CHRISTS ETERNAL EXISTENCE, AND THE DIGNITY OF HIS PERSON Asserted and Proved. IN OPPOSITION To the Doctrine of the SOCINIANS. In several SERMONS on Col. 1.17, 18, 19, 20, 21. verses

By the Reverend THO. MANTON, D. D.

London, Printed in the Year, 1685.


HEre are presented to thy view, some of the further profita­ble and pious Labours of that emi­nent Divine Dr. Manton; (now with God): who though like a Tree full of fruit, he has already yielded much fruit, yet still more and more falls from him. Since his much to be lamented Death, two very large Vo­lumes (with some lesser) of his Ser­mons, have been published; which give a clear discovery to the World of his great Abilities for, and great diligence in, the Office and Work of the Ministery. Now this small piece succeeds; which in comparison of [Page] the former, is but a poor Stripling, but as the shaking of an Olive Tree, as the gleaning Grapes when the Vintage is over. Yet let it not be rejected or slighted upon that account; for though 'tis not so bulky as they, yet (according to its proportion) 'tis of equal value, and shews the same Head and Heart which they do.

My Pen, (upon this opportunity,) would fain be launching forth into the commendation of the worthy Author, but I will not suffer it; con­sidering, how little he needs that from any, and how much he is above it as from me. Neither will I suffer it to run out in the commending of these Ser­mons; for I hope, to impartial and judicious Readers they will commend themselves, (the best way of com­mending.) I only recommend them, as judging them worthy of the pe­rusal [Page] of all who are desirous of a fuller knowledge of our Lord Je­sus.

For he is the grand subject treat­ed of in them. His Person, Offices, Works, Blesssings, are here described, asserted, vindicated, and improved. Our Redemption by his blood; his being the Image of the invisible God, the First-born of every Creature; his Creating and Sustaining all things; his Headship over the Church, Prae-existence before all Crea­ted Beings, his being the First-born from the Dead, the Union of the two Natures in his Person; his Reconciling of Sinners to God through the blood of his Cross, these are the Heads insisted upon in these Sermons, (the Author follow­ing the Apostle, Col. 1.14. ad 20.)

And are not these great Points? of a very sublime nature? contain­ing the very vitals of Gospel Reve­lation? can Ministers Preach, Print, [Page] too much of them? can private Christian Hear, Read, Meditate too much of them? Oh they are the [...] the deep things of God! in which is ma­nisfested the [...], the manifold Wisedom of God; which the Angels de­sire to look into: which are the won­der and astonishment of Heaven, which put such a transcendent excellency upon the knowledge of Christ. Should we not therefore thankfully receive and diligently peruse all dis­courses, that may clear up our light in and about these profound Mysteries. I hope the consideration hereof will make these Sermons acceptable to many gracious Souls. They all hang­ing upon this string, and pointing to this Argument (of what Christ is, has done, suffered and procured for Be­lievers,) they are not unfitly put together, and printed by themselves, in this small volume.

[Page]Several of the Points mentioned are Controversial; for a long tract of time there has been hot disputes a­bout them; what Volumes pro and con have been written, both by An­tient and Modern Divines about them! but our Reverend Author does not so much concern himself in what is Polemical and Controversial, but chose rather in a plainer way (as best suiting with Sermon-work), to assert and prove the Truth by Scrip­tural Testimonies and Arguments: and that he has done to the full.

Reader, whoever thou art into whose hands these Sermons shall come, let me assure thee, they are the genuine Work of the person whose name they bear. They were copyed out from and according to his own Notes, by one who I am sure would be as exact therein as possi­bly he could. But how earnestly [Page] could I wish, if God had not seen it good to order it otherwise, that the Author himself might have lived to have reviewed and polished them! (for what hand so fit to polish the Stone as that which cuts it:) but now what is amiss, must be left to the understanding Reader to discover, and to the candid Reader to pardon.

Christian, I commit thee to God; he bless thee, and all the Labours of his Faithful Servants (whether living or dead) to the promoting of thy Spiritual and Eternal good. Which he ardently desires who is,

Thine to serve thee in our Lord Iesus, Tho. Iacomb.



COL. 1.14.

In whom we have redemption through his blood even the forgiveness of sins.

THE Apostle in the former verse, had spoken of our slavery and bon­dage to Satan, from which Christ came to deliver us; now because sin is the cause of it, he cometh to speak of our Re­demption from sin: In whom we have re­demption [Page 2] through his blood, even the forgive­ness of sins. Here is

  • I. The Author.
  • II. The Benefit.
  • III. The Price.

The Point is this.

Doct. That one Principal part of our Re­demption by Christ is remission of sins. Here I shall shew you,

  • 1. What remission of sins is.
  • 2. The Nature of Redemption.
  • 3. That Remission of Sins is a part, and a principal part of it.

1. What Remission of Sins is. Both terms must be explained, what sin is, and what is the forgiveness of sin.

For the first. Sin is a violation of the Law of the Eternal and Living God. 1 Ioh. 3.4. Whosoever committeth sin, transgresseth also the law, for sin is the transgression of the law. God is the Law-giver, who hath given a righteous Law to his Subjects, un­der the dreadful penalty of a Curse. In his Law there are two things; the Precept and the Sanction: The precept is the Rule [Page 3] of our duty, which sheweth what we must do, or not do. The Sanction or penalty sheweth what God will do, or might justly do, if he should deal with us according to the Merit of our Actions: Accordingly in sin, there is the Fault and the Guilt.

(1.) The Fault. That man who is Gods subject, and so many ways obliged to him by his benefits, instead of keeping this Law should break it upon light Terms, and swerve from the Rule of his duty, being carried away by his own ill disposed will, and base Lusts. It is a great and heinous offence, for which he becometh obnoxious to the Judgment of God.

(2.) The Guilt: which is a liableness to punishment, and that not ordinary punish­ment, but the vengeance of the eternal God, who every moment may break in upon us. Where there is sin, there will be guilt; and where there is guilt, there will be punish­ment, unless we be pardoned and God looseneth the Chains wherewith we be bound.

Secondly, Forgiveness of Sin, is a dissol­ving the obligation to punishment, or a freedom in Gods way and method, from all the sad and woful Consequences of sin. Understand it rightly.

[Page 4]1. 'Tis not a disanulling the Act, as it is a natural Action; such a fact we did, or o­mitted to do; Factum, infactum fieri ne­quit: That which is done, cannot be un­done. And therefore though it be said, Ier. 50.20. The iniquity of Iacob shall be sought after, and the sins of Iudah, and they shall not be found; for I will pardon them whom I reserve. Yet that must not be un­derstood as if God would abolish the Acti­on, and make it, as if it had never been, for that is impossible. But he would pass by, and overlook it as to punishment.

2. Nor is it abolished as a faulty or cri­minal Action, contrary to the Law of God, the sins we have committed are sins still, such actions as the Law condemneth. For­giveness is not the making of a fault to be no fault; an accused person may be vindi­cated as Innocent, but if he be pardoned, he is pardoned as an offender. He is not reputed as one that never culpably omitted any duty, or committed any sin, but his fault is forgiven upon such termes as our of­fended Governour pleaseth. I will be mer­ciful to their unrighteousness, and forgive all their sins, Heb. 8.12. They are pardoned as sins.

3. Nor is the merit of the sinful Act les­sened: In it self it deserveth condemnation [Page 5] to punishment. Merito operis, it is in its self damnable, but quoad eventum, Rom. 8.1. There is no condemnation to them that are in Christ Iesus, &c. Because the grace of the Gospel dischargeth us from it, we must still own our selves deserving the wrath of God, which maketh for our constant Hu­miliation and admiration of grace: So that he that is pardoned, still deserveth pu­nishment.

4. It remaineth therefore that forgive­ness of sin, is a dissolving the obligation to punishment, or passing by the fault, so as it shall not rise up in Judgement against us to our confusion or destruction: The fault is the sinners Act, the punishment the Judges, which he may forbear on certain Termes stated in the Law of Grace. He passeth by the fault so far, that it shall not be a ground of punishment to us. I prove it

1. From the nature of the thing: For there is such a Relation between the fault and the guilt, the sin and the punishment, that the one cannot be without the other: There can be no punishment without a pre­ceding fault and crime: Therefore if the Judge will not impute the fault, there must needs be an immunity from punishment, for the cause being taken away, the effect cea­seth; and the sin committed by us, is the [Page 6] Meritorious cause of punishment. If God will cover that, and overlook it, then for­giveness is a dissolving the obligation to punishment.

2. From the common Rule of speaking used among men; for surely the Scripture speaketh intelligibly. Now in the common way of speaking, he cannot be said to for­give or remit a fault, that exacteth the whole punishment of it. How can a Magi­strate be said to forgive an offender, when the offender beareth the punishment, which the Law determineth? And what do men pray for to God, when they pray for the forgiveness of sins, but that they may be exempted from the punishment which they have deserved.

3. It would seem to impeach the Justice and Mercy of God, if he should exact the punishment where he hath pardoned the offence. His Iustice, to flatter men with hopes of remitting the Debt, where he re­quireth the payment. His Mercy, in mak­ing such fair offers of Reconciliation, when still liable to his vindictive Justice; there may be indeed effects of his Fatherly Anger, but not of his vindictive wrath.

4. The Phrases, and way of speaking in Scripture by which forgiveness of sin is set forth, shew, God doth blot out our sins; [Page 7] Psal. 51.2. Wash me throughly from my iniquity, and cleanse me from my sin. And cover them; Psal. 32.1. Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered. To cast them behind his back; Isa. 38.17. Thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back. And cast them into the bottom of the Sea; Micah 7.19. Thou wilt cast all their sins in­to the depth of the Sea. To remember them no more; Ier. 31.34. I [...]ill forgive their iniquity, and I will remember the [...]r sin no more. By such emphatical Metaphors doth it express Gods free and full forgiveness, if we seriously enter into his Peace: And do clearly shew, that if God punisheth sins, he doth remember them; if he avenge them, he imputeth them; if they are brought into the Judgement against us, they are not covered; if he searcheth after them, he doth not cast them behind his back: If he bringeth them into light, he doth not cast them into the depths of the Sea: Much more if he punish us for them.

Secondly, The Nature of Redemption.

What is Redemption by the blood of Christ?

In opening it to you, I shall prove six things.

  • [Page 8]1. A Captivity or Bondage.
  • 2. That from thence we are freed by a Ransom, or Price paid.
  • 3. That none but Christ was fit to give this Ransom.
  • 4. That nothing performed by Christ was sufficient, till he layed down his life.
  • 5. That thence there is a liberty result­ing to us.
  • 6. That we do not actually partake of the benefit of this Ransom, till we be in Christ.

1. Our being Redeemed, supposeth a Captivity and Bondage: All men in their unrenewed Estate are slaves to sin and Sa­tan, and subject to the Wrath of God: That we are slaves to Sin, appeareth by Scripture and Experience; Titus 3.3. Ser­ving divers lusts and pleasures. Ioh. 8.34. Whosoever committeth sin, is the servant of sin. Men imagin a life spent in vanity and plea­sure, to be a very good life; it were so, if Liberty were to be determined by doing what we list, rather than what we ought. But since it is not, Experience sheweth that they are convinced of their brutish sa­tisfactions as mean and base, yet they can­not leave them, for that true, and solid happiness offered by Christ: Now as they [Page 9] are under sin, so they are under Satan, who worketh in the children of disobedience, Eph. 2.2. and hath a great power over wicked men in the world, who fall to his share, as the Executioner of Gods Curse, and are ta­ken captive by him at his Will and Plea­sure, 2 Tim. 2.26. This is the woful cap­tivity and servitude of carnal men, that they fall as a ready prey into the mouth of the roaring Lion: Now for this they are liable to the Curse and Wrath of God: Therefore called children of wrath even as others, Eph. 2.3. that is, obnoxious to his righteous displeasure and punishment: Thus were we lost in our selves under Sin, Sa­tan, and the Wrath of God, from which we could no way free our selves, and if Grace had not opened a way for us to escape what should we have done?

2. To recover us, there was a price to be paid by way of Ransom to God. We are not delivered from this bondage by prayer or intreaty, nor by strong hand or meer force, nor yet by the sole condescen­sion and pity of the injured party, without seeking reparation of the wrong done; but by the payment of a sufficient price, and just satisfaction to provoked Justice. This Price was not payed indeed to Satan who detaineth souls in slavery as a rigid usurp­ing [Page 10] Tyrant, or merciless Gaoler; (from him indeed we are delivered by force) but the price was paid to God. Man had not sinned against Satan, but against God, to whom it belongeth to condemn or absolve: And God being satisfied, Satan hath no power over us, but is put out of office. As the Executioner hath nothing to do, when the Judge and Law is satisfied. Now that Redemption implyeth the paying of a price is clear, because the word importeth it, and the Scripture often uses this Meta­phor, Matth. 20.28. The son of man came not to be ministred unto, but to minister; and to give his life a ransom for many. 1 Tim. 2: 6. Who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time. Redemption in the general, is a recovery out of our lost estate. God could have saved men by the Grace of Confirmation, but he chose ra­ther by the Grace of Redemption. This recovery was not by a forcible rescue, but by a Ransom. Christ in recovering his people out of their lost estate, is sometimes set forth as a Lamb, sometimes as a Lion: In dealing with God, we consider him as the Lamb slain, Rev. 5.5, 6. In dealing with Satan, and the Enemies of our salva­tion, he doth as a Lion recover the Prey. [Page 11] But why was a Ransom necessary? Because God had made a former Covenant, which was not to be quit and wholly made void, but upon valuable consideration, least his Justice, Wisdom, Holiness, Veracity, Au­thority should fall to the ground.

1. The Honour of his governing Justice was to be secured and freed from any ble­mish, that the awe of God might be kept up in the World; Rom. 3.5, 6. And Gen. 18.25. That be far from thee, to do after this manner, to slay the righteous with the wicked: and that the righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee: shall not the judge of all the earth do right? If God should absolutely pardon without satisfacti­on equivalent for the wrong done, how should God else be known and reverenced as the Just and Holy Governour of the World? Therefore, Rom. 3.25, 26. 'tis said, whom God hath set forth to be a propiti­ation through faith in his blood, to declare his righteousness for the remission of sins that are past, through the forbearance of God: To de­clare I say at this time his righteousness; that he might be just, and the justifier of him which believeth in Iesus.

2. His Wisdom: The Law was not given by God in jest, but in the greatest earnest that ever Law was given: Now if the Law [Page 12] should be recalled without any more ado, the Law-giver would run the hazard of Levity, Mutability and Imprudence in con­stituting so solemne a Transaction to no purpose. Paul was troubled when forced to retract his Word, 2 Cor. 1.17, 18. that his word should be yea to day, and nay to Morrow: Therefore when God had said, Thus I will govern the World, he was not to part with the Law upon light Termes.

3. His Holy Nature would not permit it. There needed some way to be found out, to signifie his purest Holiness, his hatred and detestation of sin, and that it should not be pardoned without some markes of his dis­pleasure. His soul hates the wicked, and the righteous God loveth Righteousness, Psal. 11.6.

4. His Authority. It would be a dero­gation from the Authority of his Law, if it might be broken, and there be no more ado about it. Now that all the World might know, that it is a dan­gerous thing to transgress his Laws and might hear and fear, and do no more pre­sumptuously, God appointed this course, that the penalty of his Law should be exe­cuted upon our surety, when he under­took our Reconciliation with God, Gal. 4.4.

[Page 13]5. The Veracity and Truth of God. It bindeth the Truth of God which sinners are apt to question; Gen. 3.5. Hath God said? And Deut. 29.19, 20. We look upon the Threatnings of the Law as a vain Scare-crow, therefore for the Terror and warning of sinners for the future, God would not release his Wrath, nor release us from the power of Sin and Satan, which was the consequent of it, without a price and valuable compensation.

Thirdly, None was sit to give this ran­som but Jesus Christ, who was God man: he was man to undertake it in our name, and God to perform it in his own strength: a man that he might be made under the Law, and humbled even to the death of the Cross for our sakes, and all this was elevated beyond the worth of created acti­ons and sufferings by the divine nature which was in him, which perfumed his hu­manity and all done by it, and in it. This put the stamp upon the mettal, and made it current Coin, imposed an infinite value upon his finite obedience and sufferings. By taking humane Nature a price was put into his hands to lay down for us, Heb. 10.15. and His divine Nature made it suffici­ent and responsible, for it was the Blood [Page 14] of God, Acts 20.28. Feed the Church of God, which he hath purchased with his own Blood. And Heb. 9.13. For if the Blood of Bulls and Goats, and the ashes of an Heifer, sprinkling the unclean, sanctifyeth to the puri­fying of the Flesh; how much more shall the Blood of Christ who through the spirit offered himself without spot to God, purge your Consci­ence from dead works to serve the Living God. It was that Flesh and Blood which was as­sumed into the unity of his person; as a slip or branch grafted into a stock is the branch of the stock, and the fruit of it is the fruit of the stock. A naked Creature without this Union, could not have satisfi­ed the Justice of God for us: This made his blood a precious blood, and his obedience a precious obedience. In short God-man the Son of God, and the Son of Adam, was he that Redeemed us. So in short there were different parties to be dealt with be­fore the fruit of Redemption could be ob­tained. God, Satan, Man; God was an Enemy that could not be overcome but must be reconciled; Satan was a usurper and was to be vanquished with a strong hand; Man was unable and unwilling to look after the fruits of Redemption, and our obstinacy and unbelief could onely be overcome by the Spirit of Christ.

[Page 15]Fourthly, Nothing performed by Christ could be a sufficient ransom for this end unless he had crowned all his other actions and sufferings, by laying down his life and undergoing a bloody and violent death. This was the compleating and crowning act. Partly to answer the Types of the Law, wherein no Remission was represent­ed without a bloody sacrifice. Partly from the nature of the thing, and the fulness of the satisfaction required untill all that was finished, Iohn 8.20. death was that which was threatned to sin, death was that which was feared by the sinner. Many ignorant people will say the least drop of Christs blood was enough to save a thousand Worlds, if so his circumcision had been enough without his death, but Christ is not glorified but les­sened by such expressions. Surely his death was necessary or God would never have ap­pointed it, his bloody death suited with Gods design. Gods design was to carry on our recovery in such a way as might make sin more hateful, and obedience more acceptable to us. 1. Sin more hateful by his Agonies, Blood, Shame, death, no less re­medy would serve the turn, to procure the pardon and destruction of it, Rom. 8.3. By sin he condemned sin in the flesh, that is by a sin offering. God shewed a great [Page 16] example of his wrath against all sin by pu­nishing sin in the flesh of Christ, his design was for ever to leave a brand upon it, and to furnish us with a powerful mortifying argument against it, by the sin-offering and ransom for souls. Surely it is no small mat­ter for which the Son of God must dye! At Golgotha, sin was seen in its own colours. There he shewed how much he hateth it, and loveth purity.

Secondly, To commend obedience: Christs suffering death for the sin of man at the command of his Father, was the noblest piece of Service, and the highest degree of Obedience that ever could be performed to God; beyond any thing that can be done by Men or Angels. There was in it so much love to God, Pity to Man, so much Self-denial, so much Humility and Patience, and so much Resignation of himself to God, who appointed him to be the Redeemer and Surety of Man, to do this office for him, as cannot be parallel'd. The great thing in it was obedience; Rom. 5.14. By the obedience of one shall many be made righteous. So 'Phil. 2.7. God was not de­lighted in mere blood, but in blood offered in obedience. All his former actions toge­ther with his Death and Sufferings make but one intire Act of eminent obedience; [Page 17] but his painful and cursed death so willingly and readily undergone, was the crowning Act. The formal reason of the merit, was that Christ came to fulfil the will of God; by which will we are sanctified. Heb. 10.10. therefore his death was necessary.

Fifthly, From this Ransom and act of Obedience, there is a Liberty resulting un­to us, for the redeemed are let go, when the ransom is paid. Now this Liberty is a freedom from sin that we may become the Servants of God, Rom. 6.22. Being made free from sin ye became servants of righteous­ness. Christ came not to free us from the duty of the Law, but the penalty and Curse thereof; to free us from the duty of the Law, is to promote the Devils Interest. No, he freed us from the Wrath of God that we may serve him chearfully, to establish Gods Interest upon surer and more com­fortable Terms, to restore us to Gods fa­vour and service: To Gods favour by the pardon of sin, to his service by writing his Laws on our Hearts and Minds. Sometimes our Redemption from the Curse is spoken of, Gal. 3.13. Christ hath redeemed us from the curse of the law being made a curse for us. Sometimes our Redemption from Sin. Tit. 2.14. Who gave himself for us, that he [Page 18] might redeem us from all iniquity. And so by consequence from the power of the de­vil, which is built on the curse of the Law, and reign of Sin. Satans power over us doth flow from the sentence of the con­demnation pronounced by the Law against sinners, and consists in that dominion sin hath obtained over them: If the curse of the Law be disanulled, and the power of sin broken, he is spoiled of his Power, Col. 2.14, 15. Blotting out the hand-writing of ordinances that was against us, which was contrary to us, and took it out of the way, nail­ing it to his cross. And having spoiled prin­cipalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly triumphing over them.

Sixthly, That we are not partakers of this Liberty, nor of the benefit of this Ran­som, till we are in him, and united to him by Faith; for the Text saith, in whom we have redemption by his blood. Certainly we must be turned from Satan to God, before we are capable of receiving the forgiveness of sins; Acts 26.18. We do not actually partake of the priviledges of Christs King­dom, till we be first his Subjects: Who hath delivered us from the power of Satan, and hath translated us in the kingdom of his dear Son; in whom we have redemption through his blood, [Page 19] the forgiveness of sins. Christ and his peo­ple are an opposite state to the Devil and his Instruments: while we are under the opposite power, we belong not to Christ; and the priviledges of his Kingdom belong not to us: but as soon as we are translated, and put into another estate, then we have the first priviledge, remission of sins. Look as in the fall, there was sin before guilt; so in our reparation, there must be conver­sion, Renovation, or Repentance, before Remission: We are first effectually called or sanctified, and then justified and glorifi­ed. Mans recovery to God is in the same method in which he fell from him. It is first brought about by a new nature, and com­munication of life from Christ. He rege­nerateth, that he may pardon, and he par­doneth that he may farther sanctifie, and make us everlastingly happy.

Thirdly, That remission of sins is a part, and a principal part of Redemption.

I. How is it a part or fruit of Redemp­tion?

I Answer, Redemption is taken either for the Impetration, or Application.

1. The Impetration or laying down the price, that was done by Christ upon the [Page 20] Cross. So it is said, Heb. 9.12. Christ by his own blood obtained eternal redemption for us. Then was God propitiated, the dead­ly blow given to the Kingdom and Power of the Devil, and the Merit and Ransom interposed, by the virtue of which we are pardoned; the obtained redemption and remission of sins is a fruit flowing from it, and depending upon it as an effect upon the cause.

2. The Scripture considers Redemption in its Application. Besides laying down the price there is an actual deliverance and freedom by virtue of that price. This is either begun or compleat: The compleat redemption, or freedom from sin and mise­ry is that which the Godly shall enjoy at the last day. Rom. 8.23. We which have the first fruits of the spirit, even we our selves groan within our selves, waiting for the adop­tion, to wit, the redemption of our body. Eph. 4.30. Grieve not the holy spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemp­tion. Eph. 1.14. In whom also after ye be­lieved ye were sealed with that spirit of promise which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession. The inchoate, or begun deliverance, is that measure of deliverance, which believers en­joy now by Faith; which consists of two [Page 21] parts; Iustification and Sanctification. San­ctification, 1. Pet. 1.18. Tit. 2.14. Who gave himself for us that he might redeem us from all iniquity and purifie unto himself a pe­culiar people zealous of good works. When we are free from the power and weight of sin. Iustification; so it is in the Text, and Eph. 1.7. When sin is freely pardoned, and our debt cancelled, and we are delivered from evil and wrath to come.

II. As it is a part, so it is a principal part. This will appear, if you consider the evil we are freed from.

As 1. The power of the Devil is de­stroyed: All the advantage which he hath against us is as we are sinners, guilty sinners before God: For we are put into his hands when we have forfeited the protection of our righteous Lord; but forgiveness of sins gives us a release from him, Acts 26.18. When Christ came to procure it, he destroyed the devils Power; when we are converted we are interessed in the privi­ledge.

2. The reign of sin is broken: for san­ctifying Grace is inseparable from pardon­ing Grace; yea, I will venture to say, that the gift of the sanctifying Spirit is a part of our pardon, executed and applyed for a [Page 22] part of the punishment of sin was spiritual death, or the loss of Gods Image; Col. 2.13. He hath quickned you together with Christ having forgiven all your trespasses. When God pardoneth, he sanctifieth and createth us anew, that we may be fit for his service; so that we are renewed by the Spirit, as well as recovered out of the s [...]ares of the devil.

3. We are eased of tormenting fears in a great measure. Man can have no firm peace and comfort in his own soul, while sin re­maineth upon him, our case is dangerous, whether we be sensible of it or no; because our condition is not to be valued by our sense and feeling, but by the sentence of the Law of God, which we have broken and violated; if there be any difference in the case, the more insensible we are, the more miserable: The generality of men indeed are senseless and careless, put far away the evil day from them, and so make light work of reconciling themselves to God, but are they the more safe for this? No, if they will dance about the brink of Hell, and go merrily to their execution, it argues not their safety, but their stupidness: The thoughts of danger is put off when the thing it self is not put away; but if they be serious they cannot be without trouble. [Page 23] Rom. 1.32. Knowing the judgement of God, they conclude that they that do such things are worthy of death. The very light of Nature will revive many unquiet thoughts within them. The justice of the supream Gover­nour of the World will still be dreadful to them, whose law they have broken, and whose wrath they have justly deserved. They may lull the soul asleep by the stupi­fying potion of carnal Delights, and while Conscience is asleep, please themselves with stoln waters, and bread eaten in secret, which is soon disturbed by a few serious and sober thoughts of the world to come. God is offended, and what peace can they have?

4. Death is unstinged. That's the usual time when Convictions grow to the height, and the stings of an awakened Conscience begin to be felt, 1 Cor. 15.28. Then the thoughts of Death and Judgement to come, are very terrible to them: and men begin to see what it is to bear their own sins, and how happy they are, who are sure of a pardon.

5. The obligation to Eternal punishment ceases: Pardon is dissolving and loosing that obligation. Now the punishment is exceeding great; Hell and damnation are no vain Scare-crows. Eternity makes every [Page 24] thing truly great! the poena damni, an e­verlasting separation from the comfortable presence of the Lord, Matth. 25.41. Go ye cursed. Luk. 13.27. Depart ye workers of iniquity. When God turned Adam out of Paradise his case was very sad, but God took care of him in his Exile, made him Coats of skin, gave him a day of Patience, afterwards promised the seed of the woman, who should recover the lapsed estate of mankind, intimated hopes of a better Pa­radise. That estate therefore is nothing comparable to this, for now man is stripped of all his comforts, sent into an endless state of Misery, whence there is no hopes of ever changing his condition. So for the poena sensus, the pain, Mark 9.44. Where their worm never dieth and their fire is never quenched. The worm, is the worm of Con­science, reflecting on past folly and disobe­dience. See here a man may run away from the rebukes of Conscience by many shifts; sleeping, sporting, distracting his Mind with a clutter of business; but there, not a thought free, but is always thinking of slighted means, abused mercies, wasted time, the offenses done to a merciful God, and the curse wherein they have involved themselves: the fire is the wrath of God, or these unknown pains that shall be inflicted [Page 25] on body and soul, which must needs be great when we fall into the hands of the living God! If a little mitigation, a drop to cool your Tongue, be thought a great mat­ter, oh what a blessedness is it, to be freed from so great an evil! Perhaps you coldly entertain the offer of a pardon now, but then to be freed from wrath to come, oh blessed Jesus! 1 Thes. 1.10.

2. The good depending on it, Luk. 1.77. To give us the knowledge of salvation by the remission of sins. Eternal life dependeth on it, for you are not capable of enjoying God, till his wrath be appeased. As all evil was introduced by sin, so all happiness by pardon. This is an initial blessing, which maketh way for the rest.


Of Exhortation: To perswade you to seek after this benefit: All of us once need­ed it, and the best of us till we are wholly freed from sin, still need it.

1. We all of us once needed it; for we are not onely criminal persons liable to con­demnation, but actually condemned in the sentence of Gods law, Ioh. 3.18. He that believeth not is condemned already. Now [Page 26] should not a condemned man make means to be pardoned, and should not we accept of Gods terms especially when there is but the slender thred of a frail life between us and execution? He that securely continues in his sins, despiseth both the curse of the Law, and the grace of the Gospel. Oh consider, nothing but a pardon will serve the turn, not forbearance on Gods part, not forgetfulness on yours.

1. Not forbearance of the punishment on Gods part: God may be angry with us, while he doth not actually strike, as the Psalmist saith, Psal. 7.11, 12, 13. God is angry with the wicked every day, if he turn not, he will whet his sword. He hath bent his bow and will make it ready. God who is a righteous Judge, will not dispense with the offences of wicked men, by which he is continually affronted and provoked: though in the day of his patience he doth for a while spare, yet he is ready to deal with them cominus, hand to hand; for he is sharpening his sword, eminus at a distance, for he is bending his bow. The Arrow is upon the string, and how soon he may let it fly we cannot tell. We are never safe till we turn to him, and enter into his Peace, and so the obligation to punishment be dissolved.

[Page 27]2. On our part; our senseless forgetful­ness will do us no good. Carnal men mind not things which relate to God, or the happiness of their immortal Souls, but they are not happy that feel least troubles, but they that have least cause. A benum­med Conscience cannot challenge this bles­sedness, they put off the thoughts of that which God hath neither forgiven nor co­vered; and so do but skin the wound, till it festers and rancle into a dangerous sore; our best course is to see we be justified and pardoned.

2. The best of us still need it, partly be­cause though we be justified, and our state be changed, yet renewed sins need a new pardon. We are still sinning against God, either we are omiting good, or committing evil, what will we do if we be not forgiven? renewed sins call for renewed repentance: We do not need another Redeemer, or ano­ther Covenant, or another Conversion, yet we do need renewed Pardon. Partly, because our final sentence of pardon is not yet pas­sed, nor shall be passed till the last Judgment, Act. 3.19. Repent ye therefore and be converted, that your sins maybe blotted out, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord. We are now pardoned and justified constitutively by the tenour of the New [Page 28] Covenant, and there by description. The sincerity of our Faith and Repentance is not presently evident; it is possible, but difficult to know that we are sincere peni­tent Believers; but at last when our pardon is actually pronounced by our Judges mouth sitting on the Throne, then all is clear, evi­dent, plain and open. And partly because daily infirmities call for daily repentance. We do not carry our selves with that gra­vity and watchfulness, but that we need to cry for pardon every day.


COL. 1.15.

Who is the Image of the invisible God, the first born of every creature.

THE Apostle having mentioned our Redemption, doth now fall upon a Description of the Redeemer. He is set forth by two things:

  • First, His Internal Relation to God.
  • Secondly, By his External relation to the Creature.

Doct. It is a great part of a Believers work to have a deep sense of the Redee­mers excellency imprinted upon his Mind and heart.

Here I shall shew, I. How it is set forth in this verse.

[Page 30]II. Why this should be much upon our minds and hearts?

I. How it is set forth in this Scripture.

  • 1. That he is the Image of the invisible God.
  • 2. The first-born of every Creature.

For the first Expression, there I shall consider,

  • 1. What belongs to an Image.
  • 2. In what respects Christ is the Image of God.
  • 3. How he differeth from other persons.

1. What belongeth to an Image, and that all this is in Christ. In an Image there are two things, impression and representa­tion; both are in Christ. There is a di­vine impression upon him, and he doth re­present God to us.

1. For impression: There is

(1.) Likeness; for an Image must be like him whom it representeth. An artifi­cial Image of God, or such as may be made by us, is forbidden upon this account, Isa. 40.18. To whom then will ye liken God? or what likeness will ye compare unto him? what is there among all the Creatures that can be like such an infinite and almighty essense? [Page 31] or by what visible shape or figure would they represent or resemble God.

(2.) Deduction and derivation: The Image is taken from him whom it is intend­ed to represent, it is not some casual simi­litude between two men that have no refe­rence or dependance one upon another; but such as is between a father and his onely begotten Son; as it is said of Adam, Gen. 5.1. He begat a son in his own Image, and so it is verified in Christ because of his Eternal Generation. Like him, because begotten of him.

(3.) There is not a likeness in a few things, but a compleat and exact likeness, so Christ as the second person is called, Heb. 1.3. The express image of his person. There is not onely likeness but equality. God cannot make a creature equal to him­self, nor beget a Son unequal to himself.

2. Representation: For an Image it ser­veth to make known and declare that thing whose Image it is: If light produce light, the light produced doth represent the light & glory producing; & the more perfect and immediate the production is, the more per­fect is the resemblance; a lively expression of the pattern and exemplar. And this is the reason why the word (invisible) is ad­ded, because God who in his own Nature [Page 32] is invisible, and incomprehensible to man, revealeth himself so far as is necessary to Salvation, to us by Christ: Visible things are known by their visible Images with more delight, but not with more accuracie. The Image is not necessary to know the thing; but here it is otherwise, we cannot know God but by Christ, Ioh. 1.18. No man hath seen God at anytime, the onely be­gotten son which is in the bosom of the father he hath declared him. God is invisible, and incomprehensible by any but Jesus Christ, who being his onely Son, and one in essence with the Father, he doth perfectly know him, and reveal unto mankind all that they know of him. Thus you see what belongs to an Image.

2. In what respects Christ is the Image of God.

(1.) In respect of his Eternal Generation. So, Christ is the express Image of his 'Person: not substance, but subsistence: We do not say that Milk is like Milk, nor one Egg like another, because they are of the same sub­stance; so Christ is not said to be of the same substance, but of the same subsistence. He is indeed of the same substance with him whom he doth resemble, but the Image is with respect to the subsistence; so he re­sembleth the father fully and perfectly. [Page 33] there is no perfection in the Father, but the same is in the Son also; he is Eternal, Omnipotent, Infinite, in Wisdom, Good­ness and Power.

(2.) As God Incarnate, or manifested in our flesh: so the perfections of the God­head shine forth in the Man Christ Jesus, in his Person, Word and Works.

1. In his person: They that had a dis­cerning eye might see something divine in Christ, Iohn 1.14. We beheld his glory, as the glory of the onely begotten of the Father. There is the as of similitude, and the as of congruity, as if a mean man taketh state upon him, we say he behaveth himself as a King, but if we say the same of a King in­deed, we mean he behaveth himself King­like, that is becoming the Majesty of his High calling. So we beheld his glory as, &c. that is such a glory as was sutable and becoming Gods only Son: So Christ was angry with his Disciples because they were too importunate to see the Father, though they saw him ordinarily, conversing with him: Iohn 14.7. If ye had known me ye should have known my Father also, and from henceforth ye know him and have seen him. The F [...]ther is no otherwise to be known, but as he hath revealed himself in Christ, [Page 34] and having seen and known Christ, who was his Image, they might both see and know him: and when Philip saith, shew us the Father and it sufficeth us; this will convince us all without farther argument; Christ answereth, verse 9. He that hath seen me hath seen the Father. They might see the Fathers infinite power acting in him, his wisedom teaching by him, his goodness in the whole strain of his life: so that in Christ becoming Man, God doth in and by him, represent all his own Attributes and Properties; his Wisdom, Goodness and Po­wer.

2. In his Word: where God is revealed to us savingly, so as we may be brought in­to Communion with him, so it is said, least the light of the glorious Gospel of Christ, who is the Image of God, should shine unto them, 2 Cor. 4.4. As God shineth forth in Christ, so doth Christ shine forth in the Gospel: there we have the Record of his Doctrine, Miracles, and the end for which he came into the World; and this is the great instru­ment by which the virtue and power of God is conveyed to us, for the changing of our hearts and lives, 2 Cor. 3.18. 'Be­holding the glory of the Lord as in a glass, we are changed into his Image and likeness from [Page 35] glory to glory. Some sight of God we must have, or else we cannot be like him: the knowledge or sight of God, with mortal or bodily eyes is impossible, the external ma­nifestations and representations in the crea­ture is imperfect, and sufficeth rather for Conviction, then Coversion, or to leave us without excuse, then to save the soul, Rom. 12.1. (they have not the excuse of faultless ignorance.) To know him in the Law, or Covenant of works doth but work wrath, Rom. 4.15. or revive in us a stinging sense of our hopeless condition. To know him in Person, or to see his glorious works, or hear his glorious words, was a privi­ledge vouchsafed but to few, and to many that made no good use of it; therefore there is onely reserved his Word, to bring us into Communion with God. Or the glass of the Gospel to represent the glory of the Lord, that we may be changed into his likeness from glory to glory. There the knowledge of God is held out powerfully in order to our Salvation.

3. His Works: All which in their whole tenure and contexture shewed him to be God man. If at any time there appeared any evidence of humane weakness, least the World should be offended and stumble [Page 36] thereat, he did at the same time give out some notable demonstrations of his divine power: when he lay in a manger at his birth a Star appeared, and Angels proclaim­ed his birth to the Shepherds: When he was swadled as an Infant, the Wise men came and Worshipped him: When he was in danger of suffering Shipwrack, he com­manded the Winds and the Waves, and they obeyed him: When he was tempted by Satan he was Ministred unto by Angels: Matth. 4.11. When they demanded Tribute for the Temple, a Fish brought it to him, Matth. 17.26. When he was de­ceived in the Fig-tree, (which was an infir­mity of humane ignorance) he suddainly blasted it, discovering the glory of a di­vine power: When he hanged dying on the Cross, the Rocks were rent, the Graves opened, the Sun darkned, and all nature put into a rout. Though he humbled him­self to purchase our Mercies, yet he assured our Faith by some emissions and breakings forth of his divine power: Well then, though it be our duty to seek and find out Gods track and foot print in the whole Creation, and to observe the impressions of his Wise­dom, Goodness, and Power, in all the Saints; especially this is our duty to ad­mire his Image in Jesus Christ; for his hu­manity, [Page 37] the perfections of the Godhead shine forth in the highest lustre. What ever per­fection we conceive to be in his Person, Word or Works, the same may we con­clude to be in the Father also. Did the Winds and Seas obey Christ? The whole Creation is at the beck of God, did Christ shew himself to be the wisdom, goodness and power of God, surely God is infinitely Wise! Was Christ Holy and undefiled, surely so is God, light in whom is no darkness at all: Was Christ Loving, Pityful, and Compassi­onate, not abhorring the most vile and mi­serable, whether in Soul or Body, that came to him for relief, surely God is Love, and he will not be strange to those that seek him in Christ.

3. How he differeth from other persons: For the Saints also are made after the Image of God, Col. 3.10. And have put on the New Man which is renewed in knowledge after the Image of him that created him, Eph. 4.24. And that ye put on the New man which after God is created in Righteousness and true Holiness? I answer, There is a great difference between the Image of God in Man, and the Image of God in Christ.

1. Man resembleth God but imperfectly, Man was made, and is new made after the Image of God, but with much abatement of [Page 38] this high perfection which is in Christ, for he hath all the substantial perfection which his Father hath. In other Creatures, there is some resemblance but no equality, other Creatures are made like God, but he is be­gotten like God.

2. It is derivative from Christ: God would recover man out of his lapsed estate, by setting up a pattern of Holiness in our Nature, Rom. 8.29. Whom he did fore­know he also did predestinate to be conformed to the Image of his Son, that he might be the first-born among many Brethren. None was fit to restore this Image of God that was lost, but God Incarnate, for thereby the glo­ry of God was again visible in our Nature; God is a pure Spirit, and we are Creatures, that have indeed an immortal Soul, but it dwelleth in Flesh, therefore to make us like God, the Word was made flesh, that he might represent the perfections of God to us, and commend holiness by his own example.

Secondly, The next thing ascribed to Christ is, that he is the first born of every Creature, that is, born of God before any Creature had a being; or begotten of the Father of his own proper Essence, and e­qual with him before any thing was created: and brought forth out of nothing. But [Page 39] here, the Adversaries of the Eternal God­head of Christ, triumph, and say, the first born of the Creatures is a Creature, one of the same kind. I Answer, if we grant this that they alledge they gain nothing, for Christ had two Natures, he was God, Man, as God he is the Creator, not a Creature; for the Apostle proveth, that by him all things were made: but as Man so he is in­deed a Creature: This double considerati­on must not be forgotten, Rom, 1.3, 4. Our Lord Jesus Christ was made of the Seed of David according to the Flesh, but declared to be the Son of God, with po­wer according to the Spirit; therefore we must distinguish between Christ and Christ, what he is according to the Spirit, and what he is a according to the flesh.

2. I answer, That Metaphors must be ta­ken in the sense in which they are intended; now what is the Apostles intention in giving Christ the Appellation of the First-born.

Four things are implyed by this Meta­phor.

  • 1. Identity of Nature.
  • 2. Likeness of Original.
  • 3. Antiquity.
  • 4. Dignity.

[Page 40]Nothing else can be insinuated into the mind of man by such a form of speech, but Identity and sameness of nature between the brethren which is true as to Christs huma­nity, Heb. 2.14. For [...]smuch then as the children are partakers of Flesh, and blood, he also took part of the same, or else sameness of stock, which is true also; fo [...] the same reason, Heb. 2.11. For both he that sancti­fieth, and they who are sunctified are all of one, for which cause he is not ashamed to call them Brethren, or priority of time, for the first born is before all the rest, or else, dignity authority and preheminence: Now which of these doth the Apostle intend, the two last: The preexistence of Christ before any thing was made as appeareth by this reason, v. 16. For by him all things were made, whe­ther they be in heaven or in earth; And also his Dignity and Authority above them, as appeareth by the frequent use of the word. For the first-born in Families had Authority over the rest: When Iacob had got the Birth-right this was a part of Isaacs blessing, Gen. 27.29. Let people serve thee and Na­tions bow down to thee, be Lord over thy bre­thren, and let thy mothers sons bow down to thee. Soveraignty was implyed in the Birth-right, so David is called the first-born of the Kings of the earth, Psal. 19.27. as [Page 41] the most glorious amongst them. So here nothing else is intended but that Christ is in time and dignity before all Crea­tures.

Thirdly, Though Christ be called the firstborn of every Creature, it doth not im­ply that he is to be reckoned as one of them, or accounted a Creature. It is true, when he is said Rom. 8.29. That he is the first-born among many brethren, it implyeth that he is head of the renewed estate, that he and all new creatures are of the same kind, allowing him the dignity of his rank and degree, for God is his God, and their God, his Father and their Father: but here it is not the first-born amongst the creatures, but the first-born of every crea­ture. And for farther confirmation, here is not Identity of Nature, for he is not at all of the same nature with the Angels, those Principalities and Thrones, Dominions and Powers spoken of in the next verse, nor issued of the same stock with any of them: mark, he is called the first-born, not first created, which must be understood of his divine nature, and eternal Generation of the Father before all creatures. The crea­tures are not begotten and born of God▪ [...]ut made by him: so Christ is primogenitus, that [Page 42] unigenitus the first-born, that onely begot­ten. In the following verse he is brought in not as a creature, but the Creator of all things. The first-born is not the cause of the rest of the Children: Peter was the first-born, yet may be a Brother to Iames and Iohn, but not a Father to them. Now all the rest of the creatures are created, and produced by him: he is not reckoned a­mong them as one of them, he is the Image of the invisible God.

2d. Why this Excellency of our Redeem­er should be so deeply impressed upon our minds and hearts? for many reasons.

1. This is needful to shew his sufficiency to Redeem the world, the party offended is God, who is of infinite Majesty, the fa­vour to be purchased is the Everlasting fruition of God, and the sentence to be re­versed, is the sentence of Everlasting pu­nishment. Therefore there needed some valuable satisfaction to be given to recon­cile these things to our thoughts; that we may be confident that we shall have Re­demption by his blood, even the Remission of sins: there are three things that commend the value of Christs sacrifice, the dignity of his Person, the greatness of his sufferings, and the merit of his obedience. But the [Page 43] two latter without the former will little quiet the heart of scrupulous men: His sufferings were great but temporary and fi­nite, the merit of his obedience much, but how shall the virtue of it reach all the World: And if he be but a meer creature, he hath done what he ought to do. I con­fess a fourth thing may be added Gods in­stitution, which availeth to the end for which God hath appointed it; but the Scripture insists most on the first, the dig­nity of his person, which putteth a value on his sacrifice, Act. 20, 18. Heb. 9.13, 14. at lest there is an intrinsick worth, this answers all objections. His sufferings were temporary and finite, but it is the blood of God; he hath offered up himself through the Eternal Spirit.

2. To work upon our love, that Christ may have the chief room in our hearts: there is no such argument to work upon our love, as that God over all blessed for ever, should come to relieve man in such a con­descending way, 1 Iohn 3.16. Hereby we perceive the love which God hath to us in that he layed down his life for us, that very person that dyed for us was God. There was power discovered in the creation, when God made us like himself out of the dust of the ground, but love in our Redemption, [Page 44] when he made himself like us. The person that was to work out our deliverance was the Eternal Son of God. That God that owes nothing to man, and was so much offended by man, and that stood in no need of man, having infinite happiness and con­tentment in himself; that he should come and dye for us! hereby perceive we the love of God. When we consider what Christ is, we shall most admire what he hath done for us.

Thirdly, That we may give Christ his due honour. For God will have all men to honour the Son, as they honour the Fa­ther, Iohn 5.23. he being equal in power and glory: the setting forth of his glory, is a rent due to him, from all creatures: We are to praise him both in word and deed: in mind, and heart, and practise, which we can never do, unless we understand the dignity of his person: We are apt to have low thoughts of Christ, therefore we should often revive the considerations, that may represent his worth and excellency.

Fourthly, That we may place all hope of Salvation in him, and may make use of him, to the ends which he came to accomplish: We can hardly consider the work of Redemp­tion, [Page 45] but some base thoughts arise in our minds, nor entertain this mistery with due respects to the truth and greatness, and ad­mirableness of it, whithout raising our thoughts to the consideration of the dignity of the person who is to accomplish it, Heb. 3.1. Therefore brethren, consider the Lord Iesus the great High Priest and Apostle of our profession.

Fifthly, That we may the better under­stand two things.

  • 1. The Humiliation of the Son of God.
  • 2. The way how we may recover the lost Image of God.

1. The humiliation of the Son of God: cer­tainly he that came to Redeem us, was the brightness of his Fathers Glory, and the express Image of this Person; now how did he humble himself? was he not still the Image of God in our nature? yes, but the divine glory and Majesty was hidden under the vail of our flesh, little of it did appear, and that only to those who narrowly did observe him; the brightness of his glory did not conspicuously shine forth: was this all? no, his dignity was lessened, there was capitis diminutio, the lessening of a mans [Page 46] estate or condition. As of a man degraded from the Senatorian Order to the Degree of Knight, thence to the Plebian. Thus was the Eternal Son of God lessened, less then God, as Mediator, Iohn 14.28. My Fa­ther is greater then I. As God incarnate he took an office designed to him by God, and obeyed him in all things: They were one in essence, Iohn 10.30. yet with respect to his Office to save Souls, he was lessened: nay not only less than God, but lesser than the Angels, Heb. 2.7. He was made a little lower then the Angels. Not born so, but made so. Man is inferiour to an Angel as a Man in the rank and order of beings; the Angels dye not, therefore his Incarnation and liableness to death, is a great lessening of his dignity; so not in respect of Office only, but humane nature assumed.

2. It sheweth us how the Image of God may be recovered: If we be changed into the likeness of Christ, for he is the Image of God; his merit should not onely be preci­ous to us, but his example; it is a great advantage not only to have a rule, but an example: because man is so prone to imi­tate, that an example in our nature maketh it the more operative: his execuse is ready at hand, we are Flesh and Blood what [Page 47] would you have us do? therefore Christ came incarnate to be an example of Holi­ness: he had the interests of Flesh and Blood to mind, as well as we; and so would shew that a holy Life is possible to those that are renewed by his Grace: he obeyed God in our nature, therefore in the same nature we may obey, please and glorifie God, though still in a self-denying manner: the foundation of it is layed in the new birth: the Spirit that formed Christ out of the sub­stance of the virgin, the same Spirit is ready to form Christ in you: he maketh new creatures, so that there is not onely Christs example, but Christs power. Use 1. then let the excellency and dignity of Christs Person be more upon your minds and hearts, think often of those two notions in the Text; that he is the Image of the invisible God, that therein you may be like him. You can­not be the Image of God so as he was, but you must be in your measure, the fullness of the Godhead dwelt in him bodily, but you must be partakers of the divine nature. He shewed himself to be the Son of God by his works, when the Jews said he blasphemed, when he said he was the Son of God, Ioh. 10.27. If I do not the works of my Father believe me not, he allowed them to doubt of them, if he did not those works which [Page 48] were proper to one sent from God, certain­ly this is the glory of man, to be the Image of God: there is no greater perfection then to live in the nearest resemblance to his Crea­tor: Christ is more excellent because he hath more of the Image of God upon him.

2. Consider again that he is Lord of the whole creation, and therefore calle [...] the first-born of every creature. Well th [...]n we should he subject to him, and with greater diligence apply our selves to the obedience of his Holy Laws, and use the means ap­pointed by him to obtain the blessedness of­fered to us. There is in us a natural senti­ment of the authority of God, and we have a dread upon our hearts if we do what he hath forbidden, but we have not so deep a sense of the authority of Christ, and play fast and loose with Religion, as fancy, and humour and interest lead us: Now from this argument you see we should honour the Son, as we honour the Father, and be as tender of his Institutions, as we are of the Commandements evident by natural light; for he is not onely the messenger of God, but his express Image, and the first-born of every creature: Not to believe him, and obey him, and love him is to sin not only against our duty, but our remedy, and the Law of our recovery.


COL. 1. 16.

For by him were all things created that are in heaven and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones or domi­nions or principalities or powers, all things were created by him and for him.

THE Apostle had told us in the for­mer Verse, that Jesus Christ is the first-born of every Creature: The Arrians thence concluded that he himself was created out of nothing in order of time before the World: But it is not the first created of any creature, but the first-born, which noteth a precedency, not only in point of Antiquity, but Dignity; and is as much as to say, Lord of every creature. For the first-born was the Lord of the rest, and the Title may be given either Rela­tively or comparatively.

[Page 50]1. Relatively; when the rest are of the same stock, or have the relation of Bre­thren to him that hath the preheminence. So it is given to Christ with respect to new Creatures, Rom. 8.29, That he might be the first-born among many brethren.

2. Comparatively onely: When several persons or things be compared, though there be no relation between them; So David is called the first-born of the Kings of the earth, Psal. 89.27. That is superior in Dignity and Honour. So here it is taken not relatively, for so Christ is primogenitus, the first-born; that he is also unigenitus, the onely begotten: none went before, or come after him, that are so begotten of God. What he asserteth in that verse, he now proveth by the creation of all things, in this 16th. verse, and the conservation of all things, verse 17. We are now upon the first proof: Surely he that created all things, is supream Lord of all things; or hath the right of the first-born over them. Two ways is Christ said to have a right to the Creatures: As God, and as Mediator. His Right as God, is natural and perpetual; his Right as Mediator is by grant and donation. It is a power acquired and obtained; his natural right is Antecedent to his actual susception of the office of Mediator; for it [Page 51] comes to him by Creation. He made all, and it is fit that he should be soveraign and Lord of all; but the other power and so­verainty is granted to him, as a part of his Reward, and recompense for the sorrows of his Humiliation; Phil. 2.9, 10. Where­fore God also hath highly exalted him, and gi­ven him a name above every name, that at the name of Iesus every knee should bow of things in heaven and [...]hings in earth and things under the earth. The Apostle speaks not of this latter now, but of the former; his right as the onely begotten Son of God; he is the first-born, that is, Lord of the whole Crea­tion. And good reason, for by him were all things created that are in heaven, and that are in Earth, &c. In the words, the Creation of the World is ascribed to Christ: Take notice

  • 1. Of the Object of this Creation.
  • 2. Christs Efficiency about it.

1. The Object of Creation, is spoken Collectively and Distributively.

1 Collectively; By him were all things created.

2 Distributively: They are many ways distinguished.

[Page 52](1.) By their place: Things in heaven, and things in earth.

(2.) By their Nature: Things visible and invisible.

(3.) By their Dignity and Office: Thrones, dominions, principalities and powers: Words often used in Scripture to signifie the An­gels whether good or bad. The good An­gels; Eph. 1.21. Far above all principali­ty and power, and might and dominion: Ep [...]. 3.10. That unto principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church, the manifold wisdom of God. Sometimes this Term is given to the bad Angels: We wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities and powers, Eph. 6.12. And Rom. 8.38, Nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers. So that the meaning is, the Angelical Creatures together with their de­gree and dignity as well among themselves as over the lower World, of what rank and degree soever they are, they are all created by him: he insisteth more on them then on the other branches, because some cryed up the dignity of the Angels, to the lessening of the Honour and office of Christ; and because they were the noblest and most po­werful Creatures; and if the most glorious Creatures were created by him, surely all others had their being and life from him. [Page 53] Well then, there is a gradation nota­ble, in setting forth the object of the Creation. Christ made not onely things in Earth, but things in Heaven; not onely the visible things of heaven, the Sun, Moon, and Stars; but the invisible, the Angels: Not the lower sort of Angels onely, but the most noble and most potent Thrones, Dominions, Principalities and Powers.

2. Christs Efficiency about them; in these words, they were created by him and for him.

1 By him; as an equal co-operating cause, or co-worker with God the Father: Ioh. 5.19. Whatsoever things the f [...]ther doth, those doth the son likewise. To bring a thing out of nothing, belongeth unto God: The distance of the Terms is Infinite, so must the Agent be: Creation is an act of Divine Power.

2 They are for him: They are by him as their first cause, they are for him as their last end. God is often represented in Scrip­ture as first and last; Isa. 41.4. I the Lord the first and the last, I am [...]e. Isa. 44.6. I am the first and the last, there is no God be­sides me, So Isa. 48.2. I am the first, I am also the last. Now all this is repeated and [Page 54] applied to Christ; Rev. 1.17. He said unto me, fear not, I am the first and the last, I have the keyes of death and hell. Rev. 2.8. These things saith the first and the last, which was dead and is alive. Rev. 22.13. I am alpha and omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last. Now these Expressi­ons do imply his Eternal Power and God­head: He hath been before all things were made, and shall be when all things in the world are ended: He is the first Being, from whom all things are, and the last end to whom all things are to be referred. He is the Efficient and final cause of all the creatures.

Doct. That all Creatures, Angels not ex­cepted, o [...]e their very Being to Christ the Son of God, our Blessed and Glorious Redeemer.

I shall take the method offered in the Text, and shew you,

First, That all things were created by him.

Secondly, Why the Creation of Angels is so particularly mentioned and insisted upon?

Thirdly, That all things were created for him.

[Page 55]First, For Creation by him: This is often asserted in Scripture, Ioh. 1.3. All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. Iohn begins his Gospel with the dignity of Christs Per­son, and how doth he set it forth? by the Creation of the World, by the Eternal Word; and what he saith, is an answer to these questions, When was the Word? In the beginning; where was the Word? with God; what was the Word? He was God: What did he then do? All things were made by him: What, all without exception? Yes, Without him nothing was made that was made: be it never so small, never so great, from the highest Angel to the smallest worm, they had all their Being from him. Two things are to be explained;

  • 1. How he made all things?
  • 2. When he made the Angels?

1. How he made all things? Freely, and of his own will: Rev. 4.11. Thou art wor­thy, O Lord to receive honour and glory and po­wer for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created. They use three words to set forth the honour that is due to Christ for creating the World; Glo­ry, because of his Excellencies discovered; [Page 56] Honour, which is the ascription or acknow­ledgement of those Excellencies; and Po­wer, because the invisible things of his God­head and power are seen by the things that are made, Rom. 1.20. For in the creating of the World, he exercised his Omnipotency, and this they do not express their Affecti­on but his own due desert: Thou art worthy O Lord: The reason they give, is because he hath created all things for his own plea­sure, or according to his own Will, not out of necessity, there was no tye upon him to make them, but onely he of his good plea­sure thought fit to do so. He might have done it in another manner, or at another time, or in another order. There is no­thing in the World that hath a necessary connexion with the Divine Essence, so as if God be, that must be; nothing external com­meth from God by necessity of Nature, but all is done according to the Counsel of his own Will. Some thought all created things did come forth from the Creator, by way of emanation, as Rivers flow out of their Fountain, but there is no stream floweth out of any fountain, but it was before a part of that fountain while it was in it; but that cannot be said of any Creature in re­spect of God, that it was any part of God before it came out from him: Others say [Page 57] the Creatures came out from God by way of representation, as an Image in the glass from him that passeth by or looketh on it; b [...]t before the world was made, there was no such glass to represent God: others would express it thus, that the world com­eth out from God as a shadow from the bo­dy, but yet this will not fit the turn nei­ther; for the shadow doth not come out from the body, but follows it: because of the deprivation of light from the interposi­tion of another body. Others say, all com­eth from God as a foot-print, or tract in Clay or Sand, from one that passeth over it; but there was nothing on which God by passing might make such an impression: What ever good intention they might have by setting forth the Creation by these ex­pressions, yet you see they are not proper and accurate. These expressions may have their use to raise mans understanding to contemplate the excellency and Majesty of the Creator; for they all shew his incom­parable Excellency and Perfection, toge­ther with the vanity, nothingness, or small­ness of the Creature, if compared with him, as great a bulk as it beareth in our eye. They are but as a Ray from the Sun, a stream from the fountain, or a drop to the Ocean; an Image in the Glass, or a shadow [Page 58] to the substance, or like a foot-print of a ma [...] in the Clay or Sand; and so are but certain signs leading up to the thing signi­fied; or Letters and Syllables out of which we may spell God. As the streams lead us to the fountain, the image to the man, the shadow to the body, or the track to the foot that made it. But the Scripture leav­ing those comparisons, sheweth us that the World came out from the Creator, as the Workmanship from the Artificer, the build­ing from the Architect, Heb. 11.10. Now every Artificer and builder worketh merely out of the Counsel of his own Will, and herein they resemble God, but onely what they do with great labour, God doth with the beck of his own Will and Word: Psal. 33.6. By the word of the Lord the heavens were made, and all the host of them by the breath of his mouth. A bare word of his im­mediately created all the World; the Hea­vens and Earth and all that is in them.

2. When did he make the angels? For in the History of Moses, there seemeth to be a great silence of it.

I Answer, We read Gen. 1.1. that in the beginning, that is, when God did first set himself to create, that then he created the Heaven and the Earth; but we read [Page 59] again in the 20th. Verse, that in six dayes the Lord made heaven and earth and the sea, and all that in them is. I argue that if within that compass of time, the Lord made Hea­ven and Earth, and all things that are in them, Angels are included in that number; being the inhabitants of Heaven, as Men and Beasts are of the Earth, and Fishes of the Sea: As here by things in Heaven the Apo­stle principally understands the Angels, and by things on earth Men: Therefore as things on earth were not made, but after the earth; so things in heaven were not created but after the heavens were created: The heavens were not created till the se­cond day, nor perfected and fitted till the fourth. Therefore as God did furnish the Earth with Plants and Beasts before men, so did he adorn the Heaven with stars, be­fore he filled it with Angels: for he first framed the House and adorned it, before he brought in the inhabitants. Therefore probably they were made the fourth day. Is this seemeth too short a time before the fall of the Apostate Angels, you must re­member how soon man degenerated: some think he did not sleep in innocency quot­ing that Psal. 49.12. Man being in honour abides not, but is like the bea [...]ts that perish. The word signifies a nights Lodging in an [Page 60] Inne; shall no [...] Lodge or stay a Night: o­thers make his fall on the next day, the Sab­bath: For at the end of the sixth day, all was good, very good. The Angels fell from their first state as soon as they were Created: so short and uncertain is all cre­ated Glory.

Secondly, All things were created for him; that is, for the honour of the Son, as well as for the honour of the Father, and the Holy Ghost: Now this is necessary to be thought of by us, because there is a Justice in the case that we should return and im­ploy all in his service, from whom we have received all, even though it be with the denial of our nearest and dearest Inte [...]est. He is worthy of this Glory and Honour from us, and that we should trust upon him as a faithful Creator, in the midst of all dangers.

1. I will prove, that the gre [...]t [...]st Glory the Creature is capable of, is to serve the Will, and set forth the Praise of its Creator: for every thing that attaineth not its end is vain. What matter is it whether I be a Dog or a Man, a Beast or an Angel, if I serve not the end for which I was made? and that is not the personal and particular benefit of any Creature, but the glory of [Page 61] the Creator: for God made all things for himself; Prov. 16.4. whether he made Beasts or Man or Angels, it was still with a respect to his own glory and service. God is independent, and self-sufficient of himself, and for himself. Self-seeking in the crea­ture is monstrous and incongruous: 'Tis as absurd, and unb [...]seeming, to seek its own Glory, as to attribute to its self its own be­ing; Rom. 11.36. Of him and through him, and to him are all things. Gods glory is the end of our being, and doing; for being and doing are both from him, and there­fore for him alone. Above all it concern­eth man to consider this, who can glorifie God not onely objectively, by the impres­sions of God upon him, and passively as God will overule all his actions to his own Glory, but actively as he is the mouth of the Creation, not onely to honour God himself, but to give him the praise which resulteth from all his works: It was well s [...]id of a Heathen, si essem lus [...]inia; If I were a Nightingal, I would sing as a Nightingal, si alauda: If I were a Lark, I would pere as a Lark. When I am a man, what should I do but know, love and praise God with­out ceasing and glorifie my Creator. Things are unprofitable, or mis-placed, when they do not seek or serve their end; therefore [Page 62] for what use are we meet, who are so un­meet for our proper end? Like the wood of the vine that is good for nothing, not so much as to make a pin whereon to hang any thing, Ier. 20.15. Good for nothing but to be cast into the fire, unless it be fruit­ful. What are we good for, if we be not serviceable to the ends for which we were created.

2. The design of God was, that the whole Creation should be put in subjection to the word Incarnate: Not onely this lower world, wherein man is concerned, but the upper World also. Our R [...]eemer who hath bought us, hath an Interest in all things that may concern us; that they may be disposed of to his own glory, and our good and advantage: All are at the making and at the disposal of our Lord Jesus Christ: Therefore it is said, Heb. 2.10. For whom are all things, and by whom are all things. God that frameth all things, ordereth all things to their proper end. His works are many, and some are more ex­cellent and glorious than others, and one of the chief of them, is the salvation of man by Jesus Christ. Therefore all things are sub­ordinated thereunto, to the Glory of the Mediator, by whom this is accomplished; 1 Cor. 8.6. But to us there is but one God [Page 63] the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him, and one Lord Iesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him.

Thirdly, Why the Creation of Angels is so particularly and expresly mentioned? I Answer, for three Reasons:

1. To shew the Glory and Majesty of the Redeemer. The Angels are said to excel in strength; Psal. 103.20. and else-where they are called Mighty Angels: This po­tency they have from their Creator, who giveth power and strength to all his Crea­tures as it pleases him; their strength may be conceived by that instance, that one An­gel in a night slew one hundred and eighty five Thousand in Senacheribs Camp. Now these potent Creatures, are infinitely infe­riour to our Redeemer, by whom, and [...] whom they were made: Though they are the most excellent of all the Creatures, yet they are his Subjects, and Ministers at his beck and command; both by the Law of their Creation, as Christ is God: and also by the fathers donation, as he is mediator and God Incarnate: 1 Pet. 3.25 He is set down on the right hand of God, Angels, Authorities and Powers being made subject to him. And again, Eph. 1.22. He hath set him far above all principality and power and [Page 64] might and dominion, and every name that is named, not onely in this world, but in that which is to come. They have a great name, but Christ hath a more excellent name than they, Heb. 1.5. for they are all bound to worship him, ver. 6. and serve him; for he employeth them for the defence and comfort of the meanest of his people: They are subject not onely to God, but to Christ, or God incarnate. Look, as it is the glory of Earthly Kings to command mighty and powerful subjects; are not my princes altoge­ther Kings, Isa. 10.8. that so many Princes held under him as their Soveraign, and served him as their Commander; and when God speaks of the Assyrian, he calleth him a King of Princes, Hos. 8.10. Namely, as he had many Kings Subject and Tribu­tary to him, so is this the Majesty of our Redeemer, that he hath these powerful Creatures the mighty Angels in his Train and retinue: These heavenly hosts make up a part of that Army which is commanded by the Captain of our Salvation.

2. This is mentioned to obviate the Er­rors of that Age: Both the Iews and the Gentiles had an high opinion of Spirits and Angels, as Gods Ministers and Messengers. For he doth not alwayes immediately ad­minister the affairs of Mankind. Now as [Page 65] they were right in the main, as to their ser­vice, so they added much of curiosity and superstition to the Doctrine of Angels, and by their vain speculations infected the minds of many in the Christian Church, who were but newly come out from among them, insomuch that they fell to the worshipping of Angels as mediators to God. As the A­postle intimateth, col. 2.18. Now because this was to the disparagement of Christ, the Apostles did set themselves to check this curiosity of dogmatizing about Angels, and the superstition or Idolatry of Angel-wor­ship, thence growing apace. Now this they did, by asserting the dignity of Christs Person and Office: As Paul, Col. 2. and the Author to the Hebrews, chap. 1.2, 3. Hath in these last dayes spoken unto us by his son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds, who being the brightness of his glory, and the express I­mage of his person, and upholding all thing by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the majesty on high. It is true, Christ was sent from Heaven as the Angels are, and he came in a despicable way of appearance, to promote our Salvation and recovery, as they assumed bodies sutable to their Mes­sage; yet his superiority and preheminence [Page 66] above the Angels is clear and manifest: He was not onely equal to them, but far above them, Heb. 1.3. Seven things are observ­able in that verse,

1. Christ came as the Eternal Son of God; He hath spoken unto us by his Son. When he cometh to the Angels, he sai [...]h, they as servants and ministring spirits. For a short while he ministred in the form of a servant in the days of his Flesh, they continue to be so from the beginning to the end of the World.

2. He was heir of all things: That is, Lord of the whole creation: They onely Principalities and Powers, [...] certain ends, to such Persons and Places, over which Christ sets them.

3. He was the Creator of the World: By whom also he made the worlds, saith the Apostle, they are noble and divine crea­tures indeed, but the work of Christs hands.

4. He is the brightness of his Fathers Glory, and the express Image of his person: that is, the essential Image of God. They onely have some strictures of the Divine Majesty.

5. The upholding all things by the word of his power; that is, the conserving cause of all that Life and Being that is in the crea­ture. [Page 67] The Angels live in a continual de­pendance upon Christ as their Creator, and without his supporting influence, would be soon annihilated.

6. By himself he purged our sins. He was sent into the world for that great and glorious work of Mediation, which none of them was worthy to undertake, none able to go through withall, but him­self alone. They are sent about the ordi­nary concernments of the Saints, or the particular affairs of the World; he is the Author of the whole work of Redemption and Salvation, and they but subordinate Assistants in the particular promotion of it.

7. He sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high. They are Spirits near the Throne of God, ever in his Presence, at­tending on him like Princes. God never made any of them universal and eternal King for he set Christ at his right hand, not the Angels. To sit at Gods right hand, is not only to be blessed and happy in enjoy­ing those pleasures which are there for e­vermore, not onely to be advanced to the highest place of Dignity and Honour next to God; but to be invested with a supream and universal Power above all Men and Angels. Take these, or any one of these, [Page 68] and he is above the Angels, though they be the most noble and excellent creatures that ever God made.

3. Because Christ hath a ministry and ser­vice to do by them. He makes use of them partly to exercise their obedience, without which they forsake the Law of their crea­tion and swerve from the end for which they were made; Psal. 103.20. They do his commandments, hearkening to the voice of his word. They do whatsoever he com­mandeth them, with all readiness and speed immaginable, and therein they are an ex­ample to us. Matth. 6.10. Thy will be done in earth as it is in heaven. They are our fellow-servants now in the Work, here­after in the Recompence; when we are admitted into one Society, under one common Head and Lord, Heb. 12.27. who shall for ever rejoyce in the contem­plation of Gods infinite Excellencies. Well then, if these Excellent creatures, so great in power, be alwayes so ready and watch­ful to do the Will of God and count it their honour to assist in so glorious a work as the saving of Souls, or do any other business he sendeth them about; how should we that hope to be like the Angels in happiness, be like them in obedience also.

[Page 69]2. Because the Churches safety depend­eth upon it. We stand in need of this Mi­nistry of Angels. The service of the An­gels is protection to the people of God, ven­geance on their Enemies.

1. For protection; Christ hath the hea­venly host at his command, and sendeth them forth for the good of his People, Psal. 68.17. The chariots of the Lord are twenty thousand, even thousands of Angels, the Lord is among them in Sinai in the holy place. Mark, that thousands of Angels are his Chariots, conveying him from Heaven to Earth, and from Earth to Heaven; and mark, the Lord is among them; that is, God incar­nate; for he presently speaketh of his as­cending up on high. Thou hast ascended up on high, and led captivity captive, thou hast received gifts for men, ver. 18. Among them in his Holy place, that is, in heaven: It is added as in Mount Sinai; that is, as at the giving of the Law, they were then there, and still attend on the propagation of the Gospel. For more particular Cases, see Heb. 1.14. Are they not all ministring spirits sent forth to minister for them who shall be heirs of salvation. So Psal. 34.7. The angel of the Lord incampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them. All that obedi­ently [Page 70] serve and wait on God, have the pro­mise of his protection.

2. The other part of this Ministry and Service, is to restrain and destroy the Devil and his Instruments. The Scripture often speaks of Gods executing Judgements by the Angels: Their influence doth not al­ways personally appear, yet it is great and powerful. Though the Powers and Au­thorities on Earth, and their Messengers and Forces be of [...]en imployed against the Saints, yet the Captain of our Salvation is in Heaven, and all the mighty Angels are subject to him, and at his disposal. By this means the Prophet Elisha confirmed himself and his servant, when the King of Syria sent Chariots and Horses a great host to attacque him in Dothan, [...] King. 6.14, 15. And when his serva [...]t saw it early in the morning, he said, Alas my master! what shall we do? The Prophet answered, Verse 16. They that [...]e with us, are more than they that be against us. And then Verse 17. he prayed, Lord open his eyes that he may see. And the Lord opened his eyes, and behold the mountain was full of chariots and [...]orses of fire, round about Elisha. These fiery Horses and Chariots were nothing else but the Angels of God. Here is force against force, chariots against chariots, horse against horse, if we could [Page 71] open the eye of Faith, and shut that of Sense. We read Acts 12.23. that an An­gel smote Herod in the midst of his Pride and Persecution: The Angel of the Lord smote him.


I. Let us more deeply be possessed with the Majesty of our Redeemer: He is the Creator of all things, of Angels as well as Men, and so more excellent than all the Men in the World, whether they excel in power or holiness, which the Psalmist ex­presseth thus, fairer than the children of men, Psal. 45.29. But also then the most excel­lent and glorious Angels, he is their Creator as well as ours, head of principalities and powers, as well as of poor worms here up­on Earth. Surely the representing and ap­prehending of Christ in his glorious Ma­jesty, is a point of great consequence.

1. Partly, to give us matter for praise and admiration, that we may not have mean thoughts of his Person and Office; he is a most glorious Lord and King, that hold­eth the most powerful Creatures in subje­ction to himself. If Christians did know and consider how much of true Religion consists in admiring and praising their Re­deemer, [Page 72] they would more busie their minds in this work.

2. Partly, To strengthen our Trust, and to fortifie us against all fears and discourage­ments in our service. When we think of the great Creator of Heaven and Earth, and all things visible and invisible, Angels, Men, Principalities, &c. Surely the brightness of all creature-glory should wax dim in our eyes; Our God is able to deliver us, Dan. 18. and will, as he did by his Angel. This was that which fortified Stephen, Acts 5.55, 56. He saw Iesus standing at the right hand of God. It is easie for him who made all things out of nothing to help us. See Psal. 121.2. My help standeth in the name of the Lord who made heaven and earth. The Almighty Creator, Ruler and Governour of the World, what cannot he do! As long as I see those glorious monuments of his power standing, I will not distrust he can afford me seasonable help by his Holy Angels through the intercession of his Son who hath assumed my Nature.

3. Partly, To bind our duty; all Crea­tures were made by him and for him, there­fore we should give up our selves to him, and say with Paul, Acts 27.23. His I am and him I serve. His by Creation and re­demption, therefore every thing we have [Page 73] and do, ought to have a respect to his glory & service. There is [...] variety of Creatures in the World, of different kinds and different excellencies: In the whole and every kind there is somewhat of the glory of God and Christ set forth. Now this should strike our hearts? shall we onely who are the per­sons most obliged, be a disgrace to our Lord both Creator and Redeemer, when the good Angels are so ready to attend him at his beck and command, and that in the meanest services and ministries. Shall poor worms make bold with his Laws, slight his doctrine, despise his benefits ? Heb. 2.2, 3. If the word spoken by angels was stedfast, and every transgression and disobedience received a just recompense of reward, how shall we escape if we neglect so great salvation.

4. And lastly, to make us more reverend in our approaches to him, for he sits in the Assembly of the Gods, the holy Angels are round about him. Psal. 138.1. Before the Gods will I sing praise to thee: That is, in the presence of the holy Angels; 1 Cor. 10.10. Eccl. 5.6. Suffer not thy mouth to cause thy flesh to sin, neither say thou before the angel that it was an Error. The Angels in hea­ven observe our behaviour in Gods wor­ship; what vowes we make to God, what promises of obedience. But above all, there [Page 74] is our glorious Redeemer himself, Heb. 12.28, 29. with what reverence and godly fear should we approach his Holy Pre­sence.

II. Use. Is to quicken us to Thankfulness for our Redemption; that our Creator is our Redeemer. None of the Angels did humble himself as Christ did do, to do so great a piece of service, and yet he is far a­bove them. There is a congruity in it, that we should be restored by him, by whom we were made: but he made the Angels as well as men, but he did not restore them. No, they were not so much as in a condi­tion of forbearance and respite: he assum­ed not their nature, he created all things, but he redeemed mankind. His delights were with the sons of men; he assumed our nature, and for a while was made a lit­tle lower then the Angels, Heb. 2.9. We cannot sufficiently bless God for the Honour done to our Nature in the person of Christ, for it is God incarnate that is made head of Angels, Principalities and Powers. God in our nature, whom all the Angels are cal­led upon to adore and worship. The de­vil sought to dishonour God, as if he were envious of mans happiness, Gen. 3.8. God doth know that in the day that ye [...]at thereof [Page 75] ye shall be a [...] Gods. And he fought to de­press the nature of man, which in innocen­cy stood so near to God, now that his hu­mane nature should be set so far above the Evangelical, in the person of Christ, and be admitted to dwell with God in a personal Union; this calleth for our highest love and thankfulness.

III. Use. Is an encouragement to come to Christ for sanctifying and renewing Grace. I have three Arguments.

1. The Person to whom we come: To whom should we come, but to our Crea­tor, God infinitely Good, Wise and Po­werful. The creation sheweth him good, and whatever is good in the Creatures, is wholly derived from his goodness: It is but like the odour of the sweet Ointments, or the perfume that he leaveth behind him where he hath been, Iam. 1.19. He is in­finitely wise when he created and setled the World. He did not jumble things in a Chaos and confusion, but setled them in a most perfect order and proportion. Which may be seen, not only in the Fabrick of the World, but in the disposition of the parts of Mans Body; yea or in any Gnat or Fly. Now cannot he put our disordered souls in frame again? If the Fear of God be true [Page 76] Wisdom, to whom should we seek for it, but from the Wise God? His Infinite Power is seen also in the Creation, in raising all things out of nothing. And if a Divine Power be necessary to our Conversion, to whom should we go, but to him who cal­leth the things that are not, as though they were, Rom. 4.17. According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that per­tain unto life and godliness, 2 Pet. 1.7.

2. From the work it self, which is a new Creation, which carrieth much resemblance with the old; Eph. 2.10. For we are his workmanship created in Christ Iesus unto good works. 2 Cor. 4.6. For God who command­ed the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined into our hearts to give the light of the know­ledge of the glory of God in the face of Iesus Christ. It is such an effect as comes from a Being of Infinite Power, Wisdom and Goodness; that man may be in a capacity to love, please and serve God. What was lost in Adam, can onely be recovered by Christ.

3. From the relation of the Party that seeketh it. Psal. 119.73. Thine hands have made me, and fashioned me, give me under­standing that I may learn thy commandments. We go to him as his own Creatures. This plea hath great force because of Gods good­ness [Page 77] to all his Creatures. Not onely the Angels, but every worm and fly, had their being from Christ; there is a great variety of living things in the World, but they are all fed from the common fountain: there­fore we may comfortably come to him for life and quickning, Ioh. 1.4. We need not be discouraged by our baseness and vileness, for the basest worm had what it hath from him. 2. That Christ as Creator beareth such Affection to man as the work of his hands: Is it good unto thee that thou shouldst despise the work of thy hands? Iob 10.3. Artificers when they have made an excellent work are very chary of it, and will not destroy it, and break it in pieces, Iob 14.15. Thou wilt have a desire to the work of thine hands. As Creatures, beg re­lief and help; if you cannot plead the co­venant of Abraham, plead the covenant of Noah. 3. God forsakes none of the faln creatures, but those that forsake him first; 2 Chron. 15.2. The Lord is with you while you be with him, and if ye seek him he will be found of you, but if ye forsake him he will for­sake you. 1 Chron. 28.9. If thou seek him, he will be found of thee, but if thou forsake [...]im he will cast thee off for ever. 4. Especially will Christ be good to man seeking after him for Grace, that we may serve and obey [Page 78] him. For he is no Pharaoh, to require brick, and give no straw. Creating Grace layed the debt upon us, and his redeeming Grace provideth the power and help that we may discharge it. Now when we ac­knowledge the debt, and confess our im­potency to pay it, and our willingness to return to our duty. Will Christ fail us? A conscienc [...] of our duty is a great matter, but a desire of grace to perform it is more: Therefore come as creatures earnestly desir­ing to do their Creators will, and to pro­mote his Glory. God will not refuse the soul that lyeth so submissively at his feet.


COL. 1.17.

And he is before all things and by him all things consist.

THE Apostle had asserted the dignity of Christs Person, by ascribing the work of Creation to him: now the work of Conservation and Providence: By the same divine power by which Christ made all things, he doth preserve and sustain all things.

In this verse two things are ascribed to Christ.

First, His precedency in point of Time, or his Antiquity before all creatures: And he is before all things, that is he had an Eternal being before any thing that now is Created.

[Page 80]Secondly, His sustaining all things by his Almighty Power, and by him all things do consist. All creatures owe their continu­a [...]ce and preservation to him.

The first point is his Precedency and Pre-existence before all creatures whatso­ever.

Doct. That Iesus Christ had a being before any of the creatures were made.

1. That he had a being long before he was born of the Virgin, for he was in the time of the Patriarchs, as Ioh. 8.48. Be­fore Abraham was I am, to say nothing of that Godlike way speaking I am; not I was but I am, that which I now plead for, is that he was before Abraham: the words are oc­casioned by Christs saying that Abraham saw his day and was glad: which the Jews understood not of a Prophetical, but of a real vision, and therefore objected the im­possibility, that he was not yet fifty years old and how could he see Abraham? or Abraham see him? Christ doth not answer to their ill interpretation, but sheweth that their very objection contained no absurdi­ty, if taken in their own sense; for he was not onely in the time of Abraham, but long before, and so affirmeth more then that ob­jection [Page 81] required: The Jews thought it ab­surd that Christ should be in the time of Abraham, but Christ affirmeth more, and that with a strong asseveration; he was not only by the constitution of God, but really existing before Abraham: For the Predesti­nation not only of Christ but of Abraham and all the Elect was before the foundation of the World. If in respect of special pre­diction, mark then what must follow, then Cyrus must be in the time of Isaiah, Iosiah must be in the time of Ieroboam. The cal­ling of the Gentiles must be in the time of Moses, for they Prophesied of these things.

2. That he had a being at the time of the creation that is also clear: for it is said in the beginning was the word, Iohn 1.1. that is when Christ set himself to create all things, the word beginning signifies many things; but chiefly the beginning of all time, especially when it is put absolutely without any limitation to the matter in hand. So Iohn 8.44. The Devil was a murderer from the beginning, that is almost as soon as created, Matth. 19.4. He that made them at the beginning made them male and female. So Heb. 1.10. And, Thou in the beginning hast layed the foundations of [Page 82] the Earth, and in many other places. There­fore Christ had a being when the World and all creatures were made, visible and invisible: So Prov. 8.22, 23, 24, 25, 26, 27, 28, 29, 30, 31. The Lord p [...]ssessed me in the beginning of his way, before his works of old. I was set up from everlasting, from the beginning, or ever the Earth was. When there was no depths, I was brought forth: when there were no fountains abound­ing with water. Before the mountains were settled; before the hills was I brought forth: While as yet he had not made the Earth, nor the fields, nor the highest part of the dust of the World. When he prepared the heavens I was there: when he set a compass upon the face of the depth: When he established the clouds above: when he strengthned the foun­ [...]ains of the deep: When he gave to the Sea his degree, that the waters should not pass his com­mandement: when he appointed the founda­tion of the earth: Then I was by him, as one brought up with him: and I was daily his delight, rejoycing always before him: Rejoyc­ing in the habitable parts of his earth, and my delights were with the sons of men. There the wisedom of God or the eternal Word describeth the Antiquity of his person, all the question is what this wisdom is, that is there spoken of.

[Page 83]1. It is not humane but divine: for the wisdom there spoken of was before the World was.

2. Whatever it be it is not a divine at­tribute, but a divine person: for those things which are there ascribed to wisdom cannot properly belong to an Attribute, to be begotten, brought forth, verse 23, 24. To have the affections of love, verse 27. Delight, verse 31. all along the expressions agree onely to a person. That wisdom which inviteth sinners, promises the Spirit, threatens eternal destruction to those which hearken not to him, commendeth not the Lawes of Moses, but requireth obedience to his own Laws, what can this wisdom be but a person: If the intent were only to ex­press that God is wise, what strange expres­sions would the [...]e be, to what purpose were it to give us notice that he was wise from the beginning, if there were no other miste­ry in it.

3. This person was Christ who is the wisdom of God, 1 Cor. 1.24. And in whom are hid all the treasures of wisdom and know­ledge, Col. [...].5.

Thirdly, That Christ was before the World was, from all eternity: Micah 5.2. His goings forth are from everlasting. The [Page 84] Prophet there speaketh of his birth at Beth­lehem: and his eternal Generation, and di­stinguishes the one from the other, but thou Bethlehem Ephratah, though thou be little among the many thousands of Iudah, yet out of thee shall come forth to me he that is to be Ruler in Israel, whose goings forth have been from old, from Everlasting, or from the dayes of Eternity. This last clause is added least any should look upon this Ruler as only man, and begin [...]ing to be at his Incar­nation, he that was born at Bethlehem was also true God, begotten of the Father from all Eternity.

Fourthly, That Christ was God s [...]bsisting in the divine Nature, I shall bring two places to prove that, the first, Phil. 2.6. Who being in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal with God, but empted himself and made himself of no reputation, he was first in the form of God before he ap­peared in the form of a Servant, the form of God is his divine glory and blessedness, every way equal to God. The form of a Servant is either his coming in the similitude of sinful flesh. or his subjecting himself to the curse of the Law, or his humble and mean condition while he lived among men, it consists in one of these or in all three, now before he submitted to this he existed in the [Page 85] form of God, that is, was cloathed with divine Majesty and in all things equal with God the Father, his being and existence which he then had was truly divine. The form of God is the very divine essence, as cloathed with Glory and Majesty, this did justly and naturally belong to him, and was not usurped by him: the other place is Christs prayer, Iohn 17.5. And now O Father glorifie thou me with thy own self, with the glory which I had with thee before the World was. God is said to glorifie any person when he giveth him glorious qualities and powers; or by re­vealing and manifesting those glorious qua­lities which he hath; or when he doth re­ceive him and treat him agreeably to his Glo­ry. The meaning of Christs prayer then must be of one or other of all these senses: when he prayeth that the father would glorifie him with that glory that he had with him before the world was, if you take it in the first sense, he d [...]sireth that God would be­stow upon him as Mediator or God Incar­nate a Glory sutable to that Glory he had with him from all Eternity. If in the se­cond sense, he desireth his Glory may be revealed, or become conspicucus in his hu­mane nature. If in the third, that God would receive him honourably and agreea­bly to that Glory, which sense is the chief­est, [Page 86] for it containeth the other two. The meaning then in short is, that he might be received to the full enjoyment of that glory which he had before the World was. Christ was from all Eternity the glorious God, this Glory of his Godhead by his humiliati­on was not diminished and lessened, but ob­scured and hidden: and therefore prayeth that he may be received by the Father, and openly declared to the World to be the Son of God. Or that the Glory of his Godhead might shine forth in the person of Christ God-man. Well then before any creature was Christ had a divine Glory, how had it he? The enemies of this Truth say by decree, or designation not by possession, but that cannot be, he that is not hath nothing: if he had not a divine being, how could he have divine Glory before the World? None can say Paul was an Apostle of Christ before the World was, because he was ap­pointed or designed to this work, yea none can say he had Faith and brotherly love when he was yet an unbeliever and perse­cutor, yet it pleased God to separate him from his Mothers Womb, and predestina­ted him to have these things. Again, then all true believers may thus pray to God, glorifie me with, &c. for they are thereun­to appointed, but this is absurd. Besides, if [Page 87] he had it then how could he want it now? The decree is the same, it remaineth then that Christ had a being and substance in the Godhead before any of the Creatures were made.


1. This serveth for the confutation of those Atheists that say, Christ took upon him the appellation of a God to make his Doctrine more authentick and effectual; they confess the morals of Christianity are most excellent for the establishment of Piety and Honesty, but mens inclination carry­ing them more powerfully to vice then ver­tue, this doctrine would not be received with any reverence if it came recommended to them by a mere man, and therefore Christ assumed the glorious appellation of the Son of God, or pretended to be God: A blas­phemy very derogatory both to the honour of Christ and Christianity: and quite con­trary to the drift of the Scriptures, both of the Old and New Testament. The Messiah promised in the Old Testament was to be God all the Prophets agree, in that Jesus Christ proved himself to be God both by his Word and Works: and the Apostles still assert it: Could they that lived in so [Page 88] many several Ages, as the Prophets and Apo­stles did, lay their heads together and have intelligence one with another, to convey this Imposture to the World? Surely if Christ be the Messiah promised in the Old Testament as clearly he is, then he is God, for that describeth him to be such: and if Christ usurped this honour, how did God so highly favour him with such ex [...]raordina­ry Graces, by i [...]spiring him with the know­ledge of the best Religion in the World, to authorise him with miracles, to raise him from the dead. And must this Religion that condemneth all frauds, and doing evil that good may come of it be supported by a lye? or cannot God govern the World without countenancing such a deceit? or is it possi­ble that such Holy persons as our Lord Jesus and his Apostles were, could be guilty of such an Imposture? Did they do this by command of God? No surely, for God which is the God of Truth would not com­mand them to teach a lye, or to make use of one: He hath power enough to cause the Truth to be embraced by some other means; and a greater injury cannot be done him, then to go about to gratifie him with what he hateth, much less would God have com­manded a mere man to call himself his Eter­nal Son, and God equal to him, which is a [Page 89] blasphemy and sacriledge as well as a lye, the greatest of the kind, for mortal man to take upon himself to be the eternal God. If it were not by his express commandment, would he suffer such an attempt to go un­punished? would he witness from Heaven this is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased? would he have raised him from the dead, and so ingaged the World to be­lieve in him and adore him, Acts 17.31.

2. If Christ were before all things, let us prefer him above all things: This consi­deration is of great use to draw off our hearts from all created things, and to lessen our respects to wordly vanities, that they may be more earnestly fixed on what is eter­nal and glorious. He that was before the world was, will be when the world shall be no more: Christ is from Everlasting to Everlasting, Psal. 90.2. to him should we look, after him should we seek, he is first and last, the beginning and ending. It is for an Everlasting blessedness, for the in­joyment of an eternal God that our souls were made. He that was from the beginning, & will be when all things shall have an end; it is he that should take up our minds and thoughts: How can we have room for so ma­ny thoughts about fading glories, when we [Page 90] have an Eternal God and Christ to think of? What light can we see in a Candle when the Sun shineth in his full strength? All things in the World serve onely for a season, and then wither; and that season is but a short one. You glory in your Riches, and pre­eminence now, but how long will you do so? To day that House and Lands is thine, but thou canst not say it will be thine to­morrow: but a believer can say my God, my Christ, is mine to day, and will be mine to all eternity. Death taketh all from us honours and riches, and strength and life, but it cannot take God and Christ from us, they are ours and everlastingly ours.

Secondly, We come now to the second point, his sustaining all things by his Almigh­ty power, and by [...]im all things consist.

Doct. II. That as Christ made all things, so he doth sustain them in being and working.

Let me explain this how the creatures are preserved by Christ.

1. This is to be understood not only meritoriously as a moral cause, but efficient­ly as a natural cause of the creatures susten­tation: for the Apostle doth not consider [Page 91] here so much what Christ doth as a Media­tor, as what de doth as God. It is true Christ as Mediator hath reprieved the World from that ruine▪ which might come upon it for mans sin, but here his merit is not considered, but his power, Heb. 1.3. He upholdeth all things by the word of his power. The weight of the whole creation lyeth up­on his hands, as Daniel telleth Belshazzar, that his breath and his wayes were in the hand of God, Dan. 5.23. so is the being, life, and operation of all the creatures▪ If he should withdraw his withholding hand, they would quickly return to their first no­thing, which sheweth the great power of our Redeemer. Moses complaineth, Numb. 11.11, 12. Thou hast layed the burden of all this people upon me, have I conceived this people? have I begotten them that thou shouldst say un­to me, carry them in thy bosom, but Christ hath the care and charge of all the world, not to rule them only, but to sustain them. A King or a Governour hath a moral rule over his subjects, but Christ giveth them being and existence; and doth preserve and keep them in their present state and condition from dissolution.

2. Not only indirectly but directly: In­directly Christ may be said to sustain and preserve the creatures, as he keepeth off [Page 92] evil or removeth those things that may be destructive to them: As he preserveth a Town that repelleth their enemies, but di­rectly he preserveth them as he continueth his providential influence, Acts 17.28. For in him we live, and move, and have our being. As the root feedeth the fruit, or the breath of the musician maintains the sound, Psal. 104.29. Thou takest away thy breath and they dye, and return to their du [...]t. Life and all the joyes and comforts of it every mi­nute depend upon God. It is by his pro­vidential influence and supportation we subsist. The greatest creature cannot preserve it self by its power and greatness, and the lest is not neglected, both would sink into nothing without this continued influ­ence.

Thirdly, He doth this not only mediate­ly by means appointed, but immediately as his efficacy pierceth through all. God pre­serveth the creatures by means, for he giv­eth them those supplyes, which are proper for them: as to man food and rayment: for other creatures what may relieve them. And the wise dispensing these supplies with­out any care and solicitude of the creatures, is a notable part of his Providence. But here we consider his intimate presence with [Page 93] all things by which he upholdeth their be­ings; which all the means of the World cannot do without him. God doth as it were hold the creatures in his own hand, that it may not sink into its old nothing, as a man holdeth a weighty thing. This is sup­posed to be alluded unto, Iob 6.9. Let him loose his hand and cut me off. If he doth but loose his Almighty grasp, all the creatures fall down.

Fourthly, Christ doth this so, as that he doth not overturn their nature: he worketh by natural and necessary causes necessarily, with voluntary causes voluntarily: he that inlightneth the World by the Sun, causes man to discourse and reason; the Sun would not shine if Christ were not the light of it, nor man discourse if he did not continue the faculty, Ioh. 1.4. In him was Life, and this Life was the light of man. It is man seeth, man heareth, man talketh, man act­eth, but yet the seeing eye, and hearing ear, is of the Lord, Prov. 20.12. as God hath made both, so he sustaineth both in their operation and exercise: All that we do naturally and spiritually we have from Christ.

[Page 94]Fifthly, He is not the bare instrument of God in sustaining the creature, but as a co­equal Agent. As he made the World, and with the father created all things, so he doth support and order all things. It is as well the work of the Son as of the Father; for he is God equal with him in glory and power, Iohn 5.17. My Father worketh hitherto and I work, and he hath a com­mand of all the creatures, that they can do nothing without him, how much soever they attempt to do against him.

2. Let me give you the reasons of this, why all things must subsist by him.

1. Because preservation is but a kind of continued creation, or a continuance of the being which God hath caused: Gods will in creation maketh a thing to be, his will in preservation maketh it continue to be: the same omnipotency and efficacy of God is necessary to sustain our beings, as at first to create them. Therefore it is said Psal. 104.2. Thou stretchest out the Hea­vens like a curtain, which noteth a continued act, God erected them at first and still su­staineth them by his secret power in this posture: so that with respect to God it is the same action to conserve as to create. That the creature may have a being the influence of God is necessary to produce it, [Page 95] that the creature may continue its being, it is necessary that God should not break off that influence, or forsake the creature so made: for the being of the creature doth so wholly depend on the will of God, that it cannot subsist without him. Nothing can be without the will of God, which is the cause both of the being and existence of all crea­tures: Therefore their being cannot be con­tinued unless God will: therefore it belong­eth to the same power to make any thing out of nothing, and to keep any thing that is made from returning to its first nothing.

2. It is impossible to cut off the depen­dance of the creature upon the first cause, for no creature hath a self sufficiency to maintain and support it self. Things of Art may subsist without the Artificer, as a Carpenter maketh a House and then leav­eth it to stand of it self; the Shipwright mak­eth a Ship, and then leaveth it to the Pilot to guide it: but all things of Nature de­pend upon God that made them, because they have their whole being from him, matter, and form: which be continueth no longer then he pleaseth, whether they be things in Earth, or things in Heaven, visi­ble or invisible. No impression of the A­gent remaineth in the effect when his action ceaseth; when the effect wholly dependeth [Page 96] on the cause: as when the Air is inlightned which receiveth light from the Sun, but when the Sun is gone the light ceases: So when God withdraws the creature vanishes: for they have no other being then God is pleased to bestow upon them.

3. If it were not so many absurdities would follow, as for instance

  • 1. If things do subsist by themselves then they would allwayes be: for nothing would destroy it self.
  • 2. Then the creature would be inde­pendent, and whether God will or no they would conserve their being, and then how should God Govern the World? therefore it undenyably followeth, thou hast made all things, and thou preservest them all.

4. It would destroy all Worship, and our Piety and respect to God would be cold and languid. The service we owe to God is reducible to these Four heads.

  • 1. Adoration of his excellent nature above all other things.
  • 2. Affiance in his goodness, with expectati­on of relief from him.
  • 3. Thankfulness for his benefits.
  • 4. Obedience to his Precepts and Com­mands.

[Page 97]Now unless we acknowledge his inti­mate presence with, and preservation of all things; these necessary duties will either be quite abolished or degenerate into a vain and needless superstition.

1. The Adoration we owe to his excellent nature above all other things in the universe, alass, we see how little reverence and re­spect we have for the great Potentates of the Earth whose fame we hear of indeed, but are not concerned in their favour or frowns, or have no dependance on them at all: the least Justice of Peace or Consta­ble in our Neighbourhood is more to us then all these mighty forreign Princes, with whom we have nothing to do but onely to hear and read the reports of their great­ness, when we have no other business to divert us. So cold and careless would be our respect to God if we did not depend on him every moment, and were neither concerned in his wrath nor love: those practical Atheists that were settled on their Lees, and lived in a secure neglect of God, they sos [...]ered it by this presumption, tush he will neither do good nor evil, Zeph. 1.13. Fine things may be told us of the Excellen­cy of his Nature, but what is that to us, he hath so shut up himself within the cur­tain [Page 98] of the Heavens, that he takes no no­tice or care of things here below. How soon would such a conceit dispirit all Re­ligion, and take away the life and vigor of it; but if you would plant a reverence and due veneration of God you must do it by this principle, In his hands is the soul of every living thing, and the breath of all man­kind. No Creature can subsist without him for a moment: now this respect is due not only to God the Father, but our Lord Jesus Christ.

2. As to Trust and dependance on his good­ness for relief in all our streights and necessi­ties: This is the grand principle that keep­eth up an acknowledgment of God in the World, by Prayers and Supplications, Psal. 62.8. Trust in the Lord at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him. When you retire your souls from all secular consi­dences, and repose all you trust in him, you will be instant in Prayer, and earnest­ly beg his relief: you see all things subsist by him, and it is in vain to expect any real assistance from the creatures, but what God will communicate to us by it; Now if it be not so, but the creatures could stand of themselves, and live of themselves: this would blast all devotion, and prayer be [Page 99] withered and dryed up at the root, hum­bling our selves to God in our streights and necessities would look like dejection or poorness of Spirit, whining to no pur­pose.

3. For Thank fulness for benefits received, which is the great means to knit the hearts of men to God, and the bellows which bloweth up the fire of love, and Religion in our hearts: how can we ascribe our de­liverances to God, if he hath not a hand in all things, but when we acknowledge his sustaining and governing power, we see God in the face of the creature, and every benefit we receive representeth his goodness to us. But alass, they have no thought or care of Praise and Thanksgiving that think not themselves obliged to God for the least hair of their heads: God is banished out of their sight, because they look for all from the creature; but they cannot enough Praise and bless God who is the strength of their lives, and the length of their days: They acknowledge that every good gift cometh from him, that he heareth their Prayers, re­lieveth their necessities, continues their lives to them every moment; therefore God is all in all with them, but to others he is a [Page 100] shadow or nothing. His memory is kept up in the World by his benefits, Acts 14.17.

4. For Obedience and Service to him: cer­tainly dependance begets Allegiance and ob­servance. We are obsequious to those from whom we expect our dole and portion, Psal. 131.2. as the eyes of Servants look to the hand of their Masters, and the eyes of a maiden unto the hands of her Mistress, so do our eyes wait on the Lord our God. The Masters give the Men­servants their portion and allowance; and the Mistriss to the Maid-servants, they look­ed for all from their hands, and therefore to them they performed their service, so do the people of God. What reverence do we owe to him who is our Creator and Pre­server as well as Redeemer? as he made all things so he supporteth all things. Did we see God in us and in all things round about us, these thoughts would be more frequent in us, and we will still be considering what we shall render unto the Lord for all his benefits towards us? but obedience soon languisheth where men think they subsist of themselves without God, Psal. 55.19. Because they have no changes, therefore they fear not God. They are not interrupted in their [Page 101] sinful course, and therefore have no reve­rence and respect to God.


This doth strengthen our dependance and reliance on our blessed Redeemer, by him all things do subsist, therefore he can hear all Prayers, relieve us in all our straits, supply us in all wants, preserve us in all dangers. All nations are in his hands, our whole Life is in his keeping and upheld by his intimate presence with us, our dayes cannot be longer nor shorter then he plea­seth, if he were absent from us he might forget us or neglect us, but he is within us, and round about us in the effects of his po­wer and goodness; since he is so near us, why should we doubt of his particular care and providence. All Nations are in his hands, the lives and hearts of Friends and Enemies, therefore our eyes should be up­on him, Psal. 16.8. I have set the Lord al­wayes before me, he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved, we set the Lord before us both in point of reverence and dependance, for fear and trust agree in their common nature, and so it may note our care to please him or our trust and quietness in him, all means are nothing to us, can do nothing for us without him.

[Page 102]2. It teaches us a lesson of humility. We depend on him every moment, can do no­thing without him, either in a way of Na­ture or Grace; not in a way of nature, for God hath not left us to stand by our selves on the first foundation of our Creation, the Creatures are not capable of subsistence without dependance on the first cause, but meerly live and act by his power, In him we live and move and have our being, Psal. 104.29. Thou takest away their breath and they dye, and return to their dust, the with­drawing his concurrence and supportation is the cause of all our misery, when he sees fit all the Creatures soon return to the Ele­ments of which they are compounded; all the strokes and judgements which light upon them are dispensed according to his pleasure. In a way of Grace we are nothing, can do nothing without him, Iohn 15.5. He must have all the praise, Luke 16.14.1 Cor. 15.10. Gal. 2.20. The more perfections we have, the more prone we are to fall if he sustain us not: witness the faln Angels, and Adam in innocency.

3. It teaches us a lesson of reverence and Obedience, if God be so near let us observe him, and take notice of his presence: He knoweth what he doth, when he sustain­eth [Page 103] such a creature as thou art. This thought should continually affect us, that God is with us, still by us, not onely with­out us, but within us, preserving our Life, upholding our Being. It should be a check to our sluggishness, and mispense of Time: doth God now continue me? to what end and purpose? If God were absent or gone, it were more justifiable to loiter, or in­dulge the ease of the flesh; but to spend my time vainly and foolishly, which he conti­nueth for service, what have we to say?


COL. 1.18.

And he is the Head of the Body the Church, who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, that in all things he might have the preheminence.

THE Context is spent in representing the Dignity and Excellency of Christ: He is set forth by three things.

1. By the excellency of the Benefits we have by him: the greatest the faln Creature is ca­pable of for the present, verse 14.

2. By the excellency of his Person: so he is set forth as the eternal and only be­gotten Son of God, verse 15. and proved by his being the Creator and Preserver of all things: The Creator, verse 16. The Preserver, verse 17. Now the Apostle cometh to the third thing.

[Page 105]3. The excellency of his Office: This is done in the Text; where observe that next after the Son of God, there is nothing more venerable & August then Christs being Head of the Church: And again that Christ hath another title to us then that of Creator, he is Redeemer also: the same God that crea­ted us by his power hath Redeemed us by his Mercy. By the one he drew us out of nothing, by the other he recovered us out of Sin: Therefore after he had declared what Christ is to the World, and the Church too; he sheweth what Christ is particularly to the Church. He hath a superiority over Angels and all creatures, but he is our head, Eph. 1.22. He hath put all things under his feet, and gave him to be head over all things to the Church. Christ is the Sovereign of the World, but by a special relation to his people, he is the Head of the Body the Church, who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead, &c.

In which words Observe,

  • 1. The Titles which are given to Christ with respect to the Church, he is the Head, the Beginning, The First-born from the dead.
  • 2. The consequence of it: That in all things he might have the Preheminence.

[Page 106]1. The Titles ascribed to Christ, they are three.

The first is, the Head of the Body the Church: Where observe two correlates, the Head, and the Body; the head is Christ, the Body is the Church: the Head is the most eminent part of the Body, the noblest both as to nature, and place, or situation: As to nature, the Head is the most illustri­ous Throne of the Soul, as being the seat not only of the Nerves and Senses, but of the Memory and Understanding: In place, as nearest Heaven: The very situation doth in a manner oblige the other parts to respect it, these things agree to Christ who as to his essence is infinitely of much more worth then the Church, as being the only begot­ten Son of God: As to Office, in him there is a fulness of perfection to perform the Office of an Head, to such a crasie and necessitous body as the Church is. All the Treasures of Wisdom and Knowledge are in our head for the use of the body, Col. 2.3. and he is also the fountain of Life, and Grace to every particular member, Ioh. 1.16. and for place he Reigneth in Hea­ven with his Father, and from thence he vieweth all the necessities of the Body, and sendeth forth such influences of Grace as are needful to every particular member.

[Page 107]2. For the other correlate, The Church is the Body: by the Church is meant the Church Mystical, or all such as are called out of the World to be a peculiar people unto God. Now these considered collect­ively, or together they are a body, but sin­glely and separately every Believer is a member of that body, 1 Cor. 12.29. Now ye are the body of Christ and members in par­ticular, all the parts and members joyned together are a spiritual body, but the seve­ral Persons are members of that Body. Yea though there be many particular Churches, yet they are not many bodies, but one bo­dy, so it is said 1 Cor. 12.12. As the bo­dy is one and hath many members, and all the members of that body being many are one body, so also is Christ. He is the Head, and the many and divers members of the universal Christian Church are but one Body. The universal invisible Church of real Believers is one Mystical Body knit by Faith, to Christ their Head; and by love among themselves: And the visible universal Church is one politick Body conjoyned with Christ their Head, and among them­selves by an external entring into Covenant with God, and the serious profession of all saving Truths. They have all the same King and Head: the same Laws the Word [Page 108] of God, the same Sacraments of admission and nutrition, which visibly at least they subject themselves unto: and have a grant of the same common priviledges in the Gospel, but of this more anon.

2. The next Title is [...] the Beginning; I understand it that he is the root and the beginning of the renewed estate, the same degree which Christ hath in the order of na­ture, he hath in the order of grace also: he is the beginning both of Creation, so also of Redemption; he is origo mundi melioris: still the beginning and ending of the New crea­ture as well as the old, Rev. 1.8. He is called in short the beginning, with respect to the Life of Grace, as in the next Title, the First-born from the dead, with respect to the Life of Glory.

3. The third Title is, the First-born from the dead: he had before called him the first-born of every Creature, now the first-born from the dead, Rev. 1.5. The first begotten from the dead, because those that arise from the dead are as it were new-born, whence also the Resurrection from the dead is called a Regeneration, Matth. 19.20. And St. Paul re­ferreth that Prophesie, Psal. 2.7. Thou art my Son this day have I begotten thee. In Acts 13.33. To the Resurrection of Christ. Things are said to be when they are mani­fested [Page 109] to be, compare Rom. 1.4. Declared to be the Son of God with power according to the Spirit of Holiness by the Resurrection from the dead: He was declared to be the true and Everlasting Son of God and Head of the Church: so the Adoption of Believers shall appear by their Resurrection, Rom. 8.19. and 23. The earnest expectation of the Creature waiteth for the manifestation of the Sons of God, verse 23. We our selves groan within our selves, waiting for the Adoption, to wit, the redemption of the body.

2. The sequel and consequent of these things, That in all things he might have the preheminence, that is as well in the Spiritual estate of the Church, as in the creation and natural estate of the World, Rom. 8.29. That he might be the first-born among many Brethren.

I begin with the first.

Doct. I. That this is the honour appropri­ate and peculiar to Iesus Christ, to be head of the Church.

  • 1. Here I shall shew what the Church is, to which Christ is an Head.
  • 2. How is he an Head to this body.
  • 3. The Reasons why this body must have such an Head.

[Page 110]1. What the Church is: A Society of men called out of the World by Gods ef­fectual Grace, according to the purpose of his Election, and united to Christ by Faith and the participation of his Spirit, and to one another by the band of Charity, that after Remission of sins obtained in this World, together with Regenerating grace, they may at length be brought to eternal Life. Let us a little open this description, by Effectual Calling God worketh Faith, which uniteth us to Christ, and that Effectual calling is the fruit of Election, and the effect of this union is Remission of sins, and the necessary consequence of this Communion is Salvation or Eternal Life: This Society of Men is called a Church in the Text: The word Church is taken in divers acceptati­ons.

First and most properly, it signifies these whom I have now described, the universal collection of all, and every one of those, who according to the good pleasure of God, are or may be called out of a state of Sin into a state of grace to obtain eternal Glory by our Lord Jesus Christ. This is the Church of the First-born, whose names are written in heaven, Heb. 12.22. That chosen Generation, that Royal Priesthood, that Holy Nation, that peculiar People, [Page 111] whom to shew forth his praises, God hath called out of darkness into his marvelous light: 1 Pet. 2.9. This Church most gene­rally and properly taken, is the Kingdom of God, the Body and Spouse of Christ, Cant. 6.9. My dove, my undefiled one, is but one. This is that one fold under one Shepherd, Ioh. 10.16. And it was Prophesied of Christ that he should dye to gather together in one the Children of God that were scattered a­broad, Iohn 11.5.

Secondly, Of this universal Church there are two parts, one of Travellers, the other of Comprehensors: or the Church Militant, and Triumphant: they both belong to Gods Family, Eph. 3.15. Of whom the whole Fa­mily whether in Heaven and Earth is named, so Col. 1.10. That part of the Family which is in Heaven triumpheth with God there, that which is in Earth is yet Warring against sin, satan, and the World.

Thirdly, This part which is the Military comes in the 2d. place, to be called by the name of the universal Church; because being scattered & dispersed throughout the whole World, it comprehendeth all and every one that belongeth to Christs flock, which are found in several Folds: known to God they are, and to themselves, and do indeed belong to Christs Body and his Kingdom, [Page 112] this is often and not undeservedly called the invisible Church: because so far as it is the Church of God their reality and sin­cerity is rather believed by Faith, then seen by the eyes of the body. This Church, This Kingdom of God, though it be yet in this World, yet it is not of the World, nei­ther doth it come with observation: for the Faithful have this Kingdom of God within them; Luke 17.20. The World knows them not, other believers know them not, but God knoweth those that are his, 2 Tim. 2.19.

Fourthly, The universal visible Church, While they are in the way, and in the midst of their conflicts it is possible many hypo­crites may take up the profession; as in the great house are many vessels, some to honour, some to dishonour; from these ari­seth an external promiscuous multitude, who also are called the Catholick Church for the sake, and with respect to those Holy ones among them who truly belong to Christs Mystical Body. We read often the King­dom is like to a net wherein are good and bad Fishes, Matth. 13. To a Threshing floor wherein is chaff and Wheat. To a Field wherein groweth good Corn and al­so Tares, Matth. 13.24, 25. Now all these wayes is the universal Church taken.

[Page 113]Fifthly. There are particular Churches wherein the Ordinances and means of Grace are dispensed as the Church of Co­rinth, Cenchrea, Galatia, Greek, Roman: None of these particular Churches contain all believers or the Elect of God, that out of them or any of them there should be no Salvation: Again the universal Church may remain in the World total and intire though these particular Churches are, or other of them may successively be destroy­ed, as it hath often faln out. And it is a great sin so to cry up a particular Church, as to exclude all the rest from saving Com­munion with Christ; and for any one par­ticular Church to arrogate power over the others, they being but members.

2. This Church is called a Body in two respects.

  • 1. In regard of the union of all the parts.
  • 2. Dependance upon one and the same head.

1. With respect to union, as in man all the members make but one Body, quickned by the same soul, so in the Mystical body of Christ all the parts make up but one bo­dy, animated by the same vital principle [Page 114] which is the spirit of Christ, and are joyn­ed together by certain bonds and ligaments, Faith and Love, and all is covered with the same skin, the profession of the Faith of Christ. Look what the soul is in man, the form in the subject, life in the body, and proportion in the building; that in the universal Church of God is the Union and Communion of the several and single parts, with the head among themselves. Take away the Soul from man, the form from the subject, life from the body, pro­portion and conjunction from the parts of the building, and what will man be but a Carkass, and the building but ruine & con­fusion? So take away union and communion from the universal Church, then Ierusalem will become a Babel, and Bethel a Be [...]h­aven, and for Life there will be death, and for Salvation eternal destruction. How else shall all that come out from one, return a­gain to one, and all and every one have all things in one; that at length they may ac­quiesce in the injoyment of one, that is God, as their chiefest good. Alass, with­out this union with the head, and among themselves in necessary things, what can they expect but wrath and the curse, and Everlasting destruction.

[Page 115]2. With respect to dependance on one head, Rom. 12.5. We being many are one body in Christ, and every one members of one another, that is, all things make up one body of which Christ is the Head; and are fel­low members in respect of one another. As necessary and as desirable as it is to be united to God, to Life and Glory Ever­lasting, so necessary and desirable it is to depend upon Christ the Head: for no man after the entrance of sin can return to God, or enjoy God, without Christ the Mediator, Iohn 14.6. I am the way, the truth and the life; no man cometh to the Father but by me, Acts 4.12. There is no other name under Heaven by which we can be saved but only Ie­sus Christ, 1 Cor. 3.11. Other foundation can no man lay but that which is layed Iesus Christ, 1 Iohn 5.12. He that hath the son hath Life, and he that hath not the son hath not Life. God proclaimed from Heaven, Matth. 3.17. This is my beloved son in whom I am well pleased, he being one God with the Father and the Spirit, of the same substance and essence, he only can procure, merit, and effect our union with God: He first assumed our nature, and united it to his own Person, and so became one flesh with us, but then all those that belong to that nature, if they believe in him, and en­ter [Page 116] into his Covenant, are not onely lite­rally one flesh, but Mystically one body, and so also one Spirit, 1 Cor. 6.17. That is, by the bond of the spirit he hath brought them into the state and relation of a body to himself. To gather up all: Mans return to God is necessary to his blessedness, that he may be inseparably conjoyned to him as his chiefest good, to this purpose the son of God assumed our nature in the unity of his person, and thereby bringeth about the union of the Church with himself as our Head, and our communion with one ano­ther in Faith and charity, if we desire to be blessed, and so is according to Christs Prayer, Iohn 17.21. That they may be all one, as thou Father art in me and I in thee, that they also may be one in us, verse 23. I in them and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one, so that as there is one God, and one Mediator between God and Men, and one Church united to Christ as his body; to this Church we must every one of us be united if we mean to be saved, and in the Church with Christ, and by Christ with God, therefore out of this Mysticall body there is no Salvation.

2. How is Christ an Head to this Body? This must be explained by answering two question.

  • [Page 117]1. What are the parts of his headship?
  • 2. According to what nature doth this office belong to him, divine or humane.

1. The parts and branches of this head­ship: he is our head with respect to Go­vernment and sovereignty; and in regard of causality and influence: he governeth, he quickneth.

1. It implyes his Authority to Govern as is manifest, by Eph. 5.22, 23. Wives sub­mit your selves to your own husbands as unto the Lord, for the husband is the head of the Wife even as Christ is the head of the Church. So that to be the Churches Head, implies su­periority or right to govern.

2. For the other notion in regard of in­fluence, that is evident in Scripture also, Col. 2.19. Not holding the head from which all the body by joynts and bands, having nou­rishment ministred and knit together increases with the increase of God, the head is the root from whence the vital faculty is disfused to all the members. We use to say [...] arbor inversa, a Tree turned upsided [...] if this be so, the Head is the [...] Tree. So doth Life flow from [...] the Church, the spirit is from [...] begin the union or to con [...]nue the [...] [Page 118] But let us speak of these branches a­part.

1. His Authority and power to govern: his excellency gives him fitness, but his Office right to rule and govern the Church: When he sent abroad his Officers and Em­bassadors to Proselyte the World in his name, he pleadeth his right, Math. 28.18. All power is given to me both in heaven and in Earth. Now the acts which belong to Christ as a Governour may be reduced to these heads.

  • 1. To make Laws that shall universally bind all his people.
  • 2. To institute Ordinances for Worship.
  • 3. To appoint Officers.
  • 4. To maintain them in the exercise of these things.

1. The first power that belongeth to a governing head, is Legislation or making Laws: now Christs Headship and Empire being novum jus Imperii, a new right which he hath as Mediator for the recovery of lapsed mankind, his Law is accordingly: It is lex remedians a Law of grace which is given us in the Gospel of our Salvation. The sum of his own proper remedial Laws are Faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, and [Page 119] Repentance towards God, Acts 20.21. Without Repentance our case is not com­passionable, without Faith we do not own our Redeemer, by whom we have so great a benefit: yet because this new right of Empire is accumulative not privative, bene­ficial to us indeed, but not destructive of our duty to God: therefore the whole Law of God as purely moral hath still a binding force, upon the consciences, as it is ex­plained in the Word of God. Now to these Laws of Christ none can add, none diminish, and therefore Christ will take an account of our fidelity at the last day, 2 Thess. 1.8.

2. He hath instituted Ordinances, for the continual exercise and regulation of our worship, and the Government of his people that they may be kept in the due acknowledgement and obedience to him: such as the preach­ing of the Word, Sacraments, and the exer­cise of some Government: now all the Rules and Statutes which Christ hath made for the ordering of his people must be kept pure un­til his coming: his institutions do best pre­serve his honour in the World: great charges are left, 1 Tim. 5.21. I charge thee before God and our Lord Iesus Christ and his Elect Angels that thou observe these things, [Page 120] where he speaketh of Ecclesiastical Censures and Disciplines he conjureth him by all that is sacred and holy, that it be rightly used; 1 Tim. 6.14. Keep this commandment with­out spot and unrebuka [...]le unto the appearing of Iesus Christ. The Doctrines are so deter­mined by Christ, that they cannot be chan­ged, the Worship not corrupted, the Disci­pline not abused to serve partial Humors and private or worldly Interests.

3. God hath appointed Officers who have all their ministries and services under Christ and for Christ; Eph. 4.11. He gave some apostles, some prophets, and some evangelists and some pastors and teachers, for the perfect­ing of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ. Mark there, he doth not describe all the Officers, for the Deacon is not mentioned, but onely such as labour in the Word and Sacraments; and observe, he mentioneth ordinary and extraordinary; Apostles to write Scripture, Prophets to attest it, Pastors and Teachers to explain and apply it. And mark, [Christ gave some] it is his Prerogative as Head of the Church to appoint the several sorts of offices and officers. He gave them at first, and will raise up some still, according as the exi­gence of the times requireth it. The end [Page 121] why, to perfect the saints; that is, to help them on to their final perfection, and for the work of the ministry. All Offices under Christ are a ministry, not a power; and imply Service, not Lordship or Dominati­on over the Flock of Christ. Lastly, The great end is to prepare and fit men more and more to become true members of Christs mystical Body.

4. To maintain and defend his people in the exercise of these things, to preserve the verity of Doctrine and purity of Worship: Alass, many times where neither Worship nor Government is corrupted, yet the Church may be in danger to be dissipat­ed by the violence of persecutions: Now therefore it is a part of Christs office as Head of the Church, to maintain verity of Do­ctrine, purity of Worship and a lawful or­der of Government, for all which he hath plenty of Spirit. The Papists think this cannot be without some universal visible head to supply Christs Office in his absence; and so are like the Israelites, Exod. 31.1. Make us Gods that shall go before us. They would have a visible head that should sup­ply Christs room in his absence, an external infallible Head, but that is a vain conceit, for since the Pope hath his residence in [Page 122] Rome, and cannot perform these functions but by the intervention of ordaining Pastors, why should it be more difficult for Christ in heaven to Govern the Church, than for the Pope in Rome? when he sitteth at the right hand of God, till he hath made his [...]oes his Footstool? Is he less powerful to Govern the Church, and to preserve and defend his People against the violence of those that would root out the memorial of Reli­gion in the World? Who is more power­ful than Jesus Christ, who hath all Judge­ment put into his hands, 1 Iob. 4.4.

2. In regard of influence. So Christ is an head to the Church as he giveth us his Spirit: That Spirit which gives Life to Be­lievers is often called Christs Spirit, Gal. 4.6. God hath sent forth the spirit of his son into your hearts. It is purchased by his Me­rit, Tit. 3.6. conveyed to us by his Power, Ioh. 15.26. I will send the comforter from the father. The communication is by his Ordinances: The Word, 2 Cor. 3.18. Beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, we are changed into the same Image from glory to glory, even as by the spirit of the Lord. Sacraments: 1 Cor. 12.13. For by one spirit are we all baptized into one body, whether we be Iews or Gentiles, whether we be bond or free, [Page 123] and [...]ve all been made to drink into one spirit. To [...]omote the Religion which he hath est [...]hed, Ioh. 16.13, 14. When the spi­rit [...] [...]ruth is come, he will guide you into all tr [...] [...] for he shall not speak of himself, but wh [...] [...] ever he shall hear that he shall speak. And he will shew you things to come and he shall glo­ri [...]ie me, for he shall receive of mine and shall shew it unto you. He comes to us as his Mem­bers, and by influence from him, as in the natural body the animal spirits are from the head, are by the members conveyed to all the parts of the body; so Christ in this spiritual Union worketh in us a quickning Spirit; Eph. 4.15, 16. We grow up to him in all things which is the head even Christ: From whom the whole body joyned together maketh increase, &c. The spirit is not given to any one Believer, but derivatively from Christ to us. First it is given to Christ as Mediatour, and to us onely by virtue of our union with him. He is in Christ as radically inherent, but in us operatively, to accomplish certain effects; or he dwel­leth in our Head by way of radication, in us by way of influence and operation.

2. According to what nature doth this office belong to Christ, Divine or Hu­mane?

[Page 124]I answer, both; for it belongeth to him as God incarnate.

1. He must be man that there may be a conformity of nature between the head and the rest of the Members; therefore Christ and the Church have one common nature between them; he was man as we are men; bone of our bone, and flesh of our flesh; Eph. 5.30. We read of a monstrous Image that was represented to Nebuchadnezzar in a dream, where the head was Gold, the breast and arms of Silver, the belly and thighs of Brass, and the Legs and feet part of Iron, and part of Clay, Dan. 2. All the parts of a different nature. In every regu­lar body there is a proportion and confor­mity, so it is in the Mystical body of Christ; because the brethren took part of flesh and blood he also took part of the same. The Godhead which was at such a distance from us, is brought down in the person of Christ in our nature, that it might be nearer at hand, and within the reach of our commerce; and we might have more incouragement to expect pity and relief from him.

2. God, he also must be. None was sit to be head of the Church but God, whe­ther you respect Government or Influ­ence.

[Page 125]1. For Government; to attend all cases, to hear all Prayers, to supply all wants: defend us against all Enemies, to require an absolute and total submission to his Laws, Ordinances and Institutions, so as we may venture our Eternal Interests upon his Word, Psal. 95.11. He is thy God worship thou him.

2. For Influence; none else hath power to convey the spirit, and to become a vital principle to us, for that is proper to God to have life in himself, and to communicate it to others, 1 Tim. 6.13. I charge thee in the sight of God who quickneth all things, &c. Whatever men may think of the life of Grace, yet surely as to the life of Glory he is the onely life-making Spirit; 1 Cor. 15.45. Now this honour is not given to the Angels, much less is it due to any man, nor can it be imagined by him, for none can influence the heart of Man but God.

3. The Reasons why this body must have such an Head.

1. Every society must be under some Government, without which they would soon dissolve and come to nothing: Much more the Church, which because of its ma­nifold necessities, and the high ends unto which it is designed, more needs it than a­ny other Society

[Page 126]2. The Priviledges are so grea [...] [...]hich are these; Pardon of sins, and [...] Grace, and at length Eternal Glo [...].

(1) Pardon of Sins. By this Union with him, he is made sin for us that we might be made the righteousness of God in him, 2 Cor. 5.21. A sacrifice for sin, that we might be justified and accepted with God.

(2.) Sanctifying Grace by the communi­cation of his Spirit. We not onely agree with him in the same common humane Na­ture, but the same holy Nature may be in us that was in Christ, Heb. 2.11. We are doubly a-kin, ratione incarnationis suae, & re­generationis nostrae.

(3) At length Eternal Glory followeth; for what is the condition of the Head, that is also the condition of the Members; first Christ, then they that are Christs. And also Christ is set up as a pattern, to which the Church must be conformed, Rom. 8.29. Bating the preheminence due to the Head, we are to be Glorious as he is Glorious.

2. The Duties are far above bare hu­mane power and strength; therefore we need the influence of our Head, Ioh. 15.5. To obey God, to believe in his name, to deny our selves in what is most dear and [Page 127] precious to us in the world, to be fortified against all Temptations, are duties not so easily done as said.

2. We have so fouly miscarried already that he will no more trust his honour in our hands; but hath put the whole treasure of Grace into the hands of Christ for our use, Ioh. 1.16 So Ioh. 3.35, 36. The father hath put all things into his hands: He that believes on the son hath overlasting life, and he that believes not the son hath not seen life. God would not leave us to our selves to live apart from him, but hath put all things that belong to our happiness into his hands, that being united to him vertue might be communicated to us, even all the Gifts and Graces of the Spirit. They are not intrust­ed with us, but with him; and we shall have no more of Pardon, Grace and Glo­ry, but what we have in and from the Son of God.


Use I. Is Information: To shew how much we are bound to God for putting this hon­our upon us, that Christ should be our head. Christ is over the Angels in point of Superiority and Government, but not pro­perly [Page 128] said to be an head to them, in that strict notion which implies relation to the Church: As to influence, he is not an head to them: You will say they are confirmed by him; but the Mediation of Christ pre­supposes the Fall of Adam, for Christ had not been Mediator, if Adam had never fal­len. Now if Christ should come to confirm Angels, if this had not been, is groundless; besides Christ merited for those that have benefit by him, and the consummate act of his Merit is his Death; but where is it said that he died for Angels.

II. It informs us of the shameless Usurpa­tion abetted by the Papists, who call the Pope head of the Church. None can be a Head of the Church, to whom the Church is not a Body; but it would be strange to say the Church is the Popes body. None can be a governing head of the Church but he who is a Mediatorial Head of Vital influence. The Papists indeed distinguish these things, a­scribe the one to the Pope, the other to Christ, but the Scripture allows not this Writ of Partition; None can be the one but he must also be the other. But they say he is a ministerial head; but a ministerial Universal Head, that shall give law to other [Page 129] Churches and christian societies, and if they depend not on him, shall be excluded from the Priviledges of a Christian Church, this is, as to matter of Right, Sacriledge; for this honour is too great for any man, and Christ hath appointed no such head, and therefore it is a manifest Usurpation of his Royal Prerogative without his leave and consent. And as to matter of Fact, it is im­possible the Church being scattered through­out all parts of the World, which can have no commerce with such an head in matters essential to its Government and Edification. They that first instituted such an universal Head, besides that they had no Authority or Commission so to do, were extreamly imprudent, and perverters of Christianity. Therefore let us consider how it came up at first, and how it hath been exercised: It came up at first for the prevention of schisms and divisions among Christians, they thought fit the Church should be divided into certain Dioces [...]es, according to the secular division of the Empire, which at first were thirteen in number under the names of Patriarchs and Bishops of the first See, who should join in common care and coun­sel for the good of the christian common­wealth: Among these, some, who in re­gard [Page 130] of the cities wherein they resided, were more eminent than the rest, and began to incroach upon the others Jurisdiction, till at length they were reduced to four. The Bishop of Rome being the Imperial City, had the precedency, not of Authority super reliqous, but of place and order inter reliquos. It was potestas honoraria, a difference or au­thority by courtesie, afterwards ordinaria, an ordinary power, then what was de facto given, was afterwards challenged de jure.

2. Let us consider how this power hath been exercised to the Introduction of Ido­latry, and divers corruptions and supersti­tions, to the destruction of Kingdoms, the blood of the Martyrs, and tumults and con­fusions, too long to relate.

II. Vse. To perswade you to accept Christ as your head, we are to preach him as Lord, 2 Cor. 4.5. you are to receive him as Lord, Col. 2.6. our consent is ne­cessary. God hath appointed him, and the Church appointeth him: God by authority, the Church by consent. We voluntarily acknowledge his dignity and submit unto him, both with a consent of dependance and subjection. Some God draweth to Christ and gives them to him, and him to [Page 131] them; Ioh. 6.44. All that live within hearing, have means to seek this Grace, and if they so do, they shall not lose their labour. Gods set not men about unprofita­ble work, mind but the duties of the bap­tismal covenant, and the business is at an end, Acts 2.39.

III. Vse. To put us upon self-reflection. If Christ be your head,

1. You must stand under a correspondent Relation to Christ; be members of his my­stical body, which is done by faith and repentance.

2. None can be a true Members of Christ body who doth not receive vital Influence from him; Rom. 8.9. It is not enough to be members of some visible church, they that are united to him, have life; there is an influence of common Gifts according to the part we sustain in the body. A com­mon Christian hath common Graces, those gifts of the spirit which God gives not to the Heathen World; as knowledge of the Mysteries of Godliness, ability of utterance about heavenly things, Heb. 6.4.

3. If Christ be our head, we must make conscience of the Duties which this Relati­on bindeth us unto: As obedience, and self-denial.

[Page 132]1. Obedience to his Laws, and the mo­tions of his Spirit. His Laws; Luke 6.46. Why call you me Lord, Lord and do not the things which I say. The motions of his Spi­rit, Rom. 8.14. As many as are led by the spirit of God, they are the sons of God.

2. Self-denial. Christ spared not his na­tural body to promote the good of his mystical Body, he exposed his life for our Salvation, we should hazzard all for his Glory. Nature teaches us to lift up the hands to save the head.

4. There must be sutableness and imita­tion, 1 Ioh. 2.6. He that abideth in him, ought to walk as he walketh.

5. If you be planted into his Mystical body, you will make conscience of Love and Tenderness.

IV. Vse. Let us Triumph in this Head, depend on him. There are two Argu­ments, his Ability, and his Sympathy.

1. His Ability: He can give us Life, Strength, Health, Eph. 3.16. That he would grant you according to the riches of his glory to be strengthned with might by his spirit in the inner man. Col. 1.15. Strengthned with all might, according to his glorious power un­to [Page 133] all patience and long-suffering with joyful­ness.

2. His Sympathy: He is touched with the feeling of our Infirmities: Heb. 4.15. We have not an high priest, which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points [...]empted like as we are, yet without sin. The Head is concerned for the Members.


COL. 1.18.

Who is the beginning, the first born from the dead.

I Come now to consider the first parti­cular Title which is given to Christ: There are two other Titles given to Christ; the one respects the state of Grace, the other the state of Glory: And

First, With respect to the state of Grace, he is called [...], the beginning; that is, Ori­go mundi meli [...]ris, the beginning of the new Creature, as well as the Old; for the same place and dignity which Christ hath in the order of Nature, he hath in the order of Grace also. Therefore he is called the be­ginning of the creation of God, Rev. 3.14. The word [...] is not taken there passively, as if it were the first thing that was created, but actively, that he giveth a being and [Page 135] beginuing to all things that are created; and by the Creation of God is meant the new Creation. So that the Point is.

Doctrine. That Iesus Christ is the Author and beginning of the new Creati [...].

I shall briefly explain this, and pass to the next branch. Christ is the beginning two wayes:

  • I. In a way of Order and Dignity.
  • II. In a way of Causality.

1. In a way of Order. As first and chief of the renewed state. This is many ways set forth in Scripture. Two things I shall take notice of.

  • 1. That he is the builder of the Church.
  • 2. The Lord and Governour of it.

1. As Founder and Builder of the Church, Matth. 16.18. Thou art Peter, and upon this Rock will I build my Church. Christ challenges it to himself as his own pe­culiar prerogative to build the Church. More fully the Apostle, Heb. 3.3, 4, 5. For this man was [...]unted worthy of more glory than Moses, in as much as he that [Page 136] builded the house, hath more honour than the house, for every house is built by some man, but he that buildeth all things is God. And a­gain Moses was faithful in all his house as a servant, but Christ as a Son over his own house. The scope of the Apostle is to prove that Christ must have the preheminence above all others that have been imployed in and about Gods House: Moses was one of the chief of that sort, that had greater famili­arity with God than others, and intrusted by him in very great and weighty matters; yet Christ was not onely equal to Moses, but far above him: he proveth it by a com­parison taken from a Builder, and an House; and from a Lord of the House, and a Ser­vant in the House; but Christ is the buil­der of the House, and Moses but a part of the House: Christ is the Lord, and Moses but the servant; therefore Christ is more excellent and worthy of greater honour. One of the Nobl [...]st works of God is the Church of the First-born; none could build, frame and constitute this but the Son of God coming down in our flesh, and so recovering the lost world into an holy so­ciety, which might be dedicated to God. For the materials of this house are men sin­ful and guilty; neither Men nor Angels could raise them up into an holy Temple to [Page 137] God; none but the Eternal word, or the Son of God Incarnate, [...]e that buildeth all things is God: [...], all these things; the things treated of, he doth not speak of the first creation, but the second; the restor­ing of the lapsed World to God.

2. The other Honour is, that Christ is Lord of the new creation, as well as the founder and builder of it; for the World to come is put in subjection to him, not to the Angels, Heb. 2.7. By the World to come is not meant the state of Glory, but the state of the Church under the times of the Gospel. It is made subject to God, the Redeemer, it is solely and immediately in his Power, and under his Authority, and cast into a dependance upon him.

II. In a way of Causality. So he is the be­ginning, either as a Moral, or efficient cause.

1. As a moral Meritorious cause: We are renewed by Gods creating power, but through the intervening Mediation of Christ: Or Gods creating power is put forth with respect to his Merit. The life of Grace, is purchased by his death: 1 Ioh. 4.9. God sent his onely begotten son into the world, that we might live by him. Here [Page 138] spiritually, hereafter eternally. For life is opposite to death incurred by sin. We were dead legally, as sentenced to death by the Law; and spiritually, as disabled for the service of our Creator. And how by him? that he speaketh of verse 10. by his being a propitiation. We were in the state of death, when the doors of Mercy were first opened to us, under the guilt and power of sin; but we live, when the guilt of sin is pardoned, and the power of sin broken; but this life we have not without Christs being a propitiation for our sins, or doing that which was necessary, whereby God without impeachment of honour might shew himself placable and propitious to Man­kind.

2. As an efficient cause by the efficacy of his Spirit, who worketh in us as Members of Christs Mystical Body. Wherefore it is said, 2 Cor. 5.17. If any man be in Christ he is a new creature. And Eph. 2.10. We are his workmanship created in Christ Iesus un­to good works. Whatever Grace we have, cometh from God, through Christ as Medi­ator, and from him we have it by virtue of our union with him. It is first applied by the converting Grace, and then continu­ally supplied by the confirming Grace of the [Page 139] Spirit. The influence we have from him as our head, is life and likeness.

1. Life: Gal. 2.20. I am crucified with Christ, nevertheless I live, yet not I, but Christ liveth in me, and the life which I now live in the flesh, &c. Christ is the beginning of the new life; therefore he is called the Prince or Author of Life. All life is deri­ved from the head to the body, so we de­rive life from Christ, Ioh. 6.57. As I live by the father, so he that eateth me shall live by me. We derive life from Christ as he from the Father.

2. Likeness: Gal. 4.19. My little chil­dren of whom I travel in birth till Christ be formed in you. And 2 Cor. 3.18. It is for the honour of Christ that his Image and su­perscription should be upon his Members to distinguish them from others. In short, as to Life he is the Root: Ioh. 15.1, 2. I am the true vine, and &c. As to Likeness, he is the pattern, Rom. 8.29. Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate, to be conformed to the Image of his son, that he might be the first-born among many brethren.

Secondly, The Reasons of this.

1. It is for the honour of the Son of God that he should be head of the New World. In the Kingdom of Christ all [Page 140] things are new. There is a new covenant which is the Gospel, a new Paradise; not that where Adam enjoyed God among the Beasts and Trees of the Garden, but where the Blessed injoy God amongst the Angels. A new Ministry, not the Family of Aaron, or Tribe of Levi, but the Ministry of Re­conciliation whom God hath qualified and fitted to be dispensers of these holy Myste­ries. New ordinances, we serve God not in the oldness of the Letter, but the new­ness of the Spirit; new Members, or new creatures, that are made partakers of the benefits; therefore also a new head, or a second Adam that must be the beginning of this new Creation; and that is the Lord Jesus Christ who is made a quickning spirit to all his members, 1 Cor 15.45. The first Adam was made a living soul, the second a quickning Spirit. Adam communicated na­tural life to his posterity, but from Christ we have the spirit.

2. It is suited to our lost estate. We were in a state of Apostasie and defection from God, averse from all good, prone to all evil: Now that we might have a new being and life, the Son of God came in our Nature to rectifie the disordered creation: The scripture representeth man as blind in his Mind, perverse in his Will, rebellions [Page 141] in his Affections, having no sound part left in him to mend the rest; therefore we must be changed; but by whom? who shall make us of unclean to become pure and holy? Not one amongst all the bare natural sons of Men, Iob 14.4. of carnal to become spiritual. We must be new made and new born, Ioh. 3.6.That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the spirit is spirit. That we may mind the things of the spirit, and not of the flesh; of worldly to become heavenly: he that formeth us for this very thing is God, 2 Cor. 5.5. He that is the framer and maker of all things; a God of infinite Wisdom, Power, and Love, he frameth and createth us a-new.


  • I. To shew us the Necessity of Regene­ration.
  • II. The Excellency of it.

I. The Necessity. We must have another beginning, than we had as bare creatures; it is one thing to make us men, another to make us Saints or Christians. We have Un­derstanding, Will, Affections and Senses as Men, but we have these san [...]d as Chri­stians: [Page 142] The World thinketh Christianity puts strange names upon ordinary things, but is it an ordinary thing, to row against the stream of flesh and blood? and to raise men to those inclinations, and affections to which nature is an utter stranger? to have a Divine Nature put into us? 2 Pet. 1.4. the necessity is more bound upon us, if we look upon our selves not onely as Men, but Christians: for whosoever is in Christ is a New Creature. Some are in Christ by ex­ternal Profession, de jure, they are bound to be new Creatures, that they may not dishonour their Head. Others by real in­ternal Union; they not onely ought to be, but de facto are, new creatures, because they are made partakers of his Spirit, and by that Spirit are renewed and sanctified. Lit­tle can they make out their recovery to God and interest in Christ, who are not sensible of any change wrought in them, who have the old thoughts, the old discourses, the old passions, and the old affections, and their old conversations still: The same deadness to holy things, the same proneness to please the flesh, the same carelessness to please or honour God; and the drift and bent of their lives is as much for the world, and as little for God and heaven as be­fore.

[Page 143]II. The Excellency of Regeneration, or re­newing Grace. What a benefit it is, it ap­peareth in two things.

1. That it is the fruit of Reconciling Grace; 2 Cor. 5.18. All things are of God, who hath reconciled us to himself by Iesus Christ, and hath given to us the ministry of reconciliation. God gives Grace, onely as the God of Peace, as pacified by the death of Christ, the holy Spirit is the gift of his Love, and the fruit of this Peace and Re­conciliation which Christ made for us. Our Lord Jesus Christ merited this Grace by the value of his sacrifice and bloody sufferings, Tit. 3.5, 6.

2. It is applyed to us by the Almighty power of his Spirit. Christ is first the Ransom for, then the fountain of Life to our souls, and so the honour of our intire and whole recovery is to be ascribed onely to our Redeemer, who as he satisfied the Justice of God for our sins, so he also pur­chased a power to change our hearts, and he purchased this power into his own hands, not into anothers, and therefore doth accomplish it by his Spirit, 2 Cor. 3.18. We should often think what a foun­dation God hath layed for the dispensation of his grace and how he would demonstrate his infinite love in giving us his son to be a [Page 144] propitiation for us, and at the same time sheweth forth his infinite power in renew­ing and changing the heart of man, and all to bring us back to him to make us capable of serving and pleasing him.

I come now to the other Title which re­spects the life of Glory: The first-born from the dead. The same appellation almost is given to Christ when he is called, Rev. 1.5. The first begotten from the dead. The rea­son of both is because those that arise from the dead are as it were new born, and therefore the Resurrection from the dead is called a Regeneration, Matth. 19.28. And as to Christ in particular, the Grave, when he was in it, is represented as being under the pains and throws of a woman in Tra­vel, Acts 2.24. [...], God having loosed the pains of death, for it was not possible that he should be holden of it. But which is not onely a Metaphor, but an higher Mistery, St. Paul referreth that Prophesie, Psal. 2.7. Thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee; in Acts 13.33. to the Resurrection of Christ: God hath raised up Iesus from the dead, as it is also written, thou art my son, this day have I begotten thee. Things are said to be done, when they are manifested to be done. Compare, Rom. 1.4. [Page 145] Declared to be the son of God with power, ac­cording to the spirit of holiness, by the resurrecti­on from the dead. So the Adoption of Be­lievers shall appear by their Resurrection; Rom. 8.19. The earnest expectation of the creature waiteth for the manifestation of the sons of God. Verse 23. And not onely they, but our selves also, which have the first fruits of the spirit, even we our selves groan within our selves, waiting for the adoption, to wit the redemption of our body. 1 Joh. 3.2. It doth not yet appear what we shall be, but we know that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is. This for the Title of First-born from the dead.

Doctrine. That Christs rising from the dead is the evidence and assurance of a Christians happy Resurrection.

  • 1. Let me open the Terms.
  • 2. Vindicate the Notion.
  • 3. Shew you how this is an Evidence and Assurance to all good Christians of their happy and joyful Resur­rection.

1. For the Terms. He is here called The first-born from the dead. If the Grave was as the Womb to him, and his Resur­rection [Page 146] as a Birth, then Christ was in a man­ner born when he rose again. Onely he hath the precedency, he is the first-born, he rises first, and surely others will follow after him. So we read, Acts 26.23. That he should be the first-born that should rise from the dead; as he saith elsewhere, first Christ, then they that are Christs. Christ hath the primacy of Order, and the prin­cipality of influence. So again, he is said to be the first fruits of them that slept, 1 Cor. 15.20. As in the consecrating of the first-fruits, the whole harvest is also consecra­ted; so Christ by rising himself, raises all others with him to Eternal Glory and Hap­piness. And so his Resurrection is a cer­tain proof that others shall have a Resur­rection also.

2. Let us vindicate the Notion here used by the Apostle. How was he the first-born? the first-fruits? the first-raised from the Dead? Two Objections lye against it.

1. That many were raised from the dead before Christ.

2. Concerning the Resurrection of the Wicked. They are not parts of his Misti­cal body, and in respect of them how could Christ rise as the first-born, and the first-fruits.

[Page 147]1. For the first objection, how was Christ the first, since many were raised before him? As the Widow of Sarepta's Son, that was raised to Life by Elijah, 1 Kings 17. The Shunamites son by Elisha, 2 Kings 4. A dead man by the touch of Elisha's bones, 1 Kings 13.21. Our Saviour in his Life time raised the Widow of Nains only Son, Luk. 7.15. Iairus's daughter, Luke 8.55. La­zarus, Iohn 11.44. Some others at his death Matth. 27.52. how was he then the first, I answer we must distinguish of a proper and an improper Resurrection: Christ was the first-born from the dead, be­cause he arose from the dead by a pro­per Resurrection which is to arise again to a life immortal; others were raised again to a mortal estate, and so the great disease was rather removed then cured. Christs Resur­rection is a Resurrection to immortality not to dye any more, as the Apostle saith, death hath no more power over him, they onely returned to their natural Life, they were raised from the dead but still mortal; but he whom God raised again shall see no cor­ruption, Acts 13.34.

2. Others are raised by the power and vertue of his Resurrection, but he hath risen again by his own power, Ioh. 10.18. [Page 148] I have power to lay down my life, and power to take it up again, raising the dead is a work of divine power, for it belongs to him to restore life who gave it at first. Therefore Christ is said not only to be rai­sed again, but to rise from the dead, Rom. 4.25. He dyed for our offences, and rose a­gain for our Iustification, as the Sun sets and rises by his own motion.

3. All those that rose again before Christ arose onely by special dispensation, to lay down their bodies once more when God should see fit, and rose only as private and single persons, but Christ rose as a publick person. His Resurrection is the cause and pattern of ours, for head and members do not rise by a different power, he rose a­to gain shew the vertue that should quicken our mortal bodies, and raise them at length.

2. The second objection is concerning the raising of the wicked, Christ cannot be the first-born or the first-fruits to them, they belong not to his mystical body, the first-born implyeth a relation to the rest of the Family, and offering of the first-fruits did not sanctifie the Tares, the Cockle or the Dar­nel, or the Weeds that grow amongst the [Page 149] Corn, but only the Corn it self. I answer,

1. Certain it is that the wicked shall rise again, there is no question of that, Act. 24.15. I believe a Resurrection of the dead both of the just and unjust, all that have lived whether they have done good or evil, Matth. 5.45. He makes his Sun to rise on the evil and the good, and sendeth rain on the just and on the unjust, and it is said Iohn 5.28, 29. All that are in their graves shall hear his voice, and shall come forth, they that have done good to the Resur­rection of Life, and they that have done evil to the Resurrection of damnation, both must rise that both may receive a full recompence according to their several wayes, and though it be said Psal. 1.6. The ungodly shall not stand in the judgement, nor sinners in the congregation of the righteous, it doth not infringe this truth, the sense is those unhappy miscreants shall not be able to a­bide the tryal, as being self condemned: To stand in the judgment is to make a bold defence, and whereas it is said also they shall not stand in the congregation of the righte­ous: you must know that at the day of doom, there is a congregation or a gathe­ring together of all men, then a segrega­tion, a separating the Sheep from the Goats, [Page 150] then an aggregation, he shall set the sheep on his right hand and the goats on his left, so that they make up two distinct bodies, one of the good which is there called the con­gregation of the righteous; the other of the wicked, who are to be judged by Christ as a just and righteous Judge, assisted with his Holy Angels and the great Assembly and Council of Saints: Not one of the sin­ners shall remain in the company of the righteous, nor appear in their Society.

2. The wicked are raised, ex officio Iu­dicis, not beneficio Mediatoris: they are raised by Christ as a Judge, but not by him as a Redeemer: The one sort are raised by the power of his vindicative Justice, the other by the Holy Ghost by vertue of his Covenant, Rom. 8.11. He shall quicken your mortal bodies by his spirit that dwelleth in you: The one by Christs power from without, put forth by him as Judge of dead and living; The other by an inward quick­ning influence that flows from him as their proper head. When the Reaper gathers the Wheat into his Barn, the Tares are bound in bundles and cast into unquencha­ble Fire, Matth. 15.30.

[Page 151]3. The wicked are forced to appear▪ and cannot shift that dreadful Tribunal, the other go joyfully forth to meet the Bridegroom, and when the sentence of condemnation shall be executed upon the one, the other by vertue of Christs Life and Resurrection shall enter into the possession of a blessed and Eternal Life, wherein they shall injoy God and Christ, and the compa­ny of Saints and Angels, and sing Halle­lujahs for ever and ever.

Thirdly, How is this an evidence and assurance to all good Christians, of their happy and glorious Resurrection?

1. The Resurrection of Christ doth prove that there shall be a Resurrecti­on.

2. That to the faithful it shall be a blessed and glorious Resurrection: 1. There shall be a Resurrection, it is necessary to prove that; partly because it is the foundation of all Godliness, if there were not another Life after this, there were some ground for that saying of the Atheists, Let us eat and drink for to morrow we shall dye, 2 Cor. 15.32. If there be no future estate nor being after this Life, let us enjoy the good things of the World whilst we can, for with in a lit­tle while death cometh, and then there is an [Page 152] end of all. These Atheistical discourses and temptations to sensuality were more justifiable if men were annihilated by death, no, the soul is immortal and the body shall rise again, and come into the judgment, and unless we live Holily, a terrible judge­ment it will be to us. Partly because we cannot easily believe that the same body shall be placed in heaven, which we see committed to the Grave to rot there. Of all Articles of Religion this is most difficult­ly assented unto, now there is relief for us in this business in hand, Christ is the first-born from the dead. There were many prae­ludia resurrectionis, foretokens and pledges of the Resurrection given to the old World, in the Translation of Enoch, the Rapture of Elijah, the reviving of these few dead ones which I spake of before, but the great and publick evidence that is given for the assurance of the World, is Christs rising from the Grave; this makes our Re­surrection

  • 1. Possible.
  • 2. Easie.
  • 3. Certain and Necessary.

1. Possible, the least that we can gather from it is this, that it is not impossible for dead men to rise, for that which hath been may [Page 153] be. We have the proof and instance of it in Christ, see how the Apostle reasoneth, 1 Cor. 15.13. If there be no Resurrection from the dead, then Christ is not risen, and then our whole Faith falleth to the ground, For all Religion is bottomed on the Resur­rection of Christ, if therefore Christ be ri­sen why should it seem an incredible thing to us, that others should be raised also.

2. It is Easie, for by rising from the dead he hath conquered death and gotten the victory of it, 1 Cor. 15.57. A separati­on there will be of the soul from the body, but it is not such as shall last for ever. The victory over sin is the victory over death, and the conquest of sin makes death an en­trance into immortality: The Scriptures of­ten speak of Christs destroying the power of death, Heb. 2.14, That through death he might destroy him that had the power of death. The devils design was by tempting men to sin, to keep them for ever under the power of death, but Christ came to rescue men from that power by a Resurrection from Death to Life. Again it is said he hath abolished death and brought Life and Immortality to light in the Gospel. He hath voided the power of death by taking a course for the destruction of sin, and made a [Page 154] clear Revelation of that Life and Immorta­lity which was not so certainly known be­fore. We look to the natural impossibili­ties, how what is turned to dust may be raised again, because we do not consider the power of God, but the moral impossi­bility is the greater, for the sting of death is sin, and the strength of sin is the Law, that which makes sin able to do us hurt is the guilt of sin, otherwise it would be but as a calm sleep, and this guilt is bound upon us by the Law of the righteous God, which threatneth eternal Death to the sinner. Now get free from sin and it is easie to be­lieve the conquest of death: I will prove two things, that Christs R [...]surrection shews both his victory over sin, and his victory over death.

1, His victory over sin: That he hath perfectly satisfyed for sin, and appeased the wrath of God, who is willing to be recon­ciled with all those that come to the Faith and Obedience of the Gospel, which could not be if Christ had remained under the po­wer of death, for the Apostle saith, 1 Cor. 15.17. If Christ had not risen ye are yet in your sins, that is, God is not pacifyed, there is no sufficient means of atonement or foun­dation layed for our Reconciliation with [Page 155] him but his Resurrection declareth that he is fully satisfyed with the ransom paid for sinners by Jesus Christ, for it was in effect the releasing of our Surety out of Prison, so it is said, Rom. 4.15. He was delivered for our offences, and raised up for our Iustificati­on: he dyed to expiate and do away sin, and his Resurrection sheweth it was a suf­ficient Ransom, and therefore he can ap­ply the vertue of it to us.

2. His victory over death: For he got out of it, which not only shews there is a possibility for a man by the power of God to be raised from Death to Life, but a facility; as a second Adam, he brought Re­surrection into the World; there were two Adams: the one Man brought Death, and another brought Resurrection into the World. The sentence of death is gone out against all the children of Adam as such, and the Regenerate Believers that are recovered by Christ shall be raised to immortal Life, he hath gotten out of the power of death, so shall we.

3. Certain and necessary. For several Reasons.

1. Our relation to Christ, he is the head of the body, now the head will not live [Page 156] gloriously in Heaven and leave his members behind him, under the power of death: Be­lievers are called the fullness of him that fil­leth all things, Eph. 1.23. Head and Members make up one perfect Man or my­stical Body, which is called the fullness of Christ, Eph. 4.13. Otherwise it would be a maimed Christ, or a Head without a Body, and therefore we should not doubt, but he will raise us up with him.

Secondly, The charge and office of Christ which he will attend upon and see that it be carefully performed, Iohn 6.39. This is the Fathers will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but raise it up again at the last day: as none so nothing in the Prophets expression concerning the good Shepherd, not so much as a leg or a piece of an ear, that he should be carefull to preserve every one who belongs to his charge, and what ever befalls them here, he is to see them forth coming at the last day, and to give a particular account of them to God. Now certainly Christ will be very careful to fulfill his charge and make good his office.

[Page 157]Thirdly, There is the Mercy of God through the Merits of Christ towards his faithful ones who have hazarded their bodies, and their bodily interests for his sake, 1 Thess. 4.14. If we believe that Iesus dy­ed and rose again even those also which sleep in Iesus, will God bring with him. Upon the belief of Christs death and Resurrection depends also the raising of their bodies that dye for the Testimony of Christ, or by occasion of Faith in Christ, and that so cer­tainly and speedily, that they that dye not at all shall at the day of Judgment have no advantage of those that have layen in the Grave so many years, the raising of the one being in the same twinkling of an eye with the change of the other, for the Apo­stle saith, they that are alive shall not pre­vent them that are a sleep. So 2 Cor. 4.14. Knowing that he that raised up the Lord Iesus, shall raise us up also with Iesus, and pre­sent us with you. He gives it as the reason why he had the same spirit of Faith with David, who in his sore afflictions profes­sed his confidence in God, because he be­lieved he spake. So they do profess the Faith of Christ, though imminent death and danger is always represented to them, as be­fore their eyes: because they stedfastly be­lieved that God would raise them to a glo­rious [Page 158] estate through Christ, therefore did they openly proclaim what they did Believe concerning him. To the same purpose to confirm Timothy against all danger of death, 1 Tim. 6.13. I give thee charge in the sight of God who quickneth all things, that is, as thou believest that God is able and will raise thee from the dead, that thou hold out constant­ly unto the death and do not shrink for perse­cution.

2. It proveth that to the faithful it shall be a blessed and a glorious Resurrection: 1. Because Christs Resurrection is not only a cause but a pattern of ours; there is not onely a Communion between the Head and Members in the Mystical Body but a conformity. The members were appoint­ed to be conformed to their Head as in obe­dience and sufferings, so in happiness and glory here in the one, hereafter in the o­ther, Rom. 8.29. He hath predestinated us to be conformed to the Image of his Son: As Christ was raised from the dead, so we shall be raised from the dead, God raised him from the dead, and gave him glory and honour, that your Faith and hope might be in God, 1 Pet. 1.21. So God will raise us from the dead and put glory and honour upon us. There is indeed a glory put upon [Page 159] Christ far surpassing the glory of all created things; but our glory is like his for quality and kind, though not for quantity, degree and measure, as to those prerogatives and priviledges which his body in his Exaltation is endowed withall. Such a glory it is that Christ shall be admired in his Saints, the World shall stand gazing at what he means to do.

2. By the grant of God. They have a right and title to this glorious estate, being admitted into his family; they may here­after expect to be admitted into his presence. The Holy Spirit abideth in them as an ear­nest, till it be accomplished, Eph. 1.14. Ye were sealed with that holy spirit of promise, which is the earnest of our inheritance until the redemption of the purchased possession. The Spirit of Holiness marketh and distinguish­eth them as Heirs of Promise from all o­thers: The mark or seal is the impression of Christ's Image on the soul; this seal be­comes an earnest or part of payment, which is a security or assurance to us that more will follow, a fuller conformity to Christ in the glorious estate, and this earnest doth continue till the redemption of the purcha­sed possession; the purchased possession is the Church, and their redemption is their final deliverance, Eph. 4.30. when their [Page 160] bodies are redeemed from the hands of the grave. See Rom. 8.28.


I. Vse. Is to perswade you to the be­lief of two grand Articles of Faith; the Resurrection of Christ, and your own Re­surrection.

1. The Resurrection of Christ. The rai­sing of Christ from the dead is the great prop and foundation of our Faith, 1 Cor. 15.14. If Christ be not risen, then is our preaching vain, and your faith also is vain. All the Apostles preaching was built upon this supposition, that Christ died and rose again. Partly because this is the great evi­dence of the truth of the Christian Religi­on; for hereby Christ was evidenced to be what he gave out himself to be, the eter­nal Son of God, and the Saviour of the World, whereof he hath given assurance to all men, in that he raised him from the dead, Acts 23.31. that is the ground of Faith and Assur­ance. So Acts 13.33. God hath raised Iesus from the dead, for it is written, Thou art my son, &c. Partly to shew, that he is in a capacity to convey life to others both spi­ritual and eternal; which, if he had remain­ed under the state of death, could not be: [Page 161] The life of Believers is derived from the life of Christ, Ioh. 14.19. Because I live, &c. If he had been holden of death, he had neither been a fountain of Grace nor Glory to us; 1 Pet. 1.3. He hath begotten us unto a lively hope, by the resurrection of Christ from the dead. Partly, because the raising of Christ is the pledge of Gods omnipotency, which is our relief in all difficult cases; the power which raised Christ, exceedeth all contrary powers, Eph. 1.20, 21. Now the resur­rection of Christ, besides the veritableness of the report, manifested by the circum­stances, when a great stone was rolled at the mouth of the Sepulchre, a guard of Souldiers set to watch against all fraud and impostures, yet he brake thorow; his fre­quent Apparitions to the Apostles, yea to 500 disciples at once; 1 Cor. 15.6. a great part of which were alive to testifie the truth of it, for some competent space of time; his pouring out of the Spirit; the Apostles witnessing the truth of it in the teeth of op­position; his appearing from Heaven to Paul; the prophesies of the Old Testament foretelling of it; the Miracles wrought to confirm it; the holiness of the Persons who were employed as chosen Witnesses, their unconcernedness in all temporal Interests; their hazarding of all, their success: It [Page 162] would make a volum to give you the evi­dences.

2. Your own Resurrection, what may facilitate our belief and hope of it?

1. Consider it is a work of Omnipotency. We are apt to say, how can it be, that when our bodies are turned into dust and that dust mingled with other dust, and hath undergone many transmutations, that [...]very one shall have his own body and flesh a­gain? Why consider the Infinite and Abso­lute Power of God, and this will make it more reconcileable to your tho [...]ghts, and this hard point will be of easier digestion to your Faith. To an Infinite power there is no difficulty at all, Phil. 3.21. Accord­ing to the working whereby he is able to subdue all things to himself. He appeals to Gods power, how much Gods power out-works our thoughts; for he were not infinite if he might be comprehended. We are not fit Judges of the extent of his power; many things are marvellous in our eyes, which are not so to his, Zech. 8.6. Therefore we must not confine God to the limits of crea­ted b [...]ings, or our finite understandings. Alass! our Cockel- [...]hell cannot empty an Ocean; we do no more know what God can do, than a worm knoweth a man. He that made the world out of nothing, can­not [Page 163] he raise the dead? He that brought such multitudes of creatures out of the dark Chaos, hath he forgotten what is become of our dust? He that gave Life and Being to that which before was not, cannot he raise the dead? He that turned Moses Rod into a Serpent, and from a Serpent into a Rod again, cannot he raise us out of dust into men, and [...]u [...]n us from men into dust, and from the same dust [...] us up into the same men and women [...]ain?

2. We have a releif from the Justice of God. All will grant that God is, and that God is a rewarder of good and bad. Now in this Life he doth not dispense these re­wards: Many times here, instruments of publick good are made a sacrifice to pub­lick hatred, and wicked men have the world at will; therefore there is a Judg­ment, when this life is ended; and if there be a Judgment, men must be capable to re­ceive reward and punishment. You will say, so they are by having an immortal Soul; I, but the soul is not all of a man, the body is a part; it hath had its share in the work, and therefore it is most equal to conceive it shall have its share in the re­ward and punishment. It is the body which is gratified by the pleasure of sin for a sea­son, the body which hath endured the [Page 164] trouble and pain of Faithful obedience un­to Christ, therefore there shall be a Resur­rection of just and unjust that men may receive according to what they have done in the body. God made the whole man, therefore glorifies and punishes the whole man. The Apostle urgeth this as to the Godly, 1 Cor. 15.29.

3. Gods unchangeable Covenant-Love, [...]ch inclines him to seek the dust of his [...]onfederates. God hath taken a believer into Covenant with himself, body and soul; therefore Christ proveth the Resurrection from Gods Covenant-Title; Matth. 22.31, To be a God, is certainly to be a Benefa­ctor, Gen. 25.26. Not blessed be Shem, but blessed be the Lord God of Sem. And to be a Benefactor, becoming an Infinite Eternal Power. If he had not Eternal Glory to bestow upon us he would not justifie his Covenant-Title, Heb. 11.16. To whom God is a benefactor, he is a Benefactor not to one part onely, but to their whole Per­sons: Their bodies had the mark of his Covenant upon them, their dust is in Co­venant with him, and where-ever it is dispersed, he will look after it. Their death and rotting in the Grave doth not make void his Interest, nor cause his Care and Affection towards them to cease.

[Page 165]4. We have relief also from the Redemp­tion of Christ, which extendeth to the bodies of the Saints, as it is often interpret­ed in Scripture; as where Christ speaks of his fathers charge, this was a special Article in the Eternal Covenant; Ioh. 6.39, 40. This is the will of my Father, that of all that he hath given me I should lose nothing, but raise it up at the last day. Christ hath in­gaged himself to this, he is the Guardian of the Grave, as Rispah kept the dead bodies of Sauls sons, 2 Sam. 21.10. Christ hath the keyes of death and hell, he hath a charge of the Elect to the very day of their Resur­rection that he may make a good account of them, and may not lose so much as their dust, but gather it up again. What shall I say! when the intention of his death is spo­ken of, 1 Thes. 5.10. That whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him; that is, whether dead or alive; for they that are dead in the Lord, are said to be fallen asleep. Whether we live or die we should live a spiritual life here, and eternal life in Glory hereafter: So where the ob­ligation, 1 Cor. 6.20. Ye are bought with a price. There would be no consequence if Christ had not purchased the body as well as the Soul, and Christ will not lose one jot of his purchase, if he expect duty from th [...] [Page 166] body, you may expect glory for the body; so redemption is particularly applyed to the body; Rom. 8.23. Waiting for the A­doption the redemption of our bodies. Then is Christs Redemption full, when the body is exempted from all the penalties induced by sin.

5. The honour which is put upon the bodies of the Saints.

1. They are members of Christ, 1 Cor. 6.15. Know ye not that your bodies are mem­bers of Christ, shall I then take the Members of Christ and make them members of an harlot, God forbid. No Members of Christ can for ever remain under death, but shall certain­ly b [...] raised up again. When a Godly Man [...]eth, the union between Soul and Body is dissolved, but not the union between him and Christ, as Christs own natural body in the grave was not separated from his Per­son, and the Hypostatical Union was not dissolved; it was the Lord of Glory which was crucified, and the Lord of Glory which was l [...]yed in the Grave, so the Mystical [...] is not dissolved between Christ and [...], who are his Mystical Body, [...] they are dead.

2. They are Temples of the holy Ghost; therefore if they be destroyed they shall be built up again, 1 Cor. 6.19. Know ye not [Page 167] that your bodies are temples of the holy Ghost. As Christ redeemed not the soul onely, but the whole man, so the Spirit in Christs Name takes Possession both of body and soul; the body is cleansed and sanctified by the spirit, as well as the soul; and there­fore it is quickned by the Spirit; Rom. 8.11. If the spirit of him, that raised Iesus from the dead, dwell in you he shall also quic­ken your mortal bodies by his spirit which dwel­leth in you. The Holy Ghost will not leave his Mansion, or dwelling-place; the dust of Believers belongs to them who were once his Temple. So it is a pledge of the Re­surrection. Now therefore labour with your selves, think often of it.


Col. 1.19.

For it pleased the father that in him should all fulness dwell.

With Chap. 2.9.

For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

THese words are produced to prove, that there is no defect in the Evan­gelical Doctrine, and therefore there need­eth no Addition to it from the Rudiments of men. That there is no defect, he prov­eth from the Author of it Jesus Christ, who was not onely Man, but God; and beyond the Will of God, we need not look: If God will come from heaven to teach us the way thither, surely his Teaching is suffici­ent, [Page 169] his doctrine containeth all things ne­cessary to salvation. This is the Argument of these words, For in him dwelleth all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.

In which words observe three things:

  • First, The House, In Him.
  • Secondly, The Inhabitant, All the ful­ness of the Godhead.
  • Thirdly, The manner of dwelling in the Word Bodily.

First, The House, or place of Residence, in Him. In the Man Christ Jesus; or in that Humane Nature in which he carried on the business of our Salvation: As despi­cable and abject as it was in the eyes of men, yet it was the temple and seat of the God­head.

Secondly, The Inhabitant: The fulness of the Godhead. Not a portion of God onely; or his Gifts and Graces (as we are made partakers of the Divine Nature, 1 Pet. 1.4.) but the whole Godhead.

Thirdly, the Manner [...], Bodily. The word may relate,

1. To the shadows and figures of the Law, and so it signifieth Essentially, Sub­stantially; God dwelt in the Tabernacle, [Page 170] Temple, or Ark of the Covenant; [...], because of the figures of his Presence. In Christ, [...], bodily. As his Humane Nature was the true Tabernacle or Tem­ple in which he resid [...]th. Christ calls his Humane Nature a Temple, Ioh. 2.19. Or else,

2. With respect to the intimacy and closeness of the Union; so [...] may be rendred personally: For body is often put for a person; the two Natures were so united in him, that he is one Christ.

Doctrine. That Iesus Christ is True God, and True Man in one Person.

I shall prove the Point.

  • I. By Testimonies of Scripture.
  • II. By Types.
  • III. By Reasons taken from Christs Office.

I. By Testimonies of Scriptures. I shall pass by those that speak of the reality of either nature apart, and onely alledge those that speak of both together. Now these do either belong to the Old Testament or the New. I begin with the former, the T [...]stimonies of the old Testament, because this union of the two Natures in the Person [Page 171] of Christ; is indeed a Mystery, but such as was foretold long before it came to pass; and many of the places wherein it was fore­told were so understood by the ancient Iews. The controversie between them and Christians was not whether the Messiah were to be both God and man, they agreed in that; but whether this was fulfilled, or might be applied to Jesus of Nazareth. But the lat [...]er Iews finding themselves not able to stand to the issue of that plea, say that we attribute many things to Jesus of Na­zareth, which were not foretold of the Messiah to come; as namely, that he should be God-man in one person: Therefore 'tis necessary that this should be proved, that the old Testament aboundeth with predicti­ons of this kind. Let us begin with the first Promise touching the Messiah, which was made to Adam after his Fall, for the restoring of Mankind, Gen. 3.15. The seed of the wo­man should bruise the serpents Head. That is to say one of her seed, to be born in Time, should conquer the Devil, Death, and Sin. Now when he is called the seed of the woman, 'tis apparent he must be Man, and made of a woman: And when 'tis said that he shall break the serpents head, who can do this but onely God: 'Tis a work of Divine Omnipo [...]ncy, for Satan [Page 172] hath much more power than any bare man. Therefore 'tis said, Rom. 16.20. The God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet short­ly. Come we next to the Promise made to Abraham, Gen. 12.3. In thee shall all the families of the earth be blessed. In thee, that is, in thy seed, as it is often explained, Gen. 22.18. In thy seed shall all the nations of the earth be blessed. This seed was Christ the Messiah to come. Now he was to be God-man: He was to be Man, for he is the seed of Abraham; God, because that blessedness is remission of sins or Justificati­on: For 'tis said, Gal. 3.8. The Scripture fore-seeing that God would justifie the heathen through faith, preached before the Gospel unto Abraham, saying, In thee shall all nations of the earth be blessed. Regeneration, and the Renovation of our natures is also included in it, as a part of this blessing, Acts 3.25, 26. Ye are children of the prophets, and of the covenant which God made with our fathers, saying unto Abraham, in thy seed, shall all the kindreds of the earth be blessed. There­fore unto you first God, having raised up his son Iesus, sent him to bless you, in turning away every one of you from his iniquities. There is also Redemption from the curse of the Law, and the gift of Eternal Life, included in it: Now all these are works [Page 173] proper to God alone. Let us come to the Promise made to David, 2 Sam. 7.12, 13. I will set up thy seed after thee, and I will establish the throne of thy kingdom for ever. 'Tis spoken in the Type of Solomon, but in the Mystery of Christ, who is true Man as Davids seed; and true God, for his King­dom is everlasting: And so David inter­preteth it, Psal. 45.6. Thy throne, O God, is for ever and ever. The Kingdom of the Messiah is never to have an end. And the Apostle affirmeth expresly, that those words are spoken to Christ the son of God, Heb. 1.7. Let me next alledge Iobs confession of Faith, which was very Ancient, Iob 19.25, 26. I know that my Redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth, and though after my skin, worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh I shall see God. His Redeemer was true Man as appeareth by his Title Goel; and because he shall stand on the Earth, and be seen by his bodily eyes. True God, for he calleth him so, I shall see God. Go we on in the Scriptures, Isa. 4.2. Christ is prophesied of; In that day the branch of the Lord shall be beautiful, and glorious, and the fruit of the earth shall be excellent and comely. When he is called the Branch of the Lord, his Godhead is sig­nified; when he is called the fruit of the [Page 174] earth, his Manhood. So again, Is [...]. 7.14. A virgin shall conceive and bear a son, and thou shalt call his name Imm [...]uel. That is to say, God with us; which can agree to none but to hi [...] that is God and Man. So that this Mystery of God Incarnate, was not hid from the Church of the Old Testament, for his very Name did import God with us, or God in our Nature reconciling us to him­self. So Isa. 9.6. To us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulders, and his name shall be called The wonderful Counseller, the mighty God, the everlasting father, the prince of peace. Who can interpret these speeches and A [...]ributes, but of one who is God-Man? How could he else be a child, and yet the Everlasting Father; born of a Virgin, and yet the Mighty God. So Isa. 11.1. with the 4th. Verse. A rod out of the S [...]em of Iesse, and a branch out of his roots: Therefore Man. And verse 4. He shall smi [...]e the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips shall be slay the wicked: Therefore God. So Isa. 53.8, He shall be taken from prison and judgement; therefore Man: yet who shall declare his generation? therefore God. So Ier. 23.5, 6. A branch raised unto Da­vid, from his dea [...] stock; therefore Man: yet the Lord, or Iehovah our righteousness; [Page 175] therefore God. Shall I urge that speech, whereby Jesus did silence divers of the Learned Pharisees; Psal. 110.1. The Lord said to my Lord, sit thou on my right hand, until I make thy foes, thy footstool. He was born in the mean Estate of humane Flesh, and King Davids seed, and yet Davids Lord; which he could not be, if he were not God himself, the King of Kings, and Lord of Lords. Well then, he was Davids Son as Man, but Davids Lord as he was God. And so do many of the Ancient Iewish Rabbins interpret this place. So a­gain, Micah 5.2. Thou Bethlehem Sphratah, Though thou [...]e little among the thousands of Iudah, yet out of thee shall he come forth unto me, that is to be ruler in Israel: whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting. He is born in Bethlehem, yet his goings forth are from everlasting. He came out of Bethlehem, and therefore Man; his goings forth are from everlasting, and therefore God. So Zech. 12.10. I will pour out the spirit of grace and supplication, and they shall look upon me whom they have pierced. He is God because he giveth the spirit of grace; Man because he is pierced or crucified: So Zech. 13.7. Against the man my fellow. A man he was, but Gods companion, his only [Page 176] begotten son, and co-essential with himself, and so God.

Secondly, Come we now to the New Testament, in which this mystery is more plainly and fully demonstrated: There of­ten the son of Man is plainly asserted to be also the Son of God. Thomas calleth him his Lord, his God, Ioh. 20.28. We are told that the word was made flesh, Ioh. 1.14. That God purchased the Church with his own blood, Acts 20.28. which can be understood of no other but Christ; by whose blood we are redeemed, and who being Incarnate, hath blood to shed for us; But God as a pure Spirit, hath not flesh, and blood, and bones as we have. So Rom. 1.3, 4. Iesus Christ was made of the seed of David, according to the flesh, but declared to be the son of God with power according to the spirit of holiness, &c. In respect of his Di­vine subsistence, he was begotten not made; in regard of his humane Nature, made, not begotten. True Man as David was, and True God as the Spirit and Divine Nature is. Again, Rom. 9.5. Whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh, Christ came, who is over all, God blessed for ever. Than which, nothing can be said more ex­press, as to that nature which is most apt [Page 135] to be questioned; for surely he that is God over all, cannot be said to be a mere Creature. The Jews confessed him to be Man, and one of their blood, and Paul asserteth him to be God over all: They accounted him to be accursed, and Paul asserteth him to be blessed for ever: They thought him inferiour to the Patriarchs of whom he descended, and Paul over all; so that no word is used in vain: and when he saith according to the flesh, he insinuateth another Nature in him to be considered by us. The next place is, 1 Cor. 2.8. They Crucified the Lord of Glory. He was Cruci­fied, there his humane nature is acknow­ledged, but in respect of the Divine nature he is called the Lord of Glory, as in the 24th. Psalm, The Lord or King of Glory, is Iehovah Sabaoth, The Lord of Hosts. Go we farther, Phil. 2.6, 7. Who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with Gon, but made himself of no reputation, and took upon him the form of a Servant, and was made in the likeness of men. By the form of God is meant not only the divine Ma­jesty and Glory, but also the divine essence it self: for without it there can be no true divine Majesty and Glory. Now this he kept hidden under his humane nature, let­ting onely some small Rayes sometimes to [Page 136] shine forth in his Miracles: but that which was most sensible and conspicuous in him, was a true humane Nature in a low and con­temptible estate. Again 1 Tim. 3.16. Great is the Mystery of Godliness, God ma­nifested in our Flesh. That is the Eternal Son of God became Man, and assumed the humane nature into the unity of his person. Once more 1 Pet. 3.18. He was put to death in the flesh, but quickned in the spirit. That is dyed according to his humane na­ture, but by his divine nature raised from the Dead: 'tis not meant of his soul: quick­ned, signifies not one remaining alive, but made alive; that power belongeth to God.

Secondly, By Types. Those that come to hand are these.

1. Melchisedec: Gen. 14.18. Melchise­dec King of Salem, brought forth bread and wine to Abraham. Which Type is inter­preted by the Apostle, Heb. 7.2, 3. First being by interpretation King of Righteousness, and after that also King of peace. Without Father, and without Mother; having neither beginning of dayes, nor end of Life, but made like unto the Son of God abideth a priest con­tinually. What Melchisedec was is needless to dispute. The Apostle considereth him [Page 137] only as he is represented in the story of Moses, who maketh no mention of his Father or Mother, Birth or Death. Certainly he was a very Man, but as he standeth in Scripture, there is no mention of Father or Mother, beginning or end, what he was or of whom he came. So is Christ as God without Mother, as Man without Father: As God without beginning; as God Man without ending of Life.

2. Another Type of him was Iacobs Ladder. The top of which reached Hea­ven, and the bottom reached Earth, Gen. 28.12. And the Angels of God were ascending, and descending upon it. This Ladder represented Christ the Son of Man, upon whom the Angels of God ascend, and descend Iohn 1.51. The bottom which reached the earth, represented Christs hu­mane nature, and conversing with Men: The top which reached Heaven; his heavenly and divine nature; and in both his media­ation with God for Men: Ascende per homi­nem, & per venies ad Deum, Christ reaches to Heaven in his divine original, to Earth in his Manhood, and him the Angels serve. By his dwelling in our nature, this com­merce [Page 138] between Earth and Heaven is brought about.

The third Type is the Fiery cloudy pillar, Exod. 13.21. And the Lord went before them in the day in a pillar of a cloud, and by night in a pillar of Fire to give them light, to go by day and night, this figured Christs guidance and protection of his Church, travelling through this World to his heavenly rest: The cloud signified his humanity, the fire his divinity: There were two different substances, the fire and the cloud, yet but one pillar. So there are two different natures in Christ, his divinity shining as fire, his humanity darkning as a cloud; yet but one Person. That pillar departed not from them all the while they travelled in the Wilderness; so while the Churches pilgrimage lasteth Christ will conduct us, and comfort and shelter us by his presence. His Mediatory conduct ceas­eth not.

The fourth Type is the Tabernacle, wherein God dwelt symbolically, as in Christ bodily: There God sat on the mercy seat which is called [...], Heb. 9.5. so Christ Rom. 3.25. A propitiation. He there dwelt between the Cherubims, and [Page 139] did exhibit himself graciously to his people, as now he doth to us by Christ. The next shall be of the Scape Goat on the day of expiation, Lev. 16.10. One Goat was to be slain, the other kept alive. The slain Goat signified [...], his Flesh, or humane nature suffering, the Live Goat, [...], his Immortal Deity, or as the Apostle expresseth it, 2 Cor. 13.4. That Christ was to be crucified through weakness, yet to live by the power of God, or as we heard before, 1 Pet. 3.18. Put to death in the Flesh and quickned by the Spirit. Because these two things could not be shadowed by any one Beast, which the Priest having killed could not make alive again; and it was not fit that God should work mir [...]cles about Types; therefore he appointed [...]wo, that in the slain Beast his death might be represented; in the Live Beast his immortality. The like mystery was represented also in the two birds for the cleansing of the Leper, Lev. 14.6, 7.

Thirdly, I prove it by Reasons taken from his office; which may be considered in the general. And so it is expressed by one Word Mediator, or in particular ac­cording to the several functions of it, ex­pressed by the terms of King, Priest and [Page 140] Prophet: or with respect to the persons that are to be considered and concerned in Christs Mediation.

1. His Office considered in the General, so he is called, Iesus the Mediator of the New Testament, Heb. 12.24. It was agree­able that [...], a Mediator should [...], a middle person of the same essence with both parties, and that his operative Mediation, should presuppose his substantial Mediation, that being God Man in the same person he should make an atonement between God and Man: Sin hath made such a breach and distance between us and God, that it raiseth our fears, and causeth backward­ness to draw nigh unto him, and so hin­dreth our love and confidence in him. How can we depend upon one so far above us, and out of the reach of our commerce, therefore a Mediator is necessary; one that will pity us, and is more near and dear to God then we are. One in whom God doth condescend to man, and by whom Man may be encouraged to ascend to God, now who is so fit for this as Jesus Christ, God manifested in our flesh: The two na­tures met together in his person, and so God is nearer to Man, then he was before [...] the pure Deity; for he is come down to [Page 141] us in our flesh, and hath assumed it into the unity of his person, and man is nearer to God, for our nature dwelleth with him, so closely united, that we may have more fa­miliar thoughts of God, and a confidence that he will look after us, and concern him­self in our affairs and shew us his grace and savour, for surely he will not hide himself from his own flesh, Isa. 58.7. This wonderfully reconcileth the heart of Man to God, and maketh our thoughts of him more comforta­ble and doth encourage us to free access to God.

2. Come we now to the particular offices, by which he performeth the work of a Mediator; and they all shew the necessity of both natures: these offices and functi­ons, are those of Prophet, Priest, and King.

1. Our Mediator hath a Prophetical office belonging to his Administration, that he may be made Wisdom to us, and there­fore he must be both God and Man: God that he may not onely teach us outwardly, as an ordinary Messenger or Minister, but inwardly putting his Law into our minds, and writing it upon our hearts, Heb. 8.10. and 2 Cor. 3.3. Ye are manifestly declared to be the Epistle of Christ ministred by us, writ­ten not with Ink, but with the spirit of the living God, not in Tables of stone, but in the [Page 142] fleshly Tables of the heart. Men may be the instruments, but Christ is the Author of this Grace, and therefore he must be God: To convince mens understandings of their duty, and to incline their hearts to perform it, requireth no less then a divine power. If such an infinite vertue be necessary to cure the blindness of the body; how much more to cure the natural blindness and darkness of the mind! And man he must also be; for the great Prophet of the Church was to be raised up among his brethren, like unto Moses, Deut. 18.15. Till such an one came into the World they were to hear Moses, but then they were to hearken to him: he that was to come, was to be a Lawgiver as Moses was, but of a far more absolute and perfect Law: a Lawgiver that must match and overmatch Moses every way. He was to be a man as Moses was in respect of our infirmities, such an one as Moses was whom the Lord had known face to face, but of a far more divine nature: and approved to the World, by Miracles, Signs, and Wonders as Moses was. Again 'twas prophesied of him, that as the great Prophet of the World he should be anoint­ed, that he might come and Preach the Gospel to the poor, Isa. 62.1. Which could not be if he had spoken from heaven [Page 143] in thunder, and not as a man conversed with men: Again he was to approve him­self as one who had grace poured into his lips, Psal. 45.2. That all might wonder at the gracious speeches that came from his mouth, as they did at Christs. In short that wisdom of the Father, which was wont to assume some visible shape for a time, when he would instruct the Patri­archs concerning his will, that he might hide his Majesty and put a vail upon his glory, was now to assume our nature into the unity of his Person, not a temporary and vanish­ing appearance. That God who at sundry times, and in divers manners speak in time past unto the Fathers by the Prophets, might in these last dayes spake to us by his son, Heb. 1.1, 2. Then God delivered his will by parcels, now by him he would settle the whole frame of the Gospel.

2. Jesus Christ as he is the Apostle of our profession; so also he is the High Priest, Heb. 3.1. and so must be both God and Man: Man, that he might be made sin for us: God, that we might be made the Righ­teousness of God in him, 2 Cor. 5.21. Man to undertake our Redemption; God to perform it: Man, that he might suffer, God that he might satisfie by suffering, and [Page 144] make our attonement full. We are pur­chased by the Blood of God. Man, that he might have a sacrifice to offer, God, that the offering might be of an infinite price and value, Heb. 9.14. Man, that he might have a Life to lay down for us; God, that the power of laying it down and taking it up again, might be in his own hands, Iohn 10.17, 18. I lay down my Life, that I may take it agai [...], no man taketh it from me, but I lay it down of my self, I have power to lay it down, and I have power to take it again. This was sit, that his suf­fering should be a pure voluntary act, re­quired indeed by God, but not enforced by Man: he had a liberty at his own pleasure, as to any thing men could do, and thereby commendeth his love to sinners. What shall I say? he was man that he might dye, he was God that by death he might destroy him that had the power of death. He was Man, that by his death he might ratifie the New Covenant; God, that he might con­vey to the heirs of Promise these precious Legacies of pardon and Life. Man that he might be a merciful High Priest touched with the feeling of our infirmities; God, that we coming boldly to the Throne of Grace, might find mercy and grace to help in every time of need, Heb. 9.15, 16.

[Page 145]3. His Kingly office, he that was to be King of kings, and Lord of lords, needed to be both God and Man: God that he might cast out the Prince of this World, and having rescued his Church from the power of darkness, might govern it by his Word and Spirit, and finally present it to himself, a glorious Church without spot or wrinkle, or any such thing. Man he needed to be for his own glory, that he might be the First-born among many brethren. And Head and Members might suit, and be all of a piece; and for our consolation that we might be heirs of God, and joynt heirs with Christ, Rom. 8.17. And for the greater terrour and ignominy of Satan, that the seed of the Woman might break the Serpents Head. In short, God that he might govern and in­fluence a people so scattered abroad upon the face of the Earth, and raise them up at the last day: Man, that our nature (the dignity of which was so envyed by Satan,) might be exalted at the right hand of Ma­jesty, and placed so near God far above the Angelical.

Thirdly, With respect to the persons who are to be considered, and concerned in Christs Mediation: God to whom we are Redeemed, Satan from whom we are [Page 146] Redeemed; and we our selves who are the Redeemed of the Lord. And you shall see with respect to God, with respect to Satan, with respect to our selves: our Mediator ought to be both God and Man.

1. God he need to be, with respect to God; that he may be appeased by a va­luable compensation given to his Justice: no meer man could satisfie the Justice of God, appease his wrath, procure his fa­vour, therefore our surety needed to be God to do this. And with respect to Satan, that he might be overcome; now none can bind the strong one, and take away his goods, but he that is stronger then he, Luk. 11.21. Now no mere man is a match for Satan, the Conqueror of the devil must be God, that by strong hand he may deliver us from his Tyranny. And with respect to Man, that he may be saved: Not onely because of the two former respects must he be God; but also there is a special reason in the cause, the two former respects evince it: For unless God be appeased, Man can­not be reconciled, and unless the Devil be overcome, Man cannot be delivered: If a God be needful for that, man cannot be saved unless our Redeemer be God: but there is a special reason, because of our own [Page 147] obstinacy and rebellion, which is onely overcome by the divine power. 'Tis ne­cessary Man should be converted and chan­ged, as well as God satisfyed, and Satan overcome. Now who can convert him­self, or chang [...] his own heart? That work would cease for ever unless God did under­take it by his all conquering Spirit. There­fore our Mediator must be God, to renew and cleanse our hearts, and by his divine power to give us a divine nature.

2. Man also he ought to be with respect to these Three parties: With respect to God, that the satisfaction might be tende­red in the nature which had sinned: That as by Man came death, by man also might come the Ressurection from the Dead, 1 Cor. 15.21, 22. That as in Adam all dye, so by Christ shall all be made alive. So with respect to the Devil; that he might be overcome in the nature that was foiled by his Temptations. And with respect to us, That he that sanctify­eth and they that are sanctifyed, might be of one, Heb. 2.11. The Priest that wrought the expiation, and the people for whom 'twas wrought were of one stock: the right of Redeeming belonged to the next Kinsman: Christ is our Goel who Redeemed us, not onely jure propreitatis, as his creatures: to [Page 148] God as God: but Iure propinquitatis, as his Kinsmen: So as Man, we are of Kin to Him, as he came in our nature, and as he sanctifi­eth: doubly a kin, not only by vertue of his incarnation but our Regeneration; as he was made of a Woman, and we born of God. These are the Reasons,


Let me press you to admire this Mystery of Godliness: The Man Christ Jesus in whom the fulness of the Godhead dwelt bodily. The life and strength of our Faith depends upon it, for as he is true Man, flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone, he will not be strange to us: and as he is God, he is able to help us.

Two things I will press you to.

  • 1. Consider what a fit object he is for your Faith to close with.
  • 2. Own him as your Lord and your God.

1. To raise your trust and confidence, consider what a fit object he is for your Faith, how he is qualified for all his offices, of Prophet, Priest and King:

[Page 149]1. As your Prophet: consider how ne­cessary it was that God dwelling in mans nature should set a foot the Gospel: Partly because when ever you come seriously to consider this matter; this thought will arise in you, that this blessed Gospel could not be without repealing the Law of Moses, given with such solemnity by God himself: and it was not fit it should be abrogated by any but him who was far above Moses, to wit, by the Son of God himself, not any fellow servant equal to Moses. The Apo­stle telleth us that Moses was Faithful in Gods House as a servant, but Christ as a Son over his own House, Heb. 13.5, 6. The servant must give place when the Son, and Lord himself cometh, but rather take it from what Moses foretold himself, Deut. 18.18, 19. I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren like unto thee, and I will put my words into his mouth, and he shall speak unto them all that I command him, and it shall come to pass, that he that will not hearken to my word which he shall speak in my name, I will require it of [...]im. Now these words cannot be verified in any other Pro­phet after Moses untill Christ, for that of these Prophets there arose none in Israel like unto Moses, Deut. 34.10. They had no authority to be Lawgivers as Moses had, but [Page 150] were all bound to the observation of his Law till Christ should come, whom Moses calleth a Prophet like unto himself, that is a Law-maker, exhorting all men to hear and obey him. None of the Prophets did take upon them that priviledge, they must let that alone till the Messiah should come, whose office it is to change the Law given upon Mount Sinai, and instead thereof to propagate or promulgate a new Law to begin at Sion, Isa. 2.3. The Law shall go forth of Sion, and the word of the Lord from Ierusalem. And in another place, the Isles shall wait for his Law, Isa. 42.4. Well now this is a mighty confirmation of our Religion, and bindeth both our Faith and Obedience, to consider Christs Authority, that a greater then Moses is here. Partly because it concerneth us to receive the Go­spel as an eternal Doctrine that shall never be changed; For 'tis called an everlasting Co­venant; and nothing conduceth to that so much, as to consider that it is promulgated by the eternal God himself: by him in whom the fulness of the Godhead dwelleth bo­dily. Partly because the Gospel, if we would profit by it, is to be received by all Believers, not only as an everlasting Co­venant; but as certain, perfect, and sa­ving. Now if the fulness of the Godhead [Page 193] dwelt in him, who gave this Covenant, we cannot deny either the certainty or the per­fection or the savingness of it; for if we receive it from him who is Truth it self, we cannot be deceived. 'Tis certain if he Taught us in person, surely all his works are perfect: (subordinate Ministers may min­gle their weaknesses with their doctrine,) if we have it from a Saviour, surely it is a Do­ctrine that bringeth Salvation.

2. Consider what a fit object here is for your Faith, as Christ is a Priest: so his great business is to reconcile us to God, in the body of his flesh through death, who once were strangers and enemies, Col. 1.21. consider how fit he was for this, God and Man were first united in his Person, before they were united in one Covenant. If you consider the fruits of his Redemption and Reconciliation. The evil from whence we were to be delivered, the good that was to be procured; Christ is every way a commodious Mediator for us, as God man: If you consider the evil from whence we are delivered, he was man: that the chastisement of our peace might be put upon his shoulders: God, that by his stripes we might be healed, Isa. 53.5. Or if you consider the good to be procured; he doth it as God-man: He was a man, that as by the disobedience of one many were made [Page 194] sinners, so by the obedience of one many might be made righteous: God, that as sin reigned unto death, so Grace might reign through righteousness unto Eternal Life by Jesus Christ our Lord, Rom. 5.19, 21. As he is God, his merit is full; as he is Man, we are partakers of the benefit of it.

3, Consider how fit an object he is for our Faith as King: For as the fulness of the Godhead dwelt in him bodily, he is the greatest and most glorious person that ever was in the World: Infinitely superior above all power that is named in this World or in the World to come. The Man who is our Shepherd is fellow to the Lord of Hosts. The thought of Immanuel, maketh the Prophet startle, and brake out into a Triumph when Senacherib break in with his forces, like a deluge in the Land of Iu­dah. They fill thy Land O Immanuel, Isa. 8.8. Then verse 9, 10. Associate your selves and ye shall be broken in pieces, gird your selves and ye shall be broken in pieces, take counsel together it shall come to nought, speak the word it shall not stand: For God is with us. Or because of Immanuel. Surely Christ is the foundation of the Churches happi­ness, and may afford us comfort in the most calamitous condition: we are in his hands, [Page 195] under his Pastoral care and protection, Ioh. 10.28. I give unto them eternal Life, and they shall never perish, neither shall any pluck them out of my hand. Neither Man nor De­vil can break off totally and finally their union with him. In short, he that assumed our nature to himself, will communicate himself to us. All union is in order to com­munion, here is a commodious and a bles­sed Saviour represented unto you.

Secondly, Own him as your Lord and your God. This was the Profession of Thomas's Faith, Iohn 2 [...].28. My Lord and my God, I shall insist on that Scripture. In the History there are these remarkables.

1. Thomas his absence from an Assembly of the Disciples, when Christ had mani­fested himself to them, verse 24. Being ab­sent he not only missed the good news which many brought, but also the comfor­table sight of Christ; and was thereby left in doubts and snares.

2. When these things were told him, he be­wrayes his incredulity, v. 25. when they told him he said unto them, except I see in his hands the print of his nails▪ and put my finger into the print of the nailes, and thrust my hand into his side, I will not believe. This unbelief was overruled by Gods Providence for the honour of Christ. His in [...]redulity was an [Page 196] occasion to manifest the certainty of Christs Resurrection: If credulous Men, or those hasty of belief had only seen Christ, their report had been liable to suspicion; Solo­mon maketh it one of his Proverbs, the sim­ple believeth every word. Here is one that had sturdy and pertinacious doubts, yet brought at last to yield. However this is an instance of the proneness of our hearts to unbelief; especially if we have not the objects of Faith under the view of the senses: and how apt we are to give Laws to Heaven, and require our terms of God.

3. Christs condescension in two things.

1. In appearing again verse 26. on the first day of the next week, to shew how ready he is to honour and bless his own day; and to give satisfaction to poor doubt­ing souls, by coming again to them: and it was well Thomas was there at this time.

2. In giving Thomas the satisfaction of sense, verse 27. reach hither thy finger, and behold my hands, and reach hither thy hand, and thrust it into my side. With what mild­ness doth our Lord treat him, though un­der such a distemper! unbelief is so hate­ful to Christ, that he is very careful to have it removed; and in condescension grants what was his fault to seek.

[Page 197]4. The next thing is Thomas his Faith, verse 28. And he answered and said my Lord, and my God. He presumeth not to touch Christ, but contents himself onely to see him, and having seen him makes a good confession, [...].

1. Observe, The two Titles given to Christ: God and Lord: He is God the Fountain of all our happiness, and Lord, as he hath a dominion over us, to guide and dispose of us at his own pleasure.

2. Observe, The appropriation or per­sonal application to himself. My God and my Lord.

Hence we may observe,

1. That God leaveth some to themselves for a while, that themselves and others may be more confirmed afterwards. Thomas his Faith was as it were dead and buried in his heart, and now upon the sight of Christ quickned and revived: we must not judge of men by a fit of Temptation, but stay till they come to themselves again. Who would have thought that out of an obsti­nate incredulity, so great a Faith should spring up suddainly.

2. We may observe Thomas, that is with much ado awaken'd, makes a fairer confessi­on [Page 198] then all the rest. They call him their Lord, but he his Lord and God.

3. We may observe again that true be­lieving with the heart, is joyned with con­fession of the mouth, Psal. 116.10. I be­lieved therefore have I spoken.

4. Hence you may take notice of the reality of the two natures in the unity of Christs person, for he is both Deus & Do­minus. But how cometh he to acknow­ledge Christs Godhead, he did not feel the Divinity of Christ in hands, or side, or feet. Videbat, tangebatque hominem, & confitebatur Deum, quem non videbat, ne (que) tangebat, saith Austin. Herein his Faith was beyond sense, he felt the manhood, and acknowledgeth the Deity.

5. Hence we may observe, that those that are rightly conversant about Christ and the mysteries of his Death and Resurrecti­on, should take Christ for their Lord and their God: Thomas saith my Lord and my God, and his confession should be the com­mon confession of all the Faithful. I shall quit the three first, and insist only on the two last. I therefore begin with the fourth observation.

[Page 199]4th. Hence you see the reality of the two Natures in the unity of Christs person: The name of God is joyned with the Title of Lord; therefore the name of God belongeth to him, no less then the title of Lord: Thomas when he saith my Lord, he seemeth not to have satisfyed himself till he had added this other name and title my God: now this importeth the reality of his Divine Nature, for these three reasons.

1. Those things which are proper to God, cannot, ought not, to be transferred to a meer Creature; but this title of my God is a Covenant title, and so often used in Scripture, and therefore Christ was God.

2. To whom truly and properly the Names and Titles of things do belong, to him that which is signified by those Names, and Titles doth belong also: For otherwise this would destroy all certainty of speech, you cannot speak or write, unless words signifie what in vulgar use they are apply­ed unto: there could be no reasoning a sig­no ad rem significatum, from the sign to the thing signified. If I should call a brute a Man, or a creature God, how can we un­derstand what is spoken or written: the argument is the more cogent, because a [Page 200] name is an implicite contracted definition, as a definition is a name explained and di­lated, As when I say a man is a reasonable creature, so a God is one that hath power over all blessed for ever.

3. The greater any person is, the more danger there is of giving him titles that do not belong to him; for that is to place him in an honour to which he hath greater pre­tensions then others: but no right, especially doth this hold good in Religion, it is true in Civils. (To give one next the King, the Title of King, would awaken the jealousie of Princes, and breed much inconvenience) but especially doth this hold good in Reli­gion, where God is so jealous of giving his glory to another, Isa. 42.80. Therefore the greater the dignity of Christ was above all other creatures, the more caution was necessary, that the name of God might not be ascribed to him, if he were only mere Man, and it did not properly agree to him: for the more dangerous the error the more cautiously should we abstain from it.

4. Consider the person by whom this title was given; by a Godly Man: No god­ly man would call an Idol, or a Magistrate, or a Teacher, or a King or an Angel, or any created thing above an Angel, His [Page 201] Lord, and his God. But this was done by Thomas, one bred up in the Religion taught by Moses and the Prophets; and the chief point of that Religion was, that God is but one; Deut. 6.4. Hear O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord. This was one of the sentences written on the fringes of their garments, and 'tis quoted by Christ, whose disciple Thomas also was, Mark 12.29. And explained by a learned Scribe which came to him, Mark 12.32. Well master, thou hast said the truth, for there is but one God, and there is none other but him. Now Tho­mas knowing this, and the first Command­ment, Thou shalt have no other Gods before me. If he were not perswaded of it, would he say to Christ, My Lord, and my God?

5. The Person to whom he spake it; He said to him: Not to the Father, but to Je­sus of Nazareth; My Lord, and my God. Surely as the Saints would not derogate from God, so Christ would not arrogate what was proper to his Father. Therefore as his disciples would have been tender of giving it to him, so he would have refused this honour being so holy, if it had not been his due. But Christ reproved not, but rather approved this Confession of Faith; therefore it was right and sound. [Page 202] Christ had said to him, be not faithless but believing, and then Thomas saith, My Lord and my God. And Iesus saith to him, Tho­mas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast be­lieved, blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed. There is no rebuke for ascribing too much to him.

6. The conjunction of the Divine and Humane Nature is so necessary to all Christs functions and offices, that less would not have been sufficient than to say, My Lord, my God. The Functions and Offices of Christ are three, to be a Prophet, Priest and King.

1. To be a Prophet, Matth. 23.10. One is your master even Christ. Now to be our master and teacher, 'tis necessary that he should have the humane nature and di­vine conjoyned: The humane nature, that he might teach men by word of mouth, fa­miliarly and sweetly conversing with men; and also by his Example, for he perfectly teacheth that teacheth both wayes, by word, and deed. And 'tis a mighty con­descension, that God would come down, and submit to the same Laws we are to live by: His divine nature was also necessary, that he might be the best of teachers; for who is such a teacher as God, and that he might teach us in the best way, and that is, [Page 203] when God taking the nature of man, doth vouchsafe to men his familiar conv [...]rse, eat­ing and drinking and walking with them, offering him [...]f to be seen and heard by them. As he of ol [...] taught Abraham, Gen. 18. accepting his entertainment, nothing more profitable, or honourable to men can be thought of. In Christs prophetical Of­fice, four things are to be considered:

  • 1. What he Taught.
  • 2. How he Taught.
  • 3. By what Arguments he confirmed his Doctrine.
  • 4. How he received it from the Father.

1. What he Taught: Christ preached, but chiefly himself: He revealed and shewed forth God, but by revealing and shewing forth himself, Ioh. 14.9. He called men, but to himself; he commanded men to be­lieve, but in himself; Ioh. 14.1. He pro­mised eternal Life, which he would give, but to men believing in himself: He offered Salvation to miserable sinners, but to be had by himself: He wrought a fear of Judge­ment to come, but to be exercised by him­self: He offered remission of sins, but to those that believed in himself: He promised the Resurrection of the dead, which he by [Page 204] his own Power and Authority would bring to pass. Now who could do all this but God? A meer man, if faithful and holy, would have turned off men from himself to God: 2 Cor. 4.5. For we preach not our selves, but Christ Iesus the Lord, and our selves your servants for Iesus sake. They de­signed no honour to themselves, but onely to Christ; they were loth to transfer any part of this glory to themselves: so would Christ if he had not been God. Therefore what should his disciples say, but my Lord, my God.

2. How he Taught. There is a twofold way of teaching; one Humane, by the mouth, and sound of words striking the Ear; the other Divine, opening and affecting the Heart. Christ used both wayes: As the humane nature was necessary to the one, so the divine to the other. As the Organs of speaking cannot be without the humane nature, so the other way of teaching can­not be without a Divine Power. When the Disciples came to Christ, Lord increase our Faith, Luk. 17.5. he did not answer as Iacob did to Rachel, (when she said, Give me children or I dye) Am I in the place of God? Christ after his Resurrection, did not onely open the Scriptures as was said before, [Page 205] but Luk. 24.45. He opened their under­standings, that they might understand the scriptures. And he opened the heart of Lydia, Acts 16.14. And poured the Ho­ly Spirit on the Apostles, on the day of Pentecost; Acts 2. and by the same effi­cacy teacheth the Church, wherever it is scattered.

3. If you consider, By what Arguments he confirm'd his Doctrine, By many, and the greatest Miracles, not done by the po­wer of another, but his own; and her re­quired men to believe it, Matth. 9.28. Believe ye that I am able to do this? Whence had he the power to know the Thoughts of Men, to cure all sorts of diseases in a moment, to open the Eyes of the blind, to raise the dead, to dispossess Devils; but from that Divine Nature which was in him? Was it in his Body and Flesh, then it was finite, and in some sort Material: Was it in his Soul, Understanding, Will, or Phantasie, or Sensitive Appetite? how could it work on other mens bodies. There­fore it was from his Divine Nature; My Lord, my God.

4. How he received this Doctrine from the Father? Did God ever speak to him, or [Page 206] appear to him? Is there any time, or man­ner, or speech noted by the Evangelists when God made this Revelation? None at all. If he were a mere Creature, or nothing but a Man, surely, that should have been done. He revealed the most intimate Counsels and D [...]crees of God, as perfectly knowing them; but when, or how they were revealed to him by his Father, is not said, which if he had been mere Man, would have conduced to the Authority of his Message and Revelation. But all this needed not, he being a Divine Person of the same essence with his Father: There­fore, My Lord, my God.

2. His Priestly Office: The Humane Nature was necessary for That, for the rea­sons alledged by the Apo [...]le, H [...]b. 2.14.17. And also the Divine Nature, that there might be a Priest a [...] well as a Sacrifice: There had been no Sacrifice i [...] he had not been Man: and no P [...]t, if he had not been God to offer up hims [...]lf through the Eternal Spirit, Heb. 9.14. The sacrifice must suffer, the Pri [...]t Act; and besides, he could not [...]nter in [...]o the H [...]venly San­ctuary to present himself b [...]for [...] God for us, Heb. 9.24. Th [...]n [...]he H [...]venly Sanctuary and Tabernacle, need [...] to be made, be­fore [Page 207] he entred: For as the Earthly Priest made the Earthly Tabernacle before he mi­nistred in it, so the True Priest was to make the Heavenly Tabernacle, as the Author to the Hebrews saith in many places. But to leave that; the Priest was to expiate sins, by the offering of a sacrifice instead of the sinner: So Christ was to satisfie the Justice of God for sinners by his Mediatory sacri­fice: Now this he could not do unless he had been God as well as Man. The Digni­ty of his Person, did put a value upon his sufferings; without this, how shall we pa­cifie Conscience, representing to us the evil of sin, and the dreadfulness of Gods Wrath, And the exact Justice of the Judge of all the World? Rom. 3.25, 26. especially when these apprehensions are awakened in us by the curse of the Law, and the stinging sense of Gods Threatnings, which are so abso­lute, universal, and every way true and evident; unless we know a sufficient satis­faction hath been made for us. If you think the promises of the Gospel are enough; alass, when the threatnings of the Law are so just, and built upon such evident Rea­son, the soul is exposed to doubtfulness: And if the threatnings of the Law seem alto­gether in vain, the promises of the Gospel will seem less [...]irm and valid. The Truth [Page 208] and Honour of Gods Government, must one way or other be kept up, and that will not be unless there be a fair passage from Covenant to Covenant, and that the former be not repealed, or relaxed, but upon valuable consideration, as it is, when our Mediatour and surety beareth our sorrows and griefs, and satisfieth for us. But now if he were mere Man, it would not have that esteem and value, as to be sufficient for so many men, and so many sins as are committed against an holy God. There­fore he needeth to be God also.

3. His Kingly Office: How can that be exercised without an Infinite Power? Be­cause by our King and Judge, all our Ene­mies are to be overcome; the World, Sin, Death and the Devil: And what is neces­sary to do this, every man may soon under­stand. And as an Infinite Power is neces­sary, so an Infinite Knowledge; that all things in Heaven and Earth may be naked and open to him, and that he search the heart, and try the Reins; and then, that he may subject all things to himself, raise all the dead to life, govern and protect the faithful in all the parts of the world; that he may be present with them, in every Age and Place, to help and relieve them. In [Page 209] short, to do all things both in Heaven and in Earth, that fall within the compass of his office. Now what is a divine, and infinite Power if this be not? What can the Fa­ther do which the Son cannot do also? yea what doth the Father do which the Son doth not likewise; Ioh. 5.19. Is there any work which the one doth, but the o­ther cannot do? Besides there needeth in­finite Authority and Majesty, therefore the King of the Church must be infinite. But how is he infinite, if he hath onely a finite Nature, such as a mere Creature hath? Or how could his finite Nature, without change and conversion into another Nature, be made infinite? For without doubt, that nature is infinite, which hath an infinite power of Understanding, Willing and Act­ing. Well then, Christ cannot be truly owned, unless he be owned as Lord and God.

5. Those that are rightly conversant a­bout Christ, and the Misteries of his Death and Resurrection, should take Christ for their Lord and their God. Every one of them should say my God, on whom I de­pend; my Lord, to whose use I resign my self. I shall

[Page 210]1. Explain in what sense these words may and ought to be used.

2. Give you the Reasons, why it be­comes Christians to be able to say My Lord, my God.

1. In what sense these words may, and ought to be used, My Lord, and my God. There are two things considerable in those words:

  • (1.) An Appropriation, or a claim and challenge of Interest in him.
  • (2.) A Resignation or Dedication of our selves to his Use and Service.

Both are implyed in these Titles, My Lord, my God. Christ was his God, or Benefactor; and also his Lord and Master. However that be, in the mutual stipulation of the Covenant 'tis evident, Cant. 2.16 I am my beloved, and my beloved is mine. There is the appropriation of Faith, and the resignation of Obedience. Ezek. 36.28. Ye shall be my people, and I will be your God. Zech. 13.9. I will say 'tis my people, and they shall say the Lord is my God.

1. The one is the fruit and effect of the other. God saith, I am thy God; and the Soul answereth, I am thy servant: As when Christ said Mary, she presently said Rab­boni. God awakeneth us by the offer of himself, and all his Grace to do us good, [Page 211] and then we devote our selves to his Ser­vice, and profess subjection to him. If he will be our God, we may well allow him a dominion and Lordship over us, to rule us at his pleasure. We choose him, because he chooseth us, for all Gods works leave their impression upon our hearts: He com­eth with Terms of Peace, and we with Profession of Duty. God loveth first, and most, and purest; and therefore his love is the cause of all.

2. The one is the Evidence of the other: If God be yours, you are his. He is yours by gift of himself to you: and you are his, by gift of your selves to him. The Cove­nant bindeth mutually. Many will be rea­dy to apply, and call God their God, that do not dedicate and devote themselves to God. If you be not the Lords, the Lord is not yours. He refuseth their claim, that say, Hosea 8.2. Israel shall cry unto me, my God we know thee. Israel hath cast off the thing that is good. In their distress, they pleaded their Interest in the Covenant, but God would not allow the claim, because they denied obedience.

3. The one is more sensible and known to us than the other. A believer cannot always say God [...] mine, but he will always say, I [Page 212] am his; Psal. 119.94. I am thine save me. I am thine, and will be thine, onely thine, wholly thine, and always thine. Appro­priation hath more of a Priviledge in it, Resignation is onely a Duty. We have leave and allowance to say God is my God, but we cannot alwayes say it without doubt and hesitancy, because our Interest is not alwayes alike evident and clear. When you cannot say my God, yet be sure to say my Lord. We know God to be ours, by giving up ou [...] selves to be his. His choice and election of us is a secret, till it be evi­denced by our choice of him for our God and Portion: our Act is more sensible to the Conscience. Be more full, and serious in the resignation of your selves to him, and in time that will shew you your Interest in God.

4. Gods Propriety in us, by Contract and Resignation, speaketh Comfort, as well as our Propriety and Interest in God. You are his own, and therefoe he will provide for you and care for you; 1 Tim. 5.8. If any pro­vide not for his own, he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an Infidel. Interest doth strangely endear things to us: The world will love its own, Iob. 5.19. and will not God love his own, and Christ love his [Page 213] own, Iob. 13.1. you may trust him, and depend upon him, and serve him chearful­ly for you are his own: So that if we had no Interest in God established by the Cove­nant, if God had not said to us I am yours, yet our becoming his, would make it com­fortable; For every one taketh himself to be bound to love his own, provide for his own, and to defend his own, and do good to his own: Indeed God is ours, as well as we are his; but our being his, draweth along with it much comfort and blessing. But to speak of these apart.

1. The Appropriation, or claim of In­terest is a sweet thing. If God be your God, why should you be troubled? 'Psal. 16.5, 6. The Lord is the portion of my inhe­ritance, and of my cup. Thou maintainest my lot. The lines are faln unto me in pleasant places, yea I have a goodly heritage. You have a right to God himself, and may lay claim to all that he hath for your comfort and use. His Attributes yours, his Provi­dences yours, his Promises yours, what may not you promise your selves from him? Support under all Troubles, relief in all necessities. You may take hold of his Co­venant, Isa. 56.4. and lay claim to all the priviledges of it. 'Tis all yours.

[Page 214]2. This dedication, this resignation of our selves to Gods use, to be at his dispo­sing, without reservation, or power of re­vocation is often spoken of in Scripture; Isa. 44.5. One shall say I am the Lords, ano­ther shall call himself by the name of Iacob, and another shall subscribe with his hand to the Lord, and surname himself by the name of Israel. The meaning is, to give up their names to God, to be entred into his Muster Roll, and to be listed in his service, Rom. 6.13. Yield up your selves to God, as those that are alive from the dead. 'Tis the imme­diate fruit of Grace and new life infused in us: A natural man liveth to himself, to please himself, and give satisfaction to his own Lusts. Grace is a new Being and Life, that inclines us to Live and Act for God▪ As soon as this life is begotten in us, by the power of his Spirit, our hearts are inclined towards God, and you devote your selves to serve and please him. As your work and business was before to serve the Devil, the World and the Flesh; so now to please, serve and glorifie God.

Secondly, The Reasons why it becom­eth Christians to be able to say, My Lord, my God.

[Page 215]1. Because our interest in him is the ground of our comfort and confidence. 'Tis not comfortable to us that there is a God, and that there is a Lord, that may be ter­rible to us: The Devils believe, and the damned spirits feel there is a God, and there is a Lord; but their thought of God is a part of their Misery and Torment, Iames 2.19. The more they think of God, the more their Horrour is increased; to own a God, and not to see him as ours, the remembrane of it will be troublesome to us, 2 Sam. 30.6. David comforted himself in the Lord his God. There was the com­fort, that he had a God to go to when all was lost, and that God was his God. So Heb. 3.18. I will rejoyce in the Lord, I will joy in the God of my Salvation. If God be our God, we have more in him, then trou­ble can take from us. So Luk. 1.47. My Spirit hath rejoyced in God my Saviour. When you make particular application to your selves, it breeds strong comfort.

2. Because nothing strikes upon the heart with such an efficacy; as what nearly con­cerns us, affects us most. The love of Christ to sinners in general, doth not affect us so much as when 'tis shed abroad in our own Hearts by the Spirit; Gal. 2.20. He loved me, and gave himself for me; that draws out [Page 216] our hearts to God again, and is quick­ning motive to stir us up to the life of Love, and Faith. So Eph. 1.13. In whom ye tru­sted after ye heard the word of truth, the Go­spel of your salvation. 'Tis not sufficient to know that the gospel is a Doctrine of Sal­vation to others onely; but to find it a doctrine of Salvation to themselves in par­ticular. That they may apply the promises to their own heart. A Christian is affected most with things according as he is concern­ed in them himself. It bindeth our obedi­ence the more firmly, when we know that we are particularly ingaged to God, and have chosen him for our God, and our Lord.

3. Bacause without a real, personal en­tring into Covenant, the Covenant doth us no good unless every one of us do choose God, for our God and Lord, and particu­lary own him. Every man must give his hand to the Lord, and personally ingage for himself. 'Tis not enough that Christ ingage for us in being our surety, but we must take a bond upon our selves: Some­thing Christ did for us and in our name, he interposed as the surety of a better Testa­ment, Heb. 7.22. Something must be done personally by us before we can have benefit by it. You must give up your selves [Page 217] to the Lord. It is not enough that the Church ingage for us, but every man must engage his own heart to draw nigh to God, Ier. 30.21. Who is he that ingageth his heart to d [...] [...]igh to me. 'Tis not enough that our Parents did engag [...] for us; Deut. 29.10.11, 12. They d [...]d in the name of their little ones avouch God [...]o be their God; as we dovote, dedicate and ingage our Children to God in Baptisme: But no man can savingly transact this work for a­nother. We ratifie the Covenant in our own persons, 2 Cor. 9.13. by a professed subjection to the gospel of Christ. This is a work cannot be done by a Proxy, or Assignes; unless we personally enter into Covenant with God for our selves, our de­dication by our Parents will not profit us, we shall be as Children of the Aethiopians unto God, Amos 9.7. though Children of the Covenant, all this will not serve; these are visible external priviledges. But there is something required of our Persons; every one must say for himself, My Lord, and my God. And this must not onely be done in words, and by some visible external Rites, that may signifie so much: As for instance coming to the Lords Supper; that is the New Testament in Christs Blood; Luk. 22.2 [...]. 'Tis interpretativè, a sealing the New [Page 218] Covenant, between Christ and us: God giveth, and you take the Elements as a pledge and Token that God and you are a­greed. That he will give you himself, his Christ and all his Benefits; and you will walk before him in newness of life: Now to rest in the Ceremony, and neglect the Substance, is but a mockery of God: As many rend the Bond, yet prize the Seal; care much for the Sacram [...]n [...], that never care for the Duty it bindeth them unto. If your hearts be hearty and well with God, you come now personally [...]o enter into Co­venant with him: But this business must not be done onely exter [...]ally, but inter­nally also: 'Tis a business done between God and our Souls, though no outward witnesses be conscious to it. God cometh speaking to us by his Spirit in this Trans­action; Psal. 35.3. Say unto my soul, I am thy salvation. And we speak to God, Lam. 3.24. The Lord is my Portion saith my soul. There is verbum mentis, as well as verbum oris. This Covenant is carried on in soul Language; Psal. 16.21. O my soul Thou hast said unto the Lord, thou art my Lord. So Psal. 27.8. When thou saidst seek ye my face, my heart said, thy face Lord will I seek. The Lord offereth, or representeth himself as our Lord, and we prosess our [Page 219] selves to be the Lords. No eye seeth, or ear heareth, what passeth between God, and the Soul. Now without this Personal inward Covenanting, all the priviledge of the Covenant will do us no good: And this Personal inward covenanting amounts to full as much as My Lord, my God. There­fore it concerneth every one of us see whether we have thus particularly owned Christ, if there hath been any Treaty be­tween God, and our Souls; and whether it came to any conclusion, and particular Soul engagement. That you could thus own Christ. Not only as God, and Lord, but as your God, and your Lord.


Col. 1.20.

And having made peace by the blood of his Cross, to reconcile all things to himself, by him I say, whether they be things in earth, or things in heaven.

IN these words observe,

  • First, What Christ was to do.
  • Secondly, The manner how he did it. Or,

First, The End for which he was appointed. To be our Mediator and Redeemer, and accordingly promised and sent into the world to reconcile all things to God, Whe­ther they be things in heaven, or things in earth.

[Page 221]Secondly, The means by which he accom­plished it. Having made peace by the blood of his Cross; that is, by his bloody sacrifice on the Cross, thereby answering the sacri­fices of Attonement under the Law. In the first branch take notice of

  • 1. The Benefit, Reconciliation with God.
  • 2. The person procuring it, by him; and it is repeated again, I say by him.
  • 3. The persons to whom this Benefit is intended, expressed
    • (1.) Collectively, [...], all things.
    • (2.) Distributively: Whether they be things in earth or things in heaven.

As they are Collectively Expressed, it teaches us that grace is revealed and offer­ed in the most comprehensive expressions that none may be excluded or have just cause to exclude themselves. As it is distri­butively expressed, the latter clause is of a dubious Interpretation; some, by things on earth, understand Men; but by things in heaven, the Angels: Surely not the fallen Angels, for they are not in Heaven, nei­ther was Christ sent to reconcile them, nor relieve them in their Misery, and reduce them to God, Heb. 2.16. [...], what then shall we understand by [Page 222] things in heaven? Some think the holy Angels; others the glorified Saints. 1. Those that assert the first, argue thus; that the An­gels are properly inhabitants of Heaven, and so fitly called things in Heaven; and they are Enemies to Men whilst they are ungod­ly, Idolatrous and Rebels to God (as good Subjects hold with their Prince, and have common Friends and Enemies with him) but are reconciled to them as soon as they partake of the Benefits of Christs Death; as we are told of joy in heaven among the angels of God, at the conversion of one sinner, Luk. [...]5.10. Now if there be so much joy over one Sinner repenting, how much more when many sinners are snatched out of the Jawes of Hell. They make the sense to be thus; before, for the sins of men they we [...] ali [...]nated from them, but then recon­ciled: but this Scripture speaks not of the Reconciliation of Angels and Men, but the Reconciliation of all things to God; for so it is expresly in the Text to reconcile all things to himself. Now the good Angels cannot be said to be reconciled to God, for there was never a breach between them; s [...] nunquam cum matre in gratiam rediisse. 2. Therefore I interpret it of the glorified Saints: See the like expression, Eph. 1.10 To gather together in one all things to Christ [Page 223] which are in heaven, and in earth: And more clearly Eph. 3.15. Of whom the whole family in heaven and earth is named. Meaning thereby, the Faithful, who are already in Heaven, and those who are now remaining upon Earth. This is a comfortable note, and tea [...]h [...]s [...]s,

1. That the Apostle Paul knew no Pur­gatory, or third place for Souls after Death.

2. That the Saints departed are now in Heaven as to their Souls, and gathered to the Rest of the Spirits of just men made per­fect.

3. The souls now in Heaven once need­ed the Merit of Christ, even as we do. None come thither but they were first reconciled to God. By him their peace was made and they obtained Remission of sins by the blood of his Cross as ye do. In short all that go to Heaven go thither by the Medi­ation, Sacrifice and Meritorious Righte­ousness of the same Redeemer.

Doct. One great benefit we have by Christ, is Peace and Reconciliation with God. Here I shall shew,

  • 1. What this Reconciliation is.
  • 2. How it was obtained.
  • [Page 224]3. What Assurance we have that it is ob­tained.
  • 4. How and upon what terms it is applied to us.

1. What this Reconciliation is?

I Answer, It is not an original Peace, but a returning to Amity after some foregoing breach: Now the breach by sin consisted in two things; an aversion of the Creature from God, and an aversion of God from the Creature; so before Peace and Recon­ciliation can be made, two things must be removed; Gods Wrath, and our sinful Nature; God must be pacified and man Converted. Gods Wrath is appeased by the blood of Christ, and our Natures are changed and healed by the Spirit of Grace. First Gods Wrath is appeased, and then the Spirit is bestowed upon us; for while God is angry and offended, no saving benefit can be expected from him. This Text speaks not how he took away our enmity, but how he appeased God for us, not so much of the Application as the impetration of this benefit. The Application is spoken of verse the 21. how it is applied to us, but here the Apostle more directly speaks of the impetration, how it was procured and ob­tained for us; namely by Christs satisfying [Page 225] Gods Justice for that wrong, which caused the breach or the dying of the Son of God for a sinful World. Now this hath an in­fluence on Gods pardon, and our Conver­sion, for by vertue of this Reconciliation we are justified and pardoned. Therefore we are said to be justified by his blood, Rom. 8.9. that is the price is paid by Christ and accepted by God, there needeth nothing more to be done on the Mediators part, by virtue of the same peace made we are also sanctifyed, and converted unto God, 2 Cor. 5.18. The gift of the sanctifying spirit is given us as the fruit of Christs death.

2. How it was obtained, by the blood of his cross he made peace. This implyeth death, and such a death as in appearance was accursed; for the death of the cross is the vilest and most cruel death, Gal. 3.13. Christ hath Redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us, for it is written cursed is every one that hangeth on a Tree. Now we must see the reasons of this course or way of Reconciling the world, that we may not mistake Gods design, nor be possessed with any imaginations which are derogatory to Gods honour; as sup­pose if we should hence conceit that God is [Page 226] all wrath and justice, unwilling of himself to be Reconciled to man, or that he de­lighteth in blood, and is hardly drawn to give out grace. Oh no these are false mis­prisions, and misrepresentations of God. Therefore let us a little inquire into the reasons why God took this way to Recon­cile all things to himself, and ordained Christ to bear the chastisement of our peace. I answer, That the Justice of God might be eminently demonstrated, the Lawgiver vin­dicated, and the breach that was made in the frame of Government repaired, and God manifested to be a hater of sin, and yet the sinner saved from destruction; and that the love of God might be eminently and conspicuously discerned, and our peace the better secured. As let us a little see these things more particularly I begin.

1. With the holyness of Gods nature, who is of purer eyes then to behold iniqui­ty, Hab. 1.13. that is so as to approve of it, or altogether connive at it, so as to let it go without punishment or mark of his dis­pleasure: therefore some way must be found out to signifie his purest holiness and his hatred and detestation of sin, and that it should not be pardoned without some [Page 227] testimony of his displeasure against it, we are told God hateth the workers of iniqui­ty, Psal. 5.5. and the Righteous Lord loveth Righteousness, Psalm 11.7. and therefore when God was to grant his uni­versal pardon he would not do it without this propitiatory atonement.

2. The honour of his governing Justice was to be secured, and freed from any ble­mish, that the awe of God might be kept up in the World. In the mystery of our Redemption we must not look upon God onely as pars laesa, the wronged party; but as Rector Mundi, God was to carry himself as the Governour of the World. Now there is a difference between a private per­son and a governour: private persons may pass by offences as they please, but a go­vernour must do right, and what conduces to the publick good. There is a twofold notion that we have of publick right, Iu­stum est quod fieri debet, and justum est quod fieri potest. That which ought to be done or we are unjust, as for instance to punish the righteous equally with the wicked, that Abraham pleadeth, Gen. 18.25. That be far from thee to do after this manner to slay the Righteous with the wicked, and that the [Page 228] Righteous should be as the wicked, that be far from thee, shall not the Iudge of all the earth do right. Not that Abraham mindeth God of his Office but he was confidently assured of the nature of God, that he could not do otherwise. But now there is justum quod fieri po [...]est, which if it be done or if it be not done, the party is not unjust, the first part of Justice is paying of debts, the second ex­acting or requiring of debts. Now the Judge of the World doth all things wisely and righteously, the question is therefore whether God passing by the offences of the World without any satisfaction required doth deal justly? As a free Lord he may make what Laws he pleases, but as a just Judge with respect to the ends of govern­ment, he doth that which is for publick good. The right of passing by a wrong, and the right of releasing a punishment are different things, because punishment is a common interest, and is referred to a common good to preserve order and go­vernment, and for example to the future. The Government of the world required it that God should stand on the satisfaction of Christ, and the submission of the sinner: that he may be owned and reverenced, as the just and holy Governour of the World [Page 229] a valuable compensation is insisted on for this end, Rom. 2.25, 26. Whom God hath set forth to be a propitiation through Fa [...]th in his blood, to declare his Righteousness for the Remi [...]ion of sins that are past through the for­bearance of God. To declare I say at this time his righteousness, that he might be just and the justifier of him which believeth in Iesus.

3. To keep up the Authority of his Law. God had made a former Covenant which was not to be quitted and wholly made void but upon valuable consideration; therefore if it broken and no more ado made about it, all respect and obedience to God would fall to the ground. The Law may be considered either as to the precept or sanction: the Authority of the precept is kept up by Christs submission to the Law, and living by the same rules, we are bound to live by, and performing all manner of obedience to God, for it behoved him to fulfill all Righteousness, Matth. 3.15. being set up as a pattern of holiness in our nature, to which we are to be conformed. But that which is most considerable in this case is the sanction or penalty; if this should be relaxed, and no satisfaction required, [Page 230] it might leave upon God the blemish of le­vity, mutability and inconstancy: the Law was not given in jest but in the greatest ear­nest that ever Law was given; and so so­lemn a Transaction was not constituted to no purpose, therefore God will not part with the Law upon light terms, Gal. 4.4, 5. When the fulness of time was come God sent forth his son made of a woman, made un­der the Law, to Redeem them that were under the Law. That men may k [...]ow that it is a dangerous thing to transgress his Law, and that they may fear and do no more pre­sumptuously: p [...]rtly that it might not foster in us hopes of impunity which are very na­tural to us, Gen. 3.5. The devil s [...]ks to weaken the truth of Gods threatning [...], Deut. 29.19, 20. We are apt to look upon the threatnings of the Law as a vain scare-crow. Therefore for the terror and warning of sinners for the future, God would not re­lease us from the punishment, till our sure­ty undertook our Reconciliation with God by bearing the chastisement of our peace.

4. Christ death was necessary to make sin odious, and obedience more acceptable to us.

[Page 231]1. Sin more odi [...]us or hateful, no other remedy would servé the turn to procure the pardon and destruction of it, then the bloody death of th [...] cross, Rom. 8.3. Sure­ly it is no small thing for which the Son of God must dye, when you read or hear of Christs sufferings, you should never think an extenuating and favourable thought of it more.

2. To commend obedience: for Christs suffering death at the command of his Fa­ther was the noblest piece of service, and highest act of obedience that ever could or can be performed unto God: It is beyond any thing that can be done by Men or An­gels. There was in it so much love to man, so much self-denyal, humility and patience, so much resignation of himself to God who had appointed him to be our Redeemer that it cannot be parallel'd. The great and most remarkable thing in Christs death was obedience, Rom. 5.18. Phil. 2.7, 8. God delighted not in more blood, but blood offered in obedience as the best way to im­press upon man a sense of his duty, and to teach him to serve and please God at the dearest rate.

[Page 232]5. This death commendeth the love of God to us, for it is the great demonstration of it. Many draw a quite contrary conclusi­on as if he were with much a do brought to have mercy on us, but they forget that he is first and chief in the design, 2 Cor. 5.19 God was in Christ Reconciling the World unto himself, Christ came from heaven to declare to us the greatness of Gods love. God thought nothing too dear for us, not the Son of his love, nor his death, ignominy and shame, Rom. 5.8. God commendeth his love in that while we were yet sinners Christ dyed for us. When we had aliena­ted our hearts from God, refused his service, and could expect nothing but the rigour of his Law and vindictive Justice, then he spared not his own Son to bring about this Reconciliation for us.

6. As God is pacifyed, so it gives us hopes: our business lyeth not with a God offend­ed, but with a God Reconciled: if we had not to do with a pacifyed God, who could lif [...] up his face to h [...], or think a comfor­table thought of him, but this gives us hope, Rom. 5.10. For i [...] when we were Enemies, we were reconciled to God by the death of his son, much more being reconciled we shall be [Page 233] saved by his Life. We were enemies by sin in us which God hateth, and declareth his wrath against it in the Law. Then by the satisfaction wrought by Christ, we were restored to his favour, so far that free and easie conditions were procured in the Go­spel, and his spirit is offered to prepare and fit us for a Life of Glory. We have heard what Christ hath done.

Thirdly, What assurance have we that this peace is obtained. Consciences are not easily settled, therefore some visible evi­dences are necessary that God is pacifyed, I shall name three or four.

1. Christ Resurrection and Ascension into glory, this shews that God was propi­tiated and hath accepted the ransom that was given for Souls. We read Rom. 4.25. that he dyed for our offe [...]ces and rose again for our Justification, his dying noteth his satisfaction, his rising again the acceptance of it. God by raising him up from the dead shewed that he had received the death of his Son, as a sufficient ransom for our sins; for he dyed in the quality of a surety, and in that quality was raised up again: By his death he made the payment, by his Resurrection the satifaction of it was [Page 234] witnessed to the World, for then our surety was let out of prison, Isa. 53.8. He shall be taken from prison and from judgment, in his death he was in effect a prisoner, under the arrest of divine vengeance, but when he rose again he was discharged, therefore there is great weight layed upon it as to our acquittance, Rom. 8.34. yea rather that is risen again, who is even at the right hand of God. There is some special thing in his Resurrection comparatively above his death which hath influence on our Justification; that is, it was a visible evi­dence given to the World, that enough was done for the expiation of sins, and to assure us of our deliverance if we be capable, and his ascension into glory doth further wit­ness it, he being exalted to the greatest dig­nity is able to defend and protect his people, and hath the advantage of interceding with his father for the supply of all our wants.

2. The grant of the New Covenant which is therefore called the Covenant of his peace, Isa. 54.10. The Covenant of my peace shall not be removed, Ezek. 37.26. I will make a Covenant of peace with them, it is so called not only because thereby this peace and Re­conciliation is offered to us, but the terms are stated and the conditions required are [Page 235] far more equitable, gracious, and commo­dious for us then the terms of the Law Co­venant: Man as a sinful creature is obnoxi­ous [...] Gods wrath for the violation of the Law of nature, and so might perish without remedy, and no impeachment to Gods goodness can happen thereby, but when God will give bounds to his soveraignty over him▪ and c [...]ter into terms of Cove­nant wit [...] him, and give him a bottom to stand upon, whereon to expect good things from him, upon the account of his faithfulness and righteousness; this is a con­descension, and so far condescended in the first Covenant, that after that man hath cast away the mercies of his creation, and his capacity to fulfill that covenant, this was mere mercy and grace; that God would enter into a second Covenant, it is not from any mutableness in God, but from the me­rit and satisfaction of a Redeemer. Surely there must be some great and important cause to change, alter and abrogate, a co­venant so solemnly made and established, to lay aside one covenant and to enter into an other, especially since the former was so Holy, Righteous and Equal, fit for God to give, and us in the state we then were in to receive. Now what was the important reason; Christ came to salve Gods honour [Page 236] in the first covenant, and to secure the ends of his Government, though a second co­venant should be set up, the blood of his cross hath made this Covenant everlasting, Heb. 13.20. and upon gracious terms doth convey great and precious priviledges to us.

3dly. The pouring out of the spirit, which certainly was the fruit and effect of Christs death, and also an evidence of the worth and value of it: The Apostle telleth us, That Christ was made a curse for us, that the blessing of Abraham might come upon the Gentiles by faith in Iesus Christ. And what blessing was that? the gift of the Spirit, Gal. 5.13, 14. And in another place when he interpreteth the Types of the Law. He telleth us, that the Fathers did all eat of the same spiritual meat that we do, and did all drink of the same spiritual drink, for they drank of the Rock that followed them, and that Rock was Christ. If the Rock was Christ, the water that g [...]shed out of the Rock was the spirit, often compared to wa­ters in Scripture, Iohn 4.14. And Iohn 7.38, 39. And the Rock yielded not this water till it was smitten with the Rod of Moses: a figure of the curses of the Law [Page 237] Christ was stricken and smitten of God, and so procured the spirit for us, Iohn 7.39. The Holy Ghost was not yet given, for Iesus was not yet glorifyed. That is had not finished his passion, and the acceptance of it was not yet attested to the World, till he was advanced at the right hand of God; and then this effect declared it. The spirit was given before, but more sparingly, because it was given upon trust, and with respect to the satisfaction that was afterwards to be made, and accepted: And then it was wit­nessed to the World by a more copious and plentiful effusion of the spirit. Therefore 'tis said, Acts 2.33. Therefore Iesus being by the right hand of God exalted, and having received of the Father the promise of the Holy Ghost, he hath shed forth this which ye now see and hear. The merit and value of the sacrifice is thus visibly attested, therefore this is one of the witnesses, Acts 5.30, 31, 32. The God of our Fathers raised up Iesus whom ye slew, and hanged on a Tree, him hath God exalted with his right hand to be a Prince, and a Saviour, for to give repentance to Israel, and remission of sins. And we are his witnesses of these things; and so is also the Holy Ghost, whom God hath given to them that obey him. And what was the evidence gi­ven [Page 238] to the Church in general, is the evi­dence given also to every particular be­liever.

4thly. Some have obtained the effects and fruits of Christs death, this peace be­gun here hath been perfected in heaven. The Text saith he hath Reconciled all things to himself, whether they be things in Heaven or things in Earth. Here many are pardoned and accepted with God, and have the comfort of it in their own Souls. Others are gone home to God, and have the full of this peace. All were by nature children of wrath, under the curse as well as others. Now if some in all generations have injoyed the love, favour and friend­ship of God in this World and upon their departure out of it have entered into glory; upon this account it is evident that Christ is accepted to the ends for which God sent him; thus Abraham the Father of the faithful, and all the blessed souls who are gathered into his bosom, and are alive with God in Heaven. Certain it is they were all sin­ners by nature, for there is no difference be­tween any of the children of men, and yet God admits them into his peace. Was it a personal priviledge peculiar to them only? [Page 239] No the Apostle tells us, Rom. 4.23. It was not written for his sake alone, and Paul obtained mercy for them that should hereafter believe on Christ, for life ever­lasting, 1 Tim. 1.16. Therefore all pe­nitent believers may be assured that this sa­crifice is sufficient, and will avail for their acceptance with God. We take it for a good token of a healing Water, when we see the Crutches of Criples that had been cured, all the blessed Saints in Heaven are witness to a sincere soul; they all obtained this blessed condition through the blood of his Cross Reconciling them to God. There is none in glory but had his pardon sealed through the blood of Christ.

4. How and upon what terms is it ap­plyed to us: for we have considered hither­to onely how Christ hath made peace or made the atonement. Yet if we receive not the atonement we may perish for ever, for all that, besides the work done on the Cross by Christ alone, there is a work to be done in our hearts, the work of mak­ing peace is sufficiently done by Christ, there needeth nothing to be added to it, no other ransom, nor sacrifice, nor propitiation: Christ hath so fully satisfyed divine Justice, [Page 240] that he hath obtained the new Covenant, but we are not actually admitted [...] this peace till we have personally accepted the Covenant. Now here it sticketh: God hath been in Christ Reconciling the World unto himself, there was the foundation layed; but therefore we pray you to be Reconciled, 2 Cor. 5.20. There is our Title, Claim, actual Right, security. But how do we receive this atonement? or how are we interessed in it? the conditions and terms are gracious, such as the nature of the business calleth for: as to our en­trance into this peace, no more is required but Faith and Repentance. The Gospel is offered to all, but the penitent Believer as being onely capable is possessed of it.

1. Faith is required that we Believe what the Son of God hath done, and pur­chased for us, Rom. 5.1. Being justified by Faith, we have peace with God, through our Lord Iesus Christ. If we sincerely embrace the Gospel, we are Reconciled to God, and accepted with him. The Faith that justifieth, is partly an assent to the Truth of the Christian Religion, especially the fundamental Truth, that Jesus is the Son of God, and Saviour of the World. And [Page 241] partly an acceptance of Christ as God of­fers him, a serious, thankful, broken hear­ted acceptance of Christ as your Lord and Saviour, serious because of the weight of the business, broken hearted because of the condition of the person accepting: a self­condemning sinner, or one that hath an awakening sense of his sin and misery. Thankful because Reconciliation with God and fruition of them in Glory is so great a benefit, and you take him as Lord, for every knee must bow to Christ, he is a Sa­viour by merit and efficacy. By his meri­torious Righteousness you obtain all bene­fits, by the efficacy of his spirit, you per­form all duties; the last thing is trust and dependance, Eph. 1.13. Trust is such an expectation of the benefits offered by Christ, that forsaking all other things you entirely give up your selves to the conduct of his Word and Spirit.

2. The next thing is Repentance which is a turning from sin to God, we turn from sin by hatred, and we turn to God by Love. We turn from sin by hatred; ha­tred of sin is the ground of all mortification, there is a twofold hatred, of abomination and of enmity. We turn to God by Love [Page 242] which is the great principle to incline us to God, and is the bottom of vivification or living to God. Now all this is necessary to actual peace, for our refreshing begins in conversion, Acts 3.19. there is no peace allowed to the wicked, we must take Christs yoke, or we shall find no rest for our souls, Matth. 11.29. we are not reconciled to God till our enmity be broken and over­come, then of enemies we become Friends, of Strangers, intimates; then we are recon­ciled. This then is required of you, onely let me add this caution, what is at first Vows and Purposes, must be afterwards Deeds and Practises, and having ingaged your selves to God to live to him, to keep your selves from sin, and to follow after Holiness; This must be your business all the dayes of your lives. For so you conti­nue your peace and interest in God, Gal. 6.16. And as many as walk according to this rule, peace be on them, and mercy, and on the Israel of God.


1. To Exhort you to enter into this peace that you may be partakers of the fruit of [Page 243] Christs Blood, and the virtue of his cross may be effectual in you.

1. Let me reason a periculo, from the danger, consider what it is to be at odds with God, and how soon and how easily he can revenge his quarrel against you, and how miserable they will be for ever, that are not found of him in a state of peace, Psal. 7.11, 12, 13. God is angry with the wicked every day, if he turn not, he will w [...]et his sword; he hath bent his bow, and will make his Arrows ready. There the Psalmist representeth God and man as in a state of hostility against each other. The wicked man affronts his holiness, questions his justice, slights his wrath, breaks his Laws, wrong­eth his people, and saith tush, I shall have peace though I add drunkenness to thirst. God for a while giveth time and warning, but every moment can break in upon us, for he is able easily to deal with us, Cominus hand to hand, for he hath his sword; Emi­nus at a distance, for he hath his bow: he is not only able to deal with them but rea­dy, for he is whetting his Sword and hath bent his Bow, the Arrow is upon the string though not as yet sent or shot out, what remedy then is there. There is but one [Page 244] exception if he turn not; if he be not re­duced and brought home to God by a timely Repentance, he falleth into the hands of the living God. Now no persons are in so dangerous an estate as those that have peace offered and despise it, Isa. 27.4. Let him take hold of my strength. When God is ready to strike. A man that is faln into the power of his enemy will take hold of his Arm, we are always in Gods power, his vengeance may surprize us before we are aware, what is our business but to be found of him in peace.

2. Ab utili, from the happiness of being at peace with God: your great work is over, and you have a World of benefit by it, you stop all danger at the fountain head. When you are at peace with God, you are at peace with the creatures, Ezek. 34.25. I will make with them a Covenant of peace and will cause the evil beasts to cease out of the Land, danger might way-lay us at eve­ry turn: Then for Men, Prov. 10.17. When a mans ways please the Lord he makes his enemies to be at peace with him. Then peace in your own Consciences, Rom. 15.13. Now the God of hope fill you with joy and peace. In believing to have a mans [Page 245] Conscience settled on sound terms is a great Mercy. Peace with the Holy Angels in­stead of being instruments of vengeance, they are ministring Spirits, Heb. 1.14. Last­ly Communion with God himself, Rom. 5.1, 2. Therefore being justified by Faith we have peace with God through our Lord Iesus Christ, by whom also we have access by Faith, &c. Eph. 2.17, 18. Preaching peace by whom also we have access by one Spirit unto the Father.

3. I Reason from the confidence we may have of this benefit if we submit to Godly terms.

1. God is willing to give it, verse 19. It pleased the Father that in him all fullness should dwell, there is Gods authority and good pleasure in it. The first motive came from God who received the wrong, not from him that gave it. God was in Christ, 2 Cor. 5.14. Among men the inferiour should seek to the superior. The party offending to the party offended, the weaker to the stronger, they that need the Reconciliation to him that needeth it not, but here all is contrary.

[Page 246]2. You may be confident of it upon an­other ground, the sufficiency of Christ to procure all fullness. The whole divine na­ture did inhabit and reside in the man Christ Jesus, and so he is compleatly fitted, and furnished for this work: he hath paid a full price for this peace when he bare our sins and carryed our sorrows, and by his Spirit he changes our hearts as well as pa­cifies the wrath of God. And then he pre­serveth this peace by his constant interces­sion, Heb. 2.17, 18. Now shall we doubt of it? But that we may get it.

1. Let us take the way of entrance by Faith and Repentance. It concerns us much to see whether we be in peace or trouble, if in trouble you see the cure, if in peace the next question is, is it Gods peace? That's had by the blood of Christ, the me­rit of which we must depend upon and de­vote our selves to God, break off our old league with sin, and bind our selves with a Bond to live unto God, to be the Lords for evermore.

2. When this peace is made be very ten­der of it, that no breach fall out be­tween you and God, Psal. 85.8. He will [Page 247] speak peace to his people and to his Saints, but let not them turn again to folly.

3. Let us be thankful to God for this fruit of Christs death, it is an act of free and undeserved mercy, and to be imputed to nothing but his mere grace that God hath appointed such a way: It pleased the Fa­ther to bruise him, Isa. 53.9. That he sendeth Ambassadors to publish it, Acts 10.36. the word which God sent unto the Children of Israel Preaching peace by Jesus Christ he is Lord of all, and that he appoint­eth a ministery. It is a great priviledge in it self; for by this peace we have not onely the beginnings but the increase of grace till all be perfected in heaven, Heb. 13.2 [...], 21. Now the God of peace that brought again from the dead our Lord Jesus, make you perfect in every good work, to do his will work­ing in you that which is well pleasing in his sight, 1 Thess. 1.23. The God of peace san­ctifie you that you may be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Iesus Christ. This peace doth encourage us in all tempta­tions from the devil, Rom. 16.20. The God of peace shall bruise satan under your feet shortly. From the World, Eph. 6.15. shod with the preparation of the Gospel of peace. Fears [Page 248] of the wrath of God, and doubts about our eternal condition, Rom. 14.17. The King­dom of God is not meat and drink but righte­ousness, peace and joy in the Holy Ghost, here are three words, Comfort, Peace and Ioy, these succeed one another as so many de­grees, Comfort is support under trouble, Peace a ceasing from trouble, joy a lively sense of the love of God.


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