A Christian Directory: Or, A SUMM of PRACTICAL THEOLOGIE, AND CASES OF CONSCIENCE. Directing Christians, how to USE their Knowledge and Faith; How to improve all Helps and Means, and to Perform all Duties; How to Over­come Temptations, and to escape or mortifie every Sin.

In Four Parts,

  • I. CHRISTIAN ETHICKS (or private Duties.)
  • II. CHRISTIAN OECONOMICKS (or Family Duties.)
  • IV. CHRISTIAN POLITICKS (or Duties to our Rulers and Neighbours.)


Mal. 2. 7▪ 8.

The Priests lips should keep Knowledge, and they should seek the Law at his mouth; for he is the messenger of the Lord of Hosts. But ye are departed out of the way: Ye have Caused many to stumble at the Law; ye have corrupted the Covenant of Levi—

Matth. 13. 52.

Every SCRIBE which is instructed unto the Kingdom of Heaven, is like unto a man that is an Housholder, which bringeth forth out of his Treasure things New and Old.

Heb. 5. 13, 14.

For every one that useth Milk is unskilful in the Word of Righteousness: for he is a Babe: But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age: Those who by reason of USE, have their senses ex­ercised to discern both Good and Evil.

2 Tim. 2. 14, 15, 16.

Of these things put them in remembrance; charging them before God, that they STRIVE not about WORDS, to no profit, but to the subverting of the Hearers: Study to shew thy self approved UNTO GOD, a Workman that needeth not to be ashamed, RIGHTLY DIVIDING the word of Truth. But shun profane and vain Bablings; for they will increase unto more Ungodliness, and their Word will eat as doth a Canker.

2 Pet. 3. 16.

In which (Pauls Epistles) are some things hard to be understood: which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other Scriptures to their own destruction.

LONDON, Printed, by Robert White, for Nevill Simmons, at the Sign of the Princes Arms in St. Pauls Church-yard. 1673.



THE Book is so big that I must make no longer Preface, than to give you this necessary short account, 1. Of the Quality, 2. And the Reasons of this Work.

I. The matter you will see in the Contents: As Am [...]sius his Cases of Conscience are to his Medulla, the second and Practical part of Theologie, so is this to a Methodus Theologiae which I have not yet published. And 1. As to the Method of this, it is partly natural, but principally Moral, that is, partly suitable to the real order of the Matter, but chiefly of useful­ness, secundum ordinem Intentionis, where our reasons of each location are fetcht from the End. Therefore unless I might be tedious in opening my reasons à fine for the order of every particular, I know not how to give you full satisfaction. But in this Practical part I am the less solicitous about the Accurateness of method, because it more belongeth to the former Part (the Theory) where I do it as well as I am able.

2. This Book was written in 1664. and 1665. (except the Ecclesiastick Cases of Conscience, and a few sheets since added): And since the Wri­ting of it, some invitations drew me to publish, my Reasons of the Chri­stian Religion, my Life of Faith, and Directions for weak Christians: by which the work of the two first Chapters here is fullier done: And there­fore I was inclined here to leave them out. But for the use of such Fami­lies as may have this without the other, I forbore to dismember it.

3. But there is a great disproportion between the several parts of the Book. 1. The first Part is largest, because I thought that the Heart must be kept with greatest diligence, and that if the Tree be good the fruit will be good; and I remember Pauls counsel, 1 Tim. 4. 16. Take heed to thy self and unto thy Doctrine: Continue in them: for in doing this thou shalt both save thy self and them that hear thee. Nothing is well done by him that beginneth not at home: As the man is, so is his strength, and work. 2. The two first Chapters are too course and tedious for those of the higher form, (who may pass them over). But the rest must be spo­ken to; To whom that is unprofitable which is most suitable and plea­sant to more exercised and accurate wits. The Grand. Directions are but the explication of the essentials of Christianity, or of the Baptismal Co­venant, even of our Relation-duties to God the Father, Son (in several [Page] parts of his Relation) and of the Holy Ghost. The doctrine of Temptati­ons is handled with brevity, because they are so numerous; lest a due am­plification should have swelled the Book too much; (when a small part of their number maketh up so much of Mr. Iohn Downame's great and ex­cellent Treatise called The Christian Welfare.) The great radical sins are handled more largely than seemeth proportionable to the rest, because all die when they are dead. And I am large about Redeeming Time, because therein the sum of a holy obedient life is included.

4. If any say, Why call you that a sum of Practical Theologie which is but the Directing part, and leaveth out the explication, reasons, various Uses, marks, motives, &c? I answer, 1. Had I intended Sermonwise to say all that might well be said on each subject, it would have made many Volumes as big as this. 2. Where I thought them needful, the explication of each duty and sin is added, with marks, contraries, counterfeits, motives, &c. And Uses are easily added by an ordinary Reader, without my naming them.

5. I do especially desire you to observe, that the resolving of practical Cases of Conscience, and the reducing of Theoretical knowledge into serious Christian Practice and promoting a skilful facility in the faithful exercise of universal obedience, and Holiness of heart and life, is the great work of this Treatise; And that where I thought it needful the Cases are reduced to express Questions and Answers: But had I done so by all, many such Vo­lumes would have been too little: And therefore I thought the Directing way most brief and fit for Christian practice: For if you mark them, you will find few Directions in the Book, which may not pass for the answer of an (implyed) Question or Case of Conscience, And when I have given you the Answer in a Direction, an ingenious Reader can tell what Question it is that is answered; And so, many hundred Cases are here resolved, especial­ly in the two first Parts, which are not interrogatively named.

6. And I must do my self the right as to notifie to the Reader, that this Treatise was written when I was (for not-subscribing, Declaring, &c.) forbidden by the Law to Preach, and when I had been long separated far from my Library and from all Books, saving an inconsiderable parcel which wandred with me, where I went: By which means this Book hath two defects: 1. It hath no Cases of Conscience but what my bare memory brought to hand: And Cases are so innumerable, that it is far harder, me­thinks, to remember them, than to answer them: whereby it came to pass that some of the Ecclesiastical Cases, are put out of their proper place, because I could not seasonably remember them. For I had no one Casuist but Amesius with me. But (after about twelve years separation) having received my Library, I find that the very sight of Sayrus, Fragoso, Roderiquez, T [...]l [...]t, &c. might have helpt my memory to a greater number: But perhaps these will be enough for those that I intend them for. 2. And by the same cause the Margin is unfurnished of such citations as are ac­counted an Ornament, and in some cases are very useful. The scraps inserted out of my few trivial Books at hand being so mean, as that I am well content (except about Monarchy Par. 4.) that the Reader pass them by as not worthy of his notice.

And it's like that the absence of Books, will appear to the Readers loss in the materials of the Treatise: But I shall have this advantage by it that [Page] he will not accuse me as a plagiary; And it may be some little advantage to him, that he hath no transcript of any mans Books, which he had before, but the product of some experience, with a naked unbyassed perception of the Matter or Things themselves.

7. Note also that the third and fourth parts are very much defective of what they should contain, about the Power and Government of Gods officers in Church and State; of which no Readers will expect a reason but strangers, whose expectations I may not satisfie. But as I must profess that I hope nothing here hath proceeded, from Disloyalty, or disrespect to Authority, Go­vernment, Unity, Concord, Peace or Order, or from any opposition to Faith, Piety, Love, or Iustice; so if unknown to me, there be any thing found here, that is contrary or injurious to any one of these, I do hereby renounce it, and desire it may be taken as non-scriptum.

II. The Ends and Uses for which I wrote this Book are these: 1. That when I could not Preach the Gospel as I would, I might do it as I could. 2. That three sorts might have the benefit as followeth.

I That the Younger and more unfurnished, and unexperienced sort of Ministers, might have a promptuary at hand, for Practical Resolutions and Directions on the subjects that they have need to deal in. And though Sayrus and Fragoso have done well, I would not have us under a necessity, of going to the Romanists for our ordinary supplies: Long have our Di­vines been wishing for some fuller Casuistical Tractate: Perkins began well. Bishop Sanderson hath done excellently de Iuramento; Amesius hath exceeded all, though briefly: Mr. David Dickson hath put more of our English Cases about the state of Sanctification, into Latine, than ever was done before him. Bishop Ier. Tailor hath in two Folio's but begun the co­pious performance of the work. And still men are calling for more, which I have attempted: Hoping that others will come after and do bet­ter than we all.

If any call it my Pride to think that any Ministers or Students are so raw as to need any thing that I can add to them, let him but pardon me for say­ing that such demure pleadings for a feigned Humility, shall not draw me to a confederacy with Blindness, Hypocrisie and Sloth, and I will pardon him for his charge of Pride.

It is long ago since many forreign Divines subscribed a request, that the English would give them in Latine a sum of our Practical Theologie; which Mr. Dury sent over, and twelve great Divines of ours wrote to Bishop Usher (as Dr. Bernard tells you in his Life) to draw them up a form or Method: But it was never done among them all; And it's said that Bi­shop Downame at last undertaking it, he dyed in the attempt. Had this been done, its like my labour might have been spared. But being un­done, I have thus made this Essay. But I have been necessitated to leave out much (about Conversion, Mortification, Self-denyal, Self-acquain­tance, Faith, Justification, Judgement, Glory, &c.) because I had writ­ten of them all before.

II. And I thought it not unuseful to the more Judicious Masters of Fa­milies; who may choose and read such parcels to their Families, as at any [Page] time the case requireth. And indeed I began it rudely, with an Intention of that Plainness and Brevity which Families require: But finding that it swelled to a bigger bulk than I intended, I was fain to write my Life of Faith, as a Breviate and Substitute, for the Families and persons that cannot have and use so large a Volume: (presupposing my Directions for sound Con­version, for weak Christians, and for p [...]ace of Conscience, printed long ago.)

III. And to private Christians I thought it not in vain, to have at hand so Universal a Directory and Resolution of Doubts; not expecting that they re­member all, but may on every occasion, turn to such particulars as they most need.

But I must expect to be assaulted with these Objections (And it is not only prophane deriders and malignant enemies, that are used by Satan to [...]ilifie and oppose our service of God).

Object. I. You have written too many Books already: Who do you think hath so little to do as to read them all? Is it not Pride and self-conceitedness to think that your scriblings are worthy to be read? and that the world hath need of so much of your in­structions? as if there were no wise men but you? You have given offence already by your writings: you should write less and Preach more.

Answ. 1. I have seldome, if ever, in all my Ministry, omitted one Ser­mon for all my Writings: I was not able to Live in London nor ride abroad; But through Gods mercy I seldom omitted any opportunities at home.

2. And if I Preach the same Doctrine that I write, why should not men be as angry with me for preaching it, as for writing it. But if it be good and true, why is it not as good Preach by the Press to many thousands, and for many years after I am dead, as to Preach to a Parlour full for a few hours? Or why is not both as good as one?

3. I will not take the Reverend Objector to be ignorant that Writing, and publishing the Word of God by it, is preaching it, and the most pub­lick preaching: And hath the example of the Apostles and Evangelists as well as speaking: And one is no more appropriate to them than the other: though the Extraordinaries of both be proper to them. And do you not perceive what self-condemning contradiction it is, at the same time to cry out against those that disswade you from preaching, or hinder you, and tell you it is needless, and you are proud to think that the world needeth your preaching, and yet your selves to say the very same against your brethrens preaching by the Press. I know an ignorant il­literate Sectary might say, Writing is no preaching, and you are called to preach and not to write; But I must reverence you more than to suppose you so absurd. Other men forbid you but less publick preaching, and you reproach me for more publick Preaching: that's the difference. How hard is it to know what Spirit we are of? Did you think that you had been Patrons of idleness, and Silencers of Ministers, while you declaim so much against it. Your pretence that you would have me preach more is feigned. Are you sure that you preach ofter than I do? When I perswaded Ministers heretofore to Catechize and instruct all their Parishes personally, family by family, you said it was more toil than was our duty: and now you are against much Writing too; and yet would be thought laborious Ministers.

[Page]And as to the number and length of my Writings, it is my own labour that maketh them so, and my own great trouble, that the world cannot be sufficiently instructed and edified in fewer words. But 1. Would not all your Sermons set together be as long? And why is not much and long preaching blameable, if long Writings be? 2. Are not the works of Au­gustine and Chrysostome, much longer? Who yet hath reproached Aquinas or Suarez, Calvin or Zanchy, &c. for the number and greatness of the Vo­lumes they have written? Why do you contradict your selve [...] by affe­cting great Libraries? 3. When did I ever perswade any one of you, to buy or read any Book of mine? What harm will they do those that let them alone? Or what harm can it do you for other men to read them? Let them be to you as if they had never been written, and it will be nothing to you how many they are. And if all others take not you for their Tutors to choose for them the Books that they must read, that is not my doing, but their own. If they err in taking themselves to be fitter Judges than you, what tendeth most to their own Edification, why do you not teach them better? 4. Either it is Gods Truth, or Error which I write. If Error, Why doth no one of you shew so much Charity, as by Word or Writing to instruct me better, nor evince it to my face, but do all to others by backbiting? If Truth, What harm will it do? If men had not leisure to read our Writings, the Booksellers would silence us, and save you the labour: For none would Print them. 5. But who can please all men? Whilest a few of you cry out of too much, what if twenty or an hundred for one be yet for more? How shall I know whether you or they be the wiser and the better men?

Readers, you see on what terms we must do the work of God? Our slothful flesh is backward, and weary of so much labour: Malignant enemies of piety are against it all. Some slothful brethren think it ne­cessary to cloak their fleshly ease, by vilifying the diligence of others. Many Sects whom we oppose, think it the interest of their cause (which they call Gods cause) to make all thats said against them seem vain, contemptible and odious; which because they cannot do by Confuta­tion, they'le do by backbiting and confident chat. And one or two Re­verend Brethren, have, by the wisdom described exactly, Iames 3. 15, 16. arrived at the liberty of backbiting and Magisterial sentencing the works of others, (which they confess they never read,) that their Reputation of being most Learned, Orthodox, Worthy Divines, may keep the Chair at easier rates, than the wasting of their flesh in unwearied labours to know the truth, and communicate it to the world. And some are angry, who are forward to write, that the Booksellers and Readers silence not others as well as them.

Object. II. Your Writings differing from the common judgement have already caused offence to the godly.

Answ. 1. To the Godly that were of a contrary opinion only; Sores that will not be healed, use to be exasperated by the Medicine. 2. It was none but healing Pacificatory Writings, that have caused that offence. 3. Have not those dissenters Writings more offended the Godly that were against them? They have but one trick, to honour their denyal, which more [Page] dishonoureth it, even by unsanctifying those that are not of their minds. 4. If God bless me with opportunity and help, I will offend such men much more, by endeavouring further than ever I have done, the quenching of that fire which they are still blowing up, and detecting the folly and mischief of those Logomachies by which they militate against Love and Concord, and enflame and tear the Church of God. And let them know that I am about it. But some Pastors as well as people, have the weakness to think that all our Preachings and Writings must be brought under their dominion, and to their barr, by the bare saying that [We offend the Godly] that is, those of their opinion, which they falsly call by the name of scandal. 5. But I think they will find little Controversie to offend them in this Book.

Object. III. You should take more leisure, and take other mens judgement of your Writings before you thrust them out so hastily.

Answ. 1. I have but a little while to live, and therefore must work while it is day. Time will not stay. 2. I do shew them to those that I take to be most judicious, and never refused any mans censure; But it is not many that have leisure to do me so great a kindness. But that I commit them not to the perusal of every Objector, is a fault uncurable, by one that ne­ver had an Amanuensis, and hath but one Copy usually. 3. And if I could do it, how should I be sure that they would not differ as much among themselves, as they do from me? And my Writings would be like the Picture which the great Painter exposed to the censure of every passen­ger, and made it ridiculous to all, when he altered all that every one ad­vised him to alter. And, to tell you the truth, I was never yet blamed by one side as not sufficiently pleasing them, but I was blamed also by the contrary side, for coming so near them: And I had not wit enough to know which party of the accusers was the wiser? And therefore am re­solved to study to please God and Conscience, and to take man-pleasing, when inconsistent, for an impossible and unprofitable work, and to cease from man whose breath is in his Nostrils, whose thoughts all perish as he passeth off the Judicature of his Stage, to the Judicature of God.

Object. IV. Your Ecclesiastical Cases, are dangerously reconciling, tending to abate mens zeal against Error.

Answ. The world hath long enough escaped the danger of Peace and Reconciliation: It had been well if they had as long escaped the danger of your Conceited-Orthodox strife, which hath brought in confusion and all evil works: I take it to be a Zeal effectively against Love, and against Unity, and against Christ, which with the Preachers of extreams, goeth un­der the name of a Zeal against Error, and for Truth.

Object. V. Are all these Numerous Directions to be found in Scripture? Shew us them in Scripture, or you trouble the Church with your own inventions.

Answ. 1. Are all your Sermons, in the Scripture? And all the good Books of your Library in the Scripture? 2. Will you have none but Readers in the Church, and put down Preachers? Sure it is the Reader that delivereth all and only the Scripture. 3. Are we not Men before we are Christians? And is not the Light and Law of Nature, Divine? And was the [Page] Scripture written to be instead of Reason, or of a Logick, or other subser­vient Sciences? Or must they not all be sanctified and used for Divinity? 4. But I think that as all good Commentaries and Sermons, and Systems of Theology are in Scripture, so is the Directory here given, and is proved by the evidence of the very thing discourst of, or by the plainest Texts.

Object. VI. You confound your Reader by Curiosity of distinctions.

Answ. 1. If they are vain or false, shame them by detecting it, or you shame your selves by blaming them, when you cannot shew the error: Expose not your selves to laughter by avoiding just distinction to escape confu­sion; that is, avoiding knowledge to escape Ignorance, or Light to escape darkness. 2. It is ambiguity and confusion that breedeth and feedeth almost all our pernitious Controversies: And even those that bring in error by vain distinction, must be confuted by better distinguishers, and not by ignorant Confounders. I will believe the Holy Ghost, 2 Tim. 2. 14, 15, 16. that Logomachie is the plague by which the hearers are subverted, and ungod­liness increased; and that Orthotomie or right dividing the Word of Truth is the Cure. And Heb. 5. 15. Discerning both good and evil, is the work of long and well exercised senses.

Object. VII. Is this your reducing our faith to the primitive simplicity, and to the Creed? What a toilsome task do you make Religion by overdoing? Is any man able to remember all these numberless Directions.

Answ. 1. I pray mistake not all these for Articles of Faith. I am more zealous than ever I was for the reduction of the Christian faith to the primitive simplicity; and more confident that the Church will never have Peace and Concord, till it be so done, as to the test of mens Faith and Communion. But he that will have no Books but his Creed and Bible, may follow that Sectary, who when he had burnt all his other Books as bumane inventions, at last burnt the Bible, when he grew Learned enough to understand, that the translation of that was Humane too.

2 If men think not all the Tools in their Shops, and all the Furniture of their Houses, or the number of their Sheep, or Cattle, or Lands, nor the number of Truths received by a Learning intellect, &c. to be a trou­ble and toil, why should they think so of the number of Helps to facili­tate the practice of their duty? If all the Books in your Libraries make your Studies or Religion toilsome, why do you keep them? and do not come to the Vulgar Religion, that would hear no more but [Think well, speak well, and do well], or [Love God and your neighbour, and do as you would be done by]. He that doth this truly, shall be saved: But there goeth more to the building of a house, than to say, Lay the foundation, and raise the superstructure: Universals exist not but in individuals; and the whole consisteth of all the parts.

3. It is not expected that any man remember all these Directions. There­fore I wrote them, because men cannot remember them, that they may upon every necessary occasion, go to that which they have present use for, and cannot otherwise remember.

In summ, to my quarrelsome Brethren I have two requests, 1. That in­stead [Page] of their unconscionable, and yet unreformed custome of back­biting, they would tell me to my face of my offences by convincing evidence, and not tempt the hearers to think them envious: and 2. That what I do amiss, they would do better: and not be such as will neither labo­riously serve the Church themselves, nor suffer others: and that they will not be guilty of Idleness themselves, nor tempt me to be a slothful ser­vant, who have so little time to spend: For I dare not stand before God under that guilt: And that they will not joyn with the enemies and resisters of the publication of the Word of God.

And to the Readers my request is, 1. That what ever for Quantity or Quality in this Book is an impediment to their regular universal obe­dience, and to a truly holy life, they would neglect and cast away: 2. But that which is truly Instructing and Helpful, they would diligently Di­gest and Practice; And I encourage them by my testimony, that by long experience I am assured, that this PRACTICAL RELIGION will afford both to Church, State and Conscience, more certain and more solid Peace, than contending Disputers, with all their pretences of Orthodox­ness and Zeal against Errors for the Truth, will ever bring, or did ever attain to.

I crave your pardon for this long Apology: It is an Age where the Objections are not feigned, and where our greatest and most costly services of God, are charged on us as our greatest sins; and where at once I am accused of Conscience for doing no more, and of men for doing so much: Being really

A most unworthy Servant of so good a Master RICHARD BAXTER.

THE CONTENTS OF THE First TOME: Christian Ethicks.

  • The Introduction. page 1, 2.
  • DIrections to Unconverted grace­less sinners for the attain­ment of saving Grace: §. 1. What is presupposed in the Reader of these Dire­ctions. p. 3
  • Containing Reasons against Atheism and Ungodliness. §. 2 Twenty Directions. p. 6
  • §. 3. Thirty Temptations by which Satan hindereth mens conversion. p. 26
  • Ten Temptations by which he would perswade men that their heinous mortal sins which prove them unconverted, are but the pardoned infirmities of the penitent. p. 33
  • Directions to weak Christians for their establishment and growth. p. 36
  • Direct. 1. Against receiving Religion meerly for the Novelty or Reputation of it. ibid.
  • Direct. 2. Let Judgement, Zeal and Practice go equally together. p. 38
  • Direct. 3. Keep a short Method of Divinity, or a Catechism, still in your memory. p. 39
  • Direct. 4. Certain Cautions about Controversies in Religion: Heb. 6. 1. opened. p. 40
  • Direct. 5. Think not too highly of your first degrees of Grace or Gifts. Time and diligence are neces­sary to growth. How the Spirit doth illuminate. The danger of this sin. p 41
  • Direct. 6. Let neither difficulties nor oppositions in the beginning discourage you. Reasons. p. 43
  • Direct. 7. Value and use a Powerful faithful Mini­nistry. Reasons: Objections answered. p. 45
  • Direct. 8. For Charity, Unity and Catholicism, against Schism: Pretences for Schism confuted. p. 47
  • Direct. 9. Let not sufferings make you sin, by passion, or dishonouring authority. p. 49
  • Direct. 10. Take heed of running from one extream into another. p. 50
  • Direct. 11. Be not too confident in your first appre­hensions or opinions, but modestly suspicious of them. p. 51
  • Direct. 12. What to do when Controversies divide the Church. Of silencing truth. p. 52
  • Direct. 13. What Godliness is: The best life on earth. How Satan would make it seem trouble­some and ungrateful, 1. By difficulties. 2. By various Sects. 3. By scrupulosity. 4. By your over­doing in your own inventions. 5. By perplexing fears and sorrows. 6. By unmortified lusts. 7. By actual si [...]s. 8. By ignorance of the Covenant of grace. p. 54
  • Direct. 14. Mortifie the flesh, and rule the senses, and the appetite. p. 57
  • [Page] Direct. 15. Be wary in choosing not only your Teach­ers, but your Company also. Their Characters. p. 58
  • Direct. 16. What Books to prefer and read, and what to reject. P. 60
  • Direct. 17. Take not a Doctrine of Libertinism for Free Grace. p. 61
  • Direct. 18. Take heed l [...]st Grace degenerate, into Counterfeits, formality, &c. p. 63
  • Direct. 19. Reckon not on prosperity or long life, but live as dying. p. 65
  • Direct. 20. See that your Religion be purely Divine: That God be your First and Last and All: Man nothing. p. 66
  • The General Grand Directions for walking with God, in a life of faith and Holiness; Containing the Essentials of Godliness and Christianity. p. 69
  • Gr. Dir. 1. Understand well the Nature, Grounds, Reason and Order of Faith and Godliness: Pro­positions opening somewhat of them. The Rea­der must note, that here I blotted out the Method and Helps of Faith, having fullier opened them in a Treatise called The Reasons of the Christian Religion, and another of the Unreasonableness of Infidelity.
  • Gr. Dir. 2. How to live by Faith on Christ. How to make Use of Christ, in twenty necessities. p. 72
  • Gr. Dir. 3. How to Believe in the Holy Ghost, and live by his Grace. His Witness, Seal, Earnest, &c. Q. When good effects are from Means, from our Endeavour, and when from the Spirit? p. 77, 78
  • Gr. Dir. 4. For a True, Orderly and Practical Knowledge of God: A Scheme of his Attributes. p. 81, 82
  • Gr. Dir. 5. Of self resignation to God as our Ow­ner: Motives, Marks, Means. p. 83
  • Gr. Dir. 6. Of subjection to God as our Soveraign King. What it is? How to bring the soul into subjection to God: How to keep up a Ready and Constant Obedience to him. p. 85
  • Gr. Dir. 7. To Learn of Christ as our Teacher: How? The Imitation of Christ. p. 90
  • Gr. Dr. 8. To obey Christ our Physicion or Saviour in his Repairing, healing work. p. 95
  • How each faculty is diseased or depraved? The Intellect: its acts and maladies: The Wi [...]: Q. Whether the Locomotive and sense can move us to sin without the Consent of the Will ( [...]r Rea­son) upon its bare Omission? The sin of the Memory, Imagination, affections, sensitive appe­tite, exterior parts, which need a Cure. Forty in­trinsecal evils in sin which make up its Malignity. The common Aggravations of sin: Special aggra­vations of the sins of the Regenerate. Directions to get a hatred of sin: How to cure it. p. 95
  • Gr. Dir. 9. Of the Christian Warfare under Christ: Who are our Enemies: Of the Devil: The state of the Armies, and of the War between Christ and Satan. The ends, grounds, advantages, auxilia­ries, instruments and methods of the Tempter. p. 104
  • How Satan keepeth off the forces of Christ, and fru­strateth all means. Christs contrary Methods. p. 109
  • Tit. 2. Temptations to particular sins, with Dire­ctions for preservation and Remedy. 1. How Sa­tan prepareth his baits of Temptation. p. 111
  • 2. How he applyeth them. p. 114
  • Tit. 3. Temptations to draw us off from duty. p. 124
  • Tit. 4. Temptations to frustrate holy duties. p. 126
  • Gr. Dir. 10. How to work as servants to Christ our Lord. The true doctrine of Good Works. p. 128
  • Directions for our serving Christ in well doing, p. 130. Where are many Rules to know what are good works, and how to do them acceptably and successfully.
  • Q. Is doing good, or avoiding sin to be most looked at in the choice of a Calling or Employ­ment of life? p. 133
  • Q. May one change his Calling for advantages to do good?
  • Q. Who are excused from living in a Calling, or from Work? p. 124
  • Q. Must I do a thing as a Good work, while I doubt, whether it be good, indifferent, or sin? p. 134▪
  • Q. Is it not every mans duty to obey his Consci­ence? p. 135
  • Q. Is it not a sin to go against Conscience?
  • Q. Whether the formal cause alone do constitute obedience?
  • Q. How sin must be avoided by one that hath an erroneus conscience?
  • Q. How can a man lawfully resist or strive against an erring conscience, when he striveth against a supposed truth?
  • Q Is not going against conscience, sinning against Knowledge? p. 136
  • Q. When the information of conscience requireth a long time, is it not a duty to obey it at the present?
  • Q. May one do a Great Good when it cannot be done but by a Little sin (as a Lye)?
  • Q Must I not forbear all Good Works, which I cannot do without sin?
  • Q Must I forbear a certain great duty (as preach­ing the Gospel) for fear of a small uncertain sin?
  • Q. What shall a man do that is in doubt after all the means that he can use? p. 137
  • Sixteen Rules to guide a doubting conscience, and to know among many seeming duties, which is the greatest, and to be preferred, p. 137
  • Gr. Dir. 11. To LOVE GOD as our Father and Felicity and End. The Nature of holy Love. God must be Loved as the Universal Infinite Good: Whether Passionately? What of God must be loved? p. 141
  • What must be the Motive of our first Love? Whe­ther Gods special Love to us? The sorts of holy Love? Why Love is the highest Grace? p. 143
  • The Contraries of holy Love. How God is Hated? The Counterfeits of Love. p. 144
  • Directions how to excite and exercise Divine Love. ibid.
  • How to see God: Signs of true Love. p 154
  • Gr. Dir. 12. Absolutely to Trust God with Soul, Body and all, with full acqui [...]scence: The Na­ture of Trust (of which see more in my Life of Faith, and Disp. of Saving Faith.) p. 157. The Contraries: The Counterfeits: Q. Of a particu­lar faith? The Uses of Trust. p. 158. Fifteen Directions for a quieting and comforting [Page] Trust in God. p. 158
  • Gr. Dir. 13. That the temperament of our Religion may be a DELIGHT in God and Holiness. Twenty Directions to procure it: with the Rea­sons of it. 162
  • Gr. Dir. 14. Of THANKFULNESS to God our grand Benefactor. The signs of it. Eighteen Directions how to obtain and exercise it. 167, &c.
  • Gr. Dir. 15. For GLORIFYING God. Ten Directions how the Mind must Glorifie God. Ten Directions for Praising God, or Glorifying him with our Tongues. Where are the Reasons for Praising God. Twelve Directions, for Glorifying God by our Lives. p. 172
  • Gr. Dir. 16. For Heavenly mindedness; and
  • Gr. Dir. 17. For Self-denyal: Only named, as be­ing formerly written of at large. p. 180
  • An Appendix of the Reasons and measure of Divine and Self-love. p. 182
  • Subordinate Directions, against the Great sins most directly contrary to Godliness.
  • Part 1. Directions against Unbelief. Q. Whether it be Unbelief not to believe that our own sins are pardoned, and we elected? Can a man be surer that he believeth, than he is that the thing be­lieved is true? The Article of Remission of sin is to be believed applyingly, p. 196. Thirty six Dir. or helps against Unbelief.
  • Q. Why the Prophets were to be believed?
  • Part 2. Directions against Hardness of Heart. What it is. The evil and danger of it. p. 204
  • Part 3. Directions against Hypocrisie. What it is, and who are Hypocrites. The Helps. p. 210
  • Part 4. Directions against Inordinate Man-pleasing, or Idolizing man, or that over-valuing mans fa­vour which is the fruit of Pride and Cause of Hy­pocrisie. What the sin is, and is not. The difficulty of Man-pleasing. Pleasing God is our business and End. The Motives to it. The signes of it. p. 218, &c.
  • Part 5. Directions against Pride and for Humility. What they are. The Inward seemings of Pride that are not Pride. The Outward seemings of Pride that are not it, p. 229. The Coun­terfeits of Humility, p. 232. Signes of the worst part of Pride, against God. p. 232. Signes of the next degrees of Pride against God. p. 235. Signes of Pride in and about Religious duties. p. 237. Signes of Pride in common converse. p. 239. The dreadful consequents of Pride. A summary of the signs of Humility. p. 247 Many considerations and helps against pride.
  • Part 6. Directions against Covetousness, Love of Riches and Worldly Cares. p. 254. What Love of Riches is lawful? what unlawful? and what is Covetousness? The malignity of it? The signes of it. Counterfeits or false signes of one not Covetous, which deceive many. False signes or appearances of Covetousness, that cause many to be falsly accused. Means to destroy it.
  • Part 7. Directions against the master sin, Sensu­ality, Fleshpleasing, or Voluptuousness. p. 264.
  • The nature of Flesh-pleasing. What meant by Flesh? and what is mans Corruption. What flesh-pleasing is unlawful, and how far a sin. The malignity of the sin. The Plea or Excuses of Flesh-pleasers, answered. Counterfeits of Mortification or tem­perance, which deceive many flesh-pleasers. Seem­ings of sensuality which are not it. The enmity of the flesh. p. 264
  • Further subordinate Directions for the next great du­ties of Religion, necessary to the right perfor­mance of the Grand Duties. p. 274. and first, Directions for Redeeming or well improving Time. What is time here, and what are Opportunities? What Redeeming it is? To what uses, and from what, and by what, Time must be Redeemed. Directions Contemplative, for improving Time. p. 276. Directions contemplative for taking the due season, p 283. Directions Practical for Im­proving Time, p. 285. Rules to know what Time must he spent in. Thieves or Time-wasters to be watcht against, p. 288. 1. Sloth, 2. Excess of sleep; 3. Inordinate adorning of the body: 4. Pomp and Curiosity in attendance, house, fur­niture, provision, entertainments, Complement and servitude to the humour of Time-wasters. 5. Need­less Feasting, gluttony and tipling. 6. Idle talk. 7. Vain and sinful company. 8. Pastimes, inor­dinate Recreations, sports, plays. 9. Excess of worldly business and cares. 10. Vain and sinful Thoughts. 11. Reading vain books, Romances, Play books, &c. and vain studies. 12. An un­godly heart which doth all things for a carnal end. Eight sorts especially called to Redeem Time.
  • Directions for the Government of the Thoughts. p. 294
  • Tit. 1. Directions against evil and idle Thoughts. ibid.
  • Tit. 2. Directions to furnish the Mind with good Thoughts. Twenty great Subjects or Promptuaries affording abundant matter for Meditation. p. 298
  • Tit. 3. Directions to make Good Thoughts Effectual. 1. General Directions for Meditation or good Thoughts, p. 304. 2. Particular Directions about the work of Meditation. p. 306
  • Tit. 4. The difference between a contemplative and an Active Life. Q. 1. What is a contemplative life? Q. 2. Is every man bound to it? Q. 3. Whose duty is it? Q. 4. How far are all men bound to contemplation? Answered in twelve Rules. p. 309
  • Tit. 5. Directions to the Melancholy about their Thoughts. Signes of Melancholy. The Causes. Directions for cure. Special truths to be known for preventing causless troubles, &c. p. 312, &c.
  • Tit. 6. Twenty Directions for young Students for the most profitable ordering of their studying Thoughts, p. 319. Twenty Instances of extreams to be avoided. p. 323
  • Directions for the Government of the Passions.
  • Tit. 1. Directions against all sinful Passions in ge­neral. p. 327
  • [Page] Tit. 2. Directions against sinful Love of Creatures. 1. Helps to discover sinful Love. 2. Helps to m [...]rtisie sinful Love. p. 329
  • Tit. 3. Directions against sinful Desires and Discon­tents. p. 332
  • Tit. 4. Directions against sinful mirth and plea­sure. p. 335
  • Tit. 5. Directions against sinful Hopes. p. 338
  • Tit. 6. Directions against sinful Hatred, aversation or backwardness towards God and Godliness. p. 339
  • Tit. 7. Directions against sinful Anger. 1. Dire­ctions Meditative against it, p. 341. Two Di­rections practical against it. p. 342
  • Tit. 8. Directions against sinful fear, 1. Of God. p. 344. 2. Against sinful fear of the Devil, p. 345. 3. Against the sinful fear of men, and of sufferings by them. p. 346
  • Tit 9. Directions against sinful Grief and trouble of mind. When sinful—p. 351
  • Tit. 10. Directions against sinful [...]espair (and doubting). What it is. When the day of Grace is past. What sin is mortal and what is Infirmity, &c. p. 355, &c.
  • Directions for the Government of the senses.
  • Part 1. General Directions to Govern them all by faith, p. 361. Deny not all our senses as the Papists. p. 363
  • Part 2. Particular Directions for the Government of the Eyes. p. 366
  • Part 3. Directions for the Government of the Ear. p. 368
  • Part 4. Directions for the Governing the Taste and Appetite. p. 370
  • Tit. 1. Directions against Gluttony, 1. What it is. 2. What are its Causes: 3. The greatness of the sin. 4. Directions and Helps against it. Rules for the Measure of Eating.
  • Tit. 2. Against excess of Drink, and drunkenness. 1. What it is, The various degrees. 2. The Causes. 3. The greatness of the sin. 4. The Excuses of it. Q. May we drink when thirsty, &c. Q. May one drink healths? 5. Twenty Questions for the conviction of drunkards. Twelve Questions to prove that it's their wilfulness and not meer disa­bility to forbear. Practical Directions against Tipling, &c. p. 381
  • Part 5. Tit. 1. Directions against Fornication and all uncleanness: The Greatness of the sin; Dire­ctions for the Cure. p. 394, &c.
  • Tit 2. Directions against Inward filthy Lusts. p. 400
  • Part 6. Directions against sinful excess of sleep. 1. What is e [...]c [...]ss. 2 The Evil of it. Q. Whe­ther Love of sleep may be a mortal s [...]n. The Cure. p. 404
  • Part 7. Directions against sinful D [...]eams. p. 407
  • Directions for the Government of the Tongue. p. 408
  • Tit. 1. The General Directions. The moment of it. The Duties of the Tongue. Thirty Tongue sins. The Cure. p. 408, &c.
  • Tit. 2. Directions against prophane swearing, and using Gods name unreverently and in Vain. p. 414 What is an Oath. What is a lawful Oath. How far the Swearers Intent is necessary to the being of an Oath. How far swearing by Creatures is a sin. Q. Is it Lawful to l [...]y the hand on the Book and kiss it in taking an Oath? p. 416. Q. Is it law­ful to give another such an Oath or worse? When Gods name is taken in vain. The greatness of the sin. The Cure.
  • Tit. 3. Directions against Lying and dissembling. p 421. What Truth is? How far we are bound to speak truth. Q. Whether to every one that asketh us? Q. 2. Or to every one that I answer to? Q. 3. Are we bound ever to speak the whole Truth? Q. 4. Is all L [...]gical f [...]lshood a sin, (that is, to speak disagreeably to the Matter.) Q 5. Or to speak contrary to our minds? Q 6. Is it a sin when we speak not a known untruth, nor with a [...]se to deceive? Q 7. Or is this a Lye? Q. 8. Must our words be ever true in the proper literal sense? Q 9. Must I speak in the common sense, or in the Hearers sense? Q. 10. Is it lawful to deceive another by true words? Q. 11. Doth Lying c [...]ns [...] in Deceiving, or in speaking falsly as to the Matter, [...]r in speak­ing contrary to our minds? What a Lye is? How sin is Voluntary? The Intrinsecal Evil of Lying. The Cure. ad p. 428
  • Q. 1. Is often Lying a certain sign of a graceless state? Where the question is again fully resolved (because it is of great importance), What sin is Mortal, and what is Mortified?
  • Q. 2. Is it not contrary to the light of nature to suf­fer, e. g. a Parent, a King, my self, my Countrey rather to be destroyed than to save them by a harm­less lye? The case of the Midwives in Aegypt and of Rahab opened.
  • Q. 3. Is deceit by Action lawful▪ which seemeth a Practical Lye? And how shall we interpret Christs making as if he would have gone further, Luk. 24. 28. and D [...]vid's feigning himself mad, and common stratagems in War, and doing things pur­posely to deceive another?
  • Q. 4. Is it lawful to tempt a Child or Servant to Lye, meerly to try them?
  • Q. 5. Is all equivocation unlawful?
  • Q. 6. Is all mental reservation unlawful?
  • Q 7. May Children, Servants or Subjects in danger use words which tend to hide their faults?
  • Q. 8. May I speak that which I think is true, but am n [...]t sure?
  • Q 9. May I believe or speak that of another by way of news, discourse, character, which I hear re­ported by Godly credible persons, or by many. ad p. 430
  • Tit. 4. Directions against Idle talk and ba [...]ling. What is not Idle talk: and what is. The sorts of it. The greatness of the sin, in general, and the special aggravations. The Cure. Who must most carefully watch against this sin. p. 431
  • Tit. 5. Directions against filthy ribbald, seurril us talk. p. 437
  • Tit. 6. Directions against prophane deriding, s [...]rn­ing or opposing Godliness. p. 438. What the sin is? The greatness of it, and [...]tish impudence, and terrible consequents. The Cure.
  • [Page]Directions for the Government of the Body.
  • Part 1. Direction about our Labour and Callings. p. 447
  • Tit. 1. Directions for the right choice of our La­bours or Callings. Q 1. Is Labour necessary to all? Q. 2. What Labour is necessary? Q. 3. Will Religion excuse us from Labour? Q. 4. Will Riches excuse us? Q. 5. Why Labour is necessary. The good of it. Q. May a man have a Calling consisting of various uncertain works? Q. 2. May one have divers Trades or Callings at once? Di­rections. p. 447
  • Tit. 2. Directions against Sloth and Idleness. What it is, and what not. The aggravations of it. The Signs of Sloth. The Greatness of the sin: Who should be most careful to avoid it. p. 451
  • Tit. 3. Directions against Sloth and Laziness in things spiritual, and for Zeal and Diligence. The kinds of false Zeal. The mischiefs of false Zeal. The Signs of holy Zeal. The excellency of Zeal and Diligence. Motives to excite us to it. Other helps. p. 456
  • Part 2. Directions against sin in Sports and Recre­ations. p. 460. What Lawful Recreation is: Eighteen necessary qualifications of it: or eighteen sorts of sinful recreation. Q. Must all wicked men forbear recreations? Q. What to judge of Stage­playes, Gaming, Cards, Dice, &c. The evil of them opened. Twelve convincing Questions to them that use or plead for such pastimes. Seven more Considerations for vain and sportful Youths. Further Directions in the use of Recreations.
  • Part 3. Directions about Apparel, and against the sin therein committed. Q. 1. May pride of Gra­vity and Holiness be seen in apparel? Q. 2. How else it appeareth. Q. 3. May not a deformity be bid by Apparel or painting? Q. 4. May we follow the fashions? Further Directions ad p. 465, &c.

TOME II. Christian Oeconomicks.

  • DIrections about Marriage for Choice and Con­tract. p 475
  • Whether Marriage be indifferent? Who are called to marry: Who may not marry? Q. What if Pa­rents command it to one that it will be a hurt to? Q. What if I have a corporal necessity, when yet marriage is like to be a great incommodity to my soul? Of Parents prohibition. Q. What if Parents forbid marriage to one that cannot live chastly without it? or when affections are un­conquerable? Q. What if the child have promi­sed marriage, and the Parents be against it? Of the sense of Numb. 30. How far such promise must be kept Q. What if the Parties be actually married without Parents consent? Q. May the aged marry that are frigid, impotent, sterile? The incommodities of a married life to be considered by them that need restraint. Especially to Mini­sters. p. 482. Further Directions. How to cure lustful Love. Several Cases about marrying with an ungodly person.
  • Q. 1. What Rule to follow about prohibited degrees of Consanguinity? Whether the Law of Moses, or of Nature, or the Laws of the Land, or Church, &c. p. 486
  • Q. 2. What to do if the Law of the Land forbid more degrees than Moses Law. p. 487
  • Q. 3. Of the Marriage of Cousin Germanes, before band.
  • Q. 4. What such should do after they are married.
  • Q 5. What must they after do that are married in the degrees not forbidden by name, Lev. 18. and yet of the same nearness and reason.
  • Q. 6. If they marry in a degree forbidden, Lev. 18. may not necessity make it lawful to continue it, as it made lawful the marriage of Adams Sons and Daughters.
  • Q. 7. Whether a Vow of Chastity or Celibate may be broken, and in what cases. p. 488
  • Directions for the choice of 1. Servants, 2. Masters. p. 490
  • Disput. Whether the solemn Worship of God in and by families as such, be of Divine appointment? Aff. proved against the Cavils of the prophane, and some Sectaries. p. 493. What solemn Worship is. What a family. Proof as to Worship in general: Family-advantages for Worship. The Natural obligation on families to worship God. Fami­lies must be sanctified societies. Instructing fami­lies is a duty. Family discipline is a duty. Solemn prayer and pr [...]ise is a family duty. Ob­jections answered. Of the frequency and seasons of family worship. 1. Whether it should be every day, 2. Whether twice a day, 3. Whether Morn­ing and evening.
  • General Directions for the holy Government of fa­mili [...] How to keep up Authority. Of skill in Governing. Of holy Willingness. p. 509
  • [Page]Special Motives to perswade men to the holy Go­vernment of their families, p. 512
  • Motives for a holy and careful Education of Chil­dren. p. 515
  • The Mutual Duties of Husbands and Wives to­wards each other. p. 520. How to maintain due Conjugal Love: Of Adultery. Motives and Means against dissention. Motives and means to further each others salvation. Further duties.
  • The special duties of Husbands to their Wives. p. 529
  • The special duty of Wives to their Husbands. p. 531 Q. How far may a Wife give, without her Hus­bands Consent. Q. Of Wives propriety. Q Is a Wife guilty of her Husbands unlawful getting if she keep it: And is she bound to reveal it, (as in robbing)? Q. May a Wife go hear Ser­mons when her Husband forbiddeth her? Q. Must a woman proceed to admonish a wicked Husband when it maketh him worse. Q. What she must do in Controverted Cases of Religion, when her judgement and her Husbands differ. p. 534. Q. How long, or in what Cases may Husbands and Wives be distant. p. 535. Q. May the bare Commands of Princes separate Husbands and Wives, (as Ministers, Iudges, Souldiers). Q. May Ministers leave their Wives to go abroad to preach the Gospel. Q. May one leave a Wife to save his life in case of personal persecution or dan­ger? Q. May Husband and Wife part by consent, if they find it to be for the good of both? Q. May they consent to be divorced, and to marry others? Q. Doth Adultery dissolve marriage. Q. Is the injured person bound to divorce the other, or left free? Q. Is it the proper priviledge of the man to put away an adulterous Wife, or is it also in the womans power to depart from an adulterous Hus­band? Q. May there be putting away, or de­parting without the Magistrates divorce or license? Q. Is not Sodomy, and Buggery as lawful a reason of divorce as Adultery. Q. What if both parties be adulterous? Q. What if one purposely commit adultery to be separated from the other: Q. Doth Infidelity dissolve the relation? Q. Doth the de­sertion of one party disoblige the other? Q. Must a woman follow a malignant Husband that goeth from the Means of Grace? Q. Must she follow him, if it be but to poverty or beggary? Q. What to do in case of known intention of one to murder the other? Q. Or if there be a fixed hatred of each other? Q What if a man will not suffer his Wife to hear, read or pray: or do beat her so, as to unfit her for duty: or a woman will rail at the Husband in prayer time, &c. Q. What to do in danger of life by the Pox or Leprosie, &c. Q Who may marry after parting or divorce. p. 539. Q Is it lawful to suffer, yea, or contribute to the known sin materially of Wife, Child, Servant, or other relations: Where is open­ed what is in our Power to do against sin, and what not. p. 539. Q. If a Gentleman have a great Estate by which he may do much good, and his Wife be so Proud, Prodigal and pievish, that if she may not waste it all in house keeping and pride, she will dye or grow mad, or give him no quietness, What is his duty in so sad a case. p. 542
  • The Duties of Parents for their Children. Where are twenty special Directions for their Educati­on. p. 543
  • The Duties of Children towards their Parents. p. 547
  • The special Duties of Children and Youth towards God. p. 552
  • The Duties of Servants to their Masters. p. 554
  • Tit. 1. The Duty of Masters towards their Servants. p. 556
  • Tit. 2. The Duty of Masters to Slaves in the Plan­tations. p. 557
  • Q. 1. Is it lawful for a Christian to buy and use a man as a Slave?
  • Q. 2. Is it lawful to use a Christian as a Slave? p. 558
  • Q. 3. What difference must we make between a Ser­vant and a Slave?
  • Q. 4. What if men buy Negro's or other Slaves of such as we may think did steal them, or buy them of Robbers and Tyrants, and not by Consent? p. 559
  • Q. 5. May I not sell such again and make my mony of them?
  • Q. 6. May I not return them to him that I bought them of?
  • The Duties of Children and fellow servants to one another. p. 561
  • Directions for holy Conference of fellow servants and others. p. 562
  • Q. May we speak good when the Heart is not af­fected with it? Q. Is that the fruit of the Spirit which we force our tongues to?
  • [Page]Directions for every member of the family how to spend every (ordinary) day of the Week. p. 565
  • Directions for the holy spending of the Lords Day in families. Whether the whole day should be kept holy? p. 569
  • Tit. 2. More particular Directions for the Order of holy duties on that day. p. 572
  • Directions for profitable Hearing Gods Word preach­ed. p. 573
  • Tit. 2. Directions for Remembring what you Hear. p. 575
  • Tit. 3. Directions for Holy Resolutions and Affe­ctions in hearing. p. 576
  • Tit. 4. Directions to bring what we hear into pra­ctice. p. 577
  • Directions for profitable Reading the holy Scri­ptures. p. 579
  • Directions for Reading other Books. p. 580
  • Directions for right Teaching Children and Servants so as is most likely to have success. The summ of Christian Religion. p. 582
  • Directions for Prayer in general. p 587
  • A Scheme or brief Explication of the Exact Method of the Lords Prayer. p. 590
  • Tit. 2. Cases about Prayer. p. 591. Q. 1. Is the Lords Prayer to be used as a form of words, or only as a Directory for Matter and Method? Q. 2. What need is there of any other prayer, if this he per­fect? Q. 3. Is it lawful to pray in a set form of words? Q. 4. Are those forms lawful which are prescribed by man, and not by God? Q 5 Is free praying, called extemporate, lawful? Q. 6. Which is the better? Q. 7. Must we ever follow the Me­thod of the Lords Prayer? Q. 8. Must we pray only when the Spirit moveth us, or as Reason guideth us? Q. 9. May be pray for Grace who de­sireth it not? Q. 10. May he pray that doubteth of his interest in God, and dare not call him Fa­ther as his Child? Q. 11. May a wicked man pray, or is he ever accepted? Q. 12. May a wicked man use the Lords Prayer? Q. 13. Is it Idolatry, or sin alwayes to pray to Saints or Angels? Q. 14. Must the same man pray secretly, that hath before prayed in his family? Q. 15. Is it best to keep set hours for prayer? Q 16. May we joyn in family prayers with ungodly persons? Q. 17 What if the Master or speaker be ungodly or a Heretick? Q. 18. May we pray absolutely for outward mer­cies, or only conditionally? Q. 19. May we pray for all that we may lawfully desire? Q. 20. How may we pray for the salvation of all the world? Q. 21. Or for the Conversion of all Nations? Q. 22. Or that a whole Kingdom may be con­verted and saved? Q. 23. Or for the destruction of the enemies of Christ, or the Kingdom? Q. 24. What is to be judged of a particular faith? Q. 25. Is every lawful prayer accepted? Q. 26. With what faith must I pray for the souls or bodies of others? Q. 27. With what faith may we pray for the Continuance of the Church or Gospel. Q. 28. How to know when our prayers are heard. Q. 29. How to have fulness and con­stant supply of matter in our prayers. Q 30. How to keep up fervency in prayer? Q 31. May we look to speed ever the better for any thing in our selves or our prayers? Or may we put any trust in them? Q. 32. How must that person and prayer be qualified which God will accept. to p. 598
  • Tit. 3. Special Directions for family prayer. ibid.
  • Tit. 4. Special Directions for secret prayer. p. 599
  • Directions f [...]r families about the Sacrament of the Lords Supper. p. 600
  • What are the Ends of the Sacrament? What are the Parts of it? Q. 1. Should not the Sacrament have [...] preparation than the other parts of worship? Q 2. How oft should it be administred? Q. 3. Must all members of the visible Church communi­cate? Q. 4. May any man receive it, that know­eth himself unsanctified? Q. 5. May an ungodly man receive it, that knoweth not himself to be ungodly? Q. 6. Must a Christian receive who doubt­eth of his sincerity? Q. 7. What if Superiours compell a doubting Christian to receive it, by ex­communication or imprisonment? What should be choose? Q. 8. Is not the case of an hypocrite that knoweth not himself to be an hypocrite, and of the sincere who knoweth not himself to be sincere, all one, as to communicating? Q. 9. Wherein lyeth the sin of an ung [...]dly person if he receive? Q. 10. Doth all unworthy receiving make one lyable to damnation? or what? Q 11. What is the particular preparation needful to a fit Com­municant? p. 653. Marks of sincerity. ibid. Preparing duties. Q 1. May we receive from an ungodly Minister? Q 2. May we communicate with unworthy persons in an undisciplined Church? Q. 3. What if I cannot communicate unless I con­form to an imposed gesture, as sitting, standing or kneeling? Q. 4. What if I cannot receive it, but as administered by the Common Prayer? Q. 5. If my conscience be not satisfied, may I come doubting? Obj. Is it not a duty to follow conscience as Gods Officer? What to do in the time of administrati­on? 1. What Graces must be exercised. 2. On what objects? 3. The Season and Order of Sacra­mental duties. ad p. 610
  • [Page]Directions for fearful troubled Christians who are perplexed with doubts of their sincerity and ju­stification? Causes and Cure. p. 612
  • Directions for declining back-sliding Christians, about perseverance. p. 616
  • The way of falling into Sects, and Heresies, and Er­rors. And of declining in Heart and Life. Signs of declining. Signs of a graceless state. Dange­rous signs of impenitency. False signs of declining. Motives against declining. Directions against it. p. 616
  • Tit. 2. Directions for perseverance, or to prevent back-sliding. p. 618
  • Antidotes against those doctrines of presumption which would binder our perseverance. p. 623
  • Directions for the poor. The Temptations of the poor. The special Duties of the poor. p. 627
  • Directions for the Rich. p. 632
  • Directions for the weak and aged. p. 634
  • Directions for the sick. p. 637
  • Tit. 1. Directions for a safe death, to secure sal­vation. I. For the unconverted in their sickness. (A sad case): 1. For Examination, 2. For Re­pentance, 3. For faith in Christ, 4. For a new heart, love to God, and resolution for obedience. Q. Will [...]ate Repentance serve the turn, in such a case? II. Directions to the G [...]dly for a safe departure. Their Temptations to be resisted. p. 637
  • Tit. 2. How to profit by our sickness. p 642
  • Tit. 3. Directions for a comfortable or peaceable Death. p. 644. Directions for resisting the Tem­ptations of Satan in time of sickness. p. 648
  • Tit. 4. Directions for doing good to others in our sickness. p. 651
  • Directions to the friends of the sick that are about them. p. 653
  • Q. Can Physick lengthen mens lives? Q. Is it meet to make known to the sick their danger of death? Q Must we tell bad men of their sin and mise­ry when it may exasperate the disease by troubling them? Q. What can be done in so short a time? Q. What to do in doubtful cases? Q. What order should be observed in counselling the ignorant and ungodly when time is so short? Helps a­gainst excessive sorrow for the death of friends; Yea, of the worst.
  • A Form of Exhortation to be read in Sickness to the Ungodly, or those that we justly fear are such. p. 657
  • A Form of Exhortation to the Godly in Sickness; For their comfort. Their dying groans and joyes. p. 662

TOME III. Christian Ecclesiasticks.

  • OF the Worship of God in General. The Nature and Reasons of it, and Directions for it. How to know right Ends in worship, &c. p. 673
  • Directions about the Manner of worship, to avoid all corruptions, and false unacceptable worshipping of God. p. 680. The disadvantages of ungodly men in judging of holy worship. Q. How far the Scriptures are the Rule or Law of Worship and Discipline, and how far not? Instances of things undetermined in Scripture. What Com­mands of Scripture are not universal or perpetu­al? May danger excuse from duty, and when? Rules for the right manner.
  • Directions about the Christian Covenant with God, and Baptism. p. 688. The Covenant, what? The Parties, Matter, Terms, Forms, necessary Modes, Fruits, &c. External Baptism, what? Compleat Baptism, what? Of Renewing the Covenant.
  • [Page]Directions about the Profession of our Religion to others. The greatness of the duty of open Profession. VVhen and how it must be made. p. 692
  • Directions about Vows and particular Covenants with God. p. 694
  • VVhat a Vow is. The sorts of Vows. The use, the obligation. VVhether any things be in­different: and such may be Vowed? As Mar­rying, &c. May we Vow things Indifferent in themselves, though not in their circumstances? In what Cases we may not Vow. VVhat if Rulers command it? VVhat if I doubt whe­ther the Matter imposed be lawful? Of Vowing with a doubting Conscience.
  • Tit. 2. Directions against Perjury and Perfidious­ness: and for keeping Vows and Oaths: The heinousness of Perjury: Thirty six Rules about the obligation of a Vow, to shew when and how far it is obligatory; useful in an age stigma­tized with open Perjury. (Mostly out of Dr. Sanderson). VVhat is the Nullity of an Oath? Cases in which Vows must not be kept. p. 700
  • How far Rulers may Nullifie a Vow? Numb. 30. opened. Of the Accidental Evil of a Vow. Of Scandal. Q. Doth an error de persona caused by that person disoblige me? ibid.
  • Directions to the people concerning their Internal and private duty to their Pastors, and their profiting by the Ministerial Office and Gifts. p. 714
  • The Ministerial Office opened in fifteen particulars: The Reasons of it. The true old Episcopacy. Special duties to your own Pastors above others. Of the Calling, Power, and Succession of Pastors. The best to be preferred. The Order of Mini­rial Teaching, and the Resolution of faith. How far Humane faith conduceth to Divine. Of Tradition: VVhat use to make of your Pa­stors. to p. 724
  • Directions for the discovery of Truth among Contenders, and how to escape Heresie and de­ceit. Cautions for avoiding deceit in Disputa­tions. p. 725
  • Directions for the Union and Communion of Saints, and for avoiding unpeaceableness and Schism. p. 731
  • VVherein our Unity consisteth? VVhat diversity will be in the Churches. VVhat Schism is? VVhat Heresie? VVhat Apostasie? VVho are Schisma­ticks? The degrees and progress of it. VVhat Separation is a duty: Q. Is any one form of Church Government of Divine appointment? May man make new Church Officers: The Bene­fits of Christian Concord; to themselves, and to Insidels. The mischiefs of Schism? VVhether Pa­pists or Protestants are Schismaticks? The aggra­vations of Division. Two hinderances of our true apprehension of the evil of Schism. Dire­rections against it. Of imposing defective Litur­gies. The Testimonies of antiquity against the bloody and Cruel way of Curing Schism. Their Character of Ithacian Prelates.
  • Twenty Directions how to worship God in the Church Assemblies. p. 755
  • Directions about our Communion with holy souls de­parted, now with Christ. p. 758
  • Directions about our Communion with the holy Angels. p. 763
The Contents of the Ecclesiastical Cases of Conscience added to the Third Part.
  • [Page]Q. 1. HOw to know which is the true Church among all pretenders, that a Christians Conscience may be quiet in his Relation and com­munion? p. 771
  • Q. 2. Whether we must esteem the Church of Rome a true Church? And in what sence some Prote­stant Divines affirm it, and some deny it? p. 774
  • Q. 3. Whether we must take the Romish Clergie for a true Ministry? p. 775
  • Q. 4. Whether it be necessary to believe that the Pope is the Antichrist? p. 777
  • Q. 5. Whether we must hold that a Papist may be saved? p. 778
  • Q. 6. Whether those that are in the Church of Rome are bound to separate from it? And whether it be lawful to go to their Mass or other worship? p. 779
  • Q. 7. Whether the true calling of the Minister▪ by Or­dination or Election be necessary to the essence of the Church? ibid
  • Q. 8. Whether sincere faith and Godliness be neces­sary to the being of the Ministry? And whether it be lawful to hear a wicked man, or take the Sa­crament from him, or take him for a Minister? p. 780
  • Q. 9. Whether the people are bound to receive or consent to an ungodly intolerable heretical Pastor, (yea or one far less fit and worthy than a competi­tor) if the Magistrate command it, or the Bishop impose him? p. 781
  • Q. 10. What if the Magistrate command the people to receive one Pastor; and the Bishop or Or­dainers another, which of them must be obeyed? p. 787
  • Q. 11. Whether an uninterrupted succession either of right Ordination or of conveyance by jurisdi­ction, be necessary to the being of the Ministry, or of a true Church? p. 787
  • Q. 12. Whether there be or ever was such a thing in the world, as one Catholick Church constituted by any head besides or under Christ? p. 789
  • Q 13. Whether there be such a thing as a visible Catholick Church, and what it is? ibid.
  • Q. 14. What is it that maketh a visible member of the universal Church, and who are to be accounted such? p. 790
  • Q. 15. Whether besides the profession of Christianity, either testimony or evidence of conversion or pra­ctical Godliness be necessary to prove a man a mem­ber of the Universal visible Church? ibid.
  • Q. 16. What is necessary to a mans reception into membership in a particular Church, over and above this foresaid title? Whether any other try­als, or Covenant or What? p. 791
  • Q. 17. Wherein doth the Ministerial office Essentially consist? p. 792
  • Q. 18. Whether the peoples choice or consent is ne­cessary to the office [...]f a Minister in his first work, as he is to convert Insidels and Baptize them? And whether this be a work of office, and what call is necessary to it? p. 793
  • Q. 19. Wherein consisteth the power and nature of Ordination? and To whom doth it belong? and Is it an act of jurisdiction? and Is imposition of hands necessary in it? p, 794
  • Q. 20. Is ordination necessary to make a man a Pastor of a particular Church as such? and Is he to be made a General Minister, and a particu­lar Church-Elder or Pastor at once, and at one Or­dination? p. 795
  • Q. 21. May a man be oft, or twice ordained? p. 796
  • Q. 22. How many ordainers are necessary to the va­lidity of Ordination by Christs Institution, Whe­ther one or more? p. 798
  • Q. 23. What if one Bishop Ordain a Minister and three or many or all the rest protest against it, and declare him no Minister or degrade him, is he to be received as a true Minister or not? ibid.
  • Q. 24. Hath a Bishop power by divine right to or­dain, degrade or govern, excommunicate or absolve in another Diocess or Church, either by his consent, or against it? And doth a Minister that officiateth in anothers Church, act as a Pastor; and their Pastor; or as a private man? And doth his Mi­nisterial office cease when a man removeth from his flock? p. 799
  • Q. 25. Whether Canons Be Laws, and Pastors have a Legislative power? p. 800
  • Q. 26. Whether Church-canons or Pastors directive determinations of matters pertinent to their Office, do bind the Conscience, and what accidents will dis­oblige the people; you may gather before in the same case about Magistrates Laws, in the Politi­cal Directions: As also by an impartial trans­ferring the case to the precepts of Parents and School-masters to Children without respect to their power of the Rod (or supposing that they had none such?) p. 802
  • Q. 27. What are Christs appointed means of the Unity and Concord of the Universal Church, and consequently of its preservation, if there be no hu­mane Universal Head and Governour of it upon Earth? And if Christ hath instituted none such, whether prudence and the Law of Nature oblige not the Church to set up and maintain an univer­sal Ecclesiastical Monarchy or Aristocracy; seeing that which is every mans work, is no mans, and omitted by all? p. 802
  • Q. 28. Who is the Iudge of controversies in the Church? 1. About the Exposition of the Scri­ptures and Doctrinal points in themselves. 2. About either Heresies or wicked practices, as they are charged on the persons who are accused of them: That is, 1. Antecedently to our practice, by way of regulation. 2. Or consequently by judicial sentence (and execution) on [...]ffenders? p. 803
  • Q. 29. Whether a Parents power over his Children, or a Pastors or many Pastors or Bishops over the same Children as parts of their stocks, be greater, or more obliging in matters of Religion and pub­lick [Page] Worship? p. 804
  • Q. 30. May an office Teacher or Pastor be at once in the stated relation of a Pastor, and a Disciple to some other Pastor? ibid.
  • Q. 31. Who hath the power of making Church-Canons? p. 805
  • Q. 32. Doth Baptism as such enter the Baptized into the Universal Church; or into a particular Church, or both? and is Baptism the particular-Church-Covenant as such? ibid.
  • Q. 33. Whether Infants should be Baptized, I have answered long ago in a Treatise on that Subject?
    • Q. What Infants should be Baptized? And who have right to Sacraments? And whether Hy­pocrites are univocally or equiv [...]cally Christians and Church-members, I have resolved in my disput. of Right to Sacraments. p. 806
  • Q. 34. Whether an unbaptized person who yet ma­keth a publick profession of Christianity be a mem­ber of the visible Church? And so of the Infants of believers unbaptized? ibid.
  • Q. 35. Is it cértain by the word of God, that all Infants baptized, and dying before actual sin are undoubtedly saved, or what Infants may we say so of? p. 807
  • Q. 36. What is meant by this speech, that Believ­ers and their seed are in the Covenant of God; which giveth them right to Baptism? p. 812
  • Q. 37. Are believers Children certainly in Covenant before their Baptism; and thereby in a state of salvation; or not till they are baptized. p. 813
  • Q. 38. Is Infants title to Baptism and the Covenant benefits given them by God in his Promises upon any proper moral condition, or only upon the con­dition of their natural relation: that they be the seed of the faithful? ibid.
  • Q. 39. What is the true meaning of Sponsors, (Pa­trimi) or God Fathers, as we call them; and Is it lawful to make use of them? p. 814
  • Q. 40. On whose account or right is it that the In­fant hath title to Baptism and its benefits? Is it on the Parents, Ancestors, Sponsors, the Churches, the Ministers, the Magistrates, or his own? p. 815
  • Q. 41. Are they really baptized who are Baptized according to the English Liturgie and Canons, where the Parent seemeth excluded, and those to consent for the Infant who have no power to do it? p. 817
  • Q. 42. But the great question is How the Holy Ghost is given to Infants in Baptism, and whe­ther all the Children of true Christians have in­ward sanctifying grace? Or whether they can be said to be justified and to be in a state of sal­vation, that are not inherently sanctified? and whether any fall from this Infant state of salvati­on? p. 817
  • Q. 43. Is the right of the Baptized (Infants or adult) to the sanctifying operations of the Holy Ghost now Absolute? or suspended on fur­ther conditions? And are the Parents further duty for their Children such conditions of their Childrens reception of the actual assistances of the spirit? or Are Childrens own actions such con­ditions? and May Apostate Parents forfeit the C [...]venant benefits to their baptized Infants or not? p. 821
  • Q. 44. Doth Baptism always oblige us at the pre­sent, and give grace at the present, and is the grace which is not given till long after, given by baptism, or an effect of baptism? p. 823
  • Q. 45. What is a proper violation of our Baptismal Covenant? p. 824
  • Q 46. May not baptism in some cases be repeated, And when? ibid.
  • Quest. 47. Is baptism by Lay men or women lawful in cases of necessity? or are they nullities, and the person to be rebaptized. p. 825
  • Q. 48. May Anabaptists that have no other errour, be permitted in Church Communion? p. 826
  • Q. 49. May one offer his Child to be baptized, with the sign of the Cross, or the use of Chrisms, the white garment, milk and honey or Ex [...]rcisms as among the Lutherans, who taketh these to be un­lawful things? ibid.
  • Q. 50. Whence came the antient universal Custome of Anointing at baptism, and putting on a white garment and tasting milk and honey; and Whe­ther they are lawful to us? p. 827
  • Q 51. Whether it be necessary that they that are baptized in infancy, do solemnly at age review and own their baptismal Covenant before they have right to the state and priviledges of Adult members? and if they do not, Whether they are to be numbred with Christians or Apostates? p. 827
  • Q. 52. Whether the Universal Church consist only of particular Churches and their members? p. 828
  • Q. 53. Must the Pastor first call the Church, and ag­gregate them to himself, or the Church first Congre­gate themselves and then choose the Pastor? p. 829
  • Q. 54. Wherein doth a particular Church of Christ differ from a consociation of many Churches? ibid.
  • Q. 55. Whether a particular Church may consist of more Assemblies than one? or must needs meet all in one place? ibid.
  • Q. 56. Is any form of Church-Government of Di­vine Institution? p. 830
  • Q. 57. Whether any formes of Churches and Church-Government or any new Church-officers may law­fully be invented and made by ma [...]? p. 832
  • Q 58. Whether any part of the proper Pastoral or Episcopal power may be given or deputed to a Lay man, or to one of any other office; or their proper work may be performed by such? p. 839
  • Q. 59. May a Lay man Preach or expound the Scri­ptures? or what of this is proper to the Pastors office? p. 840
  • Q 60. What is the true sense of the distinction of Pastoral power in foro interiore & exteriore, rightly used? ibid.
  • Q. 61. In what sense is it true that some say that the Magistrate only hath the external Go­vernment of the Church, and the Pastor the In­ternal. p 841
  • Q. 62. Is the tryal, judgement, or consent of the Laity necessary to the admittance of a member into the universal or particular Church? ibid.
  • Q. 63. What power have the people in Church Cen­sures and Excommunication? p. 842
  • Q. 64 What is the peoples remedy in case of the Pastors male-administration? ibid.
  • Q. 65. May one be a Pastor or a member of a par­ticular [Page] Church who liveth so far from it, as to be uncapable of personal communion with them. p. 843
  • Q. 66. If a man be injuriously suspended or Ex­communicated by the Pastor or people, which way shall he have remedy? ibid.
  • Q. 67. Doth presence always make us guilty of the [...]vils or faults of the Pastor in Gods Worship, or of the Church? or In what cases are we guilty? ibid.
  • Q. 68. Is it lawful to communicate in the Sacrament with wicked men? p. 844
  • Q. 69. Have all the members of the Church right to the Lords Table, and is suspension Lawful? ibid.
  • Q. 70. Is there any such thing in the Church, as a rank or Classis or species of Church-members at age who are not to be admitted to the Lords Table but only to the hearing the Word, and Prayer, be­tween Infant members and adult-confirmed ones? p. 845
  • Q. 71. Whether a form of Prayer be lawful? p. 847
  • Q. 72. Are formes of prayer or Preaching in the Church Lawful? ibid.
  • Q. 73. Are publick forms of mans devising or com­posing Lawful? ibid.
  • Q. 74. Is it lawful to Impose forms on the Congrega­tion or the people in publick Worship? p. 848
  • Q. 75. Is it Lawful to use forms composed by man and imposed not only on the people, but on the Pa­stors of the Churches? ibid.
  • Q. 76. Doth not the calling of a Minister so consist in the exercise of his own ministerial gifts, that he may not officiate without them, nor make use of other mens gifts instead of them? p. 849
  • Q. Is it lawful to read a Prayer in the Church? p. 850
  • Q. 77. Is it Lawful to Pray in the Church without a prescribed or premeditated form of words? ibid.
  • Q. 78. Whether are set forms of words, or free praying without them the better way; and what are the Commodities, and Incommodities of each way? p. 851
  • Q. 79. Is it Lawful to forbear the Preaching of some truths, upon mans prohibition that I may have liberty to Preach the rest? yea and to pro­mise to forbear them, or to do it for the Churches peace? p. 853
  • Q. 80. May or must a Minister silenced, or forbid to Preach the G [...]spel, go on still to Preach it against the Law? p. 854
  • Q. 81. May we lawfully keep the Lords day as a fast? p. 855
  • Q. 82. How should the Lords day be spent in the main? ibid.
  • Q. 83. May the people bear a vocal part in Wor­ship, or do any more than say, Amen. p. 856
  • Q. 84. Is it not a sin for our Clerks to make them­selves the mouth of the people, who are not ordained Ministers of Christ? p. 857
  • Q. 85. Are repetitions of the same words in Church­pra [...]ers, lawful? p. 858
  • Q. 86. Is it lawful to bow at the name of Iesus? ibid.
  • Q. 87. Is it Lawful to stand up at the Gospel as we are appointed? ibid.
  • Q. 88. Is it lawful to kneel when the De [...]alogue is read? p. 859
  • Q 89. What Gestures are fittest in all the publick Worship? ibid.
  • Q. 90. What if the Pastor and Church cannot agree, about singing Psalms, or what Version or Transla­tion to use, or time or place of meeting, &c. ibid.
  • Q. 91. What if the Pastor excommunicate a man, and the people will not forbear his Communion, as thinking him unjustly excommunicated? p. 860
  • Q. 92. May a whole Church, or the greater part be excommunicated? ibid.
  • Q. 93. What if a Church have two Pastors, and one excommunicate a man and the other absolve him, what shall the Church and the Dissenter do? p. 861
  • Q. 94. For what sins may a man be denyed Com­munion or Excommunicated; Whether for impe­nitence in every little sin; Or For great sin with­out impenitence? ibid.
  • Q. 95. Must the Pastor examine the people before the Sacrament? ibid.
  • Q. 96. Is the Sacrament of the Lords Supper a Con­verting Ordinance? p. 862
  • Q. 97. Must no man come to the Sacrament that is uncertain or doubtful of the sincerity of his faith and repentance? ibid.
  • Q. 98. Is it Lawful or a duty to joyn oblations to the Sacrament and how? p. 863
  • Q. 99. How many Sacraments are there appointed by Christ? ibid.
  • Q. 100. How far is it lawful, needful or unlawful for a man to afflict himself by external penances for sin? p. 864
  • Q. 101. Is it lawful to observe stated times of fast­ing imposed by others, without extraordinary occa­sions; And particularly, Lent? p. 865
  • Q. 102. May we continue in a Church where some one Ordinance of Christ is wanting; as Discipline, Prayer, Preaching or Sacraments, though we have all the rest? p. 866
  • Q 103. Must the Pastors remove from one Church to another, when ever the Magistrate commandeth us, though the Bishops contradict it, and the Church consent not to dismiss us? And so of other cases of disagreement? p. 867
  • Q. 104. Is a Pastor [...]bliged to his flock for life; or is it Lawful so to oblige himself; And may he remove without their Consent? And so also of a Chuch member, the same questions are put. p. 868
  • Q. 105. When many men pretend at once to be the true Pastors of a particular Church, against each others title, through differences between the Magistrates, the Ordainers and the flocks, what should the people do, and whom should they adhere to? p. 869
  • Q. 106. To whom doth it belong to Reform a Cor­rupted Church; To the Magistrates, Pastors, or People? p 869
  • Q. 107. Who is to call Synods; Princes, Pastors or People? ibid.
  • Q. 108. To whom doth it belong to appoint dayes and Assemblies for publick Humiliation and Thanksgiving? p. 870
  • Q. 109. May we omit Church Assemblies on the Lords day, if the Magistrate forbid them? ibid.
  • Q. 110. Must we obey the Magistrate if he only forbid us Worshipping God, in such a place, or Countrey, or in such numbers, or the like cir­cumstances? [Page] p. 871
  • Q. 111. Must Subjects or Servants forbear weekly Lectures, Reading, or such helps, above the Lords days worship, if Princes or Masters do for­bid them? p. 871
  • Q. 112. Whether Religious Worship may be given to a Creature and what? p. 872
  • Q. 113. What Images, and what use of Images, is Lawful or Unlawful. p. 873
  • Q. 114 Whether Stage-plays where the virtuous and vitious are personated be lawful? p. 877
  • Q. 115. Is it ever unlawful to use the known Sym­bols and badges of Idolatry? p. 878
  • Q. 116. Is it unlawful to use the Badge or Symbol of any errour or sect in the Worship of God? p. 879
  • Q. 117. Are all Indifferent things made unlawful to us, which shall be abused to Idolatr [...]us Wor­ship? p. 879
  • Q. 118. May we use the names of week dayes which Idolat [...]rs honoured their Idols with, [...]s Sunday, Munday, Saturday, and the rest; And so the Months? p. 880
  • Q. 119. Is it lawful to pray secretly when we come first into the Church, especially when the Church is otherwise employed? ibid.
  • Q. 120. May a Preacher kneel down in the Pulpit and use his private prayers when he is in the As­sembly? p. 881
  • Q. 121. May a Minister pray publickly in his own name singly, for himself or others; or only in the Churches name, as their mouth to God? ibid.
  • Q. 122. May the name Priests, Sacrifice, and Altar be lawfully now used instead of Christs Mini­sters, Worship, and the Holy Table? p. 882
  • Q. 123. May the Communion Table be turned Altar­wise and Railed in, And is it lawful to come up to the Rails to communicate? p. 882
  • Q. 124. Is it lawful to use David's Psalms in our Assemblies? p. 883
  • Q. 125. May Psalms be used as prayers, and praises and Thanksgivings? or only as Instru­ctive; Even the Reading as well as the singing of them? ibid.
  • Q. 126. Are our Church-Tunes Lawful being of mans invention? p. 884
  • Q. 127. Is Church Musick by Organs or such Instru­ments Lawful? ibid.
  • Q. 128. Is the Lords day a Sabbath, and so to be called and kept, and that of Divine institution, And is the seventh day Sabbath abrogated, &c? p. 885
  • Q. 129. Is it Lawful to appoint humane Holy dayes, and observe them? ibid.
  • Q. 130. How far is the holy Scriptures a Law and perfect Rule to us? p. 886
  • Q. 131. What Additions or humane Inventions in or about Religion not commanded in Scri­pture, are Lawful or Unlawful? p. 887
  • Q. 132. I [...] it unlawful to obey in all th [...]se cases, where it is unlawful to impose and command, or in what cases; And how far Pastors must be be­lieved and obeyed? p. 888
  • Q. 133. What are the additions or inventions of m [...]n, which are not f [...]rbidden by the Word of God (whether by Rulers or by private men invent­ed)? p. 889
  • Q 134. What are the mischiefs of unlawful Ad­ditions in Religion? p. 891
  • Q. 135. What are the mischiefs of mens errour on the other extream, who pretend that Scripture is a Rule where it is not, and deny the aforesaid lawful things, on pretence that Scripture is a perfect Rule (say some for all things)? p. 892
  • Q. 136. How shall we know what parts of Scri­pture precept or example were intended for uni­versal constant obligation, and what were but for the time and persons that they were then di­rected to? p. 893
  • Q. 137. How much of the Scripture is necessary to salvation to be believed and understood? p. 894
  • Q. 138. How may we know the Fundamentals, Essentials, or what parts are necessary to salva­tion? And is the Papists way allowable that (some of them) deny that distinction, and make the difference to be only in the degrees of mans opportunities of knowledge? p 895
  • Q 139. What is the use and Authority of the Creed; And is it of the Apostles framing or not; And is it the Word of God, or not? p 896
  • Q 140. What is the use of Catechisms? p. 897
  • Q. 141. Could any of us have known by the Scri­ptures alone the Essentials of Religion from the rest, if tradition had not given them to us in the Creed as from Apostolical Collection? ibid.
  • Q. 142. What is the best method of a true Cate­chism or sum of Theologie? p. 898
  • Q. 143. What is the use of various Church-Con­fessions or Articles of faith? ibid.
  • Q. 144. May not the subscribing of the whole Scriptures serve turn for all the foresaid ends without Creeds Catechisms or Confessions? ibid.
  • Q. 145. May a man be saved that believeth all the Essentials of Religion as coming to him by verbal Tradition, and not as c [...]ntained in the Holy Scriptures, which perhaps, he never knew? p. 899
  • Q 146. Is the Scripture fit for all Christians, to read, being so obscure? ibid.
  • Q. 147. How far is Tradition and mens words and Ministry to be used or tru [...]ed in, in the ex­ercise of faith? p. 900
  • Q 148. How kn [...]w we the true Canon of Scripture from Apocrypha? ibid.
  • Q. 149. Is the publick Reading of the Scripture the proper w [...]rk of the Minister; or may a Lay man ordinarily do it, or another officer? p. 901
  • Q 150. Is it Lawful to Read the Apocrypha, or any good Books besides the Scriptures to the Church; as [...]omili [...]s, &c? ibid.
  • Q 151. May Church Assemblies be held, where there is no Minister? or what publick Wor­ship may be so performed by L [...]y men (As among In [...]idels or Papists where persecuti [...]n ha [...]h killed, imprisoned or expelled the Ministry)? p. 902
  • [Page]Q. 152. Is it Lawful to subscribe or profess full assent and consent to any religious Books besides the Scriptures, seeing all men are fallible? ibid.
  • Q. 153. May we lawfully Swear obedience in all things lawful and honest, either to Usurpers, or to our Lawful Pastors? ibid.
  • Q. 154. Must all our Preaching be upon some Text of Scripture? p. 904
  • Q. 155. Is not the Law of Moses abrogated? and the wh [...]le Old Testament out of date, and there­fore not to be Read publickly and Preached? ibid.
  • Q. 156. Must we believe that Moses Law did ever bind other Nations, or that any other parts of the Scripture bound them or belonged to them? or that the Iews were all Gods visible Church on earth? p. 905
  • Q. 157. Must we think accordingly of the Chri­stian Churches n [...]w, that they are only ad­vanced above the rest of the World as the Iews were, but not the only people that are sa­ved? p. 906
  • Q. 158. Should not Christians take up with Scri­pture wisdom only, without studying Philosophy or other Heathens humane Learning? p. 907
  • Q. 159. If we think that Scripture and the Law of Nature are in any point contradictory to each other, Which must be the standard by which the other must be tryed? p. 908
  • Q. 160. May we not look that God should yet give us more Revelations of his will, than there are already made in Scripture? ibid.
  • Q. 161. I [...] not a third Rule of the Holy Ghost, or perfecter Kingdom of Love to be expected, as different from the Reign of the Creator and Redeemer? p. 909
  • Q. 162. May we not look for Miracles hereaf­ter? p. 910
  • Q. 163. Is the Scripture to be tryed by the spi­rit, or the Spirit by the Scripture? and which of them is to be preferred? ibid.
  • Q. 164. How is a pretended Prophet, or Revelation to be tryed? p. 911
  • Q. 165, May one be saved who believeth that the Scripture hath any mistake or errours, and believ­eth it not all? ibid.
  • Q. 166. Who be they that give too little to the Scriptures, and who too much, and what is the danger of each extream? p. 912
  • Q. 167. How far do good men now Preach and pray by the spirit? p. 913
  • Q. 168. Are not our own Reasons, studies, me­mory, strivings, Books, Forms, Methods, and Ministry needless? yea a hurtful quenching or preventing of the Spirit, and setting up our own instead of the spirits operations? p. 914
  • Q. 169. How doth the Holy Ghost set Bishops over the Churches? p. 914
  • Q. 170. Are Temples, Fonts, Utensils, Church-Lands, much more the Ministry, holy? and What reverence is due to them as holy? p. 915
  • Q. 171. What is Sacriledge, and what not? p. 916
  • Q. 172. Are all Religious private-meetings, for­bidden by Rulers, unlawful Conventicles, or are any such necessary? p. 916
  • Q. 173. What particular Directions for Order of Studies and Books should be observed by young Students who intend the Sacred Mini­stry? p. 917
  • Q. 174. What Books should a poor man choose that for want of money or Time can have or read but few. There are three Catalogues set down (but somewhat disorderly as they came into my me­mory.)
  • 1. The smallest or Poorest Library.
  • 2. A poor Library, that hath considerable Additions to the former.
  • 3. Some more Additions to them, for them that can go higher, With some additional Notes. p. 921

TOME IV. Christian Politicks.

  • GEneral Directions for an Upright Life. p. 1
  • The most passed by on necessary reasons.
  • A few brief Memoranda to Rulers, for the interest of Christ, the Church and mens salvation. p. 5
  • Directions to Subjects concerning their duty to Ru­lers. p. 9. Of the Nature and Causes of Govern­ment. Mr. Richard Hookers Ecclesiastical Po­licy as it is for Popularity, examined and con­futed. Directions for obedience. Duty to Rulers. Q. Is the Magistrate Iudge in Controversies of faith or worship? p. 20. Q. 2. May the Oath of Supremacy be lawfully taken, in which the King is pronounced Supream Governour, in all Causes as well Ecclesiastical as Civil? p. 20. Q. 3. Doth not this give the Pastors power to the Magistrate? Q. 4. Hath the King power of Church Discipline and Excommunication? Q. 5. If Kings and Bishops differ, which must be obeyed? Q. Is he obliged to suffer, who is not obliged to obey? p. 25. Of admonition of Rulers. Q. 1. Whe­ther the sound Authors of Politicks be against Monarchy? Q. 2. Whether Civilians be against it? Q. 3. Are Historians against it? Greek, Roman, or Christian? Q. 4. Whether Athens, Rome, Aristotle, Philosophers, Academies be against it? Q. 5. Are Divines and Church disci­pline against it? Q. 6. Is Scripture and Christi­anity against it? Objections answered. Q. Are Papists, Prelatists and Puritans against it? Bil­son and Andrews Vindication of the Puritans: Christianity is the greatest help to Government: Further Directions.
  • Tit. 2. Q. Whether mans Laws bind the Consci­ence?
  • Q. Is it a sin to break every Law of man? More fully answered. p. 36, 37
  • Directions to Lawyers about their Duty to God. p. 39
  • The Duty of Physicions. p. 43
  • Directions to Sch [...]olmasters about their duties for Childrens souls. p. 44
  • Directions for Souldiers about their duty in point of Conscience. (Princes, Nobles, Iudges and Iustices, are past by, lest they take Counsel for injury). p. 46
  • Advice against Murder. p. 50. The Causes of it. Wars, Tyranny, malignant persecuting fury. Unrighteous judgement, oppression and unchari­tableness, Robbery, Wrath, Guilt and Shame, Malice and Revenge, wicked Impatience, Cove­tousness, Ambition, &c. The Greatness of the sin. The Consequents.
  • Tit. 2. Advice against Self-murder. The Causes to be avoided. Melancholy, worldly trouble, discon­tent, passion, &c. p. 54. Besides Gluttony, Tip­ling and Idleness, the great Murderers.
  • Directions for the forgiving of injuries and ene­mies, Against wrath, malice, revenge and perse­cution. Practical Directions. Curing Conside­rations, Twenty, p. 56
  • Cases resolved about forgiving wrongs, and debts, and about self defence, and seeking [...]ur Right, by Law or otherwise. p. 61
  • Q. What injuries are we bound to forgive, Neg. and Affir. resolved.
  • Q. 2. What is the meaning of Matth. 5. 38, &c. Resist not evil, but whosoever shall smite thee, &c. p. 63
  • Q. 3. Am I bound to forgive another if he ask me not forgiveness? Luke 17. 3, &c. p. 64
  • Q. 4. Is it lawful to sue another at Law? 1 Cor. 6. 7.
  • Q. 5. Is it lawful to defend our lives or estates against a Robber, Murderer, or unjust Invader by force of Arms?
  • Q. 6. Is it lawful to take away anothers life in de­fending my purse or estate only? p. 65
  • Q. 7. May we kill or wound another in defence or vindication of our honour or good name? p. 66
  • Special Directions to escape the guilt of persecuti­on: Determining much of the Case about Liber­ty in matters of Religion. p 67. What is per­secution. The several kinds of it. The greatness [Page] of the sin. Understand the Case of Christs in­terest in the world. Q. Whether particular Churches should require more of their members as Conditions of Communion, than the Catholick Church? and What? Penalties to be chosen that hinder the Gospel least. More Directions, to the number of forty one.
  • Directions against Scandal as Given. p. 80. What Scandal is, and what not? The sorts of scan­dalizing. The Scripture sense of it. Twenty Directions.
  • Directions against Scandal taken, or an aptness to receive hurt by the words or deeds of others: Espe­cially quarrelling with Godliness. p. 88. or taking encouragement to sin. Practical Directions against taking hurt by others. p. 90.
  • Directions against soul-murder and partaking of other mens sins. p. 92
  • The several wayes of destroying souls. How we are not guilty of other mens sin and ruine.
  • General Directions for furthering the salvation of others. p. 95
  • Special Directions for holy Conference, Exhortation and Reproof.
  • Tit. 1. Motives to holy Conference and Exhorta­tion. p 97
  • Tit. 2. Directions to Christian edifying discourse. p. 100
  • Tit. 3. Special Directions for Exhortations and Reproofs. p. 101
  • Directions for keeping Peace with all men. How the Proud do hinder Peace. Many more Causes and Cures opened. p. 103
  • Directions against all Theft, fraud or injurious get­ting, keeping or desiring that which is anothers. p. 107
  • Tit. 2. Cases of Conscience about Theft and such injuries? Q. 1. Is it sin to steal to save ones life? Q. 2. May I take that which another is bound to give me, and will not? Q. 3. May I take my own from an unjust borrower or possessor, if I cannot otherwise get it? Q. 4. May I recover my own by force from him that taketh it by force from me? Q. 5. May we take from the Rich to relieve the poor? Q. 6. If he have so much as that he will not miss it, may I take some? Q. 7. May not one pluck ears of Corn or an Apple from a Tree, &c. Q. 8. May a Wife, Child, or Servant take more than a Cruel Hus­band, Parent, or Master doth all [...]w? (May Children forsake their Parents for such Cruelty). Q. 9. May I take what a man forfeiteth penally? Q. 10. What if I resolve when I take a thing in necessity to make satisfaction if ever I be able. Q. 11. What if I know not whether the Owner would consent? Q. 12. May I take in jeast from a friend, with a purpose to restore it. Q 13. May I not take from another to prevent his hurting himself. Q. 14. May I take away Cards, Dice, Play-books, Papist-books by which he would hurt his soul. Q 15. May not a Magistrate take the Subjects goods when it is necessary to their own preservation? Q 16. May I take from another for a holy use? p. 109, &c.
  • General Directions, and particular Cases of Consci­ence, [...]bo [...]t Contracts in general, and about Buying and selling, borrowing and lending, and Usury in particular. p. 113
  • Tit. 1. General Directions against injurious bar­gaining and contracts, ibid.
  • Tit. 2. Cases about Iustice in Contracts. p. 114.
  • Q. 1. Must I in all Cases do as I would be done by?
  • Q. 2. Is a Son bound by the Contracts which Parents or Guardians made for him in his Infancy?
  • Q 3. Is one obliged by a Contract made in igno­rance or mistake of the matter?
  • Q. 4. Doth the contract of a man drunk, or in passion or melancholy bind him?
  • Q 5. May another hold such a one to his contract, or if he give or play away his money?
  • Q. 6. Am I obliged by Covenanting words without a Covenanting intent?
  • Q. 7. May I promise a Robber money to save my life, or to save a greater commodity?
  • Q. 8. May I give money to a Iudge or Magistrate to hire him to do me justice, and not to wrong me, or not to persecute me?
  • Q. 9. If I make such a contract, may the Magi­gistrate take it of me?
  • Q 10. If I promise money to an Officer or Robber under a force, am I bound to pay it when the necessity is over? So of other constrained pro­mises.
  • Q. 11. May I promise a Thief or Bribe-taker to conceal him, and must I keep that promise?
  • Q. 12. Must I keep a promise which I was drawn into by deceit?
  • Q 13. Is it a Covenant when neither of the con­tracting parties understand each other?
  • Q. 14. Must I stand to a bargain made for me by a friend or servant, to my injury?
  • Q. 15. If I say I will give one this or that, am I bound to give it him?
  • Q 16. Doth a mental promise not uttered ob­lige?
  • Q. 17. May I promise to do a thing simply un­lawful, without a purpose to perform it, to save my life?
  • Q. 18. May any thing otherwise unlawful become a duty upon a promise to do it?
  • Q. 19. May he that promised for a reward to pro­mote anothers sin, take the reward when he hath done it?
  • [Page] Q. 20. Am I bound by a contract without witness or legal form?
  • Q 21. May an Office in a Court of Iustice be bought for money?
  • Q. 22. May a place of Magistracy or Iudicature be bought?
  • Q. 23. May one sell a Church Benefice or Orders?
  • Q. 24 May one buy Orders or a Benefice?
  • Q. 25. May I give money to Servants or Officers to assist my Suit?
  • Q. 26. May I after give by way of gratitude to the Bishop, Patron? &c.
  • Q. 27. May a Bishop or Pastor take money for Ser­mons, Sacraments, or other Offices?
  • Q. 28. May I disoblige another of his promise made to me?
  • Q. 29. What if it be sec [...]nded by an Oath?
  • Q. 30. Doth a promise bind, when the cause or rea­son proveth a mistake?
  • Q 31. What if a following accident make it more to my hurt than could be foreseen?
  • Q. 32. Or if it make it injurious to a third per­son?
  • Q. 33. Or if a f [...]llowing accident make the perf [...]r­mance a sin?
  • Q. 34. Am I bound to him that breaketh Cove­nant with me?
  • Q. 35. May I contract to do that, which I foresee like to become impossible, before the time of per­formance?
  • Tit. 3. Cases about Iustice in Buying and Sel­ling. p. 120
  • Q 1. Am I bound to endeavour the gain of him that I bargain with as well as my own?
  • Q. 2. May I take more for my labour or goods than the worth, if I can get it?
  • Q. 3. May I ask more in the Market than the worth?
  • Q. 4. How shall the worth of a Commodity be judged of?
  • Q. 5. May I conceal the faults, or make a thing seem better than it is, by setting the best side outward, adorning, &c.
  • Q. 6. If I was deceived, or gave more than the worth, may I do so to repair my loss?
  • Q. 7. If I foresee a cheapness of my Commodity (as by coming in of Ships, &c.) must I tell the buyer of it that knoweth it not?
  • Q. 8. May I keep my Commodity if I foresee a dearth?
  • Q. 9. May one use many words in buying and selling?
  • Q. 10. May I buy as cheap as I can, or below the worth?
  • Q. 11. May I sell dearer for anothers necessity? (Cases instanced in).
  • Q. 12. May I take advantage of the buyers igno­rance?
  • Q. 13. May I strive to get a good bargain before another?
  • Q. 14. May I buy a thing, or hire a servant, which another is first about, or call away his Chap­man?
  • Q. 15. May I dispraise anothers Commodity, to draw the buyer to my own?
  • Q. 16. What to do in cases of doubtful equity?
  • Q. 17. What if the buyer lose the thing bought be­fore the payment? (as, a Horse dye, &c.)
  • Q. 18. If the thing bought (as Amber-Chryse, Iewels, &c.) prove of much more worth than either party expected, must more be after payed?
  • Q. 19. What if the title prove bad which was be­fore unknown?
  • Q. 20. If a change of powers overthrow a title spee­dily, who must bear the l [...]ss? p. 120
  • Tit. 4. Cases about Lending and B [...]rrowing.
  • Q 1. May one borrow money, who seeth no proba­bility that he shall be able to repay it?
  • Q 2. May one drive a Trade with borrowed mo­ney, when success and repayment is uncertain?
  • Q. 3. May be that cannot pay his debts, retain any thing for his food and rayment?
  • Q. 4. May one that breaketh, secure that to his Wife and Children, which on Marriage he pro­mised, before he was in debt?
  • Q. 5. May one that breaketh retain somewhat to set up again, by compounding with his Credi­tors?
  • Q. 6. May I in necessity break my day of pay­ment?
  • Q. 7. May I borrow of one to keep day with ano­ther?
  • Q. 8. May one that hath no probability of paying the last man, borrow of one to pay another?
  • Q. 9. Is it lawful to take pledges, pawns or mort­gages for security?
  • Q. 10. May a fo [...]feiture, pledge or mortgage be kept, on Covenant breaking?
  • Q. 11. May I take the promise or bond of a third person as security for my money?
  • Q. 12. Is it lawful to lend upon usury, interest or increase?
  • Q. 13. Whom are we bound to lend to?
  • Q. 14. Is it lawful to take money on usury, in such cases as the Lender sinneth in?
  • Q 15. Doth not contracting for a certain summ make usury the more unlawful? p. 124
  • Tit. 5. Cases about Lusory Contracts.
  • Q. 1. Is it lawful to lay wagers about the truth of our discourses?
  • Q. 2. Is it lawful to lay wagers about Horse-races, Dogs, Hawks, &c.
  • Q. 3. May one give money to see Games or Activi­ties, Bear-baitings, Playes, &c.
  • Q 4. Is it lawful to play for money at Cards, Dice, Lottery, &c.
  • Q. 5. Or at Games, of Activity, as Bowling, Shoot­ing, Running, &c.
  • Q. 6. If the looser prove angry and unwilling to pay, may I get it of him by Law? p. 129
  • Tit. 6. Cases about losing and finding.
  • Q. 1. Must we seek out the loser to restore what we find?
  • Q. 2. May I take a reward as my due, for restoring what I found?
  • Q. 3. May I wish to find any thing in my way, or be glad that I find it?
  • Q. 4. May I not keep it, if no owner be found.
  • Q. 5. If others be present when I find it, may I not conceal, or keep it to my self?
  • Q 6. Who must stand to the loss of goods trusted to another? p. 130
  • Tit. 7. Directions to Merchants, Factors, Travellers, Chaplains, that live among Heathens, Infidels or Papists? p. 131
  • Q. 1. Is it lawful to put ones self or servants, [Page] specially young unsetled Apprentices, into the tem­ptations of an Infidel, or Popish Countrey, meerly to get Riches as Merchants do? p. 131
  • Q. 2. May a Merchant or Embassadour leave his Wife, to live abroad? p. 132
  • Q. 3. Is it lawful for young Gentlemen to travail into other Kingdoms, as part of their education? The danger of Common Traveling. p. 133
  • Directions for all these Travellers in their abode abroad. p. 135
  • Motives and Directions against Oppression. The sorts of it. The greatness of the sin of Oppression. The Cure. p. 137
  • Tit. 2. Cases about Oppression, especially of Tenants. p. 140
  • Q. 1. Is it lawful to buy land of a liberal Land­lord, when the buyer must needs set it dearer than the S [...]l [...]er did?
  • Q. 2. May one take as much for his Land as it is worth?
  • Q. 3. May he raise his Rents?
  • Q. 4. How much below the full worth must a Land­lord set his Land?
  • Q. 5. May not a Landlord that is in debt, or hath a payment to pay, raise his Rents to pay it?
  • Q. 6. If I cannot relieve the honest poor, without raising the Rent of Tenants that are worthy of less charity, may I do it?
  • Q. 7. May I penally raise a Tenants Rent, or turn him out, because he is a bad man?
  • Q. 8. May one take house or Land while another is in possession of it?
  • Q. 9. May a rich man put out his Tenants to lay the Lands to his own d [...]mesnes?
  • Q. 10. May one Tenant have divers Tenements?
  • Q. 11. May one have divers Trades?
  • Q. 12. Or keep shops in several Market Towns.
  • Cases and Directions about Prodigality and sinful waste.
  • What it is? p. 143. Wayes of sinful waste.
  • Q. 1. Are all men bound to fare alike? Or what is excess?
  • Q. 2. What cost on visits and entertainments is law­ful? (Whether the greatest good is still to be pre­ferred?)
  • Q. 3. What is excess in buildings?
  • Q. 4. May we not in building, dyet, &c. be at some charge for our Delight, as well as for Necessity?
  • Q. 5. When are Recreations too costly?
  • Q. 6. When is Apparel too costly?
  • Q. 7. When is Retinue, Furniture and other pomp too costly?
  • Q. 8. When is House-keeping too costly?
  • Q. 9. When are Childrens Portions too great?
  • Q. 10. How far is frugality in small matters a duty?
  • Q. 11. Must all labour in a Calling?
  • Q. 12. May one desire to increase and grow rich?
  • Q. 13. Can one be prodigal in giving to the Church?
  • Q. 14. May one give too much to the poor?
  • Q. 15. May the Rich lay out on conveniences, pomp or pleasure, when multitudes are in deep neces­sities?
  • Directions against Prodigality. p. 143, &c.
  • Cases and Directions against injurious Law suits, witnessing and judgement. p. 148
  • Tit. 1. Cases of Conscience about Law suits and proceedings.
  • Q. 1. When is it Lawful to go to Law?
  • Q. 2. May I Sue a poor man for a Debt or Trespass?
  • Q. 3. May I Sue a Surety whose interest was not concerned in the debt?
  • Q. 4. May I Sue for the Use of Money?
  • Q. 5. May Law Suits be used to vex and humble an insolent bad man?
  • Q. 6. May a rich man use his friends and purse to bear down a poor man that hath a bad cause?
  • Q. 7. May one use such forms in Law Suits (De­clarations, Answers, &c.) as are false, according to the proper sense of the words?
  • Q. 8. May a guilty person plead Not guilty?
  • Q. 9. Is a man bound to accuse himself, and offer himself to justice?
  • Q. 10. May a witness voluntarily speak that truth, which he knoweth will be ill used?
  • Q. 11. May a witness conceal part of the truth?
  • Q. 12. Must a Iudge or Iury proceed secundum allegata & probata, when they know the wit­ness to be false or the Cause bad, but cannot evince it?
  • Tit 2. Directions against these sins. p. 150. The evil of unjust Suits. The evil of false witness. The evil of unjust judgements. The Cure. p. 150
  • Cases of Conscience and Directions against back­biting, Slandering and Evil speaking. p. 152
  • Tit. 1. Q. 1. May we not speak evil of that which is evil?
  • Q. 2. May not the contrary be sinful silence and be­friending mens sins?
  • Q. 3. What if Religious credible persons report it?
  • Q. 4. If I may not speak it, may I not believe them?
  • Q. 5. May we not speak ill of open persecutors or enemies of Godliness?
  • Q. 6. What if it be one whose reputation counte­nanceth his ill Cause, and his defamation would disable him?
  • Q. 7. If I may not make a true Narrative of mat­ters of fact, how may we write true Histories for posterity?
  • Q. 8. What if it be one that hath been of [...] admo­nished?
  • Q. 9. Or one that I cannot speak to, face to face.
  • Q. 10. In what Cases may we open anothers faults?
  • Q. 11. What if I hear men praise the wicked, or their sins?
  • Tit 2. Directions against back-biting, slandering and evil speaking. p. 154
  • Tit. 3. The great evil of these sins. p. 155
  • Cases of, and Directions against Censoriousness, and sinful judging. p. 157
  • Tit. 1. Cases. Q. 1. Am I not bound to judge truly of every one as he is?
  • [Page]Q. 2. How far may we judge ill of one by outward appearance, as face, gesture, &c.
  • Q. 3. How far may we censure on the report of others?
  • Q. 4. Doth not the fifth Command bind us to judge better of Parents and Princes than their lives declare them to be?
  • Q. 5. Whom must we judge sincere and holy Chri­stians?
  • Q. 6. Is it not a sin to err, and take a man for better than he is?
  • Q. 7. Whom must I take for a visible Church mem­ber?
  • Q. 8. Whom must I judge a true Worshipper of God?
  • Q. 9. Which must I take for a true Church?
  • Q. 10. Whom must we judge true Prophets, and true Pastors of the Church? p. 157
  • Tit. 2. Directions for the Cure of sinful Censorious­ness. p. 159
  • Tit. 3. The evil of the sin of Censoriousness. p. 160
  • Tit. 4. Directions for those that are rashly censured by others? p. 162
  • Cases and Directions about Trusts and Secrets? p. 163
  • Tit. 3. The Cases. Q. 1. How must we not put our Trust in man?
  • Q. 2. Whom to choose for a Trust?
  • Q. 3. When may I commit a secret to another?
  • Q. 4. Must I keep a secret when I am trusted with it, but promise it not?
  • Q. 5. What if a secret be revealed to me, without desire to conceal it?
  • Q. 6. What if it be against the King or State?
  • Q. 7. What if it be against the good of a third per­son?
  • Q. 8. What if a man in Debt do trust his Estate with me to defraud his Creditors?
  • Q. 9. What if a delinquent intrust his Person or Estate with me to secure it from penalty?
  • Q. 10. What if a friend entrust his Estate with me, to secure it from some great Taxes to the King?
  • Q. 11. What if a man that suffereth for Religion commit his person or Estate to my trust?
  • Q. 12. If a Papist or erroneous person entrust me to Educate his Children in his errour when he is dead, I being of his mind, must I perform it when I am better informed?
  • Q. 13. What if one turn Papist, &c. after another hath committed his Children to him?
  • Q. 14. Must I wrong my Estate to satisfie a dying friend in taking a trust?
  • Q. 15. What if after, the trust prove more to my hurt than I could foresee?
  • Q. 16. What if he cast the trust on me, without my promise to accept it?
  • Q 17. May I not ease my self of a trust of Or­phanes, by casting it on the surviving kindred, if they calumniate me as unfaithful?
  • Tit. 2. Directions about Trusts and Secrets? p. 166
  • Directions against SELFISHNESS as it is contrary to the love of our Neighbour. The nature and evil of the sin; and the Cure. ibid.
  • Cases and Directions for Loving our Neighbours as our selves. p. 168
  • Tit. 1. The Cases. Q 1. How must I Love another as my self, in degree, or kind, or only reality?
  • Q. 2. What is the true nature of Love to my self and others?
  • Q. 3. If none must be Loved above their worth, how doth God love sinners?
  • Q. 4. Must I love all in degree as much as my self?
  • Q. 5. Must I love any more than my self?
  • Q. 6. Must I love other mens Wife, Children, &c. better than my own, when they are better?
  • Q. 7. Who is that Neighbour whom I must love as my self?
  • Q. 8. Must we Love and pray for Antichrist, and those that sin against the Holy Ghost?
  • Q. 9. Must we not hate Gods enemies?
  • Q. 10. May I not wish hurt to another more than to my self? p. 168
  • Tit. 2. Directions to Love our Neighbours as our selves. p. 171
  • Tit. 3. The Reasons and Motives of Love to our Neighbour. ibid.
  • Cases of and Directions for the Love of Godly per­sons as such. p. 173
  • Tit. The Cases. Q. 1. How can we love the Godly, when none can know another to be sincere?
  • Q. 2. Must we Love them as Godly that give no ac­count of the time, manner, or means of their Con­version?
  • Q. 3. What if they are so ignorant that they know not what faith, repentance, conversion, &c. are?
  • Q. 4. Must I take the Visible members of the Church for truly Godly?
  • Q. 5. Must we take all visible members equally to be Godly and Lovely?
  • Q. 6. Must we love all equally, strong and weak, that seem sincere?
  • Q. 7. Must we love those better that have much grace and little useful gifts, or those that have less grace and more profitable gifts for the Church?
  • Q. 8. Must we love him as Godly who liveth in any heinous sin?
  • Q. 9. Must an Excommunicate person be Loved as Godly, or not?
  • Q. 10. Can an unsanctified man truly Love a Godly man?
  • Q. 11. Can he love him because he is Godly?
  • Q. 12. May he love a Godly man because he would make him Godly?
  • Q. 13. Doth any such love the Godly more than others?
  • Q. 14. Do all true Christians love all the Godly that wrong them, or differ from them?
  • Q. 15. What is that love of the Godly which proveth our sincerity, and which no Hypocrite can reach to?
  • Tit. 2. Directions for true Loving the Children of God. p. 176
  • [Page] Tit. 3. Motives or Meditative helps to Love the Godly? p. 177
  • Tit. 4. The hind [...]rances and enemies of Christian Lo [...]. p. 178
  • Tit. 5. The Counterfeits of Christian Love. p. 179
  • Tit. 6. [...]ases and Directions for Intimate special friends. p. 180
  • Q. 1. Is it lawful to have an earnest desire to be loved by others: Especially by some one above all others?
  • Q. 2. Is it lawful, meet or desirable, to entertain that extraordinary affection to any, which is called sp [...]cial Friendship? or to have one endeared inti­mate friend, whom we prefer before all others?
  • Q. 3. Is it meet to have more bosome friends than [...]e?
  • Q. 4. Is it meet for him to choose any other bosome friend, that hath a pious Wife? and is any so fit for this friendship as a Wife?
  • Q. 5. Is it meet to Love a friend for our own com­modity? Must I or my friend be the chief end of my Love or friendship?
  • Q. 6. May we keep any secret from such a friend? or have any suspicion of him, or suppose that he may prove unfaithful?
  • Q. 7. May we change an old bosome friend for a n [...]w one?
  • Q. 8. What Love is due to a Minister that hath been the means of my Conversion?
  • Q. 9. What is the sin and danger of Loving another too much?
  • Q. 10. What must be the Qualifications of a bosome friend?
  • Twenty things necessary to such friendship; so rare as prove it rare:
  • Directions for the right use of special friend­ship. p. 184
  • Cases and Directions for Loving Enemies and doing them good (beside what is said before Chap. 9. of forgiving them.) p. 189
  • Tit. 1. Q. 1. Whom must I account and Love as an Enemy.
  • Q. 2. Why and how must an Enemy be loved?
  • Q. 3. Must I d [...]sire God to forgive him while he repenteth not?
  • Q. 4. What if he be my Enemy for Religion, and so an Enemy to God?
  • Q. 5. What if my benefits enable and embolden him to do hurt?
  • Q. 6. May I not hurt an Enemy in my own De­fence, and wish him as much hurt as I may do him?
  • Q. 7. Must Kings and States Love their Enemies? How then shall they make Wa [...]?
  • Tit. 2. Motives to Love and do good to Enemies? p. 187
  • Tit. 3. Directions for the practice. p. 188
  • Cases and Directions about works of Charity. p. 189
  • Tit. 1. The Cases. Q. 1. What are the Grounds and Motives of good works?
  • Q. 2. What is a good work which God hath pro­mised to reward?
  • Q. 3. What particular good works should one choose at this time, that would best improve his masters stock?
  • Q. 4. In what order must we do good works, and who must be preferred?
  • Q. 5. Is it better to give in life time or at death?
  • Q. 6. and 7. Must we devote a certain proportion of our incomes? and what proportion? A Letter to Mr. Gouge on that question. p. [...]92
  • Tit. 2. Directions for works of Charity (besides those Tom. 1. Ch. 3.) p. 199
  • Cases and Directions about Confessing sins and in­juries to others. Tit. 1. The Cases. p. 201
  • Q. 1. When must we confess wrongs to those that we have wronged?
  • Q. 2. What will excuse us from such Confessions?
  • Q. 3. Must I confess a purpose of injury which was never executed?
  • Q. 4. When must sins against God be confessed to men?
  • Tit. 2. The Directions for just confessing sin to others. p. 202
  • Cases and Directions about satisfaction and Resti­tution. p. 203
  • Tit. 1. The Cases. Q. 1. What is Satisfaction, what Restitution, and when a duty? Q. Why did they restore fourfold by the Law of Moses?
  • Q. 2. How far is Satisfaction and Restitution ne­cessary?
  • Q. 3. Who are bound to make it?
  • Q. 4. To whom must it be made?
  • Q. 5. What Restitution is to be made for dishonour­ing Rulers or Parents?
  • Q. 6▪ How must Satisfaction be made for Slanders and Lyes?
  • Q. 7. And for tempting others to sin, and hurting their souls?
  • Q. 8. And for Murder or Man-slaughter?
  • Q. 9. I [...] a Murderer bound to offer himself to justice?
  • Q. 10. Or to do execution on himself?
  • Q. 11. What Satisfaction is to be made by a For­nicator or Adulterer?
  • Q. 12. In what cases is a man excused from Sa­tisfaction and Restitution?
  • Q. 13. What if Restitution will cost the Restorer more than the thing is worth?
  • Q. 14. What if confessing a fault will turn the rage of the injured person against me to my ruine? p. 203
  • Tit. 2. The Directions for Practice. p. 206
  • Cases and Directions about our obtaining pardon from God. p. 206
  • Tit. 1. The Cases. Q 1. Is there Pardon to be had for all sin without exception?
  • Q. 2. What if one oft commit the same heinous sin?
  • Q. 3. Is the day of Grace and Pardon ever past in this life?
  • [Page]Q. 4. May we be sure that we are pardoned?
  • Q. 5. Can any man pardon sins against God, and how far?
  • Q. 6. Is sin forgiven before it be committed?
  • Q. 7. Are the Elect Pardoned and Iustified before Repentance?
  • Q. 8. Is Pardon or Iustification perfect before Death?
  • Q. 9. Is our pardon perfect as to all sins past?
  • Q. 10. May Pardon or Iustification be lost or re­versed?
  • Q. 11. Is the pardon of my own sin to be Believed [...]ide Divina? and is it the meaning of that Ar­ticle of the Creed?
  • Q. 12. May one in any kind Trust to his own Faith and Repentance for his Pardon?
  • Q. 13. What are the Causes and Conditions of Par­don? p. 208
  • Tit. 2. Directions for obtaining Pardon from God? p. 209
  • Cases and Directions about self-judging. p. 210
  • Tit. 1. The Cases. Q. 1. What are the Reasons, Vses and Motives of Self-judging?
  • Q. 2. What should ignorant persons do whose ca­pacity will not reach to so high a work as true self-examination and self-judging?
  • Q. 3. How far may a weak Christian take the judgement of his Pastor or others about his since­rity and justification?
  • Tit. 2. Directions for judging of our Actions. p. 211
  • Tit. 3. Directions for judging of our estates, to know whether we are Iustified and in a state of life? p. 212, &c

READER, Thou art desired to mend the following Errata with thy Pen; especially those markt with a Star. Some more false Spellings, false Pointings, &c. there are, but too slight to give thee any trouble.

PAg. 26. l. antepen. r. have lived: p. 48. l. 7. r. if they: p. 44. l. 20. r. once * listed: p. 4 [...]. l. 31. r. [...] to: p. 55. l. 30. r. in the practice: p. 59. l. 13. del. not: l. 43. r. from them that: p. 63. l. 46. del. not: p. 99. l. 50. r. [...]ew re [...] not fit: p. 105. Sect. 11. l. 2. r. [...] serves: v. 120 ( [...]. 12 [...].) l. 36. r. * [...]arl s [...]ss: p. 150. l 29. r. * world [...]: p. 154. Sect. 37. l. ante [...]. r. 2▪ * Chron. p. 165. l. 1. r. before them: p. 180. l. 3. r. * that clearly: p. 219. Sect. 11. l. 1. r. c [...]j [...]es: p. 233. Sect. 16. l. ult. r. [...] [...]: p. 238. Sect. 50. l. 3. r sound: p. 244. l. 21. r. their shame: p. 261. l 13. r. * a d [...]p: p. 323. Sect. [...]9. l. 6. r. i [...] [...]: p. 325. l. 5 [...]. [...] * Dury: p. 33. Title r. sinful Desires: p. 354. l. 33. r. love him: p. 380. Sect. 63 l. 6. r. loath: p. 384. l. 4 [...]. r * senseless [...]: p▪ 386. l. 6. r. * most defile: p. 397 Sect. 14. l. 11. r. yet of: p. 398. Sect. 19. l. 2. r. sights: p. 404. Sect 3▪ l. 7. r. * present [...]: p. 410. l 9. r. * mod.: p. 433. l. 51. r. sermonum: l. 53. r. * aftercations: p. 437. l. 18. r. General; to get: p. 4 [...]. l. antep. r. their [...]ot: p. 442. l. 41. r. give thee: p. 445. l. 7. r. contented: l. 42. r. got: p. 452. l. 26. r. * best employment: l. 6. del. best: p. 460. Title, r. [...] Zeal: Lust. r. in the world: p. 461. Sect. 16. l. 2. r. unprofitable * prating: p. 462. l. 37. r. [...]: l. 4 [...]. r. oth [...]s: l. 52. r. using them: p. 495. l. 8. r. Gods: p. 496. l. 45. r. Ri [...]ht of propriety: p. 500. l. 37. r. Psalms of praise: p. 503. l. 33. r. 1 C [...]r. l. [...]4. r. [...] [...]o [...]—t [...]ir house: l. 35. r. thy house: l. pen. r. Therefore: p. 506. l. 56. r. the faith: p. 507. l. 37. r. [...]it to o [...]: p. 523 l. [...]2. del. it: ibid. r. this heat: p. 536. l. 26. r. will do: p. 550. l. ult. r. heart-breaking: p. 551. l. 39. r ev [...] [...]: p. 557. l. 46. r. hath * not given: p. 599. l 30. r. shorter: p. 625. l. [...]. r. * not wholly: p. 635. l. 39. r. * not able: p 641. l. 39. r. your [...]: p. 676. Sect. 19. l. 4. [...]. Your work: p. 692. l. 17. r. himself: p. 695. l. 1. r. arctius nobis: p. 701. l. 24. r. wicked hands: p. 705. Prop. 8. l. 5 [...]6. del. half each line: p. 711. l. 42. r. in force: l. 58. r. needeth it * not: p 713. l. 38. r. by a fa [...]se: p. 720. l. 3. r. Here note: p. 722. l. 19. r. S [...]: p. 724. Sect. 3. l. 5. del. you: p. 727. Sect. 19. l. 10. r. ask: p. 745. Sect. [...]4 l. r. del of intrusions: p. 756. l. antep. r. would [...]id [...]: p. 757. l. 55. r. imitate them: p. 759. l. 10. r. murder: p. 771. l. ult. r. to all: p 798. l. 34. r. O [...]ined, as: p. 812. Q. 36. l. 5. r. (as such unknown) p 844. l. 9. r. to * remove: p 885. l. 12. r. * not to institute: p 898 l. 10▪ 11. r. Gomarus—* Somnius: p. 900. l. antep. r. bare witness: p 915. l. 17. r 2 Some things: p. 919. l. antep. r. see that—* apt [...]nt [...]r: p. 921. l. 22 r. [...] * [...] ma [...]: l. 39. r. after * the Scriptures which Paul is commonly supposed to mean, and some of it, after he [...]ud so: p. 922. l. 25. r. Hot [...]kis: l. 46. r. * S [...]cca [...]i: l. 47. r. Caranza's: p. 923. l. 8. r. Magirus: l. 18. r. * Scho [...]cri: p. 924. l. 7. r. [...]: l. 20. r. W [...]s [...]m [...]cius: l. 23. r. Colonius: l. 42. r. Croyus: p. 925. l. 20. r. Polydo [...]: l. 28. r Me [...]ap [...]. * Exercitat. p. 926. l. 2. r. Hi [...]o [...]. of * Antinorians: l. 5. r. * Po [...]lington: l. 8. r. G [...]rson Bucers: p. 927. l. 32. & 33. r. * S [...]ho [...]t [...]ji: l. 34. [...]. * Do [...]cer [...]lliu [...]: l. 36. r. [...]a­britius Hildanus: l. 42. r. U [...]i [...]. p. 928 l. 10. for Hood, r. * Ford: l. 15. r. Heb.

The third Chapter is mis-titled from p. 72. to 127. Also p. 510, 523, 772, 802▪ and in Part 4. p. 12, 176.

PART 4. Ep. to the Reader, p. 2. l. 2. r. here say: p. 11. l. 3. r. pars im [...]rans: p. 16. Sect. 31. l. 8. r. very thing that: p. 1 [...]. l. 23. r. in a night: p. 32. l. 18. r. [...]us u [...]lu [...]: p. 33. Sect. 88. l. 7. r. tyrannicida: p. 41. Sect. 7. l. 13. r. [...]ontemn [...]r [...]t: p. 47. Sect. 4. l. 9. del. the [...] of: p. 50. Sect. 4. l. 20. r. Co [...]c [...]nce from: p. 80. Sect. 2. l. 1 [...]. r. unnec ssary, to oc asion: p. 87. l. 10. r. yo [...] [...] ­ [...]lai [...]: p. 92. l. 11. r calleth: p. 97. Sect. 4. l. 5. r. our own: p. 99. Sect. 20. l. 6. r. Wa [...]: p. 106. l. 17. r. co [...]i [...]e for; l. [...]2. del. But: l. 46. r. your: p. 118. Sect. 27. l. 5. del. the Law of: p. 120. l. 36. r. i [...] * ye [...]: p. 13 [...]. l. 22. r. * l [...]ss [...]: p. 139. Sect. 15. l. 18. r. was taken: p. 162. l. 12. r. Take heed that their: p. 165. l. 20. for in hypothesi, r. * s [...]p [...]ositively: p. 170. l. 4. r. better than: p. 178. l. 3. r. that is: l. 16, 17. r. [...]amiliarity: l. antep. r. we all: p. 182. l. 2. r. is th [...]: l. 64. del. you: p. 197. l. 34. r. difficulty in the case whi h: l. 58. r. me, if I tell.

In the MARGIN, p 4. l. ult. r. dubitare: p. 7. l. 54. r. * clamoribus: l. 55. r. * perderet elementum: p. 10. l. pen. r. I [...]do [...]um: p. 70. l. antep. r. Velocissimum mens: p. 143. r. nostra [...]oeda: l. pen. r. amando cum: p 207. r. [...]: p. 211. l. [...] r supposuit: ibid. r. subito: p. 227. r. * si [...] alia, nihil: ibid. r. cum * m [...]tis: p. 231. r offici [...]s: p. 307. l. 2. r. * f [...] p. 354. r. Nullane: p. 306. l. antep. r. Vid [...]: p. 402 r. resistat. ibid. r. viscera: ibid. t [...]pior [...]s: ibid. r. last b [...]i [...]g: p. [...] r. p [...]o [...]o habamur: p. 371. [...] d [...]sperare▪ p. 587. r * g [...]mitibus: p. 700. l. pen▪ & ult. r. * Fundamentum: p. 715. l. ult. r. [...]. 1 [...]. Annot. b: p. 745. l. antep. r. binc atque inde: l. pen. r. Nosse illum.

PART 4. p. 7. l. pen. r. regi poterit] p. 8. l. 7. r. so [...]titi sunt: p. 13. l. antep. r. Quod mi [...]im [...]: p. 21 l. antep▪ si inter.

A Christian Directory. THE FIRST PART, CHRISTIAN ETHICKS: OR, DIRECTIONS FOR THE Ordering of the Private Actions of our Hearts and Lives in the work of Holy Self-Government unto and under GOD.


LONDON, Printed by Robert White, for Nevill Simmons, at the Three Crowns near Holborn-Conduit. 1672.

A Christian Directory. TOM. I. Christian Ethicks.
The Introduction.

§. 1. THE Eternal God, having made Man an Intellectual and Free-agent, able to understand and choose the good, and refuse the evil; to know, Nov [...]rint uni­versi quod pr [...] ­sens opus [...]ulum non aggredio [...], ut fidelium a [...] ­ribus propha­nas aliquas vocum i [...]geram [...]ovitates, sed ut innoc [...]nt [...]r & sobrie de alt [...]ssimo, &c. Ockam de Sacram. Alt. prolog. In z [...]o domus domini, nunc persolvo d [...]bi­tum, vile qui­dem, sed fid [...]le [...]t puto, & ami [...]um qui­bus (que) [...]gregiis Christi tyro [...]i­bus ▪ grave vero & importabile apostatis insi­pientibus: quo­rum priores, n [...] fallor, cum la­chrymis forte quae ex Dei charitate pro [...]uunt, alii cum t [...]istitia, sed quae ex indignatione & pusillanimitate deprehensae co [...]scientiae extorquetur, illud excipient. Gildas Prolog. Excid. Habet, inquies, Britanni [...] Rectores, habet speculatores: Quid tu n [...]gando m [...]tire disponis? Habet, inquam habet, si non ultr [...], non citra nu­merun: sed quia inclinati tanto pondere sunt pressi id [...]irco spatium respirandi non habent. Praeoccupabant igitur se mutuo talibus objectionibus, &c. Gildas ibid. and love, and serve his Maker, and by adhering to Him in this life of tryal, to attain to the blessed sight and Enjoyment of his Glory in the life to come, hath not been wanting to furnish him with such Necessaries, without which these ends could not succesful­ly be sought: When we had lost our Moral capacity of pleasing him, that we might enjoy him, he restoreth us to it by the wonderful work of our Redemption: In Christ he hath reconciled the world un­to himself; and hath given them a general Act of Oblivion, con­tained in the Covenant of Grace, which nothing but mens obsti­nate and final unwillingness can deprive them of: To procure their Consent to this gracious Co­venant, he hath committed to his Ministers the Word of Reconciliation, commanding us to beseech men, as in the stead of Christ, and as though God himself did beseech them by us, to be reconciled unto God, 2 Cor. 5. 18, 19, 20. and to shew them first their sin and misery, and proclaim and offer the true Remedy, and to let them know, that All things are now ready, and by pleading their duty, their necessity and their commodity; to compell them to come in, Matth. 22. 4. Luke 11. 17, 23.

But so great is the Blindness and Obstinacy of men, that the greatest part refuse Consent, being de­ceived by the pleasures, and profits and honours of this present world, and make their pretended necessities or business the matter of their excuses, and the unreasonable reasons of their refusal, negli­gence and delayes; till death surprize them, and the door is shut; and they knock and cry for Mercy and Admittance when it is too late, Matth. 25. 10, 11, 12.

§. 2. Against this Wilful Negligence and Presumption, which is the principal Cause of the damnation of the ungodly world, I have written many Books already: But because there are many that profess themselves unfeignedly willing, not only to be saved, but also to be Christs Disciples, to learn of him, to [Page 2] imitate him, and be conformed to him, and to do the will of God, if they could but know it; I have determined, by God's assistance, to write this Book for the Use of such, and to give them from Gods Word those plain Directions, which are suited to the several Duties of their lives, and may Guide them safely in their Walk with God, to Life Eternal. Expect not here copious and earnest Exhortations; for that work I have done already, and have now to do with such, as say they are made willing, and desire help against their Ignorance, that Skill and Will may concurr to their salvation. I shall labour to speak as Plainly as I can, because I specially intend it for the ignorant; and yet to be competently exact in the Directions, lest such Readers lose the benefit by mistakes; and I must speak to many Cases, because I speak to Families where all are not in the same condition, and the same persons are not still the same: And therefore if I should not be brief in the particulars, I should be too long in the whole, and tediousness might deprive some Readers of the benefit.

In Families some are (too ordinarily) Ungodly, in a carnal, unrenewed state; and some are Godly [...] So­cra [...]es in Ci­cer. 1. Tuscul. Qui rectè & [...]onest [...] cu [...]iculum vivendi à natura datum confecerit, ad astra facilè revertetur: Non qui aut immoderatè, aut i [...]tempera [...]ter vix­ [...]Cicero de Univers. Improbo b [...] [...]sse [...]ot p [...]est. Id. Par. Quod si [...]st in [...], m [...], fides, virtus, concordia, unde haec in terras nisi à superis diffluere potuerunt? Cum (que) sit in novis Consis­ [...], [...]o, pr [...]dentia, [...] est Deus haec ipsa habere majora: Nec habere solum, sed etiam his uti, in optimus, & maximus rebus. Cicero de Nat. Deor. li. 2. pag. 76. Quod si poena, si [...] suppl [...]cii, [...] ipsa [...], d [...]terret ab in [...]iosa facinorosa (que) vita, [...]o [...]st injustus: At inca [...]ti potius hab [...]di sunt i [...]p [...]o [...]i. [...], non bo [...]i s [...]nt, q [...]i [...] ta [...]tu [...], non ipso honesto, ut boni vi [...]i sint, woventur. Cic. de Leg. l. 1. p. 289. Ut nihil interest, ut [...]um nemo [...]l [...]at, a [...] nemo possit [...]; si [...] no [...] intelligo quid intersit, u [...]u [...] nemo sit sapiens, a [...] nemo esse possit. Cic. de N [...]t. D [...]r. l. 3. p. 138. [...] was afraid to speak what he knew of the Unity of the Eternal God the Maker of all: Illum quasi pa [...]ent [...]m hujus universitatis in [...]euire di [...]icile: & c [...]m [...], [...] in vulgus n [...]fas. Lib. de Univers. p. 2. And the [...]am [...]: he saith Lib. 2. de Nat. Deor. in a state of Grace: These are considerable as Christians simply, with respect to God; or in their Relati­ons to others: These Relations are either Ecclesiastical, Civil or Domestical, (Family-relations.)

Accordingly my intended Method is, 1. To Direct Ungodly Carnal minds, how to attain to a state of Grace. 2. To Direct those that have saving Grace, how to Use it; both in the Contemplative and Active parts of their lives; in their duties of Religion, both private and publick; in their Duties to men; both in their Ecclesiastical, Civil, and Family Relations. And by the way to Direct those that have Grace, how to discern it, and take the comfort of it: and to Direct them how to grow in Grace, and persevere unto the End.

§. 4. And if any Reader should be discouraged at the Number of Duties and Directions set before him, I intreat him to consider, 1. That it is God and not I, that imposeth all these Duties on you: And who will question his Wisdom, Goodness or Power to make Laws for us and all the world? 2. That every Duty and Direction is a mercy to you; and therefore should not be matter of grief to you, but of Thanks: They are but like the Commands of Parents to their Children, when they bid them [Eat their meat, and wear their clothes, and go to bed, and eat not poison, and tumble not in the dirt; and cut not your fingers; and take heed of fire and water, &c.] To leave out any such Law or Duty, were but to deprive you of an excellent mercy; you will not cut off or cast away any member of your Body; any Vein, or Sinew, or Artery, upon pretence that the Number maketh them troublesome, when the diminishing of that Number would Kill or M [...]i [...] you. A Student is not offended that he hath many Books in his Library; nor a Tradesman that he hath store of Tools, nor the Rich at the Number of his Farms or Flocks. Believe it Reader, if thou bring not a malignant quarrelsom mind, thou wilt find that God hath not burdened, but blessed thee, with his holy Precepts, and that he hath not appointed thee one unnecessary or unprofitable duty; but only such as tend to thy Content, and Ioy, and Happiness.

O let it be the daily earnest prayer of me and thee, that our Hearts prove not false and unwilling to follow the Directions which are given us, lest we condemn our selvesV [...]lt Deus [...]uodammodo p [...]ti [...]im; & hoc sim­m [...]st [...], ut ad b [...]nef [...]iend [...]m [...] pu [...]ari [...]. Jos Acosta l. 4. c. 12. p. 396. in the things which we allow. Your Practice now will shew, Whether it be through want of Will or Skill, if henceforth you unfaithfully neglect your duty. If you are willing, obey now what is plainly taught you, and shew by your diligence, that you are willing.

CHAP. I. Leg. Danielis Episcop. Epist. ad Bonif. Mogunt. inter Epist. Bonif. 67. de metho­do converten­di Paganos. Directions to unconverted graceless sinners, for the attaining of true saving Grace.


§. 1. IF ungodly miserable sinners were as few, as the Devil and their self-love would makeHaesit tam de­sperati insulae excid [...]i, inspe­rati (que) menti [...] auxilii, memo­riae corum qui utrius (que) mira­culi testes ex­titere: Et ob hoc Reges, publici, privati, sacerdotes, Ec­clesiastici, suum quique ordinem servarunt. At illis decedenti­bus, cum suc­cessiss [...]t aetas tempestatis Illi­us nescia, & pr [...]sentis tantum serenitatis ex­pers, ita cu [...]ct [...] veritatis ac justiti [...] mode­ra [...]i [...]a coa­cussa ac sub­versa sunt, ut earum non di­cam vestigium, sed ne monu­mentum quidem in supra dicti [...] propemodum or­din bus appareat; Exceptis paucis, & valde paucis, qui ob amissionem tantae multitudinis, quae quotidie prona ruit ad tartara, tam brevis numeri h [...]ent [...]r, [...]t [...]os quodammodo venerabilis mater Ecclesia in sinu suo recumbentes non videa [...], quos solos veros filios habeat. Quorum nequis me [...]gregiam vitam omnious admi [...]abilem, Deo (que) amabilem carpere putet; si qua liberius de his, immo lug [...]b [...]ius, cumn [...]o malorum compulsus, qui ser­viunt non solum ventri, sed & diabolo potius quam Christo. Gildas p. (mihi) 514. It was Pythagoras's saying (which Ambrose saith he had from the Jewes) Communem atque usitatam populo viam, non esse [...] ­rendam. themselves believe, I might forbear this part of my work as needless. For the whole need not the Physicion, but the sick. If you go into twenty Families, and ask them all, Whether any of them are in an unsanctified state, unrenewed and unpardoned, and un­der the wrath and Curse of God? You will meet with few that will not tell you, they hope it is better with them than so, and though they are sinners as all are, yet that they are repenting pardoned sinners. Nay, there is scarce one of many of the most wicked and notoriously ungodly, but hope they are in a penitent pardoned state. Even the haters of God will say they love him; and the scorners at godliness will say, that they are not ungodly, and that it is but hypocrisie and singularity that they de­ride: And it were well for them, if saying so would go for proof, and he that will be their Judge would take their words. But God will not be deceived, though foolish men are wise enough to de­ceive themselves. Wickedness will be wickedness when it hath cloathed it self with the fairest names▪ God will condemn it when it hath found out the most plausible pretences and excuses. Though the Ungodly think to bear it out in pride and scorn, and think to be saved by their hypocritical lip-service, as soon as the most holy Worshippers of the Lord, yet shall they be like chaff, which the wind driveth away: they shall not be able to stand in judgement, nor sinners in the Congregation of the righteous; Psal. 1. 4, 5, 6. And if God know better than foolish men, then certainly the flock is little to whom the Father will give the Kingdom, Luke 12. 32. And wide is the gate, and broad is the way that lead­eth to destruction, and many there be that go in thereat: because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Matth. 7. 13. When Christ was asked, Lord are there few that be saved? he answered, Strive to enter in at the strait gate; for many I say unto you, will seek to enter in, and shall not be able. Luke 13. 23, 24. But alas, we need no other information than common experience, to tell us whether the greatest part of men be Holy, and Heavenly, and Self-denying; that seek first the Kingdom of God and his Righteousness, and Love God above all, and will forsake all they have for the sake of Christ: And undoubtedly none but such are saved; as you may see Heb. 12. 14. Matth. 6. 20, 21, 33. Luke 14. 33.

§. 2. Seeing then the Godly are so few, and the Ungodly so many; and that God will take nothing for Holiness that is not such indeed; and seeing it is so terrible a thing to any man that hath his wits about him, to live one day in an unconverted state, because he that dyeth so, is lost for ever: methinks it should be our wisdom to be suspicious of our selves, and careful lest we be deceived in so great a business, and diligent in searching and examining our hearts, whether they are truly sanctified or not; because it can be no harm to make sure work for our salvation; whereas presumption, care­lesness and negligence, may betray us to remediless misery and despair.

§. 3. I do not here suppose the Reader to have any such acquaintance with his heart, or care of his salvation, or obedient willingness to be taught and ruled by Jesus Christ, as is proper to those that are truly sanctified: For it is Ungodly persons that now I am speaking to. And yet if I should not suppose them to have some capacity and disposition to make use of the Directions which I give them, I might as well pass them by, and spare my labour. I tell thee therefore Reader what it is that I pre­suppose in thee, and expect from thee, (and I think thou wilt not judge me unreasonable in my suppo­sitions and expectations.)

§. 4. 1. I suppose thee to be a Man, and therefore that thou hast Reason and Natural-free-will, (thatPresupposed 1. That [...] are a man. is, the natural faculty of Choosing and Refusing;) which should keep thy sensitive appetite in obedi­ence; and that thou art capable of Loving and Serving thy Creator, and Enjoying him in Everlasting Life.

[Page 4]§. 5. 2. I suppose that thou knowest thy self to be a man; and therefore that thy sensitive part (or2. That thou knowest this▪ and what a man is. flesh) should no more rule thee, or be ungoverned by thee, than the Horse should rule the Rider, or be unruled by him: And that thou understandest that thou art made on purpose to Love and Serve thy Maker, and to be happy in his Love and Glory for ever. If thou know not this much, thou knowest not that thou art a man, or else knowest not what a man is.

§▪ 6. 3. I suppose thee to have a Natural self-love, and a desire of thy own preservation and happi­ness, 3 Tha [...] thou hast self-love and a [...]s [...]re to be happy and that thou hast no desire to be miserable, or to be hated of God, or to be cast out of his fa­vour and presence into Hell, and there to be tormented with Devils everlastingly: Yea, I will sup­pose that thou art not indifferent whether thou dwell in Heaven or Hell, in Joy or Torment; but wouldst fain be saved and be happy: Whether thou be Godly or Ungodly, wise or foolish, I will be4 That thou mad [...]st not thy sel [...]: and that the first cause of a [...]l the B [...]i [...]g, Power, Wis­dom and Goodness of all the crea­tures, ha [...]h (formally o [...] [...]minen [...]ly) more than all they. And therefore that there is a God. Cum desp [...]r [...] c [...]i [...]us & [...]tire, quid si [...]us, & quid ab animanti [...]us caeteris differamus, tum ea i [...]s [...]qui incipi [...]mus ad qu [...] nati s [...]mus. C [...]cero 5. de fin [...] ▪ See the proof of the God-head, and that God is the Governour of the world, and that there is another life for man; in the beginning of my Holy Common-wealth, Chap. 1, 2, 3. Commo [...]a q [...]ibus [...]io [...], lucem qu [...] [...]r [...]imur, sp [...]i [...]um quem ducimus, à Deo nobis dari & imparti [...]i videmus. Cicero pro Ros. Q [...]is [...]st ta [...] v [...]co [...]s, qui cum s [...]spe [...]er [...] in coelu [...] d [...]os esse non s [...]ntiat? & [...]a quae tanta me [...]te fiunt, ut vix quisquam arte ulla ordinem rer [...]m [...]tq [...]e vi [...]issit [...]di [...]em per [...]eq [...]i possit, ca [...]u fieri pute [...]? Cicero de Resp. Arusp. Read Ga [...]en' [...] Hymn [...] to the Creator, Li. de us [...] partium. p [...]aecipuè, l. 3. cap. 10. N [...]lla g [...]ns est tam immans [...]ta, neque tam [...]e [...]rea quae non etiams [...] ignoret qualem Deum habere deceat, tamen habend [...]m sciat. Cicero 1. de Leg. Om [...]ibus [...]nnatum, & quasi i [...]sc [...]t [...]m est, esse D [...]os▪ Id. de Nat. Deor. Ag [...]imus Deum [...]x ope [...]ibus [...]jus. Cicero 1. Tus [...]ul. Null [...]m est a [...]imal [...]raet [...] h [...]min [...]m quod habet ullam notitiam Dei. Cicero 1. de Legib. Nulla g [...]s tam s [...]ra cujus me [...]tem non imb [...]e [...]it d [...]orum opinio. Cicero 1. Tuscul. [I had rather believe all the Fables in the Legends, Talmud, Alcoran, than that this universal frame is without a mind.] Lord Bacon Essay 16. [A little Philosophy inclineth mans mind to Athei [...]m; but depth in Philosophy bringeth mens minds about to Religion.] Lord Bacon Essay 16. Sto [...]ci dicunt u [...]um Deum esse, i [...]s [...]m (que) & m [...]nt [...]m & [...]atum & Iovem dicunt: Principio illum cum esset a [...]ud se, substantiam onnem per aerem in [...]q [...]am co [...]vertisse—Q [...]od a [...]em faciat, V [...]b [...]m Deum esse quod in ipsa sit. Hun [...] enim quippe s [...]mpit [...]r [...]um per i [...]sam (mat [...]riam) omnem si [...]gula [...]r [...]are. Mundum quo (que) r [...]gi & administrari secundum mente [...] & providentiam mente per omnes illius partes perti [...]gente—Laert. in Zenone. bold to take all this for granted: And I hope in all this I do not wrong thee.

§. 7. 4. I suppose thee to be one that knowest that thou didst not make thy self; nor give thy self that Power or Wisdom which thou hast; and that he that made thee and all the world, must needs be before all the world, and that he is Eternal, having no Beginning: (for if ever there had been a time when there was nothing, there never would have been any thing; because Nothing can make nothing:) And I suppose thou dost confess that all the Power, and Wisdom, and Goodness of the whole Creation set together, is less than the Power, and Wisdom, and Goodness of the Creator: Because nothing can give more than it hath to give. I suppose therefore that thou dost confess that there is a God: For to be [The Eternal Infinite Being, and the most Powerful, Wise and Good, and the first Cause of all Created Be­ing, and Power, and Wisdom, and Goodness] this (with the subsequent Relations to the Creature) is to be GOD. If thou wilt deny that there is a God, thou must deny that thou art a man, and that there is any man, or any Being.

§. 8. 5. I suppose thou knowest that GOD who gave a Being unto all things, is by this title of5. That the Creator of all is the Lord or Owner of all: the Ruler of the Rational Creature: and the Benefactor and End of all. Creation, the Absolute Owner or Lord of All: And that he that made the Reasonable Creatures, with Natures to be Governed in order to a further End, is by that title, their Supream Governour, and there­fore hath his Laws commanding Duty, and promising Reward, and threatning punishment; and therefore will Iudge men according to these Laws, and will be Iust in judgement, and in his Rewards and Punishments. And that he that freely gave the Creature it's Being, and all the Good it hath, and must give it all that ever it shall have, is the Father or most Bountiful Benefactor to his Creatures. Surely I screw thee not too high in supposing thee to know all this: For all this is no more than that there is a God. For he is not God, if he be not the Creator, and therefore our Owner, our Ruler, and Be­nefactor, our Absolute Lord, our most Righteous Governour, and our most Loving Father or Benefactor.

§. 9. 6. I suppose therefore that thou art convinced, that GOD must be absolutely submitted to, and obeyed before all others in the world, and Loved above all friends, or pleasures, or creatures whatso­ever.6. That this God must be obeyed and loved. For to say, He is my Owner, is to say, I must yield my self to him as his Own: To say, I take him for my supream Governour, is to say, that I will absolutely be ruled by him: and to say, I take him as my dearest Father or chief Benefactor, is to say, that I am obliged to give him my dearest Love, and highest thanks: Otherwise you do but jeast, or say you know not what, or contradict your selves, while you say, He is your God.

§. 10. 7. I suppose thou art easily convinced, that in all the world there is no Creature that can7. That no­thing is to be preferred be­fore him. shew so full a title to thee as God; or that hath so great Authority to Govern thee, or that can be so Good to thee, or do so much for thee, as God can do, or hath done, and will do, if thou do thy part: And therefore that there is nothing to be preferred before him, or compared with him in our obe­dience or Love: Nor is there any that can save us from his Justice, if we stand out against him.8. That he that ruleth the world by the Hopes and fears of ano­ther life, doth not rule them by deceit and lies, and that he hath Rewards and punishments hereafter. Mundus [...]u [...]ine regitur, est (que) quasi commu [...]is urbs & civitas hominum. Cicero 2. de finib. Impiis apud inferos sunt poenae praeparatae. Ci­cero 1. de In [...]en [...]. Impii ap [...]d i [...]e [...]os p [...]nas luunt. Idem Phil. & 1. de Legib. Iovem dominatorem rerum, & om [...]ia nutu regent [...]m, & prae [...]entem & prae [...]otent [...]m, qui d [...]bitat, [...]aud sa [...]e intellig [...], our no [...]dem, sol sit, an nullus sit dubitari possit. Cicer. de Nat. Deor. 2. p. 48.

§. 11. 8. I suppose that as thou knowest God is just, in his Laws and Iudgements, so that he is so faithful that he will not, and so All-sufficient, that he need not deceive mankind, and Govern them by meer deceit: This better beseems the Devil, than God: And therefore that as he governeth man on [Page 5] earth by the Hopes and fears of another life, he doth not delude them into such Hopes or fears▪ and as he doth not procure obedience by any Rewards or Punishments in this life, as the principal means (the wicked prospering, and the best being persecuted and afflicted here) therefore his Rewards and Punishments must needs be principally hereafter in the life to come: For if he have no Rewards or Pu­nishments, he hath no Iudgement: and if he have no judgement, he hath no Laws (or else no Iustice▪) and if he have no Laws, (or no Iustice,) he is no Governour of Man, (or not a righteous Governour:) and if he be not our Governour (and just) he is not our God: and if he were not our God, we had never been his Creatures, nor had a being, or been men.

§. 12. 9. I suppose thou knowest that if God had not discovered what he would do with us, in the9. That man being bound to love and obey God above all, is bound to do nothing in vain, and that we cannot be losers by his service. life to come, yet man is highliest bound to Obey and Love his Maker; because he is Our Absolute Lord, Our highest Ruler, and our chief Benefactor, and all that we are or have is from him. And that if man be bound to spend his life in the service of his God, it is certain that he shall be no loser by him, no not by the costliest Obedience that we can perform; For God cannot appoint us any thing that is Vain: nor can he be worse to us than an honest man, that will see that we lose not by his service: There­fore that God for whom we must spend and forsake this life, and all those pleasures which sensualists enjoy, hath certainly some greater thing to give us, in another life.

§. 13. 10. I may take it for granted at the worst, that neither thy self, nor any Infidel in the world, 10 That no Infidel can say He is sure there is no life to come. can say that you are sure that there is not another life for man, in which his present obedience shall be rewarded, and disobedience punished. The worst that ever Infidel could say was, that He thinketh there is no other life: None of you dare deny the Possibility of it, nor can with any reason deny the probability: Well then: Let this be remembred while we proceed a little further with you.

§. 14. 11. I suppose or expect that you have so much Use of sense and reason, as to know the Bre­ [...]ity 11. That y [...]u are sure of the brevity and vanity of this life: And that the probabili­ty or possibi­lity of an end­less Joy or misery should command all the care and diligence of a Rational Creature, against all that can be set against [...]. and Vanity of all the glory and pleasures of the flesh; and that they are all so quickly gone, that were they greater than they are, they can be of no considerable value: Alas, what is Time! How quickly gone, and then it's nothing! and all things then are nothing which are passed with it! So that the Ioyes or Sorrows of so short a life, are no great matter of Gain or Loss.

I may therefore suppose that thou canst easily conclude, that the bare probability or possibility of an Endless Happiness, should be infinitely preferred before such transitory Vanity, even the greatest mat­ters that can be expected here: And that the probability or possibility of endless misery in H [...]ll, should engage us with far greater care and diligence to avoid it, than is due for the avoiding any thing that you can think to scape by sinning; or any of the sufferings of this momentany life. If you see not this, you have lost your Reason; that the meer probability or possibility of a Heaven and Hell, should much more command our care and diligence, than the fading vanities of this dreaming transitory life.

§. 15. 12. Well then; We have got thus far in the clearest light; You see that a Religious holy life is every mans duty, not only as they owe it to God as their Creator, their Owner, Governour, and Bene­factor; but also because as Lovers of our selves, our Reason commandeth us to have ten thousand fold12. Therefore that a holy life is [...]ry mans duty, were it but on the account of such a possibi­lity or proba­bility: And therefore that real [...]y there is such a joy and misery here­after; because God doth not make our fa­culties in vain, nor make us to follow de­cei [...]s and lies. more regard of a Probable or Possible Ioy and Torment which are Endless, than of any that is small and of short continuance. And if this be so, that a Holy Life is every mans duty, with respect to the life that is to come, then it is most evident, that there is such a life to come indeed, and that it is more than probable or possible, even certain. For if it be but Mans duty to manage this life, by the Hopes and Fears of another life, then it must follow, that either there is such a life to come, or else that God hath made it mans duty to hope, and fear, and care, and labour, and live in vain; and that he himself doth Tantalize and Cheat his creatures, and rule the world by Motives of deceit, and make Religion and Obedience to our Maker to be a life of [...]olly, delusion and our loss. And he that believeth this of God, doth scarce believe him to be God. Though I have mentioned this Argument in another Trea­tise, I think it not unmeet here to repeat it for thy benefit.

§. 16. 13. And seeing I suppose thee to be convinced of the Life to come, and that mans Happi­ness and Misery is there, I must needs suppose that thou dost confess, that all things in this life, whe­ther prosperity or adversity, honour or dishonour, are to be esteemed and used as they referr to the life to come: For nothing is more plain, than that the Means are to have all their esteem and use in order to their End. That only is Good in this life, which tendeth to the Happiness of our Endless life: And that is Evil indeed in this life, that tendeth to our endless hurt, and to deprive us of the everlasting 13. That all t [...]e matters of this transitory life, are to be estimated as they refer to the life to come. Good. And therefore no price or motive should hire us, to sin against God, and to forfeit or hinder our endless happiness.

§. 17. 14. I may suppose if thou have reason, that thou wilt confess that God cannot be too much loved nor obeyed too exactly, nor served too diligently (especially by such backward sinners, that have scarce any mind to Love or Worship him at all): and that no man can make too sure of Heaven, or pay too dear for it, or do too much for his salvation, if it be but that which God hath appointed14. That no man can love God too much, nor make too sure of his salva­tion. him to do. And that you have nothing else that is so much worth your Time, and Love, and Care, and Labour. And therefore though you have need to be stopt in your love, and care, and labour for the world, because for it you may easily pay too dear, and do too much, yet there is no need of stopping men in their love, and care, and labour for God and their salvation; which is worth more than ever we can do, and where the best are apt to do too little.

§. 18. 15. I also suppose thee to be one that knowest, that this present life is given us on tryal, to15. That this life is given us for tryal and preparation to the life to come. No [...] temerè n [...] sortui [...]o, sati & cr [...]ati s [...]mus; sed profecto [...]uit quaedam vis, quae generi consuleret humano; [...] aut al [...]ret, quod cum exantlavisset omnes labores, tum i [...]cideret i [...] mo [...]tis mal [...]m s [...]mpiter [...]un. Cic. 1. Tus. u [...]. Nec unquam bono quic­quam mali ev [...]i [...]e potest, nec vivo nec mort [...]o. Nec [...]es ejus à Di [...]s [...]g [...]untur. Idem. 1. Tus. prepare for the life that shall come after: and that as men live here, they shall speed for ever: and that [Page 6] time cannot be recalled, when it's gone; and therefore that we should make the best of it while we have it.

§. 19. 16. I suppose thee also to be easily convinced, that seeing man hath his Reason and life for16. That mans thoughts should be se­rious and fre­quent about his future state. 17. That you can tell or may do which way your hearts and di­ligence are b [...], whether [...] for this l [...], or for that to come. matters of everlasting consequence, his Thoughts of them should be frequent and very serious, and his Reason should be used about these things, by retired sober deliberation.

§. 20. 17. And I suppose thee to be a man, and therefore so far acquainted with thy self, as that thou maist know if thou wilt, whether thy Heart and Life do answer thy convictions, and whether they are more for Heaven or Earth: And therefore that thou art capable of self-judging in this case.

Perhaps you will say, that while I am directing you to be Holy, I suppose you to be Holy first: For all this seemeth to go far towards it. But I must profess that I see not any thing in all these sup­positions, but what I may suppose to be in a Heathen: And that I think all this is but supposing thee to have the use of thy Reason, in the points in hand. Speak freely: Is there any one of all these points that thou canst or darest deny? I think there is not. And therefore if Heathens and wicked men, deny them in their practise, that doth but shew that sin doth bruitifie them, and that, as men asleep or in a crowd of business, they have not the use of the Reason which they possess, in the matters which their minds are turned from.

§. 21. 18. Yea, one thing more I think I may suppose in all or most that will read this Book;18. That most among us pro­fess to believe in Christ, and confess the Gospel to be true, &c. that you take▪ on you also to believe in Iesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost the Sanctifier, and that the Scriptures are the Word of God: And if you do so indeed, I may then hope that my work is in a man­ner done, before I begin it: But if you do it but opinionatively and uneffectually, yet God and man may plead with you the truths which you profess.

§. 22. Having told you what I presuppose in you, I proceed now to the Directions: But I again intreat and charge thee, Reader, as thou lovest thy soul, and wouldst not be condemned for Hypocrisie and sloth, that thou dost not refuse to put in practise what is taught thee, and shew thereby, thatAb [...]nt om [...]ia [...]d▪ o [...]ta sunt. C [...]. in Cat. Maj. Dii immortales sparserunt animos i [...] corpora humana, ut ess [...]nt qui terras tuerentur, quique coelestem ordinem contemplantes, imitarentur eum vitae [...]odo, atque Constantia. C [...]c. in Cato. majore. Ex terrâ sunt homines, non ut i [...]colae, & habitatores, sed quasi spectatores superarum rerum atque [...]tium; qu [...]um sp [...]ctacu [...]um ad nullum aliud genus animantium pertinet. Cicero 2. de Nat. Deor. Sic habeto; te non esse mortalem, sed [...]us hoc. Idem Somn. Scip. Cum natura caeteras animantes abjecisset ad pastum, solum homin [...]m erexit, & ad coeli quasi cognationis, do­ [...]ci [...]ii (que) pristini conspectum exc [...]tavit: tum speciem ita formavit oris, ut in ea penitus reconditos mores effingeret. Cic. 1. de Legib. Nisi Deus [...] t [...] co [...]poris custodiis liberaverit, ad coelum aditus patere non potest. Cicero Somn. Scip. Animi omnium sunt immortales: sed bonorum di­ [...]i [...]i. Cic. 2. de [...]egib. Boaorum mentes mihi divinae atque aeternae videntur, & ex hominum vita ad deorum religionem sanctimoniamque migrare. Idem. Animus est ingene [...]atus à Deo, ex quo vere vel agnatio nobis cum coelestibus, vel genus vel stirps appella [...]i potest. Idem 1. de Leg. whatever thou pretendest, thou are not willing to do thy part for thy own salvation, no not in the most reasonable necessary things.

Direction 1. IF thou be truly willing to be sanctified and a child of God, Remain not in a state of Ig­norance,Direct. 1. but do thy best to come into the light, and understand the Word of God, in the matters of salvation.

§. 1. If knowledge be unnecessary, why have we Understanding? And wherein doth a man excellQui seips [...]m cognoverit, cog­no [...]t in s [...] omnia: Deum, ad cujus ima­ [...]i [...] factus est: M [...]d on, c [...]jus si [...]ula­ [...]n ge [...]it; [...]as omnes cum quibus symbo [...]m ha­bet. Paul. Scalige [...] Thes. p. 72 [...]. a Beast? If any knowledge at all be necessary, certainly it must be the knowledge of the greatest and most necessary things: And nothing is so great and necessary as to Obey thy Maker, and to save thy soul. Knowledge is to be valued according to its Usefulness: If it be a matter of as great concern­ment, to know how to do your worldly business, and to trade and gather worldly wealth, and to understand the Laws, and to maintain your honour, as it is to know how to be reconciled unto God, to be pardoned and justified, to please your Creator, to prepare in time for death and judgement, and an endless life, then let worldly wisdom have the preheminence: But if all earthly things be dreams and shadows, and valuable only as they serve us in the way to Heaven, then surely the Heavenly Wis­dom is the best. Alas, how far is that man from being wise, that is acquainted with all the punctilio's of the Law, that is excellent in the knowledge of all the Languages, Sciences and Arts, and yet knoweth not how to Live to God, to mortifie the flesh, to conquer sin, to deny himself, nor to answer in Judgement for his fleshly life, nor to escape damnation! As far is such a Learned man from being wise, as he is from being happy.

§. 2. Two sorts among us do quietly live in damning ignorance. First, Abundance of poor people, who think they may continue in it, because they were bred in it; and that because they are not Book­learned, therefore they need not learn how to be saved; and because their Parents neglected to teach them when they were young, therefore they may neglect themselves ever after, and need not learn the things they were made for: Alas Sirs, What have you your lives, your time, and Reason for? Do you think it is only to know how to do your worldly business? Or is it to prepare for a better world? It is better that you knew not how to eat, or drink, or speak, or go, or dress your selves, than that you know not the will of God, and the way to your salvation. Hear what the Holy Ghost saith, 2 Cor. 4. 3, 4. [But if our Gospel be hid, it is hid to them that are lost: in whom the God of this world hath blinded the minds of them which believe not, lest the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the image of God should shine unto them.] Darkness is unsafe and full of fears: the Light is safe and comfortable. A man in ignorance is never like to hit his way: Nor can he know whether he be [Page 7] in or out; nor what enemy or danger he is near. It is the Devil that is the Prince of Darkness, and his Kingdom is a Kingdom of darkness, and his works are works of darkness. See Ephes. 6. 12. Col. 1. 13. 1 Iohn 2. 11. Luke 11. 34, 35. Grace turneth men from darkness to light, Acts 26. 18. and causeth them to cast off the works of darkness. Rom. 13. 12. Because we are the children of light and of the day, and not of darkness or of night, 1 Thess. 5. 5. They that were sometimes darkness, are light in the Lord, when they are converted, and must walk as the children of the light, Ephes. 5. 8. In the dark the Devil and wicked men may cheat you, and do almost what they list with you; You will not buy your wares in the dark, nor travel or do your work in the dark▪ And will you judge of the state of your souls in the dark? and do the work of your salvation in the dark? I tell you the De­vil could never entice so many souls to Hell, if he did not first put out the light, or put out their eyes: They would never so follow him by crowds, to everlasting torments, by day-light, and with open eyes. If men did but know well what they do when they are sinning, and whither they go in a car­nal life, they would quickly stop, and go no further. All the Devils in Hell could never draw so ma­ny thither, if mens Ignorance were not the advantage of temptations.

§. 3. Another sort among us that are Ignorant of the things of God, are sensual Gentlemen, and Schollars, Cum qu [...]m pae­nitet p [...]c [...]asse pene innoce [...]s est: Maxima p [...]rgationum pars est volun­ta ia poe [...]i [...]entia d [...]licto [...]um. Scal. Thes. p. 74 [...]. Fa [...]ilius iis ignos itur q [...]i non pe [...]severa [...]e sed ab [...]r [...]ato se rev [...]care mo [...]i [...]ntur; est enim h [...]r a [...]m peccare, sed belluin [...]m i [...] er­rore pers [...]verare. Cicero in Vat. Even Aristotle could say, that he that believ­ed as he ought of the Gods, should think as well of him­self, as Alex­ander that commandeth so many men. Plutarch. de Tranquil. Anim. p. 155. Nullus suavior▪ animo cibus est, quam cog­nitio vt [...]itatis. Lactant. Instit. l. 1. c. 1. It is a mar­velous and doleful case to think how ignorant some people live, even to old age, under constant and excellent Teaching. Some learn neither words nor sense, but hear as it they heard not: Some learn words, and know the sense no more than if they had learnt but a tongue unknown: And will repeat their Creed and Catechism, when they know not what it is that they say. A worthy Minister of Helvetia told me, that their people are very constant at their Sermons, and yet most of them grosly ignorant of the things which they most frequently hear. It is almost incredible what ignorance some Ministers report that they have found in some of the eldest of their auditors. Nay, when I have examined some that have professed strictness in Religion, above the common sort of people, I have found some ignorant of some of the fundamentals of the Christian faith. And I remember what an ancient Bishop about twelve hundred years ago saith, Maximus Taurinensis in his Homilies, that when he had long preached to his people, even on an evening after one of his Sermons, he heard a cry or noise among the people, and hearkening what it was, they were by their outcry helping to deliver the Moon, that was in labour and wanted help. His words are [Quis non moleste ferat sic vos esse vestrae salutis immemores, ut etiam coelo teste peccetis? Nam cum ante dies plerosque cum cupiditate pulsaverim, ipsa die circiter vesperam tanta vociferatio populi extitit, ut irreligiositas ejus penetraret ad coelum. Quod cum requirerim quid sibi clamor hic velit? dixerunt mihi quod Laboranti Lunae vestra vociferatio subveniret; & defectum ejus suis clamoris adjuvaret: Risi equidem & miratus sum vanitatem, quod quasi devoti Christiani Deo [...]erebatis auxilium. Cla [...]abatis enim ne [...]acentibus vobis elementum. tanquam infirmus enim & imbecillis, nisi vest [...]is adjuvaretur vocibus, no [...] poss [...]t, luminaria defendere quae creavit.] It is cited also by Papiriu [...] Massonus in vita Hilarii Papae, [...]ol. 67. Therefore Popery is suitable to the children of darkness, and unsuitable to the children of light, because it greatly befriendeth ignorancé, hindering the people from reading the holy Scriptures, and quieting them with the opiate of an easie implicite faith, in believing as the Roman Church believeth, though they know not what it believeth, or mistake and think it be­lieveth, that which it doth not: Ockam. lib. de Sa ram. Altar. cap. 1. citeth Innocent. Extra. de sum. Trin. to prove the great benefit and effi­cacy of implicite faith, that it would prove an error to be no sin: In tantum, inquit, valet fides i [...]plicita, ut dicunt▪ aliqui, ut si aliquis eam habet, quod scilicet credit quicquid Ecclesia credit, si false opinatur, ratione naturali motus, quia pater est vel prior filio, vel quod tres p [...]rjonae sint t [...]es [...]s ab invicem distantes, non est hae [...]eticus, nec peccat; d [...]mmodo hunc errorem non defendat, & hoc ipsum credit, quia credit Ecclesiam sic crede [...]e, & suam opinionem fidei Ecclesiae supponit. Quia licet sic male opin [...]tur, non tamen est illa fides sua, immo fides sua est fides Ecclesiae. This im­plicite faith, being nothing but to believe that the Church erreth not, is not an Implicite faith▪ in God (to believe that all that God re­vealeth is true) which all men have that believe in God, as rational an excuse for ignorance and error, as a belief in the Church of [...]ome? This is too short and easie a faith to be effectual to the true ends of faith. Si igitur tantae sit efficaciae fides impl [...]c [...]a, ut excuset igno­ranter erra [...]tem ci [...]ca illa quae in Scriptura Canonica sunt expressa, multo magis excusa [...]it ignoranter opina [...]tem aliq [...]id quod nec in Scrip [...]u [...]a Cano­nica reperitu [...] expressum. Okam ibid. that have so much breeding as to understand the words, and speak somewhat better than the ruder sort, but indeed never knew the nature, truth and goodness of the things they speak of: They are many of them as ignorant of the nature of faith, and sanctification, and the workings of the Holy Ghost in planting the Image of God upon the soul, and of the Saints communion with God, and the nature of a holy life, as if they had never heard or believed, that there is such a thing as any of these in being. Nicodemus is a lively instance in this case: A Ruler in Israel and a Pharisee, and yet knew not what it was to be born again. And the pride of these Gallants maketh their ignorance much harder to be cured, than other mens: because it hindereth them from knowing and confessing it. If any one would convince them of it, they say with scorn, as the Pharisees to Christ, Iohn 9. 40. Are we blind also? Yea, they are ready to insult over the Children of the Light, that are wise to salvati­on, because they differ from the loose or hypocritical Opinions of these Gentlemen, in some matters of Gods Worship; of which their Worships are as competent Judges, as the Pharisees of the doctrine of Christ, or as Nicodemus of Regeneration, or as Simon Magus, or Iulian, or Porphiry of the gifts of the Holy Ghost. These Honourable miserable men, will bear no contradiction or reproof: Who dare be so unmannerly, disobedient, or bold, as to tell them that they are out of the way to Heaven, and strangers to it, (that I say not, Enemies); and to presume to stop them in the way to Hell, or to hinder them from damning themselves, and as many others as they can? They think this talk of Christ, and grace, and life eternal, if it be but serious, (and not like their own, in form, or levity, or scorn) is but the troublesome preciseness of hypocritical humorous, crackt-brained fellows: And say of the godly, as the Pharisees, John 7. 47, 48, 49. Are ye also deceived? Have any of the Rulers, or of the Pharisees believed on him? but this people who knoweth not the Law are cursed.

§. 4. Well, Gentlemen or poor men, whoever you be that savour not the things of the Spirit (Rom. 8. 5, 6, 7. 13.) but live in ignorance of the mysteries of salvation, be it known to you, that Hea­venly Truth and Holiness are works of Light, and never prosper in the dark: And that your best un­derstanding should be used for God and your salvation, if for any thing at all. It is the Devil and his deceits that fear the light. Do but Understand well what you do, and then be wicked if you can: and then set light by Christ and holiness if you dare! O come but out of darkness into the light, and you will see that which will make you tremble to live ungodly and unconverted another day: And you will see that which will make you with penitent remorse lament your so long neglect of Heaven, and wonder that you could live so far, and so long besides your wits, as to choose a course of vanity [Page 6] [...] [Page 7] [...] [Page 8] and beas [...]iality in the chains of Satan, before the joyful liberty of the Saints: And, though we must not be so uncivil as to tell you where you are, and what you are doing, you will then more uncivilly call your selves, [exceedingly mad, and foolish, disobedient, deceived, serving divers lusts and pleasures,] as one did that thought himself before as wise and good as any of you, Acts 26. 11. Tit. 3. 3. Live not in a sleepy state of ignorance, if ever you would have saving grace.

Direction 2. ESpecially labour first to understand the true nature of a state of sin, and a stateDirect. 2. of Grace.

§. 1. It's like you will say that All are sinners, and that Christ dyed for sinners, and that you wereP [...]it [...]nti opti­mus est tortus, m [...]tatio cons [...]i. Cic. Phil. 12. Regenerate in your Baptism, and that for the sins that since then you have committed, you have Re­pented of them, and therefore you hope they are forgiven.

But stay a little man; and understand the matter well as you go; for it is your salvation that lyeth at the stake: It's very true that All are sinners: But it is as true that some are in a state of sin, and some in a state of grace; some are converted sinners, and some unconverted sinners: some live in sins inconsistent with Holiness (which therefore may be called Mortal) others have none but infirmities which consist with spiritual life (which in this sense may be called Venial:) some hate their sin and long to be perfectly delivered from it: and others so love it, as they are lothe to leave it. And is there no difference think you between these?

§. 2. It is as true also that Christ dyed for sinners: (Or else where were our hope?) But it is true also that he dyed to save his people from their sins, Matth. 1. 21. and to bring them from dark­ness [...] Grati [...] [...]nius hominis majus est quam bonum naturae totius universi. Aquin. 12. q. 113. art. 9. unto light, and from the power of Satan unto God, Acts 26. 18. and to redeem us from all iniquity, and purifie to himself a peculiar people zealous of good works, Tit. 2. 14. and that except a man be born again, and converted, and become as a little child (in humility and beginning the world anew) he can­not enter into the Kingdom of heaven, John 3. 3, 5. Matth. 18. 3. and that even he that dyed for sin­ners, will at last condemn the workers of iniquity, and say, Depart from me ye cursed into everlasting fire, Matth. 25. I never knew you, Matth. 7. 23.

§. 3. It is very true that you were sacramentally regenerate in Baptism, and that he that believeth and is baptized, shall be saved, and all that are the children of promise, and have that promise sealed to them by Baptism, are regenerate: The Ancients taught that Baptism puts men into a state of grace, that is, that all that sincerely renounce the world, the Devil and the flesh, and are sincerely given up to God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost according to the Covenant of Grace, and profess and seal this by their Baptism, shall be pardoned and made the heirs of life. But as it is true, that Baptism thus Q [...]icquid Deo gratum dig­numque offer­tur de bono t [...]es [...] o cordis desertu [...]. Intr [...] nos quippe est quod Deo off [...]ri­mus, omn [...] viz. ac [...]ptabile [...]unus: Ibi timo [...] Dei—ibi conf [...]ssio, ibi largitas, ibi sobrietas, ibi paup [...]rtas spiritus, ibi compassio, &c. Potho Prumiens. de Domo Dei, li. 2. De regno Dei quod intra nos est meditamur vanitat [...]s & i [...]sa [...]ia [...] falsas, dum interio [...]ibus ani n [...] vi [...]tutibus, in quibus regnum Dei consistit, privati, ad exteriora quaedam studia ducimur, & cir­ca corporal [...]s ex [...]rcitation [...]s, quae ad modicum utiles esse videntur, occupamur, fructus spiritus, qui sunt charitas, pax, gaudium, &c. intus minime possidemus, & exterius q [...]arundam co [...]su [...]udinum observantias sectamur; in exercitiis tantum corporalibus quae sunt jejunia, vigisiae, asperitas seu vilitas v [...]tis, &c. regulam nobis vivendi quasi perfectam statuentes. Idem ibid. saveth, so is it as true, that it is not the outward washing only the filth of the flesh that will suffice, but the answer of a good conscience towards God, 1 Pet. 2. 21. And that no man can enter into the Kingdom of God, that is not born of the Spirit, as well as of water, Iohn 3. 5. And that Simon Magus and ma­ny another have had the water of Baptism, that never had the Spirit, but still remain in the gall of bit­terness, and bond of iniquity, and had no part nor lot in that business, their hearts being not right in the sight of God. Acts 8. 13. 21, 23. And nothing is more sure, than that if any man have not the Spirit of Christ (for all his Baptism) he is none of his, Rom. 8. 9. And that if you have his Spirit, you walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit: and are not carnally but spiritually minded, and are alive to God, and as dead to the world: Rom. 8. 1, 5, 6, 7, 8, 10, 13, 14. Whether all that were baptized are such as these, when they come to age, judge you.

§. 4. It is true also, that if you truly Repent you are forgiven. But it is as true, that true Repen­tance is the very Conversion of the soul from sin to God, and leaveth not any man in the power of sin: It is not for a man when he hath had all the pleasure that sin will yield him, to wish then that he had not committed it, (which he may do then at an easie rate) and yet to keep the rest that are still pleasant and profitable to his flesh. Like a man that casts away the bottle which he hath drunk empty, but keeps that which is full; Or as men sell off their barren Kine, and buy milch ones in their stead: This kind of Repentance is a mockery, and not a cure for the soul. If thou have true Repentance, it hath so far turned thy heart from sin, that thou wouldst not commit it, if it were to do again, though thou hadst all the same temptations; And it hath so far turned thy heart to God and Holi­liness, that thou wouldst live a holy life, if it were all to do again, though thou hadst the same temptations as afore against it. (Because thou hast not the same heart.) This is the nature of true Repentance: such a Repentance indeed is never too late to save: but I am sure it never comes too soon.

§. 5. Mark now I beseech you, what a state of sin, and what a state of Holiness is.

He that is in a state of sin, hath habitually and predominantly a greater love to some pleasures, or pro­fits, or honours of this world, than he hath to God and to the glory which he hath promised: He preferreth, and seeketh, and holdeth (if he can) his fleshly prosperity in this world, before the fa­vour of God and the happiness of the world to come. His heart is turned from God unto the creature, and is principally set on things on earth. Thus his sin is the blindness, and madness, and perfidious­ness, [Page 9] and Idolatry of his soul, and his forsaking of God, and his salvation, for a thing of nought. It is that to his soul, which poyson, and death, and sickness, and lameness, and blindness are to his body: It is such dealing with God, as that man is guilty of to his dearest friend or Father, who should hate him and his company, and love the company of a Dog or a Toad much better than his; and obey his enemy against him: And it is like a mad mans dealing with his Physicion, who seeks to kill him as his enemy, because he crosseth his appetite or will to cure him. Think of this well, and then tell me whether this be a state to be continued in. This state of sin, is something worse, than a meer inconsiderate act of sin, in one that otherwise liveth an obedient holy life.

§. 6. On the other side, a state of Holiness, is nothing else but the Habitual and predominant devo­tionNulla Religio vera est, nisi [...] vir [...]t & justiti [...] constat. Id. ibid. and dedication of soul, and body, and life, and all that we have to God: An esteeming, and loving, and serving, and seeking him, before all the pleasures and prosperity of the flesh: Making his favour and everlasting Happiness in Heaven our End, and Jesus Christ our way, and referring all things in the world unto that end, and making this the scope, design and business of our lives. It is a turning from a deceitful world to God; and preferring the Creator before the creature, and Heaven before Earth, and Eternity before an inch of Time, and our souls before our corruptible bodies, and the authority and Laws of God the Universal Governour of the world, before the word or will of any man, how great soever; and a subjecting our sensitive faculties to our Reason, and advancing this Reason by Divine Revelation; and living by faith, and not by sight: In a word, it is a laying up our treasure in Hea­ven, and setting our hearts there, and living in a Heavenly conversation, setting our affections on the things above, and not on the things that are on earth: and a rejoicing in hope of the glory to come, when sensualists have nothing but transitory bruitish pleasures to rejoyce in.

This is a state and life of Holiness: when we perswade you to be Holy, we perswade you to no worse than this: When we commend a life of Godliness to your Choice, this is the life that we mean and that we commend to you. And can you understand this well, and yet be unwilling of it? It cannot be. Do but know well what Godliness and Ungodliness is, what Grace and Sin are, and the work is almost done.

Direction 3. TO know what a life of Holiness is, believe the Word of God, and those that haveDirect. 3. tryed it, and believe not the slanders of the Devil and of ungodly men, that never tryed or knew the things which they reproach.

§. 1. Reason cannot question the reasonableness of this advice. Who is wiser than God? or who is to be believed before him? And what men are liker to know what they talk of, then such as speak from their own experience? Nothing more familiar with wicked men, than to slander and reproach the holy wayes and servants of the Lord. No wisdom, no measure of Holiness or righteousness will exempt the Godly from their malice. Otherwise Christ himself at least would have been exempted, if not his Apostles or other Saints, whom they have slandered and put to death. Christ hath fore­told us what to expect from them, John 15. 18, 19, 20, 21. If the world hate you, ye know that it hated me before it hated you: If you were of the world, the world would love his own: but because ye are not of the world, but I have chosen you out of the world, therefore the world hateth you: Remember the word that I said unto you, The servant is not greater than the Lord: If they have persecuted me, they will also persecute you: if they have kept my sayings they will keep yours also.

§. 2. The truth is, wicked men are the seed and children of the Devil, and have his image, and obey him, and think, and speak, and do as he would have them. And the Godly are the seed and members of Christ, and bear his Image, and obey him: And do you think that the Devil will bidVictor utic. saith that the Arrian Goths tormented the devoted Vir­gins, to force them to con­fess that their Pastors had committed fornication with them: but no tor­ment preva [...] ­ed with them, though man [...] were killed with it, pag. 407, 408. lib. 2. Terrent prae­cep [...]s [...]ralibus, ut in medio Vandalorum nostri n [...]llat [...]us respirarent: Ne [...]; us [...]; qua [...]e orandi aut immolandi con [...]ed [...]ret [...]r g [...]m [...]ntibus locus. Nam & diversae calumniae non d [...]erant quotidie, etiam illis sacerdotibus, qui in his regionibus versabantur, quae palatio triouta pendeba [...]t. Et si forsita [...] quis [...]a [...], ut moris est, du [...] Dei pop [...]lum admo [...]cret, Pharaonem, Nabuchodonosor, Holosernum, aut aliquem similem nominas [...]t, Objiciebat [...]r illi, quod in personam R [...]g [...]s ita dixiss [...]t, & sta [...]im exilio trad batur. Ho [...] enim tempore pers [...]cutionis genus agebatur, hic ap [...]rtè, alibi occultè, ut piorum no­men talibus insidiis inte [...]iret. NB. Victor Uticens. p. (mi [...]i) 382. Abundance of Pastors were then banished from their Churches, and many tormented, and Aug [...]stine himself dyed with fear, saith Victor ib. p. 376. when he had written (sai [...]h he) two hundred thirty two Books, besides innumerable Epistles, Homilies, Expositions on the Psalms, Evangelists, &c. his children speak well of the wayes or followers of Christ? I must confess, till I had found the truth of it by experience, I was not sensible how Impudent in belying, and cruel in abusing the servants of Christ, his worldly malicious enemies are. I had read oft how early an Enmity was put between the Womans and the Serpents seed, and I had read and wondered that the first man that was born into the world did murder his Brother, for worshipping God more acceptably than himself, because his own works were evil, and his brothers righteous, 1 John 3. 12. I had read the inference, ver. 13. Mar­vel not my brethren if the world hate you.] But yet I did not so fully understand, that wicked men and Devils are so very like, and so near of kin; till the words of Christ, Iohn 8. 44. expounded by visible demonstrations had taught it me. Indeed the Apostle saith, 1 Iohn 3. 12. that Cain was of that wicked one, that is, the Devil: But Christ saith more plainly [Ye are of your father the Devil, and the lusts of your Father ye will do: He was a murderer from the beginning, and abode not in the truth, because there is no truth in him: When he speaketh a lye, he speaketh of his own; for he is a lyar, and the father of it.] Here note, that cruel murdering and lying are the principal actions of a Devil; and that as the Father of these he is the Father of the wicked, who are most notoriously addicted to these [Page 10] two courses against the most innocent servants of the Lamb. How just is it that they dwell together hereafter, that are here so like in disposition and action: even as the Righteous shall dwell with Christ, who bore his image, and imitated his holy suffering life.

§. 3. I conclude then, that if thou wilt never turn to God and a holy life, till wicked men give over belying, and r [...]proaching them, thou maist as well say, that thou wilt never be reconciled to God, till the Devil be first reconciled to him; and never love Christ, till the Devil love him, or bid thee love him; or never be a Saint till the Devil be a Saint, or will give thee leave, and that thou wilt not be saved, till the Devil be willing that thou be saved.

Direction 4. THat thy understanding may be enlightned, and thy heart renewed, be much and seriousDirect. 4. in Reading the Word of God, and those Books that are fitted tomen in an unconverted state, and especially in hearing the plain and searching preaching of the word.

§. 1. There is a heavenly light and power and Majesty in the Word of God, which in the serious Reading or hearing of it, may pierce the heart; and prick it, and open it, that corruption may go out, and grace come in. The Law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul: The testimony of the Lord is sure, making wise the simple: The Statutes of the Lord are right, rejoycing the heart. Psal. 19. 7, 8. Moreover by them it is that we are warned, and in keeping of them there is great reward, ver. 11. The Eunuch was Reading the Scripture, when Philip was sent to expound it to him for his conver­sion, Acts 8. The preaching of Peter did prick many thousands to the heart to their conversion. Acts 2. 37. The heart of Lydia was opened to attend to the preaching of Paul, Acts 16. 14. The word of God is quick and powerful, and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing of soul and spirit, Heb. 4. 11. These weapons are mighty through God, to the pulling down of strong holds, casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth it self against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ, 2 Cor. 4. 5. H [...]st thou often read and heard already, and yet findest no change upon thy heart? Yet read and hear again and again: Mini­sters must not give over preaching, when they have laboured without success: Why then should you give over hearing or reading? As the Husbandman laboureth, and looketh to God for rain and for the blessing, so must we, and so must you. Look up to God: remember it is his Word, in which he calleth you to Repentance, and offereth you mercy, and treateth with you concerning your everlasting happiness: Lament your former negligence and disobedience, and beg his blessing on his Word, and you shall find it will not be in vain.

§. 2. And the serious Reading of Books which expound and apply the Scriptures suitably to your case, may by the blessing of God be effectual to your conversion. I have written so many to this use my self, that I shall be the shorter on this subject now, and desire you to read them, or some of them, if you have not fitter at hand; viz. A Call to the Unconverted: A Treatise of Conversion: Now or Never: Directions for a sound Conversion: A Saint or a Bruit: A Treatise of Iudgement: A Sermon against making light of Christ: A Sermon of Christs Dominion: Another of his Soveraignty, &c.

Direction 5. F thou wouldst not be destitute of saving Grace, let thy Reason be exercised about theDirect. 5. matters of thy salvation, in some proportion of frequent, sober, serious Thoughts, as thou art convinced the weight of the matter doth require.

§. 1. To have Reason is common to all men, even the sleepy and distracted: To use Reason is common to1 Cor. 1 [...] 5. P [...]a▪ 4. 4, 5, 6, 7. 1 Cor. 11. 28. The word [...]t s [...]lf exciteth Reason, and Preachers are by Reason to shame all sin as a thing un­reason [...]ble. And the want of such ex [...] ­tation, by [...], and pl [...]n instruct­ing, and the persons considering, is a great cause of the worlds undoing. For those Preachers that lay all the blame on the peoples stupidity or malig­ [...], I desire them to read a satisfactory answer in Acosta the Jesuite. li. 4. c. 2, 3: & 4. Few souls perish comparatively where all the means is used which should be used by their superiours for their salvation: If every Parish had holy, skilful, laborious Pastors, that would publickly and privately do their part; great things might be expected in the world. But saith Acosta, Ita (que) praecip [...]a causa ad Ministros par [...]. Quae [...]am (que) est praedicatio nostra? quae fiducia? signa certè non edimus: vitae sanctitate non eminemus; beneficentia non invitamus; [...] [...]p [...]it [...]s essi [...]cia non p [...]r [...]uademus; lachrymis ac precibus à Deo non impetramus; immo ne magnopere quidem c [...]ramus. Quae ergo nostra [...] est? quae tanta Iudorum accusatio? (An ingeruous confession of the Roman Priesthood. And such Priests can expect no better success. But having seen another sort of Ministers, through Gods mercy, I have seen an answerable fruit of their endeavours.) lib. [...]. p. 365. all that have their senses awake and fit to serve their Minds: To use Reason in the greatest matters, is proper to wise men, that know for what end God made them Reasonable. Inconsiderate men are all ungodly men: For Reason not used is as bad as no Reason (and will prove much worse in the day of reckoning.) The truth is, though sinners are exceeding blind and erroneous, about the things of God, yet all Gods precepts are so Reasonable, and tend so clearly to our joy and happiness, that if the Devil did not win most souls by silencing Reason, and laying it asleep, or drowning its voice, with the noise and crowd of worldly business, Hell would not have so many sad inhabitants. I scarce believe that God will condemn any sinner that ever lived in the world (that had the use of Reason) no not the Heathens that had but one talent, but he will be able to say to them as Luk. 19. 22. Out of thine own mouth will I judge thee, thou wicked servant: Thou knewest, &c. To serve God and labour diligently for salvation, and prefer it before all worldly things, is so Reasonable a thing, that every one that Repenteth of the contrary course, doth call it from his heart an impious madness. Rea­son must needs be for God that made it. Reason must needs be for that which is its proper End and Use. Sin as it is in the Understanding, is nothing but Unreasonableness: a blindness and error: a loss [Page 11] and corruption of Reason in the matters of God and our salvation. And Grace (as in the under­standing) doth but cure this folly and distraction, and make us Reasonable again: It is but the opening of our eyes, and making us wise in the greatest matters. It is not a more unmanly thing to love and plead for blindness, madness and diseases, and to hate both sight, and health, and wit, than it is to love and plead for sin, and to hate and vilifie a holy life.

§. 2. Grant me but this one thing, that thou wilt but soberly exercise thy Reason, about these great important questions; Where must I abide for ever? What must I do to be saved? What was I created and Redeemed for? And I shall hope that thy own understanding as erroneous as it is, will work out something that will promote thy good. Do but withdraw thy self one hour in a day from company and other business, and Consider but as soberly and seriously of thy end and life; as thou knowest the nature and weight of the matter doth require, and I am perswaded thy own Reason and Conscience will call thee to Repentance, and set thee, at least, in a far better way than thou wast in before. When thou walkest alone, or when thou wakest in the night, remember soberly that God is present, that time is hasting to an end, that judgement is at hand, where thou must give account of all thy hours, of thy lusts and passions, and desires; of all thy thoughts, and words and deeds; and that thy endless joy or misery dependeth wholly and certainly on this little time; Think but soberly on such things as these, but one hour in a day or two, and try whether it will not at once recover thee to wit and godliness, and folly and sin will vanish away before the force of Considering Reason, as the darkness vanisheth before the light. I intreat thee now as in the presence of God, and as thou wilt answer the denyal of so Reasonable a request, at the day of Judgement, that thou wilt but re­solve to try this course of a sober serious Consideration, about thy sin, thy duty, thy danger, thy hope, thy account, and thy everlasting state: Try it sometimes; especially on the Lords dayes: and do but mark the result of all; and whither it is that such sober consideration doth point or lead thee? Whe­ther it be not towards a diligent holy heavenly life? If thou deny me thus much, God and thy Con­science shall bear witness, that thou thoughtst thy salvation of little worth, and therefore maist justly be denyed it.

§. 3. Would it not be strange that a man should be penitent and Godly, that never once thought of the matter with any seriousness in his life? Can so many and great diseases of soul be cured before you have once soberly considered that you have them, and how great and dangerous they are, and by what remedies they must be cured? Can grace be obtained and exercised, while you never so much as think of it? Can the main business of our lives be done without any serious thoughts; when we think it fit to bestow so many upon the trivial matters of this world? Doth the world and the flesh deserve to be remembred all the day, and week and year? and doth not God and thy salvation de­serve to be thought on one hour in a day, or one day in a week? Judge of these things but as a man of reason. If thou look that God, who hath given thee Reason to guide thy Will, and a Will to command thy actions, should yet carry thee to Heaven like a Stone, or save thee against or with­out thy will, before thou didst ever once soberly think of it, thou maist have leisure in Hell to lament the folly of such expectations.

Direction 6. SUffer not the Devil by company, pleasure or worldly business to divert or hinder theeDirect. 6. from these serious Considerations.

§. 1. The Devil hath but two wayes to procure thy damnation. The one is by keeping thee from any sober Remembrance of spiritual and eternal things: and the other is, if thou wilt needs think of them, to deceive thee into false erroneous thoughts. To bring to pass the first of these (which is the most common powerful means) his ordinary way is by diversion: finding thee still something else toEven learning and honest studies may be used as a di­version from more necessa­ry things. Saith Petrarch in vita [...]ua, I [...]g [...]nio sui ad omne bo [...]um & sal [...]b [...] s [...]udi [...]m apto; sed a [...] mo [...]a [...]m p [...]ae [...] ­p [...]e phi [...]o [...]phi­a [...], & ad poeticam prono. Quam ipsam p [...]ocessu temporis neglexi, sacris literis delectatus, in quibus se [...]si [...]ulcedinem abditam, quam a [...] [...]ua [...]do [...] ­ram; p [...]eticis▪ literis no [...] nisi ad ornamentum reservatis. do: putting some other thoughts into thy mind, and some other work into thy hand; so that thou canst never have leisure for any sober thoughts of God: When ever the Spirit of God knocks at thy door, thou art so taken up with other company, or other business, that thou canst not hear, or wilt not open to him. Many a time he hath been ready to teach thee, but thou wast not at leisure to hear and learn. Many a time he secretly jog'd thy conscience, and checkt thee in thy sin, and called thee aside to consider soberly about thy spiritual and everlasting state; when the noise of foolish mirth and pleasures, or the busles of encumbring cares and business, have caused thee to stop thy ears and put him off, and refuse the motion. And if the abused Spirit of God depart, and leave thee to thy beloved mirth and business, and to thy self, it is but just; And then thou wilt never have a serious effectual thought of Heaven perhaps till thou have lost it; nor a sober thought of Hell, till thou art in it; (unless it be some despairing, or some dull uneffectual thought.)

§. 2. O therefore as thou lovest thy soul, do not love thy pleasure or business so well as to refuse to treat with the Spirit of God, who comes to offer thee greater pleasures, and to engage thee in a more im­portant business: O lay by all to hear a while, what God and conscience have to say to thee. They have greater business with thee, than any others that thou conversest with. They have better offers and motions to make to thee, than thou shalt hear from any of thy old companions. If the Devil can but take thee up a while, with one pleasure one day, and another business another day, and keep [Page 12] thee from the work that thou camest into the world for, till time be gone, and thou art slipt una­wares into damnation, then he hath his desire, and hath the end he aimed at, and hath won the day, and thou art lost for ever.

§. 3. It's like thou settest some limits to thy folly, and purposest to do thus but a little while: But when one Pleasure withereth, the Devil will provide a fresh one for thee; and when one business is over, which caused thee to pretend Necessity, another, and another, and another will succeed, and thou wilt think thou hast such Necessity still, till time is gone, and thou see too late how grosly thou wast deceived. Resolve therefore that whatever company, or pleasure, or business would divert thee, that thou wilt not be befooled out of thy salvation, nor taken off from minding the One thing Ne­cessary: If Company plead an interest in thee, know of them whether they are better company than the Spirit of God and thy Conscience: If Pleasure would detain thee, enquire whether it be more p [...]re and durable pleasures, than thou maist have in Heaven by hearkening unto grace: If business still pretend Necessity, enquire whether it be a greater business than to prepare thy soul and thy accounts for judgement, and of greater Necessity than thy salvation. If not, let it not have the precedency: If thou be wise, do that first that must needs be done: and let that stand by, that may best be spared. What will it profit thee to win all the world, and lose thy soul. At least, if thou durst say that thy Pleasure and business is better than Heaven, yet might they sometime be forborn, while thou seri­ously thinkest of thy salvation.

Direction 7. IF thou wouldst be converted and saved, be not a malicious or pievish enemy to thoseDirect. 7. that would convert and save thee: Be not angry with them that tell thee of thy sin or duty, as if they did thee wrong or hurt.

§. 1. God worketh by instruments: When he will convert a Cornelius, a Peter must be sent for and willingly heard. When he will recall and save a sinner, he hath usually some publick Minister or pri­vate friend, that shall be a messenger of that searching and convincing truth, which is fit to awaken them, enlighten them and recover them. If God furnish these his instruments with compassion to your souls, and willingness to instruct you, and you will take them for your enemies, and pievishly quarrel with them, and contradict them, and perhaps reproach them, and do them a mischief for their good will, what an inhumane barbarous course of ingratitude is this? Will you be angry with men for endeavouring to save you from the fire of Hell? Do they endeavour to make any gain or advan­tage by you? or only to help your souls to Heaven? Indeed if their endeavours did serve any ambi­tious1 Pet. 5. 2, 3, 4. 2 Cor. 10. 4. 2 Cor. 5. 19, 20. 2 Cor. 1. 24. 1 Cor. 4. 1. 2 Cor. 3 6. & 11. 23. Joel 1. 9, 13. 2 Cor 4. 5. Mark 10 44. Matth. 10. 27. [...]uke 22. 24, 25, 26. design of their own, to bring the world (as the Pope and his Clergy would do) under their own jurisdiction, you had reason then to suspect their fraud. But the truth is, Christ hath purposely appointed, his greatest Church-Officers to be but Ministers, even the servants of all, to rule and save men as Volunteers, without any coercive Power, by the Management of his powerful Word upon their consciences, and to beseech and intreat the poorest of the flock, as those that are not Lords over Gods heritage, nor masters of their faith, but their servants in Christ, and helpers of their joy; that so when ever we deliver our message to them, they may see that we exercise not dominion over them, and aim at no worldly honours, or gain, or advantage to our selves, but at the meer conversion and saving of their souls: whereas if he had allowed us to exercise authority as the Kings of the Gentiles, and to be called Gracious Lords, and to incumber our selves with the affairs of this life, our doctrine would have been rejected by the generality of the world, and we should alwayes have come to them on this great disad­vantage, that they would have thought that we sought not them, but theirs; and that we preached not for them, but for our selves, to make a prize of them: As the Jesuites when they attempt the conversion of the Indians, do still find this their great impediment, the Princes and people suppose them to pre­tend the Gospel, but as a means to subjugate them and their Dominions to the Pope, because they tell them that they must be all subject to the Pope, if they will be saved. Now when Christ hath ap­pointed a poor self-denying intreating Ministry, against whom you can have none of these pretences, to sloop to your feet, with the most submissive intreaties, that you would but turn to God and live, you have no excuse for your own barbarous ingratitude, if you will fly in their faces, and use them as your enemies, and be offended with them for endeavouring to save you. You know they can hold their Tythes and Livings by smoothing, and cold, and general preaching, as well as by more faithful dealing (if not better): You know they can get no worldly advantage by dealing so plainly with you: You know that they hazard by it, their reputation with such as you; and they cannot be ignorant that it is like to expose them to your ill will and indignation.

§. 2. And they are men as well as you, and therefore undoubtedly desire the good will and the good word of others, and take no pleasure to be scorned or hated: Undoubtedly they break through much temptation and reluctancy of the flesh, before they can so far deny themselves as to endeavour your salvation on such terms: And seeing it is all for you, methinks you should be their chief encouragers: If others should oppose them, you should be for them, because they are for you. If I go with a Convoy to relieve a besieged Garrison, I shall expect opposition from the Enemy that besiegeth them: But if the besieged themselves shall shoot at us, and use us as enemies for venturing our lives to relieve them, it's time to be gone, and let them take what they get by it.

[Page 13]§. 3. Perhaps you think that the Preacher (or private admonisher) is too plain with you: ButSeneca Ep. 87. s [...] ibit, Tan necessarium fu­isle Romano populo [...]asci Catoa [...]m, quam Sc [...]pionem: Alter enim cum hostious [...]ost [...], alter cum mo [...]i­bus bellu [...] gessi [...]. you should consider that self-love is like to make you partial in your own cause, and therefore a more uncapable Judge than they. And you should consider that God hath commanded them to deal plain­ly, and told them that else the peoples blood shall be required at their hands, Isa. 58. 1. Ezek. 18. And that God best knoweth what Medicine and Dyet is fittest for your Disease: And that the case is of such grand importance (whether you shall live in Heaven or Hell for ever?) that it is scarce possi­ble for a Minister to be too plain and serious with you: And that your disease is so obstinate, that gent­ler means have been too long frustrate, and therefore sharper must be tryed: else why were you not converted by gentler dealing until now? If you fall down in a swoon, or be ready to be drowned, you will give leave to the standers by to handle you a little more roughly than at another time, and will not bring your action against them for laying hands on you, or ruffling your Silks or Bravery: If your house be on fire, you will give men leave to speak in another manner, than when they modulate their voices into a civill and complementing tone.

It may be you think that they are censorious in judging you to be unconverted, when you are not, and to be worse and in more danger than you are, and speaking harder of you than you deserve. But it's you that should be most suspicious of your selves, and afraid in so great a matter of being de­ceived. A stander by may see more than a player: I am sure he that is awake may know more of you, than you of your selves when you are asleep.

§. 4. But suppose it were as you imagine, it is his Love that mistakingly attempteth your good: He intendeth you no harm: It is your salvation that he desireth: It is your damnation that he would prevent: You have cause to love him, and be thankful for his good will, and not to be angry with him, and reproach him for his mistakes. He is none of those that brings you into the inquisition, and would fine, or imprison, or banish, or burn, or hang, or torment you, in order to convert and save you: The worst he doth, is but to speak those words, which if true, you are deeply concerned to regard: and if mistaken, can do you no hurt, unless you are the cause your self. If it be in publick preaching, he speaketh generally by descriptions, and not by nomination; no more of you, than of others in your case: Nor of you at all, if you are not in that case. If he speak privately to you, there is no witness but your self: and therefore it is no matter of disgrace. Never, for shame, pretend that thou art willing to be converted and saved, when thou hatest those that would promote it; and art angry with every one that tells thee of thy case, and couldst find in thy heart to stop their mouths, or do them a mischief.

Direction 8. IF thou art willing indeed to be converted, do thy best to discover that yet thou art uncon­verted,Direct. 8. and in a lost and miserable state.

§. 1. Who will endeavour to cure a Disease which he thinks he hath not? Or to Vomit up the poi­son which he thinks he never took? or taketh to be no poison? Or to come out of the ditch, that thinks he is not in it? Or who will turn back again, that will not believe but he is in the right way? Who will labour to be converted, that thinks he is converted already? Or who will come to Christ as the Physicion of his soul, that thinks he is not sick, or is cured already. The common cause that men live and die without the grace of Repentance, Sanctification and Justification which should save them, is because they will not believe but that they have it, when they have it not, and that they are penitent, and justified and sanctified already. It is not my desire to make any of you think worse of your condi­tion than it is: But if you will not know what it is, you will not be fit for recovering grace, nor use the means for your own recovery: you think it is so sad a conclusion, to find your selves in a state of condemnation, that you are exceeding unwilling to know it or confess it.

§. 2. But I beseech you consider but these two things: First, Either it is true that you are in soBernard. de grad. humil. grad. 8. de­scribeth mens excusing their sins thus [If it may be, they will say, I did not do it; or else, It was no sin, but lawful; or else, I did it not oft or much: or else, I meant no harm; or else▪ I was perswa­ded by ano­ther, and drawn to it by temptation.] miserable a state, or it is not true: If it be not true, the closest tryal will but comfort you, by dis­covering that you are sanctified already: But if it be true, then do you think it will save you to be ignorant of your danger? Will it cure your disease, to believe that you have it not? Will thinking well of your selves falsly, prove that you are well indeed? Is it the way to grace, to think you have it, when you have it not? Will it bring you to Heaven, to think that you are going thither, when you are in the way to Hell? Nay, do you not know, that it is the principal temptation of the Devil, to keep men from a state of Repentance and Salvation, to deceive them thus, and perswade them that they are in such a state already? Judge soberly of the case: Do you think if all the impenitent unconverted sinners in the world were certain that they are indeed in a graceless state, in which if they died, they were past all hope, that they would not quickly look about them, and better understand the offers of a Saviour, and live in continual solicitude and fear, till they found themselves in a safer state? If you were sure your selves, that you must yet be made new creatures, or be damned, would it not set you on work to seek more diligently after grace than ever you have done? The Devil knoweth this well enough; that he could scarce keep you quiet this night in his snares, but you would be ready to re­pent and beg for mercy, and resolve on a new life, before to morrow, if you were but sure that you are yet in a state of condemnation. And therefore he doth all that he can to hide your sin and danger from your eyes, and to quiet you with the conceit, that though you are sinners, yet you are penitent, pardoned and safe.

§. 3. Well Sirs, there can be no harm in knowing the truth. And therefore will you but try your selves, Whether you are unsanctified or not? You were baptized into the name of the Holy Ghost as [Page 14] your Sanctifier: and if now you neglect or mock at sanctification, what do you but deride your Bap­tism, or neglect that which is its sense and end? It doth not so much concern you to know that you live the life of nature, as to know whether sanctification have made you spiritually alive to God.

§. 4. And let me tell you this to your encouragement, that we do not call you to know that you are unconverted, and unpardoned, and miserable, as men that have no remedy, but must sit down in de­spair, and be tormented with the fore-knowledge of your endless pains before the time. No; it is but that you may speedily and thankfully accept of Christ, the full remedy, and turn to God, and quickly get out of your sin and terror, and enter into a life of safety and of peace. We desire not your con­tinuance in that life which tendeth to despair and horror: we would have you out of it, if it were in our power before to morrow: and therefore it is that we would have you understand what danger you are in, that you may go no further, but speedily turn back, and seek for help. And I hope there is no hurt (though there be some present trouble) in such a discovery of your danger as this is.

Well, if you are but willing to know, I shall help you a little to know what you are.

§. 5. 1. IF you are persecutors, or haters, or deriders of men, for being serious and diligent in the serviceMarks of [...] of God, and fearful of sinning, and because they go not with the multitude to do evil, it is a certain sign that you are in a state of death: Yea, if you love not such men, and desire not rather to be such your selves, than to be the greatest of the ungodly. See Gal. 4. 29. Acts 26. 11. 1 Tim. 1. 13. 1 Pet. 4. 2, 3, 4, 5. Psal. 15. 4. 1 Iohn 3. 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15. Iohn 13. 35. Psal. 84. 10.

§. 6. 2. If you love the world best, and set your affections most on things below, and mind most earthly things; nay, if you seek not first Gods Kingdom, and the righteousness thereof, and if your hearts be not in Heaven, and your affections set on the things that are above, and you prefer not your hopes of life eternal before all the pleasures and prosperity of this world, it is a certain sign that you are but worldly and ungodly men. See this in Matth. 6. 19, 20, 21, 33. Phil. 3. 18, 19, 20. Col. 3. 1, 2, 3, 4. Psal. 73. 25. 1 Iohn 2 15, 16, 17. Iames 1. 27. Luke 12. 20, 21. & 16. 25.

§. 7. 3. If your estimation, belief and hopes of everlasting life through Christ, be not such as will prevail with you, to deny your selves, and forsake Father and Mother, and the nearest friends, and house, and land, and life, and all that you have for Christ, and for these hopes of a happiness hereafter, you are no true Christians, nor in a state of saving grace. See Luke 14. 26, 33. Matth. 10. 37, 38, 39. Matth. 13. 21, 22.

§. 8. 4. If you have not been converted, regenerated and sanctified by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, making you spiritual, and causing you to mind the things of the Spirit above the things of the flesh. If this Spirit be not in you, and you walk not after it, but after the flesh, making provision for the flesh, to satisfie its desires, and preferring the pleasing of the flesh, before the pleasing of God, it is certain that you are in a state of death. See Matth. 18. 3. Iohn 3. 3, 5, 6. Heb. 12. 14. Rom. 8. 1. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13. & 13. 13, 14. Luke 16. 19, 25. & 12. 20, 21. Heb. 11. 25, 26. 2 Cor. 4. 16, 17, 18. & 5. 7. Rom. 8. 17, 18.

§. 9. 5. If you have any known sin which you do not hate, and had not rather leave it, than keep it, and do not pray, and strive, and watch against it, as far as you know and observe it, but rather excuse it, plead for it, desire it, and are loth to part with it, so that your will is habitually more for it than against it, it is a sign of an impenitent unrenewed heart. 1 Iohn 3. 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 24. Gal. 5. 16, 19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25. Rom. 7. 22, 24. & 8. 13. Luke 13. 3, 5. Matth. 5. 19, 20. 2 Tim. 2. 19, Psal. 5. 5. Luke 13. 27.

§. 10. 6. If you Love not the Word as it is a light discovering your sin and duty, but only as it is a general truth, or as it reproveth others: If you love not the most searching preaching, and would not know how bad you are, and come not to the light, that your deeds may be manifest, it is a sign that you are not children of the light, but of the darkness, Iohn 3. 19, 20, 21.

§. 11. 7. If the Laws of your Creator and Redeemer be not of greatest power and authority with you, and the will and word of God cannot do more with you, than the word or will of any man, and the threatnings and promises of God be not more prevalent with you, than the threats or promises of any men, it is a sign that you take not God for your God, but in heart are Atheists and ungodly men. Luke 19. 27. Matth. 7. 21, 22, 23, 26. Dan. 3. 16, 17, 18. & 6. 5, 10. Ier. 17. 5, 6. Luke 12. 4. Acts 5. 29. Psal. 14. 1, &c.

§. 12. 8. If you have not in a deliberate Covenant or resolution devoted and given up your selves to God as your Father and felicity, to Jesus Christ as your only Saviour, and your Lord and King, and to the Holy Ghost as your Sanctifier, to be made holy by him, desiring that your heart and life should be perfectly conformed to the will of God, and that you might know him, and love him, and enjoy him more, you are void of Godliness and true Christianity: For this is the very Covenant which you make in Baptism, which you call your Christening: Matth. 28. 19, 20. 2 Cor. 8. 5. 1 Cor. 6. 17. Iohn 1. 10, 11, 12. Gal. 4. 6. Rom. 8. 14, 15.

[Page 15]§. 13. I Have now plainly shewed you, and fully proved, from the Word of God, by what infallibleAt (que) haud scio an Pie [...]a [...]e adversus Deos sublatâ, fides etiam, & so­cietas humani generis, & un [...] excellentissima virtus, Justi­tia, tollatur. Cicero de Nat. D [...]o [...]. pag. 4. signs an ungodly man may know that he is Ungodly if he will: May you not know whether it be thus with you if you are willing to know? May you not know if you will, whether your desire and design of life, be more for this world, or that to come? and whether Heaven or Earth be preferred and sought first? and whether your fleshly prosperity and pleasure, or your souls be principally cared for and regarded? May you not know if you will, whether you love or loath the serious worshippers of God? and whether you had rather be delivered from your sins, or keep them? and whether your wills be more against them, or for them? and whether you love a holy life or not? and whether you had rather be perfect in Holiness and Obedience to God, or be excused from it, and please the flesh? and whether you had rather be such a one as Paul, or as Caesar? a persecuted Saint in poverty and con­tempt, or a persecuting Conquerour or King? May you not know if you will, whether you love a searching Ministry, that telleth you of the worst, and would not deceive you? May you not know, whether you are resolvedly devoted and given up to God, the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, as your Father and felicity, your Saviour and your Sanctifier, and whether the scope, design and business of your lives is more for God, or for the flesh, for Heaven or Earth; and which it is that bears the sway, and which it is that comes behind, and hath but the leavings of the other, or only so much as it can spare? Certainly these are things so near you, and so remarkable in your hearts, that you may come to the knowledge of them if you will. But if you will not, who can help it?

§. 14. What a so [...]ish cavill is it then of those ignorant men, that ask us, when we tell them of these things, whether ever we were in Heaven? or ever saw the Book of Life? and how we can tell who shall be saved, and who shall be damned? If it were about a May-game this jesting were more seaso­nable; but to talk thus distractedly about the matters of salvation and damnation, and to make such a jeast of the damning of souls, is a kind of foolery that hath no excuse. What though we never were in Heaven? and never saw the Book of Life? Dost thou think I never saw the Scriptures? Why wretched sinner? dost thou not know, that Christ came down from Heaven, to tell us who they be that shall come thither, and who they be that shall be shut out? And did he not know what he said? Is God the Governour of the world, and hath he not a Law by which he governeth them? And can I not tell by the Law, who they be that the Judge will condemn or save? What else is the Law made for, but to be the Rule of Life, and the Rule of Iudgement? Read Psal. 1. & 15. & Matth. 5. & 7. & 25. and all the Texts which I even now cited, and see in them whether God hath not told you who they be that shall be saved, and who they be that shall be condemned? Nay, see whether this be not the very business of the Word of God? And do you think that he hath written it in vain? But some men have loved ignorance and ungodliness so long, till the Spirit of grace hath cast them off, and left them to the sottishness of their carnal minds, so that they have eyes and see not, and ears and hear not, and hearts and understand not. But those that are Willing and Diligent to know their sin and duty in order to their recovery, God will not let them search in vain, nor hide the re­medy from their eyes.

Direction 9. WHen you have found your selves in a state of sin and death, Understand and Con­siderDirect. 9. what a state that is.

§. 1. It may be you will think it a tolerable condition, and linger in it, as if you were safe, or delay your Repentance, as if it were a matter of no great haste; unless you open your eyes, and look round about you, and see in how slippery a place you stand. Let me name some instances of the misery of an unregenerate graceless state, and then judge of it as the Word of God directs you.

1. As long as you are unconverted you must needs be loathsome and abominable to God. His holy na­tureMira Ci [...]ero [...]is fictio in li. de Universit. p. 358. A [...] (que) ille qui [...]ecte & hone­ste curriculum vivendi à na­tura datum confecerit, ad illud astrum, quo cum aptus fuerit, rever­te [...]ur. Qui autem immo­derate & in­temperate vixerit, eum secundus ortus in figuram muliebrem transferet & si ne tum quidem finem vi [...]iorum faciet, gravius etiam jactabitur, & in suis moribus simil­l [...]mas figuras rec [...]dum, & ferarum transfer [...]tur: ne (que) malo [...]um terminum prius alpiciet, quam illam sequ [...] [...]xperit conversionem, quam ha­bebat in se, &c. cum ad pr [...]nam & optimam affectionem animi pervenerit. is unreconcilable to sin, and would be unreconcilable to sinners, if it were not that he can cleanse and purifie them. Did you know what sin is, and know Gods holiness, you would understand this much better. Your own aversness to God, and your dislike of the holiness of his Laws and servants, might tell you what thoughts he hath of you. He hateth all the workers of iniquity, Psal. 5. 5. Indeed he taketh you for his enemies, and as such he will handle you, if you be not converted. I know many persons that are most deeply guilty, especially men of honour and esteem in the world, would scorn to have this title given to themselves: But verlly God is not fearful of offending them, nor so tender of their de [...]led honour, as they are of their own, or as they expect the Preacher should be. If those be the Kings enemies that refuse his Government and set up another, then those are the enemies of God and of the Redeemer and of the Holy Ghost, that set up the base concupiscence of their flesh, and the honour and prosperity of this world, and the will of man, and refuse the Government of God their Creator and Redeemer, and refuse the sanctifying teachings and operations of the Holy Ghost. Read Luke 19. 27.

Some think it strange that any men should be called Haters of God; And I believe you will find it hard to meet with that man that will confess it by himself, till converting Grace or Hell constrain him▪ [Page 16] And indeed if God himself had not charged men with that sin, and called them by that name, we should scarce have found belief or patience when we had endeavoured to convince the world of it. In­treat but the worst of men to repent of Hating God, and try how they will take it. Yet they may read that name in Scripture, Rom. 1. 30. Psal. 81. 15. Luke 19. 14. Did not the Iews hate Christ think you, when they murdered him? and when they hated all his followers for his sake? Matth. 10. 22. Mar. 13. 13. And doth not Christ say, that they shall be hated for his sake, not only of the Jews, but also of all Nations, and all men, Matth. 24. 9. & 10. 22. Even by the world, Iohn 17. 14. & 15, 17, 18, 19, &c. And this was a hating both Christ and his Father, Iohn 15. 23, 24. But you will say, It is not possible that any man can hate God? I answer, How then come the Devils to hate him? Yea, every ungodly man hateth God: Indeed no man hateth him as Good, or as Merciful to them: But they hate him as Holy and Iust, as one that will not let them have the pleasure of sin, without damning them: as one engaged in justice to cast them into Hell, if they dye without conversion: and as one that hath made so pure and precise a Law to govern them, and convinceth them of sin, and calls them to that repentance and Holiness which they hate. Why did the world hate Christ himself? He tells you, John 7. 7. The world cannot hate you, but me it hateth, because I testifie against it, that the works thereof are evil. John 3. 19. This is the condemnation that Light is come into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light, because their deeds were evil. Nay, it is a wonder of blindness, that this God-hating world and age, should not perceive that they are God-haters, while they hate his servants to the death, and implacably rage against them, and hate his holy wayes and Kingdom, and bend all their power and interest in most of the Kingdoms of the world, against his interest and his people upon earth: While the Devil fighteth his battels against Christ through the world, by their hands, they will yet confess the Devils malice against God, but deny their own; as if he used their hands without their hearts. Well poor wretched worms! instead of denying your enmity to him, lament it, and know that he also taketh you for his enemies, and will prove too hard for you when you have done your worst. Read Psal. 2. and tremble and submit. This is especially the case of persecutors and open enemies; but in their measure also of all that would not have him to reign over them. And therefore Christ came to Reconcile us unto God, and God to us; and it is only the sanctified that are Reconciled to him. See Col. 1. 21. Phil. 3. 18. 1 Cor. 15. 25. Rom. 5. 10. The carnal mind is enmity against God; for it is not subject to the Law of God; nor indeed can be, Rom. 8. 7. Mark that Text well.

§. 2. 2. As long as you are unsanctified, you are unjustified and unpardoned: you are under the guilt of all the sins that ever you committed: Every sinful thought, word and deed, of which the least deserveth Hell, is on your score, to be answered for by your self: And what this signifieth, the threat­nings of the Law will tell you. See Acts 26. 18. Mar. 4. 12. Col. 1. 14. There is no sin forgiven to an impenitent unconverted sinner.

§. 3. 3. And no wonder, when the unconverted have no special▪ interest in Christ. The pardon and life that is given by God, is given in and with the Son: God hath given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son: He that hath the Son, hath life; and he that hath not the Son, hath not life, 1 John 5. 10,Rom. 8. 9. 11, 12. Till we are members of Christ, we have no part in the pardon and salvation purchased by him: And ungodly sinners are not his members. So that Jesus Christ who is the hope and life of all his own, doth leave thee as he found thee; and that is not the worst: for,

§. 4. 4. It will be far worse with the impenitent rejecters of the grace of Christ, than if they had never heard of a Redeemer. For it cannot be, that God having provided so precious a Remedy for sinful miserable souls, should suffer it to be despised and rejected, without encreased punishment. Was it not enough that you had disobeyed your Great Creator, but you must also set light by a most Gra­cious Redeemer, that offered you pardon, purchased by his blood, if you would but have come to God by him? Yea, the Saviour that you despised shall be himself your judge, and the Grace and Mer­cy which you set so light by, shall be the heaviest aggravation of your sin and misery. For how shall you escape if you neglect so great salvation? Heb. 2. 3. And of how much sorer punishment (then the despisers of Moses Law) shall they be thought worthy, who have trodden under foot the Son of God, &c. Heb. 10. 29.

§. 5. 5. The very prayers and sacrifice of the wicked are abominable to God: (except such as con­tain their returning from their wickedness.) So that terror ariseth to you from that which you expect should be your help. See Prov. 15. 8. & 21. 27. Isa. 1. 13.

§. 6. 6. Your common Mercies do but increase your sin and misery (till you return to God)▪ Your carnal hearts turn all to sin, Tit. 1. 15. Unto the pure all things are pure: but unto them that are defiled and unbelieving, is nothing pure: but even their mind and conscience is defiled.

§. 7. 7. While you are unsanctified, you are impotent and dead to any holy acceptable work: when you should redeem your time, and prepare for eternity, and try your states, or pray, or meditate, or do good to others, you have no heart to any such spiritual works: your minds are byassed against them. Rom. 8. 7. And it is not the excusable impotency of such, as would do good, but cannot: but it is the malicious impotency of the wicked, (the same with that of Devils) that cannot do good, be­cause they will not; and will not because they have blind malicious and ungodly hearts, which makes their sin so much the greater. Tit. 1. 16.

§. 8. 8. While you have unsanctified hearts, you have at all times the seed and disposition unto every sin: And if you commit not the worst, it is because some providence restraining the Tempter hindereth you: No thanks to you that you do not daily commit Idolatry, Blasphemy, Theft, Mur­der, Adultery, &c. It is in your hearts to do it, when you have but temptation and opportunity: and will be till you are renewed by sanctifying Grace.

[Page 17]§. 9. 9. Till you are sanctified you are heirs of death and Hell, even under the curse, and condemn­ed Unus gehennae ignis est in In­ferno, sed non uno modo omnes ex­cruciat pecca­tores. Uni­uscujusque enim quan­tum exigit culpa, tantum illic sentitur & poena: Nam sicut hic unus sol non omnia corpora aequali [...]er ca [...]e [...]acit, ita illic unus ignis animas pro qualitate crimi­ [...]um dissimiliter exurit. H go Etherianus de A [...]im regres. cap. 12. already in point of Law, though judgement have not past the final sentence. See Iohn 3. 18, 19, 36. And nothing is more certain, than that you had been damned and undone for ever, if you had dyed before you had been renewed by the Holy Ghost; and that yet this will be your miserable portion, if you should dye unsanctified. Think then what a life you have lived until now? And think what it is to live any longer in such a case, in which if you dye, you are certain to be damned. Conversion may save you, but unbelief and self-flattery will not save you from this endless misery, Heb. 12. 14. Heb. 2. 3. Matth. 25. ult.

§. 10. 10. As long as you are unsanctified, you are hasting to this misery: Sin is like to get moreIdem undi (que) in infernum descensus est, saith Anaxa­goras (in Laert.) to one that only lamented that he must die in a strange Countrey. rooting; and your hearts to be more hardened, and at enmity with grace; and God more provoked; and the Spirit more grieved; and you are every day nearer to your final doom, when all these things will be more sensibly considered, and better understood, 2 Tim. 3. 13. 2 Pet. 2. 3.

Thus I have given you a brief account of the case of unrenewed souls, and but a brief one, because I have done it before more largely. (Treat. of Convers.)

Direction 10. WHen you have found out how sad a condition you are in, consider what there is inDirect. 10. sin to make you amends or repair your loss, that should be any hinderance to your Conversion.

§. 1. Certainly you will not continue for nothing (if you know it to be nothing) in so dangerous and doleful a case as this. And yet you do it for that which is much worse than nothing, not conside­ring what you do. Sit down sometimes and well bethink you, what recompence the world or sin will make you, for your God, your souls, your hopes, and all, when they are lost and past recovery? Think what it will then avail or comfort you, that once you were honoured, and had a great estate; that once you fared of the best, and had your delicious cups, and merry hours, and sumptuous attire, and all such pleasures. Think whether this will abate the horrors of death, or put by the wrath of God, or the sentence of your condemnation, or whether it will ease a tormented soul in Hell? If not; think how small, and short, and silly a commodity and pleasure it is, that you buy so dear: And what a wise man can see in it, that should make it seem worth the Joyes of Heaven, and worth your en­during everlasting torments. What is it that is supposed worth all this? Is it the snare of prefer­ment? Is it vexing riches? Is it befooling honours? Is it distracting cares? Is it swinish luxury or lust? Is it beastly pleasures? Or what is it else that you will buy at so wonderful dear a rate? O la­mentable folly of ungodly men! O foolish sinners! Unworthy to see God! and worthy to be mise­rable! O strangely corrupted heart of man, that can fell his Maker, his Redeemer, and his salvation, at so base a price.

Direction 11. ANd when you are casting up your account, as you put all that sin and the worldDirect. 11. will do for you in the one end of the scales, so put into the other the Comforts both of this life, and of that to come, which you must part with for your sins.

§. 1. Search the Scriptures, and consider how happy the Saints of God are there described: Think what it is, to have a purified cleansed soul, to be free from the slavery of the flesh and it's concupiscence, to have the sensitive appetite in subjection unto Reason, and Reason illuminated and rectified by faith; to be alive to God, and disposed and enabled to love and serve him; to have access to him in prayer, with boldness and assurance to be heard; to have a fealed pardon of all our sins, and an inte­rest in Christ, who will answer for them all and justifie us; to be the children of God, and the heirs of Heaven; to have peace of Conscience, and the joyful hopes of endless joyes; to have communion with the Father, through the Son, by the Spirit, and to have that Spirit dwelling in us, and working to our further holiness and joy; to have communion with the Saints; and the help and comfort of all Gods Ordinances, and to be under his many precious promises, and under his protection and pro­vision in his family, and to cast all our care upon him; to delight our selves daily in the remembrance and renewed experiences of his love, and in our (too little) knowledge of him, and love to him, and in the knowledge of his Son, and of the Mysteries of the Gospel; to have all things work together for our good, and to be able with joy to welcome Death, and to live as in Heaven in the foresight of our everlasting happiness. I would have orderly here given you a particular account of the priviledges of renewed souls, but that I have done so much in that already in my Treatise of Conversion, and Saints Rest. This taste may help you to see what you lose, while you abide in an unconverted state.

Direction 12. WHen you have thus considered of the condition you are in, consider also whetherDirect. 12. it be a condition to be rested in one day.

§ 1. If you die unconverted, you are past all hope; for out of Hell there is no redemption: AndAlienus est à [...]ee qui ad [...]ndam p [...] ­ [...]en [...]am tempu [...] expe­c [...]a [...] [...]enecturis. I [...]. [...] Pa [...] in A [...]ot. [...]. 12. Multos vitam differente [...] mor [...] incerta prae [...]nit. Id. ib. ex S [...]. certain you are to dye ere long; and uncertain whether it will be this night, Luke 12. 20. You never lay down with assurance that you should rise again: You never went out of doors with assurance to return: You never heard a Sermon with assurance that you should hear another: You never drew one breath with assurance that you should draw another: A thousand accidents and diseases are ready to stop your breath, and end your time, when God will have it so: And if you dye this night in an un­regenerate state, there is no more time, or help, or hope. And is this a case then for a wise man to continue in a day, that can do any thing towards his own recovery? Should you delay another day or hour, before you fall down at the feet of Christ, and cry for mercy, and return to God, and resolve upon a better course? May I not well say to thee as the Angels unto Lot, Gen. 19. 15, 17, 22. Arise, lest thou be consumed—Escape for thy life: look not behind thee

Direction 13. WHen thou art Resolved, past thy waverings and delayes, give up thy self entirely andDirect. 13. unreservedly to God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost, as thy Happiness, thy Saviour and thy Sanctifier, in an hearty Consent to the Covenant of Grace.

§. 1. This is thy Christianity; thy espousals with Christ: It is Sacramentally done in Baptism: But till it be personally owned and heartily renewed by men at age, they have no reason to be numbered with adult believers, nor to dream of a part in the blessings of the Covenant. It's pity it is not made a more serious solemn work, for men thus to renew their Covenant with God. (For which I have written in a Treatise of Confirmation, but hitherto in vain.) However do it seriously thy self: It is the greatest and weightiest action of thy life.

§. 2. To this end peruse well the Covenant of Grace which is offered thee in the Gospel: Under­stand it well: In it God offereth, notwithstanding thy sins, to be thy Reconciled God and Father in Christ, and to accept thee as a Son, and an heir of Heaven: The Son offereth to be thy Saviour, to ju­stifie thee by his blood and grace, and teach thee, and govern thee as thy Head, in order to thy ever­lasting happiness. The Holy Spirit offereth to be thy Sanctifier, Comforter and Guide, to overcome all the enmity of the Devil, the World and the Flesh, in order to the full accomplishment of thy salvati­on; Nothing is expected of thee, in order to thy Title to the benefits of this Covenant, but delibe­rately, unfeignedly, entirely to Consent to it, and to continue that consent, and perform what thou consent­est to perform, and that by▪ the help of the grace which will be given thee. See therefore that thou well deliberate of the matter (but without delayes): And count what thou shalt gain or lose by it: And if thou find that thou art like to be a loser in the end, and knowest of any better way, even take it, and boast of it, when thou hast tryed the end: But if thou art past doubt, that there is no way but this, despatch it resolutely and seriously.

§. 3. And take heed of one thing; lest thou say, Why, this is no more than every body knoweth, and then I have done a hundred times, to give up my self in Covenant to God the Father, Son and Holy Ghost. Dost thou know it, and yet hast thou not done it? Or hast thou done it with thy lips, and not unfeignedly with thy heart? Lament it as one of thy greatest sins, that thou hast thus provokingly dallied with God: and admire his mercy, that he will yet vouchsafe to enter into Covenant with one, that hath hypocritically prophaned his Covenant. If thou hadst ever seriously thus Covenanted and given up thy self to God, thou wouldst not have neglected him by an ungodly life, nor lived after to the Devil, the world and the flesh, which were renounced. I tell you the making of this Christian Vow and Covenant with God in Christ, is the act of greatest consequence of any in all thy life, and to be done with the greatest judgement, and reverence, and sincerity, and foresight, and firm resolution, of any thing that ever thou dost: And if it were done sincerely by all that do it ignorantly, for fashion, only with the lips, then all professed Christians would be saved: whereas now the abusers of that holy Name and Covenant will have the deepest place in Hell. Write it out on thy heart, and put thy heart and hand to it resolvedly, and stand to thy Consent, and all is thine own: Conversion is wrought when this is done.

Direction 14. IN present performance of thy Covenant with God, away with thy former sinful life; andDirect. 14. see that thou sin wilfully no more; but as far as thou art able, avoid the temptations which have deceived thee.

§. 1. God will never be reconciled to thy sins: If he be reconciled to thy person, it is as thou art justified by Christ, and sanctified by the Spirit: He entertaineth thee, as one that turneth with repen­tance from sin to him: If thou wilfully or negligently go on in thy former course of sin, thou shewest that thou wast not sincerely resolved in thy Covenant with God.

[Page 19]§. 2. I know infirmities and imperfections will not be so easily cast off, but will cleave to thee inNae illi falsi sunt, qui di­versissimas res pariter expe­ctant, volup­tatem & praemia virtutis? Salust. Tenebit te Diabolus sub specie libertatis addictum, ut sit tibi liberum peccare, non vivere: Cap­tivum te tenet author scelerum, compedes tibi libidmis impo [...]uit, & undi (que) te sepsit armata custodiâ; Legem tibi dedit ut licitum putes omne quod non licet; & vivum te in aeternae mortis fov [...]am demersit. H [...]go Ether [...]anus de A [...]imar. regressa, cap. 9. thy best obedience, till the day of thy perfection come. But I speak of gross and wilful sin: such as thou canst forbear, if thou be but sincerely (though imperfectly) willing.

Hast thou been a prophane Swearer or Curser, or used to take Gods name in vain, or used to back­biting, slandering, lying, or to ribald filthy talk: It is in thy power to forbear these sins, if thou be but willing: Say not, I fall into them through custome before I am aware: For that is a sign that thou art not sincerely willing to forsake them. If thou were truly penitent, and thy will sincerely oppo­site to these sins, thou wouldst be more tender and fearful to offend, and resolved against them, and make a greater matter of them, and abhor them, and not commit them, and say I did it before I was aware: No more than thou would [...]t spit in the face of thy Father, or curse thy Mother, or slander thy dearest friend, or speak Treason against the King, and say, I did it through custome before I was aware. Sin will not be so played with by those that have been soundly humbled for it, and re­solved against it.

§. 3. Hast thou been a Drunkard, or Tipler, spending thy precious hours in an Alehouse, prating over a Pot, in the company of foolish tempting sinners: It is in thy power if thou be truly willing to do so no more. If thou love and choose such company, and places, and actions, and discourse, how canst thou say thou art willing to forsake them, or that thy heart is changed? If thou do not love and choose them, how canst thou commit them, when none compells thee? No one carrieth thee to the place: No one forceth thee to sin: If thou do it, it is because thou wilt do it, and lovest it. If thou be in good earnest with God, and wilt be saved indeed, and art not content to part with Heaven for thy cups and company, away with them presently without delay.

§. 4. Hast thou lived in wantonness, fornication, uncleanness, gluttony, gaming, pastimes, sensuali­ty, to the pleasing of thy flesh, while thou hast displeased God. O bless the Patience and Mercy of the Lord, that thou wast not cut off all this while, and damned for thy sin before thou didst repent! And, as thou lovest thy soul, delay no longer; but make a stand, and go no further, not one step fur­ther, in the way which thou knowest leads to Hell. If thou knowest that this is the way to thy dam­nation, and yet wilt go on, what pity dost thou deserve from God or man?

§. 5. If thou have been a Covetous Wordling, or an Ambitious seeker of honour or preferment in the world, so that thy gain, or rising, or reputation, hath been the game which thou hast followed, and hath taken thee up instead of God and life eternal; away now with these known deceits, and hunt not after Vanity and Vexation: Thou knowest before hand what it will prove when thou hast overtaken it, and hast enjoyed all that it can yield thee; and how useless it will be as to thy comfort or happi­ness at last.

§. 6. Surely if men were willing, they are able to forbear such sins, and to make a stand, and look before them, to prevent their misery: Therefore God thus pleadeth with them, Isa. 1. 16, 17, 18. Wash you, make you clean, put away the evil of your doings from before mine eyes; cease to do evil, learn to do well, &c. Isa. 55 2, 3. Wherefore do ye spend money for that which is not bread, and your labour for that which satisfieth not? Hearken diligently unto me, and eat ye that which is good, and let your soul delight it self in fatness: Incline your ear, and come unto me, hear and your soul shall live, and I will make an everlasting Covenant with you. V. 6, 7. Seek ye the Lord while he may be found: Call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts, and let him return unto the Lord, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon: Christ supposeth that the foresight of judgement may restrain men from sin, when he saith, Sin no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee, John 5. 14. & 8. 11. Can the presence of men restrain a Fornicator; and the presence of the Judge restrain a Thief, yea, or the foresight of the Assizes? And shall not the presence of God, with the foresight of judgement and damnation restrain thee? Remember that impenitent sin and damnation are conjoyned. If you will cause one, God will cause the other. Choose one, and you shall not choose whether you will have the other. If you will have the Ser­pent, you shall have the sting.

Direction 15. IF thou have sincerely given up thy self to God, and consented to his Covenant, shew itDirect. 15. by turning the face of thy endeavours and conversation quite another way, and by seek­ing Heaven more fervently and diligently, than ever thou soughtest the world, or fleshly pleasures.

§. 1. Holiness consisteth not in a meer forbearance of a sensual life, but principally in living unto God. The principle or heart of Holiness is within, and consisteth in the Love of God, and of his Word and Wayes, and Servants, and Honour, and Interest in the world, and in the souls delight in God, and the Word and Wayes of God, and in its inclination towards him, and desire after him, and care to please him, and lothness to offend him. The expression of it in our lives, consisteth in the constant diligent exercise of this internal life, according to the directions of the Word of God. If thou be a believer and hast subjected thy self to God, as thy absolute Soveraign King and Judge, it will then be thy work to obey and please him, as a Child his Father, or a Servant his Master, Mal. 1. 6. Do you [Page 20] think that God will have Servants, and have nothing for them to do? Will one of you commend or reward your servant for doing nothing, and take it at the years end for a satisfactory answer or account, if he say, I have done no harm? God calleth you not only to do no harm, but to love and serve him with all your heart, and soul, and might: If you have a better Master than you had before,A [...]osta faith that the I [...]ai­a [...]s are so ad­dicted to their Idolatry, and unwearied in it, that he knoweth not what words can sufficient­ly declare, how totally their minds are transformed into it, no Wh [...]re monger having so mad a love to his Whore, as they to their Ido's: so that neither in their idleness, or their business, neither in publick or in private, will they do any thing till they have first used their Supersti­tion to their Idols: They will neither rejoyce at Weddings, or mourn at Funerals, neither make a Feast, or partake of it, not so much as move a foot out of doors, or a hand to any work, without this Heathemsh Sacriledge: And all this they do with the greatest secrefie, lest the Christians should know it. Lib. 5. c. 8. p. 467. See here how nature teacheth all men that there is a Deity to be worshipped with all possible love and industry! And shall the Worshippers of the true God then think it unnecessary preciseness to be as diligent and hearty in his service? you should do more work than you did before. Will you not serve God more zealoussy than you served the Devil? Will you not labour harder to save your souls, than you did to damn them? Will you not be more zealous in good, than you were in evil? What fruit had you then in those things whereof you are now ashamed? For the end of those things is death. Rom. 6. 21, 22. But now being made free from sin, and become servants to God, you have your fruit unto holiness, and the end everlasting life. If you are true Beh [...]vers, you have now laid up your hopes in Heaven, and therefore will set yourselves to seek it, as worldlings set themselves to seek the world. And a sluggish wish, with heartless, lazy, dull endeavours, is no fit seeking of eternal joyes. A creeping pace beseemeth not a man that is in the way to Heaven; especially who went faster in the way to Hell. This is not running as for our lives. You may well be diligent and make haste, where you have so great encouragement and help, and where you may expect so good an end, and where you are sure you shall never in life or death, have cause to repent of any of your just endeavours, and where every step of your way is pure, and clean, and delectable, and paved with mercies, and fortified and secured by Divine protection, and where Christ is your Conductor, and so many have sped so well before you, and the wisest and best in the world are your companions. Live then as men that have changed their Master, their end, their hopes, their way and work. Religion layeth not men to sleep, though it be the only way to Rest. It awakeneth the sleepy soul, to higher thoughts, and hopes, and labours, than ever it was well acquainted with before. He that is in Christ, is a new creature; old things are past away, behold all things are become new, 2 Cor. 5. 17. You never sought that which would pay for all your cost and diligence till now: You never were in a way that you might make haste in, without repenting of your haste, till now. How glad should you be, that Mercy hath brought you into the right way, after the wanderings of such a sinful life? And your gladness and thankfulness should now be shewed, by your cheerful diligence and zeal. As Christ did not raise up Lazarus from the dead, to do nothing, or live to little purpose (though the Scripture giveth us not the history of his life); So did he not raise you from the death of sin, to live idely, or to be unprofitable in the world. He that giveth you his Spirit, to be a principle of heavenly life within you, expecteth that you stir up the gift that he hath given you, and live ac­cording to that heavenly principle.

Direction 16. ENgage thy self in the chearful constant use, of the means and helps appointed by God,Direct. 16. for thy confirmation and salvation.

§. 1. He can never expect to attain the end, that will not be perswaded to use the means. Of your selves you can do nothing. God giveth his help by the means which he hath appointed and fit­ted to your help. Of the use of these, I shall treat more fully afterwards: I am now only to name them to thee, that thou maist know what it is that thou hast to do.

1. That you must hear, or read the Word of God, and other good Books which expound it andHow Pae­nitents of old, did rise even from a parti­cular sin, judge by these words of Pa­cianus Pa [...] ­ [...] ad Poe [...]t. Bibl. Pat. To. 3. p. 74. [You must not only do that which may be seen of the Priest, and praised by the Bishop—to weep before the Church, to lament a lost or sinful life in a [...]ordid garment, to fast, pray, to role on the earth, if any invite you to the Bath (or such pleasures) to refuse to go: If any bid you to a Feast, to say, These things are for the happy; I have sinned against God, and am in dan­ger to perish for ever? What should I do at Banquets, who have wronged the Lord: Besides these you must take the poor by the hand, you must beseech the Widdow, lye at the feet of the Presbyters, beg of the Church to forgive you, and pray for you: you must try all means rather than perish. apply it, I shewed you before. The new born Christian doth encline to this, as the new born child doth to the breast, 1 Pet. 2. 1, 2. Laying aside all malice, and guile, and hypocrisies, and envies, and all evil speakings, as new born babes that desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby. Psal. 1. 2, 3. The blessed mans delight is in the Law of the Lord, and therein doth he meditate day and night.

§. 2. 2. Another means is the publick worshipping of God in communion with his Church and people: Besides the benefit of the word there preached, the prayers of the Church are effectual for the members: and it raiseth the soul to holy joyes, to joyn with well ordered Assemblies of the Saints, in the Praises of the Almighty. The Assemblies of holy worshippers of God, are the places of his delight, and must be the places of our delight. They are most like to the Celestial Society, that sound forth the praises of the glorious Iebovah, with purest minds and cheerful voice. In his Temple doth every one speak of his glory, Psal. 29. 9. In such a Chore, what soul will not be rapt up with delight, and desire to joyn in the consort and harmony? In such a flame of united desires and praises, what soul so cold and dull that will not be enflamed, and with more than ordinary facility and alacrity fly up to God?

[Page 21]§. 3. 3. Another means is private prayer unto God. When God would tell Ananias that Paul was converted, he saith of him, Behold he prayeth, Acts 9. 11. Prayer is the breath of the new creature. The Spirit of Adoption given to every child of God, is a Spirit of prayer, and teacheth them to cry Abba Father, and helpeth their infirmities, when they know not what to pray as they ought, and when words are wanting, it (as it were) intercedeth for them with groans, which they cannot express in words, Gal. 4. 6. Rom. 8. 15, 26, 27. And God knoweth the meaning of the Spirit in those groans. The first workings of grace are in Desires after grace, provoking the soul to servent prayer, by which more grace is speedily obtained. Ask then, and ye shall have, seek and ye shall find, knock and it shall be opened to you, Luke 11. 9.

§. 4. 4. Another means to be used is Confession of sin, not only to God (for so every wicked man may do, because he knoweth that God is already acquainted with it all, and this is no addition to his shame: He so little regardeth the eye of God, that he is more ashamed when it is known to men) But in three Cases Confession must be made also to Man. 1. In case you have wronged man, and are thus bound to make him satisfaction: As if you have robbed him, defrauded him, slandered him or born false witness against him. 2. In case you are Children or Servants, that are under the government of Parents or Masters, and are called by them to give an acount of your actions: You are bound then to give a true account. 3. In case you have need of the Counsel or Prayers of others for the setling of your consciences in peace: In this case you must so far open your case to them, as is necessary to their effe­ctual help for your recovery. For if they know not the disease, they will be unfit to apply the reme­dy. In these cases it is true, that He that covereth his sins shall not prosper: but he that confesseth and forsaketh them, shall have mercy, Prov. 28. 13.

§. 5. 5. Another Means to be used, is the familiar company, and holy converse with humble, sincere, experienced Christians: The Spirit that is in them, and breatheth, and acteth by them, will kindle the like holy flames in you: Away with the company of idle, prating, sensual men, that can talk of nothing but their worldly wealth, or business, or their reputations, or their appetites and lusts; Associate your selves with them that go the way to Heaven, if you resolve your selves to go it. O what a deal of difference will you find between these two sorts of companions? The one sort, if you have any thoughts of Repentance, would stifle them, and laugh you out of the use of your reason, into their own distracted mirth and dotage: And if you have any serious thoughts of your salvation, or any inclinations to repent and be wise, they will do much to divert them, and hold you in the power and snares of Satan, till it be too late: If you have any zeal or heavenly mindedness, they will do much to quench it, and fetch down your minds to earth again. The other sort will speak of things of so great we [...]t and moment, and that with seriousness and reverence, as will tend to raise and quicken your sou [...] and possess you with a taste of the heavenly things which they discourse of: They will en­courage you by their own experiences, and direct you by that truth which hath directed them, and zealously communicate what they have received: They will pray for you, and teach you how to pray: They will give the example of holy, humble, obedient lives; and lovingly admonish you of your duties, and reprove your sins. In a word, as the carnal mind doth savour the things of the flesh, and is enmity against God, the company of such will be a powerful means to infect you with their plague, and make you such, if you were escaped from them; much more to keep you such, if you are not escaped: And as they that are spiritual, do mind the things of the Spirit, so their converse tendeth to make you spiritually minded as they are. Rom. 8. 7, 8. Though there are some useful qualities and gifts in some that are ungodly, and some lamentable faults in many that are spiritual, yet experience will shew you so great a difference between them in the main, in heart and life, as will make you the more easily to believe the difference that will be between them in the life to come.

§. 6. 6. Another means is serious Meditation on the life to come, and the way thereto: Which though all cannot manage so methodically as some, yet all should in some measure and season be ac­quainted with it.

§. 7. 7. The last Means is, to choose some prudent faithful Guide and Counsellor for your soul, toOf how great concernment faithful Pa­stors are for the Conversi­on of the un­godly, see a Jesuite Acosta li. 4. c. 1. & 2, 3, 4. Infinitum esset caetera perse­qui, quae contra hos satuos principes Tanaos, contra Pastores stultos, vel potius idola pastorum, contra seipsos potius pascentes, contra vae­s [...]nos Prophetas, contra Sacerdotes contemptores, atque arrogantes, contra [...]lercus solennitatum, contra popularis plausus captatores, con­tra inexplebiles pecuniae gurgites, cae [...]erasque pestes, Propheticus sermo declamat. Vix alias sancti Patres plenioribus velis feruntur in Pelagus, quam cum de sacerdotali contumelia oratio est. Acosta ib. p. 353. Non est iste sacerdos, non est sed infestus, atrox, dolosus, illusor sui, & lupus in dominicum gregem ovina pelle armatus. Ibid. open those cases to which are not fit for all to know; and to resolve and advise you in cases that are too hard for you: Not to lead you blindfold after the interest of any seduced or ambitious men, nor to engage you to his singular conceits, against the Scripture or the Church of God; but to be to your soul, as a Physicion to your body, or a Lawyer to your estates, to help you where they are wiser than you, and where you need their helps.

Resolve now that instead of your idle company and pastime, your excessive cares and sinful pleasures, you will wait on God in the seasonable use of these his own appointed means; and you will find, that he appointed them not in vain, and that you shall not lose your labour.

Direction 17. THat in all this you may be sincere, and not deceived by an hypocritical change, be sureDirect. 17. that God [...]e all your Confidence, and all your hopes be placed in Heaven, and that there be no secret reserve in your hearts, for the world and flesh; and that you divide not your hearts be­tween God and the things below, nor take not up with the Religion of an hypocrite, which giveth God what the flesh can spare.

§. 1. When the Devil cannot keep you from a change and reformation, he will seek to deceive you with a superficial change, and half reformation, which goeth not to the root, nor doth not recover the heart to God, nor deliver it entirely to him. If he can by a partial deceitful change, perswade you that you are truly renewed and sanctified, and fix you there that you go no further, you are as surely his, as if you had continued in your grosser sins. And of all other this is the most common and dangerous cheat of souls, when they think to halve it between God and the world, and to secure their fleshly inte­rest of pleasure and prosperity, and their salvation too: and so they will needs serve God and Mammon.

§. 2. This is the true Character of a self-deceiving hypocrite. He is neither so fully perswaded ofThe [...]ull de­s [...]iption of a [...]e c [...]n [...]ersi­ [...]n and of an Hypocri [...]e. Wh [...] [...] there are two great and grievous [...]o [...] of [...]ro [...]ble [...]d, [...]n [...] in the Church [...] at the tryal of members, and another [...]n mens Consci­ences in trying their sta [...]s, about this Question▪ How to know true Conver­sion or Sancti­fication: I must tell them in bo [...]h the [...]e troubles plain­ly, that Chri­stianity is but one thing, the same in all Ages, which is th [...] Consent to the Baptis­mal Covenant▪ And there is no such way to resolve this question, as to write or set before you the Covenant of Baptism in its proper sense, and then ask your hearts, whether you un [...]eignedly and resolvedly Consent. He that consenteth truly▪ is Con­verted and Ju­stified, and he that professeth Consent, is to be received into the Church by Baptism, (if his Parents Co [...]t did not bring him in before, which he is to do ne­vertheless himself at age. the certain truth of the Scripture and the life to come, nor yet so mortified to the flesh and world, as to take the joyes of Heaven for his whole portion, and to subject all his worldly prosperity and hopes there­unto, and to part with all things in this world, when it is necessary to the securing of his salvation: And therefore he will not lose his hold of present things, nor forsake his worldly interest for Christ, as long as he can keep it. Nor will he be any further religious, than may stand with his bodily welfare; resolving never to be undone by his godliness, but in the first place to save himself, and his prosperity in the world, as long as he can: And therefore he is truly a carnal worldly minded man; being deno­minated from what is predominant in him: And yet because he knoweth that he must dye, and for ought he knows, he may then find against his will, that there is another life which he must enter up­on, le [...]t the Gospel should prove true, he must have some Religion: And therefore he will take up as much as will stand with his temporal welfare, hoping that he may have both tha [...] and Heaven here­after: and he will be as Religious as the predominant interest of the flesh will give him leave. He is resolved rather to venture his soul, than to be here undone: and that's his first principle. But he is re­solved to be as godly as will stand with a worldly fleshly life: that's his second principle. And he will hope for Heaven as the end of such a way as this: that's his third. Therefore he will place most of his Religion in those things which are most consistent with worldliness and carnality, and will not cost his flesh too dear; as in being as this or that opinion, Church, or party, (whether Papist, Prot [...]t, or some smaller party) in adhering to that party, and being zealous for them, in acquiring and usi [...]g such parts and gifts, as may make him highly esteemed by others; and in doing such good works as cost him not too dear, and in forbearing such sins as would procure his disgrace and shame, and cost his flesh dearer to commit them, than forbear them; and such other as his flesh can spare: This is his fourth principle: And he is resolved, when tryal calleth him to part with God and his conscience, or with the world, that he will rather let go God and Conscience, and venture upon the pains hereafter which he thinks to be uncertain, than to run upon a certain calamity or undoing here: At least, he hath no Resolution to the contrary, which will carry him out in a day of tryal. This is his fifth principle: And his sixth principle is, That yet he will not torment himself, or blot his name, with confessing himself a temporizing worldling, resolved to turn any way to save himself. And therefore he will be sure to believe nothing to be Truth and duty that is dangerous; but will furnish himself with Arguments to prove that it is not the will of God; and that sin is no sin: Yea perhaps conscience and duty shall be pleaded for his sin: It shall be out of tenderness, and piety, and charity to others, that he will sin; and will charge them to be the sinners that comply not and do not wickedly as well as he. He will be one that shall first make a Controversie of every sin which his flesh calls necessary, and of every Duty which his flesh counts intollerably dear: And then when it is a Controversie, and many reputed Wise, and some reputed Good are on his side, he thinks he is on equal terms with the most honest and sincere: He hath got a burrow for his Conscience and his Credit: He will not believe himself to be an Hypocrite, and no one else must think him one, lest they be uncharitable: For then the censure must fall on the whole party, and then it is sufficient to defend his reputation of piety to say, Though we differ in opi­nion, we must not differ in affection, and must not condemn each other for such differences (A very great Truth where rightly applyed). But what is it O Hypocrite, that makes thee differ in cases where thy flesh is interessed rather than in any other? And why wast thou never of that mind till now that thy worldly interest requireth it? And how cometh it to pass, that thou art [...] alwayes on the self-saving opi­nion? And whence is it that thou consultest with those only that are of the opinion which thou de­sirest should be true, and either not at all, or partially and slightly, with those that are against it? Wast thou ever conscious to thy self, that thou hast accounted what it might cost thee to be saved, and reckoned on the worst, and resolved, in the strength of grace, to go through all? Didst thou ever meddle with much of the self-denying part of Religion, or any duties that would cost thee dear? May not thy Conscience tell thee, that thou never didst believe that thou shouldst suffer much for thy Religi­on; that is, thou hadst a secret purpose to avoid it?

§. 3. O Sirs, take warning from the mouth of Christ, who hath so oft and plainly warned you of this sin and danger? and told you how necessary self-denyal and a suffering disposition is to all that are his Disciples; and that the worldly fleshly principle predominant in the Hypocrite, is manifest by his self­saving course: He must take up his Cross, and follow him in a Conformity to his sufferings that will indeed [Page 23] be his Disciple. We must suffer with him if we will reign with him, Rom. 8. 17, 18. Mat. 13. 20, 21, 22. He that received the seed in stony places, the same is he that heareth the word, and anon with joy receiv­eth it, yet hath he not root in himself, but dureth for a while; for when tribulation or persecution ariseth because of the word, by and by he is offended. He also that received seed among the thorns, is he that hear­eth the word, and the care of this world, and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becometh unfruitful. If thou have not taken Heaven for thy part, and art not resolved to let go all that would keep thee from it, I must say to thy Conscience, as Christ to one of thy Predecessors, Luke 18. 22. Yet l [...]ckest thou one thing, and such a One, as thou wilt find of flat necessity to thy salvation. And it's likely some trying time even in this life, will detect thine Hypocrisie, and make thee, Go away sorrowful, for thy riches sake: as he ver. 23. If godliness with contentment seem not sufficient gain to thee, thou wilt make thy Gain go instead of Godliness, that is, thy Gain shall be next thy heart, and have the precedency which Godliness should have, and thy gain shall choose thee thy Religion, and over-rule thy Conscience, and sway thy life.

O Sirs, take warning by the Apostates, and temporizing hypocrites, that have lookt behind them, and with Demas, for the world forsaken their duty, and are set up by Justice as Pillars of Salt, for your warning and remembrance. And as ever you would make sure work in turning to God, and escape the too late repentance of the hypocrite, see that you go to the root, and resign the world to the will of God, and reckon what it may cost you to be followers of Christ, and look not after any portion, but the favour of God and life eternal, and see that there be no secret reserve in your hearts for your worldly interest or prosperity, and think not of halfing it between God and the world, nor making your Religion complyant with the desires and interest of the flesh. Take God as enough for you, yea, as All, or else you take him not as your God.

Direction 18. IF you would prove true Converts, come over to God as your Father and felicity, withDirect. 18. desire and delight, and close with Christ, as your only Saviour with thankfulness and joy, and set upon the way of Godliness with pleasure and alacrity, as your exceeding priviledge, and the on­ly way of profit, honour and content: and do it not as against your wills, as those that had rather do other­wise if they durst, and account the service of God an unsuitable and unpleasant thing.

§. 1. You are never truly changed, till your Hearts be changed: And the Heart is not changed tillPassibilis ti­mor est irrati­onabilis, & ad irrationabili [...] constitut [...], sed [...]um prae­cipit qui cum disciplina & recta ratione consistit▪ cujus propri­um est reve­rentia. Qui enim propter Christum & doctrinam [...]j [...]s Deum timet, cum reveren­tia ei subjectus est; cum [...]e qui per v [...]rb [...] ­ [...]a alia (que) tor­menta timer Deum, passi­bilem tim [...] ­rem habere videtur. D [...] ­d [...]rus Al [...]x. [...] P [...]t. 1. the Will or Love be changed. Fear is not the man: but usually is mixt with unwillingness and dis­like, and so is contrary to that which is indeed the Man. Though fear may do much for you, it will not do enough: It is oft more sensible than Love even in the best, as being more passionate and violent: but yet there is no more Acceptableness in all, than there is Will or Love. God sent not Souldiers, or Inquisitors or Persecutors to convert the world by working upon their Fear, and driving them upon that which they take to be a mischief to them: But he sent poor Preachers that had no matter of worldly fears or hopes to move their auditors with▪ but had authority from Christ to offer them eter­nal life; and who were to convert the world by proposing to them the best and most desirable condi­tion, and shewing them where is the true felicity, and proving the certainty and excellency of it to them, and working upon their Love, Desire and Hope: God will not be your God against your wills, while you esteem him as the Devil, that is only terrible and hurtful to you, and take his service for a slavery, and had rather be from him, and serve the world and the flesh, if it were not for fear of being damned. He will be feared as Great, and Holy, and Iust: but he will also be Loved as Good, and Ho­ly, and Merciful, and every way suited to be the felicity and Rest of souls. If you take not God to be better than the Creature, (and better to you) and Heaven to be better for you than earth, and Holiness than Sin, you are not converted: But if you do, then shew it by your willingness, alacrity and delight. Serve him with gladness and chearfulness of heart, as one that hath found the way of life, and never had cause of gladness until now. If you see your servant do all his work with groans, and tears, and lamentations, you will not think he is well pleased with his Master and his work. Come to God wil­lingly with your hearts, or you come not to him indeed at all. You must either make him and his service your delight, or at least your Desire; as apprehending him most fit to be your delight, so far as you enjoy him.

Direction 19. REmember still that Conversion, is the turning from your carnal selves to God, andDirect. 1 [...]. therefore that it engageth you in a perpetual opposition to your own corrupt Conceits and Wills, to mortifie and annihilate them, and captivate them wholly to the holy Word and Will of God.

§. 1. Think not that your Conversion dispatcheth all that is to be done in order to your salvation. No, it is but the beginning of your work (that is, of your delight and happiness): You are but engaged by it, to that which must be performed throughout all your lives: It entereth you into the right way; not to sit down there, but to go on till you come to the desired end. It entereth you into Christs Army, that afterwards you may there win the Crown of life: And the great Enemy that you engage against, is your selves. There will still be a Law in your members, rebelling against the Law that the Holy Ghost hath put into your minds: Your Own Conceits and your Own Wills are the great Rebels against Christ, and enemies of your sanctification. Therefore it must be your resolved daily [Page 24] work to mortifie them, and bring them clean over to the Mind and Will of God which is their Rule and End. If you feel any conceits arising in you that are contrary to the Scripture, and quarrell with the Word of God, suppress them as rebellious, and give them not liberty to cavil with your Maker, and malepertly dispute with your Governour and Judge; but silence it, and force it reverently to submit: If you feel any Will in you contrary to your Creator's Will, and that there is something which you would have or do, which God is against, and hath forbid you, remember now how great a part of your work it is, to fly for help to the Spirit of Grace, and to destroy all such rebellious desires: Think it not enough, that you can bear the denyal of those desires; but presently destroy the desires themselves. For if you let alone the desires, they may at last lay hold upon their prey, before you are aware: Or if you should be guilty of nothing but the Desires themselves, it is no small iniquity; being the corruption of the Heart, and the Rebellion and Adultery of the principal faculty, which should be kept loyal and chaste to God. The crossness of thy Will to the Will of God, is the summ of all the im­piety and evil of the soul: And the subjection and conformity of thy Will to his, is the Heart of the New Creature, and of thy Rectitude and Sanctification. Favour not therefore any self-conceitedness or self-willedness, nor any rebelliousness against the Mind and Will of God, any more than you would bear with the dis-jointing of your bones, which will be little for your ease or use, till they are reduced to their proper place.

Direction 20. LAstly, Be sure that you renounce all conceit of self-sufficiency or merit in any thingDirect. 20. you do, and wholly rely on the Lord Iesus Christ, as your Head, and Life, and Saviour, and Intercessor with the Father.

§. 1. Remember that without him you can do nothing, John 15. 5. Nor can any thing you do be ac­ceptable to God, any other way than in him, the beloved Son, in whom he is well pleased. As your persons had never been accepted but in him, no more can any of your services: All your repentings, if you had wept out your eyes for sin, would not have satisfied the Justice of God, nor procured you pardon and justification without the satisfaction and merit of Christ. If he had not first taken away the sins of the world, and reconciled them so far to God, as to procure and tender them the pardon and salvation contained in his Covenant, there had been no place for your Repentance, nor faith, nor prayers, nor endeavours, as to any hope of your salvation. Your Believing would not have saved you, nor indeed had any justifying object, if he had not purchased you the promise and gift of pardon and sal­vation to all Believers.

§. 2. Objection. But perhaps you'l say, That if we had Loved God, without a Saviour, we should have been saved: for God cannot hate and damn those that Love him: To which I answer, You could not have Loved God as God, without a Saviour: To have Loved him as the giver of your worldly prospe­rity, with a Love subordinate to the Love of sin and your carnal selves, and to Love him as one that you imagine so unholy and unjust, as to give you leave to sin against him, and prefer every Vanity be­fore him, this is not to Love God, but to Love an Image of your own fantasie; nor will it at all pro­cure your salvation. But to Love him as your God and Happiness, with a superlative Love, you could never have done without a Saviour. For 1. Objectively; God being not your Reconciled Father, but your enemy, engaged in Justice to damn you for ever, you could not Love him as thus related to you, because he could not seem amiable to you: and therefore the damned hate him as their destroyer, as the Thief or Murderer hates the Judge. 2. And as to the Efficiency; your blinded minds, and depraved wills could never have been restored so far to their rectitude, as to have Loved God as God, without the teaching of Christ, and the renewing sanctifying work of his Spirit. And without a Saviour you could never have expected this gift of the Holy Ghost. So that your supposition it self is groundless.

§. 3. Indeed Conversion is your implanting into Christ, and your uniting to him, and marriage with him, that he may be your life, and help, and hope. He is the way, the truth and the life: and no man cometh to the Father, but by him. John 14. 6. God hath given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son: He that hath the Son, hath life; and he that hath not the Son, hath not life. 1 John 5. 11, 12. He is the Vine, and we are the branches: As the branch cannot bear fruit of it self, except it abide in the Vine, so neither can we, except we abide in him: He that abideth not in Christ, is cast forth as a branch and withered, to be burned: John 15. 4, 5, 6. All your life and help is in him, and from him: Without Christ you cannot Believe in the Father, as in one that will shew you any saving Mercy, but only as the Devils that believe him Just, and tremble at his Justice; without Christ you cannot Love God, nor have any lively apprehensions of his Love. Without Christ you can have no Hope of Heaven, and therefore no endeavours for it. Without him you cannot come near to God in prayer, as having no confi­dence, because no admittance, acceptance or hope. Without him how terrible are the thoughts of death, which in him we may see as a conquered thing: and when we remember that he was dead and is now alive, and the Lord of life, and hath the Keyes of Death and Hell, with what boldness may we lay down this flesh, and suffer death to undress our souls? It is only in Christ that we can com­fortably think of the world to come; when we remember that he must be our Judge, and that in our Nature glorified he is now in the Highest, Lord of all; and that he is preparing a place for us, and will come again to take us to himself, that where he is, there we may be also, John 14. 3. Alas, without Christ, we know not how to live an hour; nor can have hope or peace in any thing we have or do; nor look with comfort either upward or downward, to God or the Creature, nor think without ter­rors [Page 25] of our sins, of God, or of the life to come. Resolve therefore that as true Converts, you are wholly to Live upon Jesus Christ, and to do all that you do by his Spirit and strength; and to expect all your acceptance with God upon his account: when other men are reputed Philosophers or Wise, for some unsatisfactory knowledge of these transitory things, do you desire to know nothing but a crucified and glorified Christ: study him, and take him (objectively) for your Wisdom: When other men have confidence in the flesh, and in their shew of Wisdom in Will-worship and Humility, after the Command­ments and Doctrines of men, (Col. 2. 20, 21, 22, 23.) and would establish their own righteousness, do you rejoice in Christ your Righteousness: And set continually before your eyes, his Doctrine and Ex­ample as your Rule: Look still to Iesus the Author and finisher of you faith, who contemned all the Glory of the world, and trampled upon its Vanity, and subjected himself to a life of suffering, and made himself of no reputation, but for the joy that was set before him, endured the Cross, despising the shame, and underwent the contradiction of sinners against himself. Live so, that you may truly say as Paul, Gal. 2. 20. I am crucified with Christ: Nevertheless I live: yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

§. 4. HAving given you these Directions, I most earnestly beseech you to peruse and practise them, that my labour may not rise up as a witness against you, which I intend for your Conversion and Salvation: Think on it, Whether this be an Unreasonable course, or an unpleasant life, or a thing unnecessary? and what is Reasonable, necessary and pleasant, if this be not?

And if you meet with any of those distracted sinners that would deride you from Christ and yourEvery one is not a Thief, that a Dog barks at; nor an hypocrite [...], that hypo­crites call so. salvation, and say, this is the way to make men mad, or, this is more ado than needs; I will not stand here to manifest their bruitishness and wickedness, having largely done it already, in my Book called, A Saint or a Bruite, and Now or Never, and in the third Part of the Saints Rest: But only I desire thee as a full defensative against all the pratings of the Enemies of a holy Heavenly life, to take good no­tice but of these three things.

§. 5. 1. Mark well the language of the holy Scriptures, and see whether it speak not contrary to these men: And bethink thee, whether God or they be wiser, and whether God or they must be thy Iudge?

§. 6. 2. Mark whether these men do not change their minds, and turn their tongues when they come to As the Athe­nians that condemn­ed Socrates to death, and then lamented it, and ere­cted a Bra [...]en Statue for his Memorial. Acosta saith, that he that will be a Pa­stor to the Indians, must not only resist the Devil and the flesh, but must resist the custome of men which is grown power­ful by time and multi­tude: and must oppose his breast to receive the darts of the envious and malevolent, who, if they see any thing contrary to their prophane fashion, they cry out, A Traytor, an Hypocrite, an Enemy. Li. 4. c. 15. p. 404. It seems among Papists and Barbarians, the Serpents seed do hiss in the same manner against the good among themselves, as they do against us. dye? Or think whether they will not change their minds, when death hath sent them into that world where there is none of these deceits? And think whether thou shouldst be moved with that mans words, that will shortly change his mind himself, and wish he had never spoke such words?

§. 7. 3. Observe well whether their own Profession do not condemn them: and whether the very thing that they hate the godly for, be not that they are serious in Practising that which these malignants them­selves profess as their Religion? And are they not then notorious Hypocrites? To profess to believe in God, and yet scorn at those that diligently seek him (Heb. 11. 6.) To profess faith in Christ, and hate those that obey him: To profess to believe in the Holy Ghost as the Sanctifier, and yet hate and scorn his sanctifying work. To profess to believe the day of Judgement and everlasting torment of the ungodly, and yet to deride those that endeavour to escape it: To profess to believe that Heaven is prepared for the Godly, and yet scorn at those that make it the chief business of their lives to at­tain it: To profess to take the holy Scriptures for Gods Word and Law, and yet to scorn those that obey it: To pray after each of the Ten Commandments [Lord have mercy upon us, and encline our hearts to keep this Law] and yet to hate all those that desire and endeavour to keep them: What im­pudent hypocrisie is joyned with this malignity? Mark whether the greatest diligence of the most godly be not justified by the formal profession of those very men that hate and scorn them? The dif­ference between them is, that the Godly Profess Christianity in good earnest, and when they say what they believe, they believe as they say: But the ungodly customarily and for company take on them to be Chri­stians when they are not, and by their own mouths condemn themselves, and hate and oppose the se­rious Practice of that which they say they do themselves believe.

PART. II. The Temptations whereby the Devil hindereth mens Conversion: with the proper Remedies against them.

§. 1. THE Most Holy and Righteous Governour of the world, hath so restrained Satan and all our enemies, and so far given us Free-will, that no man can be forced to sin against his will: It is not sin if it be not (positively or privatively) voluntary. All our ene­mies in Hell or Earth cannot make us miserable without our selves; nor keep a sinner from true Conversion, and Salvation, if he do it not himself; no nor compell him to one sinful thought, or word, or deed, or omission, but by tempting and entising him to be willing: All that are Graceless, are wilfully Graceless. None go to Hell, but those that chose the way to Hell, and would not be perswaded out of it: None miss of Heaven, but those that did set so light by it, as to prefer the world and sin before it, and refused the holy way that leadeth to it. And surely man that naturally loveth himself, would never take so mad a course, if his reason were not laid asleep, and his understanding were not wofully deluded: And this is the business of the Tempter, who doth not drag men to sin by violence, but draw and entice them by Temptations: I shall therefore take it for the next part of my work, to open these Temptations, and tell you the Remedies.

§. 2. Tempt. 1. The first endeavour of the Tempter, is in General to keep the sinner asleep in sin: so that T [...]pt. 1. [...]e shall be as a dead man, that hath no use of any of his faculties: that hath eyes and seeth not, and ears but heareth not, and a heart that understandeth not, nor feeleth any thing that concerneth his peace: The light Ephes 2. 1. Col 2 13. 1 Co [...]. 15. 35. 1 Tim. 5. 6. Joe [...] 1. 5. that shineth upon a man asleep, is of no use to him: His work lyeth undone: His friends, and wealth, and greatest concernments are all forgotten by him, as if there were no such things or persons in the world: You may say what you will against him, or do what you will against him, and he can do nothing in his own defence. This is the case that the Devil most laboureth to keep the world in; even in so dead a sleep, that their Reason, and their Wills, their fear, and hope, and all their powers shall be of no use to them: That when they hear a Preacher, or read the Scripture or good Books, or see the holy examples of the god­ly, yea, when they see the Grave, and know where they must shortly lie, and know that their souls must stay here but a little while, yet they shall hear, and see, and know all this, as men asleep, that mind it not, as if it concerned not them at all; never once soberly Considering and laying it to heart.

§. 3. Direct. 1. For the Remedy against this deadly sin, 1. Take heed of sleepy opinions, or DoctrinesDirect. 1. and conceits which tend to the Lethargie of Security: 2. Sit not still, but be up and doing: Stirring tends to shake off drowziness. 3. Come into the light: Live under an awakening Minister and in wakening company, that will not sleep with you; nor easily let you sleep: Agree with them to deal faithfully with you, and promise them to take it thankfully. 4. And meditate oft on wakening con­siderations. Think whether a sleepy soul beseem one in thy dangerous condition. Canst thou sleep with such a load of sin upon thy soul? Canst thou sleep under the thundering threat­nings of God? and the Curse of his Law? with so many wounds in thy Conscience, and Ulcers in thy soul? If thy body were sick, or in the case of Iob, yea, if thou hadst but an aking Tooth, it would not let thee sleep: And is not the guilt of sin, a thing more grievous? If Thorns, or Toads and Adders were in thy Bed, they would keep the waking? And how much more odious and dangerous a thing is sin? If thy body want but meat, or drink, or covering, it will break2 Tim. 2. 26. thy sleep: And is it nothing for thy soul to be destitute of Christ and Grace? A condemned man will be easily kept awake: And if thou be unregenerate, thou art already condemned, John 3. 18. 3. 5. Thou sleepest in Irons: in the captivity of the Devil: among the walking judgements of God: in a life that is still expecting an end: in a Boat that is swiftly carried to eternity: just at the entrance of ano­ther world; and that world will be Hell, if Grace awake thee not: Thou art going to see the face of God: to see the world of Angels or Devils, and to be a companion with one of them for ever: And is this a place or case to sleep in? Is thy Bed so soft? thy dwelling so safe? God standeth over thee man; and dost thou sleep! Christ is coming, and death is coming, and judgement coming, and dost thou sleep? Didst thou never read of the foolish Virgins, that slept out their time, and knockt and cryed in vain when it was too late? Matth. 25. 5. Thou mightest wiselyer sleep on the Pinnacle of a Steeple in a Storm, than have a soul asleep in so dangerous a case as thou art in. The Devil is awake, and is rocking thy Cradle! How busie is he to keep off Ministers, or Conscience, or any that would awake thee? None of thy enemies are asleep; and yet wilt thou sleep, in the thickest of thy foes? Is the battle a sleeping time, or thy race a sleeping time, when Heaven or Hell must be the End? While he can keep thee asleep, the Devil can do almost what he li [...]t with thee. He knows that thou hast now no use of thy eyes, or understanding, or power to resist him: The Learnedst Doctor in his sleep is as unlearned actually as an Ideot, and will dispute no better than an unlearned man: This makes many learned men to be ungodly: they are asleep in sin. The Devil could never have made such a drudge of thee, to do his work against Christ and thy soul, if thou hadst been awake. Thou wouldst never have followed his whistle to the Ale-house, the Play-house, the Gaming-house, and to other sins, if thou hadst been in thy wits and well awake. Read Prov. 7. 23. 24. I cannot believe that thou longest to be damned, or so hatest thy self, as to have done as thou hast done, to have a lived Godless, a Graceless, a Prayerless, and yet a merry careless life, if thy eyes had been opened, and thou hadst known and feelingly known, that this was the way to Hell. Nature it self will hardly go to Hell [Page 27] awake. But it's easie to abuse a man that is asleep: Thou hast Reason; but didst thou ever awake it to one hours serious Consideration, of thy endless state and present case? O dreadful judgement to be given over to the Spirit of slumber! Rom. 11. 8. Is it not high time now to awake out of sleep? Rom. 13. 11. When the light is arisen and shines about thee! When others that care for their souls, are busily at work! When thou hast slept out so much precious time already! Many a mercy, and perhaps some Ministers, have been as Candles burnt out to light thee while thou hast slept! How o [...]t hast thou been called already, How long wilt thou sleep, O sluggard? Prov. 6. 9. 10. Yet thou hast thundering calls and allarums to awake thee. God calls, and Ministers call! Mercies call, and judge­ments call! and yet wilt thou not awake? The voice of the Lord is powerful: full of Majesty; breaketh the Cedars; shaketh the Wilderness: and yet cannot it awake thee? Thou wilt not sleep about far smal­ler matters! at meat, or drink, or in common talk, or Market: But O how much greater business hast thou to keep thee awake? Thou hast yet an unholy soul to be renewed; an ungodly life to be reform­ed! an offended God to be reconciled to; and many thousand sins to be forgiven! Thou hast death and judgement to prepare for: thou hast Heaven to win, and Hell to scape! Thou hast many a need­ful Truth to learn, and many a holy duty to perform; and yet dost thou think it time to sleep? Paul that had less need than thou, did watch, and pray, and labour day and night, Acts 20. 31. 1 Thess. 3. 10. O that thou knewest how much better it is to be awake. While thou sleepest, thou losest the benefit of the Light, and all the mercies that attend thee: The Sun is but as a clod to a man asleep: The world is as no world to him: The beauty of Heaven and Earth are nothing to him: Princes, friends and all things are forgotten by him! So doth thy sleep in sin make nothing of health, and patience, time and help, Ministers, Books and daily warnings: O what a day hast thou for everlasting, if thou hadst but a heart to use it! What a price hast thou in thine hand? Prov. 10. 5. Sleep not out thy day, thy har­vest time, thy tide time: They that sleep, sleep in the night, 1 Thess. 5. 7. Awake and Christ will give thee light, Rom. 13. 12. Ephes. 5. 14. Awake to righteousness, and sin not, 1 Cor. 15. 34. O when thou seest the Light of Christ, what a wonder will it possess thee with, at the things which thou now forgettest? What joy will it fill thee with? and with what pity to the sleepy world?—But if thou wilt needs sleep on, be it known to thee, sinner, it shall not be long. If thou wilt wake no soon­er, death and vengeance will awake thee: Thou wilt wake when thou seest the other world, and seest the things which thou wouldst not believe, and comest before thy dreadful Judge! Thy damnation slumbereth not, 2 Pet. 2. 3. There are no sleepy souls in Heaven or Hell, all are awake there: and the day that hath awakened so many, shall waken thee: Watch then if thou love thy soul, lest thy Lord come suddenly and find thee sleeping, Mark 13. 34, 35, 36, 37. What I say to one, I say to all, Watch.

§. 4. Tempt. 2. If Satan cannot keep the soul in a sleepy, careless, inconsiderate forgetfulness, he would Tempt. 2. make the unregenerate soul believe that there is no such thing as Regenerating Grace; but that it is a fancied thing, which no man hath experience of, and he saith as Nicodemus, How can these things be?John 3. 4. He thinks that natural conscience is enough.

§. 5. Direct. 2. But this may be easily refuted by observing, that Holiness is but the very Health andDirect. 2. rectitude of the soul; and is no otherwise supernatural, than as Health to him that is born a Leper.See 2 Cor. 5. 17. Gal. 6. 15. Gal. 4. 19. Joh. 3. 3. 5. 6. Matth. 18. 3. 1 Pet. 1. 23. It is the rectitude of Nature, or its disposition to the use and end that it was made for. Though Grace be called supernatural, 1. Because it is not born with us; and 2. Corrupted Nature is against it; 3. And the End of it is the God of Nature, who is above Nature: 4. And the Revelation and other means are supernatural (as Christs incarnation, resurrection, &c.) Yet both Nature, and Scripture and experience tell you, that man is made for another life, and for such works which he is utterly unfit for, till Grace have changed and renewed him, as it doth by many before your eyes.

§. 6. Tempt. 3. But, saith the Tempter, if supernatural grace be necessary, yet it may be born in you: Tempt. 3. Infants have no sin; Christ saith, Of such is the Kingdom of God: Abraham is your Father, yea, God; John 8. 39. 41. You are born of Christian Parents.

§. 7. Direct. 3. See the full proof of Original Sin in all Infants, in my Treatise of the Divine Life, Direct. 3. Part. 1. Chap. 11. & 12. Grace may indeed be put betimes into Nature, but comes not by nature. Ex­cept you be born again, you cannot enter into the Kingdom of God, John 3. 3. 5. If any man be in Christ, Rom. 8. 9. 16. Rom. 9. 8. Eph. 2. 3. he is a new creature: old things are past away: behold all things are become new, 2 Cor. 5. 17. But how vain is it for him to boast that he was born holy, who finds himself at the present unholy. Shew that you have a holy heavenly heart and life, and then you are happy when ever it was wrought.

§. 8. Tempt. 4. But, saith the Tempter, Baptism is the laver of Regeneration: You are Baptized, and Tempt. 4. therefore you are Regenerated. The Ancients taught that all sins were washt away in Baptism, and Grace conferred.

§. 9. Direct. 4. Answ. The Ancients by Baptism meant the Internal and External acts conjunct: theDirect. 4. souls delivering up it self to God in the Covenant, and sealing it by Baptism: And so it includeth Conversion, and true Repentance, and faith: And all that are thus baptized are pardoned, justified and holy: But they that have only Sacramental Regeneration, or the external Ordinance, are not forMat. 28. 19, 20. that in a state of life: For Christ expresly saith, that except you are born of the Spirit as well as Water, you cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, John 3. 5, 6. And Peter told Simon Magus after he was baptized, that he was yet in the gall of bitterness and bond of iniquity, Acts 8. 13. It is not the putting away the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience, 1 Pet. 3. 21. Christ cleanseth his Church by the washing of water by the word, Eph. 5. 26. But if you had been cleansed in Baptism, if at present you are unclean, and unholy, can you be saved so?

[Page 28]§▪ 10. Temp. 5. When this faileth, the Tempter would perswade them, that Godliness is nothing but Tempt. 5. a matter of meer Opinion or belief: to believe all the Articles of the faith, and to be no Papist nor Heretick, but of the true Religion, and to be confident of Gods mercy through Christ: For he that believeth shall be saved. Mar. 16. 16.

§. 11. Direct. 5. To this you must answer, that it will not save a man that his Religion is true, Direct. 5. unless [...] be true to it! Read Iames 2. against such a dead faith. Saving faith is the hearty entertain­ment of Christ as our Lord and Saviour, and the delivering up the soul to him to be sanctified and ruled, as well as pardoned. Knowledge puffeth up, but charity edifieth. He that knoweth his Masters will and d [...]th it not, shall be beaten with many stripes, Luke 12. 47. It's sad that men should think to be saved [...]y that which will condemn them! by being of a right opinion, and a wrong conversation; by believing their duty, instead of d [...]ing it; and then presuming that Christ forgiveth them, and that their state i [...] good: Opinion and presumption are not faith.

§. 12. Tempt. 6. But, saith the Tempter, Holiness is the excellency of holy persons: but vulgar unlearned Tempt. 6. people may be saved, without such high matters which are above them.

§. 13. Direct. 6. But God telleth you, that without Holiness none shall see him, Heb. 12. 14. The un­learned [...] ▪ 6. may be saved, but the ungodly cannot, Psal. 1. 6. Holiness is to the soul, as life to the body: He that hath it not, is dead; though all have not the same degree of health: Sin is sin, and hated of God in learned and unlearned: All men have souls that need regenerating at first: And as all bodies that live, must live on the earth, by the Air, and Food, &c. [...]o all souls that live, do live upon the s [...] God, and Christ, and Heaven, by the same Word and Spirit; and all this may be had by the un­learned.

§. 14. Tempt. 7. But, saith the Tempter, God is not so unmerciful as to damn all that are not holy: Tempt. 7. This is but talk to keep men in aw; and not to be believed.

§. 15. Direct. 7. But if Gods threatnings be necessary to keep men in awe, then are they necessaryDirect. 7. to be executed. For God needs not awe men by a lye. He best knows to whom he will be mer­ciful, and how far! Did you never read, Isa. 27. 11. It is a people of no understanding: therefore he that was made them will not have mercy on them, and he that formed them, will shew them no favour. And Psal. 59. 5. Be not merciful to any wicked transgressor. Is he not just, as well as merciful? Exod. 34. 6, 7. Do you not see that men are sick, and pained, and dye for all that God is merciful? And do not Mer­ciful Iudges condemn Malefactors? Are not Angels made Devils by sin, for all that God is merciful? The Devil knoweth this to his sorrow. And if God spared not the Angels that sinned, but cast them down to Hell—2 Pet. 2. 4. will he be unjust for you?

§. 16. Tempt. 8. But Christ dyed for all: and God will not punish him and you both, for the same Tempt. 8. fault.

§. 17. Direct. 8. Christ dyed so far for all that have the Gospel, as to procure and seal them a freeDirect. 8. and general pardon of all their sins, if they will repent and take him for their Saviour, and so to bring salvation to their choice. But will this save the ungodly obstinate refusers? Christ dyed to sanctifie, as well as to forgive, Eph. 5. 27. and to purifie to himself a peculiar people zealous of good works. Tit. 2. 14. and to destroy the works of the Devil, 1 John 3. 8. and to bring all men under his Dominion and Government, Rom. 14. 9. Luke 19. 27. If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, the same is none of his, Rom. 8 9.

§. 18. Tempt. 9. No man can be certain of his salvation: but all must hope well: and to raise Tempt. 9. d [...]ubts in mens hearts, whether they shall be saved or no, will not help them, but puzzle them and cast them into despair.

§. 19. Direct. 9. But is there so little difference between a child of God and of the Devil, and be­tweenDirect. 9. the way to Heaven and the way to Hell, that they cannot be known asunder? Hath not Christ taught us plainly how to know them? Psal. 1. & 15. 1 Iohn. 3. and bid us give diligence to make our calling and election sure? 2 Pet. 1. 10. If all men must hope that they shall be saved, then most must hope for that, which they shall never have: But it is no hope of Gods making, which deceiveth men. Should so great a matter as our everlasting joy or misery, be cast out of our Care, and ventured so regardlesly in the dark? When it is it that we have life, and time, and all for, to make it sure? And what hurt can it do you, to find out the truth of your own condition? If you are indeed unregenerate and unholy, discover it now in time, and you have time to be recovered: You must despair of being saved without conversion: But that preventeth absolute final despair. Whereas if you find not out your case till time is past, then hope is past, and the Devil hath you in endless desperation, where he would.

§. 20. Tempt. 10. If this prevail not, the Devil will seek to carry it by noise instead of reason,Tempt. 10. and will seek to keep you in jovial, merry, voluptuous company, that shall plead by Pots, and Playes, and pleasures, and shall daily make a jest of Godliness, and speak of the godly with scorn, as a company of Fanatick Hypocrites.

§. 21. Direct. 10. But consider, that this is but the rage of fools; that speak of what they never un­derstood?Direct. 10. See Prov. 13. 20▪ Pr [...]v. [...]8▪ [...]. Ephes. 5. 7. 11. Did they ever try the way they speak against. Are they to be believed before God himself? Will they not [...]at their words at last themselves? Will their merry lives last alwayes? Do they dye as merrily as they live? and bring off themselves as well as they promised to bring off you? He that will be cheated of his salvation, and forsake his God, for the ranting scorns of a distra­cted sinner, is worthy to be damned.

§. 22. Tempt. 11. Next be telleth them, that a godly life is so hard and tedious, that if they should begin, Tempt. 11. they should never endure to hold on; and therefore it is in vain to try it.

[Page 29]§. 23. Direct. 11. But this pretence is compounded of wickedness and madness. What but a wicked Direct. 11. heart can make it so hard a thing to live in the Love of God and holiness, and in the hopes and seeking of eternal life? Why should not this be a sweeter and pleasanter life, than drinking, and roaring, and gaming, and fooling away time in vain; or than the enjoying of all the delights of the flesh? There's no­thing but a sick distempered heart against it, that nauseateth that which in it self is most delightful. When Grace hath changed your hearts, it will be easie. Do you not see that others can hold on in it? and would not be as they were for all the world? And why may not you? God will help you: It is the Office of Christ and the Spirit to help you: Your encouragements are innumerable. The hard­ness is most at first: It is the longer the easier. But what if it were hard? Is it not necessary? Is Hell easier, and to be preferred before it? And will not Heaven pay for all your cost and labour? Will you sit down in desperation, and resolve to let your salvation go, upon such silly bug-bear words as these?

§. 24. Tempt. 12. Next the Devils endeavour will be, to find them so much employment with Tempt. 12. worldly cares, or hopes, or business, that they shall find no leisure to be serious about the saving of their souls?

§. 25. Direct. 12. But this is a snare, though frequently prevalent, yet so irrational, and against soDirect. 12. many warnings and witnesses, even of all men in the world either first or last, at conversion, or at death, that he who after all this, will neglect his God and his salvation, because he hath worldly things to mind, is worthy to be turned over to his choice, and have no better help or portion in the hour of his necessity and distress. Of this sin I have spoken afterward Chap. 4. Part. 6.

§. 26. Tempt. 13. Lest the soul should be converted, the Devil will do all that he can to keep you from Tempt. 13. the acquaintance and company of those whose holiness and instructions might convince and strengthen you; and especially from a lively convincing Minister, and to cast you under some dead hearted Minister and Society.

§. 27. Direct. 13. Therefore, if it be possible, though it be to your loss or inconvenience in theDirect. 13. world, live under a searching heavenly Teacher, and in the company of them that are resolved for Heaven! It is a dead heart indeed that feeleth not the need of such assistance, and is not the better for it when they have it. If ever you be fair for Heaven, and like to be converted, it will be among such helps as these.

§. 28. Tempt. 14. But one of the strongest Temptations of Satan, is by making their sin exceeding Tempt. 14. pleasant to them; for the gain, or honour, or fleshly satisfaction; and so encreasing the violence of their sensual appetite and lust, and making them so much in Love with their sin, that they cannot leave it: Like the thirst of a man in a burning Feavor, which makes him cry for cold drink, though it would kill him, the fury of the appetite conquering reason. So we see many drunkards, fornicators, worldlings, that are so deeply in Love with their sin, that come on it what will, they will have it, though they have Hell with it.

§. 29. Direct. 14. Against this Temptation I desire you to read what I have said after Chap. 4.Direct. 14. Part. 7. & Chap. 3. Direct. 6. & 8. O that poor sinners knew what it is that they so much Love! Is the pleasing of the flesh so sweet a thing to you? and are you so indifferent to God and holy things? Are these less amiable? Do you foresee what both will be at last? Will your sin seem better than Christ, and Grace, and Heaven, when you are dying? O be not so in Love with damning folly, and the plea­sure of a Beast? as for it to despise the heavenly wisdom and delights!

§. 30. Tempt. 15. Another great Temptation is, the prosperity of the wicked in this life; and the re­proach Tempt. 15. and suffering which usually falls upon the godly: If God did strike every notorious sinner dead in the place, as soon as he had sinned, or struck him blind, or dumb, or lame, or inflicted presently some such judge­ment, then many would fear him, and forbear their sin: But when they see no men prosper so much as the most ungodly, and that they are the persecutors of the holy seed, and that sentence against an evil work is not speedily executed, then are their hearts set in them to do evil, Eccles. 8. 11.

§. 31. Direct. 15. But alas, how short is the prosperity of the wicked! Read Psal. 73. & 37. DelayDirect. 15. is no forgiveness: They stay but till the Assize: And will that tempt you to do as they? How unthank­fully do sinners deal with with God! If he should kill you and plague you, that would not please you: And yet if he forbear you, you are emboldened by it in your sin. Thus his patience is turned against him: But the stroke will be the heavier when it falls! Dost thou think those men will al­wayes flourish! Will they alway domineer and revell! Will they alwayes dwell in the houses where they now dwell, and possess those Lands, and be honoured and served as now they are! O how quick­ly and how dreadfully will the case be changed with them! O could you but foresee now what faces they will have, and what heavy hearts, and with what bitter exclamations they will at last cry out against themselves, for all their folly, and wish that they had never been deceived by prosperity; but rather had the portion of a Lozarus! If you saw how they are but fatted for the slaughter, and in what a dolorous misery their wealth, and sport, and honours will leave them, you would lament their case, and think so great a destruction were soon enough, and not desire to be partners in their lot!

§. 32. Tempt. 16. Another temptation is, their own prosperity: They think God when he prospereth Tempt. 16. them, is not so angry with them as Preachers tell them: And it is a very hard thing in health and prosperity to lay to heart either sin or threatnings, and to have such serious lively thoughts of the life to come, as men that are wakened by adversity have: and specially men that are familiar with death. Prosperity is the greatest temptation to security, and delaying repentance, and putting off preparation for eternity. Overcome prosperity, and you overcome your greatest snare.

[Page 30]§. 33. Direct. 16. Go into the Sanctuary, yea, go into the Church-yard, and see the End: AndDirect. 1 [...]. [...] judge by those Skulls, and Bones, and dust, if you cannot judge by the fore- [...]ings of God, what prosperity is! Judge by the experience of all the world! Doth it not leave them [...] in sorrow at last? Wo to the man that hath his portion in this life. O miserable health, and wealth, and honour, which procureth the death, and shame, and utter destruction of the soul! Was not he in as prosperous a case as you, Luke 16. that quickly cryed out in vain, for a drop of water to cool his Tongue? There is none of you so sensless as not to know that you must dye? And must you dye? Must you certainly dye? and shall that day be no better prepared for? Shall present prosperity make you forget it, and live as if you must live here for ever? Do you make so great difference between that which is, and that which will be? as to make as great a matter of it as others, when it comes; and to make no more of it▪ when it is but coming? O man, what is an inch of hasty time! How quickly is it gone? Thou art going hence apace, and almost gone! Doth God give thee the mercy of a few dayes or years of health to make all thy preparations in for eternity, and doth this mercy turn to thy deceit, and dost thou turn it so much contrary to the ends for which it was given thee? Wilt thou surfeit on Mercy, and destroy thy soul with it? Sense feeleth and perceiveth what now is, but thou hast Reason to foresee what will be? Wilt thou play in Harvest, and forget the Winter?

§. 34. Tempt. 17. Another great Temptation to hinder Conversion, is the example and countenance of Tempt. 17. Great Ones that are ungodly▪ when Landlords and men in power are sensual, and enemies to a holy life, and speak reproachfully of it, their inferiours by the reverence which they bear to worldly wealth and great­ness, are easily drawn to say as they: Also, when men reputed Learned and Wise, are of another mind; and especially when subtile enemies speak that reproach against it, which they cannot answer.

§. 35. Direct. 17. To this I spake in the end of the first Part of this Chapter. No man is so greatDirect. 17. and wise as God. See whether he say as they do in his word! The greatest that provoke him can no more save themselves from his vengeance, than the poorest beggars! What work made he with a Phara [...]h! and got himself a name by his hard heartedness and impenitency? He can send Worms to eat an arrogant Herod, when the people cry him up as a God! Where are now the Caesars and Alex­anders of the world: The Rulers and Pharisees believed not in Christ; Iohn 7. 48. Wilt not thou therefore believe in him? The Governour of the Countrey condemned him to dye; and wilt thou condemn him? The Kings of the earth set themselves, and the Rulers take counsel together against the Lord and his anointed, saying, let us break their bands asunder, and cast away their cords from us, Psal. 2. 2, 3. Wilt thou therefore joyn in the Conspiracy? When he that sitteth in the Heavens shall laugh, the Lord shall have them in derision—He will break them with an iron rod, and dash them in pieces like a Potters Vessel, unless they be wise, and kiss the Son, and serve the Lord with fear before his wrath be kindled and they perish, Psal. 2. 4, 9, 10, 11, 12. If thy Landlord or Great ones shall be thy God, and be honoured and obeyed before God and against him, trust to them, and call on them in the hour of thy distress, and take such a salvation as they can give thee: Teach not God what choice to make, and whom to reveal his mysteries to: He chooseth not alwayes the Learned Scribe, nor the mighty man: Christ himself saith, Matth. 11. 25. I thank thee O Father, Lord of Heaven and Earth, because thou hast hid these things from the wise and prudent, and hast revealed them to babes: Read Mr. [...] sermon [...]n 1 [...] ▪ 1. 2 [...]. Even so Father; for so it seemed good in thy sight! If this reason satisfie you not, follow them, and speed as they. If they are Greater and Wiser than God, let them be your Gods, 1 Cor. 1. 26. You see your calling how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called▪ but God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things that are mighty; and base things of the world, and things that are de­spised hath God chosen, and things that are not, to bring to nought things that are. It is another kind of Greatness, Honour and Wisdom which God bestoweth on the poorest Saints, than the world can give; Worldlings will shortly be aweary of their portion: In your Baptism you renounced the world with its pomps and vanity: and now do you deifie, what you then defied?

§. 36. Temp. 18. Another Temptation is to draw on the sinner into such a custom in sin, and long Tempt. 18. neglect of the means of his Recovery, till his Heart is utterly Hardened.

§. 37. Direct. 18. Against this read after Chap. 4. Part. 2. against Hardness of Heart.Direct. 18. Tempt. 19.

§, 38. Temp. 19. Another Temptation is, to Delay Repentance, and purpose to do it here­after.

§. 39. Direct. 19. Of this I entreat you to read the many Reasons which I have given to shame andDirect. 19. waken delayers, in my Book of Directions for a sound Conversion.

§. 40. Tempt. 20. The worst of all is, to tempt them to flat unbelief of Scripture and the life Tempt. 20. to come.

§. 41. Direct. 20. Against this read here Chap. 3. Dir. 1. Chap. 4. Part. 1. and my Treatise againstDirect. 20. Infidelity.

§. 42. Temp. 21. If they will needs looks after Grace, he will do all he can to deceive them with coun­terfeits, Tempt. 21. and make them take a seeming half conversion for a saving change.

§. 43. Direct. 21. Of this read my Directions for sound Conversion, and the Formal Hypocrite, andDirect. 21. Saints Rest, Part. 3. c. 10.

§. 44. Temp. 22. If he cannot make them flat Infidels, he will tempt them to question and contradict Tempt. 22. the sense of all those Texts of Scripture which are used to convince them, and all▪ those doctrines which grate most upon their galled consciences; as of the Necessity of Regeneration, the fewness of them that are saved, the difficulty of salvation, the torments of Hell, the necessity of mortification, and the sinfulness of all par­ticular sins: They will hearken what Cavillers can say for any sin, and against any part of Godliness; and with this they wilfully delude themselves.

[Page 31]§. 45. Direct. 22. But if men are resolved to joyn with the Devil, and shut their eyes, and [...]avilDirect. 22. against all that God speaketh to them to prevent their misery, and know not, because they will not know, what remedy is left, or who can save men against their wills? This is the condemnation, that light is come into the world, and men love darkness rather than light, because their deeds are evil. He that doth evil hateth the light, neither cometh to the light, lest his deeds should be reproved. John 3. 19, 20. In Scripture, some things are hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable, wrest to their own destruction, 2 Pet. 3. 16. Of particulars read the end of my Treatise of Conversion.

§. 46. Temp. 23. Yea, Satan will do his worst to make them Hereticks, and teach them some doctrine Tempt. 23. of licentiousness suitable is their lusts: Its hard being wicked still against Conscience in the open light: This is kicking against the pricks: too smarting work to be easily born: Therefore the Devil will make them a Religion which shall please them, and do their sins no ha [...]m: Either a Religion made up of loose Opini­ons, like the Familists, Ranters, Libertines and Antinomians (and the Jesuites too much); or else made up of trifling formalities, and a great deal of bodily exercise and Stage-actings and complement, as much of the Popish devotion is: And a little will draw a carnal heart to believe a carnal doctrine: Its easier to get such a new Religion, than a new heart. And then the Devil tells them that now they are in the right way, and therefore they shall be saved. A great part of the world think their case is good, because they are of such or such a Sect, or Party, and of that which (they are told by their Leaders) is the true Church and way.

§. 47. Direct. 23. But remember that what ever Law you make to your selves, God will judgeDirect. 23. you by his own Law. Falsifying the Kings Coyn is no good way to pay a debt, but an addition of Treason to your former misery. It is a new and a holy heart and life, and not a new Creed, or a new Church or Sect that is necessary to your salvation. It will never save you to be in the soundest Church on earth, if you be unsound in it your selves; and are but the dust in the Temple that must be swept ou [...]: Much less will it save you, to make your selves a Rule, because Gods Rule doth seem too strict.

§. 48. Tempt. 24. Another way of the Tempter is, to draw men to take up with meer Convictions,Tempt. 24. instead of true Conversion: when they have but learnt that it is Necessary to salvation, to be Regenerate, and have the Spirit of Christ, they are as quiet, as if this were indeed to be regenerate, and to have the Spirit: As some think they have attained to perfection, when they have but received the opinion that per­fection may here be had; so abundance think they have sanctification and forgiveness, because now they see that they must be had, and without sanctification there is no salvation: And thus the knowledge of all Grace and Duty shall go with them for the grace and duty it self; and their judgement of the thing, instead of the possession of it: and instead of having grace, they force themselves to believe that they have it.

§. 49. Direct. 24. But remember God will not be mocked: He knoweth a convinced head fromDirect. 24. a holy heart: To think you are Rich, will not make you rich: To believe that you are well, or to know the remedy, is not enough to make you well. You may dream that you eat, and yet awake hungry: Isa. 29. 8. All the Land or money which you see is not therefore your own. To know that you should be holy, maketh your unholiness to have no excuse: Ahab did not scape by believing that he should return in peace: Self-flattery in so great and weighty a case, is the greatest folly. If you know these things, happy are ye if you do them, John 13. 17.

§. 50. Tempt. 25. Another great Temptation is, by hiding from men the intrinsick evil and odious­ness Tempt. 25. of [...]in. What harm (saith the Drunkard, and Adulterer, and voluptuous Sensualists) is there in all this, that Preachers make so great ado against it? What hurt is this to God or man? that they would make us believe we must be damned for it, and that Christ dyed for it? and that the Holy Ghost must mortifie it? Wherefore, say the Iews, Ier. 16. 10. hath God pronounced all this great evil against us? or what is our iniquity? or what is our sin that we have committed—He that knoweth not God, knoweth not what sin against God is: especially when the Love of it, and Delight in it blindeth them.

§. 51. Direct. 25. Against this I intreat you to ponder on those forty intrinsecal evils in sin, whichDirect. 25. I have after named, Chap. 3. Dir. 8. §. 16. and the aggravations, §. 17, 18. If the Devil can but once perswade you, that sin is harmless, all Faith, all Religion, all Honesty, and your souls and all are gone. For then all Gods Laws and Government must be fictions: Then there is no work for ChristPsal. 40. 12. Psal. 51. as a Saviour, or the Spirit as a Sanctifier to do: Then all Ordinances and Means are troublesome Va­nities: and Godliness and Obedience deserve to be banished from the earth, as unnecessary troublers of mankind: Then may this poyson be safely taken and made your food. But O how mad a conceit is this! How quickly will God make the proudest know, what harm it was to refuse the Government of his Maker, and set up the Goverment of his beastly appetite and misguided will! and that sin is bad, if Hell be bad.

§. 32. Tempt. 26. The Devil also tempteth them to think, that though they sin, yet their good works Tempt. 26. are a compensation for their bad; and therefore they pray and do some acts of Pharisaical devotion, to make God amends for what they do amiss.

§. 53. Direct. 26. Against this consider, that if you had never so many good works, they are allDirect. 26. but your duty; and make no satisfaction for your sin. But what good works can you do, that shall save a wicked soul! and that God will accept without your Hearts! Your hearts must be first cleansed,See Prov. 28▪ 9▪ Prov. 15▪ 26▪ 8▪ Prov. 21. 27. Isa. 1. 13. 14. and your selves devoted and sanctified to God: For an evil Tree will bring forth evil fruit! First make the Tree good, and the fruit will be good! It is the Love of God, and the hatred of sin, and a holy and heavenly life which are the good works that God chiefly calleth for; and Faith, and Repen­tance, and Conversion in order to these: And will God take your lip-labour, or the leavings of your [Page 32] [...]sh by way of alms, while the world and fleshly pleasure have your hearts? Indeed, you do no work that's truly good! The matter may be good: but you poyson it with bad Principles and Ends. The carnal mind is not subject to the Law of God, nor indeed can be; but is enmity to God, Rom. 8. 6, 7.

§. 54. Tempt. 27. Some are tempted to think, that God will not condemn them because they are poor Tempt. 27. and afflicted in this life, and have their sufferings here: And that he that condemneth the rich for not shew­ing mer [...]y t [...] the p [...]r, will himself shew them mercy.

§. 55. Direct. 27. Hath he not shewed you mercy? And is it not mercy which you vilifie and re­ [...]se?Direct. 27. Even Christ, and his Spirit, and holy communion with God? Or must God shew you the mer­cy of Glory, without the mercy of Grace? Which is a contradiction: Strange, that the same men that will not be intreated to accept of mercy, nor let it save them, are yet saying, that God will be merciful and save them.

And for your poverty and suffering, is it not against your will? You cannot deny it: And will God save any man, for that which is against his will? You would have riches, and honour, and pleasure, and your good things in this life as well as others, if you could tell how: You love the world as well as others, if you could get more of it. And to be carnal and worldly for so poor a pittance, and to have the world when you suffer in it, doth make you more unexcusable than the rich. The Devils have suffered more than you; and so have many thousand souls in Hell: And yet they shall be saved never the more. If you are poor in the world, but rich in faith, and holiness, then you may well expect salvation, Iames 2. 5. But if your sufferings make you no more holy, they do but aggravate [...] your sin.

§. 56. Tempt. 28. Also the Devil blindeth sinners, by keeping them ignorant of the nature and power Tempt. 28. of Holiness of heart and life! They know it not by any experience: And he will not let them see it and judge of it in the Scripture, where it is to be seen without any mixed contraries; but he points them only to professors of holiness, and commonly to the weakest and the worst of them, and to that which is worst in them, and sheweth them the miscarriages of hypocrites, and the falls of the weaker sort of Christians, and then tells them, This is their Godliness and Religion; They are all alike.

§. 57. Direct. 28. But it's easie to see, how these men deceive and condemn themselves. This isDirect. 28. as if you should plead that a Beast is wiser than a man, because some men are drunk, and some are passionate, and some are mad. Drunkenness and passions which are the disturbances of Reason, are no disgrace to Reason, but to themselves: Nor were they a disgrace themselves, if Reason which they hin­der were not honourable. So no mans sins are a disgrace to Holiness, which condemneth them: nor were they bad themselves, if holiness were not good, which they oppose. It is no disgrace to the day-light or Sun that there is night and darkness: Nor were darkness bad, if light were not good. Will you refuse health, because some men are sick? Nay, will you rather choose to be dead, because the living have infirmities? The Devils reasoning is foolisher than this! Holiness is of absolute necessity to salvation: If many that do more than you, are as bad as you imagine, what a case then are you in, that have not near so much as they? If they that make it their greatest care to please God and be saved, are as very Hypocrites as the Devil would perswade you, what a hopeless case then are you in, that come far short of them? If so, you must do more than they, and not less, if you will be saved▪ Or else out of your own mouths will you be condemned.

§. 58. Tempt. 29. Another way of the Tempter is, by drawing them desperately to venture their souls; Tempt. 29. Come on them what will, they'le put it to the venture, rather than live so strict a life.

§. 59. Direct. 29. But, O man, consider what thou dost, and who will have the loss of it! andDirect. 29. how quickly it may be too late to recall thy adventure! What should put thee on so mad a resolu­tion? Is sin so good? Is Hell so easie? Is thy soul so contemptible? Is Heaven such a trifle? Is God so hard a Master? Is his work so grievous, and his way so bad? Doth he require any thing unreaso­nable of you? Hath God set you such a grievous task, that it's better venture on damnation, than perform it? You cannot believe this, if you believe him to be God. Come near, and think more deliberately on it, and you will find you might better run from your food, your friend, your life, than from your God, and from a holy life, when you run but into sin and Hell.

§. 60. Tempt. 30. Another great Temptation is, in making them believe that their sins are but such Tempt. 30. common infirmities as the best have: They cannot deny but they have their faults; but are not all men sinners! They hope that they are not reigning unpardoned sins.

§. 61. Direct. 30. But O how great a difference is between a converted and an unconverted sinner!Direct. 30. between the failings of a Child, and the contempt of a Rebel! between a sinner that hath no gross or mortal sin, and hateth, bewaileth, and striveth against his infirmities; and a sinner that loveth his sin, and is loth to leave it, and maketh light of it, and loveth not a holy life. God will one day shew you a difference between these two, when you see that there are siners that are justified and saved, and sinners that are condemned.

[Page 33]§. 62. BUt here are many subordinate Temptations by which Satan perswades them that their sins Tempt. Temp. 1. are but infirmities: One is, because their sin is but in the heart, and appeareth not in out­ward deeds: And they take restraint for sanctification.

§. 63. Direct. 1. Alas man, the Life and Reign of sin is in the Heart: That is it's Garrison andDirect. 1. Throne: The life of sin lyeth in the prevalence of your lusts within, against the Power of Reason and Will. All outward sins are but acts of obedience to the reigning sin within: and a gathering Tri­bute for this which is the King. For this it is that they make provision, Rom. 13. 14. On this all is consumed, Iames 4. 3. Original sin may be reigning sin (as a King may be born a King): Sin cer­tainly reigneth, till the soul be converted and born again.

§. 64. Tempt. 2. The Devil tells them, it is but an infirmity, because it is no open gross disgraceful Tempt. 2. sin: It's hard to believe that they are in danger of Hell, for sins which are accounted small.

§. 65. Direct. 2. But do you think it is no mortal heinous sin, to be void of the Love of God andDirect. 2. holiness? to Love the flesh and the world above him? to set more by Earth than Heaven, and do more for it? However they shew themselves, these are the great and mortal sins. Sin is not less dan­gerous for lying secret in the heart. The root and heart are usually unseen. Some Kings (as in China, Persia, &c.) keep out of sight for the honour of their Majesty. Kings are the spring of Government, but actions of State are executed by Officers. When you see a man go or work, you know that it is something within which is the Cause of all. If sin appeared without, as it is within, it would lose much of its Power and Majesty. Then Ministers, and friends, and every good man would cast a stone at it: but its secresie is its peace. The Devil himself prevaileth by keeping out of sight. If he were seen, he would be less obeyed. So is it with the Reigning sins of the heart: Pride and Covetousness may be Reigning sins, though they appear not in any notorious disgraceful course of life. David's hiding his sin, or Rachel her Idol, made them not the better. It is a mercy to some men,See Jer. 4. 14. Hos. 7. 6, 7. that God permitteth them to fall into some open scandalous sin, which may tend to humble them, who would not have been humbled nor convinced by heart-sins alone. An Oven is hottest when it is stopped.

§. 66. Tempt. 3. Satan tells them, they are not unpardoned reigning sins, because they are common Tempt. 3. in the world: If all that are as bad as I must be condemned, say they, God help a great number.

§. 67. Direct. 3. But know you not that Reigning sin is much more common than saving holiness? Direct. 3. and that the gate is wide, and the way is broad that leadeth to destruction, and many go in at it? Salva­tion is as rare as holiness: and damnation as common as Reigning sin, where it is not cured. This sign therefore makes against you.

§. 69. Tempt. 4. But, saith the Tempter, they are such sins as you see good men commit: You play Tempt. 4. at the same games as they: you do but what you see them do; and they are pardoned.

§. 68. Direct. 4. You must judge the man by his works, and not the works by the man. And thereDirect. 4. is more to be lookt at, than the bare matter of an act. A good man and a bad may play at the same game, but not with the same end, nor with the same love to sport, nor so frequently and long to the loss of time. Many drops may wear a stone: Many stripes with small twigs may draw blood. Ma­ny mean men in a Senate have been as great Kings: You may have many of these little sins set all together, which plainly make up a carnal life. The power of a sin, is more considerable than the out­ward shew. A poor man if he be in the place of a Magistrate, may be a Ruler. And a sin materi­ally small, and such as better men commit, may be a sin in Power and Rule with you, and concur with others which are greater.

§. 70. Tempt. 5. But, saith the Tempter, they are but sins of Omission, and such are not reign­ing Tempt. 5. sins.

§. 71. Direct. 5. Sins of Omission are alwayes accompanied with some positive sensual affectionDirect. 5. to the creature, which diverteth the soul, and causeth the omission. And so Omission is no small part of the Reigning sin. The not using of Reason and the Will for God, and for the mastering of sensuali­ty, is much of the state of ungodliness in man. Denying God the heart and life, is no small sin. God made you to do good, and not only to do no harm: Else a Stone or Corpse were as good a Chri­stian as you; for they do less harm than you. If sin have a Negative Voice in your Religion, whether God shall be worshipped and obeyed or not, it is your King: It may shew its power as well by com­manding you not to pray, and not to consider, and not to read, as in commanding you to be drunk or swear. The wicked are described by omissions: such as will not seek after God: God is not in all his thoughts, Psal. 10. 4. Such as know not God, and call not on his name, Jer. 10. 25. That have no truth, or mercy, or knowledge of God, Hos. 4. 1. That feed not, cloath not, visit not Christ in his mem­bers, Matth. 25. that hide their Talents, Matth. 25. Indeed, if God have not your hearts, the creature hath it; and so it is omission and commission that go together in your reigning sin.

§. 72. Tempt. 6. But, saith the Tempter, they are but sins of ignorance, and therefore they are not reign­ing Tempt 6. sins: At least you are not certain that they are sins.

§ 73. Direct. 6. And indeed do you not know that it is a sin to love the world better than God?Direct. 6. and fleshly pleasure better than Gods service; and Riches better than grace and holiness? and to do more for the body than for the soul, and for earth, than for Heaven? Are you uncertain whether these are sins? And do you not feel that they are your sins? You cannot pretend ignorance for these. But what causeth your Ignorance? Is it because you would fain know, and cannot? Do you read, and hear, and study, and enquire, and pray for knowledge, and yet cannot know? Or is it not because you would not know, or think it not worth the pains to get it? or because you love your sin? And will such [Page 34] wilful ignorance as this excuse you? No, it doth make your sin the greater. It sheweth the greater dominion of sin, when it can use thee as the Philistines, did Sampson, put out thy eyes, and make a [...]rudge of thee; and conquer thy Reason, and make thee believe that evil is good, and good is evil. Now it hath mastered the principal fortress of thy soul, when thy understanding is mastered by it. He is reconciled indeed to his enemy, who taketh him to be a friend▪ Do you not know, that God should have your heart, and Heaven should have your chiefest care and diligence; and that you should make the Word of God your Rule, and your delight and meditation day and night? If you know not these things, it is because you would not know them. And it is a miserable case to be given up to a blinded mind! Take heed lest at last you commit the horridst sins, and do not know them to be sins. For such there are that mock at Godliness, and persecute Christians and Ministers of Christ, and know not that they do ill, but think they do God service, John 16. 2. If a man will make himself drunk, and then kill, and steal; and abuse his neighbours, and say, I knew not that I did ill, it shall not excuse him: This is your case. You are drunken with the love of fleshly pleasure and worldly things, and these carry you so away, that you have neither heart nor time to study the Scriptures, and hear, and think what God saith to you, and then say, that you did not know.

§. 74. Tempt. 7. But, saith the Tempter, it cannot be a mortal reigning sin, because it is not commit­ted Tempt. 7. with the whole heart, nor without some strugling and resistance: Dost thou not feel the Spirit striving against the flesh? And so it is with the Regenerate, Gal. 5. 17. Rom. 7. 20, 21, 22, 23. The good which thou dost not do, thou wouldst do; and the evil, which thou dost, thou wouldst not do: so then it is no more thou that dost it, but sin that dwelleth in thee. In a sensual unregenerate person, there is but one par­ty, there is nothing but flesh; but thou feelest the combat between the Flesh and the Spirit within thee.

§. 75. Direct. 7. This is a snare so subtile and dangerous, that you have need of eyes in your headDirect. 7. to scape it. Understand therefore, 1. That as to the two Texts of Scripture much abused by the Tempter, they speak not at all of mortal reigning sin, but of the unwilling infirmities of such as had subdued all such sin, and walked not after the flesh, but after the Spirit; and whose wills were habitually bent to good; and fain would have been perfect, and not have been guilty of an idle thought, or word, or of any imperfection in their holiest service, but lived up to all that the Law requireth: but this they could not do, because the flesh did cast many stops before the will in the performance. But this is nothing to the case of one that liveth in gross sin, and an ungodly life, and hath strivings and con­victions, and uneffectual wishes to be better and to turn, but never doth it: This is but sinning against Conscience, and resisting the Spirit that would convert you; and it maketh you worthy of many stripes, as being rebellious against the importunities of Grace. Sin may be resisted, where it is never conquered: It may Reign nevertheless for some contradiction. Every one that resisteth the King, [...] doth not depose him from his Throne. It's a dangerous deceit to think that every good desire that contradicteth sin, doth conquer it, and is a sign of saving grace. It must be a desire after a state of godliness, and an effectual desire too. There are degrees of Power: some may have a less and limited power, and yet be Rulers. As the evil Spirits that possessed mens bodies, were a Legion in one, andWhat Resi­stance of sin may be in the ungodly. but one in others, yet both were possessed: So is it here. Grace is not without resistance in a holy Soul: there is some remnants of corruption in the will it self, resisting the good: and yet it follow­eth not, that Grace doth not Rule: So is it in the sin of the unregenerate. No man in this life is so good, as he will be in Heaven, or so bad, as he will be in Hell: Therefore none is void of all moral good. And the least good will resist evil, in its degree, as Light doth darkness. As in these cases,

§. 76. 1. There is in the unregenerate a remnant of natural knowledge and conscience: some dis­coveries of God and his will there are in his works: God hath not left himself without witness. See Acts 14. 17. & 17. 27. Rom. 1. 19, 20. & 2. 7, 8, 9. This Light and Law of Nature governed the Heathens: And this in its measure resisteth sin, and assisteth conscience.

§. 77. 2. When supernatural extrinsick Revelation in the Scripture, is added to the Light and Law of Nature, and the ungodly have all the same Law as the best; it may do more.

§. 78. 3. Moreover an ungodly man may live under a most powerful Preacher, that will never let him alone in his sins, and may stir up much fear in him, and many good purposes, and almost per­swade him to be a true Christian, and not only to have some uneffectual wishings and strivings against sin, but to do many things after the Preacher, as Herod did after Iohn, and to escape the common pollutions of the world, 2 Pet. 2. 20.

§. 79. 4. Some sharp affliction added to the rest, may make him seem to others a true penitent: when he is stopt in his course of sin, as Balaam was by the Angel with a drawn Sword, and feeth that he cannot go on but in danger of his life; and that God is still meeting him with some cross, and hedging up his way with thorns (for such mercy he sheweth to some of the ungodly) this may not only breed resistance of sin, but some reformation. When the Babylonians were planted in Samaria, they feared not God, and he sent Lyons among them; and then they feared him, and set up some kind of service to him, performed by a base sort of Priests; they feared the Lord, and served their own Gods, thinking it was safest to please all, 2 Kings 17. 25, 32, 33. Affliction maketh bad men, likest to the good.

§. 80. 5. Good education and company may do very much: It may help them to much knowledge, and make them professors of strict Religion; and constant companions with those that fear sin, and avoid it, and therefore they must needs go far then, as Ioash did all the dayes of Iehojada, 2 Chron. 24. 2. As plants and fruits change with the soil by transplantation, and as the Climate maketh some Bl [...]kmoors and some White, so education and converse have so great a power on the mind, that they come next to grace, and are oft the means of it.

[Page 35]§. 81. 6. And God giveth to many internally some grace of the Spirit, which is not proper to them that are saved, but comm [...]n or preparatory only. And this may make much resistance against sin, though it do not mortifie it. One that should live but under the convictions that Iud [...]s had when he hang'd himself, I warrant him would have strivings and combats against sin in him, though he were un­sanctified.

§. 82. 7. Yea, the interest and power of one sin, may resist another. As covetousness may make much resistance against sensuality and pride of life, and pride may resist all disgraceful sin.

§. 83. Tempt. 8. But, saith the Tempter, it is not unpardoned sin, because thou art sorry and dost repent Tempt. 8. for it when thou hast committed it: and all sin is pardoned that is repented of.

§. 84. Direct. 8. All the foresaid causes which may make some resistance of sin in the ungodly, mayDirect. 8. cause also some sorrow and repenting in them. There is repenting and sorrow for sin in Hell. All men repent and are sorry at last: but few repent so as to be pardoned and saved. When a sinner hath had all the sweetness out of sin that it can yield him, and seeth that its all gone, and the sting is left be­hind, no marvel if he repent. I think there is scarce any Drunkard, or Whoremonger, or Glutton, (that is not a flat Infidel▪) but he repenteth of the sin that's past, because he hath had all out of it that it can yield him, and there is nothing left of it that's lovely: But yet he goeth on still; which shew­eth that his Repentance was unsound: True Repentance is a through change of the heart and life: a turning from sin to a holy life: and such a sorrow for what is past, as would not let you do it, if it were to do again. If you truly Repent, you would not do so again if you had all the same temp­tations.

§. 85. Tempt. 9. But, saith the Tempter, it is but one sin, and the rest of thy life is good and blame­less: Tempt. 9. and God judgeth by the greater part of thy life: whether the evil or the good be most.

§. 86. Direct. 9. If a man be a Murderer, or a Traytor, will you excuse him, because the rest of hisDirect. 9. life is good, and it is but one sin that he is charged with? One sort of poyson may kill a man; and one stab at the heart, though all his body else be whole: you may surfeit on one dish: One leak may sink a Ship. Jam. 2. 10. Whosoever shall keep the whole Law, and yet offend in one point, is guilty of all. S [...]e Ezek. 18. 10, 11. Indeed God doth judge by the bent of thy heart, and the main drift and en­deavour of thy life. But canst thou say, that the bent of thy heart, and the main endea­vour of thy life, is for God, and Heaven, and Holiness? No: if it were, thou wert Regenerate; and this would not let thee live in any one beloved, chosen, wilful sin. The bent of a mans heart and life may be sinful, earthly, fleshly, though it run but in the channel of one way of gross sinning! As a man may be covetous, that hath but one Trade; and a Whoremonger, that hath but one Whore; and an Idolater, that hath but one Idol. If thou lovedst God better, thou wouldst let go thy sin: And if thou love any one sin better than God, the whole bent of thy heart and life is wicked: For it is not set upon God and Heaven, and therefore is ungodly.

§. 87. Tempt. 10. But, saith the Tempter, it is not reigning unpardoned sin, because thou believest in Tempt. 10. Iesus Christ: And all that Believe, are pardoned and justified from all their sins.

§. 89. Direct. 10. He that savingly believeth in Christ, doth take him entirely for his Saviour andDirect. 10. Governour; and giveth up himself to be saved, sanctified and ruled by him: As Trusting your Physi­cion, implyeth that you take his Medicines, and follow his advice, and so trust him: and not that you trust to be cured while you disobey him, by bare trusting: so is it as to your faith and trust in Christ: It is a belief or trust that he will save all those, that are ruled by him in order to salvation. He is See more of Temptations, Chap. 3. Dir. 9. the author of eternal salvation to all them that obey him: Heb. 5. 9. If you believe in Christ, you believe Christ: And if you believe Christ, you believe that except a man be converted and born again, he cannot enter into the Kingdom of Heaven, John 3. 3, 5. Matth. 18. 3. and that he that is in Christ, is a new creature; old things are past away, and all is become new, 2 Cor. 5. 17. And that without holiness none shall see God. Heb. 12. 14. And that no fornicator, effeminate, thieves, covetous, drunkards, revilers, extortioners, murderers, lyars, shall enter into, or have any inheritance in the Kingdom of Christ, 1 Cor. 6. 9, 10. Ephes. 5. 4, 5, 6. Rev. 21. 27. & 22. 14, 15. If you believe Christ, you must believe that you cannot be saved, unless you be converted. It is the Devil and not Christ, that telleth you you may be pardoned and saved in an unholy unregenerate state: And it's sad, that men should believe the Devil, and call this a Believing in Christ, and think to be saved for so believing! as if false faith and presumption pleased God. Christ will not save men for believing a lye, and believing the Fa­ther of lyes before him: Nor will he save all that are confident they shall be saved. If you think you have any part in Christ remember, Rom. 8. 9. If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, the same is none of his.

CHAP. II. I have si [...]ce written a Book on this sub­ject, to which I refer the Reader for ful [...]er Directi­on. Directions to young Christians or Beginners in Religion, for their establishment and safe proceeding.

BEfore I come to the Common Directions for the Exercise of Grace, and walking with God, con­taining the common duties of Christianity, I shall lay down some previous Instructions proper to those that are but newly entred into Religion, (presupposing what is said in my Book of Di­rections to those that are yet under the work of Conversion, to prevent their miscarrying by a false or superficial change.)

Direct. 1. TAke heed lest it be the Novelty or reputation of Truth and Godliness, that takes withDirect. 1. you, more than the solid Evidence of their Excellency and Necessity: lest when the Novelty and reputation are gone, your Religion wither and consume away.

§. 1. It is said of Iohn and the Jews by Christ, [He was a burning and a shining light, and ye were willing for a season to rejoyce in his light.] John 5. 35. All men are affected most with things that seem new and strange to them. It is not only the infirmitie of Children, that are pleased with new Cloaths, and new Toyes and Games; but even to graver wiser persons, new things are most affecting, and commonness and custom dulls delight. Our habitations, and possessions, and honours, are most pleasing to us at the first: And every condition of life doth most affect us, at the first: If nature were not much for Novelty, the publishing of News-books would not have been so gainful a Trade so long, unless the matter had been truer and more desirable. Hence it is that Changes are so welcome to the world, though they prove ordinarily to their cost. No wonder then, if Religion be the more acceptable, when it comes with this advantage. When men first hear the doctrine of Godli­ness, and the tydings of another world, by a powerful Preacher opened and set home, no wonder if things of so great moment affect them for a time: It is said of them that received the seed of Gods Word as into stony ground, that [forthwith it sprung up] and they [anon with joy received it] Matth. 13. 5, 20. but it quickly withered for want of rooting. These kind of hearers can no more delight still in one Preacher, or one profession, or way, than a Glutton in one Dish, or an Adulterer in one Harlot: For it is but a kind of sensual or natural pleasure that they have in the highest truths: And all such delight must be fed with Novelty and variety of objects. The Athenians were inquisitive af­ter Pauls doctrine as Novelty, though after they rejected it, as seeming to them incredible, Acts 17. 19, 20, 21. May we know what this new doctrine whereof thou speakest is? For thou bringest certain strange things to our ears: we would know therefore what these things mean: For all the Athenians and Strangers which were there, spent their time in nothing else, but to tell or hear some new thing.

§. 2. To this kind of Professors, the greatest Truths grow out of fashion, and they grow weary of them, as of dull and ordinary things: They must have some New Light, or new way of Religion that lately came in fashion: Their souls are weary of that Manna that at first was acceptable to them, as Angels food. Old things seem low, and New things high to them: And to entertain some No­velty in Religion, is to grow up to more maturity: And too many such at last so far overthrive their old apparel, that the old Christ, and old Gospel are left behind them.

§. 3. The Light of the Gospel is speedilier communicated, than the Heat: And this first part be­ing most acceptable to them, is soon received; and Religion seemeth best to them at first. At first they have the Light of Knowledge alone: and then they have the warmth of a new and prosperous profession: There must be some time for the operating of the heat, before it burneth them: and then they have enough, and cast it away in as much haste as they took it up: If Preachers would only lighten and shoot no thunderbolts; even a Herod himself would hear them gladly, and do many things after them: But when their Herodias is medled with, they cannot bear it. If Preachers would speak only to mens fansies or understandings, and not meddle too smartly with their Hearts, and Lives, and carnal interests, the world would bear them, and hear them as they do Stage-players, or at least as Lecturers in Philosophy or Physick: A Sermon that hath nothing but some general toothless notions in a handsome dress of words, doth seldom procure offence or persecution: It is rare that such mens preaching is distasted by carnal hearers, or their persons hated for it. It is a pleasant thing for the eyes to behold the Sun, Eccles. 11. 7. But not to be scorched by its heat. Christ himself at a distance as promised, was greatly desired by the Jews: but when he came, they could not bear him; his doctrine and life were so contrary to their expectations, Mal. 3. 1, 2, 3. [The Lord whom ye seek, shall sud­denly come into his Temple; even the Messenger of the Covenant whom you delight in, behold he shall come saith the Lord of Hosts. But who may abide the day of his coming? and who shall stand when he ap­peareth? [Page 37] for he is like a Refiners fire, and like Fullers soap. Many when they come first (by pro­fession) to Christ, do little think that he would cast them into the fire, and refine them, and purge away their dross, and cast them anew into the mould of the Gospel, Rom. 6. 17. Many will play awhile by the Light; that will not endure to be melted by the fire. When the Preacher cometh once to this, he is harsh and intolerable, and loseth all the praise which he had won before, and the pleasing No­velty of Religion is over with them. The Gospel is sent to make such work in the soul and life, as these tender persons will not endure: It must captivate every thought to Christ, and kill every lust and pleasure which is against his will; and put a new and heavenly life into the soul: It must possess men with deep and lively apprehensions of the great things of eternity: It is not wavering dull Opinions, that will raise and carry on the soul, to such vigorous, constant, victorious action, as is necessary to salvation. When the Gospel cometh to the Heart, to do this great prevailing work, then these men are impatient of the search and smart, and presently have done with it. They are like Children, that love the Book for the gilding and sineness of the Cover, and take it up as soon as any: but it is to play with, and not to learn: They are weary of it when it comes to that. At first many come to Christ with wonder, and will needs be his servants for something in it that seemeth fine: till they hear that the Son of Man hath not the accommodation of the Birds or Foxes; and that his doctrine and way hath an enmity to their worldly fleshly interest, and then they are gone. They first enter­tained Christ in complement, thinking that he would please them, or not much contradict them: But when they find that they have received a guest, that will rule them, and not [...]e ruled by them, that will not suffer them to take their pleasure, nor enjoy their riches, but hold them to a life which they cannot endure, and even undo them in the world, he is then no longer a guest for them. Whereas if Christ had been received as Christ, and Truth and Godliness deliberately entertained for their well­discerned Excellency and Necessity, the deep rooting would have prevented this Apostacie, and cured such Hypocrifie.

§. 4. But alas, poor Ministers find by sad experience, that all prove not Saints that flock to hear them, and make up the crowd, nor that for a season rejoyce in their light, and magnifie them, and take their parts: The blossom hath its beauty and sweetness; but all that blossometh or appeareth in the bud, doth not come to perfect fruit: Some will be blasted; and some blown down; some nipt with [...]osts; some eaten by Worms; some quickly fall; and some hang on till the strongest blasts do cast them down: some are deceived and poysoned by false Teachers: some by worldly cares, and the de­ceitfulness of riches, become unfruitful and are turned aside: The lusts of some had deeper rooting then the Word: And the friends of some had greater interest in them than Christ, and therefore they for­sake him to satisfie their importunity: some are corrupted by the hopes of preferment, or the favour of man: some feared from Christ by their threats and frowns, and choose to venture on damnation, to scape persecution: And some are so worldly wise, that they can see reason to remit their zeal, and can save their souls and bodies too, and prove that to be their duty, which other men call sin (if the end will but answer their expectations): And some grow weary of truth and duty as a dull and common thing, being not supplyed with that variety which might still continue the delights of Novelty.

§. 5. Yet mistake not what I have said, as if all the affection furthered by Novelty, and abated by Commonness and use, were a sign that the person is but an Hypocrite. I know that there is something in the Nature of man, remaining in the best, which disposeth us to be much more passionately affe­cted with things when they seem New to us, and are first apprehended, than when they are old, and we have known or used them long. There is not, I believe, one man of a thousand, but is much more delighted in the Light of Truth when it first appeareth to him, than when it is trite and familiarly known; and is much more affected with a powerful Minister at first, than when he hath long [...]ate under him. The same Sermon that even transported them at the first hearing, would affect them less, if they had heard it preach'd an hundred times. The same Books which greatly affected us at the first or second reading, will affect us less when we have read them over twenty times: The same words of Prayer that take much with us when seldom used, do less move our affections, when they are daily used all the year. At our first conversion we have more passionate sorrow for our sin, and love to the godly, than we can afterwards retain. And all this is the case of learned and unlearned, the sound and unsound, though not of all alike. Even Heaven it self is spoken of by Christ, as if it did participate of this, when he saith that Joy shall be in Heaven over One sinner that repenteth, more than over ninety and nine just persons, that need no repentance, Luke 15. 7, 10. And I know it is the duty of Ministers to take notice of this disposition in their hearers, and not to dull them with giv­ing them still the same, but to profit them by a pleasant and profitable variety: Not by preaching to them another Christ, or a new Gospel: It is the same God, and Christ, and Spirit, and Scripture, and the same Heaven, the same Church, the same faith, and hope, and repentance and obedience, that we must preach to them as long as we live: Though they say, we have heard this an hundred times; Let them hear it still, and bring them not a new Creed. If they hear so oft of God, and Christ, and Heaven, till by Faith, and Love, and Fruition they attain them as their end, they have heard well. But yet there is a grateful variety of subordinate particulars, and of words, and methods, and seasonable applications, necessary to the right performance of our Ministry, and to the profitting of the flocks: Though the Physicion use the same Apothecaries Shop and Dispensatory and Drugs, yet how great a variety must he use of compositions, and times, and manner of administration?

§. 6. But for all this, though the best are affected most with things that seem new, and are dulled with the long and frequent use of the same expressions, yet they are never weary of the substance of [Page 38] their Religion, so as to desire a change: And though they are not so passionately affected with the same Sermons, and Books, or with the thoughts or mention of the same substantial matters of Reli­gion, as at first they were: Yet do their Iudgements more solidly and tenaciously embrace them, and esteem them, and their wills as Resolvedly adhere to them and use them, and in their lives they practise [...] them better than before. Whereas they that take up their Religion but for Novelty, will lay it down when it ceaseth to be New to them, and must either change for a Newer, or have none at all.

§. 7. And as unsound are they that are Religious, only because their education or their friends, or the Laws, or judgement of their Rulers, or the Custom of the Countrey, hath made it necessary to their Reputation: These are Hypocrites at the first setting out, and therefore cannot be saved by con­tinuance in such a carnal Religiousness as this: I know Law, and Custom, and education, and friends, when they side with Godliness, are a great advantage to it, by affording helps, and removing those impediments that might stick much with carnal minds. But truth is not your own, till it be received in its proper evidence, nor your faith divine, till you believe what you believe, because God is true who d [...]th reveal it; nor are you the Children of God, till you Love him for himself; nor are you truly Reli­gious, till the Truth and Goodness of Religion it self be the principal thing that maketh you Religious. It helpeth much to discover a mans sincerity, when he is not only Religious among the Religious, but among the prophane, and the enemies, and scorners, and persecutors of Religion: And when a man doth not pray only in a praying family, but among the prayerless, and the deriders of fervent con­stant prayer: And when a man is heavenly among them that are earthly; and temperate among the intemperate and riotous; and holdeth the truth among those that reproach it, and that hold the con­trary: When a man is not carried only by a stream of company, or outward advantages to his Reli­gion; nor avoideth sin for want of a temptation; but is Religious though against the stream, and innocent when cast (unwillingly) upon temptations; and is Godly where Godliness is accounted singularity, hypocrisie, faction, humour, disobedience or heresie: and will rather let go the reputation of his honesty, than his honesty it self.

Direct. 2. TAke heed of being Religious only in Opinion, without Zeal and holy practice; or only inDirect. 2. Zealous affection without a sound well grounded judgement: But see that Iudgement, Zeal and practice [...]e conjunct.

§. 1. Of the first part of this advice (against a bare Opinionative Religion) I have spoken alrea­dy, in my Directions for a Sound Conversion. To change your Opinions is an easier matter than to change the Heart and Life. A holding of the truth, will save no man, without a Love and practice of the truth. This is the meaning of Iames 2. where he speaketh so much of the unprofitableness of a dead uneffectual belief, that worketh not by love, and commandeth not the soul to practice and obedience. To believe that there is a God, while you neglect him and disobey him, is unlike to please him: To believe that there is a Heaven while you neglect it, and prefer the world before it, will never bring you thither. To believe your duty, and not to perform it, and to believe that sin is evil, and yet to live in it, is to sin with aggravation, and have no excuse, and not the way to be accepted or justified with God. To be of the same Belief with holy men, without the same hearts and conversations, will never bring you to the same felicity. He that knoweth his Masters will and doth it not, shall be so far from being accepted for it, that he shall be beaten with many stripes. To believe that Holiness and Obedience is the best way, will never save the disobedient and unholy.

§. 2. And yet if Iudgement be not your Guide, the most zealous affections will but precipitate you;Scienti [...] quae est [...]ota à just [...], ca [...]i­dita [...] po [...]us quam sapien­tia [...] est. [...]. [...] Of the neces­sity of P [...]u­dence in Re­ligious men, [...]ead [...]. The unpru­denci [...]s of wel [...]-meaning men, have done as much hurt to the Church some­time [...], as the persecution of enemies. e. g. When Co [...]stantine the Son of Constans was Emperour, some busie men would prove from the Orthodo [...] Doctrine of the Trinity, That his two Brethren, Tibtrius, and Heraclius should reign with him: saying, Si i [...] Trinitate cre [...]i [...]is, [...]res etiam [...] which cost the chief of them a hanging▪ Abbas Urspergens. Edit. Melancth. p. 162. and make you run, though quite out of the way, like the Horses when they have cast the Coachman, or the Riders. To ride Post when you are quite out of the way, is but laboriously to lose your time, and to prepare for further labour. The Jews that persecuted Christ and his Apostles, had the testimo­ny of Paul himself, that they had a zeal of God, but not according to knowledge. And Paul saith of the deceivers and troublers of the Galathians (whom he wisheth even cut off) that they did zealously af­fect them, but not well. Rom. 10. 2. Gal. 4. 17. And he saith of himself, while he persecuted Chri­stians to prison and to death, [I was zealous towards God, as ye are all this day] Acts 22. 3, 4. Was not the Papists Saint Dominick that stirred up the persecution against the Christians in France and Savoy, to the murdering of many thousands of them, a very zealous man? And are not the Butchers of the inquisition zealous men? And were not the Authors of the third Canon of the General Council at the Laterane under Pope Innocent the third, very zealous men, that decreed that the Pope should depose Temporal Lords, and give away their Dominions, and absolve their Subjects, if they would not exterminate the godly, called Hereticks? Were not the Papists Powder-Plotters zealous men? Hath not zeal caused many of later times, to rise up against their lawful Governours? and many to perse­cute the Church of God, and depriue the people of their faithful Pastors, without compassion on the peoples souls? Doth not Christ say of such Zealots, The time cometh, when whosoever killeth you, will [Page 39] think he doth God service? John 16. 2. (or offereth a service (acceptable) to God.) Therefore Paul saith, It is good to be zealously affected alwayes in a good matter, Gal. 4. 18. Shewing you that zeal indeed is good, if sound judgement be its guide. Your first question must be, Whether you are in the right way? and your second, Whether you go apace? It is sad to observe what odious actions are committed in all Ages of the world, by the instigation of mis-guided zeal? And what a shame an imprudent Zealot is to his profession, while making himself ridiculous in the eyes of the adver­saries, he brings his prosession it self into contempt, and maketh the ungodly think that the Religi­ous are but a company of transported brain-sick Zealots: And thus they are hardened to their per­dition. How many things doth unadvised affection provoke well-meaning people to, that afterwards will be their shame and sorrow?

§. 3. Labour therefore for knowledge and soundness of understanding; that you may know truth from falshood, good from evil; and may walk confidently, while you walk safely; and that you be­come not a shame to your profession, by a furious prosecution of that which you must afterwards con­fess to be an error; by drawing others to that which you would after wish that you had never known your selves. And yet see that all your knowledge have its efficacy, upon your heart and life: And take every truth as an instrument of God, to reveal himself to you, or to draw your heart to him, and con­form you to his holy will.

Direct. 3. LAbour to understand the true Method of Divinity, and see Truths in their several de­greesLeg. Acost. l. 4. c. 21. & 22 de fructu cate­chizandi. Et Li. 5. and order; that you take not the last for the first; nor the lesser for the greater. Therefore see that you be well grounded in the Catechism; and refuse not to learn some Catechism that is sound and full, and keep it in memory while you live.

§. 1. Method or right order exceedingly helpeth, understanding, memory and practice. Truths Opas est im­primis duplici Catechismo: Uno compen­da [...]io & brevi quem memo­ [...]iter addis­cant; ubi summa sit eorum omni­um quae ad fidem & mo­res Christiano sunt necessaria: altero ube [...]i­ore, ubi eadem amplius, dilucidius (que) dicantur, & copiosius confirmentur: Ut ille prio [...] discipulis potius, hic posterior ips [...] praecepto­ribus usu sit. Acosta l. 5. c. 14. p 490. have a dependance on each other: The lesser branches spring out of the greater, and those out of the stock and root. Some duties are but means to other duties, or subservient to them, and to be measured accordingly: And if it be not understood which is the chief, the other cannot be referred to it. When two things materially good come together, and both cannot be done, the greater must take place, and the lesser is no duty at that time, but a sin, as preferred before the greater. Therefore it is one of the commonest difficulties among Cases of Conscience, to know which duty is the greater, and to be preferred. Upon this ground Christ healed on the Sabbath day, and pleaded for his Disci­ples rubbing the ears of corn, and for Davids eating the shew bread, and telleth them, that the Sab­bath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath, and that God will have mercy, and not Sacrifice.

Divinity is a curious well composed frame. As it is not enough that you have all the parts of your Watch or Clock; but you must see that every part be in its proper place, or else it will not go, or answer its end: so it is not enough that you know the several parts of Divinity or duty, unless you know them in their true order and place. You may be confounded before you are aware, and led into many dangerous errors, by mistaking the Order of several Truths: And you may be mis­guided into heinous sins, by mistaking the Degrees and Order of Duties? As when duties of Piety and Charity seem to be competitors: And when you think that the commands of men contradict the commands of God; and when the substance and the circumstances or modes of duty are in question before you as inconsistent: or when the means seemeth to cease to be a means, by crossing of the end: and in abundance of such cases, you cannot easily conceive what a snare it may prove to you, to be ignorant of the Methods and Ranks of duty.

§. 2. Object. If that he so, what man can choose but be confounded in his Religion, when there be so few that observe any Method at all, and few that agree in Method, and none that hath published a Scheme or Method so exact and clear, as to be commonly approved by Divines themselves. What then can ignorant Christians do?

Answ. Divinity is like a Tree that hath one Trunk, and thence a few greater arms or boughs, andStoici d [...]unt virtutes sibi in­vicem ita esse connexas, ut qui unam ha­buerit, omnes hab [...]at. [...] ­ [...]ius [...]n [...]. thence a thousand smaller branches: Or like the veins, or nervs, or arteries in the body, that have first one or few trunks divided into more, and those into a few more, and those into more, till they mul­tiply at last into more than can easily be seen or numbered. Now it is easie for any man to begin at the chief trunk, and to discern the first divisions, and the next, though not to comprehend the num­ber and order of all the extream and smaller branches. So is it in Divinity: It is not very hard to begin at the Unity of the Eternal God-head, and see there a Trinity of Persons, and of Primary at­tributes, and of Relations; and to arise to the principal attributes and works of God as in these Re­lations, and to the Relations of man to God, and to the great Duties of these Relations; to discern Gods Covenants and chiefest Laws, and the duty of man in obedience thereto, and the Judgement of God in the execution of his sanctions: though yet many particular truths be not understood. And he that beginneth and proceedeth as he ought, doth know methodically so much as he knoweth: [Page 40] And he is in the right way to the knowledge of more: And the great Mercy of God hath laid so great a necessity on us to know these few points that are easily known, and so much less need of knowing the many small particulars, that a mean Christian may live uprightly, and holily, and com­fortably, that well understandeth his Catechism, or the Creed, Lords Prayer, and ten Commandments; and may find daily work and consolation in the use of these.

§. 3. A sound and well composed Catechism studied well and kept in memory, would be a good measure of knowledge, to ordinary Christians, and make them solid and orderly in their understand­ing, and in their proceeding to the smaller points, and would prevent a great deal of [...]rror and mis­carriage, that many by ill teaching are cast upon, to their own and the Churches grief! Yea, it were to be wished, that some Teachers of late had learnt so much and orderly themselves.

Direct. 4. BEgin not too early with Controversies in Religion: and when you come to them, let themDirect. 4. have but their due proportion of your time and zeal: But live daily upon these certain, great substantials, which all Christians are agreed in.

§. 1. I. Plunge not your selves too soon into Controversies: For, 1. It will be exceedingly to your loss, by diverting your souls from greater and more necessary things: You may get more encrease of holiness, and spend your time more pleasingly to God, by drinking in deeper the substantials of Reli­gion, and improving them on your hearts and lives.

2. It will corrupt your minds, and instead of humility, charity, holiness, and heavenly mindedness, it will feed your Pride, and kindle faction and a dividing zeal, and quench your charity, and pos­sess you with a wrangling contentious Spirit, and you will make a Religion of these sins and lamenta­ble distempers.

3. And it is the way to deceive and corrupt your judgements, and make you erroneous or heretical, to your own perdition, and the disturbance of the Church: For it's two to one, but either you pre­sently err, or else get such an itch after Notions and Opinions that will lead you to error at the last. Because you are not yet ripe and able to judge of those things, till your minds are prepared by those truths that are first in order to be received. When you undertake a work that you cannot do, no won­der if it be ill done, and must be all undone again, or worse.

Perhaps you will say, That you must not take your Religion upon trust, but must prove all things, and held fast that which is good.

Answ. Though your Religion must not be taken upon trust, there are many controverted smaller Opinions that you must take upon trust, till you are capable of discerning them in their proper evi­dence. Till you can reach them your selves, you must take them on trust, or not at all. Though you must believe all things of common necessity to salvation with a Divine faith; yet many subservi­ent truths must be received first by a humane faith, or not received at all, till you are more capable of them. Nay, there is a humane faith necessarily subservient to the Divine faith, about the substance of Religion▪ and the Officers of Christ are to be trusted in their Office, as helpers of your faith. Nay, let me tell you, that while you are young and ignorant, you are not fit for Controversies about the fundamentals of Religion themselves. You may believe that there is a God, long before you are fit to hear an Atheist proving that there is no God: You may believe the Scripture to be the Word of God; and Christ to be the Saviour, and the soul to be immortal, long before you will be fit to ma­nage, or study Controversies hereupon. For nothing is so false or bad, which a wanton or wicked Wit may not put a plausible gloss upon: And your raw unfurnished understandings will scarce be able to see through the pretence, or escape the cheat. When you cannot answer the Arguments of Seducers, you will find them leave a doubting in your minds; For you know not how plain the an­swer of them is, to wiser men. And though you must prove all things you must do it in due order, and as you are able: and stay till your furnished minds, are capable of the tryal. If you will need; read before you know your Letters, or pretend to judge of Greek and Hebrew Authors, before you can read English, you will but become ridiculous in your undertaking.

§. 2. II. When you do come to smaller Controverted points, let them have but their due proportion of your time and zeal. And that will not be one hour in many dayes, with the generality of private Chri­stians. By that time you have well learned the more necessary truths, and practised daily the more necessary duties, you will find that there will be but little time to spare for lesser Controversies. Opi­nionists that spend most of their Time in studying and talking of such points, do steal that time from greater matters, and therefore from God, and from themselves. Better work is undone the while. And they that here lay out their chiefest zeal, divert their zeal from things more necessary, and turn their natural heat into a Feavor.

§. 3. III. The Essential necessary Truths of your Religion, must imprint the Image of God up­on your hearts, and must dwell there continually, and you must live upon them as your bread, and drink, and daily necessary food: All other points must be studied in subserviency to those: All lesser du­ties must be used as the exercise of the Love of God or man, and of a humble heavenly mind. The Articles of your Creed, and points of Catechism, are fountains ever running, affording you matter for the continual exercise of Grace: It is both plentiful and solid nourishment to the soul, which these great substantial points afford. To know God the Creator, Redeemer and Sanctifier, the Laws and [Page 41] Covenant of God, and his Judgement, and Rewards and Punishments, with the parts and method of the Lords Prayer, which must be the daily exercise of our desires, and Love, this is the Wisdom of a Christian; and in these must he be continually exercised.

You'l say perhaps that the Apostle saith, Heb. 6. 1. Leaving the Principles of the doctrine of Christ, let us go on to perfection, not laying again the foundation of repentance from dead works, &c.

Answ. 1. By [leaving] he meaneth not passing over the practice of them as men that have done with them, and are past them: But his leaving at that time to discourse of them, or his supposing them taught already: Though he lay not the foundation again, yet he doth not pluck it up. 2. By [Principles] he meaneth the first points to be taught, and learnt, and practised: And indeed Regene­ration and Baptism is not to be done again: But the Essentials of Religion which I am speaking of, con­tain much more: especially to live in the love of God, which Paul calls the more excellent way, 1 Cor. 12. & 13. 3. Going on to perfection, is not by ceasing to believe and Love God, but by a more distinct knowledge of the mysteries of salvation, to perfect our Faith, and Love, and Obedience.

The points that Opinionists call Higher, and think to be the principal matter of their growth, and advancement in understanding, are usually but some smaller less necessary truths, if not some uncer­tain doubtful questions, Mark well 1 Tim. 1. 4. & 6. 4. 2 Tim. 2. 23. Tit. 3. 9. compared with Iohn 17. 3. Rom. 13. 8, 9, 10. 1 Cor. 13. 1 Iohn 3. 1 Cor. 1. 23. & 15. 1, 2, 3. & 2. 2. Gal. 6. 14. Iames 2. & 3. 1.

Direct. 5. BE very thankful for the great mercy of your Conversion: but yet overvalue not yourDirect. 5. first degrees of knowledge or holiness: but remember that you are yet but in your infancy, and must expect your growth and ripeness as the consequent of Time and Diligence.

§. 1. You have great reason to be more glad and thankful, for the least measure of true Grace, than if you had been made the Rulers of the Earth: it being of a far more excellent nature, and entitling you to more, than all the Kingdoms of the world. (See my Sermon called Right Rejoycing, on those words of Christ Rejoyce not that the Spirits are subject to you: but rather rejoyce because your names are written in Heaven, Luke 10. 20.) Christ will warrant you to Rejoyce, though enemies envy you, and repine both at your victory and triumph. If there be joy in Heaven in the presence of the Angels at your Conversion, there is great reason you should be glad your selves. If the Prodigals Father will needs have the best Robe and Ring brought forth, and the fat Calf killed, and the Musick to attend the Feast, that they may eat and be merry, Luke 15. 23. there is great reason that the Prodigal Son himself should not have the smallest share of joy: (though his Brother repine.)

§. 2. But yet take heed lest you think the measure of your first endowments, to be greater than itFear is a cau­telous preserv­ing grace. I a [...]rt. saith of Cleanthes, Cum aliquando pro­bro illi dare­tur, quod esset timidus, At ideo inquit, parum pecco. is. Grace imitateth Nature, in beginning (usually) with small Degrees, and growing up to matu­rity by leisurely proceeding. We are not new born in a state of manhood, as Adam was created: Though those Texts that liken the Kingdom of God to a grain of Mustard-seed, and to a little leaven, Matth. 13. 31, 33. be principally meant of the small beginnings, and great encrease of the Church or Kingdom of Christ in the world; yet it is true also of his Grace, or Kingdom in the soul. Our first Stature is but to be [New born babes desiring the sincere milk of the word, that we may grow by it,] 1 Pet. 2. 2. Note here that the new birth bringeth forth but babes, but growth is by degrees, by feeding on the Word. The Word is received by the heart, as seed into the ground, Matth. 13. And seed useth not to bring forth the blade and fruit to ripeness in a day.

§. 3. Yet I deny not but that some men (as Paul) may have more Grace at their first Conversion, than many others have at their full growth. For God is free in the giving of his Own, and may give more or less, as pleaseth himself. But yet in Paul himself that greater measure is but his smallest mea­sure, and he himself is capable of increase to the last. And so great a measure at first is as rare, as his greater measure at last in his full growth, is rare, and scarce to be expected now.

§ 4. And if God should give a great measure of Holiness at first, to any now (as possibly he may) yet their measure of gifts is never great at first, unless they had acquired or received them before con­version. If Grace find a man of great parts and understanding, which by study and other helps, he had attained before, no wonder if that man, when his parts are sanctified, be able in knowledge the first day. For he had it before, though he had not a heart to use it. But if Grace find a man ig­norant, unlearned, and of mean abilities, he must not expect to be suddenly lifted up to great un­derstanding, and high degrees of knowledge by Grace. For this knowledge is not given (now) by sudden infusion, as Gifts were extraordinarily in the Primitive Church. You need no other proof of this but experience, to stop the mouth of any gain-sayer. Look about you, and observe whether those that are men of knowledge, did obtain it by infusion in a moment? Or whether they did not obtain it by diligent study by slow degrees? (Though I know God blesseth some mens studies more than others.) Name one man that ever was brought to great understanding, but by Means, and Labour, and slow d [...]grees▪ Or that knoweth any Truth in Nature or Divinity, but what he read or heard, or stu­died for, [...]e result of what he read or heard. The person that is proudest of his knowledge, must confess that [...]me to it in this way himself.

[Page 42]§. 5. But you'l ask, What then is the Illumination of the Spirit, and enlightening the mind, which the [...] Scripture ascribeth to the H [...]ly Ghost? Hath not our understanding need of the Spirit for light, as well as the Heart [...]r Will f [...]r Li [...]e?

Answ. Yes no doubt: and it is a great and wonderful mercy: and I'l tell you what it is. 1. The Holy Spirit by immediate inspiration revealed to the Apostles the doctrine of Christ, and caused them i [...]allibly to indite the Scriptures. (But this is not that way of ordinary illumination now.) 2. The Holy Spirit assisteth us in our hearing, reading and studying the Scriptures, that we may come by diligence to the true understanding of it; but doth not give us that understanding, without hearing, reading or study. Faith cometh by hearing, Rom. 10. It blesseth the use of means to us, but blesseth us not in the neglect of means. 3. The Holy Spirit doth open the eyes and heart of a sinner who hath heard and notionally understood the substance of the Gospel, that he may know that piercingly, and effectually, and practically, which before he knew but notionally and uneffectually: so that the knowledge of the same truth, is now become powerfull, and as it were of another kind. And this is the Spirits sanctifying of the mind, and principal work of saving illumination: Not by causing us to know any thing of God, or Christ, or Heaven without means: But by opening the heart, that through the means it may take in that knowledge deeply, which others have but notionally, and in a dead opinion; and by making our knowledge clear, and quick, and powerful, to affect the heart, and rule the life. 4. The Holy Spirit sanctifieth all that notional knowledge which men had before their renovation: All their learning and parts are now made subservient to Christ, and to the right End, and turned into their proper channell. 5. And the Holy Ghost doth by sanctifying the heart, possess it with such a Love to God, and Heaven, and Holiness, and Truth, as is a wonderful advantage to us in our studies for the attaining of further knowledge. Experience telleth us, how great a help it is to knowledge, to have a constant love, delight and desire to the thing which we would know. All these wayes the Spi­rit is the [...]nlightner of believers.

The not observing this Direction, will have direful effects; which I will name, that you may see the necessity of avoiding them.

§. 6. 1. If you imagine that you are presently men of great understanding, and abilities, and holi­ness,T [...]r of [...] [...] [...]ur young [...] o [...] [...]. while you are young beginners, and but new born babes, you are entring into the s [...]are and con­demnation of the Devil, even into the odious sin of Pride: yea, a Pride of those spiritual gifts which are most c [...]ntr [...]ry to Pride: yea, and a Pride of that which you have not, which is most foolish Pride. Mark the words of Paul when he forbids to choose a young beginner in Religion to the Ministry, 1▪ Tim. 3. 6. [Not a N [...]vice (that is, a young raw Christian) lest being lifted up (or besotted) with pride, he fall into the condemnation of the Devil.] Why are young beginners more in danger of this, thanQui d [...]s [...]ipu­lum [...]udem & clatum habet, [...] ventum adver [...] [...]mi­ne navigat, Se [...]pentem nu­trit, aco [...]i­tum [...]colit, hostem do [...], P [...] arch. Dial. 41. li. 2. other Christians? One would think their Infancy should be conscious of its own infirmity. But Paul knew what he said. It is 1. Partly because the suddenness of their change, coming out of darkness, into a light which they never saw before doth amaze them, and transport them, and make them think they are almost in Heaven, and that there is not much more to be attained. Like the Beggar that had an hundred pound given him (having never seen the hundredth part before) imagined that he had as much money as the King. 2. And it is partly because they have not knowledge enough to know how many things there are, that yet they are ignorant of: They never heard of the Scripture-difficulties, and the knots in School-divinity, nor the hard cases of Conscience: Whereas one seven years painful studies, will tell them of many hundred difficulties which they never saw: and forty or fifty years stu­dy more, will clothe them with shame and humility in the sense of their lamentable darkness. 3. And it is also because the Devil doth with greatest industry, lay this Net to entrap young Converts, it be­ing the way in which he hath the greatest hope.

2. Your hasty conceits of your own goodness or ability, will make you presumptuous of your own strength, and so to venture upon dangerous temptations, which is the way to ruine. You will think you are not so ignorant, but you may venture into the company of Papists, or any Hereticks or deceivers, or read their Books, or be present at their Worship. And I confess you may scape: but it may be otherwise, and God may leave you, to shew you all that was in your hearts, as it is said of Hezekiah, 2 Chron. 32. 31, 25, 26.

3. And your overvaluing your first grace, will make you too secure, when your souls have need of holy awfulness and care, to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, Phil. 2. 12. and to serve God acceptably with reverence and godly fear, as knowing that he is a consuming fire, Heb. 12. 28, 29. And security is the fore-runner of a fall.

4. It will make you neglect the due labour and patience in the use of means for further knowledge and increase of grace, while you think you are so well already. And so you will be worse than thoseB [...]atus est [...]ui vel in [...]enectu­te contigei [...], ut [...]p [...]entiam ver [...]que opi­niones conse­qui possi [...]. [...] [...]. that are ever learning, and never come to any ripe knowledge: For you will think you are fit to be Teachers, when you have need to be taught that which you will not submit to learn. And then [When for the time ye ought to have been Teachers, you will have need to be catechized, or taught again which be the first principles of the Oracles of God, as having need of milk, and not of strong meat.] Mark here how the Holy Ghost maketh Time and exercise necessary to such growth as must enable you to be Teachers, Heb. 5. 24. 13, 14. Therefore he addeth [But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil] Mark here how wisdom and strength is to be expected.

5. This over-hasty conceit of your own ability, will tempt you to run into Controversies, and mat­ters that you are not fit for; and so divert you from necessary and seasonable studies.

6. It will make you over confident of all your own opinions, and stiff in all your own conceits: [Page 43] Too like him, Prov. 14. 16. The fool rageth and is confident. How many and many a time have I heard a man that understood not what he talkt off, and could scarce speak sense, to plead for his opinion so confidently, as to scorn and pitty the wisest contradictor, when his ignorance and phrenetick confidence and rage, did make him a real object of pitty, to men of ordinary understandings. There is a kind of madness in this disease, that will not leave you wit enough to know that you are mad.

6. It will make you also very censorious of others: This ignorant Pride will make you think other mens knowledge to be ignorance, if thou be not just of your fond opinions; and other mens graces to be none, if they be not of your mind and way. None are so ready as such to censure those that are better than themselves, or that they have no acquaintance with, as being but Civil moral men, or being erroneous or deluded: It's a very loathsome thing to hear, an ignorant self­conceited fellow to talk of those that are an hundred times wiser and much better than himself, as Ma­gisterially with a proud compassion or contempt, as if he were indeed the wise man, that knoweth not what he saith.

7. And it will make you rebellious, against your Governours and Teachers, and utterly unteachableEven when a Teacher is impatient with his peoples unpro [...]table­ness, they oft think high [...]est of their knowledge, and they are proud while their dulness tireth out their Guides: For Quo quis (que) est solertior & ingeniosior, hoc do­cet iracundius & laboriosius. Quod enim ipse celeriter arripuit, id quum tarde percipi videt, discruciatur. Ci [...]o p [...]o Ro. as despising those that should instruct and rule you. You will think your selves wiser than your Teachers, while you are but in the lowest form. It is such that Iames speaks to, James 3. 1. My brethren, be not many Masters (or Teachers) knowing that ye shall receive the greater condemnation: And that whole Chapter well worth your studying, is spoke to such.

8. And thus it will entangle you in Heretical Opinions, to which there is no greater preparatory, than pride possessing half-witted young beginners in Religion.

9. And so it will make you troublers of the Church, contending unpeaceably for that which you understand not.

10. And it tendeth to hypocrisie, making you give thanks for that which you never had, as puffed up with a knowledge that is not enough to keep you humble, and wanting the Charity which would edifie your selves and others, 1 Co [...]. 8. 1.

11. And it tendeth to delude you in point of assurance of salvation, taking your own over-va­luing self-esteem for true assurance; which is not ordinarily to be expected, till grace be come to greater strength.

12. Lastly, It tendeth to corrupt your apprehensions of the nature of Christianity it self; while you will judge of it in others according to your own over-valued measure: When if you knew it as it is in the Heart and Practice, of the sober, wise, humble, charitable, peaceable, mortified, heavenly believer, you would see that it hath a higher glory, than any that's manifested by you.

§. 7. I have named to you all these sad effects of overvaluing your beginnings in Religion, that as you love your souls, you may avoid them. I take it to be a matter of exceeding great moment, for your safety and perseverance, that while you are Infants in Grace, you know your self to be such; that you may keep your form, and learn first the lessons that must first be learnt, and walk humbly with your God, and obey those that are over you in the Lord, Heb. 13. 7. 17. 1 Thess. 1. 5, 12. and may wait on the Spirit in the use of means, and may not rejoyce the Tempter by corrupting all that you have re­ceived, and imitating him in falling from your state of hope.

Direct. 6. BE not discouraged at the difficulties and oppositions which will rise up before you, when you begin resolvedly to walk with God.

§. 1. As discouragements keep off multitudes from Religion, so they are great temptations to manyAgainst dis­couragements in tryalls. young beginners to turn back, and as the Israelites in the Wilderness, ready to wish themselves again in Aegypt. Three sorts of discouragements arise before them. 1. Some from the nature of the work: 2. Some from Gods tryals. 3. And some from the malice of the Devil and his instruments: or all these.

§. 2. 1. It cannot be expected but that Infants and weaklings should think a little burden heavy, and an easie work or journey to be wearisome: young beginners are ordinarily puzzled and at a loss, in every Trade, or Art, or Science. Young Scholars have a far harder task, than when they are once well entered: Learning is wondrous hard and unpleasant to them at the first: But when they are once well entered, the knowledge of one thing helps another, and they go on with ease. So a young Convert that hath been bred up in ignorance, and never used to Prayer, or to Heavenly discourse, nor to hear or joyn with any that did, will think it strange and hard at first. And those that were used to take their pleasure, and fulfill the desires of the flesh, and perhaps to swear and talk filthily, or idly, or to lie, will find at first some difficulty to overcome their customs, and live a mortified holy life (yet grace will do it and prevail). Especially in point of knowledge and abi­lity of expression, be not too hasty in your expectation, but wait with patience in a faithful dili­gent use of means, and that will be easie and delightful to you afterwards, which before discouraged you with its difficulties.

[Page 44]§. 3. 2. And God himself will have his servants and his graces tryed and exercised by difficulties: He never intended us the Reward for sitting still; nor the Crown of Victory, without a fight; nor a [...]ight without an enemy and opposition. Innocent Adam was unfit for his state of Confirmation and reward, till he had been tryed by temptation. Therefore the Martyrs have the most glorious Crown, as having undergone the greatest tryal. And shall we presume to murmur at the Method of God?

§. 4. 3. And Satan having liberty to tempt and try us, will quickly raise up Storms and Waves, be­fore us, as soon as we are set to Sea, which make young beginners often fear, that they shall never live to reach the Haven. He will shew thee the greatness of thy former sins, to perswade thee that they shall not be pardoned. He will shew thee the strength of thy passions and corruptions, to make thee think they will never be overcome: He will shew thee the greatness of the opposition and suffering which thou art like to undergo, to make thee think thou shalt never persevere. He will do his worst to meet thee with poverty, losses, crosses, injuries, vexations, persecutions and cruelties, yea, and unkindness from thy dearest friends, as he did by Iob, to make thee think ill of God, or of his service. If he can, he will make them thy enemies that are of thine own houshold. He will stir up thy own Father, or Mother, or Husband, or Wife, or Brother, or Sister, or Children against thee, to perswade or persecute thee from Christ: Therefore Christ tells us, that if we hate not all these, that [...] is, cannot forsake them, and use them as men do hated things, when they would turn us from him, we cannot be his Disciples, Luke 14. 26. Matth. 10. Look for the worst that the Devil can do against thee, if thou hast once lifted thy self against him, in the Army of Christ, and resolvest what ever it co [...] thee to be saved. Read Heb. 11. But how little cause you have to be discouraged, though Earth and Hell should do their worst, you may perceive by these few Considerations.

1. God is on your side, who hath all your enemies in his hand, and can rebuke them, or destroy them in a moment. O what is the breath or fury, of dust or Devils against the Lord Almighty? If God be for us, who shall be against us? Rom. 8. 32, 33. Read often that Chapter, Rom. 8. In the day when thou didst enter into Covenant with God, and he with thee, thou didst enter into the most impregnable Rock and Fortress, and house thy self in that Castle of defence, where thou maist (modestly) defie all adverse powers of Earth or Hell. If God cannot save thee, he is not God. And if he will not save thee, he must break his Covenant. Indeed he may resolve to save thee, not from affliction and persecution, but in it and by it. But in all these sufferings you will be more than Con­querors, through Christ that loveth you: that is, It is far more desirable and excellent to conquer by patience in suffering for Christ, than to conquer our Persecutors in the field by force of arms. O think on the Saints triumphant boastings in their God. Psal. 46. 1, 2, 3. God is our refuge and strength; a very present help in trouble: therefore will we not fear though the earth be removed; and though the Mountains be carryed into the midst of the Sea—Psal. 56. 1, 2, 3, 4, 5. When his enemies were many, and wrested his words daily, and fought against him, and all their thoughts were against him, yet he saith, What time I am afraid, I will trust in thee: In God will I praise his word: In God have I put my trust; I will not fear what flesh can do unto me. Remember Christs charge, Luke 12. 4. Fear not them that can kill the body, and after that have no more that they can do: But I will fore-warn you whom you shall fear: Fear him which after he hath killed, hath power to cast into Hell; yea, I say unto you, fear him. If all the world were on thy side, thou might yet have cause to fear, but to have God on thy side, is infinitely more.

§. 6. 2. Jesus Christ is the Captain of thy salvation, Heb. 2. 10. and hath gone before thee thisSecurus ego [...]um de Chri­sto De [...], & domino meo. Haec Regi di­catis, Subigat ignibus, adi­gat bestiis, excrucie [...] omnium tormento [...]um generibus, si cessero, f [...]ustra sum in Ecclesi [...] Catholica baptizatus; Nam si haec praesens vi­ta sola esset, & aliam quae vera est, non speraremus aeternam, nec ita facerem ut modicum & temporali [...]er gloriarer, & ingratus exi­ster [...]m qui suam fidem mihi contul [...]t, Creatori. Victorianus ad Hunnerychum in Vict. Utic. p. 461. Victor Uti eusis saith, that before the persecution of Hunnerychus these Visions were seen: 1. All the Lights put out in the Church, and a darkness and stink succeeded. 2. The Church filled with abundance of Swine and Goats. 3. Another saw a great heap of Corn unwinnowed, and a sudden Whirlwind b [...]ew away all the Chaff: and after that one came and cast out all the stricken dead and useless Corn, till a very little heap was left. 4. Ano­ther heard one cry on the top of a Mount, Migrate, Migrate. 5. Another saw great Stones cast from Heaven on the Earth, which [...]lamed and destroyed: But he h [...]d himself in a Chamber, and none of them could touch him. Pag. 405. Sed hoc aedificium ubi constru [...]r: visus est diabolus, statim illud destruere dig [...]atus est Christus. Id. ib. way himself, and hath conquered for thee; and now is engaged to make thee Conquerour: And da­rest thou not go on where Christ doth lead the way? He was perfected through suffering himself, and will see that thou be not destroyed by it. Canst thou draw back, when thou seest his steps and his blood?

§. 7. 3. Thou art not to conquer in thy own strength, but by the Spirit of God, and the power of that grace which is sufficient for thee, and his strength which appeareth most in our weakness, 2 Cor. 12. 9. And you can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth you: Phil. 4. 13. Be of good cheer, he hath overcome the world, John 16. 33.

§. 8. 4. All that are in Heaven have gone this way, and overcome such oppositions and difficultiesI [...]. ib▪ saith that an A [...]an Bishop being put over a Ci­ty, all that could take Ship fled away to Spain, and the rest not only refused all the temptations of the Bishop, but also publickly celebrated the Divine Mysteries in one of their houses; and the King being hereat enraged, caused them in the open Market-place to have their tongues and right hands cut off by the root: and that they yet spake after as well as before. And them that will n [...]t believe it, he re­ferreth to one of them then living, and h [...]noured for this in the Emperours Court, that still spake perfectly. pag. 462, 463. as these: They were tempted, troubled, scorned, opposed as well as you: And yet they now triumph in glory. These are they that come out of the great tribulation, and have washed their robes, and made [Page 45] them white in the blood of the Lamb: Therefore are they before the Throne of God, and serve him day and night in his Temple, and he that sitteth on the Throne shall dwell among them, Rev. 7. 14. And all that ever come to Heaven (at age) are like to come this way. And doth not the company encourage you? and the success of those that have overcome before you? Will you have the end, and yet re­fuse the way.

§. 9. 5. Consider how much greater difficulties ungodly men go through to Hell. They have stronger enemies than you have: The Devil and wicked men are your enemies: but God himself is theirs, and yet they will go on. Men threaten but death to discourage you, and God threatneth damnation to discourage them: And yet they go on, and are not discouraged. And will you be more afraid of man, than sinners are of God? and of death or scorns, than they are of Hell?

§. 10. 6. Yea, and you your selves must cast your souls on these greater evils, if by discouragement you turn from the way of Godliness. You must run into Hell for fear of burning: and upon ever­lasting death, to escape a temporal death, or less: You will choose God for your Enemy, to escape the [...]nmity of man: And how wise a course this is, judge you: when if you do but see that your wayes please God, he can make your enemies be at peace with you, if he see it for your good, Prov. 16. 7. If you will fear, fear him that can damn the soul.

§. 11. 7. Lastly, Remember what abundance of mercies you have to sweeten your present life, and to make your burden easie to you: You have all that is good for you in this life, and the promise of everlasting joy: For godliness thus is profitable to all things, 1 Tim. 4. 8. What abundance of mer­cy, have you in your bodies, estates, friends, names, or souls, which are the greatest: What pro­mises and experiences to refresh you? What liberty of access to God? A Christ to rejoyce in: A Hea­ven to rejoyce in: and yet shall a stony or a dirty way discourage you more, than these shall com­fort you?

§. 12. The summ of all is, your work will grow easier and sweeter to you, as your skill and strength encreaseth: Your enemies are as Grashoppers before you: The power of the Almighty is en­gaged by Love and Promise for your help; And do you pretend to trust in God, and yet will fear the face of man? Isa. 50. 6, 7, 8, 9, 10. I gave my back to the smiters, and my cheeks to them that plucked off the hair: I [...]id not my face from shame and spitting: For the Lord God will help me; there­fore shall I not be confounded: therefore have I set my face like a flint, and I know that I shall not be ashamed: He is near that justifieth me; who will contend with me? Let us stand together: Who is mine adversary? Let him come near to me. Behold, the Lord God will help me; who is he that shall condemn me? Lo, they all shall wax old as a garment: the moth shall eat them up. Isa. 51. 7, 8. Hearken to me, ye that know righteousness, the people in whose heart is my Law: fear ye not the reproach of men, neither be afraid of their revilings: For the moth shall eat them up like a garment, and the worm shall eat them like wooll: but my righteousness shall be for ever, and my salvation from generation to generation. He is no Souldier for Christ, that will turn back for fear of scorns, or of any thing that man can do against him.

§. 13. And consider whether Heaven should be easilier come to? They are things of unspeakable glory that you strive for: And they are unworthily despised, if any thing be thought too good to part with for them, or any labour, or difficulties, or sufferings too great to undergo to pro­cure them.

Direct. 7. IF it be in your power, live under a judicious, faithful, serious, searching, powerful Mi­nister;Direct. 7. Sulpitius S [...] ­rus in [...]t. Ma tini▪ no eth that none but Bishops were against him because he was unlearned and of no pre­sence. and diligently attend his publick Teaching, and use his private Counsel for more par­ticular directions and application, for the setling and managing the affairs of your souls; even as you take the advice of Physicions for your health, and of Lawyers for your estates, and Tutors for your studies.

§. 1. I give this Direction only to those that may enjoy so great a mercy if they will. Some live where no such Minister is: Some are Children, or Servants, or Wives, that are bound and cannot re­moveLook more i [...] your Teach [...] at mat [...]er [...] [...]ine wo [...]ds. August [...] ▪ de Cat [...]d. [...]ud. [...]. 9. [...]i. maxim▪ utile est nosse ita esse p [...]ae­p [...]n [...]ndas verbis sententias, ut praeponitur animus corpo [...]i: ex quo [...]it, ut ita malle debe [...]nt veriores quam disertio [...]e [...] audire Sermo­nes, sicut malle debent prudentiores quam formiosio [...]es habere ami [...]os. Noverint etiam non esse vocem ad aure [...] Dei nisi animi affectum: Ita enim non irridebunt si aliqu [...]s antis [...]i [...]es & Ministros [...]o [...]te animadverterint vel cum barbarismis & solaecismis Deum in­ [...]ocare vel eadem verba quae pronunciant, non intelligere, perturbate (que) distinguere. Vid. Fi [...]sacu [...] de E [...]i [...]c. autorit. p. 105. Paenituit multos vanae sterilis (que) Cathedrae. Iuven. Ita [...]is Ciceronianis sum iniquior, quia tantum loquuntur verba, non [...]es, & Rhetorica ipso­rum plerum (que) est [...]: Est gl [...]ssa sine textu: nux sine nucleo: nubes sine pluviâ. Plumae sunt mel [...]ores quam avis ipsa. B [...] ­choltzer. Take heed lest prejudice or any corruption possess your minds: for then all that you hear, will be unsavcury or unprofita­ble to you: Magra debet esse eloquentia, quae invitis placcat, ait. Senec. prae [...]. l [...]b. 10. Cont o [...]. their habitations, or enjoy such liberty, by reason of the unwillingness and restraint of others. Some are so poor, that they cannot remove their dwelling for such advantages. And some are so serviceable in their places, that they may be bound to stay under a very weak Minister, that they may do good to others, where they have best opportunity. But let him that can be free, and possess so great a mercy, accept it thankfully, though to his cost. As Christ said in another case, Every man cannot re­ceive the saying; but he that can receive it, let him.

[Page 46]§. 2. There is abundance of difference between a weak, unskilful, unexperienced, dead-hearted, formal Teacher, and such a one as is described in the Direction. Some that are sensless or indifferent in such matters as these themselves, would perswade you to be so too, and look first in your settlement to your bodily conveniencies, and be content with such a Teacher as accidentally you are cast upon. And they'l tell you, that the work of grace dependeth not on the Preachers gifts, but on the gift, and blessing of the Spirit of God: The Formalists and the Enthusiasts concurr in this, though from different principles: But though God can frustrate the fittest means, and can work without means, or by that which is least fitted to the end, yet it is his ordinary way to work by means, and that for the soul as well as for the body; and to work most by the aptest means. And I am sure it is the duty of every Teacher, to preach in the fittest manner that he can, for the peoples edification; and not to do Gods work deceitfully, and ineptly, because God can bless the unfittest means: And it is the peoples duty to attend upon the best they can enjoy, though God can equally work by the weakest or by none. As that pretence will not excuse the contemners of Gods Ordinances, that upon every lit­tle business, stay at home, and attend upon no Ministry at all, no more will it excuse them, that re­fuse that help that is most suited to their edification, and take up with a worse, when they might have better. We are not to neglect duty upon a presumptuous expectation of miraculous or extraordi­nary works: When we can have no better, we may hope for the greater benefit from the weakest; but not when it is the choice of our own presumptuous irreligious hearts. God can make Daniel and his companions to thrive better by eating Pulse, than others that fed at the Table of the King: And rather than sin against God, we must cast our selves on him for unusual supplyes, or leave all to his will. But few would therefore be perswaded causlesly to live on Pulse, when they may have better. And one would think this Truth, should have no contradiction, especially from those men, that are apt to obscure and extenuate the Spirits operations on the soul, and to confess no Grace, but what con­sisteth in a congruous ordination of Means and Circumstances: When their doctrine layeth all a mans hopes of salvation upon this Congruity of Means, and Circumstances, should they afterwards teach men to undervalue or neglect the fittest, and wilfully cast their souls upon the most unfit and unlikely means? But Ungodliness first resolveth what to speak against, before it resolveth what to say; and will contradict Gods Word, though it contradict its own: and will oppose holiness, though by a self­opposing.

§. 3. But the spiritual rellish and experience of the Godly, is a very great preservative to them against such deluding reasonings as these. It's harder for a Sophister of greatest subtilty or authority to perswade him that hath tasted them, that Sugar is bitter, or Wormwood sweet, than to perswade him to believe it, that never tasted them: And it's hard to make a healthful man believe that it is best for him to eat but once a Week, or best to live on Grass or Straw. I doubt not but those that now I speak to, have such experience and perception of the benefit of a judicious and lively Ministry, in comparison of the ignorant, cold and lifeless, that no words will make them indifferent herein. Have you not found the Ministry of one sort enlighten, and warm, and quicken, and comfort, and streng­then you, much more than of the other? I am sure I have the common sense and experience of the faithful on my side in this, which were enough of it self against more than can be said against it. Even new-born babes in Christ have in their new natures a desire (not to sensless or malicious pratings, but) to the Rational sincere milk ( [...]) that they may grow by it, and to perform to God a Rational service, Rom. 12. 1.

§. 4. And it must needs be a very proud or stupid heart that can be so insensible of its own infir­mity, sinfulness and necessity, as to think the weakest dullest Minister may serve their turns, and that they are able to keep up their life, and vigour, and watchfuless, and fruitfulness, with any little ordi­nary help: I cannot but fear such men know not what the power and efficacy of the Word upon the heart and conscience meaneth: nor what it is to live a life of faith and holiness, and to watch the heart, and walk with God. If they did, they could not but find so much difficulty herein, and so much backwardness and unskilfulness in themselves hereto, as would make them feel the necessity of the greatest helps; And it could not be but they must feel the difference between a clear and quick­ning Sermon, and an ignorant, heartless, dead discourse, that is spoken as i [...] a man were talking in his sleep, or of a matter that he never understood, nor had experience of.

§. 5. Alas, how apt are the best to cool, if they be not kept warm by a powerful Ministry? How apt to lose the hatred of sin, the tenderness of conscience, the fervency in prayer, the zeal and fulness in edifying discourse, and the delights and power of heavenly Meditations, which before we had? How apt is faith to stagger if it be not powerfully underpropt by the helpers of our faith? How hardly do we keep up the heat of Love, the confidence of Hope, the resolution and fulness of obe­dience, without the help of a powerful Ministry? Nay, how hardly do we do our part in these, in any tolerable sort, even while we have the clearest liveliest helps, that are ordinarily to be had? And can any that are not blind and proud, imagine that they are so holy and good, that they are above the necessity of such assistance, and that the weakest breath is enough to kindle the fire of holy Love and [...]eal, and keep them in the fear and obedience of God? Alas, we are under languishing weak­ness, and must be dye [...]ed with the best, or we shall soon decay: we are Cripples, and cannot go or stand without our Crutches? And there must be some savour of the Spirit in him that will be fit to make us spiritual, and some savour of faith and love in him, that would kindle faith and love in us: and he must speak clearly and convincingly that will be understood, and will prevail with such as we; And he must speak feelingly, that would make us feel, and speak seriously, that would be much regarded by us, and would make us serious.

[Page 47]§. 6. And Ministers are not set up only for publick Preaching, but for private counsel also, accord­ingAcosta noteth it as a great hinderance of the Indians conversion that their Teachers shif [...] for be [...]ter liv­ings, and stay not till they are well acquainted with the people; and that the Bishops are of the same temper: Haec tanta cla [...]es est an [...]m [...]um, ut satis deplo [...]a [...]i [...] possit; Nihil Sacerdos Christi praec [...]a [...] proficiet in salute I [...]dorum, sine familiari & hominum & rerum n [...]tia. l 4. c. 10. [...]. [...]9 [...]. Sunt autem multi qui injuncto muneri c [...]piose se satisfacere existiman [...], Orationem domin [...]m & symbolum & salutationem aug [...] ­cam, tum praecepta decalogi Hispan. idiomate identidem Indis recitantes, eorum infantes baptizantes, mortuos s [...]pelientes, matr [...]m [...]nio juvenes collocante, & rem sacram festis diebus facientes—Neque conscientia, quam u [...]i [...]m [...]auterizatam non habeaut, morden [...]u [...] quod dispersae sint oves domini, &c. c. 7. p. 373. to our particular needs. As Physicions are not only to read you instructions for the dyeting and curing of your selves, but to be present in your sickness to direct you in the particular applica­tion of remedies: And as Lawyers are to assist you in your particular cases to free your estates from encumbrances, and preserve or rescue them from contentious men. Choose therefore some able Mi­nister to be your ordinary Counsellor in the matters of God. And let him be one that is humble, faith­ful, experienced and skilful, that hath leisure, ability, and willingness to assist you.

§. 7. As Infants in a family are unable to help themselves, and need the continual help of others, and therefore God hath put into the hearts of Parents a special Love to them, to make them dili­gent and patient in helping them: so is it in the family of Christ: Most Christians (by far) are young or weak, in understanding and in grace: It is long before you will be past the need of others help (if ever, in this life.) If you feel not this your infirmity and need, it is so much the greater. God will have no men to be self-sufficient: we shall all have need of one another, that we may be useful to one another; and God may use us as his messengers and instruments of conveying his mer­cies to each other; and that even self-love may help us to be sociable, and to love one another: And our souls must receive their part of mercy, by this way of communication, as well as our bo­dies: And therefore, as the poor above all men, should not be against charity and communicating, that need it most; so young Christians that are weak and unexperienced, above all others, should be most desirous of help, especially from an able faithful guide.

§. 8. But be sure you deal sincerely, and cheat not your selves, by deceiving your counsellor, and hiding your case. To do so by your Lawyer, is the way to lose your suit: And to do so by your Physicion is the way to lose your life: And to do so with your Pastor, and soul-counsellor is the way to lose your souls. And let the judgement of your Pastor or judicious friend about the state of your souls, be much regarded by you, though it be not infallible. How far such must be trusted, I am afterward to open to you, with other of your duties belonging to you in this Relation. I now only proceed to General advice.

Direct. 8. KEep right apprehensions of the excellency of Charity and Unity among believers, andDirect. 8. Against Un­cha [...]ableness and Schism. See more in T [...]n. 2. C [...]. 23. receive nothing hastily that is against them; especially take heed lest under pretence of their Authority, their Number, their Soundness, or their Holiness, you too much addict your selves to any Sect or Party, to the withdrawing of your special Love and just Communion from other Christians, and turning your Zeal to the interest of your Party, with a neglect of the common interest of the Church: But Love a Christian as a Christian, and promote the Unity and welfare of them all.

§. 1. Use often to read and well consider the meaning and reason of those many urgent passagesUtrum (que) [...]m­perium, & M [...]ho [...]e [...]m & Pontifici­um ortum est ex dissidus de doctrina—Cum in Ori­ente di [...]ace­ [...]ae ess [...]t [...]clesiae [...]n multorum [...]. in Scripture, which exhort all Christians to Unity and Love. Such as Iohn 11. 52. & 17. 11, 21, 22, 23. 1 Cor. 3. 10. 17. & 12. throughout: 2 Cor. 13. 11. 1 Thess. 5. 12, 13. Phil. 2. 1, 2, 3. 1 Pet. 3. 8. Rom. 16. 17. 1 Cor. 1. 10. & 3. 3. & 11. 18. And Iohn 13. 35. Rom. 12. 9, 10. & 13. 10. 2 Cor. 13. 11. Gal. 5. 6, 13, 22. Col. 1. 4. 1 Thess. 4. 9. 1 Iohn 3. 11, 14, 23. & 4. 7, 11, 16, 19, 20, 21. Surely if the very life of Godliness lay not much in Unity and Love, we should never have had such words spoken of it, as here you find. Love is to the soul, as our Natural heat is to the Body: what­ever destroyeth it, destroyeth Life; and therefore cannot be for our good. Be certain, that opinion, course or motion tends to death, that tends to abate your Love to your Brethren, much more which under pretence of zeal, provoketh you to hate and hurt them. To Divide the Body, is to kill it o [...] to maim it: Dividing the essential necessary parts, is killing it: Cutting off any integral part, is maiming it. The first can never be an act of friendship, which is the worst that an enemy can do: The second is never an act of friendship, but when the cutting off a member which may be spared, is of absolute necessity to the saving of the whole man, from the worse division between soul and body. By this judge what friends Dividers are to the Church, and how well they are accepted of God.

§. 2. He that loveth any Christian aright, must needs love all that appear to him as Christians: And when malice will not suffer men to see Christianity in its profession, and credible appearance in another, this is as well contrary to Christian Love, as hating him when you know him to be a true Chri­stian. Censoriousness (not constrained by just evidence) is contrary to Love, as well as hatred is.

§. 3. There is a Union and Communion with Christians as such: This consisteth in having one God, one Head, one Spirit, one Faith, one Baptismal Covenant, one Rule of holy living, and in loving and praying for all, and doing good to as many as we can. This is a Union and Communion of Mind, which [Page 48] we must hold with the Catholick Church through the world. And there is a Bodily local Union and [...]muni [...], which consisteth in our joyning in body, as well as mind, with particular Congregations: [...] And this as we cannot hold it with all, nor with any Congregation, but one at once; so we are not [...] to hold it with any, that will drive us from it, unless we will commit some sin: Statedly we must hold it, with the Church which regularly we are joyned to, and live with: and Occasionally we must hold it with all others, where we have a call and opportunity, who in the substance worship God according to his Word, and force us not to sin in conformity to them. It is not Schism to la­ment the sins of any Church, or of all the Churches in the world: The Catholick Church on earth consists of sinners. It is not Schism to refuse to be partaker in any sin of the purest Church in the world: Obedience to God is not Schism. It is not Schism that you joyn not Bodily with those Congregations where you dwell not, nor have any particular call to joyn with them: Nor that you choose the pure [...] and most edifying Society, rather than one that is less pure and profitable to you: [...]aeteris paribus, supposing you are at liberty: nor that you hold not Bodily Communion with that Church, that will not suffer you to do it, without sinning against God: Nor that you joyn not with the purest Church, when you are called to abide with one less pure.

But it is worse than Schism to separate from the Universal Church: To separate from its Faith i [...] Apostasie to infidelity. To separate from it in some one or few essential Articles, while you pretend to hold to Christ the Head, is Heresie: To separate from it in Spirit, by refusing Holiness, and not love­ing such as are truly holy, is damning ungodliness or wickedness: To differ from it by any error, of judgement or life, against the Law of God, is sin. To magnifie any one Church or party, so as to de­ny due Love and Communion to the rest, is Schism. To limit all the Church to your Party, and deny all or any of the rest to be Christians, and parts of the Universal Church, is Schism by a dangerous breach of Charity: And this is the principal Schism that I here admonish you to avoid. It is Schism also to condemn unjustly any particular Church, as no Church: And it is Schism to withdraw your Bodily Communion from a Church that you were bound to hold that Communion with, upon a false suppos [...]tion that it is no Church, or is not lawfully to be communicated with. And it is Schism to make Divisions or parties in a Church, though you divide not from that Church. Thus I have (brief­ly) told you what is Schism.

§. 4. 1. One pretence for Schism is (Usurped) Authority, which some one Church may claim t [...] Command others that owe them no subjection: Thus Pride which is the Spirit of Hell, having crep [...] into the Church of Christ, and animated Usurpations of Lordship and Dominion, and contending for superiority, hath caused the most dangerous Schisms in the Church, that ever it was infested with. The Bishop of Rome (advantaged by the Seat and Constitution of that Empire) having claimed the Government of all the Christian world, condemneth all the Churches that will not be his subjects: And [...]o hath made himself the Head of a Sect, and of the most pernicious Schism that ever did rend the Church of Christ: And the Bishop of Constantinople, and too many more, have followed the same Method in a lower degree, exalting themselves above their Brethren, and giving them Laws▪ and then condemning and persecuting them that obey them not. And when they have imposed up­on other Churches, their own usurped Authority and Laws, they have laid the plot to call all men Schismaticks and Sectaries, that own not their tyrannical Usurpation, and that will not be Schismaticks and Sectaries with them: And the cheat lyeth in this, that they confound the Churches Unity, with their pretended Authority, and Schism with the refusal of subjection to them. If you will not take them for your Lords, they cry out that you divide from the Church: As if we could hold Communion with no Churches, but those whose Bishops we obey? Communion with other Churches is maintained by Faith and Charity, and Agreement in things necessary, without subjection to them. As we may hold all just Communion with the Churches in Armenia, Arabia, Russia, without subjection to their Bishops, so may we with any other Church besides that of which we are members. Division or Schism is con­trary to Unity and Concord, and not to a Usurped Government: Though disobedience to the Past [...]rs which God hath set over us, is a sin, and dividing from them, is a Schism. Both the Pope and all the lower Usurpers, should do well first to shew their Commission from God to be our Rulers, before they call it Schism to refuse their Government. If they had not made better advantage of Fire and Sword, than of Scripture and Argument, the world would but have laughed them to scorn, when they had heard them say, All are Schismaticks that will not be our Subjects: Our Dominion and will shall be necessary to the Unity of the Church. The Universal Church indeed is One, united under One Head and Governour; but it is only Jesus Christ that is that Head, and not any Usurping Vicar or Vice-Christ. The Bishops of particular Churches are his Officers; but he hath Deputed no Vicar to his own Office, as the Universal Head. Above all Sects take heed of this pernicious Sect, who pretend their Usurped Authority for their Schism, and have no way to promote their Sect, but by calling all Sectaries that will not be Sectaries, and Subjects unto them.

§. 5. 2. Another pretence for Schism is the Numbers of the Party: This is another of the Papists mo­tives: As if it were lawful to Divide the Church of Christ, if they can but get the greater party? They say, We are the most, and therefore you should yield to us: (And so do others where by the Sword they force the most to submit to them.) But we answer them, As many as they are, they are too few, to be the Universal Church. The Universal Church containing all true professing Christians, is much more than they. The Papists are not a third part (if a fourth) of the whole Church. Pa­pists are a corrupted Sect of Christians: I will be against Dividing the Body of Christ into any Sects rather than to be one of that Sect or divided party, which is the greatest.

§. 6. 3. Another pretence for Schism, is the soundness or Orthodoxness of a Party: Almost all Sects [Page 49] pretend that they are wiser and of sounder judgement than all the Christian World besides: yea, those that most palpably contradict the Scriptures, (as the Papists in their half-communion and unintelli­gible service) and have no better reason why they will so Believe or Do, but because others have so Believed and Done already.

But 1. The greatest pretenders to Orthodoxness, are not the most Orthodox: 2. And if they were, I can value them for that in which they excell, without abating my due respect to the rest of the Church. 3. For the whole Church is Orthodox in all the Essentials of Christianity; or else they were not Christians: And I must love all that are Christians with that special Love that's due to the members of Christ, though I must superadd such esteem for those that are a little wiser or better than others, as they deserve.

§. 7. The fourth pretence for Schism, is the Holiness of the party that men adhere to. But this must make but a gradual difference in our esteem and love to some Christians above others: If really they are most Holy, I must Love them most, and labour to be as Holy as they: But I must not there­fore unjustly deny communion or due respect to other Christians that are less holy: nor cleave to them as a Sect or divided party whom I esteem most holy. For the holiest are most charitable, and most against the divisions among Christians, and tenderest of their Unity and Peace.

§. 8. The summ of this Direction is: 1. Highly value Christian Love and Unity: 2. Love those most that are most Holy, and be most familiar with them for your own edification: and if you have your choice, hold local personal communion, with the soundest, purest and best qualified Church. 3. But entertain not hastily any odd opinion of a divided party: or if you do hold it as an opinion, lay not greater weight on it, than there is cause. 4. Own the best as best, but none as a divided Sect; and espouse not their dividing interest. 5. Confine not your special Love to a party, especially for agreeing in some opinions with you: but extend it to all the members of Christ. 6. Deny not local communion, when there is occasion for it, to any Church that hath the substance of true Worship, and forceth you not to sin. 7. Love them as true Christians and Churches, even when they thus drive you from their communion.

§. 9. It is a most dangerous thing to a young Convert, to be ensnared in a Sect: It will before you are aware, possess you with a feavorish sinful Zeal, for the Opinions and interests of that Sect: It will make you bold in bitter invectives and censures against those that differ from them: It will cor­rupt your Church-communion, and fill your very prayers with partiality and humane passions: It will secretly bring malice under the name of Zeal, into your minds and words: In a word, it is a secret, but deadly enemy to Christian Love and Peace. Let them that are wiser and more Orthodox and Godly than others, shew it as the Holy Ghost directeth them: James 3. 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18. [Who is a wise man, and endued with knowledge among you? Let him shew out of a good conversation, his works with meekness of wisdom. But if ye have bitter envying (or zeal) and strife in your hearts, glory not and lie not against the truth: This wisdom descendeth not from above, but is earthly, sensual, divelish: For where envying and strife is, there is confusion (or tumult) and every evil work; But the wisdom that is from above, is first Pure, then Peaceable, gentle, easie to be intreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality (or wrangling) and without hypocrisie. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace of them that make peace.]

Direct. 9. TAke heed lest any persecution or wrong from others, provoke you to any unwarrantable passions and practices, and deprive you of the Charity, meekness and innocency of a Christian; or make you go beyond your bounds, in censuring, reviling, or resisting your Rulers, who are the Officers of God.

§. 1. Persecution and wrongs are called Temptations in Scripture, because they try you, whetherWhen the Ar­rian Bishops had made H [...]nnerychu [...] believe tha [...] the Orthodox turned the appointed di­sputation into popular clamour, and were against the King, he forbad them to meet, or to baptize or ordain, and turned all the sam [...] Laws against them which had been made against the Arrians. Victor. U [...]ic. p. 447, 448. you will hold your integrity. As many fall in such tryals through the fear of men, and the love of the world and their prosperity; so when you seem most confirmed against any sinful complyance, there is a snare laid for you on the other side, to draw you into passions and practices that are unwar­rantable.

Those that are tainted with Pride, Uncharitableness and Schism, will itch to be persecuting those that comply not with them in their way: And yet while they do it, they will most cry out against Pride, Uncharitableness and Schism themselves. This is, and hath been, and will be too ordinary in the world: You may think that Schism should be far from them that seem to do all for Order and Unity. But never look to see this generally cured, when you have said and done the best you can: you must therefore resolve not only to fly from Church division your selves, but also to undergo the persecutions or wrongs of Proud or Zealous Church-dividers. It is great weakness in you to think such usage strange: Do you not know that Enmity is put from the beginning between the womans and the Serpents seed. And do you think the name or dead profession of Christianity doth extinguish the [Page 48] [...] [Page 49] [...] [Page 50] [...] in the [...]erpents seed. Do you think to find more kindness from proud ungodly Christians, [...] & sine agnitione [...] Dei atque hinc sine omni bon [...], si [...]e ulla affectione pia, &c. Et quod etiam qui ex illis [...] t [...]mpo [...]e possit esse & fieri, quod Cain fratri su [...], modo non desit occasio: N [...]ander [...] & qu [...] habet [...] Regno Cainico pag. 38, 39. than Ab [...] might have expected from his Brother Cain? Do you not know that the Pharisees (by then zeal for their [...], and Traditions, and Ceremonies, and the expectation of worldly dig­nity and rule from the Messiah) were more zealous enemies of Christ, than the Heathens were? And that the ca [...]nal members of the Church, are oft the greatest persecutors of the spiritual members? As then [...]e that was born after the flesh, did persecute him that was born after the Spirit, even so it is [...] and will be▪ Gal. 4. 29. It is enough for you, that you shall have the inheritance, when the S [...]s of the Bo [...]dwoman shall be cast out. It is your taking the ordinary case of the godly for a strange thing▪ that makes you so disturbed and passionate when you suffer: And Reason is down, when pas­sion is up: It is by overwhelming Reason with passion and discontent, that oppressi [...]n maketh some wise men [...]: Eccl [...]s. 7. 7. For passion is a short imperfect madness. You will think in your p [...]ssion that yo [...] d [...] wel [...], w [...]en you do ill: and you will not perceive the force of reason, when it is never so plain [...] against you. Remember therefore, that the great motive that causeth the Devil to persecute y [...]u, [...] to [...]rt your bodies, but to tempt your souls to impatiency and sin: And if it may but be [...] you, as of Job 1. 22. [In all this Job sinned not], You have got the victory, and are more than Con­qu [...]r [...], Rom. 8. 37, 38, 39.

Doth it s [...]m strange to you, that few rich men are saved, when Christ telleth you it is so hard, as to be impossible with men? Luke 18. 27. Mar. 10. 27. Or is it strange, that Rich men should be the or­dinary Rulers of the Earth? Or is it strange, that the wicked should hate the godly, and the world hate them that [...] ch [...]sen out of the world? What of all this should seem strange? Expect it as the common lot o [...] the f [...]thful, and you will be better prepared for it.

§. 2. S [...]e therefore that you resist not evil by any Revengeful irregular violence) Mat. 5. 39. Let every soul be subject to the higher powers, and not resist le [...]t they receive damnation: Rom. 13. 1, 2, 3. Imitate your Lord, that [When he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered he threatned not, but committed all to him that judgeth righteously leaving us an ensample, that ye should follow his steps▪] 1 Pet. 2. 21, 23. An angry zeal against those that cross and hurt us is so [...]asily kindled, and hard­ly supp [...]ess [...], that it app [...]areth there is more in it of corrupted nature, than of God. We are very r [...]dy to think that we may call for fire from heaven upon the enemies of the Gospel: But you know not what manner of Spirit ye are then of, Luke 9. 55. But Christ [...]aith unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you: do good to them that hate you; and pray for them that despi [...]htfully use you and persecute you, that ye may be the children of your Father which is in Heaven, Matth. 5. 44, 45. You find no such prohibition against patient suffering wrong from any. Take heed of giving way to se­cret wishes of hurt to your adversaries; or to reproachful words against them: Take heed of hurt­ing your self by p [...]ssion, or sin, because others hurt you by slanders or persecutions. Keep you in the way of your duty, and leave your names and lives to God. Be careful that you keep your in­nocency, and in your patience possess your souls, and God will keep you from any hurt from ene­mies, but what he will cause to work for your good. Read Psal. 37. [Commit thy way unto the Lord▪ trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass: And he shall bring forth thy righteousness as the light, and thy judgement as the noon-day. Rest in the Lord, and wait patienly for him: fret not thy self because of him that pr [...]spereth in his way, because of the man that bringeth wicked devices to pass. Cease from anger, and forsake wrath: f [...]et not thy self in any wise to do evil.] Vers. 5. 6, 7, 8.

Direct. 10. WHen you are repenting of, or avoiding any extream, do it not without sufficientDirect. 10. fear and caution of the contrary extream.

§. 1. In the esteem and Love of God, your Ultimate End, you need not fear over-doing: Nor anyExtreams in Religion. where, when impediments and backwardness or impotency, do tell you that you can never do too much. But sin lyeth on both sides the Rule and Way: And nothing is more common than to turn from one sin to another; under the name of duty or amendment: Especially this is common in matter of opinion: Some will first believe, that God is nothing else but Mercy, and after take no­tice of nothing but his Justice. First, They believe that almost all are saved, and afterwards that almost none: First, That every Profession is credible; and next that none is credible without some greater testimony: First, that Christ satisfied for none at all that will not be saved: and next that he dyed for all alike. First, that none are now partakers of the Holy Spirit: and next that all Saints have the Spirit not only to illuminate and sanctifie them, by transcribing the written Word upon their hearts, but also to inspire them with new Revelations instead of Scripture. First, they think that all that Papists hold and do must be avoided: and after that there needed no reformation at all: Now they are for Legal bondage, and anon for Libertinism: To day for a liberty in Religion to none that agree not with them in every circumstance: and to morrow for a liberty for all: This year all things are lawful to them: and the next year nothing is lawful, but they scruple all that they say or [Page 51] do: One while they are all for a Worship of meer shew and Ceremony; and another while against the determination of meer circumstances of order and decency by man: One while they cry up no­thing but Free-grace: and another while nothing but Free-will. One while they are for a Discipline stricter than the Rule: and another while for no Discipline at all. First for timerous complyance with evil, and afterwards for boysterous contempt of Government. Abundance such instances we might give you.

§. 2. The remedy against this disease is, to proceed deliberately, and receive nothing, and do no­thing rashly and unadvisedly in Religion. For when you have found out your first error, you will be affrighted from that into the contrary error. See that you look round about you: as well to the error that you may run into on the other side, as into that which you have run into already. Con­sult also with wise experienced men: And mark their unhappiness that have fallen on both sides; and stay not to know evil by sad experience. True mediocrity is the only way that's safe: Though neg­ligence and lukewarmness be odious, even when cloked with that name.

Direct. 11. I Et not your first Opinions about the controverted difficulties in Religion, (where Scri­ptureDirect. 11. For Modesty in your first Opinions. is not very plain) be too peremptory, confident or fixed: But hold them modestly, with [...] your un [...]ipe understandings, and with room for further information, supposing it possible [...], that upon better instruction evidence and maturity, you may, in such things, change y [...]ur minds.

§. 1. I know the factions that take up their Religion on the credit of their party, are against this Direction: thinking that you must first hit on the right Church, and then hold all that the Church doth hold; and therefore change your mind in nothing, which you this way receive. I know also that some Libertines and half-believers, would corrupt this Direction, by extending it to the most plain and necessary truths; perswading you to hold Christianity it self, but as an uncertain probable Opinion.

But as Gods foundation standeth sure, so we must be surely built on his foundation: He that be­lieveth not the Essentials of Christianity as a certain necessary revelation of God, is not a Christian but an Infidel. And he that believeth not all that which he understandeth in the Word of God, believeth nothing on the credit of that Word. Indeed faith hath its weakness in those that are sincere; and they are fain to lament the r [...]mnants of unbelief, and cry, [Lord increase our faith: Help thou our unbelief:] But he that approveth of his Doubting, and would have it so, and thinks the revelation is uncertain, and such as will warrant no firmer a belief, I should scarcely say this man is a Christian. Christianity must be received as of Divine infallible revelation. But controversies about less necessary things cannot be determined peremptorily by the ignorant or young beginners, without hypocrisie, or a humane faith going under the name of a Divine. I am far from abating your Divine belief of all that you can understand in Scripture, and implicitely of all the rest in general. And I am far from diminishing the credit of any truth of God. But the Reasons of this Direction are these.

§. 2. 1. When it is certain that you have but a dark uncertain apprehension of any point, to think it is clear and certain, is but to deceive your selves by pride. And to cry out against all uncertainty as scepti [...]isme, which yet you cannot lay aside, is but to revile your own infirmity, and the common infir­mity of mankind, and foolishly to suppose that every man can be as wise and certain when he list as he should be. Now Reason and experience will tell you, that a young unfurnished understanding is not like to see the evidence of difficult points, as by nearer approach, and better advantage it may do.

§. 3. 2. If your conclusions be peremptory upon meer self-conceitedness, you may be in an error for ought you know: and so you are but confident in an error. And then how far may you go in seducing others, and censuring dissenters, and come back when you have done, and confess that you were all this while mistaken your selves?

§. 4. 3. For a man to be confident that he knoweth what he knoweth not, is but the way to keep him ignorant, and shut the door against all means of further information. When the Opinion is fixt by prejudice and conceit, there is no ready entrance for the light.

§. 5. 4 And to be ungroundedly confident so young, is not only to take up with your Teachers word, instead of a faith and knowledge of your own, but also to forestall all diligence to know more; and so you may lay by all your studies, save only to know what those men hold, whose judgements are your Religion: (Too Popish and easie a way to be safe.)

§. 6. 5. If you must never change your first opinions or apprehensions, how will you grow in under­standing? Will you be no wiser at age, than you were in childhood, and after long study and experi­ence than before? Nature and Grace do tend to increase.

§. 7. Indeed, if you should be never so peremptory in your opinions, you cannot resolve to hold them to the end: For Light is powerful; and may change you whether you will or no: you cannot tell what that Light will do which you never saw. But prejudice will make you resist the light, and make it harder for you to understand.

§. 8. I speak this upon much experience and observation: Our first unripe apprehensions of things, will certainly be greatly changed, if we are studious and of improved understandings. Study the [Page 52] Con [...]rove [...]s about Grace and Free-will, or about other such points of difficulty when you are young, and [...]s two to one that ripeness will afterward make them quite another thing to you. For my own [...]t my judgement is altered from many of my youthful confident apprehensions: And where it heldeth the same conclusion, it rejecteth abundance of the arguments as vain, which once it rested in: And where I keep to the same Conclusions and Arguments, my apprehension of them is not the sa [...], [...]ut I see more satisfying light in many things which I took but upon trust before. And if I had resolved to hold to all my first Opinions, I must have forborn most of my studies and lost much truth which I have discovered, and not made that my own which I did hold: and I must have resolv­ed to live and dye a child.

§. 9. The su [...] is, Hold fast the substance of Religion, and every clear and certain Truth which you see in its own evidence; and also reverence your Teachers; especially the Universal Church, or the generality of wise and godly men; and be not hasty to take up any private opinion: And especially to contradict the Opinion of your Governours and Teachers in small and controverted things. But yet in such matters receive their Opinions but with a humane faith (till indeed you have more) and therefore with a supposition that time and study is very like to alter your apprehensions, and with a reserve impartially to study, and entertain the truth, and not to sit still just where you were b [...]rn.

Direct. 12. IF Controversies [...]ccasion any Divisions where you live, be sure to look first to the interest [...] of Common Truth and Good, and to the exercise of Charity: And become not passionate contenders for any party in the division, or censurers of the peaceable, or of your Teachers that will not [...]ver [...] their own understandings, to obtain with you the esteem of being Orthodox or zealous men: But suspect your own unripe understandings, and silence your Opinions till you are clear and cer­tain, and j [...]yn rather with the moderate and the peace-makers than with the Contenders and Dividers.

§. 1. You may easily be sure that Division tendeth to the ruine of the Church, and the hinderance of the Gospel, and the injury of the common interest of Religion. You know it is greatly condemned [...] in the Scriptures: You may know that it is usually the exercise and the increase of Pride, uncharita­bleness and passion; and that the Devil is best pleased with it, as being the greatest gainer by it. But on the other side, you are not easily certain which party is in the right: And if you were, you are not sure that the matter will be worth the cost of the contention: Or if it be, it is to be conside­red whether the Truth is not like to get more advantage, by managing it in a more peaceable way, that hath no contention, nor stirreth not up other men so much against it, as the way of controversie doth. And whatever it prove, you may and should know, that young Christians that want both parts, and helps, and time, and experience to be throughly seen in controversies, are very unfit to make themselves parties, And that they are yet more unfit to be the hottest leaders of those parties, and to spur on their Teachers that know more than they. If the work be fit for another to do, that knoweth on what ground he goeth, and can foresee the end, yet certainly it is not fit for you. And therefore forbear it till you are more fit.

§. 2. I know those that would draw you into such a contentious zeal, will tell you that their cause is the cause of God, and that you desert him and betray it, if you be not zealous in it: and that it is but the counsel of flesh and blood which maketh you pretend Moderation and Peace; and that it is a sign that you are hypocrites, that are so lukewarm and carnally comply with error: and that the cause of God is to be followed with the greatest zeal and self denyal. And all this is true, if you be but sure that it is indeed the cause of God; and that the greater works of God, be not neglected on such pretences; and that your Zeal be much greater for Faith, and Charity, and Unity, than for your opinions. But upon great experience I must tell you, that of the zealous contenders in the world, that cry up The Cause of Consuming [...] [...] use at [...] [...]o [...] up the owners of it. Whatever t [...]y say o [...] do against others in the [...] in­ [...]mpera [...]e vi­ol [...]nce, they teach other [...] at last to say and do against them, when they have opportunity: How the Or [...]odox taught the A [...]ia [...]s to use severity against them, may be s [...]en in Victor. utic. p. 447, 448, 449. in the Edict of Hunne [...]y [...]hus: [...]gem quam dudum Christiani Imperatores nostri contra eos & alios haereticos pro honorisicentia Ecclesiae Catholi [...]ae ded [...]run [...], adversus nos illi proponere non e [...]ubuerunt. v. g. Rex Hun. &c. Triumphalis & Majestatis Regiae proba­tur es [...]e virtutis, m [...]a in autores con [...]lia retorquere: Quisquis enim pravitatis aliquid invenerit, sibi imputet quod incurrit.—Null [...]s [...] hom [...]usion Sace [...]do [...]es assuman [...], nec aliquid mysteri [...]um, quae magis polluunt, sibi ▪ vendicen [...]. Nullam habeant o [...] ­dinandi licentiam—Quod ipsa [...]um legum continentia demonstratur quas induxi [...]e Impera [...]o [...]ibu [...], &c. viz. Ut nulla, except [...]s superstiti [...]s suae [...]n [...]stibus Ecclesia pateret; nu [...]l [...]s liceret aliis aut convictus agere, aut exercere conv [...]nt [...]s nec Ecclesias, au [...] in u [...] [...], aut in quibu [...]dam [...] locis. God, and Truth, there is not one of very many, that understandeth what he talks of; but some of them cry up the Cause of God, when it is a brat of a proud and ignorant brain, and such as a judicious person would be ashamed of; And some of them are rashly zealous, before they have parts or time to come to any judicious tryal; and some of them are mis-guided by some person or party that captivateth their minds; and some of them are hurried away by passion and discontent; and many of the ambitious and worldly are blinded by their carnal interests: and many of them in meer pride, think highly of an Opinion in which they are somewhat singular, and which they can with some glorying call their Own, as either invented by them, or that in which they think they know more than ordinary men do: And abundance after longer experience, confess that to have been their own erroneous cause, which they before entitled the Cause of God: Now when this is the case, and one cryeth Here is [Page 53] Christ, and another There is Christ; one saith, This is the cause of God, and another saith, That is it; no man that hath any care of his Conscience, or of the honour of God and his profession, will leap before he looketh where he shall alight; or run after every one that will whistle him with the name or pretence of truth or a good cause: It is a sad thing to go on many years together in censuring, opposing and abusing th [...]se that are against you, and in seducing others, and mis-imploying your zeal, and parts, and time and poysoning all your prayers and discourses, and in the end to see what mischief you have done for want of knowledge, and with Paul to confess, that you were mad in op­posing the truth and servants of God, though you did it in a zeal of God through ignorance. Were it not much better to stay till you have tryed the ground, and prevent so many years grievous sin, than to scape by a sad repentance, and leave behind you stinking and venemous fruits of your mi­stake? (And worse, if you never repent your selves;) Your own and your Brethrens souls are not so lightly to be ventured upon dangerous untryed wayes. It will not make the Truth and Church amends, to say at last, I had thought I had done well. Let those go to the Wars of disputing and [...], and c [...]nsu [...]ing, and siding with a Sect that are riper, and better understand the cause: Wars are not for Children: Do you suspend your judgement till you can solidly and certainly in­form it: and serve God in Charity, quietness and peace: And its two to one, but you will live to see the day, that the contenders that would have led you into their Wars, will come off with so much loss themselves, as will teach them to approve your peaceable course, or teach you to bless God that kept you in your place and duty.

§. 3. In all this I deny not, but every truth of God is to be valued at a very high rate; and that he that shall carry himself in a neutrality, when Faith or Godliness is the matter in controversie, or shall do it meerly for his worldly ends, to save his stake by temporizing, is a false-hearted hypocrite, and at the heart of no Religion. But withal I tell you, that all is not matter of Faith or Godliness that the Autonomian-Papist, the Antinomian-Libertine, or other passionate parties shall call so: And that as we must avoid contempt of the smallest Truth, so we must much more avoid the most hei­nous sins which we may commit for the defending of an error. And that some Truths must be si­lenced for a time, (though not denyed) when the contending for them is unseasonable, and tendeth to the injury of the Church. If you were Masters in the Church, you must not teach your Scholars to their hurt, though it be truth you teach them. And if you were Physicions you must not cramm them or Medicate them to their hurt. Your power and duty is not to Destruction; but to Edification. The good of the Patient is the end of your Physick. All Truth is not to be spoken, nor all Good to be done by all men, nor at all times. He that will do contrary, and take this for a carnal principle, doth but call folly and sin by the name of zeal and duty, and set the house on fire to rost his Egg, and with the Pharisees, prefer the outward rest of their Sabbath before his Brothers life or health. Take heed what you do when Gods honour, and mens souls, and the Churches peace are concerned in it.

§. 4. And let me tell you my own observation. As far as my judgement hath been able to reach, the men that have stood for Pacification and Moderation, have been the most judicious; and those that have best understood themselves, in most controversies that ever I heard under debate among good Christians: And those that suriously censured them as lukewarm or corrupted, have been men that had least judgement, and most passion, pride and foul mistakes in the points in que­stion.

§. 5. Nay, I will tell you more of my observation, of which these times have given us too much proof: Profane and formal Enemies on the one hand, and ignorant self-conceited wranglers on the other hand, who think they are champions for the truth, when they are venting their passions and fond opinions, are the two Thieves between whom the Church hath suffered from the beginning to this day: The first are the Persecutors and the other the Dividers and disturbers of the Church. Mark what the Holy Ghost saith in this case, 2 Tim. 2. 23, 24. But foolish and unlearned questions avoid, knowing that they do gender strife; and the servant of the Lord must not strive, but be gentle unto all men. Phil. 2. 14, 15. Do all things without murmurings and disputings: that ye may be blameless and harmless, the Sons of God, without rebuke, in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation, among whom you shine, as lights in the world, 1 Tim. 6. 3, 4, 5, 6. If any man teach otherwise, and consent not to wholesome words, even the words of our Lord Iesus Christ, and the doctrine which is according to godli­liness, he is proud, knowing nothing, but doting about questions and strifes of words, whereof cometh envy, strife, raylings, evil surmisings, perverse disputings of men of corrupt minds, &c. So 1 Tim. 1. 4, 5. Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which Minister Questions, rather than godly edify­ing, which is in faith: Now the end of the commandment is charity, out of a pure heart, and a good conscience and faith unfeigned.

§. 6. Yet I must here profess, that if any falsehearted worldly hypocrite, that resolveth to be on the saving side, and to hold all to be lawful that seemeth necessary to his safety or preferments shall take any encouragement from what I have here said, to debauch his conscience, and sell his soul, and then call all those [furious zealots] that will not be as false to God as he, let that man know, that I have given him no cloak for so odious a sin, nor will he find a cover for it at the barr of God, though he may delude his conscience, and bear it out by his carnal advantages before the world.

Direct. 13. KNow that true Godliness is the Best Life upon Earth, and the only may to perfectDirect. 13. Happiness: Still apprehend it therefore, and Use it as the best: and with great diligence [...]sist those Temptations which would make it seem to you a confounding grievous or unpleasant thing.

§. 1. There are all things concurrent in a Holy life, to make it the most delectable life on [...] earth, to a rational purified mind, that is not captivated to the flesh, and liveth not on Air or Dung. The Object of it is the Eternal God himself, the Infallible Truth, the only satisfactory Good; and all these condescending and appearing to us, in the mysterious, but suitable glass of a Mediator, Re­deeming, Reconciling, teaching, governing, sanctifying, justifying and glorifying all that are his own. The End of it is the pleasing and glorifying of our Maker, Redeemer and Sanctifier; and the everlasting happiness of our selves and others: The Rule of it is the infallible Revelation of God, delivered to the Church by his Prophets, and his Son, and his Apostles, and comprized in the Holy Scriptures, and sealed by the Miracles and operations of the Holy Ghost that did indite them. The work of Godli­ness is a living unto God, and preparing for everlasting life, by foreseeing, foretasting, seeking and rejoycing in that endless Happiness which we shall have with God; and by walking after the Spirit, and avoiding the filthiness, delusions and vexations of the world and the flesh. The nature of man is not capable of a more noble, profitable and delectable life, than this which God hath called us to by his Son. And if we did but rightly know it, we should follow it with continual alacrity and delight. Be sure therefore to conceive of Godliness as it is, and not as it is mis-represented by the Devil and the ungodly. Read what I have written of this in my [A Saint or a Brute.]

§. 2. As long as a man conceiveth of Religion as it is, even the most sweet and delectable life, so long he will follow it willingly and with his heart, and despise the temptations and avocations of fl [...]shly gain and pleasure: He will be sincere, as not being only drawn by other men, or outward ad­vantages, nor frightned into it by a passion of fearfulness, but loving Religion for it self, and for its excellent ends: And then he will be chearful in all the duties, and under all the sufferings and difficulties of it: And he will be most likely to persevere unto the end. We cannot expect that the Heart or Will should be any more for God and Godliness, than the Understanding practically appre­hendeth them as Good. Nay, we must alwayes perceive in them a transcendent Goodness, above all that is to be found in a worldly life: Or else the appearing Goodness of the Creature, will divert us and carry away our minds: We may see in the very Brutes, what a power apprehension hath upon their actions. If your Horse be but going to his home or pasture, how freely will he go through thick and thin? but if he go unwillingly, his travell is troublesome and slow, and you have much ado to get him on. It will be so with you in your way to Heaven.

§. 2. It is therefore the principal design of the Devil, to hide the Goodness and Pleasantness of Re­ligion from you; and to make it appear to you as a terrible or tedious life. By this means it is that he keeps men from it: and by this means he is still endeavouring to draw you back again, and frustrate your good beginnings and your hopes. If he can thus mis-represent Religion to your un­derstandings; he will suddenly alienate your wills and corrupt your lives, and make you turn to the world again, and seek for pleasure somewhere else, and only take up with some heartless lip-service, to keep up some deceitful hope of being saved. And the means which Satan useth to these ends, are such as these.

§. 3. 1. He will do his worst to overwhelm you with appearing doubts and difficulties, and bringHow Satan would make Religion seem to be a c [...]n­founding un­p [...]a [...]an thing. [...]. By difficul­ties. you to a loss, and to make Religion seem to you a confounding, and not a satisfying thing. This is one of his most dangerous assaults upon the weak and young beginners. Difficulties and Passions are the things which he makes use of to confound you, and put you out of a regular cheerful seeking of sal­vation. When you read the Scriptures he will mind you of abundance of difficulties in all you read or hear. He will shew you seeming contradictions: and tell you that you will never be able to un­derstand these things. He will cast in thoughts of Unbelief and Blasphemy, and cause you, if he can, to [...]owl them in your mind: If you cast them not out with abhorrence, but dispute with the Devil, he hopes to prove too hard at least for such children and unprovided Souldiers as you: And if you do reject them and refuse to dispute it with him, he will sometime tell you that your cause is naught, or else you need not be afraid to think of all that can be said against it; and this way he gets ad­vantage of you to draw you to unbelief: And if you scape better than so, at least he will molest and terrifie you with the hideousness of his temptations; and make you to think that you are forsaken of God, because such blasphemous thoughts have been so often in your minds: And thus he will one while tempt you to blasphemy, and another while affright and torment you with the thoughts of such temptations.

§. 4. So also in the study of other good Books, he will tempt you to fix upon all that seems diffi­cult to you, and there to confound and perplex your selves: And in your Meditations, he will seek to make all to tend, but to confound and overwhelm you; keeping still either hard or fearful things be­fore your eyes; or breaking and scattering your thoughts in pieces, that you cannot reduce them to any order, nor set them together, nor make any thing of them, nor drive them to any desirable end. So in your prayers he would fain confound you, either with fears, or with doubtful and di­stracting thoughts about God, or your sins, or the matter or manner of your duty, or questioning whether your prayers will be heard. And so in your self-examination, he will still seek to puzzle you, and leave you more in darkness than you began, and make you afraid of looking homeward, or [Page 55] conversing with your selves; like a man that is afraid to lye in his own house when he thinks it haunted with some apparitions. And thus the Devil would make all your Religion to be but like the unwinding of a bottom of Yarn, or a Skein of Silk that is ravelled; that you may cast it away in wea­ [...]iness or despair.

§. 5. Your Remedy against this dangerous temptation is, to remember that you are yet young in knowledge, and that Ignorance is like darkness that will cause doubts and difficulties and fears; and that all these will vanish as your Light increaseth▪ and therefore you must wait in patience, till your [...]p [...]r knowledge [...]it you for satisfaction: And in the mean time be sure that you take up your hearts most with the great, fundamental, necessary, plain and certain points, which your salvation is laid upon, and which are more suited to your state and strength: If you will be gnawing bones, when you should be sucking milk, and have not patience to stay till you are past your childhood, no ma [...]v [...]l if you find them hard, and if they stick in your throats, or break your teeth. See that you live upon God in Christ, and love and practise what you know, and think of the excellency of so much as is already revealed to you: You know already what is the end that you must seek, and where your Happiness consisteth; and what Christ hath done to prepare it for you, and how you must be justified and sanctified and walk with God: Have you God, and Christ, and Heaven to think on, and all the mercies of the Gospel to delight in, and will you lay by these as common matters, or overlook them, and p [...]rpl [...]x your selves about every difficulty in your way? Make clean work be­fore you as you go, and live in the joyful acknowledgement of the Mercies which you have received, and [...]f the practice of the things you know, and then your difficulties will vanish as you go on.

§. 6. 2. Another of Satans wiles is, to confound you with the noise of Secta [...]ies, and divers opini­ons2 By various S [...]cts. in Religion: while the Popish Sect tell you that if you will be saved, you must be of their Church; and others say, you must be of theirs: And when you find that the Sects are many, and their reasonings such as you cannot answer, you will be in danger either to take up some of theirSed pe [...]a: nos opinio­num var [...]e [...]as hominu [...] que diss [...]nsio [...]: Et quia non idem contingit in [...], [...]os natura certos putamus: Illa sic, aliis secus, nec iisdem s [...]mper uno modo viden­tur, ficta esse c [...]a [...]s: Q [...]od est l [...]ge al [...]er.—Animis omnes tenduntur in [...]d [...]ae, &c. Ci [...]o [...]b. li. 1. pag. 291. [...]. cat. deceits, or to be confound [...]d among them all, not knowing which Church and Religion to choose.

§. 7. But here consider, that there is but One Universal Church of Christians in the world, of which Christ is the Only King and Head, and every Christian is a member. You were Sacramentally admitted into this Catholick Church by Baptism, and Spiritually by your being born of the Spirit: You have all the promises of the Gospel, that if you Believe in Christ you shall be saved; and that all the living members of this Church are loved by Christ as members of his body, and shall be presented unspotted to the Father, by him who is the Saviour of his body, Eph. 5. 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 29. And that by One Spirit we are all baptized or entered into this one body, 1 Cor. 12. 12, 13. If then thou hast faith, and love, and the Spirit, thou art certainly a Christian, and a member of Christ, and of this Universal Church of Christians. And if there were any other Church, but what are the Parts of this one, then this were not Universal, and Christ must have two bodies. Thou art not saved for being a member of the Church of Rome, or Corinth, or Ephesus, or Philippi, or Th [...]ssalonica, or of any other such; but for being a member of the Universal Church or body of Christ, that is, a Christian. And as thou art a subject of the King, and a member of this Kingdom, whatever Corpo­ration thou be a member of (perhaps sometime of one, and sometime of another) so thou art a subject of Christ, what ever particular Church thou be of: For it is no Church, i [...] they be not Christi­ans, or subjects of Christ. For one Sect then to say, Ours is the true Church, and another to say, Nay, but ours is the true Church, is as mad as to dispute, whether your Hall, or Kitchin, or Parlor, or Cole-house, is your House: and for one to say, This is the House, and another, Nay, but it is that: when a child can tell them, that the best is but a part, and the house containeth them all: And for the Papists that take on them to be the whole, and deny all others to be Christians and saved, except the subjects of the Pope of Rome, it is so irrational, Antichristian a fiction and usurpation, and odious, cruell and groundless a damnation, of the far greatest part of the body of Christ, that its fitter for detestation, than dispute. And if such a crack would frighten the world out of their wits, no doubt but other Bishops also would make use of it, and say, All are damned that will not be subject to us. But if you would see the folly and mischief of Popery, both in this and other points, I refer you to my Treatise of the Catholick Church, and my Key for Catholicks, and my Safe Religion, and my Disput at▪ against Johnson, and my Winding-sheet for Popery.

§. 8. 3. Another temptation to confound you in your Religion, is, by filling your heads with pra­ctical 3 By S [...]rupu­lo [...]i [...]y. scrupulosity; so that you cannot go on for doubting every step whether you go right: and when you should cheerfully serve your Master, you will do nothing but disquiet your minds with scruples, whether this or that be right or wrong. Your remedy here, is not by ca [...]ing away all care of pleasing God, or fear of sinning, or by debauching conscience, but by a cheerful and quiet obedience to God, so far as you know his will, and an upright willingness and endeavour to under­stand it better; and a thankful receiving the Gospel-pardon for your failings and infirmities. Be faithful in your obedience; but live still upon Christ, and think not of reaching to any such obedi­ence, as shall set you above the need of his merits, and a daily pardon of your sins: Do the best you can to know the will of God and do it: But when you know the Essentials of Religion, and obey sin­cerely, [Page 54] [...] [Page 55] [...] [Page 56] let no remaining wants deprive you of the comfort of that so great a Mercy, as proves your [...]ght to life [...]nal: In your s [...]king further for more knowledge and obedience, let your care be such as tendeth to your profitting, and furthering you to your end, and as doth not hinder your joy and thanks for what you have received: But that which destroyeth your joy and thankfulness, and doth but perplex you, and not further you in your way, is but hurtful scrupulosity, and to be laid by. When you are right in the main, thank God for that, and be further solicitous so far as to help you on, but not to hinder you. It you send your servant on your message, you had rather he went on his way as well as he can, than stand scrupling every step whether he should set the right or left foot forward? and whether he should step so far or so far at a time, &c. Hindering scruples please not God.

§. 9. 4. Another way to confound you in your Religion is, by setting you upon overdoing by in­ventions [...] of your own; when a poor soul is most desirous to please God, the Devil will be Religious, and set him upon some such ta [...]k of Voluntary humility or Will-worship, as the Apostle speaks of, Col. 2. 18, 20, 21, 22, 23. or s [...]t him upon some ensnaring unnecessary Vows or Resolutions, or some Po­p [...]sh works of con [...]ited sup [...]rerogation, which is that which Solomon calleth, being righte us over­much, Eccles. 7. 16. Thus many have made duties to themselves, which God never made for them; and taken that for sin, which God never forbad them: The Popish Religion is very much made up, of such Commandments of their own, and Traditions of men. As if Christ had not made us work enough, men are forward to make much more for themselves. And some that should teach them the Laws of Christ, do think that their Office is in vain, unless they may also prescribe them Laws of their own, and give them new Precepts of Religion. Yea, some that are the bitterest enemies to the strict observance of the Laws of God, as if it were a tedious needless thing, must yet needs load us with abundance of unnecessary Precepts of their own. And thus Religion is mad both wear some and uncertain, and a door set open for men to enlarge it, and increase the burden at their pleasure. Indeed Pope [...]y is fitted to delude and quiet sleepy consciences, and to torment with uncertainties the consciences that are awaked.

And there is something in the corrupted nature of man, that inclineth him to some additions and voluntary service of his Own inventions, as an offering most acceptable unto God: Hence it is that many poor Christians do rashly intangle their consciences with Vows, of circumstances and things unnecessary, as to give so much, to observe such dayes or hours, in fasting and prayer, not to do such or such a thing that in it self is lawful, with abundance of such things, which perhaps some change of providence may make accidentally their duty afterwards to do: or disable them to perform their Vows: And then these snares are [...]t [...]rs on their p [...]rpl [...]x [...]d consciences, perhaps as long as they live. Yea, some of the Autonomians teach the people, that things Indifferent are the fittest matter of a Vow; as to live single, to p [...]ss [...]ss nothing, to live in solitude, and the like: Indeed all things lawful when they are vowed, must be performed: But it is unfit to be Vowed if it be not first profitable and best, for our selves or others: and that which is best is not indifferent, it being every mans duty to choose what is best. Vows are to bind us to the performance of that which God had bound us to by his Laws before: They are our expression of consent and resolution by a self-obligation to obey his will: And not to make new duties or Religion to our selves, which e [...]se would never have been our duty.

§. 10. To escape these snares, it is necessary that you take h [...]ed of corrupting your Religion by burdens and mixtures of your own devising: You are called to Obey Gods Laws, and not to make Laws for your selves. You may be sure that his Laws are just and good, but yours may be bad and foolish. When you obey him, you may expect your reward and encouragement from him: but when you will obey your selves, you must reward your selves. You may find it enough for you to keep his Laws, without devising more work for your selves; or feigning duties which he commanded not, or sins which he forbad not. Be not rash in making Vows: Let them reach but unto necessary duties: And let them have their due exceptions when they are about alterable things: Or if you are entan­gled by them already, consult with the most judicious, able, impartial men, that you may come clear­ly [...]ff without a wound. There is a great deal of judgement, and sincerity necessary in your Coun­sellors, and a great deal of submission and self-denyal in your selves, to bring you safely out of such a snare. Avoid sin what ever you do: for sinning is not the way to your deliverance. And for the time to come, be wiser, and lay no more snares for your selves; and clog not your selves with your own inventions; but cheerfully obey what God commandeth you, who hath Wisdom and Authority sufficient to make you perfect Laws. Christs yoke is easie, and his burden light, Matth. 11. 30. and his Commandments are not grievous▪ 1 John 5. 3. But if your mixtures and self-devised snares are grievous to you, blame not God, but your selves that made them.

§. 11. 5. Another of Satans wayes to make Religion burdensome and grievous to you, is by over­whelming [...]. By over­whelming fears and sor­rows. you with fear and sorrow. Partly by perswading you that Religion consisteth in excess of sorrow, and so causing you to spend your time in striving to trouble and grieve your selves unprofi­tably, as if it were the course most acceptable to God: And partly by taking the advantage of a [...]i­morous passionate nature; and so making every thought of God, or serious exercise of Religion, to be a torment to you, by raising some overwhelming fears. For fear hath torment, 1 John 4. 18. In some faeminine, weak and melancholy persons, this Temptation hath so much advantage in the body, that the holiest soul can do but little in resisting it; so that though there be in such a sincere Love to God, his wayes and servants, yet fear so playeth the Tyrant in them, that they perceive almost nothing else. And it is no wonder if Religion be grievous and unpleasant to such as th [...]se.

[Page 57]§. 12. But alas, it is you your selves that are the causes of this, and bring the matter of your griev­ance with you: God hath commanded you a sweeter work. It is a life of Love, and joy, and cheer­ful progress to eternal joy that he requireth of you; and no more fear or grief than is necessary to separate you from sin, and teach you to value and use the remedy. The Gospel presenteth to you such abundant matter of joy and peace, as would make these the very complexion and temperature of your souls, if you received them as they are propounded. Religious fears when they are inordi­nate and hurtful, are sinful and indeed against Religion▪ and must be resisted as other hurtful passions. Be better acquainted with Christ and his promises, and you will find enough in him to pacifi [...] the soul, and give you confidence and holy boldness in your access to God, Heb. 4. 16. Ephes. 3. 12. Heb. 10. 19. The Spirit which he giveth, is not the Spirit of bondage, but the Spirit of Adoption, of Love and Confidence, Rom. 8. 15. Heb. 2. 15.

§. 13. 6. Another thing that maketh Religion seem grievous, is retaining unmortified sensual de­sires.6. By unm [...] ­tified lusts. If you keep up your lusts, they will strive against the Gospel, and all the works of the Spirit which strive against them, Gal. 5. 17. And every duty will be so far unpleasant to you as you are car­nal, because it is against your carnal inclination and desire. Away therefore with your beloved sick­ness, and then both your food and your Physician will be less grievous to you. Mortifie the flesh, and Rom. 8▪ 7, 8. you will less disrelish the things of the Spirit. For the carnal mind is enmity against God: For it is not subject to his Law, nor can be.

§. 14. 7. Another cause of confounding and wearying you, is the mixture of your actual sins, 7. By actus sin. dealing unfaithfully with God, and wounding your Consciences, by renewed guilt, especially of sins against knowledge and consideration. If you thus keep the bone out of joint, and the wound un­healed, no marvel if you are loth to work or travail. But it is your sin and folly that should be grievous to you, and not that which is contrary to it, and would remove the cause of all your trou­bles. Resolvedly forsake your wilful sinning, and come home by Repentance towards God, and faith towards our Lord Iesus Christ, (Acts 20. 21.) and then you will find that when the thorn is out, your pain will cease, and that the cause of your trouble was not in God or Religion, but in your sin.

§. 15. 8. Lastly, To make Religion unpleasant to you, the Tempter would keep the substance of8 By igno­rance of the renor of the Gospel. the Gospel unknown or unobserved to you: He would hide the wonderful Love of God revealed in our Redeemer, and all the riches of saving grace, and the great deliverance and priviledges of believ­ers, and the certain hopes of life eternal: And the Kingdom of God which consisteth in righteous­ness, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost, shall be represented to you as consisting in errors only, or in tri [...]es; in shadows and shews, and bodily exercise which profitteth little, 1 Tim. 4. 8. If ever you would know the pleasures of faith and holiness, you must labour above all to know God as revealed in his infinite Love in the Mediator, and read the Gospel as Gods Act of Oblivion, and the Testa­ment and Covenant of Christ, in which he giveth you life eternal: and in every duty draw near to God as a reconciled Father, the object of your everlasting Love and Joy. Know and use Religion as it is without mistaking or corrupting it, and it will not appear to you as a grievous, tedious or con­founding thing.

Direct. 14. BE very diligent in mortifying the desires and pleasures of the flesh; and keep a conti­nualDirect. 14. watch upon your senses appetite and lusts; and cast not your selves upon temptati­ons, occasions or opportunities of sinning, remembring that your salvation lyeth on your success.

§. 1. The lusts of the fl [...]sh, and the pleasures of the world, are the common enemy of God and souls, and the damnation of those souls that perish. And there is no sort more lyable to temptati­ons of this kind, than those that are in the flower of their youth and strength. When all the senses are in their vigour, and lust and appetite are in their strength and fury, how great is the danger? and how great must your diligence be if you will escape? The appetite and lust of the weak and sick, are weak and sick as well as they▪ and therefore they are no great temptation or danger to them. The desire and pleasure of the senses do abate, as natural strength and vigour doth abate: To such there is much less need of watchfulness: and where nature hath mortified the flesh, there is some­what the less for grace to do. There needs not much grace to keep the aged and weak from forni­cation, uncleanness, excessive sports and carnal mirth: and gluttony and drunkenness also are sins which youth is much more lyable to. Especially some bodies that are not only young and strong, but have in their temperature and complexion a special inclination to some of these (as lust, or sport, or foolish mirth) there needeth a great deal of diligence, resolution and watchfulness for their pre­servation. Lust is not like a corrupt opinion, that surprizeth us through a defect of Reason, and va­nisheth as soon as truth appeareth: But it is a brutish inclination, which though Reason must sub­due and govern, yet the perfectest Reason will not extirpate▪ but there it will still dwell. And as it is constantly with you, it will be stirring when objects are presented by the sense or fantasie to allure. And it is like a torrent, or a head-strong Horse, that must be kept in at first, and is hardly restrained if it once break loose and get the head. If you are bred up in temperance and modesty, where there are no great temptations to gluttony, drinking, sports or wantonness, you may think a while that your natures have little or none of this concupiscence, and so may walk without a guard: But when [Page 58] you come where baits of lust abound; where Women, and Playes, and Feasts, and Drunkards are the Devils snares, and tinder, and bellows, to enflame your lusts, you may then find to your sorrow, that you had need of watchfulness, and that all is not mortified, that is asleep, or quiet in you. As a man that goeth with a Candle among Gunpowder, or near Thatch, should never be careless, because he go­eth in continual danger; so you that are young, and have naturally eager appetites and lusts, should remember that you carry fire and Gunpowder still about you, and are never out of danger while you have such an enemy to watch.

§. 2. And if once you suffer the fire to kindle, alas, what work may it make ere you are aware? James 1. 14, 15. Every man is tempted when he is drawn away of his own lust and enticed: Then when lust hath conceived it bringeth forth sin; and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death. Little know­eth the Fish when he is catching or nibling at the bait, that he is swallowing the hook which will lay him presently on the bank. When you are looking on the cup, or gazing on alluring beauty, or wantonly dallying and pleasing your senses with things unsafe, you little know how far beyond your intentions you may be drawn, and how deep the wound may prove, how great the smart, or how long and difficult the cure. As you love your souls, observe Pauls counsel, 2 Tim. 2. 22. Flee youth­ful lusts: Keep at a full distance: Come not near the bait. If you get a wound in your consciences by any wilful heinous sin, O what a case will you be in? How heartless unto secret duty? afraid of God that should be your joy; deprived of the comforts of his presence; and all the pleasure of his wayes? How miserably will you be tormented between the tyranny of your own concupiscence, the sting of sin, the gripes of conscience, and the terrors of the Lord? How much of the life of faith, and love, and heavenly zeal, will be quenched in a moment? I am to speak more afterwards of this; and therefore shall only say at present to all young Converts that care for their salvation: Mortifie the flesh, and alwayes watch, and avoid temptations.

Direct. 15. BE exceeding wary not only what Teachers you commit the guidance of your souls unto,Direct. 15. Nam si falsi & solo nomine tumidi, non modo non consulendi, sed vitandi sunt, quibus nihil est importuni­us, nihil in­su si [...]s, &c. P [...]t [...]a c [...]. D [...]al. 117. li. 2. but also with what company you familiarly converse: That they be neither such as would corrupt your minds with error, or your hearts with viciousness, prof [...]neness, lukewarmness, or with a feavorish factious zeal: But choose, if possible, judicious, holy, heavenly, humble, unblameable, self-denying persons, to be your ordinary companions, and familiars; but especially for your near Relations.

§. 1. It is a matter of very great importance, what Teachers you choose in order to your salvation. In this the free grace of God much differenceth some from others: For as poor Heathens and Infidels have none that know more, than what the Book of Nature teacheth (if so much); so in the several Nations of Christians, it is hard for the people to have any, but such as the Sword of the Magistrate forceth on them, or the stream of their Countreys Custom recommendeth to them. And it is a won­derScienti [...] est posse d [...]cere. Prov [...]b Sub indocto tamen doctus evad [...]re potes, [...]ffla [...]u aliquo divino, ut Ci [...]ro loquitur. Augustinus de seipso testatur (cui non omnia credere nefas est) quod & Aristotelicas Categorias, quae inter difficillima numerantur, & artes liberales, (quas singulas a praeceptoribus didicisse magnum dicitur) nullo trade [...]te, omnes intellexit. [...]ardus item, vir doctrina & sanctitate clarissimus, omnes suas literas (quarum inter cunctos sui temporis abundantissimus fu [...]) in s [...]lvis & in agris didicit, non hominum magisterio, sed meditando & orando, nec ullos unquam alios praeceptores habuit, quam quercus & sagos. P [...]tr [...]ch. li. 2. Dialog. 40. if pure Truth and Holiness be countenanced by either of these. But when and where his mercy pleaseth, God sendeth wise and holy Teachers, with compassion and diligence, to seek the saving of mens souls, so that none but the malignant and obstinate are deprived of their help.

§. 2. Ambitious, proud, covetous, licentious, ungodly men, are not to be chosen for your Teachers if you have your choice. In a Nation where true Religion is in credit, and hath the Magistrates countenance or the Major Vote, some graceless men may joyn with better, in preaching and defend­ing the purity of doctrine, and holiness of life: And they may be very serviceable to the Church herein; especially in expounding and disputing for the truth: But even there, more experienced spiri­tual Teachers are much more desirable: They will speak most feelingly, who feel what they speak: And they are fittest to bring others to faith and love, who believe and love God and holiness them­selves. They that have life will speak more lively than the dead. And in most places of the world, the ungodliness of such Teachers makes them enemies to the Truth which is according to godliness: Their natures are at enmity to the life and power of the doctrine which they should preach: And they will do their worst to corrupt the Magistrates, and make them of their mind: And if they can but get the Sword to favour them, they are usually the cruellest persecutors of the sincere. As it is notorious among the Papists, that the baits of Power, and Honour, and Wealth have so vitiated the body of their Clergy, that they conspire to uphold a worldly Government and Religion; and in ex­press contradiction to Sense and Reason, and to Antiquity and the judgement of the Church, and to the holy Scriptures, they captivate the ignorant and sensual to their tyranny and false worship, and use the seduced Magistrates and multitude to the persecuting of those that will not follow them, to sin and to perdition. Take heed of proud and worldly Guides.

§. 3. And yet it is not every one that pretendeth Piety and Zeal, that is to be heard or taken for a Teacher: But 1. Such as preach ordinarily the substantial Truths which all Christians are agreed in: 2. Such as make it the drift of their preaching, to raise your souls to the Love of God, and to [Page 59] a holy heavenly life, and are zealous against confessed sins. 3. Such as contradict not the Essential Truths by errors of their own; nor the doctrine of Godliness by wicked malicious applications. 4. Such as drive not on any ambitious tyrannical designs of their own, but deny themselves, and aim at your salvation. 5. Such as are not too hot in proselyting you to any singular opinion of their own: it being the prediction of Paul to the Ephesians, Acts 20. 30. Of your own selves shall men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. 6. Such as are judicious with holy zeal, and zealous with judgement. 7. Such as are of experience in the things of God, and not young beginners or Novices in Religion. 8. Such as bear reverence to the judgements of the generality of wise and godly men, and are tender of the Unity of the Church, and not such as would draw you into a Sect or party, to the contempt of other Christians; no not to a party that hath the favour of Rulers and the people to promote them. 9. Such as are gentle, peaceable, and charitable, and not such as burn with hellish malice against their Brethren, nor with an ungodly, or cruel, consuming zeal. 10. Such as not live not sensually and wickedly, contrary to the doctrine which they preach, but shew by their lives, that they believe what they say, and feel the power of the truths which they preach.

§. 4. And your familiar companions have great advantage to help or hinder your salvation, as wellImperat (Re [...]) ut nostrae re­ligionis illo­rum mensa nullum com­munem habe­rent, neque cum Catholi­cis omino vescerentur. Quae res non ip [...]s aliquod praestitit be­neficium, sed nobis maxi­mum con [...]ulit lucrum: Nam si sermo [...] [...]m sicut cancer con­suevit serpere, quanto magis communis mensa ciborum potuit inquinare, cum dicat Apostolus, cum nefariis nec cibum habere communem. Victor. Utic. p. 418. Magnum virtutis praesidium societas bono [...]um, socius exemplo excitat, sermone recreat consilio inst [...]ui [...], orationibus adjuvat, autoritate continet, quae omnia so itudini desunt. Ios. Acosta. l. 4. c. 13. Dicunt Stoici Amicitiam solos inter bon [...]s, quos sibi invicem studiorum similitudo conciliet, posse consistere. Porro amicitiam ipsam societatem quandam esse dicunt omnium quae sunt ad vitam necessaria, cum amicis ut nobismet ipsis utamur: at (que) ob id amicum eligendum, amicorumque multitudinem [...]er ex­petenda ponunt: inter malos non posse constare amicitiam. Laert. in Zenone. as your Teachers. The matter is not so great whom you meet by the way, or travell with, or trade and buy and sell with, as whom you make your intimate, or familiar friends. For such have both the advantage of their interest in your affections, and also the advantage of their nearness and familiarity; and if they have but also the advantage of higher abilities than you, they may be powerful instru­ments of your good or hurt. If you have a familiar friend that will defend you from error, and help you against temptations, and lovingly reprove your sin, and feelingly speak of God, and the life to come, inditing his discourse from the inward power of faith, and love, and holy experience, the benefit of such a friend may be more to you, than of the learnedst or greatest in the world. How sweetly will their speeches relish of the Spirit, from which they come? How deeply may they pierce a careless heart? How powerfully may they kindle in you, a love and zeal to God and his Com­mandments? How seasonably may they discover a temptation, prevent your fall, reprove an error, and recover your souls? How faithfully will they watch over you? How profitably will they pro­voke and put you on? and pray with you fervently when you are cold, and mind you of the Truth and duty, and mercy, which you forget? It is a very great mercy to have a judicious, solid, faithful companion in the way to Heaven.

§. 5. But if your ears are daily filled with froth and folly, with ribaldry or idle stories, with Oaths and Curses, with furious words, or scorns and jears against the godly, or with the Sophistry of deceivers, is it likely this should leave a pleasant or wholsome relish on your minds? Is it likely that the effect should not be seen, in your lean or leprous hearts and lives, as well as the effects of an infected or unwholsome air or diet, will be seen upon your diseased bodies? He is ungodly that liketh such company best: And he is proud and presumptuous that will unnecessarily cast himself up­on it, in confidence that he shall receive no hurt: And he is careless of himself, that will not caute­lously avoid it: And few that long converse with such, come off without some notable loss; except when we live with such, as Lot did in Sodom, grieving for their sin and misery; or as Christ conversed with publicans and sinners, with a holy zeal and diligence to convert and save them, or as those that have not liberty, who bear that which they have not power to avoid.

§. 6. Among the rest, your danger is not least from that are eager to proselite you to some party or unsound opinion: that they think they are in the right, and that they do it in love, and that they think it necessary to your salvation, and that Truth or Godliness are the things which they profess, all this makes the danger much the greater to you, if it be not Truth and Godliness indeed, which they propose and plead for. And none are in more danger than the ungrounded and unexpe­rienced, that yet are so wise in their own esteem, as to be confident that they know Truth from Er­ror when they hear it, and are not afraid of any deceit, nor much suspicious of their own understand­ings. But of this before.

§. 7. The like danger there is of the familiar company of lukewarm ones or the prophane. AtNon tamen at corporum, sic animorum mo [...]bi, trans­seunt ad no­lentes: Imo vero nobilis animus, vi [...]io­rum odro, ad amorem v [...]r­tutis acc [...]ndi­tur. Petra [...]h. Dialog de a [...]i [...] mori [...]. first you may be troubled at their sinful or unsavoury discourse, and make some resistance against the infection: But before you are aware, it may so cool and damp your graces, as will make your decay discernable to others: First, You will hear them with less offence; and then you will grow indiffe­rent what company you are in; and then you will laugh at their sin and folly; and then you will begin to speak as they; and then you will grow cold and seldomer in prayer and other holy duties; and if God prevent it not, at last your judgements will grow blind, and you will think all this al­lowable.

§. 8. But of all bad company, the nearest is the worst: If you choose such into your families, or into your nearest conjugal relations, you cast water upon the fire; you imprison your selves in such [...]etters as will gall and grieve you, if they do not stop you; you choose a life of constant, close and [Page 60] great temptations: Whereas your grace, and comfort and salvation, might be much promoted by the society of such as are wise and gracious and suitable to your state. To have a constant compa­nion to open your heart to, and joyn with in prayer and edifying conference, and faithfully help you against your sins, and yet to be patient with you in your frailties, is a mercy which worldlings neither deserve nor value.

Direct. 16. MAke careful choice of the Books which you read. Let the Holy Scriptures ever haveDirect. 10. the preheminence, and next them, the solid, lively, heavenly Treatises which best ex­pound and apply the Scriptures: and next those, the credible Histories, especially of the Church, and Tractates upon inferiour Sciences and Arts: But take heed of the poyson of the Writings of false Teach­ers, which would corrupt your understandings: and of vain Romances, Play-books, and false Stories, which may bewitch your fantasies, and corrupt your hearts.

§. 1. As there is a more excellent appearance of the Spirit of God in the Holy Scriptures, than in any other Book whatever, so it hath more power and fitness to convey the Spirit, and make us spi­ritual, by imprinting it self upon our hearts. As there is more of God in it, so it will acquaint us more with God, and bring us nearer him, and make the Reader more reverent, serious and Divine. Let Scripture be first and most in your hearts and hands, and other Books be used as subservient to it. The endeavours of the Devil and Papists to keep it from you, doth shew that it is most neces­sary and desirable to you. And when they tell you, that all Hereticks plead the Scriptures, they do but tell you, that it is the common Rule or Law of Christians, which therefore all are fain to pretend: As all Lawyers and wranglers plead the Laws of the Land, be their cause never so bad, and yet the Laws must not be therefore concealed or cast aside: And they do but tell you, that in their conceal­ment or dishonouring the Scriptures, they are worse than any of those Hereticks. When they tell you that the Scriptures are misunderstood and abused, and perverted to maintain mens errors, they might also desire that the Sun might be obscured, because the purblind do mistake, and Murderers and Robbers do wickedly by its light: And that the earth might be subverted because it bears all evil doers; and High-wayes stopt up because men travell in them to do evil: And food prohibited, be­cause it nourisheth mens diseases. And when they have told you truly of a Law or Rule (whether made by Pope or Council) which bad men cannot misunderstand or break, or abuse and misap­ply, than hearken to them and prefer that Law, as that which preventeth the need of any judge­ment.

§. 2. The Writings of Divines are nothing else but a preaching the Gospel to the eye, as the voice preacheth it to the ear. Vocal preaching hath the preheminence in moving the affections, and be­ing diversified according to the state of the Congregations which attend it: This way the Milk cometh warmest from the breast. But Books have the advantage in many other respects: you may read an able Preacher when you have but a mean one to hear. Every Congregation cannot hear the most judicious or powerful Preachers: but every single person may read the Books of the most pow­erful and judicious; Preachers may be silenced or banished, when Books may be at hand: Books may be kept at a smaller charge than Preachers: We may choose Books which treat of that very subject which we desire to hear of; but we cannot choose what subject the Preacher shall treat of. Books we may have at hand every day and hour: when we can have Sermons but seldom, and at set times. If Sermons be forgotten, they are gone. But a Book we may read over and over till we remember it: and if we forget it, may again peruse it at our pleasure, or at our leisure. So that good Books are a very great mercy to the world: The Holy Ghost chose the way of writing, to preserve his Doctrine and Laws to the Church, as knowing how easie and sure a way it is of keeping it safe to all generations, in comparison of meer Verbal Tradition, which might have made as many Contro­versies about the very terms, as there be memories or persons to be the preservers and re­porters.

Books are (if well chosen) domestick, present, constant, judicious, pertinent, yea, and powerful Sermons: and alwayes of very great use to your salvation: but especially when Vocal preaching fail­eth, and Preachers are ignorant, ungodly or dull, or when then they are persecuted and forbid to preach.

§. 3. You have need of a judicious Teacher at hand, to direct you what Books to use or to re­fuse. For among Good Books there are some very good that are sound and lively: and some are good, but mean, and weak, and somewhat dull: and some are very good in part, but have mixtures of error, or else of incautelous injudicious expressions, fitter to puzzle, than edifie the weak. I am loth to name any of these later sorts, (of which abundance have come forth of late): But to the young beginner in Religion, I may be bold to recommend (next to a sound Catechism) Mr. Ru­therfords Letters, Mr. Robert Boltons Works, Mr. Perkins, Mr. Whateleyes, Mr. Ball of Faith, Dr. Prestons, Dr. Sibbes, Mr. Hildershams, Mr. Pinkes Sermons, Mr. Io. Rogers, Mr. Rich. Rogers, Mr. Ri. Allen's Mr. Gurnall, Mr. Swinnocke, Mr. Ios. Simonds: And to stablish you against Popery, Dr. Challoners Cre­do Eccles. Cathol. Dr. Field of the Church, Dr. Whites Way to the Church, with the Defence, Bishop Ushers Answer to the Jesuite; and Chillingworth, with Drelincourts Summary. And for right Principles about Re­demption, &c. Mr. Trumans Great Propitiation; and of Natural and Moral Impotency; and [Page 61] Mr. William Fenner of Wilful Impenitency, Mr. Hotchkis of Forgiveness of Sin. To pass by many other excellent ones, that I may not name too many.

§. 4. To a very judicious able Reader, who is fit to censure all he reads, there is no great danger in the reading the Books of any Seducers: It doth but shew him how little and thin a cloak is used, to cover a bad caus [...]. But alas, young Souldiers, not used to such Wars, are startled at a very So­phism, or at a terrible threatning of damnation to diffenters, (which every censorious Sect can use) or at every confident triumphant boast, or at every thing that hath a fair pretence of truth or godli­ness: Injudicious persons can answer almost no deceiver which they hear: and when they cannot answer them, they think they must yield, as if the fault were not in them, but in the cause, and as if Christ had no wiser followers, or better defenders of his truth than they. M [...]ddle not therefore with poyson, till you better know how to use it, and may do it with less danger, as long as you have no need.

§. 5. As for Play books, and Romances, and idle Tales, I have already shewed in my Book of Self­d [...]nyal, how pernicious they are, especially to youth, and to frothy, empty, idle wits, that know not what a man is, nor what he hath to do in the world. They are powerful baits of the Devil, to keep more necessary things out of their minds, and better Books out of their hands, and to poyson the mind so much the more dangerously, as they are read with more delight and pleasure: and to fill the minds of sensual people with such idle fumes, and intoxicating fancies, as may divert them from the serious thoughts of their salvation: And (which is no small loss) to rob them of abun­dance of that precious time, which was given them for more important business, and which they will wish and wish again at last, that they had spent more wisely. I know the fantasticks will say, that these things are innocent, and may teach men much good (like him that must go to a Whore­house to learn to hate uncleanness, and him that would go out with Robbers to learn to hate Thee­very): But I shall now only ask them as in the presence of God, 1. Whether they could spend that time no better? 2. Whether better Books and practices would not edifie them more. 3. Whether the greatest Lovers of Romances and Playes be the greatest Lovers of the Book of God, and of a holy life? 4. Whether they feel in themselves that the Love of these vanities, doth increase their love to the Word of God, and kill their sin, and prepare them for the life to come? or clean contrary? And I would desire men not to prate against their own experience and reason, nor to dispute themselves into dam­nable impenitency, nor to befool their souls by a few silly words, which any but a sensualist may perceive to be meer deceit and falshood. If this will not serve, they shall be shortly convinced and answered in another manner.

Direct. 17. TAke heed that you receive not a Doctrine of Libertinism as from the Gospel, nor con­ceiveDirect. 17. of Christ as an encourager of sin; nor pretend free grace for your carnal security or sloth: For this is but to set up another Gospel, and another Christ, or rather the Doctrine and works of the Devil against Christ and the Gospel, and to turn the Grace of God into wantonness.

§. 1. Because the Devil knoweth that you will not receive his doctrine in his own Name, his usu­alSiquis est hoc robore ani [...]t, atque hoc indole virtu [...]s a [...] continen­ti [...], ut re­sp [...]at omnes vo [...], omnem [...] [...] vitae [...]uae [...]r­s [...]m [...]a [...] co [...] [...] aequalium fludia, non [...]udi, non convivia delectant; nihil in vita expe [...]endum putet nisi quod est cum laude & honore conjun [...]tum, hunc mea sententia divinis quibusdam bonis instructum atque ornatum puto. Ci [...]. p [...]o Cal. method is to propound and preach it in the name of Christ, which he knoweth you reverence and regard. For if Satan concealed not his own Name and Hand in every temptation, it would spoil his game: And the more excellent and splendid is his pretence, the more powerful the temptation is. They that gave heed to seducing Spirits and Doctrines of Devils, no doubt thought better of the Spirits and the Doctrines, especially seeming strict (for the Devil hath his strictnesses) as forbidding to marry, and abstinence from meats which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving, 1 Tim. 4. 1, 3. But the strictnesses of the Devil, are alwayes intended to make men loose. They shall be strict as the Pha­risees in Traditions and vain Ceremonies, and building the Tombs of the Prophets, and garnishing the Sepulchres of the Righteous, that they may hate and murder the living Saints that worship God in Spirit and in truth. Licentiousness is the proper Doctrine of the Devil, which all his strictness tendeth to promote. To receive such principles is pernicious: but to father them upon Christ and the Gospel, is blasphemous.

§. 2. The Libertines, Antinomians, and Autonomians of this age, have gathered you too many instances. The Libertine saith, [The Heart is the man; therefore you may deny the truth with your tongue, you may be present at false Worship, (as at the Mass,) you need not suffer to avoid the speaking of a word, or subscribing to an untruth or error, or doing some little thing; but as long as you keep your hearts to God, and mean well, or have an honest mental reservation, and are forced to it by ther [...], rather than suffer, you may say, or subscribe, or swear any thing which you can your selves put a law­ful sense upon in your own minds, or comply with any outward actions or customs to avoid [...]ffence and save your selves.]

The Antinomians tell you, that [The Moral Law is abrogated, and that the Gospel is no Law; (and if there be no Law, there is no Governour nor Government, no duty, no sin, no judgement, n [...] punishment, no [Page 62] before they are born, or repent, or believe; that their sin is pardoned [...] [...], that God t [...]k them as suffering and fulfilling all the Law in Christ, as if it had been they that di [...] i [...] in [...]i [...]: that we are justified by faith only in our consciences: that justifying faith i [...] but t [...] we are justified: that every man must believe that he is pardoned, that he may [...]ed in [...]is c [...]science; and this he is to do by a Divine faith, and that this is the sense of the A [...]ti [...]le, [I beli [...] the forgiveness of sins] that is, that my s [...]ns are forgiven; and that all are for­gi [...] it: that it is legal and sinful to work or do any thing for salvation: that sin once pa [...]ssed and lamented, or at least, we need not ask pardon of sin daily, or of one [...]t: that [...] are no punishments; and yet no other punishment is threatned to believers for their sins, and consequently that Christ hath not procured them a pardon of any sin after believing, but prevented all necessity of pardon: and therefore they must not ask the pardon of them, nor do any thing to obtain it: that fear of Hell must have no hand in our obedience, or restraint from sin: And some add, that he that cannot repent or believe, must comfort himself that Christ repented and believed for him: [...] a contradiction):] Many such Doctrines of Licentiousness the abusers of Grace have brought forth.

And the Sect which imitateth the Father of Pride in affecting to be from under the Government of God, and to be the Law-givers and Rulers of themselves and all others (which I therefore call the Antonomians) are Licentious and much more. They equally contend against Christs Government, and for their own: They fill the world with Wars and bloodshed, oppression and cruelty, and the ears of God with the cryes of the Martyrs and oppressed ones, and all that the spiritual and holy Discipline of Christ may be suppressed, and seriousness in Religion made odious, or banished from the earth, and that themselves may be taken for the Center, and Pillars, and Law-givers of the Church, and the Con­sciences of all men may be taught to cast off all scruples or fears of offending God, in comparison of [...]ing them; and may absolutely submit to them, and never stick at any feared disobedience to [...]t: They are the scorners and persecutors of strict obedience to the Laws of God, and take those that [...]ear his judgements, to be men affrighted out of their wits; and that to obey him exactly (which alas who can do, when he hath done his best) is but to be hypocritical or too precise: but to questi­on their domination, or break their Laws (imposed on the world, even on Kings and States with­out any Authority) this must be taken for Heresie, Schism, or a Rebellion like that of Corah and his company. This Luciferian Spirit of the proud Autonomians hath filled the Christian world with blood­shed, and been the greatest means of the miseries of the earth, and especially of hindering and persecuting the Gospel, and setting up a Pharisaical Religion in the world: It hath fought against the Gospel, and filled with blood, the Countreys of France, Savoy, Rhaetia, Bohemia, Belgia, Helvetia, Polonia, Hungary, Germany, and many more: that it may appear how much of the Satanical nature they have, and how punctually they fulfill his will.

§. 3. And natural corruption containeth in it, the seeds of all these damnable Heresies; nothing more natural to lapsed man, than to shake off the Government of God, and to become a Law­giver to himself, and as many others as he can; and to turn the grace of God into wantonness. Therefore the prophane, that never heard it from any Hereticks but themselves, do make themselves such a Creed as this; that [God is merciful, and therefore we need not fear his threatnings, for he will be better than his word: It belongeth to him to save us, and not to us, and therefore we may cast our souls upon his care, though we care not for them our selves. If he hath predestinated us to salvation, we shall be saved, and if he have not, we shall not, what ever we do, or how well soever we live: Christ dyed for sinners, and therefore though we are sinners, he will save us: God is stronger than the Devil, and therefore the Devil shall not have the most: That which pleaseth the flesh, and doth God no harm, can never be so great a matter, or so much offend him, as to procure our damnation. What need of so much ado to be saved, or so much haste to turn to God, when any one that at last doth but repent, and cry God mercy, and believe that Christ dyed for him, shall be saved? Christ is the Saviour of the world, and his grace is very great and free, and therefore God forbid that none should be saved but those few that are of strict and holy lives, and make so much ado for Heaven. No man can know who shall be saved, and who shall not: and therefore it is the wisest way, to do no body any harm, and to live merrily, and trust God with our souls, and put our salvation upon the venture: no body is saved for his own works or deservings, and therefore our lives may serve the turn as well as if they were more strict and holy.] This is the Creed of the ungodly: by which you may see how natural it is to them, to abuse the Gospel, and plead Gods grace to quiet and strengthen them in their sin, and to embolden themselves on Christ to disobey him.

§. 4. But this is but to set Christ against himself; even his Merits and Mercy against his Government and Spirit; and to set his Death against the Ends of his death; and to set our Saviour against our sal­vation; and to run from God and rebell against him, because Christ dyed to recover us to God, and to give us Repentance unto life; and to sin, because he dyed to save his people from their sins, and to purifie a peculiar people to himself zealous of good works: Matth. 1. 21. Tit. 2. 14. He that commit­teth sin is of the Devil: for the Devil sinneth from the beginning: For this purpose the Son of God was manifested that he might destroy the works of the Devil, 1 John 3. 8. John 8. 44.

Direct. 18. WAtch diligently hath against the more discernable decayes of grace, and againstDirect. 18. the degenerating of it into some carnal affections: or something counterfeit, and of another kind: And so also of Religious duties.

§. 1. We are no sooner warmed with the coelestial flames, but natural corruption, is enclining us to grow cold: Like hot water, which loseth its heat by degrees, unless the fire be continually kept under it. Who feeleth not that as soon as in a Sermon or Prayer, or holy Meditation, his heart hath got a little heat, as soon as it is gone, it is prone to its former earthly temper, and by a little remisness in our duty, or thoughts, or business about the world, we presently grow cold and dull again. Be watchful therefore lest it decline too far: Be frequent in the means that must preserve you from declining: when faintness telleth you, that your stomachs are emptied of the former meat, supply it with another, lest strength abate. You are rowing against the stream of fleshly interest and inclinations; and therefore intermit not too long, lest you go faster down by your ease, then you get up by labour.

§. 2. The Degenerating of Grace, is a way of backsliding, very common, and too little observed.How Grace may degene­rate. It is, when good affections do not directly cool, but turn into some carnal affections somewhat like them, but of another kind: As if the body of a man instead of dying, should receive the life or soul of a Beast, instead of the reasonable humane soul. For instance: 1. Have you Believed in God, and in Iesus Christ, and Loved him accordingly? You shall seem to do so still as much as formerly; when your corrupted minds have received some false representation of him; and so it is indeed another thing that you thus corruptly Believe and Love. 2. Have you been fervent in Prayer? you shall be fervent still; i [...] Satan can but corrupt your prayers, by corrupting your judgement or affections, and get you to think that to be the cause of God, which is against him; and that to be against him, which he commandeth, and those to be the troublers of the Church, which are its best and faithfullest mem­bers: Turn but your prayers against the cause and people of God by your mistake, and you may pray as fervently against them as you will. The same I may say of preaching, and conference, and zeal: Corrupt them once, and turn them against God, and Satan will joyn with you for zealous and frequent preaching, or conference, or disputes. 3. Have you a confidence in Christ and his promise for your sal­vation? Take heed lest it turn into carnal security, and a perswasion of your good estate upon ill grounds, or you know not why? 4. Have you the Hope of glory? Take heed lest it turn into a careless venterousness of your soul, or the meer laying aside of fear and cautelous suspicion of your selves. 5. Have you a Love to them that fear the Lord? Watch your hearts lest it degenerate into a carnal or a partial Love. Many unheedful young persons of different Sexes, at first love each other with an honest, chaste and pious Love; but imprudently using too much familiarity, before they were well aware it hath turned into a fleshly Love, which hath proved their snare, and drawn them fur­ther into sin or trouble. Many have honoured them that fear the Lord, who insensibly have declined to honour only those of them that were eminent in wealth and worldly honour, or that were esteemed for their parts or place by others, and little honoured the humble, poor, obscure Christians, who were at least as good as they. Forgetting that the things that are highly esteemed among men, are abomina­tion in the sight of God, Luke 16. 15. and that God valueth not men by their places and dignities in the world, but by their graces and holiness of life. Abundance that at first did seem to Love all Christians as such, as far as any thing of Christ appeared in them, have first fallen into some Sect, and over admiring their party, and have set light by others as good as them, and censured them as un­found, and then withdrawn their special Love, and confined it to their party, or to some few; and yet thought that they loved the godly as much as ever, when it was degenerate into a factious Love. 6. Are you zealous for God, and truth, and holiness, and against the errors and sins of others? Take heed lest you lose it not, while you think it doth increase in you: Nothing is more apt to degene­rate than zeal: In how many thousand hath it turned from an innocent, charitable, peaceable, tra­ctable, healing, profitable, heavenly zeal, into a partial zeal for some Party or Opinions of their own? and into a fierce, censorious, uncharitable, scandalous, turbulent, disobedient, unruly hurt­ing and destroying zeal, ready to wish for fire from Heaven, and kindling contention, confusion and every evil work. Read well Iames 3. 7. So if you are meek or patient, take heed lest it degene­rate into stupidity or contempt of those you suffer by: To be patient is not to be meerly insensible of the affliction; but by the power of faith to bear the sense of it, as over-ruled by things of greater moment.

§. 3. How apt men are to corrupt and debase all duties of Religion is too visible in the face of the far greatest part of the Christian world: Throughout both the Eastern and the Western Churches, the Pa­pists, the Greeks, the Armenians, the Abassines, and too many others, (though the Essentials of Religion through Gods mercy are retained, yet) how much is the face of Religion altered from what it was in the dayes of the Apostles? The ancient simplicity of Doctrine, is turned into abundance of new or private opinions introduced as necessary Articles of Religion (and alas, how many of them [...]alse?) So that Christians being too proud to accept of the ancient test of Christianity, cannot now agree among themselves what a Christian is, and who is to be esteemed a Christian? and so they deny one another to be Christians, and destroy their Charity to each other, and divide the Church, and make [Page 64] themselves a scom by their divisions to the Infidel world: And thus the Primitive Unity, Charity and Peace, is partly destroyed, and partly degenerate into the Unity, Charity and Peace of several Sects among themselves. The primitive simplicity in Government and Discipline, is with most turned into a [...]or [...]ble Secular Government, exercised to advance one man above others, and to satisfie his will and lusts, and make him the Rule of other mens lives, and to suppress the power and spiritu­ality of Religion in the world. The primitive simplicity of Worship is turned into such a Masque of Ceremony, and such a task of formalities and bodily exercise, that if one of the Apostolical Christi­ans should come among them, he would scarce think that this is the same employment which for­mer [...]y the Church was exercised in, or scarce know Religion in this antick dress. So that the ami­able glorious face of Christianity, is so spotted and defiled, that it is hidden from the Unbelieving world, and they laugh at it as irrational, or think it to be but like their own: And the principal hin­derance of the conversion of Heathens, Mahometans, and other Unbelievers, is the corruption and deformity of the Churches that are near them, or should be the instruments of their conversion: And the probablest way to the conversion of those Nations, is the true Reformation of the Churches both in East and West: which, if they were restored to the ancient spirituality, rationality and simpli­city of Doctrine, Discipline and Worship, and lived in charity, humility and holiness, as those whose hearts and conversations are in Heaven, with all worldly glory and honour as under their feet, they would then be so illustrious and amiable in the eyes, even of Heathens and other Infidels, that ma­ny would flock in to the Church of Christ, and desire to be such as they: And their light would so shine before these men, that they would see their good works, and glorifie their heavenly Father, and embrace their faith.

§. 4. The commonest way of the degenerating of all Religious duties, is into this dead formality, or lifeless Image of Religion: If the Devil can but get you to cast off the spirituality and life of du­ty, he will give you leave to seem very devout, and make much ado with outward actions, words and beads: and you shall have so much zeal for a dead Religion, or the Corpse of Worship as will make you think that it is indeed alive. By all means take heed of this turning the Worship of God into lip-service: The commonest cause of it is, a carnality of mind (Fleshly men will think best of the most fleshly Religion: or else a slothfulness in duty, which will make you sit down with the easiest part: It is the work of a Saint, and a diligent Saint, to keep the soul it self both regularly and vigorously employed with God: But [...]o say over certain words by rote, and to lift up the hands and eyes, is [...]asie: And hypocrites that are conscious that they are void of the life and spirituality of Worship, do think to make all up with this formality, and quiet their consciences, and delude their souls with a hansome Image: Of this I have spoken more largely in a Book called, The Vain Religion of the Formal Hypocrite.

§. 5. Yet run not here into the contrary extream, as to think that the Body must not worship God as well as the soul, or that the decent and editying determination of the outward circumstances of Religion, and the right ordering of Worship, is a needless thing, or sinful; or that a form of prayer in it self, or when imposed is unlawful: But let the Soul and Body of Religion go together, and the al­terable adjuncts be used, as things alterable, while the life of Holiness is still kept up.

Direct. 19. PRomise not your selves long life, or prosperity and great matters in the world, lest it en­tangleDirect. 19. your hearts with transitory things, and engage you in ambitious or covetous designs, and steal away your hearts from God, and destroy all your serious apprehensions of Eternity.

§. 1. Our own experience, and the alterations which the approach of death makes upon the most, doth sensibly prove, that the expectation of a speedy change, and reckoning upon a short life, doth greatly help us in all our preparation, and in all the work of Holiness through our lives. Come to a man that lyeth on his death-bed, or a prisoner that is to dye to morrow, and try him withNemini ex­ploratum po­test esse quo­modo se [...]e habiturum sit corpus, non dico ad an­num sed ad ve­sperum, C [...]ce [...]o 2. de fit. Dii boni! quid est in hominis vita diu? Mihi ne diuturnum quidem quic­quam videtur, in quo est ali­quid extre­mum. Cum enim id adve­nit, tum illud praeter [...]it, e [...] ­fluxit: tan tum remanet quod virtute & recte fa­ctis fit conse­cutus: ho [...]ae quidem [...]e­dunt, & di [...], & me [...]ses, & anni, nec prae­teritum tempus unquam revertitur, nec quid sequatur sciri potest: Cic. in Cat. Maj. Quem saepe transit, casus aliquando inven [...]. discourse of riches, or honours, or temptations to lust, or drunkenness, or excess: and he will think you are mad or very impertinent, to tell him of such things: If he be but a man of Common Rea­son, you shall see that he will more easily vilifie such temptations, than many religious persons will do, in their prosperity and health: O how serious are we in repenting and perusing our former lives, and casting up our accounts, and asking, What we shall do to be saved, when we see that death is indeed at hand, and time is at an end, and we must away! Every sentence of Scripture hath then some life and power in it: Every word of Exhortation is savoury to us: Every reproof of our neg­ligence and sin, is then well taken: Every thought of sin or Christ, or Grace, or Eternity goes then to the quick: Then time seems precious: and if you ask a man whether it be better spent in Cards and Dice, and Playes and Feastings, and needless recreations and idleness, or in prayer and holy con­ference, and reading and meditating on the Word of God and the life to come, and the holy use of our lawful labours? How easily will he be satisfied of the truth? and confute the Cavils of voluptu­ous time-wasters? Then his judgement will easilier be in the right, than Learning or Arguments be­fore could make it. In a word, the expectation of the speedy approach of the soul into the presence of the Eternal God, and of our entring into an unchangeable endless life, of joy or torment, hath so much in it to awaken all the powers of the soul, that if ever we will be serious, it will make us serious, in every thought, and speech, and duty. And therefore as it is a great mercy of God, that this life which is so short, should be as uncertain, and that frequent dangers and sicknesses call to us, to look about us, and be ready for our change; so usually the sickly that look for death, are most considerate; and it is a great part of the duty of those that are in youth and health, to consider their frailty, and the shortness and uncertainty of their lives, and alwayes live as those that wait for the coming of their Lord. And we have great reason for it, when we are certain it will be ere long; and when we have so many perils and weaknesses to warn us; and when we are never sure to see another hour; and when time is so swift, so quickly gone, so unrecoverable, and Nothing when it is past. Common reason requireth such to live in a constant readiness to dye.

§. 2. But if youth or health do once make you reckon of living long, and make you put away theNihil tam sir­mum c [...] peri­culum [...] s [...]; etiam [...] [...] ­vilido. day of your departure, as if it were far off; this will do much to deceive and dull the best, and take away the power of every truth, and the life of every good thought and duty, and all will be apt to dwindle into customariness and form: You will hardly keep the faculties of the soul awake, if you do not still think of death and judgement as near at hand. The greatest Certainty of the greatest Change, and the greatest Joy or Misery for ever, will not keep our stupid hearts awake, unless we look at all as near, as well as certain. This is plain in the common difference that we find among all men, between their thoughts of death in health, and when they see indeed that they must present­ly dye. They that in health could think and talk of death with laughter, or lightly without any awakening of soul, when they come to dye are oftentimes as much altered, as if they had never heard before that they are mortal. By which it is plain, that to live in the house of mirth is more dangerous, than to live in the house of mourning; and that the expectation of long life is a grievous enemy to the operations of grace, and the safety of the soul.

§. 3. And it is one of the greatest strengtheners of your temptations to luxury, ambition, worldli­ness and almost every sin: When men think that they shall have many years leisure to repent, they are apt the more boldly to transgress: when they think that they have yet many years to live, it tempteth them to pass away Time in idleness, and to loiter in their race, and trifle in all their work, and to over-value all the pleasures, and honours, and shadows of felicity that are here below. He that hath his life in his House or Land, or hath it for inheritance, will set more by it, and bestow more upon it, than if he thought he must go out of it the next year. To a man that thinks of live­ing many years, the favour of great ones, the raising of his estate, and name, and family, and the ac­commodations and pleasing of his flesh, will seem great matters to him, and will do much with him, and will make self-denyal a very hard work.

§. 4. Therefore though Health be a wonderful great mercy, as Enabling him to duty, that hath a heart to use it to that end; yet it is by accident a very great danger and snare to the heart it self, to turn it from the way of duty. The best life for the soul, is that which least endangereth it by being over-pleasing to the Body, and in which the flesh hath the smallest interest, to set up and plead against the Spirit. Not but that the largest stock must be accepted and used for God, when he trusteth us [Page 66] with it; for when he setteth us the hardest work, we may expect his greatest help: But a dwelling as in Tents, in a constant unsetledness, in a moveable condition, having little, and needing little, never feeling any thing in the creature to tempt us to say, Soul take thy Rest; this is to most the safest life, which giveth us the fre [...]st advantages for Heaven.

§. 5. Take heed therefore as you love your souls, of falling into the snare of worldly Hopes, and laying designs for rising, and ri [...]h [...]s, and pleasing your selves in the thoughts and prosecution of these things: [...]r then you are in the readiest way to perdition; even to idolatrous worldliness, and apo­stacy of heart from God, and opening a door to every sin, that seems but necessary to your worldly ends, and to odious Hypocrisie for a cloke to all this, and to quiet your guilty minds with some­thing that is like Religion. When once you are saying with worldly security, as he Luke 12. 17, 18. 19. I will pull down my barn, and build greater, and there will I bestow all my fruits and goods, and I will say to my soul, Soul thou hast much go [...]ds laid up for many years, take thine ease, eat, drink, and [...]e mercy, you are then befooling your selves, and near being called away as fools by d [...]th, [...]. 20, 21. And when, without a sense of the uncertainty of your lives, you are saying as those in [...]ames 4. 13, 14. To day or to morrow we will go into such a City, and continue there a year, and buy, and sell, and get gain; whereas you know not what will be on the morrow: You forget what your lives are, that they are a vapour appearing a little while, and then vanishing away. Ver. 14. Boast not thy self therefore of to morrow; for thou knowest not what a day may bring forth. Prov. 27. 1.

Direct. 20. SEe that your Religion be purely Divine, and animated all by God, as the Beginning, theDirect. 20. D [...] & ma [...]d [...] [...]bat [...]ia [...]: [...]nem [...] [...]e [...] [...] [...]e [...]i▪ [...] sufficere qu [...]dem ad bene beate (que) vivendum; [...]ae [...]erum instrumentis indigere, corporis bonis, robore, sanitate, integri­tate [...], &c. Exterioribus etiam, opi [...], gen [...]ris cla [...]itate, gloria, &c. Ea & si non affluerint, nihilominus tamen beatum fo­ [...] [...]api [...]tem—Arbitratur & Deos humana c [...]rnere atque curare: & daemones esse—Porro in dialog [...] justitiam Divi­n [...]m legem [...]bitratus est, ut ad ju [...]e agendum po [...]entius persu [...]deret, nè post mortem poenas improbi luerent. Laert. in Pla [...].. Way and the End; and that first upon thy Soul, and then upon all that thou hast or dost, there be written HOLINESS TO THE LORD; and that thou corrupt not all with an in­ordinate hyp [...]critical respect to man.

§. 1. To be Holy is to be Divine, or devoted to God, and appropriated to Him, and his Will, and Use; and that our Hearts and Lives be not Common and Unclean: To be Godly, is to Live to God; as those that from their hearts believe, that he is God indeed, and that he is the Rewarder of them that diligently seek him, that he is our God All-sufficient, our shield and exceeding great reward, Heb. 11. 6. Gen. 15. 1. & 17. 1. And that Of Him, and Through Him, and To Him are all things, that all may give the Glory for ever unto him: Rom. 11. 36. As God is infinitely above all Creatures, so Living upon God and unto God, must needs advance us above the highest sensual life: And therefore Reli­gion is transcendently above all Sciences or Arts: so much of God as is in you and upon you, so much you are more excellent than the highest worldly perfection can advance you to: GOD should be the First and Last and All in the mind, and mouth, and life of a believer. God must be the Prin­cipal Matter of your Religion: The Understanding and Will must be exercised upon him: When you awake you should be still with him, Psal. 139. 8. Your Meditati [...]ns of him should be sweet, and you should be glad in the Lord, Psal. 104. 34 Yet creatures under Him, may be the frequent less principal matter of your Religion; but still as referred unto Him. God must be the Author of your Religion: God must institute it, if you expect he should accept it and reward it. God must be the Rule of your Religion, as Revealing his Will concerning it in his Word. God must be the Ultimate End of your Religion; It must be intended to Please and Glorifie Him: God must be the continual Motive and Reason of your Religion, and of all you do▪ you must be able truly to fetch your Reason from Hea­ven, and to say, I do it because it is his will: I do it to please, and glorifie, and enjoy him: God must be taken as the Soveraign Iudge of your Religion, and of you, and of all you do: And you must whol­ly look to his Justification and approbation, and avoid what ever he condemneth. Can you take God for your Owner, your Soveraign, your Saviour, your sufficient Protector, your Portion, your All? If not, you cannot be godly, nor be saved: If his Authority have not more Power upon you, than the au­thority of the Greatest upon earth, you are Atheistical Hypocrites, and not truly Religious, whatever you pretend. If HOLINESS TO THE LORD, be written upon you, and all that's yours, you are de­voted to him as his Own peculiar ones: If your Names be set upon your Sheep, or Plate, or Clothes, you will say, if another should take them, They are mine; Do you not see my mark upon them: Sla­very to the Flesh, the World and the Devil, is the mark that is written upon the ungodly (upon the foreheads of the prophane, and upon the Hearts of Hypocrites and all): and Satan, the world and the flesh have their service: If you are Conseerated to God, and bear his Name and Mark upon you, tell every one that would lay claim to you, that you are His, and resolved to live to Him; to Love Him, to Trust Him, and to stand or fall to him alone. Let God be the very Life, and Sense, and End of all you do.

[Page 67]§. 2. When once Man hath too much of your regard and observation, that you set too much by his favour and esteem, or eye him too much in your profession and practice; when mans approbation too much comforteth you, and man [...] displeasure or dispraise doth too much trouble you; when your fear, and love, and care, and obedience are too much taken up for Man; You so far withdraw your selves from God, and are becoming the servants of men, and friends of the world, and turning back to bondage, and forsaking your Rock and Portion and your excellency: The soul of Religion is departing from you, and it is dying and returning to the dust. And if once Man get the preheminence of God, and be preferred and set above him in your hearts or lives, and feared, trusted, and obeyed before him, you are then dead to God, and alive to the world, and as Men are taken for your Gods, you must take up with such a salvation as they can give you: If your Alms and Prayers are done to be seen of men, and to procure their good thoughts and words; if you get them, make your best of them, For verily, your Judge hath said unto you, You have your reward, Matth. 6. 1, 2, 3.

Not that man is absolutely to be contemned or disregarded: No; under God your Superiours mustA [...]te [...] s [...] voles, a [...]; ha [...]e sed [...]m, & ae [...]am domum contu [...]t, re [...]; Sermo [...]b [...]s vu [...]g [...] dede [...]s te, nec in praevi [...]s huma­manis [...]pem posueris re­rum tuarum: suis te ille­cebr [...]s oportet ipsa vi [...]t [...]s trahat ad ve­rum d [...]u [...]. Ci [...]r [...] som [...]. S [...]p. Cael stia s [...]m­per [...]p [...]tato: [...]a humana contemnito. Id. Ibid. be obeyed; you must do wrong to none, and do good to all, as far as in you lyeth: you must avoid offence, and give good example, and under God have so much regard to men, as to become all things to all men for their salvation. But if once you set them above their rank, and turn your selves to an inordinate dependance on them, and make too great a matter of their opinion or words concerning you, you are losing your godliness or divine disposition; and turning it into man-pleasing and hypocrisie. When man stands in competition with God, for your first and chief regard, or in opposition to him, or as a sharer in co-ordination with him, and not purely in subordination to him, he is to be numbred with things to be forsaken. Even good men, whom you must love and honour, and whose communion and help you must highly value, yet may be made the object of your sin, and may become your snare. Your honouring of them, or love to them must not entice you to desire inordinately to be honoured by them, nor cause you to set too much by their approbation. If you do, you will find that while you are too much eying man, you are losing God, and corrupting your Religion at the very heart. And you may fall among those, that how Holy soever, may have great mistakes in matters of Religion, tending to much sin, and may be somewhat censorious against those that are not of their mind, and so the retaining of their esteem, and the avoiding of their censures, may become one of the greatest temptations of your lives. And you will find that man-pleasing is a very difficult and yet unprofitable task. Love Christ as he appeareth in any of his servants; and be followers of them, as they are fol­lowers of Christ, and regard their approbation as it agreeth with Christs: But O see that you are able to Live upon the favour of God alone, and to be quietted in his acceptance, though man despise you; and to be Pleased so far as God is pleased, though man be displeased with you; and to rejoyce in his Justification, though men condemn you with the odiousest slanders, and the greatest infamy, and cast out your names as evil doers: See that God be taken as Enough for you, or else you take him not as your God: Even as Enough without man, and Enough against man; That you may be able to say, If God be for us, who can be against us? Who is he that condemneth? it is God that justifieth? Rom. 8. 31, 33, 34. Do I seek to please men? For if I yet pleased men, I should not be a servant of Christ, Gal. 1. 10. Jer. 17. 5. Thus saith the Lord: Cursed be the man that trusteth in man, and maketh flesh his arm, and whose heart departeth from the Lord: For he shall be like the Heath in the Desert, and shall not see when good cometh—Blessed is the man that trusteth in the Lord, and whose hope the Lord is: for he shall be as a Tree planted by the wa­ters, and that spreadeth out her roots by the Rivers, and shall not see when heat cometh, but her leaf shall be green, and shall not be careful in the year of drought, neither shall cease from yielding fruit.] [Cease ye from man whose breath is in his nostrils: for wherein is be to be accounted of? Isa. 2. 22.]

[Page 68]§. 3. HAving given you these Directions, I must tell you in the Conclusion, that they are like foed, that will not nourish you by standing on your Table, or like Physick, that will not cure you by standing in the Box: They must be taken and digested, or you will find none of the benefit. It is not the Reading of them that will serve the turn to so great use, as the safe pro­ceeding and confirmation of beginners or No [...]ices in Religion: It will require humility to perceive the need of them; and labour to learn, digest and practise them. Those slothful souls, that will refuse the labour, must bear the sad effects of their negligence: There is not one of all these Directions, as to the Matter of them, which can be spared. Study them, Understand them, and Remember them, as things that must be done. If either a senselesness of your necessity, or a con­ceit that the Spirit must do it without so much labour and diligence of your own, do prevail with you, to put off all these, with a meer approbation, the consequent may be sadder than you can yet foresee. Though I suppose you to have some beginnings of Grace; I must tell you, that it will be comparatively a sad kind of life, to be erroneous, and scandalous, and troublesome to the Church, or full of doubts, and fears, and passions, and to be burdensome to others and your selves! Yea, it is reason that you be very suspicious of your Sincerity, if you desire not to in­crease in grace, and be not willing to use the means, which are necessary to your encrease. He is not sincere, that desireth not to be perfect: And he desireth not sincerely, who is not willing to be at the labour and cost which is necessary to the obtaining of the thing desired. I beseech you therefore, as you love the happiness, of prudent, strong and comfortable Christians, and would escape the misery of those grievous diseases, which would turn your lives into languishing, unservice­ableness, and pain, that you seriously study these Directions, and get them into your minds, and memories, and hearts; and let the faithful practice of them be your greatest care, and the constant em­ployment of your lives.

CHAP. III. The General Grand Directions for Walking with God, in a Life of Faith and Holiness: Containing the Essentials of God­liness and Christianity.

I Am next to Direct you in that Exercise of Grace, which is common to all Christians. Habits are for Use: Grace is given you, not only that you may have it, but also that you may Use it. And it is fit that we Direct you how to Use it, before we direct you how to know that you have it; because it is Grace in exercise that you must discern; and Habits are not perceived in themselves, but by their Acts: And the more lively and powerful the exercise is, the more easily is Grace perceiv­ed: So that this is the nearest and surest way to a Certainty of our own sincerity: He that Useth Grace most and best▪ hath most Grace: And he that hath most, and useth it most, may most easily be Assured that he hath it in sincerity and truth.

In these Directions, I shall begin with those great internal duties, in which the very Life of all Religion doth consist; and the General Practice of these Principles and Graces: and all these Gene­rals shall be briefly set together for the easiness of Understanding and Remembring them. And then I shall give you such Particular Directions, as are needful in subordination to those Generals.

DIRECT. I. Labour to understand well the Nature, Grounds, Reason and Order of Faith andGr. Dir. 1. Godliness: and to Believe upon such grounds, so well understood, as will not sufferFor a well­grounded Faith. you to stagger, or entertain a contrary belief.

§. 1. IGnorance and ungrounded or ill-grounded perswasions in matters of Religion, are the cause that abundance of people delude themselves, with the empty name and dead profession of a Faith and Religion which they never were indeed possessors of. I know there are low degrees of knowledge comparatively in many that are true believers: and that there may be much Love and Ho­liness, where knowledge is very small or narrow, as to the objective extent of it: And that there is a knowledge that puffeth up, while Charity edifieth: And that in many that have the narrower knowledge, there may be the fastest faith and adherence to the truth, which will conquer in the time of tryal. But yet I must tell you, that the Religion which you profess, is not indeed your own Religion, if you know not what it is, and know not in some measure the true Grounds and Reasons why you should be of that Religion. If you have only learnt to say your Creed, or repeat the words of Christian Doctrine, while you do not truly understand the sense, or if you have no better Reasons why you profess the Christian faith, than the custom of the Countrey, or the command of Princes or Gover­nours, or the Opinion of your Teachers, or the example of your Parents, friends or neighbours, you are not Christians indeed. You have a humane belief or opinion, which objectively is true; but sub­jectively in your selves you have no true divine belief. I confess there may be some insufficient, yea, and erroneous Reasons, which a true Believer may mistakingly make use of, for the proof of certain fundamental truths: But then that same man hath some other Reason for his reception of that truth, which is more sound▪ and his faith is sound because of those sound infallible principles, though there be a mixture of some other Reasons that are unsound. The true Believer buildeth on the Rock, and giveth deep rooting to the holy seed, Matth. 7. 24. & 13. 5, 8. Though some deluded men may tell you, that Faith and Reason are such enemies, that they exclude each other as to the same object, and that the less Reason you have to prove the truth of the things believed, the stronger and more laudable is your faith; yet when it cometh to the tryal, you will find, that Faith is no unreasonable thing; and that God requireth you to believe no more, than you have sufficient reason for, to warrant you, [Page 70] a [...] b [...]r you out, and that your faith can be no more, than is your perception of the Reasons why you should believe; and that God doth suppose Reason when he infuseth Faith; and useth Reason in [...]e us [...] of faith. They that Believe, and know not why, or know no sufficient Reason to war [...]ant their Belief, do take a fansie, an Opinion, or a dream for faith. I know that many honest hearted Christi­ans are unable to dispute for their Religion, or to give to others a satisfactory account of the Rea­sons of their faith or h [...]pe: But yet they have the true apprehension of some solid Reasons in them­selves; and they are not Christians they know not why; And though their knowledge be small as to the number o [...] propositions known, yet it doth alwayes extend to all that is essential to Christianity and Godliness, and they do not believe they know not what: And their knowledge is greater intensively, and in its value and operation, than the knowledge of the learnedst ungodly man in the world.

§. 2. Though I may not here digress, or stay so long, as largely to open to you the Nature, Grounds, Reason and Method of Faith and Godliness which I am perswading you to understand, yet I shall first [...]y before you a few Propositions, which will be useful to you, when you are enquiring into these things, and then a little open them unto you.

Prop. 1. A life of Godliness, is our living unto God as God, as being absolutely addicted to him.

2. A life of Faith, is a living upon the unseen everlasting Happiness as purchased for us by Christ (with all the necessaries thereto) and freely given us by God.

3. The contrary life of sense and unbelief, is a living, in the prevalency of sense or flesh, to this present world, for want of such believing apprehensions of a better, as should elevate the soul thereto, and conquer the fleshly inclination to things present.

4. Though man in innocency needing no Redeemer, might live to God without faith in a Redeemer; yet lapsed man is not only unable to Redeem himself, but also unable to live to God without the grace of the Redeemer. It was not only necessary that he satisfie Gods justice for us, that he may pardon and save us without any wrong to his Holiness, Wisdom or Government, but also that he be our Teacher by his Doctrine and his Life, and that he Reveal from Heaven the Fathers will, and that Objectively in him we may see the wonderful condescending Love and Goodness of a Reconciled God and Father, and that effectually [...]e illuminate, sanctifie and quicken us by the operations of his Word and Spirit, and that he protect and govern, justifie and glorifie us; and be the Head of Restored Man, as Adam was the Root of lapsed man, and as the lapsed Spirits had their Head: And therefore we must wholly Live upon him as the Mediator between God and man, and the only Saviour by Merit and by [...]fficacy.

5. Faith is a knowledge by certain credible Testimony or Revelation from God by means supernatural or extraordinary

6. The knowledge of things naturally revealed (as the cause by the effect, &c.) is in order before the Knowledge or Belief of things revealed supernaturally.

7. It is matter of natural Revelation that there is a God, that he is infinite in his Immensity and [...] that they [...]d [...] & [...] Deos & [...] im­p [...]ba [...]. S [...]a & statuas ex disciplinae instituto è medio [...]u [...]isse: And that some thought that the Jews came from them, p. 4. 6▪ And [...] him [...]lf [...]ai [...]h to these that make O [...]ph [...] the first Philosopher, V [...]deant c [...]r [...]e qui ita [...]lunt, quo sit ce [...]s [...]ndus nomine, qui D [...] [...]cta ho [...]n [...]m vi [...], & quae [...]aro [...] turpibus quibus (que) & [...]lagitiosis hominibus geruntur, asc [...]i [...]it pag. 4. He saith also that the said M [...] h [...]d, and [...] with them, that men should live again, and become immortal. The like he saith of many other Sects. It is a thing most irrational to doubt of the being of the unseen worlds, and the more excellent inhabitants thereof: when we consider that this l [...]w and little part of Gods Creation is so full of inhabitants: If a Microscope will shew your very eyes a thousand visible crea­tures which you could never see without i [...], nor know that they had any being, will you not allow the pure intellectual sight to go much [...] beyond your Microscope? Eternity, in his Power, Wisdom and Goodness; that he is the first Cause and Ultimate End of all things; that he is the Preserver and over ruling disposer of all things, and the Supream Governour of the Rati­onal world, and the great Benefactor of all mankind, and the special Favourer and Rewarder of such as truly love him, seek him and obey him: Also that the soul of man is immortal; and that there is a life of Reward or punishment to come, and that this life is but preparatory unto that: that man is bound to Love God his Maker, and serve him, with all his heart and might; and to believe that this Labour is not vain: that we must do our best to know Gods will, that we may do it: This with much more (of which some part was mentioned, Chap. 1. §. 2, 3, &c.) is of Natural Revelation, which In [...]i­dels may know.

8. There is so admirable a concord and correspondency of Natural Divinity with supernatural, the T [...] ▪ in [...], A [...]ui [...]a [...] [...] i [...] An [...]iqui [...] ­mum omnium [...] [...] Deus, [...] us [...] [...] [...] [...]imum [...]undu [...], De [...] [...]. Maximum locus: capit enim omnia: Velocissimum meus: nam per universa discurrit: Fortissimum necessitas: cuncta enim supe [...]a [...] [...] temp [...]s: i [...]v [...]t namque omnia. Q. Utrum prius factum nox an dies? R. N [...]x, una priu [...] di [...]. Q. Latet ne Deos homo m [...] ag [...] R. N▪ cogit [...] quidem Q. Quid difficile [...] R. Seipsum noscere. Q. Quid facile▪ [...]. Ab a [...]o moveri. Q. Quid suav [...]s­simum▪ R. [...]ui. Q. Quid Deus? R. Quod initio & fine caret. p. 14. 20, 21. natural leading towards the supernatural, and the supernatural falling in so meet where the natural end­eth, or falls short, or is defective, that it greatly advantageth us in the Belief of supernatural Divi­nity. Nay, as the Law of Nature was exactly fitted to man in his natural innocent estate; so the Law and Way of Grace in Christ is so admirably and exactly fitted to the state of lapsed man for his Reco­very and Salvation, that the experience which man hath of his sin and misery, may greatly prepare him to perceive and believe this most suitable Gospel or Doctrine of Recovery: And though it may not be called Natural, as if it were fitted to innocent Nature, or as if it were revealed by Natural ordinary means, yet may it be so called, as it is exactly suited to the restoration of lapsed miserable nature; [Page 71] even as Lazarus his restored soul, though supernaturally restored, was the most natural associate of his body; or as bread, or milk, or wine, though it should fall from Heaven, is in it self the most natu­ral food for man.

9. The same things in Divinity which are revealed Naturally to all, are again revealed supernaturally in the Gospel: and therefore may and must be the matter both of natural knowledge and of faith.

10. When the mali [...]ious Tempter casteth in doubts of a Deity, or other points of natural Certainty, it so much discrediteth his suggestions, as may help us much to reject them when withal he tempteth us to doubt of the truth of the Gospel.

11. There are many needful appurtenances to the objects of a Divine faith, which are the matter of a humane faith: (Of which more anon.)

12. Christ as Mediator is the Way, or principal means to God; as coming to restore man to his Maker. And so faith in Christ is but the Means to bring us to the Love of God (though in Time they are connexed.)

13. Knowledge and Faith are the eye of the new creature, and Love is the Heart: There is no more spiritual Wisdom, than there is Faith: and there is no more life or acceptable qualification, or ami­ableness, than there is Love to God.

14. All truths in Divinity are revealed in order to a holy life: Both Faith and Love are the Principles and Springs of practice.

15. Practice affordeth such experience to a believing soul, as may confirm him greatly in the belief of those supernatural revelations, which he before received without that help.

16. The everlasting fruition of God in Glory being the end of all Religion, must be next the heart, and most in our eye, and must objectively animate our whole Religion, and actuate us in every duty.

17. The pleasing of God being also our End, and both of these, (Enjoying him and Pleasing him) be­ing in some s [...]al [...] foretastes attainable in this life, the endeavour of our souls and lives must be by FAITH to exercise LOVE and OBEDIENCE; for thus God is Pleased and Enjoyed.

18. All things in Religion are fitted to the good of man, and nothing to his hurt: God doth not com­mandConjungi vult nos inter nos, atque con­necti per mu­tua beneficia Charitatis: Adeo ut tota justitia & praeceptum hoc Dei, communis sit utilitas hominum. O miram clementiam Domini! O ines­fabilem Dei benignitatem! Praemium nobis pollicetur, fi nos invicem diligamus; id est, fi nos ea praestemus invicem, quorum vicissim indigemus: & nos superbo & ingrato animo, ejus renittimur voluntati, cujus etiam imperium beneficium est. Hieron. ad C [...]la [...]t. See my Book of the Reasons▪ of the Christian Religion. us, to honour him by any thing which would make us miserable; but by closing with and magnifying his Love and Grace.

19. But yet it is his own revelation by which we must judge what is finally for our good or hurt; and we may not imagine that our shallow or deceivable wit is sufficient to discern without his Word, what is best or worst for us; Nor can we rationally argue from any present temporal adversity or un­pleasing bitterness in the means, that [This is worst for us, and therefore it is not from the Good­ness of God:] But we must argue in such cases [This is from the Goodness and Love of God, and therefore it is Best.]

20. The grand impediment to all Religion and our Salvation, which hindereth both our Believing, Loving and Obeying, is the inordinate sensual inclination to Carnal self and present transitory things, cunningly proposed by the Tempter to ensnare us, and divert, and steal away our hearts from God and the life to come. The understanding of these Propositions will much help you in discerning thr Nature and Reason of Religion.

DIRECT. II. Diligently labour in that part of the life of faith, which consisteth in the constant [...] use of Christ, as the Means of the souls access to God, acceptance with him, and comfort from him: And think not of coming to the Father, but by him.

§. 1. TO talk and boast of Christ is easie, and to use him for the increase of our carnal security, and boldness in sinning: But to live in the daily Use of Christ to those Ends of his Office, to which he is by us to be made use of, is a matter of greater skill and diligence, than many self­ [...] Professors are aware of. What Christ himself hath done, or will do, for our salvation, is [...] directly the thing that we are now considering of; but what Use he requireth us to make of him [...] Paul. S [...]aiiger Thes. p. 725. Christus solus, & quidem secundum utramque naturam di­ [...]. Id. p 725. in the life of saith. He hath told us, that his flesh is meat indeed, and his blood is drink indeed; and that except we eat his flesh and drink his blood, we have no life in us. Here is our Use of Christ expressed by eating and drinking his flesh and blood, which is by faith. The General parts of the work of Redemption, Christ hath himself performed for us, without asking our Consent, or im­pos [...]g upon us any Condition on our parts, without which he would not do that work: As the Sun doth illustrate and warm the earth whether it will or not, and as the Rain falleth on the Grass with­out asking whether it consent, or will be thankful; so Christ without our consent or knowledge, did take our nature, and fulfill the Law, and satisfie the offended Law-giver, and Merit grace, and con­qu [...] Satan, Death and Hell, and became the Glorified Lord of all: But for the exercise of his graces in us, and our advancement to communion with God, and our living in the strength and joyes of faith, he is himself the Object of our Duty, even of that Faith which we must daily and diligently exercise upon him: And thus Christ will profit us no further than we make Use of him by faith. It is not a forgotten Christ that objectively comforteth or encourageth the soul; but a Christ believed in, and skilfully and faithfully Used to that end. It is Objectively (principally) that Christ is called Our wisdom, 1 Cor. 1. 30. The knowledge of him, and the mysteries of Grace in him, is the Christian or Divine Philosophy or Wisdom, in opposition to the vain Philosophy, which the Learned Heathens boast­ed of. And therefore Paul determined to know nothing but Christ crucified, that is, to make often­tation of no other knowledge, and to glory in nothing but the Cross of Christ, and so to preach Christ as if he kn [...]w nothing else but Christ. See 1 Cor. 1. 23. & 2. 2. Gal. 6. 14. And it is Objectively that Christ is said to dwell in our hearts by faith, Ephes. 3. 17. Faith keepeth him still upon the heart by continual cogitation, application and improvement: As a friend is said to dwell in our hearts, whom we continually love and think of.

§. 2. Christ himself teacheth us to distinguish between Faith in God (as God) and faith in him­self [...]: Namqu [...] [...]m­p [...]n [...] & in­volute non [...]haec so [...]um, sed q [...]unqu [...] Divinae [...]e [...]ae pr [...]dunt, credit, de quibus tamen n [...]n omnibus interr [...]gatur, quod e [...] expresse [...]i [...]e omnia, illi minime opus sit. omnia. 5. c 6. p. 461. Christian Religion beginneth not at the Highest, but the Lowest: with Christ incarnate, teaching, dying, [...] [...] [...] p. 1 [...]1. out of I [...]t [...]r. (as Mediator:) John 14. 1. [Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God: (or, Believe ye in God [...] believe also in me.] These set together are the sufficient cure of a troubled heart. It is not Faith in God as God, but Faith in Christ as Mediator that I am now to speak of: And that not as it is inherent in the understanding, but as it is operative on the heart and in the life: And this is not the smallest part of the life of faith, by which the just are said to live: Every true Christian must in his measure be able to say with Paul, Gal. 2. 20. I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live: yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh, I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me. The Pure Godhead is the Beginning and the End of all, But Christ is the Image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature; and by him all things were created that are in Heaven and that are in Earth, visible and invisible, whether they be Thrones or Dominions, or Principalities or Powers, all things were created by him and for him: and he is before all things, and by him all things do consist. And he is the Head of the Body, the Church; who is the begin­ning, the first born from the dead; that in all things he might have the preheminence. Col. 1. 16, 17, 18, 19. In him it is that we who were sometime far off, are made nigh, even by his blood: For he is our Peace, who hath rec [...]n [...]iled both Iew and Gentile unto God in one body by the Cross, having slain the [...]n [...]i­ty thereby: and came and preached peace to them that were far off, and to them that were [...]ig [...]: For through him we both have an access by one Spirit unto the Father: so that now we are no more i [...] [...]s and for [...]igners, but fellow Citizens with the Saints, and of the houshold of God, Ephes. 2. 1 [...], [...] [...] [...]6, 17, 18. In him it is that we have beldness and access with confidence through faith in him, Ep [...] [...] He is the Way, the Truth and the Life: and no man cometh to the Father, but by him: John 14. 6. It is by the blood of Iesus that we have boldness (and liberty [...] to enter into the holiest: by a new and [Page 73] living way which he hath consecrated for us through the vail, that is to say, his flesh; Because we have so Great a Priest over the House of God, we may draw near, with a true heart, in full assurance of faith, &c. Heb. 10. 19, 20, 21, 22. By him it is that we have access by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and boast in hope of the Glory of God, Rom. 5. 1, 2. So that we must have all our Communion with God through him.

§. 3. Supposing what I have said of this subject in my Directions for a sound Conversion, Dir. 5. (which I hope the Reader will peruse) I shall here briefly name the Uses which we must make of Christ by faith, in order to our holy converse with God: But I must tell you that it is a Doctrine [...]an [...] omnium v [...]r [...]um ra­dix & [...]und [...] ­m [...]rum fides [...]; quae cer­tance▪ adjuvat, V [...]n [...]n [...]s c [...] ­ron [...]t, & c [...] ­lessi dono quosdam de­ [...] signo [...]um [...]: Nihil enim quod sincerae fidei deneg [...]tur, quia nec ai [...]ud [...] nobis Deu [...], quam fidem exigit: Hanc d [...]git, han [...] requirit, huic [...]n [...]ta promitut & tribur. S. [...] M [...]rt A [...]. To [...]t. Mem [...]d [...] Sanct. p. 4. Notandum, quod cum fides moriua [...]t praeter opera jam n [...]que fides est: Nam neque h [...]mo mortutis, homo est.—Non en [...]m sicu: spirit [...]um [...]o [...]pore meliorem, ita [...]ra f [...]de [...] pra [...]da [...]um, quando gratia salvatur homo, non ex of eribus sed ex fide: nisi for [...]e & h [...]c in questiore sit, quod salve: fides quae cum o [...]ri [...] us proprii [...] v [...]t; tanquam a iud genus operum sit, praeter quae salus ex fide preven [...]t: we autem sunt opera quae sub umbra [...] b [...]e [...]an [...]u [...]. Di [...]nus Alexand. in Iac. cap. 2. which requireth a prepared heart, that hath life within to enable it to relish holy truth, and to di­spose it to diligence▪ delight and constancy in practice. A senseless Reader will feel but little savour in it, and a sluggish Reader that suffereth it to dye as soon as it hath toucht his ears or fantasie, will fall short of the practice and the pleasure of this life. He must have faith that will live by faith: And he must have the heart and nature of a child, that will take pleasure in loving, reverent and obedient converse with a Father.

§. 4. 1. The Darkness of Ignorance and Unbelief is the great impediment of the soul that desireth to draw near to God: When it knoweth not God, or knoweth not mans capacity of enjoying him, and how much he regardeth the heart of man; or knoweth not by what way he must be sought and found, or when he doubteth of the certainty of the word which declareth the duty and the hopes of man; all this or any of this, will suppress the ascending desires of the soul, and clip its wings, and break the heart of its holy aspirings after God, by killing or weakning the hopes of its success.

Here then make Use of Iesus Christ, the great revealer of God and his will to the blinded world, and the great confirmer of the Divine authority of his Word. Life and immortality are brought more fully to light by the Gospel, than ever they were by any other means. Moses and the Prophets did bring with their Doctrine sufficient evidence of its credibility. But Christ hath brought both a fuller Revelation, and a fuller evidence to help belief. An inspired Prophet which proveth his in­spiration to us, is a credible messenger: but when God himself shall come down into flesh, and con­verse with man, and teach him the knowledge of God, and the way to life, and tell him the myste­ries of the world to come, and seal his testimony with unquestionable proofs, who will not learn of such a Teacher? and who will deny belief to such a messenger, except absurd unreasonable men? Remember then, when Ignorance or Unbelief would hinder your access to God, that you have the ablest Teacher and the surest Witness to acquaint you with God in all the world. If God had sent an Angel from Heaven, to tell you what he is, and what he requireth of you, and what he will do for you, would it not be very acceptable to you: But he hath done much more; he hath sent his Son:Dilectio Dei misi [...] nob [...] salva [...]orem: cu [...]u [...] G [...]a [...]i [...] salvati sum [...]s: ut possideamus ha [...]c gratia [...], cammunica­tio facit spi­ritus. A [...]. i [...] 2 Co [...]. 13. 13. The Deity it self hath appeared in flesh: He that hath seen God, and he that is God, hath come among men to acquaint them with God: His testimony is more sure and credible than any Angels: Heb. 1. 1, 2, 3. God who at sundry times and in divers manners spake in times past to the Fathers by the Prophets, hath in these last dayes spoken to us by his Son. John 1. 18. No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son who is in the bosome of the Father, he hath declared him. We have neither heard the Voice of God, nor seen his shape. John 5. 37. No man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God; he hath seen the Father. John 6. 46. No man knoweth the Father save the Son, and he to whom­soever the Son will reveal him. Matth. 11. 27. What more can we desire, that is short of the sight of the Glory of God, than to have him revealed to us by a messenger from Heaven, and such a Mes­senger as himself hath seen him, and is God himself? Plato and Plotinus may describe God to us ac­cording to their dark conjectures: something we may discern of him by observing his works: But Christ hath declared what he saw, and what he knew beyond all possibility of mistake. And lest his own testimony should seem questionable to us, he hath confirmed it by a life of Miracles, and by Rising from the dead himself, and ascending visibly to Heaven, and by the Holy Ghost, and his mira­culous gifts which he gave to the Messengers of his Gospel. Had it been no more than his Resurre­ction from the dead, it had been enough to prove the utter unreasonableness of unbelief.

§. 5. 2. It is also a great impediment to the soul in its approach to God, that Infinite distance dis­ableth us to conceive of him aright: We say as Elihu, Job 36. 26. Behold, God is great, and we know him not. And indeed it is impossible that mortal man should have any adequate apprehensions of his Fssence. But in his Son he hath come down to us, and shewed himself in the clearest Glass that ever did reveal him: Think of him therefore as he appeared in our flesh: As he shewed himself in his Holiness and Goodness to the world. You may have positive thoughts of Iesus Christ: Though you may not think that the Godhead was flesh, yet may you think of it as it appeared in flesh. It may quiet the understanding to conceive of God as incarnate, and to know that we cannot yet know him as he is, or have any adequate conceptions of him: These may delight us till we reach to more.

[Page 74]§. 6. 3. It hindereth the souls approach to God, when the Infinite distance makes us think that God will not regard or take notice of such contemptible worms as we: we are ready to think that he is too high for our converse or delight. In this case the soul hath no such remedy, as to look to Christ, and see how the Father hath regarded us, and set his heart upon us, and sent his Son to seek and save us: O wonderful astonishing condescension of Eternal Love! Believe that God assumed flesh to make himself familiar with man; and you can never question whether he regard us, or will hold communion with us.

§. 7. 4. It hindereth our comfortable access to God, when we are deterred by the Glory of his Infiniteness and Majesty: As the eye is not able to gaze upon the Sun, unless it be overshadowed. So the soul is afraid of the Majesty of God, and overwh [...]lmed by it when it should be delighted in it. Against this there is no such remedy, as to behold God appearing to us in his Son, where his Majesty is v [...]il [...]d, and where he approacheth us familiarly in our nature, to invite us to him with holy confi­dence and reverent boldness. Christ did not appear in a terrible form: Women durst discourse with him: beggars, and criples, and diseased people durst ask his help: sinners durst eat with him: The proud contemned him, but the lowly were not frighted from him. He took upon him the form of a servant, and made himself of no reputation, that he might converse familiarly with the meanest and those of no reputation. Though we may not debase the Godhead, to imagine that it is humbled in Glory, as it was on earth, in the flesh of Christ, yet this condescension is unspeakable encouragement to the soul to come with boldness unto God, that was frighted from him.

§. 8. 5. When the guilt of sin affrighteth us from God, and we are thinking that God will notO D [...]mine Jesu d [...]es [...]on [...]ua sed m [...]a vulnera [...] A [...] a side ad Grat. l. 2. c. 3. No. immo [...]talitate male usi sumus ut moreremur. Christus mortalitate benè usus est ut viv [...]remus. August. de Doct. Christ. l. 1. c. 14. accept such great offenders as we have been, then Christ is our remedy who hath paid our debt, and born our stripes, and procured and sealed us a pardon by his blood. Shall pardoned sins drive us from him that pardoneth them? He hath justified us by his righteousness: The curse and condem­nation are terrible indeed; but he hath taken them away, and given us a free discharge.

§. 9. 6. The infirmities also of our souls in duty, are ofttimes a great discouragement to us, in our approaches to the Most Holy Jealous God: To find so little knowledge of God, so little Love to him, such cold desires, such wandering and distracted thoughts, such dull requests: It is hard to have live­ly and thankful apprehensions, of Gods acceptance of such defective, lame meditations or prayers: But we are apt to think that he will abhor both them and us, and that he can take no pleasure in them, yea, that it is as good not pray at all. Here faith hath full relief in Christ: Two things it can say from him to encourage the fearful soul: 1. That our Acceptance with the Father is through the merits of his Son: And he is worthy, though we are unworthy. If we have but the worthiness of Faith, and Repentance, and sincere Desire, Christ hath the worthiness of perfect holiness and obedience for us. We go not to the Father in our own names, but in his: And whatever we ask the Father in the name of Christ according to his will, he will give it us: Ioh. 16. 23. & 14. 13. & 15. 16. 2. That all the infirmities of our souls and services are forgiven us through Christ: He hath undertaken to answer for them all, and to justifie us from all such accusations. By faith thou maist, as it were, hear Christ thus speaking for thine encouragement: [Go boldly, poor sinner, into my Fathers presence: Fear not the guilt of thy sins, or the imperfection of thy prayers; as long as thou truly Repentest of them, and Desirest to be delivered from them, and Trustest in me, I am thy worthiness; my Righte­ousness is perfect without spot; I have taken all thy faults and failings upon me: I have undertaken to answer for all the imperfections of thy holy things: Sincerity is thy endowment; Perfection is mine: Trust me in the performance of the trust which I have undertaken.]

§. 10. 7. Sometime the soul that would draw near to God, is overwhelmed with Grief and Terror, so that the sense of sin, and danger, and misery do even distract men, and cast them into an agony, so that they say with David, Psal. 77. 2, 3, 4. [My soul refused to be comforted, I remembred God and was troubled; I complained, and my Spirit was overwhelmed; Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak.] Yea, they think they feel God thrust them from him, and tell them that he hath utterly forsaken them. In this case faith must look to Christ, and remember that He was in an Agony when he prayed, and in a greater agony than ever you were, so that he sweat even drops of blood, and yet in that agony he prayed more earnestly, Luke 22. 44. He himself once cryed out upon the Cross, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me: and yet he was the Beloved of the Father, and is now at his right hand in glory: And all this he did that we might not be forsaken: He hath re­moved the enmity: He hath reconciled us to God: By grief he passed himself to joy, and he will wipe away, his servants tears, and cause their griefs to end in joy.

§. 11. 8. Sometime the soul that would draw near to God, is molested with a storm of hideous Temptations, and even confounded with a swarm of disordered perplexed thoughts: Satan assaulteth it with Temptations to despair, Temptations to horrid blasphemous thoughts, temptations to entangle, intermit, corrupt or pervert the duty which they are about, so that the soul is discouraged, overwhelmed and broken with the inward assaults, and troubles, and distractions which it undergoeth. In this case Faith hath a Saviour suitable to our relief. It can look to him that was tempted in all points like as we are, without sin, and is now such an High Priest as can be touched with the feeling of our infir­mities, and therefore we may come boldly to the Throne of Grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need, Heb. 4. 14, 15, 16. In all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful High Priest, in things pertaining to God, to make reconcilia­tion [Page 75] for the sins of the people: For he himself having suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted, Heb. 2. 17, 18. He submitted not only to be tempted by Satan, but tempted in a Wilder­ness where he had no man to comfort him; and to be tempted to the most horrid Blasphemy and wick­edness, even to fall down and worship the Devil himself; and he suffered the Tempter violently to carry him to the pinnacle of the Temple, Matth. 4. What should we think of our selves, if we had been used thus? Should we not think that God had utterly forsaken us? He suffered himself to be tempted also by men: by the abuses and reproaches of his enemies; by the desertion of his follow­ers; by the carnal counsel of Peter, perswading him to put by the death which he was to undergo. And he that made all Temptations serve to the triumph of his patience, and conquering power, will give the victory also to his Grace, in the weakest soul.

§. 12. 9. It would be the greatest attractive to us to draw near to God, and make the thoughts of him pleasant to us, if we could but believe that he dearly loveth us, that he is reconciled to us, and taketh us for his children, and that he taketh pleasure in us, and that he resolveth for ever to glorifie us with his Son; and that the dearest friend that we have in the world, doth not Love us the thou­sandth part so much as he. And all this in Christ is clearly represented to the eye of faith. All this is procured for believers by him: And all this is given to believers in him: In him God is re­conciled to us: He is our Father, and dwelleth among us, and in us, and walketh in us, and is our God, 2 Cor. 6. 16, 17, 18. Light and Heat are not more abundant in the Sun, than Love is in Ie­sus Christ. To look on Christ and not perceive the Love of God, is as to look on the Sun, and not to see and acknowledge its light. Therefore when ever you find your hearts averse to God, and to have no pleasure in him, look then to Iesus, and observe in him the unmeasurable love of God: that you may be able to comprehend with all the Saints, what is the bredth and length and depth, and height, and to know the Love of Christ which passeth knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fulness of God, Eph. 3. 18, 19. Love and Goodness are that to the will, which delicious sweetness is to the sensitive appe­tite: Draw near then and taste the Feast of Love which God hath prepared and proposed by his Son. Dost thou not see or feel the Love of God? Come near, and look upon God incarnate; upon a cru­cified Christ; upon the Covenant sealed in his blood; upon all the benefits of his Redemption; up­on all the priviledges of the Saints; and upon the glory purchased, possessed and promised by him: Put thy hand into his wounded side, and be not faithless, but believing, and then thou wilt cry out, My Lord, and my God.

§. 13. 10. So also when the soul would fain perceive in it self the flames of Love to God, it is the beholding of Christ by faith, which is the striking of fire, and the effectual means of kindling love: And this is the true approach to God, and the true Communion and converse with him: so far as we Love him, so far do we draw near him, and so far have we true communion with him. O what would the soul of a Believer give, that it could but burn in Love to God, as oft as in prayer or meditation, or conference, his Name and Attributes are mentioned or remembred! For this, there is no such powerful means, as believingly to look on Christ, in whom such glorious Love appeareth, as will draw forth the Love of all that by a lively faith discern it. Behold the Love that God hath manifested by his Son, and thou canst not but Love him who is the spring of this transcendent Love. In the Law God sheweth his frowning wrath: and therefore it breedeth the Spirit of bon­dage unto fear: But in Christ God appeareth to us not only as Loving us, but as Love it self, and therefore as most lovely to us, giving us the Spirit of Adoption, or of filial Love, by which we fly and cry to him as our Father.

§. 14. 11. The actual undisposedness and disability of the soul, to prayer, meditation, and all ho­ly converse with the blessed God, is the great impediment of our walking with him: And against this our relief is all in Christ: He is filled with the Spirit to communicate to his members: He can quicken us when we are dull: He can give us faith when we are unbelieving; he can give us bold­ness when we are discouraged: he can pour out upon us the Spirit of supplication, which shall help our infirmities, when we know not what to pray for as we ought. Beg of him then the Spirit of prayer: And look to his example who prayed with strong cryes and tears, and continued all the night in prayer, and spake a Parable to this end, that we should alwayes pray, and not wax faint, Luke 18. 1. Call to him and he that is with the Father, will reach the hand of his Spirit to you, and will quicken your desires, and lift you up.

§. 15. 12. Sometime the soul is hearkning to temptations of unbelief, and doubting whether God observe our prayers, or whether there is so much to be got by prayers as we are told: In such a case faith must look to Christ, who hath not only commanded it, and encouraged us by his example, but also made us such plentiful promises of acceptance with God, and the grant of our desires: Recourse to these promises will animate us to draw nigh to God.

§. 16. 13. Sometime the present sense of our vileness, who are but dust and despicable worms, doth discourage us, and weaken our expectations from God. Against this, what a wonderful relief is it to the soul, to think of our union with Christ, and of the dignity and glory of our Head? Can God despise the members of his Son? Can he trample upon them that are as his flesh and bone? Will he cut off, or forsake, or cast away the weakest parts of his body?

§. 17. 14. Sometime the guilt of renewed infirmities or decayes, doth renew distrust, and make us shrink, and we are like the Child in the Mothers arms, that feareth when he loseth his holt, as if his safety were more in his holt of her, than in her holt of him: Weak duties have weak expectations of success. In this case, what an excellent remedy hath faith, in looking to the perpetual intercession of Christ? Is he praying for us in the Heavens, and shall we not be bold to pray, and expect an answer? [Page 76] [...] remember that he is not weak when we are weak; and that it concerneth us, that he prayeth for us: and that we have now an unchangeable Priest, who is able to save them to the uttermost, or to perpe­tuity that come (sincerely) to God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make intercession for them, Heb 7. [...]4. 25 If you heard Christ pray for you, would it not encourage you to pray, and perswade you that God will not reject you? Undoubtedly it would.

§. 18. 15. Sometimes weak Christians that have not gifts of memory or utterance, are apt to think that Ministers indeed and able men are accepted of God, but that he little valueth such as them. It is here a great encouragement to the soul, to think that Jesus our great High Priest, doth make all his Children Priests to God. They are a chosen generation, a royal Priesthood, an holy Nation, a peculiar people, that they should shew forth the prayses of him that hath called them, out of darkness into his mar­vell [...]us light: An holy Priesthood to offer up spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God by Iesus Christ, 1 Pet. 2. 5, [...]. Even their broken hearts and contrite Spirits, are a sacrifice which God will not desp [...]se, Psal. 51. 17. He knoweth the meaning of the Spirits groans, Rom. 8. 26, 27.

§. 19. 16. The strength of corruptions which molest the soul, and are too often strugling with it, and too much prevail, doth greatly discourage us in our approach to that God that hateth all the workers of iniquity. And here faith may find relief in Christ, not only as he pardoneth us, but as he hath conquered the Devil and the world himself, and bid us be of good cheer, because he hath conquered; and hath all power given him in Heaven and Earth, and can give us victorious grace in the season and measure which he seeth meetest for us. We can do all things through Christ that strengtheneth us. Go to him then by faith and prayer, and you shall find that his grace is sufficient for you.

§. 20. 17. The thoughts of God are the less delightful to the soul, because that Death and the Grave do interpose, and we must pass through them before we can enjoy him: And it is unpleasing to nature to think of a separation of soul and body, and to think that our flesh must rot in darkness. But against this, faith hath wonderful relie [...] in Iesus Christ. For asmuch as we were partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part with us, that he might destroy through death him that had the power of death, even the Devil, and deliver them who through fear of death, were all their life time sub­ject to bondage. H [...]b. 2. 14, 15. O what an encouragement it is to faith, to observe that Christ once dyed himself, and that he rose from the dead, and reigneth with the Father: it being impossible that death should h [...]ld him: And having conquered that which seemed to conquer him, it no more hath dominion over him, but he hath the Keyes of Death and Hell: we may now entertain death as a dis­armed enemy, and say, O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? Yea, it is sanctified by him to be our friend, even an entrance into our Masters joy: it being best for us to depart and be with Christ, Phil. 1. 23. and therefore death is become our gain, v. 21. O what abundance of strength and sweetness may faith perceive from that promise of Christ, John 12. 26. [If any man serve me, let him follow me, and where I am, there shall also my servant be.] As he was dead, but now liv­eth for evermore, so hath he promised, that because he liveth, therefore shall we live also: John 14. 19. But of this I have written two Treatises of Death already.

§. 21. 18. The terror of the day of Iudgement, and of our particular doom at death, doth make the thoughts of God less pleasing and delectable to us: And here what a relief is it for faith to appre­hend, that Iesus Christ must be our Judge? And will he condemn the members of his body? Shall we be afraid to be judged by our dearest friend? by him that hath justified us himself already, even at the price of his own blood?

§. 22. 19. The very strangeness of the soul to the world unseen, and to the inhabitants and em­ployments there, doth greatly stop the soul in its desires, and in its delightful approaches unto God. Had we seen the world where God must be enjoyed, the thoughts of it would be more familiar and sweet. But faith can look to Christ and say, [My head is there: he seeth it for me: he knoweth what he possesseth, prepareth, and promiseth to me: and I will quietly rest in his acquaintance with it.]

§. 23. 20. Nay, the Godhead it self is so infinitely above us, that in it self it is inaccessible; and it is ready to amaze and overwhelm us to think of coming to the incomprehensible Majesty: But it emboldneth the soul to think of our Glorified Nature in Christ, and that even in Heaven God will everlastingly condescend to us in the Mediator: For the Mediation of Redemption and acquisition shall be ended (and thus he shall deliver up the Kingdom to the Father) yet it seems that a Mediation of fruition shall continue: For Christ said to his Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am, that they may behold my glory, John 17. 24. We shall rejoyce when the marriage of the Lamb is come, Rev. 19. 7. They are blessed that are called to his Marriage Supper, v. 9. The Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are the Temple and the Light of the New Ierusalem, Rev. 21. 22, 23. Heaven would not be so familiar, or so sweet to my thoughts, if it were not that our glorified Lord is there, in whose Love and Glory we must live for ever.

O Christian, as ever thou wouldst walk with God, in comfortable communion with him, study and exercise this Life of faith, in the daily use and improvement of Christ, who is our Life, and Hope, and All.

DIRECT. III. Gr. Dir. 3. Understand well what it is to believe in the Holy Ghost: and see that he dwellTo believe in the Holy Ghost, and live upon his Grace. and operate in thee, as the Life of thy soul, and that thou do not resist or quench the Spirit, but thankfully obey him.

§. 1. EAch person in the Trinity is so believed in by Christians, as that in Baptism, they enterScrutari te­meritas est, credere pietas, nesse vita: Bernard. de consid. ad E [...] ­ge [...]. l. 5. distinctly into Covenant with them: which is, to Accept the Mercies of, and perform the [...] each person distinctly. As to take God for Our God is more than to believe that there is a God; [...]nd to take Christ for Our Saviour, is more than barely to believe that he is the Messiah: so to Believe in the Holy Ghost, is to take him for Christs Agent or Advocate with our souls, and for our Guide, and Sanctifier, and Comforter, and not only to believe that he is the third person in the Tri­nity. This therefore is a most practical Article of our Belief.

§. 2. If the Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost be the unpardonable sin, then all sin against the Holy Ghost must needs have a special aggravation by being such: And if the sin against the Holy Ghost be the greatest sin, then our duty towards the Holy Ghost is certainly none of our smallest duties. Therefore the Doctrine of the Holy Spirit, and our duty towards him, and sin against him, deserve not the least, or last place in teaching, learning and most serious consideration.

§. 3. Two sorts do most dangerously sin against, or abuse the Holy Ghost. The first is the Pro­phane, who through custom and education can say [I believe in the Holy Ghost] and say, that [He sanctifieth them and all the Elect people of God:] but hate or resist all sanctifying works and motionsDeus est prin­cipium e [...]e­ctivum in Creatione, re­fectivum in redemptione, perfectivum in sanctificatione. Ioh. Con. bis comp. Theol. l. 4. c. 1. of the Holy Ghost, and hate all those that are sanctified by him, and make them the objects of their scorn, and deride the very name of sanctification, or at least the thing.

The second sort is the Enthusiasts or true Fanaticks, who advance, extoll, and plead for the Spirit, Rejectis pro­pheticis & Apostolicis scriptis, Mani­chaei novum Evangelium scripserunt: & ut antecel­lere communi hominum multitudini, & semi-d [...] ­rentur, simu­larunt Enthu­sia [...]mos seu afflatus, sub [...]o in [...]ur [...]a se in terram obj [...] ­entes, &c v [...]lut [...] d [...] tacentes; deinde tanquam redeuntes ex specu Trophonio & plorantes, multa vaticinati sunt; Prorsus ut Anabaptistae recens f [...]ceru [...] in seditione Monasteriensi. Etsi autem in quibusdam manifesta simulatio fuit, tamen aliquibus reipsa à Diabolis sur [...]tes im­misses esse certum est. Cario [...]. Chron. l. 3. p. 54. against the Spirit; covering their greatest sins against the Holy Ghost, by crying up, and pretending to the Holy Ghost: They plead the Spirit in themselves against the Spirit in their Brethren, yea, and in almost all the Church: They plead the authority of the Spirit in them, against the authority of the Spi­rit in the holy Scriptures: and against particular truths of Scripture; and against several great and needful Duties, which the Spirit hath required in the Word; and against the Spirit in their most ju­dicious, godly, faithful Teachers. But can it be the Spirit that speaks against the Spirit? Is the Spirit of God against it self? Are we not all, baptized by One Spirit (and not divers or contrary) into one body? 1 Cor. 12. 12, 13. But it is no marvel, for Satan to be transformed into an Angel of light, or his Ministers into the Ministers of Christ, and of Righteousness, whose end shall be according to their works, 2 Cor. 11. 13, 14, 15. The Spirit himself therefore hath commanded us, that we believe, not every Spirit, but try the Spirits whether they be of God; because many false Prophets are gone out into the world: 1 John 4. 1. Yea, the Spirit speaketh expresly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing Spirits, and doctrines of Devils: 1 Tim. 4. 1. Therefore take heed that you neither Mistake nor abuse the Holy Spirit.

§. 4. 1. The Doctrine concerning the Holy Ghost, to be believed, is briefly this. 1. That the Holy Ghost as given since the Ascension of Christ, is his Agent on earth, or his Advocate with men (called by him the Paraclete): Instead of his bodily presence which for a little space he vouchsafed to a few, be­ingJohn 16. 7. [...]. ascended, he sendeth the Holy Spirit as better for them, to be his Agent continually to the end, andJohn 15 2 [...]. John 16. 13. Gal. 3. 1, 2, 3, 4 Heb. 2. 3, 4. unto all, and in all that do believe. 2. This Holy Spirit so sent, infallibly inspired the holy Apostles and Evangelists, first to preach, and then to write the Doctrine of Christ, contained (as indited by him) in the Holy Scriptures; perfectly imprinting therein the Holy Image of God. 3. The same Spi­rit in them, sealed this holy Doctrine, and the Testimony of these holy men, by many Miracles and wonderful Gifts, by which they did actually convince the unbelieving world, and plant the Churches. 4. The same Spirit (having first by the Apostles given a Law or Canon to the Universal Church, constituting its Offices and the duty of the Officers, and the manner of their entrance)Eph. 3 2, 3, 4, 8, 13. d [...]t [...] Qualifie and [...]ispose men for the stated ordinary Ministerial work, (which is to Explain and Ap [...] [...]he [...]oresaid Scriptures), and directeth those that are to Ordain and Choose them (they being not wanting on their part) and so he appointeth Pastors to the Church. 5. The same Spirit assisteth the Ministers thus sent in their faithful use of the means) to Teach and Apply the holy Scriptures ac­cording to the necessities of the peopl [...], the weight of the matter, and the Majesty of the Word of God. 6. The same Spirit doth by this Word (heard, or read) renew and sanctifie the souls of the [Page 78] Elect; illuminating their minds, opening and quickning their hearts, prevailing with, changing, andAct [...] 26. 18. resolving their wills, thus writing Gods Word, and imprinting his Image by his Word upon their hearts; making it powerful to conquer and cast out their strongest, sweetest, dearest sins; and bring­ingJohn 14 16 26 them to the saving knowledge, love and obedience of God in Jesus Christ. 7. The same holy Spirit assisteth the sanctified in the exercise of this grace, to the increase of it, by blessing and con­curring with the means appointed by him to that end: And helpeth them to use those means, per­form their duties, conquer temptations, oppositions and difficulties, and so confirmeth and preserveth them to the end. 8. The same Spirit helpeth believers in the exercise of grace to feel it and discern the sincerity of it in themselves, in that measure as they are meet for, and in these seasons when it is fittest for them. 9. The same Spirit helpeth them hereupon to conclude that they are justified and reconciled to God, and have right to all the benefits of his Covenant. 10. Also he assisteth them actually to rejoyce in the discerning of this Conclusion. For though Reason of it self may do some­thing in these acts, yet so averse is man to all that is holy, and so many are the difficulties and hinderances in the way, that to the effectual performance, the help of the Spirit of God is ne­cessary.

§. 5. By this enumeration of the Spirits operations, you may see the errors of many detected, and many common Questions answered. 1. You may see their blindness that pretend the Spirit within them against Scripture, Ministry, or the use of Gods appointed means: when the same Spirit first in­dited the Scripture, and maketh it the Instrument to illuminate and sanctifie our souls: Gods Image is 1. Primarily in Jesus Christ his Son: 2. Derivatively, by his Spirit imprinted perfectly in the ho­ly Scriptures: 3. And by the Scripture, or the holy Doctrine of it, instrumentally impressed on the soul. So that the Image of God in Christ, is the Cause of his Image in his holy Word or Doctrine, and his Image in his Word, is the Cause of his Image on the heart. So a King may have his Image, 1. Naturally on his Son, who is like his Father: 2. Expressively, in his Laws, which express his Wis­dom, Clemency and Justice: 3. And effectively on his Subjects and Servants, who are by his Laws re­duced to a Conformity to his mind. As a man may first cut his Arms or Image on his seal, and then by that seal imprint it on the wax; and though it be perfectly cut on the seal, it may be imperfectly printed on the wax; so Gods Image is naturally perfect in his Son, and Regularly or expressively perfect on the seal of his holy Doctrine and Laws; but imperfectly on his subjects according to their reception of it in their several degrees.

§. 6. Therefore it is easie to discern their error, that tell men the Light or Spirit within them is their Rule, and a perfect Rule, yea, and that it is thus in all men in the world; when Gods Word and experience flatly contradict it, telling us that Infidels and enemies of God, and all the ungodly are in Darkness, and not in the Light; and that all that speak not according to this Word, (the Law and Testimony) have No Light in them, and therefore no perfect Light to be their Rule. Isa. 8. 20. The Ministry is sent to bring them from darkness to Light: Therefore they had not a sufficient Light in them before: Acts 26. 17, 18. Wo to them that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: Isa. 5. 20. telling the children of darkness and the haters of the Light, that they have a perfect Light and Rule within them, when God saith, They have no Light in them. See 1 John 1. 5. 4, 6, 7, 8. He that saith he is in the Light and hateth his brother, is in darkness even till now, 1 John 2. 9, 10, 11. The Light within a wicked man, is darkness and blindness, and therefore not his Rule. Matth. 6. 23. Ephes. 5. 8. Even the Light that is in godly men, is the knowledge of the Rule, and not the Rule it self at all, nor ever called so by God: Our Rule is perfect; our knowledge is imperfect: for Paul himself saith, We know in part: But when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part, shall be done away: Now we see through a glass darkly—1 Cor. 13. 9, 10, 12. The Gospel is bid to them that are lost, being blinded by Satan, 2 Cor. 4. 3, 4.

§. 7. There is an admirable unsearchable concurrence of the Spirit, and his appointed means, and the will of man, in the procreation of the new creature, and in all the exercises of grace, as there is of Male and Female in natural generation; and of the Earth, the Sun, the Rain, the in­dustry of the Gardiner; and the seminal vertue of Life and specification, in the production of Plants with their flowers and fruits. And as wise as it would be, to say, It is not the Male, but the Fe­male, or the Female but the Male that generateth; or to say, It is not the Earth, but the Sun, or not the Sun, but the Rain, or not the Rain, but the seminal Vertue, that causeth Plants with Flowers and Fruits: So wise is it to say, It is not the Spirit, but the Word and Means, or it is not the Word and Means, but the Spirit, or it is not the Reason, and Will and industry of man, but the Spirit: Or if we have not wisdom enough to assign to each cause, its proper interest in the effect, that therefore we should separate what God hath conjoyned, or deny the truth of the causation, because we comprehend not the manner and influence, this is but to choose to be befooled by Pride, rather than confess that God is wiser than we.

§. 8. 2. You may here discern also, how the Spirit assureth and comforteth believers: and how pal­pably they err, that think the Spirit comforteth, or assureth us of our salvation without the use of its Evidencing grace. The ten things mentioned, §. 4. is all that the Spirit doth herein. But to ex­pect his Comforts without any measure of discerning his graces, which can only rationally prove our right to the blessings of the Promise, this is to expect that he should comfort a Rational Creature not as Rational, but darkly cause him to rejoyce he knoweth not why: and that he should make no use of faith to our comfort: For faith resteth understandingly upon the Promise, and expecteth the per­formance of it to those that it is made to, and not to others. Indeed there is a common encourage­ment and comfort, which all men, even the worst may take from the universal conditional Promise; [Page 79] and there is much abatement of our fears and troubles that may be fetcht from probabilties and un­certain hopes of our own sincerity and interest in the Promise. But to expect any other assurance or comfort from the Spirit, without Evidence, is but to expect immediate revelations or inspirations to do the work, which the Word of promise and faith should do. The souls Consent to the Covenant of Grace, and fiducial Acceptance of an offered Christ, is justifying sa [...]ing faith: Every man hath an ob­ject in the Promise and offer of the Gospel for this act, and therefore may rationally perform it. (Though all have not hearts to do it) This may well be called, Faith of adherence: and is it self our evidence, from which we must conclude, that we are true Believers: The discerning of this Evi­dence called by some, the Reflex act of faith, is no act of faith at all, it being no believing of another, but the act of Conscience knowing what is in our selves. The discerning and concluding that we are the children of God, participateth of faith and conscientious knowledge, which gave us the premises of such a conclusion.

§. 9. 3. You may hence perceive also how we are said to be sealed by the Spirit: Even as a mansEph. 1. 13. Rom. 8. 9. Ephes. 4 30. seal doth signifie the thing sealed to be his own: So the Spirit of holiness in us is Gods seal upon us, signifying that we are his. 2 Tim. 2. 19. Every one that hath the Spirit, is sealed by having it: and that is his Evidence, which if he discern, he may know that he is thus sealed.

§. 10. 4. Hereby also you may see what the earnest and first fruits of the Spirit is: The Spirit is2 Co [...]. 1. 22. given to us by God, as the earnest of the Glory which he will give us. To whomsoever he giveth the Spirit of Faith, and Love, and Holiness, he giveth the seed of life eternal, and an inclination thereto, which is his earnest of it.

§ 11. 5. Hereby also you may see how the Spirit witnesseth that we are the children of God: The word Witness is put here principally for Evidence: If any one question our adoption, the Witness or Evidence which we must produce to prove it, is the Spirit of Iesus sanctifying us, and dwelling in us: This is the chief part (at least) of the sense of the Text, Rom. 8. 16. Though it is true, that the same Spirit witnesseth by 1. Shewing us the grace which he hath given us; 2. And by shew­ing us the truth of the Promise made to all believers; 3. And by helping us from those Pro­mises to conclude with boldness, that we are the children of God: 4. And by helping us to rejoyce therein.

§. 12. II. I have been the longer (though too short) in acquainting you with the Office of the Holy Ghost (supposing your Belief that he is the third person in the Trinity) because it is an Article of grand importance, neglected by many that profess it, and because there are so many and dange­rous errors in the world about it. Your great care now must be 1. To find this Spirit in you, as the Principle of your operations: and 2. To obey it, and follow its motions, as it leadeth you up to communion with God. Of the first I have spoken in the first Chapter. For the second observe these few Directions.

§. 13. Direct. 1. Be sure you mistake not the Spirit of God and its motions, nor receive instead ofDirect. 1. them, the motions of Satan, or of your passions, pride or fleshly wisdom. It is easie to think you are obeying the Spirit, when you are obeying Satan and your own corruptions against the Spirit. By these fruits the Spirit of God is known. 1. The Spirit of God is for Heavenly Wisdom, and neither for Foolishness, or treacherous craftiness, Psal. 19. 7. & 94. 8. Jer. 4. 22. 1 Cor. 2. 4; 5, 6, 7. 2. The Spirit of God is a Spirit of Love, delighting to do good; its doctrine and motions are for Love, and tend to Good; abhorring both selfishness and hurtfulness to others. Gal. 5. 21, 22. 3. He is a Spirit of Concord, and is ever for the Unity of all believers; abhorring both Divisions among the Saints, and car­nal complyances and [...]onfederacies with the wicked, 1 Cor. 12. Ephes. 4. 3, 4, 5, 6, 13. 1 Cor. 1. 10.N [...]mo mag­nus sine a [...]i­quo affla [...] D [...]v [...]o [...]n­quam suit. [...] 2. [...] N [...]. D [...]o. & 3. 3. Rom. 16, 17, 18. 4. He is a Spirit of humility and self-denyal, making us and our know­ledge, and gifts and worth, to be very little in our own eyes; Abhorring, pride, ambition, self-exalt­ing, boasting, as also the actual debasing of our selves by earthliness or other sin, Matth. 18. 3. Eph. 4. 2. 5. He is a Spirit of meekness, and patience, and [...]orbearance; Abhorring stupidity, and inordinate pas­sion, boisterousness, tumult, envy, contention, reviling and revenge. Math. 11. 28, 29. Ephes. 4. 2. Iames 3. 1 Pet. 2. 20, 21, 23. Gal. 5. 20. Rom. 12. 18, 19, 20. Eph. 4. 31. Col. 3. 8. 6. He is a Spi­rit of zeal for God, resolving men against known sin, and for known truth and duty: Abhorring a furious destroying zeal, and also an indifferency in the cause of God, and a yielding complyance with that which is against it. Gal. 4. 18. Numb. 25. 11, 13. Titus 2. 14. Iames 3. 15. 17. Luke 9. 55. Rev. 3. 16. 7. He is a Spirit of Mortification, crucifying the flesh, and still con [...]ending against it, and cause­ing men to live above all the Glory, and Riches, and Pleasures of the world; Abhorring both carnal licentiousness, and sensuality, and also the destroying and disabling of the Body, under pre [...]ence of true mortification. Rom. 8. 1. 13. Gal. 5. 17. Rom. 13. 13, 14. 1 Cor. 9. 27. 2 P [...]t. 2. 19. Col. 2. 18, 21, 23. 8. The Spirit of Christ contradicteth not the doctrine of Christ in the holy Scripture, but moveth us to an exact conformity thereto. Isa. 8. 20. This is the sure Rule to try pretences and moti­ons of every Spirit by: For we are sure that the Spirit of Christ is the Author of that word; and we are sure he is not contrary to himself. 9. The motions of the Spirit do all tend to our Good, and are neither Ludicrous, impertinent, or hurtful finally: They are all for the perfecting of sanctificati­on obedience, and for our salvation. Therefore unprofitable trifles, or despair and hurtful distra­ctions and disturbances of mind, which drive from God, unfit for duty, and hinder salvation, are not the motions of the Spirit of God. 2 Tim. 1. 7. Rom. 8. 15. Isa. 11. 2. Gal. 5. 22. Zech. 12. 10. 1 Pet. 4. 14. 2 Cor. 3. 6. 10. Lastly, The Spirit of God subjecteth all to God, and raiseth the heart to him, and maketh us spiritual and divine, and is ever for Gods glory: 1 Iohn 4, 5, 6. 1 Cor. 6. 11. 17, 20. Ephes. 2. 18, 22. Phil. 3. 3, 19, 20. 1 Pet. 1. 2. & 4, 6. Examine the Texts here cited, [Page 80] and you will find that by all these fruits the Spirit of God is known from all seducing Spirits, and from the fancies or passions of self-conceited men.

§. 14. Direct. 2. Quench not the Spirit, either by wilful sin, or by your neglecting of its offered help. Direct. [...]. It is as the spring to all your spiritual motions; as the Wind to your Sails: You can do nothing with­out it. Therefore reverence and regard its help, and pray for it, and obey it, and neglect it not. When you are sure it is the Spirit of God indeed, that is knocking at the door, behave not your selves as if you heard not. 1. Obey him speedily: Delay is a present unthankful refusal, and a kind of a denyal. 2. Obey him throughly: A half obedience is disobedience. Put him not off with Ana­nias and Saphira's gift; the half of that which he requireth of you. 3. Obey him constantly: not sometime hearkning to him and more frequently neglecting him; but attending him in a learning obediential course of life.

§. 15. Direct. 3. Neglect not those means which the Spirit hath appointed you to use, for the receiv­ing Direct. 3. of us help, and which be useth in his holy operations. If you will meet with him, attend him in his own way, and expect him not in by-wayes where he useth not to go. Pray, and me [...]ita [...]e, and hear, and read, and do your best, and expect his blessing. Though your plowing and s [...]win [...] will not give you a plentiful harvest without the Sun, and Rain, and the blessing of God, yet these will not do [...]t neither, unless you plow and sow. God hath not appointed a course of means in Nature or Mora­lity in vain, nor will he use to meet you in any other way.

§. 16. Direct. 4. Do most when the Spirit helpeth you most. Neglect not the extraordinary mea­sures Direct. 4. of his assistance: If he extraordinarily help you in prayer, or meditation, improve that help, and break not [...]st so soon as at other times (without necessity): Not that you should omit duty till you seel his help: For he useth to come in with help in the performance, and not in the neglect of duty. But tire▪ not out your self with affected length, when you want the life.

§. 17. Direct. 5. Be not unthankful for the assistance he hath given you. Deny not his grace:Direct. 5. Ascribe it not to nature: Remember it to encourage your future expectations: Unthankfulness and neglect are the way to be denyed further help.

§. 18. Quest. But how shall I know whether good effects be from the Means, or from my Reason andQuest. Endeavour, and when from the Spirit of God?


Answ. It is as if you should ask, How shall I know, whether my harvest be from the Earth, or Sun, or Rain, or God, or from my labour? I will tell you how. They are all con-causes: If the effect be there, they all concur: If the effect be wanting, some of them were wanting. It's foolish to ask, which is the cause, when the effect is not produced but by the concurrence of them all: If you had asked, which cause did fail, when the effect faileth? there were reason in that question: But there is none in this. The more to blame those foolish Atheists, that think God or the Spirit is not the cause, if they can but find that Reason and Means are in the effect. Your Reason, and Conscience, and Means would fall short of the effect, if the Spirit put not life into all.

§. 19. Obj. But I am exceedingly troubled and confounded with continual doubts about every motion thatObject. is in my mind, whether it be from the Spirit of God, or not.

Answ. The more is your ignorance, or the malice of Satan causing your disquiet. In one word,Answ. you have sufficient Direction to resolve those doubts, and end those troubles: Is it Good, or Evil, or In­different that you are moved to? This question must be resolved from the Word of God, which is the Rule of duty. If it be good, in matter, and manner, and circumstances, it is from the Spirit of God, (either its common or special operation): If it be evil or indifferent, you cannot ascribe it to the Spi­rit. Remember that the Spirit cometh not to you▪ to make you new duty which the Scripture never made your duty, and so to bring an additional Law: but to move and help you in that which was your duty be­fore. (Only it may give the Matter, while Scripture giveth the Obligation by its general command). If you know not what is your duty, and what not, it is your ignorance of Scripture that must be cured: Interpret Scripture well, and you may interpret the Spirits motions easily. If any new duty be motioned to you, which Scripture commandeth not, take such motions as not from God: (Unless it were by extraordinary confirmed Revelation.)

DIRECT. IV. Gr. Dir. 4. Let it be your chiefest study to attain to a true, orderly, and practical knowledge of God,For the true and orderly impression of Gods Attri­butes on the heart. in his several Attributes and Relations; and to find a due impression from each of them upon your hearts, and a distinct effectual improvement of them in your lives.

§. 1. BEcause I have written of this point more fully in another Treatise, (Of the Knowledge of God, and Converse with him), I shall but briefly touch upon it here, as not willing to re­peatLaert. in Zeno. saith, Dicunt Stoici Deum esse animal immortale, rationale, per­fectum, ac beatum, à malo omni remotissimum, providentia sua mundum & quae sunt in mundo administrans omnia: Non tamen inesse illi humanae [...]ormae lineamenta. Caeterum esse opificem immensi hujus operis, sicut & patrem omnium.—Eumque multis appellari nominibus juxta proprietates suas—Quosdam item esse daemones dicunt quibus insit hominum miseratio, inspectores rerum humararum; Heroas quoque so utas corporibus, sapientum animas—▪ Bonos aiunt esse Divino [...], quod in seipsis quasi habeant Deum. Malum vero impium & sine Deo esse, quod duplici ratione accipitur, sive quod Deo contrarius dicatur, sive quod aspernetur Deum: Id tamen malis omnibus non con­venire. Pios autem & Religiosos esse sapientes, peritos divini juris omnes. P [...]tatem esse sei [...]iam divini cultus. Diis item eos sacr ficia sacturos, castosque futuros. Quippe ea quae in Deos admittuntur peccata detes [...]ari, Diisque charos ac gratos fore quo sancti justique in rebus divinis sint. that which there is delivered: Only let me briefly mind you of these few things: 1. That the true knowledge of God is the summ of Godliness, and the end of all our other knowledge, and of all that we have or do as Christians. As Christ is a Teacher that came from God, so he came to call and lead us unto God: Or else he had not come as a Saviour: It is from God that we fell by sin, and to God that we must be restored by grace: To save us, is to restore us to our perfection, and our happiness: and that is to restore us unto God.

§. 2. 2. That the true knowledge of God is powerful and effectual upon the heart and life: And every Attribute and Relation of God, is so to be known, as to make its proper Impress on us: And the measure of this saving knowledge, is not to be judged of, by Extensiveness or number of Truths con­cerning God which we know, so much as by the Clearness, and Intensiveness, and the measure of its holy effects upon the heart.

§. 3. 3, This is it that denominateth both our selves and all our Duties HOLY: when Gods Image is thus imprinted on us; and we are like him by the new birth, as Children to their Father; and by his knowledge both our Hearts and Lives are made Divine; being disposed unto God, devoted to him, and employed for him; he being our Life, and Light, and Love.

§. 4. This is the summ of the Covenant of God with man [I will be thy God, and thou shalt be my people.] And the other parts of the Covenant, (that Christ be our Saviour, and the Holy Ghost our Sanctifier) are both subservient unto this; there being now no coming unto God, but as Re­conciled in Christ our Mediator, and by the teaching and drawing of the Holy Ghost. To be our God, is to be to us An Absolute Owner, a most Righteous Governour, and a most Bountiful Benefactor or Father, as having Created us, Redeemed and Regenerated us; and this according to his most Blessed Nature, proper­ties and perfections.

§. 5. 5. It is not only a loose and unconstant effect of your particular thoughts of God, that is the ne­cessary Impress of his Attributes, (as to Fear him when you remember his Greatness and Iustice): But it must be an Habit or holy nature in you, every Attribute having made its stated Image upon you: and that Habit or Image being in you a constant Principle of holy spiritual operations. A Habit of Re­verence, Belief, Trust, Love, &c. should be as it were your Nature.

§. 6. 6. Not that the knowledge of God in his perfections should provoke us to desire his properties and perfections: For to have such an aspiring desire to be Gods, were the greatest Pride and wickedness: But only we must desire, 1. To be as like God in all his communicable excellencies, as is agreeable to our created state and capacity. 2. And to have as near and full communion with him, as we can attain to and enjoy.

§. 7. 7. The Will of God, and his Goodness, and Holiness, is more nearly propounded to us to be the Rule of our Conformity, than his Power and his Knowledge. Therefore his Law is most immediately the expression of his Will; and our Duty and Goodness lyeth in our Conformity to his Law; being Ho­ly as he is Holy.

Because I may not stand on the particulars, I shall give you a brief imperfect Scheme of that of God which you must thus know.

[Page 82]GOD is to be known by us

  • I. As [...] [...].
    • I. In his BEING, Q [...]od [...].
      • 1. One; and indivisible: In Three Persons.
      • 2. Immense: and incomprehensible.
      • 3. Eternal.▪
        • 1. The FATHER,
        • 2. The SON,
        • 3. The HOLY GHOST.
          • 1. Necessary,
          • 2. Independent,
          • 3. Immutable.
    • II. In his NATURE: Quod [...]t.
      • A SPIRIT
        • 1. Simple: uncompounded.
        • 2. Impassionate, incoruptible, immortal.
        • 3. Invisible, intactible, &c.
      • and LIFE it self
        • 1. POWER,
        • 2. UNDERSTANDING,
        • 3. WILL.
    • III. In his PERFE­CTIONS. Q [...]ali [...] [...].
      • 1. OMNIPOTENT,
      • 2. OMNISCIENT,
      • 3. MOST GOOD.
        • 1. MOST GREAT,
        • 2. MOST WISE,
        • 3. MOST HOLY and HAPPY.▪
          • 1. BEING HIMSELF.
          • 2. KNOWING HIMSELF.
  • II. As R [...]la [...]d to his Creatures.
    • I. The EFFI­CIENT Cause of all things: Rom. 9. 36. [OF HIM]
      • 1. CREATOR & Conserver.
        • 1. Our OWNER or LORD: most Ab­solute, Free, and Ir­resistible.
          • (d) 1. Our Life, and Strength, and Safety.
            • (e) 1. Perfecting our Natures in Heavenly Life.
            • II. The DI­RIGENT Cause: [THROUGH HIM,]
            • 2. REDEEM­ER & Savi­our.
            • 2. Our RULER or KING:
              • 1. By Legislation:
              • 2. Judgement:
              • 3. Execution: Absolute, Perfect, True, Holy, Just, Merciful, Patient, Terrible.
            • 2. Our Light, and Wisdom.
            • 2. Whom we shall behold in Glorious Light.
            • III. The FI­NAL Cause: [TO HIM are all things: To him be Glory for ever: Amen.]
            • 3. REGENE­RATOR & Sanctifier.
            • 3. Our BENEFA­CTOR or FA­THER;
              • 1. Most Loving:
              • 2. Most Bountiful:
              • 3. Most Amiable: (Patient, Merciful, Constant.) Causally and Objectively (d)
            • 3. Our Love and Ioy: And so our End, and Rest, and Happiness hereafter (e)
            • 3. Whom we shall Please and Love; and be Pleased in him, and Loved by him; Rejoyce in him, Praise him, and so Enjoy him, Perfectly and Per­petually.

See these Practically opened and improved, in the First Part of my Divine Life. The more full Explication of the Attributes fit for the more capacious, is reserved for another Tractate.

[Page 83]§. 8. For the right improvement of the Knowledge of all these Attributes of God, I must refer youDo D [...]s ita u [...] sunt loquere: Bias i [...]l [...]. [...]g Pa [...]i S [...]a­l [...]g [...]i [...] s [...]s de [...] M [...] ­do Ep. Cath. l 14. God never wrought Mi­rac [...]e to con­vince Athe­ism, because his ordinary works con­vince it: [...]. Ba [...]o [...] Essay 16. p. 87. Deus est mens soluta, libera & leg [...]egata ab omni con­cretione mor­tall, omnia se [...]en [...], mo­vens, &c. Cicero 1. T [...]cul. to the fore-mentioned Treatise. The acts which you are to exercise upon God are these: 1. The clearest Knowledge you can attain to: 2. The firmest Belief: 3. The highest Estimation: 4. The great­est Admiration: 5. The [...]eartiest and sweetest Complacency or Love: 6. The strongest Desire: 7. A filial Awfulness, Reverence and Fear: 8. The boldest quietting Trust and confidence in him: 9. The most fixed Waiting, Dependance, Hope and Expectation: 10. The most absolute self-resignation to him. 11. The fullest and quiettest submission to his disposals. 12. The humblest and most absolute subjection to his Governing Authority and Will, and the exactest obedience to his Laws. 13. The boldest courage and fortitude in his cause, and owning him before the world in the greatest sufferings. 14. The greatest Thank fulness for his Mercies. 15. The most faithful improvement of his Talents, and use of his Means, and perfor­mance of our trust. 16. A reverent and holy use of his Name, and Word: with a Reverence of his Secrets; forbearing to intrude or meddle with them. 17. A wise and cautelous observance of his Providences, publick and private; neither neglecting them, nor mis-interpreting them: neither run­ning before them, nor striving discontentedly against them. 18. A dis [...]rning, loving and honouring his Image in his children, notwithstanding their infirmities and faults; without any friendship to their faults, or over magnifying, or imitating them in any evil. 19. A reverent, serious, spiritual ado­ration, and worshipping him, in publick and private, with soul and body, in the use of all his holy Ordinances: but especially in the joyful celebration of his Praise, for all his Perfections and his Mercies. 20. The highest Delight and fullest Content and Comfort in God that we can attain: Especi­ally a Delight in Knowing him, and Obeying and Pleasing him, Worshipping and Praising him; Loving him, and being beloved of him, through Jesus Christ; and in the hopes of the Perfecting of all these in our Everlasting fruition of him in Heavenly Glory.

All these are the Acts of Piety towards God; which I lay together for your easier observation and memory: But some of them must be more fully opened, and insisted on.

DIRECT. V. Remember that God is your Lord or Owner: and see that you make an absoluteGr. Dir. 5. Of Self-resig­nation to God as our Owner. Resignation of your selves, and all that you have to him as his Own: and Use your selves and all accordingly; Trust him with his Own; and rest in his disposals.

§. 1. OF this I have already spoken in my Sermon of Christs Dominion, and in my Directions for a sound Conversion: and therefore must but touch it here. It is easie notionally to know and say that God is our Owner, and we are not our Own: But if the Habitual Practical knowledge of it, were as easie, or as common, the happy effects of it would be the sanctification and reformation of the world. I shall first tell you, what this Duty is, and how it is to be performed; and then what fruits and benefits it will produce; and what should move us to it.

§. 2. I. The duty lyeth in these acts. 1. That you consider the Ground of Gods Propriety in you,Persuasum hoc sit à principi [...] hominibus, dominos esse omnium re­rum ac mo­deratores De­os: ea (que) quae g [...]ra [...]ur co­ [...]um ge [...]i d [...] ­one a [...]que nu­m [...]n [...]—Et q [...] quisque [...] qu [...] agat, qu [...]d in se ad­mi [...]a [...], qua m [...]nte, qua p [...]eta [...]e [...]olat r [...]ligi [...]nem, intue [...], p [...]o­rumque & imp [...]orum habere rat [...]o­nem. [...] [...]. d [...] [...]. 1. In making you of Nothing, and preserving you. 2. In Redeeming you by purchase. 3. In Regene­rating you, and renewing you for himself. The first is the Ground of his Common Natural Propriety in you and all things: The second is the Ground of his Common Gracious Propriety in you and all men, as Purchased by Christ, Rom. 14. 9, Iohn 13. 3. The third is the Ground of his special Gracious Propri­ety in you, and all his sanctified peculiar people. Understand and acknowledge what a Plenary Domi­nion God hath over you, and how absolutely and wholly you are His. 2. Let it exceedingly Please you to think that you are wholly his: it being much better for you, as to your Safety, Honour and Happi­ness, than to be your Own, or any's else. 3. As God requireth it in his Covenant of Grace, that he have his Right by your Consent, and not by Constraint; so you must thankfully accept the motion, and with hearty and full Consent of Will, Resign your selves to him as his Own, even as his Creatures, his Ran­somed ones, and his Regenerate Children, by a Covenant never to be violated. 4. You must carefully watch against the Claim and reserves of carnal selfishness; lest while you confess you are Gods, and not your Own, you should secretly still keep possession of your selves against him, or re-assume the possession which you surrendred. 5. You must Use your selves ever after as Gods, and not your Own.

§. 3. II. In this Using your selves as wholly Gods, consisteth both your further duty, and your benefits: 1. When Gods Propriety is discerned and consented to, it will make you sensible how you are obliged to employ all your powers of soul and body to his service, and to perceive that Nothing should be alienated from him, no creature having any co­ordinate title to a thought of your hearts, or a glance of your affection, or a word of your mouths, or a minute of your time. The sense of Gods Propriety must cause you, to keep constant accounts between God and you, and to call your selves to a frequent reckoning, whether God have his Own, and you do not defraud him: whether it be his work that you are doing: and for him that you think, and speak, and live? And all that you have, [Page 84] will be Used as his, as well as your selves? For no man can have any good thing that is more his Own, than he is his own himself.

§. 4. 2. Propriety discerned doth endear us in affection to our Owner. As we love our Own Children, so they love their Own Fathers. Our very Dogs love their Own Masters better than another. When we can say with Thomas, My Lord and my God, it will certainly be the voice of Love. Gods Com­mon Propriety in us as his Created and Ransomed ones, obligeth us to Love him with all our heart: But the knowledge of his peculiar propriety by Regeneration, will more effectually command our Love.

§. 5. 3. Gods Propriety perceived, will help to satisfie us of his Love and Care of us; and will helpDeorum pro­videntia Mun­dus admini­stratur [...]dem (que) consulunt re­bus humanis ne [...]; so [...]um univers [...]s, ve­rum e [...]a [...] sing [...] [...]icero 1. de D [...]via. us to Trust him in every danger; and so take off our inordinate fear and anxieties, and caring for our selves. The Apostle proveth Christs Love to his Church, from his Propriety, Ephes. 5. 29. No man ever yet hated his Own flesh. God is not regardless of his Own: As we take care of our Cattel to preserve them, and provide for them, more than they do for themselves; for they are more Ours than their own▪ so God is more concerned in the welfare of his children, than they are themselves, they being more his than their own. Why are we afraid of the wrath and cruelty of man? Will God be mindless and negligent of his Own? Why are we over-careful and distrustful of his providence? Will he not take care of his Own, and make provision for them? God, even our own God shall bless us, Psal. 67 6. Gods interest in his Church, and Cause, and Servants, is an argument which we may plead with him in prayer, (1 Chron. 17. 21, 22.) and with which we may greatly encourage our confidence, Isa. 48. 9, 11. For my Names sake will I defer mine anger, and for my praise will I refrain for thee, that I cut thee not off—For mine Own sake, even for mine Own sake, will I do it: For how should my Name be polluted? and I will not give my Glory to another. Isa. 43. 1, 2. But now, thus saith the Lord that created thee, O Jacob, and he that formed thee, O Israel; Fear not, for I have Re­deemed thee; I have called thee by name; thou art Mine: When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee, &c. If God should neglect Our interest, he will not neglect his Own.

§. 6. 4. Gods propriety in us discerned, doth so much aggravate our sin against him, that it should great­ly restrain us; and further our humiliation and recovery when we are fallen: Lev. 20. 26. Ye shall be Holy unto me, for I the Lord am Holy, and have severed you from other people, that you should be mine. Ezek. 16. 8. I sware unto thee, and entered into a Covenant with thee, and thou becamest mine, saith the Lord, when he is aggravating Ierusalems sin. 1 Cor. 6. 19, 20. Ye are not your own; for ye are bought with a price: therefore glorifie God in your body, and in your Spirits, which are Gods. Justice requireth that every one have his own.

§. 7. 5. It should silence all murmurings and repinings against the Providence of God, to consider that we are his Own. Doth he afflict you? and are you not his own? Doth he kill you? Are you not his own? As a Ruler, he will shew you reason enough for it in your sins: But as your absolute Lord and Owner he need not give you any other Reason, than that he may do with his own as he list. It is not possible that he can do any wrong to that which is absolutely his Own. If he deny you health or wealth, or friends, or take them from you; he denyeth you, or taketh from you nothing but his own. Indeed as a Governour and a Father, he hath secured the faithful of eternal life: Otherwise as their Owner he could not have wronged them, if he had made the most innocent as miserable as he is capable to be. Do you labour, and beat, and kill your Cattel, because they are your own (by an imperfect propriety)? and dare you grudge at God for afflicting his Own, when their Consciences tell them, that they have deserved it and much more?

§. 8. And that you may not think that you have Resigned your selves to God entirely, when you doSins against Gods Domi­nion. but hypocritically profess it, observe: 1. That that man is not thus Resigned to God, that thinketh any ser­vice too much for God, that he can do: 2. Nor he that thinketh any cost too great for God that he is called to undergo: 3. Nor he that thinketh that all is won (of his time, or wealth, or pleasure, or any thing) which he can save or steal from God: For all is lost that God hath not. 4. Nor he that must needs be the Disposer of himself, and his condition and affairs, and God must humour him, and accommodate his Providence to his carnal interest and will, or else he cannot bear it, or think well of it. 5. Remember that all that is bestowed in sin upon Gods enemies is used against him, and no [...] as his Own. 6. And that he that hideth his Talent, or useth it not at all, cannot be said to Use it for God. Both idleness and alienating the gifts of God, are a robbing him of his own.

§. 9. III. To help you in this work of self-resignation, often consider: 1. That if you were your Own, you were most miserable: You could not support, preserve or provide for your selves: who should save you in the hour of temptation or distress? Alas, if you are humbled Christians, you know so much of your Own insufficiency, and feel your selves such a daily burden to your selves, that you have sure enough of your selves ere now: And beg of God, above all your enemies, to save you from your selves; and of all judgements to save you from being forsaken of God, and given up to your selves. 2. Remember that none in the world hath sufficient Power, Wisdom, and Goodness, to take the full care and charge of you but God: None else can save you, or sanctifie you, or keep you alive one hour: And therefore it is your happiness and honour, that you are His. 3. His Right is absolute, and none hath Right to you but he. None else did Create you, Redeem you, or Regenerate you. 4. He will Use you only in safe and honourable services, and to no worse an end, than your endless happiness. 5. What you deny him or steal from him, you give to the Devil, the World and the flesh: And do they better deserve it? 6. You are his own in Ti [...]le, whether you will or not; and he will fulfil his will upon you. Your Consent and Resignation is necessary to your good, to [...]ase you of your cares, and secure you from present and eternal misery.

DIRECT. VI. Gr. Dir. 6. Remember that God is your Soveraign King, to Rule and Iudge you: And that it is your Rectitude and happiness to obey and please him: Labour therefore to bringOf subjection to God as our Supream Go­vernour. your souls and bodies into the most absolute subjection to him, and to make it your Delight and business sincerely and exactly to obey his Will.

§. 1. HAving Resigned your selves absolutely to God as your Owner, you are next to subject your selves absolutely to God as your Governour or King. How much of our Religion consisteth in this, you may see in the nature of the thing, in the design of the Law and Word of God, in the doctrine and example of Jesus Christ, in the description of the last judgement, and in the common consent of all the world. Though Love is the highest work of man, yet is it so far from dischargingAristip [...]us ro­gatus aliquan­do qui [...] ha­berent ex m [...] ­um Philoso­phi? Si om­nes, inquit, leges inter [...] ­ant, aequabili­ter vivemus. La [...]tius. us from our subjection and obedience, that it constraineth us to it most powerfully and most sweetly, and must it self be judged of by these effects. John 14. 15. If ye love me, keep my Commandments. 21. He that hath my Commandments and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: 23. If any man love me, he will keep my words, and my Father will Love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him. 24. He that loveth me not, keepeth not my sayings. John 15. 10. If ye keep my Command­ments, ye shall abide in my Love, even as I have kept my Fathers Commandments, and abide in his Love: 14. Ye are my friends, if ye do whatsoever I command you. John 13. 17. If ye know these things, happy are ye if ye do them. 1 John 5. 3. For this is the Love of God, that ye keep his Commandments, and his Commandments are not grievous. 1 John 2. 4. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his Com­mandments, is a lyar, and the truth is not in him. 5. But who so keepeth his word, in him verily, is the Love of God perfected: hereby know we that we are in him. 6. He that saith he is in him, ought himself also to walk, even as he walked. 29. If ye know that he is Righteous, you know that every one that doth Righteousness is born of him 1 John 3. 6. Whosoever abideth in him, sinneth not: whosoever sinneth, hath not seen him, neither known him. 7. Little children, let no man deceive you: he that doth righteousness, is righteous, even as he is righeeous. 8. He that committeth sin, is of the Devil: for the Devil sinneth from the beginning: for this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the Devil. 9. Whosoever is born of God, doth not commit sin; for his seed remaineth in him; and he can­not sin, because he is born of God. 10. In this the children of God are manifest, and the children of the Devil: whosoever doth not righteousness, is not of God—22. And whatsoever we ask, we receive of him, because we keep his Commandments, and do those things that are pleasing in his sight. Rev. 22. 14. Blessed are they that do his Commandments, that they may have right to the Tree of Life, and may enter in by the gates into the City.

I set together these testimonies of the Scripture, that the stream of Divine authority may carry you to a lively sense of the necessity of Obedience.

§. 2. I shall here first tell you what this full subjection is, and then I shall Direct you how to at­tain it.

I. As in God there is first his Relation of our King, and then his actual Government of us, by his Laws and Iudgement: so in us there is first our Relation of Subjects to God, and then our actual obedi­ence. Subjection what▪ We are Subjects by Divine obligation, before we consent (as Rebels are): but our Consent or self-obligation is necessary to our Voluntary obedience, and acceptation with God. Subjection is our stated obligation to Obedience. This subjection and habit of Obedience is then right and full, 1. When the sense of Gods authority over us, is Practical and not notional only. 2. And when it is deep-rooted and fixed, and become as a Nature to us: As a mans intention of his End is that hath a long journey to go, which carryeth him on to the last step: or as a Childs subjection to his Parents, or a Servant to his Master, which is the Habit or principle of his daily course of life. 3. When it is Lively, and ready to put the soul upon obedience. 4. When it is constant, keeping the soul in a continual attend­ance upon the Will of God. 5. When it hath universal respect to all his Commandments. 6. When it is resolute, powerful and victorious against temptations to disobedience: 7. When it is superlative, respecting God as our supream King, and owning no authority against him, nor any but what is sub­ordinate to him. 8. When it is Voluntary, Pleasant, Chearful, and delectable to us to Obey him to the utmost of our Power.

§. 3. II. To bring the soul to this full subjection and Obedience to God, is so Difficult, and yet soHow to bring the soul into subjection to God. reasonable, so necessary, and so excellently good, that we should not think any diligence too great, by which it is to be attained. The Directions that I shall give you, are some of them to Habituate the mind to an Obediential frame, and some of them also practically to further the exercise of Obedience in particular acts.

§. 4, Direct. 1. Remember the unquestionable plenary Title, that God hath to the Government of you, Direct. 1. and of all the world. The sense of this will awe the soul, and help to subject it to him, and to silence all rebellious motions. Should not God Rule the Creatures which he hath made? Should not Christ [Page] Rule the souls which he hath purchased? Should not the Holy Ghost Rule the souls which he hath [...] and qui [...]kned?

§. 5. Direct. 2. Remember that God is perfectly fit for the Government of you and all the world: You can desire nothing reasonably in a Governour, which is not in him. He hath perfect wisdom to know what is best: He hath perfect Goodness, and therefore will be most regardful of his subjects good, and will put no Evil into his Laws. He is Almighty, to protect his Subjects, and see to the ex­ecution of his Laws: He is most Iust, and therefore can do no wrong, but all his Laws and Judgements are equal and impartial. He is infinitely perfect and self-sufficient, and never needed a Lye, or a deceit, or unrighteous means to Rule the world; nor to oppress his subjects to attain his Ends. He is [...]ur very End, and Interest, and felicity, and therefore hath no Interest opposite to our good, which should cause him to destroy the innocent. He is our dearest friend and Father, and loveth us better than we love our selves: and therefore we have reason confidently to Trust him, and chearfully and gladly to obey him, as one that Ruleth us in order to our own felicity. Direct. 3.

§. 6. Direct. 3. Remember how unable and unfit you are to be Governours of your selves. So blind and ignorant; so byassed by a corrupted will; so turbulent are your passions; so uncessant and powerfull is the temptation of your sense and appetite; and so unable are you to protect or reward your selves, that methinks you should fear nothing in this world more, than to be given up to your own hearts lusts, to walk in your own seducing counsels. Psal. 81. 11, 12. The brutish appetite and sense, hath got such d [...]minion over the Reason of carnal unrenewed men, that for such to be governed by themselves, is for a man to be governed by a Swine, or the Rider to be ruled by the Horse.

§. 7. Direct. 4. Remember how great a matter God maketh of his Kingly prerogatives, and of mans Direct. 4. obedience. The whole tenour of the Scripture will tell you this: his precepts, his promises, his threatnings, his vehement exhortations, his sharp reproofs, the sending of his Son and Spirit; the example of Christ and all the Saints, the Reward prepared for the obedient, and the punishment for the disobedient; all tell you aloud, that God is far from being indifferent, whether you obey his Laws or not. It will teach you to regard that, which you find is so regarded of God.

§. 8. Direct. 5. Consider well of the excellency of full obedience, and the present benefits which it bring­eth Direct. 5. t [...] your selves and others. Our full subjection and obedience to God, is to the world and the soul, as Health is to the body: When all the humours keep their due temperament, proportions and place, and every part of the body is placed and used according to the intent of nature, then all is at e [...]se within us. Our food is pleasant; our sleep is sweet; our labour is easie, and our vivacity maketh Life a pleasure to us: we are useful in our places, and helpful to others that are sick and weak. So is it with the soul that is fully obedient: God giveth him a Reward, before the full reward: He findeth that obedience is a Reward to it self; and that it is very pleasant to do good: God owneth him, and Conscience speaketh peace and comfort to him: His mercies are sweet to him; his burdens and his work are easie: He hath easier access to God than others: Yea, the world shall find, that there is no way to its right order, unity, peace, and happiness, but by a full subjection and obedience to God.

§. 9. Direct. 6. Remember the sad effects of disobedience, even at present, both in the soul and in Direct. 6. the world. When we rebell against God, it is the confusion, ruine and death of the soul, and of the world: When we disobey him, it is the sickness or disordering of the soul, and will make us groan: Till our bones be set in joynt again, we shall have no ease: God will be displeased, and hide his face: Conscience will be unquiet: The soul will lose its peace and joy: Its former mercies will grow less sweet: Its former rest will turn to weariness: Its duty will be unpleasant: Its burden heavy: who would not fear such a state as this?

§. 10. Direct. 7. Consider that when God doth not Govern you, you are Ruled by the flesh, the world Direct. 7. and the Devil. And what right or fitness they have to govern you, and what is their work, and final reward, methinks you should easily discern. If ye live after the flesh, ye shall die, Rom. 8. 13. And if ye saw to the flesh, of the flesh ye shall reap corruption. Gal. 6. 8. It will strike you with horror, if in the hour of temptation, you would but think: I am now going to disobey my God, and to obey the flesh, the world, or the Devil; and to prefer their Will before his Will.

§. 11. Direct. 8. Turn your eye upon the rebellious Nations of the earth, and upon the state of the Direct. 8. most malignant and ungodly men, and consider that such madness and misery as you discern i [...] them, every wilful disobedience to God doth tend to, and partaketh of in its degree. To see a swinish Drunkard in his Vomit; to hear a raging Bedlam curse and swear; or a malignant Wretch blaspheme and scorn at a holy life; to hear how foolishly they talk against God; and see how maliciously they hate his servants, one would think should turn ones stomach against all sin for ever. To think what Bea [...]s or incarnate Devils many of the ungodly are: to think what confusion and inhumanity possesseth most of those Nations that know not God, one would think should make the least degree of sin seem odious to us, when the dominion and ripeness of it is so odious.Direct. 9.

§. 12. Direct. 9. Mark what obedience is expected by men; and what influence Government hath upon the state and affairs of the would, and what the world would be without it; and sure this will make you think honourably and delightfully of the Government of God. What would a Nation be without Government, but like a company of Thieves and lawless Murderers? or like the Pikes in a Pond, that first eat up the other Fish, and then devour one another, the greater living upon the less. Bears and Wolves would live quietlier together, than ungoverned men (except those few that are truly sub­ject to the Government of God.) Government maintaineth every man in his propriety; and keepeth lust and madness from breaking out; and keepeth peace and order in the world. What would a fa­mily [Page 87] be without Government? Children and Servants are kept by it in their proper place and work. Think then how necessary and excellent is the Universal Government of God.

§. 13. Direct. 10. Think well [...]f the Endless Rewards and Punishments, by which God will procure Direct. 10. obedience to his Laws, or vindicate the honour of his Government on the disobedient: That the world may see that he giveth sufficient motives for all that he requireth; he will reward the obedient with everlast­ing blessedness, and punish the Rebells with endless misery. You shall not say, that he bids you work for nothing. Though you can give him nothing but his own, and therefore can merit nothing of him, in point of Commutative Justice; yet as he is a Governour and a Father he will put so wide a difference between the obedient and the rebellious, that one shall be judged to everlasting joy (with a Well done, good and faithful servant) and the other to everlasting punishment, Matth. 25. Is there not enough in Heaven, in a life of endless joyes with God; to make obedience lovely to you, and to make sin loathsome? Is there not enough in Hell to deter you from disobedience, and drive you unto God? God will Rule whether you will or not. Consent to be obedient, or he will punish you with­out asking your consent.

§. 14. The Directions for the nearer exciting of your obedience, and confirming your full sub­jection, More special Directions for Obedience. are these.

Direct. 1. Keep still the face of your souls upon God, and in the sense of his Greatness, and of Direct. 1. his continual presence, and of his particular providence. And this will keep you in an obediential frame. You will easily then perceive that so great a God cannot be disobeyed, without great iniquity and guilt: And that a God that is continually with you, must be continually regarded: And that a God that exactly observeth and mindeth the thoughts and words of every man, should by every man be exactly minded and observed. This will help you to understand the meaning of the Tempter, when you perceive that every Temptation is an urging of you, to offend (for nothing) so great a God, that is just then observing what you do.

§. 15. Direct. 2. Alwayes remember whither you are going; that you are preparing for Everlasting Direct. 2. Rest and Ioy, and must pass through the righteous judgement of the Lord; and that Christ is your Guide and Governour, but to bring you safely home, as the Captain of your salvation; and that sin is a reject­ing of his help, and of your happiness. Think not that God doth Rule you as a Tyrant, to your hurt or ruine, to make his own advantage of you; or by needless Laws, that have no respect to your good and safety: But think of him, as one that is conducting you to eternal life; and would now guide you by his counsel, and afterwards take you to his glory. Think that he is leading you to the world of Light, and Life, and Love, and Ioy, where there are Rivers of pleasure, and fulness of delight for evermore, that you may see his face, and feel his Love among a world of blessed Spirits, and not be weeping and gnashing the teeth with impious impenitent souls. And is not such a Government as this desirable? It is but like the Government of a Physicion, to save his Patients life: Or like your Go­vernment of your children, which is necessary to their good, that cannot feed or rule themselves: Or like a Pilots governing the Ship, which is conveying you to possess a Kingdom: If the Marriners obey him, they may safely arrive at the desired Port; but if they disobey him, they are all cast away and perish. And should such a Government as this is, seem grievous to you? or should it not be most acceptable, and accurately obeyed?

§. 16. Direct. 3. Still think what dangers, difficulties and enemies you must pass through to this Rest, Direct. 3. and that all your safety dependeth upon the conduct and assistance of your Guide. And this will bring over self-love to command you strict obedience. You are to pass through the Army of your ene­mies? And will you here disobey the Captain of your salvation? or would you have him leave you to your selves? Your disease is mortal, and none but Jesus Christ can cure it; and if he cure it not, you are lost for ever: no pain of Gowt or Stone is comparable to your everlasting pain! And yet will you not be obedient to your Physicion? Think when a Temptation comes, If there were a nar­row Bridge over the deepest Gulf or River, and all my friends and happiness lay on the further side, and I must needs go over whether I will or not, if Christ would take me by the hand and lead me over, would I be tempted to refuse his help, or to lose his hand? or if he should offer to lose me, and leave me to my self, should I not tremble, and cry out as Peter, Lord save me, Matth. 14. 30. Or as the disciples, Save Master, we perish? And should I not then hold him fast, and most ac­curately obey him, when he is leading me to Life Eternal, that I may escape the Gulf of endless misery?

§. 17. Direct. 4. Remember still how bad, and blind, and backward, and deceitful and weak you are Direct. 4. your selves, and therefore what need you have of the greatest watchfulness, lest you should disobey your Pilot, and lose your Guide, before you are aware. O what a heart have we to watch? A lazy heart that will be loytering or sitting down, when we should be following our Lord. A foolish heart that will let him go while we play with every play-fellow in our way: A cowardly heart that will steal away, or draw back in danger, when it should follow our General. A treacherous heart that will give us the slip, and deceive us, when we seemed surest of it. A pur-blind heart, that even when it fol­loweth Christ our Guide, is hardly kept from missing the Bridge, and falling into the Gulf of misery. Think well of these, and you will obey your Governour.

§. 18. Direct. 5. Forget not the fruits of your former obedience and disobedience; if you would beDirect. 5. kept in an obedient frame. Remember that obedience hath been sweetest afterward: and that you ne­ver yet found cause to repent or be ashamed of it. Remember that the fruit of sin was bitter, and that when your eyes were opened, and you saw your shame, you would fain have fled from the face of God; and that then it appeared another thing to you, then it seemed in the committing. Remember [Page 88] what gr [...]ans, and hearts grief it hath cost you? and into what fears it brought you of the wrath of G [...]d: [...] how long it was before your broken bones were healed; and what it cost both Christ and you? And th [...]s will make the very name and first approach of [...]in, to cast you into a preventing fear. A B [...]ast that hath once fallen into a Gulf or Quick-sand, will hardly be driven into the same again: A F [...]sh that was once s [...]icken and scap't the hook, will fear and fly from it the next time: A Bird that hath once escap▪t the S [...]are o [...] the Tallons of the Hawk, is afterwards afraid of the fight or noise of such a thing. Remember where you fell, and what it cost you, and what you scaped which it might have cost you, and you will obey more accurately hereafter.

§. 19. Direct. 6. Remember that this is your day of tryal, and what depends upon your accurate [...] obedience. God will not cr [...]wn untryed Servants. Satan is purposely suffered to tempt you, to try whether you will be true to God or not. All the hope that his malice hath of undoing you for ever, [...]nsisteth in his hope to make you disobedient to God. Methinks these considerations should awaken you to the most watchful and diligent obedience. If you were told before hand, that a Thief or [...]t purse had undertaken to rob you, and would use all his cunning and industry to do it, you would then watch more carefully than at another time. If you were in a Race to run for your lives, you w [...]uld not go then in your ordinary pace. Doth God tell you before, that he will try your obedi­ence by temptation, and as you stand or fall, you shall speed for ever; and will not this keep you watchful and obedient?

§. 20. Direct. 7. Avoid those tempting and deluding objects, which are still enti [...]ing your hearts from Direct. 7. your obedience; and avoid that diverting crowd and noise of company or worldly business, which drowns the v [...]i [...]e of Gods commands. If God call you into a life of great temptations, he can bring you safely through them all: But if you rush into it wilfully; you may soon find your own disability to resist. It is dangerous to be under strong and importunate temptations, lest the stream should bear us down: But especially to be long under them, lest we be weary of resisting. They that are long solicited, do too often yield at last: It is hard to be alwayes in a clear, and ready, and resolute frame: Few men have their wits, much less their graces, alwayes at hand, in a readiness to use. And if the Thief come when yo [...] are dropt asleep, you may be robbed before you can awake. The constant drawings of temptati­on, do ofttimes aba [...]e the habit of obedience, and diminish our hatred of sin, and holy resolutions, by [...]low ins [...]nsible degrees, before we yield to commit the act. And the mind that will be kept in full subjecti [...]n, must not be so diverted in a crowd of distracting company or business, as to have no time to th [...]k on the motives of his obedience. This withdrawing of the fewel may put out the fire.

§. 21. Direct. 8. If you are unavoidably cast upon strong Temptation, take the Allarm, and put on all Direct. 8. t [...]e [...] of God, and call up your souls to watchfulness, and resolution, remembring that you are now a [...]ng your enemies, and must resist as for your lives. Take every temptation in its naked proper sense, [...]s coming from the Devil, and tending to your damnation by enticing your hearts from your subjection unto God: suppose you saw the Devil himself in his instruments offering you the bait of preferment, o [...] honour, or riches, or fleshly lusts, or sports, or of delightful meats, or drinks, to tempt you to ex­cess; and suppose you heard him say to you plainly, [Take this for thy salvation: Sell me for this thy God, and thy soul, and thy everlasting hopes: Commit this sin, that thou maist fall under the judge­ment of God, and be tormented in Hell with me for ever. Do this to please thy flesh, that thou maist displease thy God, and grieve thy Saviour: I cannot draw thee to Hell, but by drawing thee to sin: And I cannot make thee sin against thy will; nor undo thee, but by thy own consent and doing: Therefore I pray the [...] consent and do it thy self, and let me have thy company in torments.] This is the naked meaning of every temptation: Suppose therefore you saw and heard all this, with what detestation then would you reject it? With what horror would you fly from the most enticing bait? If a Robber would entice you out of your way and company, with flattering words, that you might fall into the hands of his companions, if you knew all his meaning and design before hand, would you be enticed after him? Watch therefore, and Resolve when you know before hand the Design of the Devil, and what he intendeth in every temptation.

§. 22. Direct. 9. Be m [...]st suspicious, fearful and watchful about that, which your flesh doth most desire, Direct. 9. [...] finds the greatest pleasure in. Not that you should deny your bodies all delight in the mercies of God: If the body have none, the mind will have the less: Mercy must be differenced from punish­ment; and must be valued, and relished as mercy: Meer Natural pleasing of the senses is in it self no m [...]ral good or evil. A holy improvement of lawful pleasure, is a daily duty: Inordinate pleasure is a sin: All is inordinate which tendeth more to corrupt the soul, by enticing it to sin, and turning it from God, than to [...]it and dispose it for God and his service, and preserve it from sinning. But still remember, it is not sorrow; but Delight that draweth away the soul from God, and is the fleshes inte­rest which it sets up against him. Many have sinned in sorrows and discontents: but none ever sinned f [...]r sorrows and discontents: Their discontents and sorrows are not taken up and loved for themselves; but are the effects of their love to some pleasure and content, which is denyed them, or taken from them. Therefore though all your bodily pleasures are not sin, yet seeing nothing but the pleasures of the flesh and carnal mind is the End of sinners, and the Devils great and chiefest bait, and this only causeth mens perdition, you have great reason to be most afraid of that which is most pleasing to your flesh, and to the mind as it is corrupt and carnal: escape the delusions of fleshly pleasure, and you escape damnation: You have far more cause to be afraid of prosperity, than of adversity; of riches, than of poverty, of honour, than of obscurity and contempt; of mens praises and applause, than of their dis­pr [...]ses▪ slanders and rep [...]h▪ of pre [...]erment and greatness, than of a low and mean condition; of a [Page 89] delicious, than of l [...]ss tempting meats and drinks; of curious, costly, than of mean, and cheap, and plain attire. Let those that have hired out their reason to the service of their fleshly lusts, and have delivered the Crown and S [...]epter to their appetites, think otherwise. No wonder if they that have sold the birthright of their intellects to their senses, for a me [...]s of Pottage, for a Whore, or a high place, or a domineering power over others, or a belly full of pleasant Meats or Liquors, do deride all this, and think it but a melancholy conceit, more suitable to an Eremi [...]e or Anchorite, than to men of society and business in the world. As Heaven is the portion of serious believers, and mortified Saints alone, so it shall be proper to them alone, to understand the doctrine and example of their Saviour, and pra­ctically to know what it is to deny themselves, and forsake all they have, and take up their Cross and fol­low Christ, and by the Spirit to mortifi [...] the deeds of the body, Luke 14. 26, 27, 28, 29, 33. Rom. 8. 5, 6, 7, 13. Col. 3. 1, 2, 3, 4. Such know that millions part with God for Pleasures, but none for Griefs: and that Hell will be stored with those that preferred Wealth, and Honour, and Sports, and gluttony, drink and filthy lusts, before the Holiness and happiness of believers, but none will be damn▪ ed for preferring poverty, and disgrace, and abstinence, hunger, and thirst, and chastity, before them. It must be something that seemeth good, that must entice men f [...]om the chiefest Good: Apparent Evil is no fit bait for the Devils hook. Men will not displease God, to be themselves displeased; nor choose present sorrows instead of everlasting joyes: but for the pleasures of sin for a season many will despise the endless pleasures.

§. 23. Direct. 10. Meet every motion to disobedience with an Army of holy Graces, with wisdom, and Direct. 10. fear, and hatred, and resolution, with Love to God, with Zeal and courage: and quench every spark that falls upon your hearts bef [...]re it break out into a flame. When sin is little and in its infancy, it is weak and easily resisted: It hath not then turned away the mind from God, nor quenched grace, and disabl [...]d it to do its office. But when its grown strong, then grace grows weak, and we want its help, and want the sense of the presence, and Attributes and truths of God, to rebuke it. O stay not till your hearts are gone out of hearing, and stragled from God beyond the observance of his Calls. The Habit of Obedience will be dangerously abated, if you resist not quickly the acts of sin.

§. 24. Direct. 11. Labour for the clearest understanding of the Will of God, that doubtfulness about Direct. 11. your duty do not make you flag in your obedience, and doubtfulness about sin, do not weaken your detestation and resistance, and draw you to venture on it. When a man is sure what is his Duty, it is a great help against all temptations that would take him off: And when he is sure that a thing is sinful, it makes it the easier to resist. And therefore it is the D [...]vils Method to delude the understanding, and make men believe that duty is no duty, and sin is no sin: and then no wonder if duty be neglected, and sin committed: And therefore he raiseth up one false Pr [...]phet or other to say to Ahab, Go and prosper; or to say, There is no hurt in this. To dispute for sin, and to dispute against Duty: And it is almost incredible how much the Devil hath got, when he hath once but made it a matter of Contro­versie. Then every hypocrite hath a cloke for his sin, and a dose of Opium for his Conscience: when he can but say, [It is a Controversie; some are of one mind, and some of another: you are of that Opinion, and I am of this:] Especially if there be wise and learned on both sides: and yet more, if there be Religious men on both sides: And more yet, if he have an equal number on his side: And most of all if he have the major Vote (as error and sin have commonly in the world): If Ahab have but four hundred lying flattering Prophets to one Micaiah, he will think he may hate him, reproach him and persecute him without any s [...]ple of Conscience. If it be made a Controversie whether Bread be Bread, and Wine be Wine, when we see and taste it, some will think they may venture to subscribe or swear that they hold the Negative, if their credit, or livings, or lives lie upon it; much more if they can say, It is the judgement of the Church? If it be once made a Controversie, whether perjury be a sin, or whether a Vow materially lawful bind, or whether it be lawful to equivocate, or lye with a mental reservation for the truth, or to do the greatest evil, or speak the falsest thing with a true and good intent and meaning, almost all the hypocrites in the Countrey will be for the sinful part, if their fleshly interest require it: And will think themselves wronged, if they are accounted hypocrites, ly [...]rs, or perjured, as long as it is but a Point of Controversie among learned men. If it be once made a Contro­versie, whether an Excommunicate King become a private man, and it be lawful to kill him, and whe­ther the Pope may absolve the subjects of Temporal Lords from their Allegiance (notwithstanding all their Oaths), and if such Learned men as Zuarez, Bellarmine, Perron, &c. are for it (to say no­thing of Santarellus, Mariana, &c.) you shall have a Clement, a Ravilliack, a Faux, yea, too great choice of instruments, that will be satisfied to strike the blow: If many hold it may or must be d [...]ne, some will be found too ready to do it: especially if an approved General Council (Lateran. sub Inn [...]c. 3. Can. 3.) be for such Papal absolution. We have seen at home, how many will be emboldned to pull down Government, to sit in Judgement on their King, and condemn him, and to destroy their Bre­thren, if they can but say, that such and such men think it lawful. If it were but a Controversie once whether drunkenness, whoredom, swearing, stealing, or any villany be a sin or not, it would be com­mitted more commonly, and with much less regret of conscience. Yea, good men will be ready to think that modesty requireth them to be less censorious of those that commit it, because in controverted cases they must suspect their own understandings, and allow something to the judgement of dissenters: And so all the Rules of Love, and Peace, and Moderation, which are requisite in Controversies that are about small and difficult points, the Devil will make use of, and apply them all to the patronage of the most odious sins, if he can but get them once to have some learned, wise, or religious defenders. And from our tenderness of the persons we easily slide to an indulgent tenderness in censuring the sin it [...]elt. And good men themselves by these means are dangerously disabled to resist it, and prepared to commit i [...].

[Page 90]§ 25. Direct. 12. Take [...]eed lest the Devil do either cast you into the sleep of carnal security, or [...] into such doubts, and fears, and perplexing seruples, as shall make holy obedience seem to you an impos­s [...]le [...] a ti [...]s [...]me thing. When you are asleep in carelesness, he can use you as he list: And if Obe­dien [...]e be made grievous, and ungrateful to you, your heart will go against it, and you will go but like a tired horse, no longer than you feel the spur: you are half conquered already, because you have lost the [...]ve, and pleasure of obedience: and you are still in danger lest difficulties should quite tire you, and weariness make you yield at last. The means by which the Tempter effecteth this, must afterward be spoken of, and ther [...]fore I shall omit it here.

§. 26. By the faithful practice of th [...]se Directions Obedience may become, as it were, your Nature; a [...]am [...]liar, [...]asi [...], and delightful thing: and may be like a chearful servant or child, that waiteth for your commands, and is glad to be imployed by you. Your full subjection of your wills to God, will be as the health, and ease, and quietness of your wills: You will feel that it is never well or easie with you▪ but when you are obedient and pleasing to your Creators will. Your delight will be in the Law of the [...]rd Psal. 1. 2. It will be sweeter than hony to you, and better than thousands of gold and silver: And this not for any by respect, but as it is the Law of God; a Light unto your feet, and an in­ [...]l [...]ble guide in all your duty. You will say with David Psal. 119. 16, 24, 35, 47, 70, 77, 174. I will deligh [...] my self in thy Statut [...]s▪ I will not forget thy word. Thy Testimonies are my delight and my C [...]unsellers. Make me to go in the path of thy [...]mma [...]dments: for therein do I delight. And as Psal. 40. 8. I delight to d [...] thy will O my God; yea thy Law is within my heart. And O Blessed is the man that [...]eareth the Lord; that delighteth greatly in his Commandments: Psal. 112. 1.

DIRECT. VII. Continue as the Covenanted Scholars of Christ, the Prophet and Teacher of hisGr. Dir. 7. Church, to learn of him by his Spirit, word and Ministers, the farther know­ledge [...] of God, and the things that tend to your Salvation; and this with an honest willing mind, in faith humility and diligence; in obedience, patience and peace.

§. 1. THough I spake before, of our Coming to God by Iesus Christ, as he is the way to the Father; It is meet that we distinctly speak of our Relation and Duty to him, as he is our Teacher, our Captain and our Master, as well as of our improving him as Mediator immediately unto God. The necessity of Believers, and the office and work, of Christ himself, doth tell us how much of our Reli­gion doth consist in Learning of him as his Disciples. Acts 7. 37. A Prophet shall the Lord your God raise up unto you of your brethren, like unto me, him shall ye hear: This was the voice that came out of the cloud in the holy mount, Mat. 17. 5. This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased; H [...]ar ye Him. Therefore is the title of Disciples commonly given to Believers. And there is a two­ [...]old T [...]ching which Christ hath sent his Ministers to perform; both mentioned in their Commission Mat. 28. 19, 20. The one is so to teach the Nations, as to make Disciples of them, by perswading them in­to the School of Christ, which containeth the Teaching of faith and Repentance and whatever is neces­sary to their first admission, and to their subjecting themselves to Christ himself as their stated and infal­lible Guide: The other is the Teaching them further to know more of God, and to observe all things what­ever be commanded them. And this last is it we are now to speak of, and I shall add some sub-directions for your help.How to Learn o [...] Christ.

S [...]ct. 2. Directions for Learning of Christ as our Teacher.Direct. 1.

§. 2. Direct. 1. Remember who it is that is your Teacher: that he is the Son of God, that knoweth his Fa­thers will, and is the most faithful infallible Pastor of the Church. There is neither ignorance, nor negli­gence, nor ambition, nor dec [...]it in him, to cause him to conceal the mind of God: There is nothing which we need to know, which he is not both able and willing to acquaint us with.Direct. 2.

§. 3. Direct. 2. Remember what it is that he Teacheth you, and to what End: That it is not how to sin and be damned, as the Devil, the world and the flesh would teach you: nor how to satisfie your lusts, or to know, or do, or attain the trifles of the world: But it is how to be renewed to the Image of God, and how to do his will and please him, and how to be justified at his barr, and how to escape everlasting fire, and how to attain everlasting joys: Consider this well, and you will gladly learn of such a Teacher.

§. 4. Direct. 3. Let the Book which he himself hath indi [...]ed by his Spirit, be the Rule and principal Direct. 3. matter of your learning. The Holy Scriptures are of Divine inspiration: It is them that we must be Judged by, and them that we must be Ruled by: and therefore them that we must principally learn. Mens Books and Teachings are but the means for our Learning this infallible word.

§. 5. Direct. 4. Remember that as it is Christs work to Teach, it is yours to hear, and read, and study, Direct. 4. and pray, and practise what you hear. Do your part then if you expect the benefit. You come not to the School of Christ to be idle. Knowledge droppeth not into the sleepy dreamers mouth: Dig for it as for Silver, and search for it in the Scriptures as for a hidden treasure: Meditate in them day and night. Leave it to miserable fools, to contemn the wisdom of the most high.

[Page 91]§. 6. Direct. 5. Fix your eye upon himself as your pattern, and study with earnest desire to follow Direct. 5. The imitation of Christ. his holy example, and to be made conformable to him. Not to imitate him in the works which were pro­per to him as God, or as Mediator; but in his Holiness which he hath proposed to his disciples for their imitation. He knew how effectuall a perfect example would be, where a perfect doctrine alone would be less regarded. Example bringeth doctrine nearer to our eye and heart: It maketh it more observable, and telleth us with more powerful application, [such you must be, and thus you must do] The eye maketh an easier and deeper impression on the imagination and mind, than the ear doth: Therefore Christs example should be much preached and studied: It will be a very great help to us, to have still upon our minds the Image of the Holy Life of Christ; that we be affected as if we al­ways saw him doing the holy actions which once he did, Paul calls the Galathians foolish and be­witched, that obeyed not the truth, when Christ had been set forth as crucified among them evidently before their eyes. Gal. 3. 1. Papists think that Images serve well for this turn: But the Records of Scripture, and the living Images of Christ whom they persecute and kill, are farr more useful. How much example is more operative than doctrine alone, you may perceive by the enemies of Christ, who can bear his holy doctrine when they cannot bear his holy Servants that practise that doctrine before their eyes. And that which most stirs up their enmity▪ hath the advantage for exciting the believers piety.

Let the Image of Christ in all his holy examples, be allways lively written upon your minds 1. Let the great ones of the world remember that their Lord was not born of such as bore rule, or were in worldly pomp and dignity, but of persons that lived but meanly in the world, (however they were of the royal line): How he was not born in a pallace, but a stable, and laid in a manger, without the attendance or accommodations of the rich.

2. Remember how he subjected himself unto his reputed Father and his Mother, to teach all Chil­drenLuke. [...]. 51. subjection and obedience.

3. And how he condescended to labour at a Trade and mean imployment in the world; to teach us that our Bodies as well as our Minds must express their obedience, and have their ordinary imploy­ment; and to teach men to labour and live in a calling; and to comfort poor labourers with assurance that God accepteth them in the meanest work, and that Christ himself lived so before them, and chose their kind of life, and not the life of Princes and Nobles that live in Pomp, and Ease, and Pleasure.

4. Remember how he refused not to submit to all the ordinances of God, and to fullfil all righte­ousness, and to be initiated into the solemn administration of his office by the Baptism of Iohn, Mat. 3. 15▪ 1 [...] ▪ 17. which God appoved by sending down upon him the Holy Ghost: To teach us all to expect his Spirit in the use of his ordinances.

5. Remember how he voluntarily begun his work with an encounter with the Tempter in the Wilderness, upon his fasting: and suffered the Tempter to proceed till he moved him to the most odi­ous sin, even to worship the Devil himself: To teach us that God loveth tryed Servants, and expecteth that we be not turned from him by temptations; especially those that enter upon a publick ministry, must be tryed men that have overcome the Tempter: and to comfort tempted Christians, who may remember, that their Saviour himself was most blasphemously tempted to as odious sins as ever they were; and that to be greatly tempted without consenting or yielding to the sin, is so farr from be­ing a sin in it self, that it is the greatest honour of our obedience; and that the Devil who molesteth and haunteth us with his temptations, is a conquered enemy, whom our Lord in person hath over­come.

6. Remember how earnestly and constantly he preached, not stories, or jingles, or subtile contro­versies, but Repentance, and faith, and self-denial and obedience: So great was his Love to souls that when he had auditors he preached not only in the Temple and Synagogues, but in mountains, and in a ship, and any other convenient place, and no fury of the Rulers or Pharises could silence him till his hour was come, having his Fathers Commission: And even to particular persons he vouchsafed by conference to open the Mysteries of Salvation. To teach us, to love and attend toJohn▪ 3. & 4. the plain and powerful preaching of the Gospel, and not to forbear any necessary means for the ho­nour of God and the saving of souls, because of the enmity, or opposition of malitious men, but to work while it is day, seeing the night is coming when none can work. John 9. 4.

7. Remember how compassionate he was to mens bodys as well as to their souls! going up and down with unwearied diligence doing good; healing the blind, and lame, and deaf, and sick, and possessed! and how all his miracles were done in charity to do good; and none of them to do hurt: So that he was but living, walking LOVE and MERCY. To teach us to know God in his Love and Mercy, and to abound in Love and Mercy to our brethren, and to hate the spirit of hurtful­ness, persecution, and uncharitableness, and to lay out our selves in doing good, and to exercise our compassion to the bodys of men as well as to their souls, according to our power.

8. Remember how his Zeal and Love endured the reproach, and resisted the opposition of his friends, who went to lay hold on him as if he had been besides himself: And [...]ow he bid Peter [Get Mat 3. 20, 21▪ Mat. 16. 22, 23. behind me Satan; thou art an offence unto me: for thou savourest not the things of God, but those of men] when in ca [...]nal Love, and wisdom he rebuked him for resolving to lay down his life, saying [Be it farr from thee, this shall not be unto thee.] To teach us to expect that carnal Love, and Wisdom in our nearest friends, will rise up against us in the work of God, to discourage us both from duty and from sufferings: and that all are to be shaken off; and counted as the instruments of Satan, that would tempt us to be unfaithful to our trust and duty, and to savour our selves by a sin [...]ul avoiding of the sufferings which God doth call us to undergo.

[Page 92]9. Remember how through all his life, he despised the Riches of the world, and chose a life of poverty, and was a companion of the meanest, neither possessing nor seeking sumptuous houses, or great attendance, or spacious lands, or a large estate. He lived in a visible contempt of all the wealth and splendor, and greatness of the world: To teach us how little these little things are to be esteem­ed; [...]nd that they are none of the treasure and portion of a Saint; and what a folly it is to be fond of [...]h snares, and diversions, and temptations which make the way to Heaven to be to us, as a needl [...]s [...]y [...].

10. Observe how little he regarded the honour and applause of men; how he made himself of no [...] 6. 15 refutation, [...] took upon him the form of a Servant, refusing to be made a King, or to have a King­dom of this [...]ld: Though he told malignant Blasphemers how greatly they sinned in dishonouring him, yet did he not seek the honour of the world: To teach us how little the Thoughts or Words of ignorant men do contribute to our happiness, or are to be accounted of: And to turn our eyes from the unpertin [...]nt censures of flesh and blood, to the judgement of our Almighty Soveraign, to whom it is that we stand or fall.

11. Remember also how little he made provision for the flesh, and never once tasted of any immo­derate sinful pleasure. How farr was he from a life of voluptuousness and sensuality? Though his avoiding the formal fastings of the Pharisees, made them slander him as a gluttonous person, and aMat. 11. 19. wine bibber, as the sober Christians were called Carnivori by those that thought it unlawful to eat flesh; yet so farr was he from the guilt of any such sin, that never a desire of it was in his heart. You shall never find in the Gospel that Christ spent half the morning in dressing him, choosing ra­ther to shorten his time for prayer, than not to appear sufficiently neatified, as our empty, worthless painted Gallants do: Nor shall you ever read that he wasted his time in idle visitations, or Cards, or Di [...]e, or in reading Romances, or hearing Stage-plays. It was another kind of example that our Lord did leave for his disciples.

12. Mark also how farr Christ was from being guilty of any idle, or lascivious, or foolish kind of talk: And how holy and profitable all his speeches were: To teach us also to speak as the ora­cles of God, such words as tend to edification, and to administer grace unto the hearers, and to keep our tongues from all prophane, lascivious, empty, idle speeches.

13. Remember, that Pride, and Passion are condemned by your pattern: Christ bids you [Learn of me; for I am meek and lowly in heart, and you shall find rest unto your souls,] Mat. 11. 28, 29. Therefore he resolveth that except men be converted and become as little children, they shall not enter in­to the Kingdom of Heaven; Mat. 18. 3. Behold therefore the Lamb of God, and be ashamed of your fierce and ravenous natures.

14. Remember that Christ your Lord and pattern did humble himself to the meanest office of love, even to [...]sh the feet of his disciples: Not to teach you to wash a few poor mens feet as a Ceremony once a year, and persecute and murder the servants of Christ the rest of the year, as the Roman Vice-Christ doth; But to teach us, that if he their Lord and Master washed his disciples feet, we also should stoop as low in any office of love, for one another. Iohn. 13. 14.

15. Remember also that Christ your pattern spent whole nights in prayer to God; so much was he [...] for this holy attendance upon God: To teach us to pray allwayes and not wax saint, Luke 18. 1. And not to be like the impious God-haters, that Love not any near or serious addresses unto God, nor those that use them, but make them the object of their cruelty or scorn.

16. Remember also that Christ was against the Pharisees out-side hypocritical ceremonious worship, consisting in lip-labour, affected repetitions, and much babling; their Touch not, Taste not, Handle [...], and worshiping God in vain, according to their Traditions, teaching for doctrines the command­ments of men: He taught us a serious spiritual worship: not to draw nigh to God with our mouth, Ma [...] 15 6, 7▪ [...], 9. and honour him with our lips, while our hearts are farr from him; but to worship God who is a Spirit, in J [...]h. [...] ▪ 23, 24 Spirit and Truth.

17. Christ was a sharp reprover of Hypocritical blind, ceremonious, malitious Pharisees; andMa [...]. [...]. warneth his disciples to take heed of their leven. When they are offended with him, he saith every plant which my Heavenly Father hath not planted, shall be rooted up: Let them alone, they be blind leaders of the blind, &c. Mat. 15. 12, 13, 14. To teach us to take heed of Autonomous, Supercili­ous, domineering, formal Hypocrites, and false teachers, and to difference between the shepheards and the wolves.

18. Though Christ seems cautelously to avoid the owning of the Romans Usurpation over the Jews, yet rather than offend them he payeth Tribute himself, Mat. 17. 25, 26, 27. and biddeth them Render to Caesar the things that are Caesars, and to God the things that are Gods: Mat. 22. 21. The Pharisees, bring their controversie to him hypocritically, Whether it be lawful to give Tribute to Caesar, or not? (For that Caesar was a Usurper over them, they took to be past controversie.) And Christ would give them no answer that should either ensnare himself, or encourage usurpation, or counte­nance their sedition: Teaching us much more to pay tribute chearfully to our lawful Governours, and to avoid all sedition and offence.

19. Yet is he accused, condemned, and executed among Malefactors, as aspiring to be King of the Iews, and the Judge called, None of Caesars friend, if he let him go: Teaching us to expect that the most innocent Christians should be accused, as enemies to the Rulers of the world, and mistaken Governours be provoked and engaged against them, by the malicious calumnies of their adversaries; and that we should in this unrighteous world, be condemned of those crimes of which we are most innocent; and which we most abhorr, and have born the fullest testimonies against.

[Page 93]20. The furious rowt of the enraged people, deride him by their words and deeds, with a Purple [...], a Scepter of Reed, a Crown of Thorns, and the scornful name of King of the Iews; They [...]n his face, and buffet him, and then break jeasts upon him: And in all this, being reviled he re­ [...] not again, but committed all to him that judgeth righteously, 1 Pet. 2. 21, 22, 23. Teaching us to expect the rage of the ignorant Rabble, as well as of deluded Governours; and to be made the scorn of the worst of men; and all this without impatience, reviling or threatning words; but qui [...]tting our selves in the sure expectation of the righteous judgement, which we and they must shortly find.

21. When Christ is urged at Pilates Barr to speak for himself, he holds his peace: Teaching us to expect to be questioned at the Judgement Seat of man; and not to be over-careful for the vindi­cating of our Names, from their most odious calumnies, because the Judgement that will fully justifie us, is sure and near.

22. When Christ is in his Agony, his Disciples fail him: when he is judged and crucified, theyMatth. 26. 56. forsook him and fled: To teach us not to be too confident in the best of men, nor to expect much from them in a time of tryal, but to take up our comfort in God alone, when all our nearest friends shall fail us.

23. Upon the Cross he suffereth the torments and ignominy of death for us, praying for his Mur­derers: Leaving us an example that we should follow his steps; 1 Pet. 2. 21. and that we think not life it self too dear, to part with, in obedience to God, and for the love of Christ and one another, and1 John 3. 16. that we forgive and pray for them that persecute us.

24. In all this suffering from men, he feels also so much of the fruit of our sin upon his soul, that he cryeth out, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? To teach us, if we fall into such calami­ty of soul, as to think that God himself forsaketh us, to remember for our support, that the Son of God himself before us, cryed out, My God, why hast thou forsaken me? And that in this also we may expect a tryal, to seem to our selves, Forsaken of God, when our Saviour underwent the like before us.

I will instance in no more of his example, because I would not be tedious. Hither now let be­lievers cast their eyes: If you love your Lord, you should love to imitate him, and be glad to find your selves in the way that he hath gone before you. If He lived a worldly or a sensual life, do you do so: If He was an enemy to preaching, and praying, and holy living, be you so: But if he lived in the greatest contempt of all the wealth, and honours, and pleasures of the world, in a life of holy obedi­ence to his Father, wholly preferring the Kingdom of Heaven, and seeking the salvation of the souls of others, and patiently bearing persecution, derision, calumnies and death, then take up your Cross, and follow him in joyfully to the expected Crown.

§. 7. Direct. 6. If you will Learn of Christ, you must Learn of his Ministers, whom he hath appoint­ed Direct. 6. under him to be the Teachers of his Church. He purposely enableth them, enclineth them, and send­eth them to instruct you: Not to have dominion over your faith, but to be your spiritual Fathers, and the Ministers by whom you believe, as God shall give (ability and success) to every one as he pleases, to plant and water, while God giveth the encrease, to open mens eyes, and turn them from darkness to light, and to be labourers together with God, whose husbandry and building you are, and to be helpers of your joy. See 2 Cor. 24. Acts 26. 17, 18. 1 Cor. 3. 5, 6, 7, 8, 9. & 4. 15. Seeing therefore Christ hath appointed them under him, to be the ordinary Teachers of his Church, he that heareth them (speak­ing his message) heareth him, and he that despiseth them, despiseth him, Luke 10. 16. And he that saith, I will hear Christ, but not you, doth say in effect to Christ himself, I will not hear thee, nor learn of thee, unless thou wilt dismiss thy Ushers, and teach me immediately thy self.

§. 8. Direct. 7. Hearken also to the secret Teachings of his Spirit, and your consciences; not as make­ing Direct. 7. you any new Law or Duty, or being to you instead of Scriptures or Ministers; but as bringing that truth into your Hearts and practices which Scriptures and Ministers have first brought to your eyes and ears. If you understand not this, how the office of Scripture and Ministers differ from the office of the Spirit and your Consciences, you will be confounded as the Sectaries of these times have been, that separate what God hath joyned together, and plead against Scripture or Ministers under pretence of extolling the Spi­rit, or the Light within them. As your meat must be taken into the stomach, and pass the first concoction, before the second can be performed, and chilification must be before sanguification; so the Scripture and Ministers must bring truth to your eyes and ears, before the Spirit or Conscience bring them to your Hearts and Practice. But they lye dead and uneffectual in your brain or imagination, if you hearken not to the secret teachings of the Spirit and Conscience, which would bring them further. As Christ is the principal Teacher without, and Ministers are but under him; so the Spirit is the principal Teacher within us, and Conscience is but under the Spirit, being excited and informed by it. Those that learn only of Scriptures and Ministers, (by hearing or reading) may become men of Learning and great ability, though they hearken not to the sanctifying teachings of the Spirit, or to their Consciences: But it is only those that hearken first to the Scriptures and Ministers, and next to the Spirit of God, and to their Consciences, that have an inward, sanctifying, saving knowledge, and are they that are said to be Taught of God. Therefore hearken first with your ears, what Christ hath to say to you from with­out; and then hearken daily and diligently with your hearts, what the Spirit and Conscience say within. For it is their office to preach over all that again to your Hearts, which you have re­ceived.

§. 9. Direct. 8. It being the office of the present ordinary Ministry, only to expound and apply the do­ctrine Direct. 8▪ of Christ already recorded in the Scriptures, believe not any man, that contradicteth this recorded [Page 94] doctrine, what Reason, Authority [...]r Revelation soever he pretend. Isa. 8. 20. To the Law and to the Testi­m [...]ny: if they speak not according to these, it is because there is no Light in them. No Reason can be Reason indeed that is pretended against the Reason of the Creator and God of Reason. Authority pre­tended against the Highest Authority of God, is no Authority: God never gave Authority to any against himself▪; nor to deceive mens souls; nor to dispense with the Law of Christ; nor to warrant men to sin against him; nor to make any supplements to his Law or Doctrine. The Apostles had their [...] C [...] 10 8. [...] [...]. 1 [...] [...]. Power only to [...]di [...]ication, but not to destruction. There is no Revelation from God that is contrary to his own Revelation already delivered as his perfect Law and Rule unto the Church, and therefore none supplemental to it. If an Apostle or an Angel from Heaven (per possibile vel impossibile) shall Evangelize to us besides what is Evangelized, and we have received, he must be held accursed. Gal. 1. 6, 7, 8.

§. 10. Direct. 9. Come not to Learn of Christ with self▪conceitedness, pride, or confidence in your pre­judice [...]. 9. and errors: but as little Children, with humble, teachable, tractable minds. Christ is no Teacher for those that in their own eyes are wise enough already: unless it be first to teach them to become fools (in their own esteem, because they are so indeed) that they may be wise. 1 Cor. 3. 18. They that are prepossessed with false opinions, and resolve that they will never be perswaded of the contrary, are unmeet to be Scholars in the School of Christ. He resisteth the proud, but giveth more grace unto the 1 P [...] ▪ 5. [...]. humble. Men that have a high conceit of their own understandings, and think they can easily know truth from falshood as soon as they hear it, and come not to learn, but to censure what they hear or read, as being able presently to judge of all, these are fitter for the School of the Prince of Pride, and Father of lyes and error, than for the School of Christ. Except Conversion make men as little children, that come not to ca [...]p and cavil, but to learn, they are not meet for the Kingdom of Christ. Matth. 18. 3. John 3. 3, 5. Know how blind and ignorant you are, and how dull of learning, and humbly beg of the Heavenly Teacher, that he will accept you, and illuminate you; and give up your understandings absolutely to be informed by him, and your Hearts to be the Tables in which his Spirit shall write his Law, Believing his doctrine upon the bare account of his infallible Veracity, and resolv­ing to obey it, and this is to be the Disciples of Christ indeed, and such as shall be taught of God.

§. 11. Direct. 10. Come to the School of Christ with honest willing hearts, that Love the truth, and Direct. 10. [...]ain would know it, that they may obey it; and not with false and byassed hearts, which secretly hinder the understanding from entertaining the truth, because they love it not, as being contrary to their carnal in­clinations and interest. The word that was received into Honest hearts, was it that was as the seed that brought forth plentifully. Matth. 13. 23. When the Heart saith unfeignedly, Speak Lord, for thy ser­vant heareth; Teach me to know and do thy will; God will not leave such a Learner in the dark. Most of the damnable ignorance and error of the world, is from a wicked heart, that perceiveth that the Truth of God is against their fleshly interest and lusts, and therefore is unwilling to obey it, and unwilling to believe it, lest it torment them, because they disobey it. A will that's secretly poysoned with the Love of the world, or of any sinful lusts and pleasures, is the most potent impediment to the believing of the truth.

§. 12. Direct. 11. Learn with quietness and peace in the School of Christ, and make not divisions, and Direct. 11. meddle not with others lessons and matters, but with your own. Silence, and quietness, and minding your own business, is the way to profit. The turbulent wranglers that are quarrelling with others, and are religions contentiously, in envy and strife, are liker to be corrected or ejected, than to be edi­fied. Read Iames 3.

§. 13. Direct. 12. Remember that the School of Christ hath a Rod; and therefore learn with fear and Direct. 12. reverence. Heb. 12. 28, 29. Phil. 2. 12. Christ will sharply rebuke his own, if they grow negligent and oftend: And if he should cast thee out and forsake thee, thou art undone for ever. See therefore that ye refuse not him that speaketh: for if they s [...]aped not, that refused him that spake on earth, much more shall not we, if we refuse him that is from Heaven, Heb. 12. 25. For how shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation, which at first began to be spoken by the Lord, and was confirmed to us by them that [...]eard him: God also bearing them witness both with signs and wonders, and divers miracles, and gifts of the Holy Ghost, according to his own will. Heb. 2. 3, 4. Serve the Lord therefore with fear, and rejoyce with trembling: Kiss the Son, left he be angry, and you perish, in the kindling of his wrath. Psal. 2. 11, 12.

DIRECT. VIII. Gr. Dir. 6. To obev Christ as our Physi­cion in his healing work, and his Spirit in its cleansing mortifying work. Remember that you are Related to Christ as the Physicion of your souls, and to the Holy Ghost as your Sanctifier: Make it therefore your serious study, to be cured by Christ, and cleansed by his Spirit, of all the sinful diseases and defile­ments of your hearts and lives.

§. 1. THough I did before speak of our Believing in the Holy Ghost, and using his help for our ac­cess to God, and converse with him; yet I deferred to speak fully of the Cleansing and Mortifying part of his work of Sanctification till now; and shall treat of it here as it is the same with the Curing work of Christ, related to us as the Physicion of our souls: it being part of our Sub­jection and Obedience to him, to be Ruled by him in order to our cure. And what I shall here write against sin in general will be of a twofold use. The one is to help us against the inward corrupti­ons of our hearts, and for the outward obedience of our lives, and so to further the work of Sancti­fication, and prevent our sinning. The other is to help us to Repentance and Humiliation ha­bitual and actual, for the sins which are in us, and which we have already at any time com­mitted.

§. 2. The General Directions for this curing and cleansing of the soul from sin, are contained for the most part in what is said already; and many of the particular Directions also may be fetcht from the sixth Direction before going. I shall now add but two General Directions, and many more Parti­cular ones.

Direct. 1. I. The two General Directions are these: 1. Know what corruptions the soul of man is na­turally Direct. 1. defiled with: And this containeth the knowledge of those faculties that are the seat of th [...]se corruptions, and the knowledge of the corruptions that have tainted and perverted the several faculties.

Direct. 2. 2. Know what sin is, in its nature or intrinsick evil, as well as in the effects. Direct. 2. How the se­veral facul­ties of the soul are cor­rupted and diseased.

§. 3. 1. The Parts or faculties to be cleansed and cured, are both the Superiour and Inferiour. 1. The Understanding (though not the first in the sin) must be first in the cure: For all that is done upon the Lower faculties must be by the Governing power of the will: And all that is done upon the will (ac cording to the order of humane nature) must be done by the Understanding: But the Understanding hath its own diseases which must be known and cured. Its malady in general is Ignorance: which is not only a privation of actual knowledge, but an undisposedness also of the understanding to know the truth. A man may be deprived of some actual knowledge that hath no disease in his mind that cause­ethIn what cases a sound un­derstanding may be igno­rant. it: as in case that either the object be absent and out of reach, or that there be no sufficient Revela­tion of it, or that the mind be taken up wholly upon some other thing, or in case a man shut out the thoughts of such an object, or refuse the evidence (which is the act of the will) even as a man that is not blind, may yet not see a particular object, 1. In case it be out of his natural reach: 2. Or if it be night, and he want extrinsick light; 3. Or in case he be wholly taken up with the observation of other things, 4. Or in case he wilfully either shut or turn away his eyes.

It is a very hard question to resolve how far and wherein the diseases of the Understanding may beHow the understanding can be the subject o [...] sin? called sin? Because the Understanding is not a Free, but a Necessitated faculty: And there can be no sin, where there is no Liberty. But to clear this, it must be considered, 1. That it is not this or that faculty that is the full and proper subject of sin, but the Man: the fulness of sin being made up of the vice of both faculties (understanding and will) conjunct: Its properer to say, The man sinned, than, the Intellect or Will sinned, speaking exclusively as to the other. 2. Liberum arbitrium, Free choice is belonging to the Man, and not to his Will only; though principally to the Will. 3. Though the Will only be Free in it self originally; yet the Intellect is Free by participation so far as it is commanded by the Will, or dependeth on it for the Exercise of its acts. 4. Accordingly though the Understand­ing primitively and of it self, be not the subject of morality; of moral Virtues, or of moral Vices (which are immediately and primarily in the Will) yet participatively its Virtues and Vices are mo­ralized, and become graces or sins, laudable and rewardable, or vituperable and punishable, as they are imperate by the will, or depend upon it.

Consider then the Acts, and Habits, and disposition of the Understanding. And you will find, 1. That some acts, and the privation of them, are Necessary, Naturally, Originally, and unalterably: and these are not virtues or sinful at all, as having no morality. As to know unwillingly as the De­vils do, and to Believe, when it cannot be resisted, though they would; this is no moral Vertue at all, but a natural perfection only. So 1. To be ignorant of that which is no object of knowledge, or which is naturally beyond our knowledge (as of the Essence of God) is no sin at all: 2. Nor to be ig­norant of that which was never revealed, when no fault of ours hindred the revelation, is no sin. 3. Nor to be without the present actual knowledge or consideration of one point, at that moment when our thoughts are lawfully diverted (as in greater business) or suspended (as in sleep.) 4. But to be ignorant wilfully is a sin, participatively in the intellect, and originally in the will. 5. And [Page 96] to be ignorant for want of Revelation, when our selves are the hinderers of that revelation, or the meritorious cause that we want it, is our sin: Because though that ignorance be immediately necessa­ry and hyp [...]th [...]tically, yet originally and remotely it is Free and Voluntary.

So as to the Habits and Dispositions of the intellect: It is no sin to want those which mans Un­derstanding in its entire and primitive Nature was without. (As not to be able to know without an object, or to know an unrevealed or too distant object; or actually to know all things know able at on [...].) But there are defects or ill dispositions that are sinfully contracted; and though these are now immediately natural and necessary, yet being originally and remotely voluntary or free, they are partici­patively sinful: Such is the natural mans disability or undisposedness to know the things of the Spi­rit, [...] when the Word revealeth them. This lyeth not in the want of a Natural faculty to know them, but 1. Radically in the will: 2. And thence in contrary false apprehensions which the Intellect is pre­possessed with, which resisting the truth, may be called, its blindness or impotency to know them. And 3. In a strangeness of the mind to those spiritual things which it is utterly unacquainted with.

Note here, 1. That the will may be guilty of the understandings ignorance two wayes: either by P [...]sitive averseness prohibiting or diverting it from beholding the evidence of truth: Or by a Privation and forbearance of that command, or excitation which is necessary to the exercise of the acts of the un­derstanding. This last is the commonest way of the sin in the understanding; and that may be tru­ly called Voluntary which is from the wills neglect of its office, or suspension of its act, though there be no actual Volition or Nolition.

2. That the will may do more in causing a disease in the understanding, than it can do in cur [...] it, I can put out a mans eyes, but I cannot restore them.

3. That yet for all that, God hath so ordered it in his gracious dispensation of the [...]a [...] of the Redeemer, that certain means are appointed by him, for man to use in order to the obtaining of his grace for his own recovery: And so though grace cure not the understanding of its primitive natural weakness, yet it cureth it of its contracted weakness, which was voluntary in its Original, but necessary being contracted. And as the will had a hand in the causing of it, so must it have (in the Volun­tary use of the foresaid means) in the Cure of it. So much to shew you how the Understanding is guilty of sin.

§. 4. Though no actual knowledge be so immediate as to be without the Mediation of the sense [...] and ma [...] the [...]. and fantasie, yet supposing these, Knowledge is distinguished into Immediate and Mediate. The Im­mediate is when the Being, Quality, &c. of a thing, or the Truth of a proposition is known immedi­ately in it self by its proper evidence. Mediate knowledge is when the Being of a thing, or the truth of a proposition is known by the means of some other intervenient thing or proposition, whose evidence af­fordeth us a light to discern it.

The understanding is much more satisfied when it can see Things and Truths immediately in their proper evidence. But when it cannot, it is glad of any means to help it.

The further we go in the series of Means (knowing one thing by another, and that by another, and so on) the more unsatisfied the understanding is, as apprehending a possibility of mistake, and a difficulty in escaping mistake in the use of so many media's.

When the evidence of one thing in its proper nature sheweth us another, this is to know by meer discourse or argument.

When the Medium of our knowing one thing, is the Credibility of another mans report that know­eth it, this is (though a discourse or argument too, yet) in special called, Belief: which is strong or weak, certain or uncertain, as the evidence of the reporters Credibility is certain or uncertain, and our appre­hension of it strong or weak.

In both cases the understandings fault is either an utter privation of the act (or disposition to it), or else a privation of the rectitude of the act. When it should know by the proper evidence of the Thing, the privation of its act is called Ignorance or Nescience, and the privation of its rectitude is called, Error (which differ as not-seeing and seeing-falsly): When it should know by Testimony, the privation of its act is simple unbelief, or not-believing, and the privation of its rectitude is either Dis­belief, (when they think the reporter erreth), or Mis-belief, when it believeth a Testimony that is not to be believed.

So that you see by what is said, that the diseases of the Mind to be cured, are 1. Meer ignorance, 2. Error, thinking truth to be falshood, and falshood truth. 3. Unbelief: 4. Disbelief: and 5. Misbelief.

But as the Goodness is of chief regard in the object; so the discerning of the Truth about Good and [...]m. 8. 5, 6, 7. Evil, is the chiefest office of the understanding. And therefore its Disesteem of God, and Glory, and Grace, and its Misesteem of the fleshly pleasure, and worldly prosperity, wealth and honour, is the principal malady of the mind.

§. 5. 2. The diseases of the Will are in its Inclination and its Acts: 1. An inordinate Inclination to the pleasing of the fleshly appetite and fantasie, and to all Carnal baits and Temporal things, that tend to please it; and inordinate acts of desire accordingly. 2. An irrational backwardness to God, and grace, and spiritual good, and a Refusal or Nolition in act accordingly. These are in the will, 1. Because it is become much subject to the sensitive appetite, and hath debased it self, and contracted by its sinful acts, a sensual inclination, the flesh having the dominion in a corrupted soul. 2. Because the Intel­lect being also corrupted, oft times mis-leadeth it, by over-valuing transient things. 3. Because the [Page 97] Will is become destitute (in its corrupted state) of the power of