BY EDMUND ELYS Master of Arts, and Fellow of Baliol-Colledg in OXFORD.

Qui non appetit hominibus placere, nec timet displi­cere, Multa perfruetur pace.


OXFORD, Printed by H. H. for Tho: Robinson, 1659.

To the truly Vertuous and Excellent LADY Mris HESTER NOYE.


THose deep Discourses, which I have so often heard from you, upon the Subject of this Small Book, gave me the Occasion of Composing it: and therefore I thought it my Duty to Dedicate it unto You. In perusing it, you may Conceit, that these few Good Thoughts of mine returne to You, as small brooks and rivulets, to the OCE­AN, from whence they came: for seriously Ma­dam, I shall ever Acknowledg that one of the best waies I have found out to improve my Vn­derstanding in Spirituall Things, has been, the Contemplation of that truly Noble, and Christian [Page] Disposition, which the Giver of every Good, and Perfect Gift has Bestowed on You. Certainly those Vertuous Persons, who have the happynesse to be Acquainted with You, if they peruse this Dis­course, will imagine it to be no other then Your CHARACTER: Considering what a rare thing that Temper of Mind is, which here I Describe (I Fancy) they would have thought me to have had lōe Acquaintance with You, though I had not Prefixt Your Name. You, Madam, are one of those very few in the world, who, by the strength of true, Sanctified Reason, are able to Apprehend firmely, and constantly these most important Truthes (which scape the Notice of the generality of men) That the things of the World are in themselves altogether Vanity, That GOD is All in All, &c. The Sun of Righteous­nesse thus Shining into Your Soule, giving you a Cleare, and full demonstration of these Truthes, Scatters those Mists, and Clouds of False Hopes, and Feares, Anxious Desires, and Foolish Imagi­nations, &c. which continually hang over the Soules of those Persons, (which are by farre the greatest part of the World) that are Earthly, and [Page] Sensuall; Shewing you that the only way to Set your heart at rest, is, to Acquiesce in the Enjoy­ment of GOD, which you have in part here; and in the Hopes of the fulnesse, and Consum­mation of it, which you shall have in Heaven hereafter. If I have put you to a Blush (for I know your Nature is such, that you still endea­vour to Fly the Praises, your Actions (all for) I shall entreat you to consider that by what I have here spoken I did not Principally intend to Praise You, but to Glorifie your MAKER: for, what have you that you have not receiv'd? You know what Vse you are to make of being well spoken of: To Thanke GOD for the Grace he hath given you, and to Pray unto him for more. It may be you will wonder to see me in Print a­gain, &c. contrary to the Advice of so many of my honor'd Friends: but, seriously, Madam, to speak freely, I have weigh'd all the Reasons, that have been, or (I think) can be produc'd to dis­svvade me, and I find them too light to Over­ballance my Resolution in this Designe: vvhere­in I am sure I can do no man any, harme: but in all probability shall doe some good, in the Ser­vice [Page] of HIM, whose Favour is the only thing I would Absolutely Desire; whose Displeasure is the onely thing I would Absolutely Avoid: nei­ther shall I ever charge my selfe, as Guilty of In­discretion, (which is the great Bugbear, which some men would Fright me withall from such Vndertakings) but when I find that, through the Blindnesse of my Understanding, or the Violence, and Praecipitancy of my Affections, I have Fallen into the one, or have Missed the other. I shall not hold you with any longer discourse Farewell: And may the GOD of all Comfort Love and Embrace you; and wipe off all Teares from your Eyes: may You and I, and all those, whom we are Bound to Pray for, Rest from our Labours, from all doubts, and feares, all trouble, and an­guish, and disturbance of Spirit, in the Bosome of the Father, through our LORD JESUS CHRIST.

To the READER.


MEthinks I heare thee say, as I have often heard others upon the like occasion. What need more Books on this Subject? have not such and such Learned men written on it allready? and does this man think himselfe wiser, then any of them? To this I Answer, that I conceive the Use of such Bookes may not one­ly be to make us Know what wee ought to Doe, but to Ex­cite us to Doe according to our Knowledg: to beget in the mind of the Reader New Acts of Understanding such truths, as he has already Received; that if his former Notions, (being Weake, and remisse, & suddenly broken off by Vaine thoughts and Passions) have never had any Powerfull, and Effectuall Influence upon his Will (to ingage him to a stedfast Resolu­tion, and Constancy of Acting according to those Truthes) his latter may. To speake more closely: I suppose thou mayest have read severall Treatises on this Subject, which I Treat of in these following Leaves Penn'd (it may be) by men of more Learning then I shall ever attaine unto, though I should Live more Lustres, then yet I have seen Years: and yet 'tis very possible that thou mayest gain more good to thy Soule by these Lines of mine, then ever thou did'st by theirs. (Suspend thy Judgment a little: and doe not presently passe thy Censure up­on me, as Proud, and selfe-conceited) Two Reasons for this my Opinion (others I have which I shall not divulge) are these. First, 'Tis very possible that when thou readest this Discourse thy Mind may be more Dispos'd, & Fitted to receive the mat­ter therein deliver'd, then it was when thou didst read the dis­courses of other men upon the same Subject. Secondly, Through the whole Course of the Observations I have made (according to the time I have had to Exercise my Reason) of My selfe, and others; I have found that Practicall Truthes are more, or lesse taking according to the Expressions wherein they are set [Page] forth: As Persons are esteem'd more, or lesse Handsome accor­ding to the Dresses, they go in▪ I do not here imply that my Ex­pressions are Better, then others, but that, being not the same possibly they may be Better to Thee, that is, they may be more Suitable to thy Genius, & temper of Mind, & so the apter to in­sinuate into Thee, the matter they carry in thē. I have nomore to say to thee thē only to advise thee, that if thou intendest to peruse this short Discours, thou wouldst allow thy self more time for it, then the small Bulk thereof may seem to require. They that read such Discourses, as this, loosely, & cursorily, usually misse of the greatest part of the Practicall Sense, & meaning of the Words: which does, as it were, run beside, whilst they endevour toe fast to Poure it into their minds. Such kind of writings, which are intended for the Cure of our Sinfull Habits, the Sores, and Ulcers of the Soule, are not onely to be Read over, but to be Fixt in our Hearts by Serious Meditation otherwise they will become Uselesse unto us, and of none effect: As we are wont not onely to Lay Plaisters to our Bodily Sores, but also to Bind them on, otherwise they would soone slip off from the Places Affected. If thou beest one of those Envious, Malitious, Un­charitable men, (whereof the World is so full) who hate any one that is not of the same Humour with themselves; and are rea­dy alwaies to brand those with the name of Hypocrites, and Vain-Glorious Persons, that venture to be thus Publick: I assure thee, whosoever thou art, I am confidēt through the Grace of God, that I shall not be any otherwise Troubled with the ap­prehension of thy ill opinion of me (if it come to my knowledg) then only for this, that thy heart, being by Prejudice Hardned against me, will be the lesse capable (for thy good) to receive any Impression from what I have written. What kind of man soe­ver thou art, thou canst not be Injur'd by My Writings, or I by Thy Censures. Farewell: and if thou beest a Scholar, and con­ceitest thy selfe (as justly thou mayest) to Know more, then I can Teach thee, Remember that saying of SENECA. Stude; non ut plùs aliquid scias, sed ut meliùs.


‘Take my yoke upon you, and learne of mee, for I am meeke, and lowly in heart, and ye shall find rest unto your soules.’Mat. 11.29.

I Shall first Explaine the Expres­sions in my Text, and then I shall raise the Doctrine, which I shall Insist upon as the Principall sub­ject of my Discourse. Take my yoke upon you: that is, Doe the Commands I have imposed upon you: do the will of your Heavenly Father, which I came to discover unto you. And learne of mee: i. e. And that you may know how to doe it, take mee for your Example. For I am meek, and lowly in heart: i. e. For I am, as you ought to be, loving and kind to MEN, and truly Humble, and submissive to [Page 2] GOD, And you shall find rest unto your soules. i. e. And in doing the Will of your God, which is Holy, Just, and Good; you shall find true Comfort, and satis­faction, and Complacencie of Mind: you shall cease from all that Labour and Travell, which hitherto you have continually endur'd in seeking, and by wicked meanes endeavouring after True Content­ment in the things of this World, which are all va­nity and Vexation of Spirit. Eccl. 1.14.

From the Words thus open'd unto you I shall draw forth this Doctrine: that True Faith in Christ (through which Christians are inabled by God to take Christ's Yoke upon them, &c. (I say) true Faith in Christ cures a Man of all Spirituall Distempers, and gives him Ease: frees him from all Anguish, and Sorrow, and Tribulation of Mind, and furni­shes him with a never failing stock of Pleasure, and Contentment. To be more strict and Logicall; I shall lay down the sense of my Doctrine in these words: True Faith enables a man to draw, true, so­lid Comfort (strong consolation) from all the Ob­jects of his Thoughts: whatsoever a Wise man, a Faithfull, syncere Christian thinkes of, he finds in it cause to Rejoice. Whithersoever His Soule hath occasion to Goe, (if I may so expresse my selfe) she finds the Way beset, as it were, with Beds of Roses, very Pleasant, and Delightsome unto Her▪ accor­ding to that of Solomon, Prov. 3.17. The waies of wisdome are waies of pleasantnesse, and all her pathes are peace. Before I come to a punctuall demonstration of [Page 3] the Truth of my Doctrine, to shew you, that Rest and quiet of Mind, which a Good man, a True Be­liever continually enjoyes, I shall premise some discourse of that Trouble and anguish, wherewith the Minds of Wicked, Unregenerate men are so grievously afflicted. You will have a more exact apprehension of the Rest of the GODLY, when you heare of the Labours of the WICKED.

There is no peace, saith my God, to the wicked.
Isa. 58.21.

A wicked man can never have any peace, any rest in his Soule. How can he have Peace, who is His own Enemie. HIEROCLES saies truly, [...]: A Good man is only a Friend to Himself. The Mind of a wicked man is his Tor­ment: His Thoughts Gnaw him, as wormes the Bow­els. Which way soever He looks upon himselfe, he Sees nothing but Griefe and Horror. When He looks back upon his Life Past, and considers what He hath been, his Conscience presently Vexes and Upbraids him; shewing him the Vanity of the Plea­sures he hath enjoy'd, and the wickednesse of the Actions he hath committed. When he considers the state and condition he is in at present, there sud­denly arises in him a great deale of anguish and ve­xation of spirit from an apprehension of the empti­nesse, and dissatisfaction of all his Enjoyments. When he considers what he would be, and sends out his thoughts in the search of the best Means to accomplish his Desires, he is miserably distracted, and Divided against Himselfe: his Conscience stri­ving [Page 4] against his Affections, or his Affections one a­gainst another: one while his Lusts, his vile Affe­ctions furiously impell him to such and such a Course, because tis Pleasant, whilst his Conscience deters him from it because 'tis Wicked. Another while, having broke the Bonds of Conscience, he is againe Restrain'd by some Passion (or inordinate Affection) contrary to that by which his Soule was first Mov'd. Thus how oft does it happen, that a man is vehemently Inclin'd by his sensuall Desires to do those things, from which the Fear of Shame, or of Temporall Punishment &c keeps him back? Thus how oft does it happen, that a man's Ambition urges him to those Dangers from which his Cowardise deters him; or his Pride and rash desire to be accounted Magnificent, or the like, to those Expences from which his Covetou­snesse powerfully disswades him. This or the like Distraction and Incomposednesse of Mind is the Lot of all the Wicked: whose Miserable Condition we may in short describe thus. The things which They so eagerly pursue and follow after, can never afford them any of that Satisfaction and Contentment, which they expect from them: and they misse the greatest part even of that Outward, Sensible Plea­sure, which the Nature of their Enjoyments might afford; by reason of that Trouble and Dissatisfa­ction which they bring to some of their Affections, whilst they Gratifie others; or by reason of the Troubles they receive from their Displeased Con­sciences: [Page 5] which, if they cannot Restraine Them from Rushing into SIN, Pursue them (as it were) and Overtake them in the Act, and deprive them of the greatest part of the Pleasure of it. I'll appeale to the Heart of any man here, that is Conscious to himselfe, that he is to be numbred among the Wic­ked, that he lives in any course of Known Sin, gives way to his Lusts and sensuall Inclinations; I'll Appeale, I say, to the Heart of any such man, and be Try'd by Him, whether I do not speak Truth: surely he knowes it by Woefull Experi­ence. Whenever thou hast Offended Thy GOD, to satisfie the Importunity of any of thy Impetuous Lusts, hath not thy Conscience Dampt thy Flaming Spirit, Cool'd thy Courage, (as we use to speak) tel­ling thee, that thou hast done Foolishly, telling thee of HELL and DEATH: and so Mixing thy Wine with Wormwood, turning thy Delight into Vexati­on of Spirit.

Having thus briefly discovered unto you the Black and Dismall Condition of the Soules of the Wicked, which Sit in Darknesse, and in the Shadow of Death: I shall now endeavour to discover unto you the Pleasant and Comfortable Estate of those that are truly GODLY, who have the Day-star ari­sing in their Hearts, who through Faith in CHRIST, walke in the Light of GODS Countenance, enjoy his Favour, who is KING of KINGS, and LORD of LORDS, The Father of Mercies, and GOD of all Comfort. That I may give you a more [Page 6] clear and manifest Discovery of this Happinesse of a True CHRISTIAN; I shall Point (as it were) (as those men use to do, that Shew you some Excellent Sight, to make your Notice the more accurate) at the Principall Parts of it, Opening, and Demonstrating unto you this Proposition or Doctrine: [True Faith enables a man, &c.] in these three Particulars. First, True Faith in CHRIST inables a man to draw Comfort

  • 1 From the Remembrance of what he hath been, of the Condition he hath formerly been in.
  • 2. From the Apprehension of that which He is in at present.
  • 3. From the Expectation of what He may be in for the future.

Now these Three things, What a man hath been, What he is, and What he expects to be, are the Principall, and most Usuall Objects of our Thoughts: therefore if I shall be able to shew you, how a True, Faithfull CHRISTIAN may draw Matter of Comfort from all These, I suppose, you will easily apprehend how He may Comfort him­selfe also in the Notice he takes of other things, as of all the Workes of PROVIDENCE, which he Sees in the Affaires of the World, or the like: therefore I shall not extend my Discourse to any of them.

Each of the Particulars which I have propoun­ded unto my selfe to be insisted upon, as the Sub­ject and Ground-worke of my Discourse, consists of Two Parts, our Condition being Two-fold, viz. of [Page 7] the Inner, and Outward Man: or (as the common words are) Spirituall and Temporall▪ At present I shall speak only of the Temper and Disposition of a CHRISTIANS Spirit in reference to his Spiri­tuall Condition, Past, Present, and to Come. As for his Temporall Condition, or the Estate of his Outward Man, I shall defer my Discourse of That, 'till some other Opportunity.

The First thing that I am to Shew you is, That a True CHRISTIAN, one that hath taken CHRIST's Yoke upon him &c. can take Comfort, Find Rest unto his Soule, in the Remem­brance of his Life Past, whether it have been Sin­full or Holy. But here probably some of you may presently Object within your selves against what I say, thus: How! Can a True CHRISTIAN take Comfort in the Remembrance of his Sinfull Estate? why? what then is meant by Poenitence, or Godly Sorrow? is not that the Sorrow which we conceive by the Remembrance of our Sins? In re­moving this Objection, I doubt not, but (by Gods Assistance) I shall give you a full discovery of this Truth; That a CHRISTIAN can Com­fort Himselfe (through the Help of GODS Spirit) even in the Remembrance of his Sinfull Estate. We grant, that when He thinks of His Sinfull Estate, as Sinfull, to wit, as it relates to GOD, as that Course of Life, wherein He did so often Dishonour the Name of the GOD that Made him; of JESUS, that Redeem'd him; and Griev'd the HOLY SPIRIT [Page 8] OF GOD, that Now Sanctifies Him: I say my Bre­thren, when a CHRISTIAN does This way look back upon his Sinfull Life, He cannot chuse through Indignation against Himselfe, but Rent his Heart, vex his Spirit, cherish and foment his own Sorrow, saying with David: Psa: 38.18. I will be sorry for my Sin. But let us Observe, that This kind of Sorrowing is but as the taking of Physick, 'tis not any Disease, or Settled Distemper of the Soul: I say, when We are thus Prickt with the Sharp sense and feeling of our SINS, we are not Wounded, but Let Blood: and this Spirituall Phlebotomy is that, which Cures us of our present, and Prevents future Maladies. To speak more plainly; This Godly Sor­row (as the 2 Cor: 7.10. Apostle saies) worketh Repentance: [...], worketh a Change of the Mind: Alters the Temper and Constitution of the Inward Man; Confirmes a man in Holinesse, which is the Health and Strength of the Soule, that hath for­merly been Wicked, that is to say, that hath aboun­ded with all manner of Infirmities, with all manner of Lusts, and Burnings, and inordinate Affections, which are (as it were) the Feavers, and Agues, and Swellings, and Tumours of the Soule. And thus, My Brethren, though the Sorrow, which a True Christian, a Faithfull Servant of the Living GOD, conceives by the Remembrance of his Sinfull Life Past, be in it selfe very Painfull and Grievous, yet it worketh for him the greatest Ease and Comfort. It only Roots out of the Heart all Carnall Joy, all [Page 9] False, Fading, worldly Comfort, to Plant in it Ioy Un­speakable, & The Comfort of the Holy Ghost. To fix this Truth in your minds, to Confirme you in the Apprehension of it, I shall recite unto you that Say­ing of Our SAVIOUR:Matt. 5.4. Blessed are they that Mourn, for they shall be Comforted. All that I have here said may be briefly summ'd up thus: the Thoughts, which a GODLY Man has, in the Remembrance of His Un­regenerate Estate (though they do not Directly, yet they doe) By Consequent Continually Afford Him abundance of Comfort: to wit (as in effect I said but now) by Fitting, and Preparing His Heart to En­tertain the Holy Ghost, the only True COM­FORTER. The more a man Sorrowes after a God­ly sort (as the 2 Cor. 7.11. Apostles expression is) the more Entertainment He gives to the Spirit of GOD, and receives the more Comfort from Him: As often this way, as â CHRISTIANS Spitits faile him, GOD gives him a Cordiall, to Revive, and to Delight his Soule.

Having thus spoken of the Temper, and Disposi­tion of a CHRISTIANS Spirit in the Remem­brance of His Sinfull Estate; in relation to GOD, that is, as that Course of Life, wherin He did so often Dishonour the Name of the GOD that Made Him: &c. I shall now shew you how His Spirit is Affected, what kind of thoughts He hath, in the Remēbrance of it, as it relates to Himselfe, as an Estate of Trou­ble of which he is Eas'd, and of Danger which he hath Escaped. Now my Brethren, that a Sinfull [Page 10] Estate is Troublesome, and Unquiet, I have shewne you from these words, There is no peace, &c. that 'tis also a Dangerous Estate, SINNERS being every moment in Danger of HEL-FIRE I presume there is none here but will readily grant: And I suppose This also, That men Reioyce in the Remembrance of the Troubles, and Dangers, they have Past, is so Obvious to every ones Apprehension, that to goe about accurately, and Logically to Prove unto you, that a CHRISTIAN may draw Comfort, and Mat­ter of Rejoying continually from the Remembrance of His Sinfull Condition, as Troublesome, and Dan­gerous, would be but to Mis-spend so much time, being a vaine, and meer formall Labour. Therefore I shall not Shew you this Truth soe, as if you had never Seen it before (if I may soe speake) but that you might View it againe, & take more exact No­tice of it: I shall soe speake of it that I shall not seem, to Bring the Truth to you, but only, to make you Turne the eyes of your understanding towards It, being Habitually in your minds already, though probably, the greatest part of you did never in any measure so firmely Apprehend it, so thorowly Thinke of it, as you ought to doe. And here I can­not but make a farther digression, to speake a word against the Folly of some men, who Pretending much to Polite Reason, and Learning, account it a vaine thing for Scholars to discourse of such Truthes, as are so Commonly Confes'd: As if those waters of Life, Spirituall, and Practicall Truthes, [Page 11] might not lye many yeares together in a Carnall mans Head, thorowly Frozen as it were, and uselesse, 'till by the Hearing of some more Powerfull, Zea­lous, Experimentall Expressions of the same Truth's, his Affections be so Inflamed, as to Thaw, and dissolve them (if I may so speake) that they may Flow downe continually upon the Heart, to Purge and Cleanse it from all Filthinesse, and Pollution; as that River did AUGEAS his Stable. I do not speake This for the Allusion's sake, as a strained conceit, but as That which I thinke Suitable to the Experimentall Notions of GODLY Men.

And now I come to speake of the Comfort, a Christian hath when He reflects upon His Unrege­nerate Estate, as Troublesome and Dangerous: and this I shall do as briefly and pithily as I can.

You know it is a common saying: Fessum Quies plurimùmjuvat. What a Comfortable thing is it for one that hath Travelled hard to Repose him­selfe, for one that is Weary to Ly downe, and take his Rest? How doth He Rejoyce, and Hug himselfe (as they say) in the Apprehension of His present Health, that hath beene Recovered of a Long, and Grievous Sicknesse? Why, thus it is with a Syn­cere Convert, when He considers his Former Con­dition: His thoughts Representing unto him the Spirituall Evils: which formerly he Laboured un­der, and opposing them to that Good and Pleasant Condition, which now He is in, make him the more Sensible of it, more to Rejoyce in it. The like Com­fort [Page 4] we may conceive to be in the Heart of a true Believer, when he Looks back upon the Danger of his Sinfull Estate. When He considers that he was once in the High-way to HELL, that Broad Way, &c. that He was once like to Perish for ever; His Soule doth Magnifie the LORD, and his Spirit doth rejoyce in God his Saviour. How does He delight himselfe upon This Consideration, in Acting his FAITH, in the Contemplation of The things that are not seen: HELL which he hath Escaped; and HEAVEN, which shortly He shall Inherit? through the strong Apprehensions he hath, that His SINS are Forgiven him, &c? With what alacri­ty and chearfulnesse doth He Embrace the GOD, that Loved Him, the Physitian that Cured Him, the LORD that Saved Him? Such as these are the usuall thoughts of one that is truly Converted, when he calls to mind the Sinfulnesse of his Life Past:

As in Hot and Sun-shine Dayes, Swine are wont to Wallow in the Mire to Avoid the extremity of the Heat: So how long did I accustome my selfe to Wallow in all manner of Uncleannesse, (Filthinesse of the Flesh, and Spirit) wherein I never found any True Comfort, did only for the present Allay the Scorching Heat, and Violence of my inordinate Af­fections; being continually Troubled either with the Sollicitation and Urgency of them, or with some Reflexion upon the Base and filthy Wayes I tooke to Satisfie them? How long did I accustome my selfe to Drinke Poysonous Waters to Quench my [Page 5] Thirst: to do that which I knew to be Evill, to Sa­tisfiie the Importunity of my irregular Desires? Thus Missing my Way to True Happinesse, the more Hast I made towards it, the Farther still I went from it: The oftener I Accomplisht my De­sires, the more Discontented I found My selfe, still Vexing My Spirit, to Please My Lusts. But Now, How Happy am I! Now GOD is my Portion: And what can I Desire more, having Him who is All in All? HIM I doe Enjoy in some measure Here, and shall Enjoy HIM Fully & Perfectly hereafter in HEAVEN. Yea methinkes I am in HEAVEN already: I find My selfe Above the World: I am Free from those Earthly Affections, wherein formerly I Ingaged My Soule. I Envy no mans Honour: or Covet his Estate: or Hate his Person: or Feare his Power: All that I would Avoid is SIN, All that I Desire is God: For ever Blessed be His SPIRIT, which hath thus Reformed Mee. I can say unto God with DAVID, Psal. 73.25. Whom have I in Heaven, but Thee? And there is None upon Earth, that I Desire besides Thee.

And now I am come to this Point: That a CHRISTIAN exceedingly Rejoyces in the Re­membrance of His Life Past, if he have been Sancti­fied from the Wombe, if He have been Godly all his Dayes. Here I shall not Use many words: the Sub­ject I suppose to be so Plaine, that your Thoughts would Run on in it (that I may so speake) without any Interruption: if I should but shew Them the [Page 14] Way, should but Mention it. I shall onely endea­vour to set forth this Truth, That the Remembrance of Time Spent in the Service of God is most Com­fortable, and Pleasant, by This Similitude: As one that hath been Delivered out of many Dangers, Re­lieved in many Distresses, and made Rich and Great by some Eminent and Noble Person, Pleases Him­selfe in the thoughts of these Benefits, not onely, as Enjoyed by himselfe, but as Received from such a Person, whose Love is no less Honourable, then such Obligations, as I mentioned, the Evidences of it Bountifull: So one that hath been Godly from his Youth, when he remembers those many Spirituall Troubles, and Dangers, from which his God, who is King of Kings, and Lord of Lords, hath continu­ally preserved him, those many straits and distresses in which he hath relieved him: and how He hath made him Rich in Grace, &c. How exceedingly does he Rejoyce in the God of his Salvation, filling himselfe with Confidence, that he who hath conti­nued his Loving kindnesse so long time, will be still unto him Psal. 46.1. A very present help in Trouble. Sui­table to the thoughts of such a man we may find many Expressions, in the Booke of Psalmes. Psal. 74.12. God is my King of Old. Psal. 119.52. I remembred thy Jugements of Old, O Lord, and have comforted my selfe. Psal. 22.10. I was cast upon thee from the Wombe: Thou art my GOD from my mothers Belly. All that may be said upon this Subject may be Summ'd up, and concluded in this▪ That for any one who hath been Godly all his [Page 15] dayes to Remember his life past, is, to call to mind the mercies of God, to reflect upon those Gifts and Graces, which God hath bestowed on him from time to time; to meditate on those Sacred Truths, which have been continually Held forth unto him by the Spirit of Wisdome, as a Light to direct him in all the Darke and Slippery passages of his life. And what is this but to Looke on the Tokens, and Read over the Letters, which have been sent him from his dearest and best Friend his Father, his God? And what delight & satisfaction think you, does he take in this? surely they only can rightly imagine that have had some Experience of it. Thus my Bre­thren, when a man calls to mind the time he hath spent in the Service of God, he doth, as it were, live over againe his Holy, and Righteous, and there­fore most Happy life.

Vivere Bis, Vitâ posse Priore Frui.

Now come we to shew you that a true Christian can take Comfort in the apprehension of his Present Condition, as to his Inward man, whether he be Weake, or strong in Faith. If he be weake, and his Iniquities often prevaile against him: then it is true, when he ruflects upon himselfe, and sees the Fiery darts of Satan sticking in his sides, his thoughts do not Directly bring him any Comfort, but (as I said but now upon another occasion) by consequent they doe: that is to say, when he consi­ders the Weaknesse of his Faith, he cannot but be [Page 16] grieved▪ but when he reflects upon this considera­tion, considers that he does consider his Spirituall Weaknesse, and is thereupon Applying himselfe for help unto Christ, whose Grace is Sufficient for him, who would support him still, and keep him from Falling away totally, and finally, though his Faith should be ten thousand times Weaker then it is; in this he takes Comfort: And is ready to say with Saint Paul, 2 Cor. 12.9. Most gladly will I glory in my Infirmi­ties, that the Power of Christ may rest upon Me. Thus a Christian Comforts himselfe even in his Weake Faith; not that he is Weake, but that Christ's strength is made perfect, that is, manifests its suffici­ciency, and perfection, in his Weaknesse: not, that he is of himselfe so ready to Fall: but that through his owne Vanity, and Unsteadinesse, he discernes the power of Christ, by which he Stands.

Now let us consider a Christian strong in Faith, in whom there is scarce any Lust, that can make the least resistance against the Soule, who can say with holy David, Ps. 119.113. I hate vaine Thoughts, but thy Law do I Love. Oh how comfortable are the thoughts of such a man unto him, when he considers his Estate? how Unspeakable is his Joy, when he reflects upon himselfe, and sees the Image of God, the Beauty of Holinesse in his owne Soule? When he considers that God hath granted him, that he hath so often prayed for: A Cleane Heart: That through Christ enabling him, he hath overcome all those tempta­tions to Sinne, and Uncleannesse, which he sees to [Page 17] have Power over the Generality of Men: (The whole World, saies the Apostle, lyeth in Wickednesse. 1 Iohn. 5.19.) Upon such considerations as these, the Soule of a Christi­an delights herselfe in Running unto God, as Little Children are wont to do to their Fathers to Hug, and Embrace him, and expresse all manner of Affection unto him, in such an Holy Passion as David was in, when he Ps: 116.1 said, I love the LORD, because he hath Heard my Voyce, and my Supplications. I Ps: 18.1. will Love Thee, O LORD, my Strength.

Thus you see how a Christians Meditations con­cerning the State of his Inward Man, Worke Com­fort for him continually, either by Discovering the Evils and perturbations of his Soule, that they may be Removed: or by Representing those things, that are Good, and Excellent to Please and Delight him.

And now I come to the last thing that I propoun­ded to my selfe, to speake of at this time. That a Christian takes Comfort in the Expectation of any thing that may befall him for the future, as to his Inward Man: and that I shall briefly Demonstrate thus: Either he expects that he shall Fall into ma­ny Temptations, many Spirituall Straits, and Di­stresses: if so he Rejoyces in the God of his Life, who is Able Heb: 7.25. to Save him to the Uttermost, and 1 Cor: 10.13. will with the Temptation also make a way to escape: Or else he expects that God will Lead him in a Plaine Path (as the Ps: 27.11. Psalmists expression is) that he shall have no more such Temptations; and Stops in His Christian Course, as hitherto he hath had: that [Page 18] those Lusts, which warre against the Soule, shall no more rise up against him: if so, he Sings his [...], and Triumphs over Sinne and Death, saying with Saint Paul, Thankes be to God who giveth us the Victory through our LORD JESUS CHRIST.

In a word: True Faith Roots all Feare out of a Christians Heart, and turnes all his expectation, into Hope (which is you know, the Comfortable Fore­sight of some future Good) even through the Strength of this Perswasion, that as Saint Paul saies) Rom: 8.28 All things worke together for GOOD, to them that Love GOD: And also that Himselfe is One of Them.


‘Take my yoke upon you, &c.’Mat. 11.29.

IN my Last Sermon I told you that a true Christian through Faith takes Comfort in the Re­membrance of what he hath been: and in the Apprehension of What He is: and in the Expectation of What He may be for the future, as to his Inward man: I shall now prove the same of him, as to his Outward man. And here I shall Insist longest upon the middle Proposition: to wit, That a Christian takes Comfort in the Apprehensi­on of the Temporall Condition he is in, what ever it be. I suppose the particular Notions implyed in the Two other Propositions will be easily discovered from the Explication of This: Remembrance, and [Page 20] Expectation being nothing else (as all Scholars will soon grant) but a kind of Apprehēsiō: by the Former we Take back the Species, and Impresses of Things Past: by the Latter we Anticipate, and Take them before-hand.

As for the First Proposition that I am to Handle, to wit, That a Christian takes Comfort in the Remem­brance of what he hath been: I shall briefly demon­strate it; by Shewing you the Originall and Spring of that Comfort, which is, the Observation of the Love of GOD, Manifested unto him in a Way Suitable to the condition he hath been in: If he have beene in Adversity; he considers, how by that GOD hath beene pleas'd to make the WORID Bitter unto him, to Heighten his Appetite to Spiri­tuall Delights, to make him Long more earnestly to Taste, and See the Goodnesse of GOD: or to make him Meeke and Humble: or some other way to Advance his Soule towards Perfection, in Piety, and Vertue by the Low Estate of his Outward Man. If he have been in Prosperity, he considers how by that God hath been pleas'd to Provoke him to Chri­stian Magnanimity, and Magnificence, to make him Instrumentall for His Glory, in some Great and Emi­nent Acts of Charity, or to save him from Despon­dency, and Faintnesse of Spirit, and such like Infir­mities, which He knowes most Incident to men in Adversity: Still Sanctifying unto him all [...] Outward things, as Poverty, or Riches, Honours, or Dis­graces, Health or Sicknesse, to the Use of his Soule: [Page 21] before Conversion, to Put Him out of the way to HELL: and after, to Bring Him on in the way to HEAVEN, And may we not here say with Holy DAVID Ps. 107.43. Who so is wise, and will Observe these things: even they shall Understand the Loveing-kindness of the LORD. All that can be said in this place, may be briefly Summ'd up thus: All things worke together for Good to those that Love GOD: And the Observa­tion that a CHRISTIAN takes of that Reall, Spiri­tuall Good, that GOD has Wrought for Him by His Temporall Condition, whatever it has been, Affords Him infinitely more Comfort and Satisfaction, then any man can Declare or Conceive, but He that Knowes it by Experience.

I am now come to the Second Proposition, that I intended to Handle in This Discourse: A CHRIS­TIAN takes Comfort in the Sense, & Apprehension of the Present Condition of His Outward Man, whe­ther it be Prosperity, or Adversity: By Prosperity ▪ I Understand that Estate, wherein He has the Enjoy­ment of His Health, of abundance of Riches, and Great Possessions, and is in Honour, and Reputation amongst all those, with whom He has to doe. Ad­versity is the Want of These Things: if we Want All of Them, we are Wholly; if but some, Partly Miserable (I speake as to the Outward man.) That Christians take Comfort in their Prosperous Condi­tion, I suppose to be a truth so plaine and obvious, that I need not spend much time in the Demonstra­tion of it. I shall onely shew you one principall Rea­son [Page 22] of the Comfort They take in their Outward En­joyments: (Health, Goods, Good Name.) They look upon them as the meanes of performing in Deed, what every true Christian constantly Wills, That speciall Duty,Mat: 5.16. which Christ enjoynes us; Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good Workes, and Glorifie your Father which is in Heaven. This truth will be most evidēt, if we cōsider that the body is the Instrument of the Soule: That, whereby we performe the Outward Operations of all our Fa­culties, whereby we Act before men, as Writing, or Talking, or Performing any other Action, where­by we discover to the World, what Temper and Disposition we are of: Now Health is the Firme­nesse, and Soundnesse of this Instrument: and with­out it we cannot so well Performe any Outward act of Vertue: and if we do enjoy our Health, without Riches and Honours, There are many Vertues, which we cannot so well Discover: for instance; How can a man shew himselfe Liberall, that hath nothing to Give to those that Need? How can a man discover his Humility, that hath no Honour, and Reputation in the World; that is so Low already, that he cannot shew any Condescention. Here then let us Observe, that 'tis the duty of every Christian to use all means possible, (in a Right way) that are truly Honest, to gain such Riches, and Honours as he knows himselfe able to Manage. And in the pursuit of them, never to be deterr'd by any Feare of being accounted Co­vet [...] or Proud: whilst his owne Conscience tells [Page 23] him, that he doth not endeavour after these Out­ward Things, that he may enjoy them, but God in them, using them to His Glory.

And now I shall shew you (by Gods assistance) that a true Faithfull Christian takes Comfort also in his Adversity, when ever it pleases God to put him into such a Condition.

That you may have a more cleare, and distinct Notion of this Truth, I shall shew you particularly, what Comfort and Satisfaction he takes in Poverty, Sicknesse, Disgrace, or the losse of his Reputation. All Temporall evils, or Afflictions being compre­hended under one of these three Heads.

As for the first, the main ground, and principle of that Comfort, which a Christians Heart is posses­sed of, when he reflects upon his Poverty, is, the thought of that safety which he enjoyes from those Spirituall Dangers, and Perplexities which Rich men are entangled in, by reason of those mani­fold Opportunities to enjoy the Pleasures of Sin, and allurements thereunto, which the abundance of their Worldly Possessions continually presents un­to them. You know who said: 'Tis Mat. 19.24. easier for a Camell to goe through the eye of a needle, thē for a Rich man to enter into the Kingdome of GOD. Here we may observe how the Great Ones of the World de­ceive themselves, in thinking they deserve to be admired, and had in such high Esteeme for their Mistake me not I doe not speak against the Vse of these things▪ but against those Persons, who are so Madd as to set their Hearts on them. Brave Cloathes, Stately Houses, Rattling Coa­ches, &c. a true Christian that goes in Rags (though [Page 24] he gives them that outward respect which is due un­to them by the Lawes, and Constitution of the Commonwealth wherein he lives) in his Heart pit­ties them, and dispises their Worldly Height, and Glory: as That, which in his Baptisme he Vow'd to Forsake: to slight and contemne the Pomps and Va­nities of this wicked World. He sees himselfe by the Eye of Faith, to be in a Condition infinitely more High, and Noble, then theirs: though those Earth­ly Creatures, Carnall minded Men: (whose discourse is only of Lands, and Livings, Dogs and Horses, Coaches and Howses, Fine Cloathes, and Ban­quets, &c.) are no more able to Discerne it, then a Mole to Behold the Sun. To conclude this point: A Poore man, that is truly Gracious, whose Heart is Rich towards GOD, lookes upon himselfe, as one of Those that have an interest in that Blessing, which Our Saviour gave his Disciples: Luke 6 20. Blessed be ye Poor, for yours is the Kingdome of GOD: And in all those other large Promises, which the GOD of Truth hath made to Believers; which most commonly the Hearts of Christians Cleave unto so much the more closely, by how much the lesse they have of the Good Things of this Life to Allure, and Draw off their Thoughts. Now, my Brethren, how such Sweet, and Comfortable Words from Our Almighty Fa­ther, as the Holy Scriptures abound with all, being Apply'd by Faith, will relieve the heart of any true Christian, whil'st he labours under the heaviest sense of Outward Poverty; What Comfort, I say, what [Page 25] Spirituall delight & Sweetness a Poore CHRISTIAN (Driven into Himselfe by the Stormes without: (if I may so expresse my selfe) Necessitated, as it were, to set his Faith on Worke to procure Com­fort for him, whilst Without he finds nothing but Poverty, and Distresse: what Spirituall Delight and Sweetnesse such a man) may Suck out of these Brests of Consolations (as the Scripture expression is) thinke you, who are true Believers: Joy in the Holy Ghost: (in which (as in effect I said but now) com­monly those Christians most abound, who possesse least of the Things of the World.) No man can ever fully expresse; and none but such as you, can in any measure rightly conceive.

I come now to shew you, that Sicknesse also af­fords matter of Comfort to any true Believer: This truth I might easily make appeare unto you many wayes: but (because I shall hasten to the Applica­tion, wherein I shall spend more time, then ordina­ry) I shall onely mention one Reason of it. Sick­nesse, you know, naturally puts a man in mind of Death; and what can be more Comfortable to a Syn­cere Christian then the thoughts of that? What can be more Comfortable to a Child of GOD, then the thoughts of that happy time, when he shall Goe Home to his Father; when he shall fully enjoy his Maker, and his Redeemer? To speake more at large: A Syncere Christian (whose thoughts (his Heart being as it were, Set on Fire with Love to God) continually Fly upward, as Sparkes towards [Page 26] Heaven.) Usually when he Feeles any Paine, pre­sently considers the Naturall Frailty and Mortality of his Body, & thereupon his Soule Rejoyces in this Hope, that shortly, when a Few Iob. 14.1. Dayes are past, She shall cast it off from her; as that, which so Clogs and Hinders her, and deprives her of that Vigour, and Quicknesse, which she desires, in her Spirituall Operations, in the Service of her Maker, which she is mainly, yea wholly intent upon.

Now, Beloved, if Death be so Desirable to a true Christian; Judge yee what Comfort his Sick­nesse affords him, which continually supplies him with fresh thoughts, and strong Apprehensions of Mortality.

And thus I have briefly demonstrated unto you, that a Christians Faith is able to extract Comfort out of those two things which are so terrible to the generality of Men: Poverty and Sicknesse. I am now to shew you how this Victorious Grace, by which we Overcome the World, softens unto us also that other Hard Thing, 1 Iohn 5.4. DISGRACE, or the Losse of our Good-Name, and Esteem amongst men, ma­king the Sowernesse of the Worlds carriage to­wards us, serve us, as it were for Sauce at the Feast of our Good Conscience.

The heavyest Disgrace, or Infamy, which in this life a Child of GOD lyes under, is occasioned by these, or the like meanes: A Report that he hath beene guilty of some notorious Basenesse, and Im­piety: or a Misconceit of his good Actions, which [Page 27] proceeding from such Principles, as Carnall men (who are by farre the greatest part of the World) are in no wise able to Apprehend, cannot but be Misconstrued: Hence it is that they Nick-Name all his Vertues: & endeavour to render him most Odi­ous and Contemptible for those Actions, by which he knows himselfe chiefly to deserve Love, and Re­spect from all those that are truly Noble, and Hea­venly-minded: Thus when a Christian shewes him­selfe Humble, how do the men of the World mistake him for a Sneaking, mean-spirited fellow? when Magnanimous for Proud, and selfe-conceited? If the Infamy a Christian suffers be occasioned by such a Report, as I mentioned but now, if it be true, he Comforts himselfe in it upon this account: that it is unto him a continuall Memento to Repent, and Be­moane himselfe for the Commission of that Sin; and to Rejoyce in GOD, by whose Spirit he is per­swaded that his Sins are forgiven him: If the Report be false, the Abused Christian greatly Rejoyces in the Thoughts of that Grace which Restrained him from that Action, of which hee is supposed to be Guilty, into which, if he had been left to himselfe, he might have Rushed, Ier: 8.6. As the Horse Rusheth into the Battell, being Naturally prone to every thing that is Evill.

Another Ground of the Comfort a Godly man takes in such a Case is, that he finds himselfe often Stirr'd up to Pray unto GOD, saying with Holy DAVID, Hold up my goings in thy paths, Ps. 17.5. that my [Page 28] Footsteps slip not, upon this consideration, that there are so many that would Rejoyce over him if he should but Fall. These and a thousand other occasions of Comfort do the Godly apprehend to Lighten their hearts, to delight their Soules, whensoever they re­flect upon those heavy Censures, Calumnies, and Revilings, with which they are continually Loaden. The more the World hates them, the stronger appre­hensions they have of the Favour of GOD. He is their Isaiah 4.6. Covert from storme and from raine: In him they Rest secure from the Stormy Wind of all those Ill Reports, Calumnies, and Reproaches, they heare continually raised against them; with such a kind of Delight, as a man hath, when he lyes Warme in his Bed, and hearkens to a Tempest. But now as for that Misconceit, which all the World hath of the Good Actions of Pious men; as for that Shame, which they must expect, as they are Christians con­stantly to suffer; for discovering their Zeale for GOD, and their Fiery indignation against any Al­lowed wickednesse amongst those with whom they converse, being usually accounted Phreneticke, Hot-headed fellowes; for contemning the things of the World, Childish, and Imprudent; for Disdaining to be guided by mere Example in any Course they take, Proud and Haughty; for separating them­selves from Vaine Conversation, Singular, and Self-conceited. As for this, I say, it is so farre from troubling those that are Christians indeed, that they exceedingly Rejoyce in it: Remembring those words [Page 29] of their Saviour: Mat. 5.11.12. Blessed are yee when men shall re­vile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evill against you falsly for my sake. Rejoyce and be exceeding glad; for great is your reward in Heaven: for so persecuted they the Prophets which were before you. I shall now conclude this point: that a true Christian takes Comfort in the Apprehension of his Present Estate, shewing you (to confirme you in the Apprehension of this most Usefull Truth) the Generall Cause, and Well-head of all those streames of Consolation, which continually flow into his Soule, whensoever he reflects upon the condition he is in: here it is: he is assur'd through Faith, that The Great GOD, the Author and Disposer of all things, Loves him, and will love him for ever: and hereupon he assumes this confidence, that the con­dition he is in is that which at This Time is Best for Him.

As for the last Proposition that I promised to demonstrate unto you, that a true Christian through Faith takes Comfort in the Expectation of any con­dition he may be in for the Future: I shall not need to spend many words on it, it appeares so plaine in what hath been already delivered: Expectati­on being a kind of Apprehension (as I said in the beginning of my Discourse.) All that may be said to manifest this truth unto you, may be compre­hended in those few Lines with which I concluded my former Sermon on this Text:

True Faith Roots all Feare out of a Christians [Page 30] Heart, and turnes all his Expectation into Hope, even through the strength of this Perswasion: that All things worke together for Good to them that love GOD: and also that Himselfe is One of Them.

I have now Finished the Doctrine I raised from this Text. That Faith enables a man to draw Com­fort from all the objects of his Thoughts: Having shewne you Particularly, how the Faithfull take Comfort in all things that concerne themselves: from whence (as I said in the beginning of my For­mer Sermon) you may easily apprehend how they may also Comfort themselves in the Notice they take of other things, as of all those Workes of Pro­vidence, which they see in the Affaires of the World &c. therefore I shall not extend my Discourse to any of them, but proceed to application. And here I shall speake first to the Faithfull, those that have taken CHRIST'S Yoke upon them, utterly re­nouncing the 2 Pet. 2.7. Filthy Conversation of the Wicked, those, who Mind Earthly things; absolutely resol­ving to Walke with GOD, in true Holinesse, and Righteousnesse all their dayes: And if at any time (being Overborne by some sudden and impetuous Temptations, as the Best of Christians often are) they Fall back into any Uncleannesse, not (like Swine in the myre) to Wallow in it, but to Repent, and to Cry unto God, their Father, to help them up, to Acts. 15.9. Purifie their hearts by Faith, to wash, and Cleanse them by his Spirit, in the 1 Iohn 1.7. Blood of JESUS CHRIST His Sonne. Then I shall speake to those [Page 31] that Go on in the Wayes of the Ungodly, those that Ps: 66.18. Regard Iniquity in their Heart, those that do not absolutely resolve never to Allow themselves in any One Knowne Sinne; Praying continually that God would so strengthen them by his Grace, that their Iniquities may not Prevaile against them, that if they have been Drunkards, they may be Drunke no more; if they have beene Wantons, they may be Wanton no more; if they have been Gal. 5.26. Desirous of Vaine Glory, provoking, envying their Brethren, they may be such no more; if they have delighted themselves in Foolish Talking, or Jesting, Eph: 5.4· or that Elaborate Scurrility, and Witty malice, in which some men of Parts and Learning Exercise their In­vention, (then which what can be more Opposite to The Gal: 6.1. Spirit of meekenesse, to the Calme, and Sweet Nature of the LAMBE, and the DOVE?) that they may do so no more: Briefly (to speake in the Titus 2.12. Apostles words) that Denying ungodlinesse and worldly Lusts, they may live soberly, righteously, and godlily. Those that have not taken such a re­solution (and such I feare are some of you) I must reckon amongst the Wicked. If therefore any of you are conscious to your selves, that you are such, as here I have Described, Apply to your selves I be­seech you, for the good of your Immortall Soules, what I shall speake in the second place: but first (as I said but now) I shall speake to the Faithfull, &c.

Beloved Brethren, You know by Experience the truth I have spoken. E're since you took CHRIST'S [Page 32] Yoke upon you, have you not found Rest unto your Soules? E're since you Bare that Easie yoke, since your Hearts stood in Ps. 119.101. awe of GOD's Word: Have you not found your selves most Sweetly and Gent­ly, and yet most Powerfully Restrained from Fol­lowing the Track of your Lusts, and Extravagant Affections, from Breaking over the Inclosures of a strict and holy Conversation, to 1 Pet. 44. Run with the men of the world to the same excesse of Riot. In a word; have you not found all your Christian thoughts in what Subject soever you have imployed them, to Worke Comfort for your soules? Surely you have. good thoughts, are the Beames of the SUN's OF RIGHTEOUSNES, which Stream forth continually upon the Hearts of Christians to warm & Comfort them, and to cherish and to make to Grow, the Fruits of the Spirit. Well my Brethren, hath the Holy one of Israel, the Great and Glorious GOD, Shewne himselfe so Gratious to you Sinfull Creatures, Dust and Ashes, wormes and no men, as to send his Beloved SON into the World to Dye for you: by Faith in whose Blood, you Rejoyce in some measure, even in this Vale of Teares, this miserable life; and shall shortly, even when a few dayes are past, be inhabitants of Heaven, see the Face of GOD, Psal. 16.11. In whose pre­sence there is fulnesse of joy, and at whose right hand there are pleasures for evermore. Well, my Brethren hath GOD Dealt so Bountifully with you, and will you not love him? will you not with all the Powers of your Soule Warre against your Lusts, [Page 23] that you may be no more (as formerly you have been) what ever Temptations befall you) Lovers of Pleasures, more then Lovers of God.

I beseech you, Brethren, by the Mercies of GOD, by all that Sweetnesse, Love, and Favour of His towards you, that your Soules have ever Tasted, That you would This Day, Renew your Vowes; Resolve afresh To Love the LORD, your God with All your Heart, That You may no more Judg of Things, as the Vulgar doe (amongst whom give me leave to reckon most of those that are commonly Accoun­ted Great Scholars, or Fine Gentlemen) that you may not Esteem any Action Wise, Prudent, Noble, or any way Praise-worthy, and becoming a Generous Spirit, but what is done To the Glory of God, 1 Cor. 10.31. in Defiance of the Wicked WORLD▪ And, on the other side, That you may Account no­thing Base, Sordid, and Degenerous but what is Done (in Compliance with your own Lusts, or the Vaine Humours of other men) contrary to the Com­mands of that All-Glorious Majesty; to whom we Owe Homage for the Air we Breath, In Him we Live, and move, and have our being, Acts 17.28.

And as for those Absurd Fellowes, who own the Name of CHRISTIANS, and yet Delight in scorning You, and call you Puritanes, and I know not what. You must be so farre from being Fierce, and Raging against Them, from thinking of Re­venge, &c. that you must from the heart Pity them (as it may be they say, they Pity you, for your [Page 24] Weaknesse, and imprudence, as they terme your Wisedome, and Spirituall Understanding) you must, I say, heartily Pity such men, and Pray for Them, as Your Fellow Creatures, yea, as Your Brethren (in ADAM) who miserably expose Themselves to the Utmost Danger of Everlasting Destruction. Ah, Poore Soules! What Madnesse, and Folly hath pos­sessed Them! Doe They say, they Believe, that there is an HEAVEN, and an HELL; and yet esteem those for a Ridiculous sort of people, Who, by what they Write, Talke, or Do for the most part plainly Discover that their Mind is wholy Bent up­on This, that They may Enter into the Kingdome of GOD: Poore Soules; Simple Ones indeed! Doe They say They Believe that the SON of the Li­ving God? that Glorious Person, Shed His most pre­tious Blood for You, and Them; and yet will not suf­fer You to Love Him, to talke of Him, and upon all Occasions, to Discover Your Zeale for the Honour of his Name, without Taunts, and Flouts, Calum­nies, and Reproaches! I shall only speake a word or two more to heighten your Commiseration of these foolish men, miserable Creatures; and then I shall proceed to the other Part of my Application. Dearly Beloved: when ever any of these Phantasti­call Things, that walke in the vanity of their Minds, and Delight in nothing more then in Foolish Je­sting, &c. Continually Scoffing or Railing at any one, in whom They Discover the Power of Godli­nesse, The true Light of CHRISTIANITY whilst [Page 25] They no more Understand it, being so Rare, and strange in these Daies of Sin and Darknesse, then a Dog doth the Light of the Moone, which he Barks at; as they at this: I say my Brethren, when ever any of these men (If Things so Irrationall may be call'd Men) Raile on you, and give out False Reports of you, or to your face scorn and deride you, let your Hearts Pity them considering that the time drawes on apace when Their laughter shall be turn'd to mourning and their joy to heavinesse. He that sit­teth in the Heavens shall laugh, the Lord shall have Them in derision, Psal. 2.4.

And what now remains but that I Exhort you, in the words of the Apostle, To rejoice evermore, 1 Thes. 5.16. Be Glad in the LORD, and Rejoyce ye Righteous, and shout for Joy all ye that are upright in Heart.

And now I shall speake to you, who are Consci­ous to your selves, that you have not taken Christ's Yoke upon you, that you still Do Wickedly, and Talke Vanity. That the things you have, or aime at, are Vexation of Spirit, vaine and Dissatisfactory, to your Immortall soules, sure I am you will hardly deny. Nay (if you have but an Historicall Beliefe of the word of God, as I presume you have) you cannot deny it when ever you reflect on your vain Conver­sation, and Consider your Designes, meane and Low, being such as These; To make your selves ac­ceptable to some Merry Companions, Such it may be as have acquired, some civill Accomplishments, [Page 26] and Humane Learning.) that you may gaine from them, the Name of Ingenious Men, &c. or to Jeare and Grin at those, whom you Maligne and Envy or to Drink and Droll with your Cronies: or (and this you think most Prudent and Manly) To Get a great Estate in the World, that you may Weare Brave Cloathes, and keep Company with the Best (as they say) (not to name your more Abominable Intentions, which are themselves Anxiety, and La­bour; and the Effects of them Horrour, and Anguish) I say Sirs when you Consider the things you enjoy, or Aime at (pittifull meane things at best) are you not fill'd with Vexation of Spirit? do you not Abhor, as it were, and Loath your selves, for the Guilt and Filth of your SINS, which you resolve still to wal­low in? Base and Degenerate Creatures, who being Made after the Image of God, have made your selves Earthly, and Sensuall! Well Sirs, you see that Sins are Troubles, and Sinners of all men most Misera­ble: even whilst They are in their proper Element; (that I may so speak) in this present World; but what will become of them (Wretches) when this Life is ended? (and sure I am our Last Houre draws on apace) Could I but expresse the thousandth part of those everlasting Paines, They shall then beginne to Feele (in HELL) it would make the most Stif-necked Sinner in the world, to Bow, if he should Hear mee. Ah! Sirs, is This true indeed, that if you take not CHRISTS Yoke upon you, that is, if you do not strongly and sincerely Resolve to Breake off from [Page 27] every Known Sin: you shall never finde any Rest unto your Soules. You shall be Everlastingly Misera­ble. Is this true I say, and will ye acknowledg it so to be, (as you must needs doe, If you have so much as an Historicall Beliefe of the Word of GOD, as I said but now,) And yet not Resolve no more to Allow your selves in any Way of Wickednesse, &c. no more to Deride those, who having their Hearts possest with the thoughts of Eternity, can in no wise suit themselves to your worldly Conversation: But having once found Rest in CHRIST; will no more returne to that Labour and Toile, which the Gene­rality of Men, Continually Undergoe in the Pur­suite of that They call Happinesse? Now Sirs if you are no whit moved at what hath been spoke; but Stick close to your Beloved Sinnes: though our Lord and Saviour JESUS CHRIST (who is Over all, God blessed for ever) so lovingly invites you to Come over unto him, assuring you that The waies of wisdome are waies of pleasantnesse and all her paths are peace, assuring you that if you take HIS YOKE up­on you, it will not Gall your Necks, and be Trouble­some unto you, but onely Restraine you (that you may Find rest to your Soules) from Breaking over His Inclosures, the Bounds of True Reason, and Holines, To Follow your Lusts, and exorbitant Affections, If you be not Moved at this, but Stand fast in the Way of Sinners, and will for ever remaine Lovers of pleasures more then Lovers of GOD, of GOD, that made you, of GOD, who for your sakes sent his BE­LOVED [Page 28] sonne into the world, to be Mocked, Scourged, Crucified; AH Srs, If you are not Moved at This, nor ever will be, I must tell you in the Name of GOD you shall never finde Rest unto your Soules, you shall never Tast one Dram of True Comfort, & Sweetnesse of Spirit all your dayes; And when your Dayes on the Earth which (as David saith) are as a Shadow, shall Vanish away, you shall Certainely be Tormented with the Devill and his Angells; Yea, perhaps within a Weeke or two (for how many Young Men have your selves knowne in this place, that have beene Healthy, and Dead within the compasse of far lesse Time then that) I say Srs, within a Weeke or two, you may be seized on, by some Disease or other, the Small Pox: or a Feaver, or a Surfeite, or the like, and be Cutt off from the Land of the Living, and be turned into Hell, Consider this you that forget God: you that talke vanity. But now if any of you finde your selves Moved, at what you have Heard; (and what man­ner of Men are you if you doe not,) if you finde your Hard Hearts in the least measure Softened, I beseech you Srs, for your Soules sakes for the GOD OF LOVES sake, Pray earnestly that the LORD would Perfect the Good worke He hath Begunne in you, that he would Continually Warme and Soften you, and Supple your hearts with the BLOOD OF IESVS CHRIST, that they may be Pliable to his will in All things, (to speake more plainely) that Hee would make you so Tenderly and Affectionately to Ap­prehend [Page 29] His Everlasting Kindnesse towards you, that you may forever LOVE Him, and Keepe His Com­mandements, that you may Live Precisely, Walke with GOD, all your Daies, Despising the shame of the Wicked world, not fearing the Reproaches and Revilings of this Base and Filthy Generation. I shall hold you with no longer Discourse. If yee Doe these things HAPPY are yee.



Page 3. lin. 13. for A Good man is only a Friend to Himselfe read A good man only is &c.

Page 4. l. 16. for rash read vain. p. 15. l. 18. adde Hoc est p. 32. l. 13. for SƲN's read SƲN. As for the false Points the in­telligent Reader may Correct them himselfe.

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