THE Necessity and Reward OF A Willing Mind.

A SERMON Preach'd at EXON before An Assembly of Ministers Of the Counties of Devon and Somerset, April 16. 1693.

By JOHN BUSH.

LONDON, Printed for Mich. Hyde Bookseller in Exon. 1693.

To my Brethren the Ministers of the Counties of Devon and Somerset, allowed by Act of Parliament, and others that read this Discourse.

Reverend Brethren,

THough in the ensuing discourse I treat of the necessity of a Willing Mind to the acceptable performance of our Duty, I must confess I was not (if I could have handsomly avoided it) very willing to Preach to such an Assembly, much less to Print the Discourse: I have done both at your request, because I took it as a Command which I could not but Obey; and yet knowing how unfit I was to do either, I thought that an excuse for my Unwillingness, notwithstanding which I re­solved to give a due submission to your Judgment; without that I should declin'd both the one and the other: the true Reason why I chose to speak to this subject, was because I found in my self a great defect of this disposition, and I considered it might be so with o­ther Ministers as well as my self, and in stirring up you to the Willing and Chearful Performance of your Duty, I hoped to warm my self by the same Fire which I was to make for others: if in what I have done, I may but serve as the small Wood to kindle the Fire, 'tis as much as I designed. I am afrayd we are not enough thankful to God and the Government for the peaceable exercise of our Ministry, which is not given us upon a design (as formerly) by a Prince that did what he did in this matter to exalt his own pre­rogative, aad to trample upon the laws in order to bring in Pope­ry, but by a Prince that hath adventured to shew kindness to an afflicted depressed party, in the Face of those that seem to envy us this kindness, as much as ever the Patriarchs did their Father Jacobs to their Brother Joseph. Surely all things considered [Page] our Liberty to attend our Duty in Peace and Quietness is one of the greatest Instances of a Divine project baffling the Counsels of Men, that hath hapned in our days in this Nation; for hereby that is given by Law, which some Men never Intended to suffer, much less to Establish; behold in this the Wisdom of God that hath so circumstantiated our Liberty, that now it seems to be in­terwoven with the Interest of the Government, so that who ever declares himself an Enemy to the former, will hardly be thought a hearty Friend to the latter. And We shall never express a grate­ful sense of this Mercy of God to us without a more chearful performance of our Duty, in submission to our present Circum­stances; Discouragements will never excuse us in the worst of times, much less now, whilst we have what the Apostles never liv'd to see; for they only had the future reward, but we with that the allowance of the Law, and by that means a freedom from trouble, a mercy which whilst we wanted we valued more than now we seem to do.

The Discourse as 'tis Printed varieth not from what was de­livered, at least from what I designed to deliver: I have added nothing to, nor omitted any material passage that I found in my Notes. The Lord give us all more of the Apostles Willing Mind, that we may have the same Reward.

So Prayeth Your unworthy Brother in the Ministry. John Bush.
1 Corinthians 9.17.

For if I do this willingly, I have a Reward: but if against my will, a Dispensation of the Gospel is committed to me.

THE Defence that the Apostle makes for himself throughout the Epistle, and particularly in this Chapter, argues that there were some persons (if not Ministers) in the Church of Corinth, that did question his Apostolical Power, besides the reflection that they made upon his gifts, and practice; but the uncertainty as to mat­ter of fact, wherein the accusation lay, maketh some places in this Chapter, and throughout the whole Epistle the more dif­ficult to be understood; 'tis probable that part of the accu­sation lay in this, that the Apostle laboured with his hands as a secular person, and did not live as a person devoted to the Ministry, which ordinarily requires a man's whole time and thoughts; and consequently that being a poor Mechanick, he disparag'd his Office for the present, and must at last be maintain'd by the Charity of the Churches; and that in pres­sing them to such a liberal Contribution for the Saints at Jerusalem, he design'd to have a share of it to his own use:Baxter in locum. something of this nature was laid to his charge, besides the reflection that they made upon his gifts, as being one that could make a shift to write, but not readily to expose his own thoughts; for so I understand the [Page 2] meaning of those words, his bodily presence is weak. As to the first of these, his Apostolical Power, he asserts it in the first Verse of this Chapter; Am I not an Apostle? am I not free? have I not seen the Lord Jesus? Shewing, that though he had not convers'd with our Saviour whilst on Earth, (which was the ground of the Obiection, and seems to have some weight in it: For when the Apostles would supply the room of Judas, to make up the number twelve, according to the number of the twelve Tribes, they chose one that had companied with them, Acts 1.21, 22.) yet notwithstanding this, he was as much an Apostle as they, and that he had seen Christ in the way to Damascus, when he receiv'd his Com­mission to be an Apostle, and that he was free, i. e. not ob­lig'd to one Person or Church more than to another upon a civil account, so as to bestow his pains upon them for nought; and that the Corinthians had less cause than other men to question his Apostleship; for their Conversion was the Seal of his Office, viz. If I be not Apostle to others, yet doubtless I am to you.

But the great case upon which the Apostle insists for his Justification is about Maintenance, which the Apostle did not only not Receive, but Refuse; and yet lest his Refusal should be drawn into a president for the time to come, to the prejudice of a Settled Ministry, he takes the matter into consideration, shewing, and that from the equitable part of the Law of Moses, (which though a Law to Israel doth not oblige us Christians, yet from the equity of that Law he proves) that ordinarily it is the duty of the People to main­tain them that Preach to them: As they that ministred about the Temple and Altar, Levites and Priests, did live of the Temple and Altar; so they that Preach the Gospel have a Right to live of the Gospel; v. 13, 14. And yet because that which in the ge­neral may be lawful, may not at all times, and to some par­ticular [Page 3] persons be expedient, for this reason the Apostle de­clin'd the taking of Maintenance from the Church of Corinth; v. 15. I have used none of these things, neither have I written these things, that it should be so done unto me; for it were better for me to die, than that any man should make my glorying void; meaning that the success of his Ministry which he calls his glory, was dearer to him than his Right to a Maintenance. And yet the Apostle would not be mistaken, as if because he was free from all men by Preaching Gratis, that therefore he thought himself at liberty to Preach, or not to Preach the Gospel; no; necessity is laid upon me; Wo is unto me if I Preach not the Gospel; v. 16. Now the Apostle having con­sidered the necessity of his duty, doth in these words con­sider that disposition of mind that is necessary to the accep­tance of his Duty, shewing, that 'tis not the bare perfor­mance, but the willing performance that God would re­ward. If I do this willingly, &c.

So that there is an Antithesis in the words, though both parts of it are not expresly mentioned; and in this Anti­thesis there is a twofold Supposition, and a twofold Infe­rence.

1. From the willing and chearful performance of his du­ty, the Apostle infers the certainty of his Reward; he doth not say, I shall have, but I have a Reward.

He speaks de presenti, not that he expected the Reward here, but because of its certainty, in which case we use to say, Sure pay is as good as ready Money.

2. From the unwilling performance of his duty he infers (but 'tis by Implication) the Loss of the Reward, adding, that notwithstanding his unwilling mind, if such a frame should return upon him, he would check it with the sense of his duty; A dispensation of the Gospel is committed to me; as if he had said, I must Preach the Gospel, 'tis committed [Page 4] to me; were I not therefore better do it willingly, and be rewarded, than with an unwilling mind, and so lose or lessen the future Reward? 'Tis true as some observed the word [...] that is translated, willingly, signifies Injussus, to which the word, of my own accord, better answers; and yet I do not think that the Apostle did reckon that in so doing, Preaching without a Maintenance gratis, he did more than his duty was, absolutely considered. This the Papists would have to be the sense of the place, telling us that this, and some other Scriptures establisheth their Doctrine of Divine Counsels, which we are at liberty to refuse or observe; for they make neither duty nor sin: And yet if we observe them, we do supererrogate, and attain a state of Perfection highly meritorious: Now I do not see how this place fa­vours them in the least; for if the unwilling mind be a loss of the Reward, then it must needs follow that the Apostle did no more than his duty (all things considered) was to do: For the scope of the Apostle's Discourse seems to amount but to this, that though Ministers in the general have a Right to Maintenance, as much as ever the Priests and Levites had to live by the Temple and Altar upon Tythes and Offerings (I say as much, though not in the same manner, the Apostle doth not prove it from the Let­ter of the Law, but from the equitable part of the Law, and therefore doth not prove the same sort of Maintenance) yet (notwithstanding this, that 'twas in the general his Right) for some particular Reasons it was his duty not to insist upon his own Right; for (as one observes in ano­ther case) there is a great difference between an Universal Law, and a Man's Personal Obligations for some other Law, not opposing, but explaining that Universal Law, as is very evident in the case before us. In the general 'tis the duty of the People to maintain them that Preach to them; for [Page 5] ordinarily if the People do not perform their duty, the Minister can't perform his; and yet notwithstanding this, a particular Minister may fall under a Personal Obligation not to expect this from the People, either when the People cannot do it, or when the Minister needs it not; but above all, when the taking of Maintenance is apparently an hin­derance of the success of his Ministry, which was the Apostle's case. Now in doing this no man supererrogates, or doth more than his duty. I shall not determine absolutely that what was the Apostle's practice is any Minister's duty at pre­sent, but am of Opinion, that to say the Apostle did more than his duty, is to favour the Popish Doctrine of Counsels, and to say, that though it was the Apostle's duty to do this, it can't be ours, is to prescribe to Almighty God what our Circumstances shall be, of which no Man is Master: And 'tis easie to prove, that notwithstanding the Universal Law of God which determines our duty in the general, our Per­sonal Obligations do arise from our Personal Circumstances: This therefore is the Apostle's Argument; he doth not de­termine directly any other Man's duty, but for himself he could not see how he could lawfully do otherwise, to stop the mouths of his Adversaries, to promote the success of his Ministry, and to obtain the future Reward; in relation to which he considers in the next verse, What then is my Re­ward? that is, what is the way to obtain the Reward? viz. making the Gospel of Christ without charge.

But if against my will, a Dispensation of the Gospel is com­mitted to me; the Translators have put in a word which they thought to be the sense of the Apostle, which is not in the Greek; for 'tis only thus, [...], with an Accusative Case, I have received a Stewardship; or a Dis­pensation is committed to me: And you must not imagine that this Trust is committed to him, upon the condition of [Page 6] his unwilling mind; no, but rather the conditional hath the force of an Exceptive, which is not unusual with the Apostle; Rom. 8.10. And if Christ be in you, the body is dead because of sin; i. e. though Christ be in you; so here, If against my will, though against my will; that is, I am still under a ne­cessity of doing my duty, willing or unwilling I may lose my own Reward, but not destroy the Obligation to my duty.

It is the former part of the words that I shall limit the Discourse unto, in which I shall not so much consider the Apostle's Circumstances, as the disposition of mind which he makes so necessary to his acceptance, under this Pro­position:

Doct. That a willing mind in the performance of our duty, is highly necessary to our Acceptance and Reward. Or thus; Whoever would receive the Reward of well doing, had need to do it with a willing mind.

I am speaking to Ministers, but I would discourse of that which concerns others as well as them, and shall shew you,

1. What that disposition of mind is, which the Apostle makes so necessary to well doing, that all may know whe­ther they have this willing mind.

2. Shew its Necessity in the general to all Men.

3. That Ministers above others should have it.

4. Draw some practical Inferences from the Proposition, in relation to us all as Christians, but especially as Ministers.

1. This willing mind seems to consist of two things.

  • 1. A fixing of the Will that it may stick to its duty.
  • 2. The chearfulness of the mind in its performance.

First, The Will must be fixed; without this nothing is [Page 7] done willingly. The great Controversie of late hath been, who doth determine the Will, God by the Irresistible Operation of his Grace, or Man by making those Operations to be ef­fectual? In which Controversie, whilst some have given to Man more power than in truth is in him; others have gone into another extreme; those that go in the former extreme, though otherwise very Learned Men, do so rarely mention the Supernatural Operations of the Holy Spirit, which are as necessary to deliver the Soul from the bonds of Sin, as to Re­lease the Body from the power of the Grave at the last day; that as one saith of the Socinians, 'tis hard to call them He­reticks, for they scarce deserve to be called Christians; so of these Men 'tis hard to say that they Preach another Gospel; for they seldom Preach any Gospel; and yet some have erred on the other hand, as if God's Grace had so superseded Man's du­ty, that there were nothing for us to do, but to look when God will do it, that we may sit still and do nothing. The truth lieth between these two extremes, which will the sooner ap­pear if you consider, that they only are willing whom God doth make willing; and yet every Man that is truly willing, his heart doth stir him up to his own duty, and his own spirit doth make him willing.

1. They only are willing whom God doth make willing; for 'tis his work to subdue the will, a work that needs and be­comes a God to do; the work is the greatest manifestation of a Divine Power; Psal. 110.3. Thy people shall be a willing people in the day of thy power, in the beauties of holiness; from the womb of the morning, thou hast the dew of thy youth. The words seem to relate to those early and numerous Conversions which are recorded in the Acts of the Apostles, where you find thousands at one Sermon converted to Christianity, which times are therefore called the womb of the morning, and the dew of Christ's youth; because, as he that goeth forth in the [Page 8] morning is then strongest for his Labour, and the Young Man hath most agility of body to run the Race: So the Grace of God in the first publishing of it should go forth with that power as is in the young for his Race, as is in a strong Man for his Labour. Hence it is that they that think they have made themselves willing, do but deceive themselves, when by the Grace of God they were not made so; for the Will of Man is conquered by none but God; Men may attempt it, to bend it to God's Will, as you would bend a crooked Stick; it will return to its own crookedness. And therefore Moses that knew what a great work 'tis to fix the heart to its duty, tells the People, that though they had seen more of God's Power than ever any Nation before them, or perhaps more than ever any Nation shall see whilst the World continueth, if God would do this, they would see more of a Divine Power than as yet they had seen; Deut. 29.2, 3, 4. Ye have seen all that the Lord did before your eyes in the Land of Egypt unto Pharaoh, and his Servants, and to all his Land, the great temptations which thine eyes have seen, yet the Lord hath not given you an heart to per­ceive the greatness of the work; and the successlesness of out­ward means shews it to be God's work, and therefore to argue against this from some difficulties that occur in stating the Controversies, as to the manner of the operation of the Holy Spirit upon our Wills; that because Man hath a self-determin­ing Principle, and is Master of his own actions, which can't be denied; yet to argue from hence, that this can't agree with the Irresistible Operations of God's Grace, is to pretend a ten­derness to Human Nature, that we may not wrong that, and in the mean time wrong God, as if we were to be more tender of Man's Honour than of God's Honour: Why should it not suffice us what so many have said in this matter, that the turning of the Will is done by Moral Perswasion as Man is a Rational Creature, made for Moral Government; but the Effi­cacy [Page 9] of God's Grace lieth in the immediate Operations of God's Spirit upon Man's Will, which is subdued in a way of power, as Man is a wicked Creature, and yet so subdued, that no Man is forced against his Will, but made willing; and yet that which makes him so, is not the cooperation of his own Will with God's Spirit, but the Conquest of the Spirit over the Will, which being effectual, Man shall not be able to Resist it; and if he could, he would not, he is so drawn by Love, as well as subdued by Power. Now to scorn all this, which in effect so many have done, by saying, How can this be, and Man act as a self-determining Creature, Master of his own Actions? is to pretend that we can refine upon every thing that is done in the World; when in the mean time if we descend into the manner of things, we can give account of nothing; for though we do all know that we can will, and chuse, and refuse, and think, and love, and hate, yet en­quire how this is done, how the Soul, that is a Spirit, doth operate upon the Body, to move and stir it, and how one thought doth beget another, and who can give an account of all this? Why then should we pretend to know how far the Spirit of God can operate upon our Souls to incline us to good, and not destroy that determining Principle which is in all Men? and therefore it will more become us to be­lieve that which the Scripture is so positive in, though we can't give an account how 'tis.

And, as I hinted before, there is not only need of God's Grace to determine the Will to its duty, but to keep it there: For we are apt to go off from our own Resolutions and Pur­poses, and to lose the present Impression of God's Grace; the willing mind will of it self become unwilling; and therefore God having tryed us in Adam, doth not trust us in the Se­cond Covenant to our selves; and we have need to consider this, that we may not depend upon the first determination of [Page 10] our own Wills; we are mutable, fickle, and unconstant Crea­tures; our hearts are deceitful, not only in this, that they are not really willing when they seem so, but are soon chang'd from willing to be unwilling; and the true Reason why Men do not live more suitable to their own Resolutions, is not be­cause they were never willing but because men do change their minds from willing to unwilling, for which reason 'tis that God desclaimes his being like Man, that he should lie or Repent; Men will promise what they never Intend to per­form: this is lying with a witness; but besides that, they that scorn to do this do Repent, that is change their minds, God is not such an one, we will serve the Lord, said the People, but you can't serve the Lord said Joshua, not that absolutly they could not, but because he saw in them a kind of rash­ness to promise and resolve, but they did not enough consider that to do what they promised there was more need of Gods Grace than as yet they were sensible of, and without this they could not serve the Lord and it is generally the mistake of good men to think that they shall be able to do what they are willing to do, Peter found it so, David, whose heart was made willing, prays that it might be kept so. 1 Chron. 29. [...]8. Who am I, and what is this People? that we should be able to offer so willingly, keep this Lord for ever in the Imaginations of the thoughts of the hearts of this people, and establish their hearts to thee; that is, thou hast made us willing, Lord keep us so, the first grace to determine the will may be given, and that grace not given which is needfull to performance. He worketh to will and to do, Phil. 2.13. Paul found it so, to will is present with me, but how to perform I find not.

2. And yet he only is willing whose heart doth stir him up, and whose Spirit doth make him willing, as 'tis said of the Children of Israel Exod. 35.21, 29. and they came e­very one whose heart stirred him up, and every one whose [Page 11] Spirit made him willing, verse 29. the Children of Israel brought a willing offering to the Lord, every Man and Wo­man whose heart made them willing; it is the want of this that God complains of Isa. 64.7. none stirreth up himself, and the Apostle Paul would have Timothy stir up the gift in him, not only the Ministerial, but the Sanctifying gift of Gods Grace, for though the Grace of God be not made effectual by our own co-operation with it, neither is it effectual without our own Concurrence, and therefore it is that we are directed to our duty towards Gods Grace, and that not only when we have it, but that we may ob­tain it; not only to keep our selves awake when God hath awakned, but to awake out of sleep that Christ may give us Life, Eph. 5.14. for 'tis the heart, the will in man that is the Fountain of all the good or evil that is in man, and under Gods Grace the first mover: out of the heart proceeds Murder, Fornication and Adultery, and a good Man out of the good treasure of the heart bringeth forth good things; as we are never subdued to Gods Grace till the will be subdued, so the will is never subdued, till it stirs us up to our duty. Prov. 2.10. when Wisdom entereth into thy heart and knowledge is pleasant to thy Soul, then the work succeeds, and never till then, for (as Mr. Fenner saith) sincerity lieth in the Will. So that as he that would kindle the fire must put the Fewel together, and then Blow to it; So God working upon us as Rational Creatures, doth expect that we do what we may; towards our turning to Him; and this stirring up our Selves that our hearts may make us Willing, holds as to the first Grace by which the Will is determined, and as to that Subsequent grace, by which it is kept to its duty; and in both Respects is Oppos'd,

1. To Outward Judgments, and Foreign motives, which many a man is Influenc'd by, whose heart doth not make him [Page 12] willing; and when 'tis so, the thing done, though otherwise Good and Praise-worthy, hath no acceptance with God: for 'tis not done willingly, that is sincerely: Jehu in his access to the Throne of his master Ahab, pretended Zeal to the Lord God of Israel, and in that pretended zeal pulled down the Altar and Images of Baal, and destroyed his Masters house, and yet saith God (though Jehu did what he was com­manded) I will avenge the blood of Jezreel upon the house of Jehu. The blood of that Woman as Bad as she was, was too good to be spilt upon so low an end as Jehu purposed to himself; for it seems it was not Gods Glory, but his own security or Revenge, or both: the like may be said as to custom or example, the latter of which, though we may Lawfully make a good use of, yet when 'tis that only or Cheifly that prompts us to our Duty, It will never please God, and generally He is made Willing by foreign motives, the Praise or fear or the example of men that he may not seem singu­lar, any thing else that is short of Gods Glory, take away that, and He goeth no farther, as when you take away the weight that made the Clock go, it stoppeth.

2. And It must be in opposition to the workings of Con­science enlightned, but not Renewed: for we may have a sense of our Duty when we have no Inclination to its per­formance. I don't say but 'tis better to do what is good and to forbear what is Evil, though it be only the sense of our Duty, without a Willing mind, prompting us to it, and yet 'tis evident enough that this is a sort of Religion, which none should rest in: conscience when Enlightned but not Sancti­fied, may put Men upon doing something in Religion, which is far enough from what the Apostle calls Obeying from the heart; take a wicked Man at some Particular times, when he is under the Influences of Fear upon a Sick bed, and how free doth he seem to be from that rancor and prejudice [Page 13] that before appeared in him? Now he is for an Holy Life, Resolv'd on a sudden, now he is for Prayers and perhaps those Prayers which before he scoff'd at! What a change doth this seem to be? but yet this Work is but the Oper­ation of an enlightned awakned conscience, melted, humbled under the sense of Gods Wrath; but yet as the metal when in the Fire was soft, when out of the Fire grows as hard or harder than before so do they that are only under the operation of fear, In their affliction they will seek me early, than they will cry, arise and save us. Jer. 2.26. 'tis Fear cheifly that works upon Conscience when enlightned only, but not Renewed and Sanctified.

And therefore it is that when what they feared seems upon their Recovery to be at a distance from them, they fear it as little as before; for fear is not lasting; he whose Conscience only doth stir him up to his Duty, will seek an ad­vantage one time or other to be at liberty from his fears: for he is as a man in Prison that cannot go and do as he would, but an heart made Willing by the Grace of God, and making us Willing is enlarg'd to its Duty; were there more of this disposition of mind in us, there would be less need of the Restraints or Constraints of Conscience, 'tis to be observ'd in the Children of Israel at the first setting up of the Tabernacle, their own hearts stirring them up, they did so forward the work that Moses made a Procla­mation throughout the Camp, let no Man make any more work for the Tabernacle, and so the People were restrained. Exod. 36.6, 7. For want of this there is no need in any Publick work to restrain men from over doing; It were well if by any means men would be constrained to their Duty.

2. This willing mind consists in a chearfull performance of our Duty; he that can live under a sense of his Duty, and can attain to a Resolvedness to stick to its Performance, [Page 14] and in the performance can find in himself a chearfullness of mind, hath attain'd a good measure of that diposition of Spirit, which the Apostle makes so necessary to our acceptance and Reward: for where the Will is subdued, it doth carry with it the subordinate affections and so where the Will is, Love is, and where Love is, delight will be The great Promise of God is to write his Laws upon our hearts, now this writing the Law in the heart signifieth an act of Grace upon the Will towards Gods Law, rather than upon the understanding to know it: for the misery of man lyeth not so much in an Igno­rance of Gods Will, as in an enmity to it; now when God takes away this enmity, and puts a new byas into our Souls Love and delight will not only constrain us to Obedience, but will make it more or less Easy and Delightfull: Most things are to us as we stand affected to them, and therefore that is a delight to one, that to another is a burden; but now God in order to Reduce us to our Duty, doth give us disposition suitable to it, and therefore when this Will of God meets with a disposition suitable to it, 'tis this makes obedience Easie, and us chearfull in it, thy Law is in my heart, I de­light to do thy Will O God. Psal. 40.8. So that he that can­not delight himself in the Almighty, nor in his Duty, is never like to persist in it, Psal. 37.4. I do not extend this so far as to exclude all those from the Grace of God, that have not the Swavitys of Religion, those sensitive Joys and Af­fections which are rather the Evidences of the full assurance of understanding, than of Grace in its lower degrees, but I speak it in this sense, that what we do in obedience to Gods Will must not be a burden to us: for what is a burden though for a time we may bear it, one time or other we shall lay it down, at least we must be so far Reconciled to our Duty, that we had rather do it, than Neglect: for what we Do grudgingly, and had rather do otherwise though [Page 15] for some reasons we do it, 'tis in the sight of God as if we did it not.

2. The necessity of this disposition will appear if you consider two things.

1. No good in an Ordinary way will be done without it, to do is more than to Will in some respect. Rom. 7.18. The Apostle found it so, the Apostle doth not absolutely deny a Power Imparted to him for the doing Good; for I beleive he speaks of himself, as renewed by the Grace of God, but he compares doing and Willing, and tells us he found it easier to Will than to perform; now if where the Willing mind is, a Power to do may be wanting, It will be much more so, where the Willing Mind is not, I know where the Willing Mind, which is first in order of nature, is vouch­safed the Tower to Perform shall be given in some measure, yet It must needs be that where that which is first in order of Nature and not obtain'd, that which depends upon it can­not be expected, for as in going up the Ladder you must begin at the lowest range, so in order to acceptable Obedience, we must begin at the Willing Mind; the reason why the Stony ground brought not forth any thing to perfection, was this it had no depth of Earth to cherish the Seed, so is all Obedience without an heart made Willing; either it will not be at all, or it Will wither, as the Grass upon the house top, wherewith the Mower filleth not his hands

2. This Willing Mind doth so forward men to that which tends to Gods Glory, and the Good of others, that this may convince us of its necessity; thus then the person pleads not excuses, layes aside his delays, is exalted above Discourag­ments, and ordinarily we may expect assisting Grace to per­form, when by the grace of God we are Inclin'd to our Duty.

1. We are apt to excuse our selves out of our Duty, and [Page 16] the general excuse of wicked Men is, they Cannot; but the True Reason is our want of a Will: if men were really wil­ling (as Mr. Fenner observes) they would do what they can, but when men can do something, at least frame their doings that they may turn to the Lord, consider, that they may Repent, hear, that they may consider and attend the word of God, and the places of his Worship, where they may hear their Duty and know their danger, 'tis evident that men can do this; what should hinder them? Now when men can do this and yet will not, and then pretend excuses, how Justly may God Condemn such persons? an heart made Willing layes aside excuses, there is no Lion in that Mans way; pleading excuses argues, that there is at the present a contest within as to our Duty, whither we shall or no, and so far as we Cleave to our excuses, so far we take part with Sin, against Conscience and Conviction, for the design of Conviction is to put us forward, but the design of excuses is to draw us out of the hands of Mercy. An heart made willing, as far as 'tis really willing, lays aside its excuses. Peter had an Excuse, in appearance a good one, we have toiled all Night, and taken nothing, nevertheless at thy word I will cast in the Net.

2. This Willing Mind will not be put off with delays, 'tis said, that he that believeth will not make haste, but 'tis meant of the thing Promised and Expected, in relation to which he that Believeth will wait, and not precipitate the Counsell of God, nor the accomplishment of the Promise either before its time, or in an unlawfull manner; but in Relation to our Duty, the sooner, generaly the better; for we may set about it too late, but seldom or never too soon. So that he that is really Willing to turn to God, doth determine to do it presently, deferring to hereafter is the fruit of an unwilling Mind. Pro. 3.27, 28. Withhold not good from him to whom it is due, when it is in [Page 17] the Power of thy hands to do it, Say not to thy Neighbour go and come again, and to Morrow I will give, when thou hast it by thee. The Wise Man considered that delaying is not safe, for we may either loose the Opportunity of doing, or, which is worse, the Will to perform, the present Impression as well as the present opportunity may be gone by delaying without a good cause, we make no Conscience of the Command that re­lates to the Time, and to Morrow we may make no Consci­ence of that part of the Command that relates to the thing it self. The Apostle whom God at an Instant Inclin'd to his Duty, did immediately set about it, Gal. [...].15, 16, 17 But when it pleased God, who separated me from my Mothers Womb, and call­ed me by his grace to reveal his Son in me, that I might Preach him among the eathen, immediately I conferred not with flesh and Blood. And therefore it must needs be a general mistake in the World for men to pretend that they are not only Con­vinced that 'tis their Duty to lead a new Life, but Willing, and yet this must not be till hereafter.

And yet think it shall be well enough, especially if it should happen that they live to that hereafter; 'tis true in some cases and as to some particular dutys, It may consist with a willing mind to defer them, when the present time is not convenient, or when the time to come may prove more advantagious; but as to the amendment of a Mans life, to pretend to be willing, but not for the present, as in it self 'tis not a real willingness, so in some respect 'tis a resolution to the contrary of what we pretend to, and therefore how can such a purpose be pleasing to God? consider that be­sides the danger that you run, and the presumption that you manifest, that the grace and Mercy of God, nay, God him­self shall be at your beck, when you shall be at leisure to return to him you do at present resolve that as yet you will not as if you had not enough provoked the Almighty as if [Page 18] the time past of your Life did not suffice you to have wrought wickedness, but you will continue to do so longer; you do in effect declare that you ought to live otherwise, than you have done, that you must do otherwise, and be o­ther manner of persons, and yet though you have wronged God already, and wearied the Almighty, and though if you die in your Sins without repentance you expect dam­nation; and though you have no assurance that God will give you longer time, as to be sure you have not yet, you will venture upon it, you will run the hazard of being damned, under a pretence that you will do your Duty hereafter, when you have spent your time in Sin, and can do God no Service; when you can Sin no longer, you will cease to do Evil, and when you can do nothing, then you will learn to do well; when the day is at an end, you will go forth to your Labour, and when the Sun is setting then you will set forth for your Journey; can this delaying consist with a willing mind;

3. As for discouragements, this disposition of mind will help us to overcome them. In the best of times well doing will meet with if not direct opposition at least discouragements, for whilst the World continueth, the Seed of the Serpent which sprung up in Cain will be, The World will be ungrateful, malicious and opposit to what is good; even Morality hath had its Persecutors, much more shall all they that will live Godly in Christ Jesus; the greatest Innocence, the strictest life, the most publick Spirit, the utmost caution shall never be able at all times and in all places, to protect the Servants of God from the tongues or hands and hatred, of the wicked, who rather than they will lose the opportunity of doing mis­cheif, will turn Christians, that under the pretence of the Christian name they may wreak their Malice upon them, that differ not from them, but in those things wherein they [Page 19] themselves differ from what they pretend to; these men will shew a Reverence to the deceased Apostles and Disciples of our Saviour, that they may mischief the living ones, Nay sometimes persecute them for that very thing, for which the Apostles and Disciples of our Lord are reverenced among Christians; Just so the Jews did build and adorn the Sepulc­hers of the Prophets whom their fathers slew, and did to the Disciples what their fathers did to the Prophets; Now this dis­position of mind will help us against these discouragements, for 'tis our unresolvedness that makes the discouragements that lye in our way, more and greater than they are.

4. Where this is, we may expect Gods assisting Grace to help us to do what by his Grace we are Inclined to, for though willing and doing are not equally easy, yet if we humbly go to God under the sense of our Duty, and do not lean too much to our own Resolutions, God will not be wanting to us, his Grace shall be sufficient for us, Philip. 1.6. Being confident of this very thing that he that hath begun a good work in you, will perform it untill the day of Jesus Christ; 'tis true, God keeps this grace in his own hands, but yet the giving of the first grace doth give us cause to depend upon him for this also, which we shall be sure to obtain, if we do not forfeit it by our neglects. I say again, where this willing Mind is in truth, It will cause that we shall not be Barren nor Un­fruitful in the knowledg of our Lord Jesus Christ; for the Kingdom of God doth not consist in Word but in Power, nor in wishing and willing, but in doing and performing.

3. Having shewn in the general the necessity of this dispositi­on of Mind, I would more particularly consider it as 'tis neces­sary to Ministers, to whom whilst I am speaking I would not be thought to pretend to speak what they can't tell me, as well as I do them, but only to put them in Remembrance of what they all know.

[Page 20]1. Therefore we all know and therefore should consider that the bare Art of Preuching, as a task expected at our hands every Lords-day, can never please God, but the Mind with which this and every other part of our Duty is perform'd. God is a great God, and a good Master, and therefore a little forc'd service without our Wills, or against our Will, done because we dare not for shame do otherwise, can this be Accepted and Rewarded? 'tis said in the general there must be a Willing Mind, and then God accepts men according to what they have and can do, and not according to what we have not, and there­fore cannot do, 2 Cor. 8.12. This must be first in all men, and first in us Ministers above other men; Our work is so great in turning Men from Darkness to Light, and from the power of Satan to God, that no Man is sufficient for it, and yet notwithstanding our insufficiency for the work, and our lame defective Performance of our Duty, God's declared readiness to accept our endeavours and to Pardon our defects, should at least convince us of the necessity of this dispo­sition, that by it we may chearfully perform our Duty, whilst we have Liberty and Opportunity; for if we get this, It will quicken us to our Duty, It will assist us in it, It will make us Patient in waiting for the success, which if it do not answer our endeavours and desires, yet the want of success shall never deprive us of the acceptance of God, who in rewarding Ministers doth chiefly look to this dispo­sition; by this means we shall be press'd in Spirit to our Duty and by doing our Duty, we shall Increase this dispo­sition of mind; then shall we know if we follow on to know the Lord. Alas! to see the world about us lying in wickedness, and yet hating to be Reform'd, and hating those that would tell them they have need to Reform. And to see the world sitting in Darkness, and yet avoiding the Light, should not this convince us that we have need to get a disposition of [Page 21] Mind, that may stir us up to do something to amend all this? how little will be done by us without this disposition, seeing so little is done with it?

2. Besides, The nature of our Employment and business, which is to Preach Good Will toward Men, the love of God in giving his Son to dye for us, the love of Christ in giving his life for us, doth require a frame of mind suitable to the errand that we bring. If we were to open the Prophets Roll in which was nothing but Lamentation and Wo, we were the more ex­cusable, if we did hang back and say, send by the hands of him whom thou wilt send; If we had received that message from God to you, that God delivered to the Child Samuel, a message that might make the Peoples ears to tingle, and their hearts to tremble, we might perhaps lye down again in our sloth as afraid to deliver it; but this is the message that we bring, that God against whom man hath Sinned, from whom we have all departed in Adam, hath given man, Fallen, Sinfull Man, Eternal life, and this life is in his Son; surely such an Employment, to be Messengers of such tidings, whatever reception it may meet with from wicked, and unreasonable Men, doth require in us Ministers a disposition of mind suitable to it.

3. The Ministerial work is attended with a peculiar Reward; there is a Reward peculiar to a Disciple, and a Reward pe­culiar to Ministers; if I should tell you how sure and certain the Reward is, you might say so 'tis to all other men, for all Offices of love and Charity, even the Least, so that he that giveth a Cup of cold water to a Disciple, in the name of a Dis­ciple, shall Receive a Disciples reward; but yet tho' Ministers have no more certainty of a reward than other Men have, yet they have the certainty of a greater reward, and therefore It is set out by the shining of the Sun in the Firmament.

Now surely such a reward doth require a chearful will­ing Resolute performance of our Duty, and the rather be­cause it is not conditioned upon our success in Converting, but our diligence in the performing our Duty; for suppos­ing that any Minister should not Convert one Soul (I be­leive few that are faithful are so unhappy in their labours) yet if it should prove so, there is that which may relieve that Minister, We are (saith the Apostle) in them that perish a sweet savour to God. God that knoweth all Mens hearts doth see 'twas what such Ministers did desire and endeavour, and God accepts them not according to the success, but their desires and endeavours, to which this disposition is so highly usefull.

4. The Practical Inferences are.

1. This shews the Reason of our backwardness to our Duty, who is there that hath not his excuses for his neglects? but the plain truth is all our excuses and delays do proceed from our unwillingness; the Jews upon their recovery out of the Captivity, could not deny but 'twas fit that the Temple should be built, but 'twas no fit time to set about it, It went hard with them, they were newly come out of the Captivi­ty, they were poor, they had many Enemies, and yet though they could not finish the Temple, they had their Ceiled Houses: now an heart made willing can over-look and despise greater discouragements than we can pretend unto.

2. 'Tis not only our Duty to do Well, but to look to the Principle from which every act of Obedience floweth. The Apostle speaks of some Men, that to every good Work they are Reprobates, having neither a Will to, nor a skill in the performance of them, Titus, 1.16. and because we are so averse to all that is good, we must be New made, Created in Christ Jesus to good works, and by this [Page 21] you may see where our chief care should be, even to that which God chiefly requires, and first begins at: thou art troubled at thy performances, I don't utterly dislike that trouble, but thou had'st need to look at something beyond that; thy Nature, that, that be changed, thy Will, that, that be subdued, that thereby thou be made meet for thy Masters use and Service, and prepared to every good work, 2 Tim. 2.21. to have the fewel is not enough till you have fire to kindle it; without the renewing, disposing Grace of God, we may be considerate in our words and actions, and do many things outwardly good and use­full, and yet all this while be destitute of that which is so seldom mentioned in some Mens Writings, and so oft in the Gospel, viz. Grace without which men may have a Resemblance of the Life Spiritual, as the Plant hath of the life Sensitive; many a man may have the likeness of the life of God in him, and yet remain in the corrupt state of Nature. So that we should not only take care to do well, but labour for a Mind fram'd to our Duty.

3. Have a care of being stirred up to your Duty by such Inducements as are short of this willing Mind, See we to this, that we be stirred up from something within us, and that it be not any thing less than an heart prompting us to our Duty; that only is well done that is done to the Glory of God; and not upon a design, let the de­sign be what it will, if it be not to please God, and to be accepted of him, It will leave us short of the fu­ture reward; for though it hath the appearance of an act of Religion, God Esteems it not so: have ye fasted unto me? to fast for stuff, to pray to be seen of Men, to give Alms to be applauded, may go a great way in the sight of Men, who ought to the praise action without En­quiring [Page 24] into the heart, but it hath no other reward than what is here; but he that is prompted to his Duty from his own heart, hath a Testimony in himself, in which he may rejoyce. 2 Cor. 1.12.

4. And Lastly, let us all get this Willing Mind, this dis­posing principle, that what we do may be accepted and Rewarded: under this head I shall speak in the general to all, and Particularly to my brethren in the Ministry.

1. All of us have need to Pray and to be Instant with God for this disposition of Mind: For

First by this means our Duty will be the more easy; 'tis true Christ hath a Yoak, and a Burden, but there is nothing that tends more to make it easy to us,Motives. than the disposedness of our Wills and Hearts unto it.

2. The Will being the chief executive faculty, where that is there the delight of the Soul followeth, and what a desirable disposition will this be when our Duty becomes our De­light, that as nature hath provided a delight in doing those things that tend to its preservation, such as is the Saline humour in the Palat, adjoyning it self with our Meat and Drink, so when Grace doth furnish us with a dispositi­on Co natural to our Duty, that it shall be our Meat and Drink to do Gods Will; How desireable is such a temper? get me this, and we shall find by experience that the ways of Wisdom are ways of Pleasantness.

3. Hereby our Obedience will be more steady and even, and we more constant and stedfast in it, Ephraim is said to be [Page 25] as a Bullock that was not accustomed to the Yoak, not used to work: now such a Bullock is sore with his labour, and unskilfull in it, It makes bawks; 'tis in and out; the main and principal reason of our uneven walking, is either the want of a will fix'd and determined to its Duty, or not carryed forth with delight in its performance.

2. Directions.

1. First, Beg this disposition by Prayer, every good and per­fect gift cometh from above, this especially: if we can do it our selves, Incline and fix our Wills to our Duty, our sin is the greater if we do not; but if we cannot do it of our selves (as to be sure we cannot) our sin is the greater, that we are not more earnest and Incessant with God to help us. Prayers for the first converting Grace, are not alltogether unacceptable to God; let us have Grace (saith the Apostle) that is, let us seek it that we may have it, let us Pray that we may obtain it; and indeed if the natural man could be supposed seriously and heartily to desire this Grace, we could not (without wronging of God) suppose that he would deny him; they that have not higher and stronger arguments, may plead from such as they have, their relation to God as the work of his hands, their rational and natural Powers, thy hands have made me (saith the Psamist) give me understandng; beg also the continuing and Increase of this first disposing Grace, that he that hath made the Willing would keep so, and make the more Willing.

2. Keep your hearts under a sense of your Duty; for tho' the sense of Duty may be urg'd upon us by an enlightned conscience, which will leave us short of a willing Mind, yet 'tis good to feel something in our selves pleading Gods right, urging upon us the necessity of our obedience; the Apostle did so, if against my Will a dispensation is committed to me: I must do my Duty, Willing or Unwilling it ought to [Page 26] be done; though I lose the reward, God will not lose his Right.

3. Do what you can to make your selves Willing, and do what you can to keep your Selves so, even in conversion we must not expect that because God can, that therefore he should do all, though all that Man; doth in his conversion, doth not make, nor is the reason why Grace is effectual in this rather than in that Man, this doth not supersede Mans Duty towards God's Grace; no, but every one should do his own part, we can attend the means and we can consider and Remember, and though all that do this do not turn to God, yet 'tis the way to it, the Psalmist thought and turned and 'tis said all the ends of the Earth shall Remember and turn to the Lord Psal. 22.27. and God blames them that they would not frame their doings to turn to the Lord. they would do nothing to promote it Hos. 5.4.

4. Consider what Encouragements you have from a good God, and from a Gracious Covenant, wherein sincere en­deavours are accepted and involuntary weaknesses are par­doned to them that do their best, though it be infinitly short of what is due, Mal. 3.17. I will spare them as a Man that spareth his only Son that serveth him.

2. And lastly, as to my brethren the Ministers, all that I have now to say is to my self and you those that would know the reason of our coming together at this time, It is this that I have been all this while speaking to, viz. To Stir up one another to the Dutys of our calling, and to promote the necessary work of our Ministry. I do not pretend to dictate to Ministers what is their Duty, but yet I consider that that Minister that needs not to be directed what to do, may yet be content to be encouraged, may need it, and will de thankful for it. Even St. Paul himself when the brethren from Rome came to meet him [Page 27] at Appij forum and the three Taverns, he thanked God, and took courage. If I could so far serve my Brethren 'tis what I aim at.

And truly (whatever our Circumstances are) we may do well to consider the Apostles for our Encouragement, that we may have this Willing Mind; now the Apostle through the perversness of some Men esteemed it his Duty not only to Preach to the Corinthians, but to do it for nothing. And yet It was not because the Apostle was richer than other men, no, for being an Apostle, and having such a charge upon him, he would not have laboured with his own hands for a livelyhood, if there had not been a necessity lying upon him to do both, to Work and yet to Preach; now thanks be to God our Circumstances are not the same, and for that reason it is rarely the Duty of a Minister to do as the Apostle did, who yet shews the greatest satisfaction in his condition, and a full Resolution to stick to his Duty, a necessity is laid upon me, and yet he would not be without a Willing Mind under that necessity. And therefore let our Circumstances be what they will, if we can get this disposition of Mind, and keep it, we shall have cause to bless God that hath not only put us into the Ministry, but into our present Circumstances, and we have reason to be so disposed to our duty and circumstances, not only from the presence of Christ with us, as being workers together with him, but also from that great change that Almighty God hath made in our Circumstances, which although they are not such as perhaps some could desire, yet they are not such as for­merly they were, when the Civil Magistrate pinch'd so hard upon us, as being Instigated doubtless) by such Men as should rather have Rejoyced that Christ was Preach'd, than have stir'd up adversaries against Us. But now 'tis otherwise, and let us bless God for it, and it being otherwise, let us en­deavour to forget what is past, and together with them do [Page 28] our part to Raise up the Tabernacle of God, and to bring back the People from that Debauchery and Profaneness, which hath Spread it self among them, and to Establish them a­gainst Atheism and Popery. If any of our Brethren have done any thing towards the casting us out as unfit builders; if they have done more than became them as Ministers or Christians, in adding to our affliction, let us endeavour to forget it, and Watch over our own Spirits, that the Re­membrance of what is past do not Imbitter our own Spirits towards them, as theirs seem'd to be towards us, good Men in their heats do not enough consider what manner of Spirit they are of. Though they (some of them) esteemed us the Pests of the Nation, unfit not only to Preach, but to live, let us consider it was but some of them; for as to many of them, we ought to Rejoyce that the same Christ, the same Gos­pel is Preach'd to the People that attend their Ministry, as is Preach'd by us to the People that attend Ours, and whilst the Contention is whose way is best, who do Preach most suitably to the design of the Gospel, let us Remember that that Minister doth most answer the design of the Gospel, who doth most Preach Love and Charity; and truly that Ministers Charity is not very large, that limits the Catholick Church to his own party, to Men of his own Mind and way, nor on the other side do I esteem that Ministers Charity, to be very large, that can see Idolatry in every thing that is not ex­presly commanded in the Worship of God, as if every fault that we commit in worshiping God were of one sort and kind, and that the most Detestable, and Abominable, for so is Idolatry.

Consider we what a Mercy 'tis to have Liberty to do our Duty in Peace and quietness, all of us can 't travel to find places to Preach in, all are not Fitted to endure noise and clamour, but all of us if we can get this Willing Mind, [Page 29] that was in the Apostle, may find time and place to do some good to the People. Discontent at our own condition general­ly springeth from the reflections that we make upon the condition of those that are above us; now if such thoughts should arise, they that can Conform have the advantage over us, and perhaps many of them do less, if their way be by Establishment and ours only by Allowance; let us consider, we have more than the Apostles and Disciples of our Saviour liv'd to see, for they were never free from Persecution, any longer than their Persecutors were wearied with their own Persecutions, or diverted by other intervening occasions, or Restrained by Gods Providence some other way; nay, we have as much Liberty as we are Capable of at Present.

And if they that Conform live in greater plenty, let us watch against Repining thoughts at that, and see to it, that whilst they (some of them) Melt away in the midst of their Plenty, we don't Pine away under our Discourage­ments.

As to what is past 'tis to be considered that the hard usage which some Ministers met with, was not so much (if at all) from them that are now esteemed the leading Men of the Church of England; Whether they did in this their Duty that they did no more, I cannot say; but they did declare their dislike of those Severities, and were allways Men of Moderation, and do now declare their readiness to abate somethings that the Law requires of us to the more Publick exercise of our Ministry in the Parish Churches; but these Severities were set on Foot by Men that called them­selves the Church of England, and yet designed an accommo­dation with the Church of Rome; and therefore 'tis no marvel if on that score they had so little respect to dissenting Ministers, or taking them to be a Party, that might be crash'd by Severity, rather than made Pliable to such a design: [Page 30] Dr. Heylin that doth not only confess but Justify such a de­sign, gives a full account of this matter. But now to al­lay all heats, we may do well to consider that we have to do with such Men that had rather abate of what is Establish'd, than add to it, that have owned the Reformation to be Im­perfect, that would not have us go backward towards Rome to please the Papists, but Forward; now who knoweth what such a temper may produce? In the mean time let us with all chearfullness attend our calling, and perform our Duty, and this will carry us against our Discouragements: discouragements there will be not only from them that are against us, but from them that are with us and for us.

But this disposition of mind will help us to weather them out and persist in our Duty, and to do what we may, and whilst we may, I say whilst we may; for I am perswaded that that Door of Liberty to do our Duty in quietness and Peace, which Divine Providence hath now of late opened shall not be shut again but by our own negligence or the Peoples unprofitableness.

There are two things that Ministers above other Men should fear, viz. the loss of the opportunity for doing their Duty, and the loss of that disposition of Mind, that is necessary to its acceptable performance; as for the former, the opportunity of doing our Duty, and the quiet excercise of our Ministry, 'tis God that gave it, nay wrench'd it out of the hands of those men that never Intended it, and without his leave none shall shut this Door; as to the latter a disposition of Mind towards the performance of our Duty, the preservation of this is more especially our concern, and to see that we do not neglect Gods gift in us. God hath been pleased of late years espcially to enlarge our opportunities, and we shall have no need to fear the loss of those whilst we diligently attend our Duty; and God to prevent our fears, that [Page 31] they may not distract us in our Duty, hath as it were secured our Liberty not only by a Law, but by twisting it with the Interest of the Nation; So that those very Men or Men of the Same Mind, that before argued for Severity, and for a restraint, from the Interest of the Nation, do be­gin to argue for Liberty, for Moderation from the same Topick; I do not say that the argument was well applyed, or that it was ever, or ever will be the real Interest of the Nation, or of any other Nation to be Severe towards all that differ from the Establish'd way: God in giving Nations Christian Princes; doth not give those Princes for this Reason, because they are Christians, a Power to do Evil; no; by being Christians they have an advantage to do the more Good, but they have never the more Power to perse­cute or do Evil; but if wise Men do sometimes argue for Severity and Restraint, and in a little time after against Severity from the Interest of the Nation, then it follows that either the Interest of Nations may Vary, and so Indeed it may, or else Wise Men do change their Minds and are not all­ways wise; and therefore neither by the one or the other have we any great security, and it being so there is no­thing that we can with more safety trust to under God, than the diligent performance of our Duty, that will secure our Liberty if any thing shall do it; for if we Willingly diligent­ly and painfully Preach as we are able, and as we have an Op­portunity and a call, and yet should happen to be restrain'd as before, than it will appear that God took it from us; but 'tis to be hoped that God will not, for ordinarily he doth not punish as a Soveraign, but as a Just Judge provoked by our Sins. The way therefore to preserve our Liberty is to do our Duty.

Besides the losing the opportunity, we should fear to lose the Disposition of Mind to perform our Duty; this by Neligence [Page 32] will be lost or abated, as tools not used will Rust, and In­struments of Musick laid aside will grow out of Tune, but if we persist in our Duty, that will dispose us to it, and by this means our work will be the more easy and delightfull to us; and this is the way to profit the People and to be Successfull in our labours, for the more we stand affected to our Duty, the more we shall be in earnest with the People, without which the Ministry seldom succeeds; and then when we can discern that some Good is done, that will again put Life into us; a Willing Mind in the Minister is most likely to beget a Willing Mind in the People, and by this means the one will mutually assist the other: However, if success do not attend (as alas! it doth not in some places) yet there is that which may relieve us in that case; our reward is with the Lord, to whom, whatever the Issue be, we shall be a sweet savour, this is our last relief, the eying the Reward, the Ministerial Reward; which if we believe and consider, will help us to be Stedfast and unmoveable, and to abound in the Work of the Lord, whilst we know that (though as to men it may be much Fruitless, yet) it shall not be in vain in the Lord.

FINIS.

ERATA.

PAge 1. line ult. for Expose read Express. p. 4, l. 30. for For, r. From. p. 8. l. 9. after stick add but. p. 12. l. 16. after He, add that. l. 18. after singular add or. p. 13, l. 7. for When r. which. p. 14. l. 25, for Swavitys, r. Suavitys. l. 32. after Neglect, add is. p. 15. l. 17. for And. r. is.

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