CHRIST MYSTICALL; OR, The blessed union of Christ and his Members.

Also, AN HOLY RAPTVRE: OR, A Patheticall Meditation of the Love of Christ.

Also, The Christian laid forth in his whole Disposition and Carriage.

By J. H. D. D. B. N.

LONDON, Printed by M. Flesher, and are to be sold by William Hope, Gabriel Beadle, and Nathaniel Webbe. 1647.

TO The only Honour and Glory of his blessed Saviour and Redeemer:

And to the comfort and be­nefit of all those members of his Mysticall Body, which are still labou­ring and warfaring upon earth;

I. H. their unworthiest ser­vant, humbly dedicates this fruit of his old age.


  • § 1. HOw to be happy in the appre­hending of Christ.
  • § 2. The honour and hap­pinesse of being united to Christ.
  • § 3. The kinde and manner of our union with Christ.
  • § 4. The resemblance of this union by the head and members of the body.
  • § 5. This union set forth by the resemblance of the husband and wife.
  • [Page] § 6. This union resembled by the nourishment & the body.
  • § 7. The resemblance of this union by the branch, and the stock; the foundati­on, and the building.
  • § 8. The certainty and indis­solublenesse of this union.
  • § 9. The priviledges and be­nefits of this union: The first of them life.
  • § 10. A complaint of our in­sensiblenesse of this mer­cy, and an excitation to a chearfull recognition of it.
  • § 11. An incitement to a joy and thankfulnesse for Christ our life.
  • [Page] § 12. The duties we owe to God for his mercy to us in this life, which we have from Christ.
  • § 13. The improvement of this life; in that Christ is made our Wisdome.
  • § 14. Christ made our Righ­teousnesse.
  • § 15. Christ made our Sancti­fication.
  • § 16. Christ made our Re­demption.
  • § 17. The externall privi­ledges of this union, a right to the blessings of earth and of heaven.
  • § 18. The means by which [Page] this union is wrought.
  • § 19. The union of Christs members with themselves. First, those in heaven.
  • § 20. The union of Christs members upon earth. First, in matter of judgement.
  • § 21. The union of Christians in matter of affection.
  • § 22. A complaint of Divisi­ons, and notwithstanding them, an assertion of unity.
  • § 23. The necessary effects and fruits of this union of Christian hearts.
  • § 24. The union of the Saints on earth with those in hea­ven.
  • [Page] § 25. A recapitulation and sum of the whole Trea­tise.

I Have with much comfort and con­tentment perused these divine and holy Meditations, entituled Christ Mysticall, An holy Rapture, and The Chri­stian, laid forth, or characterised in his whole disposition and carriage; and relishing in them much profitable sweetnesse and heavenly raptures of spirituall devotion, I doe license them to be Printed and published.



THERE is not so much need of Learning,§ 1. How to be happy in the ap­prehen­ding of Christ. as of Grace, to ap­prehend those things which concern our e­verlasting peace; neither is it our brain that must be set on work here, but our heart; for true happinesse doth not consist in a meer speculation, but a fruition of good: How­ever therefore there is excel­lent [Page 2] use of Scholar-ship in all the sacred imployments of Divinity, yet in the main act which imports salvation, skill must give place to affection. Happy is the soul that is possessed of Christ, how poor so ever in all infe­riour endowments: Ye are wide, O ye great wits, whiles you spend your selves in cu­rious questions, and learned extravagancies; ye shal find one touch of Christ more worth to your souls, then all your deep, and laboursome disquisitions; one dram of faith more precious then a pound of knowledge: In vain shall ye seek for this in your books, if you misse it in your bosomes: If you know all things, and cannot truly say, [Page 3] I know whom I have beleeved, 2 Tim. 1. 12. you have but knowledge enough to know your selves truly miserable. Wouldst thou therefore, my son, finde true and solid comfort in the houre of temptation, in the agony of death? make sure work for thy soul, in the days of thy peace; Finde Christ thine; and, in despight of hell, thou art both safe, and blessed; Look not so much to an absolute. Deity, infinitely and incomprehen­sibly glorious: alas, that Ma­jesty (because perfectly, and essentially good) is, out of Christ, no other then an ene­my to thee; thy sinne hath offended his justice, which is himself; what hast thou to doe with that dreadfull [Page 4] power which thou hast provoked? Look to that mercifull, and all-sufficient Mediator betwixt God and man, who is both God and man,1 Tim. 2. 5 Jesus Christ the righ­teous: It is his charge,1 Joh. 2. 1. and our duty,Joh. 14. 1. Ye beleeve in God, beleeve also in me. Yet look not meerly to the Lord Jesus, as considered in the notion of his own eternall beeing, as the Son of God, co-equall and co-essentiall to God the Father, but look upon him, as he stands in reference to the sons of men: and herein also look not to him so much, as a Law-giver,Luther in Gal. and a Judge, (there is terror in such appre­hension) but look upon him, as a gracious Saviour and Advocate; and lastly, look [Page 5] not upon him, as in the gene­rality of his mercy, the com­mon Saviour of mankind, (what comfort were it to thee, that all the world ex­cept thy selfe were saved?) but look upon him, as the dear Redeemer of thy soul, as thine Advocate at the right hand of Majesty; as one, with whom thou art [...]hrough his wonderfull m [...]rcy, inseparably united: T [...]us, thus, look upon him firmly and fixedly; so as he may never be out of thine ei [...]s; and what ever secular objects interpose themselves betwixt thee and him, look through them, as some slight mists, and terminate thy sight still in this blessed pro­spect: Let neither earth, nor [Page 6] heaven hide him from thee in whatsoever condition.

And whiles thou art thus taken up;§ 2. The ho­nour and happiness of being united to Christ. see if thou canst without wonder and a kinde of ecstaticall amazement, behold the infinite goodness of thy God, that hath exal­ted thy wretchednesse to no lesse then a blessed and indi­visible Union with the Lord of glory; so as thou, who in the sense of thy miserable mortality, maist say to cor­ruption,Job 17. 14. Thou art my father, and to the worm, Thou art my mother and my sister, canst now through the priviledge of thy faith, hear the Son of God say unto thee,Gen. 2. 23. Thou art bone of my bone, Eph. 5. 30. and flesh of my flesh: Surely, as we are too much subject to pride [Page 7] our selves in these earthly glories, so we are too apt, through ignorance, or pusil­lanimity, to undervalue our selves in respect of our spiri­tuall condition; wee are far more noble and excellent then we account our selves. It is our faith that must raise our thoughts to a due estima­tion of our greatnesse; and must shew us how highly we are descended, how royally we are allied, how gloriously estated: that onely is it, that must advance us to heaven, and bring heaven down to us: Through the want of the ex­ercise whereof, it comes to passe, that, to the great preju­dice of our souls, we are rea­die to think of Christ Jesus as a stranger to us: as one a­loof [Page 8] off in another world; apprehended onely by fits, in a kind of ineffectuall spe­culation, without any lively feeling of our own interesse in him; whereas we ought by the powerfull operation of this grace in our hearts, to finde so heavenly an appro­priation of Christ to our souls, as that every beleever may truly say, I am one with Christ, Christ is one with me. Had we not good war­rant for so high a challenge, it could bee no lesse then a blasphemous arrogance to lay claim to the royall bloud of heaven; but since it hath pleased the God of heaven so far to dignifie our unwor­thinesse, as in the multitudes of his mercies to admit and [Page 9] allow us to be partakers of the divine nature,2 Pet. 1. 4. it were no other then an unthankfull stupidity not to lay hold on so glorious a priviledge, and to goe for lesse then God hath made us.

Know now,§ 3. The kind and man­ner of this uni­on with Christ. my son, that thou art upon the ground of all consolation to thy soul, which consists in this beati­ficall union with thy God and Saviour, think not there­fore to passe over this impor­tant mystery with some tran­sient, and perfunctory glan­ces; but, let thy heart dwell upon it, as that which must stick by thee in all extremi­ties, and chear thee up, when thou art forsaken of all worldly comforts: Doe not then conceive of this union, [Page 10] as some imaginary thing, that hath no other beeing but in the braine; whose faculties have power to ap­prehend, and bring home to it self, far remote substances; possessing it self in a sort of whatsoever it conceives: Doe not think it an union meerly virtuall, by the participation of those spirituall gifts and graces which God worketh in the soul; as the comfor­table effects of our happy conjunction with Christ; Doe not think it an acciden­tall union in respect of some circumstances and qualities wherein we communicate with him who is God and man; nor yet a metaphori­call union by way of figura­tive resemblance; but know [Page 11] that this is a true, reall, essen­tiall, substantiall union, whereby the person of the beleever is indissolubly uni­ted to the glorious person of the Son of God; know, that this union is not more mysti­call then certain; that in na­turall unions there may bee more evidence, there cannot be more truth; neither is there so firm and close an union betwixt the soul & bo­dy, as there is betwixt Christ and the beleeving soul: for as much as that may be seve­red by death, but this, never: Away yet with all grosse car­nality of conceit; this union is true, and really existent, but yet spirituall; and if some of the Ancients have tearm'd it naturall and bodi­ly, [Page 12] it hath been in respect of the subject united, our hu­manity, to the two blessed natures of the Son of God met in one most glorious per­son; not in respect of the manner of the uniting: Nei­ther is it the lesse reall, be­cause spirituall. Spirituall a­gents neither have, nor put forth any whit lesse vertue, because sense cannot discern their manner of working; Even the Loadstone though an earthen substance, yet, when it is out of sight, whe­ther under the Table, or be­hinde a solid partition, stir­reth the needle as effectually, as if it were within view: shall not hee contradict his senses, that will say, it can­not work because I see it not? [Page 13] Oh Saviour, thou art more mine, then my body is mine, my sense feels that present, but so as that I must lose it; my faith sees and feels thee so present with mee, that I shall never be parted from thee.

There is no resemblance,§ 4. The re­semblāce of this u­nion by the head & body. whereby the Spirit of God more delights to set forth the heavenly union betwixt Christ and the beleever, then that of the head and the bo­dy: The head gives sense and motion to all the mem­bers of the body; And the body is one; not onely by the continuity of all the parts held together with the same naturall ligaments, and cove­red with one and the same skin; but much more by the [Page 14] animation of the same soul quickning that whole frame; in the acting whereof, it is not the large extent of the stature, and distance of the lims from each other, that can make any difference; The body of a child that is but a span long, cannot bee said to be more united, then the vast body of a giantly son of Anak whose height is as the Cedars; and if we could suppose such a body as high as heaven it self, that one soul which dwels in it, and is diffused through all the parts of it, would make it but one entire body: Right so, it is with Christ and his Church; That one Spirit of his which dwels in, and en­lives every beleever, unites [Page 15] all those far-distant members, both to each other, and to their head; and makes them up into one true mysticall body: So as now every true beleever may, without pre­sumption, but with all holy reverence, and all humble thankfulnesse, say to his God and Saviour; Behold, Lord, I am (how unworthy soever) one of the lims of thy body; and therefore have a right to all that thou hast, to all that thou doest; Thine eye sees for me; thine ear hears for me; thine hand acts for me; Thy life, thy grace, thy hap­pinesse is mine: Oh the wonder of the two blessed unions! In the personall u­nion, it pleased God to assume and unite our humane nature [Page 16] the Deitie; In the spirituall and mysticall, it pleases God to unite the person of every beleever to the person of the Son of God: Our souls are too narrow to blesse God enough for these incompre­hensible mercies: Mercies, wherein he hath preferred us (be it spoken with all godly lowlinesse) to the blessed An­gels of heaven;Heb. 2. 16. For verily he took not upon him the nature of Angels, but he took on him the seed of Abraham; Neither hath he made those glorious spirits members of his mysti­call body, but his saints; whom he hath (as it were) so incorporated, that they are become his body, and he theirs; according to that of the divine Apostle; For as [Page 17] the body is one and hath many members, 1 Cor. 12. 12. and all the members of that one body being many, are one body, so also is Christ.

Next hereunto,§ 5. This uni­on set forth by the re­semblāce of the husband and wife. there is no resemblance of this mystery either more frequent, or more full of lively expression, then that of the conjugall union betwixt the husband and wife; Christ is, as the head, so the husband of the Church; The Church and every beleeving soul is the Spouse of this heavenly Bridegroom;Esa. 62. 5. whom hee marrieth unto himselfe for ever in righteousnesse,Hose. 2. 19. and in judgement, and in loving kindnesse, and in mercies; and this match thus made up, fulfils that decretive word of the Almighty, They [Page 18] twain shal be one flesh: Ephe. 5. 31. O happy conjunction of the second A­dam, Gen. 2. 24. with her which was ta­ken out of his most precious side; Oh heavenly and com­pleat marriage, wherein God the Father brings, and gives the Bride;Gen. 2. 22. (All that the Fa­ther giveth me shall come to me, Joh. 6. 37. saith Christ) wherein God the Son receives the Bride, as mutually partaking of the same nature;Joh. 1. 14. and can say, This now is bone of my bones, Gen. 2. 23. and flesh of my flesh; wherein God the holy Ghost knits our wils in a full and glad consent, to the full consum­mation of this blessed wed­lock: And those whom God hath thus joyned together, let no man (no Devill can) put asunder: What is there then, [Page 19] which an affectionate hus­band can withhold from a dear wife? He that hath gi­ven himself to her; what can be deny to impart? He that hath made himself one with her, how can he be di­vided from his other-self? Some wilde fancies there are that have framed the linkes of marriage of so brittle stuffe, as that they may be knapt in sunder upon every sleight occasion, but he that ordained it in Para­dise, for an earthly represen­tation of this heavenly union betwixt Christ and his Church, hath made that, and his own indissoluble. Here is no contract in the fu­ture, which upon some in­tervenient accidents may be [Page 20] remitted;Cant. 6. 3. but, I am my wel­beloveds, and my welbeloved is mine, Cant. 2. 16. And therefore each is so others, that neither of them is their own; Oh the comfortable mystery of our uniting to the Son of God! The wife hath not the power of her own body, 1 Cor. 7. 4. but the husband. We are at thy disposing, ô Saviour, we are not our own; Neither art thou so absolute­ly thine, as that we may not (through thine infinite mer­cy) claim an interesse in thee. Thou hast given us such a right in thy self, as that wee are bold to lay challenge to all that is thine; to thy love, to thy merits, to thy bles­sings, to thy glory: It was wont of old, to be the plea of the Roman wives to their [Page 21] husbands, Where thou art Cai­us, I am Caia; and now, in our present marriages, we have not stuck to say, With all my worldly goods I thee en­dow; And if it be thus in our imperfect conjunctions here upon earth, how much more in that exquisite one-nesse which is betwixt thee, ô blessed Saviour, and thy dearest Spouse, the Church? What is it then that can hin­der us from a sweet and hea­venly fruition of thee? Is it the loathsome condition of our nature? Thou sawst this before, and yet couldst say, when we were yet in our bloud, Ezek. 16. 6. Live: Had we not been so vile, thy mercy had not been so glorious: thy free grace did all for us; Thou washedst [Page 22] us with water, [...] 16. and anointedst us with oyle, [...] 11, and cloathedst us with broidered work, and gir­dedst us about with fine linnen, and coveredst us with silk, and deckedst us with ornaments; and didst put bracelets upon our hands, and a chain on our neck, and jewels on our fore-heads, and eare-rings on our ears, and a beautifull crown on our heads; What we had not, thou ga­vest; what thou didst not find, thou madest; that we might be a not-unmeet match for the Lord of life: Is it want of beauty?Cant. 1. 5. Behold, I am black, but comely: what ever our hiew be in our own, or others eyes; it is enough that we are lovely in thine. Behold, thou art fair, Cant. 1. 16 my beloved, be­hold, thou art faire, yea plea­sant; [Page 23] Thou art beautifull, Cant. 6. 3. O my love, Cant. 7. 6. as Tirzah, comely as Jerusalem. How fair and how pleasant art thou, O Love, for delights! But, oh Saviour, if thou take contentment in this poor unperfect beauty of thy Spouse the Church, how infinite pleasure should thy Spouse take in that absolute perfection that is in thee, who art all lovelinesse and glory? And if she have ravished thy heart with one of her eyes,Cant. 5. 16. how much more reason hath her heart to be wholly ravish­ed with both thine,Cant. 4. 9. which are so full of grace and amia­blenesse? and in this mutu­all fruition, what can there be other then perfect bles­sednesse?

[Page 24] The Spirit of God,§ 6. The re­semblāce of this u­nion by the nou­rishment and the body. well knowing how much it im­ports us both to know and feel this blessed union where­of himself is the onely wor­ker, labours to set it forth to us by the representations of many of our familiar con­cernments which we daily finde in our meats and drinks, in our houses, in our gardens and orchards; That which is nearest to us is our nou­rishment; What can bee more evident, then that the bread, the meat, the drinke that we receive is incorpora­ted into us, and becomes part of the substance where­of we consist? so as, after perfect digestion, there can be no distinction betwixt what we are, and what wee [Page 25] took: Whiles that bread was in the bing, and that meat in the shambles, and that drink in the vessell, it had no relation to us, nor we to it; yea, whiles all these were on the Table, yea, in our mouths; yea, newly let down into our stomacks, they are not fully ours; for upon some nauseating dislike of nature, they may yet go the same way they came; but if the concoction be once fully finished, now they are so tur­ned into our blood, and flesh, that they can be no more di­stinguished from our former substance, then that could be divided from it self; now they are dispersed into the veins, and concorporated to the flesh; and no part of our [Page 26] flesh and blood is more ours, then that which was lately the bloud of the grapes, and the flesh of this fowl, or that beast: Oh Saviour, thou who art truth it selfe hast said,Joh. 6. 51. I am the living bread, that came down from heaven. My flesh is meat indeed, 55. and my blood is drink indeed; and thereupon hast most justly inferred;56. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in mee, and I in him: and, as a necessary consequent of this spirituall manducati­on,54. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eter­nall life: Lo, thou art bread indeed; not the common bread, but Manna; not the Israelitish Manna; alas, that fell from no higher then the [Page 27] region of clouds; and they that ate it died with it in their mouths; but thou art the living bread that came down from the heaven of heavens, of whom whosoe­ver eats lives for ever: Thy flesh is meat, not for our sto­macks, but for our souls; our faith receives and digests thee, and makes thee ours, and us thine: our materiall food in these corruptible bodies runs into corruption; thy spirituall food nourish­eth purely, and strengthens us to a blessed immortality; As for this materiall food, many a one longs for it that cannot get it; many a one hath it, that cannot eat it; many eat it, that cannot digest it; many digest it in­to [Page 28] noxious and corrupt hu­mours; all that receive it, do but maintain a perishing life, if not a languishing death: but this flesh of thine, as it was never withheld from any true appetite, so it never yeelds but wholesome and comfortable sustenance to the soul, never hath any o­ther issue then an everlasting life and happinesse. O Savi­our, whensoever I sit at mine own Table, let mee think of thine; whensoever I feed on the bread and meat that is set before mee, and feel my self nourished by that repast, let me mind that better sustenance, which my soul receives from thee, and finde thee more one with me, then that bodily food:

[Page 29] Look but into thy Gar­den, or Orchard;§ 7. This uni­on resē ­bled by the brāch and the stock; the foundati­on and the buil­ding. and see the Vine, or any other fruit-bearing tree how it grows, and fructifies; The bran­ches are loaden with increase; whence is this, but that they are one with the stock; and the stock one with the root? were either of these severed, the plant were barren and dead: The branch hath not sap enough to maintain life in it self, unlesse it receive it from the body of the tree; nor that, unlesse it derived it from the root; nor that, un­lesse it were cherished by the earth:Joh. 15. 5, 6▪ Lo; I am the Vine, (saith our Saviour) Ye are the branches; He that abideth in me; and I in him; the same bringeth forth much fruit; If [Page 30] a man abide not in me, he is cast forth as a branch, and is withered; were the branch and the body of the tree, of different substances, and on­ly closed together in some artificiall contiguity, no fruit could be expected from it; it is onely the abiding in the tree as a living lim of that plant, which yeelds it the be­nefit and issue of vegetation. No otherwise is it betwixt Christ and his Church; the bough and the tree are not more of one piece, then we are of one substance with our Saviour; and branching out from him, and receiving the sap of heavenly vertue from his precious root, we can­not but be acceptably fruit­full: But if the Analogie [Page 31] seem not to be so full, for that the branch issues natu­rally from the tree, and the fruit from the branch, wher­as we by nature have no part in the Son of God; take that clearer resemblance which the Apostle fetches from the stock and the griffe, or cion: The branches of the wilde olive are cut off;Rom. 11. and are graffed with choice cions of the good olive; those impes grow, and are now, by this insition, no lesse embodyed in that stock then if they had sprouted out by a natural pro­pagation: neither can be any more separated from it then the strongest bough that na­ture puts forth: In the mean time that cion alters the na­ture of that stock; and whiles [Page 32] the root gives fatnesse to the stock, and the stocke yeelds juice to the cion, the cion gives goodnesse to the plant, and a specification to the fruit: so as whiles the impe is now the same thing with the stock, the tree is different from it was; So it is betwixt Christ and the beleeving soul: Old Adam is our wilde stock, what could that have yeelded but either none, or sowre fruit? we are imped with the new man, Christ; that is now incorporated into us, we are become one with him; our nature is not more ours, then he is ours by grace; now we bear his fruit and not our own; our old stock is forgotten, all things are be­come [Page 33] new; our naturall life we receive from Adam; our spirituall life and growth from Christ; from whom af­ter the improvement of this blessed insition we can be no more severed, then he can be severed from himself.

Look but upon thy house (that from vegetative creatures, thou maist turne thine eyes to those things which have no life) if that be uniform, the foundation is not of a different matter from the wals; both those are but one piece; the su­perstructure is so raised upon the foundation, as if all were but one stone; Behold, Christ is the chiefe corner stone,1 Pet. 2. 6. elect and precious; neither can there be any o­ther [Page 34] foundation laid then that which is laid on him; we are lively stones built up to a spirituall house,1 Cor. 3. 11 on that sure and firm founda­tion;2 Pet. 2. 5. some loose stones perhaps that lye unmortered upon the battlements, may be easily shaken down, but whoever saw a squared mar­ble laid by line and levell in a strong wall upon a well-grounded base, flye out of his place by whatsoever vio­lence; since both the strength of the foundation below, and the weight of the fabrick a­bove, have setled it in a po­sture utterly unmoveable? Such is our spirituall con­dition, O Saviour; thou art our foundation, we are laid upon thee, and are therein one [Page 35] with thee; we can no more be dis-joyned from thy foun­dation, then the stones of thy foundation can be dis-united from themselves: So then, to sum up all; as the head and members are but one bo­dy, as the husband and wife are but one flesh, as our meat and drink becomes part of our selves, as the tree and branches are but one plant, as the foundation and wals are but one fabrick; so Christ and the beleeving soul are in­divisibly one with each o­ther.

Where are those then that goe about to divide Christ from himself;§ 8. The cer­tainty & indissolu­blenesse of this u­nion. Christ reall, from Christ mysticall; yeel­ding Christ one with him­self, but not one with his [Page 36] Church: making the true beleever no lesse separable from his Saviour, then from the entirenesse of his own o­bedience; dreaming of the uncomfortable, and self-con­tradicting paradoxes of the totall and finall Apostasie of saints: Certainly, these men have never thorowly dige­sted the meditation of this blessed union whereof wee treat: Can they hold the be­leeving soul a lim of that body whereof Christ is the head; and yet imagine a pos­sibility of dissolution? Can they affain to the Sonne of God a body that is unper­fect? Can they think that body perfect that hath lost his lims? Even in this my­sticall body the best joynts [Page 37] may be subject to strains, yea, perhaps to some painfull and perilous luxations; but, as it was in the naturall body of Christ, when it was in death, most exposed to the cruelty of all enemies, that (upon an over-ruling providence) not a bone of it, could be broken; so it is still and ever with the spirituall; some scourgings and blows it may suffer, yea, perhaps some bruises, and gashes, but no bone can be shattered in pee­ces, much lesse dissevered from the rest of the body: Were we left to our selves, or could we be so much as in conceit, sundred from the bo­dy whereof we are, alas we are but as other men, sub­ject to the same sinfull in­firmities, [Page 38] to the same dange­rous and deadly miscarria­ges: but since it hath plea­sed the God of heaven to u­nite us to himself, now it concerns him to maintain the honour of his own bo­dy by preserving us entire.

Can they acknowledge the faithfull soul married in truth and righteousnesse to that celestiall husband; and made up into one flesh with the Lord of glory; & can they think of any Bils of divorce written in heaven? can they suppose that which by way of type was done in the earthly Paradise, to be real­ly undone in the heavenly? What an infinite power hath put together, can they imagine that a limited power [Page 39] can disjoyn? Can they think sin can be of more prevalence then mercy? Can they think the unchangeable God subject to after­thoughts? Even the Jewish repudiations never found favour in heaven: They were permitted, as a lesser evill to avoid a greater, ne­ver allowed as good; nei­ther had so much as that to­leration ever been, if the hard-heartednesse, and cruel­ty of that people had not en­forced it upon Moses, in a prevention of further mis­chief [...] what place can this finde with a God, in whom there is an infinite tender­nesse of love and mercy? No time can be any check to his gracious choice; the [Page 40] inconstant mindes of us men may alter upon sleight dis­likes; our God is ever him­self; Jesus Christ the same yesterday,Heb. 13. 8. and to day, and for ever;Jam. 1. 17. with him there is no variablenesse, nor shadow of turning;Mal. 2. 16. Divorces were ever grounded upon hatred; No man (saith the Apostle) ever yet hated his owne flesh:Eph. 5. 29. much lesse shall God do so,1 Joh. 3. 16. who is love it self: His love and our union, is like him­self, everlasting: Having lo­ved his own (saith the Disci­ple of Love) which were in the world,Joh. 13. 1. he loved them to the end.Mal. 2. 16. He that hates put­ting away, can never act it; so as in this relation we are indissoluble:

Can they have received [Page 41] that bread which came down from heaven, and that flesh which is meat indeed, and that bloud which is drink indeed, can their souls have digested it by a lively faith, and converted them­selves into it, and it into themselves, and can they now think it can be severed from their own substance?

Can they finde themselves truly ingraffed in the tree of life, and grown into one bo­dy with that heavenly plant, and as a living branch of that tree, bearing pleasant, and wholesome fruit,Rev. 22. 2. acceptable to God, and beneficiall to men; and can they look up­on themselves, as some wi­thered bough fit onely for the fire?

[Page 42] Can they find themselves living stones surely laid upon the foundation Jesus Christ, to the making up of an hea­venly Temple for the eternall inhabitation of God, and can they think they can be sha­ken out with every storm of Temptation?

Have these men ever taken into their serious thoughts that divine prayer and medi­tation which our blessed Re­deemer now at the point of his death left for an happy farewell to his Church, in every word whereof, there is an heaven of comfort; Nei­ther pray I for these alone; Joh. 17. 20 21, 22. but for them also which shall be­leeve in me through their word; That they all may be one, as thou Father art in me, and I [Page 43] in thee, that they also may bee one with us; And the glory that thou gavest me, I have gi­ven them, that they may be one, even as we are one; I in them, and thou in me. Oh heavenly consolation; oh indefeasible assurance! what roome can there be now here for our diffidence? Can the Son of God pray and not be heard? For himselfe hee needs not pray, as being eternally one with the Father, God blessed for ever; he prays for his; & his prayer is, That they may be one wth the Father & him; even as they are one. They cannot therefore but be par­takers of this blessed union; and being partakers of it they cannot be dissevered: And to make sure work, that glory [Page 44] which the Father gave to the Son of his Love, they are al­ready (through his gracious participation) prepossessed of; here they have begun to enter upon that heaven, from which none of the powers of hell can possibly eject them: Oh the unspeakably happy condition of beleevers! Oh that all the Saints of God, in a comfortable sense of their inchoate blessednesse, could sing for joy, and here before­hand begin to take up those Hallelujahs, which they shall ere long continue (and never end) in the Chore of the highest Heaven.§ 9. The pri­viledges & bene­fits of this union:

Having now taken a view of this blessed union, in the nature and resemblances of it;The first of them Life. it will be time to bend [Page 45] thine eyes upon those most advantageous consequents, and high priviledges, which doe necessarily follow upon, and attend this heavenly conjunction. Whereof the first is that, which we are wont to account sweetest, Life: Not this naturall life, which is maintained by the breath of our nosthrils; Alas, what is that but a bubble, a vapour, a shadow, a dreame, nothing? as it is the gift of a good God, worthy to be esteemed precious; but as it is considered in its own tran­sitorinesse, and appendent miseries, and in comparison of a better life, not worthy to take up our hearts. This life of nature is that which ariseth from the union of [Page 46] the body with the soul, many times enjoyed upon hard tearms; the spirituall life which we now speak of, ari­sing from the union betwixt God and the soul, is that wherein there can be nothing but perfect contentment, and joy unspeakable and full of glory. Yea, this is that life which Christ not only gives, but is: he that gave himself for us, gives himselfe to us, and is that life that he gives us; When Christ, which is our life, Col. 3. 4. shall ap­peare; saith the Apostle:Phil. 1. 21. And Christ is to me, to live: and most emphatically,Gal. 2. 20. I am crucified with Christ; Neverthelesse I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in mee; Lo, it is a common favour, [Page 47] that in him we live but it is an especiall favour to his own, that he lives in us: Know you not your own selves, 2 Cor. 13. 5 (saith the Apostle) how that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be reprobates? and where­soever he is, there he lives; we have not a dead Saviour, but a living; and where he lives, he animates: It is not therefore Saint Pauls case a­lone; it is every belee­vers; who may truly say, I live, yet not I, but Christ li­veth in mee: now, how these lives, and the authors of them are distinguished, is worth thy carefullest consi­deration.

Know then, my son, that every faithfull mans bosome is a Rebeccaes womb,Gen. 25. 22. where­in [Page 48] in there are twins: a rough Esau, and the seed of promise; the old man, and the new; the flesh, and the spirit; and these have their lives distinct from each other; the new man lives not the life of the old, neither can the old man live the life of the new; it is not one life that could maintain the opposite struglings of both these: Corrupt nature is it that gives and continues the life of the old man; It is Christ that gives life to the new; we cannot say but the old man, or flesh, is the man too:Rom. 7. 18 For I know (saith the chosen Vessell) that in me, that is, in my flesh, dwelleth no good thing: but the spirituall part may yet better challenge the title.Rom. 7. 22 For I delight in the Law [Page 49] of God after the inward man: That old man of ours is deri­ved from the first. Adam: as we sinned in him, so hee li­veth in us; The second A­dam both gives, and is the life of our regeneration, like as he is also the life of our glory; the life that follows our second resurrection: I am (saith he) the resurrection and the life. What is it then whereby the new creature lives? surely no other then the Spirit of Christ; that a­lone is it, that gives beeing and life to the renued soule. Life is no stranger to us, there is nothing wherewith we are so well acquainted; yea, we feel continually what it is, and what it produceth; It is that, from whence all [Page 50] sense, action, motion flow­eth; it is that, which gives us to be what we are: All this is Christ to the regene­rate man: It is one thing what he is, or doth as a man; another thing what he is, or doth as a Christian: As a man, he hath eyes, ears, mo­tions, affections, understan­ding, naturally as his own: as a Christian he hath all these from him with whom he is spiritually one, the Lord Jesus; and the objects of all these vary accordingly: His naturall eyes behold bodily and materiall things; his spirituall eyes see things in­visible; His outward eares hear the sound of the voice; his inward ears hear the voice of Gods Spirit, speaking to [Page 51] his soul; His bodily feet move in his own secular ways; his spirituall walk wth God in all the ways of his Commandements. His natu­rall affections are set upon those things which are agree­able thereunto; he loves beauty, fears pain and losse, rejoyces in outward prospe­rity, hates an enemy; his re­nued affections are other­wise, and more happily be­stowed; now he loves good­nesse for its own sake; hates nothing but sin, fears onely the displeasure of a good God, rejoyces in Gods fa­vour which is better then life: His former thoughts were altogether taken up with vanity, and earthed in the world; now he seeks the [Page 52] things above, where Christ sitteth at the right hand of God;Col. 3. 1. Finally, he is such, as that a beholder sees nothing but man in him; but God and his soul finde Christ in him, both in his renued per­son and actions; in all the degrees both of his life, and growth of his sufferings, and glory:Gal. 4. 19. My little chil­dren (saith Saint Paul) of whom I travell in birth again untill Christ be formed in you. Lo, here Christ both concei­ved and born in the faithfull heart; Formation follows conception, and travell im­plies a birth:1 Cor. 3. 1. Now the be­leever is a new-born babe in Christ,2 Pet. 2. 2. and so mutually Christ in him; from thence he grows up to1 John 2. 14. strength [Page 53] of youth; and at last toEphes. 4. 13. 2 Cor. 13. 9. Heb. 6. 1. per­fection, even towards the measure of the stature of the fulnesse of Christ; And in this condition he is dead with Christ;Rom. 6. 8 He is buri­ed with Christ;Rom. 6. 11. He is alive again unto God through Christ,Col. 3. 1. he is risen with Christ,Rō. 8. 17. and with Christ he is glorified; Yea, yet more then so, hisCol. 1. 24 suffe­rings are Christs, Christs sufferings are his;Rō. 8. 17. He is in Christ an heir of glory;Col. 1. 27 and Christ is in him,§ 10. A com­plaint of our insē ­siblenesse of this mercy, & an exci­tation to a chear­ful recog­nition of it. the hope of glory.

Dost thou not now finde cause (my son) to complain of thy self (as, I confesse, I daily doe) that thou art so miserably apt to forget these [Page 54] intimate respects between thy Christ and thee? art thou not ashamed to think, how little sense thou hast had of thy great happinesse? Lo, Christ is in thy bosome, and thou feelst him not; It is not thy soul that animates thee in thy renued estate, it is thy God and Saviour, and thou hast not hitherto per­ceived it; It is no otherwise with thee in this case, then with the members of thine own body; there is the same life in thy fingers and toes, that there is in the head, or heart, yea, in the whole man, and yet those lims know not that they have such a life: Had those members reason as well as sense, they would perceive that, wherewith [Page 55] they are enlived; thou hast more then reason, faith; and therefore maist well know whence thou hast this spiri­tual life, & therupon art much wanting to thy self, if thou dost not enjoy so usefull and comfortable an apprehensi­on: Resolve therefore with thy self that no secular occa­sion shall ever set off thy heart from this blessed ob­ject; and that thou wilt as soon forget thy naturall life, as this spirituall: and raise up thy thoughts from this dust, to the heaven of hea­vens: Shake of this naturall pusillanimity, and meane conceit of thy self as if thou wert all earth, and know thy self advanced to a celestiall condition, that thou art uni­ted [Page 56] to the Son of God, and animated by the holy Spirit of God;Gal. 2. 20. so as the life which thou now livest in the flesh, thou livest by the faith of the Son of God, who loved thee, and gave himself for thee.

See then and confesse how just cause we have to con­demn the dead-heartednesse wherewith we are subject to be possessed: and how many worthy Christians are there in the world who bear a part with us in this just blame; who have yeelded over themselves to a disconsolate heartlesnesse, and a sad de­jection of spirit; partly through a naturall disposi­tion inclining to dumpish­nesse, and partly through the [Page 57] prevalence of temptation: For Satan well knowing how much it makes for our happinesse chearfully to re­flect upon our interest in Christ, and to live in the joyfull sense of it, labours by all means to withdraw our hearts from this so com­fortable object; and to clog us with a pensive kinde of spirituall fullennesse: accoun­ting it no small mastery if he can prevail with us so far as to be reave us of this habi­tuall joy in the holy Ghost, arising from the inanimation of Christ living, and brea­thing within us: So much the more therefore must we bend all the powers of our souls against this dangerous and deadly machination of [Page 58] our spirituall enemy; and labour, as for life, to maintain this Fort of our joy against all the powers of darknesse; and, if at any time we finde our selves beaten off, through the violence of temptation; we must chide our selves in­to our renued valour: and ex­postulate the matter with our shrinking courage▪ (with the man after Gods own heart) Why art thou cast down, Psal. 42. 11 43. 5. O my soul, and why art thou disquie­ted within me? hope thou in God; for I shall yet praise him, who is the health of my counte­nance and my God. § 11. An in­citement to joy and thanke­fulnesse for Christ our life.

Neither is here more place for an heavenly joy, then for height of spirit, and raptures of admiration at that infinite goodnesse and mercy of our [Page 59] God, who hath vouchsafed so far to grace his elect, as to honour them with a speciall inhabitation of his ever­blessed Deity: Yea, to live in them, and to make them live mutually in, and to him­self; What capacity is there in the narrow heart of man to conceive of this incompre­hensible favour to his poor creature? Oh Saviour, this is no small part of that great mystery wherin to the Angels desire to look,1 Pet. 1. 12 and can never look to the bottome of it! how shall the weak eyes of sinfull flesh ever be able to reach unto it? When thou in the estate of thine humane infirmity offeredst to goe down to the Centurions house, that humble Com­mander [Page 60] could say; Lord, I am not worthy that thou shouldst come under my roof: What shall we then say, that thou in the state of thine heavenly glory, shouldst vouchsafe to come down, and dwell with us in these houses of clay;1 Cor. 6. 19 and to make our breasts the Temples of thy holy Ghost? When thine holy mother came to visit the part­ner of her joy, thy fore-run­ner then in the womb of his mother,Luk. 1. 44. sprang for the joy of thy presence, though dis­termined by a second womb; how should we be affected with a ravishment of spirit, whom thou hast pleased to visit in so much mercy, as to come down into us, and to be spiritually conceived in [Page 61] the womb of our hearts, and thereby to give a new and spirituall life to our poore souls; a life of thine own, yet made ours; a life begun in grace, and ending in eter­nall glory?

Never did the holy God give a priviledge where he did not expect a duty:§ 12. The du­ties we owe to God for his mercy to us, in this life which we have frō Christ. hee hath more respect to his glo­ry, then to throw away his favours; The life that ari­seth from this blessed uni­on of our souls with Christ, as it is the height of all his mercies, so it cals for our most zealous affections, and most effectuall improvement. Art thou then thus happily united to Christ, and thus enlived by Christ? how en­tire must thou needs be with [Page 62] him, how dear must thy va­luations be of him, how hear­tily must thou be devoted to him? The spirit of man (saith wise Solomon) is the candle of the Lord searching all the inward parts of the belly; Pro. 20. 27 and therefore cannot but be acquainted with his own inmates; and finding so heavenly a guest as the Spirit of Christ in the secret lodgings of his soul, applyes it self to him in all things: so as these two spirits agree in all their spirituall concern­ments; The Spirit it self (saith the holy Apostle) beareth witnesse with our spirit, Rom. 8. 16 that we are the children of God; and not in this case onely, but upon whatsoever occasion, the faithfull man hath this [Page 63] Urim in his breast, & may cō ­sult with this inward Oracle of his God for direction, and resolution in all his doubts: neither can he, according to the counsell of the Psalmist, Psal. 4. 4. commune with his own heart, but that Christ who lives there, is ready to give him an answer. Shortly, our souls and we are one; and the soul and life are so near one, that the one is commonly taken for the o­ther▪ Christ therefore, who is the life and soul of our souls, is and needs must be so intrinsecall to us, that we cannot so much as conceive of our spirituall beeing with­out him.

Thou needest not be told, my son, how much thou va­luest [Page 64] life; Besides thine own sense, Satan himself can tell thee, (and in this case thou maist beleeve him) Skin for skin, Job 2. 4. and all that a man hath will he give for his life; What ransome can be set upon it, that a man would stick to give? though mountains of gold;Ps. 49. 7. though thousands of [...]ms, or ten thousand ri­vers of oyl?Micah 6. 7. Yea, how rea­dily doe we expose our dear lims, not to hazard onely, but to losse for the preserva­tion of it? Now alas, what is our life? It is even a vapor that appeareth for a little time, Jam. 4. 14. and then vanisheth away▪ And if we doe thus value a perish­ing life, that is going out e­very moment, what price shall we set upon eternity? [Page 65] If Christ be our life, how precious is that life, which neither inward distempers, nor outward violences can bereave us of; which nei­ther can be decayed by time, nor altered with crosse e­vents? Hear the chosen Vessel;Phil. 3. 7, 8 What things were gain to me, those I counted losse for Christ; Yea, doubtless I count all things but losse for the excellency of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord; for whom I have suffered the losse of all things; and doe count them but dung that I may win Christ; and, as one that did not esteem his own life dear to him, in respect of that bet­ter;Act. 20. 24 always (saith he) bearing about in the body, the dying of the Lord Jesus, 2 Cor. 4. 10 that the life al­so [Page 66] of Jesus, might be made ma­nifest in our body: How chear­fully have the noble and con­quering armies of holy Mar­tyrs given away these mo­mentany lives, that they might hold fast their Jesus, the life of their souls? and who can be otherwise affe­cted that knows and feels the infinite happinesse that offers it self to be enjoyed by him in the Lord Jesus?

Lastly, if Christ bee thy life, then thou art so devo­ted to him that thou livest, as in him, and by him, so to him also; aiming onely at his service and glory, and framing thy self wholly to his will and directions:1 Cor. 10. 31▪ Thou canst not so much as eat or drink but with respect to [Page 67] him; Oh the gracious reso­lution of him that was rapt into the third heaven, wor­thy to be the pattern of all faithfull hearts;Phil. 1. 20, 21. According to my earnest expectation and my hope that in nothing I shall be ashamed, but that with all boldnesse, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life or by death: For to me to live is Christ▪ and to dye is gain. Our naturall life is not worthy to be its own scope; we doe not live meerly that we may live: our spirituall life, Christ, is the utmost and most perfect end of all our living; without the in­tuition whereof, we would not live, or if we should, our naturall life were no other [Page 68] then a spirituall death: Oh Saviour, let me not live lon­ger then I shall be enlived by thee, or then thou shalt be glorified by me: And what rule should I follow in all the carriage of my life but thine? thy precepts, thine examples, that so I may live thee, as well as preach thee? and in both may finde thee, as thou hast truly laid forth thy self,Joh. 14. 6. the way, the truth, and the life; the way wherein I shall walk, the truth which I shall beleeve and professe, and the life which I shall en­joy: In all my morall actions therefore teach me to square my self by thee; what ever I am about to doe, or speak, or affect; let me think: If my Saviour were now upon [Page 69] earth, would he doe this that I am now putting my hand unto? would he speak these words that I am now utte­ring? would he be thus disposed as I now feel my self? Let me not yeeld my self to any thought, word, or action which my Saviour would be ashamed to own: Let him be pleased so to ma­nage his own life in me, that all the interesse he hath gi­ven me in my self may bee wholly surrendred to him; that I may be as it were dead in my self,§ 13. The im­prove­ment of this life; in that Christ is made our wisdome. whiles he lives and moves in me.

By vertue of this blessed union, as Christ is become our life; so (that which is the highest improvement not onely of the rationall, but [Page 70] the supernaturall and spiritu­all life) is he thereby also made unto us of God, Wis­dome, Righteousnesse, 1 Cor. 1. 30. Sanctifi­cation, and Redemption. Not that he onely workes these great things in and for us, (this were too cold a con­struction of the divine boun­ty) but that he really becomes all these to us, who are true partakers of him.

Even of the wisest men that ever nature could boast of, is verified that character which the divine Apostle gave of them long agoe; Their foolish heart was dark­ned; professing themselves to be wise, Rom. 1. 21, 22. they became fools; and stil the best of us (if we be but our selves) may take up that complaint of Asaph: So foo­lish [Page 71] was I and ignorant; Ps. 73. 22. I was as a beast before thee; and of Agur the son of Jake; Prov. 30. 2, 3. Surely I am more brutish then man; and have not the understanding of a man; I neither learned wisdome, nor have the know­ledge of the holy▪ and if any man will be challenging more to himself, he must at last take up, with Solomon; I said I will be wise, Eccl. 7. 23. but it was farre from me; But how de­fective soever we are in our selves, there is wisdome e­nough in our head, Christ, to supply all our wants: He that is the wisdome of the Father, is by the Father made our wisdome:Col. 2. 3. In him are hid all the treasures of wisedome and knowledge, saith the A­postle: So hid, that they are [Page 72] both revealed, and communi­cated to his own:2 Cor. 4. 6. For God who commanded the light to shine out of darknesse, hath shi­ned in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God, in the face of Jesus Christ: In and by him hath it pleased the Father to impart himself unto us; He is the image of the invisible God; Col. 1. 15. even the brightnesse of his glory, Heb. 1. 3. and the expresse i­mage of his person. It was a just check that he gave to Philip in the Gospel; Have I been so long time with you, John 14. 9 and yet hast thou not known mee, Philip? he that hath seen me, hath seen the Father: And this point of wisdome is so high and excellent, that all hu­mane skil, and all the so much [Page 73] admired depths of Philoso­phy are but meer ignorance and foolishnesse, in compa­rison of it; Alas, what can these profound wits reach unto, but the very outside of these visible and transitory things? as for the inward forms of the meanest crea­tures, they are so altogether hid from them, as if they had no beeing; and as for spiri­tuall and divine things, the most knowing Naturalists are either stone-blinde, that they cannot see them, or grope after them in an E­gyptian darknesse:1 Cor. 2. [...]4 For the naturall man perceiveth not the things of the Spirit of God; nei­ther can he know them, because they are spiritually discerned; How much lesse can they [Page 74] know the God of Spirits, who (besides his invisibility) is infinite, and incomprehen­sible? only he, who is made our wisdome enlightneth our eyes with this divine knowledge;Mat. 11. 27 No man knoweth the Father but the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will re­veal him.

Neither is Christ made our wisdome onely in respect of heavenly wisdome impar­ted to us; but in respect of his perfect wisdome impu­ted unto us: Alas, our igno­rances and sinfull misprisions are many and great, where should we appear, if our faith did not fetch succour frō our all-wise, and all-sufficient Mediator? Oh Saviour, we are wise in thee our head, [Page 75] how weak soever we are of our selves: Thine infinite wisdome and goodnesse both covers and makes up all our defects; The wife cannot be poor, whiles the husband is rich; thou hast vouchsa­fed to give us a right to thy store; we have no reason to be disheartned with our own spirituall wants, whiles thou art made our wisdome.

It is not meer wisdome that can make us acceptable to God;§ 14. Christ made our Righte­ousnesse. if the serpents were not in their kinde wiser then we, we should not have been advised to be wise as ser­pents: That God, who is essentiall Justice, as well as Wisedome, requires all his to be not more wise, then ex­quisitely righteous: Such, [Page 76] in themselves they cannot be; For in many things we sin all; such therefore they are, and must be in Christ, their head, who is made unto us of God, together with Wis­dome, Righteousnesse; Oh incomprehensible mercy! He hath made him to be sin for us, 2 Cor. 5. 21 who knew no sin, that we might be made the righteousnesse of God in him; what a marvel­lous and happy exchange is here? we are nothing but sin; Christ is perfect righte­ousnesse; He is made our sin, that we might he made his righteousnesse; He that knew no sin, is made sin for us; that we who are all sin, might be made Gods righteousness in him; In our selves wee are not onely sinfull, but sin; [Page 77] In him we are not righteous onely, but righteousnesse it self; Of our selves, we are not righteous, we are made so; In our selves, we are not righteous, but in him; we made not our selves so, but the same God in his in­finite mercy who made him sin for us, hath made us his righteousnesse: No other­wise are we made his righ­teousnesse, then he is made our sin: Our sin is made his by Gods imputation; so is his righteousnesse made ours; How fully doth the second Adam answer, and transcend the first;Rom. 5. 18 By the of­fence of the first, judgement came upon all men to condem­nation; by the righteousnesse of the second, the free gift came [Page 78] upon all men unto justification of life. Rō. 5. 19. As by one mans disobedi­ence many were made sinners, so by the obedience of one shall many be made righteous; righ­teous, not in themselves, (so death passed upon all, Rom. 5. 12 for that all have sinned) but in him that made them so,5. 11. by whom we have received the atone­ment: How free then, and how perfect is our justificati­on? What quarrell may the pure and holy God have a­gainst righteousnesse? against his own righteousnesse? and such are we made in, and by him: what can now stand between us and blessedness? Not our sins; for this is the praise of his mercy, that he justifies the ungodly; Rom 4. 5. Yea, were wee not sinfull, how [Page 79] were we capable of his ju­stification? sinfull, as in the tearm from whence this act of his mercy moveth, not, as in the tearm wherein it re­steth; his grace findes us sinfull, it doth not leave us so: Far be it from the righ­teous Judge of the world to absolve a wicked soul con­tinuing such:Pro. 17. 15 He that justifi­eth the wicked, and he that con­demneth the just, even they both are an abomination to the Lord: No, but he kils sin in us whiles he remits it; and, at once cleanseth, and ac­cepts our persons: Repen­tance and remission doe not lagge one after another; both of them meet at once in the penitent soul: at once doth the hand of our faith lay [Page 80] hold on Christ, and the hand of Christ lay hold on the soul to justification: so as the sinnes that are done a­way, can be no barre to our happinesse: And what but sinnes can pretend to an hin­drance? All our other weak­nesses are no eye-sore to God, no rub in our way to heaven; What matters it then how unworthy wee are of our selves? It is Christs obedi­ence that is our righteousnes: and that obedience cannot but be exquisitely perfect, cannot but be both justly ac­cepted as his, and mercifully accepted as for us. There is a great deal of difference betwixt being righteous, and being made righteousnesse; every regenerate soul hath [Page 81] an inherent justice, or righ­teousnesse in it self; He that is righteous, Rev. 22. 11 let him be righte­ous still, saith the Angel: But at the best this righteousness of ours, is like our selves full of imperfection; If thou, Lord, Ps. 130. 3. shouldst mark iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? Be­hold, Ezra 9. 15. we are before thee in our trespasses, for we cannot stand before thee, because of this; How should a man be just with God; Job 9. 2, 3. If he will contend with him, he cannot answer him one of a thousand. So then, hee that doth righteousnesse is righteous,1 Joh. 3. 7. but by pardon and indulgence, because the righteousnesse he doth is weak and imperfect; he that is made righteousnesse, is perfectly righteous by a gra­cious [Page 82] acceptation, by a free imputation of absolute obe­dience. Wo were us, if wee were put over to our own ac­cōplishments; for,Gal. 3. 10. Cursed is e­very one that cōtinueth not in all things which are written in the book of the Law to do them; Deut. 27. 16. and, If we say that we have no sin, 1 Joh. 1. 8. we deceive our selves, and the truth is not in us; Lo, if there be truth in us, we must con­fesse we have sinne in us; and if we have sin, we violate the Law; and if we violate the Law, we lye open to a curse. But here is our com­fort, that our surety hath paid our debt: It is true, we lay forfaited to death; Justice had said,Ezek. 18. 4 The soul that sin­neth shall die: Mercy inter­poseth, and satisfies; The [Page 83] Son of God (whose every drop of bloud was worth a world) payes this death for us:Rom. 8. 33 34. And now, Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods elect? It is God that ju­stifieth, who is he that condem­neth? It is Christ that died, yea, rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God, who also maketh intercessiō for us. Our sin, our death is laid upon him, and underta­ken by him;Esa. 53. 5. He was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisements of our peace were upon him, and with his stripes we are healed; His death, his obedience is made over to us; So then, the sin that we have committed, and the death that we have deserved [Page 84] is not ours; but the death which he hath endured, and the obedience that he hath performed, is so ours, as he is ours, who is thereupon made of God our righteousnesse. Where now are those ene­mies of grace that scoffe at imputation; making it a ri­diculous paradox, that a man should become just by ano­ther mans righteousnesse? How dare they stand out a­gainst the word of truth, which tels us expresly that Christ is made our righte­ousnesse? What strangers are they to that grace they oppugn? How little do they consider that Christ is ours? his righteousnesse therefore by which we are justified, is in him our own; Hee that [Page 85] hath borne the iniquitie of us all hath taught us to call our sinnes our debts; Esa. 53. 6. those debts can be but once paid;Mat. 6. 12. if the bounty of our Redee­mer hath staked down the sums required, and cancelled the bonds; and this payment is (through mercy) fully ac­cepted as frō our own hands, what danger, what scruple can remain? What doe we then, weak souls, tremble to think of appearing before the dreadfull tribunall of the Almighty? we know him indeed to be infinitely, and inflexibly just; we know his most pure eyes cannot abide to behold sin; we know wee have nothing else but sinne for him to behold in us: Certainly, were we to appear [Page 86] before him in the meer shape of our own sinfull selves, we had reason to shake and shi­ver at the apprehension of that terrible appearance; but now that our faith assures us, we shall no otherwise bee presented to that awfull Judge then as cloathed with the robes of Christs righte­ousnesse, how confident should we be, thus decked with the garments of our el­der brother, to carry away a blessing? whiles therefore we are dejected with the conscience of our own vile­nesse, we have reason to lift up our heads in the confi­dence of that perfect righte­ousnesse which Christ is made unto us, and we are made in him.

[Page 87] At the barre of men many a one is pronounced just who remains inwardly foule and guilty;§ 15. Christ made our Sancti­fication. for the best of men can but judge of things as they appear, not as they are; but the righteous Arbiter of the world declares none just whom he makes not holy. The same mercy therefore that makes Christ our righ­teousnesse, makes him also our sanctification; of our selves, wretched men, what are we other at our best, then unholy creatures, full of pollution and spirituall uncleannesse? it is his most holy Spirit that must cleanse us from all the filthinesse of our flesh and spirit,2 Cor. 7. 1. and work us daily to further degrees of sanctification, (He that is [Page 88] holy, Rev. 22. 11 let him be holy stil) neither can there be anything more abhorring from his infinite justice and holinesse, then to justifie those souls which lie still in the loathsome or­dure of their corruptions. Certainly, they never truly learnt Christ, who would draw over Christs righte­ousnesse, as a case of their close wickednesses; that se­ver holinesse from justice, and give no place to sancti­fication, in the evidence of their justifying: Never man was justified without faith; and wheresoever faith is there it purifieth and clean­seth;Acts. 15. 9 But besides that the Spirit of Christ works thus powerfully (though gradu­ally) within us, That he may [Page 89] sanctifie and cleanse us with the washing of water, Eph. 5. 26, 27. by the word, his holinesse is merci­fully imputed to us, That he may present us to himself a glorious Church, not having spot, or wrinckle, or any such thing, but that wee should bee holy and without blemish: so as that inchoate holinesse, which by his gracious ino­peration grows up daily in us towards a full perfecti­on, is abundantly supplyed by his absolute holinesse, made no lesse by imputati­on, ours, then it is perso­nally his: When therefore we look into our bosomes, we finde just cause to bee ashamed of our impurity, and to loath those dregs of corruption, that yet remain [Page 90] in our sinfull nature; but when vve east up our eyes to heaven and behold the infinite holinesse of that Christ, to whom we are u­nited, which by faith is made ours, vvee have reason to bear up against all the dis­couragements, that may arise from the conscience of our own vilenesse, and to look God in the face with an aw­full boldnesse, as those vvhom he is pleased to pre­sent holy,Col. 1. 22. and unblameable, and unreproveable in his sight:Heb. 2. 11. as knowing that he that sanctifieth, and they that are sanctified are all of one.§ 16. Christ made our Redemp­tion.

Redemption vvas the great errand for vvhich the Sonne of God came down into the [Page 91] vvorld; and the vvorke vvhich hee did vvhiles hee vvas in the vvorld; and that, vvhich (in vvay of applicati­on of it) hee shall bee ever accomplishing, till he shall deliver up his Mediatory Kingdome into the hands of his Father; in this he begins, in this he finishes the great businesse of our salvation: For those who in this life are enlightned by his vvis­dome, justified by his me­rits, sanctified by his grace, are yet conflicting vvith ma­nifold temptations, and strug­ling with varieties of mise­ries and dangers, till upon their happy death, and glo­rious resurrection, they shall be fully freed, by their ever­blessed and victorious Re­deemer: [Page 92] He therefore, vvho by vertue of that heavenly u­nion, is made unto us of God, Wisdome, Righteousnesse, Sanctification; is also upon the same ground made unto us our full Redemption. Re­demption implies a captivi­ty; We are naturally under the vvofull bondage of the Law, of sin, of miseries, of death: The Law is a cruell exactor; for it requires of us vvhat vvee cannot now doe; and vvhips us for not doing it;Rom. 4. 15 for the Law wor­keth wrath; Gal. 3. 10. and, as many as are of the workes of the Law, are under the curse. Sinne is a vvorse tyrant then he, and takes advantage to exercise his cruelty by the Law; For when we were in the flesh, Rom. 7. 5. the [Page 93] motions of sins, which were by the Law, did work in our mem­bers to bring forth fruit unto death; Upon sinne necessari­ly follows misery, the fore­runner of death; and death the upshot of all miseries; By one man sinne entred into the world, Rom. 5. 12 and death by sin; and so death passed upon all men, for that all have sinned. From all these is Christ our Redempti­on; from the Law;Gal. 3. 13. for Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us: Rom. 6. 11 From sin▪ for we are dead to sin, but alive unto God through Jesus Christ our Lord; Sin shall not have dominion o­ver you, 6. 14. for ye are not under the Law, but under Grace. From death, and therein from all miseries: O death, [Page 94] where is thy sting? 1 Cor. 15. 55, 56, 57. O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sinne; and the strength of sinne is the Law: But thanks be to God which gi­veth us victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Now then, let the Lavv doe his vvorst, we are not under the Law, Rom. 6. 14 but under Grace. The case therefore is altered be­twixt the Law and us. It is not now a cruell Task-ma­ster, to beat us to, and for our vvork; it is our School-master, to direct, and to whip us unto Christ: It is not a severe Judge, to condemne us, it is a friendly guide to set us the vvay towards hea­ven. Let sin joyn his forces together vvith the Law, they cannot prevail to our hurt; [Page 95] For what the Law could not doe, Rō. 8. 3, 4. in that it was weak through the flesh, God sending his owne Son in the likenesse of sinfull flesh, condemned sin in the flesh, that the righteousnesse of the Law might be fulfilled in us, who walk not after the flesh but after the spirit. Let death joyn his forces vvith them both,Rom. 8. 2. vve are yet safe; For the Law of the spirit of life, hath freed us from the Law of sin, and of death; What can vve therefore fear, vvhat can vve suffer, vvhiles Christ is made our Redemption?

Finally, as thus Christ is made unto us Wisdome, Righteousnesse, Sanctificati­on, & Redemption; so what­soever else he either is, or hath or doth, by vertue of this [Page 96] blessed union, becomes ours; he is our richesEph. 1. 7., our strengthPsal. 27. 1 28. 7., our gloryEph. 1. 18, our salvation1 Thes. 5. 9. Esa. 12. 2. 3, our allCol. 3 11: he is all to us; and all is ours in him.

From these primary and intrinsecal priviledges there­fore, flow all those secondary and externall,§ 17. The ex­ternall privi­ledges of this uniō, a right to the blessings of earth and hea­ven. vvherewith vve are blessed; and there­in a right to all the blessings of God, both of the right hand and of the left; an in­teresse in all the good things both of earth and heaven: Hereupon it is that the glori­ous Angels of Heaven be­come our Guardians, keeping us in all our ways, and vvor­king secretly for our good upon all occasions; that all Gods creatures are at our [Page 97] service; that we have a true spirituall title to them;1 Cor. 3. 22, 23. All things are yours (saith the A­postle) and ye are Christs, and Christ Gods.

But take heed, my son, of mis-laying thy claime to what, and in what manner thou ought'st not. There is a civill right, that must regu­late our propriety to these earthly things; our spirituall right neither gives us posses­sion of them, nor takes away the right and propriety of others; Every man hath and must have what by the just Lawes of purchase, gift, or in­heritance is derived to him; otherwise there would fol­low an infinite confusion in the world; we could neither enjoy nor give our owne; and [Page 98] onely will, and might must be the arbiters of all mens e­states; which how unequall it would be, both reason and ex­perience can sufficiently e­vince. This right is not for the direption or usurpation of that which civill titles have legally put over to others; there were no theft, no rob­bery, no oppression in the world, if any mans goods might be every mans: But for the warrantable and com­fortable injoying of those earthly commodities in re­gard of God their originall owner, which are by humane convciances justly become ours; The earth is the Lords and the fulnesse of it; in his right what ever parcells doe lawfully descend unto us, we [Page 99] may justly possesse as we have them legally made over to us from the secondary and im­mediate owners. There is a generation of men who have vainly fancied the founding of Temporall dominion in Grace; and have upon this mistaking outed the true heyres as intruders, and feof­fed the just and godly in the possession of wicked inheri­tors; which whether they be worse Commonwealths­men, or Christians is to me utterly uncertaine; sure I am they are enemies to both; whiles on the one side, they destroy all civill propriety, and commerce; and on the o­ther, retch the extent of the power of Christianity so far, as to render it injurious, and [Page 100] destructive both to reason and to the Lawes of all well-or­dred humanity▪ Nothing is ours by injury and injustice, all things are so ours, that we may with a good conscience enjoy them as, from the hand of a munificent God, when they are rightfully estated up­on us by the lawfull conven­tion or bequest of men. In this regard it is that a Chri­stian man is the Lord of the whole universe; and hath a right to the whole creation of God: how can he chal­lenge lesse? he is a son; and in that an heire; and (accor­ding to the high expression of the holy ghost) a co-heir with Christ; As therefore we may not be high-minded, but fear; so we may not be too low-har­ted [Page 101] in the under-valuing of our condition; In God we are great, now mean soever in our selves: In his right the world is ours, what ever pittance we enjoy in our owne; how can we goe lesse when we are one with him who is the posses­sour of heaven and earth?

It were but a poore com­fort to us, if by vertue of this union wee could only lay claime to all earthly things: alas, how vaine and transitory are the best of these? peri­shing under our hand in the very use of them, and in the meane while how unsatisfy­ing in the fruition? All this were nothing, if we had not hereby an interesse in the best of all Gods favours, in the heaven of heavens and the e­ternity [Page 102] of that glory which is there laid up for his Saints; far above the reach of all hu­mane expressions, or conceits; It was the word of him who is the eternall word of his fa­ther;Ioh. 17. 24. Father, I will that they also whom thou hast given mee, be with me where I am that they may behold my glory which thou hast given me; and not only to be meere spectators, but even partners of this celestiall blisse together with himselfe;Ioh. 17. 22. The glory which thou gavest me I have given them, that they may be one, even as we are one. Oh the transcendent and in­comprehensible blessednesse of the beleevers, which even when they enjoy they cannot be able to utter, for measure infinite, for duration eternall! [Page 103] Oh the inexplicable joy of the ful & everlasting accomplish­ment of the happy union of Christ & the beleeving soule, more fit for thankfull wonder and ravishment of Spirit then for any finite apprehension!

Now that we may looke a little further into the meanes by which this union is wrought;§ 18. The meanes by which this uni­on is wrought. Know, my Sonne, that as there are two persons betwixt whom this union is made, Christ and the belee­ver; so each of them concurres to the happy effecting of it; Christ, by his spirit diffused through the hearts of all the regenerate, giving life and ac­tivity to them: the beleever, laying hold by faith upon Christ so working in him; and these doe so re-act upon [Page 104] each other, that from their mutuall operation results this gracious union whereof wee treat. Here is a spirituall mar­riage betwixt Christ and the soule: The liking of one part doth not make up the match, but the consent of both. To this purpose Christ gives his spirit; the soule plights her faith: What interesse have we in Christ but by his spirit? what interesse hath Christ in us but by our faith?

On the one part; He hath given us his holy Spirit, saith the Apostle;1 Thes. 4. 8 and (in a way of correlation) we have received not the spirit of the world, 1 Cor. 2. 12 but the spirit which is of God; And this spirit we have so re­ceived, as that he dwells in us;Rom. 8. 11 and so dwells in us, as that we [Page 105] are joyned to the Lord;1 Cor. 5. 2. and he that is joyned to the Lord is one spirit.Gal. 2. 20.

On the other part, wee have accesse by faith into this grace wherein we stand, and reioice in hope of the glory of God▪ Ephes. 3. 17 so as now the life that wee live in the flesh, we live by the faith of the sonne of God; who dwells in our hearts by faith▪ O the grace of faith (ac­cording to St. Peters style) tru­ly▪ precious;2 Pet. 1. 1. justly recom­mended to us by S. Paul a­bove all other graces incident into the soule;Ephes. 6. 16 as that, which if not alone yet chiefly trans­acts all the maine affaires ten­ding to salvation: for faith is the quickning graceGal. 2. 20 Rom. 1. 17▪, the di­recting grace2 Cor. 5. 7., the protect­ing graceEphes. 6. 16., the establishing [Page 106] grace,Rom. 11. 20▪ 2 Cor. 1. 24. the justifying grace, Rom. 5. 1. the sanctifying and purify­ing grace;Act. 15. 9. faith is the grate that assents to,Heb. 11. 1 apprehends, applyes, appropriates Christ, and hereupon the uniting grace, and (which compre­hends all) the saving grace. If ever therefore we looke for any consolation in Christ, or to have any part in this beati­ficall union, it must be the maine care of our hearts to make sure of a lively faith in the Lord Jesus, to lay fast hold upon him, to clasp him close to us, yea to receive him inwardly into our bosomes; and so to make him ours, and our selves his, that we may be joyned to him as our head, e­spoused to him as our hus­band, incorporated into him [Page 107] as our nourishment, engrafted in him as our stock, and layd upon him as a sure foundati­on.

Hitherto wee have treated of this blessed union as in re­lation to Christ the head;§ 19. The uni­on of Christs members with them­selves; First, those in heaven. it remaines that we now consi­der of it, as it stands in relati­on to the members of his mysticall body, one towards another▪ For as the body is u­nited to the head, so must the members be united to them­selves to make the body truly compleat: Thus the holy ghost by his Apostle:1 Cor. 12. 12. As the body is one and hath many mem­bers, and all the members of that one body being many, are one bo­dy, so is Christ. From this en­tire conjunction of the mem­bers with each other, arises [Page 108] that happy communion of Saints, which wee professe both to beleeve and to partake of; This mysticall body of Christ is a large one, extend­ing it self both to heaven and earth; there is a reall union betwixt all those farre-spred limmes: betweene the Saints in heaven; betweene the Saints on earth; between the Saints in heaven and earth.

We have reason to begin at heaven, thence is the originall of our union and blessednesse: There was never place for discord in that region of glo­ry, since the rebellious An­gels were cast out thence; the spirits of just men made per­fect must needs agree in a per­fect unity; Heb. 12. neither can it be o­therwise, for there is but one [Page 109] will in heaven; one scope of the desires of blessed souls, wch is the glory of their God; all the whole chore sing one song, and in that one harmo­nious tune of Allelujah. We poor parcell-sainted souls here on earth professe to bend our eyes directly upon the same holy end, the ho­nour of our Maker and Re­deemer, but, alas, at our best, we are drawn to look asquint at our own aims of profit, or pleasure; Wee professe to sing loud praises unto God, but it is with many harsh and jarring notes; above, there is a perfect accordance in an unanimous glorifying of him that sits upon the throne for ever; Ps. 31. 23. Oh, how ye love the Lord, all ye his Saints, [Page 110] Oh how joyfull ye are in glory.Ps. 31. 23. The heavens shall praisePs. 149. 5. thy wonders, O Lord; thy faithful­nesse also in the congregation of the Saints:Ps. 89. 5. O what a blessed Common-wealth is that a­bove! The City of the living God,Heb. 12. 22 the heavenly Jerusalem (ever at unity within it selfe) & therin the innumerable com­pany of Angels,Ps. 122. 3. and the generall Assembly and Church of the first-born, which are written in heaven; the spirits of just men made perfect, and (whom they all adore) God the judge of all; and Jesus the Mediator of the New Testament: All these as one, Ps. 68. 17. as holy: Those twenty thousand chariots of heaven move all one way; When those four beasts full of eyes, round about the throne give glory,Rev. 4. 6, 7. and [Page 111] honour, and thanks to him that sits upon the throne, saying, Ho­ly, holy,Rev. 4. 8, 9, 10. holy Lord God Almigh­ty, which was, and is, and is to come; then the four and twenty Elders fall down before him, and cast their crownes be­fore the throne; No one wears his crown whiles the rest cast down theirs, all accord in one act of giving glory to the Highest. Rev. 7. 4. After the sealing of the Tribes,V. 9, 10. A great multi­tude, which no man could num­ber, of all Nations, and kin­dreds, and people, and tongues stood before the throne, and be­fore the Lamb cloathed with white robes and palmes in their hands. And cryed with a loud voice, Salvation to our God, which sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb; And all [Page 112] the Angels stood about the throne,Revel. 7. 11, 12. and about the Elders, and the four beasts, and fell be­fore the throne on their faces and worshipped God, saying, A­men: Blessing, and glory, and wisdome, and thanksgiving, and honour, and power, and might be unto God for ever and ever. Lo, those spirits which here below were habited with severalll bodies, diffe­rent in shapes, statures, ages, complexions, are now above as one spirit rather distingui­shed, then divided; all uni­ted in one perpetuall adorati­on and fruition of the God of spirits; all mutually hap­py in God; in themselves, in each other.

[Page 113] Our copy is set us above;§ 20. The uniō of Christs members upon earth: First, in matter of judge­ment. we labour to take it out here on earth; What doe we but daily pray that the blessed u­nion of souls, which is emi­nent in that empyrcall hea­ven, may be exemplified by us in this region of mortali­ty? For, having through Christ an accesse by one spirit unto God the Father, Eph. 2. 18, 19. being no more strangers and forainers, but fellow Citizens with the Saints, and of the houshold of God, we cease not to pray, Thy will be done in earth, Mat. 6. 10. as it is in heaven: Yea, O Saviour, thou, who canst not but be heard, hast prayed to thy Father for the accomplish­ment of this union; That they may be one even as we are one; Joh. 17. 22 23. I in them, and thou in me; that [Page 114] they may be perfect in one. What then is this union of the members of Christ here on earth, but a spirituall one­nesse arising from an happy conspiratiō of their thoughts and affections? for whereas there are two main principles of all humane actions and dispositions, the brain and the heart; the conjuncture of these two cannot but pro­duce a perfect union; from the one our thoughts take their rise; our affections from the other; in both, the soul puts it self forth upon all matter of accord, or diffe­rence. The union of thoughts is, when we minde the same things, when we a­gree in the same truths: This is the charge which the A­postle [Page 115] of the Gentiles lays up­on his Corinthians, and, in their persons, upon all Chri­stians;1 Cor. 1. 10 Now I beseech you, Bre­thren, by the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that ye all speak the same thing; and that there be no divisions among you; but that ye be perfectly joyned toge­ther in the same minde and in the same judgement; And this is no other then that one faith,Eph. 4. 5. which makes up the one Church of Christ upon earth; One, both in respect of times and places. Of times: so as the Fathers of the first world, and the Pa­triarks of the next, and all Gods people in their ages, that lookt (together with them) for the redemption of Israel; are united with us [Page 116] Christians of the last days in the same beleef;Luke 2. 38 and make up one entire body of Christs Catholik Church: Of pla­ces; so as all those that truly professe the name of Christ (though scattered into the far­thest remote regions of the earth) even those that walk with their feet opposite to ours, yet meet with us in the same center of Christian faith, and make up one hous­hold of God.

Not that we can hope it possible that all Christians should agree in all truths; whiles wee are here, our mindes cannot but be more unlike to each others, then our faces: yea, it is a rare thing for a man to hold con­stant to his own apprehensi­ons. [Page 117] Lord God! what a world doe we meet with of those, who mis-call them­selves severall Religions, in­deed, severall professions of one and the same Christiani­ty? Melchites, Georgians, Maronites, Jacobites, Arme­nians, Abysines, Cophti, Nesto­rians, Ruffians, Mengrellians; and the rest that fill up the large Map of Christianogra­phy; all which, as whiles they hold the head Christ, they cannot be denyed the priviledge of his members; so being such, they are, or should be indissolubly joined together in the unity of spirit, and maintenance of the faith which was once delive­red unto the Saints.Jude 3. It is not the variety of by opinions [Page 118] that should, or can exclude them from having their part in that one Catholick Church; and their just claim to the communion of Saints: whiles they hold the solid and precious foundation, it is not the hay, or stubble, which they lay upon it,1 Cor. 3. 12 that can set them off from God, or his Church: But in the mean time, it must be gran­ted, that they have much to answer for to the God of peace and unity, who are so much addicted to their own conceits, and so indulgent to their own interesse, as to raise and maintain new Doctrines, and to set up new Sects in the Church of Christ, varying from the common and recei­ved truths; labouring to [Page 119] draw Disciples after them▪ to the great distraction of souls, and scandall of Chri­stianity: With which sort of disturbers, I must needs say, this age into which we are fallen, hath been, and is above all that have gone be­fore us, most miserably pe­stered: What good soul can be other then confounded to hear of, and see more then an hundred and fourscore new, (and some of them dangerous and blasphemous) opinions broached, and defended in one (once famous and unani­mous) Church of Christ? Who can say other, upon the view of these wild thoughts, then Gerson said long since, that the world now growne old, is full of doting fancies; [Page 120] if not rather that the world now near his end, raves, and talks nothing but fancies, and frenzies? How arbitrary soever these selfe-willed fa­naticks may think it, to take to themselves this liberty of thinking what they list; and venting what they think, the blessed Apostle hath▪ long since branded them with an heavy sentence; Now I be­seech you, Rō. 16. 17. brethren, mark them which cause divisions and of­fences, contrary to the doctrine which you have learned, and avoid them; For they that are such serve not our Lord Jesus Christ, but their own belly; and by good words, and by fair spee­ches deceive the hearts of the simple.

But notwithstanding all [Page 121] this hideous variety of vain and heterodoxall concepti­ons; he who is the truth of God, and the Bridegroom of his Spouse the Church, hath said,Cant. 6. 9. My Dove, my undefiled is one. One, in the main, essen­tiall, fundamentall verities necessary to salvation; though differing in divers mis-raised Corollaries, incon­sequent inferences, unneces­sary additions, feigned tradi­tions, unwarrantable practi­ses: the body is one, though the garments differ; yea, ra­ther (for most of these) the garment is one, but differs in the dressing; handsomely and comely set out by one, disguised by another; Nei­ther is it, nor ever shall be in the power of all the fiends [Page 122] of hell, the professed make­bates of the world, to make Gods Church other then one; which were indeed ut­terly to extinguish, and re­duce it to nothing: for the unity, and entity of the Church, can no more be di­vided then it self. It were no lesse then blasphemy to fa­sten upon the chaste and most holy husband of the Church any other then one Spouse; In the Institution of Marriage did he not make one? Mal. 2. 15. yet had he the residue of the spirit; and wherefore one? that he might seek a godly seed: That which he ordained for us, shall not the holy God much more observe in his own heavenly match with his Church? Here is then [Page 123] one Lord, one Faith, one Bap­tisme; One Baptisme, by which wee enter into the Church, one Faith, which we professe in the Church, and one Lord whom wee serve, and who is the head, and husband of the Church.

How much therefore doth it concern us,§ 21. The uniō of Chri­stians in matter of affection. that we who are united in one common beleef, should be much more united in affection; that where there is one way, there should bee much more one heart? Jer. 32. 39. This is so justly supposed, that the Prophet questions,Amos 3. 3. Can two walk together, except they be agreed? if we walk together in our judgements, we can­not but accord in our wils: This was the praise of the Primitive Christians, and [Page 124] the pattern of their succes­sours;Acts 4. 32. The multitude of them that beleeved were of one heart, and of one soul; Yea, this is the Livery which our Lord and Saviour made choice of, whereby his meniall servants should be known and distin­guished;Joh. 13. 35 By this shall all men know that ye be my Disciples, if ye have love to one another: In vain shall any man pretend to a Discipleship, if he do not make it good by his love to all the family of Christ. The whole Church is the spiritu­all Temple of God; every beleever is a living stone laid in those sacred wals; what is our Christian love but the morter or cement whereby these stones are fast joyned together to make up this [Page 125] heavenly building? with­out which that precious fa­brick could not hold long to­gether, but would be subject to dis-joynting by those vio­lent tempests of opposition, wherewith it is commonly beaten upon: There is no place for any loose stone in Gods edifice; The whole Church is one entire body, all the lims must be held to­gether by the ligaments of Christian love; if any one will be severed, and affect to subsist of it self, it hath lost his place in the body; Thus the Apostle,Eph. 4. 15, 16. That we being sincere in love may grow up in­to him in all things, which is the head, even Christ; From whom the whole body fitly joy­ned together, and compacted [Page 126] by that which every joynt sup­plyeth; according to the effe­ctuall working in the measure of every part, maketh increase of the body, unto the edifying of it self in love.

But in case there hap­pen to be differences in opi­nion, concerning points not essentiall, not necessary to salvation, this diversity may not breed an alienation of affection. That charity which can cover a multitude of sins, may much more co­ver many small dissensions of judgement: We cannot hope to be all, and at all times equally enlightned; at how many and great weak­nesses of judgement did it please our mercifull Saviour to connive, in his domestique [Page 127] ples? They that had so long sate at the sacred feet of him that spake as never man spake, were yet to seek of those Scriptures, which had so clearely foretold his re­surrection;Joh. 20. 9. and after that were at a fault for the man­ner of his kingdome;Acts 1. 6. yet he that breaks not the bruised reed, nor quenches the smoa­king flaxe, fals not harshly upon them for so foul an er­ror, and ignorance, but enter­tains them with all loving respects, not as followers onely, but as friends: And his great Apostle,Joh. 15. 15. after hee had spent himself in his un­weariable endeavours upon Gods Church; and had sown the seeds of wholesom, & sa­ving doctrine every where, [Page 128] what ranke and noisome weeds of erroneous opini­ons rose up under his hand, in the Churches of Corinth, Galatia, Ephesus, Colosse, Phi­lippi, and Thessalonica? These he labours to root out, with much zeal, with no bitter­nesse; so opposing the er­rors, as not alienating his af­fection from the Churches; These, these must be our pre­cedents, pursuing that charge of the prime Apostle, Final­ly, 1 Pet. 3. 8. be ye all of one minde; ha­ving compassion one of ano­ther, love as brethren, be piti­full, be courteous: and that passionate and adjuring ob­testation of the Apostle of the Gentiles; Phil. 2. 1, 2. If there be any consolation in Christ, if any comfort of love, if any fellowship [Page 129] of the spirit, if any bowels and mercies; Fulfill ye my joy, that ye be like minded, having the same love, being of one accord, of one minde.

This is it that gives beau­ty, strength, glory to the Church of God upon earth; and brings it nearest to the resemblance of that Trium­phant part above, where there is all perfection of love and concord; in imitation where­of, the Psalmist sweetly; Be­hold, Ps. 133. 1. how good and joyfull a thing it is brethren to dwel to­gether in unity. § 22. A com­plaint of divisions, and, not­withstan­ding thē, an asser­tion of u­nity.

So much the more justly lamentable it is to see the ma­nifold and grievous distracti­ons of the Church of Christ, both in judgement and affe­ction. Woe is me, into how [Page 130] many thousand peeces is the seamlesse coat of our Saviour rent? Yea, into what num­berlesse atomes is the preci­ous body of Christ torn and minced? There are more Religions, then Nations up­on earth; & in each Religion as many different conceits, as men. If Saint Paul, when his Corinthians did but say, I am of Paul, 1 Cor. 1. 12, 13. I am of Apollo, I am of Cephas, could ask, Is Christ divided? when there was onely an emulatory magni­fying of their own Teachers, (though agreeing and or­thodoxe) what (think wee) would he now say, if he saw hundred of Sect-masters and Heresiarchs (some of them opposite to other, all to the Truth) applauded by their [Page 131] credulous and divided fol­lowers? all of them claim­ing Christ for theirs, and de­nying him to their gain-say­ers; would hee not aske, Is Christ multiplied? Is Christ sub-divided? Is Christ shred into infinities? O God! what is become of Christia­nity? How doe evill spirits & men labour to destroy that Creed wch we have always constantly professed? For, if we set up more Christs, where is that one? and if we give way to these infinite distractions, where is the communion of Saints? But he not too much dismaid, my son; notwithstanding all these cold disheartnings, take courage to thy self: He that is truth it self hath said, The [Page 132] Gates of hell shall not prevail a­gainst his Church: Mat. 16. 18 In spight of all Devils, there shall be Saints, and those are, and shall be as the scales of the Leviathan, Job 41. 15 16, 17. whose strong peeces of shields are his pride, shut up together as with a close seal; one is so near to another, that no ayr can come betwixt them; They are joyned one to another, they stick together, that they cannot be sundred: In all the main principles of Religion, there is an universall and unani­mous consent of all Christi­ans, and these are they that constitute a Church: Those that agree in these, Christ is pleased to admit (for mat­ter of doctrine) as members of that body whereof he is the head: and if they admit [Page 133] not of each other as such, the fault is in the uncharitable­nesse of the refusers, no lesse then in the error of the refu­sed: And if any vain and loose straglers will needs sever themselves, and wil­fully choose to goe ways of their own; let them know that the union of Christs Church shall consist entire without them; This great Ocean will be one collection of waters, when these drops are lost in the dust: In the mean time it highly concerns all that wish well to the sa­cred name of Christ, to labour to keep the unity of the spirit in the bond of peace; Eph. 4. 3. and to re­nue and continue the prayer of the Apostle for all the professors of Christianity. [Page 134] Now the God of patience and consolation, Rom. 15. 5, 6. grant you to be like-minded one towards ano­ther, according to Christ Je­sus; That ye may with one minde, and one mouth glorifie God, even the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Far be it from us to think this union of the hearts of Gods Saints upon earth can be idle and ineffectuall;§ 23. The ne­cessary effects & fruits of this uniō of Chri­stian hearts. but where ever it is, it puts forth it self into a like-affectednesse of disposition, into an im­provement of gifts, into a communication of outward blessings, to the benefit of that happy consociation.

We cannot be single in our affections, if we be lims of a Christian community; What member of the body [Page 135] can complain, so as the rest shall not feel it? Even the head and heart are in paine, when a joynt of the least toe suffers; no Christian can be afflicted alone; It is not Saint Pauls case onely;2 Cor. 11. 29. Who is weak, and I am not weak? who is of­fended, and I burn not? Our shoulders are not our own, we must bear one anothers burdens:Gal. 6. 2. There is a better kinde of spirituall good fel­lowship in all the Saints of God; They hate a propriety of passions,Rō. 12. 15. Rejoyce with them that rejoyce, and weep with them that weep. Their affections are not more communicative then their gifts and graces; those, as they are bestowed with an intuition of the common good, so they are [Page 136] improved; Wherefore hath this man quicknesse of wit, that man depth of judgment, this, heat of zeal, that, power of elocution; this, skill, that, experience; this, authority, that, strength; but that all should be laid together for the raising of the common stock? How rich therefore is every Christian soul, that is not onely furnished with its own graces, but hath a speciall interest in all the ex­cellent gifts of all the most eminent servants of God through the whole world? Surely, he cannot be poore, whiles there is any spirituall wealth in the Church of God upon earth.

Neither are, or can these gifts be in the danger of [Page 137] concealments; they are still put forth for the publike ad­vantage: As therefore no true Christian is his own man; so he freely lays out himself, by example, by ad­monition, by exhortation, by consolation, by prayer, for the universall benefit of all his fellow-members; By exam­ple, which is not a little win­ning and prevalent;Mat. 5. 16. Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works, and glorifie your Father which is in heaven; saith our Savi­our in his Sermon upon the Mount; and his great Apo­stle seconds his charge to his Philippians; That ye may be blamelesse and harmlesse, Phil. 2. 15, 16. the Sons of God, without rebuke in the midst of a crooked, and per­verse [Page 138] nation, among whom ye shine as lights in the world, hol­ding forth the word of life; Lo, the world sits in darknesse, and either stirs not, or moves with danger; good exam­ple is a light to their feet, which directs them to walk in the ways of God, without erring, without stumbling: so as the good mans actions are so many copies for novi­ces to take out; no lesse in­structive then the wisest mens precepts. By admoni­tion; the sinner is in danger of drowning; Seasonable admonition is an hand reacht out, that lays hold on him now sinking, and draws him up to the shore. The sinner is already in the fire;Jude 23. seaso­nable admonition snatches [Page 139] him out from the everlasting burnings. The charitable Christian may not forbear this (oft times thanklesse, but) always necessary and profitable duty;Lev. 19. 17 Thou shalt not hate thy brother in thy heart; thou shalt in any wise rebuke thy neighbour, and not suffer sin upon him.

By exhortation; The fire of Gods Spirit within us, is subject to many damps, and dangers of quenching; sea­sonable exhortation blowes it up, and quickens those sparks of good motions to a perfect flame; Even the best of us lies open to a cer­tain deadnesse and obdured­nesse of heart, seasonable ex­hortation shakes off this pe­rill, and keeps the heart in an [Page 140] holy tendernesse; and whe­ther awfull, or chearfull dis­position; Exhort one another daily, Heb. 3. 13. whiles it is called, to day; lest any of you bee hardned through the deceitfulnesse of sin.

By consolation; We are all naturally subject to droop under the pressure of afflicti­ons; seasonable comforts lift, and stay us up: It is a sad complaint that the Church makes in the La­mentations; They have heard that I sigh;Lam. 1. 21 there is none to comfort me; and David sets the same mournfulditty upon his Shoshannim; Reproach hath broken my heart,Ps. 69. 20. and I am full of heavinesse; and I looked for some to take pity, and there was none, and for comforters, but I found none. Wherefore hath [Page 141] God givē to men the tongue of the learned,Esa. 50. 4.but that they might know to speak a word in season to him that is wea­ry? That they may strengthen the weak hands,Esa. 35. 3. and confirm the feeble knees; and say to them that are of a fearfull heart, Be strong, fear not. The charge that our Saviour gives to Pe­ter,Luk. 23. 32 holds universally; Thou when thou art converted, strengthen thy brethren.

By prayer: so as each member of Christs Church sues for all; neither can any one bee shut out from parta­king the benefit of the devo­tions of all Gods Saints up­on earth: There is a certain spirituall traffique of piety betwixt all Gods children, wherein they exchange pray­ers [Page 142] with each other; not re­garding number, so much as weight: Am I weak in spi­rit, and faint in my supplica­tions? I have no lesse share in the most fervent prayers of the holiest suppliants, then in my own; All the vigour that is in the most ardent hearts supplies my defects; whiles there is life in their faithfull devotions, I cannot goe away unblessed.

Lastly, where there is a communion of inward gra­ces, and spirituall services, there must needs much more be a communication of out­ward, and temporall good things, as just occasion requi­reth; Away with those do­tages of Platonicall, or Ana­baptisticall communities; Let [Page 143] prieties be, as they ought, constantly fixed where the laws, and civill right have placed them; But let the use of these outward bles­sings be managed, and com­manded by the necessities of our brethren; Withhold not thy goods from the owners ther­of, Prov. 3. 27, 28. when it is in the power of thy hand to doe it: Say not unto thy neighbour, Go, and come again to morrow, and I will give it, when thou hast it by thee. These temporall things were given us not to engrosse, and hoard up superfluously, but to di­stribute and dispense; As we have therefore opportunity, Gal. 6. 10. let us doe good unto all men, especi­ally them who are of the houshold of faith.

Such then is the union of [Page 144] Gods children here on earth, both in matter of judgement, and affection; and the bene­ficiall improvement of that affection, whether in spiritu­all gifts, or good offices, or communicating of our earth­ly substance; where the heart is one, none of these can be wanting, and where they all are, there is an happy com­munion of Saints.

As there is a perfect union betwixt the glorious Saints in heaven;§ 24. The uni­on of the Saints on earth with those in heaven. and a union (though imperfect) betwixt the Saints on earth: So there is an union partly perfect, and partly imperfect, between the Saints in heaven, and the Saints below upon earth: perfect, in respect of those glorified Saints above, im­imperfect, [Page 145] in respect of the weak returns we are able to make to them again. Let no man think that because those blessed souls are out of sight farre distant in another world, and we are here toy­ling in a vale of tears, wee have therefore lost all mu­tuall regard to each other: no, there is still, and ever will be a secret, but unfailing cor­respondence between heaven and earth. The present hap­pinesse of those heavenly Ci­tizens cannot have abated ought of their knowledge, and charity, but must needs have raised them to an high­er pitch of both: They there­fore, who are now glorious comprehensors, cannot but in a generality, retain the notice [Page 146] of the sad condition of us poor travellers here below, pāting towards our rest toge­ther wth thē, and, in common, wish for the happy consum­mation of this our weary pilgrimage, in the fruition of their glory; That they have any Perspective whereby they can see down into our particular wants, is that which we finde no ground to beleeve; it is enough that they have an universall ap­prehension of the estate of Christs warfaring Church upon the face of the earth;Rev. 6. 10. and as fellow-members of the same mysticall body, long for a perfect glorification of the whole.

As for us wretched pil­grims, that are yet left here [Page 147] below to tugge with many difficulties, we cannot forget that better half of us that is now triumphing in glory; O ye blessed Saints above, we honour your memories so far as wee ought; wee doe with praise recount your vertues, wee magnifie your victories, we blesse God for your happy exemption from the miseries of this world, and for your estating in that blessed immortality; Wee imitate your holy examples, we long and pray for an hap­py consociation with you; we dare not raise Temples, dedicate Altars, direct pray­ers to you; we dare not fi­nally, offer any thing to you which you are unwilling to receive, nor put any thing [Page 148] upon you, which you would disclaim as prejudiciall to your Creator, and Redeemer. It is abundant comfort to us, that some part of us is in the fruition of that glory; where­to we (the other poor labou­ring part) desire, and strive to aspire: that our head and shoulders are above water, whiles the other lims are yet wading through the stream.

To winde up all,§ 25. Areca­pitulatiō and sum of the whole treatise. my son, if ever thou look for sound comfort on earth, and salva­tion in heaven; unglue thy self from the world and the vanities of it; put thy self upon thy Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ; Leave not till thou findest thy self firmly united to him; so as thou art become a limb of that [Page 149] body whereof he is head, a Spouse of that husband, a branch of that stemme, a stone laid upon that founda­tion; Look not therefore for any blessing out of him; and in, and by, and from him look for all blessings; Let him be thy life, and wish not to live longer then thou art quickned by him; find him thy wisdome, righteousness, sanctification, redemption; thy riches, thy strength, thy glory: Apply unto thy self all that thy Saviour is, or hath done;Hier. Zanch. loc. com. 8. de Symbolo Apost. Wouldst thou have the graces of Gods Spirit? fetch them from his anointing; Wouldst thou have power against spirituall enemies? fetch it from his Soveraignty; Wouldst thou [Page 150] have redemption? fetch it from his passion; Wouldst thou have absolution? fetch it from his perfect innocence; Freedome from the curse? fetch it from his crosse? Sa­tisfaction? fetch it from his sacrifice; Cleansing from sin? fetch it from his bloud; Mortification? fetch it from his grave; Newnesse of life? fetch it from his resurrecti­on; Right to heaven? fetch it from his purchase; Audience in all thy suits? fetch it from his intercessiō; Wouldst thou have salvation? fetch it from his session at the right hand of Majesty: Wouldst thou have all? fetch it from him who is one Lord, Eph. 4. 5, 6. one God and Father of all, who is above all, and through all, and in all: [Page 151] And as thy faith shall thus interesse thee in Christ thy head: so let thy charity u­nite thee to his body the Church, both in earth, and heaven; hold ever an invio­lable communion with that holy and blessed fraternity. Sever not thy selfe from it either in judgement, or affe­ction; Make account there is not one of Gods saints upon earth, but hath a propriety in thee: and thou maist chal­lenge the same in each of them: so as thou canst not but be sensible of their passi­ons; and be freely commu­nicative of all thy graces, and all serviceable offices, by ex­ample, admonition, exhor­tation, consolation, prayer, beneficence, for the good of [Page 152] that sacred community.

And when thou raisest up thine eyes to heaven, think of that glorious society of blessed saints, who are gone before thee, and are now there triumphing, and reigning in eternall, and incomprehensi­ble glory; blesse God for them, and wish thy self with them, tread in their holy steps, and be ambitious of that crown of glory and im­mortality which thou seest shining upon their heads.


AN HOLY RAPTURE: OR, A Patheticall Meditation of the love of Christ.

BY J. H. B. N.


  • § 1. THe love of Christ, how passing knowledge; how free; of us, before we were.
  • § 2. How free; of us that had made our selves vile, and mi­serable.
  • § 3. How yet free; of us that were professed enemies.
  • § 4. The wonderfull effects of the love of Christ; 1. His Incarnation.
  • § 5. 2. His love in his suffe­rings.
  • § 6. 3. His love in what hee hath done for us; and 1. in preparing heaven for us from eternity.
  • § 7. His love in our redemp­tion from death, and hell.
  • § 8. His love in giving us the guard of his Angels.
  • [Page 156] § 9. His love in giving us his holy Spirit.
  • § 10. Our sense and improve­ment of Christs love in all the former particulars; and first in respect of the inequa­lity of our persons.
  • § 11. A further improvement of our love to Christ, in respect of our unworthinesse, and of his sufferings and glory pre­pared for us.
  • § 12. The improvement of our love to Christ for the mercy of his deliverance, of the tuition of his Angels, of the powerfull working of his good Spirit for the accom­plishment of our salvation.

AN HOLY RAPTVRE: OR, A Patheticall Meditation of the love of CHRIST.

WHat is it,§ 1. The love of Christ how pas­sing knowledge; how free; of us be­fore we were. O bles­sed Apostle, what is it, for which thou dost so earnestly bow thy knees (in the behalf of thine Ephesians) unto the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ? Even this, that they may know the love of Christ which passeth knowledge.Eph. 3. 14. 19. Give me leave first to won­der at thy suit; and then, much more, at what thou suest for: Were thine affe­ctions [Page 158] raised so high to thine Ephesians, that thou shouldst crave for them impossible fa­vours? Did thy love so far over-shoot thy reason, as to pray they might attain to the knowledge of that which cannot be known? It is the love of Christ which thou wishest they may know, and it is that love which thou sayest is past all knowledge; What shall we say to this? Is it for that there may be holy ambitions of those heights of grace, which we can never hope actually to attain? Or is it, rather, that thou supposest, and prayest they may reach to the know­ledge of that love, the mea­sure whereof they could ne­ver aspire to know: Surely, [Page 159] so it is, O blessed Jesu; that thou hast loved us, we know; but, how much thou hast lo­ved us, is past the compre­hension of Angels: Those glorious spirits, as they de­sire to looke into the deep mystery of our redemption, so they wonder to behold that divine love whereby it is wrought, but they can no more reach to the bottome of it, then they can affect to be infinite. For surely, no lesse then an endlesse line can serve to fadome a bottomlesse depth: Such, O Saviour, is the abysse of thy love to mi­serable man: Alas, what doe we poor, wretched, dust of the earth goe about to mea­sure it by the spans, and in­ches of our shallow thoughts. [Page 160] Far, far, be such presumption from us; Onely admit us, O blessed Lord, to look at, to admire and adore that which we give up for incompre­hensible; What shall wee then say to this love; Oh dear Jesu, both as thine, and as cast upon us; All earthly love supposeth some kinde of equality, (or proportion at least) betwixt the person that loves, and is loved; Here is none at all; so as (which is past wonder) ex­treams meet without a mean: For, lo, thou, who art the e­ternall and absolute Beeing, God blessed for ever, lovedst me that had no beeing at all; thou lovedst me both when I was not, and could never have been but by thee: It [Page 161] was from thy love that I had any beeing at all: much more that when thou hadst given me a beeing, thou shouldst follow mee with succeeding mercies? who but thou (who art infinite in goodnesse) would love that which is not? Our poor sensuall love is drawn from us by the sight of a face, or a picture; neither is ever raised but upon some pleasing motive: thou wouldst make that which thou wouldst love, and wouldst love that which thou hadst made; O God, was▪ there ever love so free, so gracious, as this of thine? Who can be capable to love us but men or Angels? Men love us because they see [Page 162] something in us which they think amiable; Angels love us because thou dost so: But why doest thou (O blessed Lord) love us, but because thou wouldst? There can be no cause of thy will, which is the cause of all things; E­ven, so Lord, since this love did rise onely from thee, let the praise and glory of it rest onely in thee.

Yet more,§ 2. How free; of us that had made our selvs vile and misera­ble. Lord; we had lost our selves before we were, and having forfaited what we should be, had made our selves perfectly misera­ble; even when wee were worse then nothing, thou wouldst love us; was there ever any eye enamoured of deformity? Can there bee any bodily deformitie com­parable [Page 163] to that of sin? yet, Lord, when sin had made us abominably loathsome, didst thou cast thy love upon us: A little scurf of leprosie, or some few nastie spots of mor­phew, or, but, some unsavo­ry sent sets us off; and turns our love into detestation.

But for thee, (O God) when we were become as foul, and ugly as sinne could make us, even then was thy love inflamed towards us; Even when we were weltring in our blood, thou saidst, Live, and washedst us, and a­nointedst us, and cloathedst us with broidered work, and deckedst us with ornaments, and graciously espousedst us to thy self, and receivedst us into thine owne bosome: [Page 164] Lord, what is man that thou art thus mindfull of him, and the son of man that thou thus visitest him? Oh what are we in comparison of thine once-glorious Angels? They sinned and fell, never to bee recovered; never to be loo­sed from those everlasting chains, wherein they are re­served to the judgement of the great day: Whence is it then, O Saviour, whence is it that thou hast shut up thy mercy from those thy more excellent creatures, and hast extended it to us, vile sinfull dust? whence? but that thou wouldst love man, be­cause thou wouldst? Alas, it it is discouragement enough to our feeble friendship, that he to whom we wisht well, [Page 165] is miserable: Our love doth gladly attend upon, and en­joy his prosperity; but when his estate is utterly sunke, and his person expo­sed to contempt and ignomi­ny, yea, to torture and death; who is there that will then put forth himself to owne a forlorn, and perishing friend? But for thee, O blessed Jesu, so ardent was thy love to us, that it was not in the power of our extream misery to a­bate it; yea so, as that the deplorednesse of our conditi­on did but heighten that ho­ly flame; What speak I of shame or sufferings? Hell it self could not keep thee off from us; Even from that pit of eternall perdition didst thou fetch our condemned [Page 166] souls, and hast contrarily vouchsafed to put us into a state of everlasting blessed­nesse.

The common disposition of men pretends to a kind of justice in giving men their own;§ 3. How yet free; of us that were professed enemies. so as they will repay love for love; and thinke they may for hatred return enmity; nature it self then teacheth us to love our friends, it is onely grace that can love an enemy: But, as of injuries, so of enmities thereupon grounded, there are certain degrees; some are sleight and trivial, some main and capitall; If a man doe but scratch my face, or give some light dash to my fame, it is no great Mastery upon submission to receive [Page 167] such an offender to favour; but if he have endevoured to ruine my estate, to wound my reputation, to cut my throat, not onely to pardon this man, but to hug him in my arms, to lodge him in my bosome as my entire friend, this would be no o­ther then an high improve­ment of my charity. O Lord Jesu, what was I but the worst of enemies, when thou vouchsafedst to embrace me with thy loving mercy? how had I shamefully rebel­led against thee, and yeelded up all my members as instru­ments of unrighteousnesse unto sin? how had I crucifi­ed thee the Lord of life? how had I done little other then trod under foot thee the [Page 168] blessed Son of God, and counted the blood of the Covenant an unholy thing; how had I in some sort done despight unto the spirit of grace? yet even then, in de­spight of all my most odious unworthinesse, didst thou spread abroad thine arms to receive me, yea, thou ope­nedst thine heart to let me in: O love passing not knowledge onely, but won­der also! O mercy, not inci­dent into any thing lesse then infinite; nor, by any thing lesse,§ 4. The won­derfull effects of the love of Christ: His In­carnatiō. comprehensible!

But, oh dear Lord, when from the object of thy mer­cy, I cast mine eyes upon the effects and improvement of thy divine favours; and see what thy love hath [Page 169] drawn from thee towards the sons of men, how am I lost in a just amazement? It is that which fetcht thee down from the glory of the highest heavens, from the bosome of thine eternall Father to this lower world, the region of sorrow and death: It is that which (to the wonder of Angels) cloa­thed thee with this flesh of ours, and brought thee (who thoughtst it no robbery to be equall with God) to an estate lower then thine own crea­tures. Oh mercy transcending the admiration of all the glorious spirits of heaven, that God would bee incar­nate! Surely, that all those celestiall powers should be redacted to either worms, or [Page 170] nothing; that all this good­ly frame of creation should run back into its first confu­sion, or be reduced to one single atome; it is not so high a wonder as for God to become man; those chan­ges (though the highest that nature is capable of) are yet but of things finite; this is of an infinite subject, with which the most excellent of finite things can hold no proportion: Oh the great mystery of godlinesse; God manifested in the flesh, and seen of Angels! Those hea­venly spirits had ever since they were made, seen his most glorious Deity, and a­dored him as their omnipo­tent Creator; but to see that God of spirits invested with [Page 171] flesh, was such a wonder, as had been enough (if their nature could have been capa­ble of it) to have astonish­ed even glory it self; And whether to see him that was their God so humbled be­low themselves, or to see hu­manity thus advanced above themselves, were the greater wonder to them, they onely know: It was your foolish misprison, O ye ignorant Listrians, that you took the servants for the Master; here onely is it verified (which you supposed) that God is come down to us in the like­nesse of man; and as man conversed with men: What a disparagement doe wee think it was for the great Monarch of Babylon, for se­ven [Page 172] years together, as a beast to converse with the beasts of the field? Yet alas, beasts and men are fellow-crea­tures; made of one earth, drawing in the same ayre, re­turning (for their bodily part) to the same dust; sym­bolizing in many qualities; and in some, mutually tran­scending each others: so as here may seem to bee some tearms of a tolerable propor­tion; sith many men are in disposition too like unto beasts, and some beasts are in outward shape somewhat like unto men: But for him that was, and is, God, blessed for ever, eternall, infinite, incomprehensible, to put on flesh, and to become a man amongst mē, was to stoop be­low [Page 173] al possible disparities that heaven and earth can afford; Oh Saviour, the lower thine abasement was for us, the higher was the pitch of thy divine love to us.

Yet in this our humane condition there are degrees;§ 5. His love in his suf­ferings. One rules and glitters in all earthly glory; another sits despised in the dust; one passes the time of his life in much jollity and pleasure; another wears out his days in sorrow and discontent­ment; Blessed Jesu, since thou wouldst be a man, why wouldst thou not be the King of men? since thou wouldst come down to our earth, why wouldst thou not enjoy the best entertainment that the earth could yeeld thee? Yea, [Page 174] since thou who art the eter­nall Son of God, wouldst be the son of man, why didst thou not appear in a state like to the King of heaven, attended with the glorious retinue of blessed Angels? O yet greater wonder of mer­cies; The same infinite love that brought thee down to the form of man, would also bring thee down, being man, to the form of a servant. So didst thou love man that thou wouldst take part with him of his misery, that he might take part with thee of thy blessednesse: thou wouldst be poor to enrich us, thou wouldst be burdened for our ease, tempted for our victo­ry, despised for our glory.

With what lesse then ra­vishment [Page 175] of spirit can I be­hold thee, who wert from everlasting cloathed with glory and majesty, wrapped in rags: thee, who fillest heaven and earth with the majesty of thy glory, cra­dled in a manger; thee, who art the God of power, fleeing in thy mothers arms from the rage of a weak man; thee, who art the God of Israel, driven to be nursed out of the bosome of thy Church; thee, who madest the heaven of heavens, busily working in the homely trade of a foster­father; thee, who comman­dest the Devils to their chains, transported and tem­pted by that foul spirit; thee, who art God all-sufficient, exposed to hunger, thirst, [Page 176] wearines, danger, contēpt, po­verty, revilings, scourgings, persecution; thee, who art the just Judge of all the world, accused and condem­ned; thee, who art the Lord of life, dying upon the tree of shame and curse; thee, who art the eternall Son of God, strugling with thy Fa­thers wrath; thee, who hadst said, I and my Father are one, sweating drops of bloud in thine agony, and crying out on the Crosse, My God, my God, why hast thou forsaken me? thee, who hast the keys of hell, and of death, lying sealed up in another mans grave: Oh Saviour, whither hath thy love to mankinde carried thee? what sighs, and groans, and tears, and [Page 177] blood, hast thou spent upon us wretched men? How dear a price hast thou paid for our ransome? What raptures of spirit can be sufficient for the admiration of thy so in­finite mercy? Be thou swal­lowed up, O my soul, in this depth of divine love; and hate to spend thy thoughts any more upon the base ob­jects of this wretched world, when thou hast such a Savi­our to take them up.

But O blessed Jesu,§ 6. His love in prepa­ring hea­ven for us. if from what thou hast suffered for me, I shall cast mine eyes up­on what thou hast done for my soul; how is my heart divided betwixt the wonders of both; and may as soon tell how great either of them is, as whether of them is the [Page 178] greater. It is in thee that I was elected from all eternity; and ordained to a glorious inheritance before there was a world: we are wont (O God) to marvell at, and blesse thy provident beneficence to the first man, that before thou wouldst bring him forth in­to the world, thou wert plea­sed to furnish such a world for him, so goodly an house over his head, so pleasant a Paradise under his feet, such variety of creatures round about him for his subjecti­on, and attendance; But how should I magnifie thy mercy, who before that man, or that world had any beeing, hast so far loved me as to pre-ordain me to a place of blessedness in that heaven which should [Page 179] be, and to make me a co-heir with my Christ of thy glory: And oh, what an heaven is this that thou hast laid out for me: how resplendent, how transcendently glori­ous? Even that lower Para­dise which thou providedst for the harbour of inno­cence and holinesse, was full of admirable beauty, pleasure, magnificence, but if it be compared with this Paradise above, which thou hast prepared for the everla­sting entertainment of resto­red souls, how mean and beg­gerly it was? Oh match too unequall, of the best peece of earth, with the highest state of the heaven of heavens. In that earthly Paradise I finde thine Angels, the Cherubim; [Page 180] but it was to keep man off from that Garden of Delight, and from the tree of life in the midst of it; but in this heavenly one I finde millions of thy Cherubim, and Sera­phim rejoycing at mans bles­sednesse, and welcomming the glorified souls to their heaven: There I finde but the shadow of that, whereof the substance is here; There we were so possessed of life that yet we might forfait it; here is life without all possi­bility of death: Temptati­on could finde accesse thi­ther, here is nothing but a free and compleat fruition of blessednesse: There were de­lights fit for earthly bodies; here is glory more then can be enjoyed of blessed souls: [Page 181] That was watered with four streams, muddy, and impe­tuous; in this is the pure ri­ver of the water of life clear as Crystall, proceeding out of the throne of God, and of the Lamb: There I finde thee onely walking in the cool of the day; here manife­sting thy Majesty continual­ly: There I see onely a most pleasant Orchard, set with all manner of varieties of flourishing and fruitfull plants; here I finde also the City of God infinitely rich, and magnificent; the buil­ding of the wall of it, of Ja­sper; and the City it selfe pure gold, like unto cleare glasse; and the foundations of the wall garnished with all manner of precious [Page 182] stones: All that I can here attain to see, is the pave­ment of thy celestiall habita­tion: and, Lord, how glori­ous it is; how bespangled with glittering starres; for number, for magnitude equal­ly admirable? What is the least of them, but a world of light? and what are all of them, but a confluence of so many thousand worlds of beauty and brightnesse met in one firmament? And if this floor of thine heavenly Palace be thus richly set forth, oh, how infinite glory and magnificence must there needs be within? Thy cho­sen Vessell, that had the pri­viledge to be caught up thi­ther, and to see that divine state, (whether with bodily, [Page 183] or mentall eyes) can expresse it no otherwise, then that it cannot possibly be expressed: No, Lord, it were not infi­nite if it could bee uttered; Thoughts goe beyond words; yet even these come far short also; He that saw it, says; Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entred into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.

Yet is thy love,§ 7. His love in our re­demption frō death & hell. O Savi­our, so much more to bee magnified of me, in this pur­chased glory; when I cast down mine eyes, and look into that horrible gulf of tor­ment, and eternall death, whence thou hast rescued my poor soul: Even out of [Page 184] the greatest contentment which this world is capable to afford unto mankind, to be preferred to the joys of heavē, is an unconceivable ad­vantage; but from the depth of misery to be raised up un­to the highest pitch of felici­ty, addes so much more to the blessing, as the evill from which we are delivered is more intolerable: Oh bles­sed Jesu, what an hell is this out of which thou hast freed me? what dreadfull horror is here? what darknesse? what confusion? what an­guish of souls that would, and cannot die? what how­ling, and yelling, and shrie­king, and gnashing? what everlasting burnings? what never slaking tortures? what [Page 185] mercilesse fury of unwearia­ble tormentors? what utter despair of any possibility of release? what exquisitenesse, what infinitenesse of paines that cannot, yet must be en­dured? Oh God, if the im­potent displeasure of weake men have devised so subtile engines of revenge upon their fellow-mortals for but petty offences; how can wee but think thine infinite justice and wisdome must have or­dained such forms and ways of punishment for hainous sins done against thee, as may be answerable to the vi­olation of thy divine Maje­sty? Oh therefore the most fearfull and deplored conditi­on of damned spirits, never to be ended, never to be aba­ted; [Page 186] Oh those unquenchable flames; Oh that burning Tophet, deep and large; and those streams of brimstone wherewith it is kindled; Oh that worm ever gnawing and tearing the heart, never dying, never sated: Oh ever-living death, oh ever renuing tor­ments; oh never pitied, ne­ver intermitted damnation; From hence, O Saviour, from hence it is that thou hast fetcht up my condemned soul; This is the place, this is the state out of which thou hast snatcht me up into thy heaven: Oh love and mercy more deep then those depths from which thou hast saved me; more high then that heaven to which thou hast advanced me!

[Page 187] Now,§ 8. Christs love in giving us the guard of his Angels. whereas in my pas­sage from this state of death towards the fruition of im­mortall glory▪ I am way-laid by a world of dangers; part­ly, through my own sinfull aptnesse to miscarriages, and partly through the assaults of my spirituall enemies, how hath thy tender love and compassion, ô blessed Jesu, undertaken to secure my soul from all these deadly perils▪ both without, and within: without, by the guardance of thy blessed Angels: within, by the powerfull inoperation of thy good Spirit which thou hast given me? Oh that mine eyes could be ope­ned with Elishaes servant, that I might see those troops of heavenly soldiers, those [Page 188] horses and chariots of fire, wherewith thou hast encom­passed mee! every one of which is able to chase away a whole host of the powers of darknes: Who am I, Lord, who am I, that, upon thy gracious appointment, these glorious spirits should still watch over me in mine up­rising, and down lying; in my going out, and comming in? that they should bear me in their arms, that they should shield me with their prote­ction? Behold, such is their majesty and glory, that some of thy holiest servants have hardly been restrained from worshipping them; yet so great is thy love to man, as that thou hast ordained them to be ministring spirits, sent [Page 189] forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salva­tion. Surely they are in na­ture far more excellent then man; as being spirituall sub­stances, pure intelligences, meet to stand before the throne of thee the King of glory; What a mercy then is this, that thou, who wouldst humble thy self to be lower then they, in the susception of our nature; art pleased to humble them in their offices to the guardianship of man, so far, as to call them the Angels of thy little ones up­on earth? How hast thou blessed us, and how should we blesse thee in so mighty, and glorious attendants?

[Page 190] Neither hast thou,§ 9. His love in giving us his ho­ly Spirit. O God, meerly turn'd us over to the protection of those tutelary spirits; but hast held us still in thine own hand; having not so strongly defenced as without, as thou hast done within; Since that, is wrought by thine Angels, this, by thy Spirit; Oh the soveraign and powerfull in­fluences of thy holy Ghost; whereby wee are furnished with all saving graces, strengthned against all temp­tations, heartned against all our doubts and fears; enabled both to resist, and overcome; and upon our victories, crow­ned. Oh divine bounty, far beyond the reach of wonder! So God (the Father) loved the world, that he gave his [Page 191] onely begotten Sonne, that whosoever beleeveth in him should not perish, but have e­verlasting life: So God the Son loved the world of his e­lect, that he gave unto thē the holy Spirit of promise, wher­by they are sealed unto the day of redemption; wherby accor­ding to the riches of his glo­ry they are strengthned with might in the inner man; by the vertue whereof shed a­broad in their hearts, they are enabled to cry, Abba, Fa­ther. Oh gifts; either of which are more worth then many worlds; yet through thy goodnes, ô Lord, both of thē mine: How rich is my soul through thy divine munifi­cence, how over-laid with mercies? How safe in thine [Page 192] Almighty tuition? How happy in thy blessed possessi­on? Now therefore I dare in the might of my God, bid defiance to all the gates of hell; Doe your worst, ô all ye principalities and powers, and rulers of the darknesse of this world, and spirituall wickednesses in high places; doe your worst; God is mine, and I am his; I am above your malice in the right of him whose I am; It is true, I am weak, but he is omnipo­tent; I am sinfull, but he is infinite holinesse; that pow­er, that holinesse in his graci­ous application is mine; It is my Saviours love that hath made this happy ex­change of his righteousnesse for my sin; of his power for [Page 391] my infirmity; Who then shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods elect? It is God that justifieth: Who shal separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulati­on, or distresse, or persecuti­on, or famine, or nakednesse, or perill, or sword? Nay, in all these things we are more thē conquerors through him that loved us: So as, neither death, nor life, nor Angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come; nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to sepa­rate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Lo, where this love is placed; were it our love of God, how easily might [Page 194] the power of a prevalent temptation separate us from it, or it from us; for, alas, what hold is to be taken of our affections, wch, like unto water, are so much more apt to freeze because they have been heated; but it is the love of God to us in Christ Jesus,§ 10. Our sense and im­prove­ment of Christs love in all the former particu­lars: and first, in respect of the ine­quality of the persons. which is ever as himself con­stant and eternall: He can no more cease to love us, then to be himself; he cannot but be unchangeable, we cannot but be happy.

All this, O deare Jesu, hast thou done, all this hast thou suffered for me; And oh now for an heart that might be some ways answe­rable to thy mercies! Surely, even good natures hate to be [Page 195] in debt for love; and are ready to repay favours with interest; Oh for a soul sick of love, yea, sick unto death! why should I, how can I be any otherwise, any whit lesse affected, O Saviour? this onely sicknesse is my health, this death is my life, and not to be thus sick, is to be dead in sins and trespasses. I am rock and not flesh, if I be not wounded with these hea­venly darts: Ardent affecti­on is apt to attract love even where is little or no beauty; and excellent beauty is no lesse apt to enflame the heart where there is no answer of affection; but when these two meet together, what breast can hold against them? and here they are both [Page 196] in an eminent degree. Thou canst say even of thy poore Church (though labouring under many imperfections) Thou hast ravished my heart, my sister, my Spouse, thou hast ravished my heart with one of thine eyes, with one chain of thy neck; how fair is thy love, my sister, my Spouse? And canst thou, O blessed Saviour be so taken with the incurious and homely fea­tures of thy faithfull ones; and shall not we much more be altogether enamoured of thine absolute and divine beauty? of whom every beleeving soul can say; My beloved is white and ruddy, the chiefest among ten thou­sand; his head is as the most fine gold; his eyes are as the [Page 197] eyes of doves by the rivers of waters, his cheekes are as a bed of spices, as sweet flowers; his lips like lillies, dropping sweet smelling myrrhe, &c. It hath pleased thee, O Lord, out of the sweet ravishments of thy heavenly love, to say to thy poor Church, Turn away thine eyes from mee, for they have overcome me; but oh let mee say unto thee; Turn thine eyes to me, that they may overcome me; I would be thus ravished, thus overcome; I would be thus out of my self, that I might be all in thee.

Thou lovedst me before I had beeing; Let me now that I have a beeing be whol­ly taken up with thy love; [Page 198] Let me set all my soul upon thee that gavest me beeing; upō thee who art the eternal, & absolute Self-beeing; who hast said, and only could say, I am that I am; Alas, Lord, we are nothing but what thou wilt have us; and cease to be when thou callest in that breath of life wch thou hast lent us; thou▪ art that incōpre­hensibly glorious, & infinite self-existing Spirit from eter­nity, in eternity, to eternity; in, and from whom all things are: It is thy wonderfull mercy that thou wouldst condescend so low, as to vouchsafe to be loved of my wretchednesse, of whom thou mightest justly require and expect nothing but terrour and trembling. It is my hap­pinesse [Page 199] that I may be allowed to love a Majesty so infinite­ly glorious: Oh let me not be so farre wanting to my own felicity, as to bee lesse then ravished with thy love.

Thou lovedst me when I was deformed,§ 11. A fur­ther in­forcemēt of our love to Christ in respect of our un­worthi­nesse and his suffe­rings, & prepared glory. loathly, for­lorn, and miserable; shall I not now love thee when thou hast freed me, and deckt me with the ornaments of thy Graces? Lord Jesu, who should enjoy the fruit of thine own favours but thy self? How shamefully inju­rious were it, that when thou hast trimm'd up my soul, it should prostitute it self to the love of the world? Oh take my heart to thee alone; possesse thy self of that which none can claim but thy self.

[Page 200] Thou lovedst me when I was a professed rebell against thee, and receivedst me not to mercy onely, but to the indearment of a subject, a servant, a son; vvhere should I place the improvement of the thankfull affections of my loyaltie and duty but upon thee?

Thou, O God, hast so lo­ved us, that thou wouldst be­come the Son of man for our sakes, that vve vvho are the sons of men might become the sons of God; Oh that vve could put off the man, to put on Christ; that we could neglect and hate our selves for thee that hast so dearly loved us as to lay aside thine heavenly glory for us!

How shall I bee vile e­nough, [Page 201] O Saviour, for thee, who for my sake (being the Lord of life and glory) wouldst take upon thee the shape of a servant? How should I welcome that pover­ty which thy choice hath sanctified? How resolutely shall I grapple with the temptations of that enemy, vvhom thou hast foiled for me? How chearfully should I passe through those mise­ries and that death, which thou hast sweetned? With vvhat comfortable assurance shall I look upon the face of that mercifull Justice vvhich thou hast satisfied? But oh vvhat a blessed inheritance hast thou in thine infinite love provided for me? an inheritance incorruptible, [Page 202] and undefiled, and that fa­deth not away, reserved in heaven for me; so as when my earthly house of this Ta­bernacle shall be dissolved, I have a building of God, an house not made with hands eternall in the heavens: An house? Yea, a Palace of heavenly state and magnifi­cence; neither is it lesse then a kingdome that abides there for mee: a kingdome so much more above these worldly Monarchies, as hea­ven is above this clod of earth: Now, Lord, vvhat conceits, vvhat affections of mine can be in the least sort answerable to so transcendent mercy? If some friend shall have been pleased to bestow some mean Legacy upon me; [Page 203] or shall have feoffed me in some few acres of his Land; how deeply doe I finde my self obliged to the love and memory of so kinde a Bene­nefactor? Oh then, Lord, how can my soul be capable of those thoughts and dis­positions, vvhich may reach to the least proportion of thine infinite bounty, vvho of a poor worm on earth, hast made me an heir of the king­dome of heaven. Wo is me, how subject are these earthly Principalities to hazard, and mutability, whether through death, or insurrectiō; but this Crown wch thou hast laid up for me is immarcescible; and shall sit immoveably fast up­on my head, not for years, not for millions of ages, but [Page 204] for all eternity; Oh let it be my heaven here below, in the mean vvhile, to live in a perpetuall fruition of thee, and to begin those Allelujahs to thee here,§ 12. The im­prove­ment of our love to Christ for the mercy of his deli­verance; of the tu­ition of his An­gels; of the pow­erfull working of his good Spi­rit. vvhich shall be as endlesse as thy mercy, and my blessednesse.

Hadst thou been pleased to have translated me frō thy former Paradise, the most de­lightfull seat of mans origi­nall integrity and happinesse, to the glory of the highest heaven, the preferment had been infinitely gracious; but to bring my soul from the nethermost hell and to place it among the Chore of An­gels, doubles the thank of thy mercy, and the measure of my obligation: How thankfull was thy Prophet [Page 205] but to an Ebedmelech, that by a cord and rags let down in­to that dark dungeon, helpt him out of that uncomfor­table pit wherein he was lodged; yet, what was there but a little cold, hunger, stench, closenesse▪ obscurity? Lord, how should I blesse thee, that hast fetcht my soul from that pit of eternall hor­rour, from that lake of fire and brimstone, from the e­verlasting torments of the damned, wherein I had de­served to perish for ever? I will sing of thy power; unto thee, O my strength will I sing; for God is my delive­rer, and the God of my mer­cie.

But, O Lord, if yet thou shouldst leave me in my own [Page 206] hands, where vvere I? how easily should I be rob'd of thee with every temptation? how should I be made the scorn and insultation of men and devils? It is thy won­derfull mercy that thou hast given thine Angels charge over me; Those Angels great in power, and glori­ous in Majesty are my sure (though invisible) guard: Oh blessed Jesu, what an honour, what a safety is this, that those heavenly spirits which attend thy throne should be my champions▪ Those that ministred to thee after thy temptation▪ are readie to assist and relieve me in mine; they can nei­ther neglect their charge, because they are perfectly [Page 207] holy, nor fail of their victo­ry, because they are (under thee) the most powerfull. I see you, O ye blessed Guar­dians, I see you by the eye of my faith, no lesse truly, then the eye of my sense sees my bodilie attendants; I do truly (though spirituallie) feel your presence by your gracious operations, in, up­on, and for me; and I doe heartilie blesse my God and yours, for you, and for those saving offices that (through his mercifull appointment) you ever doe for my soul. But as it was with thine Isra­elites of old, that it would not content them that thou promisedst, and wouldst send thine Angel before them, to bring them into the Land [Page 208] flowing with milk and hony, unlesse thy presence, O Lord, should also goe along with them; so is it still with me and all thine, wert not thou with, and in us, what could thine Angels doe for us? In thee it is that they move and are; The same infinite Spi­rit which works in, and by them, works also in me: From thee it is, O thou bles­sed and eternall Spirit, that I have any stirrings of holy motions, any breathings of good desires, any life of grace, any will to resist, any power to overcome evill; It is thou, O God, that girdest me with strength unto battell; thou hast given me the shield of thy salvation; thy right hand hath holden me up; thou [Page 209] hast also given me the necks of mine enemies. Glory and praise be to thee, O Lord, which alwaies causest us to triumph in Christ; vvho crownest us with loving kindnesse, & tender mercies; and hast not held us short of the best of thy favours.

Truly, Lord, hadst thou given us but a meer beeing, as thou hast done to the lowest rank of thy creatures, it had been more then thou owest us: more then ever we could be able to requite to thy divine bountie; for e­very beeing is good, and the least degree of good is farre above our worthinesse; But, that to our beeing thou hast added life, it is yet an higher measure of thy mercy; for cer­tainly, [Page 210] of thy common fa­vours, life is the most preci­ous; yet this is such a benefit as may be had and not per­ceived; for even the plants of the earth live and feel it not; that to our life, there­fore thou hast made a fur­ther accession of sense, it is yet a larger improvement of thy beneficence: for this fa­cultie hath some power to manage life; and makes it capable to affect those means which may tend to the pre­servation of it, and to decline the contrary; but this is no other then the brute crea­tures enjoy equallie with us, and some of them beyond us: that therefore to our sense thou hast blessed us vvith a further addition of reason, [Page 211] it is yet an higher pitch of munificence; for hereby we are men; and, as such, are able to attain some know­ledge of thee our Creator, to observe the motions of the heavens, to search into the natures of our fellow-crea­tures, to passe judgement up­on actions, and events, and to transact these earthlie affairs to our own best advantage. But when all this is done, wo were to us if vve vvere but men; for our corrupted reason renders us of all crea­tures the most miserable: that therefore to our reason thou hast superadded faith; to our nature grace; and of men hast made us Christians; and to us, as such, hast given thy Christ, thy Spirit; and [Page 212] thereby made us of enemies, sons, and heirs; co-heirs with Christ of thine eternall and most glorious kingdome of heaven; yea, hast incorpo­rated us into thy self, & made us one spirit with thee our God; Lord, what room can there be possibly in these strait and narrow hearts of ours for a due admiration of thy transcendent love and mercy? I am swallowed up, O God, I am willingly swal­lowed up in this bottomlesse abysse of thine infinite love; and there let me dwell in a perpetuall ravishment of spi­rit, till being freed from this clog of earth, and filled with the fulnesse of Christ, I shall be admitted to enjoy that, which I cannot now reach [Page 213] to wonder at, thine incom­prehensible blisse, and glory, which thou laid up in the highest heavens for them that love thee, in the blessed com­munion of all thy Saints, and Angels, thy Cherubim, and Seraphim, Thrones, Domini­ons, and Principalities, and Powers; in the beatificall presence of thee the ever-li­ving God, the eternall Fa­ther of spirits, Father, Son, holy Ghost, one infinite Dei­ty, in three, co-essentially, co-eternally, co-equally glo­rious persons; To vvhom be blessing, honour, glory, and power for ever and ever. Amen, Allelujah.


THE CHRISTIAN, LAID FORTH IN His whole Disposition and Carriage.

BY I. H. D. D. B. N.



The Exhortatory Preface.
  • § 1. THe Christians disposi­tion.
  • § 2. His expence of the day.
  • § 3. His recreations.
  • § 4. His meals.
  • § 5. His nights rest.
  • § 6. His carriage.
  • § 7. His resolution in matter of Religion.
  • § 8. His discourse.
  • § 9. His devotion.
  • § 10. His sufferings.
  • § 11. His conflicts.
  • § 12. His death.

An Exhortatory Preface to the Christian Reader.

OVt of infallible rules and long experience have I gathered up this true character of a Christian: A labour (some will think) might have been well spared: Every man professes both to know and act this part; Who is there that would not be angry, if but a question should be made either of his skill, or interest? Surely, since the first name givē at Antioch, all the beleeving world hath been ambitious of the honour of it; How happy were it, if all that are willing to wear the livery, were as ready to doe the service. But it fals out here, as in the case of all things that [Page 218] are at once honourable, and diffi­cult, every one affects the title, few labour for the truth of the atchievement. Having therefore leisure enough to look about me, and finding the world too prone to this worst kind of hypocrisie, I have made this true [...], not more for direction, then for tryall. Let no man view these lines as a stranger; but when he looks in this glasse, let him ask his heart whether this be his own face; yea, rather when he sees this face, let him examine his heart whether both of thē agree with their pattern. And where he findes his failings, (as who shall not?) let him strive to a­mend them; and never give o­ver, whiles he is any way lesse fair then his copy.

In the mean time, I would it [Page 219] were lesse easie, by these rules, to judge even of others besides our selves; or, that it were uncha­ritable to say, there are many Professors, few Christians; If words and forms might carry it, Christ would have Clients [...] ▪ but if holinesse of dispo­sition, and uprightnesse of car­riage must be the proof, wo is me,Esa. 24. 13. In the midst of the Land, a­mong the people, there is as the shaking of an Olive tree, and as the gleaming grapes where the Vintage is done. For where is the man that hath obtained the mastery of his corrupt affe­ctions, and to be the Lord of his unruly appetite? that hath his heart in heaven, whiles his li­ving carcass is stirring here upō earth? that can see the invisi­ble, and s [...]or [...]tly enjoy that Sa­viour, [Page 220] to whom he is spiritually united? That hath subdued his will and reason to his beleef; that fears nothing but God; loves no­thing but goodnesse; hates no­thing but sin; rejoyceth in none but true blessings? Whose faith triumphs over the world; whose hope is anchored in heaven: whose charity knows no lesse bounds then God, and men: whose humility represents him as vile to himself, as he is ho­nourable in the reputation of God; who is wise heaven-ward; however he passes with the world; who dares be no other then just, whether he win or lose; who is frugally liberall, discreetly cou­rageous, holily temperate: who is ever a thrifty menager of his houres, so dividing the day be­twixt his God, and his Vocation, [Page 221] that neither shall finde fault with a just neglect, or an unjust partiality: whose recreations are harmlesse, honest, warranta­ble, such as may refresh nature, not debauch it: whose diet is regulated by health, not by pleasure, as one whose table shall be no altar to his belly, nor snare to his soul: who in his seasona­ble repose lies down, and awakes with God, caring only to relieve his spirits; not to cherish sloth. Whose carriage is meek, gentle, compliant, beneficiall in what­soever station; In Magistracy unpartially just; in the Mini­stery conscionably faithfull; in the rule of his family, wisely provident, and religiously exem­plary; Shortly, who is a discreet and loving yoke-fellow, a tender and pious parent, a dutious and [Page 222] awfull son: an humble and ob­sequious servant, an obedient and loyall subject. Whose heart is constantly setled in the main truths of Christian Religion▪ so, as he cannot be removed; in li­tigious points, neither too cre­dulous, nor too Peremptory: whose discourse is such as may be meet for the expressions of a tongue that belongs to a sound, godly, and charitable heart; whose breast continually burns with the heavenly fire of an holy devotion; whose painfull suf­ferings are overcome with pati­ence, and chearfull resolutions; whose conflicts are attended with undaunted courage, and crowned with an happy victory: Lastly, whose death is not so full of fear and anguish, as of strong consolations in that Saviour, [Page 223] who hath overcome and sweet­ned it; nor of so much dreadful­nesse in it self, as of joy in the present expectation of that bles­sed issue of a glorious immortali­ty, which instantly succeeds it. Such is the Christian whom we doe here characterize, and com­mend to the world both for trial, and imitation; neither know I which of these many qualificati­ons can be missing in that soul, who lays a just claim to Christ, his Redeemer. Take your hearts to task, therefore, my dear bre­thren, into whose hands soever these lines shall come: and, as you desire to have peace at the last, ransack them thoroughly; not contenting your selves with a perfunctory, and fashionable over-sight (which will one day leave you irremediably misera­ble) [Page 224] but so search, as those that re­solve not to give over till you finde these gracious dispositions in your bosomes, which I have here described to you: so shall we be, and make each other hap­py in the successe of our holy la­bours; which the God of hea­ven blesse in both our hands, to his own glory, and our mutuall comfort in the day of the appea­ring of our Lord Jesus Christ, Amen.


THE Christian is a man and more;§ 1. His Dis­position. an earth­ly Saint, an An­gel cloathed in flesh; the onely lawfull image of his Maker, and Redeemer; the abstract of Gods Church on earth: a modell of heaven made up in clay; the living Temple of the holy Ghost. For his disposition, it hath in it as much of heaven, as his earth may make room for; He were not a man, if he were quite free from corrupt affections; but these he ma­sters, [Page 226] and keeps in with a strait hand; and if at any time they grow resty and headstrong, he breaks them with a severe discipline, and will rather punish himself, then not tame them; Hee checks his appetite with dis­creet, but strong denials, and forbears to pamper nature, lest it grow wanton, and im­petuous; He walks on earth, but converses in heaven; ha­ving his eyes fixed on the invisible, and enjoying a sweet communion with his God, and Saviour; Whiles all the rest of the world sits in darknesse, he lives in a perpetuall light; the heaven of heavens is open to none but him; thither his eye pierceth, and beholds those [Page 227] beams of inaccessible glory, which shine in no face but his: The deep mysteries of godlinesse which to the great Clerks of the world are as a book clasped and sealed up, lye open before him fair and legible; and whiles those book-men know whom they have heard of, hee knowes whom he hath beleeved: He will not suffer his Saviour to be ever out of his eye; and if through some worldly inter­ceptions, he lose the sight of that blessed object for a time, he zealously retrives him, not without an angry check of his own mis-carriage; and is now so much the more fixed by his former slackning; so as he will henceforth sooner part with his soul, then his [Page 228] Redeemer. The tearmes of entirenesse wherein he stands with the Lord of life, are such as he can feel; but can­not expresse, though hee should borrow the language of Angels: it is enough that they two are one spirit: His reason is willingly captivated to his faith; his will to his reason; and his affections to both: He fears nothing that he sees, in comparison of that which he sees not; and dis­pleasure is more dreadfull to him then smart: Good is the adequate object of his love; which he duly propor­tions according to the de­grees of its eminence; affe­cting the chiefe good, not without a certaine ravish­ment of spirit; the lesser [Page 229] with a wise and holy mode­ration. Whether he do more hate sin, or the evil spirit that suggests it, is a question; Earthly contentments are too mean grounds whereon to raise his joy; these, as hee baulks not whē they meet him in his way, so he doth not too eagerly pursue; he may taste of them, but so, as he had rather fast then surset. He is not in­sensible of those losses wch ca­sualty, or enmity may inflict; but that wch lyes most hea­vily upon his heart, is his sin: This makes his sleep short & troublesome, his meals sto­macklesse; his recreations list­lesse; his every thing, tedious; till he finde his soul acquit­ted by his great Surety in heaven: which done, he feels [Page 230] more peace and pleasure in his calm, then he found hor­rour in the tempest. His heart is the store-house of most precious graces: That faith whereby his soul is e­stablished, triumphs over the world, wvether it allure, or threaten; and bids defiance to all the powers of darknesse; not fearing to be foiled by a­ny opposition: His hope can­not be discouraged with the greatest difficulties; but bears up against naturall im­possibilities; and knows how to reconcile contradictions; His charity is both extensive, and fervent; barring out no one that bears the face of a man; but pouring out it self upon the houshold of faith: that studies good constructi­ons [Page 231] of men, and actions; and keeps it self free both from suspicion, and censure: Grace doth not more exalt him, then his humility depresses him: Were it not for that Christ who dwels in him, he could think himself the meanest of all creatures; now, he knows he may not dispa­rage the Deity of him, by whom he is so gloriously in­habited; in whose only right he can be as great in his own thoughts, as he is despica­ble in the eyes of the world. He is wise to God-ward, however it be with him for the world; and well know­ing he cannot serve two ma­sters, he cleaves to the better; making choice of that good part which can never be ta­ken [Page 232] from him; not so much regarding to get that which he cannot keep, as to possesse himself of that good which he cannot lose. He is just in all his dealings with men; ha­ting to thrive by injury, and oppression; and will rather leave behinde something of his own, then silch from a­nothers heap. Hee is not close-fisted, where there is just occasion of his distribu­tion; willingly parting with those metals which he re­gards onely for use; not ca­ring for either their colour, or substance; earth is to him no other then it self, in what hiew so ever it appeareth. In every good cause hee is bold as a Lion; and can nei­ther fear faces, nor shrink at [Page 233] dangers: and is rather heart­ned with opposition, pressing so much the more where he findes a large door open, and many adversaries; and when he must suffer, doth as reso­lutely stoop, as he did before valiantly resist. He is holily temperate in the use of all Gods blessings, as knowing by whom they are given, and to what end; neither dares either to mis-lay them, or to mis-spend them lavishly: as duly weighing upon what tearms he receives them; and fore-expecting an account. Such an hand doth he carry upon his pleasures and de­lights, that they run not away with him; he knows how to slacken the reins without a debauched kind of dissolute­nesse, [Page 234] and how to straiten them without a sullen rigour.

He lives as a man that hath borrowed his time,§ 2. His ex­pence of the day. and challenges not to be an own­er of it; caring to spend the day in a gracious and well-governed thrift; His first mornings task, after he hath lifted up his heart to that God who gives his beloved sleep, shall be to put himself into a due posture, wherein to entertain himself, and the whole day: which shall be done, if he shall effectually work his thoughts to a right apprehension of his God, of himself, of all that may con­cern him. The true posture of a Christian then, is this; He sees still heaven open to him, and beholds & admires [Page 235] the light inaccessible; he sees the all-glorious God ever before him; the Angels of God about him; the evill spirits aloofe off enviously groyning, and repining at him; the world under his feet, willing to rebell, but forced to be subject; the good creatures ready to render their service to him; and is accor­dingly affected to all these; he sees heaven open with joy and desire of fruition; he sees God with an adoring awfulnesse; he sees the An­gels with a thankfull ac­knowledgement, and care not to offend them; he sees the evill spirits with hatred and watchfull indignation; he sees the world with an holy imperiousnesse, com­manding [Page 236] it for use, and scorn­ing to stoop to it for ob­servance; Lastly, he sees the good creatures, with gratula­tion, and care to improve them to the advantage of him that lent them.

Having thus gathered up his thoughts, and found where he is, he may now be fit for his constant devotion; which he fals upon, not without a trembling venera­tion of that infinite and in­comprehensible Majesty, be­fore whom he is prostra [...]e; now he climbes up into that heaven, which he before did but behold; and solemn­ly pours out his soul in hear­ty thanksgivings, and hum­ble supplications into the bosome of the Almighty; [Page 137] wherein his awe is so tem­pered with his faith, that whiles he labours under the sense of his own vilenesse, he is raised up in the confidence of an infinite mercy; now he renues his feeling interest in the Lord Jesus Christ his blessed Redeemer; and la­bours to get in every breath new pledges of his gracious entirenesse; so seasoning his heart with these earely thoughts of piety, as that they stick by him all the day after.

Having thus begun with his God, and begg'd his bles­sing: he now finds time to addresse himself to the works of his calling▪ To live with­out any vocation, to live in an unwarrantable vocation, [Page 238] not to labour in the vocation wherein he lives, are things which his soul hateth: These businesses of his calling therefore, he follows with a willing and contented indu­stry; not as forced to it by the necessary of human Laws, or as urged by the Law of ne­cessity, out of the sense or fear of want: nor yet con­trarily, out of an eager desire of enriching himself in his estate; but in a conscionable obedience to that God, who hath made man to labour as the sparks to flye upward; and hath laid it upon him both as a punishment, and charge: In the sweat of thy browes shalt thou eat thy bread. In an humble alacri­ty he walks on in the way, [Page 239] wherein his God hath set him; yet not, the while, so intent upon his hands, as not to tend his heart; which he lifts up in frequent eja­culations to that God, to whom he desires to be ap­proved in all his endevours; ascribing all the thanks both of his ability, and successe to that omnipotent hand: If he meet with any rubs of difficulty in his way, hee knows who sent them, and who can remove them; not neglecting any prudentiall means of remedy, he is not to seek for an higher redresse▪

If he have occasion of tra­ding with others; his will may not be the rule of his gain, but his conscience; nei­ther dares he strive for what [Page 240] he can get, but what he ought: Equity is here the Clerk of the Market; and the measure wch he would have others mete out to himself, is the standard whereby he desires to be tryed in his mensurations to all other. He hates to hoise prices up­on occasion of his neighbours need; & to take the advantage of forfaits by the clock. He is not such a slave to his trade, as not to spare an hour to his soul; neither dares be so lavish as utterly to neglect his charge upon whatever pretence of pleasure, or devo­tion. Shortly, he takes his work at the hand of God, and leaves it with him: humbly offering up his services to his great Master in heaven; and [Page 241] after all his labour sits com­fortably down in the consci­ence of having faithfully done his task, though not without the intervention of many infirmities.

His recreations (for even these humane frailty will sometimes call for) are such,§ 3. His Re­creatiōs. as may be meet relaxations to a minde over-bent, and a body tired with honest and holy employments; safe, in­offensive, and for time and measure fitly proportioned to the occasion; like unto soft musick betwixt two long and stirring Acts; like unto some quick and savory sauce to a listlesse and cloyed sto­mach; like unto a sweet nap after an over-watching. He is farre from those delights [Page 242] that may effeminate, or cor­rupt the minde; abhorring to sit by those pleasures, from which he shall not rise better: He hates to turn pastime in­to trade; not abiding to spend more time in whet­ting, then till his edge be sharp; In the height of his delectations he knows to enjoy God; from whom as he fetches his allowance, so he craves and expects a gra­cious acceptation, even when he lets himself most loose. And if at any time he have gone beyond his measure, he chides himself for the ex­cesse, and is so much the more carefull ever after to keep within compasse. He can onely make a kinde of use of those contentments, [Page 243] with light mindes are trans­ported: and can manage his disports without passion; and leave a loser without regret. A smile to him is as much as a loud laughter to the world­ling; neither doth he enter­tain mirth as his ordinary attendant, but as his retainer to wait upon his serious oc­casions: and finally, so re­joyceth, as if he rejoyced not.

His meals are such as na­ture requires,§ 4. His meals. and grace mo­derates; not pinching him­self with a penurious rig­gardlinesse, nor pampering his flesh with a wanton ex­cesse: His palate is the least part of his care; so as his fare may be wholesome, he stands not upon delicacy. He dares [Page 244] not put his hand to the dish till he have lookt up to the owner; and hates to put one morsell into his mouth, un­blessed; and knows it his duty to give thanks for what he hath paid for; as well considering, that neither the meat that he eats, nor the hand and mouth that receives it, nor the mawe that digests it, nor the metall that buyes it, is of his own making: And now having fed his belly, not his eye, he rises from his board, satisfied, not glutted; and so bestirs himself upon his calling, as a man not more unwieldy by his repast, but more chearfull; and as one that would be loth his gut should be any hindrance to his brain, or to his hand.

[Page 245] If he shall have occasion to entertain himself and his friends more liberally, he dares not lose himself in his feast; he can be soberly mer­ry, and wisely free; onely in this he is willing not to be his own man, in that he gives himself for the time to his guests. His Cator is friendly thrift; and Temperance keeps the boards end, and carves to every one the best measure of enough: As for his own diet, when he is invited to a tempting variety, he puts his knife to his throat; neither dares he feed without fear, as knowing who over-looks him: Obscenity, detraction, scurrility, are barred from his table; neither doe any words sound there that are [Page 246] lesse savoury then the dishes. Lastly, he so feeds, as if he sought for health in those vi­ands, and not pleasure; as if he did eat to live; and rises not more replenished with food, then with thankfulnesse.

In a due season he betakes himself to his rest,§ 5. His nights rest. he pre­sumes not to alter the Ordi­nance of day, and night, nor dares confound, where distin­ction is made by his Maker; It is not with him as with the brute creatures, that have nothing to look after but the meer obedience of nature; he doth not therefore lay himself down as the swine in the stye, or a dog in a ken­nell, without any further pre­face to his desired sleep, but improves those faculties [Page 247] which he is now closing up, to a meet preparation for an holy repose: for which pur­pose, he first casts back his eye to the now-expired day; and seriously considers how he hath spent it; and will be sure to make his recko­nings even with his God, be­fore he part. Then he lifts up his eyes and his heart to that God, who hath made the night for man to rest in; and recommends himself ear­nestly to his blessed protecti­on: and then closeth his eyes in peace, not without a seri­ous meditation of his last rest; his bed represents to him, his grave; his linnen, his winding sheet; his sleep, death; the night, the many days of darknesse: and short­ly, [Page 248] he so composeth his soul, as if he lookt not to wake till the morning of the resurrection: After which, if he sleep, he is thankfully chearfull; if he sleep not, his reins chasten, and in­struct him in the night sea­son: and if sleep be out of his eyes, yet God and his Angels are not: Whensoe­ver he awakes, in those hands he findes himself, and there­fore rests sweetly, even when he sleeps not. His very dreams however vain, or troublesome, are not to him altogether unprofitable; for they serve to bewray not onely his bodily temper, but his spirituall weaknesses, which his waking resoluti­ons shall endevour to correct.

[Page 249] He so applies himself to his pillow, as a man that meant not to be drowned in sleep, but refreshed, not limi­ting his rest by the insatiable lust of a sluggish and drowzie stupidnesse, but by the exi­gence of his health, and a­bilitation to his calling; and rises from it (not too late) with more appetite to his work, then to a second slum­ber; chearfully devoting the strength renued by his late rest, to the honour and ser­vice of the giver.

His carriage is not strange,§ 6. His car­riage. insolent, surly, and overly contemptuous, but familiar­ly meek, humble, courteous: as knowing what mold he is made of; and not knowing any worse man then himself; [Page 250] He hath an hand ready upon every occasion to be helpfull to his neighbour; as if he thought himself made to do good; He hates to sell his breath to his friend, where his advice may be usefull; neither is more ambitious of any thing under heaven, then of doing good offices; It is his happinesse if he can re­concile quarrels, and make peace between dissenting friends. When he is chosen an Umpire, he will be sure to cut even betwixt both parties; and commonly dis­pleaseth both, that he may wrong neither; If he be cal­led forth to Magistracy, he puts off all private interests, and commands friendship to give place to justice▪ Now [Page 251] he knows no couzens, no e­nemies; neither couzens for favour, nor enemies for re­venge; but looks right for­ward to the cause, without squinting aside to the per­sons. No flattery can keep him from brow-beating of vice; no fear can work him to discourage vertue: Where severity is requisite, he hates to enjoy anothers punish­ment; and where mercy may be more prevalent, he hates to use severity; Power doth not render him imperious and oppressive, but rather humbles him in the awfull expectation of his account.

If he be called to the ho­nour of Gods Embassie to his people, he dares not but be faithfull in delivering that [Page 252] sacred Message; he cannot now either fear faces, or re­spect persons; it is equally odious to him to hide and smother any of Gods counsell, and to foist in any of his own; to suppresse truth, and to adulterate it; He speaks not himself, but Christ; and labours not to tickle the ear, but to save souls: So doth he goe be­fore his flock as one that means to feed them no lesse by his example, then by his doctrine; and would con­demn himself, if he did not live the Gospel, as well as preach it; He is neither too austere in his retirednesse, nor too good-cheap in his sociablenesse; but carries so eaven an hand that his dis­creet [Page 253] affablenesse may be free from contempt, and that he may win his people with a loving conversation; If any of his charge be mis-carried into an errour of opinion, he labours to reclaim him by the spirit of meeknesse; so as the mis-guided may reade nothing but love in his zealous conviction; if any be drawn into a vicious course of life, he fetch­es him back with a gentle, yet powerfull hand; by an holy importunity, working the offender to a sense of his own danger, and to a sa­ving penitence.

Is he the master of a fami­ly? he dares not be a Lion in his own house; cruelly tyrannizing over his meanest [Page 254] drudge: but so moderately exercises his power, as knowing himself to be his apprentices fellow-servant; He is the mouth of his mei­ny to God, in his daily de­votions; offering up for them the calves of his lips, in his morning and evening sacrifice; and the mouth of God unto them in his whole­some instructions, and god­ly admonitions: he goes be­fore them in all good exam­ples of piety, and holy conver­sation, and so governs, as one that hath more then meer bodies committed to his charge.

Is he the husband of a wife? He carries his yoak even; not laying too much weight upon the weaker [Page 255] neck; His helper argues him the principall, and he so knows it, that he makes a wise use of his just inequa­lity: so remembring him­self to be the superiour, as that he can be no other then one flesh: He maintains therefore his moderate au­thority with a conjugall love, so holding up the right of his sexe, that in the mean time he doth not violently clash with the britler vessel: As his choice was not made by weight, or by the voice, or by the hiew of the hide, but for pure affection groun­ded upon vertue; so the same regards hold him close to a constant continuance of his chast love; which can never yeeld either to change or intermission.

[Page 256] Is he a father of children? he looks upon them as more Gods, then his own; and governs them accordingly: He knows it is onely their worse part which they have received from his loins; their diviner half is from the father of lights, and is now become the main part of his charge. As God gave them to him, and to the world by him: so his chief care is, that they may be be­gotten again to God; that they may put off that cor­rupt nature which they took from him, and be made par­takers of that divine nature which is given them in their regeneration. For this cause he trains them up in all ver­tuous and religious educati­on; [Page 257] he sets them in their way, corrects their exor­bitances, restraines their wilde desires, and labours to frame them to all holy dis­positions; and so bestows his fatherly care upon, and for them, as one that had rather they should be good then rich, and would wish them rather dead, then de­baucht: he neglects not all honest means of their provi­sion, but the highest point he aims at, is to leave God their patrimony. In the choice of their calling, or match, he propounds, but forces not, as knowing they have also wils of their own, which it is fitter for him to bow, then to break. Is he a son? he is such as may be fit [Page 258] to proceed from such loins.

Is he a servant? he cannot but be officious: for hee must please two masters, though one under, not a­gainst the other; when his visible master sees him not, he knows he cannot be out of the eye of the invisible; and therefore dares not be either negligent, or unfaith­full. The work that he un­dertakes, he goes through, not out of fear, but out of conscience; and would doe his businesse no otherwise then well, though he served a blinde master; He is no blab of the defects at home, and where he cannot defend, is ready to excuse: He yeelds patiently to a just reproof, and answers with an humble [Page 259] silence: and is more carefull not to deserve, then to avoid stripes.

Is he a subject? He is aw­fully affected to Soveraignty, as knowing by whom the powers are ordained; He dares not curse the King, no not in his thought; nor re­vile the Ruler of his people, though justly faulty: much less dare he sclander the foot­steps of Gods anointed. He submits not onely for wrath, but also for conscience sake, to every Ordinance of God; yea, to every Ordinance of man for the Lords sake; not daring to disobey in regard of the oath of God; If he have reacht forth his hand to cut off but the skirt of the Royall robe, his heart smites [Page 260] him: He is a true paymaster, and willingly renders tri­bute to whom tribute, cu­stome to whom custome, honour to whom honour is due; and justly divides his duties betwixt God and Caesar.

Finally, in what ever re­lation he stands, he is dili­gent, faithfull, consciona­ble, observant of his rule, and carefull to be approved such, both to God and men.

He hath fully informed himself of all the necessary points of religion;§ 7. His reso­lution in matter of Religion. and is so firmly grounded in those fundamentall and saving truths, that he cannot be carried about with every winde of doctrine; as for [Page 261] collaterall and unmateriall verities, he neither despiseth, nor yet doth too eagerly pur­sue them; He lists not to take opinions upon trust; neither dares absolutely fol­low any guide, but those who he knows could not erre; He is ever suspicious of new faces of Theologicall truths; and cannot think it safe to walk in untroden paths: Matters of specula­tion are not unwelcome to him; but his chief care is to reduce his knowledge to practise, and therefore he holds nothing his own, but what his heart hath appro­priated, and his life acted: He dares not be too much wedded to his own conceit; and hath so much humility, [Page 262] as to think the whole Church of Christ upon earth wiser then himself; However he be a great lover of constan­cy, yet upon better reason he can change his minde in some litigious, and un-im­porting truths, and can be silent where he must dissent.

His discourse is grave, dis­creet, pertinent,Prov. 3. 27, 28. free from vanity, free from offence; In secular occasions nothing fals from him but seasonable and well-advised truths; In spirituall, his speech is such, as both argues grace, and works it: No foul and un­savoury breath proceeds out of his lips; which he abides not to be tainted with any rotten communication, with any slanderous detraction: [Page 263] If in a friendly merriment he let his tongue loose to an harmlesse urbanity, that is the furthest he dares goe; scorning to come within the verge of a base scurrility.

He is not apt to spend him­self in censures, but as for revilings, and cursed speak­ings against God, or men, those his soul abhorreth. He knowes to reserve his thoughts by locking them up in his bosome under a safe silence, and when hee must speak, dares not be too free of his tongue, as well knowing that in the multi­tude of words there wanteth not sinne. His speeches are no other then seasonable, well fitted both to the per­son, and occasion; Jigges at [Page 264] a funerall, Lamentations at a feast, holy counsell to scorn­ers, discouragements to the dejected, and applauses to the prophane, are hatefull to him; He meddles not with other mens matters, much lesse with affairs of State; but keeps himself wisely within his own compasse:§ 8. His dis­course. not thinking his breath well spent, where he doth not ei­ther teach, or learn.

He is so perpetually resi­dent in heaven,§ 9. His de­votion. that he is often in every day before the throne of Grace; and he never comes there without a supplication in his hand; wherein also he loves to be importunate; and he speeds accordingly, for he never de­parts empty; whiles other [Page 265] cold suiters that come thi­ther but in some good fits of devotion, obtain nothing but denials; He dares not presse to Gods foot-stool in his own name, (he is consci­ous enough of his own un­worthinesse) but he comes in the gracious and power­full name of his righteous Mediatour, in whom hee knows he cannot but be ac­cepted; and in an humble boldnesse for his onely sake craves mercy; no man is ei­ther more awfull, or more confident; When he hath put up his petition to the King of heaven, he presumes not to stint the time, or manner of Gods condescent; but patiently and faithfully waits for the good hour, and [Page 266] leaves himself upon that in­finite wisdome and goodnes. He doth not affect length so much as fervour; neither so much mindes his tongue as his heart.

His prayers are suited ac­cording to the degrees of the benefits sued for; He there­fore begs grace absolutely; temporall blessings with limitation; and is accor­dingly affected in the grant: Neither is he more earnest in craving mercies, then he is zealously desirous to be re­tributory to God, when he hath received them: not more heartily suing to bee rich in grace, then to improve his graces to the honour and advantage of the bestower: With an awfull and broken [Page 267] heart doth he make his ad­dresses to that infinite Ma­jesty, from whose presence he returns with comfort and joy: His soul is constantly fixed there whither he pours it out; distraction and distrust are shut out from his closet; and he is so taken up with his devotion, as one that makes it his work to pray: And when he hath offered up his sacrifices unto God, his faith listens and looks in at the door of heaven to know how they are taken.

Every man shows fair in prosperity;§ 10. His suf­ferings. but the main triall of the Christian is in suffering; any man may steer in a good gale, and clear sea, but the Mariners skill will be seen in a tempest: [Page 268] Herein the Christian goes beond the Pagans, not pra­ctise onely, but admiration; We rejoyce in tribulation, saith the chosen Vessel; Lo here a point transcending all the affectatiō of Heathenism. Perhaps some resolute spirit, whether out of a naturall for­titude, or out of an ambiti­on of fame or earthly glory, may set a face upon a patient enduring of losse, or pain; but never any of those he­roick Gentils durst pretend to a joy in suffering; Hither can Christian courage reach; knowing that tribulation worketh patience, and pati­ence, experience, and experi­ence, hope, and hope maketh not ashamed.

Is he bereaved of his goods [Page 269] and worldly estate? he com­forts himself in the consci­ence of a better treasure that can never be lost; Is he af­flicted with sicknesse? his comfort is that the inward man is so much more renued daily, as the outward perish­eth: Is he slandered and un­justly disgraced? his com­fort is that there is a blessing, which will more then make him amends; Is he banish­ed? he knows he is on his way home-ward; Is he im­prisoned? his spirit cannot be lockt in; God and his Angels cannot be lockt out; Is he dying? To him to live is Christ, and to dye is gain; Is he dead? He rests from his labours, and is crowned with glory: Short­ly, [Page 270] he is perfect gold that comes more pure out of the fire then it went in; neither had ever been so great a Saint in heaven, if he had not passed through the flames of his triall here upon earth.

He knows himself never out of danger;§ 11. His con­flicts. and therefore stands ever upon his guard; neither of his hands are emp­ty; the one holds out the shield of faith; the other ma­nageth the sword of the spi­rit; both of them are em­ployed in his perpetuall con­flict. He cannot be weary of resisting, but resolves to dye fighting: He hath a ward for every blow; and as his eye is quick to discern temp­tations, so is his hand and foot nimble to avoid them: [Page 271] He cannot be discouraged with either the number or power of his enemies know­ing that his strength is out of himself, in him in whom he can doe all things; and that there can be no match to the Almighty; He is carefull not to give advan­tage to his vigilant adversa­ry; and therefore warily a­voids the occasions of sinne: and if at any time he be o­vertaken with the suddain­nesse, or subtilty of a temp­tation, he speedily recovers himself by a serious repen­tance; and fights so much the harder because of his foil. He hates to take quar­ter of these spirituall pow­ers; nothing lesse then death can put an end to this quar­rell; [Page 272] nor nothing below vi­ctory.

He is not so carefull to keep his soul within his teeth,§ 12. His death. as to send it forth well addressed for happinesse: as knowing therefore the last brunt to be most violent, he rouzeth up his holy fortitude▪ to encounter that King of fear, his last enemy, Death; And now after a painfull sicknesse, and a resolute ex­pectation of the fiercest as­sault, it fals out with him as in the meeting of the two hostile brothers, Jacob and Esau, in stead of grapling he findes a courteous saluta­tion, for stabs, kisses; for height of enmity, offices of love; Life could never be­friend him so much, as Death [Page 273] offers to doe: That tenders him (perhaps a rough, but) a sure hand to lead him to glo­ry; and receives a welcome accordingly: Neither is there any cause to marvell at the change; The Lord of life hath wrought it; He having by dying subdued death, hath reconciled it to his own; and hath (as it were) beaten it into these fair tearms with all the members of his mysticall body: so as, whiles unto the enemies of God, Death is still no o­ther then a terrible execu­tioner of divine vengeance, he is to all that are in Christ, a plausible and sure convoy unto blessednesse; The Chri­stian therefore now laid upon his last bed, when this grim [Page 274] senger comes to fetch him to heaven, looks not so much at his dreadfull visage, as at his happy errand: and is willing not to remember what death is in it self, but what it is to us in Christ; by whom it is made so use­full and beneficiall, that we could not be happy without it; Here then comes in the last act, and employment of faith; (for after this brunt passed, there is no more use of faith, but of vision) that heartens the soul in a lively apprehension of that blessed Saviour, who both led him the way of suffering, and is making way for him to e­verlasting glory: That shews him Jesus the Authour and finisher of our faith, who for [Page 275] the joy that was set before him, endured the Crosse, de­spising the shame, and is set down at the right hand of the throne of God; That clings close unto him, and lays unremoveable hold up­on his person, his merits, his blessednesse; upon the wings of this faith is the soul ready to mount up toward that heaven, which is open to receive it; and in that act of evolation puts it self in­to the hands of those blessed Angels, who are ready to carry it up to the throne of Glory.

‘Sic, O, sic juvat vivere, sic perire.’

This keyboarded and encoded edition of the work described above is co-owned by the institutions providing financial support to the Text Creation Partnership. This Phase I text is available for reuse, according to the terms of Creative Commons 0 1.0 Universal. The text can be copied, modified, distributed and performed, even for commercial purposes, all without asking permission.