THE LAW UNSEALED: OR, A PRACTICAL EXPOSITION OF THE TEN COMMANDMENTS. WITH A resolution of several Momentous Questions and Cases of Conscience.

By the Learned, Laborious, Faithful Servant of Jesus Christ, Mr. JAMES DURHAM, Late Minister of the Gospel at GLASGOW.

Thy Commandment is exceeding broad.

Psalm 119. 96.

The second Edition revised and corrected, To which are prefixed the Commendatory Epistles of two famous English Divines, Dr. Owen and Mr. Jenkin: There is also affixed an Alphabetical Table of the principal matters handled in the whole Book; likewise the Errata that are escaped in the third Edition, they are printed and amended in their right place in this second Edition.


GLASGOW, Printed by Robert Sanders, Printer to the City and University, and are to be sold in his Shop. 1676.


To the Right Honourable, Truly Noble, and Renownedly Religious Lady, My Lady Marquess of ARGILE.

Noblest Madam,

HAD it so seemed good to the Soveraign, Holy, and Infinite Wise God, he might at the first moment of his Peoples Conversion, have quite expelled all, even the very least remainders of indwelling Corruption, and perfectly conformed them to his own Image in Holi­ness; but he hath in the depth of his insearchable Wis­dome, otherwise disposed for ends best known to him­self: concerning which (what ever may be, even here, our strongely-probable, and, in a good measure, quieting Conjecturs as to some of them) it will be our Wisdom to make a reference for full satisfaction to the day of that great Solemn and Celebrious general Assembly of the first-Born, wherein all such references shall be called and satisfyingly dis­cussed: And seeing he hath thought it fit that some relicts of sin (but ex­auctorated of its ringe and dominion) should indwell; and that there­by the spiritual constitution of sojourning-Saints should be a mixture of Grace and Corruption (each of these, notwithstanding, retaining still its own natural irreconcileable Antipathy with the other, and lusting a­gainst the other; so that in all their actings, both gracious and sinful, they are still divided; and neither one, as they were before Regenerating Grace, nor as they shall be in Glory) its highly congruous and sutable to the same ins [...]nit Wisdom, that there should be a proportionable and cor­respondent mixture in the dispensations of his Providence towards them while one this side, Heaven, some more smiling, and some more cross: the Flesh and Unregenerate part requiring crosses to whip it up, and drive it forward; and the Spirit and Regenerate part calling for them also, to keepit awake and on its guard, against the surprising prejudice and hurt it may sustain from the restless ill Neighbour, and troublesome Companion, a Body of Death, that cleaveth close to them, as a Girdle doth to the Loins of a Man, by reason of which they have not many hours, let be days, to do well to an end: When their Constitution com­eth to be purely Grace, perfectly defecat and refined from all the dreggy and dro [...]sy mixture of indwelling Corruption then will their Lot be pure Solace and Joy, even perfection & perpetuity of Joy, without any the least mixture of Sorrow or Trouble of what ever sort; but till then (and Bles­sed [Page] Eternally be God, it is not long to that, even but a moment) Trouble and Sorrow, less or more, will wait on them who through much Tribula­tion must enter into the Kingdom of God▪ Yet on a just reckoning there will be found no real nor well grounded Reason of dissatisfaction with this wise disposal of Divine Providence, since He never afflicteth, nor are they in heaviness through one or more, or even manifold Temp­tations; but when there is Need, and such need that a few serious refle­ctions will constrain the Patient to acknowledge it, and to say, This same particular Cross so and so circumstantiated, could not well have been wanted without a greater prejudice; nay, considering the inseparable connection that God in his Eternal and Unalterable Decree, hath establi­shed betwixt the end and all the means that lead to it; When ever such and such a Cross is actually met with, there is ground to think that it is as necessary as the Salvation of the Christians is▪ that Cross being appointed as one mean with others, to bring about the purposed end, to wit, the Salva­tion of such a Person: which one consideration (That they are appointed thereunto, as the Apostle, writing to the Thessalon [...]ans, asserteth) well pondered, would contribut, not a little to reconcile the most sadly Cros­sed and afflicted Children of God, a great deal more to their respective Crosses; and would make them to be taken up and borne more patient­ly, pleasantly, and chearfully; and would with all make them to look out on them with a less formidable & more amiable Aspect than ordinarily they do. And since, in the second place, all there Afflictions are affli­ctions only of this present time, for a season, and but for a moment, not protracted according to desert one minute beyond Death, let be Eterni­ties length; Since moreover the heaviest Loads, and greatest measures of them are but light and moderate Afflictions, and His severest correct­ings of them are in measure with Judgment and Discretion; He stayeth his rough Wind in the day of his East Wind, and doth in great Wisdom suite and proportion the tryals of his People to their strength and standing; in His faithfulness, not suffering them to be tempted above what they are able, but with the temptation making a way to escape that they may be able to bear it: Its not his manner to put new Wine into old Bottles, nor to sew a piece of new Cloath unto an old Garment. He that teacheth the Husband man discre­tion, about the fit time and season of Plowing, Tilling, Sowing, Har­rowing, and Reaping of every kind of Seed and Grain, according to its Nature; and how to Thresh out these several sorts of Seed & Grain by fit means and instruments, can, being wonderful in Counsel, and excellent in Work­ing, with infinitely more wisdom, skill, judgment, discretion, and tenderness, pitch the fittest seasons, kinds, measures and durations of [Page] his People Afflictions, according to their several Necessities, Disposi­tions, Standings, Capacities, and Abilities. And since withal, our Soveraign Lord the King, the King of Saints, out of the absoluteness of his Dominion, and the super-aboundance of his richest Grace hath im­posed upon every Cross that his People meet with, not excepting (to say so) Vessels of the greatest Burden of Affliction that Sail up and down the Sands, as it were, of the troublesome Sea of this World, the Tole and Custom of some spiritual Good to be Payed to them; Allowing, Warran­ting, and Commanding them by his Commission granted to them under his Great Seal for that effect, to demand, require, and exact it from every occurring Cross and Affliction: And if there shall be any demur or delay, let be seeming denyal to pay this Custom to wait and search for it, and with a piece of holy peremptoriness, to persist in the exacting of it, as being most certainly, without a possibility of misgiving, to be got therefore which the Commission (more and more endeavoured to be really believed and made use of according to the Granter's mind) should be produced; wherein he hath given the highest security that All things (having a special look at all their Afflictions, as the context, in the con­fession of most, if not all Judicious Commentators putteth beyond de­bate) shall work together for good to them that love God, and are the called according to his purpose; where he hath, to speak so with reverence to his Majesty, condescended some way, to abridge his own Soveraignty and absolute Dominion, ingaging himself by Covenant, that though he may do what he will, yet he shall will to do nothing but what shall be for his Peoples good; so that in all his dispensations towards them, his abso­lute Dominion and his good Will shall be commensurable, & of equal ex­tent, the one of them never to be stretched one hairs breadth beyond the other; and even in the most dark, involved, intricate, abstruse and mysterious providences wherein they can read and take up least of his mind; and wherein he (seeming to walk either in the greatest absolute­ness of his Dominion, or in the sharpest severity of his Justice) re­fuseth to give a particular account of his matters and motions, hath wonderfully stooped & condescended to give this general, sweetly-satisfa­ctory Account, That they shall work for good, even their spiritual good and profit, The purging of sin, and their further participation of his Holiness: O! that all the graciously sincere Lovers of God, and the effectually called according to his purpose, might from the lively Faith of this, be per­swaded and prevailed with, to set themselves down at the Rece [...]t of these Customs from the many Crosses and Afflictions that come in their way, with a fixed resolution to suffer none of them to pass without paying the [Page] Custom imposed by the King; The faithful, diligent, close, and con­stant following of this imployment would inspeakably inrich, and more than make up all their Losses, infinitly beyond what gathering in the Customs of the rarest and richest Commodities of both the In [...]es could possibly do, were they all ingrossed and monopolized to that most ho­nourable Society of the Godly; and would help them to bear out a great spiritual rank and port, sutable to the state of the King, and as it becometh them that are priviledged to be Collectors of such Customs under Him.

It is now, Noble Madam, a long time, not far from towards 30. years (what ever was before) since your Ladyship was known by some to be helped, through Grace, seriously to sit down at the receit of these Customs from the cross and afflicting dispensations which then occurred to yo [...], whereby ye did observably improve, better, and increase your spiritual stock and state, some-way to the admiration of Standers by; and since that time, for most part of it, you have been in the holy Provi­dence of God, tryed with a tract of Tribulations, each of them more trying than another; and some of them such, that I think (as once the blest Author of this Treatise on occasion of a sad & surprising stroak, the removal of the desire of his eyes, his gracious and faithful Wi [...]e, after a whiles silence, with much gravity and great composure of spirit, said, Who could perswade me to believe that this is good, if God had not said it:) if all the world had said and sworn it, they could very hardly, if at all, have perswaded you to believe that they were good: But since God, that cannot lye, hath said it, there is no room left to debate or doubt of it, let be to deny it▪ and if your Ladyship (as I hope yo [...] haue) hath been all this while gathering up the Customs [...] spiritual good and gain, impos­ed upon these many, various, and great tribulations, wherewith the Lord, no doubt, on a blessed design of singular good to you, hath thought fit to exercise you beyond most persons living, at least of your so noble station and extraction: O! what a vast stock and Treasure of rich and soul-inriching precious experiences of the good and profit of all these Afflictions and Tribulations must you needs have lying by you? What humility and soft walking, what contrition and tenderness of heart; what frequency and fervency, what seriousness and spirituality in Prayer? what sitting alone and keeping silence because he hath done it? what justifying of God, and ascribing Righteousness to Him in all that he hath done? what sweet Soli-loquies communings with the heart one the Bed, self-searchings and examinations? what delight-some meditations on God, and on his Law? what Mortification of Lusts, [Page] what deadness and denyedness to, and what weanedness from all Crea­ture-comforts and delights of the sons of Men? What solicitous secur­ing of the grand Interest amid'st these shakings-loose of all other in­terests? what coveting of, and complacency in fellowship with God the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ, while your other fellowship is made desolate? what accounting of all things, so much in account a­mongst men, to be but loss and dung in comparison of the excellency of the knowledge of Jesus Christ the Lord? what growing disconformity to the World, by the renewing of your mind? what transforming into the Image of God from Glory to Glory, as by the Spirit of the Lord? what ex­amplary holiness in all manner of conversation? what postponing of all particular & self-interests to the publick interest of his Glory? what wait­ings and longings for the Coming of his Kingdom? what desires and designs faithfully to serve your Generation according to His Will; and when that is done, what groanings to be uncloathed and cloathed upon with your House from above? and what lively longings, with sweet sub­missions to his Will to be dissolved, and to be with Jesus Christ, which is best of all? How much in the mean time of a Stranger's and Pilgrim's deportement with published practical plain declarations to the world that this is not your Country? but that you are in expectation of one, even a Heavenly Country, so that God is not ashamed to be called your God? finally, What practical and experimental knowledge of, and clear insight in that notable and none-such art of making out of God, and making up in Him what is missing amongst the Creatures? a little of whom can go far, inconceivably far, to fill up much empty and voyd room, through the re­moval of many and most choice Creature-comforts? What possible loss or want is it that cannot be made up in him? who is God all-sufficient, and in whom, what-ever is desirable and excellent amongst them all, is to be found in an eminently transcendent, and infinitely more excellent way; and from whom, as the inexhaustibly full Fountain, and incom­prehensibly vast, immense, shoarless, boundless, and bottomless Ocean of all delightful, desirable, imaginable, and possible perfections, the small drops, and little rivulets of seeming and painted perfections scat­tered amongst the Creatures, issue forth: O! beautiful and blest fruits of afflictions, yet not brought forth by afflictions of themselves, but by his own grace working together with, and by them; a part of whose Royal and Incommunicable Prerogative, it is (not communicate nor given out of his own hand to any dispensation, whether of Ordinances, or of Providences more smiling or more cross, abstractly from his Bles­ing and Grace) to teach to profit. If your Ladyship be not thus inriched, [Page] and if your Stock and Revenue be not thus bettered, I take it for grant­ed that it is your burden, and more afflicting to you than all your other Afflictions; & that it is with-all singly aimed at by you, and diligently dri­ven as your greatest design in the world. I could from my own particular certain knowledge and observation, long agoe, and of late (having had the honour and happiness to be often in your company, and at some of the lowest ebbs of your outward prosperity) and from the knowledge of others more knowing and observing than I, say more of your rich in­comes of gain and advantage, of your improvements, of the counter­vailings of your dammage, and of the up-makings of all your losses this way, than either my fear of incurring the construction of a Flatterer with such as do not know you as I do, will permit; or your Christian modesty, sobriety, and self-denyal will admit; and to undertake to say all that might truly, and without complementing (too too ordinary in Epistles Dedicatory) be said to this purpose, would be thought by your Lady-ship as far below you to crave, or expect, as it would be above me suitably to perform.

Now Madam, being fully perswaded that this savoury, sound, solid, soul-searching, and soul-setling Treatise, will be acceptable to, and improved by your Ladyship, for furtherance of this your spiritual good and advantage, beyond what it will be to, and by most others: I find no need of any long consultation with my self, To whom to address its Dedication, you having in my poor esteem on many accounts, the de­served preference of many (to say no more) Ladys of Honour now li­ving; and since with-all I nothing doubt, had the precious, and now perfected Author been alive, and minded the publication of it with a Dedication to any Noble Lady, Your Self would have been the Person, of whom, I know, he had a high esteem, having himself, before his Death, signified his purpose of Dedicating his piece on the Canticles to your Lady-ships Noble and much noted Sister in Law, my Lady V [...]-Countess of Kenmure. It needs no Epistles of commendation to you, who was so throughly acquainted with its Author; the reading of it will abundantly commend it self, and as a piece, though posthumous, of his work, commend him in the Gates. I shal only now say, which will much indear it to you, and to all the honest-hearted Students of Holiness, that it is for most part, very practical (and what is polemick in it) at that time much called for) is by a true information of the judgement directly levelled at a suitable practise) and your Ladyship knoweth that the power, yea, the very soul & life of Religion lyeth in the dew practise of it; and indeed we know no more in God's account than we do through [Page] Grace, singly and seriously design and endeavour to practise; they all and they only having a good understanding, that do his Commandements, and to do, and keep them, being his Peoples Wisdom and Ʋnderstanding in the sight of the Nations who here of these Statutes, and are constrained to say, Surely this is a Wise and Ʋnderstanding People; The greatest measure of meerly apprehensive and speculative knowledge of the Truths and Will of God, doth not make truly Wise, because not Wise to Salvation, nor evidenceth the Persons that have it to be really Happy, the Lord not having pro­nounced them to be such that only know, but who knowing these things do them; though, alase, many not at all, or but very little considering this seek to know only, or mainly, that they themselves may know, or that they may make it known to others that they do know (a notable disappoint­ment of the end of all sound Scripture-Theologie, which is as to the Whole, and every Part, Head and Article thereof, Practise, and nor mere Speculation) the great Soul-ruining practical error of many Professors of this knowing age upon the one hand; as there is another error in pra­ctise, lamentably incident to not a few well-meaning Souls, on the other hand, whereby desiring and delighting only to hear, read, and know what speaks to their present case and spiritual exercise, or immediatly presseth somewhat in practise, they much weary of, and listen but little to what serveth for more full and clear information of their Judgments in the liter­al meaning of the Scriptures, in the Doctrinal part of Religion, and in what may increase, better, and advance their knowledge in the principles thereof, till they be sound in the Faith, established in the present Truth, and have their loins girt about with it; whereby it comes to pass, that al­though some such may, through grace, have chosen the better part which wil not be taken from them; yet they are not only through their ignorance filled with many confusions, and with perplexing, and almost inextricable fears and doubts about their own spiritual state and condition, but are also eminently exposed to the dreadful hazard of being catched and carryed a away as a ready prey, by every error and Sect master, plausibly pretend­ing but any the least respect to the practise and power of Godliness; which hath been very prejudical to the Church of God in all Ages, and most observably in this, as ther is much ground to fear it may yet further be, if we be tryed with warm and sutable tentations. Happy therefore, yea, thrice happy they, who are by the skill and conduct of him that is given to be a Leader and Pilot to his People, helped to stemm the Port, and to steer a streight & steddy course betwixt the Shelves & Rocks of these Ex­treams, on the right and left hand, on which thousands have spilt and made Shipwarck; and to make it their business as to seek diligently after [Page] knowledge of the truths of Religion; to cry and lift up their voyce for it as for Silver and for hid Treasure; and to run to and fro thorow the use of all Divinely appointed means that knowledge may be increased; so, vi­gorously to drive it as their design, to practise all they know, and to have their practise foot-side with, and marching up, the full length of their knowledge and profession. That your Ladyship may more and more (as you, through Grace, already in a great measure do) thus stemm the Port, fetching some more Wind to fill your Sails from God's Blessing on this Judgement-instructing and affection-moving practical Treatise, till you arrive with a plerophory of Faith with up-Sails Top and Top-gallant, at that peaceful Port and Heavenly Harbour of Rest, prepared for the People of God, is the serious Desire of

Noble Madam,
Your Ladyships much Obliged,
and Devoted Servant
for Christs sake.


THE subject matter of this Treatise must without all controversie be passing excellent, it being not only a portion of Divinely-inspired Scripture, but such portion of it as is the Moral Law; the most straight infallible, perfect, an perpetually▪binding rule of life and manners, that short summary and abrid gment of all called▪for duties and forbidden sins (whatever S [...]inions (with whom Anabaptists and Arminian-Remonstrants on the matter joyn hands (on a woeful design to transform the Gospel into a new Law or Covenant of Works, that thereby in place of the righteousness of Faith, and righteousness of Works may be established, by their alledged Supplements and Amendments of, and Addi [...]aments to it, to be made in the New Testament; and Papists by their vainly boasted-of Works of Super-e [...]ogation and Counsels of Perfection, whereby they would have the Law out done by doing more than it requireth, audaci­ously averr to the contrary;) even these Ten-words (afterward contracted by the Lord Christ into two Words or Commandments) immediatly pronounced by God himself, and twice writ­ten with his own finger on Tables of stone, comprising a great many various matters and purposes; so that it may without any the least hesitation or Hyperbole be asserted, There was never so much matter and marrow, with so much admirably-holy, cunning, compended, couched, and con­veyed in so few words, by the most Laconick concise, sententious and singularly significant spokesman in the World: And no wonder, since it is He that gave men tongues, and taught them to speak, that speaketh here, who hath infinitly beyond the most expert of them, (being all but Battologists and Bablers, beside Him) the art of speaking much, marvellously much in few words; and would even in this have us according to our measure humbly to imitate him: And no doubt it is one of the many moe, and more grosse evidences of the declension of this Generation from the ancient, lovely, and laudable simplicity, that many men forgetting that God at first appointed words to be the external signs of the internal conceptions of their minds, and foolish­ly fancing that because they love and admire to hear themselves talk, others do or are obliged to do so; affect to multiply, words, if not without knowledge, yet without necessity, and with vast disproportion to the matter; And whereas a few of their words rightly disposed, might sufficiently serve to bring us to the very outmost border and boundary of their conceptions, and also to make suitable impressions of them (all the end of words) yet ere we can come that length, we must needs wear away our time, and weary our selves in wandring through the wast Wilderness of the unnecessary and superfluous remainder of them: And this doth usher in, or rather is ushered in, by other piece of neighbour-vanity, whereby men wearing of wonted and long worn words, though sufficiently significant, grow fond upon [...]ovel, new coyn'd and never before heard of ones, stretching their wit (if supperfluity of words, though both n [...]w and neat, be worthy to be placed amongst the productions of wit; for thereby we are made never a whit the wiser, nor more knowing) and putting their invention on the Tenters to find out (no new matter but) n [...]w words, whereby often old, plain and obvious matters are intricated and ob [...]cured, at least to more ordinary Readers and Hearers, a notable perversion of the end of words for which the institu­ter of them will call to an account; neither are they satisfied with such curi sity in coa [...]ser and more comm [...]n matters▪ but this Alien and Fo [...]raign, yea even Romantick and wanton stil [...] of language is introduced into, and malepartly obtruded upon Theologick [...] and most sublimely spiritual pur­poses, whether discoursed by vive voyce, or committed to writing▪ (which ought I grant to be spoke as becometh the Oracles of God, with a grave appositness, of phrase, keeping some pro­portion with the Majesty of the matter, that they may not be exposed to cont [...]mpt by any unbecoming [Page] incongruity or baseness) by which it cometh to pass to the inspeakable prejudice and obstruction of Edification, that many in their niceness, n [...]useating▪ form of simple and sound words, are ready to [...]iss and ho [...] off the Theater of the Church the most precious and profitable points of Truth though abundantly beautiful, Majestick and powerful in their own native spiritual simplicity, [...]s unfit to act their part, and as being but dull and blunt things, if not altogether unworthy to be owned▪ and received as truths; if they appear not, whether in the Pulpit or Press, cloathed with this strange and gaudi [...] attire, with this Comedians Coat dressed up with the Feathers of Arrogant humane Eloquence, and be▪daubed with this Rethorick and affectedly belaboured Elegancy of speech (which our truly, manly, and magnanimous Christian-Author did undervalue: And no great wonder, since even the Heathen moral Philosopher Senec [...] did look at it as scarce worthy of a man; for writing to his Lucil [...]us, he willeth him in stead of being busied about words to cause himself have a feeling of the substance thereof in his heart; and to think those whom he seeth to have an affected and laboured kind of speech to have their spirits occupied about vain things▪ comparing such to diverse young m [...]n well trimmed and frizli [...], who seem as they were newly come out of a box; from which kind of men nothing firm nor generous is to be expected. And further affirm­eth that a vertuous man speaketh more remis [...]y, but more securely, and whatever he saith [...]ath more confidence in it than curiosity; that speech being the Image of the mind, if a man disguise and polish it too curiously, it is a token that the speaker is an Hypocrit and little worth: And that it is no manly Ornament to speak affectedly) nay, this hath of late with other extrava­gancies risen to such a prodigious hight amongst the wisdom of words, or word-wisdom Mono­polizing men of this age, that if the great Apostle Paul who spoke wisdom (though not of this s [...]rt, nor of this world) amongst them that were perfect, and did upon design, not from any defect, decline all wisdom of words, all inticing words of mens wisdom and excellency of speech, that the cross of Christ might not be made of none [...]ff [...]ct, and that the faith of his hearers might not stand in the wisdom of men but in the power of God, and who loved to speak in the Demonstration of the Spirit and of power, wherein the Kingdom of God consist [...]th and not in word [...] if that great Apostle were now Preaching, he would probably be looked at by such words and wi [...]e heads as but a weak man, and of rude and contemptible speech, (as he was by the big talking Doctors of the Church of Corinth,) if not amere Bable [...], as he was by the Philosophers and Orators at Athens▪ The subject matter I say of this Treatise must needs be most excellent, being the Spiritual, Holy, Just and good Law; the Royal Law, binding u [...]to the Obedience of God our King; the Law which Jesus Christ came not to destroy but to fulfil: whereof he is the end for Righ­teousness to every on that believeth; which doth as a School moster lead to Him (by discovering the holy nature & will of God, and mens duty to walk conformly to it, by convincing of the most sinful pollution of our nature, heart, and life, of universal disconformity to it, and innumerable transgressions of it, of the obligation to the wrath and curse of God because of the same, of u [...]er inability to keep it and to help our selves out of this sinful and wrathful estate; by humbling under the conviction and sense of both, by putting on to the Renunciation of self­righteousness or righteousness according to this Law; And finally by convincing of the abso­lute and indi [...]nsable necessity of an other righteousness, and so of this imputed righteous­nes [...]); the law that is so very necessary to all men in common, and to every Regenerate and unr [...]generate man in particular; from which, [...]re one jote or title can pass unfulfilled, Hea­ven and Earth must pass▪ and which the Prince of Pastors, infinitely skilful to pitch per­ti [...]nt subjects of Preaching, amongst many others made choice of, to be a main subject of that solemn Sermon of his on the Mount; wherein he did not, as many would [...]ave ex­pect [...]d▪ soar alost in abstruse contemplations, but graciously stooped and condescended to our c [...]ity for catching of us, by a plain familiar and practical exposition of the Commands (as indeed Religion lyeth not in high flown notions and curious speculations, nor in great swel­lings of words, but in the single and sedulous practise of these things that are generally looked on [...] low and common, as the great art of Preaching lyeth in the powerful pressing thereof) infin [...]ting of how much moment the right uuderstanding of them is, and how much Religion ly­ [...] in the serious study of suitable obedience thereto, not in order to justification, but for glorify­ing [Page] God, who justifieth freely by his grate through the Redemption that is in Jesus▪ without which Obedience or holiness no man shall see the Lord. And if the Treatise bear but any tolereable pro­portion to such a Text and Theam, it cannot but have its own excellency; and, that thou ma [...]st be induced to think it doth, I shall need only to tell thee that it is (though, alass, posthumous and for any thing I know never by him intended for the Press, otherwise it had been much more full, for [...]e is much shorter on the commands of the second Table, then on these of the first, touching only on some chief heads, not judging it fit belike at that time and in that exercise, to wit, Sabbath­day-morning Lectures before Sermon, to dwell long on that subject (which a particular prosecution would have necessitated him to) especially since he was at that same time to the same auditory Preach­ing Sabbath afternoons on the third chapter of the Epistle to the Colossians, a subject much of the same nature, but what he saith is material and excellent) great Mr. Durhams; who had some excellency peculiar to himself in what he spoke or writ▪ as appeareth by his singular and some way▪S [...]raphick comment on the Revelation, wherein with Aquiline-sharp-sightedness from the top of the high mountain of fellowship with God, he hath deeply pryed into, and struck up a great light in several mysterious things much hid even from many wise and sagacious men before; And by his most sweet and savoury, yet most solid exposition of the Song of Solomon, smelling strong of mor [...] than ordinary acquaintance with, and experience of th [...]se several influxes of the love of Jesus Christ upon the Soul, and effluxes of its love (the fruit and effect of His (towards Him, wherewith that delightful discourse is richly as it were imbroydered; The greatest realities (though indeed sublime spiritualities) most plainly asserted by God, and most powerfully experienced by the God­ly (whose Souls are more livelily affected with them, than their very external senses are by the rarest and most remarkable objects; and no wonder since every thing the more spiritual it is, hath in it t [...] greater reality, and worketh the more strongly and efficaciously) however of late, by an unparalie­ledly-bold black▪mouthed blasphemous Scribler nefariously neck named, Fine Romances o [...] the secret Amouts betwixt the Lord Christ and the believing Soul, told by the Non-conformists­preachers. What? are these and the like, Let him kiss me with the kisses of his mouth, for his love is better than Wine; Thy name is as an Oyntment poured forth, therefore the Virgins love thee; We will remember thy love more than Wine, the upright love thee; Behold thou art fair my beloved, yea pleasant, also our bed is green. A bundle of myrrh is my beloved unto me, he shall lye all night betwixt my breasts—I sat down under his shadow with great delight, and his fruit was sweet to my taste; He brought me to the Banqueting-house, and his Banner [...]ver me was love▪ Stay me with Flagons, comfort me with Apples, for I am sick of love; His left hand is under my head, and his right hand doth imbrace me; My beloved is mine, and I am his; I am my belo­veds, and his desire is towards me; I found him whom my Soul loved, I held him and would not let him go; Set me as a seal upon thy heart, and as a seal on thine arm; Love is strong as death—many waters cannot quench love, neither can the floods drown it; I charge you O Daughters of Jerusalem, if ye find my beloved, that ye tell him, I am sick of love. Come my beloved, let us go up early to the Vine-yards, let [...] see if the Vines flourish—there will I give the my loves; make hast my beloved & be thou like to a R [...]e, or to a young Heart on the Mountains of Spices. How fair and how pleasant art th [...], O love for delights! O my Dove—let▪me see thy countenance, let me hear thy voice, for sweet is thy voice, and thy countenance is comely, thou hast ravished my [...]eart my Sister my Spouse with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck; turn away thine eyes from me, for they have over come me—He that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him and manifest my self to him. If any man love me he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him and make our abode with him: As the Father hath loved me, so have I loved you, continue ye in my love: If ye keep my Commandements, ye shall abide in my love, even as I have kept my Fathers Commande­ments and abide in his love. The love of Christ constraineth us: we love him because he first loved [...] the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost given unto us: whom [...]aving not seen ye love, & whom though now ye see him not, yet believing ye rejoyce with joy unspeakable & full of glory▪ That ye may with all Saints be able to comprehend what is the breadth, and length, & depth, & heighth, and to know the love of Christ that passeth knowledge. Are these I say, Romances: are th [...]se fancies, factions, and forg [...]ries? are these fables cunningly devised and told by the Non conformists-Preachers? [Page] Did the Apostle thunder the great Anathema Ma [...]an [...]h [...], against men for their not h [...] ­ing a meer Romantick end fancied love to the Lord Jesus? (the execution of which dreadful doom will [...]e a solid proof of its reality, and a sad reproof for denying it to be so.) Dare the most proud, petulant, perverse, and prodigiously profane prater, pretending but to the name of a Christian, say it? If these most real love Communications and intercourses betwixt the Lord Christ and the believing Soul, be but Romances, then the whole Bible (whereof these make so con­siderable and so comfortable a part) may be reckoned a Romance (which be like this Romantick Divine will not so much demurr making small account therefore, and audaciously alleadging the En­glish Bible to be a Book in some places erroneous, in [...]ome scarce sense and of dangerous conse­quences; loath would he be to deal so by Grand Cyrus, Cleopatra, and his other darling Ro­mance [...]?) if there be no real but Romantick and fained love betwixt Christ and the Christian, then no real Christianity, no real Christ (whom this new Doctor dreadfully de [...]aseth under the poorly palliated pretext of exalting him, affirming, that his unparalleled civility, and the obliginness of his deportment, seems to be almost as high an evidence of the Truth and Divinity of his Doctrine, as his unparalleled miracles were, otherwise he would be a base and pro­ [...]ig [...]t Impostor; what would this young Divine) for old Divines, and even great Calvin b [...] name, amongst the rest, he despiseth as a company of [...]lly Systematicks) have said and thought of the Divinity of the person end Doctrine of blessed Jesus, if when on earth he had more fre­quently (as he might and probably would have done under the same circumstances) spoke and deals so roughly and roundly as he did when he called Herod a Fox, and scourged the buyers and sellers out of the Temple, and had seemed to be as uncivil and of as little obliging a Deportment as his har­binger, John Baptist, he would be like have doubted of his Divinity, and deemed him but [...] ba [...]e Impostore, if not peremptorily pronounced that he had a Divel▪) No real Redemption, no real Redeemer; no real misery, no real mercy; no real Heaven, no real Hell (but ah! the real acting of its story will easily and quickly refute this Romantick conception of it.) And in fine, no real God: All is but one intire fine Romance fable and figment; The Lord against whom this mouth is opened thus wickedly▪wide, and is by an other Rabsh [...]keh railed on at such a rate of rage▪ rebuke the Spirit which, prompteth to the venting this damnable and Diabolick, nay Hyper diabo­lick Doctrine (for Devils believe that there is one God, and tremble and that Jesus Christ [...] the Son of God, whom even in his state of humiliation they acknowledged to be so, and from the dread of him deprecated his tormenting them before the time; but this Desperado would on the matter drive us into a disbelief of both & yet droll us out of all dread being tormented on that or any other account either before the time or a [...] it, (because of which its Teacher,) of late better taught (if [...] would humble himself to receive Instruction,) by Famous Doctor Owen▪ by Acute Master Mar­vel, and by the Grave author of The Fulfilling of the Scriptures, in his Second Part) deeply deserves not only to be cast out of the Protestant Churches, but to be hissed and chased out of the Christian World. And as appears finally, by that Divinely Politick and Profoundly Wise Trea­tise of Scandal, in General, and of Scandalous Divisions, in Particular: which both Preachers and Professors of the Gospel, should read, and read again, in these sad Times; wherein (Alass!) there is so much Offence given, and so great a readiness to take Offence. Of none of which Trea­tises, nor of any other so brief a Treatise on the Commands, this piece will, I humbly suppose, be found to fall much, if any thing at all, short▪ wherein the Light of the Glory of the Lord, in the Face of Jesus Christ, that shined in upon the heart of his Servant, hath so brightly and radi­antly darted forth it▪s Beams, that he hath clearly shewed us the 7. Abominations of our Hearts▪ and by digging, hath discovered Great Abominations, and Greater, and yet, Greater than these He that searcheth Jerusslem with Candles, hath by putting the Candle of the True Meaning, of the Law of the Lord into his Hand, made him go down and search into the very Inward Par [...]s of the Belly, and B [...]wels of the Corruption of our Nature▪ and to Ransack the most Retired Corners of the Closse Cabinet of the Deep Deceitfulness, and Desperate Wickedness, that is lodged and locked up in our Hearts▪ He hath given to him as it were, the end of the Clew of Search, whereby he hath [Page] [...]ollowed and sound us out, in those many Turnings, and Traversings, Windings and Wandrings, of the Labyrinth of this great Mystery of Iniquity that worketh in us. He hath therein also, mar­vellously helped him with Exquisite Skill, as it were Anatomically to diffect, even to some of the very smallest C [...]pillar Veins; a great part of the Vast Body, of the many & various Duties succinct­ly summed up in these Ten Words, of this Holy Law: A Transumpt and Double whereof, was [...]s V [...]vely Written, and deeply ingraven upon the fleshly tables of the Author's heart, and one the whole of his Visible Deportment, as readily hath been on many of the Sinful Sons of Adam. Not to detain thee long; Let me for provoking, and perswading, to consider what the Blest Author, being now dead, yet speaketh in this Choyse Treatise (and more especially to the Inhabitants of Glasgow, now the Second time) only say, that amongst many other distempers of this declined and degenered Generation, there is a great itching aster some new and more notional and a loath­ing of old and more solid and substantial things in Religion; whereof this is a Demonstration, that though there [...]e very few subjects more necessary and useful than what is treated of here, yet there is almost none more generally slighted▪ as being a very common and ordinary subject, and but the Ten Commands fitter to be read and gote by r [...]t by Children, or at best to be studied by rude and ignorant beginners▪ by Apprentices and Christians of the lowest form in Chris [...] ▪ School, then by Professors of greater knowledge and longer standing, who suppose themselves, and are it may be supposed by others, to have passed their Apprentiship, to be grown Deacons in the Trade of Religio [...], and to have commenced masters of Art therein; who someway disdain and account it below them to stay a while and talk with Moses at the foot of Mount-Sinai, as if they could per saltum▪ or by one Falcon-flight come at the top of Mount Sion, and there converse with and make use of Jesus Christ; whence it cometh to pass that not a few are lamentably ignorant of the very let­ter of the Law, and many more but little infight in the spiritual meaning thereof; which ignor­ance is waited with many unspeakable great prejudices (that are to be considered with respect to the various states of men, as regenerate or unregenerate▪ and the several degrees of their ignor­ance) 1. It very much incapacitateth for selfe-searching and examination, a considerable piece, [...]ea a sort of [...] spring of the exercise of Godliness, How I pray, can a person to any purpose search and try his heart and ways, being altogether, or in a great measure ignorant of the rule ac­cording to which the search ought to be accomplished? 2. It keepeth men much inacqainted with and great strangers to the knowledge of themselves, of their state, frame and walk, so that they can seldome or never be in case to make a knowing distinct and feeling representation of the posture of their spiritual affairs to God. 3. It is the Mother and Nurse not of any true Devotion (as Pa­pists ignorantly or impiously avert) but of much carnal security and false peace; the uninformed or ill informed conscience of the sinner being misconced from and sadly secured against the most just and best grounded challenges▪ being often ignorant when fin is committed, and when duty is ommitted or unduly performed; every fin being a transgression of this Law, and every duty a peice of conformity to it; How can a man be ignorant altogether or in great part of the just extent and spiritual meaning thereof, be as he ought, challenged and accused by his own conscience either for the Commission of the one, or for the Omission or mis-performance of the other? 4. It not ably obstructeth the exercise of humiliation, repentance and self loathing; for how can the breaches of this Law in Omissions, and Commissions, be distincty and particularly repented of and mourned for, when they are not so much as known to be breaches of the Law in general, let be of what particular command thereof? and though they were some way confusedly known to be br [...]a [...]es of it in general, if there be not a distinct knowledge of the command that is broken, the conviction will not readily be so quick, nor the sorrow so pricking; we have need for our humbling to be bound with the convincing and undeniable evidence of our being guilty of the breach of such a Com­mand in particular, that we may not get it shifted nor shaken off. 5. It manifestly standeth in the way of serious and effectual indeavours in the strength of grace to amend what is amiss, and speedily without delay to turn our feet unto his Commandments; there being no gr [...]d to expect that men will in good earnest think of righting wrongs, whereof they are ignorant▪ or not so through­ly▪ [Page] perswaded▪ 6. It hath a mighty tendency to the cherishing of spiritual prid, and that good opinion and conceit of mens own rightcousness, which is as natural to us, as it is for sparks of fire to flye up­wards; And when men know not often when they sin, nor how much they sin, they will be the more easily induced to think they are not so great sinners, nor haveso much reason as is talked of▪ to be so very far and altogether out of conceit with themselves; and what may here be the death▪ill of a natural unrenewed man, may be the dangerous distemper of a child of God 7 (which as the gr & pre­judice doth natively and necessarily result from all the six preceeding prejudices thereof, and maketh it appear to be exceedingly and out of measure prejudicial) it keepeth much from the through conviction and kindly sense of the absolute and indispensable necessity, great usefulness and steadableness and matchless-worth of precious Jesus Christ the Saviour, and of his imputed righteousness; from having daily recourse to him, and making use of him as made of God unto his people both righteous­ness and sanctification; from lying constantly a bleaching as it were, at the fountain opened to the house of David, and to [...]he Inhabitants of Jerusalem for [...]in and for uncleanness▪ from [...]o [...]l edi­fying-refreshing and someway transporting admiration at the absolute perfection of his righteous­ness, that can cover and make as if they had never been, so very many▪ and various violation▪ of the holy Law of God; from new and fresh convictions on all occasions of the unspeakable obligation the people of God lye under, to him who hath perfectly fulfilled this Law, and in their stead taken on him our bl [...]ssed self the curse thereof; from excitements and provocations to thankfulness, and from expressing the same in a greater care and sollicitude to conform thereto as the rule of Obedie [...]e; and finally from suitable longings and pantings of Soul to be according to his gracious undertaking i [...] the covenant of Redemption, put in case to do his▪ will perfectly in our own persons and never any more to transgress this his Law, and to be brought under the full accomplishment of these exceeding great and precious promises, he shall redeem Israel from all his Iniquitie [...]; and his Servants shall serve him. O! that we could by what is said perswade all to a more diligent and accurate study of the Law of God, and to the reading and ruminating upon this solid and Soul-searching Tr [...]ct [...]te; and prevail with several persons (which in reason and conscience might be presumed would not be so very hard a business to bring to pass, with men and women professing them selves to be Christians, nay to have immortal Souls that are to be eternally▪ and un [...]licrabl [...] [...]ither happy or miserable) to [...]ke but as much time to the reading, perusing and pondering of it and other such pieces, as i [...] taken to the reading of amorous Book▪ and Romances; To idle visits, and to vain and empty complements; to over-costly, curious, vain, and concea [...]y dressing, and decking of the body, and setting of the hair now after one mode, now after another (wherein as in other vainities) many men somewhat unmanning themselves, do now contend with Women, partly by their unnaturally nourished Long Hair, and Horrid Bushes of Vanity (as Master Bolton call [...] them) and partly by their Variously▪ and strangly Metamorphosing modes and colours of Periwicks) which made Te [...]tullian in the 7th. Chapter of his Book De cultu mul. to expost [...]lat with the Women of his time after this manner; What doth this cumbersome dressing of the head contribut to your health? why will ye not suffer your hair to be at rest and lye quiet? which is somtimes tyed up, somtimes relaxed and made to hang down, somtimes frizled and curled, somtimes ty'd close and pre [...] down; som­times put under a strict restraint (of plaits, knots, and otherways); and somtimes suffered to escape and slide out from that restraint, and to flitter and fly at random: And ye affix moreover to your heads I know not what enormities of hair sewed and woven now this way, now that way; i [...] you be not ashamed of the enormities, be ashamed at least of the defilement, least ye be found to adorn and cloath a holy and Christian head with the spoil and pillage of the hair of an others head that is a filth [...] person, or it may be of a notorious offender & condemned to Hell. What would he have said of some Women among us, who being displeased not only with their own, but with all colours of hair that God hath made to grow on the heads of reasonable Creatures abomin­ably affect to affix to their fore heads the hair of Beasts. (High extravagan [...]ies of this age almost in all ranks of persons, and never at a greater hight then since God began to contend with us, and to call us to lay aside our ornaments, that He might know what to do unto us▪ many alass take more [Page] time in these day [...] to busk and dress, and to look in a glass for that end in one week than they do in [...] year, ye [...] it may be in many years, to look into this glass of the Law of the Lord to discover the many spots and blemishes wherewith their Souls are pitifully deformed, or into such Treatises as this, whereby the dust of misapprehensions of the meaning of the Law is wiped off, and it made easil [...] and at first view to give a just representation of what manner of persons we are); To drinking drunk, and healthing, or drinking and pledging healths, prohibited and much condemned in the Ancient Church particularly by Basil, and Augustine, on this very ground, that they were the in­vention of the Devil, and the observations or reliques of Infidels and Pagans: To tipling and four-hoursing, a conscience▪wasting and Soul-weakning practise, though with too many (and with not a few from whom better things might be expected) but little stuck at; To Carding and Dycing, which Dice-playing hath been condemned by many Fathers by several Councils, by some Imperial sta­tutes, by almost all Protestant and by many Popish Divines, yea some Councils have appointed dice­players to be excommunicated; To singing and playing of light and wanton Songs and to lascivious Dancing much also cry'd out against and condemned by Councils, Fathers and many Divines, and a [...] great length most vehemently by the Waldenses and Albigenses▪ who account it no great sign of a Womans honesty that she is a skilful and great Dancer: the remark likewise that the writer of Ma­gica de spectris lib. 1. hist 287. pag. 285. hath of this prophane promiscuous dancing which the wan­tons of this age so much practise, praise and pride themselves in, is very remarkable, that there was hardly any meeting betwixt the Devil and Witches, wherein there was no [...] Dancing; such com­placency hath that unclean Spirit in this Exercise; And to bring Spectators of prophant Interludes and Stage-Playes, which (as the eminently learned and Pious Doctor Usher late Archbishop of Armagh affirmeth) offend against many branches of the 7th. Command together, in the abuse of Apparel, Tongue, Eyes, Countenance, Gestures, and almost all parts of the Body▪ there­fore (saith the great man) they that go to see such sights and hea [...] such words (what would he have said of the Penners or Composers of such Playes and of Actors in them? whom the ancient Church appointed to be excommunicated, and on several of both which remarkable judgments have lighted (whereof one may speak for many, affirmed by Ludovicus vives in his notes on Augustine de civ [...], de [...] lib. 12. chap. 25. from persons of good credit, that a certain man who having in a Stage▪ Play in one of the Cities of Brabant acted the Devils part, and going home dancing to his house, and in that Ha­bit accompaning with his Wife, and saying he would beget a Devil on her, had a Child brought forth to him that Danced so soon as ever it was born, being shaped as men use to paint the Devil,) of builders and doters of houses for them, called by the Fathers and Doctors of the Church, the Devils Temples, Chappels▪ Shops and Schools; as the Plays are called by them, the Devils Spectacles, Lectures, Sacrifices, Recreations, &c. and the Players, the Devils chiefest Factors; of such as have them in their own dwelling-houses (as some now have) which they give away in a manner to be Sy [...]agogues to the Devil to keep his Conven [...]icles in; and of such as contribute whither to the Act­ [...]rs for their incouragement to follow that leud way of living, or for liberty to l [...]k on? which Au­gustine▪ Vincentius and others call a hainous sin and an offering or Sacrificing to the Devil, the first inventer of them) shew their neglect of Christian duty and carelesness in sinning, whereas they willingly commit themselves to the sna [...]e of the Devil: which hath been often sadly exempli­fied, particularly in these two Christian women spoken of by Tertullian in his Book de sp [...]ctacu is cap. 26. to the truth of which, he saith God is witness.

The one whereof, was at her returning Home from a Stage▪Play, immediately posses­sed with a Devil; who being by Exercism Expostulated with, How he durst thus as [...]ault, and enter into a Believing Woman? Answered bodly, That he had done it most justly: For, said he, in meo eam inveni, I found here in my own Temple, or in my own Ground, or in my own Dominion, or Jurisdiction; and as if he had said, About my own Work and Business. The other who the same Night, alter hearing a Tragedian, had a Linning-Sheet presented to her, in her Sleep; The Actor in the Play being also named, with a sharp [...]braiding of her, for this deed of hers; and lived not above five days after. And in Alipi [...]s, [Page] a dear Friend, and Convert of Augustines; who (as that Father Narrats, in the 6. Book of his Confession, cap. [...].) being importuned one day by some of his Friends, and Fellow-Students, meeting him on the way, to go along with them to see a Sword-Play, earnestly at first withstood them; and being at last drawn a long with them, he resolved to be absent, while he was present, and to shut his Eyes all the while he was there: and accordingly did, when he took his place: But when a great Shout was made, occasioned by some Accident in the Play, he opened his Eyes; Yet with a Resolution to contemn the sight, whatever it should be: but forth-with he was smitten with a grievous Wound in his Soul, and was not now the same man, that he came thither: But a true Companion of them, that brought him; he beheld, he shouted he grew out-ragious; and brought away Madness with him; whereby he was excited to return thither again, drawing others along with him, and even out-strip­ping these, by whom he was first drawn away: Yet after this length of Profanity, he was mercifully recovered, but not till along time after. (Persons▪ that are once [...]mislead by Stage-Plays▪ though Civil or Religious, being seldom speedily reclaimed from them.) This was also Ex­amplified, in that late English Gentle-Woman of good-rank, Who spending much of her precious Time, in Attendance on Stage-Plays; and falling at last into a Dangerous Sickness, whereof she dyed, Anno 1631. Friends in her Extremity, sent for a Minister to prepare her for Death▪ who be­ginning to Instruct and Exhort her to repent and call on God for Mercy▪ she made him no Reply at all, but cryed out Hieronimo, Hieronimo; O let me see Hieronimo Acted! And so calling for a Play, instead of calling on God for Mercy, closed her Dying Eyes, and had a Fearful End, answer­able to her Miserable Life. And in these several Persons, who were distracted with the Visible Ap­parition of the Devil on the Stage, at the Bell-Savage-Play-House, in Queen Elizabeth's Dayes, while they were there beholding the History of Faustus, prophanly Acted: To which might be added many other Lamentable Examples and Warnings, of such, who by little and little, have made De­fection from the Faith, being allured hereto by the Dangerous custome, of beholding such Plays, wherein (Tertullian saith) They Communicate with the Devil. Will any Man or Woman, dare to appear before the Dreadful Tribunal of God, to maintain and make out the warrantableness of allowing more time to these and such other Practises, (several of which, are excellently discoursed by the Author, in the following Tractat; and most of them with their Respective Authorities, by Ma­ster Prin, in his Histrio▪ Mastix,) then to reading of this and other such Treatises? If any will, they must answer it: I mind not through Grace, to take part with them, in so bold and desperate an Ad­venture.

Now Christian Reader, without further Prefacing, to bring thee in upon the Treasure of the Treatise it self: If thou wilt read it seriously, & consider it suitably; I think I may humbly in the Name of the Lord, bid thee a Defyance, to come away from it, without a Bosom-full of Convictions, of much guilt; and without crying out with the Lepper, under the Law, Unclean▪ Unclean. With Job, Behold I am vile: With David, looking stedsastly on the Glasse of this Law, brightly shined on, by Gods Light, and reflecting a most clear Discovery, of Innumerable Transgressions of it, as so many Atoms, in a clear Sun shine: Who can understand his Errours? Cleanse thou me from secret faults: With the Prophet Isaiah, We are all as [...]ne Unclean thing, (as uncleanness it self, in the Abstrast, most Unclean,) and all our Righteousnesses are as Filthy Raggs: With the Apostle James, In many things we offend all: And finally with the Apostle Paul, We know that the Law is Spiritual, but I am Carnal▪ and sold under Sin—O Wretched man that I am, who shall deliver me from the Body of this Death? That thou mayest also with the same Apostle, be in case, to say and sing, to the Commendation of his Grace, I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord, is the Cordial desire of.

Thy Servant in the Gospel for Christs sake.


Christian and Candid Reader,

THou seest that in this Epistle, which for the most part of it was written above two years ago, I have spoken a word of Stage-playes, prophane Interludes, Comedies, &c. at that time, and several years before, much in use amongst us; whereto I would now add a few words more, and deduce a little their infa­mous, idolatrous, devilish, and damnable Pedigree and Original, and give thee a brief ac­count of the judgement of the ancient Christian Church about them; that the Actors in them, with the Patrons and haunters of them, may with the greater dissatisfaction reflect on there own by-past unsuitable and disconform practise, and that all others may for ever here­after learn to fear, and to do no more so unchristianly: To which I am the rather induced, that the worthy Author of this Treatise, hath onely in passing made mention of them as a breach of the seventh Command, they being then utterly in desuetude with us, and it having not so much as once entered into his thoughts, that after so bright and glorious a Sun-shine of Gospel-light, the Generation would ever, let be so quickly, have so far degenerated, as to suffer themselves to be tempted to have any fellowship with such unfruitful works of dark­ness: I say then, that Stage-playes, in their several sorts, were prohibited, reprobated, and condemned, and the Actors in them appointed to be excommunicated by the Canons of se­veral more particular, and of some general Councels (which Canons I forbear for brevities sake, to set down at length) as namely, by the fifth Canon of the first Councel at Arles in France, Anno 314. in the time of Constantine the Great; by the twentieth Canon of the second Councel held there, Anno 326. or more probable 389. as Fr. Longus a Coriolano reckoneth in his sum of all the Councels; by the fifty seventh, sixty second, and sixty se­venth Canons of the Eliberine Councel in Spain, Anno 305. by the eleventh and thirty fifth Canons of the third (to wit, from Constantines time as Spondanus reckoneth) Councel of Carthage, Anno 397. the very same with the thirteenth and thirty fifth Canons of the Councel of Hippo in Africk, held Anno 393. as Longus a Coriolano sheweth; who sets down the sum of the Canons framed at Hippo at the close of the Canons made in this third Councel of Carthage; by the twelfth Canon of the African Councel held Anno 408. where Augustine was present; the Canons of both which Councels suppose persons to have been excommunicated on this account, and provide for their reconciliation to the Church, in case of repentance and turning from these practises to the Lord; and by the fifty first and sixty second Canons of the sixth general Councel (called by some the fifth) held at Constantinople, Anno 680. the Canons whereof were renewed in that Councel held at Constantinople, Anno 692. which is called Quimsextum; these two Canons are very ex­press and peremptory in this thing. And can any Christians warrantably, and without sin, recreate themselves with beholding such playes, the Actors wherein deserve to be excommu­nicated? what? is there no better, no more innocent and inoffensive way? or is this the onely or the best way to recreate men▪ to refine, sharpen, and polish their wits; to per­swade and prevail with them to hate and flee vice, and to love and follow vertue; to ac­quaint them from History with, to impress on them the remembrance and to excite them to the imitation of, the noble and truely imitable actions of illustrious Heroes, and other great men; to breed them to a suitable confidence; to make them eloquent and fine spokes­men; and to help them to a becoming gest in all actions, places, and societies? the grave Seers, and great Lights of the Church, did never see any such thing in them; but on the con­trary, [Page] have with common suffrage judged them to be the most effectual and compendious way to make men soft, dissolute, and sensual; nay, even in a manner quite to emasculate, if not to brutifie them; and have without any discord declared, that the lightness, lascivious­ness, and leudness that in these playes were touched under, and covered over with such shreds and pieces of Learning, History, Eloquence, Invention, Wit, and Art, were thereby onely made the more dangerous; and that Satan shewed his pernicious and pestilent policy not a little in thus tincturing, sugaring, and guilding these poysonable Pills, that they might go the better down, diffuse themselves the less sensibly, and operate the more strongly. And how­ever some empty and effeminate, vain and vicious, Roman Emperours reduced such Playes, yet some of the gravest and soberest, manliest and bravest, even Heathen Emperours, did oppose and exterminate them (so that Guevara noteth it to have been one of the tokens and characteristicks to know a vertuous or vicious Prince of Rome by, to wit, whether he maintained Players, Jesters, and J [...]glers among the people, or not) as did also many Sena­tors, Christian Emperours, and well regulated Republicks, both Pagan and Christian; as unbeseeming exercises, and effeminate arts, which did much dishonour and corrupt the state, and as Seminaries of all vice and intolerable mischiefs in the Common-wealth: And no doubt, whatever good is pretended to be got in a Play-house, or at the Stage (hardly without a pre­dominant mixture of evil) may be learned as well, as easily, and much more safely, if not more cheap too, elsewhere. As they have been thus forbidden & censured by Councels, so I say more particularly they have been very unanimously condemned by the Fathers, on these and other such like grounds; 1. As being a breach of the seventh Commandment, wherein a multitude of modern Divines writing on this Command, accord with them. 2. As being a conforming to, and participating with Pagans in their idolatrous and superstitious practi­ses, expresly forbidden to the people of God in the Scripture; which put Cyprian despect. peremptorily to conclude, That the Scripture hath everlastingly condemned all sorts of such Spectacles and Stage-playes, when it took away Idolatry, the Mother of them, whence all these Monsters of vanity, lightness, and leudness did proceed. 3. As being cross to, and a practical renunciation of, the baptismal Vow of Christians, wherein they ingage to renounce the De­vil and all his pomps and works, of which sort they account the acting and beholding popu­lar Stage-playes to be. 4. As being the removal of a distinguishing character of Christians from Heathen Gentiles, Who (as Tertullian sayes, lib. despect. cap. 24.) did most of all discern men by this, that they abandoned and renounced all Stage-playes. 5. As being unsuitable to, if not inconsistent with, the Gospel, which forbiddeth Christians to make provision for the flesh to fulfill the lusts thereof, to be Caterers for their corruptions, and to be conform to the World; and commandeth them to walk circumspectly, accurately, even with spiritual pre­ciseness and strictness, not as fools, but as wise, redeeming the time; wofully wasted away, and miserably mispent this way; to abstain from all appearance of evil; to rejoyce in the Lord; and when they are merry, to sing Psalms, and to vent and express their mirth in Songs of praise to God, and not in this wanton way; and assureth them withal, that evil communications corrupt good manners. 6. As being a corruption of manners, incentives to lightness and lust, and seminaties and nurseries of wantonness and uncleanness. And 7. as holding their pedigree, original, and institution from the Devil▪ the Inventer of them: and being at first Idolatrously and superstitiously celebrated to the honour, and for many hun­dreds of years together, dedicated, devoted, and appropriated to the worship and service of the Heathen-Devil-Gods; Who (as Augustine affirmeth, lib. 4. de Civ. Dei, cap. 36. in­tituled De l [...]di [...] Scenicis, &c. that is, concerning Stage-playes, which the Gods required to be celebrated to them by their worshippers) did themselves importunately demand these Playes to be exhibited to them for their honour, fiercely and cruelly command them, denounce calamities if they were not exhibited, avenge most severely, if any thing about them was neglected, and if they amen­ded what was formerly omitted or neglected in them, show themselves pacified and well pleased. Which may further appear by these few instances taken out of famous Writers, whereof the [Page] first may be that which is mentioned by Pol. Virg. de invent. rerum, l. 4. cap. 14. pag. 375. where he sayes, That Playes were chiefly celebrated for the health and safety of men with lecti­sternes (that is, beds that were dressed up in their Temples for lulling and rocking (as it were) their Gods asleep when they raged with anger) the beginning of which Playes (sayes he) it is manifest was the work of the Devil; For (sayes he) there was one Valesius a wealthy Roman (sometime before the institution of the Consular office) who had three sons desperately sick of the Pestilence, for whom when he prayed to his houshold Gods, he was by them bidden go to Tarentum, and take water from before or from beside the Altar of Pluto and Proser­pina, and give them to drink (or as ot hers, to wash them in) which he having done, they were restored to health; and in gratitude commanded by these Infernal Spirits to celebrate night Playes to them, which he and they accordingly did for three nights together. The next may be that which is reported by Titus Livius, lib. 2. and by Augustine lib. 4. de Civ. Dei, cap. 26. and by Lud. Vives in his notes upon that chapter, concerning one Titus Latinus or Larinus, who in the second Consulship of M. Minutius and Aur. Sempronius, Ann. ab urb. cond. 263. when the Gods were displeased, was warned in a dream to go to the Senate, and tell them that they were not satisfied with the Presultor or Dancer before, or ring-leader in the last Playes, in which Playes they take pleasure, being recreated by them, and that unless the Playes were renewed by their order with greater state and sumptuousness (called by Florus in his Breviary on that Book, Religious Ceremonies) some great calamity should be inflicted (or as others, the present not be removed) which the man not doing was sharply rebuked, and yet delaying out of reverence to the Senate, and from fear that himself should be looked at as frantick, his son was taken from him; and yet still deferring, he was seized in all his joynts with a tormenting disease, so that he could not stir; and at the last telling his friends he was by them willed to acquaint the Senate, and being carried to them, and having done his errand, [...]n as presently restored to his health (so much power may the Devil in the righteous Judgement of God have granted to him, to seduce men unto, and detain them in his worship and service) wherewith the Senate was so much taken, that they forthwith commanded the Playes to be cele­brated with greater care, cost, and shew, then formerly. The third may be that spoke of also by Titus Livius, lib. 7. In the Consulship of C. Sulpitius Petieus, and C. Lucinius Stole, Anno ab urb. cond. 390. in the time of the great and raging pestilence wherein Furius Ca­millus, Dictator and Deliverer of Rome from the Gaules died; wherein for procuring the mercy of the Gods there was a lectisterne, but when by no device of man, nor help of the Gods, the violence of the plague could be asswaged, their minds were so possest with superstition, that the Stage-playes were, as men say, first invented (that is belike, Playes in that pompous; ludi­crous, effeminate, and luxurious mode on the Stage, which had never before been used in the City (for several Playes they had ere this time) a strange device for a martial people, who before time (for most part at least) accustomed to behold games of activity and strength in the great lift called Circus; and from this small beginning (sayes he) in a second and wholsome State, this folly grew to such a height of madness, as is untolerable to the most opulent States and Empires; and yet these Playes so brought in, and set forth (called by Florus in his Breviary on that Book, new and strange Religions) imployed about a religious business, did neither rid mens minds of scruple and superstition, nor ease their bodies: Thus they are condemned as supersti­tion and an innovation of their old Religion, by these two famous Heathen Historians. The fourth may be that which is made mention of by Tit. Livius also towards the end of his 40-Book concerning Fulvius Flaccus, fellow-Consul with his own German-brother L. Manlius Occidinus, Ann. ab urb. cond. 575. Who declared that before he would meddle with his Office, he would discharge both himself and the City of duty towards the Gods, in paying the Vows that he had made on that same day, that he had his last battel with the Celtiberians, anent the celebrae­ting Playes to the honour of the most mighty and gracious God Jupiter, and to build a Temple to Fortuna Aequestris; and accordingly levied a great Tax for that end, which behoved to be retrenched, because of the exorbitancy of it. The fifth and last shall be that which is [Page] touched by Pol. Virg. ubi prius pag. 377. concerning the Romans, their taking care for Apollo his Playes, which were first dedicated to him in the time of the second punick War for ob­taining Ʋictory from him, to drive Hannibal out of Italy. To these may be added what Spon­danus in his Eccles. Annal. pag. 263. reports from Zozimus concerning Constantine the Great, when he returned victorious over the Germans to Millan, That he quite neglected and contemned such Playes, to the great grief of the Heathens, who alledged that these Playes were in­stituted by the Gods for the cure of the pestilence and other diseases, and for averting of wars. From all which it is manifest, that the original of these Stage-playes and such others, was from the Devil, and celebrated by the Heathens to the honour and worship of their Devil-Gods in way of religious Sacrifices to them, either as pacificatory or gratificatory; with whom in their Idolatries and superstitions, the Scriptures forbid all symbolizing and fellow­ship. Let us hear now in the next place some more of these Fathers speak their own and the Churches thoughts, a little more particularly of Stage-playes, with respect to such grounds, having heard some of them already: Clem. Alex. orat. adhort. adv. Gentes, calls Stage-playes, Comedies, and amorous Poems, teachers of Adultery, and defilers of mens ears with For­nications; and sayes, That not onely the use, the sight, the hearing, but the very memory of Stage-playes should be abolished: And else-where (for I do here purposely forbear very par­ticular citations, because ordinary Readers will not much, if at all, search after them; and the Learned that have a mind to it, will easily find them out) tells Christian youths, That their Paedagogues must not lead them to Playes or Theaters, that may not unfitly be called the chairs of Pestilence, because these Conventicles, where men and women meet together promiscuously to behold one another, are the occasion of leudness, and there they give or plot wicked counsel▪ Cyprian de spect. stiles Theaters the stewes of publick Chastity, the mastership of obscenity, which teach these sins in publick, that men may more usually and easily commit them in private, he learneth to commit who accustometh himself to behold the theatrical representations of unclean­ness: It is not lawful for faithful Christians, yea, it is altogether unlawful, to be present at these Playes: And elsewhere he saith, She that perchance came a chast Matron to the Playes, goes away a Strumpet from the Play-house: (We may here notice what the Satyrical Poet Juvenal sayes to this purpose, Sat. 6. That a man in his time could not pick one chast woman, whom he might safely love as his wife out of the whole Play-house; and that all women, who frequent Stage-playes, are infamous, and forfeit their good names It were good that our women, who love and haunt such Playes, would consider this: as also what is reported of Sempronius Sophus, a noble Roman, who divorced from his Wife for this alone cause, that she frequented Stage-playes without his knowledge, which might make her an Adulteress; which Divorce the whole Roman Senate did approve (though it was the very first they did approve) as being a mean to keep women chaste: So great an enemy to chastity were these Playes judged to be; which is touched by Rhodiginus, amongst others, in his Antique Le­ctions, lib. 28. cap. 16.) Tertullian calls the Play-house, the Chappel of Venery, the House of Letchery, the Consistory of uncleanness: And in his Apol. adv. Gent. We renounce your Spe­ctacles and Stage-playes, even as we reject their original, which we know to have had their con­ception from Superstition; we have nothing at all to do with the fury of your Circus, with the dishonesty of the Theater, we come not at all to your Playes. Origen in Epist. ad Rom. sayes, That Christians must not lift up their eyes to Stage-playes, the pleasurable delights of polluted eyes, lest their lusts be inflamed by them. Lactantius de vero cultu, sayes, That these Interludes with which men are delighted, and whereat they are willingly present, because they are the great­est instigations to Vice, and the most powerful instrument to corrupt mens minds, are wholly to be abolished from amongst us. Greg. Naz. de rect. educ. calls Stage-players the Servants of lewd­ness, and Stage-playes, the dishonest, unseemly instructions of lascivious men, who repute nothing filthy but modesty; and Play-houses the Lascivious chops of all filthiness and impurity. Ambrose in Psal. 118. stiles Stage-playes spectacles of vanity, by which the Devil conveys incentives of pleasure to mens hearts; Let us therefore (sayes he) turn away our eyes from these vanities and [Page] Stage-playes. Hierom. Epist. ad Salvinam, Have nothing to do with Stage-playes, because they are the pleasing incendiaries of mens lusts. Augustine de Civ. Dei, brands Stage-playes with this black mark, That they are the spectacles of filthiness, the overturners of goodness and honesty, the chasers away of all modesty and chastity; whorish shews, the art of mischievous vil­lanies, which even modest Pagans did blush to behold, the inventions to lewdness, by which the Devil useth to gain innumerable companies of evil men to himself. In another place he calls Theaters, Cages of uncleanness, the publick professions of wickedness; and Stage-playes, the most petulant, the most impure, impudent, wicked, shameful, and detestable attonements of filthy De­vil-gods; which to true religion are most abominable. And elsewhere he declares, That when the Gospel came to be spread abroad in the World, Stage-playes and Play-houses, the very caves of filthiness, went to ruin almost in every City, as inconsistent with it; whence the Gentiles (sayes he) complained of the times of Christianity, as evil and unhappy times. Epiphanius contra haeres. sayes, That the Catholick and Apostolick Church doth reprobate and forbid all Thea­ters, Stage-playes, and such like Heathenish spectacles. Chrysostom. Hom. in Matth. sayes, I wish the Theaters and Play-places were all thrown down, though as to us they did lye desolate and ruined long ago: Elsewhere he sayes, That nothing brings the Oracles and Ordinances of God into so great contempt, as admiring and beholding Stage-playes: And that neither Sacra­ments nor any other of Gods Ordinances (pray mark this diligently, O! how often is it sadly verified?) will do a man good so long as he goes to Stage-playes. Bernard Serm. ad milites templi, sayes, That all the faithful Souldiers of Jesus Christ abominate and reject all diceing and Stage-playes, as vanities and false frenzies. Let Salvian his weighty words, de gub. Dei, shut up this short account of the judgement of these ancient Fathers anent this matter, who sayes, That in Stage-playes there is a certain Apostacie from the Faith.—For what is the first confession of Christians in their Baptism, but that they do protest they renounce the Devil, his Pomps, Spectacles and Works; know thou Christian, when thou doest wittingly and knowingly return to Stage-playes, thou returnest to the Devil, who is in his Playes, for thou hast renounced both of them together: wherein many Fathers agree with him, they being harmonious in condemning Stage-playes, as being ordinarily stuffed with the Names, Histories, Persons, Fables, Rites, Ceremonies, Villanies, Incests, Rapes, Applauses, Oaths, Imprecations, and Invocations of the Idol-gods; as when the Actors cry, Help Jove, Juno, Apollo, Bac­chus, &c. and exclaim, O Jove! O Cupid! O Venus! O Apollo! O Mars! O ye Gods! &c. and swear by Jove, Mars, Venus, the c [...]lestial Gods, &c. (beside all these, they are often fraughted in these dayes with wicked and prophane scoffs and jests, abuses of Scripture, and bitter invectives against piety) and as drawing men on to Profanity; Idolatry, and Atheism. In fine, to shew the perfect agreement betwixt the Primitive and Protestant Church anent such Playes, it will neither be impertinent, nor I hope unedifying, to subjoyn here the judge­ment of the famous Reformed Protestant Church of France (from which other reformed Protestant Churches in this do not differ, yea, the stream of Protestant Divines runneth this way) declared in a National Synod held at Rochel, Anno 1571. where this Canon was unanimously framed; Congregations shall be admonished by their Ministers seriously to repre­hend and suppress all Dances, Mummeries, and Interludes, and it shall not be lawful for any Christians to act or to be present (mark well) at any Comedies, Tragedies, Playes, Inter­ludes, or any other such sports, either in publick or in private Chambers, considering that they have alwayes been opposed, condemned, and suppressed, in and by the Church, as bringing along with them the corruption of good manners, especially when as the holy Scripture is prophaned, which is not delivered to be acted or played, but onely to be preached. What useth now to be said in Apology for, and defence of Stage-playes, and for reforming of them, yet so as to retain them still, was long since objected by the witty and voluptuous Pagans, and solidly answered, and strongly confuted by the Fathers; as it hath been by several Modern Wri­ters, particularly Doctor John Reynolds, Mr. Stubbs, and notably by Mr. Pryn (to whose indefatigable diligence in collecting, and great judgement in disposing of many of the [Page] particulars here discoursed, I profess my self much beholden;) and may be in a great p [...] by what hath been here hinted concerning the invention and original of them, the nature [...] end, and use of them; beside all that hath been, and may most justly be said, of the man [...] dangerous and dreadful tendencies, attendants, consequents, and fruits of them, and th [...] horrid abuses of them, may sufficiently plead against the use of such Stage-playes, bein [...] neither necessary nor profitable, and for the utter abolition of them: God is jealous, an [...] will not be mocked.



THe Decay of Religion at this day in the World, is come to such an height, as that it is observed by all who pretend unto any Concernment therein, and Complained of by Many. By Religion we understand the Power of it in the Hearts and Lives of Men, and not any Outward Profession of it only; much lesse the gener­all pretence that is made unto it, in them by whom its power is openly denied. Neither is it manifest onely in the fruits of Sinfull security and the flagitious lives of all sorts of men, but begins to be so also in its effects, in the present state of things in the World filled with Misery and Confusion: For the Wrath of God is many wayes revealed from Heaven against the ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, who hold the [...]th in unrighteousness: and in many Nations the Visible tokens and demonstrations of it do abound. For, there is in them no peace; to them that go out, nor to them that come in; but great vexation is upon all their Inhabitants. Nation is destroyed of Nation, and City of City; for God doth vex them with all adversity. For whatever may be the thoughts and counsells of men in these things, the Judgements of God are not meerly subservient unto their lusts and passions; it i [...] his own controversie with the world for neglect of the Gospell and opposition unto it that he pleadeth in them, neither can our present respite in the enjoyment of outward mercies be any evidence unto us, that we are not the objects of the same displeasure. All men are in the same condition among whom the same sins and the same relapses from the power of religion are sound; for God is no Respecter of persons, It is indeed an effect of divine patience, which if abused unto security, will issue in a more sore revenge. In the mean time the Ʋoice of God unto us in all the miseries and desolations we hear of in the world, is, that unless we Repent, we shall all likewise perish. Neither are we altogether left without pregnant warnings among our selves in many severe dispensations of divine providence. And those who are not utterly hardened through the deceitfulnesse of Sin, may easily see the hand of God lifted up in various intimations of his displeasure. But hitherto it must be acknowledged, and ought to be bewailed, that the Security of the world seems to be unshaken, and the inundation of Sin not to be stemmed in the least measure.

What are the reasons and causes of the present general defection, from the Truth, Power, Holinesse and Glory of the Gospel or Christian Religion, I have enquired into and declared in a peculiar Treatise designed unto that end. Some few things suited unto the present occasi­on may be here observed. All decays in Religion begin in individuall persons, though it ex­tend it self unto families, and so the infection spreads unto greater societies, Eclesiasticall and National. For such also is the order in the genuine progresse of the power of Religion where­unto it is opposed. The testimony that God gave unto Abraham was, that keeping the way of the Lord himself, he taught and commanded his Children and household after him so to do. And if the living power of Godlinesse expressed in the History of Christ, and the Gospel in an holy Conuersation, be not preserved in Individual Persons; the Profession of the purest Religion in Churches, or the highest Pretence unto it in Publick, National Acts are neither useful to the Souls of men, nor do any way tend unto the Glory of God. And the sole use of all out­ward Religious Order and Profession is lost, where they are not applyed unto the Ingenerating and promoting of Holyness, or Evangelical Obedience in particular Persons. Wherefore if any Revival of the Power of Religion in the World may be yet hoped for; if any stop may be put unto the Fatal Declension, which it suffers under, the forming and restoring of the Princi­ples of it in the Hearts and Consciences of such Persons is the way whereby it must [...]e attempted; from and by them must it be diffused into Families, and greater Socities: Here must all Re­formation begin, or in the use of means suited thereunto. How this may be effected, we have one instance among many, proposed unto us in the ensuing Discourse.

The General and undoubted Reason of all sins and miscarriages amongst men, is the neglect [Page] of the Holy and Perfect Rule of Obedience, or of the Law of God, without a recourse unto a Diligent Conscientious Attendance thereunto, without a due Sense of the [...] Authority of God therein; and of the Account which they must shortly give of their regard unto it; there can be no just Expectation of the Re-introduction of the Power and Glory of Religion. And many wayes there are, whereby men are diverted from the due Consideration of, and holy com­plyan [...]e with this Rule.

First, False and Corrupt Interpretations of the Law, do countenance many in Various Lusts; and the neglect of Mani old Duties. The Pharisees of Old representing the Design and Sense of the Law, as regarding Outward Acts and Practices only, laid an Axe to the Roo: of all True H liness and Religion in the Aposiatizing Church of the Jewes. Under a Pretence of Establishing a false Legal Righteousness, they destroyed the [...] Righteousness of the Law. And these things go together alwayes. Those who plead for a Righteousness of their own, as it were by the Works of the Law, do constantly by False Glosses and Interpret­ations destroy the Spirituality, and all Animating Principles of the Law it self. For, right­ly to understand the Sense of the Law, and to seek for Righteousness by it, or as it were by i [...] Works, are altogether Inconsistent: whereas therefore, many men, partly by their Natur­al Blindness, are not able to discerne the Spiritual Sense of the Law, and partly out of their Dislike of, and Enmity unto it, will not comply with the Light which is tender▪d unto them, they have sought by False interpretations to Accommodase the Law it self unto their own Lust and inclination. So evidently was it with the Pharisees of Old. Nor are the Present Ap­prehensions of many about those things much different from theirs. For such Expositions of the Law are embraced, wherein there is little Respect unto the Spiritual frame of the Heart, or the Internal Actings of the Adverse Principles of Sin and Obedience: The Extent of the Com­mandement is also by many exceedingly strained, nor will any thing scarcely be allowed to be Commanded or Forbidden in it, but what the Letter doth plainly express. And it is evident how such Apprehension, will insensibly weaken the Sense of a Necessity of Universal Mortifi­cation, and abate the Diligence of the mind in endeavouring after a renewed Spiritual Frame of Heart; by such means a Declension from all true Holiness and Piety will be effectually pro­moted. For, when men once begine to satisfie themselves in the outward Duties of Divine Worship and Righteousness, which if alone, are but a dead Carcass of Religion, they will not long abide in a Conscientious Observation even of them.

2. The separation of the Duties of the Law from the Grace of the Gospel, will have the like effect. For this will quickly issue in a pretence of Morality, set up its opposition unto true evan­gelical Obedience. And there is no way whereby the whole Rule of Duty can be rendred more ineffectual and useless unto the souls of men. For take away that Reconciliation which is made in Christ between the Law and the Gospel, and it will prove a killing Letter only. And so far as this imagination is gone about it quickly manifests it self in its Fruits. For every at­tempt of men against the Grace of God will issue in the ruine of morality among themselves.

Such Apprehensions as these in a coincidence with abounding tentations suited unto the Lusts of all sorts of men, cannot but promote the Interest and prevalency of Sin and Antichrist in the World. However manifest it is▪ that that is a great neglect and contempt of the holy Rule of obedience in the most, with great ignorance and misunderstanding of the designe and sense of it in many. Wherefore an upright endeavour to Declare and Vindicate the Authority and mea­ning of it, as also to make Application of it unto the Consciences of professed Christians, to direct them in, and press them unto the constant performance of obedience, cannot but be esteemed seasonable, and through the blessing of God may be singularly useful. So our Lord Jesus Christ himself observing the mischief that had befaln the Church by the false exposition of the Law, obtruded on the people by the Pharisees, began his Prophetical Ministry in the vindica­tion of it from their corrupting glosses, restoring its pristine Crown of purity and spirituality, as the Jews have yet a Tradition, that it shall be so in the dayes of the Messiah. And on the same consideration it cannot be denied, but that the Endeavour of this worthy servant of Christ in the work of the Gospel, the Authour of the ensuing Exposition of the Decalogue, is both sea­sonable and worthy of Acceptation. For as other endeavours also are required in all them on [Page] whom it is incumbent, to take care in their respective stations for the improvement of Holiness in the Church▪ and the obstruction of the progre [...]s of Sin [...], what in them lyeth; so for the reasons before-mentioned, that in this particular way is peculiarly seasonable and useful. And I am perswaded, that every pious, humble and unprejudiced Reader, will judge that much benefit may be obtained by his performance. Some may easily see how short that measure of Duties which they have prescribed unto themselves doth come, of what is indispencibly required of them; and others may take a plain prospect of that whole Scheme of Obedience in principles, matter, man­ner, and end which they sincerely endeavour to come up unto. And sundry things there are which appear to me with a notable degree of Excellency in the whole discourse.

1. Plainness and perspicuity in teaching, seems to have been designed by the Authour throughout the whole book. Hereby it is accommodated unto the meanest Capacities, which is the greatest excellency of Discourses of this nature as unto outward Forme and Order. For, whereas its only end is to direct the Practise of all sorts of Christians, all Ornaments of Speech, every thing that diverts from plainness, sobriety, and gravity, is impertinent thereunto. Wherefore as the things themselves treated of, are such, as the most wise, knowing, and learned among Believers ought to be exercised in continually: So, the way and manner of their Delivery or Declaration, is accommodated unto the understanding and Capacity of the meanest of them that are so, that benefit may redound unto all.

2. In particular instances and cases relating to daily practise are so distinctly proposed, stated and determined, as that the whole is a compleat Christian directory in our walking before God in all duties of obedience; let the pious Reader single out any one duty or head of duties to make his tryall upon, and if I greatly mistake not, he will discerne with what wisdome, and from what deep experience his plain directions are managed, and do proceed. As to give a par­ticular instance, let him consider what he discovereth concerning publick Prayer, and the Mis­carriages therein, which men are lyable unto, pages 52. 53. or apply himself unto what he supposes himself more immediately concerned in, unaffected plainness, perspicuous brevity, with solidity of judgment, will every where represent themselves unto him.

3. Adde hereunto, that constant respect which is had in the whole discourse unto the heart and inward principles of Obedience, with the contrary actings of the flesh, and temptations of all sorts. And thence it is that these Discourses, (though delivered with all plainness of speech) will not be well understood by any, but those who in some measure have their senses exercised to discern both good and [...]vill▪

In the whole a full testimony is given, not onely against the profligate lives of many called Christians, but that barren careless profession also, which too many satisfie themselves withall; who pretend more unto the truth and power of Religion. And as these who are sincere in their obedience, may in the examination of themselves, by the rules here laid down, discern the decays which possibly they have fallen under in this hour of temptation which is come on the face of the earth, to try them that dwell therein; so also may they be directed in their Christian course unto the glory of God, and the Comfort of their own Souls: Which that all may be, is the hearty de­sire of,

Christian Reader,
Thy servant in the Work of
the LORD,


THE excellent and usefull labors of this worthy Author, have long since obtained the best Epistle of commendation; even that which the great Apo­stle Paul accounted so compleat a Testimony, as made all other commen­datory Epistles in his esteem to appear superfluous; that, I mean, men­tioned by him, 2 Corinth. 3. where he tells the believing orinthians, that they were his Epistle, meaning that their Conversion and graces wrought in them by his mini­stry, gave a sufficient witness to the worth and dignity thereof. This Epistle of commendation (I say) God hath so eminently bestowed upon the ministerial endea­vours of this holy man Mr. Durham, both in Press and Pulpit, that the prefixing my Epistle of commendation to this excellent Exposition of the Decalogue, was judged by my self to be but an attempt, to make the Sun appear more resplendent by the faint and feeble light of a Candle. But since some are pleased to put an undeserved value upon my approbation of this worthy undertaking, I could not but upon this occasion signifie that in my apprehension, the ensuing Treatise its design and tendency so advanceth holiness of heart and life, and withal is compiled with that strength and clearness of judgment, and holy warmth of affection, as that (by Gods blessing) it may preserve and reduce many in this sinful age from those impieties, that so abound therein and may prove an excellent antidote against them, as by the good providence of God, it is brought forth in a time wherein't is coetameous with them. In the hope­full expectation whereof, I commit thee and this worthy work to the blessing of God, in whom

I am thy faithful Friend to serve
thy Soul


EXOD. 20. 1. 2.‘(And God speake all these words, saying, I am the Lord thy God. Which have brought thee out of the Land of Egypt, out of the House of Bondage.’

BEing (through Gods strength (resolved to Essay the opening of the Ten Commandments, all that we shall say, by way of Preface, shal be to give you an account of the Motives which have engaged us in this Work.

The first is the Excellency of this Scripture, it being by the Lord himself intended as a comprehensive sum of his peoples duty, and commanded to us from this, that though all the Scripture be his Word, yet this in a singular manner is so; for he spake all these words himself, and by a Voice immediatly formed by himself he pronunced them first to his people, and afterward twice by his Finger (that is, immediatly by himself, without making use of any Pen-man, as in other Scriptures) he wrote them for his peoples behoof upon two Tables of Stone, which were afterwards commanded in a singular manner to be kept in the Ark, Deut. 10. v. 2. 5. and to be learned, Deut. 5. 1. as also to be written on the Posts of their Doors, and diligently pressed on their Children, Deut. 67. 8. 9. 10. In opening of which Commandments, not only the Prophets and Apostles, but our blessed Lord in that Sermon of his upon the Mount, Matth. 5. 6. 7. doth much insist,

The second is the usefulness of this Scripture, and of the knowledge of it to all that would know what is pleasing to God, that they may be fitted for duty to him and may know what is displeasing to him; that may know sin, and how to eschew it, and may be stirred up to repentance when they have fallen into it, this being the Laws property, that thereby is the knowledge of sin, Rom. 7. 7. and so likewise the knowledge of duty; therefore it is summed in so few words, that it may be the more easily brought into, and retained in the memories and hearts of his people: For which cause also of old and late, has it always been recommended, both in the Word, Deut. 5. 1. and in all Catechisms to be learned as a Rule of mens wal­king; and yet so comprehensive is it, that without pains and diligence to come to the understanding thereof men cannot but come short of the great scop thereof.

The third is the great ignorance, that is amongst not a few, of the meaning of the useful and excellent Scripture, and especially in this secure time, many not knowing [Page 2] they break the Commandments when they break them, at least in many mate­rial things, and this draweth with it these sad effects: 1. That there are few convictions of sin. 2. Little repentance for sin, 3. Much security▪ presumption confidence in self-righteousness, and the like, upon which the ignorance of this Scri­pture hath great influence, even as amongst the Jews the ignorance of its Spiritual­ly made many neglect the chief part of holiness, and proudly settle on self-righ­teousness▪ and slight Christ the Mediator; as we may see in Pauls example, Rom. 7. 9. and this was one reason why our Lord expounded it, that by it sinners might see more the necessity of a Mediator, who is the end of the Law for righteousness to all that believe, Rom. 10. 4. And as these effects are palpable at this time, so we conceive it useful to follow the same remedy; this evil being not only amongest the prophane, but amongst the most formal and civil, who stumble at this stone; yea, many believers are often so much taken with cases and light in Doctrinal truths, that they heed not snfficiently the meaning of the Law, whereby their convictions of sin tenderness in practise, constant exercise of repentance, and daily fresh applications to the Blood of Sprinkling are much impeded.

And although it may seem not so to suit the nature of this exercise (for it would be noticed, that the Author delievered this Doctrine of the Law in several Lectures on the Sabbath-morning before Sermon, in which time he formerly used to read and expound a Chapter of the Holy Scriptures, or a considerable portion thereof; which Lectures are not now distinguished, because of the close connection of the purposes) yet considering the foresaid reasons, and the nature of this excellent Scri­pture, which cannot hastily be passed through (it having much in few words, and therefore requiring some convenient time for explication) & consideriing the weight of it, and its usefulness for all sorts of hearers, we are confident it will agree well with the end of this Eexercise, (which is the end of opening all Scripture) to wit, peoples instruction and edification, to insist a little thereon.

Our purpose is not to aim at any great accuracy, nor to multiply questions and digressions, nor to insist in application and use, but plainly and shortly (as we are able) to give you the meaning of the Law of God: 1. By holding forth the Native Du­ties required every Commandment. 2. The sins which properly oppose and con­tradict each Commandment, that by these we may have some direction and help in duty, and some spur to repentance, at least a furtherance in the work of Con­viction, that so by it we may be led to Christ Jesus, who is the end of the Law for righteousness to every one that belives, Rom. 104. which is the principal intent of this Law, as it was given to Israel.

To make way for the Exposition, we shall 1. Lay down some Conclusions which arise from the Preface. 2. Give you some ordinary distinctions. 3. Clear and con­firm some Rules or Observations useful for understanding of the whole Law.

The first Conclusion that we take for granted is, that this Law (as 'tis Moral) doth tye even Christians and Believers now, as well as of old; which appears from this, that he who is God the Law-giver here, Acts 7. 38. is the Angel Christ, and 'tis his Word, as is clear, vers. 30. 31. as also the matter of it being connatural to Adam, it did bind before the Law was given, and that obligatory force cannot be seprated from its nature, (though the exercise of Right Reason in Nature be much obliterate since the Fall) therefore Christ was so far from destroying this Law in its Authority, and Paul so far from making it void by the Doctrine of Faith, that our Lord tells he came to fulfill it, Matt. 5. 17. and Paul shews, that his preaching of Faith was to establish it, Rom. 3. 31. which truth being confirmed by them both in their [Page 3] Practise and Doctrine, sheweth that the breach of the holy Law of God, is no less sinful to us now, then it was to them before us.

The second Conclusion is, that though this Law, and obedience thereto, lye on Christians, and be called for from them, yet it is not laid on them as a Covenant of Works, or that by which they are to seek or expect Justification; no but on the contrary, to overturn self-righteousness, by this Doctrine which manifesteth sin and of it self worketh wrath? which is also clear, in that he is here called, Our God, which he cannot be to sinners but by Grace: And also it appears from the Lords owning of this sinful people as his, and his adjoyning to this Law so many Ceremonies and Sacrifices which point out and lead to Christ: and from his ad­ding the Law on Mount Sinai, as a help to the Covenant made with Abraham, Genes. 17. (which was a Covenant of Grace, and was never altered, as to its sub­stance) in which the people of Israel, as his Seed, was comprehended; therefore it appears that this was never the Lords intent in covenanting thus with his people, that they should expect righteousness and life by the adjoyned Law, but only that it should be useful in the Hand of Grace to mak the former Covenant with Abraham effectual: So then, though we be bound to obey the Law, we are not to seek righteousness or life by the duties therein enjoyned.

The third Conclusion is, that both Ministers in preaching, and people in practi­sing of this Law, would carry with subordination to Christ▪ and that the duties cal­led for here are to be performed as a part of the Covenant of Grace, and of the obli­gation that lyeth upon us thereby, & so all our obedience to God ought still to run in that Channel.

If we ask how these two differ, to wit, the performing the duties of the Law, as running in the Channel of the Covenant of Grace, and the performing of them as running in the▪ Channel of the Covenant of Works, or how we are to go about the duties of the Law with subordination to Christ and his Grace? I answer, they differ in these four things, which shew, that these duties are not onely to be done, but to be done in a way consistent with, and flowing from Grace: which also follows from this, that in the Preface to the Commandments, he stileth and hol­deth himself forth as Redeemer to be the object of our duty, and the motive of it.

1. They differ, I say first, in the End or account upon which they are perfor­med; we are not to perform duties that life, pardon, or enjoying of God may be meritoriously obtained by them, but to testifie our respect to him who hath provided these freely for us, that we should not rest in duties which are engraven on these Covenant-Blessings.

2. They differ in the Principile by which we act them, 'tis not in our own strength as the works of the first Covenant were to be performed, but in the strength of Grace, and by vertue of the promises of Sanctification comprehended in the second Cove­nant 2 Cor. 7. 1.

3. They differ as to the manner of their acceptation, duties by the first Covenant are to abide their tryal upon the account of their own worth, and the inherent per­fection that is in them, and accordingly will be accepted, or rejected, as they are con­form or disconform to the perfect Rule of Gods Law; but by the second Covenant, the acceptation of our performances, prayers, praises. are founded on Christs Righ­teousness, and Gods mercy in him, in whom only are they sweet-smelling Sacrifices, and accepted as our persons are, for he hath made us to be accepted as to both only in the beloved Ephes. 1. 4.

4. They differ in respect of the motive from which they proceed; or the great [Page 4] motive of our obedience in the Covenant of Grace, is not fear of threatnings and wrath in case of disobedience, which by the Covenant of Works is the main thing sways men to duties, no [...] is it a purchase of Heaven to themselves by their holiness, which also by that Covenant is a predominant motive of mens obedience, but it is love and gratitude, and that not simply to God as Creator, but as Redeemer, as the Text here sheweth. I brought thee out of the House of Bondage, it is that we may set forth the praises of him who called us, and that we may glorifie him that has bought us: where Duties have these qualifications, they are consistent with Grace, and sub­servient to it; but when those are wanting or excluded, Christ is wronged, and men turn legal, and in so far fall from and overturn Grace.

These Conclusions as necessary Caveats being laid down, we shall propose these distinctions for clearing of them,

1. We would distinguish betwixt a Law and a Covenant, or betwixt this Law, considered as a Law, and as a Covenant; a Law doth necessarily imply no more then 1. To direct. 2 To command, inforcing that obedience by Authority; a Covenant doth further necessarily imply promises made upon some condition, or threatnings ad­ded if such a condition be not performed: now this Law may be considered without the consideration of a Covenant, for it was free to God to have added, or not to have added promises, and the threatnings (upon supposition the Law had been kept) might never have taken effect; but the first two are essential to the Law, the last two, to Believers, are made void throngh Christ; in which sense it is said, that by him we are freed from the Law as a Covenant, so that Believers life depends not on the pro­mises annexed to the Law, nor are they in danger by the threatning adjoyned to it: Hence we are to advert when the Covenant of Works is spoken of, that by it is not meaned this Law simply, but the Law propounded as the condition of obtaining life by the obedience of it; in which respect it was only so formally given to Adam: This then is the first destinction betwixt the Law, and the Covenant of Works.

2. Distinguish betwixt these Ten Commandments simply and strictly taken in the matter of them, and more complexly in their full Administration, with Preface, Promises, Sacrifices, &c, in the first sense they are a Law having the matter, but not the form of the Covenant of Works: so Moses by it is said to describe such righ­teousness as the Covenant of Works doth require, yet he doth not propond it as the righteousness they were to relye on, but his scope is to put them to a Mediators, by revealing sin through the Law, Rom. 10. 3. In the second sense it is a Covenant of Grace, that same in substance with the Covenant made with Abraham, and with the Covenant made with Believers now, but differing in its Administration.

3. Distinguish betwixt Gods intention in giving, and the Believers in Israel their making use of this Law, and the carnal multitude among that people their way of receiving it, and corrupt abusing it contray to the Lords mind: In the first sense it was a Covenant of Grace, in the second, it turned to be a Covenant of Works to them; and therefore it is that the Lord rejects as we may see Jsaiah 1. 13. 66. 2. 3. Jer. 7. 22. their Sacrifices and Services as not commanded, because rested on by them to the pre­judice of Grace, and contrary to the strain and scope of this Law complexly con­sidered.

4. Distinguish betwixt the Moral, and Ceremonial, and Judicial Law; the first concerns manners, and the right ordering of a Godly Conversation; and because these things are of perpetual equity and rectitude, the obligation of this Law as to that is perpetual; and therefore in the exponding of it, these two terms, Moral, and of Perpetual Authority, are all one, and to be taken so▪ 2. The Judical Law is for [Page 5] regulating outward Society, & for Government, and doth generally (excepting what was peculiar to the people of Israel) agree with the Moral Law; this as given to them is not perpetual, their policy being at an end. 3▪ The Ceremonial Law is in Ce­remonies, Types, and Shadows, pointing at a Saviour to come▪ this is also abrogate, the substance being come; but there is this difference, that the Judicial Law is but Mortua, dead; and may, where't is thought fit, with the fore-going caution, be used under the New Testament; but the Ceremonial Law is Mortifera, deadly, and can­not without falling from grace, Gal. 5. 2▪ 4. be revived.

5. When we speak of things Moral, we are to distinguish between things Natur­ally Moral, that is▪ such (as love to God and our Neighbour, and such-like) which have an innate rectitude and holiness in them, which cannot be separate from them, and things positively Moral, that have their obligation by a special positive super­added Sanction, sothat their rectitude flows not from the nature of the things them­selves, as in the former: As for instance, in the fourth Commandment it is naturally Moral that God should be woshipped, Nature teacheth it; but that he is to be wor­shipped on such a day particularly, that comes to pass by vertue of his positive Com­mand; the first cannot be altered, the second by the Lord may; but till he alter it, the Authority lies still on all, and it is equally sin to sin against any of them, though without the positive Sanction, there is no obligation naturaly requiring obedience in some of them.

6. The sixth distinction is of the Moral Law in two Tables, first and second; The first contains our immediate worship, and service and obedience to God himself, and is comprehended in the first four Commandments; the second contains our mediate obe­dience to God in all the duties we owe to other, in the last six▪ they were at first so di­vided by the Lord himself, for there are Ten in all, Dent. 4. 13▪ From this distinction take notice: 1. That all the Commandments of the second Table are of like Autho­rity with the first, God spake all these words; yea, as it appears from Acts 7. 38. it was our Lord Jesus. 2. The sins immediately against the first Table, are greater then those against the second; for this cause, Matth. 22. 38. the first is called the First and Great Commandment: Therefore 3. In Morals (if they be things of the same nature) the duties of the second Table cede and give place to the duties of the first Table, when they cannot stand together; as in the case of love to God, and the exercise of love to our Father and Neighbour, Luke 14. 26. Matth. [...]0. 37. when obedience to God and obedience to our superiours cannot consist▪ we are to obey God rather then man, Acts 4. 19. and we are to lore the Lord, and hate Father and Mother▪ Luke 14. 6. 4. Yet take notice, that Ceremonials or positives of the first Table, for a time cede and give place to Morals in the second; as for relieving or preserving our Neighbours life in hazard, we may travel on the Sabbath day, according to that Scri­pture, I will have Mercy and not Sacrifice, and the Sabbath was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath, &c.

7. The seventh distinction (which is ordinary) is of the Commandments into affir­mative and negative, as ye see all the Commandments in the first Table are negatively set down, forbidding sin directly: Thou shalt not have an other gods, &c. only the fourth is both negative and affirmative, forbidding sin, and commanding duty direct­ly; as also the fifth only, which is the first of the second Table, is affirmative, all the rest are negative.

This distinction is not so to be understood, as if nothing were commanded or in­joyned in negative Precepts, or as if nothing were forbidden in affirmative Precepts (for what ever be expressed as forbidden, the contrary is alwayes in plyed as comman­ded, [Page 6] and whatsoever is expresly commanded, the contrary is alwayes implyed as for­bidden) but the distinction is taken from the manner of setting them down, concern­ing which take these Rules or general Observations for your better understanding, many whereof are in the larger Catechism.

1. However the Commandments be expressed, affirmatively or negatively, every one of them hath two parts▪ one affirmative, implyed in negative Precepts, requiring the duties that are contray to the sins forbidden; another negative, implyed in the af­firmative Precepts, forbidding the sins that are contrary to the duties commanded; as for example the third Commandment, Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain; it implies a Command reverently to use his Name: So, to remember to keep Holy the Satbbath day, implies a Prohibition of prophaning it; in which sense all the Commandments may in some respect be called negative (and so a part of the fourth Commandment is negatively expressed, Thou shalt d [...]no work) or affirma­tive; in which respect Christ comprehendeth all the negatives under these two great affirmative Commandments, of love to God and our Neighbour, for every Commandment doth both enjoyn and forbid; the like may be said of promises and threatnings, there being in every promise a threatning, and in every threatning a promise con­ditionally implyed: And this may be a reason why some Commandments are negatively expressed, some positively, to show us that both are compre­dended.

2. Though the positive Commandment, or (the positive part of the Command­ment) be of alike force and Authority with the negative, as to the obligation it layeth on us to duty, yet it doth not tye us to all occasions and times, as negatives do: Hence is that common Maxime, that affirmative Commands tye and oblige semper ever, that is, they never want their Authority, and we are never absolved from their obedience▪ but they do not oblige and tye ad semper, that is, in all differences of time we are not tyed to the exercise of the duties enjoyned; negatives again oblige both somper and ad semper, that is, alwayes, and in all differences of time: For instance, in the third Commandment, the affirmative part is to use the Lords Name and Ordinances holily and reverently in prayer, reading and hearing, &c. So in the fourth Commandment we are required to sanctifie the Sabbath, by wating on Ordinances, &c. This makes these still duties, so as to pray, hear, &c. are still duties, but we are not to be, and should not be alwayes exercised in these duties, for we must abound in other duties also of necessity, and mercy, we must eat, and sleep, &c. and when we sleep, we can neither act love, nor sear. Again, the negative part is, not to prophane the Lords Name in his Ordinances; this may not be done at any time: The reason of the diffe­rence is this, because in affirmatives we are not alwayes tyed to the acts of Duties and Graces▪ but to the Disposition and Habit. Habits are a Spiritual Quality, a (Vis) or Power sitting and enabling for bringing forth these acts; and for the bringing them forth in the due time and season, when they shall be called for; but in sinful things we are prohibited, not only the habits, but the acts also: the one is alwayes and ever a sin, but the other is not alwayes called for as duty. If any desire Rules to know when a duty is called for; as for instance, when we are to pray, hear, &c. it is hardly possi­ble to be particular in this, yet we may try it by these Generals.

1, Any affirmative Precept binds to present practise, when the duty required tends to Gods glory, unto which every thing should be done (as 1 Corinth▪ 10. 31.) and when the omission of the duty may dishonour him.

2. When it tends to others edification, and omitting will some way stumble and offend.

[Page 7] 3. When some special Providences meet and concur, to give opportunity for such a duty; as for instance, the giving of Aims when we have it, and some indigent person offers, whose necessity calls for it, Gal. 6. 10. So when secrecy for prayer is offered, (and no other more necessary duty at that time is called for) which we are to watch unto, Col. 4. 2. or when we meet with some special occasion or Dispensation, point­ing out to us this or that as a duty called for, such a Providence invites us to the pra­ctise of that duty: for though Providences will not make these things to become du­ties which are not duties, yet they will serve to time and circumstantiate duties that lye on us, by vertue of affirmative Precepts.

4. Some special occasions and times are set down in the Word, as for praying Mor­ning and Evening, for hearing the Word on Sabbath days; and in these, and other the like duties, the examples of the Saints, so recorded for imitation in Scripture, would be observed as a Copy and patern.

5. When they have not such inconveniences with them, as cross and hinder other Moral duties of Edification, love▪ &c. for if they do that, they must yield and give place to these; but if no other duty be called for, then they ought to be done, for we should be in some duty. And though such dnties be in themselves Moral, suppose praying, hearing, and such others, which might be instanced, yet the timing of them, or going about them at such a time, and in such a manner▪ is not Moral simply, but as these are by circumstances called for.

6. When without sin such a duty cannot be omitted; and although there be not any inward exercise of mind, or frame of spirit sutable thereto, yet the Conscience calls for it, or there is some on special occasion or other that puts us to it.

3. Observe, that this Rule of Negatives tying ad semper, or obliging in all circum­stances of time, is not to be understood, but where the matter is Moral; therefore we would distinguish again betwixt negative Morals, and negative Positives, for Posi­tives, whether negative or affirmative, give still place to Morals, As for instance, that part of the fourth Commandment is negative▪ In it (that is, one the seventh day) [...]ou shalt do no manner of work, yet sometimes, when necessity calls for it, some manner of works is lawful on that day, because it is only a negative Positive, and not a negative Moral: And so David's eating of Shew-bread, was against a negative Command, though not against a negative Moral, but a negative Positive.

4. Take this Rule, that in all Commands, joyntly and severally, we would have spe­cial respect unto the scope God aims at by them all in general, or by such a Command in particular: now the general scope is (2 Cor. 7. 1. 1. Pet. 1. 15. 16▪) perfect and absolute holiness, even as he is holy; and therefore whatever he requires, he requires that▪ it be absolutely perfect in its kind, as that our love to him be with the whole heart, &c. and so our love to others be as to our selves; our Chastity and Purity, all must be ab­solute. (see 1 Tim. 1. 5.) This Rule will teach us what we are to aim and level at: And whatever Exposition of the Commandments comes not up to this scope, is no doubt defective; and by this Rule only can we be helped to the right meaning of every Commandment, for each of them has its peculiar scope, both as to the duties it requires, and sins it condemns. And by this Rule it is that our Lord Christ (whose Exposition with that of the Prophets is best) draws in the least and smallest branches of filthiness to the seventh Commandment, which dischargeth all things contrary to perfect and compleat Purity.

5. The fifth Rule is, that the Law is spiritual, Rom. 7. 14. and that not only outward obedience to such duties, or outward abstinence from such sinful acts is called for, but the Law, having a spiritual meaning, calls for spiritual service, and that in these [Page 8] three: 1. As it requires spiritual duties, such as Faith, Fear, Love to God, and [...] others; right habits, as well as right affections, and outward actions, and therefo [...] Paul, to prove the spirituality of the Law, instanceth in the habit of Lust, Rom. 7. [...] a thing thereby discharged. 2. The Law is spiritual, in that the obligation thereof reaches to the Spirite, and very inwards of the Heart, affections and thoughts, as wel [...] as to the outward man; the love it requires, is love with all the Soul, Heart and Mind. Hence there is Heart-Idolatry, Murder, and Adultery, as well as outward, therein condemned. 3. It is spiritual, in respect of the manner; it requires as to all outward duties, that they be done to a spiritual end, from a spiritual principle, and in a spirital way, opposite to the carnal way, to which the unrenewed heart of man is inclined, in which sense we are commanded to walk in the spirit, Gal. 5. 16. and so praying and praising, which this Law calls for, is praying and praising in the spirit, 1 Corinth. 14, vers. 14, 15, 16.

6. A sixth Rule is, that beside the duty expressed, there is more implyed in the af­firmative Commands; and beside the sin pitched on, there is more forbidden in the negative Precepts, even all duties and sins of these kinds, in whatsoever degree: As for example, in the affirmative Commands: 1. Where the duty is commanded, all the means that may further it are commanded likewise: Hence under care to preserve our Brother, Levit. 19. 17. 18. it is commanded that we should reprove him, &c. 2. Where any thing is commanded as a duty, all duties of that kind are commanded, as keeping holy the Lords Day, is commanded in the fourth Commandment: there hearing, praying, watchfulness all the Week over, and all things belonging unto the Worship of God that day, such as Tythes, that is, maintenance for a Ministry, calling of fit Ministers, bulding Churches, &c. are required, though they be not all duties of that day. 3. Where a duty is required, the owning and suitable avowing of the duty is required also: and so believing in God, and the profession of Faith are required in the same Commandment, Rom. 10. 10. 4. Where the duty of one Relation is re­puired (as of Childrens subjection) there is required the duty of the other Relation (as of Parents) yea, and also of all under that name.

Again, in negative Precept; observe: 1. Where great sins are forbidden, all the lesser of that sort are forbidden also: as under Adultery, Murder, and Idolatry, all light, obscene Whorish words, wanton looks, unchaste thoughts, revenge, rash anger, wordly affections, &c. are forbidden; and they are comprehended and prohibited under the grossest terms, to make them the more detestable, odious, and dreadfull. 2. All means that may prevent these sins are commanded, and all snares, or occasions, or incitements to them are prohibited. 3. Where any sin is forbidden, there the least scandal about it, or the least appearance of the guilt of committing it, is forbidden also; for God will have his people holy, and shining in holiness, unspotted, and without scandal, and abstaining not only from all evil, but from all appearance of it, 1 Thess. 5. 22. 4. We are not only forbidden the committing of such sins our selves, delighting in them, and inclining to them, but accounting light or little of them in others; yea, we are commanded and ought to mourn for them, when committed by them.

7. The seventh Rule is, whatever duty lies upon others, we are commanded in our places to further them in it, as Masters are to further their Servants, Husbands their Wives, one Neighbour another; by advice, direction, incouragement, prayer, and other helps, as in the fourth Commandment is clear, where the Servants duty, & the Strangers, is imposed on the Master; and whatever sin is discharged in our selves, we are discharged any manner of way to partake in the same with others, whether by ad­vice, example, connivance, ministring occasion, or by sporting and laughing at it in [Page 9] [...]hem; for so the Rule is, 1 Tim. 5. 22. Keep thy self pure, partake not of other mens [...]ins: Men may be free themselves▪ as to their own personal breaches, and yet high­ [...]y partake of others breaches of the Law.

8. The breach of one Commandment virtually breaks all; there is such a con­nexion and linking together of the Commandments, that if the Authority of God be [...]lighted in one, it is so in all, Jam. 2. 10. 1. John 4. 20.

9. On thing may in divers respects (as an end or means) be commanded or for­bidden in many, yea in all the Commandments▪ as ignorance and drunkenness are, be­cause they disable for all duties, and dispose to all sins: Of this kind is idleness also; and so knowledge, sobriety, watchfulness▪ &c. are commanded in all the Command­ments; for without these men are unfitted and incapacitated for performing any com­manded duty.

10. The tenth and last Rule is, the Law is holy, just, and good: therefore the least motion against it, or discontentment with it, is sin, Rom. 7. 12. In sum: take these few watch-words concerning the obligation of the Law.

1. That it obligeth to all duties, and to all sorts of duties, publick, private to God, to others, and to our selves: and that words, actions, gestures, yea thoughts, and the least motions of the heart, come under its obligation: his Commandment is exceeding broad, so that there is nothing so little, but it ought to be ruled by this Word, and that in all persons of all Ranks, whether as to doing or suffering.

2. That it obligeth to the right manner of duties, as well as to the matter, and to every thing that belongeth to duties; and thus in its true extent it reacheth to the forbidding of all the sins that are contrary to duties commanded.

3. That it obligeth the whole man, the outward, in deeds, words, gestures, and appearances or shews; the inward, in the understanding, will, affections, memory; consciences; and so it requires that the mind, will, and whole nature be sanctified, and conform to all these Commands.

5. That it obligeth to obedience in all these alwayes, and in the highest degree, so that the least disconformity in habit or act is a transgression, the obedience it requires is perfect in all these respects, that not only there must be no breach of any of these Commands directly, much lese a continuance in a breach; but that also 1. There must be no appearance of breaking them, 1 Thes. 3. 2. 2. There must be no consent to break them, though it come not forth to act, Matth. 5. 28. There must be no casting our selves in the way of any temptation or snare, whereby we may be inticed or occasio­ned (to speak so) to break them; as Davil was by his looking on a woman, 2 Sam. 11. 2. which Job guards against, Job 31. Vers. 1▪ 4. there must be no corrupt motion, affection, or inclination to evil, even where it gets not assent, there must be no tick­ling of delight in the thing, though the heart dare not consent to act it, nor any dis­contentment with the restraint that keepeth from such a thing, or secret wishing that such a thing were lavvful; but on the contrary, we must account every commanded thing right, Psalm 119. 128.

5. The involuntary motions of the mind which never get assent to any of these evils, nor are delighted in, yet even these are prohibited by this Law, because they flow from a corrupt Fountain, and are the Evidences of disconformity to Gods Image in our nature, and they ought not so much as to be in us. Hence doth the Apostle complain of lust, Rom. 7. though resisted by him.

6. It teacheth not only to streams of actual corruption, but to the Fountain of ori­ginal sin, whereby we entertain within us the seed and incentives unto actual evils that contradict this holy Law. By all which we may see what holiness it calls for, and how [Page 10] often (if we were examined in all the Commands by these Rules) we would be found defective and faulty, and what matter of humiliation and repentance we may have for what is past, and what challenges we may have hereafter from this Law, with what need of continual applications to the Blood of Sprinkling, and of Washings in that open Fountain, to the House of David, and Inhabitants of Jerusalem, for sin and uncleanness, and what need of endeavours to have our steps ordered more exactly according to it.

Before we close the Preface, I shall first add two distinctions more, then two more Rules: 3. Give you some Scriptures for your memories cause, 4. Give some directions or helps to those who make conscience to study this Law. 5. Answer and clear a special case.

1. Then ye would distinguish betwixt this Law as given to Adam, and as given to Israel: for as given to him it was a Covenant of Works, but as given to them it's a Co­venant of Grace, and so from us now it calls for Gospel-duties, as Faith in Christ, 1 Tim. 1. 5. Repentance, Hope in God, &c. and although it call for legal duties, yet in a Gospel manner; therefore we are in the first Commandment commanded to have God for our God, which cannot be by sinners obeyed, but in Christ Jesus, the Covenant of Works being broken, and the tye of Friendship thereby between God and Man made void; so that now men, as to that Covenant, are without God in the World, and without Christ and the Promises, Ephes. 2. 12. 13. And so our having God for our God, (which is pointed at in the Preface to the Command­ments) and Christ for our Saviour, and closing with his Righteousness, and the Promises of the Covenant (which are all Yea and Amen in him) must go together.

2. Distinguish betwixt the divers Administrations of the Covenant of Grace, and of the Law, in respect of Positives, falling under the second Commandment; for that Commandment tyed the Israelites before Christ to Circumcision, Sacrifices, the se­venth day of the Week, and other Ceremonies agreeable to the Administration of the Law, and Covenant of Grace then▪ but now it forbiddeth them to us, and requireth other duties, for the Priest-hood being changed, there is of necessity a change also of the Laws belonging thereto; yet that Commandment, as a part of the Moral Law, doth perpetually oblige and tye to worship God, and none other, and that according to the manner which he prescribes.

Next unto the Rules already laid down for the better understanding of the Com­mandments, we add two more.

The first is, that the Commandements are so to be expounded, as that none of them may contradict another, that is, there is nothing commanded in one that is forbidden in another, or contrary; one duty doth not justle with not thrust out another, but they differ only; and then two duties coming together, in that case one of them ceaseth to be a duty for that time▪ as is said in that distinction of affirmative and negative Com­mands.

The second Rule is, that all these Commandments bind and call for obedience from men, according to their places, and other qualifications and circumstances: The fifth Commandment calleth for one thing from a Magistrate, another from a Subject; a Magistrate is to edifie one way, a Minister another, a private Christian another▪ a Ser­vant is one way to reprove his Fellow-servant, a Master another way: The Law re­quires more from a man of parts, power and riches, then from another, as to exercise and improvement of these gifts: The Law being just, has in it a proportionableness to places, parts, &c. and sets bounds to stations, but alters them not, nor confounds them.

[Page 11] 3. For the help of your memories, and that ye may have these Rules more obvious, ye may draw them all under these five Scriptures.

The first Scripture is, Psalm 119. v. 96. Thy Commandment is exceeding broad; which though it be more extensive in its meaning, yet it doth certainly include this Law, which in an especial way is the Commandment, and in the sense and com­prehensive meaning thereof is exceeding broad; for it takes in the fulness and ex­tent of the whole Law, in its obligation, as to all things, persons, and duties of all sorts.

The second Scripture is, Rom. 7. 14. which speaks to the Spirituality of the Law in the obedience which it calleth for, the Law is Spiritual,

The third Scripture is, Rom. 7. 12. which speaks the perfection of its nature, the Law is Just; therefore fretting against what it commandeth, or wishing it were otherwise, is a breach thereof; It is holy; therefore to be discomformable unto it, is to be unholy; it's good, and therefore it ought to be loved and delighted in.

The fourth Scripture is, 1 Tim. 1. 5. and it speaketh the great end of the Law; The end of the Commandment is Charity out of a pure Heart, and a good Conscience▪ and Faith unfeigned; which threefold End speaketh out the absolute purity and holiness called for in our love to God and others, so as to have a good conscience in this before God: all which must flow from unfeigned Faith without presumption, resting on Jesus Christ, who is in this sense the end of the Law.

The fifth Scripture is, 1 Tim. 1. 8. The Law is good, if a man use it lawfully: and this guards against abusing of the Law, and putteth us to the lawful use of it: There are extreams in abusing the Law; as 1. When it is used to see Righteousness by it. Again 2. When the Authority of it is pretended for something it Warrants not, such as the Traditions of the Fathers, Matt. 15. seeking of Salvation by the observation of Circumcision, &c. 3. When its Authority in practise is denyed. 4. When it is turned from practise to vain speculations and questions. 5. When it is so used as it deters and scares from Christ. 6. When it is so made use of, as it oppresses and dis­courages a Believer, for whose sake (1 Tim. 1. 19.) it was never made or appointed, as to its threatnings and condemning Power: And lastly, in a word, when it is not used to the ends, and in the manner expressed, in the former Scriptures.

Fourthly, Because the study of this Law is so singularly useful, we not only press & commend it, but add further some few directions, whereby we may be helped rightly to use it, and to guard against the abuse of it in our hearing and reading of it.

1. The first direction is, ye would look on it as Gods Word, and take it as if ye heard himself from Sinai pronounce it, that so ye may tremble; and be more affected with holy fear when ever ye read, hear it, or meditate upon it; for so was the people affected when it was first promulgate.

2. Be much in prayer for grace to take up its meaning; David (Psal. 119. 18, &c.) prayed often for this, and thought it not unbecoming a King, yea a believing King, and a Prophet, to study this Law, and pray much for opened eyes to understand the meaning thereof.

3. In your reading seek to understand so as to practise it, for that is the end of knowledge, and the end the Law it self aims at, Deuv. 5. 1. 2. we knowing no more in Gods account then what we endeavour honestly to practise; and not aiming at pra­ctise, indisposeth both for understanding and practise, and makes men exceeding careless.

4. As ye hear and learn any thing to be duty or sin, reflect on your selves, and try whether that be sin in you, and how far short ye are in that duty, for this is the proper [Page 12] use of the Law, to reveal sin and transgression, Rom. 1. [...]8. and therefore it is ca [...]ed a Glass, Jam. 1. 23. 24. and ye would look in it so as ye may know what manner of persons ye are, and may know what sports are upon you.

5. When the Law discovers sin, ye would open your Bosom to let in Convictions; for the Law entered that sin might abound, not in practise, but in sense feeling, and conscience, Rom. 5. 20. and follow these Convictions by repentance, till they necessi­tate you to flye to Christ, and leave you there.

6. Take help from Christs Sermons, and the Prophets, to understand this Scri­pture, for they are the only Canonical; and therefore the best Commentary upon the Commandments; yet ye would not despise the light holden forth in humane wri­tings, such as the larger Catechism, which is very full as to this, and if concionably im­proved, will prove exceeding profitable for your instruction.

Lastly, The Grave Case that we would speak unto, before we enter particularly on the Commandments is▪ whether any of these Commandments may be broken in our sleep, by Dreams, Imaginations, Actions, &c. which otherwise are unlawful, or whether when a man is sleeping and dreaming he be subject to the Rule of the Law, and if its obligation extend to him even then? This question hath its own difficulty, and althought it be not good to be curious in it, yet it wants not its own profit, as to the peace and quietness of Gods people, or to their humbling and stirring up unto repen­tance, if it be rightely decided. I know almost all run on the negative, as if men were not in the least guilty of sin by such Dreams▪ upon this ground, upon this ground, be­cause they are not then in a capacity to use and exercise their reason, but that they are in this case as mad, distracted, o [...] frantick men. I desire to be sober in speaking to this; yet I shall adventure to speak my mind a little about it, with the reasons of it.

And 1. we say there is a great difference betwixt sleeping dreaming men, and mad-men. 1. Because madness is wholly in it self penal, and is a disease following sinful man as other diseases: but so it cannot be said of such dreaming; for as sleep was natural (there being before Adams Fall a Day and a Night as well as now, and there being an instance then of Adams sleeping) so must dreaming be, being procu­red by the restlesness of the Fancy; and the roving of the Imaginations, which is some way natural; but that men dream of such subjects, or that their dreams are of such a nature (as filthy or prophaine) seems clearly to follow sin, which dreaming simply doth not; and therefore man is not so passive in this, as in madness. 2. Because in dreams men have more use of Reason, then in madness, though (as the School-men say) that use be imperfect, yet as they grant (and Experience confirmeth it, and Augustine lib. 10. Confess [...] acknowledgeth it in himself) their may reason and debate in sleep, yea sometimes reject some motions, and though dreaming yet not give con­sent unto them; and that upon reasons which at other times possibly they will im­brace. Hence is it that there is a sort of sutableness and likeness betwixt mens dream­ings▪ and their rational actings when walking; children and mad men, or men in a distemper, having more foolishnese and less reason in dreams, then these who have more use of reason; but wise men in a distraction, and natural fools, have no such difference then: Beside, we conceive that dreaming is more proper to reasonable men then Beasts▪ and to men that have exercise of reason then to children, but madness may be in all. 3. Because a mans former carriage in moral things hath much more in­fluence on his dreams when he has clear use of reason, then it can be said to have upon him when in madness, as to the things committed by him in it. 4. Neither is it with­out some weight, that under the Law, Levit. 15. Deut. 23. 10. Sacrifices and Wash­ing▪ were appointed for some sins committed in sleep and dreaming (whatever they be [Page 13] in themselves) which were not appointed for the sins of such as were frantick: All which put together, and duly considered, we cannot look upon sins, I mean things otherwise unlawful, in dreaming; and sins in distraction, as equal.

Yet secondly, there be some things that we willingly grant in this matter: As 1. That we do not comprehend under these sinful dreams every passing transient thought or motion in sleep, which has meerly an idleness and unprofitableness with it, which though it might possibly be siuful in men waking, (when they should aim in the least thought at something edifying) yet we think dreams that are meerly (so to say) negative, that is▪ not sinful on the matter, are not to be accounted sins; nay, not yet sins historically, as it were, objected to the fancy, or only objectively propo­sed▪ I say they are not sinful, because mans fancy at such a time is open to such Repre­sentations▪ and cannot hold them out, especially seeing they may possibly be carried in by the Devil, who certainly waits these times; but there are other sinful dreams, such as that spoken of, Levit. 15. through occasion of which there is effusion of seed, rising in passion, delighting in revenge, it may be (as we have heard) to the commit­ting of some act, such have (as it were) a more diliberate consent with them, and sometimes delight, yea, sometimes external motion of the body endeavouring the ac­complishments of its desires: in all which it seems hard to say, that a man is passive only; and when the subject of the dreams are such things as a natural Conscience will scare and tremble at, it is of these we speak.

2. We conceive there is a great difference, as to degrees of sinfulness, betwixt such sinful motions, desires, delectations, &c. that are in a waking man, and the same in one a sleep; the guilt is much less by many degrees in the one, then in the other.

3. A difference is to be made betwixt gross sins objectively represented to the fancy in sleep, and the same sins which are not only sorepresented, but also have more setled motions following thereon.

4. There is a difference also betwixt distempered men in their dreams of this kind, and men who are sober, and well at themselves; yet we cannot but incline to think, that there is some guilty that may and ought to be repented of in such dreams, and so that men may in their sleep sin against these holy Commandments, seeing that in many dreams, as in many words, there are divers (even sinful) vanities, Eccles. 5. 7.

This Truth is something clear from the grounds already laid down; but we shall for further clearing and confirming of it, and these following Arguments. The first is this.

1. That tickling delight, as an evil against the Law of God, is a fruit of original sin, which sin infects all our imaginations, and make them evil, Genes. 6. 5. yea, they are the flowings out of habitual lust, which is now natural to us; and if they be a Fruit of that Tree, or a Daughter of that Mother, must they not be of the same na­ture, and so sinful? and that they must flow from Original sin, may thus be made out; That none can imagine such dreams to have been incident to Adam, in the state of Innocency, while all was pure, even though sleep and dreams were natural to him: And this may be confirmed from that one Maxime of the School-men, that Adams Innocency was capable of no deception, nor of any thing which might make him sad, either sleeping or waking; but such dreams certainly imply both. If it be said, such dreams may be from an external cause, as the Devils objecting such and such things to men in sleep: I answer, I grant in part it may be so; but 1. Though he object them to us sleeping as well as waking, yet it is, we that entertain these objected Representa­tions, it is we that delight in them, and move by them, though tempted thereto by [Page 14] him: we may say he is Father and as it is, Acts 5. 3. he filleth the heart, and furnisheth fewel; but we are the Mother (I say it is our corruption) that bringeth forth, and can any say, that if there were no corruption within us, that these would be so entertained? 2. Though they come from him as an external cause, yet considering that our nature is inclined to such things, so that Powder or Flax taketh no sooner with Fire cast into them, then our corrupt nature doth with these temptations: Is it possible to imagine that a Dart of temptation should be thrown in, and not at least awake and stir the sa­vour of corruptions? Indeed, pure Nature in our blessed Lord (who was without Original sin) was like water, presently to quench all such Fiery Darts. 3. If they come from the Devil, to what end can he object them to men; it must either be be­cause they are sinful, that being his aim to defile them thereby, and draw them to sin, or because they are troublesome and heavy to men, he having delight also in mens mi­sery, but such dreams are no way weighty and troublesome to the most part of men, that therefore is not his aim, nor would they be so much burdensome to others, were it not from their apprehension of guilt under them; and therefore Satans aim must be thereby to defile men with sin.

2. Argument which confirmeth the former, (and let us consider it with reverence) our blessed Lord Jesus was made in all things like unto us, except sin, none of the fruits of original sin, which are sinful, are to be found in him; and yet, I suppose, none can without horrour imagine such dreams to have been incident to him, or that his abso­lute Holiness was capable of them. He is the only instance of one free from original sin, yet may he be supposed lyable to any other penal thing, excepting 1. What im­plies sin. 2. What implies distempers and infirmities in the contemperature and con­stitution of his body from inward causes, because he had no inward cause, being free of sin as Adam before his Fall; and therefore not naturally (I mean from inward principles, or necessity, as we are) subject to sickness or death.

3. The third Argument is, That men are often accessary to these sinful dreams them­selves, either 1. By excess, disposing themselves to such inclinations, or 2. By a loose mind that delights in following such things throughout the day in their more reasona­ble meditations, and more determinate purposes; it being ordinary, that dreams fol­low much the constitution of the body, or the habitual strain of our practise: in which respect mens Callings, or particular Imployments, will run up and down before the Fancy in their sleep, and so their sinful exercises also: or 3. By not praying to God to guard against them, and neglecting to press more after mortification for that end: or 4. By not being suitably affected with them after they are past and gone: In which cases even the School-men (who are not the most rigid and tender Casuists) will grant (all things being considered) sin to be ex consequenti in dreams; and we suppose few fall in such dreams, who may not in one circumstance or other read their accession to sin therein, and though our frame and constitution be in it self na­tural, yet that it should incline us sleeping or waking to any thing sinful, that is and must be from corrupt nature, seeing it clearly speaketh the inordinateness of our natu­ral inclination.

4. The fourth Argument is from the Law of Washings and Sacrificings for the sin of uncleanness in mens dreams, when they pass seed in their sleep, which seemeth to say thus much, that both sleeping and waking men should be holy; and although there be sacrifices and cleansings appointed for somethings that are not morally sin­full, as the touching of a dead body, having Leprosie, &c. yet simply to say so of the case in hand were hard: For 1. If it be said there was no moral sinfulness in that kind of pollutions, what then could these Sacrifices and Washings signifie? If any say, [Page 15] as they must say, they looked to secret actings of original sin, it doth confirm what we have said: But 2. Is there in any such things as are not accounted sinful in them­selves, such a dependency upon, or likeness to any Commandment, as there is in that which is mentioned Levit. 15. to the seventh Commandment, to which it seemeth to have a direct reference?

5. The fifth Argument may be taken from the extent of the Law, which reacheth to the whole man outward and inward, soul, heart, mind, and if to the whole man, then why not to the fancy, memory, imagination, &c. And we are sure when Spirits are made perfectly comform to the Law of God, there will not be found in them any such fancy imaginable as consistent with it: Besides, doth not this Law oblige and tye alwayes? even sleeping men (as we conceive) are under the negative Precepts of it, that is, although they be not bound to pray and hear in their sleep, yet they are bound not to Murder, nor commit Adultery, &c. in their sleep; and the more renew­ed and holy Christians are in their ordinary walk, so are they in their dreams; and even in this sanctified persons differ from unrenewed ones.

6. The sixth Argument it this, we suppose these grounds that prove involuntary lust in the first motions thereof, and before they can come to consent to be sin, will in­fer these motions in sleeping men (of which we speak) to be sinful also: For 1. Though these motions of lust be involuntary, and weaken not the deliberate use of Reason more then the other: And 2. Though they be in the Regenerate wrestled against, and not approved more then the other, yet because these are not according to reason, (though not brought forth by it) and not answerable to that simple purity and Angelick holi­ness which should be in man, and it is hard to imagine the most passing motions of lust running never so swiftly through us, not to leave behind them some dreg of de­filement by reason of our corruption, that sideth still in less or more with temptation (which cannot be said of sins objected by the Tempter to our Lord) and such lusts, or motions of lust, have still by the Orthodox, according to Pauls Doctrine, Rom. 7. been thought sinful upon the foresaid reasons, and we see not but these same reasons will hold here.

Lastly, we add, that generally the Consciences of the Godly look on this kind of practises, although committed in sleep, with horrour, and no reasoning or dispu­ting will truly quiet them, till they be humbled before God under them, and yet they use not to be so troubled in other things that are meerly Ceremonial: How doth Au­gustine complain of this, yea confess and lament it, Confess. lib. 10. cap. 30. (though elsewhere he accounts it no sin) yet he crys out of it, and that he thought it a mercy, that he had not done what in sleep he consented to act, reperimus nos non fecisse, do­leamus tamen quoquo modo in nobis factum suisse, It grieves him that it should be any way done in him, and he aggreadgeth it thus, that he had not alwayes rejected these as sometimes he had done: And do not the Godly sometimes in their sleep make opposition to these motions? and how often do they in prayer wrestle against this evil, and that (as I conceive) from another apprehension of it then simply, because of any punishment or affliction that is in it? for many things more afflicting do not so effect them; and yet even these know the reasons that are made use of against the sin­fulness of it, which maketh me think there is something directly against Conscience and Purity in these sinful actions or motions.

To conclude, sure we are this Opinion is not unsuitable to the end of the Law, and that absolute Purity and Angelical Holiness God calleth for in it; namely, that not only when we are awake we are to be still with him, but that our sleep should not break our Communion with him: And certainly it is most safe for man [Page 16] to humble himself under the sense of his sinful nature, and the sad necessity of sinning, both waking and sleeping, he hath brought on himself▪ that thereby he may the bet­ter press on himself the necessity of a Mediator for Righteousness, which are the great ends and uses of the Law.

We come now more particurarly to the words which the Lord himself spok: con­cerning the number of these Commandments, and general scope of them (as hath been said) there is no question: but there be four things we would speak a little to, for fur­ther clearing of the Text, before we come to speak particularly to the first Com­mandment. The first is, whether these words, I am th [...] Lord thy God, &c. be a part of the first Commandment, or a Preface to all the Ten? Answ; We think it is a ground laid down for pressing and drawing forth our obedience to all the Commandments, yet it hath relation more especially to the first Commandment▪ as the negative expres­sion there cleareth, which is, Th [...] shalt have no other god [...] before [...] that is, no other then Me: what Me? even Me the Lord thy God that brought thee [...]ut of the Land of Egypt: So then there is a special relation betwixt this Commandment and the Pre­face, as including the positive part of this negative Commandment, and it doth espe­cially clear these three things.

1. What is the right object of worship, it is Jehova, Elohim, the Lord, that sheweth the Unity of the Divine Essence; for so [...]hovah, being a word in the singular num­ber, is ordinarely look't on as pointing out this, then Elo [...]im, which is a word in the plural number, speaketh the plurality of Persons in the God▪head; so that the Lord commanding and requiring obedience, here is one God, and three Persous.

2. It cleareth what is the right Channel in which our service should run, it is in the Channel of the Covenant, our obedience is to be directed, not to God abstractly consi­dered, but to God as our God, I am the Lord thy God, saith he, and thy God by Cove­nant; so the expression is, Deut. 28. 58. That thou m [...]st fear this glorious and fearful Name, THE LORD THY GOD. This maketh our service and worship sweet and kindly; and without this relation there can be no acceptable service per­formed by sinful man to God; and that relation (that by the Covenant of Works once stood betwixt them) being broken, it saith it must be made up again, which only can be done in Christ: and it saith also, that this relation to God in him, and obedience to the Law, can consist well together.

3. It cleareth what is the right and great motive of obedience, to wit, the benefit of Redemption, love and thankfulness, upon that account, constraining to the perfor­ming of these duties that are commanded, that they may be done willingly, and in a chearful manner.

Secondly, It may be asked, why the second Commandment, and the fourth Com­mandment, have reasons pressing obedience annexed to them, which none of the other hath, at least expresly set down by the Lord? Answ. This may be a reason, because all the other Commandments are by the Law of Nature determined in mens Con­sciences, and the sins against them are by Natures Light seen to be evil; but the sub­stance of these two, to wit, what way he will be worshipped in externals, and on what day as the solemn time of worship, being determined by Gods positive Law, they are not so impressed on mens Consciences as the duties required in the other Command­ments are; therefore the Lord addeth reasons to each of these to perswade to the obe­dience of them, as to the second, I am a jealous God; and therefore will not admit of any the least appearance of declining from me, even in externals, and to the fourth, keep the Sabbath day, for I have put a difference betwixt it and other dayes, though before there was none, which is further amplified in the Text: Now by this reason [Page 17] (which is also given by the School-men) it may appear, that the second Command­ment concerning outward worship, according to our way of distinguishing them, i [...] distinct from the first, which requireth the inward worship due to God: for the first Commandment is Moral-Natural, and can never be altered, and has as much impres­sion on a Natural Conscience as any; and therefore, according to this ground, needed no reason.

Thirdly, It may be observed also, that some Commandments have Promises added to them, which others have not; not that any Commandment wants implied incou­ragements, but in some they are expressed, as in the second. He sheweth mercy to thou­sands, &c. and in the fifth, That thy days may be long, &c. The reason given why Pro­mises are particularly expressed in these two is, that obedience to these two seemeth to bring most hurt to men, and is most contrary to their corrupt wills and affections; it seemeth not so prejucidial, nor is it so obnoxious to the hatred of the World, that men love God, and fear him in their hearts, &c. as it is outwardly to confess him before men, and that by adhering close to the true manner of worshipping him: This maketh men obnoxious to persecutions, crosses, losses, &c. to be seriously taken up in the externals of godliness, sometimes bringeth much prejudice with it, and is to many troublesome, and so to be obedient to Superiours, and tender of Inferiour [...], is not easily condescended unto; therefore God to counterbalance the difficul­ties that accompany the obedience of these two Commandments, hath ad­ded Promises to them, the more to incourage and stir up to the obedience of them.

The fourth thing we would take notice of is, that some Commandments have threatnings expressed in them, which others have not, as the second, and the third, not that any Commandment wanteth implied threatnings, but the reason is, because men ordinarily count light of the breach of these two Commandments, if they be (as they think) honest at the heart, though they be very negligent and careless in many outward things; and though in the manner of worship they be very slight and perfunctorious, yet if it be to the true God, they think the less of it: And so also men are given to count very light of reverent using Gods Holy Name; therefore he hath put a threatning to both these Commandments, to make men know he will not so easily pass them, as men oft-times imagine; and that all these three, reasons, promises, threatnings, are added to the second Commandment, it doth very clearly and convincingly shew of what concernment that Commandment is, and how ready men are to break it, and that there is special consideration and regard to be had to it, so far is it from being to be attempted to be expunged out of the number,

Exod. 20. 3.‘Thou shalt have no other Gods before me.’

IN this first Commandment we may consider these two: 1. The thing comman­ded. 2. The qualification of the Command.

The thing Commanded is negatively set down, Thou shalt have no other Gods, di­recting to the right object of worship, and differencing the true God from all suppo­sed Gods; for though there be but one God, yet are there many who are called Gods, 1 Corinth. 8. 4, 5, 6. The qualification added, is in these words, before me, which tend not only to the aggravation of the sin here discharged, as being done in his pre­sence, and done, as it were, in contempt and despite of God who alwayes sees; [Page 18] but especially to shew the extent of the Prohibition▪ that it tyeth up not only from outward Idolatry, but even from that which is inward and secret, and that men see not, and is known to God only; and so this Commandment requireth not only external worship, but that which is inward and spiritual before God. Hence the scope of this first Commandment lieth clearly in these two things, (wherein it diffe­reth from the second) to wit, 1. That it sheweth who is the right object of wor­ship, and directeth men thereto. 2. That it regulateth mens internal worshipping of God, and calleth for that, whereas the second Commandment supposeth both these, and directeth as to the manner of worshipping the true God in externals, and regulateth these.

This Commandment, as all the rest, hath a positive part requiring something, and a negative part prohibiting something: We shall, in the first place, speak to what is required here, and we take it up in these three things.

1. And first it requireth the right knowledge of God; for there can be no true worship given to him, there can be no right thought or conception of him, or faith in him, till he be known: He must be known to be one God in Essence, Deut. 6. 4. and three Persons, 1 John 5. 7. He must be known in his Attributes and Essential Properties, Jnfiniteness, Immenseness, Unchangeableness, Eternity, Omnipotence, Omniscience, Wisdom, Goodness, Justice, and Faithfulness: He must also be known in his special works, whereby his Soveraignty and Majesty appeareth, as his works of Creation, Providence, Redemption, and what concerneth it; as the Covenant of Grace, and its terms; the Mediator, and his Offices: no service or worship can be offered to God, nor can we have any ground of Faith in him, without some mea­sure of distinct knowledge of these.

2. It requireth from us a suitable acknowledging of God in all these his Proper­ties: As 1. That he be highly esteemed above all. 2. Loved. 3. Feared. 4. Be­lieved and trusted in. 5. Hoped in. 6. Adored. 7. Honoured. 8. Served and obeyed. And so 9. He must be the Supreme end in all our actions, that should mainly be aimed at by us.

3. It requireth such duties as result from his Excellency, and our acknowledging him to be such a one: As 1. Dependance upon him. 2. Submission to him, and pa­tience under cross Dispensations from him. 3. Faith resting on him. 4. Prayers put up to him, 5. Repentance for wronging him. 6. Communion, and a constant wal­king with him. 7. Delighting in him, 8. Meditating on him; and such other as ne­cessarily may be inferred as duties incumbent to Creatures in such a relation to such a God, whose Excellency and worth calleth and inviteth men to all suit­able duties.

Next, it is necessary that we add some Advertisements to these Generals.

And 1. That the Commandment requireth all these, and in the highest and most perfect degree.

2. That it not only requireth them in our selves, but obligeth us to further them in all others, according to our Places and Callings.

3. That it requireth the diligent use of all means that may help and further us in these; as Reading, Meditation, Study, &c.

4. That these things which in some respect may be given to Creatures, as love, fear, &c. yet when they are required as duties to God, they are required in a far [Page 19] more eminent way; so that Creatures must yield and give place when God cometh in competition with them in these; and these things which are proper to God, as resting on him, adoring of him, are to be given to no other.

5. All these things are so required, as none of them thrust out another; but that all so consist, as every duty may keep its own place, without prejudice to any other.

In the next place, we would consider the negative part of this Commandment, for the extent thereof will be best discerned by considering what is forbidden therein, and how it may be broken: It is indeed the Commandment, in reference to which, beyond all the rest, almost the generality of men think themselves most innocent; and yet upon tryal it will be found, that men are most guilty of the breach thereof: We may look upon the breach of this Commandment more largely, as God is any way wronged in that which is his due; or more strictly, as it relateth to that which is more properly Idolatry.

Being more largely considered, it is broken two wayes.

1. When what is proper and Essential to God, is denied to him in effect, or pra­ctically; as when he is not accounted Eternal, Omnipotent, one blessed God in three Persons: And thus men are guilty, either in Opinion or in practise, when they walk so before God, as if they thought him not Omnipotent, Omniscient, &c. And so Tit. 1. 16. it is said of some, that they profess to know God, but in works they deny him.

2. It is broken, when any thing unbecoming the Holy Majesty of God is attri­buted unto him; as that he changeth, favoureth prophanity, &c. So Psalm 50. 21. it is said of some prophane men, that they thought him like unto themselves. These two may be called more general Idolatry; we shall speak further to them after­ward.

3. The third way it is broken (considering the breach of this Commandment strictly) is by attributing that which is due to God, and properly belongeth to him, to Creatures; as trusting in them, calling on them by prayer, accounting them Omnipotent, Omniscent, or believing that they have influence or power to guide the World, which some do attribute to Stars, to the Heavens, to Fortune, to Saints, to Angels, yea to Devils, this is properly Idolatry: And because it is the chief scope of this Commandment, and we are bidden expresly to keep our selves from Idols, 1 John. 5. we shall insist a little on it.

And 1. We shall premit some distinctions of Idolatry, 2. Shew how men fall in it. 3. What are the special Idols men commit Idolatry with. 4. Which are the most subtil and dangerous Idols. 5. Give some rules whereby ye may try this sin of Idolatry, even when it is most subtil.

And 1. Idolatry may be distinguished, 1. Into Idolatry against the first Com­mandment, when worship is not directed to the right, but to the wrong object▪ and Idolatry against the second Commandment, which striketh against the prescri­bed manner of worshipping God: We are now to speak to the first▪

2. This Idolatry is either 1. Doctrinal, or Idolatry in the Judgement, when one professedly believeth such a thing beside God to have some Divinity in it; as Hea­thens do of their Mars and Jupiter▪ and Papists do of their Saints: Or 2. It is pra­ctical, when men believe no such thing▪ and will not own any such Opinion▪ yet on the matter they are guilty of the same thing as covetous men, &c. The first taketh [Page 20] in all Heathens, Turks, Hereticks, that by their Doctrines and Opinions wrong the true God, or his worship: The second taketh in all self-seeking, ambitious, covetous, and voluptuous persons, &c. who fall in with the former in their practise, though not in Opinion.

3. It may be distinguished into Idolatry that hath something for its object, as the Egyptians worshipped Beasts, and the Persians the Sun or Fire, and that which has no­thing but mens imaginations for its object, as these who worship feigned Gods; in which respect the Apostle saith, an Idol is nothing, 1 Cor. 8. 4.

4. We would distinguish betwixt the objects of Idolatry, and they are either such as are in themselves simply sinful, as Devils, prophane men, or they are such as are good in themselves, but abused and wronged when they are made objects of Idolatry, as Angels, Saints, Sun, Moon, &c.

5. Distinguish betwixt Idolatry that is more gross and professed, and that which is more latent, subtil, and denied: This distinction is like that before mentioned into Opinion and practise, and much coincideth with it.

6. Distinguish betwixt Heart-Idolatry, Ezek. 14. Exod. 14. 11. 12. and 16 2, 3. and external Idolatry, the former consisteth in an inward heart-respect to some Idol, as this tumultuous people were inslaved to their case and bellies in the last two fore-cited places; the other in some external Idolatrous gesture or action.

In practical Idolatry we are to distinguish betwixt the letting out of our affections upon simply sinful objects, and the letting them out excessively upon lawful objects. Thus men are guilty of Idolatry with sinful objects, when they love and covet ano­ther mans House, Wife, or Goods, when things unlawful and forbidden have the heart. Again, men are guilty of Idolatry in making lawful objects Idols; as when by excess or inordinateness of love to their own Means, Wife, House, &c. they put them in Gods room, as Nebuchadnezzar did with Babylon, Dan. 4. 30. So then, in the for­mer sense, men make their lusts or sins. whatever they be, their Idols, Gluttons that serve their appetite, Drunkards their drunkenness, make their Bellies and Appetite their Idol; for to whatever men yield themselves to obey, they are servants unto that which they obey, Rom. 6. 16. An Idol is something excessively esteemed of, and Idolatry is the transferring of Gods due, outwardly or inwardly, to what is not God, whether we esteem it God or not.

We shall first speak of practical Heart-Idolatry, especially when lawful things are made Idols, which is the most subtil kind of Idolatry, and that which men most ordi­narily fall into: And it may be cleared these five wayes, by all which, men give that which is due to God unto Creatures. There are five things that are incontrovertibly due to God, to wit, 1. Estimation and honour above all. 2. Love with all the heart. 3. Confidence and trust. 4. Fear and reverence. 5. Service and obe­dience.

First then men commit Idolatry, when any thing, even any lawful thing, getteth too much respect from them; so that their happiness is placed in it, and they can less abide to want it in effect, whatever they may say in words, then Communion with God himself: When men have such an excessive esteem of Wife, Children, Houses, Lands, great Places, &c. and when they are taken from them, they cry as Micah, Judge 18. 24. Ye have taken away my Gods from me, and what have I more? When all the other contentments a man hath, yea all the Promises, and God himself also▪ proveth but of little value to him, in respect of some particular he is deprived of by some cross Despensation; it is a token it had too much of his heart: Try this by two things. 1. When any beloved thing is threatned to be removed, it then appeareth [Page 21] how it is affected, and stuck unto. 2. What is made use of to make up that; see a notable difference betwixt David and his men, or most of them, 1 Sam. 30. 6. when he wanted asmuch as they, they know no way to make it up, therefore they think of stoning him, but he incourageth himself in the Lord his God: they had no more left at all, its like, he hath his God abiding, in whom he may yet be com­forted.

The second way whereby men commit Idolatry with Creatures, is in their love which is due to God with all the heart; but men ordinarily give away their hearts to Creatures, in being addicted to them in their desires, seeking excessively after them, in their doating on them, or sorrowing immoderately for want of them. Hence the covetous man who loveth the world, 1 John 2. 15. is called an Idolater, Coloss. 3. 5. Ephes. 5. 5. Thus it discovered it self in Achab, who so loved Naboths Vineyard, that he could not rest without it: So Demas idolized the World, when for love of it, he forsook his service with the Apostle (though it had been but for a time) 2 Tim. 4. 10. Mens love to Creatures is excessive. 1. When their contentment so dependeth upon them, as they fret when they cannot come at the enjoyment of them, as we may see in Achab, when he cannot get Naboths Vineyard, and in Rachel for want of Chil­dren. 2. When it stands in competition with God, and duty to him is shufled out from respect and love to the World, or any thing in it, as we see in Demas, 2 Tim. 4. 10. 3. Though duty be not altogether thrust out, yet when love to these things marreth us in that zealous way of performing duty to God, as it did in Eli, 1 Sam. 2. 24. who is said to honour and love his Children above God, vers. 29. not that he forbore them altogether, but because his sharpness was not such as it should have been, and (as it is like) it would have been, had not they been his own Sons whom he too much loved; whereas to the contrary it is spoken to Abrahams commenda­dation, that he loved God, because he with-held not his only Son when God called for him.

3. The third is, when confidence and trust is placed in any thing beside God, (to wit, excessively, as before we said of love.) Thus when a mans protection is placed in men, though Princes, Psalm 146. 3. or in Multitudes, or in Horses and Armies, it is idoli­zing of them. Thus rich men may make (as it is Joh 31, 24. gold their confidence, and fine gold their hope; that is, when men account themselves secure, not because God hath a Providence, but because they have such means; as A [...]a trusted to the Physicians, and not to God; namely, in that particular, the cure of his disease; or as the rich man, Luke 12. 19. who founded his taking rest to his Soul on his full Barns, and so some trust their standing to such a great Man who is their Friend: And this is known; 1. By the means to which men betake them in a strait, as when they stand not to make use of sinful means. 2. By what noise they make when they are disappointed. 3. It is known by this, when their leaning on such a Creature marreth their resting on God, and on his Providence. Hence it is hard for men to be rich, and not to place their confidence in riches; and so Christ speaketh of the difficulty of rich mens being saved. 4. Then men trust in their riches, when the having of them ma­keth them to think themselves the more secure, and maketh them proud and jolly, as if they added some worth to those who possess them, which could not be, if they were not something too much thought of.

4. The fourth way how Creatures are idolized by men, is in their fear, when men or events are feared more then God, and fear maketh men sin, or at least keepeth them back from duty, in less or more like those Professors, who for fear of the Jews Ioh. 12. 42.) did not confess Christ. Thus men may idolize their very [Page] Enemies whom they hate, when they fear more him that can kill the body, then him that can dest [...]oy both soul and body. Thus great men and powerful in the World are often idolized, and good and well-qualified men may be made Idols also, when men become so addicted and devoted to them, as to call them Rabbi, and to be (as it were) sworn to their words and Opinions (as the Sectaries in Co­rinth were, and such at all times, for the most part, are to their Leaders) when it is not the matter or reason that swayeth, but the person that teacheth such Doctrine, or holdeth such an Opinion.

5. The fifth way of committing this Idolatry is by service, when a man is brought under the power of any thing; so whatever a man serveth this way is an Idol, every predominant, every person or humour that a man setteth himself thus to please is an Idol: in this respect it is said men cannot serve two Masters, God and Ma [...]mon; and if we yet serve men, we are not the Servants of Christ, Gal. 1. 10. This may be known, 1. By what men are most excessively taken up with, and most careful to fullfil and accomplish. 2. By looking to what it is for which they will take most pains that they may attain it. 3. By what getteth most of their time and labour. 4. By what overswayeth, and overcometh, or overaweth them most, so that they cannot resist it, though it thrust by duties to God; and when they are ne▪ver so taken up with Gods service, but it indisposeth them when ever they come to immediate worship; it is an evident token that such a thing is the mans [...]dol.

These be the most ordinary wayes how men fall in this sin of Idolatry: it were hard to speak of all the several Idols which may be loved, feared, rested on too much, and so put in Gods room: I shall instance in a few.

The first is the World; this is the great Clay-Idol that both covetous and vo­luptuous men hunt after, crying, Who will shew us any good? Psalm 4. 6. By this thousands are kept in bondage, and turned head long: An excessive desire to have the World's Goods, and to have by these a name in the Earth, is many a mans Idol.

A second is the Belly, Philip. 3. 19. a shameful God, yet worshipped by the most part of men, who travel for no more but for a portion in this life to fill the Belly, Psalm 17. 14. to win their living, and provide for their Families. To this sort also belongeth Gluttons, Drunkards, Palate-pleasers, (who are look [...] upon as the dain­ty men in the World, abounding alace in our dayes) being according to Satans Maxime, ready to give skin for skin, and all they have for their life; and aiming at no more, Job 2. 4. Thus Satan thought to have found out Job when his riches were quite gone; thus he tempted the Lord Christ to provide Bread in an anxious way; and thus fear of want captivateth many.

3. The third great Idol (which is comprehensive some way of all) is a mans life, his Honour, Credit, Reputation, good Name, and Applause in the World; his own Will, Opinion, Tenets, Judgements, whereof men are most tenacious, and will not quite sometimes (as the Proverb is) an inch of their will for a span of their thrift. Thus men are said to live to themselves, 2 Cor. 5. 15. in opposition to living unto God, when self-respect swayeth them to be lovers of themselves, [...] Tim. 3. vers. 2. 4. and lovers of their pleasures more then God, and self-wi [...]ed, Tit. 1. [...] [...] Pet. 2. 10. Ah, who are free of this!

The fourth is Men of Parts, &c. who have done or may do some considerable good [Page 23] or evil to one, or have something in them eminent beyond others: These oft-times, in regard of the fear, love, or trust, men place in them, are made great Idols.

The fifth is Lawful Contentments, as Houses, Wives, Children, unto which men are often too much addicted, and with which they are often too much taken up, even sometimes with that which is in it self very little, and so they prove their Idols.

A sixth is Self-righteousness, mens prayers, their repentance, blameless, wal­king, &c. these may get, and often get more of their confidence, and weight of their Eternal Peace, then they should: So the Jews laid the great stress and weight of their Salvation upon this Idol, Rom. 10. 3.

The seventh may be outward Ordinances in purity, external forms, and profes­sion of Religion, when men rest upon these, and press not after the Power; as the Jews▪ who cryed up the Temple of the Lord, the Covenant betwixt him and them, and their external relation to him, Jer. 7. 4. &c.

The eighth is any gift of God which he hath bestowed on men, such as Beauty, Strength, Wit, Learning, when men who have them lay too much weight on them, or think too much of them; yea, Grace it self, the sense of Gods love, and inward peace, may be put in Christs room, and more sought for sometimes then Christ himself: Now when these are rested on, delighted in, and he slighted, or when they are missed, and he not delighted in, then they are Idols.

Ninthly, Ease, quietness, and a mans own contentment, is oft-times a great Idol; and it is so when a man is so addicted to his ease, as he cannot abide to be trou­bled, Thus was it with that man, Luke 12. 19. Soul take thee rest: His Ease was his Idol, and he rested on it, and made it the end of all his buildings, and laying up of goods; but his riches were his Idol, as he grounded his expectation of rest upon that which he possessed: So many idle men who frame their life so as they may not be troubled, though they be no wayes profitable, but spend what they have, making this the drift of all they do, that they may have an easie life, when this overswayeth them as their last end, (though otherwise, if they were not wedded to their case, might be more profitable) and often with abstaining from, and neglecting of many necessary duties, that they may eschew trouble, it is a pre­vailing Idol.

A tenth is wandering fancies and Chimera's, the mind pleasing it self with them, and delighting to entertain them, and pursuing them from a design to find satisfa­ction in them, even in such things as never had, nor it may be, can have a being, ex­cept in their own imagination and fancy; such are called by Solomon, Eccles. 6. 9. The wanderings of the desire (opposed to the sight of the eyes, which others delight in) as when men spend their wits and inventions on penning Romances, Love-passi­ons, Stage-playes, Comedies, Masks, Balls, &c. or which is more subtil, yet much practised, when the minds of men frame imaginary and fictitious revenge, delight, eminency, &c. to themselves.

The means and second causes, Physitians, Armies, Ministers, Stars, and Natural Causes, by which God useth to work (by some called Nature) are oft-times so tru­sted and leaned to, as they are made mens Idols, nay by many in these dayes, Judi­ciary Astrology, Palmestry, &c. are much studied and doted on, and the Scriptures antiquated and laid aside in a great measure.

[Page 24] Next, if it be asked, what Idols are most subtil? Answ. 1. An Idol is then most subtil, when it lurketh in the heart, and scateth it self principally in mens mind, aim, and inward contentment, and they inwardly ascribe too much to such a thing, and yet, it may be, in their external practise, there is not much to dis­cover this.

2. Then are Idols most subtil, when they lye in such things to which somewhat of fear, love, delight, &c. is allowable, as in lawful things, which may in some measure be lawfully loved, feared, and sought for.

3. When they are in negatives, as in Omissions, Ease, &c. then they are more sub­til then when they lye in something men positively seek after, or in the Commission of something forbidden.

4. When they pass under a lawful name, as when Pride goeth under the name of Honesty, Anxiety under the name of Lawful Care, &c. then they are hardly discovered.

5. When sticking to one Idol, the man rejecteth all others, (as he conceiveth) out of respect to God, as may be instanced in the cases of a Monastick li [...]e, regular obe­dience, some singular opinion so much stuck to, and laid weight on by many.

6. When it is in means that have been used, or are allowed by God for attaining such an end; as it is hard to keep bounds in this case, so it is hard to discover the Idolatry of the heart in it.

In all which it is to be advertised, that Idolatry in these things consisteth mostly in the inordinateness of the heart, and affections to them, and that it lyeth not so much in our actions about them, as in the manner of our acting, and the circumstances accompanying us and our actions, anxiety, estimation, excessive care, love, &c.

For clearing the difference betwixt this idolatrous love, fear, service, and true love, fear, &c. take these Rules.

1. When our love to Creatures drowneth our love to God, and maketh us to cast off duties we owe to him, as in Demas. 2. When in part it marreth us in the perfor­mance of duties to God, as in Eli. 3. When it so taketh us up in our practise through­out the day, that we give not necessary time to the Worship of God, in praying, reading, hearing, &c. 4. When it indisposeth for these; so that when we are praying or hearing, the heart is carried away after Creatures, and the mind is taken up with some other thing then God, as Ezekiel 33. 31. 5. When they too much, and very unneces­sarily haunt the heart in meditation, or when we lye down or rise, and at such times when our thinking on such imployments contributeth not to the furtherance of them, it sheweth that they have too much of the heart when they possess it alwayes, and when it is seldom taken up actually with better things, but these steal in easily and at all times.

It may appear now 1. How common this sin of Idolatry is. 2. How great guilt and hazard men are lying under thereby, because 1. Few are convinced of it. 2. Many years Idolatry lyeth together upon the Consciences of many. 3. There is little repen­tance for it, though many ways one may insensibly slide into it.

It is not so very useful or needful here particularly to enquire what Idol is predomi­nant, and hath chief room, if these three things be granted. 1. That there may be, and are many Idols often at once, as Legions distracting the man, and swarming in his heart. 2. That successively they may be changed, according to mens tentations and conditions. 3. That men should study the mortification of all, and the giving God his due, so as none be spared; for if any one be spared, none at all are mortified & slain.

[Page 25] It would become Believers, and it would be their advantage, to think much upon such Scriptures as these, Isaiah 30. 22. And ye shall be my People, and I will he your God. Luke 14. 8. VVhen thou art bidden of any man to a wedding, sit not down in the highest room; l st a more honourable man then thou be bidden of him. 1 Corinth. 10. from vers. 5. to vers. 15. And that they would study conformity to them, and learn to abhor Idols; yea, all Creatures in so far as they become Idols to them.

We are now further to prosecute the Branches of this Commandment, which is a Key to all the rest; and because Gods Soveraignity is holden forth here, there is no sin that may not be reduced to it, as being a disobedience to this Soveraign God: We shall first permit some general wayes whereby it is broken, then insist in some particulars.

More generally it is broken three wayes, as hath been said already.

1. By derogating from God that which is his due; so all contempt of him, dis­obedience to him, wronging his infinite Attributes, as if he were not Omnipotent, Omniscient, Infinite, &c. denying of his Providence in less or more, are breaches of this Commandment. Thus he is wronged, when he getteth not everyway that which is his due.

2. By attributing to God what is not consistent with his absolute Perfection, Puri­ty, and Holiness, as that he doth or can do wrong, change, not keep his Promises, or not guide the World wisely; that he hath any bodily shape, or may be com­prehended.

3. When what is due to God, as Faith, Hope, Love, Fear, &c. is given to Crea­tures, whether to Idols litterally, or to Men, to Saints, Angels, Ordinances, (as the Sacraments) Stars, Herbs, Gold, Physicians, &c. when too much weight is laid on them, or any thing not agreeing to them is ascribed to them, by which Witchcraft, Charming, Covetousness, Judicial Astrology, &c. are reproved, as drawing the hearts of men away from the living God.

If it be asked, May not some things in the World be loved, and may not some con­fidence be placed in men, means, &c. I answer, Love may be given to some things, and naturally is called for to some things▪ but 1. Not simply, but with subordination to God; not for themselves, but out of obedience to God; and as they may be usefull to us in helping us to honour him, and as they are his gifts. 2. We are not excessively to love or rest on these, but so, as from love to God, we be ready to quit, yea, to hate them, as Christ speaketh of Father and Mother, Luke 14. 26. Again, there may be some kind of confidence given to some things, but 1. Not simply, nor 2. For them­selves. 3. Nor alwayes. 4. Nor in all things; but 1. This confidence must be subor­dinate to Gods appointment. 2. It must be with dependance on his blessing for ma­king means effectual, and so may we expect health from Meat, Drink, Physick, &c. for they are looked on as means conducing to such an end, and yet it is the Lord alone that must be rested on. 3. There may be comparative confidence, whereby men lean more to one mean then to another, as more to a skillful Physician then to an unskill­full, and more to an Army, as to overcoming an Enemy, then when it is wan­ting, because that confidence is in some external thing, and concerneth not Salva­tion, and but compareth means amongst themselves, as they are ordinarily made use of by God for attaining these ends; but in this case the means are not simply con­fided in.

Next, we are to consider that this Command may be broken all these ways, in four respects.

[Page 26] 1. In Doctrine; as when men maintain such things as dishonour God, or give his due to Creatures, and do teach them, Matth. 5 33. to 38.

2. By Opinion or Judgement; as suppose men should not vent and publish such things, yet if they in their heart think or believe so, Psal. 14. v. 1.

3. Though it come not to a setled judgement, but only reacheth the imagina­tions; so that loose unbecoming thought of God, or misapprehensions derogatory to him are entertained, as Psal. 50. 21. Acts 17. 29.

4. In practise, when men live as if there were no God, Psal. 36. v. 1. as if he were not omniscient, just, &c. these do indeed deny him, whatever be their profession to the contrary, Tit. 1. 16. Thus all propane men, who live loosly, are guilty; as also formal Hypocrites who rest on the out-side of duties.

Therefore, in the third place, we are to consider, that this Commandment, in the extent thereof, doth condemn 1. All gross Idolaters of any sort, who usually are mentioned under the name of Heathens, 2. Jews, who worship not the true God in his Son Jesus Christ. 3. All Hereticks, that deny the Godhead of any of the Per­sons; as Sabellians, who make but one Person; Arrians, who make Christ a Made-God; Photinians, who make him a pure Man; and all that make a plurality of Gods, or that lessen the Divine Attributes, and give to Saints Gods due, in Adora­tion or Invocation; or, in a word, whoever contradict any Truth, or maintain any Errour; for thereby they fasten it upon God and his Word, and wrong him who owneth no such thing: And to these may be added all ignorant persons who know not God. 4. All prophane men, whether Atheists in heart or in practise, disobe­dient persons indeed denying God, and not giving him his due, which is obedience, whatever in words they profess concerning him. 5. All Hypocrites, who give him but an an outside service, and so are not in their obedience sinćere and perfect as before him. 6. All Compacters with the Devil, who consult him, or who leave Gods way, and seek to come to the knowledge of any thing by an unlawful way; which is 1. To meddle with Gods Secrets when he has not revealed them. 2. It is to be beholden to Gods Enemy, the Devil, for revealing such things. 3. It is a making use of an unwarrantable mean, which has no blessing Promised to it; there­fore cannot be used as a mean with subordination to God, even though the matter enquired after by such means, or by the Devil, be such as he may know. 7. All charming by words, herbs, or such means as God hath not appointed for that end, or which have no Natural and Physical Efficacy for bringing it forth; as in seeking health from Witches, when there must be words so often repeated, or they must be said fasting, or going backward, &c. all laying weight on these, or the like cir­cumstances, without any reason. 8. All Spells, fearing of events, and using su­perstitious means to prevent these, as laying bits of Timber at doors, carrying a Bi­ble meerly for a Charm, without using it, esteeming dayes and times unlucky and unfortunate: these draw men off from God to some other thing: Of this sort is all Divining by Lots, Stars, Rods, or any other way, not having a Warrant, to find out some secret, or to know something that is to come; (it being Gods Property and Prerogative to declare what is to come, Isai. 41.) for when there is no Efficacy, no Reason in the mean used, the Effect must be looked for, either from God, or from the Devil: Now when God has neither put it naturally in the mean, nor by his re­vealed Will any way warranted it, as sometimes he doth, (as when he appointed [Page 27] Washing in Jordan for curing Naamans Leprosie, and Anointing in the Primitive times for healing the Sick) it cannot be from him. Hence sometimes one Charm or word to one at one time, will do what it never doth to another: These means have alway some circumstance in word or action immediately and explicitly, or implicitly flowing from the Devil, which may be good in it self, yet has no force for the end, and so draweth men to own the Devils Institution, which is exceeding derogatory to the honour of God.

4. We gather the breaches of this Commandment from the duties that are re­quired in it, such as Faith, Love, Obedience, Hope, Fear, Knowledge, &c. in which we may fail these ways in the general. 1. When we want these Graces, or per­form not these duties required. 2. When they are counterfeited, and not real; as when our humility is not real, our prayers not sincere, but in shew only. 3. When they are defective, as to the measure of Knowledge, Faith, &c. which we should be at. 4. When they degenarate, as when knowledge turneth into Curiosity, and Faith into Presumption, and Hope into vain Confidence, Fear into Unbelief and Anxiety, by which we may see how often this Commandment is broken.

1. That we may the better understand the breaches of this Commandment, we would first take a view of Gods Excellency and Attributes, and see how we sin against all these, for we should walk worthy of God, Col. 1. 10, And here ye may observe, that his infinite Wisdom is wronged by not submitting to him, or not ta­king direction from him, his Power by not imploying him, his Grace by not trust­ing him, or abusing it to wantonness, his Omniscience by wishing he saw not not some things, hiding them from men, and not fearing him, counterfeiting in his ser­vice, &c. so is his Justice wronged by expecting mercy without making use of a Sa­crifice, not fearing his threatnings, not scaring at sin, but hazarding on his wrath: and the like may be instanced in all the rest of his Attributes, which are all sinned against, either by ignorance, or by omission of something they call for, or by the Commission of something unbecoming them.

2. Consider God in his relations to us, how often is he sinned against as a Fa­ther? how is his kindness abused, and he not reverenced as Creator of whom we have our Being? yea, he is kicked against, and we live not to him from whom and by whom we live; he is a Husband, and yet we go a whoring from him, and prove unfaithful in all our tyes to him; he is a Redeemer of his People, and a Master and Lord of all, but what fear, love, subjection getteth he from us, notwithstanding of all these Relations?

3. Consider Gods works for us, about us, and to us, of Creation, Providence, and Redemption▪ besides his particular Dispensations both of Mercies and Judgments, all which call for something suitable from us; and yet every one of them is more ways then one slighted, by attributing whether good or evil, to Chance, Luck, or Fortune, by unthankfulness to him, and abuse of what he giveth; and by not study­ing these works, so as to admire and love him who is the Worker.

4. Consider our obligation to God in all the parts of our Covenant with him, sealed by Baptism, and the Lords Supper: Sure we should study to be like all these Covenant-relations, and to answer these Obligations; but alace, how shamefully unanswerable are we to them all?

5. Consider his Will revealed in his Word, and see how far short we are in per­forming it.

[Page 28] Lastly, consider what care there is of using the means that may bring us near to, and abstaining from those things that draw us away from God, such as sinful Confe­deracies, evil Company, light and unsound Books, travelling needlesly to strange pla­ces, &c. all which, and whatever else taketh the heart off God, are breaches of this Commandment.

Next, we shall insist more particularly upon some manifest breaches opposite to the great and principal scope of this Commandment.

1. The first is Ignorance, which is a direct breach; for the Commandment requi­reth us to know him, 1 Cor. 2. 8, 9. and if he be not known, there is no other duty can be rightly performed, the knowledge of God being the ground of all duties.

For clearing of it, consider that some things concerning God are kept up from us, other things are revealed to us; these things which are kept up from us we cannot know: And 1. They are either such as we cannot see now, because they are, incom­prehensible in themselves, as Gods infinite Nature and Attributes, which as they are in themselves, cannot be comprehensibly conceived, no not in Heaven; but while we are upon earth, we see but darkly, as through a glass, and our knowledge of him is ra­ther Faith then sight; or they are such things which are conceiveable, but God has not thought good to reveal them unto men; as when he will end the World, when he will take every man from this life, who are particularly Elected, &c. to be ignorant of these is no sin, it is a duty not to seek to know them, yea curiosity in these is sinful; Ignorance here is called rather a Nescience then Ignorance, which implieth a privation of knowledge which men ought to have; or 2. These things concerning God are such as not onely in themselves may be known, but such as we ought to know, because they are revealed to us; ignorance of these is sinful: As 1. Being a disconformity to that knowledge and holiness after which God created us. 2. A fruit of original sin. 3. A cause of many sins. 4. A disconformity to the Law, which requireth us so to know and acknowledge God as he has revealed himself to us; and that in his Essence, in the Trinity of Persons, in his Attributes, Covenants, works of Creation and Redemption, and in his Relations to us; and that we should so know him, that we may thereby know our selves also: And this is that great duty called for in this Commandment, that we may know him, and his will.

Again, this ignorance, as to these things, we ought to know, may be looked on as threefold, according to the diversity of its causes.

1. There is a natural ignorance, that is the fruit of our natural corruption and blindness, which hath seized on mens memories and judgements, and, as they think, incapacitateth them to learn, and indeed doth so, as to the spiritual and saving up-taking of the matters of God, till the eyes of the mind be opened by the power of Grace.

2. There is a willful ignorance, when men have parts, means, and occasions, where­by they may attain knowledge, and yet they will not know, but slight and despise the means which draweth often a judicial blindness along with it.

3. There is a lazy ignorance, whereby some do not wilfully reject the means of knowledge, yet are so negligent, that they do not actually stir themselves for attaining of knowledge: Now though there be a difference among these, yet the least of them is sinfull, and will not wholly excuse, it being a fruit of original sin (at the best) enter­tained by our own neglect of such means as might have more removed it: And thus a dull wit, or weak memory, can no more simply excuse, then other gross discomfor­mities [Page 29] to the Law in our natures (appearing in some more then others) which follow upon original sin.

In sum, men may be three wayes guilty of the breach of this Law, in respect of ignorance.

1. As to the object matter whereof they are ignorant, which may be less or more, according as less or more of that is known, which we should know concerning God, and which he hath revealed; and this is especially to be understood of the substan­tial things more necessary to be known, there being a great difference betwixt these, and other things, which do not so immediately concern God; such as Chro­nologick Questions, some Prophecies, Cases, &c. which yet are recorded in Scripture.

2. They may be guilty of less or more ignorance, in respect of the degree; so some men are absolutely ignorant, others are doubtful only, and not confirmed in the know­ledge of the truths of God, who yet have not contrary impressions of these things, as others have.

3. There are divers kinds of ignorance in men, some are guilty of wilful ignorance, some are negligent, and some (even the best) are labouring under the remainder of na­tural blindness, who yet are not negligent.

If it be asked whether ignorance can excuse a man, and how far it excuseth. Ans. 1. There is no ignorance (properly so called) that excuseth wholly, pro toto, it being of it self sinful, and men being obliged to know what is sin, and what not; nei­ther can ever men do that out of Faith▪ which they do in ignorance, and know not if it be in it self sinful or lawful: this is to be understood in respect of ignorantia Juris, non facti, of the ignorance of the Law, and not of the ignorance of the Fact, (as they call it;) for men may sometimes be ignorant of this, and yet be Innocent; as when one is cutting with an Axe, and it falleth off the Helve, &c. but in respect of the Law, there is no invinciable ignorance that can excuse any for their not knowing Gods mind, be­cause they are obliged to know it.

2. Ignorance that is wilfully entertained with neglect of means that might help it, is so far from excusing, that it doth aggravate the faults occasioned thereby, because in that case there are two faults that concur. 1. Ignorance. 2. Another sin produced thereby.

3. Ignorance natural, or proceeding from paucity of means, or less occasion to learn, though it doth not fully, yet in part excuseth: Hence it is said, they that know not the Masters will, shall be beaten with few stripes; but Corazin, and Bethsaida, and other places, having plenty of means, shall not in the least be sheltered under that excuse, Matth. 11. 22, 23, 24.

4. In some things we would distinguish betwixt sinning ex ignorantia out of igno­rance, and sinning ignoranter ignorantly; one may do a thing out of ignorance (as Paul persecuted the Church) that would not have done it had he known it; it was not malice but ignorance that led Paul to that sin of persecuting, this excuseth in part; but to do a thing ignorantly, is when a man is more immediately the cause of his own ignorance, as when by drunkenness, passion, hatred, malice, &c. a man is so blinded and prejudiced, that he cannot discern what is duty, and what is sin: So some of the Pharisee were, who might have seen that Christ was God, and to be acknowledged as such, but prejudice marred it. Thus a sin considered in it self may be less, which being considered more compleatly, will be found a far greater guilt; as suppose one in drunkenness swear, commit Adultery, or in passion commit Mur­der, the Murder or Adultery considered in themselves, as done in drunkenness, [Page 30] or passion, are less, then when done in soberness; or deliberately; yet these sin [...] being compleatly considered, the person is more guilty, because he hath Murder and Drunkenness, or Murder and Passion, both to answer for, which Drunkenness or Passion he caused to himself by his unwatchfulness, and all the effects that fol­low upon these are to be imputed to him, both as the actor and procurer of that which is the occasion, or rather the cause of them. Thus ye see how many wayes ignorance breaketh this Commandment.

2. We shall instance the breach of it in what is opposite to Faith, or Confidence which floweth from Faith; to wit, unbelief, diffidence, temerity, or tempting of God (which floweth from unbelief, and is opposite to Faith) the infidelity of Hea­thens and Jews, and the Atheism of such as believe not the Word: Thus also Here­ticks who abuse it, and Apostates who fall from the truth thereof, and are opposer [...] of it, are guilty of this sin; as also those who receive the Word in vain, and for all his invitations rest not on him; these make God a Lyar, and despise him and his offers, being unwilling that he should reign over them: Here cometh in also anxie­ty, in respect of his Providence, and distrust or diffidence, in respect of his Promi­ses, which is a sin questioning the fulfilling of Promises from the apprehension of some weakness in the Promiser, or in means used by him to bring about the accom­plishment. Temerity, or tempting of God, is against Confidence also; this is an essaying or attempting somewhat without Gods Warrant, without which none can lawfully undertake any thing; that of Diffidence wrongeth Gods Faithfulness, this of Temerity wrongeth his Wisdom, in not making use of the means prescribed by him, as if we would attain the end another way of our own; opposite to Faith al­so, and the profession of it, are dissembling of the truth, fainting in the profession thereof, especially in the case of Confession, by which we dishonour God, and by our fearful, pusillanimous, and cowardly carriage, some way tempt others to think that we do not indeed believe these things, on which we seem by our faint deport­ment to lay little or no weight.

3. We may instance the breach of this Commandment in what is opposite to Hope; namely, Desperation and Presumption, or vain Confidence; and because every Grace has many opposite Vices, ye may see it is the easier to fail in obedience to this Commandment: Desperation wrongeth many Graces; it is twofold, either total from want of Faith, or partial from weakness of Faith: There is also a Despe­ration and Diffidence that is good, Eccles. 2. 20. which is when we despair in our selves, or from any thing in our selves or in the World to attain happiness, or what is promised; that holy Self-despair is good, but that is not it which is meaned here, for it is not absolute despairing, but such as hath still a reservation with it. If he help me not, which implieth hope. Presumption runneth on the other extreme, looking for what is promised, without taking Gods way to attain it, and it differeth from native and true Confidence, which with peace and boldness resteth on his Word, and in his way expecteth the thing promised; the fault of Presumption is not that it accounteth Gods mercy too great, or expecteth too much from him, but that it accounteth him to have no Justice, nor hath it respect to his Holiness and Greatness; even as Desperation faileth not in attributing to him too much Justice, but in ma­king it inconsistent with his Mercy and Promises, and extending sin, wants, and un­worthiness beyond his mercy and help, as Judas and Cain did▪

[Page 31] 4. For finding out of the breaches of this Commandment, ye may consider the opposites to love with the whole heart, such as luke-warmness, Revel. 3. 15. cold­ness of love, Matth. 24▪ 12. self-love, excessive love to Creatures, hatred of God, not as he is good, but as he is averse from sinful men, prohibiting what they love, and punishing them for committing sin; for it is impossible for men to serve two Masters, as Sin and God, but the one must be loved, and the other hated: And is there any thing more ordinary then love to sin which is evil, and hatred of God which is the great Good? which appeareth in little zeal for him, and little reveren­cing of him.

5. Consider what is opposite to Fear and Reverence, and there you will find much carnal security and vain confidence in it, obstinacy, stout-heartedness, little trembling at his Word, not being affected with his Judgments, rashness and irreve­rence in his Service, whereas there is a general fear in all our walk called for, Prov. 23. 17. We ought to be in the fear of the Lord all the day long; and there is a pe­culiar fear called for in the Ordinances of his Worship, Eccles. 12. 23. Mal. 1. 6. which was commended in Levi, Mal. 2. 5. On the other hand, opposite to this, is that carnal fear and anxiety, which is commonly called servile and slavish fear, and the fear of man which bringeth a snare, Prov. 29. 25.

6. Look after the breaches of this Commandment, by considering what is con­trary to the obedience we owe to him as God, and our God: Now internal and external obedience may both be comprehended in this, every man ought wholly to give away himself, and the use of all his faculties and members, for the Glory of God, and to him only, and to none other: And this requireth a practise that is com­pleat, both as to the inward bent of the will and heart, and also as to all the external parts thereof, which being seriously pondered, O! how often will we find this Commandment broken? as the particular comparing of our life with the Word, and the explication of the rest of the Commandments, may easily clear and discover.

7. The sin of impatience, which is opposite to that patience and submission we owe to God in his wayes and Dispensations, is one of the special breaches of this Commandment: it is very broad, and doth many wayes discover it self: As 1. In fretting at Events which befall us. 2. In not submitting chearfully to Gods way with us but repining against it. 3. In wishing things had fallen out otherwise then God hath disposed. 4. In limiting God, and prescribing to him, thinking that things might have been better otherwise. 5. In not behaving himself thankfully for what he doth, even when his Dispensations and cross and afflicting.

8. This Commandment is broken by the many sins which are opposite to that Adoration and high esteem, that we should have of God in our hearts; he ought to have the Throne, and be set far up in our minds and affections; but oh! how many are there that will not have one serious thought of him in many dayes, and are far from being taken up with him, or wondering at him and his way with sinners, &c.

Lastly, When Invocation and Prayer is slighted, this Commandment is broken, when he is not by calling upon him acknowledging in every thing, and particular­ly, when internal prayer in frequent ejaculations to God (as Nehemiah 2. 4.) is neglected.

[Page 32] Now if all these were extended to our selves, and these we have interest in, and that in thoughts, words, and deeds, according to all the former general rules, what guilt would be found to lye upon every one of us, in reference to his Attributes, Rela­tions to us, and Works for us? and as these hold him forth to be worshipped as such, so when that is slighted or neglected, it cannot but infer great guilt, especially when his due is not given by such as we are, to such as he is, it maketh us exceedingly guil­ty: and though the same thing be o [...]ten mentioned, yet it is under a divers considera­tion; for as one thing may break more Commandments then one, so may one thing, divers ways, break one and the same Commandment, as it opposeth or marreth di­vers Graces and Duties.

The second Commandment.

Exod. 20. 4, 5, 6.‘Thou shalt not make unto thee any graven Image, or any likeness of any thing that is in Heaven above, or that is in he Earth beneath, or that is in the Wa­ters under the Earth. Thou shalt not bow down thy self to them, nor serve them, for I the Lord thy God am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the Fathers upon the Chil­dren unto the third and fourth Generation of them that hate me; and [...]he wing mercy unto thousands of them that love me, and keep my Commandments.’

THis Commandment is more largely set down then the former, partly to clear the Mandatory part of it, and partly to press it; in which two it may be taken up.

The preceptive, or commanding part, is expressed in two things, v. 4. and v. 5. at the beginning. 1. That no Image be made: And 2. That it be not worshipped.

Next, it is pressed three wayes: 1. From a reason. 2. By a threatning. 3. By a Promise: The words are multiplied, that they may the more fully and clearly express what is intended.

1. That this Commandment is against all making of Images for Religious service, is clear from a threefold extent mentioned in the Prohibition. 1. The Image of no­thing in Heaven above, or the Earth beneath, or under the Earth; that is, the similitude of no Creature is allowed for this end.

2. Men are forbidden to make either similitude or likeness, that is, no sort of Image, whether that which is ingrave in, or hewn out of stone, wood, silver, &c. or that which is made by painting, all kinds are discharged.

3. No sort of worship or service religious is to be given to them, whether mediate or immediate, whether primarily as to themselves, or secondarily with respect to that which they represent. This is understood under the second part of the Command­ment, Thou shalt not bow down to them, nor serve or worship them: under which two, all external reverence is discharged, which is clear from the reason adjoyned, because God is jealous, and he will not only not endure Idolatry, but whatever may look like it; as a jealous Husband will not abide any suspicious-like carriage in his Wife.

That we may have the clearer access to the meaning & use of this Commandment: let us see 1. What is the scope of it. 2. Wherein it is different from the former.

The scope of this Commandment, is not mee [...]ly and only to forbid making and worshipping of Images, which is the most gross way of abusing the worship of God; but under that to forbid all manner of grosness in the external worship of God, and to command exactness and preciseness in it (as well as internal worship) according to the Rule prescribed there anent by the Lord; and so this Commandment includeth all [Page 33] externals commanded in the Ceremonial Law, and doth forbid all will-worship, and superstition in the worship of God, all honouring him by precepts taught by men, and not by himself, Isai. 29. 13. and Matth. 15. 9. So then in the first Commandment the worshipping of the only true God is commanded, and the worshipping of any Idol is forbidden: here the true worship of that God is prescribed, and the contrary for­bidden; the first Commandment sheweth who is to be worshipped, the second how he is to be worshipped, not in the manner that Heathens worshipped their Idols, nor in any other manner that men shall feign and devise to themselves, but in the manner he himself prescribeth.

In sum, this Commandment holdeth forth these three things. 1. That God will not only be served inwardly in the heart, by good thoughts and intentions (which is prescribed in the first Commandment) but also outwardly in the confessing him before men, in external service and worship, in words and gestures suitable; for the forbid­ding this sort of external gestures, worshipping and bowing before Idols, doth include the contrary affirmative in all its kinds (according to the first Rule before-mentioned for the right understanding of all the Commandments.) Thus it taketh in all Ordi­nances of Word, Prayer, Sacraments, Ceremonies, &c. and failing in these, breaketh this Commandment, when even they are not rightly gone about.

2. It holdeth forth this, that in that external service and worship, God will not have men following their own humour, but will have them to walk by the Rule gi­ven, or to be given by him to them, and otherwise it is in vain whatever worship men perform to him, Matth. 15. 9. Hence it is said here, Thou shalt not make to thy self; that is, at thy own pleasure, without my Command, otherwise what is by Gods Com­mand is made to him; and this is to be extended to all Ordinances, yea both to the worship it self, and also to the manner of that worship, all is to be done according to Gods Command only.

3. It holdeth forth a spiritual service due to God, or that we should be spiritual in all external service, there should not be in us any carnal apprehensions of God, as if he were like any thing that we could imagine, Acts 17. 29. as is fully clear from Deut. 4. 15, &c. Also all rashness and carnality in external performances is here discharged un­der be wing to Images. &c.

So then, under these three, we take up the sum of this Commandment, whereby it differeth from the former, which may also be cleared from these reasons.

1. The first is, that this Commandment looketh to external worship, and the or­dering of that; which is clear: 1. Because the things forbidden in it, as making of Images, and bowing to them, are external acts. 2. These are mentioned as relating [...]o Gods Worship, for they are placed in the first Table of the Law, and for this end Images are only mentioned, as made use of by Heathens in all their worship, Lev. 26. 1. The Lord will not have his people doing so to him, Deut. 12. 3, 4, 5, &c. 3. Add, that making and worshipping of Images are but one part of mens abusing of the external worship of God, which is mentioned for all of that kind (as Adultery is put for all un­cleanness in the seventh Commandment) and all kinds of false worship, or all the se­veral wayes of mens abusing the external worship of God are condemned under it. 1. Because it is most gross, and this being a most gross way of adding to his worship, [...]t serveth to shew, how God accounteth every adding to his word, or altering of it, to [...]e a gross and hainous sin, Deut. 4. 23. 24, 25. 2. Because the Nations about, espe­ [...]ially Egypt, served their Gods so, and men naturally are bent to it, as appeareth almost [...]y the practise of all Nations; and Rom. 1. 25, &c. and by the Israelites practise in [...]he golden Calf, Exod. 32. from vers. 1. to vers. 7. and by Jeroboams practise, [Page 34] 1 King. 12▪ 28. Now the Lord will not be served so, but a [...] he commandeth, De [...] 12. v. 4. Ye shall not do so to the Lord▪ &c. but contr [...]ly, v. 5. as the Lord shall [...]arve out unto you.

A second reason to clear this to be the meaning, may be taken from the perfe­ction of the Law, which lieth in this, that it condemneth all sin, and commandeth all duties: now it is a sin not only to worship false gods, but to worship the true God in a false way; and it is a duty also to worship him rightly, according as he hath appointed in his Word; now these sins must be forbidden in this second Com­mandment, or they are forbidden in none at all; and these duties must be comman­ded in this Commandment, or they are commanded in none.

Next, that we may clear, that it is sinful to worship God otherwise then he hath commanded, it would be observed, there was a twofold Idolatry found in Israel, and condemned in the Scripture: the first was, when Groves and Images were planted, and made to Idols; and so the people of Israel did often to the Heathen Gods: the second was, when they had Groves, and worshipped in high places, but not to Idols, but to the Lord their God, as 2 Chron 33. 17. so in that place be­fore cited. Deut. 12. 2▪ 3 4. &c. you will find two things forbidden. 1. Making of Image to the false Gods, which the Cana [...]nites worshipped. 2, Making use of their manner of worship, and turning it unto the true God, both are forbidden, the first by the first Commandment, the last by the second; compare vers. 8. (which hol­deth forth this scope.) Ye shall not do, every man what seemeth right in his own eyes, with what followeth, and with vers. 30. and 31. See thou enquire not how these Nati­ons worshipped their gods, to wit, by Images. &c. as if ye would do so to the Lord, no, but vers. 32. Whatsoever thing I command you, observe to do it, thou shalt not adde thereto nor diminish from it, which cleareth the scope of this Command, as being purposely there opened up, Ye shall not do so to the Lord your God, wherein more is comprehen­ded then is expressed; namely, not onely ye shall not serve the Lord, as they do their gods, but also ye shall serve him, as he himself prescribeth.

Hence will it clearly appear, that this command is to be reckoned a distinct com­mand from the former, because 1. It containeth distinct matter, forbiddeth sins of another kind, and commandeth duties of another kind. 2. Because they are cer­tainly ten in number, and there cannot be such a reckoning made up if these first two be one, it being clear (as after will appear) that the last is only one, and can­not be divided into two. 3. Beside, it is the common reckoning of the an­cient Jews, as may be seen from Josephus, lib. 3. 9. Ainsworth, and others; This then being laid down as a truth; we shall 1. shortly put by some Questions concer­ning Images for clearing the words. 2. Come particularly to shew, what is requi­red and what is forbidden in this Commandment, and how we break it in our ordi­nary practise, Then 3. Open the Reasons that are annexed,

Concerning Images, two things are to be enquired. 1▪ If no Image be lawful▪ and if any be lawful, what these be? 2. If any use, especially religious, of Images be lawful? and if adoration of any kind [...]e to be given to them; We say for Answer,

1. That making of Pictures of Creatures, which are visible, or may be compre­hended, or historical phansies (to speak so) such as the senses and elements use to be holden forth by (which are rather Hieroglyphicks then real Pictures) these I say, [Page 35] are not simply unlawful, but are so, when they are abused; (so Solomon made Ima­ges of Lions for his use, and thus the gift of engraving and painting as well as others which God hath given to men, may be made use of, when (as hath been said) it is not abused.) As▪ 1. When such Pictures are obscene and filthy, and against Chri­stian modesty to behold, such break this Commandment, but more especially the seventh, because as filthy communication doth pollute the ears, so do they the eyes. 2. When men become prodigal in their bestowing either too much time, or too much expence on them. 3. When they dote too much on them by curiosity, and many other wayes they may be abused: but especially in the fourth place, if they be abused to any religious use, then they become unlawful, as afterward shall be cleared▪

2. Though making of Images simply be not unlawful and discharged by this Commandment, yet thereby every representation of God (who is the Object to be worshipped) and every Image religiously made use of in worship is condemned (though civil and political Images and Statues, which are used as ornaments, or badges of honour▪ or remembrance [...]s of some fact, &c. be not condemned,) 1. Be­cause such Images cannot but beget carnal thoughts of God, (as Acts 6, 29.) con­trary to this Commandment. 2. Because God discovered himself, Deut. 4, 15, 16, &c. by no likeness, but only by his Word, that they might have no ground of likening him to any thing. 3. Because it is impossible to get a bodily likeness to set him out by, who is a Spirit and an infinite Spirit, so then every such image must be derogatory to God, as turning the Glory of the invisible God, to the Shape of some visible and corruptible Creature, which is condemned, Rom. 1. 22, 23. for every Image supposeth some likeness; Now there can be no conceivable or imagi­nable likeness betwixt God and any thing, that we can invent, therefore it is said by the Lord, Isai. 40. 8. To whom will ye liken God, or what likeness will ye compare un­to him▪ where it seemeth it was no Idol, but God they aimed to represent by their Images, which was the fault condemned▪ vers. 25. As also when we cannot con­ceive of God, and of the Mysteries of the Trinity, and Incarnation as we ought, what presumption must it be to paint them▪

Therefore upon these Grounds, 1. We simply condemn any delineating of God, or the Godhead, or Trinity; such as some have upon their buildings, or books, like [...] Sun shining with beams, and the Lords Name, Jehova, in it, or any other way, this is most abominable to see, and a hainous wronging of Gods Majesty.

2. All representing of the Persons as distinct▪ as to set out the Father (personally considered) by the Image of an old man, as if he were a creature, the Son under the Image of a Lamb or young man, the Holy Ghost under the Image of a Dove, all which wrongeth the God head exceedingly▪ and although the Son was and is Man, having taken on him that nature and united it to his God▪head, yet he is not a meer m [...]n; therefore that image, which only holdeth forth one nature, and loo­keth like any man in the World, cannot be the representation of that Person, which i [...] God and man.

And if it [...]e said, m [...]ns soul cannot be painted, but his▪ body may, and yet that picture representeth a man: I answer, it doth so, because he has but one Nature, and what representeth that, representeth the person; but it is not so with Christ, [Page 36] his Godhead is not a distinct part of the humane Nature, as the soul of man is (which [...] necessarily supposed in every living man) but a distinct nature, only united with the manhood in that one person Christ, who has no fellow; therefore what representet [...] him, must not represent a man only, but must represent Christ, Immanuel, God man▪ otherwise it is not his Image; beside, there is no warrant for representing him in hi [...] Manhood, nor any colourable possibility of it, but as men fancy; and shall that be cal­led Christs portraiture? would that be called any other mans portraiture? whic [...] were drawn at mens pleasure, without regard to the pa [...]ern; again, there is no use o [...] it, for either that Image behoved to have but common estimation with other Images▪ and that would wrong Christ, or a peculiar respect and reverence, and so it sinneth a­gainst this Commandment that forbiddeth all religious reverence to Images, but he being God, and so the object of Worship, we must either divide his Natures, or say, that Image or picture representeth not Christ.

Again, as to what may be objected from the Lords appearing sometimes in the like­ness of a man, or the Spirits descending as a Dove, or as cloven tongues of fire: It i [...] answered,

1. There is a great difference betwixt a sign of the Spirits presence, and a represen­tation of the Spirit. 2. Betwixt what representeth the Spirit, as he is one of the Per­sons of the blessed Trinity, and what resembleth some gift of his: The similitude o [...] a Dove descending upon Christ, was to show his taking up his residence in him▪ an [...] furnishing him with gifts and graces, and particularly holy simplicity and meeknes [...] without measure, and so his appearing in cloven tongues was to shew his communi­cating the gift of Tongues to the Apostles. 3. Neither is there any warrant for drawing him in these shapes, more then to look on every living Dove, as represen­ting him: and the like may be said of Gods appearing sometimes in humane like­ness, it was but that men might have some visible help to discern something of Gods presence, but not to give any representation of him, and these bodies were but for a time assumed, as a praeludie and fore-running evidence of the Sons being to be­come man.

From this ground also it would seem, that painting of Angels might be condemned, as a thing impossible, they being Spirits, which no corporal thing can represent▪ besid [...] that the representing of them has some hazard with it, and for those cherubims that were made by Gods direction under the Old Testament, they were rather some Em­bleme of the nature and service of Angels, as being full of zeal, and alwayes (as it were) upon wing ready to obey Gods will, then any likeness of themselves, and its hardly possible to fancy representations of Spirits, good or evil, but thereby men will wrong themselves in the right description of them: Though we grant, Angels being but finite Spirits, there is another kind of danger and impossibility of repre­senting God, who is an infinite Spirit; also some say that these Cherubims men­tioned did not represent the nature of Angels, but Angels appearing under such a visible shape, and we find Ezek. 1. There are divers shapes by which they are pointed out, but it is as to their fitness and readiness for service, and not as to their nature.

3. We say that no Image whatsoever, made use of for religious ends, and without the bounds of civil and politick uses is allowable, but is by this command­ment condemned, as unsuitable to the Lords nature and revealed will, so by this, Images (otherwise lawful) when abused to Idolatry become unlawfull, and are not to be suffered but orderly to be removed, we call that more then a civil or a com­mon use, when religious worship or reverence is purposely intended to them, or [Page 37] [...]here is; by some one occasion or other, danger least they may be so abused, and of this sort (viz. dangerous ones;) are, 1. Images in places of Worship, but it is not Idolatry to have dead mens Images on their Tombs or Monuments in Churches. 2. Images of such Angels, Saints, &c. which has been abused to Idolatry by being worshipped, or most readily may be so abused. 3. Images erected for h [...]lping our Prayers to be accepted, and which have Altars, Lights, or Temples appointed for [...]hem, (which will be clearer, when we come to speak of religious worship and Bowing,) thus peregrinations and vows to Images, touching of them with some ap­ [...]rehension of fruit and advantage thereby, especially when healing is expected from them; and so are they abused also, though help be expected not from the Image, but from him whom it is said to represent; and thus also when any Image once law­full cometh to be abused, it ought to be removed, as the brazen Serpent was by H [...] ­ze [...]iah, and under this Prohibition come in the Images of false gods, as Cupid, Venus, Apollo, Jupiter, &c. which were once abused; besides some of these Idols being no­thing, the pourtraying of them maketh them appear something; and if it was the Lords way to command the breaking and destroying of all Idols and Images of false gods, can it be suitable to retain them in memory? that a generation following might have that occasion and help to Idolatry, (viz. the Images of old Idols) from Christians: and if it was Davids and the Saints way, Psalm 16. 4. not so much as to mention their names but with detestation, ought Gods people for sport or delight to look on these Images? zeal for God would abhor these curiosities, and what edification can be in them?

We are now to clear the second question, If any worship may be given, and what worship is due to Images of any sort? and if it be not a breach of this command to give [...]ny religious worship to any of them? that we may answer.

1. Consider there was a twofold worshipping of Images even amongst Heathens, The first was more gross, when the worship was given to the Image, as being some Godhead of it self, thus some think the images of Baal, Ash [...]eroth, &c. and particular Images, that have special names, were worshipped, thus are men said properly to worship the works of their hands, this is against the first Commandment. 2. There was a worshipping of Images as representing God, and so the worship was gone a­bout as a part of service done to the true God, such was (in conformity to the Hea­ [...]hens practise) the worship given to the Calf, Exod. 32. vers. 1. to 7. and such were the Groves and Sacrificings in the high places, 2 Chron. 32. 17.

More particularly there is an immediate worshipping of Images as Idols, when [...]hey in themselves, or for themselves are worshipped, and secondly there is a mediate worshipping of images for that which they represent, when men worship something in them, or signified by them.

This again may be distinguished with respect to the object, when the worship is directed either first to a false god, or else secondly to the true God.

2. Consider, that there are divers sorts of worship given to the images of the true God, or of Saints. 1. Some religious worship which is more then civil, yet not that which is due to God, such Bellarmine giveth them for themselves properly, and calleth it [...] 2. A divine worship due to what is typified, such many give to the images of God and Christ, this they call [...], this Bellarmine giveth them not properly, [...]ut per accid [...]ns & propter aliud, though the first he maketh properly to terminate on [...]he Image, yet Aquinas and his followers, Part 3. q. 25. 3, 4. giveth the images of Christ, of Mary, and of the Cross [...] properly so called.

3. Consider what that is which is called religious worship, it differeth from civil and [Page] politick worship (such as is given to living men, yea from that civil respect which one will give to the Image of a King, or of one they love, which is not properly worship even civil) and consisteth in other circumstances of a religious considerati­on▪ and it may be known to differ from what is Civil, by these things. 1. By the thing to which the worship is given, that is, if it be a thing, which passeth not under a Civil, but under a religious account, as bowing to a living man is one thing, to a Saints Image, a Sacrament, or such like, which have nothing in them, calling for ci­vil honour is another thing; and therefore, if any honour be given them it must be on another account. 2. By the actions, wherein we give such worship, as if it be in prayer or in worshipping of God▪ or in sacrificing, it is one thing to bow then to or before an Image or man, and another thing to do it when occasionally or hi­storically we are relating something, or doing some civil business, as tying the shoo or such like. 3. By the sort of worship that has been given to Idols or used in religious service to God, and not suitable for any civil respect to such an object, as bowing the knee, uncovering the head, praying, building Temples, Altars, making Vows unto them, or before them, swearing by them, or before them, carrying them about with us because of some religious influence they are supposed to have, setting them up for reverence to be given to them, setting up lights about them, sa­crificing, burning incense to them, &c. or something of that kind used sometime in Gods service, or in the service of Idols.

4. Consider, that what is said of Images may be said of all creatures and things to which divine honour, or religious worship in the service of God is attributed, for if the one fall all will by this Commandment be overturned, such as 1. Worshipping of Angels or Saints by [...], or the Virgin Mary by [...], as Mediators and helps in our serving the true God. 2. All adoration of the reliques of Mar­tyrs, such as their bones, dust, cloaths, &c. Especially the adoration of the very Cross (as they say) whereon Christ suffered, which hath by Papists a divine sacrifice offered to it, and a divine worship given in the highest degree. 3. The adoration of such things as are used in worship, as Temples, Altars▪ bread in the Sacraments Agnus Dei, Masses, &c. 4. The Images of God, Christ, Saints, Angels, yea of the Cross▪ which are said to be worshipped with respect to the true God, and not as derogatory to his service.

For further clearing of this purpose, we shall speak to a question which here ne­cessarily occurreth; namely, whether these things mentioned; being worshipped by any sort of religious service, whether directly or indirectly for themselves or for such things to which they relate, or which they signifie, even when men pretend the worship is not given to them, but ultimately referred to the honour of the true God, whether I say worshipping them so, be not Idolatry and a breach of this Commandment?

In answering this question. 1. We shall clear that there may be▪ and is Idolatry committed with Images▪ and means of Gods service, even in such worship wherein the Images which men worship are not accounted gods▪ but only representations of God, and although these means of worship, which they worship are made use of in serving the true God. 2. We shall clear, that all such service▪ as being Idolatry is forbidden by this command, however it be distinguished. If it be performed as re­ligious service, though some such service be more gross, and other some more subtle and refined.

[Page 39] First then, That there is such a kind of Idolatry in worshipping of Images, when men rest not on the Images, but direct their worship to the God represented by them, we may clear it divers wayes.

And 1. From the Heathens, who though some did, yet all of them did not ac­count their Images their Gods, but only some representation of them, and first we may gather this from Rom. 1. 22. 23. where it is said of them, 1. That they knew God, and yet 2. That they turned the glory of that incorruptible God into the simi­litude of Beasts and men, corruptible Creatures. Their fault is not that they ac­counted these representations or Images, which they made gods, but that they de­clined in their worship, in the worshipping of the true God by such Images.

2. It may also appear by the frequent changes of their Images, while they retai­ned their former gods, and by their multiplying Images of one sort, and divers sorts to one and the same god, and by their giving all these Images one name, and when it is said that Solomon and other Kings set up Images to Ash [...]oroth, Baal▪ &c. It can­not be thought they supposed these Images to be the very gods themselves which they worshipped, but that they were only set up for their honour, 2 Kings 23. 13. And when Manasses made Chariots to the Sun, he supposed them not to be to the Sun. 2 Kings 23. 11. Yea was not this commonly acknowledged that Jupiter was in Heaven, as appeareth Acts 19 39. and that that Image came down from him, but was not he, nor yet the feigned Goddess Diana.

3. It may appear by the Heathens own confession, and the shifts they used, when they were charged with the worshipping the works of their hands, as 1. They used to say they worshipped but the Numen or god which was in them, and which invisibly after their dedication of them (and not before) dwelt in them; yea, some of them would say, they neither worshipped that Image, or any Devil, but by a bodily sign they beheld what they should worship. 3. When Christians further urged them, that what was signified by their Images was not the true God, but a creature, as by Neptune, the Sea▪ by Vulcan, the Fire, &c. They replyed it was not those bodies which they worshipped, but the gods which governed them. So Augustine, Psalm 113. nobis 115. concerning the Idols of the Gentils, and Augustine de Civitat. Dei lib. 7. cap. 5. where he sheweth that Varro giveth that reason, why the gods where rather pourtrayed in mans picture (though they were invisible) because, saith he, mans Soul is a spirit and cometh nearest them, and the body is the vessel of the Soul, and therefore is used to represent it. See Ch [...]ysost. 1. Eph. Hom. 18. Andrews on 2. Command. August. in Psalm 96. (nobis) 97.

And it may also 4. appear from this, That the Heathen gods for the most part (even those of them that were most commonly worshipped) were some famous men, after death supposed to be Deified, to whom they made Statues and Images, and yet still the honour was intended to those to whom they appointed the Images, though they supposed that their gods in an especial manner dwelt in these Images, and answered from them.

In the second place this may be made to appear from the Command, Deut. 12. 31, where the Lord forbiddeth not onely the worshipping of Idols, but of himself by Images, Thou shalt not do so to the Lord thy God; that is, Thou shalt not wor­ship me by Images as the Heathen do their gods; and therefore this is not onely possible, but is also, and that most certainly, a grievious guilt, even though they pre­tended [Page 40] it was not idols but God they worshipped; yet it was not so they worshipped not him but the idol.

3, We shall clear it yet further, That the true God may be worshipped (by Idola­ters) as they pretend, and yet in Gods account, their worship is nothing but idolatry committed with their images.

We shall give four instances of this. The first is from Exodus 32. where it is clear, 1. That the image they set up was not it self acknowledged to be God, but as some­thing to represent the true God, for 1. It cannot be thought their minds were so soon darkened as altogether to forget what God had done, and to imagine that the thing which was new made with hands was God, though they be charged with forgetting God, because they were practical forgetters of him, and their sin did speak it out in­deed. 2. The image is called Jehovah, that brought them out of Egypt, which was a mercy past before the Calf had a being, and therefore the reason why they gave it this name, must certainly be, because they aimed by it to represent Jehovah. 3. It is not likely that now they would have worshipped the gods of Egypt, or that they would have attributed their delivery from Egypt to them, seeing these gods were also plagued; also that Aaron should do so, is incredible, who yet joyned with them in this transgression. 4. Beside can it be thought, that so soon they thought it to be God, and yet so easily afterwards passed from it? certainly the words, That it may go before us, that is, not to Egypt, but Canaan, whether God called them, do clearly imply, that they looked on it only as a representation of Jehovah.

2. It is clear, that they sacrificed burnt-offerings and peace-offerings before this image, and this was the same service which was due to the Lord, and so it was pro­claimed, Exod. 32. 5. and therefore it was to the Lord, and not to the image (for it self) that they sacrificed.

3. It is clear, that they are charged for turning out of the way, and that because of their making a molten image, which seemeth to infer, that their guilt was rather in the manner of worship and making of that image for worship, then in quitting God alto­gether; and thus they grosly failed in the manner of worshipping him, by occasion of Moses his absence, for now they want that sign of Gods presence, which formerly they had, and have not such a visible commerce (as it were) with God, it is that they com­plain of, and this want of a visible sign (and not of God simply) do they intend to make up by this image.

4. This may be further confirmed from Acts 7. 40. 41. 42. where it is said, that be­cause of this sin they were given up to gross idolatry which could not be, had this been idolatry of the grosser sort.

The Second instance is from Judges 17. where you will find that that Idol, which Micah made, is not by him or his Mother accounted God, but is made use of by them, as they think, for furthering them in Gods service, as appeareth. 1. From this, that it getteth not the name of any strange god. 2. That he seeketh a Levite for a Priest to it, and promiseth to himself Gods blessing from that, not that the idol would bless him, but Jehovah, vers, 13. 3. That it is said, the Priest asked counsel of Iehovah for the Danites, Judges 18. 6.

The Third instance is that of Jeroboam, who did sin and made Israel to sin, by the Calf he set up at Dan & Bethel, that they were not intended to be worshipped as idols, for themselves, but as means▪ whereby they might be helped to worship the true God, may appear, 1. From Ieroboams motive, which was not to divert the people from the true God, atleast as he supposed, or to make them alter their God, but to alter their man­ner of worship, and to divert them from going up to Ierusalem to worship, from [Page 41] which his fear of their revolt to Rehoboam arose; hence the Calves are not provi­ded to prevent worshipping of God, but are put in place of their going up to Jeru­salem; as the colour of reason pretended by him for this alteration sheweth; and so one service is put for another, without changing their God, and all the reproofs that his sins meeteth with from the Prophets run at this, that he altered the manner of Gods worship in putting up new signs in new places, and appointing new Sacri­fices and Priests. 2. It appeareth from this, that as it was distinct from that way of serving God, which was in Judah, so was it from the way of the Heathens, yea from the way used by such idolatrous Kings as Achab, who are said to do worse, because they did set up strange Gods (which the Calves are not called) and Baa­lim; and Jehu when he destroyed the false Gods, yet he retained this manner of Worship; and there were no cause to discriminate Jeroboams sin from Achabs, or to look upon it as any thing lesser, if all the difference had been only in the change of worshipping the image of one Idol into the worshipping of the image of another, but the difference was in this, that the one worshipped the true God in these images▪ the other Idols indeed. 3. Hence there was still some knowledge of God in that Land, and Prophets sometimes sent them by the Lord; yea, when they were led captive, and others sent into their place, it is said 2 Kings 17. 26, &c. They lear­ned the manner of the god of the Land, that is the true God, though they corru­pted themselves with serving their Idols also, and thus the Samaritans continued worshipping they knew not what, though they pretended to worship the true God, John 4. 22.

The Fourth instance is that corrupt practise, used sometimes in Judah of setting up high places and groves, when yet they did not thereby intend to serve Idols, but the true God, and yet they are reproved for this as a gross Corrupting of the worship of God.

And it would seem clear sometimes in Judah, and often in Israel, even when they are charged with Idolatry, that yet the knowledge of the true God, was not obli­terate among them, nor they so bru [...]tish in their worship as other Nations about them; we take it then for a clear truth, that they often did worship the true God, by Images, when they did not worship the images directly.

The Second thing may be easily cleared and made out, to wit, that all wor­shipping of God by images though the worship be pretended to be given to the true God, and not to the image, but to the thing signified or represented by the image, is yet unlawful and Idolatry, forbidden by this commandment what ever sort of worship it be, if it be religious, as hath been said, and this we shall make out by these Arguments.

The first is from the general scope of this Command, which is to forbid not only the over-turning of Gods Service, but also all Will worship, though mixed in with the Service (as it seemeth, that was which is mentioned, Col. 2. 8. of worshipping Angels, which yet was so subtile that they pretended, they were far from taking from God any thing that was his due▪) that this is the scope of this Command, is clear from Deuter. 12. 8. where the Lord forbiddeth men in his Worship, To do what seemeth good to every one in his own Eyes: But so it is, that the worshipping of God before Images, &c, is Will-worship, &c. till it be shewen that it is prescribed by God.

[Page 42] Secondly: That way of Worshipping God is clearly condemned by them [...] particular scope of this Command, which is first, to discharge all gross thoughts o [...] God or his Service; which scope, As it sayeth, God cannot dwell in Temples▪ So▪ neither can He be worshipped by mens hands▪ that is, by Images made with me [...] hands, as these in Athens did, Acts 17. 24. 25. For they ignorantly worshipped th [...] true God▪ 2. To shew that he should not be served as Idolaters served their Gods by Images▪ Deut. 4. and 22 30▪ 31, 32. This binds us to the Word for all institute wor­ship, but especially restraineth us from Idolaters, their way of worship as well as from their Idols, Thou shalt not do so to the Lord thy God: Note, that So set down, v. 4. relateth to Groves, Images, High places, &c. mentioned v. 3. which place doth not only discharge such Service to be given [...]o Idols, but the giving of any such Service to God himself, who will have no such Service: And if it be clea [...] that worshipping him by Groves and High places be condemned, why not wor­shipping him by Images also? for the prohibition So, looketh to all.

Thirdly: This Command hath a general prohibition in it, that leaveth no Image out, whether of God, Saint, or any other thing for any Religious use under what­ever shape: For 1. It dischargeth the making of any Image of any thing, for any Religious use. 2. It dischargeth all Worship to be given them, whether outward by Bowing, or inward by Service, or whatsoever followeth on these; and there­fore no distinction used by Idolaters can salve the matter, or avoid the strength of this Command, especially considering that it directeth men in the manner how they should serve the true God, and doth not simply prescribe who is to be acknowled­ged as true God, which is done by the first Command.

Fourthly: If by this Command Heathenish Idolatry, or the Serving God by Images be condemned? then the serving of God by Images also amongst Christi­ans is here condemned; But the Heathens serving God by Images, is here con­demned, Ergo, &c.

If it be answered that Heathens did represent by their Images that which wa [...] not God, and that this was their fault? I Answer. 1. It is not like that all did so▪ nor that any at first did so; but some had a notion of the invisible God-head, [...] Rom. 1▪ 28. though they changed it into an Image, like to a corruptible Creature▪ 2. Yet here the Argument holdeth; If Heathens, who worshipped, suppose, Ju­piter, Vulcan, &c. and their Images of Gold, Silver, &c. were holden for Idola­ters, not only as worshipping Jupiter and Vulcan, and these Idols which were so represented, but also as worshipping Gold and Silver, and such Images and thing [...] as they made use of to represent them; then also Christians must be said not onely to worship what is represented, by those Images, but the Images themselves, and so to be guilty of Idolatry on that account: the Reason will hold alike in both▪ and if their Exception, that they worshipped not the Images, but what they repre­sented did not exempt them from being found guilty of worshipping such Images in particular, neither will Christians upon that Plea be found exeemed from th [...] guilt▪ for, [...] quatenus ad omne valet consequentia.

Fifth Argument: If that Idolatry committed by the Israelites in the Wilderness▪ Exod 32▪ and that which was set up in Israel by Jeroboam, and that of Manasses [...] 2 Chron 33. be to be condemned as Idolatry; then that which is practised among [...] the Papists in worshipping of their Images, and God by them, is to be condemned [Page 43] as Idolatry: But the former is condemned in Scripture as gross Idolatry, because it falleth off, and declineth from the way of worship the Lord hath prescribed, and turned Gods People like to Idolaters in their way; therefore also the latter is to be condemned as idolatry▪

There is no exception which the Papists give in here against this Argument, but the like might have been given by the Israelites.

For 1. If they say, They worshipped not the true God before these Images, that is answered already.

2. If they say, it was condemned because they represented him by such images, that is not enough: For 1. The Command forbiddeth all images of any thing: 2. The opposition mentioned, Deut. 4. Thou sawest no likeness, or Image, but heardest a Voyce, hath no middle, but argueth against all alike: Hence these Images, Psalm 115. that had Noses and Mouths, but smelled not, and spoke not, were condem­ned as well as those complained of, Rom. 1.

3. If they say, It was not lawful then, but is lawful now; this were to say, that the Gospel admitteth of more Carnal Ordinances then the Law, whereas its Ser­vice is more spiritual without all doubt.

From all which we may clearly conclude, that in such Service there is a two­fold Idolatry committed: 1. In that, because of some holiness and venerability, that is supposed to be in such Images, Reliques, &c. Religious worship (though inferiour to what is attributed to God) is given to them for themselves, according to the Decrees of that second Counsel of Nice: 2. In that they pretend by such Service to worship the true God, though in an idolatrous manner forbidden by him, besides what Aquinas and his followers maintain, who give to the Images of God, Christ, Mary, and the Cross, [...] it self, part 13. q. 25. [...] 1, 2, 3. And Reason sayeth, it is a snare unto them that worship them, and a scandal to others; for, as Augustine (speaking against the expressions used by Heathens from Psal. 113. and from that of the Apostle, Rom. 1. (after he hath rejected their images, and their interpretation, and excuses also) sayeth, he who worshippeth and prayeth towards an Image is an Idolater; for, who, saith he, worshippeth and prayeth towards an Image, who is not affected with it as if it heard him?

In short then, the Idolatry that striketh against this Command, may be summed up in these particulars.

1. When by some visible sign, representation, or Image, the God head is wron­ged as being thereby made like to it; this is against Deut. 4. 15, 16, 17, &c. where every Image made to represent the true God, is condemned as unsuit­able to Him.

2. When by our worship we tye the presence of the true God, to some Place, Image, Statue, or Relique, as if they had something in them, or communicated to them more divine then any other thing; or, as if God heard our Prayers better at Images, and by them; or as if there were a more special presence of God there, or a more special dispensation of grace granted by them; as Heathens supposed their Gods dwelt invisibly in their Images, and did answer them there. Now the suppo­sing that there is in any thing something venerable and worthy of such respect, is the ground of all idolatry; the inward leaning to it, and trusting in it, is against the first Command; but the outward expressing of this esteem and trust is against the [Page 44] second Command: Thus men sin in praying to things that are (though rational Creatures) as Angels and Saints; or to things that are not, as empty Images that have no Deity dwelling in them, or to lifeless Creatures▪ as the Cross, Bread, &c.

3. It is Idolatry, when idolatrous worship, used in the Service of Idols, is given to God contrary to his Command; so Deut. 12. 30. 31. Thou shalt not do so to the Lord thy God; and 2 Chron. 33. 17. Their keeping up of Groves for the worship of God; and that invention of Jeroboams Calfs, are condemned as Idolatry.

Fourthly, When any thing of that External worship, which is due to the true God, is given to any other, even though it be with a purpose not to shut him out al­together from his due, yet when it is in part given to any other thing, as to the Cross, Saints, Images, &c. it is called worshipping of them; see Exod. 32. com­pared with Psalm 106. 19, 20. there they worshipped the Images of gold and sil­ver, &c. yea, vers. 37. Devils, though they intended to worship God in these Images.

5. When any thing of this worship, due to God, is given to Servants or means, as if something adorable, and to be worshipped, were in them, although they be not accounted God himself: Thus Cornelius sinned in worshipping Peter, Acts 10. 25, 26. when he knew he was not God, and Peter rejecteth it on this ground, that he was a Man and not God; and that therefore it was due to none but God: which Reason, taketh off all that can be said by men for palliating this kind of ido­latry: Thus the scope of the Command, and the reason and ground of worship be­ing considered, it is evident that all these are idolatry.

We would now further consider, first, the positive part of this Command, and next what is forbidden in it.

And 1. For the positive part of this Command, we conceive it doth reach, 1. To all external Ordinances, such as Doctrine, Worship, government, and Discipline: We are here enjoyned to keep all these pure, according to his word: Thus any errour breaketh this Command, when it is vented and made publick, as secret er­rours break the first.

Secondly, It reacheth to all external Obedience, such as receiving the truths of God, submitting to the government and discipline of his House, entering therein as Church-Members, often hearing the Word, not only on the Sabbath, which is re­quired in the fourth Command, but at all occasions, when God shall give the oppor­tunity, it being a special part of his worship; right using of the Sacraments, and worthy receiving of them▪ praying externally, internal prayer being required in the first Command; outward confession of sin, when called for; confession of the truth in times of tryal, &c. and this obedience is to be extended to extraordinary duties as well as ordinary; as Vowing, Swearing▪ Fasting, &c. when they shall be required in providence; external Covenanting with God, an Ordinance necessary for keeping pure publick Service, &c. Also it is to be extended to secret duties, and to private duties in Families, and Christian fellowship, as well as to publick, and to diligence in them all.

Thirdly, It reacheth to the right manner of doing duties; especially, it requi­reth 1. That they be not done in Hypocrisie, for God will not be so worshipped in any duty. 2. That all our worship and duties be directed to God, in, and through [Page 45] the Mediator, and that none come to God but by him, who is the appointed High Priest. 3. That all our Obedience and Service be Spiritual.

Fourthly, It taketh in all external gestures, and outward reverence in praying and hearing, &c. as, that the eye be fixed, and the carriage not light, but decent; that there be no laughing, that the look [...] be stayd and grave; these in a special manner, in worship, are to be looked unto.

Fifthly, It requireth every Mean that may further Gods publick Service, as edu­cating and training up men for the Ministry, entertaining them, providing places and accommodations for publick worship, and every thing of that kind, without which the external worship of God cannot be performed.

Sixthly, It requireth the removing of all letts and impediments of Gods worship, or whatever is contrary thereto, according to our places and stations; such as He­resies and Hereticks by condigne censuring of them, removing all idolatrous wor­ship, and whatever may be occasions of it, or whatever hath been, or may be abu­sed to it, purging the House of God from corrupt and insufficient Ministers and cor­rupt Members.

But let us see in the next place what is forbidden in this Command, and how it is broken.

In the first Command, what immediatly reflecteth upon God himself, is forbid­den; here, what immediately reflecteth on his Ordinances and appointments, con­tradicting them and Him in them, is discharged; there is none of the Commands more frequently broken, and yet men most readily think themselves free of the breach thereof, and therefore ye should consider, that it is broken▪

1. In Doctrine, or doctrinally. 2. In practise. 3. In both, when the Do­ctrines vented and published against truth, have external practises following on them, as that doctrine of Image-worship hath, which we have spoken to already, and is the gross breach of this Command; and the Lord instanceth it as being the greatest, because where this is, all sorts of idolatry are: for it supposeth idolatry against the first Command, and that some esteem and weight is laid upon that Creature we worship, beyond what is its due; as if there were in it some divinity or ability to help, whereby it is thought worthy of such honour, whereupon fol­loweth that external worship which is given to it upon that account; and so be­cause Saints are thought able to hear and help, men pray to them; and because the Cross is thought holy, men worship it, &c. and as this idolatry is manifold among the Papists, so it is palpable when Prayer is made to Saints, Reliques, Bread, the Cross, images, &c.

Now that we may further explain this; consider, that this Command is three ways broken doctrinally. (all which have a great influence upon mens breaking of it in their practise;) or, the Service and Worship of God, is three ways wronged by the Doctrines of men. 1. When some thing is added to his Service which he hath not commanded, and this is superstition and will-worship largely so taken: Of this kind are 1. The 5▪ Popish Sacraments added to those two the Lord apppointed. 2. Other and more Mediators then the One Mediator Christ. 3. More merito­rious causes of Pardon and Justification, then the blood and merits of Christ▪ 4. More Officers in his House then he hath appointed, such as Bishops, Cardi­nals, &c▪ 5. More Ceremonies in worship, as Salt, Spittle and Cream, added in [Page 46] Baptism to Water, and Kneeling, &c. to the Lords Supper. 6. More Holy dayes then God hath instituted. 7. Other things to be acknowledged for the Word of God then the Scripture, as Traditions, Apocrypha, &c. and many such things, whereof (for the most part) Popery is made up.

Secondly, It is broken when his Ordinances are diminished, and any thing which he hath commanded, is taken away from them, as is clear from Deut. 4. 2. Ye shall not add unto the Word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish ought there from: and thus they break this Command, by taking away the Cup from L [...]icks (as they call them) in the Lords Supper, and the use of the Bible from the People in their own Language; also it is broken by taking away Baptism from Infants, and Disci­pline or Excommunication from the Church, and by taking away the Sabbath-day, and publick singing of Psalms, or such like; not to speak of that Blasphemous, and some-way Pagan-Heresie of Quaquerisine, over-turning most, if not all the Ordinan­ces of God, destructive to all true Religion and Christianity, and introducing, at least having a native tendency to introduce, old Paganism and Barbarity.

Thirdly, This Command is broken by corrupting of Gods worship, as when the Word is mis-interpreted and mis-applyed, Prayers are used in a strange Tongue, the Word is mixed with Errours, and the Church, both left without Discipline and abused in civil things, which tendeth to the corrupting of Gods Service; unquali­fied-men put into the Ministry and kept in it, when Sacraments are rested on and worshipped, even as the Brazen Serpent was abused, and the Temple though appointed by God at first for good ends, was afterward rested on and Idolized.

Again, this Command is practically broken four wayes: First, by gross propha­nity and neglect of the practise of known duties of worship; this way, are guilty all prophane Contemners of Sacraments, Word, Discipline, &c. All Neglecters of them when they may have them: and all these that set not themselves to go right­ly about them, in secret, in Families or in Publick; and where many opportunities of Gospel Ordinances are, this sin is the more frequent; and so all Atheists that con­temne Religion, and these that would only serve God with a good heart and in­tention, as they pretend, without any outward worship, are condemned here; and also those, who for fear or advantage give not testimony to the Truth and Ordinan­ces of Christ, when such a testimony is called for.

2. Men sin against this Command, when they practise will-worship and super­stition in serving God by duties he never required, whether 1. It be Will-worship in respect of the Service it self, as when that is gone about as duty, which is not in it self lawful, as when such and such Pilgrimages and Penances are appointed by men to be done as Service to God: Or 2. When worship, or Service under the Gospel is astricted to such a place, as if it were Holier to pray in one place then in another, and that therefore God did hear Prayer there more willingly and easily then in another place▪ Or 3. In respect of bodily posture, as if there were more Religion in one posture then in another; as in receiving the Lords-Supper knee­ling, or Praying in such and such a posture, except in so far as it is decent, and otherwise rightly regulate by rules of Prudence and Natures light. 4. When it is without a Divine Warrant tyed to such a time only, as Christmass, (commonly cal­ed Yool) Easter, Pasc [...]e, &c. which is an Observing of times that God hath not ap­pointed. [Page 47] 5. When it is tyed to such an occasion or accident, as, to Pray when the Clock striketh, or when one Neeseth, which Plinius marked of Ti [...]erius, who was no Religious man, yet could not abide one who lifted not his Hat when he Neesed, and said not, God bless; and he observeth it among these things he can give no rea­son for; the Prayer is good, but the timing of it so, and astricting it to that thing, is superstitious; so your Lightwakes and Di [...]iges (as ye call them) are upon this ac­count to be condemned, either as superstitious, or as prophane, or at the best, as the reliques and causes or occasions of both: For 1. Once in times of Popish dark­ness they were so used, or rather abused. 2. Why are your Visits stinted to such a time more then another? It profiteth not the defunct, and it hurteth the person you come unto; a multitude not being sit for comforting or instructing; and yet it cannot be called a meer civil visit, being trysted with such an occasion; but certain­ly it suiteth not, nor is it a Christian carriage toward the Dead, and after the Bu­rial of the Dead, to spend time together in such a way as is commonly used: Be­side, it is superstitious, when a thing without reason is astricted to such a time or oc­casion, as giving and receiving of gifts on New-years-day, too too common amongst Christians, though a Heathenish custome; which day, as Gratian observes, was de­dicated to their Devil-god Janus: He asserts like wise, that such Christians, as in his time did observe it, were Excommunicated; and Alchuinus, with others, write that the whole Catholick Church appointed once a solemne publick Fast to be kept on a New-years-Day, to bewail those Heathenish Interludes, Sports, and lewd Idolatrous practises that had been used on it. 6. When some weight is laid on the number of words, or set repetitions of Prayers, Ave Maria's, or Pater Nosters, or on the reading so many Chapters, or saying so many Prayers. 7. When any take a word of Scripture at the opening of the Bible, or by a thought suggested, as more befitting their condition because of that, without weighing the Word it self; and lay more weight upon that word then upon another that hath the same authority and suitableness to their case, which is to make a Weerd, or Fortune-book of the Book of God, for which end he never appointed it. Thus also men are guilty, when they account Sacraments more valid, or lay more weight on them, because dispensed by some Ministers, then when dispensed by others, though having the same warrant, or because of the difference of persons that partake therein with them;

However some of these things may be in themselves good, yet they are abused by some one circumstance, as in unwarrantable timing them, or in laying that weigh on them which is not warranted in the Word, which 1. Altereth the way that God has laid down. 2. Bringeth us to prefer one circumstance to another, with­out any warrant. 3▪ Maketh a necessity where God has left us free, and so brin­geth us into Bondage.

3. We may go wrong in practising lawful duties many wayes, as to the manner of performing them, when they are not so done as is required: As 1. When we do not propose to our selves the right end we should have before us. 2. When they are not done from a right inward Principle. 3. When they are done in Hypocrisie and Formality, and rested on; all which may go along with men in all Duties and Ordinances; and generally all our shert-comings in the right manner of comman­ded duties, striketh against this Command.

[Page] Fourthly, We may also consider the breach of this Command, by taking a view of what is opposite to every thing required; and so want of Reverence in Worship▪ want of Zeal against errour of false worship, not streatching our selves in all lawful endeavours to entertain and maintain the true worship of God, are here forbid­den; so likewise the putting in, and keeping in unworthy Ministers; the traducing▪ holding out, and putting out of Faithful Men; the with-drawing and Sequestring their maintenance from them; the diminishing of it, or straitning them in it. Hor­rid sins, though little thought of, and lightly looked on by Men, drawing no less deep before God then obstructing the free course of the Gospel, breaking up the treaty of peace betwixt God and Sinners, carryed on by Faithful Ministers, as the Ambassadors of Jesus Christ; and saying on the matter that he shall not see of the fruit of the travel of his soul in the salvation of the souls of men to his satisfaction, so far as they can impede it by outing and discountenancing his Ministers, the instru­ments made use of by him for bringing about that last warrantably; and thus also, all Sacriledge, Simony, and the like, cometh in as breaches of this Command; and all Partiality in Church proceedings, Tolleration of Errours, countenancing the speaders of them, slighting of discipline, conversing unnecessarily and unwarranta­ble with such as are Excommunicate, and all unwarrantable innovating in the ex­ternal worship of God; and when we are not ayming and endeavouring to have our Children and Servants, and all under our charge, brought under subjection and conformity to the Ordinances and Service of God as well as our selves.

But because this Command in an especial manner looketh to publick Ordinances, let us see a little more particularly how it is broken in these: 1. In respect of Preach­ing and Hearing. 2. Publick Prayer. 3. Praising. 4. Sacraments. 5. Fasts▪ and in all these, there are faults of three sorts. 1. Some going before the perfor­mance of these duties. 2. Some following after. 3. Some going along in the performance of them.

And again, 1. Some are guilty of the breach of this Command by neglect­ing these duties. 2. Some are guilty in the wrong manner, of going about them.

And 1. Before hearing the Word men break this Command. 1. In not Praying for the speaker. 2. In not Praying for themselves, in reference to this end, that they may profit by the Word▪ 3. In not setting themselves to be in a spiritual composed frame for such a work. 4. In not watchfully preventing what may divert them or distract them, or straiten their minds when they come to hear, not ordering their other affairs, so as they may not be a hinderance to them in meeting with the bles­sing of the Gospel. 5. In not aiming to have the right esteem of the Word. 6. In not blessing God for it, or for any good received before by it. 7. In not coming with hunger and thirst, as new born Babes, having laid aside what may hinder its, being received with desire, 2 Pet. 2. 1, 2, 8. In not denying our own strength, as to the right discharge of that duty, that so we may make use of Christ. 9. In not minding that when we are called to hear, it is to tryst with God in his Ordinances▪ 10. In going to hear with prejudice. 11. In coming without expectation of, and longing for the presence of God, or of meeting with him. 12. In not coming from respect to the honour of God; nor out of Conscience, but from custome, and for the fashion.

Secondly, Men sin against this Command, when they are come to hear, and while [Page 49] they are about this duty of hearing: 1. In not looking to God, or not receiving the Word as Gods Word, but as Mans. 2. In extravaging and wandring in their minds and thoughts. Ezek. 33. 31. 3. In sleeping when they should hear. 4. In letting the Word slip out of their mind, and not retaining and laying up what they hea [...]. 5. In not yielding their ears and memories, or yielding onely their ears and memo­ries, but not casting open their hearts to the Word, to let it sink down in them. 6. When though it be heard, yet it is not understood, Matth. 13. 13. 7. When though understood, it is soon forgotten. 8. When there is not a peculiar trembling and fear in our waiting upon the Ordinances, Isai. 66. 2. Eccles. 5. 1, 2. and Malach. 2. 5. There is a special fear which we ought to have before his Name. 9. VVhen there is not Faith mixed with hearing, giving credit to the VVord, it must be a great fault not to believe Gods VVord when we hear it, Hebr. 4. 1, 2. 10. VVhen we fret and canker at the reproofs of the Word. 11. VVhen we needlesly stumble at any expression, especially when we carry so lightly as to laugh at what is spoken, to the prejudice of the Ordinances. 12. VVhen we are more for knowing then for doing, more for informing the mind, then for reforming the heart and life. 13. VVhen there is carping at the VVord, or censuring of it rather then our selves. 14. VVhen we make no application of it to our selves, and try not whether we have such a fault, or if we perform such a duty, &c. 15. VVhen we are not present, as before God, to hear, as Cor­nelius was, Acts 10. 33. 16. VVhen we itch after novelty of expressions, or words, or things, rather then thirst after the sincere Milk of the Word, that we may grow thereby. 17. When these novelties are more entertained and laid weight on then known duties or truths. 18. When the Word is heard with respect of per­sons, and the same truth, or expression, or Scripture cited by one, is not so re­spected and received, as when spoken by another, contrary to James 2. vers. 9. 19. When there are vain looks as well as idle thoughts. 20. When there is a wan­ton, light, unreverent carriage. 21. When there is immodest and strange Apparel unbecoming that Ordinance. 22. When there is speaking or talking, out of the case of necessity, in time of Sermon, though it were by way of Prayer, it is sinful, except it were Ejaculatory in reference to what is at present spoken. 23. When there is reading of something, (even though Scripture) unseasonably. 24. When there is insisting on good thoughts, that tend to divert from hearing. 25. When men are observing Vanities in time of hearing, such as the Apparel that others have on, or the painting that is on the House, or the cuplings of the roof, or such like. 26. When there is not an intermixing of Ejaculatory Prayer for our selves and others, and the Speaker, that God would help him, and them, and us, to keep such a Word to the time when we may have need of it; and when God is not blessed when a word is rightly spoken. 27. When there is any quenching of convictions, or the motions, or stirrings of affection wakened up by the Word. [...]8. VVhen thero is diverting to a doting love of the Speaker, or the thing as spoken by such a Spea­ker; or the manner of expression, and a delighting in these, more then in God, or a respecting of Him or our own profiting. 29. VVhen we do not look upon, and make use of the Preached VVord as a means to con ert, but onely as a mean to confirm. 30. VVhen we do not make use of Promises offe [...]ed in Preaching, and directed by God to us by an Authorized Ambassadour, and do not so lay weight on them as from him. 31. VVhen we reject the many sweet offers of the Gospel, and come not to the Marriage of the Kings Son. 32. VVhen we do grieve Gods Spirit who presseth it upon us. 33. VVhen we tread [Page 50] under-foot Christs Blood by our little esteem of it. 34. When we give no credit to, nor lay doe weight upon threatnings. 35. When we have not the Faith of Gods Providence, or of the Judgement to come, 36. When there is not an accepting of Christ. 37. When there is not imploying of him. 38. When there is not reve­rence in removing from our hearing of the word.

After hearing also, there are many wayes whereby we are guilty of the breach of this Command. 1. Forgetting what we have heard. 2. Letting the heart un­necessarily look back again to other objects, and follow other thoughts, and not meditating on what hath been heard. 3. Not comparing what we have heard with the Scriptures. 4. Not following the Word with prayer for the watering of it▪ 5. Needless falling to other discourses, immediately after the hearing af the Word. 6. Casting it all aside as to practise▪ Ps. 50. verse 6. to 23. 7 Fretting at some things that have been spoken. 8. Spreading Censures: Or 9. Commendations of the thing Preached, or of the instruments that Preached, as if that were all. 10. No [...] following the Word with self-searching Prayer, and fruits suitable, endeavouring to practise what is required. 11. Not trembling at its threatnings, nor forbearing what was thereby discharged. 12. Not helping others to make use of it, 13. No [...] repenting of faults committed in the time of hearing. 14. Little delight in remem­bring of it. 15. Finding out shifts to put by its directions or challenges. 16. Ap­plying them to others rather then to our selves. 17. Mis construing the Ministers end in pressing of them. 18. Mis-interpreting his words. 19. Mis-reporting or mis-representing them. 20. Not being troubled for fruitlesness in hearing▪ without any use, but being as a stone without sence or feeling. 21. Leaning o [...] hearing, as if having been in the Church were a piece of holiness, though no fruit follow on it. 22. Prophane abusing words of Scripture, or phrases used in preach­ing▪ in mens common discourse; much more when they are mixed in wanton and profane sports▪ or jests and gybes.

All these wayes men may sin, when they come to hear the Word; they sin also by absence when they come not, neglecting the opportunities of the Gospel; there are also divers sins which men are often guilty of in reference to hearing, even on week dayes: As 1. Little love to the Word, or delight in the opportunities of it on such dayes. 2. Too much love to some other things that procureth luke-warm­ness in hearing. 3. Contemning occasions of hearing the Word on such dayes. 4. Improvidently bringing on a necessity on our selves that we cannot hear. 5. Ca­ring little to have a Ministry, whereby we may be instructed at all times, and there­fore we want such occasions. 6. Setting our selves, and using our wits to discourage the Ministers we have▪ 7. Not being weighted on, with our absence from week­dayes Sermons. 8. Mocking at them who are present. 9. Dis-respecting the Ordinance for some worldly or personal respects, preferring any small trifle thereto, &c.

2. Let us instance the breach of this Command in publick prayer, which is a part of worship, which very nearly concerns the glory of God; and certainly when it is wronged through the unsuitable, and nor right discharging of this duty, this Com­mand is in a special way broken.

We shall not here look to every thing, but especially to what concerneth publick Prayer, indeed we fail also in secret Prayer, and in giving Thanks both alone and in [Page 51] our Families. 1. By contempt of this excellent Ordinance, many slight Prayer in secret and in their Families, Jer. 10. ult. which is a clear breach of this Command as well as neglecting it in publick, when men do not countenance Sermon or Prayer, though at the same time walking Idlely in the Street or in the Fields. 2. By casting up of Prayer to others, reproaching it, calling it Hypocrisie, and those who use it Hypocrites. 3. By mocking the Spirits work in Prayer.

1. Before we come to Prayer, we sin. 1, By not watching to keep the heart in a frame for Praying always. 2. By not watching over every opportunity that we may have for Prayer, whereby many occasions are lost. 3. In not longing for op­portunities of Prayer. 4. In not stirring up our selves to seriousness when we are about to Pray. 5. In letting the heart run loose when we are about other things, which indisposeth for Prayer. 6. In having a selfy particular end before us in our Prayers. 7. In our little respecting God for strength and fitness, and little looking to him for his Spirit to our selves, or these who are to go before us in this duty of Prayer. 8. In our little examining our selves that we may know what to Pray for, and what distinctly to confess. 9. In our not meditating on what we are to say, that we may as to the matter of our Prayers speak in Faith. 10. In aiming more to find and exercise gifts, then to have grace acting in us. 11, In our rushing rashly on such a weighty and spiritual duty.

Secondly, In Prayer; and 1. On the Speakers part there are divers ways where­by this Command is broken: As 1. By rashness and sencelesness, not exercising the spirit, but the mouth, telling over our Prayers as a Tale without life. 2. Praying in our own strength, without looking after the influence of the Spirit. 3. Not drawing near to God by Faith in Christ, but leaning too much on our Prayers, from a secret false opinion of prevailing more with many words well put together, then by exercising Faith on Christ, and resting on Him, as if God were perswaded with words. 4. Inadvertant Praying, uttering unadvised Petitions and expressi­ons without understanding. 5. Not praying humbly and with soul abasement: Nor 6. Singly to please God, but men, seeking expressions that are pleasant rather then sensible. 7. Saying many things we think not, not being touched with the weight of sin when we confess it, nor with the desire of holiness when we mention it: counterfeiting sometimes liberty and boldness, sometimes restraints and com­plaints more then is real. 8. Limiting God in particular suits. 9. Cold in what is of greatest concernment. 10. Want of reverence and holy fear. 11. Want of a right impression of a present God. 12. Not praying for others, and little respect­ing the condition of those we pray with; or what we do of this kind, is either but cold, and for the fashion; or if there be more apparent zeal and seriousness for others, it would be adverted that it be not upon design to flatter and please them rather then to obtain spiritual blessings to them. 13. Desiring things for satisfying our selves more then for Gods honour. 14 Breaking off before we come to live­liness and liberty, having begun lazily and without life. 15. Not insisting to wre­stle with God when under Bands. 16 Precipitating with the words before the heart ponder them, or the affection be warmed. 17. Posting through it, as duty, only for the fashion, without respect to God, or love to the exercise, or driving at any profit by it. 18. Wearying and not delighting in it. 19. Not aiming at Gods presence or sensible manifestations in it, or at a Hearing in that which we [Page 52] pray for. 20. Being more desirous of Liberty in publick then in private. 21. Fret­ting when we are put or kept under Bonds. 22. Growing vain and light when it goeth well with us, and turning carnal and unwatchful when we get liberty. 23. Im­pertinent use-making of Scripture-words, either ignorantly or vainly. 24. A secret expectation of something for our Prayer, and so resting upon the work done, as if there were merit in it. 25. Using expressions not easily understood. 26. Using un­decent gestures, and scurrile expressions. 27. Not observing Gods dispensation to us, nor his dealing with our souls in the time of Prayer, that we may conform our suits accordingly, as we find many of the Saints have done, who end in Songs after they had begun sadly. 28. Not praying with fervency for Christs Kingdom, and for Jews and Gentils. 29. Exercising gifts rather then grace, when we pray. These are Sins upon the Speakers part.

Next, ye should consider the sins of them that joyn: And beside, what is general and common in the duty of praying, we fail often in joyning. And 1. In this, that many think, When another prayeth they need not pray, but let the Speaker be doing alone. 2. When we observe not what is spoken, that we may go alongst in what he prayeth for, and be upon our watch that we may joyn, and that we may do it in judgement. 3. The mind waving or wavering, and we hearing, but not praying. 4. Censuring the words or gestures of the Speaker. 5. Fixing our eyes or minds on some other things, and giving way to other thoughts that may divert from joyning. 6. Sleeping in time of Prayer. 7. Confusedness in that exercise, and not distinctly joyning with what agreeth to our selves and our own case, nor with what agreeth to others joyning with it for them. 8. More cold and indifferent in what concerneth others, then in what concerneth our selves. 9. More careless of being heard and answered when we speak not, as if we were less concerned, thinking it enough to be present, although in our heart we joyn not; and not being affected with the prayer of another, nor acting Faith in it, we soon weary when others pray. 10. Not being edified by the praying of another, nor taking up our sins in his Confessions, nor our duty in his Petitions. 11. Much Hypocrisie in such duties, while we seem to be joyning, but are doing no­thing. 12. Not endeavouring to have affections, suitable to what is spoken, stirred up in us. 13. Not praying that the Speaker may be suitably guided and helped in bringing forth Petitions that may answer our wants. 14. More indifferent that an­other who speaketh as mouth for the rest, want liberty, then when we are put to speak our selves, although it be Gods Ordinance. 15. Not rightly touched with any ex­pression we cannot joyn with, but rather stumbling at it. 16. Our being ignorant of the meaning of many expressions through our own fault, so that we cannot joyn in them. 17. Muttering words of our own, and not joyning with what is said. 18. In­distinctness in consenting or saying Amen at the close.

Thirdly. After Prayer both Speaker and Joyners fail. 1. That they watch not over their hearts, but soon return to other things, as if then they might take liberty. 2. Not waiting for an answer, nor observing whether Prayers be answered or not. 3. Not being thankful for Answers when they come: Nor 4. Intreating and pressing for an answer if it be delayed. 5. Not reflecting on our failings, whether in speak­ing or joyning. 6. Not remembring what we have uttered in Prayer, but presently returning to a carriage that is very unlike those things we have been speaking before Him. 7. Not keeping up a frame for new opportunities of Prayer. 8. Not pressing after a constant walk with God betwixt occasions of Prayer. 9. Resting on Prayer after we have done, and thinking something of it if we seem to have been helped to Pray 10. Carnally heartless and displeased, if it hath been otherwise. 11. Not [Page 53] being humbled for the sinfulness and defects of our Prayers. 12. Not having re­course by Faith to the Blood of sprinkling for pardon of these sinful defects.

We are to consider how men break this Command in Praise and Thanksgiving: And here there is failing, in general. 1. In the utter neglect of this necessary duty; alace, what of that duty do we in secret, and yet it is singularly for Gods honour, and as clear a duty as Prayer. 2. In mocking praise often, by prophaning Psalms for our carnal mirth. 3. In neglecting and slighting of it, though not altogether, yet by un­frequent going about it. 4. In accounting it to be almost no duty at all, and in being but little challenged for slighting of it, or for irreverent using of it.

Secondly. We sin before we go about this duty: 1. In not preparing for it. 2. In not praying for the Spirit, to fit and enable us to Praise, 1 Cor. 14. 15. and for a fixed heart for that work, Psalm 108. 1. 3. In our not aiming at a spiritual disposition for such a spiritual duty. 4. In our not endeavouring for a right impression of the Maje­sty of God. And 5. For clearness of our interest in him: And 6, For an impression of the excellency of his way, and meaning of his Word; all which are exceeding neces­sary unto the right performance of this duty, and without them we cannot Praise suitably.

Thirdly. We are guilty of many faults in the time of praising. 1. Doing it with­out respect to Gods glory, and for the fashion only. 2. Hypocrisie, not praising him with the whole heart, performing it only with the lips, when the heart is away. 3. Ignorance, when we want understanding of the words we express. 4. No suita­ble impression of Gods greatness and goodness upon our hearts when we praise. 5. Not aiming at Communion with God in this duty, as desiring, minding, and hoping to praise him for ever. 6. Not being taken up with Spiritual and Heavenly delight in him, and in the work of his praise, 7. Lightness, laughing, or mainly affecting of, and carnally doting upon, some tone or voyce more then being suitably affected with the matter, and making melody in the heart to the Lord. 8. Forgetting what we do sing, and not knowing or considering what it is we sing, the heart not being present nor fixed. 9. Not being constrained by love to praise, but some custome or natural Con­science constraining us to it. 10. Not offering up our praises in and through Christ Jesus, Heb. 13. v. 15. 11. Soon satisfied in our praising, as if we were little troubled to be fitted for it, and because little of our selves lyeth in it, we are the less careful how we discharge it, but stint and limit our selves to some certain customary matter which puts us to few prayers before, and makes but few challenges after. 12. Not intermixing ejaculatory prayers in our praisings. 13. Much Hypocrisie when we sing the cases of others, or their thoughts and estimation of God, and study not to be something-like their frame and exercise. 14. Not framing our affections in praising to the subject of our praise; whether it be some sad case or some chearful condition, or some Historical or Prophetical subject; and when imprecations are a part of the Song, we soon fall off, or praise one and the same way in all. 15. Not serious in blessing God for former mercies to his Servants, if it be not so well with us in the mean time, nor chearfully acknowledging his former deliverances of his Church and people in which we have not personally shared. 16. Not being affected with his keeping of us free of many sad cases we sing, and others have been in, nor blessing him for delivering them. 17. Not letting the Word of the Lord which we sing, sink down in us for engaging our hearts to, and chearing our spirits in good. 18. Not assenting to, and giving him glory in the acknowledgement of the justness of his seve­rest threatnings, and the most fearful Scripture-Imprecations. 19. Not rightly ob­serving those things that are the subject matter of Scripture Songs, so as to put a [Page 54] difference between some things we are to tremble and scare at, such as the falls of the Saints; and other things which we are to imitate and follow for our edifica­tion. 20. Gadding in idle looks, so that some scarce look on their books (although they can read) that they may the better have the sense of what they sing. 21. Not putting a difference betwixt praying a Petition that is in a Psalm, and singing of it, which should have a sweetness with it that may incourage us to pray for, and expect what others before us have obtained▪ 22. Wanting such considerations about the matter sung, when it suits not our present case, as may suitably affect us, and fit us to glorifie God in that duty: as when we sing of the eminent holiness of some of the Saints, we are to bless him that ever any was so holy, whatever be our sinful­ness; and that we have hope of pardon, though under many failings, and much unlikeliness to that case we sing. 23. Not singing with the voyce at all, although the tongue be given us as our Glory, that we may therewith thus glori­fie God.

Fourthly. After we have been about this duty of praise, we sin. 1. By fal­ling immediatly into a carnal frame. 2. Not looking back or examining when we have done, how we carryed it in praising God. 3. Few challenges for our many failings in praise. 4. Little Repentance for those failings. 5. Not keeping the heart right for a new opportunity of praise. 6. Not keeping a record of his mer­cies in our memories, and upon our hearts to engage us to praise him. 7. Not walking in the exercise of love, which would sweetly constrain us to this duty, and make us delight in it.

These are but a few of the many Iniquities that are to be found in our holy things, Exod▪ 28. 38. Its good we have a High Priest to bear them: O, what if all our sins were reckoned, how hainous would they be? and what a sum will they come to, if our performances of holy duties have so many sins in them? and when the sins of a Sabbath are counted, how many will they be? hundreds of divers sorts, in praying, hearing, and praising; and multiply these to every loose thought, and every declining or wavering of the heart, now many times may they be multiplyed? Ah! how many unholy words do we let slip, and then consider all the Sabbaths and Sermons, Prayers and Praises we have had, how many hundred thousands will they amount to▪ It is sad that men should lye under all these with few or no challenges, or without minding repentance, or think­ing of the necessity of employing the High Priest for doing them away; therefore we should accept these challenges, and give Him employment who only can bear the Iniquity of our holy things. If this bring not down self-Righteousness, and convince you of the necessity of a Mediatour, what will do it?

We shall proceed in the next place, to consider the sins that wait on receiving the Sacraments, which as they were a special part of the Worship of God under the Old Testament, so they are yet under the New; and our sins in reference to them strike against this Command, as it prescribeth and carveth out our external Worship, and so much the rather should we consider this, because there cannot be a more express Covenanting with God in giving and receiving, propo­sing terms and accepting of them for closing the Covenant, then is in the Sa­craments.

Before we enter to speak of the faults we are here guilty of, we may in general [Page 55] propose some things concerning the Sacraments: As 1. For what ends God hath appointed them, that so we may know what is to be expected in them. 2. How they effectuate the ends, that we may know how we should go about them; and we shall speak to these two joyntly, because we cannot speak to the one, but we must speak to the other.

But before we speak to these, some things are to be premitted: As 1. That God hath thought good alwayes to add Sacraments to his Covenants; thus the Covenant of Works had its Sacraments: Adam had the Tree of Life for a Sacra­ment to confirm him in the Faith of that Covenant; so the Covenant of Grace in all its administrations had its Sacraments also for confirmation thereof, as before Christs incarnation it had, Circumcision, the Passover, and divers Sacrifices effe­ctual for that end; and the Fathers before Abraham had their Sacrifices for Sacra­ments: a [...]d since his Incarnation, it hath Baptism and the Lords Supper; for as the Lord has for mans sake condescended to deal with him after the manner of men, by Covenants and mutual Engagements, so he keepeth the manner of men in Swearing, Sealing, and confirming these Covenants for their greater▪consolation, who are within the same, Hebr▪ 6. 18.

Secondly. Although the nature of the Covenant alter the Sacrament, in respect of our use making of it; yet, as all Covenants have some essentials in which they agree, to wit, a Promise and a Restipulation; so all Sacraments have something common, to wit, that they Signifie, Seal, and Strengthen the Covenanters in assu­rance of enjoying what is promised according to the terms of the Covenant to which they are as Seals appended, the Tree of Life confirmed the promise of Life to Adam upon condition of perfect Obedience; Circumcision confirmed it to A­braham upon condition of Faith, Rom. 4. 11.

Thirdly. The Sacraments of the Covenant of Grace before and after Christ, differ in circumstantials, as the Covenant it self under the Old and New Testament doth; but in essentials they agree, for they seal one and the same thing, and after one and the same manner.

Fourthly. There are some chief things common to all Sacraments of the Cove­nant under one administration; As for example, Baptisme and the Lords Supper, they agree both in this that they seal the Covenant, and represent Christ and his benefits, &c. yet in either of them there are some peculiar promises and bene­fits especially looked unto: and also they have their peculiar manner of sealing these things which are common to both; Believers are also confirmed in the same things by the Word, but the Sacraments confirm them in ano­ther way, more clearly, and sensibly, and proportionally to our weakness and necessity.

Fifthly. No Sacrament is of, and from it self valid, but its validity and efficacy is from the Covenant and Promise, whereof it is a Sacra­ment; and so it is a seal to none but to such as are in the Covenant, and keep the condition of it, to them it sealeth the benefits promised, though absolutely and simply it seal the truth of the conditional promises: and so it may be said conditionally to Seal, to all the Members of the Church, the Truth of what is promised upon such a condition; as for example, The Tree of Life sealed this Truth, that who stood in perfect [Page 56] Obedience should have Life, but it did not seal to Adam, that he should have Life▪ except upon condition of his perfect Obedience; the like may be said of Circumci­sion, Baptism, &c.

Sixthly. Hence every Sacrament doth suppose a Covenant, and the Receivers en­try into the Covenant, to which the Sacrament that he receiveth relateth: so that we come not to the Sacrament properly to enter into Covenant with God, but first the Covenant is entered, and then the Seal is added, as Genes. 17. First, God entered into Covenant with Abraham, and then the Seal of Circumcision is added as a confirma­tion thereof.

Seventhly. No Sacrament giveth any new right which the Receiver had not be­fore; onely it confirmeth the right he had before; he hath access to the Sacraments upon the account of his external right.

Eighthly. Sacraments confirm still something that is future, and to come, they be­ing instituted for the confirmation of our Faith and Hope in those things, of which we are most apt to doubt; as the Passover strengthened the Israelites against the fear of being destroyed; the Tree of Life confirmed what was promised to Adam and not performed; and so all Sacraments help us to believe the making good of some promise not performed, for they serve as the Oath and Seal; and indeed, when we Preach the Gospel, we offer a sealed Covenant, and a sworn Covenant.

These things being promised, we come to speak to the things proposed; and we say, The Sacraments of the New Testament (of which only we speak purposely) have in Gods appointment and our use, these three ends especially;

The 1. is, to represent clearly the nature of the Covenant, and the things promised therein, as, the washing away of sin, Christ himself▪ his death and benefits, and the way how we come to the application of all these, to wit, by Faith freely, putting on Jesus Christ for taking away guilt, and strengthening us to an holy walk; in all these the Sacraments (that is, the signs and word of institution added) do fully and clear­ly, 1. To the Ears: 2. To the Eyes: 3. To our other senses of feeling, &c. not only hold forth what is offered, but our way of closing with and accepting of that Offer; as if God, who by Preaching letteth us hear him speak (inviting us to be reconciled to him) were in the Sacraments, letting us see him tryst and close that bargain with us by his Ambassadors; in which respect, the Sacrament may be called the Symbol and Token of the Covenant, as it is, Gen. 17. and this way the Sacraments have a teaching use to bring to our remembrance Christ, his sufferings and benefits, as well as our estate, what it was without him, and before our closing with him; all this by the word and elements with the actions concurring, is represented to us, as if it were acted be­fore our eyes, for making the way of the Gospel the more clear to our judgements and memories, who either senselesly take it up, or sluggishly forget these spiritual things; the Lord, who sometimes maketh use of Parables and figurative expressions or simili­tudes, to set forth spiritual things to make them take with us the more, hath chosen this way to make use of external signs, and actions for the same ends also.

2. The second end of Sacraments is to seal and confirm Gods mind and revealed will to man, and to put him out of question of the truth of his promises, that so he may have a further prop to his Faith, and may draw more strong consolation from the pro­mises of the Covenant upon this ground. In this respect they are called Seals (Rom. 4. 11.) of the Righteousness by Faith; that is, not the Righteousness of Abrahams Faith, but of his obtaining Righteousness by it, and not by works; that is, They are seals of that Covenant which offereth and promiseth Righteousness to such as believe: [...]o was the Tree of Life a confirmation to Adam of the promise of Life; so was Cir­cumcision [Page 57] to Abraham a Seal and Confirmation of the promises of the Gospel, as Gods Oath was, Hebr. 6. 18. And so are the Sacraments to us,

This Confirmation may be three wayes looked on: 1. As that which con­firmeth the Proposition, 2. The Assumption, 3. The Conclusion of a pra­ctical Syllogism, whereby the Believer concludeth from the Gospel that he shall be saved.

The Proposition is this, He that believeth shall be saved; this by the Sacrament is simply confirmed as a truth, that one may lean unto: Then the Believers Con­science in the Faith of that subsumeth, I will then take me by Faith to Christ: see­ing that is a sure truth, I will rest on him and hold me there; or more clearly, I do believe in him.

Now 2. This assumption that I, or such a man hath Faith, is not confirmed sim­ply by the Seal, for the Sacrament is to be externally applyed by men, who can say no more, but, They charitably judge such a one to have Faith; yet it may be said to be so far confirmed as one whose Faith doubteth may by this be encouraged to rest on Christ, and quiet himself on him; Thus Faith is confirmed while it is helped to Assume, though the man be not clear that he hath assumed; as also one having according to Gods command, cast himself on Christ, and according to his institu­tion, taken the Seal, I say such a man may conclude from the Seal, as well as from the Promise that he is accepted, even as one having prayed may con­clude he hath been heard, having done it according to Gods will in the name of Christ.

Thirdly, When the Conclusion is drawn, Therefore I shall be saved, the Sacrament doth not confirm that simply to us, more then it did to Adam (who afterward brake the Covenant of Works▪ and so attained not the thing Promised) but it sea­leth it conditionally. If thou Believe, thou shalt be saved, and so the Assumption must be made out by the search of the conscience before the conclusion receive any confirmation by the Sacrament; yet by strengthening the major proposition▪ Such as Believe shall be saved; it strengtheneth the Conclusion also: for if that were not true, my having Faith, or flying to Christ were no great comfort; and so consequently it has influence on the Believers comfort in the Conclusion, as Gods Oath and Seal did confirm thé Promise made to Abraham, and also strengthened his Faith in belie­ving it should be made out to him, Rom 4. 11.

Again, it is to be considered that the Sacrament sealeth particularly, not only as it sayeth▪ All that Believe shall be saved, but also as it says, Thou▪ if thou wilt Believe, shalt be saved; and the seal is so appended to that conditional Offer, that the Cove­nant standeth not only sure in general to all Believers, but to Me particularly upon my closing with it, as if God were particularly singling me out to make the offer unto me, and to take my engagement, and to put the seal in my hand, by which Faith is more particularly helped and strengthened then by the Word alone; there is great use therefore of the Sacraments▪ in that thereby we get Faith quieted in the believing of this, that God will lay-by his Controversie, and keep his Covenant, and make forth-coming his Promises to those who flye for refuge to Jesus Christ, according to his Oath and Seal: Thus he sealeth the Major Simply, the Minor Conditionally, but Particularly; Or we may suppose God speaking to us from the Covenant thus, He to whom I offer Christ, he may receive Him; and all that be­lieve, [Page 58] and receive the Offer, shall obtain the Blessing offered: But I offer Christ to thee: therefore thou mayst and shouldst receive him; and if thou accept the Offer, hou shalt obtain the Blessing offered, and shalt [...]e saved: Thus the Major and Minor are simply sealed, but the Conclusion conditionally: Or the Sacrament sealeth the Offer simply; but the Promise as it is applyed to such a particular Per­son Conditionally, if he receive the Offer▪ so that none needeth to question Gods Offer, nor Christs Performance on our Acceptation. And thus the Sacraments may be called Testimonies, of Gods Grace to us, because particularly they seal that Offer of his Grace unto us, namely Christ, and Salvation by him, and his being content to give Him upon condition of our believing.

The Third end and use of the Sacraments; is, to exhibit and apply Christ or his Benefits to Believers; hence in the Sacraments we put on Christ, and ea [...] him: which is not done, by any Physical Union of Christ, or his Benefits with the Signs; but as in the Word, Christ communicateth himself when the Spirit goeth along with the Promises, and Hearers bring not only their Ears, but their Hearts and Faith to that Ordinance: So here by the Sacraments Christ is Communicated to us, when we come not onely with Ears, Eyes, T [...]st, &c. but with Faith exercised on Christ in the Sacrament with respect to his Institution▪ and he cometh by his Spirit with the Elements, and Word, whereby the Union with Christ is so much the more near and sensible, as it hath upon the one side so many and great External helps in the means appointed by God; and on the other side a proportional Blessing promised to go along with his Ordinance by the Operation of his Spirit. Hence it is that all this Communion is spiritual, conferred by the Spirit, and received by Faith; yet it is most real, and having a real Ground and Cause, and real Effects following, not by vertue of the Sacraments in themselves, more then by the Word or Prayer conside­red in themselves▪ but by the vertue of the promises being laid hold on by Faith. And now Word and Sacraments being joyned together, they concur the more ef­fectually for bringing forth those ends intended in the Covenant.

Fourthly. There is a fourth End which resulteth from these, and that is a Belie­vers Consolation, Hebr. 1. 6, 8. which by the strengthening of Faith, and beholding of Christ in that Ordinance, and being confirmed in the hope of his Coming again, &c. proveth very sweet, and corroborateth the Soul so much the more, [...] that therein he trysteth often with the Believer, and by it Communicateth himself to his Sense and Spiritual feeling.

Fifthly. The Sacraments hold forth a Mutual Engaging betwixt God and his People; God holdeth out the Contract, the Covenant and Offer▪ We by our par­taking do declare our acceptance of that Offer on those Terms, and ingage accor­dingly, that we shall make use of that righteousness therein held forth for our Justi­fication, and of that Wisdome and strength therein offered for our direction and Sanctification: In this respect our taking of the Seal, is called our Covenanting▪ And Genes. 17. he was to be punished that wanted the Seal of Gods Covenant▪ Thus our accepting and receiving, looketh to the Word, holding forth the Terms, and God sealeth and confirmeth on these Terms the particular Promises of righ­teousness and strength to the ends before-mentioned, that our Faith may be strengthened in making use of them.

These are the main and principal ends of the Sacraments, though they [Page 59] serve also for outward distinguishing of Gods People from all other societies and persons.

In sum, the Word offereth Christ and his benefits, the Hearer accepteth him, on the Terms on which he is offered, and consenteth; both these are supposed to precede the Sacraments, though (as we may see in the Jaylor, Acts 16. and others) it may be but for a very short time; yet in the order of Nature at least, they are Prior, and then come the Sacraments, which have in them, 1. a clear view of the bargain, that we may close distinctly, and know what we attain, 2. A solemn Con­firmation on Gods side of the Covenant, and the particular offer he therein maketh. 3. A furthering of us in part, and helping us to believe, and a conferring of some­thing offered. 4. A comforting of those upon whom the Blessings are conferred. 5. The Receivers solemn and publick ingaging to God, that he shall observe and make use of all these; the Fifth may be looked upon, as the Second in Order.

We may come now to consider the Faults we are guilty of in reference to the Sacraments. And first in general, then more particularly in reference to Baptisme and the Lords Supper: We shall not speak to those faults common to Popists and others, which are more Doctrinal, such as Errours about the persons who may Administer them, as that Women may Administer Baptism, &c. But we shall speak to those that are incident to us in our practise.

And first in general we fail, either when too much weight is laid on them, or when too little; First, when too much, as 1. When there is an absolute necessity supposed to be of them, in order to salvation. 2. When they are thought to con­fer Grace of themselves, by the very partaking of the outward Elements, although without Faith. 3. When they are rested on in the outward Receiving; as if that made us some way acceptable to God. 4. When there is a superstitious blind preferring of them to, and with, the prejudice of all other Ordinances, so that one will neglect Preaching and Prayer long, but must have Baptism and the Commu­nion. 5. When there is a preferring of the outward Ordinance to Christ and the thing signifyed; that is, when men seek more to have the Baptism of Water then the Baptism of the Spirit, and the External Communion more, then the inward; in which any Heaven that is to be found in the Ordinances, lyeth; and when men are more commoved for wanting the Sacrament once, then for wanting Christ often and long. 6. Coming unto, and going from, the External Ordinances neglecting him and without dependance upon him who giveth the blessing, and thinking that then all is well enough, seeing they were present at the Ordinance. 7. Going far off for the partaking of a Sacrament to the prejudice of necessary Moral Duties called for at that time. 8. Placeing more in them then in works of Mercy and Charity, or doating on them, to the neglect of those. 9. When they are accoun­ted so holy as if they might not be given, where Christ alloweth them to be given; or as if that wronged them, when they are not Administrated in some consecrate place, as if one place were now under the Gospel more holy then another. 10. Adding to Christs Institution, in the way of Administration, as if what he hath appointed, because it is common and ordinary, were base, and too low for them.

Again, they get too little esteem▪ 1, When people use them as bare and empty [Page 60] signs, without respect to their due ends. 2. When there is not that Reverence given to God in them as ought to be according to his command, when we are about so holy and so solemn pieces of Worship. 3. When men carnally and with­out preparation, and observation, can hazard on them as common things. 4. When Gods Grace and Goodness in condescending in them to us, is not admired and blessed. 5. When they are not pondered and studied, that we may know them. 6▪ Want of delight in them. 7. Carelesness of them whether we have them or want them. 8. Corrupting the Lords Institution in our manner of going about them, either adding to it, or diminishing from it or changing it, as if men might do so. 9. Little zeal to keep them pure. 10. Neglecting the occasions of them when we may have them with some little pains. 11. Accounting them better when Administrated by one Minister, then when by another; or esteeming little of them, because dispensed by some men, (though lawful Ministers) as if men added any worth to the Ordinance of God. 12. Never actually laying weight on any of them, or drawing comfort from them, or less then should have been done. 13. Not wishing and praying that others may have good of them. 14. Not fearing the wronging of them by multitudes who partake of them, and not endeavouring to have abuses of that kind helped, but making them common to all indifferently and promiscuously. 15. When Folk fear not the breaking of their ingagements in them. 16. When men hang the Fruit of them on the Administerers intention, or on the grace of them that are Joynt-partakers with them. 17. When there is little Zeal against the Errours that wrong them, as when they are denyed by Anaba­ptists, and when they are corrupted, as in the Masse.

To come particularly to Baptism; we may consider, 1. The sins of those who seek it for their Children. 2. The sins of these who Administer it. 3. The sins of on-lookers, especially those who are called to be Witnesses. 4. The sins of those who are baptized.

The Parents or Presenters of Children to Baptism fail before, in the time, and after the Administration of this Ordinance; First, before, 1. By not serious min­ding that which is to be done. 2. Not considering the Childs condition as needing Christ in that Ordinance. Nor 3. The end of that Ordinance. 4. Miskenning Christ, and not going first to him, for conferring the things and blessings signified. 5. Not praying for the Child, for the Minister, and for a Blessing on the Ordinance. 6. Not blessing God, that there is a Covenant of Grace that taketh in our Children; not offering them to be ingaged and received in it. 7. Not minding the most sim­ple and edifying way of going about it, but walking by other Rules. 8. Needless delaying of it for carnal ends. 9. Being more desirous of the Sign, then of the Thing signifyed.

Secondly. When we come to it, we sin. First, Not seeking to have our own Covenant with God (by which we have this priviledge of bringing our Children to Baptism.) renewed and made sure. 2. Not considering by what right we claim it to our Children. 3. Not repenting of our own Breaches of Covenant, no [...] wondering that God keepeth with us, who have often broken to him. 4. Not coming with the exercise of fear and reverence. 5. Waiting on it oft-times with­out attention or minding our Duty in what is spoken▪ 6. Promising for the fashion [Page 61] when we ingage for the Childrens Education, and wthout either Judgement or Resolute purpose to perform. 7. Being ignorant of what is said or done. 8. Not concurring in Prayer for the blessing. 9. Not undertaking in Christs strength to perform the Duties called for.

Thirdly. After the Administration of Baptism, we fail. First, In forgetting all our engagements▪ 2. In growing careless to maintain any suitable frame, and falling carnally in our Mirth on such occasions. 3. Not being much in Prayer for the Children, nor insisting or continuing in Prayer for the blessing. 4. Not being Faithful according to our ingagements, in Educating them. 1. In knowledge, that they may be so trained up as to know what God is. 2. In the fear of God, pressing it upon them by frequent Exhortations. 3. In giving them good Exam­ple. 4. In giving them seasonable Correction (but rather sparing them though to their hurt) when there is cause of Correction. 5. Being also unfaithful in not se­riously minding them of their ingagements by Baptism. And 6. Much more by gi­ving them evil Example. 7. Conniving at their faults. 8. Advising them to what is sinful, or sending them where they may meet with snares, or suffering them to go there. 9. Providing for them the things of this Life, without respect to that Life which is to come. 10. Not enabling our selves that we may discharge our Duty to them. 11. Not insisting to press those things upon them, that con­cern their Souls alwayes; thinking it is enough that sometimes they be spoken to. 12. Never purposely stirred up and driven by that Tye to see for their good. Nor 13. Repenting our many short comings. Nor 14. Lamenting for what we see sin­full in them, when they follow not faithful advice. These are things that would carefully be looked unto, both by Fathers and Mothers, and all such as engage for the Christian Education of the Children, whom they present to that Or­dinance.

Next in him that Administreth Baptism, there are oft-times diverse failings. As 1. When it is customarily dispensed without respect to its end. 2. When in Prayer the Childs salvation is not really and seriously aimed at, but for the fashion. 3. When it becometh a burden to dispense it. 4. When it is not thought much of, that Christ admitteth such into his House, or himself to be a partaker of such mercies, but be a Dispenser of them to others. 5. When he followeth it not pri­vately with his Prayers for a Blessing; besides what failings may be in unsuitable words, and humane Ceremonies, &c. And seeking himself in the words that are spoken, rather then the Edification of the Hearers.

When we are Witnesses and On-lookers, we fail. 1. In wearying and fretting, because we are detained a while. 2. Not setting our selves to be edified by that we see done and hear spoken. 3. Not sympathising with the Child or its Parents in Prayer. 4. Not being thankful to God for such a benefit and Ordinance to such a Childs behoove. 5. Lightness of carriage, and in looking, speaking, or thinking in the time, as if we were not present at such an Ordinance of Christs. 6. Not so seriously taken up in sympathising with other Folks Children, because they are not our own. 7. Removing and withdrawing and not staying to countenance it. 8. Not minding the Child when we are gone. 9. Not helping them as we may to be answerable to that tye they come under in Baptisme. 10. Not admonishing them when we see Parents and Children walk unanswerable, nor testifying against [Page 62] them, nor mourning for the dishonour God getteth by baptised Persons unsuitable carriage.

Fourthly. All of us that are baptised, fail wonderfully, less or more, First, That we never (as we ought) reckon our selves obliged by that tye we come under in Baptism. 2. That we neither are, nor seriously study to be, as we ought, answer­able to it. 3. That we are not thankful for it to God, who admitted us to that Ordinance. 4. That we do not esteem it above all bare carnal Birth-Rights how great soever 5. That we do not seek to have it cleared, in the extent of it, as to the Priviledges and Benefits thereby conferred on us and our Children. 6. That we do not pursue after the Blessing therein covenanted to us. 7. That we do not endeavour the performance of the condition of believing and trusting in Christ which is the condition of the Covenant of which Baptism is the Seal. 8. That we do not lay weight on our Baptism for strengthening our Faith both in spiritual and temporal Difficulties, as if it were no Seal of the Covenant. 9. That we are ofte [...] ignorant how to make use of it. 10 That we do not account our selves wholly Gods, as being given away to Him in Baptism, but live to our selves. 11. That we do not fight against our Lusts, Satan, and the World, according to our baptism [...] Vow. 12. That we do not adorne our Christian Profession with an Holy Life, 13. That we walk and war against Christ, instead of fighting under his Banner. 14▪ That we do not aggravate our sins, as being committed against this T [...]. 15 That we are not patient under Sufferings, nor penitent and humble under all sad Dispensations; notwithstanding that we are by our Baptism bound to take up the Cross. 16. That we do not meditate on our ingagements nor repent for our Neglects. 17. That we do not aim and endeavour to come up to the main ends of this Ordinance. Which are, 1. The evidencing out Regeneration and i [...]graft­ing into Christ. 2. The giving up our selves to the Father, Son, and Spirit. 3. S [...]icking by Christ on the most costly and dearest terms. 4. Taking directions from him and walking in him. 5. Seeking the things above, and not the things that are on Earth. 6. Mortification to Creatures, and to be crucified with Christ, 7 The improving of this Tye, not onely for obliging us to these, but for streng­thening us in Him to attain them, and to comfort our selves in all Difficulties from this ground. These things are much a missing: Alace, they are much a-missing: For we lamentably neglect to draw all our Strength and Furniture under all tent [...] ­tions, and for all Duties from Christ by vertue of this baptismal Obligation and Tye: We resort but seldome to this Magazine and Store House; this precious Priviledge is (Alace!) but very little manured and improved by us.

We come next to speak of the sins we are usually guilty of in reference to the Lords Supper, and they be of several sorts. 1. Some are Doctrinal when the In­stitution is corrupted, as in Popery: These we will not now meddle with. 2. O­thers are practical, and they are either in Ministers and Elders, who admit and de­ba [...], or in such as are admitted or debarred.

And First, we are to consider, that men may sin against this Ordinance, by not Communicating. As 1. When they contemn and wilfully neglect it. 2. When they are not frequent in it, but carelesly slight it, when conveniently it may be had, 3. By not fore-seeing and ordering our Affairs, so as we may not be hindred, when an occasion of that Ordinance offereth it self near to us. 4. By incapacitating [Page 63] our selves to be admitted through ignorance or scandal, and by negligence to re­move these. 5. By fretting at our being debarred, or at these who has a hand in it. 6. Not repenting of the causes which procureth our being debarred. 7. Not seeking to be humbled under such a weighty censure, and to get the right use of it for the time to come. 8. Suspecting that it proceedeth from carnal ends. 9. Re­porting amiss of those who do it. 10. Not praying for them that partake in this Ordinance, where-ever we hear of it in any place. 11. Looking rather to the unfitness of some that are admitted, and the neglect of duty in Office-bearers in debarring, then our own. 12. Not sympathizing with them, and yet on that ground absenting our selves, to wit, for the faults of others.

And here, by the way, we beseech you take these few words of Exhortation. 1. Look on debarring of ignorant and scandalous persons from the Lords Table as Christs Ordinance. 2. Consider wherefore your selves are debarred, and as you may be assured it is from no particular prejudice or dis-respect, so ye would repent and be humbled for that which procureth it. 3. Be making up what is wanting for the time to come: your failing in any of these is a fault, and let none think themselves the less bound to the study of holiness, because they are kept from par­taking of it: But the sin of some is; they shift it, because they will not stir them­selves up to a suitable frame for it, and yet they are not suitably affected with the want of it.

Next, there are faults in them that are admitted to Communicate, and these both in Hypocrites and true Believers respectively; and that 1. Before. 2▪ In the time, and 3. After receiving the Lords Supper.

And first: Before receiving there are many failings: As 1. Ignorance of the end and nature of this Ordinance. 2. Not studying to know it: Nor 3▪ To have the heart rightly affected with it. 4. Not endeavouring to keep up a high esteem, and holy reverence of the wonderful Love of God in giving of his Son, and the Sons condescending Love in coming to dye for Sinners. 5. Not seeking to have the Covenant clearly closed with by Faith, before it be sealed by the Sacrament. 6. Not endeavouring to have all by-gone quarrels removed, and our Peace esta­blished. 7. Not searching our way, that we may be well acquainted with our condition, so as we may have the distinct knowledge of it, when we come. 8. Not carefully endeavouring a suitable frame of heart by Prayer, Meditation and Rea­ding. 9. Not praying for a blessing, either for him that administreth, or for those who are to joyn with us, to prevent their sin. 10. Not minding their instruction who are under our charge. 11. Not presently renewing (if before closed with and consented to) our Covenant before our partaking. 12. Not sequestring our hearts from other things for that end. 13. Not fearing to miss the thing offered, and to contract guilt instead of getting any good, 14. Not searching after the sins of former Communions and other sins, and repenting of them. 15▪ What we ayme at in these, not ayming at them in Christs strength. 16. Not ayming and en­deavouring constantly to walk with God, and keep commuuion with him in all duties, that we may have the more access to communion with him in this Ordi­nance. 17. Not laying aside of rooted prejudices and secret malice. Nor 18. Ad­monishing such whom we know to lye under any offence of that kind, that they may repent and reform. 19. Unstayedness in our ayming at commu­nion [Page 64] with God in it, or coming to it more sel [...]ily then out of due regard to the glory of God.

Secondly. In our going about this Ordinance, there are many faults that usually concur: As 1, Our giving too little respect, or too much to it, as is said before of the Sacraments in general. 2. Our not exercising Faith in the present time, ac­cording to the Covenant and Christs Institution. 3. Want of Love to constrain us, and want of that Hunger and Thirst that should be after Christ. 4. Want of that discerning of the Lords Body, which should be, so as, 1. To put a difference be­twixt Bread and Wine in the Sacrament, and common Bread and Wine in respect of the end. 2. To put a difference betwixt this Ordinance, and Christ himsel [...] who is signified and exhibited by it. 3. To lay in some respect a further weight on this then on the Word only, though it be some way of that same nature. 4. To put a difference betwixt this Sacrament and other Sacraments; and so discerning it, it is to conceive of it rightly. 1▪ In respect of its use and end according to its Institutiou. 2. In respect of our manner of use-making of it, not only by our senses or bodly Organs, but by Faith and the faculties of the Soul, looking upon, and receiving Christs Body in that Ordinance, and feeding on it there as in the Word, and more clearly and sensibly: for the Sacraments do not give us any new thing which the Word did not offer and give before, but they give the same thing more clearly and sensibly. 3. In respect of the blessing▪ not only waiting for a common blessing for sustaining the Body by that Bread and Wine, but for a spiri­tual blessing to be conferred by the spirit to the behoof of the soul. 4. Its so to dis­cern it as to improve it for obtaining real communion betwixt Christ and us, by a spiritual feeding, as it were upon his own Body; so that when there is any short­coming in these, in so far the Lords Body is not discerned. 5. We sin in going about this Ordinance, by want of Reverence, when we come without Holy thoughts, and a Divine frame, and without Love ravishing the heart, which [...] most suitable at such a time▪ much more do we sin when we come with carnal, loose, or idle thoughts, or any unreverent gesture, or with light-like apparel, or carriage in coming or sitting. 6. By want of Love to others, and sympathy with such as are Strangers to Communion with Christ. 7. By not distinct closing with Christ, or renewing our Covenant with him, or ingaging of our selves to him. 8. By stupidly, or senselesly taking the Elements without any affection, and by be­ing heartless in the work, and comfortless because we want sense. 9. By not che [...] ­ring our selves by Faith, that we may obtain and win to sense, and by pressing too little at sense or comfort. 10. By not improving this Ordinance in reference to the general ends of a Sacrament, or the particular ends we should ayme at in this Sacrament: As 1. Fellowship with Christ himself. 2. Communion in his Death and Sufferings. 3. The sense of these, and the comfort of them. 4. The lively commemoration of Christs Death and Sufferings, and of the Love he had to us i [...] all these; for the stirring up of our Love again to him. 5. The strengthening of our selves in the way of Holiness, by strength drawn from him by Faith. 6. Min­ding his glory, and the setting forth thereof, with respect unto, and hope of his coming again. 7. Particular ingaging of our affections one to another. 8. In­gaging our hearts by serious resolutions to make for Suffering: Lastly, We [...]i [...] here, by not reflecting on our hearts in the mean time, that we may know wh [...] [Page 65] they are doing▪ no [...] putting▪up Ejaculatory Prayers to God in the time; receiving the S [...]cr [...]ent with our hand, and yet not receiving him in that mean by Faith [...] the heart, nor feeding on him, and satisfying our selves with him really present in that mean: for he is to our Faith really present there as well as in his Word.

3. After Communicating, there is a readiness to slip and fall into these faults: 1. Irreverent and Carnal removing from the Table. 2. Forgetting what we were doing, and falling immediatly to loose words or thoughts. 3. Not reflecting on our by past carriage, to see what we were doing, and what frame we were in, and what we obtained. 4. Not repenting for what was wrong in every piece of our way and carriage. 5. Not following on to obtain what we yet miss, and not still waiting for the blessing, even after we are come away. 6. Not being thankful if we have ob­tained any thing. 7. Fretting and fainting if we have not gotten what we would have. 8. Or being indifferent and careless whether we get or want. 9. Carnally­loose after Communions, [...]s if we had no more to do, 10. Vain, or puffed up, if we think we have attained any thing. 11. Little or no keeping of Promise made to God, but continuing as before. 12. Digressing on the commendation or censure of what was heard, or seen, rather then making use of it for our profit. 13. Making that Ordinance an occasion of contention, for some faults we conceive to have been about it, whereas it should be ground of Union and Love. 14. Not entertaining tenderness, and a frame that may keep us ready to communicate again. 15. Not meditating on what we have been doing. 16. Nor longing again for the like occa­sion. 17. Not helping others that did not come, or had not the occasion of coming to it. 18. Conceitedness because we were admitted. 19. Despising others who might not be admitted. 20. Mocking, or secretly snuffing at any who goeth, or has gone about it with more tenderness then we, or who endeavoureth to keep their Promises better then we: This sin of Emulation and spiritual envy, at any who out­runs us in tenderness and proficiency (touched in these two last) is, as very natural to us, so, most dangerous; it participates of cursed Cain; this sin is the worst of all Malignity, and is alwayes accompanyed with a woefull and devillish satisfaction with, and complacency in, the short-comings of others, that so we may be the more noticed. 21. Secret disdain at tender Christians beside us, as Hy­pocritical. 22. Turning aside to live like others who have been debarred, as if there ought to be no difference put betwixt those who have this Badge, and those who want it, or setting up as if all were done, when we have Communicated. 23. Want of Watchfulness against recur [...]ing▪ Tentations and Snares: Vanity and conceit if we a [...]ainany thing, and want of pity to those who did not come with so good speed. 24. Indiscreet speaking either to the commending or censuring of Speakers and Formes, but little or nothing to Edification.

In the last place we shall speak a little to this Question; If and How, the ad­mission of scandalous persons doth pollute the Communion? And if it be sinful to re­ceive it with such Persons? Or, if [...]oynt-Communicants be thereby defiled? Let us for answer, consider Pollution distinctly, with reference to these Four things. 1. In reference to the Sacraments themselves. 2. In reference to the admitted that are scandalous. 3. In reference to the admitters. 4. In reference to the Joynt-Communicants.

First. As to the Sacraments, there is a twofold pollution: The first is, Intrin­ [...] and Essential, which by corruption of the Institution of Christ, turneth it [Page 66] then to be no Sacrament, as it is in th [...] Masse▪ or to be hurtful; as when Signi [...] ­cant Ceremonies, sinfully devised by men, are mixed and added besides▪ and con­trary to Christs Institution. The first everteth the Nature of the Sacrament▪ and its hence-forth no more a Sacrament. The second poysoneth it, so that it may not be received without partaking of that sin actively.

There is another way of polluting the Sacrament, that is Extrinsick and Circum­stantial, not in Essentials, but in ou [...] use making of it; and the Application thereof beyond Christs Warrant, as when it is Administred to one upon whom Christ al­loweth it not. In that case it is not a Sacrament to that person; yet it is so in it [...]ell. This Pollution is a prophaning of it to us, or a making it common. Thus the Word of Promise generally applyed in a Congregation without separation, in Applica­tion, betwixt the Precious and the Vile, is a prophaning of the Word, (for the word of Promise should not be made common more then the Sacrament,) as it is marked, Ezek. 22. verse 26. The Priests have prophaned my Holy Name, they have put no Difference between the Holy and the Prophane, between the Clean and the Unclean. Yet in that case, the Word ceaseth not to be Gods Word, though it be so abused: Or, As an Admonition cast before a Prophane Mocker, is but the abusing of an Holy thing, yet it altereth not the Nature of it; as a Pearl cast before a Sow, is pudled and abused, yet it doth not alter its inward Nature, but it still remaineth a Pearl: So it is here in the Word and Sacraments; they are abused in their use when mis-applyed, yet still (the Institution being kept) they are the Ordinances of God: Thus was the Temple said to be prophaned, when it was made more common in its use then was allowed; yet was it still the Temple of the Lord: And so admissi­on of scandalous persons may thus be called, a polluting of the Sacraments, but not essentially in themselves.

Secondly, Consider Pollution with reference to persons who are admitted; and so the Sacraments may be polluted. 1. By gros [...]y scandalous persons▪ 2. By Hypocrites. 3. By Believers not exercising their Graces; the Sacrament is pol­luted by, and to all these, because as to the Pure all things (Lawful) are pure, so to the Unclean and Unbelieving nothing is Pure, their Mind and Conscience being defiled. Thus their Praying, Sacrificing, Hearing, Plowing, &c: all is unclean; and by propor­tion, to Believers, though in a good and clean state, yet in an evil and unholy frame▪ The Sacrament may be said in some sense to be unclean, and polluted by them, to themselves.

Thirdly. As to the Office-Bearers, who are the admitters, the Sacrament can­not be prophaned Essentially▪ the Institution being kept pure; yet may they sin, and be guilty of prophaning it, by opening the Door wider then Christ has allowed, and not keeping the right bounds: And Ministers may so sin, in promiscuous applying of the Promises and Consolations of the Covenant, as well as in applying its Seals, and both these are sins to them▪ yet these cases would be excepted.

1. When such a scandal is not made known to them: Scandalous persons may be admitted, because they are not bound to look on them as such till dis­covered.

2. When such scandals cannot be made out judicially, though possibly they be true in themselves, they may, though against the inclination and affection of the admitters, be admitted yet not against their Conscience, because, that being a hig [...] [Page 67] censure in Christs House, his Servants are not to walk arbitrarily (for that would bring confusion with it) but by Rules given them, whereof this is one, not to re­ceive an accusation, but under two or three witnesses.

3. When by some circumstances it proveth not edifying, but rather hurtful to the Church, or the Persons concerned; As 1. when the scandal is in such a matter as is not expresly determined in the Word, but is by consequence to be deduced from it; as suppose it be meant such a point of truth as has Divines, that are godly, dissentient in it, or in such a practise (suppose perjury) as is evil indeed in it self; but, by deduction and consequence (which is not so clear) to be applyed; or it is in such things as affect not a natural Conscience, as Fornication, Drunkenness, and Adultery, &c. do; or in such things as contradict not expressy any Truth: And 2▪ When the scandal of these sins is by universality become little among men, or there is not easie access, in an edifying way, to decide in them, or censure them; there is still a right and a wrong in these which a Minister in Doctrine may reprove, yet he may forbear a judicial sentence in such cases, as it seemeth Paul did with the Corinthians, amongst whom there were several sorts of Offenders. 1. Incestuous Fornicators, or such as sinned against Nature's light; these 1 Cor. 5. 3, 4, 5, &c. he commandeth to be excluded or excommunicated. 2. Such as by corrupt Do­ctrine made Schisms, and mis-led the People in factions, to the prejudice of the Apostles Authority and Doctrine, chap. 3. v. 3. &c. Deceitful Workers, 2 Cor. 11. 13. these for a time, 2 Cor. 10▪ 6. he spareth for the Peoples sake. 2 Cor. 12. 19. 3. Some weakly and carnally mis-led into factions, 1 Cor. 13. 1, 2, 3, 4. these he endeavoureth to recover. 4. Some guilty of faults about the Sacrament, in their wrong manner of going about it, 1 Cor. 11. These he reproveth and laboureth to amend, yet al­loweth them to go on and celebrate the Sacrament, but doth not debar for the time either factious Ministers, or people from it, as he had done the other; neither i [...] it likely, that the Communion was omitted, or they debarred, for he doth not reprove for not debarring them, as he doth. For wronging the Institution; the reason is, because that which warranteth debarring and censures of all sorts, is edi­fication: and when that end cannot be gained to a people or person, such censures may be omitted; and except some bounds were to be fixed, here, the difficulty in abounding differences would prove inextricable: And therefore, when a sin is become Epidemical, and very Universal; On the one hand the more tender and conscienciously▪scrupulous would be instructed to much sobriety, and earnestly dealt with▪ not to indulge themselves a liberty to rent the Church, or to divide from it when such persons are admitted, being otherwise capable of the priviledge; be­cause exclusion in this case by a sentence from the Sacrament, would probably miss its end▪ which is, Edification, and would weaken the Authority of the Ordinance of Discipline, if not hazard the liberty of the Gospel▪ On the other hand, Ministers would by all means take head, and [...]e obtested in the name of the Lord, that they (which is readily incident in an hour of tentation) run not on the Extream of shift­ing their duty insulting as it were over tender Consciences, and strengthening the hands of the wicked by compliance with, or accession to these sins; but would un­der the pain of making themselves horridly guilty, manage obvious wayes, deal freely and faithfully in making use of the Key of Doctrine, when the use of the other will not in all appearance be so much for edification; that by publick doctrinal [Page 68] separating the Precious from the Vile, and by straight down-right private▪ dealing, they may in the [...]ight of God commend themselves to every mans Conscience.

4. Let us consider if this Ordinance be polluted to the [...]oynt-Receivers▪ suppose that some are sinfully admitted by the Office-bearers of the Church? And we say that it is not a pollution or sin to them to partake with such, for the Sacrament may be blessed to them notwithstanding, as Christs Ordinance, even as when the Word i [...] unwarrantably applyed in [...] and ad [...]o [...]itions; so that Pearls are [...]ast before Swine: yet supposing some tend [...] souls to be present, they may meddle warrantably with that abused Wo [...]d as Gods Word, and it may prove useful to them; For confirm­ing this Truth, we offer these Reasons.

The first is, The Word and Sacraments are of o [...] Nature, and are pollu [...]d or made use of, one and the same way; onely the difference is in this, That the one usually is doctrinally wronged, the other disciplina [...]ily. 2▪ Because that, unwarrantable ad­mission of others is not the Communicators▪ but the Ministers sin, therefore it cannot wrong them more then want of preparation in others who come. 3▪ Any others sin cannot loosen me from my Obligation in a duty: now it is the duty of every one, a [...] to examine themselves, so being prepared by suitable self-examination, to eat, 1 Corinth. 11. verse 28. and yet in that Church of Corinth, many did sin­fully approach to the Lords Table: Now though the Command requiring self-examination, will not warrant Rulers not to examine, yet it will warrant private Communicants to endeavour rightly to go about that duty themselves, and not to be much anxious what others do, as if other mens carriage were the ground of our approaching to the Lords Table. 4. It is notwithstanding a Sacrament without any mixture of mens corrupt additions, and so the neglecting of it, is the neglecting of a Sacrament. 5. If scandalous Receivers did corrupt it to others, then a corrupt Mi­nister could never celebrate a Sacrament; which would contradict the Lords way i [...] appointing such sometimes to dispense his Mysteries both i [...] the Old and New Testa­ment; and if the Ministers corruption pollute not the Ordinance, much less will the scandal of any others. 6. The practise of the Lords People in receiving Sacrament [...] this way, both before Christs Incarnation, and since, proveth it. 7. It would be a great and inextricable snare to Consciences, if the fruit of their communicating de­pended not only on their own preparing themselves, but also on the Ministers and joynt-Receivers; if their not preparation or failing in it, brought guilt on us, it were impossible that ever we could with clearness receive the Sacrament.

For 1. It is hard to think, a Communion is celebrated, but there is one or more who should not be admitted, and the admission of one or two, as well as of many is a prophaning of the Ordinance: yea, if we thought them to be scandalous; yea, if we knew them not to be holy, we could not in Faith communicate with them, left the Ordinance be defiled by us, if their defiling were ours.

2. The presen [...]e of a Hypocri [...] would defile it to us, for his Hypocrisie defileth i [...] to him, and he has not right before God▪ to come, neither would it warrant us that we knew not: For 1. Many do sin▪ when they kn [...]w not. 2▪ It is not our knowing his sin that defileth the Sacrament, but it is his Hypocrisie and [...] 3. [...] the same Sacrament might be as Gods Ordinance participated warrantably by one who knew not, and not by another who knew this; which were hard to make out.

3. Believers their being out of a frame, would pollute this Ordinance to us, and in­capacitate us to receive it, for it is in that case sin to them, and we should keep as gr [...] a distance from their sins, as from the sins of others.

[Page 69] Ye [...]. 4. One could not communicate with himself (to speak so) if that ground were true: For 1, We have Corruption. 2. We know we have it, as well as we can know any other mans. 3. It doth pollute the Ordinance in part to our selves, and bringeth guilt with it; therefore, if sin known in another, would do it, much more that which is in our selves; for if it be Corruption as known to be in others, that pol­luteth it; then that same known in our selves must have that same effect: for, a quate­ [...] [...]d [...] valet consequentia.

If it [...]e said 1. This Corruption is but half (to say so) in our selves, being weake­ned by grace, and not allowed. Answ. Yet it is Corruption, and certainly half­corruption in our selves will weigh more then whole corruption in another; especially considering that necessarily this polluteth in part all our holy things.

2. If it be said, We cannot be freed from Corruption, while here. and so we could not go about any duty, if that reasoning were good. Answ. 1. A mixture of good and bad in the visible Church, is as certain as a mixture of Grace and Corruption in a Believer. 2. If our own corruption which involveth us in sin in the manner of our doing duties, will not loosen us from a commanded duty, much less sin in others; yea, we are no less prohibited to communicate with sin and corruption in our selves, then in others; and also we are commanded as effectually to purge our own heart as the Church.

This truth in Doctrine the sober of the Independents approve as to themselves (whatever be their practise as to others) as the onely way to eschew confusion, and keep unity and order: So Ho [...]kers Survey, part 2. Amesius de consc. c [...]p. 4. lib. 1. [...]orton adver. Appol. Resp. ad ultimam qu [...]stionem.

As for other Questions, as, How the Sacraments Seal? or what they Seal? the m [...]jor or the minor proposition? the Promise as a Covenant, or as a Testament leg [...]ing Christ and his benefits to us? These would require a larger dispute then our intended work will admit, and therefore we shall not meddle with them.

The last thing in which we shall instance the breath of this Command, is in refe­rence to the duty of Fasting; concerning which we would take notice of two things: 1. That Fasting is a solemn piece of external religious worship, when rightly and re­ligiously discharged. 2. That men may be guilty of many sins as to their practise in reference thereto.

First: That it is a piece of external worship, is clear. 1. From Precepts com­manding it. 2. From the practises and examples of the Saints in Scripture. 3. From Scripture-directions given to regulate us in it; yet it differeth from Prayer and Sacra­ments. 1. That those are ordinary pieces of Worship, but this is extraordinary, proceeding from special occasions, either of a Cross lying on, or 2. Feared and immi­nent; 3. or some great thing which we are to Suit for, or such like. Although it be an extraordinary piece of Worship; yet the more holy we read any to have been, we find they have been the more in this duty of Fasting.

2. We are to consider that Fasting is not of it self a piece of immediate Worship, as Prayer, &c. but medi [...]e only as it is made use of to be helpful to some other duty, such as Praying humbling of our selves, Mortification, &c.

Again, 3. Fasting may be considered in four respects: 1. As it is gone about i [...] secret, by one single person setting himself a part for Prayer, and for Fasting to that end; many instances whereof are in Scripture. 2. As its private, or a little more pu­blick, being gone about by a Family, or some few persons joyning together, as Esther and her Maids. 3. As it is publick, being performed by a Congregation, as Acts [Page 70] 13. 2, 3. 4. As gone about by a whole national Church: These four are all mentioned, Zach. 12. 11. 12. where we find, 1. the whole Land. 2. Families together. 3. Families a-part. 4. Particular Persons or Wives a-part, setting about this duty.

4. Consider Fasting in respect of the causes that call for it, and there are 1. Publick causes, Dan. 9. 2. 2. Particular and personal, as of David for h [...] Child▪ 2. Sam. 12. 16. 3. For others, Psal. 35. 13. And 4▪ i [...] is to be minded in a special way for helping us against spiritual evils, casting out of Devils, mortify­ing of Lusts, as also under sad temporal Crosses and Losses Math. 17. 21. and 1. Cor. 9 ult.

Next, as there are some times and cases in all these which call for Fasting with Prayer to be seriously gone about; so we may sin in reference to this duty many ways: As 1. When it is slighted, and not gone about at all; and thus men are guilty either 1. By contemning it, or 2 Counting it not necessary; or 3. By negligence, so that we will not be at pains to stir up our selves to a frame for it: Or 4. Will not leave our pleasures or work for it. 5. In not esteeming highly of it. 6. In not labouring to have fit opportunities to go about it. 7. In scarring at it as a burden. 8. In casting it up as Hypocrisie to others, and mocking at it in them. 9 In not joyning in our affection with others we know are Fasting▪ 10. In our unfrequent use of it. 11. In neglecting causes that relate to the pu­blick, or to others; contenting our selves with what relateth to our own necessity▪ 12. In not being affected with our neglect of that duty, nor mourning for it, and repenting of it, nor being humbled under the many evils which the neglecting of it carryeth along with it. 13. At least neglecting on part or other of this duty of Fasting. 14. Not setting our selves seriously to be at the end designed in Fast­ing, which maketh us either neglect it, or go formally about it

In going about this duty of Fasting, there are two Evils to be avoyded▪ The 1. is, giving too much to it, as if it did merit, Isa. 58. 1. or as if it self did mortifie sin, or make holy, or were Religious worship in it self: The 2. is one the other hand, when it getteth too little, being looked on as not necessary or profitable for the framing of ones spirit, and fitting them for Prayer, self-examination or wrest­ling with God, and not accounted a fit mean for that end, more than when it is neglected▪

In speaking of the sins we are guilty of, as to this duty, we are to consider more particularly how we sin before it in our preparation to it. 2. In our going about it. 3. When it is ended

And first, before our going about it, we sin 1. When the right end of a Fast is mistaken▪ and it is not considered as a mean to help us to a more spiri­tual frame. 2. When we do not study to be clear in, and to consider the special grounds that call us to it, not ayming to have our heart from conviction affected sutably with them. 3. When we are not put to it from the right motive, but go about it selfily, to be seen of men; as Matth. 6. 16. or for the fashion. 4. When its not gone about in obedience to a command of God, and so we Fast to our selves. Zach. 7. 5. 5 When there is no secret examination of our own hearts, to try what frame we are in, what [...]usts reign in us, or prevail over us▪ Nor 6▪ any particular dealing with God before▪hand to be enabled for this duty▪ [Page 71] and helped in it, and that both for our selves and others. 7. When we are not endeavouring to be in good terms with God, and studying to be clear as to that, before we come to put up suits to him. 8. When we ne­glect Christ, and turn legal in it. 9. When we do not separate our selves from all other affairs [...]mously the night before. 10. When we are lazie in ri­sing so timely that day, as should be. 11. When we do not (if it be secret) labour to be unseen in it to any. 12. Not setting our selves seriously to it. Dan. 9. 3. abstracting our selves from diversions, and rousing up our selves for it.

Secondly. In the time of Fasting, we sin. First, By Eating unnecessarily, though it be little: as we may sin by not eating, when not eating disableth us in Duties; yet the Body ought to be in such a measure affected, as may uot hinder us in Prayer; but many scarce suffer it to be touched, or in the least measure affected, or afflicted with Abstinence. 2. In Lightness of Apparel, or such fineness in it, as they make use of on other dayes. 3. In Gestures, looking light, like Laughing, and in such a carriage, as is very unsuitable for that day. 4. In Hy­pocrisie, there being a more seeming weightedness and heaviness, then really there is. 5. In having wrong ends before us. As first, To seem holy. 2. To carry on some Temporal or Politick Design, as Jezabel did against Naboth to get his Vineyard. 3. To get advantage of some other, and to make some finister Designs, digest, and go down the better, as Isaiah 58. verse 4. To smite with the Fist of wickedness, as under pretence of Long Prayers, to take the more Liberty to injure others. 4. For Strife and Debate, and strengthening of Factions and Parties. 6. We sin here by neglecting Works of Mercy. 7. By taking pains in Works Lawful on others dayes, Exacting all our Labour, or a part of it, which is unbecoming on that day. 8. By taking delight in Temporal things, finding our own pleasures. 9. By words or thoughts of Lawful things, diverting us from the Work of the day. 10. By wearying of it as a burden; Not calling it a Delight. 11. By wishing it were over, that we might be at our work or pastime again, Amos 8. 5. 12. By negligence in Prayer, or not being frequent and fervent in it, nor pertinent to that day, and the end of it; for there should be in all these something on a Fast-day suitable to it; and which is called for on that day, more then on other dayes. 13. By not joyning se­riously with others, when they pray, especially in particulars which concern others. 14. By little Mourning or Heart-melting, especially in secret Du­ties, which on that day would be more frequent, more serious, and affecting, then on other dayes, that day being set apart for it: And if private, we should be more abstracted, even from ordinary Refreshments and Mirth, then upon a Sabbath: and the frame of the Heart, would be then more humble, mournful, and denyed to otherwise-Lawful Comforts. 15. By little of the Exercise of Re­pentance or sense of Sin, that day for humbling the Heart in the sense of our own Vileness, and loathing of our selves. 16. By little suitable uptaking of God in his Holyness, Displeasure against Sin, &c, Which on that day, is in an especial way called for. 17. By not distinct Covenant with him, and ingaging to him against our seen Evils and Defects; a Fast-day, would be a Covenanting­day, as we see in Ezra and Nehemiah. 18. By being defective in Reading [Page 72] and Meditating on what may humble us▪ but much more when by Looks, Words, or Thoughts, we marr the right frame, and set of our Hearts. 19. By Resting on Fa­sting, or being Legal in it. 20. By not minding the pro [...]ting of others, no [...] Sympa­thizing with their wants and case, nor being careful to see those of our Family or Charge observant of it. 21. By nor abstaining from the Marriage Bed. 1 Cor. 7. [...]erse 5.

Thirdly. We sin after fasting. 1. Soon returning to other thoughts. 2. Letting any frame we had attained, slack and wear out. 3. Forgetting our Confessions and Engagements, and falling to former Sins, and neglecting these Duties to which we have engaged, 4. Being rigid with others, we have to do with. 5. Not insisting in Prayer, for those things we aimed at in fasting. 6. Not trying and observing if any thing we prayed for hath been obtained. 7. Not Reflecting upon our carriage in it, that we may know how it was discharged. 8. Not humbled under our many short-comings, and failings in it. 9. Glad when it was done, because that Restraint is taken off our carnal Humours. 10. Sitting down and resting on that we have done, as if all were done. 11. Thinking our selves something better, by our out­ward performance. 12. Being vain of it, if it be well to our Sense. 13. Being un­watchful after it, and not studying suitableness in our following carriage, so that it i [...] but the hanging down of the Head [...]or a day.

These Particulars applyed to our own Hearts, may be useful for our Conviction, and Humiliation. Ah! Who can say, I am clean? All of us are guilty, either by neglecting such Duties, or by thus and thus going about them unsuitably: from these Sins, we may read also the contrary Duties, or Qualifications, that are required for the right discharge of these Duties. The preventing of these Sins, will bring in the Duties called for, and the right manner of going about them. Otherwise, the going about these Duties, without the manner requisite, is but as it were the making of some Image, for our selves in the Lords worship, which he has not commanded, and so he may say▪ Is it such a Fast that I have chosen? Isai. 58. 5. or, Is it such a Prayer I called for; and, Who hath required these things at your hands? Isai. 1. 12. These Questions, which the Lord putteth to our Conscience, will make many Prayers, and Praises, and much worship, that now seemeth to be in great Bings or Heaps, come down to a small bulk, when they are thus fanned, [...]ifted, and searched by this Seive; and all those things casten, which are found to be Breaches of this Command.

We come now to the manner how this Command is pressed, which is. First, By a Reason. Secondly, By a Commination. Thirdly, By a Promise. All which speak a readiness in men to fail in this Command, and a special notice that God taketh of the Duties required in it, and of the Sins forbidden in it. Men might readily say; What needeth so much Rigidity in the manner of worship? and, If it be to the true God, though it have in it some mixture of those things, which have been formerly abused, it is no [...] much to be stood upon: The Lord therefore in pressing it, addeth this Reason, I am a jealous God, (saith he) that will not only have my Church and Spouse, Honest and Chast indeed, but Chast-like: As Casar said, His Wife behoved, no [...] onely to abstain from all Dishonesty, but from all suspicious carriage: Even so will the Lord have his People carry it so to him, as a Wife should carry to a jealous Hus­band, with such circumspection, as he may not have any occasion of suspition. Jea­lousie here implyeth two things. 1. A Facility or Aptness, as it were to suspect any thing which may look like a giving that to any other, which is due to God: So a Hus­band is said to be jealous, when he is apt to suspect want of Love in his Wife, and is [Page 73] ready to gather from every Circumstance, her inclination to another; even though there be no palpably Demonstrative ground of it. Thus jealousie is taken amongst Men.

2. It importeth a severe Indignation, against every thing which giveth ground of suspition; it cannot abide that: Hence jealousie is called, The Rage of a Man, Prov. 6. 38. This Wrong will not be endured, when many others will be dispensed with. Any thing that seemingly slighteth him, or inclineth the Heart to another, is to jealousie insufferable. These two, after the manner of men (as many other things) are applyed to God, to shew that he will not admit, that which is suspicious-like in his service; but if his People depart from him in deviating in the least from the Rule given, He will be provoked to be avenged on them for it. This is the force of the Reason: The Commination or Threatning added, confirmeth this; it is in these Words, Visiting the Iniquities of the Fathers on the Children. To Visit here, is, To pu­nish the Children, for the Fathers faults; though God should seem for the time to forget the Breaches of this Command, and not to take notice of Corruptions intro­duced by men in his worship; yet, saith he, I will Visit, or revenge that Iniquity, not only upon the present Race, but upon the following, even upon the third and fourth Gen [...]ration.

For clearing this, let us see. First, What is the Punishment here threatned? 2. On whom it is? Upon the Children of them that transgress this Command. 3. How it is executed? 4. Why the Lord doth so? That we may vindicate this place, and clear it from appearance of Contradiction, with that in Ezekiel 18. Where it is said, The Son shall not lear the Iniquity of his Father.

The First Question then; is, What it is that is here Threatned? Answ. We do not think that this place speaketh only of Temporal Punishments, and that of Ezekiel of Eternal: For the scope of both, will contradict this; for that passage Ezek. 18. is occasioned from the People present straits, and speaketh directly of Temporal Judgements; so, that Distinction will not clear this seeming Contradiction. There­fore we conceive here to be understood mainly Spiritual and Eternal Evils, which God threatneth to the Children of Wicked Parents. (For, that Temporal Judgements follow them, and are included in the Threatning there is no question.)

This will be clear. First, By considering that the thing threatned here, is, that punishment which the Breach of, or Iniquity committed against this Command, or other Commands, deserveth: yea, it is the punishment, that sinful Parents deserve, he Visiteth the Iniquities of the Fath [...]rs, on the Children, &c. But that which the Breach of this Law, or which the Parents guilt deserveth, is eternal Judgement, and not tem­poral only. Ergo.

2 The th [...]ng threatned here is proportionally of the same Nature, with the thing promised afterward; the one being opposite to the other: But it were a wronging of Gods Mercy, to his People, to say, that his Mercy onely looketh to Temporal Benefits. Ergo, this Threatning must also look unto, and comprehend Eternal Plagues.

3. The scope may clear it, which is, To restrain Parents, from the sins here for­bidden; because by such sins they bring Wrath, not only on themselves, but on their Posterity after them, even when they are gone, as ye have it Jerem. 32. 18. Now this reason would not have such weight, if the Plagues threatned to Parents were Eternal, and to th [...]ir Children, but Temporal.

4. This Threatning must put some Difference betwixt the Children of the [Page 74] Wicked, and the Children of the Godly: But Temporal Difficulties, and Strok [...] will not clear up this difference: for often the Children of the Godly, share most in these. It must therefore be in spiritual Things, they differ mainly.

5. What is threatned here, must especially in the Event▪ Light upon the third and fourth generation, And not ordinarily go beyond that. Now ordinarily the Chil­dren of wicked men in outward things, thrive best unto the third and fourth gene­ration; and after that come their temporal Judgement; therefore it cannot be that, which is here only, or Principally, meaned.

6. Consider Cain, Ham, &c. upon whose Posterity, this Curse was peculiarly derived, and there you will find somewhat more then what is Temporal.

The Second thing to be cleared here, is, the Party threatned to be thus punish­ed: It is not the Fathers that are expressed, but the Children after them, as it is Jer. 32. 18. All is fore-faulted▪ the whole Stock, and Family. Concerning which, let us take these three Considerations along with us.

1. That these Children punished, are not innocent in themselves, but being guilty before the Lord by Original Corruption; or by both it and Actual Sin, ma­king themselves lyable to such Plagues; they have no reason to say, The Fathers have eaten sour Grapes; and the Childrens Teeth are set on edge: For whether the Judgements be Temporal or Spiritual, the Children have deserved them, and can­not say they are wronged. And this Consideration reconcileth this place, with that of Ezekiel, where God putteth them to it, thus: None Innocent are plagued; but ye are plagued: therefore saith he, Read your own sin out of your Plagues.

2. Consider, that the Threatning against Children of such Parents, is here limited to the third or fourth generation; all their Posterity is not cursed thereby. 1▪ Be­cause Gods kindness is such, as to leave a Door open for Penitents. All fell in Adam, yet Mercy opened a Door of Hope to sinful Man: And surely the Threatnings of this new Covenant, are not so peremptory, as to shut the Door of Mercy upon Sinners. 2. The third and fourth generation are especially threat­ned, because these are nearest the Parent, and have most of his Nature in them; he knoweth them best; and often he may live to see these: Therefore the Lord threatneth these, that it may most affect Parents▪ it being for the second, third, and fourth generation, that they most ordinarily travel.

3. Consider, that in this Threatning, (as also in the Promise following) God doth not give or lay down a constant Rule, to which he will be tyed, as if he could not do otherwise at any time; For to say that, were Derogatory to his Election, and the Soveraignty of his Grace▪ and therefore that is not the Scope: But here he giveth a Declaration of what usually, and ordinarily he doth, and what men, if he deal with them in Justice, may expect from Him: Yet it is still so to be under­stood, as the Son of a wicked Person, may be found to be an Elect, and the Son of a Godly Person rejected: that he may continue his Plagues longer then the third or fourth Generation, or break them off sooner when he thinketh good: For though by this, He would restrain Parents from sin▪ yet hath he a Door open to many such Children for mercy; even as the contrary promise hath many exceptions as to the Children of Godly Parents, that walk not in the paths of their Parents going before them, as many known instances of both, in Scripture, do make out▪

[Page 75] The third Question is, How God doth execute this threatning? or, How he doth reach Children with eternal plagues for their Parants sins?

Answ. 1. He doth it certainly, and he doth it Justly: therefore the Children must not only be considered as guilty, but as guilty of the sins of their Parents, which we may thus co [...]ceive; 1. As to the Child of a wicked Parent, lying in natural Corruption, God denyeth and with holdeth his renewing and restrain­ing Grace which he is not obliged to confer▪ and the Lord in this may respect the Parents guilt▪ Justly. 2. When grace is denyed, then followeth the temptation of the Parents practise, the Devil stirring up, to the like sin, and they furthering their Children to wickedness by their example, advice authority, &c. So that it cometh to pass in Gods justice, that they are given up to vent their natural corruption in these ways, and so come as it is, Psal. 49. 13. to approve their Parents sayings. 3. Upon this followeth God's casting the Child, now guilty of his Parents faults, into eternal Perdition with him▪ and that this is the meaning of the threatning, will appear by the examples of Gods justice in this matter, when wicked Parents have Children that are not so much miserable in regard of temporal things, as they are wicked, cursed, and plagued with Ungodliness; so was Cains Children, so were the Children of Cham, and so were Esa [...]' [...], who were all for a long time prosperous in the world, but following their Fathers sins (a main part of their Curse) God afterward visited them, on them, with sad temporal judgments also▪

4. If it be asked, Why God thus plagueth and threatneth the Children of wicked Parents? Answ. 1. God doth it to make sin hateful, seeing it brin­geth often a forfeiture of spiritual blessings, yea, of blessings of all sorts, upon whole Generations and Families▪ 2. To strike the more terrour into others, who by this may be scared from sin, and made to stand in awe of God, who is so dread­ful as to put a mark of Infamy on the race and posterity of his Enemies. 3. The more to effect and weight the Sinner; it is a part of his punishmen to know that by his sin he has not only made himself miserable, but all his Posterity: And these may be the Reasons, why, as it were by the light of nature, all Nations in some cases are led not only to punish the persons of some Malefactors, but to fore fault, and put a note of Infamy on their Posterity, for some kind of faults▪ 4▪ This be­cometh Gods greatness, that men may know how soveraign he is; and how, Treason against the most high is to be accounted of. 5. It is to commend holi­ness, and the necessity of it, to God's people, and to put them to enrich them­selves and their Children, in God, and a good Conscience, rather then in all tempo­ral riches.

These same Questions and Answers may serve to clear what concerneth the Promise also, they being suitably applyed to it.

It is further to be observed that the Lord expresseth wicked men under that notion, Th [...] that [...]a [...]e me, to shew what indeed, and on the matter, Sin, even the least sin, amounteth unto its hatred of God, as being done (as it were) in de­spight of him, and preferring some lust to him▪ for there is no question but were God loved, Holiness, (which is his Image) would be loved also; and where it i [...] universally hated▪ so must He be; for a man cannot serve two Masters, wher their commands and actings are contrary, but he must hate the one, and love the other; And seeing it is certain that Sinners make sin their Master, and do not hate [Page 76] it; therefore, they must hate God, who giveth contrary Commands: and so some­times Sinners wi [...]h that there were not such Commands. Again, he expresseth the Godly in the Promise, under these two designations. 1. Those that love me, that is the inward Fountain and comprehensive sum of all duties. 2. Those that keep my Comm ndments, that looketh to the outward effects of Love, and is the proofo▪ it, so that there is no mid's betwixt these two, to love God, and keep his Commandments, and to hate him, and slight, or break his Commandments, and so no mid's be­twixt Gods gracious promise to Parents and Children, and his Curse on both.

Lastly: It would be in a particular way observed, that though every sin hath ha­tred to God in it, yet he putteth this name of hating him, in a special way upon the sin of corrupting his Worship and Service, to shew that there is a special enmity against God in that sin, and that it is in a special way hateful to him; as upon the other hand he taketh Zeal for the purity of his Worship, as a singular evidence of love to him.

Let us close this Command with some words of use; and 1. Ye may see what good or evil to us and ours, and that eternally, there is in Disobedience or in Holiness: O Parents! what mercy is it to you, your selves, and to your Children that you be Godly? Alace, this Curse here threatned, is too palpable upon many Children, who are cursed with profanity from the Womb upward: Why do you that are Parents wrong your poor Infants? and why neglect ye that which is best for them? Here also there is matter of much comfort to Parents fearing God; this Promise is a stan­ding portion to a thousand Generations, which though it be not peremptory, as to all individual persons; yet 1. It secludeth none. 2. It comprehendeth many. 3. It giveth ground for us to be quiet for all our Posterity, till they by their own carriage disclaim that Covenant wherein this Promise is included. 4. It giveth Warrant for a Believer to expect that God may make up his Election amongst his Seed rather then amongst others: It is true, sometimes he chooseth some of the Posterity of wicked Parents, yet oft-times the Election of Grace falleth upon the Posterity of the Godly. 5. It is a ground upon which we may quiet our selves for temporal things needful to our Children; certainly these promises are not for nought, Psalm 37. 26▪ and 102. ult. 112. 2. Prov. 20. 17.

2 Be humble, O be humble before God, for he is jealous.

3. Abhor sin, for it is hateful.

4. Love holiness, for it is useful to us and ours: First, Thereby our Children have temporal mercies so far as is needful, Psalm 37. 26. 2. They have spiritual and sa­ving mercies amongst them. 3. They have all Church-priviledges, as being the Chil­dren of them that are within Gods Covenant.

5. Children! Be hum [...]led under the sense of the Iniquity of your Parents, when ye remember their wayes: or possess what unjustly they have gotten, ye become guilty of their sins without Repentance. Especially you have need to take notice of this, that are the Children of Parents, that have opposed the purity of Gods Service and Worship, and the work of its Reformation, and have been Corrupters of it: Children may be partakers of their Parents faults, and so plagued for them several wayes; and we think that this forfeiture is more then ordinary. And therefore, as amongst men, there are special crimes beyond ordinary procuring such a sentence, so is it here. And 1. They be guilty by following their foot-steps, in walking in their Parents sins, as Jeroboams Children did. 2. In approving their Fathers way, praising their Fathers sayings or doings; as it is Psalm 49. v. 13. 3. In winking at their Parents sins and wickedness. 4. In boasting of their Oppressions, Blood-shed, &c. as if they were [Page 77] were acts of valour and man-hood. 5. In being content that their Fathers sinned, if it gained any possession to them. 6. In possessing and enjoying without Repentance what to their knowledge they sinfully purchased. 7. In spending prodigally and riotously what the Parents covetously gathered▪ the sin of the Parent here, is the seed of the Sons sin. 8. In professing sorrow for the want of occasion to live in Ignorance, Prophanity, or Looseness as their Fathers did, as in Jerem. 44. 17, 18, 19. they said that things went well then. In not being humbled before God for the sins of Predecessors, nor confessing them to him; as Levit. 26. 42. nor repairing the losses or injuries which we knew they did to any that were wronged or oppressed by them.

The third Commandment.

Exod. 20. v. 7.‘Thou shalt not take the Name of the Lord thy God in vain, for the Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh his Name in vain.’

THis Command the Lord presseth with a threatning, that it may be known that he is in earnest, and will reckon with men for the breaches of it: The scope of it, is, To have the Name of the Lord sanctified, hallowed, and had in reverence by all his people, and so every thing eschewed that may be dishonourable to that Holy Name, and which may make him, as it were, contemptible; this scope is clear from Levit. 22. verse 32▪ Where having forbidden the prophaning of his Name, he addeth this positive precept, as opposite thereto; [...]ut I will be hallowed among the Children of Israel; So then, its that he himself may be hallowed and had in reverence amongst them, as Psalm 89▪ 7. and 111. 9. And so this Com­mand is much more extensive then at first view it appeareth; the scope there­of, being to keep the heart in a holy awe and reverence of God, and so in a holy way of using, and reverent way of going about every thing which concer­neth Him.

For more clear handling of it, let us consider. First, What is meant by the Name of God. Secondly, What is meant, by taking that N me of God in vain.

1. By the Name of God, is often understood God himself; for to call on Gods Name and on Himself are one. 2. Properly hereby is understood his Titles, attri­buted to him in Scripture; as God, Jehovah▪ he Lord, Holy, Just, &c. or such Ti­tles as signifie that excellent Being which we call God. 3▪ More largely it is taken for whatsoever he maketh use of, for making of himself known, seeing other wayes he hath no name; but what-ever Title He taketh to himself, or what-ever thing he maketh use of, thereby to make himself known, that is his Name; such are 1. His Attributes, Mercy, Justice, Omnipotency, &c. which Exod. 34. 36, 37. are called his Name. 2. His Word or Gospel, called his Name, Acts 9. 15. 3. His Ordi­nances, Sacraments, Matth▪ 28. 19. Discipline and Censures, which are the exercise of his authority, Matth. 18. 20. 1 Cor. 5. 4. 4. Prayer is a piece of his Name; He is a God that heareth Prayer, Psalm 63. 2. 5. His Works, Rom. 1. 20, 21. 6. All his worship, Deut. 12. 5. Exod. 20. 24. 6. Lots. Acts 1. 26. By these God maketh him­self (when he thinketh fit) known in his Will, as he doth by his Word. 7. Profes­sion of subjection to him; so they that profess this, are said to be at his Name, and it should be reverently used, as all actions which make himself, or his Will and Decree (which is himself) known, as Lots do, Prov. 16. 33.

[Page] By all these God is to be known, and something of him may [...] and [...] take under Name here all these to be comprehended: The first; because the scop [...] is to Hallow himself in Obedience to all that he Commandeth, as appeareth, [...] 22. 3 [...]. 32. and the first Petition in the Lord's Prayer, Hallowed [...]e thy Name, be [...] compared with the other two that follow, cleareth it. The second is propeth and primarily in the very letter here understood. The third cometh in by nat [...] consequence for attaining the scope of the Command, so that there is neither word nor work of God, but all relateth to this

The Second thing to be cleared, is, What is meant by taking his Name in v [...]i [...] ▪ To take his Name (as it's Psal. 50. 16. and 16. 4.) is to mention any of those things before spoken of (which are so many pieces of his Name) or any way to meddle with them in thought, word, or deed, as by writing, or otherwise: In vain dot [...] not only comprehend, 1. False Swearing, or Blaspheming, Charming, and wh [...] is wrong as to the matter: Nor 2. Only propane abusing of the Lords Name when the matter is right, by rashness, precipitancy, frequency in Swearing: Nor 3. Doth it only mean unnecessary Swearing when it may be forborn: But 4. I [...] vain is also when it's not mentioned or made use of to good purpose, that is t [...] God's hononr, the edification of others and of our selves; so when ever Gods name is any way medled with without fruit, its in vain.

The scope of this Command then we take to be, To press the manifesting of reverence to God. 1. In a high esteem of his holy Majesty. 2. In a reverent use of all his Ordinances in the right way appointed by him. 3. In a good Conver­sation adorning this doctrine of the Gospel, and keeping his blessed Name, tha [...] is named over us, from being evil spoken of, or contemned by others, because o [...] us, Rom▪ 2. 24. 4. And more especially (that God may be honoured) in a right, reverend, and edifying using of his Name in thinking, sPeaking, praying reading writting, swearing, vowing, &c. and abstaining from all irreverence in these, [...] becoming the greatness of God, and using each of them reverently, when called to go about them.

If it be asked what the mentioning of God's Name reverently is? take these rules to clear it:

1. It is necessary that the matter be lawful i [...] which his Name is mentioned▪ by this all Heretiq [...]es, Charmers, Cursers, Forswearers and Blasphemers, are grosly gnilty of sinning against this Command.

2. It is required that the matter be not only lawful, but important, and of some weight: hence Lotting for a thing of nought, or Swearing in a thing of no impor­tance, are an abusing of the Name of God, and a tempting of him.

3. It is required that the matter be necessary also; for if a thing may be deci­ded other-ways, it ought to be neither by Lotting nor Swearing; hence in the Hebrew▪ to Swear is still used in the passive voice, to shew that men ought not to Swear, but when they can do no otherwise, and when alawful call presseth to it.

4. It would be in the manner gra [...]e, deliberate, understood▪ done in judgment▪ Je [...] [...] 3. with fear and reverence.

5. A good end is to be proposed▪ namely on of these three, God▪s Hono [...] the good of others, or our own necessary vindication in something, that so it be not taken to no purpose.

[Page 79] There is this difference betwixt this Command and others, in other Commands, God expresseth the highest degree of every kind of sin, to scare men from the breaches of these Commands; here he mentioneth not Forswearing or Blas­phemy, but taking the Lord's Name in vain which is the lowest degree of that kind; that by this God may teach us what reverence we owe to Him, and of what [...]arge extent the Command is, and how careful he would have us to be, lest we should come upon the borders of any thing that seemeth to be a breache of it.

If it be asked, Why the Lord is so peremptory in urging this Command, and in pressing the thing here commanded in the very least?

Answ. 1. That he may in this set out his own Greatness, and work a feare and reverence of him in the hearts of his people; therefore will he have them reverent­ly using that which concerneth him, that the due distance betwixt God that is in Heaven, and Creatures that are on Earth, may be imprinted on us, and entertain­ed by us, Eccles. 5, 1. 2, 3. Lev. 22. 31, 32. Psal. 89. 9.

2 Because his Name, whereby he holdeth forth somthing of himself; or that in­finit excellent Being, called, God, is great, dreadful and glorious, and is so to be had in reverence, Psal, 111. that more than ordinary watchfulness should be used [...]n testifying our respect to it.

3. Because this is the way to curb Atheism and Prophanity, which the Devil driveth on by these steps; first to think little of God, and then by little and little to inure men to prophanity, and habituate them to baffle and affront the Name of God: Hence it is that he takes possession, mainly, of young ones this way; and hardly ye will see any that irreverently middle with the Name of God, but they are gross, or fall at length to be gross in other things.

4. God's Name is precious, and given to his people for a great refuge, Prov. 18. 10. therefore will he not have that which is their singular mercy to be abused.

5. God is a Friend in Covenant, yet so as that relation may not in the least wear out his honour and our due distance with him. Deut. 28. 58. Its the great and dreadful Name, the Lord our God.

6. Because this honoureth God, and adorneth the profession of the Gospel be­fore others, whereas [...]reverence therein dishonoureth God before them.

For more particular considering the matter and breaches of this Commands, we shall draw it to these heads; and 1. We shall speak to what concerneth Swearing, Vowing, or publick Covenanting with God. 2. To what concern­eth Blasphemy. 3. Concerning the taking of the Name of the Lord in vain, in worship, private or publick, particularly, how it is taken in vain by Hypocrisie. 4. Of taking it in vain out of worship rashly and unnecessarily. 5. How it is taken in vain in our conversation, as others are occasioned or caused to Blaspheme God's Name by our carriage. 6. Concerning Lots, &c. These we shall con­sider, especially with respect to our practise.

In speaking of what concerneth Oaths, we would 1. speak of an Oath. 2. Of the Obligation of it, for this Command both requireth Oaths, and the keep­ing of them, and it may be broken in reference to both.

We would in the entry distinguish betwixt these four. 1. Oaths. 2. Assevera­tions▪ 3. Simple affirmations or Assertions. 4. Imprecations or Curses.

[Page 80] 1. Oaths are such as directly invocate God by such like expressions, as Be, o [...] B [...] as By my holiness I ha [...]e sworn, Psalm 89. I swear by the Lord.

2. Asseverations (called vehement Assertions) are expressed thus, As the Lord li­ve [...], As that Light shi [...]e [...], in Conscience, Faith, &c.

3. Simple assertions are such as in truth, truly, indeed, which but speak the thing simply, and affirm that to be true or false that is asserted, and so belongeth to the 9th Command only, as such.

4. Imprecations are either directed to ones self conditionally, as if such a thing be truth, th [...]n l [...]t me perish; Shame b [...]fall me, if I do not this or this; or towards others, especially in these, Shame b [...]fall thee, the Devil take thee, a Vengeance on thee, and other expressions abominable to mention.

Again, in Oaths which are for confirmation, let us distinguish betwixt assertory Oaths▪ that do but confirm such a thing to be truth, and promissory Oaths, that in­gage the person swearing to the performance of such a thing for the time to come, either absolutely or with qualifications.

For clearing the matter, take this proposition, that Oaths in both these cases being well qualified, is a lawful piece of Gods worship, and may, and should be made use of by his People; this is a clear truth from these Scriptures, Deut. 10. 20. Deut. 6. 13. Jer. 4 2.

As for Anabapt [...]sts, who deny the lawfulness of Oaths under the New Testament, we are not now to meddle with them, because there be few in these dayes that are i [...] such an E [...]rour, We shall consider 1. What qualifications are requisite to right swea­ring: Then 2. Clear some practical questions. 3. Shew wherein this Command i [...] violate in respect of swearing.

In an Oath consider, 1. Its matter. 2. Its form. 3. Its rise, or mens Call to it 4. The expressious its conceived in. 5. Our manner of going about it. 6. Our keeping of it, which followeth after to be spoken to distinctly.

First, for the matter of an Oath, Ass [...]rto [...]y Oaths must be of things that are. 1. Tru [...] 2. Weighty. 3. They must be such to our knowledge. Again, Promissory Oaths mu [...] be in things just and law [...]ul, possible, profitable, and in our power, and which to o [...] knowledge are such.

2. The form must be By the true God, it being a peculiar part of his worship for we can swear by none whom we cannot invocate, therefore Idols, Creatures, Gra­ces, &c. a [...]e excluded here, for none of these are God.

3. Its rise must be Edification, that is Gods glory, our own vindication, or [...] Neighbours good, or the call of a Magistrate putting us to it; and it should be use [...] for deciding of Cont oversies, when no other mean of clearing or deciding such a thing is remaining; hence we say, j [...]ratus fuit, he was sworn passively; and the He­brews have no active wo d for expressing it, to let us see men ought not to swear, b [...] to be sworn, or by necessity pr [...]ssed to it.

4. As to the expressions in which it is conceived, or the thing sworn; its required not only that it be truth to, and in the mans meaning that sweareth, but that the ex­pressions be plain and intell gible to his meaning and understanding, to whom the Oath is given; otherwise it dcludeth, but doth not clear. Hence these two rules are to be observed. 1. That the meaning be so clear, as may be, and is most ordina ily and obviously gathered from such words and expressions as are used. 2. That the expressions be according as they are supposed to be understood by others, especially him that exacteth the Oath; for if he mean one thing, and we another, Gods Name is prophaned, and the end of an Oath frustrate; much more equivocations in ex­pressions [Page 81] and mental reservations are to be condemned here, the first whereof taketh in Ambiguity in words, the second, a different sense in our thoughts from what seemeth to be meaned in our words.

5. As to the right manner of Swearing, these things ought to be noticed: 1. That it be in judgment, that we understand the thing we Swear, and the nature of our Oath, and him we swear by, Jer. 4. 2. 2, Fear and Reverence in going about it, as being in an especial way in God's own sight; thus, to fear an Oath, is a good property, and the heart would be filled with the apprehension of a present God. 3. Singleness in the end, that it be not to deceive any, but to express the truth truly and faithfully, called Righteousness, Jer. 4. 2. And for the most part these properties or qualifications may agree to Oaths, Asseverations and Imprecations.

For the further clearing of this matter, we would speak to some questions.

And the 1. Question is, How then differ Oaths from Asseverations?

Answ. They should both be in Truth and Judgment with fear, and when cal­led unto; but in this they differ, that in Oaths we are only to make mention of the true God▪ and swear by him, but Asseverations may be thus expressed, As thy Soul liv [...]th 2 King. 2. v. 2. 4. 6. and yet we do not swear by the Soul of any.

A2d. Question is, What may we Judge of such Oathes, as are By Angels, Saints, Mary, Paul, and By other Creatures, as Heaven, Light, the World, by Soul, Conscience. &c. Or by Graces, as by Faith.

Answ. We need not use much Curiosity in Distinctions▪ For, we conceive them all to be simply unlawful. 1. Because none of these are God, and swearing is a Peculiar piece of his Worship, Deut. 6. 13. And swearing by any thing what ever it be, which is not God, is condemned, Jer. 5 7. They have sworn by those who are not Gods. 2. Because we cannot invocate any of these, and therefore cannot swear by them, seeing an Oath carryeth along with it, an Invocation of him we swear by. 3. Because they want these Properties due to such, to whom this Worship belongeth. As 1. Omniscience, to try whether we mean as we have sworn or not. 2. Omnipotency. And 3. Justice to avenge, if it be not so as we have sworn. 4. Soveraignty, to call the Swearers to a Reckoning. 4. Be­cause it would derogate from the Scope of this Command, which giveth this to God alone, as his due, and implyeth, that he alone hath all these Properties in him. 5. Because such Oathes are expresly Prohibited by Christ, Matth 3. 34. Swear not at all, neither by Heaven nor Earth; For, they stand in an Inferiour Relation to God, and are his Servants. 6. Because as none of these things are God to take Order with us if we swear falsly; so none of them are so ours, as we can lay them in Pledge, for the least Change to be made upon them▪ in Case our Oath be not true; none of them can be added unto or diminished from by us. We cannot make one of our Haires Black or White; and therefore ought not to swear by [...]ur Head; much less can we quiet our Conscience▪ or increase our Faith, that we should so freely swear by these. That place Mat. 5. [...]6. cleareth this: For that of Mat. 23. 16, 17. &c. speaketh of the Obligation of an Oath sinfully made, as to that manner of swearing, which yet still bindeth: but it warranteth not the making of such Oaths.

A 3d. Quest. is▪ What is to be judged concerning Asseverations: such as, In Conscience, good Faith, as I shall answer, &c. as I am a Christian; as I have a S [...]u [...] [Page] to be saved, and such like? Answer 1. We think, there is no Question, but if these were rightily, and in the due manner made use of▪ they might be lawfully used, as Scripture cleareth. 2. Yea, we think▪ If any Oaths be made use of, these would first be used; and a man may be called to use one of these, when he is not, directly to swear. 3. Therefore▪ we think they cannot be used, but in necessity when less will not serve, and should be used with Fear, Reverence, Understan­ding, and the other Qualifications: And that therefore they sin, who in Com­mon Discourse, rashly and vainly use them, which we conceive to be forbidden here; and when they are not Conscientiously used, they lead men to a greater Degree of the sin, here discharged: as we see some begin with Asseverations, then idle Oaths; and then Imprecations, as Peter sinfully did, Mat. 26. Reason 1. All these Asseverations are reductively Oaths, and imply the contrary im­precations in them. Thus, Let me not be esteemed a Christian, nor have a Soul to be saved; which must relate to God for executing these; therefore, being in­direct Oaths, they ought to be used as Oaths, and belong to this Command. 2. Be­cause the very end of any vehement Asseveration, is to confirm what is said, further, then an ordinary Assertion can: Now in so far, it is an Oath; it being proper to an Oath, to confirm what is spoken, and seeing it agreeth with an Oath in the Essen­tialls, they must be materially one, though Asseverations, be pronounced in ano­ther Form. 3. Vain Asseverations, are against that Rule, Mat. 5 37. Jam. 5. 12. Let your Communication be Yea, Yea, and Nay, Nay, and what-ever is more (i [...] ordinary Communication) is Evil: And it cannot be denyed but this is more, and therefore needless and sinful. 4. We do not find Asseverations, such as My Con­science beareth me witnesse, to be used (warrantably) by Saints in Scripture; but with great Reverence, even almost in such things as they used to confirm by Oaths; therefore Swearing is often joyned with them, Rom. 9. 1. 2. 2 Cor. 11. 31. 5. For what end are they used? It's either to confirm some-thing, or to no end: Beside, the needless use of them habituateth Folk to baffle and prophane ex­cellent things▪ and do injure them to prophanity: hence these that use them most are ordinarily lesse tender in their other Carriage, and it cometh to direct swearing at length. If it be said good Faith, signifieth no more but in Truth, and without Dissimulation, (as it's understood sometimes in the Laws,) Bon [...] Fide, and Mal [...] Fide. Ans. Yet Faith is otherwise taken in our Common Acceptation, and Words would be so used, as they are commonly made use of by others. 2. If it be not Evil, yet it hath the appearance of Evil, which should be eschewed and abstained from, 1 Thess. 5. 17. 3. Whatever Good Faith signifieth, yet certainly in our common use, it's more than a simple Assertion; therefore, should a man tell me an untruth, and put Bonâ fide, or Good Faith to it, to confirm it; will any man think but he is more then an-ordinary Lyar, against the Nineth Command? Yea, would he not be thought Infamous in breaking his Good Faith? Therefore it is more then Yea or Nay, and so not ordinarily to be used. Yea, we conceive that these Asseverations will have more weight on Natural Consciences, than simple Assertions; and therefore the Challenges of dealing Falsly in these, will bite and and wound the Conscience, much more sharply than falsifying simple Assertions, which speaketh out this; that they are nearer of kin unto, and more involved i [...] this Command, than at first appeareth▪

[Page 83] The 4. Question is, What may be said of Imprecations? Ans. Distinguish betwixt such as one useth against himself; as, Let me not see Heaven i [...] that be not Truth, or the like. 2. Such as are used against others, (I speak by private Per­sons,) as, Shame fall thee, Divil take thee, and the like; which are either Con­ditional, as, If thou do not such a thing, &c. or absolute, without any such Con­dition. We say then, 1. That keeping the Qualifications, formerly mentioned, and required to an Oath; one may in some cases lawfully use some Imprecations, even to ones self, the Scriptures having such Patterns in them; but with great Caution, Circumspection, and Tenderness.

2. Cursing of others by private Persons, out of Passion or Revengs, is simply prohibited, and that is several Respects. For 1. It derogateth from the Glory of God, if He be therein invocated in making Him subservient to our Passions, and to Execute our Revenge; or if He be not Invocated in these Imprecations; it's worse, because the Devil, or some other thing is put in His room▪ 2. It deroga­teth also from that love we owe to others.

3. As mentioning the Devil in such Imprecations, as Devil a bit, or Fiend, a Body, or such like, it is most Abominable: For thereby the Devil is employed in Gods Room, and God is forsaken; because there is no ground to exspect a hear­ing of such a Suit from Him, and so you betake you to the Devil, praying him, employing him, reverencing and worshipping him; as if he were just, to Executer your Judgement, when God doth it not: And sometimes by such Imprecations; you call on the Devil who is the Father of Lyes, to witnesse a Truth. Ah! How Ahominable to be heard amongst Christians! Men need not go to the Wild-Indians, nor to Witches, to seek Worshippers of the Devil! Alas! There are many such to be found amongst Christians! How sound these Words? What Devil now! The Meckle Devil, &c.▪ It is Horrible to mention, that which goeth out of some Mens mouths without any fear! What can be the Reason that Chri­stians thus Worship the Devil, and swear by him, as Israel did by Baal?

There remain yet some things concerning Oaths, especially Promissy Oaths to be cleared. As 1. How Promissory oaths differ from an Assertory Oath.

And 1. They agree in this, that Truth is the Scope of both. But. 2, They differ in this, that Assertatory Oaths, have but one Verity, to wit▪ That the thing be, in the Present time, true as the man sayeth or sweareth: But Promissory Oaths have a Twofold Verity, to wit; One present, that the Swearer meaneth what he promiseth. 2. That for the time to come he shall endeavour, effectually to make the thing Truth which he sayeth and sweareth: The First is only a Truth in the Person; The Second is also a Truth of the Thing or Matter.

2. We would difference Vowes from Promissory Oaths. Vows have God both for Party and Witness. Oaths may have some other for Party, but God for Wit­ness, to the giving an Oath or Promise to such a Party: Yet in some things there is a great Affinity, as to the matter, in both.

Concerning Promissory Oathes▪ we may enquire. 1. Concerning the making of them. 2. Concerning the Obligation of them; That a Man may make such Oaths tying himself to some things in which he was before free; is without all Con­troversie, and clear in the Scripture. Concerning such Oaths, it may be enquired. 1. In what Matter. 2. On what Occasions. 3. With what Conditions, they may be engagedin.

[Page 84] And 1. For the matter of them; they may be in three sorts of Matter. 1. In such matter as is Morally necessary▪ as the Fearing, Serving, Worshipping the true God▪ &c. So was Jacobs Oath and Vow, Genes. 28. 20, 21. That the Lord should be his God. And many of the Covenants mentioned in the Old Testament; and Davids swearing, Psalm 119. 106. To keep Gods Statutes.

2. There is a Civil lawful good Matter; such as Duties to Superiours, or to make some Obligation we owe to others forth-coming; or to return and requite such a particular good turn to one. Such are Oaths of Allegiance to lawful Supe­riours: Such did the Spies swear to Rachab, Joshua 2. 12, &c. And David to Jonathan: and that these are Lawful, having due Qualifications, cannot be denyed.

3. There are somethings indifferent; as Eating, or abstaining from such and such Meats or Drinks, or on such and such dayes: and although the thing be not simply unlawful, yet Oaths therein would be engaged in, with much Prudence, on such Grounds, and with such Qualifications and Conditions, as may make it appear▪ the Swearer is not using the Name of God unnecessarily, and that he cannot other­wise gain his Point: Nor superstitiously to make it appear, that he doth not bring his Conscience under a Yoak of Will-worship. One of which wayes ordinarily men fail, in these Oaths; and so they are neither to Gods Honour, nor others good: and therefore such Oaths are either rarely to be ingaged in, or not at all.

Next, such Oaths as to the occasions of parties ingaging in them, may be divi­ded into these three.

The 1. is, When we ingage in Publick Oaths and Promises solemnly, when Au­thority calleth us to it.

2. When the Edification or Satisfaction of another in private calleth for it. There are sometimes when a Christian may be; Yea, is called to it, for gaining Credit to something, (that the other is called to believe) to interpose reverently the Oath of God, as Jacob did to Laban.

3. One in secret may thus ingage himself to God, in Lawful and necessary things; As David, I have sworn, that I will keep thy righteous judgements.

Yet in the third place, all these Oaths, would still be with these Qualifications, mentioned Jerem. 4. 2. First, in Truth, namely, the two-fold Truth before men­tioned. 2. In Judgement, that is, with Knowledge and Deliberation, minding and understanding what it is we swear. 3. With righteousness or justice, that is, That it be in things, that are according to the Law of Equity, as well as Piety, nei­ther wronging God, nor others by our Oaths; for Oaths are in themselves still, Vincula [...]quitatis, and not iniquitatis: Bonds of Equity and Justice, and not of Ini­quity and Injustice.

There are also to be observed these Tacite or Express Conditions in all Pro­missory Oaths, (and sometimes it is fit to express them, and sometimes not;) If God will, and if nothing intervene to hinder, Jam. 4. If I live, and health permit. As much as in them lyeth, they shall aim at it, if some impossibility intervene not. 3. So far as the fulfilling of this▪ shall be Lawful; for it can onely tye to Lawful things, and Lawful means and courses; and this is especially to be understood of Indefinite Oaths. 4, While things stand so; but if the Case alter Essentially, and [Page 85] men turn Enemies to the Kingdome or Common-wealth, to whom we were by Oath obliged, to give or sell some-what that we know would be made use of, to the Probable ruine or hazard thereof; then its not in our power, Salvâ potestate superioris.

It may be asked, How we shall judge of Indefinite Oaths; such as Souldiers give to their Officers, to be obedient to them; or of Oaths in things which are in­distinct, and the matter not obvious, as Oaths in Colledges, Incorporations, Towns, &c. Where the things sworn are Complex.

Answ. These cannot altogether be condemned. 1. Because though a man have not, yea cannot have, a particular and distinct knowledge of all Particulars; yet he understandeth such Oaths, as binding to all necessary and lawful things, as the general Condition requireth. 2. Because he taketh the Oath for the end, and in the sense, that it is Commonly taken, which bindeth in the Essential things, pertaining to the being of that Incorporation, but taketh not in, every particular strictly.

By what is said, then: We may, 1. Condemn Oaths in Trivial things, as Oaths in Complements; when men swear they will not go one before an other. That men are wellcome to their Houses: That they will not let them go so soon: That they shall drink so much, though it may not be to Excess: That they shall return some petty thing they have borrowed, and the like. 2. Rash Pro­mises, such as are hastily and unadvisedly or doubtingly made. But ere we come to Particulars; let us consider what is condemned as Perjury, which is the highest Degree.

There are these several sorts of Perjury mentioned; some whereof are more direct and immediate; some more mediate and indirect.

The first sort of Perjury is: When one upon Oath asserteth as a Truth, that which he knoweth is not a Truth, or doubteth of it: or is mistaken in it, through his own negligence, not being certain that it is as he sayeth, whether he affirm or deny: Thus Naboths false witnesses were guilty; and many other Instances may be adduced.

The second is: When one promiseth something▪ which he mindeth not to per­form, and confirmeth that with an Oath; he is no doubt Perjured, because there is not a correspondent verity betwixt his Oath and his purpose.

The third is: When men promise and intend for the time to perform▪ yet, upon no just ground, fail afterwards in performing what they have sworn. This is Per­jury, because there is not Truth in fulfilling the thing sworn, according to the Oath, These are direct Perjuries.

More largely again, a man may be said to forswear himself. 1. When he swea­reth to perform a thing, which is simply impossible; especially while he knoweth it to be so: For as the former is not a swearing in Judgement and Truth; so this is a prophane and wicked swearing, against Light and Judgement, of a manifest lye and falshood: So that betwixt his Promise to perform such a thing, and the per­formance, there is implyed a Contradiction. As for one to swear, to be to mor­row at Rome, who is to day at Glasgow▪ the very swearing is forswearing. 2. When one sweareth an unlawful or wicked thing▪ or confirmeth it with an Oath; like those forty that swore to kill Paul; especially if that Oath be contrary to some [Page 86] Duty which lyeth formerly by Oath on the Person swearing: For, that is not to swear in Righteousness and Justice: Beside, that it draweth on a necessity, either of breaking that Oath, and [...]o of being perjured, or of going on to fulfill it; and so of being doubly perjured. 3. Men are forsworn and perjured, when they fulfill a wicked Oath, as Herod did, Matth. 14 in beheading John the Baptist; for, though he seemed not to over-turn, and make void his own Oath, but to keep it: Yet this (as also the former) over-turneth and maketh void, the scope and Nature of an Oath in general, and is a plain Contradiction to it, and maketh an Oath, which should be Vinculum Aequ [...]tatis, a Bond of Equity: (there being Nulla Obligation but ad Officium, no Obligation but to Duty,) to be Vinculum Iniquitatis, a Bond of Iniquity: And so thwa [...]teth with the very end wherefore such Oaths are appoin­ted▪ In which respect David did better in not executing his rash Oath, but keeping the general scope of all Oaths, when he refused not to hearken to Abigails Coun­sel, even to the Non-performance of what he had sworn.

It may be Questioned here, Whether one man may be accessary to anothers Per­jury, if he constrain him to swear, of whom he hath a suspition that he will for­swear?

Answ. Distinguish 1. The matter in which, if it be of grave Concernment, or of little Moment. 2. Distinguish, betwixt the Publickness and Privacy of it 3. Distinguish betwixt Parties, as betwixt a Judge, who is to decide, and a Party that is the Pursuer.

We say then. 1. A Party pursuing, in a Particular of his own Concern­ment; especially if it be of no great Concernment; may, Yea, should for­bear pressing such a Person to swear, both for sparing the Party, and for respect to the Name of God; since he can hardly, in this Case, be very hopefull to gain by it.

2. We say, (notwithstanding in some Cases,) that the Judge may admit such to swear, especially in Publick scandals. 1. Because none can certainly know, but God may constrain them to swear Truth. 2. Because it is his way, left to decide all Controversies; and a Judge cannot eschew it, when it lyeth on him to put a close to such a Controversie, at which he cannot win by any other means; though great Prudence is to be used in proceeding in such a case, especially it being of that Nature as is in Scripture appointed to be decided by Oath, as Exod, 22. 17.

The great question is concerning a promissory Oath, if in any case it may be made void, and cease to oblige, or, in what cases that may be?

That every Oath bindeth not according to the Letter, we suppose needeth no reasons to clear and confirm it: There are two ways in general how the obligation of an Oath promissory ceaseth. 1. When the Oath it self is null, and never had any obligation. 2. When by some other thing intervening, there is a loosing from the obligation which the Oath once had.

That it may be clear that, notwithstanding of this, Oaths are of a most strict Obligation, having the great and dreadfull Name of God interposed in them; and that many things, what-ever weight be layed on them by men that way, do not loose from it, such as these following which we shall put by, in the first place.

[Page 87] 1. No mans temporal loss in Goods, Name, or Estate, will loose him from his Oath, nor make it null and voyd, Psal. 1 [...]. ult. 12. that our ingagment by Oath is to somthing of its own nature indifferent, will not loose us, though there be here no other tye upon us to the thing, and that without the Oath we were free; yet the Oath once engaged in, will tye us, as is clear from that same 15th. Psal. For an Oath is of its own nature Obligatory, and according to Numb. 31. Persons at their own dispose must do even in such cases as they have bound their Souls. 3. Though we were engaged in the Oath by the deceit and guile of others, the deceit being circumstantial only, yet if the things be not sinful, it bindeth us, as is clear in that Oath to the Gibeonites, wherein the deceit was such, 4. Though by fear or violence the Oath hath been extorted, yet the matter being lawful, it bindeth because of the honour of God's Name interposed. 5. Though it was sinful as to the manner, and rashly made at first, as that with the Gibeonites was; yet is it binding, if lawful in the matter, there being a great difference betwixt juramentum illicitum, an Oath unlawfully come under as to its manner, and jura­mentum de Re illicitâ, an Oath in an unlawful matter. 6. Though we could de­vise and find out some interpretation or meaning of the words of the Oath that might seem to make forloosing us from its obligation; yet, if that was not mean­ed at the first tendering of the Oath, but otherwise understood by him that did take it, it will not absolve not excuse from the guilt of Perjury, To put after­wards a new gloss on it; because an Oath is stricti jurts, and will not admit for any respect nor on any account, of interpretations prejudical to the native truth of it, lest it should be found to be, according to Psal. 24. a Swearing deceitfully. 7. Though there may be a good meaning and intention in reversing the Oath, and going cross to it, men not doing so for a particular end of their own, but for a pu­blick good as is suposed; yet that will not absolve from obligation of the Oath, nor from the guilt of Perjury, as is clear in God's punishing Saul's Family for breaking that Oath with the Gibeonits, even though he did it out of his Zeal to the Children of Israel and Judah as the Scripture expresly affirmeth. 2 Sam. 21. 2. 8. Though the Oath be conceived by a Creature, as at least the immediate object ofit, and so sinfully made in that respect; yet, being made, it tyeth from respect due to God, who shineth in his Creatures. Matth. 23. 19 20. 21. 9. Through the thing become impossible, if that impossibility might have been prevented by our searching our selves as far as in us lay, we are not freed from the guilt of Perjury, though the thing Sworn do now by onr own s [...]oathfulness become impossible; or if the thing Sworn might have been performed before any such impossiblity came on; or if we might have prevented it by our suitable circumspection and diligence. 10. Though a sinful Oath, to wit, being made on a sinful promise, in it self, bind not; yet the sinful condition being fulfilled it bindeth; as in the case of Judah, his promising a Kid to Thamar, upon that wretched condition of prostituting her self to his sinful Lust, who did offer the performance of what he had engaged to, upon that most sinful condition now fulfilled; for the condition being fulfilled, the promise is absolute, and the sin was not in giving the Kid, but in the condition that was made, which is past. 11. Much less will it exempt any man from the guilt of Perjury, that in Swearing he had a meaning of the words of the Oath, contrary to what in common sense they bear, and in the construction of all in different per­sons, [Page] or to their meaning sine juramento or extra juramentum; or that he had any reservation in his own mind; the first is, Aequivocation; the second is mental Reservation, that have no place in such an Oath which should be plain; single, and clear. Neither 12, will a dispensation from any other, as for instance, from the Pope, who hath no power to dispense in Oaths, nor from lawful Superiours, ex­cept it be in things wherein by our relation to such Superiours we are subjected to them▪ loose the obligation of our Oath, nor free us from the guilt of Perjury; if▪ I say, the matter of the Oath be in things to which their power over us doth not extend, in such things doubtless they cannot dispense. 13. The obligation of an Oath cannot be loosed, nor the guilt of Perjury evited by commutation of the thing sworn, for it must be according to what has proceeded out of our mouth, Numb. 30. 2. P [...]lm 15. 4. 14. Nor can it be loosed, and Perjury eschewed, by any posteriour tye and oath: for thereby the prior or former oath is not made null, but the posterior or latter is made null by the former, for juramentum non derog at j [...]ri [...]lieno, because God is party, and we cannot reverse an obligation to him which He or any other hath by a prior right and tye.

But they are null. and of no force. 1. When the thing sworn is sinful and un­lawful in it self, because there is nullum vinculum iniquitatis. there is not, neither can there be, any obligation to iniquity. 2. When it is unlawful to him that sweareth, as suppose one would swear to do that which were incumbent for a Magistrate or Minister, he himself being but a meer private person, and it no wayes belonging to his station: it tyeth him indeed to endeavour by all suitable means the effecting of the thing by them, but not to do it himself, for it altereth not stations. 3. When the thing is simply impossible, oaths cannot bind, in that case. 4. When the oath is engaged in by any, in whose power the thing sworn is not, as by Children, Wives, Servants, or Subjects, in such things wherein they are subject to others, and of which they are not Masters; it tyeth them onely to endeavour it with their approbation or permission, see Numb. 31. 5. When the deceit is not in circum­stantials, but in essentials: as▪ suppose one should swear to such another persons to pay him such a debt, or to give such obedience, thinking him to be the very person to whom he oweth these things, who yet is not the person we suppose him to be▪ the ground of the oath is null, and its obligation accordingly ceaseth▪ as when Jacob was deceived by his getting Leab first for Rachel, because such an oath wrongeth another, to whom that which is sworn is due, and supposeth the condition of being due. 6. When the oath is impeditive of a greater good, or of a moral duty; as suppose a man had sworn not to go to such a place, nor to speak to such a person. nor to eat such meat; that oath (being at first rash, and without judgement) if duty and necessity call him to the contrary of what he hath sworn, bindeth not, because a moral command may require him to go thither to take on such a charge there, or to speak to that person for his edification, &c. yet this would be tenderly applyed, and with great circumspection. 7. When the oath is interposed to oblige to the performance of some thing which hath a tendency to an ill end; as for instance, if a Man should swear to meet with a woman for com­mitting filthiness, to give arms for helping to oppose an innocent, or any such like thing; for though coming to such a place, or giving such arms may be lawful, yet as so circumstantiate: this coming, and this giving of them with such an intention, is nnlawful, and therefore the oath is null.

[Page 89] For loosing from the obligation of an Oath which is lawful, there are these cases granted. 1. When it is contradicted by a Superiour, having power in that very par­ticular, as Numb. 31.

2. When the case materially altereth, as ifone should swear to give such a man arms, who afterward turneth mad, or an Enemy; to give obedience to such a Commander, who afterwards becometh a private man, and ceaseth to be any more a Commander, because in such cases the relation upon which the duty and Oath is founded, ceaseth. 3. When the party sworn unto, relaxeth us: for though none can absolve from a Vow, yet in a promissory Oath, whereby some right accrueth to one from another, a man may dispense with his own right; as for instance, he may in whole, or in part, forgive and discharge such a sum of money that another by Oath has sworn to give him, which when he doth, in so far the Oath and its obligation is loosed; he having, as himself thinketh fit, accepted satisfaction for whole or part; but in Vows to God no man can dispense, He being party there. 4. When by some after and unforeseen intervening Emergent, the man is quite disabled from performing his Oath, as by sickness, plundering, &c. In that case, so far and so long as he is dis­abled, in so far and so long is he loosed; that condition being necessarily presupposed in giving the Oath at first, though the obligation to performance lyeth still on him so far and so soon as he shall be able.

It may be marked, by the way, that often prophane men are more strict in keeping sinful Oaths, then those which are lawful: the Devil putting home that obligation on them as a snare, and their own corruption siding with the Oath in its matter, maketh it appear strongly binding to them.

If it be asked, Wherein it is that an Oath bindeth more then a Promise doth?

Answ. An Oath bindeth to nothing but what is in the Promise, but it bin­deth more strongly, and so the sin is greater in breaking an Oath then a Pro­mise; because not onely our truth to men is engaged in the Oath, but our reve­rence and respect to God also, and his dreadful Name thereby notably taken in vain.

So then against this Doctrine of Oaths faileth perjury or forswearing, rash-swea­ring, indeliberat▪ swearing, as incomplements (as for instance, if one should swear he will not drink, or go before such another person:) Solemne Oaths entered into, at Communions, at Baptism, or in other lawful Covenants not performed: Ah! how often are these broken, even in that which we might easily do? We so carry and keep to God as men could not but quarrel; irreverent swearing even in what is right; grosly prophane swearing, as by Gods Soul, his Wounds, Blood, &c. Uncouth'd, strange, newly-coin'd and invented Oaths, no doubt, by special help of the Devils art, Cur­sings, wherein the Devil is mentioned, and his aid implored for the execution of mens paision [...]e and revengeful imprecations; yea, not being suitably affected with the Oaths of others, not admonishing them, nor seeking to recover them, not endeavour­ing by all requisite care the preventing of them, with-holding of instruction and cor­rection when called for, and not procuring the erection of Schools, &c. may make many guilty of Oaths they never heard, when they fall out in persons, whom it be­came them to teach and admonish, &c.

There are somethings near of him unto ( [...]o say [...]o) and of affinity with Oaths; as [...] Adjurations, when we adjure or charge one by the Name of God to do or forbear such a thing: as Saul bound the people with a Curse, 1 Sam. 14. And Joshua charged Achan, Josh. 7. and the High-priest Christ, Matth. 26. and Paul Timothy, 1 Tim. [...]. 21. and 6. 13.

[Page 90] Adjurations differ thus from Oaths, that by an Oath we bind our selves to do or forbear somewhat, or to tell truth; by Adjurations we bind others by interpo­sing the Name of God for commanding, charging, perswading to do or forbear such a thing, and implying, if not expressing some threatning or curse if it be not done or forborne: There are three sorts of these in Scripture, 1. When me [...] adjure men. 2. When they adjure Devils. 3. When they adjnre unreasonable Creatures, as Serpents, &c. To each of these, a word.

As to the 1. We say that men may sometimes adjure other men in matters weighty, sutable, and necessary to be done: when it is rightly gone about, and not in passion or for self ends, but soberly, gravely, and singly, for the glory of God immediately, or mediately by anothers good being interposed; so, many ex­amples confirm, and so necessity requireth, that when regard to men doth not sut­ably weigh that such a desire be put home tothe Conscience from respect to God and his Authority, who is Witness and will Judge: this some way sifteh a m [...] before God, and so may prove a good means, through his blessing, to make the man serious; which sort of adjuratious may be distinguished thus.

1. There are proper adjurations or charges authoritatively laid on, in the Name of God, or of Jesus Christ; this is done by Magistrates or Ministers in their places, as Paul chargeth Timothy, 1 Tim. 6. 13. and giveth him charge to charge others▪ [...]. 17. This being used in serious and weighty matters, and not too frequently (lest the Name of God become thereby contemptible) is the most proper and the most weighty charge.

2. There are Obtestations which are serious and weighty intreaties and b [...] seechings in the Name of God, and for Christ's sake that one may do o [...] forbear such a thing [...] as when Paul beseecheth the Romans and Philippians by the mercies o [...] God, Rom. 12. Phil. 2. 1, 2. and Abigal interposeth seriously with David: this [...] most properly done by Inferiors, Subjects, Children, &c. to their Superiours▪ and hath in it also a more implicite threatning if such a thing be slighted, as i [...] Abigals words to David, [...] Sam, 25. is clear.

3. There are Attestations whereby one is seriously put to it to tell some truth▪ or to bear witness of some truth asserted by another; thus Joshua attested A [...]an.

4. We say, These have a binding virtue in some cases, and cannot without contempt of God (who so chargeth them, and before whom they are so attested) be slighted; and therefore if it be not properly Perjury for a man, either not to speak at all, being attested, or to speak what is not truth; yet sure it is more the [...] ordinary contempt, and a greater sin them if no such adjurations, attestations, o [...] obtestations had been used, because the Name of the Lord has been interpose [...] by others: and if such attestations, &c. be lawful, as we have proved them to b [...] in some cases, then ought they to have weight, or they are used in vain; we se [...] our Lord Christ answered to such, Matth. 26. after a whiles keeping silence.

And in reference to these ye fail, 1. In giving little entertainment unto, an [...] laying little weight upon the charges and obtestations of Ministers, which come unto you by them from this Word and Gospel; these charges of Ministers are [...] if an Herauld gave a Charge in the Magistrates name, which bindeth as from him▪ and more then another message delivered in other terms▪ in this then, Minister [...] [Page 91] [...]re as Heraulds charging you in their Master's Name, even in the Name of the great God, and of Jesus Christ, the Prince of the Kings of the Earth.

2. When one of you putteth not another serionsly to it, to forbeare and aban­don fin, or to practise such a duty, charging them, or rather obtesting them, as they will answer to God to do so, as often in the Canticles we find, I charge you, O Daughters of Jerusalem.

3. In your overly, rash, and slight way of using obtestations and grave intrea­ties, meerly or mostly for the fashion, or by way of complement, or in petty and trivial things; as when ye say, for God's sake, for God's blessing do this or that, only as acustomary by▪ word; this is no doubt more then on ordinary taking of God's Name in vain in common discourse, because ye take on you to bind others in the Name of God, not considering what ye are doing; and in a matter not ne­cessary, and of no weight exposing the Name of the Lord to contempt, and there­by tempting others to care but little for it; this is a most horrid and crying sin amongst our ordinary Beggars, whereof others also are guilty, who are not sutably affected with it, and do not in their places seriously endeavour to have it mended; as also this is, when we desire one another lightly & irreverently to do such & such a little thing▪ in the Name of God, as to sit down or rise up, in God's Name, &c. which things are alasse too too frequent.

2. For adjuring of Devils, it is two ways lawful, and two ways not.

1. It is lawful to command Devils in the Name of God by those who are called to it and are gifted to cast them out. 2. It is lawful for any by Prayer to God, and the exercise of Faith on Him to endeavour to repel and resist them, and to beg that he would rebuke them; as thus, The Lord rebuke thee Satan; this way we neither command the Devil, nor pray to him, but pray unto the Lord to command him.

Again: It is unlawful, 1. when one adjureth him who is not called to it, as those Sons of Sceva did, Act. 19. 13, 14. This certainly being a peculiar and ex­traordinary gift, as those of prophecying, foretelling of things to come, speaking with Tongues, and healing of the Sick with a word, were; ought not without special warrant to be usurped more then they.

2. It is unlawful when it is done by exhorting or obtesting of, or praying unto the Devil himself, & intreating him as we do God, which way implyeth, 1. Friend­ship with him when we intreat him as a Friend. 2. Prayer or worship to him who is not the object of it. 3. An obligation on us to him, when he yieldeth to obey; and he will not fail, if by any means he can, to put that complement or obligation on us, and so Necromancers, Witches, Exorcists, &c. may cast out Devils by collusion (though possibly not in a way so explicit), whereby the Devil gaineth his point upon such as effectually, as if there were a most expresly formed Covenant betwixt him and them, and thus the Pharisees falsly and blasphemously, charged on our blesed Lord, Mat. 12. as if by Belezebub▪ that is by Collusion with the Prince of Devils, he had cast out Devils. There are no doubt, many Sins com­mitted this way, while some take on them confidently to Command the Devil, as [...]f with an Avoid Satan, they could put him into Bonds: And others seek Health from Devils or Witches, especially when it is supposed to come from them,) and [...]atreat them to do such and such things: All which are Breaches of this Part of the Third Commandment.

[Page 92] 3. What is said of Adjuring Devils, may be said Proportionally of Adjuring Unreasonable Creatures, which is the same ways Lawful and unlawful: Charming also, and naming the Lords Name over Diseases, as if some special worth and Efficacy were in some words; is unlawfull and Condemned by this Command.

It followeth now that we say some-thing to Vows, which are Bonds, whereby a man bindeth himself (and so they differ from Adjurations) to God only as party, and that in things belonging to God; willingly, and upon Deliberation. (And so they differ from Promissory Oaths, wherein we bind our selves to others: and in matters which are not of themselves Religious.)

Under Vows we comprehend, 1. Sacraments. 2. Covenants, solemnly inga­ged into before others. 3. Particular Vows to God. 4. Promises and ingagements▪ whether inward in the Heart onely, or also outwardly expressed to, or before the Lord: For though these have not alwayes Gods Name, formally and expresly inter­posed in them▪ yet He being Party, and they being made to him, he cannot but be singularly looked at, as Party, Witness, and Judge, in the making and performing of them: Therefore, do we comprehend all even purposes, expressed in Prayer to him, as being of the same kind, though not of the like Degree.

We mind not here to medle with speculative Debates about Vows, but to hold us only at what concerneth Practise: And say, 1. That such Promises to God, and in­gagements, being rightly made and taken on, or rightly goneabout; are not onely Lawful, but sometimes necessarily called for, as appeareth. 1. From the Com­mand, which is to Vow, as well as to perform, Psalm 76 11. 2. From Example of Saints in all Ages: David faith, Psalm 119. when his frame is most tender, Verse 57. I have said. I will keep thy words. And thereafter, Verse 106. I have sworn, [...] well perform it, That I w [...]ll keep thy righteous Judgements. For, saying and swearing to God are near the same; and who sincerely say in secret, may in some Cases also Articulatly swear. 3. From the end of Vows, which is to bind us to something the more straitly, and to evidence our greater desire and willingness to be so bound: And therefore they being Midses, for that end; when the end is in a special manner called for: and may, in all probability, be the better obtained, by the use of this Mean: then is it called for also, and cannot be omitted. 4. From the Lords gracious accepting of such Engagements and Vows, and approving of them. 5. From the several Promise and Prophecies of them, as commendable and good service, from Men to God, under the Gospel, Isai. 19. 18. and 21. Jer. 50. 4, 5. Isai. 44. 5.

So then, I say, 1. In some Cases; to wit, when it glorifieth God, and edifieth others; or is profitable to our selves: But if it thwart with any of these, there is a fail­ing: or when some pressure of Spirit, or cogent Reason, putteth us not to it, or some great need calleth for it; (as Abraham, for the weighty Reason, expressed by himself, Gen. 14. swore he would take none of the spoil, he had rescued from the Kings over­come by him:) For we are not alwayes called to it.

2. I say, Not in all Things: Because the matter of a Vow, must be one of these two: Either, 1. Some commanded Duty, as Jacob▪ Vow, Genes. 28. and Davids, Psalm 119. 106. were: Or 2. Something that relateth to Worship: or may further some commanded Duty, or prevent some sin, to which we are given, and much inclined: As suppose a Man should engage himself to rise sooner in the morning, that he might the more effectually cross the lust of his laziness, and to keep more at home, the bet­ter to prevent the snare of evil, and Loose-Company: It is not House-keeping sim­ply, or rising soon, that is the matter of his Vow: but as they relate unto, or are made use of for such ends: Therefore Vows can onely be made to God alone, Ps. 76. 11. and Ps. 132. 2.

[Page 93] 3. I say, Rightly gone about: That is, 1. Deliberately, and Judiciously; for Ig­norance, Haste, and Rashness will spill all. 2. With Humility, and due sense of our own Corruption, which maketh us (Alace!) to stand in need of such Bands to keep it in, and of such Up-stirrings and Excitments to Duty. 3. With fear, singleness, and Zeal for God; with love to his Honour, and to true Holiness: Not for our self­ends, to gratifie an Humour or Passion, or in Fits of Conviction, to stop the Mouth of a Challenge, and so put it by.

4. The Vow would be heartily, and chearfully undertaken, not as a piece of Bondage, but of Liberty, that we may be thereby indeed ingaged unto the Lord having no hink or Hesitation; nor Reservation in the making of it: what can be expected as to the performance, if therebe Hesitation, in the very under­taking?

5. There should be much denyedness in it. 1. To our selves. 2. To the Oath as not accounting our selves to be more Religious by it; or more pleasing to God, as if it merited somewhat; nor yet more strengthned by making of it, but more ingaged to perform, and keep what we have vowed.

6. There should be Diligence in doing, going on, and helping and inciting others to joyne with us; that so it may through Grace be made irrevocable, which is the pra­ctise of the people of God, Jer. 50. 4, 5.

7. There should be ingaging, in the lively Exercise of Faith; drawing strength from Jesus Christ, according to his own promise; and of our selves to make use of him, for that end: Yea, that should be laid for the foundation of our undertaking: Therefore every such ingaging, is a Covenanting with God, and there is no Cove­nanting with Him, but by interposing of Jesus Christ, both for the procuring of Par­don for by-past failings and guilt; and for Grace and Strength, to perform, called for, and ingaged into Duties, for the future. See a frame of Spirit fit for Covenanting, when seriously and suitably gone about. Jer. 50. 4, 5.

Concerning these Ingagements, we say. 2. That they are of themselves Obliga­tory, and binding to those who come under them, as Numb. 30. 2, 3. Vowing is called the binding of a Mans soul; And Psalm 36. 12. its said, Thy Vows are upon me, O Lord, as pressing him with a Weight, till they were payed.

If it be asked, 1. How Vows bind? We Answer, 1. In moral Duties, they make the Obligation no greater; for, they being laid on by the Command of God, and ha­ving his Authority, there can be no Addition to that in it self: But there is a two-fold Addition. 1. In respect of us; so that though the Obligation be not greater in it self, yet we joyn our Approbation or Consent unto that, whereby, as by a positive Super-added voluntary Consent, we bind our selves; so that in some respect we have two Bonds (the Law, and our Oath both) for one. 2. Though it make not the for­mer Obligation, to bind more strongly in it self; yet it maketh that Obligation to have a more deep Impression upon us; so that a man, by Vow bound to a commanded Duty, will think himself more bound to it, then before; and that Command will have a deeper Impression, and more weight on him, to perswade him to do, and to challenge him when he hath omitted, then before. Again, in things that are meerly Accessories to a Religious end, as Extrinsick means; for instance, fasting, staying at home, &c. Vowing, never maketh the doing of these of themselves, to be Acts of religious Worship; but it maketh our keeping of them to be by a Religious Tye: so that without Prophanity they cannot be altered, out of the case of ne­cessity.

If it be asked, 2. What is to be thought of our common and ordinary Ingage­ments. [Page 94] 1. By Baptism. 2. At the Lords Supper. 3. By Oaths in Covenants. 4. Ingagements in Private to God by Vows, Purposes, Promises, Resolutions, in thoughts within; or expressed in Prayer: (I suppose it doth not a little concern all of you to know, how they bind and when they are broken.) We Answer.

1. That, All these are binding, and still accounted so, (Psal. 119. 106, Psal. 67.) is not to be doubted, yea binding in an Eminent Degree, as being made to God and not only Before Him: The nature of the thing and our consent also bindeth, For, 1. If interposing the Name of God to men doth bind, much more to God: 2. If a Promise solemnly ratifyed bind to men, much more to God. Hence 3. Our, Obligations in Baptism, and the Lords-Supper, receive Strength and Convicti­on against us from the Covenant, which we solemnly Ratifie and renew with God therein, and that before the World: And our Breach of these Vows is charged on us by the Lord, as an open Breach of his Covenant; the Obliga­tion whereof is pleaded from them, Genesis, 17, verse 10. and 14. and else­where.

2. Yet do they not bind absolutely, as the Duty lyeth upon us and as we should aim at it; for though we be bound by the Law to be perfectly Holy, and without sin; yet doth not a Vow so tye us, or that Obligation is not from our Vow, but from the Law; because our Vow is to be understood, 1. With Respect to our Nature, now Corrupt and sinful: and therefore to Vow, absolutely, to be without Sin, or absolutely to abstain from it, is injurious and impossible, 2. With respect to our aim and desire. 3, With respect to our not Approving, or Dis ap­proving onr selves in any thing, wherein we come short. 4. In respect of the Obligation to endeavour it, which is, alway, and by all suitable means to presse at it, and to leave nothing undone, which may further it: So then 1. They do not bind Absolutely or Simply, but Respectively. 2. Not as to the Victory, but as to the Wrestling and Fighting for Victory. 3. Not as to the Event, but as to the Means which are in our Power; and therefore some plead, That they had not broken Covenant, though they had Sins, Psal. 44. 17

3. Though they bind not Simply or Absolutely, (and are not therefore to be so taken or understood) yet they tye Absolutely, 1. To the main of having God ours in Christ. 2. In other things, thus:

1. They tye us to live in no known Sin, especially Outward Sins and to delight in none. 2. To omit no Known Duty, but to essay the doing of it. 3. As to the Maner, to essay it seriously; so that though a man cannot swear, that he shall have no Corruption in him, while he is upon Earth: Yet in so far he may▪ As 1. Not to approve of it. 2. To leave no means unessayed, consisting in his Knowledge, that may help to mortifie it. 3. Seriously, and in good Earnest, to be aiming at the Mortification of it, in the Use of these. And so this Tye of a Vow is, 1. As far as in us lyeth. 2. As Universal as the Duty is. 3. Constant and al­ways binding. 4. When it's taken on, we should not let it lye on, (to say so) till the Sun go down, but endeavour that we may be free of it; it bindeth us to quit Sin, as well as to eschew it. It reaches not all Infirmities, to make them Breaches; but known Sins, or the least sins stuck to.

3. Concerning these Vows, we say; That the Breach of them is a very great Sin, and doth much more aggravate Sin, where it is, then where it is not▪ So that the [Page 95] Sins of Christians against Baptism, Communions, Oaths in Covenants, Secret In­gagements, Resolutions, and Promises to God, are much greater then the Sins of others. Hence the Lord chargeth Israel with Covenant▪Breaking, by vertue of their Circumcision which they had received as a Seal thereof, and aggravateth all their Sins by that, and looketh on them in that Respect as singularly sinful, Deut. 29. 24. Jer. 22. 8. &c. which could not so well be, if there were not some Pecu­liarity in that Obligation. Our Baptism, doubtless, is no less binding unto us, nor the Breach of our Baptisme Vows less sinful, Col. 2. 11, 12. Neither can there be any reason given, Why the Breach of an Oath to man, should be charged on a Person, as a Sin and Infamy; and the Breach of an Oath to God, not be much more charged so. Oh! Take notice then, ye who sin willingly, who Drink, Swear, omit Prayer; Let your minds wander, and study not Holiness in good earnest, that your sins have these Aggravations to make them horrible, infamous, and in­excusable. 1. There is manifest Perjury against the Oath of God, which even ac­cording to the Pharisees Doctrine, Matth. 15. 33. was Abominable: Thou shalt not (say they) Forswear thy self, but shalt pay or perform thy Oath to the Lord. 2. There is unfaithful dealing, and abominable Treachery, to break under trust, and to keep no ingagement to Him. 3. There is not onely Perjury, and Treache­ry simply; but towards God. which is more, and draweth a great deal deeper, then towards any other. It's Dreadful to deal Unfaithfully, Treacherously, and Perjuriously with Him. 4. All this is in things that are very equitable and much for your own good, which maketh no small aggravation. 5. This is done not onely against promises, but against many promises, and many other bands. 6. That its often and in many things that you sin against these promises. 7. That sin is little resented or laid to heart on this consideration, and as so ag­gravated.

If it be said, Then it is better to make no promises at all, then to come under such aggravations of guilt by breaches of them, for none keep them exactly: and so men must needs be in great and continual disquietness and anxiety while under them; Were it not better, then, to be doing without promising?

Answ. 1. It is not free to us, Not to make them more then it is to break them, or not to keep them; and when we are called to make such Promises, and make them not, it becometh sin to us as was said. Its not free to us, whether we shall be Baptised, &c. communicate, &c. or not; therefore, whosoever would not so engage, were to be censured and punished as utter despisers of the Lords Covenant, Genes. 17. 14, &c. and Exod. 12.

2. They, who refuse to take them, say themselves open to the temptation of be­ing more easily prevailed with, not to perform these duties, or of being sooner in­s [...]ared in such sins, because they are not formally engaged by Vow against them, & so they make themselves culpably accessory to the strengthening of tentation, and weakning of resolution; to the contrary whereof, they are no doubt obliged.

3. If you intend indeed to perform these duties, then ye may ingage to do so; but if ye will not so much as Promise and engage to do them, it cannot be expected in reason that ye will do them; especially considering that even these who honestly promise and ingage, do yet notwithstanding, find a great difficulty to do and perform. O take heed that you be not, by your refusing to engage, making a [Page 96] back-door for your selves to go out from your duty, that so you may the more easily, and with the less challenge, shift it.

If it be yet said, that the sin of simple omitting the duty, is less then the omitting of it after engagements and Vows to the contrary. Answ. 1. It is not so to a Chri­stian, who is called to engage himself: yea, who by Baptisme is already ingaged; for 1. The man that neither ingageth to do, nor doth the duty, faileth twice, whereas he that ingageth and performeth not, faileth but once: though that once failing, is, by its being cross to his ingagement, not a little aggravated; so that in some respect each fault or failing exceedeth the other: the one is a greater sin considered in it self, but the other is greater considered complexly. 2. The man that ingageth not, is more accessory to his own falling, in respect that he used not that mean to prevent it; yet the other when fallen, is more guilty, in respect of the breach of his ingagement. 3. The man that will not ingage, bringeth him elf under a necessity of finning; for if he per­form not, he faileth twice, as is said; if he perform, he faileth, because he ingaged not when he was called to it, so his performing is not the performing of a Vow to God, who requireth promising, in some cases at least, as well as performing. 4. The man that Promiseth and Voweth, and also performeth what he Promised and Vowed, his performing is so much the more acceptable, as it proceedeth not only from the awe of a Command, but from a spontaneous and free-will offering of it to God, and so is both Obedience to a Command, and the performance of a Vow; for thus, he choo­seth obedience, as it is Psalm 119. 30. It is not so with the other, whether he per­form it or not, though we think, that God often letteth the man fall that will not in­gage, because he sayeth by his refusal that he trusteth not to God for the performance, otherwise he would ingage and undertake on his account also; he sayeth withal, that he aimeth to perform, onely because he cannot eschew it: And if he could shake off, and be freed from that Obligation to Holiness▪ that he would not out of respect to God, or love to Holiness, take on a new one. 5. The man that ingageth not, sinneth more unexcusably in that he will not do that which is the lesser, and in his power. The less and more easie a thing it be to promise and ingage (as it is no doubt more easie then to perform) the omission of it is the greater sin, and more inexcusable. The case is indeed, as to Heathens, otherwise, who were never thus engaged, nor called to en­gage themselves; but unto Christians it will be no excuse.

If it be replyed that this is very hard; for then no Christian will be free of Perjury, not have Peace. Answ. 1. I grant the case is hard, and the Strait great; but it is such as floweth from our own corruption in this, as in other duties and parts of holi­ness: for as the Law is holy, just, and good, Rom. 7. and is not to be blamed as acces­sory to our sin; so she Vow is holy, just, and good, and is not to be blamed, if in the circumstances right, because of our breach. 2. As I think, it is hard to keep our selves free of sin▪ even against light, so I think it is a difficulty to be kept [...]ree of this aggra­vation of sin, to wit, of committing it against our engagements; and therefore (as the manner of the People of God is) I think it safest to take with these aggravations of our sins, as chief parts of them (to speak so) and to take them with the rest to Jesus Christ, that we may obtain pardon of them through Him, and to maintain our peace rather by often washing our selves from the filth of breaking, then by pleading no breach at all. 3. Yet may Christians (even as in other duties of holiness) in their Vows and Promi­ses to God, have peace, and say, in a Gospel-sense, We have not turned back from thee, not dealt falsly in thy Covenant, as it is Psalm 44. 17, 18. which certainly im­plyeth not absolute holiness, or exact performance of all the Articles of the Cove­ [...]t▪ but that 1. In the great and main Articles, they were honest, and did not put [Page 97] another God in his room to provoke him to jealousie. 2. That they intended truly the keeping of all, and said nothing by their profession or engagements, which they minded not to perform. 3. That they had some testimony as to what was past, that they had in some measure walked according to their engagements, and had left nothing undone, at least willingly, and with approbation of themselves therein, that might have furthered them in keeping Covenant, but had stuck to him in doing and suffering honestly; a man sincerely, and in the strength of grace stu­dying this, may attain to such a testimony from his own Conscience, and to a good measure of peace; yea, a man that may have quietness in his performing duty upon the account of other tyes, without engaging, may also come to have quietness in his engaging to it.

If then there be a necessity to engage, it may be asked, How peace may be at­tained in it, and how we may be helped to perform? Answ. 1. We should en­deavour to be clear and quiet, as to the soundness of our by-past engagements, and of these we presently enter in, as to the motives, grounds, ends, and manner of engaging, that all be right there. 2. If any thing be seen to be wrong, it should be taken with, and mended, that we use not Vows mainly to put by a chal­lenge for the time, without any more of it. 3. Ye should seriously mind these di­rections: 1. Forget not your Vows and Engagements, be minding them often▪ and thinking of them so as they may never be forgotten, Jerem. 50. 4, 5. 2. Defer not to pay them, Eccles. 5. 4. Deut. 23. 21. Delayes make the impression of the weight of the Vow, & of the dread of him to whom it is made, much to wear out: and taking liberty to be stack in paying of it, for, but for this once, or for a little while, is a direct breach of it self, and maketh way for more. 3. Keep in mind, and entertain such a frame of spirit as ye were in when they were at first made▪ such humility, tenderness, awe of God, &c. We often, alace! take on Vows in a good frame, to be on the matter a sort of excuse for us in letting such a frame go, or at least to ease us a little for the time, as if engaging were performance, which is not the least part of the deceit of our hearts. 4. The performance of the thing would be followed as it is undertaken▪ to wit, in the strength of grace, and by virtue of life derived from Jesus Christ, quickning and strengthening us both as promising and performing. 5. We should be often considering the fearfulness of the sin of breaking, and examining our selves about our keeping of them; making breaches, that are particularly observed, the matter of confession to God, and of serious re­pentance before him. If we would suffer these things to sink down deep in us as in the sight of God, this no doubt would make them have a quite other impression. 6. We should still keep the knot fast, and if one promise or resolution seem to be loosed▪ we should forthwith cast another▪ or if one obligation given, seem to be weakned, we should give another, that there may be still some obligation standing over our heads; and following engagements, not formally, but soberly and seri­ously renewed, may be made use of to bind on the former upon us, and to make them more effectual, so say they▪ Jerem. 50. 4, 5. going, and weeping as they go, C [...]me let us [...]oyn our selves unto the Lord in a perpetual Covenant, never to be forgotten. This is to be understood mostly, if not only, of private engagements; as for pu­blick solemn Oaths and Covenants, we neither find in Scripture that they have been frequent▪ but on some great and very grave occasion; neither could they [Page 98] well be, (so great multitudes engaging in them) without diminishing from the weight of them, and so without wronging of Gods Name. 7. We should by no means suffer breaches, though never so small, to lye long on, but should get us to the Fountain with them, as foul and loathsome, lest they bring on more and greater.

Now then try Perjury and breach of Vows and Oaths to God. 1. In Baptism, which extendeth to engage professing Believers to the mortification of sin, and to the study of holiness as to both Tables of the Law, and to a conversation as beco­meth the Gospel. 2. In, and at Communions, where the same Covenant is sealed. 3. In your Oaths solemnly taken in Covenants. 4. In your more private engage­ments to G [...]d, and for him to others.

Beside these which are common, some come under particular Oaths and En­gagements by vertue of their stations; as Ministers, Elders, Magistrates, for the faithful discharge of their respective duties; some by their Relations, Office, and Place, as Husbands and Wives each to other; as Parents in reference to their Children, to bring them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, and in his fear; some by vertue of their common Trades and Callings have come under par­ticular Oaths to such and such Incorporations, Trades, &c. And some on more particular occasions have come under engagements: O look well what you do, and have done: there will, I fear, many be found Perjured, I do not here speak of every particular infirmity, but certainly there is sin against God, and Perjury be­fore him which cannot easily, if at all, be interpreted so with men; in which re­spect, Mal. 2. the Lord condemned putting away an innocent Wife, even though it seemed to have a permission by Law▪ in these things when men do not what they may do, or if there be yet more in their power then is done, or if the obliga­tion of the Oath on them awe them not, or weight them not, it cannot but be [...] prophaning of the Lords Oath: Many, alace, according to their several relations and stations, are found guilty here, who have little or no awe of God on them in these things.

In sum, This Command is broken these three wayes, in reference to such en­gagements: 1. In shunning to make them when we are called to it. 2. In not making them rightly. 3. In not performing of them when made; and it bi [...] ­deth 1. Absolutely to many things, which cannot come within the compass of or­dinary infirmity. 2. To eschew all known sinful deeds, as Swearing, and what may be inductive to it, Drunkenness, unlawful Gaming, needless Contentions, &c. 3. To do all outward duties, as to Read, Hear, Pray▪ &c. 4. To do them as se­riously as we may. 5. Not to lye in any seen or known sin here forbidden, not to delay Repentance, though for never so little a while; it dispenseth not at all here, because these are in our power, and when we fail, it is not out of ordinary infirmity.

Beside what is said, there are yet two wayes of taking or using the Name of God, which are [...]ib or of kin to Oaths; The 1. is that of appealing to God to judge, as David did, that God might judge betwixt him and persecuting Saul, 1 Sam. [...]4. 1 [...]. The second is that of attesting God, thus, The Lord knoweth, God is my Witness, my Witness is in Heaven, &c. as Joh doth, chap. 16. 19. and Paul, Rom. 1. 9. These are lawful when called unto and rightly gone about, but when abused in rash pre­cipitant, [Page 99] passionate appeals, or in unjust matter, as Sarahs was▪ Genes. 16. and in rash unnecessary attestations, or in triffling matter; they are more then an ordinary ta­king of Gods Name in vain; and therefore should never lightly be interposed and made use of.

The great breach of this Command is Blasphemy, though Perjury be most di­rect. That we may see how this sin is fallen into, we shal 1. Define it; 2. Divide or distinguish it, which we shall find to be exceeding broad▪ Blasphemy then against God, (as the word beareth) is a wronging of Gods holy Majesty by some reproach­full speeches or expressions, uttered to his disgrace▪ we say Uttered, because that which is in the heart is most part Atheism, and Infidelity, and so belongeth to the first Command.

Of this there are three sorts, or there are three wayes whereby men fall into it: 1. When any thing unbecoming God, is in word attributed to him, is unjust, un­holy, unmercyful, &c. such as that complaint, Ezek. 18. 25. The wayes of the Lord are not equal. 2. When what is due to him is denyed him; as when he is said, not to be Eternal, Omniscient, Almighty, &c. as he was by proud Pharaoh, and railing Ra [...]shaketh in his masters Name, who most insolently talked at that high rate of blas­phemy, Who is the Lord that I should they his Voyce? &c. Who is the Lord that is able to deliver you out of my hand? Exod. [...]. Isai. 36. 18. 20. 3. When what is due to God is attributed to a Creature, or arrogated by a Creature; thus the Jews charged Christ as guilty of blasphemy, Luke 7. 49. and John 10. 33. (supposing him to be a Creature) because he forgave sins, and called himself God; of this sort of blasphe­my, as to some degree of it, is the commending or crying up our own or others parts, pains, wit, &c. for attaining, effecting, and bringing to pass of somewhat to the prejudice of divine providence; so those of Zidon did to Herod, Acts 12. 22. And thus often men make Mediators and Saviours, as it were of themselves and of other men.

2. This Blasphemy may either be immediately and directly against God him­self, or any of the persons of the blessed Godhead; or mediately and indirectly a­gainst him, when it is against his Ordinances of the Word, Prayer. Sacraments, &c. by vilifying them in expressions, or against his people, or the work of his spirit in them: he is indirectly blasphemed in them when they or it, are mocked; as when Pauls much learning in the Gospel is called madness, or when real and serious Religion, Repentance, or Holiness, are called Conceitedness, Pride, Preciseness, Fancy, &c.

3. Blasphemy may be considered, either as it is deliberate and purposed as in the Pharisees; or 2. As it is out of infirmity, rashness, and unwatch [...]ulness, over▪ex­pressions: or 3. Out of ignorance, as Paul was a Blasphemer before his Conver­sion, 1 Tim. 1. 15.

4 It may be considered, 1. As against the Father. 2. As against the Son. 3. As against the Holy Ghost: all are spoken of, Matth. 12. and Mark 3.

1. Blasphemy against the Father is that which striketh either against the Godhead simply; or any of the Attributes which are due to God, and so its against all the persons in common; or against the Trinity of persons when it is denyed, and so that relation of Father in the Godhead is blasphemed.

2. Blasphemy against the Son, is when either his Godhead in the Eternity of it [Page 100] is denyed, as it was by the Phetini [...]s and A [...]ians; or when the distinction of his Natures in their respective true properties retained by each nature is denyed; or when he is denyed in his Offices, as if he did not satisfie Divine Justice for the sins of the Elect as a Priest, which is done by the Socinians; or, as if he had not a King­dom or Authority: or when other Mediators, or other satisfactions to Justice are set up and put in his room; or when another Head and Husband to the Church, Prince, or Pope; or another Word then what is written are made and obtruded upon her▪ and the like, whereof there are many in Popery, in which respect Anti­christ is said to have many names of blasphemy, Rev. 13.

3. Blasphemy against the Spirit may be considered, either as it is against the third Person of the Godhead, and so it is against the Trinity; and was that errour pecu­liar to Mac [...]do [...]ius, or the [...], or pugnantes contr [...] Spiritual; that is, fighters against the Spirit; or it may be considered as it looketh especially to the operation, or work of that Spirit in a mans self, and so it is that peculiar Blasphemy spoken of, Matth. 12. 32. Which when all other Blasphemies are declared to be pardonable, is said never to be pardoned. [...]his is the highest degree of Blasphe­my, which may be so, 1. In that it is not at any time fallen into by a Believer or an Elect. 2. That it is not often fallen into, even by others that are Reprobates. 3. That it is hardly known to the person himself that is guilty of it, but much less to others. 4. That it is never repented of, and (we think) doth never affect, because it is never pardoned; all other sins are pardonable, and many are actually par­doned.

1. This sin then is not every sin, though all sins grieve the Spirit, Ephes. 4. 27. Nor 2. is it any sin of infirmity, or of ignorance, even such as Pauls was: Nor 3. Is it any sin (even though against knowledge) committed against the second Table of the Law, such as David fell into, and may be pardoned: Nor 4. Is it every sin that is against Christ and clear light, for Peter denyed him, but it was of infirmity, Matth. 26. [...]0.

But this sin is 1. in the main of the Gospel, and as to its saving work. 2. It is not only against light, but against the Spirits present testifying of it, or bearing wit­ness to it, and after fore-going convictions yielded unto in some measure, and sticking or lying on as weighty, and making the Conscience to challenge, as may be gathered from Hebr. 6. 3. It is not in one particular sin or act, but in a total and resolute opposing of the Truth, whereof men are convinced, seeking to bear it down in others, and to extirpate it out of the World, as the Pharisees did, Matth. 12. Who not onely rejected Christ as to themselves, but opposed him in all others, and sought utterly to undo the Truth; This is the Heir, come let us kill him, say they. 4. This opposition flows from malice against the Truth, hatred of it, and from accounting it a thing unworthy to be in the World; not out of fear or infirmity, or from mistake, but out of envy and despight at it for it self: On this account the Lord objecteth it to the Pharisees, John 15. 24. But now they have both seen and ha­ted me, and my Father, and Matth. 21. 5. It is universal against every thing of the Spirit, and obstinately constant, without any relenting, grief, or fear, except onely left it attain not its end: the fear of that tormenteth it; but its malice and hatred groweth, as it is marred or obstructed, being delibe­rately begun and prosecuted. 6. It has in it a special contempt of, and dis­dain [Page 101] at those special means and works of the Spirit, whereby a sinner is re­claimed, as Convictions, Repentance, Renewing again to it, &c. Thus Hebr. 10. 10. It doth despight to the Spirit, and to Jesus Christ, as to any ap­plication; it contemptuously rejecteth him and his satisfaction, and any glance of the Spirit that beareth that in; simple contempt, through ignorance and infir­mity, is against the Son, but this which is thus qualified, is against the Spirit, and is never to be pardoned; the first is against the object Christ, but the second is against him who is, or him as born in on sinners by the Spirit, and as contemned by them after their being under these convictions, and acknowledging of them; this irremissibleness, is not simply that the sin shall not be pardoned, for so many sins are to the Reprobates; nor yet simply, because it endeth in final impenitency (though that be with it too) since many sins are followed by that also: but we con­ceive it to be in these:

1. That seeing this sin (which can be said of no other sin) doth willfully, and out of despight, reject Christ, there can be no other Sacrifice gotten to expiate it, Hebr. 10. [...]6. There remaineth no more [...]crifice for it, and though the person after the first Commission of it may be keeped a while in the Land of the living, yet the nature of that sin being to grow in malice, and to reject that remedy there being no other, and this being still willfully and maliciously rejected, availeth them not; so their sin is never pardoned.

2. That the Person guilty of this sin cannot be renued by Repentance, the heart of him suppressing that work maliciously; this impossibility is not from the ineffi­cacy of Grace, but from the order which God hath laid down in the working of Repentance, and in the pardoning of the Penitent; so that as he will pardon none but repenting Believers, so he will work repentance in none but in those who yield, through Grace, to his Spirits Work.

3. That God in Justice hath sentenced that sin with impenitency, and unpar­donableness, making that one sin thus Capital and unpardonable; thereby to scare the more from thwarting with his Spirit, he has denyed ever to give them that are guilty of it, Repentance, and hath said, that he will plague them with spiritual im­penitency unto the end.

Fifthly, Blasphemy may be considered as it is. 1. Doctrinal, or maintained by some men in their Tenents, such were those of the old Hereticks, such are those of the Pelagians, Papists, and Arminians, as to the nature of Providence, and the work of Grace upon hearts, or 2. As it is in expressions indeliberately brought forth, or 3. In Oaths, as when men swear by the Wounds, Blood, Soul, &c. of our blessed Lord, which as they are horrible to hear, so is it reproachful to his Majesty, that these should be so abused, or 4. In Deeds. Writing, Painting, Acting, Re­presenting any thing Derogatory to him, which are also charged with Blasphe­my, in abusing Gods Name to such ends. 5. It may be in a high Degree, when men act such a Blasphemy, or consequently when they punish it not, when we do not rent our Cloaths (as it were) at the hearing and seeing such things in Testimony of our sorrow and Detestation (which was the sin of the Princes, Jerem. 36. verse 24, 25. Who though they were some-what displeased, yet they had not zeal vigorous against that wicked Deed of the King:) When we have not suitable hatred [Page] against such & such blasphemous Doctrines, Rev. 1. 23. much more if we Extenuat [...] them Defend them, or Plead for them, or 6. It may be either, as we are guilty of it by our own Deeds, or when we make our selves guilty of the blasphemy of others, as having sinfully occasioned it to them, tempted them to it, and laid such and such a stumbling before them, as is said of David, 2 Sam. 12. 14. and of the Jews, Rom 2. 24. That they caused others to blaspheme the Name of God because of them▪ thus Christians, especially those who have a profession beyond ordinary, and parti­cularly Wives and Servants, by their miscarriages become guilty of the blasphemy of others, against Godliness, and such and such Duties of Religion, because they give occasion to it, though that make it not a whit the less fault to them that blas­pheme: see that casten up to his people, Ezek. 36. 20. [...]1. O how tender should Professors be in this matter! lest ungodly men get occasion to speak ill, who lye a [...] the wait to catch all advantages to fortifie themselves in their natural prejudice a [...] godliness, and draw their conclusions from miscarriages, not so much against the particular persons miscarrying, as against the way of God, and the whole genera­tion of the godly.

There are these things especially that make others blaspheme, 1. Some gross out▪breaking as David▪ Adultery, 2. Pride, Passion and Contention amongst godly men, when they walk as men, 1 Cor. 3. and 4. and Contentiously, 1 Corinth. 6. 3, Covetonsness and earthly-mindedness, 4. Manifest unsingleness, and self de­signs, driven under a Cloak of Religion, which maketh them call all that are Reli­gious, Cheats, 5. Sinful shunning; and shifting off Suffering, 6. Undutifulness of Inferiors in the several duties of their Relations to Superiours, as of Wives to Hus­bands, of Servants to Masters, of Subjects to Magistrates, 1 Pet. 2. 15. Tit. 2. 4. 5. 10. 7. Following of errours by Professors, 1 Pet. 2. 2.

6. Blasphemy, may be considered either as it is, here in the way by men living, or as it is by them in the place of Torment; who keeping still, no doubt their for­mer wicked Nature and Corruption, and not considering God. as he is in himself but as they feel him in the severity of his Justice punishing them, cannot have good thoughts of him, but will fret at his power and Justice▪ which they cannot get free of, though it is like, after their sentence is past, this is to be considered, as a part of their cursed Estate▪ and doth increase meritoriously their Judgment, as Blasphemy in the way did.

These wayes of breaking this command spoken unto are more gross and extra­ordinary: we should now speak a word to such as are more common in our pra­ctise, and these are of two sorts.

The first is more gross, when the Name of God, or any thing bearing the Name of God as his Ordinances. Word, Sacraments, Prayer, &c. are prophaned, out of Duty. This is done. 1. When these are mocked, or scorned, which is a high De­gree of prophaning his Name, 2. When the Scripture-phrases, expressions, or terms are baffled (to speak so) to our sinful scoffing, Jeibing, and geiring of others, though we do not directly mock or geir at the Scripture it self. 3, When in ordi­nary discourse, and unnecessarily, Gods Name is used, though we intend not swearing, neither think that we do swear. 4. When ordinarily upon such and such occasions▪ the Lords Name is used in irreverent, and unwarrantable exclama­tions, as, O Lord, O God, what is this or that, &c. I hope in God, or trust in God to [Page 103] see such a thing, &c. And possibly sometimes in passion. 5. When it is used in way of by-word, or of certain irreverent prayers, when a person is troubled and grieved, and would express that passion at some thing that falleth out not desired, God help me, God save me, what is that? what mean ye? God forgive me, God bless me, for Gods blessing do such a thing: If God will, in Gods strength, and I trust in God, &c. I shall do such and such a thing: for Gods sake do this or that, &c. 6. When it is used in meer complements, God keep you, God be with you, God bless you, &c. which, with many, are too ordinary Complements. 7. When it is used lightly in way of asseveration and indirect swearing, God a bit, God have me, if it be so, &c. 8. When it is used in a senseless and superstitious custome, up­on such and such particular occasions, as when men say, O, God be blessed, and God bless at sternutation or neesing (which Plinius reporteth to have been used by Heathens, and particularly by Tiberius, who was none of the most religious men) God be here, God be in this house, when one entereth into a house; or when the Clock striketh.

The second way (which is less gross, but more ordinary) whereby we fail in re­ference to this Command, is in lawful and necessary duties of worship, by sinful and unprofitable discharging of these; whereby the Name of God is often taken in vain, and his holiness which he loveth prophaned: this fault and failing is two wayes fallen into.

1. In respect of the manner of going about such Ordinances or duties of wor­ship. 1. When the Lord is not sanctified in them, nor the rule and manner pre­scribed by Him, kept; this way, sinned Nadab and Abihu, Levit. 10. by their offering of strange fire. The Lord complaineth of Israel as guilty of this, Esai. 29 [...]3. compared with Matth. 15. 8. 9. While they drew near with their lips, and their hearts were far away, they worship me in vain, saith the Lord, teaching for Doctrines the commandments of men. 2. When men use not such ordinances, and perform not such duties profitably, when prayer, reading of the Scripture, Sacrament, Ser­mons, &c. want their native fruit, then his Name is taken in vain, and in that respect his Ordinances frustrated and made, as if they had not been used or performed, so 2 Cor. 6. 1. To receive the Grace of God in vain, is to miss or let go the benefit of it, and to frustrate and disappoint our selves of the native end and use of it; This is the first way in respect of which our duties are in vain as to God, so as he will no [...] regard them.

The second way is as to our selves, and here again we may consider the taking of the Lords Name in vain, in ordinances and duties two wayes, either 1. Simply, where there is no honesty at all in them, not fruit from them, but meer Hypocrisie, or at least Hypocrisie in such particular Acts. Or 2. when it is Comparative, that is, though there may be some reality and fruit, yet considering what it should be; yea, considering what means the person hath, there is a great defect as to that which should and might have been; thus were the Hebrews challenged, Hebr. 5. 12. not that they were altogether fruitless, but that they were not so fruitful as under, and by such means they might have been, and that therefore they had in a great part used them and received them in vain; this may and often doth befall even those who have some measure of sincerity, yet fall far short of what they might have at­tained of the knowledge of God, and of other blessed fruits by the right improve­ment of the means they had.

[Page 104] We may add a third way how his Name is taken in vain, and that in respect o [...] it self, or of the ordinance or duty; what indeed it is, and in respect of what it ap­peareth to be, when the shew is much more than the substance; and when the sincerity, reality, and inward Reverence and esteem of our heart in nameing God, keepeth no just proportion with the words of our mouth, and our large external profession; thus did the Pharises, and thus do all Hypocrits take and bear Gods name in vain, not being at all answerable to what they seem to be; thi [...] may be also in others comparatively, in respect, 1. of the Law. 2. in respect of the means we have, 3. in respect of our profession.

That our Conviction may be the clearer, let us see what belongeth to the righ [...] going about of duty, or to the suitable mentioning of the Lords Name, the want whereof, or any part thereof maketh us more or less guilty of taking it in vain 1. Then there is a necessity that we propose a good and right end, and al [...] singly at it; for if all things should be done to Gods glory, this of the Naming of the Lord should be in a special manner so: this is a mans call to Pray, Preach▪ Hear, &c. to wit, the concernment of Gods Name, that is, 1. That God may be honoured. 2. That we our selves, or others may be edified. 3. That a command may be obeyed in the Conscience of Duty; Those then who adven­ture to profess or name God, or to go about any ordinance, seeking themselves and not the Lord, as is supposed men may do, 2 Cor. 4. 5. 2. out of envy▪ as they did of whom Paul speaketh, Phil. 1. 15, 16. 3, To be honoured of men, as the Pharisees designed by their long prayers. 4. For the fashion, or out of meer custome. 5. For making peace with God, by mentioning his name so of­ten in Ordinances, mis-regarding and taking no notice of the Mediator in the mean time: these I say and such like will meet with that sad word, In vain doy worship me.

2. There is a necessity of a good principle in naming the Lord (to speak so) both of a Moral and Physical principle: the Moral, is Conscience, and not Custome, which falleth in with the end, the Physical is the Holy Ghost, 1 Cor. 12. 3. No man calleth Jesus Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. 2. A renewed heart, thus Duties must be done with the spirit, as well as with the understanding 3. Sinc­erity, as to the exercise even of the natural faculties; Thus what ever unrenew­ed men speak in Duty, without the Spirits influence and exercise of grace, they make themselves guilty in it; and, when they say, what in sincerity they think not.

3. It is necessary that that principle act in the right manner, that is, 1, Sincere­ly. Josh. 24. 14. 2. In fear and reverence, Eccl. 5. 1, 2. 3. With faith an dre­spect to Jesus Christ, Heb. 11. 6. 4. With Judgment and understanding. To speak of him, not knowing what we say, or to whom we speak, wrongeth him: thus ignorant, passionate, rash, irreverent and inadvertent mentioning of God, or medling with any Ordinance or Duty, wrongeth him, and is a bringing of vain oblations, which he expresly forbiddeth, Esa. 1. 13.

4. When ever we make mention of God, we should study to be in case to mention him as ours, as our God and Father in Christ, in all ordinances and du­ties, that is, 1. Taking up our natural distance. 2. Looking to Christ for remov­ing of it. 3. Resting on him, and making use of him for that end. 4. Delighting [Page 105] in the mentioning of God as ours. 5. With thanksgiving and blessing, when ever he is named, as the Apostle often doth.

5. It is required in respect of the use, fruit, and effect, that something which is profitable may remain and stick with us, according to the nature of the duty which is gone about, or the way of mentioning God, such as some conviction and testimony of the Conscience. 1. That Gods honour; 2. The edification of others in way of Instruction, or Conviction, or of Reproof, or of Comfort, &c. 3. My own edi­fication and spiritual advantage, or, 4. My own exoneration and peace, as to the per­formance of such a duty, were in some measure of singleness aimed at and endeavou­red; and as there is a missing of any of these, Repentance should be exercised, and faith for pardon; some fruit, some sense, some lesson, some discoveries, some convi­ctions, &c. would be sought after to remain. When these or any of these, (if all the rest of them can be altogether without one) are wanting, this command is simply broken; if in part they be wanting, it is comparatively more or less broken.

Let us then take a view in particulars. 1. Look to our profession, Oh! what emptiness is there, much more appearance and shew, then reality and substance? yea, what desiring to seem something, rather then to be? if our professions (who are least in them) were met and measured by our reality, O how lamentable vast a dispropor­tion would be found? the one would be quickly found much broader and longer then the other, the outer-half much bagged as it were, being a great deal larger then the inner, even where there is most sincerity and reality.

2. Look through publick duties, if there be not much taking of Gods Name in vain, in hearing, praying, praising, using the Sacraments, &c. and if so, O what a Li­bell might be drawn up against us from every Sabbath, Prayer, Sermon, &c. whereof we often cannot tell what fruit remaineth, except it be sin, guilt, and hardness; and therefore doubtless his Name is much taken in vain in them.

3. Look through private duties in Families, Reading, Praying, Singing, Confer­ring, Catechifing, saying Grace, or seeking a Blessing, and giving thanks at Table; how little regard is often had to the name of the Lord in these? and how little care and pains is taken to walk by the former rules in them?

4. Look through secret duties, betwixt God and you, how ye pray in secret before God: Ah! often so, as ye would be ashamed to pray before men; how do ye Read, Meditate, &c. in secret? how do ye joyn in prayer with others? which in some re­spect is secret; God knoweth how poorly we acquit our selves in these ordinarily, and how much we take his Name in vain in them.

5. Look through occasional duties, wherein ye have occasion to make mention of God with or to others, as when upon any Emergent of providence, we will say, It is Gods will, God hath done it, God is good and merciful, &c. or in any particular duty of Christian Communion, in instructing, comforting, admonishing, or convincing of others, or debating with them; how often, when the Scripture, and the name of God will be in our mouths: in these, and the matter of debate may fall to be some of his Ordinances, will there be but very little reverence and respect to God in our hearts?

6. Consider how this sin of taking his Name in vain is fallen in by writing, not only when Treatises are written, but almost in every Epistle or Letter, there will be found some prayer or wish, for fashion-sake, wherein there is but little Conscience made to have the heart joyning in it; how much irreverent using of the Scripture and of Gods Name, is there in writing of Letters, particularly of Burial-letters, thus. [Page 106] It hath pleased the Lord, it hath seemed good to God, it hath pleased God or the Almighty, &c. I am not condemning the thing simply, but our way of abu­sing it,

7. Look through accidental mentioning of God (if we may say so) in salut­tations, God save you, God be with you; In prayers for Children, evidencing rather our fondness on them thereby, then our love and reverence to the Name of God; for such as are in any present hazard, God save; for any favour, curte­sie or complement, God bless; these are good (as the Apostle saith of the Law) if used lawfully, but they are often sinfully, rashly, ignorantly, yea prophanely abused, we having often more respect to them we speak unto, then unto God. I would not condemn the use of them being duties, but exhort you to gard against the abuse, and to use a grave, reverent, understanding, and sensible way of ex­pressing of them, or of any thing like them.

8. Consider narrations of Scripture-stories, or other stories, questions, tales, &c. wherein the Name of God is mentioned, and possibly when we tell them, to make a sport of them, and to make merry with them; how often is his blessed Name taken in vain in them? certainly the mentioning of his Name were often better forborn, then so irreverently used.

9. Consider the usurping of Gods Attributes, or of an interest in him, rashly, as when men confidently, yet without all warrant, assert God is mine; I trust in his mercy, sweet Christ my Saviour, my Mediator: Ah! how often is this, which is the very Crown of grace, to wit, in Gods doing good and shewing mercy, abused and prophaned most sinfully and shamefully!

There is one particular, which yet remaineth to be spoken of on this Third Com­mand, which concerneth Lots, Omens, Superstitious Observations and such like, whereby the Name of God is wronged, in being not only slighted, contemned and taken in vain in these events (which yet are guided by Him) but the Disposal of things, which is due to God, is denyed to Him, and Attributed to Chance, Luck, Fortune, and such like.

We shall then: 1. Shew what Lotting or Lottery is. 2. How it concerneth this Command. 3. Distinguish Lots, into several sorts. 4. Shew what are Lawful, and when they are Lawful. 5. What are Unlawful.

A Lot or Lotting is, The Committing, of the Decision of some thing, in an im­mediate way to Divine Providence, without the intervening Causalities, or in­fluence, of any second Cause, to sway in that Decision: So that when the thing falleth out, and is decided, there can be no Reason given, Why it is so on Mens part, but that the Lord was pleased to dispose: As it was in that Instance of Lot­ting, about the Election of the twelve Apostle, in Judas his room, Acts 1. So from Prov. 16. 33. It's clear that that is a Lot; Whereof the whole disposal is of God: And therefore it is said, Chap. 18. 18. To cause Contentions to cease, and to part be­twixt the Mighty: Because none can quarrel, concerning that which Man hath no hand in.

A Lot may be many ways appointed, either by the throw of a Dice, or the like; or by some other mean putting difference, betwixt one and other, even as men shall appoint: as when it is; By what Beast they shall first see, by what saying, or by what Book they shall first hear, or look on▪ &c. Onely we think Lots differ from [Page 107] Omens, or superstitious Observations, thus: 1. Lots are to decide betwixt two; the other are Collections, which one may make concerning himself. 2. Lots follow on some appointment that is mutual and are free; the other may be other­wayes.

That Lots in the use of them, concern this Command, these things will make it out several wayes. 1. That which putteth God to it, in an immediate way, con­cerneth this Command, especially; I mean, whatever putteth him to declare his mind, or reveal himself, that putteth him to it, and is a special implicite invocating of Him: But Lots or Lotting, putteth him to it, in an immediate way; For, 1. None other can dispose of them but he, Prov. 16. 33. 2. What is discovered by those Lots, is either Gods mind or the Devils, or is by chance; but it cannot be any of the latter two, therefore it is the first. 3. It is the putting him to it, more then he is by Prayer: Because, 1. It is by an Extraordinary way, and often ad­ded to Prayer. 2. It is for the manifesting of a secret Decree; For by it, we are to understaud, what God has appointed, and Eternally decreed, concern­ing such an event. Hence it is, that in Scripture, Prayer is so often, if not alwayes joyned with it; and therefore it must in a special manner belong to this Com­mand: Yea, if God be slighted in it, he is wronged: if acknowledged accor­ding to his Interest, he is in a special manner concerned, where he wholly ordereth the thing.

2. It is either a Mean, appointed by him to understand his mind or not; if ap­pointed by him, then it is in so far his Ordinance, and his Name is concerned in it; if not, then it is abused.

3. The medling with Gods Secret, or with his Will, or Way of revealing it in his Providence, must belong to this Command; but this especially, meddleth with all these: Therefore, &c.

4. That which cannot be gone about, but the Name of the Lord, is either wron­ged or honoured, in it: must necessarily belong to this Command, for that is the scope of it: But none can Lot without either depending on God, for the ordering of, and acknowledging of him in it, when it is done; and so without honouring him, or neglecting him, and so taking his Name in vain. 1. By miskenning his Providence, and thinking to get that decided some other way. 2. By irreverent going about it. 3. By Attributing it to some other thing. 4. By not acknow­ledging God in it, nor submitting to it, when done so. So then these three wayes men fail, and take Gods Name in vain. 1. Before the Lot. 2. In the time of it. 3. After it is past.

Lots, are ordinarily divided into three sorts. 1. Divine, which are from ex­traordinary Warrants. 2, Devilish, wherein the Devil is either invocated, or, in Circumstances, the Decision is put to him, and guided by him. 3. Humane, which are ordinarily gone about amongst men.

Again, They are divided: 1. In Divinatory. 2. Consultatory, whereby men find out somewhat that is secret, as Soul found out Jonathan; or are led to some Duty. 3. Divisory. By such the Land of Canaan was divided, Joshua 13. 6. 4. Lus [...]ry, or, for Play: This division is large and Comprehensive, and hath seve­ral steps, according to the weight of the things, as they are greater or smaller, or indifferent.

[Page] Conce [...]ning them we say: That all Consultatory, and Divinatory Lots, except ly an Extraordinary Warrant▪ are unlawfull and a Tempting of God, who has now given us other wayes and means, to direct us in what is meet for [...] to do,

2 Concerning those Devilish Lots, there is no Question of the Abomina­blen [...]ss of them; such as fore-telling of Fortunes, Horo-Scopes, or Deaths; the finding of things lost by naming of all suspected Persons, turning the Ri d e, &c.

Yet 3. We dare not condemn all Divisory Lots, if rightly gone about.

Be [...]ause, they are frequently made use of, in the Scripture: Joshua 7. 13, 14, and 15 &c. Acts 1. Yea, they seem to be from the Light of Nature, Jona 1. 2. The use of them, is Moral and perpetual, Prov. 18. 18. To cause Contentions to cease, and to part between the Mighty. 3. When they are rightly gone about, they are a Honouring of God, and are a Manifest acknowledging of his Providence. I say, Rightly gone about: Where, 1. The matter should be weighty or of some Conse­quence; that is, It should either be weighty in it self; or it should be so by some Con equence, or Inconvenience; making a light thing in it self weighty, other­wise it is (as Swearing is, in a matter of no moment) but a baffling of his Or­dinance.

2. It should be Necessary, that is a thing, that without many Inconveniences, cannot be in another way decided: otherwise to put God to reveal his mind, in an Extraordinary way, when there is an Ordinary at hand, is a tempting of God; even as, to leap over a Wall is, while there is an ordinary passage to go thorow by.

3. It should be with a due Respect to God, acknowledging him, to be the Deci­sor, calling on his Name in the use of it, and looking to him for the Decision, as we see almost in all Lottings, and even of those Heathens, Jonah 1.

4. It should be gone about, in the right manner. 1. With Reverence, as if we were to hear God pronounce the Sentence, and speak his Mind; as while Saul is a-taking, the People stand before the Lord, 1 Sam. 10. 19, 22. 2. In the Faith that God guideth it; and so, without Anxiety and fear. 3. In Singleness, Committing it to Him, even in Heart, as well as in Appearance; Abstaining from all Fraud or Tricks, or any thing which may have influence, as a second cause, to mar or cast the Decision; this were a high way of mocking God, to put the Decision to Him, and yet to endeavour to give the Answer our selves,

Lastly, After the Lot, there should be a reverend acknowledging of Gods Mind, without fretting or grumbling, and a chearful submitting to it, as we see in all the Cases instanced in Scripture. These Rules being observed, we think that for dividing of Stations or Charges; or of Portions, which cannot be other-ways done, without offence or prejudice; Lots may be used.

Yet, I would say these few things, for Caution here: 1. Ye should not in petty things use them, when the matter is of no value at all, or of very small value; so that ye are indifferent, how it falls out: Or when it is not of that weight, that ye would give an Oath in it; but rather quit it, (and there would be here a Proportion kept,) ye should rather in such a Case hazard some Loss then put it to a Lot, out of that Re­verence ye owe to Gods Name: All the Cases in Scripture are weighty: In your Or­dinary Merchandize, I desire you to remember this:

2. Ye should not fail to use your Reason, and honest skill, more, in Sharings and Divisions, for preventing of a Lot. Folks sometimes, betake themselves to these for [Page 109] case, when yet their Reason, rightly made use of, might bring to a satisfying Decision. God hath not given Reason to Man in vain, or for nought: when Reason then may do it; essay it, and forbear a Lot.

3. Let it be in such a matter, and so used, as ye may seek God in it, and in-call His Name by Prayer: To lote in a thing, that folks will not, or dare not pray in, agreeth not with Scripture examples, nor with that tenderness which a Believer should have at such a time: It should then be in a thing respecting a promise.

On the contrary, we may see how men fail here, 1. In weighty things, by not keeping the right manner before the Lot, in the time of it, and after it is past, when it endeth not strife. 2. In Trivial things, by making this too Customary; so that folk use the Lot almost in every thing, making that which is extraordinary to become ordi­nary, contrary to the nature thereof. It is an ultimate Judge and Decider, even as an Oath is for ending all Controversies: it is like unto Moses (as one saith,) the great matters should be reserved to it; yea, it is greater then Moses, its God himself, thus in His providence passing a Decision; The lesser things would be other wayes decided.

3. We may gather from what is said, what is to be thought of such Games and Pastimes as run on Lottery (having that for the very foundation of them) and have an immediate dependance on providence for the issue of them.

1. That they are Lottery cannot be denyed, for they have all that is in Lotting; there is in them a putting of things to a doubtful event as to us; and that event is guided ei­ther by God, or by some other, and which-ever of the two, we say, it will be a breach of this Command; so trivially for our pleasure to take the Name of God in vain, as many formally do; for none can tell, how such a thing will come to pass by any reason.

2. That to do so, or to use a Lot in this case is a sin, may also be made out clearly. 1. Because it is against the end of Lots, which is to divide or decide where there is Controversie, and so it interverteth their end, and becometh sinful; even as swearing where no Controversie is, is a sin. 2. There is either no necessity at all to take that way, orthere is but a made-necessity of our own, it must therefore be a tempting of God; as suppose this to be the end of Lotting, to know in the upshot whether so much Money should belong to you, or to me; no doubt, that point of right to whom the Money belongeth, may be decided as well at the entry; therefore this way of deci­sion is in vain.

3. That Lotting which hath in it no reverence to God, but baffleth his Name, nor is consistent with the right manner of Lotting, cannot be lawful: but this is such: for it is not only, de facto, contrary to the former rules, but in its own nature is inconsi­stent with them: this is clear, 1. From the great frequency of Lot [...]ing in these Games. 2. In the little dependance on God for the event that is in them; and indeed a spiritual frame of dependance on him, cannot well, if at all consist with them. 3. From its inconsistency with serious prayer: what! can or dare men pray in earnest for Gods guiding in these things, in every throw of Dice, or shuffling of the Cards? or in faith expect still the revealing of his Decree that way? or when it is done, and past, can they suitably acknowledge Him in it? Men dare not look so seriously on these things, yea, they know they dare not.

4. That way of Lotting; which cannot but occasion the wronging of the Name of the Lord, and his providence, cannot be right; but this is such: for we must say, that either Gods hand is not at all in such things, and so we deny his providence; or we must say that he may be put to it, by this common and coarse way, and that in our [Page 110] sport, and for our pleasure in his immediate providence to declare his mind; which is a notable Baffling (to say so) and Prophanation of his Name; hence it is that men so often Swear, Curse, Fret, and exclaim in these Games at Cards, Dice, &c. (wherein chance, luck, fortune, &c. are so much looked to, and in a manner dei­fied) and altogether overlook and mis-regard the Majesty of God, as if he had no Providence at all in such things.

5. What is done without warrant of either Scripture-precept or practise, can­not be dose in faith? Now there can be no such warrant drawn from Scripture for such playes or games, the very foundation whereof is Lottery, and not only ac­cidentally and rarely incident to them, as may be on the matter to other lawful re­creations, if that can be called Lottery at all, which is rather an undesigned, unex­pected surprizing incident of providence; whereas in the other, the decision by a Lot is designed, waited for, and all along the game referred unto, and hung upon: yea, it is insuitable and inconsistent with the Scripture-way of using Lot is, which is alwayes in most grave and important things; but this way of [...]sing them is mani­festly to abuse them.

6. That which hath a native tendency to make any Ordinance of God vile and contemptible, cannot be warrantable; Now that Lotting in these Games hath such a tendency to make the Ordinance of a Lot, and of Prayer, which should at least be joyned with it, Contemptible; is obvious to any serious and impartial considere [...] of it, neither can it in reason be thought that, that which is in so sacred a manner, and with Prayer to God, to be gone about in one thing, and is by Him appointed for such an end as an Oath is; can warrantably be used in a manner, and for ends so vastly different from the former in an other thing.

7. If Lots belong at all to this Command, then these Lotting-Games are un­lawful: for they cannot with any Religious reason be supposed to be commanded in it, and therefore they must be forbidden. And if in trivial things Lots be un­lawfull, much more in such Games which end not strife and contentions, but often and ordinarily begin them, and bring them to a height: and therefore do the Ancients declaim against this as a Sacrificing to Devils, and invented by Idolaters.

If it be said here, that these things are thought but very little of by men: Answ. It is true, and no great wonder; for most men use but to think little of the breach of this Command. Yet are their breaches sinful notwithstanding; as many take Gods Name in their mouth lightly, and think but little of it, and yet that maketh not their doing so, cease to be a sin. God hath added his Certification here the more peremptorily for that very end, that men may not think little, or light­ly of the very least breach of this Command (to let pass more grosse breaches of it.)

If it be further objected here, Why may not such Playes or Games be used as well as other Playes, wherein sometimes Chance or Fortune (as they call it) will cast the Ballance? Answ. 1. Though in those other, Chance may now and then occasionally occur, yet that is but accidental, these are simply, or at least most­ly guided by Lotting, and immediate providences, and cannot be prevented or made to be other wayes by the best art and skill of men. 2. In these other Games there is an intervention of second causes, and an use of mens parts; Natural and [Page 111] Moral, for obtaining such an end ultimate (in some respect) and immediate; as for example, when men strike a Ball with a Club, or throw a Boul to a hole, they are guided therein rationally, as they are in coming down a Stair; and they act therein, as in other things by second causes and use of means, whether of Body or mind; but in these Lotting-Games it is not [...]o, for all is cast and hung upon extraor­dinary providence, even as if a man, who cannot, would be take himself to swim­ming in, or walking upon the Water, when an other betaketh himself to a Bridge, or to a Boat.

In sum: As Lots and Oaths are much for one end, to wit, the ending of contro­versie and strife. Heb. 6. 16. Prov. 18. 18. So ought the same Rules almost to be ob­served in them both. Then 1. Before the Lot we should look to and follow Gods call, and depend on him in it. 2. In the time of Lotting, we should act reverently. 3. After the Lot we should reverence the Lord, and submit to the event of it as to his mind, even though our frame has not been so right: As an Oath bindeth when taken in lawful matter, though there hath been rashness as to the manner, by vertue of Gods Name which is interposed; So do Lots. Because how ever we be as to our frame, it is He who decideth as to the event; therefore ought that decision to be looked on as most Sacred; God having thought good beside the general rules in his Word to give evidence of his mind by Lots, as to some particular events; and though these Games at Dice or Cards may in the compleat frame of them require some skill, how to manage such throws or such particular Cards when a man hath gotten them; yet that, that-throw is such, casting up so many blacks and no more, that such a man hath such Cards and no other, that is meerly by immediate provi­dence, and so must of necessity be a Lot▪ or it is by some other means which would (if assaid) wrong God also very much: And though skill may possibly influence the event as to the upshot of the Game, yet in these throwings or shufflings the [...]e is no skill, or if there be any thing that is accounted Art or skill, it is but deceit, seeing the scope is by these to leave it to providence in its Decision.

This Doctrine concerning such Games, was the Doctrine of the Ancients, who did vehemently inveigh against this sort of Lottery, see Cyprian de Aleatoribu [...], who fathereth it on Zabulus and calleth it the snare of the Devil, and compareth it with Idolatry, so Ambrose de Tobia. pag. 590. It was also in some Councils condemned, Can. Apost. Canon. 42. Con. Trull. Canon. 50.

This hath been the constant ordinary Judgement of Protestant Writers on this Command, and some of them have written peculiar Treatises to this purpose, parti­cularly Danaeus; wherein he proveth that such Lottry is unlawful in it self, and most prejudicial to men; this is likewise the Doctrine of the School-men, though none of the most rigid Casuists, yea it is the Doctrine of our own Church, these being, as unlawful Games, condemned of old; and of late, to wit, Anno 1638. by the gene­ral Assembly of Glasgow, according to a former Act of an Assembly held at Edin­burgh, anno 1596.

Lastly, Consider for scarring from such Games, these two things. 1. The contra­ry events (that follow most ordinarily on such Lottry:) Strifes and Contentions are occasioned; if not caused by them, which are ended by the other, so very diffe­rent are the events. 2. Consider that most men who use them, fall often into grosse prophaning of Gods Name, or into high passions at best.

[Page 112] An Omen, or sign, or Token is, when men propose to and resolve with themselves▪ that if they meet with such and such a thing, they will construct so and so of it, o [...] when they seek it from God for that end; Thus Abrahams Servant did at the Well seek to know the mind of the Lord, and accordingly drew Conclusions about it, con­cerning a Wife to his Masters Son, Genes. 24. So did Jonathan about his assaulting of the Philistines, 1 Sam. 14. So likewise did Gideon about his success against the Mi­dianites, Judgs 6. And Mary for confirmation of her Faith, concerning what was told her by the Angel, Luke 1. 34. This is still to be understood as to some particular fact or event, and not in a common Tract, or for the determination of a general Truth; as for example, Mary believed that Christ was to be born, but knew not that she was to be his Mother; but Zacharias, John the Baptists Father, did (it seemeth) doubt of Gods power, or of the event or Truth of what was told to him; and therefore he sin­ned in seeking a sign when the other did not: The Philistines sinned most grosly, when they sent back the Ark and did hang the Decision of that question, whether then plagues came from the hand of God, or by chance, upon the motion of the Kine▪ 1 Sam. 6. And it is alwayes a sinful tempting of God, when men out of curiosity from unbelief, or needlesly, put him to give a sign that they may thereby know his power, will, or wisdom.

An Observation is, when we gather such a thing from such a providence that occur­reth without any fore-casting of ours, or determining with our selves before hand about it, being a meerly surprising unexpected Emergent: we shall only say in gene­ral concerning Omens, and Observations, that when they agree not with the Word, and our Duty revealed and injoyned therein, they are not to be adventured on nor re­garded, but utterly slighted, because then certainly they degenerate and become ex­travagant; neither are the examples of such who being led by an extraordinary Spirit have used them, to be followed by others who have not the same Spirit: doubtless it is safe for us to take heed to the more sure word of Prophesie, and to follow the uner­ring rule of the Word of God, and not extraordinary examples for which we have no warrant.

Superstitious Observations are not so much about daily occurring providences, which all are obliged piously to mark and improve to the best spiritual advantage, and in the careful marking and suitable improving whereof, there lyeth a special piece of spiri­tual wisdom, more especially of such providences which may, from the Lord, help either to confirm a man in his Duty, or deterr him from a sin or snare; as they are about some set and marked actions of Creatures, and these very fechless and silly too (though I deny not, but that simply they are providences also) which are reputed to be so many fixed Rules and Canons of natural wisdom, but really instituted Spells, or Freets, or the Devils Rudiments and Grammar (to say so) to sink mens minds into Atheism. And Observations are alwayes superstitious, when we collect and conclude that such and such events evil or good, will happen to us, or befall us from such and such occurring works and passages of providence, for which no reason can be drawn either out of the Word of God, or out of the course of nature; in a word, for which there is neither Scripture-warrant, nor can any natural cause or reason be assigned; as for instance, To think, it is unlucky to meet such and such Persons first in the mor­ning (which useth to be called an evil foot) for a Woman with child to step over a Hair-teather, for Folks to neese putting on their Shoes, for one to have Salt falling toward him on the Table (the fear whereof▪ maketh some to suffer no Salt to com [...] to their Table) to have a Hare cross ones way, to burn in the right ear, to bleed some drops of blood, &c. Again to think, that it boadeth good luck for folks to have drink [Page 113] spilt on them, to find old Iron, to burn on the left car, to dream on such and such things, &c. There is a multitude of such Freets and superstitious Observations, which many retain still, and but few without some and free of all; a sin from which it is to be feared the Land hath never been thorowly purged, since it was Pagan; a sin very natural to men, and which hath amongst Christians its observable increase and de­crease, according to the more or less free course and success of the Gospel; All Chri­stians should abhor such freets, as smelling strong of much ignorance of God, of much Atheism and Paganism.

Of this sort, or very like them is, Folks meeting with such a word in such a Ser­mon, which may have some allusion, or seeming answerableness to a case, or particu­lar, formerly dark, or doubtful to them, which they take for clearing of them, or de­ciding of the thing without due examination thereof, according to the true meaning of the Scripture, and the Analogy of Faith: And their having such a place of Scri­pture brought to their mind, or at the first opening of the Bible cast up to them, which they look on as more befitting their condition, and that because so suggested and cast up, without pondering the word it self: and lay more weight on that word on that very account for solving of such a doubt, and for clearing and determining them as to such a thing, then on any other having the same Authority, and no less, and it may be much more suitableness to the thing, without any further tender and serious scrutiny, as if that were of special and extraordinary Revelation of Gods mind to them thereabout; which is a most dangerous practise. And (as we discoursed before on the practical breaches of the second Command) is to make a Weerd or Fortune-Book of the Book of God, which he never appointed for such an end; again I say, a most dangerous practise, and yet too frequently incident to some Religious Persons, especially in their trouble aud difficulty, whereof some stupendious instances might be given, which would fright all from ever daring any more to adventure on such a practise not bottomed on the Word it self, which God hath certainly given to his people to be used by them with Christian prudence, according to its own principles, and not to be lotted with, or to have their state or condition, or the decision of what they are dark or doubtful about, at hap-hazard cast on it, according to their own groundless fancies and imaginations.

We come now to the threatning or certification wherewith this Command is pres­sed, The Lord will not hold him guiltless that taketh His Name in vain. In which, three things are contained: 1. The fearfulness and terribleness of the Judgement and Punishment, whereby the Lord will avenge the breach of this Command. 2. The Extent of it, as to every particular individual person sound guilty, the Lord will not hold him guiltless. Him, whoever he be, whatever he be; if there were but one, he shall not escape; and if there be many, not one of them shall be missed or passed by in this reckoning. 3. There is the peremptoriness and infallible certainty of it, God will not be disswaded from it, nor will he alter this Sentence, but it must and shall stand against him.

The punishment is implyed in that, Not to be holden guiltness, wherein there is more contained then is expressed, implying these Three: 1. That he shal not be for­given nor absolved, and so shall never enjoy Gods favour and friendship, which no man, who hath sinned, can without pardon, enjoy; thus the Judgement is nega­tively to be understood, He shall never enter into Heaven, nor see the Face of God, if he repent not. 2. Positively it implyeth that he shall be found guilty, and shall be dealt with as a guilty person, that he shall be eternally condemned, shut out from Gods presence, and cast into Hell to be there tormented for ever [Page 114] and ever. 3. Eminently it implyeth a very high degree of punishment, that the degree shal be eminent, and that in respect of other sins this sin shall have a peculiar weight added unto its Curse, and be ranked amongst those sins which shall be in the Justice of God most severely punished; a particular instance, and proof whereof, i [...] in Hypocrites, whose Judgement shal be in Hell amongst the sorest; the Hypocrites portion of Wrath will be a large portion.

The peremptoriness is implyed in these words, The Lord will not bold him guilt­less, the Lord will not, &c. which implyeth. 1. That Sinners shall be reckoned with and judged for sin, in which reckoning this sin shall be especially taken notice of. 2. That all Sinners shall be summoned to appear before the Judgement-Sea [...] and Tribunal of God, and have their particular Libel and Accusation of their par­ticular sins, wherein this sin shall be particularly taken notice of, as a main Article. 3. That there shall be a Sentence and Doom passed upon the guilty, and that who▪soever shall be found guilty of this sin, shall find D [...]vine Justice severely passing Sen­tence upon them. 4. That there shall be a holy rigid execution of that Sen­tence without mercy, by a high degree of wrath upon all who shall be so Sen­tenced.

If any ask, How this Threatning is to be understood? for Answ. We should distinguish betwixt such, who repenting for it, do by Faith in Christ make peace with God, and others who continue in it without repentance: and so say. 1. Tha [...] it is not to be understood, as if the breach of this Command were declared to be simply unpardonable to any who shall be guilty of it; for that is neither consisten [...] with the grounds of the Gospel, nor with experience, whereby it is found tha [...] grace often extendeth it self to the pardoning even of such. 2. But that it is in it self a sin most hateful to God, and a sin that bringeth great Wrath on all that are guilty of it, and shall be found to be so, before his Judgement Seat. 3. It sayet [...] that all who are guilty of it, while their peace is not made with God through Jes [...] Christ, yea in some respect there-after, should look on themselves as thus highly guilty; and that all who are not pardoned, should account themselves to be lyable to this stroke of wrath, and to be under this Sentence of the Law that standeth par­ticularly pronounced against them. 4. It sayeth, that men do by this sin, excee­dingly hazard their eternal Salvation, and that their Repentance is rare, and so likewise their Pardon; it being found in experience that men, habituated to th [...] sin of taking Gods Name in vain, do but seldom get Repentance. 5. That whe [...] Repentance cometh, and is given, such as are guilty of it, will be in an especial man­ner challenged for it, and found to be in a high degree, bitter unto them in all their after-reflexions upon it. 6. That it will very readily have much influence in m [...] ­ring a mans peace, and obstructing the intimation of Gods favour, and the joy of his salvation, even when it is pardoned; as we see in David, who made the Name of God to be biasphemed, and was therefore put, Psalm 51. to cry and cry again for the joy of Gods salvation; for removing (amongst other reasons) of that scan­dal. And withal, it bringeth on temporal Judgements, as it did on David, 2 Sam. 12. 7. That when it is pardoned, it will in the sad remembrance of it, make the [...] loath themselves, and walk humbly, softly, and in the bitterness of their souls; and withal, to think much of, and to magnifie, and wonder at grace that did ever par­don such Sinners, as it did Paul, who loatheth himself, and highly exalteth Grace on [Page 115] this account, that it pardoned him who was a Blasphemer: As for such who never betake themselves for pardon, nor obtain mercy, it has these effects; 1. It ma­keth their Conscience lyable to the sore and grievous challenge of this sin, and to the plain and sharp threatning that is pronounced against it, which being despi­sed, and God himself much wronged thereby, cannot but bite, nay, gnaw the Con­science so much the more. 2. Justice hath a clear ground to proceed upon a­gainst them, not only as Sinners in general, but as guilty of this sin in particular, and so because of it, in a special manner lyable to wrath. 3. An eminent degree of wrath in Hell; for as there are different degrees of torment in Hell, so this sin, no doubt, will make those who are guilty of it, share of that torment in a high de­gree. 4. That it further hardeneth and incapacitateth for pardon (though not simply) the persons that are guilty of it.

If it be asked, Why this sin is so threatned and punished even beyond other sins?

Answ. Because it is accompanied with the most hainous aggravations, and so draweth on the greatest guilt; As 1. It is a sin immediately against God himself, and is not, as sins of the second Table, nay not as other particular sins of the first Table, whereby men divert from God to Idolatry, giving to Idols what is his due, or turn their back on him, or slight his commanded worship, as in the first, second, and fourth Commands; but this doth immediately and directly, and by commissi­on terminate on God himself most daringly and presumptuously, as it were baffling and affronting him who has made himself known by his Name. 2. It is the fruit, sign, or symptome, yea, and cause of the most gross Atheism in the heart, and enmity against God; for it is his Enemies property to take his Name in vain, Psalm 139. 20. It cannot be in the heighth▪ but where Atheism is, and the awe of God is not; and where there is much of it, there is proportionably much Atheism; it speaketh forth plainly, that there is no right knowledge or faith of his Greatness, Holiness, Power, Justice, &c. which would make men fear him, and stand in awe of him; hence ordinarily those who are gross in this, are other wayes gross in many other things; for it fitteth and disposeth for Atheism, and it inureth and habituateth a man to contemn and despise God, whereas, on the contrary, if a man make Con­science of any thing, it will be of this. 3. It is that which dishonoureth God most amongst others, and giveth them occasion to blaspheme, as Davids sin did, and as those false Prophets and Seducers with their followers are said to do, 2 Petr. 2. verse 1, 2▪ and where this prevaileth, all Religion is accounted among such, but as a fancy and nothing, and therefore he will punish it severely. 4. It is often and most ordinarily the guilt of such as acknowledge God in profession, but in works deny him, and do not worship him as God: It is against light and convictions, yea, and professions of an interest in God; therefore, there is an emphasis here, The Name of the Lord thy God. 5. It is not so of infirmity, as other sins, which plea­sure or profit may push men on to; there is ordinarily here none of these, but ei­ther simple Atheisme; or prophane custome that maketh it so much the worse, that it is customary.

The second reason why the Lord thus threatneth and punisheth that sin, is that he may thereby vindicate his own Holiness, and imprint the awe and terribleness of this great and dreadful Name the Lord our God, upon the hearts of all, it being [Page 116] one of the greatest benefits bestowed, or which can be bestowed upon men, to wit the manifestation of the Name of God, when it cometh to be abused (being the abuse of the best thing, and so the greatest abuse) it is the more severely avenged, and thus one way or other the Lord will have his Holiness and Greatness known amongst all his Creatures; and therefore, whosoever shall think little of his blessed and Holy Name here, and thereupon baffle and prophane it, God shall make them think more of it hereafter, when he riseth up to take Vengeance.

3. He so threatneth and punisheth it, because men take a liberty and latitude in it, in formal Praying, rash Swearing, Jestings, Writings, Tenents, Disputes, Plays, by Lots, &c. and therefore he putteth the greater stamp of his Indignation on it, either to restrain them from that liberty, or to make them smart for it; and men also but very seldom severely punish it, therefore He himself will.

If any should ask the cause, why men do ordinarily take so little notice of this Command, and so generally sin against it? I confess it may be at the first wondered at, considering that it has such peremptory threatnings, and is very often followed, even here in this World, and in the sight of men, with shame and visible judge­ments; and that there is ordinarily no profit, no [...] credit, nor any such satisfaction to carnal lusts or pleasures to tempt and push on to it, as are to other sins; and that yet, notwithstanding all this, men should so frequently sin this way, must be also as wonderfull as it is abominable. But we may conceive it to proceed from these Causes.

1. Much Atheism, and the little heart-esteem that there is of God, and of his Ma­jesty; the little Faith that there is of his dreadful justice, and severe and peremptory execution of his threatnings; little of these within, maketh men careless to be watch­ful, and what wonder if this break forth, when in his heart the man sayeth; There is no God; then this followeth, as is clear, Isai. 37. in Sennacherib, who when once he saith, Who is the Lord, then he treadeth on his Name.

2. There is a natural pride and stout-heartedness in men against God, flowing from the former, whereby they set their mouth against God, and think it is a piece of bravery not to stand in awe of him; and (as Goliah did) to defie the living God, and to contemn and trample upon all Religion and Holiness which appears sooner and more clearly in nothing, then in stout words against the Lord, Mal. 3. 13. and in prophaning of his Name; hence it is to be observed, that where this sin reigneth, there is either a height of desperate security and stupid senselesness, or a devillish gal­lantry in contemning God and all Religion, all Prayer, and other spiritual exercises as not becoming pretty men, or men of spirits; as if, forsooth, topping with God, and bidding a defiance to the Almighty, were true knowledge, and the grand proof of a brave and gallant spirit, and of a pretty man: O! what a dreadful length is this that men are come? to say in effect, Who is the Lord, that I should reverence his Name?

3. The Devil knowing well both these, taketh occasion to stir men up to it; and what by offering occasions of irritation to vent their passion, and what by habituating them to it from custome, and the example of others, whereby keeping them off some other sins which others may be guilty of, he is in Gods righteous Judgement permit­ted to harden them in this.

4. There may be also something in the nature of this sin, because it doth not or­dinarily wrong others externally, or because it may be in a truth, or in profession of duty, o [...] in worship; or because it may be fallen into inadvertantly without fore­thought or deliberation; therefore the Devil hath the greater advantage to drive [Page 117] men on to it, if not by swearing falsly, yet prophanely and rashly; if not by God, yet by some Creature; or if not so, yet by formal and fruitless discharging of duties, or by some other way; and because ordinarily there is no such evil that sticketh thereby to others, as to make them resent it, nor no ill meant to themselves, as they in their proud self-love, do conceit; therefore they are the less affraid of it before, and the less challenged for it afterward.

Let us make some use of all this in a few words. 1. Then see, and gravely consi­der what sin this is, what wrath it deserveth, how far, and how wide in its guilt it ex­tendeth it self, and what severe reckoning will be for it? O then! what is your ha­zard, and what will be your sentence when this Judgement shall be set, and when the Judge cometh to pronounce it? tell me, who of you will be able to purge your selves of this guilt? This Sentence may, and will one day make many of you to trem­ble, when the Lord will say; Man, thou tookest my Name in vain in such a Company; at such a Play and Sport, in such a Contest, in such an Oath, yea, in such a Prayer, &c. Here is your Sentence, I will not hold you guiltness, but guilty for this cause; This, this is the Truth of God, if we believe his Word, yea, whether we believe it or not.

Let me therefore speak two words further to all of you, Old and young, Godly and Prophane, Rich and Poor, &c. O take more notice of, this sin, and be more watchful against it, think more of it, and look more to every way it may be fallen into; and by all means study to prevent it, fear to name the great and dreadful Name of the Lord our God irreverently; tremble when ye hear it named; and when ye read, hear, pray, or do any duty, as ye would eschew this Curse and Threatning, and be found guiltless in the day of the Lord, eschew this sin of taking his Name in vain.

For helps to this, let me commend unto you, 1. A serious endeavour to walk under the impression of Gods greatness, and to have your heart filled with his awe; if his fear be in the heart, there will be expressions of reverence to his Name in the mouth.

2. Believe, and be perswaded of the reality of this Truth concerning the terrible­ness of the reckoning for this sin, and the fearful Judgement that will certainly fol­low it.

3. Use and mention his Name reverently in Prayer, Hearing, Conference, &c. For, habituating our selves to formality in such duties, maketh way ordinarily for more gross violations of this commands; and study to be more affected even when narratively ye are telling something wherein his Name is mentioned, then otherwise.

4. Tremble at this sin, and suitably resent it; when ye hear it in others, be affected with it, and labour to make them so, that ye may thus train your selves to an abomi­nating of that evil.

5. Let it never pass in your selves, especially, without some special g [...]ave Animadversion: Look back on all your life, and see if ye can remember when and where ye were grosly guilty; reflect on your worship, and observe omissions and defects, at lest in respect of what ye might have been at, and learn to loath your selves for these, and to be in bitterness for them; especially if the escapes have been more late and recent, let them not sleep with you, lest ye be ha [...]dned, and the Sentence stand in force unrepealed against you; What? will ye sleep, and this Word stand in the Bible on record as a Registred▪ Decree against you?

[Page 118] 6. Seek for much of the Spirit, for none can call Jesus, Lord, but by the Holy Ghost, 1 Cor. 12. 3.

7. Frequently and seriously put up that Petition to the Lord, Hallowed be thy Name, Matth. 6 9.

The other word of Use i [...] for what is past; I am sure, if we could speak of it, and hear it rightly, there is here that which might make us all to tremble, and evidence convincingly to us our hazard, and the necessity of Repentance and flying to Christ: Tell me, Hearers, believe ye this Truth, that there is such hazard from this guilt? tell me (if ye remember what we spoke in the opening of it) is there any of you that lyeth not under the stroak of it? If [...]o, what will ye do? flye ye must to Christ, or lye still; and can there be any secure lying still for but one hour, under Gods Curse drawn out? O ye Atheists, that never trembled at the Name of the Lord, and that can take a mouthful of it in your common discourse, and ye who make it your by-word, and mock, or jest; ye, whom no Oaths can bind; and all ye Hypocrites, who turn the pretended honouring of the Name of the Lord, and the sanctifying of him in his Ordinances into a real prophaning of it; let me give you these two charges under certification of a third, 1. I charge you to Repent of this sin, and to flye to Christ for obtaining pardon: haste, haste, haste, the Curse is at the door, when the Sentence is past already; O sleep not, till this be removed. 2. I charge you to abstain from it in your several Relations, all ye Parents, Masters, Magistrates, Church Officers, School-masters and Teachers, I charge you to en­deavour to prevent this sin in your selves and others: It is sad that the Children of many are brought up in it, the most part live in it, our Streets are more full of it then the Streets of Heathens; Advert to this charge, every soul: Or 3. I charge you to appear before this great and dreadful God, who will not accompt any such guiltless, and to Answer to Him for it.

The Fourth Commandment.

Exod. 20. verse 8. 9. 10, 11.‘Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it Holy: Six dayes shalt thou labour, and do all thy Work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the Lord thy God▪ in it thou shalt not do any Work▪ Thou, not thy Son▪ nor thy Daughter, thy Man-servant, nor thy Maid servant, nor thy Cattel, nor thy Stranger that is with­in thy Gates; for in six dayes the Lord made Heaven and Earth, the Sea, and all that in them is, and rested the seventh day; Wherefore the Lord blessed the Sabbath day and Hallowed it.’

THe Lord in his infinite Wisdome and goodness, hath so far consulted mans infirmity, as to sum up his Duty in these Ten Commands, called Ten Words, that thereby his darkness and dulness by sin, might be helped by an easie abbrevia­tion: The first Command therefore containeth mans duty to God in immediate Worship, requiring that the onely true God should be worship'd. The second stin­teth and limiteth men to that worship alone which he p [...]rscribeth: The third Com­mandeth Reverencing of him in all his Ordinances, and a reverent manner of going about them,

[Page 119] This Fourth pointeth out the Time which most solemnly the Lord will have set apart for his Worship, that so He, who is both Lord of us, and of our time, may shew what share he has reserved as a Tribute due to himself, who hath liberally vouchsafed on us the rest; which time is not to be understood exclusively, as if he would have onely that spent in worship (there being no exclusive determination of the frequency of the exercises of worship, or duration of them in Scripture, that is to say, that they shall be so long and so often, and no longer, nor oftner) but that he will precisely have this time as an acknowledgement from us, even as when he gave Adam the use of all the Trees in the Garden, he reserved one; so when he giveth six dayes to us, he keepeth a seventh for himself.

This Command is placed in a manner betwixt the two Tables, because it is a transition as it were from the one to the other, and containeth in it duties of imme­diate Service to God, and of Charity towards men, and so in some sort serveth to reconcile (if we may speak so) the two Tables, and to knit them together, that so their harmony may be the more clearly seen: It is also more largely and fully set down for plurality and variety of expressions and words, then any other in either of the Tables; yet hath it notwithstanding, been in all times in a special manner assaul­ted and set upon, and endeavours used to overturn it: Satan aiming sometimes to darken the meaning of it, sometimes to loose from the strict tye of observing it, and that not onely by old Sabbatarians, Anti-sabbatarians, and corrupt School men, but even by those whom God hath made Orthodox in the main; And especially by a Generation in these dayes, who having a hatred at all Ordinances, and at all the Commands of the Decalogue, yet do especially vent it against this Command; be­cause in it is contained a main foundation of Godliness. As it is wonderfully great presumption for men to assault and set upon Gods Authority, even where he hath strengthned himself (as it were) most, by more full explication, and more large and particular pressing of duty, and forbidding of the contrary sin, as he hath done in this Command, more then in any of all the rest; So it will be necessary before we can speak to the practical part of piety comprehended in it, concerning the sanctification of the Christian Sabbath, or Lords day, either in the negative or positive part of it, to speak doctrinally (for clearing of the precept) to these three.

1. Whether this Command be moral, and do oblige us in its Letter as other Commands do.

2. What is the particular morality of it, and the literal meaning of the words.

3. How our Lords day standeth in reference to this Command? and whether thereby the same sanctification be required as to it, though its institution arise from another ground, then is required to the Seventh-day Sabbath? Somewhat of all these must needs be spoken unto, and we begin to speak first of its morality before we speak of its meaning, because all dependeth on this, both in respect of exposition and practise; for if it be not moral and perpetually binding, it's not ne­cessary either to explicate it, or to study and press the practise of it; but if it be found to be moral, then no doubt it concerneth us, and requireth the same moral sanctification of a day now as it did before.

Our Assertion then in reference to this is, that, The duty of setting apart and [Page 120] sanctifying of a portion of time; as it is limited in the fourth Command, for Gods service as it recurreth, is moral, and the Obligation thereunto perpetual, even as in the duties of the other Commands; the obligation to this, being no more dissolved then to those, though there may be difference in the degree of the obligation which they lay on in respect of the matter contained in them; my meaning in a word, is, that a day o [...] one of seven is as necessary to be kept holy unto God now, (upon supposition of his determining the particular day) as it is necessary to hold and keep up the worship prescribed by God; neither without sin can another day be put in the room of it, more then other worship can be substituted in the place of divinely prescribed wor­ship; for the time is set and fixt by the fourth Command (pointing at a solemne and chief time) as the wo [...]ship it self is by the second.

For clearing of this, consider, 1. That we mean not here moral-natural, as if with­out any positive Law, such a thing had been binding; no, but moral-positive, that is laid on by a Command which is standing unrepealed, and so bindeth by vertue of the authority of the Law-giver, as several other commands and precepts do; as namely, those concerning Sacraments, belonging to the second Command, and those concern­ing one Wife, and forbidden degrees of Marriage belonging to the seventh; which being so often broken by many Saints, and dispensed with in some cases, cannot be thought to be morally naturally since the Lord dispenseth not so in these, nor can it be thought in reason, that his Servants would have been ignorant of such a natural thing: It is then moral-positive that we mean, to wit, that which is binding by a posi­tive Law.

2. Consider in this question, that there is a great difference betwixt these two, to say the seventh-day Sabbath which the Jews kept, is moral, and to say the four [...]h Command is moral; the one may be, and is abolished, because another is brought in its room: The other, to wit, the Command may stand, and doth stand, because it tyeth morally to a seventh day, but such a seventh day as the Lord should successively discover to be chosen by him; and though the seventh be changed, yet one of seven is still reserved.

3. There is need to distinguish betwixt the moral substance of a Command, and some ceremonial appendices belonging to it: So the fourth Command might thea possibly have had something ceremonial in the seventh day, or in the manner used of sanctifying that seventh day, which now is gone as double Sacrifice, &c. or in its reasons whereby it is pressed; (as there is something peculiar to that People in the Preface, to all the Commands) as there was in the Sacraments of the old Law belong­ing to the second Command; yet both a Sabbath-day and Sacraments may be, and are very necessary and moral in the Church; it is not then every thing hinging on this Command, as proper to that administration, and so but accidental to the sanctifying of a Sabbath, that we plead for; but this is it we plead for, that the Command is, as to its main scope, matter, and substance, moral-positive, and that it standeth as still bin­ding and obliging unto us, and cannot without sin be neglected or omitted; it might be enough here to say, that if this Command were never repealed in the substance of it, no [...] did never exspire by any other thing succeeding in its place, then it must needs be still binding; for certainly, it was once, as obligatory-proclaimed by the Law-giver himself, and was never since in its substance repealed, nor is it exspired or found hurt­full in its nature, but is as necessary now as then: it is true, the seventh day Sabbath is repealed by instituting and substituting the first day Sabbath, or Lords day, in its place▪ but that doth rather qualifie the Command then repeal it; for 1. It saith that a day [...]s moral and necessary. 2. It saith a day of seven is moral and necessary, which is all [Page 121] we say; and why necessary? as agreeable to this Command no doubt; whence we may Argue, if the substance of this Command be kept even when the particu­lar day is changed, then is the Command moral (which this very change confir­meth) but the former is true, as is clear in experience; therefore it followeth that the Law stands unrepealed; for its palpable that the day, as to its number or fre­quency, and duration, with the manner of sanctifying of it, belongs to the substance of the Commandment, but what day as to its order, first, second, or seventh doth not, because the first cometh in immediately upon Religion, Gods Honour, and the good of Souls, which the other doth not: This Argument will stand good against all who acknowledge this Law, to have been once given by God, till they can evidence a repeal.

To speak somewhat more particularly to this, the way we shal make out the mo­rality of it, is by considering, 1. How the Scripture speaketh of it in general. 2. How it speaketh of the Decalogue. 3. How it speaketh of this Command in particular. 4. By adducing some Scriptural Arguments for it; As for the 1. To wit, the Scriptures speaking of it in general, we say, If the Scripture speak as fre­quently in clearing the fourth Command, or the Sabbath (which is the morality of it) and press it as seriously, and that in reference to all times of the Church, as it doth any other moral duty; then for substance this Command is moral and per­petually binding, (for that seemeth to be the Character whereby most safely to conclude concerning a Command, to consider how the Scripture speaketh of it,) but the Scripture doth as often mention, and is as much, and as serious in pressing of that Command, and that in reference to all states of the Church as of any other, Ergo, &c. We shall make out this, by shewing 1. its frequency in mentioning of it 2. Its seriousness in pressing it. 3. Its asserting of it as belonging to all times and states of the Church.

1. Look through all the Scriptures, and ye will find the sanctifying of a Sabbath mentioned; as first▪ Genes. 2. beginneth with the very first seventh after the Crea­tion; then it is spoken of Exod. 16. before the Law was given; then Exod. 20. it is contained expressy in the Law, and that by a particular and special Command in the first Table thereof, and is often after repeated, Exod. 31. and Levit. 23. v▪ 3. where it is set down as the first feast before all the extraordinary ones▪ which preference can be for no other reason, but because of its perpetuity; yea, it is made a rule or pattern, by which the extraordinary Sabbaths, or Feasts in their sanctification are to be regulate; again it is repeated, Deut. 5. with the rest of the Commands, and in the Historical part of Scripture, as Nehemiah 9. 13. It is also mentioned in the Psalms, the 92. Psalm, being peculiarly intituled a Psalm or Song [...]et the Sabbath day: The Prophets again do not forget it, see Isai. 56 58. Jerem. 17. and Ezek. 20. 22. In the New Testament the sanctifying of a day or Sabbath is mentioned in the Evangelists, Matth. 24. 20. Luke 23. 56. Acts 13. 14, 15. 21. and 20. 7. in the Epistles, as 1 Cor. 16. and in the Revel. chap. 1. verse 10. As if all had purposely concurred for making out the concernment and perpetuity of this duty.

2. Consider how weightily, seriously, and pressingly the Scripture speaketh of [...]t; first it is spoken of, Gen. 2. as backed with a reason. 2. Through the Law the san­ctification of it in particular is described. 3. It is spoken of as a mercy and singular [Page 122] priviledge that God gave to his people, Exod. 16. 19. Neb. 9 14. and Ezek. [...] 12 4 Many promises containing many blessings are made to the conscientious and right keepers of it, Isa. 56 58. 5. The breach of it is severely threatned and plagued▪ Numb. 15. Neb. 13. Jer. 17. and Ezek. 20. 6 Many examples of the Godly, their care in keeping it are set down, see Nehem. 13. Luk. 23. 56. Act. 20. 7. a [...]d Rev. 1. 10. 7. The duties of it are particularly set down▪ as Hea [...]ing▪ Praying, Reading, delighting in God, works of mercy, &c. 8. It is in the Old Testament, claimed by God as his own day, not ours. My Holy day, Isa 58 13 and Nehem. 9. 14 it is acknowledged by the People to be His; while they [...]ay Thine holy Sab­bath, which property is asserted of that Holy day, as being Gods; besides other dayes▪ Rev. 1 10. [...]nd this is asserted also in this same Command, where it is called the Sabbath of the Lord, in opposition to, or contradistinction from the other six dayes: all which seemeth to speak out something more then Temporary in this Duty of setting a Seventh day a part for God (for we speak not yet of the par­ticular day).

3. Look to it in all times and states of the Church, and ye will find it remarkably Characterized with a special Observation, As 1. In innocency it's instituted and set a part from others, and blessed: and Heb. 4. It is called the rest from the be­ginning of the World. 2. Before the Law was given, the Sanctification of i [...] was intimated as necessary. 3. In the giving of the Law it is remembred, & a Com­mand given to us for remembring it. 4. After the Law, it is urged by the Pro­phets Isaiah and Jeremiah, and kept by the Godly, Psal. 92. 5. In the time, or after the time of the Captivity the breach of it is reproved, Ezek. 20. And its Obser­vation restored by Godly Nehemiah.

Hitherto there is no difficulty, the pinch will lye in this, If the Scriptures speak of it as belonging to the days of the Gospel, In which (for making of it out) 1. We have these hints, Acts 20 7. 1. Cor. 16. 2. Where Christians going abou [...] the Moral Duties of the Sabbath, is especially observed to be upon one day pe­culiarly. 2. That Title of the direct appropriating of a Day to the Lord, Rev. 1. 1 [...] ▪ Which places will fall in to be considered particularly when we come to the la [...] question; Besides these we may produce three places to prove a Sabbath as be­longing to the New Testament; though not the very Day used or observed for the Sabbath in the Old; and this will be enough to make out the Assertion, two of them are Prophesies, the third of them is in the Gospel. The first prophesie is it the 66. Chap. of Isaiah verse 23. The second is in Ezekiels Description of the Ne [...] Temple, Chap. 43. 44 45 46, &c. Where 1. It is clear that these places relate to the Dayes of the Gospel, as none can deny but they do so eminently. 2. It is clear that though they Prophesie of the Services of the Gospel under the names of Sacrifices, &c. proper to the Old Testament Administration, and of the San­ctified and set a part time of the Gospel, under the Name of Sabbath which the [...] was determined, and whereto men were then bound by the fourth Command as they were to Sacrifices by the second: yet these Prophesies infer not by vertue of the fourth Command the very same Day to be under the Gospel, which was under the Law, more then the same Services by vertue of the second; which none wi [...] deny to be in force, notwithstanding of the change of Services: and there is as little reason to deny the fourth to be still in force as to its substance notwithstanding o [...] [Page 123] the change of the particular day. Yet Thirdly, it is clear that from the mentioning of these services this will follow, that there should be set and fixed Ordinances, and a way of worship in the New Testament, as well as in the Old, and that there should be a solemn chief set-time for the Sabbath which men ought to sanctifie, and that they should no more admit any other times, not so set apart into a parity with it, then they were to admit any service or Worship not allowed by God, or that was contrary to the second Command: for if any thing be clear in them, this is clear, that they speak first of services, then of solemn times and Sabbaths, and of the one after the other, which must certainly infer, that both external services, and a so­lemn chief time for them, do belong to the New Testament; Hence it is that many Divines (from that Prophesie of Ezekiel) do draw conclusions for sundry things out of those places, as 1. Concerning the necessity and continuance of a standing Ministry, and though Ministers now be neither Priests nor Levites, yet (say they,) it followeth clearly, that there will be a Ministry, because such are spoken of there. 2. Concerning the necessity of, and a Warrant for Church-Discipline, and separa­ting not only doctrinally, but disciplinarily the precious from the vile, and debar­ring of those who are Morally unclean from the Ordinances: because these things (say they) are Typified in the substance by the Porters being set to keep the Doors, and by the charge given to the Priests. 3. Anent the continuance of a Church, and of the Ordinances of Word, Sacraments, &c. And the Congregating of Chri­stians to attend these, though there shall be no material or Typical Temple, be­cause of the▪ Mo [...]al things there being expressed and prophesied of, under the names of the old Levitical services; yet could not a warrant be inferr'd from them for these, (and that Jure Divine) if the things were not Morally to bind, which were so signi [...]d.

Hence I argue, if the sanctifying of a Sabbath as a piece of worship to God be prophesied of to belong to the New Testament, then are we bound to the sancti­fication of a Sabbath as a necessary duty; but the continuance of sanctifying a Sab­bath unto God is specially prophesied of, and fore-told as a piece of worship un­der the New Testament, Ergo, &c.

The third place is Matth. 24. 20. Pray that your flight be not in the Winter, neither on the Sabbath-day, where the Lord insinuateth, that as travelling is troublesome to the Body in Winter; so would it be to the minds of the Godly (for he is now speaking to his Disciples alone) to Travel on that day, specially and solemnly set [...]part for Gods worship; now if there were no Sabbath to continue after Christs Ascension, or if it were not to be sanctified, there would be no occasion of this grief and trouble, that they behoved to Travel on the Sabbath, and durst not tarry [...]ll that day were by-past, and so no cause to put up this Prayer; which yet by our Lords Exhortation seemeth to infer that the Sabbath was to be as certain in its time as the Winter: And doubtless this cannot be meaned of the Jewish-Sabbath. For 1. That was to be abolished shortly. 2. Travelling on the Jewish-Sabbath was to be no cause of grief unto them, if indeed all dayes were alike; neither would it be scrupled in such a case by the Apostles to whom he now speaketh. 3. Besides, if no Sabbath were to be, it had been better and clearer to say, Stand not, and grieve not to Travel an [...] day: but his words imply the just contrary, that [...]here was to be a solemn Sabbath. 4. He mentioneth the Sabbath-day only, and [Page 124] not the other Festivals of the Jews which were to be kept holy also, and by this he distinguisheth the ordinary Sabbath from those other dayes, and opposeth it to many, as being now the only Holy-day on which they should eschew, if possible, to travel; and would therefore pray to have it prevented: for in the New Testa­ment the Sabbath spoken of as the solemn time for worship is ever meaned of the weekly Sabbath, and other Holy dayes are called the first or last day of the Feast, and therefore if the Lords meaning were that they should pray, that their flight might not be on any of the Jewish Holy dayes, to mention the weekly Sabbath only, would not be sufficient for that end.

To say that it was for fear of scandal, that they should pray not to be put to flye, will not remove the former reasons; besides at that time the Apostles and other Christians had given up with the Jews, and stood not on scandal in such things in re­ference to them, on whom, as the Apostle saith, 1 Th [...]s. 2. 16. Wrath had come to the uttermost, and who were not infirm but malitious, and so in respect of offence to be dealt with as the Lord did with the Pharisees; and therefore, all things being considered, it appeareth from our Lords words, that a Sabbath among Christians was to be sanctified 40. years, or thereabout, after his death, which proveth that the Scripture mentioneth a Sabbath to be sanctified under the New Testament.

We come unto the second way of making out the Morality of this Command, to wit, by shewing how the Scripture speaketh of the whole Decalogue, and thus we reason:

1. If all the Commandments of the Decalogue be Moral, then must this be so also; for it is one of them; and if it were not moral and binding, there would not now be Ten words (as they are called by the Lord, Deut. 10. 4.) but Nine onely, which at first blush, will and cannot but seem strange and absurd to those who have from Gods Word drunk in that number: But all these are moral and binding, as is granted by all, (except the Papists who deny the second, and therefore score it out of their Catechisms.) And that they must be all alike moral and binding, may be made out, these two waves.

1. All of them in the Old Testament had alike Authority, Priviledges, and Pre­rogatives, which neither the Judicial nor Ceremonial Law had, as 1. To be distinct­ly pronounced by God himself, without adding more, Deut. 5. 22. 2. To be written by his own finger in Tables of stone, Exod. 29. 18. 3. To be laid up and kept in the Ark, Exod. 25. 16. And if these and other Prerogatives did put a difference, and shew a difference to be put betwixt the other nine Commands, and all Judicial or Ceremonial Laws▪ Why not betwixt them, and this also? 2. In the New Test [...] ­ment they are all alike confirmed; when the Law in general is spoken of, none of them is excepted, and therefore this Command is necessarily included.

For which we would look first to that place, Matth. 5. 17. Where our Lord in a special manner intendeth to vindicate the Moral Law of this fourth, and to pres [...] holiness in Moral Duties upon his Hearers, even in another sort then the Pharisee [...] did: Think not (saith He) That I am come to destroy the Law and the Prophets, I [...] not come to destroy, but to fulfill; Verily, be that breaketh one of the least of these Com­mands, and teacheth Men so, shall be called least in the Kingdom of God, &c. Where, by Law, must necessarily be understood the Moral Law, for he was thought to be [...] transgressor of that, and especially of this Command in it (for that Sermon [...] [Page 125] Natt [...]ew cometh in, in order after his being challenged for breach of Sabbath, John 5. 10. &c.) And his scope is to wipe off that imputation, and how? by shewing that He still presseth the Moral Law, even beyond what the Pharisees did. 2. It was the Moral Law especially, which the Pharisees corrupted, and whereof he undertaketh the Vindication, and it is Holiness in Obedience to that which he presseth as necessary beyond what the Scribes and Pharisees did; and in­deed it was in that Law they failed mainly, and not in the Ceremonial Law. 3. The offence and mistake that Christ is to preoccupie and rectifie amongst his Hearers, requireth this: for many of them fancied that by the Messiah there should be a Relaxation from the duties of Holiness called for in the Moral Law; and therefore, saith he, think not so; now a Relaxation from some other Laws might have been thought of warrantably. 4. It is such a Law whereof to teach the Abro­gation at any time is sinful & pernicious, therefore it is certainly the Moral Law.

Secondly, We reason thus, when he speaketh of the Law, [...], or by way of eminency (meaning no doubt the Decalogue.) He speaketh alike of all its Commandments, even of the least of them and so of this. 4. Also that he came not to destroy it, which yet the Lord never did of Ceremonials, but rather fore-told the Abolition of them, as he did of the seeking and worshipping of God in the Temple at Jerusalem, &c. Yea, when he cleareth the Doctrine of the Sabbath from the Pharisees corrupting Traditions, he doth never weaken its former Obligation, nor insinuate its weakness, but sheweth the true meaning thereof, which from the be­ginning made it not only consistent with the works of piety and mercy, but excee­dingly helpful to both.

A second place, Confirming the whole Decalogue (or rather asserting its Au­thority,) is in the Epistle of James, Jam. 2. 10. He that offendeth in one, is guilty of all: Why! Because he is the same God, and Law-giver (and no Servant nor Angel) who spake them all, one as well as another of them: And it being clear there, that he speaketh of the Decalogue, called the Royal Law; (there being no Law instan­ced in; nor any other, that can be of a like authority, in these Laws instanced, but onely it; nor that could be pleaded for, by James, on such grounds, in such a time,) and it being also clear, That he giveth to all those Laws, which the Lord spake at that time, alike Authority; (otherwise, his reasoning would not be good, if any one Law or Command, could be instanced to him, of the Ten, which the Lord spake, and was abrogated, and not binding) it necessarily followeth, that this fourth Command, being one of the Ten, must be of equal Authority with the rest.

It may be noted also, That James here doth not, (as neither doth our Lord, nor any of his Apostles, when they cite the Law) give New Authority to the Laws he citeth; but supposeth them to have it already; and maketh use of them, as Confir­mations of the thing he pressed, which could not be, if their Authority depended on, or slowed from the present Citation of them.

Thirdly, we reason further thus; Either there is some Moral duty, contained in this Command, and laid on by it; which is not in any of the former: or there is but some Ceremonial thing in it, reducible to one of them: For, the Perfection of this Law requireth, that all things needful to the Worship of God, should be summed in it, and the scope thereof, which is, briefly to compend all requireth [Page 126] there should be nothing in it, that's needless, superfluous, or that might have bee [...] left out.

Now if the matter be Moral; not contained in any former Command, then is the Command it self Moral; seeing a Moral substance, and Matter denominateth the Command so▪ Yea, it must be Moral, otherwise something Morally necessary to Gods service, (such as the determination of its chief time) should be omitted. It may be assumed, yet further: It must be Moral, (be it what it will) to eschew a Tautology in this short Compend of Duties; and that, of Moral Du­ties too.

Again, If it be not Moral, but contain some Ceremonial thing reducible to one of the three former Commands: Then 1. It might have been put amongst other Ceremonials. 2. Other Ceremonials might have been put in with it: Or. 3. A Reason given, Why all are not Reducible to some Moral Command. 4. If the matter of this be Reducible to another Command, then can it not be accounted a distinct Command, neither ought it here to have been given as such, but sub­joyned to some other; as the Servants and Beasts resting, is sub-joyned to this▪ 5. It would be [...]hewn to what Command it's Reducible as to the substance of it, if it be Ceremonial: 6. A Reason would be given, Why amongst Ten, One▪ and onely One, is set down, so far different from all the rest. And if all these Ab­surdities follow the Denyal of it's substance to be Moral; then, for eschew­ing of them, we must conclude it to be Moral: and so the fourth Command is Moral.

Fourthly, we reason thus; If it be not Moral, it must either be Judicial, or Cere­monial, for the matter and substance of it; but it is not Judicial: that is, it belon­geth not to External Policy, and Civil Society, principally and especially, in that one Nation, because no such duties are comprehended, at least Primarily, in any Command of the first Table; but in the second, which teacheth Duties to others, as this first, doth to God: Neither is it Ceremonial; For, All Ceremonies, that are Ty­pical, have their rise since the fall, and relate some way to Christ to come. But this of sanctifying one Day of seven, had it's rise in the state of innocency, and was en­joyned to Adam in Paradise, before he fell, and therefore cannot be called Cere­monial properly, more then the Command of a Man's leaving Father and Mother, and cleaving to his Wife, so that they two should be one flesh, which the Apostle Ephes. 5. maketh use of. Besides, if it were Ceremonial in the substance, then were it Typical and significant of some thing to come, which is hard to shew: Then also had it not been Lawful to have retained it; for Ceremonials now in their use are not only dead, but deadly: But this Morality, in substance the same with the Com­mand which we plead for, was retained by the Apostles, and primitive Church; (to sav no more) Therefore it is not Ceremonial: And so this Law must needs be Moral.

To say, That the Command is partly Moral, partly Ceremonial; if we respect it's substance, will not hold: For, 1. There is no such other Law. 2. That were to make Confusion, betwixt Ceremonials, and Morals; which it seemeth, the Lord himself hath aimed and resolved to keep clearly distinct. 3. What ever be Cere­monial; That which was allowed, and injoyned to Adam in Paradise; and where­in we may agree with Him, under the Gospel, cannot be Ceremonial: For, neither [Page 127] of these States are capable, of proper Ceremonies; but both agree on a seventh Day. Therefore, it is not Ceremonial.

The third way, we make out the Morality of this Command, is, By particular considering of it self; and here we argue thus:

If it be not onely put into the Decalogue, with the other Moral Commands; but more singularly explicated and pressed even in it then they; then it is certainly Moral; that is, perpetually Obligatory with the rest, But so it is put and set down in the Decalogue; and pressed even more then the rest of the Commands, as on other accounts, so possibly on this; because it's Ground is Positive, and Men need the more Words about it: Just as in the second Command; Ergo, &c. Now, that it is thus put, and pressed; appeareth these several wayes.

1. It shareth of all common Priviledges, with the rest of the Commands, set down in the Decalogue, that were all spoken, yea, Written by the Lord imme­diatly, and laid up in the Ark.

2. It is proposed, and set down in it's Form, both Positively; Remember the Sabbath, to keep it Holy (and Negatively) in it thou shalt do no manner of work, &c. Whereas all the other Commands, are but one of these wayes set down.

3. It hath the Particularity in it, that all the rest have; to wit, To be in the sin­gular Number; Thou shalt, &c. To shew, That it speaketh to every one in parti­cular; Yea though all the Commands, concern all Ranks, yet onely here are Son, Daughter, Man-servant, Maid-servant, and Stranger, expresly mentioned, as com­prehended in it.

4. There is a special Equity, holden out here in the proportioning of this time: There are six dayes given us, to Labour on; and therefore it is all the Reason in the World, that the Lord have the seventh: And if this Concession of Gods, of six dayes to work on, be Moral, (For all the time is Gods; and we cannot, for our use, take any part of i [...], but by his grant▪ and there is no other grant: But this di­viding and proportioning of Time, betwixt him and us; in which Division too, he hath given us by far, the la [...]gest Share: to wit, Six parts of seven:) Then must the setting a part of a seventh Day be Moral also: And so the Command it self; where­in both are comprehended. viz. The sixth given to us, and the seventh reserved for him: they must needs stand and fall together: For they mutually put each other: Thou shalt labour six dayes, and rest on the seventh: Thou shalt rest on the Sabbath▪day, and Labour six.

5. This Day is claimed by the Lord, as a thing wherein he hath a special Pro­priety: Its the Lords day; for though he did give six, yet he reserved a seventh. And can, or dare, any say, That he discharged that, or dispensed it away from Him­self, to any other? If not, it must be His still, and cannot without Sacriledge, be other wayes applyed.

6 Obedience to this Command, is pressed by an exceeding weighty Reason, drawn from Gods own Example, which maketh it clearly Relative, to its first In­stitution. Genes 2. Where it is said. That He rested after six dayes Work, the se­venth Day: viz. the whole seventh day, and so should we: which is the more effectual, for proving the Morality of this Command: Because 1. I [...]s a Reason that took place, even in innocency, and so respecteth no Type or Ceremony. [Page 128] 2. It is Universal, belonging to all Men, who are God's Creatures: And there­fore, since the Reason is perpetual, so must the Command be like-wise.

7. This Command alone, and beside all others, is expresly pressed in the ob­servation of it, not only on Masters and Rulers for themselves, but as taking bur­den on them, for all under them; and within their Families to endeavour the sanctifying of the Lords day with them, and by them as well as by themselves; whereby the extent of this Command is clearly and earnestly holden forth in more express terms, then in any other of all the Commands; though this be im­plyed in them also.

8. The observation of it is pressed and encouraged unto, by a special blessing which He hath annexed to the time set a part by himself; He blessed it, that is, He made and still maketh it useful and refreshing as a special blessing to his people who keep his Ordinances, seeking Him therein: this day has a double portion and in­crease, beside any other day, for his peoples Repose, Edification, Comfort, fin­ding of His Presence, &c. And to say now that this Solemn time were not moral, were to rob the Church of a great blessing; seeing this day, set a part by God for his Service, hath the blessing, beyond any other day commanded, on it; and in the experience of his People often hath it been found to be so.

9. It is specially and singularly ushered in with a Memento, or Remember, which is not expressed in any other Command; and, Shall we think, that where God saith Remember, there is nothing to be taken notice of; or, shall we think, that it saith not Remember now as well as then; and if so, Who can warrantably for­get that which he biddeth remember? which is, not to keep the Seventh day, but the Sabbath holy unto the Lord: And may not all these Characters, put toge­ther in one Command (so many not being to be found in all the other Commands if put together); May not all these, I say, convince us that it is the Lords purpose to have this Command standing obligatory in its substance to the end of the world? Which is so pressed, that if there be little help from Natures light, to determine the day, or to press its observation, it may be strongly born in, by the more clear and weighty reasons.

And so we come to the fourth way proposed for making out the morality of this Command, which is by adducing some Arguments drawn from Scripture.

The first whereof is, If the Law bind under the New Testament, not only in respect of its matter, as its natural; nor only as it is repeated in the New Testa­ment, but also by vertue of the Authority enacting it: then this Law of the fourth Command, though not explicitly determined by nature, and though it were not mentioned particularly in the New Testament, must be binding also, for it hath that same Authority: But the first is true, and is acknowledged generally by Divines (excepting a few) and is clear by Christ and his Apostles their citing of it, as supposing it to be binding: Therefore the last must be true also.

2. Arg. If this Command be founded on moral grounds, then it self must be moral: But the grounds on which it is founded are moral: Ergo, &c. 1. It is moral that God should have a solemn and chief set-time. 2. That he himself, and none other should determine that time, seeing no other could do it and bless it. 3. These reasons in the Command it self dividing time, into six parts of it to us, and a seventh part to God; and Gods resting after six days working; with his [Page 129] making only seven dayes in the week, and employing six of them to work, &c. these reasons, I say, are all moral and binding now as before.

3. Arg. If all moral duties be contained in the ten Commands, then this Command must needs be moral: But the first is true: Ergo, &c. This Command containeth a moral duty, which is in none of the preceeding Commands; to wit, the stinting and determining of the solemn and chief time to be set a part for Gods worship, to be one day of seven. It is true, Time is commanded to be allowed to Gods worship in those other Commands, wherein the duties of worship themselves are commanded; for, worship cannot be performed more then any other duty, with­out some time; but that the chief time should be so much, and so often, is onely de­termined in this Command; from which it appeareth, 1. That an indefinit time of worship, or for it, is not the morality of this Command, because this followeth neces­sarily, as being supposed needful for the performance of every positive duty contained in the other Commands; its morality, therefore, must be, The determining of that definit time. 2. We may hence see a reason why there is no new Command for this in the New Testament; because this standeth in the Law; neither are, Thou shalt not Swear, Kill, &c mentioned as new Commands more then this; so that, had they not been mentioned in the New Testament (as some are not) yet had they still obli­ged: It is just so as to this; and the reason why they are mentioned, may be suppo­sed to be, because the main fault about them was defect and short coming, but in this it was excess, which our Lord also regulateth by holding forth the right observance of it, and clearing what was wrong, and so is supposed to confirm what he repea­leth not.

4. Arg. If it be not free for men to carve out Gods solemn chief time of worship at their pleasure, then is this Command moral (for that liberty is restrained, by this Command and no other:) But it is not free for them to choose what time they please, or to carve it out: This seemeth to be only questionable, which is therefore thus confirmed.

If it [...]e fr [...]e to men to carve out what solemn and chief time is to be given to, and set apart for Gods worship; then, either it is free to them to choose no time at all, or it is free for them to choose a longer or a shorter then this: But neither of these can be said: not the first as is clear; not the second, because it will not so quadrate with the end; for if the time be shorter, it incroacheth on Gods due; if it be longer, it in­croacheth on Gods concession of six dayes to work in. If it be shorter, it incroacheth on Gods due (as is said) and our souls good; if longer, it incroacheth on our temporal calling; and, Can any restrain man when God giveth him liberty?

Again, If it be free to men so to cut and carve at pleasure, on the solemn and chief time for Gods worship, its either free for all men together to agree on a day, even one and the same; or its free for each Country, or each man, to choose what day they please: but neither of these are either possible or practicable to edification: there­fore must the day he determined to them: and if so, then sure by this Command: And so its still binding, and cannot in that respect be altered without sin, which was the thing to be proved.

5. Arg. That there is a morality in a seventh day, we may argue from four famous and main Witnesses.

The 1. whereof, is the general practise of all Christians (I say nothing of Hea­thens,) Apostles, and generally all in the primitive times, have ever thought that one day of seven is to be observed, and have in less or more accordingly obser­ved it.

[Page 130] 2. As the practise of all, so the Judgment and opinion (which is often more sound then mens practises) of all, doth confirm it: Was there ever any Churches that did not in all their Catechisms and Canons, take in this fourth Command with the rest? do not all Writers, who comment on the Decalogue, comment on this Command, and urge the sanctifying of the Lords day from it?

3. Take mens Consciences for a third Witness, and it will be found that for no sin, do they more frequently and more sharply challenge, then for Prophaning of the Lords day: The Conscience directly making use of this Command, and of the Memento, and other reasons in it for aggravating of that sin, when yet it will say nothing for the Seventh day; but this first-day of seven it presseth most exactly, neither will any reason alleaged against its morality quietit; and the more tender that Christians be, the more will they find a pressure of Conscience for obedience to this Command; and the more easily will they be convinced of, and sadly chal­lenged for the least breach of this Command.

4. Gods Dispensations of Blessings or Plagues, especially in spiritual things, bear witness to this Truth: Doth not experience tell us, that those who make most Conscience of keeping this Command, are often, yea, ever the most thriving Christians as to universal holiness and tenderness, and most near and intimate Com­munion with God? and will not the unsutable sanctification of but one Sabbath, or the interruption of their wonted seriousness therein, giue them a sore back­set? and on the contrary, doth it not appear that those who are gross and un­tender in this, are often gross and untender in all manner of Conversation, and are followed with spiritual plagues of hardness, deadness, and Hypocrisie at the best, or else fall into gross outward acts of prophanity, or into errours in judgment, which are the bad and sad effects of prophaning this day, on them who prejudg themselves of the blessing of it; and if the blessing of this Law continue, must not the Law it self be moral and perpetually binding? the obedience whereof, hath this blessing perpetually more or less annexed to it, as the prophanation thereof hath usually Plagues, at least spiritual.

There are some Objections that are moved against the morality of this Command; I shall speak to three of them which are most insisted on.

1. Obj. This Law is not mentioned, as being renewed or confirmed, in the New Testament.

Answ. 1. It's Authority dependeth not on the mentioning of it so in the New Testament: the Law is Gods Word, and hath its Authority as well as the New Testament.

2. What i [...] some other clearly moral and binding Law had been omitted, or not mentioned in the New Testament, as there seemeth to be no palpable and express Command against Images, though there be against will-worship; sure, it is enough that it is not repealed in it, so it is here, as is said.

3. Sundry other positive Laws are binding, which are not mentioned in the New Testament, such as these, For a man not to Marry his Sister or his Aunt. &c.

4. It will be found on the matter to be confirmed, when we shall see what war­rant there is for the Lords day, which is one of seven, and yet is clearly holden forth in the New Testament: But this Command, as also that relating to Idolatry▪ [Page 131] are so little mentioned, because the Jews, after the Captivity, were not so much in the defect of obedience to these Commands, but were rather disposed to a su­perstitious excess, which maketh Christ often rectifie that abuse of the fourth Command, but never to annull it. The third Command also anent Swearing, might be said to be abrogated, because it is not so positively asserted in the New Testament.

2. Obj. The Apostle, Rom, 14. 5, 6. Gal. 4. 10. and Col. 2. 16. seemeth to cast away difference of times, especially of Sabbath days; which could not be, if this Command were moral.

Answ. The Apostle cannot be understood simply to cast away the observa­tion of all days as a bondage, and so to make all times alike; For 1. That would contradict his own practise, and the practise of the other Apostles: for it is clear that they differenced the first day of the week from other dayes, and one day in special is called, The Lords-day, which other dayes of the week are not. 2. It all times be alike simply, and all making difference be there reproved, then could there be no time set apart to be observed by men, to the marring of that indiffe­rency; and if so, then hath the Christian Church been still in a palpable gross sin; for if the keeping of a day by vertue of Gods Command, marr that indifferency, much more will the keeping of a day by mans command, and so there could never be a Sabbath. 3. We must therefore understand these places not as casting all days and times simply, but ceremonial and Jewish days, or dayes invented by men, be­cause the scope of the places runneth that way, viz. against the bringing in of cere­monial worship as necessary, which while some weak ones, not yet sufficiently in­formed, did still practise, as Rom. 14. the Apostle would not have them hastily condemned in days, more then Meats; yet is there still a difference betwixt Bread and Wine in the Sacrament of the Supper and other meats, which this discourse of the Apostle taketh not away; so is it in dayes. And in these Epistles to the G [...]la­tians and Colossians, he speaketh of dayes, and not (as would seem of the weekly Sabbath, which is ordinarily called a day) as taking in all the extraordinary Feasts of the Jews, which is the more probable, because the ceremonial Law was pressed on them as still necessary, by false Teachers: or he speaketh of mere Jewish dayes, and so of the seventh day which they kept; for it is of such observation of dayes as was sinful, and brake them off from Grace and the Gospel, as other ceremonies did; that he speaketh of: but that cannot be said of all dayes, or of keeping one day of seven: Therefore this cannot be meaned there.

3. Obj. The fourth Command precisely commandeth the seventh day from the Creation to be kept; but that is not moral; therefore, neither is the Com­mand so.

Answ. This Objection goeth upon that mistake, as if the very seventh-day were still commanded in it. as the main substance of it, which our next discourse on the true scope and meaning of the Command will clear; so that if a seventh-day, and not that seventh-day be commanded as the main substance of that Command, that Objection falleth. 2. There is a difference to be put betwixt the mandatory part of the Command, and what is further added for pressing the observa­tion of it, or for explaining its meaning▪ The precept strictly is, Remember the [Page 132] Sabbath day to keep it holy: It saith, Remember the Sabbath, or the Holy re [...] ▪ what-ever day it shall be on; and so it is said in the close, that, He rested the seventh day, but that, He blessed the Sabbath: Drawing it still from the seventh precisely, to the Sabbath: Even as in the second Command: This is, 1. commanded in special, that no Image be made, then. 2. This in general, that all Gods Commandment con­cerning his worship, even such as were Ceremonial, for the time, should be obser­ved with whatever others should be given: So here this fourth commandeth ex­presly one of the seven; because the Recurrency of that time is bounded: and gene­rally, whatever seventh the Lord shall be pleased to pitch on.

We have said the more on this, because it doth not only clear the true scope of the Command, but sheweth the necessity of the observation of that time, which the Lord hath sanctified for himself. 3. We should put a difference also betwixt Cere­monial and Mutable: All the Judicial Laws are Mutable; and the Decalogue it self, in respect of its Curse; and as it was a Covenant giving life, is actually changed and abolished: Yet is not for that to be reputed Ceremonial, and not Obligatory: (Though all Ceremonials be mutable, yet all mutables are not Ceremonial.) Be­sides, this change is not in the matter. Why may not therefore, the seventh day in order, (which was observed from the Creation, to the Resurrection of Christ,) be changed to the first day of the week, which is a seventh day in number still, without abolishing the morality of the fourth Command?

Amongst other things in this Command, there is more express mention, of the whole Families joyning in this duty, then is in other Commands: Therefore it be­ing a concerning-duty to us; and a special thing included in the Command; we shall speak to that Point concerning Family worship, (before we speak of the second gene­ral proposed about the particular morality of this Command, and the meaning of the words of it,) that ye may see, that it is no invention of Men; when ye are called to it, and when it is pressed upon you.

We shall here, 1. shew you, that, This Command holdeth forth a Family, or Domestick Worship. 2. We shall confirm it more largely from other Scriptures, and grounds of Reason. 3. We shall shew, wherein it consisteth in particular, and on whom it mainly lyeth to be discharged. 4. We shall shew the advantages, of conscientious discharging of it, and the Prejudices of neglecting it, with the Aggra­vations of that sin.

That there is such a thing as Family-worship, included in this Command, will be clear, by considering, 1. What worship to God in general is. 2. What Family-worship is. 3. What this Command requireth

1. By worship, is understood some Tribute payed, by the reasonable Creature to God, as the great and soveraign Lord Creator; whether it be immediatly and di­rectly payed, and performed to him, as prayer and praise; or for him and at his Command, and for his honour, as preaching, hearing, and receiving of Sacraments; which are worship, when rightly gone about. In a word, we call that worship, more strictly and properly, which is a duty of the first Table; and cometh in as comman­ded in it, for the honour of God, and not for our own, or others external profit; which, though commanded in the second Table, cannot be so properly called wor­ship, much less Immediate - worship. Thus, Teaching others the Duties of Piety, may be worship, when teaching the Duties of any other ordinary calling, is not.

2. We call that Family-worship, which is to be performed, by such and such Re­lations; or by all the constituent members of the Family jointly: And so it differeth [Page 133] 1. From secret or solitary Worship, which one performeth alone to, and before God. 2. From publick Worship, which one performeth by joyning in a Congregation of many Families together. 3. From that worship performed occasionally, in mutual fellowship amongst Believers, or professors of divers Families: For 1. That may not be ordinary as this, nor so frequent. 2. That is free to this or that Believer, as they shall choose; or as occasions do cast them to be together. This is not at choice, but is necessary, as to the same persons. 3. This is performed by vertue of domestick re­lations, and not of Christian only. 4. This may have, and should have an Authority-Domestick in its regulation; For a Master of a family, may authoritatively command the members of the family, to pray, keep the Sabbath, &c. and may suitably correct for the neglect of those duties; whereas that other is by Christian Communion, and Admonition onely.

Ye will see this Family-worship clear: 1. By considering the Jews eating of the Pass-over: Where there was, 1. Secret worship, no question apart. 2. There was publick-worship; a holy convocation the first day, and the last: But 3. There was peculiarly a Family-worship; or, if the family was little, two joyned together, for eating the pass-over within the House, wherein all the members of that family; or of those two little families that were circumcised were necessarily to be present, and to be joyners: this is Family-worship.

2. By considering, Psalm 101. compared with other Scriptures, where ye have 1. David mentioning his private carriage, and longing for God, and walking in a per­fect way. 2. His publick carriage as a Magistrate in cutting off the wicked from the City of God, as ye have. 3. Elsewhere his publick-worship, as Psalm 122. 1. and 2 Sam. 6. 4. His fellowship with all the Godly, being a Companion to them that feared God, Psalm 119. verse 63. Yet fifthly, and lastly: Ye have a walk within his House with a perfect heart, mentioned there as contradistinct from all; which must infer some religious performances of duties, or exercise of worship in his House in reference to that station, as well as in private or in publick, yea, a joynt-exercise, because it is such an exercise as he performed onely at home in his House; whereas had it been praying for them, or any thing, that otherwise he might have done apart: he needed not go home to them, for performing of it: Yet, 2 Sam. 6. verse 20. when the publick worship is done, he goeth home to bless his House; which manifestly sheweth a peculiar duty performed by him, in his Family, according as he resolved in that 101. Psalm.

3. It will yet further appear, that there is such a thing, and some way, what it is; by considering Zach. 12. from verse 10. to the last: where there is, first, A publick mourning of the whole Land. 2. Of several families together: Families shall mourn then. 3. Families apart. 4. Their Wifes apart, and so every particular Person in secret. In which place, it is clear, 1. That there is a worship of fami­lies, besides publick and secret worship. 2. That, that worship includeth the same duties, jointly performed by the members of the family, which Persons in secret perform▪ and so Family-worship, will be a worshipping of God, (beside what is in publick and secret,) in a Domestick and family-relation, jointly.

Thirdly, That this Command requireth such a family-worship distinct from pu­blick and secret, and something to be performed in worshipping of God amongst persons of related, which is not required of others▪ may thus be made out.

1. The thing called for in this Command is certainly worship, yea immediate wor­ship; it being a Command of the first Table, and such a thing as the sanctifying of the Sabbath.

[Page 134] 2. This Command taketh in all Domestick▪Relations, Parents, Children, Son [...] and Daughters, Masters, and Servants, Men or VVomen, yea and Strangers that may be for the time, or on that day, sojourning there; these are all constituent Members of a Family.

3. The thing required of them is not simply rest from labour, for 1. That is commanded for the Beasts (lest men should be hindered from or interrupted in their holy rest by their waiting on them) and none will say, we hope, that there is no more required as to Children or Servants, then as to the Beasts. 2. Under the Negative, Thou shalt do no work, is included the Affirmative, Thou shalt sanctifie that day to the Lord. 3. The same Duty is required of all alike (in some respect) thou Father, and thou Son, thou Master, and thou Servant, and if wor­ship be called for from the Father, and Master, for the sanctifying of that day, so it must be also from the Child and Servant.

4. The manner of performing this Worship of sanctifying the Lords day in Holy duties, is required not only to be in publick, nor only in secret, but by the Mem­bers of each Family joyntly, and apart from other Families.

For 1. It cannot be understood to require worship only in publick together▪ because 1. there may be in some cases no access to publick worship, and yet the Command of sanctifying the Lords day lyeth still on, and no doubt by Families. 2. Waiting on publick worship is but one piece of sanctifying the Lords day, and that but in apart of it; therefore there must be some other thing included here. 2. It cannot be understood of the Master of the Family, his putting the Members of the Family separatly to seek and worship God, and of his own going about Holy duties himself apart.

For 1. Though that be worship, yet is it not worship from persons in such a Relation or Family▪worship, more then if they were not in such a Relation, or of such a Family; and though it might be said that such and such persons sanctified the Sebbath, yet could it not be said that the Family as such did it; even as Fami­lies or persons seeking God in secret, could not be exonered thereby, as to their being in the Congregation; nor their serving of God be so accepted as Congre; gational service. if they met not together when they might: Just so it is here▪yea as it lyeth, by this Command, on a Congregation and a Minister to sanctifie the Lords day, and to come together for that end; so doth it lye on the Family and Master of it.

2. By this Command there is more required then secret or solitary sanctifying of the Sabbath, even a peculiar sanctification of it within one Family distinct from another: I say▪ 1. more then solitary worship, because the Lords saying thou, without repeating Son, Daughter, &c. had been sufficient to have laid it on all separately for themselves; the enumeration therefore of the whole Members of a Family must import some other thing, for the former is implyed in all Com­mands, as Thou shalt not kill, that is, as far as in thee lyeth, thou nor thy Son, &c. There must I say, be something more understood by the peculiar enumeration pre­ssed in this fourth Command. I say, 2. Even a peculiar worship, because it's something laid on by this Command which is holden within Gates or doors, and neither goeth to the Congregation, nor to the persons of other Families, at least ordinarily, but reacheth the Members of such a Family who are within such a [Page 135] Mans Gates or Doors; therefore it must be a distinct Family-worship mainly per­formed by that Family together.

3. The thing required here is not only worship simply, but worship as from a member of such a Family; therefore it is not solitary worship: for seeking of God and moral duties in secret still agree to persons in all places and Families alike▪ but this draweth a line as it were betwixt Families, and so divides one Family from an­other; yet maketh the duty more obliging to these within such a Mans Gates or Doors, then others without Doors; therefore it must be joynt-worship: for apart, or as concerning secret worship, all are every where alike obliged.

4. If by this Command something more in the worship of this day be requi­red of a person that is a member of a Family, in reference to that Family, then there is required of one who is not a member of such a Family, or is required of that person in reference to another Family whereof he is not a member; then it requireth a distinct Family-worship, for no other thing can be un­derstood, but a joynt going about the sanctifying of that day in a stricter and nearer way of Communion amongst the members of that Family, then with persons and Families in and to whom they are not so interested and re­lated.

5. If secret and publick worship were onely required in this Command, then should we equally and alike sanctifie the Lords day with other Families and per­sons, not of that Family whereof we are members; for in these we joyn alike for them and with them, but there is some peculiar thing required here, which will not agree to be performed by all alike; therefore it is Family-worship that must be here required.

6. This Command requireth of Masters, (suppose them to be Ministers, or Magistrates) another way of sanctifying the Sabbath, and worshipping of God, in and with their Families, then it doth in reference to other Families; the Com­mand being so particular to him, and to all that are within his Gates or Doors, and members of his Family, speaketh this clearly. But except it be joynt going about of duties with them, there can be no other thing understood to be requi­red: for, 1. One may exhort another. 2. All come in publick together. 3. By the Masters example after the publick, they all withdraw (or should at least) to secret exercises. 4. Magistrates and Ministers may Command other Families to sanctifie that day; What is peculiar then, as to their own Families, but to joyn with them in duties of worship?

7. If there were not Domestick-worship required on this day, then except it were in publick, Members of a Family could not converse together; for they can­not converse together in doing their own works, or in speaking their own words, their fellowship therefore must be in exercises of worship, and so that must needs be required in this Command.

8. Some other thing is required by this Command, of a member of a Family which seeketh God, then of a person in an heathenish Family; or some other thing is required from so many persons joyned together as members in one Fami­ly, then from such persons suppose them to be scattered from one another, amongst heathenish Families; certainly where Husband, Wife, Children, and Servants are Christians, and Professors of the same true Religion, there is some other [Page 136] thing required of them then where onely the Husband, the Wife, the Child or the Servant is so; but if they were scattered and became parts or members of diverse fa­milies among Heathens, they would be obliged to seek God apart; therefore no less, but much more is joint-seeking of God required of them, when they are united toge­ther as members of one family.

9. This Command (when it mentioneth all within his Gates or Doors) requireth some other thing of a Master when at home with his family, then when he is with­drawn from them: But a Master at a distance may command all in his family to wor­ship God, and pray to God for them, and so may they all if they were scattered, worship God secretly; therefore when they are together, there is some other thing required of them by this Command, which is, no doubt, To worship God together.

10. The duties that are to be performed on this day will require this; such as in­structing one another, exhorting, admonishing, comforting, strengthening one ano­ther, and talking to, or conferring with one another, of the Word, Deut. 6. verse 7. 8. Which cannot be denied to be duties called for on this day; and yet they cannot be done but by joint concurring together in that work, and therefore it concludeth strong­ly that family-worship, at least on the Lords-day, is commanded here; and if families be called to worship God jointly on the Lords-day by the worship competent for that day, then by proportion are they also called to worship him jointly on other dayes by the worship suitable to them, there being the like ground for all.

11. And lastly, that which is required of families, is such a worship as ought to be performed by them, supposing there were no publick worship, nor yet any other family, worshipping him in the World. So Joshua reso [...]veth, Chap. 24. 15. I and my House will serve the Lord, and sanctifie His Sabbath (that being a special piece of His service) what-ever ye will do: but if there were no worshipping of God in all the World but in one family, then ought that worship to be joint according to that same word of Joshua's, I and my House, otherwise we behooved to say, that there might be a plurality of worshippers of God in the World, and yet without any joyning to­gether in worship, which were in it self absurd, and contrary to Joshua's Religious Resolution.

It being thus made out by this Command, that there is such a worship as family-worship, and that it is commanded, we shall consider in the next place, how the Scri­ptures do otherways hold it out.

1. Then consider, that where the Scriptures speak of eminently Godly men, they speak of them as making conscience of this, and take notice of their honouring of God in their families as a special part of their eminency; So Abraham, Genes▪ 18. verse 19. Joshua. 24. 15. Job in the first Chapter of his Book, and David Psalm 101. are noted: It must then be a commanded and commendable duty, which is so particular­ly remarked in them.

2. Ye will find it almost in all parts of Scripture, as Genes. 18. Exod. 12. Dout. 6. Joshua. 24. Job 1. Psalm 101. and Psalm 30. At the Dedication of Davids House, which was not sure, without some peculiar worship and craving of Gods blessing; even as in other cases, those who had builded Houses were to Dedicate them, or to Consecrate them, and wherefore? because they were hoven in a manner, and as it were offered to the Lord, for seeking and worshipping Him in them: So, Altars▪ Numb. 7. 84. were said to be Dedicated when they were set apart for Gods service, and Consecrated for that use. So Nehe [...]. 12. 27. the Walls were Dedicated, and the Levites brought out for that end; which Dedication▪ no doubt, had a Religious use▪ [Page 137] and, Will any think that they began with Prayer or praise as David did, and left off such Exercises afterward? see also 2 Sam. 6. 20. where mention is made o [...] Davids blessing his House. Esther and the Maids of her House, and the rest of the Jews in their several Families, fasted and prayed. We see it spoken of by the Prophets, as Jer. 10. ult. and Zech. 12. 12. and that as a Prophesie of the Converts carriage under the New Testament. We find it also mentioned. 1 Tim. 3. 4. and 5. v. 8▪ and Titus 1. 6.

3. Ye will see it thus practised and pressed before the Flood; God was honoured and worshipped in families after it (before the Law) by Abraham, Iob, and others in their Families; under it, there was the Observation of it, and that by peculiar Ordinances, as namely, by the Passover yea, it is mentioned, and that most expresly in the very Law, as is said; it was kept up under the Captivity, and after the return renewed by Zachariah especially; yea, it is also renewed in the New Testament, whereby it appeareth to be of very special Observation; from all which it is not a little commended to us.

4. If we consider the many wayes whereby the Scriptures press this duty, it will be found that there is hardly any duty more cleared and pressed then it. Its pressed: 1. By Command? 2. By examples of Godly-men held forth as Paterns for imitation. 3. By promises made to it, and 4. By blessings conferred on the conscientious practi­sers of it, Genes. 18. Deut. 11. verse 18. 19. 20. 21. 5. As evidencing sincerity, Genes. 18. Ioshua 24. 6. As making Folks lyable to the curse and wrath of God when ne­glected. Ierem. 10. 25. 7. As a fruit of the Spirit, and as a companion of true repen­tance, Zach. 12. 8. As a specially commending and adorning qualification of per­sons that have it and scandalous where it is wanting; and as declaring one unmeet for publick charge, Gen. 18. 1. Tim. 3. 4. Tit. 1. 6.

Hence the Argument runneth strong, That duty which in Scripturs is comman­ded, by many examples commended, and by other motives pressed, the ne­glect whereof bringeth guilt and offence upon the persons neglecting; is no doubt a necessary duty, but Family-worship is such: therefore it is a necessary duty.

1 That it is commanded, what we have said from this fourth Command may suffi­ciently make it out, yet we further add, Deut. 6. 7. 8. and Deut. 11. 18. 19. In which two places it is clear that observing of the Law, is not onely to be studied by a Ma­ster of a Family himself alone, but that the Religious duties of frequent speaking of it, diligent teaching of it, whetting and pressing of it on his Family, are to be per­formed by him; yea, it is to be written on the posts of his Door, to shew that Reli­gion must be in the Family, and in all that enter into it, even as car ying the word on the fronlets betwixt their eyes, was to mind them of the peculiar and particular san­ctification that was called for from them.

2 That it is commended by examples is clear in Abrahams, who d [...]aleth both with Children and Servants in the Family, and that in things concerning the worshipping of God, as well as in things concerning his own particular affairs: He circumcised them, and commanded; yea, charged them to serve the Lord, whi [...]h cannot be sup­posed to have been done without other duties of worship. And in David [...], 2. Sam 6. 20. Who when he has been at publick-worship goeth home to ble [...]s his Family, which was certainly to go about some Religious duty with them, as he had been doing with the people in the publick; in the one he behaved him [...]elf as King, in the other as a Governour and Head of his own Family in particular; and had it been only to pray for them, that might have been done elsewhere then at home; but it denoteth the changing of publick worship (wherein he had blessed [Page 138] the people as a publick man, as a Prophet and godly King, and had joyned with them v. 18.) into Family duties. Wherein he goeth to concur with them; Intimat­ing that a Holy Solemnity should be partly spent in publick, and partly in Family­duties, without neglect of secret duties: beside that in Psal. 30▪ and Psal. 101. it is clear; and appeareth to have been also practised by all that built houses, who did Dedicate them, and that not without Prayer, as is manifest by Davids Dedica­tion of his, Psal. 30 as is said, Job's example likewise maketh it out Chap. 1. where there are 1 Sacrifices in his Family, as well as for his Family. 2. He sendeth to san­ctifie them who were absent, that is, to put them in a readiness for joyning with him in that service with those that were at home, which he needed not to have done had they been beside or present with him: Yea 3. when he cannot do it personally, he will do it by another, that God may be worshipped by them all, some way together.

3. I say the neglect of it is sadly threatned as Jer. 10. v. ult. Pour out thy fury on the Heathen that know thee not, and on the Families which call not on thy name▪ If not worshipping of God in Families, be a Character of a Family appointed to destructi­on, and be threatned with a Curse, then prayer-worship in Families is a necessary duty; for it's clear from that place, 1. That by calling on Gods Name, is meant Gods worship in general; and prayer in particular, which is a special part of it▪ 2. That by Families are meant particular▪ Societies and Companies whether lesser or greater that want this worship, and so are the Objects of that Curse.

Obj. If it be said, that by Families there, are meant People and Nations, yea (comparing this place with Psal. 79. v. 6,) Heathens that called not on God. Ans 1. That doth confirm the Argument: for if Heathens, whether Kingdoms or Families be described by this, that they call not on God; then still it must be a Heathenish Kingdom that has not publick worship, a Heathenish person who wan­teth secret worship, and so a Heathenish Family that wanteth Family-worship. 2. The Curse here is not threatned to Families as Families, but as such Families that call not on Gods Name, therefore it reacheth them: for, à quatenus ad omne, &c. So then what ever profession Families have otherwayes, if they want this duty they are thereby laid open to the Curse. 3. It is all one upon the matter whether by Families be meant Societies lesser or greater: for if it be a fault in Nations to neglect Gods worship, and if the neglect thereof bring a Curse on them, will it not be a fault in particular Families, and bring a Curse on them? 4. Families cannot be excluded, seeing they are expresly named; though more be included, to wit, that the Curse cometh on multitudes of Families, or upon Nations made up of Families. And we conceive Families to be particularly named, 1. To shew that the Curse will reach all Societies lesser as well as greater, who have this Character. 2. Because Nations are made up of Families, and be­cause there is sibness (to say so) betwixt the carriage of families in religious worship, and the carriage of the whole Land. 5. The comparing of Jeremy 10 with Psal. 79 will not enervate any of the places; but, when put together, they shew that the Holy Ghost doth mean both Families and Kingdomes, and that what is implyed in the one place is expressed in the other, to shew that God will have both publick-worship from whole Kingdoms and Family-worship from particular Families as parts of these Kingdoms. 6. The ground whence the C [...]rse is derived, is because that such a Society neglecteth such a duty, and [Page 139] therefore how-ever we expond the place and the word Family there, it will hold of all Societies in general.

4. I said that the having of Family-worship is looked upon as a special qua­lification, and the want of it as a scandal and offence, for. 1. Who are to be admitted Elders or Deacons? Is it not such who have this qualification of Ruling their own Houses well? 1, Tim. 3. v. 4. Tit. 1. 6. (yea even Widows, 1 Tim. 5. 10. are to be tryed by this, that they have brought up Children, no doubt Christian­ly and Religiously, which can very hardly, if at all be, without worshipping of God with them) 2. If that qualification, to wit▪ Ruling their own House well, be found to be wanting, they are accounted to be unmeet to rule in Gods House, 1 Tim. 3. 5.

Whence we may reason thus: That which casteth a man as unmeet for bear­ing Rule in Christs House, how-ever otherwise he be qualified, is an offence and a scandal; but the want of Family-worship doth that; therefore the want of it is a scandal.

In these places it is clear, 1. That Ruling of their own House is meant not only in outward and temporal things, but also, if not mainly, in what concerneth the honour, service and worship of God; for 1. it's the Ruling of Ser­vants and Children together, 1 Tim. 3. verse 4. 5. Now it is clear that Chil­dren are to be brought up in the fear of the Lord, 2. It's a Ruling that com­mendeth them as gracious, which no Ruling in temporal things will do; seeing many meere natural men, are wiser in their own Generation that way, then the Children of light. 3. Many much less fit for Ruling in these things, may yet be fit to Rule in Gods House, as experience cleareth. 4. These words, having Children in subjection in all gravity, speak out a Christian and Religious Rule and order to be kept in the House or Family in reference to a Religous end, which cannot but take in Family-worship; yet it is also clear, that he meaneth not simply of inability to rule, but mainly of defectiveness in the improving the ability which God hath given for Ruling; therefore it is not said here, He that cannot Rule his House (though that be in part truth) but he that doth not Rule; and it is tanked with excessive drinking, striking, pride, and other grosse ills; it having that same effect that they had, to wit, to declare incapacity for such Offices; Hence this is not to be the Rule of tryal, if he can Rule his own house well, as having gifts fitting him for it, but (supposing him to have these) it's to be in­quired if he doth actually Rule it well, which is the evidence of the right im­proving of his gifts; therefore here Ruling in the mans own house, and ruling in the Church or House of God, are looked on as two degrees of one thing of the same nature, because both taken in, not only gifts fitting for the discharge of the duty of this respective ruling it, but conscience and faithfulness in the im­proving of them▪ We shall not here to this purpose insist on the frequent men­tion that is made in the Scripture of Churches being in Families; But shall pro­ceed to add to what we have said, Six or Seven Reasons or grounds that will further prove and clear the thing.

The first is drawn from nature, which teacheth not only that the true God should be alone served and worshipped, but that according to the Stations God hath put [...] in, they should improve them with their gifts & parts for a higher end [Page 140] then their own behooff or advantage; to wit, his glory: And that as they have a peculiar fellowship given them by him as his gift, so he should have answerable and peculiar acknowledgement from them; and therefore seeing the appointment of Families is Gods Ordinance, and that its he that giveth to some Children and Servants which are with-held from others, there ought in all reason a Tribute to be given to him re­sulting from that Society and the Family: hence it was that before the Law the Pa­triarchs had their worship specially in their Families; yea Heathens, beside their pu­blick idolatrous worship, and idolatrous Temples, had their peculiar Penates or Houshold-Gods, on whom for their particular families, delivery from enemies and protection, they depended.

2. A second is drawn from the nature of Christian Communion amongst Believers, which as it requireth the performing of Christian duties, according as we are in pro­vidence called to them, so it requireth the making use of that tye of Family-interest or relation super-added to the former for furtherance and entertaining of that Com­munion, because there is a special access ministred by such a relation to the attaining of that end; Hence it is we conceive (as is said) that some Christian Families are called Churches, because so many Christians casten together, lived in a Christian discharge of all Family-Ordinances (so to speak.)

3. The Lord by his Covenant doth especially (though not alway) derive mercies to Families taking them in together, and making promises to them, and conferring priviledges on them. So Abrahams whole Family was taken in Covenant, Genes. 17. And in the New Testament whole Families were at once Baptized, which certainly calleth them to a peculiar way of being answerable to such priviledges and ingage­ments: And is not this one special and very proper way of being answerable to them, that they worship God together, and joyn in blessing him for such mercies, and in prayer to him for grace to carry suitably to them?

4. The mutual interest that usually is in the condition of members of the same Family, calleth for joynt-seeking of God, and worshipping of him, as they are joint­ly concerned in the same dangers, the same sins often, the same stroaks, the same du­ties, the same mercies; for what is so to one, is ordinarily some way so to all, there­fore ought they to joyn in confessing of sins, acknowledging mercies, deprecating dangers and stroaks, and discharging of duties.

5. Private worship is profitable to all the ends of a family. Its an acknowledging of God and honouring of him, it helpeth the Master to keep his authority, and ma­keth every one in their Family to walk the more respectively towards the rest, and it keepeth from many out-breakings, when they are to meet so often together to seek and worship God; hence, in experience, we often see that these families, where re­ligious worship is, are generally more civil, at least, then other families, where it is not, and that the children and servants of such families readily profit most, are most countenanced by Gods blessing, and are in greatest capacity to get good of the publick Ordinances.

6. The Lord loveth to have a distinction betwixt these that serve him, and these that serve him not; Now as to a family relation, what difference is there betwixt a professing Christian family, where the joynt worship of God is not, and a heathenish family? Heathens live, and eat, and work together, and when no more is seen, they look very like the one to the other. Even as in a Nation where no publick worship is, though private Persons privately seek God, yet there seemeth to be no publick national difference betwixt that Nation and a heathen Nation: so in the former case a family difference will hardly be found, if any should inquire of what sort of families these are.

[Page 141] Add that it will be hard to say that a man should take care of the outward Estate of his Family, and neglect the spiritual, and keep Communion with his Family in temporal things, and none in spiritual duties; yea, doubt­less he should be much more in these, as being both more necessary and more ex­cellent.

Having first shewed that this fourth Command holdeth forth a family worship, and having secondly confirmed it more largely from other Scriptures and grounds of reason, it followeth now according to the method proposed, that we shew in the third place, how particularly the Scripture describeth wherein it doth con­sist, whereby it will further appear to be of God. The Scripture describeth it four wayes.

1. In general it is called in Abraham and Joshuas Case, keeping the way of Lord, serving the Lord, very comprehensive expressions, taking in much, and here its sanctifying of the Sabbath; that is, performing of the duties which are to be discharged for the right sanctifying of that day; we conceive it to be in short, to do these things in a joynt family-way, which a Servant of God may, and ought to do, alone; that is, to pray, read, sing Psalms, &c. or to do in a Domestick way, what Christians in providence cast together may do, as to pray, read, further one anothers edification by repeating of Sermons, spiritual conference, instruction, exhortation, admonition, &c. for they have their tye of Christianity, and this of a Family-relation beside, which doth not abro­gate the former, nor derogate from it, but doth further corroborate and add more strength to it, as to make it more necessary and less elective, more frequent and less occasional, and to be now by Domestick rules authoritatively regu­lar for edification, which cannot so be by the simple tye of Christian Com­munion.

2. It speaketh of particular duties, wherein they should joyn, as first, Here of sanctifying the Sabbath in all the duties of it, adding more to our Family-worship that day then other dayes, as well as to our secret wor­ship, for the Sabbath was to have its double offering. Secondly, Of praying, Jerem. 10. ult. which is necessarily included in that mourning, mentioned, Zech. 12. A fruit of the poured out Spirit of Grace and Supplications, So 2 Sam. 6. Davids blessing his family is to be unde [...]stood of his going before them in prayer to God for a blessing on them, not in common as a publick Prophet, which he did with the People, but as a peculiar duty discharged by him to his family, whereof he was head. Thirdly, Of family fasting, or setting of time apart in the family extraordinarily for Fasting and Prayer, as in Zech. 12. in that solemn mourning, and in Esther 4. where it is recorded, that she and her maids (who were her family) and all the Jews at Shusan (who yet could not have in that place a publick fast) did go about that duty. Fourthly, Of Instruction, a most necessary duty to instruct and teach the family the knowledge of God; the Command goeth expresly on this, Deuter. 6. 7, 8. and 11. 19, 20. where we commanded to talk of the Law within the House, to teach it our Children di­ligently, or (as the word is) to whet it on them by catechizing, and to write it on the posts of our Doors, and on the walls of the House, for what end I pray? Sure for this very end, that the House might have the means of knowledge in it, and that the knowledge of Gods Law might be taught and learned in it, and will any think that the Walls should teach and the Master be silent? [Page 142] Especially, seeing it is for the Families behoof, that these things were written? What if some in the Family could not read? which on several accounts might be▪ then it would follow that they were lost, if there were no more nor other teach­ing then what was by writing on the walls; when Abraham commanded his house to keep the way of the Lord, and to serve him, will any think he did not teach them, who he was, and how he should be served? By proportion other things fit for edification, and as worship to God, come in here, particularly praise, [...]s appeareth by the 30▪ Psalm, intituled A Psalm or Song at the dedication of Davids house.

3. The Scripture speaketh of, and holdeth out the duty of the particular mem­bers of the Family, and that in reference to the stations they are in, and the rela­tions they sustain and stand under, as of Husband and Wife, that they live toge­ther▪ as the Heirs of the grace of life, and so as their prayers may not be hin­dred▪ of parents, that they do not onely provide for their Children tempo­ral things, but that they also being them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord, 1 Timothy 3▪ 4. and 12. both Children and Servants are put in together.

4. The Scripture speaketh of ordering of Families by a special Family discipline and Authority, therefore it is called in Abraham, commanding or charging his Ser­vants to keep the way of the Lord, and 1 Tim. 3. a ruling of their own house well, with some resemblance unto ruling in the Church by Ecclesiastical discipline, with which it is some way compared, as having a fitness, or as being an evidence of fit­ness, for that.

This Discipline consisteth especially in these three, 1. in making good dome­stick Laws for Children and Servants in ordering every thing aright, that concer­neth the promoting of godliness and edification amongst them, and in timing of things rightly, so as every duty that is to be done in the family, may be done in the beautiful season of it. 2. In putting forth a paternal or parental and masterly authority in carrying on these ends, commanding or charging as Abraham did▪ ruling so as Children and Servants may be kept in subjection; it is very insuitable and no wayes allowable, that Masters should command in their own business, and onely intreat in the things of God. 3. In exacting an account of obedience and censuring disobedience; Job and David do reprove their own Wives by vertue of the authority of their headship, David will not suffer a wicked person to abide in his house; that is, when commands and rebukes will not do, he will even extrude and put away.

If it be asked here, on whom doth the burden of discharging duties in the Fa­mily especially lye, and what is to be thought of Chaplains▪

Answ. I will not altogether condemn Chaplains, for certainly, Masters may make use of helps, and God as often blessed it, and that practise of Levites being in Families, Deut. 12. verse 13. 18, 19▪ (though it was a snare through his own fault to that Levite, who went seeking a place to sojourn in Judg. 17. in Micahs house) seemeth to insinuate that there hath been, and might have been, somewhat of this, and good if well improved; yet when putting the charge upon Chaplains, either meerly for Masters of Families their own ease, and when they think themselves al­together exoned of that burden, because they have such with them, or when [Page] it's because they think less of, and undervalue that duty themselves, or account it below them to catechize and instruct servants, or to pray in their Families, or be­cause they cannot bestow so much time on these duties, who yet can bestow much more idly, that is utterly culpable and inexcusable; the burden lyeth on the Master primarily and chiefly, and therefore he can never denude himself wholly of it, more then of his other necessary affairs, except when more publick affairs call him, or when infirmities impede him; for here the Command saith, thou, to wit, Master, nor thy Son, nor Servant, &c. it speaketh directly and immediately to him, be­cause the performance of the duty is especially called for from him; so in that example of Abraham it's he that commandeth his houshold to keep the way of the Lord, Job himself offereth the sacrifice, David will not send home, but goeth himself to bless his house (though they had other wayes much employment if that could excuse) and the man that is to be chosen an elder, is such as ruleth his own house well; having of a Chaplain, will give no great proof of the Masters own dexterity, yet we say, that one may for the better effectuating the end take help, though he cannot altogether devolve the burden on another; yea, we think when the Master is negligent or absent, Duty falleth to be performed by these of the Family, on whom the weight of his affairs doth in his failing or falling short, lye, if qualified; so that amongst other defects they should make up this, or in such a Case the most fit and best qualified in the family ought to be pitched on for this.

From what hath been said Family-worship appeareth to be so convincingly clear, necessary and important a duty, that any Objections or Scruples, that can be moved against it, most needs be but of little weight and importance, and may be easily solved and satisfied: It will not therefore be needful to condescend particularly on them: And as for the advantages that wait on the conscientious and suitable practise of this duty they are many, a few whereof we shall very briefly touch upon: As 1. It hath Gods special approbation, testimony, and commendation, and he hath a great delight and complacency in the diligent and faithful Practisers of it, Genes. 18. verse 19. 2. It advanceth to a high degree of familiarity with God, and is attended with sweet Communications of his mind as himself thinketh fit, ibid. comparing verse 19 with verse 17. and 18. 3. It is readily and often followed with success more or less towards the spiritual good, and edification of Servants and Children, either in the Masters life time, or when he is gone, Gen. 18. v. 19. Abraham will command his children and houshold after him, and they shall keep the way of the Lord, they shall keep is emphatick and observable; and with promised blessings on the Master, or head of the Family, ibid. That the Lord may bring upon Abraham, that which he bath spoken of him. 4. It is a notable mean of the propaga­tion and encrease of the knowledge of God: O what plenty of the growth of the knowledge of God might, and would be, in the Church, if all Masters of Families made Conscience of Family-duties? and particularly of catechising and instruct­ing them in the knowledge of the principles of Religion! And what can one Mi­nister do as to this alone in a numerous Congregation, if all, or most, Masters of Fa­milies be negligent, who yet must answer to God for the Souls of their Children and Servants, as well as the Minister must for the Souls of all under his Charge; these being under their Charge, as well as the other are under his, as is clear, from [Page 144] this same Command. 5. It very much furthers through Gods blessing all the fa­mily for profiting by the Ministry of the Word, and for joyning in publick duties of Worship, as is obvious. 6. It procureth, or at least, is a fit, hopeful and pro­mising mean for procuring a suitable discharge of all sorts of Duties, called for from the several Members of the family in their respective capacities. 7. It is nota­bly contributive, through Gods blessing, for preventing many publick scandals in the Church, whereby the Name of God is much dishonoured, and the pro­fession thereof disgraced. 8. The ruling of a mans own house well, doth not a little fit him, that is otherwise qualified for it, and called to it, for ruling in the house of God, 1 Tim. 3. 4. And by proportion for other publick Employments▪ whereof he is capable, and to which he is called. 9. It is wai­ted with sweetly, smiling, quieting and satisfying Reflexions in a strait, and particu­larly at death; and failings in it (let be utter neglects) are waited then with sad and bitter challenges, as may be gathered from Davids last words, 2 Sam. 23. 5. Although my house be not so with God, &c. The contrary prejudices either of the utter neglect, or of the careless and overly performance of these family-duties, may be easily discovered by the due consideration of these fore-men­tioned, and other such like advantages: And from all that is said on this Sub­ject the horrid aggravations of the grievous sin of neglecting family worship so clearly commanded, so much commended and pressed; so much practi­sed by the Saints, held forth to be so advantagious in its practise, and so prejudicial and severely threatned in its neglect, cannot be but at first view obvious to any that will but with ordinary seriousness take notice of them.

Having cleared that this Command is moral, not as to the setting a part of time for duty (which every Command supposeth) but of so much time, particularly stinted and defined in the Command: We come now to see what is specially comman­ded here; the Command divideth it self in a Mandat, or mandatory part in the first words thereof, and in an amplicatory part, wherein it is more fully cleared and pressed: The 1. is, Remember the Sabbath-day to sanctifie it, or keep it holy: for the opening up and winning at the clear meaning whereof, we would consider three words.

The first is, what it is to remember or (as it is infinitively set down) remem­bring to remember; this is prefixed and would look rather like the inferring of something commanded already, then the new instituting of a command, and so indeed, it seemeth to suppose a day formerly institute and set apart for God (as was hinted before) which by this Command his people are put to mind: It doth beside import these four with a respect it were to four times. First, A constant and continued duty at all times, and in all dayes; that is, that we would remember, that God has set apart a seventh day for himself, and there­fore every day we would remember to cast our Affairs so, as they may not be impediments to us in the sanctifying of that day, and we would endea­vour alwayes to keep our hearts in such a frame as we may not be discompo­sed, when that day shall come, and this affirmative part of this Command bin­deth semper or alway, and its negative ad semper, on other dayes as well as on the Sabbath.

2. It importeth a timely preparing for the Sabbath, when it is a coming, or when it draweth near, this remembring it calleth for something to be done in refe­rence to it; before it come a man by this is obliged to endeavour to have a [Page 145] frame of heart, that he may be ready to meet the Sabbath, and enter kindly to the duties of it, when it shal come▪ or otherways, if it come on him while he is in his com­mon or course frame, and not fitted for it, it will say he has not been remembring it before it came.

3. Remembring importeth an intenseness and seriousness in going about the du­ties of the day, when it cometh, and that it should be with all carefulness sanctified, and that men should be mindful of the duties called for, lest their hearts divert from them, or slacken, bensil and grow formal in them; whereby mens inclination to forget this duty, or to be superficial in it, is much hinted at, this word we take to be moral, being a mean for furthering the great duty aimed at of sanctifying the Lords-day, or Sabbath coming.

4. Remembring may import this, that the Sabbath even when it is past, should not be soon forgotten, but that we should look on the Sabbath past to remember it, lest by loosing the fruits of it, when it is by, we make our selves guilty of pro­phaning it.

The next word is, the day of the Sabbath. By Sabbath here is meaned rest, as it is exponed by the Apostle, Hebr. 4. and that not every rest, but a holy rest from our own works, that there may be access to positive sanctifying of that day, for the san­ctifying of that day is the end, and this is but a mean and necessary supposed help, without which the day cannot be sanctifyed in holy duties; holy duties and our own works being for the time inconsistent; besides, that rest on this day is not onely called for, as ceasing from our ordinary affairs in the time of worship is called for on any other day, but more especially and solemnly in respect of the day it self; for at other times our duties require a time for them, and therefore that time cannot be employed in another ordinary work and in worship also, but here the Lord re­quireth time and rest to be sanctified, and therefore we are to perform holy duties [...] that time, because it is to be sanctified; other times and rests are drawn after worship, this time and rest draweth worship necessarily after it; hence it was that onely the Jews feasts were called Sabbaths, I mean religious Sabbaths, not civil or politick, as their years were, because they included a rest upon destination to an [...]oly use.

That which is mainly questionable here is concerning the day, expressed in this Command, concerning which may be asked, 1. What sort of day, or the quamdiu. [...]. How often, or the quoties. 3. What day of the seven or the quando. 4. When we are to reckon its beginning.

For Answer to the first we say, There are two sorts of dayes mentioned in the Scripture, one is artificial of twelve hours, so the Jews divided their day, making [...]heir hours longer or shorter as the day was long or short, but they kept up the [...]umber of their hours alway; the other is a natural day, which is a seventh part [...]f the week, and containeth twenty four hours, taking in so much time as inter­ [...]eneth betwixt the Suns beginning to ascend, after midnight, the nocturnal Sol­ [...]ice, till it pass the Meridional altitude, which is the Suns Vertical point for that [...]ay, till it come to that same very point of Midnight again, which is the Suns natu­ [...]al course every twenty four hours, comprehending both the artificial day, which [...] from midnight to midday, and the artificial night also, which is from midday to [...]idnight again.

[Page 146] The day mentioned here is the natural day, because it's a seventh day, pro­portionable to each of the six dayes, given unto us, and they with the seventh making up the Week, it must contain as many hours as any of the rest doth; but the six dayes wherein God made Heaven and Earth, &c. are natural days; therefore the seventh to wit, the day of rest, must be so also.

Let us only for further clearing and for directing our own Practise speak here a word or two more, 1. We say it is a whole natural day, that is, as it's usually employed by us on any of the six Dayes for our own Works, that as we spend so much time in our ordinary Callings on other dayes, so would we employ so much in Gods Worship secret, private▪ and publick on that day; what proportion of time we use to give, or may and should give ordinarily to our Callings on other dayes, we would give as much to God and his Worship, to our Souls, and our spiritual state on the Lords day or Sabbath.

Therefore▪ 2. there is not to be understood here a rigid pressing of all these hours to be spent in Duties of immediate Worship, but our Working and Walk­ing time, having a respect to our infirmities, and also to our Duties, lest under pretext of infirmity we incroach upon Gods day, and give him less then we give to our selves, or should and may give him: And so in Scripture they accompted, what is betwixt rising and going to bed, as still the Work of one day, or one dayes Work; for as God in conceding six dayes to us, hath yet so done it, as there may be a Reserve of particular times for Worship called for from us to him every day for keeping up our Communion with him; so on the seventh day doth the Lord allow so much conveniency of sleep and other refreshing, as may be sub­servient for the main end of the day, these being Works of mercy and necessity, which Christ allowed on the Sabbath, which was made for man, and not man for the Sabbath.

3. Yet care would be had lest under pretext of these we exceed, and apply too much of what is the Lords unnecessarily for our selves and on our lusts; and if we will wake for ordinary business, and keep up on such and such a Dyet, other Dayes, yea if we might do it, or others no more strong then we, do it, the pretence of infirmity will not excuse us, especially seeing hardly it can be often instanced, that timeousness at Gods Work in that day, or earnestness and con­tinuance in it, hath proved hurtful, which we may account as a part of Gods blessing on the seventh day, that less meat and sleep may be as refreshful as more at another time▪ thus much for the quamdiu, or the Continuance of the day.

Secondly, it may be enquired how often by vertue of this command that day doth recur? if it be one of seven? or, if it be the very seventh? And so if this day be to be taken definitely for the very seventh day after the Creation, or inde­finitely for one day of seven, as the Lord should otherwayes determine, or had elsewhere determined; a stricting then to a day: but not any particular day by vertue of this command, but to such a day as was formerly described or prescri­bed from the beginning, during the Jewish State, and to such another day as God should after Christs coming reveal unto them, and pitch upon for his service? for taking it for granted, that a Seventh day as moral is commanded, it followeth to be inquired, whether it be the Seventh in number, that is, one of seven, or the seventh in order, that is, the Seventh day?

[Page 147] For answering this we would permit, 1, That there is a great difference be­twixt these two; the one, to wit, that there be a Seventh doth concern the matter and substance of piety; the other, to wit, which of these Seven it be, is more circumstantial and is alike, if it be appointed by God, and have the blessing.

2. That it is usual for God in his commands concerning worship, not at first to express a particular definitely, but to deliver it in the bosome of a general in­definitely, mediately, and by clear consequence, as it were several Species un­der one Genus.

As for instance, 1▪ when Deut, 12. 5. he commandeth his people to offer their Sacrifices in the place which he should choose, here there is a stinting or astricting of them to the place which God should reveal unto them; this before the Temple was built, tyed them to the Ark, and sometimes to one place, and sometimes to another, as it was removed and placed, till it was brought to Je­rusalem; but after the Temple was built and chosen for the place, it astricted men to that; yea when the Temple is destroyed, and Christ come, it a stricteth men to no place by another, but it obligeth men to worship God every where in spirit and truth: It's true, this is a Ceremonial precept, and will not hold in all things, especially as to its oblition, yet while it stood by a positive Authority or Precept, it sheweth that God may command a particular, as one day of seven, and yet not instantly so determine, but that one and the same command may inforce to diverse dayes at diverse times, upon supposition of Gods manifesting his mind, even as by one command men were astricted successively to diverse places

2. See it instanced in the second Command, wherein God requireth such a worship, as he himself should prescribe, which is the moral affirmative part of it, and dischargeth all worship by Images, that is, the moral negative part thereof; by vertue whereof Believers were then tyed, to offer Sacrifices, to Circumcise, to keep the Passover, &c. but now Believers are tyed to Baptize, to celebrate the Lords Supper, &c. yet by vertue of one and the same command▪ so here, that command which requires the Seventh day from the Jews, may re­quire the First day from us Christians, for the Sabbath, because these particulars are not expresly▪ directly, and immediately called for by these commands, but in­directly and by consequence▪ yet this second command tyed the Jews to abstain from blood, and to circumcise, before the ceremonial Law was added to them, because these commands were formerly revealed to them, but it tyed them to these accidentally (to say so) and by consequence only, even so we say of the fourth command as to the Seventh day, it being instituted before: consider for this Exod. 16. 26. where six dayes for gathering of Manna, & a seventh for rest, are spoken of.

A third Instance is in Tithes, which was the Lords requiring apart of their Means or Substance, as this was apart of their time; he there required the tenth part of their increase, as here he doth the seventh part of their time; yet God, in proportioning their estates, did not particularly limit to any exact and precise order, but as to this proportion of their estates whatever they were; so we say here, had not the day been determined other wayes then by this command, it would not have implyed any particular definite day of the Seven,

[Page 148] 3. We premit, that though the seventh day be called moral, as is expressed in the Command, or understood, yet it is but moral positive, and so alterable at the will of the Law-giver, and therefore the question would not be much different, if acknowledging the seventh day to be commanded to the Jews, as well as one of seven, we yet asserted the seventh to be discharged, and one of seven to be still re­tained▪ for so one of seven would be binding now, and not the seventh.

4. Yet lest we should seem to admit somewhat changeable in the very Com­mand it self precisely considered, we would put difference betwixt the comman­ding part of the Law, and its explicatory part; the command may be moral and in­definite, although some things in reasons and motives were not so▪ as in the pre­face which inforceth all the commands, & in the promise annexed to the fifth▪ there was something peculiar to that people, yet cannot we cast off all because of that; suppose there had no more been in this fourth Command, but remember in the day of rest to keep it holy, that would not have inferred the seventh day, though we think the Jews, because of its former sanctification, would have been obliged to keep that day by vertue of this Command: And suppose that in the explications or rea­sons there may be something added peculiar to that people (which cannot be a se­venth day, but at the most (if any thing) the seventh day) yet that which is in the commanding part, will still stand moral, to wit, that the day of rest should be re­membred; and if it can be made out that it was determined to the Jews to san­ctifie the seventh day (though it were in the reasons added) and to us afterward to sanctifie the first day, they will be both found to be a seventh day, and a day of rest, and therefore to be remembred and to be sanctified; this would resolve into the same thing on the matter; yet we conceive it safest to assert that in this Com­mand God hath set apart a seventh day to himself, which is to be sanctified by us, by our application of it to holy uses, but doth not by it expresly, directly, and pri­marily bind to the seventh day, but secondarily and by consequence, to wit, as it was other wayes before declared by him, and so it bindeth now that same way to the sanctifying of the first day of the week, as being now revealed by God, just as in the former instances or examples we touched upon.

That a seventh day (whatever it be which is chosen of God) and not the seventh day in order, is to be sanctifyed by vertue of this Command, as injoyning that, as the substance and matter of it, may be made out by these Arguments.

Arg. 1. That which is the substance of this Command is moral, and bindeth per­petually, as we have formerly proved (for if its substance be not moral, then it sel [...] is not so either) but that a seventh day should be sanctified hath been maintained in the Church by the Apostles in their retaining the first day of the week, while the seventh hath been laid by and never used; therefore it was not the seventh, but a [...] seventh day which was primarily commanded in this Command; so that no parti­cular day is instituted here more then any positive service is prescribed in the se­cond Command: yet the observation of what was prescribed, or should be pre­scribed was included. Even so it is here in reference to that day; and as we may inferr that the second Command injoyned not such and such Ordinances primari­ly, because they are abolished; and that such as were negative or prohibited, a [...] not making of Images, are moral, because they are continued, and Images are to be rejected; just so may we conclude that a seventh day here was primarily com­manded, [Page 149] and is moral because it is continued, and that the seventh was not so com­manded, because it is rejected and laid aside.

This Argument especially made out in the designation of the Lords day will prove this, for if that seventh day was the substance of this Command, then either it is to be continued as moral, which were against the current of the New Testa­ment, wherein, as Christ hath set forth different Ordinances, so a different chief so­lemn time for worship; or we must say that this fourth Command belongeth not to us at all, the contrary whereof we have made out: It must then follow, that it was not the seventh day, but a seventh day which this Command respecteth, which therefore belongeth to us, as it did to the Jews, as well as any other Command (and particularly the second Command) doth.

Arg. 2. If God hath put a difference some way betwixt the Sabbath com­manded here, and the day of his own rest, the seventh day, then it would seem its not that day which it commanded: But he hath put a difference, first, in the man­datory part, Remember; what? not the seventh day, but the Sabbath day, or day of rest: 2. In the blessing, it is not said, he blessed the seventh day, but the Sabbath; therefore is that difference so palpable, as being specially intended; whereas if the scope of the Command were only the seventh day, it had been much more clear to have set it down other wayes; and no other probable reason of the difference can be given.

Arg. 3. Either a seventh day is commanded primarily, and then the seventh but secondarily and consequentially, or the seventh was commanded the Jews prima­rily, and one of seven but consequentially (for both were commanded to them) and the first, to wit, the seventh as being in use before. But it cannot be said that the seventh day was primarily commanded, and one of seven consequentially only, be­cause the general is first commanded, and then the particular; as when God requi­red Tithes of increase and Cattle, by the Command of Tithes he first required the proportion, and then what particular proportion as to order, he himself should carve out to them; and so consequently came in the tenth Beast (which passed un­der the rod) by a particular command, Lev. 27. 32, 33▪ because there God determi­ned; but if that tenth had not been set down, the general command had but de­termined upon the tenth of Cattle, as of Sheaves, or bolls of Corn, even so it is as to the day, the Command requireth one of seven primarily: but that it is this seventh, followeth from another determination.

Arg. 4. If the moral grounds and reasons which press this Command do most directly respect a seventh day, and not the seventh; then its not the seventh day, but a seventh day, which is primarily commanded in it (for the reasons bear out especially what is moral in it, and principally intended) but the moral reasons pressing it plead more strongly and directly for a seventh day, and but indi­rectly for the seventh day as it was then instituted; Ergo, &c. That the reasons do directly press a seventh day, and in a manner stick closely to it, may thus be made out.

1. If the reasons equally press on us the first day, and the observation of it (sup­posing it now to be observed according to Divine warrant) then they do not primarily press the seventh, but the reasons equally press on us the first day, Ergo, &c. the major is clear, for the same thing cannot press two different dayes [Page 150] primarily nor equally; that the reasons concern us as well as them upon the sup­position aforesaid, may thus appear:

1. They are universal, and do not belong to that people more then any other, for the concession of six dayes is to all, and Gods example of resting, concer­neth all.

2. If the breaking of that Command be equally sinful to us with them, and strike against the equity of the Command, and Gods example in us as well as in them, then these reasons concern us also, and us as well as them: Now that they do so, and agredge the sin of prophaning our Lords day as they did the sin of pro­phaning their Sabbath, we must either grant, or we must deny that they concern us at all: Beside the weight of a challenge from the conscience by vertue of them, will put a tender heart out of question of it, seeing God giveth us six dayes to our selves, as he did to them, and his example proposed to us ought to be respected by us, as well as by them, and the same general equity is in both.

3. If the reasons be a sufficient ground of allowance to us for six working dayes together, even the last six of the week, as they were to them for the first six; then they determine not the seventh day to be the day of rest primarily, but a seventh following these six of labour; but they do allow us warrantably to work six dayes, even the last six of the week; Ergo, they do not determine the seventh day prima­rily; the connexion of the major seemeth to be very clear: For first, these must stand and fall together, if the concession (to call it so) concern us in the six working dayes, so must the reservation of a seventh. 2. As the concession concerneth us in the six working dayes, so must the prohibition of work on a seventh of rest, for the one determineth the other, if the concession be for six in number, so must the prohibition be for a seventh in number; but if the concession be of six in order, then it is the seventh that is to be reserved, and if the seventh be related to in the prohibition of work, then the concession must look to the first six dayes, which it doth not, as we have shewed. And therefore 3. seeing the six dayes concession looketh to six in number, so many thou mayest or shalt work together▪ and no more, the prohibition must also respect the number, to wit, a seventh▪ and not the seventh day: the minor will be clear to the judicious considerer, by a particular application of the reasons of the fourth Command.

Further, if the concession respect not the number, but the order (as it must▪ if the prohibition of work on the seventh respect the order and not the number) then 1. what warrant have we for our six work dayes? if it be not here, where is it? for sure we cannot take Gods time without his order and warrant: 2. and more especially, then could not we by vertue of this Command plead allowance for working six dayes different from the first six; if so, we would not be astricted by the Command to sanctifie one (seeing the one inferreth and determineth the other, and they must go together) which were absurd.

Yet again, it may be made out that the reasons press a seventh, and not the se­venth by considering the words and force of the consequence in both.

The first reason is, Six dayes shalt thou labour, but the seventh is the Lords. 1. It sayeth not, take the first six, but of seven take six to labour, and give the Lord the seventh, for he has reserved it to himself. 2. The same equity is in the inference for a seventh; that is, for the seventh, if not more; he has given thee six, therefore [Page 151] give thou him a seventh, will conclude more formally then give him the seventh; a seventh is the seventh part of time as well as the seventh, which is the equity the Command goeth on. 3. Had the Command intended to inferr the seventh pri­marily, it would have been more clearly expressed thus, he hath given thee the first six, therefore give thou him the seventh.

The second reason from Gods example inferreth the same, he wrought six and rested the seventh, do thou so likewise, and so these that work six and rest a seventh (as we now do) follow Gods example, as well as they that wrought six and rested the seventh did.

Arg. 5. If the positive part of the Command must be expounded by the nega­tive, & contra, then it concerneth one of seven, and not the seventh: But the first is true, 1. To positive part commandeth a day without respect to its order, therefore the negative doth so. 2. The negative is to be resolved thus, ye shall not work above six, not thus, ye shall not work above the first six, as the event cleareth. 3. If it be not the first six, but six, that is, in the concession, then it is not the se­venth, but a seventh that is in the inhibition, but the first is clear, Ergo, &c.

Arg 6. If this Command, for the substance of it, concern us, as being moral, and bind us to the first day, and the sanctifying of it equally, as it obliged the Jews to the seventh; then its one day of seven and not the seventh▪ which is intended primarily by it: But it bindeth us to the first, Ergo, That its moral, and bindeth us now, is cleared. Thus 1. it either bindeth to this day, or to nothing, therefore it primarily granteth six, and not the first six, for labour, and by clear conseqnence in­tendeth primarily a seventh, and not the seventh, for a day of rest. 2. If it be a sin against this Command to break the Lords day or Christian Sabbath, and prophane it, then it obligeth us to it, and that directly; for indirectly and by consequence the breach of the Sabbath is a sin against any, or all of the three former commands▪ 3. If the prophaning of the Sabbath be forbidden on this ground, because it is the Lords (as it is in this Command) then prophaning of the Lords day is equally for­bidden in it, because its the Lords, and is now appropriated to him according to his own will. 4. The Testimony of mens Consciences, and the constant challen­ges of all (when tender) as being guilty of breaking this Command when ever they prophane the Lords day, do convincingly hold forth that this Command concer­neth, and are as so many witnesses of it; and consequently prove that it is not the seventh day, but a seventh day, whether instituted, or to be instituted by God, which is the substance of it, and primarily commanded in it; for its never counted a breach of this Command to neglect to sanctifie the seventh day, neither do the Consciences of well▪informed Christians challenge for that, though they do most bitterly for the other, as is said.

In sum, suppose now the first day being instituted, that the Command were to sanctifie the Sabbath▪ we would understand it of the first day, because its already instituted; and the same reasons will inforce it, even so the seventh day came in then, because it was formerly instituted; beside the Sabbatisme signifieth not this or that day, but what day soever, shall be by God solemnly set, or is set apart for holy rest; and the Command will run for our observing the Lords day, supposing its institution as well as it did for that; although it more directly tye them, yet it doth so but as a reason, even as the preface prefixed to all the Commands, and the [Page 152] promise affixed to the fifth, concern them literally; yet are binding in so far as they are moral, as appeareth by the Apostles applying the last, Ephes. 6. 2. with­out relation to that particular Land or People, but as applicable and common to any Land or People making conscience of obedience to Gods commands.

But here it may be objected, 1. The Jews kept the Seventh day. Answ. 1. Not by vertue of this command, but by its prior institution, even as they were obliged to Sacrifices and Circumcision by the second command, though they were not particularly named in it. 2. So we are obliged to the keeping of the First day of the week by this fourth Commandement: yet it followeth not, there­fore this is expresly commanded in it, there being indeed no particular day pri­marily at least instituted in it.

2. It may be objected, But God rested the Seventh day? Answ. Gods rest is not principally proposed as the reason of that Seventh day, but that he rested one day▪ after six imployed in the works of Creation▪ I'ts to inferr the number▪ not the order, otherwaies it would not concern us. 2. The Seventh relateth not to the order of the dayes of the week, one, two, three, &c, but it's called the Seventh with respect to the former Six of work.

Thus much for the quoties and quamdiu, how often the Sabbath recurreth, and what is the day.

It remaineth here to be inquired what is the beginning of the sanctification of this day (which belongeth to the quando) or wherefrom we are to reckon it, see­ing it's granted by all to be a natural day; Now it is questioned mainly, whe­ther its begininning is to be reckoned from evening about Sun▪setting or darkness, to Sun▪ setting the next day, or if it be to be reckoned from morning, that is (as we fix it) when the Sun beginneth to ascend towards us after midnight, which is morning largely taken, as its evening largely taken, when the Sun beginneth to de­cline after mid-day.

In this debate then, we take morning and evening largely, as they divide the whole natural day, so the morning is from twelve at night to twelve in the day, and the evening from twelve in the day to twelve at night: And it must be so here, for 1. Moses; Gen. 1. divideth the natural day in morning and evening, which two put together, make up the whole day; and these six dayes, made up each of them of morning and evening, are natural dayes, the whole week being divided in seven of them: and that reckoning from Gods example is no doubt proposed for our Imitation in this. Hence the morning watch was before day, and the morning sa­crifice about nine of the clock, so the evening sacrifice was about three in the afternoon, and the evening watch about nine at night▪ 2. It is granted by all, and is clear from this command, that as we account the six working dayes of the week, so must we account the seventh, for one must begin where another endeth; and if one of them begin at the evening or morning, all the rest must do so likewise. 3. We suppose the sanctifying of the ordinary Sabbath was from morning to evening, I say, of the ordinary Sabbath; because for extraordinary Sabbaths, as of the Passover. Exod. 12. and of the Atonement, Levit. 23. there were special reasons; and though otherwayes they were to be sanctified as Sabbaths, yet that they were to begin in the evening before, was added as aspecial solemnity of these solemn times, and therefore the example or instance of these will not be concludent [Page 153] here to the prejudice of what we assert, but rather, to the contrary, seeing there is a particular excepting of them from the ordinary rule, and the particular intimation of their beginning in the evening, will rather confirm our assertion, that the ordinary Sabbaths did begin in the morning. 4. Its not questioned, if on the evening before, people should be preparing for the Sabbath following, we said that this is included in the word remember; but if we speak of the Sabbath to begin at the evening before, then it will be comprehended as a part of the very day, and so it will conclude the work or observation of the day to close at the next evening.

We conceive, especially to us Christians, the day is to begin in the morning, as is said, and to continue till the next morning, for which we reason thus.

Arg. 1. As other dayes begin, or as dayes began at the first, so must this, but days ordinarily begin in the morning, Ergo, &c.

If the first six of Moses's reckoning begin so, then this beginneth so also, but they do begin so, which may be cleared from Gen. 1. where the evening and the morning make the first day after the Creation.

1. If there the morning and the evening do fully divide the natural day, then the morning must go before the evening, every morning being for its own evening: But they do divide the natural day, all being comprehended under six dayes, Ergo, &c. the consequence is clear, to natural sense, for the fore-noon, which is the morning must be before the afternoon, which is the evening; the ascending of the Sun is sure be­fore its declining, and seeing the morning natural (to speak so) of the natural day, is from the twelfth hour at night, this must be the beginning of the day.

Again, the question then, being onely, whether to reckon the evening or the mor­ning first; it would seem necessary to reckon the morning first; for if the evening be first, that evening must either be, 1. the evening of a day preceeding morning, seeing every evening supposeth a morning to go before it in proper speech (and I suppose the History of the Creation, Genes. 1. is not set down in metaphorical terms;) or 2. it must be an evening without a morning, and that in proper speech (here used) is ab­surd, and seems also to be as impossible in nature, to wit, that there should be a conse­quent and posterior evening or afternoon, without a preceeding morning or forenoon, as that there should be an effect without a cause; or 3. it must be the evening follow­ing its own morning, and so that morning must be lost proceeding the first evening re­corded, Gen. 1. The evening and the morning were the first day; which to affirm would not onely be absurd, but would also manifestly fasten the loss of a dayes time on the Scriptures calculation: and it seemeth hard in all speech and Scripture-phrase, to put evening before its own morning, seeing there must be both morning and evening in each day; neither doth the Scriptute speak any way of evening, but when its drawing towards night, which still supposeth the morning of that same day to be passed, or else we must divide the day in the middle of the Artificial day, and make the natural day begin at twelve of the noon▪day, which will be as much against the Scripture phrase, that reckoneth still the whole Artificial day as belonging to one natutal day, the Artificial day and night being the two parts of one whole natural day.

All the force of the opposite reason is this, the evening is first named, Ergo it is first. Answ. Moses his scope is not to shew what part of one day is before another, but to divide one day from another, and to shew what goeth to make a whole day, to wit, an evening and a morning; not a morning alone, but an evening added to the morning which preceeded, that made the first, second, third day, &c. as one would reckon thus, there is a whole day, because there is both evening and morning; In this account its most suitable to begin with the evening, because it presupposeth the morning, and [Page 154] being added to it, cannot but be a day, whereas it is not so proper to say morning with the evening, as evening now added to its morning compleateth the first day, and evening now being past as the morning before▪ God did put a period by and with the evening to the First day, it being the evening that compleateth the day, and divideth it from the following day, and not the morning: as one would say, the afternoon with the forenoon maketh a compleat day, and the afternoon or evening is first named, because 1. the day is not compleat without it, seeing it compleateth it; 2. because the day cannot be extended beyond it, now the first day is closed, because the evening of it is come.

Arg. 2. What time of the day God began his rest▪ we must begin ours, but he began his in the morning of the seventh day, the Artificial night having interve­ned betwixt that and the sixth, which is clear; for 1. Gods resting this day is more then his resting in the other nights of the six dayes, it being granted by all, that he made nothing in the night. 2. There had not otherwise been any intermission betwixt his labour and his rest, which is yet supposed by distinguishing the dayes.

Again, if by vertue of the command of a day to be sanctified, we should begin the night or the evening before, then, these two or three absurdities would fol­low, 1. Then we would confound the preparation by the word remember, and the day together. 2. Then we Christians might also, by vertue of the concessi­on of six dayes for work, begin to work the night before Monday, as the Jews on this supposition might have begun their work the night before Sunday. 3. Then we were almost no sooner to begin the sanctifying of the day, then to break it off for rest, and when its sanctification is closed, as soon to fall to our ordi­dinary callings.

Arg. 3. If by this Command a whole natural day is to be employed for duties of Worship, as another day is employed in our ordinary Callings▪ then is it to begin in the morning, the antecedent will not be denyed, the consequent is thus made good; if men account all the labour of their working time from one nights rest to another, to belong to one day, then must they begin in the morning, or else they must account what they work after the first evening to belong to another day, but that way of reckoning was never heard of, the twelth hour belonging to that same day with the first hour.

Again, if by this Command a whole artificial day together (that is, our waking and working time betwixt two nights) be to be employed for Gods worship, they its beginning must be in the morning, for if the latter or following evening belong to this natural day before sleeping time come on, then the even before cannot be­long to it, for it cannot have both; but by this Command a whole waking day▪ or an artificial day is to be sanctified together, and the even after it before waking time end as well as the morning: Therefore it must begin in the morning, and no [...] on the evening before.

Further, if by vertue of the concession of six working dayes we may not wor [...] the evening after; then the day beginneth in the morning, for the week day fol­lowing must begin as the Sabbath did; but the former is true, Ergo, &c. Thes [...] things will make out the minor. 1. It can hardly be thought consistent with thi [...] Command to work immediately, when it groweth dark before folks rest. 2. I [...] [Page 155] said Luke 23. verse 56. and 24. verse 1. of the Women that stayed from the grave till the first day of the week, that they rested according to the commandment on the Sabbath day, and early in the morning came to the Sepulchre. 3. Because Christ accounteth a whole natural day, that which lasteth till men cannot work, 4. Gods working dayes (to say so) were such, he made not any thing in the evening before the First day. 5. The ordinary phrase, To morrow is the holy Sab­bath, Exod. 16. 23, &c. sheweth that the day present will last till to morrow come, and to morrow is ever by an intervening night: So if on the forbidden day men may not work till to morrow, then that evening belongeth to it by this Command, and if on the sixth day the seventh be not come till to morrow, that is, after the night intervene, then it doth not begin at even, but so it is in these places and phrases.

Yet again, its clear that in all the examples of ordinary Sabbaths keeping and sanctifying in Scripture, they began in the morning: For instance, it is said, Exod. 16. 27. Some of the people went out to gather on the seventh day, no doubt, in the morning, for they knew well there was none of it to be found any day after the Suns waxing hot; they might have dressed of it the night before, and not been quarrelled with, they being forbidden gathering on the Sabbath: the proofs of the former Argument give light to this also.

There are yet two Arguments to be added, which do especially belong to us Christians, for clearing the beginning of our Lords day to be in the morning; the first is taken from Christs Resurrection thus:

That day, and that time of the day, ought to be our Sabbath, and the beginning of it when the Lord began to rest after finishing the work of Redemption, and arose; but that was the First day in the week, in the morning, Ergo, &c. This bindeth us strongly who take that day on which he arose to be our Christian Sabbath.

The second is taken from the History of Christs Passion and Resurrection toge­ther, wherein these things to this purpose are observable; 1. That he was laid in the Grave on Frydays night, being the preparation to the great Sabbath, which followed: 2. That the Woman who rested and came not to the Grave till Sun­day morning (to use our known names) are said to rest according to the Com­mandment, as if coming sooner, had not been resting according to it. 3. That his lying in the Grave must be accounted to be some time before the Fryday ended, other wayes he could not have been three dayes in the Grave, and therefore a part of Frydays night is reckoned to the First day, then the whole Sabbath or Saturday is the second, and lastly a part of the night; to wit, from twelve a clock at night, belonging to the First day or Sunday, standeth for the third, and so he arose that morning, while it was yet dark, at which time, or there­abouts, the Women came to the Grave, as soon as they could for the Sabbath, and therefore their Sabbath seventh-day ended then, and the First day Sabbath began.

We now come to the third general question concerning the change, to wit▪ the change of the seventh day into the First day of the week; where first, we shall sum up what is moral in this Command, and then secondly by some Propositions clear the change and its consistency with this Command.

[Page 156] To the first then, this Command doth morally and perpetually oblige to these: 1. That there be a solemn time set apart and observed for Worship: 2. That this should be one day of seven: 3. That it should be such a day, the very day, which God commandeth, the Sabbath of his appointment, whatever day it should be: 4. That it be a whole natural day of twenty four hours, yet having an Artificial day together undivided: 5. That six, and no more but six; working dayes intervent, and that these be together in a week; and therefore 6. That the Sabbath be a boun­ding day, dividing one working week from another; if then six working dayes must be in one week, and go together, this will follow also, that the Sabbath must be the first or last day of the seven.

As for the Propositions clearing the change and consistency of it with this command, the first shall be this.

The Sabbath may be changed from the last or seventh day to the first day of the week, without any derogation to this command or inconsistency with it; for all that is moral in it, to wit, a day, and one day of seven, and a bounding seventh day, leaving six for work together, remain untouched by the change: beside, the seventh day not having its institution from this Command expresly and directly, but only accidentally (the particular day whether the Jews seventh day, or the Christians first day of the week being supposed by the fourth Commandment as instituted, or to be instituted elsewhere) as is said, and its first institution, Gen. 2. being onely a positive and tem­porary Law, may be therefore changed, and yet the fourth Commandment keep▪ in­tire; we need not insist in further prosecution of this Proposition, much being spoken to it on the matter already.

2. Propos. Not only may the seventh be altered from what it was under the Law to another seventh day under the Gospel, but it is meet and convenient from good rea­sons) even in the Command) that it should be so.

For 1. If these two ages, before Christ, and after him, be looked on as diverse Worlds, and if the Redemption by Christ at his coming be accounted the making of the one, as Gods Creation was of the other, then its meet that when the World is re­nued by Redemption, the Sabbath day should be changed for memory of that, as well as it was instituted at first for the memory of the former, there being the same reason for both: But they are looked on as two distinct worlds, and called so in the plural number, Heb. 11. 2. and this last World distinguished from the former, Hebr. 2. 5. and the redeeming of the one is looked upon as the making of the other, therefore from that day forth the day of rest is to be such as may relate to both, now the day being changed to the first, it remembreth us of Gods rest at the Creation by distinguishing six dayes from the seventh, and it remembreth us of the new Creation by putting Christs Resurrection in the room of the former.

Arg. 2. If the new World be a work as much for the glory of God, and as com­fortable to men, when its begun and closed or finished by the work of Redemption, as the making of the old World was, then the day of rest of the new World is to be made to relate to that, much more, if the Redemption of the World be more for the glory of God, and for the comfort of men; then by the ground on which the seventh day was at first instituted, its also again to be changed, to wit, the memory of Gods great work; but both the former are true: Ergo, or thus, if the ground that made the seventh to be chosen for the Sabbath in the old World be changed in the new, and tha [...] ground agree better to another then to it; then it is to be changed: But the ground whereupon the old seventh day was preferred is now changed, & there are grounds to [Page 157] prefer another day to it for the same ends; therefore it is meet the day be changed also: Or thus, f the perfecting of the work of Redemption, and the rest of the Media­tor after it, be as much to be remembred as the work of Creation and Gods resting after it, then the day is to be changed, but so it is, Ergo.

Arg. 3. If by Christ in the new World all the Levitical services be changed, and the Ceremonial Worship of that day; then it is meet that the day also should be changed: 1. For shewing the expiration of that Worship and Law, it being hard to keep that day, and to distinguish it from the Jewish former Worship: 2. To keep Christians more Judaizing, and to abstract them even from former services of the Sabbath now abolished; just as now no particular family hath the Priesthood, as Levi had it before, nor no particular Nation hath the Church confined in it, as that of the Jews had (though these were not typical properly) yea, it would be such a day as would point out the evanishing of former Ceremonies, which the inbringing of the first day abundantly doth.

Arg. 4. If the Worship and Ordinances of the new Gospel-world be eminently to hold their Institution of Christ the Mediator, and to be made some way relative to his Redemption past; then it is meet for that end that the Sabbath-day be changed, so as it may be dependant on him as all other worship is, that is moral-positive or positive­moral, and that cannot be done well, if the former day be kept unchanged, at least not so well, as when it is changed; but the former is true, all Gospel-worship holdeth of him Sacraments, Prayer, Praise, Ministry, &c. (now Sacraments, as they seal are not ceremonial, for the Tree of Life was instituted to be a seal of the Covenant of works in the state of Innocency before the fall, while there were no typical Institu­tions of a Saviour to come, and so Sacraments as they are Seals may be continued, as perpetual pieces of worship, without hazard of typifying a Saviour to come) there­fore he instituted new ones, and that with relation to his work of Redemption, consi­dered as past: Hence also his Prayer or Pattern is called the Lords Prayer, and his Sacrament of the Supper is called the Lords Supper, because instituted by him and re­lating to him; in this sence it is peculiarly said Hebr. 2. 5. That God put in subjecti­on to him the World to come different from what was before, and he is put as the Son in the New Testament in the place of Moses, who was the Law-giver and faithful Servant in the Old, Heb. 3. upon this ground we think that day is called, Hebr. 1. 10. the Lords day, to bring it in a dependance on Jesus Christ, and to make it respect what is past of the work of Redemption.

Arg. 5. If the day of solemn publick worship be a piece of Gods worship, capable of bearing a relation to Christ to come, and falling out under the Mediators Kingdom properly; then when he cometh in the new World, it is meet it should be changed. 1. To shew he is come. 2. To shew he is absolute over the house and worship of God. 3. Some way to preach his Grace and Redemption in the very change of it: But it is a piece of Worship and Tribute of our time (as is said before) and a piece of worship capable of his Institution and Remembrance (therefore called the Lords day) which could not be, were not a day of worship capable of that; and it falleth under the power of Christ, who Matth. 12. Even as the Son of Man is Lord of the Sabbath▪ and why is that power pleaded in that particular of the day so often, if it were not to shew, that there is reason by his coming to look on the Sabbath as under him, even as all other worship was, which stood by Gods positive Command, even as this did?

Arg. 6. If by this Command the day of rest from Gods most solemn work be to be our day of rest; then after Christs coming (not so before) not the seventh, but the [Page 158] first day is to be observed; but by the command the former is true. Again, if that day be to be kept in reference to any solemn work of God, which was the first day after his perfecting it, then the First day is to be kept: but by the command the for­mer is true, because our resting day is to be kept in reference to the work of Re­demption, and therefore must be on the First day, which was the day after its closing and perfecting, as to Christs suffering and labour, though not as to its application, even as the seventh was of Gods resting from the work of Creation, though not from his works of Providence.

Arg. 7. If the seventh day which the Jews kept, had any peculiar tye or motive unto them, which by Christ is now taken away▪ then it was meet that at Christs co­ming that day should be changed. We would understand here, that there might be somewhat peculiar or typical in their seventh day, and yet nothing so in the fourth Command, which commandeth one of seven, but not the seventh: And though we could not particularly pitch upon what is typical or peculiar in it, yet may we conceive that something there is, as in Tythes, Offerings, &c. though the particular thing which is typified be hardly instructed: As 1. If its beginning was on the evening to them (as some think) the reason of it was peculiar, to wit, their coming out of Egypt at evening, Exod. 12. And in so far at least it would be peculiar to them; And by Christs rising in the morning is changed.

2. It's pressed peculiarly on the account of Gods redeeming them from Egypt, they had that to think on, that sometime they were, where they got not liberty to rest any day, therefore should they ease their Servants, as it is Deut. 5. 14. 15. This holdeth especially, if it was on the seventh day that their freedom from Egypt began, Exod. 12. (which was after that, made the first day of their year▪ that is, the morrow after they did eat the Passover) as its made probable by some.

3. It was peculiarly discovered to them by Gods raining Manna from Heaven six dayes, and by his with holding it from them the seventh.

4▪ It was peculiarly accompanied with special Ceremonial services beyond other dayes.

5▪ Gods manner of dealing with them before Christ, was to press duties by temporal and external advantages expresly, and more implicitly by spiritual mer­cies, therefore it was most agreeable to that way and time to press the seventh day on them which minded them of the benefit of Creation; but it's otherwise with the Church under the Gospel: Hence their Sacraments had respect (externally) to their deliverance from Egypt and temporal things, whereas ours have respect purely to what is spiritual.

6▪ The Apostle Col. 2. 16. taketh in their Sabbaths with their other dayes, and though he take not in all dayes alike, yet it can hardly be denyed but their seventh­day Sabbath cometh in there, where all the Jewish times are put together: There­fore it would seem there is a type, not in the Command, but in that day, though not properly, yet accidentally in respect of its worship, end, application, &c. complexly taken, and that therefore this seventh▪day Sabbath is expired at least, if not repealed, seeing that, dayes and times kept by the Jews are enumerate with their other Services which were antiquated; even as when the Apostle condem­neth [Page 159] difference about meat or drink, his meaning is not to condemn, what difference is made in the Lords Supper in the New Testament, but what is from the Old, so may the same be said of dayes; Its their old difference he cryeth down.

Propos. 3. As its meet that the day of Worship under the Gospel, should [...]e another then what was under the Law▪ and should therefore be changed; so its meet that the change should be into the First day of the week, and to no other day. For,

1. No other day has been honoured with so many Gospel priviledges, as 1. With Christs Resurrection, Matth. 28. It was the First day of his victory and rest: 2. With Christs appearing twice, at least, on it to his Disciples, singling it out from other dayes; or his appearing is for no purpose particularly recorded by the Evangelist John to have been on that day, if there were not something re­markable in it beside what is in another day: 3. The Spirits giving at Pentecost, Acts 2. will be found to be on the First day of the week, now no other day can claim so many priviledges, and so many wayes relate to Christ.

2. If the ground, upon which the seventh day under the Law was preferred during that World, do in this renewing of the World agree onely to the first day of the week; then is the first day to succeed; but these grounds proportionally agree onely to the first day under the Gospel, which agreed to the seventh under the Law. Ergo.

That which made the seventh day preferrable was. 1. That God had ended all his works on the sixth, and rested the seventh; It was the first day after the Creation; so the first day of the Week is that day on which Christ rose (having perfected the work of Redemption, and obtained victory over death, under whose power some way for a time his body was before that) and was thereby manifestly declared to be the Son of God, to wit, by his Resurrection from the dead, Rom. 1. 4.

2. The force of the example will hold here: God made the World in six dayes, and rested the seventh, therefore rest ye with him; so Christ having for a time suffe­red, fully overcame the first day, and began his estate of exaltation, therefore rest with him, and rejoyce that day, it being the beginning of this new joy full World.

3. No other day can be substituted in place of the old seventh day, reserving intire the morality of this Command; therefore it must be this that is put in the place of that; for this Command requireth, 1. one day of every seven, allowing six of every seven to work, and that together: Now if the day had gone be­yond the Sabbath ensuing, it had not been one day of seven, if it had been the second, third, or fourth day, then the six working dayes had not gone together. But now the first being appointed for God next to the seventh, God hath his part or tribute called for, and then came six working dayes together unto us of that same week, and so still they run, God hath One, and we have Six of the same week.

If it be here objected, that this way, the new World is begun with a Sab­bath, whereas the Sabbath closed and ended the old World. Answ. 1. Thus God hath no loss of what he required; for this way, no week wanteth its Sabbath▪ [Page 160] 2. Its most suitable that the old World should end in a Sabbath, and the new begin in a Sabbath, that so the worship of the new (which most distinctly discovereth the change) might the more immediately and convincingly preach the change, which could not so well have been done i [...] working dayes of both had met together, or a working day of the one, and the Sabbath of the other. 3. Though the old Sabbath was the seventh in order from the Creation, yet it was the first day after mans Creation, God beginning as it were, and entring him with that, even so when men are brought into this new World or change, God will begin it with gladness and joy to them.

Propos. 4. The day of solemn publick worship required to be observed by this Command, was really changed from the seventh or last day to the first day of the week, according to the former grounds. That it was really changed, may be made out by these.

1. That the Apostles and primitive Christians after Christs Resurrection and As­cension, had their solemn day for meeting to worship God, yet neither did they by themselves together in practise keep the seventh, nor by command appointed it to be kept, nor gave it the title of the Lords-day: Its true, that often they kept it in a sort with the Jews, as they did Pentecost, for the opportunity of the multitude coming together on these dayes, or to bury it with honour; as they did practise for a time several of the Jewish Rites antiquated for their gaining, and till they were fully in­formed of their abolition▪ but in constituted Churches of the Gentiles, we never read that they kept it, but another day.

2. The Apostles and primitive Christians kept and esteemed the first day for their solemn day, beyond and above all dayes, yea, and it onely as the Christian Sabbath. For 1. on that day they used to meet ordinarily, and that not occasionally, but purpose­ly and determinately, as John 20. verse 19. and 26. which is clearly the first day. 2. They are purposely together, and not for fear (for fear scattereth) but while they are together, they do for fear shut the doors, being very probably led from the news of the Resurrection to be together, and so gain, verse 26. they meet, and Christ with them: And though it may possibly be, that on other dayes they met; yet doubtless this holdeth forth something peculiar to this day, and some Lesson to be taken from it: That 1. Christs coming to them is especially trysted on that day, and that while they are together. 2. That when they met at any other time, ere he came to them its never said, they were or came together the second, third, or fourth day of the week, but on the first; and wherefore doth the Holy Ghost record that day, or their meeting on that day, when he omitteth the naming of other dayes: but that that day in its Exercises may be especially taken notice of, and though other dayes had been much alike in Exercises to them, yet the recording of this day so often, and omitting the other, intimateth a difference, sure they are not alike in this, so much for the 20. of John, which is the first place of Scripture we make use of.

The second is Acts 2. 1, 2. Here they are said to be, all with one accord in one place when Pentecost came, where its clear, 1. That Pentecost was on the first day of the week, for it was the fiftieth day after the Feast of unleavened bread: Now according to the Jews account, their Passover day was on the Sabbath (called John 19. 31. an high Sabbath) in which Christ lay all the day in the grave, as appeareth; for that day is called their preparation for the Feast, wherein Christ suffered which is our Friday; reckon now what will be the fiftieth day after, or Pentecost, and it will be found to be the first day of the week: And its not only observable for their meeting, but for Gods sending the Spirit on them, as a special blessing of that day, and his countenancing of [Page 161] their worshipping him on it, according to his promise; 2. It is clear that they did meet together on this day. 3. That this meeting together was not a daily or ordinary meeting together (for John 21. we see they went to Fishing, and no question sometimes they went asunder) for verse 1. Its marked as a thing not ordinary to every day, that on that day they were altogether in one place. 4. It was not a meeting in reference to the Pentecost feast:

For 1. They onely are together, distinct from the People. 2. Its not in the Tem­ple, but in some other House fit for their meeting together at publick Worship; it must be therefore, because that day was the time of their solemn meeting, even their Christian Sabbath.

The third place is Acts 20. 7. And upon the first day of the week, when the Disci­ples came together to break bread Paul preached unto them, &c. where it is clear:

1. That this meeting was for publick Worship, as the breaking of Bread and Preaching intimateth.

2. That there is some observableness in this Circumstance, that it was on the first day of the week, and that that day is mentioned rather then any of the for­mer six dayes, in which he had been there at Troas. though its more then pro­bable they had meetings and preaching on them also; but this is the onely and great difference, that their meetings on these dayes were occasional, and it may be but partial (to speak so) but the solemn chief fixt meeting of all, was usually and ordinarily on the first day.

3. This coming together on that day for these ends is spoken of, as a thing that was not new, nor occasional; but as their customary, constant, known, Pra­ctise; they came together purposely to break and to wait on other Or­dinances.

4. Its clear, that by special applying of these Exercises to that day, and by mentioning of the day for that end, that, that day was their most solemn day, and that the old seventh day was not so (at least necessarily) imployed by them.

5. Neither is it like, That Paul, who was ready to depart, would have stayed for the first day of the week, if there had not been some solemn wor­ship in that, or that he would have passed the old seventh-day Sabbath, especially to marring of his other occasions had they been equal, if more san­ctification had been required in it, then in the first day of the week, or that he would have so much insisted in religious publick worship on that day, if the former seventh had been imployed in that service, but here the Church be­ing constituted of believing Gentiles, there is no mention of the old Sabbath, but as of another common day of the week;

Yea 6. Pauls spending this whole day in that service, and continuing his Ser­mon till midnight (yet accounting it still one day) in solemn meeting doth confirm this day to be more then an ordinary day, or then other dayes of the week, as being specially dedicated to these Services and Exercises, and totally spent in them.

7. Its said, that the Disciples came together, they were not sent for that day, but they came together being called and accustomed so to do on that day, and as being put to these duties by the day, as the proper Exercises in which it is to be spent.

Hence we may argue; If the Apostles and primitive Christians did observe the First day of the week, as their prime and chief time for solemn publick Worship, [Page 162] and did pass over the old seventh day, then is the day changed from the seventh to the First day of the week, but the first is cleared by the former Instances, Ergo, &c

And if these meetings on that First day were not such as used to be formerly on the seventh day, I desire to know a reason: 1. Why their meetings on that day should be particularly recorded rather then their meetings on any other day; and then 2. Why the one is so oft mentioned, and the other never, to wit that they met the second, third day, &c. of the week. Or 3. If their meeting on this First day now (after Christs Ascension) be not like his going to the Synagogue on the seventh▪day Sabbath, and doing such and such things on the Sabbath: that day being most frequently mentioned before, whereas now there is deep silence of that day, and the first day is recorded in its room, neither can the Scriptures speaking of the one▪ and silence in the other be for no purpose, or for any other purpose.

And as the practise of the Church holdeth out the change of the day, so doth the Title given, Rev. 1. 10 to the first day of the week, to wit, the Lords day confirm the same, whence we argue.

If the Title, which by the Lord and his people was given to the seventh-day Sabbath under the Old Testament, and under which, and by which, he claimeth a seventh-day in this Command; If I say that Title in the New Testament be not given unto the seventh, but unto the First day of the week; then is the day chan­ged from the seventh day to the First, and the First falleth now under this com­mand, as the seventh formerly did; but the former is true, the First is styled as the seventh was, and as this Command styleth and claimeth the day to the Lord to be observed for him; therefore now is the Sabbath changed from the seventh day to the First day of the Week.

The Titles whereby the Sabbath is distinguished from other dayes, and pecu­liarly claimed and marked by God as his, and that in this same Command, must certainly evidence that day, which he hath set apart and doth claim as he applyeth them: And therefore if these Titles be given and applyed to the first day now, it must needs shew a succeeding of that day unto the former seventh, for during the Observation of the seventh day these Titles were not, nay could not be applyed to the First▪ no day being then the Lords but the seventh.

Now we find that the seventh-day Sabbath is in the Old Testament styled by the Lord under these Titles, and so claimed by him. 1. Its called here the Sabbath of the Lord, or to the Lord, that's the Lords, as contra distinguished from the six dayes he hath given unto us, a day that he hath right to, and not we, therefore called the Lords Sabbath. 2. Isaiah 58. 3. Its claimed by the Lord as his, my holy day, which is so called 1. to distinguish it from other days. 2. To stamp it with the Lords mark in respect of its use, for it is not to be applyed to our use, but to his own, it being his in a special manner.

But in the New Testament after Christs resurrection, the seventh day is not so styled and claimed, but the first day of the week is, Rev. 1, 10. I was (saith John) in the Spirit on the Lords day: In which place these things are clear.

[Page 163] 1. That after Christs Ascension, there was a peculiar day belonging to the Lord beside and beyond other days.

2. That it was not the old Sabbath, for 1. Johns scope being particularly to clear the time of the Vision by the Circumstance of the day, the particular day as di­stinct from other dayes, to call the Sabbath then used amongst the Jews; the Lords day had more obscured it then cleared it, yea 2. In that its called the Lord, according to the phrase of the New Testament, it supposeth some relation to Christ the Mediator, as being derived from him which cannot be said of the seventh day Sabbath.

3. That it was not any indefinite day of the Lord: For, 1. there is great odds betwixt the Lords day, and the day of the Lord, the former looketh to a constant spe­cial right and peculiar interest that God hath in that day beside other dayes, even as when the seventh day was called his Day before, the Temple, his Temple, the prescribed Service, his Service, and the Sacrament of the Supper, his Supper, &c. 2. That day would be still dark to the Church if it were indefinite, contrary to Johns scope.

4. That it is, and must be such a day as was commonly set apart by Christians to God as his; and that with respect to Christ the Mediator, and such a day as was known to them; And by the former practises it is clear, that this day is the first day of the week, being the Lord Christs day, who now having conquered death; and gotten the victory, He doth therefore claim this day as a tribute to him.

This being clear, that no other day can claim this title, and that the First day hath good ground to claim it, we may put it out of question, that it is the First day or no day, or if it were not the First, that to no purpose were the de­signation of that day inserted, seeing to no other day hath it been applyed, nor can it be applyed.

This truth has been uncontroverted in all Antiquity, and almost by all Writers (till of late Gomarus beginneth to question it) as Rivet cleareth on this Command against him.

Now (supposing it as unquestionable that this is the very First day) we are to inquire if the title applyed to this day be the same with that in the Command, and which usually was given to the old seventh-day Sabbath, or that then Lords day.

And it is clear, 1. That this title claimeth this day to God as his Day, it being possessively exprest, as when we say, the Lords Throne, the Lords Altar, the Lords Sabbath, &c.

2. It contra-distinguisheth that day from other dayes, as if they were not so the Lords, but ours, like that in the Command, Six dayes shalt thou labour, &c. but the seventh is the Lords, so its the Lords in a peculiar way, we having lesser right to imploy that day for our own use then any other day; and this claim of the First day to the Lords, inferreth a condescension or dispensation whereby the last day beco­meth ours, for had there been two dayes belonging to him, one day could not have been peculiarly called his; in which respect, 1 Cor. 11. [...] ▪ the Lords Supper is distinguished from [...] their own Supper; even so the Lords day is distinguished from other dayes.

[Page 164] 3. It layeth on a necessity of using it for the Lord, and not for our selves, be­cause its his, and will infer the same moral duties and ends which the Command obligeth to.

4. It will infer an appointment of Christs, whereby he appropriateth that day to his service, and claimeth it to himself; why, because he calleth it his, even as in the fourth Command there is no express institution of the seventh day, yet because the sev nth was called the Lords, and in his former way and dispensations intima­ted as a day to be kept for him, therefore it's understood and taken for granted by the Jews to be instituted, seeing he calleth it his; so may we conclude here, that there is an institution and appointment of the First day to be the Lords, be­cause its claimed by him as his, although no such plain express institution be of it as of other Ordinances, it being clear that the institution of dayes is left more generally to be gathered: From all which we may gather the couclusion▪ to wit, that the First day of the week is stiled by the same peculiar Titles clai­med by the Lord expresly as his right and due, and upon as valid grounds under the New Testament, as the seventh day was under the Old; Therefore now the se­venth day is changed, and the First is come in its room, which was the thing to be proved.

In the last room we argue from the Apostles Ordinance, 1 Cor. 16. 1, 2. concerning contributions for the Saints; As I have (saith Paul) given order to the Churches of Ga­latia, even so do ye, that is, the first day of the week let every one of you lay by him, &c. I say we argue t [...]us, That not the seventh, but the first day, is the chief solemn day for worship after Christs Resurrection.

If the First day of the week be particularly and eminently pitched on by the Apo­stle, and that in diverse Churches as the fittest time for expressing their Charity, then must there be somewhat eminent in the First day, giving ground for such an appointment and ordinance, as the Apostles singling that from other dayes for such an end (and no other reason can be given, but that that day being more especially and immediately appointed for God, is most fit for that duty, which is a Work of Mercy) but its there clear, that the Apostle pitcheth singularly on that day beside other dayes, Ergo, &c.

For strengthening of the Argument, consider 1. That it's clear to be the first day of the week, since that same phrase which is used by the Evangelists, Matt. 28. 1. Mark 16▪ 2. Luk. 24. 1. is made use of here by the Apostle, who no question followeth the Evangelists phrase, yea his following that phrase may hint at a reason, why he com­mandeth Charity to be on that day, or sets it apart for that use as beyond other dayes, to wit, our Lords Resurrection.

2. Its clear, that he thinketh it not indifferent what day it be done on, nor that all days are alike, therefore he pitcheth on that day, the first day, and that not in one Church onely, but in many.

3. That this is not commended onely to them, but commanded and enjoy­ned even in reference to the day, and will the Apostle load Churches with Com­mands in that circumstance without ground, and universally (to speak so) pre­fer one day to another, and so as he will have uniformity in the very day in the Church of Corinth, with other Churches unnecessarily? Let it not be said, nay nor thought.

4. That this day was commanded even in the Churches of Galatia, in which Churches he had condemned the observation of dayes, whereby it would seem to be clear, that he counteth not the preferring of this first day, as one of these dayes the [Page 165] observation whereof is prohibited and condemned by him, no [...] willeth it to be laid aside; and that purposely he passed the seventh day as amongst these dayes, which were not to be observed and retained but laid aside.

5. That the thing required is a duty of the Sabbath, being a work of mercy, as Isai. 58. giving bread to the hungry, is mentioned particularly, as one of the duties of Gods Holy day.

6. That the mentioning of the First day of the week must be looked on, as re­lating to, and as compared with, the practise of keeping solemn meetings on that day, and this Command of doing this on the First day of the week must be more strong, and infer somewhat more being compared with other places, then if such things were not recorded other wayes of the First day.

7. This Command supposeth them to be already acquainted with some special pri­viledges of the First day beyond others, when he commendeth this as a motive to them to be more charitable, to wit, that it was to be done on that day.

8. That there must be some peculiar thing in this day making it fit, yea more fit for such a purpose, as doing works of Charity on it; rather then on any other: And the Apostles commanding this (and that in many Churches) doth necessarily presuppose a reason why he doth it, drawn from some fitness of this day by ano­ther. Now, if we will enquire, no reason can be given but that the seventh-day Sabbath was expired, and that this first day was instituted in its place, for other­wise any day was alike; yea, the seventh-day being the last day of the week, and the day when men usually reckon their weeks success, it would seem more reason­able for this end, that men at the close of the week should lay up by them, as God had blessed them, then to reserve it, to the beginning of another week, were not the first day more especially to be sanctified then the last, and the last to be accoun­ted but an ordinary working day: The fitness then floweth from this, that the first day of the week being the day of their solemn Communion with God, and with one another, and the day of their partaking most liberally of spiritual blessings from him, that therefore they should be most readily warmed in their affections, and be most liberal in their Communications to such as wanted, especially if we consider the Jews to be parties for whom that Collection or Contribution was; Its the Apostles great Argument, whereby he pleadeth for Charity to the poor Jews from the Christian Gentiles, Rom. 15. 26, 27. That the Gentiles were their Debtors in temporals, be­cause they had received spiritual things from them; now this argument is most fresh and powerful, when Believers do on the first day of the week record Gods priviledg­ing them with his Ordinances, and giving them his day in place of the Ordinances and day, which the Jews once had, and yet deriving these unto them by the Jews, I say, this Argument will then be most fresh to incite to that duty in par­ticular.

If any say that it was accidental, that the first day was chosen or named rather then another, because one behoved to be named, and it was alike which: But 1. I de­mand why is it universal? If it were from one Church onely it might possibly, have been thought so, but he doth call for this duty on that day from more Churches: 2. Why doth he not recommend it, but command it as having more then an in­differency in the very day: And 3. Can it be by guess or accident (to speak so) that so many priviledges are fallen on that day? And that so manie things are re­corded of it, and astricted to it by commands, which is not done of, and to, any other dayes: And if one place would not suffice to prove, that the first day and not the seventh day was preferred by the Apostles, as the chief day of solemn publick [...] [Page 164] [...] [Page 165] [Page 166] worship, yet all these things put together must prove a preference in that day, or we must say that the Pen-men of Holy Scripture have been very partial, who have marked many things, and recorded them concerning Gods Worship on that day, and have never so much as once for solemn Service named▪ what was done on the second, third, fourth, fifth dayes; we must either say, that this is inadvertently done (which were blasphemy considering by what Spirit they wrote) or we must say its done to put a preference on that day, and to shew that its especially to be ta­ken notice of, as the most solemn day for Gods worship by Christians (which is the thing to be confirmed) for, the day that's claimed as the Lords, kept for him, and singularly marked to be priviledged beyond other days, must be his day; but this First day is such▪ Ergo, &c.

Propos 5. This change of the day whereby the seventh is laid aside, and the first substituted in its room, is of divine authority and institution; and not by any meer humane or Ecclesiastick Constitution. I conceive there is indeed no mids here betwixt a Divine Institution, which hath Gods warrant and authority stamped on it, and for Conscience sake is to be observed as being obligatory thereof, and that immediately; and humane or Ecclesiastick Constitutions, which may reach the external man, but in the matters of worship cannot bind the Conscience or impose them as necessary: Now that this change is not by the last, but by the first, we prove these ways.

1. Thus, if it be not humane or Ecclesiastick▪ then it must be Divine, but it is not humane or Ecclesiastick, ergo▪ its Divine: That it is not humane will appear 1▪ If it reach the Conscience, and that immediately; then it's not humane but Divine, but it doth so. 2. If no man or Church on Earth have power to alter Gods day, now, nay, nor simply, or at all, then its not humane or Ecclesiastick, but first, none can change it, as we might clear from great absurdities, that would follow. 2. If any Church have this power let them shew it, the Old Church had it not, neither the new, as is cleared in the first question.

2. We proceed to evince this change to be by Divine Institution these four wayes.

1. From reasons flowing from Scripture, or Consequences drawn from it▪ 1. Thus, where by genuine and native Consequences drawn from Scripture any thing is so imposed, as it cannot without sin be altered or neglected, there is a Di­vine Institution; but in the change of the seventh▪day Sabbath to the First such Consequences may be drawn from Scripture, as will (upon supposition of the change) a strict it to the First day, so as that cannot be altered or neglected with­out sin, Ergo, its of Divine Institution: The question can be only of the minor, which is made out from what is said in the third Proposition, thus:

If these very grounds which plead the conveniency of the change simply, do plead the conveniency of that change to the First day, then by clear and unforced Consequence, the first day is chosen and cannot without sin be passed by, altered or neglected, except we say these reasons have no weight; but these very grounds will be found to plead for▪ and to be applicable to, the First day of the week alone­ly: and therefore beside all other dayes in the new World it may be called the day▪ which God specially made, as it is the day of Christs rest from the work of Redemption, answerable to Gods rest after the Creation, &c. and therefore as [Page 167] being most conducible to that end, the First day cannot be without sin past by, neglected or altered.

2. Thus, if the very day of Christs rest in the new World be to be rested on, and sanctified as the Sabbath, then the First day is to be rested on and sanctified; but by Analogy from the works of Creation, we may see that the First day of rest after the finishing of the work of Redemption is to be sanctified, Ergo, &c. and Psalm 118. is very considerable to this purpose, wherein there is 1. a Prophecy of Christ▪ 2. O [...] a day which God hath singularly made for us to joy in▪ 3. That day is the day wherein the rejected stone is made the head of the Corner, which day is clear from Rom. 2. 4 to be the Resurrection day, yea, suppose that day there doth signifie the time of the Gospel, wherein we should joy, yet even that way, the first day is by proportion that day eminently, wherein Christs Victory was manifested, and so the day wherein Christians ought especially to rejoyce.

The second way we may reason for the change to be by Divine Institution, is from this Command: If (supposing still a change) by the morality of this Com­mand, the seventh can be changed into no day but the first day of the week▪ then is the change into the first day, of Divine Institution (for so that must necessarily be, which is by vertue of a Command) but by this Command no other day can be ad­mitted; for each week is divided in six working dayes▪ and these together to us, and one of rest and that to God; now by changing it to the first God getteth one, and we six and that together; but if the day were the second third, fourth, &c. it would not be so; for the six working dayes would be interrupted, which is contra­ry to that morality of the Command, whereby our dayes are distinguished from his, that ours, for one week being fully by, we may with the greater freedom give God his.

The third way we take to prove the change of the day to be by Divine Institu­tion is this: If by the practise of the Apostles, who were guided and inspired by the Spirit in things belonging to their Office infallibly, this day was observed as different from other dayes; then there is a Divine Institution of, and warrant for, this day; but by the practise of the Apostles this day is celebrated as different from, and preferred to, other dayes, or as Divine, therefore its of Divine Instituti­on: If the Divine practise and example of the Apostles in things moral and com­mon to all, do not either suppose a Divine antecedent institution, or infer a subse­quent, then their practise and example, which in these things is infallible and uner­ring, will have no more force then the example of others▪ which were absurd, their examples being especially pressed on us; and if in any thing their example be Di­vine, it must be in this so particularly and so well circumstantiated; and where their meeting is not recorded to have been on any other second, third, &c. day, certainly their practise must be not onely more then nothing, but very significant; and indeed in positive worship, the Lord hath been pleased to be more sparing (to say so) and to leave us more to gather from Examples then in negatives, as in the positive part of swearing▪ admitting of Church members, in government, baptism and admission to the Supper, yet none can say that there is no Scripture Institution in these, where there may be such grounds or examples.

4. The Divine Institution of the change may be argued from the title thus, if that which is called the Lords, be his by Divine Institution and separation from [Page 168] other things not so called; then this first day must be his by Divine Institution and separation from other dayes, but all that is called the Lords, is his after this manner: Ergo, Let the minor be confirmed these three wayes; 1. By looking to what is cal­led the Lords generally in the Old Testament, as his House, his Altar, his Priests, his Tithes, &c. are they not still his, because by him separate for distinct uses in his wor­ship: 2. By looking more particularly, how the seventh day was called his day, or the Sabbath his, is not this the reason, because it was appointed by him for his wor­ship beside other dayes? And can any reason agree better to this? 3. By looking how any thing is called the Lords in the New Testament, there is no other or better phrase or designation to try by, then that 1 Cor. 11. 20, 21. [...] is opposed to [...], even as this first day, called the Lords day, is op­posed to our dayes or common days, and that is called the Lords Supper, because insti­tuted by him, for such and such spiritual ends and uses: And therefore there can be no better ground gotten for shewing why this is called the Lords day beside others, then by comparing it with other Scriptures, and if in other things that phrase im­port a Divine institution, why not in this? I do not mean that this is an institution, or that it will prove that there must be a clear and express institution shewn but I mean this, that it will inferr there is one, and that it is Divine, seeing God is to choose and not we. We might here again produce the four Witnesses already attested for the morality of this fourth Command, to wit, 1. the general practise of primitive Chri­stians, 2. their general opinion and judgement, 3. mens Consciences, 4. the di­spensations of God; which will also all clearly depone in this, about the change of the day.

Propos. 6. Although we know not the peremptory and precise time when this day was instituted, and the very first day sanctified, nor whether it was immediately by Christ, or mediately from him by the Apostles instituted, which is of no great con­cernment to the main of its institution; yet we think it most probable that our Lord did from the very day of his Resurrection either himself institute it, while as Acts 1. v. 3 he taught them what concerned the Kingdom of God; or did inspire his Apostles to observe it from that time forth; Because, 1. If it was not then instituted, the Church had for some time wanted a Sabbath, the seventh-day Sabbath being expired by the Resurrection. 2. The reason moving the change and preferring the first day before others, as in a nearer capacity of sanctification for that end, was from that time forth. 3. The Apostles practise of meeting, and Christs keeping with them, hath been from the first change, even on the first two first dayes of the week, John 20. verse 19. 26. 4. All the practises and other grounds whereby the change is evi­denced, suppose still the institution to preceed; which maketh it appear to be very ancient.

And so we resume and close these six propositions. 1. The day may be changed from the last to the first: 2. Its meet it should be so, and there is good reason for it: 3. It can onely be to one first: 4. Its so changed actually: 5. Its change is not by Humane, but by Divine institution: 6. Its institution seemeth to be from the rise of the Gospel Church, and the very day of Christs Resurrection. Hence we infer 1. good warrant, even Gods warrant for imploying the seventh-day to our selves, seeing God seeketh but one day in seven, and now has chosen and claimeth the first. 2. Gods war­rant for sanctifying the first day Sabbath or the Lords day as his institution. 3. That the Lords day is to be sanctified by us Christians, and that by vertue of this Command, as the seventh-day was by the Jews on its grounds.

[Page 169] We come now to speak of the sanctification of this day, which is the main thing, and for which all the rest is intended, we shall first consider the precept, and then 2. the reasons whereby it is inforced.

The precept is, sanctify it, or keep it holy, sanctifying of it is twice mentioned in this Command. 1. In the end, its said God hallowed or sanctified it, that is by sepa­ration, destination, and appointment for holy uses, and as a part of worship, so he sanctified the Temple, Altar, &c. not by infusing any holiness in them, but by ap­pointing them for holy uses: Thus onely God can sanctifie a day, or any other thing so as to make it a part of worship, and no man or power on Earth what­somever can do that. 1. In the precept it self we are commanded to sanctifie it, that is, by the application of it unto the uses wherefore he hath set it apart; thus we sanctify what he hath sanctified when we use it and imploy it, according to his ap­pointment. And so we are to consider, the sanctifying of this day in these duties called for from us on it▪

This sanctification is two wayes set down. 3. In its cessation and rest, separa­ting it from other uses, and so keeping it from the common uses, to which other dayes may and use to be applied: 1. In its special application to and imployment in holy uses.

For clearness, we shall consider this sanctification. 1. In respect of its rest, what we are to abstain from: 2. Comparatively, with that strictness called for from the Jews: 3. Eminently, what is required more as to holiness this day then on other dayes wherein also the Lords people should be holy? and wherein this goeth be­yond these? 4. Positively, in what duties it should be taken up: 5. Complex­ly, in respect of what is called for to the right sanctifying of that day before it come on, in the time of it, and after it is past, and that in publick and private, and by all relations, Master, Servant, &c. and throughout the whole man, thoughts, words, and deeds, and throughout the whole day: 6 Oppositively, or negatively, what are the breaches of this Command, and the aggravations of these sins which break it.

First then, we consider it in its rest, which is required; and because there are extreams, some giving it too little, as the Jews did before the captivity; some too much, even to being superstitious, as the Jews after the Captivity, and the Scribes and Pharisees particularly in Christs time did; streaching this rest too far. We must therefore consider it more narrowly and particularly for quieting of our Conscien­ces, for the Jews are by the Prophets, Ezek. 20. Jerem. 17. and by Christ, Matth. 12. reproved for both extreams respectively.

We do then in this matter assert first, That there is a rest required here, which is extensive to a mans words, thoughts, and actions, whereby many things lawful on other dayes▪ become unlawful on this day.

Yet 2. we assert, That by this rest all sort of actions are not condemned, but only such as are in consistent with the end and scope of this Command, as by other Scri­ptures, and the practise of Christ and the Saints is clear: we conceive therefore these to be permitted.

1. All duties of Piety, as was sacrificing under the Old Testament, or preach­ing, hearing or going about the Sacraments under the New Testament: In which sense, Matth. 12, our Lord saith, the Priests prophaned the Sabbath and were [Page 170] blameless, not that formally they prophaned the Sabbath, or did indeed break that Command, but materially they wrought in killing beasts, &c. which had been unlawful▪ had it not been in the exercises of piety.

2. All▪ things that have a tendency, as necessary▪ helps and means to the perfor­mance of the former works of piety, are lawful, as going to the Congregation to hear the Law, calling the Assembly for worship by Trumpets, or Bells, or by a Voice, journeying▪ going or riding to Church, &c. because the duties of the Sab­bath cannot well be done without some of these, not at all without others of them.

If it should be asked here, What that, which is called a Sabbaths day journey, Acts 1. 12. was among the Jews? and whence it came, and what way may it be stinted or limited among Christians? Answ. It was to them 2000. Cubits, which according to the different measuring of that distance of ground consisting of these 2000 Cubits by a lesser or longer Cubit, is reckoned to be more or▪ less by learned Men; but all agree (says Goodwin in his Moses▪ and Aaron) in this, that these 2000. Cubits was a Sabbath days journey.

It arose to be reckoned so from these grounds; 1. From their expounding, Exod. 16. 29. Let none go▪ out of his place; thus, Let none go without the bounds of the City, which with its Suburbs was 2000. Cubits, or a mile about. 2. That the Tabernacle of the Congregation was so far from the Tents of these who pitched about it in the Wilderness▪ Numb. 2. as they supposed; and that the Priests kept that distance from the people in entering with the Ark into Iordan, Jos 3. 4. whence they gathered that a man might still go to the Ark or place of worship, as it was then in these cases at a distance from them, and no further on the Sabbath day.

But we say whatever superstitiously or on custome they took up (for that is but their Tradition) we cannot stint a Sabbath dayes journey to so many miles, fewer or more, but it must be as the man is in providence cast to reside further from, or nearer to the place where the Ordinances are dispensed; for one may go many miles and not prophane the Sabbath, if he cannot have the publick Ordinances nearer, whereas another may break the Sabbath by going but to his Neighbours door, yea by walking in his own house, or to his door, if either it be done idly, or with respect to another civil or worldly end, which agreeth not to that day; it is not here remoteness or nearness, but what sweyeth us, and what is our end, that we are to try by.

3. All works of mercy are lawful on that day, as laying beside us something to the poor. 1 Corinth. 16. verse 1. sending or dealing something to those who are in want, Isai. 58. verse 7. visiting others, to comfort; strengthen, or otherwayes to edifie them christianly; though idle and carnal visits (albeit, alace! too rife) are not permitted.

4. Good Works, as Christ saith Matth. 12. 12. Its lawful to do good or well on the Sabbath, such are giving of Physick (when it is necessary) bringing of Physi­tians▪ saving a mans life, and taking pains for it, &c. Luke 13. (these good Works may be classed either with Works of mercy before, or with Works of necessi­ty that follow, both being good Works as they are Works of mercy or of necessity:)

5▪ Works of necessity, such as feeding Beasts, leading them to the water, pul­ling [Page 171] them out of Ditches, when they are fallen into them on that day, and much more preparing honestly sober allowance for the susteining of the body, as the Disciples pluckt the ears of Corn, Matth. 12. and the Jews, Exod. 16. 23. dressed the Manna on the Sabbath, though they were not to gather it; yet on the sixth day to bake and seethe a part, and to keep a part till the morrow, but not till the day following, and therefore they behoved to dress it also; yea, Jesus Christ went himself to a Feast on the Sabbath, Luke 14. (that he might take that opportunity by his spiritual discourse to edifie the Company as he did notably) which he would not have done had it been unlawful to dress any meat on the Sabbath, yet his car­riage was such at that Feast most remarkably, that it would be followed as a pattern by such as may be invited by others to eat with them, and shall be disposed to go on the Sabbath: And if this were the design of the inviters and invited, mens eat­ing together▪ on that day would not readily prejudice the sanctification of it, as very often it doth: Such is flying on the Lords day from a destroying enemy, and in other warranted cases, Matth. 24. defending our selves against unjust vio­lence, &c▪

6. Works of comliness, tending to honest or decent walking, as putting on of clothes honestly, making the house clean from any uncleanness that may fall in it throughout the Sabbath, &c.

By all which Believers have allowance, 1. for piety, 2. for charity, 3. for what is needful for their beasts, 4. what is needful and convenient, or comely for them­selves; and more is not necessary: In these the Lord hath not streightned them, neither hath he pinched and pinned them up to absolute necessity, but hath left them to walk by Christian prudence (yet so as they may not exceed) for the Disci­ples possibly might have endured that hunger, and not pluckt the ears of Corn, or beasts may live a day without water, and not be much the worse, or some sort of Victuals may be provided to be set beside men on the Sabbath needing no dressing or preparing; yea, a man may live on little or nothing for one day: but the Lord hath thought good not to streighten them, so as to make his day and worship a weariness and burden unto them, seeing he hath made the Sabbath for man, to be refreshing to him, and not man for the Sabbath; nor will he have their Conscien­ces to be fettered with inextricable scruples: He leaveth it to men on other days how much to eat and drink by a Christian prudence (yet alloweth them not to ex­ceed even on these) so here there is some latitude left to conscientious reason to walk by; for some may do something at one time, and not at another, yea, one man may take more pains in upholding his body then is called for from another who is stronger, so that its impossible to set particular rules which will agree to all, but men▪ would look, 1. to their end, 2. to their need, 3. to what may▪ conve­niently attain the end.

Yet it is needful here to add some qualifications or caveats▪ lest folk indulge them­selves too much, and exceed under the pretext of the former liberty, which the Lord hath condescended to leave men at,

1. That men would▪see that the necessity be real, that real sickness keepeth at home, that real hazard maketh them flie, or maketh them bide at home▪ that it be such a necessity as they ca [...]not contrive a way conveniently to evite when it co­meth, or could not foresee before it came.

[Page 172] 2. Men would see that, that necessity be not brought on by themselves▪ If the thing might have been done at another, time that necessity will not excuse▪ though if the sin be taken with, and repented of, and Christ fled unto for the pardon of it, we may go about the doing that lawfully which sinfully we have necessitated our selves unto; as suppose one had got warning to flie the day before, to bring such a Physician, or to provide such drugs, &c. if he did it not, then he sinneth, yet when necessity cometh he may still do it, but not with a good Conscience, till he first acknowledge the former fault of his neglect.

3. It would be adverted, if that thing may be done, as well another time, or may not without prejudice (that is considerable) be delayed till the next day; Thus taking or giving of Physick on the Lords day, making ordinary civil visits, beginning voyages, &c. will not sustain and bear weight before God, when folk do them that day, to have their own work day free, and so put by the proper duties of the Lords day, for some things that may be done the day or dayes following: Thus rest is commanded Exod▪ 34. 21, even in sowing rime and Harvest; because the necessity is not clear, but dependeth on ordinary providence, and folks are to expect occasion and opportunities for them afterward.

4. Men would take heed that they have not a tickling complacency that such necessities fall on the Sabbath, and be not glad to have diversions from the proper duties of the day. They would go about such works with a sort of sadness, though yet with clearness and peace of Conscience as to their lawfulness: Therefore Christ saith to his Disciples, Matth. 24. 20. pray that your flight be not on the Sabbath day▪ because it would be heavy to Gods people to flie on that day, though it was lawfull.

5. We would see that it marr not a spiritual frame, and that in doing these we turn not to mind the World as on other dayes; There would be still a respect to the day in our frame (which is called for in the word remember) and even when our hand is otherwayes imployed, the heart should not be taken up with these things, but so far as is necessary to the acting of them.

6. It would be adverted to, that they be done without inregularity, and so as not to give offence by them (hence it was that Christ ever gave the reasons of what he did on the Sabbath) lest others, not knowing our necessity, judge us guilty of Sabbath-breaking, or be involved without necessity to do the like,

7. Folks would have great respect to the end in these works, and to the motive which swayeth and putteth them on. If it be outward gain or fear of some tempo­ral loss; as if for gaining money a Physician should go rather on the Sabbath then on another day to save the life of a man; that turneth then to be a servile work, and one of his ordinary Week day calling (to speak so:) So if a Minister should preach with respect to gain or applause on the Sabbath, or if any man should make a visit for a meer civil end, as we visit on other dayes, without a suitable respect to spiri­tual edification or furtherance of Piety, it will marr all, and will be found a breach of the Sabbath.

8. We would beware of spending too much time in these things, but would en­deavour timely and quickly to expede and dispatch them, and rightly to tryst them: [Page 173] Dressing of meat, and trimming, adorning, and busking of folks bodies will not be found a well spent part of the Sabbath, when it shutteth out other duties, and get­teth too much time, as it doth with many.

By all which we may see what need there is to watch over our selves in these things, lest our liberty be turned into licentiousness, and lest we grow either idle or carnal on that day.

Let us then consider how far this rest extendeth: and under it we take in. 1. The rest of the whole man, outward and inward, in deeds, words, and thoughts▪ so is it Isai. 58. 13. we should not speak our own words (nor by proportion think our own thoughts) nor find our own pleasures. 2. It goeth through the whole day, for though every minute of the day cannot be applyed to positive duties, yet in no minute of it, is it lawful to do another work (inconsistent with the qualifications and scope aforesaid) that is the negative part in it, thou shalt do no work, which bindeth ad semper. 3. It is to be extended not onely to a mans own person, but to all un­der him, children, servants, &c▪ he must be answerable for it, that they rest, and must give them no occasion of work. 4. Its to be extended even to the least work of any sort, if unnecessary, as gathering sticks, speaking our own word, &c. these are all breaches of the Sabbath. 5. This rest extendeth to all actions or sorts of actions or cases which are not comprehended under the former exceptions which are permitted, or are consistent with the sanctifying of the Sabbath: As;

1. All works which tend to our external profit, pleasure, satisfaction, &c. all works of our callings which make for the increase of outward gain and profit, such whereby we ordinarily sustain our lives: These Hebr. 4. 15. are called our own works, and here its such works as ordinarily are wrought in the rest of the six dayes▪ So it is doing thy own pleasure as well as works, Isai. 58.

2. Such works as tend to others external gain or profit as the great motive of them, as Servants may be working for their Masters profit, and yet prophane the day▪

3. Such as are not necessary on that day, as ploughing, sowing, reaping, or gathering in, and that even in Seed-time and Harvest; and so fishing, going of mills, &c. when these are not done for the very preserving of life, because they are not necessary out of that case; neither is there any thing here of an extraordinary dispensation that maketh them necessary, the weather depending on an ordinary­providence, or ordinarily depending on providence, which is to be reverenced: Hence though the weather and season be rainy, yet it is not lawful to cut down or gather in Corn on the Sabbath, their hazard in this ease being com­mon and from an ordinary immediate providence; yet suppose that a River were carrying away Corn, or that Winds were like to blow them into the Sea, it were lawful in such a case to endeavour to prevent that, and preserve them; because 1. that cometh by some more then ordinary dispensation of pro­vidence in the weather, and affecteth and putteth in hazard this Corn more then others: 2. Because there is no probability of recovering these in an ordi­nary way, though the weather should alter, but there is hope of gathering in of such as are in the fields without that reach of hazard, if the Lord alter the season.

4. Such as are for carnal pleasure or civil ends, thus playing, gaming, much [Page 174] laughing, &c. being our own works, more especially our own pleasure, are un­lawful on that day.

5. Consider that all things are prohibited which marr the end of the day, and are not consistent with the duties thereof▪ such are buying, selling, &c. out of the cases of pressing necessity▪ folks cannot be spiritually taken up, and with these also; so playing and gaming is no less consistent with praying, reading, conferring▪ &c. then ploughing or such like, yea, is much more indisposing for it, and so we do ne­cessarily thereby incapacitate our selves for the duties of the day.

6. All things are forbidden, which consist not with this rest and the duties of worship called for from our selves and others; thus unnecessary journeying, walk­ing, even suppose one could or should be exercised in meditation, is not resting as is required, much less is gadding in companies, in the street, or fields, to the neglect of secret and family duties.

In a word, whatever is not religious and spiritual exercise, or furthering or hel­ping unto what is so, out of the excepted cases; much more whatever is sinful, scandalous or unsuitable on other dayes, or doth divert from, or indispose for the duties of holiness, and the worship of God on that day, is inconsistent with this rest, and so prohibited: for, This rest is not primarily commanded and required for it self, but as conducing and subordinate unto the performing of holy duties in it; therefore our rest is to be regulated, so as may best contribute to that scope, and whatever marreth that, though it should not be work strictly, but idleness, carnal­ness, or playing▪ and gaming, and sporting▪ yet its a breach of this rest: for 1. That is no religious duty▪ nor 2. tending as a necessary help to it; nor 3. is rest comman­ded that we should pley in it, but that we should sanctifie it; and 4. playing or spor­ting cannot be called sanctifying the day; otherwayes we might have mo Sabbaths then one, and the prophanest would love them best; 5. playing separateth not the Sabbath from other dayes, more then work doeth; for men play in all: 6. playing is neither a religious duty, it being amongst the most irreligious and prophane; nor a duty of necessity for easing of weariness, which doth not here come by any bodi­ly toyl and labour, but (if there be any) from being exercised in spiritual duties; which, therefore, change and variety will through Gods blessing do, so as the per­son may be born out in them; nor is there any place for it, except some duty be neglected, therefore its inconsistent with this.

We come to the second way of considering the sanctification required here, and that is by comparing it with that strictness called for from the Jews, and to which they were tyed.

We speak not here of Ceremonials (for so their whole service might be more burdensome then ours, and particularly their Sabbath-services, because they were doubled on that day) but of moral duties; and in that respect we say, that the tye and obligation unto the sanctification of this day is equal and alike unto us with them, which is clear in particulars, for 1. It tyeth us now to as long time, to wit, a natural day of twenty four hours, as it did them then. 2. It restraineth from work and requireth holy rest now, as much as then; for whatever work then struck against the Letter or purpose and scope of the Command, and marred holy duties, doth so still. 3. It requireth positive sanctification by holy duties, as preaching, prayer, meditation, &c. and alloweth not idleness, nor indulgeth time to other [Page 175] unnecessary works. 4. It requireth as spiritual a manner and as spiritual a frame in performing of them now as then.

For 1. If the Command be moral, then is there no change in moral duties, for it is the same Command to us, that it was to them, save in ceremonial things: 2. If the same things were allowed to them which are allowed to us, and if no more be allowed to be done by us, then was allowed to be done by them on the Sabbath, then the observation in its strictness is equal, but the first is true, for works of piety, mercy and necessity, are allowed to us, and so were they to them, as by Christs reasoning against them (as being here superstitious) may appear: yea, 3. our allowances are taken from the practise of Christ, and his reasonings with the Pha­risees, who in these disputes aimed not to shew that more was lawful by his coming then was before, but to shew what then was lawful, though they ignorantly or wilfully misunderstood the Command, for even then God allowed mercy rather then sacrifice, &c. which places most clearly warrant us in our practise. 4. The Service we have now is as spiritual, and without all doubt the promise of the spirit, for keeping up in holy duties as large as formerly, and therefore our improving of it should be no less.

Before we proceed, there are some Scriptures which seem to thwart with, and to be cross to this, to which we would speak a little for clearing of them; as name­ly Exod. 16. 23, 29. and Exod. 35. 3. where it would seem that going out of the place dressing of meat, and kindling of fire were forbidden, which are allowed to us: To which we say. 1. That we speak of the meaning of this fourth Command, if any more was forbidden them by peculiar judicial Laws, that contradicteth not our assertion, these may be abrogated, while this command standeth. But 2, We conceive that as to these things, gathering of sticks, kindling of fire, dressing meat, &c. no more is allowed unto us then unto them, that is, all unnecessary la­bour in, and about, these is unlawful to us now, and all necessary labour in, and a­bout, them was allowed unto, and lawful for them; as may be gathered from Christs practise, and his reasoning with the Jews, and from the allowance which was to their Beasts. In the third place then, we say that these Scriptures cannot be literally and universally understood, for it cannot be thought that they went not out of the place, kindled no fire, dressed no meat in any case; yea, the allowance for their necessity, and Christs going in and partaking, when invited on the Sabbath­day, Luke 14. Its like to somewhat that was prepared that day, with his defending of his Disciples practise in plucking ears of Corn, and rubbing them, as it is Luke 6, 1. (which was a sort of preparing and dressing of that meat) insinuate the con­trary; neither can any thing be gathered from that place; Exod. 16. 23. against dressing of meat simply, but rather the contrary, for the Manna that remained over what was dressed on the sixth day, was to be laid up till the seventh day, or the Sab­bath, but not till the day after the Sabbath; and will it not suppose, that they be­hooved then to dress it on the Sabbath as on other dayes by boyling, at least, for as to grinding of it at Mills, or other wayes, there was no necessity for that on the Sab­bath out of some extraordinary Case (or else they had needlesly laid it up) and so behoved to have fires to dress it with: And therefore that of not dressing meat, of not kindling fire, &c. must be of what is unnecessary and for servile works, or ma­king gain in mens ordinary particular callings.

[Page 176] But to the third way, if any should inquire what more holiness is called for, o [...] can be win at, on the Sabbath then a Believer is called unto on other dayes, he be­ing called to endeavour to be perfectly holy every day? I Answer, Although he be called to be perfectly holy, yet not in the holiness of immediate Worship throughout every day: He is to be perfectly holy on other dayes, according to the duties and imployments of these dayes; but on the Lords day he is called to be holy according to the imployments of that day and its duties; The Lords peo­ple of old were indeed called to perfect holiness all the week over, but singularly to sanctifie the Sabbath as a part of their universal holiness. 2. Though all the parts of every day should be spent holily, yet some parts more especially, as what parts are spent in Prayer, reading the Scripture, &c. and somewhat more is re­quired of these▪ who are called to it on a Fasting day, then on other dayes, even so on the Sabbath. 3. There is a difference betwixt a person living holily in the ge­neral, and a person who is holy in sanctifying the Lords day, though a man should be holy every day, yet is he not to sanctifie every day which is required on this day, whereof we shall now speak.

This dayes sanctification then, we conceive to consist in these:

1. That there is more abstractedness not onely from sinful things, but even from lawful temporal things▪ required on that day then on other days, a spiritual frame of heart▪ separating and setting apart a man from ordinary thoughts; Hence we may say, that as the Greek word [...], signifyeth unclean as well as common, so a common or every day frame o [...] Spirit, will be found unclean for the Sabbath; there must therefore be another frame of heart, different from an ilk a day-frame and suited to that day.

2. This day is to be sanctifyed in respect of the Exercises of it beyond other days, and that necessarily; whereas on some other dayes we may be taken up in some duties of worship arbitrarily▪ but here necessarily; And men may, and ought, to be holy on other dayes, in their plowing, and other works, but there their Holiness is to be in immediate worship to God, in some thing relating to that alway, such as praying▪ reading▪ hearing, conferring, meditating, &c.

3. The sanctification of this day lyeth in this, that it must be wholly sanctified, but parts of other dayes are ordinarily used in religious Service, but this whole day is to be used so, a man should be this whole day throughout, as in the time of praying on other dayes.

4. Duties would be multiplyed that day, more secret and private Prayer, Rea­ding, &c. and more publick Worship; even as there were double Sacrifices that day under the Law, though there were Sacrifices all dayes.

5. There would be in the duties of this day more intenseness of Spirit, and a further degree of spiritual affections, then in these duties of other dayes; because this day is purposely set apart for that end▪ and by continuance in duties we may attain to more of a spiritual frame, and because not onely the Exercises of Wor­ship, praying, reading and hearing▪ &c. call to Holiness on this day, as they do on other dayes, but even the very day it self doth call to it; even as on a solemn day of humiliation men ought to be more affected and deeply humbled then on other dayes (though daily they should repent and be humbled) because that day is so­lemnly set apart for it; so ought our worship to be more intense and solemn this day [Page 177] suitable unto it, wherein we are, as it were, dyeted for insisting and persisting in duties of worship; where as these duties in this respect, and in comparison, are on other days, but as starts, worship is here some way the only work of that day.

6. There would be more heavenliness and spiritual sence breathed after that day in the frame of the heart; it would be near God, and the work of the day would be delightsome and sweet, the Sabbath would, as it is Isaiah 58. be cal­led a delight, and we would endeavour as it is Heb. 4. to enter into his rest, to pass through the outward rest into his, to be within his chambers, yea even in his arms, as it were, all that day.

7. There would be that day more divineness in our Holiness (to speak so) a sort of Majesty by ordinary in our walk, looking like the Sabbath, and like the God of the Sabbath: There would be an exulting in God that day, we would en­deavour to have our hearts in a special manner warm in the Exercise of love to him, and to be much in praising of him; our Whole worship would more abso­lutely and immediately be aimed and levelled at the honour and glory of God, as the end of it, then on other ordinary days, wherein our prayers and other pieces of worship may more immediately respect our own Case and need▪ but on this day Gods Honour as the end more immediately whatever our own Case be, and that both in heart within and in the nature of our Exercises without; this is to call the Sabbath of the Lord honourable, to honour and glorifie him, therein as it is Is, 58. a special Majesty being in that days worship by levealling it with extraordinary singleness at Gods praise, even as his name is hallowed or sanctified in Heaven by Angels and perfected Saints. Hence It's good to give thanks unto thy Name, &c. beginneth that Psalm of Praise for the Sabbath-day, to wit, the 92. These Du­ties then that further his praise are more especially for that day.

8. All these reach both words and thoughts, nothing to the hindrance of these is to be admitted neither; there are none of our words and thoughts that day, but they would in a special manner be Gods, and in it we should be spent as his▪ and endeavour to be within view of Heaven, to make some Essay of glorified Saints exercise there, and to have the Sabbath as a little preludy of that everlasting Sab­bath and rest in the bosom of God.

The Fourth way of considering this sanctification is positively, to wit, as to the Duties, wherein the Sabbath is to be spent, which are shortly, all duties of im­mediate worship, whether they be inward, as meditation, self-examination, heart prayer, either ejaculatory or more continued, heart-sorrow for sins, &c. or outward, as vocal prayer and singing of Psalms, reading the Scriptures and other pious Books, hearing the word, &c. or whether they secret which may be both inward and outward, or private in Families, as reading of the word, con­ferring on it, repeating Sermons, praying together, &c. or publick; as joyn­ing with the Congregation in prayers and praises, hearing the word read, and the sense given, hearing of Sermons, participating of the Sacraments, when dispens­ed, joyning in solemn humiliations and thanks▪givings, when they fall necessari­ly or more conveniently to be on the Sabbath; All which and such like are proper duties for that day; to which liberal laying up, and giving for the relief of the poor according to ability, and as God blesseth every man would be added as a suitable [Page 178] dnty of it, though it be no duty of immediate worship.

The fifth way is to consider the sanctification of the Sabbath complexly, before it come, when it's come, and after it's past.

1. Then the night before (not secluding a suitable remembrance throughout the week) remember it 1. by timous leaving of worldly business, it's a great in­croachment on the Sabbath, thought too too usual to continue longer at work the night before, then any other night of the week, as if folks would gain the day of rest, out of Saturnsdays night and Mondays morning.

2 By not suffering this little times leaving of work, to be idly spent but being taken up with endeavours, 1. To abstract mind the 2. To from other works as well as the hand, and to have the heart put in a lively frame▪ mind the work of the day which is coming, and to have a suitablenss to it. If ye ask what suitableness we have to it? Answ. Endeavour 1. to be as if ye were about to meet God, to tryst, as if it were, visibly with him, and solemnly to treat and enter in marriage with him. 2. To be like Heaven, and in a special manner in some sort to imitate God, as if ye were already entered into his rest, and had rested from your own works. 3. To be as if ye were to dye, and to step into Eternity, for this resting should mind us of that, and was, and is still▪ special­ly appointed (though yet no Ceremony) to mind us of Gods separating of us from others for himself, that we may rest eternally with him.

Then 3. for furthering of this, look back on the Week past, and endeavour to have things clear before the Sabbath come, and all by-gone quarrels removed, that theremay be no standing controversies against you to begin the Sabbath with.

4. Pray with special solemn seriousness in reference to that day, that ye may have peace for what is past, that ye may be in a right frame for the day; that the Minister may be helped to speak as it becometh; that others may be fitted to heare and joyn; that the Word and other Ordinances may be richly blest of God; and that the mercy of having the Ordinances may be minded, with praise to the graci­ous giver of them, and suitably improved.

2. When the morning of that sweet and desirable day cometh (after we have fallen asleep in a special manner, as it were in the Lords arms, the night before and left our selves there) 1. we would timely begin the work and beware that either carnal thoughts get in, or the time be idly slepped over, but I say we would begine the work early; for it's for that end appointed, and sinful thoughts will not be kept out, but by filling the room otherwayes with what is spiritualy pro­fitably. Shew forth Gods loving kindness in the morning, saith the Psam for the Sab­bath, to wit, the 92. Let therefore the Meditation of somewhat of these, or such like, begin with us, even when we are making ready, 1. somewhat of God himself, whose day it is; 2. of heaven, and that happiness that is there; 3. of the works of God, who gave us and all the world a being, and who only preserveth the same; 4. of Christs redemption, and as closed and perfected on this day; which especially should be minded; that so thinking of our many and great obligations, and of the misery we had been in, had not that work of Re­demption intervened, we may begin the day with a due impression of Gods great­ness and goodness: of our own sinfulness, weakness, and misery; and of this blessed remedy and out-gate.

[Page 179] 2. We would address our selves to solemn prayer in secret, and that at greater length then on other dayes▪ and with persisting in, inwith special petitions relating to the day, with all the seriousnese may win it.

3▪ We would take a view of our own hearts, to see how and where we left the night before, and endeavour to have clearness betwixt the Lord and us as to our state, and otherwayes maintained; and renewed if it was; or attained if it was not.

4. Too much time would not be spent in adorning of busking or folks bodies, or in making other provisions for them, but as the whole of it would be taken up in duties of worship (as we have before shewed) so some part of it would be set apart for secret reading, yea, for secret praising, thanksgiving, and singing, an exercise not unbecoming that day, as that fore-cited Psalm for the Sabbath day, sheweth.

5. If thou be the Head of a Family, or livest in fellowship with others, then the family is gravely to be brought together, and every particular member is to joyn with the rest: And here also prayers and other religious duties are to be doubled according to the ceremonial doubling of Sacrifices on the Seventh-day-Sabbath under the Law; for in secret, in families, and in publick, there would be more that day then in other dayes.

6. Care and inspection would be taken so far as men can reach, that by none in the Society, neither secret nor private duties be neglected, nor publick duties abstained from, but that each may stir up one another, and more especially those whose places lead them to it, to the sutable sanctification of the day in all the duties of it, and withal, it would be looked to, that none of the family be suffered to stay at home unnecessarily from the publick worship or to be absent from the family worship.

7. Timely (that ye be not by haste discomposed) come to publick-modestly apparrelled (it's a shame to see how gaudily some come to publick worship on the Lords day) grave in your walk wary and circumspect in you words, that they be spiritually edifying and sutable; watch over your eyes, that carnal or wordly looks steal you not away, nor distemper your hearts; but especially over your hearts, that they we are not out of a spiritual frame.

8. When ye come to the place of publick worship, if it be a while a beginning, be still watchful, and the nearer ye come to it the more watchful; for temptations will be very ready to divert or discompose▪ there would be a frequent intermixture of ejaculatory prayers in reference to every thing▪ equisite for attaining and inter­taining this composedness.

9. When publick worship beginneth, study to be (as Cornelious was, Acts 10) present to joyn in prayer, and praise, to hear what God will say, to receive it, to lay it up in your hearts, to be sutably affected with it, and to resolve through grace to practise it; (for blessed are they only who hear the word and do it): and this would be with delight, aming aright at the end of the Ordinances, whatever they be, whereof we spoke somewhat on the second Comandment.

10. When the publick worship is as to it's first diet closed, let not your minds turn carnal, but depart reverently from it, chearing your selves in God, fixing the convictions, exhortations, directions▪ instructions, &c. in your mind, as ye have met with them, and be ruminating rather on these, then beginning to [Page 108] gaze o [...] discourse with others on subjects that are not spiritual, and to edification.

11. As soon as ye can win, go in secret and seek to have these things fastned and riveted betwixt, God and you, and let that be your first work, and let the little time that interveneth betwixt the diets of publick worship till you return, be spent sutably to the day and the end of the duties thereof.

12. When all the publick worship is ended then ye would do according to the preceding tenth Direction; ye would withal retire a while in secret, and reflect on your carriage in publick, and also see what good may be gotten of the day, and if there be any misses, neglects, or failings observed (as if there be a diligent search there will no doubt be) then be humbled, seek pardon through Christ, and resolve through grace to help these afterward; consider what was said, and like the noble Bereans▪ Acts 17. put it to the tryal for your confirmation, by your considering and examining the Scriptures cited or spoken of; and endeavour yet more to have your hearts affected in secret with them.

13. Then call your Families and come together after secret seeking of God, and 1. be inquiring of one another what is remembred, that all being put to­gether, ye may be helpful by your memories one to another▪ 2. ye would do this, not as if it were enough to tell over the words, but that the Doctrines and their Uses may be fixed, and ye affected with them▪ Therefore 3. ye would do this with other duties of reading, singing, and spiritual conference, as the oc­casion of it shal offer, with prayer to God before and after, being thus exercised [...]ill ye go again in secret to close the day as ye began.

14 Duties of Charity would be done, contributions made liberally according to our ability, and relief sent to others as we know their need▪ which also would be inquired after.

15. Indeavoure to have the heart in a right frame to close the day with▪ re­flecting on our carriage throughout it, fearing to lye down with guilt unpardon­ed and without some special fruit of the duties of the day; hast not to go to rest sooner that night then on other nights, on design that you may be sooner at work the nixt day; which smelleth strong of wearying of the Sabbath, and of longing to have it at an end, of which the Lord complained of old, Amos 8. 5. study to lye down with thoughts as you arose, leaving your selves in his arms, with respect to the eternal Sabbath that is coming.

3. When the Sabbath is past, and the next day cometh, cast not by all thoughts of it instantly, but begin your work as having just now ended the Sabbath, fearing to let the relish of it wear away; and indeavouring in your carriage through the Week to retain the stamp and impression of it; especially beware to go to your Callings with a Sabbath dayes guiltiness on you; O indeavour by all means to have that removed hand all the Week through have one eye to the Sabbath past; and another to the Sabbath coming, having still that sounding in your ears, remem­ber the Sabbath, or the Lord▪day, to keep it holy; dieting your souls, as it were, all along the Week, for a course of communion with God in the duties of the next Sabbath.

It will be now easie to know when this command is transgressed (which was the sixth way proposed of considering the sanctification of the Sabbath to wit, op­positively or negatively) which is done 1▪ by committing any thing contrary [Page 181] to the rest or sanctification of it; 2. by omitting any of the things which are re­quired for the right sanctifying of it; 3. by an unsuitable frame of heart as to the due manner of performing any of these duties required▪

We will find the weight of this command yet more fully, by considering it's reasons how it'sexplicated and pressed: This is done 1. by laying down the equity and extent of it. v. 9. 10. 2. by pressing it from God's example.

As to the first, v. 9. Six dayes shalt thou labour and do all thy work: These words may be looked on 1. As an obliging concession, which is indeed very liberal; as if the Lord had said, all dayes are mine, yet I have given thee Six to do all thy work and labour that thou hast to do, therefore give me the Seventh. It is but a small retribution for Six to return a Seventh. 2▪ As a restriction, thou shalt do what­ever work thou hast to do within the Six dayes, but none of it on the Seventh. 3. As a command whereby God distributeth our time, and commandeth Six for our work, and the Seventh for his: And thus these words forbid idleness, and command lawful diligence in these Six dayes; which we conceive here to be implyed.

1 Because God is not carving out what time we may be idle in, but what time we should imploy in our own lawful works as well as in his; for it cannot be thought that he giveth us Six to be idle on; It must therefore be to work on see­ing as our life should be taken up in doing either what more immediately concern­eth our selves, or what more immediatly concerneth God; so the scope of this command being to proportion our time betwixt these two, what is allowed for either of them, must imply an improving of it for that very end. 2 The oppo­sition also will confirm this; These Six dayes are to be applyed to our work, as the Seventh is to be applyed to Gods, which is more then a permission, and if the negative part be imperative, in it thou shalt not work, then the positive, Six dayes shalt thou work, may well be understood so also. 3. Gods example will press it for we are to follow it, not only in resting on the Seventh, but also in working in the Six dayes as he did. 4. Working these Six dayes cometh in as a mean to fur­ther and fit for the sanctification of the Seventh, for so a man putteth by his busi­ness, and has the more freedom for the rest on the Seventh, whereas idlense often sinfull necessitateth to the breach of it, and to a desire that it may be gone, Amos 8. 5. And thus idleness is reproved here, and diligence commanded under one consideration, to wit, as the remove of the former and practise of the later do capacitate us to give God his due on his own day when it cometh: Even as they are also included in the eight Command, Thou shalt not steal; for as idleness becom­eth a snare and temptation to a man to steal, and hindereth him from works of Charity and suitable diligence in the works of his lawful Calling▪ readily prevent­eth the one, and capactiateth for the other; So is it here, for it's not unusual that the same sin and duty may be forbidden and commanded in diverse commands up­on diuerse considerations; And this agreeth well both with the words and scope of this command. And 5. according to the holy and wise oeconomy of Gods good­ness, our labour may be commanded to mak his rest to be to us the more relishing and refreshing.

The tenth Verse containeth three things for explication, 1. The Lords claim of the Seventh day, as having reserved that to himself, it's his, it's to him, and [Page 182] by him & for him separated from other dayes. 2. Aconsequent flowing from this▪ Therefore that day is not to be imployed to any of our own works, no not the least, No manner of work, no word, no thought nor deed of any such sort under what­soever pretext beside the excepted cases. 3. It's extension as to all relations, so to all ranks, Parent and Child, Master and Servant, &c. yea, it's thou for thy self, and for all thou hast the oversight and charge of, Sons, Servants, Strangers, yea, and Beasts, not that they are capable of sanctifying a day more then the Beasts in Nineveh were of religious fasting, Jonah 3. yet this sheweth what ought to be the Masters care, it being for his use that Beasts are put to work; God injoyneth all wayes of abstaining from every thing that is a mans own work on the Sabbath, and will have him solemn in it: In a word, All within thy gates, looketh not only to Masters and all in their families or within their doors, but to Magi­strates and Governours, and all within their Jurisdiction (Gates being the place of Judgment, & used in Scripture to shew the extent as well as seat of power) that they should see to their sanctifying of this day; and the falling of any under them is their sin when they endeavour not to prevent and amend it: And thus Nehemiah understood this command, Neh. 13. when he put forth his power, not only in contending with the native Nobles, but even against Strangers, for restraining them from violating this day.

Hence we gather 1 That idleness is a sin, and that they will hardly give God his due on the Seventh day; who are not diligent in the duties of some lawful call­ing and station for Gods honour and others good through the Six dayes of the Week; and indeed this is often seen, that such are lazie, and careless, and idle on that day, passing it over even as they do other dayes, without any difference at all, except it be that they come to Church.

2. We gather that humane, whether Ecclesiastick or Civil appointment of or­dinary fixed days for worship throughout the whole day, beside the Sabbath, will not agree with this command allowing men six for labour. It's true, God might Soveraignly limit men, but where he hath given liberty (if it were but by concession) who can restrain?

Concerning dayes therefore, we lay down these four: 1. That there can be no solemn! seeting apart of any day to any creature; thus Saints dayes are unlaw­ful: for the Sabbath or day of rest is to the Lord, and to none other, it being a peculiar piece of worship to him who hath divided time betwixt his worship and our work. And although men should keep the day, and alter the worship, yet this is a taking of that which was once abused, and never enjoyned, for to apply it to God, and wanteth not offence; even as the retaining of other things in wor­ship which have been abused, and are not necessary, is offensive. 2. No man can institute any day, even to the true God, as apart of worship, so as to bind con­sciences to it, or to equal it with this day: That is apart of Gods royal prerogative, and a thing peculiar to him to sanctifie and bless a day. 3. Even those dayes which are pretended to be set apart to and for God, and yet not as apart of worship, cannot be imposed in a constant and ordinary way (as Anniversary dayes and feasts are) because by an ordinary rule God hath given to man Six dayes for work, except in extrordinary cases he shall please to call for some part of them again. 4. Yet extrordinarily upon occasions of Humiliation, or of Joy, and Thanks­giving [Page 183] dayes, for that time, may be set apart for God, without wronging this concession, even as in extrordinary times we may work, and not rest on the Sabbath day, though ordinarily we may not: This proportioning of time therefore is for the ordinary rule, but yet admitteth of the exception of extraordinary cases.

3. We gather that Masters and Parents ought to have a special oversight of their own Children and Families in the worshipping of God, and that especially in reference to the sanctifying of this day; and that there is a special communion in worshipping of God amongst the several relations of a Family.

4. We gather that Magistrates, and all who have power over others, ought to see to the restraining of Vice, and to the performing of outward duties, par­ticularly such as relate to the sanctification of the Sabbath (as well as to abstain from, and to do such and such things themselves in their own persons) in and by these over whom they have power; and that it's no less scandalous and sinful for a Magistrate not to see that sin he crushed that the Sabbath be sanctified, and the Ordinances of Religion be entertained and received and reverenced in and by those over whom he hath charge, then if he committed such sins himself, then if he discountenanced the Ordinances and break the Sabbath himself, or sufferred his own family or himself to be without the worship of God: Why? because these are within his gates, and he is to account for them: He is to rule for God, and their good which is mainly spiritual; he is to be a terrour to evil doers, as well as to be an incouragement to them that do well; and men are according to their places and parts to be forth-coming for God and the good of others. And yet this cannot be called a constraining or forcing of Consciences, for a Magistrate or Master thus to restrain these who are under them; it's but the using of that power, which God hath committed to them to make men to do their duty, and to abstain from dishonouring God, and the punishing of them, if they do other wayes; in which respect he beareth not the Sword in vain.

The 2. and main reason followeth, v. 11. wherein this command is three ways pressed also, 1. By Gods example, who during the space of six days wrought (though he might as easily have made all in one day) and rested the Seventh, and not before the Seventh, on which he wrought none; even so it becometh men to do, seeing he intended this for their imitation, and for that end doth propose it here: Gods rest on the Seventh is not absolute and in every respect (for John 5. 17. he worketh hitherto, that is, in the works of Providence, sustaining, preserving, and governing the Creatures made by him, and their Actions) but all things needful for the perfecting of the world were then made and finished. (Whence by the way we may gather, that not only all Creatures were made, Angels even these that since turned Devils, &c. but that they were made within the Six days of Creation, when Heaven, Earth, Sea, and all that was in them was made) Therefore all our works that are necessary to be done in the six working days, would be done and ended, that we may rest on the Sabbath as he did.

The 2. way is by his blessing of it. God blessed the Sabbath day, which is to be understood not simply in respect of the day, which is not properly capable of bless­ing, but in respect of the true observers of it, he blesseth it to them and he bles­seth them in it, which may be in these three: 1. That the rest of that day shal not [Page] prejudge them in their weeks work, but that their labour shal be therefore blessed, so that they shal miss nothing by observing that day, as the Lord blessed the Seventh year, whereon they rested, and yet notwithstanding they were as when they laboured, Lev. 25. 20. 21. 22. and it's like that if we will compare such as make Conscience to sanctifie the Sabbath with others, who think and seem to gain by breaking of it, this will be found at the years end to be verified. 2. That the Lord hath set a part that, day for a Spiritual blessing, and the Communication of it to his people (so the Bread and Wine are blessed in the Sacrament of the Lords Supper to be a mean of conveying Spiritual blessings to the worthy re­ceivers) Isa. 56. and Psal. 92. 3. That God will abundantly manifest his gra­cious presence, and multiply his spiritual blessings that day upon it's due observ­ers, more then on other days wherein he is also sought; as there is this day a double worship both in respect of the Duty, and of the day whereon it's done so there shall be a double blessing beyond what is on other days; in which respect, even prayers in, and towards, the Temple (while it stood by divine appoint­ment as a separate place from others) had a blessing beyond prayers in other places▪ and thus Christ blessed the loaves and the few small fishes, John 6. when he made them by multiplication on the matter to feed far beyond their ordinary proportionableness; so service on this day groweth in it's blessing; hence we may see an usual connexion betwixt Universal thriving in Religion, Grace and Piety, and suitable obedience to this command, in the tender sanctification of the Sabbath▪ and withall a reason, why so few make progress in godliness, even little keeping holy the Sabbath as they ought.

The 3. way is by his hallowing it, wherefore be hallowed it or sanctified it, that is per [...]odum [...]stinandi, or by way of appointing of it for holy uses, and separat­ing it from other days (as is said): The inference wherefore as to the hallowing pointeth at the reason or end wherefore God did it, to wit, that there might thereby be an excitement left to men, to imitate God; and that men might not only have Gods command, but his example also to bind this duty on him.

If it be asked here, why God will have a day set apart for holy Exercises be­side other days? It may be answered, 1. It's meet that God be acknowledged Lord of our time, by this Tribut being reserved to himself. 2. Because men having but a finite understanding, beside the now corruption of it, connot be intensely taken up with spiritual and heavenly things and with temporal and earth­ly things, both at once, or at the same instant; for even Adam in innocency could not do that, therefore the Lord hath graciously set apart a day for mans help in that. 3. It's to teach man that his chief end is to converse with God, and to live with him, and that he ought to cary in his own affairs along the week, and order things so as the Sabbath may be duly sanctified, when it shal come in that sweet soul reposing converse with him. 4. To shew man wherein his happiness consisteth, it's even in this, to walk and converse with God, and to be in his worship; this is his rest. 5. To shew the excellency of Religion, and of the Works of Piety, or of Gods Worship, above mens Employments in earthly and wordly things: It was a Sabbath to Adam in innocency to be abstracted from his labour for the worship of God; the one is mens toyl, the other is mens spiritual rest and ease, far contrary to that which men in the world ordinarily think and judge.

[Page 185] We see now how great and grievous a sin it is to break this command, and with what care this day should be hallowed.

For 1. It's a Command of the first Table, and so the breach of it is, in some respect, more then murther, Adultery, Stealing, &c, it's included in the first and great Commandement,

2. Amongst all the commands of the first Table, yea all the commands, this religious observance of the Sabbath, is most forcibly pressed with more reasons, and with more full and particular explication: Because 1. All the commands hang some way on this; and obedience is ordinarily given to them with the same readiness, as this day is employed in Gods Service, 2. It keepeth life, as it were, in all the rest, and when men are cold in this, so are they in all the rest. 3. This tryeth men in theirlove to God best; If indeed his company and service be more delighted in thenthe World▪ And is a notable indication of the frame of the soul; it maketh proof both of their state and frame, as men are usually and habitually on the Sabbath, so in effect are they, as to these.

3. No breach of any command hath more aggravations; for 1. It is against reason and equity, when God hath given us so many and so good reasons for it. 2. It's high Ingratitude, the Sabbath being a Mercy; and a great Mercy indeed it is to be priviledged with access to converse with God a whole day of every week in duties of worship. 3. It's against Love, God's Love hath instituted it, and our Love should in a special manner vent it self to him on it. 4. It's cruelty against our selves; for the Sabbath kept holy, is backed with the promise of of a special blessing, and we by this sin prejudge our selves of that; yea the Sabbath rightly spent is a mean both of holiness and of nearness to God, of con­formity to him and of communion with him, it promoteth both: So that it is eminently verified here, that these who sin against this command, sin against, and forsake their own Mercy.

4. No sin doth more evidence universal untenderness; and as it's a sin in it self, so it evidenceth, especially when gross, a very sinful and some way Atheistical frame and disposition, as may be gathered from Neh. 13.

Yea. 5. It occasioneth and breedeth other sins: it habituateth to sinning, and hardneth against challenges, so that men ordinarily become very gross and loose and fall in scandalous sins, who neglect the sanctification of the Sabbath, which is the quickner and fomenter some way of all duties and knitteth the two Tables of the Law together; hence it cometh to pass, that we often hear men that have turned to be very loose, gross and scandalous (and some of them on Scaf­folds and at Gibbets) cry out of Sabbath breaking, imputing the one to the other, as a main cause; for by this sin men grow stout against challenges, and form­al in secret duties, and so at length sit quite up.

6 No sin hath more sharp challenges for it, and more sad Judgements aveng­ing it, then sins against this command; have there been any men deeply challeng­ed for sin, or at death (whether ordinary or violent) brought to express and utter their challenges, but sins against this command have been main ones? The slighting of the Lords Sabbath made Jerusalem to be burnt with fire Jer. 17. last; for this sin they are threatned with terrible plagues; Ezek. 20, 21. 24. not only in [Page] temporal things, [...]. 23. but with spiritual plagues to which they are given up, v. 25. 26. You know that a man was stoned for gathering of sticks on the Sabbath, Num. 15. see also, Exod. 16. 28. and Ezek. 22. 8. where the Lord accounteth Sabbath­breaking a refusing to keep his Commandements and Laws, and a despissing of his holy things; O is it possible, that a man can be well that breaketh the Sabbath, or to whom it is not a delight?

If any should ask here, if indeed the breaches of this command be greater sins then the breaches of the commands of the second Table? and if so, if God will be aveng­ed on these severely?

For Answer (premitting this one word, that in comparing breaches of the com­mands of the two Tables, we would compare sins of a like nature together, that is, sins of presumption with sins of presumption, and sins of infirmity with sins of in­firmity) we say, that a presumptuous sin against the fourth Command, if it were but to go unnecessarily to the door, or to gather sticks, is a greater sin then a pre­sumptuous murther, because it striketh more immediately against God: And that a sin of infirmity against the fourth command, is greater then a sin of Infirmity against the sixth. Yet we grant that presumptuous Murther is a greater sin then a sin of in firmity against the fourth command, because presumption and high handedness in the manner of sinning, in a sin little on the matter comparatively, da [...]eth God, as it were, and striketh immediately against him, and so is an additional high aggra­vation of it; beside What it is in the nature of it: And though our censures against presumptuous breaches of the Sabbath▪ which are now as great sins as formerly (as is clear from what is just now said) be often more mitigated now under the Gospel, neither was it as we conceive, ordinary to stone the presumptuous prophaneners of the Sabbath, even amongst the Jews; yet will this be no good reasoning; men do not now execute punishments upon Transgressours of the first Table as on Trans­gressours of the second, therefore Transgressions of the second Table are greater sins then Transgressions of the commands of the first; for so we would be in hazard to postpone all the Laws or Commands of the first Table to these of the second; but we are to consider that temporal punishments are heightened or lessened according as the peace and order of civil Societies may be more or less therein concerned, so that it is not by these measures that we are to make the estimate of the greatness or smal­ness of sins in the sight of God, and in order to his righteous and absolute judgments, and therefore it`s enough that we enquire what God hath done, and will do, and what sinners may expect from him; however men may over-look and pass them by, yet before God they are often taken notice of, and plagued even in this life, and will be for ever hereafter, if they repent not.

We may now therefore in the close, exhort, beseech, obtest and charge you all, as in the sight of God, who is a severe avenger of them, that ye would be aware of the sins whereby this command is transgressed: Particularly guard against.

1. Not preparing for it, or not remembring of it; many prophane the Sabbath, ere they come to publick, yea, before it come, in some respect.

2 Carnal thoughts and a common frame of heart, yea, even to speak so, a par­ticular frame that looketh but to our own condition or case; As not stirring it self to be over and above that, to be affected with God and his glorious works of Creation and Redemption, to give him praise for his marvellous goodness on that day; there is alass generally little delight and praise in his worship, even on his own holy day.

3. General unedifying discourses, of the news of the time, of health, and other things not necessary to that day.

[Page 187] 4. Little profiting under the Gospel, and not growing in knowledge and practise; many a Sabbath is thus prophaned, few getting or seeking the blessing of it, or on it.

5. Going to the fields and visiting of Neighbours to put off a piece of time, that so much time may be saved on other dayes of the Week, wherein many men think they have more to do; and not seeking to edifie, or to be edified when they visit. Certainly by this going abroad and runing up and down the streets unnecessarily, ye indispose your selves, ye offend others, and tempt them to follow you, ye slight either duties in your families, or in secret, or it may be both, in a great measure; I suppose that if ye made conscience of these, there would not be so much time to go abroad; Take some other day for recreating your selves; If ye say, ye have then somewhat else to do: And have ye nothing to do this day? Or wil ye take more boldly from Gods day, then from your own? Is Sacriledge less then taking what is your own? What if all did so gad abroad? (And it may be they have no less reason) What a Sabbath day would we have? There is a remarkable word, Exod. 16. 29. that on the Sabbath none might go out of his place, which though it be not to be understood as restraining exercises of piety, or works of necessity and mercy, as we shewed before; yet it would seem to be the meaning of the words, that on that which we call taking the air, and on visiting, there was a restraint thereby intended.

6. Mens [...]itting upon choice in the Church at such a distance that they can scarce­ly hear, and that they may the more securely confer together on common purposes; so that they do not so much as aim to profit, of whom we may appositely say (as Christ said of the Priests, that they prophaned the Sabbath and were blameless) That they some way keept it and are guilty; many also sleep weary and wander in their thoughts, and are as stones and statutes in the Church.

7. Little ones and boyes going and running up and down playing and making a noise, and servants gadding; all which will be charged on Magistrates, Ministers, Elders, Masters and Parents, who are not conscionably aming and endeavouring in the diligent use of all sutable means to amend and prevent such abuses, and to punish continuance in them: Especially look to it when few plead or appear against such sins.

8. Much idle loitering over of the Sabbath, doing nothing, and much sleeping it over. Idleness is a sin any day, much more on this day.

9. Little care of sanctifying the Sabbath when men are from home, or when they are not in their own Congregations, when they are not in their own Houses, or have not any to take oversight o [...] them: There is much liberty taken this way, and there are many complaints of it; What my Brethren? Doth not the Sabbath re­quire as strict sanctification abroad as at home?

If any should ask remedies of all these, and such like evils, I know none better then these that are in the Command it self.

The first is remember, what? 1. Remember by-gone failings, and repent of them: 2. Remember coming to Judgment, that ye may be found of it in peace as to this or any other guilt, and endeavour to prevent it: 3. Remember to be all the Week over in your worship, and walk, minding it.

A second is, be well imployed throughout the Week, and be not given to idleness or laziness in your particular Callings, nor in spiritual Exercises, there will be no sanctifying of this day without that; be not therefore slothful in business, but fervent in spirit, serving the Lord, Rom. 12. 11.

[Page 188] 3▪ See that nothing unbecoming the rest of the day be admitted, no manner, not only of deeds, but of words or thoughts.

4. Let every one take inspection of others, and seriously mind it in your sever­al places, as ye are called.

5. Follow Gods example in other things, as it's proposed to you for your Imita­tion, and ye will do it the better in this.

6. Aim at the blessing as well as at the duty; hang on himself for life and strength to discharge the duty, and for the blessing, since he is the Author and Bestowe [...] of both, and do the duty delightsomly and with joy, through the faith of his blessing; and acknowledge his unspeakable goodness in priviledging you with his day, and the worship thereof, still waiting on him, and trusting in him for whatever good may come to you in it.

The Fifth Command.

Exodus 20. 12.‘Honour thy Father and thy Mother, that thy dayes may be long upon the Land which the Lord thy God giveth thee.’

OUR Lord Jesus Christ, Matth. 22. 37. sumeth up the whole Law in these two words, which he calleth the two great Commandements, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, with all thy soul, and with all thy mind, and thy Neighbour as thy sef, the two leggs that Piety in practise walketh upon; the one comprehendeth our duty to God, which runneth through all thee Ten Commands, but doth more eminently exert it self in the first Four, whereof we have spoken: The other containeth our duty to our Neighbour; which is set down more parti­cularly in the last Six Commands, whereof we are now to speak; and how eye, many do ignorantly and wickedly look on duty to man as somewhat extrinsick to Religion, and duty to God, yet both have the same authority, both are put in ohe sum of the Law, both are written on Tables of Stone with the Lords own finger▪ and put within the Ark: And therefore we ought with a proportionable eare to inquire what God requireth of us as duty to others, as well as to himself: And we should make no less conscience of obedience to the one then to the other,

Before we come particularly to the fifth Command, we shal speak a little to these two, 1. Why love to God is called the first and great command▪ and love to our Neighbour the second, and only like to the first, Matth. 22. 38. 2. why hath the Lord carved out mens duty to others as well as to himself.

For the former of these, consider in the first place that the commands of the se­cond Table are equal to the commands of the first, in respect of the authority that injoyneth them, he that saith, Thou shalt have no other Gods before me, saith also, Thou shalt not kill, &c. Jam. 2. 11. In which respect it is said, Matth. 22. 39. the second is like unto this. 2. If we compare the two Tables together as to the matter contained in them, and the immediate object of each duty commanded; the du­ties of the first Table are greater, and the duties of the second Table lesser; the one relating more immediately, the other more mediately to Religion, in which respect they express peculiarly our love to God, which is called the first and great [Page 189] command; for the first four commands require that which in its own nature is worship, and is in an immediate way to be given to God; but the duites required in the other six, are not properly, formally and immediately called for as parts of worship to God, though, as they are acknoweledgments of him, they may be con­sequentially thereto referred.

As to the 2. Why the Lord hath in so short a sum particularly set down our duty to others, as well as to himself and shewed how every one should carry towards another; We would speak to it the rather, that there are six commands in the se­cond Table, and but four in the first Table, and the Lords commending the duties of the second Table hath said, the second is like unto the first, because he would have it in our careful observance, going along with the first; And the Apostles as well as the Lord, in pressing holiness, do ordainarily instance in the duties of the second Table, as Luke 10. 26. What is written in the Law? how readest thou? Math. 5. 27▪ thou shalt not commit Adultery, &c. Rom. 13. 8. 9. 10. Jam. 2. 8. 11. &c. And the reasons of it may be these: 1. To teach his people that it is his will, that they should be holy in all manner of conversation; therefore there is no piece of duty called for, but it is comprehended in a command, even the least thing, eating, drinking, and whatsoever they do, 1 Cor 10. 31. 1 Pet. 1. 15. 16. he would have them careful to be holy not only in the Church, but also in the Market▪ in the shop, at home, abroad, not only in prayer, but at the plough, &c. 2. To hold out the great extent of holiness, or what holiness he requireth in his people; It was a great mistake in the Pharisees, that they placed the main part of Religion in the performance of external duties of the first Table▪ whereas the Lord layeth both Tables together, to tell that they must march up together in our practise, and that it will not be Holiness in it's self, and in Gods account to perform the one with­out the other: 3. Because the Lord would have his Law a perfect Rule, that the man of God might be perfect, throughly furnished to every good word and work. 2 Tim. 3. 17. therefore is the second Table given, that we may know how to walk towards others as well as towards God, that Masters may know their duty▪ Servants theirs, &c. and that none are left to an arbitrariness therein, but that all are tyed to a Rule: 4. Because men are ready to slight holiness in reference to the second Table; hence there will be some kind of awe of God on men, in re­ference to the duties of the first Table, so that they dare not altogether neglect prayer, hearing the word, &c. and yet they will make little or no conscience of loving their neighbour, or of shewing mercy, as we see in the Pharisees: 5. Be­cause it is no less necessary for Christians living together as to their Being and well▪being and mutual thriving, that they do duty one of them to another with respect to the command, then that they all do their duty to him; how else can folks live well together in a Family or other Societies, if each therein do not duty to another? the neglect of this makes them as a house divided against it self, which cannot stand; 6. That the Lord may have the more clear and convincing ground of challenge against such as slight these commands, and live in envy, malice, oppres­sion, &c. for none can say he knew not these to be sins, Mic. 6. 7. The Lord hath shewed thee, O man, what is good, that thou do Justice, and love Mercy, &c. and he beginneth at the Duties of the second Table, the more to stop their mouths▪ If they should say, they knew not that they should be holy, or how to be holy in [Page 190] these▪ he had it to say, that he had told them: For these, and such like reasons, the Lord hath been so particular in, and hath added his Authority unto, the commands of the second Table as well as to these of the first, that we may lay the greater weight on them.

From the Connection of the two Tables, we may observe these three generals, first, That there is no part of a mans conversation in reference to his walk with others as well as God, what ever be his Calling or Station, but he ought to be Reli­gious and holy in it; God hath directed men how to carry in all things. 2. That it is a necessary part of Religion in respect of the command of God enjoyning it, and in order to our thriving in holiness, to be conscientious in duties to others, as well as in immediate duties to God, who in his Law requireth both. 3. That where kindly and true Obedience is given to the first Table, Obedience will be given to the second also, where Conscience putteth to pray and keep the Sabbath, it will also put to do duty to our Neighbour; he purposely putteth these together in the Gospel, when the Pharisees would separate them, and what God hath conjoyned let no man put asunder.

It may be here inquired: what it is to be religious in these common duties we owe to others? Answ. Though we cannot instance in any thing, wherein Religion hath not it`s place; yet we shal pitch on a few things, that it more especially imply­eth: And 1. It is necessary that the matter of the duty be commanded, and 2. That respect be had to the command in the doing of it, a man must not only pro­vide for his Family, but he must do it religiously, a Master must not use his Servants, as he pleaseth, the Servant must not abuse the Masters simplicity, but obey in fear and trembling, &c. Ephes. 6. 5. Col. 3. 22. in which places the Apostle presseth Servants to look to these things, while many of them had Heathen Masters (and what is spoken to them may be applyed to all, in all Callings and Stations, and serve to direct how to be religious in common duties). And 1. As to the end, it is re­quired, that they serve not men only, but the Lord, and so eye his glory, the adorn­ning of the Gospel, the edification of others, there being nothing we do, wherein we ought not to have an higher end then our selves or men. 2. That they have a re­ligious Motive in their Service, implyed in these words, not with eye Service, as men pleasers, but as doing Service to the Lord in obedience to him, and not to men; not so much because their Masters command, as because God commandeth; not for the fashion nor meerly for profit, but because commanded of God. 3. That for the man­ner it be in singleness of heart chearfully and readily. 4. That respect be had to the promise as well as to the command, for their through bearing in their Service, and for their Encouragement in the Faith of their being accepted through Christ as it is Ephes. 6. 8. Coll. 3. 24. else it were a sad thing for a Christian servant to be in hard Service, and have no more to expect but a but of meat and a penny-hire from men, but Christian servants may eye the heavenly reward in sweeping the house, as well as in the religious duties of Gods immediate worship.

For helps to understand the commands of the second Table, we may consider these four Scriptures, which will hold out so many rules for that end: The 1. and principal one is Mat. 22. 39. Thou shalt love thy Neighbour as thy self, which shew­eth that there should be a warmness of affection in us to our neighbour, opposite to hatred (Levit. 19. 17. 18.) revenge, malice, inward grudging; and no doubt this warmness of love, making a man measure his duty to others by the love he hath to himself, will notably help to understand and observe all the duties of the second Table. The 2. is Mat. 7. 12. Therefore all things, whatsoever ye would that men [Page 191] should do to you, do ye even so to them, which is a rule of general equity, and is op­posite to partiality and self-love, which undermineth all the duties of the second Table; and this is of a general and universal extent, to all persons and things, such as buying and selling, to duties betwixt man and wife, neighbour and neighbour, Master and Servant, &c. The 3. is Philip. 2. 4. Look not every man on his own things, but every man also on the things of others, a notable effect of love, not only to wish well to our neighbours, but to seek and procure their good, and it is opposite to selfishness and regardlesness of the good of others, if we be well our selves. The 4. is Rom. 12. 10. Be kindly affectionate one to another with brotherly love in honour pre­ferring one another, be kindly to, and manifest your esteem of, your Neighbour, not in a complementing way, but really and heartily, which by James is called the fulfilling of the Law, and by the Apostle John the old and new commandement, where­in there is more Religion then many are aware of, more then in knowledg, specul­ations and empty notions: but oh! How short are we in these more common duties, that lye, as it were, among our feet? We come now to the Fifth command, which is the first of the second Table, and it containeth 1. a precept. 2. a Promise, and so it is called by the Apostle Ephes. 6. 2. the first Command with promise, which must be upon one of these grounds, either 1▪ because it is the first command that hath a par­ticular promise, that promise in the Second command being general & applicable (as it is actually applyed there) to all the commands, or 2. because this is the first command of the second Table; and often in the new Testament the commands are recknoned and instanced by that Table, especially when duties betwixt man and man are press­ed: And if it be said, that it is the only command of the second Table, that hath a promise, it is answered, it is the only command that hath an express promise: Beside it is not absurd to read it thus, it is the first command (i. e.) of the second Table; and to press it the more, the promise added to it is mentioned; so that to ur [...]e obedience to it the more strongly, it is not only the first Command, saith the Apostle of the se­cond Table, but it hath a promise also added to it: And this certainly is the Apostles scope to press its observation.

In the precept we are 1, To consider the Object, Father and Mother: 2. The Duty, honour. 1. Again, concerning the first, it is to be considered that this Com­mand in its scope respecteth the duty that we owe to all Relations, whether they be above us, inferiour to us, or equal with us: This is clear from Christs summing all the second Table, and consequently this command with the rest, in that comprehen­sive general, Thou shalt love thy Neighbour as thy self; and therefore our Neighbour in general must be the object of this Command, as well as of the rest, and so it tak­eth in all the duties of honour that every one oweth to another, whatever be their place; there is a duty of honour and respect called for from every one to every one: And so Eph. 5. 22. it is pressed upon Wives toward their Husbands; and 1 Pet. 3. 7. upon Husbands towards their Wives, which must be comprehended here: Thus Father and Mother are hear to be largely and synecdochically understood, one sort of Relations being in a figurative manner put for all the rest. 2. Under them are com­prehended all Superiours for place, in Church or Common-wealth, who in Scrip­ture get the Title of Fathers, as Magistrates, Supreme and Subltern, Ministers and all Church-Officers, Teachers, Overseers, and all in the place of Fathers, 1 Cor. 4. 15. yea, they who are to be esteemed, as such for gifts of Learning, Wisdom, Grace and Piety, Acts 7. 2. or for their worldly means and outward estate, as Josepb was, Gen. 45, 8. or for their age, and the reverence due to them on that account, 2 Kings 2. 12. in a word, any sort of emenencie putteth one in that roll of Fathers [Page 192] largely taken, though they be not properly such. 3. We are called in the first place to look to the duties of this relation, as it is domestick, such as of a Master over the Servant, of a Husband over the Wife, &c. and then cometh the carriage of one toward another in general, and though most properly the duties of Pa­rents, mediate or immediate, over their Children or Nephews, be here pointed at, which is most literal, yet the former also is included, all particulars of that kind being by a figure comprehended under one.

If it be asked here, Why the mother is added? Answ. 1. Because although the mother be not so qualified for the rule and government of the Children▪ yet she is no less intituled to their acknowledgment and this parental honour by the la­bour, toil, and tenderness of their birth and education, and in this, as well as in the disposition of the members of the body mentioned 1. Cor. 12. v. 22. 23, and 24. the excellent attemperation of God, wisdom is very conspicuous, by ballanc­ing the greater authority of the Father with the greater pains and care of the Mo­ther, that the Childrens duty of love, honour, and gratitude▪ may return to both with a suitable equality. 2. She is added to shew that it is not only the most eminent Superiour or Neighbour to whom honour is due, but even these who have more weakness, and especially the Mother: Hence it is that alwayes almost in the Pro­verbs, where duty to the Father is pressed, the Mother is also named with him, to shew that Children should not think that less respect is due to the Mother then to the Father; yea, sometimes the Mother is prefixed to the Father, as Lev. 19. 3. Ye shall fear every man his Mother and his Father, which is done to meet with the humour of many who are ready to lessen their duty to their Mother, and there­fore we are called to it even in her old age, Prov 23▪ 22. and to guard against de­spising of her then, which is too readily and frequently incident. Thus doth the Lord provide in his word against our corruption, which is ready to take advantage of debording and outbreaking at the weakest part.

If it be further asked, Why all Superiours, yea all Neighbours, are spoken of as Fathers and Mothers? Answ. These reasons are obvious from the scope: I [...] is 1. to shew that the duties of this Command are mutual amongst all relations▪ it giveth Superiours their due, yet so as that it teacheth them also how to carry to­ward their Inferiours, that is, to be Fathers to them; and that the relation necess­arily implyeth a mutual tye; therefore this Command doth not only direct inferi­ours in their duty towards Superiours, but also Superiours in their duty to their Inferiours. 2. They get this name to make their subjection to each other, and their mutual relations and duties the more sweet and kindly, when the subjection is to be given as by a Son to a Father, and when it is exacted and expected as by a Father from a Son; which consideration should be a kindly motive to all mut­ual duties, and also an inducement to hide infirmities; and to construct tenderly of failings. And thus the denomination of the natural relation seems to be bor­rowed, to establish and strengthen the positive Relation, which of its self is no [...] so binding of the Conscience by Nature's light. So much for the Object of thus Duty.

The Duty it self here called for, is honour, which is also largely to be understood, both as it taketh in the inward esteem of others in our heart, and also the evi­dencing of this in outward expresions in our conversation: For by this Command [Page] it appeareth that there is, 1. Some eminencie in every man; 2. That every one should observe that and honour it in another; What is it then to honour them? It is not to complement them, and only seemingly to reverence them, but▪ it consisteth especially in these, 1. In observing and acknowledging what is eminent in any for nature, grace, station, or other▪ accidental things, and if there appear no more in a man, yet as he beareth any thing of Gods Image, or is a Christian and Member of Christs Church, he is thus to be honoured. 2. There ought to be an esteem of him, and we should really have an honourable account of him, and that in some respect beyond our selves in some one thing or other. 3. It lyeth much in love, and kindly or affectionate reverence, as is hinted Rom. 12. 10. 4. It taketh in obedience according to our stations▪ flowing from a disposition of heart to obey, Heb. 13▪ 17. 5. It reacheth both to the thought of the heart, and to our secret carriage, there should not be in our secret chamber any despising or wishing ill to him, Eccles. 10▪ 20. 6. It comprehendeth a holy fear and aw that should be joyned with it, Lev. 19. 3.

Honour being thus fixed in the heart, it is to be expressed, 1. In words, by respective and reverent speaking and giving answers, or making suits; Sarah cal­led her Husband Lord, 1. Pet▪ 3. 6. 2. It is expressed in gestures by bowing ris­ing up, keeping silence sometimes before others. Job. 29. not answering again, Tit. 2. 9. saluting, &c. Col. 4. 15. 3. In deeds, by obedience and testifying res­pect that way which is generally called gratitude, therefore obedience to Pa­rents, Eph. 6. 1. is drawn from this Command, which presseth obedience upon men according to their relations 4. In our means, communicating thereof when it is called for; so tribute to whom tribute is due, Rom. 13. 7. and double honour to the Elders that rule well, 1 Tim 5. 17. acording to the acceptation of honour used in that precept, Honour the Lord with thy substance, Prov. 3. 9. 5. In our prayers for them 2 Tim. 2. 1. 6. In covering their infirmities, Gen. 9. 21. 22.

As the breaches of this Command may be easily gathered hence▪ as being oppo­site to these, so this rule is alwayes to be carried along in practice, that this honour and obedience must be still in the Lord; that is, there must be a reserving to the Lord his due, for God is the supreme Father, and all our respect to under-fathers of the flesh is to be subordinate to the Father of Spirits, Heb. 12. 9. so as he may have the first place for whose cause we give reverence to them, & so that word is still true, Acts▪ 4▪ 19. It is better to obey God then man; man is only to be obeyed in the Lord▪ Ephes. 6. 1. And thus refusing to comply with unjust commands, is not disobedi­ence to Parents, but high obedience to God, the refusal being conveyed respectful­ly and after the due manner.

Again the branches of this Command are exceeding large; two things by it are especially called for, 1. Love, 2 Honour, and whatever is opposite to and inconsistent with these, is a breach of this Command▪ wherein we are to observe, 1. The object of our love and respect, it is all men, 1 Pet. 2. 17. Honour all men; love the Brotherhood; our Neighbour here in the largest sense comprehending all men; 2. Consider that the act of love and honour that is required is most intense. we must love onr Neighbour as our self, and this reacheth far. 3. Consider that it tak­eth in all that is our Neighbours▪ his name, fame, credit, and estate, &c. but especial­ly love to his salvation▪ because in this mostly doth his concernment lye▪ 4. It [Page 194] taketh in all midses or means that are for his true honouring▪ [...]r the vindicating of of his name when he is defamed; hence Psalm 15. it is the property of an accurate walker, n [...]t to tak [...] up an evil report against his Neighbour, even when it is brought to him and laid before him. 5. Yet there is a difference to be observed in the putting forth of our love and testifying of our respect; for we should love him as our selves, but in giving respect and honour, we are to prefer others to our selves: to love our Neighbours as our selves, importeth the kind and reality of our love, we are to love him no less truly then our selves (for we also come in here as the objects of our own love) but we are some way to honour him beyond our selves.

If it be asked, How can that be? 1. That one should love all men? Should we love them all alike and equally? And 2. ought we to prefer every man to our selves?

To the former we say. 1. This Command requireth, as to the object, that we love all men, excluding none from our love good or bad (while they are within the roll of men, capable to be prayed for) friend or enemy, for we should love them that hate us, and bless them that curse us. 2. As to the main things destred, or the subject matter of our wishes for them, our love should be alike to­ward all; our love being a willing of good to others, we should desire the great­est good to all men, that is▪ peace with God, Christ, Heaven, Sanctification, Re­pentance, &c. that lead to it, there is here no inequality, nor two Heavens, a greater and a lesser to be the subject matter of our wishes and desires. 3. If we consider our love as to the act of loving in the kind of it, it is equal, we being cal­led to love sincerely cordialy, and with the whole heart, perfectly; every man.

If ye ask then, Wherein is there any difference allowed? Answ. If we con­sider 1. The effects of this Love, they may and ought to be more manifested towards one then another; we are to pray more for one then another; to com­municate and to distribute more to one then to another, according to the oppor­tunities we have, and according to the particulare relations and callings that God putteth us in; for beside our general relation to all men, we have particular re­lations to some beyond others; hence may a man do more for his Children, and these of his own house, then for others; so may we pray for some men more and oftner, as their necessity is concerned, and as they may be more useful. 2. In respect of frequencie, our Love may and ought to vent it self more frequently towards some then others, and so it differeth from that general Love we owe to all. 3. In respect of sympathy, we are to be more touched with the hurt and hazard of some and more sensibly desirous of their good then of that of others, and so our love ought to affect us more, and stir more sensibly in reference to some then others, as in the case of a woman toward her Child, and of one dear friend to another; such was the sympathy between Jonathan and David, who thought they loved many others, yet was there a more peculiar sympathy betwixt themselves as to all things that concerned them, good and evil; thus may arise from natural relalions▪ particular obligations, mutual familiarity, and others special grounds. 4 According to the diversity of concurrent circumstances, we may sometimes wish temporal good to one, and sometimes temporal rods to an­other; providing alwayes it be out of a true desire of, and respect to their spi­ritual good. 5▪ In respect of complacencie and delight accompanying the Act of [Page] loving there may be a difference▪ for there may be much more delight and satis­faction in loving one then another, as there appeareth more of holiness in one then another; so godly men love even natural men if of good parts, civil and friendly, more then others that are destitute of such qualifications; but it men be also gracious, they not only love them the more, but also acquiesce the more and have the greater complacencie in them on that account.

If it be asked from whence these differences, as to the effects of our love do flow? Answ. They may arise 1. From natural relations; 2. From the differ­ence that is among men in their carriages, humours, and such like, as they are less or more ingaging; 3. From external circumstances, of acquaintance, fami­liarity, or particular ingagements; 4. From favours, so men may love their benefactors more (in the forementioned sense) then others▪ 5. From civil re­lations and intrests; 6 They may arise from a religious and christian interest and relation, so we are to love the godly, not only more then other men in the world, but also we are to love them 1. on another account than we love others, to wit, because they are such, because they are true members of the same body, are loved of God, and have his Image shining in them▪ 2. With more delight and acquieseing complacencie, as David doth, Psal. 16. 3. 3. There should be another way of venting our love to them then to others, both in spiritual and temporal things, thus loving the Brotherhood is distinguished, 1 Pet. 2. 17. from loving or honouring all men▪ so also the houshold of faith, Gal. 6. 10, is especially to be con­sidered in our love.

If it be asked then, How differeth love to the godly from common love? Answ. That there is a difference, is clear from the forcited Scriptures, Psal. 16. 3. 1 Pet, 2. 17. and from 2 Pet. 1. 7. where brotherly kindness is distinguished from charity: In a word then, it differeth 1. In it's acquiescing complacencie, though there may be some sort of complacencie comparatively in others, yet simply and properly it is to be exercised toward the godly. 2. It is on another account as is said, to wit, as they are loved of God, love to them runneth in another channel, and hath another spring and rise, Matth. 10, ult. 3. It should be in a more high and intense degree, as to its exercise, because God is more concerned in them; and though good should be done to all, yet especially to this houshold of Faith. And the manifestation of our love even towards the godly may be less or more, accord­ing as less or more of God appeareth in them, or in their way.

If it be further asked? How we can love wicked men, and if their being such should not marr our love to them? Answ. We speak not here of such as are de­barred from the prayers of the people of God, and who are known to have sin­ned the sin which is against the Holy Ghost; nor do we speak indefinitely of final enemies, these (according to all) being excluded from our love: But we say that other particular wicked men, as to their persons (whatever hatred we may bear to their evil deeds) are to be loved in the forementioned sense, yet their wick­edness may 1. marr complacencie in them, that they cannot, nor ought not to be delighted in, nor with pleasure conversed with. 2. It may marr the effects of love in the evidences and manifestations of them, for that Christians may, yea, and sometimes should keep up all or most testimonies of it from some, is clear from the Apostles direction enjoyning the noticing of some, that they may be ashamed, [Page 196] 2 Thess. 3. 14. 3. It may marr love in ordering its exercises, yea, and occasion the seemingly contrary effects, as their wishing for, and doing of some things temporal­ly adverse and cross to them, for their greater shame and humiliation, as is evident in the Psalmists prayer, Psalm 83. 16. Fill their faces with shame, that they may seek thy name, O Lord: so some out of love are to be corrected, ye punished tempo­rally, yet with a desire of, and respect to their eternal wealfare.

If it be yet asked, If, and how, one is to love himself? Answ. Self-love is so connatural to us, that in effect it is the mediate result of our sense of life, and con­sequently the very relish & endearment of all enjoyments, the spring of self▪preserva­tion and the best measure pointed out by our Lord himself, of the love and duty that we owe to others, which as it is the mean whereby we taste and see that God is good▪ and how great his goodness is to us▪ so it ought principally to refer it self, and all its pleasing objects, to him as the fountain of all, who is indeed Love; but yet it is that wherein ordinarly men do much exceed, as especially these follow­ing wayes.

1. They exceed in it when themselves are proposed as the end of their own actions, as it is [...]. Tim. 3. 2. when their own things sway more with them, and are sought more by them then 1. the things of God, to which the first place is alwayes due; and 2. then publick things, and the things of others, even in the cases wherein these do require the preference.

2. When it is terminated on the wrong object, as when they run out in the im­moderate pursuit of bodily and temporal things, caring more, if not only, for the body neglecting the better part.

3. When it is laid out for the pleasing of corrupt self and the making of provi­sion for the Flesh to fulfil its Lusts, Rom. 13. 14. Self love under these considerations is corrupt, and to be guarded against.

Answ. 2. Self love, or love to our self, is allowable when qualified with the following properties. 1. When it is subservient and subordinate to higher ends, and can hazard it self, and deny it self for Gods honour, for a publick good yea, and in some cases, out of respect to the good of others also, so a righteous man should, and when at himself, will do much▪ though with his own hazard, for a Christian friend, for the safety or edification of the Godly, or in defence of the inte▪rest of Christ. 2. When it is drawen out after spiritual things, and it's on these mostly that pains are taken, as how to grow in grace, to have a good conscience, to have the soul saved, sin mortified, &c. 3. when outward things are desired for the former ends, as when we pray, Give us this day our daily bread, that we may pro­move these ends, being willing to want them when they may not stand with these ends, and desiring life, means, &c. in so far only as they may be useful for the attainment of them. As the first self-love marreth duties to God, and thwarteth with them; so the second advanceth them and sweyeth strongly, yet sweetly to them.

Again, This Command is the first in order of the second Table, and is peculi­arly backed with a promise, to shew the concernment of the duty called for, the scope of it being to regulate that respect which each on oweth to another, that they may give each other due honour as the first effect of love▪ and the great band of all the other commands and enjoyned duties of the second Table, God being pleased [Page 197] to provide for that respect and honour that is due from one man to another, as well as for the security of their persons and estates, yea in some respect he prefer­reth this Command, to wit, that one hurt not another in their honour and estima­tion to these other relating to their persons and estates, and therefore he requireth honour in the first place, and afterward injoyneth the duties of not killing, not steal­ing, &c.

And although every man doth love respect and estimation among others, yet there is nothing wherein more liberally and even prodigally men incroach upon one another, then by the neglect and denyal of this duty, and by the contrary sin, though it be most directly op posite to love, and that general equity commanded whereby we should Do to others as we would have them to do to us, Therefore we con­ceive the Lord hath preferred this to the other five Commands, and hath so backed it with a promise, and also set it down positively, Honour thy Father, &c. for this end, that we may know it is not enough not to despise them, if they be not also positively honoured by us, even as it is not enough, not to prophane the Lords day by common and unnecessary works, if we do not positively sanctifie it: And it is not for nought that this duty is so much pressed, being a main bond of Christian and Civil Fellowship, keeping folks within the just bounds and limits which God hath set unto them.

If it be asked, What this duty of honouring our Neighbour doth include? Answ. It doth include these five things▪ 1. Respect to our Neighbours person; 2. to his place: 3. to his qualifications, either as he is furnished with natural or moral abi­lities, or as he is gracious; 4. to his accidental furniture in externals, a riches, credit with others &c. so David honoured Nabal; 5. in respect of mens actions as they deserve, or as they have done, or atchieved any thing where by good cometh, or may come to the Church or Commonwealth, Honour includeth the giving respect to onr Neighbour in all these.

If it be asked, If and how honour differeth from love? Answ. It differeth from love▪ in that love properly considereth men more generally, as they are capa­ble, of good, which we wish unto them: but this considereth them more particu­larly, as so and so qualified, and having such and such things in them deserving re­spect; for honour being bearing of testimony to something worthy of respect in such a one, it doth first consider what is worthy of honour in the person, that so it may bear a testimony truly, according as it findeth ground.

If it be asked, Whether ontward expressive evidences of honour are alwayes to be given to the persons honoured? Answ. Although indeed in honouring of God there needeth not alwayes an external expressive evidence of it; as for instance, a man may in the croud of Company honour God by ejaculatory Prayer without such external expression, as Nehemiah did in the presence of the King and Queen, cap. 2. v. 4. yet honour given to others must not only have the acknowledging of something worthy of estimation within, that it degenerate not into dissimulation, as the ordinary complementing strain doth, but must also have expressions without, to bear witness unto that which is within, in gesture, words, or other wayes, as men are called to the giving of them.

If it be asked, What honour doth import, and what may be comprehended un­der it? Answ. Under honour are comprehended, 1, Charitable constructions [Page 198] of mens actions, whereby what is doubtful is exponed to the best: It will not, nor ought not, I grant, determin a man to esteem every man gracious whom he knoweth not to be prophane, nor every thing to be truth spoken by him which he knoweth not to be false: But 1. it will keep a man from running into the extream of contrary judging of him as wicked, false, carnal, natural, graceless (a lament­able ill amongst even good people, too ready often to give such designations and epithes to their Neighbours, whether inferiour or superiour to them, on very little ground, and sometimes to persons who, without breach of charity, may be suppos­ed for true Religion, not to be much, if any thing at all, short of themselves) or such an one as some may call him, even though he know nothing of his goodness, yet because he knoweth not his evil, he forbeareth to conclude so harshly of him. 2. It will make him live with him as (to him at least) negatively gracious, and accept of what he saith for truth▪ not knowing any thing to the contrary, in so far as Christian prudence will permit him; and thus far a charitable construction will lead us in reference to our Neighbour, for we are not bound positively without ground to determine a thing to be right or wrong, or a man gracious or wicked when we have not certain knowledge, and so may be deceived; but we ought to walk with men whose bypocrisie and dishonesty we know not, as with good and honest men, yea, even where some slips or escapes are to be found. 2. Honour comprehendeth and taketh in humility so far as it respecteth and relateth to a hum­ble carriage amongst men, which is a grace moderating a man so, that he prefer­reth not himself inordinately to others, either in respect of place or parts, or other such like grounds▪ which Christ commendeth in the Gospel; and enjoyneth that men should not love the uppermost rooms, or first salutations, but seek to prefer others, and be to their own honour as weaned children▪ or new born babes, Matt. 18. 3. readier to serve and give honour to others, then desirous of service and honour from them, and this not in complement, but in reality. 3. It tak­eth in esteem of others, and vindicating of their name and [...]ame, that they may be accounted of, and be in good repute with others▪ endeavouring their vindica­tion then most when they are wronged▪ seeing a good name is so essential a part of honour, Eccles 7. 1. 4. It taketh in praise which is the commendation of a fact praise worthy, or of such and such laudable things, bestowed on the person by God. 5. Gratulation and rejoycing at anothers good, as if it were our own, 6. I [...] taketh in mercy and communication by way of charity to others.

Now all these effects of honour are to be drawn forth according to the stations we are in, and the relations we sustain, and as we stand in reference to others according to their stations and relations, of husband, wife, servant, master, son, father, friend, &c. And no doubt more even of this owtward respect would contribute not alttle to our hearty and comfortable living together.

These being some of the commanded duties the contrary vices are prohibit­ed▪ as 1. Rash judging, taking up a prejudice upon unsure grounds that will not bear such a thing▪ and this may be either a weakness proceeding from ignorance; or a prejudice flowing from malice at the mans person, which is more readily in­clined to construe so and so of such a man and his Actions then of another: The first may be removed, & the person faulty in it will be desirous to have it removed, [Page 199] and will esteem more of the person mistaken, when it is removed, as Eli did for Hannah 17. 1 Sam. 1. 17. The second is hardly removed and admitteth not of the mean which may remove it, leaving no room for information, Apology, Vindication, &c. 2. Pride and Presumption are condemned here, Pride where­by one with Diotrephes affecteth the preheminency, a higher office or precedency in the same office, the first salutation, the highest room at Table, &c. Presump­tion, whereby a man is ready to undertake something above his ability, as if he were more fit and able for it then indeed he is; even as on the contrary Pusillanimi­ty is a scarring to reach to, and adventure upon, what a man is able for, and called to. 3. Vanity or vain Glory, much blazing abroad our own good actions, or delighting to have them known to others, that they may blaze them. 4 Osten­tation making shew of what good is in us, and following what is good for that end, and in such a way as it may be taken notice of by men, as the Pharisees, who only sought their own glory in their prayers and alms. 5. Envy, which is a grief and sadness for the honour of another, that such a good Turn should fall in his hand, or that he should be honoured, followed or respected, as if his being ho­noured and preferred did detract from their own credit and honour; it differeth from fear, which is a sadness that an Enemy is preferred, because they may suffer and be in hazard from him; this Envy floweth principally from pride, whereby folks would monopolize all honour, and what is honourable unto themselves, and are grieved when it is not so, a manifest fruit of the flesh, Gal. 5. 21. and a prime and most destructive enemy to Graces, and yet very rife in this hypocritical age, and much incident to religious folks, especially to Ministers and persons of gifts; an ambitious humour, coveting to excel and darken all that are about them, when as it were much more Christian and congruous for a man to whom God may have given more then he hath done to others, self denyedly to vail, and studiously to obscure himself in some Cases, least he sadden or Eclipse others or draw more Observation to himself. 6. Emulation, which is a seeking to go be­yond another in esteem, not from any love of vertue, but only out of an envious desire of having the prehemience of such a person, of out stripping him, and of bearing him down in his reputation; it followeth on the former. 7. Detraction, a vice whereby men understand whisper what may be to the dishonour of another, even though it be a truth, using insinuations, and such a manner of seeming re­spect to the detracted, as may make the blot and infamy to stick as when many commendations are given a man, not out of any respect to him, but to make some reproach cast upon him go down the better, and be the more easily believed, as coming from such a one who respecteth and loveth the man; as, he is discreet, of great parts, &c. but by which but all is overturned. 8, Contention and Strief are also opposite to this command, and any thing whereby, directly or indirectly, mediately or immediately, the fame of our Brother, and his estimation is reflected upon, which are of a large extent. 9. Mocking, disdaining, taunting, and such like are plainly against this command and forbidden in it.

There are some Questions that do arise from what is said:

1. Quest If all men should be honoured? Yea, if even wicked men also?

Answ. 1. Wicked men known to be such cannot be honoured, as if they were gracious; neither can any place or dignity, meerly as such, have what is due and proper to grace attributed to it without guilt, the doing whereof we conceive [Page 200] is that sin reproved by James chap. 2. 1. to wit, the accounting of rich men, that were wicked to be more religious then others not so rich, and possibly there may be much guilt of this sin in Titles and Dedications of Books▪ where the most religious pious, &c. are often unwarrantably put among the Styles.

2. Yet there is a civil honour, which they may get, and we are called to give them upon several accounts as 1. on the account of their place, if Magistrates, honour to whom honour is due, is in that respect enjoyned, Rom. 13. 7. 2. Of their relation, if they be Fathers, Mothers, &c. as it is 1 Tim. 6. 2. 1 Pet. 2. 3 3. Of their other Quali­fications and parts, or on other accounts, yea even on this general account, that they are men having immortal fouls, capable of grace, & of being restored to Gods Image, our evidencing of honour to them is called for,

2. Quest. If rich men should be honoured? Answ. Riches of themselves, and for themselves, are not honourable, neither can they make the Possessor such: But Riches may make one capable of doing more good, and of being more useful in Church and Commonwealth, and consequently of being deservedly honoured; and no doubt a rich man is to be respected, as a steward intrusted with some thing to be employed for the honour of God, and for the good of others▪ and riches, when well improved to these ends, they become useful▪ and therefore in that Case the Professors of them are to be honoured; but when abused, the person is more vile, so David, at first, honoured Nabal as a Father, and called himself his Son, but after that his churlishness appeared and discovered it self so grosly, there was on such honour due to him, nor given him.

As to what the Apostle James discourseth chap. 2. 1. 2. certainly he doth not there simply condemn all reverencing of rich men, but the doing of it, 1. On a religi­ous account, and in religious things, 2. When there was only care taken for ac­commodating them in Assemblies, and no care all for accommodating poor ones, as if because they were not rich they had been without all interest in the Gospel; the honouring of the one and that joynetly with the contempt of the other made the fruit. 3. It was condemned by him, because done for an evil end▪ viz. for slattering of rich men, these reprove by bhim for doing it, not being single, but selfish in what they did, seeking only their own advantage. 4 The preferring of rich men as▪ and because, they are such, as more religious then poor ones, who it may be have much more religion then they, is the acceptation of persons condemned here by the Apostle James, to wit, when a rich man is preferred as more godly, and only because more rich; before a poor man alike godly or more godly then he.

Quest. 3. Wherein consisteth the difference that is betwixt the respect, which is to be given to a good man, and that which is to be given to another, when both are alike in outward things.

Answ. 1. It may be that in outward signes and evidences of respect there be no difference, the one may get as low courtesie as the other. But 2. There is a heart Testimony and respect such as Paul had in the consciences generally of all, but especially of his gracious [...]earers, that is, an Approbation that he is worthy of ho­nour, not only for the outward capacity he is in to do good, but for actual improv­ing of it to that end, which is a far other thing then outward Civility.

2. In this there is a difference betwixt the respect given to the one, [Page 101] and that which is given to the other; in that some-thing of gracious conformity to the Image of God, beside other common commendable Qualifications, being dis­covered in the good man, he is (at least ought to be) with more complacency de­lighted in, then the natural man, though as to outward things in the same Station with him.

3. Honour floweth more natively to the Godly, the object drawing it unto it in a native way.

If it be asked, whither or not a man may seek his own honour and fame, and how? Answ. A man ought not to seek it, as men of the world do, to satisfie the lust of the pride of life: nor inordinately beyond his line, nor even in externals-no [...] ever as his last end, and as the chief thing; for honor being the Testimony of excel­lency, and a good name, a Testimony of that vertue which is in a man, he is first to study vertue as the solid good, whereof the other is but the lustre, vertue being indeed the main thing to be sought after, whether a good name (as to men) be se­perate from it or not. 2. Yet may it be sought as a thing that is desirable and good (it being sought in a right manner and by way of concomitance) a good name being above great riches, Prov. 22. 1. 3. It is ever to be sought in the way of vertue and welldoing; flattery and crooked dealing being never warrantable, and in the follow­ing of Good, men are to walk through ill report as well as good report. 4. It is to be sought in things relating to Godliness, not in riches, or honor, or eloquence, or great learning, but honesty, faithfulness, holiness; thus Paul disclaimeth, seek­ing the applause of being a learned, or eloquent or wise man, he disdained these; seeking it only in the faithful, single and zealous discharge of his Ministry among the Corinthians: 5. This Testimony or Respect is to be sought after even with a piece of holy ambition in the Consciences of others, but not so much in the outward evidences and testifications of it: To be commended and approved in the consciences of these we live among is desirable, and that which also Paul, himself aimed at. 6. This respect would be a step for an higher end, that so all our respect may be im­proved and made use of for the honour of God.

5 Quest. If it be asked how, and in what manner, are we to pursue or seek our own honour? Answ. See what the Scripture saith, 1 Sam. 2. 30. Them that ho­nour me I will honour: And first the honouring of God is praise-worthy and honour­able in it self; Gold hath not more its lustre, a Rubie or Diamond its beauty, nor the sun its light and glory, then godliness and vertue, whereby God is honoured, are radiant to their own praise. 2. If after by reason of human infirmity, and other disadvantages, this radiancy be obscured, or through mens ignorance, folly or ma­lignity, this worthiness not observed or not esteemed, the Lord undertakes for the former, and vindicates from the latter, telling us plainly, them that honour me, I will honour, and hence it is, that we so often find in Scripture, honour attributed to those things that are so low and mean in the eyes of men, as 1. To taking with In­struction, Prov. 3. 16. 2. To yielding to Correction, even when unjust, 1 Pet. 2. 20. 3. To Submission to parents, as in this command. 4. To humility and to passing of wrongs, and ceasing from strife, Prov. 20, 3. In a word therefore the high-path way to honour, is by humility, the fear of the Lord, obedience, sub­mission and selfdenyedness: Whereby the Lord, as it were, to make honour the more honorable will have it rather to be his pure gift, then either our study or pur­chase▪

Quest. 6. If it be asked, how one can fulfill that part of the command, enjoyning us to prefer another to our selves? Answ. 1. This is not to be universally and simply: [Page] understood, as if we were called in every thing to do so, and to every person, for we may know that some are more ignorant and more prophane than we are in many practises, guilty of things we may be free of, and so we are not obliged to judge contrary to truth: Yet 2. in some one respect or other we may prefer them, as 1. In that they may have something beyond us, they are possibly more humble, more single, zealous, diligent, &c. though inferiour to us in other things. 2. They may have much good we know not. 3. We certainly know, or at least may know, more evil in our selves than in them, and therefore are to prefere them to our selves. 4. We know more aggravations of our own evils then of theirs; and there­fore simply we may without hypocrisie prefer men generally to our selves, though we in particulars could not do so, nor give unto every one in every thing the precedency.

We come now to speak a little of the promise, which is added to stir up to the more serious Observation of this command, and as for the nature of it, it is a tem­poral one, peculiarly applyed to Israel here, yet generally agreeing to all and so applyed as to the substance of it by the Apostle, Ephes. 6 2. 3. where he putteth earth for land, whereby he insinuateth that it is to be understood of any land where­in God shall please to cast a mans Lot to reside or inhabit as well as of Jude [...], so then.

If it be asked, whether or not this promise is to be simply understood; and the accomplishment of it without any restriction expected or looked for? Answ. Al­though this promise seems to have a peculiar respect unto that Dispensation, where­in not only the Saints everlasting rest was prefigured by that temporal rest in the land of Canaan, but also the more obscure manifestations of the life and immor­tality brought to light by the Gospel, supplyed as it were by more full and assuring promises of earthly blessings▪ yet seeing the Apostle, as we have touched, doth in the pressing of this command also accommodate to us it's promise, we think it holds out that such, who through Grace are enabled to give obedience to the command, may by vertue of the promise annexed, expect from God even out­ward things, in so far as the having of them, shall be for their good and spiritual advantage. And 2. They may with confidence promise themselves, that what­ever they have in the world, or▪ how many or few days▪ soever they may have in it, yet all shall be with Gods blessing and peace: And 3. That their death shall never be untimely: And 4. What seeming defect soever may be in the perform­ance as to length of days▪ here shal be abundantly made up by eternity hereafter in Heaven; what then will or can be the prejudice of few days on Earth?

From the annexing of this promise to the command, these two things clearly follow▪ 1. That there are temporal promises made to Godliness. 2. That a Godly man hath that right which none other hath to inherit the earth.

If it be asked here, whether or not a wicked man hath a right to any thing in the world? Answ. 1. There is a threefold right▪ the first is, a creature-right, whereby any of Gods creatures have a right to any thing in his creation that is use­ful for them, when it is simply necessary, and not occupied by another under the like need; and after the similitude of this right, Crows, and so other living crea­tures▪ may take their meat one the field of any man▪ thus a man starving, may for himself, or his brother (if in the like condition) when the proper owner of any Corn [Page 203] cannot be gotten, put to his hand and tak of them for preventing of death by hunger and so likewayes it may be in other things all things being made for the use of man at the first, and committed to him; and the orderly dividing of mens lots and portions, having been but the better to further that end, and not to marr it, is not to take place when it thwarteth with it; thus the Disciples did pluck and eat the ears of Corn when they were an hungred, though the corn was not their own: God also, who hath the absolute dominion, hath so given to man a property, that he hath reserved a right to himself to make use of it (when need re­quireth) for the good of other creatures▪ thus he provideth for Crows Ravens, &c. out of one mans stock or other. 2. There is a positive or Civil right amongst men, so that one man hath right to such a piece of Land, another not; both these rights a wicked man may have, and both Land and such right to it good men may often want in particular cases▪ So that if there were a civil contest betwixt a good man and a wicked for some Land or other such thing, the qualifications of the persons would neither make the right of the one better, or more valid, nor of the, other, worse or less valid, as we may see Lev. 19. 15. 3. There is a right by grace which sanctifieth the former rights, and putteth a man in case not only warran­tably before men, but also before God, to make use of the creatures, so that he may see and visit his Tabernacle, and take the moderate use of any lawful refresh­ment, and not sin, Job 5. 24. The man hath not only his daily bread, but hath it by Gods promise, and upon this ground we pray, Give us this day our daily bread; this right his peculiar to a Believer and godly man, which none other, possess what they will, can lay claim unto, for godliness and no other thing, Hath the promise both of this life and of that which is to come, 1 Tim. 4 8. therefore we may upon good ground say, that Godliness is great gain.

If it be yet further asked, But what advantage have godly men by these tem­poral promises? Answ. This is not their advantage to be alway abounding in these owtward things; that is neither so de facto and eventually, nor were it meet it should be so; but 1. they have a promise of what is needful and useful, simply even of temporal things which no wicked man hath, they shall, Psal. 84. want no good thing, yea, though lyons suffer hunger, Psal. 34▪ 10. yet they that seek the Lord, shal not want any good thing. 2 They may pray for these things so far as they are needful, and may confidently expect them and go to God for them by vertue of that right▪ ere they get them so, Matth 6. 11. It is our daily bread by allowance and promised before we get it. 3 If a natural man abound, he cannot promise himself the continuance of meat till the end of his life; no, not so much as his dinner to morrow, nor life till then▪ but if a Believer live, he may expect the continuance of as much food as shall be necessary for him; if he have nothing, he may con­fidently promise himself both life and food to morrow, if either or both of them be needful more nor a wicked man that hath more wealth, health, and outward protection can do. 4 He may promise himself the blessing and the sanctified use of what he enjoyeth, which another cannot. 5. He may have peace, whether he have or want, in the injoyment of creaturs, or in their scarcity because he hath a right to them, for it is not from want of right to creature comforts that scarcity of them cometh, but God, like a wise and skilful Physitian keepeth back meat for health where there is abundance in the right, and to be given also when needful; so that comparing him with a wicked man, whether he have or want, [Page 104] whether he enjoy more plentifully, or be in scarcity, he hath still the better of him by fare; which should make us all love godliness the more, which hath so great an advantage as this attending it.

Thus much in short of the promise annexed to this Command. To descend to speak particularly of all the several relations comprehended under it, as of Magistrates and Subjects: Church-Officers, Pastors, Guids and Rulers, and ordinary Church members; Husbands and Wives; Parents and Children; Masters and Servants, &c. and of their respective duties, would be a large task, and draw us forth a great length beyond our design in this undertaking; and somewhat to this purpose being already spoken from the third and fourth Chapters of the Epistle to the Colossians which the blest Author was then in his Sabbath afternoon-Sermons opening up to the same Congregation that heard him lecture on the Commands) and all of them being, too many at least, more known, then alass they are practised (thought indeed we know no more in Gods account then we singly desire, design, and endeavour through grace to practise, and they all, and they only having a good understanding that keep his Commandements, John 13. 17. Psal. 111. 10.) and since withall, if the generals we have hinted at in the exposition of this Command be well understood, seriously pon­dered, and consciensciously in the Lords strength, practically improved; they will not a little, through his blessing, contribute for helping us, sutably to acquit our selves in the discharge of all the particular duties of these several relations; we shall now forbear to be particular; and shall only say in the general of these station and relation duties, that as, if a serious Christ an and truly goodly man be sought after, he is in a special manner to be found in them, so, when sanctifiedly, sutably and sea­sonably performed, they in a special manner ado [...]n the Doctrine of God, and keep it from being blasphemed, and bear a very real and evident testimony to the truth and re­ality of Religion in the Professors of it, and withal are a notable mean of convincing men, and even of winning and gaining them who obey not the Word, as ma [...] be clearly gathered from Luke 3. 10▪ 11. 12. 13. 14. Tit. 2. [...]. 5. & 10. 1 Tim. 5. v. 14. & 6. v. 1. 1. Pet. 2. v. 13. 14. 15. & 3. v. 1. 2. compared together.

Before we proceed further amongst many Questions that might arise here, one word to these two.

1. Whether ought a Father to love his Son, or a Son to love his Father most? Answ. The Son ought to love his Father most, as representing most of God; and the Father ought to love his Son most, as comprehending most of himself; such mutual respects may exceed one another on different accounts.

2. Quest. Whether is the Father or Magist are most to be obeyed, if they com­mand contrarily? Answ. If that which is commanded be a thing belonging to the Magistrates place to command in, as where such a one should live, what charge or office he should bear in the Common-wealth, and such like; caeteris paribus, the Ma­gistrate is to be obeved, for these things are sought by the Magistrate from him not as a Son, but as a member of the Common-wealth, whose good principally should be eyed, and had respect to: but if it be a thing that belongeth to the Father, and not to the Magistrate to command in, as what Husband or Wife a Child should marry, and such like, that belongeth to the Father as a Father, and so is to be obeyed, not­withstanding of the contrary command of the other.

The scope of this Command being to moderate men in their excessive desires after honour, and to direct and regulate them in giving respect to others; and in seeking of it to themselves, and to inform us, that by no means we should wrong the estimat on of others more then their persons and estates; ere we lay aside speaking of it, it will be [Page 105] meet to speak a little of humility, and the contraries and opposits thereof.

That humility relateth to this Command, and is comprehended under it, appear­eth from Rom. 12. 10. Phil. 2. 3. And is a grace so necessary and useful to Christians, that it ought especially to be headed and taken notice of. It may be considered in a threefold respect, 1. In respect of God, this humility ought to be in reasonable creatures to God as their Creator, they being nothing, and less then nothing before him, and useful or gainful for nothing to him. 2. It may be considered as it respect­eth others, and that not in a complementing manner, but as it comprehendeth our humbling of our selves in our carriage towards them, and from the sense of our short­comming of them, and being inferiour to them in some things wherein we preferr them to our selves, Phil. 2. 3. 3. It may be considered not only as it moderateth us in our common carriage towards God, or towards our Neighbour, but also as it con­cerneth our selves, for by it we are kept within bonds, as to our thoughts of our selves, and what is ours, or in us, upon the discovery of many infirmities we are en­compassed with, see Rom. 12. 3.

Humility considered the first way, is not properly contained under this Command, but cometh in under the first Command of the first Table, but humility in the two last respects, as it moderateth our thoughts and esteem of our selves, and f [...]ameth our actions sutably, and according to [...]ight reason in reference to others or our selves, cometh in here, and is enjoyned in this command; and concerning it these following things are to be observed.

1. Thus Humility of one man towards another differeth from Humility towards God, because of the great disp [...]oportion that is between God and Creatures, infinitely more then any that is amongst Creatures themselves, there is in nothing comparison to be made with God, neither is there any possibility of profiting him, Job 25. 7. but there may be comparing and usefulness too, amongst Creatures which this humi­lity taketh not away, see Job 29. throughout the Chapter.

2. This Humility is not opposite to magnanimity, boldness and zeal, but is well consistent with these, as is clear in Christ, the Apostles and others of the Saints; for boldness and magnanimity is an adventuring in Christs strength upon what one is call­ed to according to warrantable grounds; and humility, although it leadeth us to entertain due thoughts of our own infirmities, yet it moderateth us in that also accord­ing to right reason, so that the exercise of both being to be ordered according to this rule of reason, as the call, occasion, object, and particular circumstances shall require; It is evident that there is no inconsistencie betwixt the two, but that they may very well be in one and the same person and at one and the same time.

3. From this we may see, That Humility differeth from, as is somewhat else then fainting and despondencie of spirit or pensive pusillanimity, in not daring to fo [...]low a call in reference to some seemingly difficult action; now humility being the vertue acting according to reason, this is the excess without and against reason; and there­fore as humility and zeal are commended, so this want of valiantness for truth, when called for, or baseness of spirit, is complained of as a sin, Jer. 9. 3. and Moses, Exod. 4. 10, 14, and Jeremiah chap. 1. 6. are reproved for some degree of it: for in every difficult good which men would aim at (and the most desirable good things amongst men are often most difficult) there are two things considerable, 1. There is a bon [...]m, or a good thing which is desirable; as for example, to do some exploit, to undergo some change, &c. now men being bent to be ambitious, covetons, rash, &c. to attain such a good, humility moderating their desires and designs according to their capacity and abilities, and bridling that excess upon the one hand, is of great advantage. [Page 206] There is again in the second place, in attaining such things, a difficulty, by which we are in hazard to be scared from, and fainted in following of duty, and zeal and magnanimity guard against this, sustaining the man, and keeping him from falling into discouragement, or pusillanimous pensiveness, which is the defect upon the other hand.

4. This humility, as a grace, differeth from civility and outward yielding to an­other, because. 1. It proceedeth from a principle of conscience, and upon a con­scientious account, viz. the inward sense and feeling of the defect of grace in our selves, and the impression of our Neighbours worth. 2. It is single, without any approved design of pleasing men, or any other consideration, but purely upon the forementioned account.

This is the grace of humility, with which the best Moralists among the Heathen, were nothing acquainted; they had indeed their moral vertues, as remaining sparks of natures light, and dark resemblances of some Gospel graces, which neve­theless, wanting the principle of Faith, without which it is impossible to please God, and not being directed to the right end, the glory of God, could not be ac­ceptable to him. But besides this imperfection and defectiveness in their wisdom and way, the Gospel having a far more high and noble design, then they could pro­pose, hath also graces, that are wholly peculiar to it: The work and end of mo­ral Philosophy, could be no other, then to moderate passions, and regulate man­ners, in such a conformity to reason, as might give unto a man, void of all sense of his distance and alienation from God, an in ward lying tranquility, and outward transient peace, whereas, the project and scope of the Gospel, is quite another thing, vez to reconcile, and savel ost sinners, through faith in Christ, and in him, to make them partakers of holiness here, and glory and happiness hereafter: Hence it is, that as the Gospel doth, by renewing and sanctifying, wholly change the old appearances of vertues into solid graces, flowing from Christ the fountain, and referred to God as their true end; so doth it also require and bestow its pro­per graces, such as Repentance. Faith, Humility, and many other, unto which these Moralists were altogether strangers And as to this humility, it is certain, that the Gospel, by discovering unto us, the lost and wretched condition, where­into sin had ruined us, and the free and wonderful love, whereby we are delivered out of it, doth agreeably to this command, teach us a lowliness and self-denyal, so unlike to any thing in the doctrine of these old Moralists, that it is not more proper to the spirit of the Gospel, then it's contrary pride, may be called their Characte­ristick, in as much as it is evident, that these self improvers of self, became also self▪magnifiers, to that pitch of arrogancie, that Lucretius and Seneca, in the name of their most famous Sects, indeavoured by argument to extoll thier ver­tuous man, even above their Gods; and the best of them would have accounted Christian humility an unworthy and base abjection of spirit; but neither are these the only men tainted with this evil; the sin of pride is so plainly the ruin of all that are without God, and the neck▪break of all that seek after righteousness, other­wayes then by Faith, that we may well affirm. Humility to be Faiths inseparable companion; Nowonder then that there is no grace more commended to Christi­ans, and more necessary; which might appear by considering, 1. The commands whereby it is pressed in Scripture; 2. The weightiness of the expressions in which [Page 207] it is holden forth, 1. Pet. 5. 6. Humble your selves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time. Rom. 12. 3. For I say [...], through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you not to think of himself more highly then he ought to think, but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith. Philip. 2. 3. Let nothing be done through strife or vain glory, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem other better then themselves. James 4. 6 10. But he giveth more grace: where­fore he saith, God resisteth the proud; but giveth grace unto the humble. Humble your selves in the sight of the Lord, and he shal lift you up, 3. The many commendations of it, it maketh us, 1 like Christ, Matth. 11. 29. John 13. from v. 4. to 18. and is particular­ly taught by him; 2. It is an ornament which we ought to be cloathed with, 1. Pet. 5. 5. 3. It fitteth for sutable discharge of duties, Micah 6. 8 4. It procureth the in­crease of Grace, 1 Pet. 5. 5. 5. It is more then to command a City, for it maketh a man master of himself, Prov. 16. 17. 18. 19. 6. It hath many promises of exal [...]ation throughout the Scripture, and of riches, honour, and long life, Prov. 22 4 Psal. 112. 3. Lastly, it preventeth many evils and vices that are incident even to Christians, and leadeth to the contrary vertues. 1 Humility moderateth a mans design, in pres­sing for honour, so it preventeth Ambition; 2. His pursuing inordinately after riches, and so it suppresseth Covetousness: 3. Inordinate seeking after knowledge, and so it guardeth against Curiosity: 4. It moderateth in reference to a mans esteem of himself, and so it shooteth ou [...] Self-confidence.

And then if ye consider it with reference to a man of eminent parts or station it preventeth, 1. Disdain in him of others inferiour to him; 2. It preventeth despis­ing of others counsel, and his trusting to his own understanding; 3. It preventeth leaning to estate and riches, and so he preferreth not himself, as being the better, because of these.

And in the last place, there is a pride whereby men having done any remarkable thing, are inclined either to seek applause, esteeming highly of what they have done, and seeking out their own glory, which Solomon faith is no glory, but is rather as, if a man should eat too much honey, and so turneth rather to their shame; or to receive it inordinately, which Paul would have done, had he suffered them of Lystra, Acts 14 to have sacrificed to him, which pride, with all its vi [...]ious atten­dants, this humility preventeth and suppresseth. For 1. it mindeth not high things, Rom. 12. 3. Neither 2. vaunteth it self when it passeth by wrongs, and forgiveth them, or when it doth & suffereth any other thing commendable, it thinketh not of it self above what is meet, but soberly, Rom. 12. 3. 3. After acts of charity, the right hand knoweth not, as it were, what the left hand hath given, it forgetteth good works, as to any self esteem of them (which pride remembreth and keepeth as it were a register of) but ascribeth all to Grace, Not I, but grace in me, saith the humble man with Paul, 2 Cor, 3. 5. and 1 Cor. 15. 10.

In a word, this humility is extensive to every thing in a mans de­portement as a man, and to all duties which concern him as a Christian, whether in reference to the worship of God, or the doing duty to men, even as on the contrary, pride, self-conceit, and presumption are very ex­tensive, and immix themselves in all that a man doth, and are as the dead flies that make all to stink.

[Page 108] And as it is commendable, likewise it is very necessary as to many things▪ as 1. In external things, that relate to our conversing with others, it is necessary as to a mans credit ànd just reputation; the proud man is often in Gods righteous Judgment de­spised; Then it is necessary for things relating to our selves, as for our entertaining peace with God, for keeping us within bonds, for guarding against snairs, for keep­ing up communion with God, and for fitting to the suitable discharge of all duties call­ed for; It would make us preach, and you hear more profitably; it would settle and establish against the reelings that are in this time, that put many into a distemper, and a sort of spititual distraction and madness, it is the humble that God giveth grace to, to whom he revealeth his secret, who have largest promises and commendations, &c. Let us therefore learn to be humble and sober, without affecting to be wise above what is meet, this grace of humility in the lively exercise of it, is in a special manner called for by the Lord at this time, of the reeling and falling of many, the want whereof useth to precede and predispose for a fall.

To close this we shall only add, That wherever there may be a pride, there is also an humility opposite to it. Man may be proud in respect of outward things, as of estate, riches, descent, employment, &c. And also in respect of things of the mind, yea even of spiritual things: As, 1. of parts and gifts, as knowledge, quickness of wit, fruitfulness of invention, &c. 2. Of Graces and holiness. 3. Of experience, eminent manifestations, spiritual exercises, &c. wherewith God may make some to shine very far above and beyond others. 3. A man may be proud of some good deeds done by him, wherein possibly▪ God hath made him somewhat more then ordinarily instrumental. 4. There is a proud curiosity leading to seek after the knowledge of secret things, or of things too high for us, or of things revealed and competent for us to know in another way then God hath allowed, or leading men to adventure and step further then they are called, which is condemned by the Lord, Exod. 19. 21. where he forbiddeth the people to break through and gaze: Now there is to pride, in all these respects, an opposit humility, which maketh a man walk softly, and esteem soberly of himself, notwithstanding of any difference God hath made betwixt him and others in what thing soever, and to wait till his mind and will be made known in his own way, and by instruments made choise of by himself, and puteth on to serious endeavours of practising it when known; which pride doth not. Thus we see both how exten­sive and how necessary to Christians▪ in whatsoever stat on they are, this excellent grace of humility is, which is a special ornament of Christians, and a notable piece of beautiful conformity to meek and lowly Jesus.

The Sixth Commandment.

Exodus 20. verse. 13.‘Thou shalt not Kill.’

IN the fifth Command the Lord generally prescribed humility, and that respect which is to be shown by every one to another in their several stations and relations; he proceedeth now more particularly to give directions in these things that are most dear and necessary to men, first in the matter of life▪ command sixth: 2. In the matter of chastity▪ and temp [...]nce, Com. 7. 3. In what concerneth their Estate, Com. 8. 4. In what concerneth truth, and more especially our neighbours name. Com. 9. Lastly, in what concerneth the inward frame of our hearts towards our own estate, and the estate of others. Com. 10.

[Page 109] For understanding this Command, Thou shalt not kill; we may consider 1. It's Object: 2, It's act, to kill? 3. It's subject (to speak so) Th [...]u.

As for the first, this Command cannot be considered, as relating to Beasts; as if they were not to be killed, because God gave man all the Beasts for his use to feed on them, Gen. 9. 3. and we are to eat of whatever is sold in the shambles, by his allowance, who [...]e is the earth and the [...]u [...]ness thereof, 1 Cor. 10. 25. Beside man in all these Commands is properly directed in reference to his Neighbour, and not to beasts: Yet I grant by striking a beast a man may offend, as 1. when that stroke wrongeth his Neighbour; to whom that beast belongeth. 2. when in our striking there is 1. unreasonableness, as i [...] we would require that capacity in a beast, that is in reasonable creatures, and so are ready to offend when they answer not our expectation. 2. when there is a breaking out into anger and passion at brutes, as when a horse rydeth not well, a Dog runneth not well, a hawk flyeth not well, &c. which speaketh an impotency in us, who are so easily mastered by irrational passions, which will sometimes also seize upon us even in reference to senseless and lifeless Creatures, when they do not accommodate us to our minds. 3. when there is bitterness and cruelty in striking Something of this the Lord reproveth by making Balaams Ass speak and rebuke the madness of that Prophet who unreasonably smo [...]e the Ass, and wish▪d he had had a Sword to kill her Numb. 22. 29. whereas a just man pitieth his beast, and regardeth the life thereof, Prov. 12. 10

But for the better Understanding of the Object of the Command, we shall pro­ceed to speak to it, and the act of killing (which is the second thing) complexedly, and if we consider killing in reference to a mans self, it is certainly understood here; for that being the sum of all the commands of the second Table, thou shalt love thy Neighbour▪ as thy self, it must be▪ understood as repeated in each of them; as here, thou shalt not kill thy Neighbour more than thy self, or shalt preserve him as thy self, which supposeth that it is not free for a man to wrong himself more than to wrong others; and generally these reasons whereby the Lord restraineth us from killing others, will also hold in restraining us from killing and other ways wronging our selves; therefore there is no question, if it be a sin to wrong, hurt or torture others, whether in body or in their soul, as to the tranquillity and quiet frame there­of, and any ways to procure or further their death, it will be no less so to do thus to our selves; because love to our selves is the patern that we ought to walk by in lovi ng others.

We may be guilty of the breach of this Command in reference to our selves by omissions as well as by commission as when things needful for entertainment and health of the body are, either designedly, or with an excessive misregard to health and life, omitted▪

We may further fall into the breach of this Command in reference to our selves, either directly, as purposing and intending hurt to our own bodie, or indirectly, by casting our selves in unnecessary seen dangers, by wilful or careless using of known unwholesome food, by excesive and immoderate toyl, by spending and wasting the body with unchastness, by drunkenness and gluttony (whereby many more are destroyed then with the Sword, according to the common saying▪ plures▪gulâ quám glaáio pereunt) and many other ways.

[Page 210] If we consider this command with respect to others, we may conceive it in refer­ence to a threefold life, which we should endeavour to preserve and promote in them, in any one of which a commission or omission will make a breach thereof.

1. There is a life of the body; and whatever cometh from us that wrongeth that, either directly, as stroaks, challenges or appeals, &c. or indirectly, if it were but by keeping back something that is in our power to give which might be useful to our neighbour in his need, that no doubt maketh guilty of this sin of kill­ing in respect of this bodily life. I have mentioned appeals to Duels under the for­mer branch, because albeit that in the matter of private duels the pride and cor­ruption of men do ordinarily either commend a vain bravery and gallantry; or pretend the excuses of a seeming Obligation in the point of honour or necessary defence: Yet we are sure that the judgment of God, which is according to truth, by pointing out on the part as well of the accepter as of the appealer; these ensuing irregularities, do condemn the thing as exceeding sinful. As 1 Im­potency of mind and excess of Passion, which if sooner in the accepter, doth only add deliberation to his other guilt. 2, Contempt of the publick Laws and civil order 3. An Usurpation of the Magistrates sword, which is given to him, both for punishing and protecting; And 4. An invasion of Gods right of vengeance, which he hath so expresly reserved to himself, and from this the accepter observing ordinarily no more moderament in his defense, than there was necessity for the engagement, hath no excuse more then the challenger, so that in effect al­though the mediate rise may be thought to be on the appealers part, yet the sin is common, and is in a word a plain complication of hatred against our neigh­bour, contempt against the Laws and Powers and God, who hath appointed them and a bold and desperate despising and rashing upon Death, Judgement and Eternity, which do so imminently attend all such rencounters: O how much more heroick and noble, were it for men to approve the wise and great King choise, he that is slow to anger is better than the mighty, and he that ruleth his spirit then he that taketh a City, to hear him, who is higher than the Princes of the earth, who commands us, Love your Enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and confirmed all by his own most perfect example: And lastly, the study of that divine goodness, which embraceth both good and evill, just and unjust, to aspire to that height of all felicity and glory in being perfect as our Father, which is in heaven is perfect: But to proceed.

2. There is a spiritual and eternal life of the soul, thus sin deadneth and killeth men, and in this respect all who are unfaithful to others in the matter of their souls or who cause them to sin, or sinfully give them occasion of sin, become guilty of soul-murther, so Ezek. 3. 18. and 33. 6. his blood will I require at thy hands, saith the Lord to the Prophet.

Men become guilty of this not only 1. By commanding; as Saul did Doeg to kill the Lords Priests, and David did Joab to cause Uria [...] to be slain, 2. By coun­selling and advising, as Jonadab did Amnon in reference to his sister Thamar 3. By alluring and down right tempting as Thamar did Juda; 4. By consenting to the sin of others, or any wise assisting, countenancing or incouraging them in it, as Saul was con­senting to the death of Stphen & was standing by keeping the cloaths of them that ston­ed him, and as men may be in reference to false Teachers 2 Epist. of John 10, 11. 5. By giving high Provocations to others, and thereby stirring them up to sin such as are re­proaches, [Page 211] opprobrious speeches, chartallings & challenges to fight, &c. but also 6. By evil example, as David was accessary to the sin of the Adversaries blasphemous reproach­ing, by what he did, and the Apostle often insinuateth Christians may be thus guilty by their insutable deportment in the several relations they sustain and stand under, this may also be by doing what hath the appearance of evil, yea even by doing of things in themselves lawful but inexpedient, because unseasonable and with offence. Thus one Christian may be accessory to anothers stumbling, and may sinfully hazard the destroying of these for whom Christ dyed, as the Apostle discourseth concerning offences even in things not sinful in themselves: 7. By not warning faithfully before sin be committed, as is clear, Ezek. 3. 18. 8. By not reproving after the sin is committed, but suffering it to lye on our brother, Lev. 19. 6. 9. By not suiting and proportioning the reproof to the greatness of the sin, but making it too soft and gentle, not shewing just indignation against it, which was Eli his guilt, who though he did not altogether neglect or omit to reprove the prophanity and gross wickedness of his Sons, yet did not reprove at that rate of holy severity, call­ed for, and answerable to, their atrocious and villanous wickedness, he frowned not on them and dealt not roughly with them, as he should have done, as is clear by comparing 1 Sam. 2. 22. 23. 24. 25. with 1 Sam. 3. 13. 10. By rash putting men in Offices for which they are not all, or not competently qualified, and so cannot but in all probability sin much in them, especially in the Office of the Mini­stry, 1 Tim. 5. 22, 11. By not endeavouring by all suitable and lawful means within the compass of our power and calling to prevent the sin of others, and to restrain them from it, as Eli is on this account challenged by the Lord, 1 Sam. 3. 13. 12. By broaching, venting, teaching and spreading heresies and false doctrine; thus Antichrist is notoriously and primely guilty of this sin of soul­murther; as all false teachers and seducers are less or more according to the nature of the doctrine taught by them and their industry in propagating the same; and likewise all that tolerate and do not restrain them, whose Office obligeth them to it according to their power: All these and other ways may men be accessory to other mens sins, and so make themselves guilty of this great and cruel sin of Soul­murther.

This sort of murther aboundeth and is very rife, and yet is in an especial manner forbidden by this command, and the prevention of it accordingly called for, it being a greater evidence of love to our neighbour to be careful of his soul then of his body, the one being more pretious then the other; and however false Prophets, teachers and seducers, seem ordinarily to be most tender of mens per­sons, and most desirous to please them, yet are they in this sort horridly guilty of their murther.

3. There is a life of contentment, consisting in the tranquillity of the mind, and the calm frame of a quiet spirit with comfort, joy and chearfulness; to this purpose saith Paul, 1. Thess. 3. 8. I live if ye stand fast in the Lord, and it is said of Jacob Gen. 45. 27. when he heard that Joseph lived, his spirit revived, as if it had been dead before, because of his great heaviness, arising from the supposed death of his Son; thus we become guilty of this Sin of killing, when we obstruct or interrupt the spiritual comfort and joy, or the inward contentment of our neigh­bour by fear, heaviness, disquietness, discouragement, &c. whereby his life is made bitter, and his tranquillity impaired, and so his hurt procured or furthered: As Josephs brethren did not only become guilty of his blood, but of weighting [Page 212] their Father, and deadning, as it were, his spirit, which afterwards at the news of Josepths being alive revived, so people may be guilty against their Ministers, when they make them do their work not with joy but grief, as it is Heb. 13. 17.

Again Murther, as it respecteth the bodily life of our Neighbour, is either im­mediate, as Cains was of Abel, Joahs of Abner and Amasa. or mediate, as Sauls was of the Lords Priests, Davids of Uriah, and Achabs of Naboth.

Again, killing may be considered either as purposed, such as Cain's was of Abel, and Joab's of Abner and Amasa, or not purposed; which again is two­fold: 1. Innocent, which is even by the Law of God every way so, and is in­deed no breach of this Command: as when a man, following his duty, doth that which beside, & contrary to his intention, & without any previous neglect or oversight in him, proveth the hurt & death of another. 2. Culpable, bcause although it do proceed beyond the purpose of the person, yet it is occasioned and caused by a culpable negligence: As suppose one were hewing with an Ax, which he either knew, or might have known to be loose, and the head not well fastened to the helve, did not advertise those about him of it, if by flying off, it happend to wound or kill any person, he were not innocent, but if without any inadvertencie, he either knew not that it were loose, or that any were about him, if then it should fall off and kill his Neighbour, in this case he is guiltless: So when the Lord com­manded those who built houses to build battlements about the roofs of them if any person fell where the battlements were, the Master was free; if the battlements were not he was guilty.

Murther is also either to be considered, as committed after provocation, or without all provocation, which is a great aggravation of the sin, though the pro­vocation maketh it not cease to be a sin. Further, it may be considered, as it is the murther of evil and wicked men, or of good and religious men, and that on the account of their Religion, which is a most horrid aggravation of the mur­ther.

Lastly, this murther, is either ordinary, as of meer equals, or inferiours; or ex­traordinarly, aggredged by the quality of the person murthered, whether he be a supperiour, as a Magistrate, a Parent; or whether he be of a near Relation, as a Brother, or Kinsman, &c.

We come a little more particularly to consider the extent & nature of the sin for­bidden here (which is not certainly to be understood of taking the life by publick Justice, or in a lawful or just War, or in necessary and pure self-defence that we may the better understand the contrary duty commanded: It implyeth then a hurting, which we may consider, 1. as in the heart, 2. as in the mouth or words, 3. as in gestures, 4. as in deeds; for we take it for granted that it reacheth further then the gross outward act, as by Christs exposition of it in Matth. 5. is incontrovertibly clear.

The heart is the fountain, spring, and treasure of all evil, in it breedeth all evil, and from it proceedeth this murther, Matth. 15. 19. he that in heart hateth his brother is a murtherer. 1 John 3 15. In a word, whatever is opposite to love in the heart is a breach of this Command: As 1. hatred which is malitious, and simply wisheth ill to our Neighbour, and only because we love him not, with out any other reason, as one wickedly said.

[Page 213]
No amo te Zabidi▪ nec possum dicere quart,
Hoc tantum possum dicere, non amo te.

So Cain hated his Brother without cause. 2. Anger, that supponeth a pretended wrong, and is desirous of revenge, because of ingratitude, pretended in justice, &c. 3. Envy, whereby we are grieved with the good of another, supposing, though groundlesly, that it obstructeth ours, and therefore we seek to overturn it: Anger is cruel▪ and wrath outragious, but who can stand before Envy, saith Solomon There is often secret hatred on this ground more irreconcileable, then where many and grave reasons can be given. 4. Rage, which presseth reveng beyond what is con­dign, though it follow it lawfully as to outward means. 5. S [...]vitia, or Cruelty, that delighteth in the hurt and prejudice of another, all these and others of this kind go generally under the name of Hatred and Anger

If any ask here, Is there no anger lawful? Answ. Yes▪ for there is somewhat of it natural, yea, and sometimes it lawfully immixeth it self in duty; as in zeal, when God is dishonoured▪, which was in Moses, Exod. 32. And no doubt, In­dignation at wicked men, in some cases, is lawful [...], and also required. But car­nal Anger is forbidden▪ which, 1. Is a desire of reveng where there hath no wrong been done to us: 2. When the revenge desired is disproportioned to, and greater then the wrong: 3. When it is preposterousty desired, without interven­ing Justice: 4. When it is not desired for the right end, to wit, the mans gaining but only for the satisfying of our carnal humor: 5 When it is immoderate and corrupt in the manner of it▪ so as the name of God is dishonoured by it. This unlawful Anger, when it is 1. against a Superiour, it is called grudge; 2, when against an Equal. rancour; 3. when against an Inferiour, disdain and contempt; these two last follow ordinarily upon the first,

2. This Command is broken by injurious words, as in that fifth Chaper of Matthew▪ He that shall say to his brother, thou fool; is guilty: O what guilt will there be found to have been in imprecations, cursings, wrathful wishes, disdainful and passionate speeches, when Christ will call men to an account for the breach of this Command?

3. It is broken in gestures, such as high looks, fierce looks, gnashing with the teeth, Acts 7. 54. foaming with the mouth, and such like, wherewith even our blessed Lord and his Servants have been followed; and as there may be Adultery in looks, so there is also murther in them; such looks had Cain Gen. 4. 5.

4. It is broken in deeds, even when death followeth, not as in wounding, smiting, oppressing, cruel withdrawing of the means of life, extortion, exaction, byting, usurie, litigious wrangling, violent compulsion, raising and racking of Land or House-rents beyond the just valve, and squeezing and exacting upon poor Labourers and Tenants, without any due regard to them or their labours which last is a frequent sin▪ but little regarded, a crying sin▪ but little cared for; next it is broken by witholding what might be useful and refreshful, as by neglecting the sick and distressed, want of hospitality, specially to the poor: All these are sinful breaches▪ whether directly or indirectly incurred▪ neither is it sufficient that we simply abstain from committing some of these, but we must also make conscience to practise all contrary duties.

[Page 214] The last thing proposed to be spoken to, was the person thou; where, in a word, we are to distinguish private men from publickemen, who are Magistrates and bear the Sword, whom this Command doth not restrain from executing of Ju­stice; yet these may also sin in their passions, and unjustly put forth their authority, and be carnal in punishing and passing sentence, even when there is ground in Ju­stice; and thus Magistrates may become guilty; though in the executing of Justice, not simply, but by reason of other concurring circumstances. Thus must shortly on this Command.

The Seventh Commandment.

Exodus 20. 14.‘Thou shalt not commit Adultery.’

THE Lord having spoken of such sins as do more respect mans being simply in the former Command, he cometh now to direct in those things that concern a man in his life, in the ordering of his conversation; and as it will be found one way or other, that by our passion, hatred, and anger, in one degree or other, the former Command isi broken often, so this sin (that in the very name of it is abomi­nable) is not so unfrequent, even amongst Christians, as might in all reason be sup­posed and expected.

The vile sin of inordinate Concupiscence and Lust entred into Mankind exceed­ing early after Adam's fall, and in nothing the bitter fruit of Original sin, and that pravity of our nature sooner kyeths, and did kyth, then in it: Hence is it that Adams and Evahs nakedness, and their being ashamed, is spoken of in Scripture, which implyeth a sinfulness and inordinateness in them, which formerly they were not tainted with; as also a shame or plague following upon it: and this corrupt nature being still in man, it is hard to speak of, or to hear these things holily; and therefore there is a necessity both of holiness and wisdom here, lest we break this Command, even when speaking of it, and hearing it spoke of; yet the breach of it being a sin so rife, and the Spirit in Scripture thinking it needful to speak of it, yea, it being put in a particular and distinct Command by it self, and our most holy and blessed Lord Jesus having himself commented on it, Matth. 5. there is a necessity of saying somewhat of it, but so as to contain within the bounds of Scripture ex­pressions: O! be therefore afraid of sinning in hearing; remember and consider that the Lord seeth, and in a special manner abhorreth such vile Imaginations as shall be irritated and excited even from his holy command enjoyning the contrary, which is indeed both an evidence and a part of the sinfulness of sin, as the Apostle speaketh, Rom. 7.

To take therefore a view of it, let us consider the scope of the Command, which we conceive is in a special manner, and obviously holden forth in these few places of Scripture, commending holiness in respect of a mans person, and condemning uncleanness in all its branches. 1 Thess. 4. v. 3, 4 5. 7. For this is the will of God, even your sanctification, that ye should abstain from fornication, that every one of you should know how to possess his vessel in sanctification and honour, not in the lust of concupiscence, even as the Gentiles, which knew not God—for God hath not called us unto un­cleanness, but unto holiness, Ephes. 5. 3. 4. 5. But fornication, and all uncleanness, or covetousness, let it not be once named amongst you, as becometh Saints: Neither filthi­ness, not foolish talking, nor jeasting, which are not convenient: but rather giving of thanks▪ [Page 215] For this ye know, that no whoremonger, nor unclean person, nor covetous man who is an idolater, hath any inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and of God. Galat. 5. 19. Now the works of the flesh are manifest, which are these, adultery, fornication, uncleanness, lasciviousness. Rom. 13. v. 13. Let us walk honestly as in the day, not in rioting and drunkenness, not in chambering and wantonness, not in strife and envying. Coloss. 3. v. 5. Mortifie therefore your members, which are upon the earth; fornication, uncleanness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, and covetousness which is idolatry. In which places, as we see, the sin forbidden in this Command, held out under the Most odious designations, to wit, a work of the flesh, fornication, adultery, uncleanness, lasci [...]iousness, inordinate affection, evil concupiscence, &c. branches of this sin; and a decent walk commanded, as contrary to the same; so we may see from them the scope of this Seventh Command to be an honest, decent, shamefast, chast, tempe­rate and holy life, which being well considered, doth much illustrate the meaning and extent of it.

If we might be particular, we could shew how there is no Command more press­ed, more fully explained, and sorer plagued in the breach of it, then this, and set forth with more aggravating expressions, to make it so much more abominable. It wrongeth God, and the Society of men, it wrongeth others; in particular, our children and our selves, both in body, estate and name; it bringeth a blot on the soul here and hereafter, Job. 31. 12. Prov. 6. 33. It taketh away wit and courage, yea, and even the very heart, besotting men, Hos. 4. 11. compared with Prov. 6. 32. So did it in Solomon, and therefore the man given to it is compared to an Oxe and a Fool, Prov. 7. 22. 23, &c. It is compared also to the neighing of Horses, Jer. 5▪ 8. and the hire of a whore, and the price of a dogg, are put together, Deut. 33. 18. The madness, folly, yea and, to say so, devillry and bewitching power of it are set out in Jezabel. It is said to be, Ephes. 5. v. 6. A work of darkness, that bringeth Gods wrath on the children of disobedience, as it did bring it on Sodom the Old world, and the Canaanites most signally; and seldom is there a remarkable plague and punishment brought on a Person or Land, but this sin of vileness hath a main hand in the pro­curing of it; and where it reigneth, it is usually, if not alwayes, accompanied with many other gross sins, which are occasioned by it, and given way to for its sake, as drunkenness, murther, idolatry, &c.

For further clearing of this Command, consider 1. The Species or kinds of faults condemned in it, and the vertues or graces commended. 2. The manner of being guilty of the breach of it, which (because this Command will be found to be spirit­ual as the other commands are) reacheth to the heart and affections as they do. 3. Consider the sin here forbidden in its incitements, soments, and other sins more implicitely comprehended under it, as idleness glutony, drunkenness, impudencie, gau­diness and unchastness in apparel or nakedness, dancing, singing of bawdy songs, loose com­pany or fellowship, and every appearance of this ill, and what may lead to it, and dis­pose for it▪ or is an evidence of it. 4. See its opposite vertues, and the means useful for the subduing of it, as chastity, modesty, shamefacedness, temperance, lawful marriage, the remedy thereof, &c. which are required in this Command, and are very useful for a holy life.

That these things ought to be spoken of, none will deny; that they belong to one of the Commands, the perfection of the Law requireth it; and that they come in here under this Command, the nature of them, and their conjunction with, or influence upon the sin condemned, or duty commanded here, will make evident; the sin of A­dultery being a prime branch of the carnalness of our nature, under it the rest of that kind are comprehended for making of them the more odious.

[Page 216] Now in considering the act of vileness forbidden, we may 1. Look to these ills, that are simply unnatural, of which these that be guilty are called in the Scripture, Rev. 21. 8. the abominable, such are these 1. who prostitute them­selvess to the abomination of filthy Fellowship with Devils, as they suppose and ima­gine. 2. These who commit be [...]sti [...]lity, a vileness most detestable in reasonable creatures, it is called confusion, Levit. 18. 23. 3. These who abuse themselves with mankind spoken of, 1. Tim. 1. 10. Rom. 1. 26. 27. called also in the Scripture Sodomy, going after strange fl [...]sh, having been the abominable practise of the [...]s mis­creants, whom God [...]et [...]orth for an Example suffering the vengeance of eternal fire, when he rained, as it were, something of hell from heaven on them burning them quick, and frying them in a manner to death in their own skins, because of the lusts wherewith they burned. These are abominations against nature▪ against which the Laws both of God and men do severely animadvert, see Lev. 18. and 20. Deut. 22.

2. The act of vileness inhibited taketh in these ills of uncleanness, that are in some respect against nature also, though not so obviously, nor so gross, such as are betwixt persons within degrees of consanguinity and affinity; this uncleanness is called incest, such are reckoned up Levit. 18. and 20. and Deut. 22. for this the Can [...]nites were cast out, and it was abominable even to heathens, 1 Cor. 5▪ 1▪ &c, the evil of incest flows from the unnaturalness of mens confounding the relations and degrees, that nature hath set men distinctly in; as for instance, nature hath made the fathers Wife a mother, to joyn therefore with her destroyeth that rela­tion, and is unbecoming that reverence and respect we owe to parents; hence this incest is alwaies either in a direct or oblique line, but not in the collateral, be­yond the relations of brother and sister, which are indeed the very beginings of the collateral lines, and, as it were▪ almost one in their common parents; thus con­junction with one of the furthest and most remote of a line that is direct is incest, which yet is not so with the very first after these excepted, of the line that is collateral; a man might not marry his fore▪grandfathers wife, nor his sister, but may marry his Cousin German, and because man and wife become one flesh, it is incest which is within the degrees to the wife, as well as if it were within them to the husband himself, and it is also called confusion. Levit. 20. 12 14.

3. Consider it as it is against a tye or bond, called the Covenant of God. Prov. 2. 17. and this may be three ways considered, 1. When both persons are married, as David and Bathshe [...]a were, this most abominable, and that which we call double a [...] dultery. 2. When the man is married, and the woman solute or free. 3. When the woman is married and the man free, these two last are both gross, yet the latter is accounted grosser, as having these Aggravations, of disturbing the peace of our neighbours family, the corrupting his seed and offspring, and the alienting of his inheritance added unto it, therefore not only the first, but even the third hath been ordinarly punished by death amongest men; and certainly the guilt of the second, is little inferiour, if not equal, to either of them: for 1. It hath the same Wickedness of Adultery, with the other two, as being contrary to the Cove­nant of God. 2. It is in like manner peccant against the remedy of uncleanness and disorder▪ for which the Lord did appoint marriage 3. It doth no less di­sturb [Page 201] the quiet and prosperity of Families, provoking jealousie in the Wife, the more impotent, because the weaker Vessel, alienating affections, and often hin­dering a lawful Propagation, but continually marring the education of the chil­dren lawfully begotten, and the Parents care of their provision: Neither are these things to be restricted to the man, as if he were only therein criminal; the free Woman the Adulteress, by her manifest accession, doth evidently involve her self in the same guilt; if a free man lye with his Neighbours wife, the aggrava­tions, flowing from her married estate, are all charged upon the man, and by the Law of God he is therefore condemned as the Adulterer; doth not then the parity of reason, in the Case of a married man with a free Woman, equally trans­fer on her the Guilt of his Consequences? Neither is it any excuse for the Woman, that the man ordinarily the temptor; because not only hath nature put the Wo­mans greater weakness, under the security of a far greater measure of modesty, but the Lords righteous Law is also binding upon both without distinction: so tha [...] I think, we may well understand all the three sorts of Adultery, to be forbidden by the same laws, and under the same pains; and therefore conclude with Job 31, 9. 11. that Adultery, without restriction, is an iniquity to be punished by the Judge upon the man as well as upon the woman.

Of this sort also is Bigamy, the marrying of two wives together; and Poligamy, the marrying of many Wives, and keeping Concubines with Wives: For God made but two at the beginning, one Male, and the other Female; and hath ap­pointed every man to have his own Wife, and every woman to have her own Husband. And although many holy men have failed in this, yet can we not ex­empt them from sin; neither will we ascribe it to Gods particular dispensation to them which we dare not make so common as that practise was, considering espe­cially what abuse it came to, as may be instanced in Solomon, & from whom it had its rise, to wit, L [...]mech, and what bitter fruits and sad effects it hath had following on it in Families and on Posterity, as may be seen on Abraham, Jacobs, Samuels Father Helkanab, which made mens marriage a vexation to them, contrary to its ends: But now our Lord, by reducing marriage to first its institution, hath very ex­presly abolished it in the New Testament.

4. Consider it in free and unmarried persons, and thus it is Fornication; if it be constrained or forced, it's death by Gods Law, Deut. 22, 23. &c. only to the man; the other is free, and it is called a Rap, if it be continued in, it's whore­dome and filthiness; if with one woman▪ it is Concubinatus, an unwarrantable abusing the ordinance of Marriage, and despising of it: if with sundry parties, it is Prostitution, and most abominable, and whatever way it be, it is abominable, bringing on the wrath of God, Ephes. 5. 6. Col. 3. 6. Not once to be named amongst the Saints: and whether marriage follow or not, yet it is still sinful,

It may have several aggravations, as 1. if it be in times of light, 2. if with persons unsutable to be conversed with, 3. if in Families professing godliness; especially in the Fourth place, if the person be a great professor: 5. if it be in a time when God is quarrelling and contending with a whole Society or Land, and threatning his Judgements against all: Now although this sin be at this time ag­gravated from all these considerations, yet oh! how much doth it abound and how frequent is it!

[Page 218] 5. Consider this act of vileness inhibited, as it may be amongst and betwixt per­sons married and living in conjugal Society; for the use of the Marriage-bed is not left arbitary more then the use of meat and drink; but is bounded by the Lord, both in the contracting and in the injoyment▪ and when these bounds which are set, transgressed, the transgressours are guilty. Thus men and women may begin their marriage carnally, by wooing carnally, which will make them guilty, although there be no more: Marrying with persons of a different Religion or with other unsuitable disparities, maketh guilty of the breach of this Command, that sort of marriage not being the lawful remedy of Fornication; or when we are sweyed more with temporal ends, and with respect to the satisfying of fleshly Lusts, then with conscientious respect to what God allows, and right reason requires, refer­ring all to Gods glory; for this thwarteth with the end of marriage, and doth transchange marriage into a cloak for covering covetousness or filthiness, and so before marriage there may be guilt.

Thus also married persons may break this Command, if they do not possess and enjoy one another in holiness and honour, 1 Th [...]ss. 4. 4. 5. and do not give to one another all due benevolence Thus men do sin in the defect, by not cohabiting, by withdrawing without consent one from another, & by proving a snare one to ano­ther: The Apostle calleth it, 1 Cor. 7. 5. defrauding of one another: And many pieces of unkindlyness amongst married persons, unbecoming the honour and respect that the one should have to the other, may be here comprehended. But men sin more and oftner in the excess, viz. by carnal living with their own lawful married Wives, and using marriage for lust, living in the lust of concupiscence, as the Apostle calleth it; and that as the Gentiles did even in their marriage stations 1 Thess. 4. 5. And he calleth it, Col. 3. 5, inordinate affection▪ an affection which a man hath to his Wife as to an Whore, rather then what becometh a Wife: These things, when reproved, must not be offended at, but the Lord looked unto for the purging of this corrupt nature, of such filthiness, as is shameful even to mention.

This inordinateness may be in respect of frequencie, unseasonableness, carnal­ness in the manner; and what need is there to say more? It may also have place among married persons, when their conjugal fellowship hindereth them from setting apart any time for extraordinary Devotions, which yet they ought to do; as may be drawn from what the Apostle saith, 1 Cor. 7. 5. Though excess in this also is to be guarded against, but when there are times of trouble, and of pri­vate or publick calamity, wherein the Bridegroom is called to come out of his Chamber; in such times as these, married persons may be readily guilty of inor­dinateness: And it is known that there were, upon some occasions, restraints under the Law when a man might not touch a woman, thought his own Wife, to shew that in conjugal Society men should observe a purity, & that they have not under limited liberty in this, more then in other things as eating, drinking, &c. For al­though all pleasure in meat and drink be not unlawful, yet carnal sensualness is. So what is natural, sutable, and seasonable, here is allowed, and inordinancie forbidden. Thus during the marriage, state, guilt mav be contracted.

Again, men may thus sin by unjust dissolving of Marriages, by deserting, divorc­ing without the just cause of it, extruding, and such like acts, contrary to the [Page 219] nature of that strictest bond and covenant. I grant it is not always necessary to make divorce even where there is Adultery; the Lord is not offended with re­conciliation, where the punishment of the [...]n is not executed b [...] the Magistrate: But if the divorce be made, and the woman afterward married to another, her return to her first Husband, even after lawful dissolution of her second marriage, is an abomination and exceeding defiling, Jer. 3. 1. Thus in dissolving marriages there may be guilt.

Lastly, this uncleanness may be considered as it is in a solitary person, when a­lone, in their actions of darkness and abominable imaginations, which are to be loathed rather then named; yet these things which are done in secret are seen of God, though it be a shame to speak of them: see Ephes. 5. 11. 12. This secret uncleanness, again, may be by a person, either waking, or sleeping, mentioned Lev. 15. which confessedly becometh men or womens guilt, according as they have drawn it on, or by unsutable imaginations disposed themselves for it: yea, when it hath not ingrata recordatio, an unsavory and displeasing remembrance, and a holy horror following thereupon, there is guilt: Of this we spoke somewhat in the Preface to the Commands.

These abominations then are not restricted to the outward act, but extended further, and many wayes men commit this wickedness: as 1. In heart, Christ calleth the lusting of a man after a woman a committing of Adultery in his heart Matth. 5. 28. This indeed hath degrees ac▪cording to the length it cometh, and the entertainment it getteth, and other such like circumstances, but it is still ac­counted by God to be heart-adultery, and it is called burning, 1 Cor. 7. 9 and Rom. 1. 27. and is exceeding loathsome to the Lord, and hurtful to the inner man, even when men neither resolve nor intend acting yet by not abhoring these Imagina­tions, but suffering them to roll in their thoughts (O! bewar of carnalness up­on the thoughts of this) they become guilty, and that in ward fire being suffered to burn, often breaketh out into a visible flame; How that 1 Cor. 7. 9. differ­eth from the burning mentioned Rom, 1. 27. we shal now forbear to mention. 2. Men are guilty of this wickedness, when they license their outward senses in the sinful pursuit of their objects: Thus eyes full of adultery are spoken of. 2 Pet. 2. 14. thus Matth, 5. 28, a lustful look is adultery: and Job [...]. 31. saith, he will not look upon a maid. Thus also obscene pictures, delight in them, or other spectacles of that sort, cannot but defile the man: The ears are defiled by hearing of, and lis [...]ning to obscene and filthy discourses, to drunken, bawdy, or light wanton amorous Songs: the touch with embracings▪ and the mouth with kissings: Such are spoken of Prov. 7. 13. She caught him and kissed him. To insist further here, is not sutable but oh! there is much guilt contracted this way, and but little noticed, and mourned for. 3. Men may become guilty by gestures, as they are evidences of this vileness, or dispose to it, and postures undecent and un­becoming civility, and godliness: See what is spoken of a naugty person, Prov. 6. 13. 14. and Isa, 3. 16. &c. this is opposite to honest walking which is commended Rom. 13. 13. and a carnal wantonness reproved. 4. Persons become exceeding guilty of this evil by scurril and obscene speeches, where as this sin should not be once named, by reading scurril, wanton, amarous ballads or books which is, as if we were conferring on such a subject, by taunting and reproaching one another in such com­munication [Page] as corrupteth good manners; by jesting that is not convenient, especially if it be at one that hath fallen in some act of filthiness, or by whatever may be neer, or of a sinful sutableness to such an evil; see Eph, 4. 24. & 5. 3. 4. &c. 5. This sin is fallen in by too familiar or unnecessary converse with light, vain, loose company, more especi­ally private companying with such which is not only an appearance of ill, or a snare to ill, but evil & loose in it self, called by the Apostle chambering. Rom. 13. 13. & Solomon biddeth men not come near the door of such a womans house much less to enter into it, Prov. 5. 8. 6. Men fall into it by wantonness, imm [...]desty, want of due shame fastness. &c. or any other by way where they yield reins to the loose, wanton, carnal humour that is in them.

There are many others sins which come in here, & although some of them may be reduced to several of the Commands, yet in a special manner are they related, and as it were, tyed to this: As 1. Idleness, such as you see 2 Sam. 11. 2. &c. oc­casioned Davids fall, and is by Ezekiel, c, 16. 49, charged on Sodom, as predispos­ing for, and going along with their uncleanness; Idleness being in it self mater omni­um vitiorum, and noverca omnium virtutum, the mother of all vices, and the stepmo­ther of all vertues: This breedeth unstayed looks, and giveth occasion to, and entertaineth carnal imaginations, and it occasioneth much gadding, when folks, either have no lawful calling, or are not diligent and serious in the employments and duties of it, 1 Tim. 5. 13.

2. Lightness and unstableness, charged on Reuben when he defiled his Fathers bed, Gen. 9. 4. and by the Apostle, keeping at home is (Tit. 2. 5.) joyned with chastity, modesty, and shamefastness; there is a gadding, and also called furthiness, especially in women, more especially young women, which is exceeding offen­sive, and yet exceeding rife, it may be it were more fitly called impudence, or impu­dent boldness, which maketh them run to all spectacles and shewes, to speak in all discourses (which quite crosses the charracter that one gives of a modest Virgin, that She loves rather to loose her self in a modest silence, then to be found in a bold discourse) and to hazard upon all companies, exceeding unsutable to that modesty and shame­fastness which is particularly called for in that Sex. Take in here also the manner of going, minsing, or tripping nicely, and making a tinkling with their feet, spoken of Isaiah 3. 16. and touched at a little before.

3. Wantonness, and too much carnal mirth and laughter, which is both the evi­dence and great fomenter of loosness in the heart; and so foolish jesting, which is not con­venient, Eph. 5. 3. is conjoyned with this sin, and none ought to think that there is a lawful freedom in such jollity, as chambering and wantonness, Rom. 13. 13. Now this taketh in much, and is of a large extent.

4. Undecent conversing, going abroad in company with rash and offensive free­dom, when as entering the house yea, coming near the very doors of an whores house is forbidden, Prov. 5. 8. the ill and prejudice whereof may be seen in Dina [...]s going abroad belike without an errand, Gen. 34. 1. 2. &c. Potiphers Wife did cast her self in Josephs company thus, though he gave her no entertainment, but in the fear of the Lord fled from her.

5. Add dancing a thing condemned by the people of God as no honest recre­ation, at least when in companies that are mixed, and (as we call it) promiscous dancing, such as useth to be at marriages, and the like occasions, both of old (as may be seen in the Canons of several Councels) as also of late by our own and other reformed Churches.

[Page 221] I shal say these things in short of it: First, that ye will not find it mentioned in Scripture in the person of any of the godly, it becoming an Herodias's daughter better then professors of Religion. 2. That it will be readily fou [...]d to indispose for the exercise of godliness, and so to be inconsistent, or at best, hardly consistent with either a pious and lively, or a sober frame of spirit. 3. That it marreth not only the gravity of persons for the time, putting them in a sort of regular distraction, but lessenet the esteem of such persons; this insobriety being like a dead fly that mak eth the box of oyntment (if any be) to stink. 4, That in Scripture examples we find this sort of dancing only among prophane and loose people, and recorded also as a piece of their stain or blot, rendring them some way infamous; and oftentimes it hath also snares waiting upon it, as in the Israelites amongst themselves, Exod. 31. and in the daughters of Moa [...] with the people of Israel, and in that of Herodias's daughter: Some also suppose those whom Dinah went forth to see, Gen. 34. were thus imployed at some feast, or such other solemnity, where she was insnared and deflowred. 5. Yea, it is often, if not ever the fruit of some former loosness and carnalness being the effect that excessive wantonness usually breaketh out in; and can Gods people warrantably have fellowship with these works of darkness? or can they (if guilty themselves) reproved it in others? Cicero calleth it Postremum vitiorum quia acta se­quitur, the last of vices, because usually it followeth former loose carriages. 6. There is no lawful mean of recreation which is useful for the health of the body, but is, and may, & should be sanctified by the Word and Prayer, yet I suppose neither useth this to be so▪ neither would any think it very sutable, or well consistent with a praying fram; e & can that which standeth not with the serious exercise of repentance and a praying disposition, or that which none would think a fit posture to meet death, or the Lords appearing with, be in reason though consistent with a Christian walk? which should alwayes be with the loyns girded, and the lamps burning: It is somewhat like this, or less then this, which the Lord condemneth, Isa. 3. 16. walking and mincing, or tripping, and making a tinkling with their feet; what is that but disdaining the grave way of walking, to affect an art in it? as many do now in our dayes; and shal this be displeasing to the Lord, and not the other? seeing he loveth, and is best pleased with the native way of carring the body Jun [...]u [...] and Rivet from him, calleth this minching or tripping, a walking or standing on the Earth in an artifici­al way.

Besides these things that are more general in folks carriage, there is somewhat further in our cloathing and diet, which is to be spoken to here, seeing in these we ought to be christians, sober; grave, &c. and in nothing do our lightness, vainity (as we ordinarily use▪ to call people vain from their apparel▪) pride, wantonness, and rioting appear more, then in vain garbs. Hence the Apostle Paul 1 Tim. 2. 9. joyneth modest apparel with shamefastness and sobriety or chastity, as also doth the Apostle Peter, 1 Pet. 3. 2. 3. and in Jezebel and others, decking and dresing to seek love, is ever accounted an high degree of loosness: It is a wonder that men should take pleasure to deboard in their cloathing, which is the badge of their perfidious­ness, and was at first appointed to cover their shame and nakedness. It is observed that the Hebrew word, [...]eged doth signifie both perfidiousness and cloathing, and cometh from that word which signifieth to break covenant, the Lord thereby intending by the very consideration of our cloaths, to humble us, and keep us in [Page 222] mind of our first breach of covenant with him: and yet such is our wickedness, that we will glory in that which is indeed our shame. as i [...] it were a special orna­ment; and whereas at first, cloathing was appointed for covering nakedness, for preventing of incitements to lust, and for decencie, now Jezebels like, it is made use of to be a provocation thereunto; see Prov. 7. 10. God in his first appointment of [...]ayment, for preventing of vainity, and commending honest sobriety therein, did make for our first Parents coats of skins.

And therefo e we say, that in men and women both, there is condemned by the Lord, 1. Costliness and excessive bravery of apparel, 1 Tim. 2. 9. which saith not that we are to foster sordidness or baseness, or that men in all places or stations, and of all ranks, should, as to their apparel; be equal, but that none should exceed. It is strange, that sometimes the poorest and meanest for place, and often for qualifica­tions, are finest this way, as if it were the best or only way to commend and set them out; and that some should have more in cloath [...] then in their stock, is utterly intolerable 2. Strangeness in the ever-changing fashions, and extravagant modes of apparel, while as the Lord by nature hath continued the shape of mens bodies to be the same; for what is meant else by strange apparel, so often forbidden in the Scripture, but [...]hat which is commonly called the fashion, or new fashion, a new and uncouth garb? And certainly mens minds are often infected with lascivious thoughts, and lustful inclinations, even by the use and sight of gaudy and vain cloathing, and we will see, light, loose, conceited minds discover themselves in no­thing sooner then in their apparel, & fashions, and conceitedness in them. 3. There is a lightness, in cloathing, as to colour, mounting as they call it, &c. and in dres­sing of the body, which may be seen in these dressings of the hair, in powderings, laces, ribbon, points, &c. which are so much in use with Gallants of the time; this, especially in women is insisted on and condemned, Isa. 3. 16. 17. &c. some things indeed there ment o [...]ed, are not simply unlawful, especially to persons of higher quality, and at all [...]i [...]es; but the particulars following are condemned; 1. Affect­ing of, and having a lust after, brave cloathing, making our back our God, as some do their belly, Phil. 3. 19. and this may be where cloaths are but mean, yet the lust and appetite after them may be great. 2. Haughtiness and vanity in cloaths and dressings, when we think our selves better with them then without them, or esteem our selves, because of them above others, in other things superiour, or at least e­qual to us. 3. Excess in these, in their superfluity and costliness, as is said, above and beyond our state and station. 4. Wantonness and lightness in them, which is especially in nakedness, as to such and such parts of the body, which in modesty are to be hid; for women having cloaths for a cover, ought to make use of them for that end and it is more then probable, that, that walking with stretched out necks, there reproved, relateth to women, their making more of their necks, and their breasts bare, then should be, or is decent, they affected to discover and raise their gorgets, when God commendeth modesty, and Nature is best pleased in its own unaffected freedom, yet they stretched them out: It is both a wonderful and sad thing, that women should need to be reproved for such things, which are in them­selves. 1. So gross, that let the most innocent be inquired, whence these, more then ordinary discoveries, do proceed; and they must at least grant, that the first practisers of such a fashion, could have no other design in it, then the more thereby [Page 223] to please and allure mens carnal eyes and regards: And 2. so impudent; for if to be all naked be shameful and exceeding ready to provoke lust, must not nakedness in part, more or less, be, and do the same? So that this will be found a glorying in their shame; for nakedness hitherto was always looked upon as a reproach: We read of old of such as were grave, that they covered themselves with a va [...]l: And 1 Cor. 11. married womens going abroad uncovered is looked on as unnatur­al; What would such say if they lived in our times; we are pe [...]waded the gravest amongst women are most averse from this evil, and the lightest are most prone and given to it: And seeing all women should be grave, it must import a disclaiming of that qualification where this lightness is delighted in: If therefore there be any shame, if there be any conscience, we will exspect to prevail with some who are touched with the sense of gravity, that they may be good examples to the rest▪ and once indeavour effectually to bring gravity and modest shamefastness in fashion again.

There is in cloaths a base effeminateness amongst men (which some way ema­sculateth or unmanneth them) who delight in those things which women dote [...]pon, as dressing of hair, powdrings, washings) when exceeded in) rings, jewels, &c. which are spoken of, and reproved in the daughters of Zion, Isa. 3. and so must be much more unsutable to men Also interchanging of apparel is condemned; men putting on womens, and women mens cloaths, which is unsutable to that distinction of Sexes which the Lord hath made, and is condemned in the Word as a con­fusion, an absurd, unnatural thing, and an inlet to much wickedness. Where­of the Dutch Annotators, as several Fathers did long before them, on 1 Cor. 11. v. 14. make mens nourishing and wearing of long hair, to be some degree, it being given to women, not only for an ornament and covering, but also in part for distinction of the Female Sex from the Male: And here having touched a little on this vain dressing of the heir (now almost in alse many various modes, as there are fashions of apparel) especially incident to women, it will not be impertinent to subjoyn a strange story which learned, pious, and grave Mr. Bolton in his four last things, pag. 40. repeats from his Author the famous Hercules▪Saxonia. professor of Physick in Padua; The plica (saith he) is a most loathsom and horrible disease in the hair, unheard of in former times, as Morbus Gallicus, and Sudor Anglicus, bread by modern luxury and excess, it seizeth specially upon wo­men and by reason of a viscuou [...], venomus humour, glueth together, as it were, the hairs of the head with a prodigious ugly implication and intanglement, somtimes taking the form of a great snake, somtimes of many little serpents, full of nastiness, vermin, and noisom smell: And that which is most to be admired, and never eye saw before, these being pricked with a needle, they yield bloody drops. And at the first spreading of this dreadful disease in Poland, all that did cut off this horrible and snakie hair, lost their eyes, or the humour falling down upon others parts of the body, tortured them ex­treamly. It began first, not many years ago in Poland, it is now entred into many parts of Germany. And methinks (sayes Mr. Bolton) our monstrous fashionists, both male and female, the one for nourishing their horrid bushes of vainity, the other for their most unnatural and cursed cutting their hair, should every hour fear and tremble, left they bring it on their own heads, and amongst us in this Kingdom. It is also worthy the noticing that Tertullian hath to this purpose, in his Book de cuitu [...]ul. chap. [Page 224] 7. where having expostulated with Christian women for their various vain dres­sings of the hair, he bespeaks them thus; Drive away thus bondage of busking from a free head; in vain do you labour to appear thus dressed, in vain do ye make use of the most expert frizlers of hair, God commands you to be covered and vailed: I wish that I, must miserable man, may be priviledged to lift up my head, if it▪ were but amongst the feet of the people of God, in that blessed day of Christians exalting gladness, then will I see if ye will arise out of your Graves with that varnish and paint of white and red, and with such a head▪dress; and if the Angels will carry you up so adorned and paint­ed to meet Christ in the clouds. And again; cap. 13. These delights and toyes (says he) must be sheken off, with the softness and loosness whereof, the vertue and valour of faith may be weakned▪ moreover, I know not if these hands that are accustomed to be surround­ed with rings and bracelets, or such other ornaments, will indure to be benummed and stupified with the hardness of a chain: I know not if the legg, after the use of such fine [...]sesgarters, will suffer it self to be streightned and pinched into fetters▪ or a pair of stocks: I am afraid that the neck, accustomed to chains of Pearls and Emeralds, will hardly admit of the two-handed Sword: Therefore, O blessed woman! (saith he) let us meditate and dwell on the thoughts of hardship, and we shall not feel it, let us re­linquish and abandon these delicacies and frolicks, and we shall not desire them; let us stand ready armed to incounter all violent assaults, having nothing which we will be afraid to forego and part with: These, these are the stayes and ropes of the Anchor of ou [...] Hope.—Let your eyes be painted with shamefastness and quietness of spirit fast­ning in your ears the Word of God, and tying about your necks the yoke of Christ, subject your head to your Husbands, and so shall you be abundantly adorned and comly: Let your hands be exercised with wool, let your feet keep at home, and be fixed in the house, and they will please much more, then if they were all in gold; cloath your selves with the silk of goodness and vertue, with the fine linning of holiness, with the purpure of chastity▪ and being after this fashion painted and adorned, ye will have God to be your Lover, Which notably agreeth with what the Apostles say, 1 Tim. 2. v. 9. 10. In like man­ner also, that women odorn themselves in modest apparel, with shamefastness and sobrie­ty, not with broidered hair, or gold, or pearls, or costly array: But (which becometh wo­men professing godliness) with goodworks. 1 Pet, 3. [...]. 2. especially 3. 4. 5. Whose adorning, let it not be that outward adorning, of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparrel. But let it be the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, even the ornament of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price: For after this manner in the old time, the holy women also who trusted in God, adorned themselves, being in subjection unto their own husbands. See also Tit. 2. v, 4. 5.

Next to what hath been said of dressing the body, somewhat may not inapposit­ly be spoke to, annent dressing and decking of houses and beds, and annent houshold furniture or plenishing, wherein there may be an evil concupiscence and lust, and an inordinate affection; our minds being often by a little thing kindled and set on fire: See to this purpose, Prov. 7. 17. where that woman spoken of, hath first the attire of an whore, then, he faith, her bed is dressed, her [...]epestry and curtains provided, incense and perfumes are in the chambers: So also beds of Ivory are reproved, Amos 6, 4. which are all used for entertaining the great lust of uncleanness▪ which ordinarily hath these alluring extravegancies attending and waiting upon it. O! what [Page 225] provision do some make for the flesh, to fulfill the lusts thereof, & how careful Caterers are they this way for their corruptions? And certainly Christians are not in their houses more then in their persons, left to live at random & without bounds, & folks no doubt may be unsutable to their stations, as much in the one as in the other. This excess may be also in the light and wanton manner of adorning houses and buildings with filthy and immodest paintings, picturs, and statues, and such like, which, with other things, is spoken of condemned, Ezek. 23. 14.

But withal, in what we have spoken in these excesses so incident even to pro­fessours, we would not have folks too rigidly to expone us, for we know that there are lawful recreations, nor are honesty and comliness in behaviour and ap­parel, blameable, but to be commended in their place▪ neither would we have any think, that we suppose all such, who do the things above censured, to be in­cited to them from this principle of lust; but for clearing of the matter further, it would be considered, 1, That we speak of these things as they are abused and particularly condemned in this Church. 2. We would consider the end of the things themselves, as they have been at first sinfully introduced, whatever may be the innocent intention of a particulare user