THE EXCELLENCY OF HOLY COURAGE IN EVIL TIMES.

In which (besides many other seasonable truths) there is shewed.

  • 1. That wicked Men in power are very fierce in their wrath.
  • 2. That Faith will keep a gracious heart from immoderate fear of Men of Authority and Power.
  • 3. Directions in our fear of Au­thority.
  • 4. Directions how to order our selves. If Authority enjoyn unlawful things.
  • 5. How Faith helpeth against the fear of Man opened in fifteen Parti­culars.
  • 6. Arguments against the fear of Men; And wicked men are less to be feared than others.
  • 7. Differences between natural boldness, and Holy Courage from Faith.
  • 8. How far we may lawfully avoid danger by flying. Several Cases of conscience concerning flying.
  • 9. Objections Answered concerning flying.
  • 10. How the heart may be taken off from the fear of Man.
  • 11. The Power of Faith to carry Gods people through the most diffi­cult works and services.
  • 12. How to know whether Faith wil carry us through difficult works.
  • 13. Helps to put on Faith in our undertakings.
  • 14. How Faith carries the Soul through the difficult work of forsaking Egypt.
  • 15. The wickedness of Sodom and Egypt compared with the wickedness of Antichrist.

By Jeremiah Burroughs, Preacher of the Gospel at Stepney and Criple-Gate, London.

Published by

  • Thomas Goodwin,
  • William Greenhil,
  • Sydrach Simpson,
  • Philip Nye,
  • William Bridge,
  • John Yates,
  • William Adderly.

London: Printed by Peter Cole, and Edward Cole Printers and Book-sellers, at the Printing-press in Cornhil, neer the Royal Exchange. 1661.

A Testimony to the Reader.

WHAT we have by way of Preface set before the seve­ral Books already Published of this Reverend Author, Mr. Jeremiah Burroughs, may sufficiently serve for all that are come forth: So that we only need now give Letters Testimonial to the World, that these (viz. The Sermons on Hebrews, the 11. Chapter, 27. verse) We avouch likewise to be the painful and profitable Labors of the same Author, and Pub­lished by the best and most Authentick Copies.

  • Thomas Goodwin,
  • William Greenhil,
  • William Bridge
  • Sydrach Sympson,
  • Philip Nye,
  • John Yates,
  • William Adderley.

Books Printed by Peter Cole, and Edward Cole, Printers and Book-sellers of London, at the Exchange.

Mr. Burroughs WORKS viz. on Matth. 11.
  • 1 Christs call to all those that are Weary and Heavy Laden to come to him for Rest.
  • 2 Christ the Great Tea­cher of Souls that come to him.
  • 3 Christ the Humble Tea­cher of those that come to him.
  • 4 The only Basic way to Heaven.
  • 5 The Excellency of ho­ly Courage.
  • 6 Gospel Reconciliation.
  • 7 The Rare Jewel of Christian Contentment.
  • 8 Gospel-Worship.
  • 9 Gospel-Conversation.
  • 10 A Treatise of Earthly Mindedness.
  • 11 Exposition of the Pro­phesie of Hosea.
  • 12 The Evil of Evils, or the exceeding sinfulness of Sin.
  • 13 Precious Faith.
  • 14 Of Hope.
  • 15 Of Walking by Faith.
Twenty one several Books of Mr. William Bridge, Col­lected into two Vo­lumes. Viz.
  • 1 Scripture Light the most sure Light.
  • 2 Christ in Travel.
  • 3 A Lifting up for the cast down.
  • 4 Sin against the Holy Ghost.
  • 5 Sins of Infirmity.
  • 6 The fals Apostle tried and discovered.
  • 7 The good and means of Establishment.
  • 8 The great things Faith can do.
  • 9 The great things Faith can suffer.
  • 10 The Great Gospel My­stery of the Saints Comfort and Holyness, opened and applied from Christs Priest­ly Office.
  • 11 Satans power to Tempt and Christs Love to, and Care of his People under Temptation.
  • 12 Thankfulness required in every Condition.
  • 13 Grace for Grace.
  • 14 The Spiritual Actings of Faith through Naturall Impossibilities.
  • 15 Evangelical Repen­tance.
  • 16 The Spiritual Life, and in being of Christ in al Beleevers.
  • 17 The Woman of Ca­naan.
  • 18 The Saints Hiding place, &c.
  • 19 Christ Coming &c.
  • 20 A Vindication of Gos­pel Ordinances.
  • 21 Grace and Love be­yond Gifts.
New Books of Mr. Sy­drach Simpson. VIZ.
  • 1 Of Unbelief, or the want of readiness to lay hold on the comfort given by Christ.
  • 2 Not goeing to Christ for Life and Salvation is an exceeding great Sin, yet Pardonable.
  • 3 Of Faith, Or, That be­leeving is receiving Christ; And receiving Christ is be­leeving.
  • 4 Of Coveteousness.
Mr. Hookers New Books in three Volumes: One in Octavo, and two in Quarto.
  • These Eleven New Books of Mr. Thomas Hoooker made in New Edgland. Are arrested in an Epistle by Mr. Thomas Goodwin, and Mr. Philip Nye, To be written with the Authors own hand: None being written by himself before. One Volum being a Com­ment upon Christ's last Prayer on the seventeenth of John.
    Wherein is shewed.
    • 1 That the end why the Saints receive all glorious Grace, is, That they may be one, as the Father and Christ are one.
    • 2 That God the Father loveth the Faithful, as he loveth Jesus Christ.
    • 3 That our Saviour desi­reth to have the Faithful in Heaven with himself.
    • [Page]4 That the happiness of our being in Heaven, is to see Christs Glory.
    • 5 That there is much wanting in the knowledg of Gods Love, in the most able Saints.
    • 6 That the Lord Christ lends dayly direction, accor­ding to the dayly need of his Servants.
    • 7 That it is the desire and endeavor of our Savior, that the dearest of Gods Love, which was bestowed on himself, should be given to his faithful servants,
    • 8 That our Union and Communion with God in Christ, is the top of our hap­piness in Heaven.
  • Ten Books of the Appli­cation of Redemption by the Effectual. Work of the Word, and Spirit of Christ, for the bringing home of lost sinners to God. By Tho­mas Hooker.
Dr. Hills WORKS.
  • The Kings Tryal at the High Court of Justice.
  • Wise Virgin. Published by Mr. Thomas Weld, of New-England.
  • Mr. Rogers on Naaman the Syrian, his Disease and Cure: Discovering the Le­prosie of Sin and Self-love; with the Cure, viz. Self-de­nial and Faith.
  • A Godly and Fruitful Exposition, on the first E­pistle of Peter. By Mr. John Rogers, Minister of the word of God at Dedham in Essex.
  • Mr. Rogers his Treatise of Marriage.
  • The Wonders of the load­stone. By Samuel Ward of Ipswitch.
  • An Exposition on the Gospel of the Evangelist St. Matthew. By Mr. Ward.
  • The Discipline of the Church in New-England By the Churches and Synod there.
  • Mr. Brightmen on the Re­velation.
  • Christians Engagement for the Gospel, by John Goodwin.
  • Great Church Ordinance of Baptism.
  • Mr. Loves Case, containing his Petitions, Narrative, and Speech.
  • A Congregational church is a Catholick Visible Church. By Samuel Stone in New-England.
  • A Treatise of Politick Powers.
  • Dr. Sibbs on the Philip­pians.
  • Vox PacifiCa, or a Per­swasive to Peace.
  • Dr. Prestons Saints sub­mission, and Satans Over­throw.
  • Pious Mans Practice in Parliament time.
  • Barriffs Military Disci­pline.
  • The Immortality of mans Soul.
  • The Anatomist Anatomi­zed.
  • The Bishop of Canter­bury's Speech.
  • Woodwards Sacred Bal­lance.
  • Dr. Owen against Mr. Baxter.
  • Abrahams Offer, Gods Offerings: Being a Sernion by Mr. Herle, before the Lord Major of London.
  • Mr. Spurstows Sermon, being a Pattern of Repen­tance.
  • Englands Deliverance. By Peter Sterry.
  • The Way of God with his People in these Nations By Peter Sterry.
  • Mr. Sympson's sermon at Westminster.
  • Mr. Feaks sermon before the Lord Major.
  • The best and Worst Ma­gistrate. By Obediah Sedg­wick. A sermon.
  • A Sacred Panegyrick. By Stephen Marshal. A sermon.
  • The Craft and Cruelty of the Churches Adversaries. By Matthew Newcomen of Dedham. A sermon.
  • Clows Chyrurgery.
  • Marks of Salvation.
Mr. Stephen Marshals New WORKS. VIZ.
  • 1 Of Christs Interces­sion, or of sins of Infirmity.
  • 2 The high Priviledg of beleevers, They are the Sons of God
  • 3 Faith the Means to feed on Christ.
  • 4 Self-denial.
  • 5 The Saints Duty to keep their Hearts, &c.
  • 6 The Mistery of spiritu­al Life.
Several Physick Books of Nich. Culpeper Physitian and Astrologer; and A. Cole, &c.
  • [Page]1 Idea of Practical Phy­sick in twelve Books.
  • 2 Sennertus thirteen Books of Natural Phylosophy.
  • 3 Sennertus two Treatises. 1. Of the Pox. 2 Of the Gout.

    Sennertus Art of Chyrur­gery in six Parts. 1. Of Tumors. 2. Of Ulcers. 3. Of the Skin Hair and Nailes. 4. Of Wounds. 5. Of Fractures. 6. Of Luxations.

  • 4 Twenty four Books of the Practice of Physick, be­ing the Works of that Lear­ned and Renowned Doctor, Lazarus Riuerius. Physi­tian and Councellor to the late King, &c,
  • 5 Riolanus Anatomy.
  • 6 Veslingus Anatomy of the Body of Man.
  • 7 A Translation of the New Dispensatory, made by the Colledg of Physitians of London. Wherein is ad­ded, The Key to Galens Method of Physick.
  • 8 The English Physitian Enlarged.
  • 9 A Directory for Mid­wives, or a Guide for Wo­men.
  • 10 Galens Art of Physick.
  • 11 New Method both of studying and practising Phy­sick.
  • 12 A Treatise of the Ric­kets.
  • 13 Medicaments for the Poor, Or Physick for the Common People.
  • 14 Health for the Rich and Poor, by Diet without Physick.
  • The London Dispensato­ry in Follo, of a large Cha­racter in Latin.
  • The London Dispensatory in twelves, a smal Pocket Book in Latin.

To the Physical Reader.

THe greatest Reason that I could ever observe why the Medi­cines prescribed in these Books above mentioned, and in ma­ny other Physick Books, do not perform the Cures promised, is, the unskilfulness of those that make up the Medicines. I therefore advise all those that have occasion to use any Medicines to go or send to Mr. Ralph Clarke Apothecary at the sign of the three Crowns on Ludgate-Hill, in London; where they shall be sure to have such as are skilfully and honestly made.

THE CONTENTS OF The Treatise on Hebr. 11.27.

CHAP. 1. The words Opened; Six Doctrines raised.
Page 1
Chap. 2. Handling the first Doctrine.
Page 5
Chap. 3. Handling the second Doctrine; which is.
Page 16
Chap. 4. Directions for the ordering our selves in our feare of Authority.
Page 19
Chap. 5. Some further Directions, how we should order our selves, if we should be injoyned unlawful things.
Page 24
Chap. 6. The Point prosecuted more strictly.
Page 26
Chap. 7. How Faith helpeth against the fear of man; Opened in fifteen particulars.
Page 30
Chap. 8. Arguments against the fear of man, taken from the Consideration of Man, First, as Man in six particulars very observable, 1. What he is, 2. The vanity of Man. 3. The dwelling of man. 4. The pomp of man. 5. The foundation of man. 6. The life of man. Secondly, As a wicked man. 1. His baseness. 2. What he is in the greatness of his power opposing the Godly. 3. How near the enemies [Page] of Gods people are to ruine and destruction.
Page. 44
Chap. 9. How Audaciousness and boldness of spirit differ from Faith. 1. Audaciousness makes us bold to sin. 2. It appears in causes that concern our selves, more then in those which concern God. 3. Boldness the curing of one passion with another, Faith the cu­ring of passion by Grace. 4. Natural boldness makes men rash, and hinders consultation. 5. The cause of immodesty. 6. It is sudden and violent. 7. It proceeds and lives upon outward encouragements. 8. The issue of ignorance. 9. Or despair. 10. More out­ward then inward.
Page. 49
Chap. 10. Sheweth, How far we may lawfully avoid danger without fear of men. 1. Religion doth not teach men to be foolish or desperate. 2. The care of a Christian ought to be to do his duty, rather than to avoid danger, which may fal out in his duty. 3. When God brings his people into danger, he intends more to exercise their graces, then to try their discretion. 4. Though danger may be avoided, yet it is more hon­orable for a Christian to be called to exercise Faith Courage, Patience, and in away of suffering, then his prudence in avoiding it. 5. Take care of mistak­ing discretion, which is not wont to abate the vigor of Gods Graces, but to improve and increase them. 6. A Christians greatest endeavor should be to get his will to submit to God.
Page. 53
Chap. 11. Contains a further Resolution of the for­mer Case in nine particulars. 1. God doth, give leave to his people to fly, and avoid Danger! 2. Such avoiding of Danger (if rightly qualified) argues neither distrust of God, nor defect of Courage. 3. In some cases, Christians not only permitted, but commanded to flee, as 1. When no extraordinary thing depends upon him in that station in which God hath set him. 2. When the hand of God looseth those relations, which would otherwise be obligati­ons [Page] to him. 3. When God gives him an opportunity else where, to bring greater revenues of glory to him. 4. When a Christian is doubtful about his call to suffer at the present. 4. There are some cases wher­in it is utterly unlawful to flee, viz. The contrary to those above named. 5. Mistakes in flying. 1. To flee upon every slight and trival thing. 2. When it tends to their spiritual disadvantage. 3. When having secretly denied the Faith, Men flee to pre­vent the shame of Apostacie. 4. When they look at their own safety alone, without care to fit themselves for further service of God. 6. How to know when avoiding dangers proceeds from Faith, or Cowar­dise. 1. That which is by Faith is not in a Violent, Rash, Heady manner. 2. When it proceeds from Faith, it is joined with a resolution to return and bear wittness to the truth, when God cals. 3. When we use the liberty we have to get hearts to return. 7 The case of publique Officers, Magistrates, Mini­sters, especially the latter.
Page. 58
Chap. 12. Containing the eighth particular, to wit. Answering some objections made against flying. ob. 1. Men may not leave their country. Answ. In two particulars. Ob. 2. Should none stay to suffer. Ans. ob. 3, God Alsufficient to help in greatest dangers. Ans. ob. 4. Fleeing a ceasing to give testimony to the truth of God. Answ. ob. 5. Many of Gods ser­vants had power to fly, and did not. Answ. ob. 6. What shall become of those left behind, if they are forsaken by men of ability. Answ. ob. 7. If men would master their fears, and stay a while, the cloud would blow over. Answ. Ninth particular, Dire­rections for ordering our selves when we do fly. 1. Leave as little guilt behind in the place as you can. 2. Carry your selves so that the name of God may not suffer in the place to which you flee. 3. Behave your selves as exiled people, as men mortified to the [Page] things of the world. 4. Get a contented frame of heart. 5. When you are delivered keep your selves in the fervency of your spirits. 6, Let those from whom you flee have your prayers.
Page 70
Chap. 13. How the Heart may be taken off from the fear of man. First, it is against the solemn charge of God. Secondly, It is an Idolizing of the Creature. Thirdly, It becomes not the State and Spirit and profession of a Christian. Fourthly, It dishonors God, and the Cause of God. Fifthly, It mightily heartens the enemies of Gods people. Sixthly, It is threatened as a great judgment of God upon a people. Seventhly, The evil effects of the sinful fear of man 1. It distracts our thoughts. 2. Weakens the heart. 3. Eats out the true fear of God. 4. It indisposeth us to any service. 5. Insnares a Christian. 6. It. causeth other desperate fears. 7. Procures the judg­ment of God in our destruction.
Page 78
Chap. 14. Another Doctrine. Much difference be­tween Gods peoples spirits at several times, Illustra­ted by examples. Reasons, 1. From the different dispositions their hearts are in to receive truths. Which proceeds from Three Causes, First, the abate­ment of the strength that is opposite to that truth. Secondly. The stirrings or activity of those habits which are sutable to truth. Thirdly, The pre­valences of self interest. Reas. 2. From the differ­ent representations of Truth. Reas. 3. Because the Graces of men do not burn so cleerly and purely at al times Reas. 4. From the weakness of Grace the parts and members of it are not consolidated. Reas. 5. Because our hearts are sometimes filled with more heavenly consolations then at other times. Reas. 6. From the different breathings of the spirit of God. Reas. 7. Because men have somtimes a more clear and distinct sight of their call to suffer [Page] then at other times. 3. Particular directions in this Case. Reas. 8. The different tempers of mans Body. Reas. 9. From the difference in the encou­raging occurrency of Gods providence.
Page 97
Chap. 15. Containing the First Use, Which teacheh us to entreat God not to take the advantage of us when our hearts are low.
Page 110.
Chap. 16. Another Ʋse, to teach us not to be discouraged at this different temper of our Spirits, but to be humbled for it. Five Helps against discourag­ing thoughts. Two objections.
Page 113
Chap. 17. Containing the Third Ʋse of Direction: branched into four particulars. 1. If couragious, and fit for service, give God the praise. Four reasons for it. 2. Learn to rebuke unbelief. 3. Labor to keep your hearts up. The manner how that may be done, in eight particulars. 4. Improve this gracious working of God.
Page 119
Chap. 18. A fourth Ʋse. To be restless till we get our selves into a good frame.
Page 128
Chap. 19. A Fifth Ʋse: To see the misery of being al­waies unfit for service. A Sixt Ʋse: To teach us to long for Heaven.
Page 130
Chap. 20. Shewing the power of Faith to carry through the most difficult work. Question, What is there in Faith which helps the Soul? Answered, in four Particulars. 1. It settles the Heart on the surest ground, which is Gods call, and Promises. 2. It fetches in the greatest strength. 3. It assists with the highest encouragements. 5. Faith of its own Na­ture is a mighty strong principle. The most illustrious work of Faith. Thirteen remarkable things concern­ing Faith, and the difficulties which it breaks through.
Page 133.
Chap. 21. Ʋses of the Doctrine, Use, First, Let none think God an hard Master, when he puts them upon [Page] service, because he affords them a principle to carry them through. Use. Secondly, To Beleevers that they should expect to be put upon difficult things. 1. Four considerations against discouragements. It is not to be accounted an affliction to be put upon di­fficult things for 4. Reasons. Use, Thirdly, Shew­ing it can be no concluding argument against a work because there are hindrances. Use, Fourthly, When you have been carried through difficult services con­sider, what it was which supported you.
Page 145
Chap. 22. Quest. How to know whether Faith wil carry us through difficult works, Answered in sever­al particulars, 1. Faith Goes upon spiritual grounds motives, and ends. 2. Makes men sollicitous and careful for the enjoyment of Gods presence with them 3. Causes men to carry themselves in a Gracious manner. 4. To have an high esteem of the name of God. 5 Makes them careful, that they may not be fru­strated of their end. 6. It makes men satisfied with God Alone. 7. Faith is a continued work. That Faith, which brought you out, will carry you through.
Page 156
Chap. 23. Containing other uses of the point. Use, 5. Shews the reason why we faile in any thing we do; it is for want of Faith. Use, 6. Labor to rise in indignation against your unbelief. Use, 7. Consider what it is to faile in that work which con­cernes thy eternal estate.
Page 162
Chap. 24. Helps to put on Faith in any undertaking. 1. Set before you the example of our great Captain Jesus Christ. 2. Make preparation for the work of Faith by Humiliation. 3. Renew your Faith in the Covenant of Grace. 4. In difficult times, set Faith on work to purifie the heart. 5. Take heed of shifting waies and dependances. 6. Set loose from your own ends. 7. Cast your selves upon the word of God. 8. Plead the word [Page] with God in Prayer. 9. Refuse no meanes that God puts into your hands. 10. Do nothing with a slavish spirit. 11. Be not discouraged by miscarriages that are past. 12. Take heed of the disturbance of passion in your work. 13. Observe the dependances one work hath upon an­other. 14. Lisson not to Temptations. 15. Take heed of perverse reasonings. 16. Take heed of disorderly working, in four cases. 17. Ʋse resolution and courage. 18. Look on your selves as Gods Instruments. 19. Be constant though you find nothing come of it. 20. Encrease not the difficulty by your carriage. 21. Look most at your Encouragements. 22. Ʋse not the dif­ficulty in the way to reason against the work. 23. Labor to harden your selves by Faith against al dif­ficulties.
Page 165
Chap. 25. Containing a second consideration of the Text, to wit, and Allegoricall interpretation of Moses forsaking Egypt by Faith. Warrant for Allegoricall interpretations. Forsaking this world, renouncing our naturall estate, a difficult work▪ Fourteen reasons of it.
Page 184
Chap. 26. How Faith carries the Soul through the Difficult work of forsaking Egypt. Their Works of Faith. 1. The discovering work, in two particulars. 2. The relying Work. 3. The Surrendring work. Question Resolved concern­ing the force of Natural Conscience, in three Particulars, shewing the great difference between the actings of Faith and Natural Conscience. Ap­plication, 1. Hence see the Ground of Miscarriages. 2. A Rule of Direction; Incouragements to Faith and Beleeving. 3. Let delivered Persons see what delivered them. Faith which acts by a power with­out us. Twelve Considerable and useful Directions [Page] in this matter.
Page 187
Chap. 26. Containing the second Allegoricall sence of the words, viz. Concerning Antichrist. The wickedness of Sodom and Egypt, compared with the wickedness of Antichrist. 1. Idolatry. 2. Cruelty. The bondage of Christians under Antichrist. 1. Outward, in Estates, and lives. 2. Inward, a Soul bondage. The baseness of this shewed in several particulars, concerning Ceremonies worse then Egyptian bondage. Faith must deliver us, Deliver­ance difficult in several particulars. The work of Faith in delivering people from this bondage, in 6. or 7. Considerations Quest. Whether men may not reject the yoke of Antichrist upon other grounds besides Faith? Ans. In 10. Particu­lars.
Page 199

[Page 1]THE EXCELLENCY OF HOLY COURAGE IN EVIL TIMES.

Hebrews, 11.27.

By faith he forsook Egypt, not fearing the wrath of the King, for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

CHAP. I.

The words Opened; Six Doctrines raised.

HAVING finished Moses his Choyce, namely what he did choose, the ex­cellency of his spirit in making such a choice, and the principle of faith that enabled him thereunto, from this Chapter vers. 25.26. I now proceed to speak of another excellent fruit of the [Page 2] faith of this Worthy of the Lord, as it is set forth in vers. 27. and here we are to observe two things.

  • 1. The act of his Faith.
  • 2. The Argument by which it was strengthened to act.

First, In the act we are to observe, two things.

  • 1. That notable work of his going from Egypt notwithstanding the wrath of the King.
  • 2. His constancy, he endured in all that he did.

Secondly, The argument by which his faith was strengthened, was that sight he had of the In­visible God.

The opening of the words with the several Doc­trines in the Text.

By faith he forsook Egypt] By this forsaking of Egypt the faith of Moses was much set out: for him to undertake such a work as that was, to carry so many thousands out of Egypt into a wilderness, not knowing what might become of them, they being unable to resist their enemies, and not knowing what provision they should have, this was very much.

Not fearing the wrath of the King] He could not but think he was in danger of Pharaoh, and his company to bee pursued by them: for howsoever Pharaoh seemed willing at last to give them leave to be gone▪ yet such was the disposition of Pharaoh (which Moses was not ignorant of) that he might quickly change his mind, and follow them with all his power to cut them off, as it appeares he did. Yet Moses feared no such matter, but he went on his way for he endured, as seeing him who is invisible.

[Page 3]Object. But it seems Moses did forsake Egypt for fear of the wrath of the King.

Answ. It is true, Time was that in forsaking E­gypt he did fear the wrath of the King. in Exod. 2.14. it is said, Moses seeing two Hebrews smiting one another, he said to him that did the wrong, Why smitest thou thy fellow? And he said, Who made thee a Prince and a Judge over us, Intendest thou to kil me as thou didst the Egyptian? And then Moses fea­red, and upon that he fled.

And if we understand the Text of this his first forsaking Egypt, we may thus reconcile the Apostle with that place. First he fled not fearing so much the King as that he should offend God; if he offered himself to the danger, and did not make an escape, he should have tempted God by presu­ming: Thus Osiander.

Or thus, He fled not for fear in respect of him­self, but least his calling should be hindred if he staied: So Simler.

But these words are rather to be understood of his second forsaking of Egypt. The first time he for­sook Egypt out of fear; but the second time he for­sook Egypt out of Faith, and he did not fear: after he had slain the Egyptian he was afaid, but when he came to take al the People of Israel with him, then he forsook Egypt and did not fear the wrath of the King.

From whence we have these Observations.

Doct. 1. First, That wicked men (especial­ly when they have power) are very fierce and outragious in their wrath when any thing crosseth them.

[Page 4]Certainly, Moses apprehended this wrath of Pha­raoh great, in that the Holy Ghost makes it a notable fruit of his Faith not to fear the wrath of the King. It appeared his wrath was great, in regard of the power he raised against them, had it not been for Moses. Faith he would have feared.

Doct. 2. Secondly, Faith wil keep a gra­cious heart from immoderate fear of all the men in the world, let them be never so great, and have never so much power.

Doct. 3. Thirdly, There is a great deal of difference between the spirits of Gods People at somtimes and other times.

There was a time when Moses was afraid, now he goes on and is not afraid

Doct. 4. Fourthly, Faith wil carry a man through very hard services, and difficult works that God cals him unto.

Doct 5. Fifthly, That it is the honor of the People of God to endure in the waies of God, notwithstanding all the hardships they meet withall.

Doct. 6. Sixthly, The sight of an invisible God is a strong means to carry one on in the waies of God, notwithstanding al oppositions and difficulties they meet withall.

These are the Doctrinal Conclusions we have in verse 27.

CHAP. II.

Handling the first Doctrine.

Doct. 1. That the wrath of wicked men, especially when they have power, usually is very fierce and outragious.

FOr the proof of this Point. It must be acknow­ledged that somtimes God indeed restrains it, but usually it is so. There is in every one a great deal of distempered wrath that doth break forth and vent it self when occasion serves and when temptation comes, in most vile and fearful effects and fruits. A furious man (saith the Holy Ghost in Prov. 29.22) aboundeth in transgression: Those that have hearts distempered with Passion, Anger, and Wrath: they are such as abound in transgressi­there breaks most horrible things from them, when they are in the heat of their passion and anger, not caring almost what they say or do, all the Commands of God are broken then.

We read of Moses, when he came down from the Mount, Exod. 32.19. and saw the people in their sin, his anger was stirred, and he broke both the Tables: but there his anger was good, for though both the Tables were broke, yet not one Command­ment was broke: But usually our wrath and anger is not good, and in our passion all the Command­ments in both Tables are broke.

The Hebrew word that signifieth to transgress, [Page 6] doth signifie Anger, because it is seldom that any in their passion do not transgress. It is the speech of one, that if there were two principles of things (as the Heathens are conceited there is, one prin­ciple from whence comes all good, and another principle from whence comes all evil) then Anger should be the principle of all Evil, and God the principle of all Good: much evil and very fearfull things come from wrath when it is distempered and let out.

First: Because it doth wonderfully blind the Judgment of men. Anger hinders the mind that it cannot see that which is true. And therefore in Job. 5.13. it is said, The counsell of the froward is carried headlong.

It is a notable passage that I read of a poor Wo­man, that had her Cause pleaded before Phillip King of Macedon, who passed sentence in his passion, and shee apprehending her self wronged, saith shee I appeal, he smiled at that, being Soveraign, and said, To whom wilt thou appeal? saies shee, I ap­peal from thee when thou art angry, to thee when thou art not angry: noting that Anger blinds the judgment.

Secondly: Passion and Wrath is compared to Fire, and fire is active, and quickly goes beyond its bounds, and then there is no hold of it, but much evill may come of it, and so it is with Wrath.

Thirdly: Much evill comes of Passion being in­ordinate, because, being as distempered Fire that comes from a Disease, it eats out the natural heat: as in the Body, the heat of the Feaver that is di­stempered, it consumes the true natural heat. And so, though there be some natural heat, or some kind of goodness, and kindness naturally in a man, that heat and goodness is taken away if he be in any pas­sion; And therefore one brings in this comparison. [Page 7] Kindness is as one that is very hot naturally, when pas­sion comes, it doth consume and take away the good na­tural heat, and he is altogether carried on in a distem­pered heat.

Fourthly: Wrathful passion doth warm all the Lusts that lodg in the heart, and put an activeness into them, whereas before they were cold, and like Snakes, being cold do not stir, but if they come to be warm, then they craule about and sting: And so many corruptions lie in the hearts of Men and Wo­men, that are congealed with cold, and like Snakes lie and do not stir; but when the heat of passion comes, it puts a heat into all those corruptions, and then they craul forth and make wofull work.

Now in all men there is a distempered Wrath, and fearful fruits come from it, if it be not mortifi­ed: but when there is power joyned with passion then it is outragious indeed. As we see here, How violent in wrath was Pharaoh against Moses, and therefore the Holy Ghost commends Moses that he was not afraid of the passion that was joyned with power. So Saul. How violent was his passion when once he had power? He seemed to be a man of a very quiet spirit▪ whilest he was in a private con­dition, and withall at his first coming to the King­dom (as you may read in 1 Sam. Chap. 10.) but when he was warm in the Throne, and had power more settled in his hand, then you may read how outragious his passion was, as in 1 Sam. 22 18.19. he caused Doeg to slay at one time fourscore and five Priests of the Lord, and Nob to be smitten with the edge of the sword and all this because David his supposed enemy had been there, and as Doeg infor­med him, Abimelech the Priest had enquired of the Lord for him.

You may observe here how outragious men will [Page 8] be in their wrath, when it is for themselves, when in the mean time in the cause of God they can be quiet enough.

As when God commanded Saul to slay Agag and the Amalekites, and all their Cattel, then he was loth to be so outragious, but out of compassion he spared some for Sacrifice, but then the Cause was Gods: now when it was his own Cause, then slay all, Priests and Men, and Women, and Sucklings, and Oxen, and Sheep, and all: Thus many in the Cause of God are content to forbear and pass by many things.

Many that have but power in Families, Parents or Masters: if their Children, or Servants sin against God, they can put up that, but let their Children or Servants offend them, and then they are outra­gious in a fearful manner. Thus violent and fierce is wrath where it hath power.

And so Rehoboam, when he had power he an­swered the People rigidly, in 1 Kings 12.14. My little Finger shall be thicker than my Fathers Loyns, my Father hath chastized you with Whips, but I will chastize you with Scorpions.

And you know likewise the example of Jero­boam, having power in his hand, when the Prophet came from God, and prophesied against the Altar. Lay hold of him saies he, as it is in 1 Kings 13.4. And so Jehojakim, when the Will was read, he bad them cut it with a Penknife and throw it into the Fire. As you may read in Jer. 36.23. Even graci­ous men having power in their hands in their passi­on wil do many evil things. As Asa the King a gra­cious man, when the Preacher angred him he strook him, See it in 2 Chron. 16.10. But where there is no grace, there it is outragious beyond measure. As Zerxes a great Captain being angry, he shewed it a­ginst the water, for he cut a great River, and made it run another way.

[Page 9]The Reasons why wrath and anger are so outra­gious where there is power withal, are these.

First, Because power doth puff up the heart with pride and pride is the ground of passion: So much as men are passionate so much pride is not morti­fied in them. But as one man through the disposi­tion of his body, may be more subject to passion than another, So some by the disposition of the body may be more subject to pride also: Power and strength do much puff up the hearts of men and therefore in Psalm. 90.10. It is said, Their strength is Labor and Sorrow. Eorum certitu­do, A. Mont. Interli [...]. The word translated strength signifies pride, for they are ready to think the strength and power they have, is given them for some excellency and worth that is in them above others, whereas it may be far otherwise. It may bee God raiseth them above others, not out of esteem to them but out of indig­nation to others, that he means to scourge by them.

Anastatius Arenus, tells us of a Monk who was raised to be a Bishop over a place, which was a ve­ry ill place, and he began to bee puffed up in pride that he was raised to honour above others: there was a voyce heard, Not because you are worthy, but because they have deserved such an ill man. So God raiseth some to honor, not for any excellency in them, but out of indignation unto others.

Secondly, Men that have power are mighty fierce in their wrath, because when any thing cross them it comes mighty unexpectedly, they cannot think any dare cross them. And therefore when the three Children would not submit to that which Nebu­chadnezzar [Page 10] commanded, hee was full of fury, and his countenance was Changed: what dare you resist me? do you know who I am?

It is reported of one Canutus that was a King, being puffed up with flatterers, thought that all creatures must submit to him, and therefore he caused his Chaire to bee set by the Sea, and gave his command that they should not presume to come neare his Seat, because (saith he) you and the earth I sit upon is mine. So men that are in power think all is theirs, and therefore if any thing come cross unto them it is unexpected, and that causeth them to be so outragious.

Thirdly, There is naturally a revengful Spirit in men, and where there is power men do run upon it, and think it their only glory to revenge: it is the glory of God to be mercyfull, and yet men think it a glory to revenge,

Fourthly, Where men have power they look u­pon every offence through their own greatness. God may justly look at every sin against him as very great, because he looks through his own greatness; and men that have power will be like God. Men that have any greatness and above others, they are ready to look at all offences committed against them as through their owne greatness, and there­fore think it unsufferable.

Fifthly, Besides, Men that are above others look upon all under them as meane and contemptible, as if it were better for them to perish as filth and dross then for them to be crossed, and prize the content of their humors more then the life and welfare of al under them.

[Page 11]Sixthly, Further, Those that are above others have nothing to keep in their wrath, as meaner men, though their anger be up yet it is kept in by higher power: but where there is nothing to keep it in, it will break over bounds.

Seventhly, Again they have many flatterers that stir up their wrath, and put oyl into the fire, as the young men did Rehoboam.

Eighthly, They think there is no way to maintaine their authority but their wrath, when as nothing doth more hinder the authority of a Go­vernour then distempered passion, nothing doth more hinder the reverence that Governours should have then passion.

Ninthly, Again, They think it beseemes their greatness for them to have more wrath, and more displeasure then others. It is a notable expression that Seneca hath It is not the greatness of the mind that causeth wrathful anger, but the swelling of the mind. A leg that hath the gout, is bigger than the other, but it is not the commendation of the Leg, but the swel­ling of the Leg. So Antiochus Epiphanes was called by so me Deifical Epiphanes, yet the Holy Ghost calls him a vile person. And so Rehoboams coun­sellors might tell him, this becomes thy great spi­rit, but the Scripture calls him a child.

Tenthly, Again, They have nothing else to satis­fie them, nothing to make up any thing that crosseth them, therefore when they are crossed they are out­ragious in their wrath.

ƲSE. 1.

Hence wee Learne, that it is a great judgment [Page 12] for any people to be under the power of those that are evil, and passionate, because their passion will be outragious, and then fearful, lamentable and greivous fruits are like to follow upon it.

ƲSE 2.

Hence see, that those who are under others which are passionate, have cause to seek God much for them, and to intreat God to moderate their passion and to quiet it. In Psal. 76.10. It is said, God re­straines the remainder of wrath: and therefore upon that word seek God for those that are in place, and above others, that God would be pleased to mode­rate their passion.

ƲSE. 3.

Hence see what cause we have to admire Gods goodness to his Church in preserving his Church, notwithstanding there are so many that have power over it, and are crossed mightily by the waies of Gods people, that it is not swallowed up by them It is the Lord that sayth to the proud waves, hither you shal go and no further, Job 30.11. And that place in Psal. 76.10. Is further notable for this purpose, Surely the wrath of man shall praise thee. It is God that turnes the wrath of man to his praise: & hee doth not onely preserve his Church notwith­standing it, but makes it worke for the good of his Church.

ƲSE. 4.

Here we have a good use of direction to those that have power over others, as Parents and Go­vernors, to take heed this power be not abused; [Page 13] and therefore consider with your selves:

1. Who is it hath given me this power, Is it not the Lord?

2. Again, Consider how have I provoked the wrath of God against my self, and yet God doth not use his power a [...]ainst me? those that are over others and are given to anger should think, How is God provoked and crossed? and if I do think be­cause I am crossed to put forth all my power against them that cross me, how is it that God is so patient, and that he doth not put forth his power against me? Though I am over them, I am under God, and God might justly put forth all his power in the ex­ecution of his wrath against me, because I that have but little power when I am crossed, I put forth all my power against them.

3. And then in the third place: Consider the po­wer that you have over others, when it is the po­wer of authority, it is a very glorious thing, it is that which hath a part of the Image of God in it: Wil you now then take your Authority, and Power to subject it to your lusts & make that an Instrument of the Devil which is a part of the Image of God? it must needs be a great evil, and the more authority & power any have, to use it in the Devils service, the more evil it is. Josephs speech to his Brethren is very observable in Gen. 50.19. when they were a­fraid least he should at last revenge himself upon them, he answers them, Fear not, for am I in the place of God? There are many interpretations given of this, but it may wel carry this sense with it. That power I have is from God and under God, yea it puts me into the place of God, therefore I dare not abuse it to make it serviceable to revenge. The Lord is to have the Glory, is to have the Glory of our strength, the Psalmist hath such an expression. Hath God given you strength & power over others? let God have the glory of your strength and do not abuse it.

[Page 14]Many think it is a disparagement to yeild to o­thers when they cross them, but they do not think it much to yeild to the Devil. Saith the Scripture Ephes. 4.26.27. Let not the Sun go down upon your wrath, neither give place to the Devil: Rather give way to any Creature than to the Devil: if any cross you, and you let your wrath go on against them, you give way to the Devil, but rather give way to any Creature.

4. Again, It is a most pestiferous force not to be resisted: the greater a man is above others, the less passion he should have.

5. Again, Consider God may give you power ra­ther in wrath than in mercy. A learned Man said. You must distinguish between that which God gives in good pleasure, and that which he gives when he is angry: Whatsoever we have from God in a way of favor, or in a way of anger: whatsoe­ver God gives me in love, I must use it in fear, least God should not have honor from it: and if God give it me in his anger, I must take heed I do not a­buse it to my perdition.

Many times God permits some to be above others nor only in his wrath to them that are under them, but in wrath to themselves, that they being above others might fal and break their necks: and there­fore they that have place above others had need take heed they do not abuse it: Consider, have you used it for God? When you had power for God you were content then to forbear, and shall you now use your power for the maintenance of your Lusts?

ƲSE 5

Hence we learn, seeing those that are in power have such wrathfull and distempered passions, It [Page 15] should teach us to take heed of crossing any in po­wer above us. Many are under others, and yet have higher Spirits than those above them. It is not good to stir up a Lion; and if we have not a good call to it, we shall have little comfort in any thing we suffer. Let us go on in the way of God, and wee shall have false accusations enough against us, that will provoke those that are in authority, though we do nothing to provoke them justly.

ƲSE 6

The last Use that I wil name from hence is this: The more ordinary and usual it is for any that have power in their hands to be thus wrathful, the more honorable it is, they should be able to cross their anger and their passion. It is a blessed thing for a Man or Woman in power, to think it is more Glo­ry to use their power to cross their passion, than to use their power to revenge them that cross them. You think if you can make others to yeild to you, that is a brave thing: but you that have power o­ver others be convinced of this, that it is a greater honor to use your power to command your own passion by, than to use it to make others to yeild to it.

Phillip the second King of Spain, being intent about some great business in writing a Letter to the Pope, and requiring some hast, he sate up al night, and being done, his Secretary standing by, and be­ing half asleep, he bade him throw some sand upon i [...], and he took the Standish, and powred Ink upon it: now though the King was crossed, yet he went away and put it up and made nothing of it. What a shame is it then for Christians to be so revengeful? And that Phillip being spoken ill of by one Cradon, some put him in mind to revenge himself on him, [Page 16] but he sent him many Gifts, and spake well of him, then he asked what Cradon spake of him, say they, no man better: then saith he, I am a better Physitian than you. This is an honorable thing in whomsoe­ver it is.

And thus much for this first point. That the wrath of wicked men when they have power, is very fierce and outragious.

CHAP. III.

Handling the second Doctrine; which is,

Doct. 2. That Faith helps against the immoderate fear of men of Authority, of any Creature.

FIrst: Those that are Godly ought to have, and have due & reverend respect unto all those that are in Authority: though they be not afraid of the displeasure of the King, or of any in Authority, in the Cause of God, yet those that are truly gracious and Godly, do give due reverence to them, in their persons and in their Authority and power. Though they are not so basely afraid as others are, to yeild to any thing against God, or Conscience, yet so far as they may, no people in the world give that reve­rent respect unto Authority, as Gods people do.

Secondly: None do it up on such good grounds: because they do it for Conscience sake, and submit [Page 17] to authority, further than others do: they dare not in their secret thoughts have any ill mind against authori­ty: and they do it, because they see the image of God upon them, not to save themselves.

3. And Thirdly. None do feare authority in so good a manner; they do it willingly and cheerefully, not by force, but as being the will of God they should do it; it is agreeable to the disposition of their souls for to do it. Naturally, no man would be under another, but it is agreeable to grace to be so, and therefore no such subjects, as those that are Godly, if it be rightly con­sidered.

It hath been a scandal cast upon Religion in all ages that they did contemne authority, and did not give that feare that was due to authority. As Pharoah said, they would rebell against him; and so they said in Nehemiahs time Just in Martyr and Tertullian, were fain to make apologies for the Christians in this parti­cular, to convince them, that none were more obedi­ent to authority then they.

Tertullian hath a notable expression in his apology. What is the reason you do not count us obedient to au­thority? because we will not worship Idolls, and pray to the Idols for your Governors? yet we pray to the True God for your Governors. Like men in these days, be­cause they wil not yeild their Consciences prostrate to authority, and seek the honor of it in an unlawful way, therefore they are not subject to them, when as, none are so truly subject unto men, as those that are obedi­ent unto God.

And therefore we read of Constantius he took this course to know his true subjects: he proclaimed, that whosoever would not worship Idols must be banished the Court, and those that would, should stay: now some rather than they would leave the Court, and be banished, they would sacrifice to Idols: others left [Page 18] the Court: upon this he chose those that left the Court, and banished the others: sayes he If you be not faithful to God, you wil not be faithful to me.

Can any man submit truly upon right grounds to a Justice of Peace, that wil not yeild to the King? if he submit to the inferior, he wil submit to the superi­or. And so those that upon right grounds wil submit to authority, it is upon this ground, because they are subject to the authority of God: and indeed there can be no trust to any to be faithful to authority, but those that are Godly. As that notable example of Ho­mizda, that was a great man in the King of Persi's court, and the King would fain have perswaded him from Christian Religion, by all the flattering argu­ments he could, and to get him to sacrifice to Idols: sayth he O King be not so eloquent to thy destruction: who shal think him to be faithful to man, that is not faithufl unto God? if so be we do not obey the autho­rity of God, how can we be obedient unto you. And therefore those that are Godly do give a due, and reve­rent respect unto authority though they do not fear any authority in the cause of God, yet so far as God requi­res, their hearts do fear, and they do reverence them.

Before I come to the point, to shew how faith doth help against the feare of men, I will give some helps for the ordering your selves in the right feare of the au­thority of men; though we must not feare it in any way against God, yet we must feare it: Faith wil teach us not to feare it one way, and yet it wil teach us to fear it another way. As the Apostle saith in Rom. 13.7. Give feare to whom fear belongs. It is a Christi­ans duty to give feare to whom feare is due. Luther speaking of obedience to authority. Saith he; I had rather obey than work miracles. And that is a very observable place we have in the Epistle of Peter; where the Apostle speaking of those that God wil come in judgment against, amongst the rest he reckons those [Page 19] that despise government: so that we see God would not have us to despise and contemne Government.

CHAP. 4.

Directions for the ordering our selves in our feare of Authority.

WHerefore for the ordering our selves in our fear of authority, and those that are above us these things must be laid down as a Ground.

1. First. That wee must feare no authority but as under a higher.

2. Secondly, We must distinguish between authority and men in authority.

3. Thirdly, It is necessary for us to know the sever­al callings that men have to their places of authority.

4. Fourthly, It is necessary to know the limits of authority.

5. Fiftly, It is neccessary to know what we should do in case authority is abated.

6. Lastly, We shal give some rules of direction to order our selves in our passive obedience to authority when it is abused.

These six things containe this part of handling the point, and I wil be breife in them.

First, This must be laid as a Ground. No authority is to be feared and obeyed but in order to a higher. I remember their usual expression that was wont to be in England in their way of Jubilies and commissions was this. In all things be sure there be no prejudice to the right of the King. And so among the Turks when any were in the place of Judgment or authority, one goes and proclaimes before him; Let nothing be done a­gainst the truth. It is reported of Frederick the Third [Page 20] being asked who were those that were most deare to him he gave them this answer. Those that feare God more than me. And likewise it is an expression of Augustine He doth not contemne power That doth choose to serve a higher power. O Emperor, (saith he) give us leave not to serve thee in such and such things, for you threaten prison, and God he threatens judgment and hell.

It is true, Man in Authority is Gods vicegerent, but not only God is to be feared above his Vicegerent but in every man there is a vicegerent that is to be obeyed rather than any other vicegerent, as the Conscience of man; so that man comes to be obeyed in the third ranke First, God is the highest. Then there is a Second, that is Gods immediate Vicegerent, that is Conscience. And then there is a third, that is, the authority of man: He is a Vicegerent that is under these two. Nothing therefore is to be done against the highest authority, no nor against the authority of conscience.

Secondly. For our direction in our subjection un­to those that are above us, and our right feare of them: wee must distinguish between authority and men in au­thority. That is authority that is enjoyned by vertue of a law-ful power that is given to any man in authori­ty: but if so be any man in authority shal enjoine any thing that is not by vertue of that authority that is gi­ven him, though it be good, then it is not authority, but his own mind, and his own will. As Sampson said, If I do thus and thus I am as another man. So a man in authority may be as another, because he doth only enjoine his own wil and therefore to disobey the mind and wil of men in authority, is not alwaies to disobey authority, if the thing be not en­joined by vertue of authority.

In the Third place. It is needfull for us in ordering our selves in our feare, to know the several calls that men have to the place of authority. This must be ta­ken [Page 21] for granted. All lawful authority is from God yea the power of Heathens is from God.

But there is a two fold call to the place of Govern­ment and authority.

First, An immediate call; as God called Saul and David to the place of Government.

Secondly. A mediate call: and that is when God by men doth put, either a particular person, or such a family into a place of government or authority.

Now when any shal be brought into government by those that have lawful power, though it be of man, yet they are in their place as by God, and are to be obeyed not only for feare, but for Conscience sake.

It is very needful for to know what it is that first ties a mans conscience to be in subjection unto an other man: there was a time when such men or such families had not the power of authority; now there must be somthing that must give them power, it is not his strength that can do it, nor conquest, because my con­science is not tied to submit to one that hath more strength than I, as my governor, but only to regard my own safety; and then if another come and get the victory, am I to leave my former Sovereign and sub­mit to him? That will not be granted, that wee may upon any terms relinquish our Sovereign to goe to an­other, because he hath more strength; but what then must tie my conscience? it must be some signification of Gods mind that this is my Governor, and this must be either immediately from Heaven, by the Prophets, or it must be by inclining the hearts of those that have power to put one in authority, to put this man, or this family into authority, and so far as Gods mind is de­clared to me, so far I am bound in conscience to sub­mit.

4. And from hence follows a fourth thing, and therein you must consider, how farr this authority is [Page 22] limited. If no particular man hath no authority, any further than God reveals his mind; and God now re­veales his mind, either immediately from Heaven, or by inclining the hearts of those that have power to give au­thority, to give it to such an one; then the limitations must be according to that power that conferts authori­ty. If God doth immediatly confer authority, then it is to be limited by that, but if God doth confer power by man, then it is to be limited by that.

In several Kingdoms and Countries there are several Governments: one Country is governed by States: an­other Country a government of Monarchy; and other Countries other kinds of Governments: what is it that makes this difference of governments? of necessity the difference must be made by that power that doth first confer this authority, and so it is to be limited by that authority.

5. But suppose Those that are limitted: shall abuse their authority and go beyond it?

To that I answer. The persons that are in authority are to be reverenced, but their abuse may be two fold. When they command a thing that is unlawful: or when they do command a thing that is beyond their authori­ty. As suppose a Lord should command a thing that is beyond his Lordly power and belongs to a Prince; if he doth command any thing that is beyond those limits where with he hath been limited from God by man, then it is not disobedience to authority to diso­bey, because authority doth not enjoine it: If it be beleeved, there must be power to confer authority, and this power must be from God, or man, and if God or man do not confer it, then they have no authority.

But suppose. That any that are in authority do command a thing that is unlawful to be done and yet they do not go beyond the limits of authority?

How can that be? It is true, God gives commission only to command things lawful, yet man may confer [Page 23] so much power upon others, as they shal by vertue of that power is given to them by man, command that which is unlawful: I do not say rightly, but their power wil work to it: Now if any by the power which is given to them by man, shal command that which is unlawful, though we should not actively obey, yet we must obey pas­sively, or slie: we must not right our selves by way of mutiny, or rebellion. And my ground is this, because it is between governor and Subject, as it is between man and man.

Suppose, another man hath in his possession that which is my right, yet I cannot violently go and take my right from him; I may justly be dealt withal as one that doth wrong, and be proceeded against as a malefac­tor; I must be content to suffer til such time as I can legally recover my right out of his hands: And so if one in authority hath that in possession given him which he should not have, as to command things that are un­lawful, by our forefathers or our own subjecting our selves to him, I must suffer til I can recover my right out of his hand in a legal way by the power that first gave it him.

And this wil answer a great objection.

The Christians in the Primitive times, that lived under persecuting Emperors, they commanded them to worship Idolls, that was a thing that was unlawful, yet they would not rise against them, though they had strength enough, but rather suffered. And upon this some think, whatsoever men in authority do command, there is no way to right it but by passive obedience. It is true the Christians did not rise, but did suffer passive­ly, because the Emperors had power given into their hands, and they could not recover their right out of their hands, in a legal way, by the same power that gave them power.

So that all wil arise to these three conclusions.

The Firsts is this That al true authority is from God.

[Page 24]Secondly, So farr as authority is administred lawfully. We are to submit, not only for fear but for Conscience sake.

Thirdly, If authority be administred unlawfully, yet so long as it is authority, there must be passive o­bedience or flying.

This shal suffice to give some light unto the bond of obedience to those that are obvoe us.

CHAP. 5.

Some further Directions, how we should order our selves, if we should be injoined unlawful things.

BUt to give some further rules of Direction; if we should be enjoined things unlawful, and we could not in a legal way recover the power out of the hands of those that do injoine such things, how we should or­der our selves.

1. First, Do not do any thing otherwise than au­thority enjoines rashly: forbeare as long as you can, and consult, and consider further about it, because we should loath to do any thing than that which is injoin'd by tho sthat are above us. If there be any arguments to shew that they may be done, we should listen to them. Some assoon as they see a thing Commanded that is forbidden. they flie upon it, before they try it, and therefore when they come to suffer they have little comfort in it: we are to try all our actions, especially when they shal seem to have any opposition against authority.

Secondly. If we be put upon it, that we must of necessity do those things that authority forbids, do them privately, that it may appear we are loth to disobey [Page 25] those that are in authority: because if we should do it openly, others that know not our grounds, may be brought into contempt of authority.

Thirdly, We are to do it as silently as we can, not to make a brag and boast of it: as many will take a de­light and pride in it: if they have warrant enough to go against the command, they brag and boast of it wheresoever they come: it is enough for us to go on silently; if we may do our duty to God, make little noise of it.

Fourthly, Observe all circumstances of time and place, and so all other circumstances, so as to do it in a way that may as little exasperate them that are in au­thority as possible we can. Many when their Consci­enc will not suffer them to do those things, which those that are above them do enjoyn, they wil go a­gainst it with such bitterness of spirit, as if they did take delight to exasperate them, this doth not become a Christian.

Fiftly. Howsoever we do those things that autho­rity forbids, let us take heed we give as reverent respect unto authority as wee can: not to be violent in our words, nor to give revileing, provokeing speeches; that shews our own pride of heart rather than any thing else.

Sixthly. Be sure you keep to your Principles; that they may be convinced that what you do is out of con­science, and not out of any refractory humor: if so be you should plead you cannot do such & such things be­cause of your Conscience, and they shal observe that you wil do other things that are as apparent against consci­ence, they may see, it was not out of your conscience but out of your stoutness: but if they shal observe that there is nothing in which you dare go against the rule of your conscience, they shall see that it is not out of disobedi­ence unto them, but in obedience to conscience: And therefore by how much the more you are forced to dis­obey [Page 26] in some things, by so much the more be careful, to obey in what you may.

And this is usual, that those that are truly gracious and are in place of office, they wil labor to see those laws that may make for Gods glory shal be executed, and so they are accounted rather two busy, Because they wil do so much for authority: but howsoever, it ought to be the care of all Gods people to be obedient to au­thority in what they can.

And in the last place. If authority should deal ne­ver so hardly with you, take heed you have no thoughts of revenge, but commit your cause to God, and requite good for evil, and pray for those that persecute you.

And these directions being premised, you see how far you are to fear the wrath of the King, and the dis­pleasure of al that are in place above you.

CHAP. 6.

The Point prosecuted more strictly.

BUt now we come to the point more strictly: After you have observed these rules, and made use of these directions, you are to go on in your way resolute­ly and comfortably, and cheerefully, whatsoever falls out, not to baulk your way at all in the least degree that God requires at your hands, but to go on without feare.

The Scripture saith concerning a righteous man, In Prov. 28.1. He is as bold as a Lion: if a man know he is in the way of God, he is to go on boldly like a Lion; and in Prov. 30.30. not to turne out of his way for feare of any creature. We find in scripture [Page 27] how the Godly are commended for their resoluteness and courage of spirit, that they would not fear man and the creature.

As those three Prophets. in 1 Kings. 18.17.18. Elijah, Elisha, and Micaiah. When Elijah met Ahab, Saies he Art thou he that troublest Israel? No saith he, it is thou and thy fathers house. And so Elisha, when those three Kings came down to him, the King of Israel, and Jehosophat, and the King of E­dom: saies he; 2 Kings, 3.14. Were it not that I regard the presence of of Jehoshaphat King of Judah, I would not look towards thee nor see thee.

And so Micaiah, when they would have had him prophesie good things, sayes he, 1 Kings. 22.14. What the Lord sayth unto me, that wil I speak. I might give you many instances in Job and David of their courage, not fearing the wrath of man. Job hath a notable expression. Job. 31.34. Did I feare a mul­titude, or did the contempt of families terrifie mee? that I kept silence, and went not out of the door? he was not affraid though he lived amongst those that were vile and wicked.

And great courage you have in David in Psal. 23. and others, Though he walked in the shadow of death, and whatsoever befel him he would not be affraid. And so the Church of God sayth in Psal. 46.2.3.4. verses, Therefore we wil not fear though the earth be removed, and though the mountaines be carried into the middest of the Sea. Though the waters thereof roare, and be troubled, though the Mountaines shake with the swelling thereof, There is a river the Streams whereof shal make glad the City of our God. We en­joy the ordinances of God, and we wil not fear though there are such tumults abroad in the world.

And so that which is said concerning Jeremiah in Chap. 15.12. Shall iron breake the Northern Iron and the steele? though they were as Iron that reasoned a­against [Page 28] Jeremiah, yet Jeremiah was to be as steel when Iron Strikes against Steel. It doth not break it, but brighten it; and so al the op­position that Jeremiah had from all the great ones was but as the striking of Iron against Steel, it did not break his spirit but brighten it. And that of the three Children in Dan. 3.16. Shews the magnanimous spirit that they had. We are not careful to answer thee in this matter. And so that speech of Saint Paul. Acts, 21.13. What meane you to weep and break my heart? for I am ready not to be bound only, but to dy at Jerusa­lem for the name of the Lord Jesus.

And so many expressions we have of the Martyrs in the Primitive times. Justin Martyr making his apologie for the Christians to Antonius Pius, saith he; we do not speak to dissemble to you, but for our own right, we can be hurt by no man, you can kill us, but not hurt us, if you like mad men will observe the customs of men before the truths of God, do then, we wil not.

I do not name every speech of those servants of God as imitable, because we do not know what spirits they were carried on with, but to shew the strength of their spirits.

And so that of Ambrose, speaking to the Emperor do not lift up thy self O Emperor, if so be you would rule, be subject to God. And so Odosius, that was a good man, when he had been crossed with the people of Thessalonica, he caused many of them to be murdered; upon that Ambrose refused to give him the Sacrament, though he came to the Temple door, and desired it of him, and fell down upon the ground, yet Ambrose stood and resisted him till there was through repentance manifested to the Church.

And so Chrisostome. The Emperess Eudoxia had taken by wrong the vineyard of another; Chrisostome for­bad her the Communion.

And likewise Basil, he writ to Julian the Aposta­te: [Page 29] Cr [...]tainly if you understood what we writ, you would not oppose that we writ. But (saith he) when I consider the dignity and crown you have, and the use you make of them, I tremble, for they are for your honor but they make you more dishonor­able.

And Julian meeting Pagmelius, saith he I thank God I see you, and when he replyed you cannot see, saith he, I thank God I can not see, you are an Apostate.

And that is a notable speech of Luther, when he was to go to Worms to answer for his faith, saith hee, though al the tiles of the houses of worms were Devils yet I would go. And so divers women that were weak in regard of their sex, yet when faith came what abun­dance of courage had they.

And thus you see by many examples both out of scripture and likewise out of Ecclesiastical histories the magnanimous spirits of Beleevers.

That we are to do now, is to open the point in these three particulars.

First to shew, Wherein lieth the power of faith to help against the sinful feare of authority, and of man or any other creature.

Secondly, to shew, The difference between audaci­ousness of spirit, and that courage which proceeds from faith.

Thirdly, Though we are not sinfully to fear man, yet to shew how far we may lawfully fear him.

CHAP. 7.

How Faith helpeth against the fear of man; Opened in fifteen particulars.

First, wherein lieth the power of faith to help a­aginst the fear of man.

Much hath been said concerning the power of faith to help against sufferings, but now we have divers things to say concerning the power of faith in helping against the feare of man.

First. Wheresoever faith is, it putts the Beleever into a very secure and safe condition, making sure of the safety of the Soul, and that the termes between God and it are good, and by that meanes it delivers the soul from being transported by feare. There is nothing can secure the soul that the termes between God and it are good, but faith: and that it doth by putting the Soul into the Covenant of Grace, and conveys the good of that everlasting Covenant that can never be broken, unto the soul, and transferreth upon the soul the sure mercies of David: and that must needs make the soul in a secure condition. A man is not troubled with feares, when he knows he is provided for his life: So a beleeving Soul is provided for Eternity, what now can trouble such a soul?

The Apostle in 1 Pet. 4.19. Would have us in the time of danger commit your soul to God in wel do­ing: when the soul is committed unto God in wel do­ing, there is no further fear. As if so be a man were travelling, and he had some precious Jewel were worth abundance, and he apprehends himself in some danger if he can commit his Jewel to some safe hand he is with­out [Page 31] fear. And therefore in some countries you have your Banks: men that are affraid of their money, commit it to the Bank, and there it is sure. So a soul that can commit it self to God in weldoing, and be sure of that, it is not troubled with much fear.

Qust. But should we not take care for our estates, and lives, and liberties?

Answ. Sayth the Apostle, be at a point for them, but be sure you commit your souls to God, and you are wel enough.

As in a time of common fire and burning, If a man have some lumber in the fire, he doth not care for them, but if he hath Jewels and treasury, he commits them to some safe custody: and so a beleever having commit­ted his soul to God by faith, and so being sure of the termes between God and it, his soul wil not admit of fear.

We read of Noah. Gen. 6.14. When he had made an Ark, he pitched it about the; word that is translated pitched, is the same word that is used for propitiation or attonement: noting, that pitch was to Noahs Ark, that the attonement of Christ apprehended by faith is to the soul: whn a soul by faith can apprehend the sure meercies of David in the propitiation of Christ, this is to the soul in the middest of dangers, to keep it from fears, as the pitch was to Noahs Ark in the midst of the waves, that kept it from the waters. And that is the first thing.

Secondly, Faith keepeth from fear, because it hath a speiciall eye to the highest first being of all things, now that is a rule, No inferior cause can worke, but by an influence from the Superior; and therefore when by faith the eye can behold the highest supream cause, so as to see.

First, There is no Power in any creature but from that.

[Page 32]Secondly, The Acting of that Power is from that.

Thirdly. The Force of that Power, is from that.

Fourthly, The Success of that Power is from that cause; and when the soul looks up to this highest cause and sees all cleare there, it needs not much to look how it is with the inferior causes. As if a man had an in­strument, that hung upon many wheels, though the inferior moves, and it seems as if it would break and fall upon him, yet if he hath an eye upon the highest wheel that moves all, upon which all depend, and be sure that holds, he doth not much regard the other. And so it is with a spiritual eye. A carnal eye looks only at things that are objects of sence, he looks at the creatures, but a beleever looks at the highest supreme cause, and if that be right, he doth not looke at the lowest causes.

We have a notable speech in Isay. 54.16. Behold I have created the smith that bloweth the coales in the fire, and that bringeth forth an instrument for his work, and I have created the waster to destroy. Are you affraid of the sword and the wasters? I have crea­ted the smith that blows the Coals, and I have created the waster to destroy; If they have any power to do hurt, it is from mee; why do you look upon the instrument and not upon the hand? If there be any power in any instrument of war, they depend upon God, and he makes them to destroy: and therefore faith looks to the highest cause, and is conversant with that, and car­ries the affections to that; it is not much affected with under causes; it doth not fear the wrath of men, nor the power of any creature, because it looks so much at the highest cause that is above al.

The confidence that carnal hearts have in outward helps, keeps them from fearing God, should not the [Page 33] confidence of the Saints in God, keep them from fear­ing man?

Thirdly. Faith helps against the feare of man, be­cause it helps the soul to overcome greater fear than a­ny feare the creature can cause.

A beleeving soul hath been conversant with other manner of fears than the wrath of a King, namely, the wrath of an infinite God, a beleever knows what the wrath of a Deity means, what the terrour of consci­ence, and the curse of the Law, and the flashes of Hell meane, and he hath had some experience concerning the feare of these, and he hath received some thing of the spirit of bondage, that hath caused him to feare other manner of things than the feare of man, and when faith comes, that hath delivered the soul from these fears, others must needs vanish; the power of faith soon extinguisheth them 1 Sam. 17.37. As David when he was delivered from the Mouth of the Lion, and the paw of the Beare, he was not affraid of Goli­ah: so a beleeving soul is not affraid of the wrath of man, because it hath been delivered by faith, from the wrath of an infinite Deity, and the terrors of the Law and of Conscience.

In the 51. of Isa. 22. Mark how God brings the de­liverance of his people from the fear of his wrath, as an argument to strengthen them against all other fears. Behold I have taken out of thy hand the cup of tremb­ling, even the dregs of the Cup of my fury. To what end is this spoken? In the beginning of the next chapter (for Chapters were not divided by the Prophets, but afterward, and therefore they have an immediate con­nexion to one another) Awake, awake, put on thy strength O Zion, put on thy beautiful garments. So sayth faith to a beleeving soul, why art thou affraid of the wrath and displeasure of men, be not feareful, for I have taken out of thy hand the cup of trembling: there was a time wherein there was a cup of trembling in [Page 34] thy hand, and thou wert affraid thou shouldest drink of that, I have taken that out of thy hand, and there­fore awake, put on strength, be not affraid of man, being thou art delivered from such fear.

It is a passage in the book of Job. Job, 38.17. when God would bring Job to feare, saith God, you seem to have some boldness: but have you seen the gates of death? and hath the shadow of death been made known to you? that were another matter if you had gone through those fears, and yet were bold; but a beleeving soul may say, yea Lord the gates of death, and the shadow of death hath been in some measure made known to me, and yet I am bold.

The Prophet saith in Jer. 17.17. Be not thou a terror to me, for thou art my hope in the day of evil. Lord let me be delivered from thy terror and all the world shall not terrifie me. Those that have been brought up delicately, and know not what any danger means, if they heare of any commotion and danger, they trem­ble, but those that are used to warrs, that continually heate the noise of Cannons, and see the affrighting ob­jects, and desperate things that are there, they are not so soon made affraid, because they have been where terrors have been, and have been delivered from them and so a beleeving soul hath been acquainted with other manner of terrors than the terrors of men, and faith de­livering from them, will deliver from these.

Fourthly, Faith helps against the feare of men, and all dangers and evils, by implanting the true feare of God in the soul. Where faith comes, as it brings all grace with it, so it brings the grace of the feare of God and the reason of al disorderly feare in the world, is for want of the true fear of God: I do not meane the fear of his wrath, but that reverence that we owe to God as creatures to the Creator, that fear of God wherein a great part of Gods worship consisteth: if the soul were possessed with that, other fears would vanish.

[Page 35]As in other afflictions. True spiritual joy will over­come carnal joy, and the best way to cure carnal joy, is to have the heart possessed with spiritual joy: many take content in the flesh, but they never come to have their carnal joy mortified, till their souls be filled with spiritual joy. And therefore though in the time of sick­ness. They cry out against their carnal joy, it is not mortified, but they returne to it again, because they had only the conviction of conscience that their carnal joy was naught, but had not a contrary stream to fil their hearts.

And so for sorrow, There is no way to mortifie car­nal sorrow, as to sorrow for sin; and so for desires: no way to mortifie sinful, creature desires, as to have desires Sanctified for God. As in other afflictions, so in that of fear: no such way to mortifie carnal, sinful fear, as to have the true fear of God planted in the heart.

As Moses, when the rod was turned into a Serpent, the Magicians turned their rods into serpents, but the text saith, in Exod. 7.12. that Moses Serpent did devour the Magicians Serpents. So there is enough in the true feare of God to take up al the soul, that it hath no space for the fear of Man; As when God is truly worshipped, there he is only worshipped: so when God is truly feared there he is only feared, and all o­ther fears are in subordination to that. Where God is truly feared nothing else is feared, and indeed nothing else need be feared: As where God is not feared, no creature can help us: so where God is feared no crea­ture can hurt us, in Hosea. 10.3. Because we feared not the Lord, What then should a King do to us? so on the contrary, because we feare the Lord, what then can a King, what can all the power in the world do a­gainst us?

Fiftly, Faith doth discover unto the soul, that it hath more with it than against it. You know the Pro­phets [Page 36] man was affraid, when he saw their enemies a­bout them ready to apprehend them: the Prophet prayed to the Lord to open his eyes, and to let him see in 2. Kings, 6.16.17. There were more with him than against him.

So till a mans eyes are opened by faith, he may see many enemies against him to cause fear; but when God doth open the eyes of his Soul to see more with him than against him all fears are gone. It sees al the At­tributes of God, all the waies of Gods Providence, all Angels, all creatures working for the good of it; and so it sees more with it then against it.

If a child or man, be alone in danger he is affraid, but when he comes into the company of his freinds, that hath more with him than against him, he is not affraid. So by the eye of faith we see more with us than against us, and that frees from feare.

Sixthly, Faith keeps from feare by bringing in the spirit of Jesus Christ into the Soul, and makes the Soul partaker of the spirit of Christ: Now Christ is called the Lyon of the Tribe of Judah, Revel. 5.5. He was full of courage, and did not feare any thing which opposed him in his way: now every Christian doth par­take of the Lion-like spirit of Christ, and hath something of it in him, and that puts strength & courage into him.

In Isa. 11.2. We read of the spirit of Christ that he was anointed withal, the spirit of wisdom and un­derstanding, spirit of counsel, and might, the spirit of knowledg, and the fear of the Lord. Wheresoever the spirit of Christ is, there is a spirit of might and strength, that will not easily yeeld to feare It is a sign of a poor low spirit, to ly down and feare every thing that is never so little feareful: but a spirit that is mag­nanimous, and a raised spirit wil not easily feare. The spirit of Christ is a magnanimous glorious spirit, he hath the same spirit with his Father, and so those that are [Page 37] Christs come to have the same spirit of the Son and of the Father with them. And therefore saith Saint Paul in 2 Tim. 1.7. We have not received the Spirit of fear, but of power. The Spirit of Christ hath a great deal of power and strength in it, and when faith brings in the spirit of Christ it must needs help against fear.

Seventhly. Faith helps against feare, by taking off the heart from the creature, and from all the com­forts that are in it. Why doth a man feare? but be­cause he thinks the creature wil take away some com­fort from him: now if the heart be taken off from the creature, and the comforts of it, and so from creature evils, neither esteeming the one, nor accounting much of the other, there is not much cause why he should feare, now faith takes off the heart from the creature. In Revel. 12.11. It is spoken of those that overcome Antichrist, that they loved not their lives: and if they were taken off from the love of life, then by conse­quence they were taken of from the love of any creature.

It is a notable speech that Chrisostome hath concern­ing a worldly man. None more miserable, and more feareful than a man that is fastned to earthly things, for saith he, he doth continually live the life of care, and of trembling: but when faith comes, it takes off the heart from being fastned to the creature, and so such a one comes no longer to live the life of care, he doth not tremble any more. And suitable to his ex­pression so was his life; speaking of Eudoxia the Em­pres: saies he, what wil she do? wil shee bannish me? the earth is the Lords and the fulness thereof. Wil she cut me asunder? so was Isaiah. Wil she drown me? John was cast into the Sea. Will she stone me? So was Steven. Will she behead me? so was Paul; Will she take away my substance? my heart is taken a way from that already.

It is reported of Illaria meeting with theeves, say they are you not affraid? no saith he I have nothing [Page 38] to loose: but We will Kill thee; saith he, I am pre­pared to die And to a Heart seeing it hath nothing to loose, and it is prepared to die, it doth not fear; it values no evil in the creature, nor any good in it, and therefore it is not affraid: Now it is faith that glorious and mighty grace, takes the heart off from all creature Evil, and creature good: and by this you may know the work of Faith in your Souls; When you feel a princi­ple within you taking you from the creature, and lifting you aboue creature comforts, and creature evils, that is the glorious work of Faith. And that is the Seventh thing.

Eightly, Faith doth interest God in the cause of a Beleever. Whatsoever cause a beleever doth undertake, wherein he doth exercise faith, his Faith doth interest God in it, so that it hath not only the countenance, command, and faithfulness of God to help it, but the Name of God, and God himself. As in England if a man hath a debt, and knows not how to get it, he will turne it over to the King, and if he can interest the King in the debt, He thinks that will be a way to help him­self. So here when a beleever is in a straight, and he knows not what to do, he looks this way and that way, and sees nothing but fears and Terrours and knows not how to help himself, yet if he can but turne over the cause to God, and interest him in the cause, he is quiet.

Ninthly, Faith hath a notable work to help against fear, in that it fils the heart with spirituall good: and the true boldness that is in any heart comes from the fulness of spirituall good that is in their Souls. As the Naturalists observe the reason why the Lyon hath that courage and boldness, Is, because he hath a heart compacted and filled with strong spirits. Many things when they are empty are weake, but when they are filled ful of that which is sutable to them, it makes them strong: So when a Soul hath a fulness of spiritual good in it, it is very strong,

[Page 39]Look what is the reason of the boldness and courage and impudence of wicked men in their sin, the contrary is the reason of the boldness and courage of Gods people in the way of God.

The speciall reason of the courage and boldness of the wicked in a way of evill, is the fullness of wickedness that is in their souls; And therefore in that fact of Ananias and Saphira Acts. 5.3. saith the A­postle; Why hath Satan filled thy heart to lie unto the holy Ghost: If Satan had not filled your hearts, you could not have been thus bold to have lied to the holy Ghost. And so it is a notable passage we have in Esther. 7.5. speaking concerning Haman, saith the King, Who is he? and where is he that durst pre­sume in his heart to do so? In the Hebrew it is who hath filled his heart to do this? who hath a heart so ful as to venture upon such an evill as this;

As the filling of the heart with evill makes it bold and couragious in that which is evill, so the filling of the heart with spirituall good makes it forward in that which is good. As it is observed concerning Steven; af­ter Steven was filled with the Holy Ghost how bold was he? he could look upon the face of his persecuters with boldness: in Acts 6.15. and the Councell looked up­on him, and saw his face, as it had been the face of an Angel, because his heart was filled with the Holy Ghost. And so the Apostles were very feareful be­fore the Holy Ghost came down upon them, but when they were filled with the Holy Ghost they had no more feare.

And so Elisha, how full of courage was he when the three Kings came to him, saith he, Had it not been for Jehosaphat I had not seen thy face: What was the reason? he had the Spirit of Elijah double upon him, and therefore he was bold. As there is a Plerophorie of evil that causeth boldness, so there is a Plerophorie of good that filleth the heart with boldness, and nothing [Page 40] doth so fil the heart as faith: that fetcheth of the fulness of Christ, and of his fulness we are full.

In the Tenth place; Faith hath a great deale of power to cause boldness and take off the heart from the feare of Man; because Faith doth acquaint a be­leever with the waies of God towards his people, and therefore he doth not fear: A beleever comes to have skill in the passages of Gods Providence, and his deal­ings towards his people, and thereby he comes to know that it is Gods ordinary way to suffer the enemies of his people to rage against them and prevail against them, and to have much power over them, and yet they are his people. And it is no argument that God hath for­saken them because of their affliction: And therefore you know, the Scripture speaks oftentimes of Gods leading his people through the Fire and the Water, and that God will be with them there, Isa. 43.2. It is the way of God to choose his people, and set his heart upon them in the Fiery Furnace; when he intends the greatest good to his people, He brings them through Fire and Wa­ter, and setteth them in wealthy places: Psal. 66.12. And if one be acquainted with Gods way he doth not fear.

If a souldier be not acquainted with the way of his General, when he seeth him undertake great things, and brings them into danger he is affraid: but one that is acquainted with the way of his General, how he will lay his stratagems, and knows that it is his way to go through such dangers, he is not affraid: And so it is true; carnal Hearts assoon as they see any danger, they are affraid, because they have not the skil to under­stand the mind and will of God in his way towards his people, when as the people of God know, that it is the ordinary way of God to work good out of Evil.

As Luther saies, He doth kill that he may quicken, and cast down, that he may raise up, And the like; [Page 41] and so he goes on in three or four lines together: but saith he, For to know this, this is the art of arts, and the Knowledg of Knowledges, very few do know and understand this way of God. It is a secret that God doth discover only to those that fear him; Faith doth not make one like a Child to know nothing, but doth Doctrinate the Soul in the waies of God, and so doth enable it to overcome fears.

In the Eleuenth place. Faith helps against feare: because it doth put the soul into a high and glorious condition, as into safety, so into a wonderful high condition. A man that is great in the world is not af­fraid as others are: Now faith makes the place of Gods people to bee very high and glorious In the 43 Isa. 4.5. Since thou wast precious in my sight thou hast been honourable and I have loved thee Therefore wil I giue men for thee and people for thy life feare not for I am with thee.

If a King should come to a poore subject and say feare not, you are honourable in mine eyes, I prize your life more than the lives of thousands, would not this keep him from being affraid; God sayth so to every gracious soul, and faith closeth with it, and this keepes the soul from feare. Mat. 10.31. Feare not sayth Christ, you are more worth than many sparrowes: Gods providence is over sparrowes but you are more worth than they. So precious are Gods people to him, that he numbers every haire Mat. 10.30. and tels all their steps, and bottles up all their tears. Psal. 56.8. Surely he values every drop of blood, and much more their lives, Ps. 116.15. and their spirituall priviledges. They are in a high and excellent condition aboue others.

It is a notable expression that Chrisostome hath of the Preist Azariah, because he resisted King Vzziah when he would have offered sacrifice; sayth he, Every one that commits sin, is a servant to sin, and [Page 42] therefore base though he hath a thousand of crowns upon his head: but he that keepeth righteousness is more a King than any King, he is in a higher conditi­on than any in the world, But a most excellent expre­ssion is that of Tertullian concerning this Why should I fear when the Saints shall be raised to judg the world? why should that man fear, that ought to be feared by Angels, for he shal judge them, and ought to be feared by Devils, he shal have power over them, and ought to be feared by al the world, he shal judge al the world. Doth a judg fear the prisoner that is before him. This is the condition of a Saint of God, and faith makes use of this, and knows what it is that God hath revealed of the high condition of his people, and therefore they do not feare.

Twelfthly. Faith helps against fear, because faith doth much strengthen a good conscience; wheresoever faith is, and according to the degree of it so a good con­science is strengthened; they go together faith and a good conscience. Therefore the Scripture speaking of some, In 1 Tim. 1.19. That they had made Ship­wrack of faith, they had put away a good conscience too. The one cannot stand without the other Now we know what a great power there is in a good conscience to make one without feare: to know nothing ill concerning our selves, is a wal of brass; the the breastplate of righteousness helps against any dart that comes; and a good conscience holds forth the breast­plate of righteousness: and saith a good conscience, they accuse, but I will excuse, they condemn, but I wil justifie: I wil be with thee in death, and before the Lord, and plead for thee.

If a man come to be made a terror to himself, then no marvail if he be affraid of every thing else; but if a man be not a terrour to himself, if he be able to behold God in righteousness, and his conscience be right and good, he may look with boldness upon any thing. Job. 11.14.15. If iniquity be in thy hand, put it farr a­way, [Page 43] and let not wickedness dwel in thy Tabernacles: For then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot, yea thou shalt be stedfast, and shalt not feare before men, no nor before the Lord himself.

Againe, Faith helps mightily against fear, by bring­ing in, and making use of all the gracious promises to help against fear. I wil name but two promises, and you shall see what a great deal of power is in those to help the soul against fear. Deut. 31.8. He it is that goeth before thee, he wil be with thee, he wil not fail thee nor forsake thee, fear not, neither be dismayed. Mark how God heapeth up expressions. Before he bids Moses bid Joshua be strong in the 7 verse, First he goeth before thee, Secondly, He wil be with thee. Thirdly, He wil not fail thee. See Isa. 41.10. Fear thou not, for I am with thee, be not dismayed, for I am thy God, I wil strengthen thee, yea, I wil help thee yea I wil uphold thee with the right hand of my righte­ousness, Thus God heaps up expressions to help against feare. Faith makes the encouragements of the word re­al to the soul, faith brings the divine power and effica­cy of them to the soul.

Againe, Faith helps against fear by making use of al experiences of Gods dealing with his people in former times, In Habb. 3. throughout he makes use of the waies of God, and shews what God had done for his heretofore. Psal. 87.4. I will make mention of Rahab and Babilon, I wil make mention of What God hath done in Rahab and in Babilon.

Lastly. Faith helps against the fear of man, because it causeth a Christian to judge of men as God himself judgeth of them, and look at men as God looketh at them, and to have the same thoughts of men, as God hath and this is a mighty help against fear.

Now we must see how God hath revealed himself concerning man, and what little cause there is to fear men especially wicked men, and the ene­mies of Gods people. I wil no fear saith the Psalmist, [Page 44] in Psal. 56.11. what can man do unto me? And I wil not feare what flesh can do unto me. In this same Psalm. 56.4.

CHAP 8.

Arguments against the feare of man, taken from the Consideration of Man, First, as Man in six par­ticulars very observable, 1. What he is, 2. The vanity of Man. 3. The Dwelling of man. 4. The pomp of man. 5. The foundation of man. 6. The life of man. Secondly, As a wicked man. 1. His baseness, 2. What he is in the greatness of his power opposing the Godly. 3. How near the enemies of Gods people are to ruine and de­struction.

FIrst, We are to consider what the scripture says of man as man.

Secondly, What it says of man as a wicked man.

There are these six things that we are to consider a­bout man.

  • First, What he is.
  • Secondly, The Vanity of Man.
  • Thirdly, The dwelling of Man.
  • Fourthly, The Pomp of Man.
  • Fifthly, The foundation of Man.
  • Sixthly, The life of Man.

In all these we have notable expressions to shew what a poor creature any man is, that we should be affraid of him.

First, What he is,

1. He is Earth, Where the Psalmist sayth, what [Page 45] is a man that I should be affraid of him, the word sig­nifies Earth.

Secondly, It signifies poor sickly sorry men, will any be affraid of earth or a sick man.

Thirdly, The Scripture calls him a Worm, Job, 25.6. Wil any be affraid of a Worme.

Fourthly, Man is called Clay. Job, 10.9.

Fifthly, Man in scripture is called grass and the flower of the feild. Isa. 40.6.

Secondly, Consider what the Scripture saith concer­ning the vanity of man.

  • 1. A man is like to vanity, Psalm. 44.4,
  • 2. He walks in a vain shadow, Psalm. 39, 6.
  • 3. Man is vaine himself. Job, 11.11.12.
  • 4. Man is vanity it self.
  • 5. Altogether vanity.
  • 6. Every man is vanity.
  • 7. In his best estate vanity, And al that you have in Psalm. 39.
  • 8. He is lighter than vanity. Psalm. 62.9,

And if we could look at man as God looks at him we should not be affraid.

Thirdly, For the dwelling of man.

In al his bravery and strong rich pallaces it is but as the dwelling of a moth, and as a booth in Job, 27.18, and as a house of Clay. Job. 4.19.

Fourthly, The pomp of a man.

Put man into the greatest gallantness that can be, that causeth some feare in the hearts of men that are carnal: Now in Acts ▪ 25.23. when Bernice and A­grippa came to sit in judgment they came with great pompe as Judges use to do to strike feare into their prisoners: now the word signifies, they come with much phansy. Faith makes men to judg of things as the Holy Ghost doth, and so keeps them from fear­ing of them.

Fifthly, The foundation of Man.

[Page 46] It is in the dust, Job. 4.19. and that which hath no foundation but the dust, it hath no great strength.

Sixthly, The life of man.

Some times compared to a buble and a vapor; a wea­vers shuttle, and the wind in Job, 7.6, 7, he is com­pared to the Eagle flying in the aire, and to the Ship in the midst of the Sea, and as the dayes of an Hireling, Job. 7.1. And as a shadow. Job, 8.9. He is such a poore creature, that the moth crusheth him. Job. 4, 19. Now that which can crush a man must have a great deal of power over him: And his days are but as a hand breadth. Psal. 39.5. And his breath is in his Nostrils. Isa. 2.22. This is to shew what little cause there is to feare man. Now put all these together surely he is not a creature much to be feared: and here we see what wonderful dishonor God hath, when man is feared a­bove God▪

But now let us consider him as a wicked man, and then he is less to be feared, and there we wil consider of him in three respects.

Consider,

  • 1. His baseness.
  • 2. What he is in the greatness of his power opposing the Godly.
  • 3. How neare those that are wicked and enemies of Gods people are unto destruction.

First Consider the baseness of wicked men, we do not feare things that are base.

1. Wicked men let them be never so glorious in re­gard of outward things, they are but as dross and dust. Psal. 119.118.119.

2. And then their Root (that which should up­hold them, and be their power) is rotten. Isa. 5, 24.

3. They are as Straw trodden down for the dunghil. Isa. 25.10.

[Page 47]4. They are compared to the Froth and Fome of the Sea. Hos. 10.7,

5. His baseness is expressed by being compared to Briars and Thornes. Ezek. 2.6.

Why should wicked men be feared that are compared to such base things? Thus God judgeth of them, and those that have Faith should judge so of them. But they have a great deale of power and much strength.

Secondly, Let us therefore consider what God speaks concerning the power of wicked men.

1. It is all but a Noise Jer. 46.17. Egypt was a great Kingdom, and the King of Egypt with all his power is but a noise.

2. All their power is but a litle small dust Isa. 29.5.

3. In all their power, they are but as a company of beasts, or little children that have reeds in their hands. Psal. 68.30. Rebuke the company of Spearmen, the multitude of the beasts. The word translated Spear­men is rather to be translated Children that carry Reeds instead of Speares.

4. Their power is Cursed. Psal. 119.21. Thou hast rebuked the proud that are cursed. When they are in the top of their pride and rage, and they look upon the Servants of God with scorne and contempt, then they are cursed in their pride, and strength; and that which hath the curse of God upon it, must needs come to nothing.

5. All their power is as nothing. Isa. 41.11 And if their power be as nothing, there is no cause to feare their power.

6. They are Less than nothing. Isa. 40.17. Now what can be said more, for the power of all Na­tions to be less than nothing. If we have the same Judgment that the Holy Ghost hath cocerning Man, there is no cause of feare of man.

Thirdly, and lastly: Consider what the Scrip­ture [Page 48] saies of wicked men, in regard of their nearness to destruction. They are ready to perish.

1. They are compared to Tow. Isa 1.31. A litle spark of fire doth presently blaze up tow.

2. They are like the Crackling of thornes under the Pott. Eccles. 7.6.

3. They are like to Smoake. as Psal. 68.2. Smoake the sooner it ascends the sooner it vanisheth: so the greater men are in their power, the sooner they perish.

4. They are compared To wax that melteth be­fore the fire, and as the chaffe before the wind, and as stubble. as Job. 21.18.

5. And al Their light is but as a Candle; Solomon saith, The candle of the wicked shall be put out. Prov. 24.20.

6. And they are likewise compared to The tops of the eares of Corne, that one can nip off with his finger. Job. 24.24.

7. The Psalmist saith, God cutteth off the spirit of Princes. Psal. 76.12. The word signifies such a cutting off as one with a knife would cut off a bunch of Grapes.

8. Againe they are like The blasted Corne: and not only as grasse, but As Grasse on the House top. Isa. 37.27. Wicked men are going to destruction as a thing rouling before the wind. It is said they are set in Slippery places, and the Angell of the Lord persecutes them. Psal. 35.6. If one be set upon the Ice, and another come to persecute him, he cannot stand long.

9. And they are as a Garment that the moth hath eaten. Job. 13.28.

10. And they are compared To the fat of Lambs before the fire. Psal. 37.20. And as Snow melt­ing before the Sun.

First consider what man is in himself; and wicked man in his baseness and power, and how neer they [Page 49] are to destruction, and this is a mighty meanes to help against feare. Oh! Let us be ashamed, that profess our selves to have Faith, and yet when we see how the Scripture doth judg of men, that we should be so con­scious to our selves of so much fear of wicked men, how they will Crush us, and we shall never goe on in quiet before them, and they are ready to put us out of our way.

And thus we see wherein the power of Faith lyeth to help against fear.

There are two things yet behind for the explication of the point.

To shew the difference between that boldness of spirit, and audaciousness that men have that have no Faith, and that Fearelesness that comes by Faith.

As also to shew how farr we may lawfully avoid dan­ger, without feare of men.

CHAP. 9.

How Audatiousness and boldness of spirit differ from Faith. 1. Audatiousness make us bold to sin. 2 It appeares in Causes that concerns our selves, then those which concern God. 3. Bold­ness the curing of one pasion with another, Faith the curing of passion by Grace. 4. Natural bold­ness makes men rash, and henders consultation. 5. The cause of immodisty 6. It is suden and violent. 7. It proseeds and lives upon outward encouragements. 8. The ishew of ignorance. 9. Or despair. 10. More Outward then Inward.

FAITH helps against feare, but it must be gran­ted that men may be much helped against feare by a [Page 50] meer audaciousness of spirit.

Quest. But how shall we know the difference.

Answ. Audaciousness of Spirit, though when it proves to be in Gods cause, it seems to be faith, yet there are many differences.

First, Where it is Audaciousness of spirit, when occasi­on serves, they wil be bold in Sin against God, as well as bold in that which is good for God: but now where faith is, though it doth make the soul to be bold and fear­less for God in the way of God, yet there are none so affraid of sin: they tremble at the appearance, or occasion of sin: many that are mightily bold in sin are mightily affraid when they are in danger, others that are fearless in the way of God, thay have no boldness in the way of sin. Wicked men that have had the basest spirits of all, have been bold in sin; As Manasseh, how audacious was he in sin? and when he came into danger how feared he? It is said he was found among the thorns, 2 Cor. 33.11.

And so Ahaz, what a bold spirit had he in sin? when he came into danger what a base spirit had he? he was affraid and shook like an aspine leafe. And so it is re­ported of Caligula, in Isa. 7.2. That was a bold wretch in sin, yet when he heard it thunder, he would run into a bench hole.

And some may go so far, as not only to be bold in sin but to be bold in some danger too, and it may fal out to be in the cause of God, but know, if there be any boldness in sin, and if you do not fear every sin, al your boldness and fearlesness in any thing else never comes from faith.

Secondly, Where there is natural audaciousness, then men are especially bold in causes that concern themselves more than in causes that concerne God. When any bu­siness concerns themselves in which they are opposed, they care not for any one that have more power then them selves, but they are not so in the cause of God: but o­thers that are truly gracious, that are feareless from their [Page 51] faith, they are very yeildable and shamefaced in their own cause, in things that concern themselves, but in [...]hings that concern God, there doth appear another spirit, they have a new spirit.

Thirdly, Where the boldness is meerly natural, there is a curing of one passion with another; but the bold­ness that comes from faith is the curing of passion with the contrary grace. As thus, where the boldness comes from natural audaciousness, there is the curing of the pas­sion of fear with the passion of wrath and anger, they are never fearless and bold, but when their passion of an­ger is stirred up: where faith cures the passion of fear, it cures it not by stirring up another passion, but by Sancti­fying of this, and bringing in the true fear of God into the soul, it doth not put out one evil with another, but puts out an evil with a stream of the contrary good.

Fourthly, Where men are naturally audacious, and bold, usually their boldness hinders their consultation, they have not command over their spirits, they are car­ried on rashly and headily in their boldness: therefore in Isa. 35.4. The word that is translated feareful, it signifies a rash heart, it is the same word you have in Isa. 32.4. The heart of the rash shal understand knowledg: to shew that fearfulness doth cause rashness where it is im­moderate; but where feare is moderate, and guided right, it makes men to have power to consult of things and advise of things, and examine of things: but your bold, impudent people care not, nor consider not what they say, but where fear is rightly ordered by saith, the heart is able to consider and advise best.

Fifthly, Again, Audaciousness when it is natural makes men to forget the distance that is between one man and another, makes them immodest, care not what they say to superiors that are above them: but when men are feareless by faith though they wil not be hin­dred in their way by feare of them, yet they know how to give due respect to them that are in Superior place, [Page 52] which a natural Audacious spirit doth not.

Sixthly, Again, Natural Audaciousness is sudden, and violent, but a man that is feareless by faith, doth not presently, get up to this boldness of spirit; but it comes by degrees and several steps, first, more fearful, and then less, and so by degrees he gets power over that spi­rit of his which before he found feareful, but the other is violently up, and doth not come by degrees.

Seaventhly, Natural Boldness it is according to out­ward encouragements, but the fearlesness that is from faith is by the breathings of Gods spirit upon his heart; & according to the several breathings of Gods spirit upon their hearts, so they are more or less feareful: the other boldness being natural it works always alike, if they have but the same outward encouragements: but Gods people though they have the same outward encouragements yet they are more fearless at some times then at other times because they have not the Spirit of God breathing upon them alwaies alike.

Eightly, Natural boldness comes from ignorance, and insensibleness, because people do not know or are not sensible of the danger they are in: but faith discovers the danger, and makes men sensible of the danger, and then it helps; it is nothing to be bold when one is not sensible, and doth not understand the danger; but a gracious heart conceives aright of the danger, and is sensible of it and then faith lifts above sence, and above reason.

Ninthly, Men that are naturally bold, it is through desperateness, because they have nothing to loose, and care not what become of themselves: but by faith men are not fearless because they are desperate, but they see help in God, and in Christ and his mercy, the more they hope, the less they fear, but the other are desperate and therefore they do not feare.

Tenthly, Where audaciousness is but natural, it ap­pears more outward then it is inward, but by faith men are less feareful inwardly then it appears outwardly: [Page 53] faith doth more cure fear within, then it is able to ex­press courage, and boldness without: but your natu­ral audacious people know, though they speak great words and make proud braggs, yet within their hearts do tremble; but it is not so where there is true faith: There is an aspersion cast upon Gods people, because they are forward in Gods cause. They are bold impu­dent fellows: and those that are bold and impudent they go away as the men that have the only courage: now the scope of that I say is to shew that Gods people are not impudently bold, but hold by the grace of God that comes from his spirit, and is maintained by faith, and others though they be bold in many things, yet they are far from this excellent spirit that Gods people have.

CHAP. 10.

Sheweth, How far we may lawfully avoid danger without fear of men. 1. Religion doth not teach men to be foolish or desperate. 2, The care of a Christian ought to be to do his duty, rather then to avoid danger, which may fal out in his duty. 3, When God brings his people into danger, he in­tends more to exercise their graces, then to try their discretion. 4, Though danger may be avoided, yet it is more honorable for a Christian to be called to exercise Faith, Courage, Patience and in a way of suffering, then his prudence in avoiding it 5. Take Care of mistaking discretion, which is not wont to abate the vigor of Gods Graces, but to improve and increase them. 6. A Christians greatest endeavor should be to get his will to submit to God.

THe last thing that is to be opened in the explicati­on of the point is this. Faith helps against the [Page 54] feare of danger and the feare of man.

Object, But some may say that which you have said hitherto may seem to embolden men to rush into dangers, this is the plea of many that bring themselves into dan­gers, and rush upon their ruine, we must not be affraid of men.

Answer. To that I answer, Religion doth not teach men to be foolish or to be desperate; it is too much bold­ness for any man to think God should give him assi­stance in foolish, desperate, rash ways. It is a speech of Cyprian, God would rather have us stay to manifest our faith, til we are called by him, and see him go before us, then that we should go upon our own heads. Faith as it hath the word evermore for its ground and bottom, in that great act of it, interesting the soul in the Cove­venant of Grace; so it hath the word for the ground of it in every action it puts the soul upon. We have a no­table text for this in Prov. 10.8. The wise in heart wil receive Commandements: but a prating fool shal. fal. the wise in heart, those that are truly gracious receive commandements: before they rush into danger, they wil stay for the commandement, for the word: but a pra­ting fool shal fall, one that will boldly venture himself in danger, in speaking before he is called unto it, he shal fal in it, he must not expect the assistance of God in it.

Quest. But if we must not feare man, may we not flee from danger? may we not labor to deliver our selves from it when it comes? we must not rush into danger but suppose we see danger before us, may we not flee from it, and avoid it before it comes? if we must not feare the creature, must we deliver our selves from it?

Answ. First I shall give some general answers unto it, and then I will come more closely to answer to that case of conscience concerning fleeing from danger.

For a general answer unto this, consider these five things.

Your question is, whether a Christian may not flee danger?

[Page 55]I answer, First, That the greatest care of a Christian ought to be to do his duty, rather then to avoid danger that may fal out in his duty: we should be more affraid of our own base, earthly, cowardly, unbeleeving hearts then we should be affraid of any evil that the malice and power of al the men in the world, and Devills in hell can being upon us: No Christian is in so much danger of e­vil from the malice and power of al the men in the world and Devils in hell, as he is in danger of mischeif from his own heart, and that man that doth not feare himself and his own vile heart, more then he doth al the power and malice of the men of the world and the Devils in Hell, he doth not yet know his heart: It is a greater judgment to be delivered up to a mans own heart: then to be delivered up to the malice of al the enemies we have in the world; yea, it is a greater judgment to be delivered up to ones own heart, then to be delivered up to the Devil himself.

Those that are so sollicitous to deliver themselves from the danger and evil of the power of men, let them first labor that the strength of their Sollicitousness be to deliver themselves from the danger and evil of their own hearts.

Secondly, You ask this question whether you may not flee danger? I answer, when God doth so dispose of things, as to bring his people into danger, usually God intends more to exercise faith and courage, and patience, then to exercise discretion, though it call for both? and that which is Gods usual cheif intent, should be our chief care; when as the care of most Christians in the time of Danger, is more to exercise their discretion for their safety. Then to exercise faith, courage, and patience that God calls most for.

Thirdly, Grant that the danger may be avoided, yet a Christian should count it a more honorable thing to be called to exercise faith, courage, and patience in a way of suffering, then to be called forth to exercise his discre­tion [Page 56] in avoiding of suffering. Indeed God doth not cal at all times to that which is the most honorable ser­vice, yet a Christian should account that more honora­ble, and not bless himself that his condition is better then others, because God calls others to suffer, and there gives them an opportunity to exercise faith, and courage and patience, and that he gives him liberty to avoid suffering, wherein he gives me an opportunity to exercise my discretion, and wisdom; I am to count them the most honorable Christians that do suffer.

Fourthly, When God doth call for the exercise of discretion in avoiding suffering, there must be a great care in Christians, not to mistake their discretion, to think that the work of Christian wisdom, and discreti­on, is to abate the vigor, and activity and strength of any grace of Gods spirit: But the work of it doth con­sist in the managing, improving, and increasing of al the graces of Gods spirit. There is a great mistake in the world about this, many think they must be zealous. But there must be discretion exercised: what do they count discretion? that which doth something take off the activity, and vigour of grace; but there is not one grace is so an enemy to another, as to abate in any de­gree the vigor and activity of any grace whatsoever, but the work of discretion is to mannage and improve our faith, and courage, and patience, and all other graces wel for the glory of God, and the good of his people, this is discretion; but if you account that discretion which abates the vigour and activity of grace, though you put that glorious name of discretion upon it, God cals it by other names, by cowardliness, self-seeking, and temporizing, and what wil become of those?

Fiftly, You ask whether you may avoid danger, and suffering? The cheife way that a Christian should use in avoiding of danger should be in this; namely, in Laboring to get his heart to be willing to submit to God [Page 57] in a way of suffering to be willing to endure suffering when he calls to it. As it is the best way to obtain a mercy from God, to get our hearts to be willing to be without it, if God shal see it sit, so it is the best way to avoid danger and evil, to get our hearts willing to suffer that evil if God shal cal to it. These things being pre­mised, there may be liberty to avoid danger.

CHAP II.

Containes a further Resolution of the former Case in nine particulars. 1. God doth give leave to his people to fly, and avoid Danger. 2. Such avoiding of Danger (if rightly qualified) argues neither distrust of God, nor defect of Courage. 3. In some cases, Christians not only permitted, but commanded to flee. as, 1. When no extraordi­narie thing depends upon him in that station in which God hath set him. 2. When the hand of God looseth those relations, which would other­wise be obligations to him. 3. When God gives him an opportunity else where, to bring greater re­venues of glory to him. 4. When a Christian is doubtfull about his call to suffer at the present. 4. There are some cases wherein it is utterly unlaw­full to flee, viz. The contrary to those above named 5. Mistakes in flying▪ as, 1. To flee upon every slight and trivial thing. 2. When it tends to their spiritual disadvantage. 3. When having secretly denied the Faith, Men flee to prevent the shame of Apostacie. 4. When they look at their own safety alone, without care to fit them­selves for further service of God. 5. How to know when avoiding dangers proceeds from Faith, or Cowardise, 1. That which is by Faith is not in a Violent, Rash, Heady manner. 2▪ When it proceeds from Faith, it is joined with a resolution to return and beare witness to the truth, when God cals. 3. When we use the liber­ty we have to get hearts to return. 7. The case of publique Officers, Magistrates, Ministers, espe­cially the latter.

BUT yet for the more close and full answer to this case of Conscience, whether a man may flee from [Page 59] danger yea or no, I shall express my self in these eight or nine several particulars.

1. We shall lay this for a conclusion that God doth give his people leave to avoid danger.

2. That if it be done as it ought, it is no argument of distrusting of God, or want of courage, and magna­nimity.

3. In some cases, some not only may, but are bound and ought to flee.

4. Some in some cases, must not avoid danger, and must not flee from it.

5. I will shew you some mistakes that may be in the fleeing of danger.

6. I will shew you whether that avoiding of dan­ger comes from faith or base feare.

7. I wil shew how far publick officers may avoid dan­ger, especially the case of a minister.

8. I wil answer to some objections that may be made against the avoiding of danger.

9. I will give you some directions for the behaving and carrying of our selves in fleeing and avoiding of danger.

For the first, God doth give leave to his people to flee and to avoid danger (that in the general must be laid as a certaine conclusion) you know that of Christ in Math. 10.23. When they persecute you in this City, flee into another. There is leave given and injunction too. It is that which is according to the light of nature, and religion doth not extinguish the light of nature though it shews somewhat above it, and except there come in some other command above nature, we may follow the light of nature, if we do not mistake a false light for a true.

And further we find it by plentiful example of Gods people, yea Christ himself avoided danger, and fled from it, and therefore he gives leave to it. As Elijas was a man of spirit enough, and yet in 1 Kings, 19.3. He fled for his life. and those Prophets that Obadiah [Page 60] hid were willing to avoid danger, as in 1 Kings, 18.4. And the example of Christ himself presently after he was born, when Herod slew al the children of two yeers old and under, then there came a commission from God un­to Joseph to flee with Christ into Egypt. Afterwards when Christ came to yeers, when he saw himself to be in danger, he avoided it. Divers texts we have for that in Math. 12.14.15. John, 10.39. And so Saint Paul. in Acts. 9.25. Presently after God had mi­raculously and wonderfully appeared unto Paul yet notwithstanding when he knew the Jews laid waite for him to kill him, the disciples let him out by the wal in a basket in 2 Cor. 11.33. it was a contemptible way of fleeing of danger, and yet notwithstanding that glorious word of God, that he was a chosen vessel to beare his name before the Gentiles, in Acts, 9.15. he was con­tent to avoid danger in that contemptible way. The case is cleere, that it may be done.

Secondly, But you wil say, though it may be done, it seems to be some abatement to faith, and courage. No, the avoiding of danger when it is in the way of God must not be counted the least abating of faith and cou­rage; and for that I will give you two texts of scripture that are very remarkable for that purpose, In Math. 10.23. Where Christ says, when they persecute you in one city flee into another: The next thing that he says is feare not them. vers. 26. and againe, feare not them that kill the body, verse 28. Here seems to be a cross thing: they might say blessed Saviour, doest not thou bid us flee? How can we flee and not feare? this shews there may bee fleeing from danger, that may not come from the least degree of cowardlyness and feare of man and there may be fleeing from danger, and yet no abate­ment of faith and confidence. As in Psal. 3. The title of the Psalme you have thus. A Psalme of David, when he fled from Absalom his Son, When David saw him­self in danger of Absalom, he doth not venture bold­ly [Page 61] upon it, and say God hath established me in my kingdom, and made me many promises to uphold me why should I flee? he did flee, but was it not an abate­ment of his faith and confidence in God? no, at vers. 3 But thou O Lord art a shield for me, my glory and the lifter up of my head: To shew there may be fleeing and yet confidence in God as our sheild, and glory, and lifter up of our head and at verse 5. I laid me down and slept, I awaked for the Lord sustained me, he Fled, but he was quiet for al that in verse. 6. I wil not be affraid of ten thousand of people that have set themselves a­gainst me round about. He Fled from his Son and yet said he would not be affraid of ten thousands of people. in verse, 7. Arise O Lord, save me O God for thou hast smitten all my enemies upon the cheek bone, thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly. His faith was so confident as it made him to think that which was to be done as done already and yet he penned this psalm in a Fleeing condition. So that the second thing is appearent,

Thirdly, In some cases a man not onely may but must Flee, he hath not only a permission but a command. when they persecute you in this citty flee into another.

Quest. What cases are those?

Answ. First If the case be such as no extraordinary thing depends upon me in that station that God hath set me: There is no station but hath somthing depends up­on it, therefore if we should say they may not Flee, but when the case is that nothing depends upon it, then none should Flee: but where there is nothing extraordi­nary depends upon it.

Secondly, When I feel the hand of God loose my re­lations which are otherwise tyes to me.

Thirdly, when God in the way of his providence doth open a door to me else where, where I may honor him (may be) honor him more.

Fourthly, When I find my heart doubtful about my call to suffer for the present: after much seeking of God [Page 62] and much examination of things, yet with a heart desi­rous to submit to God when the case is such no questi­on there is a bond to Fleeing, and it wil be a sin against God, and tempting of God not to do it.

Fourthly, There are some cases we must not Flee in If you ask what they are? It is breifely answered, the contrary to the other; when as God hath set me in such a place as some special thing depends upon me; or if I be convinced in my conscience (being willing to be convin­ced) that the cause of God, and people of God shall have more prejudice and hurt by my fleeing then by my staying.

It is an expression of Augustine in his Epistle to Hono­ratus about this argument: When any by fleeing shal do more hurt then he is able to requite by any worke in all his life (as the case is so sometimes) then he is bound to venture himself and not to flee. And it doth depend much upon a mans own conscience, and the judgment of others to know this: a man would be willing to favour himself in such a case, but let him be sure he deal up­rightly with God and his own soul, and not go only up­on his own judgment, but take the judgment of others, and then if conscience shal give him this dictate, his life cannot recompence that hurt he shal do by Fleeing, he is to stay, when he shal see the cause of God shal suffer much in it, and God comes in by some especial assistance helping of him, in a more then ordinary way; he may take it as an item from God, that God hath a speciall work for him to do. And this was the case of Daniel. He saw the cause of God lay upon that work, and it would suffer if he should baulk his way, and God did come in with especial assistance, and strength to him, and rather then the cause of God should suffer, he would put himself upon that danger: men according to natu­ral discretion would think he might have spared the o­pening of his window, but his conscience was convinced that his life was not of so much use as his witnessing to [Page 63] the cause of God at that time: and especially if we be in such a way, as we find God hemming of us in, and knocking off those things that may further our fleeing, that we cannot flee but we must do somthing against conscience and do somthing that is evil; you are to know that God doth cal you rather to suffer, and to venture upon him in such a case.

Fiftly, Those that flee to avoid danger if they take not heed, there may be many miscarriages in their flee­ing, whereby they may much sin against God, and dis­honor their cause. As

1. To flee upon every slight thing, that doth not be­seem a Christian, it should be somthing of weight that should cause him to leave his station: for there is no man or woman in any Station, but God set them in that station, and therefore without the command of God we may not stir: We are all as Souldiers, and God hath put us into our ranks, as a Captain sets his Souldiers in their ranks, now a Souldier dare not presume to Go out of his rank without a commission: whatsoever pre­tence he hath, though it be to do much good for his coun­try: so we must have a Commission from God, and not flee upon every slight thing.

2. Many in their fleeing flee much to their spiritual disadvantage: as they wil flee for feare of suffering loss in their estates, and outward liberties, and care not whither they flee to further themselves in their spiritual course: though (may be) they might with some loss of their estates have more spiritual advantage then in the place whither they flee, yet they wil rather flee then loose some of their estates, this is a miscarriage. Indeed if this be the care of a man when he flees, to flee where he may have most spiritual advantage, not outward tra­ding, but God in his ordinances, he may have comfort in it▪ but if men flee into places where they have no spi­ritual advantage, but onely for trading this is a miscarri­age.

[Page 64]3. When secretly they have denied the truth before­hand not only fear what they may do but their hearts tells them if they be called to suffer they cannot stand out, and they flee only to prevent the shame of their apo­stacy; they cannot tell how to look upon the faces of their acquaintance that shal know they are Apostates, this is a miscarriage.

Tertullian hath a whol treatise upon this concerning fleeing in persecution, and I know no man that ever de­nied it might not be, but only he; he would not have any flee in any danger for the case of religion; and he brings in many arguments, but they are not such, but an ordinary understanding Christian may answer, but this is one thing amongst the rest, says he, When you flee either you find in your hearts you shall deny the truth of God, or you have done it, or you know not whether you shal or no if you find in your hearts you shal deny the truth you have done it already: but if you know not whether you shal or no says he, it is in your own power or in Gods power to uphold you; if it be in your owne power, why should you not rather think you should stand for the truth of God; if it be in Gods power, why do you not depend upon God: But I bring this to shew, that if you already think you cannot stand for the truth you have declined already.

4. A fourth miscarriage is this, when people in their fleeing look at their own safety, but do not take care to fit themselves for further future service for God, or for suffering afterwards, if God shal at any other time cal them to it, never minding to make their chamber of hiding to be a place of provision for suffering afterward when God shal cal to it.

5. Know a man may flee out of cowardlyness, and a man may flee out of faith. Moses by faith forsooke Egypt.

Quest. But how shal a man know when he flees, that it is of faith and not of cowardliness.

[Page 65] Answ. First, That which is by faith it is not in a vi­olent, rash, and heady way, in the hurrying and confu­sion of a mans spirit; in his Flight he doth not run as one scared by common fire, or by the enemies coming upon them; no, but his Fleeing to avoid danger being from faith, it is in a quiet setledness of spirit, and for that take these two scriptures. The first, is that which before was named in Psal. 3.5. I laid me down and slept. He did not Flee as a man agasted, but he was in the way that God opened to him, and his spirit was very quiet, he laid him down and slept. And again that which is observed by one in 1 Kings, 19.8. Concern­ing Elijah, Fleeing, he arose and went, he did not run eagerly, but he went on in the strength of that meate in the way that God would have him: the phrase denotes a quietness and sedateness of spirit: so those that Flee by faith do it with much quietness of spirit, being con­tented with the hand of God, and not with bitterness and vexation of spirit, as many wil do, because consci­ence wil urge them they must Flee or suffer, and they dare not go against the dictate of Conscience, but will Flee, but they wil do it with abundance of bitterness of spirit: A man thinks with himself There was a time I lived, and had al outward accommodations, a house and estate, and trading, and meanes coming in, and all my freinds about me, what a comfortable condition is this, and now I must break off all, and go into a strange land, among strange people, and I know not what shall become of me: this is far from that contentedness of spi­rit, that should be in leaving al for the cause of God: whereas Christians should not only go on in a way of contentedness, but with joyfulness, because Fleeing is suffering.

2. Again where Fleeing is a work of faith, such a man or woman that Flees from danger, wil Flee with such a disposition of spirit, as he is willing to returne a­gain to witness for Gods truth, if God calls him; though [Page 66] now he doth not see his call clear: Chrisostome speaking upon this text of Moses Fleeing: seems to take it for his first Fleeing when he had slaine the Egyptian, and when it came to be known, he Fled from Egypt: but (says he) the scripture saith Moses was affraid, and here it says, he was not affraid, to that he answers thus. The Scripture says he was affraid, but now it is not attributed to feare, because though when he was affraid, yet he had a heart willing to returne when God should cal him, he did feare because he did not see his call cleare; yet he went away with such a disposition of heart, willing to wit­ness in Gods cause, when he called him to it, therefore the Scripture says, he was not affraid.

3. It is an argument I Flee out of Faith, when I do but make that receptacle a chamber to fit me for suffer­ing, and make use of al the liberty I have, to get such a heart to returne when God shal cal; this is a Fleeing that is rather to be attributed to faith then to fear.

Seventhly, For the case of those that are in publick office in Magistracy and Ministry, great care is to be had in their Fleeing; they above al men should most venture themselves; yet in some cases, Magistrates and Ministers may Flee and avoid danger. As the peo­ple would not suffer in 2 Sam. 21.17. David to go out to warr Least the light of Israel should be put out.

It is a notable expression Augustine hath upon that in his epistle to Honorius says he, he would have gone, he would not of himself have abstained from the danger least others should have been imitators of his sluggish­ness, but it was their work to keep him from it. But now to speak especially of the case of a Minister, whose tye is most to stand out against danger in dangerous times he is not very readily to Flee, especially when the per­secution is general, and Saint Augustine hath notable expressions about this in his epistle that he writ to Hono­rius in answer to this question, being against it. He [Page 67] that is weake shal perish by that knowledg, saith the A­postle in Cor. 1. S. 11. no, he that is weak, shal perish by thy ignorance rather. Again says he, There is more cause to feare that the living Stones of Christs building should be demolished, we fleeing, then that the stones of the buildings of our earthly houses should be set on fire, we being present.

Againe saies he, Let us rather feare that the members of the body of Christ being destitute of their spiritual food should be hurt, then that the members of our bo­dies by the violence of our enemies should be tormented, and never so afflicted.

But if it be so, then consider this.

First, You that are the people, you must not light­ly forsake a Minister neither; if Ministers are so tyed to you in time of danger, as they must venture themselves for your good, surely people are not at liberty to depart from their Ministers, for the tye is a mutual tye. You wil say, there is a difference between the Minister and another member: it is true, in regard of use, but if you come to the tye, the tye of another member is as real and strong, as the tye of a minister: As in the bo­dy the eye is of more use then the hand, yet somtimes the hand may preserve life more then the eye, and though it be of more use, the hand is as strongly and as truly tyed to the body as the eye; yea take al the members conjunctive, and there is a greater tye upon them to their Minister, then upon their Minister to them: the Minister is tyed to the whole directly, and they are ty­ed to him by being tyed to one another: and if there be liberty for one member of a Church to depart when he wil, then there is liberty for another, and so for all, and if liberty for them to depart, then there is liberty for the Minister too: many cry out of the Minister if he leave his people when he list, there is as much cause for a Minister to cry out of his people if they leave him when they list.

[Page 68]Secondly, If there be such a tye upon a Minister to venture thus for his people, he had need look to his cal: and the especiall cause why in other places, and we our selves when we were elsewhere, were so ready to fear, and Flee upon every occasion, was because there did re­main some kind of feare and suspicion of our call.

Thirdly, If there be such a tye upon a Minister to his people, his people had need labor what possibly they can to encourage their Minister, there need be strong union in their spirits, and they should take heed of catch­ing of this body, and that body, or that melancholy suspicions be cast to hinder the least union, that if time of danger come, they may freely and chearfully venture themselves amongst them: we know not what things God may call us to, the way that we walk in, and de­sire to walk in, is that which the world and the Devil hate, and though through Gods providence we have a breathing time, yet if we resolve to walk in this way whatsoever befal, we may meet with much before we die; and as we are bound to venture all that we are or have for you; so al that you are or have should be bound to us.

But in some cases a Minister may be so affraid as to Flee, and yet not to sin; as the Prophets, Christ, and the Apostles did Flee in the time of danger. A minister may Flee, if the persecution be personal, and not gen­eral, and so as his people be provided for otherwise by others, and so as he may be more useful to his people being absent, then he could have done being present, and if he Flee being willing to returne again, when God shal shew him his way, and if people break their relations; when things fal thus, then certainly he may Flee. In that Epistle of Augustine to Honorius, he instanced in Athanasius, and justifies his Fleeing; because the Emperour was incensed, and enraged against his person and he was willing to returne when God should give oc­casion. I might instance in al these, but I wil only instance [Page 69] in that if they Flee being willing to returne as God gives occasion.

As Saint Paul and Barnabas in Acts, 14. if you compare it with that in Chap. 13. They Fled two or three times from several places, and yet when there was respite they returned again to the very same places from whence they Fled, In Chap. 13.14. They came to Antioch, there the Jews stirred up the devout and ho­norable Women, and the cheif men of the City, and raised persecution against them, and expelled them out of their coasts: being persecuted, from thence they came to Iconium, where they sped as before in Chap. 14.5. From thence they went to Lystria at the begining of the verse where at first they thought them as Gods, but af­terwards so malicious were those of Antioch, and Ico­nium that when they heard they were at Lystria, they came to persecute them there: so in all these three pla­ces they were persecuted even to death. Yet at verse 21. they returned again to those three places: thus you see the practice of the Apostles, But if the relation be broke between minister & people, then they may depart.

In the time of persecution the case is more difficult, it is not so difficult for a Minister to leave his people in re­gard of sickness and weakness of body, as in the time of persecution: and he is more bound to stay with them in the time of persecution; then in the time of sickness. Christ says the hireling when the Wolfe comes he Flyes from the Sheep: A true Shepheard undertakes to venture his life against the Wolfe; and for him to avoid that danger he undertakes, that must needs be unfaithfulness, Jacob was content to watch his Sheep in the night, in the frost and cold, as wel as in the day, and in summer time The scripture doth not say if a Lyon come he is a hireling that shal Fly away; if the danger be such, as nothing but a miracle can preserve him, and his life may be more useful to the Church in another place, then to lay it down there, then he is not as an hireling, but as a wise Shepheard may avoid danger.

CHAP. 12.

Containing the eighth particular, to wit, Answering some objections made against flying. ob. 1. Men may not leave their country. Answ. in two par­ticulars. ob. 2. Should none stay to suffer. Ans. ob. 3. God Alsufficient to help in greatest dangers. Ans. ob 4. Fleeing a ceasing to give testimony to the truth of God. Ans. ob. 5. Many of Gods servants had power to fly, and did not. Ans. ob. 6. What shall become of those left behind, if they are forsaken by men of ability. Ans. ob. 7. If men would master their feares, and stay a while, the cloud would blow over. Ans. Ninth par­cular. Directions for ordering our selves when we do fly. 1. Leave as litle guilt behind in the place as you can. 2. Carry your selves so that the name of God may not suffer in the place to which you flee. 3. Behave your selves as exiled people, as men mortified to the things of the world. 4. Get a con­tented frame of heart. 5. When you are delivered keep your selves in the fervency of your spirits. 6. Let those from whom you flee have your praiers.

AND now I come to the Eighth particular to answer some objections that may be made against this

Object, 1. It may be said men may not leave their country.

Answer, We know a mans country may be left on many occasions as for merchandising, to get estates to maintaine their families, so Ruth and Abraham and his Sonns did: For learning as the Queen of [Page 71] Sheba did; surely then for Religion: It is true if we see any opportunity of setting up Relgion in our own Countrie, we are bound to set it up there rather then any where else, but if not we may leave our country, as the Evnuch travelled and left his countrie to come to Jerusalem for Religions sake. Besides;

God hath a great work of providence in scattering his people, and had it not been for persecution it is not like, the word of God should have been spread abroad in divers countries.

Objection, 2, But should none stay to suffer.

Answer, For this we are to know that fleeing is a suffering; and if it be examined to the bottome, many plead with others to stay to suffer, and the bottome is because they are loath to suffer so much presently, as the departing from their country, and shops, and estates is. Peter Martyr in a treatise of his about fleeing from persecution, gives a notable answer to those people, and hath a pretty expression to set out the temper and humour of those people. It is like to many that are diseased, and the disease is such, as there must be the cutting off of a Limbe, or the induring some great extre­mity to cure it, one that is delicate and loath to endure hardship; if he can but get any one to plead his cause that this is not the way to cure this disease to put the patient to such pain, it may be cured by more gentle means, and it were better for to venture with more gentle meanes then to cut off a Limb, now some through their loathness to indure some present certain paine wil venture to have it cured with more gentle meanes, though at length it cost them their lives. So some be­cause they are loath to indure so much certain present trouble as to part from their Countries and Estates, they rather venture with more gentle meanes, when as many times they grow to deny the truth, and [Page 72] to defile their consciences with superstitious things, and shamefully to subject them unto others.

But why do not they stay to suffer; may be their time is not come (as Christ saies in another case) if they had seen their time come they should have been as willing to stay as others,

Againe, if they should stay they should shew them­selves unthankfull for the providence of God in open­ing to them a doore, to injoy the ordinances other­where.

Againe they dare not stay because they should tempt God, and trust in their own strength: if they should stay and have not Gods call, they could not ex­pect Gods strength, and they know their own weak­ness.

Objection, 3. But is not God Alsufficient and able to help in the greatest dangers.

Answ. 1. Certainly if it were compared who trusts in Gods power most, I beleeve it may be found that those that do fly to avoid danger have more exercise of their faith in trusting in Gods power then many that stay and plead in that manner, as if so be we had not much need of the power of God for to support us and releeve us, and the trusting in Gods power for that, is as much as an ordinary, Yea, a strong faith is able to do.

2. Again we must take heed of stretching Gods po­wer to work according to our minds, God hath power enough for the releife of his people, and he will put it forth for the defence of his people, but if we wil think to bring Gods power, to work for our wills, it is not be­leeving but presumption: if God will put forth his po­wer in the upholding that way that he is in: Who art thou man or Woman, to think God should put forth his power in the upholding thy way?

Besides God will put forth his power in the use of meanes.

[Page 73]Object. 4. But then we leave to give Testimony to the truth, and is not the giving Testimony to the truth of God more worth than our estates?

Answ. 1. Fleeing is giving witness, and those that plead against it are loath to give so much witness, for a man to leave his estate and Country for a truth is not that witness?

2. Besides being absent they may by their writing, or by their practice give witness, & they may be reserved to give witness further.

Object. 5. But many of Gods deare servants (as the Martyrs) had power to flie, and they would not.

Answ. 1. To that I answer first, may be there were many engagements upon them, God did not loose al the tyes they had.

2. Besides, secondly, much doth depend on circum­stances which a Christian that is faithful by compareing one thing with another may see in which most of Gods glory is.

3. It may be they felt some extraordinary work of Gods spirit in them, in away of assistance, and comfort, and emboldning of them, so as their example cannot be drawn into a general rule.

Object, 6. But what shal become of those that are left behind, if others that have abilities forsake them?

Answ. 1. To that I answer first by the example of those that fly, what to do if God open a door, But if it be said they cannot Flee, To those I answer.

2. Secondly, though they cannot Fly they may be confirmed in a truth by others, that do depart and are willing to suffer so much for the truth in their depar­tures, [Page 74] and that more perhaps than they would have been by many exhortations.

3. And Lastly, I answer, if God shut the door against them that they cannot flie, and open the doors to others though their parts and graces be weak; if they be faith­ful they may comfortably expect, that God wil pro­vide for them and come in with more blessings and more assistance, than those that have strong parts and strong graces could have expected, if they had not taken the way that God opened for them.

Object. 7. But if men would stay a while the clouds may blow over, but they are fearful and cannot stay.

Answ. To that I answer, we should be glad of that, that those that abide may enjoy so much as we do, and bless God for it, and shall not enjoy them at all, but though this should be, yet it is not enjoyed for the pre­sent. And if it be the enjoyment of the ordinances one year we should account it more than should countervail the loss of our estates all our lives. And thus we have finished the eight particular in answering this case of conscience, but that we may further direct christians in this, there are divers notes for the ordering of our selves when we do Fly. When we are put into fear by man, and caused to Flie, we must shew it as a work of faith; and therefore let us learne so to order our selves in our Fleeing, and when we are Fled from danger as it may appeare it was a work of Faith: as,

2. When any are put to Flee danger, let them be careful they leave as little guilt behind them in that place they Flee from as possibly they can, let them la­bor to purge out the guilt they brought on that place as much as they can, for there are none, that have not only brought guilt upon their own consciences, but upon the place where they lived, and consider whether that were your care to remove the guilt from the place, and if it [Page 75] were not our care, now we are gone, let us mourn for our sins, so as they may not bring judgment upon the place.

Again, in the place into which we are Fled let us labor so to carry our selves as the name of God may not suffer among us, that they should have occasion to say, these are the men that Flee for religion, do they live as such? but let us labor so to walk as they may say, these people that make conscience of their waies, surely they did come for conscience sake; Their ways are accord­ing to that they profess. We have a notable expression of some that came from another country for religion, and yet walked so offensively, as the name of God suff­ered much by them that the heathen said, These are the people of the Lord and are gone forth out of his land, Ezekiel. 36.20. we dare not say we are among hea­thens, but when they were among heathens they propha­ned my holy name says God: and so many Fleeing from their own Country, profane the name of God in another Country, that give occasion to the people among whom they are Fled to say, look here are some that are gone from their own Land, that profess themselves to be the people of the Lord, and to Flee for religion, look what kind of people they are; thus Gods name is profaned, let us take heed that we give no such occasion to the people with whom we live to say, these are the people of the Lord that are Fled for religion.

3. We should be careful to behave our selves, as those that are Fled for religion, as exiled people, to be mor­tified to the things of the world, and to be content with any condition that God shal cal us unto, shal we repine when we meet with any trouble? that were an argument we had too too delicate spirits when we Flee from great danger and yet think we should meet with no trouble at all.

4. When we are Fled, we should labor to get our spirits into a contented frame, and walk in subjection unto God, and give God praise, as if we were in the [Page 76] greatest prosperity that we could have been in, in our own Country; we should not have our hearts dulled with a­ny inconveniency but keep up our spirits free in the ser­vice of God; It is a notable expression we have of David if you compare two Psalms together, Psal. 57. with the 108. and the 57. Psal. was when he Fled from Saul, and was in the care, but mark how Davids spi­rit was kept up, he was not dulled and stupified as ma­ny are, that come from delicate houses and are faine to live in Sellars and blind holes, their hearts begin to rise, Oh! the fresh aire, and brave living that once they had: David was so, and yet his heart was kept up; In the shadow of thy wings wil I make my refuge, a poor dark hole he was in, and he counted that dark hole the shadow of Gods wings, againe I wil cry to God most high, though I be brought low and meane I have an in­terest in this high God, and wil cry to that high God, un­to God that performeth al things. Had God performed al things for David? God promised David the king­dome, and David is brought into a poor hole to shift for his life, and yet David sayes he wil cry unto God that performeth all things for him: He shal send from Heaven, and save me, though I be in this blind place, the God of heaven regards me, and shal send from hea­ven to save me, vers, 5. Be thou exalted above the hea­vens, let thy glory be above al the earths, vers. 7. My heart is fixed O God, my heart is fixed, I will sing and give praise: al this was when he was in the Cave, if you compare this with Psal. 108. which was a Psalm of thanksgiving, and rejoycing that he made upon his deliverance, and the same expression that David had within the cave, the same expressions he had when God had fulfilled his promises, and he was Blessing his name for his great deliverance: noting thus much, look what temper of heart we should have in the enjoyment of the greatest mercies, we should labor to have that temper of heart in our submissions unto God when we are Fled from danger.

[Page 77]5. Again, let it be our care when we are delivered from the danger that we apprehended our selves to be in, to keep our selves in the fervency of our hearts, and spirits for God, and in the fervency of our love unto God and his truth as we had in danger. Many when they are in danger of their enemies and afraid of them, their hearts are in a great deal of fervency, and zeal for God, and his truth; and if they can get a few together to fast and pray or hear a Sermon repeated, how do they rejoyce; but when they are in safety their hearts are dead and Flat, and if they meet together to pray or to commune about the word, their spirits are not so fervent as before, the Lord keep this from us.

6. Again, let us labor to do al the good we can to the place which we are Fled from, by our prayers, or any other way we can; as the people of God, when they were from their own country; yet they would remem­ber Jerusalem: so ought we to do, for we are much bound to God for it, in regard of the good we have re­ceived in it.

7. Lastly, let us labor to make that hiding place that God provides for us to deliver us from danger, to be but a preparing place for greater danger: let us not think because we have avoided some danger and are in some safety, that al is well, but this should be our care that those places that are our hiding places to hide us from some danger, should be our preparing places for greater dangers afterwards, and thus using these directi­ons we shal honor God in our Fleeing, and shal not have cause to repent us. And thus we have done with that argument, the answering the case of conscience about Fleeing.

CHAP. 13.

How the Heart may be taken off from the fear of man. First, it is against the solemn charge of God. Secondly, It is an Idolizing of the Crea­ture. Thirdly, It becomes not the State and Spirit and profession of a Christian. Fourthly, It dishonors God, and the Cause of God. Fifthly, It mightily heartens the enemies of Gods people. Sixthly, It is threatned as a great judgment of God upon a people, Seventhly, The evil effects of the sinful feare of man. 1. It distracts our thoughts. 2. Weakens the heart. 3. Eates out the true feare of God. 4. It indisposeth us to any service. 5. Insnares a Christian. 6. It causeth other desperate fears. 7. Procures the judgment of God in our destruction.

A VVord of Exhortation, How the heart may be taken off from the fear of man.

There are two things that yet remain in this point, namely, to labor to take off the heart from the fear of man, or any danger, by shewing the evil that there is in the sinful fearing of man, or of any danger that may befal us: Secondly, by laying down some means to bring off the heart from creature fear.

First, A Christian must take heed of sinful fear of man, and not to fear any creature in an inordinate sinful way, for there is much evil in it, more than we are aware of.

1. In the First place, It is that which is against so many solemn charges of God, whereby he charges his people against this to take heed of it as a thing that would be exceeding displeasing in his eyes, I scarce know any thing in scripture that God doth in a more solemn way charge his people to take heed of, then this; as [Page 79] that place In Deut. 20.3. Mark what several words God hath, let not your hearts faint, fear not; do not tremble, neither be terrified, and so in Isa. 41.13.14. Fear not, I wil help thee, fear not thou worme Jacob: though thou thinkest thy self a worme fear not, and so he goes on in that chapter useing many arguments, and giving many cavaets against fear. So in Matth. 10. in a few verses you have two or three several expressions a­gainst fear, vers. 26. Fear them not therefore, in vers. 28. Fear not them that kill the body: and in vers. 31. Fear ye not therefore: this shews our natures are sub­ject to sinful fear, we are dul enough to the true fear of God, but to the feare of man our natures are exceeding prone: now that which is against so many solemn charges of God, that must needs be a very great evil.

Secondly, The fear of man, and of the creature, is an Idolizing the creature, giving that to the creature which is due to God; and as we set up the creature in the place of God, by loving it, desiring it, trusting in it, and rejoy­cing in it, in an inordinate way; so by fearing it, yea fearing of it in a sinful way inordinately, not in subordi­nation to God, is an Idolizing the creature in a special manner, because the affection of fear is a mighty po­werful affection, and darws the Heart mightily after it; and therefore God gives great charge that he himself should only be feared in Isaiah, 8.13. Sanctify the Lord of Hosts himself, and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. So that to fear the creature sin­fully, is contrary to the sanctifying of Gods name, and against the special worship that God challengeth to him­selfe, and therefore in vers. 12. He would take off their hearts from the fear of man, and the fear of the creature. Say ye not a confederacy, to al them to whom this people shal say a confederacy, neither fear ye their fear, nor be afraid. The fear of God is put for the whole wor­ship of God, for one to say I fear the Lord, and worship the Lord, is all one: They are taught my fear by the pre­cepts [Page 80] of men, they are taught my worship: Isaac was sayed to fear the name of God because the special wor­ship that Isaac tendered to God was the fear of his name, and if the fear of Gods name be such a special part of Gods worship, for this to be Given to the creature not in a way of subordination to God, that is a great evil.

Thirdly, In the third place it is that which is exceed­ing unbeseeming the estate, and spirit, and profession of a Christian.

1. It is unbeseeming the Estate of a Christian. What is the estate of a Christian? It is a raysed estate, higher than the estate of the world, but this makes their estates low, for it subjects them to the Iusts and humors of men, we need not fear what man can do when he wal­keth not by the rule, and when he abuseth his power, it is his lust, and when we fear sinfully we subject our selves to the lusts of men, and it is against the raised estate of a Christian to subject himself to the lust of any man in the world, we must be subject unto the power of man according to Gods rule, but be subject unto the lusts of no man though it were the grea­test Monarch in the world. The estate of a Christian is a rich and established estate, but this fear makes it uncertaine, as if he had nothing to rest upon; The estate of a Christian hath many priveledges; but this makes it seem as if there were no good to make up the least evil. The estate of a Christian is such as all the attributes of God work for it, the power, and wis­dom, and mercy, and truth of God: But this sin­ful fear shews as if we had nothing to help us in our straights and distresses. The estate of a Christian is such as must make account of a great deal of trouble in his way, but this sinful fear shews as if we promised to our selves nothing but ease and contentment to the flesh. The estate of a Christian is such as hath gone through a great many fears before, other manner of fears than the Creature can cause; the feare of the wrath of God, and [Page 87] the stroake of Justice, and the Curse of the Law, but this sinful feare makes it seem as if we had never been ac­quainted with such fear.

It is unbeseeming the spirit of a Christian 2 Tim. 1.7. We have not received the spirit of fear, that is unbe­seeming a Christian. The spirit of a Christian is a rai­sed spirit, this is a low spirit, The spirit of a Christian is strong, this is a weak effeminate spirit; The spirit of a Christian is raised upon high principles; this is from base principles; The spirit of a Christian is an ingeni­ous spirit, this is a mean spirit discouraged upon every little danger; The spirit of a Christian is ful of love, this is ful of Jealousy. The spirit of a Christian is a Clean spirit, this is a polluted spirit conscious to it self of abundance of evil.

Thirdly, It is unbeseeming the profession of a Chri­stian; a Christian doth make profession of special in­terest that he hath in God, and in the Covenant of Grace and the promises of the Gospel and to be daunted with every little fear is quite cross to this. And therefore thats observable of Ezra, Ezra, 8.22. When he had made profession of Gods being with them, he was ashamed to aske of the King a band of Souldiers: he was ashamed to do any thing to shew that they feared the enemy; and so when a Christian shal profess interest in God, yet have such base sinful fear, this is mightily a­gainst the profession of a true Christian.

Fourthly, A sinful fear is that which much dishonors God, and his Cause, a great dishonor it is to God to have his people so affraid of every danger, it is a dis­honor to his power, his truth, his faithfulness, and his care over his people, It is a dishonor to God, and so in that respect it is contrary to the sanctifying of Gods name, and therefore you shal observe, where the Lord chargeth his people with sinful fear, he charges them al­so that they did not remember him. Isa. 57.11. Of whom hast thou been affraid, or feared t,hat thou hast [Page 88] lyed and hast not remembred me, where there is sinful fear it takes off the heart from God, as if there were no God in heaven to help a Christian. Therefore it was Nehemiah in Nehemiah, 6.8. Would not be affraid when he saw others sought to make him affraid, because it would have been a dishonor to God, and his cause.

Fifthly, Besides sinful fear is that which doth migh­tily hearten the enemies of Gods people and dishear tens Gods people, it makes the enemies of Gods people so much the more bold; the fear of anenemy heartens an Enemy, as Gideon when he came to the Host of his ene­mies, and heard their communication that they were af­fraid of Gideon, then he was so much the more heartned; and so the spies that went to the land of Canaan, when they heard that the fear of them was amongst the people this heartened them, and so when one knows his adver­sary is affraid of him, he will be heartned; a dog will follow another, that runs from him. And this discou­rages the people of God when they see others afraid in the cause of God.

Sixthly, It is a great evil, because it is that which is threatned as a great judgment of God upon a people, it is not only a sin but a punishment for some former sin, in Deut. 28.65.66. This is Gods judgment against wickedness, and therefore a sore, and great evil that Chri­stians should count to be upon them, if the spirit of fear be upon them.

Seventhly, The evil of it appears in the evil effects that proceed of it upon ourselves: as.

1. The distraction of our thoughts and therefore the word that is translated Rash, in Isa. 32.4. It signi­fies Fear, because it doth distract the thoughts of peo­ple, and makes them do they know not what, It is repor­ted as an excellency that was in Alexander and Caesar, and other valorous spirits, that they were in the time of danger able to command their thoughts, and to consult and mannage any business, for usually fear distracts ones thoughts.

[Page 89]2. Again it weakens the heart exceedingly, though a sudden fear may cause some strength, and the putting forth of the spirit, yet usually it doth weaken the spi­rit; In 1 Cor. 2.3. Weaknes and Fear go together, & in Deut. 20.3. Fainting of spirit and Fear go together.

3. Fear of man is that which doth exceedingly eate out the true fear of God, as love of the creature eats out the love of God, and joy in sinful things eates out the true joy in God, So fear of the creature eates out the fear of God. In Isa. 57.11. Of whom hast thou been affraid, or feared that thou hast lyed, and hast not remembred me, as if God should say my fear and the fear of the creature cannot stand together.

4. Sinful fear makes one altogether unfit for any ser­vice, to be used in any employment for God▪ in Judg, 7.3. God gives a command to the people by whom he would do great things, that all that were of a fearful heart should return back again, as If God should say they are not fit for me.

5. The fear of man is a great snare, 29. Prov. 25. It brings a man to many sinful courses, and shifting ways and to commit sin against God in Isa. 57.11. Of whom hast thou been afraid, or feared, that thou hast lyed: many servants when they have done any thing that they are affraid of the displeasure of their Masters or Mistresses, they are afraid and lie: and so in other ca­ses, when as people are possessed with the fear of man, they wil take any sinful courses, and lie to avoid danger you know what the Psalmist says in Psalm, 19. The fear of the Lord is clean, but the fear of man is very impure, the fear of God purgeth the heart; but the fear of man defileth the heart and exceedingly polluteth it I was affraid says Saul of the people and I obeyed their voice: In 1. Sam. 15.24. And so many in Scripture were convinced that it was Christ, but they were affraid and did not confess him▪ in John, 12.42.

6. The fear of the creature hath abundance of evil in [Page 90] it, in that it brings most desperate fears; if you give way to the fear of any creature, to fear any danger and so to avoid it in a sinful way, you bring your selves by this means to most desperate fears: As it was the desperate condition of Francis Spira when he was affraid of those that had power over him and so denyed Christ a­gainst his conscience, Oh the dreadful horrors of consci­ence that he was sunke into; and so it is usual, for men that wil balke the waies of God against conscience, when their consciences are enlightned, their hearts are Burden­ed with such fears, as they cannot stand under them, o­ther manner of fears then the fear of man, in Jer, 1.17. God says unto Jeremiah be not dismayed at their faces least I confound thee before them: it is the same word that is translated before, dismayed; do not fear least I fear thee; be not dismayed least I dismay thee, and to reconcile both translations the meaning may be, do not fear least I so fear thee as to confound thee with fear so that you see this note is clear. By fearing the crea­ture, fearing danger, we come to plunge our selves into the most desperate fears of al: And let this be a warning from God to us all, be not dismayed and affraid in any way of God, least God fear you in another manner, take heed you be not terrifyed least God terrifie you, ma­ny dreadful examples we have how many upon their sick beds, and death beds, have had dreadful fears, that they have done things against conscience out of fear.

7. And the last evil that wil come upon us in sinful fear, is the judgment of God in our destruction in Revela, 21.8. Amongst those that shal be cast out into the lake of fire and brimstone are the feareful, and therefore we had need take heed of sinful fear and make God to be our only fear.

But now that we may conclude this argument in a word of Exhortation, as sinful fear is a most dreadful evil, so the trrue fear of God is a most precious Jewel in Isa. 33.6. The fear of the Lord is called the trea­sure [Page 91] of Gods people, sinful feare hath a treasure of evil, and therefore to be avoided; Oh then let us take heed of sinful fear of the creature, as the Lord by the pro­phet Isa. 55.4. Say to them that are of a fearful heart be not affraid, do not plead and say I am of a fearful nature says God, say to them that are of a fearful heart be not affraid: so say I to you that are the people of God, in the way of God though you be by nature fearful, you that are of a fearful nature be not affraid whatsoever your natures have been, yet if your hearts have been brought under the power of the Gospel, now there is a spirit of magnanimity put into you; Give me says Lactantius, (speaking of the power of Christian religion upon the hearts of men) a man fearful of pain of death & if once Christian Religion prevails in his heart, he shal present­ly contemn crucifying fyre, yea that cruel torture of Pha­laris his Bull in which that cruel tyrant delighted to hear men roare being put into it when it was made bur­ning hot. In the Epistle of Saint Peter. you have the the holy Ghost directing his exhortation to women who are naturally feareful 1 Peter, 3.6. Whose daughters you are as long as ye do well and are not affraid with any amazement: it seems very strange at first view, how the Apostle brings in this to women. It is brought in thus: First if you consider Sarah and as the wife of Abraham; Abraham was to go out of his own country and was like to meet with many dangers and difficulties and to suffer hard things; and this is the Commendati­on of Sarah and shee is set before al Christian women as an example, that though shee was a woman, and so by nature Fearful, yet shee was not an hinderance to him, she was not affraid with amazement, shee overcome the natural Fear of her sexe by her Faith and it is a notable note For Women, when God cals their husbands to go out of their country, may be they would go but their wives are affraid of the Sea and of difficulties and they are hinderances to them: but if you would be [Page 92] daughters of Sarah, you must be daughters in this, not to be affraid with amazement, you should be true yoke-fellows to help them in that worke, & not to hinder them with passionate fear. Further whose daughters you are this is spoken to Christian women, now then many had Infidels to their husbands, now the Apostle would have them imitate this example of Sarah and by faith to go beyond their sexe, may be their husbands would threaten them; if you do thus and thus, you shal live such and such an uncomfortable life with me, this might discourage many, and hinder them in their way, how shall I be able to live with such a one that shal always be crossing and vexing of me because of such and such waies that I take; therefore the Apostles instance in this particular, if God have revealed his way and truth to you, whatsoever difficulties you are like to meet withal be not affraid with amazement. Again they living in those times, whether they had good Husbands or bad, they were like to suffer persecution: and now might they say how shall such poor women as we; that are weaker usually then men, be able to lie in prison or Burn in the fire? this would bring down the spirit of the strongest man. The Apostle therefore di­rects this to women, be not affraid with amazement, you have a strong God to be with you in whatsoever you are called to suffer. There are many Gracious promi­ses that we find in Scripture that there is a time Coming when God will deliver his people from the fear of man that wil be a blessed time, for much evil doth come to the people of God by the sinful fear of man, and we should labor to fulfil Gods promises what we can. In Isa. 54.11. God promises. O thou afflicted, tossed with tempests and not comforted, behold I will lay thy stones with fayr colours and lay thy foundations with Sa­phires; where was this promise ever fulfilled? the con­dition of the Church shal be very Glorious, that God wil lay the foundations with Saphirs, and the stones with fair colours; we use to lay the foundation [Page 93] with rubish, and ordinary stone, but God wil lay it with Saphirs, vers. 14. In righteousness shalt thou be established, thou shalt be far from oppression, for thou shalt not fear; and from terrour, for it shal not come neer thee: So in Jeremiah 23.4. I will set up Shepheards over them which shal feed them, and they shal fear no more, nor be dismayed: many people have Shepheards over them but they are affraid they should be taken a­way, but then they shal have Shepheards and shal not fear, in Jer. 30.10.11. and vers. 46, Chap, 27. There is a blessed condition of Gods people, and the more it is ful­filled to us, the more Glorious shal our condition be. And this is an observable note, that I have met withal that some have concerning that place in Cant. 8.4. I charge you O Daughters of Jerusalem that ye stir not up nor awake my Love till He please: In the former part of the Book in Cant. 2.7. And in Cant. 3.5. The Church charges after another manner, I charge you O ye daughters of Jerusalem by the Roes & Hindes of the field, that you stir not up nor awake my Love until he please: But in Cant. 8.4. The Roes and Hindes of the Field, are left out, only she charges them, Not to stir up her Love til he please; What is meant by stirring up her beloved? And what is meant by the Roes and the Hindes? Stir not up my beloved till he please, that is when the Church is brought into any comfortable condition, there is a charge that they do nothing to alter that condition, to make it more uncomfortable, not, to stir up Christ so stir up Christ so as to displease him. But she charges by the Roes and the Hindes. The Roes and Hindes are fearful shy creatures, that wil run away from every lit­tle motion, so some estates of the Church are such, that many would come to joyne, but if they saw the least danger, or commotion they would presently run a way, and then the charge runs thus, you that are the Church of God, when God hath granted any prosperity and peace, take heed you do not take such a course as to [Page 94] loose your prosperity, because many are looking at you and would joyne to you that are of fearful hearts and are not so established as to venture upon dangers, and troubles and therefore if you cause disturbances, and Christ be stirred up before he please, those that stand by that are of fearful natures, will be afraid, and they will Reason, we thought to have joyned with them, but we see what troubles are like to be among them, and these are the Roes, and Hindes that retreate: but now afterward the Church came to be in a more established condition, and those that God intends to bring into his people should not be of such fearful natures, and there­fore in Cant. 8, he leaves out the Roes, and the Hinds and says take heed what you do: indeed now there is no such danger of fearful natures, those that God wil bring in they shal come through danger, and through trouble, they wil reason there hath been troubles amongst Gods people ever since the beginning of the world, and they wil not go back because of them, yet take heed of troubles and disturbances:

Now there are many especiall means to help against these fears, as

1. Labor to take off your love from the creature and you will not have much fear, Says an ancient he that hath nothing in the world that he loves, he hath nothing in the world that he feares, for the foundation of all fear is love: According to the degree we love any thing so we fear the contrary, let us but mortify our love to the creature and we shal mortify the fear of the creature,

2. Let us get and keep our interest in God, and that wil keep us from the fear of the creature.

3. Let us labor to see clearly that the cause we are in is Gods Cause.

4. Look to the call of that cause, though the cause be good if we have not as all to that cause, we cannot be helpt against Fear.

5. Labor to bring your Hearts to count it Honor, and Riches, and pleasure enough to be employed in Gods [Page 95] service any way, whatsoever comes of it, if I should endure such and such troubles in it, yet the wil of God be done, God cals for my estate, and liberty, and com­fort to be employed this way, and that is enough that any thing I have may be employed in Gods way, and if it be lost in Gods service, it is well lost, if the Heart be brought to this disposition, it wil not fear the loss of any thing.

6. Keep the conscience upright in Gods way, Job, 11.14.15, If iniquity be in thy hand put it far from thee and let not wickedness dwel in thy tabernacle, for then shalt thou lift up thy face without spot; yea thou shalt be steadfast and not fear: When the Heart begins to decline in the least degree, then it is filled with Fear.

7. Keep a close and ful and comfortable communion one with another, let there be no fear with one another, as that is a notable place 1 Cor. 16.10. Concerning the care of Saint Paul over Timothy, because he was young, and so weak, That he might be with the Church without fears. As a means to help Timothy in his way against whatsoever troubles he met abroad, so whatsoever dangers there be abroad in the world you will find this a notable means to strengthen your hearts to be without fear of all the world, to keep close one with ano­ther.

8. If you will needs fear, fear prosperity rather then trouble: and indeed there is more cause to fear our ease and our prosperity, then to fear any trouble in the world, there is more cause to fear the favors of men, then their threatnings, there is more cause to fear the world when it comes like a Fox, then when it comes like a Lyon, the joys of this present world are to be feared by a Christian: now Christians fear altogether present ad­versity, but you should labor to fear prosperity.

9. Lastly, consider how little good, fear of any creature will do, it will never a whit free you from the [Page 96] evil you fear. But rather bring it sooner, as when Peter was affraid of the waves, and affraid of sinking, did it help him? No, it rather brought the waves upon him, and so in trouble your fear cannot help you, and deliver you but bring trouble sooner upon you. And therefore that is an observable note, the difference be­tween John and the other disciples, when Christ was ap­prehended all the disciples fled, except John, and John stood when he was in the Priests Hall, and when he was upon the Cross, he said to him behold thy Mother, so that he was not affraid of his life, now their was not one of all the Disciples that fled for there lives, but dyed violent Deaths, and their lives were taken away, and John that did not flee, lived fourscore years after Christ, and continued in his ministry. So that you see God many times will preserve such as are least affraid, and let such as are affraid, fal into the trouble that they are affraid of, at that time they are affraid or afterwards; And thus we have finished the second Doctrinal con­clusion from these words, that faith cures sinful Fear.

CHAP. 14

Another Doctrine. Much difference between Gods peoples spirits at several times, Illustrated by exam­ples. Reasons, 1. From the different dispositions their hearts are in to receive truths. Which proceeds from Three Causes, First, the abatement of the strength that is opposite to that truth. Secondly, The stirrings or activity of those habits which are sutable to truth. Thirdly, The prevalences of self-Interest. Reas. 2. From the different representations of Truth. Reas. 3. Because the Graces of men do not burn so cleerly and purely at al times. Reas. 4. From the weakness of Grace, the parts and members of it are not consolidated. Reas. 5. Because our hearts are somtimes filled with more hea­venly consolations then at other times. Reas. 6. From the different breathings of the spirit of God, Reas. 7. Because men have somtimes a more clear and distinct sight of their call to suffer then at other times. 3. Par­ticular directions in this Case. Reas. 8. The differ­ent tempers of mans Body. Reas. 9. From the differ­ence in the encouraging occurrency of Gods provi­dence.

WEE come now to the next Doctrinal conclu­sion which was raised from hence, there was a time when Moses was affraid, he did forsake E­gypt out of fear; now Moses by faith did forsake E­gypt and was not affraid; The Point is.

[Page 98] Doct. There is a great deal of difference between the Spirits of Gods people at some time, from that they are at other times.

Now Moses seems to have further courage and strength then formerly; we have many examples in scripture, and dayly experience of this that there is a wonderful differ­ence between the spirits of Gods people at sometimes and at other times, As Elijah was a man of mighty cou­rage that could look Ahab on the face, and when Ahab said, art thou he that troublest Israel, nay (saith he) it is thou and thy Fathers house, at another time he fled from Jezebel, and God said to him, what dost thou here Elijah, art thou fleeing from a woman that but the o­ther day hadst such a courage: And so David, there was a time when David was affraid; and behaved him­self with much folly in his fear, as in the change of his behavior before the King of Gath, at another time as in Psalm. 23. He would not fear what man could do un­to him, though he walked in the vally of the shadow of Death. And so in many Psalms you have his heart mightily dejected in the beginning of the Psalm and be­fore he had done mightily raised: And so Abraham sometime he had mighty strength and confidence of his Faith, at other times his faith failed him, and he was fain to equivocate, and shift for himself, And so Jere­miah God said he would make him as a Brazen wal, and he would give him a spirit of courage, at another time Jeremiah was mightily dejected because of the re­proach he met withal, and he would speak no more in the name of God unto the people. And so Peter there was a time when he was affraid of a poor damsel, at other times who so bold as Peter, as in Acts 2.14. And so Joseph of Arimathea▪ he was a disciple of Christ but secretly for fear of the Jews, but afterward [Page 99] he came boldly and begged the body of Christ at Pilates hand; And so Nicodemus he was convinced that Christ was a great prophet of God, and much Good might be got by him, but he was affraid of the Jews, and came to Christ by night, afterward he went with Joseph to begg the body of Christ, and appeared publickly for Christ, and so Paul ▪ there was a time, when he was let down in a basket for fear, and he shifted for his life that way, but afterwards what abundance of cour­age had he. And so in after times many of the martyrs, sometime what mighty feare was upon them, and af­terwards what strength and courage had they. As Bi­lney, thar blessed Martyr; (as Latimer speaks of him) he was in greivous perplexity, that those that came to apply any promises to him, did as it were strick daggers to his heart, afterwards he suffred a glorious martyr­dome, and had abundance of Courage, as may be read in his story. And so Saunders when Doctor Pendle­ton came to him to strengthen him, says he, will you that have put your hand to the plow now give in, and you that have left Antichrist wil you now follow him? Saunders, could not but have much fear that he should forsake Christ, but so it fell out that Pendleton fell off shamefully, and Mr. Saunders suffered and had abun­dance of Comfort, and Courage. And so Mr. Glover when he was in prison after he was condemned he had much fear, and a spirit of heaviness, yea the morning that he was called out to the stake he was troubled with doubtings, till he came to the sight of the stake, and then he had abundance of courage and Joy: These are the examples; but now the reasons.

Reason, 1.

The first, Reason of the Differences of the spirits of Gods Servants is from the different disposition that their hearts are in for their receiving of the truths of God at [Page 100] some time, from that they are at othertimes; that it is even to admiration sometimes to consider, that such a truth that there is but a hint of it Given at one time, shal have such power upon their hearts as shal mightily pre­vail with them, they shal easily entertaine it, and easily be convinced by it, and overpowred with it; at another time when there are strong arguments, to bring the truth a great deal more powerfully, and fully to the heart, it vanisheh and comes to little: we use to say; Whatsoever we receive is received according to the disposition of the receiver: what is the reason why people in the time of sickness are ready to heare of any truth, and ready to be convinced of it, and no wranglings and objections against it. If God come in their prosperity, and health with the same truthes, they are nothing to them, but wrangle, and object against them and wil not yeild and be convinced? The truth is the same but the difference is in the disposition of the receiver. And so in regard of the temptation to sin, sometime when a temptation to sin is presented, the heart presently closes with it, with­out examining; at other times through Gods mercy when temptation comes, it doth not so easily take, but a mans heart wil stand out against it, sometimes a mans heart is to the temptation, as tinder to the fire, every spark wil take hold, at other times the heart is as the three children, though they walke in firy temptations, their hearts have not so much as the favour of them: There are three things that do cause the difference in the disposition of heart for receiving a truth of God or re­ceiving a temptation to sin.

First, The abating of the strength of that which is opposite unto any truth, or unto any temptation, when as a truth comes to a man, there is in every mans heart somthing opposite to that truth, now if the strength of that which is opposite be abated that it doe not stir, the truth prevailes whith a great deale of strength; but if that which is opposite to a truth be work­ing [Page 101] and stirring at such a time when they truth comes, then though it comes a great deal more strongly, it cannot prevaile: And so if temptation comes, and the principle that is opposite to that temptation be stirring at that time, a man can prevaile against it, but if a man have some principle of grace, and that ly dead when the temptation comes, then a great deal less temptation prevailes.

Secondly, That which makes a difference in the dispositions of the spirits of men for receiving a truth, or receiving a temptation, is the stirring or activeness of those habits that are sutable to a truth or unto a temptation: when there comes a truth presented to a man that cals for duties, service or suffering, if a man have principles sutable to the duty, and these principles be now stirring, then he can close with that truth and it prevailes powerfully. And so for sin if a man have seeds and habits of sin, and temptation come when these seeds and habits are stirring, then he closeth with it presently.

Thirdly, But the especial thing that makes the dis­position of a man to receive a truth or a temptation different at one time from that it is at another, is when self is engaged in a business: As now take it in person or opinion; Suppose there is such a man or woman that I am any way ingaged to and serve my turn in; in any thing that is spoken for them or their commendation, I am ready to imbrace it; but suppose this man or wo­man do not serve my turn, but the ingagement is broke, then I beleeve the least evil that is spoken against them, when as I would not have beleeved ten times as much before, not that there is more in them then before, but only the frame and disposition of my heart towards them is otherwise then before: And so in opinion: If a man hold an opinion upon which there follows some consequents that he did not see before, after he hath held this opinon upon which such consequents [Page 102] will follow, he seekes with all his might to main­taine it, not because the consequents are true, but because it is his opinion that he holds. Come to a man that is ignorant which holds an opinion, and tel him nakedly the consequents that will follow upon that opinion he holds, without any reference to that o­pinion, and he is mightily against them, but come an­other time and seeke to draw those consequents from that opinion which he holds, and he seek to maintaine them, which he would not do but for that ingagement he hath unto that opinion; but when a gracious heart finds this that al ingagements to men, and the world, and selfe are broken, and he gives himself to be ingaged wholy in God, al that was self before in his credit, and liberty, and estate, and ease, and comfort, is put upon the name of God, the praise of God, the fur­thering the truth of God and his Gospel, then any truth of God that comes to the soule at this time, it pre­vailes mightily, because the heart is ingaged in God and his truth: and indeed if so be we did understand aright, we should see more of our own good to consist in God, then in our selves; and this is the ground and principle of self denial, when as the soule shall come to see my good is more in God, then in my selfe, and therefore I will deny my good and comfort so far as it is in my selfe and I will seeke my good and comfort in God: and indeed no men in the world seek themselves more then the Godly, only the one seeks himself in him­self, and the other seeks himself in God, the one is engaged to his self-ends and self-praise, and the other makes himself only ingaged in God, and when a man comes to be thus engaged in God, then any truth prevails with a mighty strength more then before. And this is the first reason (which is a principal one) that causeth the heart, to be at a different condition at one time, from that it is at another.

Reason. 2.

The second Reason is in regard of the differences of their presentations of a truth, though when we are indisposed let the truths come never so powerfully it is all one, but if the heart be fit in any reasonable manner to receive a truth, there may be a great deal of difference in the man­ner of the representation of a truth, somtimes the truth comes more cleerly, and with more evidences, more particularly, more powerfully: Somtimes it comes with greater evidence of the spirit of God then at other times, there is not only a little gloss of a truth of God, but the shine of it, that a man cannot shut his eyes against it: somtime the truth comes more particularly to the heart, God doth not only present a truth in the general to him that this is a duty Christians must do: but it shal come to the particular frame of the heart, and shal meet with every objection, and he shall find the secrets of his thoughts to be discovered and answered, so that the truth shal come like a key that is fitted to a lock; if you bring a key to the lock though it may be like the right key and as strong a key as the right is, yet if it be not indeed the right, if it miss but in one ward of the lock, never so little, you may spoil both the lock and the key, but you cannot open the lock though you have never so much strength, but come with a key suted to that lock and do but turn it, and it opens presently: So when it pleaseth God to come with his truth to our souls, we were backward and we heard many truths, but they did not meet with all our objections, and therefore it was stopped with some one or other, but afterward it pleased God so to dispose of things, and to bring the truth so fully to the heart, as it meets with every objection, and then the heart quietly yeilds, and therefore it is said God opened Lydias heart, Paul preached to others and had much wringing with them and could not prevail, [Page 104] but Saint Paul came to Lydia, and he prevailed pre­sently, because God did so dispose of Lydias heart as it was fitted to the truth Saint Paul spoke of: as ma­ny when they come to hear the word, cannot but say the truth of God hath met with me in every particular, and I have no secret object on in my heart, but it is answer­ed, somtimes the truth comes more powerfully then at other times: as in Isaiah, 8.11. For the Lord spake thus to me with a Strong hand, & instructed me that I should not walk in the way of this people, God did not only tell the prophet his duty, but he spake with a strong hand, so when God comes sometimes he tels you what you ought to do, but he doth not alwaies come with a strong hand as sometimes he doth: Job, 36.10 He openeth also their Eares to discipline and comman­deth that they returne from iniquity: does not God command men at al times to returne from their iniquities doth not god command men in prosperity to return from their Iniquities, yes, but in the time of affliction ordi­narily the truth comes with more commanding power, then he sealeth instruction as in Job. 33.16. when people came to hear the word they heard instructions to do such and such duties, but those instructions did not come with command, they were not sealed, but in affliction God seals them, if a man see a writing and see the hands of others to it, it is somthing to perswade him to see o­thers are of that opinion, but when he sees the broad Seal to it then it comes with authority, and so when men come and hear the word of God, they think it is but our opinion, and cast it off, but in affliction those truths come with authority, and have the seal of Heaven upon them, and then they prevail, you have other manner of thoughts of them then before; that which Saint Paul spoke it was in power to the hearts of the people; and they could not resist the spirit wherewith Stephen spake because he was ful of faith and power. So some­times God speaks with so much power as they cannot [Page 105] stand out: we may see the different spirits of men by the different representation of a truth in our selves or in o­thers, somtime when God pleaseth to convince us, and work upon us, we admire it our selves, did we not hear these things before, what was it that kept me from be­ing convinced, I never was stirred before, and now me­thinks there is such mighty power in them as I cannot stand against them, what was the matter? and so in o­thers: let there be two men, that shal go upon the same principles, and their ends shal be the same, and both their hearts shal be upright, and yet they cannot yeild to the same thing, because the same thing is presented to the one, one way, and he sees it cleerly, and the same thing is presented to another, another way, and he can­not see it; And therefore it should teach us to have pa­tience when we have to deal with such as do not see a thing clear. As when we come to a lock that we have not the right key, and we try, and it wil not open, we do not presently throw it away, but we think, it may be there is some dust in it, we pick that out, and try again if it do not open, then we think may be we did not put in the key right, too far, or not far enough, and if it do not open then we think may be we did not turn the right way, we try again if it do not open then we think we did not turn strong enough: we try again, if it do not open then; we think may be we have not the right key, if I choose another key that would open it: Then we try again, if it do not open it, we are loath to loose the lock, we think may be there is some ward in the lock that is a little bent, if that were mended it would do, or the key is bent, and rather then we wil throw it away we wil mend that, may be I have bent some ward, and a man wil reason al he can before he wil throw away the lock: So when you have to deal with others that are of another opinion, do not throw them away; reason this way, & that way, because there is much in ordering mens spirits, in the communication of a truth unto them, it is [Page 106] not alwaies the evidence of a truth that is sufficient to convince, but the manner of presenting of the truth, and that is the second reason of the difference of mens spirits.

Reason, 3.

The third reason is because that somtime the graces of men do not burne out so clearly and purely as they do at other times, As in fire when you kindle a fire, first there is a great deal of smoke and we see little brightness in the fire, stay but a while, and the smoak wil be con­sumed, and the fire burne bright: So in the graces of men and women, sometime there is a great deal of corrupti­on when grace is kindled at first, a great deal of smother but grace continues and workes out that corruption, and it burns more clearly: So in the sun when it riseth in the morning it may be a great mist, but when the sun is up a little while it consumes the mist, and shines clearly; So Children when they are young may be they have many il humors; afterwards their natural strength consumes their humors, and so they are more active and stirring; so though the Godly have not that disposition of heart to do that for God they should, yet when grace comes to burne more clearly they can do it.

Reason, 4.

Fourthly, As grace is mixt at first, so somtimes it is weak, the parts and members not being consolidated, and strengthened: when an infant comes first into the world if you expose it to the cold it is not able to endure it, which afterward it wil do, when the Joynts are set, and so young plants cannot endure that frost, which they wil do afterwards: And so Christians at first are as chil­dren, carryed away with every wind of doctrine, til afterward they come to be more strong, and then they are fit for service. As Christ would not have his disci­ples [Page 107] called to fasting and praying, they were hard du­ties while they were weak, he hath this expression; no man puts new wine into old bottles, nor sow a new peice of cloath into an old Garment, for the bottles wil break and the garment wil rend, in Math, 9.16.17. The meaning is do not bring unsureable duties to mens spirits; fasting and prayer is a duty but they are not strong e­nough for it yet, noting when people grow strong they shal be fitter for duty, service, or suffering.

Reason. 5.

The fifth Reason is because somtimes our hearts are filled with more heavenly consolation then at other times that does refresh the souls of Gods people as with new wine, that they can go forth as a Giant, cal them to any duty, and they can go through fire and water. As for sin when a mans heart is warmed with sin and they have had delight and satisfaction in their sin, come and speak what you wil against it and they can easily cast it off, and so for duty when Gods people have been warmed by duty, and their spirits are refreshed in Gods way, with what resolution do they go: and as that martyr Mr. Saunders sayd, that which made the difference in him was because God was pleased to come in with such re­freshments to his spirit that he felt the consolation of God, not only upon his soul, but flow into his body; and that put a great deal of courage in him: And in the stories that I have read of Scotland Mr. Knox reports of a young man, of eighteen years of age, that suffered martirdome under the Bishop of Glasgow: and when he came to suffer he was mightily affraid, and thought to have recanted, and it pleased God that his spirit came in mightily to him at that time, and he fell down on his knees and blest God. Blessed Lord (said he) great is thy mercy to man kind, and to me poor wretch, that was like to forsake Christ my saviour, and put my self into [Page 108] eternal damnation, and now thou hast come with the consolation of Heaven, and hast filled my heart and now I am freed from those fears that suppressed my soul, let men do what they can I am ready. And to God som­times comes to fill the hearts of his people with mighty consolations and that makes a mighty difference.

Reason, 6.

The Sixth Reason is because sometimes the breath­ings of Gods spirit, not only in consolation but in assi­stance comes more fully then at other times: The spirit of God bloweth where it listeth, and when it listeth, John, 3.8. Sometimes more fully, somtimes more scantly. Saies Christ in Math. 10.19. In that houre shal it be given you, as Mr. Glover. When he was in his dumps before, yet when he was at the stake he cryed to his friend Austin, he is come, he is come. And so it was with Sampson, sometimes the miraculous work of Gods spirit came upon him, and then he was strong: and so in a spiritual way, the spirit of God comes upon his people and then they are strong, though they were weak before, Isa. 59.19. When the enemy shal come in like a flood, the spirit of the Lord shal lift up a stan­dard against him. So when there comes a strong temp­tation like a flood that would bear him down, then the spirit of the Lord shal lift up a standard and come in with abundance of assistance.

Reason, 7.

The seventh Reason is because somtimes a man sees his call to dutie to suffering, a great deal more clear then at other times and that puts a great deal more strength As Moses now saw a further call to stand out against Pharoah and all his enemies, and here is a great deal of deceit in the hearts of men, when a man is loath to put [Page 109] himself to trouble, he cannot be convinced of his call, let us take heed of the deceit in this.

Question. What shall we doe to take heed of the deceit in this?

Answer. 1. When there is any work to doe ei­ther in doing or suffering hard things: If you say; I do not see the Lord call me: Put it to your hearts againe, and say deal truly and really with me, doe you not see the Lords call.

Secondly observe this rule if so be you have put off service or suffering upon this ground, do but examine whether you find upon this that your hearts be as stir­ing and lively in all other services as before. Usually if men from sluggishness, because they are loath to endure hardships shall put off the call of God their hearts wil fal more dead and sluggish in other things, and if you keep your life in al other things, then though you do not that thing which some require of you it is a comfort­able argument that you put it off because your cal was not clear and not out of sluggishness.

Thirdly, You may take such a course as your slug­gishness may get nothing by it, as thus, take the advan­tage of your hearts; I cannot see that I am called to such a duty in which I must endure hardships, and so I have spared my self in that, yet the sluggishness, and dead­ness of my heart shal get nothing by it, for I wil put forth my self so much the more in those duties, that I am sure I am called to: if our hearts be thus we may have comfort, it is not from our sluggishness.

Reason, 8.

The eighth reason is because there may be agreat diff­erence by this in regard of the temper of a mans body especially in those that are sickly and weakly, they may find themselves in a mighty indisposition to that which is [Page 110] good at one time and a greater disposition at another time, and yet there may be no decay of Grace but only the temper and ordering of a natural spirit.

Reason, 9.

The Ninth Reason is because there may be a great dif­ference in the spirits of men, in regard of the difference of the encouraging occurrences of Gods providence somtime God guids them by his eye, Psalm. 32.8. there is a difference between Gods guiding by his word and by his eye, by his word that is by some direction, but his eye, that is some providence to encourage them and according to the different occurrences of the encou­raging providences of God, so there may be much dif­ference in their spirits; As in sin somtimes men shal find things so fit and pat for sin, as they would have it, and so somtimes Gods people find the providence of God fal pat for them to encourage them, and that makes a difference.

CHAP 15. Containing the First Use, Which teacheth us to entreat God not to take the advantage of us when our hearts are low.
USE, 1.

THis should teach us all to entreate God, not to take the advantage of us when our hearts are low, when we are in a disposition to that which is naught, or an indisposition to that which good, but that God would pitty us, and favor us, and that God would never cal us to do any great service, or suffer for him, but when [Page 111] he sees we are in a disposition for it: it is a wonderful mercy of God, not to call out his people, but at such a time when they are fit. And so for temptation to sin: God sees what dispositions there are in the best of us all, he knows how corruption is working many times, and if a temptation to sin should come at that time, what should become of us, we could not but forsake God, and his cause, and wound our consciences, acknowledg the mercy of God towards you, in keeping the temptation from you at such a time, sometime we are wandering from God, if the roaring Lyon should meet us then how like were it that we should be devoured; somtimes we are ready to stumble upon every straw, and if God should lay stumbling blocks before us then, what should become of us, this is a mercy that God doth not grant unto others, for thus God very frequently deals with wicked men, when there is an opportunity for them to enjoy the greatest good, at that very time there shal be somthing fall out that shal put them in an opposition to that Good: as perhaps somtimes God in his providence orders it; that a minister should be partly upon such a subject as should be marveilous useful, and God is more then ordinary assisting of him, then somthing shal fall out to keep them from the exercise, or the corruption shal be up to harden their hearts, or there shal be some oc­casion to take up their minds, more than at another time, that they shal not get that good they might: but this is the mercy of God, to those he intends good to, that he will give them an opportunity to receive Good, when they are fit for it: there was such a time if such a point had been handled, their hearts would have been unfit, but at such a time such a point shal be handled and pres­sed on, and says God I will order it so, they shal break through difficulties to come to the exercise; and though corruption wil be stirring, I will order it so that corrup­tion shal not be stirring at that time: And so sometimes for temptation to sin, God sees many times how a cor­ruption [Page 112] is up, and he is fitted for a temptation, and if temptation should come at that time, he would be drawn, and would revive himself; now those that God wil curse, he lets Sathan eat upon them, and lets them go on at that time when their corruption is most up: As now in the cause of Ahab, when Ahab, would go to Ramouth Gilead, (says God) in 1 Kings, 22.21.22.23. Who shal perswade Ahab, that he may go, there came forth a spirit, and said I will perswade him, how I will go, and I wil be a lying spirit in the mouth of all his prophets, goe says God and thou shalt do it. Now had Ahab been a Godly man, God would have stopped him in his way, as many Godly somtimes are in such a disposition to sin, as if they had any encourage­ment, they would do it, but says God to Sathan do not go. It is very observable how God takes advantages upon wicked men; as in Gen. 34.25. Simeon and Le­vi, [...]ame upon the Sichemites when they were sore; So when many men are in such a disposition, as they have no ability to resist a temptation, then the Devil comes upon him, as that is observable we have in those Psalms, Psalm. 35.6. Psalm. 73.18. In the 35, Psalm. 6. It is, let their way be slippery and dark, and let the Angel of the Lord persecute them: see how God takes the advantage of wicked men, they are in a Dark way, and upon slippery ground, then the Angel of God persecuted them, when a man is upon a slippery ground, he had need to have something to leane upon, but when he is in a slippery place to have his enemy persecute him, that is dangerous, so God deales with the wicked; it is otherwise with the Godly, when the Godly are weak, and their way is slippery, God pities them, and the good Angel preserves them: so when men are in a slip­pery way, and ready to fall into a sin, says God to the evil Angel, now follow them in that sin, So in Psalm, 37.18. Surely thou didst set them in slippery places, thou castest them down into destruction. Learne for [Page 113] ever from this point, to entreat God that he would con­sider of your frame, and say, Lord thou knowest I am in a slippery place, and not in the good temper I am in at other times, Lord keep me from temptation now; do not cast me down now: God hath promised: In 1 Cor. 10.13. He wil not suffer his people to be tempted above their strength. Somtime the Godly can say my heart is fixed, speak Lord here I am to do thy will, some times Gods people are able to endure any danger, and then God brings his people to the tryal; As the disciples after the holy ghost came upon them then they were called to suffer, they never were put to such tryals before; and when God grants mercy to his people this way, it is a mercy indeed.

CHAP. 16. Another Ʋse, to teach us not to be discouraged at this different temper of our Spirits, but to be hum­bled for it. Five Helps against discouraging thoughts. Two objections.
USE, 2.

THe second use of this point is this: If there be such a difference between the hearts of Gods people at some time, from that they are at others, hence is an in­couragement to the servants of God, to teach them, though they do not feel their hearts always in the same temper, and to have the same spirit to do good, not to be discouraged: it is true we should be humbled for want of having our hearts up at any time, but be not discou­raged, because it is no other but what befals the most dear servants of God, and though you do not find your hearts up always as at some time, do not therefore con­clude there is now no good at al in me, for Gods peo­ple [Page 114] are ready and prepared for every good work, and my heart is thus dul, and heavy and dead, and it wil never be otherwise with me, I am afraid whensoever I shal be called to the service of God, my heart wil be thus, and I shal forsake God, and betray the cause of God; Do not reason thus to discourage your selves: take heed of those determining thoughts: to determine that your hearts wil be always so because they are so for the present, there is a great deale of difference be­tween the spirits of Gods people at some times, and at o­ther times, and therefore there may be so in you. For your help against these discouraging thoughts.

First, Consider that you have union with a princi­ple that is ful of al Grace, though you do not feel the influence of it, at all times alike, you have union with a principle so ful that you have no cause to determine against your selves.

Secondly, Know you have promises that are ful of Grace, for the encouraging of Gods servants: Promi­ses that there may be drawn abundance of good from; and therefore you cannot determine that it shall not be otherwise with you.

Thirdly, know the glory of God is as deare and pre­cious to him as your own souls are to you; and there­fore if so be the cause, the honor of God depend upon it; know God wil take care for his own honor, you are afraid you should betray the cause of God because you find your hearts so down now, and perhaps if they were so down then when God calls you to stand for his cause it might be so: but what is it that troubles you? you are afraid to bring guilt and misery upon your selves and dishonor God; but know the glory of God is precious to him, and being it is engaged in you that you should dishonor him; being one of his, he wil take care of you.

Fourthly, Consider how God hath come in gracious­ly to supply his people in the time of need, he hath fil­led [Page 115] their spirits in the time of straights when he hath cal­led them to any hard work, and they have done that which they thought they should never have done, as it is with wicked men: you see some so vile and wicked, as you could never have thought they should have been, so the Godly though som [...]imes their hearts are down, yet at other times they have such assistance, and enlarge­ment and fulness of the spirit, as one would never have thought they should have had.

Fifthly, God hath made a mighty difference in your estates from that they were before, and therefore why should you not hope that God will make a difference between that we are now, and that we may be hereafter, If God have wrought the least degree of saving grace in you, he hath made more difference between you, and one that is in his natural condition, than there is between you and the gloryfied Saints: (as I have noted before) and if God have made such a great difference, why should you disturbe your selves to think it wil never be other then it is now?

Sixthly, nay I appeal to you, have you never found your hearts up for God? was there never a time that there was quickning and enlarging of your hearts for God, that you have felt some comfortable fitness for service, or suffering?

Object. I cannot but say it hath been so with me, but it is gone, and down again; there are none but have some flashings, and stirrings, and some good moods, and mine may be no more for all I know; grace is a con­stant thing, and the heart is established with it, and therefore though I feel my heart a little up sometimes, yet they are but such flashings as any may have, that have no grace.

Answ. To that I answer, There are some works of Grace that are steady, and constant, that do more im­mediately [Page 116] flow from the principles, and being of Grace: and there are other works of Grace that are more re­mote, that are not so steady and constant.

1. There are some that are steady and constant; as these two things: take Gods people, and consider of them in any condition, if they know but their own hearts, they will find these two things: First, An ap­proving of the life and power, and the strictness of the waies of Godliness. Secondly, they wil find a savor of that which is spiritual, either in Ordinances, or in Gods People, their hearts will savor them, though their hearts be very much down, yet these two things they find constant.

2. But for the abilities to perform duties, for abilities in service or suffering; they do not lie so next the root of Grace; they are but as the Leaves, or the blossoms, or the fruit: now though the sap be constant at the root, yet the blossoms, leaves, and fruit are not.

Object. But you wil say, Being there may be good moods in men, take the worst of all, though their hearts be naught sometime, yet their hearts are up at other times, and may not you instead of encouraging Gods Servants, encourage the wicked? they may think, we hear there is a difference between Gods People, they are not alwaies alike: so it is with me, somtimes I am distempered, but at other times (thanks be to God) it is better with me, and so instead of taking away discou­ragements from those that are weak, there may be en­couragement to the wicked, and therefore where lies the difference between the good moods that some have, that have no true Grace, and the difference of spirit in those that have true Grace?

To that I Answer.

First, There may be a difference discerned by that which hath been said; there is somthing is constant: [Page 117] Whether is that which lay at the root of grace in you still there? If you do not find those two things con­stant (viz. An approving of the life and power and strictness of godliness; and a savor of that which is spi­ritual, either in Ordinances, or in Gods People) all your good moods in the world, though your hearts be never so up, wil not discover the truth of grace.

Secondly, Those that have only some good moods at some time, and no bottom of any true grace, they in their good moods are not humbled for that which was failing in them before; their hearts indeed are som­times up, and they bless themselves in that; but now this doth not make them look back how it was hereto­fore with them, and to be ashamed and humbled for the wretchedness, and distempers of their hearts formerly: but where the heart is up for God in those that have truth of grace, when their hearts are most up, then they make use of this to be abased, and humbled in their own thoughts for the deadness and distemper that was in their hearts before; the good moods of others rather puff them up, than further any work of humiliation for any evil that was in them before, they think these good moods now, and being in a good temper, shall satisfie God for their evil distempers that were in them before: But it is not so with a gracious heart, a gracious heart when it does get up, it makes use of this work of God upon it, to be ashamed and confounded in its self for those evil distempers that were in it before. The more the heart is up, the more discovery it hath of its own baseness, and vileness, and wretchedness, which o­thers when their hearts are up, have not.

Thirdly, Gods People when their hearts are up, that doth bring gracious discoveries of God unto them, and of those things that do wonderfully spirituallize their hearts: others though they have their hearts up, they only have some affections, but in those good moods of theirs, they have not those Heavenly discove­ries [Page 118] of God, so as to purge their hearts, and spiritual­lize their hearts, and make their hearts to be more hea­venly as it doth the godly.

Fourthly, Those that have only good moods, and no truth of grace, when they have their good moods, they are not by them carried out of themselves to a principle beyond themselves, but they rest in the workings that they feel in their hearts: whereas a gracious heart when God raiseth his heart, and puts it into a better frame, this carries it out of it self, to a principle beyond it self, and it dare not rest in those stirrings and workings it finds for the present, to think, now I am safe and well, because of them, but by these it is carried beyond it self.

Fiftly, Where there are only good moods, and not the truth of the work of grace, they do not work so seasonably, and orderly, as the breathings of Gods spirit in his servants do: but the breathings of a gracious heart coming from the spirit of God, it works seasonably, and orderly in their hearts, when there is a spiritual use of them, in that hour shall it be given to you, saies Christ, the spirit shal come upon you when you have most use; whereas in others, their good moods work only accor­ding to outward occasions, and as means come in; but now at those times when they have most use of them, they are furthest from them.

Sixtly, Where the heart is right, and truly godly, and God comes and breaths in it more than formerly, such a one wil watch over it self, and wil not be secure after this; but the other grow less watchful, and more secure upon such moods.

Seventhly, Those that are truly gracious, though they do not find their hearts up alwaies alike, yet when they find their hearts down, they count it their sickness, and their disease, and it is the disquiet and trouble of their spirits; whereas others that have only some moods, they are not sensible of their hearts being down [Page 119] as their sickness and disease, and the burden and trouble of their souls.

Lastly, In those that have grace when their hearts are up at any time, it is but a preparation for some fur­ther service; others having but moods, their hearts be­ing up, this is the period of all their godliness, in which they rest; but the godly, when their hearts are up, at some time more than at others, it is but a preparation for further Service, 1 Chron. 29.18. The hearts of the people were up, and David blest God for it, and saies he, prepare their hearts unto thee: unsound hearts would say, now our hearts are up, and we have offered thus freely; are we but in a preparation? Yet David praies to God to prepare their hearts, as if all their heart and affection at that time was but a preparation to fur­ther duty: and this is the difference between the good moods of the greatest Hypocrite, that come to the high­est pitch, and the difference between the breathings of Gods Spirit; and by these means only presented to you it may be some help to discern the difference between good moods at some time, and the different breathing of Gods Spirit in his people.

CHAP. 17. Containing the Third Ʋse of Direction: branched into four particulars. 1 If couragious, and fit for service, give God the praise. Four Rea­sons for it. 2. Learn to rebuke unbelief. 3. Labor to keep your hearts up. The manner how that may be done, in eight particulars. 4. Im­prove this gracious working of God.
USE 3.

THirdly, If there be such difference between the hearts of Gods People at some times, and at other [Page 120] times; This is an Use of Direction to all the people of God that are acquainted with this difference of Gods breathing upon their hearts, in these Four Particu­lars:

  • First, When you find your hearts up more at some times, than at other times, give God the glory.
  • Secondly, Learn to rebuke your Unbelief.
  • Thirdly, Labor to keep your hearts up.
  • Fourthly, Improve this great working of God.

First, If so be you find your hearts more up at one time than at another (as Gods People do find much dif­ference, and can say somtime, let my Beloved come into his Garden) give God the glory and praise of it, for it is a great mercy. For,

1. It doth prevent, and deliver you from abundance of danger you were in: when your hearts were down, if a temptation had come, what abundance of danger had you been in? now God hath prevented that danger.

2. If your hearts were right when they were down, then you powred out your complaints to God of the deadness of your hearts; now if God be come in, it is a fruit of your seeking God, and of your humiliation be­fore the Lord: now that which comes in as a fruit of humiliation, and much seeking of God, surely that should be the matter of our praises.

3. This is a gracious visitation of God, God comes in with this, and here is the presence of God, and ther­fore there is much cause of praise.

4. It is an argument that God hath some especial ser­vice for you to do: now those that are godly, count this a great mercy, for God to have any employment for them: now that they have received an evidence to their souls that God intend to imploy them, this is a great mercy.

Secondly, Learn to check your Unbelief; when your hearts were down, you were ready to say, it would never [Page 121] be otherwise: now check your hearts, and bring your hearts to this conclusion; I will never think it in vain to seek God, though I do not find him come in presently; and I will learn, though I may judg my self worthy that God should leave me, yet I will never determine that God will not come in, because I see Gods waies are not as my waies, and Gods thoughts are not as my thoughts. Oh take heed of judging the waies and thoughts of God, according to your waies and thoughts.

Thirdly, Is God come in? and do you find that you have a spirit of courage and boldness more than before, now you find God sweetly breathing upon you to put life into that dead, and to raise that heavy heart of yours? do you find God sweetly and comfortably enli­vening your souls, and putting the spirit of confidence in that unbeleeving heart of yours? Labor to keep your hearts thus. There is a great deal of difficulty when a thing is fallen down to get it up; but when a thing is up, if one be careful, it is not difficult to keep it up. It is a notable expression that David had, when he found the hearts of the people got up in their willing Offering, 1 Chron. 29.18. O Lord God of Abraham, Isaac, and of Israel, our Fathers, keep this for ever in the imagi­nation of the thoughts of the hearts of thy people, and prepare their hearts unto thee. So let it be thy prayer, and it is my prayer for thee: Is thy heart up more than before? Pray, O God of Abraham, Isaac, and Israel, keep this in the thoughts of the heart of this man or wo­man for ever: be careful now to keep your hearts up: so when you are well, or otherwise if you should lose this through this negligence.

1 It wil make you cal into question the truth of these gracious breathings, yea, you wil think it was but a meer flash, such as Hypocrites may have, yea, not cal this into question only; but to cal the truth of al into question: this is that which makes men take the foundation of al, because their hearts somtimes are rai­sed, [Page 122] and they through their negligence let them fall, and lose that spiritual life and courage once they had, and so bring abundance of sadness upon their hearts: now as you would have an evidence of the truth of Gods work upon you, and the truth of grace, labor to keep up your hearts.

2 Labor to keep up your hearts otherwise if they fal off again, the waies of God wil come to be very tedious to you: As a man that walks unevenly in regard of the unevenness of his leggs, or the unevenness of the way, he is quickly tired: and so if a Christians way be up and down, and there be not an evenness in his way, he is quickly discouraged; and a main means to help one to go on with freedom and courage in Gods waies, is to go on in an even course.

3 If so be you lose this, you lose the beauty of your profession; the beauty of the waies of Godliness, con­sists much in the constancy, and if your way be up and down, there is no beauty in your conversation, it takes away the convincing power of your way and conversa­tion; if others saw your hearts up, and saw a constant evenness in your way, this would mightily convince them, that it is a work of Gods Spirit upon your hearts; but somtimes your hearts are up, and down a­gain, somtime you are patient and meek, at other times you are passionate and fretting; this doth not convince them that it is the work of Gods Spirit, but only the stirring of a natural spirit.

4 By this means you wil cause God to walk diffe­rently with you; if you keep not up your hearts when God hath raised them, though God be in a way of mer­cy, you wil cause him to walk in a way of displeasure against you.

5 Again, When your hearts are up, that is the thing that the Devil doth most watch to give you a trip in. As when Daniel walked so strictly in al the matters of the Kingdom, as they could find no fault in him, they [Page 123] accused him in the matter of his God, of his Religion: so saies the Devil, if I should tempt him to such and such sins, I cannot prevail, but there is such a way I may prevail; and the Devil doth labor there most to trip you. As he did with Christ in another case; when you are on the top of the pinacle, then he labors to throw you down: It is true, it is the work of God that hath brought you up to the pinacle, but there the Devil doth labor to throw you down.

Quest. You wil say, How shall we come to keep up our hearts, whenas our hearts are in a better frame, than at some other times?

Answ. First, When your hearts are up, labor to make use of that grace that raised your hearts; improve it so as to make your hearts more holy, and more up­right. A Tree if it sprout upward only, and do not run down in the root proportionably, it wil wither, and die: and so if grace do work only upward in abili­ties, and performances of duties, and joy, and such things, and do not proportionably work downward in the root, it is like it will come to little, and you will soon lose all.

Secondly, Work that grace you find in your inward, as wel as outward man: Do not think it enough that you have stirrings of Grace to enable you to do duties, but improve this grace for the working out of corrupti­on: consider the corruptions of your heart, and now take the advantage to work them out.

Thirdly, be sure you take nothing that is Gods due at this time; that is, if God have raised your hearts, though the peace and joy of it be yours, the Glory of it is Gods, do not be fingering of that, take heed of lifting up of your hearts in a way of pride, it is enough your heart is lifted up in a way of grace, and you must be content with that, but many when God gives them a lift in a way of Grace, they cannot be content with their [Page 124] part, the peace, and the joy, but they lift up themselves in a way of pride, and would have some of Gods part of the Glory, and that spoils all.

Fourthly, When you are in the best condition, pre­pare for the greatest suffering, to lie down at Gods feet, and this will keep the heart in a sweet frame, many when they have got their hearts up for service, they ne­ver think of suffering, now they are in a safe condition, and free from trouble, and they bless themselves, and when trouble falls upon them unexpectedly their hearts sinke, and they think God is come against them in dis­pleasure, and if that raysing of spirit had been true, God would have kept me from suffering such and such hard things: thou art deceived in that, a gracious heart that is wise, when he is most enabled to do service, he wil prepare for suffering.

Fifthly, Take heed of depending upon the old stock, do not rest on grace received, but keep thy heart sensi­ble of a need of a supply of grace, many when they have been seeking of God, and have in some measure got that they prayed for, they think they have stock enough, and they can trade prety well in the world, but though we had a hundred times as much grace as we have, and had not supply from Christ, we should fail.

Sixthly, Watch against the least declineing, and account it a very great evil to decline, and therefore be often calling of your selves to an account, at such and such a time it was so with me, how is it now? is it now as it was then? when people decline, it is hard, it is tedi­ous to them to think of returning, and therefore they de­cline, and decline, and loose all; wherefore observe the beginning of your declinings and cal your selves to an ac­count dayly, that when you abate in the least degree, you may reforme it.

Seventhly, Do not content your selves with what you have, but yet get higher and higher, the heart must be in motion upward, or downward, therefore the way [Page 125] to get establishment is to be in a continual motion up­wards as in 2 Pet. 3.17.18. Saies the Apostle, be­ware least you also being led away by the eror of the wicked, fall from your own stedfastness: God hath brought you into a good temper, take heed you do not fal from your steadfastness, how shall we do? grow in grace, and in the knowledg of our Lord and savior Jesus Christ, Labor to get higher.

Eightly, Improve that you have well, and that wil be the way to contrive that you have, God justly takes it from you if you do not improve it. It were a blessed thing if our hearts might be kept up constantly, our lives would be comfortable to our selves, and wonder­fully comfortable to others: we should cause the peo­ple of God to rejoyce in us, otherwise it takes away the comfort that Gods people might have in us, though we be up at sometimes there is a great deal of crosness at other times. There is a notable expression for this of Saint Paul to the Philippians, 1 Phil. 3.4. I thank my God upon every remembrance of you. Sometime a Minister of God may thank God upon the remembrance of such and such workings upon the hearts of his people, but never to think of them but to thank God, this is a great matter. Alwaies in every prayer of mine for you all, making request with joy: Sometime a Minister can make his request with joy for his people, but at other times it is with sorrow; but people should labor so to walk, as that a Minister may make request with joy for them. And so we pass to the last thing.

Fourthly, If God have raised your hearts, improve it, we have but a little time, and we have not many op­portunities, and therefore we had not need lose any time then, it is not often we have abilities to do for God, and therefore when we have them we should improve them. As a Scholler that hath a weak Body, and is not alwaies fitted for study, if he find himself fitted at any [Page 126] time, he is loth to lose one hour of his study then: So with a Merchant or Marriner that lay long for a wind, when it does come, he is greedy of that opportunity: so we are fain to lie long for a wind, we see our duty, and are convinced of it, but we want the breathings, and assistance of Gods Spirit, and wait for a wind, if God do come in seasonably, we had need improve it; if we had improved al those times that were sit, what abun­dance might we have got by this time? When we are fit for outward imployment, we may do more in one hour, than we could have done in ten hours before; at other times they do but bungle, and trouble themselves, and little good comes of it; but when they are fit for work, and the work goes off well, what encouragement is it? And so if we had taken all advantages that we found in our hearts, since we came to the knowledg of Gods waies, what abundance might we have done? In­deed in comparison of that which God is worthy of, though we had spent al our lives in his service, it would have been but little; but in comparison of that we have done, it might have been abundance.

Quest. But you wil say, How shall we improve this time?

Answ. First, When God is come into you, look back to former neglects in your running with God in the time of unfitness: Many times you have said, I am unfit for duty, and therefore you have left it undone, which you ought not to have done. Now if God have put your hearts into a fitness, labor to make up your former neglects in your running with God: If a man decay in his Estate, and break through negligence, and he be set up again, it is expected he should make up former neglects: and so doth God expect of us.

Secondly, Set upon those duties that you never could do before.

[Page 127]Thirdly, Gather up al the experiences of God towards you at this time; if you have had more manifestations of Gods presence with you than before, treasure them up.

Fourthly, When God doth grant unto you peace, and joy, make use of all the peace and comfort you have for the furtherance of the work of your grace, and that is a mighty improvement of that which God doth give you: do not only improve your grace, but that which comes in. Many that have comfort and peace, rest in that as the fruit of al the good they do as their reward, but they do not look at that as a means of fur­ther service.

Fiftly, Improve this work of God upon your hearts, by watching al opportunities; let time now be precious unto you, let there none be lost.

Sixtly, Labor for that Christian skil to make up the graces of God every way, according as God calls for the use of them. There are divers uses of Gods graces; somtime for life and comfort, at other times for defence; somtimes to draw in, at other times to let out, as Isa. 2.4. They shall beat their swords into plow-shares, and their spears into pruning books: they should have peace and their instruments should be of another fashion. But in Joel 3.10. it is otherwise, They shal beat their plow­shares into swords, and their pruning hooks into spears: So apply it to grace; somtime grace is to bring life, and nourishment to the soul; at other times it is to bring in grace. As Faith, somtime it is to close with Christ, and bring nourishment from him; at other times Faith is to be a Shield: Many Christians look upon the work of grace to bring life and strength to themselves, but have not skil to make use of grace as a shield. So Hope, som­times it is to prop the soul, at other times it is to be a Helmet. So we should labor to understand the use of graces, according to the several imployments that God calls for; somtime one way, somtime another. And this is the Third Use.

CHAP. 18. A fourth Ʋse. To be restless till we get our selves in­to a good frame.
USE, 4.

A Fourth Use is this: If it be so that Gods people are in such a different frame of spirit; somtime they are afraid, and their hearts are down; at other times they have a spirit of courage, and fitness for any service that God wil have them to do: This should teach us when our hearts are down, and not in that fitness we desire, to be restless till we get our selves in a good frame: Somtime the Godly have their hearts in a good frame, and therefore it is possible to be had, and we should never be in rest til we had got it.

Quest. But how shall we get up our hearts when they are not in a frame fit for service?

Answ. First, Be sensible of the evil of an unser­viceable heart, so as to be humbled before God for the want of it, and be more sensible of the evil of that, than sensible of the evil of want of peace and comfort: Many when they find their hearts down, and not in that de­gree fit for service that they desire, they are troubled for it, but the reason is because their hearts being down, there arise doubts of their condition, and their peace is hindred, and they cannot have comfort in it, but they are not so much troubled because they are un­serviceable, and want hearts fitted for duty, and that is the reason why their hearts are kept down: Now this should be our care, to be more sensible of the unservice­ableness of our hearts, than of the unpeaceableness of our hearts.

[Page 129]Secondly, Observe which way the strength of your spirit is let out, and labor to recal your hearts from that; as thus: If the strength of a mans spirit be not for God, it is let out to somwhat else, it is alwaies working some way or other; if it be not let out to some one par­ticular object, it is scattered and divided into divers ob­jects. Now if your strength be not let out for God, call your hearts to an account, where is the strength of my heart? which way runs it? If it can be discerned which way the strength of your heart is let out, whe­ther to any creature, or any lust, that should be your care to get it off.

Thirdly, When you come to present your selves be­fore God in his Ordinances, come with hearts panting after strength: as when you come to the Word, Prayer, or Sacraments, bethink your selves beforehand, I come before the Lord that I may get this dull heart of mine quickned in such and such a particular, I find my heart unserviceable in such a particular. Now my heart pre­sents it self before God, and pants after God to be fitted for service in such a particular; it is much may be done when we come to the presence of God panting for help from God in such particulars.

Fourthly, Observe the beginnings of Gods coming into your hearts, and acknowledg them, and improve them, and follow them, many times God is coming into the heart, and because God comes not in fully as much as they would at first, they take no notice of the begin­nings of the work of God to imbrace them, and improve them: There are a great many sparks have fallen upon your hearts, if they had been gathered together, they might have been a flame by this time, but because God did not come in with a flame all together, they did not regard that; you said, what can a spark do upon my heart? if you had improved that little you might have had more by this time.

Fiftly, Labor to recall all those soul quickning [Page 130] Truths that ever you have felt working upon your hearts: there was a time my heart was more lively, I can remember since God did come in with his truth, and work mightily upon my heart, labor to recal those truths, and set them fresh before your hearts, with as much power as possibly you can, and keep your hearts in view of them continually, and by meditation chafe them into your hearts; though the flesh be benummed, yet if it be rubbed, and exercised, there will come strength, and so those soul quickning Truths that you have found before have quickned your hearts, if you present them afresh before the heart, and chafe them by meditation, they wil get some strength and life into the heart.

Lastly, Look into the present condition you are in, and exercise the duties sutable to your present condi­tion.

CHAP. 19 A Fifth Ʋse: To see the misery of being alwaies unfit for service. A Sixt Ʋse: To teach us to long for Heaven.

USE 5.

BUt now in the next place: If Gods people find such a difference between themselves, that at somtimes it is far otherwise with them than at other times: Hence then, what a miserable thing is it to be alwaies down, and alwaies unfit for service? This is a thing that does not usually befal the people of God; though somtimes their hearts are down in comparison of other times; yet to be alwaies down, and unserviceable, this do not use to be the condition of the Servants of God: [Page 131] this is a sad miserable condition to be so, as if you never felt the power of God upon your hearts, never felt the Spirit of God breathing upon you, never felt the grace of God stirring upon you; you come and hear the Word, and those Truths that are soul-quickning war­ming Truths, that stir others, and their hearts lie lumpish as a Log that lies in a flash of water seven yeers together, and is never stirred by them. Like unto a vessel in a House, that is cast aside, and lies moulding and rotting, that is never imployed, nor fitted for any service, are these Vessels of Honor? In 2 Tim. 2.21. the Scripture speaks of Vessels that are in a great house, that are Vessels of honor; and he describes them that they are purged and fitted for the masters use, and pre­pared for every good work: Now if a vessel lie alwaies moulding, and rotting, and never used, this is for the fire, and not for use: So those hearts that are alwaies moulding, and rotting, and never fit for service, they may fear they are vessels of dishonor, and for the fire.

Object. But may some say, I am afraid I am a vessel for the fire, for I cannot tell that ever I found my heart sit for any service that God called me to.

Answ. First, That heart that is sensible of unfitness, and is humbled before God for it; it hath not such an unfitness as to prepare it for the fire.

Secondly, It may be it is thy unthankfulness that makes thee say thou art never fit for service, because you are not fit for that degree you desire, you do not take notice of the work of Gods grace for the present.

Thirdly, May be now you are framing and fitting for service, if you be but making fit it is a signe you are not for the fire, if there be a vessel for the fire, there is no mending of it, but if the master of the house shall call for a vessel and require it to be cleansed, and washed, and there is some work about it, it is a signe it is not [Page 132] for the fire, so may be God is fitting and prepareing you for service.

Fourthly, May be it is that you mistake your work, you do not know what the work is that God calls you to, you are alwaies unfit for such, and such service, but that is not the work that God calls you to for the pre­sent, God calls you to a work of humiliation, and de­pendance upon himself, and seeking of his face, and a work of patience, do not say you are unfit for the Masters use, because you are unfit for such and such a work; may be the time is not yet, for the espicial work that God intend to use you in.

USE, 6.

In the Last place: if there be such a difference between the hearts of Gods people, this may teach us to long for heaven, when our hearts shal be alwaies up there shal be such a difference from that estate we are now in, as it is more then we are able to imagine; and there shal be no fear of the loss of it, It is an observation of Mr. Bright­man, upon the 19. Revel. 11. Comparing it with Reve. 4. and in Reve. 4.1. It is said, there was a door opened in Heaven, In Reve. 19.11. It is said, Hea­ven was opened, not only a little door was opened, but the gates and walles of Heaven were opened. There is a great deal of difference in the estate of Gods people here, somtimes they have a little door opened to them in Heaven, sometimes the Heavens themselves are open­ed to them, but a time wil come, when the Heavens shal not only be opened for them, but it shal be repleni­shed with them, the cheife Glory of Heaven shal be the Saints there, and we shall take no pains to keep our hearts up; it were wel if our hearts were up alwaies, though with never so much pains, they shal as naturally worke after God, as the Sun doth naturally shine, and therefore let us comfort our selves in that time, let us strive and strugle a while, there is a time when our hearts shal be up, and we shall never take any pains.

CHAP. 20.

Shewing the power of Faith to carry through the most difficult work. Question, What is there in Faith which helps the Soul? Answered, in four Particulars. 1. It setles the Heart on the surest ground, which is Gods call, and Promises. 2. It fetcheth in the greatest strength. 3. It assists with the highest encouragements. 5. Faith of its own Nature is a mighty strong principle. The most illustrious work of Faith. Thirteen remarkable things concerning Faith, and the difficulties which it breaks through.

NOw there is one point more out of these words, we have seen the Faith of Moses in taking away of the impediment of Moses in his work, the great impedi­ment was the fear of the wrath of the King, but by Faith that was taken a way.

Now he goes upon the work: and went out of Egypt, with a high hand; from whence the Point is this,

Doct. That Faith will carry the Hearts of Gods People through difficult works and Services.

Though the work be difficult, and they have many hinderances to let them, Faith will carry them through it.

I remember in the beginning of this argument, I hand­led that Point of Faith in carrying through sufferings, [Page 134] now the argument is, that faith will carry through diffi­cult service, as this work of forsaking Egyyt was a dif­ficult work for Moses to undertake difficult; in many re­gards.

First, In forsaking his own country. Egypt was Moses own country, and he himself might have shifted well enough, and have enjoyed abundance of prosperity, the Egyptians would have made enough of him; for him to forsake Egypt his own country was something.

Secondly, For him to carry so many thousand poor people with him, unarmed into a Wilderness without provision, and knew not what should become of them, Flesh and Blood would reason, what shal I carry this people into the Wilderness; what provision shal they have? they have but a little dough at their backs, and if that be spent what shal become of them?

Thirdly, Then Moses might think, Pharoah is such a man that there is no hold of him, how if he follow us with his army and cut us off? again, if we go to the Wilderness al the Nations round about us may come and cut us off. Not withstanding al these difficulties Moses went on.

Faith will carry a Christian through works that have much difficulty in them, faith hath done mighty things in the world, and stil it mightily prevails where it comes, no difficulty is able to stand before it, faith breaks through all, it casts down all opposition, it over­comes all resistances, whatsoever it doth undertake, it does conquer, and al strength is but as weakness before it, we need no further testimony of the great things that faith hath done in carrying through difficult services then this 11. Chapter of the Hebrews, and therefore we will look no further to other scriptures.

Qustion, But you will say, what is there in faith that helps the soul, and carries a Christian through the most difficult works and services?

[Page 135] Answ. There are many things.

First, Faith doth it by setling the heart upon the surest ground; if a man be set fast upon a ground that is sure, and unmovable, it may do great things: as one thought, if he could but have a sure ground, he might make such an Engine as to shake the Earth. Now faith sets the heart upon a sure ground, Gods Call; Faith doth not only shew a Christian his duty, and tell him what God doth call him to (that may be done by bare knowledg) but Faith settles the heart upon Gods Promises, it doth bring unto the heart the Authority, Majesty, and Soveraignty of God in this his Call, and that hath a great deal of strength upon the heart to make it go through difficulty.

Secondly, Faith doth fetch in the greatest strength, and doth bring it into the soul, it doth not only make the strength of God to be his, but the glorious strength of God, the chief of Gods strength (to speak after the manner of men) if there be any thing more glorious in the strength of God than other, Faith doth fetch in that for the strengthening of the soul in the service of God. For that we have two or three notable Scrip­tures, Ephes. 1.19. which doth not only speak of the power of God in working of Faith, but of the power of God in the sould after Faith is wrought.

  • First, It is the Power of God.
  • Secondly, It is the mighty Power of God.
  • Thirdly, The working of his mighty Power.
  • Fourthly, The greatness of the working of his migh­ty Power.
  • Fifthly, The exceeding greatness of the working of his mighty Power.
  • Sixthly, The same Power that raised Christ from the dead.

This is in be getting Faith in the soul.

Now it is that Power which a Beleever being once a Beleever, hath the use of afterwards.

[Page 136]Another Text which is remarkable for this purpose, is Eph. 3.16. That he would grant unto you according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit, in the inner man: that which the Apo­stle praies for, is that which a Beleever by Faith may fetch in, and make his own.

First, There is strength in the inner man, and that is more than in the outward.

Secondly, It is strength by the Spirit (now Spirit is a word that is used to express strength) and that by Gods Spirit.

Thirdly, It is strength by the Spirit with might; one would think it were enough if he had said, Streng­thened by the Spirit of God, that doth bring in might; but it is, with might by the Spirit in the inner man.

Fourthly, This is according to his Glory; it is such a strength, such a might of Gods Spirit as God is glori­ous in it; it is the glory of the might of the Spirit of God in the inner man. And yet there is one higher expression.

Fifthly, It is according to the Riches of his Glory; Whose Glory? The Riches of the Glory, of the Might, of the Spirit of God: Of what God? That God that is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, of whom the whol Family of Heaven and Earth is named.

Surely this strength must enable to do mighty things, and this strength is a Beleevers own, to work for him, and assist him in any service. What a shameful thing is it for any Christian to complain of the want of strength in the performance of Duty, when such a strength as this is made over to him, and he by Faith may fetch it in, imploy it, and make use of it as his own?

Another place to shew what strength it is that Faith doth bring in, it is that in Col. 1.11. Strengthened with all might according to his glorious Power, unto all pa­tience and long-suffering with joyfulness. Now if in your lives you would shew that which is proper to a Christian, you must do that which must manifest a [Page 137] glorious power of God. Now what is it that you do, or have done in all your lives, that doth manifest a glo­rious power of God? This shews the glory of a Chri­stian, that al that see him may say, the power of Nature could not do this, the power of Grace could not do this, and the power of all Creatures in Heaven and Earth could not do this, yea, it is more than an ordinary po­wer of God, it is a glorious power of God that must en­able him to do this. But though the power of God be glorious, it is not alwaies put forth in enabling men to do duties; but it is somtimes put forth in enabling of them with patience to undergo that which is laid upon them as wel as to do great things: may be you do not find the glorious power of God for to enable you to do great works; God would somtimes have his glorious power work to make you patient; therefore you must not only be patient, as an ordinary man or woman, but be so patient as to shew you have a glorious power of God to make you patient. Somtimes you have been crost, and have had afflictions upon you, that have been sore afflictions, and have been long upon you, and may be you have been patient, but you must be so patient as to manifest the glorious power of God in your pati­ence; and therefore though I have been somwhat pa­tient, yet, have I been so patient as to manifest the glo­rious power of God in it? and have I been so long suf­fering towards those that have crost me, as to manifest the glorious power of God in it? Faith doth fetch in strength to enable to do that. And that is the second thing that Faith doth to carry through difficult services, it doth fetch in the greatest strength.

Thirdly, That which Faith doth in enabling the soul to any difficult work, is the assisting of the soul with the highest encouragements that possibly can be; the encou­raging Promises of God, and the encouraging Expressi­ons that are in the Word, that might put life into the deadest spirit in the world: the encouragements that are [Page 138] in the Scripture, lay as it were dead to the heart, no but that there is life in them, but because of the dead­ness of the heart; now Faith comes and puts life into them. In this 11. chapter of the Hebrews, Faith i [...] commended by raising dead to life; here is as great a commendation of Faith, when Faith shal raise a dead Promise, and dead encouragement, and put life into it. We read a Promise or an encouragement may be twenty times before, but it was as dead; but now Faith doth come and put life into it, and the soul can come and lay face upon its face, and mouth upon its mouth, and eyes upon its eyes, and it comes to be a mighty quickning thing to enable it to any service.

Fourthly, Faith carries the soul through works that God cals to, because faith in it self (besides that it brings in) is a mighty strong principle: it is the most glorious work that ever creature was enabled to do in this world; the Angels in Heaven were never able to put forth a more glorious work for the kind of it, than a beleeving soul doth put forth in the proper essential work of Faith; and if Faith in the proper essential act of it be the most glorious difficult work that ever creature in Heaven or Earth did; then surely it must have a mighty deal of power to enable the soul to do the most difficult, and glorious Services.

Quest. You wil say, What is that proper essential work of faith, that is the most glorious difficult work that ever was performed?

Answ. For a Creature that doth apprehend it self by Nature an enemy to God, a poor wretched defiled creature by sin, standing guilty in the presence of God, having the wrath of God incensed against it, the Justice of God crying for satisfaction, and the Law of God pronouncing an eternal Curse upon it, for a soul to see this, and be sensible of it, and yet in this conditi­on to raise up its self, to lay hold upon the perfect righ­teousness of a Mediator, God and Man, and to venture [Page 139] its eternal estate upon that righteousness, and to tender up to God by Faith that righteousness as a ful satisfa­ction to his Justice, and as sufficient to bear off the the wrath of God from it; and notwithstanding al the pollution of its nature, yet to unite it self to the Deity, in the neerest union that ever creature was united to the Deity, except the personal Union of Christ to the Di­vine Nature: this is a glorious work; and no marvel though such glorious power of God be in Faith; and a Faith that can do this, may do any thing, as Christ said, If you can beleeve, all things are possible: so say I to e­very one that hath low thoughts of Faith, and think it a mean work, If you can beleeve, al things are possible; it is a greater thing to beleeve truly, than for to work mi­racles; a man may work miracles, and yet be damned; but justifying Faith doth so unite the soul to God that it is impossible the soul should be damned, and there­fore it is a greater miracle than ever any was enabled to do; though God enables Angels to do great things, yet he never enables them to do such a glorious work as this. Besides, though people think Faith is an easie matter, yet it is the most difficult work in the world.

First, Difficult in regard of the impediments, no work hath such great impediments as this. The soul seeing an enmity between God and it, and seeing it self a polluted Creature, and seeing the Law of God in its strictness, and the Justice of God must be satisfied, and sees the wrath of God burning against it, and having nothing in its self to satisfie God, yet Faith doth break through al these, and if it can break through these, then certainly it wil break through any thing; for there can be no greater impediment to any service that God calls to, than there was to this one work of beleeving: Let us not therefore be feared by any difficulty and moun­tain that lies in our way to any work, because there can never be any mountain laid in our way to hinder us in a­ny work, as did lie in our way to hinder us from belee­ving, [Page 140] and if Faith did burst through those impedi­ments, it shal be able to break through al other impedi­ments.

Secondly, It is difficult, not only because of the im­pediments, but because it is the highest duty of all; to reach high is painful to the Body; so the high actions of the soul are difficult to the soul: now Faith is high; the object is high, the act is high, and the end is high: the object is the highest object, it is the perfect righte­ousness of a Mediator, God-man; and the act is of the highest nature, it is an act of uniting the soul with the Deity: as by sin the soul departed from God, so by faith the soul comes to be made one, and for the end that is high, it is for the satisfaction of infinite Justice, and for appeasing of infinite wrath, and for acceptation from infinite holiness: let God be never so holy, infi­nitely more than we can conceive of him, yet faith does procure acceptance; for such a polluted filthy creature as man is, from the infinite holiness of God.

Thirdly, It is difficult, because it hath the least fur­therance from any principle of Nature: some other Graces, as Patience, and Justice, and Sobriety, they have some help from the principles in Reason and Na­ture; but Faith hath no help from any principles in Reason or Nature; and therefore surely it is difficult, and if it be the most glorious, and difficult thing, sure­ly it wil enable the soul to do most glorious and difficult works.

Fifthly, Faith appears to be a most strong thing to carry the Soul through any service, because it enables a soul to go on in any way of service that God calls to in a gracious manner, and this doth facillitate a work, a main thing that makes our services difficult is our blun­dering about them, and going about them in a confused untoward manner, we do not carry things graciously, and sweetly, In an outward work, to carry it on in a right manner doth mightily further the work; so in a­ny [Page 141] work that Godsets us about if we went on in the right way that God set us about, it would help us a­gainst difficulty, we may thank our selves, because we go about our work unto wardly: As an apprentice that handles his tool untowardly, he works with as much strength as another, but not going in the right manner to work, he does but hack & spoil his work, wheras a Ma­son, or Carpenter that workes, by rule and goes to it in the right manner he goes through his work with ease, and if there be a knotty peice in the timber he knows how to order it, because he hath skil: when as others would throw away the work, and could not tell what to do. So many not having the grace of faith to guide them by the right rule, when they set upon any work in religion, they cry out of the difficultness, and how it tires them no marvel if you be tired when you do not know the right rule: but the principle of Faith being begotten by the word, and being fed and nourished by the word, it will keep the heart close to the word, and give skill to the soul to apply it selfe to the rule, and therefore though the work be hard, yet to such a one in compari­son it is Easy, and so carries through abundance of di­fficulties which otherwise would hinder him.

Sixthly, Faith carries through difficult works, things that are hard to be done, because by faith it is that the soul of a beleever hath much to do with God, with the supream Cause, with the highest cause of all, and by reason of Faith the great things that he undertakes are transacted between God and him; the cheif difficulty of business lies most in second causes, in under causes, now if so be the thing be cleare between the supreame cause, and the agent that undertakes the work, it may go on and that with ease. As many times in the busi­ness and affaires of a country, if a man have to do with many under Officers he may have a great deal of difficulty in his work, in passing through them, but if the business be transacted between him and the King and [Page 142] all be cleare there, he may carry his business with ease; so all the business of a beleever is transacted between God and him, and faith keeps the soul to the supreame cause and works it that way, and this must needs pro­cure much ease to a service, because the supream cause depends on no inferior, but all inferior depends upon it and the supream cause is enough to work without any inferior causes, and no inferior can any way resist the working of the supream; yea it is a great particular of the glory of the supream cause, to work above and be­yond all inferior causes, and faith having to deal with that, it is not so much scared with difficulties as others are

Seventhly, Yet further Faith helps through great difficulties, because it doth remove and cure the difficul­ties that are within the spirits of men and women, and if these be taken away, external difficulties have little in them, we complain of many difficulties in a work without, whenas indeed the greatest difficulties are within in our hearts, and faith hath a speciall efficacy for removing and curing of them; As now unruly pas­sions are great hinderances to any worke that we under­take, faith hath a mighty power in curing of them. And likewise distracting fears, (but of that before) And the reasoning of flesh and blood have a mighty deal of power to make a work difficult, and great care is to be had in curing of them: And the lumpish deadness of our spirits, And the base sluggishness of our hearts, And the base ends that a man hath: faith cures them, and cleanses the heart of them, And so foolish presumptions that people have and their false confiden­ces, and resting upon rotten props, these and divers others may be named which are inward difficulties that faith helps against, and by removing of them doth ea­sily overcome any difficulty that is without, therefore when you have any work which is hard, look not so much for the removing the difficulties that are without [Page 143] as the difficulties that are within.

Eighthly, The Eighth particular wherein the power of Faith is, That Faith makes the work that God sets a Christian about, to be suitable to his spirit; let the work be what it wil be, if it be a work of God, any way of Godliness, Faith hath a power to work the heart to be suitable to that work, that there shal be an agree­ment between the frame and temper of heart, and the work that God sets it to, and then a work wil go on. If you set one to a work that does but bungle, the work does not go off hand, because it is a work that is not suitable to his principles: but if a man hath a work that is suitable to him, he can go to it with singing, and it goes off readily: as in Nehem. 4.6. The work went on, because the people had a mind to work; though in­deed it was a hard work.

Ninthly, Again, Another power of Faith is this: Faith hath power to make use of difficulties for the fur­therance of the work, and therefore much more power for to carry through difficulties: Faith can bring wa­ter out of the Rock, it can make the mountains that lie in the way to be advantages to raise the heart upon: We have a notable place for this in Hebr. 11.3, 4. where it is said, Out of weakness they were made strong: not that they were made strong being weak, that they were brought out of their weakness, and had strength conveyed to them (that is not al) but it is made a fruit of their Faith, that they were made strong out of weakness: Faith did make use of their very weakness to strengthen them by; so that Faith is not only able to strengthen those that are weak, but to take advantage by weakness for to strengthen, to turn al hindrances into furtherances: for so God having pro­mised all shal turn to good, Faith can take hold of that Promise, and so turn all hindrances that can be into furtherances: Faith hath a Chymical Art; those that have that Art wil get Gold cut of Stones or Iron: So [Page 144] Faith wil draw Gold out of Iron and stones, out of things that seem to be never so cross and contrary, it wil draw help.

Tenthly, Faith helps against difficulty, because it works by love, and that hath a great deal of power to carry through difficulties; Much water cannot quench Love: it is a speech of Bernard. Cant. 8.7. The force of Love is violent. Saies the Apostle in 1 Thess. 1.3. Remembring without ceasing your work of Faith, and labor of Love: Love is very laborious, it will force through difficulty; therefore that which makes so much use of Love, and inflames that, that hath much power against difficulty.

11ly, Another thing wherein the power of Faith con­sists, is, Before we enter on the work it assures of a cer­tain good success: Now when we know the success shal be good and certain before we begin, this wil help a­gainst any difficulty though the work be never so hard; it is want of the hope of the success that deadens the heart: But this must not be mistaken; Faith doth not alwaies assure of a particular success, if we wil assure our selves of a particular success, which is more than the Promise wil bear, this wil hinder Faith: but faith wil assure of success in the general.

12ly, Again, Faith assures of the reward, 2 Chron. 75.7. Be ye strong therefore, and let not your hands be weak, for your work shall be rewarded: Faith assu­ring of this wil make one strong, though God cal to ne­ver such hard things. Marriners in hope of a good re­ward they wil venture themselves in storms & tempests, and in dangers on the Sea. And so a Soldier, if his Captain wil give him a months, or two months pay, over and above, he wil venture his life.

13ly, Lastly, Faith quickens and stirs up al Graces, cals in the help of every Grace. Now many hands will do great works: and so, where al Graces do work toge­ther, [Page 145] much wil be done. And thus much for the expli­cation of the work of faith in carrying through services that have so much difficulty: For Use,

CHAP. 21.

Ʋses of the Doctrine, Use, First, Let none think God an hard Master, when he puts them upon service, because he affords them a principle to car­ry them through. Use, Secondly, To Beleevers that they should expect to be put upon difficult things. 1. Four considerations against discou­ragements. It is not to be accounted an affliction to be put upon difficult things for 4. Reasons. Use, Thirdly, Shewing it can be no concluding argument against a work, because there are hin­derances. Use, Fourthly, When you have been carried through difficult services consider, what it was which supported you.

USE, 1.

First, Now then let none think God to be an hard Master, in putting his servants upon such difficul­ties as are hard to do; though he do put them upon di­fficulties, yet he gives them a principle to carry them through, and then it is al one as if it were easyer: Car­nal hearts are ready to complaine of the tediousness and hardness of Gods waies, and they are ready to complain of God as an hard Master, how are they hard and tedi­ous? They are hard and tedious to you, because you want a principle to do them by, but they are not hard to the Christian: indeed it was cruelty, and hardness to to Pharoah to put the Israelites upon work, and take away their straw, but God though he puts his servants [Page 146] upon hard works, he gives them a principle whereby to do them: If a man should put another upon an hard work, and give him an engine to carry him through, then it is not hard; so though God puts them on hard works, he gives them an engine to carry them through; saies Dan­iel 10.19. speak Lord thou hast strengthened thy servant. So a Godly man may say, true Lord I have no strength in my self, to do this difficult work, but being thou hast strengthened thy servant, and given him this strong principle in some measure, now Lord speak, Command what thou wilt.

USE, 2.

A second Use is this. Hence let all beleevers that have evidence to themselves that they are beleevers, or any hope that God hath wrought faith in them, let them expect to be put upon difficult things: because God hath put in them a principle to carry them through dif­ficult things, and God delights to improve al his crea­tures according to the powers they have; there is no power of nature, but God wil cal it forth, and improve it at some time or other, and if God delights to improve the power of nature, much more the power of Grace, which is the speciall, and choice power that he doth communicate to any creature in the world; and for the kind the choicest thing that he will communicate to any creature to al eternity, and therefore if you have not found hard things, expect them and make account that your faith should be called out, Faith is the most glo­rious Grace, able to do the most Glorious things that ever creature is able to do, and have you it for nothing? have you faith only to keep you in that ordinary way that the principles of nature are able to keep you in? if God have given you faith, he hath given you it for to do great things, and therefore expect difficult things.

And yet so expect them, as

  • [Page 147]First, not to be discouraged,
  • Secondly, Not to count it an affliction.

First, Be not discouraged: some think I can hardly do ordinary things, and therefore how shall I do such hard things.

1. If you have faith though you be called to difficult things, you cannot be called to a more difficult work than you have done already, and this is a great encou­ragement to faith: the weakest beleever in the world hath done as difficult a work as ever any shall be called to besides that, viz. the work of beleeving at first, when we look upon our selves as enemies to God, for God to justify the ungodly, this is a more difficult work then ever God will call you to; and therefore if God hath carried you through the difficulties in the point of justification, never fear any difficulties that may follow hereafter: If a man be called to any hard thing he com­forts himself in this, I am not called to a harder then I have done already, suppose God hath called you to an hard duty this not an harder duty then that you have done already, that is the work of faith in closing with Christ in the point of justification.

2. Though you know God will call you to hard things, God hath engaged himself that you shall never have any temptation befall you, but you shall have strength accordingly.

3. If you be called to any thing, God doth not call you to any hard work, nor never wil, in expectation that you should do it in your own strength, but in that strength which he will give you, and yet count it upon your own score, as if you did it in your own strength to reward you for it, indeed when we consider what little strength we have, we may be discouraged, but when God doth call us to any work he doth not expect we should do it in our strength, and yet he will reward it as our own, as in that 60. Psalm. 12. Through God we shal do valiantly, for he it is that shall tread [Page 148] down our enemies: is it God that treads down our ene­mies how do we do valiantly? it is God that doth vali­antly, we do nothing, yet says the text through God we shal do valiantly, for he it is that shall tre [...]d down our enemies; so that though the strength whereby God expects us to do any work by, be not our own, yet God accounts it as our own, and Christians may reckon it their own to give God the glory of it.

4. Further be not discouraged for fear of any diffi­cult work you shall be called to, because there is no work of a Christian, that he is called to, but as it spends strength it gives strength, it gives more then it spends, in the way of spending it gives: A man will never be af­fraid of cold in work that brings more heat then cold, the sluggard would not plow because it was cold, in Prov. 20 4. But if he had plowed his labor would have brought in heat; and so it is a sluggish reason to think, shall I do such an hard work and I have such little strength? the work will bring in strength; as if a man should say I am cold in the house, how cold should I be in the feild, and how cold when I take hold on the plow which is cold, and the earth which is cold? indeed if there were nothing in the work to bring in heat we might say so; but the work brings in more heat, then there is cold­ness in the ayr: And so people think I have scarce strength for that work which I have now, but if it be more difficult what then? If it be more difficult, and it bring in more strength, then it would be better then it is now.

Secondly, Count it no affliction; do not complaine as if your case were worse then the case of any, that God put you upon such hard taskes and works that he doth not others, thou knowest not what thou doest in complaining of the hardness of thy worke.

1. Know a difficult work is a most honorable thing. As if a Captain have some great difficult work to do, that is of great consequence for the good of his countrie, [Page 149] he will not call out every base fellow, but his prime ones, and they count it an honour to be called out. And so if a master of Defence have some difficult work to be done, he doth not call out the lowest in the Schoole, but the chiefest, and it is an honor to him: and if he were called to do onely ordinarie things, and another were called to do great things, it would be a dishonor to him, and so it might rather be an affliction, for God to call you to do only ordinarie things.

2. It is a mighty opportunitie for the exercise of Grace: now as the scripture saith, 1. Pet. 1.7. The tryall of Grace is more pretious than Gold. For the exercise of Grace, Grace it self is for exercise, and so the exercise is better than the grace, and if grace be pretious in the habit, it is more precious in the ex­ercise, you should prize one exercise of Grace more excellent then the whol world: People prize grace in the habits; Oh that God would bestow Grace up­on them, but they do not set a price upon every gratious act, but come to this, to set a high price upon every act of Grace as wel as the habit, and you will not complain of difficult works.

3. The more difficult services you are called to, the more opportunitie you have to honor God, you have don but a litle all this while and the most part of your time hath been to little purpose, if God will give you an opportunitie to doe a great deale in a little time, will you murmure at it and count it your afflicti­on.

4. Difficult works are for the improvement of your graces: If a man have a stock, and he have had some improvement for it, but not full, he hath some mony ly dead by him or is not improved for that ad­vantage it might, if he shal find a way to improve every penny of his stock, to the utmost advantage, will he count this an affliction? he counts it an advantage; who grow rich but those that have the full improvement of [Page 150] their stock: Men count it a misery to have their stockly by them and not improved; why do not you count it a misery to have gracely by you, and not exercised: Would you count it a happiness that God should shew you a way to improve your outward stock to the full, and would you not count it a happiness that God should shew you a way to improve your grace to the full.

USE, 3.

The third use is this: If Faith enables to carry through difficult works, then it can be no concluding argument against a work, because there fall out many hinderances in the worke, for faith carries through nothing but that which is the work of God, and if it be to carry through hinderances, then hinderances and blocks in the way can be no concluding argument that this is not the work of God; this is our weakness, we set upon many works and before we begin we consider whether it be the work of God, and we have considered and consulted with God, and his people, and we find it is Gods work, and we begin to set upon it, and we would go on, and alwaies think it Gods work if things went on wel, but as soone as we find any let that stops us, we begin to cal in question whether it were Gods work or no. It is true when we find any hinderances in our work, it should make us reflect our thoughts upon our cal to it and see that be right; and further, it should make us humble our selves before God to take away whatsoever hinderance God should lay in our way out of any displeasure; for though God somtimes do lay hinderances as an honor to improve our graces, yet somtimes hinderances may be as chastizements to us; and therefore it is useful for to humble our soules be­fore God, that we may have more assurance nothing is between God and us, and that our hinderances do not [Page 151] come as a fruit of his displeasure, and the hinderances we meet withall should make us keep more close to the rule, because Faith will beare us out in nothing, but according as we goe to the rule, and so we should im­prove hinderances to stir up our Faith: But to make hinderances, and hard things that fall out to be an argu­ment to think it is not the work of God, that is a great evil: And for that I only speak this one thing, & that is the way of God towards Jacob in that work of his when God called him to goe from Laban into his own coun­try, You may read the story at your leisure, God from Heaven calls Jacob to goe to that Journey: It was the work of God; Jacob might think it being Gods work I shall meet with no hardship: but if you read the story, you shall find it was one of the most hard Journeys that ever he undertook in his life as it appeares by these six things.

First, After he went Laban followed him with an intent to mischeife him, but that God stopt him, and there was some danger that Jacob was in; God freed him from that.

Secondly, His wise's nurse dyed, that was a great help to his wife, God took away even a right hand to his wife.

Thirdly, His wife dyed in that Journey, this was a mighty cross, he might think God comes mightily to crosse me.

Fourthly, After this His Daughter Dinah goes out, and shee is defloured,

Fiftly, After this His two Sons Symeon and Levi goe and commit that wofull outrage, and murdered so many innocent people.

Sixtly, His Brother Esaw came with rage and fury against him, intending to destroy him, and he was mightily affraid of his Brother Esaw: Now this may quiet many that are to goe any Journy; first, let them see the call of God, and then go on in it whatsoever fals [Page 152] out, take it rather as a tryall of your Faith, then any stop of God in your way. And so you that are weake, that have friends that undertake hard works, and hard voyages, you think they may doe it before danger come, but if danger come you are ready to think that it is not the right way; if you have no other argument but that, know it comes from weakness, and you are to lay downe that weakness, and not to disturbe your selves, and your friends by your weakness, to think it is not the way of God, because of those hinderances: and that is the third use.

USE, 4.

Fourthly, if Faith be the principle that carries through such difficult works: Hence who ever have been carried through difficult works, look back to what God hath carried you through, reflect upon it and see what it was that did it; such and such works God called you to, may be, as he did Moses to forsake your owne country, which you have done, not out of any outward necessity, but in bare obedience to God, now may be you may meet with many hinderances, and inconveni­ences, you might have stayed and lived comfortable and full handed enough, if you could have dispensed with those things that others did, some hardship you had in leaving of those things; and then the example of others might come and make the work difficult: But through Gods mercy the work was undertaken, and gone through, now what is it that carried you through? was it your own naturall resolutions? the strength of your own purposes? was it any assistance you hade from any friends? or any help that we can ima­gine from any creature? upon the reviewing of it cannot you say as in the presence of God, I know not what in the world carried me through, but Gods giving me an heart to depend upon him in it.

[Page 153]After what manner did God work upon thy heart? did he first prepare thy heart, by a work of humiliati­on to seek him, and make up thy peace with him? when he had done that: did God secondly take off thy heart from all creature props, creature confidences, and dependances? After that did God cast in a word, and promise into thee, and by his spirit mightily draw thy heart to close with it, and fasten upon it? did God draw out a work of Faith to close with this wisdom Faithfulness and power for the carrying of thee through when thou sawest no strength in thy self, nor didst not know what should become of thee? wert willing whol­ly to venture upon God, to give up thy self unto him, to be at his dispose? were thy ends good and right in this work? didst not thou find that there was a principle in thee carrying thee beyond thine own thoughts, & beyond any strength that thou couldest possibly conceive to be in thy self, and that hath brought the work to an issue beyond they expectation? surely there was faith in this, and if there were faith in this, consider what I have to say to thee.

First, Know that this work is wonderfully accep­table to God, God looks upon such works of nature as lovely, as the young man that came to Christ, Christ lo­ved him, in Mark, 10.21. But if it be a work of faith God looks upon it and accepts it indeed, says the scrip­ture, These obtained a good report by faith; Heb. 11.39. They obtained a good report indeed, not only be­fore men, but before God.

Secondly being a work of Faith, thou mayest have a­bundance of peace, and joy in it, we never have gone through difficulty but it is pleasant to us, if we have gone some voyage, and have passed through difficulties, through many storms, and tempests, we prize it, the water that David longed for, when it was got with so much difficulty, he thought it too good to drink, but powred it before the Lord. In 2 Sam. 23.16.17. As [Page 154] Jacob saies of the portion he gave to Joseph, Gen. 48.22. This I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and my bow. So any thing that we get hardly it is the more prized: so that when we get through dif­ficulties by our faith: that we should prize much, and rejoyce in.

Thirdly, If so be that Faith hath carried thee through difficulty, Let this encourage thee for ever for time to come; certainly there is no difficulty wil stand before thee: if difficulties have begun to fal, they wil fal, and wil not be able to stand before thee. You may reason as Hamans friends, If thou beginnest to fall before Mordecai, thou wilt fall, Est. 6.13. and therefore thou maist cal this work by the name that David called that place where his enemies began to fal before him; Baal-perizem, because God had made a breach upon his enemies, 2 Sam. 5.20. he took that but as a pledg that God would make al his enemies fal before him. And so, hath God made some difficulties fal before thee; then al difficulties wil fal.

Fourthly, Let God have al the glory, neither thy self, nor the means; those things that we do by Faith, God is in them, little of our selves, or nothing at al; Boasting is excluded, saies the Apostle, Rom. 3.27. By the Law of Faith, or by the Law of Works? By the Law of Faith, and therefore that which is done by faith, excludes al boasting from our selves, and gives God the glory.

1. Because Faith of al Graces hath least rooting in our selves: as for Justice, and Temperance, and Pati­ence, and Love, they have some assistance in Nature; but faith hath nothing at al, and therefore God must have the glory of that chiefly.

2. Faith of al Graces hath the least influence into that which it doth, though it be under the rank of effi­cient causes; it is but an instrumental cause, and though an instrument be an efficient, it is the least efficiency of [Page 155] al, and therefore the glory belongs to God.

3. Of al Graces Faith is the most emptying Grace, it carries a Creature out of it self unto another; and therefore whatsoever we do by Faith we must give God the glory.

4. Attribute nothing to means; for though thou usest means, ye whatsoever was done by Faith, was done above means, beyond means, and might have been done without means.

5. Hath God carryed you through any difficult work? and was this a principle: Labor to prize the word of God upon which thy faith was built to nourish and increase this Joy.

6. If you have found your faith hath carried you through great things, take heed thy Faith do not fayl thee in less things, that will be a shame; As a marriner that hath been in great stormes, and tempests, and hath wrought through them, if afterward he should come, and perish in the haven, or in some ordinary tempest, for want of Skill that would grieve him more; & so for a Souldier that hath been in desperate battels af­terwards to be overcome with a little strength, he looseth his honor, this is possible that a Christian by his faith may be carried through wonderful great things, and yet his faith may fail him afterwards in lesser things, as ma­ny a man may escape great dangers, and recover great success, and yet afterwards die of a cold, and those that God hath carried through great things, may faile in les­ser, but it is an infinite shame, take heed to your selves in that: As David speaks concerning Saul, 2. Sam. 1.21. The shield of the mighty is vilely cast away, as though he had not been anointed with Oyl. God hath given thee fayth as a shield, and it was the shield of the mighty, and now it is vilely cast away, an ordinary temptation comes and thou failest, as if thou hadst not been anointed with oyl, when God carried thee through difficult works, thou wert anointed with oyl, and now you fal as if you had not been anointed with oyl, you [Page 156] have been carried through many difficulties in that work of leaving of your country, now when you come here your faith will not serve you to order your ordinary business, and affaires, but it fails fowly in every or­dinary dealing with man, and in your private dealings in your family what a shameful thing is it, that such a one as hath had such power, as to look upon the face of his enemies, and to testify for the truth before them, when he hath to deal with a servant, or child or Wife he fails shamefully, and when he comes to deal with bre­thren, he knows not how to behave himself, as if he were not anointed with oyl, as if he never had faith, no­thing but nature, as ful of frowardness, and pettishness of spirit, and all outward distempers, as those that never were acquainted with Faith? And so faith hath carried you through great difficulties, enabled you to de­ny your self to get to the ordinances, and when you are under them it fails you in assistance to make use of them, and to give God the Glory of them, but you ra­ther defile them, and spoile them, what a shameful thing is this? Be ashamed and confounded in your own thoughts, and stir up your Faith.

CHAP. 22.

Quest, How to know whether Faith wil carry us through difficult works, Answered in several particu­lars, 1. Faith Goes upon spiritual grounds, motives, and ends. 2. Makes men sollicitous and careful for the enjoyment of Gods presence with them. 3. Causes men to carry themselves in a Gracious manner. 4. To have an high esteem of the name of God. 5. Makes them careful, that they may not be frustrated of their end. 6. It makes men satisfied with God Alone. 7. Faith is a continued work. That Faith, Which brought you out, will carry you through.

QƲEST. It is true faith doth carry through difficult [Page 157] works, and amongst other difficult works the forsak­ing of ones own country: it is much that we forsake in forsaking our country, and we had need of Faith to car­ry one through this, indeed a Christian should look upon all the world as his country, he treads upon no ground but that which is his Fathers ground. Socrates used to call himself a Citizen of the world when he was banished he counted it no banishment for the world was his country, and he being a man was a Citizen of it, certainly God hath given the Saints the World: The promise was to Abraham and to his seed that he should be heire of the World, Rom. 4.13. And as it was said of the children of Israel, Deut. 11.24. So it may be said of the Saints, Whatever ground you tread upon, it is your own for use: And further though the world be theirs yet they live above the world and therefore they care not in what part of the world they are: Thus Ter­tullian writing to Martyrs to encourage them being dri­ven from their own country it is no matter saies he in what part of the world you are who are separated from the world: Yet there is much difficulty in le [...]ing of a mans country, and he had need of faith to carry him through who doth leave it, But how shall we know that faith carries us through, there may be many other princi­ples.

Answ. First, Faith goes upon spiritual grounds, motives and ends, Faith is a spiritual grace and it works exceeding spiritually, and the reasonings of Faith are above the reasonings of Flesh and Blood, what were your motives and grounds and ends by that you might know whether out of faith you forsook your country, it may be it was from vexation or discontent that you left your country; or from the example of others, or from engagement unto others, or out of novelty or out of carnal fears or out of vaine hopes, or for further providing for your selves, a great many things there may be that may put people on such a way, especially those three, novelty, example, and [Page 158] discontent: but if it be by faith the ground and the end wil be spiritual, for God and out of obedience unto God. It is observable of Moses (for I will go no further for notes of tryal then from the worke of Moses) Moses when he pleads with Pharoah to go out of his country, he did not plead the peoples bondage, you do so abuse the people here, and we are in such grievous bondage, that we cannot bear it, but saies he In Exod. 4.23. The Lord hath commanded, we must go into the wilderness to worship him, that was his plea and ground and end rather then the bondage that the people did suffer: so when men forsake their country, outward things may come in, in subordination to higher things: and there may be faith in ordering the heart about them, but faith must go above them: now can your conscien­ces witness, as in the presence of God, it was your long­ing desire, for to enjoy God in his ordinances and to keep your souls from defilement, this was the argument of Moses, they could not set up the worship of God there, but they must go where God called them.

2. If Faith be the thing that brings any from their country, above all things they will be very sollicitous, and careful, for the enjoyment of Gods presence with them; though they are in a subordinate way to provide for their families and to look how to live yet the great care of their souls is that they may enjoy the presence of God: this was Moses argument: Exod. 33.15. Except thy presence go with us Lord carrie us not hence: now if so be it was thy care in departing to carry God, and his gracious presence with thee, let me stay here and suffer any thing, lie in prison and rot, rather then go without the presence of God, this is an argument it was of Faith.

3. Moses in forsaking his own country and going from Egypt he carries it in a very gratious manner, when he came to Pharoah though the people were vext and troubled, because their bondage did increase, he did [Page 159] not fall exclaiming against him, but rather yeilding to him in a way of submission as far as he could: he did not go on rashly, headily, foolishly, and self-confidently, as many do, which manifest a great deal of pride, and stoutness of spirit rather then any thing else, but he carries on the business with a great deal of sobriety and gravity, with much humility, and meekness of spirit, in a way of wisdom; and so it is in every action of faith so far as faith is in it, now what was the maner of your forsaking your country, was it in a way of seeking of God, knowing the mind of God, with quietness of spirit, and humility, and wisdom that you were brought away, that is ano­ther note that it is of faith.

4. Moses when he came from his country, above al things the name of God was dear to him after he was come away and especially upon this because their very departing from Egypt held out the name of God much, and therefore he was very careful that that name of God, that was held out in their departing from Egypt might not be polluted, when he was in any danger, presently he flees to this, Lord what will become of thy great name: he does not so much plead in the behalf of the people, as in the name of God, so if faith hath brought you from your country, the name of God is much in it: you take a profession that you come from your country for the ordinances of God, and the further purity of his worship, now for one to leave friends, and estate, and country, and all upon this ground, if it were out of faith, how dear would the name of God be to such a one, least the name of God that is held out in his profession should be polluted; when you come here and there should be divisions, and nothing but tearing, and rending of one another; consider what shall become of the great name of God, thus Moses reasoned what will the heathen say, that thou hast brought the people hither to destroy them? so will others say, they are come out of their own country to tear and rend, and [Page 160] fight with one another. Let that name that is held out [...]n your profession be dear to you, and make that an ar­gument to curb passion, and to order you in your deal­ings one with another.

5. Moses was mightily careful that he might not be frustrat of his end: he went out of Egypt that he might come to Canaan: and when there was any danger that he was like to be frustrated in this, how it troubled him it went to his heart; and he cried to God that God would let him see that good land: so if it be out of faith that you come from your country, great care will be had that you be not frustrate of your end, wherefore came you? came you not to enjoy God? to have fur­ther communion with God? to walk with God in a more close way then you could do before? are you careful to attaine your end? doth it trouble your souls when at any time you see any danger to be frustrate of your end? doth it come near to you that you find for the pre­sent you have attained so little of your end? those that come out of other ends, let this go: but if you come out of Faith, you will be mightily careful to attaine the end for which you came, that work that is done out of faith will work mightily to the end, and never leave wor­king till it come at its end.

6. If so be you came out of your country by Faith your souls will be satisfied with God alone and the cal and promise of God is that which your souls will have recourse unto continually for the satisfaction of your souls, so Moses when he was in straight he presently had recourse to the call and promise of God, to bring his people out of Egypt, and that satisfied him.

7. As it will quiet, and satisfie the soul, so that Faith that brought you out will carry you through all difficulties, now you meet with many difficulties, and some you thought not of, if it were out of faith that you came, and that faith were a continued work it will car­ry you through the difficulties you meet withall, do you [Page 161] find that upon the difficulties you meet withall your hearts sink? you may fear it was not Faith that first brought you out. I would not have any gather any si­nister conclusion from this which hath been said, to think that we make comparisons between our country and Egypt: no but we bless God for the good we received in our own country, and do desire the good of it as far as we can, but only to shew the work of Moses in forsak­ing Egypt. But in those that came from Egypt there was a mixt company; and those mixt company were a continual trouble and disturbance to those that were the Israel of God. Numb. 11.4. And the mixt multitude that was among them fell a lusting, and the children of Is­rael also wept again and sayd who shal give us flesh to eate? the mixt multitude they began the sin, and the children of Israel fell with them: And so into these countries there are come many of the people of God that were gracious out of faith; but there are a great many that are the mixt multitude, that were of broken estates, they knew not how to live, and coming upon those ends, the people of God are troubled with such, and they are the gratest contemners of the waies of Godliness, they have kindness from the people of the country, but they meet with trouble from this mixt company, espe­cially when any of those do creep into the Church, and come to be members of it, but for those that come from their country by faith, we hope we shal enjoy comfor­table communion with all such, and thus much for this fourth use.

CHAP 23.

Containing other vses of the point. Use, 5. Shews the reason why we faile in any thing we do; it is for want of Faith. Use, 6. Labor to rise in indignation against your unbelief. Use, 7. Consider what it is to faile in that work which concerns thy eternal estate.

USE, 5.

FIftly, If so be that it be Faith that carries through difficulties, he [...]ce we see the reason why we faile in any thing that we doe, it is want of Faith: It is not such a let, nor such a hinderance; no, know it is the un­beleiving heart, it may be thou wentest in the resolu­tion of thy own heart, and thought to carry it through in the strength of thy own spirit, and that would not do: As the Apostle saith. Heb. 11.29. By Faith they passed through the red sea as by dry land, which the Egyptians assaying to do were drowned: So by Faith such and such passed through such and such works to the glory of God: But others at other times, would assay to do them by their own resolutions, and they failed and were drowned; it is true resolution may do great matters, but to carry a soule in a gracious manner through any difficultie it wil faile: Know there­fore where lay the cause of thy failing, and lay thy hand on the right place, and accuse thy self of an unbeleiving heart,

USE, 6.

And upon that labour to rise in indignation against [Page 163] thy unbeleiving heart; as suppose a man hath been in some great work, and some have letted him, and so let him, as to spoyle his work; his heart riseth against him: I was in a good forwardness and such a one came and spoyled my work; and so look upon thy unbe­lieving heart: I was in such a work that God set me about, but my unbelieving heart came and hindered me, and Gods name lost the glory, and my own soul was wounded.

USE, 7.

Againe doth thy heart faile thee? if my unbelieving heart make me faile in this work, what if I should faile through unbelief in that great work that concernes my eternal estate? what should become of me then? I seldom undertake a work but my unbelieving heart makes me faile in it; now there is a work of infinite con­sequence, and nothing can carrie me through that but Faith, and if my unbelieving heart come and spoyl me in that, it were better I had never been borne, it hath done me hurt enough in such and such things, I had need have a care it doe not spoile me in that: As if a man should say, there are such and such businesses I have miscarried in, and I have lost much by them, but there are such and such works if I miscarrie in I am undon, it is as much as my life is worth, and therefore I had need take heed of those things that have been hindrances to me in my other works: So if unbelief have done you hurt in these works, take heed it do not hinder you in the maine work. And for a word to those that are weake, who are ready to be discouraged, and think they shall miscarry: Know God hath a speciall care of all his people though never so weak to keep off hin­derances in that maine work, though God do suffer them to faile in other works, and his name suffer some dishonour by it, yet he will have a care they shall not [Page 164] faile in the maine work: and were we not sure of this that God will have a care that our unbeleeving hearts shall not spoile us in that maine work we have to do a­bout our Eternal estate, we could never have comfort know the covenant wil not bear this, the covenant will beare that God should let our faith faile in some works, but it will not beare this that God should suffer the least degree of faith to faile in that work which concerns the eternal good of the soul; Christ is called the mighty counseller, and the maine work of Christ is to counsel the soul in those things that concern its eternal estate, and notwithstanding all its unworthiness, he will coun­sel it so far as it shall not miscarry in that great business, yet Christ doth not alwaies afford his counsel in every particular action. As God deales in the way of his coun­sel, so of his power, though he may withdraw his strength so, as not to assist our faith in some particular actions, yet in the maine and great business that concerns our eternal estate, we shall not want necessary strength. As a Father that is going along with his child, may be he goes in such waies as the child is in danger of many a fall, to get many a knock, and sore bruise, the father will say to him have a care, take heed: but if he come to a way, that if the child fall he lose his life the father wil not content himself with saying take heed, but he takes hold on him till he be past that place: so God in all our ordinary business saies look to your Faith, ex­ercise your faith, but for all that we get many a fall, and many a knock, but then may be there comes another work, that concerns our eternal estate, which if we faile in we are undone for ever, god takes hold of the soul there, and will not let them miscarry in that, which is the infinite mercy of God to us; and were we not sure of Gods mercy in that respect, being conscious to our selves of our unbeleeving hearts, we might fear, yea conclude we should faile.

CHAP. 24.

Helps to put on Faith in any undertaking. 1. Set before you the example of your great Captain Je­sus Christ. 2. Make preparation for the work of Faith by Humiliation. 3. Renew your Faith in the Covenant of Grace. 4. In difficult times, set Faith on work to purifie the heart. 5. Take heed of shifting waies and dependances. 6. Set loose from your own ends. 7. Cast your selves upon the word of God. 8. Plead the word with God in prayer. 9. Refuse no meanes that God puts into your hands. 10. Do nothing with a slavish spirit 11. Be not discouraged by miscarriages that are past 12. Take heed of the disturbance of passion in your work. 13. Observe the dependances one work hath upon another. 14. Lisson not to Temptations. 15. Take heed of perverse reasonings. 16. Take heed of disorderly working, in four cases. 17. Ʋse resolution and Courage. 18. Look on your selves as Gods Instruments. 19. Be constant though you find nothing come of it. 20. Encrease not the difficulty by your Carriage. 21. Look most at your Encouragements. 22. Ʋse not the dif­ficulty in the way to reason against the work. 23. Labor to harden your selves by faith against all difficulties

NOw doth God call you to any service or work that hath any difficulty in it? you see what it is that will help. David by Faith in Psal. 18.29. Says, he could break through a troop and leap over a wall, and break a bow of Steel, and Paul could do all things through Christ that strengthened him; As Christ said [Page 166] of Miraculous faith, so it may be said of Justifying Faith. If you had faith but as a graine of mustard seed, you should say unto this mountaine be removed hence to yonder place, and unto this Sycamine tree, be thou plucked up by the roots, and be thou planted in the Sea and they shall obey you, in Math. 17.20. And in Luke, 17.6. And so Faith if it come to a sin that is rooted, it will be able to pluck it up by the roots, and to remove mountains. There is nothing more weake, and unuseful then on ordinary conceited faith, that is but a bare opinion, and groundless hope, but nothing more strong and usefull then true Faith, it hath the quinte­ssence of all graces, as the root of the herb hath the ver­tue, and quintessence of all the fruite, and branches in it, so faith hath the quintessence of all grace, and ther­fore it will do great things. As it was said of Luther that had much faith, he could do whatsoever he would: So it may be said of Faith and the Scripture saith so of it; Faith can do what it will, it was the speech of Christ to the woman: O Woman great is thy Faith be it unto thee as thou wilt: In Math. 15.28. Those whose faith is great it shall be to them as they will, but know it must be exercised, it is not enough to have it in the habit, but the activity, and exercise of it: wherefore for the put­ting on of your Faith.

1. Let us set before us the example of our great Captaine the Lord Jesus Christ you know what diffi­cult works Christ undertooke for the salvation of man, such difficult works as all the Angells in heaven and crea­tures in the world would have sunke under: But Christ went through them; and there was a work of Faith in Christ that carried him through, though it was not such a work of faith as ours, Justifying Faith, yet he had a Faith, his trust in his father that did help to carry him through great and difficult works. In 2 Heb. 12.13. Christ is propounded as an example unto us, Saying I will declare thy name unto my brethren, in the midst [Page 167] of the Church will I sing praise unto thee: Christ in his own person did praise God, and he sung praises in the hearts of his people, so that by the way, take this as a comfortable note, to encourage us to publique duties, while we are praysing of God, Christ is praysing of God while we are singing of psalms to God in a gracious man­ner, Christ is praysing of God the father. And again I will put my trust in him, it is a speech of Christ unto the Father, Christ put his trust in the Father, and the example of the work of Faith in Christ to carry him through all the works he had to do, is brought as an in­couragement unto Christians, to cast their relyance on God the Father, to carry them through all the hard works they have to do. And as Christ did not only praise God in his own person, but in the Church, so Christ did not only in his own person trust in the Father and so was carried through the difficult works he had to do, but he trusted in his Father, in the hearts of his people, that they might be carried through the difficult works they have to do.

2. When any difficult work is to be done, labor to make preparation for the work of Faith by humiliation, before you undertake the work and according to the na­ture of any difficult services there must be a proportion­able measure of humiliation before you undertake that work: therefore when God hath called to extraordina­ry works, usually Gods people have made preparation for their faith by extraordinary humiliation, as Nehe­miah, Ezra and Esther, that were to undertake great works, which they were to be carried through by faith, they made preparation by extraordinary humiliation before hand. It is in the putting forth of a new act of faith, as it was in the first act of Faith, as especially humiliation was a preparation for faith at first, so es­pecially humiliation is a preparation for the putting forth of a new act of Faith, after we have it.

3. When any difficult service comes to be per­formed [Page 168] let there be oft renewing of Faith in the great co­venant of Grace: and do not only think to exercise faith in this particular work, but let your care be about re­newing Faith in the great covenant, let the great Char­ter be renewed, and inferiour grants wil come in. Thus God dealt with Abraham, when any thing befell Abra­ham that he was in a great straight, then God renewed his Covenant with him, I am God Alsufficient; God thought this a special meanes to carry him through; If you have renewed the covenant (in which all the promi­ses are included) this is a great help to Faith, Shall not God who hath given us his Son with him also give us al things else; the soul may reason strongly thus.

4. Faith must be set on work when any difficult ser­vice is to be done, for the purifying of the heart, though you beleeve God will be with you, and strengthen you in the work, yet unless you make use of Faith to puri­fie the heart, as well as beleeve, you may miscarry in the work, if there be any lust that lies next the heart, you wil never be able for to do great things; for sin as it is of a defiling nature, so it is of a weakning nature. If you would have a spirit of power, you must have a sound mind. In Nehemiah, 13.3. When they were about a great work they separated the mixt company, & when you are about any great work, Exercise Faith to purge your hearts from corruption, Saies David, Psal. 18.32. It is God that girdeth me with strength, and makes my way perfect. The girding of him with strength and making his way perfect went together: therefore: labor that the way with God in your own hearts may be perfect, and clean, and then God will gird you with strength.

5. In difficulties labor to exercise faith to get you off from all shifting waies, and creature dependances: It is observable of those that have to deal with mettals, when they are working of Gold, that they might have it work the easier, they will mixe other mettals with it, [Page 169] and upon the mixing of Lead and tinne with Gold, it works the easier, but it is a great deal worse, it were better they would take more pains in the working of it, it would be purer. Just so do many Christians, that are ill workemen in the waies of God, when they are wor­king of good actions and they find them difficult, and go somwhat hard off, they will be mixing their own car­nall pollicy, and shifting courses, and to that end the work may go off easier, but though it be easier to be done yet it is a worse peece of work after it be done, then it would have been if it had been done with more paines. Labor to exercise Faith to get you off from al creature dependances, if the heart by Faith be given up to God alone, it will do mighty things: but if so be we would have two strings to our bow, that if such a means do faile we may have some other to rest upon, we shall ne­ver do any great thing: And therefore when God would use any of his people to do great things, he first took them off from al creature helps they had before, as I have met with an observation that one hath from Moses about this. In Acts, 17, 22. It is said Moses was an Eloquent man, a man of mighty words. Yet if you read the Sto­ry in Exod. 4.10. you shall hear Moses complaine that he was slow of speech, and not eloquent. This is answered, Moses was a man of mighty words, but when God was about this work, and a little before God took away his excellency in words, that he might have further dependance upon God, then before he had: whether there be any reality in this or no I know not, yet certainly it is the way of God, when men have any creature helps, God doth take them off from them that they might have a sheere work of Faith, for when the creature is used, it doth usually rob God of a great part of his honor: Ther­fore when Gideon had so many thousand, God said it was too great a multitude for him to deliver his people by.

6. Faith must take us off from our own ends too, and [Page 170] ingage God in the business as much as we can, let God be seen in the work though we be not seen, let God have the glory, though it be not known who did that diffi­cult work, great things will be done when God is inga­ged in the business. And it is a special work of Faith to take us off our own ends; when you come to a great work, you think to exercise faith and not being taken off from your own ends; Faith looseth its vertue and power.

7. When we come to any work that is difficult, let us labor to exercise Faith, to cast our selves upon the word, to find out some promise, and to roule upon it to venture our selves and the might of our work upon that word, as namely thus: Suppose it be a work for the subduing of any sin; that word in Rom. 6.14. Sin shal not have dominion over you, look at the word, and make more account of it, then of all your endeavors a­gainst sin whatsoever, if it be laboring to get from un­der that difficulty, the guilt of Conscience, and deliver­ing your selves from the terror of it. That word in Rom. 8.1. There is no condemnation to those that are in Christ Jesus. If it be for the doing of any work that we are called to, that word that hath vertually a promise in it: he worketh all our works in us, and for us; Isa. 26.12. If it be to stand against any oppositi­on, that word which God gave to Joshua, Joshua. 1.5. I will be with thee and will not leave thee: Exercise Faith to get a word and to rest your souls upon it.

8. Take this word and plead it with God in prayer when you enter on any difficulty, do as it were shew unto God his bond: though God binds him self; yet he wil not come in and help till the creature come and shew his bond: and upon the sight and pleading of the bond with God, God is pleased to come in with help, God is much taken, and delighted with this, when a­ny of his servants in difficulty shall come, and plead his promises. The turning of promises into praier, and [Page 171] as it were the distilling of faith into prayer is a thing mighty prevailing with God: As there are some Physicall things that have great operations, but unless they be distilled, or taken in such and such things they will not work; but then they will work: So Faith when it is distilled and turned in praier, and mingled with praier, and taken down in that, then it works: If a Physitian should come and say, how did you take such a thing? and you say I swallowed it down, he wil say you should have taken it in such and such a thing, and then it would have wrought; so you beleeve God will help you, but have you distilled your Faith into praier? and taken it therein pleading with God to ful­fill his word: that is a great means to do great things.

9. Faith must refuse no means, if there be any means that God doth lay in your way, take them thankefully, use them faithfully, diligently, carefully as if there were nothing but means: and when you have used them depend upon God above means, as if there were no o­ther means: Idleness and presumption are quite con­trary to faith: and therefore be faithful in the use of means. As it is observed, God saies he brought the people into Canaan, by his mighty power and outstretch­ed Arme: yet there was a great many valiant Souldiers and a mighty power of the people; so that notwithstand­ing all means, Faith knows how to give God the glory of his outstretched arme, knowing that all second causes work by the power of the First.

10. Let us take heed that what we undertake to do, we do it not with a slavish spirit, meerly haled unto it but look upon every duty as a work of the Gospel; that that people do meerly in a compulsive way, out of a sla­vish spirit, they will never go through it, but by Faith we are to look upon all duties as works of the Gospel, not as works of the Covenant of works, but as works of the Covenant of grace, therefore that is observable con­cerning Zerubbabel In Zach, 4. Where God saies moun­tains [Page 172] shall be made plaine before Zerubbabel, difficul­ties shall be taken away, how? at vers. 7. At the lay­ing of the corner stones they shall crie Grace, Grace, magnifying the Grace of God, looking higher at the Garace of God, then at all the strength that Zerubba­bel had, and so being carried on in a spiritual way, cry­ing Grace, Grace, that was a means to carry them through difficulties, and to make them as plains, for when you go about any great work, when you lay the first stone in that work crie Grace, Grace, this is a work that I must expect the free Grace of God in for as­sistance, for acceptance, and for blessing and for the car­rying me through all: the more you magnify the grace of God in any work, the more you will be enabled to go through that work.

Eleventhly, You must not be discouraged by mis­carriages that have been before. You have set upon a work, and you have carried your selfe so in it as you have miscarried, and you think I have so miscarried, and sinned against God, as I must never expect Gods help, If I had never miscarried in that work, I might have had hope, but now having so miscarried in that work, there is little hope: do not reason by former miscarriages: If we now set our hearts right to the work, and come and ask wisdom to be carried through it, though we have miscarried twenty times before, God will not upbraid us; nor say, what doe you come to ask wisdom to do that work, when as you have set upon that work before, and have spoiled it, through the pride and sluggishness of your hearts? therefore now away; be humbled for miscarriages before, but be not discouraged by any miscarriages in that work or in any other; yea though we have begun the work and miscarried at first, yet be not discouraged, many works have miscarried at first, and yet have come to a glorious issue at last, especially if miscarriages be through weakness: as Jacob though he was strook lame, [Page 173] and the sinew of his thigh shrunk in wrastling with the Angel, yet he prevailed; so though there may be fail­ings, that our sinews may be shrunk up, and we be lame in our work, yet there may be a prevailing at last, and therefore do not hinder your Faith by being dis­couraged with former miscarriages.

12. Againe take heed of the disturbance of passion in the performance of your work, that which is done in a way of passion, and frowardness and anger is seldom well done, if you have a servant, that will allwaies be busie, and doing of somewhat, but do it in an anger, you had better he should do nothing, they are the quiet and meek spirits that can carry a work sweetly and pro­sperously on: So in any work that God sets us about, let us go about it with quiet spirits, your strength shall be to sit stil, Isa. 50.7. Saies the Lord; so the great strength of our hearts in the performance of any work, is to stand still, and be quiet. Stand still and see the salvation of the Lord, Exod. 14.13. Not the stillness that is op­posed to endeavor, but that stilness that is opposed to disquietness, and tumultuousness of our unruly af­fections: you would faine have the salvation of the Lord, and help in such and such a work, why did you not stand stil, you are not in case to have the salvation of the Lord, so long as you are in such a disturbance: ma­ny miscarry in a work this way, as many foolishly igno­rant people that are in a boat, when the boat tosses they run up and down in the boat and will not be quiet, and so are drowned; whereas if there be any skilful in the boat, they say, do but sit still and you are safe enough, but they think they cannot be too hasty to help them­selves, and so run up and down and turne the boat over them; so are unruly passions of men in their hearts, when they are in any work and apprehend any danger, their passions are up, and they think there is a necessity for them to be stirring, and it is in an unruly way, and so they overturne themselves, I beseech you observe it [Page 471] in Moses. Moses he was to do the great work in car­rying the people from Egypt, and he was of a very qui­et spirit a great way; but he was to go on in the work, and though he was the weakest man upon the earth, yet the very thing that did over throw Moses in the work at last, that made him to miscarry for his own part, was the disturbance of his passion, when he came to strike the rock, to get water for the people, for not sanctifying the name of God, but did it in a passion, that was the thing that made him miscarry, as in Psalm. 106.32.33. They angred him also at the waters of strife, so that it went ill with Moses for their sakes. So you (may be) have done some works, so as you have found God strengthning of you, at length you come to a work where (may be) there is more difficulty then before, and there being more difficulty your hearts are disquie­ted; take heed you miscarry not now, it is a special thing to carry on a hard work well; to go on with quietness: disquiet and passion do much hinder; as it was the case of the people of Israel in the beginning of Exodus; When Moses came they could not harken to him, because of the anguish of heart; and the greatness of their bon­dage: So to apply it spiritually, you are sensible of some gri [...]vous bondage under some corruptions, and you have much anguish of spirit that you cannot overcome such and such corruptions, but take heed you be not so disturbed in your hearts, as your being in anguish under that bondage hinder you from hearkning to the Lord in his word, and conceiving the mind and will of God a right and knowing how to order your selves in a right way: it was so with them, and truly this is just the case of many people, because they are sensible of the bondage they are in under their corruptions, they are so troub­led, and their hearts are in such a toile, and tumult, that they cannot hearken to any thing that should guide themselves in this work.

13. Another rule for the ordering of your Faith to [Page 175] help you through difficult works, is to observe the de­pendances that one work hath upon another; many see a work God would have them to do, and they presently set upon that, and do not observe what dependance, this hath upon somwhat else and so miscarry. Suppose a Mariner or some other should have a work to go and pull such a cable, such a rope, he goes to the place that is in view to pull that rope, but may be there is some o­ther line; that holdes it in some other place, and they may pull their hearts out, and never pull the thing they would. So many are striving and laboring, and tugging in many duties, but there is some secret holdfast that they observe not that those duties have dependance upon, and they can never bring their work to pass. As one com­plaines of the difficulty of getting a heart to go to God in prayer, God knows I have been in prayer & have striven with my soul with al my might, as in the presence of God for to get up my heart; you strive and tug at this and may be you think of some promise, and exercise faith too, but there is some corruption that seems to be a great way off from this, that this hath dependance upon, which makes this difficult, and you should set your faith on work to deliver your selves from that, and then it will come off better, as now (may be) you have been striving to get your hearts up to God in prayer, and if you look well to it, it may be the frowardness and petrishness, and passion of your hearts in your families, with ser­vants, or wife, or husband is that which keeps down your heart, when you come into Gods presence, you should first have set your faith on work, to have cured that, and if you had cured that, you might have got up your hearts: many slip over many corruptions, and look at duties a great way off and they strive, and take pains, but if they had true Christian wisdome, they should look what difficulty and hinderance lay between them and that dutie, and they should labor to take a­way that And so for faith, we cannot beleeve in God [Page 176] and in the promises, may be there lay a sluggish heart in your particular calling, it may be so far off, though you think there be but little dependance of Faith in that And so in affliction you would faine have your hearts be patient, may be there laie a dead lumpishness of heart and drowsiness of spirit: and therefore look narrowly to corruption though never so far off, and set thy heart in general against all, one as well as another.

14 Againe take need of listening to temptation: when as you are about any hard work there will come a­bundance of temptation, what you go through this work? those that have been stronger then you have miscarried, it is a mighty hard work, and you are a poor creature: If it be the work of the Lord, go to it with a naked up­right heart, If I miscarry so it is and do not mind temp­tations: A very observable place it is of Nehemiah, in Nehemi. 6.3. When he was about the great work of God, the adversaries sent as if they would parly with them, and it was for nothing but to hinder his work, but mark what he saies. I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come, why should the work cease, whilst I leave it and come down to you? so do you say to temp­tation, temptation would faine have you come, reason the case, but say I am about the worke of the Lord, why should the work cease, and I spend my time and strength about reasoning with you?

15. Another rule for the putting on of your faith may be this: when you are doing any great work God calls you to do. Take heed of perverse reasonings, as thus. When God calls me to do any service, I should reason; if I were able to do thus and thus I could beleeve but who can beleeve when they have such a heart, so unable to do any thing, and so unable to overcome any corruption? What a perverse reasoning is this? If I could do this I could beleeve, you should reason I must beleeve, that I may do this: as If one should say, if I could do any work I hope I should have strength, you [Page 177] must have strength to do your work; or if I were at my journies end I could go; you must go to be at your journies end, If I were over Sea I could venture into a Ship, you must venture into a Ship that you may come over Sea: And so if I could do such a thing I could beleeve how should strength come in but by beleeving? Wilt stay beleeving till thou canst get strength? it is as much as if one should say I wil stay going into a Ship til I get over Sea, his going into the Ship is a means to get over Sea, and so beleeving is the way to get strength: and therefore do not reason from thy want of strength to hinder faith but rather reason from thy want of strength to further faith.

16. Again when you go about any work that is diffi­cult, take heed of any disorderly working of your heart about that work. The disorderly work of the heart may be discovered in two or three part [...]culars.

First, To look at the success, it looks at the duty principally, for one to look at the success more then at duty, this is a miscarriage and a hinderance to the work of faith.

Secondly, If you do look at the success, yet do not look at the particular success, though Faith do assure of the general success, it doth not alwaies assure of the particular success.

Thirdly, take heed you do not judg of the final suc­cess, by some hinderances in the work at first, as many because they have not success at the beginning, they judg of the final issue by that.

Fourthly, Above all take heed of determining before hand that you shall have no success, I may go about the work but it will never go on, it will never thrive: As a servant that is froward will say, well I may go about the work, but there will never come no good of it, so many will go about the work God sets them to do, but they determine before hand nothing will come of it This is a sinful boldness, who art thou man or woman, [Page 178] shal you be so bold with God, may you determine, what Gods way shall be? you may say, I deserve that no­thing should come of that I do, but when it comes to de­termination, it is boldness and sinfulness against God what should not I determine I that am thus and thus vild, will God succeed any work in my hand? you may say I that am thus and thus vild deserve that God should blast all that I do, but do not determine that I shall ne­ver overcome this hard heart of mine, and I shal never get a patient spirit. This is that which the prophet speaks against. Hosea, 7.13. Though I have redeemed them yet they speak lies against me, So though God have re­deemed men, and hath given them mercy, yet they speak lies against God, that they shall never have such and such a mercy, that they labor for, or when God is in a way of redeeming of you, and stirring your hearts for you to say there shal never be no success, nor help, this is to speak lies against God; be humbled for that you have been guilty of before, and take heed of determin­ing of the success for time to come: for assuredly, whatsoever unworthinss you see in your selves, yet know it is a temptation of the Devil and a provoking sin.

17. Againe it must be our care, together with our faith to put on that we do with resolution and courage; As the Psalmist saith in Psal. 310.24. Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart. So when you go to any difficult work, put on your faith with all the resolution you can, natural resolution helps much against difficulty: It is a notable speech of Sen­eca, the mind of man, gets whatsoever it commands it self, if it will lay a command and charge upon it self it may obtaine it. That he saies concerning naural resolution, natural resolution is a migh­ty help to overcome difficulty, a man shall be able to do more then he thought he could have done, but if this be added with faith, that we can make use of our Faith [Page 179] and then lay a necessity on the work; it must be done whatsoever I hear, it is the command of God, this is a mighty thing to help forward the work.

18. Another rule is in all services that God calls you to, look upon your selves as Gods instruments in Gods hand, and look upon the work as Gods work enjoined by him and done for him, and not your own. I am nothing what is an instrument, an axe to the building of an house? the work is hard and difficult, it is not mine, but Gods, I am not the principal efficient, but the in­strument and not in mine own hand, but in Gods and such a weak instrument in the hand of a skillful work­man, in his own work may do great things.

19. Again whatsoever work God calls you to do go a [...]out i [...], continuing in it, though you find nothing come of it, expect God to come in while you are working, and do not say, if God did come in I could have incourag­ment to work, work, expecting God to come in while you are working: and though you have been working these many years and found nothing, yet if God do come in it will be while you are working. As David said to Solomon his Son, up and be doing and the Lord be with you. 1. Chron. 22.16. So say I to you do not say what shall I be doing without the Lord, be doing and the Lord wil come in: But I have been do­ing and the Lord hath not come in. Yet whensoever the time comes that God wil come in comfortably, it wil be while you are working, therefore be doing and the Lord will be with you.

20. Again let us take heed we do not increase the difficulty by our disorderly carriage, this we are many times guilty of, that when God sets us about any work and there be some hardness in it, we make it abundant­ly more hard by our untoward carriages: As a man that is fettered, by pulling and haling he pulls the skin off his legs, and by that means makes it harder to beare his fetters then before, the people of Israel that went out [Page 180] of Egypt, and went to Canaan through the wilder­ness, it was a hard iourney, but they made it abundant­ly harder, by their carriage. From Egypt unto the bor­ders of Palestine was but seventy miles, and to Jerusa­lem but a hundred miles, and yet by their ill carriage they made it a businese of fourty yeares: so though in­deed we are to go through a wilderness, & a difficult work, yet through our ill carriage we make it more difficult. Let us take heed we do not make it more difficult really, by our complaints of it; we complaine things are diffi­cult when indeed they are not so in themselves, but be­cause of the sluggishness of mens spirits in making com­plaints of the difficulty of the work.

21. Againe be not all poring upon the difficulty, and looking at those things that are hard and may dis­courage you in the work that God set you about, but look at those things that may encourage you also, if there be any hardness in a work, men are alwaies look­ing upon that and they never look upon any sweet that may incourage them, it is never like that they shall goe on; Children if they have a sore upon the body the finger usually will be touching of that though it makes the sore to be worse, and causeth it to be more and more angry, and keeps it from healing: So many if they have any thing that is hard in their work, their thoughts will be upon that. Difficulties in any work are like to bitter pills, that God gives us to take down: But what a childish thing were it for any that have pills to take down that are bitter, for them to chew them; no marvel then though they spit them out and do not swallow them, they should swallow them down and not chew them: And so when God gives us any bitter pills, we must not alwaies be chewing of them in our thoughts but free the command of God, and so go on in our work. and labor to swallow difficulties as much as we can, we have a notable place for this pur­pose in Psal 86.4, 5. Rejoyce the soul of thy ser­vant, [Page 181] for unto thee O Lord do I lift up my soul, for thou Lord art good and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy unto al them that cal upon thee. Thus we apply it; the cause why many go so drooping in their way, and have no joy and comfort in any of their waies, is because they look downward in the dark, if a man were in the bottom of a deep pit, and alwaies looks down­ward he could never see light; if he would see light, he must look upward to the Sun: so mark the way of David. Rejoyce the soul of thy servant, for unto thee O Lord do I lift up my soul. If David had let his heart alwaies fall downward he would never had joy in his way, but when he would have joy he lift up his heart, so if there be any work that is difficult and your hearts are troubled, would you have that which should re­joyce you? lift up your soules to God in those in­couraging waies that he presents to you. For thou Lord art good and ready to forgive, and plenteous in mercy. Here is a way to get mercy, he lifts up his soul and looked upon God as good and ready to for­give, and plenteous in mercy. I appeale to you when did you lift up your soules, and look up to God as plenteous in mercy, you alwaies looked downward in the bottome of the pit and see the blackness of Gods justice ready to seize upon you, but you should lift up your soul to God, and look to the sun, we should not alwaies be poring, upon those things that are diffi­cult, but see those things that are incouraging.

22. Do not make use of difficulties in your way to reason against your work, or to make you out of love with your work, but to reason against your hearts: in­deed it is an hard work, but it is through my wretched sluggish heart, and because I do not make use of the means, and abilities that God affords me, many that have less means and helps then I, can go through harder works then I, and so labor to reason against your own hearts, and not the work, many when they feel the [Page 182] work, hard reason against the work: the Lord knows I strive and do what I can, but I have so many letts and hinderances, God does not come in with his Grace, to help me, and I can do nothing without God, How comes it to pass nothing is done? because the work is hard, or because you do not use what power God gives to do it withall: now the safest way is rather to reason against your selves, that you have not done what you can, but you rather put off al the guilt from your selves and justify your selves, and that is all the reason why nothing is done, it is because the work is hard, and you have so many hinderances, and that God hath not given you his power: but if you look into your own hearts, you will find another reason, it is not so much the hard­ness of the work as the ill disposition of your hearts: and that should be your care not to reason a­gainst the work because it is difficult, but against your hearts.

And to conclude all, this is all I say: we should la­bor to harden our selves by our Faith against all diffi­culties: As unbeleefe is a hardning sin one way, So faith is a hardning grace another way, unbelief hardens in that which is evil, and faith hardens in that which is good: Acts, 19.9. But when divers were hardned and beleeved not. They were hardned because they did not beleeve, and faith hath the contrary effect, and wil do as much in that which is good, as unbelief can do in that which is evil: As unbelief wil make a man or wo­man so hard, as to be as Iron to that which is good, so Faith wil make a man as Iron to that which is evil, and therefore the Prophet Jeremiah is compared to Iron and Steel, Jer. 15.12. Shall Iron break the northern Iron and the Steel? God hath revealed himself to him grati­ously, and he was hardned by it, now of all graces es­pecially Faith doth make the heart as Iron, for God, as unbelief doth make the heart as Iron to stand out a­gainst God: And therefore is the exhortation of the [Page 183] Apostle, 2 Peter. 1.5. Ad to your Faith vertue: the word (Virtus) comes from strength because every vertue puts forth strength, so it is as much as if he should say, ad to your faith strength, put it forth strongly, that it may help you against strong difficulties, with a war-like power, vertue hath a power to oppose enemies: and so ad to your faith vertue. And if we do so, know it will be a very honorable thing, it is an honor to God, & honor to us, for us to go through difficult things, it is honor to God: as Davids men that endured so much that broke through an host for to get him water, it was an honor to him, and so for us to do difficult things for God, it is an honor to God, and it is honorable to us, non so honorable as those that have gone through difficult works, it will make them honorable to others, as some observe from that place, in 8. Cant. 3. If shee be a wal we will build upon her, a palace of Silver. If shee be a wal to stand out against opposition, and temptation, we wil build upon her a palace of Silver, she shal be made honorable and glorious: and so every Christian if your heart be as a wall, to stand out against opposition and difficulty, and hinderances in the way of God, you shall have a pallace of Silver built upon you, you shal be honorable in the eyes of God, and all his Saints. And going through difficulty is a mighty strengthening to grace, and the more difficulty any go through, the more Grace is strengthened. As it is a rule of any thing that opposeth another, if it do not overcome it, it streng­thens it, as fire and water, if you cast so much water into fire as the fire can overcome it the fire gathernig strength to overcome the water that opposes it, burns the better: So in all oppositions: So in sin: If that a man comes to be opposed in his sinful way by the word, if the word do not overcome his lust, his lust grows stron­ger: And so in grace, if any lust or sin, or temptation, or any thing do come and oppose grace or any gracious act, and if they do not overcome grace, but grace overcome [Page 184] them, it is the stronger, and therefore let us go on in the way of God whatsoever difficulties come of it.

CHAP. 25.

Containing a Second consideration of the Text, to wit, an Allegoricall interpretation of Moses for­saking Egypt by Faith. Warrant for Allegori­call interpretations. Forsaking this world, re­nouncing our natural estate, a difficult work. Fourteen reasons of it.

NOw having finished the point in the Literal sense, the going through that hard work which Moses was set upon by God, Let us speak a little concerning the Allegorical Sense: Though that be not the thing which is especially intended, yet we know many times the Holy Ghost makes use of Scripture in an Allegorical way: And before I enter upon it, I will name two or three scriptures to shew a warrant for what I do in hand­ling this scripture in a way of Allegory.

The Holy Ghost doth make use of Scripture not on­ly according to the primary sense, but according to the Metaphorical and Allegorical sense, as in Psal. 19.34. There is no Speech nor Language where their voice is not heard, their line is gone through all the Earth, and their word is to the end of the world. This is ap­parently spoken of the Sun and the going forth of the Sun in the Heavens: The Heavens, and the motions in the Heavens, and the great testification of Gods power therein, are compared to a Language and a voice: And the instruments that are to be drawn from them, are gone through the whol Earth. But marke how the A­postle makes use of this in a far different sense, Rom. 10.18. But I say, have they not heard? yes verily their [Page 185] sound went into all the Earth, and their words into the end of the world. Having reference to this place he doth not go according to the direct primary sense, but he applies it to the preaching of the Gospel, And the going forth of the Apostles.

And again in Math. 2.15. When Christ was carried into Egypt that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the prophet, saying, Out of Egypt have I called my Son. It hath reference to that Prophesie in Hos. 11.1. Which is meant of the calling his people out of Egypt And there it is applyed to Christ, and in that the Ho­ly Ghost doth not only apply Scripture according to the primary sense, but Allegorically, and Tipically we have liberty also to do so.

And now we shal speak of this Text in an Allegori­cal sense two waies: And that.

1. In regard of the bondage we are in by nature un­der sin, and Sathan as the Israelites were in Egypt under Pharoah, And as Moses by faith forsook Egypt, so we must be delivered out of this spiritual Egypt, from this spiritual bondage, that we are in by nature, under sin, and Satan, by Faith.

2. The Scripture compares the power of Antichrist, & the bondage that men are in under Antichrist to Egypt Rom. 11.8. There it is called spiritual Sodom: and spiritual Egypt: And as the Israelites by Faith, were delivered from the Bondage they were in, in Egypt: So faith does deliver people from the bondage of Antichrist.

I. Then for the forsaking of Egypt, we are al by nature bondslaves to Sin and Satan as the Israelites were to the Egyptians. And Canaan was a Tipe of Heaven, and the promise of God unto them to bring them unto Ca­naan, was to set out the condition of Gods people how they should be brought to heaven: All Gods waies to­wards the Israelites in this work, were Tipical to set out further things that were to be afterward. Therefore by faith this Egypt is forsaken, and the souls of Gods peo­ple [Page 186] are carried on to Canaan, through the Wilderness of this world to heaven by faith, as they were through that Wilderness to Canaan: It must be Faith that must carry through this difficult work.

This is the difficult work of all works; the Bondage is the greatest bondage, And therefore the work is the most difficult work that may be. If we consider,

1. The carnal reasonings that are in mens hearts a­gainst the work of God in bringing them out of their na­tural estate.

2. If we consider the self confidences that are in men being confident of their estate, and no way sensible of their Bondage.

3. If we consider the vaine hopes that are in the hearts of people concerning Gods mercy.

4. If we consider the dangerous mistakes that are in people, mistaking the way of God, and the way of life, thinking they are in the way of life, when they are in the way of Death.

5. If we consider the cursed prejudice that men have against the way of God naturally.

6. If we consider the strong ingagements that men have to keep them from returning.

7. If we consider the many lusts that are in the heart, that can never be overpowered, but by an Almighty power.

8. If we consider the strong accusations and Terrors that are in the consciences of men and Women, when they come to be awakned.

9. If we consider the woful Temptations of Satan following and daunting the Soul, when it would go from this Egypt, as Pharoah followed the Israelites.

10. If we consider the wonderful discouragements that people have in their own thoughts, when they look into themselves, and see their Disability to do any thing that is good, any Unability to resist any thing that's Evil.

[Page 187]11. If we consider, the perswasions of the world from without, when they begin to forsake this spiritual Egypt.

12. If we consider, how often times God himself seems to walk contrary to them, when they are for­saking Egypt.

13. If we consider the difficulty of the waies of Reli­gion, at this first entrance, and the long time that the Soul must have to go in through this wilderness before they come to Canaan.

14. If we consider the great venture that the Soul must make to venture its eternal estate and all its good upon the way of God that is revealed to it.

These things and Many others might be named, and inlarged, that make this a difficult Work.

CHAP. 26.

How Faith carries the Soul through the difficult Work of forsaking Egypt. Their Works of Faith. 1. The discovering work, in two Particulars. 2. The relying Work. 3. The Surrendring Work. Question Resolved concerning the force of Na­tural Conscience, in three Particulars, shewing the great difference between the actings of Faith and Natural Conscience. Application, 1. Hence see the ground of Miscarriages. 2. A Rule of Direction; Incouragements to Faith and Be­leeving. 3. Let delivered Persons see what deli­vered them. Faith which acts by a power with­out us. Twelve Considerable and useful Directi­ons in this matter.

BUt though it be a difficult work, yet Faith carries the Soul through: and brings it from this spiritual [Page 188] Egypt: and it is only Faith that doth this: the Law may do somwhat to shew men their bondages; and the spirit of bondage may make them sensible of their bon­dage, but this doth not deliver them; as the Children of Israel when they were in bondage, they Cryed out, but that did not deliver them, it was Faith by which they were to go from Egypt: So whatsoever there may be in a way of preparation: Its Faith only that delivers from it.

Quest. How doth Faith do this?

Answ. First, I wil shew how Faith doth it.

Secondly, I wil shew whether a man may not be de­livered in shew by some other things.

There are three works of Faith whereby we come to forsake this spiritual Egypt.

  • 1. The discovering Work.
  • 2. The relying Work.
  • 3. The surrendring Work.

First, The discovering work, Its Faith that disco­vers clearly and with power the great Misteries of the Gospel, the great Work of God, wherein the Glory of the great God appeares in providing such a way, for the Reconciliation of lost man unto himself, such a glorious means of Mediation for the satisfying of his Justice, and for the making up of the breach that is between man and him. Its Faith and only Faith, that can hold out the excellency and Beauty of God appearing in the Gospel; And to shew fully al that good that God intends to com­municate to the Children of men in this way of Mediati­on.

Secondly, The discovering work of Faith is, in set­ting before the Soul not only the Glory and excellency and certainty of the work of Mediation in Christ: but [Page 189] it discovers unto the Soul the Riches of the freeness of the grace of God in Christ: it is Faith that must per­swade the Soul that the way of deliverance comes only from free grace, that God doth Justifie the ungodly, that it is nothing in the creature for which God comes to justifie.

Secondly: There is a relying Work of Faith: the Soul having these things discovered in the Glory and po­wer and reality of them: Faith comes to close with these things, and to cast it self upon this Glorious Rich free Grace of God, and venture its self and all its good upon it.

Thirdly, The Soul having thus ventured upon the free Grace of God, it makes a surrender of its self up unto Christ. To unite it self to him: I do not only de­sire to draw Christ to me; to be made mine. But I give up my self to Jesus Christ to be his. In uniting of two things I do not only lay one thing upon another, but joyne the other to that; and so in uniting the Soul to Christ, there is not only a bringing of Christ to the Soul, but a surrendring of the Soul to Christ: to him in him, to him, and for him, and to be satisfied with him; And when Faith comes to discover with power, the Glory and reality of the great Misteries of the Gospel, enabling it to cast and rowle it self, for all its good upon this way and surrender its self up to Christ to be wholly his, here is the work of Faith that delivers from this spiritual Egypt.

Quest. But may not natural Conscience help men through much difficulty in the way of deliverance from this spiritual Egypt? Many come to see their bondage by sin, and seeme to be delivered, and may be it is only the strength of Natural Conscience, and not Faith.

Answ. It is acknowledged that natural Conscience may in a great degree deliver men from some hind of [Page 190] bondage under sin, and may deliver from a great deal of the power of their sin, but you shall observe the differ­ence to be thus.

First, Natural conscience may help men to abstaine from sin, and set upon many duties, that it may seem they are delivered from this bondage, but whatsoever they abstaine from, and whatsoever duties they do, It is rather because conscience urgeth the necessity of it upon them, then any inward principle to approve, and like of the duties they performe, or to dislike and disapprove of the sin they abstaine from, they are forced out of Egypt: But Faith it doth not make men only abstain from sin, but is gives them a principle to make against sin; and it doth not only perform duty, but the heartt is for that duty, and there is an agreeableness, and sutable­ness in the heart unto that duty.

Secondly, Where it is only naturall conscience, that carries through many streights, it doth enable to do out­ward things, and abstaine from outward things, but there is but little inward change of the heart, it may keep them from some actions, they dare not commit such and such sins, no not in secret, though none in the world know it, but there is not an inward change in the heart.

Thirdly: Where it is a natural conscience Grace is desired for peace sake, where it is of grace the soul desires peace for the furtherance of Grace.

USE 1.

To apply this a little.

Is it Faith that delivers from this spiritual Egypt: Hence let us see the ground of the Miscarriages of most people in their deliverances from spiritual Egypt: Many people by the word, by the Ministry of the Law, they come to see their bondage, and woful wretched estate, & their consciences are much troubled, but they miscarry [Page 191] and it appears in the end that they were never delivered from the bondage of Egypt, but they lived, and died, in Egypt, and perished Eternally. They were come neer to Canaan, and yet they perished, and never come to Ca­naan, because it is not Faith that delivered them, they were not acquainted with the mistery of the Gospel, and the covenant of Grace: they must abstain from Sin, be no more drunkards, and Swearers, and Adulterers, and Sabbath breakers: They abstaine from them, and their Religion is a meer natural work, and there they quiet themselves, and think they are delivered: But the glo­rious work of God in Faith, is not mighty and power­ful upon their hearts carrying their hearts to God in Christ in the way of the Gospel, and discovering the misteries of the Gospel: and therefore they are not delivered.

2. Hence is a rule of direction to such as are about being delivered from this spiritual Egypt. Are there any such, that God hath made sensible of their woful bon­dage and wouldest thou deliver thy soul from that spi­ritual bondage? is it thy worke that thou art now a­bout? If any thing do it, it must be the work of Faith. Thou maiest get some quiet and ease by some other means, but for deliverance you can never get it but by Faith: Therefore do not content thy self with any re­formation, that its better with thee then it hath been; never rest till thou hast got the work of Faith: and for the incouragement of such a soul to beleeve that it may be delivered by Faith from that bondage, it is sen­sible of, and which it is now about. Know,

First, If thou beest sensible of thy spiritual bondage, know it is the great work that God hath set his heart up­on above al the works of the world, to deliver souls from this spirituall bondage: Many that are sensible of their spiritual bondage say, I am in such a condition, and will God ever regard me in this estate? will he regard thee? yes, know that the greatest thing that Gods [Page 192] heart is upon, as the highest thing that he wil do, is upon those that are sensible of their spiritual bondage of this spiritual Egypt to deliver them? And though thou art not sure he wil do it for thee, yet this is a great incouragement.

Object, But though he may do it for others yet I am so vile, that though I have seen my sin, I have stil gone on, therefore he wil not do it for me.

Answ. 2. Wherefore know in the second place that the great designe that God hath in this work, is not only to manifest his power, but to set out before men, and Angels, to all eternity, the Riches and Glory of his free Grace. And therefore those objections of thy unwor­thinss may be taken away: for thou maiest see God doth not intend to goe on with thee in a way of retribu­tion or distributive Justice, if thou dost so, and so and so, he wil do so, and so for thee, but he goes this way to work: that his great designe is to magnify his free Grace, And whosoever he does deliver, it is for this end, to shew to men and Angels, what the power of his infinite free Grace is able to do; and this is a great Incouragement.

3. Further Jesus Christ hath already removed all differences that are between God the Father, and thy soul: the difficulties which make such a mighty vast dis­mal distance between God and thy soul, is the wrath of God, and the justice of God and the curse of the Law: Now it hath been the work of Christ to take away all these difficulties: So that when thou lookest up and seest thy sin against an infinite God, that is, infinitely holy, and infinitely just, and seest the curse of the Law against thee; thou thinkest these are great diffi­culties, how is it possible for me to get over these: know it is the work of Christ that great Savior of the world, to remove those difficulties, and if he had not under­took it, it had been impossible for any soul to come to [Page 193] God, But he hath done it and therefore thou hast li­berty to come to God; if thou hast but an heart to venture upon his free Grace, if thou saiest, how can I know, that Christ hath removed these difficulties for me? Its the work of Faith that gives thee an interest. And therefore do not stay for any thing else: If thou doest but venture upon Faith, thou needest not take care as those Women did, who shall roule away the stone. Who shall remove the difficulties of the curse of the Law? who shall pacifie the wrath of God that is burning a­gainst me for my sin? If thou doest beleeve Christ hath done it.

Fourthly, Christ hath not only removed the diffi­culties between God the Father, and thy soul; but there are many gracious promises in the Gospel (for the re­moving of all difficulties in thy soul) that thou hast as much right to lay claime to, as any one in the world that ever was delivered by Christ: Whatsoever ground any had to claime these promises, before the applying of them, thou hast the same ground; the great hinder­ance that is in thee is an hard heart, a stout stubborne spirit: marke what is said; that there shall be a way prepared for the Lord: Make his way strait, every high Mountain shal be brought low, every valley shal be filled up, every crooked way shall be made strait, every rough way shall be made plaine. Luke, 3.4.5.6. Now who hath right to laie hold on these promi­ses, this applying of them doth give interest: doest thou find thy heart proud and canst not pul it down? saies the Lord every high mountaine shal be cast down dost thou say I have an unbeleeving heart, I know not how to beleeve Gods word, but my heart sinks down in unbeliefe, that is as a valley dejected? Every vally shal be filled up. I have a perverse crooked heart? every cro­ked way shall be made strait. I have a rough knotty heart? every rough heart, Every rough way shall be made plaine: So that Christ hath not only made things [Page 194] cleer between God and thee but in thy own Soul.

Object. But he doth not make it clear for all.

Answ. Thou hast as much ground to beleeve as any had before they did beleeve, I will take away thy strong Heart saith God; This is revealed to all, and therefore thou art to make use of them; And whosoever did get good by them, they could not see any interest they had to them, more then thou canst see.

USE. 3.

A Third use is this, If Faith be that which does deli­ver from this spiritual Egypt: Then those that are deli­vered, let them see what hath brought them out; and magnifie the work of God; let them stand and admire the Grace of God in delivering them from al difficulties, and in carrying them through, that were so poor and weak as they were: know it was not thy endeavor but the work of Faith, and the work of God in thee. Faith workes by a power out of us, and not by our own po­wer; And God delivers the Soul from this spiritual Egypt by Faith, Because he would have the Glory of it. Therefore now if it have been a work of Faith, let this Exhortation prevail with you: Labor to exercise your Faith in going through the Wilderness to Canaan. There was a time you were in bondage under sin and Satan and the Law; And now thou art delivered from the Law, and brought to Grace: Is it Faith hath done it? Let this Faith be imployed to carry thee on through the wilderness unto Canaan: And all the Rules that I will give unto you, shall be from the People of Israels going through the wilderness unto Canaan, when they were delivered from Egypt.

Direction. 1.

First, They were not to stir, but upon Gods [Page 195] Direction, when the cloud and the pillar of fire went before them. So in thy way, keep close to the Directi­on of God. Let thy Faith stick close to the word, and not to the Direction of thine own Heart.

Direction, 2.

Secondly, When they were delivered, this was a great Evil, their Murmuring because of the hardships they met withal: take heed thou beest not guilty of this: Let not thy heart run out too far, to murmur a­gainst the waies of God, when you meet with any hard­ships: being God with his outstretched Arm, and his mighty hand hath delivered thee, God forbid thou shouldest be murmuring upon every difficulty.

Direction, 3.

Thirdly, Take heed you do not limit the Holy One of Israel, God was Angry with them because they limi­ted the Holy One of Israel, Psalm. 78.19. Can God prepare a table in the Wilderness (say they) So many when they are in the way to Heaven, and they find any difficulty, can God help such a one as I (say they) Take heed of limiting God; do not propound Limits to to what God can do: No nor to what God wil do.

Direction, 4.

Fourthly, Take heed of slighting any thing that God gives you, as they did, when they were delivered, and had Manna, say they, What is this Manna? Exod. 16.15. Numh. 11.6. They slight it, take heed you be not guilty of this spirituality: when God feeds you with Manna, you say they are but huskes. And when God gives you his Grace, you say they are but such things as Hypocrites may have, and slight all.

Direction, 5.

Fifthly, Take heed of having hard thoughts of God: as when they came into the wilderness the Scripture saies Deut. 1.27. They said God brought them thither be­cause he hated them, and meant to destroy them: So ma­ny out of the frowardness of their hearts, (and that I tremble to speak of) When God is in a gracious way, in doing good to them, and in bringing them to himself upon every difficulty they find, they are ready to say God does all this but to aggravate my sin, and because he hates me, and that my condemnation might be the more grievous, if I had never known so much, and never had such convincings of conscience, and had never pray­ed so much, my condemnation had not been so great? this is an horrible abusing of the Grace of God, Just like those that were delivered out of Egypt, this is be­cause God hates us (say they) and means to destroy us it is true God hath wrought upon mee more then others but it is to aggravate my condemnation: let not us have such hard thoughts of God.

Direction, 6.

Sixthly, Observe their way in the wilderness: and take heed of being discouraged by any hardship thou meerest withall in thy way; they said. Numb. 13.27.28. The Land was a good Land, but there were the Ana­kins, and Giants, and they should never overcome them. So many reason, Heaven is a blessed place, But there are such oppositions, the children of Anak, such strong lusts, and corruptions, they shall never o­vercome such Giant like, Anakish corruptions: But as David said, Psalm. 1.27.1. One day I shall perish by the hand of Saul. So one day I shall perish by the hand of my lusts.

Direction, 7.

In the seventh place, Take heed of a passionate throwing off all, as they did when they heard of the Anaks, and of opposition. Numb. 14, 4. Let us make a Captaine to returne againe into Egipt: So when men are in their way from Egypt going to Canaan, they meet with strong oppositions within and without, and they say we had as good cast off all, and go back againe; take heed of flinging off all.

Direction, 8.

Eightly, Take heed of giving the least way to any lusting of thy heart after former corruptions, Exod. 16.3.4. They would be lusting after their Onions and Flesh pots in Egypt, and so were ready to com­mit sin. So many, when God is in the way of work­ing his grace, they are ready to think what they had formerly, and they were not so strictly bound before, & they have some hankerings of heart after former lusts: And though thou darest not conclude I wil go and com­mit such and such sins, I say though thou doest not conclude, yet thy heart and thoughts have some hanker­ings after them; take heed of that.

Direction, 9.

Ninthly, Take head of forgetting Gods dealings with thee, as they did when they were going to Canaan notwithstanding God did such great things for them: Psal. 106.13. They presently forget them. So God did much for thee and thou forgeitest the gracious dealings of God; God takes that very ill.

Direction, 10.

Tenthly, Take heed of resting in means as they did When Moses was absent: Exod. 32.1. We wote not what is becom of this Moses: And they knew not what to do, they made them other Gods. So many depend on meanes, and if such and such means faile us we shall never be able to go on.

Direction, 11.

Eleventhly, Be not too hasty in applying any comfort any further then God gives leave, but be waiting up­on God in his way and labor to cast thy self upon the promises; you cannot be too hasty to believe, and rest your selves upon the promises, but to have eager desire of comfort, there may be too much hast. Num. 14.40. to the end. When God had them not go into Canaan they would, and they fell by their enemies. So wait upon God, and see what he would have thee to doe, stay for to have comfort handed in by God and wait for his time.

Direction, 12.

And lastly, Take heed thou be not discouraged, beause the meanes is but weake thou hast to help thee. When they came to Canaan the great City Jericho, what have they to overcom it? Jos. 6.4.5. The Preists must goe with Rams-hornes and blow seven times about the City and the walls should fall down. A poore weake meanes, they might say; have we been fourty yeares in the wilderness, and come to the strong City, and have no other meanes to help us but Rams-hornes? yet this is Gods way: If we reason with flesh and blood, when we meet with difficulties, and look [Page 199] upon means, We shal turne back again, look not at means, but rest on Faith and that Faith which hath brought thee out of Egypt, will carry thee on: and thus we have finished the First Allegory.

CHAP 26.

Containing the second Allegorical sense of the words, viz. concerning Antichrist. The wickedness of Sodom and Egypt, compared with the wickedness of An­tichrist. 1. Idolatry. 2. Cruelty. The bondage of Christians under Antichrist. 1. Outward, in Estates, and Lives, 2. Inward, a soul bon­dage. The baseness of this shewed in several par­ticulars, concerning Ceremonies worse then Egyp­tian bondage. Faith must deliver us, Deliver­ance difficult in several particulars. The work of Faith in delivering people from this bondage, in 6. or 7. Considerations. Quest, Whether men may not reject the yoke of Antichrist upon other grounds besides Faith? Answ. In 10. Particu­lars.

THe second Allegory, is the bondage under An­tichrist, and Faith doth carry also from that bon­dage, from that Egypt: The seat of Antichrist, and the bondage that we are in under Antichrist is called in Scripture, Egypt. 11. Rev. 8. and their dead bodies shal lie in the Streets of the great City, which spiritually is cal­ed Sodom, and Egypt: But because it is said, where also our Lord was crucified: Therefore some of the Papists would have it meant of Jerusalem: but he doth nei­ther speak of the thing, nor the place litterally, but it is spiritually Sodom, and spiritually Egypt: And so, where Christ is spiritually crucified, so that in a Metaphorical [Page 200] sense, the cheif seat of Antichrist is Sodom, and Egypt and spiritually Christ is crucified there, There is no place in which Christ is more crucified then in Rome, in re­gard of his members. Besides if you wil speak of Christs being crucified literally, it may be said likewise of Rmoe, because he was crucified by the Roman power, & Roman Authority: But by comparing this place with other places in Revelation, it must be meant, that in that place Rome is Sodom and Egypt: I might spend much time in making Comparisons between the most abominable wickednesses that were in Sodom and Egypt, and that are in that place.

First, Antichrist is like Egypt, in regard of the most gross Idolatries, Of all places Egypt was counted the most gross Idolatrous place. They did not only wor­ship the Sun, Moon, & Stars, as other nations did, but Cats and Onions, and any base creatures: So the Papists wor­ship stocks, and stones, and all kind of holy Reliques, even the haire that came from the taile of that beast that Christ rode on; and most base, vile things, that are too base to abuse an Auditory to rehearse.

Secondly, It is compared to Egypt in respect of the cruelty of the Church of Rome, None were so cruel and vild as Egypt: And so of all men those that are un­der Antichrist are more cruel, as if they were Messen­gers came from hell to shew the power of Malignant spirits: and therefore they are said, to be drunken with blood, and so have their clothes died in scarlet with the blood of the Saints. Rev. 17.4.5.6. But the chiefe thing I aime at is to shew the bondage Christians are in under antichrist, & the work of faith in delivering from it.

The bondage under Antichrist is,

  • 1. Outward, in Estates and Lives.
  • 2. Inward, a soul bondage.

1. An outward bondage, doth not he challenge pow­er over Kings and Princes, and to free people from Loy­alty to their Princes, that except there were a delusi­on [Page 201] upon the hearts of the great ones upon Earth, It were unpossible for them to submit unto that base bon­dage. Many crie out of the Godly that they are no good subjects, they do not love to be under government, but what do you think of Papists, that do teach for to free subjects from their loyalty: A Papist hath this expre­ssion concerning Antichrist, The Pope their head, He is the Sheppard, and the Kings and Princes are Dogs, and if Dogs will do their duty, they must be at their Masters command, but if they will be lazey, and bite and not do as they ought, the sheppard must remove them. And for their Estates: Its a woful estate that Coun­tries are in, in regard of their estates. I read a speech of Bonner, in a preface to the Treatise of Gardener; that the Pope had neere as much out of England yeer­ly, as the Revenues of the Crown came to. And it was the speech of Innocent the fourth Pope of that name England was his pleasant Garden and a wel that never was drawn dry and in England many things grew, & abounded and many things were to be had from it: So that the estates of men are in great bondage where Anti­christ prevails: as also, the lives, and liberties of men.

2. But especially, the thing which I will a little stick in, is the soul bondage, thus we have it in Rve. 18.13. The Merchandise was slaves, and souls of men. So that men that are under Antichrist are slaves, and if there were but a true Heroicall spirit in men, they would not suffer themselves to be under that slavery: though they seem to be the bravest spirits, yet be­ing under Antichrist they are slaves: And the souls of men are his Merchandise: the souls of men are under bondage.

First, This is a base subjection and slavery of the souls of men under Antichrist, in that he takes upon him to make Articles of Faith: that they are bound in conscience, upon paine of Damnation to beleive, what­soever he shal say in his Chaire is infallible: what a base [Page 202] bondage is this? When as we know what most Abomi­nable, Sodomitical, Horrible Monsters have been in that Chaire, and yet they shall be bound upon paine of dam­nation, to beleeve, whatsoever they say is infallible.

Secondly, Whatsoever his decrees are (though having no footing in the word) they are bound in conscience to obey upon paine of damnation: So that if it were possi­ble to obey all Gods Commandements, they may be damned for want of obedience, to some one of Antichrists comands, which must needs be a miserable bondage for any man to make a new command, that is not under the command of God, and to make damnation to be the punishment of disobedience to it, then men are in dan­ger of Damnation a hundred of waies more then for sinning against Gods Law.

Thirdly, Those that are under Antichrist are under great bondage in being kept from the rule of life, from the Scriptures, Wherein the counsels of Gods will, con­cerning their Eternal Estate are revealed: Those that are slaves are kept in dangers, and cannot have the privi­ledges of subjects, or of Children: So Antichrist keeps all under him in the most base slavery, in depriving of them from this priviledg of Children, that they cannot know the mind of their Fathers, and the great things of God, that concerns their Eternal Estate; what man that knows any thing of those great things concerning his Eter­nal Estate, would be under that slavery? And yet if so be we had continued under the bondage of Antichrist, we must have been deprived of this.

Fourthly, If they hear any thing of the word, they are bound to take no other interpretation, but the Chur­ches, the Preists give them, though it be never so gross, now to bind mens Consciencs to this, is a most a­binable Bondage, And yet what vile Interpretations? If it is Blasphemy for the Devil to say, he will ascend and be like the highest, no less to make God descend to be like the Prince of darkness, to set the Kings stamp [Page 203] upon false coyne, Now to bind mens consciences to their wicked interpretations of Scripture, this is a most abominable bondage.

5. This is a great bondage that no Ordinance can be administred but by the power of Antichrist, and those he shall give power unto; and this is a great bondage to the Church to be stinted in Gods Ordinances: They are the Churches priviledges, especially that of Prayer the spirit of Prayer and Supplication, is one of the especial Priviledges of the Church. Gal. 4.6. Because you are sons, God hath sent forth the spirit of his Son into your hearts crying Abba Father. There he speakes of the liberty of Gods people as they are sons, & they have the fruit of their son-ship: Now when as God doth give his spirit to his Church as part of their liberty; for them to be restrained in their liberty to pray just no more then the Pope shal appoint, and so to have no Ordinances but according to his power; what abominable bondage is this, and what heart that knows any true Christian liberty, would be in such a bondage.

6. He takes upon him power of absolving and binding, keeping men under the guilt of sin, and loos­ing of them from it when he pleases. from this power over mens consciences, is commited all manner of vil­lanie

7. Another Bondage which is greater then all, is that he keeps men under the rigor and curse of the Law by keeping men off from Christ, and teaching the doctrin of justification to be by the works of the Law, he keeps them under the bondage of the law, and under the rigour and curse of the Law, and so keeps al that are under him from that precious liberty that Christ hath purchased by his blood to deliver us from the Law: And this is a greater burden then the other, this is a damnable bondage that doth indanger eternal destruction; the other is not so dangerous.

[Page 204]8. He takes away al Christian liberty in regard of the use of the Creature, restraining the use of the Creature, and Time, and Place.

9. The ninth is the bondage of human Ceremonies; we know that is a heavy bondage: The bondage of the Ceremonies of the Law was great. And the Apostle said Acts, 15.10. It was a Yoke, that neither they nor their Fathers could beare. But the yoak of the Papists is a great deale heavier. If we were to chuse to to be under al the Ceremonies of the Law, which the Jews were under, which the Apostle said was a yoak that we nor our Fathers were able to beare, or to be under the Ceremonies of the Papists, if we did choose according to wisdom, we should rather chuse to be under al the Ceremonies of the Jews: Yet if we read the 4. of Gal. we shal see it was a great priviledg to be delivered from them. And if we were under the power of any to appoint religious Ceremonies in the Church. We have no benefit by the purchase of Christ to deliver us from the Ceremonial Law, for it is a great deale bet­ter and easier to be under the Ceremonies of the Law then to have any man appoint Ceremonies; in several respects.

1. Because the Ceremony of the Law was by divine institution: but when man appoints Ceremonies they are but human, and any man had rather yield and be under the power of Gods appointing Ceremonies, then be under the power of men: You had rather be un­der Princes then under meane Officers; so you had better be under the power of God, then under the power of man; yet in the 2. Col. they are called Beggerly rudiments.

2. There is a great deale of doubt and scruple about the Ceremonies of men: Suppose that upon some distinc­tions we may yield to human Ceremonies, yet it is not without doubt and scruple, but under the Law there was no doubt nor scruple, and we had better be under [Page 205] a hundred where there is no scruple, then under one where there is doubts and scruples.

3. Againe, Those Ceremonies were typicall, and the presence of God might be with them, and a spirituall efficacie might be expected; but as for the Ceremonies of men, there can be no such thing expected with them, and therefore it is apparent that the Jews under the Ceremonies of the Law were in a better con­dition, then the Christians should be in now, if they were under the power of any to appoint Ceremonies, and therefore to be under the power of those that do ap­point Ceremonies, that is a miserable bondage.

10. Again another bondage that they are in is, that they are urged to the waies of Idolatry, and sin by vio­lence, without regarding the weakness of any, or see­king to inform any, not regarding that place, Ezek. 34.4. When God complaines, they did Rule his people with Cruelty: And if any be weak and desire to be informed they jeer at them, and say a prison, or a fire, or a fa­got, shall inform them. These and many other things might be named, to shew the most abominable and vilde bondage that those are in that are under Antichrist; but put both together the outward and the inward bondage, to be under those that are of such base and vile spirits this is mightily against the spirit of an ingenious man: And for a Church of God, a thousand Congregations, to be under the power of a base, filthy abominable, Whoremaster, that is known to be so, to be troubled by him when he please, what a most horrible bondage is this? And so for any Congregation to be, in which there may be thousands of Souls, to be under the power of a Tapster, or Hostler, or any base fellow, this is a mighty bondage: As now suppose a rich man die, and he hath a Kinsman, though never so vile and base, then his land coming to him he hath the Advowzen of the place, then may be he sends two or three hundred miles for a Preist, may be one like himself, and though he [Page 206] be never such a blasphe men, and base fellow and swearer, then they not knowing of him, and so having nothing to say against him, They cannot keep him from the place; Now that one though never so wild, should have such power, to appoint whom he will, any drunkard, Where master Priest o­ver such a Congregation, and they must depend upon him, to have the Ordinances of God administred by him this is a sore bondage. Bondslaves are fed meerly with Chaffe and brunn, so with what chaffe and husks are those fed withal that are under Antichrist: Many peo­ple are loath to submit to the true government of Christ, to the true Ministers of the Gospel; if they tell them of any sin they are guilty of, their hearts belk and swel, and they will not yeild, yet they will submit to the officers of Antichrst, and they wil rule over them and do with them what they will. As Saint Paul saies in 2 Cor. 11.20. For ye suffer, if a man bring you into bondage, if a man devoure you, if a man take of you, if a man exalt himself, if a man smite you on the face. Other false teachers you can suffer, But the true Apostles you cannot suffer them, if one come in his own name, you receive them, I come in my Fathers name, and you reject me saies Christ. John, 5.43. And so many complain of the Ministers of God, they take so much upon them, & they wil not yield to that they say, but if you live under Popery you must live under every base preist, and what he saies you must believe as your Faith, & venture your souls upon it, without examining of it, and you must not manifest any rejection: So that is apparent men wil yeild to any things rather then to God, rather count the subjection to God bondage, then count the subjection to Antichrist bondage, rather be servants to Antichrst, then servants to God. I speak this the rather, to see what cause we have to bless God for our deliverance from this: And that we may learn to know how to use our liberties.

[Page 207]This Bondage is worse then the bondage of Egypt.

1. Because it is soul bondage, and that was but up­on the body, we do not read that Pharoah or the Egyp­tians did force them to Idolatry.

2. It was not so great bodily bondage, they did not destroy them, they laid heavy burdens upon them, but did not put them to death, as Antichrist doth, if they wil not submit unto them.

3. It was their misery to be under that bondage but not their sin: but it is a sin to be under the bondage of Antichrist, look how much difference there is between misery and sin, so much difference there is betwixt their bondage, and the bondage of Antichrist.

4. They were Liable to the bondage of Egypt, but they were not liable to the plagues of Egypt: They were free from them, but those that are under the bon­dage of Antichrist are liable to the plagues that shall come upon Antichrist.

But it must be faith that must deliver from this bon­dage, It is a difficult work, as it was a difficult thing to be delivered from Egypt, so it is a difficult thing (that cannot be done without faith) to be delivered from this.

1. Wee know most part of the Christian world is educated, and the principles that are dropt into them from them are Antichristian principles.

2. Though it be a bondage, there is a great deale of outward pomp and Glory in their Idolatrous worship, that does much take sensual people, that doe live by sence; they will not worship God in such a meane way as others do, but there is a great deale of pompe and outward shew.

3. Though it be a bondage to the soul yet they give abundance of liberty to the flesh, and though somtimes they suffer pennance, and put the flesh to some hard­ship somtimes, yet those that are rich may give way to [Page 208] their lusts, and live as they list, for they may quickly be freed with a little mony.

4. Besides there are so many examples of great men, and learned men, and some that are Godly, that doe yeild to a great part of the yoaks, and their examples are mighty ingagements.

5. Besides, If so be they begin to flinch, presently there are such violent afflictions and persecutions; thun­dring out of excomunications, and loss of estates, and so many dangers that men are in.

6. Besides, It is hard, Because in the other of Christs government there are but a few meane men, and to come and yeild to them this is hard to flesh and blood, and there must be a great deal of self deniall to yeild to the government of Christ, they count that the grea­test bondage, especially considering there may be mis­carriages, & many Scandals amongst those that are God­ly, & do profess the waies, and ordinances, and liberties of Christ, that except the heart be gracious there is a great deal of difficulty in submitting to it, and people know not what to do but rather buckle under their bondage.

7. Besides: It is a fruit of the curse: not that all that are under that bondage are under the Eternal Curse; But as all outward judgments are part of the curse, so it is a part of the curse to be under the bondage of Anti­christ, and not to labor to get from it. I do not say that al that are sick and weak are cursed, but it is a part of the curse; So men that are under that bondage, are under part of the curse, that God wil give them over to beleeve Lyes: and though a man hath never so much Learning and understanding, yet if there be a curse of God upon it, never talk of his learning and understanding, if his parts were a hundred times more, they could not help him: It is the work of Faith to deliver from it.

Quest. What is the work of Faith in delivering people from this bondage.

[Page 209] Answer. There are these six or seven things, that delivers from this bondage under Antichrist.

1. Faith discovers unto the soul the spiritualness of the government of Christ, and without that there cannot be a true deliverance from the bondage of Egypt.

2. Faith shews unto the Soul the fullness of the Administration of all Christs offices, of his Preistly, Prophetical call, and Kingly offices: Now until the soul understands this, it is never brought off from the govern­ment of Antichrist to the government of Christ.

3. Faith shews the fulness and Glory that is in the world, which is the rule for ordering and guiding of us in al our waies.

4. Faith shews the necessity of a divine rule, for a spiritual efficacy, and that no humane invention can cause a spiritual efficacy: now the settling of this principle is never done but by Faith.

5. Another work of faith is to discover the beauty and glory that is in the Ordinances of Christ barely ad­ministred: no man but by the eye of Faith can see the true lustre, and beauty, and glory, of a divine Ordi­nance, except there be some outward earthly excellency mingled with it: As I told you in the exposition of that place in Hosea, They made them Altars, God would have an Altar of Earth, and if they would have it of Stone, they must not lift up an instrument to hew it, and grave it, but it must be plaine. Now a carnal eye cannot see the beauty of Gods Ordinances, unless it have some outward excellency. It must be the eye of Faith, to discover the beauty of Christs Ordinances, in the na­ked beauty of them: And till that they are not willing to come from under the power of Antichrist.

6. Faith discovers to the Soul the reality, and cer­tainty of all the admirable and glorious promises that are in the Gospel, made unto the true Church of God: Promises of the glorious presence of God with his peo­ple; [Page 210] and promises of abundance of spiritual good, as it might ask half an hour to shew some excellent promi­ses that are made to the Church, which a carnal Eie doth not see: But Faith discovers there is abundance of certainty and reality in them, and when by Faith they see them, this takes off, and enables them to go through any difficulties to be partakers of them.

7. Again, Faith does discover the fearful threats a­gainst those that follow Antichrist, and those (Revel. 14.9, 10.) that do receive the mark of the Beast but in their hand secretly: they shall have their portion in the Lake that burns for ever, and shall be cast out from the presence of the Lord. They that read these threats make nothing of them; but when they read them by Faith then the soul trembles, and feares, till it comes from under that bondage, it hears a voice continually crying to it: Revel. 18.4. Come out from among them Oh my people, come out, least being partaker of their sin, you also be partakers of their Plagues: Now Faith by discovering these things brings the heart from under that Antichristian bondage.

Quest. But may not men reject the yoake of Anti­christ upon other Grounds besides Faith?

Answ. Many times a spirit of contradiction may bring them from under the yoke of Antichrist, though one good cannot be opposite to another good, yet one evil may be opposite to another evil, and many men may oppose the government of Antichrist by that which is evil in them, but if it be not by the principle of Faith it is not right, and it may be upon other principles.

Quest. But how shall we know that we do forsake this bondage from Antichrist by Faith.

Answ. I will give you some notes to shew you who [Page 211] those are that are delivered from this Egypt by Faith. And who those are that seem to be delivered upon other grounds.

1. Those that are delivered by Faith are those that are wel grounded in the Doctrinal and maine points of Religion: Faith can never work off the soul from the Government and Ceremonies of Antichrist, unless it be well grounded in the doctrine and principles of Religion if I see men crie out of Antichrist, and of the Govern­ment of Antichrist, and it appears that they have not a competent measure of knowledg in the grounds of Reli­gion and Principles of Faith, they are to be suspected: As many: come and examine them about Church Go­vernment, and they wil tell you a great deale (not but that Christians should labor to have knowledg in that) but come to examine them the Principles of Religion, and there they are silly and ignorant: if they be not grounded in them it appears it is not a work of Faith.

2. If it be a work of Faith, it is a work of much Humi­liation, and Prayer; was there a time you were under the power and bondage of Antichrist? how came you from under it? did God shew you the evil of it? and you sought God in much Humiliation and prayer, for the taking off your hearts from it, and shewing you his good way and did you find your hearts comming off, was by that meanes, that is a good argument it was of Faith; but many their Consciences tell them, it was not a work of Humiliation and Prayer that brought off their hearts, they are to be feared.

3. If it be a work of Faith it alwaies lets in light: as in the point of the government of Christ; many cry out against Antichristian government: and come and examine them about it, and they have no more light, no other arguments, nor further understanding then before but only a bitterness of spirit against it: If a man grow bitter against those things which before he yeilded too, [Page 212] he had need have more light, but if they grow exceeding bitter against them and have no further light and under­standing then before, it is an argument it is a distemper of heart, rather then any thing else. And therefore casting off all at once is very suspitious; where it is of Faith God lets in light by degrees. Its said of Luther in his reformation, First he saw the evil of one thing, and then the evil of another, and so by degrees saw the evil of all: And so those that forsake the bondage of Antichrist. By Faith, first God makes them suspect their way, surely this is not the right way, there is some better way, and then they fall a praying and humbling of themselves, and they fall examining, and so they come to see the evil of one thing, and then they exam­ine another, and so light comes in by degrees, and then their hearts rise against them, and if according to the measure of Light that you have, your hearts do come off, that is a good signe.

4. If you break from Antichrist by Faith, it will make you a Separate from the world aswel as Separate from them: Many are Separates from any thing that hath but the least dependancy upon Antichristian government but they conform themselves to the world, that there appears no difference between them and the world, in their loose courses: that man that is a conformist to the world, is not a Non-Conformist to Antichrist by Faith.

5. If Faith take you off from the bondage under Antichrist it wil take you off from the bondage under any lust. That man that hath not the power of Faith, to take him off from any Lust, That man is not by Faith taken off from the bondage of Antichrist. If Faith de­livere from the bondage under Antichrist, it will deliver from the bondage under Sin, and Sathan, and there­fore though men do crie out of the bondage of Antichrist never so much, and yet they go on under the bondage of any Lust, it is not of Faith.

[Page 213]6. That Soul that is taken from under the power of Antichrist by Faith, is subject to the power and gover­ment of Christ and the Word: If Faith takes from the one, it puts under the other: nothing but the Word can be the ground of Faith, and if Faith takes a Soul from under the bondage of Antichrist, Such a Soul finds the Word comes with divine power, and majesty upon the heart; and it laies a trembling heart under the power and majesty of the Word, and it dares not goe from it, no not in no other thing. You plead for the Word in such and such things, but there are other things you do not yield to the power of the Word in, this is very suspitious: Those that by Faith are brought from the power of Antichrist, their hearts are put mightily under the power of the Word, and they ly with trembling spirits before the majesty and Autho­rity of the word.

7. If it be Faith that takes off the Heart, such a one is not content that he is taken from under the Anti­christian government, unless he meetes with Christ in the Ordinances: he does not content it self with the bare huskes, and to make all his Religion to consist meerly in Church discipline, and Church constitution, and to think therefore, he hath Religion enough, because he hath the Ordinances, and yet never finds any panting of Heart, after union and communion with Christ Jesus in this way of Church Government, but goes on from year to year, mearly in the outward performances of Religion. I do not speak against the thing it self but to shew it is not of Faith, if men do not pant after uni­on with Christ, if they be not sensible of the want of it, and do not labor for the enjoyment of it.

8. If it be Faith that brings thee from this way, certainly thou wilt grow more Spirituall: As thy heart will pant after Christ; so there wil be a Spiritualness of thy Soul in the waies of Christ, because thou comest neerer to the rule: And this is the difference between [Page 214] Actions of Religion, and civil Actions; civil Actions that are done by civil rule have not alwaies success, but a Spirituall Action that is done by the rule, that hath a Spirituall success, though not an outward success, it does make the heart ever more Spirituall: But for people though they be come from the yoake of Anti­christ, yet to be as dead as ever no more Spiritualness in their way then before, no more savour of Godliness in their society and company then before: those that knew them before can say; I knew them a great deale more spirituall and savoury in that which is good then they are now, This is a dangerous thing.

9. Againe, If it be out of Faith, such a one will give all the glory unto God for his deliverance, and he wil walk humbly in his own eyes, and think, I was dis­obedient, and wretched and should have gone on in that way, but God by his grace and power hath come, and hath taken off my heart, and it does magnifie the grace of God; It doth not perke up it self, and contemne o­thers, to think I have got more wisdom, and under­standing then others, and so attribute it to his wit, and understanding; but it gives the glory to God, and in­stead of censuring others, he prays for them, and saies it is not all the arguments under Heaven can convince them, for I had arguments enough, but they were all as nothing, til it pleased God by his Grace to set them upon my heart, and so though they may see arguments as wel as I, they will not do: Therefore he pitties o­thers and prays for them; and he hath a reverent respect to the Grace of others, though they be not in the same way that he is in, & he doth not presently cast them off saying, surely there is no Grace, and Godliness in them, this is a signe of a proud spirit; there are none that are gracious but know there was a time when they went on in that way, and yet they did not goe against their light, but were willing to understand Gods mind, and yet til God came in, their hearts were not [Page 215] taken off: and therefore they learn to have good thoughts of those that are godly, though in other waies.

But especially, if it were out of Faith that you were brought from this Antichristian Bondage, it will not leave in thee the Spirit of Antichrist: many are far from being under Antichristian bon­dage, and yet have an Antichristian Spirit, a Spirit of pride, a domineering Spirit, a Crooked, Perverse Spirit: and this is a great evil, that in the way of Christ, there should be manifested an Antichri­stian Spirit: this should be lamented with tears of blood. Now so much as an Antichristian spirit does rule in any, though they be from under his Goverment, so much it is to be suspected, it was not the work of Faith, but somwhat else that took them off. We should have the spirit of Christ, the spirit of Love, and Humillity, and gentleness, and peace, and as we would make it appear, we are taken off from the yoak of Antichrist by Faith let us shew the Spirit of Christ, as Faith hath taken us off from Antichristian power, so we should exercise Faith to go on in the waies of Christ, as beseems those that are delivered from Antichristian power.

FINIS.

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