A Soul-searching CATECHISM, Wherein is opened and explained, Not onely the Six Fundamental Points set down Heb. 6.1.

But also many other Questions of highest concernment in Christian Religion.

Wherein is strong meat for those that are grown, and milk for babes, in a very short Catechism at the end, exceeding needful for all Families, in these ignorant and unsetled Times.

Written by Christopher Blackwood, a ser­vant of CHRIST.

The second Edition, with Addition.

1 Thess. 5.21. Prove all things: hold fast that which is good.
2 Tim. 1.12. Hold fast the form of sound words which thou hast heard.
Luke 1.3, 4. It seemed good to me to write, that thou mightst know the certainty of those things wherein thou hast been instructed.

LONDON, Printed by J.C. for Giles Calvert, at the black Spread-Eagle at the West-end of Pauls. 1653.

The Epistle to the READER.

TO preach unto people, and not to catechize them, I take to be a building without laying a foundation. Hence the Apostle first laid the foundation of the six Principles, Heb. 6.1, 2. Not laying again the founda­tion of Repentance from dead works, of Faith towards God, of the doctrine of Baptisms, and Laying on of hands, of the Resurrection of the dead, and of the eternal Judgment. After which Pat­tern, I have proposed unto thee the Reader a form (I trust) of sound words, wherein thou mayst instruct thy Family. That thou mayst do it the better to thine own comfort, and their edification, take these Directions.

First, Cause thy children and servants to commit to me­mory the short Catechism which is at the end of the Book.

Secondly, Every time thou dost catechize in thy Family, which I would have thee to do once every week at least, read and explain to them one or two of the larger questions; and do them and me that favour, as to turn to the places of Scri­pture, which, for brevity sake, I could not write down; and read them unto them, and shew them how the alleadged Scri­ptures prove the point in hand.

Thirdly, If thy servants and children be more towardly, or more ingeniously bred, or more quick witted, let them learn without book the larger Catechism: but if they be more slow [Page] and uncapable, let them onely learn the second; and oft read and expound to them the former, remembring that narrow-mouth'd vessels can receive liquors poured into them onely by degrees.

Fourthly, Pray for a blessing upon the Instruction, without which, thy pains will not be effectual.

If thou art different in judgement from me in some one Point proposed, yet let not that hinder thee from informing others in the rest of the Points wherein we are agreed. If upon pretence of errour in some one Point, thou shalt conceal the whole from thy Family, for fear they should be drawn away with error; take heed that the things herein contained, which thou acknowledgest sound, be not a witness against thy mis-guided Zeal (mingled with Cruelty) in the day of the Lord.

And forasmuch as thou livest in times wherein many, for want of sound Principles laid at first, go a whoring from God after sundry, dangerous, and destructive Errours; let it be thy care to train up thine in their youth, in the way of Truth, that they may not depart from it when they are old.

So heartily desiring that the Spirit of Grace would make these Instructions home to thy heart, which I present to thy eye and ear, I take my leave, and rest,

Thine affectionate friend, in the bowels of Jesus Christ, Christopher Blackwood.

A Short Catechism, As at all times useful, so especi­ally in these unsetled times.

Quest. WHat grounds have you to prove there is a God?

Answ. 1. By his Creation of Heaven and Earth, Psal. 19 1.

2. By the confession of all Nations, Rom. 1.20. no peo­ple so barbarous, that are with­out a God, though most men are ignorant of the true God, Psal. 19.3.

3. By the order of causes: of every effect there must needs be a cause, till we come to the first universal cause. 1 Cor. 8.6.

4. By the Consciences of wicked men; who having sinned, are afraid of being punish'd by some supream Judg, Rom. 2.15. John 8.9.

5. By the Providence of God, seen 1. in dispensing punishments to the ungodly, Psal. 9.16. and rewards to the righteous, Psal. 58.11. 2. In making provision for all Creatures, Psal. 10 4. throughout. 3. In the fitting one thing for another, as the eye and colour, and light and the air, a thin body, through which colours [Page 2] are sent to the eye. 4 The actions of unreasonable creatures above their ability, as the Ant, Spider, &c. the ordering of contraries to unity.

6. There is a Devil that suggests evil, therefore there is a God that suggests good motions; and though he be not seen, no more is the winde, or soul of man.

Qu. What are we to consider in God?

Ans. 1. His nature; 2. his kingdom; 3. his worke.

Qu. What are we to consider concerning his nature?

Answ. The Unity of the Essence, together with the Trinity of Subsistence; how that the Godhead subsisteth in the being of Fa­ther, Son, and Holy Ghost; yet they are not three Gods, but one, 1 John 5.7. Matth. 28.19.

Qu. Can we understand God in his essence, as he is?

Answ. No further then he hath revealed himself; yet we know him, by considering all the perfections that are in any creature; as wisdom, justice, bounty, holiness, mercy, strength; and ascribing them all to him. 2. By removing all the imperfections that are in any creature from him; so we say God cannot die, nor suffer, nor sin.

Qu. How prove you the Father to be God?

Answ. 1 Cor. 8.6. There is to us but one God, the Father. Gal. 1.1. God the Father, who raised him from the dead. 1 Pet. 1.2. Through the foreknowledg of God the Father. Jude 1.

Qu. How prove you the Son to be God?

Answ. Because the Scripture calls him God over all, blessed for ever, Rom. 9.5. Phil. 2.6. He thought it no robbery to be equal with God. Besides, none but God could make the world: now Christ made the world, 1 Joh. 1.3, 10. Col. 1.15, 16. Heb. 1.2. Also the Saints have pray'd unto him, as well as unto the Father; Acts 7.59. Steven cry'd Lord Jesus receive my spirit. Heb. 1.6. When he bringeth his first begotten into the world, he saith, Let all the Angels of God worship him.

Qu. How prove you the Holy Ghost to be God?

Answ. Because we are baptized into his name, and received in­to Covenant by him, as well as by the Father and Son; and he promises pardon of sin, and eternal life, Matth. 28.19. Again, [Page 3] the Scripture calls him God, Act. 5.3, 4. Why hath Satan fil­led thy heart to lye to the Holy Ghost? thou hast not lyed unto men, but unto God. 1 Cor. 3.16. Know ye not that ye are the temple of God? compared with 1 Cor. 6.19. Know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost? he that in one place is called the Holy Ghost, in the other is called God. Heb. 3.7. compared with Isa. 95.7. in the Hebrew it's said, They tempted the Holy ghost: in the Psalmes, They tempted God. Acts 28.25. compared with Isa. 6.8. in the Acts its said, The Holy ghost spake to Isaiah: but in Isa. its said, the Lord spake unto him, ye [...], the Lord whose train filled the temple. 1 Cor. 6.20. the Apostle saith, We are not our own but the Holy ghosts: therefore he hath absolute power over us. Now God alone hath absolute power over us. Yea, he bids us glorifie God with our bodies. Now what God means he, save the Holy ghost, whose bo­dies he call'd his temple?

Further, his Godhead appears, because he searcheth all things, yea the deep things of God, 1 Cor. 2.10, 11. As the minde of a man knows all the things of man, because it is in him; so doth the Spirit of God know the things of God. Acts 7.51. You do always resist the Holy ghost, as your fathers did. Now whom did their fathers resist in the Books of Moses, but God?

Besides, his Godhead was seen, in inabling persons to speak with tongues of all sorts, without any teaching of them by man, Acts 2.

Q. Whether is the Holy ghost only a motion, action, or o­peration, whereby God works effectually in the hearts of the elect; or whether is he an understanding, willing, working substance?

A. He is an understanding, willing, working substance, because he is said to be blasphemed, Matth. 12.30, 31. Now an action cannot properly be said to be blasphemed, but a person. Againe, the holy Spirit is said to be a Comforter, and to testifie of Christ, John 15.26. When the Comforter is come, whom I will send un­to you, he shall testifie of me: therefore a person, Acts 13.2. The Holy ghost bad separate Paul and Barnabas for the work; yea, he sets overseers over Gods flock, Acts 20.28. Acts 15.18. It seems good to the Holy ghost and to us. If it seem'd good [Page 4] to him, then he is a person indued with understanding Acts 16.6. The Holy ghost forbad the Apostles to go to Phrygia and Bithy­nia, and bad them go to Macedonia; because he commands and forbids, he is a Substance. Rom. 5.5. the love of God is said to be shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy ghost. The Apostle herein puts a full difference betwixt the gifts of God, and the Ho­ly ghost. Besides, 1 Cor. 12.11. He distributes gifts to every one even as he pleaseth: therefore he is a person or substance; Isa. 48.16.

Qu. Wether is the holy ghost equal with the Father and Son?

Answ. Yes: 2 Cor. 13.13. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and communion of the holy ghost, be with you. The Apostle joyns the holy ghost with the other per­sons in prayer. 1 John 5.7. these three are one: Psal. 33.6. all the host of Heaven was made by the Spirit, as well as by Father and Son, Gen. 1.2. The Spirit of God moved upon the waters. The holy ghost also takes us into Covenant, and in his name are we baptized, Matth. 28. which were unlawful, were he not God equal with the Father. The holy ghost makes covenant with us, Heb. 10.15, 16. the holy ghost is a witness to us: for after he had said before, This is the Covenant that I will make with them: I will put my Laws into their hearts, &c. Besides, be­ing we are baptized into his name, we are baptized into his wor­ship, religion, faith, doctrine.

Q. What Scriptures prove unto us the Trinity?

A. These following: Isa. 63.7. 2 Sam. 23.2, 3. Isa. 61.1. Hag. 2.4, 5. Psal. 33.6. In the New Testament, Matth. 3.16, 17. Matth. 28.19. Joh. 1.32, 33. Joh. 15.26. Joh. 16.3, 13, 14, 15. 1 Cor. 12.3. Eph. 2.18. 2 Cor. 13.13. Tit. 3.5, 6. Gal. 4.6. The same name of Jehovah, and the same works, are ascribed to each person.

Q. What are the attributes of God?

A. There are many of them; as, 1. Spirituality, whereby he cannot be touched, Luk. 24.29. For a Spirit hath not flesh nor bones; nor can he be seen, 1 Tim. 6.16. Whom no man hath seen, nor can see.

2. Eternity, whereby he was from everlasting, Psal. 90.2. Be­fore [Page 5] the mountains were brought forth, from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.

3. Unchangeableness: There's no shadow of turning with God, Iam. 1.17. 1 Sam. 15.29. Repentance attributed to God, signifies no change in Gods nature, but in his actions mutably de­creed from eternity. God is fain to speak to us as Nurses to chil­children, lispingly, because they cannot understand perfect speech.

4. Omnipresence; In that he is present everywhere, Psal. 139.7. Whither shall I flee from thy presence? and also knows every thing and person, Heb. 4.13. All things are naked and opened unto the eyes of him, with whom we have to do: so that he knows the very motions of the will of man, even before they move.

5. His Almightiness; in that he is able to do whatsoever he pleaseth, Psal. 135.6. Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he. Yea, he is able to do more then he pleaseth to do; he could have raised up of stones children to Abraham. Matth. 3.9. He could have given Christ 12 legions of Angels. Job 42.2.

6. His Self-sufficiency; in that he is compleat in himself, not needing any thing the creature can do, Gen. 17.1. I am God al­sufficient.

7. His Knowledg; whereby God doth perfectly know himself, and by himself, all other things that are, were, shall be, or can be; and that not successively, as men do, but by one act of understand­ing, Job 42.2. Joh. 21.17.

8. The Will of God; whereby he wills in a holy manner, and works all things according to the counsel thereof, Eph. 1.11.

Q. What be the parts of Gods Kingdom?

A. Two: 1. his decree: 2. the execution of it.

Q. What is Gods decree?

A. It is Gods everlasting determination and purpose concerning all things and persons, Act. 4.28. To do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. Eph. 1.11. Pre­destinated according to the purpose of him, who worketh all things after the counsel of his owne will. And as God decree­eth concerning all things and persons, so doth he decree the circum­stance of place, time, means, and manner, Act. 27.31. Except [Page 6] these abide in the Ship, ye cannot be saved.

Q. What is Predestination?

A. It is Gods fore-ordaining all reasonable creatures, whether Angels or Men, to an everlasting estate either of salvation or dam­nation, 1 Thes. 5.9. God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtaine salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ.

Q. What are the parts of Predestination?

A. Two: 1. Election, which is Gods appointing some to Salvation through Christ, Rom. 9.23. He made known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy which he had prepared un­to glory. Eph. 1.5. Having chosen us in him before the foun­dation of the world.

2. Reprobation; which is Gods appointing some, both Men and Angels to destruction, 2 Tim. 2.20. there are some Vessels to dishonour. Rom. 9.22. To shew his wrath and make his power known, he endured with much long suffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction.

Q. Is there no cause or inducement of Election in the E­lected themselves, or of Reprobation in the Reprobate?

A. No: Rom. 9.18. He hath mercy on whom he will have mercy; and whom he will, he hardeneth. 2 Tim. 1.9. He hath called us with an holy calling, according to his own purpose and grace. Eph. 1.9. He made known unto us the mystery of his will, according to his good pleasure which he had purposed in himself.

Q. Is not Christ the cause of our Election?

A. No, not of Gods decreeing of it, for that he did of his own free-will; but of the execution of it: that is, our Salvation is for and through Christ, Eph. 1.4. He hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world.

Q. Is not sin the cause of reprobation?

A. No: for then all men should be Reprobate, when God foresaw that all would be sinners: but sin is the cause of the exe­cution of reprobation.

Q. What use are we to make of our election?

A. It serves to humble us, that we had nothing of our selves.

2. It should breed in us love to God, for his love to us.

3. It comforts, that our Salvation standeth not in our selves, [Page 7] who dayly might lose it; but in Gods unchangeable decree.

Q. Whether is God, decreeing the works of the wicked, the author of sin?

A. No: though God decrees the sinful works of the wicked (for else they had not been) as the Jewes crucifying of Christ, Acts 2.23. Him, being delivered by the determinate counsel and foreknowledg of God, &c. So Ioseph's selling into Egypt, Gen. 45.7, 50, 20. yet is nothing sin, as God decreeth it, or commandeth it: Abraham's killing of Isaak, being commanded of God, was a duty; which else, God forbiding it, was a sin [...] Gods decreeing of sin, being a way to manifest the glory of Gods Justice, is a good thing.

Qu. What is the execution of Gods decree?

A. It's an action of God, working all things in time, accor­ding to his decree, Eph. 1.11. Acts 4.28.

Q. What are the parts of the execution of Gods decree?

A. Two: 1. Creation. 2. Providence.

Q. What is it to create?

A. To bring a thing from no being, to being Gen. 1.1. Also, to bring in a form created of nothing, into a praeexistent matter.

Q. How did God create all things?

A. By his Word; Psal. 33.6. By the word of the Lord, were the heavens made: also, ver. 9. Gen. 1.3, &c. Let there be light, and there was light. Heb. 11.3. The worlds were framed by the word of God.

Q. Of what made he all things?

A. Of nothing, Rom. 4.17. Heb. 11.3. Things which are seen, were not made of things which do appear. Which plainly appears, in that they are said to be made in the beginning, that is, when there was nothing but God, Gen. 1.1. It was either made of the essence of God, or of nothing: but Gods essence is indivisible; ergo, of nothing.

Q. How long was God in creating the world?

A. Six days, and rested the seventh, Gen. 2.1. Exod. 20.11. In six days the Lord made Heaven and Earth, the Sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day.

Q. Why was God so long in creating the world?

A. That we might not lightly pass over the works of God, which he was so long in creating.

Q. What is Gods creation?

A. It's Gods action, whereby he made Nature, and all things in nature, whether substances or accidents, in the space of six days; for his own glory, and happiness of his Elect. Prov. 16.4.

Q. What grounds have we to believe there is a Provi­dence?

A. 1. From Scripture, because nothing falls out without the determinate counsel of God; no, not the crucifying of the Son of God, Act. 4.28. to do whatsoever thy hand and thy counsel determined before to be done. Matth. 10.29, 30, 31. not a hair falls from our heads, nor a sparrow to the ground, without the will of our Father.

2. The providence of God is seen. 1. In making innumera­ble contrarieties serve to one end; as heat and cold, light and darkness, viz. the use of man. 2. From the reasonable actions of unreasonable creatures; as the shifting Countryes according to the season of the year. 3. From the dependence of callings and countryes one upon another. 4. The fitting one thing for another: man hath an eye; colour is the object of it, light discovers the co­lour, the air is a clear body through which it is seen. 5. The pro­vident provision made for all the creatures, as in bringing springs of water to all towns; the earth also bringing forth grasse for every creature. 6. The fit rewards and punishments that are bestowed and inflicted on the deeds of men, so that no wicked man can out­run Justice, Judg. 16.30. Esth. 6.4. Haman seeking to hang Mordecai, is hanged. Psal. 9.16. Act. 12.22.

Q. But if there be a Providence in the world, how comes it that ill men have so much prosperity and good men so much ad­versity?

A. The prosperity of wicked men, tends to further the decree of God to their destruction, Prov. 1.32. The prosperity of fools shall destroy them. Moreover, the adversity good men endure, is very profitable in many particular respects; as, to wean them from the world, and to keep their hearts humble; and that they be­ing empty of the creature, may the more fasten upon God: so that good men have acknowledged their adversity good for them, Ps. 119.71. It is good for me, that I have been afflicted. Rom. 8.28. All things work together for good to them; therefore the [Page 9] adversity is for their good: so that God doth so dispose his rewards to his people, and punishments to the wicked, that, to speak pro­perly, it never happens ill to the Godly, or well to the wicked in this life.

Q. What is the Providence of God?

A. It is an outward action of God, whereby he doth govern and dispose all and every thing which is made, both creatures and their actions, and faculties, according to the counsel of his will, that in every thing he may be glorified: As honours, Psal. 75.6, 7. Punishments, Amos 3.6. periods of Kingdomes, Dan. 2.21. The wills of men, Jer. 10.23. yea of the greatest of men, e­ven Kings, Prov. 21.1. the counsels of men, as Achitophel, 2 Sam. 17.14. yea, the smallest thing, as a Sparrows falling, Mat. 10.30. yea, the most accidental thing, as the killing of a man un­awares Exod. 21.13. yea, the lot cast into the lap, is wholly dis­posed of by him, Prov. 16.33.

Q. What are the parts of Gods Providence?

A. Three: 1. The keeping the being of things in their kindes, in a continued succession, as long as he sees good, Act. 17.28. In him we live and move, and have our being.

2. His government; whereby as a Monarch he governs all things, according to the liberty of his own will: so that when any creature goes according to the liberty of its will, it is because God suffers it so to do.

3. His ordination, or appointment; whereby God orders, brings, and disposes all things, and the actions of things, how dis­orderly soever they may seem to be, to certain ends, according as it seemeth good to him; for the bringing about of which ends, he al­so appointeth means.

Q. How is the providence of God conversant about sinne?

A. 1. God preserves that nature and will, that produces sin­ful actions. God hath a concurrence about sinful actions, as ap­pears, Gen. 45.8. It was not you that sent me hither, but God. Deut. 2.30. God hardened the Spirit of Sihon King of Hesh­bon. Psal. 105.25. God changed the mindes of the Egypti­ans, that they hated his people. But as in a chain that breaks, there is no link in fault but that which breaks; so in these concur­rences [Page 10] of causes, none is to be blamed but the next and immediate cause, which is the will of man; so that though God will the being, yet man alone wills the nature of sin.

Q. What are the positive actions of God, in and about sin?

A. Three: 1. His withdrawment of his help and grace from the creature; both the help of light, Deut. 29.4. The Lord hath not given you an heart to perceive, and eyes to see; and also the help of supportance; 2 Chron. 32.31. Hezekiah was left of God to his pride, that he might know what was in his heart: which two helps being withdrawn, the creature sins necessarily, but voluntarily; so that as the Sun causes darkness, not by overcasting the air, but by hiding his light, as the staffe falls to the ground be­ing not forced by the hand, but only forsaken of it; so God with­drawing either light or supportment, man sins. God, who suffers sin, hath the power of hindering, without any obligation to us; and man hath the power of doing, without any compulsion: the acti­on in God is without fault, the action in man without excuse.

2. God works about sin, by removing the impediments that hindered us from sinning. God took away good Jehoiada, and then Joash shewed his wickedness, 2 Chron. 24.17. So God takes away a Master or Father, that kept such a person from wick­edness; who being removed, his wickedness appears.

3. God works about sin, by setting before us objects, whereby he knows our corruption will be enticed, as a beautiful woman be­fore an unchast person, wine or beer before a Drunkard.

4. God works about sin by setting bounds to sin, that it shall go so far, and no further, Psal. 76.10. The remainder of wrath shalt thou restrain.

5. God works about sin, in that he preserves the person, nature, and faculties of the sinner, even whiles he is in sinning, Act. 17.28. In him we live, and move: as an hors-man driving a lame horse, is the cause of his going, not of his halting; so is God the cause of our moving, though not of the sinfulness in our moving.

Q. What use may we make of Gods providence?

A. 1. See, that nothing befalls unto thee by chance; if we take chance as a cause in opposition to God, as the Philistims took it, 1 Sam. 6.9.

2. To perswade us to the use of prayer, Gen. 24.12. Neh. 2.4

[Page 11]3. To free the heart from disquieting carefulness, Matth. 6.32, 34.

4. Eye God in all thy affaires, Psal. 145.15. Prov. 3.6. Psal. 139.3.

5. Not to fear the terrors of men, and so neglect duty, Matth. 10.28, 29.

6. To comfort us, that we are in covenant with him, that sits at the stern, and governs all.

7. To comfort us in respect, 1. of our poor condition, 1 Sam. 2.7. 2. against enemyes plots, Luk. 11.31, 33. See Exod. 34.24. 3. against fear of danger, Matth. 2.13. Job 29.4.

8. To work patience in afflictions, 1 Sam. 3.19. Psal. 39.9. Job. 1.20, 21.

Qu. In what condition did God create man at first?

A. In an holy and happy condition, Gen. 1.26. Eccles. 7.29. God made man upright: which uprightness consisted in a perfect conformity of the faculties of the soul, and members of the body, to the will of God, Eph. 4.24. Col. 3.10.

Qu. Did man continue in that state wherein he was crea­ted?

A. No: All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God, Rom. 3.23. Rom. 5.12. By one man sin entred into the world, and death by sin, and so death passed upon all men, in whom all have sinned.

Qu. What death did Adams sin procure? was it only a temporal death, or was it not also eternal?

A. Adams sin procured to his posterity eternal death, in re­spect of desert: Rom. 5.15. If through the offence of one, ma­ny be dead, much more the grace of God, and the gift by grace, hath abounded unto many. As the grace of God, & gift by grace, abounded unto many, that is, to eternal life, and to remission of sins; so the offence on the contrary, abounded unto eternal death: and so it is set down, vers. 25. that as sin hath reigned unto death, even so might grace reign through righteousness, unto eternal life, by Jesus Christ: as if he should say, As the one is, so is the other.

2. Such as the justification is, by the second Adam, such is the condemnation by the first Adam.

But the justification by the second Adam, is a justification of life, that is, of or to eternal;

Therefore the condemnation by the first Adam, is a condem­nation to eternal death, Rom. 5.18.

Therefore, as by the offence of one, the judgment came upon all men to condemnation; even so by the righteousness of one, the free gift came upon all men to justification of life.

If any man object, that it's against equity that eternal death should be inflicted for another man's sin;

A. The same may be said against temporal death: it's as un­just that natural life should be taken away for the sin of another; yet the Objectors, whether Socinians or Arminians, acknow­ledge this.

2. The will of God is the rule of righteousness; and if Adam would enter into such an agreement with God, that if he stood, he and all his posterity should stand eternally; and if he fell, he and his posterity should perish eternally: Who hath any thing to reason a­gainst it? Hos. 6.7. the words are, They like Adam have transgressed the Covenant: so you have it varied in the margin. So that a Covenant passed betwixt God and Adam, for the vio­lation whereof on Adams part, he and his incur'd eternal death: and we hold it equitable in the Courts of men, that for the treason of the Father, the Posterity smarts also. Levi, in the loynes of A­braham, is said to pay tithes, Heb. 7.9.

Qu. What did Adam passe over to his posterity, besides tem­poral and eternal death?

A. Besides their being children of wrath (that is, not only per­sons with whom God is angry, but upon whom his wrath abides, John 3.36.) they are children of wrath by nature, Eph. 2.3. signifying, not only that we are cursed, but that we are so by nature or birth; natura being derived a nascendo, from being born. Of Adam and Eve, it might be said, They were liable to wrath; but it could not be said they were children of wrath: it might be said they were, upon their fall, cursed; but it could not be said they were born cursed. So that besides temporal and eternal death, there is a viciousnes of nature that passeth from Adam, to all his posterity: so that as a creature begotten, partakes of the nature of the beget­ter, as an horse of the nature of an horse; so we partake of the sin­ful [Page 13] nature of our first Parents all along: so that no man can bring a clean thing out of an unclean, Job 14.4. for, we were shapen in wickedness, and in sin did our mother conceive us, Psal. 51.5. so that naturally we are estranged from God from the womb, speaking lyes as soon as we can speak, Psal. 58.3. The looking-glasse of our misery we may see, Rom. 3.9. to the 20. which the Apostle applyes to himself, as well as others, vers. 9. What, are we better then they? (that is, by nature) No, in no wise.

To say we become guilty by imitation only, as one Ox learns to plow by the sight of another, is most false: For corrupt nature teaches many persons evill, for which they never saw example; as Cain when he killed Abel.

To say the immediate will of the sinner is absolutely necessary to constitute sin, is to tye the Creator to the Law of the creature, who had a soveraigne power in himself, to propose what Law he pleased unto his creature.

To say there is no such defilement upon our natures, because our consciences accuse us not for it; no more doth our conscience ac­cuse us for sins of ignorance, and many other sins; yet will we say they are not sins? The consciences of the Jewes did not condemn them for not dwelling in Boothes, in the feast of the seventh month, which they had omitted welnigh a thousand years, from the days of Joshua to the days of Nehemiah, Neh. 8.14. to the 18. was it therefore not a sin?

And whereas some say, They cannot see how the sin of our first Parents should be both a sin and a punishment: was not Phara­oh's hardness of heart both a sin and a punishment? Was not the Idolatry of the Gentiles? Rom. 1.21, 23, 24, 26, 28.

Q. Whereas some say, No Infant, no not of the Heathens, is damned meerly for original sin;

A. We know nothing of their damnation, but we speak of the desert of original sin. I rather incline to judge of their salvation, they dying in Infancy, because Christ saith, Of such is the King­dom of God. The innocency of all Infants (in respect of actual sins) whether of heathen or christian Parents, is the same: they may be saved, as the elect Angels are saved; or else God may for­give that offence without satisfaction: for if that power be in a creature, to forgive a debt without payment, much more is it in [Page 14] God: and I humbly suppose there cannot be a more fit object to exercise the same, and to bring it into act, then towards poor dy­ing Infants.

But that which I most incline to, concerning the salvation of dy­ing Infants, is, that though God can pardon dying infants without satisfaction, yet that he will not, because Christ Is the way to the Father, and No man comes to the Father, without Christ, John 14.6. Now Christ's satisfaction becomes effectual through be­lieving only, to them that have the power of believing; but to dy­ing infants, it may become effectual by bare applying, without believing, because infants cannot believe, Deut. 1.39. Joh. 4.11. That there is some way of salvation for infants, the Scripture speaks, Luke 18.15, 16. but for any other way of salvation for them besides Christ his satisfaction, we know not; nor for the con­veyance of satisfaction in behalfe of infants any other way, then by bare application on the Mediators part, and acceptation on Gods part, I cannot conceive. And should infants be damned meerly for original sin, then should God deal more severely with poor dying infants, then with the Devils, who were condemned to hell only for actual sins.

Q. Wherein doth our natural defilement reside?

A. In every faculty of soul, and member of body, Psal. 14.3. They are all gon aside, they are altogether become filthy. So that the whole man stands in need to be sanctified, 1 Thes. 5.23. the Understanding is full of blindness, Psal. 14.2. the Will full of rebellion, Ioh. 5.40. and 8.44. the Affections of disorder, Rom. 7.5. the Conscience of benummedness and other defilements, Tit. 1.16. the Ears full of filthy listnings, the Eyes full of wanton ga­zings, &c.

Q. Wherein doth our natural defilement consist, which we drew from our first Parents?

A. In two things:

1. In an aversnes to every thing that is good, Psal. 14.3. and 58.3.

2. In a proneness to every thing that is evil, Rom. 7.5. So that corruption takes occasion from the holy law of God, to stir us up to sin, Rom. 7.8, 13.

Q. How came Adams sin to seize upon his posterity?

A. That man by nature is wholly sinful, nothing is more plain: but the manner how he came to be so, is hard to understand. Now as when we are fallen into a ditch, we stand not questioning so much how we fell in, as how to get out; so should we see how to get out of this sinful condition.

But, to answer, some say the Parent begets the soul as well as body: but God is called the Father of Spirits, Heb. 12.9. See also Zach. 12.1. Num. 27.16. Eccles. 12.7. Either the Pa­rent in generation conveyes part of his soul, and so the soul should be divisible, contrary to the nature of spirits, which are not quan­titative; or he conveys his whole soul, and so the Parent should be without a soul; or else souls multiply: which is more then An­gels do.

Therefore, 1. we become guilty by imputation, or by Gods or­dination: in one man, God ordained to adorn us all, if he stood; in one man, he ordained to strip us all, if he fell.

2. By natural propagation or generation of that most filthy nature which Adam had after his fall, Gen. 5.1. Adam begat a son in his own likeness, after HIS IMAGE. What image had Adam then, save a corrupt image? Job 14.4. Who can bring a clean thing out of an unclean? no body: Psal. 51.5. Behold, I was shapen in wickedness, and in sin did my mother conceive me. So that sinful man (by man, I mean both man and woman; who though they be two in sex, yet are they one in na­ture, and one in wedlock) I say, sinful man begets sinful man: so that sin is in the seed inbidingly, as fire is in the flint, as some sup­pose. This power that the body should have over the soul, being above nature, may be ascribed to Gods justice, punishing Adams sin, in his base subjecting of his spirit to the flesh. Through the seed, hereditary diseases of Gout, Stone, Consumption, Leprosy, are conveyed, which are invisible; and why may not sin be convey­ed by the father to the childe, in generation?

Though this answer may be satisfactory to many, yet I rest up­on the former, that we become guilty by imputation.

Qu. How doth it appear, that Adams sin is imputed to all his posterity?

A. It appears, 1. Because sin was in the world before there was a Law given on Sinai, as appears, in that all Adams posteri­ty [Page 16] were liable unto a temporal death, which is the fruit of sin, Rom. 5.13. Ʋntill the Law, sin was in the world; so that death raigned, from the time of Adam to Moses, vers. 14. now sin would not have been imputed (and consequently death) when there is no Law. Now if you say, What Law was there before Moses Law, without which sin would not have been imputed? I answer, Though there was the Law of Nature writ in our hearts by Nature; yet the Law the Apostle there speaks of, was this, mentioned vers. 12. That by one man (Adam) sinning, all man­kinde should sin in him, & by that one sin of that one man (Adam) death should come upon all. He speaks not one word of the Law of Nature.

2. It appears that Adams sin is imputed to all his posterity, from the death of infants. Rom. 5.14. Death reigned from A­dam to Moses (and so along) even over them who had not sin­ned after the similitude of Adams transgression; which can­not be meant otherwise, then of infants, who had not sinned actual­ly, as Adam had: so that the Apostle argues thus:

Where death reigned without guilt of their own actual sin, there necessarily must be an imputation of the guilt of the first sin.

But before the Law, death reigned over those that had no guilt, from their own actual sins, (meaning little infants, that could not sin actually, after the similitude of Adams transgression:)

Therefore the guilt of the first sin, is necessarily imputed to in­fants; and if so infants, much more to grown persons, and so to all.

Q. What may we learn hence?

A. That there is a sinning after the similitude of Adams transgression, or actually. 2. That there is a sinning which is not after the similitude of Adams transgression, or imputatively; which is called original sin.

Q What is original sin?

A. It is the corruption of all mankinde, by the fall of our first Parents, naturally propagated or derived unto all, making them guilty of temporal and eternal death, and other punishments, un­less forgiveness be made in Christ, Rom. 3.9. to vers. 25. Rom. 5.12, 13, 14, 15. It's called original sin, because it was in be­ing from the beginning, from the first man that ever was.

Q. What way is their to come out of this miserable con­dition?

A. Only by Jesus Christ, Col. 1.21, 22.

Qu. What is Jesus Christ?

A. The eternal Son of God, Mic. 5.2. made man, Rom. 1.3, 4.

Q. How many are the Offices of Christ in relation to his Church?

A. They are three.

Qu. Which are they?

A. His Kingly office, whereby he rules in his Church, Psal. 2.6. and in the hearts of his people, Luk. 17.21.

2. His Prophetical office, whereby he revealing his Fathers will, wee are to hear him in all things, Acts 3.22. Matth. 17.5.

3. His Priestly Office, whereby he offers sacrifice for the sins of his people, Heb. 8.3.

Q. What sacrifice did Christ offer?

A. His own body upon the Crosse, Heb. 10.10.

Qu. Why did Christ offer his own body upon the Crosse?

A. To make satisfaction for the sins of all those that believe on him, Rom. 3.25, 26.

Q. What is faith?

A. It is a matrimonial act of the soul, Rom. 7.4. 2 Cor. 11.3. Eph. 5.32. whereby I do not only believe that there was such a person as one Jesus Christ, who dyed and rose at Jeru­salem; but I believe also that he dyed and rose again for me: yea, my soul is willing to receive him, John 1.12. as my Lord and Sa­viour, Jude 21.25. and to rest upon his satisfaction, Rom. 10.10, 11.

Quest. Whether doth Faith go before the forgiveness of sins?

Ans. We are not first washed, and then believe; but in Scrip­ture-language we first believe, and afterwards are washed: hence we are said to be justified by Faith, Rom. 3.28. and to be pu­rified by Faith, Acts 15.9. and Christ is set forth a reconciliati­on through Faith in his blood, Rom. 3.25. which blood, though it have sufficient vertue to cleanse us from our sins, yet it doth not [Page 18] actually purge any, unless it be applyed: when it is once applyed, that the soul looks believingly and mournfully upon him whom he hath pierced, in that day is there a Fountain set open to that soul, the Fountain of Christ his blood, Zach. 12.10. compared with chap. 13.1.

Q. But whether is Faith or Repentance first in the soul?

A. Though Faith be in order before Repentance, yet in respect of time they are both together in the soul; for in the same moment the Children of God believe that Christ was crucified for their sins, they melt under the sight of their sins, which were the cause of his crucifying, Zach. 12.12 13. compared with chap. 13.1.

Q. How doth the soul act in receiving Christ?

A. There is not onely an assent of the understanding that Jesus is the Christ that came into the World to save sinners, which may be in wicked men, Heb. 6.4. and Devils, Jam. 2.19. but there is also an act of the will, whereby God offering his Son as a Pro­phet to be our Teacher, as a King to take us into his Government, as our Priest, by his death and intercession to wash away our sins; we look upon this offer as worthy of all acceptation, 1 Tim. 1.15. and so receive Christ to be under his teachings, as our Prophet, Mat. 17.5. Acts 9.6. rest and repose our selves upon his Sacrifice and satisfaction, as our Priest, Psal. 37.5. Acts 8.37. put our selves under his Government, and subject our wills to his will, as our King, Luke 19.27. This accepting Christ by the will, is that very receiving mentioned, John 1.12. because whosoever thus re­ceive him, have power to become the Sons of God.

Qu. What are the two parts of Christ his Priesthood?

A. 1. His death upon the Cross, whereby in respect of Gods foreknowledge, Christs merit, and Gods acceptation, he bore the sins of all the Elect upon the Cross, ransoming them to God by his death. Mat. 20.28. Ephes. 1.6, 7.

2. His Resurrection from the dead, together with his inter­cession in Heaven, whereby as an Advocate he pleades their cause, 1 John 2.6. appearing in the presence of God for them, Hebrews 9.24. presenting the merits of his own death, whose blood speaketh good things for them, Hebrews 9.24. So that he is able to save them to the uttermost, Hebrews 7.25.

Q. How may a Believer know that Christ is his Advocate or Intercessor?

A. Hereby do we know that we know him so to be, if we keep his Commandments, 1 John 2.1, 2, 3▪ 4.

Q. How doth a Believer keep the Commandments?

A. 1. He keepeth them in his head Christ, in whose flesh sin was condemned, that the righteousness of the Law might be ful­filled in us, Rom. 8.34.

2. He keeps them intentionally, having a respect to every one of them, Psal. 119.6. without slighting or despising any of them; seeing the Scripture sets down, that the slighting or despising any of a mans wayes, doth declare him to be as yet under the state of death, Prov. 13.13. and chap. 19.16.

3. In that he will not deliberately sin against Conscience, for the escaping of Crosses, or obtaining of enjoyments, Dan. 3.16, 17. having a full purpose in his heart (through the assistance of grace) to chuse affliction rather then iniquity, Job 36.21.

Q. What measure of love must we love the Lord with­all?

A. We must love him with a soveraign love, better then Fa­ther and Mother, Lands and Living Wife and Children; yea, and our own Lives, Mat. 10.37. Luk. 14.26.

Q. What denial of Christ is that which excludes a soul out of Heaven?

A. Habitual denial, when we, for the saving of our Lands, Li­berties, Country or Lives, have a purpose to deny Christ, or any part of his truth, Mat. 10.32, 33.

Q. What way it there to prevent this habitual denial of Christ, which is so dangerous and destructive?

A. To learn to deny our selves in such a measure, that in the Lords strength we resolve to take up every Cross that comes be­twixt us and our duty, Luk. 9.23. and to hate the best enjoyment we have, as friends, liberty, estate, yea and life it self, if we cannot hold them and the Lord together, Luk. 14.26, 27. So that we are resolved in no wise in a plain Commandment to sin against our Conscience, but are resolved to chuse a fiery furnace, rather then worship a golden image. Dan. 3.16, 17.

Q. What is repentance?

A. A change of heart, Ephes. 4.22, 23. Rom. 12.1, 2. where­by we turn from all sin with an hatred thereof, Psal. 119.128. purposing to walk in newness of life, Psal. 119.106.

Q What are the fruits of Repentance?

A. The Apostle sets down some, 2 Corinthians 7.11. as a care of pleasing God in every thing; also a fear of dis­pleasing him in any thing; also a clearing of our selves both before God, not resting till we have got assurance of the pardon of our sins; and clearing our selves before men, in a godly course of life; also a desire to eye God in all things; also a zeal, rejoycing when his name is honoured, and sorrowing when it is dishonoured; also an indignation against sin, in a friend as well as an enemy, in a rich man as well as poor; also revenge against our selves, in that, as we have abused Gods blessings to our own lusts, so we endeavour hereafter to spend them to his Honour.

Q. What doth the Scripture reveal concerning spirituall death?

A. It reveales unto us that we are under a threefold death.

1. A death of guiltiness, whereby we are bound over to eternal death, Rom. 5.12. Luk. 15.32. John 5.24. being wrapt therein by Adams sin and our own.

2. A death of filthiness, whereby naturally we all lye wallow­ing in carnal courses, though some are more deeply in them then others, Ephes. 2.1, 3, 3. This life of holiness was also lost by Adam, Gen. 1.26. Eccles. 7.29. Ephes. 4.25.

3. A death of discomfort, whereby naturally we are deprived of that sweet Communion and enjoyment of God, which Adam had in innocency, and regenerate men have in part, and glorified Saints have in fulness, Rom. 3.23.

Q What doth the Scripture reveal concerning spirituall life?

A. It reveals unto us, that there are three parts of spiritual life in opposition to this death:

1. The life of justification, Rom. 5.18. Gal. 2.20. so that whereas we are all dead men by offending the Law, when God pardons we are alive, Col. 3.4.

2. The life of Sanctification, when a man is quickened up to all the wayes of God, Ephes. 2.1. Rom. 6.11, 13.

[Page 21]3. The of comfort, Psal. 85.6. when the soul enjoyes a life in Gods favour, Psal. 30.5. Psal. 63.3. looking upon the absence thereof as death it self, Psal. 28.1. Psal. 143.7.

Q What necessity is there of spirituall life?

A. It is so needful, that without it there is no Salvation, Joh. 3.5. All the Body of Christ being living stones, 1 Pet. 2.5. without this, thy conversion is nothing, Ephes. 2.5. thy Faith nothing, Joh. 11.26. thy Hope nothing, 1 Pet. 1.3. thy Repentance nothing, Acts 11.18. and thy duties of Religion nothing, Psal. 80.18. Mat. 13.15. yea, if thou beest without this, thou hast no share (as yet) in Christ, 1 John 5.12.

Q. What kinde of thing is spiritual life?

A. As it hath respect to change of heart, there is an unseen working of the spirit upon the souls of Believers, so that as there goes an hidden quality from the Loadstone to the iron, that draws the iron to it; so is there a power goes from Christ to draw the soul off from all sinful purposes unto himself, John 6.44. John 12.31. So that the soul exalts Christ, though with the loss of all lusts and all enjoyments, Mat. 16.24.

Q. In what faculty of the soul is spiritual Life seated?

A. Though wheresoever spiritual life is, it showes forth its acts and operations, (as the natural life doth) in the whole man; yet as the natural life is more eminently in the head and heart: so is this spiritual life more eminently in the faculties of the Understand­ing, Will, Conscience, Affections and Memory.

Q. How may a person know his understanding it made a­live to God?

A. When he doth not onely think of divine truths, John 5.39. and approve them, Rom. 2.18. which natural men may do; but also applies them to his own Conscience, Job 5.27. meditates of them, Psal. 1.2. ponders them, Luke 2.19. remembers them, Psal. 116.55. judges aright of Gods wayes; Psal. 119.128. 1 Cor. 2.13, 14. and is often inventing and devising how to ho­nour God, and to keep Conscience pure, Proverbs 14.22. Isa. 32.8.

Q. How may a man know his will is made alive to God?

A. Though the Saints of God have drawn comfort from their [Page 22] willing good, when they could do no more but will, Rom. 7.18, 19, 25. yet may there be wishings and wouldings in a heart often­times, and yet it remain carnal, as in Balaam, Numb. 23.10. and many others: now because many thousands deceive themselves by their wishings and wouldings, know that wishing or willing good is an Argument of spiritual life,

1. VVhen the will brings forth earnest and diligent endeavors, 1 Cor. 15.10. Heb. 13.18. Luke 15.18. compared with verse 32. against all hindrances and pull-backs whatso­ever.

2. VVhen the will of a man is set for good absolutely, Psal. 119.145. Dan. 1.8. though it expose him to the Cross, and he gave no thanks, but be hated of men for the same.

3. VVhen the inclinations and dispositions of the heart are for God, Psal. 119.112. that what other men do with a dead heart, he doth with a willing disposition.

4. By the chusings and refusings of the heart; when we chuse the wayes of God before all other wayes, Psal. 119.30, 173. Isa. 56.4. and refuse the wayes of all sin in the purpose of the heart, Psal. 119.101, 104. but when men have good things put to them by the word and Conscience, and in the purpose and frame of their heart refuse them, this argues a dead will, Jer. 5.3.

5. By the cleaving of the heart; when the heart sticks so to its duty, that nothing can pull it off, neither bonds nor imprisonment, Acts 21.13. Acts 11.23. so that though violence of torturing temptations may seem to carry the soul off in a fit, as in some of the Martyrs, yet in the habit of the heart it sticks so to God and his Word, that nothing can unsettle the habit, Psal. 119.31. Dan. 3.16, 17. Dan. 6.10. though tentation may unsettle an act.

6. By the groanings and sighings of the heart under corrup­tion, Psal. 119.5. David out of the unwillingness of his flesh, fetch'd a groan, saying, O that my wayes were made direct!

7. By the reachings of the will; living wills use to reach after God, Phil. 3.13. as a man that reaches as high as he can, and strives to reach higher; he believes in some measure, and would believe more; opposes every known sin, and would oppose it, [Page 23] more; follows all goodness, and would follow it more.

8. By the intentions of the heart, when they are set for God, so that the soul saith thus, So that I may keep close to God, and keep my conscience pure, and may not be carried away with the world; this is that I desire: so that as carnal men make honour and pleasure, and that which leads thereto, their ends: so Saints make God, and that which lead to him, their end.

Q. How may a man know his conscience is made alive to God?

1. Urgency of conscience to press the soul to its duty, is no ar­gument of spiritual life, Numb. 22.18. nor yet trouble of consci­ence before or after the committing of sin, Mark 6.26. Dan. 6.14. 1 Sam. 13.12. Mat. 27.41. Yea, conscience awakened may make a man go against all outward by-respects, Numb. 22.18. Matth. 27.4. and make a man look at God, Gen. 31.29. Ezra 1.2. Rom. 10.2.

2. But then is the conscience alive, when not onely conscience doth his duty, but makes a man do his duty towards God and Man, whether conscience do it with much adoe, or little adoe; as to believe with all the heart, to love God soveraignly, to serve God sincerely, &c.

2. When the conscience doth not onely excuse a man in part, Gen. 20.6, 7. Rom. 2.15. but excuses him full out, that he stands guitless by faith in Christ, Rom. 8.2. and that every purpose of his heart is set against every sin, and for every duty, Acts 23.1. Heb. 13.18.

3. When we are glad our conscience is so busie with us, Psal. 16.7. yea we call upon our conscience to be busie with us, Psal. 103.1.

Q. How may we know our affections are made alive to God?

A. 1. When our principall treasure is in heaven, Mat. 6.20. and our affections are set upon it, not upon the world, Col. 3.12. That though worldly occasions may put off the heart from heaven for a time, yet no sooner are these employments over, but the heart endeavours after its former enjoyment of God: so that as the affections of dead men are ever and anon upon the world, because they have a dead and worldly frame of heart; so the affections of [Page 24] men spiritually alive, are ever and anon upon God, because they have a quickned and heavenly frame of heart.

2. VVhen the heart can relish good things, Rom. 8.5. So that as carnal men savour profit and pleasure, and carnal contents; so the affections alive can savour communion with God, the face of God, the word of God, the sweetness of a Spiritual duty.

3. When the heart esteems God above all enjoyments, Psal. 73.25, 26. So that thou wilt morgage any thing for God, and the things of God; so that thou wilt count his glory dearer then thy credit, duty to him dearer then life to thy self, Acts 20.24. to such affections, the promise, 2. Pet. 1.4. grace, Prov. 3.15. and Christ, 1 Pet. 2.7. is pretious above all.

4. When thy greatest care is to please God, Tit. 3.8. and how to get thy heart weaned from the world, and how to keep consci­ence pure, Acts 24.15. and thy greatest fear is to sin against God, Gen. 39.10. so that thou fearest him above reproach, poverty, or death it self, Dan. 3.16, 17.

Q. How may we know our memory it made alive?

A. Whereas by Nature corrupt we are apt to remember foolish things, Psal. 106.3. as foolish jests, and wrongs and in­juries done to us, and are apt to forget God and all his commands, Psal. 78.7. the Spirit brings good things to a regenerate memo­ry, John 14.16. so that the soul remembers to practice, Psal. 109.16. And as at other times he remembers his duty so especi­ally in time of tentation, Gen. 39.10.

Q. What ought to be the ground and motive of a Christians obedience?

A. 1. The command of Christ, with is the bond of the consci­ence, Rom. 1.14. Acts 20.22.

2. The love of God, from whence our obedience ought to flow, John 14.15. 2 Cor. 5.15.

Q. What doth the Scripture reveal of the combat of the flesh and spirit?

A. It tells us that the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; so that we cannot do the good that we would do, Gal. 5.17.

Q. What my comfort a regenerate man in this combat of Flesh and Spirit?

A. This may comfort him, 1. That he hates the evil that he doth, and loves the good that he doth not, Rom. 7.15, 16.

2. That he delight in that law that forbids his evil, Rom. 7.22. and consents unto it that it is a good law, ver. 16.

3. He groans under his evil as a most heavy burthen, Rom. 7.24. and doth not allow himself in the least evil, vers. 15.

4. Though his flesh do too often serve the Law of sin, yet in his mind or intention of his heart he still doth serve the Law of Christ, Rom. 7.25.

Q. But seeing many natural men have combats in them­selves in respect of sin, how shall I know that I combat aright?

A. The combats that Natural men have, are mostly,

1. Betwixt Reason and sensuality; so many are sorry they can­not refrain their uncleanness, drunkenness, gaming, because they are contrary to reason.

2. Or betwixt natural Conscience, and natural Passions, as in Pilate, whose conscience warned him not to pass sentence a­gainst Christ, yet he durst not do otherwise, for fear he should lose Caesars favour.

3. Or betwixt some outward evil for a time, or some gross sin all their life long; mean time harbouring some secret darling-abomination, as the love of their estates, liberties and lives, more then Christ.

4. Or betwixt a purpose of continuing in sinfull pleasures, and a desire to enjoy eternal pleasures, as in Balaam, who desired to live in covetousness, yet would fain have died the death of the righte­ous; so is this combat sometimes betwixt these sinful pleasures here, and the fear of eternal vengeance hereafter.

5. Their combat, how hot soever, is still joyned with a custome and purpose of sinning, so that they lay down the Cudgels to sin, saying, This is my nature, and I must do it, 2 Pet. 2.14.

Now the combat in regenerate men, is,

1. Fierce, and in the purpose of the heart against all sin, though sometimes it be defective in some act or acts.

2. In this combat they disallow the evil they do, not onely from a principle of natural conscience (which in some sins carnal men may do) but also from a principle of spiritual life, because it is contrary to the life which they live.

[Page 26]3. They groan under their evils with many a sign and tear in secret yea such evils as the world takes no notice of as dead-harted­ness declining of affection to God, want of former feelings, hard ness of heart, unbelief coldness and distraction in good duties, vain hopes, vain fears, carking cases lumpishness in Gods service, risings of re­venge: also the tricks the soul hath had to keep off convincement in suffering times; also the by-ends in the good it hath done. One wears a chain as an ornament, another as a fetter, and would fain be rid of it; so wicked men wear their lusts as ornaments to them, but Gods people wear them as the heaviest chain.

4. If in the combat the Flesh get the upper hand, and they fall, they cannot be quiet till they have turned to God, and recovered their acquaintance with him, Psalm 51.8, 9, 10, 11, 12. but carnal men are not troubled but add sin to sin, Gen. 37.24.

Q. Whether it be possible for a Christian to be assured of his union with Christ, and of his acceptation into favour with God?

A. Yes: 1. because the Scripture bids us prove our spirituall estate, 2 Cor. 13.4. Gal. 6.4. 1 Cor. 11.28. Now the Spirit would not bid us search for that which could not be found. 2. Be­cause the Scripture reveales unto us many evidences of our assur­ance, some taken from our union with Christ, and some from the in-dwelling of the Spirit in us.

Q. What markes or signs doth the Scripture reveal to evi­dence our union with Christ?

A. The most demonstrative signe, or at least one of them, is soveraigne love to God, to the Lord better then any enjoyment of Lands, Liberties, Life, Wife and Children, Mat. 10.37. Luke 9.23. & 14.26. Mat. 16.24. which evidence if you leave out, the soul may be deceived in others severed from this. For whosoever believes in Christ, his faith doth work by love, Gal. 5.4. yea by a love of this measure, Heb. 11.25, 26, 27, 35.

Q. What are the Witnesses that witness a Christians good condition to God-ward?

A. They are two: 1. The witness of Gods Spirit: 2. The witness of our regenerated Spirits, Rom. 8.16. The Spirit beareth witness with our Spirit, that we are the children of God.

Q. What doth the Spirit witness?

A. It witnesses God is our Father; for we having received the Spirit of adoption, thereby cry Abba Father, Rom. 8.15. it witnesses the things that are freely given us of God, 1 Cor. 2.9, 12.

Q. After what manner doth the Spirit witnesse?

A. Two wayes; First, by the impressions and stamps which like a Seal upon the Wax, it maketh upon the soul, Ephes. 1.13.

Secondly, by the fruits and effects thereof.

Q What are the impressions or stamps the Spirit maketh up­on the soul?

A. They are two: First, the stamp of Holiness, whereby the Spirit changeth the Saints into the image of God, from one glorious grace into another, 2 Cor. 3.18. so that as a seal destroyes that image that was in the Wax before, so doth the seal or stamps of the Spirit destroy corruption in the soul in respect of the reign of it, and set up grace in the reign thereof. Rom. 6.14. This same stamp of Holiness being throughout, 1 Thess. 5.23. and consisting in a change of the whole man, 2 Cor. 3.18. and especially in a trans­formation of the minde, Rom. 12.2. and will, Acts 9.6. is one of the impressions of the Spirit.

Secondly, the impression of Comfort and Feeling, Psal. 51.8.12. this being given of the Spirit, Eph. 1.13. as an occasional re­freshing, not as daily food for the soul to feed upon, Psal. 6.8. Psal. 31.22. doth shew the Spirit of God is in us, 2 Cor. 1.3. yet doth not the want of his feeling prove that the Spirit of God is not in us; for God doth sometimes hide himself from the soul, Isa. 45.15. Psal. 51.8. the Spirit in respect of this feeling, is one of the three witnesses that testifies Christ to be our Saviour, 1 John 5.8.

Q. whether is a Christians assurance and feeling all one?

A. No: The word and promise of a powerful, faithful, and willing God, with the Notes and Evidences of a Christians good estate, as they are laid down in the Scripture, are the grounds of a Christians assurance; and comfortable feelings are the Crown thereof. A poor deserted soul that hath little feeling, may have a soveraign love of God, fear of sin, and an absolute purpose against [Page 28] it, Psal. 44.18, 19. yea, he may have uprightness of heart, Job 1.1. compared with chap. 6.4. yea he may have faith in Christ, Psal. 22.1. yea, an earnest thirsting after Christ, Cant. 5.6. Now shall I have a purpose to deny credit, wealth and life for Christ, yea and have all the forementioned gracious fruits, and shall I not have grounds of assurance that my estate is good to God-ward? When Christ asked Peter whether he loved him, he did not say, Lord thou knowest we cannot tell whether we love thee or no; but said, Thou knowest that I love thee.

Q. Whew doth the Spirit seal the soul with comfort?

A. First, when the soul is cast down in humiliation, and ear­nestly longs for the light of Gods countenance, Job 22.29. Isa. 29.19.

Secondly, upon self-denial of that which is pleasant, or suffering that which is painful, Mat. 19.27.

Thirdly, after conflict with corruptions, or other temptations, and victory over them, Apoc. 2.17.

Fourthly, when a believer takes paines with his heart, and puts forth his strength in duty, Hosea 12.4.

Q What are the effects and fruits whereby the Spirit wit­nesses his in-being in the soul?

A. They are divers; as, 1. An inablement of the soul to do things above nature, as to love the Lord Soveraignly, to love our enemies, to love the godly for the Image of God in them.

2. When the Spirit is combating in us against all that is sin, Gal. 5.17. so that we do not onely suppress the same, but also lust after graces contrary thereunto.

3. As the beames of the Sun shew forth the presence of the Sun, so the sighs, groans, and meltings in holy hearts, evidence that the Spirit is in them, Zach. 12.10. Rom. 8.26.

Q. What is the testimony of our own spirit?

A. It is the Testimony of a renewed Conscience, witnessing us no be in the state of grace, upon sufficient grounds Rom. 8.16.

Q. What are those grounds?

A. 1. Because Faith evidences, Heb. 11.1. 1 John 5.10. That none can lay any thing to my Charge, seeing Christ did not onely dye for me, but rose again, and ascended into heaven making intercession for me, Rom. 8.33. So that he appearing for me as [Page 29] my Advocate, Heb. 9.24. And his blood speaking good things, Heb. 12.24. he is not onely able to save me to the uttermost, though my sins be great and many, Heb. 7.25. but is also willing, in that he promises in no wise to cast off them that come unto him, John 6.37. which my poor soul doth.

Q What other ground is there?

A. My union with Christ.

Q. How knowest thou, thou art united with Christ?

A. 1. By my soveraign love to him, 1 John 4.19.

2. By my being made a new Creature, and my crucifying the flesh, with the lusts and affections thereof, 2 Cor. 5.17. Gal. 5.24. which is not meant, as if there were no oldness of nature in me, or that every lust were actually and perfectly dead; but it's meant thus, my lusts are crucified, and I am new intentionally, because it is that I aime at, and strive after daily.

3. He that is united to Christ, lives not in sin, 1 John 3.6. He that abideth in him, sins not; which is not meant simply of not sinn­ing; for no man lives that sins not 1 Reg. 8.46. therefore it is meant of a purpose of sinning: hence those in Christ are said not to walk after the flesh, Rom. 8.1. that is, though sometimes they may slip, yet the constant purpose of their heart is after the guidance of the Spirit.

4. He that abides in Christ, walkes as Christ walked, 1 John 2.6. with an as of similitude, though not of equality, 1 John 3.7. he endeavours to follow Christ in every step, though he cannot take such long strides. As a young writer begins and ends his lines, and makes his letters like his Master, though he cannot write so fair; so every Member of Christs body, having the same mind, (in his measure) that was in Christ, Phil. 2.5. endeavours to follow Christ in all graces and duties, and his so walking is evidential unto him: and to every one that thus obeys Christ, he becomes the Au­thor or Causer of eternal salvation, Heb. 5.9.

5. He that abides in Christ, is fruitful, Joh. 15.5. which though Hypocrites may seem to imitate, yet the fruitfulness of Christians is easily distinguished, in that it's not from external motives, but from Christ, Hos. 14.8. nor for ends selfish and base, but for Christ, Rom. 14.7, 8.

Q. What other ground of assurance for the soul?

A. I have this ground that my sins are forgiven me, because I have the other branches of the new Covenant made over to me, as the taking away from me a stony hard heart, and my heart and the Commandment closes together, and that I know God with a re­lishing knowledge, and not onely with a bare notional knowledge; therefore I have this branch of the new Covenant, that my sins and iniquities God will remember them no more, Jer. 31.34. Ezek. 36.25. Heb. 8.11, 12. for all the branches of the new Co­venant are undivided, and my soul truly repents, and therefore God hath promised faithfully to forgive, Prov. 28.13. 1 John 1.8, 9. Luke 24.47. Acts 3.19. Acts 5.31. So that whatever evidences my repentance, the same also evidences the pardon of my sin.

Q. What other grounds of assurance have you for your soul?

A. I finde an universal change: in the understanding, from darkness to light, Acts 26.18. in the judgement, from false discern­ing to a right discerning, Isa. 5.20. in the Conscience from benum­medness to tenderness, 1 Sam. 24.5. in the will, from wilfulness to evil, Jer. 14.16. Iohn 8.44. to willingness for good, Acts 9.6. Rom. 7.19. in the imagination, from habitual running upon the World, Phil. 3.19. to be often in Heaven, Col. 3.1, 2. in the de­sires, which formerly were lawless, now awed by the eye of God, Job 31.23.

Q. But seeing there may be changes, as from prophaness to civility, and from civility to a form of Religion without the power, how shall I know my change to be right?

A. I know it to be a true change, because I go from one contrary to another, that the things which I hated, now I love; and the car­nal courses I loved, now I hate, Rom. 7.15. holy duties were tedi­ous, now they are delightful, and now my soul begins to relish that which formerly I loathed, Rom. 8.5.

Q. What other ground of assurance have you?

A. This, that I have a true conversion, which appeares,

1. By the humiliation and confusion of spirit I have for living so long a stranger from God, Jer. 31.19. Luke 15.19. Rom. 6.21. being sorry I begun no sooner in Gods wayes, and that since I have begun, I have made no greater haste.

[Page 31]2. By my high esteem of my present condition, in a converted estate, though never so base, that I would not change my conditi­on with the greatest man upon earth, that is a stranger from the Lord, Heb. 11.25, 26. Acts 8.39.

Q. What other ground of assurance have you?

A. As the Saints of God of old have gathered comfort and as­surance from their uprightness, 1. Chron. 29. and Paul had re­joycing from their uprightness and godly sincerity, 2 Cor. 1.12. so we may gather assurance from them, when

1. We ordinarily and usually look at the eye of God in the things we do, Col. 3.23. Eph. 6.6.7. and have a desire (if it might be) alwayes to look at his eye, Isa. 38.3. 2 Cor. 2.17. by-ends beings a grief unto us, Rom. 7.15.

2. Uprightness is seen by a disposition to part with whatsoever God commands, when we cannot hold Christ and such enjoyment together, Mat. 19.21.

3. When the same sins we avoid in publick, we avoid in secret, out of Conscience to God, Job 31.1. Gen. 39.10. and the same duties we do before men, we labour to do them in secret before God, Mat. 6.6.

4. When a bare Command moves us to act in our duty, though no second respects of credit or profit accompany, Esth. 4.16. Mat. 14.3. and contrary, though second respects of credit and profit which are offered, move us to act against duty, yet we will not act, out of Conscience of our duty to God, Gen. 39.10.

Q. But how do you alledge all the fore-named signs? do you make the soul to stay upon these as a righteousness to answer divine justice?

A. In no wise: but I make them evidences that I have the Spirit of Christ in my heart; and having the Spirit, I also have the blood of Christ, because these are not severed one from the other in justi­fied persons, 1 Cor. 6.10, 11. Rom. 8.30.

Q. What is that righteousness which answers Divine Justice?

A. It was the satisfaction of Christ upon the Cross; for the merit or desert whereof, God did not only forgive us our sins, but did also blot out, take away, and by nailing to the Cross, did tear all hand-writings of Mosaical or Ceremonial Ordinances, which [Page 32] did publickly profess the misery and guilt of the World, and also did blot out, take away, and tear the damnatory power of the mo­ral Law, which being contrary to us, did convince us of sin, and condemn us for it, Rom. 3.20. Gal. 3.10. So that as the Debter is quiet when his Debt is forgiven, and the Bond cancelled; so the heart of the Bel [...]ever is quieted, when not onely all his sins, both original and actual, are forgiven; but also all hand-writings which may witness the same against him, are taken away, Col. 2.13, 14. yea, not onely so, but also the same Lord Jesus did spoile, strip, and disarme the principalities and powers of Hell, of all that power whereby they prosecuted the bond of the Law against us, Col. 2.15. and made a triumphant shew of them so conquered to the Faith of the Believer, as the triumphant Conquerors of the World were wont (of old) to lead the Conquered bound before their triumphant Charets, all the people looking on, Col. 2.15. And as in battel, where the General and chief Commanders are over­come, the rest of the Souldiery are also subdued; so with the Devils, whatsoever did war against us, was overcomed, as Law, Sin, Death, Hell, Heb. 2.14. 1 Cor. 15.55. so that none can lay any thing to the charge of Gods Elect, Rom. 8.33.

Q. What is it to live by Faith?

A. To rest on Gods promises for justification, Gal. 2.20. for Sanctification, John 15.2. and for temporal things, Psal. 34.10. So that whereas carnal men live by sense, believing no further then they see, and live by their lusts, helping themselves by indirect means in time of want and danger, a Christian lives upon a promise, Heb. 11.7. Gen. 32.9, 10, 11. Esther 4.4. Job. 13.15.

Q. Wherein is the life of faith seen?

A. In sundry particulars; as,

1. In drawing life and quickening from Christ, as the branches draw sap from the root, John 15.5.

2. In believing pardon of sin, notwithstanding many circum­stances of aggravation alledged by Satan and Conscience, Gal. 2.20.

2. In comforting in afflictions: though I be afflicted, saith Faith, yet it is the hand of a wise God and tender Father, John 18.11. this Cup is a medicine out of a Fathers hand.

4. In proposing God to the soul in the loss of all: when there is [Page 33] nothing in the barn, nor in the field, faith sees enough in God, 1 Sam. 30.6. Hab. 3:16, 17. 2 Cor. 6.9, 10. When friends dye, and Credit is gone, Faith tells the soul God lives, and there is praise with him.

5. In making a person let go the best of enjoyments for God: as credit, 1 Sam. 6.20. and estate, Heb. 10.34. and pleasures, Heb. 11.25. and life, Acts 21.13. and causing him to suffer the worst of evils; as reproaches, Heb. 11.26. banishment, Revel. 1.10. and tortures, Heb. 11.35. out of Conscience towards God, 1 Pet. 2.19.

6. In making a person refuse sinful gaine, Acts. 8.21. when it might be had without any mans knowledge, Prov. 21.6.

7. In keeping the soul from the use of unlawful means to come out of trouble, 1 Sam. 26.9, 10. waiting till God open a door of deliverance, Isa. 28.16.

8. In eying God for a good issue out of the midst of troubles, 2 Chron. 20.12. because of his promise that he will never fail us, nor forsake us, Heb. 13.5.

9. In setting before the soul the recompence of reward, both in eternity of joy, 2 Thes. 4.17. and property of interest, 1 John 5.12. all this is thine, saith Faith.

10. In freeing the soul from a slavish fear of death, Heb. 2.15. Psal. 23.4. men have found out comfort against other evils, as poverty, shame; but faith onely professes the Cure of the fear of death.

Of Sins against Knowledge and Conscience.

Q. WHat is it to sin against knowledge or Conscience?

A. It is when we take the fulfilling of a lust, or the performance of a duty into consideration, and consider motives against the sin or to the duty; and notwithstand­ing all these motives that would stop us, yet we commit the sin, Dan. 5.22. Rom. 1.24. or omit the duty, Jam. 4.17.

Q. Whether are all sins against Knowledge and Conscience alike, or are some greater then others?

A. The more a person considers the issues and events of such a sin before he commits it, Rom. 1.32. and the more consultations thou hast about it, Dan. 6.14. and the more warnings thou hast against it, whether from God, Conscience or men, and yet dost commit it; the more hainous is thy sin, Mark 14.21. Mat. 17.18, 19. Yea, the more sorrow and reluctancy in committing such an evil, argues thou sinnest against greater knowledge, Mark 6.26. for this displeasure of minde, arises, from the deep apprehen­sion of the evil then a doing from which thy knowledge would stop thee, but it cannot.

Q. Whether are sins committed against Conscience and Knowledge pardonable?

A. Yes, 1. Because they are not the sin against the Holy Ghost.

2. Because for the most voluntary sins, a Sacrifice was to be offered, Levit. 6.8. There were Sacrifices to be offered for him that denyed a thing that was given him to keep, in the day of Re­stitution; but if persons persecute the Truth against light, and ma­liciously, then there is no pardon for that sin, Heb. 6.4, 5. and 10.26, 27, 28, 29. Yet though sins against Conscience are par­donable, yet this circumstance, that such a sin was deliberately com­mitted against light, makes the soul more guilty than ordinarily the sin committed therewith.

Qu. Wherein is the greatness of sins against Knowledge soon?

A. In divers respects, as 1. In such sins there is a great con­tempt of the power of Knowledge, and Justice of God, Numb. 15.30. Deut. 29.19. Numb. 15.32, 33.

2. In such sins there is more of the Will, 1 Sam. 13.12. hence Saul for sinning against Conscience was cast off, 1 Sam. 13.12. compared with 1 Sam. 15.14, 26.

3. In such sins, there is a greater resistance of that light the Spirit kindles in us, Acts 5.3. Ananias and Sapphira lying a­gainst that light the Spirit set up in them, were smit with sudden death for sinning so against their knowledge, Acts 7.51.

4. In sins against Knowledge there are fewer pretences, Matth. 22.12. Joh. 15.22. In sins of ignorance men pretend they know not duty; but here's no place for such pretence, Ioh. 9.41.

5. We may see the greatness of such sins, from the stripes pro­portioned to them, Luke 12.48. Rom. 1.15. such are beaten with many stripes.

6. In that by such sins we do at once quench the fire of the Spi­rit, and lose the feelings of Gods Love, Psal. 51.11, 12.

Q. Why do men venture upon sins against knowledge, see­ing they are dangerous?

A. 1. Union of the heart to some lust, either of gain or pleasure, Matth. 15.10. compared with verse 15.

2. Lothness to take up the Crosses that lye in the way of duty. Hence persons lye, and do other evils against conscience, 1 Sam. 13.12. Iob. 36.21.

3. Presumptuous hope of Mercy, Deut. 29.19. Rom. 2.4, 5. Psal. 68.21.

Q. Whether may not a child of God fall into sins against his knowledge and conscience?

A. 1. There are some failings in duty, and stirrings of lust in godly men, which are committed with knowledge, but not against it; for it is not in the power of knowledge to prevent them, Rom. 7.15, 18. these evils arise on a suddain.

2. A godly man may sin against his knowledge through strength of passion, and suddain furreption, before he hath time to compose his heart; Conscience in the act of it checks him, yet he [Page 36] cannot keep it back: so Peter denyed Christ, and Ionah, his Con­science told him he should not be angry, when God asked him if he did well to be angry, Ionah 4.9.

3. A godly man may fall sometimes into deliberate sins against knowledge, when that which he knows habitually, he doth not actually think of; the violence of the temptation blinding the judg­ment, and beating back the voice of Conscience: so David is set forth (as a smarting spectacle of misery, lest any man should ven­ture as he did) to have fallen into the sins of adultery and mur­der, against knowledge; Davids mind was so taken up with Bath­sheba, that he little thought of what he knew.

4. A godly man exceeding seldom or never falls into a delibe­rate sin against knowledge, when he doth actually and deliberate­ly think, and judge of what he knows, 1 Ioh. 3.9.

Q But if sinning against knowledge be so dangerous, is it not best to remain in ignorance?

A. Ignorance, when it is against a mans Will, may excuse from so much guilt, Luke 12.48. yet will it not excuse wholly; Acts 17.30. But when it is an ignorance of wicked disposition, that a man is either willingly ignorant, 2 Pet. 3.5. or winks and closes up his eyes against the light, Isa. 30.10, 11. Matth. 13.13, 14. Ioh. 3.20. so that they will not read such Books, nor hear such Preachers, nor confer with such men as might discover truth to them; God is wont not only Judicially to harden such in their blindness, Matth. 13.14. compared with Iohn 12.40. but will also one day reckon with such wilful ignorants, as if all their sins had been committed against Knowledge.

Q. What are the Covenants principally considerable, which God made with his people?

A. Besides divers other Covenants which he made, as with Noah, and with every living creature, both fowl, and beast, that there should be no more a flood to drown the Earth, of which Covenant he made the Rain-bow a token, Gen. 9, 9, 10, 11. as also a Covenant made with David, that his seed should still rule over Israel; with the Levites, that they should be his Ministers, Jer. 33.20, 21, 25, 26. And a Covenant to give the Land of Ca­naan to the Jews, Psal. 105.9, 10. there are two other Covenants, most considerable.

Q. Which are they?

A. 1. A carnal typical Covenant, or Testament, called old, Heb. 8.13. second, Heb. 9.1. worse, Heb. 8.6. which was dedi­cated with the blood of beasts, Exod. 24.6, 7, 8. compared with Heb. 9.19. This was with all Israel, in the day when God took them by the hand to lead them out, of the Land of Egypt, Heb. 8.9. 2. A spiritual or new Covenant.

Q. What did this old Covenant signifie?

A. 1. An obligation of the Jews to the Mosaical Law in gene­ral Exod. 19.5, 6, 7, 8. Exod. 24.6, 7, 8. in the perfect observa­tion whereof, (it's thought) they were to have Canaan here, and Heaven hereafter; but failing in one point, they were under a curse, Gal. 3.10. the Ceremonial part of it also shadowed our redempti­on by Christ, Heb. 9.18, 19.

Q. What was the proper effect of this old Covenant?

A. Bondage and slavish fear for not performing what this old Co­venant did require: this was signified by Hagar the bond-woman, Gal. 4.24, 25. and this Mount Sinai in Arabia, a place without the bounds of the Land of promise, and by the fleshly Jerusalem, which was in bondage with her children; all three which resem­blances signifie, that the old Covenant begot children to bondage, not only under the unsupportable burthen of the Ceremonial Law, Acts 15.10. (which was a yoak of bondage, Gal. 4.1, 2, 3. also chap. 5.1.) but also under the bondage of the curse, and of Gods wrath, for not performing what the Law requires; for which cause the Law is said to work wrath, Rom. 4.15. to be a ministration of death, 2 Cor. 3.7. and to slay the soul, Rom. 7.11. Now, as when a Pitcher falls upon the stones, it's the weakness of the Pitcher not, of the stones, that it is broken: So the reason why the Law ministers death, is not because of the weakness of the Law, but the weakness of our flesh, Rom. 8.3.

Q. What is the other Covenant called?

A. It's that Covenant which the Scripture cals the second Co­venant, Heb. 8.7. & 9.1, 18. Heb. 10.9. or the new Covenant, 1 Cor. 11.25. Heb. 8.13, & 9.15. or the better Covenant, Heb. 7.22. as being established upon better Promises, Heb. 8.6. of which Christ was surety, Heb. 7.22.

Q. What is this new Covenant?

A. It is Gods free Promise, whereby he promiseth, not only par­don of sins, and eternal life to them that are elect, or do believe the same; but also doth promise to to take away the stony heart, and to give them a new heart and a new spirit, and to put his Laws in their minds, and to write them in their hearts, so that all of them, from the least to the greatest know the Lord; yea, vouchsafes to be their God, and takes them to be his people.

Q. What are the Articles, or Branches in particular of this new Covenant?

A. They are these: 1. Forgiveness of sins, Heb. 8.12. I will be merciful to their unrighteousness, and their sins and iniquities will I remember no more. So that the Elect have not onely re­demption from Original sin, but from all transgression under the first Testament, Heb. 9.15. by sprinkling clean water upon them, Ezek. 26.25. Christs blood.

2. A second branch is eternal life, Rom. 5.15. Heb. 9.15. Christ is the Mediatour of the new Testament, that by the means of death (that is, of Christs death) they which are called might receive the promise of eternal inheritance: in this inheritance no bond-slave of Satan doth partake; which appears, Gal. 4.30. in the type, in that the son of the Bond-woman, which was Ishmael, did not partake with the son of the Free-woman, which was Isaac; the message from God being, Cast out the Bond-woman and her son; for the son of the Bond-woman shall not be heir with the son of the Free-woman.

The third Branch is, softning of the hearth, Ezek. 11.19. that whereas in the natural state the heart was so hard, that neither pro­mise, threat, nor command, mercy misery moved; Now this stony heartedness is taken away, that the soul melts under the sense of Christs sufferings, it's own infirmities, and Gods mercies.

The fourth Branch is, Newness whereby Christ doth not onely cleanse the soul from all filthiness in the reigne thereof, Ezek. 36.25, 26. compared with Rom. 6.12, 15. but also puts a new spirit, or a new frame of a Spirit within; which the Seripture calls trans­formation, or change of minde, Rom. 12.2.

The fifth Branch is, the putting of his laws in the hearts of the elect, Heb. 8.10, 11. so that they shall not teach every man his [Page 39] neighbour, or every man his brother, saying, Know the Lord, for all shall know the Lord from the least to the greatest; which is not meant of Notional knowledge (as if persons in covenant with God stood in no need of being taught by Pastors, parents, or neighbors) but of affective knowledge, that is, such a knowledge as carries af­fection with it, whereby they relish and savour good things. For this, see John 17.3. John 6.45. 1 Thess. 4.9. 1 John 2.27. this is such a teaching as God teaches the Bees to work in their kind, whereby he puts an instinct in them so to work.

The sixth Branch is, the writing of his law in our hearts, Jer. 31.33. The pen wherewith he writes them, is his own Spirit, though the ministration be of men, 2 Cor. 3.3. Now this writing is nothing but the inclination of the will to close with Gods law in the bredth of it, the which branch Ezekiel expresseth thus, Ezek. 36.27. I will cause you to walk in my statutes, and you shall keep my judgements: so that whereas in the natural state there was an enmity betwixt the heart and the law, the Spirit so bends the will, that the heart and the law become sutable, answering one another, as the Seal and the Wax.

The seventh Branch is, I will be their God, and they shall be my people: whereby God promiseth to communicate to us not only every good thing, Psalm 84.1.2. but also himself, and that we that were enemies and strangers, shall be his people, Rom. 9.25.26. Hos. 1.10.

Q. Who was the Mediator of this new Covenant?

A. Jesus Christ, Heb. 9.15. First, the promises were made to Abrahams seed, not Seeds, but Seed; one Seed, which was Christ, Gal. 3.15, 16. And by vertue of our union with Christ, we come to be heirs according to promise, Gal. 3.29. the promises being first instated upon Christ, 2 Cor. 1.20. as being heir of all things, Heb. 1.12.

Q. Who are the persons that have benefit by this new Cove­nant?

A. All the elect from the beginning to the end of the world, Rev. 13.8. Gen. 3.15. In the times of the old Testa­ment there were many children of the new Covenant: and though Jeremiah, chap. 31.31. call it a new Covenant, yet doth he so [Page 40] call it, because it was clearly manifested by the Apostles preach­ing.

Q. But how can the Covenant be made with all the elect, seeing sundry of them are not capable of divers branches there­of, as infants, idiots? &c.

A. You must remember, that the new Covenant is called a Testament, (Mat. 26.28.) or a Will: Now an Infant is capable of a Legacy. 2. Though they are not capable of all the Branches of the Covenant, yet are they of some, as forgiveness of sins, and eternal life; by these they are saved, though they have not the other.

Q How doth it appear the new Covenant was also a Testa­ment?

A. Because as other Wills and Testaments are, it was confirm­ed with the death of the Testator, Heb. 9.16. This was establish­ed in the blood of Christ Mat. 26.28. 1 Cor. 11.25. Besides, the word [...], properly signifies a Testament.

Q. What difference betwixt the two Covenants?

A. The old Covenant required perfect obedience, but gave no strength to do it: hence called [Faulty] Heb. 8.7. not in respect of it self, but us; faulty with a faultiness of imperfection, not of sinfulness: but in the new Covenant is a promise of ability to do what God requires: As he requires love of us, Mat. 10.37. so he promises it; so doth he for faith, Eph. 2.8. repentance, Ezek. 36.26, 27. and Gods fear, Jer. 32.40. Hence called a Covenant of Grace, because he doth our part as well as his own.

Secondly, the old Covenant required obedience in the rigor, and curst the transgressor for every breach, Deut. 27.26. Gal. 3.10. the new Covenant requires on the creatures part onely the perfection of sincerity, which consists principally in an universal purpose and endeavour for new obedience, John 15.14. with an hearty sorrow if they be overtaken contrary to this purpose.

Thirdly, the old Covenant was much upon temporal promises, as Levit. 16.3. Deut. 28.1, 17. but the new Covenant runs upon spiritual and eternal promises, Heb. 8.6.

Fourthly, the old Covenant is abolished and come to an end, Heb. 8.13. Cast out the Bond-woman and her son, Gal. 4.30. [Page 41] But the new Covenant is everlasting, Heb. 13.20. in opposition to the abrogated covenant, so that as a wife is free from her husband when he is dead, so we are freed from the old Covenant, it being dead; and we being new married unto Christ. Rom. 7.1, 2 3 4.

Fifthly, the old Covenant was very dark, 2 Cor. 3.13. Moses put a veil over his face, to signifie the children of Israel could not see Christ. Hence, as those that learn the Rudiments or beginning of a language, are in bondage not knowing what benefit will come by them: so were sundry Jews and others under the bond­age of the Rudiments of the world, Gal. 4.9. and could not with any clearness understand it. Contrary, the new Testament is clear; the Ministers of it use great plainness of speech, 2 Cor. 3.12, 13. and the children of the new Covenant see with much plainness, as in a looking-glass, 2 Cor. 3.18.

Q But seeing you say the old Covenant is abolished, whe­ther or no are we freed from the Law of Moses?

A. Believers are delivered, First, from the curse for breach of it, Gal. 3.13. Secondly, from the covenant of the Law, under which notion it seems to have been delivered on Mount Sinai, Exod. 19.5, 6.8. Exod. 24.8. Thirdly, from the hand-writing of the Law, as it testified against us our guilt, Col. 2.14. as a free Creditor not onely forgives the debt, but also cancels the bond that might witness it against his debtor. Fourthly, from the power it hath to stir up to sin, Rom. 7.5, 8. the more the Law forbids sin to natural men, with much more proneness they are carried to it. Fifthly, from the Mosaical institution of it, as it was by Moses peculiarly appointed to the Jews, Iohn 7.19. Did not Moss give [You] the Law? John 15.25. It is written in [Their] law. And else why did Moses command the seventh day from the creation to be observed, and we observe the first day of the week?

Q How are we bound to observe Moses his Lawes?

A. 1. As they are Laws of Nature: I call those laws of Na­ture, which men by the light of nature practice, Rom. 2.14. as that God is to be worshipped parents honoured, that no man is to take away the Wife or goods of another.

2. So far as they are Laws of equity and justice.

3. So far as they are Laws of holiness; for the Children of the [Page 42] new Testament who lived under the old Testament, made great conscience of them, Luke 1.6. and they tend to the perfecting of the new Creature, 2 Tim. 3.16. Rom. 15.4. Hence the Spirit writes the Law in regenerate mens hearts, Ezek. 36.27. Heb. 8.10. which he would not do if it were not a rule of holiness; yea, all Gods Law is holy, just, and good, Rom. 7.12. whereunto re­generate men, (as such) had respect, Psal. 119.6. yea are bound to have respect, Iames 2.10, 11. all which proves the holiness of Gods Law, I mean the Scriptures pen'd by Moses, with all other prophetical Scriptures which expound the same.

Q. What comfort may we draw from this new Cove­nant?

A. Much comfort: when thy lusts are prevailing, God will sprinkle clean water, Ezek. 36.25. when hardness of heart assaults, God will take away a stony heart, Ezek. 11.19. when old lusts assaile, that God will give a new heart, Ezek. 36.26. so when thy heart begins to disrellish good things, that God will give thee a savory heart to relish them, Heb. 8.11. if thy heart rise up against any of Gods Commands, that God will write this Law in thy heart, Ier. 31.33. and when thy heart shall doubt of Gods favor, remember that he saith, I will be their God, and they shall be my people, Heb. 8.10.

Q What are the signs of the new Covenant?

A. They are two: 1. Baptisme, 2. The Supper of the Lord.

Q. Declare in particular what Baptism is?

A. It is a signe of my fellowship with Christ in his death, buri­al, and resurrection, that as my body is washed and buried in water, so I believe my sins are washed away, and buried in the death of the Lord Jesus; and as I did rise againe out of the water, so I did rise againe with Christ, being discharged from my sins in his death and resurrection; and have already begun and professed that I am bound to rise to walk with Christ in newness of life, Rom. 6.3 4▪ 5, 6. Col. 2.12.

Q. Who are the right subjects of Baptisme?

A. Those that are made Disciples or Scholars of Christ, Mat. 28.19. that make profession of believing with their whole hearts, Acts 8.37. Heb. 10.22, 23. and of their repentance from dead [Page 43] works, Mat. 3.6. Acts 2.38, 39. and of their right knowledge of the object of worship, that is, the Trinity, into whose Name they are baptized, Mat. 28.19. and of their natural corruptions; without which, they will see no need of washing, Mat. 3.14. and of their self-denial; without which, they are not Christs Disciples, Luke 14.26. and so not to be baptized, by the very words of the Commission of Christ, Mat. 28.19. Make disciples all Nations, baptizing them; for the Greek word signifies to make disciples, and not barely to teach.) Also, they must make profession of their spiritual life; without which, they are not members of Christ the living head; also, of the resurrection of the body, which is also signified in Baptisme, 1 Cor. 15.29. and of the last judge­ment.

Q. May not infants be baptized?

A. No, in no wise; it being gross will-worship, condemned, Col. 2.23. Mat. 15.9. the Scripture declaring baptisme to be applyed onely to those that are disciples, Mat. 28.19. and believe, Mar. 16.16. Acts 8.12, 37. & 18, 8. and repent, Acts 2.38.39. and have put on Christ, Gal. 3.27. and have received the Holy Ghost, Acts 10.41. We must not presume to apply it to any o­ther.

Besides, infants understand not the new Covenant, therefore they have nothing to do with the signes thereof, unless God had commanded otherwise: neither are they in Christs commission, and therefore excluded to the end of the world.

Q. Is not the command of circumcision to the Jews, a com­mand to Christian parents to baptize infants?

A. If you make the command of Circumcision to be the institu­tion or command for infants baptisme, you hold forth Circumcision still, and so hold forth that which typifies Christ to come in the flesh. Persons were circumcised upon a fleshly covenant intailed to gene­ration, not to regeneration: but now believers are baptized upon a command of God, as a declaration of the washing away of their sins in Christs blood, Act. 22.16. Circumcision, with the rest of the ceremonies, were abolished in Christ, Col. 2.17. Heb. 9.9, 10, 1. If we may call back one, we may call back all. To say, So for a command bindes us and so far not without a plaine declaration of Gods will, is high presumption. We are therefore to stand fast [Page 44] in our liberty, Gal. 2.16, Gal. 4.10 11. & 5.1, 2, 3. The Apostle, Col. 2.10 11, 12. to take the Jewish brethren wholly off from Circumcision, doth not say, We have another ordinance in stead of circumcision, or by vertue of that command; but, We have Christ in stead of all; we are circumcised with the Circumcision made without hands, by the Spirit of Christ; we are compleat in him, verse 11. not with a compleatness of outward ordinances, but by a compleatness of Christ alone. It is supposed by some, that without a succession of some ordinance instead of Circumcision, we are not compleat in Christ, or not so compleat as the Jews; but this is, 1. False, because it's contrary to that the Apostle asserts, that we are compleat in Christ alone, because in him is the fulness of all that was shadowed. 2. It is dangerous, because the same reason that will conclude we are not compleat without a succession of some ordinances in stead of Circumcision, will conclude we are not com­pleat without a succession of something instead of Temple, Sacrifices, Altar; and so, after the Popish manner, all Jewish Rites will be recalled, under new names. The question started at Colosse, was, not universally, wherein a Christians perfection consisted; but wherein it consisted in point of Justification; whether by Christ alone, or by the law and circumcision joyned with him. To this he saith, We are compleat in him.

Q. But may I not draw a proportion, that as infants in the time of the Jews were circumcised, so infants of believers under the times of the Gospel may be baptized?

A. In no wise. We must not make additions in worship from our conceited proportions. Proportions of Gods making may be observed, as these following: The Priests lips must preserve knowledge, Mal. 2.7. so must the Bishops be apt to teach, 1 Tim. 3.2. As the Priests by offering sacrifice held forth Christ, Heb. 9. so the Ministers by preaching, Gal. 3.1. as the Priest was to have a Consecration, so the Ministers an Ordination: Will it there­fore follow, that a command to a Priest to offer a sacrifice propiti­atory, should be a command to a Gospell-Minister to offer a sa­crifice propitiatory, as the Mass-priests do? Or a command for a Priest to weat a linen Ephod, should be a command to a Minister to wear a Surplice? or that there must be a Pope over the Church, because there was an high-priest in time of the law? or that we [Page 45] must receive the Supper with unleavened bread, because the passe­over was so received? Yet do these as well follow, as baptizing of infants, from circumcision of infants.

The true proportions flowing hence, are these: 1. none were circumcised, but those commanded or exemplified; so none ought to be baptized but such. 2. As Abraham believing was circum­cised, and all the males of his house, both men, and children of eight dayes old; both bond and free: so now any man believing must be baptized, with all his houshold, both men and male-chil­dren of eight dayes old, both bond and free. The formal reason why Abraham and the Jews received Circumcision, was Gods com­mand concerning infants baptisme: if any such command be, let it be produced.

Q Whether are the children of believers in covenant toge­ther with their parents?

A. No: for the children are oft out of covenant, when the fa­ther is in covenant. It's said, Gal. 3.7, 9. that they that are of the faith of Abraham, are the children of Abraham; but no­where hath God made a promise to be a God of believers and their seed, unless upon a presupposal that the Lord shall call the seed as well as the father Acts 2.39. If the natural posterity of Abraham were not in the covenant of grace by vertue of that promise, Gen. 17.7. as appears, Rom. 9.7. neither because they are the seed of Abraham are they all children; and vers. 8. These that are the children of the flesh, these are not the children of God; but the children of the promise are counted for the seed: much less are the children of other believers children of promise by vertue of generation.

He that shall hear men preach, that children of believers are in the covenant of grace, and they that are in the covenant of grace cannot fall away, may be apt to conceive himself in that covenant of grace without repentance and faith, and shall be saved without any obedience. And may not, on the other side, godly parents, when they see their children live vitiously, doubt whether they them­selves be true believers, because they see not their children in the co­venant of grace?

There is a promise or calling home the natural seed of Abra­ham, Rom. 11.27. but God hath not made any such promise [Page 46] to any, much less to all the natural seed of any believing Gen­tile.

Q Are not the ordinances the outward part of the cove­nant? and is not the title to this hereditary?

A. Is a box that conveyes a Jewel, the outward part of the Jewel? Is a conduit-pipe that conveyes water, the outward part of the water? is Aaron's pot the outward part of the Manna that it kept?

2. Suppose the ordinances were the outward part of the cove­nant, how is title hereto hereditary, seeing that not only from par­ticular persons, but even whole Churches, as Ephesus, &c. these ordinances have been removed long since.

Besides, it is nowhere said in Scripture, The childe shall be bap­tized by vertue of his beliving fathers being baptized; or enjoy or­dinances because his father enjoyed them.

3. There is but one covenant now, Heb. 8.10, 11. the articles and branches whereof are inward, and so is the seal thereof, the Spirit, Eph. 1.13. There can be no ou [...]ward dispensation of an uncertain thing: now it is uncertain of any individual infant, whether he be in the new covenant.

Q. But doth not Christ say. Of little children is the Kingdome of God? therefore they may be baptized.

A. 1. There's two wayes of belonging to Gods Kingdome. 1. By way of election; which is secret. 2. By calling; which is manifest. The Ordinance of Baptism ought not to be dispensed up­on election, or remission of sins, which is secret; but upon the manifestation thereof.

2. Christ baptized not, onely laid on his hands on them, John 4.2. Had Christ used to baptize infants, the disciples would not have kept them back.

3. The Kingdome of God being taken for the Kingdome of grace, the Kingdome of glory, and the visible Church it would pose any man living to prove that the visible Church should be meant here.

4. Besides, Luke 18.16. they were not infants, because Christ is said to call them.

Q. What further reasons have you against infant-bap­tism?

A. 1. The baptisme of Christ is a burial in waters; the bap­tisme of infants is a sprinkling▪ Rom. 6.3 4. Col. 2.12.

2. Baptisme doth not causally effectively or actively; I mean, it doth not, from the work done, confer faith; but refers to the new covenant, in by, and through the unde [...]standing; therefore where it is dispensed, there ought to be an understanding to con­ceive it.

3. The same benefit confirmed in the Supper that this, remission of sins, is confirmed in baptisme; therefore infants being excluded from the one, for want of examination, they are also excluded from the other, for want of faith and repentance.

4. Infant-baptisme hinders baptisme from being dispensed as John and other Apostles dispensed it: they dispensed it upon pro­fession of faith; but no such thing can be in infants.

Q In what manner must baptisme be administred?

A. The subject must be right; that is, not onely taught, but taught so long that he be made a disciple, Mat. 28.19.

2. Not by sprinkling, but by burying, Rom. 4.5. Col. 2.12. not of the brow or face onely, but of the whole body, Heb. 10.22. in much water, Joh. 3.23. into which the baptizer and the person to be baptized are to enter, Mat. 3.6. Acts 8.38. who is to be bap­tized into the name of Father, Son, and Spirit, Mat. 28.19. in token of remission of sins, Act. 2.38. the name of God being first called upon, Act. 22.16.

Q. Do you judge it better to defer baptisme till persons be able to make profession of their faith?

A. Yes. Infants cannot give any ground to any dispenser of baptisme why he should dispence it to them. The dispencing it to infants, confounds the world and the Church together; many hereby being made Christians in name who never made choice of Christ nor have any love to Christianity: yea hereby the Churches are filled with rotten members; many of which growing up, per­secute the true members.

By deferring baptisme till persons know Christ, the Churches would in time come to have a right matter.

Q. Have not infants faith?

A. No: they have not reason to discern good or evil Deut. 1.39. Jon. 4.11. had they faith, they were presently to be admitted to [Page 48] the Supper: faith is an act of the Understanding as well as of the Will.

Q. Whether is there any reason that Baptisme should succeed circumcision, because that as circumcision signed the spiritual part of the covenant that is, circumcision of heart; so baptisme should signifie the same?

A. No: for the Manna, the water flowing out of the rock, the sacrifices under the law, and the sprinkling of blood, signified the same; yet will not any man say baptisme succeeded these, because of the signification.

The Lords Supper signified the same; yet will no man say the Lords Supper succeeds Circumcision in respect of any use: In no­thing else, that I know of, is there a likeness betwixt Circumcision and Baptisme; and therefore to draw infants baptisme from it, is no consequence. And so much more, because the state of the Jew­ish Church is at an end, which was national; and we have Gospel-congregational-Churches.

Object. Circumcision was a seal of Abrahams faith; there­fore baptisme coming in the room of it, ought to be dispensed to infants.

A. 1. Then none should be baptized, save those which have faith and the righteousness of faith. Infants, though they may have a righteousness, yet they cannot have the righteousness of faith, be­cause they have no power to believe. If there were any such suc­cession then baptism should seal the righteousness in faith; which it cannot in infants.

2. It is absurd that baptisme should succeed Circumcision, in respect of infancy, not mentioned in the text; and not in growth of stature, which now Abraham had; nor in qualification of the righ­teousness of faith, which was the qualification of Abraham: both which are mentioned in the text.

3. Baptisme succeeds circumcision, neither, 1. In respect of subject: some there were to be circumcised, that are not to be bap­tized; as bought servants: and some to be baptized, that were not to be circumcised; as females. 2. Nor in respect of society: Circumcision was an inlet into the Jewish Church, Baptism into the Christian Church. 3. Nor in respect of use: for Circumcision en­gaged Jews and Proselytes to the Jewish ceremonies; but Baptisme is a declarative of remission of sins.

Q. Who hath the power of dispensing the ordinance of Bap­tisme?

A. It seems to me, that, 1. Apostles, 2. Evangelists or Gospel-preachers, have power herein.

Q. How prove you that there is any such Office in the Church as Apostles or Messengers? for an Apostle is nothing but a Messenger.

A. 1. Because as God gave Pastors and Teachers, so did he give Apostles, Prophets, and Evangelists, for the perfecting of the Saints, Eph 4.10, 11, 12, 13. therefore, it follows, [...]hat, Till all the Saints be perfected, till the body of Christ be built up, this office is to remaine in the Church. To distinguish, that Pa­stors and Teachers are ordinary officers, but the Office of Apostles and Evangelists is extraordinary; or that the work of perfecting Saints and edifying Christs body lyes upon Pastors and Teachers, and not upon Apostles and Evangelists, is to put a distinction where the Scripture puts none: the twelve Apostles were given, before Christ his ascension; but these Apostles, Eph. 4.10. were given after: see verse 8, 9.

2. Secondly, it appears from Gods own order, 1 Cor. 12.28. God hath set some in the Church, first Apostles, secondarily Prophets, thirdly teachers. If he set them first, what are we, that we can either abolish them, or set them in other places when God will give them?

3. Thirdly, we finde (2) Apostles in sundry of the Churches, therefore they are a standing Office: At Ephesus, Eph. 4.10. at Philippi, Phil. 2.25. the Greek word is Apostolos: At Antioch, Acts 13.23. at Jerusalem, Act. 1.26. at Corinth, 2 Cor. 11.13. See also 2 Cor. 8.23. or our brethren be enquired of, they are the A­postles of the Churches. So in the Greeke, Gal. 1.1. Paul an Apostle, not of men, nor by man, but by Jesus Christ; to shew there were Apostles by men, or of mens sending, besides those sent by Christ. Andronicus and Junia were Apostles in Rome, or thereabouts, Rom. 16.7. they were of note among the Apostles, not onely because they were of esteem, but because they did labo­riously preach: so were Barnabas, Silas, Timotheus, Luke, Mark, &c. though none of the twelve.

Fourthly, Apostles are called to rejoyce at Babylons destruction, Rev. 18.20. Now if there were no Apostles but the first twelve, Babylon could do them no wrong, seeing she was not in being till three hundred years after Christ: therefore some Apostles must be meant, to whom Babylon had done mischief.

Fifthly, it appears from Reason; there is as much need of Apostles for to gather persons from their natural and Babylo­nish estate, as there was to gather them from Judaisme and Gen­tilisme.

Q. What is essential to an Apostle in these times?

A. 1. Abilities of grace and parts, Rom. 10.

Secondly the choice and sending forth of a Church, 2 Cor. 8.19. the Messengers that went along with Paul, verse 23. are said to be chosen of the Church; Barnabas was sent by the Church of Jerusalem to go to Antioch, Acts 11.22. Epaphroditus was thus sent by the Church at Philippi, Phil. 2.25. Paul by the Church of Antioch, Acts 13.2.

Q. What is the office of such an Apostle?

A. 1. To bring the Doctrine of salvation, Acts 1.22. & 13.26 & 28.28.

Secondly, to baptize, Mat. 28.18. 1 Cor. 1.16.

Thirdly, to lay on hands, Acts 8.17. Acts 19.5 6 7. 2 Tim. 1.6. after Baptisme.

4. Ordination of Elders and Deacons, and to lay hands on them, Acts 6.6. Acts 14.23. Titus 1.5. yea, he is to have a great hand in Church censures, 1 Cor. 5.4. 1 Tim. 1.21.

Q What is the difference betwixt the twelve Apostles called immediately of Christ, and those called mediately of Churches?

A. The twelve or at least eleven, were called personally of Christ; the Apostles of Churches are called virtually by Christ his command, or order, E [...]hes. 4.10. He that can immediately make out his call, hath enough to satisfie his own and other mens consci­ence, though not called personally by Christ. Some of the A­postles called by Christ personally, were pen-men of Scripture, and so were infallible 2 Pet. 1.21. yet were they not infallible in every thing Gal. 2.13. but had they so been, yet is sending of a Church and giftedness the formal cause of Apostleship, as was proved before, and not infallibility.

Q. But were not miracles the signes of an Apostle? 2 Cor. 12.12.

A. No: The Apostle saith not, wonders of miracles were signs of an Apostle, (which many other believers could do) but he saith, the signs of an Apostle (which was conversion of souls, called the seal of his Apostleship, 1 Cor. 9.2.) were wrought by him in signes and wonders.

Q. Is not this Doctrine concerning Apostles, set down very barely in Scripture?

A. The Doctrine concerning Apostles, comparing it with the Doctrine of the Resurrection and last Judgement, is not set down with such clearness; but comparing it with the Assertions about the calling of Pastors and Elders, as now practised in the reform­ed Churches (as they are called) there is greatness of light: for the call of the Ministers goes upon one of these three heads.

1. Succession of persons: as that the Ministers have been or­dained by them who have been ordained of others. Now this is most uncertain, having been interrupted so often, and yet once were enough to make it a nullity. Besides, that having been no Scripture writ for above this fifteen hundred yeers, all that men can have for it is onely humane testimony, which is no ground to him that scruples, By what power and authority do you this? Besides, all succession hath gone through the filthy chapel of the Romish Churches, which have been for many hundred years over-spread with Idolatry, will-worship, and false matter; wherein the Teach­ers respectively, in whom successive power is supposed to reside, were the chiefest sticklers, and deepliest guilty in those abomina­tions.

2. Proportion; that because the Church chose an Apostle, there­fore the Church may now chuse a Pastor; because that the Apostles Paul and Barnabas ordained Elders in every Church, which they had been instrument [...]l to bring to the faith Acts 14.23. therefore a Company of Synod-men or P [...]esbyters may ordaine in every Church; or because Paul left Titus in Crete to ordain Elders in every City Titus 1.5. therefore other men may be deputed to or­daine by the power of a national or provincial Priesbytery: if then affirmations for the one be dark, how much more dark is the other?

[Page 52]3. Radicality, that is, that though all Officers and Ordinan­ces are lost, yet that the power resolves it self into the Church, as the sap of trees in winter goes into the root; and that the power of recovering Officers being there seated, any Church or Company of Believers hath authority from Christ to bring this power into act: which being the best ground that I know the reformed Churches to have from these Scriptures, 1 Cor. 3.21. Eph. 4.10, 11, 12. do thereupon in sundry independent Churches chuse and ordain Officers of Pastor, Teacher, Deacon, Elder; and why not also may they chuse Apostle and Evangelist, or Messenger and Gospel-Preacher, being there is the same radical power for the one that there is for the other?

Q. Who besides Apostles have power to baptize?

A. Evangelists or Gospel-Preachers: so Philip baptized the Eunuch, Acts 8.37. and many of the Samaritans, vers. 12. now by Gospel-Preachers, I mean those who though not sent by a Church, yet being gifted shall preach soul-savingly, whether sent of the Magistrate when Churches are either defective or unable, 2 Chron. 17.7 8. or going of their own accord, as those who went out, John 3. Epist. vers. 6, 7. such an one was Timothy, 2 Tim. 4.5. on whom hands were laid, 1 Tim. 4.14. the difference betwixt these Gospel-Preachers and Apostles, seems to be this, that as the Apostles were sent into the world to convert persons to the faith, Mark. 16.15. so these Evangelists went unto the Churches to ac­complish the work the Apostles had begun: such were Titus, Mark, Tychicus, Epaphras: yet were not Apostles limited onely to the World, nor Evangelists to the Churches.

Q. Whether may not other disciples baptize?

A. The Scripture doth not so clearly set down herein yet it is more then probable that Ananias, a Disciple of Damascus, baptized Paul, Acts 9.17, 18. and that the three Brethren that came along with Peter from Joppa, baptized Cornelius and his Company, Acts 10 48.

Besides, ordinary Disciples may make Disciples, Acts 11.21, 22. therefore they may baptize, Mat. 28.18. if we say the eleven Disciples onely were appointed by the Commission to make Dis­ciples, then it follows, that the Brethren that made so many Dis­ciples at Antioch, should have sinned in their so doing, for want [Page 53] of a Commission. Yet may not women baptize, because they are forbid to teach, 1 Cor. 14.34. 1 Tim. 2.12.

Q. But is not baptizedness in the dispenser of Baptisme, essen­tial to Baptisme, seeing we never read any unbaptized person did baptize?

A. Baptizedness in the dispenser is not essential to Baptisme: for then, 1. an Ordinance of God should be administred upon hu­mane Testimony; for how can any man be sure that there hath been a line of baptized Persons from the Apostles to him that bap­tized thee, especially seeing no Scripture hath been given by God for this fifteen yeers and upwards?

Besides John who baptized first, we read nothing of his Bap­tisme, besides none of those that were baptized in Scripture; as the Samaritans, the Eunuch, the three thousand, Acts 24.2. Lydia, the Jaylor, &c. never asked any of the dispensers of Baptisme (though strangers to them) whether themselves were baptized; which had been most material, had a dispensers baptizedness been essential to Baptisme; especially, they living among the Scribes and Pharisees, who were ready to question by what Power and Autho­rity do you these things?

Besides, were baptizedness thus essential to Baptisme, then the Commission would have run; Let a baptized person make Disciples all Nations; but its otherwise, make Disciples all Nations.

Besides, there should be a continual uncertainties, in respect of Bap­tism upon the consciences of all Christians; seeing they could never be certain of a line of Baptizers: especially, after two or three removes, and so still should they be uncertain of their own Baptisme.

Besides, an unbaptized person may clearly hold forth the Cove­nant of Grace, and so Make souls Disciples; what should hinder them but that he may tender the signe thereof to those parties that lay hold on that Covenant?

Besides, this would prove Baptisme not to be of God, Acts 5.39. because it comes to nought, for want of the knowledge of baptized­ness in the dispenser.

Q. Whether is the doing of miracles essential to a dispenser of Baptisme?

A. No: 1. John the first dispenser did no miracle, Joh. 10.41. Now an Ordinance when it is first instituted or dispensed, the dispenser did bring it in with all the essentials.

[Page 54]2. Then should the dispensers of Baptisme alwayes have wrought miracles before they administred Baptisme, in the sight of the person to be baptized, seeing persons to be baptized ought to partake of e­very thing essential to Baptism; but the Scriptures mention no mi­racle that Philip did when he baptized the Eunuch, nor when John baptized in Jordan, or when Lydia was baptized.

Besides; if the essence of Baptisme consisted in the dispensers do­ing a miracle, then there is no true Baptisme in the world, because no miracle hath been done this thirteen hundred yeers, Chrysost. Hom. 6. in 2 Epistle to the Corinthians.

Besides, miracles are not much useful to a person that is presently to be baptized, seeing he is deemed a Believer already; but they are of use to unconverted persons, Acts 8.6. 1 Cor. 14.22.

Lastly, miracles alone cannot confirm any one Ordinance, because false prophets may do them, Deut. 13.1. Mat. 7.22. & 24.24. 2 Thess. 2.9. from all which it follows, Miracle-working is not essential to a dispenser of baptisme,

Concerning Imposition, or laying on of Hands.

Q. HOw many sorts of laying on of hands do you finde in the New Testament?

A. Besides occasional laying on of hands, as on little children, Mat. 19.15. and miraculous, when the Apostles laid their hands on the sick, and they recovered, Mark. 16.18. Acts 28.8. there ore two usual laying on of hands.

First, in ordination of Officers, which is the pointing out of the person chose to an office in the Church, whom the Church com­mends to God in prayer. This is acknowledged by all.

Secondly, there is a laying on of hands after baptism, which is a praying for an increase of the Spirit on baptized persons, 2 Tim. 1.6.

Q. Whether is laying on of hands after baptism, an ordinance of force, obliging Christians in these times?

A. Reserving others of Gods servants to their light who think [Page 55] otherwise, and acknowledging a dark revelation of this in compa­rison of other Fundamentals, and professing ingenuously I could not suffer so much in the witness of this point, as I could in plainer points and Articles, as of those concerning the fall of man, re­demption by Christ, the resurrection, and the last judgement, &c. and declaring that though Teachers may not teach, nor people be­lieve any thing which hath not some footing in the word of God, yet may they speak of things which they know but weakly: These things being premised, I shall acknowledge laying on of hands on baptized persons after baptisme, to be an Apostolical institution, or an Ordinance of Jesus Christ.

Q. What grounds have you to prove laying on of hands after Baptisme, to be an Apostolical institution?

A. These: First, because the Apostle makes it one of the six principles, Heb. 6.1. or word of the beginning of Christ, as in the Greek; nay, he makes it a foundation-point as well as Repentance, Faith, Baptisme, Resurrection, and last Judgement. Now these being Fundamentals, wherein all converted persons are to be pra­ctical in the belief, how can imposition of hands be excluded from being so received? It is absurd to think that one of these six prin­ciples should cease in a short time, and the other five to remaine till the end of the world; and yet the Apostle calls them all by the name of a Foundation, and places it betwixt Faith and Repentance, the Resurrection and the last Judgement, so that there is no coming to slight it, it being fenced on every side.

Q. But seeing we acknowledge a laying on of hands in Ordi­nation, do we not acknowledge these six principles?

A. No reason can be brought why laying on of hands in ordi­nation, should be from this Text acknowledged, and the other after Baptisme on baptized persons, excluded. Nay, it seemeth, that laying on of hands on baptized persons, should be primarily meant, because the Apostle seemeth to couple these foundation-Principles, so that as faith and Repentance go together, and the Resurrection and last Judgement; so Baptism and Imposition of go together.

Q. But whether is there my command for laying on of hands?

A. There is as much commandment for laying on of hands on [Page 56] baptized persons after Baptisme, as on persons ordained to Office: for both of them we finde Apostolical practice.

Secondly, the Apostle calling it a foundation that was first laid, as appears in these words [Not laying again the Foundation] hath a virtual command in it.

Q. What other ground have you for laying on of hands?

A. We have the practice of the Apostles, Acts 8.14, 15, 16, 17. The Apostles Peter and John laid their hands on those Sa­maritans whom Philip had baptized, as verse 17. Then laid they their hands on them: The Antecedent to this Pronoune Re­lative Them, could be no other then the baptized Samaritans. See also Acts 19.6.

Obj. But in these examples there were visible gifts given; but there is not so in yours in these times: therefore your lay­ing on of hands is not the same with theirs.

A. Those visible gifts given, were no parts of the Ordinance, much less essentialities, but onely the crowns and ornaments of it; God hereby confirming the truth of that doctrine, and powerful­ness of that person into whose name they were baptized.

Secondly, it is a mistake to think that alwayes when the Apostles laid on hands, visible gifts were given: for Paul laid his hands on Timothy, and God conveyed nothing therein, save inward gifts and graces, 2 Tim. 1.6. Stir up the gift which was given thee by the laying on of the hands of me. So in the Greek. If any man say these gifts were conveyed on Timothy by Paul in ordination, and not af­ter Baptism, A. The contrary appears, because the gift given Timothy in ordination, was by the hands of all the Eldership, 1 Tim. 14.14. but this gift was given in laying on of hands by Paul alone: There­fore the laying on of hands after Baptisme is meant in this place.

Q. But if laying on of hands after Baptisme be an ordinance of Christ, what is conveyed in it?

A. An increase of the Spirit, so that as the Spirit is conveyed in the use of prayer, and preaching, Luke 11.13. Acts 10.44. and Baptisme, Gal. 3.28. and the Lords Supper, 1 Cor. 10.16. so also is an increase of the Spirit conveyed in laying no of hands, 2 Tim. 1.6. Stir up the gift which is in thee, which was given thee by the laying on of my hands. See, he had the gift or grace of God in him before, and now in laying on of Pauls hands, it was increased; yet is [Page 57] not laying on of hands the onely or principal part of this Ordinance, but praise is the principal part; in the use whereof the other being adjoyned, these fore-named Gifts and Graces of the Spirit are con­veyed. I take it to be vehiculum spiritus, or a channel to con­vey the increases of the spirit to believing hearts.

Q. But what promise is there that there shall be an increase of the Spirit given in laying on of hands?

A. 1. A Command is enough to receive an Ordinance, though there were no promise annexed concerning any benefit; and we have proved a virtual Command out of Heb. 6.2.

2. What promise there is of laying on of hands by the Elders, the same is here; yet is it acknowledged by all, that the Spirit is con­veyed in the increases in the Elders laying on of hands.

3. Example of the conveyance of the Spirit into the Samaritans, and into Timothy his heart in the laying on of hands, is an encou­raging ground for baptized persons to submit thereto, and expect the like benefit.

4. There is a promise of the increase of the Spirit to the prayer of Faith, whenever poured out, Luk. 11.13. and why not to the prayer of Faith, when now poured out? now the promise of the Holy Ghost being made to all baptized ones, Acts 2.38 39. such may well pray in faith for the same.

Q. But whether are these promises bound to the laying on of hands, so that then when hands are laid on, and by that means, the Gifts and Graces of the Spirit are conveyed, when the Churches, Apostle, or Apostles lay on their hands: we must not invent a meanes through which promises must be ap­plyed?

A. 1. The promise is bound to the prayer of faith.

2. That not onely in, but by laying on of hands, the Spirit is conveyed, appears, 2 Tim. 1.6.

3. No man can say, that either Baptisme, Supper, or imposition of hands apply the promise; it is the Spirit and Faith alone that ap­ply the promise; yet is laying on of hands such a means as the A­postle calls a foundation, and a means through which both on Gods behalf and our behalf, the promise may be applyed, because we read Believers to have received the promise herein; we say not of laying on of hands that, it is a means through which the promise [Page 58] must be, God being a free Agent) but a means through which the promise may be, and hath been conveyed into the soul, as in Timo­thy his case appears.

Lest any man think this a new Doctrine, let him consult the Fathers, who oft mention laying on of hands after Baptisme. Ter­tul. de Baptismo, Cap. 8. Cyprian. Epist. ad Inbaianum. Also his Epistle ad Stephanum. Tertul. lib. de resurrect. Cap. 8. Aug. l. 3. Cont. Donatistas, & Cont. literas Petilliani. Mel­chiades ad Episc. Hispan. Fabianus Epist. 2. ad Episcop. Orien­tis. Ambros. de his qui Myster. initiantur. cap. 7. & lib. 3. de sacramento, cap. 2. Ʋrbanus 2 Epist. ad omnes Orthodox. Cle­mens, Constit. Apostol. l. 7. c. 16, 17. Euseb. Histor. l. 6. c. 35. with others: and Estius in Heb. 6.1. saith, that all antiquity teach­eth laying on of hands after Baptisme.

Q. But seeing the Apostles who laid on hands after Baptism, were such Apostles as were immediately called of Christ, as Peter and John, Act. 8.17, and Paul, Act. 19.5, 6. how will it hold from them to the Apostles of the Churches?

A. Very well: For first, Apostles of the Churches, though they have not an immediate call from Christ personally on earth, yet they have a call from him vertually, in that since his ascension into hea­ven, He gave some to be Apostles, Eph. 4.12. for the work of the Ministery, that is, to do what belonged to their office. What difference betwixt persons called to an office by Christ immediately, as the eleven were, and persons called by him mediately by the Church, when one and the same end is designed them, which is the work of the Ministery, the perfecting the Saints, the edifying of the body of Christ, and to witness Christ his resurrection? Acts 1.22. Eph. 4.12, 13. I would be gladly informed (if any man could and would) whether there be any essential difference betwixt the twelve Apostles and the Apostles of the Churches, and wherein that difference doth consist? If any man think it was because the eleven were inspired to be pen-men of Scripture, I answer, All of them were not, nor the Apostles onely. If any man think the doing of mi­racles: I answer, They alone did not do them, but many believers, also, Mark 16.17.

2. Matthias, though chosen mediately of the Church, had the same power in dispensations that the eleven had.

[Page 59]3. If imposition after Baptisme were confined to Apostles onely that were immediately called, it would have been in vain, for the A­postle to have called it a foundation, and to have conjoyn'd it with such necessary truths, as Faith and the Resurrection was, seeing the persons that had the power of administring them, were all in a short time to be dead.

4. Every Church of Christ have the same power that the first Church had, both for Officers and Ordinances, Mat. 18.17, 18, 19. the first Church therefore having Officers to dispense any of­fice; as Apostles, Acts 1.26. Prophets, Act. 15.27, 32. Evangelists, as Philip, Acts 6.5. other Churches may chuse (having fitting per­sons) the like Officers; and they being chosen, may execute acts that belong to the respective Offices: so that as the first Church continu­ing in the Apostles doctrine, Act. 2.42. (of which laying on of hands was part, Heb. 6.1.) did chuse an Apostle, Acts 1.26. and the Church at Antioch sent out Paul and Barnabas, who before the sending, seem to have been of the number of the Prophets, Act. 13.1, 2, 3. so may other Churches send out gratious and able men; neither let any man say, the Prophets at Antioch sent out Paul and Barnabas, for the whole Church fasted, and acted in the business.

Q. Who are this Church of Christ, and what is the essential note of them.

A. They are a company of Saints, 1 Cor. 1.2. 1 Cor. 14.33. Gal. 1.22. Rev. 1.20. into which societies here on Earth though some Hypocrites creep, yet till God discover them they are looked upon as Saints; the Saintship of which company joyned together in bo­dies respectively (leaving others to their light) I take to be the essen­tial note of the Church, because holiness is the most special diffe­rence of the Church from the world.

Of the Lords Supper.

Q. WHat must a Christian do, that he may receive worthi­ly and preparedly?

A. As he must examine himself, whether he be in Christ and the [Page 60] Spirit of God dwell in him, 1 Cor. 11.28. 2 Cor. 13.5. Also it is very expedient (I will not say the not doing it is sinful) that every time before a person receives, the said person judge it self before the Lord for what it hath done amiss, 1 Cor. 11.13. but in any wise before thou comest, examine to finde good grounds of thy union with Christ, without which neither presume to come to baptism nor the Supper, lest they prove means of thy final hardness and impenitency.

Q. What was the end wherefore the Lords Supper was insti­tuted.

A. For the continual remembrance of Christ his death (which we desire to shew forth to all men out of conscience so his command, 1 Cor. 11.25, 26.) and more particularly for the remembrance of the new Testament or Covenant which is established in his death, wherein remission of sins is bequeathed to believers Mat. 26.28. 1 Cor. 11.25. Which I take (with submission to better judgement) to be the prime end, yea (as to me seemeth) the onely end of this institution.

Q. What mean you by calling the Lords Supper the new Testa­ment in the blood of Christ?

A. I mean, that whereas these was an old Covenant of works, which all men transgressing are condemned, Rom. 5.12. Gal. 3.10. Rom. 10.5. God was pleased to make a new Covenant with all the elect, to accept the sacrifice of Christs death, as a satisfaction to his justice for our breaches of the first Covenant, Heb. 10.14, 16, 18. Heb. 9.15. Which Covenant is not onely presented to us by the Gospel in audible words, but also visibly to our sense in the signs of the Covenant: so that as the Rainbow was a witness or sign betwixt God and the Earth that he would no more drown it; and if he did, his bow should witness against him: and as the blood of the passover sprinkled upon the Israelites posts, Exod. 27.7. was a signe betiwxt God and the people, that God would spare them, vers. 13. and if he did not, that blood should witness against him: and as in covenants among men, they confirme them with some signs of memorial, that when they forget the bargain, it may be said unto them. This is your hand or signe; so as in Baptisme, so in the Lords Supper (for one and the same thing for number is signifi­ed in both) God for the strengthning our belief appoints signs as [Page 61] witnesses against him if he go about to break his covenant, and as witnesses against us if we forget our duty of faith, repentance, self-denial, confession of Christ, &c. wherein we have in those signes by all deep engagement obliged our selves.

Q. What is the danger of unworthy receiving?

A. In stead of receiving to comfort, Satan hath a greater poses­sion of such persons, as in Judas (if he were at the Supper, as ma­ny learned men think) who Luke 22.3. had Satan entring into him before his going to the High-Priests and receiving the sop; but after the receiving the sop, the Devil entred further into him, John 13.27, and v. 30. having received the sop, he went out immediate­ly, and came to a thorow resolution to betray Christ; besides, good men receiving in part unworthily, receive temporal judgements, as sickness, weakness, death, 1 Cor. 11.30. and wicked men having a total unworthiness, receive eternal damnation.

Q. What is the manner of Christ his presence in the Lords Supper?

A. He is present spiritually to the Faith of the receiver, to in­crease by his Spirit the Union & Communion of the soul with Christ, Ephes. 3.19. 1 Cor. 10.16. Ephes. 4.15, 16, 1 Cor. 12.13. he is also present by grace and operation of feeling, in the hearts of his, as the Sun is present with us, by his light and influence, though in Heaven: he is also present in the promise, Mat. 26.26. Take, eat this is my body and my blood; as if he should say, I promise you in the use of this Ordinance, you shall receive the vertue of my quickening death and merit thereof, as verily as you receive bread and wine.

Q. What think you of that opinion, that the body of Christ is present, in, with, or, under the bread, after an unperceivable manner?

A. It is an erroneous opinion, It is against the Article of Christ his ascension into heaven, Act. 3.21.

2. Hereby they destroy the nature and truth of a humane body, which is both finite and visible, making it infinite and invisible.

Q. Whether is the body of Christ really and substantially con­tained under the kindes of bread and wine, in the same space where bread and wine were contained before?

A. No: for 1. Bread in the Supper is six times after consecra­tion [Page 62] called bread still, 1 Cor. 10.15, 16. 1 Cor. 11.23, 24, 25.

2. The truth of Christs flesh is proved by sight and touching, Luk. 24.39. but in the Supper it cannot he touched: therefore it is not substantially or fleshlily present.

3. Its a contradiction, that one whole body should be whole together in divers places, Mat. 28.6. he is risen, he is not here: the consequence had proved nothing, if a whole body might be whole in divers places.

Q. How oft are we to receive the Supper?

A. Often: our own decayes of grace requires often receiving; the Apostles indeterminate Command, Do this as often, admits of no other limitation then want of occasion and opportunity.

Q. But there are some that are not in charity with me, may I receive?

A. Yes, (supposing the uncharitableness on their parts) their sin cannot debar us of the priviledges and benefits Christ hath purcha­sed for us; if the sin be on our part, we must lay aside our wrath, lest we double our sin by absenting from Ordinances, and retaining wrath.

Q. Who are the persons to be received to the Supper?

A. Onely Church-Members. 1 Cor. 10.13. 1 Cor. 11.20. holy things are not to be given to Dogs, Mat. 7.6. in exposing the signs of the Covenant to those concerning whom we have no ground to believe God promises any thing, we prophane them; they are not to be acknowledged for Covenanters with God, who are his enemies.

Q. How are wicked men partaking, guilty of the body and blood of the Lord?

A. 1. They are guilty of rejecting it. 2. Because they prophane the signes that represent Christs body; as they that despise Christs Servants, despise himself, Luk. 10.16. 1 Thes. 4.8. or as a reproach done to the Ambassadors redounds to the Prince or as he that com­mits Treason against a Princes Seal, commits it against himself.

Concerning Prayer.

Q. WHat is prayer?

A. A pouring forth of the Soul to God, 1 Sam. 1. Psalm 62.8.

Q. What are the parts of prayer?

A. They are three:

  • 1. Confession of sins: so Daniel, c. 9.6, 7, 8, &c. and Nehe­miah, c. 1, 6.7.
  • 2. Petition for grace, Mat. 6.9.
  • 3. Thanksgiving for benefits, 1 Tim. 2.1. Phil. 4.6.

Q. What qualifications are requisite, that we may pray com­fortably?

A. 1. We being bankrupt in Heaven, must come in the name of Christ, Iohn 16.23, 24.

2. For things according to Gods will, 1 Iohn 5.14.

3. With a heart purposing against all sin, Psal. 66.18. Iohn 9 41. Iob. 11.13.

4. With a fervent heart, Iam. 5.16. crying mightily to God, Jon. 3. as a Malefactor doth for life before a Judge.

5. In Faith, Jam. 1.6, 7. believing we shall have from God so far as his promise reacheth; as a begger never goes from a door, so long as he believes he shall have an Almes, Mat. 7.7. & 21.22. to persons praying in faith, the thing desired is done, or else its better for them not to be done.

6. With an humble and broken heart, Psal. 34.17. content not your selves with prayers void of humiliation and melting of heart; so Abraham, Gen. 18.27. the Prodigal, Luk. 15.18. If Satan fright thee from prayer, because thou art unworthy, say then, Nay, but I will pray, because I am unworthy.

7. With watchfulness against distractions, both those that come from Satan, Zach. 3. and those which come from spiritual fluggish­ness especially, Col. 4.2. and watchfulness against drouziness, Luk. 21.36. as a begger is all awake when he begs, so must we be when we beg of God.

[Page 64]8. With sighes and groanes, though words answer very barely, Rom. 8.26. Gal. 4.6. God answers not that which is in the froth of wolds alone; but that which is in the sigh or groan, Psalme 145.19.

9. Pray with the Spirit, Jude 20. Ephes. 6.18. which is not onely to have the gift of Prayer, (which artificial Christians may have, and not without some show of spiritual life, being full of fit expressions from abundance of notions) but also to have the grace of prayer, whereby the soul hath many sighes against the sproutings of lusts, and wrastlings for the removals of corruptions; and secret springings of heart upon the receipt of spiritual blessings, Psal. 103.1. that such Prayers come from the Spirit, appears, because when the Spirit intermits or forbears working, the souls of the best become dull, Rom. 8.15.

10. Let thy Person be holy, Psal. 86. 2 John 15.7. no natural man can pray acceptably, John 9.13. yet may there be passions in a soul, and yet that soul holy, and that Prayer accepted, as in Elia's Case. Jam. 5.16.

Q. How shall a poor soul know whether God hears his Pray­ers?

A. He shall know it by these signs.

1. When he hath the thing granted, he prayed for; the Church prayed for Peter, and had him given when they were praying, Act. 12.5. Hanna prayed for a son, and had one, 1 Sam. 1.27. see for this, Gen. 20.17. Jud. 13.8. 1 Kings 3.9. & 12. 1 Chron. 4.10. but because temporal blessings may be severed from the good will of God, therefore we must judge of the answers of our Prayers, from the grants we have in spiritual blessings; as when we pray for a melting heart, or a thirsting heart, and have one given to us; and we may judge of temporal blessings to be the fruits of Prayers an­swered, when those blessings are used to a sanctified end.

2. By the enlargement of the heart to holy desires, Psal. 10.17. Thou hast prepared their heart, thou wilt cause thine ear to hear; when a man hath a bag, and he falls to stretching of it, its a signe he means to fill it: so God enlarging the heart with more hun­ger and thirst, longings and breathings, then ordinary; Its a sign he means to hear that prayer.

3. When we behold the face of God in Prayer. God sometimes [Page 65] answers the Prayers of his People, with a cast of his countenance; see Psal. 27.7, 8, 9. also 22.24. as Petitioners may oft read their speeding, in the amiable countenance of those they petition. Job gaves an undeniable reason, why God was his salvation, Job. 13.16. which was, because an hypocrite did not come before him as Job did: though every Creature come into his omnipresence, yet into his special presence, to behold his face in prayer, and to come within the list of his countenance, onely upright men come, see Psal. 104.13.

4. When the Conscience is able to commend the Prayer, setting aside the infirmities; Jobs Conscience commended his Prayer to be pure, Job 16.17. If thy conscience tell thee, thy Prayers are rotten, thy sins not purged, thy heart not upright, it is the voice of God in thy soul; but if thy heart condemn thee not, then hast thou confidence towards God, 1 John 3.21. onely note, sometimes the Conscience may be misinformed under a temptation, to think God doth not hear them when he doth, Job 30.20. Psal. 22.1, 2. Lam. 3.8. sometimes they were perswaded God heard their prayer, as verse 46, 57. sometimes they doubted thereof as verse 44.

5. When though God denies us what we ask, yet God gives us a better thing; Abraham prayed that Ishmael might live, and God gave him a better, even Isaac, Gen. 17.18, 19. David pray­ed for the life of the Child he had by Bathsheba, and God gave him a better, even Solomon, 2 Sam. 12.22.

6. By Gods drawing neer unto us in our Prayer. God draws nigh to the Soul,

1. By removing discouragements, Lam. 3.57. Thou drawest neer in the day that I cryed unto thee; thou saidst, Fear not. When God shall raise up the soul against discouragements from former scandalous sins, from Gods justice, from its own unworthiness, from dumbness and barrenness of expressions, from the sinning against knowledge, from relapses, from secret despair, Psal. 31.22. this drawing nigh argues an answer.

2. God draws nigh by working, meltings, and brokenness of heart upon the soul, so that as in old time, God was wont to give answer to the prayers of his Servants, by sending fire from Heaven to consume their Sacrifices, 1 King. 18.24. 1 Chron. 21.26. [Page 66] 2 Chron. 7.1. so doth he now testifie by his holy Spirit, who was typified by that fire, Mat. 3.11. working in prayer many passio­nate meltings, that the heart melts under the displeasing such a lo­ving God, and the eye melts into tears, Psal. 6.8. blessed be God who hath heard the voice of my weeping: how knew he he was heard? why, because he poured out weeping prayers to God, Psa. 39.12. hold not thy peace at my tears. Isa. 38.5. I have heard thy prayers and seen thy tears. Jer. 31.9. I will lead them along with weeping and supplication. Also Christ when he was heard offered up strong crying with tears, Heb. 7.5. the like did Nehe­miah, when he prayed that God would give him favour in the sight of the King, he wept in his prayer, Nehem. 1.4, 11. also Ja­cob wept and made supplication, and found the Lord in Bethel, Hos. 12.3, 4. yea the Saints of God generally have been thus crow­ned with answers in their prayers, as Ezra, c. 10.1. Iob, c. 16, 16: Iosiah, 2 Chron. 34.27. Paul, Acts 20.31. Ier. 9.1. & 13.17. Hannah, 1 Sam. 1.10. Peter, Mar. 14.72. not as if God did not draw nigh in other prayers wherein the eye melts not into tears; for if the soul hath other signs of its prayers heard, it ought not to be discouraged; but this I say, prayers poured out thus with inward meltings of heart, so that the eye shall weep in prayer, seem to me to be crowningly answered. And so much the more, when a person is not inclining to weep in other Cases, as many women, and some men are out of natural softness. To conclude, consider whether it be safe to be without such a frame of heart and eye in prayer, as so many of the Saints in the word are recorded to have had, and wherein they found such comfort and success.

3. God draws nigh by chearing and inward comforting of the heart, Phil. 4.6, 7. inwardly warning it with the soul of his pre­sence. Now all these approaches of God to gracious souls are not alike; for sometimes he gives a stronger sense of his favour in one prayer more then another, and sometimes in some one or more Pe­titions of the same prayer, then in other Petitions thereof; yet when God draws nigh to thy soul in a particular request, it is not certain that that request shall be granted in that manner you desired, (as when a man prays for the life of a sick friend, and God draws nigh in that Petition, and yet the friend dies) but it is evidential to thee, that thy prayer is heard, and that the thing thou askest is ac­cording [Page 67] to the approving will of God, though not according to his decreeing will.

All these drawings nigh to the soul evidence the hearing of pray­ers, as appears, Psal. 69.17. hear me speedily; but what signe doth he desire? why verse 18. he saith, Draw nigh to my soul.

7. Thou mayest know thy prayers are answered, by having a spirit of perseverance in prayer, Psal. 66.20. & 138.3. when a Petitioner comes to a Prince or Nobleman, if the Prince embolden him in his speech, and let him speak all he would, its a sign the Prince means to grant that man his Petition, because otherwise he would not have endured to have heard him so long, but would have com­manded him to be gone: so when the soul comes to God in prayer, if God dispatch it out of his presence, that the soul hath no heart to continue its suit, and prayes deadly and dully, and is glad it hath said its prayers and hath done; its a fearful sign that God answers not those prayers (though poured out by a godly man) but if thou prayest, and God gives thee a spirit to hold out in prayer; if thou prayest and hast not done in thy prayers; but God doth further and further put in thee a warmth and heat of affection, that thy heart is emboldened in its Petitions, and thou desirest further Communion with God, that thou art as it were loath to leave off the words of prayer, much less the suits of prayer, it is a signe God will grant thy prayer to thee.

8. Thou mayest know thy prayers are heard, when in the close of thy prayer thou hast some comfortable answer suggested unto thee from God; for example, God by his Spirit comes to some, sug­gesting on this wise, when they pray powerfully, viz. I will be thy God, I will not fail thee nor forsake thee, I will do thee much good, I will be an everlasting God unto thee; so God suggested to Paul at the end of his prayer, 2 Cor. 12.9. My grace is sufficient for thee. Lam. 3.5.7. when the Church was discouraged out of sence of her unworthiness, God drew neer and said, Fear not: so Luther in Gen. c. 44. saith, O that I could call upon God with the same fer­vency, as oft as I would; for when I pray in this manner, (meaning fervently) this answer seems sensibly to be given unto me, Fiat quod petis, let the thing be done which thou desirest. No man (saith he) can contemn this prayer which proceeds from inward bowels and [Page 68] affection; much less can it be in vain with God; for this last signe, I am confident some of Gods Children have it; but whether all have it, I leave it to further enquiry.

9. The manner of the falling out of things evidenceth prayer-hearing, when God brings a thing to pass through many difficul­ties, contriving all the passages in a business, whereof if any of them had been wanting, the business had not been effected; so when the Church was delivered in answer to the Prayers of Esther and Mordecai; so when Peter was brought out of prison, beyond expectation, it plainly appears it was the fruit of prayer: when God makes the way easie and plain after prayer, and the course of things begins to change, and we meet with comforts in stead of former crosses, it appears it is from prayers answered, Esth. 4.16. Acts 12.12, 13.

Of Gods with-drawments from the Soul.

Q. WHether may not God with-draw from his own Children?

A. Yes: if God forsake Christ his onely begotten Son, Mat. 26.38. in respect of comfort and joy, though not in respect of union of natures, then Believers must not look to go free.

Q. Why doth God with-draw from his children?

A. Careless and negligent use of means of grace, or an overly performance of duties of Religion, Song 5.2, 2, 3, 4.

2. For grieving his Spirit, Isa. 63.10. either by scandalous sins, Psal. 51.11. or treacherous denial of Christ, 2 Tim. 2.12. Christ will deny to such, comfort as well as owning.

3. Not esteeming Gods presence, Iob 15.11. we prize things in their absence.

4. To make us grow in a hatred of sin, as of that which deprives us of Communion with God, Isa. 57.17.

5. That we may know what Christ underwent for us, in the ab­sence of Gods presence, Luk. 22.

[Page 69]6. To try whether we will trust in God in the want of feeling, Job 13.15.

Q. What may comfort a soul, when God withdraws comfort­able feeling and influence of his presence, which the soul hath formerly felt in Prayer and other Ordinances?

A. There are divers comforts, as,

1. Thy sadness for his absence doth argue a former enjoyment of his presence; and being once Christs, thou art ever Christs, John 13.1.

2. A man may fear God and have part in Christ, and yet feel little or no comfort, Isa. 50.10.

3. As in the gloomiest day there is so much light, whereby we may know it to be day, and not night, so a Christian whom God hath in part forsaken, may discern himself to be sincere, because he hath a love to God and his glory, 1 Sam. 4.18. vehement desires after grace and Gods presence, Psal. 63.1. and an absolute pur­pose against sin, though he should dye without comfort, Psal. 44.17, 18.

4. Consider, a Christian in a forsaken Estate, breathing out sighs and groans for the return of Christs presence, may be as dear to God, as he that enjoyes Gods presence, Job 13.15.

5. Absence of accustomed feelings then onely argue a back-slid­ing heart, when they are suffered in the soul without sorrow and grief, Psal. 28.1. & 143.7. yet are not thy groans and sorrows the causes of Gods return, but the dispositions of persons to whom he doth return.

6. Christ in his withdrawment, as well as in his return, aimes at his souls good; for upon his withdrawment, the soul is stretched with desire after him Psal. 42.1.

7. God withdraws from the spirits of Saints, onely in crowning graces; as joy, peace, feeling: not in saving graces; as faith, repen­tance, self-denial, &c. these God never takes away.

Q. But why do you say, Faith, repentance, self-denial, &c. are never taken away? are they not Creatures, and every Crea­ture is subject to perish?

A. Grace of it self considered, may dye, for it is a Creature; but consider it as united to Christ, so it cannot dye, Joh. 4.14. If believers were cut off from Christ, grace should wither, as the branch being [Page 70] cut off from the root doth; but being knit to him, the sap must be in the branches, because it is in the root; and life will be in the members, because it is in the head: waters will never dry up, so long as there is a Fountain to maintain them.

Q. How may I recover the feeling of the Lords love to my soul?

A. 1. Cry mightily for his presence, Psal. 4.6 7. & 27.9.

2. Enquire when, where, and why God with-drew, Jer. 14.8. as we do concerning dear friends when they absent themselves from us.

3. Converse in all Ordinances wherein there is any in-comes of God. Some receive comfort in reading, 2 Reg. 22.11, 19. others in Baptism, Act. 8.39. others in hearing, Act. 10.44. others in con­ference, Luk. 24.32.

4. Be humble and afflicted under Gods withdrawment, Luke 1.53. vallies are blest with the happiest influence of Heaven.

5. Call to remembrance thy former times of comfort, Psal. 77.5, 6. assuring thy self thou hast to deal with an unchangeable God. Though in winter the sap in plants goes into the root, yet will it at Spring spread it self in the branches.

6. Count no condition in the world too much, though it were banishment, imprisonment, reproach, or poverty, so thou maist re­cover Gods countenance. Many are so dainty, that they will not suffer any thing for God, and therefore God inflicts that which is the greatest of sufferings, that is, the with-drawment of him­self.

7. Beware of resting contented in the comfort of any Creatu [...]e without God and his sweet presence: the whole earth is a barren Wilderness without himself, Psal. 63.1.

8. Give not way to spiritual drouziness.

Q. But my heart is drouzy, how shall I keep it awake?

A. Use wakeful considerations, as of the shortness of life, the e­ternity of glory, the danger of back-sliding, Psal. 39.3, &c.

2. Keep your selves in the light: darkness makes men fit to sleep.

3. Nourish Gods fear, which is a wakeful affection, as being con­versant about danger. Fear of God, and comfort of the Holy Ghost, go together, Act. 9.31.

[Page 71]4. Keep company with wakeful Christians, Heb. 3.13.

5. Consider the danger of a drouzy Estate. As first, Its trouble­some to the conscience, Song 3.1, 2, 3. Secondly, Its the fore-runner of some great cross or sin, Song 5.2. & 6.

Of Tentations.

Q. WHat is a Tentation?

A. As it is an act in the Creature, it is the moving of a man to some sin, with some reason to inforce it, Prov. 7.18, 19. Gen. 3.5. Prov. 1.11, 12.

Q. Who are the tempters?

A. 1. The Devil, 1 Chron. 21.1. 2. The World, by which I mean the wicked of the World, Prov. 1.10. and the goods therein. 3. The flesh within us, Rom. 7.18.

Q. What remedy against Satans tentations?

A. 1. Dispute not with them things. Eve was foil'd, Gen. 3.1. He hath many methods which we cannot fathom.

2. Get faith to quench his fiery darts, Ephes. 6.16. which is to be set a work in believing that Satan was spoiled and stript of his power over thy soul by Christ on the Cross, Heb. 2.14. Col. 2.15.

3. Use the Ordinance of prayer, for strength to resist, Psal. 4.6. and wisdom to discern his tentations, Jam. 1.5. and long-suffering, that he may not tire us with the length of them. 2. Of the Word, Mat. 3.4. 2 Cor. 10.4. both in the Command, Exod. 20.13, and in the promise, Jam. 4.6. Rom. 16.20. set this against all his proffers; and in the threathing: God telling Eve, if she eat of the tree she should die, and she listening to Satan, minced of the matter to this, Lest ye dye, Gen. 3.3. and so was overcome by Satan.

4. Avoid three-things, 1. Idleness. When persons are idle, Satan hath an opportunity to tempt, 2 Sam. 11.2. 2. Solitariness, this breeds melancholy, Eccles. 4.9, 10. 3. Secresie, this makes the [Page 72] wound of an afflicted Conscience bleed inwardly, Jam. 5.16. But if thou canst have ease from God, let no man know the matter; but if not open thy Conscience to some grave and godly friend, and herein be sure to discover that evil that turns the Conscience out of its place.

5. O draw good out of Satans tentations, and so he will have no courage to tempt; as more strongly to believe there is a God, be­cause Satan tempts us to doubt whether there be a God; so the more to assure our selves we are Gods people, because he so tempts us now, being he little tempted us when we were in our natural state; in a word, learn by tentations, how to comfort tempted persons.

Q. What must I do when Satans temptation is past and gone?

A. As Mariners make their tacklings in a calme, firm against a storme come: so when temptations are over, prepare for new a en­counter, remembring Satan leaves us only for a season, Luk 4.13. though Christ overcame Satan, yet he came again and again. Satan will try whether we have lost our former strength, care, and watch­fulness; or whether God that would not suffer him then, will, for some sins we have committed since, suffer him to have power over us now: Satan sometimes politickly gives way for a season, when yet his temptation is not overcome.

Q. What remedy against the temptations of the world?

A. If you mean by the World, the wicked of the Word; then consent not to them: be you as importunate in resisting, as they shall be in tempting Gen. 39.10. Prov. 1.10. But if you mean by World, the pleasures, profits, and honours of the World; con­sider their uncertainty, their transitoriness, their inability to fill the soul, 1 John 2.16. Let us love them onely in reference to God and a good Conscience.

Q. What remedy against the temptations of the flesh?

A. 1. Take heed of spiritual pride; God suffers such to fall, as appears in Adam and Hezekiah.

2. Look not disdainfully upon any sin in others, seeing thy nature is not free from the same, at least in the seed of it, Gal. 6.1. God gives many men over to vile temptations, to cure their pride.

3. Watchfulness, Mark. 14. ult. Prov. 4.23.

4. Keep your selves from sinful occasions, Gen. 39.10. If thou [Page 73] wilt not keep thy self from occasions, God will not keep thee from the sin; yea, if thou venture on occasions, thou hast a secret liking of sin, whatsoever thy pretences be.

5. Set against the motions that come from the flesh before Sa­tans suggestions meet with them; when both forces are joyned, they are so much stronger.

6. Resist the causing sin, and so the effect will cease: to cure passion, resist pride.

Q. How is one sin the cause of another?

A. 1. By effecting or making it: so covetousness brings forth theft, as in Achan.

2. By deserving it, when we deserve to be cast into some sin by God; not that God doth infuse the matter or form of a punishing sin: but by letting lust out, and setting Satan loose upon us, we are corrected by one sin for another, Rom. 1.24, 26, 28. When a sin deserves to have another sin made the punishment of it, we must make our peace for the causing sin, before the effect will cease, Psal. 81.12, 13. This forsaking, suffering, and delivering up the Crea­ture, is an act of justice in God.

Q. What other remedies against fleshly temptations?

A. 1. Apply the threatnings and Commandments against it, and the promises in case we do resist and overcome, Revel. 2.17.

2. Be earnest with God, to mortifie it by his Spirit, Rom. 8.13.

Make no provisions for thy flesh, Rom. 13.14.

4. Cross thy flesh, by endeavouring to do clean contrary to what it suggests.

5. Resist the beginning of fleshly suggestions, Jud. 23. Cain not repenting of envy, it came to murther. Judas not repenting of cove­tousness, it came to murther: if a Serpent get in its head, it will soon get in its body.

6. Venture not upon any sin, because Satan tells you it is small, Mat. 5.22. By listning to this suggestion, many exceedingly harden their hearts.

Q. When are temptations of lusts sufficiently resisted?

A. 1. When we hate them, pray, sigh, and groan against them; but sin reigns where it is loved, Rom. 7.15.

[Page 74]2. When we do not practise at all gross and presumptuous evils for which God threatens out of heaven, 1 Cor. 6.10 11. Titus 3.3. 1 Pet. 4.3, 4. and when we weaken less evils; which appears we do, when the judgement commands the will, the will the af­fections, and the affections the actions.

Q. How may we know when temptations come from Satan, when from our lusts?

A. It is very hard, if possible to know, where the point of dif­ference is; if we reject them, whether they come from Satan or us, they shall not be imputed, Rom. 7.20, 21. Come the tem­ptation which way it will, no more is imputed by God then is seen and allowed.

Q. What remedy against unholy thoughts whether they come from Satan or corruption?

A. 1. Complain of them to Christ, who had such inspired and cast into his mind by Satan, though not arising from himself; pray as David Psal. 19.12, 14.

2. Wash thy heart in Christ his blood, that it may be enabled to think good thoughts, Jer. 4.14.

3. Study good thoughts. Carnal men have many good thoughts cast into their hearts, which they cast out again as fast; but their hearts have no good thoughts arising from them: contrarily Gods people, Act. 7.23. 2. Tim. 2.15.

Q. What means are there to govern our tongues?

A. 1. Pray to God to set a watch over them, Psal. 141.3. Psal. 19.14. Psal. 51.15.

2. Get an holy frame of heart, Mat. 12.34, 35. Psal. 37.30, 31. Prov. 16.23. A good man out of the good treasure of his heart, bringeth forth good things.

3. Let the purpose of thy heart be set against unholy speaking, Psal. 17.3. Psal. 39.1.

4. Suppress sin when it is onely in the motion, so will it not come forth of the tongue, Prov. 30.32. Mat. 15.19.

5. Be sparing in thy words: men that speak much, must needs lash out, Eccles. 5.3, 7. Prov. 10.19. Prov. 17.27.

6. First think, then speak, Dan. 2.14. Prov. 16.23.

7. The sad account that men who speak idle words must give, Mat. 12.36. Jude 1 5. Psal. 50. 19▪ 20, 21.

[Page 75]8. Consider, a happy life depends much on the well-Govern­ment of the tongue, Psal. 34.12. Prov. 21.33. And upon the mis-government of it, comes much of our misery, 2 Chron. 10.13, 14. Prov. 18.21. Jam. 3.6.

9. Inure your selves to gracious and savory words, Col. 4.6. powdered with salt; so that as salt draws out of meat putrifying humors, and makes it rellishable for the palate, and fit for dige­stion: so should a principle of grace in the heart purge rottenness out of the tongue.

Of Family-Duties.

Q. WHat is the duty of a Master of a Family?

A. To provide for their souls, Gen. 18.19. and bodies of his Family, 1 Tim. 5.8.

Q. What is the Husbands Duty?

A. To love his wife as himself, affording comforts to her as to himself, Ephes. 5.28. and not to be bitter to her, Col. 3.19.

Q. What is the Wives Duty?

A. Submission to their Husbands, Col. 3.18. and reverence to­wards them, inward in heart, and outward in carriage, Ephes. 5.33.

Q. What are the Parents Duties towards their Children?

A. To train them up in Gods wayes, Prov. 22.6. Ephes. 6.4. and to provide for them, 2 Cor. 12.14.

Q. What is the childs duty?

A. To honour their Parents, Ephes. 6.2. and to obey them in all lawful things, Col. 3.20. and to requite their kindness, 1 Tim. 5.4.

Q. What is the Masters duty to his Servant?

A. To give them what is just and equal, knowing they have a Master in heaven, Col. 4.1.

Q. What is the Servants duty?

A. To honour their Masters, 1 Tim. 6.1. and sincerely to do [Page 76] them service, abhorring eye-service, Col. 3.22. doing service not onely for the gaine of their wages, but principally out of Conscience to the Lord, Ephes. 6.5, 6, 7. Col. 3.23, 24.

Of the Resurrection and last Judgement.

Q. WHether shall th [...]re be a Resurrection of the Body?

A. Yes, John 5.28. All that are in the graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth, some to the Resurrection of life, and some to the Resurrection of eternal damnation, Acts 24.15.

Q. What Body shall rise again? the same, or another?

A. The same body in number, though with more glorious qua­lities; as the same seed that is sown groweth again, 1 Cor. 15.36. So that the godly when they rise again shall see God, not with other, but with these same eyes, Job 19.25, 26, 27. He means the eyes of his body, because he saith, I, and I my self, and not a stranger; and because he mentions his skin, flesh, and the same eyes he then had: It is just, that Jobs eyes that had wept tears, and Pauls body that bore brands or markes of the Lord Jesus, Gal. 6.17. should be rewarded, and not a new made body or new eyes, 1 Cor. 15.42. The Apostle pointing at his own body, saith, This corrupti­ble shall put on incorruption, and this mortal shall put on im­mortality, John 2.19. Destroy this Temple, and I will raise it up; meaning the Temple of his body. See also, Rom. 8.11. John 11.24.

Q. How doth it appear that the bodies of Saints shall rise the same bodies, but with new qualities?

A. The Apostle makes it appear by a plain similitude, 1 Cor. 15.35, 37. of a wheat-corn cast into the earth, which being rotten comes forth, not naked hard, dry, & without life, as it was sown; nor rotten, as it was in the earth; but keeping the same substance and kind, it comes forth with new qualities of ears, husk & stalk, being living and [Page 77] full of juice; so the same body in number shall rise again, but with more glorious qualities.

Q. What are those glorious qualities our bodies shall rise with?

A. They are these,

1. Incorruptibility, they shall not dye any more, Mat. 22.30.

2. Gloriousness, they shall shine like the glorious body of Christ, Phil. 3.21.

3. Powerfulness, it shall be raised in power, able to move whi­ther it will, 1 Cor. 15.43. 1 Thes. 4.16.17.

4. Spirituality 1 Cor. 15.44. not onely because it shall not need meat, drink, or apparel; but also because it shall be like a spirit in the nimbleness of its motion, 1 Thes. 4.17.

Q. What follows the resurrection?

A. The last and general Judgement, John 6.39. I will raise him up at the last day.

Q. Who shall be judged?

A. All persons shall come to judgement: the godly having their sins forgiven them, shall come to a judgement of tryal, 2 Cor. 5.10. Mat. 12.38. but the wicked unto a judgement of condem­nation, Iohn 5.28.

Q. Who shall be the Judge?

A. Although the Trinity shall judge, yet the Exercise and Ad­ministration of it is committed to the Son, John 5.22, 27. Acts 10.42. & 17.31. He is most fit to be Judge; for as God he knows the secrets of all hearts, and he is fit to speak to man, as being man.

Q. What are the rules Christ will proceed by in judge­ment?

A. Such as never had the Scriptures, shall be judged by the Law writ in their hearts, they not having walked sutably thereto, Rom. 2.13. and those that have had onely the old Testament, shall be judged out of that, Iohn 5.45. and those that have had the whole word, shall be judged out of it, Rom. 2.16.

Q. What will Iesus Christ do after he is set in judge­ment?

A. All shall be called forth, and the sheep evidencing their [Page 78] faith in Christ, not onely by their words. Mat. 12.38. but also by their works, Mat. 25.35. shall receive the blessed sentence of absolution: Come ye blessed of my Father, inherit the King­dome prepared for you; but the Goats having neither faith nor fruits, Matth. 25.42, 43. shall be so straitly reckoned with, that they shall be called to an account for every ungodly speech. Matth. 12.37. Jude 15. and so shall receive that dreadfull sentence, Depart ye cursed into everlasting fire, prepared for the Devil and his Angels.

Q. But seeing there are some wretched men that deny the Scriptures, how shall I know the Scriptures to be Gods Word?

A. There are many grounds to sway the Conscience to belief of them, as,

1. The Witness of Gods Spirit which is promised to be given to all the Elect, together with the word, Isa. 59.21.

2. As natural bodies declare what they are; as Sun, Moon, Stars, Fire, Water, Gold, Silver, Hony; so doth the word, Psal. 19.7, 8, 9, no book, but breaths out holiness to the Lord, no Chapter hardly, but takes off our hearts from the World; it sets forth his infinite mercy to his Saints, and infinite justice to the wicked. The Scripture is like the light which not onely shews other things, but it self.

3. The agreement of the Scriptures one part with another, though the writers lived remote one from another, and in several ages of the World. How could they have so agreed, were they not written by one Spirit? Seeing two Historians, if they write of any time or occurrence, through ignorance, partiality, and forget­fulness, they will contradict each other, if they be onely humane writers; besides, for the old Testament we have the Jews, the ut­terest enemies of Christianity, witnessing it; and, and for the new, it doth harmoniously agree with the old.

4. The impartiality of the pen-men; they speak impartially to [Page 79] all, to Princes as well as beggers. David speaks of his own mur­ther, Psal. 51.14. Moses tells of the faults of his own Granfather Levi, Gen. 49.5, 7. whereas men naturally raise up their An­cestors to the highest. Paul sets forth his blasphemy and persecu­tion, 1 Tim. 1.13.

5. By the end at which they aime: had these Pen-men wrote as men, they would have lifted up themselves; but every book throws down man as low as hell, and exalts God with the highest excellence, Isa. 40.15, 16. and gives the glory of all to God, 1 Cor. 15.10.

6. By the subject matter of the Scriptures. Hardly any wri­tings of men, but some lusts are scattered up and down, of pride, vain-glory: But in the Scriptures every word is pure, Prov. 30.5. more then silver seven times purified, Psalme 12.6, 7. had men writ it, they would never have tyed themselves to such strict points.

7. There are many things in the Scripture that could never have proceeded from the brain of man; for example, that in one essence or being, the Father, Son, and Spirit should subsist, that our bodies turned to dust should rise again the in same number, though with more glorious qualities; so the incarnation of Christ by a Virgin, for the appeasing the justice of God. So, that all things which befall a Christian shall work together for his good, in re­ference to Salvation. If these and many other things could not enter into his brain, much less could they proceed from his pen.

8. The powerful effects the Scriptures have upon the Consci­ence, prove them to be of God; for example, they melt the heart in in reading them, 2 Reg. 22.19. they strike a terrour into the hearts of the ungodly. No writings of men can so awe the hearts of men, as these, Psal. 119.11. they over-power the will. One verse of self-denial will make a man part with all his Estate, Friends, and Life, and what not? they work a wonderful change in many persons, that they are not the same they were; yea, they quicken [Page 80] dead hearts, and revive the dejected, Psalme 119.49, 50. Heb. 4.12.

9. The books themselves bear witness, they are from God. In most books of Scriptures, in the entrance of them, the names of the pen-men, together with the Author of the word, are expressed: See Jer. 1.1. Ezek. 1.3. Hos. 1.1. Ioel 1.1. &c.

But you will say, its possible for false writings to have such Titles prefixt.

A. True, the name is not enough, were there nothing else; but this being joyned with other signs, is of great force. Shall we believe Aristotles or Plato's works to be their works, when they have their names affixt thereto, and shall we not believe the Scri­ptures to be of them whose Title they bear, that is the word of God by such and such a writer?

10. The death and sufferings of the Martyrs who have given their lives to seal the truth, proves them to be of God, Revel. 6.9. & 20.4. Where do we ever find any to dye, to defend the opinions of Plato, or the dreams of Mahomet?

11. Satans malice proves it; he never tempts us to unbeliefe of any writings, save these.

12. The fulfilling of the Prophecies proves them to be of God, Isaiah, chap. 44.28. named Cyrus to be the deliverer of Gods people an hundred and sixty yeers before Cyrus was born. Je­remiah set the bounds of seventy yeers to the Babylonish Captivity. Daniel lived onely in the two first Monarchies, the Caldean and Persian yet he prophesies of the Grecian and Roman Monarchies. So, that Israel should be in Egypt four hundred yeers, and then come out; so that he that should build Jericho, should lay the foundation of it in his eldest son, Jos. 6.26. compared with 1 Kin. 16.34. Paul prophesied of Doctrines forbidding Marriage and meates, 1 Tim. 4.1. And now its come to pass in the Papacy. Jacob, Gen. 49. speaks of all the portions his Children should have, assigning to one the Corn-Countrey, to others the Sea, to o­thers [Page 81] the vine-grounds, as they were after divided by lot certain hundred yeers after: how could he come to the knowledge there­of, but by him that over-rules all lots? sure they could not be sug­gested by any but God, who knew what he would do. The seeing so many of the Prophecies to be fulfilled, may assure us also, that the rest shall be fulfilled, and consequently that they are all of God.

13. Either the Scriptures must be of God, or of man: not of man, because then they must be either of bad men or of good; not of bad men, for they would never have forbid evil so rigorously, nor command good so expresly, nor aimed so at Gods glory; nor of good men, for they durst not have belied God, nor take the glory so due to God (which is to rule in the Conscience) unto themselves: therefore must they needs be of God.

14. The wonderful preservation of the Scriptures, notwith­standing, Tyrants endeavour to abolish it, and Hereticks endea­vour to corrupt it, yet it hath been kept pure in both the Originals: the two Tables writ by Gods own finger, were laid up in the Arke▪ Deut. 10.2. When Manasses and Ammon, that they might the better draw the people to Idolatry, had supprest the book of the Law; it pleased God in rhe dayes of Iosiah, that it was found in the ruines of the Temple, 2 Chron. 34.14. Antiochus, 1 Mach. 1.56, 57. rent the book of the Law in peeces, and burnt it in the fire, and made it matter of death for a man to have a Testa­ment by him. Dioclesian the persecuting Emperor forbad the use of the Scriptures, and burnt them; yet were the Scriptures still preserved.

If An Argument from man were any thing material, I might adde, that the Iewish Bible, who are the utterest enemies of Christianity, their old Testament agrees with ours, and for the truth of the Iewish Bible, they have testimony from the Samaritans, who were enemies to them, and an irreconciliable rent made betwixt them; yet in the [Page 82] Samaritan Bible (as some of the learned affirme) there is no difference at all to any purpose. Also the consent of the godly Fathers and Christians from Christ his time, who have from hand to hand delivered them to us, and en­lightned them with their commentaries, whose commenta­ries we have to shew in every age, well-nigh from the Apo­stles time, some of whom confirmed the truth with their Lives and Liberty.

A short Catechisme FOR BABES.

Q. HOw doth it appear that there is a God?

A. From the creati [...]n of heaven and earth, Psal. 19.1. Rom. 1.20.

Q. What is God?

A. A Spirit, John 4.23. immor­tal, 1 Tim. 6.16. infinite, 1 Kings 8.27. knowing all things, Heb. 4.13. and present everywhere, Psalme 139.7, 8, 9.

Q. How doth this God subsist?

A. In the being of Father, Son, and Spirit; who are all one God, 1 Iohn 5.7.

Q. Whether is the Father Son or Spirit greatest?

A. There is an equality of glory, eternity, and power, in the [Page 84] Father, Son, and Spirit, Rom. 9.5. Phil. 2.6. Matth. 28.19. 1 Iohn 5.7.

Q. How did God make man at first?

A. Pure and holy, Gen. 1.26. Eccles. 7.29. but we all fell in our first parents, Rom. 5.12, 13, 14.

Q What befell unto us by Adams fall?

A. The judgement came upon all, to condemnation, Rom. 5.15, 16.

Q. What is the condition of every man since the fall of Adam?

A. Dead in trespasses and sins and by nature children of wrath, Eph. 2.1, 3.

Q What way is there to come out of this miserable condi­tion?

A. Onely by Jesus Christ, Acts 4.12.

Q. What are we to consider especially in Christ?

A. 1. His natures. 2. His offices.

Q. What are the natures of Christ?

A. They are two:

  • 1. His Godhead.
  • 2. His Manhood.

Q. Why was it needful that he should be God?

A. That he might make the sufferings of his Manhood of infi­nite worth and vertue, Heb. 9.14. Act. 20.28.

Q. Why was it needful that he should be man?

A. That he might dye and satisfie Gods justice in the same nature that had offended, Matthew 20.28. 1 Corinthians 15.21, 22.

Q. What are the offices of Christ?

A. They are three.

Q. Which are they?

A. His Kingly, Priestly, and Prophetical office.

Q Why was Christ a King?

A. That he may reign in the hearts of his people, Luk. 19.27. and in the Churches, Psal. 2.6.

Q. Why was he a Prophet?

A. To reveale his Fathers will; so that are to hear him in all things, Acts 3.22. Mat. 17.5.

Q. Why was he a Priest?

A. To offer sacrifice for the sins of his people, Heb. 8.3.

Q. What sacrifice did Christ offer?

A. His own body on the cross, Heb. 9.25, 26. wherewith he appears in Gods presence for his people, Heb. 9.24. his blood speaking good things.

Q. What is faith?

A. A taking of Christ as a Lord and a Saviour, and resting upon his satisfaction, Rom. 7.4. Joh. 1.12. Rom. 10.7.8.

Q. What accompanies Justifying faith, without which it is not in the soul?

A. An holy disposition or intention of heart to confess the truth of God, though with the loss of all we have in the world, Rom. 10.10. Mat. 10.32.

Q. What is repentance?

A. A thorow change of the purposes of the heart, whereby they are universally set against all sin, with an hatred of it, Rom. 12.2. Act. 2.38. Isa. 30.22.

Q. What measure of love must we love the Lord with?

A. With a sovergaine love; better then father or mother, son or daughter, yea then our own lives, Mat. 10.37, 38, 39.

Q. What denial of Christ is that which shuts persons out of heaven?

A. Habitual denial, or denial of Christ in the purporse of our hearts; when we, for the saving of our lands, liberties, country, or lives, will deny Christ, or any part of his truth, Mat. 10.33. 2 Tim. 2.12.

Q. What doth the Scripture reveal concerning spiritual Life?

A. That whereas we are all dead men by Adams sin and our own, when God pardons we are alive, Rom. 5.18.

Q. What other life hath believers?

A. A life of holiness, whereby believing souls are quickned up to all the wayes of God, Rom. 6.13.

Q. What ought to be the ground of a Christian mans obe­dience?

A. The command of Christ, which is the bond of the consci­ence, Rom. 1.14. Act. 20.22.

Q. What other ground is there?

A. The love of God, from whence our obedience ought to flow, John 14.15. 2 Cor. 5.15.

Q. What doth the Scripture reveal of the combat of flesh and Spirit?

A. The flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh; so that we cannot do the good we would do, Gal. 5.17.

Q. What may comfort in this combat?

A. That we hate the evil that we do, and love the good we do, and hunger and third to do the good we do not, Rom. 7.15, 16, 17, 18, 19.

Q. What is the danger of sinning against conscience?

A. Such shall be punished with many stripes, Luk. 12.48.

Q. What is it to live by faith?

A. To rest on Gods promise for every good thing, without using unlawful means, Psal. 84.11, 12. Isa. 28.16.

Q. What is the new Covenant?

A. It is Gods work, whereby he not onely pardons all the sins of all the Elect, and gives them eternal life through the satisfaction of Christ, but also promiseth to take away their stony hearts, and writes his laws in their hearts, and causes them to rellish and savour good things, and vouchsafes to be their God, and takes them to be his people. Heb. 8.10. 11, 12.

Q. What is prayer?

A. Pouring out of the soul before God, 1 Sam. 1.15. Psal. 62.2.

Q. What are the parts of prayer?

A. They are sometimes divided in four parts, 1 Tim. 2.1. yet may we reduce them to three parts: first, confession of sins. Se­condly, petition for grace and favors. Thirdly, thanksgiving for benefits. To which we may add intercessions to turn away judge­ment.

Q. What principal Properties ought there to be in an holy prayer?

A. It ought to be offered from a believing soul, Mat. 21.22. in the name of Christ, Joh. 16.23, 24. from the Spirit assisting with sighs and groans, Rom. 8.26. for things according to the will of God, 1 Joh. 5.14.

Q. What is baptisme?

A. It is a sign of a believers fellowship with Christ in his death, burial, and resurrection; that as his body is buried in water, so his sins are buried through the satisfaction of Christ; and as he riseth out of the water, so he is bound to walk with Christ in newness of life, Rom. 6.3, 4 5, 6. Col. 2.12.

Q. Who are the persons to be baptized?

A. Those who are made Disciples, and make profession of their faith and repentance, Mat. 28.19. Mark. 16.15, 16. Heb. 10.22. Act. 1.37, 38.

Q. What is the end why the Lords Supper was appointed?

A. For the continual remembrance of the sacrifice of Christs death, and remission of sins which believers have therein, 1 Cor. 11.25.26.

Q. What must a Christian do, that he may receive worthily or preparedly?

A. He must examine himself, whether he be in Christ, and whe­ther the Spirit of God dwell in him, 1 Cor. 11.28.

Q. What is the danger of unworthy receiving?

A. Temporal judgement, if they repent; eternal, if they repent not.

Q. Wherefore are hands laid upon believers after baptism?

A. That they may receive a further increase of the Spirit therein, 2 Tim. 1.6.

Q. What is revealed concerning the resurrection of the dead?

A. That all shall rise againe: the godly to the resurrection of eternal life, the wicked to the resurrection of eternal damnation, Dan. 12.2. Joh. 5.28.

Q. With what bodies shall the Saints arise?

A. with the same body in number, but with more glorious qualities, 1 Cor. 15.42, 43, 44, 53. Phil. 3.21.

Q. VVhat follows the resurrection?

A. The last judgement, wherein all shall be judged of every thing done in the body, whether it be good or evil, Joh. 6.40. John 5.28. 2 Cor. 5.10. Revel. 20.12, 13, 14.

FINIS.

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