Catechistical Guide TO SINNERS, And to such CONVERTS that are Babes in Christ.

Wherein all the necessary Points of Re­ligion are methodically proposed in Scripture-Language, abundantly con­firmed by the Holy Scriptures, and in some Places concisely expounded.

In the whole, all Controversies are warily shunn'd: So that all true Christians, of what Persuasion soever, may (if they need the help of others) use this Catechism for their Children, or others that are under their Power and Care.

Written upon request, by a lover of Truth and Peace.

London, Printed by J. D. to be sold by Fr. Smith at the Elephant and Castle in Cornhil, and W. Crook at the Green-Dragon without Temple-Bar: 1680.


THe Author of this Catechisti­cal Discourse was well aware, that the World abounds with Catechisms, and himself had read and consider'd very many of them, written not only in our English; but in the La­tin and Greek Tongues, and yet he was perswaded there was somewhat wanting, which he has, with great in­dustry and accuracy, endeavour'd to supply. And I am perswaded, whoever he be that reads this with considerati­on, will find it well worth his labour: for thô he may thereby add nothing to his Knowledg, yet he may be well pleas'd to see the necessary things of Christian Religion deliver'd in so plain a Method, so distinctly, and with such pertinency of Scripture-Proofs. In all which, and especially in [Page]the last, it is too usual to be defective. Yea, even Scripture-Catechisms, wherein the Answers to the Questions are made wholly in Scripture Sentences, are too often found faulty in that kind. He has (as he tells you in his Title Page) warily shunn'd all controverted Points, that so he might shew that one may be a true Christian without determining them, and that Children, and weak Persons of all Parties, may be instruc­ted in all things necessary to Salvation without medling with them; that so (as the Apostle says) He that is weak may be receiv'd, but not to doubt­ful Disputations. Surely if this were diligently perform'd, it would tend much to the promoting of Peace and Love among Christians.

A Catechistical Guide, &c.
The First Part.
Setting forth the Christian Religion in general.

Quest. WHat is the best and chiefest thing we are to learn?

Answ. The best and chiefest thing we are to learn, is, That Doctrine which teacheth us to know God, and Jesus Christ.

Quest. What do you mean by this name, God?

Answ. By this name [God] I mean, [Page 2]Him, who is the most High, and chiefest Lord, Ruler, and Governour of all things.

Quest. What mean you by these names, Jesus Christ?

Answ. By these names, Jesus Christ, I mean, The only Son of God, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, and born of a Virgin.

Quest. Where may we find this Do­ctrine that teacheth us to know God, and Jesus Christ?

Answ. This Doctrine that teacheth us to know God, and Jesus Christ, we may find in the Holy Scriptures of the Old Testament and the New; but especially in the Holy Scriptures of the New Testament, or Covenant.

[Jesus Christ said to the Jews; Search the Scriptures, for in them ye think ye have eternal Life, and they are they which testify of me, John 5.39. Luke testifieth of those of Berea thus; These were more noble than those of Thessalonica; in that they received the Word with all readiness of mind, and searched the Scriptures daily, whether these things were so, &c. Act. 17.11. The Apostle Paul [Page 3]saith thus to Timothy; Continue thou in the things which thou hast learned, and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them: and that from a Child thou hast known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto Salvation, through Faith which is in Christ Jesus. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for Do­ctrine, for Reproof, for Correction, for Instru­ction in Righteousness; that the Man of God may be perfect, thorowly furnished unto all good works, 2 Tim. 3.14, 15, 16, 17. Thus St. Luke begins his History of Jesus Christ: Forasmuch as many have taken in hand to set forth in order a Declaration of those things which are most surely believed among us, even as they delivered them unto us, which from the beginning were Eye-witnesses and Ministers of the Word: It seemed good to me also, having had perfect understanding of all things from the very first, to write unto thee in order, most excellent Theophilus, that thou mightest know the certainty of those things wherein thou hast been instructed, Luke 1.1, &c. Thus the Apostle John saith of his Gospel: These things are written, that ye might believe that Je­sus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that be­lieving ye might have life through his Name, John 20.21. The same John in his first Epistle hath this saying: That which we have [Page 4]seen and heard, declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us; and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ. And these things write we unto you that your joy may be full, 1 Joh. 1.3, 4. see Chap. 5.13. Ephes. 3.3, 4. 1 Tim. 3.14, 15. 1 Pet. 5.12. 2 Pet. 1.12, 13.]

* Quest. But why do you say that this Doctrine is to be found, especially in the Holy Scriptures of the New Testa­ment?

* Answ. It may be said, That the Do­ctrine which teacheth us to know God, and Jesus Christ, is to be found especially in the Scriptures of the New Testament, for these causes.

1. Because that of this Doctrine which was hidden in the Old Testa­ment, and there contained in a My­stery, is in the New Testament open­ed and revealed.

2. Because the New Testament is an History of many things, which we are to believe as already done; which in the Old Testament are only pro­phesied of, and promised.

3. Because there are some things added in the New Testament, which are not to be found in the Old.

[Rom. 16. v. 25, 26, 27. Now to him that is of power to establish you according to my Go­spel, and the preaching of Jesus Christ (ac­cording to the revelation of the Mystery, which was kept secret since the World began; but now is made manifest, and by the Scriptures of the Prophets, according to the Commandment of the everlasting God, made known to all Nati­ons for the obedience of Faith) to God only wise be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen. Luke 24 24, &c. And Jesus said unto them, These are the words which I spake unto you, while I was yet with you, that all things must be fulfilled which are written in the Law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms concerning me. Then opened he their understandings, that they might understand the Scriptures; And said unto them, Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Christ to suffer, and to rise from the Dead the third day, &c. See Acts 13.36, &c. 1 Pet. 1.10, &c. 1 Cor. 11.2, 3.]

Quest. Can you shew me from the Scripture, that the Doctrine there decla­red, teacheth us to know God, and Jesus Christ?

Answ. Yes; for Jesus Christ him­self in his Prayer to the Father, said; This is Life Eternal, [that is, This is that which the Doctrine, that hath the promise of Eternal Life, does teach and require for the obtaining of Eternal Life, to wit] that they may know thee the only truly God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent, Joh. 17.3.

Quest. Well: But what does Jesus Christ here intend by Mens knowing him who is the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent?

Answ. To know him who is the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent, is (according to Christ's intendment here) not only to under­stand or apprehend, that which must be known concerning him, who is the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent; but also, to love them as such, or according to such a know­ledg of them to acknowledg them.

* Quest. But how can you prove that Jesus Christ here intendeth such a know­ledg as this?

* Answ. That Jesus Christ here in­tendeth such a knowledg of things necessary to be known concerning the only true God, and him whom he hath sent, which has a suitable love to them, or answerable acknowledg­ment of them joined therewith, I am able clearly to prove, and that abundantly.

* Quest. The proof of this being very needful, I am willing to hear it, and therefore I now ask you, How it may be confirmed?

Answ. First, I shall offer this; That these Phrases or Expressions, To know God, and To know Jesus Christ, are oftentimes so used in the Holy Scrip­tures: Whence I gather, that it is not strange so to accept and take them here; Hos. 53.4. Tit. 1.16. Jer. 9.3. Ch. 31.34. Heb. 8.11. Dan. 11.32. Hos. 2.20. Joh. 15.21. Ch. 17.25. 1 Thess. 4.5. Psal. 36.10. Job 18.21. Isa. 53.11. 1 John 2.3, 4. Ch. 4.6.

* Quest. You do well to infer no more, seeing these Phrases are fre­quently [Page 8]restrained to a meer know­ledg or notion of God and Christ; or for knowledg as distinct from Love and Acknowledgment: Yea, some­times they are said to know God, and to know Christ, who have only the means of knowing them, Rom. 1.21. Joh. 8.28. But what ground have you to conclude, that in this saying of Christ, Love and Acknowledgment is implied in know­ledg?

* Answ. It plainly appears that Je­sus Christ here intends such a know­ledg as implies in it Love and Ac­knowledgment, if we consider only this, That Christ here declares this to be sufficient for obtaining Eternal Life; namely, To know the Father the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent. Now it is in it self absurd to conceive, that it is enough only to understand and noti­on the Truth concerning God and Jesus Christ.

* Quest. It is so: But have you any thing more to say in confirming it?

* Answ. I shall add this; That the Scriptures declare expresly, that more than meerly to know, or only to understand God and Jesus Christ, is necessary for obtaining Eternal Life. This is so well known, that the citing of places will be needless; notwith­standing I will repeat the saying of the Apostle Paul, Knowledg puffeth up, but Charity [Love] edifieth, 1 Cor. 8.1. The Devils have knowledg of God and Christ, Jam. 2.19. Mar. 1.24. Act. 19.15. And so have some of the worst of Men.

Quest. Seeing it is so as you have said, we may draw up, concerning the Doctrine we are chiefly to learn, these two Propositions:

1. That it teacheth us to know or apprehend him who is the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent.

2. That it teacheth to love or ac­knowledg him who is the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent.

Concerning these two, I desire now to hear from you a general and brief Account what you have learned out of the Holy Scriptures. And first I will ask you some Questions touching the first Proposition. And my first Query shall be this:

What are we to understand by the only true God?

Answ. By the only true God we are to understand, the only Creator and most high Lord, or Governor of all things.

[2 Kings 19.19. Now therefore, O Lord our God, I beseech thee, save us out of his hand, that all the Kingdoms of the Earth may know that thou art the Lord God, even thou only. Jude 4. Certain Men crept in—denying the only Lord God, and our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 King. 19.15. And Hezekiah prayed before the Lord, and said, O Lord God of Israel which dwellest between the Cherubims, thou art the God, even thou alone, of all the Kingdoms of the Earth; thou hast made Heaven and Earth. Isa. 44.24, &c. Thus saith the Lord thy Redeemer, and he that formed thee from the Womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things, that stretcheth forth the Heavens alone, [Page 11]that spreadeth abroad the Earth by my self; that frustrateth the Tokens of the Lyars, &c. Nehem. 9.6, &c. Thou, even thou art Lord alone, thou hast made Heaven, the Heaven of Heavens with all their Host, the Earth and all things that are therein, the Seas and all that is therein; and thou preservest them all, and the Host of Heaven worshippeth thee, &c. Dan. 5.18, &c. O thou King, the most high God gave Nebuchadnezzar thy Father a King­dom, &c. But when his heart was lifted up, and his mind hardned in pride, he was deposed from his Kingly Throne, &c. till he knew that the most high God ruled in the Kingdom of Men, and that he appointeth over it whomsoever he will. Rom. 1.25. They served the Creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen. Matth. 11.25. At that time Jesus answered and said, I thank thee, O Fa­ther, Lord of Heaven and Earth, &c. Psal. 22.18. The Kingdom is the Lords, and he is the Governour among the Nations. Rom. 11.36. Of him, and through him, and to him are all things: to whom be glory for ever. Amen.

Quest. What are we to understand by Him whom the Father hath sent?

Answ. By him whom the Father hath sent, we are to understand him whom the Father hath sent to be [Page 12]the Saviour of the World.

[1 John 4.14. And we have seen, and do testify, That the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the World. John 6.39, 40. And this is the Father's Will, which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day, &c.]

Quest. Now concerning the se­cond Proposition, I shall ask you se­veral Questions; as first, How can you prove from the Scriptures, that we must not only know him who is the only true God, but also love him as such?

Answ. We are not only to know him who is the only true God, but also to love him as such: For it is written, Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord. And thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine Heart, and with all thy Soul, and with all thy Might; Deut. 6.4, 5. Mat. 12.29, 30.

[Knowledg puffeth up, but Love edifieth: And if any Man think that he knoweth any thing, he knoweth nothing yet as he ought to know. But if any Man love God, the same is known of him; 1 Cor. 8.1, 2, 3. see 1 John 4.7, 8.]

Quest. How does our love to God manifest and discover it self?

Answ. Our Love to God discovers it self, by our keeping the Command­ments of God, which require us to trust in him, and live to him, as the only true God.

[Deut. 10.12. And now Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, to walk in all his ways, and to love him; and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy Heart, and with all thy Soul. 1 John 5.3. This is the love of God, that we keep his Commandments. 1 John 4.20. If a Man say, I love God, and hateth his Brother, he is a liar.

Quest. How do you prove from Scripture, that we must not only know him whom God hath sent, but also love him as such?

Answ. I prove it from John 8.42. Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me, for I pro­ceeded forth, and came from God; neither came I of my self, but he sent me.

Quest. How does our love to him [Page 14]whom God hath sent, manifest and discover it self?

Answ. Our love to him whom God hath sent, discovers it self, in our keep­ing his Commandments, which require us to trust in him, and live to him, as one whom God hath sent to be the Saviour of the World.

[John 14.15. If ye love me, keep my Commandments. Vers. 21. He that hath my Commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me. Vers. 23. If a Man love me, he will keep my Words. Vers. 24. He that lo­veth me not, keepeth not my sayings: the Word which ye hear is not mine, but my Fathers which sent me. 1 John 2.3, &c. And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his Com­mandments. He that saith, I know him, and keepeth not his Commandments, is a liar, and the Truth is not in him. But whoso keepeth his Word, in him verily is the love of God perfected: Hereby know we that we are in him.]

Quest. Tell me now what you intend by the Acknowledgment of God, and of Christ, which you have mentioned?

Answ. By the Acknowledgment of God and Christ, I intend nothing [Page 15]else, but that Love now spoken of, as manifested by the keeping of God's Commandments.

Quest. Why do you call this an Ac­knowledgment of God and of Christ?

Answ. I so call it, because they who thus keep the Commandments of God, do indeed acknowledg and confess, That he who sent Jesus Christ is the only true God, and that Je­sus Christ is he whom God hath sent.

Quest. Does the Holy Scripture ex­press it in the same way and manner?

Answ. Yes; and in many places.

[Col. 1.10. Ephes. 4.13. Col. 2.2. 1 Tim. 2.4. Ch. 4.3. 2 Tim. 2.25. Tit. 1.1. 2 Pet. 1.2, 3. Prov. 3.6. 2 Cor. 1.13. 1 Joh. 2.23. Rom. 10.9, 10. 1 King. 8.33. Mat. 10.32. 1 Tit. 1.16. Heb. 3.1. Ch. 4.14. Ch. 10.23.]

Quest. You said, as I remember, in your first Answer, That the best and chiefest thing we are to learn, is the Do­ctrine that teacheth us to know God, and Jesus Christ: But why said you so?

Answ. I said, that the Doctrine [Page 16]which teacheth us to know God, and Jesus Christ, is the best and chiefest thing we are to learn, for this Reason; Be­cause this Doctrine which is Truth, revealeth to us the Promise of Eter­nal Life, and directeth us in the way and means of obtaining this Eternal Life.

Quest. How prove you this?

Answ. I prove it from the words of our Saviour, which we have now been discoursing of, namely, This is Eternal Life, that Men may know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom thou hast sent.

Quest. What do you gather from these words?

Answ. First, I gather from them, that the Doctrine of Christ is a Do­ctrine concerning Eternal Life *.

Secondly; That to know the Fa­ther, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent, is that which is required of us, for obtaining Eternal Life |.

These things are clearly and plen­tifully [Page 17]witnessed in the Holy Scrip­tures.

[* 1 John 5.11. And this is the Record that God hath given to us Eternal Life, and this Life is in his Son. John 12.50. And I know that his Commandment is Life Everlasting. John 6.68. Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of Eternal Life. 2 Tim. 1.10. Our Saviour, Jesus Christ, hath abolished Death, and hath brought Life and Immortality to light, through the Gospel.

| 1 John 2.24, 25. Let that therefore abide in you, which ye have heard from the begin­ning: If that which ye have heard from the beginning shall remain in you, ye shall continue in the Son, and in the Father. And this is the Promise that he hath promised us, even Eternal Life. James 1.12. Blessed is the Man that endureth temptation; for when he is tried, he shall receive the Crown of Life, which the Lord hath promised to them that love him. 1 Cor. 2.9, 10. Eye hath not seen, nor Ear heard, neither have entered into the Heart of Man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him. But God hath revealed them unto us by his Spirit. 1 Pet. 1.8, 9. Whom (to wit, Jesus Christ) having not seen, ye love; in whom though now ye see him not, yet believing, [Page 18]ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory, receiving the end of your Faith, even the Salva­tion of your Souls. 1 Cor. 16.22. If any Man love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be Anathema Maranatha. 1 Thess. 1.8. The Lord Jesus shall take vengeance of them that know not God, and that obey not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Pet. 1.2. Grace and Peace be multiplied unto you, through the knowledg (or acknowledgment) of God, and of Jesus our Lord.]

Quest. What do you conclude of hence?

Answ. I hence conclude, That there is nothing in the World we should so esteem of, and glory in, as the knowledg of God and of Christ.

[Jer. 9.23, 24. Thus saith the Lord, Let not the wise Man glory in his Wisdom, neither let the mighty Man glory in his Might: let not the rich Man glory in his Riches; but let him that glorieth, glory in this, that he under­standeth and knoweth me, that I am the Lord which exercise Loving-kindness, Judgment and Righteousness in the Earth; for in these things I delight, saith the Lord. Phil. 3.7, 8. What things were gain to me, those I counted loss for Christ; yea, doubtless I count [Page 19]all things but loss, for the excellency of the knowledg of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and do count them but dung, that I may win Christ, &c.]

The Second Part.
Treating of Religion in the General, and more particu­larly of the Christian Religion.


Q. YOu having now in the gene­ral shewed the more necessa­ry things, contained in the best of Doctrines, I am willing to hear from you somewhat a more particular (yet brief) account of the same matters; to wit, as concerning God as consi­der'd [Page 20]in Himself, and in his Works: But first I will ask you, What kind of Knowledg we may have concerning these things here in this Life?

A. That we may here have con­cerning God, considered in Himself and in his Works, such a knowledg as is true and sufficient, hath been al­ready proved; but a perfect know­ledg of God, in himself, and in his Works, is not here in this Life attain­able.

[1 Cor. 13.9, &c. We know in part, and we prophesy in part: but when that which is perfect is come, then that which is in part shall be done away. When I was a Child I spake as a Child, I understood as a Child, I thought as a Child: but when I became a Man, I put a­way childish things. For now we see through a glass darkly, but then face to face: Now I know in part, but then shall I know, even as also I am known. Job 11.7, &c. Canst thou by searching find out God? Canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection? It is as high as Heaven, &c. See Job 36.26, &c. Psal. 77.19. Thy way is in the Sea, and thy Path in the great Waters, and thy footsteps are well known. See Psal. 36.5, 6. Eccles. 3.11. [Page 21] No Man can find out the Work that God maketh from the beginning to the end. See Job 37.5. Rom. 11.33. How unsearchable are the Judg­ments of God, and his Ways past finding out.]

Q. What are you taught from the Ho­ly Scriptures concerning God, considered in himself?

A. The Holy Scriptures teach me, concerning God, considered in him­self, these two things, namely, That God is one, and that God is a Spirit.

Q. Where do the Scriptures affirm, That God is one?

A. The Scriptures do in many pla­ces expresly affirm, that God is One, or that there is one God.

[1 Tim. 2.5. There is one God, and one Mediator between God and Men, the Man Christ Jesus. Ephes. 4.6. One God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in you all. See Deut. 6.4. with Mark 12.29. Mal. 2.10. Matth. 19.17. Rom. 3.30. 2 Cor. 8.4.6. Jam. 2.19. Zech. 14.9.]

Q. What are we to understand by this, That there is one God?

A. By this; That there is one God; or, That God is One; we are [Page 22]to understand, that He alone, or He only is God, and that there is no other that hath the same Being, or the same Kingdom as he hath.

[It is affirmed in the Scriptures, that JEHOVAH, (which is the Name of God, Psal. 83.18. Jer. 16.21. Exod. 15.3.) is God alone. Psalm. 86.10. Thou art great, and dost wondrous things; Thou art God alone. See 2 King. 19.15. Isa. 37.16. Neh. 9.6. That he only is God, 2 King. 19.19. Thou art the Lord God, even thou only. Isa. 37.20. That he is the only true God. John 17.3. see Jude v. 4. That there is no God else. Isa. 46.9. Remember the former things of old; for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me. See 1 Kings 8.6. That there is no God besides him. Isa. 44.6. Thus saith the Lord, the King of Israel, and his Re­deemer, the Lord of Hosts, I am the First, and I am the Last, and besides me there is no God. Vers. 8. Is there a God besides me? Yea, there is no God, I know not any. Isa. 45.5. I am the Lord, there is none else, there is no God be­sides me. See Vers. 6, 14, 21, 22. 1 King. 8.60. Deut. 4.35. 1 Chron. 17.20. That there is no other God. Exod. 34.14. That there is no God with him, Deut. 32.39. 2 King. 5.15. Who is God, save the Lord? 2 Sam. 22.32. Psal. 18.31. That there is no other [Page 23]God but one. 1 Cor. 8.4. Therefore we must have before him no other God. Exod. 20.3. Nor worship another God. Exod. 34.14. Psal. 16.4. & 81.9. But we are to worship Jehovah, and serve him only. Exod. 22.20. Mat. 4.10.]

Q. Why in your Answer were those words added, That there is no other that hath the same Being, or the same Kingdom as he hath?

A. They were added, to shew more distinctly and expresly, that God is alone both in his Being and King­dom, and that there is no other that hath with him, either the same Na­ture, or the same Majesty and Au­thority.

[By the Being and Kingdom of God we here intend the same which the Apostle Paul in Rom. 1.20. expresseth thus; His eternal Power and Godhead.

These things are plainly held forth in the Holy Scriptures.

First; God as to his Being or Nature is One or Alone. What he is in this respect no other is. He is therefore said to be One Je­hovah, or Lord, Deut. 6.4. Mark 12.29. Hence is that saying of Christ to the young [Page 24]Man that called him, Good Master. Why (saith Jesus) callest thou me Good? There is none good but One, that is, God, Mat. 19.16, 17. For the same God is said to be only wise, Rom. 16.27. 1 Tim. 1.17. Jud. v. 25. and alone to have Immortality, 1 Tim. 6.16.

Secondly; God in respect of his Kingdom and Government, is One or Alone, There is no other that is such a King, Lord, or Governor as he. Deut. 32.39. See now, (saith the Lord) that I, even I am he, and there is no God with me: I kill, and I make a­live; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. 1 Tim. 6.15. He is the only Potentate. Jam. 4.12. There is one Law-giver who is able to save, and to destroy. Psal. 72.18. Blessed be the Lord God, the God of Israel; who only doth won­drous things. Isa. 43.11. I, even I am the Lord, and beside me there is no Saviour. See Hos. 13.4. 1 Cor. 12.6. It is the same God that worketh all in all. In both re­spects God testifies of him, That there is none like unto him, Isa. 46.9. Thus the Saints have profest concerning him. 1 Sam. 2.2. There is none holy as the Lord; for there is none beside thee: neither is there any Rock like our God. Exod. 15.11. Who is like unto thee among the Gods? [or mighty Ones] who is like thee, glorious in Holiness, fearful in Praises, [Page 25]doing Wonders? See Exod. 8.10. Deut. 32.26. 1 King. 8.23. Psal. 35.10. & 86.8. & 89.8. & 113.5. Mich. 7.18.]

Q. Are not some others, even in a good sense, called Gods in the Holy Scriptures?

A. Yes; both Angels and Men. And indeed some of both may not only be called Gods, but also may in a good sense be Gods, but not in that sense as the Lord our God is.

[1 Cor. 8.4, 5, 6. We know that an Idol is nothing in the World, and that there is none other God but one. For though there be that are called Gods, whether in Heaven or in Earth, (as there be Gods many, and Lords many) but to us there is but [one God] the Father, of whom are all things, and we in [for] him, and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.]

Q. But who are they that in a good sense may be called Gods?

A. They in a good sense may be called Gods, first, who in some Im­ployment are instead of God: Se­condly, They who in Government are the Sons of God.

[Such, both Men and Angels, who in some Imployment from God, are to others [Page 26]instead of God, may be called by the very Name of the most high God. As for in­stance; in Exod. 7.1. The Lord saith to Moses, See I have made thee a God [Elohim] to Pharaoh; that is, instead of God, as it is exprest in Exod. 4.16. The Angel of the Lord appeared unto Moses in the flame of a Fire out of the midst of a Bush; Exod. 3.2. This An­gel is called, in vers. 4. Jehovah, and Elo­him; or, as we english it, The Lord and God. Also they who in Government over others are the Sons of the most High, are called Gods. See Psal. 82.1, 6. God stand­eth in the Congregation of the Mighty: he judg­eth among the Gods.—I have said, Ye are Gods; and [even] all of you are Children [Sons] of the most High. John 10.32, &c. Jesus answered them, Many good Works have I shewed you from my Father; for which of these Works do ye stone me? The Jews answered him, saying, For a good Work we stone thee not, but for Blasphemy, because that thou being a Man, makest thy self God. Jesus answered them, Is it not written in your Law, I said, Ye are Gods? If he called them Gods, unto whom the Word of God came, and the Scrip­ture cannot be broken: Say ye of him whom the Father hath sanctified and sent into the World, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God? In Psal. 8.5. we read [Page 27]thus; Thou hast made him a little lower than the Angels: In the Hebr. 'tis, than the Gods. Here, and in the like places, a single Person is not Elohim, but Eloah, which is some­times used of the most High; as in Psalm. 18.32. Job 12.4.

Now the great God is in distinction from these, sometimes called, The God of Gods, and Lord of Lords, Deut. 10.17. Josh. 22.22. Psal. 136.2. Dan. 11.36. (Chap. 2.42.) And he is said to be greater than all Gods, and above all Gods, Psal. 135.5. He is also said to be high above all the Earth, and exalted far above all Gods, Psalm. 97.9. He is called, The high God, Psalm. 78.35, 56. The most High, Numb. 24.16. Deut. 32.8. 2 Sam. 22.14. Dan. 4 17. and elsewhere often; and in Acts 7.48. The most High God, Gen. 14.18. Heb. 7.1. and elsewhere often. The Lord the most high God, Gen. 14.22. The Lord most High, Psal. 47.2. In Psal. 83.18. That Men may know, that thou whose Name alone is JEHOVAH, art the most High over all the Earth. See Dan. 5.21. In the place now quoted, the same word is rendred, High, and most High.]

Q. You said, That God is a Spirit; How prove you that?

A. Jesus Christ himself hath [Page 28]taught us, That God is a Spirit, Joh. 4.24.

[Jesus saith unto the Woman of Sama­ria, Woman, believe me, the hour cometh, when ye shall neither in this Mountain, nor yet at Jerusalem, worship the Father; ye worship ye know not what. We know what we worship; for Salvation is of the Jews. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true Worshippers shall worship the Father in Spirit, and in Truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. God is a Spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in Spirit and in Truth, John 4.21, 22, 23, 24.]

Q. What must we understand by this, That God is a Spirit?

A. By this, That God is a Spirit, we must understand two things in the general: First, That God is more ex­cellent than all things. Secondly, That the Spirit of Man may be unto us in some manner, a Shadow of God.

[Although Method challengeth this place for the confirmation of this, That God is said to be a Spirit, in way of allu­sion to the Spirit of Man; yet the proof of it shall be reserved for the close of this Dis­course concerning God, as consider'd in [Page 29]himself, where it may be done more easily, and in fewer words.

The Excellency of God is diversly ex­pressed in the Holy Scriptures. In 2 Pet. 1.17. He is called, The Excellent Glory. In the Scripture there is ascribed to God, Ex­cellency, Deut. 33.26. Job 13.11. Ch. 37.4. Psal. 68.34. Isa. 35.2. Greatness of Excel­lency, Exod. 15.7. He is said to be excellent in Power, Job 37.23. More excellent than the Mountains of Prey, Psal. 76.4. O Lord our God, how excellent is thy Name in all the Earth! who hast set thy Glory above the Hea­vens, Psal. 8.1. Let them praise the Name of the Lord, for his Name alone is excellent. His Glory is above the Earth and Heaven, Psal. 148.13. In the same sence he is cal­led, the great God, Tit. 2.13. Rev. 19.17. Dan. 2.45. Jer. 32.19. Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised; and his greatness is unsearchable, Psal. 145.3. There is none like to the God of Jesurun, Deut. 33.26. And Solomon said, Lord God of Israel, there is no God like thee, in Heaven above, or on Earth beneath, 1 King. 8.23. All Nations before the Lord are as nothing, and they are counted to him less than nothing and vanity. To whom then will ye liken God? or, what likeness will ye compare unto him?—To whom then will ye liken me? Or shall I be equal, saith the [Page 30]Holy One? Isa. 40.17, 18, 25. To whom will ye liken me, and make me equal, and compare me, that we may be like? Isa. 46.5. Who in the Heaven can be compared unto the Lord? Who among the Sons of the Mighty can be like­ned unto the Lord? Psal. 89.6. As the Hea­vens are higher than the Earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts, Isa. 55.9. But will God in­deed dwell on the Earth? Behold, the Heaven, and the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain thee, how much less this House that I have builded? 1 King. 8.27. See Jer. 23.23, 24. Acts 7.49.

But how may we gather that God is thus excellent from his being called a Spirit? Thus; Jesus Christ here discovers the Divine Nature, by the most excellent thing that is vulgarly known, to wit, the Spirit of Man: Hereby he plainly signifies the Excellency of God. And in that he discovers this Ex­cellency, not as it is in it self, but by a Sha­dow, he clearly intimates, that this Excel­lency of God is such, and so exceeding great, that we now cannot perceive the same, as it is in it self, being far above the present strength of our Understanding, and way of Knowledg.

The like we are to observe in many other scriptural forms of Speech, concerning some [Page 31]things that are Spiritual, and those things that pertain to another World. See John 3.10, 11, 12. It was said, That the Spi­rit of Man may be unto us in some manner, a Shadow of God. It is necessary thus to conceive, for otherwise, the term Spirit would here signifie nothing at all: for it cannot be taken in its proper signification here, and can in no other be accepted, but in that we call Metaphorical.]

Q. Whence does it appear that God is more excellent than all things?

A. It appears that God is more ex­cellent than all things: First, From his Almightiness. Secondly, From his Eternity. Thirdly, From his Hap­piness or Blessedness. For the Scrip­tures declare him to be Almighty, and to be Eternal, and to be Happy or Blessed.

[God is called by the Name of The Al­mighty, Job 40.1, 2. Moreover, the Lord an­swered Job and said; Shall he that contendeth with the Almighty, instruct him? He that re­proveth God, let him answer it, Job 37.23. Touching the Almighty, we cannot find him out; he is excellent in Power and in Judgment, and in plenty of Justice. So elsewhere often.

He is also called, The Almighty God, Gen. 17.1. I am the Almighty God. And else­where often also, The Lord Almighty, 2 Cor. 6.18. And I will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be my Sons and Daughters, saith the Lord Almighty. Also, The Lord God Al­mighty, Rev. 21.22. And I saw no Temple therein; for the Lord God Almighty, and the Lamb, are the Temple of it.

He is called the Eternal God, Deut. 33.27. and the Everlasting God, Gen. 21.33. Rom. 16.26. See Isa. 57.15. Both his Almighti­ness and Eternity are mentioned together; Rev. 4.8. They said, Holy, holy, holy, Lord God Almighty, which was, and is, and is to come. Also in other places he is called, The happy or blessed God, 1 Tim. 1.11. The happy, or blessed Potentate, 1 Tim. 6.15.]

Q. What are we to conceive by this, That God is Almighty?

A. By this, that God is Almighty, we are to conceive, that God needeth not any thing; that he can do every thing, which is neither wicked nor unequal; that he does whatsoever he pleaseth, and is one, of whom, by whom, and for whom are all things.

[Acts 17.24, 25. God that made the World, and all things therein, seeing that he is Lord of Heaven and Earth, dwelleth not in Temples made with hands: Neither is worship­ped with Mens hands, as though he needed any thing, seeing he giveth to all life, and breath, and all things. Job 22.1, &c. Can Man be profitable unto God? &c. Job 42.1, 2. Then Job answered the Lord, and said, I know that thou canst do every thing, and that no thought of thine can be hindred. Matth. 3.9. God is able of these Stones to raise up Children unto Abraham. Luke 1.37. With God no­thing is impossible. Mat. 19.26. With God all things are possible. Here understand things that are not wicked, nor unequal: For it is impossible for God to lie, Heb. 6.18. He cannot lie, Tit. 1.2. He cannot deny him­self, 2 Tim. 2.13. Far be it from God that he should do wickedness, and from the Al­mighty, that he should commit Iniquity: for the Work of a Man shall he render unto him, and cause every Man to find according to his ways. Yea surely God will not do wickedly, neither will the Almighty pervert Judgment, Job 34.10, 11, 12. God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any Man, Jam. 1.13. see Psal. 5.4. 1 Chron. 29.17. God does whatsoever he pleaseth. Psalm. 115.3. Our God is in Heaven, he hath done whatsoever he [Page 34]pleased. Psal. 135.6. Whatsoever the Lord pleased, that did he in Heaven and in Earth, and in the Seas, and in all deep places. Isa. 46.10. My Counsel shall stand, and I will do all my pleasure. Isa. 48.14. Hear the words of Nebuchadnezzar concerning God; All the Inhabitants of the Earth are reputed as nothing: and the most High doth according to his Will in the Armies of Heaven, and among the Inhabitants of the Earth: and none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What dost thou? Dan. 4.25. See Isa. 55.11. God is he, of whom, by whom, and for whom are all things, Rom. 11.36. 1 Cor. 11.12. 2 Cor. 5.18. Heb. 2.10.]

Q. What are we to conceive by this, That God is Eternal?

A. By this, That God is Eternal, we are to conceive, that God is from everlasting to everlasting, and always the same.

[Psal. 90.2. Before the Mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the Earth and the World; even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God. See Isa. 43.10. & 44.6. & 48.12. and elsewhere. He is from Everlasting, or from Eternity; or, as we express it, without beginning: Psal. 93.2. Thou art from Everlasting. In this [Page 35]sense he is called, The Everlasting God; Isa. 40.28. He is to Everlasting, or to Eter­nity; or, as we express it, without Ending: He shall endure for ever, Psalm. 102.13. See Psal. 92.8. Hence he is said to be Ʋncorrup­tible, Rom. 1.23. Immortal, 1 Tim. 1.17. and alone to have Immortality, 1 Tim. 6.16. He is always the same, Psal. 102.26, 27. Heb. 1.11, 12.—They shall perish, but thou shalt endure; yea all of them shall wax old like a Garment, &c. But thou art the same, and thy Years shall have no end. Jam. 1.17. With the Father of Lights is no variableness, neither shadow of turning. Mal. 3.6. I am the Lord, I change not.]

Q. What may we conceive by this, That God is Happy or Blessed?

A. By this, That God is Happy or Blessed, we may conceive that God hath full and eternal Satisfaction, Joy, and Pleasure in his own Self, and in his own Works.

Q. You having now spoken of the first Reason, Why God is said to be a Spirit, namely, Because he is more excellent than all things, it remains that you speak of the second Reason, which was this, Because the Spirit of [Page 36]Man may be unto us, in some manner, a shadow of God; whence we may have somewhat a more particular con­ception of him: Wherefore I now ask you, In what the Spirit of Man may be unto us, in some manner, a sha­dow of God?

A. The Spirit of Man may be un­to us, in some manner, a shadow of God, in that we may thence conceive, in some manner, what God is not, and what he is.

Q. What do you thence conceive, That God is not?

A. I thence conceive, That God is not more than One, and that God is not visible; for the Spirit of Man is but one, and is not visible.

[Concerning God, as being but One, we have already spoken.

He is not visible, therefore called, The Invisible God, Col. 1.15. 1 Tim. 1.17. His Eternal Power and Godhead are said to be the Invisible things of God, Rom. 1.20. He is said to dwell in the Light which no Man can approach unto, and to be one, whom no Man hath seen, nor can, see [Page 37]1 Tim. 6.16. It is said, Heb. 11.27. That Moses saw him that was Invisible: that is, He saw God by the Eyes of his Mind, who was not to be seen by the Eyes of his Body. But it is said of some, That they have seen God face to face, as in Gen. 32.30. Numb. 14.14. In these, and the like places, we must un­derstand, by the Name God, an Angel that did represent him. This appears by com­paring Gen. 32.30. with vers. 24. and Hos. 12.4. Thus Manoah said to his Wife, concerning him whom he knew to be an Angel of the Lord, We shall surely die, be­cause we have seen God, [Elohim.] Judg. 13.22. There is a seeing of God wherein our happiness lies, and is attainable only in ano­ther World. Mat. 5.8. Blessed are the pure in heart; for they shall see God. Then the Sons of God shall see him as he is, and face to face, 1 Joh. 3.2. 1 Cor. 13.12.]

Q. What do you conceive that God is, from this shadow of him the Spirit of Man?

A. Although we cannot know here, what God is, as he is: yet may we here have such a knowledg of what he is, as is sufficient for us; and this from the shadow of him, the [Page 38]Spirit of Man, consider'd in its na­tural Powers, and acquired Vertues.

Q. But are we after the same man­ner to conceive of the Divine Nature, as of the Powers and Vertues of an hu­mane Spirit?

A. No, in no wise; for in all we must consider God, as Almighty, E­ternal, and Happy or Blessed, and as one whom we cannot here know as he is.

Q. What after this manner may we conceive of God, from his Shadow, the Spirit of Man?

A. The Powers of a Man's Spirit, endowed with their proper Vertues, may be considered in a respect to in­ward and outward Actings, and so the eternal Power of God may be sha­dowed forth thereby.

Q. What are those Powers of an hu­mane Spirit, which as respecting inward Actings, and which as endued with Ver­tues, may shadow forth unto us the Na­ture of God?

A. These Powers are those which [Page 39]we commonly call the Understanding and the Will.

Q. What do you conceive concerning God, from that in the Spirit of Man, which we call the Ʋnderstanding?

A. I conceive thence, that God who is Eternal and Almighty, hath Knowledg and Wisdom, wherein he excelleth all others, as being perfect in both, and having no Instructor nor Counsellor with him, but is the giver of all Knowledg and Wisdom.

[God hath Knowledg, Wisdom, and Understanding. He is a God of Know­ledg, [or Knowledges] 1 Sam. 2.3. See Psal. 139. & Psal. 103.14. With him is Wis­dom and Strength; he hath Counsel and Understanding, Job 12.13. Rev. 7.12.

God excelleth all others in Knowledg and Wisdom, for he is perfect therein, Job 37.16. There is no searching of his Understanding, Isa. 40.28. O the depth of the Riches both of the Wisdom and Knowledg of God! Rom. 11.33. He knoweth all things, 1 Joh. 3.20. He knoweth the Hearts, and the secrets thereof, 1 Chron. 28.9. Acts 15.8. Psal. 44.21. & 94.11. Luke 16.15. Times are not hid from the Almighty, Job 24.1. He [Page 40]knoweth not only things present, but also things past, having them in remembrance, Psal. 105.8. Yea things to come, Isa. 43.22, 23, 26. & 44.7, 8. & 48.3, 5, 6, 7, 14, &c. God hath no In­structor nor Counsellor with him; that is, the Knowledg and Wisdom of God are from no other, Job 21.22. Isa. 40.13, 14. All the Knowledg and Wisdom that others have is from God, Eccles. 2.26. and elsewhere.]

Q. What do you conceive concerning God, from that in the Spirit of Man, which we call the Will?

A. I conceive thence, That God who is Eternal and Almighty, hath a Will, and so, that he can purpose, intend, love, hate, and the like, and so only as he who is the only Wise, Holy, Good, and Righteous God.

[A Will, and the Act of Willing, is ascri­bed to God, Gal. 1.4. Heb. 2.4. The Scrip­ture mentions the Intents of his Heart, Jer. 30.21. and he is often said to purpose, to love, to hate, &c. He can no otherwise purpose, and the like, &c. than according to his own Nature, who is the only Wise, Holy, Good, and Just or Righteous God. Rom. 16.27. Rev. 15.4. Mat. 19.17. Isa. 45.21. He is Light [that is, most Pure, Holy, [Page 41]and Righteous] and in him is no darkness at all, 1 John 1.5. He is Love, that is, most Loving, 1 John 4.8.]

Q. You having now shewed, That the Eternal Power of God, may in some manner be shadowed forth, by that Power which the Spirit of Man hath for inward Actings; Now what do you conceive of God, from that Power which the Spirit of Man hath for out­ward Actings; for it is the Spirit that gives Life to the Body; and this hath a Power over the Body, and is the princi­pal cause of its motions?

A. I conceive thence, that the Eternal and Almighty God, hath a Power whereby he is able to do what­soever he pleaseth.

[Of this Power the Scriptures often speak, as in Mat. 22.29. 2 Cor. 13.4. Exod. 9.16. Rom. 9.17. Luke 12.5. Ephes. 3.20. And it is there called, The Word of God, the Breath, or Spirit of God, the Hand of God, the Arm of God, and the like, as in Isa. 55.11. Zech. 4.6. Psal. 89.13. Isa. 50.2.

By this Power God is able to do whatso­ever he will, Dan. 3.17. Mat. 3.9. Rom. 4.21. [Page 42] Ephes. 3.20. Heb. 5 7. & 11.19. For God is excellent in Power, Job 37.23. O Lord God of Hosts, who is a strong Lord like unto thee? Psal. 89.8. None is able to withstand him, 2 Chron 20.6. The Breath of the Al­mighty hath given me Life, Job 33.4. In the Lord Jehovah is everlasting strength, Isa. 26.4. My Counsel shall stand, and I will do all my Pleasure, Isa. 46.10.]

Q. What have you further to say concerning God, from this shadow of him the Spirit of Man?

A. I am taught to add no more, but to conclude, That this God who is a Spirit, is the Living and true God.

[God is often called the Living God, Psal. 42.2. Mat. 16.16. The living and true God, 1 Thess. 1.9. Now because the con­firmation of this, That God is said to be a Spirit, in allusion to the Spirit of Man, was reserved for this place, I shall therefore here perform it: And although my Discourse thereof will be contracted to that brevity the Tract in hand does require, yet I hope it will give satisfaction to all that are unpre­judiced and considerate.

In this saying, God is a Spirit; the term Spirit must be udderstood either properly or improperly; not properly, for so it denoteth [Page 43]Wind, or rather a Blast (to wit) of Wind, as the word answering it in Hebrew is ren­dred, 2 King. 19.7. And thus it is used John 3.8. The Wind bloweth where it listeth. In an improper sense 'tis not imaginable how it should be accepted, unless metapho­rically. And thus it cannot be taken im­mediately from its primary signification; and therefore must have respect, either to those incorporeal Beings, which from their Office are commonly called Angels; or the principal and more noble part of Man, both which are named Spirits or Ghosts, as bear­ing some resemblance in respect of invisibi­lity and might to Blasts, or Ghosts, or Gusts of Wind. Now it is altogether un­likely, that our Saviour, especially in speak­ing to a Woman of Samaria, should in this term Spirit, allude to Angelical Spirits, it being a matter much to be doubted, whether these Creatures were at this time known to any in the World (unless a few) by the name of Spirits. But however this is cer­tain, That such a Metaphor or Comparison would have been, when used by our Savi­our, of little or no use at all in the World; for that there were any such Beings, that were Spirits or incorporeal Substances, was a thing not generally known in the World, and denied by a considerable Party among [Page 44]the Jews themselves: for, as we read Acts 23.8. The Sudduces say, That there is no Re­surrection, neither Angel nor Spirit; That is to say, no Angel which is a Spirit, or incor­poreal Substance: For 'tis not imaginable that the Sadduces, who owned the five Books of Moses, should deny that there were any Angels, there being in those Writings so evident and frequent mention of them: but 'tis easily conceivable, that they might deny Angels to be incorporeal, in that the History of Moses does often speak of their appearance with Bodies, like unto Men: But that which fully and clearly determines the Matter, is that which follows in the Text; namely these words, but the Phari­sees confess both. Whence it appears that the preceeding words contain in them no more than two things denied by the Sadduces, which cannot be, unless my Interpretation be admitted: for they must needs be three, if we distinguish betwixt Angel and Spirit, as different Subjects; as any may reckon that can but tell three; for Resurrection, An­gel, and Spirit, must needs be three. My Exposition may also be defended from that which follows in vers. 9. and from the Ab­surdities which will follow the denial of it. But to return, I say, That if our Saviour, by the term Spirit, intended an allusion to [Page 45]Angels, the word would import little or no­thing at all; For what could Men conceive thence concerning God? That he is not corporeal? Be it so. Notwithstanding this is certain, that some would not thence so conceive; and that at least the Woman of Samaria, and others of the vulgar sort, could hardly, if at all, find any such docu­ment in the similitude. But what else could Men from this Metaphor learn concerning God? Little else upon any clear and un­doubted evidence, the nature of these Spi­rits being so little known by the wisest of Men. Surely our Saviour intended in this Metaphor, a clear and plentiful instruction concerning God, and for the use of the vulgar sort. Whence I conclude, that Je­sus has not respect here to Angelical Spirits in this Comparison, but to the Spirit of Man. In this sense the Comparison is suited to vulgar Capacities: for there is no Man but experimentally knows that he has a Spirit. And there is nothing vulgarly known in the whole Creation of God, that does excel, or may be equal to humane Spi­rits. And moreover, this noble part of Man passeth commonly under this name of Spirit. How fruitful of instruction the Si­militude is, as thus understood, hath al­ready in some measure been shewed. It [Page 46]only remains, that I shew how well this sense of the term Spirit agrees with the Context. This in as few words as may be, thus:

To what the Woman of Samaria said, vers. 20. Our Fathers worshipped in this Moun­tain, and ye say, that in Jerusalem is the place where Men ought to worship. To this, I say, our Saviour replies in vers. 21, 22, 23, 24. In this reply we have both a prophetical and doctrinal discovery. For in vers. 21. he fore­tells the destruction of both Temples, that in Jerusalem, and that also in Samaria, and the removal of the Jews and Samaritans out of their own Countries: So that they should not worship in the places about which they contended, what mind soever they might have thereunto. Woman, saith our Savi­our, believe me, the hour cometh when ye shall neither in this Mountain, nor yet at Jerusa­lem, worship the Father. In the next place our Saviour teacheth the Woman divers things of no mean importance. For in re­spect of former times, and the time present he informs her, that in the Controversy now mentioned, the Jews had Truth on their side, and the Samaritans were in a wrong Opinion, and that not only in respect of the place of Worship, but also in the man­ner of worshipping. This Jesus asserteth [Page 47]thus, vers. 22. Ye worship ye know not what; or, ye know not after what manner ye worship; that is, ye Samaritans have no good reason or ground for your way of worshipping, but we Jews know after what manner we worship, having a good ground for worshipping at Jerusalem, by offering Sacrifices there, and for the way of worship­ping. Then our Saviour thus confirmeth it: for Salvation is of the Jews; that is, the Doctrine teaching Men so to worship God as to please him, and obtain Salvation, is from Prophets that are of the Jewish Na­tion. In vers. 23, 24. our Saviour informs the Woman, as to the future time, which was now at hand, these two things.

1. That there must be a new kind of Worshippers, whom he calls True Worship­pers, because typified by, and more excel­cellent than legal Worshippers; and a new way of worshipping, to wit, in Spirit and Truth; that is to say, in such a manner as is different from the legal way, and was ty­pified by it, and which therefore is more excellent. This Worship the Doctrine of the New Covenant teacheth: for this Do­ctrine abrogates the legal Form, and does introduce that Worship, which the legal Worship was a type and shadow of. This new Covenant Doctrine is upon this account [Page 48]called Spirit and Truth, as the Mosaical Doctrine, in relation to it, is called the Let­ter; and is said to have the shadow of good things to come, 2 Cor. 3.6, &c. Joh. 1.17. Heb. 10.1.

2. Our Saviour shews, why such Wor­shippers, and such a way of Worship must be: This he does first barely express in these words, For such the Father seeketh to wor­ship him, vers. 23. Then he briefly explains it, vers. 24. where he discovers;

1. Why the Father seeketh such to wor­ship him. God is a Spirit. Therefore now at length, having a mind to discover him­self more clearly than in times past, he will no longer be worshipped after the more gross and carnal way of the Law, but in a more spiritual and excellent way, yet in such as was prefigured by the Law. This is to wor­ship in Spirit and Truth, i.e. in such a way, as being compared with the legal, does as much differ from it, and excel it, as the Spirit, that is, the signification of a Letter differs from, and excels the Letter it self. The like may be said of a Shadow and its Body; see Rom. 3.29. & 7.6. Col. 3.3.

2. What it is for the Father to seek such to worship him. To seek, is, to command, which is here signified by the moral necessi­ty that Men have of worshipping the Father [Page 49]in Spirit and Truth. And therefore they that worship him, must worship him in Spi­rit and Truth.

Now let the Reader judg.]

CHAP. II. Of God considered in his Works of Creation.

Q. NOw seeing we have discoursed of God as considered in him­self, we are in the next place to dis­course of him as considered in his Works: Wherefore I shall first ask you, What are the Works of God?

A. The Works of God we ought to consider; and althô they are ma­nifold, yet they may be said in the ge­neral to be two-fold; namely, His Work of Creation, and his Work of Government.

[Job 37.14, 16. Eccles. 7.13. Psal. 77.12. & 46.8. & 111.2. Rom. 1.20.]

Q. What is God's Work of Creation?

A. God's Work of Creation, is [Page 50]that Work of his, whereby he hath made Heaven, the Heaven of Heavens, with all their Host; the Earth, and all things that are therein; the Seas, and all that is therein.

[Nehem. 9.6. See Gen. 1. Job 38.4, &c. Psal. 104.5, &c. and 136.5, &c. Thus saith the Lord thy Redeemer, and he that formed thee from the Womb, I am the Lord that maketh all things, that stretcheth forth the Heavens alone, that spreadeth abroad the Earth by my self, Isa. 44.24. Act. 4.24. & 14.15. & 17.24. Rev. 10.6. Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the Heavens, and stretched them out, he that spread forth the Earth, and that which cometh out of it; he that giveth breath unto the People upon it, and Spirit to them that walk therein, Isa. 42.5. See Isa. 45.12, 18. Mark 10.6.]

Q. In what manner did God create the World, and the things that are therein?

A. God by reason of his Will and Pleasure, did in his Wisdom, by his Power, and for himself, make, form, or create in six days, all things, and all very good.

[He created all things by reason of his Will or Pleasure, Rev. 4.11. Thou, O Lord, hast [Page 51]created all things, and for (or by reason of) thy pleasure, they are and were created. See also before.

God created them in his Wisdom. Psal. 104.24. O Lord, how manifold are thy Works! in Wisdom hast thou made them all. Prov. 3.19.20. The Lord by Wisdom hath founded the Earth; by Ʋnderstanding hath he established the Heavens; by his Knowledg the Depths are broken up, and the Clouds drop down the Dew, Psal. 136.5.

He hath created all things by his Power. Jer. 10.12. He hath made the Earth by his Power; he hath established the World by his Wisdom, and hath stretched out the Heavens by his Discretion. Jer. 32.17. Ah Lord God, behold thou hast made the Heaven and the Earth by thy great Power and stretched-out Arm, and there is no­thing too hard for thee; or, nothing hid from thee. See Isa. 40.26. 2 Pet. 3.5. Psal. 33.6. By the Word of the Lord were the Heavens made; and all the Host of them by the breath of his Mouth. Vers. 9. For he spake, and it was done; he commanded, and it stood fast. See Psal. 148.5. Gen. 1.3. God said, Let there be Light, and there was Light. 2 Cor. 4.6. God commanded the Light to shine out of Dark­ness. Job 26.13. By his Spirit he hath gar­nished the Heavens; his Hand hath formed the crooked Serpent. Job 33.4. The Spirit of God [Page 52]hath made me, and the Breath of the Almighty hath given me Life. Prov. 16.1. He made all things for himself. He made all things in six days, and all very good, Gen. 1. and Ch. 2.1, 2. Exod. 20.11.]

Q. What are the principal Creatures that God did make?

A. The principal Creatures that God did make, are Angels and Men.

Q. What have you learn'd concerning the Creation of Men?

A. I have learn'd concerning the creation of Men, That God after he had made all other Creatures, created Man in his own Image, in the Image of God created he him, Male and Female created he them: and that God blessed them, and said unto them, Be fruitful and multiply, and replenish the Earth, and subdue it, and have dominion over the Fish of the Sea, and over the Fowl of the Air, and over every living thing that moveth upon the Earth, Gen. 1.27, 28. Jam. 3.9.

Q. Can you express more distinctly the Creation of Men?

A. Yes; after this manner. The Lord God created at the first only a Man and a Woman, called Adam and Eve. For the Lord God formed the Man [of] the Dust of the Ground, and breathed into his Nostrils the Breath of Life, and the Man became a living Soul. Afterwards the Lord God caused a deep sleep to fall upon Adam, and he slept, and he took one of his Ribs, and closed up the Flesh instead thereof. And of the Rib which the Lord God had taken from the Man, made he a Woman, and brought her to the Man to be his Wife, and a meet help unto him. Of these two have all others of Mankind descended, by that bles­sing, of Multiplying and increasing, which God gave to Adam and his Wife, Gen. 2.7, 18, 21, 22. and 5.1, 2. 1 Cor. 11.8, 9. 1 Tim. 2.13. Job 4.17. & 32.22. & 33.6. & 34.19. Psal. 139.13, &c. Jer. 1.5. Zech. 12.1. Eccles. 11.5. Job 10.8, &c. and 31.15.

CHAP. III. Of God's Work of Government in General; and in Special as re­lating to Angels.

Q. LEt us now speak of God's Work of Government, con­cerning which I shall first ask you this Question; What mean you by God's Work of Government?

A. By God's Work of Govern­ment, I mean, that Work of his, in which by his Power he ruleth and reigneth over all, throughout all Ge­nerations for ever and ever, as Lord of Heaven and Earth, and as a great King above all Gods.

[God ruleth or reigneth (or does exer­cise Dominion and Kingship) over all. Psal. 103.19, &c. The Lord hath prepared his Throne in the Heavens; and his Kingdom ru­leth over all. Bless the Lord, ye his Angels that excel in strength, that do his Commandments; hearkning to the Voice of his Word. Bless the Lord all ye his Hosts; ye Ministers of his that do his [Page 55]pleasure. Bless the Lord, all his Works in all places of his Dominion: Bless the Lord, O my Soul. See Job 25.2, 3. Josh. 2.11. Isa. 66.1.

God by his Power ruleth and reigneth throughout all Generations for ever and ever. Psal. 66.7. He ruleth by his Power for ever; his Eyes behold the Nations. Psal. 145.13. Thy Kingdom is an everlasting Kingdom, [or a Kingdom of all Ages] and thy Dominion endureth throughout all Generations. Psal. 93.2. Thy Throne is established of old, thou art from everlasting. Psal. 10.16. The Lord is King for ever and ever. 1 Tim. 1.17. Now unto the King Eternal, Immortal, Invisible, the only Wise God, be honour and glory for ever and ever. Amen. See Psal. 29.16. Jer. 10.10. Psal. 146.10. Dan. 4.3, 34. Jude 25. 1 Cor. 15.24, 28. Then cometh the end, when he shall have delivered up the Kingdom to God, even the Father, &c. And when all things shall be subdued unto him, then shall the Son also himself be subject unto him, that put all things under him, that God may be all in all.

God ruleth and reigneth as Lord of Hea­ven and Earth, and as a great King above all Gods. Gen. 14.19. The Possessor of Hea­ven and Earth. Deut. 10.14. Behold, the Hea­ven, and the Heaven of Heavens is the Lords thy God; the Earth also, with all that therein is. Psal. 95.3. The Lord is a great God, and [Page 56]a great King above all Gods. See Psal. 97.9. 1 Chron. 29.11, 12. Thine, O Lord, is the Greatness, and the Power, and the Glory, and the Victory, and the Majesty; for all that is in the Heaven and in the Earth is thine: thine is the Kingdom, O Lord, and thou art exalted as Head above all. Both Riches and Honour come of thee, and thou reignest over all, and in thine hand is power and might, and in thine hand it is to make great, and to give strength unto all. 1 Cor. 11.3. But I would have you know that the Head of every Man is Christ; and the Head of the Woman is the Man, and the Head of Christ is God. Psal. 113.4, &c. The Lord is high above all Nations, and his Glory above the Heavens. Who is like unto the Lord our God, who dwelleth on high? who humbleth himself to behold the things that are in Heaven, and in the Earth. 1 Tim. 6.15. He is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. See Psal. 93. & 97. & 99. Psal. 24.7. & 145.12. Rev. 19.6. 2 Chron. 20.6.]

Q. What have you learned more par­ticularly touching God's Government in respect of Angels?

A. Touching God's Government in respect of Angels, I have learned a few things that are more easy and needful to be known: as this in the [Page 57]general, that part of those Spirits, called Angels, having sinned, God spared them not, but cast them down to Hell, and deliver'd them into Chains of Darkness, to be reserved unto Judgment; but that part of those Spirits abode in the Truth, and are now called the Holy Angels, and the like; when the name of Devils, and the like, is given to those that sinned. 2 Pet. 2.4. Jude v. 6. Joh. 8.44. Deut. 32.17. 1 Cor. 10.20. Mat. 25.31.

Q. What have you learned in special concerning those Spirits that sinned not?

A. Concerning those Spirits that sinned not, I have learned, that there is an innumerable company of them, and that God hath made them to be his Angels, [that is, Messengers] and his Ministers in the exercise of his Go­vernment, and hath made them all subject to Jesus Christ, even those that were among them, Thrones and Do­minions; that is, Kings and Lords. Heb. 12.22. Heb. 1.7. 1 Pet. 3.22. Ephes. 1.20.

Q. What have you learned in special concerning those Spirits that sinned?

A. Concerning those Spirits that sinned, I have learned, That their number is very great; that one of them is the Prince or Chief, and that the rest are his Angels. He is called, The Devil, Satan, and the like; who as a roaring Lion walketh about seeking whom he may devour; but is now under the Power of Jesus Christ.

[Mark 5.9. Ephes. 2.2. Mat. 25.41. Mark 1.13. Mat. 12.28. Heb. 2.8, 14. Phil. 2.9, &c. The name Devil signifies a Slanderer, or one that seeks to deceive by lies; and Satan sig­nifies an Adversary. See Rev. 12.9.]

CHAP. IV. Of God's Government relating to Men, before the sin of our first Parents, and thence to the times wherein Christ was raised up.

Q. WHat have you learned more particularly touching God's [Page 59]Government in respect of Men?

A. Touching God's Government in respect of Men, I have learned se­veral things, according to its difference in different times; namely, the time before our first Parents sinned, and the times after it.

Q. What have you been taught con­cerning the Government of God, as it respects the time before our first Parents sinned?

A. Concerning God's Government as relating to the time before our first Parents sinned, I am taught some ge­neral things; namely, That they had for the place of their abode, the Gar­den of Eden, which the Man was to dress and keep; that they had given to them for Meat, every Herb, and the Fruit of all Trees, except the Tree of the Knowledg of Good and Evil, which God forbad them to eat of: Also that they both transgressed this Commandment; the Woman first, be­ing seduced by the Serpent, the Devil; then the Man, whom his Wife drew [Page 60]to eat of the forbidden Fruit. Gen. 1. & 2. & 3. Chapters. 1 Tim. 2.14. 2 Cor. 11.3.

Q. What have you been taught con­cerning the Government of God, as it respects the times after our first Parents had sinned?

A. I am taught in the general, That when Man had sinned, and so became subject to the Judgment of God, then God publish'd his Promise of Christ, whom since he hath raised up; and since by one Man Sin entred into the World, and Death by Sin, and so Death passed upon all Men: The Government of God towards Man is to be consi­dered according to the times in which Christ was promised, and the times af­ter his being raised up. Gen. 3.8, &c. Rom. 3.19. & 5.12. Luk. 1.68, 69, &c. Acts 13.23.

Q. What have you been taught touch­ing God's Government towards Men in the times when Christ was promised?

A. I am taught, That the Govern­ment of God did then respect Mens [Page 61]being in the World, and their seek­ing of God therein, and both in a way agreeable to Men that were sub­jected to a natural Death, and by their sins liable to eternal Death; and in a way suitable to the times before the appearing of our Savi­our Jesus Christ, who hath abolished Death, and hath brought Life and Im­mortality to light by the Gospel. Act. 17.25, &c. Rom. 5.12. & 6.23. Ephes. 2.1, 2. 1 Thess. 1.10. Matth. 11.20, &c. 2 Tim. 1.10.

Q. How did this Government of God respect the Being of Men in the VVorld?

A. This Government did respect Mens Being in the World, in that God gave unto them places wherein to live, and supplies for the sustaining of their Lives, and the maintaining of good order amongst them.

[Gen. 3.23, 24. Deut. 32. Psalm. 115.16. Act. 17.26. Exod. 23.20. Neh. 9.6. Psalm. 36.6. Nehem. 9.21. Psal. 65. & 147. Prov. 24.12. 1 King. 8.45. Job. 10.22. Rom. 13.1, &c.]

Q. How did this Government of God respect Mens seeking of God in the World?

A. This Government of God did respect Mens seeking of him, in that he dealt in such a way and manner with them, that they might so seek him as to find mercy and favour with him. Heb. 11.6. Psalm. 105.4. & 14.2. Act. 17.27. Jer. 29.13, &c. Jer. 6.16. Prov. 21.21. Gen. 6.8. Ps. 33.22. & 63.13. Nehem. 1.5. Psal. 25.10. & 32.10. & 86.5. & 103.11. Prov. 8.35, 36.

Q. VVhat is it so to seek God, as to find mercy and favour with him?

A. To seek God so as to find Mer­cy and Favour with him, is, To fear God, and to hope in his Mercy.

[This is variously exprest in the Scrip­tures; sometimes as in the Answer. So in Psal. 147.11. The Lord taketh pleasure in them that fear him, in those that hope in his Mercy, Psal. 33.18. Sometimes more con­cisely, as in Psal. 103.11. For as the Heaven is high above the Earth; so great is his Mercy toward them that fear him: And in Psal. 33.22. Let thy Mercy, O Lord, be upon us, ac­cording [Page 63]as we hope in thee. It is sometimes set forth by Repentance, Jer. 8.6. Job 42.6. 1 King. 8.47. Ezek. 14.6. & 18.30, &c. Joel 2.14. Also thus, To turn to the Lord, and to be obedient to his Voice, Deut. 4.29, 30. To acknowledg our Offences, and seek the face of the Lord, Hos. 5.15. To return to the Lord and seek him, Hos. 7.10. Sow to your selves in Righteousness, reap in Mercy: break up your fallow Ground, for it is time to seek the Lord, till he come and rain Righteousness upon you, Hos. 10.12. See Prov. 3.1, &c. If thou do well, shalt thou not be accepted? Gen. 4.7. Noah found Grace in the Eyes of the Lord. Noah was a just Man, upright in his Genera­tions, and walked with God, Gen. 6.8, 9. There was a Man in the Land of Uz whose name was Job, and that Man was perfect and upright, and one that feared God, and eschewed evil, Job 1.1. He hath shewed thee, O Man, what is Good: and what doth the Lord require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? [or to hum­ble thy self to walk with thy God] Mich., 6.8. Then Peter opened his Mouth, and said Of a truth I perceive that God is no respector of Persons: But in every Nation, he that feareth him, and worketh Righteousness, is accepted with him, Act. 10.34, 35. God will render to every Man according to his Deeds: To them who [Page 64]by patient continuance in well-doing, seek for Glory, and Honour, and Immortality, he will render eternal Life, &c. Rom. 2.6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11.]

Q. How did God make known unto Men this way of seeking him?

A. God by his Works and Word made known unto Men this way of seeking him, Psal. 19.

Q. Did God, both by his Works and Word, make known unto all Men this way of seeking him?

A. No; For this way of seeking God was made known unto some, on­ly by his Works of Creation, and by some Works of his in the Government of the World.

[Psal. 147.19, 20. He sheweth his Words unto Jacob, his Statutes and his Judgments unto Israel. He hath not dealt so with any Nation; and as for his Judgments, they have not known them. Rom. 1.19, &c. That which may be known of God, was manifest in [among] them, [to wit, the Gentiles] for God hath shewed it unto them. For the invisible Things of him from the Creation of the World are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal Power and Godhead, so [Page 65]that they are without excuse: Because that when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful, &c. Rom. 2.4. Or de­spisest thou the riches of his goodness, and for­bearance, and long-suffering, not knowing that the goodness of God leadeth thee to Repentance? Act. 14.16, 17. God in times past suffered all Nations to walk in their own ways. Neverthe­less he left not himself without witness, in that he did good, and gave us Rain from Heaven, and fruitful Seasons, filling our Hearts with Food and Gladness.]

Q. Was there no more made known by the Word of God, then was made known by his Works?

A. Much more was made known by the Word of God, than was by his Works. Ps. 147.19, 20. & 19.7, &c.

Q. What more was there made known by the Word of God, than by his Works?

A. First, This Doctrine; That there is forgiveness with God, that he may be feared, (which is the substance of the Doctrine of Christ) was more plainly made known by the Word of God, than by his Works. Psal. 130. Deut. 34.6, 7. Rom. 3.1, 2. Joh. 5.39, &c.

Q. What else was made known by the Word of God, that was not by his Works?

A. The Works of Righteousness were more fully made known by the Word of God, than by his Works. Deut. 4.5, &c.

Q. Is there any thing else wherein the Word of God did excel his Works, in point of Instruction?

A. Yes; For those Ordinances which were shadows of good things to come, and were to be done away by Christ, were made known only by the Word of God. Psal. 99.7. Ephes. 2.15. Col. 2.14, &c.

Q. Where are these Ordinances to be found?

A. These Ordinances are to be found especially in the Law of Moses: for they appertain only to the times of the Old Covenant, wherein Christ was promised. Exod. 18.20. 2 Kings 17.37. Heb. 9.1, 10.

Q. What mean you by the Old Cove­nant?

A. By the Old Covenant, I mean [Page 67]that Covenant which God made with them, whom he brought out of Egypt, to give the Land of Canaan to them, I mean the Children of Israel, the Son of Isaac, the Son of Abraham, to whom and to whose Seed were the Promises made. Heb. 8.9. Gal. 3.16.

CHAP. V. Of God's Government since Christ hath been raised up, and particu­larly of God's raising up of Christ.

Q. YOu having shew'd a few things (and enough for the present) which you have been taught concern­ing God's Government, relating to the times wherein Christ was promi­sed: It remains now that we discourse of God's Government in the times since Christ hath been raised up: I ask you therefore, What have you learned concerning this Divine Government?

A. Concerning God's Government [Page 68]since the raising up of Christ, I have learned, That I am first and chiefly to mind the Work of God in raising up Christ, and his Work in ruling by him amongst Men unto the end of the World.

Q. What have you learned concerning the Work of God in raising up Christ?

A. Concerning the Work of God in raising up Christ, I have learned, That God, according to his Promise, raised up the Christ, even Jesus, by causing him to be born, and to be­come the Christ.

[Luke 1.68, 69, &c. Blessed be the Lord God of Israel, for he hath visited and redeemed his People: And hath raised up an Horn of Salva­tion for us, in the House of his Servant David; as he spake by the Mouth of his Holy Prophets, which have been since the World began. Act. 2.30. Therefore David being a Prophet, and knowing that God hath sworn with an Oath to him, That of the Fruit of his Loins, according to the Flesh, he would raise up Christ to sit up­on his Throne, &c. Acts 3.26. Ʋnto you first, God having raised up his Son Jesus, sent him to bless you, in turning every one of you from his Iniquities. Act. 13.27. Heb. 5.4.5. And no [Page 69]Man taketh this honour unto himself, but he that is called of God, as was Aaron. So also Christ glorified not himself, to be made [or become] an High Priest: but he [glorified him] that said unto him, Thou art my Son, to day have I begotten thee. Vers 9. And being made perfect, he became the Author of eternal Salvation unto all them that obey him. Acts 2.26. Therefore let all the House of Israel know assuredly, that God hath made that same Jesus whom ye have crucified, both Lord and Christ.]

Q. How did God cause Jesus to be born?

A. God did cause Jesus to be born, by the Holy Ghost coming upon the Virgin, of whom he was born, Mat. 1.18. Luk. 1.35.

Q. Tell me by the way, How is this Jesus to be known and distinguished from all others?

A. This Jesus who in the days of his Flesh, was by Face known from all others, is now of us to be known and distinguished from all others; by that description the Scriptures give us of him, in the History of his Birth, Life, Death, Resurrection from the Dead, [Page 70]and Ascension into Heaven.

Q. I would learn of you a brief ac­count of this Matter; and first, What is the relation you have concerning the Birth of Jesus?

A. It is this: When Herod was King of Judea, and Caesar Augustus was Emperor of the World, then Je­sus was born at Bethlehem in Judea, of a Virgin named Mary, who conceived him in her Womb, by the Holy Ghost, and Power of the Highest coming up­on her, and over-shadowing her for that end and purpose.

Q. What is the relation you have con­cerning the Life of Jesus?

A. It is this: That Jesus when he had lived about thirty Years a private Life with his Mother Mary, and Joseph her Husband; and when John the Bap­tist, the Son of Zacharias the Priest, had, by preaching the Baptism of Re­pentance, prepared the way before him, Jesus, I say, then came into the World, to bear witness to the Truth, and in this exercise continued about [Page 71]three Years, confirming his Testimony by Signs and Miracles.

Q. What is the relation you have con­cerning the Death of Jesus?

A. 'Tis this: That Jesus when he had finished the Work the Father gave him to do, was by wicked Men put to Death, and Crucified.

Q. What is the relation you have con­cerning the Resurrection of Jesus from the Dead?

A. 'Tis this: That Jesus who died and was buried, rose again the third day from the Dead.

Q. What is the relation you have con­cerning the Ascension of Jesus into Hea­ven?

A. It is this: That Jesus after his Resurrection, when he had shewed himself alive to his Apostles (and others) by many infallible Proofs, and was seen of them forty days, did in their sight ascend into Heaven.

Q. Now to return; How did God cause Jesus to become the Christ?

A. God did cause Jesus to become [Page 72]the Christ, by choosing him, and cal­ling him to be the Christ. Mat. 12.18. with Isa. 42.1. 1 Pet. 2.4. Isa. 42.6. and 49.1. Heb. 5.4, 10.

Q. What is it for Jesus to be the Christ?

A. Jesus is the Christ, That is, God's anointed Prophet, Priest, and King, by whom alone, and by whom always unto the end of the World, God will rule over all.

[The Name Jesus signifies a Saviour, Mat. 1.21. And the Christ, or Messiah, or Messias, (which in the Hebrew Language are the same that Christ is in the Greek, and are sometimes used in our Translation, as in Dan. 9.25, 26. Joh. 1.41. & 4.24.) is in Eng­lish, The Anointed. We read in John 1.41. thus in the Line, We have found the Messias, which is, being interpreted, the Christ; but in the Margin, The Anointed. It is to be ob­served that these terms, Messias and Christ, are in the Scriptures applied to Jesus two manner of ways. For sometimes they de­note his Person; for as Jesus is his Name, so also Christ is used for his Name, Matth. 1.16, 17. So Messiah, Dan. 9.26. He is called in the Scriptures, not only Jesus, and Christ, but also Jesus Christ, Christ Jesus, the Lord Jesus Christ, &c.

But sometimes these terms, Christ and Messiah, or Messias, denote his Office, as Joh. 1.41. & 4.26. In Act. 18.28. For he [Paul] mightily convinced the Jews, and that publickly, shewing by the Scriptures, that Jesus was Christ. And thus it is to be taken in the present Question and Answer. This Jesus, the Christ, is called the Lord's Christ, Luk. 2.26. Act. 4.26. Rev. 11.15. and God's Christ, or the Christ of God, Luk. 9.20. Rev. 12.10. because he was one so greatly loved of God, that God appointed and furnished him to be a Prophet, Priest, and King, whereunto he was of God raised and anoin­ted, Act. 3.22. Luk. 4.18. Act. 10.28. Heb. 7.15. Act. 2.30. Jer. 30.9. There never was, or will be, any such Anointed one as he. He had no Predecessor, and shall have no Suc­cessor. Of these things, see what follows in this Discourse.

CHAP. VI. Of God's Work of Government in rul­ing amongst Men by Jesus Christ un­to the end of the World; and in par­ticular, of his Work for the saving of Men by Jesus Christ, according to the New Covenant Promise, which here is discoursed of.

Q. YOu said, That in God's Go­vernment, since the raising up of Christ, you were taught chiefly to mind; First, The Work of God in raising up of Christ, of which we have now discoursed. Secondly, The Work of God in ruling among Men by Jesus Christ unto the end of the World, concerning which we are now to discourse: Tell me therefore, What you mean by this Work of God?

A. This Work of God, in ruling among Men by Jesus Christ, unto the end of the World, does especially consist; 1. In his Work for saving of Men by Jesus Christ. 2. In his Work [Page 75]of judging the World by Jesus Christ.

Q. What mean you by that Work of God which is for the saving of Men by Jesus Christ?

A. I mean that Work of God, and that Work of Jesus the Christ of God, that Men may be saved, or be parta­kers of the Promise of God in Christ by the Gospel.

[Joh. 3.17. God sent not his Son into the World to condemn the World, but that the World through him might be saved. Joh. 12.47. I came not (saith Christ) to judg [condemn] the World, but to save the World. That which God and Christ do for the Salvation of Men, is often in the Scriptures (as here af­terwards will appear) called the Work of God, and of Christ. This Work is, That Men may be partakers of the Promise of God in Christ by the Gospel. Ephes. 3.6. That the Gentiles should be fellow-Heirs, and of the same Body, and partakers of his Pro­mise in Christ by the Gospel. That is, That the Gentiles may participate in the Promise of God with the Jews as Co-heirs; that is, by a common right, and as being of the same Body, that is, by equal right with them, and this by Christ, on the terms and conditions [Page 76]which the Gospel makes known and re­quireth.]

Q. It will be convenient that first we discourse of the End and Intent of the Work of God and Christ, and then of the Work it self: Wherefore I shall ask you a few Questions concern­ing the Intent of this Work, and in the first place this: What are we to under­stand here by the Promise of God?

A. By the Promise of God we are here to understand that Promise, whereby God, according to his pur­pose, hath promised to give Eternal Life, in or by Jesus Christ, unto all that believe in him, thorow his Son Jesus Christ, that they may be to the praise of his Glory.

Q. For the setting forth of this Pro­mise more distinctly, I shall query con­cerning the several parts of your An­swer; as first, What is that eternal Life which God hath promised?

A. That Eternal Life which God hath promised, is that Salvation which is in Christ Jesus with Eternal Glory.

[John 2.25. And this is the Promise that he hath promised us, even Eternal Life. This Matter of the Promise is often called Eter­nal or Everlasting Life, also Life. Now this Eternal Life doth consist in that Salvation that is in Christ Jesus, and also in Eternal Glory, as we learn from 2 Tim. 2.10.

Q. But what is the Salvation that is in Christ Jesus?

A. The Salvation that is in Christ Jesus, is a deliverance from the Wrath to come, 1 Thess. 1.10.

Q. And what is this Eternal Glory?

A. This Eternal Glory, is a like­ness to God, by seeing him as he is, 1 Joh. 3.2.

[These two, Salvation and Eternal Glory, are in the Scriptures sometimes noted by one of these names; as, by Salvation, 1 Pet. 1.5. and else-where. Also by Eternal Glory, as 1 Pet. 5.10. and Glory, as Rom. 9.23. The Glory of God, Rom. 5.2. and the like.]

Q. You said, That God hath pro­mised to give Eternal Life in or by Jesus Christ, What mean you by this?

A. God giveth Eternal Life in or by Jesus, in that Jesus Christ is the [Page 78]Mediator between God and Men, in God's giving of Eternal Life unto them.

[Rom. 6.23. Eternal Life is the Gift of God through [in or by] Jesus Christ our Lord. 1 Joh. 5.11. This is the Record, That God hath given us Eternal Life, and this Life is in his Son. 1 Tim. 2.4, 5, &c. Who (to wit, God our Saviour) will have all Men to be sa­ved, and to come to the knowledg [acknow­ledgment] of the Truth: For there is one God, and one Mediator between God and Men, the Man Christ Jesus, who gave himself a Ransom for all, &c. Joh. 14.6. Jesus faith unto him, I am the Way, and the Truth, and the Life; no Man cometh unto the Father but by me.]

Q. You said, That God hath pro­mised to give Eternal Life to all that believe in him through Jesus Christ: But who are they?

A. They that believe in God through Jesus Christ are they, who so believe the Promise of God, as to hope in God, and live to him thorow Jesus Christ, and that to the end.

[1 Pet. 1.20, 21. Who [which Christ] ve­rily was fore-ordained before the foundation of [Page 79]the World, but was manifest in these last times for you, who by [thorow] him [Christ] do believe in God that raised him up from the Dead, and gave him Glory, that your Faith and Hope might be in God. These Persons in the Scrip­tures are set forth, sometimes only by be­lieving, as Gal. 3.22. The Scripture hath con­cluded all under Sin, that the Promise by Faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that be­lieve. Sometimes by believing in the Fa­ther, as in Joh. 5.24. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my Word, and be­lieveth on him that sent me, hath everlasting Life, and shall not come into condemnation, but is passed from Death unto Life. Sometimes by believing in Christ, as in Joh. 6.47. Verily, verily I say unto you, He that believeth on me bath Everlasting Life.

These, and many the like Expressions of the same signification, we meet with in the Holy Scripture. Now we are to understand, that wheresoever Eternal Life, in the pos­session of it, is promised to Believing, there such a Believing is intended that the Gospel requires, which is an hoping in God, and living to him through Jesus Christ, and that to the end: For meer Belief is not suffici­ent; Jam. 2.14, &c. Joh. 2.23. & 8.30. & 12.42. Nor is any Faith sufficient that last­eth not to the end, Heb. 10.38, &c.

Q. But what is it to hope in God thorow Jesus Christ?

A. To hope in God thorow Jesus Christ, is to hope or trust unto the end, both in God and Christ for Eter­nal Life, as the Gift of God thorow Jesus Christ our Lord, and is such a hope, that is laid up in Heaven, and as such a Grace that is to be brought unto us at the Revelation of Jesus Christ.

[We are saved by Hope, Rom. 8.24. This Hope must be an Hope in God, 1 Pet. 1.21. Act. 24.15. 1 Tim. 4.10. & 6.17. And in Christ, 1 Cor. 15.19. 1 Thess. 1.3. 1 Tim. 1.1. Rom. 15.12. Ephes. 1.12, 13. That which by this Hope is to be looked for and expected, is eternal Life, Tit. 1.2. & 3.7. which eternal Life is the Gift of God thorow Jesus Christ our Lord, Rom. 6.22. and of all Gifts the best; for it is the Hope, or Good hoped for, which is laid up in Heaven, Col. 1.6. and the blessed, or happy, that is happy making Hope, Tit. 2.13. and the last Gift, being the Gift which is to be brought at the Revelation [or coming] of Jesus Christ, 1 Pet. 1.13. It is also called Grace, because a Gift that proceeds from the Grace of God, [Page 81]and of Jesus Christ, 1 Pet. 1.13. 2 Thess. 1.11, 12. Hence it appears that this future Good, must be sought chiefly and humbly; and that all which is necessary for obtaining it, must also be hoped for from God thorow Jesus Christ, Mat. 6.33. Luk. 17.10. 1 Pet. 5.5. Joh. 16.23, 24.

And thus we must hope to the end, or constantly, 1 Pet. 1.13. Col. 1.23. Heb. 3.6.]

Q. And what is it to live to God tho­row Jesus Christ?

A. To live to God thorow Jesus Christ, is, To live to God and Christ, in serving the God and Father of Jesus Christ, in Holiness and Righteousness before him, all the days of our Life; and in serving Jesus Christ, as Lord of all, and as the Head and Husand of Believers, who are his Church and Body.

[Rom. 6.11. Likewise reckon ye also your selves to be dead indeed unto Sin, but alive [living] unto God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. Gal. 2.19. For I through the Law am dead to the Law, that I might live unto God. 2 Cor. 5.15. And that he died for all, that they which live, should not henceforth live unto themselves, but unto him which died for them, [Page 82]and rose again. 1 Thess. 1.9. Ye turned to God from Idols, to serve the living and true God, &c. Luk. 1.74, 75. That he [the Lord God of Israel] would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hands of our Enemies, might serve him without fear, in Holiness and Righteousness before him, all the days of our Life. See Mat. 4.10. Rom. 1.9. 2 Tim. 1.3. Heb. 9.14. & 12.28. Rom. 14.18. For he that in these things [Righteousness, Peace, and Joy in the Holy Ghost] serveth Christ, is acceptable to God, and approved of Men. See Joh. 12.26. Rom. 16.18. Rev. 1.1. In Eph. 5.22, &c. Wives submit your selves unto your own Husbands as unto the Lord: for the Hus­band is the Head of the Wise, even as Christ is the Head of the Church, and he is the Saviour of the Body. Therefore as the Church is sub­ject unto Christ; so let the Wives be unto their own Husbands in every thing. To serve God and Christ, is from Love to obey them, as having respect to the Authority of both, and aiming at the Glory of both. 1 Pet. 1.2. and v. 14. Heb. 5.9. Joh. 5.27. Mat. 28.18, &c. Rom. 16.27. Ephes. 3.21. Phil. 1.11. 1 Cor. 10.31. Rom. 15.6. 2 Thess. 1.12. Thus to live, is to live, not to the Lusts of Men, but to the Will of God, 1 Pet. 4.2.]

Q. You said, That God according to his purpose did thus promise, What mean you thereby?

A. I mean, That God having through his Grace so purposed before the World began, did at length bring to light this purpose of his, and that by Jesus Christ.

[Tit. 1.1, 2, 3. Paul a Servant of God, and an Apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the Faith of God's Elect, and the acknowledg­ing of the Truth, which is after Godliness, in hope of eternal Life, which God, that cannot lie, promised [in purpose] before the World began: But hath in due time manifested his Word [Promise] through preaching [the publication of his purpose] which is com­mitted unto me, &c. 2 Tim. 1.9, 10. Who hath saved us, and called us with an Holy Calling, not according to our Works, but ac­cording to his own Purpose and Grace, [graci­ous Purpose] which was given us in Christ Jesus before the World began; but is now made manifest by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished Death, and hath brought Life and Immortality [an Immortal Life] to Light through the Gospel.]

Q. You said, That God hath thus [Page 84]promised to Believers, that they might be to the praise of his Glory: What is your meaning here?

A. I mean this, That God in thus promising had for his principal end therein, that the Glory of his Grace, Wisdom, and Power, might be shewen forth on Believers, and praised by them. Ephes. 1.12. & 2.7.

Q. Now tell me, What is it for Men to be partakers of this Promise of God?

A. Men are then said to be par­takers of this Promise, when they be­come Heirs of Eternal Life, and do at length possess it. Gal. 3.29. Tit. 3.7. Heb. 6.17. Jam. 2.5. 1 Pet. 3.7. Heb. 1.14. & 10.36.

Q. What is it to be partakers of this Promise by the Gospel?

A. Men are said to be Partakers of the Promise by the Gospel, Because Faith cometh by the Gospel, and be­cause the Gospel is the Power of God unto Salvation to every one that be­lieveth. Rom. 10.17. Ephes. 1.13. Rom. 1.16.

Q. But what do you mean by the Go­spel?

A. The Gospel is that Revelation of the Mystery concerning the Pro­mise of Eternal Life, which began to be spoken by the Lord Jesus.

[The word Gospel is used to express a word in Greek, which in general denotes any good and joyful Message, or good and glad Tydings; and which in special, and by way of eminency, signifies that good and glad Tydings brought into the World by Jesus Christ: in which sense some would rather use the term Evangelie, than Gospel, following therein most Nations, who retain in this sense the Greek word, and that not unadvisedly.

That we call the Gospel, is that Revela­tion, or discovery of the Mystery concern­ing the Promise of Eternal Life, which first began to be spoken by Jesus Christ. See Rom. 16.25. Ephes. 3.3, &c. Joh. 1.17. Heb. 2.3. It is called the Revelation of the Mystery concerning this Promise, because this Pro­mise was before the coming of Christ, con­tained in a Mystery, that is, in Types and Figures, after an obscure way and manner. But Christ hath expounded this Promise, making known the substance of the shadow, [Page 86]and bringing forth clearly the Spirit [that is, the meaning] of the Letter. Rom. 4.13, &c. and 9.8, 9. Heb. 6.13. Joh. 1.17. 2 Cor. 3.6. 2 Tim. 1.10.]

Q. Before we return, I have one Question yet to ask you; namely, Whether nothing else but Eternal Life is in this Promise promised to Believers?

A. In the Promise of Eternal Life, all good things that must come from God, and are necessary for obtaining it, are necessarily included in this Promise.

[1 Tim. 4.8. Godliness is profitable unto all things, having the Promise of the Life that now is, and of that which is to come.

Touching the matter of this Answer, see in that which follows.]

CHAP. VII. Of God's Work by Jesus Christ, for the saving of Sinners.

Q. YOu having thus spoken of the Promise of Eternal Life, which is the Promise of the New Co­venant, let us consider the Work of [Page 87]God for the saving of Men by Jesus Christ, which you said is that Work of God, and that Work of Jesus, the Christ of God, that Men may be sa­ved: What have you learned in the general concerning this Work?

A. Concerning God's Work for the saving of Men (or preparing them for Salvation) by Jesus Christ, I have learned, that this Work doth respect, first, Those that are the Servants of Sin, and the Children of the Devil. Secondly, Those that are the Servants of Obedience, & the Children of God.

Q. It being so, we will speak of this Work accordingly, beginning with that part which respecteth the former sort of Persons you mentioned: But because it will be needful to know who they are, I therefore ask you, Who are they that are the Servants of Sin, and Children of the Devil?

A. All they who live in Sin, which is the transgression of the Law of God, are the Servants of Sin, and Children of the Devil.

[The Law of God is a binding directi­on from God concerning Duty, forbidding that which is Evil, and commanding that which is needful to be done. Now the Transgression of this Law, either in doing what it forbids, or leaving undone what it commands, is sin, 1 Joh. 3.4. & 5.17. That man, whoever he be, that lives in Sin, or commit­teth Sin, by loving Sin, and walking in it, is a Servant of Sin, and a Child of the Devil. Joh. 8.34. Verily, verily, I say unto you, (saith Christ) Whosoever committeth Sin, is the Ser­vant of Sin. Rom. 6.2. Such are said to live in Sin. 1 John 3.10. In this the Children of God are manifest, and the Children of the De­vil: Whosoever doth not Righteousness is not of God, neither he that loveth not his Brother.

Q. But why are they that live in Sin thus called?

A. They that live in Sin are called the Servants of Sin, because they yield their Members Servants to unclean­ness, and to iniquity unto iniquity, and may expect the Wages of Sin, which is Death; and they are called the Children of the Devil, because they do the Works of the Devil, and may expect to go into everlasting Fire with [Page 89]the Devil & his Angels. [Rom. 6.16, 19, 21, 23. Joh. 8.41, 44. 1 Joh. 3.8. Mat. 25.41.

Q. Now tell me, What is the Work of God by Jesus Christ for the saving of Sinners?

A. The Work of God by Jesus Christ for the saving of Sinners, does respect their Repentance, and upon Repentance the forgiveness of their Sins, and their becoming the Children of God.

[This Work does respect the change of their Hearts by Repentance, whereby of evil Men they become good, like unto good Trees, which are fit to bring forth good Fruit, Mat. 12.33. This Work also respects the change of their State, in that by Repen­tance they obtain that Justification and Adoption, which are here attainable. Of these things see afterwards.]

Q. It will be convenient to inquire after the Design of this Work, before we speak of the Work it self; and therefore I shall first ask you this Que­stion; What is Repentance?

A. This Repentance we are speak­ing of, Is a turning to God with the [Page 90]whole Heart, in order to the serving of him all the days of our Life.

[Repentance is declared to be a turning to God, and as that which foregoes our living in his Service. Act. 26.20. I [Paul] shewed first to them of Damascus, and at Jerusalem, and throughout all the Coasts of Judea, and then to the Gentiles, that they should repent and turn to God, and do Works meet for Repen­tance. 1 Thess. 1.9. Ye turned to God from Idols, to serve the living and true God, and to wait for his Son from Heaven, &c. See Acts 15.19. This turning must be with the whole Heart. 1 Sam. 12.3. Joel 2.12.]

Q. But wherein does this turning to God with the whole Heart consist?

A. Turning to God with the whole Heart, does consist in that ex­ercise of the Heart, whereby a Man, from a due apprehension of his Sins and Danger, also of God's Will and Promise, and from a due consideration thereof, does suitably thereunto con­fess or acknowledg his Sins unto God, and purpose or resolve to serve God, and keep his Commandments.

[This turning to G [...]d, or this Repen­tance, does lie in a confession of Sin, and [Page 91]in a resolution of serving God, that is, of forsaking Sin. The Parable of the Prodi­gal, in Luke 15.17, &c. speaks forth this. Add Prov. 28.13. He that covereth his Sins shall not prosper, but whoso confesseth and for­saketh them shall have Mercy. See Hos. 14.1, 2, 3. Sometimes the whole is set forth by one of these. Thus it is by this confession and acknowledgment of sins, 1 John 1.9. Psal. 32.5. & 5.3. Jer. 3.13. Thus also by this resolution of serving God. Jer. 5.24. & 30.21. 2 Chron. 11.16.

This Repentance, or turning to God, a­riseth from that apprehension and conside­ration mentioned. See for this Prov. 1.23. 1 King. 8.37, 38. Ezek. 18 32. Matth. 13.15. Act. 11.21. 1 King. 8.47. Luk. 15.17. Deut. 32.29. Psalm. 50.22. Ezek. 12.3. Hos. 7.2. Hag. 1.5, 7. Ezek. 18.14, 28. Prov. 2.5.]

Q. When is Confession in Repentance such as it ought to be?

A. This Confession is then such as it ought to be, when in confessing we are humbled, abhorring and condem­ning our selves for our Sins, with shame and sorrow; and when we make supplication to God with earnestness and hope for Pardon and Acceptance.

[This Confession must be with humilia­tion and supplication. 2 Chron. 7.14. & 33.12. Repentance is sometimes set forth by Humiliation, 2 Chron. 33.19. Jam. 4.10. by a contrite, broken, and humble Heart, Psal. 51.17. Isa. 57.15.

This Humiliation is an abhorring of our selves, and condemning of our selves with shame and sorrow for our Sins. Job 42.6. Ezek. 20.43. & 36.31. 1 Cor. 11.31. Ezra 9.13. Luk. 15.19, 21. Jer. 6.15. & 8.12. Rom. 6.21. Isa. 44.9. Ezek. 16.61, 63. & 43.10, 11. & 36.32. Psalm 38.18. 2 Cor. 7.9, 10. Jam. 4.9. (Ezra 10.6.) Isa. 22.12. Mat. 5.4. Isa. 58.5. There must also be sup­plication to God for Pardon and Accep­tance, and it must be done with an earnest desire and hope to attain the same. 1 King. 8.47, &c. Jer. 14.20, 21. Hos. 5.15. & 14.2. 2 Chron. 11.14. & 33.12. Act. 9.11. Luk. 15.19. Ephes. 1.12.13. Isa. 55.13.]

Q. When is Resolution of Amend­ment such as it ought to be?

A. Resolution of Amendment, or of serving God, is then such as it ought to be, when trusting in God we purpose to forsake all Sin, and to observe all God's Commandments to [Page 93]the end of our Lives, and that with the utmost of Self-denial, in all worldly Pleasure, Profit, Honour, and Safety.

[The Purpose of the Heart in Repen­tance, must be according to the true nature of serving God: and therefore such as hath been described. It must be a purpose of leaving Sin in the General, and of known Sins in special, and of doing the Will of God fully. 1 Pet. 4.1, 2. Hos. 14.3. Isa. 1.16, &c. And this must be a Purpose of serving God to the end, with the utmost of Self-denial. Mat. 16.24. Then said Jesus unto his Disciples, If any Man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his Cross and follow me. Read Luke 14.25, to the end of the 33 verse.

And Men in this purposing, must hope and trust in God for help and assistance, that they may do according to their Intent and Purpose. Isa. 51.5. Mat. 12.21. Rom. 15.12. Psal. 37.3, 5. Isa. 57.13.]

Q. You having declar'd what Re­pentance is, I shall next enquire con­cerning the Privileges which they have that repent, namely, the forgive­ness of their Sins, and their being the [Page 94]Children of God: Tell me, What is this forgiveness?

A. The forgiveness of Sin, which they that repent, obtain from God, is that pardon of their Sins, whence they have peace with God, as one who by Promise hath delivered them from the Wrath to come. [Rom. 5.1. Heb. 9.12.]

Q. And what is it for these repenting Souls to become the Children of God?

A. They become the Children of God, in that they come to be as Chil­dren to God, having access into a state of Grace or Favour, wherein they may boast in hope of the Glory of God. Rom. 5.2.

Q. But is Repentance necessary and sufficient for obtaining this good and blessed condition?

A. It is so, as the Holy Scriptures plentifully teach us. See Luke 13.3. Rom. 2.5. Mat. 11.20, &c. Act. 11.18. Mat. 13.15. James 3.20. Ezek. 18.30. Prov. 1.23.

Q. If so; How must we understand those Scriptures which shew, that Faith [Page 95]or Believing is necessary and sufficient for obtaining the fore-mentioned Bene­fits. See Rom. 5.1, 2. Act. 13.39. and elsewhere.

A. In such Scriptures where only Faith, or only Repentance is menti­oned, there Faith and Repentance are the same: for there Repentance is implied in Faith, or Faith in Repen­tance.

[These words, Faith and Repentance, or Believing and Repenting in the business of our Salvation, are used in the Holy Scrip­tures, either alone or together. When a­lone, they signity one and the same thing; but when together, as in Act. 20.21. Mark 1.15. Then Repentance hath respect only to our Works, and Faith hath respect only to our Hope.

It will moreover be for much advantage to know and observe concerning the fore­mentioned terms, these two things among others.

First, That those Terms, as above-used, do sometimes only sight, That which God requires for our admittance into a state of Grace. Thus the word Faith, and to be­lieve, is used, Rom. 5.1, 2. Act. 15.9. Rom. [Page 96]10.10. And so the word Repentance, and to repent, Mat. 3.8. Act. 26.20. Mat. 11.20. So also Repentance, and Faith, or, The Foun­dation of Repentance and Faith, Heb. 6.1.

Secondly, That the same terms used a­lone or together, do oft-times signify the whole that God requires for our admittance into a state of Glory. Thus the words Faith, and to believe, are used, Acts 26.18. 1 Pet. 1.9. Joh. 3.16. Rom. 10.11. Thus al­so Repentance, and to repent, are used, Luke 24.47. Act. 5.31. 1 Pet. 3.9. Mat. 4.17. Act. 17.30. And so also these terms Repentance and Faith, also to repent, and to believe, when conjoyn'd, Act. 20.21. Mar. 1.15.]

Q. Now let us return to consider the Work of God by Christ Jesus for the faving of Sinners. What have you learned concerning this Work?

A. Concerning the Work of God by Jesus Christ for the saving of Sin­ners, I have learned that it consisteth in God's making by Jesus Christ a way for Sinners to come to Repentance, and thereby to the forgiveness of their Sins, and acceptance with him, and in calling them to Repentance by Jesus Christ, for the pardon of their Sins, [Page 97]and acceptance with him. 2 Cor. 5.18, 19. Luk. 1.79.

Q. How has God made by Jesus Christ this way for Sinners?

A. God hath made this way for Sinners; first, By the Death of his Son, who by his Death is made a Pro­pitiation for the Sins of the World, and has open'd a way for the coming of the Word of Reconciliation to them. Rom. 5.8, 10. Ephes. 2.13, &c. 1 Joh. 4.10. & 2.2. Gal. 3.13. Mat. 26.28.

Q. Wherein does the Work of God appear in the Death of Christ for the saving of Sinners?

A. The Work of God appears in the Death of Christ for the saving of Sinners, in that for this end and pur­pose God willed that Christ should be obedient unto Death, even the Death of the Cross, and in that he helped him therein. Heb. 10.5, &c. Psal. 40.6. Isa. 49.8. & 50.5, &c. Act. 2.25. Heb. 5.7.

Q. Wherein does the Work of Christ appear in his own Death for the saving of Sinners?

A. It appears in that he first wil­led to be thus obedient, and after­wards became obedient unto Death, even the Death of the Cross, that Sinners might be saved. Heb. 10.5, &c. Psal. 40.6, &c. Isa. 50.5, &c. 1 Tim. 2.6. Phil. 2.8.

Q. You having shew'd, that God by the Death of Christ hath made a way for the saving of Sinners, Now tell me how else God has done it?

A. God has made for Sinners a way to Repentance and Forgiveness, not only by the Death of Christ, but also by the sitting down of Christ at the right Hand of God, in which estate he hath power to give Repentance, and the forgiveness of Sins. Act. 5.30, 31.

Q. Wherein does the Work of God for the saving of Sinners, appear in Christ's sitting at his right hand?

A. It appears in that God raised him from the Dead, took him up into Heaven, and set him at his right Hand. Act. 2.24, 32. Mark 16.19. Luk. 24.51. Act. 1.9. Ephes. 1.20.

Q. Wherein does the Work of Christ appear in his sitting at God's right Hand?

A. It appears in that he obtained this estate by being obedient unto the Death, even the Death of the Cross. Phil. 2.8, 9.

Q. You having declar'd the Work of God by Jesus Christ for the saving of Sinners, by making a way for them to Repentance and Pardon, it remains that we speak of God's Work for the saving of Sinners, by the calling them to Repentance. What have you learnt concerning this?

A. Concerning God's calling of Sinners by Jesus Christ unto Repen­tance, I have learned, That God by Jesus Christ through the Gospel, does command Sinners to repent, and does promise upon Repentance the for­giveness of their Sins: and that God and Christ thus call them with pati­ence and long-suffering. Act. 2.38, 39. & 3.26. & 17.30. 2 Thess. 2.14. Act. 10.43. 2 Pet. 3.9. Rev. 2.21. Rom. 9.22. 1 Tim. 1.16.

Q. How may God be said to call Sin­ners by Jesus Christ unto Repentance?

A. God may be said so to do, in that he sent Jesus Christ to call Sin­ners to Repentance. Act. 3.26.

Q. How may Jesus Christ be said to call Sinners to Repentance?

A. Jesus Christ may be said to call Sinners to Repentance, in that he comes in the Name of God, and com­mands Sinners to Repent, and pro­miseth Pardon to them upon their Repentance. Joh. 5.43. & 10.25.

Q. When did Christ come and call Sinners to Repentance?

A. Christ did first, in the days of his Flesh, call Sinners to Repentance, and that in his own Person, and by his Disciples. Mat. 4.19. & 9.13. Mark 6.12.

Q. When else did Christ come and call to Repentance?

A. Christ after his Resurrection from the dead, came and called Sin­ners to Repentance. Ephes. 2.17. 1 Pet. 3.19.

Q. How did Christ after his Resur­rection come and call Sinners to Repen­tance?

A. Christ came and called by his Apostles and others, who in Christ's stead do teach and intreat Sinners to be reconciled unto God. Act. 13.46, 47. 2 Cor. 5.20. Luk. 24.46, 47.

Q. How may these be said to be in Christ's stead in their preaching the Go­spel?

A. These may be said to be in Christ's stead; first, in that they re­ceive their Commission from Jesus Christ to preach the Gospel. 1 Cor. 9.17. 1 Tim. 1.11, 12.

Q. What is the Commission Christ gave to his Apostles, after his Resurrecti­on from the Dead?

A. It is this: All Power is given unto me in Heaven and in Earth: Go ye therefore, and teach all Nations, bap­tizing them in [into] the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: and lo, I am with you al­way, even unto the end of the World. A­men. [Page 102] Matth. 28.18, 19, 20.

Q. How else are they in Christ's stead in preaching the Gospel?

A. Upon this account also they are such, Because Christ who enables them for the Work, hath appointed them to be his Ministers, and in his Name to preach the Gospel. 1 Tim. 1.12. Luk. 24.47. Act. 4.12. & 9.27. Rom. 1.5. Act. 26.15, &c. Rom. 15.16. 1 Tim. 4.6. 1 Cor. 4.1.

Q. Are none but Ministers to endea­vour the saving of Sinners, by bringing them to Repentance?

A. All Christians are to endeavour, by their Words and Works, to save Sinners, by bringing them to Repen­tance. Phil. 2.15, 16. James 5.20. 1 Cor. 7.16. 1 Pet. 3.1.

CHAP. VIII. Of God's Work by Jesus Christ for the saving of Converts.

Q. SEing we have spoken of God's Work for the saving of Sin­ners, let us now speak of that which is for the saving of Converts, who by Repentance have their Sins forgi­ven, and are become the Children of God. What is God's Work by Jesus Christ for the saving of these?

A. The Work of God by Jesus Christ for the saving of his Children, is that whereby God bringeth them unto Glory by Jesus Christ.

[Heb. 2.10. For it became him [God] for whom are all things, and by whom are all things, in bringing many Sons unto Glory, to make the Captain of their Salvation perfect through Suf­ferings.]

Q. Wherein does this Work consist?

A. God's Work by Jesus Christ, of bringing his Children unto Glory, con­sisteth in preparing them for Glory, and [Page 104]possessing them with it. Rom. 9.23.

Q. How does God by Jesus Christ pre­pare them for Glory?

A. God does this, by creating them in Christ Jesus unto good Works, and by confirming them therein unto the end.

[Ephes. 2.10. We are God's Workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good Works, which God hath before ordained, that we should walk in them. 1 Cor. 1.8, 9. Who [God] shall also confirm you unto the end, that ye may be blameless in the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God is faithful by whom ye were called unto the fellowship of his Son Jesus Christ. 1 Thes. 5.23, 24. And the very God of Peace sanctify you wholly: And I pray God your whole Spi­rit, and Soul, and Body, be preserved blame­less unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. Faithful is be that calleth you, who also will do it. Heb. 13.20, 21. Now the God of Peace, that brought again from the dead our Lord Je­sus, that great Shepherd of the Sheep, through the Blood of the Everlasting Covenant, make you perfect in every good Work to do his Will, working in you that which is well-pleasing in his sight, through Jesus Christ, to whom be Glory, for ever and ever. Amen.]

Q. But how does God thus sanctify Believers?

A. God does this by his Spirit, which he gives to Believers, and by which he works in them for their Sanctification, and all this thorow Je­sus Christ.

[1 Pet. 1.2. Elect according to the fore­knowledg of God the Father, thorow sanctifica­tion of the Spirit, unto Obedience, and sprink­ling of the Blood of Jesus Christ. Ephes. 1.13. In whom [which Christ] also after that ye believed, ye were sealed with that Holy Spirit of Promise. Tit. 3.5, &c. God our Saviour saved us by the washing of Regeneration, and re­newing of the Holy Ghost, which he shed on us abundantly through Jesus Christ our Savi­our, &c. See Joh. 3.5. Ezek. 36.25, &c.]

Q. What is that which God worketh in Believers by his Spirit, that they may be confirmed unto the end?

A. God by his Spirit does enligh­ten them concerning his Will, and does strengthen them that they may walk worthy of the Lord unto all pleasing, in all patience and long­suffering with joyfulness. [Ephes. 1.17, [Page 106]18. & 3.14, &c. Col. 1.9, 10, 11.]

Q. Is there nothing by which God and Christ do through the Spirit sanctify Believers?

A. Yes; for the Word of the Go­spel is us'd for their Sanctification, and sometimes Chastisement.

[For the Word of the Gospel, see Rom. 1.16. Ephes. 5.26. For Chastisement, see Heb. 12.5, &c. Rev. 3.19.]

Q. Is there nothing that God by Je­sus Christ worketh out of Believers for their Sanctification?

A. Yes; And among other things, God will not suffer them to be tempted above that they are able, but will with the Temptation also make a way to escape, that they may be able to bear it. 1 Cor. 10.13.

Q. What in this Work of Sanctifica­tion is peculiar to Christ?

A. He gave himself for the Church, that he might sanctify and cleanse it with the washing of Water by the Word. And he ever liveth to make intercession for us. Ephes. 5.25, 26. Heb. 7.25.

Q. What must Believers do that they may be Holy, and confirmed unto the end?

A. They must cleanse themselves from all filthiness of Flesh and Spirit, perfecting Holiness in the Fear of God. 2 Cor. 7.1.

Q. Can you set forth this more par­ticularly?

A. Yes, after this manner; They building up themselves in their most Holy Faith, praying in the Holy Ghost, must keep themselves in the Love of God, looking for the Mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto Eternal Life. Jud. 20, 21.

Q. I would hear something from you touching the particulars of your Answer: Wherefore I ask you in the first place this Question; What is it for Believers to build up themselves in their most Holy Faith?

A. Believers may be then said to build up themselves in their most Ho­ly Faith, when they rightly endea­vour, by the means God vouchsafeth [Page 108]them, both in private and in publick, to encrease in the knowledg and be­lief of the Doctrine of Christ. Col. 2.7. 2 Pet. 3.18. 2 Tim. 2.7. Eph. 4.11, &c. 1 Pet. 2.1, 2.

Q. What is it for Believers to pray in the Holy Ghost?

A. Believers may be then said to pray in the Holy Ghost, when ac­cording to the Will of God, made known by the Holy Ghost, they make known their Requests unto God by Prayer and Supplication, with Thanks­giving, both in private and publick, as they have opportunity. Phil. 4.6. 1 Joh. 5.14. Matth. 6.5, &c. 1 Cor. 14.14, &c.

Q. What general Direction have Be­lievers for Prayer and Thanksgiving?

A. That which our Saviour gave to his Apostles, in Mat. 6.5, &c. add thereto that of our Saviour after­wards, in Joh. 16.23, 24. Verily, veri­ly, I say unto you, Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my Name, he will give it you. Hitherto have ye asked nothing [Page 109]in my Name: Ask and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. Add that of the Apostle, Ephes. 5.20. Give thanks always for all things unto God, and the Father, in the Name of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Q. But what is it to pray and give thanks in the Name of Jesus Christ?

A. To pray and give thanks in the Name of Jesus Christ, is to draw nigh to God therein with confidence, be­cause Jesus Christ is our High Priest, that maketh intercession for us. Heb. 4.14, 15, 16. 1 Pet. 2.5. Heb. 13.15.

Q. What have you learnt concerning that Cup of Blessing, or Thanksgiving, which the Apostle speaketh of in 1 Cor. 10.16?

A. I have learned, That the Apo­stle there speaketh of the Lord's Sup­per, which is to be used with Thanks­giving in the Churches of Christ.

Q. What mean you by the Lord's Supper?

A. I mean, A certain use of Bread and a Cup, which Christ our Lord [Page 110]hath appointed for a remembrance of him: For as often as we eat this Bread, and drink this Cup, we shew the Lord's Death till he come. Mat. 26.26, &c. Mark 14.22, &c. Luk. 22.19, &c. 1 Cor. 11.23, &c.

Q. Now tell me; What is it for Believers to keep themselves in the Love of God?

A. Believers may be then said to keep themselves in the Love of God, when they so use their Knowledg or Belief of the Gospel, and the Power they have received from God, as to deny Ungodliness and worldly Lusts, and to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present World. Tit. 2.11, &c.

Q. What is it for Believers to look for the Mercy of our Lord Jesus Christ unto Eternal Life?

A. It is nothing else but to conti­nue to the end, in an expectation of that Reward of sincere and constant Obedience which Christ our Lord will at his coming give unto his faith­ful [Page 111]Servants. 1 Pet. 1.13, &c. Heb. 9.28. & 10.36, &c. Tit. 2.13. Mat. 25.20, &c. 2 Tim. 1.12.

Q. You having now spoken of God's Work of preparing Believers for Glory, it remains therefore that you speak of that Work of God, which is for the possessing of Believers with this Glory by Jesus Christ. What say you of it?

A. This may more conveniently be spoken of in the consideration of that second thing relating to God's Work of ruling among Men by Je­sus Christ, which I said is his Work of Judging the World by Jesus Christ.

CHAP. IX. Of God's Work of Government in Judging the World by Jesus Christ.

Q. WEll then, let us discourse of God's Work in judging the World by Jesus Christ; What in the general have you learn'd concerning it?

A. This I have learned in general, That God hath appointed a day in the which he will judg the World in Righ­teousness by that Man Jesus Christ, whom he hath ordained, whereof he hath given assurance unto all Men, in that he hath raised him from the Dead. Act. 17.31. Rom. 2.16.

Q. What are we to understand by the Day which God hath appointed?

A. This Day is that time when Jesus shall come from Heaven in the Glory of his Father, with his Angels. Acts 1.11. 1 Thess. 4.16. Mat. 16.27. & 25.31, &c.

Q. But when shall this time be?

A. At the end of the World; but the day and hour, Jesus said, No Man knoweth, no, not the Angels which are in Heaven, neither the Son, but the Fa­ther only. Mat. 24.36. Mark 13.32.

Q. What is it for God to judg the World by the Man Jesus Christ, whom he hath ordained?

A. The meaning is, That God al­though he be the Judg of all, yet will not himself judg the World, but by Jesus Christ, to whom he hath com­mitted all Judgment, giving him Au­thority to execute the same, having ordained him to be the Judg of Quick and Dead. Heb. 12.2, 3. Joh. 5.22, &c. Rom. 2.16. Act. 10.42.

Q. What did Jesus that God did thus exalt him?

A. He was obedient unto Death, even the Death of the Cross. Phil. 2.8, 9, &c. Rom. 14.9.

Q. Whom will God judg by Jesus Christ?

A. God will by Jesus Christ judg [Page 114]the Angels that sinned, and all Men, both Quick and Dead, at his Appear­ing and Kingdom. 2 Pet. 2.4. Jud. 6. 1 Cor. 6.3. Jam. 2.19. Act. 10.42. 2 Tim. 4.1. 1 Pet. 4.5. Rom. 14.10. 2 Cor. 5.10. Mat. 10.15. & 11.22.

Q. What are we to understand by the Quick and Dead?

A. We are to understand by the Quick, or Living, all Men that shall be found alive at the coming of Christ; and by the Dead, all both good and bad, that died before his coming.

Q. But how shall these be brought un­to Judgment?

A. Thus: all the Dead, both the Just and Unjust, shall be raised, and then all Men shall by the Angels be gathered and brought before Christ, sitting on the Throne of his Glory. Acts 24.15. John 5.28, 29. Mat. 25.31, 32.

Q. Is there any thing in special to be observed here concerning the Righ­teous?

A. Yes; for we are taught, That the Dead in Christ shall rise first; and that they, together with those Believers that shall be alive at the coming of Christ, shall be caught up in the Clouds, to meet the Lord in the Air.

[1 Thess. 4.13, &c. But I would not have you to be ignorant, Brethren, concerning them which are asleep, [that is, the Faithful which are Dead] that ye sorrow not even as others which have no Hope. For if we believe that Jesus died, and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus, will God bring with him. For this we say unto you by the Word of the Lord, That we [Believers] which are alive, and remain unto the coming of the Lord, shall not prevent [that is, shall not come be­fore] them which are asleep. For the Lord himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the Voice of the Arch-Angel, and with the Trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first. Then we which are alive, and re­main, shall be caught up together with them in the Clouds, to meet the Lord in the Air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord. See also 1 Cor. 15.22, 23, 52.]

Q. Now tell me, What is it for God to judg the World in Righteousness by Jesus Christ?

A. God by Jesus Christ will judg the World in Righteousness, that is, Righteously, by rewarding every Man according to his Practice or Works, whether Good or Evil: for this Judgment is a Just or Righteous Judg­ment. Matth. 16.27. Rom. 2.6. Rev. 2.23. 1 Cor. 3.8. 2 Cor. 5.10. & 11.15. Rev. 20.12, 13. & 22.12. Rom. 2.5. Joh. 5.30.

Q. But what is it for God by Jesus Christ to judg every Man according to his Works?

A. Here are two things to be con­sidered.

Q. What is the first?

A. The first is; That God by Je­sus Christ will judg every Man: for all must stand before the Judgment Seat of Christ, and give an account of themselves unto God. Rom. 14.10, 11, 12. 1 Pet. 4.1. 2 Pet. 2.9. 2 Cor. 5.10. Jam. 2.12.

Q. What is the Second?

A. The Second is; That God by Jesus Christ will judg every Man ac­cording to his Works; that is, with­out respect of Persons, and according to Truth and Right. Rom. 2.11. 1 Pet. 1.17. 2 Chron. 19.7. Ephes. 6.9. Col. 3.23. Rom. 2.2. Rev. 19.2. Deut. 32.4. Psal. 96.13. Gen. 18.25. Psal. 9.4. Isa. 10.2. Job 34.23. 2 Thess. 1.5, 6. 2 Tim. 4.8. Psal. 45.6. Heb. 1.8.

Q. Can you explain this in a special Application to Men, whom God will justify and condemn by Jesus Christ at the last Day?

A. I can.

Q. How do you set it forth in refe­rence to those whom God by Jesus Christ will justify at the last Day?

A. Thus it may be done: God will render to every Man Eternal Life; who according to the Truth mani­fested to him, does, by patient conti­nuance in well-doing, seek for Glory, and Honour, and Immortality; and that God will make them to exceed [Page 118]those in Glory, whom they exceed in Righteousness. Rom. 2.6, 7, 10. 1 Cor. 15.41. Matth. 20.23. Dan. 12.3. 1 Cor. 3.8. Phil. 4.17.

Q. How do you set it forth in re­ference to them whom God by Jesus Christ will condemn at the last Day?

A. God will render Indignation and Wrath unto every one that is Contentious, and does not obey the Truth, as manifested either without the Law, or under the Law, or un­der the Gospel; and that God will render the greatest Punishment to the greatest Offenders. Rom. 2.8, 9, 12, &c. 2 Thess. 1.8, 9. Mat. 11.22, 24. Luk. 12.47, 48. 2 Pet. 2.20, 21. 2 Cor. 9.6. Mat. 23.14.

Q. When you say, That God by Jesus Christ will render to Men this or that; What mean you by that word?

A. I mean not only that God by Jesus Christ will judg them, to such or such a Condition, but will also bring them into it. Mat. 25.31, to the end of the Chapter.

Q. What will follow this Judgment?

A. First after this Judgment, all the Enemies of Christ being put un­der his Feet, and all things subdued unto him, the Son shall deliver up the Kingdom to God, even the Father, and shall himself also be subject to him that put all things under him, that God may be all in all. 1 Cor. 15.24, &c.

Q. What else will follow?

A. In respect of the Righteous this will follow: They being adjudged by Christ to inherit the Kingdom pre­pared for them from the Foundation of the World; and having their vile Bo­dy changed, that it may be fashioned like unto Christ's glorious Body, shall enter into the Joy of their Lord, where they shall live, rest, and re­joice, with fulness of joy for ever and ever. Matth. 25.34. Phil. 3.21. 1 Cor. 15.50. Matth. 25.21, 23. Luk. 20.35, 36. Joh. 6.51. 2 Thess. 1.7. Heb. 4.9. 1 Pet. 1.6. & 4.13. Psal. 16.11.

Q. But what shall follow in respect of the Wicked?

A. The Wicked being judged to depart from Christ into everlasting Fire, prepared for the Devil and his Angels, shall be cast Body and Soul into Hell [Geenna] that Furnace of Fire, where shall be wailing and gnash­ing of Teeth. Mat. 25.41. & 10.28. & 13.42.

Q. What from the consideration here­of may Sinners now be exhorted and per­swaded to?

A. They may hence be exhorted and perswaded to repent and be con­verted, that their Sins may be blotted out, when the times of refreshing come from the presence of the Lord. Act. 3.19. & 17.30, 31.

Q. What from the consideration of the aforesaid Judgment, and that which follows, may Converts, or Believers, be exhorted and perswaded to?

A. They may hence be exhorted and perswaded to be stedfast, unmove­able, always abounding in the Work of the Lord. 1 Cor. 15.58.

CHAP. X. Some particular Duties which Believers ought to know and perform.

Q. HAving now a fit occasion, we may here, as in a place most convenient, discourse of Good Works, or particular Duties, where­in Believers ought to be exercised; but seeing we have already mentioned many of them which come under the consideration of Godliness, I shall desire to hear from you something of what you have learned, especial­ly concerning Righteousness and So­briety, of which hitherto you have been almost silent. Now observe and answer my Questions, of which the first shall be this:

What is the Duty of Believers to­wards Men as Men?

A. This in the general is exprest by our Saviour thus: All things what­soever ye would that Men should do to [Page 122]you; do ye even so to them: for this is the Law and the Prophets. Mat. 7.12.

Q. How can you express the same more particularly?

A. Thus: To render to all their Dues whatsoever they may justly challenge and require of us as their right; and to do good to all.

[Rom. 13.7. Render therefore to all their Dues, Tribute to whom Tribute is due, Custom to whom Custom, Fear to whom Fear, Honour to whom Honour. Prov. 3.27. With-hold not good from them to whom it is due, [Hebr. from the Owners thereof] when it is in the power of thine hand to do it. Gal. 6.10. As we have opportunity, let us do good unto all Men, especially to them that are of the Houshold of Faith. 1 Thess. 5.15. See that none ren­der Evil for Evil unto any Man; but ever fol­low that which is good, both among your selves, and to all Men. Rom. 16.19. I would have you wise unto that which is Good, and simple unto that which is Evil. 1 Pet. 3.13.]

Q. But what is it to render to every one his due.

A. To render to others their Due, is, To speak truly, (a) and deal just­ly [Page 123]with them (b): and therefore not to abuse and wrong them by ly­ing (c), flattery (d) and evil speak­ing (e), as they do that are Revi­lers (f), Scoffers (g), Whispe­rers (h), Backbiters (i), Slande­rers (k), False-Accusers (l), False Witness-bearers (m), unjust Judges, (n) and the like, and not to be any wayes injurious to them in their Life (o), Liberty (p), Estates (q), Relations (r), and the like; nor hurtful to them, as to their everlast­ing Concerns, by corrupting them in their Souls and Lives (s), or hin­dering them from or in that Faith and Love which is in Christ Jesus (t).

[(a) John 4.18. Prov. 12.17. Zech. 8.16. Ephes. 4.25. (b) Isa. 26.10. Mich. 6.8. 2 King. 12.15. 1 Thess. 2.10. Isa. 33.15. Psal. 15.2. Tit. 2.11. (c) Lev. 19.11. Col. 3.9. Joh. 8.44. Rev. 21.27. 1 Tim. 4.2. (d) Psal. 12.2, 3. 1 Thess. 2.5. (e) Tit. 3.2. (f) 1 Cor. 6.10. 1 Pet. 2.23. (g) 2 Pet. 3.3. (h) Rom. 1.29. Prov. 16.28. 2 Cor. 12.20. (i) Rom. 1.30. (k) 1 Tim. 3.11. Prov. 10.18. Psal. 101.5. Jer. 9.4. [Page 124] (l) 2 Tim. 3.3. (m) Exod. 20.16. Mat. 15.19. (n) Luk. 18.6. Psalm. 82.6. (o) Exod. 20.13. (p) Jer. 34.15. Heb. 11.36. (q) Exod. 20.15. Ephes. 4.28. (r) Exod. 20.14. (s) Mat. 23.15. 2 Pet. 2. Chapt. (t) Mat. 23.13. Act. 13.8.]

Q. And what is it to do good to all?

A. To do good to all, is in imita­tion of God, to be merciful and kind to them, in respect both of their Bouls and Bodies. [Psal. 37.26. Mat. 5.7. Luk. 6.36. 1 Cor. 13.4. Luk. 6.35. Col. 3.12.]

Q. But what if they be Enemies to them, and persecute them?

A. Although they be so, yet must Believers be merciful and kind unto them.

[Mat. 5.44, &c. I say unto you, Love your Enemies; Bless them that curse you; Do good to them that hate you; and pray for them that despitefully use you, and persecute you, &c]

Q. What then, must Believers be a peaceable People?

A. Yes; They must follow Peace with all Men. And if it be possible, as much as in them lieth, live peace­ably [or be at peace] with all Men. Heb. 12.14. Rom. 12.18.

Q. But how should Believers endea­vour to be at peace with all Men?

A. They should endeavour it, by not provoking others to Anger (a), in doing them wrong (b), or in pleasing themselves, in that which is displeasing to others, and wherein they may deny themselves for their Neighbours good (c); also by not being easily provoked by others (d), as when they suffer, without any Contention, such Offences that may be easily born (e); also by abstain­ing from all Revenge (f), and ap­pearing appeasable (g), and ready to forgive, when they meet with grea­ter Injuries (h). Lastly, By being courteous to all (i), and forward to do good to all, in that which they will acknowledg for good (k), as by giving and lending to them (l), [Page 126]or being ready in any thing to help and assist them in their need (m).

[(a) Gal. 5.26. (b) 1 Sam. 1.6, 7. (c) Rom. 15.1, 2, 3. (d) 1 Cor. 13.5. (e) Mat. 5.38, 39, &c. (f) Rom. 1.31. (g) Chap. 12.17, 19. Matth. 6.12, 14, 15. Mat. 18.21, &c. (h) Luk. 17.3, 4. Matth. 23.34. (i) 1 Pet. 3.8. (k) 1 Pet. 3.13. (l) Mat. 5.42. (m) Tit. 3.1, 2. Put them in mind to be subject to Principalities and Powers, to obey Magistrates, to be ready to every good Work, to speak evil of no Man, [Gr. to blaspheme no Man]; to be no Brawlers, but gentle, shewing all meekness unto all Men. Jam. 3.17. The Wisdom that is from Above, is first pure, then peaceable, gentle and easy to be intreated, full of Mercy and good Fruits, without partiality, [or without wrangling] and without hypocrisy. See Job 29.12, &c.]

Q. I would hear something which you have learn'd concerning the Duty of Believers in their several Relations to others: and first, as be­ing of the same Kingdom or Com­mon-Wealth; Here tell me, What is their Duty who govern, as in a King­dom the King doth, and they that are [Page 127]sent of him for the punishment of Evil Doers, and for the praise of them that do well?

A. He that ruleth over Men, must be just, ruling in the Fear of God. 2 Sam. 23.3.

Q. What is their Duty toward their Governors?

A. They must submit themselves to every Ordinance of Man [Gr. to every Humane Creature, (that is) to every one whom Men set up to Rule and Govern] for the Lord's sake, [that is, for Conscience-sake] whether it be to the King as Supream, or unto Governors, as unto them that are sent by him, for the punishment of Evil-doers, and for the praise of them that do well.

[1 Pet. 2.13, 14. See the thirteenth Chapter of the Epistle to the Romans. See Tit. 3.1.]

Q. VVhat is their Duty, being Hus­bands, toward their VVives?

A. An Husband ought to love his Wife as himself, nourishing and che­rishing [Page 128]Her as his own Body, ren­dering her due Benevolence, and giving honour to the Wife, as to the weaker Vessel, and not being bitter unto her, and all this, not­withstanding she be an Unbeliever, whom therefore he must not forsake, but must endeavour her Conversion. Ephes. 5.25, &c. 1 Cor. 7.3, &c. 1 Pet. 3.7. Col. 3.19. 1 Cor. 7.11, 16.

Q. What is the Duty of Wives to­ward their Husbands?

A. A Wife ought to love her Hus­band, and to submit to him as to the Lord, by reverencing and obey­ing him, and must render unto him due Benevolence, and all this, though he be an Unbeliever. [Tit. 2.4. Ephes. 5.22, 23, 24, 33. Col. 3.18. 1 Pet. 3.1, &c. 1 Cor. 7.3, &c. vers. 10, &c.]

Q. What is the Duty of Parents to­ward their Children?

A. It is the Duty of Parents not to provoke their Children to Wrath, lest they be discouraged, but to bring [Page 129]them up in the Nurture and Admo­nition of the Lord, and to pro­vide for them. Ephes. 6.4. Col. 3.21. Prov. 29.15. 2 Tim. 3.15. 1 Tim. 5.8.

Q. What is the Duty of Children to­wards their Parents?

A. It is the Duty of Children to honour their Father and Mother. Ephes. 6.2. Exod. 20.12. Mal. 1.6.

Q. But what is it for Children to honour their Father and Mother?

A. First, Children that are under the Power of their Parents, ought to honour them, by obeying them in the Lord.

[Ephes. 6.1, 2, 3. Children obey your Pa­rents in the Lord, for this is right. Honour thy Father and thy Mother, (which is the first Commandment with promise) that it may be well with thee, and that thou mayest live long on the Earth. Col. 3.20. Children, obey your Parents in all things, (which they as Parents may command) for this is well-pleasing unto the Lord. See Rom. 1.30. 2 Tim. 3.2.]

Secondly, Children under the [Page 130]Power of their Parents, ought to honour them, by so regarding them when they justly correct, as to be ashamed, and amend, and not to be provoked to Anger when so chasti­sed. Heb. 12.9.

[Thus it is written in the Law of Mo­ses; Deut. 21.18, &c. If a Man have a stubborn and rebellious Son, which will not obey the Voice of his Father, or the Voice of his Mother, and that when they have cha­stened him, will not hearken unto them; then shall his Father and his Mother lay hold on him, and bring him out unto the Elders of his City, and unto the Gate of his Place; and they shall say unto the Elders of his City, This our Son is stubborn and rebellious, he will not obey our Voice, he is a Glutton and a Drunkard. And all the Men of his City shall stone him with Stones that he die: So shalt thou put Evil away from among you, and all Israel shall hear and fear.]

Thirdly, Children under or not under the Power of their Parents, ought to honour them, by reverencing their Father and Mother.

[Levit. 19.3. Ye shall fear [reverence] every Man his Mother and his Father. Deut. [Page 131]27.16. Cursed be he that setteth light by his Father or his Mother, and all the People shall say, Amen. Prov. 30.17. The Eye that mocketh at his Father, and despiseth to obey his Mother, the Ravens of the Valey shall pick it out, and the young Eagles shall eat it.]

Fourthly, All Children ought to honour their Parents, by shewing the natural Affection of Children to them, in being a delight and glory to them, and useful and profitable to them in what they can.

[Prov. 10.1. A wise Son maketh a glad Father, but a foolish Son is the heaviness of his Mother. Prov. 23.24. The Father of the Righteous shall greatly rejoice, and he that be­getteth a wise Child, shall have joy of him. Prov. 28.7. Whoso keepeth the Law, is a wise Son, but he that is a Companion of riotous Men, shameth his Father. Matth. 15.4, &c. God commanded, saying, Honour thy Father and Mother; and he that curseth Father or Mother, let him die the Death. But ye [Pha­risees] say, Whosoever shall say to his Fa­ther or Mother, It is a Gift, by whatsoever thou mightest be profited by me, and honour not his Father or Mother, he shall be free. Thus (saith Christ) have ye made the Com­mandment of God of none effect by your Tra­dition. [Page 130] [...] [Page 131] [...] [Page 132]Prov. 19.26. He that wasteth his Father, and chaseth away his Mother, is a Son that causeth shame, and bringeth reproach. Exod. 21.15. He that smiteth his Father or his Mother, shall be surely put to death.]

Q. What is the Duty of Masters to­wards their Servants?

A. 'Tis the Duty of Masters to give unto their Servants that which is just and equal, moderating Threat­nings. Knowing that their Master also is in Heaven, and that there is no respect of Persons with him. Col. 4.1. Ephes. 6.9.

Q. What is the Duty of Servants to­ward their Masters?

A. 'Tis the Duty of Servants, to count their Masters worthy of all Ho­nour [due to Masters], and to be obedient to them with fear and trem­bling, [that is, pleasing them well in all things, not answering again, or gain-saying] in singleness of their Heart, as unto Christ: that is, not with Eye-Service, as Men-pleasers, but as the Servants of Christ, doing the [Page 133]VVill of God from the Heart; with good VVill doing service as to the Lord, and not to Men: not purloining, but shewing all good fidelity. And all this not only to the good and gentle, but al­so to the froward: for this is thank­worthy, if a Man for Conscience to­ward God endure grief, suffering wrong­fully. But if they have Believing Ma­sters, they must not despise them be­cause they are Brethren, but rather do them Service because they are faithful and beloved, partakers of the Benefit. Ephes. 6.5, &c. Col. 3.22, &c. Tit. 2.9, &c. 1 Pet. 2.18, &c. 1 Tim. 6.1, 2.

Q. What is the Duty of Believers to­wards Believers?

A. Believers ought to love one ano­ther with a pure heart fervently, and to continue therein. 1 Pet. 1.22. Heb. 13.1.

Q. But how are they to shew their love one to another?

A. First, They are to follow after the things that make for Peace, as low­liness or humbleness, meekness, long­suffering, [Page 134]and the like. Rom. 14.19. Ephes. 4.2, 3.

Q. What else?

A. They also are to follow after the things wherewith they may edify one another, as by restoring them that are taken in a Fault; by confirming, exhor­ting, and comforting one another. Rom. 14.19. Gal. 6.1. 1 Thess. 5.14. Act. 15.32. Heb. 10.24, &c.

Q. Is there any thing else?

A. Yes; for Believers ought in an especial manner to be ready unto eve­ry good Work towards their Brethren, and that with the hazard of their own Lives (if need be) for the relief, succour, and safety of their Brethren, when they are poor, sick, imprisoned, banished, or any otherwise in affliction and danger.

[Gal. 6.10. Heb. 13.16. 1 Joh. 3.16. Joh. 13.34. Mat. 25.34, &c. Heb. 13.1, 2, 3. 1 Joh. 3.15, &c. Rom. 12.13. Phil. 2.30.]

Q. Have you any thing more to add?

A. I shall sum up all in this, That Believers ought to rejoice with them that rejoice, and to weep with them [Page 135]that weep, to be of the same mind one towards another, and to serve one ano­ther in love. Rom. 12.15, 16. Gal. 5.13.

Q. What is the Duty of their Elders that Teach and Rule among them?

A. They ought to feed the Flock of God, taking the oversight thereof, not by constraint, but willingly; not for filthy lucre, but of a ready mind; neither as be­ing Lords over God's Heritage, but being Ensamples to the Flock. 1 Pet. 5.2, 3.

Q. What is the Duty of the Flock to­wards those that feed them?

A. Their Duty is, to know, obey and esteem them very highly in love for their Works sake, and to communicate to them in all good things. 1 Thess. 5.12, 13. Heb. 13.17. Gal. 6.6.

Q. I am now willing to hear what you have learn'd touching the Duty of Believers, in reference to their tempo­ral Life, and the good things belong­ing thereto, as Pleasures, Riches, Ho­nours, and in reference to the contra­ry; wherefore I ask you, What is the Duty of Believers in reference to their Temporal Life?

A. Their Duty in the general is, To love their Lives in seeking to save them, when they may so do, and not lose them for ever; also to hate their Lives in not seeking to save them, when by losing them they may save them for ever. 1 Pet. 3.10. Luk. 14.26.

Q. When may a Man be said to lose his Life for ever, in seeking to save it for a time?

A. Then when a Man cannot save his Life and serve God together.

Q. Well; What is the Duty of Believers for the saving of their temporal Lives?

A. They as Men trusting in God and obeying him, must seek to provide that which may preserve their Lives, and to avoid that which may destroy them.

Q. How may they thus seek that which may preserve their Lives?

A. When with Prayer and thank­fulness to God daily for their daily Bread, they seek to get by diligence in some honest Imploiment, or, if need be, by Benefits from others, that which is needful, and to keep necessary things, [Page 137]not wastfully spending them, nor sin­fully with-holding them, when called to lend them unto the Lord.

[Mat. 6.11. 1 Tim. 4.4, 5. Mat. 6.25, &c. Ephes. 4.28. 1 Thess. 4.11, 12. 2 Thess. 3.6, &c. Prov. 6.6, &c. Luk. 22.35. Act. 4.34. & 20.35. Eccles. 3.6. Prov. 21.20. & 23.21. & 29.3. & 22.16. Prov. 11.24. & 28.27. & 19.17.]

Q. How must they seek to avoid that which may destroy their Lives?

A. Among other things, they must first keep themselves free from all sins, for which God sometimes doth, or Men justly may take away their Lives. Psalm. 55.23. 1 Cor. 11.30. Rom. 13.4. 1 Pet. 4.15. Secondly, They must seek to keep themselves safe from those that seek their Lives, and this either by Power, when Right and Law arms them against their Enemies, or only by Prudence, when Power is want­ing, or may not be used lawfully. Esth. 8.11, &c. 1 King. 1.12. Mat. 10.16, &c. Ephes. 5.15, 16. Col. 4.5.

Q. When must Believers hate their Lives in not seeking to save them?

A. Then must they hate their Lives, [Page 138]when they cannot with the perserva­tion of their Lives, keep a good Con­science towards God. They must be al­ways free to hazard their Lives in the performance of their Duty to God. Rev. 12.11. Matth. 16.24, &c. Luk. 14.26, &c. Joh. 12.25. Rom. 8.17. Act. 15.26. & 20.24. Judg. 5.18.

Q. Now let us speak concerning Worldly Pleasures, and their Contra­ry: What have you learn'd touching the Duty of Believers, in reference to worldly Pleasures?

A. I have learn'd, That Believers, who may use lawful Pleasures, must be moderate in the use of them, and avoid all sinful Plea­sures and Delights; being chast and tempe­rate in shunning Adultery, Fornication, Un­natural Uncleanness, Lasciviousness, Sur­feiting, Gluttony, Drunkenness, Rioting or Revelling, Idleness, and the like.

[Eccles. 3.12. & 5.18, &c. & 9.7, &c. Phil. 4 5. 1 Cor. 7.29, &c. Prov. 21.17. Luk 8.14. 1 Tim. 5.6. 2 Tim. 3.4, 11. Heb. 11.25. Tit. 2.12. 1 Pet. 3.2. 1 Thess. 4.11. Gal. 5.23. 2 Pet. 1.6. 1 Cor. 9.25, &c. Tit. 1.8. & 2.2. Gal. 5.19. Ephes. 5.3. Rom. 1.24, &c. Deut. 23.17. 1 Cor. 6.9. 1 Tim. 1.10. Jude 7. Exod. 12.19. Levit. 18.23. Mark 7.22. 1 Pet. 4.3. Luke 21.24. Prov. 23.21. Mat. 11.19 Rom. 13.13. Gal. 5.21. Ezek. 10.49. 1 Tim. 5 13. 2 Thess. 3.11.]

Q. What is the Duty of Believers that are in sorrow by reason of Afflictions?

A. It is their Duty to be patient in all, to rejoice in the Lord always, and to endeavour that all may be for profit and good unto them. Rom. 12.12. Jam. 5.7, &c. Phil. 4.4. Jam. 1.2. Heb. 12.11.

Q. Let us now speak of Worldly Riches; What is the Duty of Believers that are Rich?

A. Their Hearts must not be lifted up [in Pride] because of their Riches. They must not despise the Poor, nor oppress them, nor trust in uncertain Riches, but in the living God; and they ought to be rich in good Works. Ezek. 28.5. Ps. 49.6. Prov. 28.11. Jam. 2.6. Prov. 17.5. & 14.31. 1 Tim. 6.17.

Q. What is their Duty who are not Rich?

A. They must be content with the things that they have, not willing, resolving and labouring to be rich, nor envying those that are. Heb. 13.5. 1 Tim. 6.8, &c. Prov. 23.4. 1 Cor. 13.4. Rom. 13.13. Psal. 73.2, &c.

Q. We are now to speak of Worldly Ho­nour: Tell me, how must they that are in Ho­nour behave themselves?

A. They must be lowly, and walk wor­thy of the Honour they have. Prov. 11.2. & 16.18, 19. Act. 24.2.

Q. Upon this occasion, tell me, What is [Page 140]the way of getting and keeping an honourable Esteem and Reputation with others?

A. The right way to get and keep our selves in an honourable Esteem with others; is, To abstain from all appearance of Evil; to excel in Wisdom and Vertue, and to b [...] ­have our selves modestly and discreetly in all Converse with others.

[1 Thess. 5.22. 1 Cor. 14.12. 1 King 4.30 Phil. 2.29, 30. Prov. 31.10, &c. & 15.33. Luke 14.8, &c. 1 Tim. 2.9, &c. 1 Cor. 11.13, &c. Psal. 112.5. Tit. 2 5. Prov. 11.22. & 12.16. & 19.11. & 18.13. Eccles. 10 1. Prov. 25.9, 10.]

Q. You have now spoken much of good Works, Have you any thing more to say of this Matter?

A. There is much more to be spoken con­cerning good Works; but I am willing to conclude this Discourse now with that of the Apostle Paul, in Phil. 4.8. Finally, Bre­thren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any Vertue, and if there be any Praise, think on these things.


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