[Page]THE HOLY Eucharist: OR, THE MYSTERY OF THE LORDS SUPPER. Briefly Explained. By THOMAS WATSON, Minister of the Gospel.

The second Impression newly Enlarged.

Dedit nobis Christus carnem suam in ci­bum, sanguinem in potum, animam in pre­tium aquam lateris in lavacrum. Bernard.
1 Cor. 10. 21. Ye cannot be partakers of the Lord's-Table, and the Table of Devils.

LONDON, Printed by A. Maxwel, for Thomas Parkhurst, at the Gol­den Bible, on London-Bridge, next the Gate.

To the Honourable, Ver­tuous, and my ever Honoured Friend, Mrs. DOROTHY WOLSTENHOLM.


BEsides the Cogni­zance I have had of you, when it was my happiness to live [Page]among some of your Noble Relations, your friendly deportment, and the favourable Aspect which you have been pleased to cast upon me, hath very much rendred me your Debtor. And I knew not what other way to express my self grateful, than by present­ing yo [...] with some of that Treasure, which, through the help of the Spirit, I have digged out of the [Page]Sacred Mines of Scrip­ture. The Tractate which I here dedicate to you, is small, but the Subject treated on, is of emi­nent and singular worth. Pearls may lie in a little room; and a soveraign Electuary may be given upon a Knive's point. The Supper of the Lord is a matter of weighty importance, as having in it the very pith and quin­tessence of the Gospel. [Page] Madam, Admire distin­guishing Grace, which hath made you Noble, not only in blood, but in spiritual EndowmentsNobilitas cujusque rei est, sibi secundum [...]sse.: How deeply are you ob­liged to God, who hath given you an insight into the Mystery of Life, which will abide with you, when the Flower of Beauty shall fade, and the Feathers of Honour must lie in the dust. Ma­dam, let Jesus Christ be e­ver [Page]in your thoughts, you are never out of his. Let that dear Saviour lie as a bundle of Myrrh between your Breasts; Cant. 1. 13. delight much in the Galleries where the King of Glory is held. Cant. 7. 5. Let those hours be counted golden, when you are at Free grace's Table, and Christ sups with you, and you with him. I have no more at present to add, only desire your Candid Interpreta­tion, [Page]& kind reception of these few impolished lines: So entreating the Lord to enrich you with all spiritual and eternal Bles­sings, I take leave, and rest,

Yours to serve you, Thomas Watson.

TO THE Reader.

Christian Reader,

VVHEN I Con­template the Holiness and Solemnity of the blessed Sacrament, I cannot but have some awe upon my Spirit, and think my self bound to hold this Mystery in the high­est Veneration. The E­lements of Bread and [Page]Wine are in themselves common, but under these Symbolical Representati­ons, lie hid Divine Ex­cellencies. Behold here the best of daintiesDapes sa'iares: Hor., God is in this Cheer. Here is the Apple of the Tree of Life: Here is The House of Wine [...] Cant. 3. 4., where the Banner of Free grace is gloriously dis­played. In the Sacrament we see Christ broken before us, and his broken body [Page]is the only comfort for a broken Heart. While we sit at this Tab [...] Christ's precious Spikenard of me­rit and grace, sends forth its smell. The Sacrament is both an healing, and a sealing Ordinance. Here our Saviour leads his peo­ple up the Mount of Transfiguration, & gives them a Glimpse of Pa­radise. How welcome, should this Jubilee of the Soul be? wherein Christ [Page]appears in the oriency of his beauty, and draws the golden [...] of his love to the center of a Believer's Heart. Oh what Flames of Devotion should burn in our Breasts! How agil and nimble should we be! mounting up as on Wings of Cherubims, when we are to meet the Prince of Glory, who brings the Olive-branch of Peace in his mouth, and whose kis­ses leave a print of Hea­ven [Page]upon the Soul. The scope of this ensuing Dis­course, is to raise an high value and appretiation of the Sacrament, to Ex­cite Holy Ardours of Soul in such as intend to par­take of it. Think not, That it is enough to be outwardly devout at Gods Table, drawing near to him with the lip, when the Heart is far from him Isa. 28. 13.. What is this but with Ephraim to [Page] compass God, with LyesHoss 11. 12.? They who put off God with bare shews, he will put them off with bare signs. They who give God only the skin of Duty, shall carry away only the shell of Comfort. Spirituality is the life of Worship [...]. Chry­sost.: If we come to the Sacra­ment in due order* , we shall see him whom our souls love1 Chron. 15 13.. The Lord will give us a fore-crop here, and reserve [Page]the after-crop of Glory for the Kingdom of. Heaven. That this may be effected, shall be the earnest prayer of him, who is

Yours in the Work of the Gospel. Thomas Watson.

THE MYSTERY of the Lords Supper.

MATT. 26. 26 27, 28.‘And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, and blessed it, and brake it, and gave it to his Disciples, and said, Take, eat, this is my body. And he took the Cup; and gave thanks, and gave it to them, saying, Drink ye all of it: For, this is my blood of the New Testament, which is shed for many for the Remission of sins.’

IN these words, we have the Institution of the Lords Supper. The Greeks call the Sacra­ment [...], a Mystery: There is in it, a Mystery of Wonder, [Page 2]and a mystery of Mercy. The cele­bration of the Lords Supper (saith St. Chrysostom) is the Commemora­tion of the greatest Blessing that ever the World enjoyed. A Sacrament is a Visible Sermon Sacra­mentum [...] Sacrae [...] figura, qua sub specie Visibilium, spiritualis gratia & adumbra­tur & con­f [...]rtur.. And herein the Sacrament excels the Word Preach­ed. The Word is a Trumpet to proclaim Christ, the Sacrament is a Glass to represent him.

Quest. But why was the Sacra­ment of the Lords Supper appointed? is not the Word, sufficient to bring us to Heaven?

Answ. The Word, is for the In­grafting; The Sacrament, for the Con­firming of Faith. The Word brings us to Christ; The Sacrament builds us up in him. The Word is the Font, where we are baptized with the Ho­ly Ghost; The Sacrament is the Table, where we are fed, and cherished. The Lord condescends to our w [...]ak­ness: Were we made up all of Spirit, there were no need of Bread and [Page 3]Wine; but we are compounded crea­tures, therefore God to help our Faith, doth not only give us an audi­ble Word, but a visible Sign It sensus fovetur, & fides firma­tur.. I may here allude to that of our Savi­our, Joh. 4. 48. Except ye see signs, ye will not believe. Christ sets his Body and Blood before us in the Ele­ments: here are Signs, else we will not believe Quia ex­ternis du­cimur. Hisce Sym­bolis sidem in nobisad­auget Deus. Gualter..

Things taken in by the Eye, do more work upon us, than things ta­ken in by the Ear. A Solemn Specta­cle of Mortality, doth more affect us than an Oration. So, when we see Christ broken in the Bread, and as it were Crucified before us, this doth more affect our Hearts, than the bare Preaching of the Cross.

So I come to the Text: As they were eating, Jesus took bread, &c.

[Page 4]Where I shall open these five par­ticulars, in reference to the Sacra­ment.

  • 1. The Author.
  • 2. The Time.
  • 3. The Manner.
  • 4. The Guests.
  • 5. The Benefits.

1. The Author of the Sacra­ment, Jesus Christ. [Jesus took (1.) bread] To Institute Sacraments, belongs of right to Christ, and is a Flower of his Crown. He only who can give Grace, can appoint the Sa­craments, which are the Seals of Grace. Christ being the Founder of the Sacrament, gives a Glory, and a Luster to it. A King making a feast, adds the more state and magnificence to it. Jesus took bread: he, whose Name is above every NamePhil. 2. 9.; God blessed for ever.

2. The Time when Christ did institute the Sacrament; wherein we (2.) [Page 5]may take notice of two Circumstan­ces. 1. It was when he had sup­ped, Luk. 22. 20. [ [...], After Supper.] Which had this My­stery in it, To shew that the Sacra­ment is chiefly intended as a spiritual Banquet; it is not to indulge the Senses, but to feast the Graces. It was, after Supper.

2. The other Circumstance of Time, is, That Christ did appoint the Sacrament a little before his suffer­ings, 1 Cor. 11. 23. The Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betray­ed, took bread. He knew troubles were now coming upon his Disciples; it would be no small perplexing to them, to see their Lord and Master crucisied; and shortly after they must pledg him in a bitter Cup; therefore, to arm them against such a time, and to animate their spirits, that very night in which he was betrayed, he gives them his Body and Blood, in the Sacrament.

[Page 6]This may give us a good Hint, That in all trouble of mind, especial­ly approaches of danger, it is need­ful to have recourse to the Lords Supper. The Sacrament is both an An­tidote against fear, and a Restorative to faith. The night in which Christ was betrayed, he took Bread.

3. The Manner of the Institu­tion; wherein there are four things 3 observable:

  • 1. The Taking of bread.
  • 2. The Breaking it.
  • 3. The Blessing it.
  • 4. The Administring the Cup.

1. The Taking of the Bread. 1. Jesus took bread [...]..

Quest. What is meant by this Phrase, He took bread.

Answ. Christ's taking and sepa­rating the bread from common uses, did hold forth a double Mystery.

[Page 7]1. It signified that God in his Eternal Decree, set Christ apart for the work of our Redemption. He was [...], Separate from sin­ners. Heb. 7. 26.

2. Christ's setting the Elements apart from common Bread and Wine, shewed, That he is not for common Persons to feed on. They are to be divinely, purified who touch these holy things of God; they must be outwardly separated from the World, and inwardly sanctified by the Spirit.

Quest. Why did Christ take Bread, rather than any other Element?

Answ. 1. Because it did pre­figure Him. Christ was typified by the Shew bread, 1 King. 7. 48. By the Bread which Melchisedeck offer­ed unto Abraham, Gen. 14. 18. And by the Cake which the Angel brought to Elias, 1 Kings 19. 4. Therefore he took Bread, to answer the Type.

[Page 8]2. Christ took bread because of the Analogy; Bread did neerly re­semble him, John 6. 48. I am that bread of life. There is a threefold resemblance. 1. Bread is useful. Other comforts are more for delight than use. Musick delights the ear, colour [...] the eye, but Bread is the staff of Life. So is Christ useful. There is no subsisting without him, John 6. 57. He that eateth me, even he shall live by me.

2. Bread is satisfying. If a man be hungry, bring him Flowrs or Pictures, they do not satisfie, but bread doth satiate. So Jesus Christ the bread of the soul, satisfies; he satisfies the eye with beauty, the heart with sweetness, the conscience with peace.

3. Bread is strengthening. Psal. 104. 15. Bread which strengthens mans heart. So Christ, the bread of the soul, transmits strength. He strengthens us against temptations, [Page]he gives strength for doing and suf­fering Work. He is like the Cake, the Angel brought to the Prophet, 1 Kings 19. 8. He arose and did eat, and went in the strength of that meat forty dayes, and forty nights, unto Ho­reb the Mount of God.

2. The second thing in the Insti­tution, 2. is, Christs blessing of the bread. He blessed it Bene­dictione Christi, pa­nis com munis in sacrum m [...]usest Gualt.. This was the Consecration of the Elements. Christ by his Blessing, sanctifyed them and made them Symbols of his Body and Blood [...]onsecra­tio, vocabulum est solenne, significans id quo sit, ut haec signa Visibilia, quae per se aliena sunt à my [...]eris religiosis, siut Sacramenta corporis & sanguinis Christi. Chamier de Eu­charist..

Christ's consecrating of the Ele­ments, points out three things:

1. Christ in blessing the Ele­ments, opened the nature of the Sa­crament to the Apostles. He did unriddle this Mystery. Christ did advertise them, That as sure as they [Page 10]did receive the Elements corporeal­ly, so sure they did receive him into their hearts spiritually.

2. Christ's blessing the Elements, signified his prayer for a Blessing up­on the Ordinance. He prayed that these Symbols of Bread and Wine, might through the Blessing and Ope­ration of the Holy Ghost, sanctifie the Elect, and seal up all spiritual mercies, and priviledges to them.

3. Christ's blessing the Elements, was his giving thanksMoris s [...]mper ju­daeis fuit, [...]tex hal­mudicis Scriptoribus apparet, Ante cibum, aut vinum sumptum, [...]. Josephus. Grotius.. So it is in the Greek, [...], He gave thanks [...] idem valet quod [...] Drusius. Beza. Ca­meron..

1. Christ gave thanks, that God the Father had in the infinite riches of his Grace given his Son to expiate the Sins of the World. And if Christ gave thanks, how may we give thanks? If he gave thanks who was [Page 11]to shed his blood, how may we give thanks who are to drink it?

2. Christ gave thanks, that God had given these Elements of Bread and Wine, not only to be signs, but seals of our Redemption. As the Seal serves to make over a convey­ance of Land; so the Sacrament, as a spiritual Seal, serves to make over Christ and Heaven, to such as wor­thily receive it.

3. The third thing in the Insti­tution, 3. is, the Breaking of the Bread. He brake it [...].. This did shadow out Christ's Death and Passion, with all the Torments of his Body and Soul. Isa. 53. 10. It pleased the Lord to bruise him. VVhen the Spices are bruised, then they send forth a sweet savour. So when Christ was bruised on the Cross, he did send out a most fragant smell. Christ's body cruci­fying, was the breaking open a Box of precious oyntment, which did fill Heaven and Earth with its perfume.

[Page 12] Quest. But why was Christs bo­dy broken? What was the cause of his suffering?

Answ. Surely not for any desert of his own. Dan. 9. 26. The Mes­fiah shall be cut off, but not for himself. In the Original it is, He shall be cut off, and there is nothing in him [...]. There is no cause in him, why he should suffer. The high Priest when he went into the Tabernacle, offered first, for himself, Heb. 9. 7. Though he had his Mitre or golden Plate, and did wear holy Garments; yet he was not pure and innocent; he must offer sacrifice for himself, as well as for the people. But Jesus Christ that great High Priest, though he of­fered a bloody Sacrifice, yet not for himself.

Why then was his blessed body broken? Answ. It was for our sinsDoleo, Do­mine, non tua vulne­ra sed mea. Amb.. Isa. 53. 6. But he was wounded for our transgressions. The Hebrew word for wounded [...], hath a double Em­phasis; [Page 13]either it may signifie that he was pierced through as with a dartPerfo­ratus.; or that he was profanedProfa­natus.. He was used as some common vile thing; and Christ might thank us for it, He was wounded for our transgressionsAlius peccat, ali­us plecti­tur. Luth.. So that, if the question were put to us, as was once to Christ, Prophesie, who is it that smote thee? Luk. 22. 64. We might soon answer, It was our sins that smote him [...]. Cy­till.. Our pride made Christ wear a Crown of Thorns; as Zip­porah said to Moses, Exod. 4. 25. A bloody husband art thou to me: so may Christ say to his Church, A bloody Spouse thou hast been to me; thou hast cost me my heart-blood.

Quest. But how could Christ suf­fer, being God? the Godhead is im­passible?

Resp. Christ suffered only in the Humane nature, not the Divine. Da­mascen expresseth it by this Simile; If [Page 14]one pour water on Iron that is red hot, the fire suffers by the water, and is extinguished, but the Iron doth not suffer. So the Humane Nature of Christ might suffer Death, but the Divine Nature is not capable of any passion. VVhen Christ was in the Humane Nature suffering, he was in the Divine Nature triumphing. As we wonder at the rising of the Sun of Righteousness in his Incarnation, so we may wonder at the going down of this Sun in his Passion.

Quest. But if Christ suffered only in his Humane Nature, how could his suffering satisfie for sin?

Answ. By reason of the Hyposta­tical Union, the Humane Nature be­ing united to the Divine; the Hu­mane Nature did suffer, the Divine did satisfie. Christs Godhead did give both Majesty and Efficacy to his sufferings. Christ was Sacrifice, Priest, and Altar. He was Sacrisice, as he was Man; Priest, as he was God and [Page 15]Man; Altar, as he was God. It is the Property of the Altar to sanctifie the thing offered on it, Mat. 23. 19. So the Altar of Christs Divine Nature sanctified the Sacrifice of his Death, and made it Meritorious.

Now concerning Christ's suffer­ing upon the Cross, observe two things.

1. The Bitterness of it to him, 1. He was broken. The very thoughts of his Suffering put him into an A­gony. Luk. 22. 44. Being in an ago­ny, he prayed more earnestly, and his sweat was as great drops of blood fal­ling to the ground. He was as full of sorrow as his heart could hold. Mat. 26. 38. [...], My soul is exceeding sorrowful even unto death.

Christ's Crucifixion was, 1. A lin­gring death. It was more for Christ to suffer one hour, than for us to have suffered for ever; but his death was lengthened out, he hung three hours upon the Cross. He dyed many [Page 16]deaths, before he could dye oneMorsque minus poe­ [...]ae, quam mora mor­tis habet..

2. It was a painful Death. His Hands and Feet were nailed, which parts being full of sinnews, and there­fore very tender, his pain must needs be most acute and sharp; and to have the invenoned Arrow of Gods wrath shot to his heart, this was the dire­ful Catastrophe, and caused that Vo­ciferation and out-cry upon the Cross, My God, my God, why hast thou farsaken me? The Justice of God was now inflamed and heightned to its full [...]. Rom. 8. 38. God spa­red not his Son. Nothing must be abated of the debt. Christ felt the pains of Hell, though not locally, yet equivalently. In the Sacrament we see this Tragedy acted before us.

3. It was a shameful Death. Christ was in medio positus; he hung be­tween two Thieves, Mat. 27. 38. As if he had been the principal Male­factor. Well might the Lamp of Heaven withdraw its light, and mask [Page 17]it self with darkness, as blushing to behold the Sun of Righteousness in an Eclipse. It is hard to say, which was greater, the blood of the Cross, or the shame of the CrossHeb. 12. 2..

4. It was a cursed Death, Deut. 21. 23. This kind of death was so execrable, that Constantine made a Law, That no Christian should dye upon the Cross. The Lord Jesus underwent this. Gal. 3. 13. Being made a Curse for us. He who was God blessed for ever, Rom. 9. 5. was under a Curse.

2. Consider the Sweetness of it 2. to usNon citius fuit, quam pro­fuit.. Christs Brusing, is our Heal­ing. Isa. 53. 6. By his stripes we are healed. Calvin calls the Cruci­fixion of Christ, Cardo salutis, the Hinge on which our Salvation turns: And Luther calls it Fons salutis, a Gospel-spring opened to refresh Sin­ners. Indeed, the Suffering of Christ is a Death-bed Cordial, 'Tis an An­tidote to expell all our fear. Doth [Page 18]Sin trouble? Christ hath overcome it for us. Besides the two Thieves crucified with Christ, there were two other invisible Thieves crucified with him, Sin and the Devil.

4. The fourth Particular in the 4. Institution, is Christ's administring the Cup: And he took the Cup [...].. The taking of the Cup, shewed the Redundancy of Merit in Christ, and the copiousness of our Redemption. Christ was not sparing; he gave not only the Bread, but the Cup. We may say as the Psalmist, With the Lord is plenteous Redemption, Psal. 130. 7.

If Christ gave the Cup, how dare the Papists with-hold it Si quis dixerit ex Dei praecepto, vel ne­cessitate salutis om nes & singulos Chri [...]i fideels utramque spe cicm sanctissimi Eu­charistiae Sacramenti sumere debere, Ana­thema sit. Concil. Trident. Sess. Vice­simå primâ, Canon.? They clip and muti­late the Ordinance. They blot out Scripture; and may fear that doom, Rev. 22. 19. If any man shall take away from the words of the Book of this Prophesie, God shall take [Page 19] away his part out of the Book of Life.

Quest What is meant by Christs taking the Cup?

Answ. The Cup is figurative: It is a Metonymy of the Subject, the Cup is put for the Wine in it. By this, Christ signified the shedding of his Blood upon the Cross; when his Blood was poured out, now the Vine was cut, and did bleed; now was the Lilly of the Vallies dyed of a purple Colour Stolam coccineam dederunt ei, quam­vis ipse vestem cor­poris, sanguinaria essusione multo no­bilius purpuravit. Bern.. This was to Christ a Cup of astonish­mentEzek. 23. 33.: But to us it is a Cup of salvation. When Christ drank this Cup of Blood, we may truly say, he drank an health to the World. It was preci­ous Blood, 1 Pet. 1. 19. In this Blood we see Sin fully punished, and fully pardoned. Well may the Spouse give Christ of her Spiced Wine, and the Juice of her Pomgranate, Cant. 8. 2. When Christ hath given her a draught of his warm Blood, Spiced [Page 20]with his Love, and perfumed with the Divine Nature.

4. The fourth thing, is, The Guests 4. invited to this Supper, or the Persons to whom Christ distributed the Ele­ments: He gave to the Disciples [...], and said, Take, Eat. The Sacrament is Chilarens bread. If a man makes a Feast, he calls his Friends. Christ calls his Disciples; if he had any piece better than other, he carves it to them.

Luk. 22. 19. This is my body which is given for you. That is, for you quatenus Believers. Christ gave his Body and Blood to the Disciples, chiefly under this No­tion, as they were Believers: As Christ poured out his PrayersJoh. 17. 9., so his Blood only for Believers; see how near to Christ's Heart, all Believers lie! Christ's Body was broken on the Cross, and his Blood shed for them. Rom. 11, 7, The Election hath obtained it. Christ [Page 21]passed by others, and dyed intentio­nally for them. Impenitent Sinners have no Benefit by Christ's Death, unless a short Reprieve. Christ is given to the wicked in wrath. He is a Rock of Offence [...] Idem., 1 Pet. 2, 8. Christs Blood, is like Chymical Drops of Oyl, which recover some Pa­tients, but kill other. Judas suck­ed Death from the Tree of Life [...], hos curat illis nocet.: God can turn Stones into Bread; and a Sinner can turn Bread into Stones: The Bread of Life, into the S [...]ne of Stumbling.

5. The fifth thing observable in 5. the Text, is the benefit of this Sup­per, in these Words, For the remission of sins [...].. This is a mercy of the first Magnitude; the Summum ge­nus, the crowning blessing: Psalm 103. 3, 4. Who forgiveth thy iniqui­ties, who crowneth thee with loving­kindness: Whosoever hath this Charter granted, is enrolled in the [Page 22]book of Life: Psal. 32. 1. Bl [...]ssed is he whose transgression is forgiven. Under this Word remission of sin, by a Synecdoche, are comprehended all Heavenly Benedictions, Justification, Adoption, Glory; in respect of which benefits, we may with Chrysostom [...]., call the Lords Supper, The Feast of the Cross.

This Doctrine of the Sacrament confutes the opinion of Transubstan­tiation Non Transub­stantiatio intellig [...] ­tur, vel transfusio sed signi & rei con junctio [...], & Sacra­mentalis: Beza.. Use 1. Confut. Bran. 1. When Christ saith, This is my body; The Papists affirm that the Bread after the Consecration is turned into the Substance of Christ's Body. We hold, that Christ's Body is in the Sacrament spiritually; but the Papists say, that it is there carnal­ly; which opinion is both Absurd, and Impious.

1. Absurd; For it is contrary, 1. To Scripture: The Scripture asserts that Christs Body is locally, and nu­merically in Heaven, Act. 3. 21. Whom the Heavens must receive, until [Page 23] the times of Restitution of all things. If Christ's Body be circumscribed in Heaven, then it cannot be material­ly in the Eucharist.

2. It is contrary to reason: How is it imaginable that a thing should be changed into another Species, yet continue the same? That the Bread in the Sacrament should be transmu­ted and turned into Flesh, yet remain Bread still? When Moses Rod was turned into a Serpent, it could not be at the same time both a Rod, and a Serpent: That the Bread in the Sa­ [...]rament should be changed into the body of Christ, and yet remain Bread is a perfect contradiction: If the Pa­pists say, The Bread is vanished: This is fitter to be put into their Legend, than our Creed; for the colour, form, and rellish of the Bread still remains.

2. This Opinion of Transubstan­tiation 2. is impious; as appears in two things: 1. It is a Profaning Christ's body; for if the Bread in the Sacra­ment [Page 24]be the real body of Christ, then it may be eaten, not only by the wicked, but by Reptils and Vermin, which were to disparage and cast contempt upon Christ and his Ordi­nance.

2. It runs men inevitably upon sin; for through this mistake, that the bread is Christs very body, there follows the [...], or Divine Wor­ship given to the bread, which is Ido­latry; as also the offering up of the bread, or Host in the Mass, which is a blasphemy against Christs Priestly OfficeHeb. 10. 14., as if his Sacrifice on the Cross were imperfect.

Therefore I conclude with Peter Martyr, That this Doctrine of Tran­substantiation is to be abhorred and exploded, being minted only in mens phancies, but not sprung up in the field of the Holy Scriptures.

2. This Doctrine of the Sacra­ment, confutes such as look upon the Bran. Lords Supper only as an empty Fi­gure [Page 25]or shadow, resembling Christ's Death, but having no intrinsick effi­cacy in it. Surely, this glorious Or­dinance is more than an Effigies, or representative of Christ: Why is the Lords Supper called The Commu­nion of the body of Christ1 Cor. 10. 16., but be­cause in the right celebration of it, we have sweet communion with Christ? In this Gospel-Ordinance, Christ doth not only shew forth his Beauty, but send forth his Vertue. The Sacrament is not only a Picture drawn, but a Breast drawn; it gives us, a Tast of Christ as well as a Sight1 Pet. 2 3. Such as make the Sacrament only a representative of Christ, do shoot short of the Mystery, and come short of the Comfort.

Use. 2. It informs us of several Use 2. Infor. things. 1. It shews us the necessity of coming to the Lords Supper. Hath Jesus Christ been at all this cost to make a Feast? then sure there must be GuestsLuk. 2. 19.. It is not left to our choice [Page 26]whether we will come or no, but it is a Duty purely indispensable: 1 Cor. 11. 28. [...]. Let him eat of that Bread: Which Words are not only permis­sive, but authorative: As if a King should say, Let it be Enacted. The Neglect of the Sacrament runs men into a Gospel-Premunire. It was infinite goodness in Christ, to broach that blessed Vessel of his body, and let his sacred Blood stream out; and for us wilfully to omit such an Ordi­nance, wherein the Trophie of mer­cy is so richly displayed, and our sal­vation so nearly concerned, well may Christ take this as an undervaluing of him, and interpret it no better than a bidding him keep his feast to himself. He that observed not the Passeover, that soul was to be cut off, Numb. 9. 13. How angry was Christ with those that stayed away from the Supper! They thought to put it off with a Complement; but Christ knew how to construe their excuse for a refusal: [Page 27] Luk. 14. 24. None of those men which were bidden, shall taste of my Supper. The Rejecting Gospel-mercy is a sin of so deep a die, that God can do no less than punish it for a Contempt. Some need a Flaming Sword to keep them off from the Lord's Table; and others need Christ's Whip of small Cords to drive them to it.

Perhaps, Some will say, They are above the Sacrament: It were strange to hear a man say he were above his Food! The Apostles were not above this Ordinance, and doth any one presume to be a Peg higher than the Apostles? Let all Enthusiasts consult that Scripture, [...] Cor. 11. 26. As often as ye eat this bread, and drink this Cup. ye shew the Lords death till he come. The Lords Death is to be remembred Sa­cramentally, til he come to Judgment.

2. See the Misery of Unbelie­vers; 2. though the Lord hath ap­pointed this glorious Ordinance of his Body and Blood, they reap no [Page 28]benefit by it. They come indeed to the Sacrament, either to keep up their Credit, or to stop the Mouth of Conscience, but they get nothing for their Souls. They come empty of Grace, and go away empty of Com­fort: Isa. 29. 8. It shall even be as when an hungry man dreameth, and be­hold he eateth, but he awaketh, and his soul is empty. So, wicked men fancy they eat of this spritual Banquet, but they are in a golden Dream Impiis [...]ibil rest at praeter ina­ [...] specta­culum. Davenant.: Alas, They discern not the Lords body: The Manna lay round about Israels Camp, and they knew it not: Exod. 16. 15. They wist not what it was [...];: So, carnal persons see the external Elements, but Christ is not known to them in his saving Vertues: There is honey in this spiritual Rock, which they never taste: They feed upon the bread, but not Christ in the bread Edunt pan [...]m Do­mini, non panem Do [...]um.. Isaac eat the Kid, when he thought it had been Venison, Gen. 27. 25. Unbelievers go away with the [Page 29]shadow of the Sacrament; they have the Rind and the Husk, not the Mar­row: They eat the Kid, not the Ve­nison.

Bran. 3.3. See in this Text, as in a Glass, infinite Love display'd. 1. Behold the love of God the Father, in giving Christ to be broken for us; that God should lay such a Jewel to pawn is the Wonderment of Angels: John 3. 16. God so loved the World, that he gave his only begotten Son. It is a pat­tern of Love without a Parallel; it was a far greater expression of Love in God to give his Son to dye for us, than if he had voluntarily acquitted us of the Debt, without any satis­faction at all. If a Subject be disloyal to his Soveraign, it argues more love in the King, to give his own Son to dye for that Subject, than to forgive him the wrong freely.

2. Behold, the amazing Love of Christ, His body was broken [...], illus­tre amoris Christi mnemosy­num. Burg.: The Cross, saith St. Austin, was a Pulpit, [Page 30]in which Christ preached his Love to the World. Let us see an holy Cli­max or Gradation of the Love of Christ!

1. It was wonderful Love, that 1. Christ who never had the Viper of sin, fastened on him, should be repu­ted a sinner: That he who hated sin, should be made sin 2 Cor. 5. 21.: That he who is numbred among the Persons of the Trinity, should be numbred among transgressours, Isa. 53. 12.

2 That Christ should suffer peath 2. Dilexisti me Dami­ne magis quam te ipsum.: Lord (saith Bernard) thou hast loved me more than thy self; for thou didst lay down thy life for me. The Emperour Trajan rent off a piece of his own Robe, to bind up one of his Souldiers Wounds: Christ rent off his own Flesh for us Nay, that Christ should dye as the greatest sinner†, having the weight of all mens sins laid upon him; here was Love Luther. usque ad stuporem dulcis! It sets all the Angels in Heaven a wondring.

[Page 31]3. That Christ should dye free­ly: John 10. 17. I lay down my 3. Life Non fuit [...]x [...]ecessi­tate, sed ex volunta­te. Hier.: There was no Law to enjoin him, no Force to compel him. It is called the Offering of the Body of Jesus, Heb. 10. 10. What could fasten him to the Cross, but the Gol­den Link of Love? 4.

4. That Christ should dye for such as we are: What are we? Not only Vanity, but Enmity: When we were fighting, he was dying; when we had the Weapons in our hands, then had he the Spear in his Sides, Rom. 5. 8.

5. That Christ dyed [...]or us, when he could not expect to be at all bet­tered 5. by us: We were reduced to penury; we were in such a conditi­on, that we could neither Merit Christ's Love, nor R [...]quite it; for Christ to dye for us when we were at such a low Ebb, was the very Quint­essence of Love. One Man will ex­tend kindness to another, so long as [Page 32]he is able to requite him; but if he be fallen to decay, then love begins to slacken and cool: But when we were ingulphed in misery, and were fallen to decay, we had lost our Beauty, stained our Blood spent our Portion, then Christ dyed for us; O amazing love, which may swallow up all our thoughts!

6. That Christ should not repent of his sufferings: Isa. 53, 11. He 6. shall see of the travel of his soul, and shall be satisfied. It is a Metaphor that alludes to a Mother, who though she hath had hard Labour, yet doth not repent [...]it, when she sees a Child brought forth; so, though Christ had hard Travel upon the Cross, yet he doth not repent of it, but thinks all his Sweat and Blood well bestow­ed, because he sees the Man-child of redemption is brought forth into the World Hoc uno laboris sui praemio affatim saturat [...]r, nunc qui­ [...]scit, nunc deliciis affluit. Forc [...]ius [...]: He shall be satisfied; the Hebrew Word [...] signifies such a satiating, as a man hath at some sweet repast or banquet

[Page 33]7. That Christ should rather dye for us, than the Angels that fell. 7. They were creatures of a more noble Extract, and in all probability might have brought greater Revenues of glory to God; yet that Christ should pass by those Golden Vessels, and make us Clods of Earth, into Stars of Glory; O the Hyperbole of Christ's Love!

8. Yet another Step of Christ's 8. Love (for like the waters of the Sanctuary, it riseth higher)! That Christ's Love should not cease at the hour of Death. We write in our Letters, Your Friend till Death: But Christ wrote in another Style, Your Friend after Death! Christ dyed once, [...] loves ever. He is now testify [...] his Affection to us; he is making the Mansions ready for us, John 14. 2. He is interceding for us, Heb. 9. 27. He appears in the Court, as the Advocate, for the Cly­ent. When he hath done dying, yet [Page 34]he hath not done loving; what a stupendious love was here? Foderunt latus Christi intimafu roris lancea, quod jam dudum amo­ris lanceasuitvul­neratum. Bern. de pass. Dom. Who can meditate upon this, and not be in an Extasie? Well may the Apostle call it; A love that passeth knowledg [...]. Eph. 3. 19. When you see Christ broken in the Sacra­ment think of this Love.

4. See then, what dear and intire Bran. 4. affections we should bear to Christ, who gives us his body and blood in the Eucharist: If, he had had any thing to part with of more worth, he would have bestowed it upon us [...]. Cyr.. O let Christ lie nearest our Hearts. Let him be our Tree of Life, and let us desire no other Fruit [...]et him be our Morning Star, [...]nd let us rejoice in no other Light.

As Christs Beauty, so his Bounty should make him loved by us; he hath given us his Blood, as the Price; and his Spirit as the Witness of our [Page 35]Pardon. In the Sacrament Christ bestows all good things: He both imputes his Righteousness, and im­parts his Loving-kindness. He gives a Fore-taste of that Supper which shall be celebrated in the Paradise of God. To sum up all: In the blessed Supper, Christ gives himself to Be­lievers; and what can he give more? Dear Saviour, how should thy Name be as Oyntment poured forth! The Persians worship the Sun for their God, let us worship the Sun of Righteousness. Though Judas sold Christ for Thirty Pieces, let us rather part with all, than this Pearl. Christ is that Golden Pipe, through which, the Golden Oyl of Salvation is transmitted to us.

5. Was Christ's Body broken? then we may behold Sin odious in the Bran. 5. Red Glass of Christ's Sufferings. It is true, Sin is to be abominated, as it turn'd Adam out of Paradise, and threw the Angels down to Hell. Sin [Page 36]is the Peace-breaker; it is like an Incendiary in the Family, that sets Husband and Wife at variance; it makes God fall out with us. Sin is the Womb of our Sorrows, and the Grave of our Comforts. But that which may most of all disfigure the Face of Sin, and make it appear Ghastly, is this, It crucified our Lord: It made Christ Vail his Glo­ry, and lose his Blood. If a Wo­man did see that Sword which killed her Husband, how hateful would the sight of it be to her? Do we count that Sin Light, which made Christ's Soul Heavy unto Death? Mark 14. 34. Can that be our joy, which made the Lord Jesus a man of sorrows? Isa. 53. 3. Did he cry out, My God, why hast thou forsaken me? And shall not those Sins be forsaken by us, which made Christ himself for­saken? O let us look upon Sin with Indignation. When a Temptation comes to Sin, let us say as David, [Page 37]2 Sam. 23. 17. Is not this the blood of the men that went in jeopardy of their lives? So, Is not this the Sin that poured out Christ's Blood? Let our Hearts be enraged against Sin. When the Senators of Rome shewed the people Caesar's bloody Robe, they were incensed against those that slew him. Sin hath rent the White Robe of Christs Flesh, and dyed it of a Crimson Colour: let us then seek to be avenged of our Sins. Under the Law, if an Oxe gored a Man that he dyed, the Oxe was to be killed, Exod. 21. 28. Sin hath gored and pierced our Saviour, let it dye the Death. What pitty is it, for that to live, which would not suffer Christ to live?

6. Was Christ's Body broken? Let us then from his suffering on the Bran. 6. Cross, learn this Lesson, Not to won­der much, if we meet with Troubles in the World. Did Christ suffer, who knew no Sin? And do we think [Page 38]it strange to suffer, who know no­thing but Sin? Did Christ feel the anger of God? And is it much for us to feel the anger of Men? Was the Head crowned with Thorns? And would the Members lie among Ro­sesNon de cet mem­brum deli­catum esse sub capite crucifixo Bern.? Must we have our Bracelets and Diamonds, when Christ had the Spear and Nails going to his heart? Truly such as are guilty, may well ex­pect the lash, when he who was in­nocent, could not go free.

2. The second Use is of Exhor­tation, and it hath several Branches. Use. 2. Exhcrt.

1. Was Christ's precious body bro­ken Bran. 1. for us? Let us be affected with the great goodness of Christ; Who can tread upon these hot Coals, and his Heart not burn? Cry out with Ig­natius, Christ my Love is crucified. If a Friend should dye for us, would not our Hearts be much affected with his Kindness? That the God of Heaven should dye for us, how should this stupendious mercy have a [Page 39]melting influence upon us! The bo­dy of Christ broken, is enough to break the most flinty Heart. At our Saviour's Passion, the very Stones did cleave asunder: Mat 27. 51. The Rocks rent. He that is not affected with this, hath an Heart harder than the Stonesquaenam te genuit sola sub [...]upe leaen [...] Ca tul.. If Saul was so affected with Davids Mercy in sparing his Life, 1 Sam. 24. 16. How may we be affected vvith Christs kindness, vvho to spare our life, lost his ovvn! Let us pray, that as Christ vvas Cruci­fixus, so he might be Cordi-fixus: As he vvas fastened to the Cross, so that he may be fastened to our Hearts.

2. Is Jesus Christ spiritually ex­hibited Bran. 2. to us in the Sacrament? Let us then set an high value and Estimate upon him.

1. Let us prize Christs body. E­very crumb of this bread of life is precious, John 6. 55. My flesh is meat indeed. It is Panis eximius & super­substantialis, as Cyprian calls it. The [Page 40] Manna Chamier lib. 11. Sect. 15. was a lively Type and Em­blem of Christ's Body [...]. Cyril.: Manna was sweet. Exod. 16. 31. The taste of it was like wafers made with honey, it was a delicious meat; therefore it was called Angels Food, for its excel­lencyBorrheus.: So Christ the Sacramental Manna, is sweet to a Believer's Soul. Cant. 2. 3. His fruit was sweet to my taste. Every thing of Christ is sweetHaud a­nimae sua­vior cibus. Lactant.. His Name is sweet his Ver­tues sweet. This Manna sweetens the Waters of Marah.

Nay, Christ's Flesh excells Manna. 1. Manna was Food, but not Phy­sick. If an Israclite had been sick, Manna could not have cured him; but this blessed Manna of Christ's body, is not only for food, but for medi­cineCorpus Christi, aegris me­dicina. Bern.. Christ hath healing under his wings, Mal. 4. 2. He heals the Blind eve, the hard Heart. Take this me­di [...]ine next your Heart, and it will heal you of all your spiritual Di­stempers.

[Page 41]2. Manna was Corruptible: It ceased when Israel came to Canaan: But this blessed Manna of Christ's Body will never cease. The Saints shall feed with infinite delight, and Soul satisfaction, upon Christ to all Eternity. The Joyes of Heaven would cease, if this Manna should cease. The Manna was put in a gol­den Pot in the Ark, to be preserved there: So the blessed Manna of Christ's Body being put in the gold­en Pot of the Divine Nature, is laid up in the Ark of Heaven, for the Saints to feast upon for ever. Well then may we say of Christ's blessed Body, It is meat indeed. The FieldEosso a­gro corpo­r s Christi, margarita salutis in­v [...]itur. of Christ's Body being digged upon the Cross, we find the Pearl of Sal­vation there.

2. Let us prize Christ's Blood in the Sacrament. It is drink indeedEgo bo­trus carnis Pro salute tua portatus sum ad Torcular Crucis, inde eliqua­tum est mustum tuae redemptionis. Bern. de Caen. Dom., [Page 42] John 6. 55. Here is the Nectar and Anibrosia God himself delights to taste of. This is both a Balsom and a Perfume. That vve may set the higher value upon the blood of Christ, I shall shevv you seven rare supernatural Vertues in it.

1. It is a reconciling blood: Col. 1. 21. 1. [...]. Chrysost. You that were sometime ali­enated, and enemies, yet now hath he reconciled through death. No sooner vvas the Message brought to King David, Uriah is dead, 2 Sam. 11. 21. but the anger of David vvas remo­ved. No sooner vvas the blood of Christ poured out, but God's anger vvas pacified. Christ's blood is the blood of atonement. Nay, it is not only [...], but [...], not onely a Sacrifice, but a Propitiation, 1 John 2. 2. Which denoteth a bring­ing us into Favour with God. It is one thing for a traytor to be pardon­ed, and another thing to be brought into Favour. Sin rent us off from [Page 43]God, Christ's Blood doth soader and [...]cment us to God. If we had had as much grace as the Angels, it could not have wrought our Reconciliati­on. If we had offered up Millions of Holocausts and Sacrifices, if we [...]ad wept Rivers of Tears, this could never have appeased an angry Dei­ [...]y; only Christ's blood doth ingra­ [...]iate us into God's Favour, and make him look upon us with a smiling As­pect. When Christ dyed, the Vail of the Temple was rent: This was not without a Mystery, to shew that [...]hrough Christ's blood, the Vail of our Sins is rent, which did interpose between God and us.

2. Christ's blood is a quickning 2. [...]lood. John 6. 54. Whoso drinketh my blood, hath eternal life. It both [...]egets life, and prevents death. Lev. 17. 11. The life of a thing is in the [...]lood. Sure enough, the life of our [...]oul is in the blood of Christ. When we contract deadness of Heart, and [Page 44]are like Wine that hath lost the spi rits, Christs blood hath an elevatin [...] povver, it puts vivacity into us, m [...] king us quick and vegete in our mo tion. Isa. 40. 31. They shall mou [...] up with wings as Eagles.

3. Christ's blood is a cleansi [...] 3. blood. Heb. 9. 14. How much mor [...] shall the blood of Christ purge your Co [...] sciences! As the Merit of Christ' [...] blood doth pacifie God, so the Ve [...] tue of it doth purifie us. It is Baln [...] um coeleste, the King of Heave [...] Bath. It is Lavacrum animae; a Lav [...] to vvash in. It vvasheth [...] crimson sinner milk white [...] [...] Theodoret. 1 Joh. 1. 7. The blood [...] Jesus cleanseth us from a [...] our sin. The Word of Go [...] is a Looking-glass to shew us o [...] spots, & the blood of Christ is a fou [...] tain to vvash them avvay, Zac. 12. 1 [...]

But this blood vvill not vvash, if i [...] be mingled vvith any thing. Wate [...] vvill not vvash clean, except it b [...] [Page 45]mingled with Sope or Camphire; [...]ut if we go to mingle any thing with Christ's Blood, either the Merits of [...]oints, or Prayers of Angels, it will [...]ot wash. Let Christ's Blood be pure [...]nd unmixed, and there is no spot but [...]t will wash away. It purged out [...]oahs Drunkenness, Lots Incest. In­ [...]eed there is one spot so black, that Christ's Blood doth not wash away, [...]nd that is the Sin against the Holy Ghost; not but that there is Vertue [...]nough in Christ's Blood to wash it a­ [...]ay; but he who hath sinned that [...]n, will not be washed; he contemns Christ's Blood and tramples it under [...]oot. Heb. 10. 29.

4. Christ's Blood is a softning 4. [...]lood. There is nothing so hard, [...]ut may be softned, if it lie a steep [...] this blood; it will soften a stone. [...]ater will soften the Earth, but it [...]ill not soften a stone; but Christ's [...]lood mollifies a Stone, it soft­ [...]s an Heart of stone. It turns a [Page 46]Flint into a Spring. The Hea [...] which before was like a piece hew [...] out of a Rock, being steeped Christ's blood, becomes soft, a [...] the waters of Repentance flow fro [...] it. How was the Jaylor's Heart di [...] solved, and made tender, when th [...] blood of sprinkling was upon it! A [...] 16. 30. Sirs, What must I do to saved? His heart was now like me [...] ing Wax, God might set, what S [...] and Impression he would upon it.

5. Christ's blood, is a coolin [...] 5. blood 1. It cools the Heat of Si [...] The Heart naturally is full of diste [...] pered Heat; it must needs be ho [...] being set on fire of Hell. It burns i [...] Lust and Passion; Christ's blood a [...] layes this Heat, it quencheth the I [...] flammations of Sin. 2. It cools th [...] Heat of Conscience. In time of de [...] sertion, Conscience burns with th [...] heat of God's Displeasure; no [...] Christ's blood being sprinkled upo [...] the Conscience, cools and pacifies it [Page 47]And in this sense Christ is compared to a River of water, Isa. 32. 2. When the Heart burns, and is in an agony, Christ's blood, is, like water to the fire, it hath a cooling refrigerating Vertue in it.

6. Christ's blood, is a comforting 6. blood; it is good against fainting Fits. Christ's blood, is, better than Wine: Though Wine chears the Heart of a Man that is well, yet it will not chear his Heart when he hath a fit of the Stone, or when the Pangs of Death are upon him: But Christ's blood will chear the Heart at such a time. It is best in affliction, it cures the trembling at the Heart. A Con­science sprinkled with Christ's blood, can, like the Nightingale, sing with a Thorn at its Breast. The blood of Christ can make a Prison become a Palace. It turned the Martyrs Flames into Beds of Roses Feriun­tur Mar­tyres gaudent; mortuntur & ecce triumphant; quare? quia sanguine crucis perfusi mortem metuunt sed sperant.. Christ's blood [Page 48]gives comfort at the hour of Death: As an Holy Man once said on his Death-bed, when they brought him a Julip; No Julip like the Blood of Christ!

7. Christ's blood is an Heaven procuring blood 7. Per latus Christi no­bis patescit in Caelum i [...]troitus. Bern.. Israel passed through the red Sea to Canaan: So through the red sea of Christ's blood, we enter into the Heavenly Canaan: Heb. 10. 19. Having boldness there­fore to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus. Our sins did shut Heaven, Christ's blood is the key which opens the gate of Paradise for usMorimur per lignum sc [...]entiae, o­rimur per lignum Crucis.. Hence it is Theodoret, calls the Cross, [...], the Tree of Salvation. Because that blood which trickled down the Cross, distills Salvation. Well then may we prize the blood of Christ, and vvith St. Paul, determine to know nothing but Christ crucified, 1 Cor. 2. 2. Kings Crovvns are on­ly Crosses, but the Cross of Christ is the only Crovvn.

[Page 49]3. Doth Christ offer his Body 3. Bran. and blood to us in the Supper? Then with what solemn preparation should we come to so sacred an Ordinance! It is not enough to do what God hath appointed, but as he hath ap­pointed, 1 Sam. 7. 3. Prepare your hearts unto the Lord. The Musiti­an first puts his Instrument in Tune, before he plays. The Heart must first be prepared, and put in Tune, be­fore it goes to meet with God in this solemn Ordinance of the Sacrament. Take heed of rashness and irreve­rence. If we come not preparedly, we do not drink, but spill Christ's blood, 1 Cor. 11. 27. Whosoever shall eat this bread, and drink this Cup of the Lord unworthily, shall be guilty of the body, and blood of the Lord; That is, saith Theophylact, he shall be judged a shedder of Christ's Blood. We read of a Wine-cup of fury in Gods hand, Jer. 25. 15. He that comes unpreparedly to the [Page 50]Lords-Supper, turns the Cup in the Sacrament into a Cup of fury Calicem sangninis mutat in calieemfu­roris▪ No­varinus..

Oh with what reverence and de­votion should we address our selves to these holy Mysteries! The Saints are called prepared Vessels, Rom. 9. 23. If ever these Vessels should be prepared, it is when they are to hold the precious Body and Blood of Christ. The sinner that is damned, is first prepared. Men do not go to Hell without some kind of prepara­tion, Rom. 9. 22. Vessels fitted for destruction. If those Vessels are prepa­red which are filled with wrath, much more are those to be prepared, who are to receive Christ in the Sacra­ment. Let us dress our selves by a Scripture-glasse, before we come to the Lords Table [...]. The­ophylact.: And, with the Lamb's Wife, make our selves ready.Rev. 19. 7

Quest. How should we be rightly qualified, and prepared for the Lords Supper?

[Page 51] Answ. If we would come with pre­pared hearts, we must come,

1. With Self-examining-hearts. 1 Cor. 11. 28. But let a man examine himself, and so let him eat of that Bread. 1. It is not enough that others think we are fit to come, but we must examine our selves. The Greek word, to Ex­amine, [...], is a Metaphor taken from the Goldsmith, who doth curi­ously try his Metals. So before we come to the Lords Table, we are to make a curious and critical trial of our selves by the Word.

Self-examination being a reflexive Act, is difficultMalu­mus viti­um excu­sare, quàm excutere. Senec.. 'Tis hard for a man to look inward, and see the face of his own Soul. The eye can see every thing, but it self.

But this probatory work is neces­sary: Because,

1. If we do not examine our selves, we are at a losse about our Spiritual estate; we know not whe­ther [Page 52]we are interested in the Cove­nant, or whether we have a right to the Seal.

2. God will examine us. It was a sad question the Master of the Feast asked, Mat. 22. 12. Friend, how camest thou in hither, not having a Wedding-garment? So it will be ter­rible, when God shall say to a man, How camest thou in hither to my Table with a proud, vain, unbelie­ving heart? What hast thou to do here in thy sins? Thou pollutest my holy things. What need therefore is there to make an heart-search be­fore we come to the Lords-Supper? We should examine our sins, that they may be mortified; our wants, that they may be supplied; our gra­ces, that they may be strengthened.

2. We must come with seri­ous hearts. Our spirits are feathery 2. and light; like a Vessel without Bal­last, which flotes upon the water, but doth not sail. We flote in holy du­ties, [Page 53]and are full of vain excursions, even when we are to deal with God and are engaged in matters of life and death. That which may consolidate our hearts, and make them fix with seriousness, is, To consider, God's eye is now especially upon us, when we approach to his Table. The King came in to see the GnestsMat. 22. 11.. God knows every Communicant, and if he sees any levity and indecency of spirit in us, unworthy of his presence, he will be highly incensed, and send us away with the guilt of Christ's blood, in­stead of the comfort of it.

3. We must come with intelli­gent 3. hearts. There ought to be a competent measure of knowledg, that we may discern the Lords body: As we are to pray with understand­ing, 1 Cor. 14. 15. So ought we to Communicate at the Lords Table with understanding. If knowledg be wanting, it cannot be a reasonable serviceRom. 12. 1.. They that know not the [Page 54]mystery, feel not the comfort. We must know God the Father in his Attributes, God the Son in his Offi­ces, God the Holy Ghost in his Gra­ces. Some say, they have good hearts, yet want knowledg: We may as well call that a good eye, which wants sight.

4. We must come to the Sacra­ment 4. with longing hearts: Say as Christ, With desire I have desired to eat of this PasseoverLuk. 22 [...]. 5 [...].. If God pre­pares a Feast, we must get a Stomack. Why hath the Lord frowned upon his people of late, but to punish their surfeit, and provoke their appetite? As David longed for the water of the Well of Bethlehem, 2 Sam. 23. 15. So should we long for Christ in the Sacrament. Desires are the Sails of the Soul, which are spread to receive the gale of an Heavenly Blessing. For the exciting holy desires and long­ings, consider:

[Page 55]1. The magnificence and royalty of this Supper: It is [...], an Heavenly Banquet. Isa. 25. 6. In this Mountain shall the Lord of Hosts make unto all people a feast of fat things, a feast of wine on the leesHae su [...] suaves delitiae, hic bibun­tur flumina [...]ellis, liquoris balsami Caelestis. Ber. de Caen.. Here the juice of that Grape which comes from the true Vine. Under these Elements of Bread and Wine, Christ and all his benefits are exhibi­ted to us. The Sacrament is, omni­um aromatum [...], a repository and storehouse of Coelestial Blessings. Behold here life and peace, and salva­tion set before us! All the Dulcia fer­cula, the sweet delicacies of Heaven, are served in at this Feast.

2. To provoke Appetite, con­sider what need we have of this spi­ritual repast. The Angel perswaded Elias to take a little of the Cake, and Cruse of water, that he might not faint in his Journey, 1 King. 19. 7. Arise and eat, because the Journey [Page 56] is too great for thee. So truly we have a great Journey from Earth to Heaven, therefore had need recruit our selves by the way: How many sins have we to subdue? how many duties to perform? how many wants to supply? how many graces to strengthen? how many adversaries to conflict with? so that we need a bait by the way; by feeding upon the body and blood of the Lord, We re­new our strength as the Eagle.

3. Consider Christ's readiness to dispense Divine blessings in this Ordinance. Jesus Christ is not a sealing Fountain, but a flowing Foun­tain. 'Tis but crying, and he gives the Breast. 'Tis but thirsting, and he opens the Conduit. Rev. 22. 17. Let him that is athirst, come; and whosoever will, let him take the wa­ter of life freely. As the clouds have a natural propenseness to drop down their moisture upon the Earth: So hath Christ to give forth of his [Page 57]gracious vertues and influences to the soul.

4. There is no danger of excess at this Supper. Other Feasts do often cause Surfeit, it is not so here. The more we take of the bread of life, the more healthful we are, and the more we come to our spiritual complexion. Fulness here, doth not encrease humours, but comforts; in spiritual things there is no ex­tream. Though a drop of Christ's blood be sweet, yet the more the better; the deeper the sweeter, Cant. 5. 2. Drink abundantly O beloved. In the Original it is, Be ye inebriated [...] Praeelara ebrietas quae sobrietatem ment [...] o­peratur. Ambr. de Sacram. with my love.

5. We know not how long this Feast may last: While the Manna is to be had, let us bring our Omer: God will not always be spreading the Cloth. If people lose their stomacks, he will call to the Enemy to take a­way.

[Page 58]6. Feeding upon Christ Sacra­mentally, will be a good preparative to Sufferings. The bread of life will help us to feed upon the bread of af­fliction. The Cup of Blessing, will enable us to drink of the Cup of persecution. Christ's blood is a wine that hath a flavour in it, and is full of Spirits. Therefore Cyprian tells us, When the Primitive Christians were to appear before the cruel Tyrants, they were wont to receive the Sacra­ment, and then they arose up from the Lords Table, as Lyons breathing forth the fire of heavenly courage Tanquam Leones ig­nem spi­rantes.. Let these considerations be as sawce to sharpen our appetite to the Lords Table. God loves to see us feed hun­grily upon the bread of life.

5. If we would come prepared to this Ordinance, we must come with penitent hearts5. Cur, O anima, te non trans­figit gladi­us doloris. Austin.. The Passe­over was to be eaten with bitter herbs. We must bring our Myrrhe of Repentance; which, though it be [Page 59]bitter to us, it is sweet to Christ: Zac. 12. 10. They shall look upon me whom they have pierced, and mourn over him. A broken Christ is to be received into a broken heart. We that have sinned with Peter, should weep with Peter. Our eyes should be broached with tears, and our hearts steeped in the brinish wa­ters of Repentance. Say, Lord Je­sus, though I cannot bring sweet Spi­ces, and perfume thy body as Mary did, yet I will wash thy feet with my tears. The more bitterness we taste in sin, the more sweetness we shall taste in Christ.

6. We must come with sincere hearts. The Tribes of Israel being straitned in time, wanted some legal Purifications; yet because their hearts vvere sincere, and they came vvith desire to meet vvith God in the Passeover, therefore the Lord healed the people, 2 Chron. 30. 19. Bad aims vvill spoil good actions. An [Page 60]Archer may miss the mark, as well by looking asquint, as by shooting short. What is our design in coming to the Sacrament Finis no­ [...]ilitat o­pus.? Is it, that we may have more victory over our cor­ruptions, and be more confirmed in holiness? Then God will be good to us, and heal us. Sincerity, like true Gold, shall have some grains allowed for its lightness.

7. We must come with hearts 7. fired with love to Christ. The Spouse vvas in a burning fit of love, Cant. 2. 6. I am sick of Love. Let us give Christ the Wine of our love to drink, and vveep that vve can love him no more. Would vve have Christs exhilarating presence in the Supper? let us meet him vvith strong indear­ments of affection. Basil compares Love to a svveet Oyntment: Christ delights to smell this perfume. The Disciple that did love most, Christ put him in his bosom.

[Page 61]8. We must come vvith humble hearts. We see Christ humbling himself to the death; and vvill an humble Christ ever be recei­ved into a proud heart [...]. Chrysostom.? A sight of God's glory, and a sight of sin, may humble us. Was Christ humble, vvho vvas all Purity? And are vve proud, vvho are all Leprosie?. O let us come vvith a sense of our ovvn vileness. Hovv humble should he be, vvho is to receive an Alms of Free-grace? Je­sus Christ is a Lilly of the Vallies Cant. 2. 1., not of the Mountains. Humility vvas never a loser. The emptier the Vessel is, and the lovver it is let dovvn into the Well, the more vvater it dravvs up: So the more the Soul is emptied of it self, and the lovver it is let dovvn by humility, the more it fetcheth out of the Well of Salvati­on. God vvill come into an humble [...]eart to revive it, Isa. 57. 15. That is none of Christ's Temple, vvhich [Page 62]is not built vvith a lovv Roof.

9. We must come vvith Heaven­ly 9. hearts. The mystery of the Sacra­ment is Heavenly, vvhat should an Earth vvorm do here? He is not like to feed on Christs body and blood, vvho, vvith the Serpent, eats dust. The Sacrament is called [...], a Commu­nion, 1 Cor. 10. 16. What commu­nion can an Earthly man have vvith Christ? First there must be Confor­mity before Communion: He that is earthly, is no more conformed in likeness to Christ, than a clod of dust is like a Star. An earthly man makes the World his god, then let not him think to receive another God in the Sacrament: Oh let us be in the Hea­venly Altitudes, and by the vving of grace ascend!

10. We must come vvith Belie­ving 10. hearts. Christ gave the Sacra­ment to the Apostles, principally as they vvere Believers. Such as com [...] faithless, go avvay fruitless. Nor is [Page 63]it enough to have the habit of faith, but vve must exsert, and put forth the vigorous actings of faith in this Or­dinance Habitus sine exer­citio, simi­lis est taci­turnae ly­ra. Claud..

1. Let us exercise the eye of faith. Faith hath an Eagle's eye, it pierceth into things far re­mote from sense [...]. Chry­sostom.. Faith takes a Prospect of Heaven, it discerns him who is invisi­ble, Heb. 11. 27. It beholds a beauty and fulness in Christ; it sees this beauty shining through the latice of an Ordinance. Faith vievvs Christs love streaming in his blood. Look upon Christ vvith believing eyes, and you shall one day see him vvith glorisied eyes.

2. Exercise the mouth of Faith Quid par as den­tem, & ventrem? Crede, & mand uca­sti. Aug.. Here is the bread broken. What use is there of bread but to feed on? Feed upon the bread of God. Adam dyed, [Page 64]vve live by eating. In the Sacra­ment vvhole Christ is dished-out to us, the Divine and Humane nature; all kind of vertue comes from Him: Mortifying, mollifying, comforting. Oh then feed on him. This grace of Faith, is the great grace to be set on vvork at the Sacrament.

Quest. But doth the vertue lie simply in Faith?

Answ. Not in faith considered purely as a grace, but as it hath re­spect to the Object. The vertue is not in faith, but in Christ. A Ring vvhich hath a precious stone in it vvhich vvill staunch blood; vve say, the Ring stauncheth blood, but the vertue doth not lie barely in the Ring, but in the stone in the Ring. So, Faith is the Ring, Christ is the preci­ous stone; all that faith doth, is to bring home Christs merits to the soul, and so it justifies; the vertue is not in faith, but in Christ.

[Page 65] Quest. But, Why should faith carry away more from Christ in the Sacra­ment, than any other grace?

Answ. 1. Because, Faith is the most receptive grace; it is the receiving of gold enricheth: So faith receiving of Christ's merits, and silling the Soul with all the fulness of God, it must needs be an enriching grace. In the Body, there are Veins that suck the Nou­rishment which comes into the sto­mack, and turn it into blood and spirits. Faith is such a sucking vein, that draws vertue from Christ, there­fore is called a precious faith, 2 Pet. 1. 1.

2. Faith hath more of Christ's benefits annexed to it, because it is the most humble grace. If Re­pentance should fetch Justification from Christ, a man would be ready to say, This was for my tears; but Faith is humble, it is an empty hand, and What merit can be in that? Doth a poor man reaching out his hand, [Page 66]merit an Alms? So that, because faith is humble, and gives all the glo­ry to Christ and Free-grace, hence it is God hath put so much honour upon it; This shall be the grace to which Christ and all his merits be­long.

Therefore above all graces, set faith a work in the Sacra­mentPer sidem Christi sanguinem sugimus, & inter redemptoris nostri vuln [...]ra lin­guam figimus. Cypr.. Faith fetcheth in all provisions. This is the golden Bucket that draws water out of the Well of life. But there is a Bastard-faith in the World. Pliny tells of a Cyprian ­stone, which is in colour and splendor like the Diamond, but it is not of the right kind; it will break with the Hammer: So, there is a false faith which sparkles and makes a shew in the eye of the World, but it is not genuine, it will break with the Ham­mer of persecution. Therefore to prevent mistakes, that we may not be deceived, and think we believe when [Page 67]we presume; I shall give you six dif­ferences between a sincere faith, which is the flower of the Spirit; and an hypocritical faith, which is the fruit of fancy.

1. An Hypocritical faith is easi­ly come by. It is like the seed in the Parable, which sprung up suddenly [...]., Mar. 4. 5. A false faith shoots up without any convictions, and soul­humblings: As Isaac said, Gen. 27. 20. How camest thou by thy Venison so soon? So, how comes this man by his faith so soon? Sure it is of an hete­rogeneal nature, and will quickly wither awaySol [...]nt praecocia s [...]bitoflac­cescere.: But true faith being an Outlandish Plant, and of an hea­venly extract, is hardly come by; it costs many a sigh and tear, Acts 2. 37. This spiritual Infant is not born without pangs.

2. An Hypocritical faith is afraid to come to tryal. The Hypocrite had rather have his faith commended, than examined. He can no more [Page 68]endure a Scripture-trial, than coun­terfeit Metal can endure the Touch­stone. He is like a man that hath stollen-Goods in his House, and is very unwilling to have his House searched: So the Hypocrite hath gotten some stollen-Goods which the Devil hath helped him to, and he is loth to have his heart searched; whereas true faith is willing to come to a trial, Psal. 26. 2. Examine me, O Lord, and prove me, try my reins and heart. David was not afraid to be tried by a Jury; No, though God himself were one of the Jury. Good Wares are never afraid of the light.

3. An Hypocritical faith hath a slight esteem of true Faith. The Hypocrite hears others speak in the commendation of faith, but he won­ders where the vertue of it lies; he looks upon faith as a Drugg, or some base Commodity that will not off; he will part with all the faith he hath, [Page 69]for a piece of silver; and perhaps it might be dear enough of the price: But that man who hath true faith, he sets an high value upon it; he reck­ons this grace among his JewelsPlus sul­get fides, quam au­rum. Aug.. What incorporates him into Christ, but faith? What puts him into a state of Sonship, but faith? Gal. 3. 26. Oh precious faith! A Believer would not exchange his shield of faith, for a Crown of gold.

4. An Hypocritical faith is lame on one handSublata quacun­que parte integran [...]e, Tollitur totum.. With one hand it would take Christ, but it doth not with the other hand give up it self to Christ. It would take Christ by way of surety, but not give up it self to him by way of surrender; whereas true faith is impartial, it takes Christ as a Saviour, and submits to him as a Prince. Christ saith; With my Body, and my Blood I thee endow; and faith saith, With my soul I thee wor­ship.

5. An Hypocritical faith is im­pure. [Page 70]The Hypocrite saith, he be­lieves, yet goes on in sin. He is all Creed, but no Commandment. He believes, yet will take God's Name in vain. Jer. 3. 4, 5. Wilt not thou cry unto me, My Father, thou art the guide of my youth! behold thou hast done evil things as thou couldst. These Impostors would call God their Fa­ther, yet sinned as fast as they could. For one to say he hath faith, yet lives in sin, is as if a man should say he were in health, yet his vitals are perished; but a true faith is joined with sancti­ty, 1 Tim. 3. 9. Holding the myste­ry of faith in a pure Conscience. The Jewel of faith is always put in the Cabinet of a good Conscience. The Woman that touched Christ by faith, felt an healing vertue come from him: Though faith doth not wholly remove sin, yet it subdues it.

6. An Hypocritical faith is a dead faith; it tasts no sap, or sweet­ness [Page 71]in Christ. The Hypocrite tasts something in the Vine and Olive, he finds contentment in the carnal lus­cious delights of the World, but no sweetness in a promise; the Holy Ghost Himself is spiritless to him. That is a dead faith, which hath no sense or taste: But true faith finds much delectation in heavenly things. The Word is sweeter than the Ho­ney comb, Psal. 19. 10. Christ's Love is better than Wine, Cant. 1. 2. Thus we see a difference between the true faith and the spurious. How many have thought they have had the live Child of faith by them, when it hath proved the dead Child. Take heed of presumption, but cherish faith: Faith applies Christ, and makes a spiritual con­coctionAccedis ad Chri­stum non carne sed corde; edis Chri [...]um non de [...]te, sed fide. Aug. of his Body and Blood. This Supper was in­tended chiefly for BelieversLuk. 22. 19.. Christs Blood to an unbelie­ver, is like Aqua-Vitae in a [Page 72]dead man's mouth, it loseth all its vertue.

11. We must come to the Lord's-Table 11. with charitable hearts. 1 Cor. 5. 7. Purge out therefore the old leaven. The leaven of malice will sowre the Ordinance to us. Though we must come with bitter tears, yet not with bitter spirits. The Lords Supper is [...], a Love­feast [...], &c. Ignati­us ad Trall.. Christs blood was shed, not only to reconcile us to God, but one to ano­ther. Christ's body was bro­ken, to make up the breaches among Christians. Howsad is it; that they who profess they are going to eat Christs flesh in the Sacrament, should tear the flesh one of another! 1 John 3. 15. Whosoever hateth his brother, is a Murderer. He who comes to the Lord's-Table in hatred, is a Judas to Christ, and a C [...]in to his brother. What benefit can he receive at the Sacrament, whose heart is invenomed [Page 73]with malice? If one drinks down poyson, and presently takes a Cordi­al, surely the Cordial will do him no good. Such as are poysoned with rancour and malice, are not the better for the Sacrament-Cordial; he that doth not come in charity to the Sa­crament, hath nothing of God in him; for, God is love, 1 John 4. 19. He knows nothing of the Gospel sa­vingly, for it is a Gospel of peace, Eph. 6. 15. He hath none of the wisdom which comes from Heaven, for that is gentle, and easie to be intreated, Jam. 3. 17. Oh that Christians were [...], (as Ignatius speaks) rooted and cemented together in love. Shall Devils unite, and Saints divide? Did we thus learn Christ? Hath not the Lord Jesus loved us to the death? What greater reproach can be cast upon such a loving Head, than for the Members to s [...]ite one against another? The good Lord put out the fire of contention, and kindle [Page 74]the fire of love and amity in all our hearts.

12. We must come hither with 12. praying hearts. Every Ordinance, as well as every Creature, is sanctified by prayer 1 Tim. 4. 5. Prayer turns the Ele­ment into spiritual Aliment Oratio mutat ele­mentum in alimen­tum.. When we send the Dove of Prayer to Hea­ven, It brings an Olive-leaf in its mouth. We should pray that God would enrich his Ordinance with his presence; that he would make the Sacrament effectual to all those holy ends and purposes for which he hath appointed it; that it may be the feast of our graces, and the funeral of our corruptions; that it may be not on­ly a sign to represent, but an instru­ment to convey Christ to us, and a Seal to assure us of our heavenly Joynture. If we vvould have the fat and sweet of this Ordinance, we must send prayer before, as an Harbinger, to bespeak a blessing.

[Page 75]Divers are so distracted with worldly cares, that they can scarce spare any time for prayer, before they come to the Sacrament. Do they think the Tree of blessing will drop its fruit into their mouth, when they never shaked it by prayer? God doth not set his mercies at so low a rate, as to cast them away upon those that do not seek them Ezek. 36. 37..

Nor is it enough to pray, but it must be with heat and intenseness of soul. Jacob wrestled in prayer, Gen. 32. 24, Cold Prayers, like cold Suitors, ne­ver speed. Prayer must be with sighs and groans Deus sus­p [...]ria au­dit., Rom. 8. 26. It must be in the Holy Ghost, Judev. 20. He who will speak to God, saith St. Ambrose, must speak to him in his own language vvhich he understands, that is, in the language of his Spirit.

13. And lastly, we must come to the Lords Table with self denying 13. he [...]rts. When we have prepared our [Page 76]selves in the best manner we can, let us take heed of trusting to our pre­parations. Luk. 17 15. When ye shall have done all these things which are commanded you, say, We are unpro­fitable servants. Use duty, but do not idolize it. We ought to use duties, to fit us for Christ; but we must not make a Christ of our du­ties. Duty is the golden path to walk in, but not a silver Crutch to lean on. Alas, what are all our pre­parations? God can spie an hole in our best garments Vae homini sieum tru­tina discu­tias, &c. Aug.. Isa. 64. 6. All our Righteousnesses are as filthy rags. When we have prepared our selves as hoping in God's mercy, we must deny our selves as deserving his Ju­stice. If our holiest services be not sprinkled with Christ's blood, they are no better than shining sins, and like Uriah's letter, they carry in them the matter of our death. Use duty, but trust to Christ and Free-grace for acceptance. Be like N [...]s [Page 77]Dove; she made use of her wings to fly, but trusted to the Ark for safety.

We see how we are to be qualified in our addresses to the Lord's-Table. Thus coming, we shall meet with em­braces of mercy. We shall have not only a representation, but a participa­tion of Christ in the Sacrament; we shall carry away not only panem, but salutem; We shall be filled with all the fulness of GodEph. 3. 19.

4. Hath Jesus Christ made this Gos­pel-banquet? Is he both the Founder Bran. 4. and the Feast? Then let poor doubt­ing Christians be encouraged to come to the Lord's-Table. Satan would hin­der from the Sacrament, as Saul did the people from eating honey, 1 Sam. 14. 26. But is there any soul that hath been humbled and bruised for sin, whose heart secretly pants after Christ, but yet stands trembling, and dares not approach to these holy Mysteries? let me encourage that soul to come: Mark. 10. 49. Arise, he calleth thee.

[Page 78] Object. 1. But I am sinful and un­vvorthy, and what should I meddle with such holy things?

Answ. Who did Christ die for but such? 1 Tim. 1. 15. He came in­to the world to save sinners. He took our sins upon him, as vvell as our na­ture. Isa. 53. 4. He bare our griefs. In the Hebrew it is, [...] our sick­nesses. See thy sins (saith Luther) upon ChristAspice peccata tua bumeris Christi im­posita; tum dices, pec­cata mea, non sunt mea, sed aliena. Luth, and then they are no more thine, but his. Our sins should humble us, but they must not discourage us from Christ; the more diseased we are, the rather vve should step into this Pool of Siloam. Who doth Christ invite to the Supper, but the poor, halt, maimed? Luk. 14. 21. That is, such as see themselves un­vvorthy, and flie to Christ for Sanctu­ary. The Priest was to take a bunch of Hyssop, and dip it in blood, and sprinkle it upon the Leper, Lev. 14. 7. Thou who hast the leprosie of [Page 79]sin upon thee, yet if, as a Leper thou dost loath thy self, Christ's precious blood shall be sprinkled upon thee.

Object. 2. But I have sinned pre­sumptuously against mercy? I have contracted guilt after I have been at the Lord's Table, and sure Christ's Blood is not for me?

Resp. It is indeed grievous to a­buse mercy: It vvas the aggravation of Solomon's sin; his heart was turn­ed from the Lord, which had appeared unto him twice, 1 Kings 11. 9. Pre­sumptuous sins open the mouth of Conscience to accuse, and shut the mouth of God's Spirit, which should speak Peace: yet cast not avvay your Anchor, look up to the blood of Christ; it can forgive sins against mercy. Did not Noah sin against mercy? vvho, though he had been so miraculously preserved in the Flood, yet soon after he came out of the Ark, he was drunk. Did not David sin against mercy, when after [Page 80]God had made him King, he stained his soul with lust, and his robe with blood? Yet both these sins were wash­ed away in that Fountain which is set open for Judah to wash in, Zach. 12. 1. Did not the Disciples deal un­kindly with Christ in the time of his suffering? Peter denied him, and all the rest fled from his colours: Mat. 26, 56. Then all the Disciples for­sook him, and fled: Yet Christ did not take advantage of their weak­ness, nor did he cast them off, but sends the joyful news of his Resur­rection to them, Mat. 27. 7: And of his Ascension, John. 20. 17; Go to my Brethren, and say unto them, I ascend to my Father, and your Father. And lest Peter should think, he was none of the number that should be interested in Christ's love, therefore Christ dispatcheth away a special Message to Peter to comfort him: Mar. 16. 7. Go tell the Disciples and Peter, that he goes before you intoGalilee [Page 81] there shall you see him. So that where our hearts are sincere, and our turn­ings aside are rather from a defect in our power, than our will, the Lord Jesus will not take advantage of eve­ry failing, but will drop his blood up­on us, which hath a voice in it, which speaks better things than the blood of AbelHe. 12. 24..

Object. 3. But I find such a faint­ness and feebleness in my soul, that I dare not go to the Lords Ta­ble?

Resp. Thou hast the more need to go: Drink of this Wine for thy often infirmities, 1 Tim. 5. 23 Were it not strange for a man to argue thus, My body is weak and declining, therefore I will not go to the Physi­tian; he should the rather go. Our weakness should send us to Christ; his blood is mortal to sin, and vital to grace. Thou sayest, thou hast defects in thy soul; if thou hadst none, there would be no need of a Mediator, nor [Page 82]would Christ have any work to do: Oh therefore turn thy disputing into believing, be encouraged to come to this Blessed Supper; Thou shalt find Christ giving forth his sweet influen­ences, and thy grace shall flourish as an herb.

Object. 4. But I have often come to this Ordinance, and find no fruit? I am not filled with comfort?

Answ. God may meet thee in an Ordinance, when thou dost not dis­cern it. Christ was with Mary, yet she did not know it was Christ. Thou thinkest Christ hath not met thee at his Table, because he doth not give thee comfort.

1. Though he doth not fill thee with comfort, he may fill thee with strength. We think we have no an­swer from God in a duty, unless he fill us with joy; yes, God may mani­fest his presence, as well by giving strength as comfort. If we. have power from Heaven to foyl our cor­ruptions, [Page 83]and to walk more closely and evenly with God, this is an an­swer from God. Zach. 10. 12. I will strengthen them in the Lord. If Christian, thou hast not God's arm to imbrace thee, yet if thou hast his arm to strengthen thee, this is the fruit of an Ordinance.

2. If God doth not fill thy heart with joy, yet if he fills thy eyes with tears, this is his meeting thee at his Table. When thou lookest upon Christ broken on the Cross, and considerest his love, and thy ingrati­tude, this makes the dew begin to fall, and thy eyes are like the fish-pools in HeshbonCant: 4. 7., full of water: This is Gods gracious meeting thee in the Sacrament; bless his Name for it. It is a sign the Sun of Righteousness hath risen upon us, when our frozen hearts melt in tears for sin.

3. If thy Comforts are low, yet if the actings of thy Faith be high, this is Gods manifesting his presence [Page 84]in the Supper. The sensible tokens of Gods love are with-held, but the soul ventures on Christ's blood; it believes that coming to him, he will hold out the golden ScepterJoh. 6. 37.. This glorious acting of faith, and the in­ward quiet that faith breeds, is the blessed return of an Ordinance, Mic. 7. 19. He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us. The Chur­ches comforts were darkned, but her faith breaks forth as the Sun out of a Cloud. He will have compassion on us. This acting of faith makes us in a blessed condition; Blessed are they which have not seen, yet have be­lievedJoh. 20. 24..

Object. 5. But I cannot find any of these things in the Sacrament; my heart is dead and locked up, and I have no return at all.

Resp. Wait on God for an an­swer of the Ordinance. God hath promised to satiate the soulPromissa Deicadunt in debitum. Psal. 107. 9. He silleth the hungry soul [Page 85] with goodness. If not with glad­ness, yet with goodness; the soul must be filled, or how can the promise be fulfilled? Christian! God hath said it, therefore wait. Wilt not thou be­lieve God, unless thou hast a voice from Heaven? The Lord hath given thee his promise; and is it not as good security to have a Bill under a man's hand, as to have it by word of mouth? Be content to wait a while; mercy will come. God's mercies in Scripture, are not called speedy mercies, but they are Sure mercies, Isa. 55. 3.

5. Hath Christ given us his Body 5. Bran. Blood? Then when we are at this Gospel-Ordinanc [...], let us remember the Lord Jesus there. The Sacrament is a Christ-remembring Ordinance. 1 Cor. 11. 25. This do in remembrance of me [...]. In mei com­m [...]morati­onem red­dit Am­brosius.. God hath appointed this spiritual festival, to preserve the li­ving memory of our dying Saviour. A Sacrament-day is a Commemorati­on-day.

[Page 86]1. Remember Christ's PassionMemori­ [...]m passio­nis meae, a­ [...]imis ve­stris reco­lit [...]. Estius in loc.. Lam. 3. 19. Remembring the worm­wood and the gall. I may a little al­ter the words. Remembring the Vine­gar and the [...]ll. If the Manna was to be kept in the Ark, that the me­mory of it should be preserved: How should the Death and Suffering of Christ be kept in our minds, as a me­morial, when we are at the Table of the Lord?

2. Remember the glorious bene­fits we receive from the broken Body of Christ. We usually re­member those things which are ad­vantageous to us. Christ's broken Body is a Screen t [...] keep off the fire of God's wrath from us; Christ's Bo­dy being broken, the Serpent's head is broken. Christ being broken up­on the Cross, a Box of precious Jew­els is broken open: Now we have access to God with boldness; the Blood of the Cross hath made way to the Throne of Grace: Now we [Page 87]are made Sons and Heirs; and to be Heir to the Promise, is better than to be Heir to the Crown. Christ having dyed, we are made near a kin to the blessed Trinity; we are can­didates and expectants of glory. The bloody way of the Cross, is our Via lact ea, our milky way to Heaven. Je­sus Christ drank Gall, that we might drink the hony-streams of Canaan. His Cross was stuck full of Nails, that our Crovvn might be hung full of Jevvels. Well may vve remem­ber Christ in the Blessed Sacra­ment!

But it is not the bare remembrance of Christ's Death is enough. Some vvho have a natural tenderness of spi­rit, may be affected vvith the History of Christ's Passion; but this remem­brance of Christ hath little comfort in it. Let us remember Christ in the Sacrament aright.

1. Let us remember Christ's Death vvith joy. Galat. 6. 14. God [Page 88] forbid that I should glory, save in the Cross of our Lord Jesus Christ. When we see Christ in the Sacrament cruci­fied before our eyes, we may behold him in that posture as he was in upon the Cross, stretching out his blessed arms to receive us. O what matter of triumph and acclamation is this! Though we remember our sins with grief, yet we should remember Christs sufferings with joy. Let us weep for those sins which shed his Blood, yet rejoyce in that blood which washeth away our sins.

2. Let us so remember Christ's Death, as to conform to his Death. Phil. 3. 10. That I may be confor­mable to his death. Then we remem­ber Christ's Death aright, when we are dead with him; our pride and passion are dead. Christ's dying for us, makes sin die in us: Then we rightly remember Christ's cruci­fixion, when we are crucified with him; we are dead to the pleasures [Page 89]and preferments of the World. Gal. 6. 14. The world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.

6. If Jesus Christ hat [...] [...]ven us this Soul-festival for the strength­ning Bran. 6. of grace; let us labour to feel some vertue flowing out of this Or­dinance to us; let not the Sacrament be a dry breast. It were strange if a man should receive no nourishment by his food. It is a discredit to this Ordinance, if we get no encrease of Grace. Shall leanness enter into our souls, at a feast of fat things? Christ gives us his Body and Blood, for the augmenting of Faith; he expects that we should reap some profit and income; and that our weak minute-faith, should flourish in­to a great faith. M [...]t. 15. 28. O woman, Great is thy faith! It were good to examine, whether after our frequent Celebration of this holy Supper, we have arrived at a great Faith.

[Page 90] Quest. Hovv may I knovv, Whe­ther I have this great Faith?

Resp. For the Solution of this, I shall la [...] lovvn six eminent Signs of a great Faith; and if vve can shevv any one of them, vve have made a good proficiency at the Sacrament.

1. A great Faith can trust God 1. Sign. vvithout a pavvn; it can relie upon Providence in the deficiency of out­vvard supplies, Hab. 3. 17, 18. Al­though the Figtree shall not blossome, neither shall fruit be in the Vines, the labour of the Olive shall fail, &c. yet will I rejoyce in the Lord, &c. An Unbeliever must have something to feed his senses, or he gives up the Ghost. When he is at his Wealths end, he is at his Wits end. Faith doth not question but God vvill provide, though it sees not vvhich vvay provi­sions should come in. Faith doth not fear FamineFides fa­ [...]um non formidat.. God hath set his Seal to it, Verily thou shalt be fed, Psal. 37. 3. Faith puts the Bond in [Page 91]suit. Lord, saith Faith, Wilt thou feed the Birds of the Air, and wilt not thou feed me? Shall I want, when my Father keeps the Purse? A good Christian with the Rod of Faith, smites the Rock in Heaven; and some honey and oyl, comes out for the recruiting his present neces­sities.

2. Sign.2. A great Faith is a wonder­working Faith. It can do those things which exceed the power of Nature. A great Faith can open heaven, it can overcome the world1 Joh. 5. 4.; it can master a complexion-sin2 Sam. 22. 24.; it can prefer the glory of God before Secular interestRom. 9. 1.; it can rejoyce in affliction1 Thes. 1. 6.; it can bridle the intem­perancy of passion; it can shine forth in the hemisphere of its relations; it can do duties in a more refined sublimated manner, mixing Love with Duty, which mellows it, and makes it taste more pleasant. It can antedate GloryFides at­tingit in­accessa, prospicit novissima., and make things [Page 92]at the greatest distance to unite. Thus the Spring-head of Faith ri­seth higher than Nature. A man by the power of Nature can no more do this, than Iron can of it self swim, or the Earth ascend.

3. A great faith is firm and stedfast; weak faith is frequently shaken with 3. Sign. fears and doubts. A great Faith is like an Oak, that spreads its roots deep, and is not easily blown down. Col. 2. 7. A great Faith is like the An­chor, or Cable of a Ship, that holds it steddy in the midst of storms [...]. Chrysost.. A Christian who is steeled with this heroick Faith, is setled in the Myste­ries of Religion. The Spirit of God hath so firmly printed heavenly truths upon his heart, that you may as vvell remove the Sun out of the Firmament, as remove him from those holy Principles he hath sucked in. Be­hold here, a Pillar in the Temple of GodRev. 3. 12.

[Page 93]4. A great Faith can trust in an 4. Sign. angry God; it believes Gods love through a frownIon. 2. 4.. A vigorous Faith, though it be repulsed and beaten back, yet it will come on a­gain [...]., and press upon God with an holy obstinacy. The Woman of Canaan was three times repulsed by Christ, yet she would take no denial from him; she turns discouragements into arguments, and made a fresh on­set upon Christ, till at last by the power of Faith she overcame him. O Woman, great is thy Faith, be it unto thee as thou wilt, Mat. 15. 28. The Key of her Faith unlocked Christ's bowels, and now she may have what she will from him. When once she had gotten his heart, she might have his treasure too.

5. A great Faith can swim a­gainst Tyde; it can go c [...]oss to sense 5. Sign. and reason. Corrupt reason saith as Peter, Master, Pity thy self. Faith saith, It is better to suffer, than sin. [Page 94]Reason consults safety; Faith will ha­zard safety, to preserve Sanctity. A Believer can sail to Heaven, though the Tyde of Reason, and the Wind of Temptation be against him [...]. Chrysostom..

Abraham in the case of sacrificing his Son, did not call Reason to the Councel-board: When God said, Offer up thy son Isaac, it was enough to pose not only fleshly wisdom, but even Faith too; for here, the com­mands of God did seem to interfere. In one command, the Lord said, Thou shalt not murder; and behold here a quite contrary command, Offer up thy son. So that Abraham in obeying one command, seemed to disobey another.

Besides Isaac was a son of the Promise; the Messiah was to come of Isaac's lineHebr. 11. 18.; and if he be cut [Page 95]off, where shall the World have a Mediator? Here was enough to a­muse, and puzzle this holy Patriarch; yet Abraham's Faith unties all these knots, and the bloody knife is made ready.

Abraham believed that when God called for it, it was not Murther, but Sacrifice; and that the Lord having made a promise of Christ's springing out of Isaac's loyns, rather than the promise should fall to the ground, God could raise up seed out of Isaac's ashes. Here was a Gyant-faith, which God himself did set a Trophy of honour upon. Gen. 22. 16. By myself have Isworn, saith the Lord, for because thou hast done this thing, and hast not with-held thy Son [...]., thine only Son, That in blessing I will bless thee, &c.

6. A great Faith can bear great 6. Sign. delayes. Though God doth not give a present answer to prayer, Faith believes it shall have an answer in [Page 96]due time. A weak faith is soon out of breath, and if it hath not the mercy presently, it begins to faint; whereas he who hath a strong puis­sant faith, doth not make haste Isa. 28. 16.. A great Faith is content to stay God's leisure. Faith will trade with God for time. Lord, saith Faith, If I have not the mercy I want instantly, I will trust longer; I know my mo­ney is in good hands; an answer of peace will come. Perhaps the mercy is not yet ripe, or perhaps I am not ripe for the mercy. Lord, do as it seems good in thine eyes. Faith knows that the most tedious Voyages have the richest returns; and the longer mercy is in expectati­on, the sweeter it will be in fru­itionQuo lon­gius defer tur, [...] sua­vius laeta­tur..

Behold here a glorious faith; if we have such a faith as this to shew, it is a blessed fruit of our Sacramental con­verse with God.

[Page 97]But I would not discourage Infant-believers. If your grace be not risen Caution to the bigness and proportion of a great Faith, yet if it be of the proper kind, it shall find acceptance. God who bids us receive him who is weak in faith Rom. 14. 10, will not himself refuse him. If your Faith be not grown to a Cedar, yet if it be a bruised Reed, it is too good to be broken, Mat. 12. 20. A weak Faith can lay hold on a strong Christ. A Palsie hand may tye the Knot in Marriage.

Only, let not Christians rest in lower measures of grace, but aspire af­ter higher degrees. The stronger our Faith, the firmer our Union with Christ, and the more sweet influence we draw from him.

This is that which honours the bles­sed Sacrament, when we can shew the encrease of grace; and being strong in faith, bring glory to GodRom. 4. 17.

7. Hath Jesus Christ provided such a blessed Banquet for us? He doth not Bran. 7. [Page 98]Nurse us abroad, but feeds us with his own breast, nay blood; let us then study to answer this great love of Christ. 'Tis true, we can never pa­rallel his love; yet let us shew our selves thankful. We can do nothing satisfactory, but we may do something gratulatory. Christ gave himself a sin­offering [...] for us, let us give our selves a thank-offering to him [...].. If a man redeem another out of Debt, will not he be grateful? How deeply do we stand obliged to Christ, who hath re­deemed us from HellCum ei donavero quicquid sum, quicquid possum, nonne est tanquam scintilla ad ad solem, gutta ad sluvium, granum ad acervum? Non hab [...] nis [...] minuta duo, Corpus & Animam, &c. Bern. flor.!

And let us shew our thankfulness four ways.

1. By Courage. Christ hath set us a Copy; he did not fear men, but endured the Cross, and despised the shame. Let us be steeled with courage, being ready to suffer for Christ, which [Page 99]is (as Chrysostom speaks) to be baptized with a Baptism of blood. Did Christ bear the wrath of God for us, and shall not we bear the wrath of men for him? It is our glory to suffer in Christs quarrel. 1 Pet. 4. 14 The Spirit of God, and of glory resteth upon you [...]. Chrysostom.. Let us pray for furnace­grace: Be like those three Children, Dan. 3. 17. Be it known to thee, O King, that we will not serve thy gods. They would rather burn, than bow. Oh that such a spirit as was in Cyprian, might survive in us! who, when the Proconsul would have tempted him from his Religion; and said to him, Consule tibi, Consult for thy safety: saith Cyprian, In so just a cause there needs no consultation. When the sentence for his death was read, he replyed, Deo gratias, Thanks be to God Serm. Aug. de Cyp [...].. We know not how soon an hour of Temptation may come; Oh remember Christ's Body was broken, [Page 100]his blood poured out; we have no such blood to shed for him, as he shed for us.

2. Let us shew our thankful­ness to Christ by fruitful­nessLignum aridum factus er at in Ada­mo, sed per gratiam Christi pomifera ar­bor pullulâs [...]i. Ambros. de Sacra­mento.. Let us bring forth the sweet fruits of patience, hea­venly-mindedness, and good works. This is to live unto him who dyed for us, 2 Cor. 5. 15. If we would rejoyce the heart of Christ, and make him not repent of his sufferings, let us be fertil in obedience. The wise men did not only worship Christ, but presented unto him gifts, Gold and Frankincense, Mat. 2. 11. Let us present Christ with the best fruits of our Garden, let us give him our love, that flovver of delight. The Saints are not only compared to Stars for their knowledg, but Spice-trees for their fertilness Christ delighted in the breasts of his Spouse, because they vvere like Clusters of Grapes, Cant. 7. 7. The blood of Christ re­ceived [Page 101]in a spiritual manner, is like the water of jealousie, which had a ver­tue both to kill and make fruitfulNumb. 5. 27, 28.. Christs blood kills sin, and makes the heart fructifie in grace.

3. Let us shew our thankfulness to Christ by Zeal. Hovv zealous vvas Christ for our Redemption! Zeal turns a Saint into a Seraphim. A true Christian hath a double Baptism, of vvater, and fire: he is baptized vvith the fire of zealZelus est gradus in­tensus pu­rae affecti­onis.. Be zealous for Christs Name and Worship. Zeal is encreased by opposition; it cuts its vvay through the Rocks. Zeal loves Truth most, when it is disgraced and hated. Psal. 119, 126, 127. They have made void thy Law, therefore I love thy Commandments above Gold.

Hovv little thankfulness do they shevv to Christ, vvho have no zeal for his Honour and Interest! They are like Ephraim, Hos. 7. 8. Ephraim is a Cake not turned. Baked on one side, and Dough on the other. Christ doth [Page 102]most abominate a luke vvarm temper: Revel. 3. 15. He is even sick of such Professors. They who vvrite of the scituation of England, say, that it is seated betvveen the torrid and frigid Zone, the Climate is neither very hot nor cold. I vvish, this vvere not the temper of the people, and that our hearts vvere not too like the Climate vve live in. The Lord cause the fire of holy zeal to be alvvays burning upon the Altar of our hearts.

4. Let us shevv our thankfulness by universal subjection to Christ. This is to make the Lord's-Supper in a spi­ritual sense, a feast of Dedication [...]. Suidas., vvhen vve renevv our Vovvs, and give up our selves to God's service. Psal. 116. 16. Truly I am thy servant, I am thy servant: Lord, all I have is thine. My head shall be thine to study for thee; my hands shall be thine to vvork for thee; my heart shall be thine to adore thee; my tongue shall be thine to praise thee.

[Page 103]8. If Jesus Christ hath provided so Bran. 8. holy an Ordinance as the Sacrament, let us vvalk suitably to it. Have vve received Christ into our hearts? let us shevv him forth by our heaven line [...].

1. Let us shevv forth Christ by our heavenly vvords. Let us speak the Language of Canaan. When the Holy Ghost came upon the Apostles, they spake vvith other tongues, Acts 2. 4. While vve speak the vvords of grace and soberness, our lips smell as a per­fume, and drop as honey.

2. Let us shevv forth Christ by our heavenly affections. Let our sighs and breathings after God, go up as a cloud of incense. Col. 3. 2. Set your affecti­ons on things above. We should do by our affections, as the Husbandmen do by their Corn; if the Corn lie lovv in a damp Room, it is in danger to corrupt; therefore they carry it up into their highest Room, that it may keep the better. So our affections, if set upon the Earth, are apt to corrupt, [Page 104]and be unsavoury; therefore w [...] should carry them up on high above the World, that they may be preser­ved pure; breathe after fuller disco­veries of God; desire to attain unto the resurrection of the dead, Phil. 3. 11. The higher our affections are raised towards Heaven, the sweeter joy we feel. The higher the Lark flies, the sweeter it sings.

3. Let us shew forth Christ by our Heavenly Conversation: Philip. 3. 20. Hypocrites may in a pang of Conscience have some good affections stirred, but they are as flushings of heat in the face, which go and come. But the con­stant tenor of our life must be ho­ly. We must shine forth in a kind of Angelical sanctity. As it is with a piece of Coyn, it hath not only the King's Image within the Ring, but his superscription without: So it is not enough to have the Image of Christ in the [Page 105]heart, but there must be the super­scription without, something of Christ must be written in the life.

The scandalous lives of many Communicants are a reproach to the Sacrament, and tempt others to Atheism. How odious is it, that those hands which have re­ceived the Sacred Elements, should take Bribes! That those eyes, which have been fill'd with tears at the Lords-Table, should afterwards be filled with Envy! That those teeth, which have eaten Holy Bread, should grind the faces of the Poor! That those lips, which have touched the Sacramental Cup, should salute an Harlot Sunt lo­tis mani bus, sed illotis ope­ribus. Ber.! That that mouth which hath drunk Consecrated Wine, should be full of Oaths! That they who seem to deisie Christ in the Eucharist, should vilifie him in his Members! In a word, That such who pretend to eat Christ's Body, and drink his Blood at [Page 106]Church, should eat the bread of wick­edness, and drink the wine of violence in their own houses! Prov. 4. 17. These are like the Italians I have read of, who at the Sacrament are so devout, as if they believed God to be in the bread; but in their lives are so pro­fane, as if they believed not God to be in Heaven. Such as these are apt to make the World think that the Gos­pel is but a fancy, or religious Cheat. What shall I say of them? They do with Judas, receive the Devil in the Sop, and are no better than CrucifiersConcul­cant Da­minum, & sanguinem dulcissim [...] vi [...]is du­cunt pol­lutum. Bern. of the Lord of Glory. As their [...]in is hainous, so their punishment will be proportionable, 1 Cor. 11. 29. They eat and drink damnation to themselves. If one of the Vestal Nuns who had vo­wed her self to Religion were deflo­red, the Romans caused her to be bu­ried alive Plutarch.. Such as have a Sacra­mental vow upon them, yet after­wards deflore the Virginity of their souls byscandalous sins, God will bury them alive in the flames of Hell.

[Page 107]Oh that such a lustre and majesty of holiness did sparkle forth in the lives of Communicants, that others may say, These have been with Jesus! And their Consciences may lie under the power of this conviction, that the Sacrament hath a confirming and a transforming vertue in it!

4. The fourth Use is of comfort to God's people. Use 4. Conso­lation.

1. From Christ's body broken, and his blood poured out, we may gather this comfort, That it was a glorious Sacrifice.

1. It was a Sacrifice of infinite me­rit. Had it been only an Angel that suffered; or had Chaist been only a meer man, (as some do blasphemously dream Poterit h [...]c opinio Hebioni convenire qui nudum homi­n [...]m &c. Tertul.) then we might have despaired of salvation; but he suffered for us who was God as well as man Non fuit [...], sed [...].. Therefore the Apostle calls it expresly, San­guis Dei, the blood of God, Acts 20. 28. It is man that sins, it is [Page 108]God that dies. This is a soveraign Cordial to Believers. Christ having poured out his blood, now God's justice is compleatly satisfied. God was infinitely more contented with Christ's sufferings upon Mount Cal­vary, than if we had lain in Hell, and undergone his wrath for ever. The Blood of Christ hath quenched the flame of Divine fury: And now what should we fear? All our Enemies are either reconciled, or subdued; God is a reconciled Enemy, and sin is a subdued Ene­my. Who shall lay any thing to the charge of Gods Elect? It is Christ that dyed, Rom. 8. 34. 'Tis re­ported when Satan once appeared to Luther, and thought to affright him, Luther shewed him that Scrip­ture, Gen. 3. 15. I will put en­mity between thee and the Woman, and between thy seed and her Seed, it shall bruise thy head; whereupon Satan vanished. So when the De­vil [Page 109]shall accuse us, let us shew him the Cross of Christ. When he brings his Pensil, and goes to paint our sins in their colours, let us bring the Spunge of Christ's blood, and that will wipe them out again. All Bonds are cancel'd; whatsoever the Law hath charged upon us, is discharged. The debt-book is crossed with the blood of the Lamb.

2. It was a Sacrifice of eternal ex­tent. The benefit of it is perpetu­ated. Hebr. 9. 12. He entred in once into the holy place, having obtained eternal redemption for us In [...] Chri­sti [...] ifici [...]m ad [...] [...], [...] mansu­ [...] [...]luisse. Esti­us. Therefore Christ is said to be a Priest for ever, Hebr. 5. 6. because the vertue and com­fort of his Sacrifice abides for ever.

2. Christ's Blood being shed, 2. Believers may lay claim to all hea­venly priviledges; Wills are ratified by the death of the Testator. Hebr. 9. 17. A Testament is of force after [Page 110] men are dead. It is observable in the Text; Christ calls his blood, The blood of the New TestamentSanguis quo foedus solenniter sancitur. Grotins.. Christ made a Will or Testa­ment, and gave rich Legacies to the Saints, pardon of sin, grace, and glory, the Scrip­tures are the Rolls wherein these Legacies, are registred, Christ's blood is the sealing of the Will. This blood being shed, Christians may put in for a Title to these Legacies. Lord, pardon my sin, Christ hath died for my pardon. Give me grace, Christ hath pur­chased it by his Blood. The Testator being dead, the Will is in force. Christian, Art thou not filled with joy? Art thou not possessed of Heaven? yet thou hast this confirmed by Will. A Man that hath a Deed sealed, making over such Lands and Tenements after the expirement of a few years, though at present he hath little to help himself with, yet he comforts himself when he looks upon his sealed Deed, with hopes of that which is to come. So, though at present we enjoy not the priviledges of Consolation, and Glorification, yet we may chear our hearts with this, the Deed is sealed, the Will and Testament is ratified by the blood-shedding of Christ.

3. Is Christ's Blood shed? here is com­fort against death. A dying Saviour swee­tens the pangs of death3. Mors obiit [...]orte [...]risti.. Is thy Lord [Page 111]Crucified? be of good comfort, Christ by dying hath overcome death. He hath cut the lock of sin, where the strength of death lay. Christ hath knocked out the teeth of this Lyon: He hath pulled the thorn out of death, that it cannot prick a Believer's Conscience. Hosea 13. 14. O death, I will be thy plague. Christ hath disarmed death and taken away all its deadly weapons, that though it may strike, it cannot sting a Belie­ver. Christ hath drawn the poyson out of death, nay, he hath made death friendlyMertis aculeum retud it Christus, & [...]im infregit; jam­que fit peccati abol [...] ­tio, & ad vitam me­liorem transitio. Ri­vet. in Gen. c. 2. Exercit. 21.. This pale Horse car­ries a Child of God home to his Father's house. Faith gives a pro­priety to Heaven, death gives a possession: What sweet com­fort may we draw from the Cru­cifixion of our Lord! his preci­ous blood makes the pale face of death to be of a ruddy and beautiful com­plexion.

Use ult. Here is a dark side of the Cloud Use 5. Terror. to all profane persons who live and die in sin, they have no part in Christ's blood. Their condition will be worse, than if Christ had not died: Christ who is a Loadstone to draw the Elect to Heaven, will be a Mill­stone [Page 112]to sink the wicked deeper in Hell. There is a Crew of sinners who slight Christ's blood, and swear by it; let them know his blood will cry against them. They must feel the same wrath which Christ felt upon the Cross; and because they cannot bear it at once, they must be undergoing it to Eternity2 Thes. 1. 9.. So unconceivably torturing will this be, that the damned know not how to endure it, nor yet how to avoid it.

Sinners will not believe this till it be too late. The Mole is blind all its life, yet, as Pliny saith, it begins to see when it dyesOculos iucipit a­perire mo­riendo quos clausos ha­buit vi­vendo.. Wicked men while they live, are blinded by the god of this world2 Cor. 4. 4.; but when they are dying, the eye of their Consciences will be­gin to be opened, and they shall see the Wrath of God flaming before their eyes, which sight will be but a sad Prologue to an Eternal Tragedy.



Christian Reader,

I Have (according to my promise) superadded a few lines, suiting a Sacramental Discourse. The Sub­ject is so excellent and sublime, that I cannot speak enough of it, nor well e­nough. What can be more sacred, than the observing Christ's last Will and Test­ament, Do this in Remembrance of me. We are to be so solemnly affected at the Holy Supper, as if we were re­ceiving it among the Apostles from Christ's own handsEo affe­ctu debe­tis esse imbuti, [...]um sumitis Eucharistiam, perinde ac in illa ipsa Christi [...]ssetis vespera, adeo (que) coena, eidem (que) accumbereti [...] thoro, [...] abipso Christo acciperetis sacrum istud [...].. This mysterious Ordinance is to be perpetuated till [Page]Christ's coming to judgment, 1 Cor. 11. 26.Patet, ritum hunc Eucharistiae dura­turum us (que) ad finem mundi. Ca [...]vinus, Groti [...]s, Theophyl: The Supper of the Lord is a [...], or foret ast of that Marriage-Supper of the Lamb, Rev. 19. 9. which made Damascen pray, Lord, let me receive this Supper, as an Earnest of my future Heaven. But into what a degenerate age are we fallen, when the most weighty tremendous Points of Re­ligion are called in question. To such a Climax of impudency are some risen, as to vilifie Ordinances, oppugn Christ's Divinity, deride the in-habitation of God's SpiritRom. 8. 9.; and deny praying by the Spirit. These are they who would cause the Holy One of Israel to cease from before them, Isa. 30. 11. They would turn all Religion into a Romance, and leaven the World with Atheism. I wish they have not sinned the sin unto death1 Joh 5. 17.. If once the Truths of God iose their authority in Peoples hearts, then is a fatal stop put to all solid Practical Piety. God grant that the more others [Page]decry the Sanctity of the Gospel, the more we may reverence it. They have made void thy Law, therefore I love thy Commandments, Psal. 119. 126. Such as have experienced the sweetness of Truth in their own Souls, know how to estimate it. I should be glad if this short ensuing Discourse, might render the Lord Jesus more precious and eligi­ble in our eyes, and add one cubit to our faith. O happy Ordinance of the Supper that causeth such endearments of love between Christ and the Soul; and begins those sacred Nuptials, which shall be for ever solemnized in the Kingdom of God. But I avo [...]d Prolixness: hoping for a blessing from on high upon these endeavours. I rest

Yours affectionately in the service of the Gospel. Thomas Watson.

The Fiery Serpents.

Numb. 21, 6, 7, 8, 9.‘And the Lord sent Fiery Serpents among the People, and they bit the people, and much people of Israel dyed; There­fore the people came to Moses, and said, We have sinned, for we have spoken against the Lord, and against thee; pray unto the Lord, that he take away the Serpents from us: And Moses prayed for the People; And the Lord said unto Moses, Make thee a Fiery Serpent, and set it upon a Pole; and it shall come to pass that every one that is bitten when he looketh up­on it shall live. And Moses made a Ser­pent of Brass, and put it upon a Pole; and it came to pass, that if a Serpent had bitten any man, when he beheld the Serpent of Brass, h [...] lived.’

IN this Portion of Holy Scripture, there are two things considerable. The people of Israels being stung, and the manner of their Cure.

[Page 118]1. Their being stung with the Fie­ry Serpents; where observe,

1. The occasion of God's sending these Fiery Serpents.

There were two Sins provoked the Lord to inflict this Punishment.

1. Their Murmuring, ver 5. The People spake against God and against Moses, Wherefore have ye brought us up out of Egypt to die in the Wilderness? for there is no bread, neither is there any water, Speaking against God and his Prophets go together. They spake against God and against Moses. The Chaldee reads it, They murmured before the Lord. Murmuring is a spea­king against God; and it proceeds from distrust, Psal. 106. 24. They be­lieved not his Word, but murmured. So in the Text, There is no bread, or water; they thought they should die in the Wilderness, and then they spake against God. Murmuring is the daughter of Unbelief. And observe the Time when they murmured; it was imme­diately [Page 119]after an eminent and glorious deliverance, ver. 3. The Lord harkned to Israel, and delivered up the Cana­anites, and they utterly destroid them and their Cities. And behold the re­quital they make God for this signal mercy! They murmur against him. What? to find fault with God! and just after a Deliverance? the Lord being highly provoked, sent Fiery Serpents among them, and much peo­ple of Israel dyed, ver. 6.Fiebat magna strages. August.

Oh, how suitable to their Sin was this Punishment. Israel did burn in heat of Passion, and God made their Flesh burn with extream heat: Their Speeches were venemous, and they were punished with venemous Ser­pents [...]. Chrys. ad Pop. Ant [...] Hom. 19.. Hence observe,

Doctrine 1. Of all Sins God can Doct. 1. least bear the sin of Ingratitude To be delivered, yet murmur! God [Page 120]presently sent Fiery Serpents to a­venge his quarrel. Israel did not only forget God's Mercies, Psal. 106. 13. but abuse them. To be ungrateful for mercy, is, like Absalom, who assoon as David kissed him, and took him into favour, plotted Treason against himVas per­tusum [...]. 2 Sam. 15. 10. Like the Athenians, who, in lieu of the good Service Aristides had done them, banished him out of their City Plutarch.. Like the Mule who kicks the Damm after she hath given it milk. Ingratitude (saith Cicero) hath nothing of evil wanting in it Nihil ma­li non in­est. Cic. ad Attic.. It is a sin that leaves a People without excuse; if God let loose his Judgments, and send Fiery Serpents, they have nothing to say, Ezra. 9. 10. And now O our God what shall we say af­ter this? after what? ver. 9. Mercy hath been extended to us in the sight of the Kings of Persia, yet we have forsa­ken thy Commandments. What shall we say after this?

[Page 121] Use. Let our Ingratitude be deep­ly laid to heart. This puts an accent upon sin, and makes it [...], out of measure sinful. How many are the worse for mercy. They make a dart of God's Mercies, and shoot at him; he gives them Wit, and they serve the Devil with it; he gives them an Estate, and they feast their Lusts with it. Are these worthy to be Guests at the Lords-Table who lift up the heel against him? Will God welcome such into his presence, as know not how to use kindness? Oh that this sin may fill our faces with blushing. Take we heed for the future of following this bad example in the Text. Let us turn all our Murmurings into Hosan­ [...]ahs. Let us praise God for his Mer­cies, and serve God with his Mercies.

2. The second cause of God's sen­ding 2. the Fiery Serpents, was, Their slighting of Manna. ver. 5. Our soul loatheth this light bread. The Septu­agint Panis in­an. P. Fagius. renders it, [...], this [Page 122] empty bread. It is spoken in contempt. Israel counted Manna vile in respect of other meat. Manna is called Angels Food; but they call it in disdain light bread. This Manna was miraculous, it came from Heaven in an extraordina­ry way; and mystical: It was a type and figure of the Lord Jesus, who is called the bread of Life, Joh. 6. 98. and the Hidden Manna Dat Pa­ [...]em De is quem sig­nificabat Manna, ipsn [...] scil: Dominum Jesum Aug., Rev. 2. 17. The contempt therefore of Manna was a contempt of Christ; for this, God sent Fiery Serpents.

Doct: 2. The slighting and despi­sing Doct. 2. the Lord Jesus is a God-provo­king sin. This was Israels Crime, the despising of Manna; which was not only corporal food, but a Type of Christ their spiritual food; this greatly incensed the Lord, and made him send Fiery Serpents among them. Thus, when we despise Christ and prefer our lusts before him, as Israel did Leeks and Onyons before Manna, then come the Fiery Serpents.

[Page 123] Use. Let us take heed of growing weary of Christ, this blessed Manna. At first Israel did highly esteem Man­na, they ran out to gather it, Happy was he that could get Manna. But this Food from Heaven, which at first was so sweet to their Palat, within a while was loathed and contemned. Our nature is such, that we are apt to disesteem the richest blessings when they are common. If Pearls and Dia­monds were plentiful, none would value them. If the Sun did shine but once a year how would it be prized; but because it shines every day, few admire this Lamp of Heaven. Take heed of despising Jesus Christ, Mat. 22. 5. If God was so angry with Israel for slighting of Christ when he was hid under a Type; how angry will he be with those who slight Christ, af­ter he hath been visibly revealed, Hebr. 10. 29. Of how much sorer pu­nishment shall they be thought worthy, who have trod under foot the Son of [Page 124] God. Jesus Christ is a super-eminent blessing; a magazine and storehouse of all good ThingsCommuni [...] the saurus. Luth.. And the love of God was never so much seen as in giving of Christ; therefore to slight Christ, is to slight the love of God.

Quest. But who dares slight Christ?

Resp. It is a slighting of Christ to slight his Gospel, and offer of Grace; and hath not this been England's Sin? have not we formerly nauseated Man­na? did not we grow curious and wanton, and esteem'd the Manna of the Gospel light-bread, and was not the Lord provoked with us? Did not he send, though not Fiery Serpents, yet a Fiery Rod among us in this City, that hath burnt down our Dwellings? Christians, I beseech you take heed of this for the future. If God indulge you with Manna again, beware of surfeiting on the bread of life. The loathing of Manna is the next way to the losing of Manna. God will take away his Mercies if they are under­valued. [Page 125]If you play with the light, God will put out the light.

2. The Punishment it self, which was Fiery Serpents. These may be un­derstood,

1. Literally they were called Fiery Serpents.

1. Because they were of a fiery colour.

2. From the effect, They were Seraphims, Burners [...] ussit, crema­vit.. For when they did bite the people, they did burn with extream heat and thirstMorsum ardentes infigebant, at que simul toxicum. Mun­sterus, Clarius.. The Septuagint translates them▪ Killing Serpents [...].. Many of the people died, ver. 6.

2. These Fiery Serpents may be understood mystically. So these Ser­pents were first a Type of Satan, call­ed the old Serpent, Rev. 12. 9. He is in­deed a Serpent for his subtilty. The Hebrew word for Serpent comes of a Verb that signifies to use subtilty [...]. [Page 126] Gen. 3. 1. So Satan is a Ser­pentIn Serpente max­ima est astutia, & dolus nocendi: non pedes habet ut ejus vestigia audiantur, in ejus itinere ve lut lenis est gressus non rectus. Aug. very subtil in his temp­tations; he hath his [...] his depths, Rev. 2. 24. and his [...], his devices, 2 Cor. 2. 11. The Devil doth with his artificial varnish put a fine gloss upon his Temptations, that he may the better draw men to his lure; he either hides his malicious designs. or colours themMagis rever a me­tuendus est daeinon fallens, quam saeviens. August..

2 These Fiery Serpents were a Type of Sin.

Doct. 3. Sin is a Fiery Serpent. This Serpent is bred in our nature; it is within usSerpentes vitia tua s [...]nt. Aug. in Psal. Tom. 8.. We would think it sad, to have Spiders and Serpents in our bodies; as it is said of Maximinus the Emperor, his body bred vermin: But it is worse to have the Serpent of Sin in our Souls. Sin is a Serpent.

1. For its Poyson. Sin hath inve­nomed us, and that is the reason we [Page 127]swell. Why doth one man swell with Pride, another with Passion, another with Lust? he is poysoned. If one had achild whom he dearly loved, mor­tally poyson'd; how would he grieve for it? Our Souls are poysoned, yet we grieve not. How oft do sinners poyson the Sacramental Cup!

2. Sin is a Serpent for the sting of it. 'Tis the [...]. Sin at first shows its colour in the glass, afterwards it bites as a Serpent, Prov. 23. 32. Sin is a Serpent with four stings. 1. It stings with guilt, Rom. 3 19. 2. With hor­ror of Conscience, which is Limen in­ferni; Judas and Spira felt this; all the racks, strappadoes, and tortures in the world are but Ludibria & risus, a sport in comparison of this deadly sting; no outward comforts can ease a Conscience stung with sin, no more than a Crown of Gold can cure the Head-ach.

3. Sin stings with death, Rom. 5. 12. and death by Sin. Sin is the wild Gourd [Page 128]that Adam gathered and eat; and the next news was, There is death in the 2 King. 4. 40. pot.

4. Sin without Repentance stings the Soul with damnation. This Fiery Serpent, brings to the Fiery Furnace, I have rcad of the City Amycle in Italy destroy'd by SerpentsPliny.. Such a de­stroying Serpent is sin.

Use 1. See the sad condition of wicked men! They make light of sin, but sin is a Fiery Serpent crept into their bosom. When the Serpent hath bitten one (saith Pliny) the venome and contagion of it spreads all over his body. Sin hath invenomed men all over; their hearts are full of poy­son, Rom. 1. 29. Being fill'd with all unrighteousness. Their Tongues spit forth the poyson of the Serpent in Oaths and Curses, Psal. 58. 2. The poison of Asps is under their Tongue.

This may serve to humble God's own people; though they have the meekness of the Dove, yet they have [Page 129] aliquid serpentis, something of the evil evil of Serpent in them. Though the curse due to sin is taken away, yet the venome of this Serpent doth in part remain: They have much love of the World, much Unbelief much unmortified Passion. Among Christ's Disciples there was Pride and Emu­lation. Tho Christians have something of God's Spirit in them, yet they have something which is Serpentine. This Viper of sin will not be shaked off till death. Oh how may this humble the best of God's Saints. The Bishop of Alexandria when Egypt was conver­ted to the Faith, destroyed all their Idols but one, that so looking upon that, they might see their folly, and abhor themselves for their Idolatry. So God suffers not sin to be perfectly abolished in this life, he leaves some corruption in the heart, Something of the Serpent, that his people may loath themselves in the dust. What need have Believers to drink Christ's [Page 130]Blood in the Sacrament, which is the best antidote against the poyson of the Soul.

3. See that which may raise in us abhorring thoughts of sin. It is a venemous Fiery Serpent; will any man hug a Serpent? Oh look not on the sine coat of the Serpent, but the sting. It stings with the wrath of God. Pursue sin with an holy malice, Morti­fie the deeds of the flesh, Rom. 8. 13. It is an happy thing when a Christian can say, Though the Serpent be not dead, yet i [...] is dying. Kill this Serpent or it will kill you.

4. If sin be a Fiery Serpent, then be sensible of the malignity and viru­lency of this Serpent, feel your selves stung. Feel your Hypocrisie and In­fidelity. We are ready to think what a fearful thing it was to be bitten with the Fiery Serpents. We have a worse Serpent bites us, and the misery of all is, we are stung and are asleep, Eph. 4. 19. O that God would by his Spi­rit [Page 131]awaken us that we may not sleep the sleep of death.

5. If sin be a Fiery Serpent with so many stings, then let us labour that these deadly stings fastned in our Consciences may be healed. And that brings me to the second Thing.

II. The manner of Israels Cure. 11. vers. 8. Make thee a Fiery Serpent, (or Serpent of Brass) and set it upon a Pole: and it shall come to pass that eve­ry one that is bitten, when he looketh upon it shall live: And Moses made a Serpent of Brass, and put it upon a Pole, &c. In which words there is the Sig­num, and the Signatum; the Sign, the Brazen Serpent, and the thing signi­fied, Christ the healer of Souls. So it is interpreted by the Evangelist. Joh. 3. 14. As Moses lifted up the Ser­pent in the Wilderness: even so must the son of man be lifted up, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, &c.

[Page 132]Doct. 4. The Lord Jesus is the Doct. 4. true Brazen Serpent that heals sinners stung with sinMorsus Serpent is l [...]thalis, mors domi­ni vitalis. Austin.. For the further illustrating of this I shall show you,

1. The fit Analogies and resem­blances between Christ and the Bra­zen Serpent.

1. The Serpent in the Wilderness resembled Christ in its materiality, the Serpent was of Brass, not Marble, or beaten Gold: This being made of Brass did Typifie Christ three ways.

1. Brass is an inferiour Metal, and unlikely to produce such a noble ef­fect. What was a Serpent of Brass to heal one that was stung? If some Soveraign Medicine or Antidote had been applyed, if the balm of Gilead had been brought, this had been like­ly to have wrought a Cure, but what is there in a Serpent made of Brass to heal? This was a Type of Christ, it resembled the meanness of his Person, he affected not outward pomp and state; he came into the [Page 133]World in a mean Condition, There was no beauty in him that he should be desired, Isa. 53. 2. Who that had loo­ked upon Christ with a carnal eye, would ever have thought he should be the Messiah, the glorious healer of the World?

2. Brass is a solid firm Metal; which resembled Christ's Power. Job 9. 19. If I speak of strength, lo he is strong. Therefore called, The Mighty God [...], Isa. 9. 6. Of what invincible forti­tude was he, who could bear the wrath of God and the sins of the World! He must needs be puissant who could break the Gates of Hell, and triumph over Satan upon the Cross.

3. Brass doth shine, but not dazzle the eyes. So Christ though he doth shine in his God-head, yet his Human Nature doth so allay the splendor of his Glory, that we may look upon him now, and not be over-whelmed with the immenseness and brightness of his Majesty.

[Page 134]2. The Brazen Serpent resembled Christ in its figure and shape. The Serpent though it was made like a Serpent, yet it was no Serpens ille [...]neus non erat Pestifer, sed solum speciem forebat. P. Fagius. real Serpent. Thus Christ (as the Scripture saith) was in the likeness of sinful flesh, Rom. 8. 3. yet he was no sinner. He was made sin, but knew no sin, 2 Cor. 5. 21. He knew sin in the weight, but not in the act. He was ab omni macula alienus, he was purer then the Sun; he had no more sin than the Brazen Serpent had sting or venome in it Suscipi­ [...]ndo sine culpa paenam, & paenam sanavit & culpam. Aug. Tom. 10..

3. The Serpent in the Wilderness resembled Christ in its Erection and Elevation. It was lifted up that all Israel might see it. It must not on­ly be framed but lifted up In extremitate hastis vexillaris ut eminus ab omnibus conspici posset. Ar. Montan. Vatabl. [...]rusius.. So Christ must not only be made a Saviour, but he must be lifted up. Now Christ is said to be lifted up four ways.

[Page 135]1. Christ was lifted up in the Ac­clamation of the Angels, Luk. 2. 7. Unto you is born this day, a Saviour, which is Christ the Lord; and suddenly there was with the Angel a multitude of the heavenly host praising God, and say­ing glory to God in the highest, &c. The Angels adored Christ, and were the Heraulds to proclaim the joyful news of a Saviour to the World. Thus was Christ lifted up in the Triumphs of Angels.

2. Christ is lifted up in the Prea­ching of the Gospel Ainswort.. So he is an Ensign erected for all to look to, Isa. 11. 10. It is the Ministers office to lift up Christ in the eyes of the World; to hold him forth in his glo­ry, and proclaim him as the only Messiah, and that there is no Salvation in any other, Act. 4. 12 [...]..

3. Christ was lifted up upon the Cross: The Pole was undoubtedly a Type of the Cross, and the lifting up of the Serpent on the Pole was a [Page 136]Type of Christ's being lift up upon the Cross. This was a blessed lifting up. Christ's lifting up is our lifting up. Joh, 12. 32. And I if I be lifted up from the earth, will draw all men unto me: That is, all that belong to the Election. For mercy runs only in the channel of Election. O how happy was it for us, that this spiritual brazen serpent was erected. Christ's being lifted up upon the Cross, is the cause of our being lifted up to Heaven. And in the Sacrament is a solemn Comme­moration of Christ's Crucifixion.

4. Christ is lifted up in our hearts, by our contemplating, admiring, loving him. It is not the lifting up of Christ on the Cross will save us, unless he be lifted up in our hearts. When we prize Christ, and set him highest in our thoughts and esteem, this is to lift him up in our souls. There are two chief things a Christian hath to do, to depress self, and exalt Christ.

[Page 137]4. The brazen serpent resembled Christ in the design of its being lifted up, and that was intuition; when Israel were stung, they must look upon the Brazen serpent; which looking imply­ed a secret hope they had of cure. So Christ was therefore lifted up on the Cross, that he may be looked upon by an eye of Faith. The people of Israel needed not to have taken down the Serpent from the Pole, and touch­ed their sores with it; they were only to look on it, and they were healed. So we need not go to fetch Christ down from Heaven (as the Papists do who make him to be corporally in the Bread); no, if we do but look upon him fiducially, we shall be cured of our sting.

Observe four Things about the Brazen Serpent. There were four ca­ses in which the Brazen Serpent would have done the people of Israel no good, though it were lifted up.

[Page 138]1. In case the Brazen Serpent had been set up, yet if they had not fixed their eye upon it, it would not have cured them. So though Jesus Christ be lifted up as a Saviour to the world; yet if this Brazen Serpent be not loo­ked upon believingly he will not save, Joh. 3. 18. He that believeth not, is condemned already. The Arminians dream of Universal Redemption, Christ dying intentionally for all. The Bra­zen Serpent was made a Type of Christ; now the Brazen Serpent cu­red not all persons, only them that looked upon it. So those who either through ignorance, or stubbornness, look not on Christ by Faith have no benefit by him.

2. In case the people of Israel had not looked upon this Serpent Alone, if they had set up another Brazen Ser­pent by this, and looked upon both, they had not received a cure. So after God hath set up Christ to be a Savi­our, if any shall presume to set up [Page 139]another Saviour by him (as the Papists who look partly to Christ, and partly to their Merits) they can receive no sanative vertue from him. For us of the Protestant perswasion, to look upon our duties equally with Christ, our prayers and tears, as expecting they should merit salvation, this is to make two Brazen Serpents, to set up two Christs, and then we cannot be cured. We are to use duties, but to look beyond them to Christ. They are good duties, but bad Christ's. If we trust to our duties for salvation, they will be Fiery Ser­pents to sting us, not Brazen Serpents to heal us.

3. In case the Brazen Serpent was set up upon a Pole, if Israel had loo­ked only upon their sting, and not upon the Serpent, they had not been cured. So if we look only upon our Sins, and through despair look not up to Christ, vve have no healing from [Page 140]him. To keep avvay from Christ be­cause of our sins, is a disparagement to Christ, as if there were more malig­nity and poyson in sin then vertue in this Brazen Serpent. Indeed vve must look with one eye upon sin, but vvith another eye upon Christ. Look on sin vvith a penitent eye, and on Christ vvith a believing eye [...]. Chrysostom.. Weep for sin that slevv Christ, but hope in the Lamb slain.

4. In case Israel had looked upon the Brazen Serpent, yet if it had been vvith an eye of scorn or contempt, as despising that remedy God had pro­vided, they had not been cured; Jesus Christ is lifted up, but if he be looked upon as the Jews looked upon him vvhen he hung on the Cross, vvith an eye not of reverence but disdain, he vvill not cure. The blas­phemous Socinians look upon Christ only as a meer man, and his blood not [Page 141]satis [...]ory or meritorious, these can­not be [...]ved by himQui non erubescit crucifixum saluus fiet. August.. Isa. 53. 3. He is despised of Men. To these he is not a Brazen Serpent, but a consuming fire.

5. The Brazen Serpent resembled Christ in the issue and result of it. He who looked on the Serpent had an infallible cure. So he that can but look wishly on Christ by Faith is cer­tainly sav [...]d. Joh. 3. 14. Whosoever believeth on him shall not penish. Our misery at first came in by the eye, loo­king upon the apple undid us; but looking on Christ aright saves us.

2. I shall show the Transcenden­cies of Christ the Spiritual Brazen Serpent above that in the Wilder­ness.

1. The Brazen Serpent was inani­mate, it could repair life, not infuse life. But Jesus Christ gives life to the World [...]., Joh. 6. 33. Yea, a never-dying life, Joh. 3. 15. Eternal life. Life is sweet, but this word Eternal, makes it sweeter.

[Page 142]2. The Brazen Serpent could cure only a sting in the body. The Lord Jesus heals a more deadly sting in our souls. [...]. Psal. 103. 3. So deep were these wounds that they could not be healed but by deeper wounds made in Christ's side. He was fain to die to cure us.

3. The Brazen Serpent could cure only those who were within sight of it, such as were afar off and in remote parts of the Wilderness, had not their sting removed; But Jesus Christ cures none but them who are afar off, Jer. 2. 5. They are gone far from me. The East is not so far from the West, as the sinner is from God; but herein ap­pears the vertue of our Spiritual Bra­zen Serpent, he heals none but them who are afar off. Such as are not only aliens but rebells, that live in the De­vil's Territories, Christ works a cure upon them, and turns them from the power of satan, Act. 26. 18.

[Page 143]4. The Brazen Serpent cured them that looked on it; but if they had wanted the organ of fight, there had been no cure for them. What would a poor blind Israelite have done? but Christ our Brazen Serpent not only cures us when we look upon him, but if we want our sight, he enables us to look upon him. Christ not only saves us when we believe, but he gives us power to believe, Ephes. 2. 8. Christ anoints us with the eye-salve of his Spirit that we may look up, and loo­king up we are cured.

Use. 1. Information,

1 Branch. In this Mystery of the Brazen Serpent, see by what impro­bable means God doth sometimes ef­fect great things. What was a Brazen Serpent? What likelihood that this should heal one that was stung? it was a meer Image, a shape, and this not applyed to the wound, but only beheld and looked upon, yet this wrought a cure. Reason would with [Page 144] Sarah have laughed at this. A bitter Tree cast into the vvaters did dulcifie and make themsweet to drink of Sal Elisaei sanavit terram sterslem, li­cét sal natura sua sterilitatem indu­cat. Drusius.. Clay and spittle cured the blind man; vve vvould rather think it should put out ones eyes that did see. What is there in the Rainbovv to prevent a deluge? What is Bread and Wine in the Sacrament, that these Elements should be consecrated to such an high mystery as to be a sym­bol of Christ's Body and Quid magis rationi obstat quàm mortu. um homsnem vivifi­care mundum, in illius cruce & igno minia, humans ge n [...]is gloriam ab­sconditam esse. P. Fagius. Blood? What more strange then that a dead man should quicken the vvorld? but God loves to amuse and non-plus human vvisdom, and bring great things to pass by vveak contemptible means, 1 Cor. 1. 27, 28. This the Lord doth.

1. That his Glory may shine forth the more. The less appears in out­vvard means the more of God is seen. The less beauty and splendor is in the [Page 14]Load-stone, the more the virtues of it are admired. And the less outward Pomp is in the instrument, the more Gods wisdom & energy is manifested.

2. God would have the World see what power is in his Institution. God appointed the Brazen Serpent Fac tibi Presterem., therefore a word of Blessing went a­long with it to heal, Non in Serpente sed in do­mini imp [...] ­rio vis po­sita. Psal. 107. 20. He sent forth his word and bealed them. In the blessed Sacrament we are to look above the Elements; a word of Blessing goes along with God's Insti­tution to make this Ordinance effect­ual for the sealing up of Christ and all his benefits to us.

2. Bran. In this Mystery of the Brazen Serpent, see what infinite need we stand in of Christ. What would a stung Israelite have done without a Brazen Serpent? if Balm be needful for one that is wounded, if an antidote be needful for one that is poysoned, then Christ the Brazen ser­pent is needful for a soul stung with sin.

[Page 146]Yea, and what need have we to look often upon Christ in the frequent Celebration of the Lords Supper, where Christ in a special manner is lifted up; though we have looked upon this Brazen serpent formerly, yet still we have need to look upon him, we are not perfectly healed. In­deed Israel if they had looked but once on the Brazen Serpent, they were perfectly cured; but though we have looked several times on Christ in the Sacrament, and can say by experience, We have fetched vertue from him, yet we are not perfectly cured. Though the guilt of sin be taken a­way, yet not the presence and in­being. Our bloody issue is not quite dried up; our wounds bleed afresh, our sins break out again. I appeal to the best hearts alive, how often have they been stung with sin and tentati­on since they looked last on Christ lifted up in the Sacrament. O what need then to come often to this Ordi­nance. [Page 147]Herein the Sacrament of the Lord's Supper differeth from the Sacrament of Baptism which is to be administred but once, this often, [...] Cor. 11. 26 [...]. If we consider how strong our cor­ruptions are, how weak our Graces, how numerous our wan [...]s, it may make us come often to the Lords-Ta­ble, where we may have an healing sight of Christ. He that wants Gold goes often to the Indies. Our Spiri­tual indigence may renew our addres­ses to the Lords-Supper for strength and comfort.

3. Bran. See in this Mystery the Cabinet of Free-grace opened, and God's love sparkling forth! Three ways.

1. That God hath provided Christ this Brazen Serpent as a remedy for stung lapsed sinners. Oh infinite good­ness of God, that when vve had de­generated from him by Apostacy, the Lord should take pity of us, and in­stead of brandishing his flaming [Page 148]svvord, should erect a Brazen serpent, and make Christ knovvn to us in his healing vertues Mal. 4. 2.. When the Angels sinned there vvas no Brazen serpent for them, God did not send them to the Hospital to be healed, but to the Jail to be punished. They are reserved in everlasting Chains, Jude 6. O rich Free-grace that hath indulged us vvith a remedy, and found out a vvay of cure for all our desperate mala­dies!

2. See Gods Free-grace, that some should be healed of their sting and not others. There are but a fevv healed. There is a time vvhen sin­ners vvill not be healed, Jer. 51. 9. We would have healed Babylon, but she is not healed; and there is a time vvhen sinners cannot be healed, Nah. 3. 19. There is no healing of thy bruise. Novv Christian, vvhen most die of their vvound, that the Brazen serpent should be sent to thee to cure thee! [Page 149]Oh stupendious Grace [...], &c. Favorem indicat ac benevolentiam numinis, non tri­butam nostris meri­tis, sed ab ipsius gratuita bonitate profectam. Erasm.! that God should lay his left hand upon many of the rich and noble, and lay his right hand upon thee; that Heaven should fall to thy lot; that thou shouldst be one of those few that are saved*; cry out in admiration, Lord how is it that thou shouldst show thy self to me and not unto the worldJoh. 14. 22..

3. See God's Free-grace that he cures us upon such cheap terms. When we were wounded so deadly, God did not put us to charges, we were not to bring money to purchase our Cure; not rivers of Oyl, or drops of blood, no, only look upon the Brazen Ser­pent, and the Cure is effected. Isa. 55 1. Come without money, and without price. We are not to pay for our Cure. Spi­ritual Blessings are too dear for our purse to reach; Christ made a pur­chase for us in his Blood; all he re­quires is to receive it and be thank­ful.

[Page 150]4. See how justly all wicked men 4 Bran. perish. God hath provided a brazen Serpent, a glorious Saviour, that who­ever believes in his blood may obtain mercy. God beseecheth, yea chargeth men to believe, if therefore through 1 Joh. 3. [...]3. folly they neglect Christ, or obstinacy refuse him, how righteous will God be in pronouncing that last and fatal sentence upon them. They who pe­rish under the Gospel must needs be double damned; Hell's furnace will be heated seven times hoter for them, because they put away Salvation from them, Act. 13. 46. Pagans perish in the want of a Brazen serpent, and Christians in the Contempt [...]. Mat. 11 22. Quia ul­tra natura legem, eti­am [...]cripta lex vobis data est. Brugens.. Jesus Christ saith, Come unto me all ye sinners who are stung with guilt, I will heal you. I conflicted with my Fathers wrath, I was wounded, and out of these bleeding wounds comes forth a soveraign medicine to cure you. But desperate sinners love their disease better then their remedy. They [Page 151]had rather die then look up to Christ for life, Psal. 81. 11. Israel would none of me. Oh strange delirium, the old Serpent after he hath stung men hath bewitched them, that they mind not a Cure. Who will pity such as will­fully cast away themselves? how will mercy slight their tears at last, and God's justice triumph in their deser­ved ruin.

Use 2. Let us look in a right man­ner Use 2. Exhor­tation Bran. 1. upon this Mystical Brazen Ser­pent, Heb. 12. 2. Looking unto Jesus. The Greek word, [...], signifies the stedfast fixing of the eye upon some lovely beautiful object. Faith will be of more use to us than any other grace. As an eye (though a dim one) was of more use to a stung Isra­elite than any other member. Faith discerns the Lords body. To encourage Faith; Consider,

1. Christ was lifted up upon the Cross purposely to cure us. Christ had no other end in dying but to heal, his [Page 152]blood is a soveraign balm for a sin­sick soul. Such as feel the burden of their sins, need not question Christ's willingness to save them, when the very design of his death was to cure, Psal. 147. 3. He healeth the broken in heart. Serpents (as Naturalists affirm) have a [...] or great love to their young, and will hazard their lives for them [...]sin. lib. 9.. So full of love was Christ our Mystical Brazen serpent, as to die for us, by whose stripes we are healed, Isa. 53. 5.

2. Such as do not look up to Christ's merits do necessitate themselves to damnation, Mar. 16. 16. He that believeth not shall be damned. [...], Non solum ut caeteri, bominum peribit, qui Des [...], non cognoverint, ve­rum etiam ut peccata sua hac in vita auxe­rit, vel eo ingratitu­dinis crimin [...] quod ob­latum sibi Evangelium repulerit, it [...] in altera gravioribus tam cor­poris quam animi ad­ [...]icetur suppliciis, Bru.. Had not Israel lift up their eyes to the Bra­zen serpent they had died for it. If thou dost not look up as David did; Psal. 25. 15. Mine eyes are ever towards the Lord, then thou must look up as Dives did, Luk. [Page 153]16. 23. In hell he lift up his eyes. Oh therefore let us fix our eye upon the Brazen serpent, looking unto Jesus. Let us look up to the sacrifice of Christ's blood, and to the cloud of incense which he sends up by his glo­rious Intercession.

Object. 1. But I fear I have no Faith alive in my Soul, whereby I should look up. Though Israel were stung yet they were alive; but how dead do I find my heart?

Answ. We must distinguish be­tween a Christian that is liveless, and that is without life. A sick man is live­less, and hath no mind to stir, yet he is not without life: So Christian thou maist be liveless, and thy grace dor­munt; yet the seed of Faith may be alive in thy heart. Did not David find his heart dull and listless? though he was not dead in sin, yet he was dead in duty; why else did he pray, Quic­ken thou me, Psal. 119. 25. But that deadness which is in a Believer, he is [Page 154]sensible of, which argues life; he mourns for it, and never leaves till he hath in the use of means recovered that agility and liveliness of soul as once he had.

Object. 2. But if my Faith be alive, it is so weak, that I fear I shall receive no benefit from the Brazen serpent?

Answ. If it be a true Faith though weak, it will fetch vertue from Christ. Suppose an Israelite had had but one eye, and that eye had been sore, yet looking on the Brazen serpent, he had been presently cured. Blear eyed Leah might have been cured; though thy Faith be weak it will justifie. Say as Cruciger, on his death bed, Lord, I believe but with a weak Faith, yet I believe Credo do­mine lan­guida fide, sed [...]amen fide..

Object. 3. But my sins are of that magnitude that I am discouraged from looking up to Christ?

[Page 155] Answ. Captivate fear, and advance Faith Mark 5. 36.. Suppose an Israelite had been more stung and bitten than others, yet by looking on the Brazen serpent he might have been healed as well as they that had but the least sting. Christ's blood believed in, cures the greatest stings. What cannot the blood of God do? it cured Manasses three deadly stings, bloodshed, Idolatry, Sorcery, 2 Chron. 32. 2, 3. The Bra­zen serpent can cure the Crimson sin­ner, Isa. 1. 18. I speak not this that any should presume, but that no bro­ken-hearted sinner should despair.

2. Bran. Let us acknowledg God's wonderful mercy in bestowing the Brazen serpent upon us. O bless God cordially for Christ [...], Chrys., who was lift up up­on the Cross, and is held forth in the Sacrament, for our con­solation and salvation. How joyful was an Israelite that lay burning with his sting, when he saw the Brazen [Page 156]serpent erected. We have infinitely more cause to be joyful for Christ, whose blood delivers us from [...]rath to come, 1 Thes. 1 10. What had be­come of us if Christ not pityed us and come into the world. Had not Christ been lifted up, we had been thrown down to hell for ever.

Let us then bow the knee in all re­verence, and with the leper that was healed, return to give glory to God, Luk. 17. 15.

Use 3. Comf. Let this chear up the hearts of all true Believers. You that now look upon Christ lift up up­on the Pole, shall shortly see him lift up vpon the Throne. You that have seen Christ in his Crucifixion shall shortly see him in his Coronation. In short, you that now behold Christ lifted up for you, shall shortly be lif­ted up to him. And there you shall behold the wonders of his love, the riches of his glory, and shall be for e­ver solacing your selves in the light of his blessed countenance.

The Spiritual Vine.

John 15. 1.‘I am the True Vine.’

THe Name of Christ is most fragrant, and because of the savour of his good Oyntments, therefore the Virgins love himCant. 1. 3.. Jesus Christ is the beauty of Heaven, and the joy of the heartRev. 21. 23.. In him all ful­ness dwells, Colos. 1. 19. In this flower is all sweetness. If the Gospel be the field, Christ is the treasure hid in it. The knowledg of Christ is so precious and delectable, that though St. Paul knew him before, yet he desires to know more of himO The sau­ [...]is omni­bus opn­lentior no­titia Christi Aug., he would have more light from this Sun, Phil. 3. 10. That I may know him, as he who hath [Page 158]found a gold Mine, desires to dig out still more Gold. Jesus Christ in Scrip­ture is set out by several Metaphors.

1. He is compared to the Rose of Sharon, Cant. 2. 1. the Rose is the Queen of Flowers. So sweet is this Rose of the Heavenly Paradise, that it makes us a sweet savour to God. Eph. 1. 6.

2. Christ is compared to a Pearl of Price, Mat. 13. 46. other Pearls add no realworth to them that wear them; but Christ this illustrious Pearl doth; he makes us worthy through his wor­thiness; Ez [...]k. 16. 14.

But among all the Metaphors and Allegories in Scripture, none doth more lively decipher, and set out Christ, than the Vine. He calls him­self here, the True Vine. The Vine (saith Pliny) is to be ranked the high­est among all the Plants that grow.

Doct. 1. That Jesus Christ is a Spiritual Vine. The Analogies are these.

[Page 159]1 The Vine is of it self weak, and must be supported and born up: So the humane Nature of Christ, was of it self weak, and was fain to be sup­ported and underpropped with the Divine Nature.

2. The Vine grows in the Garden, not in the Forest: So Christ this bles­sed Vine, grows in the Garden of the Church. He is not known among the Heathen, they being Forest ground are not the better for this Vine. To Israel pertains the Glory, for unto them were committed [...], the Oracles of God, Rom. 3. 2.

3. The Vine communicates to the Branches. Believers are called Bran­ches of the Vine, ver. 5. Christ shoots up his sap of Grace into these Vitis lig­num [...] asternm & dehile [...] ra­dice sua per stipitem aut truncum nobilem illum instillat palmi­tibus succum, quo imbuti possint uvas proferre: it a jesus vili licet forma merito incarnationis mortis (que) suae instillat animi [...] electorum succum divinae gratiae quae possint edere insigma virtu­tum opera, &c. Brugens.. Joh. 1. 16. Of his fulness have we all received. [Page 160]Then, let not the branches grow proud; all comes from the root of the Vine. The Saints gifts and graces are derived from Christ. Therefore he calls the Spouses Graces his Gra­ces, Cant. 5. 1. I have gathered my myrrh; not thy myrrh. The Branch hath nothing but what it receives from the Root Ita sunt palmites in vite ut viti nihil conferant sed inde accipiunt unde florent. Aug..

4. The Vine hath rare delicious fruit growing on it, it bears sweet clusters; the promises are the clusters of Grapes growing on Christ the True Vine Habent [...] [...]bera vere vino meli­ora. Bern.. The Promises are said to be [...], in him, 1 Cor. 1. 20. the Pro­mises are made in Christ, and grow upon him as fruit on the Tree.

5. There are many things about the Vine useful besides the fruit. The Leaves that grow on it (saith Pliny) have a Physical vertue to allay heats and inflamations; the Gumm that di­stills from it is good against Leprosie. [Page 161]So it is with this Spiritual Vine, the Lord Jesus; he is exceeding useful, and full of vertue. There is vertue in his Passion, Resurrection, Interces­sion; he pleads for us as the Advocate for the Client; He perfumes our holy things with his Incense. Christ's Pray­er is the cause why our Prayers are accepted. Such various excellency is in this Vine.

1. See the different Vertues in Use 1. Inform. 1 Bran. Christ to the Godly and the Wicked. To the Godly, He is a Vine full of Comfort; to the Wicked, He is not a Vine, but a Rock of offence. The Godly feed on Him, the Wicked stumble at him; the Wicked are of­fended at the meanness of Christ's Person, the Spirituality of his Doct­rine, the Strictness of his Laws; but to the Godly he is a Vine yielding most fragrant delicious fruit Una cau­sa varios habet effe­ctus..

2. Bran. See the misery of men living and dying in sin, they are not implanted into Christ; therefore do [Page 162]not at all partake of his precious ful­ness. The Vine communicates influ­ence only to its own Branches. The wild Olive hath no fruit from the Vine. Such as abide in the old stock of nature, Branches of the wild Olive have no benefit from Christ. It is cold comfort to the Reprobate part of the world that there is a Vine gro­wing which bears the fruit of Salva­tion, as long as they remain strangers to Christ, and hate to be united to him. Fire will come out of this Vine to devour them.

3. Bran. See the Goodness of God! When we had forfeited the fruit of Paradise, [...]e hath given us a better tree then any grew there; he hath enriched us with a pleasant Vine. When Christ suffered, now was this blessed Vine nailed to the Cross, now it was cut and did bleed Jam fuit vitis am­putata. Bern., and Sal­vation comes to us in the blood of this Vine. The gleaning Grapes here, are better then the World's Vintage. [Page 163]This Spiritual Vine,

1. Chears the heart Psal. 104. 15.,

Curam metum (que) juvat dulci lyaeo sol­vere. Horat.

Are we sad in the sense of sin, and think our selves unworthy to come to the Lords-Table, this wine of Christ's blood is a Cordial [...].; It is both the Price, and Seal of our Par­don.

2. It strengthens: the Vine hath a strengthning vertue. So when our Graces are spiritually consumptive, by tasting the fruit of this Vine, we renew our strength; in the Holy Cele­bration of the Lord's Supper fresh in­fluence is communicated to us. This Spiritual Vine did invigorate the Saints and Martyrs of old, and infuse a spirit of Magnanimity into them. That I may raise the Saints esteem of [Page 164]Christ, and that they may come to the Sacred Supper with more eagerness to drink his Blood; I shall show where­in this True Vine surpasseth in glory all other Vine-Trees.

1. In the Vine there is something unuseful. Though the fruit of the Vine be sweet, yet the wood of the Vine is unuseful; it is good for no­thing. Ezek. 15. 3. Shall the wood be taken thereof to do any work? or will men take a Pin of it to hang any Vessel upon? But it is not so with Christ; there is nothing in this Vine but what is useful. We have need of Christ's Humane Nature to suffer, of his Di­vine to satisfie; we have need of his Offices, Influences, Priviledges, there is nothing in Christ we can be with­out.

2. There are variety of Vine-Trees. But there is but one True Vine that brings Redemption to Man­kind. The Papists would fetch com­fort from more besides Christ; From [Page 165]the Angels and the Virgin Mary. The Angels themselves are beholding to this Vine the Lord Jesus, they are by Christ confirmed in their obedience that they cannot fallAustin.; And as for the Virgin Mary, it is not her milk that saves but Christ's blood. The Virgin Mary though she was Christ's Mother, yet she calls Christ her Sa­viour, Luk. 1. 47. The Virgin Mary is saved, not by bearing the Vine, but by being ingrafted into the Vine.

3. The Vine bears but one sort of fruit; 'tis all but Grape: But the Lord Jesus bears several sorts of fruit.

1. This Vine bears the the fruit of Justification, Rom. 5. 9. Being justifi­ed through his blood: In Justification there is remission of sin, and imputa­tion of righteousness. A Believer tri­umphs more in the Righteousness of Christ imputed, than if he had Adams righteousness in innocency; nay then if he had the Angels righteousness: for now he hath the Righteousness of God, [Page 166]2 Cor. 5. 21. Without this, a sinner is put into a continual Ague of Consci­ence; but by virtue of Justification, he arrives at an holy Serenity, Rom. 5. 1. Being justified by faith, we have peace with God.

2. This Vine bears the fruit of Sanctification, 1 Cor. 1. 30. He is made to us Sanctification. A man may have pleasant fruit growing in his Orchard, and others be never the better for it: but holiness in Christ is diff [...]sive; this fruit is for all the Elect, they are made holy with Christ's Holiness.

3. This Spiritual Vine bears the fruit of Consolation; Cant. 2. 3. His fruit was sweet to my tast. This is a bunch of Grapes by the way; when a Believer hath tasted some of this fruit from Christ, he hath had such Trans­figurations of soul, and been filled with such ravishing delight, that he could be ready to say as Paul, Whether in the body I cannot tell. He hath been put in Heaven before his time.

[Page 167]4. A Branch may be cut off and [...]se­parated from the Vine. But no Branch shall be ever separated from Christ this Heavenly Vine. The Arminians tell us, A justified person may fall away finally. Is not Christ a perfect Vine? He is not perfect, if a living Branch may be pluck'd off from him. Hath not Christ said of his Elect, They shall never perish, neither Imbelles sunt oves (electórum emble­m [...]ta) sed non tan­ta erit ab extrà [...], quanta eas rapere queat e ma­manibus Christi. Brugens. shall any man pluck them out of his hand, Joh. 10 28. If any Branch be pluck'd away from Christ, it is either because Christ is not able to keep it, or because he is willing to lose it. He is able surely to keep it, for he is strengthen'd with the God-head: and he is not willing to loose it, for why then would he have shed his blood for it? So that no Branch shall be ever separated from the Coelestial Vine. You may sooner pluck a Star out of the Sky, than a true Believer from Christ. Indeed Hypocrites who [Page 168]look like Branches, fall off, but they were never really in the Vine. They were in Christ by Profession, not by Union. They were tyed on to the Vine, but not ingra [...]d. An Elect Branch can no more perish than the Root.

5. The Wine that comes from the true Vine is better than any other. 1. Wine from the Grape delight [...] the Palat, and revives the Animal spirits; but Christ's blood chears the Consci­ence. 2. One may take too great a quantity of Wine, and then it bites as an Addar [...]. Chrysost.. But it is otherwise with the Wine which Christ gives, we cannot have too much of it; as a man cannot have too much health. Christ's blood is Pardoning and Paci­fying; and the more we drink of it, the better; the deeper the sweeter Cant. 5. 1.; the death of the Soul is not by drink­ing too much of Christ's blood, but by refusing to drink. 3. Wine will [Page 169]chear a man when he is living, not when he is dead. Wine in a dead mans mouth loseth its vertue; but Christ's blood hath such a flavour in it; it doth so sparkle, and is so full of spirits, that it will fetch life in them that are dead. If they are dead in sin, the blood of Christ makes them revive. Joh. 6. 54. He that drinks my blood, hath eternal life. 4. The Wine that comes from the Grape doth but chear mans heart, but that Wine which is distilled from Christ the Heavenly Vine chears God's heart. The Lord did smell a sweet savour in the Wine of Christ's Blood; and was so infinitely pleased and delighted with it, that for this he spared all Mankind.

Use 2. Labour to be real Branches Use 2. Exhor. 1 Bran. of this Spiritual Vine. What was the old World the better to hear of an Ark, unless they got into the Ark: So what are we the better to hear of a Vine unless we are in this Vine.

[Page 170] Quest. How shall we know that we are in this Vine?

Answ. 1. By being ingrafted in­to the Vine. Faith is Vinculum uni­onis, the ingrafting grace. And here­in Faith hath a peculiar excellency above other Graces. Other Graces make us like Christ, but Faith makes us one with Christ [...]. Chrys.. Other Graces make us lively Pictures of Christ, but Faith makes us living Branches of Christ. By Love and Humility we imitate Christ; but by Faith we are implanted into him, as the graft or siens is in-oculated into the Tree. Let us therefore examine whether we have this ingrafting Grace. Faith ad­mires Christ's beauty, confides in his Merits Sibi isti fidere, non [...] fidei sed Perfidi [...]e.; submits to his Laws; Faith gives up its will, its love, its life to Christ. Faith hath two hands, with one it takes Christ for its Sin­offering, with the other it gives up it self to Christ as a Burnt-offering.

2. We may know we are in the Vine by receiving influence from the [Page 171]Vine. 1. A vital influence, Joh. 5. 21. The Son quickneth whom he will. And this life from Christ is evidenced by sensation; we are sensible of the first ebullitions and risings of corruption, Rom. 7. 23. and of the least ebbings of grace, Hebrew. 5. 14. Who have their senses exercis'd, to dis­cern both good and evil. 2. A Sancti­fying influence: The root of this Vine being holy, makes all the Bran­ches holy. Hath Christ diffused some of his Divine Unction into us? are our hearts consecrated? do we set our selves against every evil? as there is a conflict in the stomack be­tween the spirits of Wine and Poison. Do we forsake fin not only out of Policy but Antipathy? Are we by the power of Grace transformed and made Partakers of the Divine Nature? Are we meek, humble, zealous? Is the fiame of our heart Spiritual, doth our pulse still beat aster God? Is our aime sincere? Do we not only advance [Page 172]but design God's Glory? behold here a sanctifying vertue derived from Christ into us, and we need not doubt but we are Branches of the true Vine, and shall grow and flourish in him to eternity.

2. Bran. You that are Believers stand and wonder that when you were by nature the Vine of Sodom; Deut. 32. 32; a Vine in your blood, Ezek. 19. 10; a wild Vine, which not only cumbred the Ground, but poy­son'd it, That God should take such degenerate Branches and plant you into Christ, and make you partake of the spiritual juice and fat of this Vine, [...], O the unfathomable depth of Gods love! you who are the Branches of this Vine, let me beseech you love the Vine that bears you; kiss and embrace Christ. Let your Souls sound forth Hallelujahs to the whole Trinity. Admire God the Father in sending a Vine from Heaven: Admire God the Son who was a bleeding Vine for [Page 173]you. Admire God the Holy Ghost who hath by his mighty Power im­planted you into this Vine. Turn all your sullen discontents into trium­phant songs. You are now made living Branches who we [...]e once dead; holy Branches, who were once unclean; you now bear Grapes, who did once bring forth Thistles. Oh make melody in your hearts to the Lord. Admire and celebrate Freegrace; It is well that there is anEternitya coming, and that will be little enough to praise God.

Use. 3. Here is a breast of Con­solation to all who are implanted into Christ this Spiritual Vine: Let the Times be what they will, you have never so much cause to be sad as you have to rejoyce, 2 Cor. 6. 10. As sor­rowful, yet always rejoycing [...].. Harken to me thou Branch of Christ; what though thou hast little in the world? seeing thou partakest of the blessing of the Vine, even of all the fulness of God, Eph. 3. 19. What though thou [Page 174]art reproached? Opprobria assulae Crucis. It is honour enough that thou art in Christ; This Vine being a Plant of Renown, casts a glory upon all the BranchesIsa. 28. 5.. What though thou art told by the Tempter that Christ doth not love thee? Thou maist reply, Am I ingrafted into Christ? is the holy sap of his Grace infused into me? and doth he not love me? What though thou art persecu­ted; be of good chear thou hast a life hid in the Vine, Col. 3. 3. Your life is hid with Christ. Fear not; if thou canst not live without mole [...]ation in a Wilderness, thou shalt grow in Para­dise. When Basil was threatned with banishment, he comforted himself with this, Either I shall be under Hea­ven, or in HeavenAut sub Coelo aut in Coelo.. Oh how may all the Branches of the true Vine flou­rish with joy! Let death come, they may triumph: death shall destroy Sin, and perfect Grace.

In particular, there is comfort to all the real Branches of Christ, in these four Cases.

[Page 175]1. It is comfort under fear of Spi­ritual barrenness; I am afraid, saith the Saint, I shall grow dead at last, and be like that barren Figtree in the Gospel which was cursed. But for thy comfort know, that the Branches of this Spiritual Vine never cease yield­ing fruit. Indeed ordinary Vine-Trees though they are for a time fruitful, yet when they grow old, they grow barren; but the Branches of the true Vine are never so old as to be past bearing, Psal. 92. 14. They shall still bring forth fruit in old age. Believers the longer they live, the more full they are of Faith2 Thes. 1. 3.; the more per­fumed with Love. The Church of Thyatira, the older she grew the bet­ter she grew. Her last works were more than her first, Rev. 2. 19. What a deal of fruit did Paul bring forth not long before his death! This light shined brighter before his setting, 1 Cor. 15. 10. I laboured more abun­dantly than they all. So long as there [Page 176]is a fulness in Christ, Believers shall not want. This Holy Vine being re­plenished with sap, the Branches can­not choose but be fertil, Joh. 14. 19. Because I live, ye shall live also. Because the Root lives, therefore the Bran­ches shall flourish with fruit.

2. It is comfort in case of wrongs and injuries, especially when endured for Christ's sake. The Lord Jesus is sensible, and will one day vindicate his people. The Vine is sensible of all the injury done to the Branches, Exod. 3. 7. I have seen, I have seen the afflictions of my people. Not only have I seen them with an eye of inspection, but affection. Christ bleeds in the Saints wounds. He who knows their Sufferings feelingly, will avenge them speedily.

3. It is comfort under fear of fall­ing away, I am afraid, saith a Chri­stian, I shall tyre before I get to Hea­ven. Either I shall be blown down by Satan's Temptation, or faint under [Page 177]sufferings, Oh remember thou art a Branch in Christ, and thou canst not be broken off; thou hast Omnipo­tency to support thee. Adam when he grew upon his own root of inno­cency withered, but thou growest upon Christ's root, therefore thy Grace shall flourish into Persever­ance. Though thou wert but as a bough that hangs half on the Tree, thou shouldst never drop off, because Christ holds thee: It is not thy hol­ding Christ, but Christ's holding thee preserves thee; He repells the force of Temptation, over-pours the rel­licks of corruption, encreaseth the spark of Grace; 1 Pet. 1. 5. Kept by the power of God. The Greek word is, [...]. Kept as in a Garrison.

4. It is comfort in case of the World's hatred. Hieroni blessed God that he was counted worthy to be one whom the World hated. What though thou art maligned and hated? [Page 178]God loves all the Branches of the True Vine; nay, he loveth them as he loves the Root, Joh. 17. 23. That the World may know, that thou hast loved Them as thou hast loved Me. It is the same love for kind, though not degree. 1. God the Father loved Christ ab aeterno, from eternity, Joh. 17. 34. Thou lovedst me before the Foundation of the World. And so he loves Believers, Eyhes 1. 4. He hath chosen us in him, before the foundation of the world. Our love to God began but late Serò nimis te amavi domine. Aug▪. We may remember the time when we had no love in our hearts sparkling towards the Deity; but God's love to us bears date from Eternity. 2. God's love to Christ is a love of immutability; and so it is to Believers. The Sun of electing love having risen upon them never sets. Death may take away their life, but not God's love; Isa. 54. 10. The Hills shall be removed, but my [Page 179] kindness shall not depart from thee. The Lord may change his love into a frown, but he will never change his love into hatred. God can no more hate a Believer then he can Christ; for a Believer is part of Christ, he is Christ-mystical. What a comfort is this, God loves the Branches as he loves the root, and the fruit of God's love to the Elect-branches appears in two things.

1. In pruning of them. He prunes them by affliction. We are apt to think, when God afflicts us he doth not love us, an Husbandman loves his Vine never a whit the less, because he prunes it. Affliction is God's Pruning-Hook, he prunes us to make us bring forth the peaceable fruits af Righteousness, Hebr. 12. 11. God had rather have the Branches bleed, then be barren. Joh. 15. 2. Every branch in me that [Page 180] beareth fruit, he purgetb it that it may bring forth more fruit. All this is Love. It is God's love that he will rather lopp and prune the Branches, then let them grow wild.

2. In Transplanting them into Hea­ven. The Branches of Christ will thrive best when they are transplan­ted; and good reason, because then they will grow in a better soil. Christ desires to have all his Branches which are scattered up and down in the World to be with him. Joh. 17. 24. Father I will that those which thou hast given me be with me ‘Ejusdem mecum gloriae con­sortes.’ Brugens.. The Elect will never be happy till they are transplanted, Then they will grow quietly. In Heaven there will be no Bramble to tear the Vine-Branches, none of the Red Dragon's Race. Then all the Bran­ches will be sweetly united in love. Then they shall grow in the Sun­shine. [Page 181]God's Countenance will be ever shining upon them. In this life they partake of Christ's Grace, and hereafter they shall partake of his Glory.



Pag. 2. marg. for re read rei. p. 9. m [...]rg. for myeris r. mysteriis. p. 21. marg. r. [...]. p. 111. marg. r. mortis.

Books to be sold by Thomas Parkhurst at the Golden Bible on London-Bridg.

1. AN Exposition of Temptation, on Mat. 4. vers. 1. to the end of the eleventh.

2. A Commentary on Titus.

3. Davids Learning: A Comment upon Psal. 32.

4. The Parable of the Sower, and of the Seed, upon Luk. 8. 4.

A Learned Commentary or Exposi­tion on the first Chapter of the second Epistle to the Corinthians, by Richard Sibbs, D. D. fol.

The view of the Holy Scriptures. By Hugh Broughton. Fol.

Christianographia, or a Description of the multitude, and sundry sorts of Christians in the world, not subject to the Pope. By Ephr. Pagitt. Fol.

A Learned Commentary on the [Page]fourth Chapter of the second Epistle of St. Paul to the Corinthians, to which is added, First, A conference between Christ and Mary. Second, the Spiritual Mans Aim. Third, Emanuel, or Miracle of Miracles, by Richard Sibbs, D D. 40

An Exposition on the five first Chap­ters of Ezekiel, with useful observati­ons thereupon by W. Greenhil. 4to.

The Gospel Covenant, or the Cove­nant of Grace opened: Preached in New-England, bp Peter Bulkeley. 4to.

Gods Holy Mind touching Matters Moral, which himself uttered in Ten Words, or Ten Commandments; Also an Exposition on the Lords Prayer, by Edward Elton, B. D. 4to.

Fiery Jesuite, or an Historical Col­lection of the Rise, Increase, Doctrines and Deeds of the Jesuites. Exposed to view for the sake of London, 4to.

Horologiographia Optica; Dialing Universal and Particular, Speculative and Practical; together with the De­scription of the Court of Arts, by a new Method, by Sylvonus Morgan. 4to

[Page] Praxis Medicinae, or the Physicians Practice, wherein are contained all inward Diseases from the head to the foot, by Walter Bruel.

Regimen Sanitatis Salerni, or the School of Salerns Regiment of Health, containing Directions and Instructi­ons for the guide and government of Mans Life, 4to.

Heart-treasure: or a Treatise ten­ding to fill and furnish the head and heart of every Christian, with soul­inriching treasure of truths, graces, experiences and comforts.

A Glimpse of Eternity. by A. Calcy.

The Re-building of London encou­raged and improved in several Medi­tations: by Sam. Rolles.

Moses unvailed, by William Guild.

Little Books for little Children; with Manuels for Parents, by Thomas White.

Closet-Prayer, a Christians Duty, by Oliver Heywood.

Old Man's Memento, and Young Man's Monitor, by J. Mayuard, D. D.


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