MATHE.'HALE Miles Capitalis Gustic de Banco Regis Ano 1681 For W. Shrowsbery at the Sign of the Bible In Duck Lane
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A DISCOURSE OF THE Knowledge of God, and of our Selves,

  • I. By the Light of Nature.
  • II. By the Sacred Scriptures.

WRITTEN BY Sir MATTHEW HALE, Knight, late Chief Justice of the King's Bench, in his younger time, for his private Meditati­on and Exercise.

To which are added A Brief Abstract of the Christian Religion; AND Considerations seasonable at all Times, for the Cleansing of the Heart and Life.

By the same AUTHOR.

LONDON, Printed by B. W. for William Shrowsbery, at the Sign of the Bible in Duke-Lane. MDCLXXXVIII.


IN the Publication of this Book I de­sign for the Reader a double Benefit: 1. A useful and profitable Book: 2. A clear Prospect into an Exemplary Life of a very eminent and famous Person. The Book, I may be bold to say, is of it self such; and yet I have good reason to hope that the great and known Worth of the Author (which yet this very Book will further disco­ver and demonstrate) and the Esteem the World hath always had of him, will make it more such. But lest I should prejudice both it and its Author by unseasonably raising the Reader's expectation, I must, to do Right and Justice to the Author, acquaint the Reader with some par­ticulars, fit for his notice and consideration con­cerning the Author's Intention, his manner of Writing it, and the Work it self.

[Page]And, 1. I may with much Confidence, up­on what I knew of the Author's mind and de­sign in general in all his Writings of this kind, and upon some Observations peculiar to this, as­sure the Reader that it was not written with any Intention or thoughts that ever it should be pub­lished. He had undoubtedly no other aim or design in it, than what I have already mention­ed in the Preface to the first Volume of his Contemplations. He was a man who had an extraordinary faculty of doing much in a little time: And yet did he as highly value, and was as great a Husband of his time, as any man I have known or read of. But of no part of his time was he more frugal, than of that which was set apart for Sacred Uses, that none of that might be suffered to run waste: especially of the Christian Sabbath or Lord's Day, he was most religiously observant, both in Publick and in Private, in his Family, and in his Study. And his religious Observation thereof, did not only procure to himself (as he always believed) a special Blessing upon his Employment of the rest of his time in his other Studies, and Secu­lar business, but hath moreover produced (which he little expected) what may prove of great use and benefit to many others. For that part of those dayes which did intervene between Evening Sermon and Supper-time, he usually im­ployed in Pious Meditations: and having a very ready hand at writing, he usually wrote his [Page] thoughts, that he might the better hold them intent to what he was about, and keep them from wandring. This was his first and principal reason for it. He had indeed some thoughts of some other Uses, that he or his might make there­of: as, that afterward reviewing what he had written long before, he might see what Progress he had made in the mean time; and possibly they might be of some use or benefit to some of his Family: But what I first mentioned, was the first and principal occasion and Motive to it. Of the shorter Discourses, I found divers of the Origi­nals in the hands of his Children and Servants, and a great part of the rest in a very neglected condition, till I perswaded, and prevailed with him, to let them be collected and bound together in Volumes. But of these, among which this was one, I am well satisfied, there were none which he intended when he wrote them should ever be Prin­ted, though he hath since wrote others which he intended for the Publick. But upon this occasion hath he written first and last many pious and use­ful Discourses, which, whether intended by him for the Press or not, I am of opinion may do much good in the World, if they were printed.

2. His usual Manner of writing these things was this: When he had resolved on the Sub­ject, the first thing He usually did, was with his pen upon some loose piece of paper, and some­times upon a corner or the margin of the Pa­per he wrote on, to draw a Scheme of his whole [Page] Discourse, or of so much of it as he designed at that time to consider. This done he tap'd his thoughts and let them run, as he expressed it to me himself; and they usually ran as fast as his hand (though a very ready one) could trace them; insomuch that in that space, as he hath told me, he often wrote two sheets, and at other times between one and two; and I have my self known him write according to that pro­portion, when I have been reading in the same room with him, for divers hours together. So that these writings are plainly a kind of extem­pore Meditations, only they came from a Head and Heart well fraught with a rich Treasure of Humane and Divine Knowledge, which the fa­mous Legislator Justinian makes the necessary qualifications of a compleat Lawyer. And here it is farther to be observed, that all his larger Tracts, such as this, which could not be finish­ed at one time, were written upon great inter­vals of time, and such wherein much business of a quite different Nature had interposed, which usually interrupt the thread of a Mans thoughts.

3. Concerning the Book it self, the Reader may of himself perceive that it was not finish­ed, but that he had designed to have continued it farther. He hath written a particular Tract Of doing as we would be done to, which is the Subject at which this is left off. But that, as I take it, was written long since this, and not in­tended for any Continuation of it: but it had [Page] been very proper to have been joyned with it, had I had any Transcript of it.

Upon perusal of the Manuscript of his own hand-writing, it may be further observed; 1. That it was the Original draught, and no Tran­script; for therein, as I remember, may in some places be seen, some of those very Schemes which he first drew, when he began to write. 2. That he had not so much as revised any part of it, it being for the most part as fair, and with­out any Alteration as if it were a Transcript. 3. The Original is one continued Discourse, without any Distinction of Parts or Chapters, or so much as any Title superscribed: But I con­ceive it a very methodical Discourse, and such as may very aptly be distinguished into those Parts and Chapters, and under those Titles which I have assigned, as it now appears in the Print. And this is a further evidence, that he did not design it for the Press.

Of the two Parts of it, the first is wholly Scho­lastical and Metaphysical, and therefore some­what above the Capacity of ordinary Readers; but it is but short: but the other is for the most part plain and easie, such as may be of great use to the meanest Capacities, and yet full of matter worthy the Contemplation of the great­est. But of the whole I must farther observe, that it was a work of his younger years; that he afterward much improved his Metaphysical and Scholastical Observations and Discourses. [Page] and somewhat altered his opinion touching some Points in Controversie, especially between the Re­monstrants and Contra-Remonstrants. But as in what is Scholastical, there is nothing but what is agreeable to the Sentiments of the most emi­nent Writers in that kind of Learning; so nei­ther in the rest, is there any thing disputable, but what is maintain'd by eminent Men of the Church of England as the Doctrine of this Church: And since his opinion neither first nor last was other than what hath been, and is at this day asserted to be the Doctrine of this Church, or at least within the bounds of what is so asserted, (For he was always very moderate in these things.) I conceive I need not trouble the Reader or my self farther about it.

And now if these things only, which I have hitherto mention'd, be duly considered, I con­ceive they will afford so just Excuse and full Vindication of the Author against all Censures, Cavils and Exceptions to any thing in this Work, that I think they are not to be feared from any, but such as have little ingenuity or sense of Hu­manity. And the Censures and Cavils of such, I am of opinion, ought to be contemned. And for my own part, I hope I shall never be affright­ed from any good and justifiable work, by any such Bug-bears.

But I intend not only to do Right, but to do Honour, and yet no more than is justly due, in what I do, to our excellent Author. And to this [Page] end, I must take notice of the Time, when this was written. And that was about the same time, when he began his Practice at the Law. He had at that time gone through, and made himself Master of a long and intricate Study, of a quite different nature from this; had read and abridged all the Old, and all the New Law then extant, in two Volumes in Folio still to be seen, had read over a great part of the Re­cords, as may be seen in his marginal Notes and References in divers of his Books, and in the Transcripts of much of thom now in the Library of Lincoln's Inn; (for he spared nei­ther pains nor charge in those things before ever he began to practise;) had looked into the Civil and Canon Laws, so far as they are in use with us, or were subservient to the com­pleat Knowledge of our Laws; in short, had read what ever either of Law, History or other Books, in Print or Manuscript he thought could any way conduce to compleat his Knowledge and Skill in his Profession of the Law. And for a Man thus industriously imployed in such Studies, and yet to have made such a Progress in Philosophy and Divinity, as appears by this Book, nay and to write such a Book under such Circum­stances, as I have mentioned before, and at such an Age, viz. about thirty, or one and thirty, having been till then so busie in other Studies, must needs, I am perswaded, in the judgment of all candid per­sons, raise him and his Book not only above all [Page] need of other Excuse, but to a high degree of Ad­miration.

The truth is, what he performed in his Studies, is almost as incredible, as it is most certain and true. But as he was admirably qualified by Nature for Studies, so I doubt not but he had an extraor­dinary Blessing attending his Labours therein. For if this be reasonable to be believed of any, then certainly must I believe it of him upon divers Considerations: as, 1. His great Piety and De­votion, and frequent application to Almighty God in the midst of his secular Imployments; 2. His religious observance and imployment of times set apart for sacred uses; And 3. His con­scientious application to, and use of his Civil Pro­fession. Of all which in him, I think, I have as certain knowledge both by my Conversation and discourse of matters of Religion with him, by perusal of his Writings of all sorts, and by obser­vation of his Actions, as ordinarily any Man can have of another.

And therefore though the Representation of his great Industry, Learning, and Abilities be much for his Honour, yet is it a greater Honour than all this, which I intend to his Memory in the publication of this Book. And that is to de­monstrate from thence the true Principles of all his Worth, and of those great and generous Acti­ons, which have made him so famous in his Ge­neration, and like to be so in future Ages; and [Page] thereby give the Reader the clearest & truest Pro­spect into the whole course of his Life. Had he not been very cordially and deeply affected with these things, it is no way credible, that a Man so very intent upon other Studies of so different a nature, for the six days together, could upon the seventh so intirely have withdrawn his Mind from them, as to apply it so closely to these. And this being written at his very entrance upon his Practice, and his Actions ever since being so reducible to the Principles discovered in this, nothing could give a more true and satis­factory Prospect into the Fundamentals of the future part of his Life, and consequent Actions.

He was indeed the most Heavenly-minded Man I have ever known. He had had a Religious Education from his Childhood; and he very early made his Religion, the Religion of his Judgment and Choice, not of his Education only. He read the S. Scriptures to know it; then studied the Works of Creation, Providence, and the Moral Evidences of the Christian Reli­gion, to know the Truth of it. And having laid so deep a Foundation, he ever after built firmly upon it: and by his faithful observance of it, arrived to that full Satisfaction and Know­ledge of it, which our Saviour mentions, John 7.17. He began these Studies very early; how early I do not precisely know: but this I know from his own mouth, that he was very busie in them while he studied at Oxford: For when I first [Page] perused part of this Book, I told him, I percei­ved, he had before he wrote it, been acquainted with the Schoolmen: and considering when it was written, and how hard a Student he had been in the Law till that time, desired to know when he could have had leisure for those Stu­dies? and what Authors he read? He told me, At Oxford; and that he there read Aquinas, Scotus, Suarez, and others, whom he particu­larly named; but these I remember.

And here by the way, we may take notice, how much he is misrepresented and injured in that Story, printed in the Relation, which very unadvisedly and improperly bears the name of his Life, concerning his neglect of his Studies at Oxford. The truth of which, to do him right, is this,: His natural Genius inclined much to things of Wit and Gallantry, and the Players coming to the Act at Oxford while he was a Student there, he began at first to be taken with the Plays; but having before, among other re­ligious Observations, habituated himself to keep a strict Watch over his Heart and Actions, he quickly reflected upon it: and therefore the more he perceived himself affected with it, the more resolved he was to correct it; and left it should in time prevail, so as to divert him from more serious Studies, or at least, rob him of too much time, he made a solemn Vow, or Resolution, which he ever after observed, never to see Play more; and so returned to his Studies again be­fore [Page] the Players went out of Town. And cer­tain it is, he was as hard a Student there, as he was afterward at London; though he held Ac­quaintance and some kind of Converse with the most ingenious Persons at both places. But so much for that.

These Studies, which he began so early, he continued to the very last, so long as he was able to write, within about a fortnight or three weeks before he died. And here he did, as he did in the Law, spared neither Pains nor Cost upon any thing any way conducing to his main Design, tending to discover and mani­fest the admirable Providence of God, whether in the Composure, Powers and Course of Na­ture, or in the Government of the Actions of Men; insomuch, that if a true Computation was made, I am perswaded, that, as much time as he spent, and pains as he took in the Study and Practice of the Law, and Business of a not ordinary Judge, but Chief Baron and Chief Justice; yet the Time he imployed, and the Pains he took (if I may call that Pains, which afford­ed so much Pleasure and Satisfaction to him) in these Studies, and for that purpose, would be found to exceed them. The Benefit whereof, I hope the World may receive some time or other: but the Effect thereof upon himself was, that his so much contemplating the Wisdom, Power, and Goodness of God, discernable in his Creatures, and observable in the Providential [Page] Government of Men, especially that admirable Mystery of our Redemption, imprinted in his Soul a most inlarged apprehension and deep sense of the Glorious Excellence and Majesty of God, and his unconceivable Goodness to all who duly apply themselves to him. This filled him with a most awful Reverence and devout Affection to him continually: which further produced great Constancy, Faithfulness, and Readiness in his Obedience and Service, and converted his very Civil Imployments into a kind of continual Course of Religion; so that that laborious Life of his, was in a manner intirely sacrificed to, and continually imployed in, or in order to, the Ser­vice of God. And all this, with those divine benign Influences, which are never wanting to Souls thus disposed, filled him with an humble Confidence, and made it, as it were, natural to him, to retire into himself with secret applica­tion to God upon all occasions in the very midst of his Business. And certainly this Life was Heavenly and Holy, and yet not more Holy than Happy.

All this is very true: but he had very early taken up a Resolution to abstain from a high Profession of Religion ('tis his own expression) and he was so wary and cautious in it, that very little of what I have said, was perceived by any of his most intimate Friends, but my self. Insomuch, that one of them, whom I know he much valued, and who had frequent [Page] converse with him, hath divers times since con­fessed to me, how much he was mistaken in him in that respect, before he saw his Con­templations in Print. And I should almost doubt of finding Credit in what I know to be true, with those who do not know me, had I not pretty good Attestations from this, and a constant Course of most pious Meditations committed to writing under his own hand. Were we now to take a View of his whole Life, we might consi­der it as acted either in private, or in publick. His Actions in publick were visible to the World, and yet it may be feared, that much of the remarkable particulars thereof will be lost for want of competent Observers and Re­lators. The private part of it was most em­ployed in Retirement and Studies, and of this the greatest part in Pious Meditations, the Contemplation of God, of his Works of Creation and Providence, the great and admi­rable Mystery of our Redemption, and the Sacred Scriptures, and the Evidences of the Truth thereof. And as this did influence all his Actions in publick, so being once well understood, it must needs give the clearest Prospect into the true and genuine Principles and Tendency of them, which is the prin­cipal thing to be considered in them. And this can never better be made appear than by his own Writings, if they were published, as I conceive they ought to be.

[Page]* Having done this Right to the Author, I thought it but reasonable to do some Right to my self, and to the World; to shew, by what Right I have published this, and what Right the World hath to expect the rest of his Writings. To which Purpose I had written another Sheet, to shew that the Author had, upon new Motives and Consideration of Occurrences af­terward, changed his Mind before declared in his Will, wherein he had prohibited the print­ing of any of his Writings after his Death. But upon further Consideration, I think it may be sufficient for this place to let the Reader know in general that he had done so, and to reserve the more particular Discourse of that, if there be occasion for it, to my Memorials of him: And therefore I have suffer'd but few Copies of that Sheet to be printed off, for the Consideration of such, as it may most concern.

Of the Two little Discourses annexed, I have only this to say, That the First was one of his Later Writings, and perhaps, may a little vary from some of his Former: and that the Latter was more ancient. But neither of them was fi­nished, though the Printer, according to the usual Mode, hath put a Finis to them both: But otherwise, I hope, he hath acquitted himself reasonably well; For I was at too great a di­stance to peruse the Sheets as they were print­ed off. The Copies he had, were carefully [Page] examined by the Originals: and I thought it most suitable to my Design, to let them be printed as near as might be, according to them, without any Alteration; presuming upon the Candor of the ingenuous Reader, upon due Consideration of the Circumstances before mentioned.



  • CHAP. I. OF the Existence and Attributes of God. Page 1
  • CHAP. II. Of the Works of God, of Creation and Providence. Page 27
  • CHAP. III. Of Man, his Excellence above other Creatures. Page 39
  • CHAP. IV. Of the Supream End of Man. Page 61
  • CHAP. V. Of the Means of attaining the Supream End of Man. Page 80
  • CHAP. VI. Of the Credibility of the Sacred Scriptures. Page 99


  • CHAP. I. OF the Existence and Attributes of God. Page 117
  • CHAP. II. Of the Acts and Works of God: and 1. Of his Eternal Counsel. Page 123
  • CHAP. III. Of the Execution of the Eternal Counsel of God, in his Works of Creation and Providence. Page 145
  • CHAP. IV. Of the Providence of God in special, concerning Man, in or­der to his supream End. Page 150
  • CHAP. V. Of the Restitution of Man by Christ. Page 169
  • CHAP. VI. Predictions and Types of Christ. Page 176
  • CHAP. VII. Of the Efficacy of the Satisfaction of Christ, and the Con­gruity of it to right Reason. Page 195
  • CHAP. VIII. Of the great Work of our Redemption, What it is; How effected; and for whom. Page 201
  • CHAP. IX. Of the Means, which God hath appointed to make this Sacri­fice of Christ effectual, viz. Ʋnion with Christ, and how the same is wrought on God's part. Page 231
  • CHAP. X. How our Ʋnion with Christ is wrought on Man's part, viz. By Faith, Hope, and Love. Page 243
  • [Page] CHAP. XI. Why, or by what reason the act of Faith worketh our Ʋnion with Christ, and so our Justification in the sight of God. Page 262
  • CHAP. XII. The Effects of our Ʋnion with Christ. Page 268
  • CHAP. XIII. Concerning the putting off the Old Man: and 1. What it is. Page 276
  • CHAP. XIV. How the Old Man is to be put off, and 1. by Repentance. Page 288
  • CHAP. XV. Of Mortification, and the Means thereof; and 1. Of Me­ditation. Page 295
  • CHAP. XVI. Meditation of the Ʋnreasonableness of the Dominion of Lust. Page 302
  • CHAP. XVII. Of Prayer. Page 324
  • CHAP. XVIII. Of Watchfulness, and first in respect of God. Page 328
  • CHAP. XIX. Of Watchfulness in respect of our Selves, our Senses, Words, and Appetite. Page 332
  • CHAP. XX. Of Watchfulness over our Affections, and Passions of Love, Anger, and Fear. Page 335
  • CHAP. XXI. Of Watchfulness over our Hope, Confidence, and Joy. Page 343
  • CHAP. XXII. Of Watchfulness over our Grief; 1. In reference to God, for Sin; 2. In reference to Externals. Page 353
  • CHAP. XXIII. Of Watchfulness over our Will, Conscience, and Spirit. Page 364
  • [Page] CHAP. XXIV. Of the new Life, or Sanctification, and the necessity of it. Page 379
  • CHAP. XXV. Of the Means of Sanctification, and 1. On God's part, his Word, and his Spirit. Page 386
  • CHAP. XXVI. Of the Means of Sanctification, 2. On Man's part, viz. Faith, Love, Fear, Hope. Page 392
  • CHAP. XXVII. Of the Extent and Degrees of Sanctification. Page 403
  • CHAP. XXVIII. Of the Parts of Sanctification, and 1. In reference to our Selves, Sobriety. Page 413
  • CHAP. XXIX. Of Sanctification in reference to our Neighbour, viz. Righte­ousness, the Habit and Rule of it. Page 435
  • CHAP. XXX. Of the general Precepts of Righteousness given by Christ: and 1. Loving our Neighbour as our self. Page 447
  • CHAP. XXXI. Of the second general Precept of Righteousness, Doing as we would be done unto.
  • A Brief Astract of the Christian Religion. Page 461
  • Considerations Seasonable at all Times for the Cleansing of the Heart and Life. Page 475

A SUMMARY Of what is contain'd in this DISCOURSE OF THE Knowledge of GOD and of our Selves.

PART I. By the Light of NATURE.

  • Chap. I. Of the Attributes of God:
    • I. OF Knowledge, what it is, and how wrought, Page 1, 2
    • II. That there is a First Being, and Cause of all things. Page 4
      • What may thence be deduced concerning it. Page 7
        • 1. His Eternity. Page 8
          • 1. Without Beginning. ibid.
          • 2. Without Succession. ib.
          • 3. Without End. Page 9
        • 2. His Immensity, which includes His. [Page]
          • 1. Exemption from Circumscription. Page 10
          • 2. Omnipresence. ib.
          • 3. Exemption from Succession or division of Parts. Page 11
        • 3. His Indivisibility, in Opposition to
          • 1. Divisibility. ibid.
          • 2. Multiplicity. ib.
        • 4. Simplicity. Page 12
        • 5. Perfection. Page 13
          Whence it followeth, That he is,
          • 1. A most pure Act. Page 14
          • 2. A substantial Act. ibid.
          • 3. Ens vivens. Page 15
          • 4. An Intellectual Being & Omniscient. ib.
          • 5. Ens Liberrimum. Page 16
          • 6. Ens summe Bonum. ib.
            Whence arise these Conclusions:
            • 1. That he is perfectly happy. Page 17
            • 2. The supream End of all things. Page 18
          • 7. Most just. Page 21
          • 9. Immutable Page 24
  • Chap. II. His Acts Immanent, and Emanant. Page 25
    • 1. Creation. Page 27, 28
    • 2. Providence, disposing all things to their several Ends. Page 31
      In respect of
      • [Page]1. Himself. Page 32
      • 2. The things produced, viz. ib.
        • 1. Natural Page 33
        • 2. Contingent. Page 35
        • 3. Voluntary. Page 36
  • Ch. III. Of Man considerable in
    • 1. What he hath in common with other inferiour Beings. Page 40
    • 2. His Eminence above them, in his Soul,
      • 1. Its Substance, which is
        • 1. Immaterial Page 40
        • 2. Immortal. Page 41
      • 2. Its Faculties. Page 44
        • Page 1. The Ʋnderstanding, which hath
          • Page 1. A threefold Power.
            • 1. A Receptive or Passive. Page 45
            • 2. Retentive. ib.
            • 3. Active, or discussive. Page 46
          • Page 2. Several Acts and Habits, as
            • 1. Knowledge. Page 46
            • 2. Wisdom. Page 48
            • 3. Conscience. Page 51
        • Page 2. The Will, its motion in respect of
          • 1. The Object. Page 56
          • 2. Principles. Page 58
            The immediate Cause of Man's miscarriage
            • [Page]Page 1. His Ʋnderstanding.
            • Page 2. His Will.
  • Chap. IV. The Supream End of Man,
    • I. What, viz. a Good commensurate to the Soul, and therefore
      • 1. Immaterial. Page 63
      • 2. Immortal. Page 64
      • 3. Distinct from the Soul it self. Page 65
      • 4. A true and real Good. Page 66
      • 5. An infinite and Ʋniversal Good. ibid.
      • And therefore nothing but God himself. Page 67
  • II. And how that may be, that God can be the adequate Object of Man's Felicity. Page 68
  • Chap. V. The Means to attain it.
    • 1. What naturally they were? ib.
    • 2. Whether still the same? Page 84
      • 1. The Defects in
        • 1. His Ʋnderstanding. ib.
        • 2. His Will. Page 89
      • 2. The Consequents. Page 92
    • 3. What now for his Restitution. Page 93
      • 1. Not any thing in Man or the Creature. ib.
      • 2. But by God, 96. revealed in The Holy Scriptures 98. their
  • Ch [...]p. VI.
    • 1. Credibility. Page 99
    • 2. Contents, v. Part 2.

OF THE Knowledge of God and of our Selves. PART II. By the Sacred Scriptures. Pag. 117.

  • THE Contents of the Holy Scriptures, concerning
    • I. God,
      • 1. His Existence. Page 117
      • 2. His Nature and Attributes. Page 118
      • 3. Manner of Subsistence Page 122
      • 4. Acts and Works. Page 123
    • II. His Counsel, which is
      • 1. Eternal. Page 123
      • 2. Immutable. Page 125
      • 3. Free. Page 126
      • 4. Wise. ibid.
        Which is eminent in
        • [Page]1. Predetermining the means. Page 127
        • 2. So as they move according to their own Nature, whether
          • 1. Necessary. Page 129
          • 2. Voluntary. Page 131
          • 3. Contingent. Page 133
        • 3. Independent upon one another. ib.
      • 5. Irresistible. Page 135
      • 6. Ʋniversal. ib.
        Two Difficulties, How the Predetermination
        • 1. Of the Acts of voluntary Agents can consist with the Liberty of the Will. Page 136
        • 2. Of the sinful Acts of voluntary Agents can consist with the Justice and Purity of God. Page 138
    • III. The Execution of it.
      • 1. Creation:
        • 1. In general. ibid.
        • 2. Particularly of Man. Page 148
      • 2. Providence:
        • 1. In general. Page 150
        • 2. Special, concerning Man. ib.
          • [Page]1. As a Creature. ib.
          • 2. In order to his chief End. ib.
            • 1. Before the Fall of Adam. ib.
              • 1. Partly examined before. ib.
              • 2. What the Means. Page 153
                • 1. The Law of Man's Creation. Page 154
                • 2. The Obligation of it. Page 156
                • 3. The Sanction or Penalty. Page 157
            • 2. After the Fall. Page 164
            • 3. In Christ. Page 169
              • 1. The sum of it. Page 170
              • 2. The Particulars. ib.
                • 1. The Motive. ib.
                • 2. The Object. Page 172
                • 3. The End, Remission of Sin; and Hap­piness. Page 173
                • 4. The immediate Instrument, Christ. Page 174
                  • Predictions concerning him, Page 176
                    • 1. Prophetical. ib.
                    • 2. Typical. Page 177
    • I. The Efficacy and Virtue of Christ's Satisfaction. Page 195
      • The Congruity of it to right Reason. Page 199
    • [Page] II. This great work of our Redemption
      • 1. What it is,
        • 1. A Removal of the Wrath of God. Page 201
        • 2. By the accepting of Christ's Satisfaction for our Guilt and Punishment. Page 202
      • 2. How effected; ten Positions Page 203
        • 1. That Christ the Mediator was perfect God. Page 204
        • 2. Perfect Man. Page 205
        • 3. That both these Natures were united in the Person of Christ our Mediator. ib.
        • 4. The Necessity of Christ's having both Na­tures thus united in one Person. Page 207
        • 5. The Eternal Word did in due time take Flesh of the Virgin into the Ʋnity of one Person. Page 209
        • 6. The whole Life of Christ, till his Passion, had in it Satisfaction by way of
          • 1. Suffering. Page 210
          • 2. Righteousness. Page 211
          • 3. Instruction, and that of
            • 1. Example. Page 212
            • 2. Doctrine. Page 213
        • 7. That Christ suffered the Wrath of God for the Remission of our Sins. Page 215
          This suffering of Christ was,
          • 1. Voluntary. Page 216
          • 2. Meritorious and Expiatory. Page 217
          • 3. Full and Perfect. Page 218
          • 4. Ʋniversal. ibid.
        • [Page] 8. That Christ rose again from Death the third day. Page 220
        • 9. That Christ after his Resurrection, ascend­ed up into Heaven. Page 223
        • 10. That Christ exerciseth a threefold Office there; ibid.
          • 1. The Power of Dominion. Page 224
          • 2. The Communication of his Spirit. ib.
          • 3. Intercession for his People. Page 226
    • III. For whom this Satisfaction of Christ was made. Page 227
    • IV. The Means to make this Sacrifice effectual for us. Page 231
      Our Ʋnion with Christ is wrought by a double Act.
      • 1. On God's part.
        • 1. His Eternal Love. Page 233
        • 2. Sending his Son. Page 234
        • 3. Conveying the Knowledge of this Mediator unto us. ibid.
        • 4. The Work of the Spirit. Page 237
          Ʋnder a threefold Consideration,
          • 1. Of Power. Page 238
          • 2. Of a sound Mind. ib.
          • 3. Of Love. Page 236
      • 2. On Man's part. Page 243
        • 1. Faith. ibid.
        • 2. Hope. Page 247
        • 3. Love. Page 248
          • [Page]1. How wrought. Page 249
          • 2. Its Effects. Page 254
            • 1. Right Intention. ib.
            • 2. Conformity. ib.
            • 3. Fear. Page 255
            • 4. Indeavour of likeness to him. Page 257
            • 5. Contempt of the World. Page 258
            • 6. Sorrow for Sin. Page 259
            • 7. Obedience. ib.
              • 1. Sincere. Page 260
              • 2. Perpetual. ib.
              • 3. Ʋniversal. ib.
                Why and how Faith worketh our Ʋnion with Christ, and so our Justification in the sight of God, is, because
                • 1. It is the Will of God. Page 263
                • 2. Faith is the first Act of the new Life, wrought by the Spirit of God, &c. Page 264
    • V. The Effects of our Ʋnion with Christ, are,
      • 1. Remission of Sins. Page 268
      • 2. Justification. ibid.
      • 3. Peace and Reconciliation. Page 269
      • 4. The Spirit of Christ, and that taken two ways,
        • 1. The Communication of the Holy Spirit. Page 270
        • 2. The Mind of Christ, Conformity to him, San­ctification. Page 271
          A double Principle.
          • [Page]1. Change of the Nature. Page 273
          • 2. Love to God. Page 274
    • I. Putting off the Old Man,
      • I. What this Old Man is. Page 276
        • 1. Its strength
          • 1. In it self. ibid.
          • 2. Accidentally from the Devil. ibid.
        • 2. Wherein seated. Page 277
          • 1. In the Ʋnderstanding. ibid.
          • 2. In the Conscience. ibid.
          • 3. In the Will. Page 278
          • 4. In the Affections. Page 279
      • II. How this Old Man is to be put off, viz.
        • 1. By Repentance; the grounds of which are
          • 1. A Conviction of the Ʋnderstanding con­cerning our natural ways and conditions, which are
            • 1. Irregular, deformed, and crook­ed. Page 289
            • 2. Ʋnprofitable and fruitless. ib.
            • 3. Ʋnbecoming, ungrateful, and undutiful Returns. Page 291
          • 2. The Love of God, providing a means of Pardon and Acceptation. ibid.
        • 2. By Mortification; The means whereof are 1. Su­pernatural, 2. Moral, 3. Natural. Page 295
          • [Page]1. Meditation of
            • 1. The Love of God Page 296
            • 2. The Hope of Salvation, and incongruity between it, and continuing in Sin. Page 297
            • 3. The Presence of God. Page 298
            • 4. The Nature & Consequences of Sin. ib.
            • 5. The Shortness of Life. Page 299
            • 6. The Ʋnreasonableness of the dominion of
              • 1. Lust
                • 1. In the Rational Appetite, and that is the lust of the mind in
                  • 1. The Intellectual Facul­ty. Page 302
                  • 2. The Will; and Affecti­ons which are
                    • 1. The Irascible. Page 304
                    • 2. The Concupiscible. ib.
                • 2. In the Sensitive Appetite, are,
                  • 1. Lusts of the Flesh. Page 306
                  • 2. Lust of the Eye. Page 310
              • 2. Pride. Page 318
          • 2. Prayer. Page 324
            • [Page]It becomes a Means of our Mortification up­on a double ground. Page 325, 326
          • 3. Watchfulness; The Objects of which are
            • 1. God, in
              • 1. His coming to Judgment. Page 328
              • 2. His Word. ibid.
              • 3. His Presence. Page 329
              • 4. His Providence. ib.
              • 5. His Spirit. Page 331
            • 2. Our Selves. Page 232
              • 1. Our Senses. ibid.
              • 2. Our Eyes. ibid.
              • 3. Our Ears. Page 333
              • 4. Our Tongues. ibid.
              • 5. Our Appetites. ibid.
              • 6. Affections and Passions. Page 335
                • 1. Love. ibid.
                • 2. Anger. Page 336
                • 3. Fear. Page 337
                • 4. Hope and Confidence, &c. Page 343
                • 5. Joy. Page 349
                • 6. Grief in reference to
                  • 1. God, for Sin. Page 353
                  • 2. Externals. Page 359
              • 7. Will. Page 364
              • 8. Conscience. Page 367
              • 9. Spirit. Page 375
            • 3. Temptations. Page 379
  • [Page] II. Of the putting on the New Man, or Sanctification. Page 379
    • 1. The Necessity of it. Page 382
    • 2. The Means,
      • 1. On God's Part, Page 386
        • 1. His Word ibid.
        • 2. His Spirit. Page 388
      • 2. On our Part,
        • 1. Faith. Page 392
        • 2. Love. Page 396
        • 3. Fear. Page 398
        • 4. Hope. Page 400
    • 3. The Degrees. Page 403
      • 1. Sincerity and Integrity of Heart. Page 404
      • 2. An overmatching the power of Sin, by the power of Sanctifying Grace. Page 405
        From whence arise these Consequents:
        • 1. Ʋniversality of Obedience. Page 407
        • 2. Constancy and Perseverance. ibid.
        • 3. Increase of Grace. Page 409
        • 4. Renewed Repentance. Page 410
    • 4. The Parts in reference to
      • 1. Our Selves. Page 413
        • 1. In the Esteem of our Selves. Page 414
        • 2. In our Sensual Appetite. Page 420
      • [Page] 2. Our Neighbour, Righteousness. Page 435
        • 1. The Habit. ibid.
        • 2. The Rule. Page 436
          • 1. Natural. Page 436, 437
          • 2. The Word of God, absolutely in it self. Page 438
            • 1. The Law,
              • 1. Moral. Page 438
              • 2. Ceremonial. Page 441
              • 3. Judicial. ibid.
            • 2. The Prophets. Page 442
            • 3. The Gospel, which contains a most excellent Rule of Righteousness, in,
              • 1. The Example of Christ. Page 443
              • 2. The Precepts and Counsels. Page 444
                • Page 1. General.
                  • 1. Love of our Neighbour. Page 448
                  • 2. Doing as we would be done unto. Page 456
                • [Page] 2. Particular, things,
                  • Page 1. To be done.
                  • Page 2. To be suffered.
        • 3. Parts.
      • 3. God.
  • A Brief Abstract of the Christian Religion. Page 461
  • Seasonable Considerations for the Cleansing of the Heart and Life. Page 473

A DISCOURSE OF THE Knowledge of God, and of our Selves.

PART I. By the Light of Nature.

CHAP. I. Of the Existence and Attributes of God.

I. ALL things but the Soul it self are extrin­secal to the Soul: and therefore of ne­cessity the Knowledge of all other things is extrinsecal to the Soul: for Knowledge is nothing else but the true impression and shape of the thing known in the Understanding, or a concepti­on conform to the thing conceived. And although the Soul in its own nature be apta nata to receive such impressions, and doth therefore naturally desire and affect it; yet it is as impossible for the Soul to [Page 2] know till the Object be some way applied to it, as for a Looking-glass to reflect without first uniting of a Species of some Body to it, that may be re­flected.

The Means whereby the Scibile, or thing to be known, is united to the Soul, and consequently Know­ledge is wrought, is threefold, viz.

1. Supernatural. Thus Almighty God, in the first Creation of Man, did fasten certain Principles of Truth in Man by his immediate discovery, especi­ally the Knowledge of Himself and his Will, which was properly the Image or Impression of God in his Understanding. This was not essential to the Soul, but a Habit or Quality, which God put into his Understanding; and therefore though his Know­ledge decayed by his Fall, yet his Soul continued the same.

2. Artificial. Thus Knowledge is derived from Man to Man, by signs of those impressions of Truth, &c. that are wrought in his Understanding, that communicates it. Thus Knowledge is acquired by Writing, Speech, and other Signs, that are agreed upon to communicate Intelligence from the understanding of one Man to the understanding of another, though me­diante sensu. Thus the Reliques of the knowledge of God in Adam were derived to his Posterity, though still it grew for the most part of Men weaker and corrupter.

3. Natural. And this may be divided into these three branches, viz.

1. Simple Apprehension. Thus when any object sing­ly by the Ear, or Eye, or other Sense, is let into the Phantasy, and so shewn to the Understanding with­out either affirming or denying any thing concerning it.

2. Complex Apprehensions, whereby either duo scibilia are joyned together in an Affirmation or Negation: and this is a Proposition, which again is of two kinds, [Page 3] viz. either that which is most universal, and therefore the first proposition that is framed in the understanding, viz. that it is, or est, or est ens. For that notion doth necessarily and upon the first view of any object joyn it self with it in the understanding. Other propositions are more complex or remote, as that God is good, &c. For the first question, in the Understanding, is, Whether it be, to which that general proposition answers; and in the next place, What it is, to which the second sort of complex notions answer. Now of this second kind of complex notions there are two kinds, viz. either such as without the help of any Discourse or Ratioci­nation present themselves from the object to the under­standing; as this, The Man is red; the Man and the red, being both objects of Sense, and meeting in the same subject: or else such as either the thing affirm­ed, or the thing whereof the affirmation is, or both, are things that do not immediately fall within our Sen­ses, as the Man is a substance, or, the Spirit is a sub­stance. These though originally derived from sense, yet they are refined by the help of Discourse.

3. Conclusions drawn either from these simple or complex apprehensions, which flow into our understan­ding immediately by our Senses: and this is Rati­onal Discourse, a Faculty or Power put into Man, where­by he is beyond all other visible Creatures; and where­by all his actions, whether Civil or Religious, are and ought to be guided. This is that Power, whereby we may improve even sensible Objects, Apprehensions, and Observations; to attain more sublime and high discoveries, and rise from Effects to their Causes, till at last we attain to the First Cause of all things.

So we may conclude that the Knowledge of our Creator, though it fall not within the reach of our Sense, and so falls not immediately within the reach of our Understanding, yet by the ascents and steps [Page 4] of Rational Discourse, so much may be gathered, as may leave an Atheist without excuse, God having given to Man, even in his lapsed condition, besides other Providential helps, a stock of Visibles, and a Rational Faculty to improve that stock to some mea­sure of the Knowledge of himself: For the invisible things of him from the Creation of the World are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his Eternal Power, and Godhead, so that they are without excuse, Rom, 1.20. Therefore, as on the one side we are to avoid curiosity in measuring the infinite Myste­ries of Truth by our own finite Understandings; so on the other side we must beware of Supineness, and Ne­glect of imploying that treasure of God's Works, and his Light or Reason in us, to that end for which it was principally intrusted with us, even the knowledge of our Creator; yet still humbly concluding with Elihu, Job 34.32. That which I see not, teach thou me.

II. The first and most Magisterial Truth in the World, upon which all other truths do depend, is this, That there is a First Being and Cause of all other Beings. This is evident by clear Reason.

1. Either we must admit a First Cause, or else an actual infiniteness of Succession of Causes. The latter is impossible in Nature; because it is impossible there can be that which is infinite and yet successive; for then it would follow, That that which is actually infinite in number should be yet more infinite, because there are new Successions on Causes and Causations

Again, it is impossible that there should be an eter­nal dependance of Causes one upon another without a First, because then the whole Collection of those Causes taken all together must needs likewise be actually depending; and if so, then upon themselves; and that is impossible, for the immediate Cause of the Effect doth not depend upon its Effect, but immediately upon [Page 5] its Cause. Therefore this bundle of dependent causes must depend upon some one among them, which is independent.

And impossible likewise in Experience. Take but the instance of one Creature, Of this the Author hath written more largely in his Origination of Mankind. Man: It is plain that the World doth every day grow ful­ler and fuller: that, which is now almost a Nation, we can with a lit­tle help derive into one Man five hundred years since, so that it is not imaginable but that at length we must neces­sarily come to a First Man: If so, how had that Man his being? It is true that there be some living creatures, that we may trace their beginning to the corruption of some preexisting matter, which by its own temper and the concurrence of other second causes, may produce a living creature, as Worms, Mice, &c. But if there should be such a production of Man at first, why is it not so at some time since, viz. that a Man should be produced out of the ground by some concurrence of the disposition of the mat­ter with second causes? If it be said that that is now needless, and Nature doth nothing in vain; the answer is unsatisfactory: For, 1. where such productions are, as of Mice, &c. it is as needless, because they propagate their kind as well as Man. And 2. if Na­ture doth nothing in vain, it is plain that whatever is so called Nature, is in truth the first cause, though miscalled Nature; for not to do any thing in vain, is an act of a Voluntary and Rational Agent; a mere natural Agent cannot but work uniformly, whether in vain or not in vain, when the matter is uniformly disposed. Therefore we must needs have recourse to a First, Voluntary, and Intellectual Agent, that did at first make Man; and by his free Power did advance the piece of red Earth above its own disposition, and [Page 6] beyond the causality of second Causes, to produce Man; and that hath not since done the like: but as to those other imperfect creatures hath planted in second Causes such a strength and causality as out of a pre­pared matter to produce other living creatures without any concurrence of his immediate or extraordinary Power.

2. In every Successive Motion it is necessary to arrive to some beginning of it, and it is impossible it should be eternal; as in case of the motion of the Sun, which is successive; it cannot in reason be but there must be a time or instant, wherein it either was not, or did not move; for otherwise the revolutions would be actual­ly infinite in number, and yet that infinite number of revolutions be still augmented by dayly new revoluti­ons, which would be in it self a contradiction, that that which was before actually infinite, should yet receive an increase, as necessarily it must if the motion of the Sun had never a beginning: Therefore of necessity it had a beginning. If it had a beginning of its moti­on, it could not have it from it self; for why did it not then move sooner? But of necessity it must have the beginning from another; for though animate creatures move themselves, yet they receive still the original cause of their motion from something with­out them, as well as of their being. Who, or what, was it that gave it that motion, or principle of its motion? And if any could assign any other than the First Cause (which is not almost imaginable) yet still my enquiry must rise higher, what was that that gave being or causality to that cause? So that in summ the motion of the Sun or Heavens cannot be Eternal, because Successive: It must have a Cause of its motion from without it self; that Cause, if the First Cause, then a First Cause must be granted; if not the First, yet by the same reason, that in all [Page 7] Successive motions we must admit a beginning, we may conclude in all Successions of Causes there must be a beginning, because the being and causation or motion of second causes is likewise Successive, and therefore can be no more infinite than the successive motions of the same subject can be infinite. It is impos­sible that any thing should be Eternal that is not Indivisi­ble, ut videbitur infra. So that the Succession of Causes and Motion is that which doth necessarily inforce a first cause.

To these we (may) add those All which, and di­vers others, the Author hath largely prosecuted in another Work in the 6. first Parts. Considerations which arise from the Observation of the created World, the subservience of one thing to the perservation of another, the inclinations of Creatures without choice to means conducible to their preservation, the ordering and fitting of things whereby confusion and uselesness of creatures is avoided; all which do bespeak the admission of a Voluntary, Intellectual, Supreme, and Universal Cause of all things.

Now a First Cause being admitted, we are to consider what may rationally be deduced from thence concerning this First Cause. This he hath likewise more largely handled in the 7. Part of the same Work. And those are of two kinds: First, such as absolutely concern his own Be­ing: Secondly, such as concern him in relation to those Effects, which proceed from him.

For the former of these we say, That a First Cause of all things being granted,

I. It necessarily follows that he hath no bounds of his existence or being. The bounds of Existence are either in Duration or Extension: the exclusion of the bounds of Existence in Duration is Eternity; that in Extension is Immensity.

[Page 8]Now first for Eternity. Whatsoever is Eternal must be without Beginning, without Succession, without End.

1. Without Beginning: For if it be a First Cause, it cannot have a Beginning; for then he must have a Cause of his Being, which would be a contradicti­on: Neither could he have a beginning from himself; for that were to suppose a pre-existence in himself to himself, which were also repugnant.

2. Without Succession: There is nothing past, nothing to come, for all is one indivisible Succession, and those notions of Time, past, present, and to come, are only the consequences of a Successive Motion: for Time is nothing else but that conception whereby we measure successive motion: were there no suc­cessive motion in the World, it would be impossible that there should be any of those affections of Time; and consequently, Time is not any thing real, but a relation to Motion. Now before that the First Cause did set a continued motion in the World, there could be no Succession, but all was wrapped up in one permanent instant: for the Being of the First Cause, and his Motion, what ever it was, or is, is indivisible, as shall be shewn. Then when he produced second Causes, and consequently those moved in their seve­ral causalities and courses, and consequently their moti­ons, beings, and causalities being successive, there was a prius, and posterius, and succession; yet this did not alter the indivisible nature of that duration, which that indivisible being had before, and at, and with that motion, which he after produced. The First Being hath a co-existence with the Successive Mo­tions of the creatures, but his duration is not measured by it, or co-extended with it, but is of the same indi­visibility as if there had been no successive motion pro­duced, and consequently no successive time.

[Page 9]3. Without End: For first, what should or can de­termine his being, in as much as all things else are his productions, and cannot have any causality up­on him? Secondly, End is inconsistent with Eter­nity; for that is a permanent and fixed indivisible, and takes in all past, present and to come, with­out any difference of notion. The present subsistence of the First Cause was the same numerical in­stant that he had a thousand years since. So that End, as well as Succession, is but of those things that are measured by time, not of an indivisible being: To suppose him to have an end were to suppose him not ever to have been; because past, and present, and to come are all indivisibly conjoyned in his duration.

This indivisibility of duration is proper only to the First Cause; for nothing else can upon any sound ground be said to be of indivisible duration, though it may be of a perpetual. Suppose we the Being of an Angel, or the Soul, though admitted to be Everlasting, yet that is rather a multiplyed ex­tension of duration than any indivisible duration: for of the First Cause I may say truly, the instant of the duration, that is now, and that was a thousand years since, or a thousand years after, is the same: but I do not think the same may be affirmed of any other thing whatsoever: 1. because their essence is not indivisible and simple, as is that of the First Cause; for it is evident they are perfectible, compounded of Act and Power, not pure Acts: 2. because some things might be affirmed of them in a time past, which cannot now be affirmed of them; as the creation, continuance in the Body, separation, re-union, &c. 3. their being is de­pendent.

[Page 10]II. From this admission of a First Cause doth ne­cessarily follow Immensity, which includes three things.

1. Exemption from Circumscription or bounds of his being. There is a twofold exemption from Circumscription: 1. That which ariseth from the disproportion between the thing that should cir­cumscribe, and be circumscribed: thus a Spirit of what kind soever is not circumscribed, nor is in any determinate place, for that is proper to a Body, that hath extension of parts; yet though we cannot say, It is here, yet we are sure we cannot say, It is every where. There is 2. another exemption from circumscription, which ariseth from Infinitude, that it exceeds all place and circumscription: Now that it is thus with the First Cause is evident; for if he had a Being before any thing else, nothing then could bound his Being; if it should, then he could not be the First Cause, there being something else that had limited him, which had a pre-existence to his causation: and it is impossible for any thing to have a limited or bounded Being, unless it were so limited or bounded by something without it. That which is without a cause of his being, must needs be without bounds of his being: Neither could those effects, which he after produced, straiten the ex­tent, as I may call it, of his Being, or shut him out from them. From whence follows

2. His Omnipresence, not only vertually and po­tentially, but essentially in and with all things, though the manner of it be incomprehensible, because a consequence of his Infinitude. This is Exemption from Exclusion; for it is not possibly imaginable, that the production of new Effects should exclude or straiten that indivisible extent, which that being had before those Effects were produced.

[Page 11]3. Exemption from Succession or Division of Parts; for otherwise he could not be Immense; for what­soever hath Succession of Parts, as his Parts are mea­surable, so is the whole, and therefore cannot be actually Infinite in Extension, as I may call it. And this doth consequently exempt him from Materiali­ty, Succession of Parts being an affection of a ma­terial substance, and therefore it is an indivisible Im­mensity. What is said of the Soul may explain it, Tota in toto, & tota in qualibet parte.

III. Hence it follows, that the First Cause is In­divisible, and that in a double opposition.

1. In Opposition to Divisibility, which is partly touch­ed before; and though this be common to all things that are incorporeal, for Divisibility is an effect of Quantity, yet it is most eminently to be affirmed of the First Cause.

2. In Opposition to Multiplicity; and this is the Ʋnity of the First Cause, viz. that there is but one First Cause of all things; for if there were two, or more First Causes, either all must be infi­nite in Being, and consequently in Operation, and that is impossible, viz. that there should be two Infinites, because one must of necessity bound and limit the other, both in Being, and Power: 2. or else both must be finite, and then of necessity each must have a Cause of his Being; for what is it that should prescribe the bounds to these Beings, unless the Cause of their Beings? if so, they can neither be the First Cause: or 3. one must needs be Infinite, and the other Finite and Subordinate; and then of necessity, those Finite Beings cannot be the First Causes, but meerly Second Causes, depen­ding upon that Infinite Being, both in their Essence, and Operation; for nothing can have limits of his being, but what hath causes of his being, which should prescribe those limits.

[Page 12]IV. From hence likewise follows, that the First Cause is Ens Simplicissimum, and excludes all Com­position of what kind soever, either of Power and Act, of Substance and Accident, or Matter and Form: for every mixture doth of necessity sup­pose some pre-existing Cause to joyn these toge­ther; and indeed the very membra componentia have in nature a pre-existence to the being so compounded: and so the admission of any kind of Composition, is inconsistent with a First Cause. And from hence it is evident, that all things that are affirmed concern­ing this First Cause, are but improper, and serve only as notions to render him unto our Understan­dings. 2. From hence it also follows that whatso­ever is affirmed of the First Cause is the same with his Essence, and one the same with another, though they are conceived by us under different notions, and conceptions; as for instance, we see an effect of the First Cause, which in case of a Man we de­rive from that habit in Man, which we call Mer­cy; and another effect, which in Man we would con­clude to come from such a quality or habit, which we know by the name of Justice: hence we stile the First Cause Merciful and Just; yet in truth nei­ther of these are proper, for they signifie Qualities; neither, if they were proper, were they distinct, for they are the same one with another, and both the same with his Essence; otherwise it is impossible he should be Simple; for should his Being and Attri­butes be several, he should be compounded of Sub­stance and Accident; or should the same thing, which we call Justice, be the same with his Essence, and not the same with his Mercy, he must needs consist of several beings divided one from another: the like for all the rest of his Attributes: by the same Essence he is, and he is what he is: they are di­vided [Page 13] notions in us, but in him neither divided from his being, nor one from another. And hence it likewise follows, that though the emanant Actions, that flow from this First Cause are different, and represented unto us under different Notions, as, this is an act of Power, this of Goodness, this of Knowledge or Wisdom; and upon these we frame notions to our selves, whereby we represent that from whence these acts move, by several Names or Attributes of Mercy, Power, Wisdom; yet these proceed not in truth from several Qualities in the First Cause, but from one simple, absolute, unquali­fied Being.

V. From this consideration, that he is the First Cause and Being, it follows, that he is Ens Per­fectissimum: For that is Perfect to which nothing is wanting: Now it is impossible, that any thing can be wanting to the First Cause; for there can be nothing besides him but what proceeds from him, and that which proceeds from him cannot possibly either add any further degree of Perfection to him, or include that Perfection, which was not in the First Cause most eminently. The First Cause had a pre­existence to all things else; nothing then could be wanting to his Perfection; because there was nothing else but himself. The production of the Second Causes could not possibly include any greater Per­fection than what was derived to them. It is true in the working of Second Causes there may be a pro­duction of an Effect, that may be more perfect in its kind, than the Cause that immediately produced it; as the production of a Worm out of putrefacti­on, a Plant out of the Earth, &c. but there the Effect is not purely due to the Second Cause, but to the Original Operation of the First Cause, that did put that activity in the Second Causes to produce [Page 14] such Effects; for every Second Cause worketh and moveth in the virtue and efficacy of the First Cause, and hath its causality from it, as well as its being, without which, though it had its being, it is impos­sible it should be operative.

This Perfection in the First Cause is in truth incon­ceptible, because impossible for humane Understanding to receive it without Divine Revelation; and much more impossible to comprehend it, because Infinite. Therefore to help our selves herein we do, and that rationally, attribute to the First Being that manner of Being, that we find most Perfect. There­fore from this Perfection it follows

1. That the First Cause is a most pure Act with­out any mixture of Passibility or Power: for if there were any Power, as it signifies a susceptibili­ty of some further act or impression, that were an Imperfection; for whatsoever is susceptible of some further act, as all Power is, it is impossible it should be perfect. And from hence follows his Omnipotence, for all inability to do any thing proceeds from the want of activity in the agent to overcome that re­sistance, that it finds in the thing to be done. Now in the First Cause there wants no activity; for it is a most pure Act, and were it not a most pure and In­finite Act, it were impossible it should be the First Cause; because that supposeth a priority of being in the Cause to the Effect, and consequently requires an Infinite Activity in the First Cause, because it must produce that which before was not at all; and the motion between being and simply not being is infinite, and therefore requires an infinite activity.

2. From the consideration of this Perfection it follows, that this First Being is a Substantial Act, not an act that flows from another thing, or depends upon another thing; for then he could not be Ens Pri­mum, [Page 15] nor yet Ens Perfectissimum: but it is an Act subsisting by it self.

3. From this consideration of this Perfection it follows, that he is Ens Vivens. Life adds a degree of Perfection to the substance in which it is: and the more Perfect the Life is, the more perfect the Being: hence the Sensitive Life is perfecter than the Vegetative, and the Rational Life than the Sen­sitive, and the Life of a Spirit than the Life of a Body. Now this First Cause, being an Infinite and Pure Act, he hath an infinite perfect Life.

4. From hence it follows, that he is an Intellectu­al Being; and as all his Works bespeak him so, so doth this consideration of his Perfection necessari­ly evidence it, for otherwise he should not be Per­fect, because an Intellectual Being is a more Perfect Being than that which is not so. And this Understan­ding of the First Cause is commensurate to his Es­sence, viz. Infinite and Eternal, whereby he perfect­ly seeth himself, and all things else that are or can be, in one Eternal Indivisible act. And from hence riseth the Omniscience of the First Cause, without which he could not be Perfect: for if any thing, that is or might be, were hid from him, then by the dis­covery of that to him, he would receive a degree of Perfection, that he had not before. And this Knowledge hath a threefold Object:

1. His own Essence, which requires an Infinite Knowledge to comprehend it, because an Infinite Essence.

2. All things that are; for his Knowledge being Infi­nite, it must necessarily extend to all other things.

3. All things that may be, because otherwise up­on a further act of his Power, that should be a new extension of his Knowledge, which stands not with his Perfection.

[Page 16]And all this with one Eternal Indivisible act, not by Succession, not by mediate representation. Such Know­ledge is too wonderful for me.

5. From hence it follows, that he is Ens Liberri­mum: though he be most necessarily what he is, yet he is free: first, for that the Freedom in agen­cy is a degree of Perfection above a necessary agent, and therefore this Liberty must of necessity be attri­buted to the First Cause. Again, it is impossible but that the First Cause must be a Free Agent, for whatsoever works necessarily, hath that necessity put upon it by somewhat without it, which is incon­sistent with the First Cause; for if any thing else did put that necessity of working in him, then that which imposeth that necessity was the First Cause. Again every Necessary Agent, omnibus aequè disposi­tis, works uniformly; now nothing was as equally disposed to become something from Eternity, as at the first production of any thing, the motion from not being to a being, being the adequate effect of the First Cause: therefore if there were not a Free­dom in the First Cause, the first Effect had been as ancient as the First Being. Therefore we must necessarily affirm, concerning the First Being, that he is Ens Liberrimum & Voluntarium, and that ac­cording to his Will he worketh.

6. From hence it follows, that he is Ens sum­mè Bonum. Concerning this Goodness of God we affirm

1. That it is an Essential Goodness, and his Good­ness is not any thing divided from his Essence, for that is inconsistent with his Simplicity, so that his Essence is his Goodness, and his Goodness the same with his Essence; which is also to be observed in all his Attributes, though our Understanding cannot apprehend this Indivisible Being all at once, but [Page 17] step by step. And from hence it follows that whatsoever may be affirmed concerning his Essence, may be likewise affirmed concerning his goodness, viz.

1. That it is Infinite, for so is his essence. The Essential goodness of an Infinite Being must needs be Infinite: and hence it is not capable of any increase or diminution: and therefore the production of the Effects, and the Communication of his goodness to them, did neither add unto, nor take from his good­ness.

2. That it is Perfect; for that which is Infinite must needs be Perfect, because it excludes any mixture of any thing that is not good.

3. That it is Eternal, that is evident, for it is the same with his Eternal being.

Now from this consideration of the goodness of the first Being arise these Conclusions:

1. That he is Perfectly and self-sufficiently Happy; be­cause in the enjoyment of himself he enjoys an Infi­nite goodness, which is the same with his being, and impossible to be severed from it. Good is of its own nature the object of desire; the desire and the object being severed breedeth pain and unhappiness; the con­junction of good to the desire is fruition; and if the good be proportionable to the desire of (it), then in the Union of that good to the desire there is a full rest and complacency. Now the first cause is moved with an Infinite love (as I may with fear say) to that In­finite good, which is most Essentially and Indivisibly the same with himself, and consequently he hath an Infinite rest and complacency in himself, and that with­out the contribution of any thing without him; for he had the same boundless happiness in himself before the existence of any effect, as he had after, because he had the same measure of goodness, and the same [Page 18] perfect fruition of it before any such production, as after; the productions of new effects are the emanati­ons only of his Essence, and produced no alteration in him; neither did it dilate his Essential goodness, or add a new degree of fruition of good to what he before had; for he loved the productions of his Will in him­self and for himself.

2. That the First Being, as it is the First Cause of all things; so it is the Supream End of all things, because he is the Supream Good, and the only adequate ob­ject of himself. So that in the production of any effect, the effect that was produced, or any thing without the First Being, could not be the ultimate End, for which it should be produced; for his Will was and is filled with an Infinite Good, viz. himself. So that it was impossible he should take any thing into that Will, which was not in order to himself: He made all things for his own self. And upon this ground it follows that nothing without him is an End to it self, because he, that is the First Cause of all things, must needs be he, that must be the Master and appointer of the End of all things so caused.

3. From hence it follows that all the Goodness, that is in the Creature, is nothing else but the print or impression of that Goodness, which is in the First Being, though ac­cording to the different degrees of things the impressions are more or less genuine; for it is impossible that any thing can be denominated Good, but by a conformity in some measure to that which is the First Goodness. That conformity is nothing else but that impression of Divine Goodness upon the Creature. This impression of the Goodness of the First Cause upon the Creature is not by any transmission of any part of the Essential Goodness of the First Being into the Effect, for that is incommunicable; nor by any physical action of that Goodness upon another thing, but the mere will of [Page 19] the First Mover. Now we find a fourfold Goodness in the Creature.

1. An Essential Goodness, which is communicated with the very being of it: thus every thing that is, is Good in it self (though relatively it may be evil) because in that it is, it is conformable to the First Cause, who wills it to be. This Goodness in any being is that by reason whereof every thing desires it self, and is moved to its own preservation, and is intrinsecal to the being of the thing.

2. An Intrinsecal, but not an Essential, Goodness; when a thing hath all those qualities or requisites in it self, which are suitable and conducible to those acts and operations that belong to the degree of its being, and the variety of the degrees in these qualities deno­minate it more or less Good: thus were all Creatures in their Original perfectly Good: though every kind had a several degree of Perfection, yet every thing had a perfection in its kind. This Goodness is like­wise communicated from the First Being. And the suitableness of those qualities in the creatures to the exigencies of their own conditions do most evidently manifest the impression of that Goodness, that is in the First Being.

3. Relative or Communicative Goodness, viz, where­by one thing is conducible or useful for the preserva­tion or perfection of another thing, and is therefore desirable or good for it: for though the Essential Goodness of any thing, being as indivisible is the Essence it self, and therefore in that abstract notion is not capable of degrees, yet there are degrees of per­fection, which a finite being is capable of, and diffe­rent degrees of perfection in several beings in their concrete notion, as a Man is a more perfect being than a Beast, a Spirit than a Man, though one be as equal a being as the other. This then imports four things:

[Page 20]1. A Vacuity or absence of some Good, whereof that being is receptible, and consequently a receptibility of that which may supply it.

2. A Motion or Desire of that being, that hath this vacuity and receptibility, unto that which may supply it, and a desire of Union to it, this it hath from the cause of its being; for the cause of its being must needs be the cause of this appetite or motion to its farther perfection; and this is sometimes so strong and active that it carries the creature by way of consequence to the destruction of that being, which at present it hath, to attain a higher being.

3. A proportion between the Vacuity or necessity of the subject desiring to the thing desired: as a Man to sup­ply his Hunger desires not Cloaths, but Meat; and when cold, desires not Meat, but Cloaths; because these hold proportion to that exigence that the creature desires to fill: And hence it is that Temporal Good satisfies not a Spiritual substance, nor a Spiritual Good satisfies a Carnal substance, because they are not proportionable.

4. An Activity in the Good desired to apply it self to the supply of that exigence which desires it, and to unite it self to it. All these do infallibly evidence the Goodness of the First Being communicated to the second Being: for who put into the Creature a Moti­on or desire to unite it self to that which might sup­ply its want? who framed a proportionable Good to that Vacuity and desire? who placed that Activity in any thing to let out and unite that Goodness, that is in it, to that desire and Vacuity? the very warmth of our Cloaths, the nutriment of our bodies, do bespeak an Infinite Rational Communicative Goodness, that defined these correspondencies, and hath taught the creatures those mutual motions for their own and each others Good, while they themselves know not what or why they do it.

[Page 21]7. From the former considerations it follows most evidently that he is most Just, and that it is impossible he can be otherwise, and this as it necessarily results from the admission of his Goodness (for Justice is no­thing else but Goodness in a rational Being indued with Will) so it flows from this consideration that he is the First Cause of all things. Nothing can be said Ʋnjust which is not contrary to the prohibition of some Law given by something that can exact obedience to it: Nothing can give the First Being a Law or Rule but his own will, and consequently he can do nothing but what is most Just, because it is impossible that any thing else can be a Rule of Justice but himself: not any thing without him, for then he were not the First Being; not his creature, for over that he hath a most supream and absolute dominion; How can that which receives his being, his subsistence, his rules of Justice from the First Being, prescribe a rule to him, by whom it is, or exact the performance of it? So that nothing can be the rule of Justice to him but his own will; and therefore what he wills cannot be but Just, because he wills it: and as it is impossible for him to act but what he wills; so it is impossible for him to will but what is Just, because his will is the only rule of his Justice: and though ex natura rei he might have willed what he doth not will, yet that which he had so willed had been just, yet de facto the act of his will being Eternal and immutable, it is impossible any un­just thing should be done by him, because impossible he should do contrary to his own will, which is the only measure and rule of Justice.

And from this we may clearly evidence,

1. That there is a most absolute unlimited Dominion and Power in the First Cause over its Effects, and he is bound unto it by no other obligation but his own Will, which though it doth manifest it self in all Mercy, [Page 22] and Tenderness, and Goodness, and Wisdom towards it, yet it is only because it is his Good will so to do.

2. That therefore whatsoever Rule or Law the First Cause doth prescribe to his creature, that is capable of a Law, it ought unquestionably to be submitted unto; for what soever he wills must needs be just, inasmuch as there is no measure of Justice or Injustice but his will, although we are not to look upon any thing required by the First Cause but flowing from a most Wise, as well as a most absolute Will, and so holding a proportion with the ability of that creature from whom it is re­quired.

3. From hence we find where is the Original of all Justice in the World; it must all be resolved into that will of the First Cause, and that in a double respect:

1. In respect of Conformity; for were there no pre­cise Law given to rational creatures, it is true there could be no Obligation, yet a Conformity in the actions of rational creatures to the similar actions of the First Cause towards his Creature would be Comely and Just in a rational Creature: and questionless as the irrational Creatures have certain Instincts planted in them by their first creation, which though they are not pro­perly Laws, but Inclinations, to Man, as he came out of the hands of his Maker with the impression of his Image upon him, had some conformity to the su­pream Justice without any reference to any Command, which is not clean lost, but even in Men without edu­cation doth strangely manifest it self in divers parti­culars.

2 In respect of Obligation; for there can be nothing imaginably Unjust, without these two considerations, viz.

1. A Law commanding or forbidding a thing under a pain: whatsoever falls not within the command or Prohibition is permitted, and cannot be unjust.

[Page 23]2. A Power to exact an Obedience to that Law, and to inflict the punishment that follows upon the breach of this Law. Otherwise the Law were ridicu­lous and vain.

Now as to the first, without all question the First Cause, in the first creation of reasonable creatures, did, by what way we know not, give him a Law, whereby he should live, and which he traduced to his posterity as the Commands of the First Cause, though in succession of time those grew weaker and cor­rupter every day than other. These are those Jura Naturalia, Of the Law of Nature, the Author hath writ­ten a particular tract. which have an influence into all the Laws of Men, as to worship God, to keep our Promises, &c. and when we come so far as to be perswaded that they are the Laws of God, then it binds in a fear to offend, because thereby we become liable to punishment, which we are sure he hath Power and Right to inflict, his Power being universal and unavoidable, and his Right, and Dominion over his creature absolute and uncontrol­able.

Thus we find a plain Obligation in those Laws that are given by the First Cause, and consequently ad­mitting such a Law, we have a clear Rule, whereby to measure what's Just, and what's Unjust: and when I can resolve any thing into the Command or Prohibition of this Law, I find my self bound in Conscience, viz. under pain of Guilt, to obey. If I enter into a society and agree to be bound by the Laws, that the greater number of that Society makes, they make a Law: here be now but two things that can bind me to ob­serve this Law, and consequently to denominate my disobedience thereunto Unjustice, viz.

The Power of the Society, but that is but a thing extrinsecal, I may avoid their power, and then I am [Page 24] absolved; and if external power were enough to deno­minate my disobedience Unjustice, then if I could procure a power to overmatch theirs, their obedience to their own Law were injustice.

The Promise and agreement to submit to that Law so made: but what is that that binds me to keep my promise? if nothing binds me to it, then is not my dis­obedience any Unjustice; for the obligation of the Law is resolved into my agreement; and if nothing above me bind me to keep my agreement, I have no obli­gation at all upon me: therefore the Dominion, Power and Justice of the First Cause is the only Bond, where­by we are bound, and whereunto all Humane Justice is to be resolved both in point of Conformity as to its Pattern, and Obligation as to its Law.

But how these Laws were at first given to Man, whether by a formal Command, or whether by an immediate Impression in the understanding and will, or whether by an implanted Propension or inclination in the will, or partly by one, partly by another, it is not easy to determine. Sed vide infra. But what ever way it was, it is impossible to have any notion or imagina­tion of just or unjust among Men, without resolving it in its original into the Rule or Law that was given to Men by the First Cause of our being.

9. From the consideration of the First Cause and of the premisses, it must needs follow, that he is Immuta­ble: for Mutability is inconsistent

1. With his Perfection. It is impossible that a Pure Act can have any Change; for all Change doth ne­cessarily infer Passibility and Receptibility of what it had not before: and to suppose that, were to conclude he were not Actus Simplicissimus & Perfectissimus; for all Receptibility imports Potentiam or Passibilitatem.

2. It is inconsistent with his Eternity: for all Changes too of necessity suppose a Succession of Duration in [Page 25] the thing changed; it is not to every intent the same simply, that it was before it had that change, which doth of necessity import Succession, which is incon­sistent with Eternity; for whatsoever is Eternal hath no Succession, and consequently whatsoever is affirmed of it at one instant must necessarily be affirmed of it Eternally: this cannot stand with any change; for be­fore that change, that could not be affirmed of him, which might be affirmed after, if it should be admitted.

3. It is inconsistent with his Simplicity. Some things have accidental changes, which yet in Essence continue the same, as from ignorance to knowledge, from one colour to another: but such accidental changes cannot be in that, which is Ens Simplicissimum, because there can be nothing in him, which is not his Essence.

4. It is inconsistent with his Infinitude; for to what­soever any thing can be added that it had not before, that cannot be Infinite, because still capable of a farther accession.

And as this Immutability is affirmed of the First Cause in point of his Essence and Nature, so in some respects it is concerning his Acts. These are of two kinds, viz. the Immanent Acts, such are the Acts of his understanding and Will; and these are Immutable as well as his Essence, for indeed they are but notio­nally divided from it. In us our Will is one thing and our willing another, but that is inconsistent with the Simplicity of the First Cause; hence it is that as his Essence, so his Will is immutable; he wills nothing now but what he ever willed, and understood from Eternity what he now knows; for Eternity hath neither now nor then in it.

2. The Emanant Acts; those are nothing else but the Execution of that Immutable Will; these are subject to mutation, but without the least mutation, either in the Essence or will of the First Cause.

[Page 26]1. Not in his Essence. It is true here is a new relation that was not before: for when the First Be­ing produced an Effect, it is true the Relation of a Cause and an Effect is now produced, which was not before, and so when more Effects are produ­ced, the Relations are multiplied; but Relations breed no Change at all in the subject concerning whom they are affirmed: the being was the same before it put forth it self in a causation, as it was before; it doth of necessity import a change in the thing effected, viz. a motion à non esse simpliciter, or à non esse tale, but not in the Cause, which had an absolute being before, though not actually as a Cause before.

2. Not in his Will. It is true, when any Effect is produced that was not before, here is an execution of what was not before, but the will of that to be then was from all Eternity. Again when a being is either changed or annihilated, that is not by a Change of the will in the First Cause, but only in the term or execution of that Will; for by the same indivisible and eternal act of his Will, he willed this or that to be made, and after to be annihilated in time; the Change is in the terminus or execution of his Will, not in the Will, or the Immanent Act of it.

But how can we then conceive that there should be one Immutable Act of his Will, when a thing is past? How can he be said to will that which is already executed and past? That the Willing still continues the same, shall be, and is, and hath been, are the several relations of the thing willed, which is ca­pable of these successions of duration: they are not rela­tions that may fall upon that will which is incapable of them, or upon the acts of it. For which we must return to what hath been said, viz. that past, and to come, are but the measure of Successive Moti­ons, and therefore though they are applicable to them, yet they are not applicable to an Indivi­sible Being or Act; the measures of successive motion [Page 27] do not fit Eternity, which, though it be a Duration, that consists with the Successive Motion and Duration of the Creature, yet, it holds no proportion with it. The Motion of the Heavens, though 10000 times swifter than the motion of a Tortois, have yet a proportion one to another, because both successive, and so Time measures both: But the Duration of the First Cause is the Durati­on of an Indivisible Being, and consequently holds not proportion with Succession. And hence it is, that it is but our gross conception that do imagine any part of Eter­nity past, or any part to come, or that Time doth di­vide the fore part of Eternity from the future part of Eternity: It is an indivisible permanent Duration, no­thing past, nothing future, but the same fixed instant; consequently the Act of the Divine will always one, always present. This Knowledge is too wonderful for me.

CHAP. II. Of the Works of God of Creation and Providence.

THUS far have we proceeded in those inquiries, which rectified Reason suggests to us concerning the Nature of the First Cause: Now we consider the Emanant Acts of his Will and Power upon things without him; for from this consideration, that he is the First Be­ing, it likewise follows that All things besides him must needs have their being and subsistence from him. This falls into these two Conclusions:

1. That all thing besides himself have their being from him.

2. That all things are directed and governed unto their several Ends by him.

[Page 28]Touching the former, viz. That all things besides him have their original being from him, that is a necessary con­sequent of the admission of a First being: for what­soever is not first, there was a time when it was not; for otherwise it must be eternal, the contrary whereof is before evidenced. That then which once was not, and now is, and consequently had a beginning of its being, could not have it from it self; for nothing hath a power or activity of it self to produce any thing; therefore that second being must needs be produced by the First Being; the consequences whereof are these.

1. That all things except the First Cause had a be­ginning of their being, and consequently there was no Eternal Matter, out of which any thing was made.

2. That all Beings had their first being from him that is the First Being. This is evident by what goes before.

3. That the first production of all things by the First Being is purely and solely by way of Efficiency; and not by derivation of substance from himself? for that is impossible; his Essence is Immaterial and Indi­visible.

4. The manner of this Efficiency, or his Causality is not any act distinct from himself, but only the me [...]e act of his mere Will, which is essentially the same with himself, and with his Infinite Power.

And herein the first production of second Beings differs from that manner of causation, which is or­dinary in subsequent productions of things: for the first production of beings was an infinite motion, viz. from a simple not-being to a being, and therefore was acted immediately by the Infinite Power and Will of the First Cause, there being no instrument to be used; or if it had been, yet any instrument had been in­finitely disproportionable to such a motion. But in the subsequent production of most things, the matter pre­existing, [Page 29] and so the motion not being à non esse simpli­citer, the causation of the First Cause is by instruments and second Causes.

5. That as the first production of all things was the immediate act of his will, so the disposing of all things into that Order and frame, wherein they now are, was the immediate Act of his Will, and Power, and Wis­dom. This is evident upon a double ground, viz. First because whatsoever had its being from another, had its esse tale from him. 2. It is not conceptible that if all the things in the World had been put together, they being all irrational substances, they should ever have marshalled themselves into that order they are in, unless the First Being had so willed it. And if it should be admitted that the Forms and Qualities of the several beings would naturally have inclined them to their several places and stations, which though all things had been wrapt together, would by degrees have severed and taken their places. That as it is impossi­ble to imagine would ever have been, unless the substances themselves as well as their active qualities had been divided: so if it were granted, it were equally to be resolved into the Will of the first Being to put such Forms, Qualities and Inclinations in things con­ducing to, and effecting such an order, as if that Or­der and Fabrick of things had been by the immediate call of every thing into its Order and Rank by the First Cause.

6. That the production of Mankind especially was the immediate work of the First Being. This is touched before.

7. That all these Activities that are in Second Causes are put into them by the First Cause, and they work in the virtue of the First Cause; so that although the Effect be not the immediate production of the First Cause, yet the Activity and Power, that is put in the [Page 30] second Cause to work, is originally due to the First Cause. And hence it is that a more ignoble being doth produce sometimes a being of a higher nature than it self, as the Earth produceth Vegetables, Putrefaction Sensibles, because the vigor and Activity that causeth it, was at first put into the second causes by the First: so that though they move uniformly, omnibus rectè dispositis, yet they act in virtute Primae Causae.

8. Though Second Causes work naturally and uni­formly for the most part, where all things are equally disposed, and this by the virtue of that Activity, which by the will and Power of the First Cause was at first put in them, yet this Activity is managed and ordered so that it neither breaks the Law of its causality or motion, that was at first put into it, nor yet disturbs or disorders the universal fabrick of Nature, things being at first framed in that order, that each should be a corrective to the other in case of exorbitancy, de hoc infra.

9. From hence it follows that the constant and uni­form Course of Nature is not to be attributed to it self, but only to the Will of the First Cause, that wills it to continue in that frame, though he hath ordained Means subservient to that end.

10. From hence it follows that as all things in actu primo owe their being to the will of the First Cause, constant and uni­form Course of Nature is not to to be attributed to itself, but only to the Will of the First Cause, that wills it to continue in that frame, though he hath ordained Means subservient to the will of the First Cause, so in actu secundo, viz. their continuance and subsistence is due only, to that Will: they were made because he willed it, and they continue because he wills it. And this, as it is most true in respect of the whole frame of Nature, which hath no adequate means of its sub­sistence, but the Will of the First Cause; so it is true likewise, as in the beings, so in the continued sub­sistence of Second Causes, which though they are, and are supported immediately by Second Causes, Qualities and concurrences, yet the Activity and Power, that [Page 31] is in these Second Causes to produce or continue these Effects, is due to the First Cause, and continues in them by virtue of that Will, that at first planted it in them.

2. The Disposing of all things to their several Ends, whe­ther remote or near, belongs to this First Cause.

Every Intellectual Agent works for some End or o­ther; the First Cause we have shewed to be an Intel­lectual Agent; therefore what he works, he works for some End answerable to the Work and Worker, and it must of necessity be that he that is the First Cause, or Efficient of all things, must needs be the appointer of his own End in that Work.

The End, though it be last in execution, is first in intention; for it moves the Agent to the work, or otherwise, though he work not without an Event, he doth it without an End. Now that which is first in Efficiency must needs be the first designer of his own End, which is but the result of his Work; A Second Cause, though he may have an End in his Causation proportionable to the causality wherewith he is indued; yet as his Efficiency is subordinate to, and derived from the Efficiency of the First Cause, so must his End be: it may be an Ultimate End in respect of it, it is but in­terlocutory, or rather no End at all, in respect of the First Cause, but only a means conducing to the Execu­tion of the End of the first Cause. When a passionate Ambitious or Covetous Man drives mainly and wholly at the satisfaction of those lusts as his End, and that End draws out his activity and strength to compass them, yet a wise Statesman, according to the convenience or exigence of the Publick, can manage and or­der this Ambition, and the Satisfaction thereof unto a higher End, which the other never so much as dream'd of.

[Page 32]As we therefore divide all Beings and Causes into First and Second, so we distinguish all Ends into the Ends of the First Cause, and of Second Causes. Touch­ing the End of the First Cause, we say it is twofold.

1. That which is the End in respect of himself. This is nothing but the Satisfaction of his own Will. As we must resolve the being of all things into the Will of the First Cause in point of Efficiency, so in this re­spect we must resolve all things into that same Will in point of Finality; and this is the most adequate and Ultimate resolution of all things, they are because he wills them to be. For the First Cause, being absolutely and infinitely Perfect and Good, cannot originally be moved by any thing without him; that would import a Passibility, viz. to be moved and impulsed to any thing by any thing without him; and an Imperfection, which might be supplyed by the acquisition of that End, for which he works: both these are necessarily to be admitted in any case, where any End extrinsecal to the Efficient it self is admitted: for 1. the End hath an impulsion or action upon the efficient, and 2. it necessa­rily supposes a vacuity or emptiness quoad hoc, which shall be supplied with that End acquired, be it an End of Supplement or Delight. Neither of these are possi­bly to be admitted in the First, who is an Infinite Good commensurate to the Infinite measure of his own Will. The Final Cause then of all things is, He wills because He wills. His Glory is a consequence of his Work in the Work, not the ultimate End of his Work, be­cause nothing that he made can contribute ought to his Glory or Happiness.

2. In respect of the thing produced, the ordination of every particular thing to its particular End, either in order to it self, or to some thing else, or both, the Intermediate Ends of all things being different accor­ding to their several natures and the several dispensa­tions [Page 33] of the Divine will. That this may be so, is evi­dent upon the consideration of that Infiniteness of Wis­dom, Power and Presence of the First Cause, which before is considered: and that it must be so is like­wise evident upon the consideration before expressed, viz. that the Will of the First Cause is the Cause of all beings and operations in the World: Nothing can be, unless he wills it to be: and this will must needs be extended to every individual thing and motion in the World, for as well as any might evade the deter­mination of his will, all things might.

There be three degrees of things, Natural, Con­tingent, and Voluntary: Now the Means of carrying things merely Natural to their several Ends, ordinarily is that Rule and Order, which he hath set in things Natural, and those Propensions and Inclinations, which are planted in things, to the observance of that Law. Now this hath a threefold reference to the First Cause:

1. Of Position or giving; for it is not imaginable that this Rule was taken up by the things themselves: the Law of Nature, and the Frame, order and Course of thing according to that Law, doth most necessarily conclude a Lawgiver, and although the motion of the Law or Rule of Nature is for the most part uniform, yet it doth in no sort follow that therefore it moved not from a voluntary Agent. But though it in­finitely speaks his Wisdom, that did so foresee and order all things, that one uniform Law or Rule should serve, without any alteration; for a change of a Rule imports Imperfection in the Rule, and a want of fore­sight, in him that makes it, of those emergencies that induce such an alteration. Now in as much as nothing could be, but it was first in the Will of the First Cause, and consequently in his Knowledg, all those Propensions, Rules and Orders of Nature, which he hath put into things, are exactly subservient to [Page 34] those purposes, and consequently to the effects produ­ced by it.

2. Of Concurrence with it, all things depending upon the First Cause, as well in the support as in the Original of its subsistence.

3. Of Subordination to it. Hence it is that extraor­dinarily the Ordinary Rule of Nature is intermitted: for though the most exact uniform Rule unalterable in the least point may nevertheless proceed from a Free Agent, because the uniformity of the Rule pro­ceeds not from it self, but because the First Cause wills it to be so, and yet hath exactly fitted it to the bringing about his Ends; yet because Mankind is apt to mistake, sometimes there is an intermission or interruption of that Course of Nature: this Subordination likewise appears by the Direction and forming of it to special purposes, wherein whiles the Second Cause moves ac­cording to the Rule of Nature that is set in it, yet by the Concatenation and Conjuncture of other things, which happily moved naturally thither, some strange effect is produced beyond the reach of that Natural Agent: as when an Artificer, by conjuncture of seve­ral things together, makes use of the natural motion of the Lead poise to work a circular, or other strange motion in a Clock or Engine.

Now the Law or Rule of Nature, as in divers other particulars, so in these it most evidently sheweth it self to be nothing else but the Course, that the great Ma­ster of the World hath put in things.

1. Those Propensions that are in things for their own Preservation and Protection. Hence those mo­tions of Inanimate things as it were to their several homes and stations appointed by the First Cause, Mul­tiplication of their kinds, Specifical Inclinations inci­dent to a whole kind.

[Page 35]2. The Subserviency of one thing to the use and exigence of another, wherein for the most part the more Imperfect is still subservient to the more Per­fect, and all to Man.

3. The Disposition of things in those places and ranks as may be most usefull, and as may best pre­vent that disorder and confusion, which contrary qua­lities would produce; as appears in the Elements, in hurtful creatures.

4. The Subordination of the particular Inclinations and Dispositions of any particular to the prevention of that which is contrary to the Law of the universe.

5. The admirable Concurrence of things indued with contrary qualities and destructive each to other in t [...] [...]onstitution of mixt bodies, shewing a hand that tempers and overrules them in their operations and causalities.

2. Contingent Effects. In reality there is nothing in the World Contingent, because every thing that hath bin, is, or shall be, is praedetermined by an Immutable Will of the First Being: But we therefore call a thing Con­tingent because either we find no constant Rule or de­termination of the immediate cause to the production of the effect, or an effect resulting out of the conjunction of causes that have no natural connexion one with another. When the Prophet that prophesied against Bethel, returned back, met the Lion, and the Lion slew him, here was a Voluntary Act in the Prophet, viz. to go, a Contingent Act in the meeting with the Lion, a Natural Act in the Lion to kill him: now because this death of the Prophet had no necessary connexion with all the causes that concurred to it, neither had the journey of the Prophet any necessary connexion with the walk of the Lion that they must needs meet, the death of the Prophet, though it had a kind of na­tural connexion with the next cause that preceded it, [Page 36] was in the estimation of Men Contingent; yet in re­spect of that predetermination that was of all this busi­ness, (which was not therefore predetermined because spoken by the old Prophet, who had only a revelation of That counsel) the whole frame of this business was necessary, yet note that this predetermination did not alter the nature of the intermediate causes: the jour­ney of the Prophet was nevertheless voluntary, the meeting with the Lyon Contingent, the death of the Prophet by the Lyon in effect necessary. So the Di­vine Predetermination of Effects predetermines them in their several Causes, and takes not away the truth of the denomination of Necessary, Contingent, and Voluntary: it predetermines the being of each; but the being of the first but to be necessarily, because it prede­termines it to depend upon a necessary cause, as the Eclipse of the Sun; it predetermines the being of the second, but to be contingently, because it predeter­mines it to be upon contingent and unconnexed causes; it predetermines the third to be, but to be voluntarily, because it hath predetermined it to be upon a voluntary cause. All things to him have the same necessity of being, though distinguished in their manner of being, which are represented to our understanding under the notions of Necessary, Contingent, and Volun­tary.

3. We have considered the influence of the First Cause upon the creature in actu primo, which is giving it a being, or creation, and as to things Natural and Contingent, in actu secundo, which is Providence or Go­vernment: Now concerning the relation that Man, the only visible Intellectual and Voluntary being in the World, [hath] We must premise to this consideration what hath been partly observed, viz.

1. That the first disposal of every thing to its several End doth of right belong to the First Cause.

[Page 37]2. That this End is twofold: 1. In respect of the First Cause the mere fulfilling of his own Will: 2. In respect of the Creatures: 1. relatively one to another, a Subordination of one thing to and for another, as the more imperfect to the more perfect: 2. absolutely, the End that is planted in every thing is its own Preserva­tion and Perfection.

3. That as the implanted End of every thing is his own being and perfection, so the being of things be­ing different, both in nature and degrees of Excel­lence, so are their Perfections different, the Perfection of Animate above the Inanimate, the Perfection of the Sensitive above the Animate, and of the Rational above the Sensitive.

4. That as the several Creatures are moved to their several Preservations and Perfections, as to their se­veral Ends, so they have suitable Inclinations, Dispo­sitions and Motions placed in them conducible to those Ends: as the Motions of Bodies to their several stati­ons; the generation of Vegetables, and their attra­ction of supplies of nourishment answerable to their tempers; the fading of Sensitives, and assimilation of the nourishment to their own nature, supplying the decays thereof; Natural Instincts of every species to avoid those things, places, and foods that are destru­ctive, providing for varieties of Seasons, multiplica­tion of their Species; and infinite the like, which is nothing else but that Rule, Law or Means, that the First Cause hath put in them for the attaining that End, which he hath put in them, viz. their Preserva­tion and Perfection. And this is the great Wisdom, as I may call it, of the Creature, that it pursues that End, by that Law, which the First Cause hath given it.

Mankind hath some things in him common with other inferiour Beings, and in respect thereof hath the same Natural End, viz. the Preservation of his Sub­sistence [Page 38] by the same Law of Nature, which he doth, and may, and ought to preserve, as other Creatures do. But if he have a higher degree of Being than other Creatures, then consequently he hath these two things different from other Creatures.

1. A higher End than other Creatures planted in him by the First Cause, whereinto he is, or should be carried.

2. A higher and different Law given by the First Cause in order to that End, which whiles he follows he is most wise, because most conformable to the Will of his Maker, and moves to a suitable End to himself, by a suitable Means, and which when he declines, he is more bruitish than the Beast, because he either moves to no End, or by such a Rule, by which it is impossible he should attain it.

The Conclusion then is, That Man was by the First Cause made for an End answerable to his own Per­fection by such a Rule or Law as was by the First Cause ordained to be conducible to this End: That therefore all other Ends and Perfections that are below the uttermost hight and Perfection of Man may con­sist with this End; for we are not to conceive so im­providently of the First Cause, that he should put a thing in such a degree of being, that the Ends and Rules incident to any consideration of him should be inconsistent with his Supream End; all stood toge­ther; but if by any casualty it should fall out that there were an inconsistency, all the Subordinate Ends must give way to this Supream End: That the pursuit of this great End, whatsoever it is, by this Rule, is exact­ly conformable to the Will of the First Cause; by this, Man doth two works at once, God's work and his own: That this is the Great Business of Man, the highest act of Wisdom, deserves all his labour, study, and endeavour, and all the rest of his Business in the [Page 39] World is either lost labour, or worse, if not subser­vient to this great End.

We are therefore to enquire into these three things:

1. Wherein consists the Eminence of the being of Man above other Creatures; for without this we can­not know that Perfection which must be the object of his desire.

2. What is this Perfection, that is thus to be de­sired and attained.

3. By what Means, and how it is attainable.

CHAP. III. Of Man, his Excellence above other Creatures.

THE Goodness of the Wise Creator was communicated to his Effects, 1. in giving them a Being, 2. in assigning to every thing a portion of Perfection in themselves answerable to the degree of their Being, 3. a Motion or Desire to the attaining and conserving that Perfection, and consequently of their Being, which is the Vessel wherein that Perfection is held, 4. a Rule or Law wherewith it is indued to regulate and direct and enable his Motions in the attaining of that Desire.

Thus we find in all Creatures below Man, every thing moving to its own Preservation and Perfection by a strong Desire and constant Rule, and enjoying a kind of Happiness in the Fruition of that End, which the First Cause gave it as its Portion: Nay in the very Dissolu­tion of the Creature, this is that which moves the in­gredients thereof to part themselves, or concur in the production of some third thing, the thing corrupted struggling nevertheless as long as it can to keep it self entire.

[Page 40] Man, though in his lower part he hath somewhat common with other,V. Originat 1. c. 2. especially sen­sible Creatures, and therefore in that respect resembles them in his Mo­tions Fruitions and Ends; yet he hath something that is of a higher Constitution, and consequently capable of a higher Perfection, whereunto he moves as his End, by a Law or Rule answerable to so great an End, this latter being of a higher Frame, yet answerable to that in other Creaturers, which we call the Law of Na­ture, Instinct, or Natural Inclination.

The first thing therefore examinable is, Wherein consists this Perfection of Man above other Creatures: And questionless that is in his Soul, which actuates, animates, and directs his Body: and therefore before we can find out what is that End, that is answerable to the degree of Man's being, we must enquire what this Soul is, wherein Man's Perfection consists, whereby we shall be able to measure out what End will serve it.

The Soul of Man is considerable:

1. In its absolute Essence we must conclude it to be an Immterial Immortal Substance. This though it be a certain truth, yet it is impossible naturally to de­monstrate it: the reason is, because nothing can come to our Understandings demonstratively but either by our Senses, or by Discourse and Reasons deduced from such things as so come to our Senses. It is true the First Cause falls not under our Senses, yet by necessary deduction [from what falls under our Senses] we necessarily conclude, That he is, and in some things, What he is: but the Being of the Soul, as it is not conspicuous to the Sense, so it is not deducible by Demonstration: it is a Truth which is revealed at first supernaturally, and afterwards traductively. It is true that when we have the knowledge of it, we may find many reasons to fortifie it, divers difficulties thereby [Page 41] reconciled, which without that admitted were almost impossible to be broken through; which stings the most bold and adventurous sinner or Atheist with an invincible suspicion of the truth of this Truths yet I cannot find how merely by Natural Reason a Man can first find out the truth of this Proposition, That the Soul is a Substance Immaterial. We owe this truth in its original to Divine Revelation, though when disco­vered, the contribution of rectified Reason may con­clude it at least probable.

But that being granted, it doth of necessity follow, that it is Immortal and Incorruptible: for that which is Immaterial, is actus simflex, which excludes a com­position of Matter and Form, not Simflicissimus, which excludes the composition ex Ente & Essentia, or ex Actu & Potentia. Now concerning those Reasons those Reasons that conduce to prove the* Im­mortality and Spirituality of the Soul;

I. From the manner of its Operation:

1. In the understanding, which though it takes its rise from things that pass through the Sense, yet it re­fines them from their Materiality, concludes from them things, which are not conveyed in by the Senses, abstracts, riseth to the consideration and apprehension of Spiritual Truths.

2. In the Will, which is carried to affect a Good that falls not within the reach of Sense, controlls and commands the Sensual Appetite, takes it off from those things which it pursues as naturally and violently as the hungry Lion doth his Prey, and imposeth a Law of Reason upon them.

3. From the Conscience, that startles at the commit­ting of a horrid Offence, though with the greatest se­crecy and outward security in the World. Sed de his. Latius infra.

[Page 42]2. From the Justice of God. It is questionless certain, that as God put in the several Instincts and Propen­sions in the inferior Creatures, whereby they are car­ried to their Ends; so there was some Rule given to Man, that was answerable to the several dimensions of those Abilities he had above other Creatures, viz. Un­derstanding and Will. And questionless, as those Pro­pensions are internal to the inferiour Creatures, and do not only rule their Actions, but also their Inclina­tions, so this Law that was given to Man, extended not only to his outward Actions, but to those inward Motions of his Soul, by the violation of the least part of which Law he incurred a Guilt, which is an Obligation to Punishment, according to the Penalty of this Law. Now it is impossible that this Justice should be executed, considering especially the outward dispensation of things, without the Object of this Ju­stice survived his Body.

3. From the Wisdom of God, who surely gave not his Creature an Understanding that might arrive to know him, a Will rationally and ex deliberatione to obey him, and yet that all this should die with the Body! But who is sufficient for these things?

Here is the first Eminence then of Man above other things, that he carries about him an Immaterial and Immortal Soul, which survives his Body, and this necessarily concludes that the Good, or End, or Happiness answerable to this Perfection, cannot be either Material or Mortal.

1. Not Material, because it holds not proportion with that Nature and Receptibility of the Soul. And from hence as it is most rational to conclude, that any Object of the Sense can never be that Good that the Soul drives at, so it is most evident by two Experi­ments.

[Page 43]1. In the Weariness, Nauseousness, and unsatis­factoriness of them. If a Man had all the Wisdom and Contrivance in the World, and the most eager and intense desire after these Objects of Sense, or the Sensual Appetite, that can be imagined, and all those Supplies and Opportunities that might conduce to the filling of these Desires, yet in the midst of those Enjoyments he would find a Nauseousness, a Satiety, a Weariness. And that is the reason that voluptuous Men travel from one Pleasure to another. Which though they are exquisitely proportionable to that Sense they are framed for, yet there is somewhat with­in, which is still empty and craves, who cannot re­lish nor tast those Enjoyments, and cries after some­thing that may be more sutable to it, and the Man not knowing what that is, travels from one thing to another to find somewhat to satisfie that Desire, but cannot till he light upon that Good that is Immaterial.

2. In that the more Spiritual the Object is, the more satisfaction it breeds. Hence the Soul doth in effect Spiritualize all that cometh into it by abstractions and rational deductions. And from hence among mere natural Men, the Contemplative is the most happy, because he fits his Soul with Food in some measure answerable to it. And according to the levity or weight, vanity or reality of the Object, this Enjoy­ment is diversified.

2. Not Mortal or perishing. As the want of a pro­portion between the Immaterial nature of the Soul and Material Objects, renders them unpleasing and unsatisfactory to the Soul; so if there were a suitable­ness between their Natures, yet if there were a suit­ableness in their Duration, it wants that which is ne­cessarily required to Happiness, or an End answerable to the Soul, and that upon a double Reason.

[Page 44]1. In the Fruition. The very Enjoyment of a suit­able Good, which I am sure must leave me, mi [...]gles fear and preapprehension of the loss of my present Enjoyment, and consequently cannot possibly be Hap­piness. And from hence likewise grows that Vexa­tion, which is dipt in the highest Enjoyments: every Man in the very Enjoyments, hath the present appre­hension of an inevitable future loss of them, especially in Death, which doth take away that possibility of farther uniting of external Objects to Man.

2. In the Loss of it. That cannot be a suitable End to an Immortal Being, that must be severed from it.

The Conclusion therefore of this Consideration is, that the Wise Maker of Man, as he hath made him a living corporeal Creature, did put into his hand such a Good, as was common with other Creatures, which he may justly enjoy: so, as he furnished him with an Immaterial Immortal Soul, he did order that Soul to an End answerable to it self, and above other Crea­tures, viz. an Immaterial Immortal Good. And less than this cannot be an End answerable to the Wisdom of the Worker, nor value of the Work.

2. Thus concerning the Nature of the Soul; now concerning the Faculties, whereby it is enabled to move to that End. And these have a threefold use:

1. First they serve as fit Receptacles to entertain, and be united unto that Good, which is the proper End of the Soul, and hold some proportion with that Object, wherein the Happiness of the Soul consists.

2. They serve as Receptacles to receive that Rule or Law, which must conduce to that End, and therefore they are likewise fitted for that.

3. They serve as Helps and Instruments actively to move to that End. these three are seen likewise in in­feriour Creatures: 1. They have a Receptibility of that Good, which is answerable to their Nature: 2. A Re­ceptibility [Page 45] of that Instinct, which is their Law, where­by they are directed to that Good: 3. An Activity in them to carry them on to that Good, according to that Rule or Propension.

The two great Affections, that every Being is en­dued with, is the Truth of its being, and the Good­ness of it: answerable to those are the two great Facul­ties or Powers of the Soul; the Understanding, which is conversant about the former; and the Will, which is conversant about the latter. Yet in the very same Faculties both these are conjoyned under their distinct Notions, the Understanding taking into considera­tion the Truth of that which is propounded as Good, and the Will being carried with a desire to the Know­ledge of Truth as Good.

Now concerning the Ʋnderstanding, it hath a three­fold Power:

1. A Receptive or Passive Power, whereby it takes in those Objects that are conveyed to it by an impres­sion from without, whether it be by the ordinary and natural way of the Sense, or by a supernatural im­pression, or by artificial means, as Speech, or Reading, or other Signs. And thus it receives not only simple Apprehensions, but likewise Complex, or Proposi­tions Now without this receptive power, it were impossible for any knowledge to be in the Soul, be­cause our Knowledge is not by Intuition, as the Di­vine Knowledge is, but by reception of the thing known, into the Soul. And hence it is plain, that all Knowledge is extrinsecal to the Soul; for though it be apta nata to receive the species or object into it, yet without such reception it cannot actually know it.

2. A Retentive Power of the Object or Proposition received. Without this it were impossible for the Discursive Power of the Understanding to hammer any thing out of it.

[Page 46]3. An Active and Discursive Power, whereby the Un­derstanding is able to work upon those Objects thus recei­ved and retained, and deduce Conclusions and Conse­quences from them: So that though the foundation of this intellectual Motion be from those things that are impressed from without upon the Soul, yet when they are once there, this active and discursive part of the Un­derstanding can draw millions of Conclusions, create millions of Mixtures, and entia rationis, which present not themselves at first to the passive Understanding.

The Rule whereby this Active Power of the Un­derstanding works, is that we call Reason, which is but a beam of the Divine Light, a part of the Image of God in Man, and of singular use in all his Actions, if rightly used. De hoc infra.

Now as all Receptive or Passive Powers are perfect­ed by the receipt of the Object which may fill that va­cuity, which is in the Power; and as all Powers are likewise perfected by Acts and Habits; so are these Intellectual Powers; they have their several Acts and Habits, whereby they are perfected and moved:

1. Knowledge, and this I may call of two kinds:

1. Passive Knowledge, which answers to the Passive part of the Understanding. Such is the Knowledge of Simple Apprehensions, which come through the Senses, and the Knowledge of Principles, and these are of two kinds:

1. Such as are per se nota, and without any Argu­mentation are subscribed unto, as many Principles in the Mathematicks.

2. Such as are inscribed in the Heart of Man by the Maker of Man. Thus without all question at first, God did indite his Law in the Heart of Man; but this being not essential to the Soul, though he retained his Intellectual Soul; his Principles of this kind were ob­literated: and therefore it was the Mercy of God from [Page 47] time to time to inculcate them into Man's Posterity. Sed de hoc infra.

2. Active or Discursive Knowledge. This bottoms it self upon those simple apprehensions, that are in the Passive Understanding, and upon those Principles that are in the Soul, and by purifying things from their materiality, abstracting, rising from the Effect to the Cause, and so downward, by the aid of that Light and Rule of Reason, which the God of Wisdom hath put into the Soul, arrives to those Truths, that lie in the Creature, as Gold in the Stone, beyond the reach of Sense to acquire.

Now in this respect the Understanding of Man is of vast and boundless Capacity, and is capable to re­ceive all the things in the World, and nothing that is finite can satisfie it. And hence it is, that it moves from one thing to another, to meet with somewhat that may satisfie the vast Comprehension of it. It is true, the higher and more noble the Object is that is known, the more delight and satisfaction it gives: but yet all is too strait and narrow to satisfie it. If it could meet with an Object to which it might be united perfectly, and that were large enough to fill it, then this Faculty of the Understanding in this act of its Knowledge had its Happiness, because it then had found that to which it most naturally moves, and wherein it rests. Now nothing can do this, but the First and infinite Truth. My Understanding is as capable of comprehending the whole Earth, as it is of a Tennis Ball; and, could there be a means to unite the Object to my Understanding, were as capacious of the comprehen­sion of the Compass of the Heavens, as it is of either of the former; yet when I had acquired that know­ledge, I should still have a vacuity, which might com­prehend a million of Heavens more: For my Under­standing pares off the bulk of quantity, and the vastest [Page 48] body take up no more room in my Understanding than an atome. Therefore certainly I conclude that the Wise God, that hath put my Understanding into such a motion, that it cannot rest in the knowledge of the Creature, and is too comprehensive for it, hath appointed himself to be the End of my Understand­ing in this act or habit of Knowledge, wherein I shall find an Object infinitely more than answerable to the value, worth, and comprehension of my Understand­ing. This then is the End, and consequently the Rest and Happiness in point of Knowledge, to know my Creator.

2. Wisdom. This is nothing else, but sound Reason; and though it respect the whole Man, yet it princi­pally resides in the Understanding. This is diversi­fied according to the different Objects, about which it is conversant, and accordingly, gives the denomina­tion of a Wise Commander, a Wise Statesman, &c. But that which is the adequate Wisdom of a Man, denominates him a Wise Man. This consists in three things.

1. In the discovery of the true and adequate End of Man. Man hath several particular Ends, to which he is ordained, though in several degrees and stations; and every one of these Ends do, and may consist one with the other: but that Man, that arrives not to the Ultimate and Supream End, hath not that Wisdom, which is commensurate to the Nature of Man.

2. The discovery of the right Means and Rule to attain to that End. Man, as we have said, hath seve­ral Ends, and several Means there are conducible to that End. Conservation of the Compositum, is an End common to Man and other Creatures; and in order to this, he hath several Means conducing to this End, as choice of his Diet, and moderation in it: Securing himself from Injuries, and in order to this, acquiring [Page 49] of Riches, and Power, and Friends; Settled Societies and Commonwealths, and in order to these Policies, Laws, Trade, &c. Perpetuating of his kind by Propagation. These Ends, and those Means, when known, do de­nominate a Man Wise; though this Wisdom differs in degrees, according to the several values of these Ends: But any, or all of these, do not rise to that Wisdom, that is the proportionable Wisdom of a Man; because these, as they are but temporary, and die with the Man, so they are but extrinsecal, and come not up to the value of the Soul. The Wisdom answer­ble to a Man, is that which orders him to his Ever­lasting and Spiritual End, by those Means that are suitable to it.

3. The due Prosecution of this End by these Means. There are three great Follies in the Actions of Man­kind:

1. In making that an End of his Actions, which in truth is not, but only a means in order to something else: for instance, Riches are in truth nothing but a Means tending to our outward preservation and sup­port against Injuries and Necessities; the like of Ho­nour, and Power; but when a Man shall move to­wards Riches, or Honour, or Power, to that end that he may be rich or great, here is a mistake and a folly in resting in that as the End, which in truth is nothing, nor of no value, but in order to Preservation of it self, and of that Society wherein he is, and consequently of himself.

2. In misapplying Means to that End at which he drives, which though the End be right, is folly; but if the End be mistaken, is double folly. He that makes Riches his End, if he endeavour to attain it by playing at Dice, or other unfit Means, he misses both his End, and Means of it.

[Page 50]3. In Prosecution of inferiour Ends immoderately, and without subordination to higher Ends. The Wise God hath so ordered all things, especially Man, with that order and subordination, that all his Ends may be prosecuted by all due Means; yet one End, Means, or Prosecution, not injurious, but rather helpful to another: and the want of distinction in our Ends, Means, and Prosecutions, breeds that disorder, confusion and folly among men in their actions and Ends. Meat and Drink is necessarily conducible to my preservati­on; I may, and by the Law of Nature am bound to use it: Wealth and Riches are a means conducible to provision of those supplies, and to the propulsion of the injuries of necessity and Men: Honour and Power in Civil Societies, are conducible to the support and well ordering of that Society, which is my defence against the Injuries that I may receive from another man or men: All these may be used, and all so far from hindering one another in my preservation and outward Felicity, that they are all conducible to the same End; and not only so, but may be consistent with the prosecution of my high and supream End, and assist­ing to me in it, when I use them with subordination to it: But without this right use of things to their own Ends, and with their due Subordination, all things prove unuseful and destructive to it self, and one to another: My eating and drinking turn to Luxury and Excess, and become destructive to me, and consume that Wealth, which should be the provision of my con­veniences, and my support against Injuries: My pur­suit of Wealth turns to Covetousness and Sordidness, whereby I straiten my self in the supply of my own Conveniences, and lay my self open to detestation, curses, and envy of others; whereby it is become the means of my ruine, which well dispensed, might be the means of my preservation: My Honour and Power [Page 51] is turned into vanity and tyranny, whereby I become the envy, scorn, and detestation of that Society, where­in consists my outward safety, exposing my self to be ruined by the Society whereof I am a Member, and the Society to the ruine of others, by my improvident managing of my Power. And in this inordinate pro­secution of any of them, without the due subordi­nation of all to my supream End, I lose my Happi­ness, miserably mispending the utmost and height of my Endeavours to the attaining of that, which is below me, and yet lose the End, which may be had by them, if pursued with due subordination to my great End.

By what hath been premised, we see a double dif­ference: 1. between bare Knowledge and Wisdom; 2. between that Wisdom which is particular, and that which is the Supream Wisdom.

The difference between the two former is, 1. In their Object; though every Scibile is the Object of Knowledge, it is not of Wisdom. 2. In the Use; Many things are known only, that they may be known; but Wisdom is in order to Action and Mo­tion to the thing known, as profitable, or from it, as hurtful; it is an act of practical Understanding, not purely speculative.

The difference between the two latter: that which is particular Wisdom, is but temporary, subservient principally to the Body, subordinate, and when it wants its due subordination, proves irrational: but the other is perpetual, because fixed upon a perpetual End, principally concerning the Soul; supream and simple without mixture of any thing in it below Reason.

3. Conscience. Which is a high act of the Under­standing; for as Wisdom looks and moves forward, by the right Rule or Principle, to the right End, so [Page 52] Conscience looks backward, and measures the acts and motions of the Soul, by these Rules or Principles, and consists of three Propositions:

1. It doth of necessity presuppose a Rule or Prin­ciple given unto Man, directing him in his motion to his Supream End. We see all things natural have some Principle, Instinct or Law, whereby they are car­ried to their several Ends and Operations: That which is in them an Instinct, was to Man a Law, because be­ing indued with Understanding and Will, he was susceptible of a Law, which inferiour Creatures were not. Now as the interruption of that Law or Rule in Natural things, brings an Obliquity and Irregularity in their motions, and so diverts them from that End, to which otherwise they would arrive; so the Violation of this Law or Rule given to Man, doth at once sub­ject him to a threefold Mischief:

1. A Loss of that End, which the regular motion, according to that Rule, which God gave him, would have carried him unto: for the Wise God, having disposed all things to their Ends; hath done it in, and according to those ways, which he hath prescribed them to move in to those Ends.

2. A Deformity and Ʋncomeliness contracted by the violation of that Rule. When the Creatures came out of God's hands, they were Good and Beautiful: that Beauty and Goodness consisted in nothing else but a Conformity to the Will of God in their Beings, Mo­tions, and Ends: if any of that Conformity be altered, there ariseth presently a Deformity, uselesness and un­comeliness in the Creature. The same it is with Man: he received, questionless, a Rule to live and move to a most suitable End, and conformable to the Will of the First Cause, that ordered him to that End: as long as he moves conformable to that Rule, he moves according to the Will of his Maker, to a most suitable End: but [Page 53] when once he violates that Rule, he contracts a Defor­mity, Ataxy, and Uncomeliness by such violation.

3. An Obligation to some Positive Punishment annexed to the violation of that Law: for let us suppose any Creature, wanting Will and Understanding, that did notwithstanding, not move according to this Rule, by this he would most clearly contract the two former, viz. Loss and Deformity: but where a Law is given to a Creature endued with these Faculties, the viola­tion of the Law so given, includes in it, not only a Privative Offence, as I may call it, to which a Pri­vative Punishment may be answerable, but a Positive Rebellion, Rejection, and Disobedience to that Duty, and Subjection he owes, and is enabled to perform to his Maker: and therefore it is most just and ra­tional, that there should be added, as a Sanction to that Law, some Positive Penalty to revenge such a violation; that as the Obedience to that Rule, would carry a Man to a Positive Good, so the Disobedience thereunto should be followed with more than a bare privation of that Good.

This then is the first Proposition, that is laid in the Understanding or Conscience, this or that is Com­manded to be done or omitted, as the Rule or Law given by God, to carry me to my supream End and Happiness, the violation whereof, subjects me to Loss of that Happiness, to a Deformity and Discre­pance to the Will of my Maker, to the Curse or Sanction of that Law.

Without the knowledge of this Proposition, the great work or act of Conscience is asleep; therefore it is necessarily to be presupposed, for it is the supream Resolution of all Obligation in the World, both of Laws, Contracts and Oaths, as appears before. And according as this Principle is either true or false, clear or dubious, so are the actings, and conclusions of the Con­science, [Page 54] true or erroneous, quick or dull. It con­cerns us therefore to enquire, How these Principles come into the Ʋnderstanding.

We find in the Creatures, several Instincts, inci­dent almost to every Creature, which are connatural with it: We may observe likewise in Man, disposi­tions and inclinations of several kinds, common to whole Nations, Climates, Families, which though they incline the Men to actions and carriages, suitable to those several dispositions, yet are not Laws or Prin­ciples of Nature.

These Principles therefore of the Divine Law, called Natural Principles of Conscience, are in the Under­standing these ways:

1. Supernaturally. Thus Almighty God did at first give Man a Copy of his Will, shewed to his Under­standing and Will, commanded him to obey it: and this perfect discovery he made at first, and when it decayed after the Fall of Man, it is evident he did by Divine Inspiration and Revelation, reinforce and dis­cover it, as appears by the holy History.

2. Artificially, by Tradition, from the first Man to his Posterity, and from one Man to another. For though the first Man lost much of his Light and Know­ledge, by the Fall, yet he was not without divers of those Principles, which God at first shewed him.

3. Naturally; viz. by the help of Reason and Discourse; for although if a Man were bred up from his Infancy without any manner of Instructions, it would be very difficult for him to take up of himself any sound Principles of Nature, yet I do believe that the Divine Law given to Man, hath that Justice and agreeableness to right Reason, that when once the motions of Reason had any materials of Observa­tion to work upon, it would incline such a Man, though weakly, to some, though not all of those Di­vine [Page 55] Laws, which were first perfectly written in the Heart of the first Man. The Precepts of the Divine Law, though they be not congenite with us, yet many of them are so rational, and hold such a conformity with right Reason, that Reason exercised, would light upon some of them. Hence several Nations, that we know not ever to have had correspondence one with another, yet agree in many Natural Observations and Customs, as agreeing to the common Reason of both, and the Wise God having so ordered the Business of this World, that those Laws, which he gave to Man, best and most rationally conduce to his Good here, as well as hereafter, as is most evident in the Precepts of the First and second Tables. Thus much for the first Proposition of Conscience.

2 The second or Minor Proposition of Conscience, is the stating of what I have done, whether in Con­formity or Violation of that Law, which is nothing but a Reflex act of the Soul, looking into the Intel­lectual Memory, and impartially stating what I have done. And by this a Man may see that the Divine Law doth not look at all upon the outward act, as the violation or performance of it, but so far sorth only, as it is an effect of the Soul and Will. And hence it is, that the judgment of the Conscience looks upon the work within. It is true when the act of the Will is full and compleat, it is testified by the outward action, but it is not the outward action that makes the violation or performance. This then is the second Proposition or Assumption, This or that I have done or omitted.

3. The third Proposition is the Conclusion, either of acquittal or condemnation, of obligation to that Guilt, which ariseth upon the breach of that Law, Loss of my End, Deformity, and liableness to the Curse.

[Page 56]Thus far concerning the Understanding, and the Acts of it, the second great Faculty is the Will, where­by the Soul is moved to the Desire and Prosecution of that which is Good. It is true, that all Powers carry with them a Natural Appetite or Motion to that which is the Object of that Power, and consequently comes under the Name and Notion of Good: the Un­derstanding naturally moves to know its Object, as to a Good suitable to that Power: the Senses move to their Objects; the Eye is not satisfied with Seeing, nor the Ear with Hearing: the Natural Appetite moves to the enjoyment of such a Good, as may fill and answer the want or exigence of the thing that hath that Appe­tite. But the difference between the Motions of the Will and other Faculties, is considerable in two things:

1. In the object. Generally the Object of the Will is Good: and this distinguisheth it from the Under­standing, whose Object is Truth: so that though the same thing is the Object of both, yet those Faculties fasten upon it under several Notions, as the same body may be the object of my Eye as coloured, and of my Touch as hard: and though Good and Good­ness is an Object of my Understanding, as a Scibile, whereby my Understanding examines the Truth, the Nature, the Circumstances, the Degrees, the Suit­ableness of it; yet it is an Object of my Will, as ap­petible or desirable, which is nothing else, but the motion of the Soul to Union with that it concludes to be Good, and such a Good hath these Qualities:

1. It must be [...] Possible Good: and this hath a double Reason: 1. Because this is an Inclination put into the Soul by the Wise Maker of the Soul, who never did any thing in vain; and therefore never put any motion in any thing, to such a thing which is un­attainable ex natura rei: It is true de facto it may fall out that Good to which the Soul is moved, may not [Page 57] be attained by reason of some extrinsecal interveni­ence; and yet ex natura rei the Good may be attainable. 2. Because the Will is a Rational Faculty, and though of it self, it moves indeterminately to all Good, yet when it moves to any determinate Object, it moves upon the predecision of the rational Understanding: Now it were a mere irrational act to move, and im­possible thing that it should move to that which the Understanding doth not in some sort conclude possible to attain: for the end of Desire is union to the thing desired; and were there not a Possibility of Union concluded in the Understanding, there would be an impossibility to will it, or move after it.

2. It must be a Suitable Good to the Exigence, Na­ture and Condition of the Subject that desires it: 1. To the Exigence of the Subject: And this is evident in all motions of all things: they move to that which is apt to fill up and supply that vacuity, which is in the thing desiring it, even in natural, as well as rational Ap­petites: the Hungry Man his Appetite is not for Clothes, but Food. 2. According to the Condition of the Subject: A Sensitive Appetite moves to a Sen­sitive Good; and a Rational, to a Rational Good; and an Immortal, to an Immortal Go [...]. And al­though Man consists of several Pieces, and therefore hath several Exigences and Conditions, and consequent­ly moves to several Ends answerable thereunto, and the Will is carried to those Ends: yet when the Will is rationally and regularly moved, it moves to the Inferiour Ends or Good, with subordination to that whch is the Greatest Good, and therefore rests not in them, nor is satisfied with them: Nay, though by reason of Ignorance or other Accident it mistake, or know not, or forget its Supream End, it takes no full Satisfaction in those Inferiour Goods: Though it know not what to desire, yet in all the Enjoyments [Page 58] of these inferiour Desires, it finds that it hath not what it should, and that breeds discontent, weariness, and changeable pursuits of empty and unsatisfying pleasures and profits, and contentments.

Now the Will is carried to its Object, by a double Principle of Motion:

1. Original: That Great and Wise God, that hath put in all things, Inclinations to their several Ends, hath put this will in Man, to move to his End: wherein he hath at once fulfilled his own Will; He did it be­cause it pleased him; and led Man to his Happiness; for this we may most clearly see in the Frame of all things; His Wisdom and his Goodness is such, that the Duty and the Happiness of his Creature, are never severed; When the Creature moves to the fulfilling of his Maker's Will, he moves in the same act to his own Perfection and Happiness.

2. Immediate: The Understanding is the Seat where God hath set his Light, the Light of Reason: the Decision or Determination of Reason is, or should be, the Guide of our Will: Now the Determination of Reason and Ʋnderstanding is twofold:

1. General, That whatsoever tends to the Good of the Subject, is to be desired and prosecuted, and that according to the several degrees of that Good, accord­ingly ought the desire and prosecution to be: if there be two Goods propounded, the one more perfect, universal, &c. than the other, then though both may be pursued, yet this with subordination to that.

2. Special, Specificating and determining this or that to be Good, and giving the degrees thereof, which is or should be the measure of the motion of the Will. This is the last act of the Practical Under­standing: For though all Good be the Object of the Will in its Latitude, yet the Will fastens particularly upon that Good, which by the Understanding is pre­sented [Page 59] to be his Chiefest Good: and in order to the Union unto this Good, is the Motion of the Will; and subservient to this Motion, are the several Pas­sions and Affections of the Soul, which are but the impressions of the actions of the Will upon the Blood and Spirits, whereby the Will exciteth and produ­ceth those external actions in the body, which tend to the execution of its commands, and therefore I omit them.

Upon what hath been said, may appear, wherein lies the immediate Cause of Man's miscarriage to his Su­pream End: It lies in the Defects of his Understand­ing and his Will.

1. For his Ʋnderstanding: If this hath either no Light, or a false Light, the Will is misguided: The Soul of Man will be moving to some thing or other un­der the notion of Good; this sets the Understanding a work, which, if not rightly Principled, takes up that for his Good, which either the temper and constitu­tion of the body and fleshly appetite, or the present opportunity suggests and affects, and puts the inten­tion of the Will upon it; as Pleasures, or Profits, or Honours, or empty Speculations: and yet in the pur­suit of these a Man (that hath almost any Intellectuals, though it may be he arrive not to the true and posi­tive Knowledge of what is his Supream End) most commonly finds, that this is not; and though some­times he knows not why, yet he is sick and weary of them, as unsatisfying and deceiving things; wheraas the true cause is that disproportion they bear to the nature of the Soul, and are not that End, to which it is ordained and would move, if it knew it, and how to attain it. Again, though the Understanding doth some­times find, that these are not the things will make me happy, but I spy the true and Everlasting Happiness, yet the Conviction is not so strong and evident, that [Page 60] it dares conclude the pursuit thereof to be preferred before the present Enjoyment of those delights, which we are sure of: and from hence it comes to pass, that the competition of these present Enjoyments will soon starve and famish these uncompleat Convictions, and all pursuits in the Will of them. These and the like defects happen in the Understanding.

2. In the Will, which hath lost her Liberty to fol­low her Light, and is captivated by the Sensual Ap­petite. The Understanding, being rightly inlight­ned, presents to the Will several Ends; the Subordi­nate Ends, Preservation of the Compositum by Meat and Drink, acquisition of Wealth, to provide these Conve­niences, obtaining of Power to secure that Wealth; the Supream End, Blessedness, and that wherein it consists; shews the Will, that the Value of these Ends must be the measure of her pursuit of them, viz. with subor­dination to the Supream End in order to it, and bids her beware of turning the Subordinate Ends to Ulti­mate Ends: But the Sensual Appetite, either before the Counsel of the Understanding, hath precipitated the Will into a violent pursuit of those present and sensible Goods, or so bewitched her after in the en­joyment thereof, that it can no more listen to the en­tertainment of the pursuit of a future Spiritual Good, than if it had no Reason: the Beast in Man hath got the Man upon his Back, and runs away with him, contrary to the cries and dictates even of Reason that should rule it. And of these and the like defects, all Mankind is sick, both in his Understanding and Will, and cured we must be, before we can clearly and uni­formly move to our Supream End, which, what it is, as the next Inquiry.

CHAP. IV. Of the Supream End of Man.

WHAT is that Good for the Sons of Men? as it was the greatest Inquiry of the Wisest of Men, so it is that Problem that hath tortured the Wits, and wearied the pursuits of most of the Children of Men, that have been in the World. The universality of the question grows from that restless motion in the Soul of Man after some End, which puts every Man at last, upon the prosecution of somewhat as his End, though it may be not upon the speculative and critical inquiry concerning it. As the ordinary rational faculty of the Soul, teacheth a Man to conclude rationally, though he have not that artificial Reason of Reason, which is acquired by speculation and study. And as this is the cause that puts many upon the Inquiry, and all upon the Prosecution of some End, so the difficulty of the Decision doth produce that variety of Judge­ments and Practice concerning this, which are impos­sible all to be sound and true, but possibly they may be all false, in as much as there can be but one Supream Good and adequate End of Man, which is his Hap­piness. And from hence it is, that amongst the se­veral determinations of Men concerning this matter, each do abundantly convince the other, to be errors and mistakes, and though none do sufficiently satisfie and convince a Man, that it is the right, yet doth abundantly satisfie, that the adverse Opinion is mi­staken concerning this Point, because the Truth is but one, the rest are all Errors; and though some carry more likelihood of Reason than others, yet it carries [Page 62] so much distance from Truth, that it is discernable not to be the Truth, and the mistake is not only evident to Reason, but even to Sense it self. That Man that would go about to perswade me, that Happiness consists in Corporal Pleasures, outward good of Body or Fortune, Wealth or Honours, Knowledge of all created Beings, practice of Moral Virtues, &c. I need no other conviction of the falsity of these, but this, That in the midst of any, or all of these, I still find those affections in my Soul, that cannot consist with Happiness, but mingles Misery with this thin and empty Happiness:

1. Desire of somewhat more, or somewhat else, which I have not, which ariseth not from the Good­ness of what I enjoy, but from the Emptiness and Narrowness of it.

2. Consequently Grief for what I want, and have not.

3. Fear of Loss of what I have.

And never any Man in this World, in all the En­joyments he ever had, or was capable of, except that which we now intend to speak of, but in the midst of all, had these three Affections about him, actually working, which can never consist with Happiness.

Now the general Grounds of these mistakes in the practice of Men is, 1. The Error of their Judgment, 2. The Impetus or force of the Sensual Appetite, which precipitates and captivates their Judgment. The Speculative Error ariseth from Ignorance,

1. Of the Subject, Man; for let it be but once granted, that the Soul of Man is an Intellectual Im­mortal Substance, all those Opinions, which place Happiness in this Life, will be convinced clearly false and vain. But though the Knowledge of this be sufficient to tell me what is not my Happiness, viz. That no temporal thing, no carnal pleasure, no [Page 63] contemplation of the Creature is commensurate to the Nature and duration of the Soul, which is the best part of Man, and consequently is not, nor can be his End. Yet this, though it take him off from the wrong ways, it sets him not in the right way, but leaves him at a stand. Therefore

2. The second Impediment, is the Ignorance of the Object of this Happiness, the want of the Know­ledge of God, which is the only Object of all our Happiness: the proof and demonstration whereof, ensues.

By what hath been before said, it is evident,

1. That by the Wise appointment of God, every thing is ordained to an End, to which it moves.

2. That this End is such a Good, as is answerable to the perfection of the Creature, which moves to it: a meer Natural Agent moves to a Natural End, a Sen­sitive, to a Sensible Good.

3. That the highest Perfection of the reasonable Creature, consists in his reasonable Soul, by which he is a large degree above the Sensitives.

Therefore to find out, Wherein that Good consists, that is the End of Man, we must take measure of the Soul, wherein consists Man's Perfection; and When or Where we can find a Good commensurate to the Soul, there, and there only can we fix Man's Happiness.

1. The Soul of Man is Immaterial, and consequent­ly, that wherein consists Happiness, cannot be Material. This takes off all Sensible Objects, as Pleasures, Wealth, Outward Pomp, nay, all the vi­sible Creatures, from being the Object of Man's Feli­city. It is as impossible to satisfie a Spirit with these things, as it is to feed a Body with a Spirit: they hold not a proportion or conformity one to another. And from hence it is, that in that small slender use that the Soul makes of the Creature, as it cannot en­ter [Page 64] into the Soul, till it be spiritualized in the species, which are refined more and more the nearer they come to the Soul, first in the Organ, then in the Phantasie, so neither can the Soul make use of them to any purpose, being received, till by abstraction it hath made them of the same nature with her self. And from this disproportion between the Soul and those external Enjoyments, do arise that Unsatisfactoriness, that comes by them to the Soul: for though they are useful to the Body and the outward Man, and therefore they are desirable by the Soul it self, in order to that End, yet they reach not so far as the Soul, their End falls short of it; and hence it is, that the Soul rests not in the enjoyment of them, nay, though it see not its proper End, yet it finds a nauseum in the excess of these, and therefore is restless, and moves from one Pleasure to another. And this is likewise the reason, why every outward Pleasure is greater in the Expecta­tion, than in the Fruition, because the Imagination of the Soul, which is the Creature that the Soul forms, can bring it nearer to the Soul than the Creature, when it is enjoyed, can come: and this Imagination, as it doth delude the Soul, so it likewise takes off much of that Content which may be lawfully found and used in the Creature; it makes the Pursuit too eager, and Fruition flat, in that it was over expected.

2. The Soul of Man is consequently Immortal, and its Felicity cannot therefore consist in that which can­not be co-extended with it. Were there a Good imaginable, that in its own nature, held proportion with the value of the Soul, and yet were perishable, it were impossible, that in the enjoyment of this Good, could the Felicity of the Soul consist: and that upon these Reasons,

1. Because the Duration of the Soul, is not divisible and successive, taking it apart from the Body: A tem­porary [Page 65] Felicity would be no Felicity. It is true, we measure out our time by parcels, as years, and weeks, and days, and hours, and minutes, but the Soul doth not so; for though the duration thereof is not simply indivisible, as in the Duration of Eternity, yet it is far more swift than ours, and so would be almost in­sensible of a temporary Good, though of long con­tinuance.

2. Because the determination of that Good, would consequently determine its Felicity, so it can be no perfect Happiness.

3. The very enjoyment of a most perfect Good, that the Soul looks upon as determinable, is in that very enjoyment mingled with a discontent, grief, and fear, which are abundantly sufficient to rob the Soul of Felicity in that very enjoyment, when the Soul shall be taken up with such sad preapprehensions and pre­expectations as these: ‘I now enjoy a good answer­able to my desires, and that fills up every the least vacuity and craving of my Will; yet I foresee that it is not lasting, a time must come when I must lose it, and it will die under my hand, and yet my Immortal Being shall have continuance to all Eter­nity, when my present Enjoyment shall serve but to increase my emptiness and misery with the sense of what I had, and lost.’ This Hand-writing upon the Wall, is enough to turn the highest Enjoyment, that is but temporary, into bitterness in the very enjoy­ment, much more those vain and thin Pleasures of this World, that never came near the Soul, but in a deceitful Imagination. So then to the constitution of true Happiness for an immortal Substance, there is re-required an immortal Good.

3. It must be a Good divided in its own Nature from the Soul. There can nothing be the End and Supream Good to it self, but the First Cause, which alone is [Page 66] self-sufficient: And that is manifest in the Motions of the Soul; for if it self were the End of it self, it hath its End, and consequently, would cease to move; but it is evident, that the Soul is not a Pure Act, but receptive of something distinct from it self, to which it moves, as to its End and Perfection.

4. It must be a True and Real Good: for since the Perfection of the Soul, consists in these two active Faculties, the Understanding, whose Object is Truth, and the Will; and the principal use of every Faculty, is in order to the Supream End of the Soul, which is his Summum Bonum; it is necessary, that that which is pursued by the Will, as Good, should likewise be entertained by the Understanding, as True; and the highest Perfection of the Understanding, is about the Truth of that which is the Supream Good; because that Truth is the Supream Truth. The Truth of this Goodness stands in opposition, 1 to that which seems to be Good, and is not at all; such are meerly ima­ginary and phantastical Goods, when the Soul works an imaginary Good, and then works it self into the belief of it: 2. to that, which having a being, seems to be good, and is not: 3. to that, which though it be good, seems to be the Supream Good, but is not. It must therefore be an Intellectual Real Good.

5. It must be an Infinite and Ʋniversal Good. The former qualifications, though each exclude something, yet none excludes all Creatures from being the Su­pream End of the Soul: Angels and Spirits are Im­material, Immortal, Intellectual Good, yet they want this one qualification, without which it is impos­sible, that there can be the Object, wherein con­sists true Happiness. The reason is this, because no­thing below an Infinite Good, can satisfie the infinite motion of the Soul. The motion and comprehension of the Understanding, though actually, it doth not [Page 67] understand all things finite, it may comprehend all finite things in the World: which is clearly evidenced by Experience: the most knowing Man in the World hath as much room for more Knowledge, as he had before he knew any thing: if a Man therefore knew all the finite things in the World, yet were not the Understanding so filled; but were there more to be known, he would have room for it, and consequently a desire to it: Nothing then can fill and satiate the Understanding, but Infiniteness: yet we are not therefore to conclude, that the Understanding is commensurate to the infinite nature of the First Being: no, that hath an actual Plenitude beyond the comprehension of the Understanding: but the meaning is, God hath placed in the Soul of Man an Understanding potentially infinite, that cannot be filled with what is actually finite, as all Creatures are. And as the Motion of the Understand­ing is infinite and restless, till it be filled with him that fills all in all, so is the Motion of the Will, no­thing below an infinite Good can satisfie it. And now, as we have argued upward from the Capacity and Vastness of the Soul and its Faculties, that no­thing below an infinite Good can be its End, so we must argue downward too; The Great and Wise Creator, who hath the disposition of all things to their Ends, and who in his Infinite Wisdom, hath put mo­tions and capacities in all things, conducing and fit for those Ends, for which he hath ordained them, hath appointed himself to be the End of his Immortal Creature, and therefore hath put in the Soul, a Capa­city too large for any thing below himself, and Mo­tions restless in any thing, but himself. The Conclusion therefore is, the Immortal Invisible Creator of all things, that is infinite in Goodness and Truth, hath been pleased to appoint himself to be the End of Man, wherein consists his Supream Good.

[Page 68]But it may be here considerable, How God can be the adequate Object of Man's Felicity, seeing Man consists of a Soul and Body united, which was ordained to an End of Happiness as well as the Soul? To omit the conside­ration of the Resurrection, de qua infra, I do con­ceive that God is the adequate Object of Man's Hap­piness, in respect of his Compositum, as well as singly of his Soul, though in a different way of Communi­cation: The Communication of himself to the Soul, is more immediate and sublime: the Communication to the Body and Compositum, mediate by Second Causes, enabling and blessing their operations. And I cannot question, but in the first Creation, when the Soul en­joyed God as the Object of her Happiness, the whole Compositum did partake of that influence in communi­cations of Happiness answerable to every exigence and degree of its being. Sed de hoc infra.

Now in as much as the First Cause, is the last End of Man, and the only Object of his Happiness, it remains to be inquired what this Happiness is, or the Formal Reason of it: for it is possible, that there may be a Subject capable of Happiness, and a Being that may be pro­portionable to that Capacity, yet the Subject not truly happy. The Beatitude therefore of the Soul con­sists in the Ʋnion of the Soul unto this Object of his Hap­piness: and this Union presupposeth a double act:

1. An act or Propension in the Soul, moving it unto God, as to its End and Perfection: and as the Great Creator did appoint himself to be the End of this his rational Creature, so he implanted in him a Propen­sion and Motion in him to that End; and that Propen­sion and Motion is not a meer natural Inclination, but ariseth from the fitness of those high Faculties of Un­derstanding and Will for so excellent an Object. In these he hath placed a Capacity or Receptibility in some measure of himself: and as every Power is ordain­ed [Page 69] in reference to something else, that may actuate and perfect it, and consequently moves after that Object whereunto it is ordained, so this Receptibility, which God hath placed in the Soul, doth, or at least naturally should, move to that Object, which alone can fill its vacuities and receptiveness.

2. In as much as God is a Free Agent, though he gave the Soul these Faculties, yet so much is his Be­ing and Perfection beyond the reach and attainment of any finite Being, that this Motion of the Soul can never overtake his Happiness, unless there be like­wise an act of Condescension and Communion of himself to the Soul: therefore there is necessarily required to the Happiness of the Soul a Communication by God unto the Soul: And by this reciprocal act, 1. of the Soul to God, as the only perfection of it, 2. of God to the Soul, filling the desires thereof with himself, this Union and Happiness is wrought. This Communication by God, is not of his Essence or Being, for that is incommunicable, and cannot be mingled with any Creature, but as objective; and for a fuller expli­cation of this, God is pleased to communicate himself to the Soul, according to the nature of these great Faculties, which he hath planted in it, viz. the Un­derstanding and the Will. And as without relation to both these, it is impossible that Man should be truly happy; so if both these be fully satisfied, there cannot want any thing to compleat his Happiness, be­cause there is no other Faculty in the Soul, which can receive any further portion of Happiness.

1. The Communication of God to the Ʋnderstanding, is that whereby he fills the same with the Knowledge and sight of himself. Here the Understanding hath an object that satisfies and fills all the restless motions of it, wherein he reads the satisfaction of all his doubts and inqui­ties, wherein, though upon the first view, it finds more [Page 70] than enough to fill its vastest comprehension; yet eve­ry atome of its duration, makes new discoveries of what i [...] thought it wanted not, the Object being infi­nitely too large for all the successive actings of created Understanding, to attain unto, much less in one act; an Object wherein the Understanding finds not only amplitude, but unimaginable delight, whiles it ga­zeth on an infinite Perfection; an Object, which by the same act fills and inlargeth the Faculty and Capa­city of the Understanding, wherein the Understand­ing, though it enjoy his Object is not satiated, but it rests in it, is not tired with it. Every Power, in the enjoyment of its full and adequate Object, hath com­placency and acquiescence; which nevertheless is no­thing else, but a circular and reciprocal motion be­tween the Object and the Power: the Power is mo­ved with a full desire to the Object, the Object being enjoyed, returns it self adequately to the desire, and this is so swift and imperceptible a motion, that it is called the Rest of that Power. Thus it is with the Understanding, when it hath attained the knowledge of some excellent Art or Object below; It is true, this breeds some delight, but because the Object that is known, is not adequate to the extent of the Un­derstanding, it returns not an answerable return to the Understanding; and therefore, though it take some delight in it, yet it is but faint and weak, but at ut­most, it rests not in it, but moves to something else: but this Object is more than adequate to the largest Understanding, and therefore when the Understand­ing is filled with it, it cannot choose but rest in it with the most absolute complacence and delight, that that Power is capable of.

2. But though the Understanding were able to read all the Infinite Perfections of God, yet if that other Great Faculty be not satisfied, as it is impossible the [Page 71] Soul should be compleatly happy, so it is possible, it may be extreamly miserable, if whiles the Under­standing contemplated the Greatness, Power, and Goodness of God, the Soul should not partake of it, but that Power ingage against it: Therefore the second part of the Happiness of the Soul, is the Communication of the Goodness of God to the Soul, whereof it is capable, and which the Will desires, by letting in upon the Soul the beams and light of his Love, his favour, his ac­ceptation, his delight in the Soul, whereby as the Soul most eagerly moves to him as his Chiefest Good, so it pleaseth him to entertain those motions, and fills them with enjoyment of himself, and the sight and sense of his love to it. This Union of God to his Creature, either in filling it with his Knowledge or his Goodness, we are not able to discover, only herein consists Man's Happiness, when his Under­standing is filled with his Maker's Light, and his Will with his Love; which creates a kind of mutual pro­priety between God and the Soul: I will be their God, and they shall be my People.

Now though this may be the Happiness of the Soul separated, but how can this be said to be the Happiness of Man, which consisting of a Body and inferiour Fa­culties subservient thereunto, and to his subsistence as a Man? or whether, and how can this Happiness be acquired or enjoyed by Man in this life, since his Soul now acts and moves organically, and according to the temper and accommodations of the Body, and so is not capable of that clear and undisturbed Knowledge of God, or sense of his Love? and if it were, how could that accommodate the necessities of his outward Man?

These things are to be considered to answer this Question:

[Page 72]1. What are the Degrees of Happiness, attainable by the Soul in this life? and wherein it consists?

2 What Happiness is attainable for the whole Compositum or Frame of Man in this Life, and wherein it consists?

Touching the former, we say:

1. There is not the same degree of Happiness to be expected for the Soul in this Life, as there is when either it is freed from the Body, or the Body freed from those imperfections of mixt Body Which we carry about us. The reason is evident in both the great Faculties: in that of the Understanding, it works now by Organs and Instruments of the Body, and is straitened in its operations, according to the condition of those Organs and Instruments; it sees now with the Eyes of the Body, though it works out of that sight higher conclusions, and if it had, as once it had, a more clear and immediate Vision of God, yet it could not be so capacious within the limits of the Body, as when the Soul were meerly spiritual, or the Body spiritualized. Again, as to the Will, it cannot exercise the utmost of his activity in the Love of God, because the necessity of the humane condition requires some of its thought, provisions, and motions: neither can it be so receptive of that infinite Love and Good­ness of God, being confined and straitened with a corruptible Body, as if it were at large.

2. That the Wise God did provide a proportion­able degree of Happiness to the Soul in this Life; and this upon the reasons already given. Now in as much as the actings of the Soul in the Body are more in­compleat and imperfect, that Happiness that was so ordained for it, though it were fully proportionable to the perfection of the actings of the Soul here, yet it was not so perfect as that Consummate Happiness, which was provided for it hereafter; it was perfectly [Page 73] proportionable to the condition of the Soul as it was in the Body, though not proportionable to that en­joyment which the Soul might have, when freed from the straitness of the Body; and as the Happiness of the Soul in the Body, was inferiour to the Happiness of the Soul separate, so questionless, as the Soul in the Body receives improvements and abatements in its actings in the Body by the conjunction with it, ac­cording to the variety of the temper, frame and con­stitutions of the Body, so the present enjoyment of Happiness in the Soul might be more or less, if Man had continued in his perfection; a Child had not had the same measure of internal Happiness as a Man bad, for though the substance of the Soul were the same, its operations in the Body were diversified in their perfections, according to the variety of the tem­per of the Body, which naturally the Soul exerciseth in its operations.

3. That though ex natura rei, Man was ordained to temporal Happiness in his Soul, yet it is evident, that somewhat hath intervened, and daily doth intervene, whereby that Fruition is diverted and disturbed, what ever it be. Of this more infra.

The highest degree of Happiness of the Soul in this Life, consists in these things:

1. In an Anticipation, or Expectation, or Prevision of that Happiness, which it shall enjoy: This, though it be not a real Fruition, yet it is very near it in the Soul: if a miserable Pilgrim should have a certain as­surance, that after twenty years walk, he should be sure to be invested in a perpetual Kingdom, wherein he should have perfection of Ease and Delight, this Prevision of this Happiness is so present in his Soul, that it is in effect, presently enjoyed, and over-weighs the present tediousness of his Journey.

[Page 74]2. In a Conjunction of the Soul to God in Knowledge of him, Love unto him, and return of his Love to us, in a measure proportionable to the capacity of our Understanding and Will. This, though it be not per­fect, but admits of increases, yet ex natura rei may be proportionable to the most perfect operations of our Soul in the Body, and doth as far exceed all other Happiness in the World, as far as it falls short of that perfect Knowledge, Love, and sense of the Love of God, which shall be enjoyed hereafter. Were a Man from the highest Honour and Reputation in the World, cast into the greatest Scorn and Ignominy, that the most exact and exasperated Envy could impose or wish; or were his Body laden with as many Ne­cessities, Miseries, and Torments, as Hunger, and the most sublimated and ingenious Malice could in­flict or contrive; could as well the highest sense, as the most imminent expectation of Death, the great­est of Evils, be felt, and yet protracted for an age; yet if under all this, the Soul can look upon these Miseries as such as must end, and see, though at a distance, a Fruition of an Everlasting Beatitude, in­fallibly expecting upon the close of these Miseries, the Expected Happiness is made Present by Faith, and over-ballanceth the Present, but Ending Misery: How much more when in the instant of these Suf­ferings, the intention and bent of the Soul is to her Maker, and the Great God shall by the secret, yet real, beams of his Favour send into the Soul Messages of Acceptation and Love? How small and low doth this render the highest Contempts and Malice of Men and Devils! and how much rather would this Man choose to enjoy these effects of the Love of his Maker with these Miseries, than barely to see the Experi­ments of his Power and Justice in removing or re­venging them!

[Page 75]2 How far forth this Union of the Soul to God, doth conduce to the Happiness of the Compositum, the Whole Man? or Whether it doth so or no? Wherein we say:

1. That the Happiness that is answerable to the Compositum, without considering the great relation of the soul, doth consist in the perfecting and continu­ing of his subsistence and kind; and whatsoever the Compositum desires and moves after, it is in order to these, and not otherwise, as in that one instance of Meats, the Wise God hath given him the Sense of Tasting, whereby he takes delight in those things that please the Appetite, but this is in order to the taking in of those Nourishments that may preserve the Compositum; the like of the other Senses. Now as long as the Man in these things moves to these Ends, he moves naturally and orderly; but when in stead of moving to this End, he rests in the Means, then he moves in­ordinately, and out of the way to that temporal Hap­piness, the support of the Body, as when he eats and drinks to excess; the like for all other outward mat­ters, as Honours, Riches, Women, &c. When they are not enjoyed to those Ends, for which they are or­dained, then is the Man out of that way to the tem­poral Happiness of the Compositum, viz. the due Sup­port and Subsistence of it.

2. That the Felicity of the Soul may consist with this Felicity of the Compositum ex natura rei. The rea­son à priori hath been already given, because the Wise God in the first Institution of things, did order every thing to their several Ends with that Wisdom, that there was no clashing of the several Ends of the same thing, or of several things, but one did and might Consist with the other; the Felicity of the Soul might, and ex natura rei may consist with the Happiness of the Body and Compositum. Therefore it follows:

[Page 76]3. That Inconsistency of the Happiness of the Soul with that of the Body is not real: but because, how­ever it comes to pass, we have misplaced and mistaken the Happiness of the Body, we now place the Happi­ness of the Body in turning our selves over to Sensuali­ty in excessive using of the Creatures, in excessive Lusts. These are clear mistakes, for it is most apparent, that these are enemies to the very subsistence of the Body and Composium.

3. That this Felicity of the Body, is inferiour to the Felicity of the Soul; and therefore if ex accidente it falls out, though it seldom doth in truth, that the temporal Felicity of the Body is in hoc individuo incon­sistent with that of the Soul, right Reason tells us that the greater End, and that of more concernment is to be preferred; so that as there is, and ought to be a subordination of those Faculties and Powers placed in the Body, to those Ends for which they were im­planted, viz. the preservation of the Compositum, so there ought to be a subordination, both of these Means, and that End to the Great End, the Happi­ness of the Soul.

4. As the Great End of Man doth consist with the Happiness of his Body or Compositum, so it doth much and effectually conduce to it. And as this is apparent in the original creation of Man, when the Happiness of his Mind by the Knowledge and Presence of his Maker was accompanied with the Felicity of his Compositum; and as it was likewise apparent in his Fall, as he con­tracted Misery in the one, so he did in the other; so it is most rationally evident in the present state and condition of Mankind, as will be evident in conside­ration of these ensuing particulars:

1. It shews a Man the right use of the Creature, viz. to be subservient, and in order to the preservation of the Compositum. The want of a true and rational [Page 77] use of secular matters is a great cause of the great un­happiness of Man, as when he desires Riches, because he would be rich, or Honours, because he would be great, or delicate Fare, because he would eat. Now when Men mistake the use of things, resting in that as an End, which is only useful to something else, this breeds these disorders in, and among men, which doth di­sturb even their outward Peace and Happiness: This is regulated, when the Heart is set upon the Love of God, it takes off any inordinate Love to any thing else, but in order to that End, to which it is properly conducible, and therefore in order to that only, ra­tionally desirable.

2. It adds a sweetness to the enjoyment of the Creature, which cannot be had without it, because it mingles with it the sight of the great Master of this Family of the Earth, that provides it, the sense and security of his Love that gives it, and so brings up the enjoyment of the Creature to a higher station, and nearer to that, which is the true Felicity of the Soul. A Blue Ribon bought in a Shop, and a Blue Ribon given by a King in token of Honour, is the same thing, but with the latter, there is a mingling of some­what else with it, as it imports a Gift from a King in token of Honour, and therefore higher-prized.

3. It takes away all that Sollicitousness in the En­joyment, and all that Anguish in the Loss, and all that Anxiety in the Provision of external Accommodations, though in very truth, the real Happiness of the Composi­tum, is its subsistence, according to the perfectest degree of his Being, which is the perfection of the Compositum; yet it is clear, that the Tumultuousness, or Quietness of the Mind, doth much conduce to the Happiness, or unhappiness of the Compositum: That Man that lives contentedly with 20. l. a year, is happier than he that lives as well with the same or a greater Portion, but [Page 78] with an anxious, troubled, craving, unsatisfied Mind. Now when the Soul truly knows, and is truly set upon his Supream End, it knows its duty, and there­fore is not idle, it knows the Power of his Maker, therefore is not anxious; and knows the use and va­lue of the Creature, and therefore values it no farther, than it is useful to its proper End; it knows the Love and Wisdom of his Maker, and therefore refers all to him, as he that wants neither Power to provide for it, nor Wisdom to proportion, nor Love to com­municate, according to the exigence of my condition; and admit he doth, his Will must be done, and not mine, I am provided well enough; for if here I am contented, and hereafter saved, this sweetens any Losses.

4. Though the Great God be absolute Lord of his Creature, and is not bound farther to him, than it pleaseth him, though his Creature were most conform­able to his Will, yet I do not think, but, if our Hearts were and did continue right set upon our great and Supream End, and could hold to it, that we should want a convenient Portion of these outward Blessings, which would make our Lives comfortable and happy: but here is the Misery of Man, that any confluence of Externals presently take off his Soul from a perfect pursuit of our great End, and fasten upon those Ex­ternals: therefore the Wise God oftentimes cuts out to the best of Men, a small and an unpleasant viati­cum, that they may not linger in the way to their great End.

And as it is thus with the whole Compositum in this Life, so in the Resurrection, when the Soul shall be reunited to the Body, both shall have a perfect Fruition of Happiness in the enjoyment of the Pre­sence, Favour and Communion of God. How far forth the Soul separated, is capable of its own nature [Page 79] of any new knowledge, which it had not before, in an angelical way: or how far it is able to retain or improve those Conceptions and Species that it had here; and whether it hath a compleat operation, or what degree of Fruition it hath of the sight of God, it is above our reach to determine; only this we may conjecture, that the Soul is not placed in that perfect degree of being and subsistence as are the Angels, in as much as it is made in order to a Body, by which in it, it exerciseth its motions, faculties, and opera­tions: and therefore without all question, when it shall hereafter be reunited to a most perfect spirituali­zed Body indissolubly, it shall not thereby receive any diminution or abatement of its Perfection and Felicity, but will thereby become more capable of a more perfect and full Fruition of that Supream Good, which will then be communicated perfectly to the whole Compositum. But this by the way, latius infra.

CHAP. V. Of the Means of attaining the Supream End of Man.

HItherto we have proceeded in the examination of these 2. Parts: 1. What the Nature of the Sub­ject is of this Happiness; and 2. What the Object of it: Now the third thing rests to be sought, viz.

3. What is the Means of attaining this Supream End of Man, his Union to God: and herein we shall examine these three things:

1. What naturally might be conjectured to be the Means of acquisition of this Happiness?

2. Whether, as things stand with Man, the same Means be to be found or no?

3. If not, then whether there be any Means left for Man to attain this Supream End of his or no? and what it is? and how to be known?

Touching the first: Though God by his power might carry every thing to his proper, mediate, or ul­timate End, without the intervention of any Means; yet, as it is his own peculiar Prerogative by his Will to appoint every thing to its proper End, wherein is seen the Glory of his Goodness; so the same Will of his hath ordered, hath appointed every thing to move to this End by a certain Rule, and certain Means, and herein is seen the Glory of his Wisdom: such are the Instincts and Inclinations of the Creatures, by which they move to their special Ends and Perfections: And as these Inclinations are planted by God in the infe­riour Creature, the like was done, though in a dif­ferent manner, in Men at first, in all probability of [Page 81] Reason, the difference being only thus, in the Creature all that is conducing to their End is made a piece or quality of their Nature, in Man not altogether, as shall be seen. We have found Man indued with two great Faculties, Understanding and Will and in these principally consists the receptiveness of his Hap­piness, and the motion to it.

1. Touching the Ʋnderstanding, it is a Faculty re­ceptive of an Object that may be known; but that Object is not of the nature or essence of the Under­standing, but distinct from it: So that Man might be created an intellectual Creature, yet till such time as naturally through the Senses, or supernaturally by the immediate infusion or demonstration of God, he was but rasa tabula. The first thing therefore, that was put into the Understanding in order to his su­pream End, was a stock of Knowledge of God, and of that Will of God which concerned Man. And this Will of God concerning Man was that Means, which, if known and pursued, would guide a Man to true Happiness: for, as is before observed, every thing is so far forth Beautiful and Happy, as it holds Conformity with the Will of God; and such is his Wisdom and Goodness, that when the Creature moves according to the Law and Will of its Maker, it doth without fail attain that Happiness, whereof it is capable; be­cause it moves to that End, for which it was appointed by the First Cause: Now because God hath made Man a Rational and Intellectual Creature he appointed a rational and intellectual way to move him to this End, viz. the Knowledge of himself, and of that Rule or Law, which should lead him to that End.

2. The Understanding being thus enlightned with the Knowledge of God and his Will, the Will was endued with a Rectitude to move on according to that Rule, in order to the right End: and that, which was [Page 82] in the Understanding sub ratione Scibilis, was to the Will sub ratione Legis, a thing not only shewn to the Under­standing, as the Means to bring him to Happiness, but also injoyned to the Man as his Duty, under pain of Guilt and Vengeance: for herein consists the diffe­rence between the Instincts in the inferiour Creatures, and this Law given to Man; in those it is not proper­ly a Law, because they are not intellectual nor volun­tary Agents, therefore their receding from that In­stinct, though it subjects to a loss and deformity, yet it subjects them not to any Guilt; but the Rule given to Man, was given to a Creature endued with Un­derstanding to know what it was, and with Will that might obey it if he would. Therefore by the viola­tion thereof, Man must needs incur not only a loss of that End, which this Rule alone could guide him to, but likewise a positive guilt, or obligation to such farther punishment, as the rebellion of a Creature against his Maker might deserve.

The Conformity then to this Law necessarily induced two things: 1. Beauty in the Creature being conform­able to the Will of his Maker, which only denomi­nates the Creature beautiful, and consisted principally in these three things: 1. Knowledge of God, and of his Will by the immediate demonstration or in­scription of God himself: 2. Righteousness or Justice; for as the Will of God, and Law that proceeds from it, is the only ground of all Obligation to any thing under the name of Just; so it is the only Rule and Measure of Justice of Man toward God, Man, and himself. 3. Holiness, viz. a Conformity of Man's Will, and consequently his Actions, to the righteous and holy Will of the most Holy God: And as this was his Beauty, so it was his Happiness initiate, and his way to consummate Happiness.

[Page 83]And as this Conformity to the Law of God pro­duced this Beauty and Happiness in Man, so of neces­sity, the violation of this Law must introduce,

  • 1. Ataxy and Deformity in the Creature.
  • 2. Punishment; and that of two kinds:

1. Privative punishment, whereby he lost what he had or might have had; and that is double:

1. In reference to his Supream End, an irrecover­able loss; for the Link is broken, the Violation of that Law, the exact performance whereof was pos­sible and the only means to attain that End, hath cut off that ordination that this Rule had to Man [...] Felicity.

2. In reference to the Means. The Light of the Understanding is put out, or much weakened, the Rectitude of the Will disordered, and that irreco­verably. The Soul continues substantially the same, but these extrinsecal adventitious habits in the Under­standing and Will are removed. And as this Punish­ment of loss is a natural consequent of this Violation of this righteous and blessed Law, so it is inforced with the Sanction of that Law, which could do no less in justice than withdraw that Light, and that Pu­rity, which was but a consequent of that Law that is so unjustly violated.

2. Positive Punishment. For were it given but as a means to attain another thing, a punishment of loss of the End must necessarily follow the violation of that, which is the only means to attain that End; But Man was endued with Understanding and Will, capable of the Knowledge and Observance of a Law, a Law framed by the Wise God, exactly suitable to those abilities Man had to perform it, who gives Rules in all things proportionable to the nature of the thing to which he gives it: This Law promulged by the exact inscription thereof in the Understanding, who both [Page 84] knew what it was, and by whom, and for what End given; the Violation of this adds Rebellion to the Violation, and obligeth ex natura rei, to more than a Loss.

2. Let us now examine, How things stand with the Children of Men, in order to the discovery and prose­cution and attaining of this supream and great End of his Creation: All things in the World besides Man, come and keep very near unto the Law of their Crea­tion, though some disorder we may find in them: The reason is because they move not freely, but natu­rally, and the Rules, by which they move, are Incli­nations, Qualities, and Propensions woven into their very Nature: But in Man it is otherwise; the Prin­ciples, especially in his Understanding, whereby the whole Man is much steered, are extrinsecal and ad­ventitious; and so without any essential change in his Nature, those Habits or Principles may be lost. And let us but examine the temper of Mankind, we shall find a general disorder in all his Faculties, and want of those Rules, which should lead him to his Supream End.

1. In the Ʋnderstanding: We have shewn that Man had not only a vessel receptive of that Light and Knowledge, which was his initiate, and his way to a consummate Happiness; but also had that Lamp of his fitted with that Oyl and Light, which though it was not part of his Essence, was the high Perfection of that Power or Receptivity: But we do now plainly find, that take any Man in puris naturalibus, he hath scarce so much as a knowledge either what himself is, or what his beginning was, or what his End is; and differs little from the highest degree of Beasts: His Understanding and Reason is essential, but the matter or furniture of these is wanting. The supply of these defects must needs be therefore extrinsecal, which is [Page 85] either by Instruction and Information, or Tradition from others. Thus doubtless much of the Knowledge that is in the World is propagated even from the first Man: but this, the farther it was from the ori­ginal, it grew weaker and weaker, and more cor­rupted, partly through the defects that were in those that propagated it, partly through the supineness and negligence of those that received it, and partly through the mixtures of the Fancies of Men, every Man ad­ding a new piece of his own to what he received; and all truths the farther they are from the original grow the more corrupted; and by this means a little truth passing through divers hands, and receiving al­most from every hand some addition and mixture, in process of time it hath grown as difficult to sift out those small grains of Truth, which were thus com­municated in the Ear, and crowd of other erroneous addittaments, as to retrieve those Truths which the neglect of Men hath in effect lost.

And as thus some Truths have been discovered, and transmitted from Man to Man, so by diligent Study and Observation some of those Truths, that have been in effect lost since the Creation of Man, have been recovered, and others, that have contracted erroneous superstructions or accessions, purged, both matters natural and metaphysical. This hath been the business of the exacter sort of Men, which as it is not with­out the special Providence of the Almighty, so the highest endeavours of Men in this kind hath been still mingled with much darkness: and it is seldom that the Wit or Learning of the succeeding Philosopher disco­vered some Errors of him that preceded him, but the same natural imbecility appeared likewise in him, in producing some erroneous Opinion, which as much deserved an expurgation, as that which he before corrected.

[Page 86]And as this defect in the Understanding is visible in Mankind, so it is most visible in that which is the way or rule unto our Supream End, viz. Religion, that though Men of several Ages and Centuries, Na­tions, Dispositions, inclinations, Educations, agree in some common Principles concerning other matters, yet in matters of Religion, the differences have ever been wonderful. The reason is not only from the defect of our Understanding, but likewise from the nature of the Object, which falls not easily within the reach of those Mediums, whereby the understand­ing arrives to the attainment of other Truths, and therefore stands in need of some extrinsecal help to set him right in this.

It is true, that the great points of Religion, viz. the knowledge, that there is a God, and some things con­cerning his Essence; that he is the Cause of all things; that he made all things for his own End, and those other things before mentioned, may be acquired by the Light of Nature and Reason: yet such is the heighth and remoteness of the Subject, that it requires much Industry and Consideration to carry us step by step unto this heighth: But when we have arrived to this (which few attain unto) yet there is so much confu­sion in these Notions, and they are so far fetcht, that they make not that clear impression upon the Under­standing as is fit: But admit they did, yet we are still to seek what is that Rule, whereby to lead us to attain to our great End; and this we rove at.

In the ways of the Children of Men concerning Re­ligion, we may observe these Several steps of Igno­rance:

1. An Ignorance, whether there be any God or no: This is the grossest Ignorance, because it is against the first and most universal Principle; for the affirmation of the being of any thing is the first foundation, where­upon [Page 87] every Inquiry is built: this is Atheism and meer Brutishness.

2. When a Man hath once stated that question affir­matively, That there is some Superior Power, the next question, and the next step of Man's Ignorance is con­cerning the Nature of this God; What he is, Whether one or more, Whether visible, and if so, What vi­sible, &c. This, though it may by natural Reason be stated very far, as appears before, and so this Igno­rance receive a cure in a great measure; yet so far are our Intellectuals darkened in this matter, that Men are hardly set right in this: And hence grew those strange varieties of Gods in the World: this is the cause of Idolatry, and Polytheism.

3. When a Man is rightly Principle'd concerning God, and consequently concludes that he is the Cause of all things, the next special question is, Whether God hath given to every thing his several End, and Rule or Law conducing to that End? and consequent­ly, Whether he hath appointed to Man any End and Rule, conducing to that End different from other Creatures? or, Whether he be left to do as he pleaseth, and not confined by the Will of God to some End and Rule conducing to it? the Ignorance of this is the Cause of Supineness, Epicurism, Impiety, and profes­sed Injustice.

4. When a Man, finding that God is a free and intellectual Agent, and sees, as he may by natural Reason, every thing ordered to a suitable End to his Being, and by a suitable Means or Rule conducing to that End, and finds a higher degree of being in himself than in other Creatures, and consequently an higher End, and consequently an higher Rule conducing to that End, he doth most naturally resolve this Rule into that Law, which by the Will of God is given to Man condu­cing to that End, the Subject of which Rule must be [Page 88] all his Internal and External Actions, both in refe­rence to God, to himself, and to others: but here then is the next question, and the next degree of Ig­norance in Men, viz. What that Law or Will of God is concerning Man? and from hence grow those Va­rieties and Errors in Worship of God. And though haply most Men, knowing the true God, may by the same Light of Nature concur in the general and fundamentals of Worship, viz. That God is to be feared with all Reverence; loved with all intention; obey'd with all sincerity, chearfulness, and exactness: all which are but natural conclusions from the Nature of God, the Nature of Man, and the Relation that he beareth to God, as his Creator, Lord, and Preserver: yet, because we know not what that Will of God par­ticularly is, we frame several ways and Rules of Wor­ship, according as our several Fancies perswade us to be agreeable to that Will, which are either unnecessa­ry and superstructive, or erroneous and offensive; and, which is the most dangerous Ingredient, conclude both his own way necessary, and the other dangerously Er­roneous.

These Defects in the Understanding must needs be the cause of much Error and Obliquity in the whole Man and his Actions: And these defects are most clear­ly visible in the whole World; nay in the most know­ing Climates, Times, and Persons thereof. In the last part, concerning the Worship of God, we see several sorts of Men highly opinionated concerning their own particular Way or Worship; and most Magisterially condemning the way of others, as bad as Paganism; when it may fall out,This the Author hath else­where considered in two or three several little Tracts upon this Subject. and so for the most part it doth, that what is superadded beyond the plain and sincere Fear of God, Sub­jection to his Will, Thankfulness for his Mercy, Belief [Page 89] of the great Means he hath provided for our Salvation, and those other grand Principles, whereof before and anon; are but meer Superstructions of Humane Inven­tion, Ignorance, Imbecility or Policy, and yet made the greatest part of the business, and inquiries, and differen­ces among Men in matters of this Nature.

2. In the Will we find several Defects:

1. Those that are consequential to the Ignorance or darkness, or impotence of the Understanding, whose Decisions doth, or should, preceed the act of the Will: Were the Understanding truly principle'd with the knowledge of God, of his Perfection, Power, and Will; with the knowledge of our selves, our Nature, and the Dependence we have upon him in our being and continuance; those practical Conclusions, that would most clearly and necessarily arise from these, viz. of Love to his Majesty, Fear of Offending, Care to conform to his Will, Dependance upon him, Thank­fulness to him, Contentedness and Chearfulness in him, Valuation of the World according to its true Estimate, &c. would most effectually follow in the Will, and those Affections that are subservient to it, and consequently in the Life and Actions of Men, one Divine Principle, soundly and clearly seated in the Understanding, would improve it self into infinite pra­ctical deductions for the regulation of the Will: But where these are wanting, the motions of the Will must needs be excentrick: But where they are but weakly and doubtfully received in the Understand­ing, the operation of the Understanding upon them is but weak; the inclinations in the Will weaker, and easily overmatcht with the least difficulty, and seldom arrive to action, or constancy in the life; for accord­ing to the measure, and intention, and clearness of the Conviction of the Understanding concerning any Ob­ject, the more fruitful, rational, and powerful are [Page 90] those practical Conclusions deduced from it; and the more intense and natural is the motion of the Will ac­cording to these Conclusions; and according to that intensiveness of the Will are the Actions that are com­manded by the Will: a faint Conviction moves the Will but weakly, and a weak Volition seldom ends in Action.

2. Impotency: Not only that which ariseth from the Impotency of the Understanding, the Convictions there; but that Impotency which is in the very Fa­culty it self, which is evident in this, that it is brought under the inferiour Faculties, over which it ought to govern, the Passions and Sensual Appetite: For though it be certain, that oftentimes the misplacing, or overacting of our Passions, and the violent pursuit of Pleasures, ariseth from the mistake or blindness of the Understanding, yet it is clear that oftentimes contrary to those very Convictions and Rational Decisions of the Understanding the Will is precipitated, and car­ried away with the violence and importunity of those Faculties, that in right Reason, and by the Law of Nature are subordinate to her.

3. Privation and absence of Inclinations conform­able to the Will of God, Righteousness and Holiness. The whole Soul was formerly the seat of God's Image: that part of it, that was most conspicuous in, and consonant to the Understanding, were the Principles of Truth, or Conformity to the Divine Understand­ing: those Principles that were most proper to the Will, were the Principles of Holiness and Justice, or Conformity to the Divine Will. Now as Truth is not of the Essence of the Understanding, which is only a Power receptive of it; so neither is Holiness and Justice of the Essence of the Will. And as Man in a great Measure hath lost that stock of Truth, where­by he is ignorant; so it is apparent he wants that stock [Page 91] of Righteousness and Holiness in his Will, which should incline and move the Will according to the Will of God.

4. There are not only these privative Evils in the Will, but it is likewise evident, that there is a Po­sitive Malice or Inclination against Righteousness and Holiness, a propension and inclination to that which is Evil. Certain it is, that the Sensual Appetite of the Sensitive Creatures is good, and conformable to their Nature, and doth not carry them to any thing beyond the conveniency of their own Nature: and questionless, Man in his original had a Sensual Appe­tite no less conformable, and suitable to his own sen­sitive Nature, than the sensual Appetite of another Creature is to his: and besides that parity between other Creatures and Man, he had an advantage of a Reasonable Soul, which might supply and regulate the defects or irregularities of the Sensual Appetite, if any were: How then comes it to pass, that the poor sensual Creatures move conformable to their Nature, and by a kind of Rule, and Man alone runs into those Excesses and strange Prodigies of Vices, whereof an inferiour Creature is capable, but abhors the Com­mittal? For instance, God hath ordained the Preser­vation of the Sensible Creature, by eating things suitable to the Nature and Constitution of the Crea­ture; and in order to the use of that Means, hath planted a natural Appetite in the Creature to those Meats; and the more to excite that Appetite for the use of that Means to that End, hath put a confor­mity between the taste of that Meat and the Palate: Yet we do seldom see the Appetite of the Sensitive Creatures carry them in eating or drinking beyond moderation, or that End, for which that Appetite is given; but the motion of their Appetite is com­mensurate to the Means of their Preservation: but in [Page 92] Man we find in all Ages and Places strange Excesses, beyond the conveniency of Nature, and that with iteration and professedness. Again, in Creatures we find God hath appointed the Conjunction of the Male and Female to be the means of continuation of their Species; and the more to excite the Creature to the continuation of its Kind, there is a Delight mingled with that natural Action; yet we never see the Sen­sible Creature divide the Action from the End: But among Men we find in all times those Prodigies of Lusts, as Prostitution, Beastiality, Buggery, and other unnatural commixtions. The like Instances might be given of Cruelty, and excogitated Tortures, and Crimes of like nature, whereby Men do not only against Reason, but also against, and beyond the na­tural inclination of the Sensitive Appetite. So that it is evident, there is not only an Imbecility in the Will of Man, whereby it is subordinate to its Servants and Handmaids, but likewise a Depravation and Positive Maliciousness against the Rule of the Will of God. Much Labour hath been in the World by the wiser sort of Men, what by moral Perswasions and Pre­cepts, what by Government and Humane Laws, to suppress or reform the Defects of Mens Natures; which as they evidence in themselves, that Man is not what he should be, so the daily new Remedies do sufficiently evidence the fruitfulness of the Disease, and the weakness of the Remedy.

These things considered, three things are the evident Consequents, viz.

1. That, as things stand with the Children of Men, they are not in a condition to attain everlasting Hap­piness, by reason of these two eminent Defects in those Faculties, by which we must attain to it, viz. the Understanding and Will.

[Page 93]2. That, although these two Defects could be cu­red, yet it is impossible for us, in that condition where­in we are, to attain it; because we have violated that Rule, which unless uniformly kept, 'tis impossible to attain it; the chain is broken.

3. That this violation of this Rule hath not only made us liable to the Loss of that Good whereunto it might have conduced; but hath added Rebellion to our Fault, and Obligation to Punishment, as well as Loss.

Therefore, before he can possibly attain that End, to which he was created, he must be put in the same condition, in which he was created, and which alone could make him capable of that End; which is in a Conformity to Truth in his Understanding, or Illumi­nation, a state of Conformity to the Will of God, in his Will by Righteousness and Holiness; a state of Innocence, or Freedom from Guilt, which is the cause, both of his merit of Loss and Punishment. Till these be in some measure attained, it is impossible for a Man to attain true Happiness, and when attained, then he may, because now restored to the same condition in effect, in which created.

3. These things being premised, we are now to seek out, What that Means is for the Restitution of Man, to that Capacity of Happiness, in which we have reasonably concluded he was created, and from which it appears by experimental observations he is declined: Concerning which we shall conclude:

1. That it is not in Man, nor in the whole compass of created Nature, to put himself in that condition of Knowledge, Justice or Innocence, which might make him capable of that Happiness, for which he was at first created. Let us look into our Understanding, it is evident, as before, that all Knowledge is extrinse­cal to the Understanding, and every Object is original­ly [Page 94] received from without, and that if it be a corporeal Object falling within our Senses, then by means of them, though after they are received, the Intellect, being furnished with Materials, makes pretty work out of them by its own strength; but if it fall not within the reach of Sense, some other means must be to convey and reach it unto our Understanding. It may be in Nature there are objects or qualities in corporeal Bodies that do not suit with any of our Five Senses, nor are receptible by them; yet it is as im­possible for us to imagine what they be, as to frame in our selves a Conception or Sense that might receive them. It is true, that by the strength of Reason, we do find out divers Truths of a high Nature, concerning God and his Works, yet in these we may see, 1. a great deal of difficulty and rarety to attain them, espe­cially without some pre-existent means of discovery, even of the things themselves, by some Tradition or Revelation, and so we rather assert the Truths disco­vered to our hands, than discover them: 2. A great deal of confusion, darkness, and disorder, in those things we so discover, as the new cured Man saw Men walking like Trees: 3. A great deal of diffidence and distrust of those things we discover, scarce daring to trust our own Judgments with what we have by our diligence retrieved. But whatever may be said concerning the discovery of the same Truths, yet sure we are, that there are divers Truths, that infinitely concern us, that all our Inquiry shall never discover, without some extrinsecal help of a higher nature than Sense. There were some, and but some Men by their natural helps, and yet not without the help of long Tradition, discovered, or rather more clearly illustra­ted the former kind of Truths, viz. concerning the Deity, the Creation of all things, the Immortality of the Soul, &c. But of this latter, never any Man had, [Page 95] or could have, any discovery, without a discovery from a higher original, such are the Covenant of God with Man in his Creation, the Fall, the Restitution of Man by Christ, the last Judgment, and Resurrecti­on, &c. whereof anon.

And as it fares thus with our Intellectuals, so the Principles of Justice towards God, our selves, and others, in our Will, can never be recovered by all the helps of Nature. It is true, that by Tradition from Father to Son, which nevertheless is extrinsecal, some general Principles of natural Justice and Holiness are traduced; but the farther and the elder they grew from their Original, the more corrupt still they were; and it was the Business of the wiser part of the World, still to repair and heal these Defects, which grew here­by: but as their Helps and Remedies were ever too weak to meet with the corruptions of Man's Will, so they were for the most part defective; for they still provided for that part only or principally, which con­cerned the Civil Society of Men, which was the thing that was visible, and visibly prejudiced by those Enor­mities of the Will of Men, and never lookt higher to the great relation between God and Man, but only made use of that as a politick piece in order to the government of the Civil Society: although even in that part, that concerned the Mutual Offices be­tween Men, which hath been the greatest Business of the wisest Philosophers, we shall find that absurdity, difference, and injustice even in the Wisest of them, that it is clear, they were not their Crafts-masters, even in that piece of Morality, wherein long Tradi­tion and the Experience of the daily inconveniences which did spring from the distempers of Man's Will even in matters of Civil Society and Commerce.

But suppose we all this were curable, yet what cure can we find for any one Offence against the Co­venant, [Page 96] which we have made in Nature with the God of Nature, which, as we have before stated, subjects to a double penalty of Loss and Sense? none can take away an Obligation, but he with whom it is made, By what imaginable means can any Man, that hath contracted a guilt against his Maker, expiate that guilt? It is true, the God against whom it is com­mitted may, if he please, of his own free Power and Goodness, remit it, without any satisfaction. But how do we know whether it be his Will to do it? or if it be, upon what Terms? or by what Means he will do it? or what Means is there in the World that may be imaginably proportionable to it? the Obliga­tion of the Creature to God is infinite, because he owes him his Being, which is a thing of the most boundless Conception; the Violation of that Obliga­tion, is therefore an infinite Obliquity, because a breach of an infinite Obligation. What then can we imagine proportionable to such an Offence? If we do all that is imaginable, it is still but what we are bound to do, and therefore cannot expiate for what we were bound not to do; nor is there any thing in the World of an infinite Value, besides the great God, and there­fore not answerable to expiate the breach of an infinite Obligation.

2. Now therefore it remains, that we look out for a higher Means for the cure, than what we find with­in the Verge of created Nature, viz. from the great God, who first infused into the Soul those Objects of Truth, which were the means of Happiness, in the Understanding; that Rectitude, which was by him at first placed in the Will; that Innocence, which was at first in Nature, which is now lost by the violation of that Law, which was the Means of Man's Happi­ness, and the removal of that Guilt which was con­tracted by that Violation.

[Page 97]The Defect in the Understanding consists, as be­fore, in two things: Want of a clear Light to enter­tain the Object; and Ignorance of the Object, which should be entertained. For the cure of this, we must of necessity derive from God a double Cure: First, an addition of Light in the Understanding: Secondly, an Union of those Truths or Objects, necessary to be known, unto the Faculty thus enlightned by some means of discovery.

The Defect of our Wills consisting in an absence of these practical Principles of Justice, Holiness, and Conformity to the Will of God; and in the weak­ness and disorder of the Will, there is required to the cure thereof, a conveying unto the Will of these Perswasions to conform to the Will of God, and a Strengthning and healing of the weakness and perverse­ness of the Will, that it may effectually entertain these Perswasions.

The contracted Guilt must have a double Cure, viz. Of Absolution from the positive Punishment, and Restitution of the Loss contracted by it. The former frees him from positive Misery incurred, the latter restores him to the capacity of enjoyment of the Happiness lost.

It being therefore clear, and to be granted, That as things stand with Man, he hath not this means of his Cure in or from himself, but must derive it, be­ing now lost, from him, who at first gave it him, the next Enquiry is, Whether God hath appointed any Means for the cure of Man's Ignorance, Perverseness, and Guilt, and consequently to lead him to Happiness, and what it is? wherein we conclude,

1. That God in his infinite Wisdom and Goodness hath revealed, and conveyed to the Children of Men, the Means of their Happiness, in several times, by seve­ral ways, and in several degrees in all successions of times.

[Page 98]2. That this Discovery and Means of Happiness, he hath by the course of his Providence put toge­ther, and diffused to Man-kind in the Compilation of the Old and New Testament, wherein are contained, not only the clear Discoveries of things to be Known and Believed, conducing to Man's everlasting Happi­ness; but likewise things to be Done, and effectual Perswasions for the doing of it.

3. That in the Use thereof, there are not only the natural Means of discovery of Truths necessary to be known, of things to be done, and most effe­ctual and powerful Perswasions beyond all other mo­ral Arguments to the Obedience thereof, but likewise a strong Concurrence of the Power of God (accord­ing to his Will) subduing the Understanding to be­lieve, and the Will to obey.

4. That by this Belief of those necessary Truths, and Obedience to the Will of God thus revealed, Man shall be conducted to his everlasting Happiness, which was the great End of his Creation.

CHAP. VI. [...] the Credibility of the Sacred Scriptures.

THESE things be of easie consequence, if once this be clearly proved to be the Word of God, for then we argue demonstratively, and à priori, from the Cause to the Effect, viz. Because that whatsoever is the express Word of God himself, which is the God of Truth, cannot chuse but be infallibly true, and beyond all disputation: But the question will be upon the Assumption, viz Whether this be in truth, the Word of God? which, if once granted, all the rest will need no proof. The Understanding of Man hath wrought in it a four-fold Assent to every Truth, where­unto it assents.

1. An Inherent Assent, that is of such Principles, if any be, which are connatural to Man. Thus the Un­derstanding ass [...]ts not to this Proposition, That the Old and New Testament, are the Word of God.

2. Knowledge wrought by Demonstration, or Scien­tia per causam. Thus▪ though there be many Truths in the Scripture, that are demonstrable; yet, that these Scriptures are the infallible Word of God, is not na­turally demonstrable.

3. Belief, which is the taking up of a Truth upon the Testimony of him that asserts it. This, that it may be firm requires two qualifications: First, a firm and absolute perswasion, That what the Author af­firms, is tr [...] And thus a Man once admitting, That this is [...] [...]ord of God, doth most unquestionably believ [...], because the truth of the Author is demon­strably unquestionable: 2. A firm and clear Assent, [Page 100] That this is the Word of that infallible Author. And this is wrought only by a secret and immediate work of the Power of God upon the Soul, and is as firm Assent, if not more firm, than Science it self.

4. Perswasion or Opinion, which riseth upon probable grounds. And although this can never arrive to Belief or Knowledge, yet according to the strength, con­currence, and multiplicity of Arguments concurring to the Perswasion, it may arrive to the very next degree, to Belief or Knowledge. Thus it may be firmly con­cluded, That this is the Word of God, and the Means which he in his Providence hath appointed to guide Man to the attaining of his last Happiness. This Per­swasion,Of thi [...] the Author hath p [...]o [...]ss [...], and more large­ly w [...]tten in other Works. though it be not Faith, it doth prepare the Heart for that high and noble Assent, and migh­ly strengthens it, being attained. These are in the next place to be considered.

1. It doth discover those Truths clearly and satisfactorily, which hath perplexed all the Labours and Enquiries of the wisest Men, and thereby unriddles and renders easie most of those difficulties and doubts in natural and moral Philosophy, which could never, or not with­out strange uncertainty and reluctation, be so much as guessed at by them. The abstrusest Truths are hardly discovered and found out, which is one cause of those several absurd Opinions and Positions, which have been invented and imposed by Mens Fancies, to make out, supply, and reconcile those Difficulties which the Ignorance of, it may be, one Truth, doth most necessarily occasion: but when that Truth is once discovered, it doth most clearly resolve those Diffi­culties, and scatter those Absurdities, and procure an easie Assent from that Reason in Man, which could not at first easily discover it. To consider this in some Particulars▪

[Page 101]In Matters Natural: Whence grew all those strange Chimera's concerning the first Matter, Its Eternity, Its undeterminateness, and a thousand disputes, Whe­ther it is? What it is? and all end in nothing but unsa­tisfactory and unresolving Disputes; concerning Edu­ction of Forms out of the power of it, and by what Agent; concerning the eternal succession and conca­tenation of Causes; concerning the beginning of Mo­tion, especially of the Heavens; the endeavouring to reconcile an eternal duration to a successive motion; concerning the different activities and qualities of simple Bodies, their mutual actings one upon another, the cause of the disgregating of the simple Bodies one from another unto that convenient distance, and of their concurrence in production of mixt Bodies; the production of Creatures, especially Man; the nature of the Soul; the fitting of Objects and Powers in the Senses and Intellect. All these, and millions of Di­sputes, rise from the ignorance of that Truth, which at one view, we may with satisfaction read, resolved in the First of Genesis, and in no Book in the World beside, but what hath been borrowed from thence.

Again, Touching the orderly Position of the Crea­tures, The conveniency of one thing, to the exigence and necessity of another; The moderation and govern­ment of things endued with destructive qualities each to other; The concurrence of several contingent Causes to the producing of Mutations in States, Re­ligion, &c. as if those contingent Causes had been as it were animated with one Soul or Spirit; and the like. The observation of these, and the like things, and the want of true knowledge, have put Men to those exigences of invention, which resolve them in­to Fate or Destiny, into the power of the Stars, into the Law of Nature; and yet we are still where we were, not knowing What that Fate is, What that [Page] Order or Power of Heaven is, Whence that Law of Nature came, or was given.

But if we look into this Book of God, we find all these difficulties extricated: we find the preservation of this Order in the Creatures, to proceed from, and depend upon the Wisdom and Power, and Govern­ment of an infinite and intellectual Being; who, whiles his Creature for the most part moves according to the Rule of his own Nature, yet wonderfully manageth them to Ends and Events which they dream not of; who, whiles the several contrary qualities, that he hath planted in Bodies, could be destructive one of another, he hath so fenced their extremities one from another, that one destroys not another, and yet so tempers and allays them, that they concur in the con­stitutions of other things. There we find the various and most contingent motions of the Creatures, mar­shalled by a Wise Providence to the production of those Events, that the secret Counsel of the great God had appointed; so that whiles with one Eye we see seemingly accidental casual motion of the World, like the Finger upon the Dyal▪ we may with the other Eye see in that Book, that wheel of Providence, mo­ving and turning it rationally, and with election, for those Ends, that it pleaseth the Wise Governour of all things to order.

Again, in matters Moral, what perplexed Questi­ons have Men made concerning the Law of Nature in Men? Whether there be any? or if any, What it is? Whence it hath its Obligation, since all Men are by Nature equal? What is the original and radical Rule of of Just or not Just? What the Standard of it? or, Whe­ther any at ah? Whether there be any Chief Good of Men? What it is? Whether attainable? Hence have grown those infinite Disputes de summo bono, every one stating his own Opinion, and yet each sufficiently [Page 103] co [...]f [...]ting another. All these Perplexities we find soon resolved in that Book of God, shewing us, That Just and Ʋnjust, is only measurable by the Will of God; that the Obligation of Just or Unjust, ariseth from the meer Com­mand of God, and that relation of Duty which Man owes to his Creator, and to the injunction that he gives: shew­ing us the falsity of every of those Positions concern­ing the Chief Good, and teaching us that it is to be had, and to be had only in the enjoyment of our Creator.

True it is, that many of these, and the like Truths, may be arrived at by the light of Reason: But 1. It is not without much Difficulty and Labour, and that of the most choice Men: 2 It is not without the help of Tradi­tion, at least of some small Veins of these Truths: 3. It is not without much mixture of corruptions, errors and mistakes: 4. Not without much hesitancy and doubting. Our natural Reason as it lies in the Ore, and therefore must be disgrossed from its dross, by study and Educati­on; so it is weak and must be supported. And where the strength of Reason is the same, that Truth that ano­ther discovers, is entertained with more confidence, than if a Man singly had discovered it; so that by the Scri­ptures, Reason is enlighten'd and strengthened in those Truths, which carry in them a consonancy to Reason, and might haply, though in a weaker measure, and with more difficulty, have been extracted out of sound Rea­son and Observation.

2. It doth contain divers Truths, which could never be discovered, but by God himself: as what the Will of God was, that Man should do, or the Law of God; What the purpose of God was, concerning Man, both in his Fall, and Restitution by Christ; The Covenant which he made with the Jews, and with us in Christ; The uniting of the Divine and Humane Nature in the Person of Christ; The last Judgment; The motion of the great God towards his Creature, in Mercy and [Page 104] Judgment, and the like. These, as they are beyond the discovery of any Man, so they were too high for any Man to invent or surmise. It is true, the Heathen Law-givers and Philosophers, to gain Credit to their Laws and Dictates, durst sometimes to patronize them upon Heaven: but in them, a considerate Man might clearly find those Laws to have arisen from a meer observation of the visible Inconveniences to pub­lick Societies, and a prudential application of such Rules, as might meet with those Inconveniences: the original of them was attributed to Divine Institution, to gain Reputation and Opinion in the Vulgar: but in truth all, or at least those that were the best, and best grounded, were as naturally deducible from the observation of the Conveniences and Inconveniences of a civil Society, as the Conclusions of Geometry or Arithmetick, are grounded upon their Principles: and therefore for the most part, Humane Laws did in substance agree in the Points consisting in the relation between Man and Man, as being more obvious and plain; and did for the most part disagree and differ in those Points that concerned Religion, as being more distant and difficult:

Now i [...] it be said, That the distance and remoteness of those supposed Truths from natural Reason or discovery, [...]enders the Scriptures the more incredible; or at best, not credible thereby to be the Word of God; for upon the same reason, any improbable Relation may be obtruded upon us as a Divine Truth, because not to be else imagined by Humane Reason.

In Answer to this, we must premise two things,

1. That it is possible, there may be some intel­ligible Objects and Truths in the World, that never any Man did, nor without the help of a foreign disco­very, never can find out. If a Man were supposed to be born without the Faculty of Seeing, it were not [Page 105] possible for him to discover that quality or motion of a natural Body, which we call Light, or Colour; nay, scarce to understand it, though a very rational Discourse were made concerning it. And what Man can con­clude, but that there may be, and are, divers qua­lities or motions of natural Bodies, which are without the Verge of any of our Senses, and consequently, never fall into humane discovery? We clearly admit Spirits, and we have notions of their motion loca­lity, and substance; yet it is impossible for any Man by natural indagation, without the help of some ex­trinsecal relation, to find it out: We may therefore conclude, That as it is possible there may be, so it is probable there are some intelligible Objects and Truths, which we cannot discover without an extrinsecal help or discovery.

2. That of necessity many of those Truths contain­ed in the Scripture, especially concerning the Deity, the Will of God, the Fall of Man, and the Means of his Restauration, are things that cannot be collected or concluded by any natural Reason, partly in respect of the sublimity of their Nature, being beyond the Verge of Sense and natural Discourse; partly because they are Emanations of a free Agent, whereof no other Reason can be given, but the Will of the Agent, and consequently, not deducible into Knowledge or Assent, by rational Conclusions.

3. That though the discovery of, or assent unto those Truths, cannot be elicited by natural Reason, yet they are not contrary to natural Reason, but may be Truths, notwithstanding any reason that can be given against them. It is true, that they, being above the reach of Reason, cannot be by force of Reason assent­ed unto; yet there is no reason against the truth of them. Natural Reason hath a privative opposition to the knowledge of them, viz. an absence of a necessity [Page 106] of assenting, not a positive opposition, or a [...] by necessity of Reason to disassent to them [...]

4. That though these Truths are [...] [...] ry of Reason, and beyond the [...] sent, yet they carry [...] gr [...] [...] alt [...] [...] up [...] [...] p [...] [...] wi [...] [...] infra, [...] Thus the Fall of Man, [...] Truths unimaginable by Natu [...] [...] [...]it­ness one to another; and the Ju [...] [...] Mercy of God bears witness to both The m [...] [...]y of the Soul, and the last Judgment, bear witness each to other. And as there is that mutual attestation by way of Congruity of one of these sublime Truths, to ano­ther of the same nature, so the Congruity that these Truths have to those Truths, which rationally chal­lenge an Assent from us, That all things had a begin­ning from the First Cause, is a Truth evident in Na­ture, but in what way, or by what manner, is not possible to be known without a discovery. How ex­cellently doth that discovery of the manner of the Creation serve, as I may say that Principle? So again, that Man, being endued with a rational and immortal Soul, was ordered by the First Cause to an immortal End, by a rational Means prescribed by God, may be concluded by rational inferences and deductions; but what that Means was, or clearly, what that End was, is not discoverable by natural Reason; for it de­pends upon the Will of God. How admirably doth the Scripture discover that Means, viz. the Law of God, and that End, the Vision and Fruition of God, especially in the point of the Resurrection. Again, [Page 107] That the Violation of that Rule, must incur a Guilt irreparable; a loss of that End, is rationally evident; yet although that Man by that Guilt, is justly depri­vable of that End, is clear; yet that God should be disappointed in this End, seems somewhat hard. How clearly doth the Point of our Redemption by Christ (a point inconceptible by Nature) serve to extricate and untwist this difficulty, gives God the Glory of his Justice, and of his Mercy, of his Wisdom, and of his Creature? Thus the subservience of a Truth more difficult to the exigence of a Truth, that is more clear to Nature, renders the former not only possible, but probable.

3. The third Evidence, That this is the Word of God, are those strange Predictions of most contingent Events, fulfilled in their several times; the Prediction in one Age, and declared by one Instrument of God, the fulfilling in another Age, declared by another, or seen by our selves. This gives testimony, both to the Truth and Divinity of the author or inspirer of it. To omit those Predictions of Joseph, concerning the remo­val out of Egypt: The Prediction of the Jewish Capti­vity, and the Restitution by Cyrus, by Name; The four Empires; The destruction of Jerusalem; take notice but of these two, viz. The Prophecies of the coming of Christ, describing his Nature, Gen. 3.15. his Linage of Abraham, Gen. 22.18. of Judah, Gen. 49.10. of Da­vid, Isa. 11.1. the place of his Birth, Micah 5.2. his Office, Isa. 61.1. his Mother, Isa. 7.14. his Death, and the Ends of it, Isa. 53. the time of his Death, Dan. 9.2. and divers other Circumstances, fulfilled precisely in our Saviour.

2. The Rejection of the Jews, and Calling of the Gentiles to the Faith of Christ, Deut. 31.29. and 32.21. Isa. 11.10. Isa. 42.6. Isa. 49.6. this Prophecy fulfil­led even in our own view, yet upon such disadvantage [Page 108] of natural Reason, as had not the same power effect­ed it, that at first declared it, it could never have been effected, considering, 1. The utter Enmity between the Jews and Gentiles. 2. The extream contrariety in Reli­gion to it, 3. The small and inconsiderable means of effecting that Conversion. 4. The great Scorn and Sufferings of those that professed it, 5. The visible impossibilities of making any temporal Advantages by it, &c.

4. The Consent and Harmony among the several parts of it. When several Men, in several Ages, not brought up under the same Education, write, It is not possible to find Unity in their Tenets or Positions, because their Spirits, Judgments, and Fancies are different: but where so many several Authors, writing or speak­ing at several times, agree not only in matters dogma­tical, of sublime and difficult Natures, but also in Pre­dictions of future and contingent Events, whereof it is impossible for humane Understanding, to make a discovery without a superiour discovery made to it, I must needs conclude one and the same Divine Spirit declared the same Truths to these several Men.

5. This Book alone, and none besides, but by de­rivation from it, containeth matters of the most noble and useful nature. The generality of all humane Learning, do either in their Object or Use, or both, expire with this Life; and none ever arrived to the discovery of the great and adequate End of Man. This is not only evident in these Arts or Sciences of Natural Philoso­phy, the Mathematicks, Physicks, Politicks, Laws, &c. all which at their highest, are but only subservient to this Life, but in those two great and noble Sciences, that Speculative of Metaphysicks, that other Practical of Moral Philosophy: The former, though it arrive to as high Truths as Nature can discover, yet it rests in the knowing of them, and in a meer Speculation, and [Page 109] doth not shew wherein consists Man's true Happiness, much less, what is the way to attain it; for the latter, the most sublime piece of it, is framed only for the Meridian of this Life, both in the Use and End. With­out all question, the Great and Wise God did write in Man's Nature, Habits exactly conducible to his in­ternal Contentment and Felicity, in reference to his living in this World, as those which were of a higher Constitution and End, as his communion with his Maker. The wisest of Moral Philosophers, though they have imperfectly copied out divers Positions of the former, as Justice, Temperance, Contentedness, Undervaluation of the World, Patience; yet they never arrived at the latter; no Book in the World but this, shews a Man the adequate End of his Being, his Supream Good, his Happiness; nor directs the Means of acquiring it. This doth not only inforce the no­bleness and value of the Book, but also the original of it, for when I shall see a world of the most exact humane Wits, turning every stone, as it were, within the reach of humane discovery, and yet none of them all lighting upon this great Subject, the way to eternal Happiness, I must needs conclude, That this discove­ry is of a higher extract, than a meer humane inven­tion; and although, when we have discovered that subject, we begin to wonder that Mankind hath thus long roved, and wasted its labour in those other im­pertinent inquiries, and were so far from discovery of this Ʋnum Necessarium, that they scarce so much as imagined there was any such Business; yet we may justly forbear that wonder, for this is a Path which the Vultures have not seen; the great God alone gave Man his End, and appointed the way to that End; we had once the knowledge of both, but have lost it, and we must owe the discovery of it to the Author of it: And to Man he said, Behold the Fear of the Lord, [Page 110] that is Wisdom; and to depart from Evil, is Ʋnderstanding, Job 18.28.

6. It doth discover the whole Duty of Man to his Ma­ker, to himself, and to others, far beyond all other Books or Documents in the World. Man by his Sin hath lost the greatest part of his Light and Perfection; his own discoveries of his Duty are lame and imperfect; and till the God, that first planted these Principles of Knowledge and Conformity to his Will, give us a new Copy of them, we shall never clearly attain un­to them in our knowledge or practice. There are these Eminencies touching Moral Precepts, which this Book of God hath above all other Books in the World.

1. No other Book in the World doth discover the true ground of the Obligation unto Moral Precepts. The Moral Philosopher perswades me to Temperance, to Justice, but what Obligation lies upon me for it? If he tells me, That it is his own Authority, my Answer is, He hath none over me, more than I have over him: If he tells me, the Law under which I live, binds me to it, I shall enquire what binds me to ob­serve those Laws, but Power, which if I can avoid by the like power or secrecy, I am not bound; or my own Consent, which I am as well Master of, as I was before I consented: If he tells me, the Law of Nature binds me, I am still unsatisfied who gave that Law, or when, or to whom; and there the Philosopher is to seek, as well of my Conviction, as of my Obedience: But this Book shews what that Law is, from whence the Obligation of Obedience to it ariseth, even from that most Just and Uncontroulable Authority that God hath over his Creature.

2. No other Book or Learning in the World per­swades the observance of those Laws, it injoyns with the like convincing and satisfying grounds of Reason that this doth: The highest ground that ever Moral Philoso­pher [Page 111] could fetch to perswade to submit to Moral Pre­cepts, were but one of these: viz. The Reputation and general esteem of Men, which dies with me, and while it lives, is nothing else but a Fancie, and con­tains no Reality; or the Cohortion of the Laws, which if I can avoid with secrecy or force, I escape the strength of the Perswasion; or that Congruity, that sound Moral Precepts hold with Prudence, and the permanent enjoyment of good here; for it is a most certain Truth, as appears before, That the due observa­tion of the Rules of right Reason hath a most clear connexion with Happiness in this Life; and that the violation of these Precepts of Nature, do necessarily introduce a loss of temporal Felicity: These are the highest Motives of Obedience to these humane Docu­ments: But let us look upon the Motives that the very same Precepts are enforced with, in this Book of God, we shall find them of a higher Constitution; we are there shewn, they are commanded by that God, to whom we owe our Being, and therefore may justly challenge our Obedience as his Tribute; by that God, from whom we daily receive our Preservation and Mercies, and therefore may justly expert the return of our Love and Thankfulness in the Observance of his Will; by that God, that hath annexed a Sanction to the breach of his Law, which he both can, and will inflict; this may startle our Fear; by that God, that hath propounded and promised a Reward to our Obe­dience, both in this Life, and a future, which he will certainly confer; this doth quicken our Hope. These and the like grounds, and motives of Obedience, fall upon the most active Affections, with the most powerful and rational Perswasion, and are able to conquer more difficulties in the Obedience of these very Precepts, that are materially the same, than all those faint and thin Perswasions, that the wisest of [Page 112] Men could ever teach. The great God, that knows the frame of the Soul of Man, hath not only given rational Laws to lead him to his great End, and ra­tional Means to draw out his Obedience, by appoint­ing Rewards or Punishments of his Obedience or Disobedience; but also by the same Wisdom of his, planted in him Affections, which might be proper to receive the impressions of those Rewards and Punish­ments: and by this Word of his conveys those No­tions into his Heart, which stick upon those active Affections of Love, Hope, and Fear, in the most exact, full and adequate manner: This is therefore none else, but the Finger of God. And this is not only evinced by the Threatnings and Promises in this Book, but by the Historical part of it, applying the Truths of both; wherein we may see unriddled most of the varieties of Events, that fall upon a People, or Person, especially knowing God, which without this Light, seem to be confused, and meerly contingent. Israel sins, Israel is punished: she repents, and is deli­vered. We are shewn by the very Historical passages of the Old Testament, that when we are punished, we eat but the fruit of our own ways.

3. As the Eminence of the Scripture above other Learning, and consequently its Original, is discovered in the two former, so in this, that it doth distinctly and clearly evidence, and set forth those Moral Precepts, which are confusedly and imperfectly only delivered by the best of humane Writers, especially in the Wor­ship of God: All agree God is to be worshipped, but when they come to shew how, then they are to seek; for indeed, as it is folly for any one to think, that there can be any Worship of God acceptable, but what is agreeable to his Will; so it is vain to think, that this Will of his could be discovered by any but himself. And from the want of this grew Idolatries and other Vanities in Worship.

[Page 113]4 The original of the Scriptures is discovered in this, that it doth contain in it Precepts of a higher Consti­tution, and therefore of a higher Pedegree, than the best of all humane Learning ever did arrive unto: such as are the Cleansing of the Heart and Thoughts from all Sin; That the Formality of Sin consists in the Will, even before it expresseth it self in Act; That the outward Conformity of the Act to Vertue, without the internal Conformity of the Will and Mind, is but Hypocrisie, and the seeming vertuous Action is at least dead, and not of value, if not sin; That a Vertuous Action done out of any other End, than in Obedience and Love to God, that enjoyns it, is not an Action rightly Principled, nor acceptable to God; The right directing of our Passions and Affe­ctions, that nothing is worthy of our intense Love but God; that nothing deserves our Hate but Sin; and therefore teacheth us in the former, to despise the World; in the latter, to love our Enemies. The right temper of our Minds, in reference to all things without us, or befalling us in any Affliction and Trouble; It teacheth us to improve it in discovery and repenting of the cause of our sin; in adhering to God, in whom there is no variableness; in keeping a loose And remiss Af­fection to the World; in Contentedness, and chearful resignation of our selves to God, that is Lord of his Creature, and though it should not be meritoriously deserved, might be justly inflicted: In times of Pro­sperity and Comfort, it teacheth us to look to the Author, and take more delight in the hand that gives it, than in the Blessing it self; to value the measure of my Comfort, more by the favour and good will of the Giver, than by the extent of the Gift: In the enjoyment to be Watchful, that I be not insnared by it to forget the Giver, to be moderate, humble, wise: In the whole course of our Lives to look above [Page 114] this World to another Country, and so we may en­joy the the Favour of our God, and the Fruition of that Country; to be at a point with all the Pleasures, Profits, Preferments, Honours, Comforts, and Life of this Life; to be so fixed in our Obedience to our God, as not to go out of the Path he hath put us in, though it be strewed with all the Scorns, Miseries, Torments, and Deaths, that Men or Hell could scatter to hinder us. These and the like Precepts are given in that Word: and these and the like Effects it doth, by the concurrence of God's Grace, work in the Heart, which are as far beyond the most sublimated Docu­ments of the most exact moral Philosopher in the World, as theirs are beyond the most gross Paganism: These do proclaim therefore their original from a higher Principle than humane Authority, or Inven­tion. And it is observable, that these are not only Principles of a high and noble extract, but of a sin­gular use in this Life: If all Men were of this Consti­tution, it would questionless, reform all those Incon­veniences, which do happen either from one Man to another, as Enquiries, breach of Contracts; or from Man to himself; of discontent, vexation and unquiet­ness of Mind, or disorder in any Condition.

Now if it be said, That it seems strange, that God, who could have preserved Man in the same Integrity of Mind, in which he was created, and could have supplyed Man with as uniform a motion to his End by a constant Means, as other Creatures by their In­stincts, which are fixed and constant in them, should take this Circuit, in restoring lost Man by such a Means, it is answered, That God having endued Man with Reason, Understanding, and Will, doth rather chuse to bring about his purposes concerning him, by Rational Means conform to those Faculties of Under­standing and Will, putting Light into the one, and [Page 115] Regularity into the other, by such means as is suitable to his Condition and Nature, and not by the actual ex­ercise of his extraordinary Power, though not without the concurrence of his special Grace and Providence; as in those other actions of Men, in preserving the natural or civil Subsistence of Men, and Societies, he doth use the instrumental means of natural and politick Provisions, rationally or naturally conducing to such preservation.

By what hath past before these things, are rationally concluded,

1. That there is a First Cause of all things.

2. That this First Cause is Infinite, Incomprehen­sible, &c.

3. That this First Cause, as he was the first and only Cause of all Beings, so he appoints in his Wisdom and Justice, the several Ends, or Perfections of all things.

4. That the several particular Ends of all things are proportionable to their several Natures.

5. That every thing is carried to his several End, by Rules proportionable to the End and Nature of the Creature, given by the great Governour of all things.

6. That Man is a Creature of higher Constitution than other Creatures, principally in respect of the Im­mortality of the Soul; the Immateriality of it, the Faculties of it, Understanding and Will.

7. That therefore he was at first ordained by the wise God to an End proportionable to these Excellen­cies, an immaterial, immortal, intelligible, desirable God.

8. That there is no other Object of this Happiness, but God himself.

9. That the same Wisdom of God, that ordained all things to their End, and planted in every thing con­ducible [Page 116] Motions and Rules for that End, hath like­wise appointed unto Man a Rule leading him up to that End; and without the observation whereof it is impossible to attain it.

10. That this Rule depends meerly upon the Will of God, what it should be; and that in the Confor­mity to this Will, consists Man's present Enjoyment, and Hopes and Means of future Happiness.

11. That as things stand with Man, he is at a Fault, and knows not what his End, what his Rule is, nor hath a Will to obey it.

12. That consequently he can never attain his End, till his Understanding and Will be reformed, and the Guilt contracted by the violation of that Rule, be ta­ken off.

13. That the Discovery, Reformation, and Cure, can be by no other Means, than by God himself.

14. That this Book of the Old and New Testament are that Means, which God himself hath given in his Mercy, Providence and Wisdom to be the means of the discovery unto Man what his End, what his Means to attain that End was, how lost, how to be restored; and contains most effectual and rational Means condu­cible to it.


CHAP. I. Of the Existence and Attributes of God.

AND now we have drawn down the great Business of Man, by dark and intricate steps and windings to a clear Light, which doth not only clearly and compendiously unmask and unfold these Truths, which with so much difficulty of discourse, and search by Reason, we dimly arrive unto, but divers other Truths, which all the Reason and Learning of the Sons of Men, could never attain unto; yet such, as without which all the Passages even of this Life, are dark and obscure, and uncomfortable: We shall therefore now fall to the consideration of those Truths, which are contained in that Book, that are of the greatest concernment to the Sons of Men, in order to their supream End, and to evidence their Congruity with sound and rectified Reason.

1. This Book teacheth us, That there is a God, which although it be deducible by natural Evidence, yet this declaration in the Scripture is of singular use, as well for the speedy and easie discovery of it, as also [Page 118] for the ratifying and confirming of this Principle, as we m [...]y observe, even in Truths of an inferiour na­ture; which, though by the discursive operation of the Understanding, they may be discovered and assent­ed unto; yet these discoveries, and that consent, is fa­cilitated and strengthened, when in the Writings or Dictates of others they are set forth, as in the se­veral discourses of Men in matters Natural, Meta­physical, and Moral. And we may observe, that even in this fundamental Truth, That there is a God, where these and the like Instructions are wanting, Men, that are naturally endued with the same Faculties of Reason and Understanding with us, have not, or not so clearly this Principle, as among Atheists and Pagans.

2. This Book sheweth us clearly the Essence, Nature and Attributes of God, as far forth as is comprehensible by our humane Understanding. Many of these are by the help of natural Reason and Discourse, legible in the things that are seen, so far forth, as to leave our Ignorance thereof unexcusable, Rom. 1.20. yet as in the former, so much more in this, our Reason is helped and strengthened in our speedy discovery, and firmer assent thereunto, as likewise appears by the many Errors of Men of the same Faculties with us, even concerning these Principles.

Herein we learn his Vnity: Deut. 6.4. The Lord our [...]d is one Lord. His Self-sufficiency, and Subsi­stence of himself: Exod. 3.14. I am that I am. His Imm [...]sity: [...] Kings 8.27. Behold the Heaven, and the Heaven of Heavens cannot contain thee: His Vbiquity, Deut. 4.39. The Lord he is God in Heaven above, and upon Earth beneath: Psal. 13.9. Whither shall I go from thy Spirit, or fly from thy presence? Jer. 23.24. Can any hide himself, that I shall not see him? Do not I fill Heaven and Earth? His Eternity: Psal. 90.2. Before the Mountains [Page 119] were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the Earth and the World, even from everlasting to everlasting, thou art God. His Omniscience and intellectual Nature: Psal. 94.10, 11. The Lord knoweth the thoughts of Man, that they are vanity. Prov. 15.11. Hell and destruction are before the Lord, how much more the Hearts of the Children of Men? His Omnipotence: Gen. 17.1. I am the Al­mighty God. Psal. 145.3. His Greatness is unsearchable. His Wisdom: Jer. 10.12. He hath established the World by his Wisdom, and hath stretched out the Heavens by his Discretion. Psal. 147.5. His Ʋnderstanding is infinite. His Will the only motive of all his actions: Prov. 16.14. The Lord hath made all things for himself. Exod. 33.19. And will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will shew mercy to whom I will shew mercy. Isa. 43.25. I am he that blotted out thy transgressions for my own sake. Himself the End of all de doth: Prov. 16.4. The Lord hath made all things for himself. Irresistibility: Prov. 21.30. There is no Wisdom nor Ʋnderstanding, nor Coun­sel against the Lord. Invisible: Exod. 33.19. No Man can see my face and live. Immutability: Matth. 3.6. I am the Lord, I change not. Psal. 102.6. Thou art the same, and thy years have no end. Isa. 40.28. Hast thou not known? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the Earth, fainteth not, neither is weary? there is no searching of his Ʋnderstand­ing. It is true, in these and the like Expressions or Attributions unto the Divine Nature; we are never­theless to observe,

1. That it is impossible for any thing below God himself, fully and clearly to understand the Nature or Essence of God; because he is actually Infinite, and nothing besides himself hath, or can have, an Act of his Intellect, spacious enough to comprehend what is actually Infinite.

[...] [Page 122] Hand, Arm, Goings, Ways: wherein never­theless the Scripture, whiles it useth these Expressions to help our Understanding, and excite our Affecti­ons, it nevertheless provides Cautions to avoid gross­ness and mistakes, that so it may appear, that they are only helps to us, not derogations to the incom­prehensible Purity, Perfection, and Majesty of God: and for that very reason, not any one thing so much fenced out by it, as Image-making, and Wor­shiping.

3. By this Book, we are taught the manner of his Subsistence in three Persons, the Father, the Word, and the Spirit; and that these three are one. The Plurality of Persons in one Essence is a Mystery that is not attainable by all the Reason in the World, and is but obscurely hinted in the Old Testament, Gen. 1.26, &c. and therefore it seems not understood by the Jews; but in the New Testament more plainly related: the diversity of Persons of the Father and Son in one Essence, John 14.9. John 17.5, 22. The Spirit—All three together, Matth. 28.19. 1 John 5.7. The Manner of the Subsistence in Unity of Essence, and Trinity of Persons is of that transcendent and incomprehensible Nature, that, as it could never be discovered without an immediate revelation from God himself, so being discovered, it is scarce conceptible by us. The Disputes concerning it, farther than it is there revealed, are ground­less and dangerous; for it is utterly impossible, that the Notion of Personality or Subsistence, as we take it up from these inferiour Beings, can fit that, which is the highest and most arcane Mystery of the infinite Be­ing; and consequently those Disputes, which are built upon those disproportionable Notions, are not without a necessity of erring.

CHAP. II. Of the Acts and Works of God: and 1. Of his Eternal Counsel.

4. THE next great Point that we learn in this Book, is concerning the Acts or Works of God:

1. His Eternal Counsel.

2. The Execution of that Counsel:

  • 1. Creation.
  • 2. Providence:

1. General, Concerning all things.

2. Special, Concerning Man.

1. Concerning the Eternal Counsel of God, where­by he did predetermine all things that should be from all Eternity: This, as it evidently appears in all the Prophecies of the Old Testament, which were ful­filled in their times, so by divers Affirmations, even of God himself by his Spirit: The Creation, Prov. 8.27. When he prepared the Heavens, 29. When he appointed the Foundations of the Earth. Job 38.4. When I laid the Foundations of the Earth, 10. and brake up for it my decreed place.

The Redemption of Man by Christ, 1 Pet. 1.20. Who was foreordained before the Foundation of the World. Acts 2.23. Him by the determinate Counsel and fore­knowledge of God, ye have taken, &c. Election of his Church and People, Rom. 9.11. The Purpose of God according to Election:

The Successes of Nations and Kingdoms, Isa. 14.26, 27. This is the Purpose that is purposed upon the whole Earth, &c. For the Lord hath purposed, and who shall [Page 124] disanul it? Dan. 4.35. The Extorted Confession of Nebuchadnezzar.

The particular and voluntary motions of Men, Isa. 10.5. O Assyrian, the Rod of mine Anger, &c. yet he thinketh not so. Jer. 10.23. The way of Man is not in himself. Prov. 20.24. Man's goings are of the Lord. Prov. 21.30. There is no Wisdom nor Counsel against the Lord.

The most contingent and inconsiderable Events that are, the casting of a Lot, Prov. 16.33. The falling of a Sparrow, Matth. 10.29.

Now touching the Counsel of the Almighty, we are to distinguish between the act of Counsel, and the act of Knowledge: the first is properly an act of his Will, pre­determining what shall be; the latter, an act of his infinite understanding, which foresees what shall be, without any actual Causality upon the things. These, though they are not so much as accidentally differing in God, yet in our Apprehensions there is a difference; so that we conclude, there is not only a Prescience in God of all things that shall, or may be: Known unto the Lord are all his Works from the beginning: but likewise a Predetermination by his Divine Will of all things that shall be, and of the several means conducing to it. And this Counsel of God is in truth the supream Cause of all things: for as that Power, whereby all things do move themselves or other things, is put into them by the great maker of all things, by the mere and immediate act of his Will, as hath been before observed; so the managing of all these several Powers, to the production of the several things in the World, is the act of the same Will of God: they move in their several Series, according to that Counsel of the great God of Heaven.

Now this Counsel of God is represented to us in the Scripture under these several qualifications. 1. An [Page 125] Eternal Counsel. 2. An Immutable Counsel. 3. A Free Counsel. 4. A Wise Counsel. 5. An Active and Irresistible Counsel. 6. An Universal Counsel.

1. It is an Eternal Counsel, a Purpose and Counsel before the Foundation of the World, the indivisible and unsuccessive act of his Will. It is true, the Coun­sels of Men, as their Conceptions are successive, one consideration supplying the defect or imperfection of the former: and oftentimes the Counsels of Men are taken up pro re nata, principally because they have not either the power to manage all the Emergencies and Ingredients into an Action according to their own Wills, nor to foresee those Accidents that might enervate or impede the fruit of his Counsels; but the Will of God is the Cause of all things; and there­fore as nothing can have a Being without his Will, so nothing can impede or hinder the Counsel of his Will.

2. From hence it follows, that it is an Immutable Counsel; otherwise it cannot be Eternal; for what began to be otherwise, than it was before, cannot be Eternal. The Change of Counsels and Purposes among Men arise from one of these Causes: either from an intrinsecal Unsetledness and Unconstancy, which is their imperfection; or from some extrinse­cal Emergency, which either was not for [...]seen, or cannot be mastered: but neither of these can fall upon God. It is true; what he wills, he wills freely, and therefore ex natura rei he might not have willed it; yet what he wills, he wills from all Eternity:Jam. 1.17. with him there is no variableness nor sha­dow of turning: I the Lord change not, Mal. 3.6. there­fore ye Sons of Jacob are not consumed. And as there is no ground of change in himself, so neither is there any possibility of change from any thing with­out him; because the same Act of his Will, which [Page 126] is his Counsel, is the cause and measure of the being of all things, and therefore it can no more hinder or alter his Counsel, than it can give it self a Being against his Will. But because there be some things that owe not their Formality to the Counsel of God, as Sin (which how far it falls within the Counsels of God, shall be hereafter considered) yet that cannot any way elude the Counsel of God, as shall be hereafter shewn: Therefore those several passages in holy Scripture, that tell us, that God repented of Evil, when Man repented of Sin, Joel 2.14. Jonah 3.4. are not to be understood of the Nature or Counsels of God: for in that respect Balaam spoke a Truth of God, Numb. 23.19. God is not a Man, that he should lye, nor the Son of Man, that he should repent: For the same Counsel of God, which appointed Jonah to be the Instrument of Nineveh's Repentance, ordained like­wise their turning upon that preaching, and ordered the diversion of that Judgment, which the same Coun­sel had ordered to be imminent, but not executed: But because there was the execution of such a real change, which in Man is ordinarily the effect of a change of purpose, or repenting, therefore it is called a Repenting: yet the very same Counsel, that appointed the denunciation of an imminent Judgment, appointed their repenting upon that denunciation, and that diver­sion, upon that repenting.

3. It is a Free Counsel: it is nothing else, but the act of the Will of God. It is true, the determina­tion of that Will imposeth a necessity of the existence of the thing willed, yet the determination it self was an act of the freest Agents. This excludeth any Stoical Necessity.

4. It is a most Wise Counsel. And this is evident, even in the lowest and most inconsiderable execution of this Counsel: and therefore Isa. 28.29. the dispen­sation [Page 127] of this Counsel of God, even in the sowing and threshing of Fitches, concludes this also cometh forth from the Lord, who is wonderful in Counsel, and excellent in working: This Wisdom is eminent in this:

1. In that it doth not only predetermine the End or Event, but likewise all those Means, that are conducible to the bringing to pass of this End. It is true, God by an act of his Power might, and sometimes doth, per saltum bring to pass his own Purpose, by his own immediate Power: but this is not the ordinary course of the execution of his Counsel, but produceth the End Decreed, by Decreed Means, Acts 27. Paul's dangerous Voyage is predetermined to end in a safe Arrival, Verse 24. Yet Verse 31. Except these Men abide in the Ship, ye cannot be saved. This Perswasion of Paul's becomes prevalent, and they stay. The Coun­sel of God, that determined the Ship's safe arrival, predetermined the stay of the Men in the Ship, to be the means of that safety, and the perswasion of Paul to be the means of their stay. Here is the Link of God's Counsel, coupling the Event to his Purpose, with subordinate and purposed Means. When I see a Counsel of God discovered, that had not its com­pleat Execution in many hundreds of years after; and observe how many thousands of strange connexions of Accidents do intervene between the Counsel disco­vered, and the Execution of it; although till the execution, the event seems as unlegible as any thing in the World; nay, oftentimes these Antecedents, that seem most probable of any to the producing of the expected Event, with a contrary wind quite driven off and blasted; yet when after all these several Mean­ders of Successes, I see the Effect come to pass, even by most improbable and accidental Means, I must needs acknowledge, this seeming Confusion is me­thodically [Page 128] managed by the same Counsel, that prede­termined the End; I must conclude, as the Wise Man doth in another case, Eccles. 7.14. God hath set the one over against the other, to the End, that Man should find nothing after him. Let us consider it in the great Busi­ness of our Redemption by Christ: God in his Eter­nal Counsel had appointed Man to be partaker of his Glory by the death of Christ, who was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the World: Man is created in a glorious, happy, free Estate; he hath a Covenant made with him, which he may keep or break at his own liberty; he is left in his own hands, and not neces­sitated to break that Covenant, which he but even now made with his Maker; if he had done so, the sending of Christ had been needless: Man falls, now is Christ promised, Gen. 3.15. and after confined to the Line of Abraham, Gen. 18.18. and after to the Line of David. See what a World of Interventions of Accidents and Success interposed between the Promise and the Event, the Birth of Christ, any one whereof, if it had mis­carried, had disappointed the whole Success: When he was born, what strange Events happen for the ful­filling of all the Prophecies concerning him. So in the fulfilling of the Prophecy made to Abraham, that after four hundred years bondage, his Posterity should enjoy the Land of Canaan, Gen. 15. ver. 13, 18. What a world of strange Interpositions were there, conducing to the fulfilling of it, between that and Exod. 12.40. and Joshua 18.1. The Births of Isaac, Jacob, and the Patriarchs; the Dream of Joseph, that caus'd envy a­gainst him; and that very Envy conducing to the ful­filling of his Dream: he is sold to the Ishmaelites; by them to the Egyptians; he is injured and imprisoned; Pharaoh's Butler is imprisoned in the same Prison, and then dreams; this interpreted by Joseph; the Butler delivered; Pharaoh dreams, Joseph is mentioned, and [Page 129] interprets it, is advanced, furnisheth Egypt to be the Magazine of Africa; the Famine pincheth Jacob's Family; this lead his Sons to Egypt; Joseph is disco­vered; Jacob sent for, he and his Family; sixty six Persons go down into Egypt: What a Circle is here of the Divine Counsel, managing these seeming Casualties, to fulfill that part of the Prophecy to Abra­ham, That his Seed should be Strangers in a Land that was not theirs! Well, for their Deliverance from thence, they must be oppressed; that's not enough, the Males must be killed; had not this been, Moses had not been exposed, Pharaoh's Daughter must come just to prevent his drowning, and to give the oppor­tunity of a learned Education; this was the Instru­ment of their Deliverance. The like we might pur­sue in the following Passages, wherein we may see the Wise God by his Wise Counsel marshalling the Means, fitting them most admirably with Circum­stances and strange Conjunctures, for the fulfilling of his purposed Ends. And herein is the Excellency of the Scripture, that shews us a Hand, ordering and disposing by a most Wise Counsel▪ these seeming tu­multuary and disorderly Passages in the World, to most admirable and fixed Ends. This is the first thing wherein the Wisdom of this Counsel of God is seen in chaining all things one to another, by the very same purpose whereby he determined the End.

2. That in the disposing of Means and Ends, every thing notwithstanding, moves according to that Law, that he hath given to its particular Being. We usually distin­guish the actions or successes of things within our ob­servation into three Ranks or Ranges: viz. Necessary, Voluntary, Contingent:

1. Necessary Effects are such, as their Causes being admitted, have a necessary conjunction therewith, or consequence thereupon, according to the usual course [Page 130] of Nature. Such are the Consequences that rise upon the motions of the Heavens, as the positions of the Planets; the Consequents that arise upon the con­tiguity or conjunction of the Elements; and divers such things, that hold a constant course in Nature. These, although the great God may, and sometimes doth, interrupt by the extraordinary acts of his Power, and to shew his Freedom; yet most admirably he doth not hinder, but useth them to the production of his own most sure Counsels. And this evidenceth the Infinite Wisdom of the great God, that hath so admirably framed his Works and his Counsels, that while the former move uniformly, according to that prescript Rule and Law, which the God of Nature hath put into them, yet the latter shall not be in­terrupted, but effected by them, though they know it not, nor mean it not. As when we see in a curious Watch, the uniform motion of the Spring, serving to produce several artificial motions; as of the hour of the Day, the day of the Month, the age of the Moon, and the like; we commend the Wisdom of the Ar­tist, that hath so tempered the Spring, that by one uniform motion, it may be useful for all these; and hath likewise so directed and managed this natural mo­tion of the Spring, to serve exactly those different intellectual motions; and do conclude, that the con­trivance of this piece of Work was all at one time, otherwise it were impossible, that every part should hold that order: So when we see the natural mo­ti [...]ns of the Creatures, conducing to the production of those rational Ends, which God hath appointed, we may justly admire the Wisdom of God, that while he intends a Purpose above the conception or drift of a natural Agent, he bringeth it about without the violation of the Rules or Laws, which he hath ap­pointed to be constant in Nature; and may most justly [Page 131] conclude, That the Law of Necessity in the natural Agents, is but the Effect of that [...]ry Counsel, that hath predetermined his own Purp [...]s by them; and that they are all of a piece, all laid at the same time. And from thence grows the subservience of the na­tural Agent, in the most rigid Law and Rule of his Operation, unto the free Counsels of the great God, that doth most sweetly and infallibly [...]ffect the latter, without the violation of that Rule, which he hath gi­ven to the former. And hence it is, that those Ef­fects, which are produced naturally by natural Causes, we do and may call Natural and Necessary; and yet it excludes not the Counsel of the Divine Will in the production of it: for it is the same Counsel, that hath made this necessary connexion between the Cause and the Effect, that did predetermine the Effect to be produced. Here then is conspicuous the Wisdom of God, that while his Creatures, in whom he hath placed an uniform Course of Working, fulfil his Will, yet they keep their Law of Unformity and Necessity.

2. Voluntary. And this is admirable, that whiles Voluntary Agents do most necessarily fulfil the Coun­sel of God, yet they do it without the least diminu­tion of their Freedom. The Jews did most freely crucifie Christ, yet it was by the predeterminate Counsel of God: Pharaoh did most freely refuse to let Israel go, yet Almighty God tells him, for this pur­pose had he raised him up to shew his Power upon him, Exod. 9.16. And from hence we may observe the reason why Almighty God in all times hath used rational ways for the reducing of Men to the Obedi­ence of his Will, not but that he could, if he pleased, force the Wills of all Mankind to what Dispositions or Actions he pleased; but that were to infringe that Law, which he at first planted in Voluntary Agents. [Page 132] Here is the Wisdom of the great God, his Will shall be effected, yet Man's Will not forced: Psal. 110. Thy People shall be willing in the day of thy Power. So that the Conclusion is, The Wills of Men are ruled by the Counsel of God for the producing of his Ends, yet without violation of Man's Freedom. This is done by a rational Means. And the Courses, that God's Counsel useth to work the Will of Men to his Purposes, are most usually these,

1. By propounding Rational Objects or Motives condu­cing to the winning the Will to act those things, that are conducible to the Purpose of God. In that one Instance, concerning the hardening of Pharaoh's Heart, God had a Purpose to be honoured upon Pharaoh, in the miraculous delivery of his People: it is propound­ed to him, to let the People go; it was a rational oc­casion for him to deny it, for then he should lose their Work, which was beneficial to him: Moses to con­firm his Embassage, casts down his Rod, it becomes a Serpent; the Magicians, that were of a contrary Counsel to Moses, did the like: this Object hardens the Heart of Pharaoh. The like we may say con­cerning Perswasions, Afflictions, and those other Dispensations of the Divine Will brought upon a Man in ictu opportuno.

2. By giving and administring Extraordinary Aids and Inlightenings, strengthening the Faculties of the Soul.

3. By withdrawing the ordinary Supplies and concur­rence of God's Assistance. We are to know, that as the Being of all things is from God, so the very na­tural supportation of all things in their several Powers and Activities, is from him: and if he withdraw his Concurrence and Assistance, our Wills will move freely, but to other objects, or in another manner, than they did when assisted by him.

[Page 133]Now these we must not imagine to be Expedients or Helps pro re nata, as it happens among us, that when a thing beyond our expectation is gone beyond our mastery, then to devise some helps to reclaim it, or allay it: But the whole Plat-form of all and every Circumstance was laid and set by the Purpose of God, before the being of any thing. Man shall work freely, yet I will draw out that Freedom of his into these and these actions, by this and that rational means: supply or subduction of my aid, of his Will, shall not elude or defeat my Counsel; nor yet the fulfilling of that Counsel violate the Freedom of that Will, which I purpose to allow him.

3. Contingent Effects; which are such as arise from the conjuncture of several Causes not subordinate one to the other: and this casual conjuncture of Causes, denominates the Event neither Voluntary nor Neces­sary, although it perchance arise from Causes of both or either Nature: but these having no natural con­junction or connexion one with the other, the Event, that ariseth upon this conjuncture, is Casual or Con­tingent: And this Consideration leads us to the third thing, wherein the Wisdom of this Counsel is emi­nent, viz.

4. In ordering, marshalling, and managing of se­veral Causes, of several Natures, wholly independent and unsubordinate one to another, to the fulfilling of his own Eternal, Infallible Counsel. And this consists in the drawing out of the several activities and causa­tions of things, at such a time and such a distance, as may be subservient to the Effect; wherein, though the Causes apart perhaps, move simply according to their Nature, yet the meddling and mingling of them together, is a clear Evidence of the Unity and Wis­dom of that Counsel, by which they are governed. In that admirable Piece of the Execution of God's [Page 134] Counsel concerning Joseph, this is ligible almost in eve­ry pas [...]ge of it: t [...]is the Purpose of God, he shall be advanced for the preservation of his Father and Bre­t [...]n: see but the last act of this Counsel preceding h [...] [...] He is [...]mmitted to Prison by the a [...] [...], the chief Butler▪ by the Command of [...] and Phara [...] were several Voluntary A [...]nts▪ yet these acts of theirs, drawn out upon se­ve [...]l grounds, and independent one upon the other, occ [...]ion a me [...]ting between Joseph and the Butler in Prison, and there they might have continued unac­quainted till their deaths: an Act of Divine Provi­dence draws out an occasion for their Acquaintance: the Butler is delivered, and his Promise forgotten: another occasion given by Phara [...]h's Dream: this had not been useful for Joseph, unless communicated by Pha­ra [...] to the chief Butler: this Communication draws out another Act of his, viz. the remembrance of Jo­seph [...] thus these several Voluntary Acts of Agents, independent one upon another, are drawn out to meet together in such a conjuncture of time, as serves to produce that Event, which if any one had failed, could not have been effected. The like is easily ob­servable in all the great and predicted Changes in Commonwealths and Kingdoms, how several Causes are without straining, as it were, interwoven and mar­ried together for the production of such a change. And the like for the natural motions of the Elements in the constitution of mixt Bodies. Though every Cause apart mov [...] according to that Causality and course of Nature that is in him, yet that Activity is drawn out in such a distance, at such a time, and with such Concurrences▪ that makes appear at once the Efficacy and Wisdom of the Counsel of God, that whiles every Cause moves according to his own Nature, yet they are strangely mingled in the production of such [Page 135] an Effect, that neither of them did foresee, or intend, but only the God that guided them.

5. It is an Active and Irresistible Counsel. This is evident, by what hath been before observed, viz. be­cause it is the cause and measure of the being and power of every thing without it: it is therefore impossible to be resisted, because that strength, that any thing hath, it hath meerly by the efficacy of this Purpose of God. Although in the Divine Nature, there is no difference in the Power or Act of his Understanding and Will, yet for our Conceptions sake, they are propounded under a different Notion: his Purpose or Counsel is referred immediately to his Will, and is not only a Foreknowledge of what shall be, but hath an operative influence into the being and operations of all things: His Prescience or Foreknowledge, we conceive as an act of his Understanding, by which he actually knows whatsoever shall be: This Prescience is not an objective impression of the things themselves upon the Divine Understanding, for that were to suppose a kind of Passibility, which is incompetible to the Divine Perfection, and supposeth a kind of Priority in Nature of the Object to the Power, and a kind of de­pendance of the Act upon it: But as all things have their Being by the Act of the Divine Will or Purpose, so in that Purpose of his, he sees the things purposed; and it is impossible to sever the act of his Purpose, from the act of his Knowledge, of the things pur­posed, though notionally they differ.

6. It is an Ʋniversal Counsel, and therefore Uni­versal, not because confused and indistinct, but it doth particularly and distinctly extend unto all the things, actions, and motions in the World; for to suppose any thing could happen, or be without the particular deter­mination of this Counsel, would be an admission that that thing were independent upon his Power, and would [Page 136] necessarily make an utter incertainty in the whole di­spensation of the World, and so disappoint his Provi­dence. It is most evident, that the greatest Events in the World have depended upon a Compages and Conca­ [...]nation of several Interventions, that in themselves have been most inconsiderable, which if they had not been, it had been impossible the Event, though ne­ver so eminent, could have happened: David raised to be king of Israel, a thing eminently in the Pur­pose of God, yet had he not been sent to the Army with the Provisions for his Brothers, the means of his Advancement, and consequently the Advancement it self had been disappointed. If therefore the same Counsel, which had determined his being King, had not determined his Message to the Army, that great Effect had been utterly without the determination of the Divine Providence: for that, which de facto was the necessary Concurrent to his Advancement, being casual, and not within the care of Providence, so must all the dependances that had been upon it. And the same we must conclude in all the actions of Voluntary Agents. Two Difficulties occur:

1. How the Predetermination of the Acts of Vo­luntary Agents can consist with the Liberty of the Will?

2. How the Predetermination of the Sinful Acts of Voluntary Agents can consist with the Justice or Pu­rity of God?

Touching the former, we conclude,

1. That although Almighty God hath been pleased to give Voluntary Agents a Liberty of Will, yet he may most justly of his absolute Power, interrupt that freedom when, and in what he pleaseth. The rea­son is, He is absolute and unlimitted Lord of his Creature; and in as much as the Creature can have no Being, but by his Will, he cannot claim any Right, [Page 137] but what consists with his Maker's Will: if he wills an interruption of that course, which he hath regu­larly settled, that interruption is as just, as that course which he interrupteth: for both equally depend upon the same Will.

2. That though he may most justly, if he please, alter that course, which he hath settled in Natural or Voluntary Agents; yet such is his Will, that he doth it not, but hath been pleased to hold that course in Natural, but especially Voluntary Agents, that they move according to that Liberty, with which he hath endowed them.

3. That nevertheless, all the voluntary actions of Men fall under the Predetermination of his Counsel: otherwise it were impossible, but that the World should be governed at random, the contrary whereof is most clearly evidenced by daily observation, and several passages of the Holy Scripture, and by what hath been before observed.

4. It is evident, that this Predetermination of the Divine Counsel is without any Violation of the Li­berty of a free subordinate Agent; because the Action predetermined is elicited by such means, as at once consisteth with the infallibility of Divine Providence, and the nature of the Agent. The great motive and object of all the actions and aversions of Men is Good and Evil: the great means whereby Men are carried unto these actions or aversions, are Convictions of the Understanding, arising from the union of these Ob­jects to the Understanding; the act of the rational Appetite or Will following that Conviction, if not perturbed; the Passions or Affections partly managed by the command of the Will, partly by the temper and constitution of the Body. And certainly, if one Man had an exact knowledge of the frame, temper, and constitution of another Man; and had power to [Page 138] apply his Object so exactly to his Understanding and Affections: as to meet with them exactly; and could discover the motions of the Soul upon that Object proposed, and could apply to every opposition a suitable answer or qualification; this Man might easi­ly predetermine what the other should do, and yet in drawing out that action, no way injure his Liberty. How much more can the Infinite and Omnipotent God, who put that Liberty, Understanding, and Affections in Man, positively predetermine such an act to be done, and yet draw out that act by such means by him decr [...]d, as may notwithstanding suit with the Li [...]ty of his Will; the freedom of the action being no less predetermined, than the action it self: Especially, if we consider the Power of this God, in adding or withdrawing of the extrinsecal Helps and Concurrences of his own immediate Assi­stance, which have a more intimate and powerful ope­ration upon the Soul, than barely objective, which yet hurts not, nor hinders the intrinsecal Freedom of the act of the Will.

2. To the second question, concerning the Counsel of God, tou [...]ing Sinful Actions: We are to consider therefore, that Sin is the Violation of a Law, given unto a Voluntary Agent, by him that hath power to give that Law to the Will. In this description, we have those several terms, all necessarily to be admitted, before there can be any Sin:

1. A Law given: for where there is no Law, there can be no Transgression.

2. A V [...]lunt [...]y Agent, to whom this Law is given; for it is impossible, that any thing can be capable of a Law properly, but a voluntary Agent; because the proper Effect of a Law, is to put an extrinsecal Re­straint Under a Penalty upon that which hath choice to obey it, or not. Natural Agents, though they [Page 139] move according to a Rule, the interruption whereof, causeth a Deformity, yet they move not by a Law; and therefore not capable of Sin.

3. An Authority in him, that gives the Law, to give it to the Will. A Man, that hath an extrinsecal Power over me without my consent, may give a Law to me, and exact the Obedience of it; but the Violation of this Law is no sin, because he hath no power upon my Will, but God hath a power to command my Will, and exact Obedience of it. Hence it is, that there can be no Sin▪ but against God, because all Obligation is reductive only to him.

4. A Violation of that Law, by the act of the Will: and herein we have two things:

1. The Subject denominated: that is the Action, which precisely considered, cannot be sinful; but it is therefore sinful, because it is the product of my Will, contrary to this Law. Hence it is, that no action that is enforced, can be said to be sinful: and every evil action hath so much of sin in it, as it hath of Will; and doth receive degrees of Evil, accord­ing to the measure of Consent and Concurrence of the Will. And hence it is, that the Act of the Will against that Law, is equally sin, as if it had pro­ceeded into act; which was that most rational and clear Doctrine of our Saviour.

2. The thing denominating that action sinful: it is the Obliquity of the act of the Will; for the last act of the Will, which preceeded the action, is the Sin; and the action divided from that act of the Wil­ling is not, nor can be sinful: It is therefore called a sinful action, because it is the fruit or expression of an act of the Will, moving contrary to this Law of God. And by this it is evident, that the Sin is not inherent in the external action produced by the Will, but in [Page 140] the Will it self: and that the Sin hath a pre-existence, such as it is in the Consent of the Will, before the action is produced: And according to the measure of the freeness and fulness of that Consent is the measure of the Sin, and not according to the action; though it be regularly true, that that consent of the Will, that is strongest, produceth most ordinarily an action. Hence it is, that an action contrary to the Command of God, produced either through Incogitancy, Fear, Surprize, Passion, is not so great a sin, as a deliberate, studied, resolved Sin, though in truth it be not produced into act, by reason of some extrinsecal impediment: be­cause there is a fuller Consent of the Will in the latter, than in the former.

These things being premised, we may conclude,

1. God's Counsel doth not predetermine the Will to any evil: for although it is true, the Obligation of a Law is the necessary Antecedent of every Sin, and it is impossible, that the Laws, which God gives to man, do bind the Law-giver, yet this is incon­sistent with his Purity, Truth, and Justice: Inconsi­stent with his Purity; for certainly there is an intrin­secal Justice and Holiness in the Law of God, where­of he cannot cause the Violation: Inconsistent with his Truth; the Will of his Counsel never crosseth the Will of his Command: Inconsistent with his Justice, to require an Obedience to that Law, whereof he doth necessitate the breach; And in this case prede­terminating the Action by way of necessitating the Will, and to predetermine the Obliquity, differs little.

2. Much less doth he infuse Obliquity or Evil into the Will, to serve the Series of his Counsels.

But then it seems the Evil Actions of Men are out of the Counsel of God; or God must take up new Counsels upon the Vision, or at least Prevision, of the actions of Men. No: But here we must remem­ber, [Page 141] what hath been before premised, that here is seen the great Justice and Wisdom of this Counsel, that it puts nothing off from that manner of opera­tion wherewith the God of Nature hath endued it. Thus he draws out infallibly the action of a free Agent, even in things sinful, and yet the Will moves freely in what it doth, and consequently, owes that Sin to it self: The Counsel of God is active in these particulars:

1. Proposing of an Object: The Babylonish Garment was no cause of Achan's sin; for it was propounded to him meerly objectively, and was passive to his Choice▪

[...] Permitting extrinsecal Moral Perswasions un­to [...] This is Temptation. Adam was created with­out [...] yet with Liberty to sin: He was left wholly in the hands of his own Will: here was an Object presented; the fruit was fair to look upon; and Mo­ral Perswasions by the Devil, that there was no dan­ger, that it would make them wise: the Man eats: This is most clearly a most free act; for neither the proposition of the Object, nor Perswasions, do any way derogate from the freedom of the action: God could in his Counsel have intercepted the Object, or impeded the Perswasion: he doth neither: the sin is committed; and that without the least colour of im­putation to the Counsel of God; for the Man's Will was not necessitated, he sinned freely.

3. By withdrawing those efficacious Aids of his Grace and Dispensation, which, especially since the Fall of Man, are the great impediment to that Ca­reer of sin, that Man would run. And this is no violation of Man's Nature or Freedom: for they are extrinsecal to his Nature, and therefore not due to him; nor is he injured if withdrawn from him, espe­cially, since for the most part, Man thrusts them away [Page 142] before they are taken: Such are the outward dispen­sations of his Providence in Education, Affliction, Prosperity, the Preaching of his Word, Advice of Friends▪ giving external Allays to the humours of the Body: These and the like, God lends to the Sons of Men, and may take them again when he will. And as he hath such outward operations, so without que­stion, such is the Vicinity of God to our Souls, that there are Secret Inward Perswasions sent in by the Power of God to our Souls, which as they do not violate the Liberty of our Wills, but direct them, so they are not due to the Creature debito justitiae, and may be withdrawn without injustice.

4. By Ordering it: Thus the Wise God oftentimes, brings Good out of Evil, by the restraining the sin quo ad hoc, by the Dispensation of his Providence; as a wise Politician will order the Ambition, Cruelty, Lust, &c. of Men for bringing good to the Common­wealth. The Depravation of Man's Nature is Uni­versal; and like as the Water would diffuse it self over the whole Surface in the pursuit of its own mo­tion and Nature, so the corrupted Nature of Man being now become universally evil, would diffuse it self in all disorders: but as a wary Artist, will by external Provisions, not only confine this natural motion of this extravagant Element, to this or that course, but also make its natural motion serviceable for artificial ends; so the Wise God doth not only set Bars and Doors, and saith to this Sea of Mischief, Hitherto shalt thou go, and no farther, and here shall thy proud Waves stay; but also so manageth the same, that whiles Man sins, he works his Creator's Will, which he knows not: O Assyrian, the rod of mine an­ger, &c. howbeit he meaneth not so, neither doth his heart think so, but it is in his heart to destroy and cut off nations not a few, Isa. 10.7. A sinful and unthankful Israel de­serves [Page 143] a punishment: an ambitious and cruel Assyrian flies at all opportunity of Rapine and Spoil: the Wise God shuts him up upon all sides, but that which is towards Israel, and there he finds a passage, and breaks out, satisfies freely his own ambitious ends, which only he pursued, yet fulfils the Will of our Creator, which he knew not, nor thought of: This also cometh from the Lord, who is wonderful in Counsel, and excellent in working. Those ways of God and the manner of his Concurrence in those actions are evi­dent in Scripture, Exod. 7.3. I will harden Pharaoh's he [...]rt, &c. Verse 11. They cast down their rods, and they became Serpents, &c. and he hardened Pha­raoh's he [...]rt, that he hearkened not unto them. Exod. 8.15. When Pharaoh saw that there was respite, he har­dened his heart, and hearkened not unto them, as the Lord had said, ibid. Verse 32. and divers other parts of the History. The Lord hardened his Heart by Permission of the Magicians Miracles, by permit­ting objective presenting to him the Profit of the Jews Labours, by Withdrawing that external Con­currence and operation of his Grace, which might have softned it: and Pharaoh actively hardens his own Heart, 2 Sam. 24.1. Israel had offended God, and must be punished; but there was an Impediment to the Execution of this Judgment, David's Integrity, who was concerned in the good or evil of his People: if God withdraw his assistance from David, and let in Satan to tempt him, David will sin as well as his People, and so both deservedly punishable. And he moved David to number the people; yet 1 Chron. 21.1. And Satan stood up against Israel, and provoked David to number the people: Here were three Parties: God moved by permitting Satan to provoke, by with­drawing a powerful Countermotion, by Ordering [Page 144] David's sin for the means of the punishment of Israel's sin: Satan provoked, incited, and perswaded, either immediately, or mediately; for now the Watchman is gone, God hath withdrawn his Hand, and Satan loseth not the opportunity: David numbers; David's Heart was as corrupt and vain-glorious as anothers, and as easily surprized by a Temptation, when the Keeper of Israel is absent, and remoto impedimento sins as freely, and more naturally, as before it walked conformable to the Will of his Maker; this Sampson hath lost his Locks, and he becomes as another Man. In the mean time, let us ever admire the Justice of our Maker, who never necessitates us to incur a Punishment by necessitating our Sin; and his Mercy in rewarding that Obedience, which he alone per­forms in us. Also to thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy, for thou renderest to every Man according to his Works, Psalm 62.12.

CHAP. III. Of the Execution of the Eternal Counsel of God, in his Works of Creation and Providence.

NOW we come to consider the Execution of that Counsel in those two greater transient Acts, viz. Creation and Providence:

1. Touching the Creation. This we consider in ge­neral, and particularly as concerning Man: In general, we resolve the work of Creation into three parts.

1. The original production of all things out of nothing. This is simply Creation Gen. 1.1. In the beginning God created the Heaven, and the Earth. (God Created:) This is the greatest conceptible motion, viz. à non esse ad esse; and though it be an act of Faith to believe it, because related, Heb. 11.3. yet it is a conclusion of Reason to know it, as it appears by what hath been before obser­ved concerning the impossibility to have any eternal subsistence but one: And this truth, though it be dedu­cible by necessity of Reason, if a God be once admit­ted, yet so infinite is the distance between Nothing and a Being, that divers of the acutest Naturalists were ignorant of it; the ignorance of which Principle caused many of their absurd and unintelligible Positions and Superstructions, to supply those difficulties, which by this only Truth are avoided, as concerning the First Matter, the Eductions of Forms out of the power of it, by I know not what Agents. (God created:) This infinite Motion could only proceed from an infinite Power, who by the mere act of his Will, constitutes something out of nothing. (In the beginning:) Time could not be, before there were something that had [Page 146] succession of Being, for it is the measure of a suc­cessive Being; and therefore the beginning of created Beings, must needs be the beginning of Time, and Creation was the beginning of created Beings. (The Heavens and the Earth:) The indigested matter of the Heavens and the Earth.

2. The dividing and ordering of this Mass; calling out the particular Subsistences, and furnishing of them with forms and qualities. This was subsequent to the crea­tion of the Matter: and we find the Manner of this production in two Expressions:

1. The motion of the Spirit of God upon the face of the Waters; Vers. 2. containing an act of the Di­vine Power, whereby he fitted every thing to be ready for his call: for though by the same instantaneous act, the Divine Power could in the first instant of Creation have put things in their several Beings, yet it was his Will to work successively, first creating the Matter, then breathing upon it, and fitting this confused sub­stance with aptitude for the things to be thereout pro­duced.

2. The Word of Command: Let there be Light, &c. in the several works of the six days. And here we may observe the admirable Wisdom of God, as in divers particulars, &c. so especially in these: 1. In the Order of the creating particular Creatures, pro­ceeding 1. to the finishing of Fundamentals, then to Superstructions, though of more curiosity and perfe­ction, yet more dependant upon those of the first creation: 2. in the Variety of the Creatures, and ac­commodating them with Qualities, and Conveniences suitable to their Kinds, whereby one doth not desire to encroach upon the Conveniences of the other's Sub­sistence: For an Instance, the Beasts, Fishes, Fowl, endued with Appetites suitable to their Being, yet the several Kinds affecting several Nourishments, se­veral [Page 147] places of Residence, &c. Herbs of contrary qualities, drawing several Nourishments of several Natures, even from the same Clod of Earth.

3. In the Position and Situation of created Beings, both for Beauty, and Convenience, so that the Wit of the most envious Atheist, cannot imagine how the Elements, the Heavens, the several Creatures could be more beautifully, or usefully placed: every thing serves to accommodate and fit the other, and speaks the Wisdom and Goodness of the Creator: the Posi­tion of the Earth, the Water, the Air, with exqui­site Convenience, that they may meet for the con­stitution of mixt, and the subsistence of animate Creatures: The Earth and other Bodies have depen­dance upon the power and influence of the Sun and Heavens; each is fitted with a Figure, and the Hea­vens with a Motion, that may with admirable con­venience dispense that Influence: the variety of Sea­sons, depending upon the ecliptical motion of the Sun, giving variety to the Creature, and intermissions to the Earth, whereby she may recover strength in the Winter, for the supply of the Summer: The very imprefect Creatures, the Rain, the Winds, Snow, &c. of admirable use for the Earth, Air, and Water: The Elements so placed and ordered, that whiles their contrary motions and qualities of Rarety and Density, preserve the extremity of their contrary active quali­ties from meeting, yet their Vicinity is such, that one allays the violence of the other, and so are in a fit po­sition and temper for production of mixt Bodies.

3. The planting in every thing a radical Activity and Causality, by which it moves. This is by Virtue of that Word of the Power of God: the very Multipli­cation of the Creature, Gen. 1.22. The warming of our Garments by the South Wind, Job 27.17. The Nourishment that comes from our Bread, Deut. 8.3. [Page 148] is due to this Word of Command and Benediction, that the Lord at first spoke to the Creature.

Now concerning the particular Creation of Man; not to enter into the consideration of the manner of his Creation, his Essentials, the Body, the Soul, or the nature of either; but we shall enquire, What is meant by the Likeness or Image of God? There was a twofold Image of God:

1. Essential, viz. A participation in his very Essence, of a Conformity to the Divine Nature, which con­sisted in three particulars:

1. That he had an Immortal Soul: this is that which, Wisdom 2.23. is called the Image of his Eter­nity:

2. That he was an Intellectual Being:

3. That he was a Free Agent.

These, being essential to Man, were not lost by him: and for this reason, God required the same se­verity against Murder, as if Man had never fallen, Gen. 9.6. For in the Image of God made he Man.

2. An Accidental Image, which consisted in an ad­ventitious Perfection, which God added to Man.

1. Dominion, Gen. 1.26. And let them have Domi­nion, &c. So God created Man in his own Image. The Do­minion, which he gave to him, made him resemble God: and hence it is, that those that have power of Command, are called Gods, Exod. 4.17. And thou shalt be to him instead of God. Psal. 82.6. I have said ye are gods. Vid. Gen. 9.2. This Dominion consisted not only in his Power to inforce his Commands by the advantages of Wit and Strength above other Creatures, but likewise in a Subjection in the Creatures to his Dominion.

2. An incorruptible Union between the Body and the Soul, Gen. 2.17. The day that thou eatest thereof, thou shalt surely die. Hence Rom. 5. the Apostle concludes [Page 149] Death the fruit of Sin. This might have been either by reason of the excellence of his natural Constituti­on; or by supplying it with special Assistance, by which means, the Lives of the Fathers before the Flood, had so long a duration; or by assuming of him into Heaven, without any dissolution of Soul and Body, as was Enoch, Gen. 5.24.

3. A filling of the Intellectual Faculty with the Light and Knowledge of all things, especially of his Maker. And herein consisted his high degree of Hap­piness. But as the Object, or the Union of the Object to the Faculty, is not of the Essence of that Intellectual Nature, wherein that Faculty resides, but may be re­moved without any essential change, so was this: and that herein consisted the Image of God, appears by Colos. 3.10. The Renovation by Christ, which is re­newed in knowledge after the Image of him that created him.

4. Holiness, or Conformity of the Will to the Will of God. This appears likewise by the state of Renovation, Epes. 4.24. Put on the New Man, which after God is created in Righteousness and true Holiness; which, as it presupposeth a true Knowledge of the Will of God, so it was a free choice of Obedience to it. This was not essential to the Will, because the Will was essentially Free, but had been necessary to the Will, in case the Understanding had not been abused.

CHAP. IV. Of the Providence of God in special, concerning Man, in order to his supream End.

THUS much shortly touching the Creation, and Man's Constitution in it; the second part of the Dispensation of this Counsel, is God's Providence: and herein we shall pass over that part, which is the General Providence of God, and consider of that Special Providence or Dispensation of Divine Coun­sel, which concerneth Man, and that not meerly as a Creature, but in order to his everlasting End. We shall consider therefore the course of this Providence of God, in order to the Eternal End of Man, under those three Conditions, or Times, wherein we find Man;

  • Before the Fall;
  • After the Fall;
  • In Christ.

Concerning the estate of Man before the Fall, or sin of Adam; we have already examined certain Gene­rals, that are conducible to this point, viz.

1. That God did appoint Man to some End, or Good, answerable to the constitution and value of his Nature; and this is his Happiness.

2. That this Good must therefore be an Infinite, Im­mortal, Intelligible Good; otherwise it could not be answerable to the Nature of Man.

3. That there is not, nor can be, any such Good but only God.

[Page 151]4. That the Actual Enjoyment of this Good is by the Union of the Soul to God, and the Communion of God to the Soul.

5. That the only Means of attaining this Union and Communion must needs be such, and such only, as the Will of God pleaseth to appoint.

We shall now descend to these two particular In­quiries, viz.

1. What was that great End or Happiness, which Man did, or might enjoy in his created condition?

2. What was the Means, whereby to attain and keep that Happiness?

1. Concerning the former, viz. What was Man's Happiness in his Creation? we shall consider him in those three degrees of Living which he had:

1. As a Vegetable Creature; an exact Constitution and temper of Body, which though naturally cor­ruptible, yet by the interposition of the Divine Power, not subject to corruption: those things that were for his use and sustentation, the Air, the Water, the Fruits of the Earth, most exactly conducible to the perpe­tuating of his Life without Pain or Sickness.

2. As a Sensible Creature; Exquisiteness of Sense, and receptive of whatsoever the Creature could af­ford conducing to his Use or Delight; and the Crea­ture likewise fitted for the supply of those Senses, every Herb given him for Food, all the Creatures came to him to receive their Names, he had Dominion over them, a most pleasant Garden planted by God himself for his Habitation, with a Tree of Immortality in it:

3. As a Rational Creature.

1. A most just and sweet Subordination of the in­feriour Faculties to the superiour, the sensitive Ap­petite, the Passions, and Motions of the Spirits.

2. A most exact fitness and perfection of those Or­gans of the Body, which are necessary for the opera­tions [Page 152] of the Faculties of the Soul; and a perfect and just Union of the Body and Soul, whereby the Soul might clearly and perfectly exercise all her Faculties.

3. Which is the height of all the rest, fitting of those Faculties with the most perfect and suitable Object, even God himself: for all Faculties or Powers receive their perfection by their Objects: to have an Understanding as comprehensive as Heaven, to have a Will of as vast Desires as infinitude it self, and not to have an Object suitable to either, were a greater Unhappiness than to want the Faculties. In the Creation therefore, God filled the Understanding with the sight and knowledge of Himself, of his Majesty, Glory, Bounty, Goodness; with the knowledge of his Will and Mind concerning Man; with the know­ledge of his Works, and of his Workings. This could not chuse but work in the Mind of Man an­swerable returns to the nature of this Object.

He is fully conceived to be the highest and most supream Good, and therefore must needs take up the highest and choicest Desires to attain and keep him: God is pleased to communicate himself to these De­sires, his acceptation of them, and intimate Expres­sions of Love to his Creature: This as it is the highest Happiness, and the Rest of the Creature, so it can­not chuse but ingage the Soul to return Love and Obedience to the Will of his God, especially when all those Engagements to Obedience are likewise pre­sented to the Soul, that it owes its Being to him, that his will is most righteous and fit to be obeyed. And this Obedience arising from these Principles of Love to God, as it was without all Hypocrisie, so it was without all pain and tediousness; for it did arise from an inward and active Principle, and was acted by most obedient and active Faculties: Man took no less de­light in his Obedience, which was the fruit of his [Page 153] Love and Duty to his Maker, than he did in the knowledge of the Beauty and Goodness of his Maker, which was the cause of that Love and Duty. And as the actings of the natural Appetite upon a proper and seasonable Object, when they exceed not their proportion, are delightful; so the actings of the ra­tional Appetite, consisting in Love and Obedience to God, wherein they could not exceed their just pro­portion, were the delight of the Soul: his Holiness, consisting in the returns to his Maker of Love and Obedience, and the Goodness of his God, in com­municating himself and his favour, exciting and ac­cepting those returns, did both conduce to the fulfil­ling of his Blessedness. All this, as it was derived from the Blessing of God, 1 Gen. 28. so it ended in the Perfection of the Creature: And God saw all that he had made, and behold it was very Good. Ib. Ver. 31.

2. The Means whereby he attained, or rather pre­served this state of Happiness, which was in effect congenite with (though not essential to) his Being. This was only Obedience to the Will of his Maker. In all inferiour Creatures, we see a kind of inclination or instinct to follow the Rule of their Nature: This conducts them to that degree of Felicity and Beauty, which is commensurate to their Nature: herein, though they follow the Will of their Creator, in the Law of their Creation, it is not properly Obedience, nor that instinct properly a Law: the latter is only given, and the former only performed, by such a Creature as hath Liberty and Choice, and consequently, Knowledge and Understanding, without which it is impossible to have the other. Man alone of all visible Creatures, is endued with both, and so fitted to receive a Law, and to obey it: Being thus fitted, he hath a double ingagement of Obedience, viz. of Duty and of Profit: 1. Of Duty: he received his Being from his Maker, [Page 154] and that Being furnished with Happiness: This is an infinite and boundless engagement of Duty, even to the utmost of his Being. 2. Of Profit or Advantage: this stock of Happiness, that was but now freely con­ferred upon him, is put into his hands under this Con­dition, if he break his Condition, he forfeits, and that most justly, his Happiness. But yet if this Law were beyond the capacity of his Nature, then there might be some excuse of his Disobedience: But as this Hap­piness was fully commensurate to his Nature, so was this Law, which was the subject of his Obedience. We shall therefore consider these three things:

  • 1. What was the Law of Man's Creation?
  • 2. Whence the Obligation of it?
  • 3. What the Sanction or Penalty?

1. What the Law was? Obedience was the Duty of Man to the Will of his Creator: the Law was the Specification of that Will, in this or that particular Command, or Prohibition: The Laws that God gave to Man therefore were of two kinds:

1. Such as did bear a kind of proportion or con­venience to the Nature of Man: such are all those moral Dictates, which we call Laws of Nature, as keeping of Faith, worshipping God; and most, if not all those Precepts in the Decalogue, are but Ex­pressions of these Laws. These, though they have no Obligation, but by the Command of God, yet they have a kind of Congruity with the very Nature of Man.

2. Such as though they have their original Justice of Obligation upon the same ground as the former hath, viz. The subordination of the rational Creature to the Will of God, yet in hoc individuo, there doth not appear [Page 155] that Congruity of Nature of Man with this Com­mand: such was the Command of forbearing the for­bidden Fruit: and answerable to this, in all times, God hath been pleased to give Commands of these two several kinds, Gen. 9.14. At the same time God forbids Murder, which holds Congruity with Hu­mane Nature; and eating of Blood, which doth not appear to hold such Congruity, Gen. 17.2. to Abraham, Walk before me, and be perfect, which is a Rule of natural Justice; and a Command of Circumcision, the reason whereof doth not so naturally appear; so to the Jews, not only the Moral Law, but divers Cere­monial Rites, which have no such necessary confor­mity to Reason. The reason of this, and why the first Man's Obedience was tried upon this Precept, was because that in the Obedience to such a Com­mand, is given the clearest and most free Obedience to God; for we hereby acknowledge his Freedom to command what he pleaseth, and our just Obliga­tion to obey what he commands, meerly because he commands.

Now because it is impossible, that any Law can bind, unless it hath some Promulgation or discovery from him that gives it, or somewhat equivolent unto it, we are to consider, How these Laws came to be published? As for the latter▪ it is most certain and clear, that it was by express injunction from God. And the Lord God commanded Man, saying, &c. Whether this was by an audible Voice, or by an immediate infusi­on of the knowledge of it into the Mind, it will not be material to enquire: But certain it is, that in as much as the Obligation of this Precept doth not arise from any intrinsecal conformity of the thing to Hu­mane Nature, there was an express injunction and command of God in it. But as touching the former, though they were discovered to Man, to be the Will [Page 156] of God, yet they did hold a kind of intrinsecal pro­portion and conformity to the very Nature of Men. And hence it is, that though by the Fall, a general deficiency was in Man, yet the tracks and foot-steps of those Laws remain in his very constitution. Though this cannot be the cause of their Obligation, yet que­stionless, this was part of the means of their Publica­tion to Man, Rom. 2.14. The Gentiles not having the Law, do by nature the things contained in the Law. And although much were due to Education, and Tradition, and the course of God's Providence in propagating the Knowledge of the Moral Law, yet such a conveni­ence it hath with the nature and use of Men, that when they once come to an actual exercise of right Reason, they have in all successions of times and pla­ces taken up those Laws of Nature, which we call the Moral Law, or the most parts of them.

2. Touching the-Obligation of these Laws, it was twofold: 1. From the Injunction and Command of God, who had an Universal, Infinite, and Unlimited Power over his Creature, and might most justly require his Obedience. And into this Power of God, together with his actual Command or Prohibition, is all the Obligation of all Laws, whether Natural or Positive, and of all inferiour Laws, Compacts, or Agreements, to be resolved. And without the due consideration of this, Mankind is loose. Though the natural Con­gruity of the Moral Law to the Nature of Man might be the means of its Publication, it is the Command of God, that is, and ever was, the cause of its Obli­gation.

2. From the Compact and Stipulation of Man. God put into Man's hands a stock both of Blessedness and Liberty; and though he might have commanded his Creature, and it had bound eternally, yet, to add the greater engagement upon him, he enters into Con­tract [Page 157] with him, concerning his Obedience. Hence it is called the Covenant of Works. And in all ensu­ing times, when it pleased God to reinforce the Law of Nature or Obedience, he doth it by way of Com­pact or Covenant, as well as Command; to add ano­ther Obligation as well of Contract as Duty. And from this grew the Universality of the Guilt that was contracted by Disobedience: Adam covenanted for him and his Posterity, Rom. 5.19. As the Obedience of Christ is effectual for his Seed, by way of Con­tract and Stipulation with God the Father; so was the Disobedience of Adam binding upon his Seed, partly by reason of his Contract and Stipulation; and so they are made there parallel. Sed de hoc infra.

3. The Sanction of the Law given to Adam. The Violation of any Law given by him, that hath Power, contracts Guilt, that is, Obligation to Punishment: the measure of this Punishment is that Sanction, which God did put upon the Violation of this Law, Gen. 2.17. In the day thou eatest, thou shalt surely die: Herein are four Particulars: 1. The Offence, eating the for­bidden Fruit; 2. The Punishment, Death; 3. The Time of the inflicting of it, in the day. 4. The Ex­tent of it, thou shalt die, &c.

Touching the first: The thing specially prohibited, was eating the forbidden Fruit; but that which was in the Mind of God to enjoyn, was Obedience to his Command: and although this particular was by God made the Experiment of Man's Obedience, yet que­stionless, the same Injunction, and under the same Penalty, was given to Men, touching those other Mo­ral Dictates, which were received, Exod. 20. which lost not their Obligation by the Fall of Man, no more than if he had continued in his Integrity, Gen. 4.7. If thou dost not well, Sin lieth at the door: and Verse 14. Cain acknowledgeth Death to be the consequent of [Page 158] that Guilt, which he contracted by his Murder, Every one that findeth me shall slay me: The like of Lamech, Verse 23. For the Formality of any Sin, as hath been before observed, consisteth in the disobedience of the Will to the Command of God: By one Mans disobedience sin entred into the World. And as the object of Mans obedience was whatsoever God had in­joyned, so the disobedience to any one Command had contracted the like Guilt, and were under the like Penalty as this, though this being purely a positive Command, wherein only the Obedience or Disobedience of Man could be seen, was that which is here men­tioned, because that wherein he offended.

2. Thou shalt die: God made not Death, saith the wise Man, Wisd. 1.14. but, Death entred into the world by sin, Rom. 5.12. It imports three things:

1. A loss or loosning of that strictness of Union which was between the Body and Soul, or temporal immor­tality. This is the Argument that the Apostle makes, that from the time of Adam's transgression till Moses, sin was in the World, because Death reigned all that while: and in the place before mentioned, till sin the King­dom of Death was not upon the Earth: This im­mortality was not essential to the Nature of man, but was freely super-added to it by the Divine Will upon those terms of Obedience; and he that gave it might with all imaginable Justice give it upon what terms he pleaseth; and he doth it upon terms of Obedience; Obedience to himself, which but even now gave Man his Being, and might justly exact the utmost of his Being; Obedience to a Law most possible, easie, and quadrate to the Powers and Aids given to man; Obe­dience ingaged by a world of Blessedness attending it, and an inevitable loss ensuing the breach of it: This was his Vegetable loss.

[Page 159]2. A loss of that Happiness, which accompanied this immortal Being, in respect of his Senses, viz. an uninterrupted stream of Pleasure and Contentment, and instead thereof Shame, Gen. 3.7. Pain, and Sla­very, Verse 26. Sorrow, Verse 17. anxious and painful Labour, Verse 19. a Curse upon the Earth, Verse 17. A loss of Eden, Verse 23.

3. The withdrawing and stopping of that stream of Light and Love, that passed between God and the Soul of man; which filled his reasonable faculties brimful of Happiness and Contentment; and instead there­of, in the understanding, darkness, distractedness, a con­tinued motion to know, and yet for want of Light not knowing what to pursue, and therefore pursuing trifles and follies: In the Will, loss of the Good that it before injoyed, yet a craving Appetite after somewhat, but it knows not what; and to satisfie this unsatiable de­sire take [...] in whatsoever the Suggestions of the World, Flesh and the Devil offers, fills it self with Vanity, and then with Vexation: In the Affections, especially our Love, it hath lost what did take up the whole Vigour and Comprehension of it, and what it loved it injoyed; but now raves and boils like the Sea after Follies and changeable and unsatisfying pursuits: The Conscience, that Chamber of the Soul, wherein the beams of the Light and Favour of the Creator, and of the Love and Duty of the Creature, met as it were in the point or angle of reflection, and carried those comfortable Messages of Sincerity and Obedience of the Soul to God, and delight and acceptance from God, to the Soul, is now become the Chamber of Death, and, like the Spleen to the Body, the receptacle of the Melancholy and sad Convictions of a guilty and ungrateful Soul, and of an injured and revenging God, and pre-appre­hensions of farther Misery: But if, in the midst of Millions of Miseries, he could see his Creator inviting [Page 160] him to dependance and recumbance upon him, the Miseries were nothing, they are born by his strength upon whom he leans: But when the Lord of Heaven shall give him a trembling Heart, and failing of Eyes, and Sorrow of mind, as in that most lively Expression he threatens the Jews, Deut. 28.65, 66, &c. and when he comes to his Creator, the last and supreme refuge of Man, God himself shall write bitter things against him, and eternally reject him. Here is the Death of Deaths: This, and much more than this, is included in that Sanction, Thou shalt surely die. And this appears to be a most just and righteous Sanction.

3. Thou: But we are taught, Rom. 5.12. By one Man sin entred into the World, and Death by sin, so Death passed upon all Men, for that all have sinned: Here it is inqui­rable,

1. Whether the Guilt of Adam's sin did extend farther than Adam's Person? and by what means or Rule of Justice that came to pass?

We must conclude in Adam all sinned, Rom. 5.19. By one Mans disobedience many were made Sinners; and as Sin passed over all, so Death passed over all. And this the Apostle useth as the Argument of the Universality of sin, in the same place; and, 1 Cor. 15.22. For as in Adam all died, so in Christ all shall be made alive. The sin of Adam was the sin of his Posterity by a double Means:

1. For that he contracted with God for him and his Posterity; and as in Nature including, so in Law personating them all. And in this respect, Rom. 5.14. he is stiled the Figure of him that was to come: As Christ contracted for his Seed by Faith, so Adam contracted for his Seed by Nature. It is true, regularly the per­sonal sin of the Father, or of any Person, is not char­ged upon his Posterity: Ezek. 18.20. The Soul that sin­neth it shall die; the Son shall not bear the iniquity of the [Page 161] Father; conform to that Law of God, Deut. 24.16. The Children shall not be put to Death for the Father: But yet by way of Covenant or Contract, the Child, as it may be interessed in the benefit of Obedience, may contractively be sharer in the Guilt and Punishment of the Father's disobedience.

2. For that by this his offence he contracted a Loss of that natural Disorder and Deformity, which he pro­pagated to his Posterity; and the Constitution of A­dam's posterity after his fall, was of the very same Di­stemper and Corruption, that Adam himself had con­tracted by his Fall. And herein the Case of Adam differ­ed from all Mankind besides: The best of men born of Adam hath the very same natural obliquity that the worst of Adam's Children hath, and if he traduce his Nature to his Child, he traduceth as good as he hath, or ever had: But that Nature, which Adam had, and was traducible to his Posterity before his fall, though the same essentially which it was after in specie ratio­nali, yet by the Will and Dispensation of God had been accompanied with those Qualifications, that had put them in the same Degree of Blessedness and Pow­er of conserving it, that Adam had: So then the Sin of Adam ingaged his Posterity in the Guilt: 1. By his personating of them; 2. By his traducing Corrupti­on to them; hence Gen. 6.5. every imagination of the Heart of Man was only evil continually.

And as we by this see how Adams sin was the sin of his Posterity, so upon the same ground we see the Justice of traducing the Punishment to his Posterity. By the Law of Nature and Reason, the power of the Father over his Child, especially unborn, is the most absolute and natural power under God in the World; so that even by the Universal Rule, among men especially, where another Government is not sub-induced, he had the power over his Life, his Liberty, and his Subsistence: [Page 162] Man contracts for him and his Posterity in a part of loss and benefit; his Posterity had a share in the latter in case of Mans Obedience, and it is reason he should bear a part in the former in Case of Disobedi­ence: the sin of a publick Person draws a Punishment upon those whom he represents politically, as David's sin in numbring the people; much more when to the political Representation is added a natural inclusion: And thus he visits the iniquity of the Fathers upon the the Children, viz. when the Father contracts for him and his Children in a Covenant of benefit and loss; as he shews Mercy unto thousands in them that love him; the Children of Abraham, notwithstanding their own personal Sins, had the benefit of that Promise, which was made to Abraham, because by way of Covenant, Gen. 17.2.

Further the ingagement of the Creator to his Crea­ture could not be farther than he himself pleased; neither could Man, or his Posterity, challenge a­ny farther degree or perfection of Being, than God gave, and upon those terms only, upon which he gave it: If he had resumed it of his own Will from Man, or his Posterity, after a day or a month, Man had had that for which to be thankful in the enjoyment, not to murmur in the loss: But it was not so here, the stock of Blessedness for Man and his Posterity is put into the hands of the Father, while he had his Posterity with­in himself; and not only so, but put into his hands with a power to keep it for him and his Posterity; the Father proves prodigal, and spends his stock, and if the Child was so, he hath none to blame but the immediate Author of his Being: This is enough most clearly to interest the Posterity of Adam, at least in the Punishment of Loss of Happiness and Immor­tality, and those outward Curses, which followed up­on Adam's Nature, and the Creatures, by Adam's Sin.

[Page 163]4. The time, In the day thou eatest. And this was put in Execution the same day, as well as Sentenced: the same day Shame, and Guilt, and Fear fell upon him, Gen. 3.10. I heard thy Voice and was afraid because I was naked: The same day shut out from the Vision of God, and the place of his Happiness; Verse 24. the same day set to his work, to Till a cursed Ground, with La­bour and Sorrow, Verse 23.

So now we have seen Man what he was, and what he lost: The next thing considerable is, How it could come to pass, that Man, having such a portion of Per­fection, both in his Faculties and Fruitions, could be drawn to commit this Sin upon terms of so great and visible disadvantage to himself and his Posterity: Ne­gatively we say it was not any inherent Corruption or Malignancy in the Nature of Man, or any defect of what was necessary to his perseverance in his Original righteousness; for he was very created good: Neither was it any Predetermination that did necessitate him to fall; for God, as he gave him a Power to obey his Will, and a Law wherein to exercise that power, did leave him in the hands of his own Will: As to suppose him necessitated to obey what God commanded could not stand with Mans Liberty, nor with the true Nature of Obedience, which doth necessarily suppose an intrin­secal power not to obey; so to suppose him constrain­ed to disobey; could neither consist with that Liberty, nor the Purity or Justice of God: God did foresee the fall of Man in the Counsel of his Prescience, but did not fore-appoint it in the Counsel of his Predetermi­nation: The rule of Nature is, That whatsoever is, while it is, is necessarily: The offence of Man, though it proceeded from his Liberty, yet when it was, it was necessarily: And because all things, before they are, are present with God as if they were, and in the same degree as if they were, therefore it was in the [Page 164] same degree of Fore-knowledge, as if it had been ne­cessary; and consequently the superstruction of all that Counsel of God concerning Man after his Fall, was not taken up pro re nata, but was as ancient and as firm, as Eternity it self: We find the Fall of Man at­tributed to these Causes arising from these three, 1. The Devil. 2. Man. 3. God.

1. In the Devil: a lapsed Angel, and in respect of the Excellency of his Knowledge and spiritual Being, had an advantage, and could out-act the Reason of Man, whose Soul acts organically; and therefore though Man were created in the highest Perfection in­cident to his Nature, yet he might be over-match'd with the power and subtilty of that Evil Angel. He fitted his Temptation to that which was most desirable, viz. Knowledge: and this Temptation took the great­er impression, because in the Command, as hath been observed, there was nothing but a pure Experiment of Man's Obedience, and no rational incongruity of the eating of this Fruit more than another: the strange­ness of the Command, and the severity of the Penal­ty made the suggested advantage, that might come by this, the more credible: had he gone about to tempt Man to Blasphemy, to murder his Wife, or any other Sin, (the breach whereof had been equally penal to this) the incongruity of such Acts to that natural Law, which was connatural to him, had made the Tempta­tion fruitless: but that envious Spirit did well know, that the Obligation of every Law was under the same Penalty; that this Law, concerning the forbidden Fruit, was most obnoxious to his Temptation; that the the desire of Knowledge was the most prevalent In­clination in Man; and so fits his Temptation exactly, viz. That this command could have no other End or Reason, than to fence Man from such an Advan­tage, as might make him yet more like his Maker, [Page 165] Ye shall be as gods, knowing Good and Evil. And the very same way he took with the Second Adam: his first Temptation was in such a thing, that a Man would wonder where the Fault should be; he was hungry, and in a Wilderness, without Bread; Na­ture could not subsist, and Bread could not be had there, unless it were made; yet our Saviour, being better acquainted with the drift of his Temptation, than was Eve, rejected this as a Temptation to a distrust of the Providence of his Father.

2. In Man.

1. The finitude of his Understanding: Though he was created perfect, yet he was created finite: It could not match the Sophistry of an Angel. Hence this sin of Adam, is called Beguiling and Deceiving: The Ser­pent beguiled me.

2. The Liberty of his Will, which, though he was created Innocent, had nevertheless a Power to offend:

3. The prevalence of his Sensual Appetite. But this came not in, till the field was almost lost: the Temptation won upon the Understanding and Will, before the subsidiary aid of the Sensual Appetite did or could come in: the Beauty of the Fruit, and its Goodness for Food, was evident to Man before; but it durst not assail the Command of God, till the Understanding was deluded with an expectation of Wisdom.

3. In God: There was nothing positive, but only put­ting of him wholly in his own Power. Doubtless he was not ignorant of the design of the Serpent, and could have as effectually supplanted his endeavour by his special Assistance, or by an Angel as effectually have guarded Man from that Tree, as he did that other Tree of Life afterwards from Man; but he had made Man perfect, he hath given him a Command [Page 166] under a severe Penalty, and hath given him Power to obey it; if he will believe his Creator, and trust in him, he is safe; if he will not, he may chuse, but is lost. See the Congruity and difference in the Tempta­tion of the first and second Adam: both tempted by the Devil, that in a Paradise, this in a Desart; that in his Abundance, tempted with Superfluity; this in Want, tempted with Necessity; both had absolute Freedom of Will, and both left to the strength of their own Power, for the Angels came not to mini­ster to Christ, till the Devil had left him: but the lat­ter Adam in his Temptation will not stir a grain from the Command, the scriptum est of God, and the Devil leaves him; the former lets go his strength, the Com­mand of his Creator, the Lock of his strength, and is taken and overcome.

And thus have we seen Man in his Glory, and in his Ruine: The former, he did owe to the free Boun­ty and Goodness of God; for how could that, which had not a Being, till it was given him, deserve such a Being? the latter, he owes only to himself; and how can he now expect a Reparation? He hath contracted a Guilt, which as his future Doing, or Suffering, can­not expiate; for this Suffering is the necessary Con­sequence, not the satisfaction of his Guilt; and this Suffering must therefore be as everlasting as his Being, because his Guilt is as everlasting as his Being: his Doings, were they perfect, were but his Duty, and therefore cannot expiate that Guilt, which was con­tracted by the breach of that Duty; but could it be available to expiate his Guilt, yet as his Disobedi­ence made him guilty, so it made him unable to per­form his Duty; his Intellectuals are deprived of that Light, which he hath abused, and therefore lost; his Will corrupted and embased, in a subjection to his Sensual Appetite; and this Disobedience, accompa­nied [Page 167] with many Aggravations, the least whereof might incense the very Goodness and Patience of his Creator, beyond all hopes of Mercy and Atonement; this Disobedience against God, to whom he owed the most exact Obedience; he added Ingratitude to his Disobedience; he disobeyed that God, from whom, but even now, he received his Being, and such a Being; he added Perverseness to his Ingratitude, it was against such a Command, which he might have kept, and needed not to have broken; he added Wantonness to his Perverseness; he disobeyed, when he had a stock of Blessedness, as ample as his being was capable of; he added Treason to his Wanton­ness, believing the Voice of a Creature, a Creature that but now had revolted from his God, in a vil­lainous imputation of God with Falsity and Envy: And how after all this, and infinitely more than this, can he expect any thing from his injured God, but what the severity of his Justice can inflict? if he meets with frowardness in the Earth, distemper in the Air, surprizals and inundations in the Water, re­bellion in the Creatures, a snare in his Table, trea­chery in his Friend, scorn and oppression from his Superiour, supplanting from his Equal, envy and mischief from his Inferiour, falsness and temptation from the Wife of his Bosom, rebellion from his Chil­dren, vanity and disappointment in his Purposes, Diseases, Distempers and infections in his Body, madness and blindness in his Understanding, perverse­ness in his Will, tumult and confusion in his Affe­ctions, guilt and preapprehensions of terrour in his Conscience, Death and dissolution of Body and Soul, and Judgment, Vengeance, Hell, and yet Eternity after all this: Then let Man know, that in all this, and that which is all this, and more than this, the [Page 168] Aversion of the Favour and Light of the Countenance of God, he eats but the Fruit of his own ways: and thou, O God, art just when thou thus judgest; and whatsoever is better than the worst of all this, to any of the Children of men, is meer Mercy, and more than their due.

But if now in the midst of Judgment, God re­members Mercy; and Mankind being now condem­ned, and concluded under sin, if the merciful God, that at first gave Being and Blessing, shall, after we had spent that Patrimony, and lost our selves, pro­vide for our Restitution; that, when we of Free-Men, had made our selves Slaves, and Vessels of Wrath, shall provide a Means for our Deliverance; This engageth us to a higher degree, both of Admi­ration and Duty, than even our first Creation did. This then is the next thing considerable, viz. The means and way of Man's Restitution.

CHAP. V. Of the Restitution of Man by Christ.

ALL Mankind lay, by the Fall, under Guilt, which is an Obligation to Punishment, both of loss of Happiness, and everlasting subjection both to tem­poral and eternal Curse: And this estate of Man and his Posterity, even to the end of the World, was present in the infallible Foresight of God from all Eter­nity: In that consideration he had a Kingdom, but over Rebels and Traitors; and had everlasting cause of the execution of his Justice and the Power of his Wrath, but nothing to deserve or draw out his Mercy among all the Sons of Men, who were all present, and stood up together in his Eternal Foresight. Thus Man had, as far forth as was in him, disappointed the End of God in his Creation, insomuch, that in the outward dispensation of God's Providence, it seemed that he repented that he had made Man on the Earth, Gen. 6.6. But though Man, as much as in him lay, had made himself an useless Creature, and interrupted the possibility of attaining an End answerable to his Being, yet God's Counsel was not disappointed: But the great Lord of his own free Goodness, did in his Eternal Counsel fore-appoint some of lost Men to Re­mission of their Sin, and eternal Happiness in Christ, by such Means as he had before ordained to be effe­ctual for that purpose. And this is the great Disco­very of the Scripture, and contains that great Business which Man hath to do in this World, because it is that which concerns his great and everlasting End, with­out [Page 170] which, his very Being is not only unprofitable, but miserable, and now comes to be consider'd.

This then is the sum of all, That Almighty God, out of his own Free-will and Goodness, did in his Eternal Counsel fore appoint some of lost Mankind to Remission of sin and guilt, and Reconciliation, and Eternal Happiness in Christ, by such Means as he had before ordained in the same Counsel to be effectual for that purpose. In this description we have these Particulars to be sifted, and we have done our Business.

1. What the Motive of this Purpose; God's meer good Will:

2. What the Object of it; some of Mankind:

3. What the End of this Counsel; Remission of sin, and Restoration to Happiness:

4. What the Hand or immediate Instrument of effecting it; Christ:

5. What those subordinate Means of attaining it:

6. What the Consequents of it.

1. Touching the Motive; nothing at all meritorious in Man, but only the good will of God, thus to select some out of the lost multitude of Men to be Vessels of Mercy▪ And this is that which is so often incul­cated in the Book of God, in all the successions of it, Exod. 33.19. I will be gracious to whom I will be gra­cious, and will shew mercy to whom I will shew mercy. So Deut. 9.5. Moses's sad Admonition to the Jews, who in all things were typical: Ʋnderstand therefore, that the Lord thy God giveth thee not this good land for thy righte­ousness, for thou art a stiff-necked people. Ezek. 16.6. When I passed by thee, and saw thee polluted in thy own blood, I said unto thee, when thou wast in thy blood, Live? yea, I said unto thee, when thou wast in thy blood, Live. Isaiah 43.25. I, even I am he that blotteth out thy trans­gressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins. Luke 10.21. And hast revealed them to babes: even so [Page 171] Father, for so it seemed good in thy sight. Ephes. 2.3. When we were by nature children of wrath, even as others: But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love, wherewith he hath loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickned us together with Christ: by grace are ye saved. 2 Tim. 1.10. Who hath saved us, and called us with an holy calling, not according to our works, but according to his own purpose and grace; which was given us in Christ be­fore the world began, but now made manifest by the appear­ing of Christ. 1 John 4.10. Here is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us. Ibid. 19. We love him, be­cause he loved us first. Rom. 5.8. God commendeth his love towards us in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us. And indeed, it is impossible it should be otherwise: for the Scripture hath concluded all under sin, Galat. 3.22. And we have shewed before an utter impossibility in Man to extricate himself. The fore-appointing therefore of any to Eternal Life, could not be from any Cause in the Creature, meritoriously mo­ving God to this Mercy.

The Freedom and Liberality of this Purpose of God.

1. In respect of the Elect: to take away all matter of boasting, Ephes. 2.8. To keep them humble, and to keep them thankful, that God may be all in all. It pleaseth the great God to order the Execution of his Counsels, touching Man, that they are brought about, as with a powerful and irrisistible Hand; so they are brought about by such means, as is naturally suitable to the nature of Man; Rationally and Freely, Psal. 110. Thy people shall be willing in the day of thy Power. Now there cannot be a more engaging Argument to Humility and Thankfulness, than the consideration of this Free Goodness of God, that when I had thrown away my Happiness, lay in the common lump of condemned Men, God should freely single me out among thousands that he passed by, and make me a [Page 172] Vessel of Mercy. And this doth most sweetly and effectually win upon the Heart: So that the very consideration of this Counsel of God, is a means to effect its Execution, in putting the Heart into such a frame, as is fit to receive the impressions of God's Grace.

2. In respect of those that are omitted: The free­dom of the Choice, doth not in the least degree re­flect upon the Justice of God: He had no engagement to chuse any, but might most justly have let all lie under that sin and misery, into which we had cast our selves. If God be pleased to chuse any, it is the meer act of his Grace: if he leaves any, he leaves them but in that condition, not in which he made them, but in which they made themselves. The act of his Bounty to the Elect, is without any Injury to those he leaves: for neither could challenge any thing but Misery as their Right.

2. The Object of this Choice:

1. Some are chosen from all Eternity: The Elect, according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, 1 Pet. 1.2. The foundation of God standeth sure, having this Seal, The Lord knoweth who are his, 2 Tim. 2.19. These are those, for whom a Kingdom was prepared from the Foundation of the World, Matth 25.34. These are they, which by an eternal Contract between God the Father and his Son, were given unto Christ: I pray for them, which thou hast given me, for they are thine, John 17.9, 24.

2. But some, and not all: Many there are, that are not so much as called; and of those that are called, yet few are chosen, Matth. 22.14. And this preteri­tion of God putteth them not in any worse Condition than it finds them. And indeed, this Counsel of God is not so much as the Potter's making some Vessels to honour, some to dishonour: he made all Ves­sels [Page 173] of honour, and Men made themselves all Vessels of dishonour: God in his mercy to restore some to become again Vessels of honour: and this is without any injury to those that are omitted; because they are continued to be but what they made themselves, and what they most freely desire still to be: Thy destruction is from thy self, O Jerusalem.

3. To what this Election or Choice is, or what is the End of this Counsel of God: There is a twofold End in the Counsel of God.

1. The End of Intention; subordinate, the good of his Creature; adequate, the good pleasure of his own Will, or his own Glory; as to shew his wrath, and make his power known towards the Vessels of wrath fitted for destruction, so to make known the riches of his Glory in the Vessels of Mercy, which he had before prepared unto Glory, Rom. 9.23.

2. The End in Execution, or rather the subject matter of this Counsel of God: it is the whole Series, and all the Conjunctures of all things conducing there­unto; wherein the Counsel of God doth not per saltum step from the Fall to Glory, but doth take in all those intermediate passages, which he hath by the same Counsel, appointed to be the Means of effecting it. 1. The great Mystery of the Incarnation, which is the Cardo negotii, 1 Pet. 1.20. Who was fore-ordained before the foundation of the world, but was manifested in these last times.

2. Effectual calling, by the Word and Spirit of God, Rom. 8.28. Who are called according to his purpose.

3. The effectual Assistance of the Spirit of God, without which, it were impossible these dry Bones should live, Jer. 31.33. I will put my Law into their mind, and write them in their hearts.

3. Holiness and Sanctification, John. 15.16. I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should bring forth fruit, [Page 174] Ephes. 14. Chosen to be holy, Epes. 2.10. Created in Christ unto good works, which God hath before ordained, that we should walk in them, Rom. 8.29, 30. Conformity unto Christ, and all linked together: Glory to Justification; Justification to Calling; Calling to Election.

4. In whom, or by whom, he hath elected us: Christ. In this Consists the greatest Mystery that ever was, and of most concernment to Mankind. And because it is impossible to attain to the knowledge of it, but by Re­velation from God himself, we must in this keep pre­cisely to the Word of God, where alone this Mystery is by God ordinarily discovered: which is briefly thus much.

Almighty God in the Creation of Man, did prima­rily intend the Glory of his own Goodness, and the Happiness of his Creature; and to that End, furnished him with such Faculties and Rules, as might conduct him to that Happiness.

Man, being seduced, abused his Liberty; and by his Disobedience violated that Rule, and consequently in himself lost the acquisition of that Happiness, to which he was created.

Yet this could not disappoint the Purpose of God, who, with an eternal and indivisible act, did foresee all Mankind in this miserable and lost Condition, and appoint a way for his Recovery.

The way of Man's Recovery was by the Eternal Purpose, Consultation, or Contract, as I may call it, be­tween the Father, Son, and Eternal Spirit, resolved to be, that the Son of God should assume the Nature of Man into one Person, by an ineffable Generation, and that he should Satisfie for the Guilt of Man's Sin by his Death.

And because that the bare Satisfaction for Sin, could only exempt Man from the deserved Punishment of his Sin, but could not restore him to that Happiness, [Page 175] which he lost, by the same Eternal Covenant, the Righteousness and Obedience of Christ, was to be ac­cepted by God, as the Righteousness of Man; that as in his Sufferings he did bear the Sin of Man, to make Satisfaction for the Curse deserved, so by his Obedi­ence imputed unto Man, Man might acquire that Hap­piness that he lost.

To the end, that this Satisfaction and Righteousness might be effectually applied for the Purposes above-mentioned, Christ must, after this Righteousness ful­filled, and this Satisfaction made by his Death, rise from Death, ascend into Heaven, and so continue as well the Mediator of Intercession, as he was before of Satisfaction. Though this Righteousness, and Satisfa­ction, were sufficient for the Sins of all Mankind, and accordingly freely propounded, yet it was effectual only for such, as should according to those immediate Means, that God had fore-appointed to be useful for that Pur­pose, sue forth the benefit of it.

This is the sum of that great work of Man's Re­demption, which the Angels desire to look into; 1 Pet. 1.12. and is discovered to Principalities and Powers by the Church, Ephes. 3.10. and therefore called, The manifold Wisdom of God; The Mystery of Christ, Ephes. 3.4. Ephes. 6.19. The Mystery hid in God from the beginning of the world, Ephes. 3.9. The Mystery of God, and of the Father, and of Christ, Colos. 2.2. Colos. 1.27. The Mystery hid from ages and generations, but now made manifest to his Saints, Colos. 1.26. The Wisdom of God in a Mystery; The Mystery of his Will, 1 Cor. 2.7. The Re­velation of the Mystery kept secret since the world began, Rom. 16.25. The great Mystery of Godliness, God manifested in the Flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of Angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into Glory, 1 Tim. 3.16. The Mystery of Faith, 1 Tim. 3.9.

CHAP. VI. Predictions and Types of Christ.

YET this great Mystery of Christ was not kept so secret, but that, as the fruit of his Mediation, preceeded his coming in the Flesh, as shall be after shewn; so some glimpses of this Truth were disco­ver'd to former Generations, 1 Pet. 1.10. Of which Salvation the Prophets have enquired. Ephes. 2.20. Foun­dation of the Apostles and Prophets, Christ the Corner-stone. We shall therefore, for the settling of our Minds in this Cardinal Point, observe those Predictions concerning Christ in the Old Testament, and we shall find the Old and New Testament like the two Cherubims upon the Mercy Seat, their Faces looking one toward ano­ther, yet both of them toward the Mercy Seat; and, as we have before noted, the Old Testament unrid­dling the difficulties of Nature, so the New Testa­ment unriddling the Old: The Predictions of Christ in the Old Testament, were of two kinds: Prophetical, and Typical: The Prophetical Predictions, to follow them in order of time:

1. The first and great Publication of the Gospel, though dark and mysterious, was that by God him­self in Paradise, Gen. 3.15. I will put enmity between thee and the woman, between thy seed and her seed: it shall break thy head, and thou shalt bruise his heel. This was not only fulfilled in that mystical Woman, the Church, and here, see Revel. 12.17. but also in Christ: 1. He was the Seed of the Woman, and not of the Man, Luke 1.34. He sent his Son made of a Woman, Gal. 4.4. The Parallel observable: By the Woman [Page 177] Sin first came into the World and Salvation. 2. It shall break thy head: He came to destroy the works of the Devil, in his Temptation. In his Life, he bound the strong Man, Heb. 2.14. destroyed him that had the power of Death, that is the Devil, Matth. 12.29. In his Preaching, Luk. 10.17, 18. Satan like Light­ning falling down from Heaven; in his Death and Re­surrection, spoiling Principalities and Powers, and made a shew of them openly, and triumphing over them in it, Colos. 2. [...]5. In his Ascension, Ephes. 4.8. When he ascended up on high, he led Captivity captive; this Captive taker is the Devil, 2 Tim. 2.26. In his Members, Ephes. 6.12. We wrestle against Prin­cipalities and Powers, and it is our Business to stand against the Wiles of the Devil, Ibid. Vers. 11. To re­sist him stedfastly in the Faith, 1 Pet. 5.9. In the Di­spensation of his Government in his Church and Members, Revel. 12.7. Michael and his Angels fight with, and overcome the Dragon and his Angels: In his last and great Judgment, Revel. 20.10. The Devil cast into the Lake of Fire, 1 John 3.8. For this purpose was the Son of God manifested, that he might destroy the works of the Devil.

2. The next great Promise of Christ, was that which was made to Abraham, That in him, Gen. 12.3. Gen. 18.18. That is, in his Seed, Gen. 22.18. all Nations of the Earth should be blessed. This is applied to Christ, Galat. 3.16. And afterwards to Isaac, the Son of the Promise, was the same Promise renewed and entailed, Gen. 26.4. And so exact was the great God of Hea­ven in the fulfilling of his Promise, that, until by a civil Investiture, the right of Primogeniture was trans­lated from Esau to Jacob, first by the sale of his Birth-right, Gen. 25.33. and then by the Blessing, though surreptitiously by Jacob, yet providentially by God, Gen. 27.29. This Promise was not actually entailed [Page 178] upon Jacob's Line, Gen. 28.14. This Patria potestas Jacob likewise used upon his three eldest Sons, Reuben for his Incest, Simeon and Levi for their Murder, Gen. 49.34, 56. Whereby Judah became as it were, the first-born; and therefore Judah continually after, had the preheminence of Primogeniture, Viz. in the division of the Land, Numb. 34.19. Judah's Commissioner first named: so in the alotment of the Land of Canaan, Joshua 15.1. Judah had the preheminence in compleat­ing the Victory of Canaan by the Suffrage of God. Judges 1.2. And by the decision and Prophecy of dying Jacob, the Regality, a right of Primogenture, and the Messiah entailed to that stock, Gen. 49. The Scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a Law-giver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the People be: And hence he is called the Lion of the Tribe of Judah, Revel. [...].5. This Ga­thering of the People to him, was the Calling of the Gentiles to the knowledge of God in Christ: And this was the Star of Jacob, which Balaam, inspired against his will, prophesied of, Numb. 24.17. And this that great Prophet which God promised by Moses to raise up to stand between the Majesty and Glory of God, and the frailty of Humane Nature, Deut. 18.15. John 5.46. The Redeemer of Job, Job 19.25. From the time of Moses, the Prophecies of Christ are inter­rupted, and his time not specified; but in him God was pleased to evidence it, first in his Promise to him, 2 Sam. 7.16. Thy throne shall be established for ever: And this Covenant touching Christ, therefore called the sure Mercies of David, Isaiah 55.3. again, Isa 11.1, 10. In that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people: To it shall the Gentiles seek, and his rest shall be glorious. And this was a known Truth even among the unbelieving Jews, Matth. 22.42. The learned Doctors confessed, that Christ was to be [Page 179] the Son of David: This fulfilled in Christ, Acts 13.23. Of this man's seed hath God according to his promise raised unto Israel a Saviour, Jesus, Revel. 5.5. The Root of David. The Place of his Birth, Mich. 5.2. And thou Bethlehem, &c. out of thee shall he come forth unto me, that is to be ruler in Isra­el, whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting: this Bethlehem the City of David, 1 Sam. 17.22. notoriously confessed among the Jews, to be the place of the Messias's Birth, Matth. 2.5. The Manner of his Birth, A vir­gin shall bear a son, and shall call his name Immanuel, Isa. 7.14. fulfilled, Matth. 1.25. And as in his Name the union of the Divine and Humane Nature is disco­vered, so more plainly, Isa. 9.6. His name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, the mighty God, the Everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace; of the increase of his Govern­ment and Peace there shall be no end: Peace proclaimed at his Birth, Luke 2.14. On earth peace, good will towards men: his Business Peace, 2 Cor. 5.1. God in Christ, reconciling the World to himself: Ephes. 2.14. Christ our Peace: his Gospel the Gospel of Peace: Rom. 10.15. Ephes. 6.15. Peace his Legacy: John 14.27. Peace his Command, Matth. 5.9. Blessed are the Peace-makers. Rom. 12.18. Live peaceably with all men. Luke 10.5, 6. Into whatsoever house ye enter, first say, Peace be to this house; And if the son of Peace be there, your peace shall rest upon it: And though our Saviour professeth, Matth. 10.34. I came not to send peace, but a sword; it is ex accidente, or eventu, by the malignity of our own Nature, and the contestation of the Devil to keep his Possession against Christ the right owner, and Lord of Man: His Doctrine spiritual and powerful, Isaiah 11.3, 4. He shall not judge after the sight of his eyes, nor re­prove after the hearing of his ears: he shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth; and with the breath of his lips shall he stay the wicked: The teaching of Christ in the Flesh as one having Authority, and not as the Scribes, [Page 180] Matth. 7.29. The breath or spirit of his mouth a consuming breath, 2 Thes. 2.8. and hence Rev. 1.16. Out of his mouth went a sharp two-edged sword: His Sufferings, Satisfaction, Resurrection, Intercession and Reign in his Church, that Evangelical Chapter, Isaiah 53. A despised man; rejected when Barabbas and he in competition for Life: We hid our faces from him; forsaken and denied by his own Disciples: Ac­quainted with grief; we often find him in tears, never in mirth: He hath born our griefs and carried our sorrows; in his Passion, when it eclipsed the Light of his Fa­thers Countenance from him; in his Compassion, a merciful high Priest, touched with our Infirmities, Heb. 2. Wounded by the Souldiers, by the Nails for for our Transgressions: By his stripes, when whipt by the Souldiers, are we healed. Yet this Lamb dumb be­fore his shearers, when Pilate impiously interrogated him: He made his grave with the wicked, being crucified between Thieves: and with the rich, in the Garden of a rich and honourable Joseph: yet, though his Soul was made an offering for sin, he survived his own death, saw his seed, prolonged his days, and the pleasure of the Almighty prospered in his hands: and the two and twen­tieth Psalm penned, as if the Passion of our Saviour had been then acted: His Cry, Verse 1. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? The scorns of the beholders; Verse 7. All they that see me, laugh me to scorn, Matth. 27. Ver. 39. They that passed by, reviled him, wagging their heads: The very Language of the reviling Scribes, Verse 8. fulfilled, Matth. 27.43. He trusted in God, that he would deliver him, &c. The manner of his death, Verse the 16. They pierced my hands, and my feet: The sharing of his Garments, Verse 18. They parted my garments among them: Again, in several other Prophe­cies, the several Occurrences of his Life and Death, gathered up by other Prophets: He never appeared [Page 181] more regally and triumphantly, than in his Voyage to Jerusalem, Matth. 21.5. and that coming of his not with­out a Prophecy, Zach. 9.9 Behold, thy King cometh un­to thee meek, and sitting upon an ass: The price of Judas's treason, and the imployment, Zach. 11.13. They weighed for my price thirty pieces of silver: The Vinegar that he drank upon the Cross, Psal. 69.21. And in my thirst they gave me Vinegar to drink: The time of his Birth and Death, Dan. 9.25, 26. From the going forth of the Command to restore and to build Jerusalem, unto the Messiah the Prince, shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks, the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times. And after threescore and two weeks shall the Messiah be cut off, but not for himself; and the people of the Prince that shall come, shall destroy the city and san­ctuary; the desolation of Jerusalem shortly following the death of our Redeemer: The manner of the Cal­culation hath been diversly conjectured, yet all con­cur to a very near projection of times: And lastly, that undeniable evident Prophecy most clearly fulfilled through millions of difficulties to the eminent know­ledge of God by Christ; a matter, that were there nothing else, were sufficient to convince all gainsay­ing. Isa. 11.20. To it shall the Gentiles seek. Isa. 42.1. Behold my servant, &c. he shall bring forth Judgment to the Gentiles, and Verse 6, I will give thee for a covenant of the People, for a light of the Gentiles. Isa. 49.6. I will give thee for a light to the Gentiles, that thou mayest be my salvation unto the end of the earth. Psal. 72.8. His dominion shall be from sea to sea, and from the river unto the ends of the earth: And this began to be fulfilled in the Homage of the wise Men that came from the East, Matth. 2.1. In the diversity of Tongues, Acts 2.4. In Peter's Vision, Acts 10.15. In Paul and Barnabas turning to the Gentiles, Acts 13.46. And if a Man do but consider the Antiquity, and Particularity, and [Page 182] Positiveness of these Prophecies; the improbabilities of effecting it, in respect of the Persons, who were to be converted, tenacious to their Idolatry; Have a nation changed their Gods? the improbability in respect of the Means, a company of poor, unlearned, perse­cuted Apostles; in respect of the Religion whereunto to be called, to believe in a crucified Saviour, whom they never saw; a Religion persecuted and condem­ned by the great Masters of Religion, Scribes and Pharisees, a Religion promising nothing within the view of Reason, or use of Sense; a Religion that takes Men off from all that, wherein Men naturally repose their Hopes and Delights; a Religion opposed by the chiefest Wits in the World, the Philosophers and wise Men; a Religion studied to be supprest by the greatest Power, Policies, and Cruelties, that the World could afford, and yet for all this, to master all these Difficulties, and bring into subjection the great­est part of the World for these sixteen hundred Years, though I confess, not without mixtures of great Cor­ruptions, must wring from any reasonable Man, an acknowledgment both of the great Power and Provi­dence of God in the Government of the World, and also of the Truth of Christ the Messiah.

2. Touching the Typical Predictions of Christ, Gen. 2.9. The Tree of Life in the midst of the Garden, which by the Divine Dispensation had that efficacy given to it, that it should seem by Gen. 3.22. if lapsed Man had eat thereof, he had recovered his lost perpetuity. This was nothing else but Christ, at least typically; the Wisdom of God, that the wisest of Men called the Tree of Life, Prov. 3.18. This that Tree of Life in the midst of the Paradise of God, Revel. 2.7. whose Leaves were for the healing of the Nations, Revel. 22.2.

[Page 183] Melchizedeck the Priest of the most high God, Gen. 14.18. The Type of Christ's Eternal Priesthood, Psal. 110.4. Thou art a priest for ever after the order of Melchizedeck: And of his peaceable Kingdom, King of Salem, without beginning of days, or end of life, Heb. 7.3.

The whole State of the Jews, even from Abraham, was in effect Typical: Abraham the Father of the Jews according to the Flesh, the Father of the Faithful, as believing the Promise, Gal. 3 7. Rom. 9.7. Sarah and Agar typical of the Church and the World, the Flesh and the Spirit, the Covenant of the Law and Gospel, Gal. 3.24. Circumcision typical of that of the Heart, Rom. 2.29. Their state in Egypt Typical: The Passover, a most effectual Type of Christ, 1 Cor. 5.7. Christ the true Passover: and therefore the Sacrifice of Christ and of the Passover went together, Matth. 26. Eaten whole, Exod. 12. Not a bone of him to be broken; eaten with bitter Herbs, typifying Repen­tance; the Blood sprinkled, secures from the wrath of God; with Hyssop, a cleansing Herb, Psal. 51. Purge me with hyssop; a Feast as well as a Sacrifice, John 6.55. The Manna a Type of Christ, who was that Bread of God that came down from Heaven, John 6.33. The hidden Manna, Revel. 2.17. The Cloud and Red Sea, a Type of Baptism into Christ, 1 Cor. 10.1. The Jews in Egypt, like the state of the unconverted World: hence the World called Spiritual Egypt: In their Passage out, they are entertained with a Sacramental Initiation; they are militant in the Wil­derness of the World, triumphant in Canaan, the rest: the water out of the Rock, a Type of Christ, 1 Cor. 10.4. That Rock was Christ.

But principally the Levitical Law was a shadow of the good things to come in Christ, Heb. 8.5. Who was the End of the Law. And as the Judicial Law [Page 184] among the Jews, did not only contain Precepts in them­selves naturally good, but also Typical and Sacramen­tal Observations of that inward Sanctification and frame of Mind, that God required; so the Levitical Law did not only contain Precepts of that internal ha­bitude of Love, Fear, and Obedience unto God, ad­mirably delivered through the whole Book of Deute­ronomy, but also divers Types and Figures, which had a double use: 1. Of evidencing the full Obedience to those Positive Commands of God, because com­manded by him: 2. Figures of Christ to come; and of that frame and constitution of Men and things in relati­on to him, as we may observe in divers Particulars.

1. The Covenant between God and Israel, the Stipu­lation on God's part, Exod. 19.5. If ye will obey my voice, and keep my Covenant, ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people, and ye shall be unto me a Kingdom of Priests, and an Holy Nation. Exod. 34.10. Behold I make a Covenant: Before all thy people I will do marvels, &c. The Stipulation on the Peoples part, Exod. All that the Lord hath spoken, we will do. This is that Covenant which the Lord made with the People in Horeb, Deut. 5.2. And the tenor of this Covenant re­newed and explained, viz. Blessing to Obedience, and Curses to Disobedience, Deut. 29.10, &c. Ye stand this day before the Lord your God, that thou shouldest enter into Co­venant with [...]he Lord thy God, and into his oath, &c. Accord­ingly in Christ, a new Covenant made, Jer. 31.33. Heb. 8.10. A New Covenant, I will put my Laws into their hearts, I will be to them a God, and they shall be to me a People.

2. As that Covenant was mutual, consisted in somewhat promised by God, somewhat undertaken by the People, Obedience to the Law that God gave them; so the Covenant here is reciprocal. In the Gospel of God, there is a double Covenant: 1. A Co­venant between God the Father and God the Son; [Page 185] that the Son should take upon him Flesh, and satisfie for the sins of the Elect, Psal. 40.6. Heb. 10.9. A body hast thou prepared me: lo, I come to do thy will, O God; on God's part a Covenant, that those which should be so redeemed, should be given over to Christ, and united unto him in the nearest relation that is possible, John 17. They, whom thou hast given me, Verse 21. That they may be one in us. But of this more infra. 2. A Co­venant between God the Father in Christ with Man; and this is likewise reciprocal: On God's part to give Remission of Sins, and Eternal Life in Christ to as many as lay hold of this Covenant, John 6.40. This is the will of him that sent me, that every one that believeth on me, should have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day. Ibid. 47. He that believeth on me, hath everlasting life, John 7.37. John 12.44. John 3.36. Rom. 3.28. Heb. 8.10. And because he must make him a People, that may entertain the Covenant, before he can have a reciprocal from them, God gives a heart to believe to those that are his, that so they may enter into Covenant with God, John 6.29. This is the work of God, that ye believe. Verse 37. All that the Father giveth me, shall come unto me. Verse 65. No man can come unto me, except it be given of my Father, Ephes. 2.8. This is the putting of the Law in their Hearts, Heb. 8.10. And this part of God's Covenant is made rather for us, than with us, even with and in Christ, in whom all the Promises of God are Yea, and Amen, 2 Cor. 1.20. For these Promises are Eternal Promises, an Eter­nal Covenant given to Christ for the Elect; even be­fore they had a Being, or could possibly receive them: On the part of the People of Christ, there is likewise a Covenant too, he hath given us Commandments of Obedience, John 13.1 [...]. Love one to another. Ibid. Verse 34. If ye love me, keep my Commandments, John Love to Christ, Perseverance, John 15.9, 10. [Page 186] Bringing forth Fruit, Ibid. 16. Doing Righteousness, 1 John 2.29. Purifying our selves, 1 John 3.3, 7.9.10. Crucifying Affections and Lusts, Galat. 5.24. Zea­lous of Good Works, Tit. Thus God out of his free Love, appoints us to Eternal Life in Christ, freely gives Christ to be the purchace of it, freely promiseth Life for us in him through Faith, freely gives us Faith to come to him, which when it is wrought, our Covenant again with God, is but to return a fruit of his own Grace. True Faith in Christ, cannot be without a sense of this Love of God, nor that without a return of Love to him again, nor that without a Care to walk according to his Will, for if ye love me, ye will keep my Commandments: And yet he is pleased to accept and reward the work of his own free Grace, as the return of us poor and weak Men.

3. This Covenant was ordained in the hands of a Mediator, Gal. 3.19. Moses alone came near the Lord, and told the People all the words of the Lord, and the People answered with one Voice, All the words which the Lord hath said, will we do, Exod. 24.3. The Second Covenant ordained likewise in the hands of a Mediator, even Christ, Heb. 12.24. Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant.

4. The first Covenant Sealed with Blood, Exod. 24.8. Moses took the blood, and sprinkled on the people, and said, Behold the blood of the Covenant: thus likewise Christ sealed the second Covenant with his Blood, Heb. 9.14. And therefore called the Blood of the Covenant, Heb. 10.29. The Blood of the everlasting Covenant, Heb. 13.20. And the sprinkling of the Blood of Jesus Christ. 1 Pet. 1.2. and the Blood of sprinking. God in his Wisdom took a special care; and set a special value upon the Blood even of Beasts, both in the Levitical, and in the Law given to Noah, because the Seal of [Page 187] Life, and therefore prohibited the use of it in any thing below his own Service, Gen. 9.4. Levit. 17.14. Yet in his Service injoyned to the Jews, all their Con­secrations, of Covenant, People, Priests, Altars, Sanctuary, Vessels, at once to prefigure the Sacrifice of Christ, and the deep dye of the guilt of Sin, Heb. 9.22. Without shedding of Blood is no Remission. Heb. 13.20. The Blood of the Everlasting Covenant.

5. In the Holy Vessels: The Ark, a special sign of God's Presence, therefore called the Glory of Israel, 1 Sam. 4.22. This called the Ark of the Covenant, or the Ark of the Testimony, Jos. 2.14. Wherein was placed the Testimony, viz. The two Tables. Exod. 25.16. The Pot of Manna, and Aaron's Rod; these being for Testimonials to their Posterity of the Covenant, Power, and Goodness of God. As in this Ark the Covenant of God was placed, so Christ was the Ark of the second Covenant, in whom it was made and conserved, the receptacle of the fulness of the Mer­cies of God, Colos. 1.19. For it pleased the Father that in him should all Fulness dwell. Colos. 2.3. In whom are hid all the Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge.

Over this Ark was placed the Mercy Seat, the only place from which God appointed to meet with Moses, and from thence to discover his Counsels to him, Gen. 25.17, 22. The only Seat of God's Mercy to Mankind, is to be found in Christ: And to this Fa­brick of the Mercy Seat with Cherubims looking in­to it, is that expression of Peter touching the Mystery of Christ, 1 Pet. 1.22. Which things the Angels desire to look into. And all this within the Veil: the great Covenant for the Redemption of Man, made from Eternity, was within the Veil, before Christ appeared in the Flesh.

These were placed within the Ve [...]l, in the most holy Place.

[Page 188]There were three Rooms in the Tabernacle: 1. The most Holy Place, wherein the Ark stood, and the Mercy Seat over it, divided by the Veil from the rest of the Tabernacle, Exod. 26.33. Wherein the High Priest entered but once a year at the time of the so­lemn Atonement, Exod. 30.10. Levit. 16.2.34. Heb. 9.7. The next were the Sanctuary, wherein were the Golden Altar of Incense placed before the Veil, Exod. 30.6. 40.26. The Golden Table, whereupon was set the Shew Bread, placed on the North side of the Sanctuary, Ibid. Verse 22. And the Golden Candlestick, placed on the South side of the Sanctuary. Ibid. Verse 24. Then there was the Court of the Tabernacle, where the Altar for Burnt-Offerings was placed. And by the door of the Tabernacle, is intended without the door of the Tabernacle, which the rather appears, be­cause the Laver of Brass was put between the Altar and the door of the Congregation. And all these are likewise shadows of Christ.

And because we find the Veil to be expresly called the humane nature of Christ, Heb. 10.20. And there­fore at the death of Christ the Veil rent, Matth. 27.51. We may justly conceive the Vessels, that were contain­ed in the Sanctuary, to represent Christ in the Business of his Mediatorship, which principally is applicable to him as he was Man:

1. The Altar of Incense made of pure Gold, upon which was to be offered a perpetual Incense before the Lord throughout their Generations, Exod. 3.8. And this was placed before the Veil by the Ark and the Mercy Seat, and a peculiar Incense to be used in it, that no Man might make the like, Exod. 30.38. This doth clearly typifie the continual Intercession of Christ, who ceaseth not to make Intercession for us, Heb. 7.25. And no other Mediation but his must be used, he is the only Name. This imports that Priestly Office of Christ.

[Page 189]2. The Table of Shew-Bread made also of pure Gold, and a Crown of Gold round about, Exod. 25.25. And Shew-bread set upon the Table before God always, importing as well that Regal Office of Christ in his Church, as that Fulness of all spiritual Blessings which is in him: and therefore he doth not unusually stile himself the Bread of Life, and the Bread that came down from Heaven, John 6.48. The magazine and store of all Provisions for the Necessities and Wants of all that believe in him, Colos. 1.19. For it pleased the Father, that in him should all fulness dwell.

3. The Golden Candlestick having seven Branches, whereon were seven Lamps, which were to give Light in the Sanctuary, Exod 25.37. This doth most clear­ly typifie that Prophetick Office of Christ, who was the Light of Men, John 1.4. John 8.12. And these were the three great Utensils of the Sanctuary, which questionless were significative of more than to be b [...]re Ornaments, otherwise there had not lain so special a charge upon Moses, Exod. 25.40. to follow precisely his Pattern: and the rather we may collect these signi­fications of them, in respect of the place where they were set, viz. not in the Holiest of all, the Type of Heaven; but in the Sanctuary, the Type of the Church, these Offices principally relating to the Church. 2 Cor. 4 6. The light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ.

To this we may add the Holy Oyl, which was to sanctifie all the Vessels, Priests, and Tabernacle, Exod. 30.22, &c. This signifying that Unction of the Spirit of God, which, as in a special measure it was poured out upon Christ, who was anointed with the Oyl of gladness above his Fellows, Heb. 1.9. so the same anointing from above, is that which sanctifies both the Services and Persons of his Church. And hence it is called pouring out his Spirit, Acts 2.18. Shed­ding [Page 190] on us his Spirit, Tit 3.6. And the Spirit of Un­ction, 1 John 2.20. He which anointed us is God, 2 [...] Cor. 1.21. 1 John 2.27. The anointing that teacheth us all things, 1 John 3.20. The Unction from the Holy One.

These were the Vessels within the Sanctuary: the special Vessels without were the Altar of Burnt-Offerings, and the Laver placed between the Tent and the Altar, Exod. 40.29, 30.

The Altar of Burnt-Offerings, a Type of Christ, Heb. 13.10. The Alar of his Divine Nature, that sancti­fied the Offering, &c. Whatsoever toucheth it shall be holy, Exod. 29.37. This Altar placed without the Tabernacle in the Court of the Tabernacle, where all the People came, typifying that universal Exhibition of this Sacrifice to all, and that the initiation of every Man into the favour and presence of God, was to be through this Altar. God exhibited himself to the Priest and Moses over the Mercy Seat, which was at the door of the most Holy; But to all the People the place of the manifestation of his presence, was at the door of the Tabernacle over this Altar, Exod. 29.42, 43. And there will I meet with the children of Israel: And the suffering of Christ without the Gate, was not without some Allusion to the placing of this Altar without the Tabernacle, Vide Heb. 13.12. And as the situation of the Altar, so the Sacrifice upon this Altar, not without a Mystery; for besides those many Sacrifices, which were diversified according to the se­veral natures of the Occasion, here was one Sacrifice appropriate to this Altar, the continual Burnt-Offering, a Lamb of the first year in the Morning, a Lamb of the first year at Even, Exod. 29.38. Numb. 28.3. And the Spirit of Truth takes up this description of Christ more frequently than any, John 1.29. Behold the Lamb of God, that taketh away the sins of the world, 1 Pet. 1.19. [Page 191] Redeemed with the precious blood of Christ, as of a Lamb without blemish or spot, Revel. 5.6. The Lamb that was slain, &c. Revel. 13.8. The Lamb slain from the founda­tion of the world.

And between this Altar and the Sanctuary stood the Laver of Brass, not only typifying the Sacramental Initiation by Baptism; but that Purity and Cleansing, that is required of all those that partake of this Altar before they enter into the Sanctuary, John 3.5. Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God: As the Blood of Christ cleanseth from the Guilt of our Sin, so it cleanseth us from the Power of our Sin, before we are to expect an admissi­on into the Sanctuary: It was as well Water to cleanse, as Bloud to expiate.

6. The typifying of Christ in the Priesthood of Aaron and his Successors, High Priests: Divers of the Cere­monies, especially in the Consecration of them, were meerly relative to their natural pollutions▪ and the cleansing of them, Heb. 7 27. Offering Sacrifices first for their own Sins; such was the Sin-offering, Levit. 9.7. Levit. 8. [...]4. Others in reference to their service, and designation thereunto, and exercise thereof; as, their washing with Water, Levit. 8.6. Their anoint­ing with the holy Oyl. Ibid. Verse 12. The Ram of Consecration. Ibid. Verse 22. Their residence at the door of the Tabernacle, seven days. Ibid. Verse 33. And some parts of his Garments: But there were some things that in a special manner were typical of Christ.

1. The Breast-plate of Aaron, bearing the Names of the Children of Israel, called the Breast-plate of Judge­ment, Exod. 28.29. And Aaron shall bear the Names of the Children of Israel in the Breast-plate of Judgment when he goeth into the holy place, for a memorial before the Lord continually: importing not only the nearness of the Church, and redeemed of Christ unto him, but also [Page 192] his continual presenting of their Names, their Persons, in his Righteousness before his Father.

2. The Plate of Gold upon the Mitre, engraven with, Holiness to the Lord, Exod. 28.38. And it shall be upon Aaron's forehead, that Aaron may bear the iniquity of their holy things, that they may be accepted before the Lord. As our Persons are accepted by God in the Righteousness of Christ presented for them to his Father; so our Services are accepted in the strength of the same Me­diation, Christ presenting our Prayers and Services to his Father, discharged of those Sins and Defects, with which they are mingled as they come from us.

3. His Solemn Atonement, when he entred into the Holy of Holies, Levit. 16. Wherein we shall ob­serve,

1. A most special Reconsecration almost of all the things incident to that Service before it was perform­ed: the Priest was to make an Atonement for him­self by the Blood of the Bullock Verse 11. and for the Altar, Verse 18. which signifie that Purification of the Humane Nature of Christ from all Sin Origi­nal and Actual; from all Sin even in his Concepti­on, that so he might be a fit High Priest Heb. 7.26. For such a high priest became us, who is Holy, Harmless, Ʋndefiled, Separate from Sinners, and made higher than the Heavens. The difference was this, Aaron, notwith­standing his first Consecration to his Office, needed a new Atonement when he entred into the Holy of Holies, and exercised that high Type of Christ's Ascen­sion and Intercession: But Christ, being once Con­secrate, needed no new Consecration, Heb. 7.28. For the Law maketh men High Priests which have infirmities, but the Word of the Oath, which was since the Law, maketh the Son, who is Consecrated for evermore.

2. This was to be done but once in the year. Some services had frequent iterations, but those special Ser­vices, [Page 193] that were but once in the Year, were Types of those things that were to be done but once, though remembred yearly; such was the killing of the Passover: Christ by one Offering hath perfected them that are sanctified, Heb. 10.14.

3. This great Atonement not made but by Blood, Heb. 9.7. The high Priest entred not without Blood, Livit. 26. And this Atonement was to be made upon the Horns of the Altar, Levit. 16.18. viz. The Golden Altar of Incense Exod. 30.10. Hence Christ called the Blood of sprinkling, Hebr. 12.24. The Offering, that was to be used in this solemn Atone­ment, for so much as concerned the Sins of the People were two Goats, which were to be presented before the Lord, at the door of the Tabernacle, Levit. 16.7. And Lots to be cast, one for the Lord, the other for the Scape-Goat: the former was to be the Sin-offering for the People, and his Blood to be brought within the Veil; Verse 23. And the other was to bear the Iniquity of the Children of Is­rael, but to be sent into the Wilderness. Ibid. Vers. 21. Although in the Sacrifice of Christ his Body only died, and his Soul escaped, yet both were but one Sacrifice; he did bear our sins in both; his Soul was heavy unto death, as well as his Body crucified; and as God had prepared him a Body in order to this Sacrifice, Heb. 10.5. So he made his Soul an Offering for Sin, Isa. 53.10.

4. As after all this, the Priest entred into the most Holy, and presented this Blood of Reconciliation before the Mercy Seat, and no Man was to be in the Tabernacle when he goeth in, Levit. 16.17. So Christ, having trodden alone the Wine press of his Father's Wrath, Isaiah 63.3. Is entred into the Holy Place, not made with Hands, now to appear in the [Page 194] presence of God for us, Hebr. 9.24. And as the People did representatively, by their Mediatour Aaron, pass into the Holiest, so our High Priest hath consecrated for us Access into the Holiest by a new and living way, through the Veil of his Flesh, Hebr. 10.20. Who, as he is our Advocate with the Father, John 2.1. To bear our Names before him, as the High Priest did the Names of Israel; to present his own Blood before the Father of Mer­cy, as the High Priest did the Blood of the Sin-Offering before the Mercy Seat; to bear the Ini­quity of our holy things, as the High Priest did upon his Forehead: so likewise to present our Pray­ers to the Father, Ephes. 2.18. Through him we have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

CHAP. VII. Of the Efficacy of the Satisfaction of Christ, and the Congruity of it to right Reason.

THUS for the settling of our Minds in the Truth of Christ, we have considered of those clear Pro­phecies and Types of Christ in the Old Testament: We now come to consider some Particulars concerning this great work of our Redemption.

1. Wherein consists the Efficacy and Virtue of Christ's Mediation and Sacrifice.

2. How it was effected. Wherein we shall consi­der,

1. His Satisfaction.

2. The Application of this Satisfaction, in reference to the Father, his Intercession; in reference to us, his Word, and Spirit.

3. The Effects and Consequents of it.

1. The Efficacy of this Satisfaction consists in that free Acceptance by God of this Sacrifice of Christ, as a Satisfaction for the Sins of his Elect, and to be the price of the Inheritance thereby purchased for them, by an eternal Contract between the Father and the Son: for otherwise it were impossible of its own na­ture, that the Sacrifice of one could expiate for the sin of another. The tenor of this great Covenant between God and Christ was that the Son should take upon him Flesh, should fullfil the Law of our Crea­tion, should suffer death, and rise again, and that Al­mighty God would accept this as the satisfaction for the sins of the righteous, and as the price of Eternal Life for [Page 196] as many as should believe in him: This is effectually set forth by the Word of Truth it self, John 6.37, 38, 39, 40. All that the Father giveth me shall come unto me, and him that cometh to me, I will in no wise cast out; for I came down from heaven not to do my own Will, but the will of him that sent me; and this is the Father's will that hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day: And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have ever­lasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day: It is the Will of God, which is nothing but the Accepta­ton of God: 1 John 4.10. He sent his Son to be the pro­pitiation for our sins: his sending was his Acceptation. Isa. 53.10. When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin: there was the Acceptation of the Father: Again on the Son's part: Psal. 40.6, [...]. Burnt-offering and sin-offering hast thou not re [...]uired: then said I, Lo, I come. And the same Word of Truth that tells us, John 3.16. That God gave his only begotten Son, tells us again, John 10.17, 18. I lay d [...]wn my life that I may take it up again. And this susception of Christ and acceptation of God, though we represent it to our selves under several No­tions, yet it was one indivisible and eternal Counsel of the Divine Majesty: Acts 2.23. Him being delivered by the determinate counsel and fore knowledge of God: And this Purpose and Counsel of his only the proceed of his eternal and free Love: So God loved the world. John 3.16. In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because he sent, &c. But could the Pardon of Man's Sin and his attaining of Happiness be had at no lower a rate? could not God have freely forgiven the one, and given the other without this great mixing of Heaven and Earth in this wonderful Mystery of the Sacrifice of the Son of God?

As the original Resolution of all the Works and [Page 197] Counsels of God must be into his own good pleasure, so especially of this: Ephes. 1.5. He hath predestina­ted us to the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his Will. Yet we do find some Congruity of Right Reason in this course of Man's Redemption.

1. To magnifie to all the World the Glory of his free Grace; Ephes. 1.6. and to take away all possibi­lity of boasting in the subject of this Redemption: Ephes. 2.8. By Grace are ye saved through Faith, and that not of your selves; it is the gift of God, not of works, lest any man should boast. 1 Cor. 1.29. That no flesh should glory in his presence. The Dependence that all Creatures, especially Man, have upon the Creator, both in their Being and Perfection, doth most justly and reasonably challenge from the reasonable Crea­ture, a free Retribution of Acknowledgment of his Dependence upon the Goodness of God; and it is an affection of the greatest Congruity that is imaginable: yet we see how soon Man forgot that duty, and would be independent upon his Lord. Now when Man had concluded all his Posterity under sin, then for God freely to give such a Price of Redemption, as it ma­gnifies the Freeness and Bounty of his Goodness, so it doth ingage lapsed Man to the everlasting Acknow­ledgment of the Free Grace of God in restoring him, that so God may be all in all.

2. To magnifie the Exquisiteness of his Justice: In that dreadful Proclamation of the Name of God, Exod. 34.6, 7. we find a strange mixture of his Mercy and Justice: Forgiving Iniquity, Transgression and Sin, and that will by no means clear the guilty: and both parts es­sential to his Name. Such a way then must be for Man's Restoration that may evidence his Mercy in pardoning, as well as his Justice in punishing Sin: Christ was made sin for us, who knew no sin, that we [Page 198] might be made the righteousness of God in him, 2 Cor. 5.21. And being made Sin for us, was likewise made a Curse for us, Galat. 3.13. Here we have him par­doning Iniquity, Transgression and sin of Men, and yet not sparing his own Son when he bore the imputed guilt of our sins.

3. To magnifie the glory of his Wisdom. The ad­mirable Fabrick of the World speaks abundantly the Wisdom of our Creator; but all this was inferiour and subservient unto this great Business: 1 Cor. 1.24. Christ the Power of God and the Wisdom of God: 1 Pet. 1.22. A Business for the inquiry and speculation of An­gels, Ephes. 3.10. The manifold Wisdom of God: the end of the Creation, Colos. 1.16. All things created by him and for him, Colos. 1.20. to reconcile all things to himself, whether they be things in Heaven, or things in Earth, Ephes. 1.10. That he might gather together in one all things in Christ. The sum of this Mystery we have, 1 Tim. 3.16. God manifested in the flesh justified in the Spirit, seen of Angels, preached to the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received into glory. In this great frame of Man's Redemption, we see the Counsel of God strangely executed, his ancient Pro­mises fulfilled, the Shadows and Types of the Law unveiled, the breach of the righteous Law of God pu­nished, the Righteousness thereof fulfilled, the Justice of God satisfied, his Mercy glorified, his Creature par­doned, justified, glorified; all those difficulties, intri­cacies, and confusions, which came into the world by the sin of Man▪ extricated, ordered, and salved; the even seeming Disappointments and Frustrations of the Love of God to Man, and the glory of God in him, improved to the higher manifestation both of his Love and Glory. This is the Lord's doing, and let it ever be marvellous in our Eyes.

[Page 199]4. The Congruity of it, even to that nature that is in Man. The great God could have over-ruled his Creature to his own Will by his own Power; but he rather chuseth to bring him up unto him by such means as are congruous to the nature of his Creature, and let in a supernatural Light and Life by natural means and instruments. The Son of God takes upon him Flesh, and in his Flesh reveals the way and means of Life: 1 John 1.1. That which was from the beginning, which we have heard; which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, &c. In this Flesh he evi­denceth his Love to Mankind, suffers, dies for them. As the Discovery of the Truth by him was most pro­portionable to our manner of Understanding, so was that Love which he shewed to us most winning upon our Wills: In this is the love of God made manifest, that when we were enemies Christ died for us: Greater love than this, sheweth no Man. Thus he winneth us with the cords of Love, and maketh us willing in the day of his Power, especially when this Light and Love is carried home to the Heart with the strength of his own powerful Spirit.

Man is a compounded Creature of Senses, Passions, and Spirit; and though his Excellence consist in the latter, and to the higher Perfection he attains, the more spiritual he is; yet as he owes even the service of his more inferiour Faculties to his Lord, so they were not uselesly placed in him, even in reference to his supreme End: there is the Excess, usually Man is in­ordinate in the former, especially his Senses, and that is much evidenced by the proneness of Man to Idolatry and sensual Worship, Exod. 32.1. Make us gods that may go before us: this Malady the Wise God, that knows our frame, doth not only cure with severe Comminations and Prohibitions, but diverts it: he gave the Jews outward Sacrifices and Observations; he hath given [Page 200] us Christians his Image in his Son, to divert us from Idolatry; his Love and Compassion revealed even in our own flesh, to take up our Affections; and yet by these leads us up to a higher pitch, John 6.63. Even by sensual Objects and Expressions he leads up to spiritual: It is the Spirit that quickens, the flesh profit­eth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life. And this is most evident in the whole Life of Christ; for though he still winds up his Audi­tors to the high and spiritual conceptions, yet he is con­tented to use those motives that work upon the Senses and Passions: Miracles, Tears, Parables, Importuni­ties, Signs, diversity of Tongues, Visions of Angels, sensual Convictions to Thomas, John 20.27. Reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands: and to all his Disciples, Luke 24.39. Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I my self. Thus, although the Power of God could have wrought his Work in his by an immediate hand, he rather chuseth such Means as may bear Congruity with the humane and reasonable Nature of his reasonable Creatures.

CHAP. VIII. Of the great Work of our Redemption, What it is; How effected; and for whom.

NOW we come to consider the great Work it self of our Redemption by Christ:

  • 1. What it is?
  • 2. How effected?
  • 3. For whom?
  • 4. How applyed?
  • 5. The Effects wrought by it.

1. For the first: Man, by his Sin incurred a Guilt which bound him over, 1. To a necessity of losing the Favour and Presence of God, which was to be at­tained and kept only by Obedience; 2. To a necessity of undergoing the wrath of God as the just reward of his Disobedience. That Redemption that we now consider, must supply both these.

1. There must be a deliverance from that Wrath, which was justly sentenced upon Man for his Disobe­dience: And because it is impossible that the Punish­ment could be removed, unless the Guilt were like­wise removed, some course must be taken to remove that Guilt: And because the Guilt of any one Offence doth everlastingly disable that person, that hath con­tracted it, to avoid or expiate it; and puts it wholly and everlastingly in the power of that Person that is offended, to be judge of his own Satisfaction; for if it were imaginable, that an offender could for the [Page 202] future as far out act his Duty, as in his Offence he came short of it, it is not conceptible to be satisfacto­ry without the acceptation of him that is offended: hence it is, that unless our offended Creator, to whom we owe our Obedience to the utmost extent of our Beings, accept a Satisfaction for our Guilt, it is not possible, nor imaginable, that the Guilt of any one Sin can receive any Expiation. It is true, he might have released it of his absolute Power without any Satisfaction, but that he would not do, as is before shewen; then that he accepted any Satisfaction it is a wonder of Mercy; but that he should propound it himself, and such a Satisfaction as Christ, and to ac­cept it, it is a Wonder of Wonders. And for this reason the foundation of our Redemption is ever at­tributed to the Love of God: 1 John 3.1. Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us. 1 John 4.9. In this was manifested the love of God towards us, because God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. 2 Cor. 5.19. God was in Christ re­conciling the world unto himself, not imputing their trespas­ses to them: The very foundation of Man's Redem­ption from his Guilt and Punishment by Christ, was the Love of God in sending, and accepting his Son's Satisfaction.

2. But if we had only a Remission of our Guilt, though that might have removed our Punishment, it had not cured our Loss: therefore to set Man right, there must not only be the removal of the Wrath of God, which made us miserable, but his Favour and Reconciliation, without which we could not be hap­py. And because, though our Debt were paid, yet we could never come to the Favour and Acceptance of God, unless his Image, the Rule which he planted in Man to attain Happiness, were again restored to Man: and because that is impossible for us to do, we [Page 203] by our Sin contracted Blindness as well as Guilt, and Weakness as well as Blindness: and therefore as we must up to our Creator for Acceptation of Satisfaction for our Guilt, so we must to him to provide our Righteousness. Though we had found Christ Sin for us, 2 Cor. 5.21. and Christ a Curse for us, Gal. 3.13. before we could be delivered from our Curse; so had we found that we had been still short of our Happi­ness, unless we had also found him as well our Righte­ousness as our Redemption, 1 Cor. 1.30. As well our Victory, 1 Cor. 15.57. as our Deliverer from the Wrath to come, 1 Thes. 1.10. As well our Life, Colos. 3.4. as our Deliverance from Death; as well our Purifier as our Redemption from Iniquity, Tit. 2.14. as well our Peace, Ephes. 2.14. as our Price; as well the Price of our purchased Inheritance, as the Price of our Ransom, 1 Cor. 6.20. As well our Translator into his own Kingdom as the Deliverer from the power of Darkness, Colos. 1.13. And this, as the former, we owe likewise in the original and foundation of it to the free Love and Acceptation of God, 1 Cor. 1.30. Christ of God is made Righteous­ness, and therefore called the Righteousness of God by Faith, Phil. 3.19. Without this free Love of God, as it is impossible to imagine a Mediator be­tween God and Man, so much more is it impossible to imagine how the Righteousness of that Mediator should be the Righteousness of a guilty sinful Man: Our Redemption and Salvation by Christ hath its ori­ginal and strength from the free Love and Acceptation of God.

2. How this Redemption and Salvation was imme­diately effected: which was thus: The Eternal Word took upon him the Nature of Man in the unity of one Person, and in our Nature did fulfil that Righteous­ness, which we were bound to fulfil, and did under­take [Page 204] take our Guilt, and underwent the Punishment due to that Guilt, which was accepted of God as the Satis­faction for the sins of the Elect, for the Remission of their sins; and his Righteousness accepted as the Righteousness of those, for whom he so satisfied; whereby he did not only abolish Death (the Curse due to our sins) but brought Life and Immortality to light, 2 Tim. 1.10. This Truth we shall set down in these several Positions.

1 That Christ the Mediator was perfect God, the Eternal begotten Son of God, one Eternal Essence with the Father: His Name, Isa. 9.6. The mighty God, the Everlasting Father: Matth. 1.23. Emma­nuel. Matth. 16.16. Thou art Christ the Son of the li­ving God, that great Confession of Peter asserted by Christ himself: John 1.14. The Word was God, and the Word was made Flesh: John 10.30. I and the Father are one: John 17.5. Glorifie me with thy own self, with that glory which I had with thee before the world was: John 14.9. [...]e that hath seen me hath seen the Father: 1 Tim. 3.16. God manifest in the flesh: 1 Tim. 6.15. King of kings, and Lord of lords: Heb. 1.3. The brightness of the Father's glory, and the express image of his person: Colos. 1. [...]5, 16. The image of the invisible God by whom all things were created and consist: Colos. 2.9. In him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily: Phil. 2.6. Being in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with God: Acts 20.28. Ye are redeemed with the Blood of God: John 8.59. Before Abraham was I am: And those speeches of our Saviour which seem to import an in­equality between the Father and the Son, are not to be understood in reference to this Nature of Christ; but in reference to his Office of Mediator, or to his Person in reference to the Humane Nature: John 14.28. Ye would rejoyce, because I say I go to my Father, for my Father is greater than I: For as the Divine Nature [Page 205] of Christ was never disjoyned from the Father, so it went not to him; consequently my Father is greater than I, must be spoken in reference to him under that Na­ture, which was, To go to the Father.

2. That Christ was perfect Man, consisting of a rea­sonable Soul: Matth. 26.38. My Soul is exceeding sor­rowful, even unto death: and of a humane Body, even after his Resurrection: Luke 24.39. A spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see me have: and this Humane Nature subject to natural Passions: he was sorrowful, hungry, sensible of pain; and Heb. 4.15. tempted in all things as we are, yet without sin: he was subject to the Infirmities of our Nature, not to the Distem­pers of our Nature. This Humane Nature he took of the Virgin Mary, and so was truly the Seed of Abra­ham: But this by a miraculous Procreation by the im­mediate Power of God, Matth. 1.20. and that with­out the contagion or guilt of any sin: As he did no sin, nor guile was found in his mouth, 1 Pet. 2.22. so he knew no sin, 2 Cor. 5.21. And if he had had any Guilt of his own, then he could not have been a fit Sacrifice or Priest for us, 1 Pet. 1.19. A Lamb without spot or blemish: Heb. 7.26. For such a high-priest became us, who is holy, harmless, undefiled, &c.

3. That both these Natures were united in the Person of Christ our Mediator, yet without any confusion of Natures, and the conjunction so strict, that in both Natures he was but one Mediator. And hence it is, that many of those things that were properly to be at­tributed to one Nature, and not to the other, are affirmed of the Person of Christ, under the Notion proper to the other Nature of Christ: (Acts 20.28.) Ye are redeemed with the blood of God: there the act of the Humane Nature is attributed to the Person of Christ in the Notion of the Divine Nature: Again, John 3.13. No man hath ascended into Heaven, but he that [Page 206] came down from Heaven, even the Son of man, which is in Heaven, yet that Nature of the Son of man was not then in Heaven: But so strict is this personal Union, that whatsoever is affirmed concerning one Nature, may be affirmed of the whole Person of the Media­tor; but yet so distinct are the Natures that nothing that is affirmed concerning one Nature can be affirmed of the other Nature: the eternal Son of God dyed for us, but the Deity of the Son of God dyed not: Herein we therefore conclude,

1. That both Natures were united into one Person.

2. That both Natures thus united made up but one Mediatour, and so both Natures united into one Office, as well as into one Person.

3. That notwithstanding the uniting of both Na­tures into one Person and Office, yet are there acts or things that properly belong to one Nature, which do not belong to the other: thus the Father is said to be greater than the Son, John 14.28. in reference to his humane Nature: Mark 13.32. But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no not the Angels which are in Heaven, nei­ther the Son, but the Father: For although the Natures were united in one Person, yet it is not imaginable that the fullness of the Divine Nature was communi­cated to the humane; for that were to make the hu­mane Nature of Christ infinite, and not so much assu­med unto as converted into the Divine Nature; and then it had been impossible he could have suffered, or have had any Eclipse of the light of his Fathers Counte­nance, as he did in his bitter cry upon the Cross; at which time without all question there was not nor could be any intermission of Communion between the Divine Nature of Christ and his Father: So in his suf­fering his humane Nature only suffered.

4. Although the sufferings and actions of his hu­mane Nature were not to be attributed to his Divine [Page 207] Nature, yet they are to be attributed to the whole Person of Christ; for the Union of both Natures in one Person, added that invaluable value even to the sufferings and actions properly attributable to his hu­mane Nature: the man Christ was the offering, but the God Christ was the Altar, that sanctified that of­fering; for had not the Divine Nature added that value to his Righteousness and Death, it had been impossi­ble that it could be meritorious; the Death of a most innocent Person may bring a Guilt upon them that in­flict it, not a merit for another unless, cloathed with a higher worth than Innocence.

4. That there was a Necessity that Christ should have both Natures, and both Natures thus united in one Person: This includes three Necessities.

1. The necessity of an Humane Nature. It is true, that God could of his absolute power have restored man without the intervention of any thing but his own Will: but as in all his works he holds such a course, as his Wisdom, Goodness, and Justice are conspicu­ous and legible, so especially in this excellent work of our Redemption there is an admirable order and con­gruity in all the passages of it.

The Children of Adam had a threefold Union in him: a Specifical Union, as being of the same speci­fical Nature with him; a Virtual Union, being all in­cluded in him; and a Representative Union in that great Covenant of Nature, which Adam made with his Creator: and so all partaked of the consequences of his Disobedience: Death went over all, 1 Cor. 15.4, 22. As in Adam all die, so in Christ shall all be made alive: There was therefore an Union of Natures be­tween the Redeemer and Redeemed, Heb. 2.16, 17. For verily he took not on him the Nature of Angels, but the Seed of Abraham: wherefore it beh [...]ved him to be in all things like unto his Brethren, &c. There is likewise a [Page 208] Virtual and Representative Union between the Re­deemer and Redeemed: and this could not have been without that Natural Union which was between them, though not merely by it, as shall appear hereafter; hence Christ and his Church one Body, Rom. 12.5. 1 Cor. 12.12, 27. Ephes. 1.23. Colos. 2.19. they grow up into him in all things, Ephes. 4.13. By Virtue of this Union it is that when Christ being made sin for us was crucified, our Old man was crucified with him, Rom. 6.6. the same Spirit that quickened Christ quick­eneth us to the first Resurrection, Rom. 8.11. and to the second Resurrection, 1 Cor. 15.20. they are Sons and Heirs of God by Virtue of this Union, Rom. 8.17. Gal. 4.7. their Afflictions fill up the measure of Christ's Afflictions, Colos. 1.24. and he reckons their sufferings his, and Compassions to them esteemed as done to to him, Matth. 25.44. their Union to the Fa­ther is through their Union to him, which is one with the Father, John 17.22, 23. That they may be one, as we are one: I in them and they in me. Now though it is certain, that this Union groweth by another means than the bare conjunction of our Nature, yet here is the congruity: Christ is united unto us by our Nature, we to him by his Spirit: so that the Unity of Nature with us holds a congruity with that Union which was between the first Adam and us.

Again such was the Will of God, that the Expia­tion of our Sins should not be without a Sacrifice, Heb. 9.22. Without shedding of Blood no remission: It was necessary therefore that he should have a Body prepa­red him, which, might be a Sacrifice for sin.

Again we see in all the works of God, though he was at his Pleasure to interpose his own immediate Power, yet he useth means con natural to the Subject upon which he works: And hence it is, that our Re­deemer works upon all that is Rational in man: In [Page 209] his Teaching he taught convincingly, with sound Rea­son; in his Perswasions with Tears, with Miracles, with Promises, with Threatnings, with a free laying down of his Life for us, when we were Enemies: These could not be communicated in a way proportio­nable to our Nature, but from him that bore our Na­ture.

2. The necessity of the Divine Nature: Question­less the humane Nature of Christ had as exact a re­gularity and innocence, as in the Creation was placed in Adam; but that could not be capable alone of a Merit beyond it self: there was a necessity of a per­sonal Dignity in Christ, more than could be found in the created Nature of man, to make his Righteousness and Sufferings meritorious for others; for it must be a Righteousness more than commensurate to all the un­righteousness of Men, and a Satisfaction more than commensurate to all the Demerit of men: This had been impossible, if that Righteousness and that Satis­faction had received their value from any thing below the Divine Nature; hence is that Expression, Acts 20.28. Take heed, &c. to feed the Church if God, which he hath purchased with his own Blood.

And as it was necessary in respect of his Righte­ousness and Satisfaction, so in respect of the continu­ed Exigences of his people, Ephes. 2.18. through him we have access by one Spirit unto the Father: He could not be a perfect Mediator unless he had a clear Acquain­tance with all the Exigences of his people, unless he could be present with them in all their Fears, despon­dences, Temptations, and Necessities; which requires, the co-existence of the Divine Nature.

5. We say that the Eternal word did in the appoin­ted time take flesh of the Virgin into the Unity of one Person. This was that infinite Motion of the Love of God, viz. First to become Man for us, and then to [Page 210] become Sin for us. The manner of the Incarnation of Christ we cannot discover: every work of God is past our discovery, much more this admirable work. And by this Birth of Christ he took upon him the Nature of man, but not any Original or inherent Sin or Guilt, because by a miraculous Generation: the very substance was purified, Luk. 1.35. that holy thing which shall be born of thee, &c. and this very Birth of Christ was part of his Satisfaction, because part of his Humiliation, Phil. 2.5. He made himself of no Reputati­on, and took upon him the form of a Servant, and was made in the likeness of Men, Heb. 2.9. was made lower than the Angels: So that in his Conception and Birth we find, 1. His Satisfaction; 2. His Righteousness.

6. We say, The whole Life of Christ, till his Passion, had these three parts in it, viz. Satisfaction by way of Suffering; 2. Satisfaction by way of Righteousness; and 3. Instruction: and these three were the great Ends of his Life.

1. [...]or his Suffering part: Christ, being born with­out Sin, and perfectly framed to the image of God, could not in Justice be liable to any of those conse­quences that fell upon Adam or his posterity by Sin, be­cause every Affliction of what kind soever, is but a re­turn upon the Creature of the Fruit of his obliquity: therefore since we have concluded him without Sin, he could not be of himself meritoriously obnoxious to any thing that had the Nature of Punishment in it; therefore we must conclude, that those inconveniences of his Life were Satisfactory. It is time those de­fects of humane Nature, which are not only conse­quents of Sin, but have in them the Nature of Sin, as disorder of Passions, fell not upon Christ, but such as were merely consequents of Sin: Christ did suffer in his Life; he became of no Repu [...]ation, and took upon him the form of a Servant, Ephes. 2.7. Subject [Page 211] to scorns, the Carpenters Son, Matth. 14.55. a Friend to Publicans and Sinners, Math. 11.19. casting out Devils by Beelzebub Matth. 12.24. a Samaritan, and having a Devil, John 8.48. a Friend to Publicans and Sinners, Matth. 11.19. sometimes ready to be stoned, John 8.59. had not where to lay his Head, Matth. 8.20. and all this meritorious, 2 Cor. 8.9. for our sakes be­came poor, that we through his Poverty might be made rich: tempted in the Wilderness by the Devil. And these Sufferings in the Life of Christ, as they were part of his Satisfaction, so they are part of our Comfort, Heb. 2.18. For that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted, Heb. 4.15. a High Priest touched with the feeling of our Infirmities: hence are those passionate Expressions of his Compassion even to his infirm Members, Isa. 40.11. He shall gather the Lambs with his Arm, and carry them in his Bosom, and shall gently lead those that are with young. Isa. 42.3. A bruised Reed shall he not break. Isa. 63.9. In all their [...]fflictions he was Afflicted, and the Angel of his Presence saved them. Matth. 1.29. Come unto me, &c. for I am meek and lowly of heart.

2. The second great End of Christ's incarnation was that he might fulfil the Law and Will of God as well in the Command, as in the Type, Matth. 5.19. I came not to destroy the Law, but to fulfil it: For as it was requisite that he should be free from Sin, so it was necessary he should fulfil all Righteousness: and as the Imputation of our sins unto him, is that which clean­seth us from the Guilt of our sin, so the imputation of this Righteousness unto us is that which makes our Persons accepted in the sight of God: hence he is called, The Lord of Righteousness, Jer. 23.6. And Christ of God is made unto us Righteousness, as well as Re­demption, 1 Cor. 1.30. Grace reigned through Righ­teousness by Christ Jesus, Rom. 5.21. and the imputa­tion [Page 212] of this Righteousness is that which perfects our Peace with God, Rom. 5.1. By the Righteousness of one the free Gift came upon all to Justification, Rom. 5.18. And thus, though it were the Righteousness of the humane Nature, yet it is called the Righteousness of God by Faith, Phil. 3.9. And this Righteousness of Christ was that exact Conformity to the Will of God, in which God was well pleased with us, as well as him. Now it was impossible for any to fulfil that Righteousness, which was the Righteousness of a ra­t [...]onal and humane Nature; but he that had a rational and humane Nature: as the Righteousness of any thing below the humane Nature, bears not a propor­tion to the Righteousness of a humane Nature, such are the Regularities of the sensitive and vegetative Nature; so the Righteousness of any Nature above the humane Nature could not be suitable for us: Thus the Righteousness of an Angelical Nature, is not proportionable to the exigence of our Natures; the Law which was given to our Natures cannot square with theirs, for that Law was fitted to our whole Compositum; therefore it was necessary for Christ to fulfil such a Righteousness as might hold propor­tion to those for whom it was intended, and this could be no other than that Righteousness which must be performed in the Life of an humane Nature.

3. The third great work of Christ's Life was for an Instruction and that double:

1. Of Example: In those several Vertues that are proper for the humane Nature; especially in Meek­ne [...]s, Matth. 11.29. Learn of me, for I am meek: In Hu­mility and Obedience, [...]hil. 2.5. Let the same mind be in you as was in Christ, who being, &c. humbled him­self and became obedient: Forgetfulness of Injuries, Colos. 3.13. Forgiving one another, even as Christ forgave you: Patience in suffering, 1 Pet. 2.21. For even hereunto [Page 213] are ye called, because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an Example that ye should follow his Example, who when he was reviled, &c. And this conformity to the Practi­cal part of Christ's Life is called the Mind of Christ, 1 Pet. 4.1. The following of Christ, 1 Cor. 11.1. The Life of Christ, 2 Cor. 4.11. That the Life of Christ Jesus might be made manifest in our mortal Flesh: The being changed into his Image, 2 Cor. 3.18. The grow­ing up into him in all things, even to the measure of the Stature of his fulness, Ephes. 4.13, 15. Now this Exemplary Life could not be given us, but in our own Nature, and yet without it we had been without a most rational means of pleasing God, and so arriving at our Happiness: the Pattern of the Tabernacle, that Moses saw in the Mount, was of as great use to him in framing it as the particular Dictamina concerning it.

2. Of Doctrin: The Will of God concerning man was in effect obliterated; Partly, by the corruption and decay of our Nature by sin; Partly, by the just Judgment of God in withdrawing himself and that light which Man had abused: And as in the Principles of Truth, man became defective, so in the Principles of Practice, Rom. 1.21, 26. God gave them up to vile affections, insomuch that among the very Jews who had the very Counsels of God among them, the very Principles of their known Laws were adulterated and corrupted. Now for this purpose was Christ born, as he testifies of himself, John 18.37. To this end was I born, and for this end came I into the World, that I should bear Witness unto the Truth; and as he was the Light of the World, as he affirms of himself, 1 John 8.12. so he was furnisht with a Doctrin from God, John 7.16. My Doctrin is not mine, but his that sent me, John 7.16. and with a Power of delivery beyond the Power of a mere Man, John 7.46. Never man spake like this man, [Page 214] and Matth. 7.29. He taught as one having Authority, and not as the S [...]ribes.

And thus we may observe, that although the great God could have taught by a Miracle by his absolute power, yet he chooseth to reveal his truth to his Creature by means apposite to our Nature: the Son of God cloaths himself with Flesh and Blood, and teaches Man the way to his Happiness, as one Man teacheth another, though we must not exclude that powerful Co-operation of his mighty Spirit, that strikes upon our Spirits, even when his Word strikes upon our [...]. And herein the Pharisees spoke truth even a­gainst their own Wills, Matth. 22.26. Thou teachest the way of God in Truth. For God in these last times hath spoken to us by his Son, Heb. 1.2. and reveal­ed unto us the whole Counsel and Will of his Father concerning us: For he spoke not of himself, but the Father which sent him gave him Commandment what he should say, John 12.49. And that this Doctrin of his might receive a Testimonial from Heaven it was [...] with Miracles, and with suffrages from Hea­ven, John 12.30. This Voice came not because of me, but [...] your sakes. Now among divers Particulars of the [...] of Christ, we may observe these great Master­pieces.

1. Inst [...]ucting us, that there is a higher end for the Sons of Men to arrive unto than temporal Felicity in this Life▪ viz. Blessedness express'd in those several Ex­pressions of his, Matth. 5.3, 4. &c. The Kingdom of Heaven, Comfort, Fulness, sight of God, &c. And in order to this great Doctrin are those several Doctrines of the Resurrection, the last Judgment, the Immortali­ty of the Soul; truths that the whole World either never knew, or had forgotten, or doubted.

2. Instructing in the true Way to attain this Blessed­ness, teaching us that Righteousness accepted of God [Page 215] consists not in meer outward observations, but in the integrity and sincerity of the Heart, and hereby rubs off all those false glosses that the formallest of Men had put upon the Law of God: teaches that the Love of God is the fulfilling of God's Commandments; and the reason is, because this Love of God, if it be sincere, will ingage the whole Man to the exact Ob­servance of what he requires; those abstruse practical Truths of Depending upon God's Providence, Self-denyal, Loving our Enemies, Rejoycing in Affliction, all flowing from the high Point of the Love of God: this is the Law of Christ, Gal. 6.2.

3. In revealing that which is the only Means to attain the two former, even that great Mystery of the Gospel, that was hid with God in Christ: A Man might rove at the two former, though the World had almost lost them both; but this latter was a mystery, that the Angels themselves knew not: 1 Cor. 2.16. Who hath known the Mind of the Lord, that he way instruct him? But we have the mind of Christ: which contains the whole Counsel of God touching Man: this is that which Paul calls all the Counsel of God. Acts 20.27. and Truth it self hath given us the Breviary of it: John 6.40. This is the will of him that sent me, that every one that seeth the Son and believeth on him, may have ever­lasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day: These great Truths of so great Concernment to the Children of Men, yet so far remov'd from their Understanding, were the third Business of the Life of Christ.

7. That Christ, bearing the sins of his People, did suffer the wrath of God for the Remission of their sins. The sufferings of Christ did only befal his Humane Na­ture, for his Divine Nature was impassible; yet in respect of that strict union of both Natures in one Person; they received a value from that divine and impassible Nature: for the union of both Natures in [Page 216] one Person, though it did not communicate the Con­ditions of either Nature to the other, did communicate the conditions of either Nature to the same Person, as is before shewn.

This Suffering of Christ had these several Attributions,

1 It was a Voluntary Suffering, and yet not without a Necessity: The Suffering was Voluntary, even in respect of his Humane Nature, yet Obediential to the Counsel and Purpose of God, Matth. 17.21. he must go and suffer. Luke 24 26. Ought not Christ to have suffered these things? Acts 2.23. Him being deli­vered by the determinate counsel and fore-knowledge of God: Yet was this most Voluntary in Christ: Voluntary in the original undertaking of this Work, in that Eternal Susception by the Eternal Word; Voluntary in the discharge of that Undertaking in the Humane Na­ture, the Humane Nature of Christ pursuing and fol­lowing the will of Eternity: Luke 12.50. I have a baptism to be baptized withal, and how am I straitned till it be accomplished? And even when the Humane Na­ture did according to the Law of Nature, shrink from its own dissolution, yet he presently corrects that na­tural Passion: John 12.27. Father, save me from this hour: But for this cause came I to this hour. Father, glo­rifie thy Name. Matth. 26.39. O my Father, if it be p [...]ssible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless, not as I will, but as thou wilt: whiles his Humanity trembles and startles at the Business he goes about; yet his Love to his Church, his Obedience to his Father, his Faithfulness to his Undertaking, breaks through that natural re­luctance. Now the Voluntariness, yet obedience of Christ's suffering, both consistent, appears, Joh. 10.15. 1 Joh. 3.16. I lay down my life for my sheep. No man ta­keth it from me, but I lay it down of my self: yet Isa. 53.6, 10. All we like sheep have gone astray, and the Lord hath laid on him the iniquity of us all: it pleased the Lord to [Page 217] bruise him: when thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin. Psal. 2.7, 8. As he made himself of no reputation, and humbled himself, so he became obedient to death. Titus 2.14. He gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity: yet John 3.16. God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, &c. Again, 1 John 4.9. Herein perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us: Yet Rom. 8.32. He spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all. 1 John 4.9. God sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins. Psal. 40.7. Then said I, lo, I come: yet he came not without a Mission: I delight to do thy will, O my God. The sum of all then is, the Love of God to Mankind was the absolute and original foundation of our Re­demption: the same act of this Love proposed and undertook the Redemption of Mankind voluntarily and freely in this way contrived by the Eternal Wis­dom and Counsel of God: The Humane Nature of Christ in exact and voluntary submission unto this Counsel performed it: If it had been Voluntary and not in Conformity to the Will of God, whose Will could be the only measure of his Satisfaction, it could never have been satisfactory: And if it had been meerly Passive, it could not have been an Obedi­ence, which requires a free Submission and Conformity to the Will of him that injoyns, without which it could never be meritorious.

2. It was a Meritorious and Expiatory Suffering; for by that Eternal Covenant between the Father and the Son, he was to bear the sins of his Elect, and under that Condition, it was necessary that he should suffer for them: It was the Love of the Father to accept of Christ to bear the sins of the People; and it was his Justice that disclosed his Anger against Sin, although his Son did but represent the sinner, and yet the merit of this Suffering hath its strength from the free accepta­tion [Page 218] of his Father, according to his Eternal Covenant with his Son.

3. From hence it follows, that it is a Full and Per­fect Satisfaction. The reason is, because the measure of the Satisfaction is the Acceptation of the offended God: for it appears before, that there can be no other Measure or Rule to him but his own Will, though that be a most Just Will. Now that God was fully satis­fied and pleased in Christ, we have the Testimony of Angels: Luke 2.14. On earth peace, good will to men: Of Christ, John 17.4. when by way of Anticipation, he saith, I have finished the work that thou gavest me to do: which he fully perfected, when John 19.30. he said, It is finished: By the eternal Father, by a voice from Heaven, Matth. 3.17. This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased: By the Spirit of Truth, Heb. 10.14. By one offering he hath perfected for ever them that be sancti­fied. And from the sufficiency of this satisfaction doth arise that assurance in which the Apostle glories, Rom. 8.33. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of God's Elect, &c. it is Christ that died: And hence called the Author and Finisher of our Faith, Heb. 12.2.

4. It was an Ʋniversal Suffering: The sin of Man had an universal Contagion both upon his Body and Soul, and an universal Guilt, and consequently an universal Curse went over both his Soul and Body; In the day that thou eatest, thou shalt die the death. This death extended to his Body and Soul, and the whole Compo­situm, his very Life was mingled with Death, both in Sense and Expectation. And answerable to the ex­tent of this Contagion, Guilt, and Curse, was the extent of Christ's Satisfaction, who was figured by the first Adam: Rom. 5.14. His Life was mingled with Pain: Isa. 53. A Man of sorrows, and acquaint­ed with grief: in his Body he suffered a cursed and a painful Death: and though the nailing to the Cross [Page 219] was not sufficient naturally to have made a separation of the Body and Soul, no more than of the two Thieves, yet he had those other Concurrences to his dissolution that they had not, viz. the bearing of his Cross, John 19.17. His scourging, and Crown of Thorns: Matt. 27.26, 29. But especially the suffering of his Soul: the very anticipation of this suffering made him even to shrink at it, John 12.27. Now is my soul troubled: what shall I say? Father, save me from this hour. And this, like the Trumpet upon Sinai, waxed louder and louder, till his very dissolution; witness his af­firmation: In the Garden of Gethsemane, Matth. 26.28. My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death: and that astonishing Cry of the Son of God upon the Cross, Matth. 27.46. My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? His sorrow and the suffering of his Soul in the Garden, that was so strange, as to cause a sweat of Blood, had been enough, without the interposition of any outward force, to have caused his dissolution, for it was a sorrow unto death, had not God support­ed his Humane Nature with a supernatural aid, Luk. 22.43. An angel from heaven strengthened him: and when the Divine Dispensation withdrew that extraordinary supply, he died: Matth. 27.50. He cried with a loud voice, and gave up the ghost: If it be asked, What was the cause of this extremity of suffering in the Soul of Christ: we say, as he willingly took upon him to stand in our room to bear our sins, and to become Sin for us; so he felt the wrath of God against that sin, which he by way of imputation did bear: as he bare our sins in his own Body on the Tree, 1 Pet. 2.24. and God laid on him the iniquity of us all: and as he was made sin for us, 2 Cor. 5.21. so he trode the wine-press of his Fathers wrath for that time, Isa. 63.3. and was made a Curse for that Sin. The Guilt that he had was not inherent but imputed, but the [Page 220] sense of that wrath of God against Sin, was not im­puted, but real and inherent. If it be inquired, How could such a sense of the wrath of God be consistent with that union that was between his Natures in one Person? such Knowledge is too wonderful for me: Nevertheless thus far we may say, that as in the highest extremity of the suffering of his Soul, there was no interruption of that strict Union between the Humane and Divine Nature, yet so it pleased God to order this great Work, that the actual communica­tion of the presence of the Divine Nature, was to the sense of the Humane Nature eclipsed; the Sun still remained in the Firmament, yet the Light thereof Eclipsed at the time of the death of Christ, Matth. 27.45. to shadow to us that interruption of Vision which was in our Redeemer, that so his Soul might be made an Offering for Sin, as well as his Body: If it be in­quired, How it came to pass, that a perpetual Punish­ment due to Man, was expiated by a temporary suf­fering of Christ? we answer, Man's suffering must needs be perpetual, because it could never be satisfa­ctory, Matth. 5.26. Thou shalt not come out, till thou payest the uttermost farthing: But Christ's suffering was satisfactory, and the satisfaction being made, the suf­fering could not continue: 1. It was a Voluntary Suf­fering. 2. An Innocent Suffering. 3. A Suffering of the Son of God. 4. An Accepted Satisfaction by the offended God.

8. That Christ, having suffered death, did arise again from death the third day. This was that which the Prophet David foretold of Christ, Psal. 16.10. Thou wilt not leave my soul in grave: by Isa. 53.10. When thou shalt make his soul an offering for sin, &c. He shall prolong his days, he shall divide the spoil with the strong, be­cause he poured out his soul unto death: prefigured by Jonah, and so expounded by Christ himself, Matth. 12.40. [Page 221] and predicted by himself, Matth. 20.13. And the third day shall rise again: attested by an Angel, Matth. 28.6. He is risen, as he said. And this Truth was that which was the great Means of Conversion, and therefore received the greatest opposition of Devils and Men, Acts 2.24. Acts 4.10.33. Acts 5.30. And as it was the greatest Caution of the High Priest, if it had been possible, to falsifie the Prediction of Christ concern­ing his Resurrection, Matth. 27.63, 64. So this was the Truth that they most persecuted, Acts 25.19. And being a Truth of that great concernment, was most evidenced by the Evangelists and Apostles, whose Business it was to be Witnesses of the Resurrection, Acts 1.22. 1 Cor. 15. per totum; for by this he was declared to be the Son of God with Power, Rom. 1.4. And this Resurrection of Christ, must of necessity fol­low his Satisfaction: he had taken upon him our Sin, and therefore must undergo the Wages due unto it, viz. Death: in the very instant of his Death he had compleated his Sacrifice and Satisfaction, when he said upon the Cross, It is finished, John 19.30. Yet as it was necessary for him to lie under Death so long as might convince the Reality of it, so it was impossible for him to lie longer: the Debt was paid, and he could be no longer detained Prisoner, Acts 2.24. Whom God hath raised up, having loosed the pains of death, because it was not possible he should be holden of it. And this Resur­rection of Christ, as it was by the Power of God, 2 Cor. 13.4. He liveth by the Power of God, Ephes. 1.19. The working of his mighty Power, or by the Eternal Spirit, Rom. 8.11. The Spirit of him that rai­sed up Jesus from the dead, so it was the effect of his Justice, the Price of Man's Redemption being paid, he was now by the Eternal Covenant of God to pro­long his days. And hence he is said to be justified in the Spirit, 1 Tim. 3.16. Even that Spirit, that raised [Page 222] him up from the dead, did at the same time proclaim the compleatness of his Satisfaction, and justifie the fulfilling of his Undertaking. If Christ had not risen, there had of necessity followed these two Conse­quences, either of which had left us in as bad case as he found us.

1. It had been then impossible, that his Death had been a sufficient Sacrifice. If he had been detained under Death, the Guilt had still continued undischar­ged. And hence, 1 Cor. 15.17. If Christ be not raised, your faith is vain, ye are yet in your sins. As if he should have said, If there be no Satisfaction made for your Sins, ye are still in them; If Christ be detained under Death, it is evident, the Satisfaction is not made; for the Curse of the Law continues undischarged, and conse­quently the Guilt continues unacquitted: and hence Christ's Sacrifice was justified by his Resurrection, so are we. Rom. 4.25. Who was delivered for our offences, and raised again for our justification. And this Resur­rection of Christ was his Victory over Guilt, and Death, and Hell. 1 Cor. 15.57. The Victory given through Christ. Colos. 2.15. Having spoiled Principalities and Powers, he then made a shew of them openly.

2. It had been impossible that the Members of Christ could have the benefit, either of the first or second Resurrection: for by reason of that Union with their Head they partake of all those conditions whereof their head participates: Crucified with him, Gal. 2.20. Dead to sin, and buried with him, Rom. 6.3, 6, 8. Live with him, Galat. 2.20. Rise together with him to new­ness of Life, Rom. 6.4. Rom. 8.11, 12. Planted unto the likeness of his Resurrection, Rom. 6.5. Ascended with him, Ephes. 2.6. and shall rise again to eternal Happiness, by virtue only of his Resurrection, 1 Cor. 15. 1 Thes. 4.14.

[Page 223]9. That Christ after his Resurrection did Ascend up into Heaven, where his humane Nature is cloathed with Power and Glory, and Immortality. The Death of our Saviour was attested by his three days keeping his Grave: and the Resurrection was attested by all the Evidences that incredulity it self could require for satisfaction, because the matter of the greatest difficul­ty to believe, and which being admitted made the whole truth concerning him easily credible. Therefore for the clearing of this truth, as he spent forty days to conquer the Temptations of the Devil in the Wilder­ness, so he spent forty days after his Resurrection to sub­due the infidelity of mankind to the belief thereof: And during that time used all the sensible Convictions that might be for the confirming of their belief, that the very Body of Christ re-assumed his Soul and Life. 1. The Body removed out of the Sepulchre, Luke 24.5. Why seek ye the Living among the Dead? 2. He ap­peared unto them, and because those appearances were accompanied with some Circumstances that might breed jealousie that it was a finer substance than a Bo­dy, as his sudden vanishing out of their sight, Luke 24.3 [...]. His sudden presenting of himself among them when the Doors were shut, Luke 24.36. John 20.19. Yet to convince that suspicion, he exhibits his hands and his side, eats with them, converses with them about forty days, Acts. 1.3. The Body of Christ, being by the power of God made of an Angelical, though not spiritual substance, is taken up into Heaven, Mark 16.19. Luke 24.57. Acts 16.9. where he sits at the right hand of Glory. Acts 3.21. Heb. 10.12. Heb. 12.2. This was that which was figured by the High Priest's entring into the Holy of Holies, Heb. 9.24. and ex­tended to the very whole humane Nature of Christ: the same that ascended is he that descended, Ephes. 4.9. This was the saying of Christ himself, John 20.17. I am [Page 224] not yet ascended to my Father: but go tell my Brethren, I ascend unto my Father and your Father, &c. And this is that that our Saviour so often inculcates, That the Son of Man shall come in his Glory, &c. Matth. 25.31. Matth. 26.64. To insinuate that that very humane Na­ture, by which he is denominated Man, should conti­nue in immortality, and appear the last day for the judgment of the World. And as by the power of God Man in his purity had been perpetuated to im­mortality, and so he shall be in his Resurrection, so by the power of God the Life of Christ's humane Na­ture shall be perpetuated to everlasting, 2 Cor. 13.4. He liveth by the power of God. And this Body of Christ, as it is filled with immortality, so it is filled with Glory, we shall be made like unto his glorious Body, Phil. 3.21.

10. That Christ having perfected the work of Man's redemption, and ascended into Heaven exerciseth a threefold Office for the benefit of his Church and People.

1. Of Power of Dominion. This was that Inaugu­ration of Christ in his Kingdom, Psal. 110.1. Sit thou at my right Hand, Isaiah 53.10. Therefore will I divide him a Portion with the great, &c. because he hath poured out his Soul unto Death. And therefore after his Resur­rection he tells his Disciples, Matth. 28.18. That all power is given him both in Heaven and in Earth, and is that which is so often called his sitting at the right hand of his Father, Ephs. 1.20. and his making both Lord and Christ, Acts 2.36. And this Kingdom, Do­minion and Power of Christ shall continue until the end, when he shall deliver up the Kingdom to his Fa­ther, that God may be all in all, 1 Cor. 15.24, 27.

2. The Communication of his Spirit: The Power of the Spirit of God is in all his Creatures, and especially in Men; and all Creatures in their actings are but in­strumental [Page 225] to the Spirit of God: But by Christ the Power of that Spirit is communicated in a more spe­cial and peculiar way; and is that very Power where­by their Acts and Motions to eternity are acted, and was not communicated in that perfection till after Christ's Ascension, John 16.7. If I go not away, the Comforter will not come. This Spirit of Christ is a Spi­rit of Illumination and Instruction, John 14.26. The Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my Name, he shall teach you all things, 1 Joh. 2.27. The anointing which is from above teacheth you all things, a Spirit of Conviction and Redargution, John 16.8. a Spirit of Renovation and Cleansing, Tit. 3.5. a Spirit of Strength, Ephes. 3.16. Strengthned with his might by his Spirit, a Spirit of Assurance, Ephes. 1.13. Sealed with the Holy Spirit of Promise, a Spirit of quickening, Rom. 8.11. quickned by his Spirit, that dwelleth in you; a Spirit of Adoption and Attestation, Rom. 18.15, 16. We nave received the Spirit of Adoption; a Spi­rit of Supplication and Intercession, Rom. 8.26, 27. The Spirit it self maketh Intercession for us: The Spirit of defence against Temptation, Ephes. 6.17. The Sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God: A Spirit of U­nion: There is a double and reciprocal means of U­nion between Christ and his people. 1. By Faith, whereby Christ is united unto them, Ephes. 3.17. That Christ might dwell in your Hearts by Faith. 2. By the Spirit, whereby we are united unto him, Rom. 8.9. If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his, Ephes. 2.20. In whom also ye are builded together for an habitation of God through the Spirit, 1 John 4.13. Hereby we know that we dwell in him and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit, 1 Cor. 6.17. He that is joyned to the Lord is one Spirit. And this Union with Christ was that which he so much desired of his Father for his Church, John 17.22, 23. And as by Faith all that Sa­tisfaction [Page 226] and Righteousness, which was in him, was made ours, so all our Actions proceeding from this Spirit are in truth his, both in virtue and acception with the Father, Ephes. 2.18. Through him we have access by one Spirit to the Father, Gal. 2.20. I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me. And by reason of this Union with Christ, as he is a Son, so are we Sons, Rom. 8.17. Joynt Heirs with him, and Galat. 4.7. an Heir of God through Christ: thus we apprehend Christ, and are apprehended of him, Phil. 3.12.

3. The third effect and end of Christ's Ascension is his perpetual Intercession in the Presence of the Glory of God for his People. Christ in his humane Nature was our Sacrifice, and that was but one Sacrifice, and but once offered, Heb. And Christ, who in both Natures was the Priest that offered that Sacrifice, Heb. 9 14, 25. Who through the eternal Spirit offered himself without Spot to God, though he finished that part of his Priest­ly Office while he was with us, yet as the Priesthood of Christ was for ever according to the order of Mel­chisedec, so the exercise of that Priesthood still conti­nues, Heb. 9.24. Christ is entred into Heaven it self, now to appear in the Presence of God for us. And as by his Spi­rit, which he hath given to his people, he makes Inter­cession in them, for we have Access to the Father by his Spirit, so by himself he makes Intercession for us, Heb. [...].25. Wherefore he is able to save them to the uttermost that come unto God by him, seeing he ever liveth to make Intercession for them. 1 John 2.1. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous. And it is the strength of this Intercession of Christ, that makes the Prayers of his People effectual, John 16.23. Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my Name, he will grant it: That Incense, that was mingled with the Prayers of the Saints, Revel. 8.3. And here let [...] ever admire the endless goodness of God: Man is [Page 227] dead in trespasses and sins; God sends his Son into the World with a Ransom, and with Life; John 1.4. In him was life, and the life was the light of men: But for all this, the World still continues in death and darkness, John 1.10. The world knew him not: He therefore by his Providence conveys Truth to their Ears; and by his Spirit carries Life and Light into their Souls, and con­quers the darkness and death that is in us: And when he hath rescued us from ruine, he still leaves that Spirit of his to contest with our Corruptions, to dis­cover his Mind, to form us every day more and more to our lost Image, to supplicate and communicate our wants and fears: and though those supplications of ours are mingled with imperfections, distrusts, doubtings and distractions, yet he that knows the mind of his own Spirit, takes these Prayers of ours, and cleanseth them from the dross that hangs about them, mingles his own Merit with them, presents them to his Father in the strength of his own Intercession, and so bears the ini­quity of their holy things: Nay, when we vex and grieve that Agent of his▪ that he hath left in us to per­fect our Blessedness, and oftentimes stifle his motions, and have scarce the sign of Life left in us, he never­theless makes Intercession for us, Isa. 53.12. He made intercession for the transgressours.

3. The next inquiry is, for whom the Satisfaction of Christ was?

1. Christ did Intentionally lay down his Life for the sins of the Elect of God, John 10.15. I lay down my life for my sheep: And these Sheep of Christ, as they were not confined to one time or age of the World, so nei­ther to one Nation or company of People, John 10.16. Other sheep I have, which are not of this fold, viz. of the Nation of the Jews. And thus some understand, 1 John 22. And not for ours only but also for the sins of the whole world, using [us] & the [world] as a contradistinction of [Page 228] the Gentiles from the Jews, to whom, it seems, he wrote.

2. As Christ died Intentionally for the Redemption of the Elect, so he died Effectually for them; and God hath so ordered his Counsels, that those, that he hath appointed to eternal Life, shall use that means, which he hath appointed to be instrumental for the partaking of the Efficacy of his Death, John 6.37. All that the Father giveth me, shall come unto me, and him that cometh unto me, I will in no wise cast out.

3. Whatsoever were the Intention or Efficacy of the Death of Christ, yet we are sure that all Men shall not partake of the full and compleat Effect of Christ's Satisfaction, viz. Eternal Life. This is a clear Truth, yet all the lost Sons of Adam shall be left wholly un­excusable and condemned by the most Righteous and Natural Justice that is imaginable. There have been three great Promulgations of Laws in the World.

1. The Law written in the Hearts of Men, Rom 1.19. That which may be known of God is manifest in them, for God hath shewed it unto them.

2. The Law pronounced & given to the Jews upon Sinai.

3. The Gospel of Christ, shewing us what is to be believed, and what to be done.

When the great God comes to Judge the World, he will judge it according to the several Dispensations of Light, [...] Rom. 2.26. Rom. 2.12. For as many as have sin­ned without the law, shall also perish without the law: and as many as have sinned in the law, shall be judged by the law. There is light enough, or neglect enough, in the most ignorant Soul in the World, to charge with Guilt enough for Condemnation, though he never knew of the Law promulgated to the Jew, or were bound by it. As we there find the division of con­demned persons unto such as sin without the Law, and under the Law, so we find another division, 2 Thes. 1.8. Taking vengeance on them that know not God, and obey [Page 229] not the Gospel of our Lord Jesus Christ. This seems to contain these two Rules, whereby the Gentiles should be judged: 1. Ignorance and want of Fear of God, for such to whom the Gospel was not preached: this was unexcusable ignorance and disobedience, Rom. 1.20. 2. Unbelief and Disobedience of the Gospel of Christ: And though this be a high Truth, that is not discovered by the Light of Nature, yet being discovered, it is an offence, even against the Law of Nature, not to believe it, because a most high and absolute Truth. 3. Not to love it, and consequently obey it, because the means to attain the most high and absolute Good. And as every Sin is an aversion from the chief Good, either to that which is a lesser, or no Good; so it is impossible, but the aver­sion from the greatest Good must needs be the great­est Sin, even by the Rules of sound Reason. Both these we find plainly set down, John 3.36. He that believeth not the Son, shall not see life, but the wrath of God abideth on him. John 3.19. This is the condemnation, that light came into the world, and men loved darkness rather than light: as if he should have said, that it is the most reasonable and natural Principle for reasonable Creatures to en­tertain and obey that Rule, which will conduct them to the highest Good, and therefore the condemnation of such as neglect is most reasonable; and the rather, for that this proceeds not originally from Ignorance, but from the Perverseness of the Heart, in preferring Darkness before Light. So that as Infidelity is the cause of Condemnation, John 3.18. So this want of Love of the Light is the great cause of Infidelity. And though Man hath put himself in that Condition, that he cannot come to Christ, or entertain this chiefest Good, except the Father draw him, John 6.44. Yet this doth neither excuse him from sin or guilt, because as in the first Man he willingly contracted this disabi­lity, so he doth most freely and voluntarily affect it: [Page 230] though he sins necessarily in rejecting the Light, yet he sins voluntarily.

Now concerning those several places in holy Scri­pture that seem to infer the Ʋniversality of an intend­ed Redemption, John 3.17. John 12.47. 1 John 2.2. 1 Tim. 2.6. 1 Tim. 2.4. 1 Cor. 15.21. It may be considerable whether the intention of those places be, that the Price was sufficient for all the World, so that whosoever shall reject the offered Mercy, shall never have this excuse, that there was not a sufficiency left for him: Or whether it be meant, that Christ by his Death did fully expiate for all that Original Guilt, which was contracted by the Fall of Adam upon all Mankind; but for the Actual Offences only of such as believed; that so as the voluntary sin of Adam, had, with­out the actual consent of his Posterity, made them liable to Guilt; so the Satisfaction of Christ without any actual application of him, should discharge all Mankind from that originally contracted Guilt. These disquisitions, though fit, yet are not necessary to be known: it is enough for me to know, that if I believe on him, I shall not perish, but have everlasting Life, John 3.16. And that all are invited, and none excluded, but such as first exclude themselves.

CHAP. IX. Of the Means, which God hath appointed to make this Sacrifice of Christ effectual, viz. Ʋnion with Christ, and how the same is wrought on God's part.

4. WE come to that Means which the Will of God hath appointed to make this Sacrifice Ef­fectual for us.

God, in his Eternal Counsel foreseeing the Fall of Man, did from all Eternity covenant, that the Eter­val Word should take upon him Flesh, and should be an all-sufficient Mediator between God and Man; and to that End, did furnish this Mediator with all things necessary for so great a Work, Colos. 1.19. For it pleased the Father, that in him should all Fulness dwell: Fulness of the Godhead, Colos. 2.9. For in him dwelleth all the Fulness of the Godhead bodily; Fulness of Grace, John 1.16. For of his Fulness we receive Grace for Grace: Fulness of Wisdom and Knowledge, Colos. 2.3. In whom are hid all the treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge: Fulness of Perfection, Ephes. 4.13. The measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ: A Fulness of Life, John 1.4. In him was life, and the life was the light of men, John 5.27. As the Father hath life in himself, so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself: A Fulness of Love, Ephes. 3.19. And to know the love of Christ, passing knowledge.

All the Promises of God are in him, and put into him, as into a Treasury, and bottomed upon him: 2 Cor. 1.20. In whom all the promises of God are yea and Amen. And this Plenitude of Christ was therefore in [Page 232] him, that from him it might be communicated ac­cording to the Exigence of those for whom he was a Mediator; for although the Plenitude of the Divine Nature was absolute, and no way in reference to the Business of the Mediatorship, yet the communication of that Plenitude to Christ, as one Mediator, was in order to his Office. And this Fulness of Christ was necessary to supply that Emptiness which was in Man by sin: He stood in need of a sea of Love to redeem him, and Christ was not without riches of Love and Compassion: he had lost his Life; The day that thou eatest, thou shalt die the death, and there was as well a Quickning, as a Living Life in Christ to revive him, Ephes. 2.1. Those who were formerly dead in trespasses and sins hath he quickned, Colos. 3.4. When Christ who is our life shall appear: Man had lost the whole Image of his Creator; Christ, who was the express Image of his Father, re-imprints it again by forming himself in us, Colos. 3.10. Renewed in knowledge after the image of him that created him, Ephes. 4.24. Put ye on the New Man which after God is created in righteousness and true ho­liness: The nature of Man is corrupted, and Christ hath a Magazine of Grace to heal and purge that cor­ruption, John 1.16. Of his fulness we receive grace for grace; In sum, Man had lost his Creator with an in­finite distance, and so lost his Happiness; Christ, as the Fulness of God dwelt in him bodily, so together with him restores Man to his Lord, and so to his Bles­sedness, Ephes. 3.19. And to know the love of Christ that passeth knowledge, that ye may he filled with all the fulness of God.

The Means then of this Fruition is Ʋnion. The reason by which every thing enjoys what it hath, is Union, and the more strict the Union is between the thing that enjoys, and the thing enjoyed: The strict­est Union is between any thing and its Essence; there­fore [Page 233] when Goodness is part of the Essence, the Enjoy­ment is the most perfect: And it is by vertue of this Union with Christ, that all this Fulness of Christ is conveyed to the Believer.

Now as the Fulness of Christ ariseth from his Uni­on with God, the Fountain of Goodness; so our Fruition of that Fulness ariseth from our Union with Christ, John 17.23. I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one. And this was the great Purpose of God in sending Christ. Ephes. 1.10. That he might gather together in one, all things in Christ. And this Union with Christ is frequently expressed in the Scripture, in the strictest terms of Union: conversation of Friend­ship, John 14.23. We will come unto him, and make our abode with him. Christ formed in them, Galat. 4.19. Incorporation with him, eating his Flesh, and drinking his Blood, John 6.53. Inhabiting in them, Ephes. 3.17. Christ living in them, Galat. 2.20. Part of his very substance, Ephes. 5.30. For we are members of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones: Partakers of the very Fulness of God that is in (him.) Ephes. 3.19. That ye may be filled with the fulness of God. Changed into the very Image of Christ, 2 Cor. 3.18. Partakers of the Divine Nature, 2 Pet. 1.4.

Now we are to consider, How this Ʋnion is wrought, viz. By a double act, 1. Of God's part: 2. Of our part.

God in the Creation united Man unto himself; and Man by his sin broke that Union, and departed from him; and is he could not, so he would never have returned to God again, unless God had brought him to himself, John 6.65. No man can come unto me, except it were given him of my Father: Now the degrees of those acts, whereby God unites us to him, are,

1. His Eternal Love: Man by his sin got away from God as far as he could; and as he lost his Ability, so [Page 234] he lost his Mind to return, Gen. 3.10. I heard thy voice, and I was afraid, and I hid my self. Love is the first mo­tion to Union; and this Love of God is the first foun­dation of our Union to him, John 3.16. For God so lo­ved the world, &c. 1 John 4.10. Herein is Love, not that we loved him, but that he loved us first, and gave his Son to be the propitiation for our sins, 2 Cor. 5.19. God was in Christ reconciling the world unto himself: before the World either wisht, or thought of that Reconciliation: so that it was a free Love, and not drawn out upon any desert in his Creature.

2. The second step of the motion towards Union, was the sending his Son to assume our Nature, and come unto us. The distance between God and his best Creature, is essentially infinite, because finite with in­finite, bears no proportion: but the distance between God and his sinful Creature, must needs be greater, be­cause the Creature by his sin is gone away from God farther than he was in his pure Being. To fill up this infinite distance, God and Man is united into one Christ by the assumption of our Nature: and by this means God is come nearer unto us (as we may say) and we in a condition to draw nearer unto him, even in his Son. And thus God hath gathered together all things in one in Christ, Ephes. 1.10.

3. The third step is by the course of his Providence, conveying the knowledge and use of this Mediator unto us. This is a farther degree of Union; the former was spe­cifical in our Natures, but this objective and intelle­ctual▪ viz. by means proportionable to our Natures and Conditions, providentially disposed, he sends un­to us the relation of our own Condition by Nature, our Duty, our Saviour, his Will, and all those Truths contained in the Book of God: and this Truth he sets on with Rational Convictions, Prophecies, Miracles, Per­swasions, Intreaties; all which nave a rational opera­tion [Page 235] upon our Understanding and Wills. This is that which is the Outward Calling. And among those ma­ny Effectual Truths, that are conveyed unto us by this Calling, which were either lost or defaced in Man, these are principally discovered, and of prin­cipal use:

1. That God is the chiefest Good; and therefore the chiefest Object of our Love and Desire; and there­fore doth justly require the extremity of our pursuit: The enjoyment of this Object is that wherein Mans Felicity consisted in his State of Innocence, and must in his State of Restitution, and this truth once enter­tained doth render all things else insipid in Com­parison of it, Deut. 6.4. Hear, O Israel, The Lord our God is one Lord, therefore thou shalt love &c.

2. That he is a Communicative Good: for without this the Labour of the Soul would be fruitless: For it were impossible for a finite Power to reach or overtake an infinite Object, unless the Object did exhibit himself unto that Power. And herein is the excellence of this call of God, it discovers the Free Love of God unto the Soul: So, as the Absolute Goodness of God en­gageth us, even in Judgment, to seek to be united un­to him: so this Free Love of God engageth us, even in good Nature, as I may say, to seek him. And the very Entertainment of this truth, soundly in the heart, is the Foundation of our Faith and Obedience, Rom. 5.8. But God commendeth his Love towards us in that while we were yet Sinners, Christ dyed for us: As if he should have said, There could not be imagined a more Conque­ring love than this, that he, whom we had injured by our Sins, should yet seek the Good of his Creature, 1 John 4.9. Herein is Love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us first. This was Love with a Witness, That when the Creature, that owed to his Lord the strength of his Love, had broken his Duty, and become a ha­ter [Page 236] of his Lord, yet that that God should love such a Creature. And as this Love was thus Free, so it con­descended to all the means of Communicating him­self, that are imaginable: contriving means to recon­cile us: God was in Christ reconciling the World unto him­self, 2 Cor. 5.19. God was reconciling when Man thought of nothing but offending: Importunities of reconciliation▪ 2 Cor. 5.20. We pray you in Christ's stead be reconciled to God. It were a Miracle of Mercy if such a God so offended, and by his Creature, should have accepted a Reconciliation upon the highest im­portunity of his Creature; But for him thus injured, that could not receive a grain of advantage by our Conversion unto him, to change as it were conditions with his Creature, and to importune a Reconciliation from it, There wants conception in us to understand it, it is a Love passing knowledge: But yet like the waters of the Sanctuary still riseth higher: It is true, we made our selves miserable, and if thou. O Lord, hadst never looked after us, nor pitied us, we could never have complained of thy Justice: But if thou hadst pitied, and done no more; or if thy pity had gone so far as to have given us a deliverance if we could have found it, we must for ever in our misery have magnified thy Mercy, though we had been Non­plus'd in the inquiry: But here is Love, not that we lo­ved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the Pro­pitiation for our Sins: a Propitiation, and a Propitiation prepared by our offended injured Maker, and such a Propitiation. But it rests not here; We had incurred Guilt enough to make us wretched, and a delivery from wretchedness by such a means had been an un­speakable Mercy: But this mercy rested not there; he doth not only of miserable Men make us not mi­serable, by pardoning our Guilt; but of Enemies makes us Children, by a Righteousness, that he [Page 237] himself had prepared, 1 John 1.3. Behold what manner of Love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the Sons of God.

4. Now a Man would think that ordinary Prudence and Ingenuity would engage the heart to entertain this Message of Happiness and Peace with Love and Ac­ceptation; and that a greater approach from God to his Creature, as it could not be expected, so it need not be required: The Chiefest Good commands our Entertainment, how much more when it offers it self, with such a condescension, as well to our Necessities, as to our conditions! Moral perswasions have wrought upon the Tempers of wise Men, without any propo­sitions of any thing beyond this Life, how much more perswasions bottomed upon such sound Reason, and propounding an end sutable to the highest Compre­hension of our Souls! But all this will not serve the turn unless the Mercy of God had gone farther: We are dead in Trespasses and Sins; and we can no more receive these Truths, and this Love of God, than a dead Man can receive a rational Impression: Now Christ is our Life, Colos. 3.4. When Christ, who is our Life, shall appear, 1 John 5.12. He that hath the Son hath Life; he that hath not the Son hath not Life: Now this Life is wrought in us, and conveyed unto us, by the very work of the Spirit of God and Christ, in and upon our Souls, John 6.63. It is the Spirit that quickens, the same Spirit that raised up Christ from the Dead, Rom. 8.11. If the Spirit of him that raised up Jesus from the Dead dwell in you, he that raised up Christ from the Dead, shall also quicken your Mortal Body by his Spirit that dwell­eth in you, Ephes. 2.5. Even when we were dead in Sins, he hath quickned us together with Christ. Therefore he is called the Spirit of Life, Rom. 8.2. This Life called the renewing of the Holy Ghost, Tit. 2.5. a Birth of the Spirit, John 3.5. Except a Man be born of Water [Page 238] and the Spirit, Verse 6. that which is born of the Spirit is Spirit. The first Resurrection. Ephes. 5.14. Awake thou that sleepest, stand up from the Dead, and Christ shall give thee Life: And though it may seem a vain Command to a dead Man to stand up from the Dead, yet we must remember whose Command it was, even his that spake to dead Lazarus, Come forth, and he arose, because a Spirit of Life, and a word of Power went along with the Command, John 6.63. The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life: They have not only Life in them for him that receives them, but I can send a Spirit with them to enable him to receive them. And now the Soul is put into a con­dition to entertain his Happiness. It was the Happi­ness of Adam's Soul, and it is the Happiness of Angelical Natures to be receptive of the knowledge and Love of God: And here was Mans misery by his Sin, that as he lost the actual Enjoyment of God, so he had made his Soul, as it were, irreceptive of it again: and as God hath offered himself to us again in Christ, so by his Spirit he enables us to receive him by Faith, which is the first motion of the Creature to Union with God.

So then the work of the Spirit upon the Soul comes under a threefold Consideration, though the same act produceth all three, and therefore they are three put together 2 Tim. 1.7. The Spirit of Power, of Love, and of a sound Mind.

1. Of Power or Life, whereby Life is conveyed in­to the Soul, which, like the dry bones in Ezekiel, was void of Life till this Spirit comes into them; de quae supra: and the two following are but the manifestation of this Life according to the Faculties wherein it appears.

2. Of a sound Mind, Light not only in the Medium but in the Organ. John 1.4. In him was Life, and the Life was the light of Men. Hence it is called a convin­cing Spirit, John 16.8. a Spirit of Wisdom and Reve­lation [Page 239] in the knowledge of Christ, Ephes. 1.17. a Spi­rit of understanding: He hath given us understanding that we may know him that is true. 1 John 5.20. a Spirit of Demonstration and of Power, 1 Cor. 2.4. a Spirit of discerning and Judication, 1 Cor. 2.15, 16. Man's Un­derstanding by his Fall lost his Object, and lost his Sight, Ephes. 5.8. ye were sometimes darkness. And this was not only a darkness by the Absence, but by the exclu­sion of light: the Understanding was sealed against it, so that though light did shine in the darkness, yet the darkness comprehended it not, John 1.5. Now here was the work of the Spirit of God in opening the heart, Acts 16.14. enabling our understanding to re­ceive, and subduing of it to believe the truth of God. And this is certain, not only in those truths, which are farthest removed from our Reason, and so most pro­perly the Object of our Faith, John 6.65. No man can come unto me except the Father draw him, 1 Cor. 12.3. No man can say that Jesus is the Lord, but by the Holy Ghost. But even in those points of truth, wherein even natural reason may guide us: Even the belief of the Creation, though it is deducible by natural reason to know it, yet it is the work of Faith to believe it: Heb. 11.3. By Faith we understand that the Worlds were framed, &c. The con­viction of the same truth by the work of the Spirit of God creating Faith, and the work of Natural Reason working Opinion, or at most knowledge, differs as much as knowledge and Opinion: Those things of God, that are discoverable by natural Reason, receive another kind of impression upon the Soul by the work of God, as is evident by the Effects and Operations each have upon the Soul, Rom. 1.21. When they knew God, yet they glorified him not as God.

3. Of Love, therefore so called, because the Prin­cipal part of the Message that the Soul is acquainted with, is a Message of Love and Goodness, and so the [Page 240] Will inclined and ingaged to love that Goodness. And this is the fruit of the work of God's Spirit.

1. Mediately and naturally, presupposing the for­mer work of Illumination: for some Objects are of so light a nature, that when they are known, all the work of the Soul is done; so they are only known, that they may be known: But these objects of our Faith, they do include a Goodness and Conveniency for the Soul; and therefore being known, they are de­sired; so that in natural Consequence, the Spirit of God, if it demonstrates these Truths to the Soul, it doth by consequence engage the Love of the Soul to them. It is true, that Education, Instruction, and Discipline, may make us know these Truths specula­tively, and yet our Soul not affected with them: but the Conviction, which is wrought by the Power of God's Spirit, is not so thin or jejune a union of these Truths to the understanding, but deeper and more ra­dicated; and consequently doth more effectually work upon the Will: and therefore it is the Logick of the Apostle, 1 John 2.4. He that saith he knoweth God, and keepeth not his Commandments, is a liar, and the truth is not in him, 2 Pet. 1.9. He that lacketh these things is blind, and cannot see. The Argument is from the Negation of the necessary Effect or Consequent, to the Negation of the Cause or Antecedent: as if he should have said, Wheresoever there is no true Obedience to the Will and Command of God, there is certainly no Love of God. It is the conclusion of Truth and Reason, Joh. 14.23. If a man love me, he will keep my words: And where­soever there is a true knowledge of God, there must of necessity be a true Love unto God, because it doth represent God as the chiefest, only, and most suitable Good to the Soul. It is true, that notional and spe­culative knowledge of God, that is wrought by natu­ral discourse, cannot, or at least seldom doth, arrive [Page 241] to that full apprehension of the Goodness of God; and consequently doth not raise up the Heart to that height of Love and Obedience: for our Reason is weak, and the disproportion between Him and our Understanding, is infinite; and therefore he hath cho­sen to reveal it unto us in his Word and Son, and by his own Power working Knowledge in us.

And by this we see why the renovation and con­version unto God is sometimes expressed under the name of Knowledge, John 17.3. This is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, &c. Colos. 3.10. Having put on the new man, which is renewed in knowledge, 2 Cor. 4.6. For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Christ, &c. Some­times under the name of Trusting and depending upon God, Galat. 3.6. Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for Righteousness: sometimes under the name of Love, Jud. 21. Keep your selves in the Love of God, 1 Tim. 1.14. with faith and love which is in Christ, 2 Tim. 1.13. 2 Thes. 2.10. Receiving the Love of the Truth: sometimes under the name of Obedience: James 1.27. Pure religion and undefiled, &c. James 2. per tot. 1 John 2.29. Every one that doth righteousness is born of him: so sometimes under the name of Repentance: Fear of God, &c. For all this is but one work of this Spirit of Grace; and but the several Emanations of the same work of the Spirit of God upon the Soul, di­versified only in the faculties or objects: the first act in Nature is Light; and when it convinceth the heart of the sinfulness of sin that works Repentance; when of the Promises of God, that breeds Dependence and Confidence; when of the Goodness and Love of God in Christ, that breeds Love unto him Watchfulness over our selves, Obedience to his Will; when of the Majesty and Justice of God, it breeds Fear and Reve­rence; [Page 242] when of our own vileness, it breeds Humility: so that all these are but the bringing home, and joyning of those Convictions wrought in our Understanding unto the Will and Affections; and thereupon these Effects do as naturally follow upon this work of Illu­mination and Conviction wrought by the Spirit of God, as the like Effects do arise upon natural convictions of Objects of inferiour kinds and goodness.

2. But this is not all, there is a work of strength and power upon the Will, Phil. 2.13. It is God that worketh in you, both to will, and to do, of his good pleasure. As the death and disability was in both Faculties, so the Life is conveyed into both universally. And this Power of God's Spirit is not only in the first acts of our Conversion to him, but it goes along with us: All those actions which are pleasing to God, are wrought by the same Spirit of Christ, by which they were at first animated. It is a Spirit of Supplica­tion in our Prayers, Rom. 8.26. The Spirit maketh in­tercession, &c. A Spirit of Access for our Prayers, Eph. 2.18. A Spirit of Assurance and Sonship, Gal. 3.6. Eph. 1.16. A Spirit of Wisdom to direct us in our diffi­culties, Ephes. 1.17. A Spirit of Comfort and Joy in our Distresses, Rom. 14.17. A Spirit of Fruitfulness in our Conversation, Galat. 5.22, 25. A Spirit of Per­severance, 1 Pet. 1.5. Ye are preserved by the power of God through faith unto salvation.

CHAP. X. How our Ʋnion with Christ is wrought on Man's part, viz. By Faith, Hope, and Love.

HITHERTO we have seen the motion of the Love of God to his Creature; by which it may appear, the whole Business of Man's Salvation is the work of God; and Man appears in a manner passive in all the parts of it: In the sending Light into his Understanding he is passive; In the enabling the Un­derstanding to receive this Light, he is still passive; In the subduing the Will to the entertainment of it, he is still passive: Yet there is some kind of motion in us; which though it be the Work of our Creator in the first giving of it; and again [...] his Work in reviving, quickening, and enabling it; yet he is pleased to require it from us, and to expect it of us: Mori movemus. And that are principally these three, Faith, Hope and Love: we find them oftentimes joyned together, 1 Tim. 1.14. The Grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with faith, and love, which is in Christ Jesus, 2 Tim. 1.13. Hold fast the form of sound words which thou hast heard of me in faith and love, which is in Christ Jesus, Gal. 5.5. For we through the Spirit wait for the Hope of Righteousness by Faith: for in Jesus Christ neither circumcision availeth any thing, no [...] uncircumcision, but Faith which worketh by Love; 1 Cor. 13.13. Now abideth Faith, Hope, and Love, &c. But of these distinctly, and how any or all of these do either unite, or move us unto Union with our Saviour.

1. Faith, which is taken in a double sense:

[Page 244]1. For that firm and sound Assent of the Mind to Divine Truths, wrote by the Spirit of God; and so differs little or nothing from supernatural Knowledge; and thus, Heb. 11.1. Faith is the evidence of things not seen; and hath for its Objects, all Divine Truths. And as Christ dwells in our Hearts by Faith thus taken, Ephes. 3.17. so other Truths dwell in the Heart by this Faith, viz. objectively: so that Faith thus taken, is more properly an act upon the Soul, than an act of it: for in our Assent to any Truth, our Soul is in truth, passive; the strength of the Conviction conquers the Soul.

2. For that motion of the Soul, whereby it rests, casts and adventures it self upon the Promises of God in Christ for Remission and Salvation; and so differs from the former, in these three respects:

1. In the Latitude of its Object; it is more restrain­ed than the former.

2. In the Order of its Being; it is subsequent in the Order of Nature to the former, and produced by it.

3. In the Manner of its working. In the work of su­pernatural Knowledge or Assent, the Soul is passive: in this, though it be the work of God, yet the Soul is more active; As the Sun, when it shines upon a solid Body, doth cause a reflection of his own bea [...]s; so when the Light of Grace falls upon the Heart in this special act of Faith, as in that or Love, there is a reflection from the Soul back to God. And therefore those Expressions of Faith in the Scripture, import a motion in the Soul: Christ comes into the Soul by his Light and Spirit; and the Soul again comes to Christ, Joh. 6.45. He that hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. As Christ abides in the Heart by the former act of Faith; so by this latter, the Soul abides and incorpo­rates into him, and both these we have joyned together, John 15.4. Abide in me, and I in you.

[Page 245]Now this act of the Soul, is the most natural result upon the true discovery of a Man's own Condition, God's promise, and Christ's mediation unto the Soul. When a Man finds, that the Sentence of Death is pas­sed upon him; that nevertheless, God in infinite Love and Mercy, hath sent his Son to be his Satisfa­ction and Righteousness; and hath promised and pro­claimed by him, and in him, and only by him, Peace and Reconciliation, and that without exception of any person, though laden with never so much guilt and sin; and without any difficult Conditions: Who­soever believeth on him, should not perish, but have everlast­ing life. John 3.16. John 6.40. That he is appointed a Sacrifice by him whom we offended, John 3.16. God so loved the world, &c. The Son of God, and able to save to the uttermost them that come unto God by him, Heb. 7.25. The most genuine and natural motion of the Soul in such a condition, and thus convinced, is Trust, Affiance, and Divolution of the Soul upon this Promise of God in Christ.

And it is an observable thing, how the Wise and Merciful Providence of God hath ordered all things so, that we might be even necessitated to the right way of our Salvation, and to cast our selves upon it: All were concluded under a common guilt, by the volunta­ry offence of Adam, Rom. 5.12. And if we could derive our Being from another, then we might escape the Guilt: and that Guilt brought with it Death in the World, both eternal and temporal, bound upon us by irreversible Sentence of an omnipotent God. But cannot I by my future obedience, emerit this guilt? No. What thou doest for the future, is but thy Duty, and thou canst not out-act it: But grant thy future obedience might satisfie for the guilt under which thou liest, thou shalt have the Copy of that Rule which I required from thee, and once enabled thee to perform, Do this [Page 246] and live: But be sure thou do it, without turning to the right hand or the left, with thy whole Might, and Mind, and Soul, without the least aversion; and that out of the meer Principle of Love and Duty, and Obedience; and thy future observance may expiate that original guilt: yet our Condition had been still d [...]sperate, because as the Obedience was impossible, so the least miscarriage had been fatal; for cursed is every one that continueth not in all things which are written in the book of the Law to do them, Gal. 3.10. So we find an universal Guilt and Curse gone over all, and all this discovered to drive us to a Saviour, Galat. 3.22, The Scripture hath concluded all under a sin, that the promise by the [...]aith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that be­lieve. We find a righteous Law given to our Nature, but as the Obedience is unsatisfactory for a past Guilt, so the Observance is become impossible, by reason of our Corruption whereby our disobedience is rather excited than abated, Rom. 7.8. When the commandment came, sin revived, and I died: And all this still to drive us to the necessity of a Saviour, Rom. 8.12. What the law could not do, in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his own Son in the likeness of sinful flesh, and for sin condemned sin in the flesh. Thus in the midst of all those difficulties, a Saviour presents himself with the suffrage of God, the attestation of Types and Prophecies, with reconciliation of all the difficulties which perplexed our Inquiries, with Ability to save to the uttermost, with Mercy, and Acceptation, and Pardon, and Righteous­ness, and Happiness, offered and proclaimed to all, and that upon most unhazardable and easie terms, only believe him, and trust on him. So then Faith is nothing else but that result of dependance upon, and confidence in, and adherence unto Christ, which follows upon the sound Conviction of the Truth of God concerning him. It is true, the Faith of the An­cients [Page 247] differed much in the distinctness of its acting and object, from the Faith which is now required; as Abraham's Faith, Caleb's Faith, &c. But in this, they both agreed, 1. That it was a Confidence, and Trust­ing upon God, in that which was revealed unto them by God. The Promises of a Son was made to Abra­ham, and he rested upon God for the performance: The Promise of Canaan to the Jews, and Caleb and the believing Jews rested upon the Power and Truth of God to perform it: So with us, God hath promised Mercy and Happiness to them that believe on Christ, the Soul resteth and trusteth in the Truth and Power of God in Christ for it: 2. In that the Faith of both had a termination in Christ, though theirs more in­distinctly and confusedly, in respect that the same was not so clearly revealed unto them. In that Promise to Abraham, In thee shall all nations of the earth be blessed; wherein the Gospel was preached to Abraham, Galat. 3.8. Abraham did see Christ, and rejoyced, John 8.56. And so for the rest of those ancient Fa­thers, Rom. 10.4. They drank of that spiritual rock that followed them, and that rock was Christ: Now the Effects of Faith are of two kinds:

1. In reference to God, our Justification; God ha­ving of his free Goodness exhibited the Righteousness of Christ and his Satisfaction to be theirs, that shall truly know it, and rest upon it, Rom. Chap. 3, 4, 5, &c. Galat. 2.16.

2. In reference to us, Peace with God, Rom. 5.1. In him that is our Peace-maker: Humility, because the Righteousness, whereby we are justified, is none of ours, Rom. 3.27. Where then is boasting? worketh by Love, Galat. 5.6.

2. Hope is but modally or objectively distinguish­ed from Faith: for the same spiritual Life which is wrought in the Soul, and brings Light with [Page 248] it, when it looks upon Christ with Dependance and Recumbency is called Faith; when it looks upon the fulfilling of these Promises, yet unfulfilled with Expecta­tion and Assurance, is called Hope. They are but the actings of the same spiritual Life with diversity only, [...] to the diversity of Objects. Hence they are many times taken for the same thing, Heb. 11. [...] the substance of things hoped for, Ephes. 4.4. One H [...]pe of your calling, Galat. 5.5. We through the Spirit wait for the Hope of righteousness by Faith, Rom. 8.24 We are sa­ved by Hope, 1 Pet. 1.4. Begotten again unto a lively Hope. And the Fruit of this Hope, must of necessity be Joy, Re [...]ycing in Hope, Rom. 12.12. And such a Joy, as at once takes off the vexation, sorrow, and anxiety that the greatest Affliction in this world can afford, and likewise the fixing of the Soul with over much Delight upon any thing that it here enjoys; because it looks beyond both, upon a Recompence of Reward, that allays the bitterness of the greatest Affliction, 2 Cor. 4.17, 18. Heb. 11. and allays the Delight of the greatest temporal Enjoyment, Heb. 11.26. Esteeming the reproach of Christ, greater riches than the treasures of Egypt: Puri­fies the Heart, John 3.3. He that hath this hope, purgeth himself, even as he is pure: that is, winds up his Heart to such a Condition, as is suitable to his Expecta­tion.

3. Love: This is that first and great Command­ment, Deut. 6.5. Matth. 22.37. And therefore is the fulfilling of the whole Law, Galat. 5.14. Rom. 13.8. Because it puts the only true and active Principle in the Heart, which carries him to all true Obedience. It is the highest Grace, 1 Cor. 13.13. And that wherein consis [...]ed the Perfection of Humane and Angelical Nature, because it was not only his Duty, but his Happiness: It was his Duty, because the chiefest Good deserved his chiefest Love, even out of a Principle of [Page 249] Nature; and his Happiness, because in this regular motion of the Creature to his Creator. God was pleased to exibit himself to his Creature, and accord­ing to the measure of his Love, was the measure of his Fruition.

And in the Restitution of his Creature, God is plea­sed to restore this quality to the Soul, Gal. 5.22. The first fruit of the Spirit is Love, 2 Tim. 1.7. The Spirit of Love, 1 Tim. 1.14. with Faith and Love, 2 Thes. 2.10. receiving the Love of the Truth, Ephes. 4.15. speaking the truth in Love, Jude 21. keep your selves in the Love of God: now this Love is wrought by a double means:

1. By the Knowledge of God, as he is the Best and Universal Good: and therefore it is impossible, that there can be the true Knowledge of God, but there must be the true Love of God, 1 John 4.8. He that loveth not, knoweth not God: And this is an Act grounded upon a rational Judgment, which even by the very Law and Rule of Nature teacheth us to value and esteem that most, which is the greatest Good.

2. By the Knowledge of the Love of God to us. The absolute Goodness of God deserves our Love; but the communication of his Goodness to his Crea­ture commands it: The former doth most immediately work upon our Judgment, and so is a love of Appre­hension; the latter upon our Wills, and so is a love of Affection; and yet both upon right Reason, for as the Law of Nature teacheth us to love the Chiefest Good, so the same Law of Nature teacheth us to love those most, that do us most Good, and consequently love us most. Now when God by his Spirit sheds abroad his Love into the Heart; and we once come to know the Love of Christ passing Knowledge, Ephes. 3.19. The Soul, even out of a natural ingenuity (being [Page 250] rescued by the Spirit of God from that malignity that sin and corruption had wrought in it) cannot chuse but return to God again, that hath done so much for so undeserving a Creature. And therefore this was the great Wisdom and Goodness of God in sending Christ in the Flesh to die for us when we were Ene­mies, and in revealing that Goodness of his therein; that in a way, proportionable to the conception and operation of our Souls, we might understand the great­ness of his Love to us: 1 John 3.16. Hereby perceive we the love of God, 1 John 4.9. In this was manifested the love of God, Ephes. 2.4. But God, who is rich in mercy, for his great love, wherewith he loved us, even when we were dead, &c. God commandeth his love to us, &c. All which being brought to a Soul that hath life in him, must needs work Love to God again, 1 John 4.19. We love him be­c [...]use he loved us first. As it is the Love of God that gives us Power to love him; for it is the first cause of our Happiness, and consequently of our Love to God, wherein consists our Happiness: so it is the im­mediate cause of our Love to him. When the Soul is convinced of so much Love from so great a God to so poor a Creature, in very Ingenuity and Gratitude it cannot chuse but return an humble and hearty Love to his Creator again. Methinks the Soul in the con­templation of the Goodness and Love of God, might bespeak it self to this effect: So immense and infinite is the Goodness and Beauty of thy God, that were thy Being possible to be independent upon him, he would deserve the most boundless and infinite motion of thy Love unto him: But here is yet farther infinitude ad­ded to an infinitude: he gave thee thy Being from no­thing, which was an infinite act of his Goodness and Power unto thee, and doth and may justly challenge the highest tribute of Love and Glory, that thy Being can return unto him: But had he given thee a simple [Page 251] Being, thy Debt had not been so great, so have the most unaccomplisht Creatures: But thy Being was dres­sed with an Intellectual Nature, and that Nature fur­nished with Fruition of Happiness, filling the utter­most extent of its Capacity, and that Happiness guard­ed with such a Law as was suitable to that Nature, full of Beauty and Order, in the obedience whereof, thou didst at once perform thy Duty, and improve thy Felici­ty: But thou rejectedst all this, and becamest a Rebel to thy God, and a ruine to thy self, and thou hast improved thy ruine and rebellion by a voluntary rejection of thy Duty and thy Happiness, until this hour: And what canst thou expect, but a just return of an infinite Venge­ance from an omnipotent injured Creator, for so un­grateful a breach of an infinite Obligation? But con­sider what thy Lord hath done for thee for all this, and stay thy self and wonder: Thy Lord proclaims, Return, thou backsliding Soul, and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you, Jer. 12. Hadst thou of­fended thine Equal, for thy offended Equal to have solicited thy Reconciliation, had deserved Acceptation and Love; But for the infinite God, to whom thou owest an infinite Duty; and hast violated it, who is able to annihilate thee, and can receive no advan­tage by thy return, to solicit it with an offer of a Reprieve, nay, of a Pardon! But here's not all: our Deliverance from the Wrath of God, is wonder e­nough: Let me now be as one of my Father's hired Servants. No, there is more yet, 1 John 3.1. Behold what manner of love: he is content to accept of us as Sons. But what must the Price be of so great a Change, or who shall give it? Thy Lord, whom thou hast thus injured, hath paid the Price of thy Redemption, and such a Price as Heaven and Earth may wonder at the mention of it. The Son of God lays down his Life for his Rebels. Pardon, and Assumption into a Part­nership [Page 252] with him in his own Kingdom: But thou art not for all this, at the End of thy Debt, this Price is rendred to thee upon easie terms, Believe and live: and this Life accompanied with infinite Advantages, even Communion with this Creator. But yet like the murmuring Israelite, thou wilt die with the Manna between thy Teeth, unless God, who hath given thee such a Price of thy Redemption, enable thee to re­ceive him: He sends his Spirit into thy Heart, with Light and Life, to strive with thy unbelieving Heart, and to subdue it, and to cleanse thy filthy and pollu­ted Heart, to bring Redemption into thy Heart, and to solicite, perswade, importune thy Heart to receive him for thy own Good. What remains then, but that thou shouldest ever admire that Love, that hath done all this for thee, that thou shouldest in all humility and humble reverence return love to thy Lord, and magnifie his condescension, that he is pleased to accept the Love of his poor Creature; that thou study not to grieve the Spirit of that God, that hath taken this pains and care with thee for thy good; not to crucifie again that Christ, that hath died for thee; that thou labour to find out what is the Will of thy Lord; and to obey it; and to walk in love, as Christ also loved us, and hath given himself for us, Ephes. 5.2.

Now according to the measure of the true Know­ledge of God, and of his Love in Christ, is the mea­sure of our Love to him: and as that Knowledge is the immediate cause of its production, so it must of necessity be the measure of its Degree. And although both the knowledge of his Absolute Goodness, which excites the love of Desire, and the knowledge of his Benefactoriness to us, which increaseth the love of Gratitude or Benevolence, are mingled in every Soul that truly loves God; yet according to the different degrees of the discoveries of either to the Soul, so are [Page 253] the different manners of their working upon the Soul. The knowledge of the Perfection and Absolute Good­ness of God is more suitable to an Angelical Nature, and therefore produceth an high Angelical and Intel­lectual Love; for this Love begins with the Judgment: But because our Nature, as it now stands, as it arrives seldom to such a Knowledge, so seldom to such a Love; and that Love, which comes into the Heart, meerly upon such Contemplations, is weak, mingled with Servile Fear; unactive, because the Knowledge like the Sun in a Cloud, shines dim, and the Heat proves waterish and weak: But the knowledge of the Goodness of God to us, as it draws the Goodness of God nearer to us in Sense, so it strikes more our Af­fections, which God hath placed in us for this End. And this was the motive of Love, and consequently of Obedience, both under the Law, and under the Gospel; though the Expressions of that Love under the Law had more in them of Sense, and under the Gospel, more of Spirit, Deut. 30.20. That thou mayest love the Lord thy God, and obey his voice, and cleave unto him, for he is thy life, and the length of thy days, &c. Luk. 7.47. Her sins, which are many, are forgiven, for she loved much. Christ argues from the measure of her Love, to the measure of God's Goodness to her, and her Sense of it. And here we have the true Principle of all true Obedience to God: The bare External act of any thing commanded by God, unless it move from a Heart or Principle conformable to the Will of God, is no Obe­dience: for all External actions, taking them divided from the Will, they are all of one kind and nature: The very same act proceeding from a Soul differently principled, may be an act of Obedience, (viz. when proceeding from an obedient loving Heart;) an act of compulsion, when proceeding from a bare servile Heart; a bruitish act, when it proceeds from a Soul [Page 254] not moved with any Consideration; and an act of malignity against God, when done out of a malicious cunning design. Some even preached the Gospel for Envy, Phil. 1.16. So then, as the Knowledge of the Goodness and Love of God to us, is the immediate cause of the return of our Love to God; so this love of the Soul unto God, is the true and immediate Prin­ciple of all true Obedience unto God, Now these are the genuine and natural Effects of Love to God:

1. It makes a Man, to make God and his Honour and Glory, the highest and supream End of all his actions. And this must needs be so in Reason: For as the great End of all the works of God are his own Honour; so where there is true Love to God, it cannot chuse but make the Soul value that most, which God most values. As he must needs be convinced in his Judgment, that that which God makes his End, must needs be the chief End of the Creatures actions; so where this Af­fection is, it must needs drive to that End: for if it should in any thing go beside that End, or not aim at it, there is so much want of Love, My Love to a Creature may consist with a crossing of the End of that Creature out of my very love to it, because the Crea­ture, which I love, may drive to an End, which is not for his own good: but this is impossible in case of my Love to God; for whatsoever most tends to his Glory, is most conformable to his Will, and what­soever is conformable to his Will, is most infallibly conformable to the soundest and best Wisdom.

2. It makes the Heart Conformable unto the Will of God: for he that loves God truly, makes his Will the mea­sure of his own: and it is impossible to think that a Creature should love God truly, and yet cross the Will of him whom he thus loves. The Perfection of all Creatures, even inanimate, consists in their Con­formity to the Will and Law of their Creator, stampt [Page 255] upon them in their Creation; and when they turn aside from this, they contract Disorder and Defor­mity; much more in case of a rational Creature, who is endued with Faculties susceptive and executive of the Will of God in a higher measure. And the Fruits of this Conformity to the Will of God are,

1. A chearful Submission to the actings of the Will of God upon us with Patience and Contentedness; for it is his Will, whose Will I have made the measure of mine: and though I shall not cease to make my humble application to him for the removing of his Hand of what kind soever, yet I have learned of my Saviour to conclude, Not my will, but thy will be done.

2. A solicitous inquiry what this Will of God is; for the same Love, that teacheth me to make his Will mine, teacheth me likewise to make inquiry after, this Will by my Prayers, by my Studies, and Inquiries &c.

3. A strict walking according to that Will, in all things, and at all times.

3. This Love of God works an awful Conversation and Heart before him. And this is that Fear of God which the wise Man tells us is the great duty of Man, Eccles. 12.13. Now the Fear of God may arise upon some of these Considerations:

1. Out of the meer Sense of a Guilt incurred, and the Power and Wrath of God against the guilty Crea­ture. Such was the fear of Adam before God had revealed the Cure of his Guilt, Gen. 2.10. I heard thy voice in the garden and was afraid: and this fear drives the Heart from God, and therefore he hid himself: and therefore this Fear in the perfection of it, is not consistent with the Love of God; though so much of imperfection as our love unto God hath, so much even of this Fear may be in the Soul, Rom. 8.15. We have not received the spirit of bondage again to fear. 1 John. 4.18. He that feareth is not made perfect in Love.

[Page 256]2. Out of the mere sense of the Majesty, and Glory, and Power of God, and the subordination and sub­jection and distance of the Creature. And such a Fear as this, as it may consist, so it ought to be joined unto our Love of God. And, although there were in us an impossibility to sin, as in Angelical Natures, or bles­sed Souls, yet this Awfulness and Reverence to his Majesty will be, and must be in us: for all the Attri­butions of God must be received with answerable Af­fections in his Creature, and one hinders not the other. And this awe of the Majesty of God in the Heart ex­presseth it self in suitable Deportments and Expressi­ons without. Abraham, that was the Friend of God, yet forgets not his distance in his Prayer, Gen. 18.27. Behold, now I have taken upon me to speak to the Lord, which am but dust and ashes. Exod. 34.6. When God passed by Moses, he proclaimed his Majesty and Glory, as well as his Mercy and Goodness: The Lord, The Lord God, Merciful, &c. And it found a suitable affection of re­verence in Moses; he bowed his Head towards the Earth, and worshipped. Even when we rejoyce in him, it must be with Trembling, Psal. 2.11. And this is a great part of the Business of the Old Testament to acquaint revolting Man with the Majesty of God, and to fence out those irreverent and unbecoming thoughts that the degenerate Sons of Men had of the infinite God, Isa 40. per totum, & Vers. 18. To whom then will ye liken God? And as the Angels in awful reverence to his Majesty, are said to cover their Faces, (Isa. 6.2.) so the twenty four Elders that sat about the Throne, cast down their Crowns before the Throne, [...]ev. 4.10.

3. Out of a sense of his Goodness, mingled with the consideration of his Greatness; which doth at once improve the value of his Mercy, that it should come from so great a Majesty; and improve that Fear of [Page 257] his Greatness, by mixing with an humble Love, the Love of a Child to a Father. And this is most seen in the care of avoiding any thing, which may displease God, 1 Pet. 1.17. Passing the sojourning here in fear. This is that that makes them watch­ful and jealous of themselves, lest any thing un­beseeming so great an Engagement should pass from them. This Caution against Sin, riseth from the Love of God under both the notions before expres­sed.

1. As our Love is terminated in him, as the Chief­est Good: and so we avoid sin out of fear of that loss, which we may have by it. This, it is true, is not without a mixture of Love to our selves, yet allowable to be a ground of our Care.

2. As our Love returns to him by way of Bene­volence: Where Love is to an Equal, it creates an awe of giving distaste. How much more, when to the infinite God, and yet that so far condescends in his Love to us.

4. This Love of God breeds an endeavour of Likeness to him. The genuine effect of Love, is Union: and Similitude to the thing loved, hath a degree of Union in it. Now because no Eye can see God and live, neither can there be that proportion between us and him, that we should frame our selves unto his Image immediately, he hath given us three Copies of himself to take out, viz.

1. In his Works: in his Patience, in his Goodness, in his Mercy.

2. In his Word he hath transcribed for us a Copy of his Holiness, 1 Pet. 1.16. Be ye holy, for your heavenly Father is holy.

3. In his Son. God in the Creation, printed his Image upon Man; and Man by his sin broke it, and defaced it, as Moses did the two Tables of Stone. [Page 258] God gives a new Image of himself to Man: He hath given his Son into the World, who is the Image of the invisible God, Colos. 1.15. 2 Cor. 4.4. And while we look on him with Faith and Love, we put him on, Rom. 13.14. We grow up to the measure of his stature, Ephes. 4.13. We are changed into the same image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord, 2 Cor. 3.18. We put on the new Man, which is renewed in knowledge, after the image of him that created him, Colos. 3.10. And we were predestinate to be conformable to his image, Rom. 8.29.

5. This Love of God breeds in us an undervaluing of all things in comparison of him. And this is a natural effect of Love: for according to the measure of our Love, is the measure of the Estimate of the things lo­ved: If God be the choicest and chiefest Object of our Love, it will, like Moses his Rod, devour and con­found the rest, especially, when they come in compe­tition with it: If we have disorderly Passions, and Af­fections, and Lusts. This Love of God will mortifie them; for Christ is our Life; Mortifie therefore your earthly members. &c. Colos. 3.4, 5. It will crucifie the flesh with the Affections and Lusts, Galat. 5.24. I will pull out a right Eye, and cut off a right Hand, if it offend, Matth. 5.24. I will teach a Man to hate his Mother, Wife, Children, Brothers, Sisters, yea, his own Life, when it comes in competition with his Saviour, Luk. 14.26. To esteem his outward Privileges, Learning, Reputation, &c. and all things but loss and dung for the Excellency of the Knowledge of Christ, Philip. 3.8. nay, the best of our Obedience, Prayers, Righteous­ness: It makes this humble Confession; ‘O Lord, I owe unto thee, the strength of my Soul; and when I have paid it, I am but an unprofitable Servant: Thy Goodness to me, is none of thy debt to thy [Page 259] Creature; but my most exquisite and perfect Obe­dience is due to thee: And behold, I have brought before thee these Services: what there is in them worth the accepting, is thy own, the work of thine own Spirit, the purchace of thine own Blood; the rest, alas! is mine, and is an Object rather for thy Mercy to pardon, than thy Justice to accept.’

6. It works true Sorrow for any sin committed: for as it cannot chuse but be sensible, as of any injury com­mitted to the God he loves, so most especially of such an injury as is done by himself.

7. The Love of God is the only true Principle of all Obedience. Faith works by Love, Ephes. 5.6. And Christ died, not only to redeem us from our Iniquities, but to purifie unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works, Tit. 2.14. And we are created in Christ unto good Works, Ephes. 2.10. And this is the will of God your Father, eve [...] your sanctification, 1 Thes. 4.3. And it is as impossible, that where the true Love of God is, these can be wanting, as it is for the Sun to be without his Light. The Love of Christ is a constraining Love, 2 Cor. 5.14. And he died for all, that they that live, should not from hence­forth live to themselves, but to him that died for them, and rose again. Our Obedience to Christ is the true Experi­ment of our Love to him, John 14.15. If ye love me, keep my Commandments, 1 John 2.3. So our Love is the only true Principle of our Obedience, Deuteronom. 6.4. and 10.12. And now, O Israel, what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to fear the Lord thy God, and to walk in his ways, and to love him, and to serve the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy Soul. The Love of God cannot be without his Fear and Obe­dience. Now the Qualifications arising from this Love, will be,

[Page 260]1. A Sincere Obedience, because it proceeds from a Principle within: for the Obedience is formed in the Heart, before it is formed in the Action. Love can­not be dissembled, because its residence is in the Soul: the action that proceeds from Love, must needs be therefore sincere.

2. A Perpetual Obedience, because the Principle within is perpetual and increasing: for the more a Man loves God, the more God is pleased to discover his Goodness to him; and consequent­ly his Love increaseth, and consequently his Obe­dience.

3. Ʋniversal Obedience; for it is the same Principle within, that looks universally upon all. The Obedi­ence is upon this ground. It is the Will, and the Command of him whom I love, that ingageth my Obedience: and wheresoever I find that impression, there is my ground: If the thing commanded, be more unsuitable to my Constitution, Occasions, Exi­gencies, yet it hath the Impression of my Lord up­on it, I will by his strength and Grace obey it: If I love him, his Will, and not my own, must be the measure of my Obedience. And this is the reason why the breach of one Command of God know­ingly, is the breach of all, because, if my Obedi­ence to the rest, had been rightly principled upon the Love of God, the same Love would have in­gaged me to the obedience of this: my Obedience therefore to the rest, is not Obedience, but a Pre­tence or Shew. Some Commandments of God do include in them a greater suitableness to the Rational Nature of Man than others; such are the Laws of Nature, the Decalogue: some are such Commands, as seem only to be Experiments of our Obedience; such were the Ceremonial Commands; the Command to Abraham, to sacrifice his Son; [Page 261] to the Young Man, to sell all he had: But where this true Principle of the Love of God is there will follow Obedience to both; though the more hard the Command, the greater measure of Love to God is required to a full performance of it. It teaches Obedience, where the thing commanded, is of it self full of Beauty, as all Moral Commands are, because but the Abstract of his Image: and it teacheth to obey where the Command seems to carry nothing in it, but asperity, and unusefulness; for it hath made the Will of God the measure of its own Will. Now concerning the Subject of our Obedience, how far it extends, and what the Rule of it is, vide infra.

CHAP. XI. Why, or by what reason the act of Faith worketh our Ʋnion with Christ, and so our Justification in the sight of God.

HITHERTO we have seen those motions of God to his Creature, and the motion of the Creature unto God again, and both these must needs end in Union: and this Union can be no otherwise than in the Son, in whom the Divine and Humane Nature were united in one Person, in whom the di­stance and difference between God and Man, were filled up and reconciled. And by virtue of our Union with him, as our sins are made, as it were his, in point of Imputation and Satisfaction, so we have all that com­municable [...] that was in Christ: his Righteousness, Phil. 3.9. the Righteousness which is of God by Faith: his Life. Galat. 2.2 [...]. his Death, Galat. 2.20. I am crucified with Christ: his Spirit, Rom. 8.9. his Resurrection, [...]. 2.6. hath raised us up together, and made us sit [...] him in heavenly places, Colos. 2.12. Buried [...] Baptism, wherein also ye are risen with him through the Faith of the operation of God: of his Son­ship, and Heirship, Galat. 4.7. Heirs of God through Christ.

Now all these three Graces of God, wrought in our [...] by the Spirit of God, are motions unto Union, [...], is the first act of the Soul, and there­ [...] [...] this Union is formally ma [...]e: [...] to be justified by Faith, Rom. 3.28. To partake of of the Righteousness of God by Faith, [Page 263] Rom. 3.22. Phil. 3.9. viz. That by the Eternal Coun­sel and Goodness of God, Christ is put in the place of him that believes, in respect of his sins; and he that believes is in the sight of God, put in place or stead of Christ, and by that means is judged righteous in the sight of God, even by that very Righteous­ness, which was the Righteousness of Christ, the Me­diator. And when we speak of Faith, we must not intend that work of the Spirit of God in our Souls, whereby we believe; for by the very same work is wrought belief, love of God, and hope in him: But it is that act of that Life so wrought, which doth be­lieve. Now we shall consider, Why, or by what reason the act of Faith worketh our Ʋnion with Christ, and so our Justi­fication in the sight of God:

1. Because it is the Will of God, John 6.40. This is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: He, that is the great dispenser of his own Goodness, is pleased that this shall be the means of that Dispensa­tion. In ancient times before the coming of Christ, he was pleased to use other immediate Instruments, such were Circumcision, Obedience to those Laws which he gave: these had not their Efficacy of them­selves, for they were indifferent things; but they had their Efficacy upon these grounds: 1. The Divine Institution to that End: 2. The mingling of the Ef­ficacy of the Sacrifice and Satisfaction of Christ with 3. A performance of them with an Obediential and believing Heart, which, though it was not always accompanied with an explicite and actual belief of Christ, yet it was not without thus much Faith; viz. That it was a thing injoined by God for some special Purpose, for the good of his Creature. And thus likewise in Infants, who are not capable of an actual exercise of Faith, God hath questionless, some [Page 264] secret efficacious means of the application of Christ's Sacrifice unto them. Thus, proportionable to the Condition of his Elect in all times and Conditions, God is pleased to proportion a means to make this Sacrifice effectual. To the ancient Fathers, that had not the same opportunity of believing, in respect Christ was not revealed to them so clearly as to us, it was his Will to appoint at least, a more implicite and obscure act of Faith: They were shut up unto the Faith that should afterwards be revealed, Galat. 3.23.

2. Because Faith is the first act of the New Life, wrought in the Heart by the Spirit of God, tending to Union: It is true, that Knowledge is that which precedes all the works of Grace in the Soul; but in this, the Soul is not so much active, as passive; and Knowledge doth not of it self, unite the Soul to the Object, viz. Christ, as it doth unite the Object to the Soul: But the first motion of the Soul to Union, is not that Faith of Assent, which differs not from Knowledge, but the Faith of Recumbency or Ad­herence. And this priority of the act of Faith is not in time, for Life is wrought all at once in the Soul; but in Nature and actual operation. And this priority of Faith in this sense is upon three grounds: 1. In respect of the nature of the Act. 2. In respect of the nature of that Truth, upon which it fixeth. 3. In respect of the Condition of the Creature.

1. In respect of the nature of the Act; The Creature is created essentially depending upon God; and De­pendance is the first relative act of the Creature unto the Creator; as it is the first relation, so the first mo­tion of a rational Creature unto God, is by an act of Dependance and Recumbence upon his Truth and Goodness. And herein consisted as the first act of Union, in our uncorrupted Nature, unto God, so herein was the first breach that was made upon Man, [Page 265] Gen. 3.1. Yea, hath God said, &c. Man's Duty was Re­cumbency, and Trust, and Reliance upon the Good­ness of his Creator, and the Devil weakens his Faith or Dependance upon his God, and deceives him. His first Fall was Distrust in the Word and Goodness of God, and his first Recovery must be by Recumbency upon him, his Truth, and Goodness.

2. In respect of the nature of the Message. It is a Message, that as it requires, so it concerns our Faith and Recumbency. It is a Promise of Mercy and Peace unto as many as believe the Message: According to the nature of the thing known, is the motion of the Heart towards it: This is a Message of Deliverance and Peace, with a Command to rest upon it; there­fore of necessity, the first act must be Recumbence, John 11.40. Said I not, if thou wouldest believe, thou should­est see the Glory of God, Exod. 14.13. Fear not, stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord. The first act, that a Message of Deliverance from God worketh upon the Heart, that entertains it, is Recumbency and Resting upon the Truth and Power of God.

3. In respect of the Condition that this Message of Deliverance finds us in. We are incompassed every where with Guilt; and the avenger of blood pursues that guilt; and we cannot by any means find any Power in our selves, or in any other Creature, to escape it: The Soul being seriously convinced of this, God presents unto it the Satisfaction and Righteous­ness of Christ, his Promise of Acceptation of it, and our deliverance from his wrath by it: And now the Soul, like a Man ready to be drowned, first lays hold of the Cable that is thrown out to him, even before it hath leisure to contemplate the Goodness of him, that did it. So the condition of our Misery teacheth us first to clasp the Promise of Mercy and Salvation in Christ; and then to consider and contemplate the great [Page 266] Mercy and Goodness of God, and to entertain it with Love and Thankfulness. An extream Exigence will give a Man some confidence to adventure upon a dif­ficult and unlikely occasion of deliverance; because it is possible his Condition may be bettered, it cannot be made worse, 2 Kings 8.4. Why sit we here until we die? if we enter into the City, the Famine is in the City, and we shall die there; if we sit still here, we die also: Now therefore let us f [...]ll into the Host of the Assyrians, if they save us alive, [...] live; and if they kill us, we shall but die. Even so, even in a way of Reason, may the Soul de­bate with it se [...]f: I find my Condition miserable, and I know not how to avoid it: when I look into my self, I find a guilty and condemning Conscience; when I look behind me, I see the avenger of blood pursuing me, and ready to overtake me; when I look before me, I see nothing but a Hell to receive me in my flight; when I look upward, I behold an offended and angry God, a [...]med with Power and Justice to condemn me. [...] is true, he is a Merciful and Bountiful God; but that aggravates my Misery. What Comfort can the thought of a neglected, an abused Mercy add unto [...] so that now, as my Misery is intolerable, so it is inextricable: as I cannot help my self, so I can see no­thing without me but storms, but trouble, and dark­ness, and dimness, and anguish, Isa. 8.22. and a guilt within me, still telling me worse is to come: and to prevent my despair, I turn me to the Creatures, to Friends, to Pleasures; but alas! they have no more taste in them than the white of an Egg; like Drink in a Fever, they increase my Torment. In the midst of all this tempest of the Soul, the Love of God, like the Dove to the drowning Ark, lets fall an Olive Branch, a [...], a Message and Promise of Life and Delive­ [...], an invitation to Peace and Salvation. Let any [...] judge now, whether a Soul sensible of his own [Page 267] Condition, will not greedily, and even before it hath leisure to contemplate the Mercy, lay hold upon it, rest upon it, get unto it: so that the condition of the Soul, and the sense of it, doth even drive the Heart, in the first act of its Illumination, to coming unto Christ, and resting upon him: And then the Soul hath more opportunity to discover, and contemplate, and value the Goodness of God, whereby the Love of the Soul to God, is more and more excited and increased.

And thus we see how the Believer is united unto Christ: not corporeally, nor yet substantially; yet really and spiritually, these motions of the Soul being met and entertained with Objects suitable to their ut­most latitude: Our motion unto him by Faith and Adherence, finds not only an invitation before it come, Matth. 11.28. Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy lad [...]n, and I will give you rest: But a rest when it doth come: Our motion unto him by our Love, finds an entertainment with Fruition, John 14.23. If a man love we, he will keep my words, and my Father will love him, and we will come unto him, and make our abode with him: Our Hope entertained with Assurance, and the Pre­possession of our Expectation, John 14.2. I go to prepare a place for you, 1 Pet. 1.4. An inheritance incorruptible and undefiled, reserved in Heaven. In the creation of Man, as likewise of Angels, God placed in them Powers suceptive and able to receive a great measure of his Truth, Glory, and Goodness: And when he had furnished them with Vessels, as I may say, of this Capacity, he filled them with his Light and Goodness: And herein consisted that great Union between God and his Creature; and consequently his great Happi­ness. And in Man's Restitution, the same course is taken to make him happy again. Here is the diffe­rence, and our accession of Happiness, that this Mercy [...] put into our own hands, but into the hands of [Page 268] our Mediator for our use. For as in him dwells the fulness of God, so every true Believer dwells in him, and makes up that Body, which is the fulness of him that filleth all in all, Ephes. 1.23. And is thereby fil­led with the Fulness of God, Ephes. 3.19.

CHAP. XII. The Effects of our Ʋnion with Christ.

NOW we come to consider the Effects of this our Ʋnion with Christ more distinctly.

1. Remission of Sins, Ephes 1.7. Colos. 1.14. In whom we have redemption through his blood, even the forgiveness of sins: For by virtue of our Union with him, the Fa­ther looks upon us, as having made that Satisfaction for Sin, which in truth his Son made.

2. Justification: For as by virtue of our Union with him, his Satisfaction is ours, so is his Righteousness. And hence that Righteousness, by which we are made righteous in the sight of God, is called the Righte­ousness of God, 2 Cor. 5.21. That we might be made the Righteousness of God in him, Phil. 3.9. That I may be found in him, not having mine own righteousness, which is of the Law, but that which is through the Faith of Christ, the Righteousness which is of God by Faith: And therefore Jer. he is called, The Lord our Righteousness. And indeed without this, though it were possible, that we could have our sins forgi­ven, yet without this Righteousness, we could not actually attain Happiness. Christ therefore must pre­sent us Holy, as well as unblameable, Colos. 1.22. So then, being one with him, as our sins by imputation [Page 269] were his, and his Satisfaction ours, so was also his Righteousness.

3. Peace and Reconciliation with God: For as God from Heaven, proclaimed himself well pleased in his Son, so if we are one with him, he is consequently well pleased with us. And this Conclusion follows naturally from our Justification in the sight of God: The controversie between God and his Creature was Sin; and when Christ took up that Controversie, there must needs follow peace, Rom. 5.1. Being justified by Faith we have Peace with God through Christ, Colos. 1.20. Having made Peace through the blood of his Cross, Eph. 2.14. For he is our Peace: And the consequent of this Peace with God, is Peace with the Creature, who, when Man became Rebel to God, became Rebel to Man, unuse­ful, vain, full of vexation: but by our Peace restored with our God, our Peace with the Creature, is part of our Portion, Godliness having the Promise of this Life, as well as that to come, 1 Tim. 4.8. Matt. 6.33. and peace with our own Consciences: Conscience was God's Vicegerent in Man, and when her Lord is angry, the Conscience will chide: It is a Glass, wherein a Man may by reflection, see the face of Heaven, and of his own Soul. But when once the Heart is sprinkled from an evil Conscience by the Blood of Christ, Heb. 10.2.22. the Conscience is quiet, for Heaven is quiet. As Peace was the Proclamation of an Angel at the Birth of Christ, Luke 2.14. so Peace was the Legacy of Christ, when he was leaving the World, John 14.27. My Peace I leave with you. And the Fruit of this Peace, must needs be Joy: When a Man upon sound grounds doth find that his Peace is made with Heaven, there cannot chuse but be a Joy answerable to the sense of so beneficial a Peace. Therefore Rom. 14.17. The Kingdom of God is Righte­ousness, and Peace, and Joy in the Holy Ghost, Rom. 15.13. The God of Hope fill you with all Joy and Peace in believing. [Page 270] Where there is Faith there will be Peace; and where Peace, Joy: and therefore when Christ had finished the work of our Redemption, that Spirit which he sent in­to the World, is called the Comforter, John 15.26.

4. The Spirit of Christ: and that may be taken these ways.

1. The immediate Communication of the Holy Spirit, wherewith Christ himself was indued: for, as in re­spect of the Union of the Divine Nature, there was an Essential Union between the Son and the Spirit; so by that Union of both Natures in one Person, there was a Communion of the same Spirit unto Christ; The Spirit descended upon him like a Dove, Matth. 3.16. God gave him not the Spirit by measure, John 3.34. Now as Aaron's Ointment, that was poured first upon his Head, descended upon the Hem of his Gar­ment; so by virtue of our Union with him, that Spi­rit, that was without measure poured upon our Head, was in some measure, diffused upon all that are united to him: and as the same Soul, that actuates the Heart and the Head in a more plentiful and eminent manner, doth inactuate the most inconsiderable part of the same Body; so the same Spirit, that is in Christ, is in every one that is united unto him, though in a different degree of operation, Rom. 8.9. If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his, 2 Cor. 6.17. He that is joyned unto the Lord, is one Spirit. And by this Spirit of Christ, which he giveth and communi­cateth unto those that are united unto him, they are said to be sealed by the Spirit of Promise, Ephes. 1.13. 2 Cor. 1.22. viz. It is by this Spirit of Christ, that we have access unto God, Ephes. 2.18. We have access by one Spirit unto the Father: and it is this Spirit that forms our Desires in us; and by this means, our Desires are not only discovered unto God, that knows the mind of his own Spirit, but they are also con­formable [Page 271] unto the Will of God, Rom. 8.27. He that searcheth the heart, knoweth what is in the mind of the Spi­rit, because be maketh intercession for the Saints, according to the will of God. And as the Father did hear the Son always, because his Desires were conformable to the Will of his Father, John 11.42. I know that thou hearest me always: so, John 16.23. Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, he shall give it you: for it is a Petition framed by that Spirit, which is the Spirit of Christ, and of God; and what his own Spirit desires, it is his own Will to grant: And for this cause, it is called the Spirit of Adoption; Rom. 8.15. God is pleased to accept the Prayers and Services of the Members of Christ in him, even as the obedience of his own Sons, because they are moved and actuated by the very same Spirit, which is the Spirit of his Son. And as the intrinsecal form of things is that which instru­mentally conforms the qualities and proportions of the thing which it informs unto that intrinsecal form, and suits it with Qualities and Conditions suitable to its Operations; so this Spirit of Christ doth by degrees conform the Soul, the Affections, the whole Man, unto the Image of Christ, changing it into the same Image, 2 Cor. 3.18. And this Spirit of Christ doth lead them into all Truth, John 16.13. And from hence it is, that he that is the true Member of Christ, cannot continue in a constant course of sin, 1 John 3.9. For his seed remaineth in him, viz. That Spirit of Christ, by which he is actuated, and by which he is born of God, John 3.6. That which is born of the Spirit, is Spirit. That abideth in him, and will be degrees, like a li­ving Spring, work out that mudd, that our own flesh and corruption cast into us.

2. Which is a fruit of the former, The mind of Christ. For this Spirit of God works a Conformity in the Heart and Life to Christ, whose Spirit it is: This [Page 272] Spirit of Christ makes an impression of the Image of Christ upon the Soul and Life. The like Effect with this, we find in all things: In matters Natural, the vi­cinity of two things together, works a Conformity of the weaker to the stronger, either Element or Form: In matters Moral, Conversation between two, breed a Conformity in Manners, even different from their otherwise natural Constitution: much more, where the Spirit of Christ lays hold on the Soul, and unites a Man unto Christ, there is not only new Com­pany, but a new Form, and consequently of neces­sity a new frame and temper of Heart and Life, con­formable to such Company, and to such a Form. And in order to this Conformity unto Christ, the Old Conversation, the Old Man, which is corrupt, according to the deceitful Lusts, Ephes. 4.22. must be put off; the Affections and Lusts must be crucified, Galat. 5.25. the Body will be dead because of sin, Rom. 8.10. Ungodliness and Worldly Lusts will be denied, Tit. 2.12. For these make a deformity from Christ; such a Spirit, as the Spirit of Christ, cannot long endure to inform or inhabit such a Soul, but if it come into him, it will change him: And in stead thereof, the Man shall be born again by the Spirit, John 3.5. the Spirit will be Life, Rom. 8.10. Christ will be new formed in them, Galat. 4.19. the walk­ing will be in the Spirit, Galat. 5.25. the New Man will be put on, even the Image of Christ, Righte­ousness and true Holiness, Ephes. 4.24. Christ will be put on, Galat. 3.27. Rom. 13.14. the Life will be the Life of Christ, Galat. 2.20. the Heart will be the Habitation of Christ, Ephes. 3.17. of God, Ephes. 2.22. of the Holy Ghost, 1 Cor. 6.19. the mind, the mind of Christ, 1 Cor. 2.16. the temper of the Soul, the same with his, humble as he was humble, Phil. 2.5. holy, as he is holy, 1 Pet. 1.16. long-suf­fering [Page 273] and indulgent as he was, John 13.15. Behold, have I not given you an example. Patient under the Will of God, &c. And by Conformity unto Christ, Man is put into a right state, and in that order to­wards God himself and others, as he was in his creati­on, and thereby in some measure restored to that Happiness which he had by reason of that order: The Happiness and Peace of every thing consisting in the due observance of that station and Rule, which God hath given it. And this Conformity unto Christ, is our Sanctification, which is nothing else, but a resto­ring of Man in some measure to that Conformity un­to the Will of God, in which he was created. Man by sin, lost that impression of God's Image: God was pleased to give us his Son, who is the express Image of his Father, and by this Spirit of his to re­imprint that Image again upon as many as behold him, and come unto him by Faith, 1. Thes. 4.3. This is the will of God, even your Sanctification: so that the Sanctification or Obedience, which is wrought in us, and required of us, is the Conformity of the Will of Man to the Will of God. The Obedience perform­ed unto God by the Faithful, ariseth from a double Principle.

1. This whereof we now speak, an intrinsecal Change of the Nature Conforming the Heart, and con­sequently the Life, to the Will of God, the Mind of Christ: for the same Spirit of Christ, which dwells in Christ our Head, dwells likewise in those that are the Members of the same Body: and as the oneness of the Soul in Man, makes that oneness of motion in all the Body, and that Conformity, that is in all its motions, to the mind of the Soul; so that oneness of the Spirit in Christ and his Members, makes that Conformity of the Members of Christ unto the Mind and Will of Christ, which is the uncreated [Page 274] Image of God: This is Regeneration; the birth of the Spirit; the forming of Christ in us, the Sanctification of the Spirit, 2 Thes. 2.13.

2. That whereof before is spoken, Love unto God; which is always the Soul of all true Obedience. The Soul finds the Goodness, and Rectitude and Beauty of God, and of all his Commands, and therefore out of a Judicial Love, it is sensible of the ingagement that it ows to God; and therefore out of Gratitude, it will, as far as the strength of the Soul can reach, obey the Commands, which are so Righteous, of her God, that is so Gracious: It finds, that it was the Purpose of God; he created us unto good Works, Ephes. 2.10. that as many as are in Christ, ought to walk as he walked, 1 John 2.5. That the Son of God died to destroy the works of the Devil, 1 John 3.8. to purifie unto himself a People zealous of Good Works, Tit. 2.14. That Christ hath ordained, that his Disciples should bring forth Fruit, John 15.16. That for this cause Christ died, &c. that from thence­forth, they that live, should not live unto themselves, &c. 2 Cor. 5.15. Now the true Love of God, makes the Will of God, to be his Will, and the Glory of God his End: if there were no Beauty in the thing com­manded, yet shall I dispute his Will, that hath redeem­ed me? shall I go about to disappoint him in the End of his Death for me? ordinary Reason teacheth me to subscribe and yield Obedience to the Commands of God, for they are all most Wise and most Just Commands; and though I see not the Wisdom, Use­fulness, and Justice of them, yet the same Truth, that tells me, his ways are unsearchable and past finding out, teacheth me to obey, when I discern the Au­thority, though not the Reason of the Command. But if it were not so, suppose I could be a loser by my Obedience, I cannot lose so much as I have [Page 275] freely received from him that commands me: When Abraham received a Son from the Goodness of God, and God required him again, Abraham obeys, though his Obedience had left him as Childless as the Pro­mise found him: But the greatest Command, that I can receive from my Saviour, cannot return me to so bad a Condition, as his Pity and Mercy found me in: If he require my Riches, my Liberty, my Life yet he leaves me somewhat, which without his Goodness, I had lost, and doth more than countervail all my other Losses, even my Everlasting Soul: When he requires these of me, he pays me interest for them, Matth. 19.29. But if he did not, yet the Price of my Soul in or­dinary Gratitude, may deserve the life of my Body; for what can a Man give in Exchange for his Soul? Matth. 16 26.

CHAP. XIII. Concerning the putting off the Old Man: and 1. What it is.

NOW concerning the putting off the Old Man, two things are considerable:

  • 1. What this Old Man is.
  • 2. How we must put him off.

For the former, it is nothing but that Ataxy, Dis­order, and Corruption, which by sin did fall upon our Nature: It is not our Nature in its essentials, for that is still good; but the absence of the Goodness and Perfection of the reasonable Soul, which consisted in the Conformity to the Will of God, which is the Beauty and Perfection of every thing. And from this disorder in the Soul, proceeds the disorder in the Life and Actions. And this Old Man hath a double strength and advantage u [...]on us:

1. In it self, the Corruption and Disorder is so uni­versal, that the whole Soul is bound under it: it hath no supplies of its own to rescue it self; for they are all corrupted: it is therefore called a Dominion of Sin, Rom. 6.12. a body of death, Rom. 7.24. a Law of Sin, bringing the Soul into captivity, Rom. 7.23.

2. Accidentally, the Prince of the Power of the Air, taking advantage of this confusion and disorder of the Soul, gets, as it were, into it▪ and so worketh in the children of disobedience, Ephes. 2.2. inhabits it as his Castle, and useth the Faculties of the Soul, as the Weapons wherein he trusteth; became a Ruler of [Page 277] Darkness in the Soul, Eph. 6.12. Is Judas covetous? the Devil gets into that covetousness, and acts it even unto the betraying of the Lord of Life, Luke 22.3. Is Peter lifted up upon his Master's at [...]estation of his Confession? the Devil gets into that Pride, and he becomes a tem­pter of our Redeemer, Matth. 6.23. Is a Man immode­rately angry? the Devil gets into that Anger, and will turn it into Malice, Ephes. 4.27. The Prince of the World could get no advantage upon our Redeemer, he had nothing in him, John 14.30. but so much of the Old Man as remains in us, such a party hath the Devil in us to entertain, nourish and actuate his temptations.

We shall therefore consider, wherein this Corrupti­tion or Deficiency in our Soul consists. It is in every part and faculty of the whole Man, as may evidently ap­pear by tne enumeration of particulars,

1. In the Ʋnderstanding there wants Light, Rom. 1.21. Their foolish heart was darkened, Ephes. 4.18. And from hence the imaginations become vain, Rom. 1.21. and not only vain, but evil, and continually evil, Gen. 6.5. pursues unprofitable Curiosities, Acts 19.19. Lusts of the Mind, Ephes. 2.3. Fables, and impertinent Que­stions, Tit. 3.9. 1 Tim. 1.4. vain deceit, Colos. 2.8. It wants a capacity to discern things of greatest con­cernment, 1 Cor. 2.14. the best habits of the Under­standing are corrupt▪ The Wisdom of the World is not only Foolishness, 1 Cor. 3.19. but Enmity to God: is earthly, sensual, devilish, James 3.15. These and the like, are the Old Man in the Understanding: for the Light being either out, or dim, the actings of the Understanding are irregular; and it is one of the great works of Christ in our renovation, to give us the Spirit of a sound Mind, 2 Tim. 1.17.

(2.) In the Conscience. This is the tenderest part of the Soul, the receptacle of that Light and Authority of God, which he hath left in us, to be our Monitor [Page 278] and his Vicegerent, Rom. 2.15. And yet the Old Man hath mastered and corrupted this also, puts it awry, or out, 1 Tim. 1.19. defiles the Mind and Conscience, Tit. 1.15. sears the Conscience, so that it is insensible, and past feeling, Ephes. 4.19. And if the Conscience be so vigo­rous, as not to be stifled by means of this Corruption and the concurrence of the Prince of the Air, it becomes our Misleader, being filled with Errors and mistakings; or our Tormentor, being filled with horror and despe­ration: and it is the great work of God in our renova­tion, to restore the Conscience to his primitive office and place, by taking away the guilt of sin, which kept the Conscience in a continual storm, Heb. 10.2.22. and by purging the Conscience from the pollutions and corruptions of sin, Heb. 9.14. purging the Conscience from dead works, to serve the living God.

(3) In the Will there is irregularity upon a double ground:

1. By reason of that Corruption that is in the Under­standing: for the prosecution or aversation of the Will are much qualified and ruled according to the Light that is in the Understanding; and if that Light be Darkness and Error, then there must necessarily follow a mis­carriage in the Will.

2. By reason of that Captivity, that is in the Will unto the Law of Sin, and of the Flesh. God gave un­to Man a righteous Law, which was to be the Law and Rule of his Mind and Will; and while it was conformable to this, it was conformable to the Will of God, and so beautiful and regular: But in stead thereof, there is a Law of Sin and Death, Rom. 8.2. Rom. 7.21. and this Law subdues the Law of the Mind, and brings the Soul into captivity to the Law of Sin, Rom. 7.23. And the Will being thus captiva­ted, is made carnal, and filled with enmity against God, and that Law, which he once planted in us to be the [Page 279] Rule of our Will, so that it is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be, Rom. 8.7. nay, the Will is so much mastered and possessed by this Old Man and his Law, that when it meets with the Law of God coming into the Soul, it takes occasion there­by to work in the Soul all manner of Concupiscence, Rom. 7.6. out of malice and policy to make that Law, which comes to rescue the Soul, more odious to the Soul, and the Soul to it: as Conquerours use to in­troduce Laws, Customs, and Languages of their own, the more to estrange the conquered from any memory of their former duty or freedoms: And when Christ comes into the Soul, he rescues the Will from this Captivity, and from the Dominion of Sin, though not from the Inherence and Residence of it; and doth by degrees waste and diminish that very inherence of sin, Rom. 6.14. Sin shall not have Dominion over you; for you are not under the Law, but under Grace; and plants and supports another Law in us, even the Law of the Spirit of Life in Christ, which maketh us free from the Law of Sin and of Death, Rom. 8.2.

(4.) In the Affections. The great and master Affe­ction of our Soul, is our Love: and all other Affections are derived from it, and in order to it. Our Hatred of any thing, is because it is contrary and destructive to what we love: our Fear of any thing, is because it would rob us of what we love: our Grief for any thing, is because it hath deprived us of what we love. And according to the measure of our Love, is the measure of our other Affections: an intense Love unto any thing, makes our Hatred of its contrary equally intense; and so for the other Affections. In our ori­ginal Creation our Love was rightly placed, upon God, the only deserver of our Love: and our Love was rightly qualified; it was a most intense Love: The Law and Command of God, Deut. 6.5. Thou shalt [Page 280] love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy Soul, and with all thy might; was but the Copy of that Law, that was written in our Nature. And our Love thus rightly placed, and rightly qualified, did tutor all the rest of our Passions and Affections both in their objects and degrees: It taught us to hate Sin, and that with a perfect hatred, because contrary to the Mind of that God, whom we did perfectly love; and it taught us to hate nothing else but Sin, because nothing but that had a contrariety unto God. But when we fell, our Love lost its object, and all the Affections thereby became misplaced, and disordered: And though we lost the object of this Affection, yet we lost not the Affection it self; our Love therefore, having lost his guide, wanders after something else, and takes up our selves, and makes that the object of our Love. But as our Love is misplaced in respect of its object; so it mistakes in its pursuit of that object: no Man can truly love himself, that doth not truly love God; because the true effect of Love, is to do all the Good it can to the thing it loves. Now the chiefest Good to our selves is only our Conformity unto God's Will, and consequently our Love to him, wherein consists our Happiness: But it is no marvel that having forsa­ken the true object of our Love, and chosen our selves to be that object, we are likewise mistaken in the seeking of our own Good, Rom. 1.26. Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the Creature more than the Creator: For this cause God gave them up to vile affections. Now every man, that terminates his Love upon himself, serves and worships himself. And now that order, which God planted being broken, it is no wonder, that all confusion and disorder falls among our Affections: And now our Love being misplaced, all the rest of our Affections are likewise misplaced and out of order: Now the right frame of our Love, [Page 281] and consequently the corruption of it, consists in three things:

1. In the ultimate Object of our Love: it ought to be settled upon God, and upon him only.

2. In the Order of our Love: it ought to be set upon God, and upon him first: and all other things may be loved, but yet in him and after him.

3. In the Degree of our Love: our chiefest and most intense Love must be set upon God, and upon him only. And these are most rational and natural Con­clusions, as appears before.

Now the Old Man in our Affections, consists in the absence and deprivation of this Order that God hath set.

1. The deprivation of the first, when either we love not God at all, or, which is all one, when we make him not the Ultimate Object of our Love, but love him meerly in reference to our selves: the consequence whereof is, that if God be not in all things subservient to those things, we conceive most conducible to our own good, we disobey him, we murmure against him, we blaspheme him, we hate him: If the basest Lust, Pleasure, Content, come in competition with his Com­mand, it shall conquer it, because we have made our selves our Ultimate and Chief End, and therefore shall certainly prefer any thing that we think most condu­cible to this End.

And certainly, he that makes himself his Ultimate End, and the chief object of his Love, cannot chuse but fail in the two latter: for his love to himself, makes him love all things else in order meerly to himself, and so far forth only as is conducible to his own mistaken good; so that God shall be no longer loved, served, or obeyed, than he is subservient to that End. Now it is easie from this Consideration, to see the Original of most of the Evil in the World: whether it relates to God, to Men, or to a Man's self.

[Page 282]From this Original grows the very Hatred of God. This distemper, wrought by sin in our Souls, hath not only deprived God of our chiefest Love, which we justly owe to him, and turned that Love into our selves, but hath made us haters of God by our corrupred Nature, Rom. 1.30. He strengtheneth himself against the Almighty, Job 25.25. that say unto God, Depart from us, Job 22.17. For having made himself his End, he cannot chuse but be a hater of God upon a double ground:

1. Because the Presence, and Purity, and Com­mands, and Admonitions of God, either by his Word, or Conscience, or the outward Dispensations of Pro­vidence do extreamly thwart that End which we pur­sue. Hence grow the Blasphemies in the World, Revel. 16.21. Men blasphemed God because of the hail. The Disappointment, and Controll, and Interruption, that Men have in the pursuit of their Ends, do make them hate the Presence, the Word, the very Being of God himself, because they take it to be a hinde­rance of their End, and their Happiness.

2. The Soul, that was once united to God, is by sin gone a whoring from him, and hath taken up ano­ther End; yet God in Mercy still perswades the Soul to return. Turn, O back-sliding Children, saith the Lord, for I am married unto you, Jer. 3. The skill of the ene­my of God within us is, as much as may be, to divert the access of such perswasions to the Soul, or the En­tertainment of them, lest thereby he should be dispos­sess'd; and therefore, as Ahitophel to Absolom, to secure his Party with impossibility of reconciliation to his Father, perswades him to the highest Villany, that so he might be abhorred of his Father, 2 Sam. 16.21. so the Devil and Sin in us ingage the Soul in the greatest Villanies and Blasphemies against God, that so the Soul, abhorring God, may be abhorred of him. Thus [Page 283] Sin taking occasion by the Command, works in the Soul all manner of Concupiscence, Rom. 7.6.

From hence likewise proceeds the Slavish Fear of God. We have shewen before that all Love of God, is accompanied with the Fear of God; but this Fear is without the Love of God, but proceeds from Love to our selves; as a Man fears that, which he doubts will be destructive to that, which he makes his End. When God sent Lions among the captive Israelites, it is said, they feared the Lord, and served their own gods, 2 Kings 17.33. their fear and their Love was di­vided.

From hence proceeds Atheism it self: for it begins in the Affection, not in the Understanding. The de­sire of that not to be, which the corrupted Soul con­ceives an impediment or check to the prosecution of his supream End, is that which at length breeds a half perswasion in the Understanding that that, which he desires should not be, indeed is not.

From hence proceed Idolatries and misapprehensions of God. When we will not frame our selves to God, we endeavour to frame him to our selves: thou thoughtest I was such an one at thou art. And from this cause are all those will-worships, contrary to the Com­mand of God. Did our chiefest Love settle upon God, our Obedience would be Universal; but espe­cially in this matter of his worship: but when we make our selves our Ends, we measure him out such a Wor­ship, as may best please our selves, and suit with our own Contentment.

From hence proceeds Hypocrisie, a Form of Godli­ness without the power thereof, 2 Tim. 3.5. The Power of Godliness, which is nothing else, but the en­tire and intense Love of God, cannot consist with that End a Man hath chosen, viz. himself; yet the shape and form of it, according as the occasion is, is condu­cible [Page 284] to his Ease, Greatness, or Preferment: so the same self-love puts on the shadow, and rejects the sub­stance.

In matters relative to others: From this making a Man's self his End, proceed all the acts and habits of Injustice, Oppression, Cruelty, Malice, Envy, that is in the World; because he that makes himself his End, doth with all vigor pursue that, which he con­ceives good for himself; and if he meet with any ob­stacle, or fear of an obstacle from another, it engageth per fas & nefas the ruine of that which he finds so hin­dring him: for all these Acts proceed from the Love of himself.

In reference to a Man's self: He that makes himself his own End, is subservient unto himself to the utter­most, in the pursuit and enjoyment of all those things, which may please and content himself, according to the varieties of Constitutions, Ages and Circumstances.

If it be in the Lusts of the Flesh, it will teach him to make provision for the flesh, to fulfil the lusts there­of, Rom. 13.14. It will put him upon studies, and in­quiries, and pursuits of unnatural impurities, Rom. 1.26. it will make him give himself over to lascivious­ness, to work all uncleanness with greediness, Ephes. 4.19. because what a Man makes his chiefest End, he strives by all means to please, in whatsoever way it discovers its delight or acceptation.

If it be in Luxury, and delights in Meat and Drink, it will make a Man to serve his Belly, Rom. 16.18. It will make a Man's Belly his God, Phil. 3.19. A Man making himself his End, observes which way the vein of his mind and delight runs; he doth serve that af­fection or delight with the same intenseness of pur­suit, as if it were his God; for what a Man makes his End, he makes his God.

[Page 285]If it be in the Lust of the Eyes, after Wealth or Possessions, a Man pursues that with the same violence as a Heart well set, pursues after God: There shall no­thing stand in his way, neither the Command of God, nor Lives, nor Laws, nor Justice, nor Reputation, nor a Man's own quiet, ease, health, life: For Self hath dis­covered her self in this desire, and he doth pursue the satisfaction of it as the first-born of his End. The like for the Pride of Life, Ambition, &c.

And from hence grows the Pride of the Heart of Man. Every Man that makes not God his Chiefest Good, and highest End, makes himself so. But this Self discovers it self, according to varieties of Consti­tutions and Circumstances. Self in one Man is his Lust; in another his Wealth; in another his Honour, Power, and Command; in another, Wit, Learning, Policy: And these he pursues as the first-born of his End: And such as is his earnestness in the pursuit, such is his ful­ness and contentedness when he enjoys, or thinks he enjoys it: and that, especially in those pursuits that are less bruitish, makes the Man so high and so proud, because he is full of that, which he makes his End; he is full of himself.

In the Sensual Appetite: This Motion or Faculty was planted in Nature by the God of Nature, and is of it self good, when it keeps within those bounds, and in that subordination, in which it was originally placed by the God of Nature and Order; For it is the natural inclination and motion of Nature to its own preserva­tion and perpetuity: But our contracted Corruption hath put this out of its Place, and out of its Order, and out of its End. The rational part of Man being be­come weak and out of frame, this that was placed in subordination to it, hath got the mastery of it, and so carries Man to all excess of Riot and Luxury. The strength of the motion of the Sensual Appetite to its [Page 286] Objects, and that Delight, that by the Goodness and Wisdom of God was planted in the fruition of its Object, was not for its own sake, or the end of this motion; but a wise dispensation of God to carry the humane Nature to its own preservation: But Cor­ruption in Man, hath made that very Delight to be the end of its motion; and therefore pursues that, though it be to the ruine and distemper of his Nature. The very Beasts, that have not reason to rule them, do instruct us in this very decay of our integrity: For although they have no higher Guide, than that Law and In­stinct, which God implanted in their Nature; and al­though they have the same Delight in the fruition of their sensitive Objects, as Man hath; yet they sel­dom or never pursue their Appetites beyond the con­venience of the preservation of themselves and their Species: But it is visibly otherwise with Men: and from hence is that excess in eating, drinking, sleep and other sensitive inclinations; because they pursue not that End, for which it was given, but the very pleasing and sa­tisfaction of the Appetite it self: So then the Old Man in the Sensual Appetite consists,

1. In the want of that Subjection and Subordination of it to the reasonable part, which should direct, mode­rate, and restrain it, according as may be most useful for that better part of Man; so that now this power is out of its place.

2. In that Exorbitancy and Extravagancy of it, whereby it runs to Excess; and so it hath lost its End, viz. the motion to the preservation of Nature. It is true, God hath given to the Sons of Men, in re­spect of these sensual things, Objects, not only of necessity, but delight; But here is our misery, as well as our sin; That either we rest not in what God lawfully allows, 2 Sam. 12.8. God gives to David a full measure of temporal Comforts and Delights, [Page 287] and if that had been too little; he would have given him more; yet David with Adam must needs be ta­sting the forbidden Fruit: or in case we go no farther in the Object of our pursuit, we go beyond it in the measure of our pursuits, resting in the enjoyments of them, as of our chiefest Felicity, forgetting the God that gives them, and those inquiries and pursuits that are of a higher Value and Concernment; and, which is the highest degree of vileness of our Hearts, even by those outward Blessings he gives us, we learn to ad­mit his enemy into our Hearts, to shut him out of it, and to fortifie it against him. And from hence it is, that the God of Mercy curseth, and that most justly, his own Blessings unto that Man, that thus perverts the use of them. Wine rejoyceth the Heart of Man, as it was given for that purpose; But when a Man in the use of it looks no higher, but to satiate himself, there is a sting put into it, and it proves a Serpent, Prov. 23.32.

CHAP. XIV. How the Old Man is to be put off, and 1. by Re­pentance.

THUS far concerning the Old Man, the cor­ruption of our Nature: Now we consider, How he is to be put off.

This putting off the Old Man looks backward, and that is Repentance; forward, and that is Mortification.

The order of God's dispensation to a particular Man, in bringing him to his great and supream End, holds a proportion with his dispensation to mankind since the Fall: from the time of the Fall of Man till the gi­ving of the Law, is like the first Condition of our cor­rupted Nature, without God in the World: Then he gave them his Law, thereby to shew them what they should be, and what they are; for the Rule is not only the discovery of it self, but of that crookedness and irregularity which is in the deviation from it. Man having now the opportunity of discovery of the de­fects, and consequently unhappiness, of his own Con­dition, he sends the Baptist to call him to repentance, and then discovers unto him the means of his recovery. Thus after our wandring in our corruptions, God is pleased to shew us our Condition, what it is, and what it should be, by the sight of his Law; and that doth naturally breed a dislike of those ways, which lead to so unhappy an End. The grounds and way of Repen­tance, are,

1. A sound Conviction of the Understanding concern­ing our natural ways and Conditions.

[Page 289]1. That they are Irregular, Deformed, and Crooked ways: God gave to Man a Righteous Law, and the Conformity to it was Man's Happiness and Perfection; for the Goodness, which was the Perfection of all created Beings, consisted in their Conformity to the particular Will of God concerning the Creature. That Will concerning Man was the Law of God. This Law God hath again new copied out, that Man may as well measure himself by it, what he is, and hath been, as guide himself to what he should be.

2. The consequence of this therefore is, that those ways of his are Ʋnprofitable and Fruitless; and therefore are they called the Ʋnfruitful works of Darkness: and not only Unfruitful but Deadly; What fruit had ye then in those things whereof ye are now ashamed? for the end of those things is Death. And this must most necessarily follow upon the former; for if the Conformity to the Will of God be the Perfection and Blessedness of the Creature, the Violation of that Will must needs be both unprofitable and miserable: for Man is out of his way to his Perfection, and therefore must necessarily meet with nothing but Vanity and Misery. God, that hath measured out to every thing his Being, and the measure of his Perfection, hath likewise chalked out the way of attaining it, which, if a Man miss, he can never attain that End.

And upon this Conviction of the Irregularity, Un­profitableness, and Dangerousness of his corrupted ways and condition, doth naturally follow such thoughts as these: ‘I find God did make me a glorious Creature, fitted to partake of a higher degree of Blessedness, than the inferiour Creatures: I find likewise that he gave me a most Just and Reasonable Law, which was the way to lead unto it: I see that so much of the Creatures inferiour to my self, as ob­serve the Law of their Creation, enjoy a measure of [Page 290] Perfection, answerable to their Being; and if inter­rupted in that law of their Nature, they lose their Beauty, if not their Being: The degree of my Being was higher than theirs, and so was consequently the End of my Being, my Happiness, of a higher Con­stitution than theirs: And as my Debt was greater to my Creator for allowing me so high an End, so was my ability proportionable to the pursuit and attaining of that End which was thus given to me. But what have I been doing all this while? I have measured my Heart by that great Law, Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy heart; and I have found my Heart full of the love of the World, of Plea­sures, of Vanities, but scarce a thought bestowed on him, that gave me Power to think; and, which is worse, my Heart hath held confederacy with all that he hath forbidden, insomuch that I may justly con­clude, that surely nothing but a Heart hating God, could so constantly and universally oppose his Will: I have measured my Life by the Law of God, and I can scarcely find one regular action in it; my Heart hath not been so out of frame, but it hath still found a full subservience of my whole Man unto it, and that with greediness: and yet I find all this unsatis­factory, and I have cause to fear, that is not all: Sense doth tell me, that in the pursuit of the ways of my Heart, I spend my self for that which is not Bread, and my labour for that which profiteth not: I find no fulness in them, but much vexation: And Reason as well as Conscience tells me, it will be bit­terness in the end, and the end is death: I cannot but know, that the great Lord of all Being, hath measured out to all his Creatures their Beings, and their Happiness suitable to their Beings, and their Ways and Rules, and Laws, to attain their Happiness; and if all this while I have been out of that Way, I [Page 291] am travelling to another End: If in the way of God I should have found Life, and everlasting Life for my End, out of that Way, my End must be Death: If I were now to begin my Life, I should order it better: Though I cannot expiate what is past, yet my Soul looks upon it with Sorrow, with Indignation, with Amazement. This is the first degree.’

2. That they are Ʋnbecoming, Ʋngrateful and Ʋnduti­ful Returns. It is implanted even in the sensitive Na­ture, to return good for good: We have received all the Good from the hands of that God, against whom the practice of our Hearts and Lives hath been a con­tinual Rebellion: and upon this Consideration natural Ingenuity works a Shame in the Soul, and a secret Condemnation, and some kind of loathing so Ungrate­ful and Undutiful a Constitution.

3. But hitherto the Soul looks only backward; and these Considerations, though they are enough to breed Shame and Despair in the Soul, yet they are not strong enough to work Repentance; because in those Consi­derations, the Soul looks upon it self in an unexpiable and irrecoverable Condition: The amendment will prove fruitless, where the former guilt is irreversible, and yet enough to sink the Soul: Therefore the third Conviction is of the love of God, that hath provided a means of pardon and acceptation: when a Man throughly convinced of the unprofitableness and despe­rateness of his actions and condition, his extream In­gratitude unto God, shall for all this hear a voice, after all those things; Return back thou back-sliding Israel, and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you; for I am merciful, and will not keep mine anger for ever, only acknowledge thine iniquity, Jer. 3.12, 13. This conquers the Soul not only into a dislike of sin past, as dangerous and unprofitable, but unto a hatred of it, and of our selves for it, as the enemy to such an invincible Love. The Considera­tion [Page 292] of our ways past, and comparing them with the Law, will enforce the Conscience to condemn them, but it must be the sense of the Love and Goodness of God in Christ, that can only incline us to change them: as by the former, he concludes his ways dangerous and unprofitable, so without the latter, he will conclude his Repentance unuseful. And hereupon the Soul is cast into such Expressions as these: ‘O Lord, I have been considering the present temper of my Heart, and re­viewed the course of my Life, and have compared them with the Duty I owe unto thee, and the Law which thou gavest me to be the Rule of that Duty; and I find my heart and ways infinitely dispropor­tionable to that Rule, and thereby I conclude my self a most ungrateful, and a miserable Creature: But though I have sinned away that stock of Grace and Blessedness, with which I was once intrusted by thee, I find I have not out-sinned that Fountain of Goodness and Mercy, that is in thee; even whiles the sight and sense of my own Condition, bids me despair either of repenting or acceptation of it, yet I hear the voice of that Majesty which I have injured, bids me Return and live, Ezek. 18.32. Were there no acceptance of my turning from those ways of death and destruction, yet it were my duty; and though thy Justice might justly reject it, yet it might justly require it: But yet when thy merciful and free Promise shall crown my Repentance with Acceptation and Life: This Love constrains beyond the sense of my own misery. And when I hear the voice of my Lord calling to me to return, and I will heal your backslidings, that Love warms my Heart into that answer, Behold, I will come unto thee, for thou art the Lord my God, Jer 3.22. But who can come unto thee, unless thou draw him? send therefore thy Power along with thy Command, for it is not of him that willeth, nor of him [Page 293] that runneth: Turn me, and I shall be turned; I will engage the uttermost of my strength, to forsake my ways; but I will still wait upon the same Mercy, that did invite me, to enable me to forsake them.’

By that which preceeds we see a double Repentance: 1. That which is Preparatory unto the receiving of Christ, which is nothing else but a sense of the unhappiness and evil of our ways, as destructive unto our Happiness, and dissonant from that Rule of Righteousness, which we cannot but naturally subscribe to be Just and Good: and this doth naturally breed a Sorrow for what hath been so done, and a Purpose and Inclination of Heart to for­sake those ways. And this was the work of the Baptist, to prepare the way of the Lord; his Doctrine was a Doctrine of Repentance, and his Baptism, a Baptism of Repentance, a Seal of the Entertainment of that Do­ctrine to as many as received it, Matth. 3.2. Luk. 3.16. Acts 19.4. 2. That which is Subsequent to that enter­tainment of Christ in the Heart by Faith, which is the sense of the love of God in Christ continuing towards us, notwithstanding our many Injuries. This fills the Heart with Sorrow and Wonder, and puts the Soul upon a flat Resolution, never to sin against so great Love. This was that sorrow that pricked the Jews to the heart, and brought in Repentance for remission of sins, Acts 2.37, 38. Acts 3.19. that Sorrow that work­eth Repentance unto Salvation, 2 Cor. 2.10. And though sometimes Christ appear unto the Soul without a Bap­tist, and the light of the Love of God discovers the irre­gularity and filthiness of our former ways and tempers; yet the usual method of his Grace and Providence is to baptize▪ with the Baptism of John; and after with the Baptism of Christ, Acts 19.5. The love of God being most naturally welcome, and operative when the Soul hath before taken a just survey of his Condition without the sight of that love: But his ways are unsearchable, and past finding out.

[Page 294]And this Evangelical Repentance, viz. our sorrow for our past Offences and our purpose of better Obe­dience, is not only the Act of our first Conversion un­to God, but is to be our continual Exercise: there is a continual adherence of our flesh and sin unto us; and notwithstanding the bent and frame of the Soul be changed, yet there are continual Renewed Offences, which though God is pleased not to impute, yet as they are contrary to that Life in the Soul, and there­fore will be opposed by that Life, so they are still na­turally our own and therefore must and will be re­pented of and sorrowed for: For a Soul once truly af­fected with the Love of God, would willingly have his whole Man, and Life, and Thoughts and World conformable to the Will of God: and therefore every strugling cannot chuse but cause sorrow, and gather up the strength of the Soul for the future against it. For the sins of the very Members of Christ, though by his Righteousness and Satisfaction they have lost their power to condemn, being his by imputation; yet they are sins still, and therefore objects of our oppo­sition, and ours in reality, and therefore objects of our Sorrow and Repentance: and by how much the more they have our consent, by so much the more they are sins, and ours. And as it is the Power and Grace of Christ, that subdues the Dominion and prevailing of Sin; so this Grace doth work by setting the operations and affections of the Soul against it, especially in our Sorrow and Repentance. Our Repentance after Con­version is nothing else, but the strugling of the Life of Christ, to work out that poyson of sin, which is con­trary unto it, and doth weaken it, and would destroy it, 1 John 3.9. For his seed remaineth in him, and he can­not sin, because he is born of God.

CHAP. XV. Of Mortification, and the Means thereof; and 1. Of Meditation.

2. WHERE Repentance ends, viz. in the pur­pose of forsaking the ways of Death, there Mortification begins; and is nothing else, but the Exe­cution of those Purposes of the Soul, which are wrought by Repentance, by the use of all such Means, as may for the future, weaken the power of sin in the Soul. This is that which our Saviour calls putting out the right Eye, and cutting off the right Hand, crucifying the Flesh with the Affections and Lusts, Galat. 5.24. Mortifying the earthly Members, Colos. 3.5. Denying a Man's self, taking up the Cross, Matt. 16.24. Dying daily, 1 Cor. 15.31. The World crucified to a Man, and a Man to the World, Galat. 6.14. Put­ting off the body of the sins of the Flesh, Colos. 2.11. The body of sin destroyed, Rom. 6.6. Mortification therefore is nothing else, but the daily practice of op­position against Sin, especially such as we are most inclined to, and that by such Means as are reasonably conducing to it. These Means, according to the seve­ral tempers, both spiritual and natural, are more or less effectual; I shall divide them into these degrees: 1. Supernatural Helps. 2. Moral or Rational Helps. 3. Natural Helps.

1. Supernatural: They are rational Means, but fixt upon supernatural objects, and discovered by super­natural Light; for it will most clearly appear, that these very Helps which we call Supernatural, are most rationally effectual against it:

[Page 296]Meditation and Prayer.

1. Meditation, and serious and deep Consideration of the Word of God, and the Truths therein revealed, but especially of these ensuing:

1. A deep Meditation of the Love of God, whom I must needs offend in every sin. And this is the most powerful Consideration in the World to mortifie any sin; and that is the reason why, where there is the truest and highest manifestation of the Love of God to the Soul, there is the highest Purity; because there is the highest Preservative against Sin: for it must needs be clear, that where there is the highest manifestation of the Love of God to the Soul, there is the highest Love again to God; and consequently the most abso­lute dominion over sin: for as the Love of God is the cause of our Love to him, 1 John 4.19. so according to the measure of the manifestation of the Love of God to the Soul, is the measure of the Love of the Soul to God again; and consequently of the hatred of sin: And he, that often and deeply considers of the Love of God, must even rationally improve the sense of it to his Soul, and consequently his Love to God again, and his abhorrence of Sin. When a Man shall take such Considerations as these into him; ‘God hath commanded me to abstain from this or that sin, whereunto, it may be, my Nature, my Custom, my Temptation, inclines me: The competition is between my Pleasure, my Pride, my Profit, and my Lord; he that gave me a Being; he that hath given me all the Comforts of my Being; he that might justly have taken me away to judgment in the midst of my sin; but he hath spared me, and waited upon me, that he might, though I were righteous, make me a vessel of misery; he that hath invited, perswaded, intreated me to return unto him for my own good; that when I would not, I could not re­turn [Page 297] unto him, hath sent his Son to fetch me, to re­deem me with the greatest Price that ever the World heard of: Behold what manner of love. 1 John 3.1. And shall I, can I make so ill a return? to entertain his Enemy, the only object of his displeasure, that will ruine me, before my Lord, that hath infinitely out­done my highest speculations for me?’ Certainly the sense of the Love of God is either not at all, or not awake, when any Man considerately commits any the least sin against his Conscience: It were no less, than for a Man to return despight against the Love of God, and, as much as in us lies, to disappoint his very End and Purpose in sending of Christ, who therefore gave himself for us, to redeem us from all iniquity, and purifie unto himself a peculiar People, zealous of good works.

2. A serious Consideratiun of the great and high Hope, to which we are restored by the purchace of Christ, and the great Incongruity that there is between continuing in Sin and that Hope. We expect to be brought to an innume­rable company of Angels, to the Assembly of the first, born, to the Spirits of just Men made perfect, to Jesus the Mediator of the new Covenant, to God the Judge of all, Heb. 12.22. &c. to be make like unto the Son of God, and to be partakers of his Sonship, and In­heritance, 1 John 3.2. To partake of his Spirit, to see the brightness of the glory of God in Christ: now all these are holy: how unsuitable a thing is it for a Man that hath his Hope, not to purifie himself, even as he is pure? 1 John 3.3. This will teach a Man to bespeak his Heart thus: ‘Is the Presence of God thy Hope? he is the Holy, Holy, Holy Lord, that is of purer Eyes than to behold, or to be beholden by any unclean thing: If therefore thou commit Sin, thou livest be­low thy Hope: either therefore let thy Hope be an­swerable to thy Life, or thy Life to thy Hope.’

[Page 298]3. A serious Consideration of the Presence of the Great, and Just and Powerful God: his Eyes run to and fro through the Earth, to behold the Evil and the Good, 2 Chron. 16.9. He is acquainted with all my ways, Psal. 139.3. His Eyes are upon all the ways of the Chil­dren of Men, Jer. 32.19. The Hearts of Men, Prov. 15.11. and all things are naked and manifest before him with whom we have to do: And darest thou sin be­fore the face of thy Judge, who sees thee, and whose Power or Justice thou canst not escape? this is so great a Controll, that were it soundly and deeply con­sidered, it would stifle even the first motions of sin, and therefore it is the great work of our own wicked Heart, either to gull themselves into a perswasion, that God sees not, Job 22.13. or else in plain English, to forbid him their Hearts: they say to God, De­part from us, for we desire not the knowledge of thy ways, Job 22.14.

4. A deep Consideration of the Nature and Conse­quences of Sin: It is a Violation of a Righteous and Just Law, the Law of a Just and Righteous God, a Law, the conformity whereunto, is the Perfection and Bles­sedness of the Creature: By this sin I lose my Com­munion with my Creator, and consequently, Peace within my self: whiles I commit it, my fruition is but short, and mingled with Fear, because the end of it, Death, is in some degree present with my Soul, and sowers that transitory Content which I enjoy in it; and when it is finished, it brings forth Sorrow, and Shame, and Death: and if that Sorrow end in Repen­tance, yet the bitterness of that Sorrow overweighs the Pleasure that I had in its commission; and according to the measure of the delight I had in my sin, so, and much more is the measure of my sorrow in repenting; and yet for all this, that Peace, which I had formerly with my God and my Conscience, very hardly reco­vered; [Page 299] and God, though he pardons my sin, yet ei­ther not at all, or not suddenly, trusting me with that measure of Communion with him, which I formerly enjoyed and abused. But if the sorrow of Repentance wait not upon my sin, a worse sorrow attends it: the sin is past, and so is the contentment, but the storm that attends it, is Everlasting: the loss of the light of God's love, the loss of an Eternal weight of Glory, the terrible appearance of an angry God, cloathed with as much Terror, as Justice provoked, Patience abused, and Mercy contemned by a most indebted Creature, can assume. And this Terror shaken into the most tender and sensible parts of the Soul by the hand of Omnipotence it self, and that unto all Eternity, when my Life shall be full of nothing but the preapprehen­sions of my future misery, my death, the terrible, inexorable, and inevitable passage to it: Shall I then so madly prize the satisfying of a base, a perishing Lust for a season? thus throw away my God, my Happi­ness, my self, when the thing it self is so base and transitory, and the wages so sad and dismal? It shall be my care to avoid, to subdue, to crucifie that, which as it cannot satisfie, so it will certainly torment and ruine me. And since I find my Lusts to be so easily actuated into Sin by every Temptation, I shall by the Grace of God, as avoid the latter, so keep a strict hand over the former; and it shall be my hourly care to ransack and examine, and search my Heart, what is moulding there, and to cleanse and wash it from its pollutions; or at least to mingle my Tears and Sorrows with them, that so they may be weary of my Heart, or my Heart of them. But, Lord, Who understandeth the errors of his life? Cleanse thou me from my secret sins, and keep thy ser­vant from presumptuous sins, Psal. 19.12.

5. Frequent Considerations of the Shortness of Life: the Lord hath given me a great Work to do, to work [Page 300] out my salvation with fear and trembling: and the Time wherein I have to do it, is in this Life, and that but a short and an uncertain Life: the great Enemies to my Soul, are the Lusts of my Flesh, and of my Mind, which fight against my Soul: If the work be not done in my Life-time, the Door is shut; and who knows whether this or that Sin which I am now about to commit, may not be concluded with my Life? and then in what a case am I? how shall I appear before the Holy and Eternal God with the stain of that sin upon me? or if he prolong my days, yet who knows whether he will not seal up my Soul with impenitency? If my Lust prevail upon me now, it gathers strength, and vexeth that Spirit, which must only enable me for the future, to repent and re­sist it; and if I get the Victory over the contestations of the Spirit of God, my Conquest ends in my own Misery and Slavery. It may be, I have over-matched and stifled the Perswasions of the Spirit of God, of that Lighit which he hath set up in my Conscience, that did sting me in the midst of my Cariere after my Lusts, and mingled them with bitterness to my dis­content, and now I pursue my Desires without in­terruption: yet when I remember that Death is at my heels, and will overtake me before I can overtake my Contentment in the things I pursue; that if I over­live a sudden unexpected Death, yet the Harbingers of Death, Sickness, or Age, cannot be far off, and either of these, as they will take off the edge of my Pursuit, and fruitions of my Lusts, and render them insipid, so they will thereby give leisure and opportuni­ty to me to cast up the Accounts of my past Life, and find therein nothing but Vanity and Unprofitableness; Time, that might have been improved to Eternity, irrecoverably lost in those Pursuits, that have left no footsteps of Content in my Soul [...] but instead thereof, [Page 301] a bruised and wounded Conscience; a displeased and an angry God, an infinite Happiness offered and sold for a few unprofitable and perished Pleasures and Lusts; when I shall find an infinite Guilt contracted, a Soul clogged with a custom of sin, a Body now ready to drop into dissolution, a great work to do, to make the Peace of my Soul; a God by whose only strength I can do it, hiding himself and his influ­ence from me, and Death by his hasty and churlish Officers, still ready to seize me, to carry me off, with­out regard to the importunity and concernment of a little longer time: such thoughts as these, will work upon a Man to keep a hand over himself, over his Flesh, over his Lust, while it is called to day, not to harden the Heart, to give all diligence to make our Calling and Election sure; to get Oyl in the Lamp, to break off the course of sin, to cleanse our hearts, to improve this little portion of time to our best ad­vantage; for Death will come, and after that, Judge­ment. Lord, so teach us to number our days, that we may apply our hearts unto wisdom.

CHAP. XVI. Meditation of the Ʋnreasonableness of the Domi­nion of Lust.

6. A SAD and deep Consideration of the Ʋnrea­sonableness and Ʋnbecomingness of the Power and Dominion of any Lust upon a Man. And this, though it be a moral Consideration, is of good use for the mortifying of our Lusts. S. Paul divides our Lusts into the Lusts of the Flesh, and the Lusts of the Mind: Ephes. 2.3. S. John tells us, that all that is in the World, is the Lust of the Flesh, the Lust of the Eyes, and the Pride of Life, 1 John 2.16. Out of both these, we may divide the Enemies of our Soul within us, into these Divisions,

1. Lust; which is nothing else, but the immoderate and inordinate actings of the Appetite, either beyond that measure it ought to be, or upon those Objects it ought not to be. And this either

1. In the Rational Appetite; those are the Lusts of the Mind.

2. In the Sensitive Appetite; those again

1. In the Lusts of the Flesh.

2. The Lust of the Eyes.

2. Pride, in an overvaluing of our selves in the fruition of those things we have thus pursued.

Now we shall a little consider, how far forth any of these do hold a disproportion, even with right Reason.

1. The Lusts of the Mind. The great Desire of the Mind, is that of Knowledge, an Appetite that God hath [Page 303] put into the Soul of Man, and so a thing beautiful and good: But this very Desire of Knowledge, becomes a Lust of the Mind, when either it is misplaced in respect of his Object; thus Adam's desire of Know­ledge of Good and Evil, became a Lust: or when act­ed beyond its proportion: The chiefest Object of our Love, ought to be the chiefest object of our Know­ledge, and consequently of our desire of Knowledge, and that is only God: and he is to be known, and con­sequently, we ought to desire to know him, as he hath revealed himself in his Word, in his Works, and by his Spirit. When either therefore we desire to know, even in things pertaining to God, beyond what we ought to know, as the Counsels of his Will, looking into the Ark; or when we desire to know things of an inferiour nature with an over-intensive desire, which is only due to God; our want of Sobriety in the for­mer, and our want of Moderation in the latter, turns our desire of Knowledge into a Lust of the Mind, or when acted without his due End: Good, and the fruition of it, is the great and final object of the Soul, and as the Acts of the Understanding are preparatory to the Will, so Knowledge, and the desire of it, is, or should be, preparatory to the fruition of some Good, farther and beyond the bare speculative Know­ledge of it: If it were possible for a Man truly to know God without the Love of him, and the sense of his Love to the Soul, a desire of such a Knowledge, though I dare not term it a Lust of the Mind, yet it is such a desire, as is not rightly qualified. To desire to know a thing fit to be known, meerly because I would know it; It is but a Lust of the Mind, and such a Knowledge as only puffeth up. Now any Man may rationally conclude, that such desires of the Mind as these, are even condemned of Reason it self, as irregular and useless: It is true, that whatsoever is an [Page 304] object of our Knowledge, may be an object of our desire of Knowledge, if not forbidden by him that gave the Power; if acted with Moderation and So­briety; if subordinated to that desire which I have, or should have to that great object of my Knowledge: But for a Man to spend his choicest hours and thoughts, and inquiries upon unnecessary, perishing, useless ob­jects; Reason it self will conclude, as the Preacher would have the covetous Man, Eccles. 4.8. For what do I labour, and bereave my soul of good?

And as thus in the Intellectual Faculty, there are Lusts of the Mind, so are there in the Rational Ap­petite, the Will and Affections: The Passions in the Soul are natural to it, and therefore naturally good: there­fore want of natural Affection, is a thing condemned in the old World, Rom. 1.31. But when these Affe­ctions are acted beyond their natural end and use, they become corrupt and putrified, and so Lusts of the Mind. And this is seen in either Faculty, Irascible and Concupiscible: and by how much the more spi­ritual they are, by so much the more devilish and hurt­ful, and yet condemned by sound Reason.

The Passion of Anger was planted in the Mind, and is good, when acted upon a right object, and in a due measure, Ephes. 4.26. But this Passion being over­acted, it becomes putrified, and a Lust of the Mind: it then turns into Malice, to Envy: The Spirit that is in us lusteth after Envy, Jam. 4.5. into desire of Re­venge: and thus Lust conceiveth upon this Passion of the Soul, and bringeth forth Sin. Now all these are evidently against right Reason; Because even sound Reason teacheth us, to love all that is good: Every Being hath in it self a goodness, and doth natu­rally challenge our Love; and therefore to desire the destruction of any Being is against the Law and Rule of Reason; or to desire a less or more low [Page 305] degree of Being to it than it hath. It is true, there may be some irregularity in it, which I may and must hate: But when my hatred is in the concrete, and takes in the Being of any thing which is good, as well as that which I conceive an irregularity within the compass of it, as is in all Malice and Revenge; then is my Passion mis-acted, corrupted, and proves a lust of the Mind. Suppose a Man hath done me an extream injury, and intends to continue it, right Reason will discriminate between the Man and his Fault; and whiles it is angry with the Man, yet it hates him not; it will hate the Injustice of the Man, and destroy that, but not the Man: it may be he hates me without a cause, his Fault cannot justifie mine: God hath given him a Being, and is the only Lord of it; and that Being of his is good, and de­serves my Love to preserve it; his offence is the only object of my hatred, and cannot give me a Commission to destroy the Subject. It is true, that in order to my preservation, I may do such a thing as may be prejudicial to him that hates me, with such moderation, that the evil I do him, must not exceed the evil that otherwise I might suffer by him; for this is agreeable to right Reason▪ But this must be without the least grain of Revenge, so much as in my thought; For all Revenge hath in it some­what of Irregularity: The great God, to whom Ven­geance alone belongs, Rom▪ 12.19. that is absolute Lord of his Creature, and therefore can owe him nothing, yet punisheth not by way of Revenge, as a party injured, but by way of Justice, as the supream Judge, that inflicted that Penalty that was annexed to his righteous Law when he gave it: Nothing that one Creature could do to another could be said to be Unjust, were it not that it is against the Law of this supream Law-giver and Judge; and therefore [Page 306] Retribution in me that am injured, is an act of Re­venge, in God an act of his Justice: and when he inflicts his Punishment, though in respect of me, that suffered, it is his Revenge, yet in respect of his Law that is broken, it is but his own Justice.

The Lusts of the Flesh: There are certain Natural Propensions in us for the preservation of our tempo­ral being and kind; those are planted in our Nature by the God of Nature, as well as in the nature of sen­sitive Creatures, and are in themselves good, when acted according to that Rule which God hath given unto us. Those Rules are such as either are adequate to the Sensitive Nature, viz. That they should be acted with due proportion, and to the end for which they are so implanted in our Nature: or such as are applicable to them in respect of that higher degree of Being, that is in our Nature, viz. that they should be acted with subordination to the dictate of right Rea­son: And when either of these fail, even these natu­ral Propensions do become Lusts of the Flesh, and fight against the Soul; for they are not in their place, and consequently breed a disorder in the Soul. This is easie to be seen in the consideration of both of these defects: The Appetite of Eating and Drinking is no Lust, but a Propension incident to our Nature, for the Preservation of the Compositum: But when a Man shall act it beyond its due proportion, eat or drink to Excess; or when a Man shall use it to a wrong End, to eat or drink, because he will eat and drink, placing the end of his Appetite in the use of it; now he transgresseth the first Rule, he makes his Belly his God; and his Appetite becomes a Lust. Again, if a Man shall give way to his Appetite, though in a due proportion, or to a due end, yet if upon rational Circumstances a greater Good shall be there­by lost, or a greater Evil thereby incurred, then [Page 307] this Appetite becomes a Lust, because it is out of its place, and wants its due subordination to right Reason; as when my eating or drinking shall scanda­lize my weak Brother, for whom Christ died, 1 Cor. 10.28. and thereby bring a greater loss to him, than good to my self. Again, if either the Providential Dispensation of God, or his Command, be against it, it makes the exercise of that Appetite to become a Lust, because it wants that subordination to right Reason; for it is the most uncontrollable Principle of Reason, to bear an universal subjection to the Com­mand and Will of God: Thus when God by the course of his Providence, called to fasting, then to find slaying of Oxen and killing of Sheep, the Ap­petite becomes a Lust. Again, when God forbad the eating of the Fruit of the Tree of Knowledge, of Good and Evil, then Adam's eating becomes a Lust, and consequently, a snare unto him; for his sensitive Appetite was out of its place, it should have been subordinate to his Reason, but it was above it. And these Excesses of the fleshly Appetite are expressed by several Expressions in the Word of Truth: sow­ing to the Flesh, Galat. 6.8. making provision for the Flesh, Rom. 13. ult. warring after the Flesh, 2 [...]or. 10.3. walking after the Flesh, Rom. 8.2. 2 Pet. 2.10. viz. when a Man makes it his Business to study the desires of his fleshly Appetite, and to fulfil it: And the disorder that is wrought in the Soul by this misplacing of the sensual Appetite, Ephes. 4.19. Who being past feeling, have given themselve [...] over to las [...]iviousness, to work all uncleanness with greediness, Galat. 5.17. The Flesh lusting against the Spirit, 1 Pet. 2.11. Fleshly Lusts warring against the Soul, Rom. 1.24. given over to vile Affections, Rom. 6.19. yielding your members servants to uncleanness, Rom. 7.23. A Law in the Members [...]arring against [Page 308] the Law of the Mind, and bringing it into captivity. It is a sad thing for any Man to think, that such a disorder should be in the Soul, that the nobler part born to rule, should be a Captive and a Slave to the inferiour part of Man; much more when that noble part shall become a willing Vassal, and Prostitute to that part of Man, which is no higher than a Beast; and not only so, but improve its own Ability, Wit, Skill, and Power to make that part of our Nature below a sensitive Creature. The Beasts, as hath been ob­served before, though their sensual Appetite be their highest Faculty, and so moves not in a subordina­tion to any higher Power, yet they move conform­able to the End, for which those Propensions were implanted in them: But when the sensual Appetite in Man hath captivated his Reason, which should be her guide and ruler, it is made the worse by her Prisoner; and now its motions are not only absolute, and without controll of Reason, excentrick to that very natural Rule given to the motions of the same sensitive Appetite in the very Sensitives themselves: And the reason is partly because the Wisdom of God hath given a kind of natural Law or Boundary to those Propensions in the Sensitives, because they have no higher Power in them to regulate them; but to Man he gave a higher Power to order and manage this sensual Appetite, which Power having lost his sovereignty, the sensual Appetite doth not only want his Bounds, but also having corrupted and dis­placed that higher Faculty, is again corrupted by it, and made by her captive, and at length by Custom, the reasonable Soul becomes only an Instrument to contrive and execute the most exquisite satisfaction it can for those Lusts of the Flesh.

Now as any Man that hath so much command of his Mind, as a little to call it off from this drudgery, [Page 309] cannot chuse but conclude the extream unfitness and uncomeliness of such a transposition of his Faculties; so when it pleaseth God to open our Eyes, that we can see the state and frame of our Minds and Souls, as once the Prophet's Servant's Eyes were opened to see that better sight of the heavenly Host, we should see more confusion, discrepancy and disorder in our Souls, more cruelty, mischief, and filthiness, by reason of the rule of those Lusts within us, than if we should see the Slaves of a once well-governed City in a Rebellion, mastering their Lords, and ma­king them serve to their basest Commands, rifling their Treasures, burning their Habitations, and turn­ing all places, Orders and things into ruine and con­fusion. And therefore the study of the reducing these Rebels to their former subjection, even by strict severity and discipline, which is the Business of Morti­fication, cannot chuse but be a most rational Work.

Now from this disorder, that ariseth in the Soul by the Old Man, which is nothing else but the in­verting and displacing of those powers and motions of the Creature, from that beautiful and conformable Place and Order, wherein God had once set them, proceed all those enormities and confusions that are in the World, James 4.1. From whence come wars and fightings among you? come they not hence, even of your lusts that war in your members? Lust hath made a dis­order and tumult within, and there it cannot rest long, but works the like without also. God hath set every thing in his place and order, and bounded it with certain Limits and Rules; and as long as they keep within their Places, Orders and Rules, there is Beauty and Concordance with it self, and other things; but when that Order and Rule of things is broken, then follows Confusion and Deformity; and as the things so displaced disagree with other things, [Page 310] that are in their Places and Orders, so those must needs disagree with them; much more must things that are out of their Places and Orders disagree one with another. When a Man over-mastered by any Lust, meets with another Man over-mastered with the same, or any other Lust, there must needs be a discord between them: these are the Works of the Flesh ad extra, Gal. 5.19.

2. The Lust of the Eyes. The wise Man tells us, The Eye is not satisfied with seeing, Prov. 27.20. Ec­cles 1.8. And this is natural to the capacity of that sense, and may be useful: But that which is princi­pally meant by this Lust, is the over-eager prosecu­tion of such Objects, as are most delightful to the Eye, viz. of Wealth, which is Covetousness; and of Honour, or High Place, which is Ambition: These two Lusts are prosecuted upon a double ground: 1. As things pleasing to our sight; inso­much that the Wise Man concludes, that the great­est good in the most substantial of them, is the be­holding of them with the Eyes of the Owner, Ec­cles. 5.11. But this is not all, for we see even in [...]ind Men, the same desire of Wealth and Glory, as in others. Therefore, 2. A mistaken Over-va­ [...]ation of them, as things of the most absolute use and safety: The natural Man makes himself, as he is constituted in this Life, his chiefest End; and ac­cording as the several judgments and dispositions of Men, they take up several ways for the improve­ment, or security, or pleasure of their temporal Be­ing here: the Voluptuous Man, the Covetous Man, the Revengeful Man, the Ambitious Man, have all one End, viz. Self: But Self discovers it self several ways, according to the several Dispositions and Prin­ciples that are in those several Men: Wealth and Honour, they are the Blessings of God, and of ex­cellent [Page 311] use to our present subsistence, and may be desired and endeavoured for with moderation, in order to our preservation, posterity, and safety: But then it becomes a Lust, when they are over­valued, and consequently over eagerly prosecuted; and then by degrees the Man is so captivated with it, and habituated to it, that as he placed his Feli­city in his temporal Being here, so he placeth the se­curity, strength, and life of this Felicity in his Honour or Wealth; and so makes it his God, Colos. 3.5. For as it is agreeable to our corrupt Nature, to make that our Idol, wherein, or whereby we find the greatest sensible good conveyed to us, be it an Oni­on, or a Calf, or a Crocodile, as was the use of the Egyptians; so if we once exceed those Bounds of Mo­deration, which we ought to bear towards any sen­sible good, it believes an Idol; for it takes away part of that Portion of Love and Duty, which we owe to God, Prov. 18.10, 11. The same that God is to a Man that is righteous, the same doth a co­vetous Man make his Riches, viz. his strong City. It is impossible, but Man must needs find himself a depending Creature upon somewhat without him; he cannot live without Meat, Drink, Cloathing, support against Injuries, Violence, and Want, he hath lost the Knowledge of God, upon whom in truth his dependance is, and therefore fastens upon that which is most visibly in his way for his support, Riches and External Power: and this he concludes and resolves to compass per fas & nefas, even through the destruction and blood of those that stand in his way: And having attained to some convenient pro­portion, yet partly through the emptiness and de­ceitfulness of the Object, which we pursue, partly through the insatiableness of that Lust, which we [Page 312] endeavour to satisfie, we rest not in the pursuit, though we grow secure in the enjoyment. Soul, thou h [...]st much laid up, &c. Luke 12.19. And thus this Lust robs God of that, which is most due and dear unto him, our Dependance and our Love; so that it is impossible to serve them both, Luke 16.13. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon. For that, which a Man most values, will be sure to have most of his Heart, Matth. 6.21. Now if there were the true Know­ledge of God in our Hearts, this Lust would die of it self: If a Man considers, that this Life consisteth not in the multitude of the things we enjoy, Luke 12.15. That our heavenly Father, who knoweth our wants, requires us to cast our Care upon him, Matth. 6.32. 1 Pet. 5.7. That Promotion cometh not from the East, nor West, but it is God that set­teth up one, and casteth down another, Psal. 75.7. That he giveth all Creatures their Meat in due sea­son, Psal. 145.16. That except he build the House, they labour in vain that build it, Psal. 127.1. That he hath commanded us to cast our Burdens upon him, and he will sustain us, Psal. 51.22. to commit our ways unto the Lord, and trust in him, and he shall bring it to pass, Psal. 37.5. that Riches are his Gift, and commands us to trust in the Giver, not the Gift, 2 Tim. 6.17. that though he give the posses­sion of what we desire, he can deny the fruition of what we possess, Eccles. 2.24. That a Man should enjoy good in his Labour, is the gift of God, Ec­cles. 4.19. He can grant us Quails, but with it can send leanness into the Soul, Psal. 106.15. and can increase the Wealth to the Owners hurt, Eccles. 5.13. That it is not the Bread I eat, but the Word, the Commission of God to his Creature, that main­tains my Life, Matth. 2.4. He can make holes in [Page 313] our Bags, and blow upon our Labours, Hab. 1.6. 9. That he will withhold no good thing from them that fear him, Psal. 84.11. Psal. 35.10. Though Men of low degree are Vanity, yet Men of high degree are a Lie; and therefore though Riches in­crease, yet he hath commanded me not to set my Heart upon them, Psal. 62.9, 10. These, and the like Considerations, deeply digested, will make a Man to carry a loose affection and pursuit of Riches or Honour, and put the Soul upon such Resolutions and Contemplations as these: ‘O Lord, thou hast brought me into this World, wherein is great va­riety of all things; and I see the men of this World hunting and pursuing after Wealth, and Honour, and Power, and making it the business of their Lives; and in this their pursuit often disappoint­ments; and if successful, yet full of anxiety; and if they attain any measure of what they pursue, yet are still unsatisfied in what they have attained; and yet consider not that there is a Lie in their right hand: and what Profit hath he that laboureth for the Wind? A Wind that may swell and torment, but not satisfie the Soul: And it is evident, that oftentimes, though thy Providence succeed their De­sires and Ambitions, so that they seem to have rolled up their Stone almost to the top of their Wishes; yet the encounter of, it may be, a small, and seem­ingly inconsiderable Circumstance tumbles all down again, if not to their ruine, yet to their vexation and disappointment. And thus we walk in a vain shadow, and disquiet our selves in vain, and spend that stock of Time, and Life, and Strength, and Opportunity in unprofitable, unsatisfactory Labour, till the Night overtakes us, and then whose shall all these things be? Luke 12.20. Blessed be thy Name, that in the midst of all this variety, those [Page 314] many things, about which we are careful and trou­bled, yet thou hast shewed us, that there is one thing needful▪ Luke 1 [...].42. and hast shewed us what it is, and how to attain it: and this shall be the great­est Business of any, because of greatest Conse­quence, to work out my Salvation with fear and trembling, Phil. 2.12. To give all diligence to make my Calling and Election sure, 2 Pet. 1.10. That when the terrible Cry of Death and Judgment shall come, I may have Oyl in my Lamp, before the Door be shut, and may be able to give my Lord an account of my Stock with Comfort and Joy. It is true, the condition of my Nature stands in need of outward supplies for my defence and pre­servation; and the wise Dispensation of thy Pro­vidence, as it hath fitted this our Habitation on Earth, with things useful for our Pilgrimage; so it hath made Industry and Diligence the way to at­tain them: he that will not labour, let him not eat: and the same Wise and Bountiful Hand hath not only furnished our way with supplies for our necessity, but with provisions for our delight: I will therefore diligently go on in that course, wherein thy Providence hath cast me; for it is the [...]avel thou hast given me to be exercised withall, Eccles. 3.10. But I will not make this the End, the Business of my Life; The one thing necessary shall be always in my Eye; and that it may be continually my Work, I will endeavour to improve even my worldly Imployment into a spiritual, by doing it in Obedience to the Command of God, and that Order which he hath set in the World; by walking conscionably in it, as in the presence of God; by casting my Care upon him, nothing soli­citous concerning the success, but leaving it to him that governs all things; by observing the passages [Page 315] of his Wisdom, Mercy, and Power, in the pas­sages and Successes of it; by recumbence and rest­ing upon his Promise for a subsistence, Psal. 37.3. Verily thou shalt be fed; by my Patience and Con­tentedness with whatsoever Condition he shall cast me into, and a chearful Resignation of my self in­to his hands, who hath given me Christ; and how shall he not with him give me all things else? If he is pleased to straiten my Condition, and make my Labours unsuccessful, and feed me with Bread of Affliction, and Water of Affliction; yet if he afford me the Light of his Countenance, the assu­rance of his Favour, the pardon of my Sins, the sound hope of Eternity, blessed be his Name: In the midst of my Exigences, I shall learn with the Prophet Hab. 3.7. Although the fig-tree shall not blossom, neither shall fruit be in the vines, the labour of the olive shall fail, and the field shall yield no meat, &c. yet I will rejoyce in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my salvation: I shall learn with Moses, to esteem the reproach of Christ, greater Riches than the Treasures of Egypt, Heb. 11.26. I shall improve my Necessities and Exigences, to take off my Soul from the over-greedy pursuit of these Inferiours, to establish and settle my Heart in the hope of that eternal weight of Glory, the Contemplation and Expectation whereof, is able to swallow up the momentany Sufferings, as well as Pleasures of this Life, with Job 14.14. to wait till my change come, to magnifie the Mercy and Bounty of my Lord, who, whiles my sins deserve the loss of all, is plea­sed to continue unto me that which is best, and makes my Wants not so much the Punishment, as the Cure of my Sin: and though he brings me into a Wilderness, yet there he speaks comfortably to me: I shall learn to make his Will, the measure [Page 316] of mine own: and whiles I remember that he is the absolute Lord of his own Creature; that he manageth and ordereth all the Events and Con­currences in the World, by a most Wise and most Righteous Providence; that he feeds the young Ravens when they cry, Creatures that need a libe­ral supply, and yet have no means to procure it; that he is pleased to reveal himself in his Word un­to me in such terms, as are most comprehensive of Power and Mercy; I will learn to wait upon him patiently, chearfully, and dependingly: If it be his Pleasure to enlarge his hand, I shall thank­fully receive it, as a free addition; if not, yet I will not change my Wants, my Necessities, my Scorns, accompanied with the Favour of God, nor sell the least degree of the Light of his Countenance, for all the Supplies of Glory and Abundance, that Heaven and Earth can afford. If I can but say upon found grounds, the Lord is my Portion, Psal. 16.5. Like the Tree that Moses cast into the Waters of Marah, Exod. 15.23. It makes those bitter Waters sweet, and puts more Joy in my Heart, than in the time that their Corn and their Wine increa­sed, Psal. 4.6.’

‘But if it please him, together with the Light of his Countenance, to give me a competency of Ex­ternals, to feed me with Food convenient for me, with Agar, Prov. 30.8. though with David, Psal. 23. my Cup runs not over; yet if the Lord be the Portion of my Cup, Psal. 16.5. O Lord, shouldest thou deny me all things, even necessary for my pre­sent subsistence; yet I have Portion enough in thy Favour, and the Light of thy Countenance, for which I owe thee more than all the thankfulness and strength of my Soul, and such a Portion as would bear up my Heart in the midst of all my Exigences: [Page 317] When thy Son bore our Nature in the Flesh, though the sence of thy Love supported him, yet he want­ed things of convenience, he became poor, that we might be rich.’

‘But if it shall please God to add the Blessings of his left hand to the Blessings of his right hand, (as rather than deny me the latter, I beseech thee, give me not the former) If he shall bless me in the Fruit of my Body, and my Ground, and command a Blessing upon my Store-houses, and all that I set my hand unto, Deut. 28.4, 8. I will learn to serve the Lord my God with joyfulness and gladness of Heart for the abundance of all things, Deut. 28.47. to contemplate and bless that good hand of God, that giveth me power to get Wealth, Deut. 8.18. To look with more comfort and delight upon that Hand that gives, than in the very Blessing that is given; to set a watch over that evil and deceitful Heart of mine, that is able to turn my Blessing into my Snare; to beware, lest when all that I have is multiplied, my Heart be lifted up, and I forget the Lord my God, Deut. 8.13, 14. To beware, lest when my Riches increase, I set my Heart upon them, Psal. 62.10. and trust in uncertain Riches, 1 Tim. 6.17. To remember that I am but a Fidu­ciary, a Steward of them, they are not given me to look upon, but to use them, as one that must give an account of them; to watch over my self, that I use them soberly, with moderation, and as in his presence, that I turn not the Grace and Boun­ty of God into Excess, or Wantonness; to look upon all the Goodness, Comfort and Use of them, as flowing from the Blessing and Commission, that God sends along with them, Eccles. 2.24. That a man should make his soul enjoy good in his labour, this also is from the hand of God; To beware that the multi­plication [Page 318] of Blessings, do not rob my Creator of one grain of that Love, Service, and Dependance, that I owe unto him; to carry a loose affection to­wards them; for it is infallibly true, that where the Heart is truly set upon God, and makes him his Portion, it enables a Man equally to bear all Conditions, because the object of his Soul is im­mutable and invaluable, though his external Con­dition alter: an accession of Externals may carry up such a Soul in a more sensible apprehension of the Goodness of him, whom the Soul loves; it can­not steal away one jot of that Love, which it owes to the giver; the Creature it self is of too low a value to diminish the Love to the Creator: a Heart, that is rightly principled, cannot find any good in the Creature, but what he will derive from, and carry to the object of his Love.’

3. The Pride of Life: There are two great Cardinal Truths, whereof if the Mind be soundly convinced, it puts a Man in a right frame and temper of Spirit in the whole course of his Life:

1. That there is an essential universal Subjection due from all Creatures to the Will and Power of God: This is the ground of all true Obedience, and all true Humility; which is nothing else, but a putting of the Mind into a Posture and frame answerable to that Position, wherein by Nature it is framed, a con­formity of the Mind to the Truth and Station where­in it is set.

(2.) That all Goodness, Beauty, and Perfection, is originally in God, and nothing of Good, Beauty, or Perfection is in any thing, but derivatively from him, according to that measure, that he is freely pleased to communicate. This keeps the Heart in a continual Love of him, Dependance upon him, and Thankfulness unto him.

[Page 319]From the Ignorance of those, is the ground of all the Pride in the World, which is nothing else, but a false placing of the Mind in such a Condition or Station, or the opinion of such a Station wherein in truth, he is not, and so it disorders the Mind: it makes a Man, that is essentially subordinate to God, and depending upon him, to place himself above God, and to be independent upon him: And though this false opinion cannot alter his condition in truth; for he that hath said, My Will shall stand, cannot be removed by the pride or resistance of Man; yet as to the Man himself, it puts him out of his place, and in the room of God: And therefore above all other distempers of the Soul, this is the most hateful to God: for as the proud Man resisteth God, and labours to get into his place, so God resisteth him, 1 Pet. 5.5. Prov. 3.24. And this Ignorance, or not full subscription to these two Truths, will appear to be the foundation of all the Pride in Men.

1. From the Ignorance of the former, of the sub­jection we owe to God, proceeds that Pride that manifests it self in Rebellion and Disobedience against God. God challengeth the subjection of our Wills to his, as justly he may, and Man will have his own Will take place, Jer. 42.14. No, but we will go into the [...]and of Egypt. Luke 19.14. We will not have this Man to rule over us: And as among Men, Pride is the Mo­ther of Contention, because it puts a Man out of that place, wherein he is; and he doth consequently put himself in the place of another, and thence come Contentions; so from this Pride of Men, putting themselves into the place of God, comes the conten­tion between God and man: He that hath said, he will not give his Glory to another, will not give his Place to his Creature, but resisteth the proud: And [Page 320] from this ignorance of that subjection we owe to God, proceeds that Haughtiness and Arrogance, which we find in the Spirits of Men, Exod. 5.2. Who is the Lord, that I should let the people go? Job 21.15. What is the Almighty, that we should serve him? Dan. 3.15. Who is that God, that shall deliver you out of my hands? This Ignorance was that which bred that haughty speech in Nebuchadnezzar, Dan. 4.30. Is not this great Babylon, &c. Till God by his immediate hand made him know, that he is able to abase them that walk in pride, Ibid. Verse 37. And hence it is, that Men are compassed with Pride, as a Chain, when they set their mouth against the Heavens, Psal. 73.6, 9, 11. And this manifestation of Pride, is principally in the Will, because it is the absence of that subjection, which we owe to his Will.

2. From this want of the due knowledge of the subjection, we owe to the Power of God, proceeds that Pride which evidenceth it self in that vain Confidence and Security, which men put in them­selves, or those other accessions of Friends, Wealth, Power, Policy, &c. Revel. 3.17. I am rich and in­creased in goods, and have need of nothing, Luke 12.17. And I will say to my soul, Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years, take thine ease▪ Isa. 28.14. When the over-flowing scourge shall pass through, it shall not come near us, for we have made lies our refuge, and under falshood, have we hid our selves. This was the speech of the scornful Men of Ephraim, who had not Hu­mility enough to shelter themselves under their Ma­ker, and yet had so much Baseness of Spirit, as to make a Lie their Refuge and Security, Isa. 30.2. trust in a shadow; Verse 12. in oppression and perverse­ness, Isa. 31.1. in Horses and Chariots, Isa. 47.7. I shall be a Lady for ever: I am, and there is none else be­sides me: to see the pride and arrogance of a Heart, [Page 321] that knows not God, even to take upon it the ve­ry self-sufficiency of God himself. Now when a Heart truly knows the Power of God, the essential Dependance that all things and events have upon him, how easily, without the interposition of his own immediate hand, he can manage some little inconsiderable Circumstance, to break and confound the most complicated and twisted Securities that a whole Nation can make for it self; he will soon learn to look upon all these external contributions to Happiness and Safety, as vanity and nothing, much less will he repose any confidence in them. And to break the Children of Men from this dei­fying themselves, and the sparks that they have kindled, Isaiah 50.11. God doth most common­ly, as I may say, set himself to blast and subvert those Refuges of Men, their Idols, with the most unlikely and improbable means, Job 5.13. He catcheth the wise, even with their own craftiness, in­tangles the Powerful by their own strength; or arms some impotent, unexpected Emergency, a nothing, in a moment to shatter in pieces what Men have been many Years or Ages building up, and fortifying into a Confidence, with multiplicity of Supplies.

3. By the Ignorance of the latter, viz. That the Original of all Good is in, and from God, ariseth that Haughtiness and Elevation of Mind, that is in Men, when they find any thing in themselves, or in what they have acquired, that is beautiful or useful. When a Heart rightly principled, meddles with any such thing, it teacheth him Thankful­ness and Humility; he runs it up presently to God, the Fountain and Original of all Good, and gives him the praise of any thing he finds Good in him­self, and concludes even in the meanest Good, [Page 322] that he finds, even in his Skill, it may be, in the lowest Profession, with Isaiah 28.29. This also cometh forth from the Lord of hosts, who is wonderful in counsel, and excellent in working: If he finds in himself an industrious and successful Hand, he at­tributes this to God, Deuteronom. 8.18. It is he that giveth thee Power to get Wealth: If he finds himself advanced to any Greatness or Honour, he acknowledgeth this to be the Dispensation of God, Psalm 75.7. God is the Judge, he putteth down one, and setteth up another: If he find a victo­rious and successful Hand in War, he attributes it not to his own Sword, or his own Arm, Psal. 44.3. But thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance: If he find any Eminence of Wisdom, Knowledge, Counsel, Learning, still he remembers that it cometh down from the Father of Lights, James 1.17. But the Ignorance, or want of Consideration of this, is that which puf­feth up a Man, by carrying that Glory, which is indeed due to God, unto himself: A Man can­not have a little more Knowledge than he sees in another, but presently it swells him, 1 Cor. 8.1. he thinks higher of himself than he ought to think, Rom. 12.3. If he get a little Wealth, presently he concludes, Deuteronom. 8.17. My power, and the might of my hand, hath gotten me this wealth. If he hath been successful in his Counsels, he presently bespeaks himself with the insolent Assyrian, Isa. 10.13. By the strength of my hand have I done it, and by my wisdom, for I am prudent. And what a tru­ly wise Heart saith to God, Psalm 21.13. Be thou exalted in thy own strength, this proud Fool says to himself, and, so much as he can, makes himself God, stopping the Current of that Glory at himself, which would naturally run unto God, [Page 323] as the Rivers into the Sea; and thereby the Man filleth himself beyond his proportion, till he sur­feit upon that, which belongs not unto him: And therefore the Prophet well saith, Hab. 2.4. His soul, which is lifted up, is not upright in him; his Heart is out of his due place and situa­tion, and consequently, as he disorders other things, so he ruines himself; for the eternal Wis­dom and Goodness of God, doth communicate his Goodness to every thing in that place and situation, which he hath appointed for it, and if the Heart get up above that place, which God hath appointed for it, it is no wonder, if it miss of his Blessing, by reason of its disorder, and, with Herod, find his Vengeance for its Presum­ption.

CHAP. XVII. Of Prayer.

THUS far concerning the Mortification of our Lusts, by the help of Meditation; the next is Prayer.

God, as he is the Original of all Being, so he is the Fountain of all that Good, which is, or can be in the Creature: and this Goodness is derived to it from God by such means as he hath appointed, and is most natural and suitable to the Creature. Man is essentially depending upon God, as well as other Creatures: here is the difference, other Creatures are placed in a greater distance from God, and therefore he conveys his Goodness unto them by more mediate and inferiour means. Man, as he was crea­ted in a Perfection nearer unto God, even in his own Image, so consequently, in a nearer degree and relation unto him; and therefore, though all things are in their Nature dependant upon him, yet Man hath ability to know his Dependance; and therefore not only to be dependent, but to be dependent upon him; and therefore upon all occasions might make his immediate Address to God, to whom he was immediately subject. Now Prayer and Thanksgi­ving is nothing else, but the actual exercise of that Dependance we have upon God, Psal. 50.15. Call upon me in the day of trouble, I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glorifie me. When Man begins to forget his Dependance upon God, he leaves him to him­self▪ and being out of his way, some trouble or [Page 325] other meets him; and then he sees he was out of his way, and returns to his Dependance again, prays to God. Our Prayers are not of themselves effectual; but it was the bounty and good pleasure of God to give unto his Creature all suitable good, whiles he is in such a Station and Condition, as he requires of him. That Station for a Man is a continual actual Dependance upon God, which can never be without a suitable Conformity of the whole Soul to his Will. Now when the Heart is in such a frame of Dependency, it actually exerciseth it in Prayer; he strengthens, as well as evidenceth his Dependance, and draweth himself nearer to God thereby, and so near­er to Blessing.

Now in reference to this particular, viz. How Prayer becomes a means of our Mortification of those ir­regularities in our Soul and Affections; it is upon a double ground:

1. Because thereby the Soul draws near unto God, and so is lifted in some degree into that frame, and temper, and place, and station, which is proper for it; and so gets above those Lusts and Distempers, which hang about him: The very vicinity to that pure fire and light cannot consist with the fellowship of those impure Angels of darkness and impurity, and so either dissolves them, or at least scatters and affrights them. Hence Prayer is expressed by lifting up the Soul unto God, Psal. 25.1. by coming into his presence, Psal. 95.2. by drawing near unto God, James 4.8. an access to the throne of Grace. As when Adam had first departed from God by sin, he after hid himself from the presence of God, Gen. 3.8. and thereby, as much as in him was, put himself out of a possibility of recovery; so when a Man again brings his Soul into the presence of God (as an ac­cess and power is now given by Christ) by that very [Page 326] approaching unto God he gets mastery of those Lusts, that did formerly drive him, and, as much as they could keep him from God. And this was the very way of Perfection that God himself taught Abraham, Gen. 17.1. Walk before me, and be thou perfect. And though the whole Conversation of a Christian Man, ought to be in the presence of God, and to measure all his thoughts and actions by their comeliness, or uncomeliness in his sight; yet Prayer is a more spe­cial purposed concentring of the Soul to that Bu­siness. And though, God knows, when we come down from the Mount again, oftentimes those Lusts meet with us, and renew acquaintance with us, which we left behind, when we went about this serious Business, so that though we have ended the Solem­nity, we have yet a continual use of the Duty; yet a frequent a solemn, and serious use of this Duty interrupts a custom of sin, by degrees weakens the Old Man, and will in time, make a strangeness be­tween our Lusts and our Souls. And let a Man be sure of these two truths: That as he that comes up­on his Knees with a secret Purpose to hold confede­racy with any sin, he shall be the worse, the more hardned, the more neglected by that God, which searcheth the Heart: If I regard iniquity in my Heart, thou wilt not hear my Prayer: so whosoever he be, that comes to his Maker in the integrity of his Heart, though sin adhere as close to that Heart of his, as his Skin doth to his Flesh, shall find that imploy­ment will make those Lusts, that were most dear unto him, by degrees to become strange and loose unto his Soul.

2. But there is not only an active and natural ef­ficacy in the Duty it self; but, which is more, when a Man draws near to God, God draws near to him, James 4.8. As the Grace and Spirit of God, [Page 327] that sets thy Heart to Prayer, gives out more of his strength and Grace unto thee when thou hast prayed. Thus the Goodness of the infinite and eternal God moves in a Circle to the Soul, 2 Cor. 12.9. My Grace is sufficient for thee. There is not only a strength gotten against our Corruptions by our Approxima­tion to him, but an Emanation of Virtue, Power, and Spirit from him, whereby to master and con­sume them: How much more will your heavenly Father give your Spirit to them that ask it, Luke 11.13. Ʋp­hold me with thy free Spirit, Psal. 51.12. This is that Spirit by which the deeds of the Flesh are morti­fied, Rom. 8.13. the Spirit of Life, that gives free­dom from the Law of Sin and Death, Rom. 8.2. It is the Scepter of the Kingdom of God in the Soul, whereby he rules in the midst of his Enemies, Psal. 110.2. And where this Spirit is, there is Liber­ty, 2 Cor. 3.17.

CHAP. XVIII. Of Watchfulness, and first in respect of God.

3. WATCHFƲLNESS. And the Object of our Watchfulness, is 1. God. 2. Our own selves. 3. Temptations:

1. For the first, our watching concerning God: 1. Watch for the Coming of thy Saviour, either in the general, or thy own particular Judgement: for ye know not when the master of the house comes, lest coming suddenly, he find thee sleeping, Mark 13.35. Consider what a terrible thing it will be, if Death or Judge­ment should find thee in a practice of any purposed Sin: and thou knowest not whether thy time of Death shall be in the Evening, Midnight, or at Cock­crow, or in the Morning; for it comes like a Thief in the Night.

2. Watch the Word of God: It is that Lanthorn to our Feet, that Pillar of Fire which is to go before us in our Voyage through this Wilderness: Take heed thou lose not this Light, or leave it; for then thou shalt wander in darkness, 2 Pet. 1.19. This Light will shew thee the mind of thy Creator; it will instruct thee what to do in points of difficulty and danger; it will shew thee thy self, and the con­stitution and temper of thy Soul, and how the great­est matter of concernment to thee in the World stands, even the condition of thy own Soul with God; it will interpret and unriddle unto thee those various Dispensations and Administrations of things in the World; it hath Principles of so high and [Page 329] powerful a Conviction, that it will master the dis­orders of thy Soul beyond the most rigid Dictates, Contemplations, and Disciplines of the most sub­limated Philosophy, 2 Tim. 3.17. A Doctrine of Perfection.

3. Watch the Presence of God, and see that thy Thoughts, Words, and Actions are beseeming his Presence: for all things are naked and manifest before him with whom we have to do, Heb. 4.13. and remem­ber we cannot flie or hide our selves from his Pre­sence, Psal. 139.7. that the Hearts of the Children of Men are before him, Prov. 15.11. that he weighs the Spirits, Prov. 16.2. That his Eyes are in every place, beholding the Evil and the Good, Prov. 15.3. that he pondereth Man's goings, Prov. 5.21. Job 34.21. Jer. 32.19. Jer. 16.17. that he searcheth the Heart and trieth the Reins, Jer. 17.10. Take heed therefore, of so much as thinking any thing, that may be unbecoming the Presence of such a Majesty, Pu­rity and Power: This is the Fear of God, the begin­ning of Wisdom, and will teach us with Joseph, to entertain any temptation fitted with the greatest se­cresie and advantage with his Resolution, Gen. 39.9. How shall I do this great Evil, and sin against God?

4. Watch the course of the Providence of God. There is not a Passage of his Providence, but if marked, carries with it a secret Instruction, and a watchful Man will spell the Lesson of Providence; to Humi­liation, Mic. 6.9. Hear the Rod, and him that hath appointed it: to Sadness, Isa. 22.12. In that day did the Lord call for weeping: to Reformation and Obedi­ence, Job 36 10 by cords of affliction, he openeth the Ear to Discipline, and commandeth, that they return from iniquity: to Dependance upon, and Recourse to God, Psal. 107.15, 19. extremity and natural im­possibility of deliverance tutors Men to cry unto the [Page 330] Lord, Jonah 1.6. Arise, call upon thy God: to Thankful­ness, Psal. 5 [...].25. I will deliver thee, and thou shalt glo­rifie me: And here we cannot chuse, but ever re­member the Excellence of the Word of God, which teacheth us the English of all his Dispensations, and what they mean, That when in our blindness, God by his Providence speaketh once, yea twice, yet Man perceiveth it not, Job 33.14. this like a Messenger, an Interpreter, one among a thousand, Job 33.23. expounds the Hieroglyphick, and shews us the Er­rand it brings from God: And although the Wis­dom of God excedes our observation in many passages of his Providence, Eccles. 8.17. that almost the exact­est watchfulness will have much ado to find any thing after him, Eccles. 3.11. yet I do believe, that that Man that keeps a strict watch over himself, and upon the passages of his Providence, shall scarce find one uncomfortable passage in his Life, but he may read in it some special omission of Duty to, and some deser­tion of God, some act of Pride, Lust, or Vanity, emi­nently conspicuous to him, that preceded it. It is true, the most exact walking may not only find, but occasion Crosses and Afflictions in our way; but most commonly, if not always, such are accompa­nied with such a measure of Comfort, and Content­ment in them or with them, that I cannot call them Uncomfortable Passages, but rather Objects of Re­joycing. But when there comes an Affliction with a Sting in it, though but a small one, such a one as springs from my own folly, or a disappointment, or interruption in a justifiable action, wherein I see, as it were, the hand of God hedging up my way, or the like, let me look but a little backward, I shall see the spring of it. As I will therefore keep a watch over my ways, that I incur not the danger of God's deserting me, though in an action, it may [Page 331] be, of no great consequence; so when I find such a Cross, I will look backward, and search, and try my ways, and when I have found my Achan, I will weep over him; I will look forward, and be more careful in my future Conversation; I will look up­ward, and bless the merciful hand of God, that is pleased to take such care over a poor Creature, as to send his Messenger, though, it may be, a rough and sower one, to reclaim me from the danger of a greater Evil.

5. Watch the secret perswasions and disswasions of the Spirit of God, and beware thou quench it not, 1 Thes. 5.19. nor grieve it, Ephes. 4.30. A Man that observes his ways, shall oftentimes hear a secret Voice from his Conscience, conformable to the Word of God, calling to him: Do not this abominable thing, which I hate, Jer. 44.4. or, This is the way, walk in it, Isa. 30.21. Be sure thou observe this Voice; try it with the Word, the Rule of Truth; and beware thou neglect it not. This Wind, that blows where it lists, if shut out, resisted, or grieved, may haply never breathe upon thee again, but leave thee to be hardened in thy sins: But if observed, tried, and obeyed, thou shalt be sure to have it thy Monitor and Director upon all occasions.

CHAP. XIX. Of Watchfulness in respect of our Selves, our Senses, Words, and Appetite.

2. FOR the second Object of our Watch, our Selves: such is the distemper and disorder of our Souls since the Fall, that though it meets with no temptations from without, yet it will make them; and, like a distempered Stomach, the Lusts that are within us, will turn that into our Poison, which is of it self either wholesom, or at least indifferent: The Wedge of Gold, and the Babylonish Garment, had in it self naturally no temptation to Evil; but Lust joyns with it, conceives upon it, and brings forth Sin: the Rock stands still, strikes not the Ship, but the Ship strikes the Rock, and splits it self. The greatest part of that sin, that is in us, is not so much due to the influence and motion of Objects upon us, as to the Corruption that the Object meets with in us: therefore it concerns us to have a strict and continual Watch upon our selves: And herein.

1. Watch thy Senses: watch thine Eye; thine Eye is a wanton Eye, an Eye full of Adultery, 2 Pet. 2.14. David, a Man after God's own Heart, wanted his watch upon his Eye, and he saw, and lusted, and sinned, 2 Sam. 11.2. With Job therefore, see that thou keep thine Eye under a Covenant, Job 31.1. Thine Eye is a luxurious Eye; the Fruit was pleasant to the Eye, and our first Mother, though to the ruine of her Posterity, did let in the beauty of the Fruit, and together with it, Sin, and [Page 333] Death, through her Eye, Gen. 3.6. Thine Eye is an unsatiable Eye, Eccles. 1.8. a covetous Eye, Joshua 7.21. I saw, and I coveted: a lofty and proud Eye, Prov. 30.14. a flattering and a deceitful Eye, Prov. 30.12. a cruel and an oppressing Eye, Psal. 10.8. His Eyes are privily set against the Poor: an evil Eye. Let it therefore be thy Practice, as well as thy Prayer, to turn away thine Eye from beholding Va­nity, Psal. 119.37. and to have thine Eyes always towards God, Psal. 141.8.

2. Set a Guard upon thy Ear, and take heed how, and what thou hearest, Mark 4.24. Thou hast a wandering Eye, an Athenian Ear, Acts 17.21. an itching Ear, that will not endure sound Truth, 2 Tim. 4.3. a deaf and stopped Ear, when thou shouldest hear, Isaiah 6.10. an open and unsatiable Ear after Vanity and Unprofitableness, Eccles. 1.8.

3. Set a Watch over thy Tongue, and keep the door of thy Lips, Psal. 141.3. and take heed thou sin not with thy Tongue, Psal. 39.1. Remember an account is to be given for an idle word, Matth. 12.36. season thy words with Salt, Colos. 4.6. and that will take away the filthiness of thy Communi­cation, Colos. 3.8. Remember that thy Tongue is set on fire of Hell, James 3.6. Watch therefore thy Tongue: let thy words be few, seasonable, con­siderate, true.

4. Set a Watch upon thine Appetite: it is of it self natural, and consequently good; but the di­stemper of our Nature hath put it out of its place, and consequently out of its bounds. Suspect thy Appetite, and keep it under with Rules of Mode­ration: put a Knife to thy Throat, Prov. 23.2. look not upon the Wine, when it gives its colour in the [Page 334] Cup, Prov. 23.31. love not sleep, Prov 20.13. and with Rules of Seasonableness: the wise Man tells us, every thing is beautiful in its time, Eccles. 3.11. because it is then in that order, which God hath appointed for it: the same Action, that may be but tolerable and indifferent in one time, may be necessary in another, and sinful in another, Isaiah 22.12, 13. In that day did the Lord call for weeping and mourning, and behold, slaving of oxen: sure­ly this iniquity shall not be purged from you till ye die, 2 Sam. 11.11. The Ark, and Israel, and Judah abide in tents, &c. shall I then go down to my house to eat, and to drink, and to lie with my wife? Regulate thy Reason by the Word and Counsel of God: and discipline thy Appetite with thy Reason: observe its motions, and check them: Rather deny it a lawful, than countenance it in but a disputable Liberty.

CHAP. XX. Of Watchfulnes over our Affections, and Pas­sions of Love, Anger, and Fear.

5. SET a Watch upon thine Affections and Passions: Thy Affections are by thy natural corruption, become inordinate Affections; they are easily mis­placed, and more easily over-acted. Take heed to thy Love: according to the order or disorder of this Affection, are all thy other Affections tempered: See therefore that it be rightly placed: Dispence thy Love in measures proportionable to the worth of the Object: Nothing can challenge thy intensest Love, but the intensest Good; and that God that requires thy Heart, is a jealous God: let not out the whole Current of thy Affections upon any thing below him: Lawful Pleasures, natural Relations, Conveniences in the World, a Man's own self, may be Objects of a moderate and subordinate Love: But when they take up the whole compass of our Love, our Love becomes our Sin, Matth. 10.37. He that loveth father or mother more than me, is not worthy of me, 1 John 2.15. If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him. 2 Tim. 3.2, 4. lovers of themselves, and lovers of Pleasures, ranked amongst the worst of Men. When the Affection of thy Soul is moving after any thing, before thou give it leave, examine the Object, whether worthy of any measure of thy Love; and if so, yet let it not go without a farther debate: Consider the measure of Good, that is in the Object, and weigh out its proportion of Love [Page 336] answerable to the measure of its Good: But rest not there neither, remember it is but a subordinate, a derivative Good, as well as a measurable Good: bestow not that measure of thy Love upon it abso­lutely, but subordinately: catechise thy Love with this Question, Whether if thy Creator requires thee to hate that Object, to forgo it, to forsake it, thou canst be better content to call home thy Affection, than to let it rest where it is? By this time, and by this means, thy Love will be under a discipline and a rule, and the Precipitancy of this Affection be­yond its due Proportion allayed and moderated. And remember always, it is the impotency of our Con­dition, and the great cause of the disorders in our Souls and Lives, that we are contented to give our Affections leave, upon the first apprehension, to pur­sue their Objects without debate, lest we should in­terrupt the expectation of Contentment, by a clear discovery of the unworthiness and vanity of the Ob­ject, and the ill consequences of immoderation in the pursuit: thus we are contented to deceive our selves with the Felicity of false Expectation, rather than by pre-consideration to avoid a real Inconvenience or Disappointment.

Take heed to thine Anger. Be angry, but sin not, Ephes. 4.26 keep it not too long; nor act it too far, lest it prove Hatred, Revenge, Oppression: Or­der thy Anger so, that it may be rather an act of thy Judgment, than of thy Perturbation: If thou art pro­voked by an Injury, before thou give a Commission to this Passion, propose to thy self the Question which God asked Jonah, Jonah 4.9. Dost thou well to he an­gry? weigh well the Cause, and remember thou art partial to thy self, and apt to construe that for a just Provocation, which it may be was none, or deser­ved. Suspect thy Judgment of Partiality; put thy [Page 337] self in the others Condition before thou judgest; re­member, that he that doth thee the Injury, is but God's Instrument, 2 Sam. 16 10. Because the Lord hath said unto him, Curse David, who then shall say, Wherefore hast thou done so? It may be his Injury is God's Justice, and then thy Anger against the In­strument is Rebellion; or at best, it may be his Ex­periment of thy Patience, and then thy Anger is Disobedience. Remember the just occasions of An­ger thou hast given to thy Creator, and yet his Pa­tience to thee: and shouldest thou not have compassion on thy fellow servant? Matth. 18.33. Remember thy Redeemer, that bought thee with the Sacrifice of his Soul, hath given thee another Precept, Matth. 5.44. Love your Enemies; and another Example, who when he was reviled, reviled not again: and canst thou deny the denial of Passion for his sake? Re­member thy gentleness will more advantage thee than thy anger: it may be, he will be conquered with thy Patience, and revenge thy Quarrel against him­self, with his Repentance; but if not, there is a God of Vengeance can, and will do it, Rom. 12.19. When a Man takes up the Office of his Judge, he injures both the Judge and Party, and in stead of doing himself right, he makes himself guilty. Again, if thou doest well to be angry, dost thou well to be angry so much, or so long? The Wise Man tells us, That Anger resteth in the bosom of Fools. Set a Watch therefore over thy Anger; let it be just, and moderate; and let not the Sun go down on thy wrath, Ephes. 4.26.

Set a Watch upon thy Fear: There is nothing de­serves thy fear of Reverence, but thy Creator; n [...] thy fear of Aversion, but thy Sin; If thy Peace he made with him, thou art above the Fear of any thing below him; objects of Terror shall not come [Page 338] near thee; the Beasts of the Field shall be at peace with thee; or if they are not, they shall not hurt thee; The terriblest things in the World are therefore ter­rible, because they end in Death, the King of Ter­rors: And when thy Peace is made with thy Lord, thou hast a double Security against them: 1. Because they are in the hands of his Power and Wisdom, and they cannot exceed their Commission, that he gives them; he can, if it please him, dissipate whole Armies of Terrors by the least word of his Power. 2. But if their Commission extend to thy very Life, yet the Son of God hath taken away that sting, that terror, that is in Death; hath by his own Death sanctified Death unto thee, and made it a door un­to a better Life; so that Death, though in it self terrible and bitter, yet this Tree being himself cast into this bitter Water, Exod. 15.25. hath sweetned them; and as he hath taken away the Venome of it, by destroying that Serpent, that had the power of it, Heb. 2.14. so he hath made it, though not for it self, yet in respect of him, that stands on the other side of this Gulf, with Immortality and Glory in his hand, desirable, Phil. 1.23. Having a desire to depart, and to be with Christ, which is far better: It is true, thou art pursued with an Army of Egyptians, of Sins, and of Miseries, and when thou comest to the Shore, thou seest a raging and a bloody Sea; But remember thou hast an Angel, even the Angel of the Covenant, that hath gone before, and yet goes with thee, and turns this Sea into a Passage of Ease and Safety: and though of either side the Waves may affright thy Sense, they shall not hurt thee: and remember, that though thy Passage may be difficult and troublesome, yet thou hast not, as once the Israelites, a Wilderness behind it, but a Canaan. Therefore in all Objects or Occurrences [Page 339] of Terror, first look inward, and see how the case stands between thy God and thy Conscience: indeed if there remain a Guilt unwashed by the Blood of Christ, a secret sin entertained, and not repented of, thou hast cause to fear, because thy Lord is an­gry: But if thou keep thy daily Watch upon thy Soul and thy Life, if thou find the presence of thy Saviour in thy Soul, and thy Heart, though of it self a sinful Heart, yet cleansed and delivered from the power of any evil way, an honest Heart, acted by the love of God in Christ, thou mayest then look above them; and, having thine Eye fixed upon the Lord of Events, walk quietly and un­troubled through the midst of those dangers, that do incompass thee. It is true, that in the great Concussions of the World, God expects a suitable affection, even from the most innocent Heart, an affection of Reverence, and awe of his Presence and working, Jeremiah 10.7. Who would not fear thee, O king of nations? But the fear of an honest Heart is the fear of Reverence, not of Consternation, a Fear mingled with Love, a Fear mingled with Faith and confidence, a Fear mingled with Praise and Glorifying God; a Fear terminated in the great Lord, that works not in the Instrument, not in the immediate Object of Terror; a Fear mingled with Comfort, not over-run with distraction. When therefore thou meetest with Objects of Fear, first learn to distinguish their kinds: some there are that come as it were, from the immediate hand of God; such are Famine, Pestilence, Wars, Fires, Inunda­tions, Earthquakes and the like; entertain them with Reverence to the great, and Just, and Powerful hand of God, not slightly, or saucily, or presum­ptuously, yet without consternation or distraction of Mind; carry up thy Soul above the Objects, to the [Page 340] Hand that guides them; make him thy Dependance, and his Will the measure of thine own under them; use all warrantable means with Dependance upon his Power, and Submission to his Will, to avoid them: The wise Man seeth the Plague, and hideth himself, Prov. 22.3. Prov. 27.12. If thou escape the danger, bless the God that hath preserved thee; if thou fall in them, yet still bless the God, that hath not left thee; and value ten thousand Deaths with his Pre­sence and Light upon thy Soul above the most sub­limated Life without it: Again, there are some Ob­jects of Fear, which, though they are guided and mastered by the hand of God, yet they are imme­diately the works of Men, and so less terrible; such are wrought by the power, oppression, cruelty, and malice of Men; these may and ought to be enter­tained with more resolution and confidence: That one Example may serve for all, when the power and injustice of Man shall meet with an unarmed and weak innocence, Dan. 3.16. O Nebuchadnezzar, we are not careful to answer thee in this matter; our God, whom we serve, is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king: But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, we will not serve thy Gods: As if they should have said: ‘It is true, thou art a King, and where the word of a King is, there is Power; and to magnifie thy self and thy Glory, in the face of thy Kingdom, thou hast taken up this publick Resolution of the Dedication of thine Idol; and this thy Purpose is stablished by a Decree, a Mischief framed by a Law, and this Decree armed with Death, and a cruel and terrible Death▪ we know we cross thy proud and impious Will, impatient of the seeming neglect of thy Power, by three poor despised Hebrews in the midst of thy Glory and People; we see fury and rage enough in [Page 341] thy countenance, to devour us before the Furnace be hot; we see thy Courtiers adding fewel to thy rage, and thy Instruments greedily catching after the least Warrant from thee, for our Execution; and we are compassed with Flesh and Blood, which cannot but shrink at the preapprehension of this inevi­table and terrible dissolution: yet for all this, know that we have learned to tutor our Fear; not to fear a Man that shall die, and the Son of Man, that shall be made as Grass, Isa. 51.11. we have learned, that the fear of Man bringeth a snare, but he that trusteth in the Lord shall be safe, Prov. 29.25. And therefore we are not much perplexed, what Answer to return to these thy Commands and Threats; we serve that God, in whose hand thou art, as the Ax or the Saw in his hand that shaketh it; in whose hand thy Breath is, and he can command away thy Breath, and then what becomes of thy Word? that Lord, in whose hand thy Heart is, and he can turn it as the River of Water, and can set thy Com­mand against thy Decree; that God, in whose hands are the issues of death, and who can arm an in­considerable Occurrence to divert and frustrate thy Purpose; in whose hands are all the Powers of Hea­ven and Earth, and can correct and controll that Fire which thou intendest for the execution of thy Fury: And this is the God whom we serve, and hath made a Covenant with us to preserve us in the Fire; and we are no less confident of his Love, and of his Truth, than of his Wisdom and Power to deliver us; he hath taught us, that he is a present help in trouble, Psal. 46.1. that if we call upon him in the day of trouble, he will deliver us, Psal. 50.15. Psalm 91.15. that in the Fire he will be with us, and in the Water, and it shall not come near us: Therefore, O King, we value not thy Power, nor [Page 342] thy Rage, for our Dependance is above them: But this is not all: If that great God, whom we serve, deliver us over to the swing of thy Rage, we have learnt yet a higher Lesson, our Faith and Experience hath taught us to trust in him; and our Love hath taught us to obey him: though he seem to dis­appoint our trust by delivering us unto thy Fury, yet we will not forget to obey him: he hath taught us to make his Will, the measure and rule of ours, both in what we suffer, and in what we do: we owe our Lives to him, and thou art but his Instru­ment to take them from us; when his Will com­mands our Lives, we shall resign them with Pa­tience; but now his Glory requires them, we will give them up with Chearfulness: If we cannot live, but upon so dear a rate, as to offend our bounti­ful God, farewell Life with Guilt, and welcome Death with Innocence. Know, O King, that the Presence and Love of our God hath taught us how to fear to offend, yet to dare to die.’

CHAP. XXI. Of Watchfulness over our Hope, Confidence, and Joy.

SET a Watch upon thy Hope and Confidence: Place it aright, and remember thou art essentially depend­ing upon the great God, and upon him only, and all things below him, have no more worth or strength in them, than he derives to them, and when they take up his place, he ever breaks and disappoints them. Yet such is the Atheism, the Pride, and Folly of our Hearts, that it will place its confidence in any thing, rather than where it should. The distemper of this, as of all other our Affections, hath its begin­ning in the Blindness of our Judgments, the want of a deep and practical knowledge of God; and from hence our Confidences and Hopes, fix and rest often­times in most vain and deceitful Objects. Have therefore a watch and a corrective upon the motion of thy Soul towards any thing which thou hast, wherein there seems any, though never so little strength: thy evil Heart will make it thy confidence, and so a snare unto thee. Is thy Wealth increased? take heed to thy Confidence, thy evil Heart will make it all one to have, and to trust in Riches; it will make thy Gold thy Confidence, Job 31.24. to trust in thy Wealth, and boast thy self in the multitude of thy Riches, Psal. 49.6. Psal. 52.7. to make it thy strong Tower, Prov. 10.15. to set thy Heart upon them, Psal. 62.10. And then this thy Confidence shall be thy Fall, Prov. 11.28. Hast thou a fair Suc­cess [Page 344] in Externals? look to thy Confidence; though thou seest thy Creator in them, yet thy evil Heart will make thee at least share thy Confidence between thy God and the Creature, to conclude with Job, that now thou shalt die in thy Nest. Job 29.18. to behold the Sun when it shineth, Job 31.26. to con­clude with David, that thou shalt never be moved, Psal. 30.6. and the jealous, yet merciful God, will hide his face, and thou art troubled thereby, to un­sa [...]n thy Confidence upon the Creature, and to teach thee to fix it upon thy Maker only. Hast thou a Friend, a Prince, or Nation Confederate? take heed to thy Confidence; thou art apt to make this thy Friend, thy Confidence, Psal. 41.9. my own fami­liar Friend, in whom I trusted; to put Confidence in this Prince, Psal. 118.9. Psal. 146.3. And then he makes Egypt a broken Reed, Isa. 36.6. Ezek. 29.6. sends a Vengeance to pursue and overtake thee in the midst of thy Confederates, Jer. 42.16. pours contempt upon thy Confidence, Job 12.21. Hast thou Munitions, Provisions for War? take heed to thy Confidence; thou wilt be ready to make thy Cha­riots and thy Horsemen thy Trust, Psal. 20.7. the multitude of thine Host, thy Salvation, Psal. 33.16. [...]o vaunt, that thou art mighty and strong for the War, Jer. 48.14. and then the great Lord rejects thy Confidences, and writes disappointment upon them all, Jer. [...].37. Hast thou a strong Body, a dexterous, deep, foreseeing, preventing Wit, thy Counsels and Pur­poses followed with Successes answerable to thy Mind? take [...]eed to thy Confidence; thy Heart is blind and cannot see rather than the next Causes, not observing the great and fast Mover, who manageth all things, and will swell thee up into a self-confidence and de­pendance. But suppose thy Confidence be right set [...]e [...]ect of the Object, yet see that it be grounded [Page 345] upon right Principles; otherwise thy Confidence may be thy Presumption: Examine thy very Recumbence upon thy Creator: The immediate ground of any Confidence in God is a perswasion of his Power, and a perswasion of his Love, and in both these the cor­ruption of our Nature doth discover it self, and is fit to be considered:

1. Touching his Power the Errors of our Trust on either hand in the Defect, and in the Excess.

1. Diffidence in his Power, Psal. 78.19. Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? therefore the Lord heard this and was wroth Upon any Extremity, though ne­ver so black and inevitable, look upon the Power of God as able most easily to over-match it.

2. Resting upon his Power, without consulting with his Will: This is Presumption, when a Man with­out any Commission from his Maker, shall entertain any desperate attempt: This is for a vain Man to go about to ingage the Power of the great God against himself, his Will, his Purity, his Wisdom, his Purpose. See thou hast a Commission from the Will of thy Creator for what thou art about; and if so, then cast thy self upon his Power: when thou art acting by his Command, doubt not but thou shalt act by his Power.

2. Touching his Love, this likewise yields Errors on both hands:

1. In the defect, principally when a Soul, that doubts not of his Power, because she knows him; nor hath cause to doubt of his Love, because her Peace is made; yet such black storms and pre-appre­hensions of dangers are gathered round about her, that she cannot see the Love or Care of God towards her, Psal 77.9. Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he shut up his tender mercies?

[Page 346]2. In the Excess, an ungrounded Presumption of the Love and Favour of God: and herein are divers Mistakes:

1. When a Man shall argue a personal and special Love of God unto him from External Successes and Events. It is true, that the Mercy and Love of God is over all his Works; and the Happiness of Exter­nals is the fruit of the Love of God as to his Crea­ture, but not a sufficient evidence of that special Love of God as to his Child; they are fruits of his Bounty, not always evidences of his Favour: Experience of former Mercies in external successes and deliverances, may and ought to strengthen that Confidence which is well grounded upon the Love of God, Psal. 77.11. 1 Sam. 17.37. But they are not always infallible arguments of that Love: When Blessings in Exter­nals make us more humble, more thankful, more watchful, then they may justly make us more confi­dent, because then the Love of God comes in with his Blessings: And then are External Blessings argu­ments of the Love of God, when they teach the Soul, as well to love God, as to trust in him.

2. When a Man shall argue a personal and special Love of God by the presence of External Priviledges, when there wants sincere Obedience, Jer. 7.4, 10. Trust ye not in lying words, saying, The Temple of the Lord, &c. and therefore God sends them to the Example of Shiloh. Ibid. Verse 12. And the reason why this must needs be, as well a deceiving Inference, as displeasing to God, is because in truth, in such a case, the Soul placeth her ultimate confidence in these things, and robs God of part of that Confidence which belongs unto him.

3. When a Man shall argue the Love of God to him from his External Performances of those things which God commanded, Isa. 1.11. Amos 5.21. This [Page 347] hath this double Error in it: 1. A grossly mistaken Apprehension of the Will of God, which is most just; as if the God that judgeth the Heart, and mea­sures all the Actions of Men by their Hearts, should be pleased with the Shell of Duties and Obedience: whereas the things that are so done, as they are in themselves without the Heart, but indifferent Actions, and so cannot be pleasing; so they are but hypocriti­cal and false, and must needs be displeasing. 2. A sharing of our Confidence between God and our selves, de quo infra.

4. When a Man shall argue the Love of God as an Effect and Price of his Obedience and Sincerity towards him. The Error in this, is that in truth a Man makes himself his Confidence, for he that trusts in the Love of God, because he thinks he hath purchased or pro­cured the Love of God, doth in truth resolve his Confidence into himself. Therefore look upon the best Dress of thy Soul, thy Humility, thy Faith, thy Love, thy Sincerity, thy Obedience, not as Causes of the Love of thy God, or the Price or Purchace of it, but as Effects and Evidences of his Love to thee: Look upon thy Sincerity, Love and Obedience to God, as the fruit and sign of his Love; that will make thy God thy Confidence; not as the Purchace or Price of his Love; for that will make thy self thy Pre­sumption: were they thy own, thou owest them and infinitely more to thy Creator, and therefore canst not deserve by them: But alas, they are not thine own; his Love, as it is the Motive of thine, so it is the Cause of it, and of all that can be acceptable to him.

5. When a Man from well grounded Arguments of the Love of God to his Person, shall conclude the Favour of God to his Actions, without measuring of them by his Will. This was the Error of Josiah's [Page 348] Confidence, 2 Chron. 35.21, 22. he hearkened not to the words of Necho, from the mouth of God, and fell.

6. When a Man who hath a sound ground of the Love of God unto his Person, shall yet go along in any known or unrepented Sin. Such sins by any, that hath entred into Covenant with God, have more Malignity and Presumption in them, than the very same sins committed by others, because committed against more Light and against more Love: and the Merciful God is yet a Jealous God, and one that accepteth not Persons, his ways are equal and uni­form, Ezek. 18.25. If the best of Men walk contrary to him, it must of necessity be, that he walk con­trary to them: and therefore he hates with the same hatred a course of sin, even in his subject, as well as in his enemy: And the same sin that puts a Stran­ger unto God in the Condition of an Enemy, puts a Subject in the Condition of a Rebel: and therefore, though he will not utterly take his loving kindness from them, he will visit their transgression with the rod, and their sins with stripes, Psal. 89.32. will hide his face from them, Deut. 31.18. a frequent ex­pression of God's withdrawing the Actual Commu­nication of his Love and Presence, even from his own, Psal. 30.7. Psal. 74.9, 11. Psal. 69.17. What ever be the Purpose of God concerning thee, be as­sured of this, that so long as thou art in a course of sin against him, though his Counsel concerning thee, be not thereby interrupted, yet till thy returning to him and repenting of thy sin, the Actual Fruition of thy interest in him, is interrupted; thou art actual­ly in the same condition, if not a worse, than before thy first Covenant with thy Creator, and hast as little cause of Confidence in his Love now, as thou hadst then. And as the Act of thy Love to God is [Page 349] most apparently interrupted by this thy practice of a known sin till thy return, so thou mayest most justly conclude an interruption of the Act of his Love to thee, till thou return, though that return of thine is the fruit of that Love, which was still in him, though thou didst go along in the frowardness of thy ways; when God hides himself by reason of sin, thy In­struction thereby is to seek him out otherwise that which thou callest thy Confidence, may be thy Pre­sumption, and may cause the Wrath and Jealousie of thy Creator to smoke against thee, because thou hast blessed thy self in thy Heart, saying, I shall have peace, though I walk in the imagination of my heart, Deut. 29.19. Every motion of the Heart to God, if it be right, is conformable to the Mind of God throughout. When thy Life is sinful, and thy Heart not humble, suspect thy Confidence to have more of thy Corruption, than of Grace in it.

Take heed to thy Joy. Regularly as is the object or measure of thy Love, such is the object and measure of thy Joy: Joy is nothing else, but a result of the Soul in the fruition of what is loved: yet though thou hadst a watch over thy Love before thou enjoyedst, have a stricter watch over the temper of thy Spirit in thy fruition: Look to the object of thy Joy, thy evil Heart will rejoyce, will glory in thy sin, in thy shame: unless thou hast a watch upon thy Heart, fol­ly and mischief will be thy Joy, Prov. 10.23. Prov. 15.21. the fall of thine Enemy will be thy Joy, and the Lord will see, and it will displease him, Prov. 24.17. thou wilt make Excess, Impurity, Oppression, Cruel­ty, Injustice, Pride, thy Joy and thy Delight: Thy Affections are blind, and mad, and must be led. Exa­mine the object of thy Joy, and consider beforehand, whether there be not in it more cause of grief than of delight. But suppose thy fruition deserve some de­light, [Page 350] God hath blessed thee with a good Wife, which the wise Man calls the Crown of her Husband, Pro. 12.4. with a numerous and hopeful Issue, which the wise Man calls the Crown of Old Age, Prov. 17.6. with a Good Name, which the wise Man calls a pre­cious Ointment, Eccles. 7.1. with a merry Heart, which doth good like a Medicine, Prov. 17.22. with Honour and Promotion, Wealth, Wisdom, Success in thy Labours; and these ought to be entertained with rejoycing and comfort: the wise Man tells us, it is the Portion that God giveth thee in them, Eccles. 3.13, 22. Eccles. 5.18. Eccles. 9.9. and it is thy duty enjoyned thee by God, Deut. 28.27. Because thou servedst not the Lord thy God with joyfulness and with gladness of heart for the abundance of all things, therefore, &c. But take heed to thy Heart, it will soon abuse and exceed his Com­mission:

1. Look to the Manner of thy Joy or Mirth, that it be not light, or vain, thy Mirth may prove mad, Ec­cles. 2.2. the Laughter of a Fool, Eccles. 7.6. a Mirth that will end in Heaviness, Prov. 14.13.

2. Look to the Measure of it. First weigh the Good that thou enjoyest, and then weigh out a Pro­portion of Joy answerable to the value of that Good: lay not out the whole stock of thy Joy for that which deserves but a small part of it. We are commonly mistaken in the value we put upon the things we ex­pect or enjoy, and that makes us mis-spend our selves upon them: Be sure nothing below the fruition of thy Creator, can deserve the whole stock of thy Delight; and if thou dispensest it otherwise, thou robbest thy God, and deceivest thy self. There are three Conside­rations and Cautions, that are often to be used to mo­derate our Delight in Externals:

1. To consider the true value of them: they are but limited Good, and not large enough for thy Soul: [Page 351] limited in measure, limited in duration; the Good that is in them, is that Congruity that God hath put in them, and that only a limited good, and can de­serve but a limited Delight.

2. To mingle those sad Considerations of Morta­lity and an Account with the Fruition of any Exter­nals. This doth allay the exorbitancy of the Heart, and keeps the Soul from surfeiting upon any outward Good: this is the going to the house of Mourning com­mended by the wise Man, Eccles. 7.2. that sad remem­brance which he gives to the young man in the midst of his jollity, Eccl. 11.9. But know that for all these things God will bring thee to judgment: there is a severe Eye, that beholdeth all thy deportment in the fruition of those things I lend thee, that will have a sad account for thy carriage in the use of them.

3. To contemplate often the Goodness of God, his Mercy, his Bounty; to find the Presence and Love of God in thy Love, the sound hope of eternal Life: This will take up the whole compass of thy delight, and rejoycing, wherein thou canst not exceed, so that thou wilt not have Joy enough, or at least not too much, for any thing below him, Luke 10.20. In this rejoyce not, but rather rejoyce, because your names are written in heaven. When this Sun shines in the Heart, those little Stars of outward Comfort, which at no time have but a derivative Light, will not appear: And this thy Faith is the Victory that overcometh the World, the delights of the World, as well as the ter­rours of the World: It will keep Comforts and thy Delight in them in their due place and subordination, and count them but dung and loss, that thou mayest win Christ, Phil. 3.8. If the Lord shall lift up the light of his countenance upon thee, it will put more glad­ness in thy Heart, than when their or thine own Corn and Wine increased, Psal. 4.7. When thy Peace is [Page 352] made with God, thy Conscience sprinkled by the Blood of Christ, the Spirit, the Comforter, witnessing with thy own Spirit, Rom. 8.16. thy Heart sincere towards God, 2 Cor. 1.12. this will cause an abiding Joy, 2 Thes. 5.16. John 16.12. a full Joy, 1 John 1.4. a victorious Joy, that like Moses's Serpent devours the false Joys, and conquers the temporal Sorrows of this Life; Acts 5.41. James 1.2. 1 Pet. 4.13. a Joy unspeakable and full of Glory, 1 Pet. 1.8.

3. And as to the manner and measure of thy De­light, so look to the Ground, the formal Reason of thy Delight: see that thy delight or rejoycing fix not in those external Comforts singly; for then thy Delight will be sensual, immoderate, and vain, the very same that an irrational Creature takes in them, viz. a complacency in the fruition of that, which is conve­nient and suitable to his Sense: But look upon thy Blessings, and delight in them, as thou seest the Bounty, the Goodness, the Hand, the Promise, the Truth of God in them: This will not only moderate, but spiri­tualize thy delight in them: thy delight in them will not only be Comfortable to thy self, but Acceptable to God: thy delight in thy Blessings is then mingled with Thankfulness▪ with Humility, with Sobriety, with Faith, with Watchfulness; it is thy Duty, and it is thy Safety. The rich Man in the Gospel, Luk. 12.19. Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years, eat, drink, and be merry: and this was his sin: The Is­raelite offering his first Fruits to God, Deut. 26.11. is commanded to rejoyce in every good thing which the Lord thy God hath given unto thee: this was his Duty: the rejoycing the same: here was the odds, the former terminated and laid out his Joy in the thing, as the suitable Good to his Nature and Condition; the latter looked upon it, and rejoyced in it, as a Gift of God: learn therefore to find God in the Creature, [Page 353] and that will heal the Creature, and make it useful and safe; thou mayest then delight in them safely, be­cause thou wilt then do it warrantably.

CHAP. XXII. Of Watchfulness over our Grief; 1. In reference to God, for Sin; 2. In reference to Externals.

TAKE heed to thy Grief. Love, as is before no­ted, is the great Cardinal Affection or Motion of the Soul; and the other Affections are but Love diversified according to the site or position of the Object: Love in the expectation of its Object, is Hope; in the doubt or danger of it, Fear; in the en­joyment of it, Joy; in the absence of it, Grief or Sor­row. The Object therefore of thy Love is the sub­ject of thy Grief, and the measure of thy Love to it, is the measure of thy Grief for it: First therefore, see that thy intensest Grief be relative to him that ought to be the Object of thy intensest Love. Now our Love to God is under a double Consideration: 1. Ab­solutely, as he is the chiefest, perfect, absolute Good. And under this Consideration our Love ends in him: we love him for his own sake. And this is an An­gelical Love, and a pure sublime Love; and the Fruit of this Love, is an endeavour of Conformity to his Nature and to his Will. 2. Relatively, as he is the Chiefest Good to us. And this creates in us a double Love to him:

1. A Love of Gratitude, a return of Love to him, because we receive Love from him, 1 John 4.19 We love him, because he first loved us: this even na­tural ingenuity would challenge of us.

[Page 354]2. A Love of Prudence, as I may call it, which is the only tolerable Self-Love in the World, to love God, because the fruition of his Favour and his Presence is our best Advantage, as a most suitable Good.

By this thou mayest easily find what should be the Object of thy intensest Grief, Sin, in others, Psal. 119.136. Rivers of waters run down mine eyes, because they keep not thy Law: But especially Sin in our selves; that, and only that, can deserve our intensest Sorrow, as the only thing that is contrary,

1. To the Purity, the Glory, the Will of him that is the chiefest Good. Is he the chiefest Good? then certainly, whatsoever is contrary to his Purity, Glory, or Will, cannot chuse but be the chiefest Evil, and consequently, the object of thy Hatred, and of thy Grief. Is thy Conformity to his Nature and Will, the necessary consequence of thy Love unto him? that then that spoils that Conformity to him, cannot chuse but be thy Sorrow: thou lovest him, because he is Good, and that Goodness in him, which is the cause of thy Love, must of necessity imprint upon thee a desire to have the like ground of Loveliness in thy self, and this thy sin disappoints thee of.

2. Contrary to that Gratitude, that even natural ingenuity teacheth thee to return to an ordinary Be­nefactor. Consider, that great God, whom thou hast offended, hath freely given thee thy Being, the greatest Gift that is possibly conceiveable: and with thy Being, hath given thee the Copy of his Mind and Will, a most Reasonable and Just Command, in the Obedience whereof, consists thy Perfection and Happiness: If he had given thee a rigorous and severe Law, taking in the whole compass of thy Being, or such a Law wherein thou couldst bave [Page 355] seen nothing but the Absolute Will of thy Creator; yet the Debt thou owest thy Creator, could not be satisfied with such a performance: And now for thee to offend such a Law of such a God, that hath given thee thy Being! Again, consider that when thy Ma­ker could not by any imaginable Rule of Justice owe any thing to the exactest Obedience of his Crea­ture, yet such was his Goodness, that he made him­self a Debtor even to his own Creature, entring into a Covenant of Life with him, thereby to encourage his Obedience; and this for no other cause, but be­cause his Mercy endureth for ever: For can a man be profitable to God? Job 22.2. And for a Man to sin against so much Condescension of an Infinite God to his own Creature! Again consider, when against so much Mercy and Love thou hast offended thy Ma­ker, and even by thy own Contract, as well as by the Just and Universal Right that God had over his Creature, hast forfeited thy Being to thy Creator, yet he took not the advantage of it, remitted thy Forfeiture, and sent a Sacrifice in thy stead, of his own providing, with a message of a fulness of Love, with a new Covenant of more easiness to perform, and of more comfort in the performance; with a Pardon for thy Sin, and with a Reward for ano­thers Righteousness; and, when thou wert an enemy, and dead in sins and trespasses sent his Son to his Creature, to beseech Reconciliation, and his Spirit, to give thee Life to accept it, and to seal thy ac­ceptation of it with an earnest and an assurance of Life and Glory; that by that Spirit, and through that Son of his, hath given thee Access unto his own Majesty, a discovery of that Glory, to the which thou art called: Certainly, these are the highest ingage­ments of Gratitude, that are possible to be put upon a Creature, and do therefore challenge even from [Page 356] natural ingenuity, the highest Return thou canst make, though it be infinitely short of what thou doest owe: And yet after all this, cross the Will of thy Creator, that hath done so much for thee! to forget the Love of thy Saviour, and to crucifie him again! to grieve that Spirit of Love and Purity, that comes to cleanse thee, and fit thee for thy Masters use, and to seal thee to Life and Immortality! to dishonour that Name, by which thou art called! to pollute that Conscience, which thy Saviour hath washed with his Bloud! to deface that Image and Superscription of thy Creator, which he was imprinting upon thy Soul! to prefer a base, unworthy perishing, unprofitable Lust, or Vani­ty, before the Honour of such a God▪ the Love of such a Saviour, the perswasion and importunities of such a Spirit, before thy own Peace, Perfection, and Happi­ness! to vex, and oppress, and despise the Patience and Bounty of him, that hath done all this for thee, and gives thee yet an hour of Life to consider of it, and a Promise of Grace and Pardon after all this, if thou canst but mourn over thy Sins, thy unthankfulness, thy unworthy and disingenuous dealing with thy God. Lay the weight of these and the like aggravations upon thy hard and stony Heart, and bruise it into Tears of Blood for thy unkindness to so merciful a God. Thou canst not exceed in this Sorrow; it is a Sorrow that springs from the Love of God in the Soul; a Sorrow that will cleanse thy Soul, a Sorrow that will bring thee to thy Maker, a Sorrow that hath a Promise of Acceptation goes along with it, a Sorrow that is mingled with Comfort, even the presence of a Sa­viour, and a Sorrow that shall end in a fulness of Joy. Sorrow for sin, as for a necessary cause of mi­sery, may end in desperation, because it ariseth from love of our selves: but sorrow for sin, as for an un­unthankful return of so much Love from God, can­not; [Page 357] because the Love of God is under that Sorrow, and the spring of those Tears, is a spring of Life and Comfort.

3. Contrary to that Good which we lose by it:

1. Our Conformity to the Mind and Will of God, is our Perfection; and the nearer our Conformity comes to his Will, the more perfect is our Being. Sin, which is a violation of that Will of his, spoils and disorders this Conformity; and so it interrupts that inherent Good, which otherwise would be in us.

2. As it destroys our Conformity to the Will of God, and so spoils us of our inherent Good, so it in­terrupts that [...]ommunicative Good, that Influence of Life and Comfort, which we have from God: It removes us to a greater distance from him; it displaceth us from that Position, in which, and by which, the Good­ness of God should be derived and conveyed to us: we are by it out of that Covenant, that Promise, which God hath made with his Creature: we are by it without the comfortable Presence of God; without that Confidence, that we might otherwise have in him; out of the Assurance of his Providence and Protection: It makes our Souls in the midst of all Fruition of outward Blessings, full of doubtful Anxie­ties, Fears, and Uncertainties; in the midst of any ex­ternal Trouble without a Refuge▪ and so full of De­spair: As we cannot have Confidence to go to our offended God by our Prayers, so it makes him with­draw and hide himself from them: a continual dis­quietness and heaviness of Spirit, mingles and winds it self into all our thoughts, even in our pursuits of diversions from it: the same aspect, that is between God and us, is between our own Conscience and us: The Light of his Countenance is able to give Life and Comfort, and Serenity to the Soul in the midst of all the Losses and Pains, and Deaths in the World; [Page 358] and the want of that Light, makes the most happy external Condition to be dark and disconsolate. And all this Good I lose by a transient, unprofitable Sin; a Sin that I might have avoided, and therefore a Loss that I might have avoided, a Loss that comes not to me by my necessity, but by my foolish choice. I will therefore sit down and mourn in secret, for that Comfort and Light, that I have thus foolishly sinned away, and measure out my sorrows and tears proportionable in some degree to that Loss I have sustained. The time was, when it pleased the great God, to let his Presence and the Light of his Coun­tenance to shine into my Soul; and when I could with Comfort and Confidence upon any occasion go to him and present my wants, my desires, my ac­knowledgements unto him; and he that sits in Hea­ven was pleased to accept and entertain them at the hands of his Creature: But now that Influence of his, hath met with a filthy and backsliding Heart, and is weary of it, and hath withdrawn it self, as justly it may; and my Prayers are laden with my Guilt▪ and cannot get up to him; and he hides himself. I have regarded Iniquity in my Heart, and, as he hath said, so I find, he will not hear my Prayers. But though he will not hear my Prayers, yet he will not neglect my Tears. A broken and contrite heart, O Lord, thou wilt not despise. O Lord, though I have thus trifled away my Peace, and my Comfort, and have destroyed my self, yet in thee is my help. As I will not rest in my Sin, so neither will I rest in my Grief, but will never give my self, nor thee rest, till thou hast been pleased, in the Blood of thy Son, to wash away my Guilt, and restore unto me thy Presence and Peace again. And when I have recovered this Loss, I will, by the assistance of that good Spirit of thine, learn by this my sin, to revenge my self upon my sin; to [Page 359] value the Mercy and Goodness of my Creator, that hath yet once more intrusted into my hands the Life and Comfort, which I had so lately lost; to value the necessity, as well as the Love of my Saviour, that hath been pleased by a reapplication of his own Blood, to wash me again after my late Relapse; to value the kindness of the Pure and Blessed Spirit, that, though by my sin I made him weary, and forsake that polluted chamber of my Heart, yet is pleased to return and cleanse, and take up again that Room, from which I had so unworthily excluded him: I will learn to prise that Peace and Comfort, which once I had, and valued not, but lost it for an unpro­fitable perishing Sin: I will strive to sence my Heart with renewed Covenants and Resolutions of more watchfulness over my self, that I return not again to Folly: I will sit down and bless the Mercy, Good­ness, Patience, Bounty of God, that hath not left me in that Condition, which I could neither endure nor remove; and study to return a Heart and Life in some measure answerable to so great Love and Good­ness. And when I have done all, O Lord Jesus, let that Eternal Covenant between thee and the Father, that thou shouldest give Eternal Life to as many as he hath given thee, John 17.2. that Power and Pro­mise of thine, that none shall pluck me out of thy hands, John 10.28. that Union with thee, that thou art pleased to give to as many as believe on thee, John 15.4, 5. that Spirit of thine, which by that Uni­on with thee conveys Life and Influence to the smallest branch in thee, preserve and support me in all my Purposes and Resolutions, in all my Frailties and Temptations: For without thee I can do nothing.

2. In reference to outward Objects and occasions of Sorrow, as loss of Friends, Wealth, Reputation, Health, Life it self, have a guard upon this Passion:

[Page 360]1. Look upon them as the Fruits and Effects of thy Sin, and so let them carry thy Grief beyond the immediate object to the meritorious cause of them. This is the sting of all Affliction; the Plague in thy Heart is the Core and Fountain of the Plague of thy Externals. And when thou hast humbled thy Soul before thy Creator, and gotten the Blood of thy Saviour to wash thy Conscience, thy Affliction shall be removed, or thy Soul enabled with chearfulness and comfort to bear it.

2. Labour to find out the Voice of the Rod, the Mind of thy Creator, for, if thou diligently observe it, there is not a dispensation of Divine Providence, but it brings a message with it to thy Soul. Look into thy Heart, it may be there is an accursed thing in the midst of thee, Joshua 7.13. and this Affliction bids thee be up and removing it: It may be thy Heart was leaning too much upon that very Blessing, where­in thou findest thy Cross or Affliction, which robbed thy Maker of some of the Love and Duty thou owest to him: It may be, thy Heart was grown dead and careless in thy applications to thy Creator, secure and resting in thy temporal Enjoyment, and he hath sent his Messenger to awake thee: It may be, thou hast had a dull and heavy Ear, that would not listen, or could not perceive God speaking once, yea twice unto thee in a still voice, Job 33.14. and now he hath sent an instruction with a louder voice: It may be, thou begannest too much to set up thy rest here, to place thy Confidence in the things of this World, to be overtaken with the delight in them, to over [...]ex­pect them, and he hath sent a disappointment into thy Counsels, a Worm into thy Gourd, a Moth into thy Store, a Canker into thy Bag, a Distemper into thy Body, to shew thee the vanity of thy Dependan­ces▪ to make thee let go thy hold of that, which may [Page 361] fall upon, and hurt thee, but cannot secure thee; to make the look upward; to quicken thy Life of Faith by shaking thy Life of Sense: It may be, thou wert growing presumptuous in the Goodness of God, Saucy in thy Carriage towards him, insolent towards him, opinionative of thy self: And he hath sent this searching Medicine to fallow and purge these disor­derly and dangerous Humours: But g [...]ant that upon all thy search thou findest that for a long time, thou hast kept a Watch over thy Heart, that thou hast endeavoured to walk humbly and perfectly before God, that thou canst not find any thing upon the most faithful search thou canst make, that might be the Spring of this affliction; yet is not thy Labour lost, the Clearness of thy Conscience will be thy support in thy Affliction, and make thy Burden the easier. But yet for all this, know thy Affliction hath a Voice still: if it look not backward, yet it looks forward; if it be not a Medicine to cure thee, yet it may be an Antidote to preserve thee, a Cordial to strengthen thee: it bids thee improve thy Pa­tience, thy Faith, thy Dependance upon God, thy Experience of his Presence, thy earnestness in Prayer, thy neglect of the World, thy Denyal of thy self. Learn therefore, before thou pourest out thy sor­row upon any Affliction, to examine thy Heart, to search out the meaning of God in it: it will regu­late thy Grief, and instruct thy mind both how to bear it, and how to use it.

3. Beware thou put not on a Resolution not to be grieved or troubled at all upon any occasion of Grief. The putting on of such a Stoical Resolution is to arm a Mans self against God, to harden the Heart not to receive Correction; and, as much as in a Man is, to disappoint the purpose of God: He, that put these Passions in the Heart of Man, now [Page 362] sends this Messenger to stir up this Passion, though thereby he intends a farther End: And for a Man to fence his Soul against any object of Sorrow, so as not to be moved thereby, shall be sure to find either an absolute Ruine, or that God will so plant his Bat­teries against that Resolution, that at length he will master him, and melt his Soul into a more pliable Disposition.

4. When God sends an occasion of Sorrow, en­tertain it with an Affection answerable to the Object, both in kind and measure: Let thy Grief be an humble Grief, not mingled with murmuring or dis­content. If thou couldst imagine, thou hadst not deserved it, yet remember who it is that inflicts it, even he that is absolute Lord of his Creature, and owes him not his Being. When thou goest and treadest upon a Worm, or a Snail, thou doest an injury to thy fellow Creature, yet thou passest away and takest no notice of it: But thy Creator can owe thee nothing. Take up that incomparable Resolu­tion and temper of Mind with old Eli, 1 Sam. 3.18. It is the Lord, let him do what seemeth him good. And this same Consideration, as it will teach thee to mingle Humility with thy Grief, so it will teach thee Patience and Quietness in thy Sorrow, because the occasion comes from the hand of a most Just and Wise and Merciful God. Impatience under any Affliction, ariseth from the termination of the motion of our Souls upon the immediate Object: he that knows, and fears, and loves his Creator, and sees his hand dispensing the Afflictions, will learn Patience and Moderation, though he cannot forget Sorrow and Grief under it.

4. Let thy Grief be moderate in Extent, Measure, and Duration. Nothing but sin and the displeasure of God can deserve thy intensest Grief. Learn to put [Page 363] a true value upon thy Loss, and measure out Sorrow answerable to it. Consider,

1. Thy Loss is not of thy chiefest Good, and there­fore deserveth not thy intensest Sorrow. Thy Peace with thy Creator, thy Everlasting Hope, as long as they are safe, thou hast enough left to over-weigh the greatest Loss thou canst suffer: What are light Afflictions, and but for a Moment, when put in the Balance with an Eternal Weight of Glory?

2. Consider, thy Loss is not of thy own Good. Cannot the Almighty lend thee a Blessing, but thou must call it thine, and deny the absolute Lord of it, the Property of it? It is his Corn, and his Wine, and his Oyl: and all our Blessings are his; and as they are his, so they are taken away by him. Learn to make the Will of thy Lord, the measure of thine; and then though Nature teach thee to grieve, Grace will teach thee not to exceed in thy Grief.

CHAP. XXIII. Of Watchfulness over our Will, Conscience, and Spirit.

AND as thus thou must carry a Watch over thy Affections, so learn to carry a Watch over thy Will:

1. Learn to Principle it aright; the great Lord, that hath put this power or faculty in the Soul, hath therefore placed it there, that it should have a Con­formity to his Will: and when thou crossest his Will, it is thy sin and Deformity; and it will be thy Misery. Learn therefore to make his Will the Rule of thine,

1. [...]n what thou dost: and herein God hath not left thee without a line to guide thee. He hath shewed thee O man, what to do, and what doth the Lord require at thy hands, &c. he hath given thee a Rule, or Law, which is to be the guide of thy Obedience: 1. The Rule of his written Word tradu­ced unto thee by a wonder of Mercy and Provi­dence, a word that is nigh unto thee, Deut. 30.14. a light that shineth in a dark place. 2. The Rule secretly conveyed into thy Conscience, by the Power and Wisdom of God, Rom. 2.15. a Law written in thy Heart and Conscience. 3. The Rule manifest­ed in the Dispensation of Divine Providence, assert­ing and confirming the two former, if exactly ob­served, in the measuring out of Rewards and Pu­nishments.

[Page 365]2. In what thou sufferest: the great Lord is abso­lute Lord over all his Creatures, and can owe them nothing but what he pleaseth; only to confirm our Faith, and encourage our Obedience, he hath been pleased to give a Covenant that he will be our God if we remain his people; yet in the Dispensation of outward things he hath not absolutely bound him­self, though such is his Goodness, that even in those he observes a measure of Justice, which he doth not owe us. Learn therefore to make the Will of thy Maker in all things the measure of thine.

2. Observe it in the first Motions of it, while they are green and flexible, and before they be hardened into Resolutions, and so grow Masterless: bring them to their Rule, and examine them by it, and accordingly entertain or reject them: Clog them with Deliberation, and by that means thou shalt be able to take off the Violence and Eagerness of them, and likewise the Errours of them: Dispense not with thy self in the first Motions of thy Will to a­ny evil, in Presumption, that thou shalt be able to master them before they come to ripeness; for thou sinnest even in those imperfect issues of thy Will, and indulgence towards them, will make them grow hardy and too strong for thy Mastery: consider that in the first Motion of thy Heart, thy Will, which is the Mistress of thy Soul, is the Party against whom thou must strive, and thou hast nothing to reclaim the Current of those Motions, but the Grace of God, which may justly withdraw it self, if it finds a Com­pliance with that which is her Enemy.

3. Stablish thy mind in the knowledge of God and of his Goodness; and this being laid in the bot­tom will keep thy Ship from uncertain, giddy float­ing: The knowledge and Sense of the chiefest Good, will carry the chiefest Motions of thy Will [Page 366] towards it, and against all that is contrary to it: and by this means the Motions of thy Will will be certain, steddy, uniform, and regular: the inclina­tion of thy Will to any thing else will be measured by this, and subordinate unto it: if the Good pro­pounded consist not with the Fruition of thy chiefest Good, thy Will will reject that Good propounded; and if it consist with it, it will measure a Motion of the Will towards that Good proportionable to it: and the want of the Knowledge or Sence of this Good sends the Motions of thy Will on gadding after every Vanity, stedfast in nothing, willing what it hath not, and weary of what it hath, pursuing a Butter-fly or a Glow-worm with the same eager­ness and intention of Soul, as it would do a sub­stantial and satisfactory Good: when thou seest a Child fixing the intention of his mind upon a Rat­tle or a Hobby-horse, more than upon a goodly Man­nour, or upon a Feather or a Riband more than up­on a Title of Honour conjoyned with Power; and when he hath these Toys, to be weary of them, and pursue something else; thou canst easily see the ground of this Errour in his Valuation to arise from his Ignorance of the true difference between them; and this unstability in his content in them, doth a­rise from the emptiness and unusefulness of them, and that disproportion which he finds in them to his expectation; his infant reason being yet better able to value in Fruition than in expectation: And yet thou dost not consider that the disproportion of those things, which thy riper Will pursues as Good, as to the chiefest Good, is infinitely greater than that of the most Childish enjoyment to those things, wherein the most and wisest of Men place their chief expecta­tion; and that the Errour of the most childish Judg­ment, laid in the Ballance with the Judgment of the [Page 367] wise Men of the World, wants fewer Grains to make it equal, than that of the wisest Man in the World, not having his Soul ballasted with the Love and Knowledge of God, laid in the Scales with one, that makes his Creator his chiefest hope and expectation.

Keep a Guard upon thy Conscience; The chief work of Conscience in the Soul consists in these things: 1. The reception of sound practical Princi­ples: this is the Foundation of all its subsequent working, the Major proposition: 2. The discovery of those Actions or purposes which are in the Soul: 3. The comparing of those Actions or purposes with those former practical grounds: 4. The Conclusion or Judgment upon those Actions and Principles thus compared, of Absolution or Approbation, or of Con­demnation and Rejection: 5. The Motion of the Conscience towards the Soul upon this conviction, viz. Perswasion or Dissuasion, to or from the Act in question; if future; stirring or comforting the Soul in reference to the Act, if past. Thy Conscience is that Cart by which thou dost, or shouldest, steer thy Course in this World towards the other: and therefore it is of highest Concernment to have an eye upon it: and therefore,

1. Learn to furnish it with practical Principles of Truth and Soundness. These Principles are, for any thing that appears to me, extrinsecal to the Soul, the Dictates of the Divine Law and Will conveyed into the Conscience, either by the immediate Re­velation and Demonstration of God unto the Soul; thus to Adam in a perfect measure, and to those Ho­ly men of God, the Patriarchs, Prophets, and Apo­stles; or by the Course and way of his Providence, either by unwritten Tradition, Rom. 2.15. and this was a more uncertain Dispensation, because more easie to be corrupted by the Practices and teachings [Page 368] of Men, which were so mingled with it, that it was very hard to discover the Wheat from the Chaff; so that if we should now go to gather up Princi­ples for the Conscience out of the Practices of Men or Nations, or the Collections of humane Laws or Authors, we should gather up Principles full of un­certainty, contrarieties, and inconsistencies among them­selves; and such of them as had any sound Confor­mity to truth were so general, that several Men, or the same Man at several times, or upon several occasions, would deduce from them a justification of contrary Practices; as we see is done among divers Men, that admit the same general Principles of Practice, and yet upon the same Principles their Consciences, when they come to particular Acti­ons, act quite contrary one to the other: the great and merciful God hath therefore, by a wonderful Course of his Providence, conveyed unto us a Col­lection of practical Principles made by himself, even the Word of his Truth, admirably adequated to our use, especially in two things: 1. Of their Truth and Infallibility, we cannot mistake them, for they are the very Revelations of the God of Truth, un­mingled with the Sophistications and Corruptions of Men, Gold seven times tryed: 2. Their Particularity and Certainty; there is scarce an Action in a Mans whole life, but a Man shall find a Rule fitted for it: David, that had but a part of it, and a small and a dark part of it in Comparison of what we have, c [...]lls it a Perfect Law converting the Soul, a sure Testimony, making wise the Simple, Psal. 19.7. a Commandment exceeding all other perfection, Psal. 119.95. that made him wiser than his Enemies and Teachers. Ibid 98. a Word able to make the Man of God pe [...]fect, throughly furnished to all good Works, 2 Tim. 3.17. and though the very words [Page 369] of the Book are full of admirable Truth and Con­viction, infinitely out-going all the writings of Men, yet there is more in it than this; even a Promise of a Blessing of it, to as many as seriously make it their study and Rule of Life and Faith, and a fulfilling of that Promise, the Son of God sending his own Spirit along with the use of that Word, Life with the Letter, into the Soul: And this was that which made this Law of God, though compri­sed in a little Volume, to be so exceeding wide, and precious to David; there went along with it, and with his Meditation of it, a Spirit of Life and Light, that shewed him larger. Dimensions of it, than could be found by the bare strength of his natural Understanding.

2. Take leisure upon all thy Actions and purpo­ses to acquaint thy Conscience with them, that so thy Conscience may have time to deliberate, and to compare it with its Principle, the Word of God. Precipitancy and Hastiness in Actions robs the Con­science of that employment, which God hath given to it; and as it is the Mother of all sin, so it brings a double inconvenience to a Man, even from his Conscience, viz. 1. A deadness and unprofitable­ness in the faculty: It is so kept under and out of employment, that it forgets her business: when it is laid aside and seldom consulted with, it grows unexpert and unable to give an Answer, when it may be we desire it: The direction of Conscience, where it is well used, is seldom without the imme­diate direction of the very Spirit of God; and when the Guidance of that Spirit is neglected, it will not return to thy assistance when thou pleasest: 2. It turns that, which would be thy Counsellor, into thy Accuser and Tormentor: thou refusest to give her time to do her Office before thy Action, and there­fore [Page 370] it will be bold to take time to do her Office after: She cannot be admitted to advise thee, but she will take Liberty to accuse and sting thee.

3. Endeavour still to keep thy Conscience tender and sensible: Rather desire to be troubled with a seemingly peevish Conscience, that will check almost at any thing, than to be at quiet with a dull and stupid Conscience, that will down with any thing: It may be it will be somewhat troublesome, but it is safe, and thou shalt find Comfort in forbearing of that, which thy tender Conscience wisht thee to foregoe, and be able abundantly to satisfie that trou­ble which thou art put to by thy forbearance: The Conscience of thine Integrity will be more sa­tisfactory to thee, than the curiosity of thy Con­science will be troublesome: And be very prudent and curious in thy Disputations with thy Conscience; thou mayst, before thou art aware, dispute thy Con­science into Stupidity, or thy self into perplexity.

4. Observe exactly the Language of thy Con­science to thy Soul; for most commonly the Con­science takes part with her Maker: if she perswade, be doing; if she dissuade, forbear: He, that in the Fear of God listens to the Voice of his Conscience in a thing of it self indifferent, yet over ballanced from its indifferency by the Dictate of his Con­science, performs a work of Obedience to God well near as acceptable as he that doth a work of its own Nature good; for as much as the Life and For­mality of any good work consists not so much in the Nature of the thing that is done, as in the rea­son or ground of the doing it, viz. the Love of God: And that man that, having endeavoured to Principle his Conscience aright with the Word of truth, doth honestly and sincerely follow the dire­ctions of it, shall be sure not to erre long or dan­gerously: [Page 371] God, having placed the Conscience in our Breast as his own Vicegerent, looks upon such a subjection to the Conscience as an Obedience to himself, and his own Authority, and will in due time by his own Power and Spirit inlighten and guide such a Conscience to perform his Office regularly and effectually.

5. As a consequence of the former, when a que­stion ariseth in thy Conscience, whether such a thing may be safely omitted, which thou art sure may be safely done; or whether such a thing may be safely done, which thou art sure may be safely forborn; put not thy self, nor thy Conscience, upon a Dispute where thou needest not; but be content rather to abridge thy self from a Liberty, that may be pro­bably lawful, than to put thy self upon an Action or Omission that may at least be disputably sinful; and so much the rather because thy Heart is deceit­ful, and as it loves Liberty, so it finds out Sophi­stry enough to corrupt thy Judgment and thy Con­science, if thou give way unto it: there is scarce the grossest sin, that ever any Man committed, but his Heart found out some Reasons to bribe or quiet his Conscience in the Commission of it: Rather sub­mit to the still Voice of thy Conscience in the re­straint even of thy lawful Liberty, though it give thee not a Reason for it; than listen to the reasonings of thy Heart for the allowance of it: Suspect her, for she speaks in her own cause, and is partial and deceitful. This on the one hand may be a safe Rule for us touching Stage-Plays, long Hair, Gaming, U­sury, &c. on the other, touching the strict Observa­tion of the Lord's Day, set times of Prayer, &c.

6. As an incident likewise to the former, when a question comes in thy Conscience touching a thing whether to be done or not, and that upon the scru­tiny [Page 372] of thy Conscience it seems to be equally bal­lanced, no Rule to guide thee, no Circumstance that thrown into the Scale can take away the indifferency of either side, it is a safe Rule, though not always necessary, to forsake that which the inclination of thy own natural Appetite most prompts thee to: The Reason is that which is before mentioned, the Heart is apt to magnifie those Arguments that con­duce to the execution of that, which suits with thy sinful Appetite, and to lessen and slight those, that make against it: So that in a Decision of indiffe­rency in such a competition a Man may in a more impartial Judgment conclude the thing to be there­fore not indifferent, but sinful, because thy sinful Heart can but bring up what she loves but to an equal Ballance: thou must therefore in such a Case never hold that Gold passable, which doth not turn the Scale.

7. As thus in the Directing Operation of thy Con­science in things to be done, or not to be done, so in the motion of thy Conscience after the things done or omitted: Sometimes the Conscience is silent before the Action, yet she speaks after, and according to that Language of thy Conscience, so let the affecti­on of thy Soul be: If it approve and justifie the thing done, bless thy Creator for the Action, and bless thy Creator for thy Conscience that he is plea­sed to give thee a reward within thy self of thy Integrity: If thy Conscience blame thee, though never so little, despise not, nor neglect this secret Check; it is a Message from Heaven that summons thee to these Duties:

1. To Thankfulness to God, that is pleased not to give thee over to incurable Guilt of hardness of Heart; that though thou hast rejected the Admoni­tion of thy Lord sent by thy Conscience before thou [Page 373] offendest, yet he doth not give thee over, but fol­lows thee with the rebuke of thy Conscience, that though the former did not divert thee, the latter may reclaim thee: As long as thou hast a Conscience that can check thee, God hath not given over his Care of thee, for it is the Voice of God by thy Con­science.

2. To Humiliation and sorrow of Heart: This as it is the natural and genuine effect of a Guilt dis­covered, (unless the Heart be given over to a re­probate Sense) so it is a most useful effect, because it makes the Heart soft, and fit to receive those im­positions, which will ensue upon such a Sorrow, fit to receive Instruction, a proud Heart will not bend, nor yield; fit to take up Resolutions of amendment; the present Sense of Guilt shews sin to the Soul in its own true Dress, it is bitterness in the end; fit to implore a Pardon, and fit to receive it, because it now knows how truly to value it: And though thy greater sin deserve thy greater Sorrow, yet thy very failings, sins of daily incursion, Erro [...] in Circumstances of Actions, defects and wants of in­tention in Duties, do all deserve as true Sorrow, though not so great; and therefore cherish and en­courage thy Conscience to be vigilant in this, by observing her rebukes even concerning these, and let not the reflection of these pass without as par­ticular an Humiliation of thy Soul before God for them; for they are sins against the Duty and Grati­tude thou owest to thy Creator; and it will make thy future Conversation more exact and more comfortable sorrow of Heart for those smaller of­fences: as it will make presumptuous sins the more hideous, and the more abhorred, so it will waste the number and measure of those smaller offences, which like swarms of flyes cover our daily Actions of all kinds.

[Page 374]3. To seek out for that, which can only pacifie thy Conscience, and remove thy Sorrow, which cannot be but by removing the Guilt: And now let thy Soul search the whole Compass of Heaven and Earth, and where canst thou find any thing that can remove thy Guilt of the smallest sin imaginable, but him alone against whom thou hast committed it? and where canst thou find any means for obtaining remission from sins, but by that means which he him­self hath prescribed? and where hath he prescribed any such means, but in his Word? and where in his Word, but in his Son? Matth. 11.28. Come unto me, all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. If then I stay at home, I find nothing within me, but a troubled and chiding Conscience; and it will be impossible for me to remove this Guilt; I will therefore venture my Soul upon the free Pro­mise of God in Christ, and with the Lepers in the Famine conclude, If he save me, I shall live; and if he kill me, I can but die.

4. To fall upon thy knees before the great God, and to beg for thy Life, and for thy Peace: ‘O Lord, my sin hath brought a Guilt upon my Soul, and that Guilt hath raised a Storm in my Conscience, but if thou, who art only offended, and therefore canst only forgive, speak the Word to thy Ser­vant, Be thou clean, and to my Conscience, Peace be still; my Guilt, and with it that Tempest, that is within me, will be removed: Do it, I beseech thee for thy Truth and Promise sake; thou canst not owe Remission to thy Creature, but thou hast been pleased to ingage thy self to thy Creature upon Repentance to have mercy and forgive; and upon that Promise of thine will I hang, though thou seem to reject me: Do it for thy Mercy sake; thou, that hast commanded me to forgive my Bro­ther [Page 375] till seventy times seven times, if as often he turn and repent, hast infinitely more Mercy towards thy Creature, than thou requirest from it: Do it for thy Glories sake; thou hast said it is the Glory of a Man to pass by a Transgression, and what can be glorious in thy Creature that hath not a resem­blance of thy own mind and Image? nay do it for thy Justice sake; thou hast been pleased to give a publick Sacrifice for all our sins against thee, even thy Son, by an eternal Covenant with a Proclamation, That whosoever will, may come and take of the water of Life freely; and thou hast been pleased as it were to deposite a Pardon in thy Sons hand for as many as come unto thee by him, and to lay upon him that Chastisement of our Peace; and though I, like a Man, have gone aside, yet thy Gifts are without Repentance; That satisfaction therefore, which thou, out of thy abundant Love, wert pleased to give unto thy self, I beseech thee accept, and as it will be the Glory of thy Mercy, so it will be the Honour of thine own Justice; for if we confess our sins, thou art Just, as well as Faithful, to forgive us our sins in him that was the price of our Peace.’

Set a Watch upon thy Spirit: As the Soul is the Life of the Body, so the Spirit is the Life of the Soul, that active Principle which works by the Will, the Affections and Conscience. This appears by the frequent Denomination of the Spirit, and by its con­tradistinction to the very Soul, Ephes. 4.23. Spirit of the mind, Prov. 18.14. The Spirit of a Man will sustain his infirmities; but a wounded Spirit who can bear? Prov. 20.27. The Spirit of a Man is the Candle of the Lord. Prov. 16.2. The Lord weigheth the Spirits, Eccl. 7.8. The patient in Spirit is better than the proud in Spirit. Isaiah 57.15. to revive the Spirit of the hum­ble, [Page 376] 16. The Spirit should fall before me, and the Souls which I have made. James 4.5. The Spirit, that is in us, lu [...]eth to liu [...]y▪ Heb. 12, 23. The Spirits of Just men made perfect. 1 Thes. [...].23. I pray God your whole Spirit, and Soul, and Body, &c. Heb. 4.12. dividing between the Soul and the Spirit. Rom. 8.16. The Spirit beareth witness with our Spirit. And here we take not Spirit physically, for those Instruments, whereby the Soul works, but for that Principle of activity, which works in the Soul: these Disorders that sit upon the Spirit principally are two:

1. In the Defect; Deadness and Depression in the Spirit: The Spirit is that which only can hold Communion with God: he that will worship him, as he must worship him in Spirit and Truth, so with his Spirit; and without that mingled with thy Pray­ers they are dead, and cannot come at him; and with­out thy Spirit brought to his Word, and to his Or­dinances, they cannot come at thy Soul. As the Spirits of thy Blood are those that unite sensible Ob­jects to thy Soul, so the Spirit of thy Soul is that which can only bring home Divine impressions from God to thy Soul, or expressions from thy Soul ac­ceptably to God. Upon such occasions awake thy Spirit and mingle it with thy Services, and shake off that Dulness and Heaviness of Spirit: it will make thy Prayers uneffectual, and thy Services unprofitable.

2. In the Excess, Elation, and Pride of Spirit: And from this Capital disease in the Spirit proceed those others of Envy, the Spirit that is in us lusteth after e [...]y: The Spirit of Revenge, Luke 9.55. Ye [...] not [...] what Spirit you are: The Spirit of Murmur­ing and Discontent: These are but the productions of the Spirit of Pride, when it meets with any thing that crosseth it: If it meet with any Person that sensi­bly exceedeth the Person in whom it is in worth, [Page 377] esteem, or other Accessions, then it is turned into Envy, and that Envy into Revenge. And this was the very Original of the Devils immediate action upon our first Parents; his Pride though it made him lower by his fall, it made him not more humble. And from hence ariseth Murmuring and Discontent, because that which befalls him crosseth him in his self opinion of his own Merit or Desert. And from hence proceeds the rejection of God, and of his directi­ons, from an opinion of a self-sufficiency and ful­ness. To cure this Distemper and the products of it, labour for Poverty and Humility of Spirit up­on these Considerations:

1. That whatsoever thou hast of worth or good in thee, it is not thy own, it is a derived good; the good that is most thy own, even thy essential good, is not thy own, thou owest thy Being to somewhat with­out thee: But grant it were thine own, yet the Comfort and Life, and Beauty of thy Being were nothing without a farther good that is not thy own: thy Power, thy Wealth, thy Strength, thy Know­ledge, these are not in thy Essence, they are deri­ved Goods, and such as are not from thy self: the most exact faculty of thy Soul, is but empty till it be filled by an Object without thee: In thy highest Fruition thou hast a just occasion to magnifie God, from whom thou hast it; not to magnifie thy self, that dost only receive it: Learn therefore the Original of that good, whatever it be, that thou enjoyest, it will make thee thankful and keep thee humble.

2. That in thy self thou hast nothing but emptiness and vanity; Thou hadst a good, it is true, which was sent thee by the Lord of thy Being, and that we have shewn was no occasion to exalt thy self, because it was not thine own: but even that thou hast lost now, and [Page 378] thy Nature hath nothing left thee whereof to be Proud.

3. That it is impossible for thee to come to en­joy that which must make thee happy, till thou art deeply sensible of thy own emptiness and nothing­ness, and thy Spirit thereby brought down and laid in the dust: As long as thy Soul is full of thy Ho­nour, or of thy Wealth, or of the World, or of thy own Righteousness, or Worth, there is no room for thy Saviour, or his fulness: thou wilt not re­ceive him, because thou findest not any want; and thou canst not receive him, because thou hast no room: And as it indisposeth thee to receive good from God; so it indisposeth (as I may say) God to give it: for thy Pride assumeth that both from God which is his, and applies it to thy self, even that acknowledgment and Honour, which is a Tri­bute wholly and only due to God: and hence it is that he resists the Proud, because they rob him of the Duty, that by all the Laws and Reasons imma­ginable thou owest to him.

4. That the Grace of God, the Knowledge and Sense of his Love, the Spirit of Christ is an hum­bling Spirit; the more thou hast of it, the more it will humble thee; and it is a sign that either thou hast it not, or that it is yet over-mastered by thy corruption; if thy Heart be still haughty: it shews thee thy self in thy true Dress, and makes thee abhor thy self: it shews thee the Purity and Ma­jesty of the great God, with whom thou hast to deal, and teacheth thee Fear and Honour towards him: it teacheth thee to live by thy Saviour's Life, to be righteous by his Purity, to be saved by his Sufferings, to walk by his Rule, and to aim at his Glory: it shews thee that thou hast all from him, and frames thy Heart to return all to him: It restores thee to that [Page 379] Position and Constitution in which thou wast made, and takes off that distemper of Spirit, which at once hath put thee below what thou wast, and yet ex­alteth thy foolish Spirit above it.

There was a third Object of our Watch proposed, viz. Temptations, which are either, 1. For Tryal: 2. To Sin; of which see the Meditations upon the Lord's Prayer, Afflictions, &c.

CHAP. XXIV. Of the new Life, or Sanctification, and the ne­cessity of it.

HITHERTO we have considered the Duty and Means of Mortification, the putting off of the Old Man, those Distempers and Disorders of our Souls, by which they become unconformable to the Image and Mind of God; the Principle whereof is the Spirit and Grace of God given us in Christ; and the Means of this work those which we have before mentioned: Now we come to consider of that New Life, which follows hereupon most necessarily:

1. Because it proceeds most necessarily from the same Principle. As in a natural Man fallen into some Distemper, it is the same strength of Nature that conquers the Disease, and it being conquered, main­tains the Body in its natural Operations, which is Health; so the same vital power of the Spirit of God is that, which overmatched those Distempers in our Soul, which are contrary to our spiritual Life and Motion, and conserves that Constitution of Health in the Soul, by which it moves regularly and accor­ding [Page 380] to the Will of God, which is our New Life.

2. Because the Motion of those Distempers, which fit in our Soul, doth necessarily conform our Souls to that condition in which we were created. God at first created us in a Conformity unto himself; our sin brought an impotency upon our Nature, by which we contracted all those Corruptions and Di­stempers, that have disordered our Souls, and di­verted us from God, when God is pleased, by the power of his own Spirit purchased for us by the Blood of Christ, to put into us a Principle of life and strength to work out those Corruptions and Dis­orders of our Souls, there must necessarily follow a life conformable to the Will of God, and as there is no Medium between Life and Death, so when this Death of our Souls is removed by that Principle of Life, there necessarily follows a New Life, and new Operations answerable to it.

3. The End of the Motion of those disorders of the Soul is in order to our New Life: 1 Pet. 2.24. That we being dead to sin, should live to Righteousness: Ephes. 2.10. Created in Christ Jesus unto good works. It was the end of the Death of Christ, Tit. 2.14. the Tree that bore wild Figs, and that which bore none, were equally cursed. John 15.2. Every branch in me that beareth not fruit, he taketh away. So then the work of Mortification and Sanctification differ only in their Relations, not in themselves: they are both effects of that same Life, which, by the Spirit of Christ and our Union to him, is wrought in us: they both drive to the same End, even to our Con­formity to our Head, Christ Jesus, which is our Conformity to the Will of God, wherein consists the Perfection of every Creature: For this is the Will of God, even your Sanctification, 1 Thes. 4.3.

[Page 381]The Honour and Glory of God is, and ought to be, the supream End of all actions and things in the World. And this is that, which every Creature in his right station and condition doth drive at, accord­ing to the measure and degree of its natural perfe­ction: for as the great End of God in all his acti­ons, is his own Glory, so every Creature having a conformity to the Will of God, is moved by him towards that End. And as this is the greatest and chiefest End of all Creatures and Actions, so the motion towards it, must needs be the most perfect operation of the Creature. And as this Truth is sounded in Nature and Reason, so it is the good Pleasure of Almighty God to joyn the Perfection and Happiness of the Creature in this Conformity to his Mind and Will. When any thing therefore con­tinues in an universal free subjection and subservience to the Will of God, as that very subjection and sub­servience is an Honour to the Lord of his Being, so by that subjection and subservience, is the Creature moved and managed to the Glory of God, even to the fulfilling of his Will, and, as a necessary Con­comitant to it, to its own Perfection and Happiness. Christ, that was in all things conformable to the Mind and Will of God, for he came to do the Will of his Father, came into this World to bring Ho­nour to the great God by his Creature Man, and, as a concomitant and a necessary Consequent of it, Hap­piness and Perfection to Man: and to that End, first he sets him free from that Guilt and Curse, which he contracted by his Fall; removes from him those Fetters of the Power and Reign of Sin, whereby he was disabled to move conformably to the Will of God; puts into him a Spirit of Life, that may en­able him to live to God, and be conformable to his Will, and move to his Glory: and this is his Sancti­fication. [Page 382] So then next to that great and ultimate End of the Glory of God, the Sanctification of the Creature, and rendering it conformable to the Will of God, was the greatest End of Christ's work of Redemption, Ephes. 5.25, 26, 27. Even as Christ also loved the Church, and gave himself for it, that he might sanctifie and cleanse it, &c. Luke 1.74. that we being de­livered, &c. might serve him without fear in Holiness and Righteousness, Tit. 2.14. who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purifie unto him­self a peculiar people, &c. So that even our Justifica­tion is in order to our Sanctification, and that in order to the Glory of God, viz. that his Creature might be conformable to his Will, and might active­ly move to the Glory of the Creator, wherein con­sists his End, and with which is joyned the Creatures Happiness.

Touching this matter, these things are considerable, 1. The Necessity of it: 2. The Means, whereby it is effected: 3. The Degrees of it: 4. The Parts or Extent of it.

1. That the Sanctification of the Heart and Life is absolutely Necessary to every Christian, in some mea­sure answerable to his natural Perfection, upon these Considerations:

1. It was the End of the coming of Christ into the World, and the very End of thy Justification. His End was not only to remove thy Guilt and thy Curse, but to make thee conformable to the Will of thy Creator, that thou mayest be actively subservient unto his Glory, which thou canst not be, unless thy Nature be changed, as well as thy Sin pardoned. The great End of the coming of Christ, was to bring Glory to his Father. If he only free thee from thy Guilt, he brings Mercy to his Creature: but unless he cleanse and change thy Nature, thou remainest useless to thy Master.

[Page 383]2 It is impossible, that there can be Justification of any Man; but that according to the measure of his natural ability, there will be likewise a cleansing and changing of his Nature: because the knowledge and belief of the Love of God in Christ, cannot be in Heart without a return of Love from the Soul again to God. The very same act of the Spirit and Grace of God, which discovers and unites the sense of the Love of God to thy Soul, doth as naturally cause Love in thee to God, as the union of the Species to the Glass, reflects the Resemblance from the Glass again, 1 John 4.19. We love him, because he loved us first: his was a Love of Pity, Compassion, a Love of Bounty and Goodness, a Love that broke through Death and greater difficulties than Death, even the uniting of the Divinity to our Flesh; a Love passing Know­ledge: and thine cannot chuse but be a Love of Ad­miration and Astonishment, a Love of Thankful­ness and Gratitude. When the Spirit of God works Faith in thee, it worketh by Love, even by pre­senting the Love of God to thy Soul in as full di­mensions as thy Soul can receive it: and when Faith is wrought in thy Soul, that worketh again by Love to God. If thou hast not Love to God, thou hast not Faith in him: and if thou hast Love to him, thou canst not chuse but conform thy self to his Mind and his Will, John 14.23. If a man love me, he will keep my words. And for this cause the Apostle makes it not only an inconsistency, but a kind of impossibility for one justified, to continue in sin, Rom. 6.2. How shall we, that are dead to sin, live any longer therein? 1 John 3.9. he cannot sin, because he is born of God: In every act of known sin, that thou committest, and every omission of every known good, that thou neg­lectest, there is an actual intermission or suppression of the act of Faith, and of thy Love to God.

[Page 384]3. It is a necessary consequent of our Ʋnion with Christ. There is, as hath been shewed, a double act, whereby our Union with Christ is wrought; on our part, an act of Faith to apprehend him; on his part, an act of his Spirit, whereby he apprehends us, Philip. 3.1, 2. and this Union is so strict, that it is re­sembled to those things, that have the strictest Uni­on; the Vine and the Branches, John 15.1, 2. Rom. 11.18. Members of his Body, of his Flesh, and of his Bones, Ephes. 5.30. and as in the virtue of this Union we partake of all these Priviledges, which were in him, his Satisfaction, his Righteousness, his Sonship, his Intercession, his Resurrection; so like­wise of his Spirit, as there is one Body, so there is one Spirit, Ephes. 4.4. If any man have not the Spirit of Christ, he is none of his, Rom. 8.9. It is his in Es­sence, it is ours in Operation and Influence: so that the inward Life of a Christian is not his own, but he lives by the Life, that is, that living Spirit of the Son of God. Now as that Spirit or Life, that is in the Root, when it passeth into the Branch, makes the Branch conformable in Nature and Fruit unto the Root: So the Spirit of Christ transfused into a Christian, doth conform his Nature and Opera­tions unto Christ; for that was the great End of God in sending his Son into the World, who was in all things conformable unto him, that we should be conformable to the Image of his Son, Rom. 8.29. And thus that impression of the Image of God, which was lost in Adam, is re-imprinted by him, that was the express Image of his Father, by the secret trans­mission of his own pure and operative Spirit into all those, that are united unto him: and thereby the Will of God is fulfilled. Be ye holy, for I am holy, 1 Pet. 1.16.

4. It is necessary as a Preparation or Pre-disposi­tion of the Soul, to that everlasting condition of Bles­sedness, [Page 385] which it expects in Heaven: the place a holy place, Heb. 10.19. an immortal and undefiled Inheritance, 1 Pet. 1.4. where nothing that defileth can enter, Rev. 21.27. The company, an holy com­pany; the company of pure Angels, and the Spirits of just Men made perfect, Heb. 12.22, 23. The Bu­siness, a pure and holy Employment, Rev. 19.2, &c. The Presence a glorious and holy Presence, the Presence of that God, that cannot behold any un­clean thing, whose Name is Holy; the Presence of our Mediator, who is holy, harmless, separate from sinners, Heb. 7.26. And what congruity can such a Soul have to such a Hope, who spends his whole Life in a way quite contrary unto it? He therefore, that hath this Hope, purifieth himself, even as he is pure, 1 John 3.3. And since all these t [...]ings shall be dissolved, what manner of persons ought ye to be in all holiness and godly conversation? Couldest thou carry thy sinful and impure Heart into Heaven with thee, yet thou could­est not see God, which is the Heaven of Heaven, Matth. 5. the pure in Heart shall see God, Heb. 12.14. Follow peace with all men, and holiness, without which, no man shall see the Lord.

CHAP. XXV. Of the Means of Sanctification, and 1. On God's part, his Word, and his Spirit.

2. THE Means whereby this is effected, are either properly on God's part, or on ours.

On God's part, his Word and his Spirit, 1. The Word of God: He, having to deal with Creatures, which he hath endued with Sense and understanding, hath been pleased in his Wisdom and Providence to preserve and deliver unto us his written Word, whereby the Truths therein contained, may be united to our Understanding. And this Word, as it con­tains the holy Counsels of the holy God, so the Truths therein contained, do naturally tend to our Sanctification, though of it self, as a bare Moral Cause, it be not sufficient to effect it, in respect of our indisposition and deadness, which must have a Spirit of Life to quicken us, and make that Word operative upon us. Now in respect of the tendency of this Word to our Sanctification, and in as much as God is pleased by it, to work this work in us, therefore often our Sanctification is attributed at least instrumentally to it, John 17.17. Sanctifie them through thy truth: thy word is truth. Psal. 19.7. the law of the Lord is perfect, converting the soul, John 15.3. Now are ye clean through the word that I have spoken. All which tend to no more than this, that this Word of God contains those Truths in it, which, being truly known and believed, do conform the Soul to the Will of God, that Image, which he first cast, con­sisting in Righteousness and true Holiness.

[Page 387]Now the general Truths, which this Book Exhi­bits to us, tending to this end, are principally two:

1. It discovers what that will of God concerning Man is: and this it doth two ways; 1. By Precepts of most excellent and sound Justice and Reason, which are nothing else, but the Repetitions of that Law, which was at first in our Nature: 2. By Examples, especially that Example of our Saviour's, who was the Image of the invisible God, Colos. 1.15. and therefore in our imitation of him, we re-assume that impression of God's Image, which we once lost. Now Christ's Life, as it was a Meritorious Righte­ousness, so it was an Exemplary Righteousness, Matth. 11.29. Learn of me, for I am meek, John 13.15. For I have given you an Example, that ye should do as I have done, Ephes. 4.13. the measure of his sta­tu [...]e, Philip. 2.5. the mind of Christ.

2. It discovers a great deal of convincing Reason, why we should conform to this Will of God: 1. In respect of the Commands themselves, it shews their Righteousness, Justice and Perfection, and that in our conformity to them consists our Perfection. 2. In respect of God, that commands them: 1. It is he requires it, that is the Author and Lord of thy Being, and thou canst not chuse, but infinitely owe what he requires: 2. It is he requires it, that will not, cannot be mocked; he is infinitely able to avenge the rebellion of his Creature: 3. It is he commands it, that hath been a Bountiful, Merciful God unto thee, that when thou hast incurred his Curse, hath provi­ded a Sacrifice to expiate it; when thou hast disabled thy self to obey, provides a Spirit of his own to as­sist thee; that when thou fallest, pities, pardons, and restores thee, and though he owes it not to thee, re­wards his own Grace and work in thee with an im­mortal Glory to thee. And what natural ingenuity [Page 388] can chuse but ingage to the uttermost expression of his thankfulness to such a God by a most advantageous Obedience? 3. In respect of thy self, if thou disobey, the loss is thy own; if thou obey, the benefit is thine, Deut. 30.15. For I have set before thee Life and Good, and Death and Evil. And herein among divers others, is the Excellency of the Word of God; as it contains Precepts of most singular Purity, and evidencing their own Perfection; so it inforceth the Obedience upon Reasons of greater strength and more powerful Perswasions, than all the Writings of Men ever did or could: by annexing Rewards and Punishments of a higher constitution, than the divinest Philosophers ever thought of.

2. The Spirit of God: Hence this work is attributed to the Spirit of God, 1 Pet. 1.2. Through Sanctifica­tion of the Spirit unto Obedience: and this principally these three ways: 1. In preparing and disposing the Heart: 2. In accompanying and coming in with the Word: 3. In following that Work with a continual assistance of direction and strength.

1. As to the first, viz. the Preparation of the Heart; Since the defacing of the Image of God in the Soul, our Hearts, like the first Creation, are without form and void, and darkness is upon the face of it, till the Spirit of God move upon the face of these Waters, Gen. 1.2. a Heart filled with evil thoughts, and that continually, Gen. 6.5. till this Spirit strive with it, Gen. 6.3. a Heart dammed and blocked up with Lusts, and Earth, and Disorders, so that there is no [...]ss for Christ, till the Spirit of God open it, Acts [...] [...]n obstinate, and a hard Heart, an iron sinew, [...] of brass, Isa. 48.4. till the Spirit of the [...] and a Heart full of madness, Eccles. 9. [...] Spirit be chased away, and the Heart [...] Spirit of God. There oftentimes goes [Page 389] a secret disposition and calming of Heart before, whereby some external act of the Providence of God, which is prepared and fitted for that occasion, strikes effectually upon the Heart, and works upon it, whe­ther it be an Affliction, or a Blessing, or a Deliverance, or a Word of God. Thus when Nathaniel was un­der the Fig tree, Christ saw him, and prepared his Heart to entertain the call of Philip, John 1.48.

2. The concomitant act of the Spirit of God, espe­cially with the Word of God, and some other extraordinary acts of his Providence. And herein it hath a double work: 1. Of Strength to drive on this Word: and hence it is called the Sword of the Spirit. The Spi­rit of God is that Arm that manageth this Sword, Ephes. 6.17. To the dividing asunder of Soul and Spirit, Heb. 4.12. When thou seest therefore a tumultuous, disorderly Heart, filled with Pride and obstinacy, yet brought upon his Knees by a seemingly weak Ad­monition, Reproof, or other passage of the Word of God, wonder not at the change; for the powerful and mighty Arm of the Spirit of God hath shaken this little dart between the joynts of his harness, even into the midst of his Soul. What ailed thee, O thou Sea, that thou fleddest? &c. Tremble thou Earth at the presence of the Lord, at the presence of the God of Jacob, Psal. 114.5.2. Of Life to go along with it into the Spirit of a Man, John 6.63. The words that I speak unto you, they are Spirit, and they are Life. The passage between the Sense and the Spirit of a Man is of a great distance, and full of many turnings: and hence the words of Men, for the most part die and lose their efficacy before they come at the Spirit of a Man; sometimes they die in the Ear, sometimes they get into the Brain, and die there in a Speculation, sometimes they strike a little, but yet live not long there, for the words have no Life in them: But with this Word there goes a [Page 390] Life, which goes along with it, even to the utter­most corner of thy Soul, even thy Spirit, and there it continues alive, 1 John 3.9. His seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin: and hence it is, that the Commands of God, even to us that are dead, are not incongru­ous, when God pleaseth that his Work shall be wrought in the Heart, for a Spirit of Life goes along with the Command, even to the penetralia animae, John 5.25. The time is that the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live. And as thus the Spirit of God carries the Word of God with Life and Vigour into the choicest parts of the Soul; so doth it with all other Dispensations of Di­vine Providence: If thou hast an outward Blessing given thee, it will along with the Sense of thy Bles­sing carry in the Sense of the Goodness of God, and teach thee Thankfulness and Moderation: If an Af­fliction, it will get along into thy Soul with that Affliction, and teach thee to examine thy self, and to search and try thy ways, and having discovered thy sin, it will teach thee Humiliation and Repen­tance; and if upon thy search thou find thine Inte­grity, yet it will teach thee Humility, Thankfulness, Contentedness, Dependance upon God: it will with every Dispensation of Providence go along with it into thy Soul, and carry that message with it, that God by this his Dispensation intends to send thee. And thus it is a Sanctifying Spirit by way of conco­mitance with the Word and Providence.

3. The Spirit of God sanctifies the Heart by its own immediate and Continual Assistance: It contests with thy daily Temptations, that are from without, and conquers them; and with thy hourly Corrupti­ons, that are within thee, and wasts and subdues them: In the midst of thy Difficulties, it will be thy Counsellor, a secret voice behind thee, saying, This [Page 391] is the way, walk, in it: In the midst of thy Tempta­tions, it will be thy Strength, and a Grace sufficient for thee: In the midst of thy Troubles, it will be thy Light and thy Comfort: In the midst of thy Cor­ruptions, it will be thy Cleanser, a Spirit of burn­ing to consume those swarms of Lusts, that cover and fill thy Heart: In thy Failings and Falls, it will be thy Remembrancer, and teach thee to repent and humble thy self. This was that Monitor, that fur­nished Joseph with an answer to a most importunate and advantageous Temptation: How shall I do this great wickedness, and sin against God? Gen. 39.9. that furnished Job with silencing Answers to all those temptations to Insolence, Pride, Self-confidence, and Injustice, Job 9.1. that after David's Sin smote David's Heart, before David's Heart smote him, and taught him Confession and Sorrow, and to beg a Pardon, 2 Sam. 24.10. Only beware thou neglect not the Voice of this Spirit of God: It may be, thy neglect may quench it, and thou mayest never hear that Voice more: or at least, it will certainly grieve it; and canst thou think of grieving that Spirit without a Tear, which is content to descend into thy impure, polluted Heart, to make it a Heart fitted for Glory? Thy folly is great, and thy ingratitude greater: When God speaks once, and twice, and Man per­ceives him not, Job 33.14. it sometimes falls out that he never speaks to that Man more. Ephraim is set upon Idols, let him alone, Hos. 4.17. and that is the saddest Condition in the World: but if he do, his Mercy will be a severe Mercy, he will speak louder, Job 33.22. when the still Voice is not heard, his Soul draweth near to the grave, and his Life to the de­stroyers. The observation of the secret Admonition and Reasonings of the Spirit of God in the Heart, as it is an effectual means, so it is a calm and a comfortable [Page 392] means to cleanse and sanctifie thy Heart: and the [...]o [...]e [...]it [...]i attended unto, the more it will be conver­sant with thy Soul for thy Instruction, Strength, and Comfort, Prov. 6.22. When thou goest, it shall lead thee, when thou sleepest, it shall keep thee, and when thou awakest, it shall talk with thee.

CHAP. XXVI. Of the Means of Sanctification, 2. On Man's part, viz. Faith, Love, Fear, Hope.

ON our part, the Instruments of our Sanctificati­on, are those supernatural acts or habits of the Soul, wrought by the finger of God, Faith, Hope, and Love.

1. Faith, Acts 15.9. God also purifying their Hearts by Faith. And this it doth as it is an Act receiving into the Soul the Word of God, and subscribing to the Truth and Goodness of it; receving it not as the word of Man, but as the Word of the just and true God.

1. It therein finds and believes the great Debt of Duty that the Creature owes to his Creator. What can be unjust for God to require of that Being, which he gave and made? As the Gift of a Being is an infi­nite Gift, because it is an infinite Motion, there being no greater disproportion imaginable, than between not being and being; so the engagement of Obedience and Conformity from that Creature, to the Will and good Pleasure of its Author, is infinite and bound­less by all the Justice that can be.

2. Faith doth find in that Word a farther ingage­ment of Conformity and Obedience, if a farther may [Page 393] be, in that it finds the immense overflowing Love of God to Man: It is that Love, that did at first fur­nish him with those Excellencies of his Nature, with that greater excellency, his image and Superscripti­on: It is that Love, that upholds his temporal Be­ing, and blesseth it; It is that love that, when he was lost, sent a Sacrifice, and a Righteousness for him, whereby he is not only pardoned from his Guilt and Curse, but restored to Glory and immortality. And this it doth truly and really believe, and is thereby convinced that there is a greater obligation, than that of his Nature, to live conformable to the Will and Mind of so unspeakable a Benefactor.

3. Faith doth find in this Word of God his Mind and Will, and believes it to be that very Rule, the conformity whereunto is well pleasing and accepta­ble to God. Mic. 6.8. and what doth the Lord thy God require of thee, but to do justly, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God? It looks upon every Admonition, Exhortation, Reprehension, and Dire­ction, as the very immediate Message of God unto the Soul, and entertains it with the same awe and reverence as if it were audibly delivered in Thun­der, and trembles at it: and therefore it receives it in the power and Life of it, and in the uttermost com­pass and extent of it: it will not take this part as most consonant to thy Temper, Condition, Designs, Constitution or Ends, and reject another part where it crosseth them, because it is equally the Will and Command of the great God, and so received.

4. Faith finds in this Word, the Rectitude, Justice, and Regularity of the Will of God concerning Man: they are not only just as proceeding from him, to whom his Creature owes an infinite Obedience, as was the Command to Adam for forbearing the for­bidden Fruit, or to Abraham to sacrifice his Son; [Page 394] but Faith finds in these Commands a natural Justice, and Reasonableness, and Perfection, and concludes with David, Psal. 19. That his Statutes are right, and his Commands pure, such as include in themselves a natu­ral and absolute Beauty, and such as confer upon the Creature a Perfection, and Happiness, such as are exactly conformable to thy Nature, were thy Na­ture conformable to it self: for as the Rule or Law, that God hath given to every Creature, is that where­in consists its Beauty, Preservation and Perfection, ac­cording to the degree wherein it is placed, and there­fore every Creature labours according to its own Na­ture to continue in that Rule, and when it misseth it, it contracts Deformity and Corruption; so the Divine Law or Command of God given to Man is that wherein consists his Perfection, as being a Rule most exactly conformable to the reasonable Nature of Man: sin hath deformed and blinded us that we can­not now see that Perfection and Excellency, that is in our Conformity to his Will, and hath perverted and corrupted us, that as we are in this corrupted condition we cannot desire it; but when God is pleased to anoint our eyes with the Eye-salve of Faith, and presents this Glass, this image of his mind in his Word unto that Eve; Faith again discerns, and discerning cannot chuse but desire that Beauty, Per­fection, and Rectitude, which is there discovered in the Commands of God, and the conformity of the Soul to the [...]ame.

5. Faith doth find in that Word, and finding it doth most assuredly believe the Presence of the Glo­rious and infinite God in every place, even in the darkest and most remote Corners and Chambers of the Heart, searching, weighing, and discerning the Spirit, every thought of the Heart, every word of the Tongue, every action of the Life, and measuring [Page 395] them exactly with the Rule, that he hath given: and this keeps the Heart in a continual awe of the Presence of God, purgeth out all Hypocrisie, sets a continual Watch upon the whole Man, lays a Bridle upon the very thoughts, and brings them in­to subjection to this Rule; because that clear and pure, and severe eye of the Great and Infinite God searcheth the most retired thoughts of the Heart, and observes what conformity they hold with his most Just and Reasonable Command.

6. Faith finds in this Word of God, and doth more really and practically believe, that that great God which hath given us his Will, and is a witness to the Obedi­ence and Disobedience of it, hath most certainly an­nexed an everlasting Curse to the Disobedience of it, so it hath most certainly annexed an everlasting Glory to the Obedience thereunto, not as the merit of it; but as the free and bountiful gift of his Goodness and Mercy in Jesus Christ: And it finds and believes the Truth, and Faithfulness, and Glory, and Power, of the Infinite God there engaged for the perfor­mance of it: and therefore it binds the Heart to the Obedience of this Will of God, and Conformity un­to it; which is our Sanctification. Thus the word mingled with Faith cleanseth and sanctifieth, and per­fecteth, and purifieth the Heart and Life. And as thus in Man God useth this instrument on Mans part to sanctifie his Creature, and make him conforma­ble to himself; so Secondarily upon this Act of Faith upon the Word of God, as its Object, the Heart is likewise cleansed by Fear, Hope, and Love, by way of emanation from this Act of Faith.

Love, Fear, and Hope are those several Motions or Affections of the Soul, that arise from the same Act of Faith, only as Faith is diversified according to those different Objects apprehended by Faith, or [Page 396] according to the different Notions, Relations or Acti­ons of the same Object, as for instance, God appre­hended in his Goodness, Love and Bounty, moves our Love towards him; as apprehended in his Glory, Majesty, Power, and Justice, excites Fear; as appre­hended in his Faithfulness, Truth, and Promises, be­gets Hope: and each of these Affections thus direct­ed, do habituate and dispose the Soul and Life to a religious frame and Constitution, which is our San­ctification, as will appear in these particulars:

1. The Love of God: this is that true Principle of all true Obedience; where it is not, the Obedience is a dead and unacceptable Obedience; for God that is a Spirit, and will be worshipped in Spirit and Truth, will be obeyed likewise in Spirit and Truth; and the outward Conformity without this is but a dead O­bedience and Hypocrisie; and where it is it will work a Conformity of the Heart and Life to the mind of God, upon which it is pitched, and therefore it is called the First and Great Commandment, Matth. 22.51. the fulfilling of the Law, because when it is once wrought in the Heart, whatsoever it can disco­ver to be agreeable to the Will of him that she loves, it will most sincerely and intirely obey: John 14.15.24. If ye love me keep my Commandments: he that loveth me not, keepeth not my Sayings. Now our Love to God ariseth upon two Grounds: 1. From a Sense of the Perfection and Beauty, and Purity, and Ex­cellency that is in him: and in this respect our Love to him cannot chuse but move the Heart to desire to be like unto him, as far forth, as is, or can be com­municable to our Nature and Condition; for what­soever I love in another, that is communicable unto me; I cannot chuse but desire to be in my self, 1 Pet. 2. Be ye holy, for I am holy, and this Love of that Good­ness that is in God, doth bring the Heart nearer to [Page 397] him, for Love is a Motion unto Union; and as we come nearer to that Purity of his, it doth in some measure assimilate the Soul unto himself, because his Goodness and Brightness is an assimilating, active, communicative Goodness, and from this nearness to him doth grow much of our Holiness here, and all our Happiness hereafter, 1 John 3.2. We shall b [...] like him, for we shall see him as he is, 2 Cor. 3.18. But we with open Face beholding as in a Glass, the Glory of the Lord, are changed into the same Image, from Glory to Glory. Our Love to God works in the Soul a desire of Union with him, and likeness to him which is a kind of Union: and that approximation to him doth derive from him an impression of his own Nature, and like­ness unto him.

2. The ground of our Love to God is the Sense of that Love, that he hath shewen to us, 1 John. 4.19. We love him because he loved us first, and this is a Love of Gratitude, or Thankfulness arising from the full Sense of the undeserved and wonderful Love of God, to his unworthy Creature revealed and dispensed in Jesus Christ: and this cannot chuse but put the Soul into such kind of thoughts and purposes as these: ‘O Lord, at first, I received my Being from thee; and when I had forfeited my Being and my Blessed­ness to thee, thou wast patient towards me, and didst not take that forfeiture, which thou justly mightest: thou wast merciful to me, and didst pitty and for­give me; and when I was in my Blood thou saidst unto me, Live: thou was bountiful unto, and didst not only pardon me, but restore me to that Blessed­ness which I unthankfully lost: and thus thou didst without my seeking, even when I was Senseless, and knew not my own Misery, when I was obsti­nate and would not have it: and this thou didst, not by an ordinary means, but thy Love did [Page 398] send the Son of thy love to become my Sacrifice and my Righteousness; and canst thou require any thing of me, that can bear any proportion to so great Love? If thou shouldest call for that Being a­gain, which thou hast thus freely given me, I should but return unto thee, that which is thine own: But after all this, what dost thou require of me but to do justly, and love Mercy, to walk hum­bly with my God? Such a Service wherein con­sists my own Happiness and Perfection, a confor­mity unto thy Beauty and Purity: If the Service, that thou shouldest have enjoyned me, had been a Ser­vice mingled with my own Dishonour, Shame, Misery, Ruin, thy Love to me had deserved and commanded this from me; how much more when all thou requirest from my Leprous Soul is but, Wash and be clean? I will bless thy Name for that Love, which thou shewest to me in my Redemp­tion from so great a Death; and I will bless thy Name, that thou art pleased to injoyn thy Crea­ture such a Service, wherein consists his Beauty and Perfection, a reasonable Service; and that thou art pleased to accept that, as a Tribute unto thee, which inricheth thy Creature by paying it, even our Conformity to thy most Righteous and Holy Will: and I will endeavour in the whole Course of my Life, in the whole frame and tem­per of my Soul, to express my Thankfulness to thee in the watchful, universal, diligent, and sin­cere Conformity unto that will of thine; and bles­sed be thy Name that hast given thy poor Crea­ture an opportunity of expressing his Sense of thy Love in so reasonable a Service.’

2. Fear of God likewise cleanseth the Heart, Psal. 19.9. The fear of God is clean, Prov. 8.13. The fear of the Lord is to hate evil, Prov. 16.16. [Page 399] By the fear of the Lord Men depart from evil. And this was Joseph's fence against Temptations of all kinds. Gen. 39.9. How shall I do this great wickedness and sin against the Lord: and his highest security to his Brethren of keeping his Promise, Gen 42.18. This do and live, for I fear God. Now this fear of God is wrought upon the precedent Act of Faith in a double Re­lation: 1. As it presents God unto the Soul in his Purity, Majesty, Power, Justice, and Presence even in the innermost and darkest Chambers of our Hearts. And this Consideration becomes even the exactest Christian always to have about him: for all the strongest ingagements even upon every Affe­ction are too little, God knows, to fence and ward the Soul against the Corruptions within it, and the Temptations without it. And this Consideration will most opportunely bespeak the Soul in this manner: ‘Consider what thou art doing: thou art now going about to purpose or do that which thy Creator forbids thee; and thou art in the Pre­sence of that God, before whom all things are naked and manifest, Heb. 4.13. whose eyes are upon all the ways of Man, and he seeth all his goings, Job 32.21. and his eyes are therefore upon his ways, that he may give every Man according to his works, Job 32.18. Consider thou art in his Presence that is a consuming Fire, and a jealous God Deut. 4.24. A great God, and a mighty and terrible, that regardeth not Persons, nor taketh rewards, Deut. 10.27. That hath said that, When any Man heareth the words of this Curse, and shall bless himself in his Heart, saying, I shall have Peace, though I walk in the immagination of my Heart, the Lord will not spare him, but his jealousie shall smoak against that man; Deut. 29.19 20. That hath Justice, and Wisdom, and Truth, and Power enough to fulfil [Page 400] and execute the most exquisite, seasonable, and una­voidable Vengeance upon any contemner of his Will, and this is the God, whom thou, a Crea­ture that art nothing in his hands, art about to offend: Consider this, thou that forgettest God, lest he tear thee in pieces, and there be none to deliver thee.’

But 2. Fear is a Fruit of Love, and though we are not to neglect the former, yet we must be sure to entertain this; perfect Love casts out fear, a fear of punishment, but not a fear of sin; a fear of a Malefactor, not the fear of a Child: And upon this Consideration this affection upon any Tempta­tion thus bespeaks the Soul: ‘Consider what thou art now setting about: It is that thy Lord, thy Redeemer, forbids thee, he that hath died for thee to rescue thee from thy vain Conversation: how unseemly a return is this, for so much Love and Good­ness as thou hast received? how canst thou come in thy Prayers, in thy Hopes, in thy Dependance to that God, whom, against the bonds of ordina­ry Gratitude, thou art now offending? how canst thou ever expect to have the light and favour of his Countenance, whom, contrary to all thy en­gagements of Duty and Covenant, thou art now about to injure? canst thou profess thou lovest him, whom thou darest to abuse, to disobey, even to his Face?’

3. Hope: the Word of God hath promised in Christ Glory, and immortality, and the sight of himself, to those that are pure in Heart, Matth. 5.8. This truth contained in these Promises, is recei­ved and entertained in the Heart by Faith: and as the Motion of the Heart towards an absent, but a possible and expected Good, is Hope; so it is here, it is the Motion of the Soul arising upon Faith, as [Page 401] it presents the truth of that Blessedness, which w [...] do not yet, but shall enjoy: and this Motion of the Soul purifieth the Heart, 1 John 3.3. He that ha [...] this hope, purifieth himself, even as he is pure, and bring the Heart and Life to Obedience, Psal. 119.1 6. I have hoped in thy Salvation, and done thy Comman [...] ­ments: Our love of God makes our Obedience sincere; our fear of him makes our obedience awful and reverent; our hope in him makes our obedi­ence chearful, Rom. 15.13. Patient, Rom. 8.25. Con­stant, Heb. 3.6. and Active, Phil. 3.15. Pressing o [...] to the price of the high calling of God in Christ. This was that, that made Moses rather chuse Affli­ctions, than the Pleasure of sin for a Season; for he had an eye to the recompence of reward; Heb. 11.26. which carried our Redeemer with choice and Victory through the Cross and shame, for the joy that was set before him, Heb. 12.2. Now this af­fection thus fixed and acted purifieth the Heart and Life upon these Considerations: 1. It presents a Man with an expectation of an everlasting bles [...]d Station in the Presence of the most holy God, and this works an endeavour of a present Conformity of his Mind and Life to that condition which it e [...] pects to enjoy everlastingly hereafter. No Man [...] hope for that which he desires not for the pres [...] to enjoy; he that hopes for an eternal Life in Holin [...] will thrust himself into as much of it as he c [...] while he lives here, and will consider how unb [...] ­coming any sin is of him, who lives in a c [...] tinued hope of enjoying a condition free from [...] 2. Hope doth link the Soul to the thing it ho [...] for, which is of so great worth, Glory and [...] [...] pectation, that it carries the Soul through all [...] ficulties to the attaining of it: it makes [...] which is future in Fruition, present in appre [...] sion, [Page 402] and thereby masters all those evils of Sense that actually come in the way: and thus it lifteth up the Soul above all the present inconveniencies that may accompany or interrupt her way to Glory. Thy Creator hath chalked thee out a way to walk in: and it is true, it is a narrow way, and thou art cloathed with flesh and blood, which cannot inhe­rit the Kingdom of God; the way will be grievous and troublesome unto it, thou must deny thy self, cut off thy right hand, pluck out thy right eye; thou must learn to unlove, nay to hate, those things wherein thy corrupted Nature most delights, and take up thy Cross and follow thy Saviour: and thy way is not only narrow and unpleasant to thy Nature, but thou shalt find it, it may be, strawed with Afflictions, with Tempta­tions, with Scorns, with Poverty, Wants, Persecu­tions, nay with the loss of Life it self, and yet on thou must go, and must not draw back, for then thy Labour is all lost. But here is that which will bear thee up through all the difficulties, though thou art laden with the burden of thy own Flesh and Corruptions, and art ready to slip upon every Temptation, yet thou art not alone, but thy Savi­our stands by thee to bear thy burden, to take thee by the hand, to lift thee up from thy falls, to support thee with his Grace, which he hath promised shall be sufficient for thee, to accept thy endeavours, and to pitty, and pardon, and recover thy relapses: Though thou dost loose, and irreco­verably let go, many Contentments, Pleasures, and external advantages, yet thou seest with thee in the Promise, and before thee in thy hope, that which will abundantly recompence all thy losses, even Pleasures at his right hand for ever: Though thy jour­ney be troublesome, yet it is not long; thy home, thy [Page 403] Fathers house, is in thine eye, where thou mayst see thy Saviour preparing a place for thee, and a far more exceeding and eternal weight of Glory, which will sweeten thy light Afflictions, which are but for a moment, 2 Cor. 4.17.

CHAP. XXVII. Of the Extent and Degrees of Sanctification.

3. WE come to consider the Extent or Degrees of it, what it is, or should and may be in this Life. We find in the Book of God mention of perfect Men, and Men of perfect Hearts, Noah, Gen. 6.9. Abraham, Gen. 17.1. Job 1.8. David, 1 Kings 9.4. & 14.8. Asa, 1 Kings 15.14. and yet those several Men had their several Sins and Faults recorded in the same Book. We find Psal. 37.37. a perfect Man, and yet Eccles. 7.20. not a just Man that doth good, and sinneth not. Paul, Ephes. 4.12, 13. tells us of a growing up to a perfect Man, to the Measure of the stature of Christ, and yet the same Paul, Rom. 7.14. complains of him­self to be carnal, sold under sin. The same S. John, that 1 John 3.9. saith, That he that is born of God, sinneth not, tells us, 1 John 1.8. that if we say we have no sin, we deceive our selves, and the truth is not in us, 2 Cor. 13.11. Finally, brethren, be perfect. We are therefore to consider wherein this Perfection of our Sanctification consisteth not, and wherein it con­sisteth.

The Perfection required of us, and which we may and must attain, is an Evangelical Perfection, which though it be not perfect, yet is accepted of God in Christ:

[Page 404]1. Sincerity, and Integrity of Heart, Jerem. 24.7. They shall return to me with their whole heart. The San­ctification required of us, is not only a Sanctification of our external Actions; those are but the fruits of Sanctification of the Man; for as any act is therefore [...] because it is but the production of that sin, which is [...]st in the Heart, so is any action therefore holy, be­cause it proceeds from a holy and a sanctified motion of the Heart, otherwise it is but Hypocrisie. This Int [...]y of Heart was Noah's, David's, [...]sa's Perfe­ction: it was Enoch's walking with God. When a Man [...] with an humble confidence bring his Ser­vice, his Words and Actions in the presence of God clearly with such a Confession as this: ‘O Lord, I know that my Heart is deceitful above all, who can know it? and I know that I am an unclean things and all my righteousnesses are as filthy rags, Isa. [...].6. and my own Heart tells me, that even to my most exact observance, there be secret ad­he [...] of sin and defect; and how much more are th [...] in thy sight, who seest through every cranny of the Soul? and therefore thou mayest justly reject them: yet, O Lord, thou knowest that that little good that is in them, proceeds from an upright Heart, from an unfeigned desire to obey thee; that it is my Hearts desire, and my hearty and daily en­deavour to serve thee better; that it is the sorrow and g [...]f of my Heart, that my returns of obedi­ence and conformity unto thee, are so infinite short of what I every way owe unto thee; I do not content my self with these loose and half perfor­mances that I make before thee: and though I see my best obedience gives me daily occasions of re­pentance, yet I will not give over, but what I want in my own strength, I will beg thy Grace to perfect, and thy Mercy to accept, according to [Page 405] what I have, and to pardon what I want, 2 Cor. 8.12. and since I have prepared my Heart to seek the Lord God, the good Lord pardon me, though I am not cleansed according to the purification of thy Sanctuary, 2 Chron. 30.19.’

2. An over-matching of the Power of Sin by the Power of Sanctifying Grace. It is true, that in the best Condition we can arrive unto in this World, there is with us a body of Sin and Death, as well as a Principle of Holiness and Life, Rom. 7.24. a lusting of the Flesh against the Spirit, as well as of the Spi­rit against the Flesh, Gal. 5.17. a wrestling against Flesh and Blood, actuated by Principalities and Powers, Ephes. 6.12. But where God is pleased to begin this work in the Heart, though it never ar­rives to the abolition of sin, yet it ever ariseth to a Victory over it, Rom. 6.15. Sin shall not have domi­nion over you, because you are not under the Law, but un­der Grace. And now as where there is but one de­gree of heat in any subject, more than there is of cold, though that subject be not perfectly hot, but there is a mixture of cold in every atom of it, yet is de­nominated from the predominate quality: so this Man, though he be not exactly conformable to the exact Rule of Righteousness, and therefore could not in the severe Justice of God be accepted, but that rigorous course of the Law would lay hold upon him, Gal. 3.10. Cursed be every one that continueth not in all things, which are written in the book of the law to do them; which Book of the Law required a Love of God with all the Heart, Might, and Soul, and that not only all that Heart, Might, and Soul, which a Man now hath, but which a Man once had, and by his own fault hath lost: and therefore that Law, being weak through the Flesh, Rom. 8.2. that is, meeting with an impotency in us exactly to fulfil it, became [Page 406] rather a Law of Death, than Life, yet when Christ came into the World, and brought with him a perfect Righteousness of his own, whereby to justifie us in the presence of God, he did likewise by an Eternal Covenant of Peace with the Father stipulate for an acceptation of this imperfect Righteousness of ours, which is wrought in us by his Grace and Spirit. So that, as the Righteousness of Christ, the Lord our Righteousness, which was perfect in Degrees, was by the acceptation of the Father, made our Justifica­tion; so the Righteousness, which is begun in us here by his Grace, though mingled with our own defects, is accepted by God with a Promise of in­crease of our Glory. And the same Christ, that hath fulfilled a perfect Righteousness for our Justification, doth continually by his own Spirit, begin and sup­port a true, though imperfect Righteousness in us to our Sanctification, and helps against, and pardons our many infirmities and defects, as he hath promised, Jer. 3.12. Return, thou back-sliding Israel, saith the Lord, and I will not cause mine anger to fall upon you, Jer. 31.19. Surely [...] I was turned, I repented▪ Is Ephraim my dear [...] is [...] a pleasant child? for since I spake against him, I do [...] remember him still, Isa. 42.3. A bruised reed shall [...]e n [...]t break, and smoaking flax shall he not quench, Isa. [...].11. He shall [...]ed his fl [...]ck like a shepherd, he shall gather [...] with his [...], and carry them in his bosom, and shall gerth lead th [...]se that are with young, Hos. 11.3. [...] Ephraim also to go, taking them by the arm. Which several expressions shew, 1. The Original of that initiate Righteousness in us, even the Grace of God in Christ continually by degrees mastering our cor­ruptions, and in some measure conforming us unto him▪ [...]. His Tenderness towards those small incep­tions of his Grace in us, cherishing and encouraging [...]. His Mercy and Goodness, accepting of our [Page 407] sincerity, and pardoning our weakness. And this is that Evangelical Perfection of our Righteousness and Sanctification here. And from this Advantage, that the Grace of God hath over our Perfections, do arise these four Consequents of it: 1. Universality of Obe­dience. 2. Constancy in it. 3. Growth and increase in it. 4. Renewing of our Repentance: all which, as they are the gifts of God, so they do naturally flow from the over-matching of our Corruptions by Grace, as appears in these Particulars:

1. Ʋniversality of Obedience: The Heart, wherein the Grace of God hath over-matched his sinful Nature, cannot allow it self in any known Sin, or any known neglect of any one Command, but hath respect to all God's Commandments Psal. 119.6. Whosoever shall keep the whole, yet if he offend in one point, he is guilty of all, James 2.10. The Grace of God and Sin are universally opposite one to another: and as they are so in the abstract, so are they in the concrete. Where Sin hath an advantage in the Soul, it doth oppose universally the whole Will of God: and where Grace is in the Soul, it doth oppose the whole will of Sin: and therefore where any one Sin or neglect of any one Command of God is entertained knowingly and advisedly in the Soul, there the Grace of God hath not the upper hand; for the same Principle, by which it acts, viz. the Love of God, equally engageth the Soul to every Duty, and against every Sin, accord­ing to the measure of Knowledge that is commmuni­cated to the Soul.

2. Constancy and Perseverance. The change, that is wrought in our Nature, it is true, is not in the essence of it, but it is the presence of the Grace of Christ in the Heart, that preserves and upholds the Heart and Life in Holiness and Righteousness: If that could be withdrawn or intermitted, we should, like the Iron [Page 408] removed from the Fire, soon return to our ancient Nature again: but that great God, whose presence alone, supports all the things in Heaven and Earth, in their being and operations, and whose Gifts and Callings are without Repentance, hath promised to be with us to the end of the World: He cannot sin, because his s [...]d abideth in him, 1 John 3.9. It is true, there may be intermissions of the acting of Grace in the Heart; and there may be falls in the Life; but to be given over to a course of sin without repen­tance, to be brought under the power and dominion of Sin, as a King or a Ruler, the Honour and Truth of God is engaged in it, it shall not be, 2 Thes. 3.3. The Lord is faithful, who shall stablish you, John [...]0.28. N [...]er shall any man pluck them out of my hand, Rom. 6.14. Sin shall not have dominion over you, for [...] under the Law, but under Grace And these Promises of God cannot make the Heart of any one, to whom they truly belong, any whit the more care­less or loose in his watch over himself; for that very Spirit, whereby those Promises are sealed to us, is an active, vigilant, pure Spirit, and puts the Heart and Life upon those Practices that do naturally and properly conduce to this very Perseverance, viz. As­siduity in Duties; Humble and Watchful walking before God; Examination and search of the state of our Souls and Lives, Jealousie over the Treachery of our own Hearts, and the snares that are within us and without us; a Guard upon our Affections and Senses; a frequent Consideration of the Will of God, of his Goodness to us in Christ, of the Price where­with we are bought, of the Hope whereunto we are redeemed; and all those other helps that conduce to the settling and stablishing of our Hearts and Lives in a Conformity to the Will of God, and in avoid­ing of all those things which are contrary thereunto, [Page 409] and consequently, as contraries do, would impair, corrupt, and destroy that Life of Grace, which he hath begun in us. And from hence ariseth

3. An Increase and Growth in a more exact Confor­mity to the Will of God, than formerly. This is that, which is so often commended unto us by the Spirit of God, Colos. 2.7. Rooted and built up in him, Colos. 4.12. Compleat in all the will of God, Phil. 1.9. that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and in all judgment, 1 Cor. 15.58. abounding in the work of the Lord, Heb. 13.21. make you perfect in good works to do his will, Phil. 3.13. forgetting what is past, and reaching forth to the things that are before, Ephes. 4.13. growing to a perfect man, 2.16. increase of the body, 2 Pet. 3.17. beware lest ye fall from your own stedfastness, but grow in grace, Jude 20. building up your selves in your most holy faith, Prov. 4.18. Increasing more and more unto the perfect day, John 15.2. Every branch that beareth fruit, he purgeth it, that it may bring forth more fruit. And as this is the Will of God, so it is as naturally the effect of this Life, that is wrought in the Heart, as it is the effect of natural Life in the Body; for it is an active and operative Life. If any quality have got the mastery in a mixt Body, it doth ever more and more by degrees, waste and consume the contrary qualities, and assimulates the whole unto it self. And although, as long as our Flesh hangs about us, it is impossible, that a com­pleat and absolute conquest can be wrought of all that Sin, that is in us; because it is a spring of Corrup­tion, yet it is wasted, weakned, and decayed. By this work of Grace, Saul's House waxeth weaker and weaker. Every habit, though it be moral, or natu­ral only, receiveth an augmentation and degrees by its continual actings. And the Grace of God, which is more operative and active in the Heart than any habit can be, for it is accompanied with the imme­diate [Page 410] Power and Efficacy of the Divine Spirit, never stands still; but like the little Leven, that was hid in the great quantity of Meal, it never gives over till the whole be leavened.

4. Renewed Repentance: Thy corrupt Nature is a Body of Sin and Death, a spring of Corruption, that will ever cast up mire and dirt: and Grace in thy Heart is a spring of living Waters, that as often as that corrupts, will be washing it again. When thou hast made the chamber of thy Heart as clean as thou canst, yet there will be leaks in it, that will let in Corruptions enough, quickly to make it as foul as ever: Grace by the continual examination of thy self, humbling of thy Heart before God, renewing thy Covenant with him, doth not only pump out the filth, that would poyson, and drown, and dam thee, but stops the decays and leaks of this thy infirm Ves­sel. When the Grace of God at first found thee, thou wast dead in trespasses and sins; and it came in­to thee, and by Repentance did exercise its own act of Life to quicken thee: And that same Body of Death, that did at first inclose thee, is still about thee, and takes all opportunities to get its old ma­stery of thee; and by this means, thou catchest many a fall and bruise: but that same Life, by which thou livest, re-acts against those inroads of sin and death, and doth conquer them; so that though thy renewed sins are not thy ruine, yet they ought to be thy burden; though they must not make thee despair, yet they cannot chuse but make thee mourn; though thy Saviour hath born their Guilt, yet it is but equal thou shouldest bear thy shame. When thou hadst no Life in thee, thou couldest not feel thy self dead: But now thou hast Life in thee, thou canst not chuse but be sensible of thy sickness and thy hurts, which thy own folly have occasioned, and judge and con­demn, [Page 411] and avoid that Folly of thine that occasioned it. Though thou canst not be rid of thy sins, that fight against thy Life, yet thou wilt not entertain them with better Entertainment, than Bread of Af­fliction, and Water of Affliction. Though thou canst not expiate for any of them, yet thou canst not look upon them without indignation, as Traytors against thy Life and thy Peace; thou canst not look upon thy self, without loathing and detestation; thou canst not look unto Christ, without shame and confusion, that one that he hath redeemed from so great a Misery, with so great a Price, to so great a nearness, as to be a member of himself, a partaker of his Spirit, a Co-heir of his Glory, should so un­worthily, so unthankfully, in his sight, dishonour his Head, and pollute himself. Thou canst not look upon what is past, without Repentance, nor upon what is to come, without a Resolution of more Vigilance, and keeping a better Guard upon thy self. And yet in the midst of all these thy per­plexed thoughts, thou canst not chuse but admire and bless that Mercy of Christ, that when thou de­niest him, looks back upon thee, as once on Peter, and with that look, sends in a Messenger, that makes thee go by thy self, and bewail thy Relapse; that leaves thee not to a course in sin, or to a death in sin, but gives thee a Cordial, which though it puts thee to pain, preserves thy Life; that though thou, like a foolish misguided Sheep, art stragling thou know­est not whither, yet seeks thee, and finds thee, and reduceth thee; that though thou canst so easily for­get him, yet he doth not forget thee; and when all is done, is contented to accept of that Repen­tance and that Sorrow which he himself gives thee, and washes away thy Spot by his own Blood, and [Page 412] looks upon thee with no less Tenderness, and Love, and Compassion, and Goodness, than if thou hadst never gone aside. ‘Ever blessed be thy Name, O merciful Lord God, that hast redeemed us from everlasting Death, and yet when we daily endanger our selves, dost rescue us by thy Grace; that when we sin, thou art pleased not to cast us off, but fetchest us in by Repentance; and when we repent, art pleased not to reject us, nor upbraid us with our former Falls, but accept us to Pardon and Favour; and blottest out our ini­quities for thy great Names sake: But let not thy Servants return any more to folly.’ Amen.

CHAP. XXVIII. Of the Parts of Sanctification, and 1. In refe­rence to our selves, Sobriety.

THE fourth thing considerable, are the Parts of that Sanctification, which is required of us. San­ctification is the Conformity of the whole Man to the Will of God concerning Man, concerning his Life and Conversation. And that Will of God respect­eth three Objects: Himself, our Neighbour, and our Selves. And accordingly the Duties which lie upon us in reference to these three, are shortly summed up by the Apostle, Tit. 2.11, 12. The grace of God that bringeth salvation, hath appeared to all men, teaching us, that denying ungodless and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously and godly in this present world. We have there the Old Man, that we are to put off, Ungodliness and Worldly Lusts, cast by S. John into these three Ranks, the Lusts of the Flesh, the Lusts of the Eyes, and Pride of Life, 1 John 2.16. whereof before. And we have that New Man, Ephes. 4.24. distributed into two parts, Righteousness and true Holiness; and here into three, parts, viz. Sobriety towards our selves, Righteousness towards others, and Godliness towards God: the two latter come distinctly under the Com­mands of the first and second Table of the Deca­logue, as those Commands receive their true and spiritual interpretation by Christ: the former, though virtually it be therein included; yet it is not expresly and directly:

1. In reference to our selves, Sobriety. This refers either to our Judgment or Estimation of our selves, [Page 414] or to the motions and inclinations of our sensual Appetites.

1. Sobriety in our Judgments; which is nothing else, but a just and true Estimate of our selves, Rom. 12.3. Not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think, but to think soberly, &c. Man doth naturally inordinate­ly love himself, and that love to himself doth mis­lead and inhance a Man's opinion of himself even by those things that are meerly extrinsecal to him: he thinks the better of himself by reason of his Wealth, though that be a thing distinct from him by Nature, and easily by any casualty severed from him; or by reason of Esteem or Honour, though that is such an accession, as depends meerly upon the Will of another; for if I withdraw that honour or respect, which I give to a Man, he is no longer honourable to me; and as I may do it, so may any, and so may all; and then he wholly ceaseth to be what he thought he was. And much more, Men are apt to have a high opini­on of themselves in respect of that, which seems most their own, as Strength, Beauty, Elocution, Wit, Knowledge: and the more intimate the Perfection is unto him, that hath it, the harder it is for that Man to be brought to that due estimation, that he should have of himself: that very Knowledge, which must be the ground of bringing him to a right estimation of himself, is ready to puff him up: and that con­cretion that ariseth from the over-estimation of a Man's self, and from his reflection upon that over-estimation, is Pride: and from this Pride arise those other distempers of the inward and outward Man: a proud look, despising the weaker or inferiour; Ar­rogance, lofty, and haughty Speech, Dan. 4.30. Is not this great Babylon, &c. Psal. 73.9 They set their mouth against Heaven, and their tongue walketh through the earth: Exod. 5.2. Who is the Lord, &c. a placing of a Man's self [Page 415] in God's room, and deifying himself; implacable­ness with any thing that checketh the full Fruition of his own Glory, though it seems never so in­considerable; the want of a Bowe from Mordecai, makes Haman sick of anger, and discontent, Esther and thus Pride is the foundation of Con­tention, Prov. 13.10. because it cannot endure the competition of any thing, that may allay the tu­mor, the foundation of envy; delight in flattery to feed and stroak that foolish Humour; excess in Stateliness, Distance, Apparel; singularity, and the like: All which are the Children of this Vanity. Now as this proceeds much from the mistake of our Judgment, or the want of the Exercise of it; so on the other side, when the judgment con­cerning a Mans self is rectified, it produceth a clean contrary effect in the Soul; the Man was mad before, out of his Wits, and his Carriage and Deportment was answerable thereunto; but now by this right understanding himself, he is sober, in his right Senses, and a sutable Deportment riseth thereupon: he looks upon his Wealth as a thing that is lent him, deposited with him only as a Steward, not as an Owner; as that which is uncertain, vanishing, subject to be ea­sily translated from him to another; as that which is external to him, which he may have and be a Fool, or a Man under a Curse; as that which will one day inhance his Account, not ease his Con­science; as that which he may not, it may be, keep whilst he lives, and is sure to lose when he dies; as that which may be his snare, his Temptation, can­not be his Felicity; as that which though never so excessive, gives no greater a Priviledge, than it gives his Servant that eats of it, but only the bare Name of being his own: He looks upon his Esteem, Re­putation, and Honour, in the World, as that which [Page 416] meerly depends upon his inferiors Benevolence, which thy may withdraw when they please; as that which is external also to him, may make him an Object of more Envy, Danger, and insecurity; that inga­geth to a great deal of vigilance to preserve it, and is often lost without desert, and yet the Man is the same: He looks upon his Power and Authority as a thing that is not in himself, but meerly in the Con­tribution of the strength of others, or their volun­tary denying it to themselves by a resolution of Non-resistance; as that which makes no real Ac­cession to him, but he is but what he was before he had it, and when he loseth it, will be what he was before he left it, in all points, save meerly out­side and vulgar opinion: He looks upon himself un­der the Beauty of his external Ornaments, as a little Clay drest up in Gallantry; that that may more justly make him proud that made it, than him that wears it; that alters not the Soul or Body that is under it, nor is become part of it: he looks upon his Strength or Beauty, or temperature of Body, as that which a few years will lay in the Dust, and the Worms will master it; as that which is not able to contest with the least Distemper, either within it, or without it; and yet the good that is in it while it lasts, is but a borrowed good: He looks upon his Knowledge, Ʋnderstanding and Wisdom, as that which is infinitely short of what it was, or what it might be; the most that we know being infinitely short of what we know not, and what we should know: that his increase of Knowledge is but an increase of his Account, an ag­gravation of those sins, which would be of lesser magnitude, had they not been committed against a greater Light; that the most of what we know, and that makes up the most of Men great in their own con­ceits, is that which will be utterly unuseful after this [Page 417] life: Of what use will those Volumes of Learning concerning Human Laws, Physicks, the Mathematicks, Natural Philosophy, and the Knowledge of the Con­temperation of mixt Bodies, be, when the Earth with the works thereof shall be burnt up? Political dispen­sations shall cease, either the things shall not continue, and so the knowledge of them be useless, or the truth shall be more compendiously and clearly discovered to us, and so the Labour to acquire them unnecessary: It looks upon the best practical Habits, or Actions it doth, as things that need an expiation, rather than deserving a reward; it finds in it self a little small Grain of Gold in them, but so covered and stifled with dross and filth, that that which is good, is scarce worth the accepting: Finally he looks upon nothing as his own, but the sin of his Nature that hath stained and polluted; the sin of his Life that makes him odious in the Presence of God; the sin of his Services, as that which adulterates and spoyls them: and whatsoever is useful or comfortable in his external Accessions, whatsoever is beautiful in his Body or Soul, he looks upon as anothers, not as his, and blesseth him for it; carries the glory to him, takes upon himself the shame and abhorrence of his own Deformities, and magnifies the patience of his Creator in sparing him, and his bounty in lending to him whatsoever of good he finds in himself, or a­ny way belonging to him: And out of this right and sober judgment concerning himself, and the reflecti­on of the mind thereupon, spring those Vertues of Humility, Meekness, Gentleness, Patience, Modera­tion, Contentedness, Thankfulness, Quietness, where­by a Man entertains all the Dispensations of God, with such a frame and Temper of Spirit, as he ex­pects: In thy addresses to God, it will teach thee Low­liness and Reverence, remembring thee of thy own [Page 418] Vileness, and his Perfection, and that infinite distance between thee, a Man, a sinful Man, and Him, the great and glorious God: Gen. 18.27. Now I have ta­ken upon me to speak unto the Lord, that am but Dust and Ashes: Luk. 18.13. the Publican standing a far off would not lift up his eyes to Heaven: In the midst of Blessings either of this Life or that to come, it will teach thee Admiration and Thankfulness, 2 Sam. 7.18. What am I, O Lord, and what is my Fathers house, that thou hast brought me hitherto? Psal. 8.4. When I consider the Heavens, &c. What is Man that thou art mindful of him? that a sinful Man that owes so much to God, and performs so little, should receive such Blessings, such Mercies, and such Boun­ty from the hand of an injured God.

In the midst of the severest Afflictions it will teach thee Patience, and Quietness of mind, and Conten­tedness, when the Soul shall sit down and consider it self, and justifie, yea and magnifie God in this very dealing with her: ‘O Lord, by that light that thou hast lent me, I do see my self, and therein be­hold nothing of my own but Deformity and Rebel­lion against thee, unthankfulness, and vileness; and now I eat but the Fruit of my own ways and thou art just when thou judgest. Nay, thou dealest not with me according to the severest Rule of Justice, thou hast punished me less than mine iniquities deserve: Ezra 9.13. I have forfeited all unto thee, but thou hast not taken all from me: I have deserved that thy whole fury should be poured out upon me, but thou hast afflicted me in measure: thou hast left me my life, thou hast left me my hope, thou hast left me some Light of thy Countenance, which is better than my Life; thou hast left me Liberty and Encouragement to pour out my Soul before thee, and dost entertain it: if thou hadst depri­ved [Page 419] me of all this, yet thou hadst not been unjust; and in that thou hast left me these, or any of these, or any other mercy, thou art gracious: Nay, more than all this, I find in that very thing, wherein thy hand lyeth heaviest upon me, a mercy, and that thou hast afflicted me in very faithfulness, Psal. 119.75. in love, Rev. 3.19. and for my profit and ad­vantage, Heb. 12.10. that I should not be condem­ned with the World, 1 Cor. 11.32. my heart be­gan to grow wanton, to be lingring too much af­ter the World, to be taken up too much with Va­nity, and things that must perish to me, and I to them: I began to grow confident upon my Wit, my Wealth, my Power; to grow negligent, cold, and careless, in my Duty to thee, in my Depen­dance upon thee, in my Obedience to thee: The Consolations of God, the Presence of my Saviour, my Life by Faith, my hope of Glory began to grow small unto me, Job 15.11. And this I plainly see was the state of my Soul: and therefore I desire to receive these thy Afflictions, not only as Punishments, but as Medicines, as Messages, as well of thy care of me, and thy mercy to me, as of thy Justice upon me, that they may not only be an exercise of my Patience, but an Object of my Thankfulness, of my Joyful­ness: that they may not only be a conviction of thy Detestation of my sin, but a pledge of thy Love to my Person: I shall therefore endeavour to bear thy hand as becomes me with Patience, because I deserve them; with Thankfulness, because they are moderate; and with Comfort, because they are thy Ministers, sent me for my good: and as I shall thus learn to entertain them, so I shall endeavour to use and improve them to that end thou sendest them, to take me off from the World, to bring me nearer to thee, that I may live more by Faith than [Page 420] Sense, and to make me more exact and watchful than before, Psal. 119.67. Before I was afflicted, I went astray, but now have I kept thy word: In the midst of thy Glory, Honour, Wealth, Preferment, Provocations from Men, Injuries and Scorns, it will keep thee from swelling, looking big upon thy infe­riours, or those that have Dependance upon thee, or use of thee: It will take thee off from Vain-Glory, Revenge, Envy, Disdain, and such like Distempers; all which proceed from a mis-understanding of a Mans self: It will make thee and keep thee meek, gentle, affable, easie to be intreated, long-suffering, pittiful; all which are the Fruits of the Spirit wrought in the heart, by this Sobriety or right judgment of our selves, Galat. 5.22. which our Sa­viour commended to all his Disciples, Matth. 18.1. by the condition of a little Child, wherein Pride is not grown up, though it be there in the Seed: for all these Distempers rise from an opinion of grea­ter worth, merit, or excellence, in a Mans self, than in another, which a sober Man, that hath a right judgment of himself, finds quite otherwise. And from this Sobriety arising upon a right judgment concerning our selves will arise a Behaviour, Carria­ges, and Speech answerable: it will be sutable to our Nature, and the Station, Condition, and occa­sion in or about which we are, not arrogant, giddy, haughty, light, vain; but humble, setled, grave, con­stant.

2. Sobriety in reference to our sensual Appetite, and those Passions or Motions which arise in refe­rence to it. As the first part of Religion consists in the Conformity and Subjection of our Reason to the Will and Truth of God; so the second part of it consists in the Conformity of our sensual Appetite to Reason, thus rectified: Now the sen­sual [Page 421] Appetite is divided in respect of her Objects and her motion towards them, into the Concupiscible, which is the Motion of the sensual Nature to those things, which tend to the Preservation of it self and kind by Desire: or the Irascible, which is the aver­sion from, or Motion of the sensual Nature against those things that are prejudicial, or so apprehended.

The Concupiscible Appetite is that Motion of Na­ture which tends to its own own Preservation, or to the Preservation of its kind, or those things that are in order to both, viz. Wealth and Power.

The First of these is the desire of Eating and Drink­ing, the Excess whereof is Luxury.

The Second is the desire of Propagation of the kind, the Excess whereof is Lust, or Wantonness.

The Third is the desire of those Supplies, which conduce to the supplying of both, viz. desire of Wealth, the excess whereof is Covetousness; and the desire of Power to defend our selves, the Ex­cess whereof is Ambition: and these I likewise place in the sensual Appetite, because they are in order to the immediate Objects thereof, and we find them, though not in so exact a degree, even in Beasts.

Concerning these somewhat hath formerly passed, therefore in general touching the two former we say,

1. That these natural inclinations or desires are in themselves good, and such as were planted in our Nature by the holy God, and such as are conduci­ble to good ends, viz. the Preservation and support of our Nature and Kind; and the Motions of our Nature are such as proceed from that Commission which God gave to the Creature, Gen. 1.28. Be fruitful, and multiply, and replenish the Earth, and Gen. 2.17. Of every tree of the Garden thou mayst freely e [...]t: [Page 422] both which Commissions were again renewed and enlarged, Gen. 9.13.

2. That we are not allowed only the use of those inclinations of our Nature for Necessity, but also for Delight, so as the Prescriptions here­aftermentioned be observed, Deut. 12.15. Thou mayst kill and eat flesh in all thy Gates whatsoever thy Soul lusteth after, according to the blessing of the Lord thy God, Deut. 28.47. Because thou servedst not God with joyful­ness and gladness of heart for the abundance of all things, &c. Prov. 5.18. Rejoyce with the Wife of thy youth.

3. The sin or obliquity that happens in these in­clinations of our Nature, or the use of them, is when they become inordinate Affections, viz. out of that due Order or Position that God hath placed them in us:

1. When either the Motion of these Appetites, or the exercise of them, is without a due Subordi­nation to Reason, which God hath placed in a su­perior Authority in Man above this Appetite: In bruit Beasts, their sensitive Appetite is their highest faculty, and it knows no other Moderator than that very Appetite that God hath placed in them: but in Man he hath placed a higher Nature, and therefore the actings of the sensitive Appetite with­out this Subordination to this higher Nature, is in truth in Man unnatural, and contrary to the Order and Course of Nature. This concerns us as we are Men.

2. When either this Motion, or the Actings of it, are contrary to the Mind and Will of God: for this ought to be the guide of our Reason, as that ought to be the guide of our Appetite. And this concerns us as we are Men enlightned with the Know­ledge, and quickned with the Love of God.

[Page 423]Now for want of these, the sins or obliquities that happen in our sensitive Appetites, are when they are acted either inconsiderately, immoderately, or un­seasonably.

1. Inconsiderately, when in the use of the Creatures, in reference to those inclinations of the sensitive Ap­petite, we consider not the End, for which we have them, nor use them in order to that End; to eat, be­cause we will eat, and not because we would be su­stained; or consider not the Hand from which we receive them, that we may use them thankfully; nor the Presence of Almighty God, who observes all our carriage in the use of his Blessings, that so we may use them soberly and reverently.

2. Immoderately: There is required of us a double Moderation in the use of this Faculty: 1. Modera­tion of our Affection to the Object: 2. Moderation in the use of the Object of our Appetite. The want of the former, robs God of that Affection, or mea­sure of Love, which we owe to him: When any thing is loved beyond the proportion or measure due to it, it must needs invade the Love a Man ows to God, and so places that Object in the place of God. Thus Covetousness becomes Idolatry, Ephes. 5.5. Gluttony becomes Idolatry; Whose God is their Belly: For that which hath the mastery of our Love, hath the command of the whole Man: and if my Love to the Objects of my sensual Appetite want that due subordination to the Love I owe to God, or exceed that due proportion that I owe to them; when any service I owe to God, or any office I owe to Man, comes in competition with the satisfaction of my sen­sual Appetite, I shall neglect the Duty I owe to God or Man. The want of the latter, is when we use them in such a measure, as is either beyond the convenience of our Nature, or beyond the conve­niency [Page 424] of our Condition: the former is Intempe­rance, and destroys the Body; the latter is Prodiga­lity or Profuseness, and wastes the Estate: the dis­pensation of God's Providence in Externals, ought to be the measure at least, beyond which, we must not go in the use of Meats and Drink. Again, under this Rule, is prohibited the making Provi­sion for the Flesh, exciting the Appetite beyond its natural disposition by Meats, Drinks, and Provo­cations.

3. Ʋnseasonably: This, though it exclude not the considerations of the places where, and Persons with whom we converse, yet it principally looks upon the time of our action, as that stands qualified or cir­cumstantiated. God hath allowed me a comfortable and liberal use of his Creatures, as well for Delight as Necessity; but use not that liberty upon these Seasons: 1. When God's Providence hath set a mark of Sadness upon the Season, Isa. 22.12. In that day did the Lord of hosts call to weeping and to mourning, and behold joy and gladness, &c. 2. When either God by his Word, or Civil or Ecclesiastical Constitutions or Customs, or thy own particular Dedication hath set apart a time for religious Abstinence or Duty: 3. When the ordinary occasions of thy Profession, Calling, or temporal Employment, permit it not without inconvenience to thy self or others.

In order to our sensual Appetite, are those Affe­ctions which are carried towards those things that are subservient thereunto: and these Affections we find in the Bruit Creatures: The Ants, a people not strong, yet gather they their meat in summer, Prov. 30.25. And from the same proceeds their desire of mastery one over another. As the former is for Provision for their Appetites, so the latter is for their Protection of that Provision, or themselves, in their acquiring [Page 425] a use of it: Answerable to which in Man are those two Desires, of Wealth, which we call Covetousness, and of Power, which we call Ambition. Neither of these but is conversant about those things, which are meerly useful, either for the Supplies of the sensual Appetite, or protection of those Supplies in us, or our Posterity.

Touching those Desires, we say, as of the former, that they are not in themselves unlawful: for as the Divine Dispensations hath appointed our natural Life to be supported and defended by these external Pro­visions; so he hath dispersed those supplies in the World, and given us Appetites to them, and ap­pointed means to acquire them: They are his Bles­sings, and we are commanded to be industrious in serving of the Divine Providence in the acquiring of these things, Deut. 8.18. It is he that giveth thee power to get wealth. Deut. 28.8, &c. He shall command the blessing upon thee in thy store-houses, he shall make thee plen­teous in goods, the Lord shall make thee the head, and not the tail. Prov. 6.6. the wise Man sendeth the Slug­gard to the Ant; and it pleased God oftentimes to give unto those, who were his sincere Servants, a great measure both of Wealth and Honour; and a lawful and sober Industry to acquire them is not only permit­ted, but commanded and injoyned: He that provideth not for his own house, is worse than an infidel.

The Errors concerning these Affections are as in the former,

1. Inconsiderateness in the prosecution and use of them: These things are not desirable for themselves, but in order to something else; and they are in them­selves more remote from our Nature than the imme­diate Objects of our Senses, and yet we are not to desire them for their own sakes, but in order to that End, for which that Desire is put into us, viz. the [Page 426] preservation of our Beings and Species: but Wealth and Honour, and the desire of it is therefore put in­to us, in order to those immediate Objects of our Sense: We are to desire Meats and drinks, in order to the preservation of our Lives: And we are to desire Wealth and Riches, in order to the supply of Meat and Drink: And as we are not in common Reason to make Eating the End of our Eating, so much less are we to make Wealth and Riches the End of our being Rich. It is more distant and remote from the necessity of my Nature to be rich, than to be fed; yet both are but instrumental, though in a different order, and therefore must be so desired and prosecuted. And as this consideration is to be in the gaining of Wealth, so it must be in the use of it: Solomon tells us of this Vanity, Eccles. 6.2. A Man to whom God hath given Riches, Wealth, and Honour, so that he wanteth nothing of all that his Soul desireth, yet God giveth him not power to eat thereof: As Ec­cles. 4.8. there was no end of his Labour, neither was his Eye satisfied with Riches in his pursuit of them, so he makes not that rational use of them for which they were given: he desired to be rich, be­cause he would be rich; and being arrived to his End, he cannot find in his Heart to employ them to those Ends, for which alone they are only valuable. And as this inconsiderateness of the End of them is to be avoided, so the want of consideration of the Author of them, which should carry up our Hearts with Thankfulness to the God, who giveth us power to get Wealth, who putteth down one, and setteth up another; and not to sacrifice to our own Nets, or magnifie our own Deservings or Wisdom; but to walk humbly, and thankfully, and soberly, as in the presence of that God, that hath made us Stewards, and but Stewards, of those Externals, and to em­ploy [Page 427] them in such a way as may be most agreeable to our Masters Will, most conducible to our Ma­sters Honour, and most becoming our Masters Pre­sence.

2. Immoderation, 1. In our Care for them: 2. In our Love to them; 3. In our Confidence in them.

1. In our Care: This proceeds from our Infidelity and Distrust of God's All-sufficience. When we con­sider not that the Dispensation of things convenient for our Life is in his hands, and that the accommo­dation of them to our use is from the Word or Com­mission that he gives them: Man lives not by bread only, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God: Matth. 4.4. It is from his hand that thou must expect thy Bread, and thy Clothing, Gen. 28.20. If God give me bread to eat, and raiment to put on: and it is from his Blessing and the Commission, which he gives to that Bread and that Raiment, that he gives thee, to be useful for thee, and accommodate to this Preservation. And this Solicitousness, Care, and Di­strust, our Saviour forbiddeth and convinceth, Matth. 6.25. Take no thought for your life; 52. for your heaven­ly Father knoweth you have need of these things: Thy Care is but a tormenting Care; it is but an unuseful and unprofitable Care: Thou canst not by thy Care add to thy own Stature: It is an impertinent Care, and a Care that belongs to another: thy heavenly Father knoweth thou hast need of all these things: he is thy Father, and therefore is willing to furnish thee with what shall be convenient for thee; and he is thy Heavenly Father, that wants not Power to do it: he can supply thee in the ordinary way of his Providence: and, if there be need, he can do it by the extraordinary work of his Power: he can command Water out of a dry Rock, as to the Israelites; or out of a dry Bone, as to Samson: he can give thee Bread [Page 428] from Heaven; he can feed Elijah by a Raven: and can extend the Widows Barrel of Meal and Cruise of Oyl, as large as the time and exigence of her Neces­sity. Save thy self therefore the trouble of an un­necessary Care, but commit thy way unto the Lord: Trust also in him, and he shall bring it to pass. Thy Care may rob thy self of thy quietness, and may rob thy God of his due; but it is thy Dependance only upon him, that can with ease and contentedness sup­ply thy wants: Diligence and Industry in that law­ful Employment, wherein his Providence hath pla­ced thee, is thy Duty, and therefore observe it: but Sollicitousness and Anxiousness is thy Sin, and therefore avoid it: Learn to obey him in what he commands; and learn to wait upon him in what he promises.

2. In our Love: Set not thy Heart upon thy Wealth, Psal. 62.10. nor make it thy Treasure: for if thou dost, it will be master of thy Heart; for where thy Treasure is, there will thy Heart be, Matth. 6.21. and if thy Heart be full of thy Wealth, there will be no room for thy God, Matth. 6.24. Ye cannot serve God and Mammon: and, If any Man love the world, the Love of the Father is not in him, 1 John 2.15. If the World have thy Love, it will command thy Service, and controll whatsoever opposeth that Command, and break through all those Fences which seem to bridle or hedge in the pursuit of that World, which thou so lovest: Hath God set apart a time for his own Ser­vice? thy love of the World will rob him of his own time, Amos 8.5. When shall the new moon be gone, that we may sell corn? and the sabbath, that we may set forth wheat? and in the day of his fast thou wilt exalt all thy labours, Isa. 58.3. Doth he require a portion of our Goods for his Service? thou wilt be ready to rob God of his Portion, Mal. 3.8. or deceive him [Page 429] in it, and sacrifice to the Lord a corrupt thing, Ma­lach. 1.14. Hath he set apart a peculiar place for his Worship? thou wilt be ready with Jeroboam, to set up Calves in Dan and Bethel, 1 Kings 12.26. to secure thy self in the enjoyment of thy temporol Advantage: Hath he imprinted his own Superscription and Image upon Man, with a strict prohibition of the viola­tion of that Image? Gen. 9.6. Yet if thou become one, that is greedy of Gain, it will prompt thee to take away the Life of the Owner, that thou mayest be his Successor, Prov. 1.19. & Job 31.39. It will make thee grind the faces of the Poor, sell them for a pair of old Shoes, set Justice to sale, sell thy Ma­ster with Judas, for a small inconsiderable Gain. And thus the Love of the World is the root of all evil: for as all the Good in Man, is the Conformity to the Will of God, so whatsoever interrupts this Conformity, must needs be an original of Evil: and this is done by the Love of the World, which makes a Man reject this Conformity, when it is inconsistent with that imperious Love of the World.

3. In our Confidence: And this is always a concomi­tant of our Love to them, and our Care for them: for these grow out of a mistaken over-valuation of them: and as that carries on our care for them, and love of them, so in the fruition of them upon this mistaken Estimate, grows a Confidence in them, Psal. 49.6. They trust in their wealth, and boast themselves in the multitude of their riches, Prov. 18.11. the rich man's wealth is his strong city, and as an high wall in his own conceit. And this was the ground of the rich Man's solacing himself in the Gospel: Thou hast enough laid up for many years, eat, drink and be merry. And from hence it is likewise, that Covetousness is Idolatry: for that is in truth thy God, upon which thou most trustest: if in a time of Prosperity thy Confidence is [Page 430] high, and built upon thy Power, or thy Wealth, or thy carnal Confederacies: and if in the dissipation of these, thy Soul dies within thee, and thy Hope is like the giving up of the Ghost, it is plain, the World is thy God; for thy Confidence doth rise and fall, and live and die with it. Therefore take heed of laying the weight of thy Confidence upon the World, Psal. 62. Trust not in oppression, &c. Power belongeth only to God. Prov. 11.14. Riches profit nothing in the day of wrath. 1 Tim. 6.17. Charge them that are rich in this world, that they be not high minded, nor trust in uncertain riches. If God give thee Wealth and Riches, look upon them as his Blessing, and look upon that good and usefulness that is in them, as that which comes not from themselves, but from the Blessing of God, and which he can when he please, withdraw from them; and then they will be so far from being a ground of Confidence, as that they will be thy snare, and occasion of thy ruine, and not a foundation of thy strength: Look upon them as things that cannot be­nefit thee in themselves whiles thou hast them, un­less he makes them instrumental, and as things which will not abide with thee, when he calls for thee or for them: for Riches make themselves wings and flee away, Prov. 23.5. If thou lean upon them, they are a Reed, and sink under thy Confidence, and a bro­ken Reed that will hurt thee in thy Dependance upon them: They will disappoint thy Confidence in them, and thy Confidence in them will pierce thee, Jer. 2.3, The Lord hath rejected these thy confidences, and thou shalt not prosper in them.

3. Ʋnseasonableness: 1. In thy Order of seeking of them: seek them not in the first place; but seek first that one thing which is necessary: It is not necessary for thee to be rich, but it is necessary for thee to be saved. L [...]t that which is of thy greatest Concernment, [Page 431] be the subject of thy first Endeavour, Matth. 6.33. Seek first the kingdom of God, and the righteousness thereof, and all these things shall he added unto you. Thou hast but a short time here, and upon the improvement of that little span of time, depends thine everlasting condition of Happiness or Misery. And if thou imploy the first-fruits of thy Life in the gain of this World, which will certainly die with thee, if not before thee, who can tell, if thou shalt have time enough left for the great Business of thy Soul? or if thou hast, who can tell, whether that deceitful World, which hath rob­bed thee of that time, which was due to anothers Business, may not with much more ease harden thy Heart, and take up the whole time of thy Life, though thou shouldest live many ages? But if thou devote the first and choicest of thy endeavours to thy great Concernment, grant that the residue of thy Life be not sufficient for thy Provisions for thy self, or thy Posterity in this World, thy exchange is hap­py, thou hast secured an everlasting weight of Glory, a Kingdom immortal and undefiled, that fadeth not away, in that time wherein perhaps thou mightest, or it may be thou mightest not, have gotten some small temporal Provision, which by this time thou art ready to leave, and thy immortal Soul left in an anxious, unsatisfied, unsafe Condition. But this is not all; though the gain of Eternity would infinitely over-weigh the loss of those Temporals, which it may be in this time, thou mightest have gotten; yet thou must know, thou servest such a Master, that whilst thou obeyest him in seeking thy chiefest good in the chief­est place, will not only give thee that Eternity which thou thus seekest, but will add unto thee the things of this Life, which yet thou neglectest: And whiles he gives thee that great and everlasting Treasure, which he commands thee to seek, will not deprive thee of [Page 432] the Conveniences of this World, though thou seekest them not, All these things shall be added unto you. And here learn a compendious and safe way of getting the external Conveniences of the World; if thou labour first to be rich, thou mayest lose thy labour, and miss of being what thou labourest to be; but thou art sure, or, at least, likely to miss of being happy: but if thou first endeavour after Peace with God in Christ, thou art sure to attain Blessedness hereafter, and shalt not want a conveni­ent Competency here.

2. As in the Order, so in the Seasons or Times of seeking after Wealth, when a Man shall encroach upon those times, which either by the Command or Dispensation of God, or thy own voluntary Conse­crations, are dedicated to the service of God, or of his Neighbour. It were but equal, if he that is the Lord of our Times and of our Lives, should require all our Time in his own immediate Service: but when he allows us unto our own occasions, the greatest part of our time, wherein we may do all that we have to do, and requires a small portion of our time for his immediate service, and that also for our own ever­lasting advantage, it is the highest sacriledge to God, and injury to our selves, to steal that from him, which, while we do it, we rob our selves. I thank God, I ever found, that in the strictest observation of the times of his Worship, I ever met with the best Advan­tage to my worldly Occasions, and that when ever my worldly Occasions incroached upon those times, I ever met with disappointment, though in things of the most hopeful and probable success. And ever let it be so with me: It hath been, and ever shall be to me, a Conviction beyond all Argument and Demonstration whatsoever, That God expects the observation of his Times, and that whilst I find my self thus dealt with, [Page 433] God hath not given over his care of me. It would be a sad presage unto me, of the severe anger of my Maker, if my inadvertence should cast me upon a temporal Undertaking upon his Day, and that it should prosper. The End of Wealth, is to supply the Exigence of our Nature in Food and Raiment: and when God did in an extraordinary way supply the latter, without the assistance of the former, to the Israelites by Manna, the seventh Day was without Manna; and the sixth Day supplied that defect with a double proportion, Exod. 16.29. And I shall ne­ver doubt, but the same Providence will in the six days of the Week, improve my Endeavours, one in seven, though I rest upon a seventh day from my own Occasions; for, The earth is the Lords, and the fulness thereof, and it is he that gives power to get Wealth, Isa. 58.13. If thou turn thy foot from the sab­batb, from doing thy pleasure upon my holy day, and call the sabbath a delight, the holy of the Lord, honourable, and shalt honour him, not doing thine own ways, nor find­ing thine own pleasure, nor speaking thine own words, then shalt thou delight thy self in the Lord, and I will cause thee to ride upon the high places of the earth, and feed thee with the heritage of Jacob thy father, for the mouth of the Lord hath spoken it. ‘Blessed Lord, that requires but a portion of our time, and that also for our own advantage; and whilst thou thereby dost improve our everlasting Blessedness, thou dost not deny our temporal Benefit, but dost make even that por­tion of time that we spend in thy service, an im­provement of the rest of our time for our temporal Advantage.’

And what we say concerning that portion of our time, which we sequester to God from our out­ward Occasions, the same we may say concerning [Page 434] that portion of our Wealth or Estate, which we give either to his service, or by his command: When thou denyest either, thou mayest look for much, and it may come to little: when thou bringest it home, he will blow upon it, Haggai 1.9. That which is detained from works of Piety or Charity, will eat holes in thy Bag, and let out it self and the rest; which had it been daily bestowed, it would have preserved the rest, and returned with increase, Malachi 3.10. Bring all the tithes into the store-house, that there may be meat in my house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts; if I will not open unto you the windows of heaven, and pour out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it, Prov. 28.27. He that giveth to the poor, shall not lack, Prov. 19.17. He that hath pit [...] on the poor, lendeth unto the Lord, and that which he hath given, will he pay him again. Thou owest all thou hast to thy Maker, and if thou shouldest give him all thou hast, thou givest him but his own, 1 Chron. 29.14. He calls to thee but for a part of what he hath lent thee, and yet he is pleased so far to accept thy chearful obedience herein, that he is pleased to become thy debtor, even for that which thou owest him: This is thy honour, and this will be thy profit: thou shalt receive thy Loan with advantage: I can safely, and without vanity say, I have hitherto found this Truth exactly fulfilled: In those Weeks and Years where­in I have thus sowed sparingly, I have even in Tem­porals, reaped sparingly: and I ever found, when my hand was most liberal, I never lost by it, but found a return an hundred fold more than my ex­pence: And the Bread that I have thus cast upon the Waters, I found it within a few days. God forbid, that I should look upon it as the merit of my Charity, for it was his own; or that I should [Page 435] be therefore charitable, because I expected a tem­poral Reward; for I have therein but done my duty, and am therein an unprofitable Servant: But I bless God, that hath made good this Truth of his, even to my sensible and frequent Experience.

CHAP. XXIX. Of Sanctification in reference to our Neighbour, viz. Righteousness, the Habit and Rule of it.

2. THE second general, wherein our Sanctifica­tion consists, is Righteousness, viz. that just temperature of Mind, and consequently of our Con­versation that respecteth other Men: Herein we will consider, 1. The Habit it self, or habitual Righte­ousness. 2. The Rule of it. 3. The Parts of it.

1. The Habit it self: it is a frame and temper of Mind arising from the Love of God, to give every Man his due, according to the Will of God. The great Duty that the Creature owes to his Creator, is Love: Thou shalt love the Lord with all thy Heart: and this as hath been shewn, is the first and great Com­mandment, and the first and most natural Duty and Bond that can be: the Consequence of this Love, is the doing all the good we can unto him, and for him, from whom we receive our Being: now all the good we can do him, is but to please him, to be conformable to his Will; for it is impossible, that any thing can contribute any thing to him, that is infinitely full: all the good we can do him therefore, and all the expressions of our Love, consists in this, [Page 436] viz. A free subjection and obedience to his Will. And because we find this Righteousness, and Justice, and Love to our Neighbour, is commanded by him, and is evidenced to his Will, both by that natural inclination that he hath put in us, by the dispensa­tion of his Providence, whereby he makes every Man useful and beneficial to another in this way of mutual Justice, and by his written Word, whereby he expresly requires it; this Cardinal and fundamen­tal motion of the Soul, viz. the Love of God, doth presently conclude, that since that great God to whom I owe my self, and all my Love, and all my Obedience, requires this duty at my hands, though I could see no reason for it, I would presently sub­mit unto much more, when there is so much reason for it, as indeed God doth not require my Obedi­ence in any thing, but if it be well considered, is most admirably consonant to sound Reason, and to my own advantage; Deut. 4.6. Keep therefore, and do them, for this is your wisdom and your understanding in the sight of the nations: so that the foundation of ha­bitual Righteousness is Love to God; the Conse­quence of that Love to God is a rational, universal, and voluntary Obedience to his Will and Com­mand; the Command of God, next to Love to himself, is to love our Neighbours; the expression of that Love is in acts of Righteousness and Justice to them: hence it is called the second great Com­mandment, the great Injunction that Christ gave to his followers, the fulfilling of the whole Law.

2 The Rule of Righteousness: In our original Con­dition, God gave unto Man a Rule of Righteous­ness by the immediate impression and revelation of his own Mind unto him, and inclination to submit [...]to it. And this, although it was much defaced, [Page 437] yet was not wholly taken away by his Fall. So much was by the Divine Providence conveyed from Man to Man as left the Offender without excuse. But as the River ran farther from the Fountain; so it became more foul and polluted, the sins of Men contesting with, and corrupting by degrees that tra­ditional Righteousness, which was derived from Man to Man: But the merciful God was pleased, as the sins and corruptions of Mankind did make breaches into this Rule of Righteousness, and corrupted the manners of Men; so he was pleased in the ways of his Providence, to repair it in some measure in all Ages, raising up Prophets and Preachers of Righteousness, as Noah was to the old World, exciting, and by his power­ful and wise Spirit, enabling Men to make Laws and Constitutions in States and Kingdoms, which though they were not of his own immediate dictating, yet he attributes too little to the Wisdom and Provi­dence of God, that doth attribute the inventing and composing of those useful and righteous Laws, even among the Heathen, to the meer Wisdom and dis­covery of Men; when he himself leads us up unto himself, even in the low Projections of the Plow­man, Isa. 38.26. For his God doth instruct him to discre­tion, and doth teach him. It is true, that there is a kind of natural Consonancy of the Rules of Justice and Righteousness to the well being of Men, and Socie­ties of Men; as is most evident, both where that Ju­stice is, and where it is not; and by the observation of the now aged World, and of the success and mo­tions of Mankind, much may be collected both of the Necessity of Righteousness▪ and of the Parts and Particulars wherein it consists: But God yet more careful of his Creature, hath not left us to our own Collections, wherein the varieties of Man­ners, [Page 438] the growth of Sin and Corruptions, and our own Blindness may deceive us, or perplex us, but hath given us a written Rule of Righteousness, the Word of the Old and New Testaments. He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good, Micah 6.8. Deute­ronom. 30.14. The word is very nigh thee, in thy mouth, and in thy heart, that thou mayest do it: Now the Word of God is considerable as a Rule of Righte­ousness,

1. Absolutely, and in it self: and therein it is considerable, how the Law Moral, Ceremonial, and Judicial alone, or joyned with the Expositions and Counsels of the Gospel, are a Rule of Righte­ousness.

2. Relatively: and thus the Word of God sends us to two other, but subordinate Rules:

1. Subjection to Humane Laws: Be obedient to every Ordinance of Man for Conscience sake, 1. Pet. 2.13.

2. Conscience in that great Rule, Whatsoever ye would that men should do unto you, that do you unto them.

1. The first Consideration: the Scripture, as it is the Rule of all Divine Truth, so it is a perfect Rule of Righteousness, both towards God and Man, 2 Tim 3.16. All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for corre­ction, for instruction in Righteousness, that the man of God may be perfect, throughly furnished to every good work. There wants nothing in the Rule to acquire Perfection, though by reason of the defect in the subject, it cannot be attained.

1. The Law of God is a Rule of Righteous­ness, viz. the Moral Law. It is true, in these two [...]derations, the Law is not binding to the [...] since the coming of Christ, to the [...]

[Page 439]1. It is not binding to the Gentiles as a Covenant: for so it was in a particular manner given to the Jews, and not to the Gentiles. The External Co­venant on the Peoples part, was an Obedience to the whole Law, given by Moses; the Covenant on God's part, was to be their God, and bless them. And this, as it was never a Covenant between God and other Nations, till incorporated into that Society, so also as a Covenant, it was abrogated by Christ, who came to make a New Covenant between God and Man; New, not in the purpose of God, for it was his purpose from all Eternity; nor yet in the Substance and Efficacy of it, for the whole Frame of the Law, and of all those Cere­monies, were in order to Christ, and the Obedi­ence to them, received their acception in him; but New in the manner of the exhibition, the Substance it self was unvailed, viz. Christ, the manner of partaking of his Benefit, more clearly discover­ed, viz. Faith: so then the substantial Covenant with the Jews under the Law, and since the coming of Christ, is one and the same, Christ Jesus; the manner of the exhibition or external manifestation thereof under the Law, was as a Covenant of Works, which is since rather expired, than abo­lished, for the prefixed time, which God in his Wisdom and Providence had pre-determined, expi­red by the promulgation of that substantial Sacrifice, Christ Jesus.

2. The Moral Law, as it was promulged and given to that People, doth not bind farther than any o­ther part of the Judicial or Ceremonial Law: and therefore extends not farther than the Jewish Com­monwealth: But as that Law so promulged, did in­clude that Natural Rectitude, which was once given [Page 440] unto all Mankind, so it binds us, and is a Rule of Righteousness to us: and though that enacting of it among the Jews, is not the formal cause of its Ob­ligation upon us Gentiles; yet it doth serve as a pro­mulgation or manifestation of it, and leaves even that part of the Gentiles, unto whom it came, more unexcusable in its disobedience, because by a Re­velation from Heaven, and by the Dispensation of his Providence, it is most clearly manifested unto them.

So then questionless, the Moral Law, though gi­ven to the Jews, is a Rule of Righteousness to all, because it contains those Precepts, that are naturally and intrinsecally Good, and Right, and Just for all Men to observe. And though Christ came to take it away, as a Covenant of Works, and consequent­ly, the condemning power of it, which was the Enmity, Ephes. 2.17. yet he came not to take it away, as a Rule of Righteousness: Thus Heaven and Earth shall first pass away, before one jot, or tittle of the Law shall pass away, Matth. 5.18. And we see plainly that the Saviour of the World, his Prescriptions of Holiness, doth not only rein­force the Law, but superadds a more spiritual, pure, and high Observation, than the Letter it self in­joyns, Matth. 5. He came to abolish the Ceremo­nies of the Law, not as things unholy in their In­stitution, but as useless, because the Substance was come: He came to take away the Curse of the Law from such as believe, by satisfying for it; and the Condemning Power of the Law, in case of de­fault of an exact Obedience by fulfilling it for us: But he took it not away, as a Rule to guide us; for thus the Apostle witnesseth to it, Rom. 7.12. that it is Holy, Just, and Good; and disobedience to it, [Page 441] is a mortal sin in it self, though by the Satisfaction of Christ, it is become not deadly to them: Every Sin we commit against this Righteous Rule, even after our Conversion, requires the Blood of the Son of God to wash it away, otherwise it were deadly. We have a double Obligation to the Mo­ral Law, as a Rule of our Obedience, 1. As it is a Rule of natural Justice: 2. As it is inforced, and as it were re-enacted by the Command of our Saviour.

Now as touching the Ceremonial Law, though in particular, and the matter of it, it be so far from a Rule of Righteousness to us, that it were an act of highest injury to our Saviour, to practise it, yet there wants not an use of it, especially amongst others in these particulars: 1. That an exact precise Obedi­ence is required where God commands, though we see not, it may be, the particular Reason: the very Snuffers, and Coverings, and Times, and all other Circumstances must be exactly observed. When God commands, there is no disputing of, or varying from his Injunctions: 2. That in all our approaches to the most holy God, we must endeavour to bring our Consciences, and Hearts, and Lives as clean as may be: he is a holy God, and will be sanctified by all them that draw near to him: And this was meant by their washings, and purifyings, and clean­sings in cases of even natural defilements. 3. That he is a God that is pleased with Order, Decency, and Comeliness in his Service, so as it be agreeable to his own Word and Will, without Idolatrous Su­perstitions or Will-worship.

And as to the Judicial Law, though in the Letter of it, it was the Law for that People, yet it doth doth contain an exemplary Wisdom and Justice▪ so [Page 442] that these Laws, that were not particularly fitted for that Nation, and the Circumstances of their Condition, may be Examples and Patterns for the Laws of other States; and do include a great deal of natural Justice and Righteousness; yet the express Text of the Ju­dicial Law, did not serve in all cases emergent in that Common-Wealth, especially concerning translations of Properties and Interest. And in these the Civil Magistrate did determine according to the Rules of natural Justice and Convenience of the Common-Wealth, and by the extraordinary direction and assi­stance of God, vide Exod. 18.26.

And as thus the Laws of the Jews, contained Rules and Directions in Natural Justice between Man and Man; so the sacred History, the Directions of the Prophets, supply us with farther manifestation of the Will of God in the matters of Justice between Man and Man: and do enforce them home upon the Conscience. When we see that great observation the Almighty God takes of the just or unjust Con­versation of Men by his imminent Judgments and Re­wards, which we find in the sacred History, attend­ing either practice, whereby he owns even Civil Justice to be as it were his Creature, and doth Pa­tronize and maintain it: such were his Animadver­sions upon breach of Covenant with the Gibeonites, 2 Sam. 21. upon Murder and Oppression in Ahab, and in his House, 1 Kings 21.19. upon Cruelty and Ambition in the Posterity of Jehu, Hos. 1.4. of Adul­tery and Murder in David, 2 Sam. 11. with divers other instances of the like kind, do practically con­vince that Righteousness between Man and Man, is a thing required, asserted, maintained, and the breach thereof avenged by the hand of God himself, when the Potency of the Offenders seem to exempt them [Page 443] from his instrumental Vindication, exercised by Men in an ordinary course of Justice.

The Gospel contains a most excellent Rule of Righ­teousness: 1. In the Example of Christ, one of whose Ends in assuming of our Flesh, was to exhibit him­self a Pattern of Holiness towards God, and Righte­ousness towards Man. And thus the History of our Saviour's Life is a Rule of Righteousness in his Meekness, Matth. 11.29. Learn of me, for I am meek: in his Humility, Philip. 2.5. Let the same mind be in you, as was in Christ Jesus, &c. in his Patience under Affliction or Persecution, 1 Pet. 2.11, 12, 13. Because Christ hath also suffered for us, leaving us an example; who when he was reviled, reviled not, &c. in Offices of Love and Charity towards our Brethren, John 13.14, 15. For I have given you an example, that ye should do as I have done: in love and tenderness towards others, Ephes. 5.12. Be ye followers of God as dear children, and walk in love, as Christ also hath loved us, &c. in Obe­dience to Parents, to Magistrates, in Liberality, in Compassion, in sweetness of Conversation; in a word, we may in his Life, find not only that ex­ternal Conformity to the Divine Law, that God re­quires of us; but also a radical, habitual frame of Mind and Life in all Vertue: so that we may plainly see in the comparing of his Life, with these Aposto­lical Precepts and Directions contained in the Epistles, that the former was as it were the Text, and the latter, but Collections, or Animadversions upon it, turning the practice of his Life into Precepts, and concluding what we ought to be, by observing what he was and did. God intending to re-instamp his Image upon Man, did send his Son, the Image of the invisible God, as a Seal into the World, to im­print upon his Followers the Image of God, which [Page 444] consisted in Righteousness and true Holiness. As in our Conformity to the Life of Christ, consists our Righteousness here; so shall our Glory be hereafter, for we know, that when he shall appear, we shall be like him.

2. As thus the History of Christ contains a Rule and Pattern of Righteousness, so do the Precepts and Counsels of the Gospel contain a Rule of Righteous­ness, and that more excellent than the Law: and that especially in these particulars:

1. In that it teacheth and infuseth the true Prin­ciple of all Righteousness, by shewing us the Love of God to us, and therewith commandeth, and there­by begetteth Love to God again; and in that Love, and from it, doth teach and enable us to all the Duties of Righteousness towards Men; it discover­eth a greater and higher act of God's Love to us, than the Law did, because it discovers his Gifts of Christ unto us, and with, and in him all things: and it doth more distinctly inform us in that Principle of Righteousness in, and from the Love of God.

2. It discovers more effectual Motives and Incite­ments unto this and all other duties, in respect of our selves: The Law, having a shadow of good things to come, did inforce its Obedience, by Promises of Temporal Advantages, and Threatnings of Tempo­ral Punishments; but the Promises of the Gospel and its Threatnings are of a higher and more operative nature, viz. Eternal Life and Eternal Wrath.

3. It doth improve the Commands and Prohibi­tions of the Law to its proper, yet spiritual and sub­lime Sense: for the Commands or Prohibitions of the Law, seemed to respect more principally the out­ward Act; and though in truth it looked farther, for the Law in spiritual, yet the extent of it was not so [Page 445] clearly evidenced, till our Saviours Divine Comment upon it, Matth. 5.

4. It doth superadd many Precepts, not only of Righteousness towards God, but even of Righte­ousness towards Man, that were not contained, or at least, not so explicitly and positively as in the Gospel: such are Works of Mercy and Com­passion, Patience in Persecution, Liberality towards others, loving our Enemies, abstinence from Re­venge, Gentleness, Moderation, and right placing of our Affections, contempt of the World, Humi­lity, and the like. These, though we find them com­mended in the passages of the Prophets and Psalms; yet they are not so distinctly delivered, nor so bind­ing, and peremptorily injoyned, till we come to the Doctrine of Christ and his Apostles, who have put an equal necessity upon his Disciples to observe these, as those other Injunctions of the mere Law. The Pharisees, whose exact and rigid obedience to the Commands of the Law, was their study and pra­ctice, yet our Saviour tells his Disciples, That except their Righteousness exceed that of the Scribes and Pha­risees, they can in no wise be his Disciples, nor enter in­to Heaven, Matth. 5.20. Now this exceeding of their Righteousness consisted in this, that is before observed: 1. In an Obedience to the Commands of the Law in the spiritual intention and application of it: 2. In the practice of those Vertues, which came not under the Letter of the Law, unto which he had before annex­ed his Beatitudes; Poverty of Spirit, Mourning, Meekness, Hungring after Righteousness, Purity, Peace-making, Patience in Persecution. And in these four Particulars, especially the Rule of Righteousness contained in the Gospel, I cannot say exceeded the Law, but exceeded the manner or clearness of the mani­festation [Page 446] of the Law; it having been the method of Almighty God ever since the Fall of Man, to make several steps of discoveries of his mind unto Man, and the latter, to contain a more eminent degree of Light than the former: in Abraham and the Patriarchs was one step, in the Law, a second, in the coming of Christ in the Flesh, a third, and in the sending of the Holy Ghost, a fourth: and yet all contained one and the same truth, but different degrees of manifestation.

And as in these Particulars, the Rule of Righteous­ness contained in the New Testament, was more clear and excellent than that of the Law, so in the same and other respects, it infinitely outgoes all the Rules and Dictates of Righteousness contained in the Philosophers, whose Rules were Traditions, which God by his Providence conveyed from Age to Age, for the ordering and governing of Mankind, and those improved by the Wisdom, and severe and polished Judgments of Men, to whom God had given a great measure of Reason and Truth, to whom he gave so much Light, as might leave the World unexcusable in their disobedience, yet reserved so much from them as might glorifie his Son to be one that was a Teacher sent from God, and none taught like him.

CHAP. XXX. Of the general Precepts of Righteousness given by Christ: and 1. Loving our Neighbour as our self.

NOW as in our Duty towards God, Christ doth not only deliver unto us many special and par­ticular Duties, but also delivers some short general Precepts, which are easie to be remembred, and do include our whole Duty to God: As that of Matth. 22.37. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, &c. so in the matters of Righteousness and Justice towards Men, he doth not only deliver some special and explicite Duties, but hath given us some general Precepts, from whence a good Conscience may easily deduce Conclusions applicable to every particular Action and Occasion of our Lives in re­ference to others: These are principally two, viz. that of Matth. 22.39. taken out of Leviticus 19.18. and again enforced by the Apostle, Rom. 3.9. Thou shalt love thy neighbour as thy self: and that other, which is but a repetition of the former in different words, Matth. 7.12. Therefore all things whatsoever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them, for this is the Law and the Prophets: It is a certain Rule, and easily applicable to every Action of our Lives: because if a Man will not wilfully blind himself▪ he is able to judge whether the Action he now doth or resolveth, [Page 448] be such as he would be contented should be done to him, were the Persons and conditions changed.

And because these two great Rules are the best and clearest direction of our Consciences, and the Conscience is not regular, where it is not confor­mable to these Rules, we shall examine them more particularly.

Then as to the first, Thou shalt love thy Neighbour as thy self, wherein we must take this word Neighbour, as our Saviour himself expounds it, that it includes every Person, of what Relation, or Condition soever, though a Person is my Enemy, therefore Matth. 5.43. our Saviour confutes that false Gloss of the Jewish Masters, that did contradistinguish a Neigh­bour to an Enemy, and tells us, that an Enemy is to be the Object of our Love and Beneficence, Luke 10.33. a Jew and a Samaritane, between whom there was not only a kind of civil and national Enmity, but an Hatred grounded upon difference in Religion, in so much, that the Jews could not use a more bit­ter reproach against our Saviour, than to stile him a Samaritan, John 8.48. yet these were within the comprehension of this Command: So that whatso­ever he be, whether knit unto me in any relation, or not, nay, though extreamly contrary unto me either in civil Enmity, or in Religion, yet such a Person is the subject of this Command. This being premised, these things are evidently consequent upon this Command:

  • 1. That every Man is bound to love himself:
  • 2. That every Man is bound to love another, as he loves himself.

[Page 449]1. Concerning the former, it is certainly a Duty; and if it were not, a Man might easily elude this Precept: for if I might hate my self, the rule and measure of my Love to my Neighbour were lost; therefore a Love to my self, is implicitly injoyned in this Precept of our Saviour, as well as in the Inclination of Nature, Ephes 5.29. No man ever hated his own flesh: but the Errors of Self-love are that which our Saviour elsewhere so often reproves:

1. When a Man mistakes, and esteems that him­self, which indeed is not; when a Man takes that for an Eye, or a Hand, or a Foot, viz. parts of himself, which indeed are not, Matth. 5.29. When a Man shall make the lust of his Eye, as dear as his Eye; and the corruption of his Hand, as dear as his Hand: to these our Saviour commands cruelty to be shewn, to be cut off, and pulled out: when a Man shall mistake that old Man that is in him, to be him­self, which is to be put off and crucified, Ephes. 4.22. and shall take those to be members of himself, which are members of the old Man, which are not to be loved, but mortified, Colos. 3.5. Such is the disorder and corruption of our Nature, that we esteem our Sins and Lusts to be part of our Essentials, and thereby misplace our Love upon them, in stead of our selves. And this is a Self Love forbidden; nay, they are our only Enemies, Enemies that fight against our Souls.

2. When our Love, though it be partly right placed, yet it is either beyond the due measure and proportion, or doth not take in our whole Selves: Every one is bound by the Laws of God and Na­ture, to love his own Flesh; but he that so loveth his own Flesh, that he neglects his Soul, he loves not his whole self, and consequently, hath indeed [Page 450] less love for himself than he should have. Thus he that loseth his Life, shall save it: That Man that for the ad­vantage of a temporal Life, much less for the ad­vantage of some temporal Profit or Pleasure, shall hazard his everlasting Soul, loves himself less than he should; because he prefers the temporary advantage of his worse part before the eternal advantage of his better part.

3. When Love to a Man's self wants the due subordination to our Love to God. The Good that is in God is infinite, and the Good that we receive from him, is the highest Good we are capable of: for our Being, which is our Capacity to receive any Good, and all the Comforts, Benefits and Conve­niences that fill up that Capacity, we receive from him; and therefore our Love to him, ought to take up the whole Compass and Capacity of our Soul. Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy Soul, and with all thy might, the first and great Commandment, Matth. 22.37. And as the Being of the Creature is a dependant Being, so his own Love to himself, ought to be a subordinate Love to him, upon whom it hath his dependance, Luke 26.14. If any man come to me, and hate not his fa­ther, &c. yea, and his own life, he cannot be my disciple. Yet such is the wonderful Bounty and Wisdom of the Will of God, that in Conformity thereunto, a man exactly conforms to his own Happiness. Our highest and most universal Love to God, is joyned with a true and exact Love to our selves; for he hath conjoyned the Happiness of the Creature with the Duty to himself: Both which we find, Matth. 16.25. Whosoever will lose his life for my sake, shall find it. It may so happen, that thy Love to thy Saviour may not consist with thy external Honour, Wealth, or Peace, nay not [Page 451] with the enjoyment of thy own Life; but it shall ever consist with the life and blessedness of thy Soul unto all Eternity; and what can be an exchange equiva­lent to thy immortal Soul? Thus whilst thou hatest thy Life, when the Love and Duty, thou owest to God, calls for it, thou dost at once perform a double duty, of Love to God, and Love to thy self.

2. From hence it appears, that in the relation be­tween my Neighbour and my self, there is a priority of Love due to my self, to that Love I owe to my Neighbour: for the Love to my self is presupposed, and made the Rule of that Love I owe to my Neighbour: therefore in an equality of Concern­ment to my self and my Neighbour, I am to prefer my self; as if this unhappy Necessity should lie upon me, either to preserve my own Life, or that my Neighbour must lose his, and that without my fault; I may, I must prefer the saving of my own Life: But where there is an inequality of Concernment, there the difficulty is great to discover the measure of my Duty to my Neighbour: de quibus infrá.

3. From hence it is evident, that I am bound to love my Neighbour. This is evident, and it is that great Command of the New Testament, 1 John 4.20.

4. From hence it is evident, and it is the sco [...] and substance of the Command, that we must love our Neighbour as our selves: Now this word as, im­ports Equality: therefore it is considerable, how far this Equality of Love to our Neighbour as to our selves, is to be extended:

1. Our Love to our Neighbour, must be of equal Sincerity and Integrity, with that Love a Man bears to himself: A Man loves himself sincerely, he doth not pretend, or bear a dissembled Love to himself, but it is in good earnest, and with his Heart: I must [Page 452] love my Neighbour as truly, as I love my self. This is an Equality of Nature or Essence.

2. Our Love to our Neighbour, must be of the same order or method as our Love to our selves: As we are to prefer our chiefest Good, before our tem­poral Good; and the good of our Souls, before that of our Bodies: so we ought to hold the same order in the Love we shew to our Neighbour, Levit. 19.17. Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart, but shalt reprove him. There is sometimes a merciful Cruelty to be shewn to our Brother, pulling him out of the Fire, and holds resemblance to the Love of God to us, that reproves, that he may not strike; and strikes, that he may not destroy. And this is an Equality of Order.

3. But an Equality of Degree is not required, as it seems, and as is before touched: But though in an Equality we may prefer our selves, yet when there is a disproportion, there in many cases our Neighbour's Good is to be preferred before our own:

1. The salvation of our Neighbour's Soul is to be preferred before the preservation of our own tem­poral Life: much more ought we to deny our selves in those things, which are onely useful or pleasing to our Sense, if the salvation of anothers Soul is concerned in it. And this was that which was meant, 1 Cor. 10.24. 1 Cor. 8.13. Rom. 14.21. If meat make my brother offend, I will eat no flesh while the world standeth, lest I make my brother offend. And as our Saviour laid down his natural Life, to redeem our everlasting Souls from an eternal Death; so hath he lef [...] the same for an Example and a Command to us, John 13.34. A new command I give unto you, that ye [...] one another, as I have loved you: He had before [Page 453] commanded us, that we should love our Neighbour as our selves: and because we might take out that Lesson by his Example: Christ, the Son of God, who had all perfection in himself, and consequently did, and must love himself; yet preferred the salva­tion of our Souls, before the preservation of his na­tural Life, to be in this an Example to us, that if the exigence of the salvation of my Brother's Soul could not consist with the preservation of my own Life, I am bound to lay down that Life of mine, rather than his Soul should be lost, 1 John 3.16. Here­by perceive we the love of God, because he laid down his life for us, and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

2. We are by vertue of this Precept, to prefer the preservation of our Neighbours temporal Life, which otherwise would inevitably happen, before our own Safety, the hazard whereof, may possibly, but not necessarily endanger our own. This, among other Examples, is evidenced in the Example of Esther, Esther 4.16. A Decree was passed for the Massacre of the Jews, which would necessarily have ensued, if there were not a speedy prevention: the only means to prevent it, was Esthers Address to the King; and such an immediate Address, without an Invitation, was present Death by the Law, Esther 4.11. yet Esther resolves in that Exigence, to adven­ture her Life, Esther 4.16. I will go unto the King, which is not according to the Law, and if I perish, I pe­rish. So that although the Concernment be equal, my Neighbour's Life and my own Life, in which case, were there not a disproportion of the Dan­ger, I were bound to preserve my own Life, ra­ther than to lose it, with the preservation of my Neighbours; yet when the loss of my Neighbour [Page 454] Life is necessary without incurring some danger of my own, I am to trust the good Providence of God with my own Life, in a dangerous Adven­ture of it, rather than to see my Brother inevitably perish. And the like proportion holds in matters of a lower Concernment.

3. Therefore much more it follows, that if the being of my Neighbour cannot consist without the parting with somewhat that consists with my tem­poral well-being, I am to prefer my Neighbour's being, before my own well-being: Thus I am bound to lose my Estate, rather than see my Neigh­bour lose his Life, if my Estate would preserve it. But this is still intendible only, in case of an injurious taking away his Life: for if by the due course of Justice, my Neighbour's Life be requi­red, I am not bound to buy his Pardon with the expence of my whole Estate: and so in case my Neighbour shall wilfully cast away his own Life, in such Cases, there is a Latitude of Christian Discretion left unto me, and I am not then a debtor to his Life.

4. If my Neighbour's Necessity come in compe­tition with my Convenience only, I am bound by this Law of Love to prefer my Neighbour's Necessity before my own Convenience. If there be a poor Man, whose Exigences are such, that he hath wherewith to preserve Life only, but not to satisfie Nature; and I have wherewith to satis­fie the Exigences of my Nature, with some Advan­tage; I am bound out of that to supply his Ne­cessity. And though my corrupted Reason may object, that my future Condition may stand in need of that, which I now part with to anothers Necessity, we are in this, to trust the Almighty, [Page 455] to whom I lend in this my Charity, and though of his own, yet he is content for his own to be­come my Debtor: And that Man cannot want, when God is pleased to become his Debtor. He that giveth to the poor, lendeth to the Lord, and he will repay him, Proverbs 19.17. Yet in the mea­suring of Supplies for my own Necessity, I am to account for all those, for whom I am bound to provide; for he that provideth not for his own Family, is worse than an Infidel, 1 Tim. 5.8. yet herein take heed, that thy Heart deceive thee not.

CHAP. XXXI. Of the second general Precept of Righteousness, Doing as we would be done unto.

2. THE Second Precept, Matth. 7.12. Whatso­ever ye would that men should do to you, do ye even so to them; for this is the Law and the Prophets: This is nothing else, but a practical Experiment of the former; for every Man is presumed to love himself, and in order and subservience to that Love, to be able to judge, whether any thing that he doth or suffers, be answerable to his own well-being, which is the termination of that Love, and accordingly likes or dislikes it, or wills it to be, or not to be done. This Precept is resolved into its Negative, Whatsoever ye would not that men should do to you, that do not to them. And for the use of both, we are to take them both with these Li­mitations:

1. It is understood in an equality or parity of Re­lation, and not otherwise. For an instance, the Father may expect that from a Son, viz. Reve­rence and Observance, which will not be fit for the Father to give to the Son. The Duties are diversi­fied, according to the diversity of the Relations: The resolution of the Precept in this case, is therefore this, Whatsoever I would that my Father should [Page 457] expect from me, that I would that my Son should do to me, & è converso. Variations of Circum­stances and Relations, diversifie the Case: and there­fore the resolution of this Precept in case of diffe­rent Relations, must be as well with the change of the Relations, as of the Persons: and the Question to be asked the Conscience in such a case is, Were I in my Neighbour's Condition, and my Neigh­bour in mine, what I would in such a Case, ex­pect from my Neighbour, that I ought to do to him.

A Brief Abſtract OF …

A Brief Abstract OF THE Christian Religion.

A BRIEF ABSTRACT OF THE Christian Religion.

1. THAT there is One, and but one, most Glorious God, Eternal, Incomprehen­sible, perfectly Happy, Infinite in Wisdom, Power, and Goodness, fil­ling all places, but comprehended in no place, full of Justice, Mercy, Truth and Perfection.

2. That this God, though but One in Essence, is yet Three in number of his Subsistence, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.

3. That this God in the beginning of time, created the World, commonly called the Heaven and Earth, which he still governs, by his Power, Wisdom, and Providence. And this he did, 1. For the Manifesta­tion and Glory of his Wisdom, Power, and Goodness: 2. For the Communication of his Beneficence, Good­ness and Bounty to the things which he thus made, ac­cording to their several Natures and Capacities.

4. That having finished this inferior World, called the Earth, and furnished it with all things necessary and convenient for the use and convenience of the nobler Creature which he intended, he created the first Man Adam, and the first Woman Eve, the com­mon [Page 462] Parents of all Mankind: from whom all the Men and Women in the World are derived by natural Propagation.

5. To these first Parents of Mankind, Almighty God gave some Endowments or constituent Parts, that are common to all Mankind, as well as to them: namely, 1. Terrestrial or Earthly Bodies; for the first Man was made out of the Earth, and the Bodies of all other Men, though they are derived to them by ordinary Generation, yet their Bodies are terre­strial or elementary Bodies: 2 Spiritual and Immor­tal Souls, endued not only with the Power of Ve­getation, as Herbs and Trees: nor only with the Power of Sense and Perception and Appetite, as the bruit Beasts: but also with the Power of Understand­ing and Liberty of Will, whereby he obtains a kind a­bove all other visible Creatures besides. And this Soul thus endued with the Power of Understanding and Will, doth not die with the Body; but it is immor­tal and never dies. And this is called a Reasonable Soul; whereby we understand, and think, and con­sider, and remember, and chuse one thing, and refuse another; whereby we have a Capacity to know Al­mighty God, his Works, his Will, and to obey and observe it; and to perform all the Actions that be­long to a Reasonable Creature. 3. A Power of Pro­pagation of their Kind, by the mutual conjunction of Sexes, by vertue of that Divine Benediction, given to Man, as well as to sensible Creatures: Be fruitful, multiply, and replenish the Earth. By vertue of which Benediction, all the Families of Mankind that were, or are, or shall be upon the face of the Earth, are in the course of ordinary Generation derived from the first Parents of Mankind. 4. A Power and Right of Dominion over the inferiour Creatures, which he doth exercise, partly by the ordination and appoint­ment [Page 463] of their Creation, and partly by the advantage of his understanding Faculty: and though this Domi­nion be in some sort weakened and decayed by the Fall of our first Parents; yet it still, in a great mea­sure, continues to the Children of Men.

6. But some Priviledges our first Parents had in their state of Innocence, which by their Fall hath been much impaired and lost, and not derived to their Posterity: 1. A state of perfect Innocence, free from all Sin, and sinful contagion. 2. A state of Happiness and Blessedness, as large as Humane Nature could be capable of. 3. A state of great Integrity and Per­fection, as far forth as it was possible for Humane Nature to enjoy: as Light and great Knowledge in his Understanding, Integrity in his Will, right Order in his Soul, Righteousness and Holiness. 4. A state of Immortality of Body and Soul in their perfect con­junction, so long as he kept his Innocence.

7. The Ends, for which Almighty God created Man thus, were, first those common Ends, which moved him to create the World, above mentioned, namely, his own Glory, and the Communication of his Goodness and Beneficence: but secondly, these seem to be the special Ends of Man's Creation: 1. That he might have a Creature in this lower World, that might more conveniently, actively and effectually give glory unto God: and to that end, he endued him with Nobler Faculties that might perform this Office; his Understanding, whereby he might know his Maker, and his Will, and his Works; His Will, whereby he might obey his Will; his Affections, whereby he might love, and fear, and admire him; His Faculty of Speech, whereby he might glorifie and praise him; this is another kind of Glory than the other inferiours do, or can, bring to their Maker. And to the end he might thus glorifie his Maker, he placed him in [Page 464] the view and sight of the goodly frame of Heaven and Earth, and gave him his Law, wherein he should obey and serve his Creator. 2. That he might be partaker of as much Happiness and Blessedness as the Humane Nature could be capable of, while it stood in conjunction with his Body: and that he should, by a kind of Translation into Heaven, enjoy more Pure, Perfect, and Everlasting state of Blessedness and Glory.

8. When God had thus created Man, he gave him a Law of Righteousness and Holiness, and reveal­ed it to him: and for a Probation or Trial of his Obedience, forbad him the eating of the Fruit of one Tree in Paradise, under pain of Death.

9. Our first Parents rebelled against that just and easie Law, by eating the forbidden Fruit. And al­though they did not presently die corporally, yet they by this Disobedience fell into these Inconvenien­ces: 1. They were presently under the Sentence of Everlasting Death, though delivered from it by the Messiah, that promised seed. 2. They lost the estate of Immortality of their Bodies, though they lost not the state of Immortality of their Souls, which were essen­sentially Immortal. 3. They lost their Innocence, their Happy Estate in Paradise, the clear and super­natural Light of their Understanding, the Rectitude of their Wills, the right Order of their Affections: and their Souls lost much of its Perfection, though not its essential Spirituality and Immortality. 4. All that were after derived from them by ordinary Ge­neration, though they had immortal Souls, yet their Faculties were imbased and corrupted, and greatly dis­ordered, and without the extraordinary Grace of God preventing and assisting them, prone to all kind of evil and sin, and thereby obnoxious to the wrath of God, and to everlasting Death. And this is the Con­dition [Page 465] of all the Posterity of Adam by Nature, except Jesus Christ.

10. God Almighty in his eternal wisdom and fore­knowledge of the fall of Man, in his infinite Wisdom and Goodness, purposed to send forth his Son, to take the Humane Nature, and to become a King, a Priest, and a Prophet, and al