The Herbal OF DIVINITY: OR, The DEAD arising From the Dust, To Confute the Hereticks of these Times, That say, There is no Resurrection.

IN SEVERAL SERMONS.

By John Simpson, an unworthy Publisher of Gospel-truths in London.

The Resurrection is one of the Twelve Signes in the Christian Zodiack.

LONDON: Printed for Sa: Speed, at the Printing-Press in Paul's Church-yard. 1659.

To the READER.

Christian Reader,

IT being appointed to all men once to die,Heb. 9.27. God hath so pro­vided, that as the wicked shall be no more remembred;Job 24.20. so the Righteous shall be had in ever­lasting remembrance;Psal. 112.6. and his Memorial shall be blessed.Pro. 10.7.

Blessed be the Lord,Ruth 2.20. that hath not left off his kindness to the living, nor to the dead; That he hath in this Age, as out of Zebu­lun, raised those that handle the Pen of the Writer,Judg. 5.1. whereby he accomplisheth that for them, that Job wished for himself, Job 19.23. Oh that my VVords were written, and [Page]that they were printed in a Book!

Many and worthy, indeed, are the Labours of Others, that are extant upon this Argument; and indeed, so many, that the acceptance of this Treatise may be doubted: but hoping hereby to raise up more Chil­dren unto Abraham, I have ad­ventured to publish it. Read and con­sider: and that it may take deep root­ing in thy heart, is the earnest pray­er of

Thine In the common SAVIOUR.

SERMON I.

ESAY 26.19.‘Thy dead men shall live, (together with) my dead body shall they arise, awake and sing yee that dwell in the dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast forth her dead.’

THE beliefe of the resurrecti­on is a present comfort in the midst of misery. Resurrectio mortuorum, fiducia Christia­norun, Tertul. The resurre­ction of the dead is the joy, confidence, and boasting of Christians. And therefore when the people of God had made a sad complaint of their low condition, in the words preceding my Text: our Evangelicall Prophet, for their comfort, and consolation, doth from the mouth of God present them with this sweet and precious promise of a glorious resurre­ction [Page 2]of their bodies. Let poore Saints bee full of complaints, let the billowes of mise­ry, and trouble be ready to overwhelme their soules; and let God but breake in up­on their spirits, and give them assurance of a blessed resurrection by his grace; and all their trouble, all their discomforts, all their miseries, by the light of this Sunne, will presently vanish away.

You may read the complaint in the prece­dent verse, where the Church complaines that she had been like a woman with child, in great paine, verse 17. Like as a woman with Child that draweth neere the time of her delive­ry, is in paine, and crieth out in her pangs; so have we been in thy sight, O Lord; We know the paines of a woman in travell, are the grea­test paines; and the Church to set forth her trouble, compares it to the paines and pangs of a woman in travell.

But that which doth heighten the trouble and misery of the Church is this, that though she were thus like a woman in travell, and paine; and expected to bring forth some great thing, and to doe something in the world which might be left as a lasting mo­nument to the praise of God: and be a re­freshment to her selfe after her throwes and languishment. She finds that all was a [Page 3]false conception; therefore she saith in the next verse, (vers. 18.) We have been with child, we have been in paine, we have as it were brought forth the wind. She swelled big with expecta­tion, and thought she should have brought forth some glorious birth into the world: but alas all that she hath brought forth, hath been but as it were wind; we see nothing but a false conception, We have not wrought any deliverance in the Earth, neither have the Inhabitants of the world fallen, ver. 18. Here wee see the sad complaint of the Church.

And in the words I have read to you, you may likewise read the Prophet laying downe that which might comfort, and cheare the sad and drouping spirits of the people of God, in this sad, and lamentable complaint of theirs; And that is drawne from a sweet promise, that God makes to them of a resur­rection: as if the Prophet had said, let it ne­ver trouble you, though you be the poorest, vilest, and miserablest creatures here upon the Earth: looke beyond the Earth, looke for the accomplishment of Gods promise be­yond this present life; and then you shall see as much cause to rejoyce, as you apprehen­ded cause of mourning before; What though you doe no great thing for the present on Earth; what though your Enemies prevaile [Page 4]over you; what though their cursed devices, Counsells, and Machinations doe take effect against you: what though you fall by their hands, and can doe no great things to set up Trophees of glory below? remember this, Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise, &c. Thus you see what coherence these words have with the con­text.

In the words be pleased to take notice of these parts.

First, here is a promise made to the people of God, of a blessed resurrection. Thy dead men shall live.

Secondly, the confirmation of this, that is, (as some interpret it) from the resurre­ction of the Lord Jesus. My dead body shall rise, therefore they shall not lye long in the dust: together with my dead body shall they arise, or else thus, if wee leave out [together, and with,] which are not in the Originall, then this is the meaning. Thy dead men shall live, my dead body shall they arise; at the resurrecti­on, they shall rise as my very dead body. I have consulted with the Hebrew text, and I find no more but that, I see no reason wee should put in together with, seeing it is not found in the first copy.

Thirdly, the nature of the resurrection is [Page 5]expressed to us, Awake. The Saints doe (as it were) awake out of their sleep: Death is no­thing but sleep to the people of God. The Prophet here to take away the sharpnesse and bitternesse of death, compares it to a bed, wherein a man sweetly reposeth himselfe, and after he is refreshed riseth out againe: so af­ter the Saints have layne a while in their beds, in their graves, they awake, as the Psalmist saith, As for mee, I will behold thy face in righ­teousnesse, I shall be satisfied when I awake with thy likenesse, Psal. 17. ult. that is, at the resur­rection; when I awake, then I shall be satis­fied with thy likenesse; I doe not enjoy so much of thee here as I desire to doe: but then when I awake, I shall be satisfied with thy likenesse.

Fourthly, here is the great joy set forth that shall be when the Saints doe arise, and that is expressed in that they are bid to Awake and sing: When the Saints are raised, they are to have a song in their mouthes, of joy, and the glory of God in their hearts; awake, and sing. But it is otherwise with wicked, and ungodly ones; they must awake, and houle; they must awake, when they had rather sleepe an everlasting sleep, and wish it might be a continuall, and an ever in­during midnight to their poore soules: but [Page 6]for the Saints, they are to awake and sing.

Fiftly, we have the Saints set forth to us in their low condition, before this resurrecti­on; so they are called the Inhabitants of the dust, Awake and sing ye that dwell in the dust.

Sixtly, we have a further proofe, that there shall be such a glorious resurrection, and that there shall be such great joy in the hearts of these Inhabitants of the dust, when they are raised by the power of Heaven from death to immortall life; and that is, from the hea­venly dew, the Lord Jesus Christ, which shall be as dew from the Father upon them, to quicken them to life after death: For as we see the dew of Heaven falling upon the herbs after they are withered, and almost dead by the parching heat of the Sunne, they againe waxe green, and flourish: so when we have laine withering in the grave, the Lord Jesus Christ shall be as the dew of Hea­ven upon us; he shall come downe in his power, and put a new life into us, and after death we shall be raised to a life of glory: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs.

Then in the next place he proves it from the willingnesse of the Earth, to be disbur­thened of her charge when God calls for it, the Earth shall presently give up the carkasses [Page 7]that she hath received in. The earth is Gods Chest, in which he locks up the dust of his Saints for a short time: but when God calls for this treasure againe, the earth shall pre­sently be willing to yeild what was intrusted to her bowells. And the Earth shall cast up her dead. These are the parts of this text: which is as cleare a promise concerning the resurrection of the dead, as we find in all the Old-Testament, though others doe other­wise expound it concerning the Jewes delive­rance, with whom I have not time now to contend.

I did make choice of this text for these Reasons.

First, because I did consider, that though there be many that make profession of Christ, and of a resurrection; yet there are few that believe in Christ, or that believe the truth of the resurrection: Durst men live in all wick­ednesse, ungodlinesse, and impiety? durst they venture to carry the load of their sins with them to the grave when they come to lie on their death-beds? and never be troubled for their sinnes, never be troubled for their goods unjustly gotten? were it possible that men could live thus, and die in this sottish and senslesse condition, did they indeed, and in truth believe there were a resurrection?

Secondly, because I have met with per­verse people in the Citie, who doe with boldnesse oppose the truth of the Doctrine of the resurrection. Truly we need not goe to Jerusalem, we need not travel to the holy Land to find out a generation of Sadduces: the Lord knowes my heart hath bled within me, when I have considered the multitude of Sad­duces that are here in London; Sadduces of all sorts: Episcopall Sadduces, Presbyterian Sad­duces; separated Sadduces, dipt Sadduces, see­king Sadduces; yet all agree in this notion, that it is a meere fancy of man, a notion of some idle braine, that there shall be a resur­rection of bodies at the great day of the Lord Jesus. I believe that the truth of this is so generally knowne, that there is not one thinks that I speak an untruth in this place at this present. For impiety hath gotten such a brazen face, that it comes forth in the light, and though men have professed Christ, and Religion, and the Doctrine of the re­surrection so long: yet how many are there now that denie that ever Christ came in the flesh? or that there shall be a resurrection of bodies at the great day? Therefore I thought I was bound in Conscience, (if I would deale uprightly in imploying that small talent God hath given me) to manifest my dislike of [Page 9]these men, and to witnesse against them in the behalfe of the Lord Jesus.

Thirdly, considering the subtle practises, and indefatigable labours of these people who under a vizard of Religion, deceive poore, weake Christians; for their sakes and for the satisfying of the weak, I did resolve with my selfe to speake something, concer­ning the Doctrine of the resurrection: And seeing God hath pressed me to the handling of this point; knowing it may be for the good of diverse poore weak Christians; I hope it will not be displeasing to any who are truly spirituall, and know the Lord Je­sus Christ in a true and spirituall way, and waite upon him for the resurrection of their bodies. I shall therefore without any further Preface addresse my selfe to the words of the Text.

Thy dead men shall live.

Where we are to take notice, that though in this place here is nothing spoken concer­ning the resurrection of wicked men, but onely of the dead men of the Lord Jesus, yet in other places it is sufficiently held forth. Those that dye in the faith, are in a speciall manner called the dead men of God and of Christ, Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord: and these are called in this respect [Page 10] [...], Luc. 20.36. the sons of the Resurrection: for these are they only, who are heirs of glory, and the resurrection. It were better for others that there never were any resurrection: it were better for them that the mountaines might cover them, and that they might sleep in verlasting oblivion, then to be brought forth before [ [...] Chrys.] the dreadfull Tribunall of the Lord Jesus Christ, to give account for all their thoughts, words, and actions; yet you shall see other places clearly holding forth the resurrection of the ungodly and wicked, as well as of the Saints, though here the Prophet speaks onely of the resurrection of those that die in the Lord Jesus. I will give you but one place, and that is in Joh. 5.28, 29. It is the speech of our Saviour, Marvell not at this (saith he) for the houre is comming, in the which all that are in the graves shall heare my voyce, and shall come forth; those that have done good [...], unto the resurrecti­on of life, and they that have done evill unto the resurrection of damnation, Jo. 5.29. So that there is a twofold resurrection, of life, and of damnation, though the Prophet speak onely of the former in this place.

Secondly, Thy dead men shall live, that is, all those Saints who die, and whose bodies [Page 11]are laid in the dust, all those shall rise; God hath not appointed, that all the Saints shall die: this the Apostle shewes, We shall not all die, but we shall all be changed, 2 Cor. 15.51. And speaking of those that shall live when the Lord Jesus Christ shall appeare from Hea­ven, he saith, then we which are alive and re­maine, shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the ayre, and so we shall ever be with the Lord, 2 Thess. 4.17. So that when he saith, Thy dead men shall live, that is, all those Saints that shall die, shall live againe by the power of Christ, who shall be their life.

Thirdly, Thy dead men shall live. The Pro­phet doth not speak here of a resurrection of soules: but when he saith Thy dead men, he meanes onely the bodies of the Saints. As our age hath been fertile to bring forth all mon­strous tenents and opinions that other ages have exploded; so it hath brought forth this abominable errour which many Heathens by the dimme light of nature have opposed, that the soule is mortall. They that are ac­quainted with people here in this City, will meet with some that will affirme, that the soule as well as the body is mortall; and this is one of the places that they make use of, Thy dead men. Now they say man is a [Page 12] compositum of soule, and body: therefore see­ing dead men must live, it followes that the soule, or humane spirit as well as the body must die.

But consider, this is against other places of Scripture; doth not the wise man tell us of the body returning to the dust, and the spirit returning to God that gave it? Eccles. 12.7. Doth not Paul desire to be dissolved, and to be with Christ? Phil. 1 23. It is evident there­fore that he had a perswasion, that as soon as his spirit did take leave of his body, his Spi­rit should be happy in the enjoyment of the Lord Jesus. Doth not our Saviour tell us that as soone as Lazarus died, the Angels carried him into Abrahams bosome, he came present­ly to the enjoyment of some happinesse in the enjoyment of God. Therefore we are to know here in this place, that God speaketh unto us [...] after the manner of men, God speaking to men, speaketh unto them in the language of men. And as we or­dinarily call the carkasse of the dead, a dead man: so God when he saith, thy dead men shall live, his meaning is not, that there shall be a resurrection of spirits, as though the soule of man were mortall like the soule of a beast, and did die with the body, but the meaning is, that the dead bodies of the [Page 13]Saints shall arise. Thy dead men shall live. For the proofe of this I will present you with places taken out of the Scripture of truth, Hosea 13.14. there the Spirit by the Prophet speakes most plainly of the resurre­ction, I will ransome them from the power of the grave, I will redeeme them from death; O death, I will be thy plagues; O grave, I will be thy destruction, &c. which the Apostle 2 Cor. 15. cites, and proves that this Promise shall be fully accomplished to the people of God at the generall resurrrection.

So likewise God teacheth his holy ser­vant Ezekiel this lesson in a holy vision, Ezek. 37. The hand of the Lord was upon mee, and carryed me out in the Spirit of the Lord, and set me downe in the middest of the valley which was full of bones, and caused me to passe by them round about, and behold there were very many in the open valley, and loe they were very dry. And he said unto me, Son of man can these bones live? And I answered, O Lord God thou knowest, Againe he said unto me, Prophecie upon these bones, and say unto them, O yee drie bones heare the word of the Lord. Thus saith the Lord God unto these bones, Behold, I will cause breath to en­ter into you, and ye shall live. And I will lay sinewes upon you, and bring up flesh upon you, and cover you with skin, and put breath in you, [Page 14]and ye shall live, and ye shall know that I am the Lord. Ezek. 37.1. Here the Prophet doth speak of the resurrection, and shewes that a Spi­rit of life, and power shall come upon the drie bones and dust of the Saints, and that they shall live againe in the presence of God.

What was Jobs Faith and confidence in the middest of his sufferings, but in the resur­rection? Job. 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 wormes shall destroy this body, yet in my flesh I shall see God. Here is a plaine place, in which the Doctrine of the resurrection is held forth to us. He professeth that he believed the re­surrection of the dead, and speaking by the Spirit of Christ, who is eternall life, the wis­dome of the Father made flesh, he saith I shall see him; with what eyes? with these eyes and no other; with these very eyes.

I urged this place to two men, and I had two severall Answers from them. One that denyed the resurrection gave this Answer, (I might tremble to speake it) Job spake as a crazie old man, he knew not what; and there­fore this was no solid place to prove the re­surrection. The second said, he did not speak of the resurrection; because he saith in my flesh I shall see God, now God is not seene with fleshly eyes.

But the Answer to this is easie: be speaks of Christ, as God-man: so we are said to see God when we see God in Jesus Christ, as it is Rev. 1.7. Behold he commeth with clouds, and every eye shall see him, and they also which pierced him: And all kindreds of the earth shall waile because of him. With bodily eyes we may see the Lord Jesus Christ in his body, and with that spirituall eye, and in that spirituall body which we shal have given unto us at the resurrection; with that spirituall eye, and in that spiritual body, we shall be able to see that spirituall body, that the Lord Jesus Christ hath; so seeing Christ, we see God: because Christ is God manifested in the flesh as the Apostle calls him, 1 Tim. 3.16.

The places are infinite almost in the New-Testament, nothing being so much preached by the Apostles as the Doctrine of the resur­rection; Paul comes to Athens among the Epicures and Stoicks, great Schollers, that were fooles and ignorant in Religion, he preacheth the resurrection, that God would judge the world by the man Christ Jesus: so they were to be witnesses of the resurrecti­on, and to preach Christ risen from the dead; to give evidence and assurance to men that they should rise likewise as well as the Lord Jesus. In the 1 Cor. 15. there were men crept [Page 16]into that Congregation, that denyed the resurrection; therefore what strong Argu­ments doth Paul lay downe to prove the re­surrection? He shewes that Christ dyed in vaine, and that all Religion is in vaine; that the Apostles were impostors and liers, who preached that Christ was risen, and that the Saints by the power of Christ should rise, if there were no resurrection. So in 1 Thess. 4.17. The Apostle speaks of the same subject, and shewes the manner of the resurrection, and how Christ shall come from Heaven, The Lord himselfe shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voyce of the Arch-angel, and the Trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first, (verse 16.) Here you see he holdeth forth this, that Christ who is that mediator between God and man, and true man now in Heaven; this Jesus Christ shall descend from Heaven, and that the Saints shall rise from the Earth to meet him in the aire. So the Angels told the Apostles, Act. 1.11. when they looked up to Christ, when he ascended, this same Jesus shal so come from Heaven, as you now see him ascend in­to Heaven: the same Christ shall descend from Heaven, and the Apostles shall see him in the same manner with the very same eyes, with which they saw him ascend into Hea­ven, [Page 17]with the same eyes they shall see him de­scend from Heaven. the Scripture is so full, that I need not take more paines to give you more places for the opening of it: un­lesse you will please to take one place more out of the Old Testament, (that you may know that they had a cleare knowledge of this in the dayes of the Law, as well as wee have now in the dayes of the Gospel) Dan. 12.12. And at that time shall Micha­el stand up, the great Prince which standeth for the Children of thy people, that is, the Lord Je­sus Christ, who always stands for his people and there shall be a time of trouble, such as never was since there was a Nation, even to the same time: and at that time thy peo­ple shall be delivered, every one that shall be found written in the booke. And many of them that sleep in the dust of the Earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame, and everla­sting contempt. And they that be wise shall shine as the brightnesse of the firmament, and they that turne many to righteousnes as the Stars for ever and ever. Here you see the same thing held forth.

Though I will not trouble you with ma­ny reasons to confirme this doctrine of the resurrection: for the truth is, it is a Do­ctrine above Reason. I call here, not so much [Page 18]for reason, as for Faith, to believe what is above Reason, and what seemes contrary to carnall reason: yet give me leave to give you a reason or two drawne from the sacred truth of Gods word.

The first is drawne from the truth of God, God is true, therefore there will be a resurre­ction, he should deceive, and delude his peo­ple, were there not a resurrection of bodies. Doth he not often tell us of a resurrection? And doth not our Saviour tell us that hee will raise those at the last day who are drawn unto him by the Father? (Joh. 6.44.) And therefore unlesse we will make the great God (which is blasphemy to think) a lyer; and Christ his Sonne a Preacher of the resurre­ction, the greatest impostor in the world; and all his Ministers, Servants, and Messen­gers, cheaters, juglers, and deceivers of the people, we cannot but acknowledge a re­surrection: for God hath spoken of it, and hath revealed this to them that there shall be such a resurrection, and they preach it in his name: therefore the God of truth should be found a lyer, if there should not be a resurre­ction of bodies according to his word.

Secondly, the justice, and mercy of God seeme to call for a resurrection.

If wee looke upon wicked, and ungodly [Page 19]men, so God in Justice must send his Son Je­sus Christ to raise the dead, and to judge the world, or else how should the justice of God shine cleare and bright before the eyes, and saces of men? This is the Argument that the Apostle laies downe, 2 Thess. 1.5, 6. where he speakes of the sufferings of the Saints, and of the wickednesse of their persecutors, who wrong them for making profession of the truth of the Lord Christ; which is (saith he) a manifest token of the righteous judgement of God, it is a demonstration, [...], an evi­dent, infallible signe, that there will be a judgement day, and a resurrection; because else God should not be just, it is a righteous thing with God to recompence tribulation to them that trouble you. It is just with the God of justice to punish the vessells of wrath, disobedient and wicked men, who never did flee to his grace for life, and salvation: it is just with him to pay the persecutors of his people their wages after they have done their worke. Now if there were not a judgement day, if there were not a resurrection, where should God give them their wages for perse­cuting, and troubling them that make pro­fession of his name? How should God that is the Judge of the world appeare to be just? Here is the first Argument that God is just [Page 20]to wicked, and ungodly men; and God could not appeare to be just, if there were no judgement day, no resurrection, therefore there shall be a resurrection. Now the same things fall alike to the just and unjust; we see wicked, and ungodly men thrive, and prosper in the world; they live in pleasure, there are no bands in their death, as the Psal­mist speakes, they spend their dayes in mirth, and die upon their beds without sorrow. How should God appeare to be just, un­lesse there be another day, when God will call these men to a reckning for all the sinnes, and iniquities which they did commit against him when they lived upon the Earth?

Secondly, if we looke to the mercy of God And this is the Argument that our blessed Saviour makes use of, Matth. 22.31. When the Sadduces came to him, who said there was no resurrection, nor spirit, nor Devill, (as our Sadduces doe) who say there is no Devill but our owne evill thoughts, nor good Angels, but the good motions of our owne spirits, nor any resurrection of the body. See what Argument he useth to prove the resurrection, as touching the resurrection, have yee not read that which was spoken to you by God saying, I am the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, God is not [Page 21]the God of the dead, but of the living: God professeth himselfe the God of dead Saints in a speciall manner; therefore these must live againe and be made happy by this God, that professeth himselfe to be their God, while their bodies lye rotting and putrifying in the earth; God in his never failing faith­fulnesse ownes them in the dust, keepes their ashes in safety, by which Christ doth ascer­taine us that there will be a resurrection of bodies at the last day.

So that you see if this truth be denyed it will overthrow the Scriptures, which ac­quaints us that some are vessels of honour, some of dishonour, that some are vessels of grace, and some are vessels of Gods furie, and indignation; if there be no judgement, day no resurrection; there cannot be ves­sels of wrath, and vessels of mercy: If there be no resurrection, we are of all men most miserable, &c. 1 Cor. 15. therefore a resur­rection must be granted, that Saints may ap­peare the vessels of Gods mercy.

1. Ʋse. Confut.

That which hath been spoken confutes the blasphemous and Diabolicall opinion of those that doe oppose this Doctrine of the resurrection. There are two sorts of these, [Page 22]First, such who doe plainly deny the resur­rection, as Porphyrius and others whom we read of. And secondly, such who will not seeme to deny a resurrection, but will pretend that they are risen already, spiritually risen. And they know no other resurrection.

The first of these are like those that are mentioned in the 2 Cor. 15. that say there is no resurrection. The latter are like those 2 Tim. 2.18. Hymeneus and Philetus that said the resurrection was already past. The latter of these are the more dangerous. Come, and ask them, is there a resurrection? Yes, we are risen, it is past, you understand the Scripture carnally, and not spiritually; you looke on the history of the word; whereas all the Scripture is mysticall, and allegoricall. Thus these in a more plausible way deny the truth of God, and overthrow the Doctrine of the re­surrection. But these places of Scripture, and sanctified reasons drawne from the word of truth, sufficiently confute, and overthrow this damnable cursed opinion of theirs, that strikes at the very roote, and raseth the foundation of all Religion.

This point of the resurrection is so cleerly held forth in Scripture, that those that de­nie it, either deny the Scripture to be the word of the Lord Jesus, or else by their al­legories, [Page 23]and diabolicall interpretation of the word, they pervert the truth of it.

Now the latter of these are the most dan­gerous: for they seeme to carrie a great deale of glory, spirituality and truth with them, and make those that are not acquainted with their solecismes believe that they are very spirituall, that they have some light, and knowledge, that men have not ordinarily at­tained to: Whereas, when you have studied well the depth of their notions, you shall find this to be all, if they acknowledge a God: (for I know that there are some of these that absolutely deny that there is a God:) that God was from all eternity, and God shall indure to all eternitie; and that being that they had in God from all eternitie, that being they shall have in God to all eternitie; but the body, and the humane spirit shall die, and be lost, and come to nothing. So all the happinesse they have, is that eternall, and everlasting being, concludunt spiritum ad essentiam Dei redire, ei (que) jungi ita ut unicus spiritus maneat. As Calvin reporteth of those Libertines which denyed the resurrection in his time. They conclude (saith he) that the Spirit shall returne to the essence of God, and shall be joyned to him, so that one spi­rit shall onely remaine: as if they should say, [Page 24]there is a God that was for ever, and shall indure for ever, but all the creatures shall come to nothing: when the body dies it shall returne to its dust never to be raysed, and the spirit shall vanish away, as the soft ayre, as those miscreants in the booke of Wisdome speaks, (Wisd. 2.3.) which if it were a truth there should be no happinesse for the hu­mane spirit of man, or for the body after this life. And I am confident that this is all their new Light affordeth to us and glori­ous spirituality, or rather infernall spiritu­ality (as Calvin calleth it, Infernalem spiri­tualitatem,) they boast of. And this I gather by their owne discourses, and words; and likewise by searching their writings, and reading their bookes, that have formerly been written, and that lately are brought into the world.

But me thinks there is one objection for the present comes to my mind, which doth call for an answer before I proceede.

Object. If there be such a generation of men as you speak of, that denie the Do­ctrine of the resurrection, and pervert the truth of God, then we may see by this what inconvenience would follow, if liberty should be granted to men to practise according to their owne judgements, which are contra­ry [Page 25]to the judgements of the civill Magi­strate in the worship of God. Therefore it seemes there is a necessity laid upon Civill powers, that men may be kept from these er­rours, and damnable opinions, to make strict Lawes, and impose them upon all peo­ple. And all sorts of professors to inforce them to come in, and professe Christ in their way, or else to confiscate their goods, to ba­nish them out of the Countrey, or (if need be) to take away their lives.

Answ. I answer, this doth not follow, there were such in the time of the Lord Je­sus, we find him oft disputing with the Sad­duces: yet we see the Lord Jesus Christ did not intend to overthrow the Sadduces (that denyed the resurrection) by such meanes, but dealt with them onely by Scripture, and reason, as we see Matth. 22. And when James and John producing the example of Elias desired Christ to command fire to come from Heaven to destroy the discourteous Sa­maritans that refused to entertaine them; He denyeth their request with a reproofe, Luk. 9.55. He rebuked them and said, Yee know not what manner of spirit ye are of: and I thinke it is safe for us to imitate the Lord Jesus Christ.

But in the next place, let me tell you that [Page 26]no Lawes, Statutes, constitutions or formes imposed by men, or Directories, or any thing you can think of, Discipline, or Government; can extirpate this out of the hearts of these men. For I assure you, that few that are of this judgement, will lose any thing for their Conscience. Some of them if you bring in Popery, before they will lose a haire of their head for that which they maintaine, they will be professed Papists. We may see the picture of these men in Quintinus, who was the divells Embassadour in Calvins time, to divulge Familisticall tenents, of whom he thus speakes, si hodiè Quintinus vinctus tene­retur, sive à Christianis, sive à Papistis, & sta­retur ipsius confessioni, non multum esset anxius. Certus enim esset de suâ liberatione quod tum ho­rum, tum illorum voluntati assentiretur. If Quin­tin were now imprisoned by Protestants, or Papists, and should be freed or condemned by his owne confession, it would not much trouble him: for he would be confident of his freedome. Because he would assent to the will of either of them.

Calv. in his Instrue: Adver: Liber: c. 8. If you threaten them that they shall suffer any thing, they will presently tell you that they were overtaken with a fault, and they will be of your mind, if you have any power to [Page 27]punish them for what they professe. Like him in the Comedian; Ais? aio; negas? nego. Doe you assert it? I assert it too; doe you denie it? I deny it too.

And why should a man be so foolish as to lose any thing for that which he professeth in his Conscience, when he thinkes there shall be no resurrection? He hath no reason; he were mad that would part with Earth, and earthly things, that is not sure of Heaven; he is a mad-man that will lay downe his life, that is not perswaded there will be a life af­ter death. Therefore I assure the Presbyte­rian Party if liberty of Conscience be not granted to Saints, most or all these will fall in to them: And before Liberty was thought of, there were a great many of these in the City, and they conformed to that which was then practised, and they will conforme to any Government which shall be set up by the power of man. It is not any Discipline, or Government that can extirpate these cur­sed opinions out of the hearts of these men. And though there be Discipline, Govern­ment, and strict Lawes, yet in secret wayes they know how to insinuate poyson into the hearts and spirits of men, to corrupt them from the truth and simplicity of the Lord Jesus Christ. I know some of these that [Page 28]doe and have preached publickly undisco­vered, and some have now places, and are turned Presbyterians, who professed these tenents in the Citie of London, that are now gone from the Citie, and have Parochiall Congregations, and are looked on as Pres­byterians, and Orthodox men, and none speake against them, they know how to cover their opinions well enough. This my­stery of iniquitie is not easily discovered: so that this objection makes nothing against Liberty of Conscience. I thinke it were bet­ter if it were the Lords will, that these men of this wicked, ungodly spirit might be knowne, that so they may not draw many people into their sinne, but that the truth of God may be held forth against them to over­throw their errours: for nothing will over­throw errour but truth. It is not a prison, it is not the Sword, it is not the power of man that can overthrow errour, and root up false opinions out of the hearts of men: it is on­ly the power of the truth of the Lord Jesus. As Dagon fell before the Arke, so these cursed opinions must fall before the Arke of truth, by the power of the Lord Je­sus. For if you threaten them that they shall suffer any thing, they will presently tell you that they were overtaken with a fault, and [Page 29]they will be of your mind: If you have pow­er to punish them for what they professe. But lastly, this should not be brought as an Ar­gument to prejudice those in the enjoyment of their Libertie, who are truly conscienti­ous. For it will have no more force then this. Thieves and rogues swarme and abound in the Common-wealth, while Liberty, Pri­viledges and immunities are granted to ho­nest men, and they are countenanced. There­fore suffer not honest men to live in the Common-wealth.

Thus having removed an objection which lay in my way, which I perceived might be drawne from the licentiousnesse of these wicked men, to the wronging of the true Saints and children of the most High, in re­ference to their Lib [...]es, I shall now come to answer the Objections of these adversa­ries to the resurrection.

And first, they that absolutely deny the resurrection, doe thus argue, Doe you think that this body after it is resolved into its first elements, and that part of it is ourned in the fire, a part exhaled into the ayre, a part con­verted into water, and a part of it turned into earth, that the same numericall body shall be raised againe? Let a man, one that you call a Saint, be torne in pieces, let the bird [Page 30]have her prey out of him, let the fish have her share, let the devouring beast likewise have his belly full of his flesh, let the Caniball come, and have his dinner out of another limbe; and shall we believe after all this that this man shall rise againe? What will you bereave us of reason? you professe to be ra­tionall men; how can you subscribe to such a thing, that a man should be burned in the fire, his ashes cast into the sea, And after these changes, and transmutations, that this man, this same man, the same body of this man should be raised againe? how can any man that hath not put off all reason believe it? Thus they contend by their carnall reason against the truth of the resurrection.

But let me answer, though I grant all this which they say, that the bodies of the Saints may be resolved into the first Elements, out of which they were made; yet for all this there shall be a resurrection of the very same numericall body.

For looke to God, he that hath promised to doe this, he is omniscient, he knowes the dust of his Saints, though it be carryed into the Sea; if a piece of the body of a Saint be in the belly of a fish he knowes it there, as well as he knew his servant Jonas in the belly of the Whale. If it be resolved to dust, and [Page 31]burned to ashes; he knowes the dust of his Saints. We know the Alchymist can convert one thing to another, and afterward reduce it to the thing that formerly it was. So shall not God (though he suffer the bodies of his Saints to undergoe a hundred mutations, and changes, into fire, and water) after re­duce us againe to the same bodies in which formerly we were?

God knowes where the dust of his peo­ple lies as well as the Citizens of China know where their earth lies that they lay up for some hundreds of yeares, that they may make the purer vessels of it. God doth but bury us a while in the earth, that at the re­surrection he may bring us forth as vessells of his owne prayse and glory: and God knowes where he hath hid and laid us. If one limbe be in Affrica, another in Asia, ano­ther in Europe, another in America, the Lord knowes how to bring limb to limb, and bone to bone; he is an omniscient God.

And as he is omniscient, and knows every part of his people, and the dust of his Saints, and treasures up the dust of his Saints, and keeps it in safety: So he is a powerfull God, and able to raise the bodies of his Saints. As he knowes what dust and bones belong to a bodie, so he is able to bring it againe to [Page 32]the same body which it was; and to change it into a more glorious body. He is able to change that same numericall mortall body into an immortall body.

And though we can find nothing in na­ture that can evidently prove this truth: yet we find many sweet figures, shadowes and resemblances of this in nature. Doth not the day die into night, and afterward night rise againe into the day? doth not Summer die into Autumne, and Autumne into Win­ter, and then the Spring brings the Summer in glory to us againe? Are not some crea­tures which lie dead in Winter, restored to life when Summer appeareth? Doe we not see the seed that is buried in the earth, and put into the furrowes againe to spring to a new life, and to come forth with greater glo­ry then when it was sowen in the earth:

If you take notice of the Gold-Smith you shall find that he keeps his fylings; and his dust, and though we looke on it as a heap worth nothing: yet he knoweth by the Art of the refyner to bring a choyse and preci­ous veffell out of that dust. So though the bodies of the Saints have laine as a heape of dust, and wee see no glory in it; yet God the refyner of Heaven, by the power of his Arme is able to extract the filings and dust [Page 33]of his Saints out of the hearth, and to re­store their dust, to an immortall, spirituall, and glorious body; Looke to the power of God, nothing will be impossible. There­fore when the Sadduees cavilled against the Doctrine of the resurrection, our Saviour strikes at the root of their errour, which was this, because they questioned the power of God concerning this: Ye erre, saith he, not knowimg the Scriptures nor the power of God, (Mat. 22.) Qui potest facere potest reficere, &c. saith Tertullian, he that was able to make the bodie out of nothing, is able to remake it; he that was able to give a being out of no being, is able to give a being out of that that hath a being: It is easier to make a thing out of that that hath a being, then out of that that hath no being, God hath done the first, why should we distrust him concerning the second?

Therefore you shall find the Apostle when he preached this Doctrine, that we shall be raised, and in our bodies made like the glo­rious body of our Lord Jesus Christ; and knowing that there would be carnall obje­ctions, arise in the spirits of men against this Doctrine, he presently fits and shapes an answer for it, from the power of God, Phil. 3. [...]lt. we looke for the Saviour, the Lord Jesus [Page 34]Christ who shal change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto his glorious body, according to the working, whereby he is able to subdue even all things to himselfe. Here that the mouth of unbeliefe and carnall reason may be stopped, he tells us that he will make our bodies like unto his glorious bodie: and question not but he will doe it: for he will doe it by his mighty power, by which he is able to sub­due all things to himselfe; thus farre in an­swer to the first sort of Adversaries.

The objections of the spirituall Enemies, or rather diabolicall Enemies (though they pre­tend to spirituality) are drawn from Scripture. And this is no wonder, for their Father the Devill doth quote Scripture sometimes too. The first place which they alleadge, is in the 1 Cor. 15.50. Flesh and blood cannot inherit the Kingdome of God, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption: from whence they con­clude that our corruptible and fleshly body shal not be raised: And therefore that there is no such resurrection to be expected which we waite for; But that the Apostle in this Chapter and all other places speaking of the resurrection, doth treat of it spiritually & al­legorically; And that he never did hold forth such a carnall and grosse resurrection, as we in our muddie braines doe grossely appre­hend he did.

In answer to which objection, we shall grant that the Apostle in sundry places, doth speake of a resurrection figuratively. As in the 3. Col. 1. If ye be risen with Christ, seeke those things which are above, where he speak­eth of a resurrection to a new life in the spi­rit by faith. And in this sense we grant that Saints are already risen. There being no happinesse for such at the second resurrecti­on hereafter, who are not first raised here, and made partakers of the first resurrection. Yet this doth not weaken our assertion, nor overthrow our Faith. And therefore give me leave to put in an answer to their obje­ction.

First, It is true, flesh and blood shall not in­herit the Kingdome of God. What doth he meane? he meanes, sinfull flesh, and bloud shall not inherit; whatsoever is sinne, and flesh, in this respect, shall not inherit the Kingdome of God.

Secondly, flesh and blood may be taken for the weaknesses, and infirmities that cleave to our bodies for the present, and flesh and blood, our bodies of flesh and blood if wee looke on them in their frailties, infirmities, and weaknesses, so they shall not inherit the Kingdome of God. But otherwise it is cer­taine, these bodies which are flesh and blood, [Page 36]shall inherit the Kingdome of God. For as our Lord Christ is now in glory, in the same body, though it be a spirituall glorious bo­dy in Heaven, in which he suffered on the Crosse, so we who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, shall be raised, goe to Heaven, and en­joy God in happinesse in these very bodies that we carrie about us, we shall see God with these eyes and no other, we shall have the same feet, hands and members, &c. And though there shall be no sinne, frailty, weak­nesse or infirmitie, no imperfection, lamenesse, deafnesse, or blindnesse, yet the same nume­ricall body shall be raised againe. And if God would but open their eyes to read and understand what is spoken, they shall have an answer from the pen of him whom they through their blindnesse doe misunderstand in the 53. verse of the same chapter, This cor­ruptible must put on incorruption, and this mor­tall must put on immortality. The same mortall body, by him who is immortall must be made immortall and incorruptible.

This was the confession of the African Churches, Credimus resurrectionem carnis hu­jus: we believe the resurrection of this flesh: which is consonant to the truth delivered by Paul, 2 Cor. 5.10. We must all appeare before the judgement seat of Christ, that every one may [Page 37]receive the things done in his body, according to that he hath done, whether it be good or bad. The same persons must appeare, we that con­fist of a materiall body and spirituall soule, must appeare in the same body and soule, or else it is not we that shall appeare but some body else which shall appeare, which is con­trary to the mind of God, and his Apostle in this place. The second objection which they bring is this, that we that professe Christ and a resurrection by him, in this way are carnall, and know Christ after the flesh, whereas the Apostle saith in the 2 Cor. 5.16. That he is to be knowne so no more. To which I answer, that this is one of the [...], one of the things hard to be under­stood in Paul which Peter speaketh of 2 Pet. 3.16. which they being unstable, wrest as they doe other Scriptures, unto their owne de­struction. Paul hath no such meaning, which they carnally draw from the letter of the word, which will appeare, if we consider the Christ which he preached, who was made of the seed of David according to the flesh, Rom. 1.3. crucified in the flesh for our sinnes, 2. Cor. 13.4. risen from the dead for our Justificati­on, Rom. 4.25. 1 Cor. 15.20. ascended in our humane nature in which he suffered and descended into the lower parts of the [Page 38]earth, 4. Eph. and in that humane nature doth make Intercession for us at his Fathers right hand, as our Mediatour, 1 Tim. 2.5. If he meanes that which they draw from his words, he knew Christ after the flesh in all his Sermons, and his Faith was a knowledge of Christ after the flesh. And therefore that which they wrest from his words is not his meaning.

Secondly, Pauls meaning is this, that Christ is not to be knowne after the flesh. As though any men should conceive that they should have any priviledge or prerogative above another in Christ, because they are his kinsmen or Countrey-men according to the flesh, or of the same stock with Christ, being descended from Abraham or David ac­cording to the flesh. Thus Christ is not to be knowne after the flesh. It will availe men nothing that they are neere to Christ in the flesh by their naturall birth, unlesse they be neare to Christ, and one with Christ by their new birth: So that the Apostle doth in this place take away the difference which some might apprehend, to be between the Jew and the Gentile. It is parallel to that place Gal. 3.28. There is neither Jew nor Greek, there is neither bond nor free, there is neither male nor female: for yee are all one in Christ Jesus. [Page 39]And this is evident by the precedent verse, where he saith that Christ died for all, for Gentiles as well as for Jewes, so that a Jew may as soone be saved by Christ as a Gentile, if he rest upon the grace of the Father through the redemption which is in Christ Jesus his Sonne for Justification and Salva­tion. It will likewise appeare to be the plain and naked meaning of the Apostle, if we consider the subsequent words, where he doth publish forth the same thing, and ex­plaineth his meaning, telling us that God was in Christ reconciling the world to him­selfe, not imputing their trespasses unto them. The sinfull Gentiles who are called the world in opposition to the Jewes, that were Gods peculiar and selected people, gathered out of the world from other Nations. God is re­conciled to this world, to sinfull Gentiles, as well as to Gods owne people the Jewes. And therefore Christ is not to be knowne among Christians in any carnall or fleshly relations, as though he were a Saviour more to the Jewes then to the Gentiles. This were to know Christ after the flesh, but we that know him spiritually know him so no more, for in the Spirit we see the partition wall which was between Jewes and Gentiles pulled down; and know Christ the common Saviour both [Page 40]to Jewes and Gentiles, which shall believe in his name. And thus I have given you an an­swer fully satisfactory to their second obje­ction.

The third place from which they frame an objection, is in Eccles. 3.19. That which besalleth unto the Sonnes of men, befalleth beasts, even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other, yea they have all one breath, so that a man hath no preheminence above a beast.

To this I thus answer, that Solomon here doth not propose this as his owne judge­ment, but rather doth represent unto us the opinion of carnall men, who have no grea­ter light then the dimme eye of reason. And doth acquaint us with their folly and igno­rance, by communicating his owne experi­ence unto us. I said in my heart, ver. 18. He spake this in his heart, when the darknesse of his spirit did as a thick cloud hide the light of the Spirit of God from him. He doth not speak this from his heart and spirit inlightned with the truth of God. But from his heart under a mist of errour, being sur­rounded with great temptations. And this will appeare by many passages which he ut­tereth in this booke, which doe wholly con­tradict that which they would gather from these words, as the meaning of Solomon, for the [Page 41]overthrowing of the Doctrine of the resur­rection and the day of judgement. For in­stance Ecc: 11.9. How doth he labour to draw young men from the pursuit of the worlds pleasures and vanities, by putting them in mind that God will bring them un­to judgement? And what a plaine place is that against Sadduces, Familists and Liber­tines, that deny a judgement day and a resur­rection, with which he doth put a period to this booke, Ecc: 12. and the last. God shall bring every worke into judgement with every se­cret thing, whether it be good, or whether it be evill. I shall not trouble you with any more of their Arguments. Because they are of the same nature with those which have been brought already. And the same Answers which have been given unto these will give sufficient satisfaction to any other objections, which may be brought against this truth.

2. Ʋse from this errour.

Againe, since the truth of God appeares so cleare in Scripture, that there shall be a re­surrection of body, and of the same body; let us abhorre, and abandon the grosse fa­naticall conceits of all that we meet with, that professe themselves open enemies to the Doctrine of the resurrection. Brethren, I be­seech [Page 42]you, loath, abhorre, and detest this hellish diabolicall Doctrine. For as Christi­ans are to imbrace the truth of God with all zeale and affection of spirit: so we are to detest and abhor all errours that oppose the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, with all zeale, and fervency of spirit: though these are much offended with the zeale and sharp­nesse of the Saints: supposing that such heat and holy anger is inconsistent with the spirit of meeknesse, and therefore, if a man (though in the Spirit) witnesse against these conceits, and atheisticall opinions of theirs, presently they say, that though he pretend to be the servant of Christ, and to have the Spirit of Christ; yet he hath not the Spirit of Christ, because he is so sharp in his speech.

But consider, how our blessed Saviour oft in his preaching, and discourses thunders, and lightens in the faces of men that oppo­sed the truth. Did he not call the Scribes and Pharisees, a Generation of Vipers, and Adul­terers to their faces? and hath not Paul, and Peter expressions to this purpose? Peter tells Simon Magus, he was in the very gall of bit­ternesse? Did not Paul call Elymas the child of the Devill and enemy of all righteousnesse? Act. 13.10. and our Saviour tells the Hypo­crites that he preached to, Joh. 8. Ye are of [Page 43]your father the Devill. Therefore know, that as Christ, (though he had the holy Spirit in him, yet) he made use of such sharp and bitter speeches, so a man may have such speeches in his mouth, and yet he may be in the spirit of God, and speak to Gods glory when he thus speaks. The Angel of the Church of Ephesus is commended, that he could not beare with those that were evill. And that he hated the workes of the Nicolai­tans himselfe, and our Saviour doth professe his hatred to the Doctrine of the Nicolaitans. And why should a Christian be afraid to imitate his Saviour, though these will cen­sure him for it? If this be to be vile and with­out love, to speak bitterly against such bitter enemies of Christ, should not a zealous Christian say as David said to Michal when she scoffed him for his devotion to his God, 2 Sam. 6.22. I will be yet more vile then thus? Therefore let me desire you, that you will abhorre these tenents and opinions of theirs, which doe overthrow the whole Doctrine of the Lord Jesus Christ. If this that they hold be a truth, which we denie; there is no truth in this booke that we hold; if this be a truth that they professe, there is no truth in Jesus Christ that professeth himselfe the way, the truth and the life. And as the [Page 44]Apostle preacheth 1 Cor. 15. The Apostles shall be found false witnesses of God, for they preached that Christ, though he suffered on the Crosse, his body was raised, and in it he ascended into Heaven, and sits at the right hand of the Father, and mediates, and intercedes as an Advocate for us. If Christ be not risen, then we are false witnesses of God, 1 Cor. 15.15. because we have testified that he raised up Christ whom he raised not up; if the dead rise not, and if they shall be found false witnesses, and Imposters, who then are the men that we must looke on as Divine men, as knowing understanding men? we must looke on these as a Generation of liers that have deceived us, and made us believe that Christ is risen, and that we shall rise by his power, and there is no such matter, who are to be eyed as men of truth? we must looke on Lucian, that in his Dialogues and other bookes jeeres those that expect hap­pinesse after this life, or feare misery; and calls our blessed Jesus [...], the Sophister that was hanged upon a Crosse. We must looke on him as an Orthodox man, as a Divine writer. Pliny that writes of the soules immortality, and denies the re­surrection of the body, we must looke on him as Canonicall. Julian the Apostate must [Page 45]be admired for his wisdome. To throw away our Bibles, or burne them, as those in the 19. Acts 19. did burne their Bookes of curious Arts, will be a point of wisdome and discretion. It will be no impiety to deny the truths that Peter, Paul, and other servants of the Lord Jesus Christ have preached and sealed with their bloods.

O Brethren take heed of this hellish, hel­lish Doctrine, take heede of these seducers, Beware of these Wolves that come in sheeps clothing. See how this tenent plants its Ord­nance to batter downe all goodnesse, all the hope of Christians, and strength of Chri­stianity.

3. Ʋse.

The beliefe of this truth may bring in streames of joy to our soules, and spirits in the middest of the greatest troubles, and mi­series that can come upon us. Therefore the Apostle when he had laid down this point, 1 Thess. 4.1. see what use he makes of it in the 18. ver. for their consolation, bidding them to comfort one another with those words. In your weaknesses and sicknesse con­sider that these bodies that are fraile, mor­tall, and must after a while moulder into dust, shall at the resurrection be made like unto the glorious body of Christ, Phil. 3. last. [Page 46]Is death approching, doth the King of feares (Job 18.14.) knock at the doores of your cottages of clay? Let the feare of death be killed by the meditation of this, that the Lord Jesus by his death and resurrection, hath abolished our death, and brought life and immortality to light through his glorious Gospel. 2 Tim. 1.10. Christ (cujus victoria nostra est) whose victory is ours, hath overcome sinne, the grave, Death, Hell; and he arising as a publick person, his glorious resurrection may be a pledge unto us of our future resurrecti­on in glory.

Our bodies are called in Scripture the Temples of God. Let me tell you that God will not pull downe his Temples, unlesse he intended to build them up againe: He will set up these Temples in glory, which he puls downe and layes in the dust with dishonour. I remember what a divine Poet saith, spea­king of the resurrection:

Pellite corde metum mea membra, & credite vosmet,
Cum Christo reditura deo —
— Atra sepulera respuite —
Prudentius.

My limbes, drive away from you the feare of death, ye shall with Christ returne to God. sleight the blacknesse and horrour of the [Page 47]grave: which doth sweetly accord with the divine rapture of Paul, 1 Cor. 15.55, 56, 57. O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? The sting of death is sinne, and the strength of sinne is the Law. But thanks be to God which giveth us victory through Jesus Christ our Lord. The full perswasion of this, is that which hath filled the spirits of Christians with joy and fortitude in their sufferings. The heavenly company of Martyrs that sacri­ficed their lives for Christ, doe deserve rather to be registred in the Catalogue of fooles, then to be dignified, or innobled as Saints with the Crowne of Martyrdome, had they suf­fered and questioned the truth of the resur­rection. This hath made their sufferings comfortable to them, and glorious to us as our patterne and example for imitation. This hath made them so willing to hazard their lives for the truth of Christ. It is this that hath made them so prodigall of their blood; that I remember it is reported of one of the heathen persecutors, that he said he thought the Christians delighted in tor­ments, they seemed to sleight all punishments and tortures, that the witty malice of their adversaries could invent, or their cruelty in­flict. This carried them forth in that height of spirit, that they rejoyced in the middest [Page 48]of tortures. It was this that cheered the heart of a Martyr, that was troubled a little before his suffering, the Comforter coming and assuring him of happinesse at the resurre­ction. Gregorius Nazianzenus in his third Oration tells us of Theclas and some other Martyrs that were observed by the spectators ( [...]) to be very merry in the extremity of torments. Marcus of Are­thusa when the bloody persecutors had exer­cised his Faith and patience with several sorts of tortures, and did afterwards draw him through draughts, and other noysome places, he accounted it ( [...]) ra­ther his pomp and glory, then his misery and calamity. Women have discovered ma­sculine, and heroicall spirits when they were called to suffer for the Lord. (Nostri pu­eri & mulierculae tortores suos taciti vincunt, & exprimere illis gemitum nec ignis potest) Lactantius saith, that the Christian chil­dren and women did by their silence over­come their tormentors, and the flames of fire could not make them weepe. Austin tells of a poore weak maid that went to suffer for Christ (tanquam ad epulas invitata) as though she had been invited to a banquet. We read of some, when they came to lay downe their lives, they were sorrie that they [Page 49]had no more lives to lose for the Lord Jesus. Tertullian saith, that the Christians were so ready to suffer, that they were as willing to be devoured by the Lions, as the people were desirous of their destruction by the Lyons. Eusebius tells us that when as the Procon­sul exhorted Germanicus to relent, admo­nishing him of his tender yeares, praying him to pitie his owne case, being now in the flow­er of his youth: he without intermission in­ticed the beast to devoure him. Eusebius fourth book of the Eccl. Hist. What steeled the spirits of these men, and carried them above carnall reason, and the weak princi­ples of nature, but a strong and power­full perswasion in their spirits, that they should have a glorious and joyfull resurre­ction at the appearing of the Lord Jesus Christ?

This is that that the Apostle proves to us, Heb. 11.35. Some were tortured, not accepting deliverance, that they might obtaine a better re­surrection. He informeth us that when delive­rance was offered, they would not accept of it. What was the reason? they expected a resurrection; Threatnings could not terrifie them from the truth, nor promises draw them to errour, because they were without wavering perswaded of a resurrection. This [Page 50]was that that made Polycarpus the Martyr so willing todie for the Lord Jesus Christ, which appeareth by his speech when he was tied at the stake, I thanke thee that thou hast gra­ciously vouchsafed this day, to allot me a por­tion among the number of Martyrs, among the people of Christ unto the resurrection of the everlasting life, both of body and soule, &c. Euseb: This was that likewise that made the Saints to be so merry, and chearfull up­on their death-beds. When Hilarion lay sick, and in his flesh did feele a little feare of death, he presently reproves himselfe, and breaketh forth into these words. Egredere, egredere anima, goe forth, goe forth my soule, hast thou served Christ so many yeares, and now art thou afraid to die?

What difference could there be between the death of Saints, and of wicked, pro­phane, unbelieving men, if there were no re­surrection of the dead at all? and therefore as you desire to live comfortably, and to die happily in the bosome of Christ, rejoycing upon your death-beds, live constantly in the assurance of the truth of this Doctrine of the resurrection; and while others that have se­duced ignorant and poore people, into Fa­milisme with a brazen face all their dayes, shall tremble upon their death-beds, being [Page 51]afraid of death, and dreading a judgement day which they have denyed, like the Empe­rour Hadrian.

Animula vagula, blandula,—
Quae nunc abibis in loca?—
Pallidula, rigida, nudula.

Poore, wandring, pale, quivering soule, whi­ther shalt thou goe? (Platina in the lives of the Popes.) You shall call for death, and not looke on death, as a way to the infernall prison, but as a passage to immortality in Heaven; ye shall see the Lyon death slaine, and find nothing but honey in the carkasse: you shall rejoyce in confidence that your bo­dies shall be raised while they shall tremble for feare of a resurrection.

For I would have you to take notice that God seldome suffers men that are growne to this height of unbeliefe, and ungodlinesse, to deny the resurrection, and Christs coming in the flesh, to die without galled and trou­bled consciences. As it is observed by some, of many that were professed Atheists, who when they came to their death beds, though they in their health, and strength, swim­ming in a world of pleasure and content­ments, asserted that there was no god, yet [Page 52]when they came to lie on their death-beds, none seemed to be more afraid of a God, and to tremble so much at his power as these men: so none are more afraid of death, Hell, and a resurrection, then some of these that have denyed that there is any Hell or a resurrection. I remember the speech of Zeno the Philosopher, if I would perswade any man frō Atheisme, said he, I would lead him to the death-bed of an Atheist when he is gasping out his last breath. So, if I had not suffici­ently perswaded you that there shall be a re­surrectiō of the body, by what I have brought out of the word of truth, if I knew where any of these did lie sick I would carry you to their death-beds, and you might see some of them troubled, and galled in their consci­ence that have blasphemously professed that there is no Christ come in the flesh, and that there shal be no resurrection of the body here­after. I shall not need at the present to adde many more words, for I hope better things of you, and such things which accompanie salvation, I hope there are few such spirits as these, in this Congregation, yet I know the Devill is so subtle, that where he thinks people are most spirituall, and know God most, and are acquainted with Christ, he sends his imps, his Sadduces to trouble, and [Page 53]assault them: he doth not set so much upon any people to draw them away, as upon those that make profession of the Gospel of Christ. The Devill knowes such whom he hath safe within his owne command, and many of these are not assaulted by these imps, but when men seeme to be heirs, and boast of the Lord Jesus, and professe them­selves to be in the spirit of glory and adop­tion, and to have their names written in Heaven, and that none are able to separate them from the love of God; the Devill sends his evill Angells to such men as these. There­fore knowing that you should meet with such spirits, I thought good to speake somewhat before that being forewarned you might be fore-armed, (praemoniti praemuniti) that you may goe on in the power of God, and the strength of his might: though the Devill may buffet you for a time by these wicked instruments, and cast his fiery darts into your hearts, and spirits to perswade you that there is no resurrection, and may certainly know that if there be any truth in the histo­ry of the Gospel, this is a truth, concer­ning the resurrection. And it is the desire of my soule that ye may live continually and constantly in the confidence and assurance of the resurrection of your bodies, which being [Page 54]joyned with a lively Faith in Christs death and resurrection, will sweeten your lives and crowne your deaths with happinesse. Death which came in upon men as a legall curse, shall be turned into a blessing unto you, it shall not be your feare, but desire, with Paul ye shall desire to be dissolved and to be with Christ. But this Doctrine being layd aside as of no worth, or value, Christ will appeare unto you but a shadow, fancy, and forged Chymera of mans braine: As the wicked Pope was perswaded, who did thus glory in his riches, What great riches have we got­ten by this fable of Christ! Wherefore as you desire to breath forth your soules with joy into the bosome of the Lord Jesus, live in the comforts of the resurrection through Christ. That will make you say in the midst of the pangs of death with Simeon, Lord let thy servant now depart, for mine eyes have seene thy salvation. Or else such musick will bee in your hearts, as was in Stephens when he prayed, Lord Jesus receive my spirit; yee shall have peace at the last, which shall bee everlasting. The life of grace shall be length­ned out with an eternity of glory, which God and the Father grant unto you in the riches of his grace, through his sonne our blessed Jesus and Redeemer, Amen.

Christs Title to the dead bodies of Saints maintained.
SERMON II.

CHrist is a Christians shield and buckler, so that none can strike at a Christian but through the sides and loynes of his Sa­viour; We cannot wrong Saints unlesse we injure the King of Saints, Christ and his people have the same Enemies. This is evi­dent in the opposers of the resurrection, who as they are enemies to Christians, so they are to Christ; and they doe not so much wrong to his people, as they offer violence unto him: as they would bereave his mem­bers of the happinesse of their resurrection, so they would rob him of his limbs, mem­bers and glory. And therefore as I have plea­ded against the living adversaries of dead Saints, so I shall now plead the cause of Christ against those enemies of Christ, who in denying the resurrection, deny the raising of his mysticall body, which doth fight a­gainst that truth which doth next present it selfe unto us in the text, in these words, My dead body shall they arise.

I must speak something for the exposition, something by way of amplification of that [Page 56]which I apprehend to be the truth of God, mainly pointed at in the words,

Together with my dead body shall they rise.

So it is in our translation, and those that carrie it thus, they make this to be the mea­ning of the words, that the bodies of the Saints shall be raised together with the body of the Lord Jesus. And if the Holy Ghost did point at this, then the first thing that should be observed would be this, that

Christ Jesus had a body, a naturall body. If it doe not clearely appeare from this place, yet it doth from others: for it is said, he was made of the seed of David according to the flesh. And likewise Joh. 1. The word was made flesh. And, great is the mystery of godlinesse, God ma­nifested in the flesh, 1 Tim. 3.16. which will o­verthrow that which some Familisticall spi­rits dare to assert in our times, that the Lord Jesus Christ never had any naturall bodie, allegorizing the whole history of the incar­nation, life and death, resurrection and as­cension of the Lord Jesus.

But secondly, if it be thus expounded as some learned men doe expound the words, the next observation will be this, that

This bodie of Christ was a dead body. Revel. 1.18. I am be that liveth and was dead. The true Christ in his body was once dead; [Page 57]his body was a crucified body; He his own self (saith Peter) in his owne body bare our sinnes upon the Crosse, 1 Pet. 2.24. He was wounded for our iniquities, his body was bruised for our transgressions, Isa. 53. Thirdly, that

The dead body of the Lord Jesus was rai­sed, with my dead body they shall rise, it is suppo­sed, that this dead body spoken of shall arise, and this is that, that is so frequently preached by the Apostles, who were witnesses appoin­ted by God, to testifie that the Lord Jesus did rise from the dead.

The Devill knew what a truth this was, how much life, glory, sweetnesse, and pow­er there is in it; therefore he imployed his instruments the Scribes and Pharisees to doe what they could to smother this truth of the resurrection of the Lord Jesus: What lies did they not make? what stones did they, not turne? what paines did they not take that they might possesse the people with this perswasion, that the Lord Jesus Christ did never rise out of the grave: but that his Di­sciples came and stole him away?

But (brethren) Christ is risen, and those that rightly understand this, doe find what sweetnesse, and consolation comes to their hearts, by believing this point. There is so much in it, that Paul professeth, he desired [Page 58]to know nothing but Christ, and him cruci­fied, Phil. 3.10. the power of his resurre­ction, and the fellowship of his sufferings. And Peter, 1 Pet. 1.3. saith, that God hath begotten us againe to a lively hope through the resurrection of the Lord Jesus. The hope of the Disciples was almost dead, and extingui­shed, when the Lord Jesus lay in the grave; but now Christ is risen, and hath discovered his power in vanquishing his, and all our ene­mies, now we have a lively hope in us that believe the resurrection of Christ: for in the believing of his resurrection we have a sweet, and comfortable assurance of our owne re­surrection from the dead.

Fourthly, with my dead body shall they rise. Christ (as I hinted before) did all things, and suffered all things as a publick person: he died not for his owne but for our sinnes. Qui non habuit propria, portavit aliena, Ful. He that had no sinnes of his owne, did beare the sinnes of other men: he rose not so much for his owne, as for our Justification: He died for our sinnes, Rom. 4. the last, and he rose for our Justification. So that when Christ did rise, we rose. And he that believes this in the spirit, sees that he himselfe is risen with the Lord. There is is a two-fold resurrection.

A resurrection by Faith, when we doe be­lieve [Page 59]that we are risen in Christ, our King, head, and leader; and there is a resurrection in our owne persons, when we shall be raised in our owne bodies. Christ did rise for the good, and in the behalfe of all his people, and Christ keepes possession of Heaven after his resurrection for us, in whose person we are already risen, and in this respect it may be said, that together with his dead body we shall arise.

Fiftly, with my dead body shall they rise. Some interpret it thus: by the power of the Lord Jesus Christ they shall rise, that is, there shall come at the last day, a power from the Lord Jesus Christ, to raise up the Saints to enjoy glory with the Father. But because I doe not find these two words in the Hebrew, To­gether, nor with: therefore be pleased to let me passe by, these observations, and to give you what I doe apprehend to be the plaine meaning of the text; and to read the words thus.

My dead body shall they rise.

They are the words of the Lord Jesus, de­livered by him for the comfort of his peo­ple, assuring them that they shall be raised as his body. And though some doe under­stand them concerning the restauration of the Jewes, and the bringing in of them un­to [Page 60]to Christ: yet I apprehend that this is the true, spirituall meaning of God in the words which I have opened to you this day. The point then will be this, the dead bodies of the Saints which shall be raised, are the dead bodies of Christ himselfe.

[...] cadaver meum resurgent. They shall arise as my carkasse or dead body: which I shall enlarge by some considerations. First consideration, Christ and his mem­bers are one: therefore the Saints shall be raised as the body of the Lord Jesus Christ. The members of the body, are the members of the head: Christ Jesus he is the head of the body; therefore the bodies of the Saints being raised, they are raised as the body of the Lord Christ. Ephes. 5.30. We are mem­bers of his body, of his flesh, and of his bones. The body of a Saint is the body of the Lord Jesus, the flesh of a Saint is the flesh of the Lord Jesus; and the spirit of a Saint is one with the spirit of Jesus. Paul persecuted the Saints, and cast their bodies into prison; Christ calls to him from heaven, Why perse­cutest thou me? When the body of a Saint is imprisoned, Christ is then shut up in prison; so when the bodies of the Saints are raised, the body of the Lord Jesus Christ is raised: As the Animall spirits lie in the head, by [Page 61]which, motion is conveyed to the members: so the spirit of power lies in the Lord Jesus Christ, by which we are moved, by which we are raised; in which spirit we both in bo­dy, and spirit are made one with the Lord Christ.

This Doctrine of our union with Christ is likewise set forth by Paul, 1 Cor. 6.15. Know you not (saith the Apostle) that your bo­dies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of a harlot? As the hand or foot of a man, may be said to be part of the man, so the bodies of the Saints may be said to be part of the Lord Jesus. For as the head and all the members of the body make one natu­rall body in that one spirit that is in them all, and acts in them all; so Christ and all believers make one in flesh and spirit, by that one spirit which dwells in the flesh of Christ; and in the flesh, and spirit of every true believer. 1 Cor. 12.12. As the body is one, and hath many members, and all the members of that one body being many, are one body: so also is Christ: Here you see that the Apostle calls the members of Christ, Christ mysticall, so also is Christ saith he, he gives the Church the name of Christ, by reason of this neare uni­on which is between Christ Jesus, and all his members.

Againe, the Saints they are married to the Lord Jesus, & as the body of the wife may be said to be the husbands: so the bodies of the Saints as wel as their souls belong to the Lord Jesus, and are one with him. And as Adam, when Eve was brought to him, said, This is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh: so Christ when the dead bodies of the Saints shall be raised, raises his owne body, and will say, This is bone of my bone, and flesh of my flesh, then shall be the great marriage of the Lamb; then it shall be solemnized in a most glori­ous manner; and then Christ shall owne all those who were given to him by the Father; and there in a solemne manner shall he mar­rie them to himselfe, he shall owne them all for his own wife, and they all shall be looked on as one in him. Likewise, the bodies of the Saints that are raised, are the body of Christ, as the sprigs of a tree, or the branches of a vine, may be said to be part of the tree, or part of the vine. Our Saviour sets forth this similie to us, Joh. 15. where he compares himself to a vine, and all believers to branches in this vine: Christ shall be as the great vine in the resurrection, and all believers shall be branches, and sprigs sprouting out of this vine from that life, power, and spirit that God shall put forth through the body of the [Page 63]Lord Jesus. This union is not by the confu­sion of things which are united, as the igno­rant Familists doe fondly conceive, but by the union of things which are different in their personall beings, and individuall natures, which will appeare by the similitudes, which God doth make use of for the illustrating of this truth unto us. As of body and members: though all the members doe make but one body, yet every member doth retaine its proper place, office and being in the body; so that the hand is not the foot, nor the foot the arme, or head: so it is between Christ and his people, Christ still remaineth in his owne person as head, and they as se­verall members belonging to that head. The spirit and body make one man, yet the spirit is not the body, nor the body the spirit. The vine and branches are one, yet the vine is not the branch, nor the branch the vine: The Husband and wife are one, yet the Husband is not the wife, nor the wife the Husband.

The second consideration for the amplifying of this point may be this, because that what­soever he did or suffered, was that he might bring all believers to an onenesse with him­selfe, and the Father, and this is that he prayes for, Joh. 17. The glory that thou gavest me, I have givent hem, that they may be one, as [Page 64]we are one: Christ did therefore beare our sinnes, Christ did therefore put himselfe un­der all the curses due to us for our enormities; he did therefore man fest himselfe as a con­querour over all the Enemies that opposed us, that all things that might bee any hin­drance to our union, or hinder our spirituall communion with God, being removed in him, Eph. 12.14. we might be brought to an onenesse, and see our selves as one body, and one spirit with him. Our happinesse lyeth in our onenesse with Father, Word and Spirit, which are but one. Man made himselfe mi­serable by disuniting himselfe from God, who is but one, Mar. 12.29. and Christ doth make him happy by bringing him back again to that onenesse which he had with God. It was the office and employment of Christ, to bring all things from disunion, to union and onenesse with himselfe, and the Father, which he hath effected for us, and therefore they shall be raised, as the body of the Lord Jesus Christ, My dead body shall they rise.

The third consideration is this, they shall rise as his dead body, because they shall rise as the proper goods, possession, and inheri­tance of the Lord Jesus. Ask of me, and I will give thee the beathen for thine inheritance, and [Page 65]the utmost parts of the earth for thy possession; they shall be raised as the body of Christ; because Christ shall have a right, propriety, and Interest in them. Ye are not your owne, yee are bought with a price, your bodies as well as your spirits are Gods, &c. 1 Cor. 6.20. the Apostle gives this reason, why Christ di­ed, and revived, and rose againe, that he might be Lord, of the quick and dead, Rom. 14.9. that as a servant is more his Masters then his owne: so Christ being the Lord of the re­surrection, we shall be more his then [...] owne: we shall be raised as those in whom Christ hath a propriety, and Interest: we shall be looked on as the inheritance of the Lord Jesus, he shall be King and Lord over us all, and rule over us: His Scepter of glo­ry shall be set up in every heart; and his Throne shall be exalted in every spirit. Thus; My dead body they shall rise. They shall rise as mine: they are my dead men, and they shall be my living men. Here you see that Christ will owne them for his when they are in the dust. There are some that shall speak to Christ at the resurrection, as though they were familiarly acquainted with him, whom he will not owne, saying, Depart from [...] I know you not yee workers of iniquitie. But Christ will owne his Saints, Mal. 3.17. [Page 66] They shall be mine, saith the Lord of Hosts, when I make up my Jewells or speciall treasure, and I will spare them as a man spareth his owne sonne that serveth him. As men will not part with their Jewells, so Christ will not lose the bo­dies of his Saints, they are part of his speci­all treasure.

The fourth consideration is this; the bodies of the Saints that shall be raised may be cal­led the body of the Lord Jesus, for this reason: because Christ in the Spirit shall be the life, soule, and forme that shall give life and be­ing to the bodies of the Saints at the resurre­ction. As the body is called, the body of the Spirit that dwells in it, so Christ Jesus dwel­ling in the bodies of his Saints by his Spirit, their bodies may be said to be his body. And as a man may say, this is my body, it belongs to that humane spirit in me: because his hu­mane spirit moves, lives in it, and doth as a Divine power act in it: so our bodies being raised, may be said to be the bodies of Christ, because he shall act as the Spirit, forme, and soule in them. Christ shall be the soule which shall give life and being to all Saints which shall be raised by him.

The fifth consideration. Death cannot dis­solve the union which is between Christ and a believer. The love of the Father is the urne in [Page 67]which the ashes of dead Saints are preserved, Rom. 8.38, 39. I am perswaded, saith Paul, that neither death, nor life, nor Angels, nor Principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come; nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Man doth consist of a naturall body and hu­mane spirit. And death cannot make a sepa­ration between Gods love and our bodies, no more then it can make a separation be­tween his love and our soules. Among the things which God hath bestowed upon us in Christ, the Apostle doth reckon up death, 1 Cor. 3.22. which sheweth that it is not a curse; but a blessing to Saints. It would be a curse unto us, did it bring an irrecoverable ruine and destruction to our bodies. Rev. 14.13. Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord. Deaths disability to cast our bodies out of Gods love and protection is that which doth convert death through Christ into a blessing unto us. Paul calleth Saints in respect of their bodily death, 1 Thess. 4.14. [...], Those that sleep in Christ. As sleep doth not bereave men of life, so death doth not take away from Saints their life which is in Christ. As a Philosopher told a tyrant he might kill him but not hurt him; [Page 68]so death may kill but cannot hurt a Saint, be­cause the union between God and him is in­dissolvible, Rom. 14.8. Whether we live or die, we are the Lords. And therefore it may be tru­ly said,

My dead body shall they arise.

Sixt consideration. The bodies of Saints are sanctified by Christ, and therefore hee cannot but owne them. Sanctification is the marke or seale of Christ. As merchants doe set their seales and markes upon their goods which they will owne, so Christ will for ever owne that upon which he hath set the seale and marke of his sanctifying Spirit. The spi­rit dwelleth in the body as well as in the Spi­rit of a Saint, and Christ will never cease to own his own house, and the place which he hath chosen for his habitation. God doth not only honour our bodies by calling them his house, but calleth them his Temple, 1 Cor. 6.19. Know yee not that your body is the Temple of the holy Spirit? It is not a paradoxe then in Di­vinity, that Christ at the resurrection should owne them as his owne.

Seventh consideration. Christ should be incompleat; A man that wanteth a member is incompleat and imperfect; so Christ should be imperfect and incompleat, were he defe­ctive in any of his members at the resurre­ction. [Page 69]And therefore all the bodies of the Saints must be raised as his body. It is an Ar­gument that some of the Schoole-men make use of, to prove the necessity of a resurrection of bodies, from the incompleatnesse of the soule, when it is separated from its proper body which it did informe; and with which in union it made one compositum. So the bo­dies of Saints must be raised, that Christ may be compleat in his mysticall body, as he is in his owne person. The Church is called [...], the fulnesse of Christ, Eph. 1. last, be­cause as a body is not full and compleat in his being that wants a member, so Christ should not be compleat if any part of him were wanting. And therefore the bodies of all Saints must be raised, that Christ may ap­peare in his glory and compleatnesse at the resurrection.

And thus having opened this Doctrine, and illustrated it by these considerations, I shall draw some usefull conclusions from it.

Ʋse 1.

Seeing Christians shall be one body at the resurrection, this should teach us to be one here in the bond of love. That one member [Page 70]should oppose and fight against another member, is against nature. And that one Christian should fight against another, or take his fellow-member by the throat, is a­gainst the principles of grace. In the 13. of Gen. and the S. ver. Abram doth thus speake unto his brother Lot, Let there be no strife I pray thee between mee and thee, for we are Brethren. Christians should not strive, or contend one against another, because they are fellow­members. It is reported of John, that in his old age being unable by weaknesse to speake long unto the Congregation, he would stand up, and in stead of a long Sermon ingemi­nate this Precept, Diligite filioli, diligite, Li­tle Children, love, love one another. There can be no stronger Argument to love then the consideration of our union, Col. 3.15. Let the peace of God rule in your hearts, to the which also yee are called in one body. Warre among members is unnaturall, that love and peace may reigne and rule in the hearts of Chri­stians, God doth make them all, one body; so the Apostle in the third of the Eph. 6. doth teach us that Jewes and Gentiles are [...], Parts of the same body. One that desired to moderate between the Calvinists and Lu­therans, wishing them not to be so bitter the one against the other, made use of this Ar­gument, [Page 71]telling them that Luther and Calvin were reconciled in love together in heaven. Let not strife, hatred, malice, and bitternesse pre­vaile among you Christians, for yee shall sweetly agree together as one body in one Spirit at the resurrection.

Ʋse 2.

There being such a glorius union be­tween us and Christ, it should engage the spirits of Saints to be much in the contem­plation of it. As the bloud and spirits doe runne through the body, so this Doctrine of union doth runne through the whole body of Christian Religion. Our Justification in the person of Christ, & our own Justification in our owne persons by Christ cannot bee clearely understood, if we be totally, igno­rant of union with Christ. As the Philoso­pher saith, that all morall vertues are linck'd together in justice, so all the points of Chri­stianity are concatenated and joyned toge­ther in this doctrine of union.

As the Starre did lead the wise men to Christ, shining over the place where Christ was, so this Doctrine of our union with Christ, shinnig among other truths of Christ in the Scripture, doth hold forth unto us a light to direct us through the grace of God, [Page 72]into a perfect, and comfortable knowledge of all other truths. As it doth in an especiall manner beame forth light unto us, to con­firme us in the Doctrine of the resurrection. For you see that the bodies of the Saints are to bee raised, because they are united to Christ, and one with him. Therefore this may strengthen the Faith of every one of us concerning the certainty of the resurrection: What saith the Apostle? No man yet ever ha­ted his owne flesh, but nourished it, and cheri­shed it, Eph. 5.29. The Lord Jesus Christ cannot hate his owne flesh, nor forget his owne body, the bodies of the Saints, but in love will raise them; even while they lie in the dust they are his body. Our propriety in a thing doth draw out our affection to the thing. Our bodies belong to the Lord, and are in his heart and affections, even while they moulder in the dust; therefore let this truth nierce your understandings, and sinke deepe into your memories, and be fully per­swaded that your bodies shall be raised: be­cause they are not so much your bodies as the body of the Lord Jesus. The Scripture, as you have heard, speakes so gloriously of that union, which all the Saints have with Jesus Christ in that one Spirit which is in Christ, and in every Saint, that it seemes to hold [Page 73]forth Christ as incompleat, till he have ga­thered all his members into one body. And certainly, Christ will not appeare incom­pleat in his body at the resurrection, which he should doe, should hee not by his power command the bodies of the Saints to come out of the earth. Therefore he will not suffer any part of himselfe to lie in the dust, he will not appeare at the generall resurrection, without a limb, not without a hand; not without a finger; not without the least mem­ber. Thou that art the meanest Christian, that apprehendest thy selfe to be but as the toe of Christ, mayst be strongly perswaded of thy resurrection, for I tell thee wh [...] Christ shall appeare at the great resurrection, he will not be without a toe; not without the lowest, and most inferiour member of his body. He will appeare in his fulnesse, and all the Saints gathered together and made one with him in body and spirit, are his ful­nesse and compleatnesse. The King when he rides in triumph, or to his great Counsell, he rides in his Royall Robes and in all his glory. When Christ shall appeare the second time, he will ride in Triumph as a Conque­rour of all Enemies, and will ride to his great Counsell or Parliament of Saints, who are to judge the Delinquents of the world. [Page 74]And the Saints are his glory, 2 Cor. 8.23. and therefore they must be raised that hee may be in his full glory.

If thou looke upon thy selfe, and thy bo­dy, and consider how thou hast dishonou­red God in thy body; (it may bee) thou mayst be startled in thy spirit; and have such sad thoughts as these; Will Christ ever raise this body as his, that I have abused to sinne? shall this body be glorified which I have dis­honoured by base and filthy lusts? but when thou hast any such thoughts as these, in which the Devill appeares to thee as an An­gel of light, to make thee question the truth of the glorious resurrection of thy body; then looke beyond thy selfe, beyond the sinnes that thou hast committed against God in thy body, and spirit. And think thus with thy selfe; This body, though I have abused it by lust and intemperance: though I have dishonoured God by the sinnes which I have committed, and acted a [...] it were upon a stage in this body, and flesh of mine; yet now the property is altered; I am not now to looke on it as my body, I am to look on it as the body of the Lord Jesus: it is that body, that he hath washed from all sinne in his owne bloud; it is that body, that he died for, that he might cleanse it from fil­thinesse, [Page 75]and uncleannesse; it is his body, he hath right to it, and a propriety in it: it is his, and none of mine. Christ will not lose that which belongs to himselfe and therefore it shall be raised in glory. We see how unwilling men are to part with that which is their possession, and inheritance. We know how Naboth answered Abab, who would have had his Vineyard, 1 King. 21.3. Should I give the inheritance of my Fathers un­to thee? we are the inheritance, the possession of the Lord Jesus; and he will not lose any part of his inheritance. This Argument is of sufficient strength to silence carnall reason, if it were throughly weighed by us in the bal­lance of the Sanctuary. For if a man look on himselfe as out, of himselfe, and the being which he hath in the first Adam, and behold himselfe as one, with the Lord Jesus, in a spi­rituall onenesse, seeing himselfe as such a part of Christ, as a hand, or a foote may be said to be a part of the bodie; and knowing Christ hath undertaken to provide for his body, and to owne it for his owne: this will establish him in an unshaken considence, that the Lord Jesus Christ intends to raise his body, and to assure and ascertaine us that he will raise us, he himselfe is risen in his own person: If the head be above the water, the [Page 76]whole body may be drawne out of the water without drowning; Christ our head is above water, above the billowes that overwhelmed him; is above sinne that was charged on him; is above the curses of the Law that came up­on him, when he was made a sacrifice for finne; above the temptations of Satan; a­bove the weaknesse of the flesh. Death could not hold him as her prisoner: and this may ascertaine us, that wee his members shall be drawne up out of the water; wee shall be above all things that we may call finne in our selves, above the reach of Satans fiery darts, we shall be above Death: that will be ful­filled which is spoken in the 1 Cor. 15. Death is swallowed up in victory: Christ hath already fully conquered Death in his owne person, and will conquer it, in the person of all those that are his members, enabling them to believe in him.

Christ doth infuse spirit, and fortitude into all his souldiers by enabling them to looke on him their Generall. Respice ad Du­cem, Look unto your Captaine, was the old Roman word of Command, to the com­mon souldiers, to stirre them up to imitate the valour and fortitude of their Comman­ders. And Christian souldiers are made truly valiant, by looking upon the fortitude and [Page 77]conquests of him who is the Captaine of their salvation. Heb. 2.10. And knowing their union with him, they see their head & Captaine risen, whose they are, which ma­keth them Conquerours of death, as his va­liant souldiers by a strong perswasion from him, and in him of a suture resurrection.

In the next place you see, that the bodies of Saints shal be raised for heaven as his body. Therefore this may teach us to glorifie God in our bodies and spirits while wee are here below: If the Lord Jesus Christ will raise our bodies as his owne bodie: it is consonant to reason, that we should use our bodies as the bodies of Christ. This consideration (if God goe along with it) will be marvellous powerfull to teach us to be holy, not only in our spirits, but in our bodies, confidering that they are the bodies of the Lord Jesus. Christ will raise thy body at the last day as his owne, it is his body, and not thine; his spirit informes it, he is owner, and possessor of it, thou art not thine owne, thou art bought with a price, 1 Cor. 6.20. Thererefore glorifie God in thy body and in thy Spirit, which are Gods. Seeing Christ will raise thy body as his body, when it is dead, therefore behave thy selse towards thy body, as the body of Christ while thou art alive.

This is that that the Apostle presseth from this confideration, 1 Cor. 6.15. Shall I take the members of Christ, and make them the mem­bers of a harlot? a Christian would not mis­demeane himselfe toward his body, if he did consider what his body is, it is the house and Palace of the Lord Jesus, the Temple of God. It was accounted a great fault for any man to misbehave himselfe in the Temple of Solomon, which was a place then, by Gods appointment more holy then other places. Our bodies are spirituall Temples: therefore defile not the Temple of the Lord. Bring not in, the abomination of desolation into the holy place: bring not the filth of sinne into it: suffer not lust to lie in thy bo­dy: suffer not pride in thy flesh: sinne not against thy owne body in any kind: take heed of riot, and drunkennesse; take heed of those fins that are sinnes against the body: because by them thou sinnest against the Tem­ple, and house of God, thou sinnest against that, that is not thine owne, but is the Lord Jesus Christs.

Our bodies should not be like the Egyptian Temples, that were stately Edifices and buil­dings, but in them there was nothing, but some noy some, and filthy beasts. Thy body is a stately Edifice: O set not up thy beastly [Page 79]lusts as Idols to be worshipped there. Galen that great Physitian, when he came to ana­tomize mans body, he stood in admiration of the workmanship; wondring at the skil­full hand, and finger of him that was the maker of it. Thou must not only looke on thy body as it is a naturall Edifice: but as it is a building for the Lord Jesus, as a Temple that Christ hath made choyse of; a Temple for the Holy Spirit to dwell in. Therefore suffer not Crocodiles, and noysome beasts to sit there: stoup not to lusts: fall not downe on thy knees before thy corrupti­ons; sacrifice not to uncleannesse; Suffer not any sinne to reigne in thy mortall body; Rom. 6. thy body is the body of the Lord, it is under the power of Christ; therefore let Christ onely reigne in it. Sinne shall not have dominion over you; because you are not un­der the Law, but under grace, Rom. 6.19. As yee have yeelded your members servants unto uncleannesse, and to iniquity unto iniquity: even so now yeeld your members servants to righteous­nesse unto holinesse.

If men did but consider the glory of their persons; the glory that God hath put upon their spirits, in making them one spirit with his owne; and the glory that God hath put upon their bodies, in making them his [Page 80]houses, Temples, and places of glory to dwell in: through the goodnesse of God it would restraine them from sinne. That the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity, should come and dwell in these humble, and low cottages of ours. That the God of glory should come and dwell in houses of clay, in houses of mud, in houses that pre­sently must be pulled downe, and lye in the dust. O how should the serious and spirituall meditation of this, put bounds and limits, yea, a period to our corruptions.

As Luther doth report of one, that being tempted to any sinne by the Devill, would answer, that she was Christian. Thy body is Christs by conquest, he hath dispossessed the Devill of the strong hold which he had in thy body, and therefore suffer not the Devill to rule there as he did when he was Lord of thee. If the Devill come, and tempt thee to commit any sinne, which is a finne that thou mayst act with thy body: answer him thus; Satan away, my eares can­not be open to thy temptations, I cannot li­sten to thee to commit this sinne, my body is not mine owne, but the body of the Lord Jesus Christ.

And when thou findest thy selfe in thy bo­dy, at any time unwilling for the service of [Page 81]Christ, confider with thy selfe, my body is not mine owne, it belongs to the Lord Christ, he will have a care of it at the resurrection, he will not lose my earth or ashes, he will preserve my dust, and keep it as a precious Di­amond in the casket of his owne love. There­fore be willing to serve Christ in thy body; he ownes the bodies of Saints here, and will owne them hereafter; he hath a speciall care of the bones of his Saints, and though the limbes of their bodies be carried from one end of the world to the other, and scattered in severall places and climates, yet by his power he will bring one limb to another: therefore glorifie Christ in your bodies, who hath promised to quicken your mortall bo­dies by his spirit which he hath given unto you, Rom. 8.11.

In the next place, another use may be this, to make us willing to sacrifice our bo­dies, for the maintaining of the truths of Christ, if Christ be pleased to call us to suffer for him. We doe not know but this point may be very seasonable; we know not how soone Christ may call for our bodies to lie in prison, for some truthes he hath disco­vered to us which he hath not made known to others; why should we be unwilling that Christ should suffer in his owne body? Con­sider, [Page 82]that the body which shall lie in prison, it is not thy body, thou art not able to raise it, it is the body of Christ. Therefore if it be the mind of Christ that this body shall lie in prison, say not, My will, but thy will be done; and if Christ will lead thee fur­ther, if he will not onely lead thee to be im­prisoned in thy body for the profession of the truth: but if he call thee to give up thy life to loose it for him, that thou mayst find it again in him: let this consideration make thee willing to be a martyr, and sufferer for the Lord Christ; why should not he doe what he will with his owne? If he will lead thee to a pillorie, to an hot Iron to receive a marke in thy body for him, to an halter, fire, and faggot, be contented. And be confident, that if Christ ever call thee to suffer, he will give thee power, and strength, for to suffer in thy body; because he cannot forget to be mindfull of his owne bo­dy. We know how Christ threatneth those that are ashamed of him, and his word, in an adulterous, and sinfull generation, Mark 8.38. Of him saith he, shall the Son of man be ashamed when he shall come in the glory of the Father, with power and great glory. As Christ will not owne but be ashamed of wicked, ungodly, and unbelieving men, that make profession [Page 83]of his name in words, without his power in their hearts: so Christ will owne the bodies of his Saints, and such who truly believe in him, and have laid downe their lives for him, and they shall find their lives againe at the resurrection of the dead. Therefore let this make us willing to suffer.

I am the more willing to presse this point, because I see a spirit of basenesse, and coward­linesse in Christians; I find not that courage in the hearts and spirits of Christians that should be in them. The complaint of Jere­miah may justly be taken up in our times; he saith, Jer. 9.3. None were valiant for the truth. There is scarce a man that appeares for truth in the height of zeale. Men will rather sinne against Conscience to comply with the world, then oppose themselves against the corruptions of the world: they will rather swimme down with the tyde, and streame of the world, then oppose the wicked streame of worldly corruptions.

And it is to be feared, that many profes­sors have their eye so much upon the Civill Magistrate, from this corruption and un­soundnesse in their hearts, they will be of the same Religion with the Civill Magistrate, because they will not suffer any thing for the Lord. They looke on Christ in their ap­prehensions, [Page 84]as precious: but when they are told of a crucified Christ, of a persecuted Christ, of a Christ hanging on a tree; a Christ to be spit upon, condemned, and persecuted, to suffer in the world: with the young man in the Gospel, they goe away sorrowfull from such a Sermon; they would have Christ and the world together; but if they cannot have Christ, but they must leave the world, they had rather part with Christ then with the world. They are like Joseph of Arimathea, that tooke Christ, and left the Crosse behind him; So, delicate Professors in our time, they will take Christ, but they will be sure to leave the Crosse, they will be wise in their way, they will professe Religi­on no further then they may hold the world, and Religion together.

One reason of this cowardise and basenesse of spirit is this, because they doe not confider, that the bodies of Saints are under the care and in the possession of Jesus. And that wee cannot glorifie God more then by lying in prison, in love to Christ; or dying for him; if it be his pleasure to call us, to seale his truths with cur bloud: And if we did confi­der, what a holy flame, and Heavenly sparke was in the hearts and spirits of primitive Christians, in believing this truth, that they [Page 85]accounted it their greatest honour, to be dis­honoured for Christ, their greatest credit to be discredited by the world for him, their Liberty to be imprisoned, their life to die at a stake, for professing this glorious truth of Christ discovered to their soules, Phil. 1.21. it would put fire and spirit into us: and this lethargie that is upon us, would speedily be cured: Indeed we are a luke-warme people; the discretion and prudence of politick pro­fessors in our times, hath swallowed up zeale; In the times of Popery, there was zeale without knowledge in this Kingdome; and now wee have knowledge without Zeale. And the ground of this, is this, because ei­ther wee doe not meditate on this truth, or else, because we are rather cold, and formall, then truly spirituall in the meditation of it, which should engage us as we tender the glo­ry of Christ, to be more frequent and seri­ous in our contemplations, concerning it, for the future. I find that Christians made much use of this point in former dayes, (though I doe not wholly justifie their practise) for as it is our custome to salute one another, when we meete, so it was the custome of some Christians, when they met one another to utter these words, Christus resurrexit, Christ is risen. They apprehended it sa a point, that [Page 86]came with such power on their spirits, to en­able them to be willing to suffer for the Lord, that this was their salutation in the time of persecution, assuring themselves that he which was risen in his owne person as head, would arise in all Saints as his members. And this was that, that made them so willing to jeo­pard their lives for the name of the Lord Jesus. We read of Paul, Act. 21.13. that when they exhorted him not to goe to Jeru­salem, because the Spirit in Agabus had made it knowne, that he should be persecuted and bound when he came thither, Why doe you weep and break my heart, saith he? I am not onely willing to be bound at Jerusalem; but to die there for the name of the Lord Jesus: It was a heart-breaking to Paul, to tell him that hee should not goe to suffer at Jerusalem, as if it were his greatest suffering, not to suffer for the Gospel; But we have learned this point by roate, and it is a thing few un­derstand; wee talke of it, in a Parrat-like way, and we have mumbled it over in our Creed (I believe the resurrection of the bo­dy;) but few have dived into the bottome of it, or suckt the sweetnesse and spirituality which lies in it, or else we should not be so luke-warme in the cause of Christ, but for the future, let us looke up to God; that he [Page 87]may give us spirituall and Heavenly wisdome, that so we may have a more Divine and spi­rituall knowledge of it. He that is the resur­rection, and the life of Saints, is the onely teacher of the Doctrine of the resurrection. It is reported of the Pelican, that her young being poysoned by the Serpent, she doth give them life, by her own death and bloud; so Christ doth quicken us his members to a life of immortality, by his owne death and bloud. And doth give us the knowledge of life in the knowledge of his death, bloud­shedding and resurrection, which doth in­force the necessity of our resurrection from his who is our head: And this is the perswa­sion of true Saints. And as it is reported of the Phenix, that when she is to die, she brings spices into her nest, which being set on fire, she her selfe is burned in the fire, and turned to ashes; and out of her ashes comes a new Phenix; so a true Christian knoweth, that though he may be burned, and turned into ashes, yet out of his owne ashes, his body shall be raised againe to a new life of glory, which doth arme him against the feare of death, and persecution in the cause of Christ.

Again this doth discover what enemies they are to Christ his Spirit, and members, who by their wiles, subtilty and hellish Logick [Page 88]would destroy the Doctrine of the Refurre­ction: They would rob Christ of his mem­bers, who doth here lay claime to the bodies of dead Saints. They would make the Spirit a lier, who doth seale up Saints unto the day of Bedemption, Eph. 5.30. And in whom they wait for the redemption of their bodies, Bom. 8.23. They would rob Saints of their comfort, which God doth give them, in the beleeving of the resurrection of the same bo­dy, which is committed unto the earth. I am the more earnest against these men, be­cause I know these factors for Antichrist, are both active and subtle; as the Serpent did indeavour to beguile Eve, 2 Cor. 11.3. so these indeavour to undermine men, and to draw them from the simplicity of the Gos­pel. One, and a chiese part of Christs simple Gospel is the Doctrine of the resurrection of our bodies, by the power of Christ: when Paul preached this at Athens, the Stoicks and Epicures did look upon him as a babler. And this piece of the Gospel was alwayes accoun­ted foolishnesse to the learned Greeks.

And as the Apostle was jealous of them, for feare they should be drawne from the simplicity of the Gospel: so am I jealous over poore Christians, knowing that you shall meet with men, that pretend to be spiri­tuall, [Page 89]men of great light, wisdome, know­ledge, and deep understandings; and when you have dived into the bottome of their spi­rits, this is all you shall find in them, which they will labour to draw you to assent unto, to wit, that there is no resurrection but in the spirit, no corporall resurrection of the body at all.

These are like those, of whom the Apostle speaketh, in his time, that corrupt or deale deceitfully with the word of God. The me­taphor is borrowed from cheating Vintners, or cousening Merchants that adulterate their commodities to make them vendible, as Beza doth well observe: so these, that their horrid opinions and blasphemies may be vendible, they endeavour [...], to sophisticate the word, and adulte­rate it from the plaine and simple meaning of the Holy-Ghost. Therefore let mee in love to your soules, once more desire you, that you would be watchfull, that none of these draw you away from these truthes, of God, and the Lord Jesus, which have been discovered to you, and have been sealed up­on your hearts and spirits by his owne bles­sed Spirit. The Devill doth sow the tares of Familisme in mens hearts while they sleep. But I am confident, that you shall believe [Page 90]them, though for a time you may be drawn to question them and the resurrection, as those in the 1 Cor. 15. and may be deluded by Familisticall fancies, and notions, as some good Christians have been, yet if God hath laid hold on you, and drawne you to him in Christ, he will not totally leave you to these damnable opinions: If it were possi­ble, these Serpents would deceive even the Elect: but Christ intimates, that it is impossible, that they should ever deceive the Elect. And the Apostle, when he speakes of such men as these, 2 Tim. 2.19. saith that the foundation of the Lord stands sure, having this seale, of his everlasting election, the Lord knoweth who are his. Therefore let not men deceive you, but live in the light of the Gospel, and in that Spirit that is given forth in the Gospel. Take heed of these Impostors, hug not the Devill in Samuels mantle: suffer not the De­vill to devoure you in a sheeps skin: but walke in the plaine simple path of the Gos­pel of the Lord Christ. And that you may doe this, give me leave to give you some few directions, for the preserving you in the truth, and the securing of you from this in­fection of Familisme.

First, I wish you to apply your selves to the reading of the Scriptures, which are able to [Page 91]make you wise unto salvation, through Faith which is in Christ, 2 Tim. 5.15. When these men come unto you, it may be they will pre­sent you with bookes written in a strange Language, stuffed with swelling non-sense, and affected phrases that none understand, but those that are acquainted with their blas­phemous, horrid, and damnable opinions. And will indeavour to lead you from the Scriptures; and if yous oppose the truth of Scripture against their delusion, some of them will affirme, that Peter, and Paul, when they wrote their Epistles, had but a little light, were but children; they are enlightned men, growne up unto the stature of perfe­ction, labouring to prove that the bright starre of truth doth shine no where so glori­ously as in the old Popish Authors, and new Familisticall scriblers, which they will pre­sent unto you. Therefore that you may not be drawne away by these, keep to the Scrip­tures; and know that there is no booke in which there is more light then in the Scrip­ture; or from which you may expect more light, if you looke to God for his spirit, to open the mind of God in the reading of it.

Dulcius exipso fonte bibuntur aquae.

Waters are sweetest at the well-head: An­truthes [Page 92]doe present themselves most sweetly unto us, in the Scripture, which is the Well and Fountaine, from which other Writers doe fetch the truthes, which we find in their writings. He that addicts himselfe more to the reading of mens writings then the Scrip­tures, is like one, that leaving the Fountaine where the waters are pure, had rather drink in the channell where they are impure and muddy.

Truly, if you grow in grace, you will grow in liking, and approving the holy Scripture, though it be written in a plaine style, and though there be not that humane Eloquence, and Rhetorick in it, which you shall find in the preaching of some men, who preach them­selves rather then the Lord Jesus, and the simplicity of the Gospel.

That man is a good proficient in the Schoole of Christ, that every day growes more, and more in love with the blessed, and holy Scripture. I remember what an Orator speaking in the commendation of Cicero saith, he is a good proficient in Oratorie, that de­lights to read the Orations of Cicero; so he is a good proficient in Christianity, that in believing, delights in the holy Scriptures of the Old, and New Testament. Therefore you shall find, that men that fall off to these [Page 93]opinions, presently they slight the Scripture, and either wholly deny the word of God, or else they overthrow the truth of it by al­legorizing those things that have a plain, sim­ple, historicall meaning in them. That is the first Rule.

Search the Scriptures, and there you shall see no such sancies, and fond notions as these men have.

The second direction is this, take heed of those that preach not the Gospel in a plaine familiar way, you may know some Fami­lists by their bombastick language: they speake not in the language of Canaan, in their Sermons: but they have an affected language of their owne: (that few under­stand, but those that have applyed them­selves much to the studie of their writings, and are well acquainted with their opinions,) And by their chymicall darke expressions, and fond notions, they [...]lude poore soules that thinke they are spirituall men, and that great things are revealed to them which are not discovered to other Saints; when there is nothing but horrid Antichristia­nisme, or Atheisme, lies at the bottome of their hearts, which shall be evident, when according to the truth of God, 2 Tim. [...].9. Their folly shall be manifest unt all men. [Page 94]Paul saith, when he came to preach at Corinth, 1 Cor. 2.4. That it was not in the ex­cellency of speech, nor in the enticing words of mans wisdome, but in plainnesse of speech, in demonstration of the Spirit and power. And it is the command of God, that if any man speake, he should speake as the Oracles of God, 1 Pet. 4.11. The [...], or As doth relate to the manner of speaking, as well as to the matter which is to be delivered. Men are to speake, as the Oracles of God, speaking no­thing but truth; and as the Oracles of God for plainnesse of speech. St. Paul speaking of true Gospel-Preachers, saith, we use great plainnesse of speech. The Scripture is in a plaine, familiar style, the Sermons of our Saviour are plaine, familiar Sermons, ador­ned with plaine similies. And the Apostles were not ashamed to imitate their Master: so should our discourses be with all plainnes of speech & demonstration of the spirit & power, that the glory may be given not to the Eloquence of our tongues, but to the power of Christ in converting of soules. Therefore take heed of those, that lead you from the plainnesse of preaching, hiding their cursed errours in a thicket and cloud of darke workes, and unscripture-like expressions, not holding fast the forme of sound words according to [Page 95]Gods precept, 2 Tim. 1.13. 2 Cor. 3.12. Looke on the Scripture, and see how Paul speakes of Justification, of remission of sinnes, of the resurrection, and so let us preach the Lord Jesus Christ, and the truth of Christ. But those that have language not like the language of Scripture suspect them, they make a faire shew, there is great glory, and outward pompe in their words: but latet an­guis, there is a snake that lies under these fine greene herbes: take heed of such men, and looke mmore for the inward power and Spirit of God in the speaking of men, then for fine words, phrases, notions, and similies, that men may make use of, to winne you to the approbation of their er­rours.

The third direction which I shall present unto you is this, take heed of spirituall pride: for one reason why so many fall off from the truth to these horrid opinions, is from a prin­ciple of spirituall pride; some of these thought that they had a great deale of knowledge, wis­dome, and understanding, and that they un­derstood as much of the Doctrine of Christ, and mysteries of the Gospel as was necessary; that they had heard as much of the Doctrine of Justification as any could preach of it, and of the resurrection, as any could speake: [Page 96]they knew as they supposed what this man spake, and what the other preached, what this mans judgement was, what Authors did write, and they knew perfectly as they imagined whatsoever lies in the Scripture to be embraced for truth. And by their pride did surfeit of their knowledge, supposing that they knew all points of the Gospel, when in deed and in truth, they knew nothing of the Gospel savingly, spiritually, or practi­cally: so that as the people of Israel came to loath Manna, and lusted after other food: so these being puffed up with spirituall pride, begin to loath the Heavenly Manna of the Gospel, and disesteeme it for the plainnesse, and simplicity that is in it. And nothing now will please them but new fancies: there­fore they must have Sermons dressed in an­other fashion, new cooked, new notions; and new conceits, and anything that is new pleaseth them better then the old and anci­ent truths of the Lord Jesus. But when God teacheth a man to understand the Gospel aright, the more he knowes the Gospel, the more he sees his ignorance of the Gospel: that man sees, he never learned the Doctrine of Justification fully; that man sees that he hath not sufficiently learned the Doctrine of Sanctification: this man lookes not on his [Page 97]knowledge meerely as it is speculative, but as it is practicall, when he sees any unbeliefe in his heart, he saith within himselfe, I have not sufficiently learned the Doctrine of Faith in the Lord Jesus Christ: when he sees any hatred in his spirit, to that which is good, and any inclination to that which is evill, he wisely concludeth, I have not sufficiently lear­ned the Doctrine of Sanctification; when he finds sadnesse in his spirit, O saith he, there is more in the Gospel concerning the spirit of joy, and consolation, then I have attained to; when he reads sundry enigmaticall, and difficult places, of the Prophets, and in the Revelation, and hath nor attained to the spirituall meaning of them, O (saith he) I am not sufficiently acquainted with the truths which lie hidden in the word: though I may have knowledge enough to carrie me to Hea­ven, yet I am very ignorant of many truths of Christ. Thus a man that truely lives the life of Faith, he is not puffed up, as these are, that fall to these hideous, and blasphemous notions, and opinions. Hab. 2. He that is lifted up, his heart is not upright: but the just shall live by his Faith. You shall find that Fa­milisticall spirits are puffed up with a con­ceit of their knowledge, notions, and specu­lations, when indeed they are wholy car­nall, [Page 98]and understand not the deepe things of Gods grace in the face of Jesus Christ. But he that truly walks with God faithfully, that man walks humbly with his God.

True Faith as it exalts us, and shewes us our priviledges, and honour by the grace of God in Christ; so it humbles us by the sight of what is in our selves. The light of grace will as well discover, what wee are in our fleshly part, as what wee are by the grace of God in the spirit of the Lord Jesus Christ. And these that are thus enlight­ned shall never fall totally and finally from the pure and simple Gospel of Christ: the Spirit in them doth assure them that they shall abide in him, John 2.27. Therefore be­ware of pride, the bane of Angels, and the ruine of men, and the mother of Familisme. But grow in humility; conceit not that you are full when you are empty. As long as the Widow had empty vessels, the oyle did still run, so, as long as there is an empty vessel in thy heart, the oyle of grace shall flow in unto thee.

The fourth Direction. Take heed that thou dost not embrace the Doctrines of free will, and falling away from grace, some of the Familists of the City, have been great sticklers to uphold these points, and to [Page 99]revive Arminian Tenets among Professors, before they did arrive to the top and height of Familisme. That man will not stand long, who hath no strength, but his owne legs to uphold him. Neither will that man stand long for Christ, who stands more by the strength of his owne will, then by the power of Gods grace. Adam standing in his owne strength, lost his happinesse when he was wise and righteous; and canst thou maintaine thy selfe in an happy condition by thine owne strength, when thou art unrighte­ous? True Saints are kept by the power of God through Faith unto salvation, 1 Pet. 1.5. The word is [...], which signifieth a keeping of any thing as by a Guard. Gods grace is a guard, by which he doth keepe all his, in the way of salvation, so that it is impossible they should fall away from his grace. It is no wonder then, if they fall away from grace, to Familisme, who doe maintaine that Saints may fall away from grace.

The fist Direction. Be not loose or licen­tious in life, or neglective of Sanctification under the profession of the Doctrines of Free-grace and Justification. Many of the professed Familists which we meet with have been loose Professors of the Doctrine of Grace. The Libertine doth live next dore [Page 100]to the Familist, and Libertinisme is the broad road, and high-way, or beaten-path to Familisme.

Lastly, take heed of vaine janglings, and disputings in matters of Religion. Religion is more in practise, then Controversies or spe­culation. Be more conscientious to practise what thou knowest, then curious in dispu­ting about things that thou knowest not. And let thine eare be rather open to those that will instruct thee, then to those that will dispute with thee.

The Disputes and Controversies of the times have made many Atheists and Fami­lists, in these times. Origen speaking of these words in the 21. Exod. 22. If men strive and hurt a woman with child, so that her fruit depart from her, &c. doth thus allegorize them. The woman with child saith he, are weake Christians, who are with child and ready to bring forth truth. The men that strive are Professors, that with bitternesse and violence doe contend for their opinions, and while they strive in heat and bitternesse for their opinions, the Christian miscarries, and doth not bring forth truth. How many who did seeme to have Christ almost formed in them, have miscarried and fallen to Familisme, by the strivings and contentions of Professors; [Page 101]that thou mayst therefore learne wisdome by their folly, and stand more stedfastly by their fall, treasure up the truths which have been delivered, and imprint them upon your memories, and because reasons, precepts, ex­hortations, and Rules doe little advantage us to preserve us in the Profession of the Truth, without the power of him who is truth, looke unto him to preserve you in the Faith of your union, with himselfe, and his Fa­ther in the Spirit, and to ascertaine you of your resurrections as part of his body; and to enable you as his members to glorifie him, and his Father, in the Spirit for evermore. Amen.

The great Joy of Saints in the great Day of the Resurrection.
SERMON III. Preach'd on a Thanks-giving DAY.

ISAIAH 26.19.‘Awake and sing, ye that dwell in the dust, for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the Earth shall cast forth her dead.’

I Have shewed unto you, that these words are a present com­fort, or cordiall, given by God unto his people, for the refresh­ment of their languishing spi­rits, and sad hearts in the midst of their afflictions. And have proved that the bo­dies [Page 104]of the Saints shall arise, and that they shall arise as the body of the Lord Jesus. He is their head; they shall rise as his mem­bers. He dyed to bring his people to a spiri­tuall onenesse, with himselfe, and his Father. They are his possession, and inheritance. And as a body may properly be called the body of that soule which doth informe it: so Christ shall be the spirituall forme, and soule to those that shal be raised at the great day of the generall resurrection. By these and other spirituall considerations, I did evidence this truth, that the bodies of the Saints shall be raised, as the dead bodie of their blessed Sa­viour. My dead body shall they rise.

I shall now by the Assistance of Gods grace, briefly open unto you, the words that follow in the Text, and make choyse of one pro­position from them, which may heighten your spirituall joy this day, upon which I shall enlarge my selfe, and so shall commend you and what I shall deliver to you, to the blessing of the Almighty.

The next word which doth present it selfe to us in the Text, is this. Awake, which doth afford us this observation, that Death is but a sleep. It is night for a time with the Saints, while they sleep in their graves, but they shall awake at the morning of the re­surrection.

The grave is a bed of rest, perfumed, and made sweet to all Saints by the death of the Lord Jesus Christ, who hath taken a­way whatsoever is bitter, and unpleasant in it. It is no longer a curse to the Saints, but rather a part of their happinesse, Blessed are the dead that die in the Lord, Rev. 14.4.13. As the Psalmist speakes, Psal. 17. When I awake I shall be satisfied with thy like­nesse, that is, at the great day of the resurre­ction; after I have had a long sleep in the dust, when the night is past, and the day of the resurrection shall shine, I shall awake, and then I shall be satisfied with thy likenesse, Isa. 57.2. The Prophet hath an expression that runnes this way; speaking of righteous and mercifull men, (saith he) they shall enter into peace; they shall rest in their beds. And when Stephen was stoned to death, the Holy Ghost tell [...] us that he fell asleep, Act. 7.60. And the Primitive Christians called the places where they buried their dead [...], sleeping places. The Earth to every Saint is but a sleeping place. Jesus Christ shall come downe from Heaven with a shout, and with the voyce of the Arch-angel, and with the Trump of God. And this great Trumpet being blown, the dead in Christ shall awake and rise. He that dyeth in Christ, and [Page 106]is one of his dead men, doth not dye but sleep. And at the resurrection shal in a moment awake out of his sleep. When the Father, Word, and Spirit did make the Fabrick of the world, all things were speedily, and sud­denly made; for the making of any thing, there was but verbum & factum; the word spoken, and presently the thing was made. Let there be Light, and there was light, let there be a firmament, and there was a firmament: so when the Lord Jesus Christ shall speake the word, and bid us awake; in a moment, in the twinckling of an eye, those that are dead in the Lord, shall awake out of the sleep of death.

And here by the way, let me give you another observation. You see at the great day that the dead that lye in the dust shall be raised by the command of Christ, who shall bid them come out of the dust. Now, as no rationall man would conclude from this place, that the dead (who it may be, have their dust lying in severall places, in every part of the world a portion of their dust,) have any power to raise themselves, though they are bid to a­wake: eve so when God speaking to soules that heare the word preached, doth com­mand them to believe, repent, live holily, and rejoyce, we cannot conclude, that there is [Page 107]any power, strength, and ability in the crea­ture to doe what they are commanded to doe; no more then the dead can awake of themselves, though Christ commands them to awake. As when Christ did bid Lazarus come forth of the grave, he did presently come forth; though he had not any power in himselfe to come forth; but that power that bid him come forth, enabled him to come forth; so, though Christ exhort us in the Gospel to believe, and to doe good du­ties, we have no power in our selves to doe good duties, but that power that bids us doe good duties, must inable us to doe them, or else we are never able to doe them: which moved Augustine to pray thus; Da domine quod jubes, & jube quod vis, give Lord what thou commandest, and command what thou wilt. Againe, in the next place take notice, that those who shall be raised are called the inhabitants of the dust, yee that dwell in the dust, the dust for a time is a ha­bitation for the Saints: in Eccles. 12.5. It is said, Man shall goe to his long home. The grave is a home, or house for a time, which may assure us of the resurrection of the same bo­dies which are entrusted to the dust, that which dwelleth in the dust, and no other thing in stead of it, must be be raised out of the dust.

Thirdly, here is a reason laid downe in the next verse to assure us of our resurrecti­on. Thy dew is as the dew of Herbes.

The Lord Jesus, in the power of his Spi­rit, shall be as a heavenly dew, upon the dead bodies and dust of the Saints, to raise them up, and quicken them to a new life. Christ in the power of his Spirit may be compared to dew for three reasons; first, because as the dew comming downe upon the earth, the earth bringeth forth grasse without the help, and labour of man, Mich. 5.7. so, without the labour, and strength of the creature, the Lord Jesus, the dew of Heaven, coming down upon the dust and ashes of the Saints, shall quicken them to a life, and make them flourish after they have layen rotting, and moldering in the grave.

Secondly, as the dew doth come downe speedily, and suddenly upon the earth, as you may gather from that expression of Hushai, in that speech of his to Absalom concerning David, 2 Sam. 17.12. We will come upon him, in some place where he shall be found, and light on him as the dew falleth upon the ground. As the dew falls suddenly, and unexpectedly, so we will surprise David. So the Lord Jesus will come in the twinkling of an eye; suddenly up­on the bodies of the Saints. Therefore he [Page 109]compares his comming to the comming of a thiefe in the night; and to lightning, which we know is darted through the middest of Heaven with great volubilitie, and swiftnesse. In the third place; Christ shall be as dew: because as dew doth make the herbs on which it falls to be fruitfull, and to waxe green and flourish, after they have seemed to be dead: So the Lord Jesus Christ, shall quicken the dead carkasses of his Saints, and put a life into their dust. Thus Moses, the holy servant of God, speaking of his Do­ctrine in reference to the flourishing of it, Deut. 32.2. (saith) that his Doctrine shall drop as the raine, and his speech shall distill as the dew, as the small raine upon the tender herb, and as the showers upon the grasse. As the dew of Hea­ven makes the things upon which it falls, fruitfull, and fertile: so the Lord Jesus Christ, falling downe upon the dust, and ashes, upon the rotten bones, putrifyed car­kasses, and skuls of the Saints, shall cause them to flourish, and to spring up, and they shall have a new life put into them by his comming downe upon them.

Fourthly, the Prophet saith, that the earth shall cast out her dead; from whence we may strongly conclude, the resurrection of the same body which is cast into the earth, [Page 110]That body which was dead and buried in the earth, shall be raised out of the earth. But I have sufficiently spoken of these points, in my former discourses. So that if I should speak from all these particulars, I should rather repeat what I have said, then present you with new matter. The thing therefore that I shall open unto you to day, for the furthe­rance of your joy shall be this; to shew you, what great joy there shall be, at the resurre­ction of the dead, which is held forth in these words.

Awake, and sing.

I doe make bold to finish this subject here among you this day, because I know not whether I shall have an opportunity to speak to you againe from these words. And seeing I have handled the two former parts in this place, I had a desire to finish my discourse from this Text among you.

Another reason was, because I did find some Familisticall spirits here, that were troubled with what I delivered: being ene­mies to that Christ, who came in the flesh, and dyed on the Crosse, & was raised from the dead, and enemies to the Doctrine of the re­surrection, which is to be wrought by his power; and that you may see, how little I re­gard the speeches of these enemies of Christ, [Page 111]and the glorious resurrection of Saints, I would not seeme for their sakes to desert my discourse: therefore I did resolve to goe on with it this day.

Then thirdly, I apprehend it may much further the worke of the day; for if we have remembred God aright in our prayses; ha­ving made mention of his goodnesse to the Land, and Nation, we have done it spiri­tually, and have more rejoyced in spirituall then temporall mercies. And if our joy should end in rejoycing only for tēporal mercies, we should rejoyce rather carnally then spiritually. Therefore having in the beginning of the day rejoyced for the mercies that God hath shew­ed to the Land, I thinke I shall doe well, if I raise you in your spirits by what I shall speake from these words, and from the sight of Nationall mercies, and temporall delive­rances take occasion to draw your eyes to behold by Faith, how you and all Saints shall rejoyce when you are delivered from all ene­mies at the resurrection: that so I may sub­limate your joy, by carrying you higher in the spirit, to rejoice in the spirituall things spoken of in the text.

Awake, and sing.

Ye know we expresse our joy by singing, as we may gather from that place, Psal. 126.1. [Page 112] when the Lord turned againe the captivitie of Sion, we were like them that dreame: then was our mouth filled with laughter, and our tongue with singing. Singing in Scripture, is an ex­pression of great joy, If any be merrie, let him sing, saith James. So, my Evangelicall Pro­phet, to shew what great joy there shall be at the resurrection, when the bodies of the Saints shal be raised, he bids us awake and sing. So that this is the point, there will be great joy at the resurrection. For the amplifying of which point, I shall shew you what cause of rejoycing, there will be at the resurrection.

The spirits, and the bodies of the Saints will then be reunited together again, which were disunited for many yeares. And as the Spirit doth with some regret, griefe, and unwil­lingnesse leave the bodie, having a naturall desire, and appetite (being planted into it, by the hand of the Creator) after union with the bodie, so, the spirit cannot but rejoyce when it is united againe to the bodie. There­fore you shall find the spirits of Saints under the Altar, (in the Revelation 6.10.) crying, How long? holy and true, intimating their de­sire to be reunited to their bodies. And in 2 Cor. 5.4. The Apostle there shewes us, that though the Saints be willing to live with the Lord Jesus Christ, yet there is an unwilling­nesse [Page 113]in them to leave their bodies: therefore they had rather have immortalitie swallow­ed up of life, then to lay downe their bodies in the grave, if it were the will of God. We that are in this Tabernacle (saith he) groane, being burthened; not for that we would be uncloathed, but cloathed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life. There seemes in these words to be held forth an unwillingnes in the Saints, to be uncloathed of their bodies, to put off the cloathing of the flesh. We ob­serve in Philosophie, that there is a naturall appetite in the soule, or forme to be united to that bodie that it once informed: and as it leaves the bodie with some unwillingnesse, so there is a desire of reunion when they are parted, so that re-union will be a cause of joy. For as there is joy at the meeting of friends, so the body and soule that were long together in this world, shall rejoyce when they shall meet together againe. This is one ground of joy from their meeting: the bodie and the spirit shall meet together, there shall be a reunion after there hath been a disunion between them.

But in the next place, there will be a cause of great joy: because there will be an abso­lute perfection, both in the body, and in the soule. God shall be perfection in the Spirit in [Page 114]every facultie of it, and God in his glory shall dwell likewise in the body.

The soule shall be full of God: here we have but an imperfect knowledge of God: there the soule shall be free from all igno­rance, having the full vision of God. Here we see as in a glasse, darkly, [...], enig­matically, as the Apostle speaks; there we shall see face to face. Here we do but as it were see the back parts of God with Moses. As the Kings of Persia in State used to keep themselves from the sight of the people. God doth as it were hide his face here, in comparison of the full discovery which hee will make of himselfe hereafter. We doe but sip of the cup of spi­rituall joy here; but there wee shall be filled with the rivers of the pleasures of God. Here we have, as Austin saith, guttulas but lit­tle drops of joy: but there we shall be filled with joy. Here we have a sight of God which doth not fully satisfie; but still we desire to know more of God, and more of the Lord Jesus Christ; but there wee shall be satisfied with the likenesse of God, as the Apostle saith Col. 3. v. 4. When Christ which is our life shall appeare, then we also shall appeare with him in glorie. The Apostle saith, 1 Joh. 3.2. Yet it doth not appeare what we shall be; it is not evi­dent to us what glorie there shall be in our [Page 115]understandings; how our affections shall be ravished, and enamoured with the love of God, and the Lord Jesus Christ; it doth not appear what shal be in our spirits: but we know that when be shall appeare, wee shall be like him: for wee shall see him as he is. O, what tongue of Rhetorick can expresse this! what it is to be like the Lord Jesus Christ, to see him as he is! there is more in it then the Eloquence of Angels can set forth unto you.

As they shall have such unspeakable glory in their spirits, so likewise there shall be a glory on their bodies. Alas, our bodies now are but vile bodies; weake bodies: but what saith the Apostle? Phil. 3. ult. God shall change our vile bodies and make them like his glorious body; or to his body of glory: for so it is in the originall. As the body of the Lord Jesus Christ at his transfiguration was changed, and his face did shine, and his whole body did shine with heavenly brightnesse, and Cele­stiall glory; so the bodies of the Saints, shall be bodies of glory: there shall be a heavenly brightnesse on them. Therefore Daniel spea­king of the Saints at the resurrection, hee saith, Dan. 12.3. that they that are wise shall shine as the brightnesse of the firmament, and they that turne many to righteousnesse as the Stars of Heaven. As the Starres are glorious crea­tures, [Page 116]and the brightnesse of the firmament is a great glory to our eyes; so there shall be a Celestiall, Star-like glory upon the bodies of the Saints; they shall not be grosse, lum­pish, and heavie bodies as they are now: but spirituall bodies, as swift as a Seraphim. The bodie is now a clog and weight to the soule, it is ergastulum animae as the Platonists say, it keepeth the spirit under, and presseth it down with the weight of it, but then the bodie shall be a spirituall body: so that in this body the Saints shall ascend into the aire, as in a Charriot of triumph, and glory, to meet the Lord Jesus. As Elias was carried up to Hea­ven; so shall the Saints in these bodies of theirs rise in glorie, to meet the Lord Jesus Christ in the ayre. Now they are subject to diseases: then they shall be freed from all diseases; now they are subject to death; then death shall be swallowed up, and every Saint in his owne person shall appeare as a Conquerour of death, and of the grave; eve­ry Saint shall have this [...], this song of triumph in his mouth, O death, where is thy sting? O grave, where is thy victory? The sting of death is sinne, and the strength of sinne is the Law; but thanks be unto God who hath given us the victory, through our Lord Jesus Christ. Our bodies then shall be incorruptible, wholly [Page 117]like the body of Christ; therefore the Apo­stle saith, that the bodie it must be [...], Phil. 3. last, conformable in likenesse, to the glorious bodie of the Lord Jesus Christ him­selfe: you see what perfection there shall be in the bodies of the Saints; though they be vile now, they shall be honourable, and glo­rious then: though they be now as pieces of earth, they shall be then more bright then the Starres of Heaven, or the Sunne in the firma­ment. This glorie God will put upon the bodies of the Saints, and being thus made happy in their bodies and spirits, when they shall see themselvs in this happy condition, filled in their bodies, and spirits with the glo­ry of God, it cannot but cause great joy.

If a man lye sick a long while, and have a weake, distempered, crazie bodie; when he is restored, he rejoyceth that he hath health, and strength, and is freed from the weaknesse that was upon him: shall not there be great joy then, when the Saints shall rise? when they that had weake, crazie, and vile, mor­tall bodies here, shall see themselves in bodies of glory, in bodies as glorious as the body of the Lord Jesus?

Againe, there will be great cause of joy to these Saints, when they shall be thus uni­ted in their bodies, and soules, and shall meet [Page 118]the Lord Jesus Christ, because they shall have great dignitie put upon their persons; they shall bee raised as no meane persons. As wicked, ungodly, and unbelieving men shall be raised as slaves, and vassals, and be brought forth in chaines and fetters, before the dreadfull tribunall of the Lord Jesus Christ: so the Saints shall all come forth as Kings; every one of them shall be dignified with the glorie, and Majestie of a King. This is that, that is spoken of, in the Revelation, where it is said, that Christ hath made us Kings and Priests, and wee shall reigne upon earth. We shall reigne in our bodies. As an Ambassadour said of the Senate of Rome, that he apprehended that there were as many Kings as Senators in the Senate-house, (Quot Senateres tot Reges:) So, there shall be as ma­ny Kings, as Saints at the resurrection; and every one shall have Kingly glory, and Ma­jesty; every one, together with the Lord Je­sus, reigning as a King upon the earth, Rev. 5.10. Therefore if men rejoyce in the enjoy­ment of earthly Kingdomes and Crownes which are lined with cares, that a King pro­fessed, that if men knew the troubles, which attended upon a Crowne, no man would stoop to who it up; what joy will there be, when wee shall reigne as spirituall, and hea­venly [Page 119]Kings with the Lord Jesus?

Againe, there will be great joy: because all things that may occasion any sorrow or sadnesse shall be quite removed away: all teares must then be wiped from the eyes of all the Saints, Rev. 7.17. there must be no more sighing; no more griefe; no more sorrow. All earthly infirmities and weaknesses, which are accompanied with griefe and paine, shall be removed: for our bodies shall be Celestiall bodies, (1 Cor. 15.40.) raised up in incorrupti­on, 1 Cor. 15.42. And there shall be no more blindnesse or blacknesse upon our spirits. Here so long as wee carrie sinne about us, though we know it is pardoned, though we know it shall be remembred no more, Heb. 8.12. though we know in point of Justificati­on, that it may be sought for, and cannot be found, Jer. 50.20. yet so long as wee feele it opposing the Spirit of glory, and holinesse in us by the filthy nature of it, so long it will occasion sorrow, griefe, and some trouble to the soule: but at the generall resurrection, as sinne is now compleatly taken away in our Justification to those that believe in the Lord Jesus (such being those blessed ones spoken of in the 32. Psal. whose iniquities are forgi­ven, and whose sinnes are covered;) So then sinne shall be wholly taken away to our owne [Page 120]sense, feeling, and apprehension, by the Spi­rit of Sanctification. There shall be no cor­ner then in the soule, spirit, or body for any lust, or uncleannesse, and consequently no place for sorrow. Sinne is like the evill spirit that possessed Saul, that made him melan­choly and sad, and afflicted him in his spirit. But when the Lord Jesus Christ shall ap­peare, then all sinne shall be done away to our sense, and feeling, as it is done away now in our Justification. Then we shall be as per­fectly sanctified throughout, both in bodie and spirit, as wee are now perfectly justified. Now the life that wee live in the flesh is by Faith in the Sonne of God, by seeing how compleatly we are justified from sinnes, lusts, corruptions, those enemies to the Lord Je­sus Christ that wee carrie in our bosomes: but then wee shall be as perfect in respect of the life of sanctification, as wee are now per­fect, and compleat in respect of our Justifi­cation. So that the cause of sorrow, and trouble shall quite be taken away.

There shall be no place then left for Evan­gelicall sorrow; the sorrow that now is wrought in the Saints is Evangelicall, not Le­gall; but the joy, and glory which doth re­maine for the Saints hereafter shall be so great, that there shall be no place then left [Page 121]for Evangelicall griefe for any sinne, that we have committed. And as sin shall not then bring any sorrow upon us, so neither shall the Devill, who is the troubler of the Israel of God, be able to afflict us. Here he is permit­ted to afflict us, as he did Job, for the tryall of our Faith and patience; and though for the present, when we looke on Christ in his person, we see that wee are conquerours over the Devill in him, yet we meet with the De­vill, his fierie temptations, darts and ar­rowes, which he shooteth into our spirits: so that he oft-times causeth us to walke some­thing sadly, occasioning troubles, which Je­rome calleth (tempestates mentis) the tem­pests of the mind. As Paul tells us, that he was buffeted by the messenger of Satan. But then this wicked Fiend shall be so chained up, that he shall never be let loose upon us again. Then he shall be so under our feet that hee shall never have any liberty given him to tempt us any more.

The accuser of the Brethren is cast out of heaven, Revelation 12.10. His accusa­tions and complaints against them cannot be heard by the eare of God, to preju­dice their Justification, but he doth per­secute the woman upon the earth, Rev. 12.13. He afflicts the Church and brings much [Page 122]trouble oft-times to the Saints: but at the generall resurrection, we shall be freed whol­ly from the Devill, from all temptations, from all troubles, all enemies that can be thought upon: so that then things shall be fully accomplished, and compleated for our good. The Apostle though he telleth us that Christ for the present hath abolished death and sinne to us, 2 Tim. 1.10. and destroyed him, who hath the power of death, who is the Devill, Heb. 2.14. yet he informeth us that the pro­mises of God made to us in Christ are not fully accomplished, compleated, and perfe­cted till the resurrection; as wee may see by that place, 1 Cor. 15.54. then shall be fulfil­led that saying, speaking of the resurrection day, Death is swallowed up in victory, then it shall be said, O death where is thy sting? O grave where is thy victory? [...]. Then shall it be, that is, it shall be, in the full ac­complishment; wee have now what is there promised, in the promise of God by Faith; then wee shall have what is in the promise, in the actuall fruition of the thing promised. So that in this respect, there will be great joy: because then every Saint shall ride in a Chariot of triumph, as a Conquerour of all enemies in his own person. And as Christ in his owne body, and Spirit did ride to Hea­ven, [Page 123]and triumph over the power of Hell, Death, sinne, curse, and condemnation; and as the life that we live for the present, is by beholding this victory of the Lord Jesus Christ with the eye of Faith: so at the gene­rall resurrection all the Saints shall imitate the Lord Jesus Christ, and in their owne per­sons shall ride as Conquerours triumphing over all enemies, and shall live the life of visi­on, seeing the same thing done in their owne persons, which now by Faith they see done for them in the person of Jesus. So that all cause and occasion of trouble, and sorrow being taken away, there must needs be great joy at the resurrection of those, who are rai­sed by the Lord.

In the next place, as the occasions and causes of all sorrow shall be taken away; so likewise all things, all objects that may move spirituall joy shall be presented to the Saints, to raise their spirits to a spirituall joy, who shall be raised and made happy with the Lord Jesus: whatsoever it be that can be thought upon that can make any one happy, that the Saints shal enjoy: they shal enjoy God in a full measure, and the Lord Jesus. Sweet streames of joy will flow into their spirits, because God will make himselfe the Author and worker of their joy. Sing O daughter of Sion, [Page 124]saith the Prophet, Zeph. 3.14. Be glad and rejoyce O daughter of Jerusalem. But why must Zion sing and shout? behold the reason in the 15. verse, The Lord is in the midst of thee, and in the 17. ver. He will rejoyce over thee with singing. There is the chiefe ground of their joy laid downe. So the 12. of Neh. 43. it is said, the people rejoyced, for God made them rejoyce with great joy. So at the resurrecti­on, God shall make them to rejoyce, they shall be alway then at the Fountaine, at the Well-head, In thy presence is fulnesse of joy, at thy right hand (saith the Psalmist, Psal. 17.11.) there are pleasures for evermore. All the Saints shall then bee in the presence and at the right hand of God, where there shall be pleasures for evermore: they all shall be in the glory of the Lord Jesus. God shall emptie himselfe, and the rivers, and streames of joy which are in himself, into their hearts and spirits; so that they shall be swal­lowed up, into those streames and rivers of joy, and pleasure which are in the enjoy­ment of a God. Macarius speaketh of ( [...]) the ebriety of the Spirit. They then shall be inebriated with the ful­nesse of a spirituall joy.

If there be such rejoycing here in the spi­rit of a Saint, when he hath a light from God [Page 125]to see something of God in the face of Christ; what spirituall joy shall there be when our joy shall be at the full. If there be such joy in the ebbing of the Spirit here, what joy will there be when we shall enjoy the high­tyde of the Spirit in the vision of Gods grace, and glory hereafter; when wee shall eat of the tree of life; when wee shall drinke our fill of those rivers of pleasures which runne in the Paradise of God? And if there be so much sweetnesse in spirituall joy here; what tongue can expresse, or heart conceive what there shall be in that joy that shall be hereafter? Great, glorious and high are the expressions by which Saints doe set forth the joyes that they feele here, but no Saint can tell what the joyes shall be hereafter at the resurrection. Psal. 94.19. In the multi­tude of my thoughts within mee, thy comforts de­light my soule; the delight is such here, that David had rather have the light of Gods countenance, in a Spirit of joy upon him, then to enjoy all the glory and great things in the world. Thou hast put greater joy into my heart, then when the corne and wine of wick­ed men is increased, Psal. 4. and in Psal. 84. One day in thy house is worth a thousand. If there be such joy in the presence of God here, in the beholding of his grace, in the kisses of [Page 126]his mouth, in the imbraces of his Sonne, when he doth now sprinkle us with his grace; O what joy shall there be, when God shall poure out the Spirit of grace, and sweetnesse into our soules? when he shall open all the treasures of his Spirit and love; when hee shall more freely and fully shew us the things, that neither eye hath seene, nor eare hath heard, neither hath it entred into the heart of man to conceive what they are? 1 Cor. 2.

Wee have seene great things in the world; Crownes, Scepters, riches, worldly pomp and glory, but what are all these things? they doe not shadow forth the things that wee see here in the Spirit, and shall more plainely see hereafter. Our fancies, and Ima­ginations, worke beyond our eye, we fancie greater things, then we behold: but what eye hath not seene, nor eare hath heard, nor hath it entred into the heart of man to conceive, what they are, wee darkly see here, and shall fully enjoy hereafter.

The Poets in their fancies, have fancied golden Mountaines, and great things; the earth doth not afford such things as they have fancied and minted in their poeticall braines: but the things that shall then be discovered to us, goe beyond the cogitation and thought, and workings of mans heart, [Page 127]and spirit; and these things shall be glori­ously revealed to us by the Spirit of God; and the Spirit shall shew us that all these things are ours. Wee shall see God ours, and Christ ours, and all the glory of Heaven ours, and see our selves in the Kingdome of Heaven. So that there shall be the presence of all things that shall make us happy, the confluence of all good things that can bring any blisse, tranquillity, and joy to the spirit, and soule of man. So that it is evi­dent there will be great joy, if wee consider that there will be every thing wanting, that may make us sorrowfull, and every thing present that may make us joyfull: there will be the absence of all evill, and the pre­sence of all good: there will be God him­selfe, who is the summum bonum, the chiefe good; and this God will unvaile himselfe, and shew forth his love, and shine forth in his glorie, beautie, and excellency on the spirits of his people; and seeing themselves in this happie, and blisfull condition; they cannot but sing and rejoyce at the resurrecti­on. Here the Saints in believing doe rejoyce with joy unspeakable and full of glory. 1 Pet. 1.8. How glorious then and unspeakable will be the joy of the resurrection?

Againe, you may take notice that there [Page 128]will be cause of great joy, if you confi­der that all the joy which wee have here is but a shadow of that joy which the Saints shall have hereafter. Nay, all the joy in the world here cannot shadow forth that joy that shall be hereafter. Consider for what men doe rejoyce here, and you shall see that they have the same cause to rejoyce for the same things in a full manner hereafter. The re­surrection day is the Saints Coronation day, and their wedding-day. Rev. 19.7. Let us be glad and rejoyce and give honour to him: for the marriage of the Lamb is come, and his wife hath made her selfe ready. It is Gods and their har­vest day. Among men, the time of harvest is a time of joy. They shall rejoyce before thee ac­cording to the joy of harvest, Isa. 9.3. The resurrection is Gods harvest for the gathe­ring in of Saints. When a man sowes his seed, he sowes it in expectation of a harvest. So God sowes his seed, he sowes the bodies of the Saints in the earth, he layes them in the surrowes; he doth it in expectation of a harvest. And the people of God were com­manded to rejoyce before him, in the time of harvest: which did typifie the spirituall joy that the Saints shall enjoy at the generall resurrection, which shall be their harvest; when their bodies shall spring and come out [Page 129]of the dust, in their glory and excellency.

Againe, that I may bring you back to re­member what the worke of the day is, and enlarge my selfe upon that, at which I pointed even now; we know that we use to have great joy for great deliverances; When God hath suffered us, even to come to the brinke of ruine, and destruction, and then doth pull us from it, and save us, there is joy with shouting. We know how neere wee were to ruine, wee had almost been destroyed by the enemies that rose up against us: but the Lord hath delivered us: and seriously considering this deliverance wee cannot but be thankfull and joyfull for the mercy. And our joy for the mercy of this day, may imperfectly sha­dow forth, and represent unto you the joy which shall be in Saints at the resurrection. For wee that were compassed about with so many enemies in the world; that had all the Devills in hell against us, and all the wicked men in the world, holding forth their hands, to draw us and lead us into the broad way that leads to destruction: and a base malig­nant party that wee carrie about us, within our selves joyning with the Devill, the world, & wicked men against our selves: by the pow­er of God shall we be preserved from all these enemies, and made more then Conquerours [Page 130]over all our enemies through Jesus Christ, that loved us. And so shall have cause to re­joyce in our preservation and deliverance.

Truely we are not able fully to apprehend our deliverance here, and that is the reason that Saints rejoyce so little in the God of grace and his mercies. We cannot apprehend fully what it is to be freed from sinne, that hath layed the foundation of Hell. Wee ap­prehend not, what it is to be in the hands, and jawes of the Prince of darknesse, and then to be pulled out of his hands, and jawes by Christ; as David recovered his Lamb out of the mouth of the Lyon, 1 Sam. 17.34. Wee doe not apprehend what it is to be by nature children of wrath, and yet to be crowned with grace, glory, and immortali­ty, through the goodnesse of God; but then we shall fully apprehend our great delive­rances by the grace of God, and the power of the Lamb, and shall sing for joy. In the 15. of the Rev. the 3. it is said of Saints that they sing the song of Moses, wee sing it here in the spirit, in part, believing with Zacharias that wee are delivered out of the hand of our enemies; but then we shall sing it fully, in the fulnesse of spirituall joy. It is called the song of Moses, because it shall be a song for their deliverance out of the hand of [Page 131]all enemies. As Moses, when the Israelites were delivered from Egypt called the people to play upon Musick, and sing prayse to God, so that the Heavens answered, and ecchoed to their singing, and the joyfull noyse, that they made to God for their deliverance: So when wee shall apprehend that the Lord by his mighty power hath delivered us from the Egyptian Pharaoh, the Devill; from the house of bondage, the Iron furnace of Egypt; from the sting of sinne, from the power of darknesse, from all curses, and condemnati­on; from temporall, spirituall, and eternall death; being fully apprehensive of this de­liverance, wee cannot but be filled with joy in singing prayses to him who is our deli­verer.

When by the crueltie of Haman, the peo­ple of Israel were appointed for slaughter and destruction; and God had given in a glori­ous deliverance to them; we read how they kept the day with joy, Hester 9.22. The day was called a day wherein the Jewes rested from their enemies, and the moneth which was turned unto them from sorrow to joy, and from mourn­ing into a good day; that they should make them dayes of feasting, and joy, and of sending porti­ons one to another, and gifts to the poore. The Devill like Haman had appointed the Is­rael [Page 132]of God to slaughter, and destruction; he thought to have swallowed them up, and to have made them as miserable to all eter­nitie as he himselfe shall be: but by the good­nesse, and power of God they are delivered from this spirituall Haman. The Lord hath raised up a Mordecai, the Lord Jesus, who hath given us a deliverance from him. As Mordecai did speake peace to his people, Hest. 10.3. So Jesus Christ our spirituall Morde­cai shall speake peace to us, bring delive­rance to his people, discover the plots, and machinations of our enemies, by which they would have wrought our ruine, and destruction, and the Saints that were as sheep appointed for the slaughter, by cruell Haman the enemy of mankind, shall escape out of the hands of this bloudy Lyon, out of the snare of this cruell hunter; which will afford plentifully matter of great joy, and singing to the Saints.

But in the next place there is cause of great joy, when people are not only delivered from their enemies, but their enemies are like­wise put under their feet, (as God by his goodnesse seemes to doe ours this day: who are brought to a low and helplesse condition, unlesse the Devill help them with a new plot, and make them as strong as formerly they [Page 133]were) so it will be with Saints at the resurre­ction; we apprehend it matter of joy to us, that God hath not onely delivered us from the hands of our enemies; but hath given us the necks of our enemies likewise: so that we are Conquerours of them that hoped to con­quer us; they are under our command, that thought to have made us slaves, and vassals to the commands of their imperious, and cru­ell lusts. So there will be rejoycing at the re­surrection, because as Joshua put the enemies of Gods people under their feet, so Christ shall then put all our enemies under our feet; Shall we now see cause of rejoycing, because God hath weakned the strength, & enfeebled the forces of our enemies? and shall there not be greater cause of rejoycing at the resurrecti­on, when the Saints shall see all powers against them brought to nothing? Hell, sin, the world, man and Devills being trampled under their feet. Christ is filled with prayses and joy, because his Father hath given him the necks of his enemies, that he may destroy them that hate him, Psal. 18.40. So the Saints shall be joy­full in glory, because, they shall execute venge­ance upon the Heathen, and punishment upon the people. Binding their Kings with chaines, and their Nobles with fetters of iron, Psal. 140.7.8. For the Saints shall sit together upon the [Page 134]bench with the Lord Jesus to judge them that unjustly judged them upon earth. Wick­ed, and ungodly men, that for the profession of truth, have brought Saints before judge­ment-seats; and have jeer'd, and scoffed at them, making them their pastime and merri­ment, shall be brought before the Saints, and the Saints shall fit upon the Judgement-seate with the Lord, and passe a sentence of condemnation upon them. When the Lord delivered the Israelites, and avenged himselfe upon their enemies in the time of Barak and Deborah, Judg. 5.1, 2. they sung a song of prayses unto the Lord. So the Saints shall rejoyce, because God at the resurrection shall avenge himselfe upon the implacable enemies of his glory. Therefore when the Judgement is passed upon Babylon; the Hea­vens are commanded to rejoyce; Rejoyce over thou Heaven, Rev. 18.20. That is, ye Saints who are Inhabitants and Citizens of Heaven, for God hath avenged you on her; so that we shall have the same causes of joy, and re­joycing at the generall resurrection, which we have here, this joy which wee have here, in these things, being but as it were the sha­dow and figure of the joy which wee shall have hereafter.

Then in the next place; another thing [Page 135]that will heighten the joy of the Saints at the resurrection, will be the eternitie of their joy. Eternity, is the hell of hell; there is no torment that makes hell to be such a place of torment as it is, as the eternity of the tor­ments of Hell: so the eternitie of the joyes of Heaven, is the very Heaven of Heaven, and this eternity of joy is the eternall porti­on of Saints. The joy that the Saints shall have, is not for a moment; as our joyes are here, vaishing, and transitory; Joy ap­peares to us in the morning, and sorrow comes in the evening, that wee have more cause to weep, and mourne before night, then wee had to rejoyce in the day. It shall not be so then, there shall be joy that shall be lengthned out to eternity; joy that shall have no period, nor end: when wee have rejoy­ced many hundred thousands of yeares; wee shall rejoyce then, and our joyes shall be so new and pleasing unto us, as though wee had never rejoyced before: we shall never be wea­ry of our joy.

We find we are weary of joy and recrea­tions here, and therefore there must be va­rietie of joy, and recreations by the enjoy­ments of divers things, or else they will not give us content: but here shall alway be the same joy, the same cause of joy, and the [Page 136]same joy alway new; The song which wee shall sing shall alwayes be a new song. The Kingdome that is promised, is a Kingdome that cannot be moved, Heb. 12.28. The righ­teousnesse that shall be in it shall be an everla­sting righteousnesse, the salvation of it shall be an everlasting salvation, Isa. 45.17. The joy of it shall be everlasting joy, Everlasting joy shall be upon their head, Isa. 51.11. The Crownes that we shall weare shall be Crownes of glory, that shall never fade away, 1 Pet. 5.4. 1 Thess. 4.17. Wee shall be ever with the Lord; we shall alwaies enjoy the vision of Gods glo­ry, and so shall alwayes have cause of joy, and rejoycing in him.

The transitory, and momentanie conti­nuance of earthly joyes, pleasures and con­tentment is that, that imbitters all the sweet­nesse of these earthly joyes, and content­ments; so that, that shall sweeten the joy of the Saints at the resurrection, will be the eter­nitie of their joy, it shall be joy that shall ne­ver have an end: so the Psalmist saith, at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore. They are lasting joyes, everlasting joyes, they shall be like God himselfe, they shall have no end: but the Saints that are raised in joy, shall be happy in that joy for evermore.

But why doe I spend so much time to set [Page 137]forth these joyes? Truly I cannot give you a full relation of them. Sheba's Queen, when she had seene the glorie of Solomons Palace, his servants and attendance about him, and the glory, and pompe of his earthly Estate, she confessed that the fame in her owne Coun­trie, was nothing to that she had seene with her eyes, 1 Kings 10.7. I beleeved not the words untill I came, and mine eyes had seene it, and behold the halfe was not told me: thy wis­dome and prosperity exceedeth the fame which I heard. Fame commonly exceeds the thing which is reported; but Solomons glory ex­ceeded the fame of it. So, we heare of great and glorious things which shall be at the re­surrection; the joy and glorie that the Saints shall have, and we take paines to illustrate it by earthly joyes and spirituall comfort, which is the best thing to shadow it. But all that can be said is far short of setting forth to the full, the glorie, and joy of it. And therefore seeing that the thing farre exceeds the dis­course and apprehension of any man; seeing words cannot set forth, what glorie, and joy this is: I will not lay downe any more considerations to shadow forth to you this joy, which I professe I want language fully to expresse. Wherefore give me leave to make a little use, and I shall put a period for the pre­sent [Page 138]of speaking of this joy which is unspea­kable.

In the first place, seeing there will be great joy at the resurrection, therefore wee should rejoice in it before hand: God will not faile in giving you of any thing that he hath pro­mised: you will find the joy a hundred thou­sand times greater then any man on earth is able to expresse it to you.

As God, when he promised the people of Israel the Land of Canaan, that flowed with milk and honey, he did not faile of any thing he had promised to them, all came to passe, as you have the storie, Joh. 21.45. So God hath promised a heavenly Canaan of glorie, an everlasting Kingdome; a City which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God, Heb. 11.10. Palaces that shall stand fast, and firme upon their basis and foundation to the dayes of Eternitie. He hath promised to put Scepters into our hands, Crowns of glory upon our heads. And he that hath promised these things to his people will not faile in performance; he is just, and faithfull, he is not like man: he cannot lie, he cannot re­pent of the good he intends to doe for his people. Therefore you that are his people re­jyocein your portion, and inheritance. As the young Ward in his non-age or minori­ty, [Page 139]when little is allowed him for the present, doth rejoyce in foreseeing what large posses­sions he shall be master of for the future, when the time of his Wardship shall be expi­red. So, let us who are the Heires of Heaven, happinesse and giorie here, though wee shall not have the fruition of it untill hereafter, rejoyce here as though wee were in the full enjoyment, and possession of it.

Suffer not any wicked, unbelieving spirits, to bereave you of your joy and comfort, by leading you into errour, concerning the re­surrection. O what enemies are these people to the spirituall joy of Gods people, that goe about to sow this seed of false Doctrine a­mong them, by perswading them that there shall be no resurrection of the bodie, but onely a spirituall resurrection here? How doe these with specious shewes of truth be­reave people of that spirituall joy, comfort, and contentment that they might take in believing the Doctrine of the resurrection?

Beloved, you meet with many Arguments against the resurrection that baffle carnall reason: I professe that if I should follow car­nall reason, I know there are such strong Arguments against the resurrection, that I should easily yeild the bucklers, and con­tend no more for the point; but conclude [Page 140]that there would be no resurrection of the bodie: but when I looke upon the power of him that hath promised; when I consider that God hath said it; it answers all objecti­ons of carnall reason. Therefore shew your selves children of faithfull Abraham, stagger not at this promise, he believed above hope, and against hope. It is above hope, and a­gainst the hope of naturall reason that this bodie should be raised: yet give God the glo­ry of his power, God hath said that this bodie shall rise, and rise as the body of his Sonne; that we shall awake and sing, and the Earth shall cast forth her dead. (Considera au­thorem & tolle dubitationem Ter.) Consider the power of the agent, and all doubting will be removed. He that hath promised it, is power, love, and faithfulnesse: he will doe what he hath promised for his people, what they expect, and beyond their thoughts, desires, and expectations; therefore 1 Thess. 4. ult. Comfort your selves with these words. There is no Doctrine that brings so much spirituall consolation to the soule as this: it is the spring of spirituall joy in the hearts of the Saints. Take away the Doctrine of the resurrection of bodies, and take away all spirituall joy, and comfort. And then look no longer upon the Saints as glorious, and [Page 141]happie creatures; but as the most miserable abjects that you behold upon the face of the earth. If there be no resurrection of the dead, saith the Apostle, We are of al men most miserable. Saints professe themselvs the most happie and joyfull people in the world, and rejoyce in their portion, and blesse themselves in their happinesse, and inheritance. But take this Doctrine away, let it be granted that there shall be no resurrection, let it bee granted that Christ is not risen in his humane bodie, and that the Saints shall not rise in their humane bodies as Christ did, and be happie in their humane bodies: it will damp all the joy of the Saints presently, it will quench the Spirit of joy in the people of God. For there can be no cause of rejoycing to the Saints but in this assurance, that their sinnes are pardoned, that they are in Covenant with God, that God having loved them from eternitie, will love them to eternitie, and preserve them in happinesse with him­selse.

Therefore you that truly believe this Do­ctrine rejoyce in it, and suffer not the scoffing enemies of this Doctrine to draw you from it, and so from the comfort that will flow into your hearts while you believe it. Take heed lest there be in any of you a heart of unbe­liefe, [Page 142]to depart from the living God. And if there be any poore weak Christians here that have been misled by these miscreants, and un­godly men, let them looke up to God, be­holding his power, and faithfulnesse in their Redeemer, that they may see all those obje­ctions of carnall reason (by which they have been deluded, and misled) easily answe­red; that so their former joy, and consola­tion may returne to them, by believing the Doctrine and joy of the resurrection.

And let me adde this also, that as this is a Doctrine of great joy; so it is a Doctrine that obligeth us to great holinesse. The Do­ctrine of Christ in every part, and branch of it leads to holinesse. If thou meet with any tenent or opinion that furthereth not holinesse, looke on that opinion as an er­rour: for whatsoever is the truth of the Lord, it is a truth that leads us to holinesse of life, and conversation: So doth this Do­ctrine of the resurrection; for if wee consi­der seriously that the bodie shall be raised, and we shall be happie at the resurrection in enjoying of God; will not this raise up the spirit of a man to thankfulnesse? and where there is true thankfulnesse, will not that thankfulnesse be legible in obedience?

Therefore seeing God intends to glorifie [Page 143]thee with himselfe in bodie, and in spirit, since thou shalt be ever happie with him, shouldest thou not glorifie this God, while thou art here, in thy life and conversation? As the Apostle saith, 2 Pet. 3.13, 14. We accor­ding to his promise looke for new Heavens, and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousnesse. What is the use of this? Wherefore beloved see­ing ye looke for such things, be diligent that ye may be found of him in peace, without spot, and blamelesse. A true assurance of salvation given by the Spirit of grace, doth not make us negligent in the performance of good du­ties; it doth not make us loose and licenti­ous in our lives: but that assurance that is a right assurance, which is wrought in us by the Spirit of grace, will as well teach us to be holy as assure our hearts that we shall be hap­py. Lucian speaking sceffingly of the zeale of Christians and their readinesse to help one another, doth give this as the reason of it, [ [...].] These miserable men saith he, believe that in bodie and soule they shall be immortall. The scoffing Atheist did speake truth in this, and found out the true cause of the zeale which was in primitive Christians. There can be no holinesse with­out a perfwasion of happinesse for men after [Page 144]this life: If there be no resurrection, saith Paul, Let us eat and drinke, 1 Cor. 15. But when a man is perswaded of this, He will purifie himselfe as Christ is pure, 1 Joh. 3.3.

Againe, this shewes the different condition between a Saint, and a sinner; Looke upon Saints, and sinners; eye them onely with a carnall eye in respect of the present conditi­on, and it may be you shall apprehend a sin­ner in a better condition then a Saint. God oft-times gives temporall blessings to them, which he denies to his owne people, they are the worlds happie creatures. But looke on Saints in this condition, and then you shall see a vast difference between the condition of a believer, and of a man that is an enemy to Christ, the one shall awake, and sing. He shall awake at the resurrection to be filled with joy; to be crowned as a King, with im­mortall glorie. The other shall awake and houle: As Agag when he thought, and was perswaded that the bitternesse of death was past, was hewen in pieces: so Epicures, and prophane men that sing away sorrow, feare of Hell, and damnation, spending their dayes in mirth, in a moment they goe downe to the grave, Job 21.13. and are raised from thence to suffer torments to eternitie. But the Saints sleeping for a while in the grave are raised to [Page 145]felicitie. This is elegantly set forth in the book of Wisdome, 5. Chap. We fooles thought their lives madnesse, and their end without honour, and behold they are become the chil­dren of God, speaking of the Saints, vers. 6. And in the 8. v. speaking of themselves, they doe thus complaine: What hath our pride profited us? what hath our pomp and riches brought unto us? The time will come that wic­ked men shall wish that they had never been, else that some mountaine would be so propi­tious as to fall on them, that they might ne­ver come into the presence of God, and his Sonne Jesus Christ, that shall fit upon the Throne. O what a dolefull noyse will it make in the eares of wicked and ungodly men, when they shall be called forth to the resurrection of Damnation; while the Saints shall be bid to awake to the resurrection of life! Who would bee envious at wicked men, that grow rich, and prosper, and flourish in the world; that get great estates, and leave their estates and houses to their heires, if they did but consider, that at the resurrection they shall be enforced to take hell as part of their purchase, and shall be drawne and dragged as slaves to eternall torments?

I remember what the Heathen said; It is a miserable thing for a man to have been hap­pie; [Page 146] Fuisse faelicem miserrimum est, Boeth. It grieves a man when he comes to povertie, to remember that he was once rich; when a man is in a disgracefull condition, to thinke with himselfe, I was honourable; this is double mi­sery. Remember (saith Abraham) to the rich man, that thou in thy life time didst enjoy ri­ches, and poore Lazarus lying at thy gate was denied the crummes falling from thy Table. This was the aggravation of the rich mans misery, to be put in minde that he had been happy, and rich upon the earth. Consider this, and you shall plainly see, that rich and great men, without Christ, though they live happi­ly to the eye of the world, yet they are in a miserable condition; and the meanest Saint is in a farre better condition then they. The wicked rich men shall awake to howling, and screeching, to misery, and torment eternall; the poore Saint to joy, rejoycing, and happi­nesse for evermore.

Wicked men are like the Persians slave, who for a day was feasted, and had all things pro­vided to delight him, that they used to pro­vide for the Emperour, and at night he was put to death. So wicked men, God feasts them as slaves here, they have furnished tables, and servants, children, and musicke: but poore wretches, night comes upon them, and [Page 147]death takes off their heads, and they are mise­rable to eternitie. Therefore James saith, They are nourished as against the day of slaughter. God doth but fat them, as men use to fat beasts for sacrifice, or slaughter; so God suffers them to swim in pleasures, to live in vanities, to get ri­ches, to grow fat in the earth: but it is to de­stroy them: they are fatted for the day of dam­nation. In this glasse, or mirrour, see the dif­ference between Saints and sinners.

Then in the next place, seeing it is thus that the people of God shall be made partakers of such happinesse at the resurrection, let me ex­hort you to waite in expectation and desire of it. A Ward that knows that when he shall live beyond the dayes of his wardship, he shall have his Lands and possessions in his own hands, he desires that the time may be expired that he may have all in his own hands, that now is in the hands of his Guardian, who (it may be) keepes him to a short allowance, though he be an heire to great possessions. Wee are Wards, as yee heard even now, and wee are under a guardian; though wee are rich in reversion, happinesse, and heaven, and all things being ours, yet God keepes us low here. Let us de­sire that the time of our wardship may be ex­pired, that wee may come to that happinesse which he hath promised; that wee may a­wake, [Page 148]and sing, and be happie in a more full enjoyment of God; and this is the desire of those that are truly faithfull. When Christ saith, He will come, and appeare; What doe the Saints answer? Even so come Lord Jesus, come quickly, Rev. 22.2.

If a naturall, carnall man, should speake forth that which lies at the bottome of his heart, when Christ saith, He will come; he would say; O Lord never come, I am not con­formed to thine Image; I am not made a new creature by hearing of thy Gospel; O let me never see the face of Christ. But the man that knows the love of God, and truly understands he everlasting Gospel, when he heares Christ say, I come; presently there is this eccho, by which he answereth the Lord Christ in his owne Spirit; Even so come Lord Jesus, come quickly.

When the Judges are in their circuits, male­factors tremble and quake; but an innocent man that hath a good cause, expects and de­ [...]res to have it heard, and is glad that they are [...]ome: so wicked and ungodly men, who are theeves, robbers, murtherers, and male­factors, guiltie of all sinnes, and lie in im­ [...]risoned & shackled in their own consciences, when they heare that the Lord Jesus shall ride is circuit, and appeare as a Judge, (unlesse [Page 149]they have seared consciences) they cannot but tremble and quake. But the other, when Christ shall be as a Judge to the wicked, he shall be as a Saviour to them, therefore they cannot but desire the coming, and appearing of the Lord. Wherefore let us desire the appearing of the Lord Jesus; let us not live as the men of the world, that are afraid, and tremble & quake, when they heare of a Judgement day, & Christ coming to judge every man according to his workes: but let us continue in the assurance of Gods grace, beleeving that our sinnes are par­doned. Let not the coming of Christ be our feare, but our desire; let us desire [...], to wait, as one doth upon one that he would speake with, for the Sonne who shall deliver us from the wrath to come, and shall put a Crowne of glory on our heads, which he hath promised to all those that love him.

Againe, that I may draw to a conclusion, let this sweeten all miseries, troubles, and afflictions that we shall meet with here below. If wee meet with persecution, with imprison­ment, with hatred in the world, with reproa­ches from men, let this be sufficient to sweeten all. Consider the day is coming, it is at hand, Christ is at the dore, Jam. 5.10. and you shall awake and sing, while these that now rejoyce shall howle and lament.

Beloved, Thinke it not strange concerning the fiery triall, which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you. But rejoyce in as much as yee are partakers of Christs sufferings, that when his glory shall be revealed, yee may be glad also with exceeding joy, 1 Pet. 4.13, 14. God leads his people to happinesse by straits. Hea­ven is a Palace of glory, a spacious place; but the way to it is narrow, the gate is straite, by which wee must enter in unto it. Let the joyes provided for us at the end of our journey, sweeten unto us the troubles and difficulties of the way. God intended to make Job a great man, but before God brings him to his full height of greatnesse, God first brings him to the dunghill. So God will bring us first to the dunghill, he will lay us in the dust, and then make us such glorious creatures, as you have heard the Saints shall be at the resurrection.

Joseph was to be ruler in Aegypt; but first he must be laid in prison: so God layes his first in prison, he brings them to a low condition, to be nothing in the world; and afterward layes them in the prison of the grave, and then hee raiseth them to be Kings, Priests, Rulers, and Judges with the Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore let this meditation of the resurre­ction sweeten trouble, and perfume the grave unto us.

And let it likewise sweeten all the com­forts that wee enjoy here, by looking upon them as pledges of the joy which wee shall have at the resurrection: Let it sweeten the mercies of this day, which will have little re­lish in them without this. Alas; what is it to looke on Nationall deliverances, mercies, victories, and conquests over our enemies; unlesse you see your happinesse in the Lord Jesus? What is it if the Land have peace, if thou hast not peace of conscience by belee­ving? What is it, if the enemies of thy body, of the State and Kingdome be wholly routed, and put under the feete of those that desire to stand for the liberties of the Subject; if in the meane while thou be a vassall, and a slave to the Prince of darknesse? What is it for thee to be free from corporall enemies, and yet to be under the power, and led captive by the enemy of thy soule? What is it, if thou be a freeman in thy body, and a slave in thy soule, to all lusts, filthinesse, and ungodlinesse? What is it, to keepe such a day as this, and to rejoyce in a carnall way for outward mercies, when thou doest not spiritually rejoyce in the first place, that God hath freed thee from the enemies of thy eternall salvation? Rejoyce not onely as a Heathen may for nationall bles­sings, but rejoyce as a Christian, seeing God [Page 152]reconciled to thee in the Sonne of his love; let the joy of the resurrection both sweeten thy troubles, and adde spirituall fewell to the flame of thy joy for temporall mercies.

Truly, wee then rejoyce in temporall things, and in creature-comforts and mercies aright, when we rejoyce in them in a spirituall way, when wee see all sweetened to us in the Lord Jesus. Therefore improve to the full this do­ctrine, for the heightening of your joyes this day. Let there not be an evill heart of unbe­liefe in any, to keepe him from rejoycing. Though there were great plentie of Corne in Samaria, yet the Lord that would not beleeve what the Prophet said, though he saw it, he did not taste of it, 2 Kings 7.19. I tell you of great plentie, and happinesse, I have set it be­fore your eyes, as God hath enabled me; but unlesse you beleeve, you shall never taste of this heavenly Manna; you shall never drinke of these rivers of pleasure. Here is a cup of salva­tion, you that have the lips of faith drinke, and your soules shall be refreshed and comfor­ted in the enjoyment of it: but if you lie in unbeliefe, you may want the joy, and com­fort, that you might have of it here, and you may want the enjoyment of it to all eternitie. Therefore beleeve what hath been spoken, what God hath promised, and rejoyce in it [Page 153]here, being confident that thou shalt enjoy what God hath promised. And what thou hast (in spe,) in hope here, thou shalt hereaf­ter have (in re,) in full fruition; serving God chearfully, joyfully, and comfortably in the assurance of happinesse by Jesus Christ at the resurrection: thou shalt be happie with God, and with Jesus Christ at the resurrecti­on, in body, and spirit. Which God of his infinite mercy grant unto us all, Amen.

Mans, legall righteous­nesse, is no cause or part of his justification.

EPHES. 2.8, 9.

For by grace are yee saved, through faith; and that not of your selves, it is the gift of God.

Not of works, lest any man should boast.

THERE are two things which men ought chiefly to know; Their misery by sin; and their happinesse by the grace of God in Christ. And by the wicked unfaithfulnesse of our memories wee are more apt to forget these two things, then to forget any other points whatsoever. [ [...]] Know thy selfe, is a lesson as difficult, as it is old and common. How hard a matter is it for a [Page 2]man to remember himselfe, as to know what he is in himselfe? The King of Macedonia thought it needfull, that his Page should every morning put him in remembrance, that he was a mortall man. And every spirituall man doth finde it necessary, that the Spirit daily should become his remembrancer, to put him in mind that he is a sinful man. So likewise it is a hard matter, without the power, & assistance of the Spirit, alwayes to know, the rich, full, and free grace of God, as it is held forth in the Gospel to poore sinners. The last of these, as it is the most sweet and excellent lesson, so with the greater difficultie it is retained in our memo­ries. This is a Doctrine, which if it were prea­ched unto us every day, wee should forget it every day. The daily teaching and hourely learning of it, cannot wholly free us from the ignorance of this truth. But as farre as we are carnall and fleshly, wee are strangers to the knowledge of it. So that he that thinkes he perfectly knowes the doctrine of justification by faith alone, I dare professe to that man, that he knows nothing of this doctrine of ju­stification as he ought to know. As long as we live upon the earth, we may be learners of this doctrine. Paul after he had been a scholler, and an aged teacher in the schoole of Christ many yeares, did then professe, that he endea­voured [Page 3]to forget his own workes, and legall righteousnesse, in reference to his justification, and pressed forward to know more of the my­stery of Christ, labouring to be found in the righteousnesse which is of God by faith, Phil. 3.10.

Therefore though I have sormerly spoken of the chiefe point that lieth in these verses; yet I know it is needfull and necessary for mee to speake of it againe, that you that have heard it opened, may heare more of it, as well as for those, who have not heard the point so clearly & fully unfolded unto them; to whom God may make my discourse bene­ficiall, if he accompany mee with his presence. Wherefore I have pitched upon this subject at this present: in which, the summe of all divi­nitie is comprized. For faith and love is the summe of all that we preach: Faith towards the Lord Jesus, and love towards God, and all those that are united to him in the same Spirit with our selves. And the Apostle lay­eth down both these in these verses: shewing first clearly the doctrine of justificatiō through faith alone without works; and then shewing that though we are justified without workes, yet how in the Spirit wee are carried forth to performe all good works; for, he saith, Wee are created the workmanship of God unto good works, ver. 10.

In these words, these particulars present themselves to your best attentions.

  • First, that salvation and justification is by grace, that is, by the free favour of God; Yee are saved by grace.
  • Secondly, He sheweth how we are saved by grace; in a way of beleeving, not working; Yee are saved by grace through faith. Many pre­tend that they look on grace, but it is thorough the spectacles of their own works: but he that doth truly eye grace, he looks on grace in an act of beleeving, and not through working.
  • Thirdly, The Apostle discovers the nature of true faith, which is the unfained faith of the Elect. First, negatively he informeth us, that this faith is not of our selves; There is not a fountain in our selves, from whence a true and lively faith springs; it floweth not from the naturall, carnall, or rationall principles of the first Adam, but from the power of the Spirit of grace. Secondly, affirmatively he inform­eth us concerning the nature and originall of it; it proceedeth from God, and is bestowed upon the creature as a free gift: It is not of our selves, it is the gift of God.
  • Fourthly, He shews that as it is by grace, so it is not by works; as it is by beleeving, so it is not by working: Not of works.
  • Fiftly, He gives the reason why it is not by [Page 5]works; Least any man should boast. If a man could say, that God hath justified, and saved him for his endeavours, labours, paines, or good workes, then a man might boast. When he meeteth with one that is without Christ, he may say, I have done this good worke, and the other good worke for Christ, I shall be saved, and thou shalt be damned. But the true childe of God, if he meet with a reprobate, he sees no cause to boast; it is by the grace of God that he is saved, when the other is damned. Not by works, least any man should boast. It is the designe and intention of God, in justifying a sinner by grace without works, to keepe men from pride and boasting. Man did fall from happinesse by pride; there is no way to attaine happinesse, but by humi­litie, and faith; the true way to humilitie is by beleeving; for beleeving empties the creature of all works, and righteousnesse, and shewes that he is nothing in himselfe, and that all his treasure, glory, happinesse, riches, and perfection, lies treasured, and laid up in another. (Fides hominem vacuum Deo adducit, ut Christi bonis impleatur) Faith bringeth a man in a poore and beggerly condition to Christ, that he may be enriched by Christ.

Lastly, The Apostle declareth, that though we are saved by faith without works, yet wee [Page 6]shall not be unfruitfull, in bringing forth good works. Wee are the workmanship of God by a new creation. And the end of our creation in Christ, is this, that being in him we may be active to love and good works.

First, I shall endeavour to prove negatively, that there is no justification by works. And then shew how it is by grace; and then how it is in a way of beleeving; and so come to di­stinguish true faith, which is given by the Spi­rit, from the false faith of hypocrites, and Li­bertines, which floweth onely from a princi­ple of humane wisdome, and not from the powerfull operation of the Spirit of God.

At this present, I shall observe this method.

First, I will shew that we are not saved by works, I meane, by the works of the Law.

Then I shall shew, that wee are not saved, and justified by works, which are the fruits of faith, or done under the Covenant of grace.

Thirdly, I shall shew, that we are not saved by works, in which wee yeeld obedience to any Gospel Ordinances, though they be Ordinan­ces appointed by the Lord Jesus Christ him­selfe to be practised by the Saints. I take in this, because I have found in my own spirit, and in many that I have dealt with, a secret and subtle kinde of Poperie, by which wee are apt to attribute something to the practise of [Page 7]Ordinances, in reference to our justification. And hence it is that people are so ready to run into every new way of worship, which is brought to light, thinking that unlesse they finde out the right discipline, and government of Jesus Christ, the right Baptisme, and Ordi­nances, they are not true Saints, nor sufficient­ly justified. Therefore I shall take in this too, to shew, that as wee are not justified by more inward, and spirituall works; so neither are wee justified by any outward observation of Ordinances, or submitting to any command of the Lord Jesus Christ, but onely by our o­bedience to the first and principall command of the Gospel, by which we beleeve justificati­on by grace through Christ without works.

For the first of these heads, I shall briefly shew, how it is not by works, passing by many things that I have formerly spoken of, and I shall onely lay down foure or five considerati­ons for the confirming of this, that wee are saved, and justified before God, and in the Court of our own conscience, without any works whatsoever.

The first consideration may be this; Wee cannot be justified by works, or by the Law: because there was never any man had a legall righteousnesse, but the man Christ Jesus. This is Pauls undeniable conclusion, laid down in [Page 8] Rom. 3.23. All have sinned, and come short of the glory of God. The devout Jew as well as the pro­phane Gentile, is brought in, before the tribu­nall of God, as a guiltie sinner, coming short of such a glorious righteousnesse, which the Law doth require of him, that he may be justi­fied under it. The Gentile never walked ac­cording to the written Law of nature, which is written in his heart, nor the Jew, according to the Law of his Maker, written in Tables of stone.

All the works of the Law may be reduced to two heads.

The first are those works that wee doe in o­bedience to God, to shew our love to him.

Secondly, The works that we doe, to shew our love to our neighbour.

Now if we take works, in either of these two respects, I shall shew, that all the men and wo­men in the world, come short of such a legall righteousnesse, and perfection, that the holy, just, and pure Law of God requires.

It will be cleare, that no man ever loved God as he ought. God doth command us, that wee should love him with all our heart, and with all our strength, with the whole streame of our affections. But what man did ever love God in that manner? Suppose a wife should entertaine many thousand lovers be­sides [Page 9]her husband, could any say, that that wife loved her husband? So many fins as wee have, so many lovers we have, so the Scripture cals them, Jer. 3.1. Thou hast played the harlot with many lovers: that is, thou hast followed many sins and lusts, base and vile corruptions. Now it is thus with all the men in the world; wee have all gone a whoring from our God; so that though all men, yea even Turks and Heathens pretend to love God, the great God that made them, yet there is no man that ever loved God as he ought. That man that thinks that he ever loved God as he ought, and as the Law requires, he is very blind, and not enlight­ned to this day, to see the puritie, and spiritu­alitie of the righteous Law of the just and high God.

Suppose a Subject should alway contrive rebellion, and conspire against the person of his King, as defirous to take away his life, and to pull the Crowne from his head; will any say, that this Subject loves the King, Thus it is with all men; wee are all traytors and rebells against the King of Heaven; if we had strength, we would take the Crowne from the head of God, and set it upon the head of the Devill. If it were in our power, God should not reigne, and be King in the world, but the Devill. This is in the heart of wicked flesh, it brings forth [Page 10]nothing else; it loves it self, and the devill, but hates, loaths, and abhorres God, and had ra­ther that the Devill should sit on the throne, then God the Father, and the Lambe at his right hand. So that a man being unable to o­bey the Law of God, God cannot justifie him by his Law, but must pronounce him a rebell; for sin is rebellion, and spirituall high treason against God. In Ezek. 2. when God sent the Prophet to teach the people, he tells him what people he should meet with, he saith they were such as would not heare him, such as would sleight him, and would not indure to heare sound and good doctrine, and calleth them rebells. And he said unto me, Son of man, I send thee to the children of Israel, to a rebellious Nation, that have rebelled against me, even to this very day. You see, sinne is called rebellion in the Word of God.

But some will say, certainly, I was never such a rebell as you make me; I apprehend not that I ever hated God in such a manner.

Answ. If thou dost not see how thou ab­horrest God, and how in the flesh thou lovest the Devill more then God, thou hast not to this day, a sight of the just and pure will of God. For it is not enough that thou abstaine from grosse sins and prophanenesse, that makes a man scandalous to the eye of the world; [Page 11]but thou must abstaine from every sin, from every vaine thought, or else the Law will passe the sentence of condemnation on thee as a re­bell. If it were possible that a man could so live on earth, that he should never dishonour God in any action; that he should never dis­honour God by any word of his mouth; but all his words should be to the glory of that God that made him, and to the glory of that wisdome of the Father, by which he made all things: yet if this man should have but a sinfull ungodly rising in his heart against God, the Law would take no notice of all the good deeds of this man, & all the good words that he hath spoken to the glory of God, but the Law would condemne him for that sinfull thought in his spirit. Therefore you shall finde that not onely sinfull words and actions, are called trayterous words, and rebellious acti­ons in Scripture, but evill thoughts concern­ing God, are treason against God; the Law of God reacheth the heart & spirit of a man, so that if there be a sinfull thought, the spiri­tuall, and holy Law of God condemnes a man as a rebell for that thought. Jer. 5.23. This people hath a revolting, and rebellious heart. The Law doth not condemne a man onely for re­bellion in words and actions, but for rebelli­on in the heart. It is not enough for us out­wardly [Page 12]to conform to what the Law requires, but we must have obedient hearts; if there be any rebellion in the heart, we are condemned, as though wee had sinned against God in words and actions.

The Law doth not only condemn a man for adultery, by wch he defiles his neighbours wife. A man may be an adulterer, and yet an Eu­nuch; if a man have but an adulterous glance with his eye at the sight of a woman, if he have but a sinfull thought arising in his heart, the glorious Law of God thunders in the face of that man, and lightens in the countenance of that man, and will utterly destroy him for his sin. The Law is like the Priest and Levite, Luk. 10. that past by the man which was rob­bed and wounded by theeves. It is Christ a­lone who powreth in the oyle of his Gospel into the wounds of sinners, for to heale and refresh them. The Law rightly and spiritually understood, is a Ministery of death (Languorem ostendi, non anfer, Aug.) It is the Gospel which is the Ministery of life and salvation. And if we thus look upon the Law of God, & rightly understand it, it is cleare and evident, that there was never any man that loved God. Sin is a hatred of God, so many sins as thou com­mittest, so much hatred of God thou discove­rest. Our love is shewed by keeping the Com­mandements [Page 13]of God; so by breaking the com­mandements of God, we discover and manifest that hatred that is in us against the most holy God. So that if you consider this, that you never loved God yet; you cannot comfort your selves in your love to God; but must abase your selves for your neglecting of the doctrine of justification. When God shall give you light to see himself, and his Son, you will find, that that which you call love to God, (in your blind ignorance,) is hatred of God, and rebellion against him.

Secondly, Consider, that there is no man that ever loved his neighbour as he ought. The Law of nature, and the written Law of God require, that every man should doe to o­thers, as he would that they should do to him: But there was never any man that did so. If it were possible for a man to live so, as that he should never wrong his neighbour, or his brother, by any unjust action, or by any word spoken against his brother. But where is the man that can stand forth, and truly affirme it? yet he may be charged by the Law, if he hath had any evil thoughts against him in his heart. For the Law is spirituall, the Law reacheth the heart; and the Law will condemne this man, as a man that hates his brother; for the Law takes notice of this, in this particular: As [Page 14]you shall find, Zech. 7.10. Oppresse not the wid­dow, nor the fatherlesse, nor the poore, and let none of you imagine evill in your hearts against his bro­ther. The Law forbids imagining evill against our brother in our hearts. So that if once in all the dayes of thy life, thou hast had but one uncharitable thought of any man, when thou hadst no ground at all for it, thou hast ima­gined evill in thy heart against thy brother, and art a transgressor of the Law; for thou walkest contrary to thy rule and light.

I appeale to thee, wouldest thou have a man think evill of thee, when he hath no just cause? Thou wilt say, I would have no man thinke evill of me, or harbour an unchari­table thought in his breast against me: so then if thou have an uncharitable rising in thy spi­rit against any man or woman in the world, thou comest short of the righteousnesse, holinesse, and perfection of the Law, and so there is no salvation for thee by the Law: If a man consider what the Law is, he shall find no comfort in the world by looking upon him­selfe, and his best performances in the glasse of the Law; but he shall find that all have sinned, are haters of God, fighters against God, haters of his children, and enemies to their neigh­bours. That as Christ said to the Scribes and Pharisees, Joh. 7.19. Did not Moses give you a [Page 15]Law, and none of you keepe it? So I may speake to all men and women in the world; the just and righteous God, as the creator that may require obedience from his creature, hath gi­ven us a just and holy Law; all that he com­mands is consonant to reason and equitie. Thou canst not deny, but that it is equall that thou shouldest doe to all men, as thou woul­dest that they should doe to thee. But we have all sinned, and have broken this just and righ­teous Law of God; therefore by this it ap­peares, that there is no justification for a man by the Law, or his own works.

Thirdly, Another Consideration may be drawne from this; it is not any whit necessary, that any man should have any works at all, to bring with him unto God for his justifica­tion. There is a fulnesse and sufficiency in the grace of God, and in Jesus Christ, so that there is no need of any works that we should bring for our justification.

The robe of Christs righteousnesse, is such a compleat garment, that there needs no pat­ches of our own to be sowed to it. You shall find God speaking of his own grace in Isaiah, Isa. 43. For mine own Names sake, I will forgive thy sinnes, and will remember thy iniquities no more. It is not for our works sake, if it be one­ly of his grace. He saith, His arme is mightie [Page 16]and strong. As the arme of Gods justice, is a mightie arme, by which he crushes, and breaks in pieces all wicked, and ungodly men; so his arme is mightie to bring salvation. And he hath laid help upon one that is mightie, Psal. 89. See­ing the mightinesie of Gods arme is to bring salvation to his people, he is mightie to save, Zeph. 3.17. and he will save to the utmost, the worst, and chiefe of sinners, without any righteousnesse, or holinesse of their owne. Therefore it followes, that it is not needfull, nor necessary, that a man doe good works, that he may be justified, and saved.

We have a rule in Philosophy, that it is vaine & frivolous to doe that by many things, that may be done by few; seeing God hath discovered an alsufficiency in his own grace, it is vaine therefore to seek justification by many things. Psal. 130.7. There is mercy with God, and plenteous redemption: No need therefore of mans righteousnesse.

If thou hast been a slave to many sinnes, to vile lusts, and base corruptions; pride, vaine­glory, hypocrisie, swearing, and uncleannesse, &c. There is plenteous redemption. God can re­deeme thee from all thy sinnes, that thou hast been accustomed unto many yeares. He is able to redeeme thee out of the hands of all thy corruptions, that hold thee fast in bondage [Page 17]and slavery. Wherefore there being such a suf­ficiency in grace, it is not needfull or necessa­ry, that a man doe good works, that he may be justified.

The fourth consideration may be this; Al­mightie God doth not require us to doe good works that they should justifie or save us. I confesse in the letter of the Word, God seemes to require them. When he speaks in the lan­guage of the Law, he saith, Doe this, and live, &c. But in the Ministery of the Gospel, wch is the only Ministery of salvation, God doth not re­quire thee to do any thing that thou maist be saved, or justified. The Law sets thee to work, and is never satisfied; but the Gospel bids thee doe nothing at all. This is the tenour of the Gospel, Beleeve in the Name of the Lord Jesus, and be confident to be justified onely by his Name. The Apostles when they preached, endeavoured to beat men off, from their own works and performances, in the point of justification. When the Gaoler said; What shall I do to be saved? Paul bids him not to work, but to beleeve in the Lord Jesus. So in Isai. 55.3. God reprehends men that spend their time for that, which is worth nothing, laying out so much time in acting, & doing, for justification, and salvation, & in the mean while, neglecting the glorious and precious Gospel of grace by [Page 18]his Son. Wherefore doe yee spend money for that which is not bread? Wherefore doe yee spend the strength of your bodies & spirits in work­ing, labouring and tyring out your dayes un­der the spirit of bondage, that yee may be ju­stified, and saved? You spend your money for that that is not bread; you shall never have a piece of bread from the Law for this; you shall ne­ver satisfie the Law, it will not give you a crumb of comfort, worke, and doe what you can. Hearken unto me, and eat that which is good, and let your soule delight it selfe in fatnesse. Foo­lish, and ignorant people, they take paines to satisfie their spirits, and to get comfort, by making long prayers, and observing fasting dayes, and giving almes to the poore, endea­vouring to love God and Saints, that they may be saved; but they labour for that that will not profit, for that, that is not bread.

If duties could satisfie, why did Christ die? If we could be saved by the Law, why was the Gospel made knowne? Therefore he points them to the Gospel; Heare, and your soule shall live. That is, heare the Word of Gods grace, beleeve that God will pardon your sinnes for his Name sake, and not for any works or righ­teousnesse in your selves. Beleeve that Christ came to save sinners, ungodly sinners, the worst of sinners, the chiefe of them: beleeve [Page 19]this, and your soules shall live. If any bid thee worke, that thou maist be justified; to get love to the brethren, to get a good conscience to God, and men; he setteth you upon a labour that will not profit you. The voyce of God is, Heare, and your soules shall live; Beleeve that which is reported concerning this Christ, who was borne of a woman, though the eternall Son of God, and was manifested in the flesh, and hath borne the sinnes of sinfull flesh; and hath made an end of all iniquitie, and brought in, everlasting righteousnesse. In beleeving this doctrine, we are assured of his love. And this God bids us preach, and nothing else for justification, ceasing from our selves, our works, our righ­teousnesse, our performances, resting on his love, setting foot on his grace, disclaiming our doings, not coming to him in the sight of our works, and our love, but of his good­nesse, as it is displayed in Christ.

Fifthly, It is positively forbidden, and God reproves men for it; he shews them that they undoe their soules to eternitie, if in a secret way they rest upon their owne works. Israel which followed after the Law of righteousnesse, hath not attained to the Law of righteousnesse. Wherefore? Because they sought it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the Law, Rom. 9.31, [Page 20]32. He doth not say, that they did direct­ly seek salvation by the Law, but indirectly, ( [...], sed tanquam operibus legis,) as it were by the works of the Law. Works are not onely not required, but forbidden. God doth not bid us to worke, but he forbids us to worke for justification. It is not he that work­eth, that is justified, but he that worketh not, but beleeveth in him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is accounted for righteousnesse, Rom. 4.5. When the Apostle presseth men to beleeve, and perswadeth them to entertaine the doctrine of grace that he preached; in those Exhortations there is a vertuall forbidding of working for life. When he bids them onely to beleeve, Act. 16.3. it is as much as if he had bid them not to work. Consonant to that speech of his; A man is not justified by the works of the Law, but by the faith of Christ, Gal. 2.16. He ex­cludeth works, that he may establish men in the doctrine of faith, and prohibiteth work­ing for justification.

Lastly, We are not to desire the presence of good works that we may be justified. A man is not onely to goe thus farre, to be convinced that he is not justified by works; but he is to be convinced of this, that the presence of good works are not needfull and necessary to him when he comes to God for justification. I am [Page 21]not onely to professe, that my works have no influence into my justification, or are the cause of it, but that good works in the presence of them, are not needfull and necessary to justifi­cation.

Good works are inefficatious to justificati­on, and not needfull to be present, in the per­son that is to be justified. Here some flie off from the truth, they acknowledge that we are not justified by works, yet they require the presence of good works in the person who is to be justified. But God when he efficatiously works upon us, convinceth us, that not onely our good works have no causalitie in justifi­cation, but likewise convinceth us, that there is no necessitie for the presence of good works in us before justification. And this is cleare, because when the Spirit comes, he shews us that we are to come to the throne of grace, not as men already made righteous, and holy, but as men unrighteous, and unholy, to be made holy by Jesus Christ. So that good works are not necessary as a qualifi­cation, or disposition in the person to be ju­stified.

This is that glorious Gospel, which carnall reason cannot apprehend, mans learning can­not reach, which the worlds wisdome accoun­teth foolishnesse, and which the Devill and [Page 22]worldly men will alwayes oppose, and perse­cute. What saith the zealous Pharisee, Will the God of love justifie him that hates him? Will the God of justice sitting upon the throne pronounce the sinner guiltlesse? Yea Pharisee he will. What saith the Scripture, He justifieth the ungodly. What is an ungodly man, but he that hates God, that is an enemy to God, that doth not for the present love God? And when a man looks to his grace, he must looke on himselfe as an unrighteous, as an unholy, un­godly man; He is not bound to come as the Pharisee, but as the Publicane; He is not to come thus qualified, I love God, and the peo­ple of God, I desire to obey God, I am thus qualified, therefore I shall be justified, and no sinfull man, that hath not these qualifications to fit him for justification. God bids sinners while they are in their bloud to live, Ezek. 16.6. Christ cometh to call sinners to repentance or changednesse of heart by the discoveries of grace. For God doth not command us, to come as men loving him, or loving his people, that we may be justified; but when we see our selves sinners, ungodly, and the chiefe of sin­ners, then he commands us to come to the throne of grace, and offers justification, and salvation to us freely without works: as Paul saith; This is a faithfull saying, and worthy of all [Page 23]acceptation, that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners, of whom I am chiefe, 1 Tim. 1.15. ( [...]) I am the first of sinners; so it is in the Greek (Primus non tempore, sed malignitate) The first not in time, but in sin and maligni­tie. This is the truth, which Paul preached, and which he accounted, not onely worthy of acceptation, but all acceptation, for the sweet­nesse and excellency of it. If other truths are worthy of acceptation, this is worthy of all acceptation. If a man seeth that he hath a heart that will not suffer him to love God, that he hates the people of God, yet heareth the Gospel preached, that there is grace offe­red to sinners, to the chiefe of sinners; if this man beleeve, if he come and trust the grace of God, he hath as good an assurauce for heaven, as heaven can give, as God gives to any that he intends to save, and make happy with him­selfe to eternitie.

By this wee see, that wee are not to bring good works, because their presence is not ne­cessarily required. Though wee see all evill present with us, and all good absent, wee may rest upon the promises of grace for justificati­on, which is the plaine direct way to true and perfect holinesse.

Now in the next place, I shall give you con­siderations, to prove that wee are not justified [Page 24]by works that are done after conversion. This will appeare as clearly as that which I have delivered concerning the neediesnesse of the works of the Law, for our justification before our justification.

The first reason which I shall lay down is this; Those things are not the cause of justi­fication which follow justification and true faith: but good works follow justification and true faith; therefore good works are not the causes of justification. The cause precedes the effect; good works are the effect of justificati­on; right reason therefore will teach us, that they cannot precede justification. The worke of the justification of a sinner, is done & com­pleated, before works are done, and therefore works can have no hand in our justification. That old rule is as old as the doctrine of justi­fication, and as true as it is old, (Bona oper a non praecedunt justificandū, sed sequuntur justificatū;) Good works doe not precede in the person who is to be justified, but follow the person that is justified. From wch it will follow, that a man is not justified for good works that fol­low faith, because he is justified before he hath those good works: good works in order of nature, following true faith; true faith work­ing by love, Gal. 5.6. I am not to love that I may beleeve, but I must beleeve Gods love, [Page 25]that I may love God. Joh. 4.19. Wee love him, because he first loved us. Wee are first purged from dead works by beleeving, and then wee serve the living God, Heb. 9.14. God hath sworn that justification shall goe before san­ctification, Luk. 1.73. He first delivereth us from our sinnes, our soules deadly enemies, and then wee serve him without feare in holinesse and righ­teousnesse, as Zachariah being filled with the ho­ly Spirit, doth sweetly powre forth the holy water of this soule-refreshing truth. Luk. 1.74, 75. Redemption doth antecede purification: He hath redeemed us from all iniquitie, to pu­rifie us to himselfe a peculiar people, zealous of good works. Faith which looketh upon the grace of him who is invisible, is the mother­grace, (Radix bonorum operum fides,) Faith is the roote, good works are the fruit, there must be the roote before the fruit.

But some man may say, may wee not see the fruit before wee see the roote? as wee see some fruit upon trees, while the root lies hid; and from the beholding of the fruit, may wee not very rationally conclude, that there is a root: so from the beholding of our good works, the fruit of true faith, may wee not conclude, that there is faith, though it be not in it selfe visible unto us.

To this I answer; That this similitude [Page 26]proves not the thing; for though it be a truth, that good works may appeare first to men, yet faith is first visible to us in our own spirits; and it is impossible that I should see the truth of good works, except I first see the truth of faith. Evident sanctification doth evidence un­to us the truth of our justification, but sancti­fication is not evident, our justification being not evidenced to us in the first place. If it be manifested in our spirits to us, that our works are good, it will presently be manifested unto us, that we have true faith. But this is not manifested in our spirits, that our works are truly good works, and such which cannot be done by an hypocrite, untill the truth of our faith be manifested unto us.

I will make this evident by this reason; A man must see his good works, as done either under the Law, or under the Gospel, and look upon them, either in the glasse of the Law, or the glasse of the Gospel; if a man look upon them in the glasse of the Law, and doe rightly and spiritually understand the Law, he shall be so farre from drawing an assurance of his justification from them, that he shall behold himself cursed and damned, with all his good works. For the Law curseth every man that cōtinueth not in the doing of all things which are commanded by God. It is indeed a divine [Page 27]looking-glasse, in which things to be done, or avoyded, are discovered. (Lex est divinum spe­culū in quo facienda & fugienda refulgent, Aug.) but it will sentence us to death for the least spot or wrinkle which it doth discover; so that it is impossible, that a man should see himselfe justified in the glasse of the Law.

But thou wilt say, he may look upon his love, sinceritie, and works, in the glasse of the Gospel.

And to this I answer, that if he look upon them in the glasse of the Gospel, which is Je­sus Christ, then he must put himselfe under the Gospel, and look upon himselfe, as a man in Christ, that so he may see his works good by Jesus Christ; which he will never be able to see without the eye of faith, which seeth things invisible, Heb. 11. and by which wee look upon Christ, 1 Joh. 2.1. dwell in Christ, Ephes. 3.17. Live in Christ, Gal. 2.19. And doe living works, acceptable to God by the life of Christ in us, Heb. 11.4. By faith with open face wee behold as in a glasse the glory of the Lord, and are changed into the same Image, from glory to glory, 2 Cor. 3.18. and see that our good works are the effects of Christs love, discovered in himselfe and in his Gospel to our soules. And therefore when John doth in­forme us, that we shall know that wee know [Page 28]him, if we keep his Commandement. He doth propose beleeving, as the first Commandement of God, without which we cannot assure our selves, that we are obedient to his other com­mands, 1 Joh. 3.23. This is his commandement, that we beleeve in him whom he hath sent. Good works after a man hath faith, are not the cause of justification, but the consequent; they follow a mans justification; they doe not pre­cede the act of justification; they neither pre­cede the act of Gods grace, by which he justi­fieth a sinner, neither doe they precede justifi­cation in the Court of Conscience: But being justified by faith, we have peace (Rom. 5.1.) in our Consciences. This was the doctrine which was frequently preached by those hea­venly Carpenters, which did first strike at the hornes of the beast, Ʋt dilectio oriatur, necesse est praecedere fidem hoe est fiducia misericordiae) It is necessary, saith Melancthon, that faith, wch is a confidence of Gods mercy, doe precede love. And in another place, (Non nititur fides nostra dilectione, sed tantum misericordia promissa, ut constat, nec existere dilectio potest nisi sit ap­prehensa remissio) Faith is not grounded upon our love, but the promised mercy of God, so that it is manifest, that there cannot be true love, unlesse remission of sinnes be first appre­hended.

Another reason is from the imperfection of workes wrought by a man after he is justified; If any man that is justified, look on his works, and doe not behold them in the glasse of the Gospel, he shall reade his own condemnation for his works. There is an imperfection in our works, seeing wee doe not love God so per­fectly as we should, with all our heart, all our minde, and all our spirit: but while the rege­nerate part, through the power of the Spirit runs after God, and loves God; the fleshly part runneth after sinne, and hates God. Therefore seeing there is such imperfection in the works that we performe, that the best of us are unprofitable servants, and that the most holy amongst us, doe that for which he may be damned every day, if God should not deale with us in the Gospel, but in the Law; it will follow, that a man cannot be justified by the works that he doth after he hath faith, and is converted, & doth works which are wrought by the Spirit of grace.

It may here be objected, that the good works of Saints are perfect.

For an answer to this, I referre the Reader to what shall be delivered from those words; That he which is borne of God sinneth not.

I come now to the next Consideration, which is this; That wee are not justified by [Page 30]the practise of any Gospel-Ordinances, which are commanded by the Lord Jesus Christ. There are some, who it may be, are convinced that they are not justified by works, yet I know not what new kinde of Popery they have found out; for they thinke to please God by submitting to Ordinances, and finding out the true Discipline and government of Christs Church; therefore you shall finde a kinde of spirit of bondage in them, if they be not satis­fied concerning the true discipline, govern­ment, & Ordinances of the Lord Jesus Christ. Wherefore I shall endeavour to demonstrate this, and shew clearly, that as we are not justi­fied by works before, or after conversion, so we are not justified, and saved, by the sub­mitting to any Ordinance of the Lord Jesus Christ. Salvation is not in these, there is no­thing to be found in these availeable to justi­fication. Formes of government and Ordi­nances, doe not make men Christians, but a lively faith in the Lord Jesus. When Caius Marius Victorinus told Simplicianus, that he was turned from Heathenisme to Christianis­me, and he replyed, that he would not be­leeve him, unlesse he saw him in the Congre­gation of Christians: He wittily thus repre­hended the rashnesse of his speech, (Ergone parietes faciunt Chrisiianos?) Doe your walls [Page 31]then make Christians? So to those that say, men are of the world, until they are under this or that forme of government, and ordinance, I may thus speak; do these things make Christi­ans? Presbytery (all government) is nothing, In­dependency is nothing, dipping is nothing, but faith wch worketh by love. The Apostle clearly proves this poynt, Gal. 5.3. I testifie againe to every man that is circumcised, that he is a debtor to do the whole Law: Christ is become of none effect to you; he shall profit you nothing. Wee know that Paul circumcised Timothy; after he was a prea­cher of the Gospel, and submitted himselfe to many of the rites & Ceremonies of the Jewes; shaved his head, & put himselfe under a Jewish vow, yet here he saith, if a man be circumci­sed, he is a debtor to the whole Law. His mean­ing is this; that if a man submit to circumci­sion, as thinking it will any whit availe him to his justification, and salvation, that man shall not be saved by Jesus Christ, but he is a debtor to the whole Law; he is not under grace, but under the curse of the Law. Act. 15.1. When some preached that there was a ne­cessitie for men to be circumcised, and keepe the Law of Moses, that they might be justified; see how the doctrine was disrellished by the Apostles; Peter calleth it a tempting of God, and laying a yoke upon the necks of the disci­ples, [Page 32]which they nor their fathers were able to beare. Paul, though as a spiritual man, he could become all things to all men, to the Jew, as a Jew, to the Gentile as a Gentile, 1 Cor. 9.20, 21, 22. That by all means he might save some, yet how doth he thunder and lighten in the face of those that laid too much upon the practise of outward things, denying unto them any salvation by Christ. And as he said, If yee be circumcised, Christ shall profit you nothing; so if any man be baptized, I may say, Christ shall profit him nothing. If any man to satisfie his conscience, desire one to dip him, or joyne himselfe as a member to any Congregation, thinking by pleasing God, and Christ, to fur­ther his salvation in this way, he is a stranger to Christ, and unacquainted with his Gospel.

Faith is inconsistent with any thing in this sense; saith will not suffer any thing to be joyned with it in point of justification; and if we will joyne any thing with faith for justifi­cation, that faith is nothing worth at all. If we will doe one thing that wee may be justifi­ed, wee must doe every thing. If thou wilt be a member of a Church, as they speake, that thou maist be comforted, justified, and saved, thou art bound to fulfill the whole Law.

The Law is well compared by one to a chaine, which is linked together, and if we take [Page 33]one linck of it, the weight of the whole chaine will be upon us: So, if wee doe any thing that wee may be justified, wee lay our selves under all the bondage and slavery of the Law, and are tyed to doe every thing in the Law, that wee may be justified. He that is circumcised, is a debtor to doe the whole Law, Gal. 5.3. But in Christ Jesus, neither Circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but faith which worketh by love, ver. 6. By Circumcision, he means all the outward priviledges of the Jewes; these doe nothing availe to salvation; and by uncir­cumcision, the priviledges of the Gentiles, Bap­tisme, and the Supper. All outward priviledges and prerogatives, doe nothing availe to justi­fication. The kingdome of Heaven is not in these things, not circumcision, or uncircumcisi­on, or any outward Ordinances. The King­dome of Heaven is within you.

Another reason may be drawn from the con­sideration of the nature of Ordinances, & our submitting our selves to them. There is not so much in that outward obedience that is gi­ven to outward Ordinances, as in that obedi­ence that is given to the morall precepts of the Law, Mark. 10.19. Our Saviour commends the Young man for acknowledging that obedience to God, loving God and his neighbour, were more then all burnt Offerings and Sacrifice; There is [Page 34]more in internall obedience, then in obedience to externall Ordinances. From which Conclusion thus I argue; If those things that are of a more excellent nature, as, love to God, and love to our neighbour, and relieving the poore, be altogether unprofitable, ineffica­tious, and unavaileable to justification, and salvation; then these outward works of obe­dience, in submitting to outward Ordinan­ces, are much lesse availeable. This is an ar­gument a majore ad minus, from the greater to the lesse. If the greatest works advantage nothing for justification, and salvation, then certainly the doing of in seriour works, the suf­fering a man to dip mee, and to make mee a member of his Church, cannot advantage me. These things are works in their own nature farre inferiour to the great works of the Law, love to God, and to the people of God, and to the poore Saints of the Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore if these works be altogether una­vaileable, if they can nothing further my justi­fication; nay, if they hinder mee in point of justification, if I lay any weight upon them; then certainly these infericur works can no­thing further my justification, and salvation. And if a man doe not practise them, accord­ing to the Commard of Christ, through ig­norance, it is no way prejudiciall to his justi­fication, [Page 35]and salvation. It did not prejudice the thiefe that he dyed without Baptisme, that he did not receive the Supper of the Lord, that he was not admitted a member of a visible Church; it did not prejudice him that he had no fellowship with the Saints. A man may be justified and saved, not onely without the works of the Law, and works after conversi­on, but he may be saved, though he doe not submit himselfe to the practise of outward Ordinances.

Therefore if any say unto you, you must be baptized, or you cannot be saved, I cannot look on you as a Saint, except you be bapti­zed, you must be members of a Church, or else you cannot be members of Christ, I can­not acknowledge you as a brother, rather pity their ignorance, then yeeld to their exhorta­tions. What a sad thing is it for men to place Saintship and Religion in these things, when the Scripture plainly and punctually in this respect overthroweth them? Rom. 14.15. The Kingdome of God is not in meats and drinks, (concerning which there were many contro­versies and janglings in those times) but in righteousnesse, and peace, and joy in the Holy Ghost.

Since the Scripture requires nothing to make a man an heire with Christ, but faith. [Page 36]What abominable Popery is it to say, that a man cannot be a Saint, if he doe not submit to outward Ordinances.

I cannot but commend what I finde in Lu­ther, who was zealously carried forth against some in his time, that made a rent from him in a Legall way, because they differed from him about externall thing and Ordinances, which are no just ground why Saints should divide themselves from one another; who saith, That they had brought in another kinde of Popery, and more dangerous then that which he had overthrowne by his preaching; for as for gresse Popery, saich he, mens eyes begin to be en­lightned, to see the absurdities of it. But these men come in a subtle way, and pretending a necessitie of submitting to formes, institutions, and Ordi­nantes, doe pervert the pure and simple Gospel of Christ, labouring to perswade men, that if they doe not submit to the Ordinances of the Lord Je­sus, he would not acknowledge, and confesse them before his Father, and that unlesse they were un­der his government, they should not be under him for justification.

Therefore wee are to be rightly informed concerning these things, and if wee doe sub­mit to outward Ordinances, wee should not doe it from legall principles, for it were bet­ter not to practise them, then to practise then [Page 37]from these principles, to the ruining of our soules. And they that draw Disciples after them by such rigid and Gospel destroying principles, will finde, to their shame, that those that they have brought in by these prin­ciples, will fall away from them to their shame and infamy; For God is dishonoured, Christ is robbed of his Grace, and the free Spirit looseth his glory.

Suffer mee now to make a little use, and so I shall commend you, and what hath been de­livered to the blessing of God.

You have seene that wee are saved by be­lieving the Gospel, without any works going before justification, or any submission to the Ordinances of the Gospel, which may follow it. This doth bring foure forts of people un­der a just reproofe.

First, Such as are grossly Popish, maintain­ing justification by their own works and righ­teousnesse, or affirming that a man is not justi­fied by faith onely, but by faith and works to­gether. These deny justification by the Grace of God, and the righteousnesse of the Lord Jesus Christ through faith, and set up a ju­stification by inherent righteousnesse in them­selves, holding that wee are then justified from sinne, when it is removed out of our sight, sence, feeling, lives, spirits and conversations.

The strongest Argument, which they bring for the confirming of their assertion, and in which they doe most triumph, as though they had obtained a victory over the truth of Gods Grace; is in the 2 Jam. 24. Yee see then how that by work's a man is justified, and not by faith onely. Doth not James, say they, lay down our assertion in so many words, joyning faith and good workes as con-causes of justifica­tion.

Some to escape the edge of this Argument have denied this Epistle to be Canonicall, like him who being unable to unty the Gordian knott, did cut it in pieces. Thus Lucius Osian­der proposing this objection of his Antagonists doth thinke that he hath for ever cut it to pieces by their answer.

But secondly, others, yea most of those, whom wee call Protestant writers, for the re­conciling of James to Paul, and his fellow. Apostles, with one consent give in, this answer to this objection; distinguishing of a twofole justification: First, a justification before God; se­condly, a justification before men. Paul, as they apprehend, doth speake of the former of these, James of the latter; supposing this to be the genuine sence and meaning of James, that wee are justified by works, that is, declaratively before men.

But with respect and due reverence to the [Page 39]piety and learning of these men who give in this answer, give me leave, being not sworn (in verba magistri) or obliged to justifie what any man, or many men, though godly and learned, have apprehended to be the meaning of a place, to shew my reasons, why I dissent from them; and se­condly, to give in mine own answer to the place.

First, I apprehend that James doth not speake of a justification before men, because his proofe is from Abrahams being justified by works, when he offered up his sonne Isaac, as it is evident by the preceding words; which acti­on of Abrahams would not have justified him before men. They would have looked upon him rather as a cruell malefactor, then a Saint in offering up his onely Sonne.

Secondly, This businesse was so transacted between God and Abraham, that it was not vi­sible to men, that they should justifie him for it; When he went to performe this act of obe­dience to his God, he left his servants behind him, and carried no man with him, but his Sonne who was to be sacrificed.

Thirdly, If wee view the place, Gen. 22.11, 12. out of which James doth prove his Argu­ment, it will be evident, that it proveth not a justification towards men, but towards God. And the Angel said, Lay not thy hand upon the [Page 40]Lad, for now I know that thou fearest God, seeing thou hast not withheld thy sonne, thine onely sonne from mee. This Angel was Christ, as it doth appeare by his calling of himselfe God; and he is justified by him, as a man that feared him. And in the 16, 17, and 18. verses; By my selfe have I sworn, saith the Lord, because thou hast done this thing, that in blessing I will blesse thee, and in thy seed shall all the Nations of the Earth be bles­sed. It is cleare by this, that the justification spoken of, is not a justification before men, but before God.

Lastly, I shall therefore give in what I doe conceive to be the meaning of the holy Spirit in these words: James doth not speake of ju­stification, as it is taken properly, and used by Paul, but doth speake of justification as it is ta­ken improperly. He speaketh not of it as an act by which wee are reconciled, and our ini­quities pardoned, but he speaketh of it as an act by which God doth approve a man to be justified by his works which he doth after his justification. Abraham was a justified man by faith, before Isaac was borne; now God doth beare witnesse to the works and fruits of his faith, and doth justifie him by his works in this sence, that is, he doth approve him, to be a man that feareth and loveth him. And this is the Answer which is given by the learned Me­lancthon, [Page 41][Non intelligatur verbum justifieari pro reconciliari, sed ut alias saepe dicitur, pro ap­probari. Justificatur homo ex operibus: id est; ha­bens justitiam operum, approbatur, placet Deo] The word justification is not to be taken for reconcilia­tion, but approbation: man is justified by his works, that is, having a righteousnesse of works (or sam­ctification) God doth approve him, his works doe please God. And as when wee see good fruit up­on a tree, we use to say, this is a good tree. Not that the good fruit doth make the tree good, but the tree being good doth bring forth the good fruit: So God, having made us good trees by justifying of us by his Grace, doth en­able us to bring forth good fruit, and speaking ( [...],) after the manner of men to us men, doth approve us to be good trees, bring­ing forth good fruit. And thus much for the reproofe of these men, and in answer to their objection.

Secondly, This doth serve to discover and reprove such, who would seeme to be no Pa­pists, who yet in a more refined and subtle way, do preach forth the same doctrine which the others doe maintaine, and preferre some Popish bookes, which are wrought with a fine and curious thread, before any bookes which have been published, by any who have been eminent for the knowledge of Gods Grace in [Page 42]Christ through faith for justification. These are they who, if it were possible, would deceive the very Elect; laying siege against the Gospel, and the doctrine of justification, while they pre­tend that they are fighters for it. And these preach that wee are not to looke so much up­on a Christ without us for justification, as a Christ within us. And that we are not justifi­ed by a Christ that is in heaven, but by Christ within us; which Christ of theirs is nothing else, when yee are well acquainted with him, but the workings of their own spirits in zeale and love to God, and when they have high thoughts of God, their will is conformable to the will of God, and they thinke the same things that God thinkes, and submit to God in their wayes. They looke upon these work­ings as their perfection and justification; and this is Christ within them. Such kinde of Doctrines as this is, are the first rudi­ments and principles by which the Politique and Civilized Familists doe leaven their pu­pills, leading them from the plaine and sim­ple doctrine of the Gospel. The spirit of er­ror and delusion which was in H. N. (the first father of the Familists, which have lived of late, or are yet living) did worke mightily in him to pervert the Gospel, and to bring in Antichri­stianisme in this way of flaming zeale, love, and [Page 43]holinesse. And if he were now alive, he would wonder at his numerous off-spring, and pro­geny, which he hath now amongst us. But that you may avoid this first rock, before yee be en­gulfed into the deepe and bottomlesse pit of Familisticall Atheisme, and Antichristianisme, let what hath been spoken to reprove them, establish you in the truth of the Gospel, and looke upon the best piece of Familisme but as upon refined Popery.

For wee are not saved by Christ working in us, and making us obedient to his Fathers holy will: but wee are saved by the righteousnesse of Christ, who hath shed his bloud for us. And though we deny not, but that wee have Christ within us, and the Spirit of Grace to subdue our sinnes. Yet this is denied, that the workings of the Spirit are our justification; for wee are justified before wee have these workings: which wee feele within us. Wee are not justified because we love God and Christ, and desire to walke in sinceritie to glorifie God: but because wee apprehend the Grace of God in Christ; and therefore we love God and Christ, and destre in sincerity, to walke in all the wayes that God hath made knowne to us in Christ. Wee are not justified by the conformi­tie of our will to Gods will, or the onenesse of our will with his; but wee are justified by faith, before any of those works are wrought in our hearts by the Spirit of Grace.

He that denies this is ignorant of Christ and the Gospel, and is not an honourer of Christ, but a Minister of Satan and Antichrist, and a deluder of the people.

Thirdly, This is for the reproose of the hy­pocriticall Protestant, who professeth the do­ctrine of justification by faith without works with his tongue, but denieth it with his heart; not daring to trust his soule in the armes of a Saviour, unlesse he brings good works along with him to procure his welcome and enter­tainment.

This man stumbles at the thresh-hold of the doore of Grace, being never able to enter into the house of love; because he will not adventure his salvation upon the promises of Grace which are made to sinners, that have no workes, or righteousnesse inherently in themselves. He will not goe to God, or close with a promise of Grace, unlesse he have the sight of righteousnesse in himselfe in the first place. He will tell you, that good works are not the matter of our justification, and yet he will not conclude that he is a justified man, untill he see good works in himselfe. This man following the law of righteousnesse, doth not attaine to the law of righteousnesse, because he seeketh it not by faith, but as it were by the works of the Law, Rom. 9.31, 32.

The Apostle speaks against this pharisaicall opinion, when he saith, Wee are justified by Grace through beleeving; not through working. I am not bound to love God, and the bre­thren, that I may be beloved of God: but I must beleeve, that I may love God, and my brother.

The preposterous preaching of sanctification be­fore justification for the evidencing of justificati­on, is that which keepeth many poore creatures in bondage for many yeares, and ruines many soules.

How many are gone to Hell, who thought they were going to Heaven? deceiving them­selves with false and unsound assurances. And fetching their comforts from the sight of their own works, and not from the Grace of God in Christ, by a pure act of beleeving. If this were the right path to justification, we should not be justified in beleeving, but in loving, and working. For I seeing my love to God, should conclude Gods love to me; But, herein is love, not that wee loved God, but that God lo­ved us, and sent his Sonne to be the propitiation for our sinnes, 1 Joh. 4.10. And true love is wrought in us by the sight of Gods free love to us, in an act of beleeving.

Therefore if thou hast no assurance of the love of God, but that which thou hast gotten from the sight of thine own works, and from [Page 46]the conclusions of thine own base and deceit­full heart; as the ordinary way of some hath been, thou hast no assurance at all.

When thou shalt lie under a great tempta­tion, thou wilt finde no comfort in this assu­rance: And thou shalt finde at the great day, when thou shalt appeare before God and Christ, that this assurance will not be worth a Rush.

This building upon thy love to God, and not upon Gods free love to thee, is to build upon a sandy foundation; and not upon Christ by faith. And if the Lord convince thee of thy folly, thou wilt lay a better foundation of joy and comfort then this can be unto thee. For other foundation can no man lay then that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ, 1 Cor. 3.

Though a spirituall man can make a good use of marks and signes, as of love to God and Saints, when he seeth them in the light of the Spirit, as fruits proceeding from faith, as the roote; yet by drawing a conclusion from the sight of such things, which we apprehend to be in our selves, of our happinesse and good estate before God, wee shall not so truely com­fort, as certainly deceive our selves.

Fourthly, This is for the reprehension, of blind, & ignorant Formalists, who place Re­ligion rather in conformity to outward formes of Government, and submission to externall [Page 47]Ordinances, then in the faith of the Gospel, which is operative by love. Justification doth not lye in our obedience to the Ordinances of Jesus Christ, but in Jesus Christ. Wee are not made Saints, by being made members of any Church or Congregation, but by faith in the head of the Church. Woe to him that ma­keth his obedience and submission to any Or­dinance the ground of his comfort, as too ma­ny zealous Formalists do, who run from Con­gregation to Congregation, from one Ordi­nance to another, to get solid comfort to their soules, apprehending that they are undone creatures, and cannot be true Saints, unlesse they be under the true practise of all Ordi­nances: whereas it is a plaine truth, revealed in the Gospel of truth, that neither submit­ting to an Ordinance can make a true Saint, nor the want of Ordinances un-saint any man that is made one with Christ in beleeving. He is not a Jew which is one outwardly, neither is that Circumcision, which is outward in the flesh. But he is a Jew which is one inwardly, and Cir­cumcision is that of the heart, in the Spirit, and not in the Letter, whose praise is not of men, but of God, Rom. 2.28, 29. So he is a true Saint, who is not a visible member of a Congregati­on; but he whose life of faith is hidden in Jesus Christ. He is baptized, not whose body is washed [Page 48]with water; but, whose soule is washed in the bloud of Christ, 1 Pet. 3.21. He is a good Com­municant, and breaks bread, who doth not breake bread outwardly, but by faith doth in­wardly feed upon the bread of life. Wee are not justified by works of the Law done before or after justification, nor by yeelding obedi­ence to any command concerning outward Ordinances, but by our submitting in our Judgements to the truth of Gods Grace in Jesus Christ for justification without these.

I would not here be mistaken, as though I did speake against any Saints, or any who are spirituall and faithfull in the observa­tion of any externall Ordinances; But a­gainst zealous Formalists, who doe make Saintship and fellowship to depend upon these things, and are not spiritually acquainted with the truth of Gods Grace, but are per­verters of the Gospel.

In the next place, here lyeth Consolation for all that heare me this day, in that which I have delivered, if God shall give unto them beleeving hearts.

Hast thou never done any good worke? hast thou hated the wayes of God, and his people? hast thou never looked after the dis­cipline, government, and ordinances of Christ? Yet here is a ground for thee to come in unto [Page 49]Christ: we are justified by grace through belie­ving, not through working. Therefore let it be supposed, that thou art without works, yet thou hast good ground to take comfore in that wch hath bin delivered; believe and thou art in a happy condition, though thou hast never done a good worke. Thou art not to come to Jesus Christ as a righteous man: But thou are to come unto him, that thou maist be made a righteous man. If thou seest thy selfe a vile sinner, cast thy selfe into the armes of the grace of the Father by Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be made the righteousnesse of God in him 2 Cor. 5.

Promises of Grace are left by God upon record in the Scripture of truth for sinners, for ignorant sinners Isa. 29.24. They that erred in Spirit shall come to understanding; For sinners that murmure against him, his wayes, truths, & Prophets, as it followeth in the same verse. They that murmured shall learne Doctrine. For backsliding sinners Hosea 14.4. I will heale their back slidings, I will love them freely. Him that cometh unto him he will in nowise cast out [...]. Here are two Negatives in the Greeke, which doe strengthen the Negation. Iohn 6.37. By which speech our Saviour doth assure poore sinfull creatures, that if in truth they come unto him, they shall not be rejected [Page 50]by him; or ejected from the armes of his love and mercy.

Christ's invitation is to all sinners, All that will, may lay hold of him, not only the righ­teous, but the unrighteous. If thou canst not love God, thou maist looke on the Grace of God, and take comfort that God loves thee, Christ came not to call the righteous, but sin­ners, the cheifest and vilest of sinners to repen­tance. Therefore come as a sinner, as the cheifest of sinners, come I say, and welcome. The Lord Jesus keeps open-house for all com­mers, the blinde, the lame, shall not finde the doores shut upon them. They shall be well-come as sinners, that cannot be entertained as Saints.

It is reported of Romes first Founder, that wanting Subjects, he sent forth some, to make known his will to all people, who lived about him, that if any malefactors, or such who were oppressed in the places where they lived, did come in unto him, they should live peaceably in his Kingdome, and he would protect them against any that should pursue them, and by this meanes he became suddenly the King of a numerous people. So Christ doth send forth his Proclamations to assure sinners, and vile malefactors, that if they will come under his Scepter, they shall live peaceably under his [Page 51]Government, and that hee will safe-guard them from all their enemies, which shall pur­sue them, and by this meanes his dominions are enlarged from Sea, to Sea, and sinners doe rejoyce in the King of Sion. This doctrine if it were received, would answer all the objections which are raised in the hearts of men, against their happinesse by Jesus Christ.

Is there any sad, comfortlesse soule, which would not be comforted if this truth were re­ceived? What canst thou object against thy selfe to bereave thy selfe of peace, which would not be removed if this were throughly believed. Art thou a sinner? Christ offereth himselfe to sinners. Art thou an old sinner? An old sin­ner is but a sinner. Hast thou bin a Pharisee like Paul, persecuting Christ and the doctrine of Grace? A persecuting Pharisee is but a finner. And Paul was received to mercy, that such might not be without hope of mercy, 1 Tim. 1.16. Art thou an Hypocrite? An Hypo­crite may come as a sinner to Christ. Bring what objection thou canst, and a perswasion concerning the truth of Gods grace shall an­swer it, and if thou doest believe, thou hast as good an assurance as any is in Heaven, & which will hold good, when the hope of the Hypo­crite will come to nothing.

Let no objection keepe thee from comfort, [Page 52]but believe what thou hast heard: if thou art a sinner conclude not, that Christ belongs not to thee, because thou art a sinner: but say, I am a sinner, therfore Christ belongs to me, Christ came to save sinners.

As the bright beames of the Sun dispell all mists, and clouds: so the truth of this doctrine, if thou understand it in the light of the Spirit, will dispell all thy doubts and objections of unbeliefe. They will vanish, and thou that camest hether under a spirit of bondage, shalt goe away with a spirit of adoption, and assu­rance. The true Gospel believed will quickly bring true comfort to thy soule. If any of you want comfort and assurance, it is because you believe not. Christ doth knock at the doore of our hearts, and if by believing the doore be opened, He will feast with us. It is unbeliefe which doth bolt the doore, doth keepe him out, and doth keepe joy from us. The gates of Heaven are shut upon workers, and open to be­lievers: shut to those who come with money in their hands; but open to those who are con­tent to enter without paying any thing for their entrance: The gift of God is eternall life through Jesus Christ our Lord, Rom. 6. ult. Who­soever will, may drinke of the waters of life freely, Rev. 22.21. But if wee will not drinke without money, wee shall not drinke one drop [Page 53]of the water of life. We see that at a play-house they will not open the doore and let people in without they give mony. But it were a disgrace for a King, if none should see his Pallace but such who would give money. If wee thinke to enter into heaven by doing good workes, that wee may be saved by what we doe, wee make heaven like a play-house: but if wee looke on heaven as the Pallace of the great King of hea­ven and earth, let us know that wee may enter without money. It were a disgrace to the King of heaven if he should suffer none to come with­in his doores, to come into his Pallace, but those that would give something to come into it: if wee have nothing to give for heaven, wee have as much as God demands, if wee doe no­thing, wee doe as much as God requires.

(Manifestè beati sunt quibus sine labore, vel opere aliquo remittuntur iniquitates, et peccata teguntur. Nulla ab his requiruntur paenitentiae opera, nisi tantum ut credant, Ambrose) It is plaine that they are blessed, unto whom with­out any labour or paines, sinnes are remitted, and iniquities covered. No workes of repen­tance are required of these, this is onely requi­red of them, that they doe believe. For he that worketh not, but believeth in him that justifieth the ungodly, his faith is counted for righteous­nesse Rom. 4.5. So much for this time.

Salvation is on­ly by Gods grace.
SERMON. II.

Ephesians 1.8.‘For by grace are yee saved through faith, and that not of your selves &c.’

I proved the last day that there is no salvation for any man by any workes, or righteousnesse of his owne, I shall now pro­ceed in the next place to prove; that ‘Wee are saved by grace onely.’

By grace, in this place wee are to understand the free favour of God to his poore undeser­ving creatures. That which is translated grace [Page 55]here, in other places is translated favour; So it is said that our blessed Lord and Saviour increa­sed in wisdome, and stature, [...], and in favour with God and men, Luke 2. ult. So it is said that Joseph found favour in the sight of Pharaoh King of Egypt, Act. 7.10. And it is said that David found favour before God, ver. 46. The grace of God is the same with his favour, This grace, or free favour of God to poore creatures, is held forth to us in Scripture.

First, as it is in God; and so it is set forth to us, as that grace, and favour of his which is as eternall, as himselfe. And in this respect we are said to be saved from eternitie, in this eter­nall grace, and favour of his as the Apostle sets it forth, 2 Tim. 1.9. where he saith that wee are saved not according to our works; but according to his owne purpose and grace, which was given us in Christ Jesus before the world began. This grace is the primary cause of our justification. God justifies, and saves none in time; but those who were justified and saved before him from eternity. It is said of Abraham, that hee was the Father of many Nations, Rom. 4.17. He was not then the father of many nations, if we look upon his progenie, & posteritie: for he had not a grand-child then: but he was the Father of many Nations before him whom he believed, even God that quickenth the dead, and calleth things [Page 56]that are not as if they were. So wee were saved before God in the eternall grace of God, be­fore we had a being among the creatures. In the same sense that God is said to determine the times, and the bounds of all mens habita­tions from eternity, Act. 17.26. So wee are said to be saved by the grace of God. Because God from eternity loved us in Christ, and saw us in his own eternall grace and favour. Other­wise wee should make God like unto the crea­ture, which seeth things when they are done, and are visible among the creatures: but God hee foresaw things from eternity: He speakes of things as being, when indeed they have not a being among the creatures, but have a being in his owne eye. And so wee had a being in the grace of God, and in the eye, and sight of God, before wee had a being in our selves, and a be­ing among the creatures.

And we are in this grace of God from eter­nity, not for any works that God foresaw would be done by us: God did not love us from eternity because he foresaw, that wee would be industrious, painfull, and zealous to glorify his name. There was nothing at all in the eye of God from eternity that moved God to set his grace, and favour upon us but his grace. It is contrary to truth which is affirmed by some, that God foreseeing that [Page 57]some men would be industrious, painefull, doe good workes, and live holily and righteously, did therefore make choice of them, and set his grace on them. And that foreseeing, the idle­nesse, sloath, prophanenesse, ungodlinesse and impenitencie of others, he rejected them. God, as hee loves us in his grace from eternity: so this grace was placed upon us without any foresight or prevision of our own workes. The Apostle doth clear this plainly to us in the fore­mentioned place, where he saith, not accord­ing to our workes, but according to his owne purpose and grace; intimating thus much to us, that it was onely the eternall grace of God, which moved God to be good and gracious to us in Christ. And so the Apostle saith, Tit. 3.5. Not by workes of righteousnesse which wee have done, but according to his mercy he saved us; that is, according to his eternall mercy, and grace, he shewed favour and compassion to us, and pardoned our sins. And the expression of the Apostle is worth observing, Epes. 1.4. where speaking of the eternall grace of God, hee saith, That God placed his grace upon us that wee should be holy, and without blame before him, in love. He doth not say that God elected us, because wee would be holy, and without blame; but He elected us that wee might be holy, and without blame before him in love: good [Page 58]workes are not the cause but the consequents of Grace.

Nay, I add more, that as God did not fore­see our good workes; so, not our faith nei­ther: faith is not the cause of grace, but grace is the cause of faith. God therefore enables us to believe in time, because God loved us from eternity.

The Apostle speaking of them of Achaia saith, that they believed through grace, and Apollos helped them much that believed through grace Acts 18.27. It is by grace that we be­leeve, it is not by faith that we are made par­takers of Grace.

Thus we are saved by grace in the purpose of God, from eternity in the eye and sight of God, who seeth all things absent as if they were present, and speakes of things before they are done, as if they were done.

In the next place, grace in Scripture is con­sidered, not onely as it is in God, and as it is as eternall as God himselfe; but the Scripture speaks of the grace of God, as it is manifested forth to us in Jesus Christ; and so wee are saved by Grace; God discovering his grace to us in his Sonne Jesus Christ. So the Apostle speaking of grace, 2 Tim. 1.10. saith: But now is manifested to us by the appearing of our Saviour Jesus Christ, who hath abolished death, [Page 59]and hath brought life, and immortality to light through the Gospel. Hee speakes first of grace, as it is in God, and as it is as eternall, as God him­selfe: then he speakes of eternall grace, mani­fested to us in the Gospel of his deare Sonne. It is by the preaching of the Gospel that the eter­nall grace of the Father, in the Sonne, is made known to us.

And this grace is called sometimes the Grace of God the Father, Rom. 1.7. Sometimes it is called the grace of Jesus Christ; and some­times the grace of them both: because Jesus Christ is God, one God, in one divine essence with his Father.

And as God in his grace is said to forgive sinnes, Mica. 7. who is a God like unto thee that pardoneth sin? saith the Prophet. So Jesus Christ is said to forgive sinnes: the Apostle bids us to forgive one another, as Christ hath forgiven us, Col. 3.13. As there is grace in the Father to forgive sinnes; so there is the same grace in the Sonne. The Apostles doubted not but that they should be saved by the grace of Christ, as well as those that were circumcised, Act. 15.7. And by this grace we are saved. God discover­ing now his grace to us in his Sonne Jesus Christ, the eternall Sonne of the eternall Father.

This grace in Scripture is made known to [Page 60]us, as the sole cause of our justification and salvation. Grace is so held forth for justifica­tion, that all things, besides grace are exclu­ded. Wee are justified by grace, exclusively; all other things being shut out. When God justi­fieth a man, he eyes that man, onely in his owne grace: and when God justifieth a man in the Court of his owne Conscience, he strips him of all his own workes, of his owne love to him, and to the brethren, and gives him onely a sight of owne grace.

This grace doth exclude all merit: if there were any merit in the creature, man could not be saved by Grace; the Apostle cleares it to us by that passage Rom. 4.4. To him that work­eth the reward is not reckoned of grace, but of debt. If a man could worke, or merit any thing to­ward his justification, and salvation, then it were not of grace, saith the Apostle: the reward is not of grace, but of debt. If a man worke, then he expects wages as due to him, he may by right, and justice clayme what he deserves: so if wee did worke for salvation wee might require God to bestow, and give us what wee had wrought for. But true grace shuts out all merit, and workes in the creature: if we could bring any merit of the creature to joyne with his grace, grace should be no more grace, as the Apostle, Rom. 11.6.

If wee looke upon Grace as it is in God; so, before God wee were saved in his eternall thoughts; he in his own purpose and Grace, having elected us to justification, and eternall salvation in Glory by his Sonne Jesus Christ. Yet he never holds forth his Grace to us; but in the countenance of his Sonne Jesus Christ; in whom the glory of his justice shines bright, with the glory of his grace. He shewes us that he hath laid all our sins on his Sonne: that his justice hath received full satisfaction from the sufferings of his Sonne for all our sinnes, and so comes to discover his grace to us in the par­don and forgivenesse of our sinnes.

Thus Christ, and the Apostles constantly in their preaching, discovered the grace of the Father in the Son. As our Saviour to Nicode­mus: God so loved the world, that he gave his one­ly begotten Sonne, that whosoever beleeveth on him should not perish, Joh. 3. And the Apostle to his Corinthians; God was in Christ, reconci­ling the world to himselfe, 2 Cor. 5.

God doth not make knowne his love for the forgivenesse of sinne, but by Jesus Christ. I confesse that wee are saved by grace in respect of God, before wee know the Grace of God in Jesus Christ. But wee cannot see this grace, untill wee behold it in the face of the Lord Je­sus. Wee behold the love of God in giving the [Page 62]Lord Jesus to be the atonement, sacrifice, and propitiation for our sins, before wee can read the everlasting love and favour of the Father to us in his Sonne. Eternall love is the prima­rie cause of our salvation and justification; but it cannot be apprehended by us, untill we apprehend, in the first place our Redemption in Jesus Christ. And when Christ is embra­ced as a Saviour in the Armes of Faith, wee rise higher in our thoughts, by the power of the Spirit, and are brought to look upon the eternity of love. And have liberty to read eve­ry line in his eternall volume, which doth con­cerne our eternall life and salvation: and are fully confirmed in the point of Gods eternall election, without the prevision of good works, which should be wrought by the Creature. As the Apostle doth prove at large in the 9th to the Romans: And if any man will dispute or rather cavill against this truth: I shall say with the Apostle, Rom. 9.20. Oman! who art thou that repliest against God: who hath mercy on whom be will have mercy, and whom he will he harden­eth. And though men, unacquainted with this truth, may account this rather a shift or evasi­on, then an answer to their carnall objections against election, and reprobation, yet I shall not be ashamed of my answer. It is an excel­lent Speech of Augustine (Christs great Cham­pion [Page 63]against Antigratians in his time) Absit ut pudeat nos hoc respondere, quod respondisse vide­mus Apostolum. Far be it from us to be ashamed to give the same answer, which was given by the Apostle: Who art thou that repliest against God, &c.

In the next place wee are to consider, that in Scripture, salvation is taken either nega­tively or affirmatively.

And take salvation in either of these accep­tions. And it will be evident, that wee are sa­ved by grace.

In the first place, if we take salvation nega­tively; as it is a deliverance or freedome from all evill; and in this sence wee are freed from evill, onely by grace. It is a true rule: Gratiam Christi nihil praecedit humani: Nothing in man doth precede, or prevent the Grace of God. The light and beames of Grace, do dispell the clouds of our sins. Not for our sakes, but for his Name sake, he covereth our sins. It is Gods prerogative to free us from sin by Grace, and to remove them far from us, Psal. 103.12. As far as the East is from the West, so far he removed our transgressions from us. He onely can remove sin against whom it is committed. He onely can cast sin into the depths of the Sea, who hath an Ocean of Grace in himselfe, in which he swalloweth them up. Micah is spiritually [Page 64]transported beyond himselfe, in admiring this incommunicable prerogative of the God of Grace. Micah 7.18. Who is a God like unto thee, that pardoneth iniquity, &c? And who can think that he will part with this priviledge, which is his delight? For so it followeth in the same verse: He retaineth not his anger for ever, because he delighteth in mercy.

Secondly, If wee take salvation affirmative­ly, for the instating of men into a condition and enjoyment of all happiness, and felicity, so wee are saved by grace. Wee are made hap­py, brought from a cursed condition, into a blissfull condition, from horror to joy, from hell to heaven, from the state of nature, to the state of Glory, onely by the grace of God. It is onely by Grace that wee are what wee are. By Grace our sins are pardoned: by Grace wee have an inheritance with the Saints: by Grace wee are the high born sonnes of the great King of heaven and earth: by Grace wee are blessed and loaded with all spirituall and temporall blessings in Jesus Christ, and are brought to the enjoyment of eternall felicity, happinesse, and blissfulnesse. Thus wee are saved by grace, and by grace alone.

One of the Ancients doth speake excellently to this purpose; (Nemo se palpet, de suo Satanas est, de deo beatus est, quid est enim de suo nisi pec­catum [Page 65]suum?) Let no man boast of himselfe, for of a mans selfe he is a Devill; by God a man is made happy. What is a man of himselfe, but sin? Yee are saved by grace.

Againe, salvation in Scripture is taken for salvation before God in the Court of heaven. And it is taken for the saving of a partie, in his own spirit and conscience: if wee take it in the first sence, a man is saved in the Court of hea­ven, onely by grace. What is the Reason that (the accusing mouth of the Law being stop­ped) no Bill, no enditement can be brought against the Elect in the Court of Heaven? Is it not this, because God in his grace justifieth them? This is the Apostles argument, Rom. 8.33. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods Elect? It is God that justifieth them. [...]? who can implead, or bring an action a­gainst them before God for breaking his Law? He that is the Judge of the Elect is their justi­fier. Grace hath cast out of Heaven the accuser of the Brethren, which accused them before God night and day, Rev. 12.10. The accuser can bring no enditement, complaint, or accusati­on against the Saints there. There is no sin in our consciences that can be heard to accuse us in heaven, because there is grace for our justifi­cation: God beholds his Sonne Jesus Christ before his eve, upon whom he hath laid all our [Page 66]sins. The bloud of Christ doth, with power­full and undeniable arguments, plead for those for whom it was shed. The straying and strag­ling sheep, which are within the reach of Gods eternall Grace, cannot be condemned; because the good Shepheard hath given his life for the sheep. Joh. 10.11. God knoweth that he hath re­ceived satisfaction before hand for their sins, by the hand of the Lord Jesus, who is not now to pay any thing, but hath already made pay­ment for all their debts: and is become the Me­diator of the new Covenant of Grace, which is sea­led in his own bloud: under which Covenant upon this consideration, there can be no re­membrance of sin, Heb. 10.14. God beholding his Elect in their propitiation; and alwayes hearing the sweet voice of their wrath-appea­sing advocate, making an heavenly melody in his eares. And alwayes beholding our happi­nesse before himselfe in heaven, lying wrapt up in his own grace; doth acquaint us in his word of truth; That wee are saved by grace.

Secondly: If we take salvation in the other sence; for salvation in our spirits and consci­ences; and in this sence we are saved by grace. There can be no salvation brought home to our hearts, but by the sight of grace. If wee had the sanctification of all the Saints which have lived since the fall of Man, and should [Page 67]looke upon it all as ours, to give comfort to our soules, and to assure us that wee are in a state of salvation; and should not looke above it, to behold Gods grace, and our sanctificati­on in it, and from it, it would not give us any solid comfort, or assurance of our salvation. Nothing can shine in the heart to give it any comfort, but what doth shine and give light, in the light and beames of this grace. Wee ne­ver come to see our selves in a condition of safety, till wee see the grace of God. Looke un­to mee and be saved, all the ends of the earth; for I am God, and there is none else, Isaiah 45.22. None but God can save us, and nothing but the sight of God can bring salvation to us. Still wee have some objection or other against salvation, and justification, till God silence all objections by the sight of his own grace. There is that onely in God, and in Jesus Christ, that will silence all objections.

If our conscience flie in our faces, and tell us that wee have committed many thousands of sins more then wee can reckon or number up, yet when God gives us a sight of himselfe, his sonne, and grace, the mouth of conscience is stopped, and wee see all our sins swallowed up in his love. Shew us the Father, and it suffi­ceth us, saith Philip. Joh. 14.8. When God shew­eth us himselfe, our spirits are at rest.

When Grace is discovered, and Gods light doth shine upon the soule, Sin, death, & dam­nation cannot terrifie the soule. But they are filled with a spirit of joy, in beleeving their free justification; who before through feare of death were subject to bondage, Heb. 2.15. Grace appeareth greater and stronger to bring sal­vation, then sinne powerful to bring damna­tion. Our sins, & the sins of all the men of the world, being the acts of creatures are finite; but grace that justifieth us, is the grace of an infinite God, and is boundlesse and infinite. Men are unassured of their salvation, unlesse this Grace be presented to the eye of their spi­rits. And men and Devills cannot prevaile against us, to enforce us to question our justi­fication, and salvation, when wee looke upon it. That peace which the world cannot take from us, nor give unto us; that joy which neither the Law, nor the workes of the Law can con­vey unto us, nor bereave us off: that salva­tion which damned Feinds can never rob us of; is communicated to us by the beholding of Gods grace in the face of the Lord Jesus. The soule, when it hath a sight of this grace, it stands with boldnesse at the Throne of Grace, and though it feele hellish sin in it selfe, yet, it is able to dispute with all the Divels in Hell, and to maintaine the freenesse, fulnesse, and [Page 69]compleatnesse, of its own justification from all sin, by the grace of God in Jesus Christ.

If the Divell shall then suggest this to a man, that he is a sinner. The beleeving soule will make this answer. It is true, I am a sinner; but I am not terrified to desparation, because I am ungodly; but I rejoyce in this that God justifieth the ungodly by his grace, Rom. 4.5. If the Divell shall reply: But thou art a great sinner, and there is a great damnation. The believing soule will returne, I am not tormen­ted by the great damnation prepared for great sinners, but comforted by the great salvation; (Heb. 2.3.) which is for the greatest and cheifest of sinners by Gods grace in Jesus Christ (1 Tim. 1.15.) If the Divell shall still assault a man, to perswade him that he is a damned soule, having mispent his time and strength in the service of sin, having no good workes to commend him unto God, that he may finde favour from him. The beleeving soule will be easily able in the strength of God, when it is upon the mountaine of his Grace, to silence the Accuser, by lying downe in the lap of that God, who maketh him the object of his Grace, who worketh not for justification (Rom. 4.) but beleiveth in God who justifieth sinners in his Grace, without workes. And because wee are justified and [Page 70]comforted in the Court of our owne Consci­ences by grace: The spirit which is given forth in the Ministry of the Gospel is called a spirit of grace: It being the worke of the Spirit to reveale the grace of the Father for the comfort of his children; according to that of the Apostle, 2 Thess. 2.16, 17. Our Lord Iesus Christ himselfe, and God even our Father, which hath loved us, and given us everlasting consolation, and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts. Heere the Apostle sheweth us that the Saints have consolation, and that this consolation is everlasting, and that this everlasting conso­lation is only by grace. Goe to all the true Saints in the world, and aske them how they received the Comforter, whether by the obser­vation of moral precepts, or by the doctrine of grace, & they will informe you that they recei­ved him, by the Gospel of grace, and not by the law of works: Some Saints are able to acquaint you with their own experience, & can tell you, how they laboured for holiness, to bring them to happinesse; to love God, that they might as­sure themselves, that they were in the love of God, and that they found darknesse instead of expected light, death instead of life, horrour & bondage instead of joy and liberty, untill they were enabled to come unto God as sinners, without workes, disclaming their owne righ­teousnesse, [Page 71]deserts and endeavours, and laying the head-stone of their peace and happinesse in the free favour of God, crying Grace, Grace, Zech: 4:7. Exalting the free grace of God in their justification, and overthrowing & over­turning their own works and legal righteous­nesse. It is grace, and grace alone, which bringeth salvation. Tit: 2.11. and therefore not our workes. Grace and workes are inconsistent in this point of justification: they can no more stand together, then the Arke of God and Da­gon. Let grace stand up in its glory, & workes will quickly be overthrown, and set up works, and yee destroy the doctrine of grace. By eternall grace wee were elected, and made vessells of mercy from eternitie; by grace we were saved before God in heaven, in the presence of the Lord Iesus: by grace wee were saved in the person of Christ before faith. By the revela­tion of grace unto us through faith wee are saved (in foro conscientiae) in the Court of our owne consciences. By grace salvation is inchoated here, and compleated, and perfected hereafter. Rom. 6. ult: The gift of God is cter­nall life through Jesu Christ our Lord. The word is [...], which signifieth a gift flowing from Grace, or free favour. In these severall accep­tations of the word grace, we are saved by grace.

I might now lay downe many reasons, for [Page 72]the proofe of this poynt, but those, which I gave to proove, that wee are not justified by workes, will bee sufficient for the confirmati­on of this. And when I shall handle the doctrine of belelving some reasons will fall in which will more fully illustrate this truth. I shall therefore for the present onely present unto you a reason or two, and hasten to the use.

1 Reason. First, it being supposed that man is a sinner, it is impossible that man should bee saved by any thing, but by the knowledge of Grace.

The Law in this particular, would not deale with us, considering what good hath bin done by us, but what evill. And therefore when the Apostle had proved, Rom. 3.23. that devout Jews, as well as prophane Genti­les, had sinned, and come short of the glory of God: he takes it for granted, as a thing undeniable and unquestionable, that wee are justified free­ly by his grace, through the redemption that is in Iesus Christ. And if we could bring our selves into a state of perfection, after we have once sinned, wee could not be justified by that per­fection in us, which is required by the Law, but should be condemned for our sinnes, and imperfections in breaking of the Law.

If a man have done good service for the [Page 73]Common-wealth; and yet be found guilty of high Treason against the State, the Law will condemne him for the Treason, his good service not being availeable to make satis­faction, to the justice of the Law for this Treason. So if it were possible for us to keepe the Law for a time, wee should be condemned, if it can be proved that wee have broken it at any time. Acts of obedience will not make satisfaction for acts of disobedience. We can­not satisfie the justice of the Law, by doing what the Law requires, if we have once bro­ken it. If we could sometimes doe what the Law requires us, we should not be able to free our selves from the guilt and punishment for doing that, which it forbiddeth us at all times; because it requireth obedience from us, at all times. And it is unreasonable to thinke that God, if he deale with us as under the Law, and not under Grace, should give us a pardon of our disobedience, in considerati­on of our obedience.

If a wife live honestly, as becomes a wife, some few yeares; if her huband finde that she committed Adultery some yeares before the time of her honesty & obedience, the Law takes no notice at all, that she hath lived in her latter time as became a wife: but con­demnes her; & she must be divourced from her [Page 74]husband for her adultrous act committed be­fore her obedience.

So if it were possible that wee could keepe the Law, and doe what is required in it, and live under the obedience of it, in every branch and point of it, yet if we have once broken the Law, the Law, taking no notice of our obedi­ence would condemne us for our disobedience. What the Roman hystorian saith of the Roman Law, that it is (dura et inexorabilis) severe and inexorable, it is true of Gods Law. The Law heareth no cry or begging for mercy. No man shall finde favour or pardon from the Law, by any acts of obedience to the Law, who hath once disobeyed the Law.

The paying of a new debt will not make satisfaction to a man to whom an old debt is owing: so if wee could pay the debt that the Law requires for the present, it makes no sa­tisfaction at all for our breaking it before, for our old debt.

By this consideration, in the first place, it will be evident to every man who hath any spirituall knowledge of the purity, and justice of the Law, that it is impossible for sinfull man to finde out any way, but the good old way of Grace, to happinesse and salvation.

Secondly, wee are justified by grace; that God may have the glory of his grace. Man [Page 75]fell by pride, therefore God will not estate him in happinesse but by humbling him, by bringing him upon his knees to the Throne of Grace, that he may have the glory of his grace. Naturally we are full of pride, and would rise by that, by which wee fell: wee would be made happy by workes, as wee are made unhappy by workes. Every man that sees himselfe, sees how that the whole streame of corrupt nature runs this way: man will be doing, working, and acting that he may be justified. But God will not suffer sinfull man to glory, before him in his owne workes, least he should loose the glory of grace, Rom. 4.2. and therefore there is no salvation for us, un­till wee lie downe at the doore of grace. If God enter into judgement no man living shall be justified in his sight, Psal. 143.2. God doth stop up all other waies to salvation, but the way of grace, that he may have the glory of his grace in justifiing the objects and vessells of his grace. God doth not so much intend mans salvation by grace, as his owne glory and praise. He formeth his people for him­selfe, that they may be happy in himselfe, and with himselfe, and they may shew forth his praise, Psal. 43.21. It is the minde and pleasure of God that every man should glory in him­selfe; therefore he justifies and saves us onely [Page 76]by that Grace which is in himselfe. In the Lord shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory. And the Apostle when he had dicoursed of the grace of God in our election predestination, and adoption, doth sweetly ac­knowledge that grace doth streame forth un­to us in all these particulars, that it may be to the praise of the glory of his grace, Ephes. 1.5, 6. He maketh us objects of grace that he may re­ceive from us, and wee be enabled to give un­to him, the glory of his grace. All the Saints are brought forth standing before the Throne, and singing forth this truth, Rev. 7.10. Salva­tion to our God which sitteth upon the Throne, and to the Lambe. They ascribe salvation not to their owne workes, merits, deservings, or wor­thynesse, but to the grace of God and blood of the Lambe.

As earthly and grose bodies cannot mount up to Heaven, which is a place of puritie and perfection, but they fall downe by their owne weight to the earth, unable to ascend thether. So our works, fall downe to the ground, as unable to ascend up to the place of Gods pu­rity and glory to justifie us in his sight; that salvation may be attributed onely to his owne grace. And he will not justifie us in the court of our owne consciences, wee shall not read our names written in heaven, till hee bring us [Page 77]from our owne workes, righteousnesse, perfor­mances, and endeavours, to rest upon the strong arme of his grace that we may give him the glory of his grace, in our free justification and salvation.

Thirdly, God saves us by Grace, because if it were not by grace, it had beene needlesse that the Lord Iesus Christ should have beene given to us: If it had been possible for man to have wrought out his owne salvation by his own workes, there had been no need that the Son of God should have disroabed him­selfe of his glory, and been made man like us. Why should he have lived a life of sorrow, and died a death of shame, had it been possible for us to have gotten salvation by our own works? Therefore the Apostle concludes, that if righte­ousnesse had been by the Law, then Christ had dyed in vaine. And thus have I opened to you, and shewed you the reasons why wee are saved by grace. In aword now to make a little use of it, and so I shall conclude for the present.

In the first place, that which I have deli­vered concerning the eternall grace of God, sufficiently confutes that error which is in the spirits of many men, who thinke that workes and actings of the creature is the cause of Gods love to the creature. God doth not love us, because wee love him, but we love God, [Page 78]because he first loved us from eternity. God doth not begin to love us, when wee are made new creatures, but God loveth us that we may be new creatures. Faith is not the Antecedent cause, but consequent of election, Tit. 3.5. Not by workes of righteousnesse which wee have done, but according to his mercy he saved us, by the washing of regeneration and renewing of the holy Spirit. By this passage it is evident, that mercy doth precede regeneration, and is the cause of spirituall renovation. Vocation and justification by faith doe follow predestinati­on, if Paul speake the truth, Rom. 8.30. Whom he did predestinate, them he also called: and whom he called them he also justified, and whom he just­fied them he also glorified. God loved us when wee had no beings in our selves, or among any creatures, to assure us that he did not love us for any thing in us, there being nothing at all in us when God first loved us.

The love of God is not like the love of man, man loves something which he sees lovely but God sees nothing in the object which he loves, but all the motives and arguments lie in the bosome and breast of God, which move him to love his creature. Man cannot love before he have some lovely object proposed to him, but God loves before we have either being or holinesse: Wee beleive in God, love him, and [Page 79]are made lovely before him in time, because he loved us before all time. The man spiritu­ally wise doth see his happynesse wrapt up in the eternall bowells of Grace; and laid up in the everlasting bosome of unchangeable love for him. Fond therefore is there conceit, shal­low there apprehension, and understandings dull, who beleeve that any thing done, or be­leeved by the creature in time, can be the pri­mary cause of the creatures salvation, to whom grace was given for salvation from eternity 2 Tim. 1.2. &c.

This doctrine of free grace doth overthrow and annihilate the wisdome of the wise, the learning of the learned, the righteousnesse of him who is most righteous, and a stranger to grace. The naturall man with his best sight seeth not a righteousnesse beyond the righte­ousnesse of his own righteousnesse. As the wisdome of the spirit, is foolishnesse to the naturall man; so the wisdome of the flesh is foolishnesse with God. Though there be a spirit in a man by which he may have great knowledge and understanding in the things of nature and reason, yet it is the spirit of the Almighty which giveth understanding, Job. 32.8. Untill this spirit and power from above come upon us, wee call light darknesse, and dark­nesse light; sinfulnesse purity, purity imper­fection. [Page 80]But when this doth enter into us, all our righteousnesses appeare as filthy raggs, and we are made willing to rest upon that grace for righteousnesse, which was given us in Christ Jesus, before the world began. 2 Tim. 1.9. Then wee clearly see the wisdome of God in shewing mercy on whom he will shew mercy, and having compassion on whome he will have compassion: Then we cannot but acknow­ledge, that it is not of him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. Then the objections of carnall reason are ful­ly answered, the acute arguments of the wordly wise and learned, against free grace, are dissolved, the Sophismes of the Antigrati­ans are sufficiently confuted, and we are saved and satisfied with the glorious discoveries of Gods eternall grace in Christ Jesus.

Againe, this should engage us all, that know this saving grace to exalt and extoll this grace of our heavenly Father. Grace ap­prehended by us doth oblige us unto thank­fulnesse. It is fit that they should glorifie God for his grace, who see themselves glorified by grace. The Prophet Isaiah setteth forth this unto us Isa. 45. last, In Jehovah shall all the seed of Israel be justified, and shall glory. He that is justified in the grace of Jehovah will certain­ly glory in the grace of Jehovah. Let us there­fore [Page 81]glory, not in our selves, not in our la­bours, sufferings, actings or endeavours, but in this grace of the Father, according to the advice of the Prophet Jeremiah, 9.23, 24. Thus saith the Lord; Let not the wise man glory in his wisdome, neither let the mighty man glory in his might: Let not the rich man glory in his riches: But let him that glorieth glory in this, that he understandeth and knoweth me; that I am the Lord, which exercise loving kindnesse, judge­ment and righteousnesse in the earth. Let our holy boasting be in this righteousnesse; Let the resolution of the sweet Singer of Israel be the resolution of every one of us Psal. 71.16. I will make mention of thy righteousnesse, even of thine onely. God forbid, saith Paul, that I should glory in any thing, save in the Crosse of the Lord Jesus Christ. So let every good Christian say, God forbid that I should glory save in the grace of God; Let Pharisees and Hypocrites boast of their owne workes and legall righte­ousnesse. But let true Saints boast onely of the grace of the mercifull and favourable Je­hovah. What is ingenuously acknowledged concerning himselfe, by Paul, 1 Cor. 15.10. By the grace of God I am what I am; may be ac­knowledged by all Saints. By grace wee are what we are, and therefore glory is to be given to grace. Gods gracious love was placed up­on [Page 82]us before wee were lovely, Jer. 31.3. He loved us with an everlasting love. He loved us when we were unlovely, when he saw us pollu­ted in our blood, then was the time of his love, Ezek. 16.6.8. His grace and love hath made us lovely: what cause then is there, that wee should glory in this grace and love? It is an excellent speech of Bernard to this purpose (Tibi illibata maneat gloria, meum benè agitur si pacem habuero.) Take thou all the glory, it is enough for us, that wee have the peace. In Psal. 130.3. the Psalmist professeth that if the Lord should marke iniquities, no man should be able to stand before him. If thou Lord shouldest marke iniquities: O Lord who shall stand? The interrogation is equivalent to a negation, who shall stand? that is, no man shall stand. Wee, that should quickly fall to ruine, had wee no better ground to stand upon then our owne workes, what reason have we to blesse God for grace, who onely stand by grace?

If we could stand before the judgement Seate of God, standing cloathed in the men­struous raggs of our owne workes, righteous­nesse & performances, there were some ground for us to glory in our owne works: but see­ing it is thus, that if God enter into Judge­ment, and deale with us by the Law, we can­not stand before him, therefore, let us glory [Page 83]onely in him. With heart and tongue give him praise for what he hath done for thee by his grace, who hast cause to be ashamed for what thou hast done against his grace. A King of France thought himself bound to praise God, that God had made him a King and not a begger. What cause have wee to praise him for his grace, who of sinners hath made us Saints. If devout Bradford, when he saw a blinde or a lame man, did take occasion to blesse God for the use of his limbes, & eye­sight, is it not consonant to reason, that wee should publish forth the praises of Gods grace, who hath bestowed spirituall life, light, and operations upon us.

The Apostle hath an high expression to raise our spirits, to this purpose, 2 Cor. 2.14. Now thanks be to God, which alwayes causeth us to triumph in Christ. When men triumph there is great joy, rejoycing and showting. Wee are not onely to rejoyce, in his Grace, but wee should triumph in it. A Christian may ride in a Chariott of triumph every day; he may see his sinnes, curse, hell, and dam­nation subdued, and overcome, when he be­holds God, in the looking glasse of his owne grace. What though we have many sinnes? yet for all this wee may triumph, because the grace of God hath saved us from our sinnes by [Page 84]Christ. What though wee have no works? yet wee may triumph if wee know grace, there is enough for us in the fulnesse of grace. There is no way to peace here, or glory hereafter, but by grace. Let grace therefore be thy glory. As the Apostle doth double his exhortation when he exhorteth them to rejoyce, that they might double their diligence and care in practise of their duty, Phil. 4.4. Rejoyce in the Lord alway: and againe, I say rejoyce. So suffer me to double and treble my exhortation. Yee have nothing to boast in but grace, boast therefore: and againe I say boast in the grace of God.

God seemes, in the Prophet Isaiah, to speake to an Hypocriticall proud people, and he bids them bring forth their arguments, and put him in Remembrance, if there were any thing to be brought before him, for which they should be justified, Isa. 43.26. Let us plead together, declare thou that thou mayest be justified: As if he should have said. If you have any works; bring them out? use all your arguments, skill and Rhetoricke, say what you can for your selves to plead your justification. But, to con­vince them that they could not stand before him with their workes for justification, he puts them in minde of their sinnes, Thy first Father hath sinned, and thy Teachers have trans­gressed [Page 85]against me, ver. 27. to this end and pur­pose, that they should believe what was promised in the 25th verse, that he would blot out their sinnes for his own sake. So it is with us (Brethren) as we have heard. Wee cannot bring forth sufficient reasons and ar­guments to make good our salvation by our works. If we have nothing to comfort us but our owne works, wee shall have no comfort at all in his presence. Let us therefore as we are ingaged, Trumpet out the praise of God, for the manifestation of his rich and precious grace to us in the face of Jesus, for justification and salvation.

Thirdly, Let me exhort you to abide in the profession of grace to the end of your dayes Hypocrites may professe grace for a time, but true Saints shall hold fast the doctrine of grace to the end, Joh. 8.31. If yee continue in my word then are yee my Disciples indeed. Paul and Bar­nabas exhorted the religious Proselites of An­tioch, Acts 13.43. [...], to continue, or a­bide in Grace, Looke up to God for grace and power according to his promise to enable you, to hold fast the truth of his grace. Let not the wise and learned of the world, cryed up for godlinesse, Religion, and devotion, draw you from this grace of God.

We live in dangerous, in perilous times, and [Page 86]there were never such underminers of grace, as have appeared in these sinfull dayes, some that deny the Lord that bought them: But let us not be discouraged, because some, who have professed grace, have fallen from their pro­fession, to fancy frothy Notions, Anti-Christian absurdities, and Familisticall specu­lations. Consider rather what the Apostle affirmeth 1 Cor. 11.19. that there must be He­resies, [...], it is needfull that there should be such, that they which are approved may be made mani­fest. The Divell hath his Chapalines, as well as God his Ministers and Embassadors. As some shall bee sent of God to hold forth grace for the conversion of sinners, to the righteousnesse of the just: So some will vent there blasphe­mous conceits and cursed impostures to per­vert men to destruction. If the good God sow good seed, the wicked one will sow Tares among the wheate. Mat. 13.24.

When the Gospel is preached with, power there are multitudes come to the profession of it, but after a while many of these fall to philosophicall fancies, foolish dreames, vaine fables, and idle speculations, loathing the plain Gospel, the heavenly Manna, as the Israelites did the Manna that came downe from Heaven, this wee begin to finde by experience: But let not this shake us from our stedfastnesse [Page 87]in the profession of the Gospel. God hath ap­pointed it to be so. Paul was confident that after his departure from the Congregation in Miletus, grievous wolves would enter in among them, not sparing the flock, and that of their own selves should men arise, speaking perverse things, to draw away disciples after them. Act. 20.29. If the Apostle were cōfident in his time that it would be so, when he saw them under the pure Dis­cipline and Government of Christ, under the charge of those Ministers, Teachers, and Offi­cers, whom the Lord Jesus Christ appoin­ted over them, filled with those gifts of the Spirit, which were the fruit of his Ascension; what wonder is it, if wee meet with the Devills, Hee-Apostles, and She-Apostles in these sinfull times; who vomit forth boldly to their own shame, and Gods dishonor, hellish and pestiferous Doctrines; for the most high spirituall Truths of the Lord Jesus? if wee consider what confusion and disorder is a­mong the best of Saints now, and are enlight­ned to see our want of many spirituall gifts, and favours which they enjoyed, which for the present God doth not bestow upon us?

Againe, Let not the Abusers of grace cause you to dislike grace, or the Doctrine of grace. By this the Divell may take great advantage against thee for thy hurt, thou maist have in­jurious [Page 88]thoughts of the grace of God, when thou eyest some who abuse grace: but continue thou in grace, fall not from thy profession, nor dislike the preaching of it, because thou obser­vest some who abuse the grace of God, turning it into wantonnesse.

Remember that in the times of the Apostle, some Gospel Professors did walke so contrary to the Gospel, that tender-eyed Paul could not speake of them without teares in his eyes, whose end was destruction, whose God was their belly, whose glory was there shame, who minded earthly things: Phil. 3. Yet these vile wretches would talke of grace, and the Doctrine of Christ, knowing nothing rightly of grace, or Christ; And Jude doth acquaint us with some in his time, that were crept in unawares, turning the grace of our God into lasciviousnesse. And he saith that they, were ordained to this condemna­tion, ( [...],) written downe long before to this condemnation, so the word signifieth: for as God hath appointed some to salvation, so he hath appointed some to damnation; and these ungodly men are of the number of the damned. We wonder to see a generation of men sprung up among us, that make nothing of Christ or the Father: wee wonder to see men undervaluing and vilifying the grace of God, neglecting all Christian [Page 89]duties, and denying the word of God to be the word of God. But it was so in the Apo­stles times, there were such crept into their Congregations: and why should it seeme a strange thing unto us, that it is so now in these dayes of Babylonish confusion and Egyptian-darknesse, seeing it was so in the bright dayes of light, in which the Apostles lived, who Prophecyed that in these latter dayes perilous times should come, and men should depart from the faith? That wee may not stumble in our Christian race at these abusers and scandalizers of grace, let us know that grace is grace though men abuse it: think not, that grace is not grace because it is abused: but know that the true doctrine of grace may and must be abused by wicked and ungodly men. As the spider sucks poyson where the Bee sucks honey: So where the Saints suck sweetnesse and honey, the wicked and ungodly men suck poyson. Where the godly fetch all their joy and comfort, de­light and refreshment, there wicked men meet with their ruine and destruction.

The wayes of Gods truth and grace are right, and the just and faithfull shall walke safely in them but the transgressors shall fall therein, Hosea. 14.9. Marke the place and what God speak­eth. In the same way in which the Saint doth walke to salvation the wicked shall stumble [Page 90]and fall into condemnation.

A Libertine hearing the doctrine of Grace sucks nothing but his bane from it. Though the word be the savour of life unto life to them that believe; yet is it the savour of death unto death to some, 2 Cor. 2.16. I remember one saith of Medicaments, that if they be given by a skilfull Physitian, they are the helpfull hands of God (auxiliares dei manus) but if by one that is unskilfull, they are poyson. So the doctrine of grace, when it is skilfully ap­plyed, when the Spirit of God teacheth us to make a right use of it, it is the power of God to salvation, as the Apostle saith, I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ, which is the power of God to salvation, to every one that believeth, Rom. 1.16. But when it is unskilfully applyed, when the flesh only makes use of this doctrine of grace, and there is not the spirit of God to teach us to make a right use of it, wee turne it into venome and wee are poysoned to our de­struction. But let us not be offended at the doctrine of Christ for this. It hath bin so formerly, it is so and will be so. Neverthelesse let us continue in the grace of God, and looke up to God that wee may continue in it.

I have one worde now to speake unto those, who for the present are not apprehendors [Page 91]and partakers of this grace, and shall conclude for this present: You see it is onely by grace that you are saved; it is only grace that brings salvation to the sonnes and daughters of men: Therefore, if God hath convinced you that you are sinners; now is the day of grace: now is the day of salvation. I will shew a short and compendious but a true way to hap­pinesse, happy are all you that beleeve what is brought to your eares this day concerning Gods free grace. God promised to meet his people at the mercy-Seate Exod. 25. which was a type of Christ, and wee can never meet with God to the salvation of our soules, but by meeting with his grace in the Lord Jesus. The Law is the ministery of death, it is the Gospel of grace which is the ministery of life and salvation; Looke therefore beyond the Law, which is a ministery of condemnation, 2 Cor. beyond thy own righteousnesse, which is im­purity to the eye of Justice, beholding thee un­der the Law: beyond thy selfe, who art an object of misery, horrour and confusion, and by a spirituall eye of Gods owne making, be­hold his grace in Christ for lost and undone sinners. Hearken to what God speakes to thee, he invites thee, exhorts thee, and beseecheth thee to be reconciled: he tells thee that thou canst not be justified by thine owne workes, [Page 92]but by his free grace, that thou art not to be saved by what thou hast done, but by what Christ hath done and suffered. Though thou hast broaken the Law: Jesus Christ hath kept it. He is the end of the Law for righteousnesse, for every one that beleeveth in and by the grace of God. Behold God standing at the doore of thy heart in the Ministery of the Gospel of grace and salvation, let the doore of thy heart fly open unto him by beleeving, and he will feast thy soule. As Christ said to Zacheus, so I may say to thee, who beleevest what I speake, this day salvation is come into thine house. God is the God of grace, therefore thinke not to please him by any thing but by eyeing of his grace: Christ is the Sonne of grace, he came to reveale the grace of his Father: If thou wouldest with Simeon take Christ and salva­tion in thine armes, graspe not thine owne workes for justification, but beleeve what is proclaymed forth to the world concerning salvation onely by grace. The Spirit is the Spirit of grace, and if thou beleeve thou shalt be assured of, & sealed to redemption by grace. There is no salvation but by grace, and no ap­prehension of grace but by beleeving, which is the next thing presented in the Text to our consideration. Salvation is not by working but beleeving: yee are saved by grace through [Page 93]faith. But wee must be enforced to let alone the fuller enlarging of this point, untill God shall give us another opportunity. For the pre­sent I have done.

(*⁎*)

Salvation one­ly by Beleeving.
SERMON. III.

Ephesians 2.8, 9. &c.‘For by grace yee are saved through faith, and that not of your selves, it is the gift of God.’

IT hath allready been proved unto us; that good workes cannot save us. And likewise, the grace of God, for the sal­vation of sinners without works hath presented it selfe, unto us, with the strength, sufficiency, and glory of it. It may now be questioned by some, by what meanes the Grace of God in Christ may bee applyed unto our selves, and appre­hended [Page 95]by us? Our Apostle doth fully satifie us concerning this, affirming that it is not through working, but beleiving: Yee are saved by grace through faith.

The Apostle doth not affirme that wee are saved ( [...], propter fidem) for our faith; for the worth, merit, dignity, or excellency of it: But ( [...], per fi­dem) through faith; faith being the gift of grace, by which grace is revealed, and applyed unto us. Grace is the principall cause of our justification, faith is the Organ or instrument, given unto us by God, for the discovery and application of his grace unto our own souls. As no rational man (when he readeth those words of our Saviour to the woman, who was diseased with an issue of blood, Mat. 9.22. Daughter be of good comfort, thy faith hath made thee whole;) would conclude, that because our Saviour saith that her faith did make her whole, that therefore she was not made whole by Jesus Christ as the principall cause. So no spiritu­all man should conclude, that we are not sa­ved by grace as the principall cause, because the Apostle saith, wee are saved through faith. Desireing therefore that that crowne may stand fast, which God hath set upon the head of his owne grace. I shall endeavour so shew you, that wee are saved by faith, or through [Page 96]faith. Wee are not saved in a way of working but beleeving. Thus God saved and justified, the Father of the faithfull; to teach his sonnes in what way they are to expect salvation. God in a vision informeth Abraham that he was his shield, and exceeding great reward Gen. 15.6. And he beleeved in the Lord and he coun­ted it to him for righteousnesse. This was the Oracle of truth which Habakkuk, standing upon his watch, received from the Lord, Hab. 2.4. Behold his soule, who is lifted up in him, is not upright, but the just shall live by faith. It is by beleeving, and not by working, that wee are made just. (Fides justos ab injustis, non operum sed ipsa fidei lege, discernit. Aug.) Truth doth make a difference betwixt the just and the un­just, not by the Law of worker, but by the law of faith. The naturall man knoweth no righteousnesse but what is by his own workes. The spirituall man doth see himselfe righte­ous in beleeving. Thus our Saviour directed the ignorant Jewes to the right way of righte­ousnesse when they asked him what they should do that they might work the works of God, Io. 6.28 This is the work of God, saith he, that ye beleeve on him whom he hath sent. If any enquire after salvation let him know it is not by works. The plaine way to salvation and justification, is on­ly by beleeving. Tit. 2. The grace of God bring­eth [Page 97]salvation, teaching us to d [...]ny all ungodlinesse, & wordly lusts. He doth not say that grace in the first place, teaches us to deny ungodlines & world­ly lusts: but in the first place it brings justificatiō & salvation through beleeving, & then secon­darily the same grace teacheth us, to deny ungod­lines & worldly lusts. After we have believed for salvation, the holy spirit is given Ephes. 1.13. In beleeving we enter into our rest, Heb. 4.3. keep the yeare of Iubile, & see our selves instated in hap­pines, and keep a christian Sabbath. It is only in beleeving that wee are brought to the enjoy­ment of that felicity, which is by the grace of God, in Jesus Christ.

The Apostles, in their Epistles, doe not hold forth any truth more frequently then this. Gal 5.6. In Jesus Christ, neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but faith which wor­keth by Love. And Ro. 5.1. Being justified by faith, we have peace with God, through Jesus Christ our Lord. When the Keeper of the Prison asked Paul & Silas, what they should doe to be saved, suppo­fing salvation was only attainable by working, they did at one discover unto him, his error, & blindnesse; & acquainted him with the soul sa­ving truth of the Gospel, assuring him, that if he beleeved on the Lord Jesus, he should be saved Acts [...]6.31. We find not rest in our spirits by the [...]ght of our works, love, sincerity, labours, & en­vours; [Page 98]but by the sight of Gods grace in Christ

Having by these places of Scripture, confir­med to you this truth: I shall now amplyfie it, by shewing unto you more fully, how it may be in truth affirmed, that we are saved through faith. In the first place, it is by faith, and by faith alone, not by faith joyned with workes, but by faith without workes. I deny not, but where true faith is, workes will follow: yet sal­vation is through faith without workes. When wee are brought into the bosome of the Lord Iesus, wee enter not into the bosome of his love, by our love and faith together, but by faith which produceth Love. Our eyes are shut to the beholding all things in our selves, and the eyes of our spirits are enlightned, to be­hold what is in Gods Grace, and the Lord Ie­sus. Consonant to this, is Pauls sweete and comfortable conclusion Rom. 3.28. Wee con­clude that a man is justified by faith, without the deeds of the Law. Love to God and his people, is a worke commanded by the Law; but ac­cording to Pauls conclusion of truth, wee are justified by faith, without the deedes of the Law: therefore we are justified by faith, without love to God, or his people.

When God discovers his Grace to a man, for his justification, hee shewes him, that, as his evill workes, cannot bring damnation un­to [Page 99]him, so his good workes cannot bee availe­able for his justification. That assurance of Gods love, which some professors have got, by the sight of their owne workes, being never il­luminated in their understandings, to behold Gods Grace, in the light and beames of Grace; is not the true assurance of the gospell, but the deceit, and lying divination of their owne spirits, concerning their owne happinesse; for salvation is by faith without workes. God doth not require us to doe good workes for salvation in the conscience, but doth positively and absolutely exclude them, as things, which have no influence at al upon that first assurance, which he doth give unto his people of his love, which is by a pure simple unmixed act of faith.

The spirit of Grace is never given to com­fort us, untill God hath stripped us of our owne righteousnesse, workes, and performan­ces, and hath brought us to the Throne of Grace, to bee justified by free Grace, without any thing in our selves, that may make us fit for justification, and salvation.

The Apostle doth lay downe this, as a truth seconded by his owne experience, and the ex­perience of all true Saints, Gal. 2.16. asser­ting, that, a man is not justified by the workes of the Law, but by the faith of Iesus Christ: even wee (saith he) have beleeved in Iesus Christ, that we [Page 100]might bee justified by the faith of Christ, and not by the workes of the Law, for by the workes of the Law shall no flesh bee justified. It is not (as the Papists say) that faith, which hath love joy­ned with it, which they make the forme of faith, by which wee are justified, but it is by faith without any workes at all, by which wee are justified and have peace of conscience. Au­gustine doth plainely lay downe his judgement in this point according to truth (Noli presu­mere de operibus ante fidem, quia peccatorem te fides invenit: etsi te fides data, facit justum, impium invenit, quem faceret justum.) Pre­sume not upon thy workes done before faith, because faith findeth thee a sinner, faith hath made thee just, it found thee wicked, whom it should make just.

The second reason why it is thus by faith alone, is, because it is by grace: unlesse we were justified by faith, we were not, we could not be justified by Grace This reason the Apostle lays downe Rom. 4.16. Therefore it is of faith, that it might bee by Grace: As if he should have said, unlesse you hold, that there is a justification by faith alone without workes, you deny Grace: if you will bee justified by faith and workes conjoyned, you destroy Grace. Therefore it is by faith alone that it may be by Grace. When we have a true sight of Grace, wee see a suffici­ency [Page 101]in that Grace, to doe us good for our justification, and salvation, soe that there is nothing needfull, & necessary besides grace. In which respect Luther saith, that workes are not necessary to justification, but pernitious to salvation: the gospell requiring faith only; ac­cording to that of the Apostle Gal. 3.12. The Law is not of faith: the law hath nothing to doe with beleeving, that doctrine which bids a man to beleeve that he may bee saved, that is the doctrine of the gospell, the law biddeth us not to beleeve, but the man that doth it, shall live in it. The law bids us worke, but the Gospell bids us beleeve, not worke, and beleive, but beleive only.

We confound the Covenant of workes, and the Covenant of Grace, if wee presse an abso­lute necessity of doing good workes for justifi­cation. This was the Divinity of the blood­sucker, Bishop Bonner, who in a Sermon pro­pounding this quest. How grace is to be applyed to us for justification, doth answer, by beleeving rightly, and living uprightly, joyning faith and holinesse, for justification by grace: where­as by the Scripture of truth, it is manifest that faith alonedoth lay hold of Christ, and doth appropriate him unto us: And that holinesse doth flow and streame from the apprehension of our free justification by grace, through faith [Page 102]alone; though faith is not alone, but is accom­panyed with other fruits of the Spirit which follow it. This must be well understood, or else we shall nullifie the grace of God: where­fore God enableth true beleevers to see this truth plainly, and clearly. (Vilesceret redemptio sanguinis Christi nec miserecordiae dei humanorum operum praerogativa succumberet, si justificatio, quae sit per gratiam, meretis precedentibus debere­tur. Ambros:) Redemption by the blood of Christ would be vilified, the prerogative of mans workes would not stoop to Gods mer­cy, if justification, which is by grace, were due to preceding workes.

A man that truely beleives, he sees not any holinesse, or qualification in himselfe, that makes him more worthy of salvation then an­other man, he sees that he hath deserved dam­nation as well as any one, who is now in the place of torment, and yet, hee sees that such is the Grace, the unspeakeable grace of God to his poore soule, that though he deserve to lye as low in hell as Iudas, for his sin, yet he shall be raised as high as heaven, by the grace of the father, made knowne to him in Iesus Christ.

Brethren, if upon examination, you finde that your joy, comfort and assurance, have, in the first place, proceeded from any workes, which you have in your selves, which make [Page 103]you conclude that you shall rather be saved then another man, your assurance is not a right assurance: But if your assurance be right, it is by beleeving that which is reported concern­ing the grace of God; that so salvation may be by grace.

It is possible for men to deceive themselves, in obtaining an assurance of Gods love, and their happinesse, (therefore I will a little di­gresse to open this to the ignorant.) It may be thou takest comfort to thy selfe, by looking on workes wrought by thy selfe, and not by look­ing on Christ: it may be thou conceivest, that thou lovest God, and from thence concludest, that God loveth thee, though thou hast not seen his free love to sinners, this is a bastardly assurance, brought forth by thine owne lying spirit, and not the true assurance of the Spirit of grace in beleeving. In a true assurance by faith, God hath the glory of his grace. But in this kind of assurance, God hath not the glory of his grace, therefore it is not a true assurance. Another deceiveth his soule, and thinketh hee is in a good condition, because he resteth up­on a promise of God. Christ saith Mat. 11.28. Come unto me all ye that labour, and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. A man doth ap­prehend himselfe to be heavy laden, and from the sight of his burthen, doth conclude hee [Page 104]hath rest, and is in a good condition: but hee deceiveth himselfe with a false perswasion; for the promise is not made to the qualification of wearinesse, but the promise is made to the commers to Jesus Christ. Cain was heavy la­den with his sin, and it lay so heavy on him that he concluded that the punishment was greater then he was able to beare, or else that his sin was greater then it could be forgiven, and yet died miserable without mercy. Wee find that the sin of Judas lay so heavy on him, that he repented that he had shed innocent blood, yet for all this hee went to his owne place.

Therefore if thy comfort, and assurance come from a sight of what is in thy selfe, and not from the discovery of grace, as it is layd forth in the Spirit of grace, thy assurance will not advantage thee in the day of wrath. Though God hath convinced thee of sin, and there may be some legall repentance, & refor­mation wrought in thee, and something which thou mayst miscall a true love to God, thou canst not from the sight of these things rightly conclude that thou art in the love of God; be­fore a discovery of free love be made forth to thee a sinner. For God doth not apply his grace or his Sonne to any man for justification but through beleeving, that justification may [Page 105]evidently appeare to the sons of men to bee by his owne grace. Which will appeare, if in the third place, we doe more fully consider, that God doth save us through beleeving, that hee may have the glory of his grace.

God, as hee is glorious in his grace, by which hee justifies sinners, so he will be glori­fied in the hearts and consciences of those who are justified by grace, that he may have the ful glory of his grace, when he hath justified them. (Non est quò gratia intret, ubi jam meri­tum occupavit. Bern.) There is no roome for the glory of Gods grace, where the worthi­nesse of our workes hath filled up the place. Where the creature may have glory in his owne workes; there God loseth the glory of his grace. Where God doth any thing for the creature by grace, there it is not of our works, otherwise grace is no more grace. If it be of workes, then it is no more of grace, otherwise work is no more work. Rom. 11.6. Therefore God, will not justifie us in doing the workes of the Law, in giving us a sight of any thing, that may make us more worthy of justification then other men; but he makes knowne his grace to us in a way of beleeving.

The property of faith is to emptie the crea­ture, and to discover the fulnesse of the Crea­tor. Our owne workes, they puff us up, but [Page 106]faith empties us. If wee could be justified and saved by that which we have done, we might boast and rejoyce in it before God Rom. 4.2. But because God will humble us, bring us low, lay us upon our backs, and tumble us in the dust, that we may see our selves nothing, and see his grace all in all to us for our justification, there­fore God justifies us onely in beleeving. Faith layes the creature low, and sets the grace of God on high; that wee may goe to heaven admiring the grace of God to such sinners, such base and vile wretches as wee are: therefore God will not justifie and save us in the court of our owne Consciences, by the sight of our owne workes, but onely by the sight of his owne grace: thus it is said of Abraham, that he staggered not at the promise of God by unbeliefe, but being strong in faith, he gave glory to God Rom. 4.20. When God comes downe upon us, and works faith in our hearts, and wee stagger not at the promises of Grace by unbe­liefe; but give credit to what he hath spoken and promised: God hath that glory from us, that he will have from all those, whom he in­tends to save. Unbeleife robs man of his com­fort, & God of his glory. By faith the creature is comforted, and the Creator exalted: through faith man is emptied of selfe-confidences, and filled with God and his praises; therefore [Page 107]for this reason are wee saved through faith.

Againe, Fourthly it is by faith, because it is onely by beleeving that wee behold the grace that is in God, by which he forgives sin. Mans happinesse for the present doth not lye in the not having of sin, but in the grace of God not imputing sin. (Nostra justicia est dei indulgentia) Gods favour and indulgence is our righteous­nesse. Thus the Psalmist doth describe the Blessed man, Psal. 32. Blessed is the man, whose iniquities are paraoned, and whose sinnes are cove­red. Hierome doth sweetly paraphrase't upon those words (Quod tegitur non videtur, quod non videtur non imputatur, quod non imputatur non punietur) that which is covered is not seen, that which is not seen is not imputed, that which is not imputed, shall not be punished. But by what is it, that man beholdeth himselfe in this happinesse? It is onely by beleeving, and therefore wee are saved through faith. Wee cannot see a nonimputation of sin by the grace of God, but by the work of the spirit, in an act of beleeving; by which wee are assured, that it shall goe well with our soules to all eternity. And the great controversie is decided and de­termined in the spirit of a man, whether he shall be saved, or whether he shall be damned. No other foundation can be laid, then the grace of God [Page 108]in Jesus Christ our Lord, 1 Cor. 3.11. And we cannot see this foundation, that wee may be built upon it, but by beleiving. Moses by faith saw him that was invisible. Abraham by faith saw the day of Christ, and was glad. As by the eye of the body wee see materiall objects; so by the eye of faith, wee see spirituall objects. The Philosopher saith, that prudence is ( [...],) the eye of the Morall man, so faith is the eye of the spirituall man. By which alone God, and the things of God, are beheld. ( [...] Justin. Martyr.)

The Sun was not changed when the blinde man in the Gospel, that never saw before, re­ceived his sight, and beheld it. It was the same before, and after his blindnesse: so Jesus Christ, the Sun of righteousnesse, is the same, yesterday and to day and for ever in himself, and unchange­able in his love, in reference unto us. The change is onely in us by faith, whom now we see, though formerly wee beheld not his beau­ty, and because the righteousnesse and salvati­on of God is revealed by faith, Rom. 1.17. therefore wee are saved by faith.

Fiftly, wee are saved by grace, through a worke of beleeving: because if it were not onely in an act of beleeving, the people of God could not have that firme, constant, and un­questionable assurance of their salvation [Page 109]which now they enjoy in a way of beleeving. When a man is to goe unto a place by many severall wayes, which are not found out, with­out some difficulty, he doth often doubt whe­ther he is in the right way, or whether hee is out of his way; but when he is to goe in one plaine way, he is confident that he is not out of his way: So when a man goeth by the way of the Law, and workes for justification, he is in doubt, whether he is in his right way for justi­fication, the Law pointing out many wayes, and requiring many duties of him, that would be justified under it, but the Gospel pointeth onely at Christ, and faith in him, for justifica­tion, so that those who walke in this way for justification, are confident that they are in the right way. The Apostle doth lay downe this plainly, Rom. 4.16. where he saith, it is by grace, and that by faith, to the end the promise might be sure to all the seed, not to that onely which is of the Law, but to that that is of the faith of Abraham, the Father of us all. God hath not made the promise of salvation to the seed un­der the Law, or that doe any workes of the Law: But he hath made the promise to be gracious to poore sinners, in beleeving without the workes of the Law, to the end the promise might be sure. If there had been any thing else required beside faith, the soule would be [Page 110]alwayes restlesse and unsatisfied. If God should tie justification to workes, men would be un­satisfied, because they would doubt whether some workes were not undone, and then they would doubt of their justification; Therefore God hath not promised justification to any man, who doth good workes, or submitts to any outward Ordinance, but onely unto him who closeth with his grace, in a pure act of beleeving. For God knowes, that, so long as there is any thing joyned with faith for justi­fication, wee shall be ready to question our justification: wee may observe that such pro­fessors who are not acquainted with the Gos­pel, are unsetled in their spirits, when they doubt which is the true Government, or ex­ternall Ordinances of the Lord Jesus. If they doubt whether they are baptized in a right way, or manner, they doubt whether they are justified; their comforts and assurance doe vanish away, when they are not fully assu­red, that they know, and are obedient un­to all the Commandements of the Lord Jesus.

The cause of this legallnesse in their spirits is, because they doe not see salvation firmly set­led upon him that beleeveth. The spirituall man beholdeth justifing grace in beleeving, without his obedience to commands for ex­ternall [Page 111]worship, and good workes: and doth live joyfully and comfortably in the sight of his justification, though he knoweth that it is possible, that he may be ignorant of many things; which other Christians may have the knowledge of. And in these dayes of darke­nesse, contention, confusion, and disorder, what man can have solid, and lasting joy, who is ignorant of free grace for justification? If it were necessary to the assurance of justification, to know whether the Episcopall, Presbyteriall, or Independent Government, were the Ordi­nance of the Lord Jesus? whether sprinckling of Children, or dipping of professing beleevers, were the institution of Christ, in the Labyrinth of the controversies of our times? how few would attaine to an assurance of their justifi­cation? How would poore creatures be per­plexed, and disquieted in their consciences? not certainly knowing in which of these wayes they should walke for their justification and salvation. But that the promise might be sure to all the seed, Rom. 4.16. To those, who lived in the times of the Law, as well as to those, who live in these times of the Gospel, salvation is promised not to workers, but be­leevers, to all true beleevers in all ages, and places, to us who live in the time of the Baby­lonish. Apostacy, as well as to those who were [Page 112]hearers of the Apostles, and Members of those Congregations which were gathered and governed by them.

Sixtly, By faith the grace of God in Christ, is applyed unto us, and we are justified by it, as the spirituall instrument, formed by God in the Spirit, for the application of Christs benefits to our consciences. A man that lived in the time of the Law, looking upon the blood of his sacrifices, did behold himselfe purged, purified, and sanctified in his flesh by it, Heb. 9.13. So a sinner looking upon the blood of the Lord Jesus Christ is applyed unto him, and his conscience is purged from dead workes, to serve the living God. ver. 14. Faith though it be called a worke 2 Thess. 1.11. ( [...],) yet wee are not justified by it, as it is a worke, or gracious quality, but as it is the hand of the Spirit, by which wee receive, and are made partakers of those treasures of grace, which are freely given unto us in Christ Jesus. Christ hath already done, what is to be done by way of satisfaction to the justice of his Father, and hath already, made peace by the blood of his Crosse Col. 1.20. what he doth in us now, is to satis­fie our consciences concerning our full re­demption by him, that you in beleeving may be filled with peace of Conscience; being per­swaded that wee are of the Father in the Son, [Page 113] who by the Father is made unto us, wisdome, and righteousnesse, and sanctification, and redemp­tion, 1 Cor. 1.30. Faith being nothing but a light, comming from God & Christ, discover­ing God and Christ to our spirits, and uniting our spirits to God in Christ. By faith we be­leeve what is recorded concerning the grace of God in Christ; As the Prophet, to my appre­hension holdeth it forth, in those expressions of his Isa. 53.1. Who hath beleeved our report? and to whom is the arme of the Lord revealed? In the latter part of these words, the Prophet doth interpret the former part, he beleeveth the report of God, to whom the arme of God, that is, his Sonne Jesus, is revealed: And when a man beleeveth in Christ, Christ is revealed to that man; Faith being the first thing that is wrought in the spirit of a man, whom God doth justifie in his owne conscience, by which the grace of God in Christ, is revealed unto him for his justification: Justifying faith, when it is wrought by the powerfull operation of the Spirit in the heart, doth remove prevailing doubts concerning our justification; the faith­full beholding the all-righteousnesse of free grace, & applying to his conscience the clen­sing vertue of the blood of the Lord Jesus. Faith is a gift of the Spirit establishing the soule, Isa. 7.9. If ye will not beleeve, surely ye shal not be esta­blished. [Page 114]The soule can never be firmely setled and quieted, but by beleeving. Unbeleife doth question and doubt of the promises of free grace for justification: But when, in the power of faith, we are carried above it, with Abra­ham Rom. 4.20. we stagger not at the promise through unbeleife: but the spirit is fixed, and stands immoveably upon the truth of grace: God saith in the Covenant of his grace, Heb. 8.12. I will be mercifull to their unrighteousnesse, and their sins, and their iniquities will I remember no more. Hee that beleeveth doth set his Seale to the truth of God, in beleeving, the promise, Iohn 3.33. He is confident that God is faithful, who hath made this promise to the children of men: and by beleeving the great and preci­ous promises of grace, he is made partaker of the Divine Nature, 2 Pet. 1.4. By an heart of un­beleefe, wee depart from the living God, Heb. 3.12. but by faith wee draw neere to God, and apply Christ to our selves, (Faith being con­trary to unbeleife, as in the nature of it, so in its operations) An unbeleever doth not give credit to the truth of the generall promises of Gods grace, and so remaineth unjustified in his conscience; A beleever in faith, nothing wavering James 1.6. doth give credit to what is reported. And the Gospel commeth to him not in word only, but in power, and the holy Spirit, [Page 116]and in much assurance, 1. Thessalonians 1.5.

Object. But some may be ready here to ob­ject this, against what I have delivered, that though I doe acknowledge that by faith, grace in Christ is applyed unto us, yet in effect I say no more, then what I delivered before, when I proved, that by faith, the grace of God in Christ is first manifested, and made over unto us.

Answ. They misapprehend me, when they conclude that I make faith, onely an assurance of, because I doe maintaine that it is the first evidence and witnesse of our justification. Faith doth assure, but it doth not onely assure us of Christ, but doth apply Christ, and makes a difference between assurance and application, which I illustrate by this similitude. Suppose one should lye in Prison for debt, his debts be­ing paid and he not knowing it, and after­wards knowing that his debts were paid, hee should rejoyce in the newes and enjoy his liberty: this man doth not by the newes, which he heareth, enjoy only comfort, but his liberty: so it is with us, before we beleeve, we lie in prison, and yet our debts are paid by Iesus Christ, when the newes is brought by the spi­rit to the eare of the soule, wee rejoyce in hea­ring the newes, but besides this presently wee enjoy our liberty, and all those riches which [Page 116]our surety, who hath paid our debts, hath be­stowed upon us, so that by faith, though wee are assured of Gods love in the first place, yet wee are not only assured, but likewise, Christ is applied unto us, we are united unto him, and doe enjoy all things in him, and re­ceive all good things from him.

Seventhly. We are saved by faith, which is so to be understood, that by the mis-vnder­standing of it, wee may not detract from the glory of Gods grace, and from that everlasting righteousnesse which we have in Iesus Christ, who is Jehovah our righteousnesse. Ier. 23.6. A­braham when he beleeved, and his faith was counted unto him for righteousnesse, had a vi­sion of God, and his word did inwardly ap­peare unto him Gen. 15.1. and he beheld God as his shield and exceeding great reward, and supreme righteousnesse; so a beleeving man doth so looke upon faith, as his righteousnesse that he doth then behold God in Christ, as his supreme righteousnesse, for his justificati­on. Isa. 45.25. 1 Cor: 1.30. As Adam when hee was justified by his righteousnesse, and true holinesse, did so looke upon his owne righteousnesse for justification, that hee did at the same time, behold God as his chiefe good and righteousnesse: so a beleeving man doth so looke upon faith as his righteousnesse, [Page 117]by which hee is saved, that hee doth at the same time, behold God in Christ as his cheife righteousnesse: Though hee acknowledgeth faith his righteousnesse in its place, yet he ac­counteth it as nothing in comparison of that righteousnesse which hee hath in God, and his Son Jesus Christ; And saith with the psalmist, Psal. 71.16. I will goe in the strength of the Lord God: I will make mention of thy righteousnesse e­ven of thine onely. Hee doth not by this under­value the righteousnesse of faith, hee prizeth it above the world and all things in it; which carnall men doe value at so high a rate. But according to the minde of him whose gift faith is, hee sets the gift in his heart, and esteeme belowe him, who is the giver of it. Hee seeth salvation to bee more from the giver of faith, then faith it selfe. Hee looketh upon faith, not as the cause of justifiing grace, but looketh upon justifiing grace through Christ, as the cause of that faith by which he is justified and saved; And doth know, that his juificaticaon is perfected by grace, and in the person of the Lord Jesus, before it is completed and effected in him by faith. Hee well understandeth that Christ and the soule are betrothed by faith, and yet he is not ignorant that he is betrothed to God for ever, in righteousnesse, and in loving kindnesse, and in mercy. Hosea 2.19. He is en­lightned [Page 118]to see a reconciliation by grace in the person of Christ before God, before his recon­ciliation by faith in his spirit. He considereth that when he was an enemie, he was reconciled to God by the death of his Son. Rom: 5.10. Which reconciliation was before his faith, and yet denyeth not reconciliation by faith. He kno­weth that what he beleeveth concerning Gods grace and his redemption, and justification by the blood of Christ was true before hee belee­ved it, and yet hee beleeveth that faith is his righteousnesse for justification. Hee confoun­deth not the righteousnesse of faith, with the righteousnes of God in Christ, by whom he is justified. But giveth unto God & Christ what is to be attributed to God & Christ, for justifi­cation; & likewise attributeth to faith what is due to faith: not looking upō faith as his righ­teousnes without the object of it, but alwayes looketh upon faith for his justification, as it hath reference & relation to its object; which is the favour of God in Jesus Christ. And if he shall be asked, whether hee bee more righ­teous by grace and Christ, or by faith? He will acknowledge, that hee is rather justified by grace, and the blood of Christ. Ro. 5.19; Seeing more righteousnesse for him, in the object o [...] faith, then in faith, by which he beholdeth the object, and yet still maintaineth that faith is [Page 119]his righteousnesse for justification, according to the mind of the Apostle, We are saved by faith.

Eightly, We are saved by faith, not for the purity, and holynesse of it, as it is a gift of the sanctifiing spirit. For then, upon the same ground, we should take in Love, and other fruits of the spirit, which the Apostle doth shut out, as having no influence upon us, for our justification. which the Apohle doth prove in the following words, where he saith that we are saved, not of workes; Because we are Gods workemanship, created to good workes Good workes are not the causes of our new creation, and justification, but the consequents of our new creation through faith; So that it is clear, that we are justified before sanctifica­tion is wrought in us, or good workes done by us. We are justified by faith without them. By wch it is evident, that faith, as an holy gift or quality, doth not save us. We are saved ther­fore by faith, as that righteousnesse by which we do at the first lay hold upon his grace in his Son for justification, by which wee are united unto God, and are made one with him. Ioh. 17.21. are puryfied from the guilt of sinne in our hearts. Act. 15.9; And have peace with him through our Lord Iesus. Rom. 5.1. Whom we see & imbrace by faith, as the Apostle setteh [Page 120]forth the nature of faith, Heb. 12.13. And he that thus beleeveth, shall be saved, he that be­leeveth not shall be damned.

Ninthly, We are saved by faith; Because by faith we are not onely enabled to beleeve the generall truth of the gospell, concerning his grace to those who beleeve in him; but be­cause through faith we are enabled, to give credit to Gods truth, and to rest upon it, in reference and relation to our selves: Thus A­braham, who for the excellency and exempla­rinesse of his faith, is worthily stiled the father of the faithfull, did beleeve what God did speake unto him, not onely as a truth which might be beneficial unto others, but hee looked upon Christ in reference to himselfe Gen: 15. And saw his day, and seeing of it was glad: Hee looked upon God not onely as a shield and great reward, but his shield and great reward.

By true faith we receive Chrst, and his be­nefits for our selves. Paul doth informe us, that his life in the flesh was by faith in the Lord Je­sus, who loved him and gave himselfe for him. Faiths sweetenesse doth lye in this, that by it we doe not beleeve Christ to be a Saviour, and righteousnesse, but our Saviour, and righteous­nesse: Therefore Luther affirmed that the sweetnesse of Christianity lay in pronounes. When a man can say my Lord and my God, and [Page 121]my blessed Iesus. This was the faith which the Apostles preached, which will be manifest unto us, if we consider their intentions, when they exhorted men to beleeve. They did not intend that their hearers should beleeve in ge­nerall, that Christ was the Saviour of the world, but that hee was a Saviour to them. Thus Paul preached to the keeper of the pri­son. Act. 16.31. Beleeve on the Lord Jesus, and thou shalt be saved, and thy house. As when they preached the doctrine of repentance (or changednesse of the mind) their meaning was, that every man ought to be changed; so when they urge beleeving for salvation, their mea­ning is that wee should beleeve for our owne salvation in particular. The generall truth of faith and repentance is to beleeve, by a power enabling us in particular for our selves, to be­leeve and repent.

Lastly, We are saved through faith. Because by faith we heare the inward word of salvati­on. The word which soundeth to the out­ward eare, without this inward word, brin­geth no salvation. As the Philosopher told him, who reprehended him for publishing and divulging a booke of philosophy, that he had published it, and he had not published it, his meaning was this, that it was so darke and mysticall, that though it were published, yet [Page 122]it was not published to the ignorant, and un­learned: so the Gospel in the letter is publi­shed to men, and not published; they heare, and doe not heare, they see and doe not see: But by faith wee so heare, that our soules live by hearing, Isa. 55.3. The dead, saith our Sa­viour, shall heare the voyce of the Sonne of God: and they that heare shall live: Fidei oculi sunt spiritus, per quem spiritualia videntur, Cypr:) The Spirit is an eye to a beleeving man, by which he seeth, and enjoyeth spirituall things: wee receive not the Spirit, by hearing the Law, or doing the workes of the Law, but by the hearing of faith, Gal. 3.2. Eternall life, and Salvation is by hearing the inward word of life, salvation, and grace: God bids the Prophet Ezech: 38.5. to prophesie over the drie bones, that they might live: The Lord Jesus is the great invisible Prophet, who prophesieth over drie bones, and dead-hearted sinners, and by hearing inwardly the inward word of this Prophet, they live in hearing, and belie­ving: And therefore it is said, that wee are sa­ved by faith.

Having by these particulars, acquainted you with my Judgement, concerning our salvati­on, through faith; I shall now by the same assistance of Gods grace, draw some usefull conclusions, from the premises, and so put [Page 123]a period to my discourse for the present.

First, this doth discover unto us the useful­nesse, and excellency of the unfained faith of the elect: As Noah was preserved from the de­struction which came upon the old world, by going for his safety into the Arke, so by the foot of faith wee walke into our Arke, Christ Jesus, for the Salvation of our soules. The world of sin is a dismall wildernesse, full of fierie Serpents; by faith we eye Jesus Christ, as our brasen Serpent, and set footing in the heavenly Canaan of gods grace, while the sinfull Sodome of the world, is destroyed with the raine of fire and brimstone; by faith like Righteous Lot, wee escape out of it: when with Peter, wee are readie to sinke and pe­rish in the Sea of sinne, by Faith we touch the saving arme of the Lord Jesus, and are pre­served, when wee drinke the deadly poyson of finne; by faith we take in Jesus Christ, as [...], or antidote, and the deadly poy­son doth not hurt us; but we are miraculous­ly preserved. Faith beholdeth Christ crucified before us, Gal. 3.2. and evidently set forth, who hath nailed the Law of workes, our sinne and death to his owne crosse, and wee who deserved damnation, are saved through grace. Christ is the man, who is an hiding place from the wind, and a covert from the tempest. Isa. [Page 124]32.2. sin is a noxious and a destroying wind; as wind in the cavernes of the earth, is a cause of an Earth-quake; so finne is the cause of de­stroying Earthquakes in the earthly hearts of men, but Christ is our hiding place, in which through beleeving wee are safe. The Devills infernall windes and blastes destroy many a soule, with which he filleth it with hellish er­rours, and impieties to its destruction, Acts 5.3. Christ filleth his people, by breathing upon them in the Spirit of grace for their sal­vation; but Christ is a shelter from the in­fernall blastes of Satan: And while carnall, and unbeleeving men are, as a ship under sayle, and the Devill unto them, is as a powerfull winde, violently blowing them to destruction, Acts 26.18. Christ by enabling his people to beleeve, doth blow them with the pleasant gales of his sweet spirit, to the havens of peace and safetie. Though there are infecti­ous, and destroying windes upon earth, yet there are none in Heaven, so though the men of the earth, are infected with the winds of sinne, and Satan, to their ruine; yet they who live in the Heaven of Gods grace by faith, Je­sus Christ is a defence unto them. When darknesse and tempests are in the Spirits of men, from the Law, which they have broken, Christ, who rebuked the tempests of the Sea, [Page 125]Mat. 8.2. doth rebuke (tempestates mentis, Hier:) the tempests of our troubled minds, and consciences; and by beleeving there is a great calme in the soule. Sinne in the soule is like Jonah in the ship, which bringeth a tem­pest with it, but Christ through faith, doth cast this Tempest-raiser into the sea of his Fathers grace, and the soule is quieted, and filled with joy, and peace in beleeving. The Philosopher saith, that Logick to a rationall and learned man, is the instrument of instru­ments. ( [...]) without which he shall make little proficiencie, in other Arts, and Sciences. So faith is the Organ, or instru­ment to the spirituall man, by which hee is made partaker of the wisdome and spirit of the Lord, in which he is to doe all things, and without which he can doe nothing.

Secondly, this discovers the reason, why the Devill and his agents doe so much oppose the Doctrine of faith, and the preaching of it. He is an enemie to mans salvation, and there­fore he is an enemy to the Doctrine of faith, through which wee are saved. The Devill doth what hee pleaseth to those, who are without faith, as being unable to resist him. Unbeleeving men are like the Israelites, with­out a shield, or Speare to defend themselves. Jude 5.7. And the Devill doth lead them cap­tive [Page 126]at his will, 2 Tim. 2.26. ( [...]) as wild beasts are mastered, and ruled by those, who have taken them in a snare, or net, (so the word fignifieth) but when wee beleeve to Salvation, we are furnished with power to oppose him, who seeketh our damnation; when we beleeve we are armed against his en­counters, and fitted against his opposition. Faith is the soules defensive Shield, by wich all his fierie darts are quenched. Eph. 6.16. and therefore it is that he doth alwayes raise op­position, persecution, and reproaches against the Doctrine, and prosessors of Faith.

Thirdly, seeing salvation is by faith, exa­mine thy selfe concerning thy salvation, by trying thy faith. Men that are not in the faith, who have not Christ in them, are not approved Christians. 2 Cor. 13.5. Know yee not your owne selves, how that Jesus Christ is in you, except yee bee reprobates; The word is [...], except yee be unapproved. It is pos­sible that a man may be in a state of unbeliefe, and yet no reprobate: But he, that cannot prove that he hath faith, cannot prove him­selfe to be a Christian; or in a state of Salva­tion. Querie it in thy soule, whether thou hast such a faith, as we have spoken of. Yee have heard that wee are saved through faith, which is a supernaturall gift of the Spirit, by [Page 127]which those things, which the naturall man cannot apprehend concerning salvation, are made plaine to the soule. Supernaturall things cannot be knowne, but by something which is supernaturall: As the things of na­ture are knowne by the light of nature, things of reason by the light of reason: So the things of eternall life and salvation, by the superna­turall gift of faith, which is the evidence, of the supernaturall things of the Gospel, which are invisible, Heb 11.1. Abraham beleeved a­gainst hope, Rom. 4.18: So a spirituall man be­leeveth the things of Glory, and eternall life, which the short line of naturall reason can­not reach, or fathome, and which naturally he cannot hope for, or expect. Is thy faith, who dost Professe thy selse a child of Abra­ham, such a faith as Abrahams faith was, who is the Father of the faithfull.

Secondly, true beleevers see their salvation by faith alone. Though a man have many seeds together in his hand, yet hee may know the various, and diverse natures of those se­verall seeds: So though a justified man have many precious seeds of the Holy Spirit in his heart, yet he knoweth the severall natures of them all. Though he hath love to God in his heart, as well as faith in God, yet hee know­eth the nature of Faith, which alone is avayl­able [Page 128]to Justification. Trie whether thou hast been enabled to flie to the strong Tower of Gods grace for safety, against Hell, sinne, and Devills, by the silver wings of Faith, with­out the helpe of workes for Justification.

Thirdly, a beleever seeth justification can­not be by grace, if workes and faith were to be conjoyned for justification: Gratia non est gra­tia ullo modo, si non sit gratuit a omni modo.) Grace is not Grace in any way, unlesse it be free and undeserved; every way Grace is not free and undeserved, unlesse it be reached forth, with­out any consideration of our owne workes, which is onely through faith: trye whether God hath taught thee this lesson of truth.

Fourthly, faith doth take the glory of justi­stification from the creature, and giveth it un­to grace. Hast thou learned to sing the new song of the Saints, and redeemed ones before the Throne; crying, Salvation onely to God, who sitteth upon the Throne of grace, and to the Lamb.

Fifthly, art thou fully perswaded of Gods power, and faithfulnesse, who hath left Pro­mises of grace upon record, for the salvation of poore sinners? Art thou with Abraham fully perswaded of the truth of Gods Pro­mises of grace, in reference to thy selfe? I re­member what one of the Ancients saith. That [Page 129]to professe Christ without assurance, is to be without faith, living in the houshold of faith. (Fidem in dome fidei non habere, Cypr.) A spi­rituall man is that which he believeth himselfe to be. (Id esse incipit, quod se esse credit.) He be­leeves that he is positively and negatively righ­teous in Christ, freed from finne, and made a partaker of a glorious righteousnesse for his justification; and so he is of a Leper, by belie­ving in an instant made whole. Hee believeth that he oweth nothing to his creditour, and his creditour believeth so too.

Sixthly, A believing man is bone of the bone, flesh of the flesh, and one spirit with the Lord Je­sus. There is a close & neere union & applicati­on of Christ to the soule by faith. Dost thou in believing see thy selfe a member of Christ, as thy hand or foot is a part of thy body. Is Christ the quickning spirit of thy spirit? to en­liven that as thy spirit, is the spirit which doth enliven thy body,

7ly. Dost thou so live by faith, that thou lookest upon Christ as thy life, and righte­ousnesse more then faith? Not suffering any perswasion which thou callest thy righteous­nesse, to sit in the uppermost roome of thy heart, to the prejudice of Gods glory in Christ? A spirituall heart is ( [...] Mac:) the throne of the Deity, where God in Christ [Page 130]is exalted as the chiefe righteousnesse of the soule, is it so in thine? Iohn 14.1.

8ly. Hast thou by faith as an instrument tou­ched the hem of Christs garment, for the hea­ling of the bloudy issue of thy own soule? Hee that is wise and good, is wise and good for himselfe. And if thou art truly wise and good, thou art wise in applying Christ to make thy selfe wise and good.

Lastly, Is thy faith such a faith, through which Christ hath inwardly discovered him­selfe unto thee, formed and created himselfe in thee, Job 32.8? The inspiration of the Almigh­ty giveth understanding. If thy faith be true, it is by inward inspiration.

Quer. But must we have such a faith, if wee will be the children of believing Abraham?

Answ. Every true believer hath such a faith, for the nature of it, though not for the perfe­ction of the degrees of it: There is a perfect & faire copy of faith, in those who have beene presented unto thee. Thou art to have the same copy written forth upon thy heart, though it may not be so fairly written forth at the first: But if it be a true copy of faith, thou hast no cause to question thy assurance, though thou dost finde it very weake at the present. A palsey-shaken hand may receive a gift; and a weake faith may receive the grace of God in [Page 131]Jesus Christ. A Dwarfe is a man as well as a Giant, though not so tall, and one who is but a dwarfe, and low in Christianity, by the weakenesse of his faith, may be a Christian as well as those who are of a taller stature in the Schoole of Christ.

Thirdly, this which hath been delivered, may be for the strengthning of the faith, and the encreasing the comforts of those who have laid hold of salvation by a lively faith on Jesus Christ. Comforts are encreased by the same meanes, by which they are wrought at the first. And therefore the Apostle prayeth for the Romans, that the Lord would fill them with all joy and peace in believing, Rom. 15.13. Our comforts are low, because our faith is weake. Comfort floweth in, by renewed acts of faith. Sathan would rob us of our comfort, by wre­sting faith, which is our shield from us, Ephes. 6.16. And this is one way in which he doth la­bour to weaken the faith of the Saints, by suggesting this unto the Saints, that Salvation is not only through faith. But against this temp­tation, and all his other fierie darts; we may hold forth this buckler of truth: That wee are saved by grace through faith. Answer him there­fore from this truth, and he will be silenced; Resist him in believing this trueth, and hec will flee from thee, Jam. 4.7. And the spirit will flie into thy soule to comfort thee. So long as A­braham [Page 132]lived, he lived as a justified man by faith. So long as Paul lived, he lived by faith in the Son of God, Gal. 2. We dye rather then live, when we are not under the power of the spirit, ena­bling us to beleeve. We lye downe either in the bed of carnall security, or Familisticall Anti­christianisme, or fal under the bondage of the Law, when we step aside from the plaine Do­ctrine of salvation by faith in our Lord Jesus. And therefore the flesh and the Devill, the great enemies to a Saints comfort, doe joyne themselves together to oppose the doctrine of faith. Sathan knoweth that faith and works are inconsistent in point of justification. And when hee observeth that we are in some mea­sure convinced, that salvation is by faith; he endeavours to perswade us, that it is by faith and workes. And would divide our Justifica­tion between faith and works. As the harlot cryed out, 1 King. 3.26. concerning the child, Neither mine nor thine, but divide it: So the De­vill would have us divide our Justification, & attribute halfe of it to faith, and give the other part to workes. But the beleeving man seeth that there is salvation in Christ, and not in a­ny other, and that no other name under heaven is given among men whereby they must be saved, Acts 4.12. And that we rest upon this name for salvation only by faith. In Christ we have bold­ness & accesse with confidence by the faith of him, [Page 133]Ephesians 3.12. ( [...]) Wee are manuduced and lead by the hand, as it were, with perswasion of Christs goodness to us by faith in Christ. Continue in that faith by which Paul was justified, who belie­ved that Christ loved him, and gave himselfe for him, and thy comforts and peace shall be con­tinued unto the. It it Melancthons observation, that the word [...] which we translate faith, doth most usually signifie a firme assent unto a thing (usitatissimum est [...] pro firma ascensio­ne dicere) doubting is that which is contrary to faith, Jam. 1.6. Believe therefore strongly, and thou shalt have a strong peace, Rom. 5. Beleeve that there is no remission of finne but by Gods indulgence, but beleeve this with all, that by him thy sins are forgiven thee (sed adde ut cre­das et hoe. quod per ipsum peccata tibi donantur. Bern.) This is the faith which bringeth peace and consolation to the soule.

By this we are brought from sin, to Christs righteousnesse, from mount Sinai, to mount Sion, from the dominion of the Law, to the region of grace, from bondage to liberty, from death to life, from the feare of hell, to the as­surance of heaven and happinesse. Archime­des was so delighted in the study of the Ma­thematiques, that when the enemie who be­sieged the place where he lived, broke in unto it, he heard not the noyse and shouting of the [Page 134]souldiers, nor the cries of the people. So the soule that by faith liveth in Jesus Christ, shall be carryed above the noise and troubles of the world, and shall enjoy peace in Jesus Christ. Let us therefore waite in the heavenly Hieru­salem for more of the spirit by faith. This les­son will appeare to be very necessary for the Saints, if wee consider that the spirit of grace may be so quenched in Saints, that they may not for the present be able to goe into the pre­sence of God as Saints, but as poore sinners. And by the beliefe of this Doctrine a Saint doth easily get out of temptation. For hee is taught of God in the Gospell, to come unto him as a sinner without works, when he cannot come as a Saint. And in this way his joy, with all the gifts of Gods grace are restored unto him. And when they are restored hee doth keepe them, by the resting upon God, who saveth sinners by grace through faith. And therefore the Apostle Peter, when hee ex­horted Saints to grow in grace, doth adde, and in the knowledge of Jesus Christ, 2 Pet. 3.18. By which he doth seem to inform them that there can be no growing in grace, unlesse there be a growing in faith, which is the knowledge of Christ, and the love of his Father in him.

In the last place, here is a foundation of Salvation, for all that have eares to heare, [Page 135]and hearts to entertaine the report, which you have heard of Gods grace, which is mani­fested to sinners through faith. Let not any man goe away with a heart of unbeliefe: but the Lord open your eares and hearts as he did Lydia's, that you may believe what is reported: For truly if you believe what I have delivered, you may goe away rejoycing, and assured of Gods grace, beholding your names written in the booke of life. The true Gospell believed will remove all objections against your peace, and all doubtings out of your spirit. If as children of Abraham, ye believe as he did: Salvation will lye down in your bosomes, and the true God in Jesus Christ will give you an answer to whatsoever you can object & bring against your own salvation and justification. It is not the sight of sinne that shall take away your comfort: but you shall rejoyce that Iesus Christ did dye for sinners: It is not the want of works that shall send you away without assu­rance or justification, but you shall see, that you have good right, to lay hold upon Jesus Christ, though you have no works: be­cause hee justifies none but those that have no works before justification. The true God is not a justifier of the holy and righteous, but of the ungodly. God knoweth that the wisdome of the proud flesh, doth strongly perswade sin­ners, [Page 136]to seeke salvation in themselves, and their own works. The Jaylors question, Acts 16. What shall I doe to be saved: and the Rulers quaere, Luke 18.18. What shall I doe to inherit eternall life; is in the heart of every naturall man, who is perswaded that there is an eter­nall life. Man thinketh that as he became mi­serable by his evill works, that so hee must be made happy by his good works. And there­fore God hath given his Law which requireth perfection, to bring downe the pride of the flesh (ad domandam Superbiam, Aug.) and con­fidence in our own works; and discovered his free favour to the worst of sinners in the Gospel. God hath blocked and stopped up all other ways to life, besides the way of his grace in Christ: and hath left this way open for the worst of finners to turne in unto it for salvati­on. So that as good works cannot save us with­out Christ, (being but glittering and gilded sins) so evill works cannot prejudice the salva­tion of him who commeth to Jesus Christ: as David in the cave Adullam, 1 Sam. 22.2. En­tertained all such who were in distresse, and every one that was in debt, and every one that was dis­contented, and became a Captaine over them. So Jesus Christ, of whom David was a type, doth entertaine all distressed consciences, indebted sinners, [...]contented malfactors, and becom­meth [Page 137]the Captaine of their Salvation, Heb. 2. He knoweth how unwilling impurity is to come to him, who is purity: what enemies we are to our owne salvation: what fooles we are to run to those who cannot help us; like Ephraim, who when he saw his sicknesse, went to the As­syrian who coul pnot heale him, Hos. 5.13. and therefore hee publisheth proclamations of his Fathers grace to poor helplesse sinners: And bringeth sinne-wounded miscreants out of the wildernesse of sin and misery, to the heavenly Canaan of peace and holinesse through faith in his Name. He seeth that we are ready to catch hold of the Law and our own works, like un­to men who are ready to sinke in the water, who will get hold of rushes or strawes or any thing upon the surface of the water, which cannot save them: and therefore he reacheth forth his strong arme of salvation for to help us, and bids us to hold fast by him, and assu­reth us of life and salvation.

Hee keepeth open House, and inviteth all sorts of sinners so lay hold of the grace of his Father in him. He beseecheth us to be reconciled to his Father, 1 Corinthians 5.20. He assureth sinners, that whosoever will, may drinke of the waters of life freely, Rev. 22.17. He compa­reth himselfe to a running River, out of which every poore Traveller may drinke freely, no [Page 138]man demanding or requiring any thing for what he takes. He doth set Captives sree, not for price or reward, Isa. 45.13. not for their works. Though wee have sold our selves for nought, yet he assureth us that we shall be redeemed with­out money or price, Isa. 52.3. He having paid (a [...]) the price or money for our redempti­on: and assuring us now in his word of trueth, that there is salvation for us without our me­rits by faith in him. Therefore let those who want joy and comfort, come to the promises, and take Christ in a promise: such who have been mislead, and not set in the right way to salvation and justification; let them be convin­ced that this is the right way: be assured of salvation by grace; Christ dying not for the righteous, but for the ungodly: be perswaded that Jesus is not a Physician for the whole, but for the sick, Mat. 9.12. Sin is the souls sickness; thou art a sinner, art sick, and maist come to Christ not as one that is well, but as one that is sick. Christ is a Chyrurgion that is able to cure the greatest wounds: therefore he hath set up his bills, and bids all to come, and hee will re­ject none. Wee may with the woman in the Gospell, spend all that wee have upon other Physicians, and be nothing profited. There is health for us, onely by comming to Jesus Christ. Therefore if other Physitians have [Page 139]been Physicians of no value, while they have bid you seeke Justification and assurance in the sight of your own works, and not in the sight of Gods grace: heare this day what the Lord Christ saith to your soules, he professeth that he calleth not the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Hear him: Heare I say, and thy soule shall live, Isa. 55.3.

I remember that some Physitians have been highly commended that have beene able to cure their Patients speedily and safely, and without any great torment. Now the Lord Jesus Christ is a most admirable Physitian in these three respects.

1. He can speedily cure and heal us, what­soever our wounds are: if there were but one wound and sore, from the crown of the head to the sole of the soote, if we were made up of nothing but sin, the Lord Jesus Christ is able to cure us speedily; hee is excellent in this re­spect. Touch him, and the bloody issue of thy soule is immediately cured. He can say to thee as once he said to Zacheus: This day salvation is come to thy soule. If he lay the plaister of his Fathers grace upon thy sinfull soule, thou shalt be immediately cured.

Secondly, Christ cures safely, there is no danger in taking that which Christ prescribes. If Christ tell you that his Father justifies un­godly [Page 140]ones; and that he is the Saviour of sin­ners; you may believe him, and put your life in his hand: hee will not cozen and cheate as some Mountebanks, that give that which kils, when they confidently promise health. If Christ promise to heale, he will give that phy­sick which shall effectually help us. He wil not give that unto us which shall hurt us. If hee had thought the doctrine of grace would have hurt men, he would never have commanded the Doctrine of grace to have beene preached. If hee had thought that the Doctrine of grace would onely have opened a doore to Liberti­nisme and licentiousnesse, he would not have given his Apostles commission to preach the Gospell to every creature. Though men in their carnall apprehensions thinke there is danger in the medicines of Christ. Those who have had experience of him, can assure you that hee is a matchles Physitian: there is no danger in that which he gives: there is no way to salvation but by believing without working, Use this physicke of his, apply this plaister to thy soul, & thou needest not to fear, whom he cures, hee cures with abundance of safety: I dare assure thee, that he will heale thee.

In the third place, Physitians are commen­ded, that cure without tormenting their Pa­tients much: and such a physitian as Je­sus [Page 141]Christ. He comforts our hearts with Gos­pell Cordialls while he cures us. There is sweet comfort in the healing of the Lord Jesus Christ: he so heales thy wounds and diseases, that thou shalt have delight and comfort while he heales thy soule, and gives a plaister to thy putrified rotten spirit. The Lord Jesus Christ doth not prescribe a tormenting reme­die that is worse then the disease: but when Christ heales, he comforts, he so cures, that hee ravisheth the soule with joy unspeakable, and full of glory. Wherefore come to Christ, you who have spent all, and suffered much; and have lain under a spirit of bondage 20. or 30. yeares, here is healing, looke to the Phy­sitian the Lord Jesus Christ; he will cure you speedily and safely, and with delight to you. In brief: it is an easie and compendious way to heaven, when God gives you believing hearts, and yet the hardest thing in the world to believe without him: but when God ena­bles us, the work is easie. When Christ resol­veth to be the Physician, health quickly will be given in. Some affirme that generation is (in instanti) in a moment: It is unquestionable concerning spirituall regeneration by faith in Christ. Therefore looke up to the Father, and to the Son, that this work may be wrought in us. Thinke not that the worke of faith can be [Page 142]wrought by any power which is in our selves it is given to us to believe by the grace of God communicated, and extended to us in the Lord Jesus Christ: And this is the next thing that lies in the words to be handled. Ye are sa­ved by grace through faith, and that not of your selves, it is the gift of God.

But I must leave that to some other time. In the mean while look unto the Fa­ther of Lights, for it is his gift, wee cannot bestow it upon our selves.

Faith is not from our SELVES.
SERMON. IIII.

EPHES. 2.8.‘By grace ye are saved through faith, not of your selves, it is the gift of God.’

FAith is a work as difficult as it is glorious; and as much be­yond the creatures strength, to worke it in himselfe, as his merits to deserve it, of himselfe. Therefore the A­postle having acquainted us with the excel­lency of faith, through which we are saved, doth now inform us concerning the power by which it is wrought in us. It is not of our selves, but it is the gift of God.

First, he shewes negatively that it is not of our selves.

And then 2ly affirmatively, that it is the gift of God.

When God doth effectually worke upon a [Page 144]man, to make him happy in his Son; he wor­keth two things in a man; hee doth take him from himselfe, and confidence in his owne strength, and doth carry him into his owne strength, and goodnesse, from whence hee re­ceiveth all strength. And this is expressed here by Paul, who when he saith, that faith is not of our selves, but that it is the gift of God. I shall by the assistance of grace, speak of the first of these, and endeavour to prove this Propositi­on: That true saving faith is not of our selves.

When the Apostle Peter made a glorious profession of the Lord, acknowledging him to be the Son of God; Jesus answered and said unto him: Blessed art thou Simon Bar-jona, for flesh and blood hath not revealed it to thee, but my Father which is in heaven, Mat. 16.17. Here our Saviour beares witnesse to the trueth of his faith: and to shew him that hee professed not this only in word and in tongue, but that hee professed it from the truth of faith which was in him: therefore hee acknowledgeth that it was not from flesh and blood, but by the Fa­ther, which had revealed it to him. Where we may finde our position clearely confirmed to you; that those that truely believe, who have the unfained faith of the people of God, it is not a faith wrought in them by them­selves, it doth not flow from any naturall [Page 145]principle: but it is the immediate work of the power of God in their hearts.

As wee did not, nor could not make our owne hearts: so wee cannot make our heart new hearts, Jerem. 13.23. Can the Ethiopian change his skin, or the Leopard his spots? then may ye also doe good, who are accustomed to doe e­vill. By which the Prophet doth clearly hold forth this truth; that sinners can no more by their own strength make themselves saints, which is by faith, then a Blackmore can change the colour of his skin, or the Leopard his spots. An Ethiopian may be painted white, so an hypocriticall sinner may bee a painted Sepulchre, appearing righteous and sound to men, when hee is full of rottennesse within. But God alone doth change and purifie our hearts by his gift of faith, which is not of our selves.

For the amplifying of this point to you. I shal lay down some subsequent considerations, by which I shall prove this to you; that he, that truely believes, doth not believe by any power, strength, or ability in himselfe, by which he is in any measure fitted and enabled for this great work of true justifying faith.

The first consideration shall be drawn from the nature of faith, as it is held forth to us in the word of God, which faith is the [Page 146]worke of God upon the spirit of a Saint, by which the grace of God in the Lord Jesus Christ is discovered to him; and by which he in his heart (Rom. 10.9.) is made willing to receive Christ, and to rest upon him and his righteousnesse alone for his Justification, Rom. 10.4. Thus the Scripture speaks of faith.

First, it speakes of faith as it is a light of God in the understanding: so wee are bid to look to the Lord Jesus, and we shall be saved, Isa. 45.22. And it is said of the faithfull, that by faith they saw the promises afar off, Heb. 11.13. They saw Christ, not as we see him, who behold him as hee hath been offered up as our sacrifice, and hath made an end of our sins, Dan. 9. But they beheld him as one that was to come, and was to make a propi­tiation for the sins of the world: And if wee thus look upon faith as it is a beam from God, enlightning us in our understandings, to see Gods grace in his Son; we shall find that faith is not of our selves.

Which will appeare if wee consider what our owne understandings are, before God doth give us the true knowledge of the Lord Jesus. I shall acquaint you here with Scrip­ture expressions, which doe sufficiently and clearly hold forth this unto us. The first ex­pression is, that men without the Lord Jesus [Page 147]Christ are darkened in their understandings. The Apostle speaking of the Gentiles that knew not Christ, he saith, Ephes. 4.18. That they have their understandings darkned, being alienated from the life of God through the ignorance that is in them. There is a mist, and cloud of darke­nesse upon the understandings of all carnall and unbelieving men. As the Apostle Paul when he had scales before his eyes, was not able to behold the light of the Sun: so while the scales of naturall darkenesse and ignorance are upon the hearts and spirits of men, they are not a­ble to behold the sun of righteousnesse. They may heare Christ preached: they may heare the Doctrine of justification freely and fully handled: but they are not able to behold any thing of God or Christ, because they have their understandings darkened, being not enlightned by the spirit of Christ to see Christ.

2dly. The Scripture doth not onely tell us that they are darkened in their understandings: but it tells us, that they sit in darknesse, Matth. 4.16. The people which sate in darkenesse saw great light. Here is the condition of all men without Christ set forth to us; they are men that sit in darknesse. And Zacharias in his Song, speaking of the Lord Jesus, saith, Luke 1.79. That he is the day spring from on high, to give light to them that sit in darknesse, and in the shadow of death. Though [Page 148]a man have eyes, yet if he sit in a dark dunge­on, he can see no visible object. It will there­fore be evident, that carnall men cannot see of themselves, because they are not only darkned in their understandings, but they sit in the dark dungeons of their own spirits, being not able to behold the invisible things of Gods grace, which are not discovered and made vi­sible unto us, untill we believe in Jesus Christ.

But in the 3d place, the holy spirit speaking of naturall men without Christ, doth not only inform us, that they are darkened, and have their seates in darknesse, but they love darknes, they are pleased with their present state and condition of darknesse; they are unwilling to have any light break forth upon them. So our Saviour saith, John 3.19. This is the condemna­tion, that light is come into the world: but men love darknesse. They love unbeliefe and igno­rance: they had rather be the Devils prisoners in dungeons of darknesse, then enjoy their li­berty in Christs marvellous light. They are so far from being unable to make themselves hap­py in believing, that they are in love with their owne unhappinesse. They will not come to Christ, that they may have life; they are un­willing that Christ should reign over them, though hee doth offer salvation unto them. They say unto God, depart from us, for wee will [Page 149]not have the knowledge of thy wayes, Job 21.14. Like the Gadarens, they doe desire Jesus to de­part out of their Coasts. They are the slaves of sinne, and free from righteousnesse, Rom. 6.20. When they are disobedient to the commands of righteousnesse, they do account it their li­berty and freedome. As the service of Christ is liberty to a Saint (cui servire regnare est, Aug.) so the service of sinne is accounted liberty by a carnall man. They are like the servant that was to be bored through the eare, upon his profession that he loved his Master, and would not goe out free, Exod. 21.5.

This is the condition of every man out of Christ; he professeth that he loves his Master, he loves the Devil, & the works of the flesh, are sweet and pleasing to him: he had rather live as a Swine, and wallow in the filth and mire of sinne, then taste of those joyes and pleasures which are at Gods right hand: he had rather doe the Devills drudgery, then enjoy that per­fect freedome that the Lord Jesus Christ hath purchased for the Saints. It is against his heart, and the whole bent, frame, streame, strength, and current of his spirit to be desired, entrea­ted, and beseeched to give entertainement to Christ. He is rather contented to live as a slave with Satan, then to rule as a King with Christ. He is an evill tree, and cannot bring forth fruit [Page 150]to make himself good. (Homo extra Christumest mala arbor, Hier.) As an evill tree cannot bring forth good fruit to make it selfe good, so an e­vil man, being an evill tree, all his thoughts, words and actions are evill fruits, by which he cannot make himselfe good. He cannot there­fore of himselfe bring forth the good fruit of faith.

Again, the Scripture riseth higher in spiri­tuall expressions, to set forth unto us the sad and wofull condition of an unbelieving man. He is not only a lover of darknesse, and seated in darknesse: but he is darkenesse it selfe in the abstract. The Apostle speaking of the Ephesi­ans before their conversion, saith, Ephes. 5.8. Yee were sometimes darknesse. Consonant to which words is that speech of John, John 1.5. The light shined in darkenesse that is, in the dark hearts of unbelieving men, but the darknesse comprehended it not. There doth lye more in this expression then in the former; It is more to be darknesse, then to be darkned; now wee are not only darkened in our understandings, but our understandings are nothing else but darknesse. Men without Christ may think that they have a great deale of knowledge & wise­dome; but truely the holy Ghost tells us that all their light and understanding is nothing but darknesse; There is as much contrariety [Page 151]between the spirit of God and the spirit of a naturall man, as there is betweene light and darknesse. By reason of which the naturall man cannot of himselfe obtaine the knowledg of Christ, Rom. 8.7. The carnall mind is enmi­ty against God: for it is not subject to the Law of God, neither can be. The Apostle doth not only say that it is not subject: but he saith that it cannot ( [...]) Hee maketh it a thing impossible. According to that which he himselfe delivereth, 1 Cor. 2.14. The na­turall man receiveth not the things of the spi­rit of God, for they are foolishnesse to him. The word is very emphaticall in the Greeke [...] The man that hath a soule, looke upon him in his best part, in his rationall soul, which he hath as a man, and in that and by that he cannot receive the things of God.

Look upon the rational man with his mora­lity, with humane learning, Arts & Sciences: with his literall knowledg of the Law & Gos­pel; look upon him as he is sublimated in his intellectualls, and as he hath made the highest improvement of his learning, parts, gifts, and endowments, as hee is the worlds delight for his worldly wisedome, as he is admired by men for his prudence and eloquence; with all this, he is blinde to the all-seeing eye of God, and [Page 152]cannot receive or aprehend the glorious things of Gods grace in Jesus Christ. Hee is a foole with his wisedome, & an ignorant man with his learning: a wretched sinner with all his good works & morall vertues. And no more able to open the blind eyes of his soule, that he may see the sun of the Gospell, which shineth in the spirits of the Saints; then a man who is borne blind, is able to give himself sight and bodily eyes to hehold the Sun which shineth in the world.

He is not able by the acutenesse of his rea­son, the sharpenesse of his understanding, nor the largenesse of his parts, gifts, endowments, naturall or acquired, to attaine unto the sa­ving knowledge of things of the Gospell: but they are meer foolishnesse unto him. So that by this consideration it will be evident, that if we looke on faith as it is a light in the understan­ding, that then a man is not able to bring this light into his owne understanding: but what­soever is in his understanding opposeth the glorious light of Gods grace, and that there­fore it is impossible upon this account, for a man to beleeve of himselfe.

But in the second place if we looke on faith, not only as it is the light of God in the under­standing: but if we look on it as it is the work of God upon the will, so we shall find that we [Page 153]believe not of our selves; and that no man e­ver in his owne power and strength, or im­provement of his free will, was ever able to believe what God hath reported concerning his owne grace in his Sonne Jesus. For as a man is darknesse in his understanding, so hee is nothing but rebellion in his will. As the darknesse in his understanding opposeth the light of Christ, and the beames of Gospell-truths; so likewise the strength, force, & pre­valency of the rebellion in his will, fights a­gainst all the discoveries, that may be made of Jesus Christ to him.

This is set forth most plainly to us by John, John 1.13. where speaking of the Saints, he saith, They are borne, not of blood, nor of the will of flesh: not of the will of man, but of God. It is not of the will of the rationall man, spiritually & truely, to wil his owne regeneration. Let a man make the best use he can of his will; let him put forth himselfe to the best resolutions he can make; let him resolve to doe nothing but seeke Christ, and study to know him: yet if a man be only in the strength of his own re­solutions, he shall never be able to find out the Lord Jesus Christ. The Apostle Paul is plaine in this point, Rom. 9.16. It is not of him that willeth, or of him that runneth: but of God that sheweth mercy. A man may have some weake [Page 154]resolutions of himselfe, and to seeke Christ, and the things of Gods Kingdom: but un­lesse hee be carryed out with a higher princi­ple, and a greater power then his own wil, to Christ, he will never be able to effect, what he seemes to desireto have effected and wrought in him.

In libero arbitrio nulla est libertas sed ser­vitus) Free wil is not free, but a slave; there is nofreedome, but slavery in it. It is not free to good, unlesse it be freed from sin by grace (si stare non potuit humana natura adhuc integra, quomodo potest resurgere, jam corrupta, Bern.) If man in the state of integrity, could not stand of himselfe, how shall hee of himselfe in his state of corruption, be able to rise now hee is fallen. Unlesse God come downe with a mighty power and force us against our natu­rall will to receive Christ, wee shall never bee made partakers of Christ. No man (saith Christ) can come to mee except the Father draw him, Joh. 6.44. (Nolentes trahimur) you know when a man is drawn, he is drawn against his will. I need not draw a man that is willing to come after me. If we were willing to goe after God in our conversion, wee should stand in need of no drawing: But ye see that God must compell us to come in to Jesus, or else wee will never come in unto him, nor submit unto his [Page 155]will. I would not here be mistaken; I do not think that when a man doth take Christ, that he is unwilling to take him: but hee receiveth him willingly. Yet it is not by the strength of the naturall will, that a man is made willing, but by the power of grace. (Ex nolentibus vo­lentes facit) God maketh us, who are unwilling to entertaine his Sonne by nature, willing to entertaine him by grace: and the will acted by the strength of supernaturall grace, doth act in a contrary way to it selfe, when it acteth in the strength of corrupt nature. By which it is plainly proved, that the will of a naturall man is insufficient of it selfe, to bring about the salvation of a naturall man. We are changed into the Image of the Lord by the Spirit of the Lord, 2 Cor. 3.18. From whence one doth draw this rationall conclusion; that if we are chan­ged by the strength of the spirit, that then it is not by the strength of free will. (Si a domini spiritu, jam non a libero arbitrio.) And we may draw the same conclusion from the words of Paul, Phil. 2.13: where he affirmeth that it is God that worketh in us both to will and to doe, of his owne good pleasure. If God doth work in us to will what is good, then we doe not work it in our selves. By which it is clearely demon­strated, that if faith be looked upon as a work in the will, by which it is made willing to re­ceive [Page 156]Christ and his righteousnesse for Justifi­cation; that then faith cannot be looked upon as from our selves, but it is the gift of God.

A second argument, for the confirmation of this may be drawn from the considering the disability of men, already converted, to doe a­ny good of themselves: And thus I frame my argument.

If men already converted, are not able to think a good thought, or to put forth one act of faith of themselves; then men unconverted are not able to believe of themselves before conversion: But men already converted are not able to think one good thought, or to put forth one act of faith of themselves: Therefore unconverted men are not able to believe of themselves.

There is that strength in the first propositi­on, that I suppose no man pretending to bee a Schollar in the Schoole of the spirit, will que­stion the truth of it. For should a man questi­on it, he should by his questioning of it, attri­bute a greater strength to unconverted then converted men, which is such an absurdity in Divinity, that I think no spiritual man would be guilty of it. And for the minor, or second Proposition, it is backed with such plaine au­thority of Scripture, that it is in vaine for any man to deny it. How plainly doth Paul deliver [Page 157]selfe in this point, 2 Cor. 3.5. Where speaking of Saints, he saith, That wee are not sufficient of our selves to think any thing as of our selves: but our sufficiecy is of God. What spirituall act is more easie then to thinke a good thought? It is easi­er to thinke well, then to speake well, or doe well: we often think good thoughts, that never come out upon the tongue, or appeare in the action. Yet holy Paul is not affraid to professe, that the best of us all cannot thinke any thing as of our selves. Which may be a sufficient proof of that which followeth in the same proposition, where wee say that he cannot put forth one act of faith. In believing our spirits are placed and fixed upon God, and we are filled with high thoughts of his grace in his Sonne, to his glo­ry; and therefore if we cannot think well, cer­tainly we cannot believe well. And that wee cannot believe of our selves after we do believe; will be evident by the Petition of the Apostles, Luke 17.5. Lord encrease our Faith. What ne­cessity was there, that they should have prayed to their Mr. for the increasing of their faith, if by their owne strength they could have be­lieved when they had pleased?

And thus I have at once both proved my argument, and the point in hand, that true faith is not of our selves. This argument is (a majore ad minus, as we speake in Logicke) from [Page 158]the greater to the lesse: if the greater can doe nothing, the lesse cannot; if converted men be able to do nothing toward this excellent work of faith, then unconverted men are able to doe nothing. Men who have a life in Christ, can do nothing of themselves; therefore such who are dead in sins and trespasses can doe nothing of themselves, but God must doe all in us by his grace.

The third argument may be drawne from this consideration, that if there were any thing in the reason or understanding of man which might further him in this work of faith; then it would follow, that those men who are the most acute men, the most learned men, the wisest and most rationall men, would prove the best Christians, and the most faithful men: but we finde it quite contrary. There are none commonly more ignorant of Christ then they who are most learned. The worlds wise-man is Gods foole.

It were an easie matter to prove this, by run­ning over the severall ages of the world. It was the complaint of a good man long since. The unlearned (saith hee) doe arise and take heaven by force, while we learned men are cast into hell, (surgunt indocti & rapiunt coelum, dum nos docti detrudimur ad gehennam) but I shall confine my selfe to Scripture. This is pro­ved, [Page 159]1 Cor. 1.26, 27. You see your calling brethren, how that not many wise men after the flesh, not many mighty, not many noble are called. But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world, to con­found the wise, and the weake things of the world, to confound the things which are mighty. The wise men and great men of the world have not generally embraced Christ: but rather the worlds fools have been made wise by the know­ledge of him. The learned Pharisees did re­proach Christ and his Doctrine with this, Ioh. 7.48. Have any of the Rulers or Pharisees beleeved on him? but this people who knoweth not the Law are cursed. They looked upon his fol­lowers as a cursed company of ignorant peo­ple, unacquainted with the Law, which they taught for Justification; and supposed that the Rulers and Pharisees had so much wit, wise­dome and learning, that they would give no credite to his Doctrine. Therefore seeing those who are most learned, wise, and acute by rati­onall parts, gifts, and abilities, are commonly most averse and opposite to the knowledge of the Gospell, it follows, that it is not by any thing that is in the reason, or understanding of man, by which one man is made more ca­pable of faith then any other man; but God giveth the gift of faith freely to whom hee pleaseth.

The fourth may be drawne from the consi­deration of persons before their conversion, as they are descyphered to us, and characterized forth in the word of truth. The Scripture calls them dead men; they are rather Car­kasses then men; they have the shapes of living men: but they are but dead men. No more then a Carkasse is a man, no more is an unconverted man a man in the scriptures sence. As a dead man is able to do nothing to regain life, so we, who are dead in sins and trespasses, are able to doe nothing towards our own con­version. This phrase we have in the precedent words, Eph. 2.1. You hath he quickned that were dead in sins and trespasses. And the same Apo­stle saith, Coll. 2.13. That when we were dead in sins and the uncircumcision of our flesh, that then God quickned us with his Son, having forgi­ven us all our trespasses. A dead man heares no­thing, sees nothing, there is no motion in him at all: so it is with a man that is dead in sins, he heares not the things of grace; hee heares, but he heares not: hee sees not the things of grace; he sees and he sees not: hee is not able to move one foote by faith toward heaven and happinesse.

Unbelieving men are dead, if wee view them in reference to the principle of life, or the fa­culties of a living man, or the operations of [Page 161]life. Christ is the principle of life, Colos. 3.3. When Christ, who is your life, shall appeare, then yee also shall appeare with him in glory. They are without Christ, and therefore without a principle of life.

2ly. In reference to faculties which are in living men, they are dead. Faculties are known and distinguished by their acts & operations. (Potentiae distinguuntur, et cognoscuntur per a­ctus.) And therefore wee may speak of these two joyntly, and together. As in a living man there are faculties and operations of life; So there are faculties and operations of life in a man who is spiritually alive. Hee is nourished, 1 Pet. 2.2. groweth, Psal. 22.6. heareth, seeth, smelleth, Cant. 1.3. tasieth the sweetnesse of Christ, and the like: but it is not so with one dead in sin and unbeliefe: hee hath no spirituall facul­ties and operations of life: he lyeth rotting in the grave of sin without these. If wee play up­on Instruments of Musicke, or shoot off guns in his eares, he heareth it not. If God thun­ders from sin in the Law, or commeth from Zion with the musicke of the Gospell, he hea­reth it not: Refusing to live to God by faith in Christ, he is dead. (Qui tibi recusat vivere mortuus est, August.) Men without Christ, take them in their best estate, and thus it is with them: with his morall embellishments, [Page 162]and ornaments, he is but like a dead body stuck with flowers, or an embalmed carkasse. The whole world of unbelievers is but a Golgotha, or Charnel-house of drye bones. The man that wandreth out of the way of understanding, shall remaine in the Congregation of the dead, Pro. 2.6. Though thou art a professor of Christ, yet without Christ thou art dead, 1 Tim. 5.6. The Widow that professeth Christ, living in plea­sure, is dead while she liveth. As Seneca passing by the house of an Epicure, said (Hic situs est) He that liveth here, is dead, and buryed here. So we may say of all prophane men, ignorant men, civilized men without Christ, formali­zed professors, they are there dead where they live. And being dead, who will so far lay aside his reason, to affirme, that they are able to quicken themselves to a spirituall life.

Againe as the Scripture sets them out to us as dead men; so the Scripture presents them to us as men that are in a sleep. Wee have this expression, Ephes. 5.14. Awake thou that slee­pest, and arise from the dead, and Christ shall give thee light. The knowledge that a man hath of Jesus Christ before his conversion, it is rather as the dreame and fancy of a sleeping man, then the true knowledge of a waking man. A man may dream he is a King, & thinkes that he hath all the riches in the world: but when he [Page 163]awakes he hath nothing, because he did but dreame that hee was rich. So it is with men that have a knowledge of Christ, but not wrought in their hearts by the operation of the spirit; they may be in a dreame, and have false perswasions that Christ is theirs, & that heaven is theirs, with all the glorious things of eternity: but they are but beggars and poor slaves all the while. They are likewise compa­red to mad men, who may think that they are Monarchs, and in a Palace, when they are mi­serable creatures chained in a Bedlam. So car­nal men may have false perswasions concerning their happinesse: but true faith is only wrought by the spirit of truth. And as men out of their wits cannot restore to themselves the use of reason, so men spiritually mad cannot bring themselves to the light of grace. By wch expres­sioons it is plain that faith is not of our selves.

My last argument to prove that true faith is not of our selves, is derived from the Word, in which it doth acquaint us with the wicked­nesse and deceitfulnesse of mans naturall heart. Our hearts are deceitfull and hypocriticall, and therfore unfeigned faith cannot come from them, and no credite is to be given to the per­swasions of them: our spirits they will deceive us, therefore we are not to give any credite to any perswasion that comes from them; a per­swasion [Page 164]that is a perswasion meerely of our owne spirit, is not a true faith or perswasion, Who will believe a common cheater, cozener, lyar, or impostor, that cares not what he saith or speakes. The heart naturally is like unto such an impostor or deceiver, according to that of Jeremiah, Ier. 17.9. The heart is deceitfull a­bove all things, and desperately wicked, who can know it. That faith therefore cannot be true which proceedeth from a naturall heart; and that comfort cannot be sound which spring­eth from such a faith. By which, and the pre­ceding arguments, it doth appeare, that the true faith of the Gospell is not of our selves.

Give mee leave now in a few words to make some deductions from this, and so I shall com­mend what I have delivered, and you to the blessing of she Almighty.

In the first place, this may confute the Do­ctrine of Papists, Arminian [...], and Popish pro­testants, that conceive that a man is able to do something to the furtherance of his owne ju­stification and salvation. This that hath been delivered, being seriously weighed in our spi­rits, is sufficient to overthrow this lying Do­ctrine, which would attribute any thing to man, or to the strength, wisdome, understan­ding, will or affections of the naturall man, in point of conversion, justification, and spiritu­all renovation.

One of the Ancients, who was more en­lightned by the spirit then any of his fellowes, for the beholding of the truth of GODS grace, doth as boldly, as truly assert, that whosoever shall pull downe the Doctrine of free grace, by exalting mans free will, is de­ceived with an [...]aereticall spirit, (Haeretico fallitur spiritu. Aug.) And who will suffer himselfe to be so farre blinded, as not to see that magnifiers of free-will doe overthrow the Doctrine of Gods grace and mercy, which Paul preached; when they shall hear him plain­ly concluding against all the free willers in the world, Rom. 9.16. That it is not in him that willeth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that sheweth mercy. The free grace and mercy which the Scripture acquainteth us with, is inconsi­stent with mans free will to doe good of him­selfe. As Dagon was tumbled down, when the Arke, which was a type of Christ, and Gods grace in him, was brought into the place where Dagon was set up; so when Gods grace by the power of the spirit appeareth, it tumbleth downe, and overthroweth the dagonish con­ceits, & Idolatrous apprehensions, which men have of the strength which is of themselves, to make themselves happy. The spirits of men truly perswaded of the strength of grace, and their owne weakenesse, disclaime their owne [Page 166]strength, and sel [...]e-confidences, for the making of themselves good. And crye out with those in the Prophet, Lam. 5.2. Turne thou us unto thee O Lord, and we shall be turned.

But that these men may not say that wee deale unjustly with them in condemning them and not hearing what they can say for them­selves; let us heare what they doe usually thinke for themselves, that so their mouths may be stopped by the truth of God. And thus light may shine more gloriously by the dis­pelling those mists, foggs, and clouds of er­rour, which would darken it.

The Scripture that some of them object a­gainst this truth, is, Revel. 22.17. The spirit and the Bride say, come. And let him that heareth, say, come. And let him that is a thirst come. And whosoever will, let him take the water of life freely. From whence they conclude, that there is a power in free will to take Christ, and that if a man will he may take the water of life freely.

To this I thus answer, that they draw more from the words, then the words do hold forth: The words say, whosoever will, may take the wa­ter of life freely: but the word doth not tell us, that any man is able to will this of himselfe. It is true, whosoever will may take the water of life freely: but it is as true, that a man of himself is not willing. God alone enabling us to be wil­ling [Page 167]to take this water of life freely, Phil. 2.13. And thus yee see, that if this argument be well weighed in the ballance of the San ctuary, it will be found too light to prove that for which it is alleadged.

But they are ready to reply againe, and to demand of us the reason why God doth finde fault with men for unbeliefe, reproving them for not comming unto Christ, if they are not able of themselves to believe, and come to Christ?

Answ. Why should these men thus cavil a­gainst the goodnesse of God? May not God with good reason, and without offence, inform us of our sinne, though we are not able of our selves to forsake it; It is a conclusion spiritual­ly irrationall, to say that we have power to a­mend our fault, because God doth reprove us for our fault. In these reproofes and the like, God sheweth unto us his goodnesse, in repro­ving us for our conviction; he doth not inform us of our ability, savingly to believe for our conversion.

But me-thinkes I see them returning upon us againe, and making a new assault by ano­ther argument, with which they thus oppose us, or rather the truth and power of Gods grace. Why doth God command, entreat; & beseech the creature to beleeve, if the creature [Page 168]have no power of himselfe to beleeve?

Ans. Passages to this purpose wch wee fiind in Scripture, do acquaint us with Gods good­nesse to the creature in his revealed will, and the creatures duty towards God; they do not acquaint us with the secret, effectuall, and ir­resistable, Rev. 9.19. will of God concerning the salvation of a creature, nor of the creatures power in himselfe, to believe of himselfe. The conclusions of these men from such precepts, exhortations, and entreaties, are very absurd and irrationall; If wee shall seriously weigh them in the scales of right and sanctified rea­son. God say they, doth command, exhort, and entreat men to believe, therefore men are able of themselves, by some power in them­selves, to believe. May they not upon as good grounds conclude that a carnall man may sul­fill the whole Law, and be saved by doing of the Law, seeing hee is commanded in Scrip­ture to fulfill the whole Law, and exhorted, and intreated to doe it. I shall shut up this use with a sweet speech of a devout and spirituall man; seeing man without the grace of God could not keep that salvation which hee recei­ved, how shall he be able without grace to re­gaine that salvation which he hath lost. (Cum igitur sine gratiâ dei salutem non posset Custodire quam accepit, quomodo sine gratiâ dei potest repa­rare [Page 169]quam perdidit. Aug. in Epist.

Secondly, It may be for the convincing of men of their disability to will their own justi­fication and salvation. What God accounts wisdome, that when man lookes on it by the eye of reason, he accounts it nothing but fol­ly and madnesse. How can a man be desirous of Christ, who apprehends that the things of Christ are nothing but foolishnesse? A pro­phane Pope sporting himselfe, and rejoycing in the great riches he had gotten by professing the Gospell in a carnall way, uttered these words; What great riches have wee gotten to our selves by this fable of lesus Christ. (Quan­tus divitias lucrati sumus ex hac fabulâ Christi.) So men that are not enlightned by the spirit of truth, to behold the word of truth, doe con­ceive the truths which men preach concerning Christ are meere fancies, fables, madnesse and that foolishnesse; and that there is no truth at all in which is spoken in the word of truth.

I will instance but in one or two particu­lars to shew you how carnall reason opposeth grace. Grace telleth us, that God will have mer­cie on whom he will have mercy, and whom be will he hardeneth, Rom. 9.18. Consider how car­nall reason opposeth this truth of God; sup­pose, saith carnall reason, that a King would hate some of his Subjects, because hee would [Page 170]hate them, and love others, because he would love them, and should give no other reason of his actions, but his owne will: were not such a King more fit to live among beasts, then to reigne over men. And shall wee then thinke that the wise God doth love and elect some be­cause he will love them, and hate and repro­bate others, because he will hate them. Thus carnall men measuring the actions of God by the rule of their own reason, they see nothing but folly and madnesse in that, by which God discovers his greatest wisdome to those that are enlightned to behold the riches of his grace.

Secondly, God in Christ doth present him­selfe as having a sufficiency of grace for the salvation of the greatest of sinners without workes: but how doth carnall reason strongly and vigorously fight against Gods goodnesse, concluding that if there were any truth in this Doctrine, that the law and good workes would presenly be destroyed. A natural man cannot believe that God is so gracious as Gos­pel-Ministers would perswade the world that he is. As the unbelieving Lord, when the Pro­phet told him of the great plenty in Samaria, said, If God should open windowes in Heaven could this this thing be? 1 King. 7. So a naturall man, when Christ is offered to sinners with­out any works (unlesse God give grace to be­lieve) [Page 171]hee is ready to say, If the windowes of Heaven were opened, and all the grace and mercie in Heaven should come downe upon us, if God should let out all the bowells of his pitty and compassion to poore sinners, it cannot be so as you say, and speak concerning free grace to sinners, and ungodly ones. So that if a naturall man should do nothing, but heare Sermons, and although Angells or Christ himselfe should come downe from hea­ven to preach unto him, hee would be as a­ble of himselfe to keepe the whole Law for ju­stification, as to beleeve truly and savingly in the Lord Jesus.

But some will say, that if it be thus that a man may as easily in his owne strength, keepe the Law as beleeve the Gospell; why doth not God then rather enable us to keepe the Law that wee may be saved, then bid us to beleeve the Gospel?

To this I answer; that God saves us, by e­nabling us to beleeve the Gospel, and not by enabling us to keepe the Law for Justification, because God will have the glory of his grace in our Salvation. God will not save us in a way of working, but in a way of beleeving, that all the glory may be given to him. The Apostle gives this as a reason, why it is by faith and not by workes, that no man might boast, ver. 9. Not of workes, lest any man should boast. By [Page 172]which argument he proveth that the Father of the faithfull was not justified by workes, Rom. 4.2. If Abraham were justified by workes (saith hee) he hath whereof to glory. As we may observe it in some people, who are built upon legal principles like the Pharisee, Luke 18.11. They are boasting, that they are not as other men, as though their good workes had made the difference betweene them and others. This frame of spirit doth rob God of the glory of his grace, who will not that any flesh should glory in his presence: but that he that glorieth should glory in the Lord, 1 Cor. 1.29.3. And therefore wee are saved by grace through faith in the word made flesh, and not by the workes of the Law.

But secondly, some will object, why doth God take this paines with men in the Ministe­ry of the Word? if they are able to doe no more to their owne conversion, then a dead man to his owne resurrection.

To this objection I have already given an answer, yet give me leave to adde this to what hath been already spoken, for the fuller satisfa­ction of those that are weak. Though we are able to doe nothing of our selves, yet God entreates, exhorts, and beseecheth us to be reconciled to him in Jesus Christ, because in exhorting, intreating, and beseeching of us to [Page 173]beleeve, he puts forth his power and his owne strength to enable us to beleeve; while Paul exhorted the Gaoler to believe in the Lord Je­sus that hee might be saved, God enabled the Gaoler to beleeve. Life and power is convey­ed to the soule in Gospel commands and ex­hortations. When Christ raised the sonne of the Widow of Naim to life, Luke 7.14. he speakes to him; Young man I say to thee, arise. No man who hath not lost his reason, will conclude from hence, that it was by the power of the young man that was dead, by which hee was raised from the dead, but by the power of the Lord Jesus, who did bid him arise. So, though God speak in the Ministry of the word to those that are dead in sinnes and trespasses, and bids them arise from the dead that hee may give them light; yet we cannot conclude from thence, that it is by the power of men by which they doe believe: but it is by the power of the spirit conveyed in the preaching of the Word. Christ commanded Lazarus to come forth, but he came not forth in his owne strength, but in the power and strength of him that com­manded him out of the grave; So wee com­mand men to come forth out of the grave of sinne: but they come not forth in their owne strength, but in the power and strength of that spirit that commands them from the grave [Page 174]of sinne to the land of the living. While E­zekiel prophesied over the dead bones, breath came into them, and they lived, Ez [...]k. 37.10. So while the Prophets of the Lord do preach over their sinfull impenitent hearers, who are like the Prophets drye bones; the breath of Hea­ven, the spirit of the most High in the Mini­stery of the Gospell, enters in into them, and not by working, but believing they are made new creatures, and see the Kingdome of God.

In the next place, you see faith is not of our selves, it is not in any thing in man, or in mans wisdome that man is enabled to believe what is reported concerning Gods grace in Jesus Christ. Therefore this may convince us that that faith which is of our selves is a false faith, and not the true justifying faith of the Saints. The good fruit of faith cannot grow out of a wicked heart. And the heart of a man naturally, is wickednesse, and every imagi­nation of the thoughts of his heart is vanity, and only evill continually, Gen. 6.5. Psalm. 94.11. When God lookes downe from Heaven upon the children of the first Adam, hee seeth that there are not any that doe understand and seek God. They are all gone aside, they are all become filthy, there is none that doth good, no [...]ot one, Psal. 14.2.3. And the Lord Jesus dyed for us when wee were enemies unto him, and without strength to do [Page 175]any thing for our owne salvation, Rom. 5.6. That faith therefore which is wrought by the strength of nature, is not that true faith of the Gospel which is only wrought by the spirit of the Gospel. According to that of the Apostle, where he affirmeth, that the Saints are justified by the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God, 1 Cor. 6 11. Therefore if thy faith be a wor­king or perswasion of thine own spirit; If it be framed and hammered by thy selfe upon the anvile of thy owne spirit, it is a counterfet per­swasion, and will not be able to advantage thee in the great day of the Lord Jesus.

As wee read in the Prophet Jeremiah of the visions of a mans owne heart, and the visions of God. So there is a two-fold faith; there is the faith or perswasion of a mans own heart, and a perswasion of the Spirit of God. And as the visions of a mans owne heart are false dreames, lies and deceits, and are justly repre­hended by the Prophet, Jerem. 23.26. So the perswasions of a mans owne heart, they are false dreames and lying perswasions, we are to give no credite to them. As we should not be­lieve a commonlyer: So we are not to believe the perswasions of our own hearts.

The same Prophet in the 28. ver. compareth lying Prophesies to chaffe, and the Prophesies of truth to wheat, what (saith he) is the chaffe [Page 176]to the wheat. So true faith is like unto wheat, and faith of our selves is like unto chaffe. As the winde driveth away the chaffe, Psalm 1.4. So the blasts of Gods wrath, and the winds of temptation will blow away the chaff of a false faith, while true faith shall be preserved by God, and we through it shall be preserved un­to the day of redemption.

Wherefore brethren, we are to try whether or no we doe truly believe. Examine your selves saith the Apostle, 2 Cor. 13.5. Whether ye bee in the Faith. As we have a touch-stone to trye gold, so God hath left a spirituall touch-stone by which true faith may be tryed. As there are counterfet pieces of gold, which can bee hardly distinguished from true gold, until they are brought to the touch-stone; so there is a counterfeit faith, which can hardly be distin­guished from true faith, untill it be brought unto the spiritual touch-stone. Therefore it wil be the wisedome of every one of you, to try what faith you have. It is not enough to be perswaded that you shall be saved, and that Christ is yours, and that your names are writ­ten in heaven. Alas, there are false perswasi­ons as well as true. There are multitudes of Libertines, who turne the grace of God into wan­tonnesse, and make their bellies their Gods, and minde earthly things, Phil. 3. And yet have [Page 177]strong perswasions that they are in the grace and favour of God. There are Pharisees who are perswaded that they are in the love of God the Pharisee had an assurance, and gave God thankes for it too, Luke 18.11. God I thanke thee I am not as other men are. And yet hee was but an hypocrite all the while, deluded with the proud conceits of his owne righteousnesse. The unbelieving Jewes professed with a great deale of boldnesse and confidence that God was their Father, John 8.41. We have one Father, even God. And yet our Saviour tells them plainely, that though they had these strong perswasions that God was their Father, yet in truth the Devill was their Father. Ye are (saith he) vers. 44. of your Father the Devill.

A man may be perswaded that Christ will save him, and goe to hell and be damned with that perswasion.

We see by experience, that many Apostates, who have made a profession of Christ, & have had strong perswasions of the love of God, have fallen from the Gospell to prophanenesse, Arminianisme, and diabolicall Familisme.

Our blessed Emanuel doth plainly prove this truth unto us, by acquainting us with some, who, when they shall be brought before his judgement-seate, shall be confident of their in­terest in him, whom neverthelesse hee will not [Page 178]own to be his, Matth. 7.21, 22. Not every on that saith, Lord, Lord, shall enter into the King­dome of Heaven, but he that doth the will of my Father which is in heaven. Many shall say unto me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy Name? and in thy Name have cast out De­vills? and in thy Name done many wonderfull workes? Yet you see what Christ will professe unto them; I never knew you, depart from me yee workers of iniquity. As if he had said, It is true, you had a strong perswasion that you should be heires in my Kingdome; it is true, you thought that you should be saved if any in the world were saved, but I tell you for all that, I know you not, depart ye workers of iniquity. Wher­fore it concerns all men to know whether their faith be a right faith. Self-ish faith is no right faith: if it arise from no higher a fountaine, then our own natural reasons, wisdomes, and understandings; our faith is from our selves; and we may carry it to hell with us, and find as good faith there in the Devills, as this is. Though this which I have spoken concerning the tryall of faith, doth chiefly concerne such who are deceived with a false faith, of their owne making: yet it will be very advantagi­ous for the true Saints likewise to try their faith. Wherefore before I presse this farther upon such who are under a spirit of delusion, [Page 179]I shall speak a word unto the Saints unto this purpose. Consider that that man who hath true faith, may likewise have much false faith. There may bee a great deale of dead faith in him, who hath a living faith. Where there is true gold, there may be much drosse; and in that Professor in whom there is the golden faith of the Gospell, there may be a great deal of drossie faith, which is nothing worth. A Christian hath two contrary natures in him. Hee hath flesh as well as spirit. And as there are perswasions in him flowing from the spi­rit, so there may be perswasions flowing from the flesh. Saints sometimes, when they are in a luke-warm and back-sliding condition, are apt to please and content themselves with the workings and perswasions of their owne spi­rits. And they may finde that much of their joy and comfort doth not proceed from true faith wrought by the operation of God, but from the lying, cheating, counterfeit working, and operation of their owne spirits. Will you know one principall ground and reason why some true Saints are so unfruitfull, dead­hearted, formall and luke-warm in the pro­fession of the Gospell? it is because the Devil cheats them with the workings and perswasi­ons of their own spirits.

When God perswades the heart of his love, our hearts are inflamed with an holy [Page 180]love to God, and are willing to doe or suffer for the glory of God: but when wee content our selves with the working of our owne spi­rits, there is idlenesse, sloath, neglect of Christian duties, coldnesse, formality, and lukewarmness; so that there is little difference between us & others. Again it concerns you all to try your perswasions: For if any of you co­zen and cheate your selves with the perswasi­ons of you owne spirits, the time will come that you, who kindle these sparks, and walke in the light of your owne fire, and in the speaks that ye have kindled; This shall ye re­ceive from the hand of the Lord, ye shall lye down in sorrow, Isa. 50.11.

When you expect heaven, you will be cast downe to hell; when you shall be confident that Christ is yours, and shall bee ready to plead the goodnesse of your cause in the face of Jesus, you shall finde that you were decei­ved by the false perswasions and workings of your owne humane spirits. A faith of your selves, by which ye have been perswaded of those things, which ye have received by the relation of thing to the eare, will not save you; but that faith which is wrought by the Spirit, giving an heavenly revelation of Christ to the heart. Therefore try whether your faith be from your owne humane spirits and naturall understandings, or whether it pro­ceed [Page 181]from the power and spirit of the most high God mightily working in you for the salvation of your soules.

But you will say, How shall we be resolved in our spirits that our faith hath not procee­ded from our owne spirits, but that it is a work of God in us?

1. When God works faith, he gives an evi­dent light by which wee see the truth of our faith: and thus the faithfull are in the first place assured of salvation in believing. The just doth live by faith, Heb. 2.4. and hath his life and righteousnesse by faith. If any man be in Christ, he is a new creature, 2 Cor. 5.17. The speciall presence of Christ in the soule doth make a man a new creature, and by faith the new creation in us is discovered unto us, and therefore Christ is said to bee formed in us by faith, Gal. 4.19. So many as receive him by faith, are born not of flesh, nor of the will of [...], but of God, and have power to be the sons of God, 1 John 12, 13. By faith wee are the children of God, Gal. 3.26. and know that we are the chil­dren of God, 1 John 5.10. Hee that believeth on the Sonne of God hath the witnesse in himselfe. By which words it appeareth how true faith differeth from a wavering opinion (unde ap­paret quantum differat à fide fluxa opinio; Mar­lor.) It is the office of faith to beare witnesse to the certainty of our salvation, and to give [Page 182]in a testimony of our happinesse by Christ Je­sus. The blood of Christ doth purge the conscience from dead workes, Heb. 9.14. By faith we drink this blood of the Sonne of God, Iohn 6.53. and look upon him who is invisible to the eye of reason, by this eye of faith which is the evi­dence of things not seene, Heb. 11.1. Christ is set forth as a propitiation and object of our justification by the Father, Rom. 3.25. And by faith wee looke upon him who is set forth us to us to be looked upon. It is life eternall to know the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom he hath sent, John 17.3. And true faith is nothing else but the true knowledge of God in the face of Jesus Christ. (Fides quid aliud est quam vera de de [...] cognitio? Cyr.) Hee that believeth on the Son hath everlasting life, and he that believeth not shall not see life, John 3.36. In which words our Saviour doth seeme to put a difference be­tween a believer, and an unbeliever. The un­believing man seeth not eternall life: but the believing man seeth eternall life, and hath e­ternall life abiding in him, by which he know­eth that he is freed from the death of sin, and from the temporall and eternall death for sin, and shall not come into condemnation: For when a man truly believeth, heaven is ope­ned unto him, and he hath a spirituall disco­very of Christ made unto his soule. But it is not so with a man, who hath a perswasion [Page 183]formed in himselfe by himselfe. As John said, that what hee had seene, hee declared unto them, 1 John 1. so every spirituall man may say that he hath seene Jesus Christ. With Stephen by faith he seeth God, and his Son Jesus standing on his right hand. Christ is so perfectly pre­sented to the eye of faith, that the believer doth by faith looke upon a crucified Christ, as though he were present before him, Gal. 3. The Apostle to prove the effectuall calling, & justification of the Thessalonians, doth affirm, that the Gospell came unto them in much assu­rance, 2 Thes. 1.5. Enquire now in thy owne spirit, whether thy faith is such a faith as this, which the Scripture doth call the unfeigned faith of the elect; and if it be such a faith, it is not of thy selfe, but it is the gift of God.

2ly. The Kingdome of God being not in word, but in power, thou that dost truly believe hast found the word of salvation to come unto thee with a mighty power. This was an evi­dence to Paul of the truth of the conversion of the Thessalonians, because the Word came in power unto them, 1 Thes. 1.5.

Thou that hast trusted to a perswasion of the grace and favour of God to thee in Christ, wrought in thee by thy own spirit, thou hast had no heavenly power in this perswasion: But he that hath faith wrought by the spirit [Page 184]of God, there is a mighty power of God comes downe upon him when hee is enabled to be­lieve. Thou that hast a false faith apprehen­dest it an easie thing to believe, because thou didst never feel a power from above comming upon thee to enable thee to believe. Whereas the true believer knoweth that it is a difficult thing to believe. Because the work of faith is the work of omnipotency; According to that of our Savior, Io. 6, 29. This is the worke of God, that ye believe in him who he hath sent. Therefore if upon examination thou dost find that thou art only perswaded concerning the mysteries of Christ, and the grace of God as thou art perswaded of naturall things in a naturall way, and hast not felt the power of heaven enabling thee to believe, thy faith is a false faith. For where there is true faith, a man feeles the power of God enabling him to be­lieve the testimony that God gives of his Son Christ. I will give you a plain place to con­firm this, Ephes. 1.19, 20. where hee praying for them that they might see the mighty pow­er, by which they were enabled to believe, doth make use of many very emphaticall expressi­ons; that ye may know saith he what is the exceeding greatnesse of his power to us-ward who believe: according to the working of his mighty power, which he wrought in Christ when he raised [Page 185]him from the dead. There hee speakes not only of a power, but the greatnesse of power, and not only the greatnesse of power, but the su­pereminent greatnes of his power ( [...]) And as though hee had not spoken enough to set out the Almightinesse of the po­wer by which we are enabled to believe; hee doth inform us that such an operation of the power of the vertue of God, (for so the words may be translated) by which Jesus Christ was raised from the dead, and declared to be the Sonne of God, is put forth for the enabling of us to believe. Thou that hast not this pow­er in thy soule, thy perswasion is wrought in thy spirit, not by the spirit of grace & truth, but it flowes from thy own naturall and car­nall spirit; and it is a perswasion that will ne­ver doe thee good: it will never bring thee true comfort: A man that hath not a better perswasion than this, shall never see the face of God with joy.

3dly. Faith which is not of our selves, doth carry us out of our selves. A faithful man hath his life not in himselfe, but in Jesus Christ. He liveth not by the principles of the first, but second Adam. He hath his spirituall being in the Father, and in his Sonne Jesus Christ. He is joyned to the Lord, and is one spirit. Hee seeth the Father in the Son, and the Sonne in [Page 186]him, and the Father in him through his Son. According to the promise of our Saviour, John 14.20. Ye shall know that I am in my Father, and you in me, and I in you. Paul spea­king of the spirituall Thessalonians, affirmeth that they are in the Father, and in the Lord Je­sus Christ, 1 Thes. 1.1. By faith we enjoy the glory of union. The glory which thou hast given me, I have given them, that they be one, even as we are one, John 17. Though we have not the glo­ry of equality ( [...]) yet we have the glo­ry of likenesse, [...]) Though we are not united to the Father so immediately as Christ is, by himselfe, and in himselfe; yet we are u­nited to him (mediante Christo) by the meanes and mediation of Christ Jesus. This is the honour which is given to those who trust by a lively faith, in the name of the Sonne of God.

4ly. Faith which is not of our selves, doth carry us beyond the world. A believer loo­king upon Christ overcomming the world for him, doth through faith overcome the world by him, 1 John 5.4. Whatsoever is born of God, o­vercommeth the world: and this is the victory that overcommeth the world, even your faith. Therefore the Saints are said to be cloathed with the Sun, and to have the Moon under their feet, Rev. 12. Because being through faith cloathed [Page 187]with the righteousnesse of Christ who is called the Sun of righteousnesse, Mal. 4.2. They tram­ple upon all sublunary things as worth no­thing in comparison of Jesus Christ.

Fifthly, He that truly believeth in Christ, is anointed with the spirit of Christ, and assured of his abiding for ever in Christ, 1 John 2.27. The anointing which ye have recei­ved of him, abideth in you, and as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him. God should lose his earnest if it were possible for us, to miscarry to the losing of our soules after wee have this earnest from him, which bindeth him to bring us to heaven and happinesse. This spirit perswades us that we are the sons of God, & that God will lose none of his sons. Hee that hath this spirit, knoweth that no man that hath the spirit can speake what he feeles from the work of the spirit of adoption in his owne heart. Hee admires grace when hee lookes on God reconciled in Christ to sinners, & lookes on himselfe reconciled to God in believing; and when he feeleth the spirit of God witnes­sing with his spirit that he is the childe of God: hee can goe boldly to the Throne of grace, knowing Christ as his elder brother, & God his Father in him.

Selfe-deceiving hypocrite, dost thou not begin to be convinced, that thy faith is not the [Page 188]true faith of the Gospell, by that which hath been spoken concerning this faith which is not of our selves, but the gift of God?

6. As I told you even now, There is never true faith, but true love follows it. Love is an ndividual companion of faith. Therefore such as have faith, and never have love accompa­nying of it, may be confident that their per­swasion concerning the grace and goodnesse God in Christ, is but a carnal, and not a spi­rituall perswasion. True faith worketh by love; therefore if mine work not by love, it is a false faith: this is an undenyable argument.

Brethren, mistake me not in this point unto which I now am speaking, mis-appre­hending my meaning, as if I bid you love God, & the brethren, that you may believe, & be ju­stified; no, but I tell you now that where true, lively, and justifying faith is, there love will follow. When we doe in the light of the spi­rit apprehend Gods love to us, and the love of Christ in giving himselfe for us, wee cannot but love God againe, and love Christ who hath loved us, and given himselfe for us. So that where there is no true love, there is no true faith. If it be truth, that where fire is, there will be heat: it will necessarily follow, that where there is no heat, there is no fire: So if where true faith is, love will follow, it will [Page 189]necessarily follow, that where true love doth not follow, there true faith did not precede, 1 John 4.19. Wee love him, because he first loved us. He that loveth not God, hath not appre­hended Gods love to him. As farre as thou believest in a spirituall way, the love of God shall constrain thee to love God. (Tantum di­ligimus, quantum scimus) love is answerable to the measure of our faith or knowledge. Hee that hath Pauls faith, shall have his love. We say that love is the load-stone of love (magnes amoris amor.) So Gods love doth draw forth our hearts in love to God. God in Christ, when he is presented unto us for our justhifi­cation, doth appeare to us as such a lovely ob­ject, that we cannot but love him. The greek proverb is, that loving is wrought by seeing. ( [...]) so when by faith we see the love of God in Jesus, wee cannot but love God. And therefore John saith, 1 John 4.8. That he that loveth not, knoweth not God, for God is love. Wherefore that faith, by which thou art perswaded of the love of God to thy soul, which carries thee not back again in love to God. I dare speak it in the presence of God, that that perswasion is not wrought by the spirit of grace, but is the worke of thine owne carnall and naturall heart. If any man, saith the Apostle, love not the Lord Jesus Christ, let [Page 190]him be Anathema Maranatha, 1 Cor. 16.22. Let him not be accounted as one (inalbo fideli­um) in the list of the faithfull. Let him be ex­communicated, look not upon him as a true Christian. Peter though hee had denyed Christ not long before, yet he was confident that he loved that Christ whom he had deny­ed, when Christ asked him, Simon, sonne of Jonas lovest thou me? he saith unto him, yea Lord thou knowest that I love thee, John 24.15. When Christ the second and third time proposed the same question unto him, he remained still confident of his love: And appeals to Christ the searcher of all hearts, as to one who knew the truth of his love, v. 17. Hee said unto him, Lord thou knowest all things, thou knowest that I love thee. I shall but adde one thing more, because I shall (God willing) have an opportunity to enlarge my self in this point, when I shall prove unto you affirmatively, that true faith is the gift of God.

Lastly, where the grace of the Father in the blood of his Son, is apprehended; for the co­vering of sin, there is a forsaking of sin. When God doth discover this, that he will heale back-sliding, love freely, and turne away his anger. Ephraim shall say, what have I to doe a­ny more with Idols, Hos. 14.8. When God par­doneth sin by his grace, he will subdue sin by [Page 191]his grace, Mic. 7.8, 19. That man who hath true faith wrought in his heart, he shall seele the power of grace apprehended for his justi­fication, ingaging his spirit to deny ungodli­nesse, according to that of the Apostle, Tit. 2 11, 12. The grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, teaching us, that de­nying ungodlinesse and wordly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world. First, [...] soberly, in reference to our selves. 2. [...] justly, in our relation to­wards men. 3. [...] piously or religiously in reference to God. Grace will not suffer us to live gracelesly, because we are justified by grace: but will throughly acquaint us with our duty towards God, towards men, and to­wards our selves. If the grace that thou pro­fessest teach thee not to deny ungodliness, but thou livest in a gracelesse way, dishonouring Christ, discrediting the Gospell by thy wick­ed, scandalous, and evill life, thou dost not in deed, and in truth apprehend the Gospell.

If God discovers himself to Abraham as Al­sufficient, he will command him to walke before him, and be upright, Gen. 17. Sin shall not have dominion over us, if we are not under the law, but under grace, Rom. 6. Christ will present him­selfe unto us as the pattern for sanctificati­on, if hee reveale himselfe as the object of our [Page 192]justification. Every man who hath a sure and lively hope of salvation by Jesus Christ, puri­fieth himselfe as he is pure, 1 John 3.3. He that truly expects happinesse hereafter, studies pu­rity here. True Saints do desire, not only to know, but to doe the will of God, Psal. 143.10. Teach mee to doe thy will O Lord (saith the man after Gods own heart) thy spirit is good lead me into the land of uprightnesse. The spi­rit of the Gospell will not lead us into the land of prophanenesse, but into the land of uprightnesse. Gods goodnesse to us will make us in love with holinesse. They shall feare and tremble for all the goodnesse, and for all the prosperity that I procure unto them, saith the Lord, Jer. 33.9. The golden chaine of mercy, let down from heaven to draw us up unto God, doth binde us and oblige us to the service and obedience of God.

If thou art an old professor of the Gospel and doctrine of grace, and livest gracelesly, unac­quainted with the sanctifying spirit, & yet hast a strong perswasion that God is thy Father, and Christ thy Saviour: thy perswasion is not worth one farthing, it will doe thee no good: Where there is no desire of purity, there is no work of true faith: for when thou hast a true, and a lively faith, and thou seest God gracious, loving, and merciful, believe it, [Page 193]thy spirit will be carried forth in desires to be made like unto Christ in holinesse. Wee all (saith the Apostle) with open face, beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord; are changed in­to the same image from glory to glory, 2 Cor. 3.18. I thou by the lively operation of the spi­rit hast seene the glory, grace, beauty and holinesse in Christ, for thy Justification, thy spirit will be so enamourd with the beauty of holiness & perfection in Christ, thou wilt de­sire to see the image, and picture of holinesse, & perfection which is in Christ, to be drawne forth upon thy own heart and spirit. There may bee some that may thinke that this is strange Doctrine which I have delivered, to wit, that a man may have strong perswasions concerning his interest in God and Christ, and boast much of it, and yet be but a hypo­crite and reprobate all the while. I shall ther­fore adde one place of Scripture to those which I have delivered for the proofe of this, and so for the present I shall conclude. Yee shall find it in Micah. 3.11. The heads judge for reward, and the Priests teach for hire, and the Prophets divine for money; yet for all this will they leane upon the Lord, and say, is not the Lord among us? none evill can come upon us. See here a base, vicious, and covetous people, that sell Justice, and the Word of God; and yet are [Page 194]confident that they belong to God; they would not preach without money in their hand; like many of our Priests, no penny, no pater-noster; no money in hand, no Sermon, no preaching, that will not open their mouths further then it is opened with a key of gold or silver, yet they professe they are the people of God, and make a great shew of Re­ligion, and blinde the eyes of poor ignorant people that conclude they are the only zea­lous holy men in the world, though their co­vetousnesse, basenesse, and vilenesse in run­ning after Livings and great preferments, may appear evidently to children. Ye see by this that people may lean upon God, desire to be accounted his people, and be confident that he is their Father, Ioh. 8. And yet may have no true faith, but may be self-imposters, deceiving themselves with the perswasions of their own spirits, whereas true faith is onely from God, bestowed upon us by him as a free gift, which let the good God worke in our hearts by his grace through Christ, Amen.

SERMON. V.
Faith is the gift of God.

EPHES. 2.8.‘By grace ye are saved through faith, not of your selves, it is the gift of God.’

THere is nothing doth lay the creature lower in the presence of God, then a cleare appre­hension of the Creators fa­vour, and goodnesse, in gi­ving all things freely to the creature. The Apostle to beat down the pride of man in spirituall gifts, doth make use of this quaere, 1 Cor. 4.7. What hast thou, that thou hast not received. As if he had said, if thou dost but seriously consider, that thou enjoyest no spirituall gift, but it hath been freely given un­to [Page 196]to thee, thou wi [...]t not see any cause why thou shouldst be proud of it. And in these words, for the humbling and abasing of man, and for the exalting of Gods grace in Jesus Christ, he doth set downe this in the last place, That true faith is the gift of God.

I shall illustrate this two manner of wayes.

First, I will shew you that it is the gift of Gods power: For this the Apostle drives at here; when he opposeth faith, as the gift of God, to what he had said before, maintaining that it was not of our selves. Man being not a­ble to believe of himselfe, it will necessarily fol­low, that it is onely the power of Almighty God, that is able to enable a man truly to be­lieve in his grace through Christ.

In the second place I shall shew you, that faith is the gift of Gods grace. As God alone by his almighty power is able to enable a man to believe: so God alone can give us this ex­cellent and precious gift of faith, by which we are made partakers of the divine nature, and carried to heaven, to behold the glory of our God, in the face of Jesus Christ.

First, faith is the gift of the power of God, and therefore Isaiah 53.1. we read of the arm of God, which is to be put forth, for the ena­bling of men to believe the Gospell. Who hath believed our report? and to whom is the arme of [Page 197]the Lord revealed. The strength of a man doth usually lye in his arme, wherefore God to shew that few doe believe, John 12.38. doth prove it by this, because his arme or strength is revealed to few. The arm, power, & strength of God must be put forth and revealed to men, or else men will never be able indeed, and in truth to believe what God hath related, and reported concerning his glorious grace in Je­sus Christ.

This will appeare by some few considera­tions.

First, it is the prerogative of Gods powerful will to shew mercy, by giving faith for salvati­on, to whom he will, and therefore it is not in the power of sinfull man; effectually to will his owne salvation, Rom. 9.18. Jam. 1.18. Of his owne will be begot us. God is the God of salvation, and therefore the creature cannot be a Saviour to himselfe. Save me, saith the Psalmist, for thy mercy sake, Psal. 31.16. Why should the Psalmist have prayed unto God, to save him, if hee had beene able to save him­selfe, by working faith in his owne heart, wee are all sinners, saved by obtaining a Psalme of mercy. And it is God that granteth us a psalm of mercy for the saving of our lives, and giveth us learning, by which wee are enabled for to read it. The will of God is the supream ruler, [Page 200]and governour in all things, and therefore in this, for the giving of faith unto whom hee pleaseth, for salvation. Man lies under unbe­lief many yeares, when God once comes and speakes the word to command light to shine, then presently we are enlightned. He created light by the word of his power, and made the heavens; so by the same omnipotent word, and power of his, he is pleased to create, and set up new light in the understandings of those whom hee intends to save, giving to them the know­ledge of the sweetnesse of his grace and glory in the countenance of Jesus Christ.

Secondly, It is the gift of his irresistable po­wer. His will and power cannot be resisted, Rom. 9. If there were not such an irresistable power in grace, no man could ever be made a parta­ker of grace. All the strength of the naturall man doth fight against grace, and taketh up armes against Jesus Christ; so that if God did not work irresistably, there would never bee wrought the work of grace in the heart of any man. If God will perswade Japhet hee shall dwell in the tents of Shem, Gen. 9.27. I will worke, saith God, and who shall let it, Isa. 43.13. That is, none shall let it. All the De­vils in hell cannot hinder the worke of faith, when God intendeth to work it. As many as are ordained unto eternall life shall believe, Acts 13.48. [Page 201] All Christs sheep shall hear his voyce, Ioh. 10.16. The gathering of the people shall be unto Shilo, Gen. 49.10. God hath determined the thing to be done, before it is done. And all his coun­sells of olde are faithfulnesse and truth, Isa 25.1. He should be unfaithfull, if his determinations should not come to passe. The Apostle in the Ephes. 1.11. saith, that the Saints have obtained an inheritance, being predestinated according to the purpose of God, who worketh all things according to his owne will. And if we consider the eternall Counsell and determination, forgiving faith to some particular person, we shall finde, that it is impossible, that these men should not be­lieve, in that moment in which God hath ap­pointed to worke faith in their heart, and therefore the Apostle doth acquaint us with the immutability of this counsell, Heb. 16.17. And James saith, Jam. 1.17. That with God there is no variablenesse, nor shadow of turning. Where­fore seeing God doth dispense the gifts of his grace unto his people, according to his unalte­rable decrees, and unchangeable counsells, it will be evident, that he worketh upon men ir­resistably. God should erre in his prescience or fore-knowledge of things, if he should fore-see and determine, that a man should believe, and that man at the same time should remaine in unbeliefe. As an Astrologer would be decei­ved, [Page 202]if he should fore-see and fore-tell, that a thing should come to passe, and the thing fore­told should not come to passe. It must be gran­ted therefore, that Gods decrees are certaine irrevocable, and immutable, and that God working according to these decrees, doth worke irresistably, and therefore faith is his gift, because it proceedeth from his irresistable power according to that of our Apostle, It is the gift of God.

Thirdly, Darknesse cannot create light. Faith is a spirituall light, and therefore it can­not come from our darknesse, but must have its birth and beginning from some heavenly light. And God is the powerfull light, from whom faith is beamed into our hearts. Five things are required to seeing, 1. A visible ob­ject. 2. The organ of sight. 3. A light to dis­cover this object. 4. A medium through which this object is to be seene. 5. That the organ be in a living and waking creature. And these things are likewise requisite to see­ing a thing spiritually by faith, which all are from the power of God. 1. It is God doth present unto us the spirituall object, which is to be looked upon for salvation. 2. It is God giveth us spirituall organs or eyes. 3. Spiritu­all light to discover spirituall things. 4. A me­dium, Iesus Christ, through whom wee looke [Page 203]upon him. 5. A spirituall life and being. It is a thing proper and peculiar to God, to cre­ate a thing out of nothing, and it is his prero­gative and power in believing, to make us new ereatures. By which it wil appear, that true faith cannot be of our selves, but it is the gift of God.

Fourthly, That which stablisheth Saints in the faith, that power doth at the first, worke faith in them: but God by his power doth sta­blish Saints, Rom. 16.25. The Apostle doth make it a priviledge proper to the power of God to stablish Saints in the faith, and there­fore it is proper to his power to bring us to the faith.

Fifthly, The promises of God in giving Christ to open the blinde eyes, Isa 42.6, 7. His engagements to teach us to know him, accor­ding to that of the Prophet, All thy children shall be taught of God. His covenant in Christ, that we shall know him, Heb. 8. doth sufficient­ly demonstrate, that nothing below the omni­potent power of God, is sufficient for the ena­bling of us to rest upon his owne grace for sal­vation. I need not spend many words in pro­ving this, because the argument laid downe to prove the negative part of the Text, wil reach the affirmative. For if not of our selves, it will unquestionably follow, that it is of God that we are enabled to believe.

In the next place I shall prove, that as it is the work of his power, so it is the worke of his owne free grace. When he enableth a man to believe, he puts forth not only the power of his omnipotency, but the power of his grace: he doth not looke upon any thing in the crea­ture to move him to give faith to the creature: but he lookes upon his own grace, and he sees no other motive or argument to move him to give faith to men, but those that lye in the bo­some of his owne grace from the dayes of eter­nity.

I shall prove this first by Scripture, and then by some considerations. First, you have it pro­ved by Scripture, Phil. 1.29. To you it is given not only to believe, but to suffer. Hence I gather, that it is the gift of Gods grace to enable a man to believe: As it is the free gift of Gods grace to call forth a man to suffer for him. So in 2 Tim. 2.25. The Apostle bids Timothy with meekeness of spirit to endeavour to recover those that opposed the doctrine and truth which he held forth and preached. If peradventure God will give them repentance for the acknowledging of the truth. You see then God must give repentance, or changednesse of minde, by which he is e­nabled to believe truth to the glory of God. Now as I have cleared it by Scripture, so I shal cleare it by some considerations;

The first shall be drawne from the promises of God. The promises as they do prove, that man cannot doe any thing by his owne power, but that all is done for us by the power of God, so they prove that all is done for our spi­rituall good by grace. For promises of the new Covenant doe not only acquaint us with the power, but grace of God.

If Adam had beene preserved in his obedi­ence, and never had fallen, he had been preser­ved by the power of God; but not by the grace of God; as grace is strictly taken in the Cove­nant of grace: so that as we have proved, that faith is not of our selves, but from the power of God by leading you to the promiser; so, now we shal prove, that we are saved by grace through faith, by bringing you back again, to look upon pro­mises, as they are the streams & flowings forth of Gods grace unto us. What need God pro­mise to do that which we are able to do of our selves? Therefore seeing we have the promise of grace for it, wee may conclude that it is by grace, & not by any power in our selves. Rom. 15.12, wee have a promise for faith, In him (speaking of Christ) shall the Gentiles trust. So likewise in Jerem. 24.7. We have a promise of God, that hee will give us the knowledge of himselfe. I will give them an heart to know mee, that I am the Lord, and they shall be my people, and [Page 206]I will be their God: and they shall return unto mee with their whole heart. Here God hath promi­sed to give us a heart that we shall know him.

Now seeing God hath promised to give us a heart to know him: therefore I conclude wee are not able to give such a heart to our selves. God hath promised to circumcise our hearts, to take away the fore-skin of our spirits, there­fore wee are not able to circumcise our selves. God hath promised to turne us, therefore wee are not able to turne our selves. Turn us O Lord and we shall be turned, Lam. 5.21. Intimating thus much, that we cannot come towards him, till heeturne the face and countenance of his favour toward us, answering to that in Jer. 31.18, I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning him­selfe, thou hast chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullocke unaccustomed to the yoake: turne thou me, and I shall be turned. And therefore God doth usually mixe promises with exhortations, that man should not conclude from Gods ex­hortations unto him, that there is a sufficient power in him to doe what hee is exhorted to doe, as in Hosea 14. when he had exhorted Isra­elto returne unto the Lord, he presently addeth, vers. 4. I will heale their backesliding. All the Prophets doe subscribe to this truth, Jona 2.9. Salvation is of the Lord by promise. He will teach us his wayes, and we will walke in his paths, saith [Page 207] Micah, Mic. 4 2. and Zeph. 3.12. I will leave in the midst of thee an afflicted and poore people, and they shall trust in the name of the Lord. God will fill his spirituall house or Temple with glory; And I will give peace, saith the Lord of hosts. Hag. 2.9. God will be the glory in the middest of the spirituall Jerusalem, Zech. 2.9. And hee will remove the iniquity of the land in one day, v. 3.9. All these promises are plaine demonstrations of Gods powerfull grace, and mans weakness.

Secondly, we have not only the bare pro­mise, but the Covenant of God, and this Co­venant confirmed and bound by an oath, Mic. 7.20. Thou wilt performe the truth to Jacob, and the mercy to Abraham, which thou hast sworn un­to our Fathers; therefore it is not by any power or worke in our selves. If it be the fruit of the covenant of grace, and God hath covenanted in his grace to doe it for us, then certainly wee are not able to doe it our selves. But God hath covenanted to doe it for us; he hath covenan­ted to write his law in our hearts: The law of faith, as the Apostle calls it, Rom. 5. Therefore we are not able to work faith in our own spi­rits. Why should God tye himselfe in a Co­venant, and binde this Covenant with an oath to doe this for us: if we were able to doe it our selves, why should God doe any thing for his owne names sake, if the creature can do enough [Page 208]to make it selfe happy by his owne strength. In vaine is a Covenant of grace promulgated for mans salvation, and for discovery of this salvation; If man can finde out the way of sal­vation by his owne wisdome, why must Christ guide our feete into the wayes of peace, Luke 1. if of our selves we can find out these ways of life & peace. God hath made it his work, & ther­fore it is not our work wrought by our owne strength. God hath promised saith as a gift freely to be bestowed upon undeserving man, therfore man by the improvement of his parts and labour, cannot purchase it as the reward of his endeavours.

Thirdly, God worketh faith in time accor­ding to his eternall purpose, and decree before time. But the eternall purpose of God, is the purpose of his grace, therefore God worketh faith according to his purpose of grace. The first of these propositions hath beene already proved, the second is evident from 2 Tim. 1.9. So that it is evident that faith floweth from e­ternall grace; and therefore it is not of our selves, but it is the gift of God.

Fourthly, There is nothing can merit or deserve faith in man, before faith is wrought, and therefore it is given as a free gift. This is plaine by Rom. 9.16. It is not of him that wil­leth, nor of him that runneth, but of God that shew­eth [Page 209]mercy, John 1.13. There may be as much in one that shall be damned, as in him that shall be saved before his conversion. Peter did no more to merit, or deserve his first faith, then Iudas did. Gods grace is his rule by which he worketh, in giving faith unto any man, and therefore faith is the gift of God.

Fifthly, Gods designe in justifying a sinner through faith, as hath beene formerly proved, is the magnifying of his owne free love unto the creature in Christ; and therefore hee doth acquaint us, that faith is the free gift of his grace, that so hee may devest the creature of glorying in himself, or in any thing from him­selfe. If the Father should justifie us by grace through faith, and wee should apprehend that our faith were of our selves, there would bee some glorying in our selves. And therefore he doth justifie by grace, through faith, as a fruit, effect, and free gift of his owne grace. So proud we are naturally, that though wee were con­vinced that we were saved by grace, as a gift given unto us; (as almes unto a beggar) yet we should be proud, if wee knew that of our selves we had an hand to receive it, and there­fore God doth not only in his grace give us the gift of eternall life, but the hand by which we receive it. Thus wee are saved by grace through faith, which is the gift of God.

Sixthly, The Apostle saith, that no man can say that Jesus is the Christ, but by the holy Spirit, 1 Cor. 12.3. But by faith we confesse that Je­sus is the Christ, and therefore it doth plainly follow, that it is from the holy Spirit of grace.

The Spirit doth shew, that all things are freely given us of God, 2 Cor. 3.12. And therefore faith is freely given us of God. If e­very thing, then faith. Every good and perfect gift commeth downe from the Father of lights, if we will believe James, Jam. 1.17. And there­fore we must grant that faith is given unto us of God, or else deny it to be a good and perfect gift.

Obj: But some may say, if faith be a gift, why doth our Saviour bid us to buy gold tryed in the fire, that we may be cloathed, that the shame of our nakednesse may not appeare, Rev. 3.18.

Answ. This word buying is taken proper­ly, and so it signifieth the purchasing of some­thing, by some considerable price which is gi­ven for it.

There can be no buying of a thing without some price. (Nulla exemptio sine pretio esse potest. Justinian in stit. lib. 3. Tit. 24.) And in this sence wee cannot buy faith or Christ, having no considerable price to pay for Christ, before we enjoy Christ.

2ly. Buying is taken improperly, Isa. 55.1. [Page 211] Buy wine and milke without money, and without price. And if faith be to be bought, it must be thus bought by us, we have no money or price to part with for faith. And what is thus bought by us, is freely given unto us; So that this objection is too weake to weaken the truth which hath beene delivered. It standeth still unshaken, and unmoveable upon its owne Ba­sis, Faith is the gift of God.

Having proved it sufficiently by these consi­derations, that faith is a gift, I shall draw some usefull conclusions from them, and put a period to my discourse.

First, This overthroweth the meritorious­nesse of the righteousnesse of our owne works qualifications or preparations before faith for the deserving any thing at the hand of God to ingage him to give us faith. What we receive as a free gift, cannot be given us in considera­tion of our merits or deservings.

I shall but touch this, because I have for­merly taken paines to beate downe the Anti­christian monster of Free-will, and merit of workes: which like two twinnes of the same wombe, doe live and dye in the same moment. It is the Lord Jesus must seeke us, before ever we can finde him. And we cannot as we ought desire faith, untill faith be freely bestowed up­on us. Gods free grace doth prevent mans free [Page 212]will. And if God leave us to our selves, and to our owne labours, endeavours, actings, duties, and performances, and doe not come in by the power of his grace upon us, we shall never be able truly, and spiritually to under­stand any thing of free grace. Away then with the foolish conceite of those who cry up the strength of mans will, and his precedent qua­lifications of righteousnesse and holinesse, for the making of some men worthy to close with Christ in a promise of free grace, rather then great sinners.

2ly. This may informe us, that such shall certainly believe, whom God will enable to believe through grace, Acts 18.27. An infinite power is of such strength, that a finite power is not able to resist it: but whatsoever power there is in the creature, by which it may resist the worke of Gods grace, it is but finite, and the grace whereby we are enabled to believe, is infinite, therefore we are not able to resist the infinite power of the grace of God, by which we are enabled to believe. Take the Devill, and all the powers of hell, with all that is in the heart of man, all his sinnes, ignorances, and corruptions, conjoyning their forces to hinder the worke of faith in the spirit of a man, all these together are but a finite pow­er: but when God comes, hee comes with an [Page 213]infinite power, to enable us to believe. Therfore I conclude, that wee are not able to resist the power of God, when hee is determined to give us faith. Faith being the gift of his Almighty power.

But some may here object with the Armini­aus that place of Stephen, Acts. 7.51. Ye stiffe­necked, and uncircumcised in heart and eares, yee have alway resisted the holy Spiri. Here (say they) you see that men have resisted the holy Spirit; therefore God doth not so worke upon men by the power of his grace, that he leaves them altogether unable to resist.

To this I answer, that there is a two-fold power that God puts forth. An ordinary power in the preaching of his Word; when by intreaties, beseeching, and promises, and the like, he allures, and enticeth men in the preaching of the Word, and knocking at the doores of their hearts for entrance. This common worke of the spirit may be resisted, and so all wicked and ungodly men in this sense resist the Spirit of God, and reject the Lord Jesus Christ.

But there is another power of the spirit, and that is that inward spirituall power, by which God comes on those whom he intends to save; thus he comes, not only in the preaching of the Word in the language of man, but in the pow­er [Page 214]of heaven. And though the former worke of the Spirit may be resisted, this latter can­not be resisted. Though wee may reject the Word of God preached in the letter, and some common workings of the spirit in our owne hearts, and not give entertainement to Jesus Christ when hee knockes at the doore of our hearts in the preaching of the Word; yet when it comes downe with power to open the heart, as he did Lydia's; we are not able to prevail a­gainst him, when God intends powerfully to open the doore of our spirits, we are not able to keepe it lockt: he will sweetly force us to o­pen the door, and by his spirit and grace break in upon us, and not suffer us to shut him out of our hearts: and wee are bound to blesse God that it is so; for unlesse it were so, no man in the world should ever be saved, no man in the world should ever receive Christ, unlesse God did come with an infinite power, and pleasing violence force him to believe.

If it were not thus that God did worke this unresistable way in those whom he intends to save, there must of necessity be an uncertain­ty whether ever any man or woman should e­ver be saved by Jesus Christ: For if every man and woman in the world had power to resist grace offered, & not to believe at all, then this must follow, that it might be impossible after [Page 215]the fall, that never a man or woman in the world should ever be saved by Christ. And this absurdity will follow from it, that God after mans fall, could not be certaine that any man should be saved by Christ, and so it would take away the fore-knowledge of God, be­cause he could not know, but that every man in the world might resist & reject Jesus Christ.

Thirdly, This may give in some support to some trembling hearers, who are convinced by the spirit of unbeliefe, and are not able to be­lieve in Jesus Christ. Thou art ready to des­paire, when thou apprehendest, that it is im­possible for thee truly to believe of thy selfe, but let thy spirit be upheld with this considerati­on, that God is able to give thee faith while I am speaking of faith, and shewing thee the worker of it. It may be thou thinkest that thou shalt never have joy, comfort, and assurance of salvation, but by believing, and yet thou are not able to believe, and therefore comfort thy selfe in this, though thou canst doe nothing, God is able to enable thee to doe all things, Phil. 4.13. As the Martyr when some told him that when he came to suffer, he wold rather deny his tenets, then burn. It is true, said he, I of my selfe should doe so: but God is able to enable me. So though thou knowest that thou of thy selfe canst not believe, know that God is [Page 216]able to enable thee presently to believe. Thou that hast had experience of thy unbelieving heart, and of that mountaine of infidelity that lies upon thy spirit, and that thou art able to say, I shall never be able to believe of my selfe while the world stands: know that God is a­blde in this momentt to give thee faith.

Fourthly, This may informe us concerning the nature of true faith; by which it may bee distinguished from the faith of hypocriticall Formalists. The hypocrite not being acquain­ted with his owne disability, for the working of saving faith in his owne heart, doth appre­hend that he can doe the worke of God by himselfe in his own strength; (like the carnall hearers of our Saviour, John 6.28. What shall wee doe, that wee may worke the worke of God) And when he apprehendeth, that he doth be­lieve he gloryeth more in his owne actings, la­bourings, and endeavours, (by which hee conceiveth that he hath obtainned faith) then in the grace of the Lord Jesus; having no spi­ritual knowledg of that faith which is wrought by the Almightines of Gods powerful & irresi­stable grace. But if it is otherwise with a true sonne of Abraham, his faith is of another na­ture, having a spirituall, and heavenly tin­cture in it, from that spirit, by whom it is wrought. He prizeth not his faith of the natu­rall [Page 217]spirit, but the faith of his heavenly spirit. He can set his seale to that truth, of our Savi­our, John 6.65. That no man can come unto him except it were give a unto him of his Father; he is not proud of his faith, because hee looking upon it in the glasse of Gods free grace, doth account it rather Gods worke then his owne. According to that of our Saviour, John 6. This is the worke of God, that ye believe. Vpon which words one of the Ancients hath this observati­on. (Non dixit hoc est opus vestrum, sed hoc est o­pus Dei.) He said not, this is your worke, but the worke of God. Our Saviour speaking to his Disciples, Mar. 4.11. To you (saith he) it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God; but unto them that are without, all those things are done in parables. The Gospell of the Lord Jesus is a mystery and parable unto many, un­till the Lord doth give us the precious gift of faith, by which we understand these mysteries of God: so that he that truly understands the mysterie of the Kingdome, doth look upon his spirituall knowledge as a gift. What is com­pleat and perfect faith? but the gift of God, by which we believe, that all our spirituall good things, and faith it selfe is freely given unto us by God. (Quae est plena et perfecta fides? Quae credit ex Deo et omnia bona nostra, et ipsam fidem. Aug.)

Fifthly, This may convince those of their errour, who being convinced of sinne, do re­fuse to turne into the true way of salvation by believing, supposing in the pride and igno­rance of their hearts, that this is too short and neare a way to Justification and happinesse. These will first doe good workes, get strength against all their corruptions, be made holy & sanctified men, and then they thinke that they may safely make bold to lay hold of some pro­mise of grace for justification and salvation. It was thus with me, when God did at first be­gin to awaken my conscience with the dread­full sight of my sins, and course of prophane­nesse, in which I had lived, and some months I went in this way; never in the spirit, consi­dering that the object of Gods justifying grace was an ungodly man and a sinner, and not knowing that spirituall regeneration is not by the workes of the Law, but the doctrine of the Gospel, though I could then in a carnall way (as many blind Protestants now can) have spo­ken and preached more gloriously with theto­ricall words and flourishing expressions of ju­stification by faith, without workes, then now I can, or will. But as God, who from all eter­nity, had singled me out unto salvation by Je­sus Christ, was pleased to convince mee of my ignorance, and to bring mee to rest upon his [Page 219]grace in his sonne, as a poore wretched sinner, enabling me to believe that my sins were blot­ted out for his owne Names sake, though my sins did testifie against me. So these who are in the same condition, in which I then was, if they are in the number of those, whom God hath given unto his sonne Jesus Christ, shall be convinced, that by faith through Christ wee have accesse to the Throne of grace with bold­nesse, and that faith is not given in considera­tion of any preceding acts of holinesse, or san­ctification, but as the free gift of our heavenly Father. That they who have thus erred in spirit, Isa. 29.24. may come unto understanding, and such who have murmured against the truth of Gods grace, may learn doctrine. Give me leave briefly to lay downe some convincing considerations, which may bring to your remembrance those things which we have more fully handled.

1 Consi. The word and promises which we doe enjoy, are free gifts of Gods favour. What reason can we give, why we should enjoy the outward meanes of grace, rather then Ameri­cans, but his owne free grace, Psalm. 147.19. He sheweth his word unto Jacob, his statutes and his judgements unto Israel. It is the Lord that bringeth the externall meanes and word of grace as a gift (more worth then the whole world) unto a people. According to that [Page 220]sweet promise of God, Ezek. 29.21. I will give thee the opening of the mouth in the midst of them. The great and precious promises by the belie­ving of which, we are made partakers of the divine nature, are freely given unso us, 2 Pet. 1.4.

2 Consi. The power of God doth make the difference between men who doe enjoy the out­ward means, 2 Pe. 1.3. His divine power hath given us all things, that pertaine unto life and godlinsse, through the knowledge of him who hath called us to glory and vertue. If God did put forth that om­nipotent power in all, which he doth in some, who heare the Gospell, all as well as some should believe, 1 Cor. 3.7. Neither he that plan­teth is any thing, neither be that watereth: but God that giveth the encreasse. Upon which words one giveth us this observation. As all things which are planted and watered, do not spring up, thrive, and prosper, but those whom God doth blesse; So all men who are planted in the Church of Ghrist, and watered by the preaching of the Word, doe not truly believe, but those upon whom God bestoweth faith. (Nec omnium est fides, qui audiunt verbum, sed quibus deus partitur mensuram fidei, sicut nec om­nia germinant quae plantantur, et rigantur.) But I have touched upon this before.

3. Consi. Gods good grace doth prevent mans good workes in his justification. God [Page 221]in his grace must give us a new creation & hea­venly being in his word made flesh, 1 Joh. be­fore good workes can be wrought by us. (Si­cut creatore opus habemus ut essemus, sic salvatore, ut revivisceremus. Aug.) As it was necessary that wee should have a Creator to give us be­ings, as creatures, so it is necessary that wee should have a Saviour to make us new crea­tures through faith.

4 Consi. Gods grace doth not only prevent our works, but faith it self: Faith is an effect of Gods grace, and therefore God is gravious be­fore we beleeve. It is a blessing of the new Co­venant, and therefore in this respect it may be truly said, that we are under the new Cove­nant before we do believe. By which we may plainly see that faith is a free gift. Mercy is shewed unto the faithfull, and it is shewed un­to us to make us faithfull. (Fideli datur qui­dem miser ecordia, sed data est etiam, ut esset fide­lis. Aug.) One saith that mercy was shewed unto Paul, not only because he was faithfull, but that he might be faithfufull. The Apostle to prove the freenesse of grace in bestowing faith as a gift upon us, hath these three expres­sions within the limits of three verses, Rom. 5.15, 16, 17. ( [...]) calling faith a gift, and a gift of grace, and a gift of grace for righteousnesse.

[Page 222]5. Consi. There is no way to happinesse for thee, but by grace, and no closing in any sure or comfortable way with grace, but through faith. We are all condemned by the Law, and there is no escaping for us, but by that pardon which the King of Heaven in the prerogative of his grace doth give unto us, and no way for us to be able to read our pardon, unlesse God teach us. And therefore God hath pro­mised, Isa. 14.3. To give us rest from our sorrow, feare and hard bondage, with grace, Psal. 84.11. knowledge, Ezek. 29.21. Faith, Rom. 11.26. Strength and peace, Psalm. 29.11. Wherefore let us be willing to receive Christ by faith, and to receive faith as a gift. God must cloath thee with his Sonne, and give thee faith to put him on. Refuse not this glorious garment, because God will give it thee freely. But bee contented to be made partaker of Christ and faith, according to Gods own pleasure. Think not with Simon Magus, to buy the gifts of the Spirit, faith is a free gift. God will not sell a Diamond for dung. Faith is a precious Dia­mond in a Christians crown, workes before faith, but dung, Phil. 3. Cease then from thin­ling by thine owne workes to purchase that faith, which God doth intend freely to give unto men, because men can give no considera­ble price for it. Make no more words in bar­gaining [Page 223]with God for faith. He will give unto him that is athirst, of the fountain of the water of life freely, Rev. 21.6. Let no man be kept back by his old age, or sinnes, from hoping to ob­taine salvation through faith. While we are in this world, no repentance is too late; there is a way to mercy. (Nec quisquam aut peccatis re­tardebitur aut annis ad salutem consequendam. In isto adhuc mundo manenti, paenitentia nulla sera est. Patet ad indulgentiam additus. Ciprian.)

Object. But if faith be such a free gift, why doth not God give the same measure of faith unto all believers.

Answ. Hee may doe what hee will with his owne. He may give him the greatest measure of faith, who deserves faith lest, Ephes. 4.7. Ʋnto every one of us is given faith, according to the measure of the gift of Christ. As a man that giveth measures of wheate freely to beggars, may give one more, and another lesse, with­out doing any wrong. So God may measure forth faith unto us largely, according to his owne will, without wronging those who have done more for him, and receive lesse. We have no cause to complaine or murmure against God, because hee is abundantly gracious to whom he pleaseth; but should rather admire his free grace. And seeing faith, with eve­ry act and degree of it, is a gift of unmerited [Page 224]grace, let us who doe believe, waite for the en­crease of faith, as a gift, ceasing from our own workes, understanding, and abilities. Yet here lest I should be mistaken, let me adde this caution. That we should not neglect Gospel­duties, by hearing of Gospel-promises. Pro­mises should not prove occasions of sloth to to the faithfull, but should be arguments and incentives to spirituall activity, 2 Cor. 7.1. Ha­ving these promises, let us cleanse our selves from all filthiuesse, &c.

Seventhly, Let us prize faith as a gift; wee prize gifts, because there is usually some preci­ousnesse and goodnesse in them, or else for the givers sake. Faith is precious in it selfe, 1 Pet. 1.1. Gods gifts have something of his owne goodnesse in them, and faith is to be prized because it is from him. It is said of Elkanah that he gave portions to Peninnah, and her sonnes and daughteas: but unto Hannah he gave a wor­thy portion, for he loved her, 1 Sam. 1.4, 5. So God doth give portions to the men of the world, but his worthy portion of love to his Saints, through faith, and therefore prize it. Imitate those blessed soules, who have shewed unto us by their good examples, how they pri­zed faith, who were contented to part rather with their honours, pleasures, riches, preser­ments, yea their owne lives then the faith of [Page 225]the glorious Gospel of Christ. They loved not their lives unto the death, Rev.

8ly. Faith is a great gift, which if thou hast it, thou knowest that thou hast freely received it. (Fides magnum aliquid est, quam sihabes profecto, accepisti. Aug.) And therefore look up unto God, for wretched, unbelieving creatures think that they may receive faith as a gift which they will never be able to deserve as a reward. This may strengthen faith much when we are before the Throne of grace, beg­ging faith for poore sinners, if wee consider that faith is a free gift. Jeremiah made use of such an argument to strengthen his faith, Jer. 14.7. Though our iniquities doe testifie against us, doe for thy Names sake. O the happinesse of those who are acquainted with free grace, they may expect all things for themselves and others, as free gifts to be given unto them, though they can expect nothing as deserved wages.

Lastly, Give glory to God for his unspca­kable grace in giving faith unto thee. My faith O Lord, saith one, hath called upon thee, which thou hast given unto mee, and which thou hast inspired into me. (Invouavit te do­mine, fides mea quam dedisti mihi, quam inspirasti mihi. Aug. Cons.) So blesse God with that faith, and for that faith which God hath free­ly given thee. The Sonne of God hath given [Page 226]us an understanding to know God, 1 Joh. 5.20. And this knowledg is the gift of faith. (Quid aliud est fides, quam vera de Deo cognitio. Cyp.) And therefore blesse God in the Sonne for this faith. Thou mightest have laine in the darke dungeon of an unbelieving heart to this day, and thou art brought into the wonderful light of the liberty of the Gospell through faith. The Soune hath made thee free, and thou art free indeed by believing. Be free in rendring largely the tribute of praise to him, who through faith hath knocked off the shackles & fetters of bondage from thy soule. Give thy selfe to him who hath given himselfe and his Sonne to thee through faith. And begin to live the heavenly life of glory, in giving glory and praise to him, who hath given thee the glory of union with himselfe in his Sonne, through faith, Joh. 17. Give praise to the King of Zion, who hath redeemed thee to God by his own blood, and made thee a King and Priest, and hath assured thee that thou shalt reigne upon the earth. Say of faith, and all the gifts of his Spirit, as Iacob of his children, these are children which God hath graciously given unto his servant. Ascribe nothing to thy selfe, but all to him from whom are all things. Crye with a loud voyce; Salvation to our God which sitteth upon the Throne, and to the Lambe; and sing in faith [Page 227]with all Saints who love Christ in sincerity, Revel. 6.12. Blessing, and Glory, and Wisedome, and Thankesgiving, and Honour, and Power, and Might, be unto our God for ever and ever, Amen.

SERMON VI.
The Heaven-borne man sinneth not.

1 JOHN 3.9.‘Whosoever is born of God doth not commit sin: for his seed remaineth in him, and he cannot sin, because he is born of God.’

GOd in his grace hath shined into my spirit, by reading of these words, which hath inclined my spirit to speake from these words. The truths of Christ are likely to prove powerfull upon the hearts of the hearers, when they are seconded with the experience of the [Page 228]speaker. I am therefore emboldned to ac­quaint you with the truth, which is wrapt up in these words: though I know that there are many adversaries and opposers of this truth, 2 Cor. 4.13. We believe, & therefore we speak, saith the Apostle. So I doe in spirit belive what I shall speake, and therefore I am resolved to speake it forth plainly, and you are engaged to heare me patiently.

The words are a conclusion drawn from pre­ceding premises. In the precedent words the Apostle delivered two propositions.

First, That hee, that committeth sinne is of the Devill.

Secondly, That Christ hath appeared to de­stroy the workes of the Devill; from whence he concludeth, that he which is born of God can­not sin, not having his being in the Devill; but in Christ, who destroyeth sin.

In this verse, there are these particular ob­servations, which at the first view may present themselves unto us.

  • 1. A character of a true Christian. He is one who is borne of God.
  • 2. The property of this man who is borne of God. He doth not commit sin.
  • 3. A reason why he cannot commit sin, to wit, because his seed remaineth in him.
  • 4. His purity. He doth not only, not com­mit [Page 229]sinne, but he sinneth not at all.
  • 5. This asserted by laying down the impos­sibility of his sinning, [...]. He cannot possi­bly sinne.
  • 6. This is further proved by his excellent & glorious condition. He cannot sin, because he is borne of God.

First. From the person who is here spoken of, The man who is borne of God. We may take notice of the folly and Bedlam-madnesse of some, who would be accounted professors and Preachers of a spirituall Gospel, whose Gospel and mystery of error doth make the man born of God, to be God. Confounding the glori­ous nature of the Father, Word, and Spirit, with the new Creature. The Apostle doth plainly overthrow this Bedlam-Divinity by these expressions. In which hee doth make a difference between God, and the man who is born of him. That which is born of God, is borne in time. But God is from eternity. And therefore that which is born of God cannot be God.

The place which they pervert is in the 1 Cor. 6.17. He which is joyned to the Lord is one spirit.

Answ. Christ, and the man joyned unto him are one, not by confounding of the person of Christ, with the person of a Believer, but by the union of these two in the Spirit. As the [Page 230]members are one with the head, and yet the head is not the members, nor the members the head.

Secondly, In this objection as they destroy the personall being of a Believer, so they de­stroy the personall being of Christ; as he is the Word made flesh. There Christ is nothing but God; they apprehending that Christ hath offered up his humane nature, wisedome and righteousnesse, as things of the first creation; and that hee hath no being now but in spirit, which they call Christ in the Spirit, the spiri­tuall man, or God. I shall therefore in few words deliver the truth of God, concerning the man who is born of God.

This phrase is taken first largely, and so eve­ry Creature may be said to be of God, because every creature is the workmanship of God, and hath its being from God. And in this sence all wicked men are called the Off-spring of God, Acts 17.28. [...]

Secondly, It is taken strictly. And so it is to be understood not of those who have their be­ing from God by creation, but by spirituall re­generation. And thus it is here taken, and in o­ther places, John 3.5. Except a man be borne of water & the Spirit, he cannot enter into the king­dome of God. John 1 13. In this sence neither God, Christ, or the Spirit are the new man, or [Page 231] the man born of God. But the speciall and graci­ous presence of God through Christ by the spirit doth make a man a new Creature, 1 Cor. 1.30. John 1.13. 2 Cor. 5.17. If any man is in Christ, he is a new Creature. He doth not say that if any man is in Christ, that then hee is Christ, or that Christ is the new creature, but that man who is in Christ, he is the new crea­ture. Having shewed you who the new man, or the man born of God, is, who is here spo­ken of, and freed the Text from famelisticall blasphemies. I shall desire that you may be ac­quainted with this truth.

Every true Saint is a man born of God.

1 Consid. It will not advantage a man to make a profession of Christ, and to submit to all the outward Ordinances of Christ, unlesse a man be made a new creature by Christ, Gal. 6.15. In Christ Jesus neither Circumcision avai­leth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new crea­ture. We must be borne againe, or else it had been better for us never to have been borne. Christ will not own any for his, or approve them as his Disciples, whatsoever profession they doe make of him, unlesse he be formed in them, 2 Cor. 13.5. Know ye not that Jesus Christ is in you, except ye be unapproved. They are the Devils children, who are not borne of God, John 8.44.

[Page 232]2 Consid. God hath engaged himselfe in the Covenant of grace, that those who are his, shall be borne of him, Ezek. 36.26. A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you, and will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and give you an heart of flesh. As a Carver when he maketh an Image, doth begin at the outside of the Timber, and cuts & shaves and smooths that. So hypocrites doe begin at the outside, and doe smooth themselves in their outward conversation to men-ward. And so there is but an image insteed of a new creature. But true Saints are made new in­wardly. Some say that the heart is the first thing which hath life. (Cor est primum vivens.) It is true, in the new creation, God doth give unto the vessels of his grace new hearts, Rom. 10.10. With the heart man believeth unto righte­ousnesse. Jer. 32.39.

3. Consid. Men who are not borne of God, cannot haue fellowship with God. If we say that we have fellowship with him, and walk in darknesse, welye, 1 John 1.6. But true Saints have fellow­ship with the Father, and his Sonne Jesus Christ, 1 John 1.3. And therefore they are borne of God.

4 Consid. God is to be known, served, and worshipped by true Saints: but we cannot truly know him, serve or worship him, so long as we are old creatures, in the state of nature, and [Page 233]therefore it cannot be denyed, that true Saints are borne of him. An old creature is spiritually dead, and cannot see God. A dead creature cannot performe the actions of a living crea­ture. And a sinner cannot serve the living God, and performe that spirituall worship which God doth require of those who are quickned to spirituall worship by Jesus Christ.

5. Consid. The new Heaven and the new Earth is only provided for new creatures: but it is provided for Saints, and they expect it, 2 Pet. 3.13. And therefore they are borne of God. Mat. 19.28. Our Saviour saith, that such who have followed him in the regeneration, shall sit upon Thrones. The Saints are translated out of the Kingdome of the world into the kingdome of grace, by spirituall regeneration, and there­fore they shall be translated from the Kingdome of grace, into the Kingdome of glory. By these considerations it is evident, that true Saints are borne of God.

Ʋse. Let us not try our Saint-ship by our large professions of Christ, and subjection to such things which we apprehend to be his Or­dinances for externall worship; but by our new creation. It concerneth every man to be tho­rowly assured of his heavenly birth, who would make his claime good for heaven and glory; and be assured that he shall escape the dam­nation [Page 234]of Hell. As our Saviour said of Judas, Mat. 26.24. That it had been good for him, he had not been borne. So it had been good for us that we had never been borne, if wee shall live and dye professors of the knowledge of God in Christ, and not dye possessors of God in Christ by the new creation. Consider therefore.

  • 1. That every change or alteration which may be wrought in a man, doth not make him a Sonne of God by spirituall regeneration. Morall principles may make a great change in a man. And Pharisaicall principles may make a man seeme to be very religious, to himselfe and others. But the Pharisees proselite is farre enough from a true Convert. And except our righteousness exceed the righteousness of the Scribes and Pharisees, we cannot enter into the Kingdome of God. We may walke farre in the way of the Law, and performance of duties, to make our selves new creatures, and the Sonnes of God by our own righteousnesse and legall reforma­tion, and may at last stumble at Christ, and never come to know what it is to be borne of God.
  • 2. A man may take a long walke in the pa [...] of the Gospell, and may after a sort escape the pollutions of the world by Gospel-principles and may taste of the powers of the world to come, & in the conclusion may sit down short [Page 235]of a new creation here, and glory hereafter, 2 Pet. 2.20. Hebr. 6. Never truly knowing what it is to have the Spirit in him, and him­selfe in the Spirit, God in him, and himselfe in God, Christ in him, and himselfe in Christ.

Quer. But by what meanes is a man born of God may some one say, seeing it concerneth us to know that we are born of God, and it is so easie to be mistaken.

It is not by the law, by that thou maist have a knowledge of sin, Rom. 7. but canst ne­ver receive a new life. The law bringeth forth servants, not sons, Ishmaelites, not true Israe­lites, Gal. 4.

Secondly, Those who are borne of God, are children of the Gospell, not by the workes of the law, but by the hearing of faith wee are made new creatures. In this Ministery God by his Spirit through faith in his Sonne maketh new creatures. Nothing in nature can beethe cause of it selfe, so nothing in the new creation can be the cause of it selfe. There must be a Fa­ther before there can be a Sonne. God there­fore through faith in his Sonne is the cause of this new creation. In this Ministery God doth not speak only by letters and syllables, but by his eternall Word and Spirit. Our soules are purified in the obedience of the truth of the Gospel, unto unfeigned love of the Brethren, [Page 236]1 Pet. 1.22, 23. And are borne againe not of cor­ruptible seed, but of incorruptible, by the Word of God which liveth and abideth for ever. In this Ministry of life and salvation, we have an eye to see the olde man crucified in the suffering of Christ, Rom. 6.6. That benceforth we should not serve sin. In this Ministery wee see Christ as that new man which maketh all things new, 2 Corin. 5. The olde Adam stood as a publique person to bring shame, sinne, and sorrow upon his poste­rity; so Christ the second Adam, publique per­son, and new man, by whom we are renewed, doth bring holy boldnesse, righteousnesse, and joy. Adam communicated his sinfull nature to us, so Christ doth communicate his divine na­ture unto us, with those fruits and effects of the spirit, which are contrary to the nature of the old man; Uniting us unto himselfe, and be­comming a principle of life to us and in us. And as one saith of generation, that it doth not consist in the production of a new form, but in the union of the form to the matter. (Generatio non consistit in prodactione sed unitione formae, cum materia) So spiritual regeneration is not by the production of a new forme, but by the uni­on of the forme to the matter. By uniting Christ, who is as the forme to man who is the matter of the new creature. And as wee say that the generation of one thing is the corruption [Page 237]or destruction of another thing; so in spi­rituall regeneration the old man is destroyed, Gal. 5.24. They that are Christs, have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts. O how is the man placed in the uppermost roome of ho­nour, and highest seat of happinesse, who is spiritually acquainted with this truth. Hee o­vercommeth the world by believing that Jesus is the Sonne of God, 1 John 5.1. He admireth the inexpressible love of God, by which bee is be­come the Sonne of God, 1 John 3.1. He is borne to possesse the unsearcheable riches of Gods grace. He is born to inherit large possessions, & a golrious inheritance, being joynt heir with Christ, Ro. 8.17. Hee is bigher by his birth, then the Sons of Kings and Emperours. Christ & he are of one, & therfore he is not ashamed to cal him Brother, Heb. 2.11. And now hee begins to resolve to live like himselfe, to live answerable to his condition of glory and honour, unto which God of his grace hath brought him. He wil live as one who hath hopes full of immor­tality. He wil put on Christ in his conversation, as he hath put him on in his free justification. A King will not stoope to the earth to take up farthings, as a beggar will, nor meddle with such mean businesses and employments, in which men of meane condition doe exercise themselves. So hee will not stoop in spirit to [Page 238]the love of the things of the world, which are but as a farthing to the things of glory and e­ternity. Hee will not follow worldly busi­nesse, as though hee had no other employ­ment. His conversation is in Heaven, Phil. 3. He is one of the Chosen generation, and royall Priest­hood, boly Nation, and peculiar People, and there­fore is resolved to shew forth the praises of him who hath called him out of darknesse, into his mar­vellous light, 1 Pet. 2.9. from impurity to ho­linesse, from a disgracefull and reproachfull condition, to honour and favour; from vassa­lage to a kingdome; from feare of death, to as­surance of eternall life; from hell to heaven; from horror of conscience, to joy in believing; from a dunghill, to a Throne; from everlast­ing wrath, to never-ending glory, and immor­tality. I might speak more fully of this, con­cerning wch no man can speak sufficiently. But my intention was not to speak of this, but ra­ther of that wch is principally intended in the words, to shew you the sinlesse condition of the man which is borne of God. And therefore give me leave, to leave this point, that I may briefly open the words which follow in the Text, that so I may draw the marrow and substance of them into a short conclusion, the illustration, confirmation, and amplification of which, by the grace of God shall be the sub­ject of my ensuing discourse. [Page 239]I doe finde that the godly-learned doe not a­gree in their expositions of these words. I shall therefore acquaint you with their severall ex­positions, and shall enlarge my thoughts in the amplifying of that which I doe apprehend in truth, to be the meaning of the Apostle in these words.

First, Some say that he cannot commit sin. That is (Non potest operam dare peccato.) He can­not make sin his work, trade, or employment, and this is a truth. The rode of prophanesse and wilfull sinning, hath never been the way in the which the Saints have walked. Their path is the path of purity and uprightnesse. But this doth not seeme to be the meaning of the Spirit in this place. For the Apostle doth not only say, that he cannot commit sin; but hee cannot sin.

Secondly, Others say, that he cannot commit sin, as a servant of sin. As though our Saviours words were a sufficient exposition of these, Joh. 8.34. Whosoever committeth sinne, is a servant of sin. ( [...]) He doth not doe sin as his worke, as a servant doth work by the ap­pointment and commandement of his Master. I question not the truth of this. Sinne shall not have dominion, where Christ is Lord and Ma­ster in the soule. He taketh our soules in unto himselfe by conquest, and will not suffer those [Page 240]who commanded us before his conquest to rule over us, now he hath subdued them. As a con­quering King will not suffer conquered Rebels to command his Subjects. But the Apostle doth not seeme to drive only at this, because as it hath been observed, he saith afterwards, that he cannot sin.

Thirdly, Some say that he cannot sinne, be­cause he cannot commit the unpardonable sin. And these goe as far as the end of the Epistle, for an exposition, Chap. 5.17.18. All iniqui­ty is sinne, and there is a sinne not unto death. Wee know that whosoever is borne of God sinneth not, But hee that is borne of God keepeth himselfe and the wicked one toucheth him not. Thus they affirme that he sinneth not, because hee sinneth not unto death. This which they say is likewise an undenyable truth in it selfe: but not all, that the Apostle intendeth in these words. Which will evidently appear if we look seriously upon the precedent words. Where the Apostle doth set downe the Antithesis and opposition, be­tween the man borne of God, and the naturall man. And doth make this the characteristical difference between the man borne of God, and the man of the Devill, vers. 6, 7, 8. That the one doth sinne, and the other doth not sinne. Every one that abideth in him sinneth not; & he that sinneth hath not known him, or seene him. And as [Page 241]no man will say that the difference in this place between the carnall and spirituall man is this. That the one doth not commit the unpardo­nable sinne, and the other doth. For then this absurdity will necessarily follow, that every carnall man doth commit the unpardonable sin. For the Apostle saith, that every carnal man is of the Devill, and sinneth, (that is, against the holy Ghost, if we take their exposition.) So no man may affirme that this is the meaning of these words (which are laid downe in way of opposition to the precedent) that he that com­mitteth not sin, doth not commit the unpar­donable sin, for then this absurdity will follow that every man who committeth not the un­pardonable sin, is born of God. And this is e­vident by the subsequent words, where he saith, vers. 10. That in this the children of God, and the children of the Devill are manifessed. To wit, that the one doth not commit sin, and the other doth commit sin. Take the words accor­ding to their exposition, and this is the sence of them. In this the Saihts and carnall men are distinguished, that the Saints doe not commit the unpardonable sin, and that all carnall men doe commit the unpardonable sin. Of the ab­surdity of which tenet, contrariety to Scrip­ture and daily experience. I leave the spirituall man a judge.

[Page 242]4. Others say that he sinneth not. That is in his justified state and condition he sinneth not. Because he is free from sin, and the condemna­tion of the Law. And this is a truth likewise full of comfort and sweetnesse. That the belie­ver or man borne of God doth not sin in refe­rence to justification. Their meaning is, that there is no sin from which a believer is not ju­stified. But the Apostle doth not speake only of this, for he speaketh of his working of righ­teousnesse by love, in this place, and through the whole Epistle, as well as of believing. And of such workes which Saints are to doe, by which they may be justified before men; as these men doe grant themselves, and therefore this is not to be taken so strictly in reference to our justification through faith only. As these words do declare it sufficiently. Every one that worketh not righteousnesse, is not of God, and hee that loveth not his brother, vers. 10.

Doth he pray for such, whom he thought were no where to be found, or for all true Saints whom he did know did love the Lord Jesus in corruption.

Reply. If they be considered as they ought to be done, so they are not evill: but as they be done by us. So the holy Ghost is not af­fraid to call them menstruous rags, even our very righteousnesse, not our old man only, Isa. 64.6. [Page 243]from the better part. And therefore the Scrip­ture doth call us Saints, or holy men, Ephes. 1. [...] because we are spiritually regenerated or made new creatures, though much of the flesh doth remaine in the best of us. And this I doe apprehend to be the meaning of God in this place. So Cajetan upon the words: Hee doth (saith he) understand it formally, that is in as much as he is borne of God; for our new crea­tion from God doth not suffer us to sin. (Intel­ligit formaliter, hoc est, quatenus ex Deo natus. Nativitas enim ex Deo non dat peccare.) So like­wise that faithfull Martyr Tyndall speaketh in the opening of these words. God and the De­vill are two contrary Fathers, two contrary fountaines, two contrary causes; the one of all goodnesse, the other of all evill. And they that doe evill are borne of the Devill, and are first evill by that birth, before they doe evill. And on the other side, they that doe good, are first borne of God, and receive of his nature and seed, and by the reason of that nature and seed, are first good, before they doe good by the same rule. And Christ who is con­trary to the Devill, came to destroy the works of the Devill in us, and to give us a new birth, a new nature, and to sow new seed in us, that we should by reason of that birth sinne no more. And he hath a paralell place to this in [Page 244]the same exposition of this Epistle. As there is no sin (saith he) in Christ the stock, so can there be none in the quicke members that live and grow in him by faith. Calvin in his instruction a­gainst the Libertines, bringing in this place of John as an argument of theirs, to prove that they doe never sin, doth answer them by this exposition of the words. Johns words doe sig­nifie nothing else but this; That a man as farre as he is regenerated of God, cannot sin. (Jo­hannis verba nihil aliud significant, quam homi­nem, quatenus regeneratus est a Deo, non peccare.) I might multiply Authors, speaking sometimes to this purpose: but for my part I doe not ap­prove this way of Preaching, or frequent quo­ting of Authors in Sermons (yet sometimes I am necessitated unto it: and for the hardnesse of hearts of hearers, doe thinke that some­thing may be done in this way for the gaining of them in unto truth. As Amesius doth deli­ver his judgment in his cases of conscience. But secondly, I must professe ingenuously, that most men whom I might bring in, to speake to this truth, doe seeme to contradict in other places of their writings, what they have delivered concerning this truth. And therefore I shall only bring Scripture to prove what I doe desire to defend for the truth of God, knowing that Scripture is sufficient of it self for the confirma­tion [Page 245]of truth. And that the judgements and o­pinions of all the learned men that ever were, or shall be, are nothing at all without it. As David said of the sword of Goliah, 1 Sam. 21.9. There is none like that. So no sword or bow of men is like unto the Scripture, by which er­rour is hewen down, and truth exalted. Wher­fore I shall give you more fully my plaine and naked meaning in this point, and then shall shew you what Scripture will come in, to beare witnesse to the truth which I have received from the Lord.

First, We are to take notice, that man in Scripture is considered physically, as he hath a rationall spirit joyned to an humane body. And when we thus speake of man, wee doe ac­knowledge that every man sinneth, Lot, David, Peter, Paul, and the like; according to that of James, Jam. 3.2. In many things we offend all.

Secondly, We may looke upon man theolo­gically. And if we thus consider him, [...] shall finde that in a spirituall sense; every Christian man hath two men in him, a new man, and and an olde man: and these two of contrary natures and operations. And as sometimes we speake of a man as having two physicall beings in him, and doe attribute unto him what is proper to his corporall and spirituall part, as when we say a man heareth, seeth, walketh, [Page 246]understandeth, and the like, And then again, doe distinguish these two, attributing to the body what is proper to the body, and to the soule what is proper to the soule. So somtimes the Scripture doth speak of man as having two contrary natures, and then doth againe attri­bute that to the new or divine nature, which is proper unto that, and that unto the sinfull and fleshly nature which is proper unto it. In the olde and unregenerated nature there is no­thing but sin, and the seed and spawn of all fil­thinesse and uncleannesse. And in the regenera­ted part or new man, there is nothing but pu­rity and holinesse. In this nature he doth not sin, nor cannot sin, as he cannot doe good in the other nature. So that I apprehend that the man borne of God is not sinfull in his na­ture, or in any of his actings, workings, or o­perations. Hee is light in his understanding, holy in his will, pure in his thoughts, sanctifi­ed in his affections. It is well observed by Bul­linger, That God doth allude to the nature o [...] seede; the nature of which is retained by those things which spring out of it. (Alludit ad se­minis naturam, quam ea referunt, quae ex eo nas­cuntur.) The seed being holy, that which ariseth from it is likewise holy, as our Saviour doth in­forme us, John 3.6. That which is borne of the­flesh, is flesh, and that which is borne of the spirit i [...] [Page 247]spirit. Not that the new-born man is wholly turned into the eternall spirit, and is nothing else but the spirit, as some deluded, and delu­ding soiries have affirmed: but the abstract is taken for the concrete, which manner of speech is very frequent in Scripture. That which is borne of the Spirit, is said to be spirit, because it is made spirituall by the presence of the holy Spirit in it.

Having acquainted you with my meaning, and given you the spirituall interpretation of the words. I shall draw the marrow and sub­stance of the particulars which I named, into one Conclusion, which I shall endeavour to make good by spirituall arguments which I shall draw from Scripture and spirituall reason. The conclusion is this.

The spiritual man, or the man born of God, in his spirituall and godly nature, motions, & actings towards God in Christ, doth not, nor cannot sin.

Arg. 1. His seed is holy in him, therefore his fruit is holy; this is the argument of the Apostle. His seed abideth in him, and therefore he cannot sin. Christ is the seed in us, 1 Pet. 1.23. Every true Christian can say with Paul, Gal. 2.20. That Christ liveth in him; and Christ in us doth not suffer us to live sinfully, but maketh us to live holily, he becomming the principle of an [Page 248]holy life and sanctification in us. A Christian is powerfully acted by an holy principle, and therefore his actings are holy. Christ is a pure fountaine of holinesse in us, as well to fill our souls with the streames of holinesse by the Spi­rit, as to wash away the uncleaness of our souls in our Justification. And this fountaine cannot send forth at the same place sweet water and bitter, Jam. 3.11. The streames doe retaine the pure nature of the fountain from whence they flow.

(Reader, I must inform thee, that since I Prea­ched this Sermon, I received objections from my learned friend Mr. R. L. against my arguments, which I thought good to print with my Argu­ments.)

Ob. Against this argument this is objected. The argument from the seed to the fruit wil not follow, unlesse the soyl be also answerable, o­therwise sorry fruit may come from good seed.

Answ. As there is good seed, so there is a good soile, the spirituall heart, and therefore the argument will follow. This I prove, Ezek. 36.26, A new heart will I give you, and a new spirit will I put within you; and I will take away the stony heart out of your flesh, and will give you an heart of flesh. And I will put my Spirit with­in you, and cause you to walke in my Statutes, and [Page 249]ye shall keepe my judgements, and doe them. The new heart of flesh is a good soile. And because God doth promise his Spirit, and a new heart, therefore see what shall follow? the good fruit spoken of: We shall keep his judgements, and doe them.

Arg. 2. God cannot be the Author & wor­ker of that which is sin: but God doth professe himselfe to bee the Author of good workes wrought in the Saints, and therefore these workes are not sin, Isa. 26.12. The Saints doe profes that God hath wrought all their works in them. And this likewise is the argument of the Apostle, who doth prove that doing of e­vill is sinne, because it is of the Devill; and that working of righteousnesse is good, because it is of God.

Object. These things are not sinne in their whole morall nature: but (per accidens) by ac­cident through the defect of some circum­stance.

Answ. Every morall action commanded or forbidden of God, is either good or evill; If these are good, and no sinne, then I have what I contend for; If evill, acquit God from being the author of evill, who doth professe himselfe to be the Author of these things, in oppositi­on to Satan, and his workes. If you say that they are neither good nor evill, or both good [Page 250]and evill, and prove it by Scipture, I shall hear­ken unto you: But you say they are sin by ac­cident; and if they are so by accident, they are sin, and still you make God the Author of sin; but I affirme that they are neither sin in their nature, nor by accident, but good, and there­fore untill you prove what you say, I doe not see but that my argument is unshaken by this objection.

Object. 2. Faith and love in their whole mo­rall abstract nature are not sin, but considered in the Concrete, and acted by us.

Answ. The Apostle doth speake of them in the Concrete as acted by us, and doth bid us try our selves by our faith, love, and working of righteousnesse, and saith, vers. 19. That hereby we assure our selves before God, there­fore this distinction is of no validity in this place, though some thinke that it will answer all our arguments.

Argu. 3. The olde man, and the new man are distinguished by their contrary natures and operations. But if the new man were sinfull, and his operations sinfull. The new man would be confounded with the old man, who is sin­full in himselfe and his operations: but this is contrary to Scripture. The old man is corrupt according to deceitfull lusts: but the new man after God is created in righteousnesse and true holi­nesse, [Page 251]Eph. 4.22.24. And speaking of these in the Concrete, as in us, Eph. 5.8, 9. he saith to them; Ye were sometimes darknesse: but now are ye light in the Lord, walke as children of the light. For the fruit of the Spirit is in all goodnesse, and righteousnesse, and truth.

Argu. 4. Those works which are commen­ded by Jesus Christ for good works, are good works: but the workes of the Saints are com­mended for good works, therefore they are good, Revel. 2.2. Our Saviour saith, that he knoweth the workes of the Angel of the Church of Ephesus, and his labour and patience; that is, he approveth or commendeth his workes, and so Rev. 3.8. It would be a disparagement to the judgment of Christ to commend sin or sinfull works, for good workes: And therefore I con­clude, that they were good works. And by consequence that the works wch are wrought by a man borne of God, are good works.

Obj. They were washed from their pollution in the blood of the Lamb.

Answ. When we speak of the new man and his works, we look not upon him or his works, but in Jesus Christ. And thus he is washed from all the sins of the flesh, and the works of God in us are well pleasing unto God the worker, through Jesus Christ, through whom hee did work them in us.

Arg. 5. Christ doth not present that which is sinne or sinfull to the Father to be accepted: but he presenteth our workes, 1 Pet. 2.5. Wee offer up spirituall sacrifice acceptable to God by Je­sus Christ. If Christ did present any work that were sinfull, he might present our sinful works. It is evident therefore, that there is something which is good which is presented, as well as something in us which is sinfull, which is for­given. (Malum ex quolibet defectu.) The lesse de­fect doth make a thing evil; and if there be such a defect in the work of the man who is born of God to make it sin and evill; what reason can any man give from Scripture, why every sinne should not be presented and accepted as well as those sins which they call good works.

Arg. 6. The Scripture calleth the works of the man born of God neither sinfull or sinne: but works of righteousnesse. Faith is called righ­teousnesse, Rom. 4. and Rom. 5. & the last. Paul calleth the sincerity which was in him, spea­king of it in the Concrete, godly sincerity, 2 Cor. 1.12. Paul prayeth that grace may be with all them who love the Lord Jesus in corruption ( [...])

Doth he pray for such, whom hee thought were no where to be found, or for all true Saints whom he did know did love the Lord Jesus in incorruption.

Reply. If they be considered as they ought to be done, so they are not evill: but as they be done by us; so the holy Ghost is not af­fraid to call them menstruous rags, even our very righteousnesse, not our old man only, Isa. 64.6.

Answ. The Prophet doth not speak here of the righteousness of a man underthe Covenant of grace, considered under that Covenant. For in the precedent verse, he doth acknowledge that the righteousnesse of such a man is not as a menstruous ragge. Thou meetest him that rejoy­eth, and worketh righteousnesse. But he speaketh of men as looked upon under the olde Cove­nant, and of their works as done under, and to be judged by that Covenant which appeareth by the following words. Our iniquities like the wind have taken us away. And there is none that calleth upon thy Name, that stirreth up himself to take hold of thee. For thou hast hid thy face from us, and we are consumed because of our iniquities. We must not judge of this truth by expressions which holy men have made use of in confessing the sins of the whole nation of the Jews, in the language of the Jewish nationall Covenant: but by those passages of Scripture in which God doth speake of a man as under the Cove­nant of grace, with his works wrought by the spirit of grace.

7 Arg. God doth remember the workes of his [Page 254]Saints, Heb. 6.10. God is not unrighteous to for­get your worke and labour of love, saith the Apo­stle. He will remember the good works of men borne of God, at the great day of judgement. The good workes of some are manifest before-hand, and they that are otherwise cannot be hid, 1 Tim. 5.15. They cannot for ever be hid, because God will make mention of them at that day. But hee hath engaged himselfe by oath, to remember our sins and sinfull actions, Hebr. 8. And there­fore the works of the spirituall man are not sin or sinfull.

Arg. 8. There is no law against the workes of a spirituall man, or the fruits of the spirit of grace; and therefore they are not sin, because where there is no law, there is no transgression. But there is no law against these. This is plain by that passage of the Apostle, Gal. 5.22. The fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, long-suffering, gentlenesse, goodnesse, faith, meeknesse, temperance; against such there is no law.

Object. They are here considered as they are precisely the fruits of the spirit, and as they ought to be done by us, and so they are no sins: but consider them as acted by us, even with the spirits assistance, and so they are defective and sinfull.

Answ. The Apostle doth not speake of the fruits of the spirit, as Tully of his Oratour, Plato [Page 255]of his Common-wealth, & Moor of his Utopia, as of things no where to be found. But he speaks of the spirit as in us, and the fruits of it as in us. And doth plainly tell us, that if we are led by the spirit, we are not under the law; and that there is no law against the fruits of the spirit. But I shall have occasion hereafter to speake more fully of some places where the Apostles and servants of God, doe speak plainly of these works as done in us, that so I may break the neck of this di­stinction, which is made as a Catholicon, or salve for every sore.

Arg. 9. God doth give a testimony concer­ning his Saints, that they are righteous and ho­ly, which is spoken in reference to their spiri­tuall nature and actings; and therefore they are righteous and holy. The judgment of God is according to truth, hee being the God of truth. Doth not God give this testimony of Job, Job 1.1. That he was a perfect man, and up­right, one that feared God, and eschewed evill. And though man may oppose this, yet it seemeth by Gods speech to Sathan, that the Devili could not contradict it, Job 2.3. And the Lord said unto Sathan, hast thou considered my servant Job, that there is none like him in the earth, a perfect man, & upright, one that feareth God, and eschew­eth evill. Did any thing which was sin or sinful procure this honourable title to David, that he [Page 256]was a man after Gods owne heart, 1 Sam. 13.14? Doth not the Scripture of truth inform us con­cerning Zacharias, and Elizabeth his wife, that they were both righteous before God, walking in all the Commandements of God blamelesse, Luke 1.6? They did not onely walk in the great Com­mandement of God concerning faith for Justi­fication: but in all the Ordinances and Com­mandements of God. Is not Lot called a just and righteous man, who was vexed with the filthy conversation of the wicked, 2 Pet. 2.7? And was his sinfull soule vexed with their evill deeds? or his righteous soul? speak in the language of Gods Word, and ye must acknowledge that it was his righteous soule, vers. 8. God is not like unto some indulgent parents, who by their fond indulgency doe account that to be a ver­tue, which is the fault of their children, and them to be vertuous who are vile. God calleth nothing righteousnesse, which is sin or sinfull. Nor those to be perfect and upright, which are not so indeed; and therefore seeing God doth call his children righteous, holy, and perfect; wee may not be affraid to call them so, unlesse wee will be affraid to follow his judgment.

Object. They were righteous before God by Justification, and before men by holy wal­king.

Ans. We deny not their justification before [Page 257]God by faith: but withall we affirme that they were righteous before him, by their holy wal­kings, As these places doe sufficiently prove with others, which we shall hereafter speak of. Let us not delude ous soules to think that righ­teousnesse & sanctification is to the eye of men only. The purest sanctification of a Saint is not so visible to men as unto God. Pure religion, and undefiled before God and the Father, is this, to visite the fatherlesse and Widowes in their affli­ction, and to keepe himselfe unspotted from the world; which will be further manifested by our next argument.

Arg. 10. Almighty God is a God of pure eyes, who cannot behold any iniquity, any sin­full thing, or sin with an eye of approbation. But this God, who cannot approve what is sin, and sinfull; this God approveth and professeth that he is well pleased with the performances of his Saints: therefore the performance of the Saints cannot be sin, or sinfull. The Apostle in Philip. 4.18. Professeth that the worke of the Philippians in sending to relieve his wants, was an odour of asweet smell, a sacrifice acceptable, well pleasing to God. God hath pure eyes, and pure nostrils, and therefore if it had been sin, or sin­full, it could not have pleased his eye, nor have beene an odour of a sweete smell unto his no­strills.

Object. They are so, but not in their owne nature.

Answ. If they be not so in their own nature, they are filthy and odious in their own nature, and yet accepted by grace. If one thing which is filthy and odious in its owne nature be accep­ted, why should not other things which are fil­thy and odious in their owne nature be accep­ted for good workes. If this can be made good, Whoredome and Adultery will prove good works; which hath been asserted by some who have said that the filthinesse of whoredome be­ing done away, the action is well-pleasing to Almighty God as well as any good work.

Arg. 11. One end and intention of God in electing of us, was, that he might make us ho­ly, that he might make us good trees to bring forth good fruit. Though God doth not elect us because wee doe believe, or because wee doe love; yet hee hath elected us that wee may be­lieve, and that we may love. So that wee fru­strate one end that God hath in electing us, if we doe not grant that God gives us a new na­ture, and new hearts. According to that of the Apostle, 2 Thes. 2 13. We are chosen unto salva­tion through sanctification of the Spirit, and be­lief of the truth. And in Eph. 1.4. He hath cho­sen us in him, that we should be holy, and without blame before him in love.

Object. We doe apprehend our election im­perfectly, which is the cause of the sinfulnesse of our works.

Answ. By reason of that which is in the flesh, we cannot so perfectly see our election, as wee shall doe hereafter: Yet in the spirit for the present we doe so fully apprehend it, that by Gods grace in the apprehension of it, wee are made unblameable, and holy before him in love, which is all that I contend for. I may adde this, that if God had chosen us to love, joy, sanctification, and the like, which are sin, and sinfull, that then he had chosen us to sin, or to something sinfull; which conceit in my apprehension doth carry such an absurdity in the face of it, that it needeth not a Confuta­tion.

Object. They are not sin in their morall na­ture, as they ought to be done, but they are so as done by us.

Answ. God hath not chosen us unto them as they are considered onely in his command. But he hath chosen us unto them, as they are to be acted and done by us, as it is plain by the words of the Text, and therefore this objecti­on hath no strength in it to weaken our argu­ment.

Arg. 12. If the new creature were sinfull, & his workes sinful or sin, it would nullifie Gods [Page 260]intention in our Justification, who doth justi­fie us when we are unholy, that he may make us holy, Ephes. 2.10. Wee are his workmanship created in Christ Jesus unto good workes, which God hath before ordained that we should walke in them. Wee are not ordained to walke in any thing which is sin or sinfull; but to walke in good workes. We are redeemed from sin, that we might be purified unto himselfe a peculiar people. And grace teacheth us to live soberly, righteously, and godly in this present world; not sinfully, but righteously. God maketh us good trees by ju­stification, and then enables us to bring forth good fruit. There must be a root before there can be fruit: So God gives us a roote, or seed of holinesse, before wee can bring forth holy fruit, and righteous actions. And when the good seed is sown in good ground, it cannot but bring forth good fruit, Mat. 13.23. which place may give more light for the clearing of that objecti­on, where it was said, that there could not bee good fruit, though the seed were good, because the ground is not good.

Arg. 13. God doth free us from the law of works, and doth bring us under the covenant of grace, that we may by grace be enabled to doe those works, which we are not able to doe by vertue of morall commands. The covenant of grace and Gospel-promises should be as in­effectuall [Page 261]for sanctification as the law, if all that were wrought in us under that covenant were sin or sinfull. And therefore it will follow that a man under grace hath a purity of sanctifica­tion in him. God brings us from Moses who was the Law-giver, and delivers us from the Covenant of works in giving us to Jesus Christ who is the giver of grace, that he may make us holy in a gracious life and conversation.

The Apostle sets this forth unto us, Rom. 7.6. But now wee are delivered from the law, that being dead wherein we were held: that we should serve in newnesse of spirit, and not in the oldnesse of the letter. We are freed from the service of God in the law of works (under which wee serve as slaves till wee be brought to Christ,) that wee may serve as sonnes in obedience to all morall commands, under the sweet, gracious, & glo­rious government of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is as well a Law-giver, Isa. 33.22. to write his lawes of faith and love in our hearts, Hebr. 8. As a Saviour to save us from our sins. And to cut off all objections against this argument, wee may take notice, that the fruits of the spirit are not onely called good and holy, as they are in the promise or command: but they are good and holy, and called fruits of righteousnesse, as they are wrought in us and by us, with the omnipotent help and assistance of the holy Spi­rit. [Page 262]We are called the trees of righteousnesse, Isa. 61.3. and feare and love are fruits of righteousness as wrought in us, Jer. 31. Hebr. 8.

The 14th Argument may be drawn from the oath of God. If God should not performe this for the Saints, God should be perjured (which is blasphemy to speak.) The oath of God binds him. God in his word (which is the character of his mind) hath discovered his hatred of per­jury and false swearing: we cannot think that God who hates perjury in others, should for­sweare himselfe: but we have not only the pro­mise, but the oath of God for this; so that un­lesse we will say that God for-sweares himself, we must subscribe to this truth, to witt, that God gives his Saints his Spirit, and in the Spi­rit, holinesse and righteousnesse. I will give you a place for this, Lu. 1.73, 74. The oath which he sware to our Father Abraham. What hath he sworne? That he would grant unto us, that we being delivered out of the hands of our enemies; here is our Justification; we are delivered out of the hands of sin, death, and the Devill. But is this all? No, He hath delivered us out of the hands of our enemies, that we might serve him without fear, that is, without slavish fear, in holinesse and righ­teousnesse before him all the dayes of our life.

Some acknowledge that the people of God shall live holily and righteously, to men­ward, [Page 263]as they speake: but that the righteous­nesse of sanctification is not to God-ward.

This place overthrowes this distinction; he saith not that wee shall walk holily and righte­ously before men only, as hypocrites may: but he saith that we shall serve in holinesse and righte­ousnesse before him. We shall not do such works which Luther and others have called vices (vi­tia) affirming that all the works of the regene­rated man are vices, nor such works which are sinful, (vitiata) as some others speak: but such workes which God who cannot lye, cals righ­teous works, nay righteousnesse in the abstract; we shall serve him without feare, in holinesse and righteousnesse: not only in the sight of men: for oft-times they look on good works, as though they were bad, but good in the sight of God; they come from a sweet fountain, therefore the water cannot be bitter, or brackish, from the fountaine of his owne Spirit in his Saints. If the works of the Saints were nothing but sin or sinfull, how could the Oath of God be fulfilled that they shall serve him in holinesse and righteous­nesse all the dayes of our life?

Object. Before him in this place, as in other places, doth meane under his protection, Gen. 17.1.

Answ. Though it may be granted that some­times before him, may signifie under his prote­ction; [Page 264]yet it doth not appear that it should be the meaning of the holy Ghost in this place. But he doth rather informe us how Saints doe approve themselves before God by sanctificati­on. As Paul laboured in godly sincerity, to have his conscience void of offence towards God and to­wards men. According to that speech of Heze­kiah, Isa. 38.3. Remember O Lord, how I have walked before thee in truth, and with a perfect heart, and have done that which is good in thy sight. But suppose wee should grant you this, it doth still stand true, that our service is in ho­linesse and righteousnesse. And can any man be so blinde, to thinke that a man shall serve in righteousnesse under Gods protection, & that hee should not see the righteousnesse which is wrought under his protection? and if it be righteousnesse which he seeth, then it is righte­ousnesse before him, or in his sight.

Arg. 15. To deny the purity of the man born of God, is to deny one end for which Christ dyed; for Christ dyed to bring us to be parta­kers of a pure & Divine nature; in wch pure na­ture we are to live, move, and act holily. The place by which I shall confirme this, is in Heb. 9.14. The blood of Christ, who through the eter­nall spirit offered himselfe without spot to God, shall purge our consciences from dead workes to serve the living God. We are therefore washed from sin [Page 265]in our Justification, that we may serve God by Sanctification. And what spirituall man will call that the service of God, which is sin or sin­full? For to doe that which is sin or sinfull, is to doe the Devils service, or else I am to learne that which we need not be taught, to wit, what it is to doe the Devils service.

Arg. 16. The resurrection of Christ doth teach spirituall men to act purely in their new nature to the glory of their Father, Rom. 6.4. As Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father; so we should walke in newnesse of life. To walk in newnesse of life, is it to walk in the oldnesse of that which is sin or sinfull? let any Spirituall man judge.

Arg. 17. We may draw another argument from the Kingly office of Christ. He as a King hath a command over his Subjects: but he hath not the command over us, when we doe that which is sin or sinfull, and therefore wee doe something good as his Subjects in obedience to his commands (bona bene.) Good things must be done well. And therefore Christ doth not onely enable us to doe that which is righteous, but hee doth enable us to doe it righteously. Why is Christ King, but that we should live under his commands? Why are we his subjects, why are we his servants, but because wee are under his commands, and under his laws? You [Page 266]know; the Jewes said they would not have Christ to be their King: but the voyce of every Christian is to cry up Christ, to proclaime him King, and to owne him only as their Ruler. And Christ being King, rules and reigns in the hearts of his people by lawes and commande­ments, and precious statutes, worthy of such a King.

Now Christ gives us not a law, as Moses gave a law, that was grievous to those that heard it: but Christ gives a law of love, a law of sweetnesse, by which hee rules in the midst of his enemies in our hearts; what is in the flesh in us, is an enemie to Jesus Christ: but Christ Jesus sitting upon his Throne as King, in our renewed, regenerated, and enlightned spirit, rules in the midst of our sins his enemies which oppose him.

Christ is not such a King as other Kings; o­ther Kings make lawes, and adde penalties to their laws for those that break them: but they have no power to enable their Subjects to keep them. But here is the priviledge and preroga­tive of our King; when Christ makes lawes, he doth not only give us lawes, and bid us keepe them: but he hath power in himselfe by which he enableth us to do that which he commands us to doe. If Christ should command us to love, & should not enable us to doe that which [Page 267]he commands, he should be such a Law-giver as Moses, that gave a Law, but gave no power to doe it: But Christ is not such a Law-giver as Moses. As he is not a rigid Law-giver, to bid Saints doe it upon penalty of damnation, or to worke for life, and salvation; so neither is he like Moses, who could give them no pow­er: but there is a power and strength goes with Christs commands, to enable us to doe what Christ the King commands.

Therefore if any of you give Christ the glo­ry of his grace by believing that he hath abo­lished all your sins by his death, be not dismay­ed at the sight of your corruptions. Fight the good fight of faith. Greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world. Christ that commands you to obey his Father, will enable you to o­bey his Father. Christ reignes in the hearts of his people, not only by making known to them the covenant of his owne grace, but by supply­ing them with strength to doe his will. Lord give what thou commandest said one, and command what thou wilt. Christ commands us what to doe, and gives us power to doe that which he commands. Such a King is Christ, that frees his people not onely from the con­demnation of sin, but from the power and do­minion of sin in their spirits, lives, and conver­sations. Blessed be God (saith the Apostle) that [Page 268]ye were the servants of sin. Are they so still, now they are under grace? No, but being made free from sin, ye are the servants of righteousnesse? sinne shall not have dominion over you; why? ye have a new King; ye are under grace, ye are under King Jesus.

If a Tyrant should tyrannize over Subjects, and depose their lawfull King; if this King af­terwards should overthrow this Tyrant, and deliver his Subjects from tyranny and bond­age, by overcomming the Tyrant, would hee suffer this Tyrant to tyrannize over them, or his people to be under the lawes of the Tyrant? We were under Satan the Tyrant, under his lawes and commands, under the law of sinne and concupiscence: but Christ comes, and o­vercomes the Tyrant that ruled tyrannically in our hearts; and will hee suffer that Ty­rant still to rule us by those commands, which he gave us when wee were in bondage to him? No, we shall not be under the bondage of the flesh, if we understand the liberty of grace, and of the Spirit. The Apostle saith, that we doe not live, nor eate, nor drinke, nor doe any shing to our selves, because Christ dyed, and rose and revived, that he might be Lord of quicke and dead, Rom. 14.8, 9. Christ dyed, and rose, that he might be Lord and King, and reigne, and set up his Scepter of holinesse in the hearts of his people.

This was prophesied in Psal. 110.3. Thy peo­ple shall be willing in the day of thy power. When Christ as King comes with power, his people shall be willing. Christ bids them believe, and they believe, he bids them love, and they doe love; they run through fire and water, they lay downe their honours and riches at his feet, and love not their lives unto the death.

Object. The enabling of Christ in working is not of the same extent with his command.

Answ. In the spirituall and regenerate part, the power of Christ is as large as his command. The fayling is not from the new, but the olde man. The whole man or person is under the command: so that a man, yea, every man doth sin, because he doth not doe in his person as he is a man, what is commanded. Charge the fault where it is to be charged upon the flesh, which is the cause of a mans sin, and then look upon grace which hath abolished sin, and you shall finde the new man conformable to the will of God, and the man good and holy in part, to wit, in his regenerated part. It is further obje­cted, that Christ biddeth us to cleanse our selves from all filthinesse of flesh and spirit, which no man doth. It is granted, and therefore we de­ny not, but that every man sinneth, if we take him physically. But as farre as we are in the Spirit, wee are cleansed from all filthinesse of flesh [Page 270]and spirit; so that the new man doth fulfill it, and Christ doth reign in him, though the flesh prove a Traytor, and rebellious against his commands.

Arg. 18. Another argument may be brought from the consideration of the Image of Christ. If this were true, that all the works of the Saints were in their formalitie sinne; this would fol­low, that the Image of Jesus Christ were an I­mage of unholinesse, and sin. I ground my ar­gument upon that place of the Apostle, 2 Cor. 3.18. Wee all with open face beholding as in a glasse the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same Image, from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord. Here the Apostle shewes that the Saints are changed into the Image of Christ. Now if there were nothing but sin and unholinesse & sinfulnesse in those who are loo­ked upon as spirituall (as some conceive) it wil follow that the Image of Christ into which they are changed, must be an image of unholi­nesse. If my love be unholinesse, I am changed to that image of love which is in Christ, and so it would follow, that the Image of Christ doth consist in unholinesse.

Object. If there be perfect sanctification in the new man, then wee may bee justified by it.

Answ. I deny that, it doth not follow. We [Page 271]shall have perfect sanctification at the resurre­ction; and yet you will not say, that we shall be acquitted from our sinnes by it, which wee have committed upon earth: but by the grace of God in the blood of Christ.

2. We are justified before sanctification, and therefore it will not follow that we are justifi­ed by it. Because that is done before the other is wrought in us.

3. That a man may be justified by his san­ctification. It is necessary that a man should be so wholy sanctified, that there should be no sin in the man. Our good works will not make satisfaction for our bad works. A Traytor for an act of treason might be condemned by his Prince, though he hath done him much good service. If a man would seeke justification by the law, who is sanctified in part, the law would condemn him for his sin, in his unrege­nerated part, taking no notice of any sufficien­cy in his sanctification, to free him from con­demnation for his sinne in the unregenerated part.

Arg. 19. This opinion that the good works of the justified man are sin, or sinfull, do make divers places of Scripture irreconcileable. Men shall never be well able to reconcile many pla­ces of Scripture who swallow this as a trueth; that whatsoever workes are now done in the [Page 272]Saints, are nothing but sinne, or sinfull. For instance in one place, we are bound to disclaime our works, and to account all our righteousnesses as filthy ragges, to believe in him that justifieth the ungodly; And in ano­ther place we are said to be redeemed from all i­niquity, that we might be zealous of good workes, Tit. 2. And we are the work-manship of God cre­ated in Christ Jesus to good workes, Eph. 2. By what I have delivered, they are easily reconci­leable. To wit, by distinguishing, as the Scrip­ture doth concerning good works thus. That all the works of man under the Law, are but splendid and shining sins: and that the spiritu­all workes of a spirituall man, are good, and not sin or sinfull in their nature. Not that the Scripture makes these good workes that flow from the spirituall man, the cause, or the mat­ter of our justification: but the fruits of the Spirit, and the consequents of our justification. It is a speech of Luthers, worthy to be written in letters of gold, that the whole world, with all the riches of it, are of no worth in compa­rison of good works flowing from faith, and wrought by the Spirit of God in the hearts of his people. Which how it can be made good, I know not, if that be true, which he and some other Protestant Writers affirme, that (Omne bonum secundum judicium dei est mortale peccatum) every [Page 273]good worke of a regenerate man according to the judgment of God is a mortall sin. That which is morally evill, is not so good as any thing which is not morally evill. That being the greatest evill which is morally evill.

I have known some professors of the Gospel who have fallen to Familisme and Atheisticall opinions: and being asked why they did leave the Gospel? they have answered, that they could never reconcile the Scriptures concern­ing works, to other places, while they were professors of the Gospel. Their meaning is, while they were professor upon these princi­ples, by which they were taught to look upon the works of the spirit in them as sin, and sin­full. That which is frequently afferted by some (Mr. Eatoon Honycomb and others) that they are good to men-ward, will not make up the breach. The Apostle Peter speaking of a meeke & quiet spirit, which is the ornament of the hidden man of the heart, saith, that it is of great price in the sight of God, 1 Pet. 3.4. The Apo­stle speaking of his fincerity in preaching the Gos­pel, is not affraid to bring it into the sight of God, 2 Cor. 2.17. And John saith, 1 Joh. 3.22. That whatsoever we aske we receive of him, because wee keepe his Commandements, and doe those things which are pleasing in his sight. And that he doth not meane believing only, is plain by the next [Page 274]verse, where he saith, That this is his Comman­dement, that wee believe on the name of his Sonne Jesus Christ, and love one another. And to stop the mouth of the objection which is usually brought against this truth, to wit, that he spea­keth of doing as in Gods precept, or com­mand, and not as done by us. He saith, that we receive what we aske, because wee doe what is pleasing in his sight. I must professe to the glo­ry of God, that this distinction hath given me a great light in the understanding of the Scrip­ture. And by this I am informed, that I am justified without holiness or sanctification, and yet that without holiness no man shall see the Lord, Heb. 12.14.

Arg. 20. This opinion that the good works of a man born of God are sin, or sinfull, doth overthrow the distinction which is warranted by many thousand places of Scripture between good works and bad works, and doth draw a curse upon the doer of it. Can evill be good, or good evill? Woe unto them that call evil good, and good evill; that put darkenesse for light, and light for darkenesse; that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter, Isa. 5.20. What else doe they doe, who plainley averre that every good work is evill?

Object. Doe we deny the difference betweene white and blacke, because we say that in most [Page 275]white bodies, there is a mixture of some black­nesse with the whitenesse, &c.

Answ. If it could be proved that there were a mixture of that which is of the spirit, and that which is of the flesh, that that which is spirituall should be made fleshly by it: there would seeme to be some strength in this obje­ction. But untill that such a mixture bee pro­ved by plaine Scriptures, we shall think it suffi­cient to affirme that such similitudes which have not their foundation upon a principle of truth, do prove nothing.

Arg. 21. It taketh away the difference be­tween a sanctified and unsanctified man, which is a distinction which doth stand firme upon the basis of the Scripture of truth. The Apo­stle doth plainly lay downe this distinction, 1 Cor. 6.11. Where hee informeth us of the condition of the Corinthians, before conversi­on, to wit, that they were thieves, adulteresses, and the like, such were some of you; and then setteth forth their blessed condition after con­version. But ye are washed, but ye are sanctifi­ed. And doth second this truth with his owne experience, acknowleding that there was a real change wrought in himself after conversi­on by sanctification, 1 Tim. 1. I was (saith he) a persecuter, a blasphemer, injurious: but the grace of our Lord was exceeding abundant with [...] love, which is in Christ Jesus, not with [...] but love also.

If God hath pulled you out of the fire of sinne, and drawne you as fire-brands out of Hell, and brought you into the glorious king­dome of his Son, ye are able to professe the same sanctified change in your selves. It is a dead faith which is not accompanied with sancti­fication and good works. As soon may a dead horse carrie a man, as a dead faith save him.

Object. This is a slander, wee doe not deny sanctification.

Answ. If yee acknowledge sanctification, and a sanctified change, yee contradict your selves. For how can that make a sanctified change in us, which is nothing else but sin or sinfull. I shall be glad if you will stand to an inward change by love and sanctification. But some there are, who have affirmed that the di­stinction, between a regenerated an and unre­generated man, is but a legall distinction.

Arg. 22. The holy Spirit which is promi­sed to us, and dwelleth in us, doth plainly de­monstrate this point. For as the Spirit is holy formally in it selfe, in its owne nature, essence, and being: so it is effectively holy, because it makes that man holy, who was formerly sin­full. If thou be nothing but darknesse, if God convert thee, thou wilt have a glorious light [...] understanding: if thou have nothing [...] [...]linesse in thy will, if the Spirit of [Page 277]God live in thee, it will be a Spirit of holinesse a Spirit that will shew thee what is of the flesh, and what is of the spirit: a spirit checking thee, if thou step aside into the way of the flesh, and a spirit leading thee into the paths of holiness. As the Psalmist saith. Thy Spirit is good, lead me into the land of holinesse and uprightnesse. There­fore those that doe not find that Spirit leading them into the paths and wayes of holinesse, those men have received a counterfeit spirit to delude them, and not the true Spirit of the Lord Jesus.

Object. The spirit is good, but our actions are evill by the adherence of sinne in us. That holy things may be defiled, is plaine by Exod. 28.36.38. Aaron having his plate upon his fore­head, was to beare the iniquity of the holy things.

Answ. 1. Though sin and holinesse be in the same man, yet I deny that sinne by any adhe­ring to holinesse in us, doth change holinesse into the nature of it. But what is of the Spirit in us, doth retaine its spirituall nature, and what is of the flesh, doth retaine its fleshly na­ture.

2. The Scripture produced, doth prove, that in doing of holy duties, we sin, and that Jesus Christ doth beare those sins, which wee have granted unto you before. But that the fruits of the Spirit in us, are those sinnes [Page 278]cannot be proved from this place of Scripture, nor from any other Scripture which I know this still doth remaine to be proved.

Arg. 23. There may bee another argument drawne from that place of the Apostle, when hee saith, The Spirit beareth witnesse with our spirits, that we are the children of God, Rom. 8.16. The Spirit cannot beare witnesse to our old, darke, prophane spirits: for the naturall man receives not the things of the Spirit, for they are foolishnesse to him; therefore it must be to our spirit enlightned, renewed, and filled with the Spirit of God. And therefore there is som­thing in a Saint besides that which is sinne and sinfull.

Object. This is true, but we are not renew­ed perfectly, which is the thing to be pro­ved.

Answ. Perfection in Scripture is opposed to that, which is more perfect. And in this sence wee doe not affirme that a man is so perfectly renewed as he shall be, 1 Cor. 13.

2. Perfection is opposed to that which is sinfull, Luke 1. And in this sence we say, that he is perfectly renewed; that is, he is holily, & not sinfully renewed.

Arg. 24. I doe ground my next argument upon the words of the Apostle, Rom. 14. last. Whatsoever is not of faith, is sinne. And there­fore [Page 279]that which is done in faith, is not sin. If we deny this we shall take away the difference between doing good works in faith, and do­ing good works without faith, if both of them be alike sinfull or sinne. And therefore I con­clude that the work of the Spirit which is done in faith, is not sin. Without faith it is impossi­ble to please God; and therefore by faith it is possible to please him by doing good works.

Arg. 25. Another argument may be drawn from that place, 2 Cor. 13. where the Apostle makes the comparison betweene faith, hope, and love, and prefers love before faith & hope for this reason; because love is more perma­nent, and of longer continuance than faith, and hope; when a man comes to heaven, hee ceaseth to live the life of faith; for then he shall live the life of sight, and vision: he ceaseth to hope, for he enjoyeth that, which he hoped for: but love shall continue. Therefore he saith, that love, (that is the fruit of faith) is grea­ter than faith in respect of its continuance. That which remaines and endures after this life in the Saints in glory, is not sin: but love shall re­maine, and endure after this life, therefore it is not sin.

Object. But some say, if you looke on this place, and take notice of this character and de­scription of love, you will scarce find any man [Page 280]in the world that hath such a love; and by your argument no true faith. For hee saith that love suffereth long, it envieth not, it vaunt­eth not it selfe, it is not puffed up, behaveth not it selfe unseemely, seeketh not her owne, is not easily provoked, thinketh no evill, rejoyceth not in iniqui­ty, but rejoyceth in the truth: beareth all things, believeth all things, hopeth all things, endureth all things. Love never faileth.

Answ. Every man that is borne of God hath such a love as farre as he is born of God. I say not that he hath it in the flesh, in the old man, but in the new man. Wee have a new man, as we have an old man; and as wee are sometimes acted by the new man, so sometimes by the old man. As wee are acted by the olde man, we doe nothing but that which is con­trary to this love: but as far as we are acted in the Spirit by the new man, by the power of God, and the grace of Christ; so far we have such a love as is here set downe. Therefore if any man hath not such a love, and hath beene perswaded that hee hath true faith, I dare preach it in the name of Christ, that that man never had true faith: for true faith works by such love as the Apostle describes here. And he positively saith, that if a man have other gifts, and such a faith by which hee can remove mountaines, and hath not this love, that he is nothing.

I would not trouble weak Christians by this, I speak not of them in the flesh, but in the spi­rit; as farre as thou art spirituall, and livest, and walkest in the Spirit, thou hast such a love. And if upon examination thou shalt finde that thou hast not such a love, I say thou art a stranger to God: For hee that knoweth God walks in love. He that saith be knoweth God, and walkes not in love, he knoweth not God. God is love, and he that dwelleth in God, dwelleth in love, 1 Ep. John.

If I should preach the Doctrine of Justifica­tion, and write volumes of it, yet if I find after all this, that I am without this love, I am no­thing. If I speake with the tongue of men and An­gels; If I could prophesie, and had all faith to remove mountaines, yet if I have not love, I am but as sounding brasse, and a tinckling Cymball. Hee that loves God, by apprehending Gods love, he cannot but love God again, and his neigh­bour, yea enemy, for Gods sake. Therefore if a man say, I have been a professor of the Gos­pel, but finde not love to God & Christ, and my enemies for Christs sake. It is as if hee should say, Sir I have been a professor of grace many yeares, and have been looked on as one that knowes Christ: but I know him not, for I have not true love that accompanies true faith.

Arg. 26. God speaking of faith, love, fear, [Page 282]zeal, & the like, as in us, doth promise to be the worker of them in us; and therefore if these should be sin, the fault would be chargable up­on him. I would have this argument to be wel weighed, because it answereth the ordinary ob­jection, to wit, that these fruits are good, and no way faulty as in the precept of God, but not as wrought in us. God is the Author of them by promise, as they are wrought in us, which will make him the Author of sinne, if they be sin or sinfull. If faith and love is sinne, then he hath Covenanted to work sin in thee: for hee hath covenanted to worke feare and love in thee. But farre be it from us to have such a thought of our holy God. If God work feare in our hearts, that feare shall not be sin, or sinfull. We know the excellency of the Ar­tificer, or work-man, by the aedifice or build­ing; and doe judge what worke-man God is by his glorious work in the spirits of the Saints: and if God worke onely sinfull things in us, what worke-man would we conclude him to be? Paul saith, by the grace of God, I am what I am, 2 Cor. 15. It is by grace that I love, it is by grace that I feare with a filiall feare; it is by grace that I am zealous for God: If this love were sin, if this feare were sin, if this zeale were sinne, wee might lay the fault upon the worke-man; It is Gods work, not ours, but [Page 283]his. (Non mea, sed tua sunt.) Aug. speaking of good workes, saith, They are not miue, but thine; Unlesse we will disparage and underva­lue the grace of God, wee may not looke on these things as sinne, or sinfull, but ought to looke on them with a spirituall eye, and to see them, as God doth, to be spirituall and good.

Object. Our workes as they are from God, are good: but as they are from us, so are they sinfull and defiled. As walking, as it comes from the soule, it is upright and free from lamenesse: but as it is acted by a lame leg, so it is lame and halting.

Answ. This objection will appeare to be a lame objection, if it be made evident unto us, that the holy foote given unto us by God, is not a lame foot. Was it with a lame foot that David will runne the wayes of Gods Commande­ments? Is it with a lame legge that God hath promised, we shall runne, and not be weary, and walke, and not faint, Isa. 40. last.

Ʋse 1. This may be sufficient for the con­futation of those, who doe not distinguish be­tweene the regenerated, and unregenerated part in man (as the Scripture doth distinguish) laying the bastardly brats of the flesh at the doore of the Spirit; confounding the workes of the flesh, with the good and perfect gifts of the spirit, Jam. 1.17. and not considering, that [Page 284]though, there is the flesh, and the spirit in the same man, that yet they are distinguish­ed in their natures, workings, and operations. The spirit, and the things of the spirit like oyle swimming upon the surface of the waters, doth not change it selfe into the nature of the flesh. Their usuall similitude doth not prove what they would maintaine; to wit, that the worke of the spirit is like cleare water poured into a dung-hill, which though it be clear and pure in the bason, yet running through the dung-hill, doth become as impure and filthy as the dung-hill it selfe. For though these two are in the same man, yet they doe not mingle themselves the one with the other, that any of them should lose their own beings. But because these men are furnished as well with arguments, by which they desire to prove what they contend for, as with objections by which they endeavour to weaken the strength of the arguments, which have been laid downe for the confirmation of the truth. Give mee leave to give an answer to their arguments, as I have already presented unto you answers to their objections.

Arg. 1. Paul was a regenerated man, yet he confesseth that he was not able to performe that which is good, Rom. 7.18. Therefore no rege­nerate man is able to performe that which is

Answ. Paul doth give a sufficient answer to this objection in the preceding words of the same verse, where he saith, in me (that is in my flesh) dwelleth no good thing, by which it is evi­dent that he speaketh of himselfe in reference to his flesh. And this is a truth, which with all the faithfull I willingly subscribe unto. But when he plainely speaketh of a man in the spi­rit, freed from the clouds of temptations, and power of the flesh, in the last verse of the same Chapter, he saith, With the minde I my self serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin. It is good to serve the law of God: but Paul in the Spirit had attained unto this, and there­fore Paul was enabled to performe that which is good. According to that of the Apostle, Phil. 2.13. It is God, wh worketh in us to will and to doe of his owne good pleasure.

Arg. 2. There is none that doth good, no not one, Rom. 3.9, 10, 11. which is meant aswell of the regenerate, as unregenerate, as is evident by vers. 23, 24. because it is meant of all who are justified freely by his grace, as appears fur­ther by the instances of Abraham and David, which were regenerated, Ch. 4.2.6. There­fore no workes of the regenerate are without sinne.

Answ. It is plain that the Apostle speaketh here of a man under the law, and of an unre­generate [Page 286]man, by the things which are spoken of him. Hee saith, that none seeketh after God; can you affirme this of a regenerated man? when the same Prophet, who in the 14. Psame doth give us a character of a wicked man: out of which this is taken in the 24. Psalme, doth give us this character of a man truly godly, that hee is one of the generation of those who seeke God. 2. The Apostle saith, that there is none that un­derstandeth. But blessed be God, the sonne of God is come, and hath given us an understanding that we may know him, 1 John 5.20.3. They are all gone out of the way. But we can blesse God, who through Jesus Christ hath brought us into the way of salvation. 4. There is none that doth good, no not one; and there is none that is righteous. But hearken unto the speech of John, 1 John 3.7. Let no man deceive you: hee that doth righteous­ness, is righteous even as he is righteous. I might runne over all the other particulars there laid downe: but I shall content my selfe with what is spoken in the 17. 18. its said, that the way of peace have they not known; and there is no feare of God before their eyes. Is a regenerate man an e­nemie to the way of peace? and doe not they feare God, to whom God hath sworne, Jer. 32.40. That he will put his feare in their hearts, that they shall not depart from him.

Again secondly, you would prove it by this [Page 287]argument, because hee speaketh of all those who are justified. But let me tell you, that we must distinguish of a man before and after his Justification. Every man is such a man before Justification, and in this respect he speaketh of all men: but after justification there is a change wrought in a man, as I have formerly proved at large; unto which I refer the Reader.

But thirdly you instance in David and A­braham, who were regenerated men.

Answ. Wee are not to forget that the Scrip­ture dosh acquaint us, that there is a two-fold righteousnesse of a regenerate man. The righ­teousnesse of Justification, and the righteous­nesse of sanctification. Of the first of these the Prophet speaking, saith, that a man is blessed to whom sin is not imputed, of the latter where hee saith of the same verse. And in whose spirit there is no guile; which the learned Zanchius doth apprehend to be spoken in reference to that sanctification which is in the unregenerated part, understand the distinction rightly, and you cannot want an answer to this Objection.

Arg. 3. Wee believe not so stedfastly, nor love so perfectly as we ought, therefore is our faith & love imperfect, and sinfull. Ans. 1. If we should grant the antecedent, we may deny the consequence. It is true, that if a man doth not believe so stedfastly, and love so perfectly as he [Page 288]ought, that then the man doth sin, consider him physically. And this wee have alwayes granted: but it doth not follow, that his faith and love is sin, but that which is in the flesh is sin, which is the cause that he doth not believe so stedfastly, and love so perfectly as he ought. Amesius doth give a sufficient answer to this in answering an argument which Bellarmine doth bring against the Protestants, to wit, that sins doe not please God in Christ. It is true, saith he, that sin doth not please God: but the stain of sin being done away, the good which remai­neth is pleasing unto God. (Sane quidem certe, sedpeccati maculâ in Christo deletâ, bonum sub­stratum placet. Tom. 4. l. 6. c. 8.)

2ly. We say that a regenerate man looked upon in the new Covenant, doth believe sted­fastly, and love perfectly. His unbeliefe and hatred of God which is in the flesh, being co­vered with the rich mantle of Gods grace and mercy: as far as he doth believe truly, he doth believe stedfastly; and as far as he doth love, he doth love perfectly. Let not his offend a­ny man that I say he doth love perfectly. It is granted by most Protestant writers, that a re­generate man hath a perfection of parts, though not of degrees. A childe may have an humane nature, and the parts of a man, as well as a man of forty yeares old. A sparke of fire [Page 289]hath the true nature of fire, a drop of water hath the nature of water in it, as wel as all the water in the Sea. So a sparke or drop of love, hath the divine nature of love in it, as well as that which burnes in the breasts of a Seraphim, and therefore is not sin or sinfull. And for this reason it is said that Abraham was not weak in faith, though it is unquestionable that hee had his weaknesse in the flesh, as well as other men, and that hee staggered not at the promise of God, through unbelief: but was strong in faith, giving glory to God, Rom. 4. And this is the meaning likewise of Amesius in the place for­merly cited, where hee saith, That the good works of the faithfull are not only good by the object of them, but in reference to all the cau­ses of them, the efficient, materiall, formall, and finall cause. (Opera fidelium, non tantum sunt bona ex objecto, sed etiam quoad omnes causas efficientem, materiam, formam et finem.)

Arg. 4. Sanctification in the feare of God is alwayes perfecting whilest we live here in this life, 2 Cor. 7.1. and therefore it is not perfe­cted untill the life to come.

Answ. Sanctification is said to be perfecting here, in reference to that which is in the flesh, which is to be put off, that sanctificaiion may come in the place of it, not in reference unto that which is already wrought, as though [Page 290]that sanctification were not already perfect, if we take perfection as it is opposed to that which is sinfull. 2. It is said, that our Saviour encreased in wisdome, Luk. 2.52. will you say that his wisedome was sinfull at first, because he did encrease and grow in it? You may as well say so, as conclude that our sanctification is sinne or sinfull, because it doth grow or in­crease to a greater perfection.

Arg. 5. If our workes be in themselves per­fect, then might Paul have desired to have been found in them before God.

Answ. I deny the consequence. For these good workes are not wrought in us, that they may be the cause or matter of our Justificati­on, and therefore Paul will not appeare before God in them for Justification. But Paul and every true Saint being justified by faith without them, doth dare to bring them in the presence of God as secondary evidences of Gods love to him. According to that of John, 1 John 3.14. We know that we have passed from death to life, be­cause we love the Brethren: hee that loveth not his brother abideth in death, ver. 19. And hereby wee know that we are of the truth, and shall perswade our hearts before him. Which you, maintaining them to be sin and sinful, doe not doe.

Arg. 6. If the new man doth not sinne, then he is not the man who is pronounced to bee a [Page 291] blessed man, Psal. 32. Rom. 4.

Answ. This is a plaine fallacy. You take the new man here physically, whom wee take ac­cording to Scripture, Spiritually and Theolo­gically. Justification, to speak properly, is nei­ther of the new man, nor old man, but of the person in whom there is an old man and a new man. And this man is justified from the sinnes of the old man, by the work of the spirit in the new man, which doth carry him to the grace of God in Jesus Christ.

Arg. 7. Pauls best workes were accounted by him but as drosse & dung, therfore they were not perfect, Phil. 3.

Answ. 1. This may be very well understood of his workes done under the Law. As the pre­ceding words do seeme to hold it forth, where he speaketh of his Jewish priviledges and Pha­risaicall righteousnesse. And secondly the words following will seem to carry it this way, because hee saith, that hee accounteth all things dung for the excellent knoweldg of Christ, by which is evident, that he speaketh of all things, as they stand in opposition to the knowledge of Christ.

3. This argument maketh nothing for you because you account this knowledge sinfull. But let us take it, as you do: and an answer is pre­sently at hand, to wit, that the Apostle doth [Page 292]not speake these words absolutely, but compa­ratively. They are all dung in comparison of Christ, and in reference to their uselesnesse to justifica­tion; Dung will as soone justifie a man from sin, as that love which floweth from faith.

Arg. 8. This, that the new man sinneth not, doth in a very high measure, if not altogether overthrow all the offices of Christ. 1. His Kingly office, as having none to rule, not the old man, for hee savoureth no the things of God; be is not subject to the Law of God, neither indeed can be; not the new man, for he needs not the government of Christ, hee is already perfect, and cannot sin. 2. His Priestly office, which is to make propitiation for the sins of those which shall be saved; now the new man who only shal be saved, never did, nor could not commit a­ny sinne. 3. His Propheticall office; For whom should he teach? the new man needs not his teaching, seeing he with all his works is al­ready perfect, and can be no otherwise. The old [...] man is not capable of his teaching.

Answ. I have already detected the fallaci­ousnesse of this argument, in answering to the 6th Argument. Yet give mee leave to prove in few words, that this doctrine doth magnifie Christ in the glory of his spirituall offices.

First, in his Kingly office, the glory of a king doth lye in subduing his enemies. And in thi [Page 293]the glory of Christ considered as a King, doth appeare that hee doth vanquish the enemies of us his Subjects, by ruling in our hearts with his Scepter of righteousnesse. According to that of the Psalmist, that hee shall rule in the midst of his enemies. By this wee see his regall power over the old man. Again, the glory of a King is wrapt up in the willing obedience of his Subjects, and this is made good in the new man. His people being made willing in the day of his power. For what is here objected, that the new man needs not the government of Christ? It is as if one should say, that a man doth make void and overthrow royall government, be­cause he maintaineth, that the Kings Subjects are willingly obedient unto him. But you say that they are perfect, and therefore his govern­ment is needlesse. The spirits of just men are made perfect, Heb. 12. And will you therefore con­clude, that the government of Christ over them is needlesse? But to passe this by. 2. It will appeare that the Priestly office of Christ, is not overthrown, but established rather by this doctrine; for first, we hold that no man liveth as a new man, who doth live under the guilt of sin, and therefore by the eye of the new man wee are daily to looke upon Christ as a Priest, in whom is no sinne; who by one offering hath perfected for ever them that are sanctified, [Page 294]Heb. 10.14. Again, the Priest was to offer up the sacrifices of the people for them, and by this doctrine we establish Christ in his Priestly office, which we could not do if we should say, that there were nothing in us but what is sinne and sinfull in us. The people were to bring something which was good to be offered up by the Priest to God. The blinde, lame, and sicke were not to be offered unto God, Mal. 1.8. Nei­ther is that which we doe, that is sin or sinfull, offered up by Jesus Christ to the Father, but that which is good. And thus wee establish Christ in his Priestly office, by affirming that there is something good in the new man, which is the matter of acceptance. 3. Wee doe not overthrow his Propheticall office by this truth. For he doth daily teach us in the new man. Whereas you say that he needs not his teaching; wee say that the new man hath his dependance upon Christ, for wisedome, knowledg, and understanding. And as a burn­ing Lampe doth daily stand in need of oyle to be powred into it for the maintaining of the light thereof; so we say that a Christian doth daily stand in need of spiritual oyle to be pow­red into his soule by Jesus Christ, that he may shine forth in the light of truth. Will you dare to say that the soules of the Just, made perfect, have no need of the teaching of Christ, and [Page 295]that they have no dependance upon him, be­cause they are perfect? Againe, it is necessary in respect of the old man, who is filled with hellish darknesse & ignorance, that Christ be looked upon as the great Prophet, that wee may put off the ignorance which is in him, & may be more in the Spirit of Christ, which will lead us into all truth. It being the way of Gods working to shine into our dark hearts, to en­lighten them with the knowledge of his grace in Jesus Christ. You may begin to see by what hath been delivered, that this doctrine doth not overthrow the offices of Jesus Christ, but doth sweetly to the glory of his Father con­firm him in them.

Arg. 9. If the regenerate man work perfe­ctly, then is the wages reckoned unto him, not of grace, but of debt, Rom. 4.4. But this cannot be that the wages either of the blessings of this life, or the life to come, should be of debt unto him, and not of free grace, seeing the Apostle testifieth, that God of his free grace gives us his beloved Sonne, and together with him, all things, Rom. 8.32.

Answ. This first place which is alleadged doth not reach the point in hand, because the Apostle doth there speak of works done under the law for Justification: and doth thence conclude that if a man be justified by those [Page 296]works which he doth under the law, that then the reward is not of debt but grace; because the law being not of faith, Gal. 3.12. doth give nothing unto us in a way of grace. But we are speaking of workes done and accepted under a Covenant of grace. The principall cause of mens errour and mistake in this controversie, is, because they examine the new man and his workes, by the law of works, and not by the law of sanctification, holinesse and love in the new Covenant of grace. If wee did examine his workes by the law of holinesse which is in the new covenant, we should plainly perceive that it is by the Spirit of grace that his workes are freely wrought in him; and by this means all legall glorying, and carnall boasting is ta­ken away. According to that of the Apostle, 1 Cor. 4.7. Who maketh thee to differ from ano­ther? And, what hast thou, that thou didst not receive? Now if thou didst receive it, why dost thou glory as if thou hadst not received it. By which you may plainly see, that the argument will not hold good; to say that if a man work perfectly under a covenant of grace, that his reward is not of grace but of debt. I shal there­fore give you a short answer to the first part of this argument, by distinguishing of a two-fold working, 1. under a law of works, and there it is true, that if a man worke perfectly, his [Page 297]reward is of debt. 2. Under a covenant of grace where a mans sin is freely forgiven him, and by free grace he is enabled to worke righ­teously: and there his reward is not of debt to speak properly, but of grace.

Secondly, Though we deny that God gi­veth any reward to a spirituall man as a debt due unto him, for his merits and deservings; yet wee affirme that God giveth rewards to a spirituall man who doth good works. And therefore it is said that Christ commeth with his reward with him, to give every man as his worke shall be, Revel. 22.12. And Moses estee­med the reproach of Christ greater riches than the treasures of Aegypt: for he had respect unto the re­compence of reward, Hebr. 11.26. And this re­ward may be called a debt, not in reference to mans merrit, but in reference to Gods promise of grace; as a man by his promise may make himselfe a debter to a beggar. And therefore the Apostle speaking unto the Saints, Hebr. 6.10. saith, That God is not unrighteous to forget the worke of the Saints, and labour of love. And John exhorteth us, that wee lose not those things which we have wrought, but that we receive a full reward, 2 John. And in this sense something may be given unto us as a reward of that work of grace, which is given unto us before it. Our confidence in Gods grace may have a great re­ward [Page 298]in this respect. According to that of the Apostle, Heb. 10.35. Cast not away your confi­dence which hath great recompence of reward. And this may be an answer to the second part of this argument.

Arg. 10. If the workes of the regenerate be not evill, because the holy Ghost worketh them. Then the works of the unregenerate, as his love and obedience to his parents are not evill.

Answ. There is a generall concurrence of God as the prime cause in the doing of some things by wicked men, and thus God may concur to the doing of a thing, & yet the thing as done by the wicked man may be evill, be­cause not done in faith. And it is no solid ar­gument to conclude from hence God did con­cur in the doing of this thing, and therefore it is not sin or sinfull.

2ly. There is a speciall concurrence of Gods grace and Spirit in the doing of a thing, as hee is the principall agent in working good spiri­tually in the Saints who are under a covenant of grace. And when God doth concur wth the speciall & powerfull assistance of his grace for the effecting of a thing in a Saint, it is safe to draw a conclusion to prove the goodnesse of the thing, from the considering of the princi­pall agent which did concurre in the doing of [Page 299]the thing. As John doth in these words, main­taining that a spirituall man considered as a spirituall man, and acting as a spirituall man, cannot sin, because his seed remaineth in him. By which distinction you may see the weakness of your argument (with which you would prove the unsoundnesse of my arguing from God, considered as the principal agent to the effect.) And the disparity of Gods working in the re­generate and unregenerate. When God doth work in a spirituall man that which is spiritu­all, it is not only good substantially and ma­terially, but formally and circumstantially by the grace of God, as I have proved at large. And therefore this argument is not strong e­nough to overthrow what hath beene delive­red.

Arg. 11. Either the holy Ghost workes the works of the regenerate man wholly, as the sole cause, and then it is not wee but the holy Ghost that believes, that loves, that fears God, that repents, that prayes for the forgivenesse of his sin, &c. which were absurd to imagine, or else we also work with him in some kind of causality to the producing of those workes, that so the works may be said to be ours, our loving, our fearing, our rejoycing, our pray­ing. If so, then are we in this working, either perfect or imperfect Agents. If perfect agents, [Page 300]then is there no ignorance in our understand­ings, no depravation in our wille, no perverse­nesse in our affections. The contrary whereof, all the truly faithfull find by experience, and the Scripture abundantly testifieth. But if we be imperfect agents, then cannot perfection come out of imperfection, no effect can be bet­ter than its cause.

Ans. 1 The efficiency of the first cause, doth not take away the efficiency of the second cause. In God we live & move, yet it is not God that moveth; he, though he moveth all things, cannot be moved himself (immobilis, movens om­nia. Aug.) So it is not God that repenteth, but we repent. The ignorance of which truth hath been the cause of the wicked mistery of Fami­lisme which my soule abhorreth. And there­fore we shall agree in the truth, which is im­plicitely laid down in the first part of your Dilemma.

2ly Whereas you say that all the faithfull grant, that man is an imperfect agent. I answer, that if we take perfect here in this point, as it is opposed to that which is sinfull, so many Saints doe grant, and all should and will, as more light is beamed into their soules, grant it, that the sanctified and spiritual man, consi­dered as farre forth as he is a spirituall man, doth work as a perfect Agent, not as an un­holy, [Page 301]but an holy man. And therefore accor­ding to your rule, his action must be spirituall and holy. And this may give an answer to that argument which is brought from Job, Who can bring a cleane thing out of an uncleane, Job 14.4.

3ly Whereas you say, that no effect can be better than its cause, &c. This is not universal­ly true. A man imperfect by the want of his armes or legs may beget a childe which is per­fect, and hath its limbs. But this not being much to the purpose, I shall not contend a­bout it.

Arg. 12. If the new man never sin, Christ came not to save the new man, for he came only to save sinners.

Answ. The new man taken in this spirituall and theologicoll sence is not the object of sal­vation: but an elect person guilty and sinfull in himselfe. And the new creation is a blessed consequent of our redemption by Christ: but I have sufficiently answered this before.

Arg. 13. That which is not in its owne na­ture agreeable to the holy law of God, is not perfect, and without sin; for sin is the transgres­sion or disagreement with the law of God, 1 John 3.4. But the best of a regenerate mans actions are not agreeable to the law of God, being not done with all the heart, with all the soule, with [Page 302]all the understanding, and with all the strength, Mat. 22.37. Deut. 6.5.

Ans. 1. By this argument you would bring the spirituall man to judge himselfe by the law or old covenant: but hee is better taught by the Spirit. And as hee doth not put his person under the old covenant, so doth he not judge his actions by the old covenant, but by the new covenant of grace. According to that of the Apostle, Gal. 5.18. If ye are led by the Spirit ye are not under the law. And thus looking upon what is wrought by the Spirit under the new covenant, he seeth it in its own nature agreea­ble to the law as it is delivered unto him in the hand of the Lord Jesus. Not that Christ doth require lesse holinesse than is required in the old covenant: but because he giveth us more grace, enabling us to keepe his Commande­ments; by the keeping of which, we know in the light of the Spirit that we truly know him. And the Commandements of Christ are kept by the Saints Evangelically two manner of wayes. 1. By believing for justification. 2. By holy walking for sanctification; not that we can keep them by holy walking, but as we walk in the light of our justification. And thus he is as well able to keep the commande­ment of love, as the commandement of faith. Suppose a King should pardon a Traytor, and [Page 303]should give him an assurance of pardon for all future Treason which he might run into, and had power to enable him in some things, and sometimes to be obedient unto him as a loyall Subject, would you not say that this Subject were a loyall Subject; all his trayterous acts forgiven, and his loyall obedience to the com­mand of his Soveraigne being accepted? Thus it is between God and us: He forgiveth all the treasons of the flesh, and accepteth of the obe­dience of the spirit. God doth account that all the commands of the Law are fulfilled by us, when that wch is not done is pardoned. (Om­nia tunc facta deputantur, cum id quod non fit ig­noscitur.) wch is true in a sense in reference to sanctification as well as to justification. And a spirituall man thus looking upon himselfe in the glasse of the covenant of grace, doth know that he is a keeper of the Commandements of God; and can say with the Psalmist, Ps. 119.10. With my whole heart I have sought thee: O let me not wander from thy Commandements. All his defects and imperfections with the com­mitting of evil, and omitting good in the flesh are done away, and that which is good is ac­counted so by the law of God, as it is presen­ted unto him in this Covenant. So speake ye, and so doe, as they that shall be judged by the law of liberty saith James, Jam. 2.12. As God doth [Page 304]judge our persons by the law of liberty, or the law of the new Covenant, so he doth judg our actions, and thus they are perfect. And the law of the new Covenant is not only faith for justification, but love for sanctification. And thus this place is expounded by the learned Paraeus.

Arg. 14. Paul did not think himself to have fully apprehended, or to be already perfect, but strove forward, Phil. 3.12, 13. which cannot be said of the olde man, but only of the new man, for the old man doth not strive forward for the prize of the high calling.

Answ. Though Paul had not attained to that perfection, which he looked for at the re­surrection: Yet hee had attained to a perfe­ction of parts which is opposed to sinfulnesse. Which doth appear by what followeth in the 15. vers. of the same Chap. where he doth ac­knowledg the Saints in this sence to be perfect, with which verse I shal put a period to my an­swers to your objections. As many as be perfect be thus minded, & if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveale even this unto you.

Ʋse 2. The lessons which God hath taught me from these meditations, have beene very powerfull by his grace for the convincing [...] of sin in a Gospel-way; and for the humbling of my soule under his mighty hand, by seeing [Page 305]the huge masse of corruption which is in the flesh, & that little quantity of pure gold which is in the Spirit. It was the speech of one of the Ancients, that grace in some Saints is like a spark in the Ocean. And thus I have appre­hended it in my selfe: Yet I see that as it is wrought by grace, so it is accepted by grace, being not under the law as delivered in the first covenant, and yet not without the law to God, but under the law to Christ, 1 Cor. 9.21. And this hath been a strong motive unto mee to hunger and thirst after the righteousnesse of sanctification, commanded and promised in the new Covenant, which doth comfort mee with an assurance and confidence, that that which is perfected here in part inchoatively, shall be perfected in degrees consummatively. I can say with David, Psal. 138.8. The Lord will perfect that which concerneth me, he will not for­sake the works of his owne hand. And seeing the strength and power of the flesh in mee, I am carried up in spirit, to admire and wonder at Gods omnipotent grace, by which, through faith, which worketh by love, I am preserved together with all Saints unto the day of salvation in Christ Jesus, who is over all (Rom. 9.5.) God blessed for ever, Amen.

FINIS.

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