame, we should not as industriously contrive for this great spiri­tual concernment of others, as we do for every worldly trifling interests of our own; yet in them we are unwearied, and trye one means after another, till we compass our end. But if after all our serious endeavours, the obstinacy of men do not suffer us, or them­selves rather, to reap any fruit from them, if all our wooings and intreatings of men to have mercy on their own Souls, will not work on them, yet be sure to continue still to ex­hort by thy example; Let thy great care and tenderness of thy own Soul preach to them the value of theirs, and give not over thy compassions to them, but with the Prophet Jer. 13. 17. Let thy Soul weep in secret for them; and with the Psalmist, Let rivers of waters run down thy eyes, because they keep not Gods Law, Psal. 119. 136. Yea, with Christ himself, weep over them, who will not know the things that belong to their peace, Luk. 19. 42. And when no importunities with them will work, yet even then cease not to importune God for them, that he will draw them to himself. Thus we see Samuel, when he could not disswade the people from that sinful pur­pose they were upon, yet he professes not­withstanding, that he will not cease praying for them; nay, he lookt on it as so much a duty, that it would be sin in him to omit it, God forbid, sayes he, that I should sin against [Page 355] the Lord in ceasing to pray for you, 1 Sam. 12. 23. Nor shall we need to fear that our prayers shall be quite lost, for if they prevail not for those for whom we pour them out, yet however they will return into our own bosomes, Psal. 35. 13. we shall be sure not to miss of the reward of that Charity.

In the second place,Charity in respect of the Body. we are to exercise this Active Charity towards the bodies of our Neighbours; we are not onely to compassio­nate their pains, and miseries, but also to do what we can for their ease and relief. The good Samaritan Luke 10. had never been proposed as our pattern, had he not as well helped as pitied the wounded man. 'Tis not good wishes, no nor good words neither that avail in such cases, as St. James tells us, If a brother or sister be naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled, notwithstand­ing ye give him not those things that are need­ful for the body, what doth it profit? Jam. 2. 15. 16. No sure, it profits them nothing, in respect of their bodies, and it will pro­fit thee as little in respect of thy Soul, it will never be reckoned to thee as a Charity. This releeving of the bodily wants of our brethren, is a thing so strictly required of us, that we find it set down Mat. 25. as the e­special thing we shall be tried by at the Last Day, on the omission whereof is grounded that dreadful sentence, ver. 41. Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared [Page 356] for the Divel and his Angels. And if it shall now be asked, what are the particular acts of this kind which we are to perform? I think we cannot better inform our selves for the fre­quent and ordinary ones, then from this Chap­ter, where are set down these severals, the giving meat to the hungry, and drink to the thirsty, harbouring the stranger, clothing the naked, and visiting the sick, and imprisoned: By which visiting is meant, not a bare coming to see them, but so coming as to comfort and relieve them; for otherwise 'twill be but like the Levite in the Gospel, Lu. 10. who came and looked on the wounded man, but did no more, which will never be accepted by God. These are common and ordinary exercises of this cha­rity, for which we cannot want frequent op­portunities. But besides these, there may some­times by Gods especial providence fall into our hands, occasions of doing other good offices to the bodies of our neighbours; we may sometimes find a wounded man, with the Sama­ritan. and then 'tis our duty to do as he did; we may sometimes find an innocent person con­demned to death, as Susanna was, and then are with Daniel to use all possible endeavour for their deliverances: This case Solomon seems to refer to, Prov. 24. 10. If thou for­bear to deliver him that it drawn unto death, and them that are ready to be slain, if thou sayst behold we know it not; doth not he that ponder­eth the heart, consider? and he that keepeth thy soul, doth not he know it? shall not he render [Page 357] to every man according to his deeds; we are not lightly to put off the matter with vain ex­cuses, but to remember that God, who knows our most secret thoughts, will severely examine, whether we have willingly omitted the perfor­mance of such a charity: sometimes again (nay God knowes, often now a dayes) we may see a man that by a course of intemperance is in danger to destroy his health, to shorten his dayes, and then it is a due charity not only to the soul, but to the body also, to endeavour to draw him from it. It is impossible to set down all the possible acts of this corporal charity, because there may sometimes happen such op­portunities, as none can foresee; we are there­fore alwayes to carry about us a serious resolu­tion of doing whatever good of this kind we shall at any time discern occasion for, and then whenever that occasion is offered, we are to look on it as a call, as it were from heaven, to put that resolution in practice. This part of charity seems to be so much implanted in our natures, as we are men, that we generally ac­count them not only unchristian, but inhu­mane, that are void of it, and therefore I hope there will not need much perswasion to it, since our very nature inclines us; but certainly that very consideration will serve hugely to encrease the guilt of those that are wanting in it. For since this command is so agreeable even to flesh and blood, our disobedience to it can proceed of nothing, but a stubbornesse and resistance against God who gives it.

PARTITION XVII.

Of CHARITY, Alms giving, &c. Of Charity in re­spect of our Neighbours Credit, &c. Of PEACE-MAKING. Of going to Law: Of Charity to our Enemies, &c. CHRISTIAN-DUTIES both l'OSSI­BLE and PLEASANT.

§ 1: THE third way of expressing this Charity is towards theCharity in respect of the Goods. goods or estate of our neigh­bour; we are to endeavour his thriving and prosperity in these outward good things; and to that end, be willing to assist and farther him in all honest wayes of improving or preserving them, by any neigh­bourly and friendly office. Opportunities of this do many times fall out: A man may some­times by his power or perswasion deliver his neighbours goods out of the hands of a thief, or oppressor; sometimes again by his advice and counsel, he may set him in a way of thriv­ing, or turn him from some ruinous course; and many other occasions there may be of doing good turns to another, without any loss or damage to our selves,Towards the rich. and then we are to do them, even to our rich neighbours, those that are as wealthy (perhaps much more so) [Page 359] as our selves; for though Charity do not bind us to give to those that want it lesse then our selves, yet whenever we can further their pro­fit, without lessning our own store, it requires it of us: Nay, if the damage be but light to us, in comparison of the advantage to him, it will become us rather to hazard that light damage, then lose him that greater advan­tage.

2. But towards our poor brother,Towards the poor. Charity tyes us to much more; we are there only to consider the supplying of his wants, and not to stick at parting with what is our own, to re­lieve him, but as far as we are able give freely what is necessary to him. This duty of Alms­giving is perfectly necessary for the approving our love not only to men, but even to God himself, as St John tels us, 1 Jo. 3. 17. Who so hath this worlds goods, and seeth his brother have need, and shutteth up his bowels of com­passion from him, how dwelleth the love of God in him? 'Tis vain for him to pretend to love either God or man, who loves his money so much better, that he will see his poor brother (who is man, and bears the image of God) suffer all extremities, rather then part with any thing to relieve him: On the other side, the performance of this duty is highly acceptable with God, as well as with men.

3. 'Tis called, Heb 13. 16. A sacrifice wherewith God is well pleased; and again, Ph [...]. 4. 18. St Paul cals their almes to him, a Sa­crifice acceptable, wel-pleasing to God, and [Page 360] the Church hath alwayes look't on it as such; and therefore joyned it with the solemnest part of worship, the holy Sacrament. But because even sacrifices themselves under the Law, were often made unacceptable by being maimed and blemished, it will here be neces­sary to enquire, what are the due qualificati­ons of this Sacrifice.

4. Of these there are some that respect the motive,Motives of Alms-giv­ing. some the manner of our giving. The motive may be three fold, respecting God, our neighbour, and our selves. That which respects God is obedience, and thankfulnesse to him: He has commanded we should give alms, and therefore one special end of our do­ing so, must be the obeying that precept of his. And it is from his bounty alone that we receive all our plenty, and this is the proper­est way of expressing our thankfulnesse for it; for as the Psalmist saith. our goods extend not unto God, Psal. 16. 2. That tribute which we desire to pay out of our estates, we cannot pay to his person. 'Tis the poor, that are as it were his Proxey and receivers, and there­fore whatever we should by way of thankful­nesse give back again unto God, our alms is the way of doing it: Secondly, in respect of our neighbour, the motive must be a true love, and compassion to him, a tender fellow-feeling of his wants, and desire of his comfort and relief: Thirdly, in respect of our selves, the motive is to be the hope of that eternal reward, promised to this performance. This [Page 361] Christ points out to us, when he bid [...] us lay up our treasure in heaven, Mat 6. 20. And to make us friends of the Mammon of unright [...] ­ousness, that they may receive us into everla­sting habitations, Lu. 16. 9. That is by a cha­ritable dispencing of our temporal goods to the poor, to lay up a stock in heaven, to gain a title to those endlesse felicities, which God hath promised to the charitable That is the harvest we must expect of what we sow in these works of mercy, which will be so rich as would abundantly recompence us, though we should, as the Apostle speaks, 1 Cor. 13. 3. Bestow all our goods to feed the poor: But then we must be sure that we make this our sole aim, and not in stead of this propose to our selves the praise of men, as the motive of our charity, for that will rob us of the other; this is expres­ly told us by Christ, Mat. 6. They that set their hearts on the credit, they shall gain with men, must take that as their portion, ver. 3. verily I say unto you, they have their reward; they chose, it seemes rather to have men their Pay-masters, then God▪ and to them they are turn'd off, that little ayery praise they get from them, is all the reward they must expect: Ye have no reward of my father which is in [...]ea [...]en, ver. 1. we have therefore need to watch our hearts narrowly, that this desire of vain-glory steal not in and befoole us into that miserable exchange of a vain blast of mens breath for those substantial and eternal joyes of heaven.

[Page 362] 5. In the second place we must take care of our alms-giving, in respect of the manner;Manner of Alms giv­ing. and in that, first, we must give cheerfully; men usually value a small thing,Cheerfully. that is given cheer­fully and with a good heart, more then a much greater, that is wrung from a man with grudging and unwillingnesse; and God is of the same mind, he loves a cheerful giver, 2 Cor. 9. 7. Which the Apostle makes the reason of the foregoing exhortation, of not giving grudgingly, or as of necessity, ver. 6. And sure 'tis no unreasonable thing, that is herein required of us, there being no duty that has to humane nature, more of pleasure and de­light, unlesse it be where covetousnesse or cruelty have quite work't out the man, and put a ravenous beast in his stead. Is it not a most ravishing pleasure to him that hath any bowels to see the joy, that a seasonable alms brings to a poor wretch? how it revives and puts new spirits in him, that was even sinking? certain­ly the most sensual creature alive knows not how to bestow his money on any thing, that shall bring him in so great a delight, and there­fore me thinks it should be no hard matter to give not only without grudging, but even with a great deal of alacrity and cheerfulnesse, it being the fetching in of pleasure to our selves.

6. There is but one objection can be made against this,The fear of impoverish­ing our selves by it vain and impious. and that is, that the danger of impove ishing ones self by what one gives, may take off that pleasure, and make men either [Page 363] not give at all, or not so cheerfully. To this I answer: That first were this hazard never so apparent, yet it being the comma [...]d of God, that we shall thus give, we are yet to obey cheerfully, and be as well content to part with our goods in pursuance of this duty, as we are many times called to do upon some other. In which case Christ tels us, he that forsakes not all that he hath, cannot be his D [...]sci­ple.

7. But secondly, this is sure a vain suppo­sition: God having particularly promised, the contrary to the charitable, that it shall bring blessings on them, even in these outward things. The liberal soul shall be made fat, and he that watereth shall be watered also himself, Prov. 11. 25. He that giveth to the poor shall not lack, Prov. 28. 27. And many the like texts there are, so that one may truly say, this objection is grounded in direct unbelief. The short of it is, we dare not trust God for this: giving to the poor is directly the put­ing our wealth into his hands He that giv­eth to the poor lendeth unto the Lord, Pro. 19. 17. And that too on solemn promise of re­payment, as it followes in that verse, that which he hath given will he pay him again. It is amongst men thought a great disparagement, when we refuse to trust them; it shews we ei­ther think them not sufficient, or not honest: How vile an affront is it then to God thus to distrust him? nay indeed how horrid blas­phemy, to doubt the security of that, for which [Page 364] he has thus expresly past his word, who is Lord of all, and therefore cannot be insufficient, and who is the God of truth, and therefore will not fail to make good his promise? Let not then that infidel fear of future want, contract and shut up thy bowels from thy poor bro­ther; for though he be never likely to pay thee, yet God becomes his surety and enters bond with him, and will most assuredly pay thee with encrease. Therefore 'tis so far from being damage to thee, thus to give, that it is thy great advantage: Any man would rather chuse to put his money into some sure hand, where he may both improve, and be certain of it at his need, then to let it lye unprofitably by him▪ especially if he be in danger of thieves, or other accident, by which he may probably loose it: Now alas! all that we possesse is in minutely danger of loosing; innumerable acci­dents there are, which may in an instant bring a rich man to beggery; he that doubts this, let him but read the story of Job, and he will there find an example of it: And therefore what so prudent course can we take for our wealth as to put it out of the reach of those accidents, by thus lending it to God, where we may be sure to find it ready at our greatest need, and that too with improvement and encrease; in which respect it is that the Apo­stle compares alms to seed, 2 Cor. 9. 10. We know 'tis the nature of seed that is sown, to multiply and encrease and so does all our acts of mercy, they return not single and naked to [Page 365] us, but bring in their sheaves with them, a most plenteous and bountiful harvest. God deals not with our alms, as we too often do with his gra­ces▪ wrap them up in a napkin, so that they shall never bring in any advantage to us, but makes us most rich returns: and therefore we have all reason most cheerfully, yea, joyfully to set to this duty, which we have such invitations to, as well in respect of our own interests, as our neighbours needs.

8. Secondly, Give seaso­nably. We must give seasonably: 'tis true indeed there are some so poor, that an Almes can never come unseasonably, because they alwayes want, yet even to them there may be some special seasons of doing it, to their greater advantage; for sometimes an Almes may not onely deliver a poor man from some present extremity, but by the right time­ing of it, may set him in some way of a more comfortable subsistance afterward. And for the most, I presume 'tis a good Rule, to dispense what we intend to any, as soon as may be, for delays are hurtful oftentimes both to them and our selves; first, as to them, 'tis sure, the longer we delay, the longer they groan under the pre­sent want,Of cru [...]l [...]y. and after we have designed them a relief, 'tis in some degree to defer injoying of it, for so long we prolong their sufferings; you wil think him a hard hearted Phisician, that hav­ing a certain cure for a man in pain, should when he might presently apply it, make unne­cessary delayes, and so keep the poor man still in torture: and the same it is here; we want [Page 366] of the due compassion, if we can be content our poor brother should have one hour of un­necessary suffering, when we have present op­portunity of relieving him, or if he be in such an extremity of want, yet whatever we intend him for his greater comfort, he loses so much of it, as the time of the delay amounts to: Secondly, in respect of our selves; tis ill to defer, for thereby we give advantage to the temptations either of Satan or our own co­vetous humour, to disswade us from it. Thus it fares too often with many Christian duties; for want of a speedy execution, our purposes coole, and never come to act; so many resolve they will repent, but because they set not im­mediately upon it one delay succeeds another, and keeps them from ever doing it at all: and so 'tis very apt to fall out in this case, especi­ally with men, who are of a covetous tem­per, and therefore they of all others should not trust themselves thus to delay.

9. Thirdly, Prud [...]ntly. We should take care to give prud [...]ntly, that is to give most, where it is most needed, and in such a manner, as may do the receiver most good: Charities do of­ten miscarry for want of this care, for if [...]e give at all adventures to all that seem to want, we may sometimes give more to those, whose sloth and lewdnesse is the cause of their wan then to those who best deserve it, and so both encourage the one in their idlenesse, and disa­ble our selves from giving to the other. Yet I doubt not such may be the present wants e­ven [Page 367] of the most unworthy, that we are to re­lieve them, but where no such pressing need is, we shall do best to chuse out the fitter ob­jects of charity, such are those who either are not able to labour, or else have a greater charge then their labour can maintain, and to those our alms should be given also in such a manner as may be most likely to do them good, the manner of which may differ according to the circumstances of their condition; it may to some be best perhaps, to give them by lit­tle and little, to others the giving it all at once, may tend more to their benefit; and some­time; a seasonable loan may do as well as a gift, and that may be in the power sometimes of those who are not able to give but little: But when we thus lend on charity, we must lend freely without use, and also with a pur­pose, that if he should prove unable to pay, we will forgive so much of the principal, as his needs require, and our abilities will per­mit. They want much of this charity, who clap up poor debtors in prison, when they know they have nothing to answer the debt, which is a great cruelty to make another mi­serable, when nothing is gained to our selves by it.

10. Fourthly, Liberally. We should give liberally, we must not be strait handed in our alms, and give by such pitiful scantlings, as will bring almost no relief to the receiver, for that is a kind of mockery; 'tis as if one should pretend to feed one that is almost famisht by giving him a [Page 368] crumb of bread, such doles as that would be most ridiculous, yet I fear 'tis too neer the proportion of some mens almes; such men are below those Disciples we read of, who knew only the Baptism of John, for 'tis to be observed, that John Baptist, who was but the fore-runner of Christ, makes it a special part of his Doctrine, that he that hath two coats should impart to him that hath none, Luk. 3. 11. He sayes not he that hath some great Ward­robe, but even he that hath but two coats must part with one of them; from whence we may gather that whatsoever is above (not our vanity but) our need should thus be disposed of, when our brethrens necessity requires it. But if we look into the first time of the Gospel, we shall find Christianity far exceeded this proportion of Johns, the converts assigned not a part only, but frankly gave all to the use of the brethren, Acts 4. and though that being up­on an extraordinary occasion, will be no mea­sure for our constant practice yet it may shew us how prime and fundamental part of Chri­st [...]anity, this of charity is, that at the very first founding of the Church, such vast degrees of it were practised; and if we farther co [...]si­der what precepts of love are given us in the Gospel, even to the laying down our lives for the brethren, 1 Io. 3. 16. We cannot imagine our goods are in Gods account so much more precious then our l [...]ves that he would command us to be prodigal of the one, and yet allow us to be sparing of the other.

[Page 369] 11. A multitude of Arguments might be brought to recommend this bounty to all that profess Christ; I shall mention onely two, which I find used by St. Paul to the Corinthians on this occasion. The first is the example of Christ, 2 Cor. 7. 9. For ye know the grace of our Lord Iesus Christ, who though he was rich, yet for your sakes he became poor, that ye through his poverty might be rich. Christ emptyed himself of all that glory and greatness, he injoied in Heaven with his Fa­ther, and submitted himself to a life of much meanness, and poverty, onely to enrich us. And therefore for shame, let us not grudge to empty our Coffers, to lessen somewhat of our heaps, to relieve his poor members. The se­cond is, the expectation of reward, which will be more or less, according to the degrees of our Almes, 2 Cor. 9. 6. He that soweth spa­ringly shall reap sparingly, and he that soweth bountifully shall reap bountifully. We think him a very improvident husband-man, that to save a little seed at present, sowes so thin, as to spoil his crop; and the same folly 'twill be in us, if by the sparingness of our Almes, we make our selves a lank harvest hereafter, lose either all, or a great part of those rewards, which God hath provided for the liberal Alms-Giver. What is the proportion which may be called a liberal giving, I shall not undertake to set down, there being degrees even in liberality, one may give liberally, and yet another give more liberally then he; besides, liberality is to [Page 370] be measured, not so much by what is given, as by the ability of the giver; A man of a mean estate may give less then one of a great, and yet be the more liberal person, because that little may be more out of his, then the greater is out of the others. Thus we see Christ pronounces the poor widow to have given more to the Treasury, then all the rich men, Luk. 21. 3. not that her two mites were more then their rich gifts, but that it was more for her, she having left nothing be­hind, whereas they gave out of their abun­dance what they might easily spare. Every man must herein judge for himself; we see the Apostle, though he earnestly press the Corinthians to bounty, yet prescribes not to them how much they shall give, but leaves that to their own brests, 2 Cor. 9. 7. Every man according as he purposeth in his heart, so let him give. But let us still remember, that the more we give (provided we do not there­by fail in the support of those, that most immediately depend on us) the more accepta­ble it will be to God, and the more reward­able by him. And to secure the performance of the duty of Almes-giving (whatever the proportion be) we may do very well to fol­low the advice St. Paul gives the Corinthians in this matter, 1 Cor. 16. 2. Vpon the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him in store as God hath prospered him; If men would do thus, lay by somewhat weekly in store for this works of Charity, it were the [Page 371] surest way not to be unprovided of somewhat to give, when an occasion offered it self, and by giving so by little and little, the expence would become less sensible, and so be a means to prevent those grudgings, and repinings, which are apt to attend men in greater dis­bursments; And sure this were in other re­spect also a very proper course, for when a trades-man casts up his weekly account, and sees what his gains have been, 'tis of all others the most seasonable time to offer this tribute to God out of what he hath by his blessing gained; If any will say they cannot so well weekly reckon their gains, as by longer spa­ces of time, I shall not contend with them for that precise time, let it be done monthly, or quarterly, so it be done; But that some­what should still be laid by in bank for these uses, rather then left loose to our sudden Cha­rities is sure very expedient, and I doubt not, whoever will make trial of it, will upon ex­perience acknowledge it to be so.

12. The fourth exercise of our Charity is to­wards the credit of our Neighbour:Charity in respect of the Credit. and of this we may have many occasions; sometimes towards the innocent, and sometimes also towards the guilty. If one whom we know to be an innocent person be slandered, and traduced, Charity binds us to do what we may for the declaring his innocency, and de­livering him from that false imputation, and that not onely by witnessing when we are cal­led to it, but by a voluntary offering our te­stimony [Page 372] on his behalf, or if the accusation be not before a Court of Justice, and so there be no place for that our more solemn testimo­ny, but that it be onely a slander tost from one to another, yet even there we are to do what we can to cleer him, by taking all occa­sions publickly to declare, what we know of his innocency. But even to the guilty there is some Charity of this kind to be performed, sometimes by concealing the fault, if it be such that no other part of Charity to others make it necessary to discover, or it be not so notorious, as that it will be sure to betray it self; The wounds of reputation are of all others the most incureable, and therefore it may well become Christian Charity to prevent them, even where they have been diserved, and perhaps such a tenderness in hiding the fault may sooner bring the offen­der to repentance, if it be seconded (as it ought to be) with all earnestness of private admonition; But if the fault be such, that it be not to be concealed, yet still there may be place for this Charity, in extenuating, and lessning it, as far as the circumstances will bear; As if it were done suddenly, and rash­ly, Charity will allow some abatement of the censure, which would belong to a designed, and deliberate act; and so proportionably in other circumstances. But the most frequent exercises of this Charity happen towards those of whose either innocency or guilt we have no knowledg, but are by some doubtful [Page 373] actions brought under suspicion; And here we must remember, that it is the property of love, not to think evil, to judge the best; and therefore we are both to abstain from un­charitable conclusions of them our selves, and as much as lyes in us, to keep others from them also, and so endeavour to preserve the credit of our neighbour, which is oftentimes as much shaken by unjust suspicions, as it would be by the truest accusation. To these cases I suppose belongs that precept of Christ, Mat. 7. 1. Iudge not; and when we consider, how that is backt in the following words, That ye be not Iudged, we shall have cause to beleeve it no such light matter, as the world seems to account it; Our unmerciful judging of others will be paid home to us in the strict, and severe Judgment of God.

13. I have now gone through this Active Charity, The acts of Charity in some re­spects acts of Iustice also. as it relates to the four several capa­cities of our brethren, many of the particu­lars whereof were before briefly mentioned, when we spake of Justice. If any think it improper, that the same acts should be made part of Justice, and Charity too, I shall de­sire them to consider, that Charity being by Christs Command become a debt to our bre­thren, all the parts of it may in that respect be ranked under the head of Justice, since 'tis sure paying of debts is a part of that; Yet because in our common use we do distinguish between the Offices of Justice, and Charity, I have chose to inlarge on them in particular [Page 374] reference to Charity. But I desire it may still be remembred, that whatsoever is under pre­cept, is so much a due from us, that we sin not onely against Charity, but Justice too, if we neglect it; Which deserves to be considered, the more to stir up our care to the perfor­mance, and the rather, because there seems to be a common errour in this point; Men look upon their acts of mercy, as things purely voluntary, that they have no obliga­tion to; and the effect of it is this, that they are apt to think very highly of themselves, when they have performed any, though ne­ver so mean, but never blame themselves, though they omit all: which is a very dan­gerous, but withall a very natural fruit of the former perswasion. If there be any Charities, wherein Justice is not concerned, they are those, which for the height, and degrees of them are not made matter of strict duty, that is, are not in those degrees Commanded by God, and even after these 'twill be very rea­sonable for us to labour; but that cannot be done without taking the lower and necessary degrees in our way; and therefore let our first care be for them.

14. To help us wherein,The great rul [...] of Charity. there will be no better means then to keep before our eys that grand rule of Loving our Neighbours as our selves; This the Apostle makes the summe of our Wh [...]le duty to our Neighbours, Rom. 13. 9. let this therefore be the standard, where­by to measure all thy actions, which relate to [Page 375] others; Whenever any necessity of thy Neighbours persents it self to thee, ask thy self, whether if thou wert in the like case, thy love to thy self would not make thee indu­strious for relief, and then resolve thy love to thy Neighbour must have the same effect for him. This is that Royal Law, as St. James calls it, Jam. 2. 8. which all that profess them­selves subjects to Christ, must be ruled by; and whoever is so, will not fail of perform­ing all Charities to others, because 'tis sure he would upon the like occasions have all such performed to himself. There is none, but wishes to have his good name defended, his poverty relieved, his bodily suffering suc­coured; Onely it may be said, that in the spiritual wants there are some so careless of themselves, that they wish no supply, they desire no reproofs, no instructions, nay, are angry when they are given them; It may therefore seem, that such men are not by ver­tue of this rule tied to those sorts of Chari­ties. To this I answer, that the love of our selves, which is here set as the measure of that to our Neighbour, is to be understood to be that reasonable love, which men ought to have, and therefore though a man fail of that due love he owes himself, yet his Neighbour hath not thereby forfeited his right, he has still a claim to such a degree of our love, as is answerable to that, which in right we should bear to our selves, and such I am sure is this care of our spiritual estate, and there­fore [Page 376] 'tis not our despising our own Souls, that will absolve us from Charity to other mens, yet I shall not much press this duty in such men, it being neither likely that they will be perswaded to it, or do any good by it, their ill example will overwhelm all their good exhortations, and make them unfruit­ful.

15. There is yet one act of Charity behind,Peace Ma­king. which does not properly fall under any one of the former heads, and yet may relate to them all, and that is the Making Peace, and amity among others; By doing whereof we may much benefit both the Souls, Bodies, Goods, and Credit of our brethren; for all these are in danger to strife and contention. The reconciling of enemies is a most blessed work, and brings a blessing on the actors: We have Christs word for it, Blessed are the Peace-ma­kers, Mat. 5. 9. and therefore we may be in­couraged diligently to lay hold of all oppor­tunities of doing this Office of Charity, to use all our Art, and endeavour to take up all grudges and quarrels we discern among o­thers; Neither must we onely labour to re­store peace, where it is lost, but to preserve it, where it is: First, generally, by striving to beget in the heart of all we converse with a true value of that most precious Jewel, Peace; Secondly, particularly, by a timely preven­tion of those jarres, and unkindnesses, we see likely to fall out. It may many times be in the power of a discreet friend or neighbour, [Page 377] to cure those mistakes, and misapprehensions, which are the first beginning of quarrels and contentions; and it will be both more easy and more profitable, thus to prevent, then pacify strifes. 'Tis sure 'tis more easy, for when a quarrel is once broken out, 'tis like a violent flame, which cannot so soon be quencht, as it might have been, whilst it was but a smothering fire. And then 'tis also more profitable, for it prevents many sins, which in the progress of an open contention, are al­most sure to be committed. Solomon sayes, In the multitude of words there wanteth not sin, Prov. 10. 19. which cannot more truly be said of any sorts of words, then those that pass in anger, and then though the quar­rel be afterwards composed, yet those sins will still remain on their account; and there­fore 'tis a great Charity to prevent them.

16. But to fit a man for this so excellent an Office of Peace Making, He that undertakes it must be Peaceable himself. 'Tis necessary that he be first remarkably peaceable himself; for with what face canst thou perswade others to that, which thou wilt not practice thy self? or how canst thou expect thy perswasions should work? 'twill be a ready reply in every mans mouth, Thou Hypocrite cast out first the beam out of thine own eye, Mat. 7. 5. and therefore be sure thou qualify thy self for thy work. There is one point of Peaceableness which seems to be little regarded among men, and that is in the case of Legal trespasses; Men thingk it nothin to go to Law aboutOf going to Law. [Page 378] every pity trifle, and as long as they have but Law on their side, never think they are to blame: but sure had we that true Peaceable­ness of spirit, which we ought, we should be unwilling for such slight mattets to trouble, and disquiet our Neighbours. Not that all going to Law is utterly unchristian, but such kind of suits especially, as are upon conten­tiousness, and stoutness of humour, to defend such an inconsiderable right, as the parting with will do us little or no harm, or which is yet worse, to avenge such a trespass. And e­ven in greater matters, he that shall part with somewhat of his Right, for love of Peace, does surely the most Christianly, and most agreeably to the advice of the Apostle, 1 Cor. 6. 7. rather to take wrong, and suffer our selves to be de­frauded. But if the damage be so unsup­portable, that it is necessary for us to go to Law, yet even then we must take care of pre­serving Peace; first, by carrying still a friendly, and Christian temper towards the party, not suffering our hearts to be at all estranged from him; secondly, by being wil­ling to yield to any reasonable terms of agree­ment, whenever they shall be offered; and truly if we carry not th [...]s temper of mind in our suits, I see not how they can be reconcile­able with that peaceableness so strictly requi­red of all Christians. Let those consider th [...]s who make it their pleasure themselves to dis­qui [...]t their Neighbour, or their Trade to stir up others to do it. This tender regard of [Page 379] Peace both in our selves, and others, is abso­lutely necessary to be entertained of all those, who own themselves for servants of him, whose title it is to be the Prince of Peace, Isa. 9. 6.

17. All that remains to be toucht on con­cerning this Charity of the Actions is the extent of it,This Cha­ri [...]y of the Actions must reach to Enemies which must be as large as the former of the Affections, even to the taking in not onely strangers, and those of no rela­tion to us, but even of our bitterest enemies. I have already spoken so much of the Obliga­tion we are under to forgive them, that I shall not here say any thing of that, but that being supposed a duty, 'twill sure then appear no unreasonable thing to proceed one step further, by doing them good turns; for when we have once forgiven them, we can then no longer account them enemies, and so 'twill be no hard matter even to flesh and blood to do all kind things to them. And in­deed this is the way, by which we must trye the sincerity of our forgiveness: 'Tis easy to say, I forgive such a man, but if when an opportunity of doing him good is offered, thou declinest it, 'tis apparent there yet lurks the old malice in thy heart; Where there is a thorough forgiveness, there will be as great a readiness to benefit an enemy, as a friend: [...]ay, perhaps in some respects a greater, a true charitable person looking upon it as an especial prize, when he has an opportunity of evidencing the truth of his reconciliation, [Page 380] and obeying the precept of his Saviour, by doing good to them that hate him, Mat 5. 44. Let us therefore resolve that all acts of reall kindness are to be performed to our enemies, for which we have not onely the command, but also the example of Christ, who had not only some inward relentings toward us his ob­stinate, and most provoking enemies, but shewed it in acts, and those no cheap, or easy ones, but such as cost him his dearest blood. And surely we can never pretend to be either obeyers of his Command, or followers of his example, if we grudge to testify our love to our enemies by those so much cheaper wayes of feeding them in hunger, and the like, re­commended to us by the Apostle, Rom. 12. 20. But if we could perform these acts of kindness to enemies in such a manner, as might draw them from their enmity, and win them to Peace, the Charity would be doubled; And this we should aim at, for that we see the A­postle sets as the end of the forementioned acts of feeding, &c. that we may heap coals of fi [...]e on their head [...], not coals to burn, but to melt them into all love and tenderness to­wards us; and this were indeed the most complete way of imitating Christs example, who in all he did, and suffered for us, designed the reconciling of us to himself.

18. I have now shewed you the several parts of our duty to our Neighbour,Self love [...] hinde­rance to this Chari­ty. towards the performance whereof I know nothing more necessary, then the turning out of our [Page 381] hearts that self love, which so often possesses them, and that so wholly, that it leaves no room for Charity, nay, nor justice neither to our Neighbour. By this self-love I mean not that true love of our selves, which is the love and cure of our Souls (for that would certainly help, not hinder us in this duty) but I mean that immoderate love of our own worldly interests, and advantages, which is apparently the root of all, both injustice and uncharitableness towards others. We find this sin of self-love set by the Apostle in the head of a whole troop of sins, 2 Tim. 3. 2. as if it were some principal officer in Satans camp, and certainly not without reason, for it never goes without an accursed train of many other sins, which like the Dragons tail Rev. 12. 4. sweeps away all care of duty to others. We are by it made so vehement, and intent upon the pleasing our selves, that we have no regard to any body else, contrary to the direction of St. Paul, Rom. 15. 2. Which is not to please our selves, but every man to please his neighbour for his good to edification; which he backs with the example of Christ, ver. 3. For even Christ pleased not himself: If there­fore we have any sincere desire to have this vertue of charity rooted in our hearts, we must be careful to weed out this sin of self-love, for 'tis impossible they can prosper together.

19. But when we have removed this hin­drance, we must remember that this,Prayer a means to procure is. as all other graces proceeds not from our selves, it is the [Page 382] gift of God, and therefore we must earnestly pray to him to work it in us, to send his holy Spirit, which once appeared in the form of a dove, a meek and a g [...]ll-lesse creature to frame our hearts to the same temper, and enable us rightly to perform this duty.

20. I have now past through those several branches I at first proposed,Christian duties both possible and pleasant. and shewed you, what is our duty to God, our selves, and our neighbour: Of which I may say as it is, Luk. 10 28. This do and thou shalt live. And sure­ly it is no impossible task to perform this, in such a measure, as God will graciously accept, that is in sincerity, though not in perfection, for God is not that austere Master, Lu. 19. 21. That reap [...] where he has not sowed, he requires nothing of us, which he is not ready by his grace to enable us to perform; if we be not wanting to our selves, either in asking it by prayer, or in using it by diligence. And as it is not an impossible, so neither is it such a sad melancholly task, as men are apt to think it. 'Tis a special policy of Satans, to do as the spies did, Num 23. 28. bring up an ill report upon this good land, this state of Christian life, thereby to discourage us from entering in­to it, to fright us with I know not what [...]y­ants, we shall meet with; but let us not thus be cheated, let us but take the courage to trye, and we shall indeed find it a Canaan, a land fl [...]wing with milk and honey: God is not in this respect to his people a wilder [...]ess, a land of darkness, Ier. 2. 31. His service does not be­reave [Page 383] men of any true joy, but helps them to a great deal: Christs yoke is an easy, nay a pleasant yoke, his burden a light, yea a gracious burde. There is in the practice of Christian duties a great deal of present pleasure, and if we feel it not, it is because of the resistance our vicious and sinful customes make, which by the contention raises an uneasinesse. But then first that is to be charged only on our selves, for having got those ill customes, and thereby made that hard to us, which in it self is most pleasant, the duties are not to be accused for it. And then secondly, even there the plea­sure of subduing those ill habits, overcoming those corrupt customes is such, as hugely out­weigheth all the trouble of the combate.

21. But it will perhaps be said, that some parts of piety are of such a nature,Even when they expose us to out­ward suf­ferings. as will be very apt to expose us to persecutions, and suf­ferings in the world, and that those are not joyous but grievous; I answer, that even in those there is matter of joy: we see the Apo­stles thought it so, they rejoyced that they were counted worthy to suffer for Christs name, Acts 4. 41. and St. Peter tels us, that if any suffer as a Christian, he is to glorifie God for it, 1 Pet. 4. 16. There is such a force, and ver­tue in the testimony of a good conscience, as is able to change the greatest suffering into the joyfullest triumph, and that testimony we can never have more clear, and lively, then when we suffer for righteousnesse sake; so that you see Christianity is very amiable even in its sad­dest [Page 384] dresse, the inward comforts of it do fat surpasse all the outward tribulations, that at­tend it, and that even in the instant, while we are in the state of warfare upon earth. But then if we look forward to the crown of our victories, those eternal rewards in heaven, we can never think those tasks sad, though we had nothing at present to sweeten them, that have such recompences await them at the end; were our labours never so heavy, we could have no cause to faint under them: Let us therefore whenever we meet with any discouragements in our course, fix our eye on this rich prize, and then run with patience the race which is set before us, Heb. 12. 2 Follow the Captain of our salvation through the greatest sufferings, yea even through the same red Sea of blood which he hath waded, whenever our obedience to him shall require it; for though our fidelity to him should bring us to death it self, we are sure to be no losers by it, for to such he hath promised a Crown of life, the very expectation whereof is able to keep a Christian more cheerful in his fetters and dungeon, then a worldling can be in the midst of his greatest prosperities.

22. All that remains for me farther to add,The danger of del [...]ying our turning to God. is earnestly to intreat and beseech the Reader, that without delay, he puts him­self into this so pleasant, so gainful a course, by setting sincerely to the practice of all those things, which either by this book, or by any other means he discerns to be his [Page 557] and the further he hath formerly gone out of his way, the more haste it concerns him to make to get into it, and to use the more diligence in walking in it. He that hath a long journey to go, and finds he hath lost a great part of his day in a wrong way, will not need much in­treaty either to turn into the right, or to quicken his pace in it. And this is the case of all those that have lived in any course of sin, they are in a wrong road, which will never bring them to the place they aim at; Nay, which will certainly bring them to the place they most fear and abhor; much of their day is spent, how much will be left to finish their journey in, none knowes, perhaps the next hour, the next minute the night of death may overtake them; what a madness is it then for them to defer one moment to turn out of that path, which leads to certain de­struction, and to put themselves in that, which will bring them to bliss and glory? Yet so are men bewitched, and enchanted with the deceitfulness of sin, that no intreaty, no per­swasion can prevail with them, to make this so reasonable, so necessary a change, not but that they acknowledge it needful to be done, but they are unwilling to do it yet, they would enjoy all the pleasures of sin, as long as they live, and then they hope at their death, or some little time before it, to do all the bu­siness of their Souls; But, alas! Heaven is too high to be thus jumped into, the way to it is a long and leasurely ascent, which requires [Page 558] time to walk. The hazards of such deferring are more largely spoken of, in the discourse of Repentance, I shall not here repeat them, but desire the Reader seriously to lay them to heart, and then surely he will think it season­able counsel that is given by the wise man, Ecclus: 5. 7. Make no tarrying to turn to the Lord, and put not off from day to day.

PRIVATE DEVOTIONS Fo …

PRIVATE DEVOTIONS For Several OCCASIONS.

London, Printed for T. Garthwait, at the little North Door of St. Pauls.

CHRISTIAN READER,

I Have for the help of thy devotions, set down some FORMS of PRIVATE-PRAYER, upon several occasions; If it be thought an omission, that there are none for Families, I must answer for my self, that it was not from any opinion, that God is not as well to be worship'd in the Family, as in the Closet; but because the providence of God and the Church hath already fur­nish'd thee for that purpose, infinitely beyond what my ut­most care could do. I mean the PUBLICK LITURGY, or COMMON-PRAYER, which for all publick addresses to God (and such are family-Prayers) are so excellent and useful, that we may say of it as David did of Goliah's sword, 1 Sam. 21. 9. There is none like it.

DIRECTIONS for the MORNING.
As soon as ever thou awakest in the morning, lift up thy heart to God in this or the like short Prayer.

LORD, As thou hast awaked my body from sleep, so by thy grace awaken my soul from sin; and make me so to walk before thee this day and all the rest of my life, that when the last trumpet shall awake me out of my grave, I may rise to the life immortal, through Jesus Christ.

WHEN thou hast thus begun, suffer not (without some [Page 562] urgent necessity) any worldly thoughts to fill thy mind, till thou have also payd thy more solemn devotions to Almighty God, and therefore during the time thou art dressing thy self (which should be no longer then common decency re­quires) exercise thy mind in some spiritual thoughts: As for example, Consider to what temptations thy business, or company that day are most like to lay thee open, and arm thy self with resolutions against them; or again consider, what occasions of doing service to God, or good to thy neighbour are that day most likely to present themselves, and resolve to embrace them, and also contrive ho [...] thou maist improve them to the uttermost. But especially it will be fit for thee to examine, whether there have any sin escaped thee since thy last nights examination. If after these considerations any farther leisure remain, thou maist profitably imploy it in meditating on the general resurrection (whereof our ri­sing from our beds is a representation) and of that dread­ful judgment, which shall follow it, and then think with thy self in what preparation thou art for it, and resolve to husband carefully every minute of thy time, towards the fitting thee for that great account. As soon as thou art rea­dy, retire to some private place, and there offer up to God thy Morning Sacrifice of Praise and Prayer.

PRAYERS for the MORNING.
At thy first kneeling down say,

O Holy, Blessed and Glorious Trinity, three Persons and one God, have mercy upon me a miserable sinner.

Lord, I know not what to pray for as I ought, O let thy spirit help my infirmities, and enable me to offer up a spiritual sacrifice acceptable to thee by Jesus Christ.

A THANKSGIVING.

O Gracious Lord, whose mercies endure for ever, I thy unworthy servant, who have so deeply tasted of them, desire to render thee the tribute of my humblest prayses for them; In thee, O Lord, I live and move and have my being, thou first madest me to be, and then that I might not be miserable, but happy, thou sentest thy Son out of thy bosome to re­deem me from the power of my sins, by his grace, and from the punishment of them, by his blood, and by both to bring me to his glo­ry. Thou hast by thy mercy caused me to be born within thy peculiar fold, the Christian Church, where I was early consecrated to thee in Baptism, and have been partaker of all those spiritual helps, which might aid me to perform that Vow I there made to thee, and when by my own willfulnesse or negligence, I have failed to do it, yet thou in thy mani­fold mercies hast not forsaken me, but hast graciously invited me to repentance, afforded me all means both outward and inward for it, and with much patience hast attended, and not cut me off in the acts of those many damning sins I have committed, as I have most justly deserved. It is O Lord thy restraining grace a­lone, by which I have been kept back from any the greatest sins, and it is thy inciting and as­sisting grace alone, by which I have been ena­bled to do any the least good, therefore not unto me, not unto me, but unto thy name be the praises: For these & all other thy spiritual bles­sings [Page 564] my Soul doth magnify the Lord, & all that is within me praise his Holy Name. I likewise praise thee for those many outward blessings I enjoy, as Health, Friends, Food, and Rai­ment, the comforts as well as the necessaries of this life, for those continual protections of thy hand, by which I and mine are kept from dangers, and those gracious deliverances thou hast often afforded out of such as have befal­len me, and for that mercy of thine whereby thou hast sweetned and alayed those troubles thou hast not seen fit wholy to remove; For thy particular preservation of me this night, and all other thy goodness towards me, Lord, grant that I may render thee, not onely the fruit of my lips, but the obedience of my life, that so these blessings here may be an earnest of those richer blessings thou hast prepared for those that love thee, and that for his sake, whom thou hast made the Authour of eternal Salvation to all that obey him, even Jesus Christ.

A CONFESSION.

O Righteous Lord, who hatest iniquity, I thy sinful creature cast my self at thy feet, acknowledging that I most justly deserve to be utterly abhorred and forsaken by thee, for I have drunk iniquity like water, gone on in a continued course of sin and rebellion a­gainst thee, daily committing those things thou forbiddest, and leaving undone those things [Page 565] thou commandest, mine heart which should be an habitation for thy Spirit, is become a cage of unclean birds, of foul and disordered affections, and out of this abundance of the heart my mouth speaketh, my hands act, so that in thought, word and deed I continually trans­gress against thee. [Here mention the greatest of thy sins] Nay, O Lord, I have despised that goodness of thine, which should lead me to Repentance, hardning my heart against all those means thou hast used for my amendment. And now, O Lord, what can I expect from thee but judgment and fiery indignation, that is indeed the due reward of my sins. But, O Lord, there is mercy with thee, that thou mayest be feared, O fit me for that mercy, by giving me a deep and hearty Repentance, and then according to thy goodness let thy anger and thy wrath be turned away from me, look upon me in thy Son, my blessed Saviour, and for the merit of his sufferings, pardon all my sins; And, Lord, I beseech thee, by the power of thy grace so to renew, and purify my heart, that I may become a new creature, utterly forsaking every evil way, and living in constant, sincere, universal obedience to thee all the rest of my dayes, that behaving my self as a good and faithful servant, I may by thy mercy at last be received into the joy of my Lord; grant this for Jesus Christ his sake.

A PRAYER for GRACE.

O Most gracious God, from whom every good and perfect gift cometh, I wretch­ed creature, that am not able of my self so much as to think a good thought, beseech thee to work in me both to will and to do accord­ing to thy good pleasure, inlighten my mind, that I may know thee, and let me not be bar­ren, or unfruitful in that knowledg; Lord, work in my heart a true faith, a purifying hope, and an unfeigned love towards thee, give me a full trust on thee, zeal for thee, reverence of all things that relate to thee, make me fearful to offend thee, thankful for thy mercies, hum­ble under thy corrections, devout in thy ser­vice, sorrowful for my sins, and grant that in all things I may behave my self so, as befits a crea­ture to his Creator, a servant to his Lord: ena­ble me likewise to perform that duty I owe to my self, give me that meekness, humility, and contentedness, whereby I may alwayes possess my soul in patience, and thankfulness, make me diligent in all my duties, watchful against all temptations, perfectly pure, and temperate, and so moderate in my most lawful in joy­ments, that they never become a snare to me; make me also, O Lord, to be so affected to­wards my neighbour, that I never transgress that royall Law of thine, of loving him as my self; grant me exactly to perform all parts of justice, ye [...]lding to all whatsoever by any kind [Page 567] of right becomes their due, and give me such bowels of mercy & compassion, that I may ne­ver fail to do al acts of charity to all men, whe­ther friends▪ or enemies, according to thy com­mand and example. Finally, I beseech thee, O Lord, to sanctifie me throughout, that my whole spirit, and soul and body may be preser­ved blamelesse unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ; to whom with thee and the Holy Ghost be all honour and glory for ever: A­men.

INTERCESSION.

O Blessed Lord, whose mercy is over all thy works, I beseech thee to have mer­cy upon all men, and grant that the precious ransome which was paid by thy Son for all, may be effectual to the saving of all. Give thy inlightning grace to those that are in dark­ness, and thy converting grace to those that are in sin; look with thy tenderest compassions upon the Universal Church, O be favourable and gracious unto Sion, build thou the wals of Jerusalem, unite all those that profess thy Name to thee, by Purity, and Holiness, and to each other by Brotherly love. Have mercy on this desolate Church, and sinful Nation▪ thou hast moved the Land and divided it, heal the sores thereof for it shaketh, make us so tru­ly to repent of those sins, which have provoked thy Judgments, that thou also mayest turn, and repent, and leave a blessing behind thee. [Page 568] Bless those whom thou hast appointed our Governours, whether in Church, or State, so rule their hearts, and strengthen their hands, that they may neither want will, nor power to punish wickedness and vice, and to maintain Gods true Religion and Vertue. Have pity, O Lord, on all that are in affliction. Be a Father to the fatherless, and plead the cause of the widow, comfort the feeble minded, sup­port the weak, heal the sick, releeve the nee­dy, defend the oppressed, and administer to every one according to their several necessities; let thy blessings rest upon all that are near and dear to me, and grant them whatsoever thou seest necessary either to their bodies or their Souls, [Here name thy neerest Relations] Re­ward all those that have done me good, and pardon all those that have done, or wisht me evil, and work in them and me all that good which may make us acceptable in thy sight, through Jesus Christ.

For PRESERVATION.

O Merciful God, by whose bounty alone it is, that I have this Day added to my life, I beseech thee so to guide me in it by thy grace, that I may do nothing which may dis­honour thee, or wound my own Soul, but that I may diligently apply my self to do all such good works, as thou hast prepared for me to walk in; and Lord I beseech thee, give thy Angels charge over me, to keep me in all my [Page 569] wayes, that no evil happen unto me, nor any plague come nigh my dwelling, but that I and mine may be safe under thy gracious prote­ction, through Jesus Christ.

O Lord, pardon the wandrings and coldness of these petitions, and deal with me, not ac­cording either to my prayers, or deserts, but according to my needs, and thine own rich mercies in Jesus Christ, in whose blessed Name, and Words, I conclude these my imperfect prayers, saying

Our Father, &c.

DIRECTIONS for NIGHT.

AT NIGHT, when it drawes towards the time of rest, bethink thy self, how thou hast passed the day, examine thine own heart, what sin either of Thought, Word, or Deed thou hast committed, what opportunity of doing good thou hast omitted, and whatsoever thou findest to accuse thy self of, confess humbly and peni­tently to God, renew thy purposes, and resolutions of amendment, and beg his pardon in Christ, and this not slightly, and onely as of course, but with all devout earnest­ness, and heartiness, as thou wouldst do, if thou wert sure thy death were as neer approaching, as thy sleep, which for ought thou knowest may be so indeed, and therefore thou shouldest no more venture to sleep unreconciled to God, the [...] thou wouldest dare to die so. In the next place, consider what special and extraordinary mercies thou hast that day received, as if thou hast had any great deliverance, either in thy inward man, from some dangerous temptations, or in thy outward, from any great and apparent danger, and [Page 570] offer to God thy hearty and devout praise for the same; Or if nothing extraordinary have so happened, and thou hast been kept even from the approach of danger, thou hast not the less but the greater cause to magnify God, who hath by his protection so guarded thee, that not so much as the fear of evil hat [...] assaulted thee. And therefore omit not to pay him the tribute of humble thankfulness, as well for his usual and daily preservations, as his more extraordinary deliverances. And above all, endeavour still by the consi­derations of his mercies to have thy heart the more closely knit to him, remembring that every favour received from him is a new engagement upon thee, to love and obey him.

PRAYERS for NIGHT.

O Holy, blessed and glorious Trinity, three persons and one God, have mercy upon me a miserable sinner.

Lord I know not what to pray for as I ought, O let thy Spirit help my infirmities, and enable me to offer up a spiritual Sacrifice acceptable unto thee by Jesus Christ.

A CONFESSION.

O MOST Holy Lord God, who are of purer eyes then to behold iniquity, now shall I abominable wretch dare to appear be­fore thee, who am nothing but pollution; I am defiled in my very nature, having a back­wardness to all good, and a readiness to all evil; but I have defiled my self yet much worse by my own actual sins and wicked customes; I [Page 571] have transgrest my duty to thee, my neigh­bour, and my self, and that both in thought, in word, in deed, by doing those things which thou hast expresly forbidden, and by neglect­ing to do those things thou hast commanded me. And this not onely through ignorance, and frailty, but knowingly, and wilfully, a­gainst the motions of thy Spirit, and the checks of my own conscience to the contrary. And to make all these out of measure sinful, I have gone on in a daily course of repeating these provocations against thee, notwithstand­ing all thy calls to, and my own purposes and [...]owes of amendmeut; yea, this very day I have not ceased to add new sins to all my for­mer guilts. [Here name the Particulars] And now, O Lord, what shall I say, or how shall I open my mouth, seeing I have done these things, I know that the wages of these sins is death; but O thou who willest not the death of a sinner, have mercy upon me; work in me, I beseech thee, a sincere contrition, and a perfect hatred of my sins, and let me not daily confess, and yet as daily renew them, but grant, O Lord, that from this instant I may give a bill of divorce to all my most beloved [...]lusts, and then be thou pleased to marry me to thy self, in truth, in righteousness and ho­liness, And for all my past sins, O Lord, re­ceive a reconciliation; accept of that ransom thy blessed Son hath paid for me, and for his sake whom thou hast set forth as a propitia­tion, pardon all my offences, and receive me [Page 572] to thy favour. And when thou hast thus spo­ken peace to my soul, Lord keep me that I turn not any more to folly, but so establish me with thy grace, that no temptation of the world, the Divel or my own flesh may ever draw me to offend thee, that being made free from sin, and becoming a servant unto God, I may have my fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

A THANKSGIVING.

O Thou Father of mercies, who art kind even to the unthankful, I acknowledg my self to have abundantly experimented, that gracious property of thine, for notwithstand­ing my daily provocations against thee, thou still heapest mercies and loving kindness upon me. All my contempts and despisings of thy spiritual favours have not yet made thee with­draw them, but in the riches of thy goodness and long-suffering, thou still continuest to me the offers of grace, and life in thy Son. And all my abuses of thy temporal blessings thou hast not punished with an utter deprivation of them, but art still pleased to afford me a libe­ral portion of them. The sins of this day thou hast not repayed as justly thou might'st, by sweeping me away with a swift destructi­on, but hast spared and preserved me accord­ing to the greatness of thy mercy; [Here mention the particular mercies of that day.] [Page 573] What shall I render unto the Lord for all these benefits he hath done unto me? Lord, let this goodness of thine lead me to repentance, and grant that I may not only offer thee thanks and praise, but may also order my conversation aright, that so I may at the last see the salvation of God, through Jesus Christ.

Here use the Prayer for Grace and that of Intercession appointed for the Morning.

For PRESERVATION.

O Blessed Lord, the Keeper of Israel, that neither slumbrest nor sleepest, be pleased in thy mercy to watch over me this night, keep me by thy grace from all works of darkness, and defend me by thy power from all dangers, grant me moderate and refreshing sleep, such as may fit me for the duties of the day follow­ing. And Lord make me ever mindful of that time, when I shall lye down in the dust, and because I know neither the day, nor the hour of my Masters coming, grant me grace that I may be always ready, that I may never live in such a state, as I shall fear to dye in, but that whether I live, I may live unto the Lord, or whether I dye, I may dye unto the Lord, so that living and dying I may be thine, through Jesus Christ.

Vse the same concluding prayer as in the Morning.

As thou art putting off thy clothes, thi [...]k with thy self that the time approaches, that thou must put off thy body al­so, and then thy soul must appear naked before Gods judg­ment feat and therefore thou hadst need be careful to make it so clean, and pure by repentance and holiness, that he who will not look on iniquity, may graciously behold and accept it.

Let thy bed put thee in mind of thy grave, and when thou lyest down, say,

O Blessed Saviour, who by thy precious death and burial didst take away the sting of death and power of the grave, grant me the joyful fruits of that thy victory, and be thou to me in life and death advan­tage.

I will lay me down in peace, and take my rest, for it is thou Lord only, that makest me dwell in safety.

Into thy hands I commend my spirit, for thou hast redeemed it, O Lord, thou God of truth.

IN the ANCIENT CHURCH there were besides morning and night, Four other times every day which were called HOURS OF PRAYER, and the zeal of thos [...] first Christians was such, as made them con­stantly observed. It would be thought too great a strict­ness now in this lukewarm age, to enj [...]yn the like frequen­cy, yet I cannot but mention the example, and say, that for [Page 575] those who are not by very necessary business prevented, it will be but reasonable to imitate it, and make up in publick and private those FOUR TIMES of PRAYER besides the OFFICES, already set down for MORNING and NIGHT: and that none may be to seek how to exer ise their devotions at these times, I have added divers COLLECTS for several Graces, whereof every man may use at each such time of Prayer, so many as his zeal and leisure shall point out to him, adding if he please, one of the Confessions ap­pointed for morning or night, and never omitting the LORDS PRAYER.

But if any mans state of life be really so busy, as will not allow him time for so long, and solemn devotions, yet certainly there is no man so overlayed with business, but that he may find leisure oftentimes in a day to say the LORDS PRAYER alone▪ and therefore let him use that if he cannot more. But because it is the Charracter of a Chri­stian, Phil. 3. 20. That he hath his conversation in Heaven, it is very fit that besides these set times of Pray­er, he should divers times in a day by short and sudden [...]C [...]LATIONS, dart up his soul thither. And for this sort of devotion no man can want leisure, for it may be per­formed in the midst of business; the Artificer at his work, the husband man at his plough may practice it. Now as he cannot want time, so that he may not want matter for it, I have thought it not unuseful out of that rich store house the BOOK of PSALMS, to furnish him with some texts, which may very fitly be used for this purpose, which being learned by heart will alwayes be ready at hand to imploy his devotion; and the matter of them being various, some for pardon of sin some for grace, some for the light of Gods countenance, some for the church, some for thanksgiving, &c. every man may fit himself a cord [...]n [...] to the tresent need and temper of his soul. I have given these not as a full collection, but only as a taste, by which the Readers appeti [...]e may be raised to search after more in that Book, and other parts of holy Scripture.

COLLECTS for several GRACES.

For FAITH.

O Blessed Lord, whom without Faith it is impossible to please, let thy Spirit I be­seech thee work in me such a Faith as may be acceptable in thy sight, even such as worketh by love, O let me not rest in a dead ineffectu­al Faith, but grant that it may be such as may shew it self by my works, that it may be that victorious Faith which may enable me to o­vercome the world, and conform me to the Jmage of that Christ, on whom I beleeve, that so at the last I may receive the end of my Faith, even the salvation of my soul, by the same Jesus Christ.

For HOPE.

O Lord; who art the hope of all the ends of the earth, let me never be destitute of a well grounded hope, nor yet possest with a vain presumption, suffer me not to think thou wilt either be reconciled to my sins, or reject my repentance, but give me, I beseech thee, such a hope as may be answerable to the onely ground of hope, thy promises, and such as may both incourage and enable me to purifie my self from all filthiness, both of flesh and Spi­rit, that so it may indeed become to me an an­chor of the soul, both sure and stedfast entering even within the vail, whither the forerunner [Page 577] is for me entered, even Jesus Christ my high Priest and blessed Redeemer.

For the LOVE of GOD.

O Holy and gracious Lord, who art infinite­ly excellent in thy self, and infinitely boun­tiful and compassionate towards me, I beseech thee suffer not my heart to be so hardned through the deceitfulness of sin, as to resist such charmes of love, but let them make deep and lasting impressions on my soul. Lord, thou art pleased to require my heart, and thou onely hast right to it. O let me not be so sacri­legiously unjust as to alienate any part of it, but enable me to render it up whole and entire to thee. But, O my God, thou seest it is al­ready usurped, the world with its vanities hath seized it, and like a strong man armed keeps possession, O thou who art stronger come up­on him, and take this unworthy heart of mine as thine own spoil, refine it with that purifying fire of thy love, that it may be a fit habitation for thy Spirit: Lord, if thou see it fit, be pleas­ed to let me taste of those joyes, those ravish­ments of thy love, wherewith thy Saints have bin so transported. But if in this I know not what I ask, if I may not chuse my place in thy Kingdome, yet O Lord deny me not to drink of thy cup, let me have such a sincerity and de­gree of love, as may make me endure any thing for thy sake, such a perfect love as may cast out all fear and all sloth too, that nothing may seem to me too grievous to suffer, or too difficult to do in obedience to thee, that so expressing my love by keeping thy Commandments, I may by [Page 578] thy mercy at last obtain that Crown of life, which thou hast promised to those that love thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

For SINCERITY.

O Holy Lord, who requirest truth in the in­ward parts, I humbly beseech thee to purge me from all hypocrisy and unsincerity. The heart, O Lord, is deceitful above all things, and my heart is deceitful above all hearts, O thou who searchest the heart, and reins, try me, and seek the ground of my heart, and suffer not any accursed thing to lurk within me but purify me even with fire, so thou con­sume my dross. O Lord, I cannot deceive thee, but I may most easily deceive my self, I beseech thee let me not rest in any such deceit, but bring me to a sight and hatred of my most hidden corruptions, that I may not cherish any one darling lust, but make an utter de­struction of every Amalekite; O suffer me not to speak peace to my self, when there is no peace, but grant I may judge of my self, as thou judgest of me, that I may never be at peace with my self, till I am at perfect peace with thee, and by purity of heart be qualified to see thee in thy Kingdom, through Jesus Christ.

For DEVOTION in PRAYER.

O Gracious Lord God, who not onely per­mittest, but invitest us miserable and needy creatures, to present our petition to thee, grant I beseech thee, that the frequency of my prayer may be somewhat proportionable to those continual needs I have of thy mercy: Lord, I confess, it is the greatest honour and the greatest advantage, thus to be allowed access to thee, yet so sottish and stupid is my pro­fane heart, that it shuns or frustrates the opportunities of it. My Soul, O Lord, is possest with a spirit of infirmity, it is bowed together, and can in no wise lift up it self to thee. O be thou pleased to cure this sad, this miserable disease, to inspirit and inliven this earthy drossy heart, that it may freely mount towards thee, that I may set a true va­lue on this most valuable priviledge, and take delight in approaching to thee, and that my approaches may be with a reverence, some way answerable to that awful Majesty I come before, with an importunity and earnestness, answerable to those pressing wants I have to be supplied, and with such a fixedness and atten­tion of mind, as no wandring thoughts may interrupt; that I may no more incur the guilt of drawing neer to thee with my lips, when my heart is far from thee, or have my prayers turned into sin, but may so ask that I may re­ceive, seek that I may find, knock that it may [Page 580] be opened unto me; that from praying to thee here, I may be translated to the praising thee eternally in thy glory, through the merits and intercession of Jesus Christ.

For HUMILITY.

O Thou High and Lofty one, that inhabitest Eternity, yet art pleased to dwell with the humble spirit, pour into my heart, I beseech thee, that excellent grace of Humility, which may utterly work out all those vain conceits I have of my self; Lord convince me powerfully of my own wretchedness, make me to see that I am miserable, and poor, and blind, and naked, and not onely dust, but sin, that so in all thy dispensations towards me I may lay my hand upon my mouth, and heartily acknowledge that I am less then the least of thy mercies, and greater then the greatest of thy Judge­ments. And, O Lord, grant me not onely to walk humbly with my God, but even with men also, that I may not onely submit my self to thy rebukes, but even to those of my fel­low Christians, and with meekness receive and obey their admonitions. And make me so to behave my self towards all, that I never do any thing through strife or vain-glory; and to that end grant, that in lowliness of mind I may esteem every other man better then my self, and be willing that others should esteem them so also; that I neither nourish any high opinion of my self, nor covet one among o­thers, [Page 581] but that despising the vain praise of men, I may seek that praise which cometh from thee onely. That so in stead of those mean servile Arts I have used to recommend me to the esteem of men, I may now imploy all my industry and care to approve my self to thee, who resistest the proud, and giveth grace to the humble: grant this, O Lord, for his sake, who humbled himself unto the death of the Corss, Jesus Christ.

For the FEAR of GOD.

O Glorious Majesty, who onely art high, and to be feared, possess my Soul with a Holy awe and reverence of thee, that I may give thee the honour due unto thy Name, and may bear such a respect to all things which re­late to thee, that I may never prophane any Holy thing, or sacrilegiously invade what thou hast set apart to thy self. And, O Lord, since thou art a God that wilt not clear the guilty, let the dread of thy justice make me tremble to provoke thee in any thing, O let me not so misplace my fear, as to be afraid of a man that shall die, and of the Son of m [...]n who shall be made as grass, and forget the Lord my Maker; But replenish my Soul with that fear of the Lord, which is the beginning of wisdom, which may be as a bridle to all my brutish appetites, and keep me in a constant conformity to thy Holy will▪ Hear me, O Lord, I beseech thee, and put this fear in my [Page 582] heart, that I may not depart from thee, but may with fear and trembling work out my own Salvation, through Jesus Christ.

For TRUST on GOD.

O Almighty Lord, who never failest them that trust on thee, give me grace, I be­seech thee, in all my difficulties and distresses, to have recourse to thee, to rest and depend on thee; thou shalt keep him, O Lord, in perfect peace, whose mind is staid on thee, O let me alwayes rest on this firm Pillar, and never exchange it for the broken reeds of worldly succours, suffer not my heart to be overchar­ged with cares of this life, taking thought what I shall eat, or drink, or wherewithall I shall be clothed, but grant, that having by honest labour and industry done my part, I may cheerfully commit my self to thy provi­dence, casting all my care upon thee, and being careful for nothing, but to be of the number of those whom thou ownest and carest for, even such as keep thy Testimonies and think upon thy Commandments to do them. That seeking first thy Kingdom and the righ­teousness thereof, all these outward things may be added unto me, in such a measure as thy wisdom knowest best for me; grant this, O Lord, for Jesus Christ his sake.

For THANKFULNES.

O Most Gracious and Bountiful Lord, who fillest all things living with good, and ex­pectest no other return▪ but praise and thanks­giving, let me O Lord, never defraud thee of that so easy tribute, but let my heart be ever filled with the sense, and my mouth with the acknowledgment of thy mercies. It is a joy­ful and a pleasant thing to be thankful, O suffer me not, I beseech thee, to loose my part in that Divine pleasure, but grant that as I daily receive blessings from thee, so I may daily from an affectionate and devout heart offer up thanks to thee, and grant that not onely my lips, but my life may shew forth thy praise, by consecrating my self to thy service, and walk­ing in Holiness and Righteousness before thee all the dayes of my life, through Jesus Christ my Lord and blessed Saviour.

For CONTRITION.

O Holy Lord, who art a merciful embracer of true penitents, but yet a consuming fire towards obstinate sinners, how shall I ap­proach thee, who have so many provoking sins to inflame thy wrath, and [...]o little sincere repentance to incline thy mercy! O be thou pleased to soften and melt this hard obdurate heart of mine, that I may heartily bewail the iniquities of my life, strike this rock, O Lord, [Page 584] that the waters may flow out, even flouds of tears, of wash my polluted conscience; My drowzy Soul hath too long slept securely in sin, Lord, awake it, though it be with thunder, and let me rather feel thy terrours, then not feel my sin. Thou sentest thy blessed Son to heal the broken hearted, but Lord what will that avail me, if my heart be whole. O break it, that it may be capable of his healing ver­tue; and grant, I beseech thee, that having once tasted the bitterness of sin, I may flye from it, as from the face of a serpent, and bring forth fruits of repentance, in amend­ment of life, to the praise and glory of thy grace, in Jesus Christ our blessed Redeemer.

For MEEKNES.

O Blessed Jesu, who wert led as a sheep to the slaughter, Let, I beseech thee, that admirable example of Meekness quench in me all sparks of anger, and revenge, and work in me such a gentleness, and calmness of spirit, as no provocations may ever be able to disturb. Lord, grant, I may be so far from offering the least injury, that I may never return the greatest, any otherwise then with prayers and kindness, that I who have so many talents to be forgiven by thee, may never exact pence of my brethren, but that putting on bowels of mercy, meekness, long-suffering, thy peace may rule in my heart, and make it an accept­able habitation to thee, who art the Prince of [Page 585] peace, to whom, with the Father, and Holy Spirit, be all honour and glory for ever.

For CHASTITY.

O Holy and immaculate Jesus, whose first descent was into the Virgins womb, and who doest still love to inhabite only in pure & virgin hearts, I beseech thee send thy Spirit of purity to cleanse me from all filthiness, both of flesh and spirit; my body, O Lord, is the Temple of the Holy Ghost, O let me never pollute that Temple with any uncleanness. And because out of the heart proceed the things that defile the man, Lord, grant me to keep my heart with all diligence, that no im­pure or foul thoughts be harboured there, but enable me, I beseech thee, to keep both body and Soul pure and undefiled, that so I may glorify thee here both in my body and spirit, and be glorified in both with thee hereafter.

For TEMPERANCE.

O Gracious Lord who hast in thy bounty to mankind afforded us the use of thy good creatures, for our corporal refreshment, grant I may alwayes use this liberty with thankfulness, and moderation, O let me ne­ver be so enslaved to that brutish pleasure of the taste, that my Table become a snare to me, but give me, I beseech thee, a perfect abhor­rence of all degrees of excess, and let me eat [Page 586] and drink onely for those ends, and according to those measures, which thou hast assigned me, for health and not for luxury. And Lord, grant that my pursuits may be, not after the meat that perisheth, but after that which en­dureth to everlasting life, that hungring and thirsting after righteousness, I may be filled with thy grace here, and thy glory hereafter, through Jesus Christ.

For CONTENTEDNES.

O Merciful God, thy wisdom is infinite to choose, and thy love forward to dispence good things to us, O let me alwayes fully and intirely resign my self to thy disposals, have no desires of my own, but a perfect satisfa­ction in thy choices for me, that so in what­soever estate I am, I may be therein content. Lord grant I may never look with murmuring on my own condition, nor with envy on other mens. And to that end I beseech thee, purge my heart of all covetous affections, O let me never yield up any corner of my Soul to Mam­mon, but give me such a contempt of these fa­ding riches, that whether they increase o [...] de­crease, I may never set my heart upon them. But that all my care may be to be rich towards God, to lay up my treasure in Heaven, that I may so set my affections on things above, that when Christ who is my life shall appear, I may also appear with him in glory. Grant this, O Lord, for the merits of the same Jesus Christ.

For DILIGENGE.

O Lord, who hast in thy wisdom ordained that man should be born to labour, suffer me not to resist that design of thine, by giving my self up to sloth, and idleness; But grant I may so imploy my time, and all other talents thou hast intrusted me with, that I may not fall under the sentence of the slothful and wicked servant; Lord, if it be thy will, make me some way useful to others, that I may not live an unprofitable part of mankind, but how­ever, O Lord, let me not be useless to my self, but grant, I may give all diligence to make my calling and election sure; My Soul is beset with many and vigilant adversaries, O let me not fold my hands to sleep in the midst of so great dangers, but watch and pray, that I en­ter not into temptation, enduring hardness, as a good souldier of Jesus Christ, till at last from this state of warfare, thou translate me to the state of triumph and bliss, in thy King­dom, through Jesus Christ.

For JUSTICE.

O Thou King of righteousness, who hast Commanded us to keep judgement and do Justice, be pleased by thy grace to cleanse my heart and hands from all fraud and inju­stice, and give me a perfect integrity and up­rightness in all my dealings. O make me ever [Page 588] abhor to use my power to oppress, or my skill to deceive my brother, and grant I most strictly observe that sacred rule, of doing as I would be done to, that I may not dishonour my Christian profession, by an unjust or frau­dulent life, but in simplicity, and godly since­rity, have my conversation in this life, never seeking to heap up treasures of wickedness, but preferring a little with righteousness, before great revenues without right. Lord, make me exactly careful to render to every man what by any sort of obligation becomes his due, that I may never break the bond of any of those relations, thou hast placed me in, but may so behave my self towards all, that none may have any evil thing to say of me: That so if it be possible, I may have peace with all men, or however I may by keeping innocency and taking heed to the thing that is right, have peace at the last, even peace with thee, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

For CHARITY.

O Merciful Lord, who hast made of one blood, and redeemed by one ransome all Nations of men, let me never harden my bow­els against any that partake of the same na­ture and redemption with me, but grant me an Universal Charity towards all men. Give me, O thou Father of compassions, such a tenderness and meltingness of heart, that I may be deeply affected with all the miseries [Page 589] and calamities outward or inward of my bre­thren, and diligently imploy all my abilities for their succour and relief. O let not an un­christian self-love possess my heart, but drive out that accursed spirit, and let thy Spirit of love enter and dwell there, and make me seek not to please my self, but my Neighbour for his good to edification, even as Christ pleased not himself. Lord, make me a faithful steward of all those talents, thou hast committed to me, for the benefit of others, that so when thou shalt call me to give an account of my stewardship, I may do it with joy and not with grief: grant this, merciful Lord, I beseech thee for Jesus Christ his sake.

For PERSEVERANCE.

O Eternal and unchangeable Lord God, who art the same yesterday and to day and for ever. Be thou pleased to communi­cate some small ray of that excellence, some degree of that stability to me thy wretched creature, who am light and unconstant, turned about with every blast; my understanding is very deceivable, O establish it in thy truth, keep it from the snares of seducing spirits, that I may not be led away with the errour of the wicked▪ and fall from my own stedfastness; my will also, O Lord, is irresolute, and wavering, and doth not cleave stedfastly unto God, my goodness is but as the morning cloud, & as the [Page 590] early dew it passeth away. O strengthen and confirm me, and what ever good work thou hast wrought in me, be pleased to accomplish and perform it, until the day of Christ. Lord thou seest my weakness, and thou knowest the number and strength of those temptations I have to struggle with, O leave me not to my self, but cover thou my head in the day of battel, and in all spiritual combats make me more then conquerour, through him that lo­ved me. O let no terrours or flatteries either of the world, or my own flesh ever draw me from my obedience to thee, but grant that I may continue stedfast, unmoveable, alwayes abounding in the work of the Lord, and by patient continuance in well-doing, seek, and at last obtain glory, and honour, and immor­tality, and eternal life, through Jesus Christ our Lord.

A brief Paraphrase of the LORDS PRAYER To be used as a Prayer.

[Our FATHER which art in Heaven.]

O Lord, who dwellest in the highest heavens, thou art the Author of our being, thou hast also begotten us again unto a lively hope, and carryest towards us the tenderness and bowels of a most compassionate father, O make us to render to thee the love and obedi­ence of children; and that we may resemble thee our father in heaven (that place of true delight and purity) give us a holy disdain of all the deceitful pleasures and foul pollutions of this world, and so raise up our minds that we may alwayes have our conversation in hea­ven, from whence we look for our Saviour the Lord Jesus Christ.

[1. Hallowed be thy Name.]

Strike such an awe into all our hearts, that we may humbly reverence thee in thy Name, which is great, wonderful, and holy, and car­ry such a sacred respect to all things that re­late to thee and thy worship, as may express our reverence of thy great Majesty: Let all the people praise thee, O God, let all the people praise thee.

[2. Thy Kingdome Come.]

Establish thy throne and rule for ever in our souls, and by the power of thy grace subdue all those rebellious corruptions that ex­alt themselves against thee, they are those e­nemies of thine which would not that thou shouldst reign over them, O let them be brought forth and slain before thee, and make us such faithful subjects of this thy Kingdome of Grace, that we may be capable of thy king­dome of glory, and then Lord Jesus come quick­ly.

[3. Thy Will be done in earth, &c.]

Enable us by thy grace cheerfully to suf­fer thy will in all thy inflictions, and readily to perform it in all thy commands, give us of that heavenly zeal to thy service, wherewith the blessed Angels of thy presence are inspired, that we may obey thee with the like fervor and alacrity, and that following them in their obedience, we may be joyned with them to sing eternal praises in thy Kingdome to God, and to the Lamb for ever.

[4. Give us this day our daily bread.]

Give us that continual supply of thy grace, which may sustein and nourish our souls unto eternal life. And be thou pleased also to provide for our bodies all those things which thou seest fit for their support, through this our earthly pilgrimage, and make us cheerful­ly [Page 593] to rest on thee for them, first seeking thy Kingdome and the righteousness thereof, and then not doubting but all these things shall be added unto us.

[5. Forgive us our Trespasses as we forgive them, &c.]

Heal our souls, O Lord, for we have sinned against thee, let thy tender mercies a­bound towards us, in the forgiveness of all our offences; And grant O Lord, that we may ne­ver forfeit this pardon of thine, by denying ours to our brethren, but give us those bowels of compassion to others which we stand in so much greater need of from thee, that we may forgive as fully and finally upon Christs Com­mand, as we desire to be forgiven, for his me­rits and intercession.

[6. Lead us not into Temptation but deli­ver, &c.]

O Lord, we have no strength against those multitudes of temptations that daily as­salt us, onely our eyes are upon thee, O be thou pleased either to restrain them or assist us, and in thy faithfulness suffer us not to be tempted above that we are able, but in all our temptations make us a way to escape that we be not overcome by them, but may when thou shalt call us to it, resist even unto blood▪ striv­ing against sin, that being faithful unto death, thou mayest give us the crown of life.

[For thine is the Kingdome, the Power, &c.]

Hear us and graciously answer our petitions [Page 594] for thou art the great King over all the earth whose Power is infinite and artable to do for us above all that we can ask or think, and to whom belongeth the Glory of all that good thou workest in us or for us. Therefore bles­sing, honour, glory and power be unto him, that sitteth upon the throne, to our God, for ever and ever. Amen.

PIOUS EJACULATIONS Taken out of the Book of PSALMS.

For PARDON of SIN.

HAve mercy on me, O God, after thy great goodness, according to the multitude of thy mercies do away mine offences.

Wash me throughly from my wickedness and cleanse me from my sin.

Turn thy face from my sins, and put out all my misdeeds.

My misdeeds prevail against me, O be thou merciful unto my sins.

Enter not into judgment with thy servant, for in thy sight shall no man living be justifi­ed.

[Page 595] For thy names sake, O Lord, be merciful un­to my sin, for it is great.

Turn thee O Lord and deliver my soul, O save me for thy mercies sake.

For GRACE.

TEach me to do the thing that pleaseth thee, for thou art my God.

Teach me thy way O Lord, and I will walk in thy truth, O knit my heart to thee, that I may fear thy name.

Make me a clean heart O God, and renew a right spirit within me.

O let my heart be found in thy statutes, that I be not ashamed.

Incline my heart unto thy Testimonies, and not to covetousnesse.

Turn away mine eyes, least they behold vanity, and quicken thou me in thy way.

I am a stranger upon earth, O hide not thy Commandments from me.

Lord teach me to number my dayes, that I may apply my heart unto Wisdome.

For the LIGHT of Gods COUNTENANCE:

LOrd, why abhorrest thou my soul, and hidest thy face from me, O hide not thou thy face from me, nor cast thy servant away in displeasure.

Thy loving kindnesse is better then life it self.

[Page 596] Lord lift thou up the light of thy counte­nance upon me.

Comfort the Soul of thy servant, for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my Soul.

THANKSGIVING.

I Will alwayes give thanks unto the Lord, his praise shall ever be in my mouth.

Thou art my God, and I will thank thee, thou art my God and I will praise thee.

I will sing unto the Lord, as long as I live, I will praise my God whilest I have my being.

Praised be God which hath not cast out my prayer, nor turned his mercy from me.

Blessed be the Lord God, even the God of Israel, which onely doth wondrous things.

And blessed be the Name of his Majesty for ever, and all the earth shall be filled with his Majesty; Amen, Amen.

For DELIVERANCE from TROUBLE.

BE merciful unto me, O Lord, be merciful unto me, for my Soul trusteth in thee, and under the shadow of thy wings shall be my refuge, until these calamities be overpast.

Deliver me, O Lord, from mine enemies, for I flye unto thee to hide me.

O keep my Soul, and deliver me, let me not be confounded, for I have put my trust in thee.

[Page 597] Mine eyes are ever looking unto the Lord, for he shall pluck my feet out of the net.

Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me, for I am desolate and in misery.

The sorrowes of my heart are enlarged, O bring thou me out of my troubles.

For the CHURCH.

O Be favourable and gracious unto Sion, build thou the walls of Jerusalem.

O God, wherefore art thou absent from us so long? Why is thy wrath so hot against the sheep of thy pasture?

O think upon thy Congregation, whom thou hast purchased and Redeemed of old.

Look upon the Tribe of thine Inheritance, and Mount Sion where thou hast dwelt.

It is time for thee, Lord, to lay to thy hand, for they have destroyed thy Law.

Arise, O God, and maintain thine own cause.

Deliver Israel, O God, out of all his troubles.

Brief heads of SELF-EXAMINATION, Especially before the SACRAMENT, Collected out of the foregoing Treatise, concerning the breaches of our DUTY.

To GOD.

  • NOt believing there is a God.
  • Not believing his Word.
  • Not believing it Practically, so as to live according to our belief.
  • Despairing of Gods mercy, so as to neglect duty.
  • Presuming groundlesly on it, whilest we go on in wilful sin.
  • Not loving God for his own excellencies.
  • Not loving him for his goodness to us.
  • Not labouring to please him.
  • Not desiring to draw neer to him in his Or­dinances.
  • Not longing to enjoy him in Heaven.
  • Not fearing God so as to keep from of­fending him.
  • Fearing man above him, by committing sin, [Page 599] to shun some outward suffering.
  • Not trusting on God in dangers and di­stresses.
  • Using unlawful means to bring us out of them.
  • Not depending on God for supply of our wants.
  • Immoderate care for outward things.
  • Neglecting to labour, and expecting God should support us in our idleness.
  • Not looking up to God for a blessing on our honest endeavours.
  • Not having a high esteem of God.
  • Not submitting obediently to act his will.
  • Not patiently suffering it, but murmuring at his corrections.
  • Not amending by them.
  • Not being thankful to him.
  • Not acknowledging his wisdom in choosing for us, but having eager and impatient desires of our own.
  • Not honouring God by a reverend usage of the things that relate to him.
  • Behaving our selvs irreverently in his House
  • Robbing God, by taking things that are consecrated to him.
  • Profaning Holy times, the Lords Day, and the Feasts, and Fasts of the Church.
  • Neglecting to read the Holy Scriptures, not marking when we do read.
  • Being careless to get knowledg of our duty.
  • Chusing rather to continue ignorant, then put our selves to the pains or shame of learning.
  • [Page 600]Placing Religion in hearing of Sermons, without practising them.
  • Breaking our vow made at Baptism.
  • By resorting to witches, and conjurers; i. e. to the Devil.
  • By loving the pomps and vanities of the world, and following its sinful customes.
  • By fulfilling the lusts of the flesh.
  • Profaning the Lords Supper.
  • By coming to it ignorantly, without exa­mination, contrition, and purposes of new life.
  • By behaving our selves irreverently at it, without devotion, and spiritual affection.
  • By neglecting to keep the promises made at it.
  • Profaning Gods Name, by blasphemous thoughts, or discourse.
  • Giving others occasion to blaspheme him, by our vile and wicked lives.
  • Taking unlawful oaths.
  • Perjury.
  • Swearing in ordinary communication.
  • Not worshipping God.
  • Omitting prayers, publick or private, and being glad of a pretence to do so.
  • Asking unlawful things, or to unlawful ends.
  • Not purifying our hearts from sin, before we pray.
  • Not praying with Faith and Humility.
  • Coldness and deadness in prayer.
  • Wandring thoughts in it.
  • Irreverent gestures of body in prayer.
  • Neglecting the duty of Repentance.
  • [Page 601]Not calling our selves to daily account for our sins.
  • Not assigning any set or solemn times, for humiliation, and confession, or too sel­dom.
  • Not deeply considering our sins, to beget, contrition for them.
  • Not acting revenges on our selves, by fasting, and other acts of Mortification.
  • Outward Idolatry in worshipping of crea­tures.
  • Inward Idolatry, in placing our love, joy, and other affections more on creatures, then the Creator.

To our SELVES.

  • Being pufft up with high conceits of our selves:
  • In respect of natural parts as beauty, wit, &c
  • Of worldly riches, and honours.
  • Of Grace.
  • Greedily seeking the praise of men.
  • Directing Christian Actions, as prayer, almes, &c. to that end.
  • Committing sins, to avoid reproach from wicked men.
  • Disturbing our minds with anger, and pee­vishness.
  • Not carefully examining, what our estate towards God is.
  • Not trying our selves by the true rule, i. e. our obedience to Gods Commands.
  • Not weighing the lawfulness of our actions, [Page 602] before we venture on them.
  • Not examining our past actions, to repent of the ill, to give God the glory of the good.
  • Uncontentedness in our estates.
  • Greedy desires after honour and riches.
  • Seeking to gain them by sinful means.
  • Envying the condition of other men.
  • Being negligent in observing, and resisting temptations.
  • Not improving Gods gifts, outward or in­ward, to his honour.
  • Abusing our natural parts, as wit, memory, strength, &c. to sin.
  • Neglecting, or resisting the motions of Gods Spirit.
  • Uncleanness, adultery, fornication, unnatu­ral lusts, &c.
  • Uncleanness of the eye, and hand.
  • Filthy, and obscene talking.
  • Impure fancies, and desires.
  • Heightning of lust, by pampering the body.
  • Not labouring to subdue it, by fasting or other severities.
  • Eating too much.
  • Making pleasure, not health, the en [...] of eating.
  • Being too curious, or costly in meats.
  • Drunkenness.
  • Drinking more then is useful to our bodies, though not to drunkenness.
  • Wasting the time, or estate, in good fel­lowship.
  • [Page 603]Abusing our strength of brain, to the make­ing others drunk.
  • Immoderate sleeping.
  • Idleness, and negligence in our callings.
  • Using unlawful recreations.
  • Being too vehement upon lawful ones.
  • Spending too much time at them.
  • Being drawn by them to anger, or cove­tousness.
  • Being proud of apparel.
  • Striving to go beyond our rank.
  • Bestowing too much time, care, or cost a­bout it.
  • Abstaining from such excesses, not out of conscience, but covetousness.
  • Pinching our bodies, to fill our purses.

To our NEIGHBOUR.

  • Being injurious to our Neighbour.
  • Delighting causlesly to grieve his mind.
  • Ensnaring his Soul in sin, by command, counsel, enticement, or example.
  • Affrighting him from Godliness, by our scof­fing at it.
  • Not seeking to bring those to Repentance, whom we have led into sin.
  • Murder open, or secret.
  • Drawing men to intemperance or other vi­ces, which may bring diseases or death.
  • Stirring men up to quarrelling, and fight­ing
  • [Page 604]Maiming, or hurting the body of our Neigh­bour.
  • Fierceness, and rage against him.
  • Coveting our Neighbours wife.
  • Actually defiling her.
  • Spoiling the goods of others, upon spight and mal [...]ce.
  • Coveting to gain them to our selves.
  • Oppressing by violence, and force, or colour of Law.
  • Not paying what we borrow.
  • Not paying what we have voluntarily pro­mised.
  • Keeping back the wages of the servant, and hireling.
  • Unfaithfulness in trusts, whether to the li­ving or dead.
  • Using Arts of deceit, in buying and selling.
  • Exacting upon the necessities of our Neigh­bours.
  • Blasting the credit of our Neighbour:
  • By False Witness.
  • By Railng.
  • By whispering.
  • Incouraging others in their slanders.
  • Being forward to beleeve ill reports of our Neighbour.
  • Causeless suspicions.
  • Rash judging of him.
  • Despising him for his infirmities.
  • Inviting others to do so by scoffing and de­riding him.
  • Bearing any malice in the heart.
  • [Page 605]Secret wishing of death, or any kind of hurt to our Neighbour.
  • Rejoicing, when any evil befalls him.
  • Neglecting to make what satisfaction we can, for any sort of injury done to our Neighbour.
  • Lying.
  • Churlish, and proud behaviour to others.
  • Froward and peevish conversation.
  • Bitter and reproachful language.
  • Cursing.
  • Not paying the respect due to the qualities or gifts of others.
  • Proudly overlooking them.
  • Seeking to lessen others esteem of them.
  • Not imploying our abilities whether of mind or estate, in administring to those whose wants require it.
  • Unthankfulness to our Benefactours.
  • Especially those that admonish us.
  • Not amending upon their reproof.
  • Being angry at them for it.
  • Not reverencing our Civil Parent, the law­ful Magistrate.
  • Judging and speaking evil of him.
  • Grudging his just tributes.
  • Sowing sedition among the people.
  • Refusing to obey his lawful commands.
  • Rising up against him, or taking part with them that do.
  • Despising our Spiritual Fathers.
  • Not loving them for their works sake.
  • Not obeying those Commands of God they deliver to us.
  • [Page 606]Seeking to withold from them their just maintenance.
  • Forsaking our lawful Pastors; to follow fa­ctious teachers.
  • Stubborn and irreverent behaviour to our na­tural Parents.
  • Despising and publishing their infirmi­ties.
  • Not loving them, nor endeavouring to bring them joy and comfort.
  • Contemning their counsels.
  • Murmuring at their Government.
  • Coveting their estates, though by their death.
  • Not ministring to them in their wants of all sorts.
  • Neglecting to pray for Gods blessing on these several sorts of Parents.
  • Want of natural affection to children▪
  • Mothers refusing to nurse them without a just impediment,
  • Not bringing them timely to Baptism.
  • Not early instructing them in the wayes of God.
  • Suffering them for want of timely corre­ction to get customes of sin.
  • Setting them evil examples.
  • Discouraging them by harsh & cruel usage.
  • Not providing for their subsistence, accord­ing to our ability.
  • Consuming their portions in our own riot.
  • Reserving all till our death, and letting them want in the mean time.
  • [Page 607]Not seeking to entail a blessing on them by our Christian lives.
  • Nor heartily praying for them.
  • Want of affection to our natural brethren.
  • Envyings & heart-burnings towards them.
  • Not loving our spiritual brethren; i. e. our fellow Christians.
  • Having no fellow-feeling of their suffe­rings.
  • Causelesly forsaking their commnnion in Holy Duties.
  • Not taking deeply to heart the desolations of the Church.
  • Marrying within the degrees forbidden.
  • Marrying for undue ends, as covetousness, lust, &c.
  • Unkind, froward, and unquiet behaviour towards the husband, or wife.
  • Unfaithfulness to the bed.
  • Not bearing with the infirmities of each o­ther.
  • Not endeavouring to advance one anothers good, spiritual or temporal.
  • The wife resisting the lawful command of her husband.
  • Her striving for rule and dominion over him.
  • Not praying for each other.
  • Unfaithfulness to a friend.
  • Betraying his secrets.
  • Denying him assistance in his needs.
  • Neglecting lovingly to admonish him.
  • Flattering him in his faults.
  • [Page 608]Forsaking his friendship upon flight, or no cause.
  • Making leagues in sin, in stead of vertuous friendships.
  • Servants disobeying the lawful commands of their Masters.
  • Purloining their goods.
  • Carelesly wasting them.
  • Murmuring at their rebukes.
  • Idleness.
  • Eye service.
  • Masters using servants tyrannically and cru­elly.
  • Being too remiss, and suffering them to ne­glect their duty.
  • Having no care of their Souls.
  • Not providing them means of instruction in Religion.
  • Not admonishing them, when they commit sins.
  • Not allowing them time, and opportunity for prayer, and the worship of God.
  • Want of bowels, and Charity to our Neigh­bours.
  • Not heartily desiring their good spiritual, or temporal.
  • Not loving, and forgiving enemies.
  • Taking actual revenges upon them.
  • Falsen [...]ss, professing kindness, and acting none.
  • Not labouring to do all good we can to the Soul of our Neighbour.
  • Not assisting him to our power in his bodily distresses.
  • [Page 609]Not defending his good name, when we know or beleeve him slandered.
  • Denying him any neighbourly office, to pre­serve or advance his estate.
  • Not defending him from oppression, when we have power.
  • Not relieving him in his poverty
  • Not giving liberally, or cheerfully.
  • Not loving peace.
  • Going to Law upon slight occasions.
  • Bearing inward enmity to those we sue.
  • Not labouring to make peace among others.
  • The use of this Catalogue of sins is this: Upon dayes of Humiliation, especially before the Sacrament, read them consideringly over, and at every particu­lar ask thine own heart, Am I guilty of this? And whatsoever by such examination thou findest thy self faulty in, confess particularly, and hum­bly to God, with all the heightning circumstances, which may any way increase their guilt, and make serious resolutions against every such sin, for the fu­ture; After which thou mayest use this f [...]rm f [...]l­l [...]wing.

O LORD, I am ashamed, and blush to lift up my face to thee, for my iniqui­ties are increased over my head, and my tres­pass is growen up even unto Heaven. I have wrought all these great provocations, and that in the most provoking manner, they have not been onely single but repeated acts of sin: for, O Lord, of all this black Catalogue which I have now brought forth before thee, how few are there which I have not often [Page 610] committed, nay, which are not become even habitual and customary to me? And to this frequency, I have added both a greediness, and obstinacy in sinning, turning into my course as the horse rusheth into the battel, doing e­vil with both hands, earnestly, yea hating to be reformed, and casting thy words behind me, quenching thy Spirit within me, which testified against me, to turn me from my evil wayes, and frustrating all those outward means, whether of judgment or mercy, which thou hast used to draw me to thy self. Nay, O Lord, even my repentances may be num­bred amongst my greatest sins, they have sometimes been feigned and hypocritical, al­wayes so slight and ineffectual, that they have brought forth no fruit in amendment of life, but I have still returned with the dog to his vomit, and the sow to the mire again, and have added the breach of resolutions and vowes, to all my former guilts. Thus, O Lord. I am become out of measure sinful, and since I have thus chosen death, I am most worthy to take part in it, even in the second death, the lake of fire and brimstone. This this, O Lord, is in justice to be the portion of my cup, to me belongs nothing but shame and confusion of face eternally. But to thee, O Lord God, belongeth mercy and forgive­ness, though I have rebelled against thee. O remember not my sins and offences, but ac­cording to thy mercy think thou upon me O Lord for thy goodness. Thou sentest thy Son [Page 611] to seek and to save that which was lost, be­hold, O Lord, I have gone astray like a sheep that is lost, O seek thy servant, and bring me back to the Shepherd and Bishop of my Soul; let thy Spirit work in me a hearty sense and detestation of all my abominations, that true contrition of heart, which thou hast promi­sed not to despise. And then be thou pleased to look on me, to take away all iniquity, and receive me graciously, and for his sake who hath done nothing amiss, be reconciled to me, who have done nothing well, wash away the guilt of my sins in his blood, and subdue the power of them by his grace, and grant, O Lord, that I may from this hour bid a final adieu to all ungodliness, and worldly lusts, that I may never once more cast a look toward Sodom, or long after the flesh pots of E­gypt, but consecrate my self intirely to thee, to serve thee in Righteousness and true Holi­ness, reckoning my self to be dead indeed un­to sin, but alive unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord and blessed Saviour.

This PENITENTIAL PSALM May also fitly be used.
PSAL. 51.

HAve mercy upon me, O God, after thy great goodness, according to the mul­titude of thy mercies do away mine of­fences.

Wash me throughly from my wickedness, [Page 312] and cleanse me from my sin.

For I knowledg my faults, and my sin is ever before me.

Against thee onely have I sinned, and done this evil in thy sight, that thou mightest be ju­stisted in thy saying, and clear when thou art judged.

Behold I was shapen in wickedness, and in sin hath my mother conceived me.

But loe thou requirest truth in the inward parts, and shalt make me to understand wis­dom secretly.

Thou shalt purge me with hyssop, and I shall be clean, thou shalt wash me, and I shall be whiter then snow.

Thou shalt make me hear of joy and glad­ness, that the bones which thou hast broken may rejoice.

Turn thy face from my sins, and put out all my misdeeds.

Make me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right Spirit within me.

Cast me not away from thy presence, and take not thy Holy Spirit from me.

O give me the comfort of thy help again, and stablish me with thy free Spirit.

Then shall I teach thy wayes unto the wic­ked, and sinners shall be converted unto thee.

Deliver me from blood guiltiness, O God, thou that art the God of my health, and my tongue shall sing of thy righteousness.

Thou shalt open my lips, O Lord, and my mouth shall shew thy praise.

[Page 613] For thou desirest no sacrifice, else would I give it thee, but thou delightest not in burnt-of­ [...]ering.

The sacrifice of God is a troubled spirit, a broken and contrite heart, O God, shalt thou not despise.

O be favourable and gracious unto Sion, build thou the walls of Ierusalem.

Then shalt thou be pleased with the Sacrifice of righteousness, with the burn [...]- [...]fferings and oblations, then shall they offer young bullocks upon thine altar.

Glory be to the Father, and to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost.

As it was in the beginning, is now and ever shall be, world without end. Amen.

PRAYERS BEFORE the receiving of the blessed SACRAMENT.

O Most merciful God, who hast in thy great goodness prepared this spiritual feast for sick and famished Souls, make my de­sires and gaspings after it, answerable to my needs of it. I have with the prodigal wasted that portion of grace thou bestowedst upon me, and therefore do infinitely want a supply [Page 614] out of this treasury: But O Lord, how shall such a wretch as I dare to approach this holy table: I am a dog, how shall I pre­sume to take the childrens bread, or how shall this spiritual Manna, this food of Angels be given to one, who hath chosen to feed on husks with swine, nay to one who hath already so often trampled these precious things under foot, either carelesly neglecting, or unwor­thily receiving these holy mysteries? O Lord, my horrible guiltiness makes me tremble to come, and yet makes me not dare to keep a­way, for where, O Lord, shall my polluted Soul be washed, if not in this fountain which thou hast opened for sin and for uncleanness? Hither therefore I come, and thou hast pro­mised that him that cometh to thee thou wilt in no wise cast out: This is, O Lord, the blood of the New Testament, grant me so to receive it, that it may be to me for remission of sins. And though I have so often and so wretched­ly broken my part of that Covenant, where­of this Sacrament is a seal, yet be thou gra­ciously pleased to make good thine, to be merciful to my unrighteousness, and to remem­ber my sins and mine iniquities no more, and not onely so, but to put thy lawes into my heart, and write them in my mind, and by the power of thy grace dispose my soul to such a sincere and constant obedience, that I may never again provoke thee; Lord grant that in these holy mysteries, I may not only commemorate, but effectually receive my bles­sed [Page 615] Saviour, and all the benefits of his passion: And to that end give me such a preparation of soul, as may qualify me for it, give me a deep sense of my sins, and unworthiness, that be­ing weary and heavy laden. I may be capable of his refreshings, and by being suppled in my own tears, I may be the fitter to be washed in his blood, raise up my dull and earthly mind from groveling here below, and inspire it with a holy zeal, that I may with spi­ritual affection approach this spiritual feast: and let O Lord, that infinite love of Christ, in dying for so wretched a sinner, inflame my frozen benummed soul, and kindle in me that sacred fire of love to him, and that so vehe­ment that no waters may quench, no floods drown it, such as may burn up all my dross, not leave one unmortified lust in my soul, and such as may also extend it self to all whom thou hast given me command and example to love, even enemies as well as friends. Finally, O Lord, I beseech thee to cloth me in the wed­ding garment, and make me though of my self a most unworthy, yet by thy mercy an ac­ceptable guest at this holy tab [...]e, that I may not eat and drink my own condemnation, but may have my pardon sealed, my weaknesses re­paired, my corruptions subdued, and my soul so inseparably united to thee, that no temp­tations may ever be able to dissolve the union, but that being begun here in grace, it may be consummated in glory; Grant this, O Lord, for thy dear Sons sake, Jesus Christ.

ANOTHER.

O BLESSED Jesus, who once offeredst up thy self for me upon the Cross, and now offerest thy self to me in the Sacrament, let not, I beseech thee, my impenitence and un­worthiness frustrate these so inestimable mer­cies to me, but qualifie me by thy grace to re­ceive the full benefit of them. O Lord, I have abundant need of thee, but am so clog'd with guilt, so holden with the cords of my sins, that I am not able to move towards thee, O lose me from this band, wherewith Satan and my own lusts have bound me, and draw me that I may run after thee. Lord, thou seest daily how eagerly I pursue the paths that lead to death, but when thou invitest me to life and glory, I turn my back and forsake my own mercy. How often hath this feast been prepared, and I have with frivilous excuses absented my self, or if I have come, it hath been rather to defie then to adore thee, I have brought such troops of thy professed enemies, unrepented sins along with me, as if I [...]ame not to commemorate, but renew thy passion, crucifying thee afresh, and putting thee to open shame: and now of what punishment shall I be thought worthy, who have thus trampled under foot the Son of God, and counted the blood of the Covenant an unholy thing! yet O merciful Jesu, this blood is my onely r [...]ge, O let this make my atonement [Page 617] or I perish eternally, wherefore didst thou shed it, but to save sinners, neither can the merit of it be overwhelmed either by the greatness or number of sins. I am a sinner, a great one, O let me find its saving efficacy. Be merciful unto me, O God, be merciful to me for my soul trusteth in thee, and in the clefts of thy wound, shall be my refuge until thy fathers indignation be overpast. O thou, who hast as my high Priest sacrificed for me, inter­cede for me also, and plead thy meritorious sufferings on my behalfe, and suffer not, O my Redeemer, the price of thy blood to be ut­terly lost: And grant, O Lord, that as the sins I have to be forgiven are many, so I may love much: Lord thou seest what faint, what cold affections I have towards thee, O warm and enliven them; and as in this Sacrament, that transcendent love of thine in dying for me is shewed forth; so I beseech thee, let it convey such grace into me, as may enable me to make some returns of love: O let this divine fire descend from heaven into my soul, and let my sins be the burnt offering for it to consume, that there may not any corrupt af­fection, any accursed thing be shelterd in my heart, that I may never again defile that place, which thou hast chosen for thy temple. Thou dyedst, O dear Jesu to redeem me from all iniquity, O let me not again sell my self to work wickedness, but grant that I may ap­proach thee at this time with most sincere and fixed resolutions of an entire reformation, [Page 618] and let me receive such grace, and strength from thee, as may enable me faithfully to per­form them: Lord, there are many old habi­tuated diseases, my soul groanes under. [Her mention thy most prevailing corruptions.] And though I lye never so long at the pool of Be­thesda, come never so often to thy table, yet unless thou be pleased to put forth thy heal­ing vertue, they will still remain uncured. O thou blessed Physician of souls, heal me, and grant I may now so touch thee, that every one of these loath some issues may immediate­ly stanch▪ that these sicknesses may not be unto death but unto the glory of thy mercy in par­doning, to the glory of thy grace in purifying so polluted a wretch. O Christ, hear me, and grant I may now approach thee with such hu­mility and contrition, love and devotion, that thou maist vouchsafe to come unto me, and abide with me, communicating to me thy self, and all the merits of thy passion. And then, O Lord, let no accusations of Satan, o [...] my own conscience amaze or distract me, bu [...] having peace with thee, let me also have peace in my self, that this wine may make glad, this bread of life may strengthen my heart, and enable me cheerfully to run the way of thy Commandments. Grant this merciful Saviour▪ I beseech thee, for thine own bowels and com­passions sake.

EjACULATIONS to be used at the LORDS TABLE.

LOrd I am not worthy that thou shouldest come under my roof.

I have sinned, what shall I do unto thee, O thou preserver of men.

[Here recollect some of thy greatest sins]

If thou Lord shouldst be extreme to mark what is done amiss, O Lord who may a­bide it?

But with the Lord there is mercy, and with him is plenteous Redemption.

Behold, O Lord, thy beloved Son, in whom thou art well pleased.

Hearken to the cry of his blood, which speaketh better things then that of Abel.

By his Agony, and bloody Sweat, by his Cross, and Passion good Lord deliver me.

O Lamb of God which takest away the sins of the world, grant me thy Peace.

O Lamb of God which takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon me.

Immediately before Receiving.

THou hast said that he that eateth thy flesh and drinketh thy blood hath eternal life.

Behold the servant of the Lord, be it unto me according to thy word.

At the Receiving of the Bread.

BY thy Crucified Body deliver me from this body of death.

At the Receiving of the Cup.

O let this blood of thine purge my con­science from dead works, to serve the li­ving God.

Lord if thou wilt thou canst make me clean.

O touch me, and say, I will, be thou clean.

After Receiving.

WHat shall I render unto the Lord for all the benefits he hath done unto me?

I will take the Cup of Salvation, and call upon the Name of the Lord.

Worthy is the Lamb that was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honour, and glory, and blessing.

Therefore blessing, honour, glory, and power be to him that sitteth upon the Throne and to the Lamb, for ever and ever, Amen.

I have sworn▪ and am stedfastly purposed to keep thy righteous judgments.

O hold thou up my goings in thy paths, that my footsteps slip not.

A Thanksgiving after the Receiving of the Sacrament.

OThou Fountain of all goodness, from whom every good and perfect gift com­eth, and to whom all honour and glory should be returned, I desire with all the most fervent and inflamed affections of a grateful heart, to blesse and praise thee for those in­estimable mercies thou hast vouchsafed me; Lord what is man that thou shouldst so re­gard [Page 621] him, as to send thy beloved Son to suffer such bitter things for him? But Lord, what am I, the worst of men, that I should have any part in this atonement, who have so oft despi­sed him and his sufferings, O the height, and depth of this mercy of thine, that art pleased to admit me to the renewing of that Covenant with thee, which I have so often & so pervers­ly broken, that I who am not worthy of that daily bread, which sustains the body, should be made partaker of this bread of life, which nourishes the Soul, and that the God of all purity should vouchsafe to unite himself to so polluted a wretch: O my God, suffer me no more, I beseech thee, to turn thy grace into wantonness, to make thy mercy an occasion of security, but let this unspeakable love of thine constrain me to obedience, that since my blessed Lord hath died for me, I may no longer live unto my self but to him; O Lord, I know there is no concord between Christ and Belial, therefore since he hath now been pleased to enter my heart, O let me never permit any lust to chace him thence, but let him that hath so dearly bought me, still keep possession of me, and let nothing ever take me out of his hand. To this end be thou graciously pleased to watch over me, and de­fend me from all assaults of my spiritual ene­mies, but especially deliver me from my self, from the treachery of my own heart, which is too willing to yield it self a prey. And where thou seest I am either by nature or cu­stome [Page 622] most weak, there do thou, I beseech thee, magnify thy power in my preservation. [Here name thy most dangerous temptations] And Lord let my Saviours sufferings for my sins, and the vowes I have now made against them, never depart from my mind, but let the remembrance of the one enable me to perform the other, that I may never make truce with those lusts, which nailed his hands, pierced his side, and made his Soul heavy to the death. But that having now a new listed my self under his banner, I may fight manful­ly, and follow the Captain of my Salvation even through a Sea of blood. Lord, lift up my hands that hang down, and my feeble knees, that I faint not in this warfare, O be thou my strength, who am not able of my self to struggle with the slightest temptations. How often have I turned my back in the day of battel? How many of these sacramental vowes have I violated? And Lord I have still the sa [...]e unconstant deceitful heart, to betray me to the breach of this. O thou who art Yea and Amen, in whom there is no shadow of change, communicate to me, I beseech thee, such a stability of mind, that I may no more thus start aside, like a broken bow, but that having my heart whole with thee, I may continue stedfast in thy Covenant; That not one good purpose which thy Spirit hath raised in me this day, may vanish, as so many have formerly done, but that they may bring f [...]rth fruit unto life eternal. Grant [Page 623] this, O merciful Father, through the merits, and Mediation of my Crucified Saviour.

A Prayer of Intercession to be used either before or after the receiving of the Sacrament.

O MOST Gracious Lord, who so ten­derly lovedst mankind, as to give thy dear Son out of thy bosom, to become a pro­pitiation for the sins of the whole world, grant that the effect of this Redemption may be as Universal, as the design of it, that it may be to the Salvation of all. O let no per­son by impenitence and wilful sin forfeit his part in it, but by the power of thy grace bring all, even the most obstinate sinners to Repen­tance. Inlighten all that sit in darkness, all Jewes, Turks, Infidels, and Hereticks, take from them all blindness, hardness of heart, and contempt of thy Word, and so fetch them home, blessed Lord, unto thy fold, that they may be saved among the number of the true Israelites. And for all those upon whom the Name of thy Son is called, grant, O Lord, that their conversations may be such as becometh the Gospel of Christ, that his Name be no longer Blasphemed among the Heathen through us. O blessed Lord, how long shall Christendom continue the vilest part of the world, a sink of all those abomi­nable pollutions, which even Barbarians de­test. O let not our profession, and our pra­ctice [Page 624] be alwayes at so wide a distance. Let not the Disciples of the Holy and Immaculate Jesus, be of all others the most profane and impure. Let not the subjects of the Prince of Peace be of all others the most contentious, and bloody, but make us Christians indeed, as well as in name, that we may walk worthy of that Holy Vocation, wherewith we are called, and may all with one mind and one mouth glorify thee, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. Have mercy on this languishing Church, look down from Heaven the Habita­tion of thy Holiness and of thy glory, where is thy Zeal, and thy strength, the sounding of thy bowels, and of thy mercies towards us? Are they restrained? Be not wroth very sore, O Lord, neither remember iniquity for ever, but though our backslidings are many, and we have grievously rebelled, yet according to all thy goodness, let thy anger & thy sury be tur­ned away, & cause thy face to shine upon thy Sanctuary, which is desolate, for the Lords sake; and so separate between us and our sins, that they may no longer separate between us & our God. Save and defend all Christian Kings, Princes, & Governours, especially those to whom we owe subjection, plead thou their cause, O Lord, against those that strive with them, and fight thou against those that fight a­gainst them, and so guide and assist them in the discharge of that office whereunto thou hast appointed them, that under them we may lead a quiet and peaceable life, in all godliness [Page 625] and honesty▪ Bless them that wait at thine Altar, open thou their lips that their mouth may shew forth thy praise, O let not the lights of the world be put under bushels, but place them in their candlesticks, that they may give light to all that are in the house. Let not Je­roboams Priests profane thy service, but let the seed of Aaron still minister before thee. And O thou Father of mercies, and God of all comfort, succour and relieve all that are in af­fliction, deliver the out-cast and poor, help them to right that suffer wrong, let the sor­rowful sighing of the prisoners come before thee, and according to the greatness of thy power, preserve thou those that are appointed to dye; grant ease to those that are in pain, supplies to those that suffer want, give to all presumptuous sinners a sense of their sins, and to all dispa [...]ring, a sight of thy mercies, and do thou, O Lord, for every one abundantly above what they can ask or think. Forgive my ene­mies, persecutors, and slanderers, and turn their hearts. Powre down thy blessings on all my friends, and benefactors, all who have com­mended themselves to my Prayer. [Here thou maist name particular persons.] And grant, O merciful father, that through this blood of the crosse, we may all be presented pure and unblameable, and unreprovable in thy sight; That so we may be admitted into that place of purity, where no unclean thing can enter, there to sing eternal praises to Fa­ther, Son, and holy Ghost, for ever.

A Prayer in times of common Persecu­tion.

O BLESSED Saviour, who hast made the crosse the badg of thy Disciples, enable me, I beseech thee, willingly and cheerfully to embrace it; thou seest, O Lord, I am fallen into dayes, wherein he that departeth from e­vil maketh himself a Prey, O make me so readily to expose all my outward concern­ments, when my obedience to thee requireth it, that what falls as a prey to men, may by thee be accepted as a sacrifice to God: Lord preserve me so by thy grace that I never suffer as an evil doer, and then, O Lord, if it be my lot to suffer as a Christian, let me not be asham­ed, but rejoyce that I am counted worthy to suffer for thy name: O thou who for my sake enduredst the cross, and despisedst the shame, let the example of that love and pati­ence prevail against all the tremblings of my corrupt heart, that no terrors may ever be able to shake my constancy, but that how long soe­ver thou shalt permit the rod of the wicked to lye on my back, I may never put my hand un­to wickedness: Lord, thou knowest whereof I am made, thou remembrest that I am but flesh, and flesh, O Lord, shrinks at the ap­proach of any thing grievous. It is thy Spirit thy Spirit alone, that can uphold me, O stablish me with thy free Spirit, that I be not weary & faint in my mind. And by how much the grea­ter [Page 627] thou discernest my weakness, so much the more do thou shew forth thy power in me, and make me, O Lord, in all temptations sted­fastly to look to thee, the author and finisher of my faith, that so I may run the race, which is set before me, and resist even unto blood, striving against sin: O dear Jesus, hear me, and though Satan desire to have me, that he may winnow me as wheat, yet do thou, O blessed Mediator, pray for me that my faith fail not, but that though it be tryed with fire, it may be found unto praise and glory and honour at thy appearing. And O Lord, I beseech thee, grant that I may preserve not only constancy towards God, but charity also towards men, even those whom thou shalt permit to be the instruments of my sufferings, Lord, let me not fail to imitate that admirable meekness of thine, in loving and praying for my greatest persecutors, and do thou, O Lord, overcome all their evil with thy infinite goodness, turn their hearts, and draw them powerfully to thy self▪ and at last receive both me and mine enemies into those mansions of peace and rest, where thou reign­est with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, one God, for ever.

A Prayer in time of Affliction.

O JUST and holy Lord, who with re­bukes doest chasten man for sin, I desire unfeignedly to humble my self under thy mighty hand, which now lyes heavy upon me, [Page 628] I heartily acknowledg, O Lord, that all I do, all I can suffer, is but the due reward of my deeds, and therefore in thy severest infl [...]ctions I must still say, Righteous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judgments. But, O Lord, I beseech thee in judgment remember mercy, & though my sins have enforced thee to strike, yet consider my weakness, and let not thy stripes be more heavy, or more lasting then thou seest profitable for my soul; correct me but with the Chastisement of a father, not with the wounds of an enemy, and though thou take not off thy rod, yet take away thine an­ger: Lord do not abhor my soul, nor cast thy servant away in displeasure, but pardon my sins, I beseech thee, and if yet in thy fatherly wisdome, thou see fit to prolong thy correcti­ons, thy blessed will be done, I cast my self, O Lord, at thy feet, do with me what thou pleasest. Trye me as silver is tryed so thou bring me out purified. And Lord make even my flesh also to subscribe to this resignation, that there may be nothing in me, that may rebel against thy hand, but that having perfect­ly supprest all repining thoughts, I may cheer­fully drink of this cup. And how little soever thou shalt please to make it, Lord, let it p [...]ove medicinal, and cure all the diseases of my soul, that it may bring forth in me the peacea­ble fruit of righteousness. That so these light afflictions which are but for a moment, may work for me a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory, through Jesus Christ.

A Thanksgiving for Deliverance.

O BLESSED Lord, who art gracious and merciful, slow to anger and of great kindness, and repentest thee of the evil, I thankfully acknowledg before thee, that thou hast not dealt with me after my sins, nor re­warded me according to my iniquities. My re­bellions O Lord, deserved to be scourged with scorpions, and thou hast corrected them on­ly with a gentle and fatherly rod, neither hast thou suffered me to l [...]e long under that, but hast given me a timely and a gracious issue out of my late distress: O Lord, I will be glad and rejoyce in thy mercy for thou hast considered my trouble and hast known my soul in adver­sity. Thou hast smitten and thou hast healed me, O let these various methods of thine have their proper effects upon my soul; That I who have felt the smart of thy chastisements, may stand in awe, and not sin, and that I who have likewise felt the sweet refreshings of thy mercy, may have my heart ravished with it, and knit to thee in the firmest bands of love, and that by both I may be preserved in a con­stant entire obedience to Thee all my dayes, through Jesus Christ.

Directions for the time of Sickness.

WHEN thou findest thy self visited with sickness, thou art immediately to remember that it is God, which [Page 630] with rebukes doth chasten man for sin. And therefore let thy first care be to find out what it is that provokes him to smite thee, and to that purpose examine thine own heart, search diligently what guilts lie there, confess them humbly and penitently to God, and for the greater s [...]urity renew thy repentance for all the old sins of thy former life, beg most earnestly and importunately his mercy, and p [...]rd [...]n in Christ Iesus, and put on sincere and zealous resolutions of forsaking every evil way, for the rest of that time which God shall spare thee. And that thy [...] heart deceive thee not in this so weighty a business, it will be wisdom to send for some godly Divine, not onely to assist thee with his Prayers, but with his counsel also. And to that purpose open thy heart so freely to him, that he may be able to judg whe­ther thy repentance be such as may give thee confidence to appear before Gods dreadful Tribunal, and that if it be not, he may help thee what he can towards the making it s [...]. And when thou hast thus provided for thy better part, thy soul, then consider thy body also, and as the Wise man saith, Eccl. 38. 12. Give p [...]a [...]e to the Physician, for the Lord hath created him: Vse such means as may be most likely to recover thy health, but alwayes remember that the successe of them must come from God, and bew [...] of Asa's sin, who sought to the Physicions, and not to the Lord, 2 Chr. 6. 12. Dispose also betimes of thy temporal affaires, by making thy will, and setting all things in such order as thou meanest finally to leave them in, and defer it not till thy sickness grow more violent, for then perhaps thou shalt not have such use of thy reason as may fi [...] thee for it, or if thou have, it will be th [...]n much more seasonable to imploy thy thoughts on higher things, on the world thou art going to, rather then that thou art about to leave, we cannot carry the things of this world with us, when we go hence and it is not fit we should carry the thoughts of them. Therefore let those be early dispatched that they may not disturb thee [...]t last.

A Prayer for a sick Person.

O MERCIFUL and Righteous Lord, the God of health and of [...]ckness, of life, and of death, I most unfeignedly acknowledg that my great abuse of those many days of strength and wellfare, which thou hast afforded me, hath most justly deserved thy present visitati­on. I desire, O Lord, humbly to accept of this punishment of mine iniquity, and to bear the indignation of the Lord, because I have sinned against him. And, O thou merciful Father, who designest not the ruine but the a­mendment of those whom thou scourgest, I beseech thee by thy grace so to sanctifie this correction of thine to me, that this sickness of my body may be a means of health to my soul, make me d [...]ligent to search my heart, and do thou. O Lord enable me to discover every accursed thing, how closely soever concealed there, that by the removal thereof, I may make way for the removal of this punishment. Heal my soul, O Lord, which hath sinned against thee, and then if it be thy blessed will, heal my body also, restore the voice of joy and health unto my dwelling, that I may live to praise thee, and to bring forth fruits of repen­tance. But if in thy wisdome thou hast other­wise disposed, if thou have determined that this sickness shall be unto death, I beseech thee to fit and prepare me for it give me that sincere and earnest repentance, to which thou hast [Page 632] promised mercy and pardon; weane my heart from the world, and all its fading vanities, and make me to gasp and pant after those more excellent and durable joyes which are at thy right hand for ever. Lord, lift thou up the light of thy countenance upon me, and in all the pains of my body, in all the agonies of my spirit, let thy comforts refresh my soul, and enable me patiently to waite, till my change come. And grant, O Lord, that when my earthly house of this Tabernacle is dissolv­ed, I may have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens. And that for his sake, who by his precious blood hath purchased it for me, even Jesus Christ.

A THANKSGIVING for RECOVERY.

O GRACIOUS Lord, the God of the spi­rits of all fl [...]sh, in whose hand my time is. I praise and magnifie thee, that thou hast in love to my soul, delivered it from the pit of corruption, and restored me to health again, it is thou alone, O Lord, that hast preserved my life from destruction, thou hast chastned and corrected me, but thou hast not given me o­ver unto death, O let this life which thou hast thus graciously spared be wholy consecrated to thee. Behold, O Lord, I am by thy mercy made w [...]ole, O make me strictly careful to sin no more, least a worse thing come unto me. Lord, let not this reprieve thou hast now given me, [Page 633] make me secure, as thinking that my Lord de­layeth his coming, but grant me, I beseech thee, to make a right use of this long suffering of thine, and so to imploy every minute of that time, thou shalt allow me that when thou shalt appear, I may have confidence and not be a­shamed before thee at thy coming. Lord, I have found by this approach towards death, how dreadful a thing it is to be taken unprepared. O let it be a perpetual admonition to me, to watch for my Masters coming; And when the pleasures of sin shal present themselvs to entice me, O make me to remember how bitter they will be at the last. O Lord, hear me, and as thou hast in much mercy afforded me time, so grant me also grace to work out my own salvation, to provide oyl in my lamp, that when the Bridgroom cometh, I may go in with him to the marriage. Grant this, I beseech thee, for thy dear Sons sake.

A Prayer at the approach of death.

O ETERNAL and everliving God, who first breathedst into man the breath of life, and when thou takest away that breath, he dyes and is turned again to his dust, look with compassion on me thy poor creature, who am now drawing neer the gates of death, and which is infinitely more terrible, the bar of judgment. Lord my own heart condemns me, and thou art infinitely greater then my heart, and knowest all things. The sins I know and [Page 634] remember, fill me with horrour; but there are also multitudes of others, which I either observed not at the time, or have since care­lesly forgot, which are all present to thee. Thou settest my misdeeds before thee, and my secret sins in the light of thy countenance, and to what a mountainous heap must the mi­nutely provocations of so many years arise? How shall one so ungodly stand in thy Judg­ment, or such a sinner in the Congregation of the Righteous? And to add yet more to my terrour, my very repentance I fear will not abide the tryal, my frequent relapses hereto­fore have sufficiently witnessed the unsincerity of my past resolutions. And then, O Lord, what can secure me that my present dislikes of my sins are not rather the effects of my ama­zing danger, then of any reall change; and, O Lord, I know thou art not mo [...]ked, nor wilt accept of any thing that is not perfectly sincere. O Lord, when I consider this, fear­fulness and trembling comes upon me, and an horrible dread overwhelmeth me, my flesh trembleth for fear of thee, and my heart is wounded within me. But, O Lord, one deep calleth upon another, the depth of my misery upon the depth of thy mercy. Lord, save now, or I perish eternally. O thou who willest not that any should perish, but that all should come to Repentance, bring me, I beseech thee, though thus late, to a sincere Repentance, such as thou wilt accept, who tryest the heart. Create in me, O God, a [Page 635] clean heart, and renew a right spirit within me: Lord one day is with thee as a thousand years, O let thy mighty Spirit work in me now in this my last day, whatsoever thou seest wanting to fit me for thy mercy, and ac­ceptation. Give me a perfect and entire ha­tred of my sins, and enable me to present thee with that sacrifice of a broken and contrite heart, which thou hast promised not to de­spise; that by this I may be made capable of that atonement, which thy dear Son hath by the more excellent oblation of himself made for all repenting sinners. He is the propitia­tion for our sins, he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniqui­ties, the chastisement of our peace was on him, O heal me by his stripes, and let the cry of his blood drown the clamour of my sins: I am indeed a child of wrath, but he is the Son of thy love, for his sake spare me▪ O Lord, spare thy creature, whom he hath redeemed with his most precious blood, and be not angry with me for ever. In his wounds, O Lord, I take Sanctuary, O let not thy vengeance pursue me to this city of refuge: my Soul hangeth upon him, O let me not pe­rish with a Jesus, with a Saviour in my armes. But by his Agony and bloody Sweat, by his Cross and Passion, by all that he did and suf­fered for sinners, good Lord deliver me, de­liver me, I beseech thee▪ from the wages of my sins, thy wrath and everlasting damnation, in th [...]s time of my tribulation, in the hour of [Page 636] death, and in the day of Judgment. Hea [...] me O Lord, hear me; and do not now repay my former neglects of thy calls, by refusing to answer me in this time of my gr [...]atest need. Lord, there is but a step between me and death, O let not my sun go down upon thy wrath, but sea [...] my pardon, before I go hence and be no more seen. Thy loving kindness is better then the life it self, O let me have that in exchange, and I shall most gladly lay down this mortal life; Lord thou knowest all my de­sire, and my groaning is not hid from thee, Deal thou with me, O Lord, according to thy Name, for sweet is thy mercy take away the sting of death, the guilt of my sins, and then though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, I will lay me down in peace, and Lord when I a­wake up, let me be satisfied with thy presence in thy glory. Grant this merciful God for his sake, who is both the Redeemer, and Media­tor of sinners, even Jesus Christ.

PSALMES.

PVT me not to rebuke O Lord in thi [...] an­ger, neither chasten me in thy heavy dis­pleasure.

There is no health in my flesh because of thy displeasure, neither is there any rest in my bones by reason of my sins.

For my wickednesses are gone over my head, and are a sore burden too heavy for me to bear.

[Page 637] My wounds stink and are corrupt through my foolishness.

Therefore is my spirit vexed within me, and my heart within me is desolate.

My sins have taken such hold upon me, that I am not able to look up, yea, they are more in number, then the hairs of my head, and my heart hath failed me.

But thou, O Lord God, art full of com­passion and mercy, long suffering, plenteous in goodness and truth.

Turn thee unto me, and have mercy upon me for I am desolate, and in misery.

If thou Lord shouldst be extreme to mark what is done amiss, O Lord who may abide it.

O remember not the sins and offences of my youth, but according to thy mercy think thou upon me, for thy goodness.

Look upon my adversity and misery, and forgive me all my sin.

Hide not thy face from thy servant, for I am in trouble, O haste thee and hear me.

Out of the deep do I call unto thee, Lord hear my voice.

Turn thee O Lord, and deliver my Soul, O save me for thy mercies sake.

O go not from me, for trouble is hard at hand, and there is none to help.

I stretch forth my hands unto thee, my Soul gaspeth unto thee, as a thirsty land.

Draw nigh unto my Soul and save it, O de­liver me, because of my enemies.

[Page 638] For my Soul is full of trouble, and my life draweth nigh unto hell.

Save me from the Lyons mouth, hear me from among the horns of the Vnicorns.

O set me up upon the rock that is higher then I, for thou art my hope, and a strong Tower for me against the enemy.

Why art thou so heavy, O my Soul, and why art thou so disquieted within me?

Put thy trust in God, for I will yet give him thanks, for the help of his countenance.

The Lord shall make good his loving kind­ness towards me, yea, thy Mercy O Lord en­dureth for ever, despise not then the work of of thine own hands.

O GOD, thou art my God, early will I seek thee.

My Soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh also longeth after thee, in a barren and dry land where no water is.

Like as the hart desireth the water brooks, so longeth my Soul after thee O God.

My Soul is a thirst for God, even for the li­ving God, when shall I come to appear before the presence of God?

How amiable are thy dwellings, O Lord of Hosts?

My Soul hath a desire and longing to enter into the Courts of the Lord, my flesh and my heart rejoice in the living God.

O that I had wings like a Dove, for then would I flye away and be at rest.

[Page 639] O send out thy light and thy truth, that they may lead me, and bring me unto thy Holy Hill, and to thy dwelling.

For one day in thy Courts is better then a thousand.

I had rather be a door keeper in the house of my God, then to dwell in the tents of wickedness.

I should utterly have fainted, but that I believed verily to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.

Thou art my Helper and my Redeemer, O Lord make no long tarrying.

EjACULATIONS.

O LORD of whom may I seek for succour, but of thee who for my sins art justly displeased, yet O Lord God most Holy, O Lord most mighty, O Holy and most Merciful Saviour, deliver me not into the bitter pains of eternal death.

Thou knowest Lord the secrets of my heart, shut not up thy merciful eyes to my prayer, but hear me O Lord most Holy, O God most Mighty, O Holy and Merciful Sa­viour, thou most worthy Judg eternal, suffer me not at my last hour for any pains of death to fall from thee.

Father I have sinned against Heaven and before thee, and am no worthy to be called thy child, yet O Lord do not thou cast off the bowels and compassions of a Father, but e­ven [Page 640] as a Father pittieth his own children, so b [...] thou merciful unto me.

Lord, the prince of this world cometh, O [...] let [...]im have nothing in me, but as he ac­cuseth, do thou absolve, he layes many and grievous things to my charge, which he can too well prove, I have nothing to say for my self, do thou answer for me, O Lord my God.

O Lord I am clothed with filthy garments, and Satan stands at my right hand, to resist me, O be thou pleased to rebuke him, and pluck me as a brand out of the fire, cause mine iniquities to pass from me, and cloth me with the righteousness of thy Son.

Behold, O God, the Devil is coming to­wards me, having great wrath because he knoweth that he hath but a short time, O save and deliver me, lest he devour my Soul like a Lyon, and tear it in pieces while there is none to help.

O my God, I know that no unclean thing can enter into thy Kingdom, and I am no­thing but pollution, my very righteousness are as filthy rags, O wash me and make me white in the blood of the Lamb, that so I may be fit to stand before thy Throne.

Lord the snares of death compass me round about. O let not the pains of Hell also take hold upon me, but though I find trouble and heaviness, yet O Lord I bese [...]ch thee deliver my Soul.

O dear Jesus, who hast bought me with the [Page 641] precious price of thine own blood, challenge now thy purchase, and let not all the malice of hell pluck me out of thy hand.

O blessed high Priest, who art able to save them to the utmost, who come unto God by thee, saye me I beseech thee, who have no hope, but on thy merits and intercession.

O God I confess I have defaced that Image of thine, thou didst imprint upon my Soul, yet O thou faithful Creatour, have pity on thy creature.

O Jesu, I have by my many and grievous sins crucified thee afresh, yet thou who pray­edst for thy persecutors, intercede for me also, and suffer not, O my Redeemer, my soul (the price of thy blood) to perish.

O Spirit of grace, I have by my horrid im­pieties done despight to thee, yet, O blessed comforter though I have often grieved thee, be thou pleased to succour and relieve me, and say unto my soul, I am thy salvation.

Mine eyes look unto thee, O Lord, in thee is my trust, O cast not out my soul.

O Lord in thee have I trusted, let me never be confounded.

O Blessed Lord, who scourgest every Son whom thou receivest let me not be wea­ry of thy correction, but give me such a per­fect subjection to thee the Father of Spirits, that this chastisement may be for my profit, that I may thereby be partaker of thy holiness.

[Page 642] O thou Captain of my salvation, who wert made perfect by sufferings, sanctifie to me all the paines of body, all the terrors of mind, which thou shalt permit to fall upon me.

Lord, my sins have deserved eternal tor­ments make me cheerfully and thankfully to bear my present pains, chasten me as thou pleasest here, that I may not be condemned with the world.

Lord, the waters are come in even unto my soul, O let thy Spirit move upon these wa­ters, and make them like the pool of Bethes­da, that they may cure whatsoever spiritual disease thou discernest in me.

O Christ, who first sufferedst many and grie­vous things, and then enteredst into thy glo­r