CERTAINE SERMONS, VPON SEVERALL Texts of Scripture: PREACHED BY THAT RE­uerend and faithfull seruant of Iesus Christ M. ROBERT ROLLOK, Minister of the Church (and Rector of the Colledge) of EDINBVRGH. Whereof the first eleuen were be­ fore published, and the remnant seuen, are newly adjoy­ ned thereunto.

Imprinted at Edinburgh ANDRO HART, 1616.

The number of Sermons, with the Texts of Scri­pture, and in what leafe to find euery Sermon.
  • I 2. Cor. Chap. 5. vers. 1. 2. 3 4. Fol. 1
  • II 2. Cor. Chap. 5. vers. 5. 6. 7. 8. Fol. 24
  • III 2. Cor. Chap. 5. vers. 9. 10. 11. Fol. 45
  • IV 2. Cor. Chap. 5. vers. 12. 13. 14. 15. Fol. 63
  • V 2. Cor. Chap. 5. vers. 16. 17. 18. Fol. 79
  • VI 1. Cor. Chap. 2. vers. 6. 7. 8. 9. Fol. 97
  • VII 1. Cor. Chap. 2. vers. 10. 11. 12. Fol. 118
  • VIII 2. Cor. Chap. 4. vers. 3. 4. 5. Fol. 137
  • IX 2. Cor. Chap. 10. vers. 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. Fol. 155
  • X Philip. Chap. 1. vers. 18. 19. 20. 21. &c. Fol. 175
  • XI Titus, Chap. 3. vers. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. Fol. 198
These are newlie adjoyned.
  • XII Psalme cxxx. vers. 1. 2. 3. 4. Fol. 229
  • XIII Psalme cxxx. vers. 5. 6. 7. 8. Fol. 246
  • XIV Mat. Chap. 15. ver. 21. 22. 23. 24 &c. Fol. 262
  • XV Luk. chap. 7. ver. 37. 38. 39. 40. 41. &c. Fol. 281
  • XVI Iohn, Chap. 3. verse 6. Fol. 306
  • XVII [...] Timoth. Chap. 1. vers. 12. 13. 14. Fol. 332
  • XVIII 1. Tim. Chap. 1. vers. 14. 15. 16. Fol. 357

TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFVLL, THEIR MOST LOVING FRIEND IN THE LORD, MASTER WILLIAM SCOT of ELY, Grace in this life, and euerlasting glorie in the Life to come.

OVR Gracious GOD, who in His rich Mercie (RIGHT WORSHIP­FVLL) hath in this latter time raised vp manie rare and worthie instruments and faithfull Preachers in other Countreyes about vs, hath not left this our Countrey destitute of the like benefites: for, as amongst them, so amongst vs, stri­uing with our ingratitude, Hee hath raised vp from time to time sundrie notable men, indewed with singular gra­ces, whose Ministerie Hee made powerfull to ouer [...] the kingdome of Sathan, sinne, and the Anti [...] [Page] to acquire a CHVRCH vnto Himselfe, in the which Hee might bee glorified in the riches of His mercies: of whome the moste part nowe sleepe in the LORD, and rest from their labours: Amongst whome MASTER ROBERT ROLLOK, of blessed memorie, deserueth (for his graces) to bee counted with the first: for who euer preassed more to approoue himselfe to GOD in a good conscience than hee? Who euer was more faithfull and pairfull in his calling than hee? Hee stro [...]e alwayes to glorifie GOD, and to honour his profession and cal­ling by a godlie life and conuersation, so that the verie enemies of the trueth coulde not accuse him, nor Enuie it selfe justlie reprooue him: Hee set himselfe alwayes to doe good to others: for hee thought hee was not his owne man, but deputed for the seruice of others: Hee was ne­uer idle, but hee did either reade, meditate, praye, con­ferre, counsell, comfort, preach or write: He was peace­able in the Church, patient of wronges, neuer vindictiue, but euer readie to forgiue: Hee sought not the worlde, knowing that hee had heere no continuing, but had his conuersation in the Heauen, from whence hee looked for his Sauiour to come.

But it is needlesse to praise him, either to you, Syr, who knoweth so well what store of grace the LORD vouchsafed vpon him, or yet to anie others, seeing his workes speake plainlie enough for him: for as hee edi­fied manie in his life by his Preaching, so also hath hee edified many not onlie in his Countrey, but in manie other partes, by his learned and judicious writinges, lef [...] be­hinde him.

[Page]And because his Lectures, that haue beene before published by vs, vpon the COLOSSIANS and THESSALONIANS, as also the first eleuen SER­MONS heere contained, haue beene receiued with good liking and applause of manie: and newe, finding that there are not copies extant, especiallie of these eleuen Ser­mons, to satisfie the desire of such as seeke them, wee haue thought good to cause imprint them ouer againe: as also to adjoyne seuen other Sermons, preached by him vpon diuerse Textes, and receiued by his Schollers from his mouth: which indeede wee must confesse, required the refining hand of the Author, that they might haue shined in their owne beautie: Alwayes, our care haue beene in these, as in all the rest before published, out of some copies offered vnto vs, as neare as wee coulde, to giue out to the publike viewe of the Church, both the matter, stile, and phrase of the godlie Author.

Nowe, for manie reasons wee are mooued to recom­mende these his Sermons, (and our labours therein) to your patronage, that with them your memorie, with the posteritie, might long endure.

First, in respect of the entire loue and affection yee carried to Master ROLLOK from the first houre that yee were acquainted with him, euen vnto his death: for no man euer loued him, conuersed with him, respected him, &c, more than your selfe: and manie a time haue you resorted vnto him in his health, and offered him such curtesie and kindnesse, that hee acknowledged himselfe to bee obliged to none so much as to you.

[Page]And finallie, yee not onelie visited him in his sick­nesse, but allured him to come to your house, where with­out regarde of paines and expenses, yee entertained him, and such as visited him, moste liberallie and chearefullie, till the time that the LORD called him to Him­selfe: Yea, yee counted it a singular blessing of the LORD, that Hee honoured you with suh a guest.

Next, Master ROLLOK in his Testament ordained, that all his Bookes, which after shoulde bee imprinted, shoulde bee dedicated vnto you: that whoso­euer got commoditie thereof, next after GOD, might giue the honour and thankes vnto you.

Thirdlie, through your care, endeuour, and expenses onelie these whole Sermons were gathered in from them that wrote them, through your procurement onelie they were reuised, corrected, and made fit for the Printing: by your meanes onelie nowe they see the light, which without you had beene buried in darknesse.

Lastlie, if it were free for vs to make choyse of a pa­trone, wee woulde make choyse of none but you, to testifie our thankefulnesse for your great vndeserued kindnesse shewed vnto vs particularlie, yea, and to all these whome the LORD hath set in His seruice.

So that in all respectes reason requireth, that all these Sermons shoulde bee published vnder your patronage and protection: For whereas your name was not prefixed vn­to the first eleuen, when they were first imprinted: (seeing by your endeuour, charges, and expenses onelie they were first set foorth) nowe this occasion beeing presented, wee [Page] might justlie haue beene blamed, if that ouer-sight by vs had not beene amended.

Finallie, Syr, honour the LORD, and Hee will ho­nour you, delight in His wayes, and Hee will giue you your hearts desire, weary not to doe good vnto the Saincts, and He will recompense you, & at last, will crowne all your good deedes with glorie.

The LORD make you to goe on from grace to grace, and in all thinges direct you by His Spirite, that yee may bee long happie in this life, and for euer happie in the life to come, Amen. Edinburgh, the 22. of Ianuarie, Anno Dom. 1616.

Yours in the Lord, H. C. W. A.

THE FIRST SERMON.

II. COR. CHAP. V.

verse 1 For we know, that if our earthly house of this taber­nacle bee destroyed, wee haue a building giuen of GOD, that is, an house not made with handes, but eternall in the Heauens:

verse 2 For therefore wee sigh, desiring to bee clothed with our house, which is from Heauen.

verse 3 Because that if we bee clothed, wee shall not be found naked:

verse 4 For indeede, we that are in this tabernacle, sigh, and are burthened because we would not be vnclothed, but woulde bee clothed vpon, that mortalitie might be swallowed vp of life.

IN the Chapter immediatlie going before, the Apostle Paul hath bene speaking of the afflictions that hee suffered in his owne person▪ and hath declared, that there was two things that helde him vp in those afflictions, the one thing present, the other thing to come. The thing present, the power of God, the life of Iesus, this held him vp in such sort (saith hee) that when he was dying vnder affliction in the bodie, yet the [Page 2] life of Iesus was manifest in him, & he was liuing in soule: and the more his bodie was decaying & wearing away, the more the inner-man, that spi­rituall life that floweth from Christ, grew and was renewed. Woe to that man that dieth altogether! thou must die, and this bodie and life must bee separated, the▪ bodie must goe to dust, but looke that soule and bodie goe not together: looke that as thou findest the bodie and life naturall to decay, so thou finde that spirituall life that flo­weth from the Lord of life, to grow, or else of ne­cessitie thou must haue a woefull departure. This is the thing present that helde him vp. Another thing, and greater, which was not present, but to come, helde him vp vnder a [...]l the afflictions that were laide vpon him, which hee vttereth in th [...]se words, The momentanean lightnesse of affliction wor­keth vnto vs an euerlasting weight of glorie that passeth in excellencie. These are the wordes of the Apo­stle, wherein hee woulde learne vs, that after all these afflictions are done and ended, there aby­deth a glorie after this life, that passeth in infinite degrees aboue all the afflictions that euer came to man in this life.

Will yee looke to the nature of the afflictions, First, they are light, that is one propertie: then they last but for a moment, that is another pro­perty: the weight of them is light▪ the time of their during is but a moment: but the glorie (marke eue­rie word of the Apostle) the glorie (saith he) passeth [Page 3] in excellencie. It is not onlie excellent, but i [...] excel­leth in excellencie, excellent aboue excellencie, an heape aboue an help, mounting vp to an infinite heape. Then looke to the weight thereof, it is not light▪ but it is heauie: the afflictions were as light as a fether, or as the winde, in comparison of this glorie, but the glorie is heauie and weightie, a weight of glorie that passeth in excellencie, this is the first propertie. Then looke to the time, the afflictions were but for a moment. And if thou shouldest liue a thousand yeeres, and bee afflicted as manie yeeres (for all thy dayes, and thy best dayes, if thou shouldest liue neuer so well, [...]re but dayes of affliction) all the thousand yeeres are but a moment in respect of that eternitie that follo­weth. Then let your eye be euer vpon eternitie of joy, or eternity of pain, eternity either of torment or of rest. Affliction is but for a moment, this glo­rie that passeth in excellencie is eternall in time. Loe, how great things are spoken in few words! A glorie passing in weight & eternitie. And when he hath tould you all that he can, he hath not at­tained to the thousand part of the greatnesse of that glorie: neuer man thought of it as it is, nor it could neuer enter into the heart of man that ex­cellent glorie that is prepared for them that loue God, 1. Cor. 2. 9. When he hath set down these two points in ye end of the chap. preceeding, he goeth forward, a [...]d hee sheweth what he is doing in the meane time whilst he getteth this excellent glory. [Page 4] Learne to doe as he is doing, hee saith, Mine eyes are not vpon the worlde, my looke is not set vpon these visible things, which mē haue so great plea­sure into; but mine eyes are lifted vp, & I am loo­king to thinges inuisible, that the mortall eye of man cannot see, because al these things visible are but temporall, & wil decay. If it were a kingdom, and thou begin to rest or repose vpō it▪ it will de­cay, and thou shalt fall downe together with it, and perish euerlastinglie: But the things inuisible are eternal, and he who leaneth & reposeth there­on, shall get eternitie. Looke to the condition of those thinges whereupon thou reposest in this world: for if they bee thinges heauenlie, spirituall and eternall, thou shalt be heauenlie, spirituall and eternall: And as euer thou wouldest wish to see that glorie, looke that thine eye be set thereon in this earth, looke that thine eye bee mounted vp aboue all these earthlie things, & that thou keepe the heauenly things in thy sight: forget them not, for if thou die and they bee out of thy sight, thou shalt neuer see them: Take ple [...]sure to looke to that excellent glorie, and thou shalt obtaine it, otherwise not.

Now I come to the text: I shall let you see the disposition of the Apostle, and what he esteemeth of this life present, whereof we account so much, and whereupon our hearts & mindes are so set to keepe it: All our terrour is for the parting of the soule from the body: looke to Paul what he doth, [Page 5] and behold his disposition, either in life or death: Brethren, wee haue the more neede to take heede to these things, because wee shall all be put to the proofe, happie is hee that can bee prepared! The Apostle hauing spoken this, that his eye was set on that heauenlie glorie; it might haue beene saide, thou settest thine eye vpon a life aboue: but take heed Paul, thou shalt die in the meane time, is not life and death two contraries? thou must die, and that bodie of thine must bee dissolued: lookest thou euer to rise agine? thinkest thou anie other thing but to be disappointed of life? lookest thou that that bodie of thine, beeing dissolued in dust, shall rise againe to glorie? This is a sore tempta­tion, and sundrie thinketh after this maner. The Apostle answereth, We know that if our earthlie house of this tabernacle be dissolued, we haue a building giuen of God, an house not made with handes, but eternall in the heauens. Learne a lesson here: Ye see while a man is looking to heauen, he will not be without temp­tation, no not Paul himselfe, nor none other man nor woman, that haue their conuersation in hea­uen: And the special temptation of him who wold faine haue life, is death, and the dreadfull sight of death, and death is euer in his eye: Hee was neuer borne but death will tempt him, death wil be ter­rible to flesh and blood, and when hee is looking vp to that light and glorie in heauen, it will come in betwixt his eye and the sight of heauen, as it were a terrible blacke cloude, and sometime will [Page 6] sunder him and that sight of Heauen. As when a man is looking vp to the Sunne, a cloude will come, euen suddenlie, and take the sight of the Sunne from him: Euen so, when a man is looking vp to the Sunne of righteousnes, CHRIST IE­SVS, that cloude of death will come in▪ and catch the sight of CHRIST from him. This is our estate here, & there is none acquainted with Hea­uenlie things, but hee will find this in experience, as PAVL did. But what is the remedie? In the first word of the Text that we haue read he s [...]ieth, Wee knowe, and wee are assured, for the worde im­porteth a full assurance, and faith, and a full per­swasion. Then the remedie against this tempta­tion of death is onelie Faith, a full perswasion, and light in the minde of the knowledge of the glorie of GOD in the face of CHRIST, with a gryping and apprehension thereof: this is the onelie remedie. The man that lyeth in ignorance, and hath not this knowledge, hee is oppressed by death. So euer seeke, and seeke earnestlie for light, CHRIST is light: and let your pleasure bee in light, for death is darkenesse, and smoo­the [...]th the soule, except it bee lightned with this light that comme [...]h from the face of IESVS. But to bee more speciall, what light and know­ledge must this bee? what assurance must this be? Thou must knowe and bee assured, not that thou wilt bee free from death: naye, beguile not thy selfe, die thou must, and therefore resolue thy selfe [Page 7] to die: so it must not be such an assurance as to be perswaded that thou shalt not die, opponing thy self to death, saying, I wil not die, & I shal not die. Then what assurance & knowledge must this be? Euer this, that after I am dead I shall rise againe to life. It is true, O death, thou shalt cease vpon my bodie, and thou shalt not leaue it till it bee dis­solued into dust, but when thou hast gotten this body dissolued, I shall recouer a new glorious bo­die. There is the meeting of this temptation, as­sure thy selfe of life after death. Seeke this assu­rance, and labour to pierce, with the eye of Faith thorow the clouds of temptation, to see that life in Christ, which is hid vp aboue those cloudes. Seeke that eye of Faith, to pierce in through those cloudes, to shew thee that life and the Sunne of righteousnes, Christ Iesus. Nowe, the wordes would be weighed particularly: and first, marke a description of this death, and of the temptations that woulde separate thee from that life eternall. The words are these, If our earthly house of this taber­nacle be dissolued. Then what is death? a dissolution and loosing of a thing that was joyned together, a dissoluing and scattering of the partes of it: it is not an vtter destruction of it, the thing that it dissolueth, it destroyeth not vtterlie: It lyeth not in the handes of death to destroye the thing it dissolueth, it may well loose it and cast it asun­der, but it cannot destroye it. Then death is a dis­solution, and not a destruction: a dissoluing, [Page 8] whereof? not of the soule, it lieth not in the po­wer of death to loose thy soule or sunder the parts thereof, thou hast that aduantage: Death will dis­solue and loose thine house the lodging that thou dwellest in, that is, this bodie which clotheth thy soule: Thou art termed by thy soule, and the soule properlie maketh a man to be a man, it is ye chiefe part of man, and the bodie is called the lodging of the soule, and the soule dwelleth in it as in an house: So death is the dissolution of the bodie, of the house▪ which it looseth into powder: yea, it wil loose all the members and parts of the house. O! but marke, when it commeth to powder and as­shes, it lieth not in the handes of death to destroy the powder and ashes of the bodie, but that pow­der and ashes in despite of death will be gathered and set together in a more glorious forme of bo­die than euer it was before. Yet looke howe the Apostle describeth this house: First from the mat­ter, secondlie from the forme thereof: As for the matter, he calleth it our earthlie house. This bodie is but claye, euen a lumpe of that claye and earth whereupon thou goest, esteeme of it as thou wilt: yee see the matter of this bodie is vile and con­temptible: as for the forme thereof, it is an house, not an house that hath a foundation, or builded on a ground-stone, but a tabernacle and flitting tent: it is set down here to day, tomorrow taken vp, and set downe in another place: thy body is a pauilion, that men transport hither and thither as [Page 9] they please. Then thou seest that thy bodie is a thing litle worth, whether thou looke to the mat­ter whereof it is made (of the earth) or to the form thereof, an vnstable tent or pauilion. Now marke this well, brethren, who speaketh this? it is Paul: how speaketh he it? by faith: speaketh the bodie this? no: what then? the soule that dwelleth in the bodie, as in a lodging speaketh it. The soule is speaking of the bodie, the faithfull soule of Paul is speaking of his fraile bodie. Then learne how lit­tle faith counteth of death: Learne also how little the faithfull soule counteth of the body, yea▪ euen then when it is dwelling in the bodie, it will light­lie the lodging thereof: it will call it a lumpe of claye, a tabernacle, a tent, a fraile house: it will count no more thereof, than a glorious king will count of a cottage, he hauing manie faire pa­laces. We'l, brethren, it is faith that doth this, it is not the soule alone that can count so lightlie of death, or of the fraile body: if thou hast onely the soule in the bodie, and want this faith, the soule will thinke the bodie sweet to dwell in: It is faith, and the faithfull soule that doeth the turne: and there is not a better argument than this, to see if thy soule bee faithfull or not. Looke what estima­tion thou hast of thy bodie and carcasse, what ac­count thou makest thereof, I saye to thee, if thou hast thy chiefe pleasure in esteeming of thy body, decking and feeding it, following thine appetite, wallowing in the lust thereof, if thou liuest in such [Page 10] estimation of thy body, I say, thou hast a faithlesse soule remaining within thy bodie. Woe to that faithlesse man, that hath none other pleasure, not can gripe nor seek to none other thing but to the pleasing of that fleshly body, without regarde of the precious soule: alas! in pleasuring thy bodie, thou losest thy soule, thou makest thy bodie thy Heauen, and thou testifiest plainly that thou wan­test that light and sense of that Heauenly bodie, which shall be after this life. Thus farre for the de­scription of the death of the body, which is the house of the soule, learning vs to esteeme of the soule and body, as they are indeed, and that not with a fleshly sense, but with the Spirituall eyes of Faith.

Nowe wee come to the life that is contrarie to death. There is two partes of man, his soule and bodie: this glorie, of the which wee speake, is not the glorie of the soule onely, but the glorie of the bodie likewise, a glorie belonging both to soule and bodie. Wee (saieth hee) shall get a building, not a sillie house, as this earthly body was, but a faire building. Hee calleth the body, which wee haue presently, an house: but the body which we shall get, hee termeth it a building: Thou gottest this bodie from nature, that other is aboue na­ture: nature cannot giue thee that other bodie, GOD shall giue thee it aboue nature, and against nature. What building is this? It is an house, not builded with the hands of men, it is builded with [Page 11] GODS owne hand: the LORD immediate­lie with his owne hand builded vp this building. The former house of this body was vnstable, and had no abiding, for this body passeth away: but this second building is an house that shall neuer fall nor slit, but shall be eternall: When thou shalt get this building, thou shalt not need to be afraid for the dissolution thereof, it shall neuer be dissol­ued. Where shall this building be builded? men re­gard much situation in building: this house in the which we dwel here, it is builded in the earth, and it is a tabernacle pitched somtimes in this place, & somtimes in that place, but the situatiō of this building shall bee in the Heauen: for I assure thee, when a man is once glorified, & entereth into that glorie, hee shall no more returne to the earth. The earth cannot beare a glorified person. Christ beeing glorified, coulde not abide in the earth, but He went to that glorious mansion in the Hea­uens. Thou shalt no sooner bee glorified, but thou shalt mount vp to Heauen as CHRIST did. Well then, there is the glorie, and there is no worde heere, but it aggregeth that passing glorie. Eue­rie worde l [...]tteth vs see the greatnesse of that glo­rie, and yet it is not all tolde. Nay, Paul cannot tell thee all the glorie that shall bee in the glorified bodie, he hath giuen but a little inckling of it. It is but a building whereof hee telleth thee: Yet marke, Who is this that speaketh this? It is Paul. How speaketh he it? by faith. Is it his mouth [Page 12] that speaketh it? no: it is the soule that lodgeth in the bodie, that falleth out in the extolling of that building that it shall dwell in. As a sillie man, in a cottage, appointed to glorye shoulde saye, I am nowe sitting in a sillie house, but I shall once sit in a glorious Palace. So marke, Faith will cause the soule mount vp aboue the bodie, and whilst the soule is in the bodie, Faith and Hope will lift it vp, and put it (in a maner) into Heauen. There­fore this same Paul saith in the third Chapt. to the Phillip. & the 30 vers. By Faith and Hope hee had his conuersation in Heauen, while hee was yet dwelling on the earth. Get therefore Faith and Hope, that entereth thee into the possessiō of that glorie, and before the soule bee seuered from the bodie, they will (in a maner) put thee in possession thereof. It is the too-looke to heauen that maketh the soule of Paul to rejoyce in this glorie. The cot­tager that hath not a too-looke to a better house, is a foole to despise his cottage, but hee that hath a too-looke to a better, who can blame him to despise this cottage? I will tell thee my counsell, before thou dislodge out of this bodie, for as fraile as it is, be assured of a better, goe not out of the house doore, except thou knowe that thou shalt enter into a glorious house. I assure thee if thou bee not prouided for a better house, and haue not Faith and Hope of a better than that which thou lodgest in, thou shalt enter in a worse, thou shalt get that bodie againe which was euill [Page 13] before, but then it shall bee a thousande times worse: for the soule shall bee shot into that bodie againe, and then thou shalt be shot both soule and bodie into that foule dungeon of Hell. So, bre­thren, looke for a glorious building, & thou that esteemest not of this bodie, bee carefull for a bet­ter. A vaine prodigall man will cast his soule out of this bodie, and in the meane time will not bee prouided for a better lodging thereto. Hee is not esteemed a man in these dayes, that wil not hazard and cast out his life for an euill cause and quarell. Trustest thou that that soule of thine shall get any better lodging hereafter, and thou not prouided thereof by Faith and Hope here? nay, nay. O bles­sed is that man that dieth in a good cause! And what better cause can be than Christes cause, who is the God of life? Assure thee, thou that wilt die for Christs cause, thou shalt get a building in Hea­uen: thou that takest no care of this life for Christs cause, death shall be aduantage to thee. The Lord graunt vs a too-looking to that Heauenlie buil­ding, & an assurance of that Heauenlie life. Thus much for the assurance that Paule hath, that hee shall dwell in Heauen.

Nowe in the verse following, learne howe hee groundeth this assurance, and what warrande hee hath for him: Faith is not a word, as to say, (I be­lieue) and Hope is not a word, as to say, (I hope) Nay, but thou must haue a warrand of thy salua­tion in this life or else I assure thee, in the Name of [Page 14] GOD, thou shalt neuer get Heauen: It is a straite way to come to Heauen, and it is wondrous hard to get the assurance of it: It is no small matter to get an assurance of life euerlasting after death. Then looke what warrandes this man PAVLE had, that thou mayest preasse to haue the like. The first grounde of his assurance is in this seconde verse, For this cause (saieth hee) wee sigh, desiring to bee clothed, to put on, as it were, a garment: Wherewith? With our house which is from Heaven. These are his wordes. Then his first warrande and ground of his assurance is a desire of that same glory. What sort of desire? An earrest desire, with sighing and sobbing: not a colde desire, but day and night crying and sobbing for life. Thin­kest thou so easily to get Heauen, that canst ne­uer say earnestly in thine heart, GOD giue mee that Heauenly life: no, thou wilt bee disappoin­ted: It is the violent that entreth into Heauen, Matth. 11. 12. as yee will see a man violentlie thrust in at a doore. Thou that wouldest goe to Heauen, make thee for thronging thorowe till all thy gut [...]es bee almoste thrust out. Paule, in the eight chapter to the Romanes. and the 22. and 23. verses, vseth these argumentes against those wic­ked men that cannot sigh for Heauen: First, hee taketh his argument from the elementes, the senselesse and dumbe reatures, which sobbe and grone for the reuelation of the sonnes of GOD, and trauell for that time, as a woman in her birt [...][Page 15] O miserable man! The earth shall condemne thee, the [...]loore thou sittest on is sighing, and woulde faine haue that carcasse of thine to Hea­uen: The waters, the aire, the heauens, all sigh­ing for that last deliuerance: the glorie appertai­neth to thee, and yet thou art laughing: Alas! what shall betide thee? The other argument hee taketh from the sighing of men, who haue gotten the Spirit of GOD: We also (saith he) who haue the first fruites of the Spirit, euen wee doe sigh in our selues, waiting for the adoption, euen the redemption of our bodie. Thou that hast not got­ten the Spirit shalt neuer sigh for Heauen: flesh and blood will neuer shed one teare for Heauen. It must onely bee the Spirite of IESVS, that must fetch vp the sigh out of the heart, and the teare in the eye, Roman. 8. 26. So hee taketh his argument from them who haue gotten a sense of the Spirit of GOD, and redemption of the body to prooue the certainty of that Heauenly King­dome and glory. Nowe, there cannot bee a su­rer argument to vs that euer wee shall obtaine glory, than this sighing in heart for it, and this earnest desire thereof. If thou find thine heart de­sirous of glory, a sure argument thou shalt bee partaker of glory. It is saide, Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousnes, for they shall be filled, Matth. 5. 6. Seekest thou for CHRISTES righteousnesse and thy glorie, assure thee thou shalt get a sweete filling. Marke it, I saye to thee, [Page 16] thou hast not onlie through this earnest desire of glorie, an assurance that thou shalt reigne in glo­rie, but (looke to your experience) that desire is not so soone begun of that life and glorie, but so soone also the soule of the faithfull beginneth to rise with joye. Who euer yet was hee that gaue a sigh from his heart, raised vp by the Spirite of Christ, that felt not with that sigh a joye in his heart? Learne it by your experience. This letteth vs see, that the desire and thirst of glory putteth vs in present possession of a part of glorie. Ere thou come to it desire it earnestly, and I promise thee, in the Name of the Father, thou shalt be pre­sently put in possession of a part of that Heauenly inheritance. It is true thou shalt not get it al here, yet there is none other Heauen after this life, but that Heauen which thou gettest begunne in thee in this life. Alwayes, looke euer for that joye that is by sight: There are two ioyes, the one by sight, the other by faith, 2. Cor. 5. 6. The ioye by faith is in our pilgrimage in this life: The ioy by sight is after this life, when with our eyes wee shall see Christ: The ioy by faith is to looke to Christ a far of, and yet wee reioyce, and loue Him that is farre absent, 1. Pet. 1. 8. Faith hath a ioye that it en­ioyeth, by speaking and thinking: Sight hath the ioye that it enioyeth by presence: The ioye of the eye great in quantitie, and the fulnesse of ioye: The ioye of faith not so great, for it is the ioye of a pil­grime, not as yet come to his home. The ioye of [Page 17] the sight is when wee shall see our glorious Lord, face to face, whom we see only now by faith. 1 Cor 13 12. This is the fulnes of ioy. The ioy of Faith, which induring our pilgrimage, is not so full. O how great shal be the ioy at the perfect seeing of Christ! Thinke never to have the ioy by sight after this life, except in this life thou have the ioy by faith, as the earnest-penny of the other, & ex­cept by Faith thou once get a ioy before thou de­part from this life, thou shalt never see the face of Christ, nor have ioy in him. So brethren, it is a good thing to have that desire of Heaven: Sigh and sob, and desire with Paul for Heaven: for it is a Charter & Evidence of thine everlasting inhe­ritance: & never earthly lord had a surer charter of his land, than thou that hast a desire of heaven, hast of thine inheritāce in heaven: for these earthly evidences of land are without thē in their kists but this evidence of thine is written & ingraffed in thine hart. Now, when extremity is threatned, it is time to seek thy warrands of this heavēly in heritance: this present country is good forthee, & the best country that ever thou shalt see, except thou find this warrand of sighing, and desire for that heavēly inheritāce. And therfore let scorners & mockers scorn as they wil, the children of God must powre forth tears: And this is it that y Lord hath bene desiring these many days past, he hath benegently drawing out of us this sense, but now He beginneth to presse it out of us, that our eyes [Page 18] might burst out in teares: and thou that canst not sob, and desire in these miserable dayes to bee dis­solved, thou hast no true matter of ioy. Woe bee to them that have none heart to sigh for the trou­bles of Christs Church, but are ever ready to exe­cute iudgement against Gods servants when the Lord is visiting them. Well, the Lord shall wring out teares out of them in His wrath, that will not sob in the time of the danger and trouble of His Church. Then what is it that Pavle sigheth for? And what desireth he? Hee desireth a new cloath­ing to bee put one above as a cloathing that is, he would keep this same body in substance, and cast off this filthy garment of sinand death, & put on that glorious shape of the body of Christ. The reason is set down, For when the Lord shal cloath us, we shall not be found naked. So this body shall remaine in substance but O the glory and immortality of it! Mark the natur of the lodging which we shall re­ceive, it shal not be another body in substance, than this body which we have heer in earth. The same body in substance wee shall have in heaven, which we have heer. Heerein onely is the difference, this body is vile, it is mortall, full of sinne and wickednesse, unglorious, ignominious, full of corruption, weak infirm, But when this body shall be changed in heaven, it shall not be changed in substance, but in qualitie Paul. 1 Cor. 15. 42. 43. 44. Saith, The bodie is sawn in corruption, and is raised againe in in­corruption, [Page 19] and is raised againe in incorruption: it is sowne in dishonour, and is raised in glorie: it is sowne in weakenesse, and is raised in power: (The weakest bodie in Heauen, shall be stronger than the stron­gest man in earth) Then (saieth hee) it is sowne a naturall bodie, and is raised a spirituall bodie. So the change is in qualitie, and therefore he saith to the Philippians, chap. 3. vers. 21. When CHRIST com­meth, Hee shall transforme (not abolish, but trans­forme) in qualitie, our vile bodies like to His owne glorious body. Christ keepeth in ye Heauen that same very body which he had in the earth, & thou shalt keep the same bodie in Heauē, which thou hast in earth, but it shall be altered in qualitie, as far as ye Heauē & earth is different. Brethrē, this ministreth comfort: there is none of vs, but naturally we loue this body: then let this comfort thee, that suppose thy soule shall bee for a time without this bodie, yet thou shalt get it again. Another comfort: death cannot destroy it, the graue shall not bee able to swallow vp that body, but the graue shal keep it, & the dust & substance thereof till the comming of Christ, & then it shall be compelled to render it a­gaine. Life shall swallow vp death, but death (nor the graue) shall not be able to swallow vp the bodie of God [...] Elect: But the reprobate shall be swallowed vp of death, both in soule & bodie. In the 8. chap. to the ROMANES, the 10. and 11. verses, Paul ministreth these two consolations against death, Hee saieth, The bodie must die, because of sinne: [Page 20] but hee subjoyneth, The soule in the meane time shall liue: and the Spirit of Iesus shall take it & co­uer it with that blood: And albeit it was a sinfull soule, yet assoone as the Father blinketh vpon it, wimpled and wrapped, as it were, in the blood of Iesus, immediately hee biddeth it passe to glorie. He goeth forward: And where it might haue bene said, shall we haue no consolation in the body? He answereth, If the Spirite of Him that raised Iesus from the dead, dwell in your mortall body: what then? He, that is, GOD the Father, that raised vp Christ from the dead, He, by His Spirit, shall raise your bodies: that same body that is dead and laid in graue, that same body, by Gods Spirit (for the Spirit of Iesus, and the Spirite of the Father is all one) shall be raised vp Learne then, if this holy Spi­rit of God once take lodging in you, He shall ne­uer leaue you in soule nor body, He shal accompa­nie the body in the graue, and conuoy the soule to Heauen: The Spirit of Iesus shall goe with ye soule, & lift it vp: The earth getteth the body, when the soule is separated from it, yet the Holy Spirit shall goe to the graue with the body, and shall remain with it in the graue, and with the least part of the dust thereof: And when Christ shall come, He shall gather it together, and make it a whole body. So, happy are they that haue once lodged this guest in their soules: for, neither fire nor water, nor none other power, euer shall bee able to destroy them, because that Holy Spirit euer remaineth with thē. [Page 21] Now in the next verse, because it might haue bene said and objected, Thou wouldst not want the bo­die▪ why sighest thou then? and what meaneth this desire, if thou wouldst keepe the body? Wee (the faithfull) that are in this tabernacle, we sigh, & are bur­thened, (but marke our desire) because wee would not be vnclothed, (as some will say, Soule to God, and bones to the dung-hill, in contempt of the body: but thinkest thou to be glorified in Heauē, with­out a body? No) but would be clothed vpon, that mor­talitie might bee swallowed vp of Life. As if hee would say, I wold haue this faire cloke of glory put vpon this body, that it might consume and swallow vp all this stinke of sinne that is in the body. Learne then first, the body as it is now is a burthen. Hee saieth, Wee that are in this tabernacle sigh, and are bur­thened: It is a loade laide vpon the backe of the soule, it is a tabernacle, but a burthenable taber­nacle, as an house smoothering him down, and he holding the same vpon his shoulders, that appea­rantly it would be better for him to bee out of it. Learne secondly the estate of them that dwell in this tabernacle: If the body be a burthen, then the soule must sigh & grone as a man vnder a heauie burthen: And the body is nothing but an house of mourning to the faithfull soule, as long as it dwelleth therein: The wanton light man thinketh this body which he beareth about, to bee no bur­then, and will run and leape with it, as though this carcasse were as light as a fether: Alas! hee feeleth [Page 20] [...] [Page 21] [...] [Page 22] not the burthen, hee is senselesse, and like one in a feuer, and in a rage, that knoweth not what hee doeth, nor what hee suffereth: A mountaine is lying vpon him, and hee feeleth it not. Woe to those men that are so wanton vnder this miserie! Amend in time or the LORD sh [...]ll thrust thee downe to Hell. Fye on thee, that dwellest in Be­thania, the house of mourning & canst not mourn: Mourne in time, or else I assure thee, thou shalt mourne for euer. This beeing the condition of men who dwell in this tabernacle, sighing and desiring, as a wom [...]n with childe, to bee relieued, what is the ende of this desire? The ende of the mourning of the Godlie, is not that they woulde bee quite of the house, as manie desire, that were wrong: for manie will mourne vnder this house desperatelie, and the bodie will bee a burthen to the soule in them, and their life will be vnpleasant to them: they will thinke to get a reliefe of the burthen by the want of this present life, and will put hand in themselues: but then beginneth their euerlasting mourning, for they neuer knew what mourning was till that end come. So then, this is not the way to bee deliuered of the burthen, but the way is, To seeke to put on a cloathing on this bodie, and heere is the ende of our desire. It is clo­thed with mortalitie, and that is all the matter of thy mourning: It is not the substance of the bo­die that causeth thee to mourne, but sinne, that possesseth thy bodie, and corrupteth the marowe [Page 23] of thy bones, death accompanying sinne. Then this mortalitie beeing an accident of sinne, which is the chiefe cause thereof: the remedie is, Seeke to bee cloathed with the life that commeth from Christ: Sucke in, by Faith, a droppe of that life of Christ. This will not destroy thy bodie, but it will destroy the death & sinne that possesseth thy bo­die. And the life of Iesus Christ in a moment wil swallowe vp all that death and sinne, and all that miserie that laye on thee: There is the way to dwell with ease in the bodie: Seeke not to destroy the bodie, But seeke the slaughter of that sinne and death that lieth vpon thy bodie, otherwise soule and bodie both shall perish, the house shall fall downe, and the man that lodged in the house shall bee destroyed.

Remember then, Life and Death are not mat­ters to bee scorned withall, they are not wordes, nay, nay: Thinke grauelie of them, and before thy soule bee dislodged, looke that thou bee pre­pared for a better life: Looke that thou finde the LORD of Life CHRIST IESVS by His Spirit working the death of mortalitie in thee, and the beginning of the Life that shall last for euer. The LORD by His Spirit worke these thinges in your heartes. To whom bee all Praise, Honour, and Glorie, for euer and euer,

AMEN.

THE SECOND SERMON.

II. COR. CHAP. V.

verse 5 And He that hath created vs for this thing, is GOD, who also hath giuen vnto vs the earnest of the Spirit.

verse 6 Therefore, wee are alwayes bolde, though wee knowe that Whilst wee are at home in the bodie, wee are absent from the LORD.

verse 7 (For we walke by faith, and not by sight.)

verse 8 Neuerthelesse, we are bolde, & loue rather to remooue out of the bodie, and to dwell with the LORD.

BRethren, yee that were present the last day, hearde what was the pur­pose of Paul in this place. First hee beginneth to comfort himselfe and all others that are to die, and to be dissolued, against death, & the terrours of death. He (as he saith in the chap. preceeding & 18. vers.) is looking vp to Heauen, and whilst he is looking vp to Heauen, to see that end that he was once to attaine to, there cometh in betwixt his sight and the light of that glorie and life, a cloude of death, to haue caught away out of his eies (if it had bene [Page 25] possible) all too-looke to life euerlasting. The re­medic against it, wee shewed you was Faith, and a constant Hope, with a sharpe, earnest, and stedfast looking, euē to pierce in throrow death, and that cloude of death, and thorow death to get a sight of that life, and light of glorie, which lieth hid vp in Heauen beyond death. We know (saith the Apo­stle) and are assured, that our bodies and the earthlie house of this tabernacle, shall bee dissolued, yet wee shall get a building for an house, a building that is from God, not made with mens hands, but an eternall building, that is situated in the Heauens aboue the carth. When hee hath set down this remedy, he beginneth to com­fort himselfe and others, by a sure Faith, that af­ter death he shall liue againe, after the dissolution of his mortall bodie, hee shall receiue a glorious bodie. The first argument of his assurance is from the desire hee had of life, sighing with an earnest desire of that Kingdome which is from Heauen. This desire neuer disappointed man: Neuer was there anie man that had an earnest desire of life & glorie, and had the true knowledge and meane to attaine to this glorie, that was disappointed of his desire: but who euer desired most earnestlie to be glorified, most certainly they liue now in Hea­uen, and at this houre they are glorified there: and none there shall be that shall haue this desire, and striue to throng into Heauen violently, Mat. 11. 12. but they shall enjoy Heauen after their de­parting. Now in the Text which we haue read, we [Page 26] followe out the assurances and warrandes which the Apostle hath of the glorie of the life to come. The second assurance and warrand of the life to come is in the first words, Hee (saith the Apostle) that hath created vs for this thing, is God, &c. The ar­gument of the life to come in these words, is from the ende of our creation, GOD hath created vs to this ende, to wit, That in the ende this mortali­tie wherewith wee are clothed, might bee swallo­wed vp of Life: therefore, liue must wee in Hea­uen. This is the ende of our creation, therefore it cannot faile, but wee must bee glorified. Learne then, The maner of our glorifying is this: It is GOD, not man, that hath made vs, and created vs to this ende: It is impossible that GOD can be disappointed of the ende which He setteth before Him of His worke: man may bee disappointed, for hee will begin a worke for some purpose, but oft times hee will bee disappointed of that purpose: Hee will build an house to dwell in, but it may be hee neuer dwell in it, another will dwell therein. GOD, when He worketh a worke to anie ende, it is impossible that Hee can bee disappointed. All the world, if they would stand vp, and oppone to GODS worke, they cannot hinder it. That worke that GOD worketh in vs, is such a worke that tendeth to Life, as to the ende thereof. Who shall condemne vs? (saith the Apostle) it is God that justifieth vs, Roman. 8. 33. Will Hee justifie thee? all the world shall not bee able to condemne thee: [Page 27] Will Hee saue thee? all the worlde shall not bee able to make thee perish: So is it of His whole Church in generall: Suppose all the worlde were conspired against His Church, He wil haue it safe: and wonderfully worketh He the saluation of His Church, & euery member thereof: through death He bringeth them to life: so that it is folly to men to striue against the works of GOD. Yet looke to the wordes, Hee that hath created vs to this end, is God. What creation is this that he meaneth of? Is this that first creation of Adam and Eua? of euery one of vs in them that was at the beginning? Not so, that creation failed. Indeede wee were first crea­ted to liue, and thorowe that first creation euerie one of vs got a certaine right to liue for euer, but that right wee lost in our owne default, wee are fallen from that right of our creation in the fall of Adam. So we must seeke another creation, or else wee shall neuer see Life: for wee haue no right to that first creation, which was in all Holi­nesse, according to the image of GOD, Ephes. 4. 24. If thou sticke to that first creation and olde birth-right, thou shalt neuer see Life. Then the A­postle meaneth of another. What other making or creating of vs is this? It is our regeneration or renewing againe, which is nothing else, but as it were, a newe birth and begetting, from the which we are called new creatures, 2. Corin. 5. 17. Then, Brethren, wouldst thou haue a sure argu­ment that thou shalt liue after this life? (& wo to [Page 28] thee, if thou liuest not after this life! woe to them that euer sawe this worlde, and they get not a life after this life! for this life will away) Looke if thou art regenerated and renewed, looke if thou art sanctified, and findest a slaying of thy lusts within thee: Looke if thou findest the life of God by his Spirit working within thee, not this naturall life, but this Heauenly and spirituall life begunne in thee not by nature, but by grace: If thou hast this, thou hast a warrand that thou shalt liue: and albeit this naturall life shall bee taken from thee, thou shalt get another life euerlasting in glory: but if thou findest thy self not renewed by the Spirit of grace, take this life from thee, thou shalt not get life euerlasting in glorie. So looke if thou be a newe creature, thou hast gotten a greater grace, than to be borne to an earthly kingdome, if so be thou mayst assure thy selfe of lif euerlasting. What is this newnesse in the new creature? This newnes that is in the new creature, is nothing els but that same life which we shall liue in Heauen, and is be­gun here. This newnesse is only this new life of re­generation, which life so long as thou liuest heere (from the time that thou hast gotten a sponke thereof) piece and piece eateth vp the olde and cankered nature. The life of God within thee, will consume (euen as thou consumest the meat thou eatest) the olde corruption which lieth in thy na­ture: and in the ende, in the glorious resurrection of the dead, it shall bee altogether abolished. This [Page 29] life then, which is begunne heere, it shall open the mouth, and swallow vp death, and death thereaf­ter shall haue no more place. This life is onely ea­ting vp by little and little death heere: but at that time it shall swallowe it vp wholly, and thou shalt say with Paule, Death is swallowed vp, 1. Cor. 15. 54. So well is the soule that hath a warrande of his new creation, whether he die in his bed, or out of it, he shall die with joy. Then my counsell is seeing death is daylie threatned, let euery one striue to get this assurance of this new life begun in him heere, that it may swallowe vp death: Woe bee to them that haue not this assurance! This is the se­cond assurāce of life euerlasting. I pray you marke these assurances, for Paule had such an earnest de­sire, that hee sought all assurances and warrandes of this life, and hee is reigning now in Heauen. So thou, who thirstest after life, learne at him. Nowe resteth the thirde warrande in the next wordes, Who also hath giuen vs the earnest of the Spirite. Learne the words, for al the doctrine riseth of the words. Then the third warrand is the Spirit of Christ Ie­sus in thee. If euer thou mindest to haue life here­after, thou must haue Gods Spirit in thee: not on­lie thine owne Spirite, but Gods Spirite, flowing from God through Iesus Christ, & entering into thy bodie & soule. Beholde the liberality of God, when Hee by His Spirite hath renewed thee, Hee will not take that Spirite from thee, as a man will doe, when he hath builded a worke, hee will take [Page 30] his hand from it, stand if it will or not: But the Lord doeth not so, Hee hath renewed thee by His Holie Spirite, which Hee putteth within thee. O how the Lord putteth the third person of the Tri­nitie in thee, and maketh Him an earnest-pennie to thee of Life euerlasting: Because thy regenera­tion is vnperfect, and thou hast not yet attained to that Life, therefore Hee letteth His Spirit abide in thee, assuring thee as an earnest-pennie, that whatsoeuer God hath promised, He shal perform it to thee, and thou shalt not bee disappointed of a jot thereof. Such is the infidelitie of our nature, that all the promises, all the othes which He ma­keth to confirme His promises, all His Sacramēts which Hee hath joyned to His promises, cannot perswade vs. But looke to this thirde warrande, Hast thou the Spirit of God, if Hee bee in thee, He will bee quicke, working joye with sighs: He can­not be idle, Hee will be working the worke of re­generation both day and night: Then anger Him not, Ephes. 4. ▪30. Away with filthie cogitations, away with euerie rotten worde, away with euerie euill deede, labour to pleasure Him day & night, and striue to keepe Him, and thou shalt hauea warrande of life in thy bosome, and when thou art dying thou shalt find such sweetnesse in death as is wonderfull to tell. None euer had the Spirite of God, but in death they had vnspeakable joye. Then seeke to bee in Christ, and get His Spirite within thee, and hauing gotten this Spirite, keepe [Page 31] Him diligently, and powre out thine owne spirite but never Gods Spirit, for then in all distresses thou shalt have comfort. Now to resume all: Yee who take great pleasure in your Charters, the Eviden­ces of your inheritance and land, take heed to this, Your inheritance is in Heaven, and thou art a foole, who thinkest that thou hast an inheritance in earth: For either shalt thou be pulled from it, or it shall bee pulled from thee: Nay, looke as ever thou wouldest be an inheriter, that thine inheri­tance be in Heaven: Thou art the foolishest begger, and the poorest that ever was, if thou bee a King, if thou thinkest thine inheritance to be in earth: Having laid this count with thy selfe, Mine inhe­ritance is in Heaven, then next looke that thou have thine evidence. For thou shalt never possesse Heaven, except thou have the evidence thereof laid up in thy charter kist. Now thine evidences are the same euidences that Paul had, and the same kind of evidences serve for all, it is an inheritance that all men must get, one sort of charter must serve for one inheritance. What then can be the char­ter and evidence? Canst thou sigh for that Hea­venly inheritance? Canst thou have a desire of it: There is thy first evidence: Then findest thou thy selfe to bee renewed? Findest thou CHRISTS life in thee? The life of Iesus is manifest in me, saith Paul, 2. Cor. 4. 10. Findest thou the wicked life of this world reformed? There is the second evidence. Yet more, findest thou the worker of the desire, and [Page 32] the worker of thy regeneration, the Spirit of Christ within thee, then keepe him well: There is the best evidence of all the evidences of thine in­heritance: having these, assure thy selfe of Heaven: but wantest thou these, or any of them, thou shalt never get that inheritance in Heaven. As these three are three evidences of thine heavenly inhe­ritance, so they are three props of Faith that gripe this Heavenly life: They are the three pillars that hold up Faith, which is builded upon them: cut one of these pillars away, and thou shalt lose Faith and Hope. But here it may be asked, Are all these three of the nature of the life to come? I answere, As for the desire, sighing, and sobbing for that heavenly inheritance, it endeth with this life, and in that life to come all weeping shall bee taken away, REVEL. 21. 4. Mourne and groane in time, then heereafter shall come ioy, aud pure ioy. A trou­bled ioy is [...]eere in this life, but heereafter there shall bee a pure and solid ioy, and nothing but ioy. So this mourning ceaseth then, and is not of the nature of the life to come but as to the new crea­ture and regeneration, it is of the nature of the life to come, and it is the beginnning and first part of that heavenly glorie: so that our heavenly glorie shall bee none other thing but the per [...]yting of our regeneration: For when all this pelffrie shall be taken away, then wee shall fully bee renewed. As to the Spirit, if ever hee was powerfull in earth, he shall be more powerfull in Heaven: so that the same [Page 33] Spirit that heere dwelt in thy body, shall then glorifie thy body, and make it to shine brigh­ter than the Sunne: Therefore let vs seeke this re­generation, and the Spirit of CHRIST: For in these two standeth the perfection and the glo­rie of the life to come.

Now, when he hath reckoned out all the war­rands of life, whereby he assureth himselfe there­of, hee concludeth in the next ve [...]se, Then (saieth he) wee haue confidence alwayes: as if hee would say, Hauing these warrandes, I haue confidence al­wayes, that is, I am assured of my glory: and yet the wordes import not only an assurance▪ but the effect thereof, which is a sweete securitie in the soule: for whensoeuer any man is assured of life, then the soule with sweetnesse wil rest: then com­meth that peace of Conscience, assuring vs, whe­ther wee liue, or wee die, wee are CHRISTES: so this draweth on that boldnesse & confidence. Then looke the nature, the beginning▪ and [...]i­sing of Faith: it is builded and standeth vpon these three pillars, An earnest desire of life, Rege­neration, and the Spirit of GOD: These are the three proppes thereof, which are sensible to them who haue faith, and wee shoulde bee acquainted with them. Then of this riseth the sweete confi­dence of glory▪ and security, the repose and rest of the soule and conscience, and from the soule it commeth vp to the mouth and breaketh out in a glorying. As this same Apostle vpō this confidence [Page 34] in his soule, breaketh out & saith? What shal seuer vs from the loue of Christ? Shall tribulation, or anguish, or persecution, or famine, or nakednes, or pe [...]il, or sword? No▪ in all these things we are more than vi­ctorious, through Him that loued vs. Rom. 8. 35. &c. So that faith being builded vpon these three pillers, securitie and confidence beeing builded vpon Faith, then boldn [...]sse in mouth will say, I defie all contrarie powers▪ lay the sword, lay fire, lay death before mee, it will say, I defie them all: yea, let all the Deuils of H [...]ll come before a man▪ & his faith be well builded, and confidence on faith, hee will defie them all: yea, albeit they threatē damnation to him: for it thou stand in Christ thou shalt liue: albeit thou must bee separated from this mortall life, yet all the worlde cannot separate thee from the life of Christ. Seeke this life now in time, that in trouble wee may say▪ that wee will rest in Christ, and all the world shall not seuer thee from Him.

Yet to goe forward in the words. The Apostle as yet hath not the full contentation in heart for all this assurance: For (saith he) wee knowe, that while wee are at home in the bodie, wee are absent from the LORD. If wee bee at home with a thing we are farre from a better thing which is abroade. Alas! thou beeing [...]t home a [...] thine house and fire, thou art farre abroade from thine home in Heauen: whilst wee are at home in this mortall bodie wee are strangers and Pilgrimes from the LORD.

Brethren, yee shall learne heere a great diffe­rence [Page 35] betweene confidence & contentation: It is one thing to haue contentation, & another thing to haue confidence. This Apostle had confidence but not contentation. Thou art farre dec [...]aued that thinkest thou hast sufficient contentation in this worlde. Woe is thee! yea, although thou haue Heauenly graces, and if thou thinkest thou hast contentation, either of glory, or of sight, all is nothing: Why? Because there cannot, nor shoulde not bee contentation heere: no, the best and moste confident man that liueth, shoulde not thinke hee hath contentation in this pr [...]s [...]nt life. All thine holinesse, faith, confidence and hope, shoulde not giue thee full contentation. All the kingdomes, honours, and riches of this worlde, which is nothing but dirt and pelffrie, in respect of those Heauenly thinges, shoulde not giue thee full contentation. And yet the worldly foole will saye in his heart, I haue contentation and suffi­ciencie. O! but what saide CHRIST to him that decreed with his hart to make wide barnes? Foole, this night thy soule shall be taken from thee, Lu [...]e▪ 12. 20. Away with an opinion of contentation in this earth, and thou bee a king of all the earth: Wilt thou haue contentation without CHRIST? Wilt thou hau [...] sufficiencie▪ and not haue Him who is thy life & glorie? When thou art a pilgrime from CHRIST, and wandring from thy countrey and inheritance, wilt thou saye thou hast thine hearts desire? Had euer pilgrime full contentation [Page 36] during the time of his pilgrimage? Then no con­tentation to the faithfull soule, but in CHRIST. I shall neuer thinke cōtentation to be in my soule, till I see CHRIST face to face: I giue thee the same counsell, yea, and if I had all spirituall gra­ces, in neuer so great a measure yet no cōtentation for my soule, till I see CHRIST: for all our blessednesse standeth in the sight of CHRIST, and thou canst not see CHRIST heere, be­cause thou art absent from Him: For▪ as long as I am at home (speaking of the soule so long as it is closed heere within this earthly tabernacle) I am absent from CHRIST: And this prison of my bodie so closeth mee about, that I cannot see CHRIST.

Brethren, it is this mortall bodie that is clo­thed with sinne and mortality, wherewith we must be clothed as long as wee are heere, that holdeth vs from the sight of CHRIST. It is impossible so long as thou art clothed with the sinfull bodie, to get that full sight of IESVS, albeit Hee were standing on the earth, cloathed with His glorie. So thou must be vnclothed of this mortalitie, ere thou canst see Him: And there is the grounde wherefore wee shoulde thinke no contentation whilst wee are in this body: Because so long as wee dwell in this mortall body, we shall neuer see CHRIST, nor get a full fruition of His coun­tenance. Therefore, Brethren, take not so much pleasure and delight in this mortall bodie▪ for I [Page 37] assure thee, it is but a prison, holding the faith­full soule, and the eye of the faithfull soule from the sight of CHRIST, but assoone as it shall bee loosed from it, it shall mount immediatelie with joye to CHRIST, and there get full con­tentation in His face. yee thinke, so long as yee want these earthly thinges, yee cannot get con­tentation: (I speake not of the wicked, but euen of the regenerated man) but when the soule getteth this glorious presence of CHRIST in Heauen, it shall haue joye in infinite degrees greater than euer it had in earth. And albeit the body shall lie heere in graue, and ignominie for a time, yet all that shall bee recompensed by the glorious sight of CHRIST, which the soule shall enjoye in the Heauens, beeing separated from the body. Wee thinke we can haue none Heauenly glory and joy, except wee haue this earthly body there: It is true indeede, the soule cannot haue so great joye, as if the soule and body were together: but it is also true, that the soule beeing separated, hath greater joye in Heauen, than the soule and body can haue together in this earth. Otherwise, howe woulde Paul haue desired to haue beene dissolued, he ha­uing that confidence and earnest-penny of glory, except he had desired that joye in the soule? Alas! wee are so senselesse, that wee thinke joye cannot come, except wee get it in our earthly body: And this is one part of our miserie.

Now in the next verse (in a parenthesis) he ca­steth [Page 38] in the cause why hee is absent from GOD, and a pilgrime heere, and saieth, For wee walke by faith, and not by sight: As if hee woulde saye, All the sight which I haue of Him is afarre of, looke how farre the Heauens are distant from the earth, also as far is IESVS distāt from the eye of the faithful soule: there is onely a farre sight of Him heere: all the sight of Heauenly glory which wee haue here, is like a more, in respect of that sight we shall ge [...]: it is so farre from thee that it seemeth not to bee the thousand part of that fulnes that it is indeed: Thou seest it now as it were a more, but thou shalt once see it as a mountaine in great fulnesse. So Paul saith, I see my LORD, but afarre of: there is a great distance betwixt the eye of my soule and Him: & besides this farnes, such a mist ariseth out of the stinking body of corruption betwixt my LORD and me like a cloude, that it hideth my LORDS face from me. So there are two impedi­mentes, which hinder vs from the full sight of CHRIST the first is the farre distance of place be­twixt Him & me: the second is the smoke & mist of my corruptiō that goeth in betwixt me & Him, and taketh the sight of my LORD from me. Find yee not this in your selues by experience? In the beginning of an houre thou shalt haue a sight of Him, and againe ere the halfe houre bee past, the sight of Him is away let bee a day or halfe a day. Then maruell not, suppose Paule complaineth of this, that he cannot see CHRIST in respect of the [Page 39] farnesse and smoke that commeth betwixt them: Would to GOD wee had a sense of this! Who is he that once groneth for this, and saieth, Alas. I am a pilgrime, it is a farre sight which I haue of my LORD: O! if my soule were loosed from my bodie, that I might bee with Him! Who can saye this? No, wee are all sleeping, and there is none eye lifted vp to CHRIST in this great mis [...]rie. Wilt thou alwayes crie peace in such a miserie? at last thou shalt be pressed downe to Hell.

Yet to insist vpon this verse▪ We walke (saith he) by faith and not by sight. Yee see heere then the con­dition of a Christian is walking, not sitting, nor sleeping, hee must be afoote This worde is euer in the Apostles mouth, 1. Thessal. [...]. 6. Colloss. 4. 2. &c. Euer walking, a pilgrime must not sit downe▪ Thou art a pilgrime, vpon thy journey towardes another countrey, thou must not sit downe: for otherwise thou shalt neuer come to thy journeys ende. The seconde thing which I marke heere▪ This walking must not be in darknesse, but it must bee in light. Woe to him that walketh in darke­nesse, for if hee were neuer so well occupied, hee shall die in darknesse: hee that walketh in darke­nesse, he shall get Hell, for H [...]ll is darknesse: so that walking must be in light. The light is of two sorts, they are both set downe in [...]hrse: The first is the light and knowledge of [...]: The second the light of presence and sight. The knowledge of Faith is but a glimmering, in respect of the other [Page 40] light that is by sight, whē thou shalt see CHRIST: in His presence is a wonderfull light: when Hee shall looke to thee, and thou to Him, the beames of His glory shall so strike on thee, and cause thee shine, that thou shalt bee astonished. There is no soule▪ but assoone as it commeth in His presence, it will bee astonished and maruell that euer there was such a light in CHRIST. Faith hath but a small light, but the light by presence is maruei­lous: H [...]e shall translate vs to a marueilou, light, 1. Pet. 2. 9. All the Angels wonder at the light which is about the Lambe: and thy soule, when it shall come into glory, shall stand wondering at such a glory: and thy body, when it shall followe, shall wonder, and all shall bee wondering at such a passing glory! These are the two sights. Would GOD wee coulde take heede to get a glaunce of that Heauenly glory! then all the pleasures of this earth would bee but vanitie, dirt, and pelffrie to vs. The Lord yet open our eyes, to get a sight of this glory.

These are two lights: and as there is two lights, so there is two kindes of walking: The one is in this life▪ the other in Heauen in the life to come: In this life, wee haue a small glimmering, without any Sunne, a blincke of light, enuironed about with darknesse Therefore, because of the want of light, there is such stumbling in our walking in this life: but when we shall walke in the Heauens with that H [...]au [...]ly light of GOD, with the coun­tenance [Page 41] of CHRIST before our eyes, then no staggering, neither to this side, nor to that, be­cause of that light that is in the face of CHRIST euer shining in our eyes. The darknesse yee see is vnpleasant, but the light is pleasant: It is a won­derfull thing, that wee shall get leaue to walke in that inaccessible light of GOD, wherein the Fa­ther and the Sonne doe walke. Brethren, thinke on these things, for these are the chiefe points of all. All earthly thinges euanish when the Sunne goeth downe, and darknesse commeth: Therefore set your eyes vpon that glory, which neuer shall euanish nor decay, as euer ye wold desire to reign there: These dayes require this preparation. Cer­tainely, preaching and hearing will euanish, and preaching beeing taken away, faith will faile, and without faith how can mē attaine to glory. There­fore, to keepe in the glory of this light, we should earnestly crie, LORD, GIVE VS THIS WORD: For if it bee taken away, wee shall bee worse than they of Sodome and Gomorrha.

Now, the Apostle hauing shewed this, he com­meth backe againe, and saith, Neuerthelesse we haue confidence, &c. He that hath confidence he will re­joyce to speake of it, & it swelleth so in his heart, that of necessity it must bee vttered, and hee will say once, twise, thrise▪ I haue confidence: [...]u [...] nowe with confidence hee joyneth another thing, to wit, his loue to die, and to slit out of the bodie, to reigne with CHRIST. Loue to die is the com­panion [Page 42] of confidence. Hee saieth, I haue confidence, but I loue rather to remooue out of the bodie, and to dwell with the LORD. There are two good thinges, The one confidence, the other light. The Apostle ma­keth a choise heere, he will leaue confidence here in the bodie, and hee chooseth to die, that he may attaine to the light: and in this respect he would change all the confidence hee hath with death. Thou wil [...] not change a foot of earth with death, but th' Apostle will change confidence with death, and confidence is more preciou, than all ye earth. Few will doe this, and yet thou wi't die and thou hadst sworne it. Well is that bodie that is so re­solued to die as Paule was! But maketh Paule a choise of death for death it selfe? Certainely no man wil choose death for death it selfe for except the LORD lighten death, and transforme it, it is an entrie to Hell: And if thou haue none other respect in death but to be quite of this miserable life, (as some will s [...]y, Would GOD I were dead, that I might bee quite of this miserie) thou shalt bee in greater miserie after death, than euer thou was whilst thou was liuing. What then should bee the speciall cause that should mooue a man to say, (Would GOD I were dissolued) euen this, I am burthened with sinne, I am burthened with mor­talitie. This burthen should bee a great motiue: Well is the soule that is freede of sinne: What pleasure is it to a soule that woulde faine serue GOD, to liue euer in sinne? Nay, no pleasure.

[Page 43]This is the speciall motiue that should mooue vs to make choise of death, To bee with IESVS CHRIST, to dwell with Him, and to bee in His companie in the participation of that glorie that is in the countenance of CHRIST. For that ca [...]se I would flit, that I might bee with my LORD, and embrace that joye. So as the miserie of this worlde will put thee forwarde to GOD. so the sweetenesse of CHRISTS companie will draw thee forward. Then to ende, The Apostle hath preconceaued in himselfe a wonderfull joye of that glorie, when hee sawe it not yet, so must wee doe. All his walking was by faith, and not by sight: but hee seeth before the hand an Heauen­lie joy and pleasure, in respect of that [...]ruition that he shall once get of the countenance of CHRIST. This shoulde learne thee to looke euer for more than thou [...]eest: thinke not that thou hast seene all the glorie that shall come to thee and hast felt all the pleasures that are laid vp for thee in Heauen: But thinke that there is greater joye and glorie there thā euer thou couldi heare of: for CHRIST him selfe neuer vttered al the glory that is laid vp for the Sainctes: All that wee see heere is but in a mirrour: All the glorie of CHRIST in the Scri­pture, is but in a mirrour: li [...]e as when the Sunne shineth in the mirrour, thou lookest not to the Sunne that shineth, but to the glauncing there­of in the mirrour. And as there is greater shi­ning in the Sunne, than in the glauncing thereof [Page 44] which thou seest▪ so thinke euer there is greater glorie in Heauen, than euer thou hearde of in the Scripture. Suppose not that thou canst thinke of the joyes of Heauen, as men on earth thinke on earthly thinges: Who can thinke a thing greater than it is? No, the glory of Heauen, and the joye with CHRIST, mounteth vp aboue the reach of thy faith and hope, and all thing that is able to conceiue the same. It mounteth vp higher that the Heauen of Heauens is aboue the earth. There­fore, thinke not with thy selfe, it is too much that I looke for: Thou failest only in narrownesse, thy Faith and Hope is so narrowe, that they cannot comprehende the thousande part of that glorie: And so wee should say (I hope, and I belieue, more than I am able to comprehend.) And here is the cause that thou canst not get that full sight of glo­rie that is laide vp for thee. The weake begunne grace of Faith, and the Spirite of GOD in thee is not able to attaine to the thousand part of that glorie.

The LORD giue vs grace to preconceaue this glorie in some measure, that wee may seeke the same, and say with PAVL, I haue Faith and Hope, but that glorie passeth all. The LORD grant vs this, euen for CHRISTES sake, So bee it.

THE THIRD SERMON.

II. COR. CHAP. V.

verse 9 Where [...]ore also we couet, that both, dwelling at home, and remoouing from home, wee may bee acceptable to Him.

verse 10 For we must all appeare before the judgement seate of CHRIST, that euery man may receiue the things which are done in his bodie, according to that that he hath done, whether it be good or euill.

verse 11 Knowing, therefore, that terrour of the LORD, wee perswade men, and wee are made manifest vn­to GOD and I trust also that wee are made ma­nifest in your consciences.

WEe haue hearde, Brethren, these dayes past, the remedie that the Apostle setteth downe against this temporall death, & the dissolution of the body. In a worde, it is a full assurance and perswasion of the heart, that when we are dead, concerning the body, yet we shall liue againe, and shall receiue at the handes of God a more glorious body than euer this bodie was. It is an harde matter to get this assurance, for the [Page 44] [...] [Page 45] [...] [Page 46] naturall reason of man cannot, nor will not per­swade him, that hee once beeing dead, the bodie beeing dissolued in ashes, that euer that bodie shall bee recouered againe. Therefore, the Apostle bringeth in three argumentes of this assurance: The first is the earnest desire that the Godly haue in this life to be glorified: It is a thing impossible that this desire can bee in vaine: Hee that giueth thee a desire of glorie and sighing for it. He must giue▪ thee the life and glorie that is desired and sighed for: For otherwise Hee would neuer giue thee grace to sigh once for this life and glorie except Hee were purposed to put thee in posses­sion of that glorie one day. The second argument is taken from our regen [...]ration, or the end of our regeneration. GOD is Hee that maketh vs of new againe, after we were dismaide by the fall of Adam, Hee createth vs of newe againe, to this ende, that wee should liue the first creation. It en­ded indeede, and wee haue lost the right thereof, euen in the first creation. Wee were created to liue euerlastingly, yet wee died. But the second creation in IESUS will neuer breake: but as in him wee are renewed to life, liue shall wee in the Heauens euerlastingly, it can neuer faile. Peter saith in his first epist. chap. 1. vers. 3. Wee are regene­rate againe into that liuely hope.

The third argument is the Spirit of CHRIST, whereby GOD worketh in vs both the desire and regeneration: hauing once giuen vs that Spi­rit, [Page 47] He taketh Him not from vs againe, but letteth Him dwell in soule and bodie, to bee an earnest­pennie in vs, assuring vs He shal neuer leaue vs, till the whole promises in CHRIST be fulfilled to vs. And therfore He is called the Spirit of trueth. (Iohan. 15. 26. Notwithstanding, of all this confidēce and assurance, vnder-propped with these three pillers, Desire, Regeneration, and the Spirit, the Apostle hath not full contentation of heart, and the rea­son is, because he seeth not the LORD. Hee is yet wandring as a pilgrime in this world, & hath not gotten that joyfull countenance of CHRIST, in the which countenance is onelie sacietie of plea­sures: For assure you, the faithfull heart shall ne­uer haue contentation till it see CHRIST. There­fore, to attaine to this thing, and to get the full satisfactiō of the heart, he maketh choise of death and remouing out of the bodie: hee preferreth it to all grace that can be had in this life. Hee pre­ferreth it to that confidence and assurance▪ and to all other graces that hee can haue in this bodie, that he might go vp to that presence of CHRIST. Thus farre wee haue spoken hitherto.

Now to come to the text that we haue presently read. The Apostle considering that sight that once we shall see, and that presence that once wee shall haue of ye LORD IESVS, which he hath not gottē nor will not get, till the time it please the LORD to call on him: (and none of vs will get it, albeit wee woulde neuer so faine, till that the LORD [Page 48] call on vs) he sheweth, therefore, what he will do till that time come that he get that presence, an [...] how hee will bee occupied liuing here in this pil­grimage, what will bee his studie and care in lif [...] and death: Therefore (saith hee) also we couet, that ba [...] dwelling at home, and remoouing from home, we may b [...] acceptable to Him. There is his care in the mean [...] time. All my care, would he say, so long as I liue i [...] this earth, shall be, to bee acceptable to my Lord, to whom I goe, that I may be the welcomer when I come.

Yet, Brethren, because the words are weightie, euery word would be weighed: We couet, saith hee, there is the first worde, and in the first language this word importeth not onely a common desire, but an ambition: So by this word he vttereth that he is griedy of honour, and ambitious: for there i [...] an holy ambition that is lawfull, that is requisite, that is needefull in euery Christian man, euen in the purest man that is. But to come to the ho­nour which he coueteth: We couet (saith he) that we may be acceptable: There is the honour, to be accep­table, to bee counted and liked of. The worldlie man that hunteth after the honour of the worlde, he desireth to be esteemed of, to bee had in admi­ration, and to be in grace. So is it with the man of God the honour which he desireth is esteematiō, he would be accounted of, hee would bee in grace and good liking, and if it were possible, he would be esteemed aboue all the men in the world: but [Page 49] whome would hee haue to esteeme of him? The worldly ambitious man would bee accounted of by men, hee hath no regarde of GODS estima­tion of him, hee would haue the Prince accoun­ting of him aboue all Courtiers: hee would haue the people accounting much of him. But the man of GOD, that hath this holie ambition and griedinesse of honour, hee careth not for the ac­count and estimation of men, neither seeketh his praise of men, but of GOD, and CHRIST, with whom hee must dwell after this life: hee desireth in this pilgrimage, to bee assured, that CHRIST hath a liking of him, that after this life hee may reigne with CHRIST as a king for euer: That is his honour.

To goe forward in the wordes: When seeketh hee to bee acceptable to CHRIST? at what time? There is two times: One time of liuing, and another time of dying: A time when the soule dwelleth in the bodie, and another time when shee flitteth. The ambitious holie man see­keth to bee acceptable to the LORD at both these times, both dwelling at home, and flitting from home. All the honour of the worldlie man is in this life, and whilst the soule is dwelling in this bodie: But once laide downe in his bedde, and let death assaile him, there hee layeth downe his honour: and if yee tell him of the honour which hee was seeking, hee will spitte at it. But the godly man, if euer he was griedy of honour in [Page 50] this life, in the houre of his death he is griedier thereof, and the nearer death, the griedier of the honour of CHRIST: hee can haue no contenta­tion in heart, till hee know his soule is acceptable to that LORD whom to hee is going. As for the meanes whereby hee seeketh to come to this ho­nour, ye will heare of them in the next verse here­after.

This same Apostle (2. Timoth. 2. 15.) setteth them downe also: when hee hath desired Timothi [...] to studie to approoue himselfe to GOD, imme­diately hee subjoyneth, If thou wouldest bee ap­prooued, bee a worke-man: thou wilt not get this acceptation by driuing ouer thy life in idlenesse, or sluggishnesse: let euery man, in whatsoeuer estate, bee a worke-man. The worldly man is cly­ming to his honour by vnlawfull meanes, by flat­terie, by falshood, &c. but it endeth in miserie. But the godly mā, let him seek to be approued by the King of kings, being a faithfull worke-man in his calling, & diligent therein. There is the meane of thine acceptation in this life. In thy dying, & when all thy senses, thy tongue, thine hand, and all fai­leth th [...]e and art not able to worke, yet suffer with patience, and set thine heart patiently to suffer death, that in thy dying GOD may be glorified, and so thou mayest consecrate both death & life to Him.

Marke heere a lesson. Paul of before he maketh a choise to go & dwell with Christ: he would faine [Page 51] haue bene dead: but here is another desire, which must goe before that, and thou must haue the like desire, before thou desire to flit out of this bodie and to bee with CHRIST. First desire, whilst thou art in this bodie, to bee acceptable to Him, and then desire to flit, otherwise not: for certainely, if thou die, before thou bee acceptable to GOD in thy life, thou shalt not bee welcome to Him, and he shal be the most terrible sight to thee that euer thou saw: I shall neuer desire to see Him when I die, if I desire not to bee acceptable to Him first in life and death. Therefore, studie by a faith­full discharge of thy duetie heere on earth, to bee acceptable to thy LORD, beguile not thy selfe.

Learne againe heere. When hee hath made a choise to goe and dwell with the LORD, hee desi­reth that hee may liue a godly life heere first: then the lesson is, A godly life heere is a too-looke to that life which wee shall haue in CHRIST, which maketh a faithfull Pilgrime desire to bee with CHRIST. It is an easie thing to haue an eye to the life to come, if thou studie to liue well in this life. And on the other part, it is the hope of that life and glory to come, and an eye to Heauen that maketh a Pilgrime to liue well in this life: where this eye to Heauen is not, there is no good life. Wherefore should we speake further? Alas! these euill liues of men, these murthers, adulteries, thefts, tell vs plainely, there is no sight of Heauen, nor regarde of the life to come. Thou that passest [Page 52] thy time, taking thy pleasure in the displeasing of GOD, testifiest, that thine eye was neuer on Hea­uen, that the eye of thy soule was neuer lifted vp aboue thy bodie, and assure thy selfe, if thou liue on so, thou shalt neuer see Heauen.

Now in the next verse, hee subjoyneth another argument, moouing him to bee ambitious to bee with that LORD of life. The first argument was, because hee was to dwell with that LORD in Heauen. The second is, that terrible Iudgement that all flesh shall see, except they endeuour them­selues to serue GOD in this life: For (saieth hee) wee must all appeare before the Iudgement-seate of CHRIST. Learne a lesson of the pith of this ar­gument. As there is a force in the hope of the life to come, so there is a force in the feare of a terri­ble Iudgement, to mooue a man to liue well here. Looke howe needefull the one is to cause thee to liue well in this life▪ as needefull also is the other. Hope of life is needful, feare of judgemēt is need­ful: what should be the cause of this? knowest thou not thy nature, how backward & froward it is? so that except thou be pricked forward with terrors of judgement, thou wilt neuer addresse thy selfe to Heauen, but wilt linguer & sit downe by the way.

Brethren, There are two things in Heauen, and two thinges in earth, both seruing to mooue vs to liue well heere in this life: In Heauen there is two seates, one of Grace, which is called, the Throne of grace: The other a seate of Iudgement, [Page 53] a Tribunall: Fie on all tribunals in the earth, in respect of that Heauenly Tribunall! The Throne of grace is spoken of to the Hebrewes, Chapt. 4. vers. 16. Let vs goe boldly to the Throne of grace that wee may get mercie. But this will not suffice, except the Tribunall of judgement be also before thee, to draw thee forward: both must bee before thee: and as thou lookest to the Throne of grace with the one eye, so look to the Throne of judge­ment with the other eye. There are also in like ma­ner two thinges in earth, to draw thee forward: The one, the Gospell of grace, The other, the Law threatning judgement. The Gospel drawing thee louinglie to GOD, the Lawe threatning thee to goe forwarde, or else thou shalt die. The Gospell gently alluring thee forwarde, promising that thou shalt get life: The Lawe standing about the Gospell as a fire, to terrifie thee, and if thou goe out of the right way, it will burne thee. It will not bee the Gospell alone that will serue the turne. Indeede, if there were no canker in thee, the Gospell would serue the turne: but in respect of this wicked canker in thy nature, thou must be threatned with the Lawe. Seest thou not thy na­ture? fairnes will not serue the turne, thou must be pulled forward by the haire, or else thou wilt fall into damnation. Take me away the rebukes of the Law, if thou bee a king or a Monarch, it is but a dead Gospel to thee, such is the corrupt nature of man: Take away the canker of the nature of man, [Page 54] I shall speake nothing of the Lawe: but as long as this canker remaineth▪ the Law must threaten all, from the king to the begger. I were a false Do­ctor, if I vsed not the threatning of the Lawe to rebuke this canker of nature. Who is more holie than Paule was? He▪ looking vp to Heauen, seeing the Mercie-seate, likewise seeth the Iudgement-seate, and if hee had not seene the Iudgement-seate, and beene terrified therewith, hee shoulde neuer haue gotten a sight of that Mercie-seate: so must it bee with vs, wee must see that Iudge­ment-seate, as well as that Mercie-seate. This is wonderfull: Hee was euen nowe speaking of CHRIST as a sweete LORD, and faine would bee at Him, and nowe againe hee setteth Him vp as a Iudge to terrifie men. Is this the LORD, at whom he would bee? Who desireth to appeare before a terrible Iudge? Who hath life and death in his handes? Take heede: this is Paules meaning: The LORD IESVS Hee is both terrible to men, and joyous to men, and Hee must bee both joyous and mercifull indeede, to thee who endeuoureth thy selfe to please Him in this life: Terrible to them who endeuoureth them not to please Him in this life. Wouldest thou haue Him mercifull to thee, studie then to liue well serue Him sincerely in thy calling. Wilt thou haue Him terrible to thee, thou shalt indeede finde Him terrible to thee, and thou shalt shake & tremble at His countenance, in case thou seeke not to please Him in this life. [Page 55] And this shall bee the first sight that euer the wic­ked, who desired not to please Him in this life, shall get of Him. Heauen and Hell are thought jests & mocks now adayes: & this Tribunall is not looked too, but certainely thou must appeare, ei­ther before the Throne of Mercie, or the Tribunal of Iudgement.

Yet to goe forward in the wordes: I shall only touch them, without discoursing on that generall judgement. Then first heere to let you see the ter­riblenesse of that judgement, there is an Appea­rance whereof Esaias, in his 45. Chapter, and the 23. verse thereof, and Paule, Roman. 14. 11. spea­keth: As I liue (saieth the LORD) all knees shall how to Mee, and all thinges shall confesse Mee to bee GOD. There is the reuerence that shall bee at that appearance, all kinges in the earth shall bow their knees: & the tongue that would not speake in this earth to GODS glory shall then bee com­pelled to speake to His glorie. Then there is first an appearance: Secondly an necessitie, Thou must appeare: Thirdly, an vniuersalitie, all shall appear, without exception, all shall be called and all must answere, Hic sum, I AM HEERE: None shall bee away, man nor womā, rich nor poore, from Adam the first man, to the last man borne on the earth. Then fourthly. The seate before the which this appearance must bee, is a Tribunall: the Iudge is CHRIST, IEHOVAH, GOD not man onely: all knees shall bow to Him as GOD, and not only to [Page 56] CHRIST as GOD, but to CHRIST in our nature, as man, he shall sit as a glorious Iudge, as it is saide, Iohn, 5. 22. The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgement to the Sonne. And as there shall bee one appearance of all, so there must be one receiuing: none shall ap­peare but something they shall receiue. What shall bee receiued? A reward of thy actions and doinges in thy bodie, which rewarde shall apper­taine to the bodie as well as to the soule, because thou didst them in the bodie. As to the qualitie of the rewarde, it is proportionall to that which thou hast done in the bodie, bee it good or euill: if it bee good, thou shalt bee rewarded with glo­rie: if euill, thou shalt bee rewarded with ignomi­nie and shame.

To insist something vpon the last wordes, be­cause the Papistes sticke to them, and thinke they haue an aduantage of this place: when they heare that euerie one shall receiue according to the thinges which they haue done in the flesh, incon­tinent they conclude, ERGO, workes merites. I answere, Euill workes indeede merite damna­tion, and damnation shall bee thy portion for them, if thou bee out of IESVS: but good workes haue no merite: in all thy good workes there is no deseruing, althogh they were ten thou­sand more than they are. There is force enough in an euill work to condemne thee, but in a thousand good workes no force to saue. The Apostle saieth [Page 57] not heere, They shall receiue a rewarde for that which they haue done, but according as they haue done: hee saieth not Propter, making workes a cause, but Secundum, that is, according to the testification of the works. But to leaue the larger insisting in this, as more pertinent to another place, and to come to our purpose.

Weigh the wordes, for euerie worde is a worde of weight, importing a terrible Iudgement, an Appearing, a necessitie of appearing, an vniuer­sall appearing without exception, no respect of persons, of the king, more than of the begger, no mitigation of the seueritie of the Iudge, &c. CHRIST will haue no mitigation, but if thou bee a reprobate, thou wilt bee handled seuerelie, al­beit thou bee a king. The judgement then, being so terrible, the Iudge, CHRIST, must also bee ter­rible: And so the Apostle saieth, Knowing, therefore, that terrour of the LORD, &c.

And all this is to learne euerie soule, not so to presume of the mercie of CHRIST, that thou shalt thinke to finde Him mercifull in that daye, except that thou hast studied to bee accep­table vnto Him in this life, and canst say, LORD, I EMPLOY MY SELFE IN SERVING THEE. Away with that presumption of mercie, which maketh the lowne, when hee is mu [...]thering and committing adulterie, to say, GOD is mercifull. Hauing set downe the terrible Iudgement, hee concludeth what he will doe in his owne person. [Page 58] Is the judgement and Iudge so terrible? I will bee wise: the LORD giue vs this wisedome. Knowing (saith Paul) that terrour of the LORD I will do my duetie in this life. My duetie is to preach, to bring men to the faith in CHRIST: I will walke in the discharge of that duetie night and day. Hee saith, Knowing perfectlie that terrour of the LORD: It is not a blinde terrour that will make a man to doe his duetie in this life, but it is the knowledge of a Tribunall: to belieue that there is a Iudge and a Tribunall in Heauen, and that there is a most ter­rible day abyding. And if a mā belieued that there is a Tribunall in Heauen, a terrible Iudge sitting there to take account of his doinges in earth, for all the worlde hee would not offende that GOD: but this cannot sinke in the heart of man: Hee will say, there is a generall judgement, but this is from the mouth onely, and not from the heart: and surely, as long as a man continueth in sinne, albeit hee should sweare that there is a Tribunall. it is a token hee knoweth it not. The wordes of judgement auaile nothing: it is the belieuing, and sure knowledge that there is a judgement, and a terrible Iudge to sinners in Heauen, that doth the turne. Therefore, seeke perswasion, and looke to that Article of thy Creede, that the Iudge shall come, and take account both of the quicke & the dead: Belieue it, and then it shall draw thee to liue a godly life. Knowing, therefore, that terrour of the LORD, wee perswade men, or cause them belieue. [Page 59] Hee saieth not, I goe to play the part of a king, or of a politicke man, I am busie in this or that turne that appertaineth not to my calling: No, but ac­cording to my calling, I preach the Gospell, to perswade men to belieue in CHRIST, that they may bee saued. To speake the trueth, it is not thy labouring and doing in any other mans calling, that will profite thee, but thou art ordained by GOD to doe thy duetie in thine owne calling: and when the account of thy deedes shall bee ta­ken in that Great day, hee shall not say, what hast thou done in another mans calling? but, what hast thou done in thine owne? I made thee a Mini­ster, howe hast thou traueled in that vocation? Therefore I saye, as euerie man would bee readie to giue an account of his doinges, let euerie man bee diligent in his owne vocation, seeking the glorie of GOD therein.

Nowe it might haue beene saide to Paul, Thou boastest much of thy doing and preaching: but looke with what sinceritie thou hast beene occu­pied, and with what vprightnesse of heart thou hast beene preaching in thy life time? He answe­reth, and first hee taketh GOD to bee witnesse of the sinceritie of his heart in discharging his Mi­nisterie: and then hee taketh the Corinthians, among whome hee had traueled, to bee witnesse also of his sinceritie. As for GOD, hee saieth, We are made manifest vnto GOD: And as for men, I trust also I am made manifest in your consciences. Hee [Page 60] taketh first GOD to bee witnesse, who knoweth the heart, and then the Corinthians, who sawe his actions.

Then, Brethren, it is not enough for a Mini­ster, that preacheth CHRIST as Paule doeth, for to perswade men to belieue in CHRIST, to speake outwardlie to men, as I am now speaking to you, but hee must looke in the meane time, that in­wardlie his heart be set vpon GOD, that is, looke that he approoue his heart in sinceritie to GOD, who seeth the heart. Men marke the wordes that come out of the mouth, but GOD marketh the sinceritie of the heart, to see with what sinceritie the man speaketh. This that I speake of Paul in his calling, I meane of all other men in their callings. Doest thou anie thing outwardlie to men, looke that thou doe it inwardlie in thine heart, with sin­ceritie to GOD, otherwise thou losest all thy tra­uell, albeit it were neuer so good in the presence of men. Of this it followeth, al these are but vaine voyces, to stand vp and say, I haue done this thing or that thing. To speake to men, who knowe not the heart, except in the meane time, as thou art speaking vnto men, thou mayest draw the LORD to bee witnesse (as Paule doeth) to the sinceritie of thine heart, and may say, I haue beene trauei­ling, with what sinceritie the LORD knoweth: that which I haue done, I haue done it in sinceri­tie: not being content to call GOD onelie to bee witnesse, he turneth him to the Corinthians, and he [Page 61] appealeth their consciences to beare recorde of his sinceritie in his doing, and hee saieth, As for you, Corinthians (speaking sparingly) I trust. &c. Hee was assured of GODS testimonie, but hee trusted, that the Corinthians also would beare him recorde, that hee had traneiled truelie: Hee saieth, in your consciences. It is to bee marked, that he ap­pealeth to their consciences, not their mouthes, but their consciences: for the mouth of man will giue one testimonie, but the conscience will giue another: And when the conscience will bee say­ing, the man hath spoken truelie and in sinceri­tie, the mouth in the meane time will bee backe­biting him, and the conscience will say, thou lyest mouth. Speake, therefore, euer according to conscience for if thy conscience speak one thing, and thy mouth another, thou shalt bee challen­ged of a lye. It is true indeede, men knowe not the heart of man, as when a Minister is speaking, yee cannot judge of his heart, the LORD jud­geth it, yet a faithfull and sincere man, hee will vtter sometime the inwarde sinceritie of his heart in his wordes and deedes, that all that seeth and heareth him, will looke in therethorowe, and see the inwarde sinceritie of the heart, and giue an outward confession of it.

Now, Brethren, then in this example of Paule, yee haue such a protestation, as the faithfull Pa­stor shoulde make in the houre of his death, and which should be his testament. There is two things [Page 62] in his Ministerie, the outwarde speaking, and the inwarde sinceritie of the heart. If hee would pro­test of his faithfulnesse, looke that hee protest as PAVLE did: First outwardly, I haue vsed all di­ligence in discharging all the outward partes of my calling, I haue kept nothing abacke: and then inwardly, As for my sinceritie, First I take GOD to bee witnesse, who knoweth and onely seeth mine heart, with what sinceritie I haue spoken, and then I take you to witnesse, that haue beene conuersant with mee, so farre as yee can knowe the inwarde sinceritie of mine heart, by my li­uing and outwarde actions. Woulde to GOD wee coulde haue this sinceritie. And I praye the LORD graunt mee this sinceritie: and I beseech Him, that as Hee hath beene with mee since the beginning of my Ministerie, so Hee would neuer leaue mee, vntill the time I finish my course with joye. to His glorie, and comfort of His CHVRCH, through IESVS CHRIST our LORD,

To whome, with the FATHER, and the Holie GHOST, bee all Honour, Praise, and Glorie, both now and euermore, So bee it.

THE FOVRTH SERMON.

II. COR. CHAP. V.

verse 12 For wee praise not our selues againe vnto you, but giue you an occasion to rejoyce of vs, that yee may haue to answere against them, who rejoyce in the face, and not in the heart.

verse 13 For whether wee bee out of our wit, wee are it to GOD, or whether wee bee in our right minde, we are it vnto you.

verse 14 For that loue of CHRIST constraineth vs.

verse 15 Because wee thus judge, that if one bee dead for all, then were all dead, and Hee died for all, that they that liue, shoulde not hence foorth liue vnto themselues, but vnto Him who died for them, and rose againe.

TO repeat shortlie that which we haue heard in this Chapter, We hearde first of that assurance of glorie and life euerlasting, which is the only remedy against death and the dissolution of this body. Wee hearde secondly of the three warrandes of this assurance of life & glorie: The first, the earnest [Page 64] desire which the heart had of that glorie and life▪ The second, Regeneration and renewing: The thirde, the Holie Spirite, who is the worker of all grace in our heartes, and who neuer leaueth vs, but abideth in vs, as an assured earnest-pennie of the full accomplishment of all that glorie promi­sed to vs in the word of GOD. And yet for all this wee heard that the Apostle had not that conten­tation nor full satisfaction of his heart▪ because he is yet a pilgrime, liuing heere by confidence, and hath not gotten the full presence of his LORD, hee chooseth to leaue all the thinges in this life, and therefore, hee taketh resolution what hee will doe in life and death, to the ende, that when hee commeth to his LORD in the Heauens, hee may bee welcome. The thing hee resolueth to doe is this, hee endeuoureth himselfe in his calling to be acceptable to Him in life and death: and hee will consecrate all the actions and sufferinges of both to Him. Beside that glory to come, which moueth him to studie to bee acceptable to his LORD, he setteth downe another motiue, a terrible Tribu­nall which abideth him and all men and women, who studie not to bee acceptable to the LORD. The soule shall not so soone depart out of the bodie, but it shall also as soone bee presented be­fore that Tribunall, and shall receiue that dolo­rous sentence, if they haue not studied to bee ac­ceptable to Him. Therefore, the Apostle conclu­deth, Knowing, therefore, that terrour of the [Page 65] LORDm we trauell in our calling to preach Christ, and to bring men to faith, and that not for the fashion, but in sinceritie of heart: so that wee take God (who seeth the heart) to be witnesse to vs of our sinceritie. And as to you, Corinthians, vpon whom we haue bestowed our labour, wee appeale to your consciences, and wee take you to be wit­nesse of that same sinceritie of our calling. This is the summe of all which ye haue heard hitherto in this Chapter.

Now to come to this Text which we haue read: In the first verse, the Apostle hauing spoken of his sinceritie in preaching, the Corinthians, who had not that liking of him which they shoulde haue had, might haue objected, Well Paule, yet vauntest thou of thy selfe? thou hast once vaun­ted of thy selfe (as appeareth in the second and third Chapters preceeding) and yet art thou com­mending thy selfe? He answereth, no, I commend not my selfe againe, I vaunted not of my selfe be­fore, nor now neither: but when I said, We are made manifest to GOD, and I trust also that wee are made manifest in your consciences: in these words I giue you occasion to glorie of me, and not so much for my cause as for the cause of false flattering Apostles, who glorie in their outward doings, without sin­ceritie of the heart: the repressing of these mens vaine glorying, is the cause of this my speaking. This is the meaning of this verse.

Then, this Text beeing plaine, learne these les­sons: [Page 66] I marke first in the person of the Corinthians, who objecteth this vaunting to the Apostle, mis­taking his words. Scarse may a godly man speake a worde or two of the grace which the Lord hath giuen him, and that not to his owne praise, but to the praise of his God, when he is mistaken by euill men, who set thēselues to wryth euery word that is spoken: And if euer there was an age in ye which this vice reigned, I am assured (& experience pro­ueth it) none age may bee compared, in that case, to this age: Yea, a godly man can do nothing, but incontinent he is mistaken: he can speake nothing but he is misconstrued, and especially the Mini­sters in their callings, among all men their words are most miscōstrued▪ the day riseth not, but there is an euident experience of this point, and euerie one seeth it. Therfore, what remedy? but patience: all this judging is but for a time, tary a litle while, and keepe a good conscience in the meane time, and we shall see another judgemēt, when He shall come who judgeth rightly.

Then secondly, learne in the person of Paul: he will not haue it so much as once seeming, that he pra [...]seth himselfe: euery good man, and especially a Minister should flee all occasion of vaine glorie: Yea, Christian modestie, and sobernesse require, that euery man though they were indued with the greatest graces in the world, yet they should speak and thinke of themselues soberly: the more they haue, the greater graces that God hath giuen thē, [Page 67] the lesse they should account of themselues: yea, suppose they be somthing in the sight of God▪ yet looking to the naughtinesse that abideth in this cankred nature▪ they shold say of themselues (I am nothing) for th'Apostle saith, 1. Cor. 8. 2 & Gal. 6. 3. He that thinketh himselfe something, he is nothing & Phil. 2. 3. Let euery man account another man better than himselfe. If a man will meditate on his owne estate, either by night or by day, let him thinke of his in­firmities, his sins and naughtines: will hee rejoyce of himselfe in his owne mind? looke to Paul what he saith. 2. Corin. 12. 9. I will rejoyce in mine infirmities, that the power of Iesus may dwell in mee. The power of God neuer dwelt in a proud nor ambitious heart, but in an humble heart: God resisteth the proud, & giueth grace to the humble▪ 1. Pet. 5. 5. So Paul, when hee was musing of himselfe, albeit hee had seene great visions, 2. Cor. 12. he complaineth of his infirmitie to the Lord: the Lord answereth, My grace is sufficient for thee, my power is made per­fect through weaknes. Then thou that wouldst be strong in God▪ be weake in thy selfe: thinke night and day of thine infirmity & misery by sin. I mark againe in the words of the Apostle: A godly man may rejoyce and glory in the grace of God: Why should not the grace of God bee gloried in? The Apostle, 2. Cor. chap. 18. vers. 5. whē he hath spoken of that Heauenly reuelation, Of such a man I will re­joyce, saith he, of my selfe will I not rejoyce, except it bee of mine infirmity. Then may not a godly man speake [Page 68] of him selfe? Yes, he may speake of himselfe, as the instrumēt of God, as the dispenser of the grace of God, as Paul did here. To what ende? That they, vnto whome the Lord hath made him a good in­strument, vpon whom hee hath bestowed his tra­uels, may glorifie God, and render vnto him the honour of a Minister. Paule saieth, 1. Cor. 4. 1. Let a man count of vs, as of the Ministers of Christ, and dispo­sers of the secretes of God. And so a Minister should haue honour, and they vpon whome hee hath be­stowed his trauels, and the grace which God hath giuē him, should honour him, & they are as great­lie indebted to giue it him, as anie debt that euer they ought to pay. Therefore, the Apostle saieth, 2. Cor. 12. 11. I haue beene foolish in glorying, but ye haue compelled me, because I should haue beene commended by you. It is a point of sacriledge to take anie honour from them that God hath giuē them. Now where­fore is this, that th'Apostle would haue them glo­rying of him? Not so much for his owne cause as for the cause of false Teachers, who rejoyced in the face, & not in the heart, that is, not in inwarde sin­cerity, but in outward things, hauing a faire show of eloquence and faire words. Then learne, ambi­tion must not be borne with: it is pernicious both to the man in whome it is, and to other men who haue adoe with him. This vaine glorying is a kind of blasphemie, for that which thou takest to thy selfe in thy vaine glorying, thou reauest God of it▪ in what calling soeuer thou bee. Therefore, th [...] [Page 69] vaine vaunting of our selues is a vice, which among all vices should bee most repressed. Alace that stinking flesh should stand vp and reaue God of his glorie! Now, wouldest thou haue a meane to represse this v [...]unting in the mouth of an am­bitious man? When hee is vaunting of these out­ward graces and benefites, as an emptie vessell, sounding without sinceritie in his heart, cast thou vp in his teeth the sincerity of the heart: say, vaine man▪ all thy speach is in thy face, and not in thine heart. Set vp the heart against the face, and it shall shame it. It auaileth not to speake of anie thing that thou canst doe, except thou haue inward sin­ceritie in the heart: For these outward things shall euanish, and dare not appeare before God in that great day: but sinceritie remaineth for euer.

To come to the next verse: Yet they will not let him bee: yet they will object vnto him his foo­lishnesse. Who will vaunt of himselfe but a foole? Paule, thou art a foole, thou braggest of thy selfe. The Apostle answereth with modestie, Whether we bee out of our wit, wee are it to GOD, or whether wee bee in our right minde, wee are it vnto you. There is the Apostles answere.

Then, Brethren that which God counteth wis­dome, the world counteth it foolishnesse, and that which the worlde counteth wisdome, God coun­teth it foolishnesse. Was there anie foolish talking here, when the Apostle saith, We are manifest to God, and I doubt not but we are manifest also to your cōsciences? [Page 70] Was there any bragging here? So the wisdome of God is foolishnes to the world, & shal be, as long as corrupt nature is within vs: And the Apostle saith, 1. Cor. 3. 19. The wisdome of the world is foolishnes with God. But the question cannot now be decided what the true wisdome is, and what false wisdome i [...]: the end will proue. True wisdome is justified of her owne children, Matt. 11. 19. Well, the end will shew, and espec [...]ally that day when all things shall be reuealed. Foolishnesse shall stand vp, and all the world shall see it to be foolishnes: Wisedome shall stand vp, and all the world shall see it to bee Wis­dome, & then it shal haue the owne approbation. So that these mē, that will be counted wise in this world, will bee compelled to vtter these wordes of them, whom they esteemed fooles in this worlde, Are these the men, whose liues wee counted foo­lishnes? And I beseech God to opē our eyes to see this true wisedome & especially in things concer­ning religiō, which wisdom only wil abide appro­bation. Secondly learne, Paule here yeeldeth to them, & saith, Let me bee mad, I am mad to God: my God is before mine e [...]es, and I care not to bee mad to this worlde: And as for you, if I bee in my right mind, it is to you: Ye Corinthiās▪ haue nothing to laye to my charge, for I haue done my duetie faithfully to you. Brethren, see ye not heere the care which we should ha [...]e of the glory of God & of the Church of God and her saluation? It should cause a man of this calling that Paul was of, to be [Page 71] rauished in spirit, and to be content to be counted a foole in this world, that God may bee glorified, and men helped forwarde to Heauen. If God bee glorified in my madnes, what regard I to be mad? what respect is to be made of a mā in this world? and what if men goe to ruine and decay, so that God bee glorified? But alas! there is such a selfe­loue ingraffed in the heart of euery man, that wee wil not suffer God to be honoured, except it may stand with our honour. & we will say, I will not be esteemed a foole, I will not be disgraced: if it may stand with mine honour and profite I will glorifie Him: but if His honour and mine stand not toge­ther, I will chiefely haue respect to mine own ho­nour. So it will neuer be well▪ till wee get this can­kred selfe-loue submitting it selfe to the glorie of God. And it should be the greatest endeuour that euer we should haue in this world, to cast out this selfe-loue, that we may be content, that God may bee glorified, although it were to our dishonour▪ yea▪ though it were with our destruction. It is not selfe-loue that bringeth honour and glory, onelie honour is of God▪ & thou shalt neuer get honour except thou cast away selfe-loue, that God may bee glorified.

Then to go forward: Paul must haue somthing for him, why he will bee mad for Gods cause: hee will not bee mad without some reason: therefore, in the next verse he saith, For the loue of God constrai­neth vs: as if he would say, I am constrained to this [Page 72] foolishnesse, and a charge is laide on me to doe so. I am bound and obliged so to doe: that is, to be a mad man for the glorie of my GOD. And from whence commeth this necessitie? It is the loue of God, saieth hee, that constraineth mee: this bande that bindeth me is the loue of Christ not the loue which I beare to Him (that is too weake) but the loue which H [...]e beareth to mee, it bindoth all my senses, and vrgeth me to honour my God with my whole bodie. These are the words. Then the verie necessitie which lieth on thee to bee a mad man for GODS cause, it is not a thing whereof thou canst free thy selfe: there is a necessity aid on thee to bee counted mad for Christes cause. Then, if there be a necessitie laid on vs to doe this (albeit it bee to our owne dishonour) what if wee doe it not, but will shake off this yoke? Then I tell thee, in place of it, another necessitie must come in, a necessitie of woe. Paule saieth, 1. Cor. 9. 16. Woe to me if I preach not the Gospell. God hath laid this ne­cessity on me to preach, and if I cast it off, another necessitie of woe shall be laide on mee Alas! this world thinketh all this worshipping of God to be voluntarie, that men may serue GOD as they please, and that men may preach as they please, this way, or that way, and speake heere, and holde their tongue there, as they will. But I say to thee, Wilt thou free me of that necessitie that lieth on mee? Art thou able to take it off my backe? If thou bee not able, then for GODS sake let mee [Page 73] preach the Gospell with freedome and sinceritie of heart. I tell thee, There is such a necessitie laide vpon the shoulders of the Ministers to vtter euery thing which the Lord putteth into their mouthes, that if thou shake off this necessity another neces­sitie of woe shall be laid vpon them. And this shall be their crie on their dead-bed, Woe to mee, that I preached not the Gospell truelie.

Yet to goe forward. From whence commeth this necessitie? Hee saieth▪ It is the loue of GOD that constraineth mee It is the loue of Christ which Hee shewed in His suffering for me, that bindeth mee. So, it was the loue of Christ towardes Paule that moued him patiently to be called mad for Christs cause. Christ, for the loue which He did beare to vs, suffered Himself not only to be called mad, but to be called a Deuill, Matt. 12. 24. He suffered the extremitie of paine and ignominie for our sakes: and all the reuilinges and reproches that shoulde haue lighted vpon vs, Hee tooke them vpon Him. Such was His loue towardes vs. Then, wilt not thou suffer to be called a mad man for His cause? If thou wouldest haue a part of ye inheritāce which Christ conquered, thou must bee bound, a neces­sitie must be laide vpon thee, and if thou bee loo­sed, thou art loosed from the loue of IESVS, and then woe and euerlasting destruction shall come vpon thee. I see then, all our seruice of Christ▪ is of necessitie. Then what pleasure can bee in the ser­uice of CHRIST, if it bee constrained seruice? The [Page 74] thing I am compelled to doe, I will haue little pleasure in the doing of it: In deed it is true, thou art not loose, but bound: From the time that thou enterest into the Church of Christ, thou enterest into bonds: but there is a great difference betwixt band and band: one band will binde thee & force thee to do a thing, whether thou wilt, or wilt not: Another band will only leade thee the right way, which thou art to goe.

Brethren, this band that Paule speaketh of in this place, it is a sweete band the band of the loue of Christ, and it bindeth thee sweetly and louingly to discharge thy duety towards God: and all thy duety by this band is voluntary: and hee who is bound with this bād, will rejoyce more to be cal­led a foole for Christs sake, than to be esteemed a king vpō the earth. But thou must take heed where this band is that bindeth thee, that it may leade thee to doe thy duetie willinglie: If the loue of Christ, which is the band, be outwith thee onelie sounding in thine eare (as when it is tolde thee, Christ loueth thee) I tell thee it wil not bind thee. All the preaching in the world will not bind thee, if it be without thee: Paul saith, therefore, Rom▪ 5. 5. The loue of God is spread abroad in our hearts, thorow the holy Spirit that is giuen vs. Then, that that loue may binde thine heart it must bee powred in thee, and when it entereth into the heart, it looseth ye heart with such a sweetnesse to doe Gods will as is vn­speakeable: it bindeth the heart with an excee­ding [Page 75] joye. Would to God wee had a taste of this loue! All is but words. There cā be no such sweet­nesse as that is, from once the Spirit hath powred the loue of Christ in thine heart, then let all our trauels be▪ when we heare of these things, to get a sense of the loue of Christ in our hearts. Al the po­wers in the world will not mooue thee to doe thy duety so much as the feeling of this loue of Christ towardes thee. And nothing will bee able to stay thee from Christ, and honouring Him (and it were with thine owne ignominie) if once thou haue a sense of it.

In the next verse hee giueth two reasons why the loue of Christ constrained him: The first rea­son is taken from that misery that Christ founde him in, when he suffered for him: The second is ta­ken from the ende of the death of Iesus. As to the first, this was our miserable estate before Christ loued vs, we were all dead: how proueth he that? If one be dead for all, then were all dead: if thou hadst not bene dead, in vaine Christ died for thee: if thou hadst bene but halfe dead (as the Papists say, who vaunt of their free will) the Sonne of God had ne­uer died for thee: if Paul had had this free will, and so bene halfe dead, Christ had neuer died for him: and if there were none other argument but this, To import that there is not a free wil, nor sponke of godlines in mē by nature, it is sufficient to say, Christ hath died for all: we were without all sponk of free will to good, when Christ came.

[Page 76]Marke the force of the argument. It is from that miserable estate and spirituall death wherein CHRIST found vs, when Hee beganne to bestow His loue vpon vs. Wee were dead spirituallie in sinne, dead in trespasses. What is this corporall death to bee respected, if thou bee dead in sinne, thou art worse than a carion.

This spirituall death should moue vs to thinke that the loue of Christ was wonderfull towardes vs: it should euer make vs aggrege that loue wher­with He hath loued vs: Hee died for thee, who was dead in sinne and trespasses, and so an enemie to Him. Who is hee, saieth the Apostle, that will die for his enemies? Roman. 5. 7. Thou being dead in sinne, thou liuedst in sinne▪ and so liuedst an ene­mie to the life of CHRIST. And therefore, thine heart can neuer sufficientlie aggrege the benefites of His death. Men are miserable, but alas! they feele it not: thou hast no want nor scant of mise­rie, but thou wantest sense: and the lesse feeling thou hast of thy deadnes, the greater is thy dead­nesse: for the sense of death is the beginning of life: the more thou wantest the sense of death, thou art euer the deader: the liuelier the sinner is, leaping and playing in his wantonnesse, the dea­der is hee in soule: For hee hath a burthen vpon his backe, that will presse him thorowe the earth, and make him sinke to Hell one day: and in the meane time, he is running to his mischiefe and vil­lanie, and knoweth not that hee hath death euer­lasting [Page 77] vpon his backe. O wo be to that miserable catiue, although he be a king! Alas! men are dead in sinne, and halfe in Hell, and will not consider it. It is a pitifull thing to consider howe there is no sense of this infernall miserie, that followeth vpon this death: When it is tolde them, The LORD hath died for them, they will make none account of it. The word of the Crosse of Christ hath beene to the multitude of this Land but▪ a vaine sounde, and they haue neuer esteemed of such a mercie. And therefore what wonder is it to see these vexa­tions! O SCOTLAND! thou shalt get another wakening, thou hast so long contemned grace, which is ye most precious thing that euer was. The Lord cānot be Lord, if He suffer so long contempt and lightlying of Christ and His loue vnpunished.

The seconde argument is taken from the ende and purpose that Christ had in dying: looked Hee to this end, that thou shouldest play thee, and fol­low thine own lust? that thou shouldest abuse that life, which He had bought so deare with His pre­cious blood? No, his purpose was, that not only in his death & satisfaction thou shouldest be justified & coūted just but also that thou shouldest be san­ctified, that thou sholdest cast off the works of vn­cleannes, & dedicate thy life in holines to him: it is said, Rom. 14. 9. that he rose again, that he might be Lord ouer thy life: For there was neuer man, that had such a right to an earthlie thing, as Christ hath to thy life▪ then doe what euer may pleasnte him, [Page 78] if it were to die a thousand times, if it were to bee a foole for His cause, what euer may pleasure Him set thee to doe it, or of necessitie thou shalt lose that life of thine: But here is the misery: Mē know not wherefore Christ died: Will yee aske men and women, when they are bathing themselues in wic­kednesse, if they will goe to Heauen? they will an­swere, yes, they will goe to Heauen before their feet be colde. But, vaine lowne, thou neuer knewst Christes purpose in dying for thee, His purpose was, that thou shouldest be a new man, and thou shouldest not liue to thine owne selfe, but to Him. And the end shall proue (if thou proceed so▪ liuing to thy selfe, & not to Him who died for thee) that the death of Christ had neuer force in thee. There­fore, looke if thou liue to Christ: and if thou doest so, then assure thy selfe Christ died for thee. Looke if in the morning thou canst say, Lord, thou died for me, I will giue thee my life, and consecrate to Thee this day, all mine actions, and all that I haue. Well is the soule that can saye this way. Then all turneth to this, Seeing Christ died for me, I will take this resolutiō, I will liue to Him al my dayes. The Lord grant vs this resolutiō, that we may liue to Him in this life, that herafter we may liue with Him in Heauen for euer: To whome, with the FA­THER, and the Holie GHOST, be all Honour, Praise, and Glorie, both now and euermore, So bee it.

THE FIFT SERMON.

II. COR. CHAP. V.

verse 16 Wherefore hencfoorth knowe wee no man after the flesh: yea, though wee haue knowne CHRIST after the flesh, yet now hencefoorth know wee Him no more.

verse 17 Therefore, if anie man bee in CHRIST, hee is a new creature: olde thinges are passed away: Be­holde, all thinges are become new.

verse 18 And all things are of GOD, who hath reconciled vs vnto Himselfe by IESUS CHRIST, and hath giuen vnto vs the ministerie of reconciliation.

YEe hearde the last daye, in the last part of this Chapter, the reasons set down wherfore a man is bound and oblished in conscience to liue to God, to consecrate his life, his death, and all his actions to Iesus Christ: to wit, First the loue of Christ constraineth and oblisheth vs so to loue Him againe, that we be content euen to bee foolish to this world for His sake. Another argument was taken from our own estate where­in we were when He shewed this loue of His vpon [Page 80] vs, wee were dead in sinne and trespasses. So this miserable condition that we did lie in, which was the beginning of Hell & euerlasting damnation, shoulde mooue vs neuer to thinke on pleasing of our selues, but onely to pleasure Him who hath deliuered vs from such damnation. The third ar­gument was taken from the purpose which the Lord had in dying for vs: to wit, that the life that was bought by His death should bee consecrated to Him, and employed in His seruice: for, beeing once redeemed by Him, we are no more our own men▪ but His who hath bought vs. And therefore, as the seruant setteth his eye vpō his lord, waiting to pleasure him: euen so in all our actions with our whole minde wee shoulde bee set to pleasure our Lord, who bought vs, when we were bond-slaues to sinne and Sath in. Otherwise we shal fall abacke to that damnation from which wee were redee­med.

Now to come to this Text that we haue read: in the first verse thereof we haue the resolution of the Apostle Paule, and the purpose which hee ta­keth concerning this matter. Seeing CHRIST his LORD hath set Himselfe to please him, and to re­deeme him from death, and to purchase life to him: his resolution is to giue Him againe that life which Hee hath purchased to him to employ the whole life of him in the seruice of that Lord who hath redeemed him. Therefore, Brethren, before I goe forward, learne a lesson of this generall. If [Page 81] this was the purpos [...] CHRIST in dying for vs, & in dying so shamefull a death, that we for whom He died should liue to Him, and not to our selues, our purpose shoulde bee on the other part to giue Him this life that He hath bought so dearely: giue Him it, or else thou shalt giue it to a worse man. Imploy it in His seruice, or else thou shalt imploy it in the seruice of a worse man. And euerie one should say for their owne parts as Paul did for his part, Hath Christ died for me to this purpose, that I should liue to Him, then will I take purpose, and will resolue in mine heart to giue Him the life that He hath purchased to mee by His death: this was His purpose in His death concerning mee, I will not disappoint Him of His purpose: that life that He hath wonne to me, I will consecrate it to His seruice. It is true, thou canst neuer disappoint the Lord of His purpose, His purpose standeth im­mooueable: the man to whom He looked in His death, hee must liue: and euerie man, for whome Christ died, was in His eyes when Hee died. No godlie man was out of His minde in His suffering, but He saide in His heart. I will die for this man, and for this woman, that they may liue to mee. So He will not be disappointed: But looke thou dis­appoint not thy selfe: If thou sayest, Christ died for me, and in the meane time thou wilt not giue thy life to Him, but wilt liue to thy lusts, and not to Him, thou of necessitie in the ende shalt bring thy selfe to a miserable point. There is nothing [Page 82] in the world that a man should take more heede to, than to the life to come, to their maner of li­uing heere, and to the actions that they haue in hand, and the thinges about the which they are occupied in their conuersation: for if thou haue a conscience, thy conscience will tell thee by thine actions what part thou hast in CHRIST: if in thine actions thou be seruing Him, thy cōscience wil tell thee thou hast a part in the LORD, whom thou art seruing: and thou in the meane time (if thou bee but eating thy dinner) if thou doest it to His glorie, thou shalt finde a sweete apprehension of the death of CHRIST, and it shall raise a great joye in thine heart. But by the contrarie, if thou be euill occupied, and about to do an euill deede, thy conscience within thee will giue thee a secrete warning, and will saye, O man! thy worke testi­fieth thou hast nothing adoe with CHRIST, and thou shalt find in thine hart no comfort of Christs death, nor of His resurrection. So it is good to be well occupied, euery man in his owne calling, and in all his doings euer to haue CHRIST before his eyes, who hath giuen him this life. Wouldest thou then trie whether the deedes that thou doest, bee seruice done to ye Lord or not, I shall tell thee how thou shalt know (I will not speake of outward to­kens) but looke day and night within thy selfe to thine owne heart▪ what thou feelest there: feelest thou a conscience by night and by day, testifying to thee that thou art vpon a good course, and ser­uing [Page 83] CHRIST, who died for thee, it is well with thee: if thy cōscience be rightly informed, & thou finde in the meane time a sweete apprehension of CHRISTS death, passion, and rising, it is well: But if thou feelest not this testimonie of a good con­science, but rather a displeasure and grudging in thy soule, all is wrong. Well art thou, if thou finde in all thy doinges a sweete apprehension of CHRISTES death and resurrection: if thou finde it not, woe is thee, leaue that deede, away with it: Away with all businesse that will not fur­nish a joye of conscience in CHRIST, and will not make thee to saye, CHRIST is mine, I am doing Him seruice.

Nowe, to come to the purpose: The speciall point of seruice that should be giuen to CHRIST is set downe in these wordes: From hencefoorth know wee no man after the flesh: These are the wordes, weigh them. The special point of seruice set down here, is the right estimatiō of men, among whom we liue in y world. It is no small matter to esteeme of men & women as we shuld do. The rule where­by the Apostle will esteeme of them, is not in the flesh, nor by fleshly doing, that is, by nonē outward thing: All these outward things as kindred, nobi­litie, beautie, wisdome, worldly eloquence, riches, honour, &c. with all the rest of these things which men hold in admiration, are nothing. This is not the rule of the Apostle, nor we should not by that rule esteem of them. How then? What is contrarie [Page 84] to the flesh? the spirite. What is contrarie to na­ture? grace. What is contrarie to the olde man? regeneration. Then what ought to be the rule ac­cording to the which wee should judge of men? the spirit, grace, and regeneration. But ye will say, Are not all these worldlie thinges benefites of God? shoulde not men bee esteemed of for them? I answere, The Apostle speaketh not simplie of them, but in comparison, in respect of the spiritual graces. The nobilitie of the king is but dung in respect of the least droppe of the blood of Christ: the least sponke of grace is worth whole nature: the least portion of Heauenlie glorie is worth all the glorie in the world: the least sponke of rege­neration is worth all the genealogies that can bee in this worlde. When Christ commeth with His spirit, grace, and regeneration, all these earthlie prerogatiues vanish as the mist.

Then marke: There is the speciall point of ser­uice done to Iesus, discerne betwixt dead men and liuing men in this world: Dead men are they who are natural men and no more. Hast thou no more but nature, with all the prerogatiues that can fol­lowe nature, thou art dead, although thou bee a king. Liuing men are they who are borne againe by Christ. Hast thou the Spirit of Christ, thou li­uest: wantest thou the Spirit of Christ, thou art but dead. So there is a speciall point of Christes ser­uice, discerne betwixt liuing men and dead men thou art in the middest of them, and liuing men [Page 85] on the one hand, & dead men on the other hand: Discerne betwixt them: Count not of the dead man, although hee had all the prerogatiues vnder Heauen: If he haue no more but nature, call him not blessed. The liuing man is hee that hath the Spirit of Christ in him, albeit he be a begger: and the men who make an account of their worldlie prerogatiues, and follow nature and the olde ge­neration, are but naturall men: thou that accoun­test of dead men, thou art dead thy self, & as thou art dead, so all thine estimation is of dead men.

To goe forward to the wordes: Hee amplifieth this by the example of Christ, and saieth, How beit I accounted once of Christ after the flesh, before▪ [...] knewe Him, well, yet from hencefoorth I will knowe, Him no more after the flesh: and therefore, why should wee knowe men after the flesh, who are inferiours to Christ, the head of all flesh.

Nowe [...]o speake of this Lord: When He was in this worlde, Hee was clothed with these earthlie prerogatiues as other men: yea; I thinke Hee had these outwarde prerogatiues in His owne person in greatest measure aboue all men▪ For neuer man descended of a more excellent rase and genealo­gie than He did. Then looke to his beautie, albeit it bee not set downe in the Scripture, yet I thinke there was neuer man so faire in beautie as He: He was most wise, & most eloquent of all mē, & there­fore ye Apostles held Him in admiration for these prerogatiues. But from once by His glorious re­surrection [Page 86] (as the Apostle [...]aieth, Roman. 1. 4.) Hee was declared mightily to be the Sonne of GOD: then all these thing, euanished, and the onelie ad­miration remained of that glorie which Hee de­clared by His resurrection. All these earthlie pre­rogatiues (saieth Paule) then passed out of their eyes, and the graces of CHRIST onlie remained to be marueiled at. The lesson is plain. The LORD IESVS is the rule of the estimation of all flesh. In thine estimation hold thine eye alwayes vpon CHRIST, or els thou shalt fall. First cast thine eyes vp to Heauen, and then ca [...] downe thine eyes on man, who is but a worme on the ear [...]. Looke vp to a glorious GOD, IESVS the Mediator, and then to a worme on this earth, though hee bee a king, and say, Those thinges that I will not count of in IESVS, which He had beeing in G [...]l [...]e and in the earth, I will not count of them in thee that art but a worme, I will not doe it. But by the con­trarie, that thing which I esteeme of in Him, that passing glorie which is in Him, when I looke to thee, and see a glaunce thereof in thee, indeede for that little resemblance which I see in thee, like to my LORD, resembling Him in grace, I will esteeme of thee: otherwise, I may well giue thee this worldlie reuerence, b [...] if thou wantest this resemblance, I will neuer count thee happie, al­beit thou hadst all the earthly prerogatiues in the world. And certainelie, they who hold men in [...]miration for their earthly prerogatiues, neuer [...] [Page 87] CHRIST, nor His glorie. Thou that wilt see a Tribunall, a Monarch heere, and maruell thereat, thou neuer saw the Tribunall of CHRIST. So the thing that causeth people to esteeme of men for their earthly prerogatiues, is, because they see not the glorie & graces of CHRIST. Would the peo­ple haue esteemed so much of Herod, if they had knowne the Majestie of the Great GOD, when they called him a god? Acts, 12. 22. No, not for all the world: and therefore, seeke a sight of the glo­rie of GOD, if ye would rightlie esteeme of men, and giue them only their owne place.

Nowe to goe forward: Yee haue heard of the purpose that the Apostle taketh in seruing of his LORD, by the right esteeming of men in this world, among whome hee liueth. In the next verse he commeth to the estate of this world & sheweth what alteration was made in the world, by the al­teration made in the person of IESVS: for when IESVS altered, all creatures altered with Him: when He went from the earth to the Heauen, and left behinde Him all these earthly pleasures, there followed a wonderfull change and alteration in all the creatures.

But to come to the wordes: Hee first speaketh of the estate of man, and secondly of the estate of the rest of the creatures in the earth. As for man, h [...] saieth, Therefore, if anie man be in Christ, let him [...] a newe creature. Marke this, If anie man bee in CHRIST, hee is a new creature: hee is changed, [Page 88] he is altered, and wonderfully altered: he is chan­ged from an olde creature to a new creature: from an olde dead creature, to a newe liuing creature: from nature to grace, from death to life, from Hel to Heauē. What shold become of an old rottē stok, but be casten into the fire. So if thou hadst conti­nued an olde rotten creature, thou hadst beene brunt in that fire which is vnquenchable. He set­teth downe the meanes how this change is made▪ First thou must be in Christ: as euer thou sawe an impe ingraffed in a tree, so thou must be planted and ingraffed in Him: Being planted in Him, then commeth that fresh sap out of Him into thee, and transformeth thee, and maketh thee a newe crea­ture. Then learne of this first, looke the force of the alteration of IESVS, when Hee altered from earthlie things to Heauenlie glorie, man especial­lie altered with Him. Then looke secondly the di­gnitie of man, among all creatures hee hath the first place of changing▪ & Christ was first effectuall in man to make him a newe creature. And this preferment hath man aboue all the Heauens and aboue al the creatures. The maner how this com­meth to passe is this: Ere thou bee altered, thou must bee raised vp to Him, and joyned with Him, and ingraffed in Him as an impe in a tree: then He and thou, and thou and Hee, being made one▪ the glorie that is in Iesus spreadeth her selfe oued thee, & couereth thee. But if thou bee not in Him, thou shalt neuer get any part of His glory. Looke [Page 89] that thou be in Him by faith (for faith ingraffeth thee in Him) and beeing in Him, thou shalt get a part of His glory: and yet thou art but a creature, and not a creator. The difference is in newnesse, thou was made before olde, but now made newe, greene & liuelie, being once ingraffed & planted in Christ thou art flourishing. It is true, all these things are not seene yet, and this flourishing of vs in Christ is not found yet perfectlie: and this con­junction of Him with vs is not so sensible as it shall be: but this shall once be found true, we shall find that wee were the sonnes of God, and newe creatures, when wee were on this earth: and wee shall get the accomplishment of our felicitie in Heauen, when we are reigning in glory with Him. Now, as to the rest of the creatures, hee saith, Olde thinges are past by, behold, all thinges are become newe. He saith, Beholde: Marke the word: hereby stirring vp their hearts to see the alteration and renewing of these creatures, seing it is a thing difficill to be belieued by men. There is no creature, neither Angell nor man, no, the dumbe & senselesse crea­tures, as the Heauen, earth, fire, water, a [...]e, but they were all benefited by that change made in Christ; and by His glorious resurrection and as­cension they receiued some alteration, from the worse to the better. The Angels who were before in glorie, were bettered, and their glorie was aug­mented by the rising of Christ. The Apostle (Eph. 1. 10. and 3. 10. and Col. 1. 20.) sheweth t [...]. But to [Page 90] speake of the inferiour creatures, and their estate, of this Heauen, Sunne, Moone, Starres, Earth, Wa­ter, &c. that were created for the vse of man, these creatures from the beginning euer altered with man. When man was created in the beginning in perfection, these creatures were in their perfectiō, the Heauen in his perfection, the Sunne in his perfection, &c. When man fell, they fell also, the Heauen fell from his perfection, &c. the earth was accursed for man (Rom. 8. 20.) As man grew olde that is, as hee grewe in sinne, vnto the time that sinne came to the height (which fell in that same period of time when CHRIST came into the world: then the Apostle saieth sinne superaboun­ded, and all was vnder sinne. And surelie I thinke if the LORD had not come at that period of time whē the world superabounded in sinne, and sinne was come to the height, the world had presentlie perished) So, I saye, as men grewe olde by sinne, the Heauens, the Sunne, the Moone, and all the rest of the creatures grew olde. Alas [...]man by sinne defileth the aire, the Heauens, &c. When thou, O man, for whome all the rest of the creatures were made, runnest forward in offending thy Creator, thou drawest on all the rest of the creatures after thee. And againe, at the comming of CHRIST the old creatures beganne to be made new creatures, and the creatures that were made to the vse of man, were benefited with that benefite of man, & got a renewing, as man their lord was renewed. [Page 91] Againe, after CHRISTS comming, when man be­ganne of new to degenerate and grow olde, then the creatures also beganne to grow olde. So man growing in sinne, draweth after him the creatures, and as he decayeth, the earth and all creatures de­cay also: and therefore Paul (Rom. 8. 19. 22.) saieth, that the senselesse & dumbe creatures grone and make a mone for sin, mourning as a woman tra­ueiling of birth, & faine would be deliuered: so the earth would faine be quite of thee, O sinfull man, that art made of the earth, and treadest on y belly of the earth: she groneth vnder the weight of thee for sin: Fy on thee, that cāst not grone for sin: thou shalt either grone here in this life, and get relief, or thou shalt grone after this life for euer without re­liefe. This is the groning that the poore creature maketh for the bearing of thee, & the earth would [...]aine serue God in her own kind, but shee is made subject to thy vanitie (Rom. 8. 20) and therfore she groneth: so the senslesse creatures are wearie, and cry, Lord, put an end to this vanity, and are crying this day this same houre: But man; for whome the earth and all is made subject to this miserie and vanitie, is going playing him on the earth without groning. Well, at last, when the sonnes of GOD shall bee reuealed, and shall bee glorified (Coloss. Chap. 3. vers. 4.) then the earth which groned with them when they groned, shall bee glorified with them, and then the Sunne and the Moone shall re­ceiue newnesse, and (as Peter saieth, 2. epist. 3. [...] ▪) [Page 92] The sonnes of God shal receiue this same Heauen in substance, but it shal be new, and the earth shal be new, & then the earth shal be no lōger capable of a sinfull man. Thou sinner shalt not get leaue to looke to this Heauē, only the sonnes of God that shall be glorified shal get this priuiledge, they shal be kings of this newe earth. Yee see then the estate of the creatures euanisheth according to mans estate, and altereth as man doeth▪ and in the ende the creatures shall haue the participatiō with man of that glorie which they longed for. This for the opening vp of the Text. Learne here: ye see ye crea­tures get renewing as well as man, but (marke the difference) in the second roome: Man is first rene­wed, then the creatures are renewed: Mā hath his preferment first, next the creatures are renewed, but not after that maner that mā is renewed and preferred: for man is first graffed in Christ▪ and he is made one with Him. Iesus the Head, ye Church, the body, and euery faithfull man and womans member of that body, Eph. 1. 22. 23. But the crea­tures, when they are renewed, they are not ingraf­fed in Christ: The Heauen, when it is renewed is not called to that honor to be ingraffed in Christ, it is no part of the body of Christ: The earth when it is renewed, is no part of the body of Christ. No, no such conjunction is betwixt Christ and those creatures, as is betwixt Him & His Church. Then, seeing these creatures that are renewed with mā, are not honoured with that conjunction which is [Page 93] with Christ the Lord, it must follow, that the glory of the creatures is not equall with y glory of man. When the Heauens shal be made new & very glo­rious, yet all shall be nothing to that glory of mā. Thou, O man, shalt shine in body aboue the glorie of the Sun by a thousand stages, Matth. 13. 43. The conjunction of Christ not being so made with the creatures, as it is with man, the glory of them can­not be compared with ye glory of man, but al the glory of the creatures shall be as a participatiō of the glory of man. Thou mā, shalt be glorified with the glory of Iesus Christ himself: the creatures shal bee glorified but with thy glory. All this telleth vs what glory wee should looke for, seeing this Lord that maketh this renovation, is so glorious. It is certain that at the cōming of Christ in the world, and His passing vp to the Heauens, a renewing of all the creatures in the world was made, al things were renewed. This is a ground that we must hold if we belieue that Christ came in the world, & hath ascended to glory Alas! this is not perceiued, and in my selfe I cannot see it as I would, & the moste godly complain, that they cānot see this effectual­nesse of Christes glory. The cause is, the deadnesse that abideth in vs sin cānot be gotten out of this world, till the Lord come again: it dwelleth in vs. and reigneth in the world, & the Deuil, the prince of this world, reigneth by it (for where sinne reig­neth, he reigneth) yea, it oppresseth ye godly heart, that they can scarcely feele in themselues this re­nouation: [Page 94] so weighty is sinne: who seeth it? There is a glimmering of this newe creation, but who hath this glimmering? None, but that new soule: an vnregenerate man neuer sawe this regenera­tion, neither in himselfe nor in others, and hee cannot suffer to heare of a regenerate & sanctified man, hee will laugh, as though there could not bee such a thing as regeneration: because the scorner himselfe is vnrenewed, therefore hee can­not weigh GODS graces in others: So long as thou art vnregenerate, thou canst not but scorn regeneration, yea, and persecute the regenerate man, and so rash thine head against a wall: For the LORD hath made him inviolable, and the Temple of His Spirite, and therefore He shall de­stroy thee, that art the vnregenerate man: yea, and destroyed shall euerie man bee that dasheth him­selfe against the Church of IESVS, that is, the re­newed body, that body, as an yrō wall, shall bruise them. Experience telleth this. Who euer was hee that rashed against the Church, but the Church hath beaten him into powder? Meddle not with ye Saincts of God: although it were but one Sainct renewed by the grace of God, hee is sufficient to destroy and bruise a whole kingdome that rasheth on him. The Lord open mens eye, to see this. For all the world would not I bee one to make oppo­sition to one of the Saincts of GOD. The LORD therefore saue men, and learne them to account of this renouation, as they would haue a portion [Page 95] thereof, & be glorified at the comming of Christ.

Now to end shortly. The Apostle when he hath spoken of the renewing of all creatures made by IESVS the Mediator (for all floweth out of him) in the next verse hee riseth, and mounteth vp (O howe hee that is carried with the Spirite of Christ will rise, when hee is speaking of IESVS) hee riseth vp to a light inaccessible, he seeth God the Father sitting in his Throne and Majestie, and the worke of this renewing flowing frō him, through Christ the Mediator, & rising vp to the Father of Christ, hee saieth, And all thinges are of GOD, &c. Our lesson is, All graces come from Christ the Media­tor, our regeneration floweth out of his life, but the fountain of all is the Father of Heauen, the Fa­ther of Iesus: and therfore, when thou findest the grace flowing from Iesus, raise vp thy soule, & look thorowe to the glorious Fountaine, sitting in his Majesty & say. All glory be to ye Father, I acknow­ledge all goodnesse to come from thee, O Father, thou hast giuen all graces to me through thy Son Christ. Now when he hath risen vp to the Father, he cōmeth down again to two degrees, which are the [...]wayes wherby the regeneration is wrought: The first is the reconciliatiō to the Father throgh Christ the Mediator by his death. The second is this Ministerie, base and contemptible in the eyes of men, this dispensation of the mysteries of GOD that hee hath put into the handes of his Ministers, to bee distributed to the people.

[Page 96]Well, Brethren, a man must come to this rege­neration by degrees, as a mā stepping vp a ladder▪ If thou wouldest be renewed in Christ, thou must climbe and goe vp by degrees: The first is the Mi­nistery of reconciliation: The second is the recon­ciliation it selfe in Christ: The thirde and last is the fountaine of regeneration, God the Father. Will thou runne vp, and misse one of these s [...]eps? No, it is not possible, for thou shalt neuer get regene­ration before God be friended with thee: thou art His enemy, thou must be friēded with Him, before thou bee renewed. Well then, thou wilt say, I must bee friended with Him, but I neede not thy mini­stery, can I not come to Heauen, but by hearing thee pre [...]ch? I say, thou canst not, I lay this neces­sity before thee, and I charge thee, & I binde thee to this ministery. Imagine thou another meanes to attaine to this glory, contemne thou this mini­stery in the silliest person to whome God hath gi­uen it, I shal make a strawe bar the gates of Heauē in thy teeth: yea, albeit thou bee a Monarch, thou shalt neuer get reconciliation without this Mini­stery. The Lord wakē our cōsciences, that we may embrace the ordinance of God: we shall neuer be wise in God, except first wee become fooles, that wee may bee wise. Then seeing this necessity is of the Ministery, to make a reconciliation with our God, and this reconciliation must passe, by a pro­clamation of peace, to the miserable worlde. and passe by the mouth of this contemned Ministery. [Page 97] The Lord waken these our senselesse heartes, that we may reuerence and esteeme of this Ministerie more than we haue done. The Lord grant vs this for Christs sake: To whome, with the Father and the Holy Spirite, bee all Glory and Honour for euermore,

AMEN.

THE SIXT SERMON.

I. COR. CHAP. II.

verse 6 And we speake wisedome among them that are per­fect: not the wisedome of this world, nor of the prin­ces of this world, who come to naught.

verse 7 But we speake the wisedome of GOD in a mysterie, euen the [...]id wisedome which God ordained before the world, vnto our glorie.

verse 8 Which none of the princes of this world knew, for had they knowne it, they would not haue crucified the Lord of glorie.

verse 9 But as it is writtē, The eye hath not seene, the care hath not heard, neither hath entred in [...] the hart of mā, the things that God hath prepared for thē that l [...]ue him.

IN the Text immediatelie precee­ding (well-beloued in the LORD IESVS) the Apostle hath beene renouncing the wisedome of man, in vttering of the Gospel of IESVS [Page 98] CHRIST, thinking it not worthy that any mans faith should be builded on it: For that faith that is builded on it, cannot stand, because ye wisdome of man is a false foundation, and the thing that is builded on a false foundation cannot stand.

Now to come to this Text which we haue read presentlie. It might haue beene said to the Apo­stle, Who counteth of thy wisedome? thou estee­mest not of mans wisedome nor eloquence, but who counteth of thee, or of thy wisedome either? Hee answereth in the 6. verse, Wee speake wisedome among them that are perfect, &c. That is, Who soeuer are perfect in ye Church of God, or whosoeuer are come to a degree of perfection, or preasse to per­fection, aspiring aboue nature, aboue humane things, to see things Heauenly and spiritual, these men account of my wisdome, in the sight of these I am wise, and in their audience I speake wisdom, howbeit earthly men thinke all that I speake but follie. This is the meaning & th'effect of the Apo­stles answere shortly. As to this word of perfectiō, I will not iusist in it. A full perfection is not heere meaned, but a striuing to perfection. No man nor woman in this life is perfect, but the perfectest of vs all that liueth in this worlde, one lie are striuing to perfection, thorowe infinite infirmities. There­fore, this worde of perfection is not to be vnder­stood of that consummate perfection which wee shall haue in that other life, but as it is opponed vnto them that haue no perfection, no spirituall [Page 99] nor Heauenly sight or knowledge of things Hea­uenly & spirituall. Then, there is the lesson in one word: Yee know the sentence spoken commonly, Wisdome is justified of her owne children (Mat. 11. 19) Let the world account of it as they will, wisdome shall euer be wisdome to them that haue any wis­dome fooles will neuer count that Heauenlie wis­dome to be wisedome, nor the wise of this world will neuer esteeme of it. Much consisteth in the dis­position of the hearts of the hearers: that which is wisdome to one, is meere follie to another, and all because the disposition is diuers and contrary. Set together a man that is Heauēly minded▪ & a man that is only earthly minded▪ speak the wisdome of God to them both, and wisdome to the Heauenly minded man shall be wisdom, to the earthly min­ded man it shall bee foolishnesse: The speech of the Crosse, saieth the Apostle in the 1. chap. of this epi. vers. 18. to them that perish▪ is foolishnesse, but to them that are saued, it is the wisedome and power of GOD Art thou one that art ordained to bee saued? The Gospell of Iesus Christ shall be wisdome and on­lie wisedome vnto thee. And therfore, seeing there standeth so much in the disposition of the hearer, before thou commest to heare, look to thy dispo­sition, leaue thine earthly minde behind thee lest thou receiue thine own damnatiō: & bring an hea­uenly mind with thee, that ye wisdom of God may be ye power of saluatiō to thee: there hath bene lōg hearing & teaching among vs in this Towne, bu [...] [Page 100] the issue of things testifie, that there hath bene an euill disposition in the heartes of the multitude, the present trouble of this Towne telleth what hath bene the disposition of manie: for what euer bee the worke of men herein, yet no question the Lord hath His worke in it, to spoyle thee for thine ingratitude, and euill disposition of thine heart, of the libertie of His glorious Gospell: and if this Gospell goe away, then shame and confusion shall light, not onelie vpon this Towne but also on the whole Land, and euerie estate thereof.

Then to goe forward. The Apostle falleth out in an high description & commendation of this wisedome which [...]ee preached, which is the wise­dome of God. Marke it: he saith, Not the wisedome of this worlde, nor of the Princes of this worlde, who come to naught. In this description there is nothing that may commende anie science or wisedome of this world, which is not brought in heere to the com­mendation of this Heauenlie wisedome. Sciences and wisdome vse to be commended from the Au­thors, from them that inuented them: they vse to be commended from their secrecie and hidnesse, in that they are hidden vp in a mysterie from the eyes of men: they vse to be commended from the ende and vse for the which they were ordained: they vse to be commended from their sublimitie & subtilitie: when they passe the capacitie of men, men holde them in admiration, and wonder at them: they vse to be commended from their sub­ject [Page 101] which they entreat of, if it be a worthie sub­ject, it is a worthie science. These things recom­mend▪ vnto vs Sciences inuented by the braine of man. All these thinges are in an higher degree in the wisedome of God, than euer they were in anie worldlie science.

Now marke euerie word: The Apostle begin­neth his commendation at the Author: and first he letteth you see who is not the Author: then he letteth you see in verie deede who is the Author of this wisedome. (All this is spoken of the Gos­pell, which we preach to you, and therefore note euerie circumstance, marke the excellencie of this Gospel, which the Apostle to the Philippians, chap. 3. vers. 8. calleth the eminencie of the knowledge of Iesus Christ, which mounteth aboue all know­ledge in this world) Then whom saith hee not to bee the Author of it? This world neuer found it out; neuer inuented it, it came neuer from ye heads of worldlie men. Indeede it is true this worlde is wise in her owne kind; Luke 16. 8. and this world, and all the men thereof, from the beginning of it vnto this houre, hath beene occupied in counsels, in laying of plottes, in setting downe purposes, and taking consultation, they haue bene verie bu­sie: But amongst all the things that euer man ad­uised vpon▪ there was neuer found so much as one thought in the head of a man, of the remedie against sinne and death: but sitting from the be­ginning in their counsels, they sate like as manie [Page 102] damned creatures, without anie thought howe they should be relieued of that damnation: & this is that Heauenly wisdome spokē of here, that tel­leth vs of the remedie against sinne, death, & dam­nation, wherein we lye. Yea, Brethren, let be they had not anie thought of this matter, they did nothing in al their wise consultatiōs, for the most part, but inuolued themselues more and more in their guiltinesse, & augmented their damnation, wherein all men were fallen by Adam. Then it was not the world that found it out. O! but there are some Princes in the world that passe others in wisdome: there are wise & high spirited men that will put order to others, and with their wit will compasse Heauen and earth, that will search out the deepnesse of nature, and bee occupied in high things: it may bee that these men haue found out this wisdome. The Apostle meeteth this: No, saith hee, none of the princes of this world, whether Iewes or Gentiles, found out this wisedome. All the great Mo­narches, all the Philosophers, with their wisdome, and philosophie, neuer thought once on such a thing: it is true indeed, there is some in this world that haue euer bene occupied in hie things aboue the reach of the common sort of people, sitting on high places, searching into the deepnes of na­ture: but among all their occupations▪ high con­ceits and deuises, there was neuer so much as a thought or suspi [...]ion or a dreame of that onlie re­medie against sin and death, of that onlie way and [Page 103] meanes of saluation, and deliuerie of a lost sinner. A wonderfull thing! condemned men sitting in such occupations, without any thought of their damnation. Emperours condemned men! and yet neuer such a thing as a thought howe they should be relieued of their condemnation! It is true, the Philosophers among the nations aspired to a wis­dome and knowledge of God to know Him, and some of them laboured to set downe a science of Him. Plato traueiled much on this purpose, and therfore he was called Diuine: but all their know­ledge was of GOD the Creator, as Hee created this world, and by His prouidence gouerneth it. But will ye speake of GOD the Redeemer in His Sonne Iesus Christ, they had neuer such a thing as a thought of Him: and yet for all the businesse that they had about the Creation; and GOD the Creator, what were they? fooles, and euanished in their owne cogitations, & as ye may reade, Rom. 1. 22. 23. in stead of the true God they set vp an idole to bee worshipped. Then seeing they found it not out, and seeing it is so necessary for al men, euē for Princes (for they shal neuer see life except they get a part of this wisedome) they are bounde to keepe that wisedome, in sinceritie, and not to prejudge her libertie one whit: but to maintaine her and keep her from all her enemies, that would peruert her. Thou foundest her not out, keep her therfore in her liberty. The Lord grāt that men may be oc­cupied this way in their coūsels, not in impairing, [Page 104] but in preseruing the libertie of this wisedome, that onelie must saue them: Thy kingdome, thy life, thine honour and all these earthlie riches will away, onelie this wisedome will abide.

Then this wisedome is not founde out by this world▪ or by the Princes thereof. Yet before wee come to the Author whereof it is come, ye haue a reason wherefore she cannot bee of the Princes of the worlde, who come to naught, they are abolished, they euanish, shee is eternall, and will neuer haue ende. A perishing head, will neuer inuent a science that will last for euer, albeit his head were neuer so quicke & so curious but as the head perisheth and goeth to graue, so shall the wisedome thereof die in her owne time: And therefore there was ne­uer anie Arte nor Science inuented by the braine of man, which shall not die & perish, because they are all come of perishing heads: howbeit the head die and the wisdome remaine for a space, yet that science and wisedome shall also die in her owne time. Aristotle is dead, his wisedome abideth yet, but it shall die. Plato is dead, his wisdome abideth yet, but it shall also die. But the immortall GOD, when He findeth out a wisedome, it shall bee im­mortall also. In the first Epistle of Peter (Chap. 1. vers. 23.) there are two thinges joyned together. The immortall seede of the word, and a liuing and immortall God, who abideth for euer. The seede of the worde is immortall: and wherefore is it im­mortall? Because it commeth from a God that [Page 105] abideth for euer. If it be once sown in thine heart it shall neuer die out of thine heart: No, this word shall goe to Heauen with thee, and there it shall spring out in a wonderfull glorie, and shall abide in him who found it out, and in thee in whome it is sowne for euer. Then if the world be not the au­thor of it, who hath found it out? We speake (saith the Apostle) not our owne wisedome, but the wisedome of God. Paul inuented it not, neuer a man that prea­ched this Gospell was the author of it, the Lord who is onelie wise, found it out.

Then marke, Brethren: If God of His infinite mercie (after thou madest that foule fall in Adam, and fell from grace & innocencie) had not found out to thee the onelie meanes of thy deliuerance from death and sin, thou hadst neuer risen againe: for thou hadst neuer so much as once a thought of the way of thy redemption. Adam, when hee had fallen, and hid himselfe in an hole, had not so much as one cogitation of his deliuerance: That God that created thee without thee, redeemed thee also without thee: when He made thee of no­thing in the beginning, Hee called not thee to the counsell, because thou was not: no more was thou on the counsell of thy redemption, when He took purpose to redeeme thee: No, there was neuer an Angell on the counsell of thy redemption. And this is that that is spoken, Rom. 11. 34, Who hath knowne the minde of the Lord? or who hath giuen▪ Him counsell? No, all is of Him, & all is from Him only: [Page 106] He is the onlie finder out, as well of thy redemp­tion, as of thy creation, that the onlie glorie may bee giuen vnto Him. I might speake something here against the enemies of the trueth, but I will not insist. If thou takest any part of that worke to thy selfe, thou bereauest God of a part of His glo­rie. Therfore seeing thou hast neither arte nor part in it, let Him haue the onelie glorie for euer and euer.

Nowe followeth the seconde part of the com­mendation of the Gospell, In a mysterie. It is in a mysterie, it was hid vp. Sciences vse to bee com­mended because of their secrecie: for men wil say, O! it is a mysticall and secrete thing, therefore it is a commendable and precious thing. But if euer anie science or wisedome in the worlde, me­rited commendation, thorowe the secrecie of it, especiallie this wisedome of GOD, for there was neuer so secrete a wisedome, so manie ages, from Adam till CHRIST came, all closed vp in a my­sterie, & hidden from the world, and if there was anie blinke of it, it was verie obscure.

Brethren, there are sundrie wisedomes of God: There is a wisdome of the creation and gouerna­ment of the worlde, and there is a wisedome of God of the redemption of the worlde once crea­ted, and making defection from that blessed estate of creation. As for the wisedome of creation, as soone as euer the worlde was created, this wise­dome brake foorth, and was reuealed, and made [Page 107] knowne to men, and it shineth yet in the crea­tures: looke to them, thou shalt see the image of that wisedome shining in them: and more than this, man receiued this wisdome of creation writ­ten in his heart. So this wisedome was not kept close, but made patent to the eyes of men & An­gels to looke vpon it.

But as for the wisdome of God of the redemp­tion of the worlde, in the creation Hee neither vt­red it in word nor writing, He wrote not one let­ter of it in the heart of man in the creation. But after the fall of Adam He gaue an inkling of it, but very obscure. Nowe, wherefore was this that the Lord hid vp this wisdome? Thereby no doubt He would testify to the world, that this wisdome con­tained a precious thing, a jewell: there was inclo­sed in it the whole treasure of Heauen. The trea­sure of Heauen is Christ Iesus, who is inclosed in this mysterie and therefore, the Lord woulde not reueale it, till Iesus Christ came into the world. Is it reuealed now? It hath beene reuealed euer since CHRIST came into the worlde, and this daye in SCOTLAND that treasure is laid open, if we had eyes to see it. Abraham, nor Dauid, nor all the god­lie Kings and Fathers were neuer in so blessed an estate as thou art. But if thou repent not, and re­ceaue not this wisdome, the greater is thy damna­tion: For euer the greater the benefite bee, the greater is the condemnation, if it bee not recea­ned: And many at that daye shall saye, Would to [Page 108] GOD we had neuer heard of this Gospell Well▪ keepe it as yee will, there is no glorie but it, and take it awaye, farewell the glorie and well-fare of the Land: yea, I say more, There is no glorie in this world but it.

Nowe, the Apostle standeth not heere, but pas­seth forward in the praise of this wisedome: Hee hath praised it from the Author, who is God on­lie: from the secrecie, that it is a mysterie hidden vp so long: he commeth now to the time when it was found out, which God had determined before the world. Sciences vse to bee commended from their antiquitie: men say, O▪ it is an olde Science, it was sound out by the Aegyptians, therefore, a com­mendable Science. But there was neuer wisedome that might bee compared in antiquitie to this wisedome. Wilt thou aske howe olde is this wise­dome? I aske another question, How olde is God Himselfe? This Gospell is euen as olde as GOD Himselfe: the Gospell is from all Eternitie, as the glorious GOD is without beginning from all Eternitie. Then this Gospell that is preached this day, is no nou [...]ltie.

This is that wisedome and doctrine that GOD predestinated from all Eternitie, howbeit the ene­mies in contempt call it a new doctrine. Thou art a lyar, although thou bee the Pope, I speake it to the glorie of God, this Gospell that is preached in SCOTLAND, was from all Eternitie.

The wordes import more. It is not onelie from [Page 109] all Eternitie, but it is grounded vpon an Eternall counsell. The glorious Trinitie set downe in a glo­rious counsell this doctrine of saluation. And therefore, seeing this doctrine is set on so solide a foundation, who will shake it? Shake it let see off her foundation, and thrust at it, It will shake thee, and driue thee into Hell. I tell thee, it hath saued manie men from the beginning, but it is also true, it hath slaine manie one: beware that it slaye thee not: for it is the strōgest thing that euer was. Thou mayest well banish this Gospell, and put it out of SCOTLAND, but thou shalt neuer put it out of the world, so long as there is a soule to be buil­ded by it: But when she is out of SCOTLAND and ENGLAND both, shee can goe, and it were, to all these newe found Landes, and abide there.

Yet marke how he riseth in his tearmes (I ne­uer heard anie Philosopher in all his Declamatiōs rise so highlie in his praises of anie Science, as the Apostle doeth in praising of this wisedome, and it is not the eloquence of man, but the eloquence of the Spirite of God, that raiseth him. And yet hee hath not tolde all her glory. No, we shall neuer see it all, till wee see the Lord Iesus, who is the subject of this Gospell.) Sciences haue their commenda­tion from their ende: it is a good science that hath a good ende, and inuented for the weale of man, for his profite, and pleasure, and glorie: But this science in this mounteth aboue all the sciences in [Page 110] the worlde: for all the Sciences in the worlde will not make thee mount vp▪ nor raise thee one foot­bredth from the earth, although thou bee a Mo­narch: they may well get thee a piece of honour here, but it shall all be earthly honour. O! but the Science whereof our God is the Author, this wise­dome of our redemption maketh thee to mount, draweth thee vp, in a word, glorifieth thee All that euer learne in her schoole shall bee glorified, wilt thou learne this wisdome, she shall glorifie thee in the Heauens. For why? she is the power of God to salua­tion, Roman. 1. 16. and as hee speaketh, 2. Cor. 3. 18. wilt thou looke in her but as in a mirrour, to the glorie of GOD in her, shee shall transforme thee from glory to glory in that same Image. What more? All the wisedome in the world without this wisdome, is like as much poyson, to swell vp thine heart in pride against GOD and man.

Shall I come to the particulars? Art thou a Lawier? and hast the knowledge of the Common Lawes? If thy science of the Lawe bee not sea­soned with this wisedome, it is meere poyson to thee. Art thou a Mediciner, perfect in that Sci­ence, and hast read all Hippocrates and Galene, and all the rest of them, and hast not this wisedome, thou art poysoned for all thy Medicine. Is thine head full of policie, and hast thou manie plottes and conceites in it, and hast thou not this wise­dome? thou hast an emptie and poysoned head. Art thou a Philosopher, and canst count all the [Page 111] Starres, and canst search out all the mineralles, and canst goe downe to the Center of the Earth. yea, and it were downe to Hell, and hast not this wisedome, thou art poysoned. What neede I to speake further? If thou haue no apprehension of this wisedome, that onely sanctifieth thee, and all thy Sciences, and maketh them profitable vnto thee, thou art a miserable bodie, and woe to thee for euer. Would to God the worlde saw this, but alas, this humane wisedome and the glory of this worlde pulleth CHRIST out of their eyes, and obscureth this Heauenly glory. But woe is thee! that euer thou saw this light, if thou gettest not a part of that Heauenly glory.

Yet hee stayeth not heere, but looke howe hee climbeth vp, & exalteth this Heauenly wisdome. Sciences vse to bee commended for their subtility and sublimity. O, saieth the Philosopher, it is an high and subtile Science, therefore it is praise worthy. Mathematikes are subtile, and are full of subtile demonstrations, therefore they are worthy Sciences. But, Brethren, there was neuer Science comparable in sublimity to this Wisedome of GOD, who is onely wise. As farre as the head of GOD passeth thy braine, as far doth this wisdom that is come of GODS head, passe all the wisdom that thou canst inuent, and it were a thousande yeeres: and therefore th'Apostle saith, This wisdom none of the Princes of this world haue knowne: No, not after shee was reuealed and came into the world, [Page 112] when they saw her, they knew not what shee m [...] ­ned. The Philosophers, who scāned in curiousnes when this wisedome came to them, they knew no more in it than children and infants. Looke ho [...] little a childe can conceiue of anie humane scien­ces, as little also could they conceiue of this wise­dome. Reade in the Acts, chap. 17. vers. 18. when Paul came to Athens, and preached it vnto them, they said, What a sower of words is this? they thought hee had nothing but words. This is a marueilous secrecie: they could not find her out when she was found out to their hands, they knew not what she meaneth. There is not a science found out by man▪ bu [...] I shall get a naturall man that will compre­hend it, and oft times he will goe beyond the au­thor himselfe: But to this day there was neuer [...] naturall man that could comprehēd the wisdome of this Gospell. For why? she is spirituall, superna­turall, and aboue nature, and therefore the natu­rall wit could neuer bee able to comprehend her. I saye more to you, the more a man hath of natu­rall wit and judgement, the prouder hee is in his wit, and stroke his owne head, and thinke he hath a wise braine, the more hee counteth of his owne wisdome the more shall this wisdome of the Gos­pell bee foolishnesse vnto him: and euer the wise [...] of the world accounteth the Gospell the greatest foolishnèsse. I had rather take in hand to teach an idiot the Gospell, and cause him to conceiue it, [...] God woulde giue mee grace, than to take an high [Page 113] headed worldling that is puffed vp with the pride of nature, to driue into-him one word of it. Sillie ones, who haue no conceite of their naturall wis­dome, will swallow it vp but a proude headed bo­die cannot be capable of it. Therefore, the Apostle in this same first Epi. to the Cor. 3. 18. saieth veri [...] well, Wilt thou be wise? be a soole, that thou mayest bee wise. Renounce that reason of thine, and take it captiue, and make it a slaue, otherwise thou shalt neuer see GOD to thy consolation: for thy natu­rall reason is an enemie to God, and His wisdom, Roman 8.7. Hee giueth a reason in the end of the verse, that testifieth, that the Prince; of this world knew not this wisdome, yea, not when it was laid open to them. Hee saith. For had they knowne it, (namely that great Prince Herode, and Pilate that Romane President) they would not haue crucified the Lord of glorie. They had not done such indignitie to Him as to naile Him to an ignominious crosse. How aggree these two together. The Lord of glo­rie, and an ignominious crosse? Howe stand these two, The King of glorie, and such a shamefull death? Because they knew not His glorie, they ex­poned Him to such an ignominious death. Thou that canst not see the glorie of God in the Gos­pell, thou wilt commit the most ignominious, the moste villanous thing in the world. No, if Christ were heere, thou wouldest crucifie Him againe. And therefore, finde not fault with Herode nor Pi­late, Or anie of them that crucified Him, and think [Page 114] not that thou hadst beene free of it if thou hadst bene there. No, I tell thee, Thou that seest not the glorie of the Gospell of IESVS CHRIST, if such a deede were to be done, thou wouldest haue a share in it. It will not be speaking that will seru: the turne. Let men speake of this Gospell, and all this wisedome, what they will, their deedes will euer bewraye them. I will not giue one pennie for thy mouth, for thy tongue, for thy speaking, yea, for thy preaching, if thou haue not deedes also in thy calling.

Art thou a King? Art thou a Counseller? Art thou a Minister? If I see not good deedes in thine owne calling, all thy wordes are but winde. When thou hast stood vp, and tolde that thou knowest CHRIST, and vnderstandest His worde and Gospe [...]l, and then in thy life wilt bee an enemie to CHRIST, and wilt dishonour Him, and His Gospell in thy calling, thy doinges bewraye and vtter what stuffe is within thee. The god of this worlde, and thy malicious heart, haue put out thine [...]yes, thou hast a blinde minde, wherefrom thy deedes proceede. Wilt thou crucifie IESVS CHRIST, and expone Him to ignominie anie way, and persecute and trouble Him in His mem­bers, and then wilt stand vp and say, thou knowest CHRIST, thy doings testifie to ye world, that thou art a lyar. The LORD open mens eyes to knowe what it is to deale with CHRIST, or His mēbers. As euer thou wouldest testifie to the worlde, that [Page 115] thou knowest CHRIST, honour Him and His Mi­nisters both, and honour His members: for what­soeuer is done to one of them in the earth, good or euill, Hee counteth it all done vnto Himselfe. Saul, Saul, Why persecutest thou Me? saith He to Paul, Act. 9. 4.

He standeth not here, but goeth forward in her commendation: mark the words, & I beseech you to weigh them, that seeing the eminency of this Gospel, ye may learn to stoup & giue obedience to it. Sciences are commended from their subjectes whereof they entreat: if they haue a glorious sub­ject, they are accounted high, & accurate sciences: but their was neuer science that had such a fair & glorious subject, as this Gospel which we preach. What is the subject of it? I cannot tell it in better words than are here set downe: The things which the eye hath not seene, neither the eare hath heard, neither en­tered into mans heart. All sciences of this world, and wisdom found out by man, are of things either vi­sible, that are seen with ye eye, or of things audible, heard with the eare, or of things intelligible, vn­derstood with the mind. If I cannot see thine in­uention, if I cannot heare it, at the least I will get some apprehension of it in my minde, I haue that aduantage. But as for the subject of this wisdome, thy naturall eye neuer saw it, thy naturall care ne­uer heard it, and it neuer entered into thy naturall heart: and therfore whosoeuer wil see these things, he must seek an cye that is more than natural, that [Page 116] is supernaturall, that is spirituall: seeke an eare that is supernaturall and spirituall. Goe to the heart, content not thy selfe with a naturall heart: seeke an heart that is spirituall and supernatu­rall: For gaze with thine eye as thou wilt, laye to thine eare as thou wilt, if thou shouldest heare an hundreth Preachings, if thou haue but a naturall care, and a naturall eye, thou shalt neither see not heare: but in hearing thou shalt not heare, and in vnderstanding thou shalt not vnderstand, as the Prophet Esaias in the sixt Chapter and ninth verse saieth. Therefore, seeke at GOD an Heauen­lie eare, and an Heauenlie eye, and saye, LORD, giue mee an Heauenlie eare, and an Heauen­lie eye, that I may conceaue these thinges and ap­prehende them.

Nowe, in the ende of the verse hee bringeth them downe for as high as they were, and telleth what they are, Which GOD (saieth hee) hath prepared for them that loue Him. They are predesti­nated from all Eternitie, and they are prepared in time, for so manie onelie as loue the LORD. Therefore, loue IESVS, and thou shalt get a part of them. The lesson is this. Wonderfull are the thinges that GOD hath prepared for them that loue the LORD IESVS. But how shal I knowe that such high and sublime thinges are prepared for mee? Art thou marked with this token? and carriest thou it about with thee? Lo­uest thou the LORD? how beit not so well as [Page 117] thou wouldest. (Accursed bee hee that loueth not the LORD: let him bee an Anathema Marana­tha, as the Apostle saieth in the sixteenth Chapter and the two and twentie verse of the first Epistle to the Corinthians.) Louest thou Him, assure thy selfe, howbeit thou canst not get such a loue to Him, or such a sight of these thinges, as thou wouldest haue, they are prepared for thee. One­lie, thou art to take heede to see if that loue of GOD bee in thine heart. Goe not to search what is in Heauen, and thinke not to get a full sight of that glorie in this life, that is laide vp for thee: But rest on Him, yea, though it were halfe blindlinges. Well is the soule that can loue the LORD IESVS.

I will ende heere, and will recommende to eue­rie soule that Loue of IESVS, as euer they woulde see the thinges that the eye neuer sawe, nor the eare neuer hearde, nor hath euer ente­red into the heart of man, to their euerlasting comfort and consolation, at the comming of the LORD IESVS: To whome, with the FATHER and the Holy GHOST, bee all Honour, Prayse, and Glo­rie, for euer and euer, world without ende, So bee it.

THE SEVENTH SERMON.

I. COR. CHAP. II.

verse 10 But GOD hath reuealed them vnto vs by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all thinges, yea, the deepe thinges of GOD.

verse 11 For what man knoweth the thinges of man, except the spirite of a man, which is in him? Euen so the thinges of GOD knoweth no man, but the Spirite of GOD.

verse 12 Nowe wee haue receaued not the spirit of the world, but the Spirite which is of GOD, that wee may know the things that are giuen to vs of GOD.

THE last day, Brethren, we heard a cleare description & commen­dation of that wisedome which `Paul spake and preached, which is none other, in effect, but this same blessed EVANGELL that is preached to you. We shewed you that there was nothing that might commende a science or wisedome in this world, but it concur­red with him to the commendation, praise, and glorie of this wisdome that is here described. The author of it is not the world, nor the Princes of the [Page 119] world, but God the maker of the worlde: The se­crecie of it, was hidden vp in a mysterie so manie ages, from the creation to the comming of Christ, and manifestation of Him in the nature of man: The antiquitie of it, it was predestinated from all Eternitie: The end of it, our glorie: The sublimitie and highnesse of it, when it was reuealed at the cumming of CHRIST, none of the Princes of this world could vnderstand it, for if they had known it, they had not crucified the LORD of glorie. The subject of it, the thinges which the eye neuer sawe, the eare neuer hearde, which neuer entered into the heart of man, and yet for all this, prepa­red for them that loue the LORD.

Nowe to come to the Text which wee haue in hand. It might haue bene asked of the Apostle, If such thinges as were neuer seene, neuer heard of, nor neuer entred into the heart of man, were con­tained in that wisdom which he taught, what pro­fite haue we by that wisedome? what profite haue wee of the thinges whereof wee are not capable? The Apostle meeteth this in the first verse which we haue read, But (saith hee) God hath reuealed them vnto vs by His Spirit: It is true indeed, they passe the sight of our eyes, they surmount aboue our hea­ring, they passe the capacitie of our mind, yet that LORD hath dimitted Himselfe vnto vs, & by His Spirit He hath reuealed those things to vs the sillie ones of ye world, not to the princes of ye world, but to the sillie simple ones. Hee hath reuealed them [Page 120] not by our spirit, but by His owne Spirit. There is the summe of the answere shortlie: He giueth the reason in the next part of the verse, and letteth vs see, that the Spirite of Iesus is able to reueale all these high and hidden things to vs▪ setting out the nature of the Holie Spirit: For (saieth hee) the Spirite searcheth all thinges, yea, the deepe thinges of God. The Spirite is a searcher, and hee is a searcher of all things created in Heauen and earth. Nothing can escape him, but hee will se [...]rch into the secretest things in the world, and into the secretest parts of thine heart. What more? Hee is a searcher of the God of glorie Himselfe, and will pierce into the infinite deepnesse that is in God. Hee being such a Spirit as this, is he not able to reueal the things whereof wee are not capable? There is the mea­ning of the whole verse shortlie.

Then we see these things contained in the Hea­uenlie wisedome, as the riches of God in IESVS CHRIST, our remission of sinne, our justification, our regeneration, our saluation, and life euerla­sting, euen common thinges which yee heare of daylie, together with Iesus Christ the Mediator, in whome and thorowe whome all thinges are wrought, are the thinges which the eare hath not hearde, nor the eye hath not seene, neither haue they e [...]ered into the heart of man. Yet wee see that these thinges passe not so the capacitie of man, nor they are not so altogether hidden from man, but they are reuealed. And they are reuealed▪ [Page 121] to whom? To them for whom they are prepared. They are reuealed▪ when? euen in this life: there is none for whom they are prepared from all Eter­nitie, but in this life, before the soule goe out of the bodie, they shall receiue some reuelation and vnderstanding of these same things: and thou that gettest no reuelation of them in this life, and get­test not a sight of them ere the soule goe out of the bodie, I will say to thee, They were neuer pre­pared for thee: Remission of sinnes was neuer prepared for thee, Iustification before the Tribu­nall of GOD, Regeneration, Life euerlasting was neuer prepared for thee. There is not a better to­ken of life after this life, than a blink of life in this life, if it were but a glimmering (for the best of vs hath but a glimmering) a blinke of IESVS Christ, and of the graces that are in Him in this life, is the surest token that thou canst haue of the life to come. And by the contrarie, There is not a worse token of darkenesse after this life, than to haue thine eyes so closed, that thou hast no blinke heere of that life to come. And when thou diest, hauing no sight of the life to come, thou shalt die a miserable catiue, & a faggot for the fire of H [...]ll.

Let vs goe forward to the rest. God hath reuealed them by His Spirit. Now yee see heere a reuelation by the Spirit [...] Marke it: I shall tarie somwhat vpon these wordes. Yee heard before of a reuelation by the word which is this wisedome. Now yee heare of a reuelation by the Spirite: It is not enough to [Page 122] receaue a reuelation by the word, though it were neuer so faire and so soundly preached, it will ne­uer doe thee good, it is nothing but as if thou wouldest holde a light before a blinde man, & say to him, Man, seest thou not this light? Wilt thou bid a blinde man judge of colours? thou scornest him. Euen so, all the speaking of the Scriptures vn­to men is but scorning of them, except they get this reuelation of the Holie Spirite. What is this reuelation of the Spirit? I shall tell you what it is. With that preaching of the worde, which is the first reuelation, the Spirite of IESVS commeth downe, and seateth Himselfe in thine eye, & ope­neth thine eye to see the thinges which are spo­ken commeth to thine eare, & openeth thine eare to heare the things which are spoken, entreth in­to thine heart, and maketh thee to conceaue the thinges which thou seest and hearest, and maketh thee capable of them, of the which thou art no more capable by nature, than the verie stone in the pillar: speak to thee, & to the stone, all is alike, till this alteration be made in thy soule.

Then, Brethren, There are two reu [...]lations, The first by ye word, when it is preached: The second by the Spirit, when that Holy Spirit concurreth with the word. I will tell you the differēce of them, The first will bee common to all: the word is preached alike to all. O! but the other reuelation is not so cōmon, but is only made to some secret ones of ye Lord. That blessed Spirit will not light vpon euery [Page 123] man and woman, but onlie vpon some secret per­sons, vpon whom the Lord hath pitie. Wee reade in the 16. Chapter of the Actes of the Apostles▪ that there is a meeting of manie: many are gathe­red together, Paule the Apostle the Preacher, hee reuealeth the graces of the worde to all alike: amōg all the rest we reade of one speciall person called Lydia (there was neuer a word spokē of the rest) it is said of her namely, that the Lord opened the heart of Lydia, to receiue that which Paul prea­ched: the Spirit of IESVS opened her heart, not Paul: the Spirit of IESVS only is the reuealer: be neuer content with hearing onelie: fie on thee, if thou thinke thou hast done enough, when thou hast sitten an houre or two, hearing, if thou finde not the sweet operation of the Spirit to opē thine heart with such a sweetnesse as is vnspeakeable. And therfore fixe not your eyes so much on men, as vpon the Lord, who sendeth the Spirit, and crie euer▪ Lord, giue me ye Spirit, or els all is but wind: blessed is that body that getteth the Spirit, for the word will neuer doe good without the Spirit.

Yet I goe forward, and I marke the reason: The Spirit searcheth all thinges, yea, the deepnesse of GOD. These are the wordes. There is a great deepnesse in these wordes, if wee could attaine to it. The first thing that I take vp heere, is this, Great is that deepnesse and that profundity that is in our God. Paul, in the 3. chap. to the Ephes. and the 18. verse, considering that deepenesse falleth out in these [Page 124] words, That yee, beeing rooted and grounded in loue, may be able to comprehend with all Saincts, what is the breadth, and length (meaning of God, for He is both broade and long) and the depth (Hee is deepe) and the height (He is high also) Infinite in length, infi­nite in breadth, infinite in height, infinite in deep­nesse, what would yee haue? He Himselfe is (as it were) a bottomlesse Deepe. There is neuer a pro­pertie in Him, as we call them, but all is an infinite deepnesse, the wisedome of GOD, an infinite and endlesse deepnesse: His power, an endlesse deepe­nesse. And therefore the Apostle (Rom. 11. 34.) fal­leth out in an admiration of the deepenesse both of the wisedome, and of the knowledge of GOD.

Well then, Brethren, it is no wonder, albeit it was saide in the verse going before, that the thinges that are prepared for them that loue Him, the eye hath neuer seene, the eare hath neuer hearde, neither haue they entered into the heart of man: Why? Because all these things are hidden vp in a bottomlesse deepnesse, that is, in GOD. What wonder then, that thou canst not see them? that the eye of a worme, cree­ping vpon the earth, cannot see them? that the eare of a worme cannot heare them? and that the heart of a worme cannot be capable of them? It is true indeed, y Gospel speaketh of them al vnto vs, yet the worde is not sufficient to shew them▪ they are not so in the word, but they abide still in that deepnes: the mercie is not so reuealed in ye word, & broght down frō Heauen, but yet it remaineth [Page 125] still in that deepnes: remission of sins is not so re­uealed in the word, but yet it abideth still in that deepenesse. And therefore, the worde, when it speaketh of these thinges, whither sendeth it thee vnto? When it speaketh of the mercie of GOD in Iesus Christ, of the justice of God, of Life euerla­sting, whither doeth it direct thee? Euermore to this deepnesse. Goe thy wayes (saieth the word) to the deepnesse of GOD, and see all these thinges plainlie. Therefore, the same Apostle saieth, (Co­loss. 3. 1. 3.) Seeke the thinges which are aboue, where thy life is hidden with Christ in God. Where is thy life then? I am speaking of it now: but where is it? It is hidden vp in that deepnesse of God. The word should not holde downe thine eye, but lift it vp to seeke all those mercies that are aboue with God. Ye may see then, these thinges that concerne our saluation in Iesus Christ, our remission of sinnes, our justification, our saluation (these are euen the things, to speake them plainlie, whereof the Apo­stle meaneth) they are incomprehensible to the wit of man▪ to the eye of man, to the judgement of man, to the nature of man. Hee will stand vp, and talke of his nature▪ of his engine, an high spi­rited man his wit will compasse all the worlde. O! but thy wit reached neuer vp heere to search this deepnesse. Therefore, by nature there is none assu­rance of remission of sinnes, of saluation, of life, if thou haue no more but nature, (scorne as thou wilt) although thou be a Monarch, thou shalt neuer [Page 126] get assurāce of life, but die like a desperate dogge▪ Art thou able to pierce in to the deepnesse of the sea, that hath a bottome? or to the deepnes of the earth that is finite? No, thou wilt neuer see one foot into it, albeit thou be neuer so clear of sight: & then, O foole, wilt thou striue to reach vp to a bottomles deepnesse that is in God, with thy wit and thy conception, when thou canst not attaine to a finite thing?

Now, Brethren, I haue spoken of God, & of His deepnes: next we haue to speak of the Spirit▪ of the searching of the Spirit: I shall only touch it shortly as farre as the Text will furnish, and not digresse in amplifying of these common heads. I marke then of this Text: As there is an infinite deepnesse in God, so there is a searcher of it, it wanteth not a searcher. The onlie searcher of this deepnes, is the Spirite of God: euerie spirite is a searcher: it is the nature of a spirite euer to pierce in, and to search: for it is a subtile thing, and will pierce in very sub­tilely to the secrets of things. The spirit of an An­gell is a searcher, and a subtile thing: the spirit of the Deuill is subtile, and will pierce in subtilely, he will pierce in to thine heart, and insinuate him­selfe therein: likewise, the spirit of a man is a sub­tile spirit, and a searcher also: he will search out the things that are in heauen▪ and in the sea, and in the earth: for, he is wonderfully inclined to searching. But all the spirites, except the Spirit of that Holy One, search onely the creatures. The spirite of an [Page 127] Angell, of the deuill, of a man, search but the crea­tures: As for the Creator, no spirit is able to search in Him but His owne Spirit, yea, they knowe no­thing in Him, but so much as He will reueale vnto them. As for man, hee is very busie▪ but for all his businesse, hee could neuer yet search out his owne heart [...]there is a mysterie of sinne lying in the foldes of his heart, which hee shall neuer see, ex­cept this Spirite enter in, and giue him light. But the blessed Spirit of God and of Iesus Christ (hee is the Spirit both of the Father and of the Sonne, for one Spirit proceedeth frō both) He searcheth the Father, He searcheth the Sonne, Hee discoue­reth all And no man can bee a good searcher, or a sanctified searcher, except hee haue this Spirite. If thy spirit be not sanctified by this Spirite, which is the onlie searcher and sanctifier of all thinges, all thy searching is but vanitie.

Nowe to goe forward. Before Hee was called a searcher, and now He is called a reuealer: First He searcheth out, then He reuealeth vnto vs, There is the order: He reuealeth the hiddē things in God, because He Himselfe of His owne nature is a sear­cher of them: and before that euer Hee reueale them, He searcheth them out first. Thē, he that will be a reuealer, and will set himself to reueale those things to men (I speak it in plain talk) he that will bee a Preacher of these hidden thinges to others, looke that first hee bee a searcher, and let him bee occupied in searching, and heartilie beseech [Page 128] GOD, that the Holie Spirite would lead him in to those things that haue none accesse: For hee is not fit to bee a Preacher of the Gospell, that sear­cheth not with all his might, first to see these things in God, which he speaketh to others. Woe to him that commeth in of purpose to speake the things to others which he neuer saw nor felt first in his owne heart. Dauid saith, (Psalme 116. 10.) I beleeued, and therefore I spake. Paule afterwardes saieth, We beleeue and therefore wee speake, 2. Cor. 4. 13. What is this beliefe? None other thing, but, be­fore hee speake to others, to get an assurance of them in his owne heart. Now looke the maner of the reuealing of these things. The Spirit, he reuea­leth, because hee openeth our heartes, and taketh away the vaile off our heartes, to let vs see them: otherwise in vaine were it to laye them before vs. I see another maner of this reuelation, and there­fore looke what more the Spirit doeth: Hee is not content only to take the vaile frō thine heart, but hee taketh thy soule by the hand, (as it were) and leadeth it in thorow the deepnesse of God, he will rauish it out of the bodie, (as it were) and leade it in to that light which hath none accesse, and will say, Loe there is the mercie, loe, there is the righ­teousnesse, loe, there is the euerlasting Life, which is spoken of, seest thou not them all in Him? So he will point out euerie thing in God. Therefore, no doctrine auaileth without this Holie Spirit, seeing Hee alone taketh the vaile from our heartes, and [Page 129] leadeth vs in to see the thinges which are spoken of. There is no perfect Doctor but the Spirite of Iesus onlie: There is no creature, although hee be an Angell, that can take the vaile off thine heart, to let thee see, that can bore thine care, to let thee heare perfectlie: And therefore, in preaching de­pend not vpon the mouth of men, but onlie vpon the Spirit of Iesus Christ.

Yet I shall make the matter more plaine, and shew how the Spirit will take thee, and let thee see the thinges which are in God. I will vse a suppo­sition which cannot bee, yet it will make the mat­ter more cleare. I suppose that my spirit or soule entered into thee, if my spirite or my soule bee in thee, there woulde bee nothing within mee, but thou wouldest see it, all my thoughtes would bee patent to thee.

Now to applie this. This is no supposition. God will put His Spirite into a man or woman: for if His Spirit be not in vs, wo be vnto vs for euer and euer. If God put His Spirit into anie of vs must it not follow of necessitie, that wee must see in God at least the things which concerne our weale and saluation. That spirite in mee, in thee, must reueale to mee, to thee, the thinges which lie in the verie deepnesse of God, which concerne our weale and saluation: and that man that hath the Spirite of God, will see the verie heart of God, & His mind, he will see the remission of his sinnes in the mind of GOD, and all by the benefite of the Spirite of [Page 130] IESVS that dwelleth in him. Marke this yee that account so lightlie of the Spirite of Iesus, in whom consisteth the onlie felicitie of man: For if thou want His Spirite, woe to thee, thou shalt goe to Hell. So wee haue a great vantage heere, that by the benefite of the Spirite, wee see the thinges that are in GOD.

But, Brethren, God hath as great an aduan­tage of vs: for if Gods Spirit be in vs, by His Spi­rit Hee seeth all that is in our heartes: for if my spirit were in thee (as I spake before) as thou woul­dest see all that is in mine heart, so I would see all that is in thy soule, & the least thought of thine heart would bee patent vnto mee: so, much more that Spirit seeth the least motion & thoght of the heart of man, in whom He is, & will present them all to the Father, and lay them open before Him. So al serueth to this end, that we should take heed to the least thought of our hearts, and beware to thinke one thought to displease Him: for the Spi­rit, as He is called the searcher of the deepnesse of God, so He is called the searcher of the heartes of men. There is not one thought, nor one grone in thine heart, or one motion of joy in thy soule, but He reporteth all to the Father. We haue neede to take heede to all the motions of our heartes, and neuer to thinke one thought, but that which wee thinke is acceptable to the Father, & neuer to an­ger the Spirit (as ye Apostle saith Eph. 4. 30.) neither in word or thought. And therefore, as thou woul­dest [Page 131] keep Him & not anger Him, study to sanctifi­catiō, & sanctification shall bring on saluation, for it is ye very means that shall make thee to see God: look what th'Apostle saith, Heb. 12. 14. Without san­ctification no man shall see GOD. Now vpon all this discourse I marke shortly: There were neuer two things so straitly joyned together as God & man is: there was neuer such kinred betwixt two things in ye world, as is betwixt the God of glory, and an earthly man: thou wilt count thy kinred with this man, and that man, if thou be joyned with him in blood or alliance. But I aske this question, Is his spirite within thee? is his soule within thee? or is thy soule in him? Indeede it is true, the affection may goe out of thee to him, but giuest thou him thy spirit with thy affection? or giueth he thee his spirit with his affection? knowest thou ye thought of his heart? or knoweth he the thought of thine heart? who will say it? O! but God with His affe­ction giueth thee His Spirit within thee, that thou mayest know the thought of His heart, and He of thine. This is the conjunction that is betwixt God & thee: there is a narrow conjunction indeed be­twixt ye members of that mysticall body, for they are conjoyned together by ye Spirit of Christ, & by loue, but no member putteth his spirit into ano­ther member: there is ye other cōjunction betwixt the head and the members of the naturall bodie: for the soule will, as it were, come downe, and the spirit of the head to the members, and they will [Page 132] vnderstand the thought of the head, and the head will vnderstand the thought of the members, but there was neuer such a conjunction betwixt the members & the head, as is betwixt God & man, and all conjunctions among men, are but a pen­dicle of that which is betwixt GOD and man. In this conjunction with thy GOD, and with thine Head, IESVS, (for thou art joyned with GOD in Him) standeth thy felicitie and blessednesse.

To come to the next verse. It might haue bene said to the Apostle, Thou dedicatest all to the Spi­rit of God, may not the spirite of man doe some­thing in this purpose? may not my spirit search in to God, and discouer the deepnes that is in Him? He answereth, Noman can see the thinges that are in God, but His owne Spirit. Then hee declareth his an­swere by a comparison, Euen as no man can see the thinges which are in man but by the spirit of a man, so no­thing can search the things which are in God, but the Spi­rit of God. Thou canst not see the things that are in me. onlie I my selfe will see the thinges that are in me: euen so no man can see the things that are in God but onlie His owne Spirit.

Nowe the Apostle heere hee meeteth the verie, pride of the heart of man, that hee will conciet of himself, that he by his spirit will search the things that are in God. Paule had this experience in the Corinthians, who were but carnall, they tooke vpon them to judge vpon his doctrine that was spiri­tuall. Hast thou but that spirite which is carnall? [Page 133] albeit thou bee a Monarch, thou art too bolde to take vpon thee to judge of thinges which are spi­rituall, and spoken spirituallie.

This same is the pride of the Papists this daye. There will come out a Thomist, a Scotist, who hath the spirit of a man onlie, and a verie subtile, or ra­ther a Sophisticall spirit, an humane. Philosopher, and hee will judge of the Gospell of Iesus Christ, and turne it ouer into humane Philosophie. They haue turned the Gospell of Iesus to Aristotle, all their writings are but spiritlesse. There is not so much as a smell of the Spirit of Iesus in them all: But, O that terrible judgement that abideth such Do­ctors as are prophane polluters of the Gospell of Iesus Christ! There is none of vs all, but if a man would stand vp and say to mee, or to thee, I knowe thine heart, and what is in thine heart, wee would be angrie at him. Then, will not that glorious God bee angrie at a prophane villane, that will say, hee will search in to that profunditie, hauing only his owne spirit?

Brethren, when I was younger than I am, if I had seene one of great engine, & great capacitie, & great graces, I thought immediately he would comprehend the whole Bible, but I protest before God, that the longer I liue, I thinke euer the lesse of the wit of man, I had rather haue ye least sponk of the Spirit of Christ, nor all the engine & know­ledge of ye world: No, a silly body that hath ye Spi­rit of Iesus will conceiue more of spiritual things, [Page 134] than all the high headed bodies in the worlde. Therefore, alwayes renounce thine owne wit, and be a foole, that thou mayest be wise.

Another thing I marke heere. When hee hath magnified the Spirit, and made Him the searcher of all the deepnesse of God, see howe hee holdeth off him the proude conceites of men: hee will not let thee touch him, or his priuiledges, that is, to search the deepnesse of God. Therefore, if yee will speake of God, to His honour, (He is inuiolable) saue him from the proude conceites of men. Hold proude men off God, & let them not touch Him, or violate that inuiolable Majestie, or else thou shalt be guiltie, if Hee be violated by thy default. Alas! wherefore art thou set in this world, but to preach His glorie? and to keepe it inuiolate from the injuries of all flesh in the worlde. Looke what he doeth next in the last verse, when he hath, as it were, holden off GOD the proude conceites of men, who woulde take vpon them to search in to the deepnesse of God, what doeth he? He draweth that Spirit to himselfe, and saieth, Nowe wee haue receiued, not the spirit of the World, but the Spirit which is of God. whereby hee learneth thee this lesson: It auaileth thee not to magnifie, to glorifie God and His Spirit, except in the end thou take that Spirit to thy selfe, and mayest challenge Christ and His Spirit, as thine owne propertie. Men haue spoken verie highlie of Christ, and haue had little adoe with Him. Speake thou not of Him so, but as thou [Page 135] speakest of Him to His praise, take Him to thy selfe: otherwise, in all thy speaking of Him, thou art but a verie babler, if thou haue not that Spirite within thee: For the Apostle saith, No man can call Iesus Lord, except he haue the Spirit of Iesus, 1. Cor. 12. 3. Therefore, as thou wouldest saue thy selfe from prophaning of God, and of His Spirit, and of His graces, when thou art praising and magnifying Him, looke that thou haue the Spirite, that thou mayest say to thy selfe, This Spirit whom I praise, is mine: this God, whom I haue bene magnifying, and all His graces, is mine. In the end of the verse hee setteth downe the ende wherefore GOD hath giuen vs this Spirit. The end is this, To make vs to know the things which are giuē vnto vs by God. I see here the Spirit of Iesus, when He maketh our eye to looke in to that deepnesse of God, to that store of mercie, He will let vs see nothing in GOD, but meere grace & mercy. As this Euangell preacheth nothing but meere grace and mercie, so the Spi­rit of Iesus, when He letteth thee see al the hidden things in GOD, Hee letteth thee see nothing but meere mercie and grace. And therefore, hee that will tell the people of the merits of men, or of the Saints, that they are not justified by meere grace, but must ad to their own deseruings, I wil tell you my judgmēt of such a man, suppose he be neuer so glorious a Doctor, neuer so sacond or so learned, hee neuer spake by the Spirite of IESVS. Papist Doctors, who leade men to leane to their owne [Page 136] merites, and to the merites of Saincts, neuer spake nor wrote by the Spirit of Iesus: For the Spirite of Iesus letteth thee see nothing in God but mee [...]e mercie: for one merite of man will destroye all grace: so contratie is the Spirit of God, & the spi­rit of man, the grace of Christ, & the merit of man, And this is ye spirit that men striue to put amōgst vs againe: for if they bring in Papistrie amōgst vs again, farewell ye Spirit of Iesus. No, I speak it from mine heart, if that Idolatrie come in againe, I shall stand vp in my last Preaching, and saye, Farewell the Spirit of Iesus: For, no more than Hell can ac­companie Heauen, no more can that blessed Spi­rit of Iesus accompanie that dirt & dung of mans doctrine. Therefore, as thou wouldest keepe the Spirit of Iesus, holde abacke these men, for thou shalt not enjoye them both in despite of thine heart. The Lord Iesus cannot remaine amongst Idolaters: and if thou haue not His Spirite, thou art not His, (Roman. 8. 9.) if thou be not His, thou art the Deuils, and shalt goe to euerlasting dam­nation. Therefore I say ouer againe▪ Holde them away, as thou wouldest keepe that blessed Spirit of IESVS CHRIST: To whom with the FATHER and the Holie Ghost, be all Honour, Praise, Power, Glo­rie, and Dominion, both now and euer worlde without ende,

AMEN.

THE EIGHT SERMON.

II. COR. CHAP. IIII.

verse 3 If our Gospell bee then hidden, it is hidden to them that are lost:

verse 4 In whome the god of this worlde hath blinded the mindes, that is, of the Infideles, that the light of the glorious Gospell of Christ, which is the Image of God, should not shine vnto them.

verse 5 For wee preach not our selues, but CHRIST IE­SUS the LORD, and our selues your seruants for IESUS sake.

IN the verse immediatelie going before this Text which wee haue read in your audience, the Apostle hath beene speaking of that since­ritie, of that plainnesse which hee vsed in the preaching of the Gospell of CHRIST, which he vttered with such an euidence, that who­soeuer hearde him, might vnderstand him, might haue seene the light of the Gospell, and haue ap­prehended it. Nowe because this people of Co­rinth were stiffe-necked, hard to conceiue, full of conceits, and liked nothing but humane wisdome and eloquence, scorning & mocking the euidence [Page 138] of the Spirit: Therefore, some of them might haue objected immediatelie, Paule, thou speakest of thy plainnesse in vttering the Gospel, yet for thy plain­nesse there is manie amongst vs who knowe not what thou speakest, thy Gospell is hidden to ma­nie, manie vnderstand thee not. The Apostle mee­teth this in the first wordes which wee haue read, If our Gospell be hidden, it is hidden to them that perish. A sore sentence: as if hee woulde saye, Corinthians, blame me not, nor my Gospell, the fault is in that miserable corruption which is in you: yee cannot see the light of my gospel, because ye are adjudged to perdition and damnation: so the blame is in your blindnesse, who are appointed to damnation before all eternity. So this verse being plaine, let vs obserue some lessons. The first is this: There hath beene, and is, many in the world, in all ages, that neuer saw, seeth, nor shall see the light of the Gos­pell. Ye haue an example of these Corinthians, how­beit the Gospel should shine clearer than ye Sunne at noone time of the day, it shall neuer be seene of them, it will be hidden to them, howbeit it should bee as a booke laide open before them, yet it will bee a clasped booke to them. Let euerie man be­ware of himselfe, for this is a necessitie laide vpon the multitude of this worlde. A multitude hath bene in all ages, a multitude is in this age, a mul­titude shal be in euerie age to come, who shal ne­uer see the light of the Gospell. The next lesson is: These folke haue this propertie, and disposition, [Page 139] (beeing pleasurers of themselues) they are euer quarreling with the Gospell, amongst all the hea­rers of the worlde they are the most quarrellous, they, I say, who get the least good of it, are alwayes the moste quarrellous, and euermore laying the fault either vpon the Gospel, or vpon the teachers thereof, because they neither get light nor conso­lation thereby. Beware of this quarrellous com­plexion. I marke thirdlie, where is the fault, or in whome? They blame the Gospell, and the tea­chers therof, but where is the fault indeed? Paule telleth thee heere, If my Gospell bee hidden, it is hid­den to them that perish. That perdition and destru­ction wherunto thou art appointed from all eter­nitie, is the cause wherefore thou receiuest no consolation, no light in thy soule thorow the Go­spell of Iesus Christ. Thou layest the fault where it is not, thou art like a blinde man, that will stand vp against the Sunne, shining at the noone time of the daye, and accuse it because it shineth not, when in the meane time it is shining vpon the face of him. Thou art a vessel of perdition, if there bee not a remedie, and because the sentence is past, therefore, as when a thiefe or a murtherer is once condemned to death, the gracious pre­sence of the Prince is with-drawne from him, that hee may looke on him no more: Euen so, if once a creature bee adjudged to death, the gracious countenance of Iesus Christ is with-drawne from him, lest hee should beholde it in the Gospell.

[Page 140]Another thing followeth: There are manie to­kens of damnation, that men and women are ad­judged to death: Amongst the rest this is a sure to­ken, If the Gospell be hidden to thee, euen as it is preached in SCOTLAND, (wee haue neither Peter nor Paul to teach vnto vs) yet if it be hidden to thee, if thou receiue neither light nor consola­tion by it, as it is now preached, if thou continue so till thy life be in thy lips, as wee speake, till the last gaspe, thou hast a seale in thine owne bosome of euerlasting damnation: thine heart is marked with the marke of perdition: yea, if thou bee a king, thou art a vessell ordained for shame and ig­nominie.

Then, Brethren, learne here: seeing there must be a number that must perish, and a number of all estates in the worlde must die, that must goe to Hell, ordained from all eternitie to perdition, be­guile not your selues, and seeing to this number the Gospel must bee hidden, and must be a closed booke, they can neuer haue cōsolation of it. Then thou that delitest to walke in the light of the Gos­pell of Iesus Christ, thinke thou not euill of this Gospell, thinke thou not euill of this Ministerie. Ioyne these two together, that cannot bee seue­red, the Gospel and the Ministery. Thou that thin­kest euill of ye Ministerie, thou thinkest euill of the Gospell: bee thou not ashamed of the Ministers, nor of their bondes, nor of their captiuitie, nor of their death, nor of no crosse that can be laid vpon [Page 141] them: (the 2. Epist. to Timot. and the 8. Chapter) For the multitude of the worlde thinketh shame of the Gospell, and of the Ministers thereof, when affliction once commeth vpon them. Thou that louest the Gospel, keepe thy comfort in thine own bosome, and assure thy selfe, there is none other way to Heauen: and knowing well, that this must bee the hazarde of the Gospell, and of the Mini­sters, take all these troubles for sure tokens of the trueth of God. I loue not the Gospell that hath the countenance of the Princes of this world, and hath the confluence of the multitude. The Prin­ces and multitude of this worlde hath euer borne the pure Gospell of Iesus Christ at hatred. Thus sarre for the first cause, wherefore the Gospell of Iesus Christ is hiddē from manie, to wit, that per­dition whereunto they are adjudged from all eternitie.

Nowe take vp in the next verse another cause wherefore the Gospel is hidden to many, In whom (saith he) the god of this world hath blinded their minds. The second cause is excecation, blind-folding▪ putting out of the eyes, and all to this ende, that they shoulde not get a sight of the glorious light of the Gospel, and so be saued. But how commeth this to passe? howe are they blinded? I shall tell you: Once beeing adjudged to die, and ordained in the counsell of God to perdition, in commeth the god of this worlde, that is, the Deuill, whome this worlde maketh a god of, the God of Heauen [Page 142] sendeth him. Whome to sendeth Hee him? Vnto that catiue, that miserable creature that is ordai­ned for perdition, as a torturer, & persecuter, an hang-man, to put that eternall decree in execu­tion. And what doeth hee when he commeth in? The first turne that euer hee doeth, hee bindeth him. What bindeth hee, his handes or his feete▪ No, he letteth them louse, and letteth him worke on with them his owne ruine, and runne on vnto his owne perdition: But hee bindeth his eyes, or rather, pulleth them out, that the miserable bodie may not see the gracious face of Christ. Where­fore is he sent vnto him? The cause is not onelie in the ordinance of God, but in the catiue himselfe, that maliciously repineth to the light, and will not receiue the Gospell, therefore the GOD of Heauen sendeth the Deuil to put out his eyes, that he should not see. Mark then the lesson: They that are adjudged to die & to perditiō in the world to come, in this worlde, ere euer they goe out of this life, they are bounde like thieues and murtherers, to bee presented bound to that damnation that is to ensue: they are reserued in chaines till that great Daye. What chaines are these? Chaines of darknesse, their eyes are plucked out, that blind­linges, in that great Day, they may bee cast into Hell, into that Lake that burneth with fire and brimstone for euer. There is neuer a soule y goeth to damnation in the worlde to come, but in this life it is blinded: Yee know the Ethnickes saying, [Page 143] Quos perdere vult IVPITER, iis mentem solet adimere. It is a true saying: and therefore, take vp a sure note of perdition to come, excecation, blindnesse: so that if thou canst not see that gracious face of CHRIST in the Gospel at no time, for all thine hearing, for all this Ministery that is in the world, take heede to thy selfe, and feare that euerlasting damnation. Bee neuer at quiet night nor daye, till thou seest a light in thy minde by the Gospell: otherwise thy conscience shall condemne, thee as a vessell of perdition. The Gospell is not sent for nothing: either shall it bee vnto thee a sauour of life vnto Life, or a sauour of death vnto Death, and this shall bee justified one day: And except thou get light, thou shalt curse the time that euer thou hearde the Gospell, when it commeth to that damnation. Another thing marke heere: When commeth the god of this worlde to blinde men? (Looke to the order of the Text) The first cause is counted perdition & GODS ordinance, then commeth in the Deuill. When commeth in the Deuill? When GOD hath first saide the worde, I will haue this bodie perishing, and will bee glorified in his perdition; then commeth in the torturer, and plucketh out his eyes. So the Deuill is nothing to GOD, but a persecuter, a minister of His wrath, when Hee is angrie, than is the lowne at hande, as a slaue, to put in execu­tion that wrath. But it is a sore pitie to consi­der the miserable bodie on whome this wrath is [Page 144] executed! When the hang-man commeth to bind the hands of a bodie, that bodie is sorrowfull and sad: but when the Deuill is binding thee, thou art merrie in the meane time: & when he is a Deuil to thee, thou thinkest hee is a God to thee. Thou ne­uer rejoycest, but in blindnes: look to experience, The multitude of this Land is neuer merrier, than when he is binding them, and drawing them to fil­thinesse, to murther and villanie, to gluttonie and dronkennesse: Count not of such a man: but saye, or thinke, if thou dare not say it, O miserable ca­t [...]ue! the Deuill is blinding thee, and leading thee to perdition.

Nowe marke in the thirde roome, the causes which hasten this damnation, and which must passe before the god of this worlde come as a tor­turer to put in execution the sentence of GOD. There must goe before this excecation, and that damnation that followeth this excecation, a cause in thy selfe, thou must euer bee the causer of thine owne death: notwithstanding the ordinance of God, yet thou neuer perishest till thou be worthie of thine own death, and merite thine own damna­tion. What bringeth on this blindnesse? A mali­cious, false, infidell heart, repugning to the Gos­pel, for thou first despisest it, and rejectest it so ma­liciouslie and despite [...]ull [...]e, that in a maner, thou wouldest spit on the face of Christ Iesus, which shineth in the Gospell. This hasteneth the wrath: For whē the Lord seeth the despitefulnes of thine [Page 145] heart, that thou wilt not see not look in the light when it is offered to thee, and holden vp before thine eyes: then He sendeth His torturer & saith, Go thy wayes, Sathan, and plucke out the eyes of this bodie: then hee plucketh out the eyes of thy mind immediately, and God giueth thee ouer to a reprobate sense: and this is it which the Apostle saith of the Gentiles, Rom. 1. 28. It pleased them not to retaine God in knowledge, therefore God gaue them ouer to a reprobate sense. And Ephes. 4. 18. Hauing (saith he) their cogitations darkned, and beeing strangers from the life of God, thorow the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardnesse of their heartes. There plainlie hee letteth vs see that the hardnesse & malice of their heartes bringeth on this ignorance and blind­nesse. Therefore, beware of this malice, and put it out of thine heart, or else thou shalt bee carried blindlinges to euerlasting damnation, suppose thou bee an Earle or a King: what regarde hath GOD of persons?

Now, Brethrē, there are some words that I must weigh to you, as the Lord shall giue me the grace, & I shall repeat them, & marke ye with me, if they be not weighty, That the light of the glorious Gospell of Christ, which is the image of God shuld not shine vnto thē, or spread His beames vpō them: ye know, & anie man yt hath knowledge knoweth, that this might haue bene spokē in fewer & baser words, but the Apo. cōtents not himself with base words in such a matter, but saith, that ye light of the glorious gospel, &c. [Page 146] Well, is there one word here in vaine? and is there any chāge of words made for nothing? are simple base words changed into glorious words for no­thing? no (alas! we cannot see this) and it is one of the things in the world that I would fainest haue you to vnderstand, what moueth the Apostles and Prophets to vse such an high language, and set vp a thing in such glorious tearmes, the which they might vtter in baser tearmes. Thinke not that the men of God, Prophets and Apostles, haue spoken (as we say) hyperbolicè, great and loftie words, grea­ter than the matter. These wordes are borrowed words, and they are borrowed from the most glo­rious thing in the earth, and yet they attaine not to the thousand part of the things which by them he would expresse. All the high wordes that a man can vse to expresse ye glorie of Christ, are not able to expresse the thousand part of that glorie.

But to come to the purpose. Ye haue set down first in glorious tearmes the effect of the Gospell: it is set down in shining and beames, thereafter ye haue set downe the Gospell it selfe. To come to the first: The most glorious thing that a man can see in this earth, is the shining of the Sunn, which the Lord hath fixed in the Heauens. The pleasan­dest thing that a man can looke to, when he hath looked to all these earthlie thinges, is the glaun­cing of the Sunne in a faire day. And therefore, ye see the glorie of the Sunne is described very high­lie by Dauid in the 19. Psalme. To applie this: [Page 147] Euen so the effect of the Gospell beeing the most glorious effect that euer was wrought: the Spirite of God setteth it out by the most glorious thing in the world, the spreading of the Sunne beames. And surelie, suppose there were no more but this word [Shyning] it letteth vs see a wonderfull effect of the Gospell in the hearts of men and women. Ye see by experience, the beames of the Sunne, suppose they were neuer so bright, will neuer al­ter the bodie which they shine vpon, nor make it bright like themselues: the sunne hath shined this long time in the world, but yet by shining it could neuer so trans-change any creature, that it coulde become as bright as the Sunne it selfe. It may well let thee see the bodie that is opacum (as wee saye) darke & obscure, so long as it shineth, but as soone as it is remooued, the bodie is darke as it was be­fore. But as to the Gospell: The Gospell, with the beames of it, not onelie maketh the object where­vpon it shineth, to be seene, and to appeare: but it doeth more, it transformeth the soule of the man or woman into that same light and brightnesse that is in it: That is to say, The face of IESVS, the Sunne of righteousnesse that shineth in the Gos­pell, when the beames of it striketh vpon thy soule, they make it lightsome and bright like the face of Iesus, they turne the soule in the shape of the face of IESVS, that shineth in the Gospell. Would yee haue Scripture for this? looke the last verse of the chapter going before, We behold (saieth [Page 148] hee) as in a mirrour, the glorie of God with an open face. and are changed into the same image from glorie to glorie, as by the Spirit of the Lord. And this is done in such a sort (O would to God wee knew the power of the Gospell) that thou, who hadst nothing but dark­nesse within thee, art made a shining light, casting out thy beames, and ouer-shadowing sillie darke bodies. Hee that brought light out of darknesse (saith Paul) by His word, Hee hath shined in mine heart, that I may minister the knowledge of Iesus Christ to others. So is it moste certaine, thou in whome the Gospell is so powerfull, art made a light in the world, to illuminate darke soules.

Nowe to come to the next, the Gospell it selfe: How expresseth he the Gospell? Hee calleth it not simplie and barelie with a meane word, The Gos­pell, (all these meane words, and sillie simple spea­ches of such a glorie, telleth what feeling men haue in their heartes of the effectualnesse of the Gospell) but hee calleth it, The light of the Gos­pell, The Gospell is a light, and it is the light of lightes. The Sunne, albeit it be bright, was neuer comparable to it in shining, and therefore it ca­steth out such glorious beames in the soules of men and women. What is the cause that it is a light? The cause is in the subject of it. The subject of it is glorie. What will make a light, if glory will not make it? The Gospell, is the Gospell of glory, and all that is within it is glorie. What glorie [...] this? The glory of CHRIST the King of king [...] [Page 149] his glory must be a great glory: what kind of per­son is this Christ? He is ye Image of God. He neuer resteth mounting vp till he come to that diuinity. Lo how he riseth: he climbeth from the Gospel to the Mediator, & from ye Mediator to that glorious Majesty. So all the glorie that shineth in ye Gospel, is ye glory of God, and all the light of the Gospel, is that light of God which th'Apo. 1. Tim. 6. 16. cal­leth yt light which hath none accesse, & neuer man had accesse to it, till this Iesus brought it down, & without this light thou art but darknesse, and shalt end in exteriour & vtter darknesse. All the beames of the Sunne are but darknesse in respect of it. The Sunne is but a creature, this is the light vncreated of the glorious GOD, the verie essence of GOD, count of it as thou wilt. Now marke one thing of this: This man by his speach leadeth vs to his hart, what are words, if they want the heart? and if they haue no life, what are wordes to bee respected, suppose thou speakest a thousande yeeres of light and glorie, if thou haue neither light nor glorie in thy soule. Certainely, there are none that will looke to these wordes, but they may see the mans heart was replenished with this light and glorie whereof hee spake. The face of IESVS shy­ned on his soule, and so wonderfullie hee vtte­reth that conception, and fulnesse of the heart, in such wordes as are marueilous. The heart of PAVLE was full of light and glorie. But I see little light in the heartes of men and women, in [Page 150] respect of that light which was in his heart. And therefore, Brethren, to speake the trueth, because this Gospell, howbeit it hath beene sounding in the eare these manie yeeres in this Lande, yet it hath not entered into the hearts of men & womē, it hath bene a sound in the eare, but not a light in the soule, because thou hast not suffered it to en­ter into thine heart, & kept it there: therefore, the Lord is threatning to take it from thine eare also: and so will be seene on EDINBVRGH one day. The eye is alwayes vpon men, but thou lookest not to that poysonable heart of thine, that is procuring ye away-taking of this Gospel out of thine eare, and except ye descend into your owne hearts, & search the emptinesse of yt light in them, it is not possible that it can remaine. Can it bee possible that this contempt of the Gospell, that of her owne nature is so effectuall in the hearts of men, can bee borne with for euer? No, ye Lord will not suffer this con­tempt to bee vnpunished. And therefore, the Lord appearantly hath said▪ I will put away my Gospel from this vngrateful people, whom it hath not illuminated after so long time. So ye yt haue bene long looking to in­strumēts, looke as long on your owne false hearts that are the cause of all. Yet, Brethren, notwith­standing of al this contempt of ye Gospel, the Lord saue me, & all them that I wish well to, from this, to be an instrument of the with-drawing of it for yet it was neuer seene that ye Lord vsed good men to be instruments in such a deed. Who is it that is [Page 151] heere sent to blind this worlde? who but the god of this world, the Deuil!? and therfore I giue this watch-word, Let no man preasse to bee the occa­sion of the away-taking of the Gospell.

Nowe I shall take vp the next verse shortly, and so I shall end. In the next verse the Apostle giueth the reason wherefore they to whome the Gospell was hidden, behoued to be they who were ordai­ned for perdition, and whome the god of this world hath blinded. His reason is takē euen from his sinceritie in preaching the Gospell, For (saieth hee) wee preach not our selues: Whom preach I then? but IESUS CHRIST the LORD, and I prea­ched Him to be the Lord in my Gospel: and what preached I of my selfe? Our selues your seruantes for Christ Iesus sake. For the Bridegromes cause I was a seruant to the Bride, for His cause who is the onelie Head and LORD of the Church, I was a seruant to the Church. Then of this reason marke this lesson: A man, whome the LORD raileth to preach the Gospell, not to seeke himselfe, nor his owne aduancement, nor worldlie riches, nor honour, but onelie to preach the Gospell in sin­ceritie, what effect will hee haue in his preaching? Strange effectes will followe him: if hee saue thee not, if hee winne thee not to God, if he minister not comfort to thee by his Gospell, what will hee doe? I shall tell thee, Hee will put a stampe vpon thee, and thrust it into thine heart & conscience, testifying to thee in the owne time (for the con­science [Page 152] wakeneth not in all men at all times) that thou wast not faithfull, but a reprobate ordained to perdition from all eternitie, if thou gettest not repentance in time, and if the Gospell preached by a sincere man hath not fructified in thee, all his preaching is but a seale to thee of thy dam­nation, and in the Great Day shall stand vp and aggrege thy judgement.

Marke another thing heere: What is this that maketh this man so bold? He will denounce per­dition, excecation, and blind-folding by the god of this world, (I assure you, this is a bolde speach to denounce damnation) but what maketh him so bolde? Yee see it in a worde, the conscience of his owne sinceritie, that in his preaching hee sought not himselfe, but the LORD his Mai­ster. There is the lesson. A man whom the LORD will sende (and the LORD as certainlie will sende men to speake in sinceritie his message, as euer he sent any Prophet in the worlde, howbeit there be not an extraordinarie calling nowe) A man, I say, whom the LORD will send, he will denounce damnation to an obstinate and rebellious people: and hee will bee bolde to take thee, as it were, by the eare suppose thou bee a king, and leade thee to that Tribunall to heare the sentence of damna­tion pronounced against thee. The LORD giue mee this sinceritie, and then I will not care for all the kinges and all the men in the worlde: for the LORD will giue boldnesse to the man whome he [Page 153] raiseth in sinceritie to cyte kinges before that Tri­bunall of IESVS CHRIST.

Another thing I see in this Text: There is no lord, but the Lord IESVS, who will tread down all the lordes in the earth, and treade vpon their neckes at his pleasure. And more I see, There is no Ladie, nor Queene, but the Church, the Spouse of IESVS CHRIST: As for Kinges, Queenes, Po­litickes in the earth, all are but seruantes onelie, Kinges seruantes, Queenes seruantes, Pastors and Ministers seruants and nourishers of the Church of IESVS: The Apostles, seruants, ministring food to this glorious bodie of IESVS, and feeding it with the sincere milke of the worde. And that is it which the Apostle saith in the 1. epis▪ to the Corin. chap. 3. vers. 22. speaking of himselfe, and others. All is yours (saith he) whether it be Paul, or Apollos, or Cephas, &c. Euen so, all is yours, all are but seruants to you, ye are Christes, Hee is your Lord, ye haue none other lord, but Christ. Thē the Church must haue a great prerogatiue, jurisdiction, and liberty. She is a Queene, and if euer there was in any coun­trey a jurisdiction and libertie, shee hath it giuen her of her Spouse, the Lord IESVS. Then ye know what should follow: If shee haue a libertie and ju­risdiction, I will speake that which the Apostle speaketh in the second epist. to the Corin. chap. 13. vers. 10. God hath not giuen me (saith Paule) power to your destruction, but all the power which GOD hath giuen mee is to your edification. The GOD of [Page 154] Heauen gaue neuer to anie creature in Heauē no [...] earth, power to doe against her, but all to main­taine her in her liberty. Then meddle not with her jurisdiction. Let none earthly power meddle with it, and beware that no irruption bee made within it. There was neuer Emperour nor Monarch of this worlde, that made irruption within it, that euer wanne by it. Therefore, let euerie soule be­ware to meddle with this libertie: for certainelie, that sworde that shall be strocken at her, shee shallding it back again like the hammer off the stithie. Reade the Ecclesiasticall Histories, yee shall see, that neuer man got the vpper-hand, that euer medled with it. And therefore, the LORD open mens eyes, and let them see this, that they may reuerence this glorious Spouse of IESVS CHRIST, as euer they would see that glorious Face of CHRIST IESVS Her Head: To whome with the Father, and the Holie Spirite, bee all Praise, Ho­nour, & Glo­rie, worlde vvithout end: so bee it.

THE NINTH SERMON.

II. COR. CHAP. X.

verse 1 Now, I Paule, my selfe, beseech you by the meeknesse and gentlenesse of Christ, who when I am present amongst you, am base, but am bolde towardes you, beeing absent.

verse 2 And this I require you, that I neede not to be bolde when I am present with that same confidence wherewith I thinke to bee bolde against some, who ecteeme vs as though wee walked according to the flesh.

verse 3 Neuerthelesse, though wee walke in the flesh, yet we doe not warre after the flesh.

verse 4 (For the weapons of our warre-fare are not carnall, but mightie through God to cast downe Holdes.)

verse 5 Casting downe the imaginations, and euerie high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captiuitie euerie thought to the obe­dience of CHRIST.

THESE Corinthians, vnto whome the Apostle writeth, beeing be­fore founded and grounded in the faith of IESVS CHRIST by this Ministerie, yet afterward seduced and led aside with false apostles, [Page 156] Oratours [...]ather than Teachers, who preached the Gospel of IESVS CHRIST with humane affected eloquence, beginne to disdaine the Apostle, who [...]ounded and grounded them in that Faith of IE­SVS CHRIST, and to account of him euen as if he had not beene sent, or had not bene an Apostle in verie deede, but had onelie giuen himselfe out for an Apostle. Therefore, in this present Text, the Apostle beseecheth them to account of him (as he was indeed) as the Apostle of Iesus Christ, and de­sireth them so to esteeme of him: and so, taking occasion, he falleth out in a verie high description of his Apostleship. And first hee maketh a request vnto them, Nowe, I Paule, my selfe, beseech you, by the meeknesse and gentlenesse of Christ: Surelie, if yee will consider their deseruinges at the handes of the Apostle, they should haue bene met more hardly, and sharper language should haue beene directed vnto them: Yet ye Apostle meeteth them gently, & directeth to them a meeke and gentle request, I Paule, in mine own person, beseech you, and that for the meeknesse and gentlenesse of Iesus Christ, if euer ye had any taste of that mercy & meeknesse in Iesus Christ towards you, euen for that meeke­nesse sake, and for that mercies sake, obey me, doe the thing which I bid you. So the Pastor hath his lesson first heere: It is the part and duetie of a Pa­stor, who hath to doe with people, First at the entrie to beginne with meeknesse and lenitie: yea, amongst all the properties that is required in a [Page 157] faithfull Pastor, this is not the least to bee endued with lenitie and pitie: Lenitie, (I saye) arising not onelie of the consideration of the miserie of men, with whome hee hath to doe, (for all people are miserable by nature, and all our preachinges are to a companie of miserable creatures, who, beeing miserable, hath neede of mercie, and cra­ueth pitie) but arising also of a sense and feeling of his owne wretchednesse and miserie. What? Is hee not himselfe a miserable man by nature, as well as anie other person of the flocke, man or woman? Then againe, the mercie and lenitie of IESVS CHRIST which hee hath found to­wordes himselfe, shoulde mooue and raise vp his lenitie and pitie towards his flocke.

Therefore, Paule; beeing of minde to speake to these Corinthians, how be it he had matter of sharpe­nesse & threatning offered vnto him by them, yet the mercy of Christ towards him, who was so mi­serable himselfe, vntill hee got that mercie, chan­geth all sharpnesse to lenity▪ & turneth his threat­nings which hee might haue vsed, in a pitifull re­quest. Next the people likewise hath their lesson here For, as the lenitie pitie, and meeknesse of Ie­sus Christ should mooue the Pastor to lenitie to­wards y people, euen so this same lenitie & meek­nesse of our Lord Iesus should moue the people to obey the gentle and humble request of the Pastor. And he or she that euer hath felt in heart, and ta­sted the sweetnesse of the mercie of GOD in [Page 158] IESVS CHRIST, will not so soone heare of this lenitie and mercie, for CHRISTS mercies sake, or for His lenities sake, but as soone they wil bee moued to obey the request. And they againe, who continue stubborne & disobedient, notwith­standing of a duetifull and lawfull request, I saye (for my part) that stubborne hearted bodie neuer knew what Christ meaned, neuer felt remission of sinnes through the blood of Iesus Christ. They that will not doe the thing which they should doe for the mercies sake of Christ, shall neuer taste of that mercie, nor of Iesus Christ. Affuredlie, they serue for nothing but to be faggots for the fire of Hell: for where mercy is not, there must be judge­ment.

Now in the latter part of the verse, hee setteth downe a description of himselfe, I Paul, who when I am present among you am base, but am bolde towardes you being absent. This is one thing in effect with that which followeth afterwards in the 10. verse of this chap. (for this dis-estimation of himselfe, is from that light account and regarde that they made of him, and of the Gospel which he teached) For the Letters (saith he) are sore and strong, but his bodi­lie presence is weake, and his speach is of no va­lue. He here describeth himself conforme to their dis-estimation of him, for the mis-liking is recent in his memorie, yet his speach is meeke to them. This matter would haue angered a good man, but Paul is so farre from anger, that hee breaketh out [Page 159] in a gentle and humble request. Whereupon I note, That the vnthankfullnes of the world should not breake our patience, or cause vs forget that le­nitie wherewith the Embassadour of Iesus Christ shoulde bee endued: for lenitie is bounde to vs, and wee are bound to it, yea, although this worlde be neuer so vngrate, yet we are bound to striue by long suffering to ouercome in the ende. Secondly, think ye not but Paul should haue thoght shame to registrate (as it were) his own shame to ye posteritie to come, so that I may say, Paul, thou wast of none estimatiō, & euery one may see in how smal acoūt he was amongst these people. There is none of vs all, if there be anie infirmitie in vs, but wee would haue it hidden: but a man hauing a good con­science, and discharging a faithful part of duetie, is nothing blotted by the speaking of the world, nor the registrating of their speaches, is nothing to his shame: But the shame pertaineth to the peo­ple: their words and deeds towards the Pastor re­maineth in his memorie, and in the memorie of God, and shall continue vntill the day of Iudge­ment; except they repent: yea, euen these same wordes spoken against Paule, shall meete them in the teeth at the day of Iudgement.

Yet I see in these wordes a sharpnesse and rebu­king mixed with lenitie, to let vs see, that when we haue to doe with wicked men, lenitie and meeke­nesse should not be corrupted, but tempered with sharpenesse, that vngratefull men may be brought [Page 160] to a sense and feeling of sinne and miserie. Lenitie alone will not serue the turne, but with sweetnesse sowrenesse must be mingled, that the word spoken may be the more effectuall and forcible, who when I am present among you am base, &c. The worlde, and the men of this world account of nothing but of that which hath a faire shew, and that they esteem highly of, although it were neuer so litle worthie: The ground whereof is this: All men and women by nature are hypocrites, painted bodies, no soli­ditie in them, all are visorned folke: hee commeth out, shee commeth out, all masked and disguised: For what is an hypocrite, but a false showe? No­thing surely: And therefore, because there is no soliditie in themselues, they can account nothing of soliditie: as hee is himselfe, such is his estima­tion of others: as shee is her selfe, such is her esti­mation of others. O! would to God euery man and woman could dis [...]en [...] into themselues, and know their owne nature.

Amongst all things in the world, this Ministery is the vilest, it is the basest thing vnder the Sunne to the eye of man. Other callinges will haue some outward glory, a king will haue an outward glory, but this Ministery hath none outwarde glory: and yet there is no calling vnder the Sunne that hath so precious a subject, as the calling of the Mini­sterie: Yea the moste solide thing in the worlde is vnder it, euē that which maketh men and women solide, and without it no soliditie, but all is a [...] [Page 161] chaf [...]e before the winde. The Apostle (2. COR. 4. 7) compareth IESVS CHRIST, and His gra­ces, which are reuealed in the Gospell, to a trea­sure, and the Apostles themselues to lame vessels: But wee haue (saieth hee) this treasure in earthlie vessels, that the excellencie of that power might bee of GOD, and not of vs. There the most glorious thing in the worlde is in the basest vessels, and weakest instrumentes. What maketh the worlde to con­temne and disdaine this treasure of the Gospell, but the weaknesse of these vessels, & the basenesse of these sillie men whome GOD hath put into this seruice? Indeede I maruell not, howbeit I see the contempt of this Ministerie, (and surelie there is nothing more vilder in the eares of men of SCOTLAND, than to heare the name of a Mi­nister) but I wonder rather, that euer man or wo­man should be altered by this Ministerie: the one is of nature, the other is of grace. Wonder neuer at nature, but wonder to see a man or woman al­tered by grace. Alas! this is to bee pitied, men lose their part of these vnsearcheable riches in IESVS CHRIST, because they stumble at the ba [...]enesse of this Ministerie: For hee that estee­meth not of this Ministerie, neuer tasted of the sweetnesse of IESVS CHRIST: he that estee­meth not of the lame vessell, hath no part of the riches which are in the lame vessell. In the words following, But I am bolde towardes you, whilest I am absent. I see they were compelled to see and feele [Page 162] some boldnesse in Paule, though not in his pre­sence, yet in his absence, though not by his words in speaking, yet by his writing. There is none so senselesse in the world, none so dead, none so hard hearted against the power of this Ministerie, but either by word or writing, either by absence, or els by presence, they shall bee compelled to feele the force of i [...]: Yea, this Ministerie shall either bee the sauour of life to life, or els the sauour of death to death vnto them.

And this I require you, that I need not to be bold, &c. In this next verse we haue his request expressed in few words, which is as much in effect as if he wold say, Seeing I am the Apostle of Iesus Christ, I be­seech you to acknowledge of me as of an Apostle. The argument is, If ye count not of mee, whilest I am absent, when I come, if there be anie power in me, I shall make you knowe it, and vtter it against you: ye shall finde me bolde, and not base: ye shall finde sowrnesse, and not meeknesse: sharpnesse, and not lenitie. Here he telleth by a comparison, what kinde of boldnesse hee will vse: When I come to you, I shall vse the same boldnesse towardes you, that I vse towardes the false apostles: and as con­cerning ye false apostles, I shal thunder out against them shame, and confusion, & ignominie, so that they that coūteth not of me, that I am the Apostle of Iesus Christ, shall finde my power▪

Wee may see here. Paul would bee counted by these Corinthians, to be the Apostle of Iesus Christ: [Page 163] is he therefore seeking his owne honour and glo­rie? No, hee is seeking the weale of the people. It is the weale of the people to count of the seruant of GOD, for when they count not of him, they cannot account nor accept of his doctrine: and when the doctrine is not well accepted of, then goeth the building slowlie forward Alas! this euill esteeming of men in the Ministerie, is the cause that so fewe are edified, and so manie to re­maine faithlesse: for where the man is lightlied, the doctrine is contemned: and where the doctrine is contemned, there can be no faith, no edifying: so that it is a greater matter to contemne the Mini­sterie, than men thinke it to be.

Marke these wordes, That I neede not to be bolde▪ Heere wee see plainlie, that lenitie and meeknesse is required in a Pastor: The Pastor is euer bounde first to beginne with lenitie and meeknesse, seue­ritie shoulde onelie come vpon necessitie, when lenitie and meeknesse is contemned, and cannot serue. Reade in ye 1. epist. to the Cor. chap. 4. vers. 21. Take your cho [...]se, whether I shall come to you with a rodde, or in loue, and in the spirite of meeknesse: mea­ning, that hee woulde come in seueritie, if lenitie would not serue. And 2. Cor. 13. 2. when hee seeth that they cānot be won with lenitie, he changeth his voice, & saith, If I come againe, I shall not spare you: when I come againe, I shall terrifie you with the power of God, because ye throw it out of mee. I see againe, hee is verie sharpe against these false [Page 164] Oratours, hee vseth no lenitie towardes them. Yet there is a discretion to bee had betwixt the dealing with false teachers, and with the people. There should be lenitie vsed towards the people: but what should bee with a deceiuing lowne, that beginneth to bring the trueth in slander? Hee must bee handled with seueritie and rigour: no lenitie should bee vsed towardes these that crcepe in daylie to bring the trueth in slander: Yee know their voyces, Who made LVTHER a Minister? Who made CALVIN a Minister? But they shall finde it one day that LVTHER and CALVIN were Ministers, and that there was a power in the word which LVTHER and CALVIN teached: For this is true that PAVLE spake, The LORD consumeth them daylie with the word that commeth out of the mouthes of His Ministers, and shall consume them daylie, vntill the Daye of the LORDS appea­rance.

In the third verse hee falleth out in a descrip­tion of the maner of his walking, Neuerthelesse, though wee walke in the flesh, &c. Though wee liue in the flesh, that is, in the infirmitie of this com­mon nature: for, to liue in the flesh heere, is to liue in the weaknesse of nature, yet we walke not, or warre not, according to the flesh: that is, our actions and doinges in our Apostleship are not fleshlie and weake: Yee see the outward bodie is weake, but measure not the inward man after the bodie and strength thereof: for, suppose my bodie be weake, [Page 165] yet mine actions are strong. So hee taketh to him one thing, and refuseth another.

Nowe, Brethren, let euerie man that liueth take gladlie to him frailtie and weaknesse: and if men call thee weake, take it to thee: for hee that will bee strong in himselfe, cannot bee strong in GOD. In this same Epistle (Chap. 12. verse 9.) The power of GOD (saieth hee) is made perfect in mine infirmitie. Of all men in the worlde, a man whose calling is to bee a Minister, shoulde take chiefelie vpon him this frailtie and weaknesse: yea, let him accept it more redilie than it can bee casten to him: and as hee is fraile and weake, so hee must feele his frailtie and weaknesse, and the chiefest part of his preaching should bee of frail­tie: and that Minister that neuer felt his owne mi­serie, cannot perswade the people that they are miserable, and bring them to an acknowledging of it.

And heerein appeareth the wisdome of GOD, who chooseth not to this Ministerie those who haue the greatest graces of nature, and naturall giftes, but Hee chooseth out the weake ones, and contemptible bodies, that are amongst men, and Hee setteth them vp to bee Preachers to man­kinde, as Hee speaketh in the first Epistle to the CORINTHIANS, in the first Chapter, and the sixe and twentie verse, Yee see, Brethren, your calling, howe that not manie wise men amongst you according to the flesh, not manie mightie, not manie noble are cal­led, [Page 166] but GOD hath chosen the foolish thinges of the worlde, to confound the wise, and GOD hath chosen the weake thinges of the worlde, to confound the mightie. So the Lord chooseth the ignoble and sillie crea­tures, and setteth them vp aboue kinges, yea, and the greatest Monarches of the worlde, to beate them downe.

Marke againe, as euerie man shoulde willinglie take to him this frailtie and weaknesse of nature, so let him refuse the other, that is to saye, let him refuse to walk according to the flesh: To walke ac­cording to the flesh, and to warre according to the flesh, is all one, (for the walking of a Chri­stian is a warrefare.) Holde backe these fleshlie actions, and namelie, these actions of sinne: take to thee the weaknesse of nature, but cast off sinne: For if thine actions bee altogether fleshlie, bee thou sure thou hast no part of the power of God, nor of the life of IESVS CHRIST: thou hast but the life of a man, or of a woman, and shalt die like a man or a woman without the life of GOD. But aboue all men in the worlde, let a Minister eschewe these actions of the flesh, looke that his actions bee powerfull, and that the power of GOD appeare in his walking: so that when in outwarde appearance hee is but a weake bodie, yet it may bee said of him, yt he is strong in Christ: For as weake as hee is to looke to, yet hee is a strong warrier, the Spirite is sensible in him, hee speaketh not like a man onelie, there is another [Page 167] grace conuoying his wordes, than can accompa­nie the worde of man. If thou bee a Minister, al­though thou were neuer so strong in bodie, if thou findest not GODS power in thy life and doctrine, I will not giue one penny for thee: looke that thou feele the power that Paule felt, as yee reade in the 2. Epist. to the Corin. chap. 4. vers. 16. when hee was dying in the bodie, then was the in­ner man quickest in him: and the more the bodi­lie life was away, the more the life of, GOD was manifest in him. A Minister that hath not the po­wer of GOD within him, howe can hee preach of CHRISTES power, or of His life? howe can hee bee a Minister of life, that hath no tasto of life himselfe? how can he preach of life, that neuer felt life? of necessity, he must be a shamelesse man, that will speake of Christ, of His mercie, life, and power, when in the meane time hee knoweth not what the mercie, life, & power of Christ meaneth: that man was neuer called of God to bee a Mini­ster, all that hee speaketh is like the babling of a Parockquet, the power of God doeth the deede: & therfore, God chooseth the weake instruments, that the world may see, that it is onelie His grace, and not the gifts of the men that doeth the turne. He calleth it not his walking, but warring & figh­ting. The life of a Minister is but a warre-fare: and hee who would bee a Minister, shoulde make him for warre-fare, make him for paine and labour, otherwise, let him neuer striue for that calling: [Page 168] Yea, there is nothing so laborious or painefull, but the life of a Minister is compared vnto it. We neuer read in the Scriptures where it is compared to any thing that importeth easinesse or idlenesse. 1. CORIN. 9. 26. The Minister is compared to a Warrier, then to a runner, running with all his maine speede, striuing to come to the marke, ne­uer looking ouer his shoulder to this or that thing, as manie will doe▪ saying, I haue done this turne, or that turne. No, when thou hast done all thou canst doe, say, thou hast done nothing. Then hee is compared to a wrastler, and to an husband­man, that holdeth the plough from morning till euening. In all these comparisons of the Scrip­tures, the figure is not so great as the thing figu­rate: when an heauenlie thing is compared with a worldlie thing, the worldlie thing is nothing in respect of the heauenlie thing. And therefore, there is no man comparable to the Minister in la­bour, the warrier, the runner, the plow-man, is no­thing to him.

The Apostle writing to Timothie, saieth in his second Epistle, Chap. 2. vers. 5. If thou fight not, thou shal [...] neuer attaine to the crowne: and why shouldest thou lose so faire a crowne for a momentes fighting? No man (saieth hee) is crowned▪ except hee fight faithfullie. And 2. Timoth. 4. 8. There is a crowne of righteousnesse laide vp▪ not onelie for mee, but for all those that loue the bright comming of the LORD IESUS. When Paul was an olde man, and leauing this worlde, I [Page 169] haue ended (saieth hee) my warrefare, and I haue foghten a good fight, and therefore I looke for that crowne. If hee had neuer beene a runner, hee would neuer haue taken this promise to himselfe, A crowne is laide vp for mee: And therefore, the LORD giue vs grace to labour for a while, that wee may rest from our labour in the life to come.

In the next verse hee prooueth that his war­ring and fighting in this worlde was not accor­ding to the flesh, taking the argument from the weapons and armour wherewith hee fought, such as the armour is such shall the warring bee, if the armour bee weake▪ the fight shall be weake: if the armour bee strong, the fight shall bee strong. Our armour (saieth the Apostle) is not fleshlie, our wea­pons are not of flesh nor fraile matter, but our wea­pons are strong through GOD, the power of GOD is in them, GOD is in the worde which wee speake, Hee setteth downe the ende, To beate downe strong holdes: This power will beate them downe, nothing will gaine-stand it.

Brethren, yee see by experience, put a rasour in­to a childes hand, it will cut: this cutting com­meth not of the strgēth of the childs hand, but of the sharpnes of y rasour. Take a gun, & put it into a childs hand, hee will slay a man, or shoote tho­row a woodden doore: this is not by the strength of the childe, but by the strength of the armour. Euen so, GOD by His worde in the mouth of the silliest and weakest bodie in the worlde▪ will [Page 170] slaye▪ and kill the strongest man that goeth vpon earth, if He put His word & it were but in a blab­bering mouth as He did in Moses, that word shall come and pierce in thorowe flesh and bone, till it come to the mergh, and shall diuide asunder the soule and the Spirit, Hebr. 4. 12. It is not the man that doeth this, but the weapon, the word that is in his mouth. The multitude of this world; is be­guiled, if they see a poore man set vp, they will measure ye grace of God by the man, & they think the inward man bee as weake as the outward: and so Kinges and Princes are beaten downe this way, and slaine, Earles fall downe slaine, men and wo­men of all rankes fall downe slaine, as sure as euer ye saw a man slaine in the bodie.

Ye remember the Historie of Samuel, 1. Sam. 15. 32. he calleth for king Agag, and as soone as Agag commeth forward, and had eschewed the furie of the young king, thought that he should eschewe the sword of the aged man also: but Samuel calleth for the sword, taketh it in his hand, & cutteth him in pieces: So this worde, in the mouth of weake bodies, slayeth Kings and Queenes in the worlde, when they are laughing & playing they are slaine without their expectation.

Yet in this same verse marke the force of this armour, Yee heare not of the building, but of the throwing downe. It is true, he buildeth vp also, but thou must first be brought down & humbled, and then be builded vp vpō a new ground. What is he [Page 171] that will build a new worke vpon an olde rotten wall? thou wouldest keepe nature and sinne, & yet be a new creature: no, thou must first renounce na­ture: for the slaughter of the old man must go be­fore the quickning of the new man.

In the verse following, hauing spoken of the weapens, he commeth to the warrefare, and heere is a stranger battell than euer was foghten, Wee throwe downe (saieth hee) the imaginations, and euerie high thing, &c. There is a battell, and a strange battell: Paul is the fighter of this battell▪ the war­riour of the Lord Iesus, a warrier to Him, to win prisoners to Him, to take Kinges and Princes by the cares, and lead them to Christ. That thing that is assaulted in this battell, and against which Paul hath taken armour, is first the cogitations. By these cogitations is meaned the whole faculties of the soule, for the principall function is the rea­son of man. Nowe what is shee doing, but sit­ting in her Castle, building her rampiers, and ca­sting her fowsies about her, and snaring her selfe in her owne nette? And let thee bee thou needest none other to trappe thee, thou wilt trappe thy selfe, take thou as much pride in thine own engine as thou wil [...], if thou haue no more▪ woe is thee: It shall fetter thee, and take thee in the grinne, as surelie as euer thou sawest a birde caught in the nette of a fowler. The next thing that Paule as­saulteth in this battell, is euerie high thing that is exalted against GOD: this I take to bee the pride [Page 172] of the heart, which as an high mountaine, rising vp as it were to the heauen, exalteth it selfe against GOD, and holdeth out GOD, and the light of GOD. These then are the thinges which Paul assaulteth Nowe to come to the battell, the first thing that Paule doeth, hee wealdes his wea­pons so skilfullie, that first of all he beateth down all the imaginations and reasonings of the mind, which are as rampieres and fowsies wherewith shee circuiteth her selfe to holde out GOD and His light. Next, hee assaulteth the pride of the heart, which as a mountaine exalted it self against GOD, hee beateth it downe, and maketh it equall with the ground. Thirdlie, hauing beaten downe all, hee commeth and taketh the thiefe by the necke, and leadeth him by the haire captiue to IESVS CHRIST, not to himselfe, that he should bee king ouer her: No. IESVS CHRIST is the King ouer the soule, as the Apostle in the second epist▪ to the Corinth. chap. 11. vers. 2. voweth the Church of GOD not to himselfe, but to her Spouse, to the ende that shee may bee safe, and GOD glorified. The man that seeketh his owne gaine, is but an hyreling. There are three actions heere, whereof the first two are none other thing▪ but the destroying of the sinne that is in the mind and in the heart. The third is the sauing of man, by leading him captiue to Iesus Christ, for the leading of a man captiue to Iesus Christ, is his safetie, and the libertie of the soule is this capti­uitie, [Page 173] and the slauerie of the soule is libertie to sinne. When ye were slaues to sinne (saith the Apostle Paul in the sixt Chapter of the Epistle to the Ro­manes, the twentie verse) then yee were free from righ­teousnesse. Marke heere a wonderfull power of God in this base and sillie Ministerie, (O! would to GOD men coulde knowe this power) destroying the deceite of reason, and beating down the pride of the heart of man, mounting vp against GOD. Alas, so great is the power of sinne, that it hath no match vnder heauen but this Ministerie. I will tell it ouer againe, There is nothing to throw this po­wer downe but this Ministerie. When this Mini­sterie was not in the world amongst the Gentiles (of the which SCOTLAND was one part, for our Progenitors were Gentiles without GOD in the world) sinne raigned to death: (Roman. 5. 21) Mul­titudes of Gentiles perished: but from the time that Iesus Christ, the author of grace, came into the world, and brought with Him this Ministery, first He himselfe, thereafter His Apostles, amongst whome Paul was as painfull as anie man) made it manifest howe powerfull this Ministerie was by demolishing the kingdom of sinne, for then grace beganne to reigne, and the power of GOD was manifested.

Brethren, I dare affirme the onelie thing that holdeth down the power of sinne is this sillie base Ministerie, take it away, (for men wold faine haue it away) and shoote it to the doore, (and for ought [Page 174] that I can s [...], I thinke it shall goe away) sinne shall come to an hight. Take away the thing that hol­deth downe the head of sinne, and it shall reigne. Then, O miserable Scotland! heere I denounce shame & ignominie shall come to thee, shame and confusion to King and Court, Land and Burgh, if this candlesticke be remoued. This shall be found by experience, if euer thing was true. And thou that wouldest [...]un to damnation, hast the remoo­uing of it, that thou mayest hastē thine own dam­nation. Nowe the last thing I see is the proper ef­fect of this Ministery of the blessed God (& would to God the worlde could see the glorie of it▪) the proper effect is not to slay men, but to saue them. This worlde thinketh that wee are come to slaye them: No, wee are come to slay sinne in you, that will slay you, if it be not slaine. Paul (in the 1. epist▪ to the Cor. chap. 3. vers. 12. & 13.) compareth the Ministery to a burning fire, that burneth vp haye, stubble, and trees: euen so it burneth vp thy sinne, and the drosse of thy nature▪ and [...]l the vanities of thine heart, but saueth thy selse. Howe is this that the world cannot abide the meane of their salua­tion? they cannot get rest neither night nor day, till they get away the thing that saueth them. Nowe it saueth the man, by taking him, and lea­ding him captiue vnder the King of glorie. Ye see they that are superiours in the battell, when they say to anie man. Bee taken, if hee will not bee ta­ken, they will slay him there: Euen so as truelie, i [...] [Page 175] thou wilt bee stubburne, and wilt not bee taken in this fielde, this word shall slay thee. Therefore, blessed are they that can suffer the ordinance of GOD, and stand still vntill sinne bee slaine, and they themselues bee ledde captiues vnder Christ, for that captiuitie vnder Him is true freedome. To that immortall and euerlasting King, bee all honour and glorie, for euermore,

Amen.

THE TENTH SERMON.

PHILIPPIANS, CHAP. I.

verse 18 What then? yet CHRIST is preached all ma­ner of wayes, whether it bee vnder a pretence, or sincerelie: and I therein joye, and will joye:

verse 19 For I knowe, that this shall turne to my saluation, through your prayers, and by the helpe of the Spi­rit of IESUS CHRIST.

verse 20 As I heartilie looke for, and hope, that in nothing I shall bee ashamed, but that with all confidence, as alwayes, so nowe CHRIST shall bee mag­nified in my bodie, whether it bee by life or by death:

verse 21 For CHRIST is to mee both in life and in death aduantage.

[Page 176]22. And whether to liue in the flesh were profitable for mee, and what to choose I know not:

verse 23 For I am greatlie in doubt on both sides, desiring to bee loosed, and to bee with CHRIST, which is best of all.

verse 24 Neuerthelesse, to abide in the flesh is more needefull for you.

verse 25 And this I am sure of, that I shall abide, and with you all continue, for your furtherance, and joye of your faith:

verse 26 That yee may more aboundantlie rejoyce in JESUS CHRIST for me, by my comming to you againe.

PAVL lying in bandes at ROME, there riseth vp two sortes of Prea­chers: The first sort of them that preached sincerelie, that GOD and His glorie might be aduanced. The second sort of them that preached not sincerelie, not for the aduancement of Christ nor His Gospell, but to adde afflictions to Paule bands, moued with ambition and enuie towards him.

In the first verse which wee haue read in your audience, Paule vttereth his minde concerning these two sortes of Preachers, and this is his mind in effect, Let them (saieth hee) preach as they will preach, let them preach of sinceritie for the glo­rie of Christ, let them preach for the fashion: howeuer they preach, (preaching the trueth of God) [Page 177] CHRIST is preached, euen by them who prea­cheth not sincerelie. And therfore, because Christ is preached, I rejoyce notwithstanding of all that injurie which I receiue by their preaching: I re­joyce and will rejoyce, and no man will bee able to take my joye from me. Shortlie then, there is Paules minde concerning these two sortes.

My doctrine shall bee generall: And the first thing that I marke heere is this, (and anie of you may see it) The Lord is glorified, Christ is magni­fied, euen by a counterfeite doing of men, when they doe the thing that is good: yet not in since­ritie, nor of purpose to glorifie GOD in their doing. But their purpose not beeing to glorifie God in their doing, (they not doing sincerelie) howbeit Hee getteth His owne glorie by their doing, yet they shall get little thankes. It is not so much the turne it selfe, the action it selfe, prea­ching, or whatsoeuer it bee, that procureth to a man thanks and grace at the handes of God, as it is the purpose & intention in doing. I had rather doe the soberest thing in the world, and if it were [...] eate my meate, and drinke my drinke, of purpose to glorifie God in my doing, than to do the greatest and fairest worke that can be seene to the eye of man, without purpose to glorifie God in that doing. Marke it: Whether yee eat, whether ye drinke, or whatsoeuer ye doe, little or much, do all to the glorie of God, saieth Paul, 1. Cor. 10. 31. And therefore, Brethren, there is nothing that a [Page 178] man should so much looke to in his doinges and actions, as to his purpose, and to the intention of his heart. Looke thou as thou wilt, the Lord loo­keth chiefelie to euerie mans intention and pur­pose. He that preacheth, what is to bee respected with what measure of grace he preach, if in prea­ching his intention be to glorifie God & Christ: whatsoeuer anie man or woman doeth, let them looke aboue all things, that in doing their inten­tion be to glorifie God, as euer they would looke for thanks at His hands. This is a lesson. I see here another thing. The Gospell is aduanced, IESVS CHRIST is glorified in Paules hurt, and who is a dearer man to Christ, than `Paul? The lesson then is this. Wee see the Lord is glorified, when those whom He loueth best, is damnified in this world, in their hurt and domage Hee getteth His glorie: that thing which is done against them in malice, the Lord therein is glorified.

Well then, I learne by the example of Paule, If so bee that my GOD is glorified in mine hurt, if He getteth aduantage by my damnage & skathe: then vnderstanding that glorie redoundeth vnto Him by my suffering, and it were by my death, I am bound to rejoyce I rejoyce, (saieth the Apostle) and shall rejoyce: I am bound to rejoyce, and thou art bound to rejoyce still in glorifying God to the ende. So aboue all thinges, the glory of Christ shold be sought. What am I to be respected, & my shame, hurt & death? what art thou to be respected [Page 179] thy shame, hurt and death? if it redound to ye glory of Him who made me and thee for His glorie?

Now, when he hath shewed his joye and mind concerning these two sortes of men, in the next verse he commeth to the cause of his joye in that the LORD was glorified in his hurt and domage. For (saieth hee) I knowe that this shall turne to my saluation, &c. That thing that is done to mine hurt, it shall bee so chaunged and turned about, that, against the expectation of men who woulde hurt mee, the LORD shall worke out my saluation. There is the lesson. If I can rejoyce, & thou canst rejoyce, that the LORD getteth glory by thine or mine hurt or skathe, wee may bee assured, that our trouble shall be wonderfullie altered & chan­ged: that which was done to our hurt, shall turne to our saluation. The Apostle Paul saieth, (in the 8. chapter of the epistle to the Romanes, verse 28.) To them who loueth God, all things commeth for the best: For if the glorie of GOD bee deare to thee, if thou preferre His glory aboue thy saluation, be assured thy life and saluation shall bee deare vnto Him: yea, thy saluation shall bee dearer vnto Him, than His glorie can bee vnto thee: for thou canst not loue Him so well as He loueth thee. Mo­ses (Exod. 32. 32.) vttereth a wonderfull zeale to GODS glorie, and saieth, Ere Thou destroye this people, raze mee out of the booke of Life: that is, altogether destroye mee. But what an­swere gets hee? No Moses, I had rather raze them [Page 180] out of my booke who haue sinned against mee. Paul desireth that he may be an Anathema, Rom. 9. 3. and that for the zeale hee had to the glorie of God. But Mose, shall neuer bee scraped out of the booke of God, because hee loueth Gods glorie: Paul shall neuer bee accursed, because hee loueth Gods glorie. And if thou wilt looke to His glo­rie, all that euill which thou canst wish to thee for His glory, shall be turned to thine health and sal­uation. Then yee see there is nothing that we can lose by seeking of Gods glorie. Our damnage shal be euer turned to our aduantage.

In the next part of the verse, and the verse fol­lowing, is set downe the maner, and the ordinarie manes whereby the hurt and domage that the godlie suffer for the glorie of God, is turned ouer to their good: The Lord onelie is able to turne it to their good. Who is able to turne darknesse in­to light? death into life? ignominie into honour, but Hee? It passeth the cunning of all the crea­tures to make this wonderfull change: The Lord onlie is able to make this change. And certainlie, the shame, trouble, and affliction, that the godlie suffer in this life, woulde all bee the beginning of Hell, except that moste skilfull crafts-man, the Lord, come in, and made this wonderfull altera­tion, and turned all these thinges to their aduan­tage, except Hee turned death to life, ignominie to honour, and trouble to joye, the estate of the godlie in their sufferinges were moste miserable. [Page 181] Thinke not that these thinges are good in them­selues: No, death is not good of it selfe, it is a pu­nishment for sinne, Rom. 6. 23. The Lord onlie ma­keth the change, and maketh death to bee the en­trie to life: but the Lord doeth all this by ordina­rie meanes and middle: and yet all the meanes which Hee vseth, derogateth nothing to His glo­rie, because they all come of Him, and Hee hath the glorie of all. Seeing then, in making of this wonderfull chāge of darknesse into light, of death into life, of woe into joye &c. there must bee ordi­narie meanes: woe be to thee that contemnest the meanes, for if thou doe it, the trouble shall lie still on thee till thou bee troubled in Hell: Sicknesse shall bee sicknesse indeede to thee, death shall bee death indeede, and the beginning of Hell to thee.

Then let vs take vp the meanes, as they lie here in order. Yee haue heard of one alreadie, to wit, Rejoycing that God is glorified in trouble. If (as I haue saide) thou canst haue that heart and care of His glorie, that thou canst rejoyce in thy trou­ble, that thy trouble glorifieth Him, bee assured a wonderfull alteration shall bee made of thy trou­ble: Trouble shall be no trouble, affliction shall be no affliction, death shall bee no death: Onelie get thou this desire of His glorie.

Nowe followeth the next meane: The Apostle saith, I am assured, that this thing shall turne to my sal­uation, through your prayers. As the care to the glo­rie of God is a meane to make this alteration; and [Page 182] to turne our troubles to our saluation: so the care and solicity of the body of the Church, the inter­cession and prayer that the godlie maketh for vs, who lye in trouble, is another meane: for the prayers of the godlie for anie member of the bo­die of the Church hath a wonderfull effect. They will turne miserie into joye, darknesse into light, yea death into life. Yet howbeit others haue care of thee, lying in distresse, if thou thy selfe con­temnest and despisest their care, if thou regardest not whether they pray for thee or not, & no body make intercession at GODS handes for thee, there shall bee nothing but trouble to thee: trou­ble shall alwayes continue trouble: affliction shall alwayes remaine affliction. And as thou contem­nest and despisest the prayers of the Sainctes and the godlie for thee, so thou shalt lye still in mise­rie and drowne in miserie at last. It is a follie to a man to thinke, that his owne care onelie for himselfe will serue the turne, contemning and despising the care of all others for him: I cannot thinke that such a one hath one spunke of godli­nesse in him, who will cōtemne the care of others: For it is certaine, the sufficiencie of grace is not giuen to one man, or to one woman onelie, but to the whole members of the bodie. And therefore, there must bee a concurrance of the whole, all must concurre for thy good and saluation: for if the hand will stand vp and saye to the eye, to the mouth, to the foote, or to the rest of the members, [Page 183] Care for your selues: foote, care for thy selfe: wombe, care for thy selfe, &c. I will care for my selfe: were not this a foolish hand? woulde not this hand perish and wither? yea, it woulde pe­rish if the mouth fedde it not, if the foote caried it not, if the wombe receiued not sustenance to nourish it: Euen so if thou sayest to the rest of the members of the Church, Care for your selues, I will care for my selfe, thou shalt die like a drie member, and be cut off: no saluation but in the vnion of that blessed bodie of CHRIST, which is the Church. And none yet euer came to Heauen, but by a certaine concurrance of the rest of the members of the Bodie, by praying by preaching, by admonishing exhorting, and rebuking If thou refuse this concurrance in teaching, admonishing, and comforting thee, thou shalt neuer get Hea­uen. Paul (in the 8. chap. to the Romanes, vers. 28.) saith, Wee knowe that all thinges worke together for the best, to them that loue GOD. Marke the force of the wordes. If there bee not a working-together for thy saluation, thou shalt not come to Heauen. There are two of the meanes whereby trouble and damnage is turned to saluation. Yet there are more of them, for hee saieth, And by the helpe of the Spirite of IESUS CHRIST. There is an­other meane. As it is a fault to one member to refuse the helpe of the rest of the members of the body of the Church, their prayers & intercession: so it is as great a fault, to leane so vpon the care of [Page 184] anie of the members of the body, of the Church, or of the Ministerie, in preaching, praying exhor­ting, and comforting, that in the meane time thou haue no care of thy selfe, to get the spirite and life within thee, for Christs Spirit is thy life: thou wilt not praye for thy selfe, but wilt bid the Church & Ministery pray for thee, as if that were enough. No, except that Spirite bee within thee, (which is the Spirit of Adoption) to make intercession with sighes vnspeakeable at the hands of God: downe shalt thou goe, albeit that the Church and whole members thereof would please to holde thee vp. What if the hand had no motion, life, nor strēgth in it selfe, would the foote and the eye bee able to holde it vp? No, if the foote and the eye striue to holde it vp, they should rotte with the hand, and behoued to bee cut of: For whereto serueth a rot­ten member? It will infect the whole bodie, if it be not cut off. So if thou bee without spirite and life within thy selfe, how beit all the rest of the mem­bers of the body of the Church would holde their hands about thee to holde thee vp, thou shalt fall downe and die. So as ye would haue others caring for you, care for your selfe, and see that yee haue the Spirit of God caring for you. If Moses, Abra­ham, and all other faithfull men woulde praye for you, it is nothing. What good did Samuels prayers for Saul? The Lord stopped his mouth, and for­bad him to praye for him. Thus yee haue heard of three meanes whereby this wonderfull change is [Page 185] made: The first is the care of God and His glorie: The second is the intercession of the rest of the members of the body: the third is the Spirite of Christ interceading for vs, and the care which we haue of our selues. We haue need of these meanes. And certainlie the day is approaching, that expe­rience will tell the trueth of these thinges. Paul, a man euer afflicted, in trouble and vnder danger, telleth of his owne experience what hee founde. But are there yet anie more meanes? Looke the verse that followeth, As I (saith hee) heartilie looke for, and hope, &c. The worde importeth such an hope, as when a man hath his head raised vp, his eyes open and bent, awayting for anie thing at­tentiuely. Wee see when a man looketh earnestlie for any other, his head will bee lifted vp, his eyes will be bent, looking to that place where from he should come: and if he loue him well, he wil looke attentiuely, hauing both heart and eyes bended vp, with hope of his comming. The like worde in the 8. chap. to the Rom. vers. 19. is ascribed to the creatures: They awaite with feruent desire, when the sonne of God shall be reuealed.

I shall make the words more plaine: I hope, ac­cording to mine attentiue exspectation, that in no­thing I shall bee ashamed: that is, that I shall neuer thinke shame of my Maister Iesus Christ: because, that if I thinke shame for any thing which I suffer for His cause, I thinke shame of Himselfe. Hee saith, that in nothing I shall bee ashamed: There is the [Page 186] negatiue: I will be ashamed of nothing. But what more? With all boldnesse of spirite I shall magnifie Him in my bodie, not in my soule onelie, but in my bo­die also: and that, Whether it bee in my life, or in my death. Hee casteth in the argument of this assu­rance, as in all times by-gone, euer to this houre, I haue magnified Him in my bodie. So this by-gone expe­rience (would he say) maketh me to be assured by hope, neuer to be ashamed of Him, but to glorifie Him in life and death. Then take vp the lesson. Amongest the rest of the mean s whereby this change is made, of miserie to felicitie, of death to life, and all thinges are made to serue to our sal­uation. Hope is one, and it is the fourth in num­ber. Wherein standeth this Hope? That in no af­fliction which I suffer for Christes sake I will bee ashamed, and so shame the Lord. (For in suffering if thou bl [...]shest, and thinkest shame, thou shamest Him) But by the contrarie, in all thinges that I shall doe or suffer in this bodie, I shall doe with courage, confidence, and libertie: I shall suffer with courage, confidence, and libertie. And so, in doing, in suffering in the bodie▪ I shall magnifie my LORD. So this is the point: If I glorifie Him before men with courage and boldnesse in mine afflictions, I may bee assured, Hee shall glo­rifie me before His Father in Heauen, Mat. 10. 32. They that suffer with Him, shall reigne with Him, 2. Timoth. 2. 12. But by the contrary, if thou with blushing think shame of Him and of His Gospel, [Page 187] and of the afflictions of the Gospel, if thou shame Him before the world, He shall shame thee before His Father, Mark. 8. 38. So this Hope is no small matter, for if thou haue an assured Hope during thy whole life▪ thou shalt magnifie Christ, whatso­euer falleth out in life or death, assure thy selfe all shall bee turned to the glory of God, and thy sal­uation. All the troubles that shall bee laide vpon thee in this worlde, shall bee so turned ouer, that they shall serue to thy good and consolation. But if this hope be away, if thou lie sluggishly, not ha­uing thine head raised vp, with closed eyes, not looking and hoping that thou shalt glorifie thy Lord, not caring for His glorie, either in thy life, or in thy death, all thy miserie that lighteth vpon thee, shall remaine miserie, and shall presse thee down to euerlasting damnation. Looke then how precious this hope is? Learne another thing here. There standeth much in these two, in shame and blushing, in confidence, libertie, and courage: I say to thee, there standeth more in the consequēts of suffering and doing, than standeth in the suffe­ring and doing it selfe. I suppose thou suffer the death for Christes sake, if thou bee ashamed in suffering, and hast not libertie and courage, thou sufferest not so much for CHRIST, as for thy selfe: and thy death is nothing else, but a death to thee, and thy suffering is nothing, but a suffering to thy selfe. Euen so, do what thou wilt doe to glorifie Him, if it be not done with libertie, [Page 188] freedome, and courage, thou losest thy trauell. Seeing then, that so much standeth in the disposi­tion of the heart, let euery man looke that hee prepare himselfe with courage and confidence against the daye of triall, that with confidence in suffering he may magnifie God: Paul saith to Ti­mothie, in his 2. epist. chap. 1. vers. 8. Bee not ashamed of Christ, nor of me, that am His captiue. Thinke shame of none that suffer for Christ, but rather bee thou partaker of that affliction, to suffer with courage and confidence those things with them.

Yet marke another thing here: he saith, that he might magnifie Christ in his bodie: Hee speaketh not of the soule. And so I obseru; that of the very bo­die. (let bee of the soule) euen of the very bodily masse which thou bearest about with thee, a great duety is required for the glorifying of God and His Christ. When thou art liuing in thine actions, when thou art dying in thy death, it must be an in­strument glorifying God, when thou art going vpon thy feete, it must bee an instrument of His glorie: when thou art lying in thy bedde, yea, the Lord must bee glorified in it, when it is dissolued into ashes in the graue. I marke this against that vaine conceite of men, who will saye, What care I, so I keepe a good minde to God, let mee prosti­tute my body to harlotrie, gluttony, and all vices, yet I will keepe my soule to God. No, either God will haue all, or the Deuill will haue all. Awaye thou idolater, who wilt keepe thy soule to GOD, [Page 189] and wilt bowe thy knee to Baal, the Deuill will get both soule and bodie. Paul saieth not, that the Lord hath only bought thy soule with a price, but that Hee hath bought both soule and body, that they should glorifie God, 1. Corin. 6. 20, [...]ee are bought with a price, yee are not your owne. Fye, filthie bodie, that wilt say, May I not doe with my bodie as I please? Hast thou power to reaue it out of the handes of the Lord? The Lord hath the power of thy body, and in that last day thou shalt bee chal­lenged with theft and sacriledge. And when hee hath said, ye are bought with a price, hee subjoyneth, Glorifie God not in your spirite onely, but also in your bodies: Either Hee will haue both, or else none: Thinkest thou to send thy soule to God, and thy body to the Deuill? No, either the Lord shall get both, or both shall goe to Hell. Take heed how ye keepe these bodies, ye shall render accompt of them: Thy body should be the Temple of the ho­lie Spirit, if thou defile the seate of that holy One, shame shall light vpon thee. I marke heere: To as­sure himselfe of continuance, that hee shall conti­nue in glorifying God in life and death, he taketh an argument from his former experience, Euer hi­therto I haue glorified God in my body, & I haue a stedfast hope, that I shall continue & that all the actions of my body shall glorifie Him: and when I am dead, He shall be glorified in my body.

It is good then, to begin well, and to haue ex­perience, that thou hast serued GOD well in thy [Page 190] calling: for experience bringeth hope, and hope maketh thee no wayes ashamed, Rom. 5. 4. 5. And if thou haue experience that thou hast serued GOD, and Hee hath beene with thee, and kept thy bodie in puritie, thou mayest bee assured to continue to the ende: Not that our continuance standeth in our self, (no our continuance standeth not in our selues, for the best man that liueth is not able of himselfe to stand one moment) but out standing is in God, for if Hee would take His grace from vs, in one moment, we would fall. It is the loue that He beareth to vs that holds vs vp: be once assured of that loue of GOD towardes thee, and then thou mayest bee assured, that thou shalt glorifie God both in life and death.

Now in the next verse he saith. For Christ is to me both in life and death aduantage: Hee giueth a rea­son wherefore hee saide hee would magnifie God in his bodie, both in life and death: The reason is, because of the aduantage hee hath of Him, CHRIST IESVS is aduantage to him. And when? Not when I liue onelie, (saieth hee) but in my death also. Is it not good reason that I should glorifie Him both in life and death, in whome I haue aduantage both in life and death? All men doe for aduantage. When a man hath done and suffered, hee woulde haue aduantage. When wee honour the Prince, or anie man, all is for aduan­tage. If gaine mooueth to honour men, to serue them, where was there euer such a gaine and ad­uantage [Page 191] as may bee looked for at the handes of CHRIST? If gaine will mooue thee, where wilt thou get it, if not in CHRIST? Would thou haue gaine & aduantage for thy doing in thy lifetime? He will giue thee it. Thou shalt not do one deed, but thou shalt haue thine hire in thine hande. Wouldest thou haue gain in thy death? if thou die for Him, thou shal get as fair an aduātage as euer man got. Indeede, a man will giue thee gaine for honouring him in thy life-time, but when thou art lying in thy deathbedde, canst thou get aduan­tage out of the hand of a man? Suppose a Mo­narch would giue thee a kingdome, what aduan­tage is it to thee, if thou liuest not to brooke it? But I tell you plainelie, The LORD is greater ad­uantage to vs in death, than in life: and all this ad­uantage which wee haue of Him in this life, is no­thing in respect of that aduantage which we shall get in the life to come. Paul (in the third chapter of the Epistle to the Philippians) when hee hath counted al his aduantages, and numbered out all the prerogatiues which hee had in this worlde, That hee was a Iew, a Pharisee, his father a Pharisee, of the Tribe of Ben-jamin, none so zealous of the Lawe as hee, &c. manie aduantages and great pre­rogatiues: but after that hee once commeth to CHRIST, and getteth Him, hee sayeth, All is but dung, in respect of that excellent knowledge, of that aduantage of IESVS CHRIST. As I counted much (would he say) of these earthlie aduantages [Page 192] before I knew Christ, euen so, after that [...] once had gotten a sight of Him, I counted them nothing but dirt and dung. And therefore, hee telleth out the aduantages and gaines that hee founde in Christ. That (saith he) I may be found in Him: that is, not hauing mine owne righteousnesse, which is of the Lawe, but that which is through the faith of Christ, euen the righteousnesse which is of God through faith. There is the first aduantage, Thou art justified before the Tribunall of GOD. What king can giue thee that aduantage, to set thee vp as a free-man before the Tribunall of God? And albeit thou hadst gotten all the ad­uantages that kings can giue thee, if thou gettest not this aduantage to stand before that Tribu­nall, cloathed with Christ, thou shalt goe to dam­nation. Then hee addeth to another aduantage, That I may knowe Him, and the vertue of His re­surrection, and the fellowship of His afflictions, and bee made conformable vnto His death, if by any meanes I might attaine to the resurrection of the dead. There is the second aduantage: thou art made like vnto Him in holinesse, and both in suffering and in glory, thou art comformed vnto Him. Well is ye man that can get this aduantage, to be glorified. What are all aduātages to be coūted of that can come to thee in this life, in respect of this aduantage? that when thou art lying (a vilde bodie) in the graue, Christ shall take thee vp, and set thee in that glory which is prepared for the [Page 193] sonnes of GOD. Alas! if men coulde see the aduantages which are in CHRIST: For all faileth for fault of sight: If men got but one blink of CHRIST, they woulde not giue that sight for all the kingdomes in the earth: Wee want spirituall eyes and senses. These spirituall aduan­tages in CHRIST, are seene onelie with a spi­rituall eye: and for fault of that spirituall sight, wee see not the aduantages which are in Him. There is nothing which wee shoulde more desire, than these spirituall senses, wherewith wee maye get a sight and fore-taste of these thinges which are in IESVS CHRIST.

Nowe, in the next verse, taking occasion of the wordes, that CHRIST was aduantage to him both in life and death, hee beginneth to doubt, whether it were better for him to liue or die And whether (saieth hee) to liue in the flesh were profitable for mee, or what to choose, I knowe not: I thinke I woulde bee dead, to see mine aduantage which I will get in death: for my gaine, which I get li­uing, is nothing to that aduantage which I will get in death: But I am straited, whether to liue in the flesh, or to goe out of the bodie. Then he bringeth in the reason, It is better for mee to bee loo­sed, and to bee with CHRIST: I will bee at Him, (yet hee saieth, I am in doubt, and not resolued.) Neuerthelesse, to remaine in the flesh, is more needefull for you: For albeit it bee better for me to be dead, yet when I looke to you, it is worse for you. Af­ter [Page 194] this doubting and reasoning, hee concludeth, I will liue then, and the LORD will keepe mee for your weale.

Then, Brethren, I will marke heere one or two thinges, and so I shall ende. Yee see a doubting in PAVL, whether hee shoulde liue or die, which distracteth his minde. This doubting is common to manie: For sometimes wee woulde liue, and other whiles wee woulde bee dead. But looke to the cause that distracted PAVLES minde, and made him to doubt, whether hee shoulde desire to liue or die. Some men woulde die, because there is nothing in this worlde but miserie: Some men woulde die for other causes, because of sick­nesse, some because of shame following some of­fense, for the life is tedious to a miserable bodie, the life which shoulde bee comfortable, is tedious in distresse.

But howe manie commeth to this point, To desire to bee dissolued for the glorie that is with IESVS, and saieth. If I were away, I woulde get this aduantage of glorie? Who woulde be awaye for the glorie of Heauen, and aduantage that is laide vp there? It is a rare grace to get this de­sire. No question (thinke as yee will) infinite joy, glorie, and passing aduantage is in Heauen.

Againe, some men woulde liue, wherefore? be­cause they are fresh, greene, and able men: they would passe their time yet: Some men would liue▪ because they haue wife and children, and woulde [Page 195] care for them, (I condemne not lawfull care) but all this desire is vaine. Where wilt thou get that man, that would liue to help the poore Church of CHRIST with his labour? How manie will come on with this, to liue onelie for the weale of the Church of CHRIST? I desire such a Pastor who is minded to liue for the care yt he hath to leade ma­nie by the hand to Heauen, ere he goe away, that he may winne manie soules to CHRIST, that hee may bee the welcomer when hee commeth there himselfe: He is happie. It is the sight of that Hea­uenlie glorie, that maketh men to haue this fore­saide desire. Howe manie seeth that Heauenlie glorie? Fie on vs, seeing such a glorie laide vp in Heauen for vs, that yet will not make a meane to get it: wee perish for fault of sense: There is [...]o lacke of aduantage in CHRIST, but the lacke is in me, & in thee, I haue no desire of that glorie, thou hast no desire of that glorie, and so wee perishe. Therefore, get this sense of glorie in time, or else thy soule shall bee drawne out of thy bodie. Doe accordinglie. Wouldest thou haue it sweetlie loo­sed? Then get in time a sense of this glorie. Woul­dest thou haue it pulled out by force? Thē neglect the sense and sight of this glorie.

Obserue another thing of the care of Paul. He counted nothing of all these afflictions, in respect of the care which he had of the Church of God. I wonder at this care of his, considering now our carelesnesse: For if euer care was dead out of the [Page 196] hearts of men, it is now dead. Farewell the care of the Church of God in Scotland, for fault of ye zeale of Gods glory, & the care of the Church of God. I see this Land, and the Church of GOD therein, decaying. Learne another thing of PAVLES resolu­tion. Yet he resolueth to liue & that for the weale of the Church of Christ. Marke it. There is none of vs, but wee should desire to haue the fruition of the glory and joye that is in the face of Iesus: yet we, who may profite in the Church of God in this life, are bounde to desire to liue for a while, that the Church may be holpen. The Lord accounteth more highly of this desire, than of a desire that a man hath to die, and to bee with Iesus. The Lord accounted more of PAVLES liuing, to helpe the Church, than of his glorifying Him in his death. Thinke yee that PAVL woulde haue liued so long, except the Lord had seene him profitable to His Church? And no question, ye Lord Iesus (knowing the misery of this earth) would haue taken vp His Apostles at His ascention with Him, if He had not loued the weale of His Church. There is no good body, but the Lord woulde haue them with Him: yet Hee letteth them remaine heere in paine, that they may help the Church, otherwise there would not be a good body left liuing in SCOTLAND, Hee would take them all away, and glorifie them. But so long as Hee hath a Church in SCOTLAND, Hee will let good men continue, but when Hee taketh them away, wo be to them that tary behind! It is [Page 197] wonderfull to see how the Lord will keepe a man by whose trauels Hee will helpe His Church. All the worlde will not get leaue to hurt an haire of his head. HEROD taketh PETER, and putteth him into prison, laying him betwixt two souldiers, thinking to execute him ye next morning, Act. 12. But the Lord by His Angell wakeneth him, and bringeth him safe out, and yet hee wist not what hee was doing. PAVL and PETER were wonder­fully deliuered, so long as the Lord had to doe with them: but when He had done His turne, and they fell into the hands of NERO, there is no more dinne of them, they were slaine. So long as the Lord hath adoe with any man He will shake Hea­uen and earth ere hee perish. Well, the care of the Church of God is decaying in SCOTLAND. Le [...]vs crie, LORD, put the care of this Church, and the care of the members of the body of Christ, into the hearts of men, that euery man may care for the saluation of another, and that God maye bee glorified in them through His Sonne Christ Iesus our Sauiour: To whome, with the Father, and the Holy Ghost, bee all Prayse, Honour, and Glory both now and for euermore,

AMEN.

THE ELEVENTH SERMON

TITVS, CHAP. III.

verse 3 For we our selues were in times past vnwise, disobe­dient, deceiued, seruing the lustes and diuerse plea­su [...]es, liuing in maliciousnesse and enuie, hate­full, and hating one another.

verse 4 But when the bountifulnesse and loue of GOD our Sauiour toward man appeared,

verse 5 Not by the workes of righteousnesse, which wee had done, but according to His mercie Hee saued vs, by the washing of the newe birth, and the renewing of the Holie Ghost,

verse 6 Which Hee shedde on vs aboundantlie, through IE­SUS CHRIST our Sauiour:

verse 7 That wee, beeing justified by His grace, should bee made heyres, according to the hope of eternall life.

IF we shall consider this Text (wel­beloued in IESVS CHRIST) we shall find in it three things. The first, the miserable estate and condition of man, wherein hee stood before hee was called to grace by IESVS CHRIST. The next is his mercifull deliuerie, frō that miserable estate and condition. The last is the ende of his mercifull [Page 199] deliuerie: to wit, That he should serue God all the dayes of his life, in all maner of thankfulnesse for so mercifull a deliuerie. And seeing our commu­nicating with the bodie and blood of the LORD approaches, our preparation cānot stand in three better thinges than these: First, in a knowledge of our miserie before that we knew God in CHRIST: Next in a knowledge of our mercifull deliuerie from that miserable estate: And thirdlie, in a due­tie toward God for our deliuerie. We shall speake at this time of the first two.

Now, to returne, and to goe thorow the words as the Lord will giue vs grace: The occasion of the setting downe of this first part, to wit, of our mi­serie before we knew Christ, is this: Immediatelie before he hath exhorted TITVS to vse all kinds of lenitie towardes them that were not conuerted, not to deale with them in rigour, but to deale with them in meeknesse. Hee giueth the reason: Looke what they are now, euen such were we before wee were called, liuing in concupiscence, our mindes were rebellious against God: therefore let vs deale with them as wee woulde haue beene dealt with our selues at that time. I marke here first, That our miserable estate that we stood in, before we were called to this grace through Iesus Christ shoulde neuer be forgotten. The miserie of nature where­in wee are conceiued and borne, and wherein wee liue for a time, till wee knowe Christ, should neuer goe out of our remembrance: When thou hast [Page 200] plaide the foole a while in sinne, when thou hast followed harlotry, committed murther, oppressed thy neighbour, & when God hath called thee out of that miserable condition, & made thee to know Him in Christ, forget neuer thy former misery, for­get neuer that thou hast followed filthinesse, mur­thered, oppressed, &c. Saieth the Apostle to the Ephesians, who were Gentiles after their conuersion in Christ, Forget your olde done deedes? saith he so? No: but he saith, Remember that ye were Gentiles.

Brethren, it is true, the estate of grace in Christ hath a sweetnesse with it, if a man or woman haue a sense of it, but looke that the sweetnesse of it▪ m is- [...]elish not so the taste, that in the meane time thou lose all sense of thy former misery. Keepe therefore both the misery and the deliuery in thy mind, that thereby the true sense of GODS mer­cie may be stirred vp in thine heart: for none haue the true sense of the mercie of God in Christ, ex­cept hee onelie that sigheth for the miserie which we did lie in before. This is the first. Another thing I marke here. This same remembrance of our mi­sery, it should make euery one of vs that stand in grace, to haue a compassion vpon sinners: where euer thou seest them, labour to winne them, but with pitie, and let bee thy bitternesse: A man that hath no pitie, but is full of bitternesse against a sinner, that man hath forgotten that hee was a sinner before. There is no man so cleane, but there is a remaining corruption in him, albeit hee [Page 201] see it not. They that haue the true zeale of God, they will indeede bee seuere against sinners: Why not? but they beginne alwayes at their selues, and then reprooue others. Hypocrites beginne not at themselues, but they hide and cloake their owne sinnes, and are alwayes seuere against others. But the man that beginneth at himselfe, his seueritie is aye mixed with pitie.

But to come to the words, Wee were such as they are now: we were mad, and out of our right wit, we were beside our selues. There is the first part of our miserie in nature, for wee were all miserable by nature: there is not one soule, but it is borne miserable by nature. Yee see then, Brethren, our miserie beginneth not at our body: (there are ma­nie who if they haue their body well disposed, are at ease then, but if it be not well disposed, they are heauily displeased, then they grone and sigh) no, our misery beginneth not at our body, it begin­neth within vs, at our soules, and not at ye inferior parts of the soule, but at the minde, which is the most excellent part & light of our soules, and that should guide all the rest of the powers of ye soule. Nowe the sicknesse of it is madnesse, it is blinde, ignorant, without judgement, and wee are madde fooles by nature. There is no man born in ye earth, but he is borne a foole: thou art borne a mad bo­die, and besides thy selfe. Thou wilt thinke thy self very wise, & thy wit will compasse Heauē & earth, yea, & others that look to thee wil think thee wise, [Page 202] but if thou haue no more than nature, thou art a foole. As he is a fool in very deed, who thinketh he speaketh alwayes an oracle, euen so art thou, that art not in Christ, and countest thy selfe wise: the wiser thou thinkest thy selfe, thou art the more and the more a foole. All this is to let men see, that none is wise without God: For when the light of GOD is not in thee, all that thou doest is foo­lishnesse and hee that is wise without GOD, shall curse his wisedome one day, and saye, that all was but madnesse: yea, and all the Monarches in the worlde shall curse that wisedome, which they had without God. This natural sicknesse goeth further downe, it descendeth to the heart, it tarieth not in the minde: But next wee become maine rebelles against God, hee that is madde, he is set to rebell, and he is froward, euer inclining to disobedience against GOD.

Brethren, yee knowe there are two sortes of fooles amongst men: Some fooles are sillie simple fooles: other fooles are malicious fooles: by na­ture we are all borne fooles, but malicious fooles, euermore rebelling and displeasing GOD. If wee compare th [...]se two sortes of fooles together, the second is worst. LORD saue vs from a rebellious heart: For I tell thee, the minde is not so blinded, but it hath some sight of GOD: but the heart of man, after the fall, is altogether inclined to rebel­lion: so that if there bee one spunke of light left in nature, it will trauell by all meanes to put in the [Page 203] finger in the eye of the minde, and put it out. And therefore, trauell to reforme thine heart, for if it bee not reformed, it shall euermore carrie thee the wrong way. So there are two partes of the mi­serie of man. Nowe commeth on the thirde. Thy miserie endeth not heere. Marke, and trauell to finde this in experience. (Fie on vs, if wee knowe not our selues, for if wee know not our selues, wee shall neuer knowe God aright.) The thirde part standeth in actions, for the madde and rebellious heart must breake out in some actions. Can a mad and rebellious bodie bee idle? Hee calleth ou [...] works wauering, going out of the way. Can a mad man keepe the hie waye? No, but euermore hee goeth to one side or other. No more can wee by nature goe forwarde in the right waye: for by na­ture wee are madde, frowarde, and disobedient. It is true, naturall men will doe things that are right in themselues: but no man shall do that which is good in it self rightlie, that hath yt rebellion in his heart: for wee doe nothing rightly, but when our eyes are vpon God. Albeit the action were neuer so good, if thou seekest not GOD in it, it is not done rightlie. Thou mayest well doe it to please the eyes of men, and thou mayest get thankes at the handes of men for it, but thou shalt get none at Gods handes: so if thou wouldest bee accepted of GOD, and wouldest haue the action of thine handes to please God, first looke that thine action bee good, and then looke to God in thine action. [Page 204] Then there are three parts of misery of the natu­rall man: first, madnesse in the mind: secondly, ma­liciousnesse in the heart: thirdly, his actions are wa­uerings, all wandring out of the way.

To goe forward. Hee describeth this wauering, and he calleth it seruing: it standeth in slauerie, his whole life-time is but a seruice and slauery. The naturall man, if hee haue no more but nature, hee is a slaue and a seruant, bought and solde, for Paul saieth, hee▪ is solde to bee subject to sinne, Roman. 7. 15. Suppose hee were a Monarch of the whole earth, if hee bee without the newe man, hee is a slaue. It is true, hee will haue manie seruantes vnder him, but hee is the first and chiefe slaue himselfe: yea, hee is a greater seruant than the verie kitchen boye, and the moste abject seruant in his house. But to whome is this seruice done? To whome are wee slaues? In plaine talke, hee saieth, to con­cupiscences. Hee calleth them pleasures, but fi [...] on them, how beit they are sweete things, yet they haue a soure ende. Harlotrie is sweete for a time, but, O that bitternesse in the ende! It is sweete to murther, but, O that bitternesse that it shall bring with it in the end! it shal be bitterer than the very gall. Paul maketh mention here of a [...]varietie and diuersity of lusts. Thou that seruest thine own lusts, art not subject to one maister only, but to an hundreth: thou art subject to many vncleane mai­sters of diuers qualities.

Brethren, are these our maisters? Fy vpon them, [Page 205] the seruice done to them, it is a vile seruice. Thou that art a lord, when thou lookest to thy kitchen boye, thou wilt thinke his seruice vile, but fye vp­on thee, thou art a greater slaue, hee is an honest seruant, but thou art a slaue: for thy seruice is done to thy filthy pleasures, there is a variety of them, and so thou hast manie maisters, whom thou ser­uest. And therefore, yee will see these men who serue their owne lustes, to bee the weariest bodies y euer liued, euen as if they were drawne thorow a myre: for the onely true and cleane seruice, is the seruice of that onely one GOD: the onely repose of thy soule, is on that one GOD: there is no rest, but on Him. Awaye with that creature that drinketh in the soule lustes of this earth, that is no rest to him heere, and woe to that rest that shall come in the ende. So there are the maisters which wee serue, foule concupiscences, and fleshlie lustes. It may bee asked, Will a person bee sub­ject to such a great varietie of concupiscences? I answere, The seede of euerie sinne in the worlde is in euerie man: so all concupiscences are in thee, because the seede of them is within thee: No, the best men in the earth hath the seede of these lusts, which budde out into actions: it will lurke for a time in the winter, but in the spring it will breke out, and then thou wilt knowe thou hast it, when thou feelest the stinke of it. So there is the first answere, the seede of euery sinne is in the heart of euery man, in such sort that it wil make thee loath [Page 206] at it, if thou sawest it: but alas! it is hidden from our eyes, that wee cannot see it, and therefore we loathe it not. Againe, in some men and women, that seede of all lusts will breake out in actions: A man that followeth harlotrie, will bee a drun­kard also: an auaritious man, will bee ambitious also, &c. It is a maruell to see howe manie sinnes will be reigning in one miserable slaue, and to see howe that slaue will bee hurried from one sinne to another. Fie on thee, wilt thou neuer get thy fill of sinne? thou shalt once bee filled with wrath, and then thou shalt loathe at thy sinnes: For albe­it there were no more but one sinne in thee, it is enough to cause thee to goe to Hell.

Nowe to goe forward: Hee numbers out some of these concupiscences, and the first is malice, ma­liciousnesse in the heart against our neighbour. Then commeth in her two daughters, enuie and hatred. When thou art sorie at thy neighbours weale, and wouldest not see him thriue, then thou wilt hate him. There are three particulars, and they are as manie pleasures to them that serueth them: hee that hath malice, thinketh himselfe neuer well, but when there is malice in his heart: from thence commeth enuie, and the enuious heart is neuer well, but when it speaketh euill of his neighbour, for that is meate and drinke to it▪ hee that hath hatred, is neuer well, but when hee hateth his neighbour, and that is his meate and drinke.

[Page 207]Nowe I shall drawe these concupiscences into certaine rankes. There are some of them against God, some against our neighbour, & some against our selues, amongst the which is intemperancie. Fie on thee, O Epicurian! thou [...]innest against thy selfe. Now the Apostle in setting downe these con­cupiscences, maketh a choise of the concupiscen­ces against our neighbour, for if we bee malicious against him, wee are malicious against GOD. Whosoeuer is enemie to man, hee is also enemie to God. Now there is no harmonie amongst men that are onelie naturall: For without GOD in Christ, there is no true loue, no true concord. Put a man and a woman together without God, will there bee anie concord there? No, for the dueties of the first Table are requisite for the discharging of the dueties of the second Table, and must pre­ceede them. Howe canst thou loue thy wife or thy children, without God? No, there is no true loue, and the ende shall prooue it to haue beene but hatred onelie.

In the ende of the verse hee setteth downe two sortes of hatreds, hee saieth hatefull, that is, hee that suffereth hatred: then hee subjoyneth, hating one another: wee are odious to others, and againe we hate others. Alwayes marke one meeting here. Thinkest thou to hate, and not to be hated again? It is but the just judgement of God, that as thou enuiest and hatest, thou also to bee hated and en­uied. What harmonie can bee heere, when thou [Page 208] hatest mee, and I thee? No true concord, but all is lose. There is no conjunction, but that which is in CHRIST IESVS. When this conjun­ction is not amongst men, awaye with all other conjunctions. This is shortly the miserable estate wherein wee stood by nature, before the partici­pation of mercy in CHRIST.

Now I come to the other estate. An alteration must bee made, or else wee are gone: For what can become of a body that dieth in madnesse? Nowe looke howe wee are deliuered: But (saieth hee) af­ter that the bountifulnesse and loue of GOD our Sauiour appeared. There is the way how our mercifull deli­uery commeth on. Yee reade not one word heere, that man lying in misery, began to find out a deli­uery himselfe. Ye reade not that the mad man of himselfe beginneth to take vp himselfe: hee saieth not, Then we took vp our selues: No, no, we would haue lied long ere we had takē vp our selues. Then the naturall man waltering and wallowing in sinne, and drinking in the foule pleasures thereof, he will neuer take vp himselfe and let him goe on, if hee should liue ten thousand yeeres, hee will ne­uer bee the better, but still worse and worse. Can a man that is dead naturally, thinke of any life to himselfe, to rise vp, and stand againe? Not such a thing, hee cannot so much as once thinke to rise vp.

Now, Brethren, we are all blacke dead spiritual­lie, by nature there is not one spunke of that Hea­uenlie [Page 209] life in vs, no more than in a dead bodie, that is dead naturally, there is a spunk of naturall life: and we are not halfe dead only, but are whole dead. Can a naturall man once thinke of a spiri­tuall life? No, and therefore Paul saith, Ephes. 2. 31. When wee were dead in our sinnes, wee were quickned by CHRIST, meaning that wee had no power in our selues to rise againe. If it bee so then, when I see a wicked man (that hath beene seruing his foule lusts all his life-time) take vp himselfe, I will not saye, that that man tooke vp himselfe, I will say, there is a dead man risen to life: I will aske of thee, In the beginning of the creation, thoughtest thou of thy creation? desiredst thou to thinke of it? No, no more thoughtest thou of thy regenera­tion: thou thoughtest as little of thy second crea­tion, as thou thoughtest of thy first creation. And therefore it is well saide, Hee created thee without thee: And as Hee created thee without thee, so He redeemed thee without thee. Darest thou saye, that thou gauest counsell to thy redemption, and thoughtest of it when GOD redeemed thee? then how commeth this worke on? We are preuented, something appeareth that was hid: there was one thing long hidden, & nowe it beginneth to shine. And what was this bountifulnesse & loue to man­kinde? it was hid, and breaketh out. And who is it that is bountifull? is this any mans bountifulnes? No, it is the bountifulnesse of GOD: and this quickning loue is GODS, and that towards man. [Page 210] And what God is this? Hee calleth Him GOD our Sauiour: For God is considered two wayes, as a Creator, and as a Sauiour. It is the loue of Him as a Sauiour, that is shewed to thee in thy Re­demption. And when was this loue reueiled? when IESVS CHRIST came into the world, and tooke vpon Him our nature, then this loue brake out toward man: Hee loued him from all Eternitie, but it brake not out till then. Marke then. It is the loue of GOD that saueth, it is GODS bounti­fulnesse that saueth: our deliuerie behooued to proceede of a wonderfull bountifulnesse in God, whereof the ground is loue. If Hee had not loued thee, Hee would not haue deliuered thee. Then it is not a common loue which He beareth towards vs, but there is a speciall loue in GOD to man­kinde: He loueth not these Heauens, these Starres, so well as Hee doeth men. No, Hee communica­teth not the thousand part of those thinges that Hee communicateth to man, either to the Hea­uens, or to the Starres. Then it is not the loue of GOD the Creator that doeth this, and is the ground of this bountifulnesse, and of our life in Him: but it is a speciall kinde of loue. It is that loue that proceedeth of GOD the Sauiour. It is not the loue of a Creator, but of a Father, not to the creature, but to the sonne. GOD loueth His sonne better than Hee doeth His creature, He lo­ueth vs as His sonnes. If there were no further loue of GOD, but as Hee is a Creator, thou durst [Page 211] neuer crie, Abba, Father: and except the Spirit spreade abroade into our heartes that loue which Hee beareth vnto vs, for all the world thou durst not appeare before Him. The time is set downe when Hee hath saued vs, when His singular loue appeared in the world, Hee saued vs beeing ma­nifested in the fleshe. Then it followeth that wee were lost, and gone, when GOD of His loue put to His hand, and saued vs, wee were out of our right wit, rebelles to GOD, wauering, and vaga­bunding out of the right waye, slaues to our owne lustes. Whome count yee lost, if these be not lost? I will neuer count of a reprobate person, who is giuen ouer to filthinesse, to harlotrie, to murther, to oppression, to mischiefe, &c. I will neuer count of him but as a madde, desperate, and lost bodie: when hee is walking abroade, and moouing in the world, hee is but a dead carcasse: and if hee come to GOD againe in mercie▪ it may bee saide. There is a dead bodie, turned to life. Hast thou followed harlotrie? repentest thou? thou hast bene dead in sinne, but now thou art aliue. The lost sonne, when hee had spended his childes-part of goods yet he repented, and came home to his father againe: his father saieth, Hee that was dead, is liuing againe, Luke 15. 24. So in a worde, wee were lost men. Thinkest thou that thou art not lost, because thou canst breathe? And thinkest thou a man not dead, if hee can walke vpon the streete? Thinkest thou thy selfe verie well, if thou haue these vitall mo­tions [Page 212] in thee? O, but suppose thou hadst all the naturall liues in the world, if thou bee giuen ouer to thine owne affections and leauest not off thine olde sinnes and iniquities, thou art a madde and a dead bodie. Began then that loue towardes man only to appeare when Christ came into the world? I answere: The loue of God the Father appeared & manifested it selfe in some measure to the god­lie, euen before Christ came into the world: God forbid but this loue had bene apparēt vnto Abra­ham, and the rest of the godly, before the incarna­tion of our Sauiour. But at the comming of Christ it manifested it selfe more brightly, than euer it did before: for al His loue of before was in Christ to come: but now, since He came into the world, the loue of God towards mankind hath appeared in greater aboundance. The Lord grant vs an ap­prehension and sight of this loue, that at the least wee maye striue to loue Him againe, who hath lo­ued vs so dearly in His Sonne IESVS CHRIST.

Nowe, hee sheweth by what meanes this our saluation is procured at the handes of GOD: hee telleth you by what meanes we are not saued, Net (saith he) by the workes of righteousnesse which wee had done. The meanes by the which we are not saued, is our owne just works: thou art not saued by thy just works, leane to them as thou wilt, I will pro­mise thee▪ in the name of that Great God, they shall ne­uer saue thee. Can a man that is mad and a rebell to GOD, and a slaue to his owne lustes, doe such [Page 213] works as may procure saluation? But such were we, saith the Apostle: therefore wee can deserue no­thing by our workes. Fie on thee, Papist, with thy merites! fie on the works of preparation! can a madde man prepare himselfe for grace? No such thing. I tell you when GOD put to His hand to our saluation, Hee founde no matter in vs of our saluation, but damnation. When GOD begin­neth to loue, Hee findeth no matter of loue in vs, but of hatred. And this commendeth the greatnes of His loue towards vs, when He seeth nothing in vs but matter of damnation, yet Hee of His free grace & mercy loueth vs & saueth vs, Rō. 5. 8. This setteth out His loue highly towards vs, when that we were sinners He sent Christ to die for vs: there­fore seek not thy saluation neither before thou be in Christ, nor after thou art in Him by y merite of works, for thou shalt neuer get it yt way, but thou shalt still be the further from it the more thou see­kest it by that meane. Then if good works be not the meane, what is the meane? The Apostle [...]aith, He hath saued vs according to His mercy: These are flat contrary, The mercy of God, & the merit of man. If thou be saued by y mercy of God, thē no merit, because thy merite is not able to saue thee. The first fountaine of our saluation is loue, after loue commeth on mercy: then pitie and compassion in His mercie presupponeth miserie. Mercie is shewed to the miserable creature. GOD seeing vs miserable, madde, rebelles; following our own [Page 214] crooked affections, beginneth to bee pitifull, and to haue compassion of vs. Yee knowe mercie and pitie followeth vpon loue: For when wee loue any one, and see him in miserie, then wee haue pitie vpon him: if thou hate him, suppose hee were in neuer so great miserie, thou wilt not pitie him. Then GOD, seeing vs wrapped in sinne and mise­rie, He hath pitie upon vs, which pitie proceedeth of loue, and with loue and pitie concurreth His power. Wee will lone one, and see him lie in mise­rie, when it will passe our power to relieue him: but GODS power is alwayes effectuall, to deliuer all them who are subject to misery, if once He ex­tende His loue and compassion towardes them. Then the cause of our saluation is in GOD onlie, and no part in man, who is saued. The first cause is the loue of GOD, which is the fountaine: The next cause is mercie, for ere euer this worlde was created GOD of His mercie tooke a purpose to saue vs. The Apostle saieth, Ephes. 1. 4. Hee purposed of Himselfe, Hee sawe no thing in vs wherefore He should take purpose to saue vs. And when Hee commeth on to the execution of that eternall purpose of our saluation, there is nothing in vs, but all is in Himselfe, for He is all-sufficient Himselfe, and nothing is without Him. The ende wherefore He died, all of Himselfe, without vs, was to the praise of the glorie of His grace, Ephes. 1. 6. that thereby the whole glorie of our saluation might redounde to Him onelie, because the cause is onelie in Him: [Page 215] Thou that takest anie part in it, and attributest it vnto thy selfe, thou spoylest GOD of His glorie: Either giue Him all the glorie of this action, or take it all to thy selfe: this glorie is too heauie for thee, if thou take it vpon thee, it will presse thee to euerlasting damnation. Then there is the meane of our saluation, The mercie of GOD.

Next hee laieth out the partes of our saluation abroade one by one, that yee may see what salua­tion meaneth: hee saieth, By the washing of the newe birth, and the renewing of the Holie Ghost. There is the first part. It is a washing of vs, when GOD put­teth to His hand to saue vs. Yee knowe, washing presupponeth foulenesse: therefore it must follow, when GOD beganne to saue vs, we were vnclene, full of byles and botches, conceiued and borne in filthinesse, and then warbling and wallowing in our owne sinne and filthinesse, and euer the longer wee liue, we are still the filthier. It is a mar­uell, that that Holy GOD should euer sustaine to looke to thy filthy byles, or to put His holie and pure hand to thy vile botches, or to sende downe His cleane Spirit to dwell in thine vncleane heart, or that any wayes His purity should meddle with thine impurity. Amongst all the argumentes of His loue, this is one, When Hee putteth to His fair bād to thee that art so foule. Findest thou thy sinnes pardoned? and thy selfe purged & washed? assure thy selfe, thou art safe, and GOD hath lo­ued thee: For except the loue of GOD had beene [Page 216] all the greater towardes thee, Hee woulde neuer haue purged thee from thy sinnes. It is a sure to­ken of His loue towards thee, that it is infinite & exceeding▪ that He hath not loathed thee, and thy filthie byles & botches. I see heere two washings, one outwarde, another inwarde: the first in these wordes▪ The lauer of regeneration, the next. There­newing of the Holie Spirite. The first, is our Baptisme: the next, the inward washing and renewing by the Holie Spirite, represented by this outwarde Bap­tisme. As the vvater vvasheth away▪ the filth from the bodie▪ so the Holie Spirite purgeth & vvasheth the heart from sinne. I vvill speake but thus farre shortly of Baptisme. The outwarde vvashing in Baptisme is not to bee looked to lightlie: the powring on of the vvater, is but a base signe to looke to: yet it is not a bare signe of the vvashing of the Holie Spirite: but it is the instrument that God taketh in His hand, & vvhereby He applieth [...]o vs the inwarde vvashing of the Holie Spirite, Col. 2. 12. Rom. 6. 4, hee ascribeth our regeneration to Baptisme. Wee by Baptisme are buried vvith Christ, risen vvith Christ, and if this meane bee con [...]emned, there shall bee no regeneration: if a man lightlie this Baptisme. I affirme, there shall be no renewing inwardlie by the Holie Spirit: and if he be not renewed. hee shall neuer bee saued: for vvithout regeneration. no saluation. Ye see (2. Kin. 5. 10) vvhat vvas injoyned to Naaman the Syrien, vvhen hee sought cleansing, the Prophet bad him [Page 217] goe to the Iordane, and vvash him seuen times: But hee thought vvith himselfe, What is this? Are not there faire Riuers at home at Damascus? Yea, hee would not goe till hee tooke better counsell: but so soone as hee vvent, and vvashed himselfe seuen times, hee vvas cleansed. Euen so it is in Baptisme: if a man contemne the outward vvashing, hee shall neuer be cleansed by the Spirit.

This same is also true of the Sacrament of the Supper: Count not therefore little of the Sacra­ments, because God hath promised to giue Him­selfe vvith the Sacrament, if it bee rightly recei­ued. Now looke howe long our regeneration is in working in this life, the force of Baptisme conti­nueth as long: thou must be continually renewed ti [...]l thy last breath: therefore, the force of Baptisme must continue vvith thee to thy last breath. It is a vanitie to thinke that the force of Baptisme stan­deth in the ministration of the action onelie: no, it leaueth vs neuer, after wee haue once receiued it, till vve be placed vvith Iesus Christ. Haue thine eye still vpon Baptisme, for it is a meane vvhereby the Lord vvill saue thee.

Further, Brethren, hee beginneth heere at rege­neration: Yee may see then the necessitie of rege­neration: Wouldest thou be safe? looke that there bee a newe birth. looke that thou bee borne ouer againe, as Christ said to Nicodemus, Iohn 3. 3. Ve­rilie, I say vnto you, except a man bee borne againe, hee cannot see the Kingdome of GOD. If thou bee [Page 218] not a new creature, thou art not in CHRIST, but without CHRIST, and without IESVS CHRIST there is no saluation. Yee see men woulde beguile themselues, if they shoulde saye, when yee aske of them, Whether they will goe to Heauen or not? They will answere, Wee will goe to Heauen: and yet in the meane time they will holde on the olde man, and will neuer change their maners: but that vaine opinion wil deceiue them: 2. Corin. 6. 9. Bee not beguiled, for no [...]ornicaters, adulterers, murthe­rers, drunkardes, &c. shall inherite the Kingdome of Hea­uen. If thou holde on the olde man, thou shalt ne­uer bee safe, IESVS CHRIST must beget thee a newe againe, or els thou shalt neuer enter within the gates of Heauen.

Now when hee hath spoken of this inward and outward washing, hee insisteth in this point con­cerning the Spirit, and declareth from whom this Spirit commeth, which Hee shedde on vs aboundantlie through IESUS CHRIST our Sauiour. We haue Him not our selues, He that washeth vs is He that pow­reth on the precious lauer of the Spirit, vvherby vve are vvashen. Then the Spirit is from GOD. Is that Spirit from the Father immediately? No, He powreth Him in through IESVS CHRIST our Sauiour: so immediatly this Spirit commeth from IESVS CHRIST, but mediately from GOD as the Fountaine: Hee commeth from the Father to the Sonne, from the Sonne to vs. Iohn 15. 26. The cause of this order is this: Hee is our Sauiour, and [Page 219] hath bought vs vvith a deare price: the Spirite is bought to vs by the blood of IESVS CHRIST, His blood hath bought all which vve receiue and get by Him: so He giueth His holy Spirit vvith all His graces, by the hand of IESVS CHRIST the man. Then if ye would haue the Spirit, dresse your selues to that treasure in Heauē, and beseech God that He would vouchsafe to send that Spirit vpon you through IESVS CHRIST, and giue you His grace by the hand of the man CHRIST.

Yet to open vp the vvordes more narrowly, Which Hee powreth out, &c. He speaketh of the Spi­rit, as it were of vvater: the Spirite heere is compa­red to vvater, because of the vvashing: for as the one vvasheth the filth of the body, so the other vvasheth the filth of the soule. Hee is not content to say, Hee powreth out the Spirit, simply, but hee saith, aboundantly, in a great measure, as a flood in aboundance. This teacheth two things to vs: first, the liberality of GOD, Hee giueth not grace nig­gardly, as men, but vvhatsoeuer vvee gette, it is in aboundance: His loue is rich, His mercy is rich, the Spirit vvhich He giueth vnto vs is rich: so Hee is liberall vnto vs. Then it followeth of this also, that vve are very foule and vncleane. A cloth that is very foule, will require much vvater & washing: euen so vvee must haue aboundance of grace, be­cause vvee vvere so foule through sin: but suppose vve vvere neuer so foule, except vve get a sight of our filthinesse, vve vvill neuer desire to be vvashen: [Page 220] when Dauid felt himselfe verie filthie in murther and adulterie, he cryed, Wash mee, O Lord, and make mee cleane, PSAL. 51. When a bodie commeth to a remorse of conscience, it is a vvonder to see howe hee vvill drinke in that Spirite, and desire to bee satiate vvith that vvater. A foule bodie that hath not the sense of his filthinesse, will neuer crie for vvashing. The murtherer and the harlot vvill neuer crie, Lord vvashe mee, except they gette a sight of their owne vncleannesse. Blessed are they that hunger and thirst for righteousnesse, for they shall be filled, MATTH. 5. 6. There may bee mooued a question heere, Howe is it saide, that the Spirite is powred out so aboundantly, how many feeleth this riches? Will a man or vvoman discende into their selues, they will finde great lacke and scarci­tie of this Spirit.

Brethren, I answere: One droppe of the Spirite of Iesus Christ is coūted great riches: one droppe of grace is great riches: one droppe of the vvater of life, is greater riches, than all the vvater in the vvorlde: it vvill vveigh downe all the precious things that are vpon the face of ye earth. Thou that hast gotten one droppe of grace in Iesus Christ, thou art richer than all the kinges in the worlde. Moreouer, if this droppe of grace could bee dried vp in the heartes of the regenerate, it were lesse to be coūted of: but there is stil droppe after droppe, and none ende of dropping: Continually thou art refreshed now and then vvith new drops of grace, [Page 221] so long as thou liuest. So this cōtinuance in drop­ping is a great riches: thou hast no cause to com­plaine, that hath this continuance. Well is the soule that getteth droppe after droppe, for that soule may saye it hath gotten great riches. Thus much for the first part of our saluatiō, called rege­neration: when God putteth to His hande to saue vs, He putteth to His hād & vvasheth vs inwardly and outwardlie, and giueth vs His Spirit.

Nowe followeth the next part, That being justi­fied by grace, we may be made heyres according to the hope of life euerlasting. The next part standeth in justifi­cation. I vvill not insist, I shall touch it in a worde: It is none other thing but the imputing of the righteousnesse of IESVS CHRIST vnto vs. This righteousnesse is not inherent in vs, but the satis­faction of IESVS CHRIST is imputed to vs. This Iustification in effect is none other thing, but for­giuenesse of sinnes. when God forgiueth thee thy sinnes▪ & accounteth Christs righteousnesse to bee thine, and laieth not thy sinne to thy charge. Al is one thing. Iustification is not this y men dreame of, to wit, a righteousnes inherēt in our selues, but it is another mans justice which by imputation is made ours. Compare these two together, Iustification and Regeneration, and consider the naturall order of them, Iustification is first. A man is justified by the blood of IESVS CHRIST imputed to him, ere euer he be regene­rate by the Spirit. The Spirite that vvasheth him in [Page 222] regeneration commeth through the blood: the blood, first, and then commeth in regeneration, and vvasheth awaye the mother sinne, and the foule stinking corruption that is in thee, and both thy justification and regeneration commeth of free grace, without merites: for these two are euer opponed, grace and mercie: preasse not to deale these two: to giue GOD one part, and to attri­bute another part to thy selfe: leaue thy merites behinde thee, and take thee to the mercy of God, otherwise there is no saluation for thee. There­after commeth on another part of saluation, vvee are made heires of euerlasting Life: but there is something going betwixt, that is not set downe here: For yee see, that when wee are justified and regenerated, vvee are made sonnes by adoption: before we be heyres, vve must bee children. But I leaue this, because the Apostle speaketh not of it heere.

Then the last part is: Wee are made heyres of the Kingdome of Heauen: vvhat more can be re­quired in saluation? there is the highest degree, Thou art placed in thine inheritance, there is thy perfection, According to the hope of eternall Lift, lest vvee should thinke, that vvee are alreadie put in possession of this inheritance: he meeteth this, and sheweth, that albeit vve are in this life made heyres, yet vvee are not in this life put into a reall possession of this heyrship: but hee saieth, accor­ding to hope: vvee are heyres by hope, but once [Page 223] hope and all shall goe awaye, and vvee shall bee heyres in very deede. Yet hope is necessarie so long as vvee liue heere: so long as the Father is liuing, the heyres haue a to-looke and a hope of the heyrship: Hope thou, or else thou shalt neuer see Heauen. Nowe this hope is not so bare, that in the meane time vvee haue no fruition of the thing hoped for: yea, euen in this life the fruition of Heauen is begunne in effect: and if thou haue not the beginning of it heere, hope neuer for the accomplishment of it heereafter. Wee haue a be­ginning in this life, but as for the full possession and fruition of our inheritance, it is reserued to the life to come: And therefore it is, that the Godly in this life hope still for the comming of IESVS CHRIST, till they bee set and placed vvith Him, in that inheritance purchased to vs by His blood: To vvhome vvith the Father, and the Holy Spirite, bee all Honour, Prayse, and Glory, for euer and euer,

AMEN.

THE TWELFTH SERMON.

PSALME CXXX.

verse 1 Out of the deepe places haue I called vnto Thee, O LORD.

verse 2 LORD, heare my voyce: let Thine eares attende to the voyce of my prayers.

verse 3 If Thou, O LORD, straightly markest iniquities, O LORD, who shall stand?

verse 4 But mercie is with Thee, that Thou mayest bee feared.

THE inscription of this PSALME (Brethren) declareth that it is a PSALME most excellent: The ex­cellencie of it wee remit to the matter contained therein: it hath bene penned by some holy man, and Prophet of old, but by whom it is not certaine: It is sufficient to vs to knowe that the Spirite of GOD was the dyter of it. To come to the matter and partes thereof, The Pro­phet (whosoeuer he was) first setteth downe the estate and disposition of his soule in trouble, to wit, that he ranne to the Lord, and prayed to Him for deliuerie: and this hee doeth to the fift verse. Next, finding in verie deede the effectes of the [Page 226] prayer hee made, and finding mercy and deliuerie as hee craued, hee professeth before all the worlde, that as he had before awaited vpon GOD, so hee will await still vpon Him, and He will put his con­fiden̄ce in Him: and this he doeth to the seuenth verse: lastly, from the seuenth verse to the ende, he recommendeth this duetie to Israel, that is, to the Church of GOD, to waite vpon the LORD, and with the recommendation, hee giueth in force­able reasons to mooue them. To come to the first part, first hee saith, that in his greatest danger hee cryed to the Lord IEHOVAH. Next, hee setteth downe the prayer. To come to the proposition, he saith, Out of the deepe: yet more, Out of the deepe pla­ces haue I called vnto thee, O IEHOVAH. By these deepe places hee vnderstandeth great miseries, great dangers, wherein his body was, great terror and feare in his conscience, for his sinne & offer­ding of God: for the Scripture (as ye may see Psal. 69. 2. 3) compareth great afflictions to deepe wa­ters, wherein a man is like to drowne: and manie a time, when the body is in danger, the soule will bee like to drowne in desperation. No doubt, the greatnesse of the danger made him to vtter to the Lord voyces cōming from the very deapth of the heart. If we felt our selues in great dāger, we wold call from the deapth of our hearts to God: he vt­tered not a voyce onely, but a lowde voyce, with a crie. This is the meaning of the words. We so here first, that the children of God, whom God loueth [Page 227] most intirely, are many times subject to great and extreame dangers and troubles: and if euer thou thinkest to come to Heauen, make thee in thine owne course to suffer one trouble or other. Let no man thersore, judge euill of a man because he suf­fereth. Next we see the greater the danger bee, the heauier ye distresse & the afflictiō wherwith ye god­lie is exercised bee, the more vehement, feruent, & earnest will their prayer be they haue to God: and howe commeth this to passe? Euen in this maner, & by these degrees, Oppressiō & afflictiō worketh in the hearts of the faithfull a sense of ye common misery of nature: Whē the hand of ye Lord is vpon afaithful man, then he begins to feele his sinne & corruption: And except the LORD exercise vs in this life, either one way or other, the best of vs all will fall into such a sound sleepe, that we will nei­ther remember what we haue bene, what wee are, nor what wee shall bee, neither acknowledge our selues to be sinners: So there is a necessity of affli­ctions, for affliction bringeth vs to a feeling of our misery. Next, when through affliction, the heart is prepared and brought to some sense of sin, then it is capable of grace, thē it prayeth to God. (Look neuer to come to Heauen if thou feelest not thy finne, yea, and that thou art a miserable sinner) Then, if once thine heart bee prepared with some sense of sinne and miserie, then commeth in that holy Spirit of Iesus Christ, which in ye Scripture is called the Spirit of adoption, who finding ye heart [Page 228] dejected and made lowlie (the Spirite will nerer looke in to a proude heart) beginneth to worke, & to touch the heart of the miserable sinner with a sweet sense of mercie through Iesus, hee begin­neth to shedde abroade the loue of Christ into the soule: and when once the heart hath tasted of the sweetnesse of mercie, and as Peter saieth, hath ta­sted how sweet and gracious the Lord is, and fin­deth this passing loue of God in Iesus Christ, then i [...]eth a boldnesse, and beginneth with confi­dence & peartnesse to present itselfe before God, and to put vp prayers and requestes, Roman. 8. 26. When once that Spirite hath giuen libertie, then we crie with an open mouth (for the heart is wide opened) Abba, Father, Roman. 8. 15. Because wee haue gotten a sense of that fatherlie loue in Iesus Christ. The prayer of the faithfull is most effectuall when they are in greatest danger, and then the voyce is lowdest: for it is the Spirit of GOD, who maketh intercession for vs with sighes which cannot be expressed, but God knoweth the mea­ning of his Spirit.

Now, Brethren, surely few of vs haue yet beene in this deepnesse and extreamitie of miserie: the Lord hath not yet so pressed vs with His hand, as Hee hath done many others: and therefore, [...]e [...] there is amongst vs, who hath this feeling of sinne and miserie: and consequently few of vs can pray so earnestly. Howe many are there amongst you that dare say, that yee feele sensibly the common [Page 229] miserie of nature? Goe to your hearts, and looke if yee feele it not sleeping in sinne: and so long as thou sleepest thus, and knowest not thy miserie, howe wilt thou bee carefull to feele the loue of Christ? and how wilt thou earnestly pray to God? And certainly I take this coldnesse in prayer to be a fore-runner of a judgement to ouer-take this Land. No, it were better to bee swimming in the waters of affliction, praying earnestly to GOD, than to bee this way lying in prosperitie without prayer.

Nowe I goe forward. After hee hath proponed, that out of the deepnesse hee cryed to IEHOVAH, then to let vs see his cryes, hee setteth downe the forme of prayer that hee vsed in his great mise­ries: first he saieth, O Lord, heare my voyce: Next, in the other wordes, hee doubleth ouer the same pe­tition, Attende to the voyce of my prayers: for hee prayeth not coldly, but hee cryeth earnestly: cer­tainly, the doubling of the crie would be opened vp from the ground. Wee should gripe downe to the heart, from whence the prayers of the godlie do flow, that when we heare them, or reade them, we may get such an heart & disposition in prayer as they had. The doubling of the prayer, and the mouth wide opening, commeth of the doubling of the graces of the Spirite of GOD in the heart, and of a double opening of the heart: for except the heart be opened in prayer, the mouth cannot be opened with pleasure, otherwise if thou speake [Page 230] anie thing, I will not giue one pennie for it: So the opening of the mouth commeth from the ope­ning of the heart When the Holy Spirit so sweetly maketh manifest the loue of God to the creature, then ye tongue is loosed, & the second cry cōmeth of the second grace, & of ye second opening of the heart: & so oft as thou cryest, so oft is there a new grace & motion within the heart wrought by the Holy Spirite, for it is Hee onely that openeth the mouth piece and piece, to speake to God: for take this for a certainty that Paul saith, There is none that can call Iesus Lord, without that Spirit come in, 1. Corin. 12. 3. And againe hee saith, We knowe not what wee should pray, or how wee ought to pray, without that Spirit teach vs, Romanes chap. 8. verse 26. And if Hee teach not, no man or woman is able once to open the mouth with confidence and liberty to pray.

And so, Brethren, if yee would speake well, pray well, or doe well, looke euer to the disposition of the heart, and night and daye pray for that Spirit, who may transchange thee, transforme thee, and take thee out of nature, and plant thee in grace: for so long as thou remainest in nature, thou canst not thinke well, thou canst not speake well, thou canst doe nothing well, yea, thou art worse than a very beast.

But because the wordes are very weightie, wee will yet consider them better: What meaneth h [...] when he saieth, Lord, let thine eare bee attentiue to my prayer? Thought he that the Lord heard him no [...] [Page 231] and that the Lord played the part of a deafe man? No▪ He meaneth not this: look to the estate of the godly, when ye hand of the Lord is vpō them, when ye Lord afflicteth vs any way, we think that He nei­ther heareth nor seeth vs, nor remembreth vpō vs: Indeed I grant, it is not so in effect, for God neuer altereth His affection towardes His owne: but the faithfull oftentimes judge and apprehend so, and all the fault of this is in vs. Yee see how Dauid of­tentimes complaineth to the Lord, that Hee had forsaken him, Hee had left him, and desireth that He shold look vpō him: I aske▪ Is it so indeed, that when the faithfull soule crieth, Lord heare see, and remēber, that He heareth not, He s [...]eth not He re­membreth not? No question but He doth▪ for Hee that made the eye, seeth Hee not? Hee that made the eare, heareth He not? Hee that formed the heart of man, vnder­standeth He not? remembreth He not? Psal. 94. Yea, all things are patent to His Majesty, albeit when Hee maketh it not manifest by some sensible effectes and operation, we think He heareth not, He seeth not, He remembreth not, His fauour & affection is neuer indeed altered no [...] chāged frō his own chil­dren: Then whē they cry for His presence, are they altogether destitute & depriued of his presēce? no, they want it not: for who gaue the heart to saye, Lord heare me, Lord see and remember me, if that thou hadst not some presence of the Lord in thine heart? thou couldest neuer vtter these voyces to God. Thē I say, If I haue the presence of God when [Page 232] I crie vnto Him, why crie I, and pray I, as though I had not His presence? Are not such prayers in vaine? No, for although we haue the presence of God when wee praye, yet for all that our prayers to God are not in vaine: for if we had Him of be­fore in any measure by our prayers, He will mani­fest Himselfe more sensibly, piece and piece, more and more: And looke howe much more strongly thou cryest, so much the more will the Lord bee drawne to thy soule, and so much the more shalt thou finde the increase and grouth of grace in thy soule. It is vnpossible, that the prayer of a faithfull man, if it were but one worde that proceedeth from the Spirit of adoption, can passe away without comfort: for the Lord giueth His Spirit to no man in vaine, but because He knoweth the meaning of His owne Spirit, therefore He will graunt that thing for which hee maketh request, there is nothing more certaine: And therefore the Lord (Matth. 5. 6.) pronounceth them blessed, who hunger and thirst for righteousnesse, for, saith hee, they shall bee filled and satisfied: And so Christ speaketh to that woman of Samaria, Ioh. 4. 13. 14. If thou soughtest a drinke, I shoulde giue thee a drinke of the water of life: for the water that I shall giue, shall bee in a man (or woman) a Well of water springing vp into eternall life: mea­ning generally, that whosoeuer hath gotten the first fruites of the Spirite, and the beginnings of grace, desireth and seeketh for further progresse [Page 233] and increase, that the LORD shoulde euer furnish them with something to quench their thirst, and that because they shoulde euer haue a fountaine within their bellie, to furnishe something to them when they thirsted: so that when as they shoulde seeke refreshment, they might gette it in aboun­dance. And if we felt this thirst and drinesse of the soule, we would seeke earnestly: for there was ne­uer such a drynesse and such an heate in any man naturally▪ as there is in vs through sinne. Consi­der thine owne experience, when thou hast felt somtimes the great burthen of sinne, and the ter­rours of the wrath of God for sinne, whensoeuer in this estate thou camest to God, and prayedst for mercie, and said, I am a miserable sinner, LORD, giue mee mercie; hast thou not felt, that the Lord hath answered thee comfortably? and hath filled thine heart with joye, euen when in thy prayer thou sighest and sobbest vnspeakeablie? What meaneth that joye? Euen that as soone as thou openest thy mouth with libertie▪ to seeke that water of life, the Lord conuayeth some portion of it into thine heart to quench thy thirst.

Now after hee hath cryed twise, hee subjoyneth in the next wordes, If thou, O Lord, straightly mar­kest iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand. This no que­stion, followeth by way of preoccupation: It might haue bene objected to him in his prayer (for ma­nie are the temptations of the godly) by his con­science, pleading for GOD against him: or GOD [Page 234] Himselfe might haue saide, Thou prayest to mee and yet thou art a sinner, how should I heare thee? How darest thou stand before mee? It is a wonder that in my fierce wrath I destroye thee not. To this hee answereth, first by waye of confession. It is true, O LORD, that if thou wilt straitelie marke iniquitie, that no flesh can stand in thy pre­sence, but they must bee consumed, through the rage of thy displeasure. Then hee answereth by waye of correction, But mercie is with thee: the meaning is, Thou takest none heede to our ini­quities, but of thy free mercie and grace, thou pardonest them all in thy Sonne IESVS CHRIST: for none of the Saincts, none of the Fathers, none of the Prophets, euer got mercy, but thorow that blood of IESVS CHRIST, who was slaine from the beginning of the worlde: through His blood only was the wrath of God pacified: except Gods justice bee first satisfied, there is no place left to mercy: therefore saith he, my refuge is to thy mer­cie. Indeed our estate who liue now, is farre better than the estate of them who liued before Christ came into the world: for they saw▪ the death & sa­tisfaction of Christ, & remission of sin in his blood but a far of: but we see now all, already past, & wee may say, that now God in Christ is merciful to vs, is become our Father, and hath forgiuen all our sins. Now out of these words, & by this example of the Prophet, yee maye see what is the estate of Gods children in prayer: to wit, when in affliction [Page 235] they seeke to repaire to GOD by prayer, they will not so soone begin to pray, but as soone their guiltie consciences will beginne to knocke and challenge them, as vnworthie to bee heard: the conscience will stand vp, and if it be not cleansed, it will present thy sinnes before thee, and set them in order in all their circumstances. Albeit thou forget thy sinnes, after thou hast gotten thy plea­sure, yet thou shalt see, that thy conscience hath marked them all: and as a man cannot reade when the booke is closed, yet beeing opened, they maye reade therein: Euen so, albeit vvhen our consciences are benummed, wee see not the vglinesse and guiltinesse of sinne, yet when GOD wakeneth them, wee will see sinne in the owne colour, and finde the vglinesse and guiltinesse thereof: Our sinnes will come in, and stand vp as mountaines, and will hide the blessed face and presence of GOD from thee: Sinne goeth betwixt vs and GOD, and separateth vs from GOD. The Sainctes finde in experience, that it is not an easie thing to finde a familiar accesse to God in prayer: except our consciences first bee purged, wee can haue none accesse to GOD. Therefore, whosoe­uer woulde drawe neare to GOD, let him seeke to followe the counsell of the Apostle, in the 10. Chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrewes, and the two and twentie verse, where he saith, Let vs draw neare with a true heart, in an assurance of faith sprinkled in our heartes from an euill conscience. No flesh can [Page 236] haue a fauourable accesse to God, except his con­science bee first purged from guiltinesse▪ yea, that which wee speake of the guiltinesse of sinne, wee speake also of sinne it selfe, that except it bee quite taken away out of His sight, that He will not look fauourably vpon vs. And this is that which the Prophet saieth here, If thou, O Lord, straightlie mar­kest iniquities, O Lord, who shall stand? For, as guilti­nesse of sinne stayeth vs to beholde God, so sinne it selfe stayeth God from beholding vs (miserable wretches) with the eyes of His compassion. So long, therefore, as thy conscience is not purged, when thou goest to present thy selfe before His Majestie, if thy conscience bee wakened, thou wilt finde God marking thy sinnes, laying them to thy charge, and wilt finde Him as a terrible Iudge, compassed about with burning wrath, readie to destroye thee: and if He marke thee, thou hast no standing: and if thou appeare not cloathed, with the righteousnesse and perfect satisfaction that IESVS through His blood hath purchased for thee, thou darest not presume to approach, for then His fierce wrath shall bee poured out vpon thee.

Further wee learne heereof, that when euer wee would haue our prayers accepted, wee should be­ginne with an humble confession of our sinnes, and vnworthinesse, and with an earnest prayer to forgiue the same: yea, wee must aggreadge our sinnes by all circumstances, as the Prophet doeth [Page 237] here. No, none, not the holiest Sainctés, Fathers, nor Prophets, could be able to stand, if he marked their iniquitie, let bee himselfe, who was such an vnworthie wretch, who was laden with so manie and great sinnes. Thou must not extenuate thy sinnes before GOD, if thou wouldest find fauour with GOD, as manie men commonlie doe, saying wee are all sinners, yea, manie men haue sinned more, and haue done worse deedes than I haue done. That is not the way to finde Gods fauour. Thou must bee very abject, vile, and contemptible in thine owne accompt, if thou wouldest haue the Lord to account of thee. Then where shall wee get a remidie, to helpe an euill conscience? for sinne taketh away all joy and confidence in prayer.

The next wordes furnish a faire remidie, But mercie is with Thee: Lord, it is not Thy justice I looke to, but Thy mercie, Thy justice holdeth mee abacke, but Thy mercie allureth mee▪ I flee from Thy justice and I claime to Thy mercie. So when a man desireth his prayers to bee heard, hee must first haue a sight of his owne miserie, guiltinesse, and vnworthinesse, and of the fiercenesse of the Lords wrath for the same, and in all humilitie hee must confesse the same. Next hee must haue a sight of the Lordes mercie, and hope, that it is possible that GOD bee reconciled with him: except that these two bee joyned together, hee commeth not duelie prepared, the one without the other will not serue, both are necessarie: for without the [Page 238] knowledge, sight, and feeling of our miserie, of sinne, and of the wrath of God for the same, vvee will neuer be earnest in prayer: Who will aske, ex­cept hee finde his want? and without an humble confession, there is no cōming before God. Thou must not do as the Pharisie did: reade that parable of the Pharisie and of the Publicane, Luke 18. The Pharisie was so blinded with selfe-loue, that hee could not see the filthinesse and corruption of his own heart: and therefore, not only in the presence of man, whom he might deceiue, would he justifie himself, but also in the very presence of God, who cannot be deceiued, & who searcheth the hearts, he would boast of his own righteousnes, and con­demne the poore Publicane But what found he? It is saide, hee went home not justified, that all men might feare thereafter to come before God with a cōceit of their worthines. Thou must follow ye ex­ample of the poore Publicane, who being ashamed of himself, would not looke vp to Heauē, but loo­ked down, & smote his brest, & said, O God, be mer­cifull vnto mee a sinner. Next, if thou haue no more but a sight, sense, & confession of thy misery, will that bee sufficient? No, for albeit thou sawest all thy sinnes, and foundest the burthen thereof, and foundest the Lord as a judge in a judgement pur­suing thee, and heaping daylie judgement vpon judgement, and wrath vpon wrath, that will neuer make thee to drawe neare to the Lord, but by the contrary wil make thee to turne thy back vpon the [Page 239] LORD: for as a male-factor hath no pleasure to beholde the face of a judge, because his counte­nance is terrible, No more can the sinner abide the countenance of God, His judgementes & His wrath may make vs astonished, and stupified: but if there bee no more, they will neuer make vs to come to God. Then if this be not sufficient, what more is requisite? Euen a sight of the Lordes mer­cie, for that is most forceable to allure, as the Pro­phet saieth here, and as the Church of God saith (Cant. 1. 2) because of the sauour of thy good oint­ments, therefore the Virgines loue thee: this one­lie is forceable to allure ye sinner▪ for all the judge­mentes of GOD, and curses of the lawe, will ne­uer allure him. What was the chief thing that mo­ued the Prodigall sonne to returne home to his father? Was it chiefely the distresse, the disgrace, and pouerty wherewith he was burthened, or the famine that almost caused him to sterue? No, but the chiefe thing was this, hee remembred that hee had a louing father: that maketh him to resolue with an humble confession, to goe home, Luk. 15. Euen so is it vvith a sinner, it is not terrours and threatninges yt chiefely vvil moue him to come to God, but ye consideration of His manifold & great mercies: therfore, if the Lord waken thy cōscience, present thy sins before thee, threaten thee, & heap judgemēts on thee, then say, Lord, I deserue to be threatned, & alwais to be plagued, but, Lord, thou knowst my nature, thes things wil not make me to [Page 240] come to Thee, but will put mee away from Thee: therefore, let mee see Thy manifolde mercies to­wards sinners, to allure me, and then I shall come vnto Thee.

So wee see the remidie against an euill con­science, to wit, an humble confession of sinne and vnworthinesse, and a fleeing from the justice of God, to His mercie. The fairest & sweetest thing in the worlde is to feele the mercie of GOD. But herein there is great hardnesse and difficultie. It is not so easilie attained vnto, as men commonlie thinke: for His mercie is compassed about with His justice, and with His wrath against sinners, as with a wall of fire: and he who will come to grace, he must come through a consuming fire: and when hee preasseth to come neare, the fire of Gods wrath will holde him off, and will strike out and burne vp the impenitent sinner, as fire doeth the stubble: So it is an harder thing than manie think it to be, to win to Gods mercy. And how shal this be remidied? By what meanes shall wee gette thorowe this wall of fire? Truely hee who woulde meane to passe thorow fire, had neede to bee well armed: the man who preasseth to approach neare to that inuialable Majestie, who can abide no sort of vncleannesse, and woulde drawe neare to the Throne of His grace must bee well armed against the justice and wrath of GOD, which debarreth sinners. Surelie there is none armour in the world that can preserue vs from that raging and consu­ming [Page 241] fire of the justice and wrath of GOD, but only the righteousnesse and satisfaction of Iesus Christ. Let a man vse all the meanes in the world, and he be not found in Christ, he shall haue none accesse to come thorowe the justice and wrath of God to the Throne of grace: yea, his soule and his conscience must bee sprinkled and purged from dead workes, with that blood which was offered vp to GOD to that ende by His eternall Spirite, Heb. 9. without he bee dipped in that blood, hee will finde GOD a terrible Iudge. And after that through faith in the death and blood of IESVS, thou commest to that Throne of grace▪ thou shalt heare the sweetest and moste comfortable voyce that euer was, that is, All thy sinnes are forgiuen thee in that blood. And if a man were cōdemned to die for some haynous cryme▪ if the king would saye, I absolue thee, I forgiue thee, thou shalt liue: What joye and comfort woulde that voyce bring to the heart of him who was condemned? The Apostle saieth, Hebr. 10. 22. Let vs goe to the Throne of grace with a true heart, and purged from an euill conscience through the blood of IESUS▪ CHRIST, that is, Thinke not to come to that Throne of grace, except first thou bee purged with that blood. Therefore, as euer thou wouldest bee in Heauen, or see the face of GOD to thy com­fort, seeke to haue faith in CHRIST IESVS: Looke vvhat necessitie is laide vpon a sinner: either must hee bee banished from the presence [Page 242] and face of GOD for euer, and be casten into the societie of the damned, or else if he would bee sa­ued, hee must bee imped and ingraffed by a true and liuely faith in Iesus Christ: make thee for it with all thy maine, to get a gripe of Christ, as euer thou wouldest be saued.

Nowe after hee hath met this objection, which God or his owne conscience in Gods cause might haue casten in, that hee was so vnworthie to bee heard by an humble confession of vnworthinesse, and by fleeing from His justice, and claiming to His great mercies, bee setteth downe the ende of this mercie and free forgiuenesse of sinnes, when he saieth, But mercie is with Thee, that Thou mayest bee feared: The ende whereof the Lord granteth mercie and forgiuenesse of sinnes to sinners, is that they may obey, serue, and worship God with pleasure and alacritie. No man can euer be able to glorifie God, and to serue Him chearfully, but the man who hath assurance that his sinnes are freely forgiuē him in that eternall loue of God, through the blood of Iesus: for none can glorifie God, ex­cept first he be glorified of God. Albeit the natu­rall man got neuer so manie and great benefites, yet because hee hath none assurance of the for­giuenesse of his sinnes he can neuer glorifie God, nor be thankfull to Him. On the other part, It is vnpossible and if thou haue a sure perswasion that thy sinnes are forgiuen thee, but thou wilt bee careful in some measure to meet the Lord God in [Page 243] loue, to pleasure Him, and to thanke Him: for the first effect that floweth from the remission of sinnes, is sanctification or glorification: And it is not possible▪ but if thou bee glorified, thou must glorifie the Lord againe. But the question may be here proponed, Wherein standeth our glorifying of God? hath He neede of our glorification? Can our seruice bee profitable to Him? Can our well­doing extend to Him? Hath He need of any thing that wee can doe? I answere: Indeede it is true, our well-doing cannot extende to Him, as Dauid con­fesseth of himselfe in the 16. Psalme, and the 2. vers. All the Kinges and Monarches in the world can­not doe any thing that is profitable and steadable to God: We are not able to adde any thing to the glory of God, for His glory is infinite, and to an infinite thing nothing can bee added: for if anie thing coulde bee added, it were not infinite. The Father, the Sonne and the Holy Spirite perfectlie glorified one another from all eternitie. Glorifie Mee, saieth Christ, with that glorie which I had with Thee before the foundation of the world was laide. That blessed Trinitie was as perfect in glorie before the creation of the world, as it hath beene euer since. Our glorifying of God stādeth only in this, when the Lord illuminateth our minds, that we may see His glorie, in all his properties, that wee in our heartes with pleasure and chearfulnesse consent thereunto, allow of it, and with our mouthes pro­claime that glory which we see to be in Him. And [Page 244] it lieth not in man nor angel to compare His glo­ry. The good & the euil, the well & ye wo, the com­modity & incommodity of al cōmeth to our own selues: and happy is that man that glorifieth God, & miserable is he y glorifieth Him not: for our fe­licity standeth not in that y we our selues be glori­fied, but in this, that we glorify our Lord eternally, for that end were we created, & to y ende were we redeemed with that precious ransom, euē that we shuld glorify ye Lord & happy is that creature that hath some purpose, thirst, & desire to glorify God in this life, for he may be assured that one day the Lord shall glorify him eternally in Heauen. That soule, I say, shall be perfected in the life to come & without all impediment shall cry with the blessed Angels, Holy, holy, holy, is ye God of heauē, the Whole World is full of his glory. There shall it find in his countenance sa­ciety of ioy, and at his right hand pleasures for euer.

Marke here last, & I shal end with it, that the see­ling of the mercy of God in Iesus Christ bringeth out obedience & chearful seruice of God: yea, of al argumēts to moue a man to abstein from sin, & to serue the Lord with pleasure, that is ye most pithie & forcible, The shame of ye world, the feare of tem­poral judgement, the horror of conscience, & the feare of the paines of hel, wil not be so steadable: it may be [...] they represse raging lusts, & furious af­fections [...]r a time, but they wil not mortify sin, & slay corruptiō, & wil neuer cause a man with plea­sure to serue & obey God: but if a man hath foūd [...] [Page 245] God hath loued him so well, that he hath giuē his only son to dy, that he might liue, it is not possible but that mā, in some measure, wil set himself with alacrity & chearfulnes to serue God. Therfore, the Apostle, whē he wold perswade christiās to abstein from sin, & to serue God, what argument vseth he chiefly? read Rom. 12. 1. he proponeth the mercy of God, offering Iesus to die for them, for there hee saith, I beseech you, brethrē, through the mercies of God, [...] ye offer vp your selues a liuing sacrifice: therfore, if thou wouldest couet to do ye Lords wil chearfully, pray the Lord, that he would not so much threatē thee, & propone terrors to thee, as that he would make thee sensible of His mercies in Iesus Christ. The vaine Papist speakes litle or nothing almost to the people of this mercy of God in Iesus Christ, but propones to the people the pains of hell, & fire of purgatory, to stay them from sin, & to make them serue God▪ and do good works: but if there be no more, it wil neuer make them to bring forth such obedience, as either is acceptable to God, or yet profitable to themselues. The Lord therfore, make vs to bee sensible of his vnspeakeable loue in Ie­sus, that wee may set our selues with pleasure to serue and glorify him here, that so we may be assu­red that hee shall glorify vs in the kingdome of Heauen, which Iesus hath purchased to vs by his precious blood. To this Iesus, with the Fa­ther, & the H. Spirit, be all praise, ho­nor, and glory, for euer,

Amen.

THE XIII. SERMON.

PSALME CXXX.

verse 5 I haue waited on the LORD: my soule hath waited, and I haue trusted in His word.

verse 6 My soule waiteth on the LORD more than the morning watch watcheth for the morning.

verse 7 Let Israel wait on the LORD: for with the LORD is mercie, and with Him is great redemption.

verse 8 And He shall redeeme Israel from all his iniquities.

WELBELOVED in the LORD IESVS, The last day we diuided this Psalme into these three partes. First, the proposition, whosoeuer hee was that writ this Psalme, hee maketh mention and rehearsall of that prayer that hee made to his God in the time of his great danger, and this hee doeth to the fift verse: Then finding in experience a comfortable answere, and howe good a thing it was to pray to God, and to waite on Him, he professeth▪ that as before, he had awai­ted on Him, so still in time comming hee woulde awaite on Him, and this hee doeth to the seuenth verse. In the third and last part, he turneth him to [Page 247] Israel, to the Church, and exhorteth them to await on God, as hee had done, promising them mercie and redemption from all their iniquities, if they would awaite on Him. The last day we ended the first part: so wee haue now to follow out the other two parts which remaine.

Then as for the second, The prophet finding in experience the fruite of his prayer, hee professeth that hee will yet still waite on the Lord: I haue waited on the Lord: my soule hath waited, and I haue trusted in His word: As though he would saye, I de­pend yet still on His word, for the presence of the Lord that wee haue in this life, is in His worde, and in His Holy Spirite, that accompanieth it: So all the dependance we haue on GOD, is in His worde and promise. Take that away, and then wee haue no sight, no presence, no faith here, till wee see Him face to face.

Yet the wordes are better to bee marked, hee saith, I haue waited on the Lord: Then hee saith▪ My soule hath waited on the Lord: as if he woulde saye, I haue not awaited on the Lord onely with my bo­dily eyes, but with mine heart and secrete inward affections: I haue depended on Him from my ve­rie heart. For, Brethren, marke it well, It is the heart of a man or woman, that draweth GOD downe from Heauen, & sucketh in His presence▪ Marueilous is the power that a faithful heart hath when it sendeth vp sighes and sobbes to Heauen for grace, to pull down Gods presence and grace: [Page 248] if there be no more but the eye, it will not doe the turne, but where the Spirit of the Lord dwelleth in the heart, it maketh it to [...]igh with sobbes that cannot be expressed. It is not possible, but GOD, who giueth His Spirite to no man in vaine, and who knoweth the meaning of His owne Spirite, will grant that for which the Spirit maketh inter­cession. Paul (in the 8. chap. to the Rom.) setting downe the waiting on of the godly, how they wait on the Lord, he setteth downe both the forceable operation of Gods Spirit in our hearts, as also the fruit of his operation, Wee sigh in our selues, waiting for the adoption, euen the redemption of our bodies: there the vvaiting on of the godly, is conjoyned vvith sighes and sobbes. Then after, hee letteth vs see what followeth vpon that▪ What to seeke wee knowe not: but when the Spirite of the Lord interceadeth for vs with sighes and sobbes vnspeakeable then the Lord, who searcheth the heart, & knoweth the meaning of His owne Spirit, granteth that thing, for the which the Spirite maketh intercession: for what els meaneth that vnspeakeable joye, vvhich many a time the Saincts of God finde before they haue ended their prayers, but that their prayers are fauourably accepted? What meaneth that vn­speakeable joy, when he saith, Belieuing we rejoyce with joy vnspeakeable and glorious? That joye witnes­seth, that the Lord giueth his presence: for there is a sure ground, There is no true joy, but in the pre­sence of God: and so the joy testifieth to thee, that [Page 249] thou sighest not so soone, but the Lord giueth his presence to thee. Now, when hee hath saide, My soule hath waited, then he subjoyneth, I will waite still vpon His word: I will hold vp mine eare to Heauen, as it were, and heare what He wil speake vnto me. There is no consolation nor joy in this world, but in the hearing of His voyce: The friends of the bride­grome, saith S. Iohn, when they stand and heare the bride­grome speake, they rejoyce exceedingly: So it is the joye of a Christian to heare the Lord Iesus speake. The meaning is this, I haue waited on so long, & haue founde in experience how good a thing it is, and therefore that experience shall moue me to waite on still, I am forced through the experience of mercy▪ to waite on still without wearying. This pro­phet, whosoeuer he was was in a great danger, and therefore in the beginning hee saide, Out of the deepe places haue I cryed vnto thee, O IEHOVAH: so he was vnder great affliction, his affliction y hee suffered wrought in him so y he waiteth patientlie ye Lords deliuerāce: a waiting with patience, in end he finds experience & proof of the mercy of God, for hee was deliuered: finding experience of the Lords loue through that deliuery, hee conceits an hope that Gods fauor shal neuer leaue him, & pro­fesseth that he wil wait yet stil, & wait on cōtinual­ly, because of that experience of mercy. In the 5. chap. to the Romanes, yee haue the notable effectes that affliction worketh, linked together: and if there vvere no more but the effects y wee finde to [Page 250] haue beene in this man, they testifie, that it is true that the Apostle speaketh here: Oppression (saith he) worketh patience, that is when affliction is sanctified to him that is afflicted, through time it bringeth forth patience. Then after that a man hath waited pa­tiently on the deliuerance of the Lord, then saith he, patience worketh experience, that is, a bodie that abideth patiently vnder the crosse, in the end he findeth an experience and proofe of the Lords loue, one way or other, either by deliuery, or by furnishing strength to beare it out, or by some spi­rituall grace. Then he saieth, experience worketh hope, that is, when anie one hath founde in expe­rience the mercy of the Lord, hee conceaueth an hope, that the Lord shall euer deliuer him, and ne­uer forsake him: & he hopeth yt he shall get grea­ter fauour, than euer he got before: for if the Lord giue the faithfull a temporall deliuerie, they hope Hee shall giue them eternall deliuerie: And this is sure, thou canst neuer hope for great enough things of the Lord, thine hope is farre inferiour to the things that shall be granted: for certainly, they that hope in the Lord, shall finde greater thinges than euer they hoped for: thou art not able to ap­prehend in thine hope the greatnesse of them: the kingdome, the joye, and the glorie, is greater than thou canst looke for: when thou shalt come there, thou shalt finde that all thinges are greater than thine hope.

Nowe when hee hath proponed that hee will [Page 251] hope in the Lord, hee beginneth in the next verse to amplifie that proposition, and declareth the earnestnesse of it by a comparison taken from the watch-men, who watch all the night ouer without any reliefe, and saieth, My soule waiteth on the Lord more than the morning-watch watcheth for the morning. It is a worthie thing, to consider how that after the heart is once preuented with a ta­sting of the sweetnesse of Gods fauour, howe that heart will hing and depend vpon Him, and seeke and waite for grace at Him more and more. Alas! from whence commeth this, that men & women are so carelesse to seeke the Lord, and to waite on Him? Alas! they haue not tasted of that gracious sweetnesse that is in God through Iesus Christ, for if they had once tasted of it, there would bee a perpetuall thirsting & desiring for that presence: the heart would neuer haue rest nor ease till it got that presence. The Apostle Peter, when he desireth them to seeke that sincere milke of the worde, whereby they might grow, hee subjoyneth, If once yee haue tasted how sweet and gracious the Lord is: mea­ning, that they that neuer haue tasted of the sweet­nesse of the Lordes presence and His graces, haue not a desire of grace. Wee see heere what is the estate of the faithfull in this worlde, by this com­parison with the watch. The estate of euery one of vs. is this waking and watching from euening to morning. The watch, yee knowe, watcheth in the night, and there especially where greatest danger [Page 252] may fall out, and the watch that hath no reliefe in his watching, but must watch from the euening to the morning, hee must bee very weary, and being very weary, hee will bee very desirous of the mor­ning and the sunne rising: when it commeth, he is relieued of his painfull watching & goeth to take his rest. To apply this to vs: This world which wee liue in, till the comming again of the Lord Iesus, is but a darkesome night, in respect of that glorious day that shall appeare when He commeth againe. Indeed, the world since the first cōming of Christ, is called a day in the Scripture: but that is in respect of them that were before Christ, but in respect of that passing light that Iesus Christ shall thē bring with Him: this is but passing darknes, and we shall thinke so, when that day shall come. Nowe next, the watch in this worlde was neuer more straitelie bound to watch in the night, than euery Christian man is bound to watch till he come again: & this was the direction that Christ gaue His disciples. Wait, for yee knowe not what houre thee good-man of the house shall come: and in watching, wee finde a great heauines: What faithfull man is in this world, that is not wearied with watching? The worlde that sleepeth in this life, is not wearied, but the faith­full that watcheth is weary of this life, and faine would they haue that morning comming, whē the sunne of righteousnes, the Lord Iesus, shall rise vp, that they may be relieued: And when yt morning shall come, thou that hast watched in this worlde, [Page 253] at the least hath striuen to watch, and looked for that glorious comming of the Lord Iesus, thou shalt get rest, so sweet a rest as neuer man found in this world: but thou that hast slept here, & hast not vvatched for Him, sleepe on: when Hee commeth thou shalt get no rest, thy sleeping shall ende in a terrible wakening. There is no rest to them that hath not a desire to watch in this world: but they yt haue a desire to watch, & to holde vp their heads, they shall get rest, yea, endlesse rest, and quietnes.

Now, hauing spokē of the first & second parts, I shall goe shortly forward to the third part of the Psalme, wherein the Prophet turneth himselfe to Is­rael, that is, the Church of God, and hee exhorteth Israel, the Church of God, to watch, & waite on the Lord: Let Israel waite on the Lord: finding in expe­rience what hee had gotten for his waiting on, to vvit, mercie and deliuerance, he cannot be holden from glorifying Him, and cannot get Him glori­fied enough: Therefore, hee turneth him to the whole Church, and exhorteth them to vvaite on, that they may finde such experience as he found, and that they may glorifie the Lord also. So the end he looketh to, is to glorifie the Lord, that He may bee glorified in manie belieuers, and waiters on him. The ende of the mercy of God tendeth to His own glory. There are many properties in God, he is infinite in wisdom, in power, in trueth, infinit in glorie & Majestie. Now the Lord is glorified in all his properties, in his wisdome, power & justice. [Page 254] But aboue all thinges, the LORD seeketh that the world should glorifie Him in that deepe riches of mercie and gentlenesse that is in Him, that wee shoulde praise Him euerlastingly in His mercie. And as this is His will, and as the mercy of GOD serueth to His glory, So the soule of a man that hath once tasted of the mercy of the Lord Iesus, is caried away with such a zeale to His glory, that it will cause am in forget himselfe, and with Moses and Paul wish to be a curse and anathema, to haue God glorified. This man ye see, when he hath ta­sted or His mercy, hee turneth him to the whole Church, and willeth them to trust in Him, that they might find His mercy, that so God may bee glorified. So it is hee onely, who hath tasted of the mercy of God, who when he looketh thorow the miserable world, can haue pity on any mā. He that neuer tasted of that mercy of God had neuer true pitic vpon any mā Then y thing which he craueth is this, that many shoulde taste of His mercy, that God may be glorified by many. His heart is mo­ued with pitie, and so all his endeuour is to see if once he can gette them win to God: for when hee looketh abroad vpon miserable sinners, he is full of rueth and compassion. But marke againe, the zeale which hee hath to the glory of GOD, is the first cause that mooued him to seeke that all the world should taste of mercy and glorifie God. So first he beareth a loue to Gods glory, and then he hath pitie towarde men: the one is the cause, the [Page 255] other the effect: the one preceedeth, the other fol­loweth: the one is the roote, and the other the branch. All the loue we cary to man, should be for the loue vve haue to GOD. And vvhere these two goe together, a zeale to the glory of God, (alas! vvhere is zeale to Gods glory now adayes? vvhich is a true token, that His glory is departing away) and then a pitie of the misery of man, a desire of the saluation of man: then that man vvill forget himselfe, that hee maye seeke the saluation of the vvorld, that so in it God may be glorified. And the man that hath this disposition in his heart, is fit to be a Minister & Preacher of grace to the world, otherwise, if hee vvant this disposition, it is but a colde preaching that he vvill make.

Now in the next vvords, vvhen he hath propo­ned the exhortation, and desired them to vvaite on the Lord, to moue them the more, he pointeth out to the Church the nature of God, vvhat God is: for vvee must know vvhat God is, ere euer vvee put our trust and confidence in Him: for why? saith he, with the Lord is mercie and gentlenesse: as if hee would saye, The Lord is full of mercy. His mercies are incomprehensible, yea, infinite, and neither man nor Angel can sound out the deepnesse ther­of: He is all mercie: and as S. Iohn saieth in his first Epist. chap. 4. vers. 8. The Lord is loue. Therefore, await on Him: for why? there is no want nor scant of mercy in Him. This is vvell to be marked, when hee exhorteth Israel to vvaite vpon the Lord, hee [Page 256] saith not, because He is omnipotent, and infinite in ju­stice, onelie wise, &c. But hee giueth this reason, be­cause mercy is with Him, therefore waite vpon Him. This would be well considered, What is the cause of this? Nowe I will aske another question, What thing in God neede wee moste into this worlde? There are manie thinges which wee haue much neede of: What is it that wee haue moste neede of? Another question: What is the estate that euerie one of vs is borne in, in this worlde? Are wee not borne sinners? conceiued and borne in sinne and iniquitie? And so are wee not all miserable? For there is nothing for sinners, but miserie, death, & damnation: and so all sinners are miserable. So, what thing is it that a sinner wanteth most? vvhat is it that sinne and miserie craueth, but mercie? And if thou bee miserable, the thing in this world that thou shouldest craue first, is mercy, that God woulde bee mercifull to thee: So mercie and for­giuenesse of sinne is the first thing whereto thou oughtest to haue recourse. And if thou wilt tell a miserable bodie that feeleth himselfe to bee mise­rable and the childe of wrath, that God is omni­potent if thou point Him out in His wisedome, in His justice, hee shall bee so farre from receiuing anie comfort, and consolation, of anie of these things, that by the cōtrarie he shall be so terrified, that hee dare not presume to seeke God, to looke to Him, to come to Him, &c: but hee will runne away from God: But tell him that God is merci­full, [Page 257] & full of grace in Iesus Christ, that is the swee­test speach that euer he heard. But, alas! few of vs feeleth that burthen of sinne: Who is he that gro­neth vnder sinne? Who feareth the terrors of that wrath? If thou find them, then tell thee of the mer­cies of Iesus Christ, it would bee the sweetest tale that euer thou heardest. And when a man is once sensible of the infinite mercies of GOD in Iesus, then tell him of all the infinite properties of God, tell him of His power, wisedome, and prouidence, they will all serue to his comfort: for why? he will thinke that all things that are in God appertaine to him, and serue to his weale, he will finde that all things will serue to his saluation. Otherwise, with­out this assurance of mercy, hee will neuer thinke them comfortable. So there is a sure ground, The faith of a man or woman, first of all, is euer rela­tiue to the mercy of God: and that is the first ob­ject of faith. Indeed, hauing gottē a gripe of mer­cie, then it extendeth to all the rest: but before that, there is nothing in God that it can rest vpon. Yee see by experience, when the law is preached, there is little allurance of the heart: but when the Euangell and Christ Iesus is preached, the heart is drawne on and allured. What is the cause of this? The doctrine of the law is a doctrine of extreame justice, and His justice doeth nothing but terrifie the soule: but the doctrine of the Euangell is a do­ctrine of the mercy of God in Iesus Christ, which draweth to it the hearts of men. Albeit thou heare [Page 258] the law preached an hundreth yeares, & heare no more, thou shalt be so far from being the better, that thou shalt still be the worse. So this testifieth, that the object of our faith is the surpassing mer­cy of God. Then, if thou wouldest search ye nature of God (and search Him a thousand yeeres, thou shalt neuer come to the ground of His deepnesse) search out especially His loue & mercy: a man may faile & vanish away in curiosity, searching ye deepe­nesse of God: but in searching out His mercy, thou shalt neuer erre, it shall be with a joy & cōsolation of the heart. Paul prayeth for the Ephesians (chap. 3 vers. 18.) that they might attaine to that infinite deepnesse & breadth, length & height in God, for God is infinitly deepe in all things: but wherefore is it that he prayeth? Euen that they, searching in God, should search that infinit profoundity of the loue of God. Surely, if wee would know that pro­foundity of God, & search in to His nature▪ thē let vs search alwayes in to that loue & mercy of God in IESVS Christ. And this searching hath euer a grouth and increase in faith, till wee get a sight of Him euerlastingly.

To go forward. He is not cōtent to say, with Him is gentlenes, but he subjoynes, with Him is great redem­ption: the words grow in highnesse, & these words comprehēd & set out a greater mercy in God than the former: now ye mercy of God in Iesus Christ is not all told in a word: alas, for want of feeling we speake slenderly & lightly of it: no, in very deed, all [Page 259] the words, and the greatest words in the world, of the most holy, most wise, & most eloquent men, is not able to set out & point out that infinit great­nesse & deepnes of it: and he & she that once haue tasted of mercy, scarcely can they find words to ex­presse the thousand part of it: whē they haue got­ten a little taste & apprehension of it, they are not able to get words to expresse that apprehension of the heart. Paul commonly calleth it the riches of mercy, God, who is rich in mercy, according to His infinit & great loue, &c. Ephes. 2. 4. Paul, Dauid, & the rest of them cānot get words to expresse that apprehen­sion of mercy that they haue in their heartes. No, there is no creature that is capable of that infinite mercy: for the worke that ye Spirite of Iesus Christ doeth worke in the heart, whether it be a sense of dolour, or a sense of joy, the tongue of no creature can tell or expresse, Paul calleth it sighes inexpres­sible: & Peter calleth it joy vnspeakeable: So ye heart cannot expresse the greatnesse of the worke of the Spirit. Men will thinke them hyperbolicall words, but that is a token that they haue not tasted that joy and mercy in their owne hearts.

Now in the last words he commeth neare hand, & makes a particular promise of His mercy to His Church, He will redeeme Israel, His Church, from all her iniquity, as hee would say, I haue told you, He is mercifull & full of redemption, but I come nearer hand: Thou shalt finde in experience, that Hee is mercifull, & full of redemptiō: So it is not enough [Page 260] to the Preachers of ye word, to preach Gods mercy and redemption generally to the world: no, they must come nearer hand, & in promising▪ they must make to the hearts of the people a particular ap­plication, and say not only, God is mercifull, but▪ He will be mercifull vnto you, and He is full of re­demption, and He shall redeeme you: and so say I, I haue not beene speaking of mercy and redemp­tion that appertaineth not to vs, but the Lord shal be mercifull, and redeeme you, if ye belieue in Ie­sus Christ: for there is no grace but in Him. If this particular application be not made, the cōscience of sinne is so great, that the sinner dare not put foorth his hand to receiue mercy. Now to whom pertaineth mercy and redemption? He saith, Hee shall redeeme Israel, that is, the Church militant. The Church is militāt in this world, but redemp­tion pertaineth to it in the ende. But where from shall the Lord redeeme ye Church? Not from per­secution and tribulation in this worlde, but from all her sinnes. So this presupponeth first, That the Church is full of sin so long as it is in this world. This is but a vaine dreame to imagine that there shall bee a Church, or any member of the same, in this worlde, without spot: away with that vanitie. So next, the redemption of the Church standeth nor so much in freeing it from persecution or tri­bulation, although she shall be redeemed from all these things also, as from redeeming her from sin: the chiese redemption shall be from sin: for why? [Page 261] the greatest enemy of the Church is her own sins▪ & it is her own sins that is the cause of all her per­secution and it is sin that the Lord mortifieth and slayeth by persecution and tribulation: for if there were no sin, there would not bee such a thing as a persecuter or a tyrant against her: and the greatest burthen that ye godly feele, is alwayes their owne sins, & they were neuer vnder so great perfecution▪ no crosse, no trouble comparable to the burthen of sin. Paul saith, Rom. 7. 24, Miserable man! who shall deliuer me? Where from? Not from persecution, al­beit he was subject to as great persecution as anie man, but from this body of sin, because hee could not get that obedience to God, that hee would haue had. And wherfore died Christ? Was it to redeeme vs from persecution, or crosses in this world? No, the Lord died that Hee might redeeme vs from sin with His precious blood. And Paul (to ye Corin) maketh mention of that triumph that the Church shall haue when the Lord Iesus shall come, O death where is thy sting? Then she shall glory that she is re­deemed from sinne, and from offending of GOD. And that shall be our chiefe felicity in that life to come, that our hearts & thoughtes shall be free of all sinne, we shall offend God no more, but al shall be full of obedience to Iesus Christ, and then shall we be fully sanctified and glorified when wee get that blessed presence of the Lord Iesus, which wee long for: To whome bee praise and glory, for euer,

Amen.

THE XIIII. SERMON.

MATTH. CHAP. XV.

verse 21 And Iesus went thence, and departed into the coasts of Tyrus and Sidon.

verse 22 And beholde, a woman, a Canaanite, came out of the same coastes, and cryed▪ saying vnto him, Haue inercie on mee, O Lord, the sonne of Dauid, my daughter is miserably vexed with a deuill.

verse 23 But he answered her not a word. Then came to him his disciples, and besought him, saying, Sende her away, for she cryeth after vs.

verse 24 But he answered, and said, I am not sent, but vnto the lost sheepe of the house of Israel.

verse 25 Yet shee came, and worshipped him, saying, LORD helpe mee.

verse 26 And hee answered, and saide, It is not good to take the childrens bread, and to cast it to whelps.

verse 27 But shee saide, Trueth, Lord: yet in deede the whelps eat of the crummes, which fall from their maisters table.

verse 28 Then Iesus answered, and saide vnto her▪ O woman, great is thy faith: bee it vnto thee as thou desirest. And her daughter was made whole at that houre.

[Page 263] IN this TEXT which wee haue read (wel beloued in the Lord Ie­sus) wee haue a wonder, that the Lord wrought on a woman, a Ca­naanite a Gentile, of a cursed genera­tion, the generation of Canaan. The wonder is, the healing of a womans daughter that was posses­sed, and sore and miserably vexed with a deuill. The woman hauing the occasion to meet with the Lord through His comming to these parts where she abode, shee slippeth not the occasion, but see­keth mercy and grace: she findeth at the first great hardnesse and difficulty, to get mercy: but at the last, she ouercommeth all by her faith, and getteth mercy.

Now to go through this History so shortly and plainly as the LORD shall giue the grace. This woman is called a Canaanite, that is descended of that olde and rotten stocke of Canaan▪ that was destinate for wrath and destruction. (Genes. 9. 25. Looke to her estate, shee is come of a cursed rase, she is lying in sinne and security: first in sinne, next in a deadly sleepe and security of sinne. This is the estate of euery one of vs: we lie in sinne, conceiued in sinne, and borne in sinne: we feele not the sinne, & that deadly sleepe of security is worse than the sinne we lie in: there is none of vs better by nature than this woman was. Then when she is thus lying in sinne & security, the Lord from the Heauen sen­deth [Page 264] her awakening, and a sharpe wakening: for the judgements of God are like many messengers from Heauen to waken vs. In the example of the woman wee see that the Lords children must bee wakened: and oftentimes our first wakening is ve­rie sharpe, dolefull, and fearefull, as it is with one that is wakened in the rage of a feuer. Yet there is grace here: Well is ye man that is wakened, though the wakening were neuer so sore and sharpe: for the multitude of the worlde dye in securitie, and neuer waken, till the fire of Hell waken them. Well is thee, and thou be wakened, albeit it should be with neuer so heauy a judgement, yea, though thy daughter, or thy selfe, should bee possessed with a deuill.

Now, when this poore womā is thus wakened, and is wrastling vnder the heauy hand of God, the Lord casteth an eye towardes her, (for no doubt, howbeit she was one of the rase of cursed Canaan, yet she was chosen to eternall life) and of very pur­pose He casteth Himself into these parts where she was: what euer other erand Hee had, there is no question, but He had a particular respect to her, [...] she might haue the occasion to come to Him, and this was a great grace. When we are wakened out of security, then the Mediciner hath his time, and this is a greater grace. It is a great grace to bee wakened, but it is a greater grace to find a Medi­ciner to cure thy disease: for, as multitudes die in securitie, so also multitudes die in paine, torment, [Page 265] and desperation, after they are wakened. Well, she hearing tell that He was come to these parts, and that He was such a man, a wonderful man, as the pro­phet Esay calleth Him, who cured all sort of diseases, who restored sight to the blind, limmes to the lame, clean­sed the leprous, and raised vp the dead, she is moued to seeke grace and mercy at Him. Had not the Lord preuented her, and come downe thither & sought her, to draw her to Him, there had neuer bene such a thing, that she had sought for Him. All thy mi­sery, albeit it vvere neuer so great, vvill neuer draw thee to Him, except Hee seeke thee first, and draw thine heart vnto Him.

Well, nowe to come forwarde, vvhen shee seeketh Him, shee findeth Him, and getteth His bodilie presence.

CHRIST and His Disciples vvere vvalking together after His accustomed manner: at the first meeting, saieth the TEXT, The woman cryeth, Hee is apparantlie going before, and the vvoman followeth after, and cryeth: Miserie con­straineth her to crie: And if the LORD laye His handes vpon thee, Hee vvill compell thee to howle and crie. O, that power and might that is in the LORD ouer His creature!

But I doubt not, considering the vvordes and communication that the LORD hath with this poore, miserable, and sinfull vvoman, but it was that Spirit of adoptiō that opened her mouth so vvide to crie vpon Him so, O thou sonne of Dauid [Page 266] haue mercie on mee: What crieth shee? Marke her words: She crieth, haue mercy vpon me. How many of Hierusalem cried after this manner? An Heathen, [...] Cananite, crieth this way: misery compelleth her to cry. But what maketh her to cry Mercy? Wee will raile & blaspheme God whē we are in misery: but what caused her to cry Mercie? No question, the conscience of her demerites caused her to crie Mercie: shee felt her selfe to bee worthy of all that misery wherewith shee was burthened. The voyce of a miserable sinner, that feeleth misery, is, O Lord haue mercy vpon mee: but loe howe shee stileth Him, O Lord, The Sonne of Dauid: these were the common stiles indeed of the Lord, in this life, He was called of the multitud, LORD, and the sonne of Dauid. But certainly, I am of this mind, that this woman took these stiles otherwise than ye common multitude: The very eye of her soule was opened, to see Iesus Christ to be the Lord, & to bee the Sonne of God manifested in the flesh of the seed of Dauid, how­beit I will not attribute vnto her a distinct & clear knowledge of both His natures in one person, and of His offices.

Then, Brethren, ye see two grounds of her peti­tion. The first is a Lordship, and Power, and Domi­nion in Him, of whom she sought mercy. The next is, a Pitie, a Mercy in Him of whome shee sought mercy. She sought mercy at a mèrcifull face, grace at a gracious face. Looke that thy prayer bee well grounded on the LORD. When thou openest thy [Page 267] mouth to seeke mercy at that LORD, looke that thou acknewledge that there is a power in that Lord to giue thee euery thing that thou standest in need of: and chiefely, looke that thou acknow­ledge, that there is an infinit passing mercy in that Lord, surmounting all thy sinnes, and then shalt thou pray from the heart, with confidence and li­berty: otherwise thou mayest well seeke mercie from the teeth outwarde, but neuer with thine heart. Then shee letteth Him see a good cause wherefore she sought mercy: Lord, I haue need of a Phisition, for I am sicke. What sicknesse is sorer to a poore body, than this, to bee rent both in soule and body with a deuil? Lord, my poore daugh­ter is tormented with a deuill: As in thy prayer thou must haue a sight of the infinit power of thy God, of the mercy of thy God, so scorn Him not with a senselesse heart: No, if thou gettest not a sense & feeling of thy misery, of thy trouble, & vexation in thine heart, call not vpon the Name of the Lord. It is true indeed, the Lord seeth and knoweth thy misery, as well as thy selfe, albeit thou speake not a word vnto Him of thy misery: yet for all that, the Lord taketh pleasure to heare thy misery out of thine owne mouth: He will not only haue thee to feele and grone in thine heart for it, but he will haue thee to vtter it vnto Him with thy tongue also, if oportunity serue: He wil haue thee to make it knowne vnto Him, as if Hee knew it not He will haue thee to bring vp thy misery from the ground [Page 268] of thine heart, & as thou feelest it in the sadnesse of thine heart, so to vtter it in thy voyce: for the Lord delighteth to heare miserable bodies spea­king of their miserie.

Now to goe forward. When shee hath made her petition, see the meeting: the text saith, At the first Hee answered her not a vvord, but goeth forward vvith the Disciples, and letteth her follow on cry­ing, O Lord, haue mercie vpon me: not once nor twise, but the crie goeth neuer out of her head. This is wonderfull: Hee that preuented her vvith grace, and gaue her grace to seeke him, vvill not make her one vvorde answere, but goeth his vvaye, and vvill not speake vnto her: Yea, thou vvilt find, that he, who preuēted thee vvith grace, & sought thee, ere euer thou soughtest him, & gaue thee grace to crie and pray, Haue mercie, O God, yet he vvill seeme to mis-knowe thee, and make thee none answere. Thou vvilt crie in sicknesse, Mercie, but vvilt thou alwayes find mercy? No, no, thou vvilt cry in other troubles, Mercie, and his Spirite no question vvill interceade for thee, and yet for a time hee vvill make thee none answere. What meaneth this? why doeth he so? Now vvhen he hath giuen thee grace to crie for mercy, a thirst & an hunger for grace, (Blessed are they that hunger & thirst) vvhen he hath giuen thee this first grace, hee vvill let thee crie a great vvhile to trie thy constancie. We neuer get a spirituall grace in this life, but vvith the grace vve get alwayes a tryall: and vvhen he giueth vs grace [Page 269] to crie: hee vvill trie if vvee vvill crie on. And to speake the trueth, Brethren, All our life heere, is but a tryall of the graces of GOD, vvhich hee hath giuen vs. Wee gette not our heauen heere, but a faith to looke a farre of vnto it, an hunger, a thirst, a desire of it, and vvith our thirst a tryall of our Faith, a tryall of our Hope, of our desire, to see if vvee vvill stand in it. And then saieth Peter, in the life to come, the tryall of thy faith, and hope, and patience, beeing ended, What shall fol­lowe, Praise, and honour, and glorie, vvhen IE­SVS shall appeare, 1. Pet. 1. 7. Thou shalt bee filled vvith saciety and fulnesse of joye, thine hun­ger and thirst shall bee satisfied as soone as euer thou seest thy Redeemer.

Now to proceed. The Disciples that followed ye Lord, they are troubled vvith the cry of ye woman, & say to the Lord. Either giue her one answere or other, and let her goe her way. Surely I thinke this sute of the disciples was not so much for anie desire they had that he should helpe her, as to be quite of her crying, because they vvere deafned vvith her. So then the Papistes neede not vpon this, to ground their intercession of the Sainctes in heauen, for vs that remaine heere on earth: for this ground is as vveake as their doctrine of intercession is: and she directeth not her speach to the Apostles heere, to PETER, IAMES, or IOHN, that they should inter­cead for her, but to the Lord himself, she speaketh to none of thē, but she passeth & speakes to ye Lord [Page 270] immediately: So should wee leaue all the Saincter, and with confidence goe to the Lord Himselfe. The Disciples are deafned and troubled with her crying: the Lord Himselfe letteth her crie on: and this is a token that Hee is not wearied with her crying Well then, thou findest a comfort heere, when thou cryest night and day, Hee neuer wea­rieth with thee: He saith not, thou troublest me, al thy cryes sighes, and sobbes, are pleasant to Him. Men will bee weary sometimes with thy crying, as wee reade, that vnjust Iudge was importuned by the just sute of the poore woman, and dispatcheth her away, and saith, thou troublest and irkest mee night and day, Luke 18. 1. But the true righteous Iudge is neuer wearied with thee, when He letteth thee cry out, He wil not answere with a grudge, as the Iudge did, but chearfully. The Lord that lo­ueth a chearfull giuer, He Himselfe giueth cheare­fully. What meaneth that joye that the faithfull finde in their heartes, accompanying the benefite that commeth from Him, but that the Lord gi­ueth His benefites chearefully? for if the LORD gaue thee them not chearfully, but in anger and wrath, and threwe them to thee as to a reprobate, thou wouldest neuer haue joye in the receiuing of them. There is not such a thing, as a reprobate can haue joy in the giuer, or euer haue his mouth opē with true thankesgiuing to the Lord to say once, I thanke thee: Why? Because the Lord giueth him not His benefites in loue, but in anger. So this is a [Page 271] sure token when thou findest joye in thine heart, and a contentation in thy prayer, and a purpose to be thankfull, that the Lord giueth thee cheare­fully, and heareth thee joyfully. And if thou canst get but a joyfull looke of thy God, thou mayst be assured that it proceedeth of mercy. When Hee looketh so vnto thee, Hee doeth not as earthly kings, or any earthly creature vse to doe, for they can keepe a faire countenance, and yet haue little good will in their heartes. Well, the womā crieth, & the disciples cry: The Lord must answere once, but Hee maketh an answere little to her content­ment, I am not sent, saieth He, but vnto the lost sheepe of the house of Israel: What haue I to doe with that poore woman? shee is not one of My sheepe, she is of a cursed generation of the Canaanites, ordained to destruction and wrath: In a word, He debarreth her from grace, Hee cloaseth the gates of Heauen vpon her teeth: for when He saith, Hee is not sent to her He shutteth her out of Heauen. Wee ought to marke this well, for we are Canaanites, that is to say. Gentiles: It is true indeed, the Lord comming down from the Heauen, & manifesting Himselfe in the flesh. He had His commission first & princi­pally to the Iewes, and not to the Gentiles, not to Scotland, nor ENGLAND, nor Germanie, nor France, chiefely and principally: as Christ said to Hierusa­lem. Oh! that thou couldest see the day of thy visitation! Luke 19. 41. Hee was sent with commission to the Gentiles, but in case of the contumacie & rebellion [Page 272] of the Iewes, as if the Lord had said vnto him, Goe thy vvay vnto mine owne people, vvhome I haue chosen from among all the Nations of the earth, and see if thou canst vvinne them, goe no further. And if the Iewes had not bene rebellious and dis­obedient, vve had neuer gotten mercie and grace▪ Looke Roman. 11. 11. The fall of the Iewes, vvas the raising vp of the Gentiles, & the diminution of the Iewes, vvas the riches of the Gentiles. Howe got yee grace? saith he, By their contumacie and rebellion. So Christ, sending out his Disciples to preach, biddeth them go, not vnto the Gentiles, or vnto the Samaritanes their next neighbours, but vnto the l [...]st sheepe of the house of Israel, Matth. 10. 5. And Paul in a preaching before both the Iewes and Gentiles, Act. 13. 46. The worde of GOD, saieth hee, be­hooued first to bee preached vnto you, the promise belon­ging vnto you. But because yee will not receiue the worde, and haue made your selues vnworthie of life euerlasting▪ Therefore, I will turne and preach to the Gentiles: And so hee bade the Iewes good-night, and turned him to the Gentiles. And the TEXT saieth, that then the Gentiles rejoyced exceedingly.

So vvee vvere strangers from heauen, and ali­antes from the common vvealth of Israel.

And vvee learne in the example of this vvoman that our entrie to grace, and to heauen, vvas ve­rie hard and difficill: And as our entrie to grace vvas hard▪ so if vvee fall from grace, our re-entrie to grace shall bee farre harder: And if thou fall [Page 273] once from grace, hardly shalt thou get grace againe. A Gentile that falleth once from grace, and treadeth vnder his feete the blood of Iesus, shall neuer bee renewed with grace againe. And I say to thee, O Scotland, if thou fallest from grace, looke neuer for grace againe. Looke to the cities amongst the Gentiles that fell from grace, looke Co­rinth, looke Philippi▪ looke ye Galathians, &c. got they euer grace again? No: so if Scotland fall from grace, it will bee a wonder if euer it get grace againe. The wrath of God shall bee powred foorth vpon euery one, from the greatest to the smallest: for if He receiued not the Iewes (His owne people) into grace, after that they were once fallen from it, shal He take thee vp againe, a Gentile, a vile dog, in re­spect of them? And yet our men in this countrey care not to cast themselues, and their whole land, into Hell, and into euerlasting abjection from grace, without all hope of recouery. So this is an harde answere▪ shee findeth no grace at all. They that follow Iesus Christ, and seeke for grace, will finde in their way a sore tryall: men thinke that Heauen is but a common benefit, & that it is easie to a mā to come thither: but albeit thou be a king, an Emperour, or Monarch, thou wilt find an hard entry therein. Will thy kingdome or thy lordship bring thee to heauē? No, if thou sleep on in careles security, thou shalt neuer so heauē. So if there were no more but this exāple of this Gentilish womā, it teaches vs, that it is hard to win to heauen, & that [Page 274] the gates of Heauen at the first shall be shut vpon our teeth. What is the cause of this? Thou art fur­ther from Christ, and from grace, from Heauen, and from the joye of Heauen, a thousand times more than the naturall earth is from the naturall Heauen. Thou art a Canaanite, come of a cursed generation. What adoe hath a Canaanite with Hea­uen? so vnworthie a thing, with so worthy a thing? The Lord, before He opened the gates of Heauen vnto her▪ Hee woulde let her vnderstand, that shee had nothing to doe with Heauen. And I say vnto thee, that the Lord, ere euer Hee giue thee grace, Hee will haue thee knowing by tentations and tryalles, that thou art a Canaanite, descended of a cursed and reprobate generation, and vnworthie that euer thou shouldest see Heauen, or haue a do with Heauen: And if Hee bring thee not to this sight and this feare, I giue thee thy dome, thou shalt never see Heauen.

Nowe marke, Hee hath cloased the doores of Heauen vpon her: And certainely, this answere might haue caused her to haue gone awaye with shame and confusion. But for all this tentation, she continueth still, she crieth still, and hopeth for mercie: holde vpon mercy, hope still, belieue on still and that hope shal neuer make thee ashamed. Shee hath cryed for mercie, the gates of Heauen are shut against her: What doeth shee? Goeth she her way? No, no, shee tarieth still, and knocketh. And if thou knewest what Heauen were, and what [Page 275] Hell were, thou wouldest bee loath to leaue Hea­uen. Oh! the tormentes that remaine for them that fall into Hell! So shee knocketh, and falleth downe vpon her face, and adoreth, and saieth, O Sonne of Dauid, haue mercie on mee. This adoring was not onely for the casting the deuill out of her daughter: No, no, she sought euerlasting life at the handes of the Lord, & that healing of her daugh­ter was an earnest-pennie of that Life. This was the mind of the woman no question. It is saide in the Scripture, Seeke, and yee shall find: aske, and yee shall receiue: knocke, and it shall be opened vnto you. Mat. 7. 7. If the seeking faile thee, yet tarie still and knocke. And if it had not bene the Lords will that a sinner (when he findeth heauen gates closed vpon him) should tary stil & knock, would he haue biddē him knock? It were a presumptuous thing for a begger to knocke at one of our doores: but seeing ye Lord hath expressely commanded thee to knocke, then knocke on boldly. And if thou goe away with the first answere, or the first nay-saying thou wast ne­uer truely hungrie nor thirstie: And it is a token that thou countest little of the grace of GOD. If thou knewest howe precious a thing the grace of God & Iesus Christ were, and what Heauen were, and what Hell were, thou wouldest neuer cease knocking day nor night all the dayes of thy life: for if thou goe away proudly, and tariest not vpon Gods answere, but speake presumptuously, & say, If He will not giue mee grace, let Him holde it to [Page 276] Himselfe, as blasphemous men will say: then Hee will shoote thee into Hell: for if thou wert a king of all the worlde, thou shalt neuer get thine head in at Heauen gates, except thou knocke. Lord, if the world knew how hard a thing it is to get entry there! men think that they will come easily & slee­ping to Heauen, albeit they take their pleasure & pastime: but they deceiue themselues, there must bee much striuing and fighting ere they get Hea­uen: Before that Heauen could be opened, it be­houed Iesus Christ to shed His precious blood.

Now, Brethren ye may say to me, Alas, who can knocke? who is able to come there? No, thou hast no power once to lift vp thine hand to knocke at that gate, except that the Lord put out His hand, & hold thee vp, euen in the meane time when Hee is holding thee backe, so wonderfull is the Lordes working with His owne, He will be holding them abacke with the one hand, and He will be pulling them in to Him as fast with the other hand, when He will be disswading▪ He will perswade, when He forbiddeth to approach vnto Him, hee inwardly allureth m [...]n to come vnto Him. Nowe, will yee heare the Lordes answere? If the first answere was hard, this is▪ as hard and rough: for with an angry countenance no doubt He answereth, It is not law­full, saieth Hee▪ to take the childrens bread, and to cast it vnto dogges. It is euen as much as if Hee had taken her by the shoulders, and thrust her out: first Hee saieth, Thou art but a dogge, a Gentile, and this [Page 277] that thou seekest is a precious thing, the bread of life, this appertaineth onely to the children of GOD: Shall I take that and giue it vnto a dog? As if Hee had saide, Goe thy waye, dogge, thou shalt not get such a precious benefite as thou re­quirest.

Then we see here, because she was a Gentile, ther­fore Hee calleth her a dogge. Suppose thou bee a King (I pray thee be not too proude in thine own conceit) and yet a Gentile, Ergo, by nature, a dogge. He will cast a Kingdome, an Empire, a Monarchie to a man, as one will cast a bone into the mouth of a dogge, but all is nothing in respect of one droppe of grace, and the hope of the kingdome of Heauen.

Albeit thou bee a begger, and yet gettest but one droppe of grace through IESVS CHRIST, anie hope of the Kingdome of Heauen, anie be­ginning of regeneration, then thou hast gotten a greater grace, a more precious thing, than Caesar, that got all the worlde. There is no comparison betwixt the meanest spirituall & heauenly gift, & betwixt the greatest temporall and earthly thing.

Nowe I note againe the hardnesse to winne to the Kingdome of Heauen. Would yee not thinke it a marueilous thing to turne a dogge into the Sonne of God? It is as great a wonder to see a Gentile to be called to Heauen as to make dogges and stones the Sonnes of God Nowe know, that before thou gettest accesse to Heauen, although [Page 278] thou wert a king, thou must bee humbled in thine owne conceite, thou must know thine owne estate and condition, thou must thinke thy selfe as vile and contemptible as a verie dogge by nature, as this woman was brought to saye: otherwise, thou shalt neuer get heauen.

Then, Brethren, if the entrie to the Kingdome of heauen be so harde, if thou like a dogge returne to thy vomite, or as a sow to the puddle, (as Peter saieth, 2. Pet. 2. 22.) after thou art was [...]en with the blood of that immaculate Lambe, then it is a won­der if euer thou get grace to re-enter againe. Now heare the poore womans answere: she gran­teth all, It is verie true, thou sayest, I am but a dog, a vile and an vnworthie wretch, and that bread of heauen is a precious thing, I am not worthie that it should bee casten vnto mee: Yet (saieth shee) the whelpes doe eate of the crummes which fall from their maisters table: If thou wilt not shew mee this grace, to eate bread with the children, yet let me eate the paringes and crummes vnder the table. Ere euer the Lord bestow grace and eternall life vpon thee, hee will haue thee to accompt thy selfe vnworthie of anie grace: yea, hee will haue thee to accompt as vilely of thy selfe as of a dog, albeit thou hadst neuer so many great prerogatiues otherwayes in the worlde: ere thou get that life, thy conscience will accuse thee to bee vnworthie of such a life, and such a joye as the LORD ordained for his owne. Shee scipped before, nowe shee thrumbleth [Page 279] and thrusteth in at the gates of heauen, and goeth like a violent woman: not indeede preassing like a sturdie begger, to be in whether the Lord would or not: but by humilitie, and acknowledging of her owne vnworthinesse, in all submission, com­ming as it were, creeping like a sillie whelpe vn­der the table: that is the violence that is done to the Kingdome of heauen, Matth. 11. 12. Shee taketh vp heauen by violence, in all submission and humilitie. And if thou bee once but a whelpe vnder the table of GOD, in the house of GOD, to gather vp the crummes of that plentifull table, thou art called to a greater honour, than if thou were made King of all the worlde. I had rather bee a doore-keeper in the house of GOD, than to bee king of all the worlde.

Nowe, Brethren, when shee is thronging in, hee is loath to put her out againe: No, hee saieth, O woman, great is thy faith, bee it vnto thee as thou desi­rest, thy faith hath wonne the victorie. From whence had this poore woman all this perseue­rance, and this continuance, and this constancie, but from him? and yet hee standeth wondering at his owne graces. The LORD, (beholde his doing) when hee hath giuen thee grace and per­seuerance, when thou commest to heauen, he will wonder at thee: and there is the ende of all thy perseuerance, a faire crowne of glorie. And what more doeth hee? That same moment, that force that was in the worde, that proceeded out of the [Page 280] mouth of IESVS, extended it selfe to the wo­mans daughter, and healeth her, and casteth the deuill out of her. Now she sought only to creepe in as a whelp vnder the table to eat the crummes, and now the LORD setteth her vp at the table to sit with Him in glory, as CHRIST Him­selfe saieth, I say to thee, saieth Hee, manie shall come out of the East, and out of the West, into mine house, in­to the Kingdome of Heauen, and sit downe at the Table with Abraham, Isaac, and Iaakob, Matth. 8. 11. And from whence are wee come? Euen out of the furthermost point of the West. And, O SCOT­LAND! Belieue in IESVS, seeke earnestlie grace at Him, and waite patientlie, when Hee tryeth thee, and thou shalt find that thou shalt be set downe with ABRAHAM, ISAAC, and IAAKOB, in glorie. Wee are the Sonnes of GOD indeed, but it appeareth not yet what wee shall bee: but one daye it shall appeare, when wee shall be crow­ned with the crowne of glorie. The Lord worke this faith and earnest desire of grace in vs for Iesus Christs sake: To whome bee all glorie, honour, and praise, for euer, and euer,

Amen.

THE XV. SERMON.

LVKE, CHAP. VII.

verse 37 And beholde, a woman in the citie, who was a sin­ner, when shee knewe that Iesus sate at table in the Pharisees house, she brought a boxe of oyntment:

verse 38 And shee stood at his feete behinde him weeping, and began to wash his feete with teares, and did wipe them with the haires of her head, and kissed his feete, and anointed them with the ointment.

verse 39 Nowe when the Pharisie who bade him, sawe it, hee spake within himselfe, saying, If this man were a Prophet, hee would surely haue knowne who, and what manner of woman this is who toucheth him: for shee is a sinner.

verse 40 And Iesus answered, and saide vnto him, Simon, I haue somewhat to say vnto thee. And hee saide, Maister, say on.

verse 41 There was a certaine lender who had two detters: the one ought fiue hundreth pence, and the other fiftie:

verse 42 When they had nothing to pay, he for gaue them both: Which of them, therefore, tell mee, will loue him most?

verse 43 Simon answered, and said, I suppose that he, to whom he forgaue most. And hee saide vnto him, Thou hast truely judged.

[Page 282]44. Then hee turned to the woman, and said vnto Simon, Seest thou this woman? I entered into thine house, and thou gauest mee no water to my feete: but shee hath washed my feete with teares, and wiped them with the haires of her head.

verse 45 Thou gauest mee no kisse: but shee, since the time I came in, hath not ceased to kisse my feete.

verse 46 Mine head with oyle thou didst not anoint: but shee hath anointed my feet with ointment.

verse 47 Wherefore, I say vnto thee, many sinnes are forgiuen her: for she loued much. To whome a little is forgi­uen, he doeth loue a little.

verse 48 And hee saide vnto her, Thy sinnes are forgiuen thee.

verse 49 And they that sate at table with him, began to say within themselues, Who is this that euen for giueth sinnes?

verse 50 And hee saide to the woman, Thy faith hath saued thee: goe in peace.

THIS Text (welbeloued in the Lord Iesus) containeth a notable Historie, of the conuersion of a penitent sinner, a sinfull woman, whom the LORD first called in­wardly by His Spirit, & to whom after outwardly by His owne voyce He giueth assurance of the remission of her sinnes: And wee haue first set downe the occasion that the Lord offereth to this sinfull woman to [Page 283] metee with Him, that she may receiue mercie and forgiuenesse of her sinnes: Of very purpose He ca­steth Himselfe in her way, and into these partes where the woman was, and yeeldeth to dine in the house of a Pharisie, where shee might haue the oc­casion and oportunitie to meete with Him: This occasion being offered vnto her, being partly tou­ched with a feeling of her owne miserie, partly be­ing preuented with the Spirite of Iesus alluring her, she letteth it not slippe, but shee commeth to the house, where the Lord was, and shee commeth not emptie handed, but shee bringeth with her a boxe of precious sweete smelling ointment, and comming to the house where the LORD was sit­ting at table, looke what shee doeth, shee entreth not in peartly and boldly, neither commeth shee before His face, being ashamed of her own sinnes: she was ashamed that these eyes, these all-seeing eyes of the LORD, which pierce into the soule of man, should see her: So she standeth (saieth the Text) behinde His backe, and then shee falleth downe at His feete.

The sight of thy sinne, as it will worke shame of face, when the relicts of nature beginneth to challenge it, when it striueth to enter into the soule, so that scarcely thou darest looke a man in the face, let be the Lord, who is the reuenger of it: Euen so, when it once pleaseth the Lord to waken the conscience, it will worke in thee a wonderfull humilitie: so that thou wilt stoupe, and cast thy [Page 284] selfe downe vnder the feete of thy GOD. The stiffenesse that yee see in men, who bowe not their bodies & knees vnto the Lord, proceedeth of the want of that sight of sinne and corruption within them. If these men, who fling their heads in the aire, (& make their boasts of their euill deeds) saw their sins, they would bee ashamed of themselues, & humble themselues in ye dust. When she is fallen downe, she weepeth. The sight of sin will make thee to weepe & mourne. Thou laughest now, & plaiest ye wanton, because there is a vaile casten ouer thine eye, that blindeth thee so that thou canst not see sin the own colour yea, it couereth thy self from thee: but if once thou saw sinne & thy selfe well, it would make thee to weep & lament bitterly. Wel, she leaueth not of yet, but being drawne and allu­red with a sense of His preuenting mercy, y came from Him, she draweth near [...] vnto Him. If she had not felt that loue that came from Him, shee durst neuer haue come neare Him. As a male-factor hath no pleasure to beholde the countenance of the Iudge, but his eye and countenance is terrible to Him: Euen so, the Lord is fearefull and terrible to them that feele not that loue that proceedeth from Him.

It is the sense of the loue that allureth sinners to come to God, As Dauid saieth, Psal. 130. 3. If thou straitlie markest iniquitie, no flesh can stand: but mercie is with thee, that thou mayest bee feared. The teares that the displeasure for sin expresseth out of her, [Page 285] shee will not lose them, but shee taketh them, and [...]asheth his feet with them, & thē taketh the haire of her head, and dryeth them therewith. Haddest thou once a sense of that sweete mercy in Iesus Christ, were that loue once spred abroade into thine heart by His H. Spirit, as th' Apostle speaketh, O, how thou wouldest loue Him, & be carefull to serue & plea­sure Him! This want of loue towards ye Lord Iesus argueth plainely, that thou hast not felt that loue of His towardes thee: For if once thou hadst felt how well Hee loueth thee, who shed His precious blood for thee: then it is a faire matter to thee to sheede teares for Him, that shedde His blood for thee: And if thou once felt that loue, nowe all the teares, and all the moysture in thy body, yea, thy very soule thou wouldest bee glad to poure it out for Him, and consecrate thy life vnto His seruice: but liuing against Him, in doing all kinde of villa­nie in despite of Him, thou testifiest plainely, that thou hast neuer found the vertue of His blood.

Looke what Paul saieth, 2. Cor. 5. 14. The loue of God constraineth mee: that is, bindeth vp my soule, and all the powers and faculties thereof, and oc­cupyeth my whole senses, that I am rauished from all thinges in the worlde, to get mine heart and affections fixed vpon Him: Why? saieth hee, Be­cause He loued me so well, that Hee hath died for me: and therefore, I will consecrate my life to him, who hath purchased euerlasting life for me. And therefore, whosoeuer hath not a purpose to [Page 286] poure out his life for Iesus Christ, and hath not a free heart towards Him in some measure, he can­not haue any sure argument that Christ hath died for him. And if thou haue not that assurance, woe is thee, that euer thou tookest life! it had beene better thou hadst beene made a stocke or a stone, if thou findest not that Christ died for thee.

But what further did this sillie woman? Shee ceaseth not here, but is continually kissing the feete of the Lord. Ye who before delited in kissing▪ leaue your harlots, and from this woman learne to kisse the LORD, or else thou, and thy vile mouth, shalt burne in Hell. Kisse the feete of the LORD, who hath shedde His blood for thee: for so oft as thou kissest the feete of the Lord, thou shalt finde that thou suckest grace out of Him. And this woman, who was before a vile harlot, now only she taketh pleasure to kisse the Lord. And what did this wo­man more? It is said, when shee had bestowed her body vpon Him▪ shee taketh that boxe of costlie oint­ment, that shee had prepared for Him▪ and anointed his feete therewith. Bestowe thy selfe first vpon the Lord, and bestowe thy body vpon Him and His seruice, and say to Him▪ Nowe Lord I giue thee, and I bestow vpon thee, mine heart, my soule, my body & all the members therof, keepe thouthem in holinesse, that they may bee consecrate to thee. Then when thou hast bestowed first thine heart and thy selfe vpon Him, it will be none hard mat­ter to bestowe thy goods, when His glory requi­reth. [Page 287] And certainly, when men are so nigard in the [...]ds cause, that they will not bestowe a pennie [...]pon Him when his glory requireth, or vpon His [...]oore members, it is a sure argument, that they [...]euer bestowed their heart vpon Him. Many vain men and women will saye, And if Christ were in the worlde, for the loue I carie vnto Him, I would followe Him, serue Him, imploye my body, and all that I haue in His seruice, and to His glorie: but if thou wilt not bestowe thy goods vpon the nee­die, vpon His seruants, and vpon these who carie His image, if Christ Himselfe were in the worlde, thou wouldest bestowe nothing vpon Him: for if once thou were sensible of that liberality that Ie­sus offereth vnto His owne, thou wouldest loue Him so well, that thou wouldest shewe thy selfe li­berall to these who cary His image: thou wouldest giue all that thou hast for His cause, who is onelie able to make thee rich.

Now to goe forwarde in the Historie. Whilest shee is thus exercised in weeping, in washing the Lordes feete with her teares, in drying them with her haire, in anointing them with precious oint­ment, what doeth the Lord? what is His beha­uiour? All this time the LORD speaketh neuer a worde vnto her: all this time while shee findeth so great grace and mercie in Him, Hee turneth not once His face vnto her. If thou gettest once the Lordes backe neare vnto thee, if thou gettest leaue to kisse His feete, howbeit thou gettest not His [Page 288] face at the first, nor His countenance at the entrie, yet out of Him thou shalt sucke grace and mercie vnspeakeable. It is a marueilous thing to see how a sinner will get grace. When the Lord will seeme to turne His backe vpon thee, yet follow thou on and leaue Him not, till He turne His face toward thee: and I assure thee thou shalt get His face at the last. Therefore, neuer depart from Him, but sticke by His backe and His feete, and certainly in the ende thou shalt get that sight of that joyfull countenance that shall compleate thy joy.

Nowe to come to the Pharisies part, who called Him to dinner, for we haue heard the part of the woman. The Pharisie, named Simon, sitteth still, and seeth all that is done and speaketh not one word, but thinketh, and hee thinketh the thing which is not good: his mouth is closed, but he blasphemeth in his heart, If this ma [...] were a Prophet, saieth hee, [...]ee would know▪ who, and what manner of woman this were who toucheth him▪ for she is a sinner: he thought incon­tinent, that the filthinesse of the woman woulde pollute the Lord: would hee suffer this vile harlot to touch him, if hee were a Prophet, or an holie man? Yee see now, Brethren, how disdainfullie he thinketh of her, and howe hee contemneth her in his heart. A Pharisie that is an hypocrite, that wil counterfeite outwardly a kind of holinesse: see how he will disdain a poore sinner, that is an open sinner in the sight of the world: An hypocrite is a foule sinner, and he will doe such things in secrete, [Page 289] that it is a shame to speake of, because his sinne is cloaked from the sight of the world, and from his owne eyes: when hee beholdeth another sinner, againe, that sinneth openly in the sight of the world, how disdainfully will hee count and speake of the open sinner? and will spitte at him: the se­uerest censurer that euer was, is an hypocrite: and then he will stand vp, admiring of himself, and his coloured righteousnesse, and saye, I thanke God, I am not like other men: And what is the cause of this? The Lord saieth, The hypocrite is nothing but a whited tombe, a painted graue, that within is full of dead mens bones, stinke and filthinesse, Matth. 23. 27. And yet that cloake of hypocrisie beeing spred ouer the heart, the hypocrite seeth not that filthinesse that is in his owne heart: and that hypocrite that thinketh to beguile all the world, chiefely he beguileth himselfe. And if thou sawest that seede of all mischei [...]e that is within thy selfe, certainely thou wouldest disdaine thy selfe, and thou wouldest be inclined to judge cha­ritably of a poore sinner: thou wouldest not bee so sore and rigorous a censurer of others as thou art: And if thou sawest what kinde of stuffe were within thy selfe▪ (howbeit it breake not out) thou wouldest say, Now I see as great corruption in my selfe as in any body: (& it is the Lord that letteth it not breake out) the Lord purge and renew mee, and the Lord purge & renew yonder sinner from the sinne that breaketh out so openly in outward [Page 290] action. Now as the Pharisie knoweth not himselfe, so he knoweth not what the Lord is, he knoweth Him not to bee the Mediator, come into the worlde to saue poore sinners: and therefore hee concludeth so blasphemously, The Lord is not a Prophet.

Marke, Brethren: Who euer seeth not that mi­serie that is within themselues, of necessitie they neuer saw that mercy that is in Iesus Christ: These two goe together of necessitie, Whosoeuer seeth not himselfe, is ignorant of Christ, and would not buy the mercy of Christ for one penny, hee careth not for Christs kindnesse, hee counteth grace and mercy all but vanity. Now of these two followeth another thing, Not seeing himselfe first: next, not seeing that mercy in Christ, not knowing that He was that Sauiour of the world: of these two follo­weth this wicked conceit in him, seeing the sinner deale with Him to get grace & mercy, & the Lord dealing so mercifully with her, he scorneth, & con­temptuously disdaineth in his heart this dealing yt the poore sinner hath with y Lord. The men who see not their own misery, no [...] ye Lords mercy, they will scorne & disdaine a poore sinner, either out­wardly, calling them sighing brethren, & sobbing sisters: or at least in their hart inwardly. And I am assured there are hypocrites enough this day, who haue no sense of misery, that scorne in their hearts a poore sinner yt seeketh mercy of ye Lord, & hold in dirision our fasting, our humiliation, and all our [Page 291] preaching which they heare. And therfore, as thou wouldest not bee culpable of such scorning, and wouldest not be inuolued in yt judgement that ta­rieth that scornfull number, seeke I beseech thee, to get these two sighs, & say, Lord, I am but a mi­serable body, & am vnworthy to look vp to ye Hea­uen: & then get a sense of the mercy of the Lord: and then thou shalt bee [...]o farre from scorning grace in thine heart, that thou shalt bee faine to creep in with all humility to get a part & portion of the grace that is spoken of.

The Pharisie yet hath not bene one of the worst of them, hee was not an open blasphemer, but an hypocrite, I doubt not, but ye Lord hath had mer­cie on him: but what, how, and when his conuer­sion hath bene, the Lord knoweth.

Now I go forward to ye part of the Lord: first to­ward the Pharisie, and then toward the poore wo­man. The Pharisie conceiued not this so quietlie & secretly within his owne heart, but the Lord, the searcher of the heart, that made ye heart, draweth it to light, and saith, Simon, I haue somewhat to say vn­to thee, I know what thou thinkest well enough, no man needeth to tell me thine heart▪ & therefore I will speake somthing vnto thee: Simon answereth, Lord, saye on. Brethren, striue to present holie thoughts before GOD: thinke it not enough to keepe thine hand holie, thy tongue from blasphe­mie, but keepe an holy heart vnto the LORD: begin not to play the counterfeit, to speak holily, [Page 292] and to haue a faire shewe outwardly, and then to keepe a foule heart: and if an euill thought escape thee (as who will not haue a thousand euill thoughts?) if a blasphemie against GOD escape thee, (as who blasphemeth not God in their heart as well as the Pharisie?) bee sorrowfull for it, away with it, let it not tarie, but say as Paule saieth, Rom. 7. 17. It is not I, that doeth it, but the corruption of my nature which remaineth within mee. Renounce that foule birth, and take it neuer vnto thee: and this is that battell which we should haue night & day, to get that vile canker and corruption which vt­tereth it selfe so violently against that inuiolable Majestie, repressed and put away.

Now when He hath thus spoken, He beginneth to let Simon see, that that same very woman, of whom hee counted so dis [...]ainfully, was not so vile a woman as he thought: as though He would say, Simon, thou thinkest there is not so vile a sinner in the world, as she is: but I s [...]y vnto thee, shee is not so sinfull, I haue cleansed her I haue giuen her re­mission of all her sinnes: (Who dare call a sinner foule, that the Lord hath called cleane?) darest thou call a penitent sinner foule, who hath washen my feere with teares, and repenteth vnfainedly? Then subsuming He saith, This woman repenteth vnfainedly, and testifieth her repentance in louing me so exceedingly: Therefore He concludeth, All her sinnes are forgiuen her: Therefore Simon, dis­daine her not, no more than I doe.

[Page 293]But to consider more narrowly, first the ground of the proposition: then the assumption: last, that joyfull conclusion. The ground of his reason is this, To whome a great debt is forgiuen, that per­son will loue exceedingly. To make vs to vnder­stand this the better, Hee bringeth in a familiar example, a parable, There was a certaine lender, who had two debters: the one ought fiue hundreth pence, and the other fiftie: And when they had nothing to pay, hee forgaue them both: Which of them, therefore, tell mee, will loue him most? Hee, saith Simon, to whome hee forgaue most. Well, saieth the Lord, then I take this propo­sition out of thy mouth, Hee to whome much is forgi­uen, he loueth exceedinglie, he loueth much: And cer­tainly, if thou haue no sense of debt, if thou thin­kest in thine owne conceite, that thou owest no­thing, I saye to thee, Thou louest not God, thou hast no loue towards Him. A wanton sinner, that feales not the burthen of sinne, hee hath no more loue to God, nor to Christ, than a dogge hath: fie on thee dogge! fie on thee, that hast not a sense of sinne: for thou hast no loue to God. Next againe, suppose thou haue a sense of sinne, & feelest some burthen therof, yet if thou but thinkest that thou hast a pennie in thy purse to paye GOD for thy debt, thou wilt neuer loue thy God. And I saye to thee. I could neuer thinke in mine heart, that a Papist, a vaine lowne, who will boast of his me­rites, who glorieth in his owne workes, and thin­keth hee can pay God for his redemption: I saye, [Page 294] I could neuer be perswaded that such a one could loue the Lord. Next, except with the sense of thy debt, thou find also a free remissiō of all thy debt, alas, thou canst haue no loue to GOD: feele thy sinne, and thy pouerty, as much as thou wilt, if thou findest not a free remission and pardon of all thy debt, thou wilt neuer loue Him, but He is a terror vnto thee so oft as thou thinkest of Him, and thou wouldest flee out of the world to escape His handes. Then thirdly, thou that feelest thy debt, and then feelest thine owne pouertie, that thou hast not one pennie to giue Him: (suppose thou bee a King, all thy Kingdome will not ran­some thy soule: n [...], sell Heauen and the earth and all, they will not ransom the soule of one creature, they will not fill vp one penny of the summe to ransome the soule of one sinner) and thē with the sense of the pouertie, seeleth a free remission, and heareth the Lord say, I forgiue thee all, I will haue none of thy siluer: but I forgiue thee all in the pre­cious blood of my deare Sonne the Lord Iesus: (there is the ransome and I adjudge thee to dam­nation that seekest any other ransome) then thou wilt loue the Lord exceedingly. These three things being felt, first with grones and sobbes feeling the debt and burthen: Next, thy pouerty, and vnhabi­litie to pay: and last, a free remission and disbur­thening, that sinner would bestowe all his goods, and land, and life, and all that hee hath for the loue that hee beareth to the LORD IESVS: [Page 295] thine heart will be sweetly loosed with a loue to ye Lord. Who is able to expresse that loue and that vnspeakeable joye, that will bee in the heart of a sinner, that feeleth the remission of his sinnes.

Brethren, There is yet more than this in the comparison: Hee to whome little is forgiuen, hee will loue little: and hee to whome much is forgi­uen, will loue much. Hee or shee that will come in, and confesse their sinnes, but will in the meane time extenuate it, and saye, it is but a little sinne, it is but a veniall sinne, and manie one hath done twise as much: that bodie, I saye, that will exte­nuate sinne, although it were but an euill thought against that inuiolable Majestie, I knowe not whether such an one hath gotten remission of their sinnes or not: and supposing they haue gotten remission of it, yet it will bee but a little loue that they will haue vnto the Lord.

But hee or shee that will come in, and ag­greadge their sinne, though it were but a thought against that Majestie, for thou art neuer able to aggreadge it enough, and if thou find a remission of thy sinne, then no man can thinke how heartily that bodie will loue the LORD: for if once thou gettest grace to repent, and to loue GOD, thou mayest bee assured, that thy sinnes, though they were neuer so great, neuer so weighty, and many in number, shall neuer hinder thee of grace and mercie. And then againe I say to thee, the greatest sinner, yt counteth most of their sins, once feeling ye [Page 296] remission of their sinnes, euer the greater louer. Paul, an oppressor, a persecuter, blasphemer, a wrongfull man, once feeling the loue of the Lord, forgiuing him, O! how exceedingly loued he the Lord! A penitent sinner shall farre surpasse them in loue that haue not sinned halse so much: the world shall admire at him for his loue, he shall be a miracle to all them that beholde him.

Now I proceed forward. The Pharisie can judge well enough of this generall, that hee that hath most forgiuen him, loueth most, and that loue is the effect of remission of sinnes: (Well art thou that louest the Lord, for be assured that the Lord loueth thee, and hath forgiuen thee thy sinnes:) But when it commeth to the assumption, that that poore woman, that sinful woman, loued the Lord, there hee erreth. Beholde, Brethren, the light of nature, and the blindnesse of nature: by nature wee will know the generall well enough: suppose thou haddest no more but that light of nature, thou wilt confesse that a murtherer should die the death: But if thou come to the particular, O! but thou art a murtherer, thou hast a bloodie heart, a bloodie hand, and thou art all bloodie: Will anie man suffer that? No, no, and therefore he will hold off this conclusion, Therefore thou shouldest die the death, and be takē to the place of execution, and there lose thine head. And would to God that our bloodie men (whether they bee Noblemen, lordes, Earles, Barons, or others) had bene headed [Page 297] long since: for it is a maruell that plague sollo­weth not after plague continually, till this land bee purged of this blood that cryeth continually in the streetes. So the Pharisie could not belieue the particular, that euer the poore sinner coulde get mercie, hee was so hard a censurer of the poore woman. But I count it nothing worth, to judge vprightly in generall, except also thou judge vp­rightly in particular. The Iudges of the Land they will judge vprightly in generall: but come to the particular, to kinsfolkes, friendes, and alliances, this man, or that man with his bud, O, there there the judgement is peruerted. Well is the Iudge that judgeth vprightly in particular: for a Turke may judge vprightly in generall: and woe is thee that judgest not vprightly in particular.

Now to come to the other part of the reason, The Lord turneth Him to the poore woman, and the more the Pharisie findeth fault with the Lord, the more the Lord turneth Him toward her, and saieth, I say to thee, Simon, that this woman loueth mee more a thousand times, than euer thou did­dest. If thou withholdest grace from a sinner, then in despite of thy teeth, the Lord will heape grace vpon him. The assumption is this, This woman lo­neth me exceedingly: then the conclusion will fol­low in the owne roome. Therefore this woman certainly hath all her sinnes forgiuē her. Then He declareth the assumption by waye of comparison with the Pharisie, Thou calledst me to dinner, saith hee, [Page 298] but this woman loued me better than thou doest. I entered into thine house, and thou gauest mee no water to my feat, after the fashiō of the countrey: but she hath washed my feet with teares: looke if this be a token of loue: then againe, Thou gauest me no kisse, after ye fa­shion of the countrey, but she, since the time I came in, hath not ceased to kisse my feete. Then, Mine head with oyle thou didst not anoint: but shee hath anointed my feete with ointment: therefore, shee loueth me better than thou.

Nowe the Pharisie coulde not discerne of the penitent sinner: but the Lord letteth him see, that Hee can discerne betwixt an hypocrite & a true penitent sinner, there Hee hath payed him in his owne hand. And the Lord letteth vs see, that He taketh heede, and shall take heede to the ende of the worlde, to the least thing that thou doest for His cause to anie of His. Who wuld haue thought that the Lord woulde haue taken heede to this? The Lord will take heede who giueth Him water to washe His feete, which is but a sober office. The LORD will take heede who will stoupe downe and giue Him a kisse, and washe His feete▪ with teares. The LORD will take heede who will bestowe common oyle to anoint Him with, or who will bestowe precious ointment on Him: and in the Great daye, when all secretes shall bee reuealed, (looke if Hee tooke heede what wee were doing in the worlde) Matth. Chapter 25. verse 34, Hee will saye, Thou gauest Mee nothing [Page 299] when I was heere in the worlde, thou visitedst Mee not: and hee will point out, place, time, and all the circumstances vnto thee.

Then, Brethren, if the LORD taketh so good heede what wee doe, vvell is the soule that giueth but a piece of bread to an hungrie bodie for CHRISTES sake, or a coate to a naked bodie for His sake. And therefore, euer haue Him before thine eyes, and saye, LORD, I giue this to Thee, that Thou mayest not say to me when Thou commest to judge the worlde, Thou gauest Mee nothing.

Nowe, I heare there is a great pouertie and fa­mine in this Land, and woe vnto them that are the instrumentes of hunger: Let vs bee so farre from this, to bee the causes thereof, that on the contra­rie, wee may pintch our selues, that wee may spare vpon the needie: for I see the LORD will trie our liberalitie: Therefore, let vs spare vpon the poore in this Land, that wee maye heare of the LORD in that Great daye, Come yee blessed of My Father, for yee gaue Mee meate, and yee gaue Mee drinke in this worlde. And further, wee see heere, the tryall of an hypocrite. Howe shalt thou knowe an hypocrite? The LORD layeth downe the rule: Yee shall knowe them by their fruites, Matth. 7. 16. Yee shal know by their doings: an hypocrit hath many fair words: & I doubt not but this Pharisie, whē he inuited the Lord to dinner, had many faire words, but there shall be little doing, at the least hee shall [Page 300] neuer doe anie thing heartily. Where is this Phari­sies humilitie? Hee offereth not to wash the Lordes feete, who was euer traueiling and journeying, nor to kisse the Lord when He entered into his house, after the fashion of the countrey, nor shewed none heartsomenesse towards the Lord. An hypocrite can neuer doe any thing heartily, neither to God nor man. Then wouldest thou know a true Chri­stian man or woman? Yee heare neuer a word out of her mouth, all this time that she is washing the Lordes feete with teares, kissing them, anointing them with ointment: So a true Christian hath few wordes, but many deedes. One good deede, is worth ten words. And when thou speakest, looke that thy wordes bee heartie, and sauour of loue. Looke that thou blesse not with thy mouth, and curse with thine heart: & whatsoeuer thou doest, doe it heartily, and though thou were but pre­senting a cuppe full of colde water to a poore bodie, do it heartily, & then the Lord shall count wel of it, though it were neuer so litle. Looke what sentence the Lord giueth out concerning ye poore woman that presented two mites, Hee saieth, shee gaue more, than they all did, Luke 21. 3. Whatso­euer thou doest, doe it for the loue of the LORD, still waiting for that day wherein the LORD shall reward thee. It is true indeede, that hee who hath anie discretion, will discerne the heart by the verie deede of the hand: And hee or shee, that hath any heartsomnesse inwardly, it will be manifest and vt­tered [Page 301] in the verie deede of the hand outwardlie. But stand thou not vpon the sight of any man in the world: But say, Lord, thou seest the heart, thou seest with what heartinesse I doe this: And what­soeuer thou doest, striue euer to do it with heart­somnesse, for Iesus Christes sake: so in doing thou shalt haue joye. No man can doe any thing hear­tilie or joyfullie, but they who haue their eyes vp­on the Lord.

Ye haue heard the proposition, & the assump­tion also: now He commeth to the conclusion: and He concludeth as it were in the teeth of the Pha­risie, Therefore her sinnes are forgiuen her. Not that this loue is the cause of the remission of her sinnes, but as a sure argument and testimonie of her faith. Her loue toward Christ preceeded not, nor went before the assurance of the remission of her sinnes: but it followed as a true token. So it is an argument not from the cause, but from the ef­fect, that testifieth assuredly, that the cause is, and hath proceeded: that is, that shee hath faith in Ie­sus Christ.

Howbeit the Papistes abuse this place, gathe­ring heere, that the loue which this woman caried to Iesus, was the cause of the remission of her sins: But I leaue them to their owne vanitie.

Now, Brethren, after the example of this Phari­sie, I shall neuer judge euill, nor be a sharpe censu­rer of a penitent sinner: for the poore sinner that beleeueth once in Iesus Christ, and repenteth, and [Page 302] taketh purpose of amendement, (for faith and re­pentance goe euer together) a sinner that belee­ueth in Iesus Christ, will repent, and hate and de­test sinne to the death, wherewith hee hath offen­ded God: for when hee hath once tasted of mercy, then will hee saye, Alas, that I haue offended so louing and so mercifull a Father: for after that hee hath once gotten a sense of the infinite mercie of GOD, all his displeasure will bee, that euer hee hath offended so louing and so mercifull a Father: I saye, such a sinner maye bee assured of forgiuenesse.

Nowe marke the Lordes answere to the Phari­sie: He saith not, howbeit shee be a sinner, yet shee is penitent, and loueth mee: but Hee saieth, shee is no sinner, all her sinnes are taken awaye: for ex­cept all her sinnes had beene taken away and pur­ged by Him, it is most true yt the Pharisie thought, to wit, the LORD would not haue suffered her to haue touched Him, Hee would not haue receiued the kisses of her mouth, nor the teares of her eyes: No, the LORD IESVS that Holie One, (if thou bee not made as vvhite as the snowe, and all thy sinnes bee not purged) Hee vvill not suffer thee once to touch Him, nor to kisse His feete.

It is a vvonderfull thing to see such a suddaine change in an instant, that so vile and so vncleane a bodie, shoulde bee so pure and so cleane. How­beit the bodie vvere as redde as the blood, and as the Scarlet, as the Prophet Esay saieth, in the [Page 303] first Chapter of his Prophesie, and the 18. verse, yet suddainlie Hee vvill make it as vvhite as the snowe, and the vvooll. Indeede it is true, thou wilt neuer bee purged from the remainentes of sinne, so long as thou art in this life: but yet not­withstanding, if thou put on that righteousnesse of Iesus Christ by faith, God shall count thee as clean as a glorious Angell in His sight.

Nowe vvhen Hee hath ended the speech to the Pharisie, at the last Hee speaketh to the vvoman, not thinking it enough to speake in her hearing vnto the Pharisie: but to the greater joye and con­solation of the poore vvoman, Hee speaketh to herselfe. Thou vvill runne in and out, hither and thither, to gette a vvorde of the king: and vvhy not? if so thy necessitie require: but striue to get a vvord out of the mouth of IESVS. Kings manie times vvill giue thee flattering vvordes, but the LORD when Hee speaketh vnto thee, Hee vvill speake in trueth, and vvith vvonderfull loue, vvhen Hee saieth to thee, Thy sinnes are for­giuen thee, thy sinnes are forgiuen thee indeede: for the vvord of the Lord hath an operation vvith it, for if He once call thee an Holie One, thou wilt be so indeede. The worde of the Lord worketh in thee the thing that Hee speaketh most powerful­lie: for Hee calleth these thinges that are not, and by calling Hee maketh them to bee. So the Lord filleth her heart with joy, her heart no questiō be­gan to find joy whē she was speaking to ye pharisie. [Page 304] Nowe Hee filleth vp her joye, for the fulnesse of joye is not gotten in an instant, all joye is in the face of Iesus Christ. Thinke yee not, but this wo­man, when she heard this word, conceiued an vn­speakeable joye in her heart? And I say vnto euerie one of you, who as penitent sinners will bewaile your sinnes, and mourne for offending of GOD, and will purpose to wash the feete of IESVS with teares, and wipe His feete with your haire, as the Lord hath giuen mee commission to speake, Re­pentest thou sinner of thy sinnes? Thinkest thou to amende thy life? Detestest thou thy sinnes? Belee­uest thou assuredly? Louest thou the Lord? I say to thee▪ Thy sinnes are forgiuen thee in the blood of that same Iesus whom thou louest so well.

Nowe a worde, and so I shall ende. When Hee hath spoken thus comfortably to the woman, the Pharisic beginneth againe to interrupt and to im­pede Him if it had beene possible, to hinder the woman of her saluation. The rest about the table scorneth Him, What is hee this, (quod they) that taketh vpon him to forgiue sins? He taketh too much vpon him, more than he is able to performe: So as the Pharisie concluded before, that Hee was no Prophet, now they conclude that Hee was no Me­diator.

Well, Brethren, the worke of our saluation hath many impedimentes. Wilt thou seeke salua­tion? seek grace & mercie: then think not to come sleeping to grace, for I say to thee, ere thou wan­test [Page 305] a stoppe to hinder thee from grace, from re­mission of sinnes, thine owne heart, by the sugge­stion of the deuill, shall stand vp in thy teeth, and blaspheme, (as the Pharisie did first, and as the rest at the table did thereafter) and all to hinder the worke of thy saluation. But see the ende. Stayeth the Lord for all this? Re [...]raiteth He His sentence againe, and saieth, thy sinnes are not forgiuē thee? No, no, the Lords conclusion is past: if Hee say it once to thine heart, and if He giue once that per­swasion in thine heart, so that thou mayest saye, Lord, be blessed, my sinnes are forgiuen me: happy art thou, they shalbe forgiuen thee: the Lord shall double it within thee: so Hee speaketh to the wo­man as He would say, Let them speake what they wil, thou art in Heauen, thy sins are forgiuē thee, goe in peace. There is no peace but the peace of the Lord, comming from the remission of sinnes. Crie peace as thou wilt, but if thou goe not in the peace of the Lord, thou g [...]est not in peace▪ but in warre: the Lord is at warre with thee: and albeit thou gettest the Kinges peace, and all the worldes peace, yet if thou gettest not the LORDS peace, thou hast no peace at all: so wel is him that hath His peace for they only may goe in joy, that may say, Now Lord, I am at peace with Thee, thou hast forgiuen me my sinnes: And if thou canst say this truely, thou shalt haue such a joy in thy soule, as all the Kings in the world cannot giue thee, nor all outward comforts and pleasures affoord thee.

[Page 306]Nowe the LORD giue vs this peace, and a blincke of that joye in the heart, through the re­mission of our sinnes: for then one day wee shall see the accomplishment of it to our euerlasting joye and saluation in IESVS CHRIST: To whom, with the FATHER, and the Holie SPI­RIT, bee all Honour, Praise, Glorie, Power, and Dominion, both now and euermore, worlde without ende, So bee it.

THE XVI. SERMON.

IOHN, CHAP. III.

verse 6 That which is borne of the flesh, is flesh: and that that is borne of the Spirit, is spirit.

IN this conference that NICODE­MVS hath with CHRIST, (wel­beloued in the Lord IESVS) First Nicodemus comming to Him by night, and confesseth Him plainly, that Hee was a Teacher that came from God, be­cause there was none that could worke those won­ders that He wrought, except the Lord were with him: Then the Lord Iesus beginneth to playe the part of a Teacher to Nicodemus, who was a Doctor in Isaael: And the first ground that Hee beginneth to instruct him into, is the ground of Regenera­tion: [Page 307] For Christ came to make a new world again, and to renewe man, who was dead in sinnes and trespasses: Therfore He beginneth to instruct Ni­codemus in this doctrine of Regeneration: and Hee bindeth him to learne it with such a necessity, that except hee and whole mankinde bee regenerate, there is none of them that shall see the kingdome of God: and this Hee doeth with a great asseuera­tion, saying, Verily, verily. Nicodemus hearing and fearing that heauie denunciation of banishment from the kingdome of GOD, but not vnder­standing this regeneration, beginneth to reason, that it was a thing vnpossible that hee coulde bee borne againe, because hee was an olde man: and it is not possible that an olde man can enter into his mothers wombe againe. Christ answereth, and answering▪ insisteth in that proposition of regene­ration, vrging him againe with a necessitie of the same regeneration: Onely He addeth to that that He spake before the manner and waye of this be­getting: to wit, of water, and the Spirite. It is not a fleshlie generation, but a Spirituall generation, whereby a man is begotten againe, by ye renewing of the Holy Spirite in him, of the which, water is the seale to seale vp our faith in that assurance of that regeneration or new birth.

Nowe in this Text which I haue read, Christ in­sisteth in the same doctrine: and like as in the verse preceeding Hee hath proponed the manner of this new birth not to be naturall, but spirituall: so [Page 308] in this verse He sheweth Nicodemus what a kinde of birth it is, That (saith He) that is begotten of the Spirit, is Spirit, that is, the Spirit of the Lord IESVS working, begetteth not a fleshly or corrupt crea­ture, but a Spirituall and Heauenly creature. This Hee s [...]tteth not downe simplie, but Hee setteth it downe by waye of comparison, with the fleshlie generation, to the ende that Nicodemus and all men, seeing the corruption of the flesh, they shuld esteeme the more highly of that Spirituall gene­ration. And Hee saieth, that the thing begotten of the flesh, is flesh: that is, as the flesh, a corrupt masse of flesh and blood cannot beget but corrupt flesh: Euen so, the Spirit of the Lord Iesus cannot be­g [...]tte but that that is Spirituall and Heauenly: and thus yees [...]e the meaning of this place.

But because this place offereth occasion to speake somewhat of Regeneration, whereof the worlde had neuer greater neede than at this pre­sent: (for I thinke the world is going backe againe to that old corruption, from the which they were deliuered) Therefore, to the ende that all thinges may be the more cleare, I shall speake to you first of the flesh, and generation thereof: Next, of the Spirit & Regeneration: And the LORD make vs carefull to finde the Spiri [...]e to bee effectuall in euerie one of vs to regeneration.

Then beeing to speake of the flesh, it shall bee expedient to deduce it from the fountaine. There are two sortes of sinne in this worlde: The one [Page 309] sort is called Originall, that sinne that man and woman is borne with in this worlde, which they drawe out of their mothers wombe vvith their birth: The other sort is called Actuall sinne, that standeth in a doing and vvorking and vvhich flo­weth and proceedeth from that originall sinne, as from the fountaine. I maye not insist vpon these thinges particularlie, but I shall giue you a short viewe of them.

Originall sinne standeth in two partes: The first is that horrible defection and apostasie which whole mankinde in the worlde, from Adam to the ende of the worlde, haue made in the loynes of Adam: for yee must vnderstand, it was not Adam alone, that sinned, and fell from GOD, but it vvas thou, and all others that euer vvere gotten of man, and borne of woman whole man­kinde made that defection: for as it is saide, in the seuenth Chapter to the Hebrewes, & the ninth verse, that when Abraham paide tithes to Melchisedeck, that Leui, vvho long after vvas not begotten nor borne, vvas tithed in the loynes of Abraham his fore-father: (hee payed his tithe as vvell as Abraham did) Euen so, vvee beeing euerie one of vs in the loynes of Adam vvhen hee sinned, vve made all defection from the LORD, and sin­ned in him. Vpon this defection there followed a guiltinesse, wherethorow there is none of vs, but vvee are obliged to die euerlastinglie: And if there vvere no more sinne in all this vvorlde, but that [Page 310] first Apostasie only, there is matter enough of thine euerlasting damnation: thou needest not to heape sinne vpon sinne: there is thine obligatiō to thine euerlasting death, and to damnation. This is the first part of originall sinne. The second part of ori­ginall sinne is the effect that followeth vpon the first, a foule and horrible corruption, that entered in the whole nature of man: so that from the top to the toe of man, there is not so much whole as one intch: Man is a vile leprous creature, there is not a whole intch neither in bodie nor soule, but all is infected: for, Brethren, that first defection past not away so: but it brought with it a fearefull ruine and wracke to mankinde: and it leaueth be­hinde it a foule stinke and terrible darknesse, and that came of the just judgement of GOD, pu­nishing sinne by sinne. And this corruption of na­ture bringeth with it the owne guiltinesse & obli­gation to eternall death: so that sundrie wayes we are guiltie of death.

The Apostle Paul (Ephes. 2. 3.) setteth downe this guiltinesse, when hee sa [...]eth, Wee were all chil­dren of w [...]ath. This second part of it, Is it that Christ calleth heere flesh, in another place it is called the olde man: for by flesh we vnderstand not this flesh­lie and bodily lumpe which wee cary about with vs: nor yet as the Papists call it, a concupiscence in this lumpe, and nothing in the soule: No, no, but this flesh is a corruption both in soule and bodie, and in all the powers and faculties thereof: So [Page 311] that there is neuer an intch free from that pest. The Lord who made man (Genes. 8. 21.) expresseth the worke and the force of the flesh after the fall, where it is saide, that after Hee looked, and sawe this corruption, He saide, that the whole in agina­tions of the cogitations of the heart of man, are wicked and euill continually: which wordes im­port, that man from his youth, yea, euen from his mothers wombe, could doe nothing but imagine, thinke, and forge, euill, wickednesse, and all sortes of mischiefe. And when Hee sawe this, Hee vtte­red a sadde and an heauie voyce▪ It forthinketh mee, that euer I made man, Genes. 6. 6. And it was no small thing, no question, that made the Creator to repent that He made man. What is man nowe, but a filthie creature, and a pest to infect Heauen and earth, if it were possible?

But that yee may the better vnderstand the in­comparable greatnesse of this euill, which is in man, I shall let you see howe it hath spred it selfe thorowe the whole power of the soule of man: for as for the bodie, I speake nothing of it: it is true indeede, it neuer leaueth that bodie, till it resolue it in earth againe, which otherwise was made to bee immortall, and in the meane time, till death come, it maketh the body to bee subject to many great and fearfull sicknesses and diseases. Where from come these biles, the feuers, the palsie, the pest, the leprosie, and other diseases, but from this corruption? But I speake nothing of it. I will let [Page 312] you see, howe it hath spred it selfe in the soule of man: Brethren, there is neuer a power nor facultie in the soule, but all is infected. This pest it hath not only infected the inferiour appetite, as the blinde Philosophers thought, and as the Papists doe this day affirme. But where beginneth it? What is the most excellent power of the soule? It is the vnder­standing, the minde, and this is it that we call rea­son: This corruption, it hath so entered into the soule of man, that when as that vnderstanding should be as a light going before, to direct all our actions, motions, and thoughts the right way ac­cording to Gods worde and ordinance: It doeth nothing but fight and repine against the wisdome of the God of Heauen. It is an hard matter yt God hath created this vnderstanding, and yet it figh­teth against Him. Paul saieth (Rom. 8 7.) that the wisdome of the fl [...]sh, is enemie against God: that is, the very vnderstanding of man, which is the most ex­cellent thing in man, is enemy to God, let bee the inferiour appetites: And therefore, Ephes. 4. 23. hee desireth not onely that the inferiour appetites should bee renewed, but that regeneration should begin at that which is most excellent in the soule: euen that they may bee renewed in the Spirite of their minde. Then yee see this vnderstanding of man is altogether corrupt, and that light of the minde is turned vnto terrible darknesse and that this wisedome fighteth directly against God: for this reason of man fighteth not onely against the [Page 313] wisdome of GOD set downe and declared in the law, but chiefly against that which is more against His wisdome manifested in the Euangell He estee­meth it naturally to bee but meere foolishnesse, that euer a man shoulde get saluation by a cruci­fied man, 1. Cor. 1. 18.

And to goe fordward. This pest ceaseth not here, nor resteth not in the minde onely, but it entereth into the rootes of the heart, into the will and af­fections of man: it hath entered so into his vvill, that when as this will of ours, this power of our soule, that we call the will, should haue chosen that which is good, and refused that which is euill, ac­cording to the reason going before, & informing what is to be chosen and pursewed, and what is to be refused and eschewed: it fighteth not onely di­rectly against that most holy wisedome and will of God: but euen against that sponke of knowledge, light, and reason that is left in man: for when man fell in Adam, the Lord tooke not all kinde of light from man, but Hee left in His great mercy in man some sponke of light and knowledge of the Maje­stie of GOD the Creator, whereby hee might in some measure knowe his Creator: And Hee left in man also some knowledge & judgemēt of politike things, cōcerning our cōuersation & dealing with our neighbors, what is just, & what is vnjust, what is reasonable, & what is vnreasonable: he left in him also some judgemēt & discretiō of naturall things, whereas He might haue set vp man as brutish as a [Page 314] dogge or an asse. Notwithstanding of this, the ra­ging corruption of the malicious will, repineth against this sponke, and striueth to blotte it out, that it should neuer vtter it selfe to reformation, and to glorifie God, and to discharge a duetie to man, in such sort, that it were a just judgement of God, that they should be made as brute as beasts, as it went with the Gentiles, Rom. 1. 24. whome Hee gaue ouer vnto reprobate mindes, so that they had not care of naturall honestie or shame: but they wrought all sort of vncleannesse, because they de­teined the trueth of God in vnrightiousnesse, and suffered it not to reforme them. And naturall men hath found this repining of this corrupt will con­trary the reason and light of the minde, and they haue saide, Video meliora proboque, deteriora sequor: that is, I see and allowe better thinges, but I followe the worst. And to bee short, this wit of man repineth as fast against the Lordes will, as the will of the deuill doeth: for by nature we will that same thing that the deuill willeth: and there was neuer anie thing so abhominable that the deuill hath plea­sure in, but wee haue pleasure of the same: Yee, saieth our Sauiour, are of the deuill your father, and the lustes of your father will yee fulfill, Ioh. 8. 44. Be­holde how great matter and occasion the Papistes haue to boast of free will to any good: they are but vaine blinde bodies. The will of man goeth wholly with the will of the deuill. There is no such a thing. There is not so much as one jot of the [Page 315] will of man free: yet the corruption resteth not here, but it goeth forward, and polluteth and de­fileth all the affections that are in man, as anger, loue, hope, feare, &c. none of them are free, they fight all against God, they haue no conformitie, but a great repugnance with that will of God.

I goe forward, and I will not omit the naturall powers and faculties of the soule. And I affirme, that there are no powers of the soule that are na­turall, as the facultie and appetite of eating of di­gesting, of expelling, but all are infected with this post. So that (Brethren) there is neuer a power of the soule that is free of this corruption. Would ye vnderstand what becommeth of this corruption, and what it doeth? Beeing in the soule of man, it maketh that there is neuer a thought that a man thinketh, but it is a sinne. And if thou haue no more than nature, the least motion of thine heart is a sin in ye sight of God: neuer a worde that thou speakest, but it is a sin: neuer a deed yt thou doest, but it is a sin: neuer a way thou wilt goe, but it is a sin: & consequently, it maketh thee alwayes sub­ject to the heauie wrath of GOD: If thou stirrest but thine hand or thy foote, thou sinnest, and the wrath of God will pursue and followe thee, till at last thou bee casten into hell, if thou bee not re­newed. Besides this, so long as wee remaine in na­ture, this corruption and pest is so forceable in euery one of vs, that there is not one sinne in the worlde so great and abhominable, but with plea­sure [Page 316] and delight euery one of vs woulde performe it, if the Lord of His mercy did not by His Spirite renew vs, at least by His power restraine vs, when occasion is presented. The roote and seede of all mischiefe vnder the sunne is compacted in euerie man & woman. Maruell not when thou seest some running to adultery, some to murther, some to sorcery and witch-craft: for that seede which is forceable in them, would bee as forceable in thee to all mischiefe, if the Lord restrained thee not: Naturally thou art as bent and inclined to these thinges as they are, if the Lord by His powerfull prouidence did not restraine thee. When the Apostle Paule considereth the strength and the force of that corruption that was in his heart, hee saieth, I knowe that in mee, that is, in my flesh, there is no good. And in another place the Prophet saith, Except the LORD had left a seede in vs, wee had beene made like SODOME and GOMORRHA, Esay Chap. 1. verse 9.

Brethren, this same seede and roote of bitter­nesse is in euery infant: yee thinke they bee An­gels, and men commonly call them innocentes: No, no, they are but wolues birdes, and there is a vvorlde of mischiefe vvithin them, vvhich vvill burst out, when yeeres, strength and occasion con­curreth, except the Lord restraine the same.

Further, I aduertise you of the deceitfull lur­king of this pest, for it is not onely to bee feared when it bursteth foorth, and is fruitfull in euill [Page 317] deedes, but also when it lurketh: yee see if there be a pest in the flesh of man, before it be broken out, many a time they will thinke they haue not a pest: So it is with this pest: it will lurke within the flesh and sinewes of the heart so quietly, that a man wil thinke hee is the wholest body in the worlde: but touch him, present any object or small occasion, yea, apply but the holy Law of God to that heart, incontinent his [...]oule affections and lustes shall vtter themselues, and burst out: Euen as yee see sometimes, that fire vvill bee so hidden and co­uered vnder the ashes, that it vvill not appeare, and men vvill thinke that there is no fire there: but as soone as there is any meete and apt mat­ter, as wood, powder, or brimstone applyed, then it vvill manifest it selfe, and burst foorth in a flame. Euen so, albeit vvhen men feele not their foule lustes and affections, they seeme to themselues to bee holy: yet speake to them of the Lawe of GOD, forbidding and discharging such and such thinges to bee done, then they shall finde the passions of sinne, vvhich appeared before to bee dead vvithin them, to beginne to liue, yea, to rage in the soule, and to bring foorth fruites vnto death, as Paul saieth, in his epistle to the Romanes, the seuenth Chapter, and fift verse. And then vvhen these passions breake out, happie is hee that hath some part of the Spirite of Regeneration, to represse them, and striue against them in some measure: For, naturallie, there is nothing in vs to [Page 318] gaine-stand them, but wholly with all our force, and with griedinesse wee will accomplish them, yea, the deuill sitteth betwixt the shoulders, yea, in the very heart of man, and carrieth him heere and there to accomplishe all sort of mischiefe in all kinde of filthinesse, and shall neuer let him stay, till hee bring him to destruction. There is no power in man to resist: And therefore, sinne is saide to reigne, and to haue a kingdome within vs: And except the Spirite of Christ come, and in mercie either holde downe, or else mortifie and slaye that foule corruption, it shall slay vs at the last.

Yee see then, howe deceitfull it is, and howe easily men are deceiued, whilest this corruption lurketh within and vttereth not it selfe.

But, Brethren, more dangerous is the deceite thereof when it bursteth out: We thinke that man to bee in a miserable estate, who is raging in this bodily pest, and yet is so blinded and senselesse, that hee is not aware of the sicknesse, till hee die in the same: if hee were sensible of the disease, hee were in a better estate and condition. And so is the estate and condition of man naturally, when this corruption beginneth to vtter it selfe: for yee see some raging in murther with pleasure, and washing their handes in innocent blood with griedinesse, &c. And some committing adulterie vvithout any remorse yea, boasting and vaunting of it amongst their companions: Others, abusing the benefites of God, thorowe intemperance in [Page 319] drunkennesse, vvithout any griefe of conscience: And others, deliting to oppresse, and spoyle vvith violence such as they may ouer-come: and in the meane time they haue no griefe, prick, nor trouble in their conscience for such doing: Are not such men miserably deceiued, who when they are going to judgement and wrath, rejoyce, yea, when they are posting to destruction, take their pastime, when they are running to condemnation, laugh, and who, when they are most miserable, thinke themselues moste happy? And this is the estate of many, and chiefely of the great men in this coun­trey: they rejoyce and boast of their sinnes, and they thinke themselues in a good and happie estate, because they finde no remorse nor griefe in their consciences.

I shall vse an homely similitude, to declare this matter: A man will haue a worme in his finger, or tooth, it will keepe it selfe quiet, and cease from gnawing for a season & he will thinke he is whole enough: but take a little vineger, or some such like pearcing and sharpe water, then shee will beginne to gnawe, and then the sillie man will complaine, that hee was beguiled, when hee thought hee was well enough: Euen so it is with the conscience of man, for it lieth in the soule of man lurking, as a worme lieth in the flesh, & sometimes it gnaweth, and sometimes it lieth still, and letteth the mur­therer, the adulterer, the oppressor, goe forward in murther, adulterie, oppression, and other moste [Page 320] abhominable sinnes, vvithout anie accusation, griefe▪ remorse, or feare of the law of GOD, and threatning of the curses thereof. I shall tell you more than that: Sometimes the conscience of a miserable male-factor will bee so senselesse, that it will no wayes bee moued by the Preaching: A murtherer will bee sitting before the Minister: A vile filthy adulterer will bee sitting there, deuising howe to accomplish their abhominable lustes, in the meane time that the Minister will bee threat­ning judgement against their wickednesse: they will not be moued with the threatninges, but will disdaine and scorne them in their heartes, and will say, This fellow doeth nothing but prate and raise what hee pleaseth: and after Preaching vvill goe out merrily to his dinner and there curse and sweare, and blaspheme Gods Name and thereaf­ter goe to his bedde, as a beast, or a senselesse sow. But I admonish thee, O miserable wretch! in de­spite of thy teeth, thy conscience shall not sleepe alwayes: the conscience of all flesh shall bee wake­ned one day, either to their weale, or to their woe: And that Lawe which so securely men contemne many a time, shall bee so powerfull to waken the cōsciences, & to torment: hem, that by no meanes nor policie shall they bee able to pacifie them againe: Their drinking, their halking, their hun­ting, their carding, their dycing, and other pa­stimes, will not then bring comfort or true peace to the soule: Then that man who thought himselfe [Page 321] most happy, when he was enjoying the pleasures of sinne, shall thinke himselfe the most miserable wretch that euer the earth bore.

Brethren, the lawe that was giuen, and threat­ning thereof, is wondrous terrible, and for as lit­tle as many men account of it, yet either one time or other it shall be effectuall to stirre vp and to waken the consciēces of men▪ I except no man: And if the conscience sleepe still on in this life, till death ouer-take men, as it doeth in many, yet it shall be so wakened after this life in Hell, that it shall neuer get leaue to sleepe againe, it shall so g [...]w vpon the soule, that it shall neuer get rest: And in that Great day, whē that righteous Iudge shall appeare, the lawe shall bee moste forceable to raise in the soule, dolour, griefe, and anguish for euer, which is impossible for any flesh to ouer­come, expell, and put away: yea, it is as impossible as it is to ouercome the majesty of God His owne selfe: for as the Gospell is the power of GOD to saluation, to euery one that beleeueth: So the law is the power of God, to raise vp dolour, ter­rour, and anguish in the soules of impenitent sin­ners, and at last to bring it into condemnation. Therefore, happy is that man, who in the time of grace, when the Gospel is crying vpon euery wea­rie and laden soule, to come to Iesus, and promi­sing to ease and disburthen all that cometh vnto Him, findeth this conscience wakened in mercie: for nowe Iesus Christ, by His seruantes, is going [Page 322] thorow the world, offering to cure all sorts of dis­eases, yea, euen these that are most incurable: And miserable is that man, who sleepeth on till death ouer-take him, for then the time of grace is past, repentance then will bee to late, it will not auaile, remission of sinnes then cannot bee obtained: the voyce of the Lawe shall euer [...]ounde, Cursed art thou miserable wretch for euer: the comfortable voyce of the Gospell crying, Come all yee wearie and laden, shall neuer bee heard anie more: Suf­fer, therefore, your selues to bee launced & woun­ded in time, that yee may bee compelled to come to Iesus: and the Lord waken the consciences of these bloodie murtherers, adulterers, and oppres­sors in time, that they maye see where awaye they are going, and at last may returne to God.

Nowe hitherto wee haue handled this naturall corruption, and this noble flesh, which men glo­rie so much into. Nowe let vs speake something of the naturall birth, That which is borne of the flesh, is flesh. And what can corruption breede, but corruption? What can a leprous man bring out, but a leprous childe? Who can bring a cleane thing out of filthinesse? No, not one, Iob, Chap­ter 14. verse 4 For why, Brethren? In this natu­rall generation, as the parent naturallie commu­nicateth nature, and his owne substance: so looke what venome, vilenesse, and detestablenesse is in his nature, hee giueth and communicateth it all to his children.

[Page 323]Men glorie commonlie much of these thinges which they gette thorowe their parentes, they will saye, I haue gotten great heritages, much ho­nour, and great riches by my father: But I saye, that no man euer got so surelie these things tho­rowe their parentes, as they gette through them and their birth a poyson and pest with their flesh, whereby they are made the children of wrath, and shall get Hell for their inheritance.

Brethren, happie is the man that can consider this naturall vncleannesse, and is touched in con­science with the pollution which hee giueth to his children, and striueth to haue it purged: for in so doing, hee both acquireth a good conscience to himselfe, and giueth his children a better heri­tage, than if hee left him all the heyreships of the worlde.

When thou hast begotten thy childe, and ga­thered goods and riches together, and acquired great possessions vnto him, then if thou takest no care of the purging of that corruption which hee hath contracted from thy loynes, that same pest shall bee laide to thy charge in that great day.

Therefore, nowe hauing spoken something of the fleshe, and the generation thereof, let vs nowe speake shortlie of the Spirite, and His gene­ration. What is meaned by the Spirite? This Spi­rite is the Spirite of the LORD IESVS: this Spi­rit is y Spirit of Regeneration, who reneweth men & women▪ & of olde and sinfull creatures, maketh [Page 324] them new and holy againe: For, as soone as a sin­full man beginneth to laye holde on the Lord Ie­sus, by a true and liuely faith, so soone findeth hee power and grace conuoy [...]d by His Spirit into his soule to renew it.

Then, to speake of Christ, because this Spirit is His Spirit: As Iesus Christ is our elder Brother, so is Hee also our Father, Hee is called the Father of Eternitie, Esai. 9. 6. He is called the second Adam, Rom. 5. 14. He is our spirituall Father, who beget­teth vs by His Holy Spirit. Nowe compare the na­turall parent with this spirituall parent: Our na­turall parent is not onely culpable and guilty of that first defection▪ but also of innumerable sinnes and transgressions following thereupon: Our spi­rituall parent, Christ, is culpable of no sinne at all, but is full of all kinde of obedience: for Hee was obedient to the Father to the death, euen to the death of the Crosse. Our naturall parent is alto­gether naturally corrupt, yea, a lumpe of sinne: but Christ, our spirituall parent, is not only cleane in nature from all spot of sinne, and perfectly ho­lie, as H [...]e is man, but also Hee is Holinesse it selfe, because He is the Sonne of God from all Eterni­tie: and what can bee cleaner than Cleannesse it selfe?

Now to come to their generation: The natu­rall parent begetteth by the force of nature: there is a force in nature to beget: our spirituall parent, Iesus, is farre more able to beget by the power of [Page 325] His Spirit who is the author of nature: The natu­rall parent by the force of nature will beget flesh, a corrupt masse, a sinfull creature, yea, the image of the deuill: this will hee giue to his childe: but our Heauenly parent, the Lord Iesus, by His Spi­rit, begetteth the Spirit, that is, a spirituall man, an holy & cleane man, who hath no delite nor plea­sure in sinne: for Sainct Iohn saith, in his 1. Epistle, Chap. 3. verse 9. Hee that is borne of God sinneth not: that is, sinneth not as the worldlinges doe, with pleasure and delight: sinne reigneth not in him: why sinneth hee not? because (saieth hee) the seede of God remaineth in him: that is, His Spirit, by whom as a liuely seede wee are begotten and made newe creatures. And what saith he more? He saith, such a man cannot sinne: that is, he cannot sinne: that is, he cannot sinne as the naturall and vnregenerate man sinneth: hee can­not follow the course of this worlde, and wallow in the puddle of sinne as they doe. And why can he not sinne so? because (saieth hee) he is borne of God. It is a marueilous force that the Spirit of GOD hath, Hee maketh a man that he cannot sinne, all the worlde will not make him to sinne. The natu­rall man can doe nothing but sinne, all his actions are sinnes: but hee that is borne of God cannot sinne

Nowe this generation of the Spirite is called Regeneration: which word, albeit it be common­lie in many mens mouthes, yet fewe vnderstand what it meaneth: therefore, wee shall set downe [Page 326] the nature and definition thereof, and touch some particular circumstances, which may serue for the better vnderstanding thereof. Then, what is Re­generation? It is an alteration and changing of the whole nature of man, accomplished and per­formed by the powerfull operation of the Holie Spirite. When I call Regeneration a changing of nature. I meane not that there shoulde be any change of the substance & essence it selfe, either of the soule or of y bodie, as if that by Regeneration the olde substance were quite abolished, and a newe substance brought foorth: but I meane that there is a change and alteration of the qualities which are in the substance.

I will let you see this in the powers and facul­ties of the soule, as in the minde and reason, in the will, and in the affections. In the minde and reason, there must bee a change of the vvisedome of the flesh into the vvisedome of GOD: no­thing is a greater enemie to GOD and His glo­rie, to thy selfe and thy saluation, than the vvise­dome of the flesh: And therefore, if thou woul­dest be saued, this wisedome must be mortified, & thou must become a foole, that thou mayest bee wise, as yee maye reade in the first Epistle of S. Paule to the Corinthians, the 3. Chapter, and the 18. verse. In stead of this vvisedome must bee powred into the minde the wisedome of GOD. In the vvill and affections there must bee a change of the fro­wardnesse and wicked inclination, into holinesse [Page 327] and a good inclination: Whereas before there was nothing in them but frowardnesse, (LORD that man is a froward creature, when GOD com­mandeth him to goe one waye, hee will goe the plaine contrarie) that must be mortified and slain: and in stead of it there must bee wrought in the heart a propension and willingnesse in some mea­sure, to pursue and to doe that which the LORD commandeth, and hath pleasure into.

Nowe howbeit I call Regeneration a change onelie of the qualities, yet it is not so light a mat­ter, and so easilie performed, as men would think: for it is a greater worke to renewe man, than to create him. In the beginning GOD created all thinges with His word, but before man could bee renewed, the Sonne of God behooued to become the sonne of man▪ and suffer shame and ignominy, & die an accursed death, euen the death of the Crosse. It is an easie thing for thee to saye. I must bee changed ere euer I see Heauen: But, Brethren, it is not so soone done: it is the moste difficill thing vnder the Sunne, to gette the heart of a creature changed: And they who haue found this vvorke sensiblie to haue beene begunne in them, haue found howe harde it is by their owne experience: for I tell thee, that before thou bee renewed, thou must denie thine owne selfe: CHRIST saieth, Thou must renounce thy selfe, and take vp thy crosse day­lie, and followe Him, LVKE, Chapter 9. verse 23. If the LORD had onelie bidden vs renounce our [Page 328] friendes, our father, our mother, our riches, our landes, and such other thinges as are without vs, we would haue thought it a matter hard enough, and scarcely would we haue bene induced to giue obedience, as ye see in the young man in the Go­spell, Matth. 19. 16. But when the Lord comman­deth vs to renounce our selues, euen that thing that is moste excellent, that which is moste wise, this reason it selfe, the wisedome of the flesh, that furnisheth so many reasons to disswade mē either to professe or followe Christ: what can bee more hard? But suppone reason were conuinced, and the mouth thereof closed, that it coulde gette no shift to answere, yet thinkest thou so to bee quite of thy selfe? No, the will and the affections will stand obstinately against the judgement of the minde, and follow out, and pursue that which the minde discearneth to be euill.

So thou mayest easily see, that there is nothing more harde than to gette this Regeneration: yea, thou mayest see that it is a thing altogether im­possible, except that Almighty Spirit of God be present, and worke it effectually in the soule, all the kings of the earth, with all their weapons and engines of warre, cannot be able to doe it. No, all the Angels in Heauen are not able to accomplish this worke: The weapons of our warre-fare, saith Paul, are not carnall, but mighty through God, to cast downe strong holdes, casting downe imaginations, and euerie high thing that is exalted against the knowledge of God, [Page 329] and bringing into captiuitie euery thought to the obe­dience of Christ, 2. Cor. 10. 4. 5. There is no power in Heauen or earth, but onely the Spirit of God, that is able to renewe one creature. And this power is granted to this our Ministerie, the preaching of the Euangell. Let great men, let worldly men esteeme of it as they please, God hath ordained this Ministery, to minister this wonderfull power whereby the soules of men shall be regenerate.

Further, thou must vnderstand, that this Re­generation is not perfected in an instant, but in processe of time: it must continue all the dayes of thy life: so long as thou liuest, albeit thou liue a thousand yeeres, this olde man will not bee per­fectly and altogether mortified and slaine, till the houre of death: Thou must all the dayes of thy life-time be groaning vnder the burthen of sinne, subject to crosses and troubles, (away with light­headed sinners, who saye, they woulde alwayes haue their heartes vp: sadnesse becommeth a sin­ner well) and thou must striue to finde the newe man to bee renewed degree by degree, piece and piece, euen till at last death bee swallowed vp of life, and mortalitie of immortalitie. And if thou wouldest haue this worke to goe forward in thee, then set euermore Iesus thy Lord and thine head before the eyes of thy soule: looke vpon Him with the eyes of faith: for it is only His presence & the sight of His glory, that worketh this marueilous change: for there is a great oddes betweene the [Page 330] sight of His glorie, and the sight of the glorie of worldlie Princes, for the sight of their glorie will not change thee, nor make thee glorious, but vanisheth awaye in a moment: But the sight of the glorie of IESVS shall change thee, and make thee glorious, whensoeuer thou beholdest Him, either by faith in this worlde, or else face to face in the Kingdome of Glorie: For when thou beholdest Him with the eyes of faith heere, thou shalt bee changed, according to the measure of thy faith: and because thy faith is imperfect, thy change heere must bee imperfect: but when thou shalt see Him face to face, and beholde Him as Hee is, then shalt thou bee like vnto Him in glo­rie: thy change shall bee perfect: His presence shall bee effectuall to change thy vile bodie, and to fashion it like vnto His owne glorious bodie: when thou beholdest His glorie, thou shalt bee changed into the same glorie.

Therefore, yee see what neede wee haue to finde this Regeneration begunne in vs heere, and to finde a continuall progresse therein all the dayes of our life, that so wee maye bee assured, that the LORD shall crowne His worke in vs with glorie in IESVS.

And nowe to ende: then surelie yee see, that corruption, mischiefe, and venome, euerie man, without exception, communicate vnto their chil­dren, by naturall generation: Therefore, Bre­thren, [Page 331] this is mine exhortation to all, both to great and small, (I except none, from the King, to the Begger) Striue, as yee are instrumentes of generation, so to bee instrumentes of regene­ration, that your children maye bee taken out of nature, and planted in grace, and so bee made members of the mysticall bodie of IESVS CHRIST: Striue to bring them vp in the knowledge of CHRIST, that so yee maye bee free of that heauie judgement which remaineth for all such as neglect this duetie towardes their children, and that yee maye see GODS bles­sing vpon your children heere, and maye haue hope of that eternall life and glorie heereafter, which the LORD hath promised to His owne in CHRIST IESVS: To whome, with the FATHER, and the Holie SPIRIT, three persons and one GOD, be all Honour, Glorie, Praise, Power, & Dominion, both now and euer­more, So bee it.

THE XVII. SERMON.

I. TIMOTH. CHAP. I.

verse 12 Therefore, I thanke him, who hath made mee strong, that is, Christ Iesus our Lord: for hee counted mee faithfull, and put me in his seruice:

verse 13 When before I was a blasphemer, and a persecuter, and an oppressour: but I was receiued to mercie: for I did it ignorantly through vnbeliefe.

verse 14 But the grace of our Lord was exceeding aboundant with faith and loue, which is in Christ Jesus.

IN this Text (beloued Brethren in Iesus Christ) there is set downe to vs a notable example of thankful­nesse to God, in the person of the Apostle Paul, for that great and in­comparable mercy which the Lord bestowed vp­on him: not onely in forgiuing him his grosse and manifold sinnes, but also for setting of him in His seruice, and for the committing to him the mes­sage of reconciliation, & making him an Apostle to preach repentance and remission of sinnes to others. As the mercies which he found were won­drous great, so is hee wondrous carefull alwayes to testifie his thankfulnesse to GOD: And to the [Page 333] ende the more chearefully he may praise & thanke God, hee considereth and setteth downe by de­grees, and in order, his vnworthinesse, and the euill deedes that he did, notwithstanding, where­of the Lord extended His mercy most aboundant­lie towardes him.

To come to the wordes: Hee saieth, Therefore, I thanke him, who hath made me strong, that is, Christ Je­sus our Lord: These wordes depend vpon the verse immediately going before: hee saide before, that the glorious Euangell of Iesus Christ was concre­dite to him, for the which cause he bursteth forth in thankesgiuing, and hee saieth, Therefore I will be thankfull to Him, who hath concredited it vn­to mee.

Then yee see, his thankfulnesse ariseth on two considerations: First, vpon the consideration of the excellency of the Euangel of Iesus Christ. The Gospell is glorious in it selfe, and it is come down from the blessed God: next, vpon the considera­tion of his owne vnworthinesse: looke howe wor­thie the Gospell was, as vnworthie was hee: then considering that so worthy a thing was giuen vnto him, and that hee himselfe was so vnworthy, hee knoweth not what thankes to giue, he cannot de­uise what manner of waye to testifie his thankful­nesse. If once wee could see what God were, howe blessed that inuiolable Majesty were, and what the Euangell is, how glorious how liuely, & howe powerfull in operation, and then what our selues [Page 334] are, how vnworthie we are, now, Lord, what would wee account of Iesus Christ! this heart that now is bound vp, would then bee loosed to thankful­nesse: But wee see not what GOD is, and if we haue not found glorie and the power of the Gos­pell. Looke what great cōmendation this Apostle giueth to the Gospell, 2. Cor. 3. 6. where hee com­pareth the Lawe with the Gospell, and calleth the Gospell the Ministerie of the Spirit, the Ministerie of righteousnesse, y Ministerie of life. Then againe, wee see not what our selues are, how vile, how fil­thie and vncleane we are: we see not that mysterie of sinne that is in vs, and therefore we account so little of the Gospell, and are so little moued when the Lord threatneth the away-taking of it: And to the ende men may knowe howe they ought to esteeme of this Ministerie & of this Gospell com­mitted vnto them, which now the world so much contemneth and disdaineth, we shall speake a litle of the dignitie & excellencie thereof. To haue the Gospel of Iesus Christ cōmitted to a mans charge is no small thing: No, there is no fleshe worthie of such dignitie and honour: no, not the Angels in Heauen, let be sillie mortall creatures. Is the crea­ture worthy to dispose the treasures of saluation? Is a man worthy to reconsile God and the world? Is anie man worthy to bee an instrument to bring remission of sinnes, peace of conscience, and joye in the Holie Ghoste to the soule of man? Is anie worthy to beare witnesse to the soule of man, that [Page 335] life euerlasting appertaineth vnto him, and is laid vp for him in the Heauens? And this mooued the Apostle to crie out, when hee considered this, Who can be found meet for these thinges? 2. Cor. 2. 16. And so, if wee knewe all that is contained in the Gos­pell, wee woulde saye, that the Angels themselues are not worthie to beare such a message, to dis­pense the secrete and hidden thinges of GOD, to confirme forgiuenesse of sinnes, to put poore sinners out of doubt, that the LORD loueth them▪ and taketh them for His children: and last, that Hee will crowne them with saluation, and euerlasting life. And the consideration of this should moue them whom the Lord hath set in His seruice, to follow the example of th'Apostle Paul, and day and night to bee thankfull to God, vvho chooseth such fraile and poore creatures to such an high, excellent, and glorious office, as to offer saluation to them who before were condemned and cast-awayes. Next this, consideration should mooue men faithfullie and carefullie to execute that charge which is committed vnto them, as al­so to pray y Lord earnestlie, that Hee would blesse them with graces and strength according to the weightinesse of the calling, that they maye bee [...]ound faithfull in that Great daye: for man of himselfe cannot doe so much as to thinke a good thought, (2. Cor. Chap. 3. vers. 5.) let be to haue such graces by nature as to furnish such an high and glorious a calling. And as the Pastors haue their [Page 336] duetie to learne heere, so the people also may and should make their vse of it, that is, when they come to heare the word of God, to the ende that the Gospell and the promises of mercy may pro­fit and edifie them, they shoulde bee resolued in themselues, that it is God that sendeth men vnto them, and maketh them meete who were vnmeet. And in this place the Apostles minde is not onely to humble Preachers to acknowledge the grace bestowed vpon them, but also to resolue all men that hee that preacheth is sent from God: other­wise the preaching of the Gospell will ne [...]er pro­fit them.

And last, this serueth to reprooue the vaine thoughtes and vngodly speaches of the common multitude: for they thinke this Ministery to bee but a base and contemptible calling, and say, Who should be placed into it? who but such fooles and vnworthy bodies as cannot bee meete for another calling? who but kinlesse bodies? But if a Gentle­man, an Esquires sonne, a lordes brother, &c. take on this calling, hee is disgraced and abased there­with. But. O vnworthy wretch! No Emperour, no Monarch, nor no flesh whatsoeuer is worthy of so great a calling: no, the Angels in Heauen honour not so much the commission, as the commission honoureth them: If thou continuest in counting basely of it to the ende, thou shalt finde it at the last to bee the most glorious thing that euer was, but it shall be to thy confusion and destruction.

[Page 337]Nowe I goe forward: Hee commeth to a reason of his thankfulnesse: Who hath strengthened me, saith hee, that is, of a weake body, full of imperfection, blottes, and sinnes, which might haue hindered mee from that calling. Hee made mee strong and able. So the Apostle compareth his estate by na­ture, with that estate which he found of grace: and when hee was in nature, hee saieth hee was weake, and vnder the worde of weaknesse hee compre­hendeth his blasphemy, persecution, and oppres­sion, which hee setteth downe heereafter: And heereby wee maye see, that men will neuer knowe the grace of God well, nor accompt worthily of it, vntill they consider what men are, when GOD leaueth them to their owne estate: And when men get a sight, either of themselues, or of others, they will see that there is no goodnesse, nothing wor­thie of praise, but much mischiefe & misery both in themselues, and in others. And when men once seeth and knoweth this, then it will bee an easie thing to them to judge of the grace of GOD, which supplieth and remedieth all wantes and vi­ces. When Paule looked to himselfe, hee sawe no goodnesse, & that that had appearance of good­nesse, was nothing but euanishing smoake: and therefore confesseth, that whatsoeuer was in him by nature, was corrected: and so hee giueth the praise of all to God.

Againe, I see that none will account of IESVS CHRIST, and His Gospell, but they who finde a [Page 338] power and strength in the Gospell. There is a po­wer in the Gospell, which all the faithfull finde: for by the Gospell he that was weake to any good deede, is made strong: by the Gospell he that was dead, is quickened, and beginneth to liue. This constrained the Apostle Paule to giue such glo­rious and powerfull stiles to the Gospell: hee cal­leth it the power of God to life and saluation, Rom 2. 16. he calleth it liuely and mighty in operation, Heb. 14. 12. The children of God find it powerfull, to ouerthrow and cast downe the imaginations of man and euery strong holde which is raised vp against Iesus. And whoso­euer findeth this of necessity they must be thank­full. Alas! that there should be such a power and strength in the Gospell, and that we should finde so little of it! for if wee found it, it could not bee possible but wee woulde testifie and practise by mouth and hand, by word and action, our thanke­fulnesse otherwise than we doe.

Nowe wee come to the next argument, which moued the Apostle to be thankfull: hee saith, that our Lord Jesus Christ counted him faithfull, and set him in His seruice: hee meaneth not here that the Lord fore-sawe that there would bee some worthinesse, goodnesse, and faithfulnesse into him, and there­fore Hee employed him, as vaine and ignorant men doe affirme: for are not all corrupt? are not all children of wrath. and subject to Sathan? what goodnesse then can God see in anie of vs, except Hee put it into vs? and what can moue Him to [Page 339] make a choyse of one more than another, but on­lie His good pleasure and free-liking? But this he saith, to meete and stoppe the mouthes of wicked and malicious men, who went about to disgrace his person and office, and to make his preaching fruitlesse. The world is now full of such persons: as if hee had said▪ Let men reproach mee, disdaine me, set themselues against me, yet this is sufficient for me, that Iesus Christ, who hath all authoritie, and who is supreame Iudge, who onelie can ab­solue and condemne, and from whose sentence none can appeale, is on my side, and hath decla­red, by putting me into His seruice. and by calling me immediatelie with His owne mouth, that Hee would vse my Ministerie, and declared, that where I was vnfaithfull before, Hee accounted me faith­full, He accounted more of me than I was worthy of. So by this th' Apostle importeth a double grace which hee got from Christ: first, that whereas hee was ynfaithfull, the Lord gaue him saith, and so accounted him faithfull: Next, that he had mani­fested, by calling him to bee an Apostle, that Hee had a liking that he should be in His seruice.

Then heere yee see, that as before, hee thanked GOD for the power and strength that hee founde, so heere hee thanketh GOD, for that exceeding mercie, vttered in forgiuing him his sinnes, and in calling him to bee an Apostle.

Hence wee perceiue, Brethren, that no man will euer account of IESVS CHRIST, except he [Page 340] first finde that CHRIST hath accounted of him: yea, except he finde that Christ hath accoun­ted of him that which he is not: whereas he is vn­faithfull, hee must finde that Iesus counteth him faithfull: whereas hee is vnjust, hee must find that Christ counted him just. Yee see by common ex­perience, that when one man loueth another ex­ceedingly, hee will account more of him than hee is to bee counted of indeede, for loue ouer-seeth and hideth many infirmities and offences. Was there euer such a loue as Christ Iesus carried vnto vs, vnworthy wretches? For when wee were vile & wretched sinners, euer offending the Majestie of God, and procuring His wrath, the Lord Iesus in the multitude of His mercies, and infinite deepe­nesse of His loue, couered our sinnes, and hid our iniquities that they should not bees [...]ene by God. So when the Lord Iesus hath once extended the mantle of His mercy and compassion vpon His chosen children, then albeit they were replenished with neuer so many vile and grosse sinnes, yet the Lord will not laye them to their charge, but in Ie­sus Hee will count them just, righteous, and inno­cent: so Hee will account more of them than they are worthy of: For, except that euery one of vs be perswaded of this, that we are greater men in the account of Iesus Christ, than wee are in our selues, we shall perish in our sinnes for euer.

The Pope, and that crew of his shamelesse-ones, scorne this doctrine of the imputation of the [Page 341] righteousnesse of IESVS: they will haue men to bee justified by their inherent righteousnesse in Gods presence: But I denounce, in the Name of the Great GOD, that if they goe on so, if they leane to their own righteousnesse, and if they find not the righteousnesse of Iesus to be imputed vn­to them, they shall neuer taste of mercy.

But howe knoweth the Apostle that the Lord accounteth so much of him? The last words of the verse declareth, Hee put mee into His seruice, there­fore I knowe that Hee hath accounted more of mee than I am. Wouldest thou knowe that the Lord hath accounted more of thee than thou art, hath the Lord Iesus put thee into his seruice, then He accounted of thee. Indeede I grant, that there are many who are called to offices, both in Church and Policy, who cannot, nor may not say, that therefore the Lord hath counted them faith­full: for there are many who are not sent of God, but who runneth vnsent, and are thrust out by their owne corrupt affections, as by ambition, by vaine glory, by desire of preferment, by couetous­nesse. Often times yee see, that many who haue the place and name of Pastors, set themselues to trouble the estate of the Church, and to giue of­fence vnto the weake ones, to speake nothing of their negligence in that calling. And such like in the seate of Iustice, yee will see men without re­gard of God, conscience, nature, and common ho­nesty, to giue out wicked judgement, and main­taine [Page 342] manifest hainous crimes, and to stand dire­ctlie in contrarie tearmes with the Majestie of God, contra-manding where Hee hath comman­ded. Therefore, such persons cannot alleadge that the Lord hath counted them faithfull. And men cannot saye, that they are set into these offices by Gods hand: but as it were by Sathan: Therefore, to the ende that thou mayest know whether ye Lord counteth thee faithfull or not, Looke and see that thou haue these signes & testimonies, which may beare witnesse that the Lord hath called thee. It is true, men now adayes cannot haue such a perswa­sion as Paul had, for he was called immediatly by the mouth of Iesus Christ from Heauen, & there­fore he might speake confidently: but it is as true, there are none whome the Lord calleth, but they haue some signes thereof. Looke therefore, if thou haue an earnest desire to glorifie the Lord in the riches of His mercy, to propagate the kingdome of Iesus, to draw mē from darknesse to light from miserie to felicitie, from death to life, from Hell to Heauen. Look if thou hast grace in some measure for such a calling: looke if the Lord accompanieth thy Ministery, with euidencie & demonstration of the Spirite, and by thy preaching hath acquired subjectes to His kingdome. Looke if thou doe the worke of the Lord chearfullie. If thou haue these tokens, thou mayest be assured in thy conscience, and other men also may bee perswaded, that thou runnest not vnsent. But if thou hast not these to­kens, [Page 343] then boast not of this, that thou art in a cal­ling. And to speake more generally to all them who are called Christians, Wouldest thou know in what estate and calling soeuer thou art into, whe­ther priuate or publike, whether the Lord account more of thee than thou art worthie, whether Hee accounteth thee faithfull or not, Looke to the markes, signes and tokens of a true Christian: if thou finde them in thee, as namely, whether thou hast a pleasure in body and soule, through infirmi­tie, to serue the Lord, to be exercised in the means of grace, in preaching, prayers, reading, confe­rence, &c. Looke if thou haue a pleasure to ap­proue thy selfe in all thinges to thy LORD and Maister. Looke if thou haue a care, to further others in the course of Christianitie, and waye of repentance: then, if thou hast these tokens, thou mayest rejoyce.

Then he goeth forward: & he cannot sufficient­lie set out that mercy which he found, he knoweth not how nor in what tearmes to vtter & proclaim it: If we could find that mercy of Iesus, we would see that the heart would neuer satisfie it selfe with thinking of it, or the mouth with speaking of it. And to the intent that hee maye magnifie the greatnesse and the riches of the mercie of the LORD, hee confesseth and setteth downe, al­though to his owne shame, his former sinfull life and behauiour, in sundrie degrees, Whereas before, saieth hee, I was a blasphemer, and a persecuter, [Page 344] and an appressor. Looke if hee thought much of himselfe, hee was one of the cruellest persecuters that euer was in the Church, hee was in a rage against Christ.

Beholde Brethren, Paul is not ashamed to paint out himselfe in his owne colours, and particular­lie to confesse his former euill deedes, and to regi­strate them to his owne shame to the worlds end. Yea, yee shall see in sundry places, where hee spea­keth of himselfe, that he can neuer satisfie himselfe in aggregating his owne wickednesse. The sinner who hath found mercy, will not regard to disco­uer his sinnes to his owne shame, and to tell all the world of them, that hee may glorifie Him who hath giuen him mercy: hee will not stand vpon his reputation, but hee will preserre Gods glorie vn­to his owne account, hee will glorifie the LORD with his owne shame. When Dauid found mercie for his vile adulterie, and abhominable murther, hee not onelie confesseth his sinnes to his owne shame, but also ascendeth, to confesse the naturall corruption which hee had from the loynes of his parentes. The man that hath fallen into a noto­rious and vile sinne and offence, and yet for shame will not confesse it, that God maye bee glorified, that soule hath neuer felt the mercie of God. And if thou hadst felt that mercie of God thine heart would bee loosed, and thy mouth also, to glorifie God by an humble confession.

Moreouer, ye may perceiue out of these words, [Page 345] how and what way th' Apostle found the strength and power of the Gospell: hee found a power in it, but not at the first instant: but ere euer hee felt the power of the Lord, hee findeth himselfe to be weake: and ere hee feele the mercy of God, hee findeth himselfe to bee a miserable man: Thou shalt neuer feele the power of God, except first thou feele thine owne weaknesse: and thou shalt neuer feele His mercie, except first thou feele thy miserie. And therefore, the Lord Iesus manie a time sundrie wayes crosseth His owne in this life, to the ende that they maye knowe and feele their weaknesse and miserie, and so goe out of them­selues, to find strength and mercie in Iesus Christ. Sometimes Hee will exercise His owne with shame and reproach in the worlde: sometimes with hea­uie diseases, and painfull sicknesses: sometimes with want of the outward comfortes of this life: sometimes with trouble and terrour in the con­science, and all to this ende, that they may knowe what they are without the Lord, howe weake, how fraile, howe abject and naughtie they are: that so finding themselues as nothing, they may be com­pelled to renounce themselues, and to seeke to be found in Iesus. Yea, after the Lord hath drawne them to Him by crosses, the Lord vseth all the dayes of their life-time, to expone them to cros­ses that euerie day, finding more their wantes, in­firmities, and lack of comfort in themselues, they may the more daylie seeke and striue to bee found [Page 346] in Iesus, who can supplie all their wantes, and furnishe euerie thing that they stand in neede of. It is true indeede, manie a time the Lord will not exercise His owne with crosses, but spare them & let them haue libertie, & giue them in abundance the outward comfortes of this life, befor they bee effectuallie called. Looke to Paul before he knew Christ hee boasted much of his worldlie prero­gatiues, of his kinred: hee was a gentleman, hee was in great account, by the lawe a Pharisie, Phi­lip. 3. 4. 5. he knew not what the crosse meaned. The like ye will find in many others of the Saincts of God: but assoone as He calleth them effectual­lie, Hee layeth the crosse vpon them: that seeing their weaknesse, and distrusting themselues, they may learne to renounce themselues, and desire to finde the power and life of IESVS in them, which they will finde effectuall in the crosse in a wonderfull manner: Looke 2. Cor. 11. The LORD layeth manifolde crosses vpon Paule, and when with teares hee prayeth, that the Lord would take them away, hee getteth this answere, My grace is sufficient for thee, for my power is made perfect through thy weaknesse: Meaning, that Hee will bee glori­fied, and make Paule to finde strength in Him, when as hee is weake in himselfe. And neuer one is strong in CHRIST, but when hee feeleth himselfe weake. Therefore hee subjoyneth, that hee woulde rejoyce and take pleasure in his infir­mities, that the power of CHRIST might dwell [Page 347] in him: He saith (2. Cor. 12. 8. 9. 10. And 2. Cor. 4. 10.) Euerie where wee brare about in our bodie the dying of the LORD IESUS, that the life of IESUS might also bee made manifest in our bodies, &c. When the bodie by crosses was dying, then hee founde the life of CHRIST: and no soule shall finde that life without it bee dying. Therefore, if euer thou wouldest finde the power and life of Christ in thee, bee carefull to feele thine owne weaknesse and miserie.

Yet marke the wordes: Hee saieth, notwithstan­ding of my sinnes, the Lord had mercie vpon mee: And if ye looke to the speach, it importeth a won­dering, that euer hee should haue found mercie, vvho vvas such a great sinner. It is the greatest vvonder that euer was, that one sinne is forgiuen to a sinner, suppose it were but an euill thought: And if thou sawest that great, inuiolable and in­finite Majestie, and the greatnesse of thy sinnes, thou wouldest wonder that euer thou gettest one sinne forgiuen thee, let bee blasphemie and perse­cution forgiuen thee: And wonder thou as thou wilt: all the Angels of Heauen wonder that sin­ners should get mercy, & that God loued the vn­worthy worlde so, that Hee would giue His onelie Son to die that they should liue for euer: and they wondered when Adam, & the Fathers of olde got mercy: but when Christ came into the world to dy for the sinnes of the worlde, they wondered farre more at that mercie, and vvith chearefull voyce [Page 348] praised GOD for the same, saying, Glorie bee to GOD in the high heauens, and peace on earth, and to­wardes men good will, Luke 2. 14. Looke also what the Apostle saieth to this purpose, to the Ephes. Chap. 3. verse 10. It is their pleasure to pierce in to that misterie, and to looke to that mercie, but mi­serable man, to whom it belongeth, commonlie wondreth not at it. But albeit the prophane man, when hee is sleeping in sinne, and going on in an euill course thinking it but an easie thing to gette mercie: and albeit hee wonder not much when he seeth another miserable sinner to get mercie, but account it a matter of sober importance, yet if it please the Lord once to waken his conscience, and make his sinnes to appeare in their owne colour, how great, how vile, and how detestable they are, and what it is to offende that infinite and inuio­lable Majestie, that Omnipotent IEHOVAH, who created all thinges, and to finde the terrours and tormentes of that ineuitable wrath and euer­lasting paine. And if the Spirit of God leaue him there to his owne selfe, and helpe him not for­warde, hee woulde conclude, that there were no mercie for him: and hee would maruell that euer a sinner shoulde get mercie: for hee woulde see the justice of God, as a wall of fire, standing before God, holding off the sinner, that hee preasse not to come neare to God. So such persons woulde dite their owne dittie, and giue out their owne doome against themselues. And except it please [Page 349] the Lord to sende His Holie Spirit, who searcheth all thinges, yea, the deepnesse of God, out of His owne bosome, to a miserable sinner, thus exerci­sed, to conuoy him through His justice, thorowe that wall of fire, and to let him see and feele the mercie of God in the Lord Iesus, he would neuer, nor durst neuer claime to His mercie. Onelie they who getteth that Holy Spirit, who cometh out of that deepenesse, to conuoye the creature to that vnsearcheable deepnesse, (for albeit the deepnesse of that mercie bee infinite, yet the Spirit of GOD searcheth out that deepnesse) will acclaime and apprehende mercie: and then such persons will maruel, that euer themselues, or any other, should haue found such infinite mercie. And the Sainctes of God, in the kingdome of Heauen, shall euer be exercised in marueiling at the mercies of God vpon them.

It is true, that manie vaine wanton men, when they are going on in sinne, beeing drunken and bewitched with the pleasures of sinne, and mad in their damnable course, will promise mercie to themselues, and will applie mercie to sinne, to make sinne more and more sweete, as if it were not sweete enough before: But away with thee, for mercie appertaineth not vnto thee, but wrath and judgement, so long as thou remainest in that estate. Thou art not in that estate, that thou mayst claime to His mercie: for onely the man who hath a sadde, a contrite, and a broken soule, may ac­claime [Page 350] to mercie, and such a man in greatest sad­nesse for sinne shall haue vnspeakeable joye.

Nowe after hee hath vvondered at the mercie of GOD, in the ende of the verse, hee setteth downe a cause not so much vvherefore GOD gaue him mercie, as that GOD was so readie to giue him mercie: Hee saieth, that hee was an ig­norant: and that hee prooueth, because hee wanted faith: His ignorance deserued no mercie, but ra­ther made him culpable and guiltie: For the Lord will not allowe such an excuse in that Great day: but ignorance maketh the sinne the lesse. The sinne that proceedeth from ignorance, is not so great as the sinne that proceedeth from know­ledge: for the seruant vvho knoweth not the ma­sters vvill, and doeth it not, shall bee striped with fewe stripes: but the seruant vvho knoweth the masters vvill, and doeth it not, shall bee striped vvith manie stripes, Luke 12. 47. 48.

But for the better clearing of this point, vvee must vnderstand, that Paul meaneth not, that euerie sinne vvhich is committed vvillinglie and vvittinglie, men knowing vvell enough that they are sinning, shall not bee forgiuen: for in vvhat case should vvee all bee into then? Doe vvee not all manie a time sinne vvittinglie and vvillinglie? Doe not our consciences challenge vs in the verie act? Will vve not doe vvrong to our neighbour, in his person or in his goods, or in his name and account? yes, no question: and vve cannot justifie [Page 351] our selues in our doinges: If therefore, they vvho offend God, euen with open eyes, were condem­ned, without hope of mercie, alas! in what case would wee bee into? Hee meaneth not then of all sins in generall, hee meaneth not of the sins com­mitted against the secōd Table against our neigh­bours: but by joyning ignorance and mis-beliefe together, he sheweth that hee meaneth of the resi­sting of the trueth of God, which is a far greater sinne than theft, hooredome, or backe-biting: for they who resist the trueth, doe as much as in them lieth, to pluck God out of His seat, and to put out the remembrance of His glorious Majestie, that He reigne no more: and they say in effect, Let mee alone with God, & I shall handle him wel enough, I shall bring him to nought, hee shall not reigne, I shall fight against him. Therefore, Paul speaking of such an accursed sinne, saieth not without cause, I did it of ignorance: as if he had said, It is true, to blas­pheme Gods name and to treade Gods word vn­der feete, and to persecute the Saincts of God, is a sinne that surmounteth and surpasseth all sinnes, and I am culpable of this sinne: But what? I did it not wittinglie, for I thought I serued GOD when I was an enemie to the Gospell, because I [...]anted faith. Indeede Paule was a learned man, and brought vp in all good literature, as we reade in the 3. Chap. to the Philipp. As for the knowledge of the lawe, and the tradition of the Pharisees, hee surpassed the rest (Galat. 1. 14.) Yet for all this, [Page 352] hee saieth, hee was ignorant, because hee wanted the knowledge of Christ. Suppose thou knowest all the worlde, and yet if thou knowest not Iesus Christ, thou knowest nothing. And though thou knewest all the lawes in the worlde, all humanitie, all phi­losophie, yet if thou knowest not Christ, thou kno­west nothing. Now blessed is that soule that kno­weth Christ, albeit hee knewe no more for in the knowledge of Him standeth life euerlasting.

Marke againe, hee saieth, because hee was igno­rant, therefore hee was a blasphemer and persecuter. Ignorance is a dangerous thing: they who are ig­norant of Christ, they who haue not faith in Him, they who knowe not what a glorious personage Hee is, what incomparable benefite Hee brought with Him vnto the worlde, who hath not founde His mercies, who haue not beene sensible of the forgiuenesse of their sinnes, who haue not founde the image of God repaired in them, and they who haue not found that peace of conscience and joye in the Holie Ghost, they will persecute Christ, and His Gospell, and His Sainctes. It is a dangerous thing for the Sainctes of GOD to dwell among ignorantes and vnbeleeuers, for such men are vn­reasonable, yea, they are Atheistes. The Apostle Paul requesteth the Thessalonians to praye to God for him, that hee may bee deliuered from froward and vnreasonable men: for (saieth hee) all men haue not faith, 2. Thessal. 3. 2. This Land is full of Atheistes: and giue them but a vvatch-vvord, they [Page 353] would soone make a Massacre. And it is a maruell that the Church of God stādeth so long amongst them: for few is the number, & silly is the flocke of God that beleeueth, in comparison of them who remain in ignorance and infidelity. Wee shoulde therefore pray to God daily, that Hee would deli­uer His own Saincts from them, & that by His po­werfull prouidence He would restraine their ma­lice & fury, & guard His own on all sides. Further, think not that Paul alleadgeth his ignorance that thereby he may justify himselfe, as if it were with­out fault and offence: for no mans ignorance shall serue to be a cloke to absolue him before God. It will not serue a man to saye, I thought not of it, I thought otherwise, I knew it not: but if he get not mercy, hee must die for his ignorance: but hee al­leadgeth it to let mē see, that it was not of malice & despite that he set himself to fight against God: & therfore that ye Lord was more ready to forgiue him. Then consider, that ye Lord taketh heed & re­gardeth ye grounds & fountaine of sin where from it proceedeth, & accordingly he is either more ea­sie or more hard to shew mercy. There is a sine a­gainst Christ of ignorance, and such was the sin of Paul: there is a sin against Christ of knowledge, this is an higher degree, & this sin will hardlier get re­mission: this sin of knowledge is of two sorts, for either it cōmeth of infirmity, or els of malice: if it come of infirmity, as feare of trouble, daunger of life, it may find mercy: such was ye sin of Peter, whē [Page 354] at the voice of an handmaid he denied his maister Christ, for he knew in his cōsciēce y he said & did wrōg, yet it proceeded of infirmity, for fear of his life: for as Bernard saith, Petrus peccau [...] contra verita­tem, nō cōtra charitatē, for he loued Him in his heart, whō he was denying with his mouth, & therefore he foūd mercy, albeit his sin was higher thā the sin of Paul was: but if it come of malice & despite against God, & y light of His Gospel, it getteth no mercy: yt is, if a mā come to this point, yt whē he knoweth Gods trueth, albeit he be not moued with infirmity, fear, or dāger, yt he wil say in his hart, I know y this doctrine is true it is ye truth of God, yet I wil go of set purpose to fight against God, I wil go clean a­gainst it, I wil do so much as in me lieth to bring it to nought: whē a mā cōmeth thus far, this mā ca­rieth a mark about wt him, wherby he may accoūt himself a cōdemned person: such was y sin of Iudas, & of Juliā y Apostate for of very malice they sinned against Iesus Christ & his gospel: therfore they got no mercy. And wel were it with many of this lād, & namely these whom ye Lord hath promoued & preferred aboue others, who haue solde thēselues to y Antichrist, y man of perdition, either quietly & craftily to vndermine, or els opēly, if occasiō offer, to persecute ye Church & Saincts of God: wel I say were they, if either they did it of ignorance, or of infirmity & weaknes. Now to come to an end: In the last verse he returnes again to y grace & mer­cie, But the grace of our Lord super abounded so much the [Page 355] more: my sinne was great, but it reached aboue, & surpassed my sinne. Hee wondered before of the mercie of God but now finding vnspeakeable joy proceeding of this mercie, his heart is inlarged, and his tongue loosed with chearfulnesse, to ma­gnifie His mercie. Where sinne aboundeth, saieth the Apostle, there grace super aboundeth, Roman. Chap. 5. verse 20. Goe to thine owne experience, and con­sider what motions thou hast founde in vsing the meanes of grace, sometimes at the hearing of the worde, sometimes at the Holy Sacraments, some­times in prayer, and sometimes in meditation: and I will let thee see, that grace superaboundeth. Wilt thou not feele when thine heart is verie sad, when it is burthened with exceeding griefe & dis­pleasure, when thou art sighing, sobbing, & groa­ning vnder the burthen of sinne, & when thou art powring out teares aboundantly before God be­cause of thy sinful life, and foolish race which thou hast run: wil ye not find exceeding yet, incompre­hensible joye, to arise out of that sadnesse at that same time, which will swallow vp all displeasure & sadnesse? such a joye, I saye, as the like whereof all worldlie pleasures and comforts cannot bee able to afford: No question, but if thou be the child of God, somtimes thou wilt find this joy. Now from whence proceedeth this joy, but from the feeling of a superaboundant mercy, forgiuing thee al thy sins? for as sadnesse riseth of sin, for offending such a louing God, & merciful father: so the joy riseth [Page 356] of the assurance of forgiuenes of sin in his superabū ­dant mercy: & if there were not a super abundant mercy ye, joy would neuer swallow vp y sadnes: so if there were no more to testify, that ye mercies of the Lord superaboūdeth, but ye vnspekeable joy mixed with sadnes, it is as sure an argumēt as euer was in the world: yea, & when thou feelest this joy, wilt thou not be compelled somtimes to burst out, & to say, Lord, thy mercies are superabundant, where sin aboundeth, there thy grace & mercy aboūdeth more: so if thou wol­dest feele this surpassing joy, striue not so much by a general knowledge & bare cōtēplation to know y the mercies of God are infinit, & to speak of them ye they are aboue al His works, higher thā ye heauēs, deeper thā ye sea, & broader thā ye earth, but chiefly to find & feel thē by experiēce in thine own soule (for a bare knowledge & naked speaking without feeling auailes nothing) & thē thou shalt find such a joy as wil make thee cōtēne & disdain al joyes ye thou foūd before in sin, or in these worldly cour­ses: & it shal make thee to say, y thou neuer knewest before what true & solide joy meaned: & to ye intēt thou mayst find this superabūdant mercy, which is ye cause & foūtain of this joy, striue to haue sadnes & bitternes in thy soule for ye offēding of so louing a God & merciful father: for none is capable of this mercy but he who hath a cōtrit, a brokē & brused soule. The Lord, therfore, giue vs grace to feele the burthē of sin, & to grone vnder it, y we may taste of y superabūdāt mercy, & so may find y true & solid joy y passeth all vnderstāding in Iesus Christ,

Amen.

THE XVIII. SERMON.

I. TIMOTH. CHAP. I.

verse 14 But the grace of our Lord was exceeding aboundant with faith and loue, which is in Christ Iesus.

verse 15 This is a true saying, and by all meanes worthie to bee receiued, that Christ Iesus came into the world to saue sinners, of whom I am chiefe.

verse 16 Notwithstanding, for this cause was I receiued to mercie, that Iesus Christ should first shew on mee all long suffering, vnto the ensample of them, who shall in time to come beleeue in him vnto eternall life.

THE Apostle Paul (well-beloued Brethren in Christ) considering that the Lord IESVS had shewed such mercy vpon him, as to con­credite to him the glorious Euā ­gell of the blessed GOD, imme­diately falleth out in a thanksgi­uing to Christ. There are two causes in the propo­sition of the thankesgiuing: the one is taken from the power of Christ, wherewith he is made strōg: for whē he was nothing, the Lord Iesus made him strong: The other is from the mercy of Christ, whē [Page 358] hee was vnfaithfull, (how could a blasphemer bee faithful?) the Lord was so mercifull, that He made him faithful, & this he declareth, because he being before, a persecuter, the Lord made him an am­bassadour of that same Euangell which hee perse­cuted. He leaueth not this mercy, but insisteth in magnifying of it in regard, that not only he was a Preacher, but likewise hee was a true Christian man. Ere euer he set downe this mercy, he telleth what he was before, and he [...]ayeth, When I was a blasphemer, & not onely that, but with torments, compelled the Christians to blaspheme, I was a persecuter, and yet further, an oppressour, he lea­ueth nothing vntolde of himselfe, and he thinketh no shame to honour that God, who had mercie vpon him, with his owne shame, and hee regisira­teth his owne mis-behauiour to his shame, that euery one of the Saincts of God, to the end of the world may say Glory be to God, that hath shewed mercy on such a sinner: then he wondereth and sayeth, but he had mercie vpon me, & therewith by the way hee joyneth a reason, why the Lord shewed mercy sa readily on him, because he did it not of malice or knowledge, but he was blinded, hee did it of ignorance, hee was destitute of Faith, but assoone as hee gote mercy, hee changed his course: yet hee leaueth not off but entereth into a deaper consideration of this Grace, & he sayeth, The Grace of the Lord abounded exceedingly, My sinne abounded, but grace superabounded, and these [Page 359] wordes are from the sense of the heart, the heart beeing opened with the sense of Grace, openeth the mouth that it vttereth these words: the grace of Christ is superabundant, for if the heart be fil­led with the sense of grace & mercy, it will make the mouth to proclaime the mercy of God, & to extoll it highly. The cause why we cannot set out ye mercy of God in hie termes, is, because in vs there is no feeling of mercy: therefore it is, that we vtter wordes so slender and of so litle valour, when we speak of that loue & that mercy, as it were a thing of none importance. When he hath told that the grace of the Lord superabounded, he addeth al­so. With faith and with loue in Iesus Christ, he decla­reth that superabundant grace by a wonderfull mutation and change that was made in him by the power of IESVS CHRIST, that of a blasphemer of Christ, he is made a beleeuer, ap­prehending him by Faith, of a persecuter and op­pressour of the Sainctes of God, hee was made a louer of them. The sense of the mercy of God, & faith in Iesus Christ, bringeth foorth loue in the heart. And whosoeuer hath assurance of mercie & true faith, his heart wil be joyned with Christ and he will haue a great loue towardes Him: then for Christes sake he will loue all His Saincts: there wil not be a soule in the Church of Christ, but he will loue him so intirely y he wold giue his life for him, & as he will loue him so he will pity him: for he y hath faith, wil both loue & pity mē: he y wāts pity, [Page 360] and careth not what becōmeth of ye whole world, so he bee well hee hath neuer found what was the mercy of God in his heart. Alas! howe few is the number of these faithfull ones! how rare a thing is faith in the hearts of men! What argueth this coldnesse in the heartes of men, this want of loue and pity in the multitude? Nothing but this, that albeit mercy be preached, yet ye multitude feeleth it not. And if thou hadst all this world, and yet ta­sted not of that sweetnesse of this mercy of God in Iesus Christ, thou knewest neuer what joy, what comfort, what pleasure was.

Then in the next wordes hee openeth vp the ground as it were of that mercy that was shewed vpon him, which is the generall ende of the com­ming of Christ into this worlde: and from the ge­nerall he concludeth on this manner, Christ Iesus is come into the world to saue sinners, and I am a sinner, therefore He will saue me amongst the rest. Before he come to the words of the proposition, because it is a great and notable sentence, hee vseth a pre­face: as ye Lord Iesus in matters of importance vsed to say, Verily, verily, I say vnto you: so here th' Apostle saith, This is a true saying, and by all meanes worthy to be receiued. In this preface he prepareth not onely Ti­mothie, but all that euer shal heare this sentēce vnto the end of the world: and he prepareth them not only to the attension of the eare, but he prepareth them vnto faith in the heart: so that as soone as they should heare this sentence, they should apply [Page 361] it with their hearts. Alas! why should so worthy & excellent sentēces as these are passe away without any attention or preparation on our part? It is true, Brethren, we should neuer come to ye hearing of any part of the word without preparation: wee should not come to the holy congregation like as many swine, without hauing any regard what wee are doing, but we should come with preparation: & not only with an eare prepared, but with an hart prepared: and when thou enterest into the Church thou shouldest say, The Lord prepare mine heart, that I may receiue some sponke of grace. So a preparation is requisite in generall to the hearing of the worde. But yet the heart of man would be better prepa­red for the hearing of such notable sentences as this is, Christ is come into the world to saue sinners: they require a more singular preparation. There is no doubt he spake through the full assurāce of faith, and that which he spake, he assuredly beleeued: & therefore he spake of it. When wee speake of that grace, the heart should rise with an assurance. Look to the Prophet Dauid, with what assurāce he spea­keth of it, I beleeued (saith hee) therefore did I speake, Psal. 116. 10. Look to the Apostles, with what faith & assurance they speake of it: because, saith Paul, 2. Cor. 4. 13. We haue the same Spirit of faith, according as it is written, I beleeued, and therefore haue I spoken, wee also beleeue, and therefore we speake. So when thou hearest or speakest of this grace of the Lord Iesus, seek to haue this assurance in thine heart, and saye, Lord, [Page 362] giue me Thy grace in speaking and hearing of the benefite of Christ, that I may speake and heare with assurance. And if ye take heede to the words of the preface, he riseth vp in commending of this sentence, that Christ came into the world to saue sinners: and hee saieth not onelie, This is a true saying, that wee may assu­redlie beleeue: but likewise hee saieth, and by all meanes worthie to bee receiued. Hee welcommeth (in a manner) Christ Iesus comming into the world, he embraceth that saluation that Hee brought vvith Him. And would to God, whether wee bee Prea­chers or hearers, that wee coulde attaine to that measure of grace, that so oft as wee name the comming of Iesus Christ, that in speaking of it our hearts may be mooued to embrace Him, and that life and saluation which He hath purchased for vs. So this preface serueth to confirme our hearts, & deepelie to imprint in them the doctrine of the grace of Christ of remission of sinnes, of saluation through Him, &c. for by nature there is in euerie one of vs such a mistrusting & doubting thereof: y albeit God wold a thousand times offer it vnto vs: albeit Christ himselfe would teach neuer so much vnto vs, yet are we euer still in doubt and questio­ning in our owne heartes, whether it be so or not. Against all this mistrusting and reasoning of our owne hearts, we must bee armed with this preface of the Apostle, as with a buckler, that it is a true saying, & by al means worthy to be receiued. But to come to the saying it self, It reckoneth vp ye whole Euan­gell, [Page 363] for what is the Euangell in fewe wordes? The Lord Iesus, the Sonne of God, is come into the world, by his manifestation in the flesh & taking vpon him our nature, and in it, hee hath suffered the moste shamefull death of the Crosse, for the sinnes of man, and rising againe from death, hath passed vp to glorie, and all to this ende, For the saluation of man: There is the whole Gospell. Alas! if we took heed to these tithings, our hearts woulde not bee carried after so manie vanities. The Apostle (1 Timoth. 3. 16.) calleth this the myste­rie of godlinesse, and a great mysterie, That GOD is manifested in the fleshe, justified in the Spirite, seene of the Angels, preached vnto the Gentiles, beleeued on in the worlde, receiued vp into glo­rie, &c. All this hee setteth downe here in a word, Christ Jesus came into the worlde: and hee telleth vs it was to saue sinners: that wee, who are sinners, might haue joye, and rejoyce at His comming: for wee should neuer heare nor reade such sentences, but with joye. But the wordes woulde bee weighed, hee saieth, CHRIST came into the worlde to saue sinners. What is this that hee calleth sinners? there are two sorts of sinners in the worlde: The first are they who thinke they haue no sinne, they are so hardned in their sinne, they neuer got their hearts opened to see their owne sinne, and wretched­nesse: (for an indured sinner feeleth no sinne) but by the contrarie, they thinke themselues just: they are puft vp with a cōceit of their own righte­ousnes, they thinke thēselues whole & free frō the [Page 364] disease of sin, and these are the greatest part of the world. An example we haue in that proude Phari­sie, who would stand vp and justify himselfe before God, & say, I thanke thee, O God, that I am not a sinner as other men, extortioners, vnjust, adulterers, or euē as this Publicane, Luke 18. 11. But it is not for the saluation of those men that Christ came into the world: no, mercy belōgeth not to them, they will neuer taste of any mercy of God in Iesus Christ and therfore Christ saith, (Mat. 9. 12. 13.) The whole need not a Phi­sition, that is, they who are whole & free of the sick­nesse of sin in their own conceit: I am not come to call the just, that is, indured sinners who think thēselues just, because they are touched with no sense of sin: and well had it bene for them, if Christ had neuer come into the world, for they want not only grace in Him, but by the contrary, by the contemning of the grace that is offered, they heap on cōdemna­tion on their own heads. There is another sort of sinners, who haue a true sense of sin, and grone vn­der the burthen thereof, who are sore grieued in their owne consciences for it: and it is of these sin­ners that th' Apostle speaketh here: for Christ she­weth mercy only on these sinners, He came into the world to saue them only: therfore He saith, Mat. 9. 13. I come to call sinners to repētāce, meaning these sinners who haue their consciences wakened with ye sense of sin: these sinners only He inuiteth to come vnto Him to get grace & refreshmēt: Come vnto me, saith He, all ye that weary & laden, & I will refresh you, Mat. [Page 365] 11. 28. These sinners will get grace to heare the word, and wil get their minds illuminated with it, whereas indured sinners, the more they heare the more are they blinded: and therefore Christ saith, Joh. 9. 39. I am come vnto judgement into this world, that they that see not, may see, to wit, the penitent sinners: and that they see, that is, indured sinners, may bee blinded: & if thou be an indured sinner, thou canst not heare the word with profite, thou canst not be inlightened thereby. But albert thou be a blasphe­mer, an adulterer, an harlot, & the greatest sinner that is, if thou harden not thine heart at the hea­ring of the word of God, O how wonderfully will it worke in thy soule! it wil bring thee to a sense of thy sin, it will make thee to bee grieued for thy sin▪ and to lament & mourne vnfainedly for it: it will make thee to runne & seeke for grace & mercy in Christ that thy sin may be done away: an example of this ye haue in Dauid, when he had committed adultery & murther: no sooner is ye word preached to him by Nathan, but assoone his heart is pierced with the sense of his sin, he confesseth & acknow­ledgeth it, hee is sore grieued for it, hee crieth for mercy in the Messias, to put away his iniquities, as ye may see, 1. Sam. 12. 13. & Psal. 51. Such like ye see in Paul, who before was persecuting the Church, assoone as he heareth the voyce of Christ, his con­sciēce is wakened, he trembleth, he is astonied, he humble intreateth for mercy, hee offereth seruice to the Lord, & saieth▪ Lord, what wilt thou that I doe? [Page 366] Acts 9. 6. And it is onely such persons as these, who are of a contrite Spirit, who tremble at the Lords wordes, that doe get mercie and saluation. Then in a word, a humble & penitent sinner, how great so euer his sinne be, he [...]all get saluation. So there is nothing that hindereth thee from mercie and saluation, but the malitiousnes of thine owne heart. It is not Adulterie, it is not Murther, it is not Blasphemie or oppreslion, that depriueth thee of yt saluation, but the hardnes of thine heart that cannot repent: if thou hast a contrite heart, and canst say, Woe is me, that I haue offended so sweet & gracious a God, thou shalt get mercie. It is an heauie & Iamentable case, that sinners should want mercy for fault of repentance. When he hath set downe this generall sentence, whereon hee groundeth the mercy of God that was shewed on him, that Christ came in the world to saue sinners, he cōmeth to the particular application, & he sub­joyneth, But I am the first sinner in the world, the con­clusion is vnderstood, therefore Christ Iesus came in the world to saue me. Would to God euery sin­ner in the world could learne to apply this gene­ral sentence to themselues in the same maner that Paul doth here, & frō his heart could say with him, Christ Iesus is come in the world to saue sinners, & then subjoyne, Bot I am the first sinner in the world, that sa he might apply mercy & saluation to himselfe, for without this application, these ge­nerall sentences can serue for no vse. It is true in­deede, [Page 367] Brethren, sciences of these generall senten­ces that are contained in ye Scripture, is very good, yea, the knowledge of them is most necessary: for no man can haue conscience without knowledge: But it is as true on the other part, that science and knowledge auaile not without cōscience, applying particularlie to a mans soule the thing that hee knoweth. As when men know these generall sen­tences set downe in the word, if they applie them not to themselues, the knowledge of them can serue to no purpose: As for example: when a man knoweth this generall sentence of the law, Cursed is euery man that continueth not in euery thing which is written in the booke of the law, to doe them, if thou ap­ply it not, it can doe thee no good: But if thy con­science be wakened, to acknowledge thy trāsgres­sing of ye law, & consequently to apply to thy selfe that curse of the lawe, & eternall condemnation, what sorrow & griefe will it worke in thine heart? what earnest desire will it worke to bee free from that curse and eternall condemnation? Yea, thou wouldest bee content to giue all the world to bee free of that curse, and the heauie burthen of the wrath of God. And Brethren, look neuer for mer­cy, nor saluation, except first thine own conscience condemne thee: if thy conscience condemne thee not, the Lord of Heauē shal condemne thee. There is neuer one that is freede from the curse and con­demnation of the law, but they who feele their sin & groane vnder the burthen of it, & get a sight of their condemnation for sin.

[Page 368]Another example we haue of this generall sen­tence that the Apostle hath in this place, Christ Ie­sus is come into the world to saue sinners: If thou applie it not, & say not as the Apostle doeth, I am a sinner, it can furnish thee no joy nor comfort. Thē when we come to heare the doctrine of grace & mercy, let vs come with a conscience wakened & wearie with the sense of sin: for if the soules of men and women were weary, & laden with the burthen of sin, they would feele an vnspeakeable joye in their hearts at the preaching of y doctrine of saluation. But because we are casten vp in a senselesse securi­tie, our consciences are asleep, & the thing that we haue is but a generall motion: therefore it is, that at the preaching of the law there is no sorrow, no griefe no heauinesse of hart: & if the glad tithings of the Euangell bee preached, there is no joye nor comfort: And this is the thing that we haue moste to lament at the preaching of the word, that wee haue no feeling neither of sadnesse nor of joy: and therefore the judgement is the nearer. And hee or she that l [...]eth hardest sleeping in greatest security, shall get the forest & most terrible wakening when the judgement commeth. Nowe the Lord waken our consciences in time and giue vs grace to take heed to the preaching of the word, and to beware of our selues, & euer pray to the Lord for grace: & neuer let neither the memory of His mercy to­ward penitēt sinners, nor of His judgemēt against indured and impenitent sinners, passe out of our [Page 369] mind. Marke againe: In application when he ap­plieth the generall vnto himselfe, he applieth not immediately saluation, but first he applieth sinne to himselfe, and then saluation: he saith not first, I am saued, but first hee saieth, I am the greatest amongst sinners, & thereafter he saith, I haue ob­tained mercy. Then take heed to thy application. When thou hearest, by the preaching of the Gos­pell, saluation offered to sinners, take not first to thy selfe saluation, but first take sinne and death: then take life, and apply it to thy selfe: Rejoyce not first at the preaching of the glad tithinges of saluation, but first conceiue a displeasure: then let joy arise out of displeasure: for joy of saluatiō must arise out of the displeasure, through the feare of damnation. It shall passe thy power to finde joye through the sense of mercy and saluation▪ before thou find sadnesse & heauinesse of heart through the sense of sinne and damnation. Euen as ye see a spring of water will not breake out of a rocke ex­cept the rocke bee broken: Euen so is it with this effect, No joye can bee to the heart of a Christian man or woman, till the heart be contrite and bro­ken with sadnesse through the sense of sinne: The heart is first exceeding heauy and sorrowfull, and out of that heauinesse ariseth the joy: and the hea­uier the heart is, the greater the joye is. Would to God we had this sorrow & sadnesse, and the sense of the wrath of God in our hearts for sinne: for the saddest heart for sinne will get the greatest joy, & [Page 370] euermore the greater sadnesse, the greater joye. If our hearts bee grieued, and weary with the sight of sinne, wee shall haue such a spirituall joy, as the world knoweth not: And this joy is as sure an ear­nest-penny of that joy of Heauē, as euer was. And he that hath that joy that ariseth from that sorow in the hart for sinne, he hath a sufficient warrand of that joy in Heauen: and hee that hath not that joy, hee hath no warrand of that Heauenly joye: Therefore Christ saieth, Blessed are they that mourne, for they shalbe comforted, Mat. 5. 4. Now in this world this joy is mixed with teares, but then it shall be a perfect joy, and all teares shalbe wiped away from our eyes. Now for Christes sake put away vanitie and wantonnesse and let euery one of vs take vp a new course of life, that we may mourne and weep vnfainedly for our sinnes, (for we haue all neede) that in stead of this worldly joy, wee may get that solide & vnspeakeable joy that ariseth out of sad­nesse: otherwise we only enjoy the name of Chri­stians, but as the disposition of the heart which is required in a Christian, it is farre from vs.

Yet marke further: His conscience is not onelie wakened with the sense of sinne, hee is not onelie touched with a true sorrow for it, but also he ma­keth a cleare & plaine confession of it. Then mark it: Before thou gettest mercy in Christ, thou must first of necessity acknowledge & confesse thy sin: for confession of sinne must of necessity go before mercy. Dauid found this by experience, for so long [Page 371] as he held his tongue, and would not confesse his sinne, he could find nothing but the wrath & hea­uie hand of God against him: My bones (saieth hee) were consumed, I roared all the day, &c: but assoone as hee taketh this resolution with himselfe, I will con­fesse against my selfe, my wickednesse vnto the Lord: then hee found the Lord to shew mercy on him, and to forgiue him ye punishment of his sin, Psal. 32. 3. 4. 5. And to what purpose shoulde any man cou [...]r his sinnes from God, whose all-seeing eyes pierce in­to the braines and moste secrete corners of the heart, and to whom all things are open & patent, and who knoweth euery mans sinnes better than he can doe himselfe? Why shouldest thou then dis­semble with Him? why shouldest thou not make a plaine & open confession of thy sinnes vnto Him, that thou mayest get mercy? Another thing would be marked: Hee is not content to confesse his sin, but he saith, I am the chiefe of sinners: Hee saieth not simply, I am a sinner, but the chiefest sinner, the first sinner in the world. Brethren, if we had a sense of our sin, euen the least sinner of vs would thinke he were the greatest, hee would not goe about to excuse his sinne, hee woulde not cloake it as Cam did, hee would not extenuate it, much lesse would hee haue a proude conceit of himselfe, and of his own righteousnesse: he would not enter in as that proude Pharisee did, Luke 18. 10, who helde vp his head, and saide, I am not as other men▪ extortioners, vn­just, adulterers, or euen as this Publicane: The poore [Page 372] Publicane was in ye meane time hinging down his head: but hee was a greater sinner. But if thou en­ter into comparison with others, and haue a sense of thy sin, thou wilt thinke with thy selfe, There is not so great a sinner in the world as I am, & thou wilt say with Paul, I am the first and chiefest of sin­ners. Now when he hath applied the generall sen­tence to himselfe, and shewed that the Lord had giuen him mercy and saluation. He setteth downe next the end of this grace: But herefore (saieth hee) he had mercy on me, that he might first shew on me al long suffering: there is an end: another end is, that I should be an example, to others in the world.

Nowe, Brethren, when God sheweth mercy on any man, it is not for nothing, it is not without great & manifest causes, for He will not cast grace lightly away: Indeed He will giue these temporall benefits to the wicked, because He esteemeth not so much of them: Hee will throwe a lordship, an earledome, yea a kingdome, to a reprobate: but as for one spunke of y spirituall grace of Iesus Christ, He will know well to whom He giueth it: He will take good heed to whom Hee giueth one drop of that precious blood of Iesus Christ, and Hee will loue them exceedingly. Thinke yee not that hee would loue a leprous man well, that would washe him with his owne blood? The preciousest liquor that euer was in the world, is the blood of the Lord Iesus, yea, such is the worthinesse & preciousnesse thereof, that all the worlde will not buy one drop [Page 373] of it. Shall we not thinke then, that He loueth that man well, whome Hee washeth with His blood? Shall we not thinke, that He beareth an vnspeake­able loue to that man whom He washeth with His Holy Spirit? Marke it, Brethren: Mercy commeth by chance to no man: it is vsually said, Kingdomes come of hap: but it is not so with mercy and the grace of Iesus Christ: none gets it but these whose names are writtē vp in the booke of life: none are called to the participation of one spunke of that sauing grace, but they who were predestinated from all eternity. And therefore, if thou hast got­ten one spunke of grace, count with thy selfe, that thou wast predestinated from all eternity to euer­lasting life, and count with thy selfe, that thou hast gotten a more excellent and precious thing, than if thou hadst gotten all the world. Now as He will not lightly giue grace, so He giueth it not for the person himself alone, who receiueth the grace: but Hee will haue a consequence following vpon the giuing of that grace and mercy: first, He will haue the glory of that grace and mercy to Himselfe: and what more? Hee will set him, on whome Hee hath vouchsased that grace and mercy, to be a spectacle and example of His mercy before the worlde. To speake of the first ende, That he should show on mee al clemency: that is, that shewing such mercy on me who was the greatest sinner, Hee might manifest and declare the exceeding greatnesse of His mer­cie to the world.

[Page 374]Brethren, the thing that God looketh to in His workes, is, that Hee might bee glorified in His es­sentiall properties: but aboue all the rest of His properties, Hee will bee glorified in His mercy, He will bee glorified in His power, in His wisedome, in his justice. Sodome and Gomorrha was a spectacle to sinners of His justice, to terrifie sinners to the ende of the worlde. But aboue all, Hee seeketh to bee glorified in His owne mercy. Aboue all things the Lord will haue His loue and mercy to shine in the worlde, Hee will haue the creature to glorifie Him in His mercy. What is the cause that Hee sent Christ into the worlde? That in Christ His mercy might shine in the world. What is the cause of this preaching of the Euangell? Why is it sent? That His mercy might shine in the worlde: And all the Pastors should teach and proclaime this mercie of God, and not speake of judgement, but when men regardeth not His mercy. Looke what the LORD will doe, that His mercy should shine in the world, Hee will take blasphemous persons, persecuters, oppressors, such as Paul was, and Hee will shewe mercy vpon them, Hee will make them to be spe­ctacles of His mercy in the sight of the world, that all the worlde shoulde stand wondering, that the Lord sheweth mercy vpon them. And there is not one of them who are justified by Christ, but they are spectacles of the mercy of God, set before the world, to make the world to wonder at his mercy: that so wee may learne to knowe, and deepely to [Page 375] consider, the mercy of GOD, not onely by His worde, but also by His workes and examples of them that haue obtained mercy. Now to come to the second ende, hee saieth, Unto the example of them that shall in time to come beleeue in him. Then Paul getteth mercy not for himselfe onely, but also for other sinners, who seeing this mercy shewed vpon him, might reason with themselues and say, Yon­der blasphemer, yonder persecuter, yonder op­pressor, hath gotten mercy, and may not I likewise bee assured to get mercy? Therefore, when thou seest that the Lord is merciful to any man, say with thy selfe, It is not for nothing that the Lord hath giuen this man mercy: but it is for my cause, that I may by his example be stirred vp to seeke mercy: therefore I will goe and get mercy at his handes. But alas! such is our security and senselesnesse, that howbeit the Lord be continually calling vp­on vs, and offering mercy vnto vs by His worde, and likewise by euer setting foorth before vs god­lie men and women, that of vnholy creatures are made holy creatures, to be spectacles of His mer­cie, that by them wee should take example: yet all these meanes that God vseth to testifie His mercy vnto vs, mooueth vs not to consider and take vp His mercy. But blessed is that soule that can learn by anie of these meanes, to take vp the mercie of GOD, and to seeke for it: for mercie is the pre­ciousest jewell that euer was. Therefore, when [Page 376] thou findest not assurance of mercy, then be sorie for it, and striue earnestly to obtaine it: for there is no surer token that the Lord is to shew mercie to anie soule, than vvhen vpon the sight and fee­ling of the vvant thereof the soule is grieued, and striueth and endeuoureth more and more to ob­taine a more full assurance thereof. And there­fore, vvhen I consider howe men in this Land are sleeping in sinne, vvithout anie remorse of con­science, and are so carelesse to seeke to haue assu­rance of mercie, I am afraide, that the LORD is about to vvith-draw mercie from this Nation. The LORD auert His vvrath, and be mer­cifull vnto this sinfull Nation, for CHRISTES sake: To vvhom vvith the Father, and the Holy Spirit, be all ho­nour, praise, and glory, vvorlde vvithout end, AMEN.

FINIS.

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