Containing the Institution of a Christian man, in twelve heads of Doctrine: which are set downe in the next side.

By THOMAS TAYLOR D. D. and late Pastor of Alderman­bury London.

Perfected by himselfe before his decease.

Cypr. de zel. & liv. ‘Christi nomen ind [...]ere, & non per Christi viam per­gere, quid aliud quàm praevaricatio est divini nominis, quàm desertio i [...]meris salutaris?’

LONDON, Printed by R. Y. for J. Bartlet, in Cheap-side at the Golden-cup in Gold­smiths Row. 1635.

The Principles of Christian Practice: Containing the Institution of a Christian Man, or of a Disciple of Christ:

In these chiefe heads of Doctrine.
  • 1. Selfe-Deniall.
  • 2. Taking up the Crosse.
  • 3. Imitation of Christ.
  • 4. Life temporall and eternall.
  • 5. The worlds worthlesnesse to a soule.
  • 6. The last judgement.
  • 7. The kingdome of Grace.
  • 8. The Christan race.
  • 9. The divine Teacher and Scholler.
  • 10. Epicurisme described and disgraced.
  • 11. Abuse of the Creatures, unlawfull.
  • 12. The Physitian of soules.

TO THE RIGHT WORSHIPFULL, SIR EDWARD CLERKE Knight, one of the Masters of his Majesties Court of Chancery, and Steward of the Towne of Reding: And to his worthie Consort, the Lady ANN [...] CLERKE: all Happiness.

HONOURED Friends: By your experienced kind­nesse I have emboldened my selfe at this time, to present you with a few pa­pers of our ancient friend, Reverend Do­ctor Taylor, whom alive you heard glad­ly. The subject of them is, the Principles of Christian Practice. All Philosophie saith: such as the Principles are, such [Page] are the Affections, and the Conclusions. The world seeth it in those famous divi­sions, of Gentilisme, Judaisme, Maho­metisme, and Christianisme: wherein, as any is more throughly grounded, so he is more resolved in himselfe, and divi­ded from others. The Church also seeth and bewaileth it in her wofull divisions. To let passe the Theorie, and consider the Practice (wherewith wee have now to doe:) wee shall easily observe in the course of Christians, that, as they lay downe their Principles, and frame their plots and projects, so their lives also, and particular passages thereof, are framed.

The maine aime and plot of a true Christian is, to please God and save his soule howsoever. Accordingly hee re­solves to denie himselfe, that hee may give up himselfe wholly unto God: hee seekes out after Christ, and will get this great pearle, though hee sell him­selfe out of all his worldly endowments and comforts: hee meanes afterward to follow Christ, even through thicke and [Page] thinne, and though hee bee daily compelled to take up his crosse in following him: Hee knowes, that by overmuch daintinesse and deli­cacie in the way of holy obedience, hee may hazzard his soule, which, if hee had lost a a temporall life, hee might have received againe in life eternall. Hee considers, that if hee could get or hold ne­ver so much of these worldly com­forts, yet all would bee meere losse upon the losse of his soule: and, if his soule be once lost, it can ne­ver bee recovered againe. And howsoever hee may cheare up him­self for a while with those vanities, yea perhaps for a long while, yet in the day of judgement at farthest; when Christ comes to reckon' for e­very mans talent and employment; hee knowes he must rue the time of his former securitie, or licentious­nesse; whenas only those that have aimed aright, and rightly steared [Page] their course for God and heaven, shall (though with much hardship) arrive at the wished haven of rest and glorie. Hereupon it is, that many a poore Christian wades a­gainst the streame, and labours still to approve himselfe unto God, by 2. Cor. 6. 4. honour and dishonour, by good re­port and bad report, by the armour of righteousnesse on the right hand, and on the lest. So that hee may obtaine that incorruptible crowne of life, which is set before him, he cares not what paines hee takes in running, nor how hard censures hee endureth from carnall specta­tours. That hee may not mistake his way, through blindenesse in himselfe, or false guides abroad, hee useth the means of sound and heavenly knowledge, and in them all intreats the Lords helpe and guidance, who alone is able to di­rect, comfort, and strengthen him in his pilgrimage: and, when hee [Page] obtaines this, hee soots it lustily along, till in the strait way, though rough, and full of crosses, hee gets into his Fathers house, where is bread enough, and comfort, and glory. And whereas in his travel­ling hee espies a number of sensuall men, who are wholly taken up with Jude 19. their pleasures, treasures, honours, friends, seastings, or other trifles, these hee pitieth, and prayeth for them, and resolveth for his owne part, not to entangle himselfe with the affaires of this life, that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a souldier. 2 Tim. 2. 4.

This is the disposition, and these the behaviours of a Christian well principled and bottomed; The effe­cting whereof, both the Authour intended in preaching these things, and I now intend in publishing them: together with encouragement to all those, who stand stoutly, wisely, and constantly to their own [Page] Principles, whatever the affecti­ons and conclusions of the world be toward them.

But on the other side, numbers of men and women, missing of these Principles, and falling upon other which are deceitfull, doe spend their lives in meere vanities, and lose both God and their soules before they are aware. Some meane to bee rich howsoever, esteeming wealth to be the blessednes of man: accor­ding to which ground, they sticke not for injustice, bribery, oppression, cheating, and other indirect arts of getting. Others attend their plea­sures, and account it happinesse to live deliciously for a season: which therefore they will enjoy, though with uncleannesse, intemperance, unthriftinesse, prodigalitie, other sinnes, and totall forgetfulnesse of the Afflictions of Joseph. Others Amos 6. 6. admire the honours of the world, or credite with men of the world, or [Page] applause of the people: which to ob­taine and hold, they care not though they undermine, traduce, flatter, smooth, betray religion, any thing: Yet honour me before the peo­ple. And others, taking up other 1. Sam. 15. 30. ends, and grounding themselves upon Principles of their owne, goe wide of Christ and heaven, as farre as East and West.

Yea though they will seeme sometimes to put on a vizard of re­ligion. The Hypocrite mindes no­thing but his owne selfe-respects; to have his Minister thinke well of him, to be accounted some body in the profession, to get credite with some who may doe him a good turne another day, to get friends, custo­mers, chapmen, and worke out his owne advantages the more freely and slily: Accordingly hee holds none but an hobling course in pro­fessing religion, halts betweene two opinions, sayes and unsayes; in one [Page] companie speakes well of good men, and good things, in another companie quite otherwise, pretends God, and intends himselfe, in fine, makes nothing of his religion, and if the winde serve right, hee will take the next occasion to strike saile, and become a Persecutour of religion and religious persons.

The like of many Apostates. What other cause can be given, why numbers of Christians fall off from the profession or obedience of the Gospell, but that they never lear­ned well and throughly these Prin­ciples of Christian Practice, to denie themselves, to take up their crosse, to follow Christ, to looke to the welfare of their soules how­soever, to provide for the day of their accounts, to run and strive lawfully, to depend on God by prayer for direction and blessing, and to save themselves from this untoward generation, of Epicures [Page] and worldlings? If these grounds had beene well laid, they had ne­ver left off building so shamefully, as now have done: nor had their house come tumbling upon their heads, but that their foundation was laid in the sands.

Others there are, that abuse good Principles (as, concerning the infinite mercie of God, and me­rit of Christ:) or settle upon false and insufficient Principles, out­ward prosperitie, deliverance out of trouble and danger, example of the multitude, rulers, preachers, and the like; thereby bolstering up themselves, either in grosse pro­saneness, or a refined Atheisme, till their soules be utterly lost, unlesse the mercie and grace of God doe greatly prevent them.

They are thrice happie, who are thus prevented. It is the Lord only, who gives us both a Saviour, and the knowledge of salvation, and [Page] wisedome to attend our Principles aright: hee doth it for us, and must therefore have all the glory. To his grace and mercie I commend you both (my much respected Friends:) intreating your acceptance of this small present, and pardon for this large Preface. The Lord often re­new your yeares upon you, with all heavenly and earthly blessings, and peace upon Sion. So prayeth,

Your Wo: remembrancer with God, WILLIAM JEMMAT.

The Institution of a Christian man in twelve heads of Doctrine.

  • 1 THe doctrine of selfe-deniall, out of Mat. 16. 24. Wherein is shewed, who are Christs Dis­ciples. pag. 6
    • What things selfe-denyall comprehends, pag. 15
    • The difficultie of this dutie. 18
    • The necessitie of denying ourselves. 21
    • Mischiefes of not beginning in this dutie. 25
    • Helps to further us therein. 29
    • Motives to deny our selves. 35
    • Notes of one that denies himselfe. 39
  • 2. The doctrine of takin up the Crosse, out of the same verse.
    • Where is shewed, What the Crosse is. 46
    • Why called the Crosse. 47
    • What it is to take it up. 48
    • Why take it up daily. 52
    • That every Christian hath his Crosse. ibid
    • That we must both beare & take up the crosse. 61
    • Meanes to be willing so to doe. 70
  • 3. The doctrine of following Christ, Ow of the same verse.
    • Where is shewed, In what we must follow Christ. 75
    • Instances of Christs pietie and charitie. 77
    • D [...]e fr the brethren, as Christ did. 85
    • How Christ can and must be followed. 87
    • Motives to follow him. 9 [...]
    • [Page] Danger of not following him. 93
    • Safetie of following him. 96
  • 4. The doctrine of life temporall and eternall. Verse 25. Whosoever will save his life, &c.
    • Where is shewed, How a life is saved and lost. 101
    • Who lose their lives for Christs sake. 104
    • Who may not flie in persecution, & who may. 107
    • Christians must take their lives in their hands for Christ. 115
    • Objections answered. 121
    • Practices and Meditations preparing for Mar­tyrdome. 126
  • 5. The worlds worthlesnesse in respect of a soule. Verse 26. What shall it profit a man, &c.
    • Where is shewed, What the world and winning of it is. 139
    • That wee must preach well for matter and man­ner. 142
    • That in weightie matters wee must use speciall vehemencie. 147
    • That we are naturally addicted to the world. 149
    • Where is treated of covetousnesse. 151
    • There is danger by earthly gaine to lose the soule. 154
    • How this commeth to passe. 155
    • Damnable to seeke the world out of order or measure. 161
    • How to avoid the danger of earthly gaine. 166
    • That many lose their soules for the world: and who they be. 169
    • Signes of Christ undervalued for the world. 171
    • Speeches of the world how to be limited. 173
    • Lawfull callings abused, & callings unlawfull. 176
    • [Page] How wealth casts men back in the way of salva­tion. 178
    • No cleare gaine, nor thriving in an evill way. 180
    • Further thy salvation by wealth: motives: and how. 182
    • What friends are to bee made by unrighteous Mammon. 184
    • Riches unprofitable, how, & in what respects. 190
    • That the soule is a most pretious thing. 198
    • Evils that hurt it, to be avoided. 202
    • A great worke to save soules. 205
    • No helpe for a soule once lost. 210
    • The estate of a lost soule, what. 211
    • What makes a lost soule irrecoverable. 214
    • All unable to recover a lost soule, how and why. 217
    • What goes to the ransome of a soule. 219
    • Uses of that doctrine. 221
  • 6. The last judgement. Verse 27. For the Sonne of man shall come, &c.
    • Wherein is shewed, how Christ is called the sonne of man. 228
    • Christ content with meane [...]les. 235. so should we too. 237
    • Christ comes from heaven, whither, when. 241
    • The time unknowne, for sixe reasons. 248
    • Opinions about it. 249
    • Meet Christ comming to judgement: how. 256
    • Of Christs glory in that day: of person: office. 258
    • Preparation and execution, glorious. 264
    • Divers sorts of evidences. 266
    • Waite and wish for the appearance of this glory. 278
    • [Page] Prepare for it, and how. 280
    • Angels number, relation, office, comming with Christ. 287
    • The end of Christs comming. 314
    • Good works not meritorious as evill are: why. 321
    • Why workes are the rule of judgment. 322
    • Whether the Law or Gospell bee the rule of judging. 324
    • The last judgement glorious and righteous. 327
    • Live well and fare well in judgement. 331
    • Be patient in all confusion and injustice. 334
    • Be sincere in matter of religion. 335
    • Watch and judge thy selfe before-hand. 336
    • How to know what will become of us in the day of judgement. 338
  • 7. The Kingdome of grace. verse 28 [...] Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, &c.
    • Wherein is shewed, Christs comming in his King­dome, what. 342. 343.
    • Opinions. 346
    • Christs Kingdome, and how it comes. 348
    • Kingdome of God generall and speciall. [...]
    • How the Kingdome of Christ comes. 350
    • Of the accomplishment hereof. 351
    • Christs Kingdome enlarged in the Gospell. 352
    • Evidences of Christs Kingdome enla [...]ged. ibid.
    • Of the times when the Gospels were written. 358
    • Preaching and obeying the word advances Christs Kingdome. 360
    • Christ like to Kings, and superiour to them. 361
    • Eminence of Christ above other Kings. 362
    • Enemies of the word, enemies of Christ. 365
    • [Page] Rejoyce in the thriving of the Gospell. 368
    • Helpe Christ into his Throne. 379
    • How Christs Kingdome is erected and main­tained within us. 372
    • Defend Christs right and be loyall. 374
    • Motives to be loyall to Christ. 376
  • 8. The Christian Race. 1 Cor. 9. 24. So run that you may obtaine.
    • Where [...]s shewed, The similitude, and reason of it 350
    • That every Christian must run. 354
    • Our life in five respects is a race. 355
    • Reasons why we must run this race. 357
    • Even our whole life, and not at the end only. 359
    • Who conceit not aright of Christian profession. 361
    • Motives to run as we ought. 362
    • Direct ons thereunto, and preparation. 364
    • Hinderances to be removed. 365
    • Helpes in running the Christian race. 367
    • Conditions of running aright five. 369
    • The right marke we must run at. 370
    • The right way in which we must run. 371
    • The right foot wherewith we must run. 373
    • The right motion, humble, cheerefull, constant. 374
    • The right end of running twofold. 379
    • The reward of running, no merit. 382
    • How to runne and obtaine. 384
    • Looke not backe. 386
    • Respect the way, and not by-matters. 387
    • Renew strength continually, and how. 390
    • Encouragements thus to run. 393
    • [Page] Excellency and eternity of this goale. 39 [...]
  • 9 The divine Teacher and Scholler. Psal. 119. 33. Teach me O Lord, the way, &c.
    • Where is she [...]ed, The Prophets holy prayer and vow. 399
    • What the Statutes are, and why Statutes. 400
    • Why called the Statutes of God. 402
    • Their eminency above other Statutes. 404
    • The metaphor of a way, and singularity. 406
    • God teacheth foure things, above all teaching of man. 411
    • A good heart still desires to be taught. 414
    • That all true knowledge is from God. 416
    • What this knowledge hath above natures reach 418
    • In the meanes repaire unto God. 421
    • Ministers must pray for themselves & their peo­ple. 423
    • That sound knowledge is ever humble, and why 424
    • Defect of knowledge, whence. 425
    • Knowledge of good men and others, how it dif­fers. 431
    • Good men are ever d [...]strous of more holy know­ledge. 435
    • What fearefull effects ignorance hath. 436
    • Benefits of knowledge within & without us. 439
    • Motives to get heavenly knowledge. 44 [...]
    • How unseemly ignorance is. 444
    • Knowledge delightfull to mans understanding 446
    • Excellent properties of Gods way. 448
    • Reproofe of them that desire not know­ledge. [Page] 451
    • Excuses refuted. 455
    • Hinderances of saving knowledge. 461
    • Disposition to it, wherein it stands. 464. meanes. 467
    • Of vowes, what are lawfull. 469
    • L [...]d of sound knowledge is obedience. reas. 477
    • Notes of one carefull to keepe his way. 484
  • 10. Epicurisme discribed and disgraced. Exod. 32. 6. The people sate downe to eate, &c.
    • Wherein is shewed, that Idolatrie is ever attended with sloth and luxurie. 489
    • People secure in sin, are nearest to mischiefe. 496
    • Rules for eating and drinking. 500
    • Meditations in eating and drinking. 504
    • Sports and recreations are lawfull, and how. 507
    • In sports is much sin. 509
    • C [...]oyee to be made of sports, 510 use limited 512
    • Our selves how to be ordered in them. 513
    • What may not be lost in play. 517
  • 11. Abuse of the creatures unlawfull. An Ap­pendix to the former. 1 Cor. 15. 32. Let us eate and drinke, &c.
    • Wherein is taxed, the abuse of the creatures. 522
    • Heathens and Epicures abuse them 4 waies. 525
    • Rules of right using naturall comforts. 529
    • Times seasonable for sports. 533
    • Right ends of our liberties. 537
  • 12. The Physitian of soules. Luke 5. 31. The whole need not the Physiti­an, &c.
    • Wherein are sundry generall notes. 541
    • Christ takes our causes on himselfe. 543. and 544
    • [Page] None is whole, unlesse in conceit: and how [...] ariseth. 545, 546, 547
    • The miserie of them that are conceitedly whole 548
    • Discoverie of diseases in the soule: foure signe [...] 549, 550, 551
    • Sin is a most dangerous sicknesse: five resem­blances. 552, 553, 554
    • Christ is a most excellent Physitian: in five re­spects. 561, 562, 563
    • Come to him for cure: and how this may be. 565
    • Great comfort to afflicted soules. 571. to 576
    • The author, matter, and vertue of this heavenly Confection. 577. to 579
    • The Physick precious and powerfull: in five re­spects. 580, 581
    • See our owne misery, and admire Christs cure: five particulars. 582. to 588
    • Love we our Physitian: and [...]ow. 589, 590. 591
    • How the physick is applied: to whom: and when 592. to 600
    • Notes to know we are cured: foure. 600. to 606
    • And foure means to preserve health in the soule. 606. to ult.


MATTH. 16. 24.

Then said Jesus unto his Disci­ples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himselfe, and take up his crosse and follow me,

25. For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake, shall finde it.

26. For what is a man profited, if hee shall gaine the whole world, and lose his owne soule? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soule?

[Page 2] 27. For the Sonne of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his Angels, and then hee shall reward every man according to his workes.

28. Verily I say unto you, There be some standing here, which shall not taste of death, till they see the Son of man comming in his King­dome.

THe occasion of these Occasion of the words. words was the of­fence that the Apostle Peter took, when our Lord Jesus Christ had preached the doctrine of the Crosse, & had fore-told his own passion and suffering shortly at Jerusalem. Hereupon Peter (as a Politician, turning himselfe to carnall counsels) draweth his Ma­ster aside, and wisheth him to look better to himselfe, and wise­ly to prevent these troubles, Ver. 22. Our Saviour now per­ceiving [Page 3] that hee went about to disswade him from that great worke, for which hee came into the world, & on which the salva­tion of the whole world depen­ded, most sharply reproves him, as a most speciall agent of Sathan, though hee were his Disciple a thousand times, Ver. 23. And yet, not forgetting his wonted com­passion, taketh occasion thence to instruct him, and all the rest of the Disciples; yea, and with them all Beleevers, that they also after his example must bee in a readi­nesse to deny themselves, and take up his crosse and follow him.

The words containe in them Summe of them, the institution of a Christian man, or of a Disciple of Christ; who is here, 1. Informed: 2. Confirmed in the first Principles of his holy profession.

The Information is in Ver. 24. Parts.

The Confirmation in all the rest to the end.

[Page 4] The former is an universall Ca­non for all that meane to give their names to the profession of Jesus Christ, consisting of three branches, wherein they must bee soundly initiated:

  • 1. Selfe-deniall.
    Three du­ties.
  • 2. Taking up the Crosse.
  • 3. Imitation of Christ.

If any man will bee my Disci­ple, or, will follow mee.] Which words concerne us all, not excep­ting or exempting any that inten­deth soundnesse in Christianity: and no calling, no sexe, no age, nor condition of life can free any Christian from the rules follow­ing.

Object. Christ spake them only to his Disciples, as the words be­fore. These be­long to all.

Answ. 1. Saint Mark saith (cha. 8. 34.) Christ called the people 1. or multitude, and said. Hee spake it to all, as concerning all. 2. By a 2. Disciple or Follower of Christ [Page 5] in our Text, is not meant onely those twelve Apostles, who are [...]. so called in a peculiar manner, be­cause they were chosen to bee trained up & instructed in Christs own family in the future service of the Church: Nor onely those faithfull men and women, whom Christ honoured to follow his owne person in the daies of his flesh; but all faithfull ones that shall learne, beleeve, and practise holy doctrine, and follow his holy life to the end of the world: for these himselfe hath honoured with this name, Luke 14. 26. If Nimirùm in libertate nostra nobis relinquens, utrùm am­plecti malue­rimus. Jan­sen. in loc. The Text makes not for free-will. 1 any man come to me, and hate not all for me, hee cannot be my Disci­ple. Act. 11. 26. the Christians and Disciples were all one.

If any will follow mee.] The Papists gather, that it is in our free-will to follow, or not. But

1. Christs scope is not here to shew how we come to him, but [Page 6] who they be that come; and not from the cause of their com­ming, but from the effects.

2. If wee will learne from 2. Christ the cause of our comming to him, he will not have us find it in our selves, but without us. Joh. 6. 44. None comes to me, unlesse the Father draw him: his free-will drawes him not, Nature drawes him not, but the grace of the Fa­ther: And Ver. 45. Hee that hath heard and learned of the Father, comes unto me: Where this com­ming is not ascribed to the will or study of him that is taught, but to the excellency of the Tea­cher.

But a more pertinent question is, how wee may know that wee Notes of a Disciple of Christ. are Disciples and Followers of Christ. And beside the signes in the Text, wee shall discerne it by sundry markes: as

1. The Disciples were called by Christs owne voice, and de­pended 1. [Page 7] on the mouth of Christ. Respect to the word, and de­pendance on it. By the word of Christ must thou also bee made a Disciple; thou must be called by his voice in the Ministery. Doest thou then cleave to the means of growth in grace, & listen attentively to the word of Christ? so did the Disciples, and so wilt thou. But if thou carest not for the preaching of the word, if thou desirest not to grow in knowledge, but conten­test thy selfe in thy ignorance, or with some confused knowledge: If the word bee neere thee, thou runnest from it; if it bee absent, thou runnest not after it: thou hereby shewest thy selfe to be no Disciple.

2. The Disciples being called, 2. Mat. 4. 22. & 23. 8. Joh. 6 68. Respect to Christ, & depen­dance on him alone. left all for Christ, and acknow­ledged no Master but him, be­cause he had the words of eternall life. If thou also bee a Disciple, thou renouncest all other Ma­sters, and all employments that [Page 8] will not stand with Christianity. If thou be a Disciple, thou know­est the truth, and the truth hath set thee free, Joh. 8. 31. Of a ser­vant of sin, thou art a freeman in grace. The Disciples walked in a course of mortification; they sought not the world nor them­selves: they were no swearers, gamesters, deceivers, usurers, ha­ters of grace, lyers, or slanderers; and if thou be so, thou art no Di­sciple.

3. The Disciples were called to be neere Attendants of Christ, 3. Atten­dance and obedience to him. to abide and continue with him, and performe all his commande­ments. John 8. 31. If yee abide in my word, yee are verily my Disci­ples: that is, if yee continue both in the faith and obedience of my word. Art thou a neere friend un­to Christ? so were they. Yee are Joh. 15. 14. my friends (saith Christ) if yee doe whatsoever I command you. The best triall of thy friendship to [Page 9] Christ is in difficult, costly, and dangerous commandements: So Melius est habere pau­cos discipu­los, quàm mulios au­ditores. Thriv. a­poph. 105. Luk. 6. 46. the Lord tried Abrahams friend­ship. Otherwise, Why callest thou him Lord, as if thou wert a Disci­ple, and doest not the things hee commands thee?

4. The Disciples were glad of Christs presence; and when hee 4. Mat. 9. 15. John 16. 6. Joy in him, or mourne after him. was absent, their hearts were full of sorrow. If thou likewise be a Disciple, thy soule rejoyceth in the presence of Christ, in his or­dinances, in the directions and consolations of his Spirit: thou art alive when his sweet word drops upon thy soule, and thou droupest when Christ hath with­drawne Cant. 5. 6. Inaudita est dilectio quae amicum di­ligit. & pr [...]sentiam ejus non a­mat. Cassiod. in Psal. 18. himselfe from thee in any of these meanes of his presence. But canst thou be a Disciple (ex­cept a Judas) that findest as much sweetnesse in the word of Christ, as in the white of an egge? that professest thou hast no comfort in the word, but it is a perpetuall [Page 10] dropping and molestation? that risest up against Christ for his word (as Judas) because the word of Christ detecteth thy co­vetousnesse, pride, deceit, treache­ry, other wickednesses?

5. The Disciples had commis­sion and commandement to make 5. Make Di­sciples: winne o­thers. [...]. Mat. 2 [...]. 19 Scimuo quòd viri isti nec sibi vixére, nec sibi sunt mortui, sed ei qui pro ipsis mortuus est, magis autem nobis omnibus propter il­lum. Bern. serm. Petr. & Paul. other Disciples, and so did: They were diligent in their callings, & exercised therin the love of God, and love of men; were sober, godly, humble, walking in the steps of Christ their Lord & Ma­ster, spending themselves in do­ing good to others, departing with dearest things, their names, their liberty, & life for Christ & his Church. So the generall cal­ling of a Christian is, to make Di­sciples, to bring men to Christ, by instruction, admonition, reproofe, comfort; herein expressing love to Christ and his members: And to walke beseeming the Gospel; for the honour of Christ, making [Page 11] him our patterne, and walking as he walked; of which afterward. 1 Joh. 2. 6. In a word, to be all that wee are for Christ, that Christ may bee magnified by us, whether by do­ing Phil. 1. 20. or suffering; whether by life or death.

6. A speciall badge of a Disci­ple 6. Love of the bre­thren, a speciall badge of a true Chri­stian. is charity: John 13. 35. By this shall all men know yee are my Disciples, if yee love one another. Every mans disciples are known by some speciall badge or cogni­sance: Moses disciples by cir­cumcision, feasts, and sacrifices. The Scribes and Pharisees disci­ples by fastings, watchings, phy­lacteries, long praiers, & the like. But a true note, whereby a Disci­ple of Christ may be knowne, is christian love; being an immedi­ate fruit of christian faith: where Gal. 5. 6. that fire is, it will appeare in this heat and light; for faith worketh H [...]b. 2. 4. by love: and hee that walketh by faith, walketh in love; and hee 2 Cor. 5. 7. [Page 12] that is joyned to the Head by faith, is united to the members by Eph. 5. 2. love.

But art thou a Disciple, and li­vest Rejection of them that want it. in uncharitablenesse, envie, malice, slandering, lying, or any the like sin? Know,

1. A Disciple is borne of God, 1. and beares the image of his Fa­ther, who is love, 1 John 4. 8. this then is a birth from hell, and an issue of him, who is a man-slay­er John 8. 44. from the beginning.

2. The Disciples had the pre­sence, 2. leading, and inhabitation of the Spirit of God, and conse­quently, the bond of the Spirit, which is love, the fairest fruit of Eph. 4. 3. Gal. 5. 22. the Spirit, by which Christians are knit together, & made of one spirit. But is the uncharitable wretch led or inhabited by this Spirit, or by the spirit that lusteth Jam 4. 5. after envie? Such may say to Christ, as the Jewes, We are none of thy Disciples, but Moses disci­ples; John 9. 28. [Page 13] or rather, wee are neither thy disciples nor Moses, but of Jannes and Jambres, and Judas, 2 Tim. 3. 8. who resisted both Moses and Christ.

3. A Disciple is a member of 3. the Church, a chiefe subject in the Kingdome of Christ; but a malicious man is none of Christs Kingdome: for when a man is brought into the Kingdome of Christ, the Lion and Lambe feed Isa. 11. 6. 7. 8. together, the childe and cocka­trise: Now he puts off his fierce nature, his lionish, aspish, waspish and poysonfull disposition; he is now of a wolfe and devourer made tame and tractable, as a Lambe of Christs fold, and as a childe of God his Father: inuni­on both with head & members, and acknowledgeth all the tyes and bonds between himselfe and his fellow-members: They are children of one Father and Mo­ther, God and the Church; bre­thren [Page 14] of the same elder brother, Jesus Christ; of one houshold of Gal. 6. 10. faith; sit at the same table, clo­thed with the same suits, heires of the same inheritance; and can John 4. 9. these live as Jewes and Samari­tans?

4. The Disciples respected all Christs commandements; but 4. Niltam commendat Christianam animam, quam mise­ricordia. Ambr. offic. l. 1. cap. 11. Joh. 13. 34. that which above all Christ was so earnest in, they would not for­get, his new commandement of lo­ving one another: Col. 3. 13. and 1 Pet. 4. 8. Above all things put on love. What, above faith, confi­dence, prayer, and the like? No; faith is the parent of love: but above all graces that binde man to man, of which the Apostle there speaketh. It is the sinewes in the body, the cement in the house, without which all were but cobling and confusion. He is no Disciple, no living stone, who is not coupled with this cement, called the bond of perfection. Col. 3. 14.

[Page 15] Well, get those graces in truth, and be not discouraged for their weaknesse. (For how weak were the Disciples while Christ was with them?) Christ will yet acknowledge thee a Disciple, if men doe not, and owne thee when thou darest scarce owne him.

‘[Let him deny himselfe.]’

Here our Saviour propounds The first duty and note of a Disciple. the first note and tryall of a Di­sciple, the renouncing or forsa­king of himselfe: Where

  • 1. What is meant by himselfe.
    Foure things in it.
  • 2. The difficulty of this pre­cept.
  • 3. The necessity of obeying it.
  • 4. The use.

For the first of these. By him­selfe I. What is meant by ones selfe. are meant,

1. Things outward: that is, concerning the outward man, yet so neere him, as they are after 1. Outward things. [Page 16] a sort himselfe: Not onely his ri­ches, which a man is willing to hold as fast as his life; nor onely his friends, which are most dear, as a second selfe: but even his name, his liberty, his life it selfe, all which must be willingly and cheerfully given up to God, and denied rather than Christ and his truth; that a man may say with Peter, Master, wee have left all to follow thee, Mat. 19. 27.

2. Things inward, which can 2. What in­ward things must be denied. hardly bee distinguished from himselfe, and which yet come neerer the quicke; as namely, a mans whole corrupt nature: And here, taking it to peeces,

First, hee must deny all the wisedome of the flesh, which is 1. Rom. 8. 7. enmity to God. And till this be done, there is no savouring of the things of God, no relish in Gods word, wisdome, or waies.

2. Hee must deny his owne 2. corrupt will, which is contrary [Page 17] to Gods will, and onely seeketh how it may please it selfe. And till this bee denied, well thou maist say, Thy will be done, but it shall be by others, not by thy selfe.

3. He must deny all his owne 3. corrupt, carnall, and unmortified passions and affections; as carnall love, feare, hatred, anger, and the like: for even all these branches must bee stocked up with the root.

4. He must deny all his owne 4. Qui dep [...] ­ni [...] v [...]terem hominem cum operi­bus suis, ab­negat s [...]ip­sum, &c. Hieron. in Matth. wicked inclinations, the streames and incessant stirrings of naturall corruption, as apt to bee kindled as any Gunpowder by the least sparke: whether more common to the nature of man, or more proper to a mans owne person, as hastinesse, pronenesse to revenge, to hatred, injustice, or the like.

5. Hee must denyall wicked 5. habits and sins, the acting of lusts and vices; as all intemperance, rotten speech, uncleannesse, cove­tousnesse, [Page 18] wrath, envie, pride, idlenesse, and the like; that a man live not now to himselfe, but Rom. 14. 7. wholly to Christ whom he pro­fesseth to follow.

In a word, all selfe-respects, Non dixit, neget, sed abneget, ut hac adje [...]i­un [...]la plu­rimum ad­dat, &c. Greg. Phil. 3. 7. 8. II. The diffi­culty of this duty. selfe-seeking, selfe-aymes must be renounced, and the Christian wholly vanish into nothing, and all things in the world become drosse and doung in comparison of Christ.

Next, of the difficulty. Who seeth not by this time what a dif­ficult precept our Saviour hath enjoyned every one of his fol­lowers? even the cutting off of hands, and plucking out of eyes, Mar. 9 43. 47. the most necessary and tender parts, and casting them away. To discerne which difficulty a little more distinctly:

1. Consider the neernesse of things to be denied. Were it on­ly Seen in 3. things. 1. in things without us, as to part with friends and riches, this [Page 19] were a difficult commandement to flesh, as appeares in the exam­ples both of him that must first Luk. 9. 59. bury his father, and bid his friends farewell, as also of the young man that left Christ because of his possessions. But when it comes Mat. 19. 22 so close to us, as to lead us out of our owne reason, wisedome and judgement, what an hard province proves it? For, who thinkes not his reason neerer him than his re­ligion? what worldly-wise man can yeeld to that of the Apostle, That he must become a foole to bee 1 Cor. 3. 18. wise? To advise a man to despise lands, liberty, and life for his pro­fession, were to wish a man to hate his owne flesh, which no man in his wits ever did. To per­swade to the keeping under of lusts, and to the forgoing of dear­ling sinnes, is, to cut them short of meat and drinke: these are sweet morsels, which they hide under Job 20. 12. their tongues, & will not let goe.

[Page 20] 2. Naturall pride and selfe­love 2. is such, that it is with us as with Solomon in the dayes of his folly, Eccles. 2. 10. Whatsoever mine eyes desired, I withheld it not. Nay, wee wish so well to our selves, as wee could not offer the least wrong to our least & lowest joynt, nor endure it of others. We are so far from crossing our selves, that wee endure not any other should crosse us, or deny us in our persons or corrupt lusts. Haman is sicke on his bed, be­cause Mordecai denies him obey­sance. If John deny Herod his Herodias, hee shall dye for it. If Jonas lose his gourd, hee will be angry to the death. If a man touch Lamech, hee will revenge seventy times seven times. Such impatiency and impotency is in our nature, if wee bee crossed in our wils.

3. Distrust in God, and trust 3. in the meanes, maketh the pre­cept [Page 21] yet more difficult. We see not easily how wee can do well without friends, wealth, liberty, favour, preferments. Wisedome (wee say) is good with an inheri­tance, Eccles. 7. wee would be on the sunny side, and on the gathe­ring hand; and it is a sore thing to forsake all; which makes the young man goe sad away from Mat. 19. 22 Christ himselfe. God in his crea­tures wee can better content our selves withall, than either in himselfe or in his Son. Our un­beleeving hearts see the gift bet­ter than the giver. Wee cannot live by promises; something we would have in hand, and are loth to let all our hold go.

Ye see the necessity of selfe-de­niall. III. The neces­sity of do­ing it. Our Lord was not igno­rant how this precept is an hard saying, able to discourage any from once thinking to follow him, or become a Disciple: And therefore his great wisedome [Page 22] would not have laid this ground for a foundation, if it had not bin so necessary, as without it the whole frame of profession would prove ruinous: For,

1. The Context affirmeth a In sixe re­spects. twofold necessity of this selfe­deniall; 1. Si peril ho­mo amando se, profectò invenitur negando se. Aug. ser. 77. de diversis. both in the words imme­diately going before (for with­out it a man cannot bee a Disciple of Christ;) and in the words im­mediatly following: for where­as every Christian must bee ac­quainted with the crosse, no man can take up his crosse patiently, who hath not first denied him­selfe; and therfore that is rightly set after this.

2. The corruption of nature is 2. Non potes perfectam possidere li­bertatem, ni­si totaliter abneges te­metispsum. De imitat. Christi, li. 3. cap. 32. such before grace, as that a man in every thing is wholly tainted, and contrary to the image of God. Now all that vicious dis­position must bee renounced, be­fore Gods image can bee renew­ed, even as all old rubbish must be [Page 23] carried away, before a new frame can be reared.

3. All true wisedome is lost by the fall, and an infinite lumpe 3. of folly bound up in the heart of e­very Pro. 22. 15. naturall man. Now though true wisedome be offered againe in the word, yet can it never bee embraced before the other bee displaced, no more than light can be manifest, before darknesse bee chased away.

4. The Gospel offereth Christ 4. Mat. 9. 12. & 10. 6. as a Physitian only to the sicke and diseased, and as a Saviour to the lost sheep of the house of Israel. And therefore necessarily must a man deny all the meanes hee can make or devise to help himselfe, before hee can come to see what need hee hath of Christ. Hee must come first to discerne his mise­rie and lost estate, before hee can beleeve and relye on Christ for salvation.

5. The whole scope of the 5. [Page 24] Word is that golden rule of all the Law and Prophets; namely, to teach us to love God & Christ above all, and our neighbour for Mat. 22. 37. 39. his sake as our selves. And there­fore that corruption of nature, whereby every man loveth him­selfe, and seeketh himselfe & his owne profits, rather than Gods glory and his neighbours good, must bee denied before wee can take out any lesson of the word.

6. No obedience can be accep­tably 6. Vigila super teipsum, ex­cita teip­sum, admone teipsum, & quicquid de aliis sit, non negligas te­ipsum. Tan­tum profici­es, quantum tibi ipsi vim intuleris. De imitat. Chri­sti, l. 1. c. 25. performed to God without selfe-deniall: for many comman­dements are hard and difficult, as that to Abraham of killing his son: many are dangerous that may cost a man his life, as Johns Ministery did: many are costly, and may cost a man his whole e­state. Now never can any of these bee cheerfully and willingly un­dertaken, till these strong holds of flesh in man bee demolished. A man may professe himselfe a [Page 25] servant of Christ: but little is the service he shall do him, till this be done.

As wise master-builders there­fore IV. Use. Exhortati­on to selfe­deniall. are most carefull in laying the lowest and first stone, so must wee begin the building of Chri­stianity where our Lord enjoynes us; namely, in the deniall of our selves. Faile in this foundation, Mischiefes by not be­ginning herein. Fecerunt ci­vitates du­as, amores duo: terre­nam scilicet amorsui, us­que ad con­temptum Dei [...]coelestem verò amor Dei us (que) ad contemptum sui. Aug. de Civ. Dei. l. 14. 2. Eph. 2. 2. and the whole frame of Christi­anity tottereth, and falleth to the ground: For,

1. Can a servant please his Master, or a wife her husband, who denies not her selfe, and sub­jects not her will to his? And canst thou bee wedded to Christ, and not subject thy will to his?

2. Whence doe men follow the course of the world, and will be taught no better? (they must sweare, and lye, and drinke, and raile, and serve the times, and persons, and pleasures:) but be­cause they think it folly and pre­cisenesse [Page 26] to deny themselves or their ordinary liberties to follow Christ: And,

3. Is it from any other cause 3. that men thrust themselves into Gods chaire of estate, to revenge their own wrongs, and challenge, & take challenges into the field, to the perpetrating of horrible murders; or else basely stabbe and wound; but because they thinke it disgrace and cowardise to de­ny a mans selfe, and to put up the least wrongs?

4. Whence is it else, that ma­ny pretend to follow Christ, but 4. upon condition they may not de­ny themselves? for they must be gainers by their religion, which must be another Diana, to bring profit to the Crafts-Masters. Have Act. 19. 24. those learned selfe-deniall, that measure their religion by their gettings, but will be sure to bee no losers by it? like the Swal­lowes, that will take their Sum­mer [Page 27] with us, but not our Win­ter.

5. Whence is it, that some in 5. case of necessity can cast no part of their superfluity into the Treasury, when the widow can cast in all that ever she had? And Ananias & Sapphira that had not denied themselves, could give three parts of their estate away to pious uses; and how farre are most behind them, who professe selfe-deniall? Nay, it is the sin of many great professors, that what need soever Christ in his mem­bers hath, they must remit no­thing of their costly apparrell, full diet, and following of fashi­ons; which shew them lovers of 2 Tim. 3. 4. pleasures more than of God. Crumbes now and then they can part withall, but endure no de­ [...]riment, no abatement. These certainly have not yet denied themselves.

6. Whence is all the deniall 6. [Page 28] of Christ at this day, but for want of selfe-deniall? Why did Peter Qui leviter ac desuncto­riè ad pieta­tis doctri­nam accesse­runt,—exa­ruerunt. Naz. orat. 3. deny his Lord, but because hee could not deny himself? Whence are so many Apostates & Demas­ses in our age, that fall to Popery, to novelties, to false or no wor­ship, but for want of self-deniall? They must please, & rise, & serve the times & themselves, and the appetites of Patrons, and then farewell Christ and his truth.

This was the cause, that many Disciples walked no more with him, John 6. 66. for they could not deny their own wisdome to sub­scribe to his. And many among the Rulers beleeved in him, but durst not confesse him, because they loved the praise of men more than the praise of God, chapt. 12. 42. 43.

Quest. But the duty being so necessary, as without it can be no Christianity; and so difficult, as scarce one of a thousand is wil­ling [Page 29] to undertake it; what are Quo [...]us­quisque haec adimplevit? sed quae pe­nes homines difficilia, pe­nes Deum facilia. Tert. de idol. c. 12. Helpes to further this diffi­cult duty. 1. the helpes and meanes, by which wee may be forwarded herein? for the Lord hath not left us de­stitute of meanes, if wee bee not wanting to our selves.

Answ. True: And therefore,

1. Wee must not conceive it naturall for a man to crosse his corrupt nature; for nature forti­fies it self in all the holds: It must be therefore a superiour fire that must descend to make a man hate himselfe for the love of God & Christ. Regeneration is a worke of the Spirit, and strength to o­vercome our selves is not from our selves. And therefore wee must pray for the truth of this grace of Regeneration; and never bee at rest till wee finde it in our selves in some degree of it, en­couraging our selves in that pro­mise that the Spirit is given to those that aske him, & is powred Luk. 11. 13. Isa. 44. 3. on the thirsty grounds.

[Page 30] 2. Consider what an advantage 2. it will bee to take our selves in hand before our lusts be growne strong in us, and how they are farre more easily denied in the first motion and rising of them, than when they have seated themselves with delight in the affections and members, and are growne from motions to acts, from acts to customes, from cu­stomes to habits, and from habits to another nature, that is, after a sort become the man himselfe, that hee can as soone leave to bee himselfe, as leave these. And therefore wee must subscribe to the wisedome of Jesus Christ, who enjoynes it as the very first worke of Christianity, fit to bee first set upon.

3. As it must be the first, so al­so 3. Self-deni­all the first & continu­ed act of a Christian. the continued act of a Christi­an, to stand in the deniall of him­selfe, seeing the enemy continu­ally useth our owne naturall in­clinations [Page 31] against us to our owne hurt: he plowes with our owne heifers, even those lusts in any kind which he finds not through­ly denied. Wee must therefore instantly watch them, and try them, and finding them corrupt, presently cut them off, and deny them.

And because they are not de­nied, Pensem [...]s quomodo Paulus se abuegave­rat, qui dice­bat, Vivo autem jam non ego. Ex­tinctus quippe sue­rat sevus ille persecu­tor, et vivere coeperat pius praedicator. Greg. in E­vang. hom. 32. till the contrary bee practi­sed, our care must bee that the roome of our hearts bee taken up with good desires and motions, and the lustings of the Spirit, which being contrary, will keep out, and keep under the lusts of the flesh. And indeed this is the strongest deniall of our selves, when we are strongly resolved in our selves, rather to bee sufferers than doers in any wicked motion; and retaine with us a stedfast pur­pose to please God in all things, though it be with the displeasure of our selves, and all the world.

[Page 32] 4. Whereas the high moun­taines of pride resist this selfe-deniall, 4. Preserva­tives a­gainst pride, which hin­ders selfe-deniall. wee must labour for the grace of humility, which onely can bring these mountaines into a plaine. To which end consider thy owne estate,

1. What it is by nature; and that is such, as thou hast no cause 1. to be proud of it: as, what cause hath a condemned rebell to bee proud in going to execution?

2. That it can bee no better by grace, till thou bee humble: 2. God gives grace onely to them; and the raines of grace fall off the mountaines, and water onely the vallies to fruitfulnesse.

3. What it ought to bee by grace. Still humble and lowly. 3. Grace is as the light in the soule, that discovers all our defects and spots, and all the nasty corners in our hearts, to keep us low.

4. What thou art restored to 4. in Christ, both in grace and glo­ry, [Page 33] but all upon condition of self-deniall: for neither Christ nor the Christian have any other way to the crowne, but by the crosse; and no reigning with Christ, but upon condition of suffering with him.

So of the fourth meanes.

5. Whereas distrustfulnesse of heart wedgeth and rivetteth us 5. Also a­gainst di­strustful­nes, which hinders it. into the world, so as a man can­not easily command his heart off the least unlawfull gain of it (and much lesse the whole) for Christ; Labour daily for the strengthe­ning of faith in the providence of God, and bring thy heart to leane upon that, and not upon thy self, or any inferiour meanes. For which purpose,

First, consider what a base fol­ly 1 it is, to seek after vaine and earthly contents, and in the mean time neglect and despise heaven­ly. What other is it, but to catch at shadowes?

[Page 34] Secondly, set the promise e­ver 2. before thee: that to them that seek the Kingdome of God first, every good thing shall bee Mat. 6. 33. ministred in due season. And what an high indignity is it, to trust an honest man on his word, but not God without a pawne?

Thirdly, observe his speciall 3. providences to thy selfe & thine for time past, in all things, and thou shalt not find cause to di­strust him for time to come. So Abraham raised that Proverbe, God will provide in the Mount, Gen. 22. 14 and in the Mount God will bee seen. David can deny himselfe 1 Sam. 17. 37. and his owne strength, leaning on the assured experience of Gods strength in the Lion and Beare.

Quest. But this duty being so difficult, we had need have good encouragements to excite our dulnesse, and provoke our back­wardnesse unto it. What spurres therefore or motives have wee [Page 35] to quicken us thereunto?

Answ. Looke what way wee will, wee want not motives un­to it.

1. Look at Christ; he denied Encou­ragements to this harsh work of selfe-deniall. himselfe for us: hee forsooke all, father and mother, lands and li­berty, and life it selfe, yea hea­ven and happinesse for us. Wee cannot deny so much for him; 1. and all ours is but a thankfull re­turne to him.

2. Looke to the world, which 2. Nil me ju­vabunt fi­nes mundi, nec regna hujus seculi: melius est [...]ihi emori propter Je­sum Chri­stum, quàm imperare fi­nibuster­rae. Ignat. ad Rom. Psal. 120. 5. 6. hath us in such bands, and is so hardly denied: It will leave us, and deny us; the fashion of the world passeth away: it denies us any continuing city here, denies us a resting place, and all that we should deny it. It is as Egypt to the Israel of God, full of burdens and oppressions: as Mesech to David; and it should bee their woe, that they are forced to dwell in Mesech. But this is the folly of men: Every one complaines [Page 36] of the badnesse of it, but none are willing to leave it, neither in af­fection nor action.

3. Looke on the right hand: 3. we want not clouds of examples of the Saints, who have denied themselves for Christ. Moses de­nied Heb. 11. 25. 26. the honours and profits of the Court, desplsed the treasures of Egypt, refused to bee called the son of Pharaohs daughter, and chused to suffer with Gods peo­ple. Abraham denied himselfe in Gen. 22. 16 his owne bowels, in his only son Isaac. Others left all to follow Mat. 19. 27. Christ, as the Disciples. Others have followed him out of Jerusa­lem, Heb. 13. 12. 13. Rev. 12. 11 even to the crosse. Others sold all to buy the pearle. Others loved not their lives unto death, for Ignis, crux,—& diabo­ti tormenta in me veni­ant, tantum­modo ut Je­sum nanci­scar [...]dem ibid. the testimony of Christ. Neither fire, nor sword, nor any torment could hinder the Martyrs from Christ; they would fetch him out of the fire, and exchange all their peace and outward content­ments [Page 37] with most exquisite tor­ments.

4. Look on the left hand: we have hypocrites forsaking much 4. for Gods favour: we have Baals Priests lancing and tormenting themselves, to uphold their Ido­latry: And Micah 6. 6. Where with (say the hypocrites) shall we come before the Lord? they will bring thousands of rams, and ten thou­sand rivers of oyle: they will part with the first-borne of their bo­dies, for the sin of their soules.

Besides these, we have the Pa­pists charging us, that wee will forsake nothing for our professi­on, ‘while they give all to the Church, and betake themselves to voluntary poverty, and beate downe their bodies with fa­stings, whippings, and watch­ings: Wee are enemies to fa­sting, we feed and fat our lusts, and our religion is an enemy to all charity and good workes.’ [Page 38] Wherein although they be lyers and deceivers, as well in that they do themselves, as that they say of us; yet indeed they have too much ground of our reproach, in the filthy, loose, carnall, and cove­tous life of a number of profes­sed Christians. But shall hypo­crites and Idolaters get before us in selfe-deniall? &c.

5. Looke to the end of our 5. Si [...] olerum pl [...]lae tra [...]sponun­tur, ut profi­ciaeu: Unde enin viden­tur [...]ii per­didsse quod cra [...]t, inde incipiunt ap­parere quod non erant. Greg. ubi supr. selfe-deniall: there meetes us Gods promise with a full horne and hand, and will not let us bee losers by the bargaine. All the losse shall be made up with an in­finite returne and advantage. For, Whosoever shall forsake house, bre­thren, sisters, father or mother, wife or children, or lands for my sake and the Gospels, he shall receive an hundred fold for the present, houses, and brethren, and sisters, and mo­thers, and children, and lands with persecution; and in the world to come eternall life: Here is usury [Page 39] enough, above ten in the hun­dred, yea an hundred for ten, yea for one, Mar. 10. 30.

Quest. But what are the signes or markes of selfe-deniall?

Ans. One is in regard of God: Notes of one that denies himselfe. it will cast a man wholly out of himselfe upon God, as David, Psal. 73. 25. Whom have I in hea­ven 1. but thee? and there is none upon earth that I desire besides thee. It will looke directly at God in all things. In doing things it will doe all by Gods rule; it will doe all for his glory: the love of God 2 Cor. 5. 14. constrains it to duty. In duties of piety or charity it seekes not the owne things, not private profit, nor is carried by the aymes that flow from selfe-love; but aymes at the Kingdome it selfe, and the promoting of Gods glory in his owne salvation.

The second is in respect of 2. Christ: for whom hee esteemes all things losse and doung, Phil. 3. 8. [Page 40] These inferiour comforts are but as the star-light in respect of the brightnesse of the Sun, which is in his eye: for Christ he can want as well as abound, bee empty as Phil. 4. 11. 12. well as full, yea be nothing, that Christ may be all in all.

The third is in respect of the word of God; selfe-deniall be­wrayes 3. Foure things that self-deniall doth in re­spect of the Word. Regards whatever God teach­eth. Act. 10. 33. it selfe sundry wayes:

1. It goes with an open heart to heare, learne, and obey whatso­ever God shall please to teach: Hee cannot bee a Disciple, that brings not selfe-deniall. Can he that stickes to his owne reason, and denies not his owne wise­dome, ever beleeve that life must be fetched out of death, that one man can bee healed by another mans stripes and wounds, that heaven must bee fetched out of hell, and a glorious resurrection out of dust and ashes? Hee will never bee a Disciple, that will re­ceive the word no further than [Page 41] he seeth reason to do it. But a true Disciple is described, Isa. 32. 3. The eyes of the seeing shall not bee shut, & the ears of them that heare shall hearken: And David desires but to be taught, and promiseth to obey, Psal. 119. 33.

2. It is willing to be acquain­ted Loves it all, even reproofes. with every part of Gods wil, that he may frame his owne will unto it, as knowing that every truth of God concerneth every one of Gods people, and is profi­table for them to know, 2 Tim. 3. 15. 16. and Rom. 15. 4. And hence selfe-deniall loveth reproofes, and likes that Ministry best, which most searcheth the conscience, and in which is the most power of God, judging and rebuking his owne sinne: there if he be woun­ded, he is sure to be cured. But farre is he from the deniall of his sinne or himselfe, that hates and stormes against him that dislikes and censures his sinne. Ahab had [Page 42] sold himselfe to wickednes: and therefore hates Micaiah, because he never prophecied good unto him.

3. Having heard the word, it Quarrels not, but submits. subscribes to it, and dares not ca­vill or dispute against it, be it ne­ver so contrary to nature, or cross to our desires. Selfe-deniall al­lowes every thought to be brought into the obedience of Christ, 2 Cor. 10. 5. It checks the stubbornnesse of heart, and saith as Rom. 9. 20. O man, who art thou that disputest against God! who art thou that risest against the truth of God? See Job 6. 24.

4. Selfe-deniall in love to the Suffers, ra­ther than the truth should suf­fer. truth of the word resolves to suffer any thing, rather than to re­nounce any part of that it is per­swaded to bee the truth of God: so did the Martyrs. And without this readinesse to suffer disgrace and losse for the truth, if wee be called, we can neither be Martyrs [Page 43] nor Disciples; wee can have no acquaintance with Christ here, nor bee saved hereafter, Luke 14. 26.

So of the third note.

The fourth is in respect of himselfe: Hee that hath denied 4. Resignati­on to God for prospe­rity, himselfe, will desire no way of prosperity but Gods owne, nor relye upon his owne meanes, strength, policy, diligence, nor sacrifice to his owne net in suc­cesses; but ascribe all his prospe­rity unto God: it is he that gives him power to get substance, it is hee that gives the fruit of the Deut. 8. 18. wombe, the dew of heaven, the fat of earth, that spreads his ta­ble, fils his cup, &c. Inadversity Of adver­sity. hee will be willingly what God will have him to bee, sicke or poore, pained or disgraced; hee will not carve for himselfe, but suffer his father to chuse his rod, and not limit him for the manner or measure of correction; and all [Page 44] this without murmuring or im­patience: and dares avoid no e­vill by any evill meanes.

The fift note is in respect of o­thers: 5. He is use­full to o­thers, though enemies. He that hath denied him­selfe, lives not to himselfe, but procures the good of others, and advanceth to his power every mans wealth and good; as being now a publike good, though a private man. He can do good to his enemies, and pray for them that curse him, and wrong him. He lookes not on men, as they are affected to himselfe, but as hee ought to be affected to them. And he that cannot deny and displease himselfe, can never please his neighbour for good and edificati­on; which is the Apostles argu­ment, Rom. 15. 2. Let us not please our selves, but our neighbour for edification: for Christ pleased not himselfe, &c.

The sixt and last note of selfe-deniall 6. is the life of faith, beyond [Page 45] and without all meanes of helpe. Abraham, denying himselfe, di­strusted He can live by faith, what­ever meanes be, or be not. not when meanes failed. Faith leanes not upon meanes, but upon God; and is not tyed to meanes, but to God, and will say, Our God is in heaven, and doth whatsoever hee will, bee there meanes or no, Psal. 115. 3. The Prince could not deny his reason, 2 Kin. 7. 19. If God should make windowes in heaven, could this come to passe? but it cost him his life. And good Zachary could not de­ny himselfe, but doubted of Gods word; and God denied him his speech for forty weekes, Luke 1. 30.

As nothing gives more glory to God than faith, so nothing takes so much from man. No­thing makes him so little in him­selfe as faith, which acknowledg­eth God so great.

By these signes wee may exa­mine what measure of selfe-de­niall [Page 46] we have attained, and there­by know what fitnesse wee have to be Disciples.

‘[Take up his crosse.]’

This is the second branch of the Precept, to take up the crosse, The se­cond duty and note of a Disci­ple. Luk. 9. 23. Three things in it. and as Saint Luke saith, daily. Where, for the meaning, consi­der;

  • 1. What is this crosse.
  • 2. Why it is called the crosse.
  • 3. What to take it up.

For the first of these. By the crosse is not meant any affliction I. What the crosse i [...]. which belongeth to the common calamities of nature, to which all men of all sects and professions are subject; nor any thing suffe­red by evill doers: But properly the crosse of a Christian is that affliction and suffering, which is inflicted upon any for the profes­sion of Christ and his truth, and for well-doing: Called the suffe­ring [Page 47] of a Christian, 1 Pet. 4. 16. and Paul cals it the sufferings of Christ, 2 Cor. 1. 5. and bearing of his reproach, Heb. 13. 13. that is,

  • 1. From him: his fanne, to fift and purge us.
  • 2. For him: endured for his cause and glory.
  • 3. His in his mysticall body, not naturall.
  • 4. Not in respect of merit, but of sympathy.

But why is it called the cross? II. Why it is called the crosse. 1.

1. Because of the union be­tween Christ & the Christian; so it is a part of Christs own cross: for, as all the members suffered with Christ on the crosse, as their head and surety; so hee suffers with them as his members, and after a sort hangs still on their crosse. The head and members of this body are inseparable.

2. That we should never think of the troubles for Christ, but cast our eyes also upon the crosse [Page 48] of Christ, where wee shall see him sanctifying, sweetening, and conquering all our sorrowes, and behold him a companion, part­ner, and yoke-fellow, bearing for us the heavie and ponderous end, and the greatest part off us.

3. That in all our sufferings for Christ wee should support 3. our faith & patience in beholding what was the end of Christs crosse, and so expect the same happy end and issue of our crosses for Christ; that as he passed from the crosse to the Crowne, so will hee in the end admit us into the fellowship of his crowne and glory, whom he hath vouchsafed as Simons and companions in the bearing of his own crosse, which is an unspeakable helpe and sup­port to our perseverance.

Next, what is it to take up the III. crosse?

It is not to devise a voluntary What it is to take it up. affliction for a mans self: as Baals [Page 49] Priests lanced themselves, and Negative­ly. Popish Priests and Proselytes at set times afflict and torture their bodies by whipping cheare, to merit thereby.

Neither is it to run into affli­ction, or pull the crosse upon our shoulders, or thrust our selves in­to danger, no not for Christ, as Peter thrust himselfe into Caia­phas hall.

For first, Christ did not carry his crosse, till it was layd upon Reasons that we may not pull the crosse on our selves. him. Secondly, our rule is, to use all good meanes for the preserva­tion of our bodies, health, wealth, strength, and comfort. Christ himselfe did flye persecu­tion, 1. till the time was come; and 2. commanded his Disciples if they were persecuted in one city, to flye into another. Thirdly, every bearing of affliction must bee an 3. obedience of faith; and therefore must bee grounded upon a com­mandement of God. No souldier [Page 50] must of his owne head raise war against his owne peace, nor set fire upon his owne house; this is not the part of a good souldier, but of a mutinous and seditious fellow: So no souldier of Christ must be superfluous in suffering, but see hee be prest into the bat­tell by the great Generall and Commander. Fourthly, we may 4. not tempt God by running afore him, but follow him going be­fore us. If without sin, and with good conscience wee may escape danger, and do not, we run upon it, and it becomes our own crosse, and not Christs.

It is enough to suffer wrong; wee must not offer wrong to our owne persons. We are not bound to seek the crosse, nor make it, but to beare and take it up: Nor to fill the cup for our selves, but to drinke it when God reacheth it. Our afflictions must not be a cup of our own brewing, or a potion [Page 51] of our owne providing, but the Father must give it us: John 18. 11. Shall not I drinke of the cup, which my Father hath given?

To take up the crosse therefore Affirma­tively. Descripti­on of ta­king up the crosse. Foure mo­tives. is, When a crosse meets us in our way, which wee cannot without sin and breach of conscience escape, wee must now take knowledge of Gods will, Gods hand, Gods time, and Gods voice calling us to suffer: And as Christ, when his crosse was layd upon him, tooke it upon him, and bare it willingly, meek­ly and cheerfully; so must wee by enduring the crosse declare our obedience to God, our love to Jesus Christ, and our zeale to his truth. This is to take up the crosse. Now God laying on the crosse, wee must not pull away the shoulder, nor hide our selves from the crosse under the covert of sinfull shifts, nor avoid it by any unlawfull meanes, but take it up, and buckle to the burden.

[Page 52] And this (saith Luke) must be Why it must be ta­ken up daily. done daily: that is, 1. Every Chri­stian must be in a daily expectation of the crosse: 2. He must not pre­scribe unto God how long or 1. how much to exercise him; no, 2. though it were all the dayes of his life. 3. That wee should re­new our strength daily to the dai­ly 3. conflict; seeing it is the tryall of soundnesse, to abide with Christ Luk. 22. 28. in tentation, and the fruit of it shall be to abide with him in his glory.

Two points may here bee no­ted.

1. No Christian but hath his Doctr. 1. Every Christian hath his crosse. crosse; it being the very badge and marke of a Disciple: and, Christ and his crosse are insepara­ble.

For first, the word is passed, All that will live godly in Jesus Christ, Reason 1. must suffer persecution; and if eve­ry one, none certainly is excep­ted, 2 Tim. 3. 12. Act. 14. 22. Heb. [Page 53] 12. 6. Rev. 3. 19. And, what be­fals the whole, the parts cannot avoid: Isa. 54. 11. he saith of the whole Church, O thou that art tossed with tempests, &c.

Secondly, there must be a con­formity 2. Dei filius sustinuit ig­nominiam crucis: & tu beatos pu­tas, qui soe­licita [...] [...]tius seculi & de­liciis per­ [...]untur? Hieron. between Christ and the Christian, as between the head and the member. But it behoved Christ first to suffer, and then to enter into his glory: and our te­nure is the same, the Disciple is not above his Master; if they call him Beelzebub, what shall wee be called? if they did so to the green tree, they will never spare the dry; if all his innocency and wisedome could not fence him, no more will ours fence us: if they persecuted mee, they will persecute you also.

Thirdly, if wee consider the causes of the crosse, this truth 3. Two cau­ses of the crosse ne­ver wan­ting. will be better cleared. One, the rage of Sathan against Christ and his truth, who incessantly temp­teth, [Page 54] buffetteth, and terrefieth the godly. Whom he cannot hinder of salvation, he will of comfort, so much as he can. If there can be hope, that hee will cease to bee malicious, so may there be of the ceasing of our vexations. The o­ther, the wicked of the world, 2. carried by the spirit that rules in the world, will see the godly shall want no exercise: For no Christian, as a Christian, can please the wicked world. No communion can be expected be­tween light and darknesse: Nay, there cannot but bee separation, fight, and persecution. Ye shall be hated of all men for my Names sake, Mat. 10. 22. And, Prov. 29. 27. The just is an abomination to the wicked. Hence are they pro­claimed enemies, as traitors, he­reticks, and the off-scouring of the world; even as Christ on the crosse was accounted the most [...]lagitious fellon of all other, and [Page 55] farre worse than Barrabas: Yea, he was thought so unmeet to live in Jerusalem, that hee was thought unworthy to dye in Je­rusalem, but must bee carried without the gate. Hence also is all that cart-load of reproaches and invectives, yea bonds and banishment, stripes and con­tempts, fire and sword, and all the most exquisite torments, which rage is witty to devise a­gainst the innocent lambes and sheep of Christ.

Fourthly, the crosse is necessa­ry, both in regard of the godly, 4. and of the wicked.

1. To the godly, afflictions Sicu [...] cibus adhaeret va­st in quo co­quitur, nisi amoveatur, ac perditsa­porem debi­tum, debi­tum (que) colo­rem: sic cor hominis ad­haeret isti mundo, nisi amoveatur per tribula­tiones. De contempl. ver. pat. §. 3. are often as necessary as meat and drink. For prosperity is as a dead sea, and ease slayeth the foolish, Pro. 1. 32. Standing waters contract mud, and breed vermine. A still body fils with bad humours. Fal­low and unstirred grounds are fruitfull in weeds. And therefore [Page 56] God in great wisdome by tryals shakes them out of security, and makes them more watchfull of themselves, more fit to do good and to comfort others. Scowring makes metals brighter, and more usefull.

2. In regard of the wicked the crosse is necessary, that it may be as a fanne and plain distinction Mat. 3. 12. Triticum percussum de palia sua exi [...]it [...]oras, &c. Chrys. ibid. between the godly & them. The working Oxe is continually bound; but those that are reser­ved for the slaughter have scope in fat pastures: So this difference the Lord appointed, when hee made the way narrow, and the gate strait that leads to life, and few to find it.

Another reason why the Lord hath yoked the Christian to the 5. crosse, is, because he will thence fetch a strong argument to con­found Sathan, who will be ready to alledge against the Christian as against Job, that he serveth not Job. 1. 9. [Page 57] God for nought. But he will have it appeare, that his servants love Christ and Religion for it selfe, not for ease, wealth, or any out­ward respect. And, greater or more sincere love cannot be testi­fied, than by suffering for him.

Of all this it followes, that the Use 1. The crosse no signe of Gods ha­tred. crosse is no signe God hates a man, but rather is a signe of his love, and a proofe of our legiti­mation: for, if you be without cor­rection, whereof all (sonnes) are partakers, yee are bastards, and not sonnes, Hebr. 12. 8. Neither our selves nor others may give false witnesse of us for our sufferings: but still say as Job in the midst of his abasement, God forbid that e­ver I should take away mine inno­cency from my selfe: untill I dye, I will keep my righteousnesse, Job 27. 5. And when, we have Satan assailing us, and his instruments aggravating Gods hand against us, our owne hand had not need [Page 58] be on our selves too: but now we must stand to our selves, and gather conclusions for our selves; and see love in stripes, and a fa­therly affection lurking even in sharpe correction.

Againe, let no man thinke hee Use 2. Think not to get into heaven without crosses. can get to heaven so easily, but hee shall well know how hee comes there. All the way is thick strawed with crosses, and there is no shunning of them. For, seeke to shift them by evill meanes, or laying downe duty, thou hast slipped out of the way to hea­ven, and Christ is not before thee, who himself got not the crown, but by the crosse. How vaine is it then to expect a paradise of de­light, in the time of our prison or pilgrimage? &c.

3. If the crosse bee the badge Use 3. Still ex­pect the crosse, when it will come. of every Disciple, let us bee wise to expect the crosse aforehand. The Church is compared to a campe: look not to be in a campe [Page 59] without warre and blowes, and the ordinary hazzards of it. To a ship, and Noahs Arke: thou canst not be in a ship, nor in the Arke without a world of waters, waves, windes, and dangers. To the Lords corne standing in the field: think not then to escape the sickle, floore, flaile, milstone, o­ven, and such like. To the Lords Vineyard: let never a cluster look to escape the presse. To Christs fold: and not one of the flocke but must looke for shearing and shambles. To the Lords building: and every living stone laid in this house must bee hewen and squa­red; the axe or hammer must fit them. Never is the Paschall Lambe eaten, but with [...]owre herbes; and, Christ and his crosse are never separated.

4. Is our suffering a part of Use 4. Comfort under the crosse, threefold. Christs crosse? here then is ex­ceeding comfort to the Saints in their suffering: three waies,

[Page 60] 1. In that we have such a part­ner, 1. Heb. 12. 2. Rev. 1. 9. It will bee a singular encouragement, when we conceive our selves but as Simons, helping Christ to beare his crosse. If Christ were on earth, and wee saw him fain­ting under a burden, hee would think himselfe happy that might lend him an hand to ease him. We are indeed like Simon, who willingly beare not, but must bee compelled to beare his crosse: For Mat. 27. 32 violence must bee offered to na­ture, and the flesh will bee resi­sting the spirit. Peter, when hee was an old Disciple, must bee gir­ded and led whither he would not, John 21. 18.

2. In that wee have Christ 2. himselfe at the other end of the crosse, helping and supporting us. He is of power to carry the hea­vie end, and beare off the weight from us. Hee hath promised his presence, and cannot be absent; but [Page 61] as our Head, condoleth and com­passionateth our griefe.

3. In that wee have all the Saints our companions, even the 3. whole Church, either going be­fore us, or with us, or comming after us in this way. How can we sinke, having so many shoulders under our burden? or how can we miscarry in a way beaten by the feet of all the Prophets, Apo­stles, and faithfull Pastors and Be­leevers in the world? Discou­rage not thy selfe: say not, never any suffered such hard things as I doe; thy sufferings are no other, than such as befall the rest of the 1 Pet. 5. 9. brethren. So of the former point.

2. Christians must not onely Doctr. 2. Every Christian must take up his crosse. beare the crosse, but take up the crosse: For it is not the taking, or bearing, but the taking up of the crosse that is here a note of a Disciple. The worst and wic­kedest have often as many mise­ries [Page 62] as others, but cannot take them up, and christianly carry them. And indeed the nature of man is unwilling, and prone to impatience, grudging, and com­plaints of suffering the least trouble, and cannot easily take up any: And in taking up a crosse is more difficulty, than all the strength that is in nature can con­quer.

Quest. Why? what is requi­red in taking up the crosse?

Answ. Five things.

1. A continuall expectation Five things re­quired thereunto. 1. and a standing unfearfully in the station wherein God hath set us, with a strong resolution not to be discouraged therefore, though crosses come never so thicke. Ex­pected evils smart lesse. Job wai­ted for changes, and evils expe­cted Job 14. 14. & 3. 25. came upon him; and how stoutly were they borne?

2. A contentednesse to abide under a great burden, which is 2. [Page 63] [...], the word for patience: as a man stands under the burden he hath taken up. Hereto unmor­tified flesh is very impatient; but where faith is, there is not haste-making, Isa. 28. 16.

3. Love of GOD still, not­withstanding 3. the crosse: as an in­genuous childe loves his father, even when hee correcteth him; and this keeps him from murmu­ring and discontent, and frames him to stoupe under his fathers smiting hand contentedly. That is true love, which I shew to him that deales hardly with me.

4. Humility and silence; not 4. disputing the matter with God, much lesse charging him foolishly; Job 1. 22. but as David, Psal. 39. 9. I held my tongue, and said nothing because thou, O Lord, diddest it.

5. Joy and rejoycing, not in 5. the smart of the crosse, but in waiting the sweet fruit of it: Act [...] 5. 41. the Disciples rejoyced, [Page 64] that they were counted worthy to suffer [...]or the Name of Christ. So in Luke 6. 23. and Jam. 1. 2.

A difficult thing to corrupt na­ture: Yet the Scripture presseth it upon us with strong reasons: as,

1. No crosse is laid upon us, Reason 1. but by the will and appointment of God: nothing fals out, but by his speciall providence; not a Mat. 10. 29. 30. Sparrow can fall to the ground, not an haire of the head, and much lesse the head it selfe.

As our Lord Christ himselfe had not the crosse laid on him, but by the determinate counsell of God, Act. 2. 23. Herod, Pilate, the Gentiles, and the people of Israel did nothing against him, but what the hand of God and his determinate counsell appointed to Act. 4. 27. be done: So is it in the members, no crosse is laid on them but by Gods determination. And as Christ told Pilate, Thou couldest Joh. 19. 11. [Page 65] have no power over me, if it were not given thee of the Father; so may the members say to their persecutors. And therefore those▪ that are to suffer according to the will of God, must submit to his 1 Pet. 4. 19. will, and commit themselves in well-doing to his revealed will: for, shall not both the head and member drinke of the cup which the Father hath given?

2. We must therefore take up 2. the crosse, because this is the time and place of taking it up: John 16. 33. In the world yee shall have tribulation. God hath ordai­ned this world to bee a dripping and watery seed time; and hee must be content to sowe in teares, Psa. 126. 51 that would reape in joy: and God can wipe away no teares hereaf­ter, but such as are shed here. The world to Christians is Gods fur­nace and fining pot, to purifie his gold, whereof hee will frame his golden vessels: and while wee [Page 66] are earthly vessels, hee will by crosses scowre us from the rust and filth of sin, that stickes so fast to our natures.

3. Wee must willingly take 3. This duty makes us conforma­ble to Christ: them up, to shew our selves both conformable to Christ, and ser­viceable.

Christ willingly tooke up his crosse for us, and endured wounds, scarres and markes in his body Heb. 12. 2. for us: And so wee must for him willingly beare his markes and scarres in our body, and fulfill the rest of the afflictions of Christ in our flesh, Col. 1. 24. and this made the Apostle rejoyce in his suffe­rings, and glory in his persecution for Christ, Gal. 6. 17. I beare in my body the markes of the Lord Jesus. And indeed it is the glory of a —narrat [...] vulnera miles. Christian souldier to shew the markes and scarres of his forti­tude and valour in a good cause, in his Princes quarrell, and for the honour of his Country. See [Page 67] Luke 24. 26. and 2 Tim. 2. 11.

Againe, to shew our service And ser­viceable. Phil. 2. 7. 8. and love to him. Hee became a servant, and was obedient to the death, and took up his crosse to endure a meritorious suffering, the price of our redemption. We cannot so suffer for him, but must [...]. Ignat. ad Ephes. in way of thankfulnes endure the service of suffering, and not love our lives to the death for him: Acts 20. 24. My life is not deare to me, so that I may fulfill my course with joy. And wherein can a man more clearly expresse himselfe a servant of Christ, than by suffering for righteousnes sake, and by maintaining his Lords honour and just quarrell to the death? 2 Tim. 2. 3. Suffer affliction as a good souldier of Jesus Christ.

4. We may chearfully take up 4. No fear of being o­verburde­ned by the crosse. the crosse, because wee know it shall not overburden us: for it is Christs crosse, and he puts under his shoulder, and beares the [Page 68] weight-from us, and supplies strength to us, to carry the light end of it: for he did suffer, to suc­cour Heb. 2. 17. 2. them that suffer. Beside, we know that no afflictions can sepa­rate us from the love of God in Christ, Rom. 8. ult. When Christ was on the crosse, our sins separa­ted between God and his sense, and made him cry out, My God, Mat. 27. 46. my God, why hast thou for saken me? But his promise hath tyed his aide and presence to us in sixe troubles, and in seven, in passing through fire and water, &c. A­gaine, 3. wee know the sting is ta­ken out of our crosse, by Christ taking it on him: and therefore we may cheerfully take it up, as Moses tooke the Serpent by the taile, and it was turned into a rod in his hand, and threatens only a loving correction.

5. We must willingly take up the crosse, because of the present 5. blessed use, & future issue of it.

[Page 69] For the present: It is of use for Present use & future is­sue of the cross, good. 1. the tryall of our faith, much more precious than gold: 1 Pet. 1. 7. for the exercise of our patience, Jam. 1. 2. and manifestation of all graces. Perfumes smell sweetest, when beaten in a mortar. Starres shine brightest in the darkest night; so the graces of the Saints disappeare often in the noon-day & sun-shine of prosperity, & are most shining in the darke night of affliction.

For the future issue: These 2. [...]. Ignat. ad Polycar. temporary & short afflictions cause an excellent and eternall weight of glory, 2 Cor. 4. 17. This was Jobs argument, not to refuse the Lords chastening: for, Blessed is the man whom God correcteth, Job 5. 17. This was Moses his argument, to chuse the crosse and afflictions: Heb. 11. 25. for, Hee had respect to the recompence of reward. What if the way be rough & asperous, & as a fowle lane? yet it leads to [Page 70] heaven, and brings into a glorious mansion. Care not then so much Noli auen­dere quâ iturus fis, sed quò ven­turus. Aug. in Psal. 36. what way thou goest, as whither it leads. A fairer way were more pleasant, but perhaps not so safe. Elias is not affraid (nor hurt) to be carried in a fiery chariot to his rest and glory. And glad may we be, if by the doung-gate, or any posterne gate wee may get within the heavenly Jerusalem.

Thus seeing both the necessi­ty, Use. Be ready to take up the crosse daily. difficulty, and utility of this precept of Christ, and seeing it may be and must bee attained of every Disciple, let us frame to the obedience of it, and get neere us such helpes as may hold us in a fitnesse and preparednesse to take up our crosse daily.

Quest. What are they?

Answ 1. Before crosses come, make account of them, and store Meanes 1. thy selfe with patience, even for the sharpest, and for one after an­other, not prescribing the time [Page 71] or measure; but account him a slight servant, that gives up his worke, and makes holy-day at his pleasure. This wisedome we may learne from the wise Pilot, who in a calme looks for a storm; so must wee in our peace for a storm of adversity: And the wise souldier will keep sentinell in time of truce and peace.

2. When they doe come and 2. Animae qui­or esto, & ad majorem sustinentiam accingere.—De imitat. Chr. l. 3. c. 57 smart, wee must not be senslesse of▪ sorrow, nor yet overwhelmed, but labour to overcome the sense of flesh by the power of the spirit: For which end religion looketh not on the crosse, as it is in it own nature, a fruit of sin, or as a scourge in the hand of an offended father; but as it is over-ruled by Gods providence, & altered by Christ. Religion looketh not so much on the crosse, as beyond it, and on the happy fruits and issue of it: As a woman in sorrow of travell gets over it in hope of a birth: Or as a [Page 72] stout souldier, who fixeth his thoughts on the hope of victory and glory; and forgets, and feeles not for the present the griefe of his wounds: so should the Chri­stian souldier.

And indeed, if the husbandman endures so much losse and mise­ry, in hope of an harvest, whereof he may faile by many accidents; with what patience and resoluti­on should wee endure paines and sorrowes, and digest all difficul­ties for Christ and his truth, and for such riches and durable sub­stance, as are not subject to losse or end?

3. Get sound judgement, to e­steem aright of the crosse. Moses 3. therefore chose to suffer with Gods people, because he esteemed Heb. 11. 26 So Ignatius. [...] Epist. ad E­phes. the rebukes of Christ greater ri­ches, than the treasures of Egypt. The Apostles more gloried in chaines for the Gospel, than if they had beene chaines of gold. [Page 73] What an honourable thing to have Christ a companion in our suffering? or that the Lord should honour himselfe by us? that hee should advance his owne wise­dome, power, and goodnes in the constancy of his servants? that hee should spread and seale the truth of the Gospel by their bloud? that their bloud should be the seed and watering of the Church? and that by suffering they should conquer as their Head did, and helpe to batter downe the Kingdome of the Di­vell? Finally, what a comforta­ble thing is it, to beare Christs crosse? the wisedome of God will let us see to what it is that God now calleth; namely, to such sufferings as have hope, pa­tience, and light in them, that we may never suffer those that are hopelesse and desperate.

4. Be much & often in the use 4. of the Word and Prayer.

[Page 74] First, heare & reade the Scrip­tures Word helps us to beare the cross, how. diligently; for whatsoever is there written, is, that wee may have patience and hope, Rom. 15. 4. These are the Wels of consolation, that informe of all things, the au­thour, Isa. 12. 3. matter, end, and use of the crosse, and of the comfortable manner of bearing it. These are as the strong Tower of David, & minister much strength and revi­ving to the weak & languishing spirit of man: as David confes­seth, Had it not been for thy Word, I had perished in my trouble. Psa. 119. 92

Secondly, be frequent in Pray­er, both before the crosse and un­der And pray­er. it: for it is a gift of God, that we are able to suffer as well as beleeve, Phil. 1. 29. and chap. 4. 13. I can doe all things through Christ that strengthens mee: And the way to get this strength from Christ is fervent prayer: Coloss. 1. 11. the Apostle prayes, that they might be strengthened with [Page 75] all might according to his glorious power, unto all patience and long­suffering with joyfulnesse.

‘[And follow me.]’

This is the third duty of every one that meanes to bee Christs The third duty and note of a disciple. Disciple; namely, the holy imita­tion of Christ: where are to bee considered,

  • 1. The matter wherein wee must follow him.
    Three things in it.
  • 2. The manner of following him.
  • 3. The reasons why.

In two things we must follow

  • His holy doctrine.
  • His holy example.

1. His doctrine was as the I. Follow Christ in his holy doctrine: sun-shining from heaven, by di­rection where of hee leades us in pathes of righteousnes. It is the Starre that leads wise men after Christ. It is the pillar of the cloud and fire, to guide the Israel [Page 76] of God by day and night in all their journies. If this pillar move not, wee must not move. Christ must be before us in every thing; in necessary things by precept, in indifferent by rule, speciall or ge­nerall.

2. Follow him in his holy life: And life. 1 Joh. 2. 6. walking as he walked, and making his life an example and copy to imitate, so far as hee propounded himselfe a rule of imitation: be­cause some kindes of actions of Christ were not imitable; as,

First, those that he did as God; namely, his miraculous workes; In what we may not, or cannot fol­low him. these are not exemplary: for, 1. they are impossible to any crea­ture, but God alone: 2. by these he was separated as the Sonne of 1. God from all the sonnes of men; for hee effected them all by his owne power, as no Saints did: 3. we have no commandement to follow him in these.

Secondly, some workes he did 2. [Page 77] as Mediatour between God and us: as suffering for the sinnes of the Elect, satisfying Gods ju­stice, justifying the sinner in the sight of God. And these are too high workes for men or Angels. And if Papists will needes merit salvation, or satisfie Gods justice, they must needs be Mediatours, meriting persons, even gods as well as men.

But the things wherein wee must follow Christ, are such as whereof himselfe said, I have gi­ven Joh. 13. 15. you example, that as I have done, ye may do also: as,

  • 1. In expression of his piety to God.
  • 2. Of his charity to men.

His piety shined forth as the Five ex­pressions of his piety to be fol­lowed. brightnesse of the Sunne many wayes; we will instance in five.

1. In that he never sought his owne praise and glory, but the 1. glory and praise of God that sent him, John 7. 18. and 17. 4. Fa­ther, [Page 78] I have glorified thee in earth. So every Christian must doe all things, even the least, for the glo­ry of God, 1 Cor. 16. 31. not hun­ting after praise of men, nor en­during that the glory of GOD should bee turned into shame by sinfull men.

2. In that hee contemned his 2. owne will for his Fathers, to drinke even the dregges of the bitter cup of death: Not my will, but thy will bee done, Mat. 26. 39. He would lose his life, before he would lose his obedience. In no temptation would hee start aside frō his Fathers wil. Oh how hap­pily might we passe our dayes, if wee would give up our wils to Gods, according to our daily prayer, that there might bee but one will between God and us, Thy will be done!

3. In daily and frequent pray­er to his Father: early in the 3. morning, late at night, long time [Page 79] together, sometime whole nights, Marke 1. 35. and Luke 5. 16. Hee kept himselfe apart in the wilder­nesse, and prayed. Nothing he un­dertook without prayer: at the calling of his Disciples, at the entrance into his passion, and upon the crosse, Father, into thy hands I commend my spirit, &c. Here should every Christian tread in Moses ad bella non vadit, sed orat, et tum vincit Isra­el, &c. Hier. in Levit. 1 Tim. 4. 4. 5. his steps, upon every occasion sending up prayers, before any businesse of the calling, generall or speciall, and sanctifying every thing by the Word and Prayer. Christ could not pollute any thing, and yet did thus: A good motive to thee for performing this duty.

4. In fervent zeale to his Fa­thers house, which even consu­med 4. John 2. 17. him. Hee was daily in the Temple, reading, praying, preach­ing, conferring▪ confirming, re­forming. If hee withdrew from his Parents who had lost him, [Page 80] there you might finde him. Herein should Christians imitate his piety, in a burning zeale to Gods glory. How zealous was Phinehas for God! How was Pauls spirit troubled within him! Acts 17. 16. [...], the word signifies he was almost besides himselfe, to see the Idolatry of the Atheni­ans.

Alas, where is our zeale? wee are generally key-cold, as Gallio Act. 18. 14. 15. Unum­quemque Christianum zelus dom us Dei come. dat, v. c. vi­des fratrem cunere ad theatrum: prohibe, mo­ne, contrista­re, si zelus domus Dei comeditte▪ &c. Aug in Joh. trac. 10 was, in Gods causes. Christ his zeale was inflamed for the refor­mation of his Fathers house; but much of our zeale is against zeale and reformation. And such was his zeale, that whatsoever hee saw, it affected him deeply, ei­ther with griefe, if evill; or joy, if well done; or pity and com­passion in the misery of others. Wherever hee was, he was well­doing: in the City and publike places hee was teaching and in­structing; [Page 81] in solitary & desolate places hee was praying, medita­ting, preparing himselfe, or endu­ring temptation: in porches and high-wayes he was curing, hea­ling, helping: He went about doing good, Acts 10. 38. Our zeale also to Gods glory should move us to watch, and take all occasions of doing good, of promoting Gods glory, furthering mans good, and fitting our owne reckoning.

5. In his faith and confidence: His whole life was an obedience 5. of faith; his death likewise an o­bedience of faith. In that dread­full desertion of his Father, that we had deserved, he cryed, My God, my God: hee could trust in his Father, killing him. Herein a rare patterne of imitation, in all deeps by faith to give the Lord the honour of salvation, and leane upon his love and promise. Thus of the piety of our Lord.

His charity and love of man [Page 82] shined likewise many wayes. Foure ex­pressions of his cha­tity.

1. In his humility, meeknesse, patience, and gentlenesse beyond all example. For first, being in the forme of God, and equall to his 1. Father, yet he came to serve, and not to be served. So lowly, that he disdained not to wash his Di­sciples feet, even Judasses, John 13. and hee will have every one look on this glasse: If I have wa­shed your feet, you must wash one anothers feet, that is, stoup to the lowest services one of another: and, Learne of me: for I am lowly and meeke, Mat. 11. 29. and Phil. 2. 5. Let the same minde be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus. But alas! we strive to go one be­fore another in pride, and taking honour, because the minde of Christ is not in us. Secondly, so patient was hee, that when hee could have revenged his ene­mies, who came to apprehend him, hee strucke them all to the John 18. 6. [Page 83] ground with a word, but let them rise againe. Hee hurt none of them, but cured Malchus his eare whom Peter had hurt. Hee deli­vered himselfe into their hands. He blessed them that cursed him, and prayed on the crosse for his tormentors. All to teach Christi­ans, to moderate their anger, to suffer wrong, to offer none, to re­turn good for evill, blessing for cur­sing, as being heires of blessing, 1 Pet. 3. 18.

2. In his beneficence & good­nes 2. to every one: Hee healed all diseases, dispossessed Divels, rai­sed the dead, gave to his enemies food to eate, health to their bo­dies, salvation to their soules. So must every Christian do good to all, especially to the houshold of faith, Gal. 6. 10. yea, doe good to enemies and ill deserving, thus either winning them, or heaping coales on their heads.

3. In that hee was an admira­ble 3. [Page 84] patterne of civill righteous­nes, in word and deed. Never was guile found in his lips or hands; no nor ever in the thoughts or desires of his heart did hee detaine any mans right, but gave every man his due, and taught others so to do: To his Pa­rents obedience: to the Magi­strate subjection: to Caesar hee payd tribute for himselfe and his. Hee never impaired the estate or good name of any man. Thus must Christians give to every one Rom. 13. 7. his owne, in word and deed, ho­nour to whom honour, tribute to whom tribute pertaineth; and dispensing to every one all offices of justice and love: Labouring to live, though not without sin, yet without just blame; out of the testimony of a good conscience able to challenge the Adversary, which of you can accuse mee, though I can easily accuse my selfe? but whose Oxe or Asse have 1 Sam. 12. 3 [Page 85] I taken, that I may recompence him?

4. In that hee never transgres­sed 4. the rule of love, but left a transcendent patterne of it, in lay­ing down his life for his enemies. Never was there such a copy. And this for our imitation, who must walke in love as hee loved us, Ephes. 5. 2. and 1 John 3. 16. If he layd downe his life for us, we ought also one for another.

Quest. Doth Christs example bind us to dye for our brethren?

Answ. Yes: not onely that Scripture proveth it, but the ex­ample Paulus pro­charitate Christi no­l [...]it habere Cl [...]istum. Hieron. of Moses, Exod. 32. 32. and Paul, Rom. 9. 3. and chapt. 16. 4. Priscilla and Aquila laid downe their neckes for Pauls life.

The reason is this: The mem­ber of the naturall body will save a fellow-member with the losse of it selfe; as the hand will save the head, though it bee stricken off for it. So in the mysticall [Page 86] body, the Church.

The rules these: 1. Christians must ayme at such sincerity in love, as to bee willing to give their lives, 1. for God, 2. for his image, and stand in a readinesse to undergoe any danger for GOD and his image sake: for, love seekes not her owne. 2. Wee must intend the salvation of our bre­thren 1 Cor. 13. 5 before our owne lives; for their soules are better than our lives: so did Christ, and so did the Apostle Paul, 2 Cor. 12. 15. I would most gladly bee bestowed for your soules. 3. Not rashly, and [...]. without calling; for, Christ died not for us, till he was called to it. Which when we have, we must part with our lives, even for their bodies, much more for their soules.

Thus of the matter, wherein we must follow Christ.

Next of the manner of follow­ing II. him.

[Page 87] Object. How can wee follow Christ, seeing he is in heaven, and we on earth?

Answ. Not having his bodily How Christ can & must be followed. presence on earth, wee cannot make any pilgrimage to follow him with the feet of our body: but,

1. Wee must follow him in 1. By faith, a threefold act of it. faith; move after him with the feet of faith: which to do, know that faith hath a threefold worke in this businesse.

First, it causeth us to know & acknowledge our Captaine, and 1. the way wherein hee is gone be­fore us: for it tels the Christian, that he being now set into Christ, and become a member of him; If hee now live, hee must live unto him: If he dye, he must dye unto him; he is not his owne, but at his Lords command wholly, and must follow him close in the meanes of his presence, especially in searching the Scriptures, which [Page 88] testifie of him, John 5. 39. as also in listening to the inward teach­ing and guidance of the Spirit; & taking the benefit of his own ex­perience by the change and fiuits in himselfe, since hee had Christ afore him.

Secondly, faith will hold us in our way, and keep our leader in 2. sight. It will not bee led by the opinions of men, or customes of the world, but by the comman­dement and will of the Captain. It will not looke a squint to ap­prove it selfe to Christ and the world too; but it knits the heart undivided to Christ alone, as an only perfect Saviour and Pattern. Yea, because he now liveth, and moveth, & hath beeing in Christ, he can no more be without him, than a member without the head, and, as a member followes him through fire and water, perils and torments, most earnestly and cheerfully.

[Page 89] Thirdly, faith causeth a man, 3. whensoever he is slipt out of his way, to return back by a new act of repentance: as when Christ looked backe upon Peter, & exci­ted his faith, he wept bitterly: &, saith the Church, Cant. 3. 3. Saw ye not him whom my soule loveth? And thus faith is crowned with perseverance. This of the first way to follow Christ.

2. We must follow him in love 2. By love. 2 Cor. 5. 14. Gal. 5. 6. & ardent affection, by which faith alwaies worketh. No other thing must constraine us, but love: as a wife out of love follows her dear husband. And this wil be stronger than death: nothing can separate us, neither height, nor depth, nor sword, nor death, nor a sea of the waters of affliction can drown it. Yea, zeale & fervency of spirit is required to exclude hypocrisie & lukewarmnes: for dissemblers and halters can never follow Christ in the rugged waies wherin he go­eth before us.

[Page 90] 3. Wee must follow him sin­cerely; 3. In since­rity. What it doth in this thing. for love of himselfe, not for selfe-love: for selfe-deniall must goe before the imitation of Christ. This will make us follow him into Jerusalem, and out of 1. Jerusalem, unto the Consistory, unto the Crosse; as well when they cry, Crucifie him, as when they cry, Hosanna. And not as many, who follow the times, and not Christ.

It will make us follow him for right ends: not for loaves or 2. perishing bread, as the Jewes: not for curiosity, as Herod, to see a miracle: nor as Peter, to gaze and get newes in the high Priests hall; but as the Disciples, John 6. 68. Master, thou hast the words of eternall life, and whither shall we goe?

It will make us follow him wholly, not lamely, as on one legge, 3. as such who profess his doctrine, but deny his life, live carnally, [Page 91] covetously, uncharitably; all this religion is naught and vaine, and opens the mouth of Adversaries, to say from the loose lives of Pro­fessors, that our religion is an e­nemy to good works.

Where did Christ teach thee, that professest to follow him, to sweare, to lye, to deceive, to profane the Sabbath, to raise slan­der, to revenge, to spend thy time in gaming, idlenesse, or the like? where learnest thou this of Christ?

4. We must follow him con­stantly, 4. With constancy. without wavering or de­sisting, not for a brunt or a start, not as the young man that came hastily, but departed heavily: He loves no lookers back. Know that Christ is best at last: and, though thou mayest bee some­times weary, yet Christ will re­fresh thee, and lead thee to rest.

This is the manner of follow­ing him.

[Page 92] Now let us see the reasons or III. Motives thus to fol­low Christ. motives thereunto.

1. One is the equity of the precept: We are sheep, he is the great Shepheard of the flock, and 1. all the sheep must follow this Shep­heard, John 10. 27. The hundred forty and foure thousand follow the Lambe wheresoever hee go­eth, Rev. 14. 6. that is, the multi­tude of the faithfull follow Christ their Captaine, and obey him in all things. Besides, we are Christiani nomen ille frustra sorti­tur, qui Christum minimè imi­tatur. Quid enim tibi prodest vo­cari quod non es, & nomen usur­pare alie­num? &c. Aug de vita Christiana. Christians, our very name per­swades us how equall it is to fol­low him, else deny our name if we deny this duty. Againe, the equity appeares, because here is nothing required or requested of us, but our Master hath done it before us, and commended it to us by his owne example: Our Joshua saith to us his souldiers, What you see mee doe, that doe you; and shall a common souldi­er recoile or start back from that [Page 93] he seeth his Captaine doe before him? If we see our Generall de­ny himselfe, take up his crosse, o­bey his Father, love his brethren, is it not equall that wee doe the like? shall Christians live like Jewes, Heathens, Worldlings?

2. Great is the danger of not 2. Danger of not fol­lowing Christ as a guide. 1. following Christ our guide:

First, if we look at our selves. Wee would faine be leaders and devisers, which Christ knew wel enough: and, as we easily stray of our selves, so wee are easily mis­led, either by our owne lusts, or by other perillous guides: Some­times one; as the people, who in simplicity followed Absalom, not knowing whereabout hee went, 2 Sam. 1 [...]. 11. thus sometime we follow some wicked counseller, as a drove follow the Butcher in stead of the Shepheard. And sometimes many: how easily fol­low we a multitude unto evill? and therefore have great need of [Page 94] this precept of Christ, both for prevention and direction.

Secondly, if wee looke at the 2. Justice of God a­gainst such. justice of God, who gives over men to follow dangerous guides, when they refuse Christ by his Word and Spirit to lead them: See it in a number of instances.

How many are given up, as the Heathens were, to their own harts lusts, Rom. 1. 26. that it were bet­ter they were given up to the Divell to buffer, or any tyrant to torment, than delivered to fall by their owne hand; and all because they will not have Christ to lead them, nor will follow him! Nay, seeing the Divell ruleth in lusts, to be given up unto lusts, is, to be left into the hands of the Divell, the Prince of the ayre, to bee ru­led at his will: And how just is it, that a sheep that will not fol­low the Shepheard, should fol­low the Butcher?

How many others who will [Page 95] not follow Christ in the Word, are given up to follow the world, and the course of the world? Some follow their covetousnesse, as Jer. 8. 10. every one from the greatest to the least: tormenting themselves and the world in it; give no rest to it or themselves, allow neither GOD nor them­selves any rest on the Sabbath, &c. Others walke after the course of the world, Ephes. 2. 2. and fashion themselves unto it, contrary to Rom. 12. 2. as appeares in many, who have sold themselves over to voluptuousnes, delicacy, pride in apparrel, tiring out all the tires and fashions of all countries. O­thers spend their time in idle­nesse, or gaming, or sports, and other calling have they none. But all the world knowes, Christs life was humble, painfull, sober, heavenly, holy, fruitfull, and cleane contrary to these who re­ceive onely a name of Christ, but [Page 96] follow the world, a sworne ene­my to Christ.

Numbers are given up to fol­low evill company, & evill coun­sell, because they despise Christs counsell. Hee that refuseth the counsell of wisedome, it is just that folly should lead him: See Prov. 1. 30. 31. Some follow idle fellowes (Prov. 12. 11.) because they are destitute of understan­ding. Some, drunken company, to whom the woe is directed, Isa. 5. 11. Some, whorish company, as the Prodigall, who rejecting good counsell, spent himselfe, and came home by weeping-crosse.

Thus dangerously are men gi­ven over to perillous guides, who will not have Christ to guide them. And this is the se­cond motive.

3. Argue from the safety of 3. Great safety in following Christ. 1. following Christ our guide: for,

First, he propounds us no croo­ked patterne nor false rule to fol­low; [Page 97] but himselfe a perfect and expresse idea and patterne of all grace and vertue, and an unfailing patterne, unening, inflexible.

Object. But must wee not imi­tate the Saints?

Answ. Yes, so farre as they follow Christ, 1 Cor. 11. 1. an A­postle himselfe must be followed no further.

Secondly, he leads us not into 2. crooked or by-pathes, but into the pathes of righteousnesse, Psal. 23. 3. pointing us out our way by his holy doctrine, guiding us in it by the example of his holy life, comforting us in our wearinesse, supplying us in this way with bread of life, ope­ning to us in this way the fountain of living waters; revives us with new strength, guides us out of by-paths, and so carries us in the strict, but strait way to the happy end of our journey.

Thirdly, hee leades us not in 3. [Page 98] darke and desolate waies, but himselfe, being the light of the world, (John 12. 35.) while wee follow him, wee cannot walke in darknes, & having light to disco­ver the dangers in the way, wee walk safely. How safe was Israel under the pillar in the wildernes? so safe are we under the conduct of this pillar. How safe were they from enemies under the guidance of Joshua, leading them to Canaan? but a greater than Jo­shua is here: Josh. 1. 5. A man shall not bee able to withstand thee all thy dayes: nor man, nor Divell shal make us fall short of the hea­venly Canaan. Follow Christ, thou followest the Angel, as Lot out of Sodome. Follow this Joshua, and thou followest him to Canaan, to thy country, to bee ever where hee is, who is both the guide and the end of the way.

Lastly, consider, if Christ had 4. [Page 99] only given us a precept, wee were bound to obey; but adding Si praecipi­entem sequi non potes, sequere an­tecedentem. Sublata est hoc modo omnis ex­cusatio, &c. Lact. l. 4. c. 24. his example, we shall be answe­rable for neglect of his holy ex­ample, as for his holy doctrine. We never want good example, in the midst of many bad examples, of Rulers, Preachers, and private men: Christ hath said, Follow mee. And, thou hast not done thy duty, to see him go before thee in holy example, but in following him; nor to admire a good example as many do, but imitate none.

Verse 25. ‘For whosoever will save his life, shall lose it: and whosoever shall lose his life for my sake, shall find it.’

OUr Lord having informed his Confirma­tion of the former do­ctrine by three argu­ments. Disciples in these difficult principles, doth now confirme them, and addeth strong argu­ments to enforce them: three,

The first in the words, drawne 1. from the danger of failing in the [Page 100] duties. The failing in them brings the certaine losse of ones life; which is amplified by the con­trary: But if any will rather lose his life than his obedience, he shall certainly gaine and save it.

The second reason is drawne from the unprofitablenesse of win­ning 2. the world with the losse of the soule, which losse can never be repaired or made up, Ver. 26.

The third is drawn from the consideration of the last judge­ment, 3. in which they shall find the accomplishment of this whole doctrine: for the Son of man shall come in the glory of his Father, &c. Ver. 27.

This first is very forcible and Danger of failing in those du­ties. pressing: for it is a matter of life & death; as Moses to his people, so I propound life and death this day unto you, chuse life, do good, deny your selves, take up your crosse, and follow me.

Whosoever shall save his life] the Expositi­on. [Page 101] word [...] properly signifies the soule, which by a Metonymie is put for the life or the person him­self, because the soule is the cause of life: &, Anima cujus (que) est quis (que) the soul of a man is properly him­self: the saving of the soul is like­wise the saving of ones self; cha­rity to the soule is the chiefest.

To save the life] is taken some­time Save life, in a good sense and bad. in good sense, as to preserve it from famine by food, from sicknes by physick, from danger by flight; as Jacob from Esau, Da­vid from Saul, Christ from the people that would have throwne him down the hill: but this is not here meant. Sometime in the evill sense: that is, to save & preserve the life by evill means; as Saul by sorcery, David by dissembling, Pe­ter by a lye: so is it taken here, He that will save his life, namely, by denying Christ, by renouncing the truth, abjuring the pure reli­gion, or falling to the world, or [Page 102] false worship: For Christ doth not condemne the saving of life, but the manner and unlawfull meanes of it.

He shall lose it.] Atheists would How a life is both lost & saved. find a contradiction in the speech of Christ, that a man at the same time should find & lose the same life; and naturall reason cannot reconcile it. It is a riddle to flesh and bloud, that the same life should bee both saved and lost: For the resolving whereof wee must know,

1. That there is a two-fold tri­bunall, 1. Forum coeli & soli, the court of the world, & the court of heaven: and as he that saves him­self in the common Law, may be cast in the Chancery; so hee that saves himselfe here in the Consi­stories of men, may elsewhere lose himselfe, namely, in the court of heaven.

2. There be two sorts of Judges: 2.

  • 1. Humane and delegate.
  • [Page 103] 2. Divine and supreme.

A man may by indirect meanes save himself from the sentence of the former, but not of the latter. Joab may escape David, but shall not escape Solomon. And, as him who escapeth the sword of Ha­zael (1 Kings 19. 17.) shall Jehu slay; so he that by denying Christ and his truth shall save himselfe from a Beare, shall meet with a Lion, and be devoured.

3. There is a two-fold danger, 3. temporall & eternall. A man by e­vil means may save himself from the former, but by no means from the latter. If the silly fish leap out of the pan, it fals into the burning coales. A man loseth that which above all he would save. And this losse is amplified; 1▪ by the dear­nesse of the thing lost, his most precious soule and life: 2. by the duration, it is lost eternally: 3. by the certainty, the sentence is pas­sed, and cannot be repealed.

[Page 104] Object. Peter saved his life by denying and abjuring his Lord, and yet lost it not.

Answ. All the threats of Scrip­ture must be understood with ex­ception of repentance; as all pro­mises See Cypri­an de lapsis. with exception of the crosse. Peter upon his repentance saved his lost life; & so doubtlesse many in this land were forced under Antichrist to abjure the truth, who as they fell with Peter, did also rise againe with him.

And whosoever shall lose his life for my sake.] Not he that loseth his life as a malefactor; as Saul, Ju­das, others: nor those that for vain-glory, or discontent, or hope of bettering their estate bereave themselves of life: But for my sake, that is, 1. For the profession Who lose their lives for Christs sake. of the Gospel, as did innumera­ble Christians in the Primitive Church, and many in Queen Ma­ries 1. daies, who in love to Christ were prodigall of their lives; if [Page 105] they had had a thousand lives, they should all have gone. 2. For 2. discharge of duty, answerable to that profession; as David, John Baptist, the Prophets, Apostles, Stephen, and others, who suffe­red for righteousnesse sake, Mat. 5. 10.

He shall save it:] that is, he shall have it returned to him wi [...]h ad­vantage; of a miserable and tem­porary life it shall bee changed into an everlasting and blessed life: hee hath suffered with Christ, and hee must reigne with him.

Object. But then martyrdome meriteth eternall life.

Answ. No: for first, the suffe­rings of this life are not worthy Martyr­dome not meritori­ous. the glory that shall bee revealed, Rom. 8. 18. there being no pro­portion betweene the body and 1. soule, betweene life temporall and life eternall. Secondly, the promise is made, not to the suf­fering, [Page 106] but the sufferer, being a member of Christ; and perfor­med, not for any merit (for it is but our duty and a thankfull re­turne of our lives to him, who gave his for us) but for the faith­fulnesse of the promise, appre­hended by the faith of Beleevers.

Object. But shall none save Life saved, though not lost, how. his life, but he that loseth it?

Answ. Yes: many of the Patri­arkes and faithfull in all ages li­ved and died peaceably in a good old age. But two rules must bee resolved upon:

1. If occasion be offered, and God call for the life in the wit­nesse 1. of faith and well-doing, it may not be saved: and now if it be saved, it is lost.

2. If occasion bee not given, yet there must bee an expectati­on, 2. a resolution, a readinesse of minde to it, whensoever it may bee given. For we reade among the Ancient of mentall Martyrs, [Page 107] or votary Martyrs, without fire or bloud, in whom the readi­nesse of minde to lose the life for God and his truth, is accep­ted of GOD as the losing of the life: for, God accepts the will for the deed, and accounts of A­braham as if hee had sacrificed his sonne, and saith of him; hee spared not his sonne, though hee was spared: And of David, that he had built him an house, when hee had it but in his heart to build one: for this built him an house.

Object. But it seemes, if a man to save his life flye in per­secution, hee loseth his life by so saving it.

Answ. Distinguish of persons. Some are bound not to flye, and these by saving their lives doe lose them. Others are free, and Who may not flye in persecuti­on. 1. may safely flye. To say something of each of these.

For the former: 1. Some are [Page 108] bound inwardly, by an inward call and voice of the Spirit; as Paul was bound in spirit to goe up to Jerusalem, even to suffer, Acts 20. 22. and was endued with such a spirit of courage and fortitude, that his life was not deare unto him; but he was ready to endure all extremitie; for Christ. Such a spirit GOD gave to Luther, when hee went to Wormes to dispute, that though hee saw no­thing but death & danger before him, yet so many Divels as there were tiles on the houses could not turne him off. And to many of the Martyrs in Queen Maries daies God gave in silly bodies no­ble and stout spirits, to contemne all threats and torments. These may not flye in persecution.

2. Some are externally bound to stand, by vertue either of the 2. generall calling of a Christian, as when by a mans flight the whole Church and truth is indangered, [Page 109] which must be dearer than a mans life: or of the speciall calling, as when by the worke of it GOD may bee more glorified, and the Church edified, I must keep mee in the way, notwithstanding the perill ensuing. For example: If the persecution bee generall and common to the whole Church, the Minister may not flye; for the weak are in great danger, & most need the support of the strong: & now the duty of the calling must be dearer than his life. Whereas if the persecution were personall, & directed against the Pastor onely, hee were in his owne liberty to withdraw himself, only for a time.

3. Some are tyed & bound not 3. to flye, by reason of their present estate, especially in two cases:

First, when God hath cut off all law full meanes and wayes of flying, and a man cannot escape but by unlawfull meanes; as an officious lye, hearing of Masse, e­quivocations, [Page 110] pealing & discove­ring the brethren, or the like. Here a man must abide the will of God, who hath called him to stand out, and do no evill to save his life.

Secondly, when a man is in hand or hold under the custody of the Magistrate, though unjustly pro­secuted, he may not break prison, nor use violence; but obey the Magistrate in unjust sufferings, al­waies counting it thank-worthy to endure griefe for GOD and Christ wrongfully, 1 Pet. 2. 19.

Quest. But what if the prison­doore be left open, as sometime it may be, or hath been?

Ans. If God open a doore, this is not a breaking of prison. The A­postles (Acts 5. 19.) used no vio­lence to get out; but when the Angel opened the door, they went away & shifted for themselvs: & thus not themselves only, but the Church was preserved in them.

[Page 111] Now all these that are thus brought by God to the wrestling­place, must strive for the best game, without shrinking or star­ting away.

But there are a second sort, that And who may. are more free, and have liberty to avoid persecution by flight, in these three cases:

1. If any have not attained 1. strength sufficient to bear the ex­tremity for Christ: our Saviour Luk. 14. 28. would have these costs to bee fore-cast, as in the Parable of the Builder, & of the Captain muste­ring his forces. Only in not find­ing strength bewail thy weaknes, & use means of further strength.

2. If the danger be certain and 2. present, not suspected or surmi­sed: for a man may not (as Jo­nas) by casting feares cast himself out of his calling; but if hee see certaine perill to himselfe, and no great hope of doing good by his stay, he may flye.

[Page 112] 3. If avoiding private respects (as loosing himselfe from duty, 3. or out of excessive feare shifting for himselfe) hee ayme directly at the furthering of Gods glory, and Christs Kingdome: for it is a rule, in which wisdom & consci­ence must over-rule. If it may make more for Gods glory to flie, flie; if to stay, stay: thus seeking Gods Kingdom in the first place.

Quest. But how prove you, that such may flye?

Ans. By the commandement & practice of Christ himselfe, Mat. 10. 23. If they persecute you in one city, flie into another: and so him­selfe did. Hee could by miracle have saved himselfe; but for us he would rather humble himself by flying, Matth. 12. 15. And, he was now as strong in spirit, & as ready to dye, as he was afterwards: but Gods time was not yet come.

So did the Apostles. Paul be­ing persecuted at Damascus, was [Page 113] let downe by a basket, and sent to Tarsus, Acts 9.

The commandement (Rev. 18. 4.) flie out of her my people, is of force hereunto. He would rather have commanded to stand out the persecutions of Antichrist, if it had been unlawfull to flye.

After Christ wee reade of A­thanasius Euse [...]. l. 10. c. 18. Trip. hist. l. 5. c. 3. that great light of the world, how being infinitely ha­ted & pursued by the Arrians, he was forced to hide himselfe for sixe yeers in a deep pit, where he saw no sun; which he would not have endured, but to have preser­ved the Church in himselfe, wai­ting the time which God after­ward gave him at Alexandria ma­ny yeers to bee the only hammer of Arrians.

The same of many faithfull men in Queene Maries daies fly­ing beyond sea, who were happi­ly revoked to the great glory of God, and use of the Church, in [Page 114] the most happy daies of Queene Elizabeth.

Ob. But this is to deny Christ, and not c [...]sse him before men.

Answ. [...]: to flye friends and countrie is an inferiour confessi­on and suffring for Christ, though in dying is a greater perfection and degree in suffering.

Ob. But we must not fear them that can kill the body: therefore not flye.

Ans. That is, not fear them more than God; not feare so as to apo­state or deny faith & good consci­ence, which is not the feare of them that flye: for, would they deny Christ or his faith, they need not flye at all.

Object. But we must preach & counsell the greatest perfection.

Answ. Yes: but in the severall rankes of beleevers God hath not set all his children in the same degree of grace; some are babes, some young, some old men. It is [Page 115] not greatest perfection for a childe, to offer to run before hee can goe; but boldnesse, which costeth him many knockes and falls. Neither for those of a lower stature in Christ, to cast themselves into danger, before, or further than need shall re­quire: for, when times come that GOD seeth fit for any by death to glorifie himselfe, and edifie his Church, his provi­dence will find meanes without a mans owne presumption to call him thereto.

Now the point issuing out of the words thus expounded, is this:

Whosoever undertaketh the pro­fession Doctr. Maintaine thy holy profession to the death. of Christ, must take his life in his hand if need be, and give it for the Name of Christ: Revel. 2. 10. Bee thou faithfull unto death. Luke 14. 26. If any man come to me, and hate not all, yea even his owne life, he cannot be my Disci­ple: by hatred hee meanes not [Page 116] that affection simply considered, but in comparison, namely, if the love of God and our selves, the love of Christ and our friends cannot stand together: all natu­rall affection must give place. Hebr. 12. 4. Yee have not yet resi­sted unto bloud: as if hee had said, Yee have resisted sinne unto re­proach, unto losse of substance, unto bonds, and other evils; but yet it remaines to resist unto bloud, as Christ did. Revelat. 12. 11. they that overcame by the bloud of the Testimony, and the bloud of the Lambe, loved not their lives to the death, that is, doubted not to hazzard them for the truth and faith: so as no torment could drive them from it.

Hebr. 11. 35. Wee have the cloud of witnesses before us in this duty: they were racked and slaine, and would not bee delivered, but refused the offer of life and [Page 117] liberty upon condition of re­nouncing the Gospel. The Ec­clesiasticall History mentioneth one Phileas, a Noble man and Martyr, who going to execution, seemed as one deafe at the per­swasions, and blinde at the teares of his friends, moving him to spare himselfe: As the waters use to breake themselves on a rocke, so was hee altogether in­flexible. And when one Philoro­mus defending him, said, How Quomodo potest terre­nis lachry­mis flecti▪ cujus oculi coelestem glo­riam contu­entur? can hee bee moved with teares on earth, whose eyes behold the glory of heaven? hee also was taken in, and both presently beheaded.

Amongst our owne Martyrs, when at the stake many of them had letters of pardon offered, they would not looke at them, nor would bee delivered on their conditions. Others absolutely re­fused them. One said shee came not thither to deny her Lord. Not one of them accepted them, [Page 118] neither would buy deliverance so deare.

For first, if wee looke at Christ, hee is to be loved best Reason 1. of all, and all things must bee accounted drosse and doung in comparison of him, Phil. 3. 7. 8. My welbeloved is the chiefe of ten thousand, Cant. 5. 10. And with­all, hee is such a Lord, as hath ab­solute command and power of [...]. Ig­nat. ad Po­lycarp. our life and death: for wee are not our owne, but his; and if hee call and command us to seale our profession with our bloud, wee must bee ready to magnifie Christ in our bodies, by life or death, Philip. 1. 20. not fearing those that can kill the bo­dy. Againe, if wee looke on his merit and desert, hee loved not his life to death for us, but readily offered it up on our behalfe, Luke 12. 50. How then should wee hold our selves bound in way of thankful­nesse, [Page 119] if wee had a thousand lives, to give them up for him? shall the Just for the unjust, and not the unjust for the Just?

Secondly, if wee looke to the 2. truth and Gospel: it is far more worthy than all wee can give in exchange for it; it cost Christ deare: hee thought it worthy of his life, and bought it with his precious bloud, which was the bloud of God, Act. 20. 28. & should wee thinke much to buy it with our last bloud? Remember the precept, Pro. 23. 23. Buy the truth and sell it not, no not at any rate. God hath magnified his truth a­bove all things, and so must wee: Shall not Christ shrink from the truth to save his life, and shall we, being called to witness, leave it in the plaine field?

Thirdly, looke on our selves: 3. 1. We are souldiers under Christs colours: A souldier in the field sels his life for a base pay, & is rea­dy [Page 120] for his King & Country to en­dure [...]. Ignat. ad Ephes. blowes) gashes, and death it selfe: How much more ought the Christian souldier for the love of his Captain, & honour of his pro­fession, contemne fears & perils, and thinke his life well sold in so honourable a quarrel and cause as Christs is?

2. This is indeed rightly to love our selves, when wee can rightly hate our selves. We must learn to love our selves by not lo­ving our selves, who indeed hate our selves by loving our selves too well: And this is, if wee be­leeve our Lord, to save & preserve our life by thus casting it away. A man that will save his seed, & not cast it away into the grrund, lo­seth it by such saving; but if hee sowe it, he reneweth it, & multi­plies it somtime an hundred fold: So to lose thy self for Christ, is to save thy selfe, and to reap an hun­dred fold: for it is but sowne to [Page 121] spring out unto the eternall har­vest. Ever remember, that the right love of a mans self is in and for Christ.

Ob. You speake of nothing but hindrance & loss, & as if a Christi­an may not have riches, friends, life, and comforts of it.

Ans. 1. Yes, he may have them, & must save them; but not in Christs cause, when hee is called from them. 2. Divorce not the parts of the text: as there is losse in the text, so there is a greater gain by it; as the harvest makes him a gainer, who in seed-time seemed a loser.

Ob. But that is a long day: we would have something in hand.

Answ. So thou hast in hand, an hundred not for ten, but for one, in this life, with persecution, Mar. 10. 30. for thy father forsaken, thou hast God to thy father; for thy mother, Gods Church; for thy goods, Gods rich graces; for thy [Page 122] friends lost, the favour of God, of his Angels, and all Saints; for thy trouble without, peace of consci­ence within; for thy lands, the deeds & assurances of an heavenly inheritance; and for thy life tem­porall, life eternall. Wouldst thou have more in hand?

Ob. Oh but this is a very hard thing to rowe thus against the streame, and do as no body doth.

Ans. Indeed few enter into this narrow way: but it is good going to heaven, although without company. And yet thou wantest no good company, but hast the Prophets, Apostles, Martyrs, and Christ himselfe before thee, who also suffereth and smarteth in all the sorrowes of the Saints.

Object. But is it not hard to be counted & die for an hereticke?

Ans. Not of hereticks: & Christ was counted no lesse for thee.

Ob. But I have wife, children, and friends depending on me.

[Page 123] Ans. The case indeed is heavie, as Christ implied, saying, Wo be to them that give suck in those dayes: but, 1. thou art a saver, if thou sa­vest nothing but Christ: thou lo­vest well enough, if in case of con­fession thou lovest nothing but Christ: 2. cast thy care on the Lord, who is wont to save his a­gainst all appearance: And, speake not one word for them that de­pend on thee, and two for thy selfe.

Ob. But it may be I have a flock which will be scattered.

Ans. But thy bloud shed for the truth which thou hast preached, preacheth with much more fruit and furtherance of the Gospel, than all thy life and labours: as in Abel, Stephen, and the Martyrs, whose bloud yet speaketh.

Let all of us therfore, who are Use. Beleeve this do­ctrine, and obey it. pressed under this banner of Christs holy profession, resolve to do our Master saithfull service, e­ven [Page 124] to the death, and strive to beleeve the words of our Lord, that to lose the life in this cause, is, to winne it in everlasting glory.

Object. But the dayes (thankes bee to God) are peaceable, and there is no great need nor use of this doctrine.

Answ. Yet, 1. a wise Pilot will in peace provide for a storme. 2. Wee know not how soon wee may have use of it; one powder­blow from under-ground may shake all our foundations. Little did the Christians in King Ed­wards daies thinke of such a sud­daine change as Queene Mary brought in. 3. Never were Gods people neerer danger, than when they thought themselves fur­thest off, and cried, Peace, peace. 4. No Christian is well furni­shed, but hee that in peace hath attained a ready disposition to lay down his life at any warning [Page 125] for the Name of Christ.

Object. But who would not give his life for Christ? all say they are ready.

Answ. Yet first if times should change, would they indeed, who now in daies of protection are a­shamed of the Gospel of Christ? would they stick to Christ, crow­ned with thornes, who when hee weares a golden Crowne, thinke it good policie not to bee seene with him?

Secondly, is it to bring mens lives in their hands, to Christ and his profession, to shrinke now for feare at the name of a Professor, and bee ready to faint to heare a damosell say, Surely thou art one of them?

Thirdly, would they suffer for the profession, that now scoffe & scorne at Professors, under re­proachful titles, that now are per­secutors themselves, & goe as far in persecuting as they can, and [Page 126] the lawes wil suffer? No, no: those that now robbe them of their good names, while the Gospel is publikely professed & protected, would easily bereave them of their lives, if times would afford them lawes and liberty.

So as the great part of the world is not resolved of this truth, that to lose the life for Christ is to save it; and those that now deny him in the peace of the Gospel, are farre from dying with him in the triall.

Now because this is a building, which requireth great fore-cast, and is above naturall strength, we had need furnish our selves with all the helpes to set it forward, and fit our selves well to the o­bedience of so difficult a com­mandement.

Quest. What are they?

Ans. 1. Begin with God: pre­sume I. Practices to prepare for mar­tyrdome. not of thine owne strength, as Peter. It is a worke of sound [Page 127] conversion, and of mighty power by that Spirit of fortitude, by which of weake wee become strong. And therefore wee must pray earnestly, that hee would please to stablish us unto this tri­all, & strengthen us with all pati­ence, long-suffering, and joyfulnesse, Col. 1. 10. For none have more cowardly lost the field, than such as have most boasted of their va­lour and strength at home. Pray also for that eye-salve, which may let thee behold the glory of Christ, and thine eternall feli­city hid with him: this wil make thee forget thy self (as the Disci­ples did at Christs Transfigurati­on) & long after him; and indeed a little taste of his glory wil make us valiant to take the Kingdome by force, as himselfe did for the glory that was before him.

2. Then take thy selfe in hand, 2. and strive daily in thine owne mortification and deniall of thy [Page 128] selfe; beware of self-love, love not Ideò tam pauci illu­minati & liberi intus efflciuntur, quiaseipsos ex toto ab­negarenesci­unt. De imi­tat. Christi, l. 4. c. 8. the world, nor the things in it: account not of riches & wealth above their worth. If thy life bee too deare to thee, or the world swell in thine eye, or if thou min­dest earthly things, or settest too fast a hand on any thing, wert thou never so wise, learned, civil, nay, didst thou follow Christ at heeles, & wert able to worke mi­racles, and cast out Divels; yet at length thou wouldst play false, & prove an Apostate; as Judas and Demas, who forsook the truth to embrace the present world. 2 Tim. 4. 10.

3. Get sound judgement in mat­ters of Faith, firmly and distinctly 3. to beleeve the truth of Religion: for this must be the ground of un­daunted profession, 2 Cor. 4. 13. I beleeved; and therefore I spake. He hath begun well, who hath begun in truth, and laid a sure ground. It was soundnesse of Faith, that car­ried [...]ent Beleevers through [Page 129] such extremities. They endured racking, & burning, & hewing a­sunder, & all by faith. The just in Heb. 11. 38. trouble must live by faith, Hab. 2. 4. And every house not founded upon a rocke, when flouds beat & Mat. 7. 27. stormes blow, must fall, and the fall shall be very great.

4. Get sound affection, & grow 4. up in the love of God and Jesus Christ, & then all torments shall be sweet for his sake; as Jacob for Rachel. 1 Cor. 13. 7. love suffereth all things. Cant. 8. 6. love is strong as death: the coales therof are fie­ry coales, and a vehement flame; much water cannot quench it, nor flouds drown it. Nay, where this love is fervent, it kindleth a flame of zeale, by which if God cannot otherwise be glorified, or rather than God should lose his glory, the Saints would endure even the torments of hell: Mo­ses would rather bee razed out of the Booke of life, and Paul [Page 130] separated from Christ, rather than God not glorified.

5. Christian resignation notably conduceth hereunto. Learne to 5. commit thy soule unto God in well­doing, as into the hands of a faith­full Creatour, 1 Pet. 4. 19. Thus did Paul, 2 Tim. 1. 12. I know whom I have beleeved, and am per­swaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed to him, till that day. A childe that hath any precious thing given him, the best way to keep it, is, to put it into his fathers hands to keep. Thy soule is the most precious thing thou hast, let thy Father keep it, & it shalbe safe whatever befall the body & outward man.

6. Christian confirmation, or corroboration unto all long-suf­fering 6. and patience with joy, Col. 1. 11. Wee must daily out-grow some weaknesse, and bee ad­ding to our strength, and laying up something to animate and en­courage [Page 131] our selves in enduring with Christ, that by no meanes in triall▪ we be wonne to deny Christ and his Name.

Now for our daily strengthe­ning II. Meditati­ons avai­ling there­unto. 1. it will be usefull to meditate daily on some of these things.

1. On Gods eternall decree, who hath appointed an houre for the power of darkness to work; before which time not an haire can fall from the head: Till it bee come, Christ shal withdraw him­self from danger; but when it is come, he is not affraid to meet his enemies, to tell them hee is the man whom they seeke, & deliver himselfe into their hands. The e­nemy can do nothing that God is not aware of, nothing beyond his just and wise permission, nothing but what shall glorifie himself, e­difie the Church, and turne to the best, even to us particularly.

2. Meditate on the Word of 2. God, predicting and fore-telling of [Page 132] persecutions for the Name of Christ, Ye shall be hated of all men for my sake: all that will live god­ly in Christ Jesus shall suffer per­secution; and, the time commeth, in which they that kill you, will think they doe GOD good ser­vice. Which are good admoniti­ons, to keep us in some prepared­nes, to drink of the same cup with Christ our Lord. Commanding: to hold fast what wee have, and let none take our crowne, Rev. 2. 25. as if hee had said, Hold fast with both hands that faith and grace which is the pledge of a crowne. Promising, and fencing the heart with assurance of his presence, mi­tigation, deliverance, & honoura­ble recompence, which are all strong & sure foundations groun­ded in his owne truth and faith­fulnesse.

1. He hath promised his presence Promis [...]s to them that suffer for God. 1. in sixe troubles, & in seven, in fire and water; and, that for their [Page 133] strength & consolation the Spirit of grace and glory shall rest upon them, 1 Pet. 4. 14. And then he doth more for his Saints when he stan­deth by them, strengthening their faith, to suffer the pangs of death, than when he opened the prison­doors & iron gates to let Peter and Paul goefree. Nay, the same blessed Apostles were as deare to God, and God as neere to them, when they were behcaded by Nero, as when the one by an An­gel was led out, & the other had the foundations of the prison shaken, and the gates cast open.

2. He hath promised mitigati­on: & it is much more, that Chri­stians 2. can with joy clap their hands and sing Psalmes in the flames, & professe as some of the Martyrs, that the fire was to them as a bed of Downe, or sweet Ro­ses, than to be led out of prison by an Angel.

3. He hath promised an happy 3. [Page 134] deliverance: for the fire shall not hurt the gold, but fine it: the flaile shal not hurt the wheat, but cleanse it: the black sope seems to foyle and fowle the cloth, but in­deed makes it whiter & cleaner. There is no danger when Gods Battledore come on his children; it serves but to whiten them, and parts them from their foulnesse. All the enemies cannot hinder thy glory, no more than they could Christs: they may sever soule and body asunder, but nei­ther of them from Christ. They may take our soules from our bo­dies, or our hearts out of our bo­some; but cannot take us out of the hand or bosome of our hea­venly Father.

4. Hee hath promised a most 4. [...]. Igna. ad Polycar. ample recompence to him that o­vercomes. I will give him power over the Nations, he shall be a pil­lar in the house of God, and shall go no more forth: and Christ will Rev. 2. 26. & 3. 12. [Page 135] confesse him before his Father in heaven, Mat. 10. 32. Oh now look often upon this happy end, if thou shalt give thy life in Christs quarrell. Great shall be thy reward in heaven, when a mi­serable life shall bee exchanged with eternall blessednesse. This of the second meditation.

3. Consider, that thou hast Christ thy companion in suffering; 3. yea, thou hast him an example al­so, who for the joy set before Heb. 12. 2. him, endured the crosse: Nay, he endured thy crosse, & all thy suffe­ring is but an honest duty of thankfulnesse, and a gratefull part to stick to him in trouble, whom we have followed in prosperity. Polycarp the Martyr at his death said thus, I have served Christ 86. yeeres, and hee never hurt mee, why should I speake evill of him?

Yea, it is but duty to main­taine his cause to death, who [Page 136] by death maintained our cause, & now pleadeth it in the sight of God. Neither is it an unglorious service, but a precious gift, and an honourable advancement, 1 Pet. 4. 14. The Martyr that sate downe with Christ at a bitter breakfast, expected a better din­ner, and found it. ‘Oh thinke with thy selfe, what had be­come of mee if Christ had kept his life so fast from mee, as my corruption would hold my life from him! If I would keep it from him to day, he may snatch it from me to morrow. If I will not give it now to glorifie God, he may take it unto punishmēt. If I give it freely once, it is not to lose it, but to receive it for ever. I see when God called A­braham to sacrifice his Isaac, A­braham by offering him preser­ved him: The way to preserve my Isaac, my joy, my life, is, to offer it to Christ: for, then it [Page 137] shall not perish, but live and be increased; and for my Isaac and joy, a Ram shalbe sacrified, that is, only my corrupt affections & concupiscence, but my joy shall none take away.’

Verse 26. ‘For what shal it profit a man if he gain the whole world, and lose his owne soule? Or what shall a man give in exchange for his soule?’

IN this Verse our Saviour enlar­geth the former doctrine by a 2. Argu­ment: un­profitable­nesse of winning all with the soules losse. second reason, drawn from the un­profitablenesse of winning the world with the losse of the soul; & seems to prevent an objection, which might rise up in the minds of his hearers, thus: But wee see that this is not to provide for the Prolepsis. safety and comfort of life, for those that care not for following thee, live at hearts ease, in plen­ty and fulnesse, they are on the ri­sing hand, & are the only gainers [Page 138] in the world, only wee are losers, and have left all, and betaken our selves to an afflicted & despicable condition for following of thee; why might not wee looke to bee gainers too? To which our Savi­our directs his answer; They are indeed gainers in the world, but if they were gainers of the world, there is a greater loss neer them, than all that gaine, even the loss of the soul, which as it is the most incomparable loss, so is it the most irrecoverable loss of all, but a just punishment of that man, who by losing Christ wil save his own stake. For the meaning of the words.

What shall it profit a man?] That is, What shall it any way better a Expositi­on. mans estate? The English is some­what too short for the Greeke, the word profit being amongst us [...]. commonly used for the increase of riches; but the Greeke com­prehends also the gaine of ho­nours, [Page 139] preferments, pleasures, or any other thing, whereby the e­state is bettered, either indeed or in appearance.

To win the whole world.] This is spoken by way of supposition: for no man ever wonne the whole world. Alexander won much of it. Ahasuerus was Lord over 127. Provinces. But never any could win the whole: yet suppose a man should winne the whole world, this would fwell to a great bulk, if wee consider both what is in­cluded in the word world, & what in the word gaine the world.

1. By the world is meant, not World, what it is here. only the frame of heaven & earth, & the creatures, but all that a na­turall mans heart can desire in the world, or can wish for his full contentment, such as honours, pleasures, & all the delights of the sons of men: In which sense Paul saith (Gal 6. 14.) I am crucified to the world, & the world to mee, that [Page 140] is, I have weaned my selfe from the desire of all such worldly contents, as naturall men make their only portion; yea, I am ever dead to such desires. This then is the meaning: Suppose one man could gain all the world, and ho­nours, & pleasures that all men on earth joyntly or severally have, yet what is it to the soules losse?

2. In the gaining of the world is Gaine of the world, what. included, 1. A right & title. 2. Pos­session & hold. 3. Fruition & con­tent. [...]4. A certainty of holding the whole. For all these goe to a cleare gain: yet were all this, no­thing to the losse of the soule.

And lose his soule.] That is, and lose himself: for so S. Luke expres­seth it, ch. 9. 25. If he destroy or lose himselfe. And so by an ordinary Hebraism the soule is put for the whole person: Seventy soules went Gen. 46. 27 downe into Egypt, that is, seventy persons. And the soule cannot bee Bucer. lost, but the whole person must [Page 141] perish. And the soul cannot be but lost, when he is offended, who can cast both soul and body into hell. Luk. 12. 5.

Or what recompence shall a man give in exchange for his soul?] That is, no exchange can countervaile the losse, nothing in the world can redeeme the soule: as if hee had said, Devise what you can, all the world cannot, nor can a thousand worlds redeeme a lost soule: And therefore, as the losse is the greatest, so it is most irre­coverable, and impossible to bee made up againe.

Now something is observa­ble: Notes from the manner of propoun­ding this truth. 1. Out of the manner of pro­pounding: 2. Out of the matter propounded.

The maner of propounding is by a continued interrogation: which not onely carrieth in it more strength than an ordinary negati­on, but stirreth up the hearer to ponder & wel weigh the matter, as if he were to give his judgment [Page 142] and answer: As if the Lord had said in larger speech, ‘Tell mee out of your own judgments & best understanding, let your owne consciences bee Judges whether the whole world were a reasonable gaine for the loss of the soul, or whether the whole world could recover such a loss, or no.’ Wherin note,

1. That the Ministers & Prea­chers 1. Note. Preach well for matter & manner. of the Word, after the ex­ample of Christ, must not only be carefull of the matter, what they teach, but also of the manner of teaching, so to instruct, as to shar­pen & set an edge on the word, so as men may bee brought to com­mune with themselves, and enter into their owne hearts, to whet upon themselves things delive­red, to embrace that which is good, and hate the contrary.

Jer. 6. 27. the Prophet must try their wayes: the Lord set & sent him, that hee might know and try [Page 143] their waies. To try metall, is, to bring it to the touch; so Gods Minister must bring men to the touch, & so touch upon their sins and drosse, as the guilty person may feele himselfe touched, and tryed with the reproofe.

Thus did Nathan in the Name of the Lord with David his King, Thou art the man, 2 Sam. 12. 7.

Thus the Lord himself (Deut. 10. 12.) after he had made rehear­sall of manifold benefits confer­red on his people, askes them­selves the question, And now Is­rael, what doth the Lord require of thee? as if he had said, Think with thy selfe, and say, if he deserve not the love, feare, trust, and obedi­ence of thy heart and life.

Isa. 5. 4. after the Lord had shewed, how he had chosen, plan­ted, hedged, and dressed his Vine­yard, hee summons them to give answer to this question, What [Page 144] could I do more to my Vineyard? As▪ if hee had said, Say within your selves, and be Judges your selves, whether your wild grapes pro­ceed not from your selvs, & from your own naughty disposition, & not from my want of manuring.

One reason hereof is taken from Reason 1. the love of the Minister: Our love must direct particular doctrine to him, whom we would profit and help toward heaven: Colos. 1. 28. Pauls affection caused him to ad­monish not all men, but every man, & to teach every man, and to pre­sent every man perfect in Christ.

The other from the fruit & pro fit of the Ministry, wherein God 2. gives the learned tongue, that by Isa. 50. 4. speciall application the doctrine may bee brought home to every mans heart, and the heart may bee taught in wisdome. It is the life & excellency of preaching, to be an able Minister of the Spirit; by the shril trumpet of the Word to [Page 145] awaken the drowsie consciences, and set mens sins in order before them. And otherwise, let a man teach generally, without appli­cation, long hee shall teach, and his people remaine untaught: the bellowes shall be burnt in the fire, but the drosse remain still. A garment fitted for all bodies, is fit for no body; and so is it with doctrine: Or as a loafe of bread set among the children, but none can they get cut and given them.

Which teacheth people how to esteem of such Preachers as la­bour Use 1. in application, and hold the glasse of the Law before mens fa­ces to see their spots: namely, not as the world doth, troublers of Israel, or spy-faults, or invective Preachers; nor as our Libertines hold them, Legall Preachers. No: but Ministers of Gods rich mer­cy, whose wonderful favour it is, to send us a Nathan that will say, [Page 146] Thou art the man, This hast thou done. Were not the Disciples of Christ Preachers of mercy, and the best Evangelicall Preachers? yet what sharp points had their doctrine to pricke and pierce the hearts of men, to make them cry out, Men and brethren, what shall we doe to be saved? Act. 2. 37.

Be also contrary to the practice Use 2. of the world, who most distaste that word which comes neerest to the conscience, and neerest the bad customes and fashions of times and persons: Whereas in­deed a good heart honours the Word for nothing more, than discovering the thoughts, secret speeches, and practices: in no­thing more can it be like to God; an Idiot, an Infidell now can ac­knowledge it to bee the Lords, 1 Cor. 14. 24. 25. God is in you of [...] truth. What difference between Gods word and mans, if it should not reach the conscience? Where [Page 147] were the Spirit in it, if it should not discerne the spirits, and di­vide Heb. 4. 12. between the marrow and the bone?

Lastly, it discovers the practice Use 3. of wicked men, who shrink more at the curse, than at their sin; and when they cannot blame or deny what is said, then to flie upon the Preachers purpose and affection: So ranking themselves among those wicked ones, who rebuke the Priest, Hos. 4. 4. Such a one wil not appeare an Atheist, therefore will approve the doctrine: but he remaines an hypocrite & enemy, therefore reviles the person, and in effect rejects the doctrine. This of the first note.

2. In the manner note another 2. Note. In weighty matters use speci­all vehe­mency. point of wisdome, namely, in mat­ters of much importance, as is the losing of the soule; or else of great danger, as is the winning of the world, to use more than ordinary vehemency. The wisdome of God [Page 148] speakes not of tything Mint and Cummin, as of the weighty points of the Law. Neither hath every Verse in the Bible a verely, or a behold in the beginning, or a Selah in the end. But in matters of greater intention or excitation some star is held over them, that he who reades, may consider.

Our Lord expressing such vehe­mency here, shewes it the grea­test matter in the world, the gain­ing of heaven, and saving of the soule: And that the greatest dan­ger in the world is, the gaining of the world by the losing of the soule. Can a man grapple thornes together, and not feare pricking? Can a man walk on snares safely? and such is the gain of the world, Mat. 13. 22. and 1 Tim. 6. 10.

And therefore, as the end of the whole Ministery is to draw men Use. from earth to heaven; so if in any argument, we the Ministers could be more earnest & perswasive, we [Page 149] had need lay weight upon this (as in this our Precedent) in ha­ling men from the gaine of the world, to the gain of themselves, from the care of the body to the care of their soules, and from the eager pursuit of all false profits, to the purchase of the best and surest commodity, which shall eternally enrich them to life e­verlasting.

3. Our Saviour in the manner 3. Note. We are naturally addicted to the world. teacheth, how naturally wee are all of us inclined to the world, to seek it with all greedinesse, and so have need of many and strong back-byasses: In that this care is implied here to be, 1. the first care of a naturall man, because it is of a sensible profit & benefit: 2. the most vehement care, in that a na­turall man sets his soule light for it: 3. the most insatiable, in that a man would gaine (if it were possible) the whole world: for, hee that sets his heart on silver, [Page 150] cannot be satisfied, Eccles. 5. 9. And this unmortified desire for the unsatiablenesse of it is compared to the Hors-leach, which is never full till he burst. Neither indeed can the round world (if a man had it all) fill the corners of a covetous mans heart.

Ob. Oh but many naturall men have despised the world: Some Philosophers have cast away ri­ches; Cr [...]es. and this, some orders of Pa­pists professe: and therefore eve­ry man is not naturally carried af­ter the world.

Answ. I answer: 1. It was not hard for many to despise riches, when they saw they could not attaine them. 2. Some by com­mon grace, above nature, are re­pressed and restrained: for many such common gifts are bestowed on wicked men, for the common good of mankinde, and upholding of humane society; and other­wise every man would bee a [Page 151] wolfe and devourer. 3. The vow of voluntary poverty in hope of merit is blasphemous, a fruit of pride, a grosse hypocrisie, and no­thing lesse than poverty indeed. Well said one, The purse is easier left than the will; and if you will, Facilius saccus re­linquitur, quam vo­lumas: si vultis, & retinendo▪ relinquitis. Use 1. you may hold it, and yet leave it.

Every covetous man then is a naturall man: where covetous­nesse reigns and commands, there nature swayes; and they are not only under this, but all their sins▪ A covetous man, & a godly man, are incompatible; no more than a man can be in heaven and earth at one time. Findest thou thy heart bowed downward, and fixed on earth with full desires? never de­ceive thy selfe with profession of religion or godlinesse: for, reli­gion entertained as well as pro­fessed, 1. would shew thee better Religion, what it doth to expell co­vetousnes. things: 2. affect thee with them as with thine owne: 3. order un­quiet and unsatiable desires. True [Page 152] contentment with food & raiment, 1 Tim. 6 6. if God give no more, is the daugh­ter of godlines. 4. It would make thee and all thy wealth servants of grace, employed for God, and thought best saved when well laid out. Consider, and deceive not thy selfe.

Againe, even professors of Re­ligion, and those that in part are 2. Earthlines in the god­ly, very scanda­lous. gotten out of the world, must espy flesh and nature still at worke, and returning upon them in this behalfe. It is a common, and too just an imputation on many, who make their profession heare ill, & their Religion doubt­ed of, that they binde up their hands from doing good, & from furthering their own reckoning, yet all this while professe a farre degree in mortification; when, for any thing a man can see, there is little difference between them and worldlings: you may ob­serve them in their trading and [Page 153] calling, as intent, as untrusty, as griping, as ordinary in the my­steries and crafts of their trade, as the ordinary worldling: Move Nonsolùm avarus est, qui rapit aliena; sed & ille ava­rus est qui cupidè ser­vat sua. Aug. them to pious or charitable du­ties, you finde many of them as barren, as grudging, as penurious; you would thinke you had a flint in hand to fetch out water. Pence are pull'd from them as their joynts; and silver out of their purses, as bloud out of their veins. Here is a faint profession of god­lines; but the life, the power, the spirits are oppressed. May we not say now, their riches & cares are thorns to them? Oh that we were wise to discern how these thorns supplant and unroot the Word, & while they root themselvs, under­mine the counsels & exhortations of it! how they draw away this moisture, that should preserve the growth and greennesse of Chri­stians, and keep the comfortable heat and shine of the Sunne of [Page 154] grace from us, as thorns do! Oh see and bewaile the curse of our sin, that our earthly hearts should bring forth thorns and thistles to the choaking of the seed of grace! and then be ever cropping or un­rooting them.

This of the maner of propoun­ding these truths.

The matter affordeth sundry in­structions.

1. The more a man is addicted Doctr. 1. Danger by earthly gaine, to lose the soule. to gaine the world, the greater is the danger of losing his soule. They that will be rich, fall into ma­ny temptations and snares, 1 Tim. 6. 9. and surely, hee that walketh on snares, and on many snares, walketh not the safest. Ecclus. 5. 12. Solomon observed an evill sicknesse under the Sun, riches re­served to the hurt of the owner. Pro. 1. 17. In vaine is the net laid before the bird: for, she is so gree­dy of the bait, that shee forgets the danger, and loseth her life: [Page 155] So is every one that is greedy of gaine, which takes away the life of the owners thereof (as in our New Translation.) Yea so strong a snare the Divell thought this, that he assaulted Christ himselfe with it, and kept it for his last & most violent on-sett, if all other should faile him: All these will I give thee, Matth. 4. 9. and when this would not worke, hee departed hopelesse. And what else doth our Lord affirme, in saying, How hard is it for a rich man to be saved?

For first, the gain of the world Reason 1. commonly estrangeth the heart from God, from heaven, from thoughts and desires of it. The love of the world is an Idolatry Col. 3. 5. Jam. 4. 4. [...] Psa. 73. 27. and spirituall Adultery, whereby the heart goeth a whoring from God: and as the adulterer gives the strength of his body to a stranger; so the worldling gives the strength and confidence of his soule to a strange god, the god of [Page 156] the world, & saith to the wedge, Thou art my confidence, Job 31. 21. As the Idolater sacrificeth to his Peccatum avariti [...], mentem quum infe­cerit, ita gravem red­dit, [...]t ad appetenda sublimia at­ [...]olli non possit. Greg. moral. l. 14. Idoll; so the worldling is the Priest that sacrificeth to the world and Mammon. And as the Idolater serves his Idoll, & wor­ships it; so the lover of gain be­stowes his love, affection, ser­vice, honour, and time upon the world, to get or increase it, and thinkes all the time set apart to Gods service exceeding tedious and burdensome. And is not the Idolater in danger of perdition? or else an Adulterer?

Secondly, desire to be rich and 2. gaine the world stuffeth the soule with a thousand damnable lusts, every one able to sinke it to hell. This one sin brings in a band and army of wickednesses; swels the heart with pride, deads it with security, begets a licentiousnesse and boldnesse in sinning, fils the hands with wickednesse & rob­bery, [Page 157] the mouth with oaths, cur­ses, lyes, against God and consci­ence, the house with bribes and riches of iniquity, the belly with bread of deceit, usury, and oppres­sion. In one word, it is a fruit­full root of all evill. 1 Tim. 6. 10. and a covetous person is a most Sed quae re­verentia l [...] ­gum? Quis metus aut pudor est unquam properantis avari? Ju­ven. sat. 14. vicious person; no sin will he for­bear, that may bring him in gain: he is a fit anvile for the Divell to forge & hammer out any mischie­vous device upon; as in the ex­amples of Ahab, Balaam, Judas, Demas, all carried in the violent stream of this sin to hainous acts against their consciences. And doth not so cursed a root endan­ger the soule?

Thirdly, desire of gaine threa­tens 3. danger and singular detri­ment to the soul; because it brings it almost to an impossibility of repentance and solvation: Matth. 19. 20. It is easier for a Camell to passe through the eye of a [Page 158] needle, than for a rich man to be sa­ved: the reason is, because it com­monly frustrates the meanes of repentance and salvation. Our Sa­viour noteth it in those two Pa­rables, Mat. 13. that all the seed cast among thornes of worldly cares is choaked: the thorns hin­der the sun-beames from shining on the blade and stalke, and un­root it within. And, what was it else, that kept men from the sup­per of the great King, but buying of oxen, marrying of wives, and other worldly occasions? What pulled good Martha from the feet of Christ, and from hearing his gracious words, but distracti­ons about many things, which Luk. 10. 41. 42. made her forget the one thing ne­cessary?

Doth not our experience shew us, that of all other men, world­lings, who are in their thousands and ten thousands, are most dull and uncapable persons in spiritu­all [Page 159] things? Call them to workes of justice, piety, mercy, neigh­bourhood, to uphold the wor­ship of God, to exercise bounty and beneficence, wee speake to deafe men, and shall as soon per­sw ade the pillars they sit by. If they come to Church, and heare, and get a little understanding, and be convinced, and prick't a little, the cares of the world choake all presently, and their covetousnesse suffers them not to profit by any preaching; as the Prophets, Ezek. 33. 31. Of all men the bitterest e­nemies, and scorners of their tea­chers, are covetous men. If Christ himselfe should come and teach them, they would scorne him. These things heard the Pharisees, and mocked him: for they were co­vetous, Luke 16. 14. they preten­ded other things against Christ; but it was their covetousnesse that kept alive their malice.

Fourthly, as it keeps ou [...] grace [Page 160] in all the meanes of it, so it eates out & casteth it out of the heart; as the lean Kine ate up the fat, and were leane and ill-favoured still. How many Apostates and Revol­ters confirme this truth, who in their lower estate could reade, pray, keep the Sabbaths, and their private watches with God, could instruct their families, and use di­ligence in good waies & meanes; but now resemble the Moone, which never suffereth eclipse but at her full, and that is by the earths interposition between the Sunne and her selfe? Better had it been, that these had never seen penny of their wealth, than to have exchanged such things for it. And is not the soule now in danger?

Quest. Is it not then lawfull to labour for riches, for our selves and ours to live well and honest­ly in the world?

Answ. God hath enjoyned man [Page 161] to labour, and consequently, per­mitteth him the reward of it for the sustaining and upholding of himselfe and his family. Againe, there is an honest care for the family, which is part of a mans calling enjoyned by the Apostle, if any man provide not for his family, hee is worse than an Infi­dell, 1 Tim. 5. 8. But the thing condemned is the seeking of the

  • 1. Out of order.
    Whence this dan­ger com­meth.
  • 2. Out of measure.

1. The former, when we seek it in the first place, as that which 1. wee can worst want; when the unbeleeving heart saith in it selfe secretly, I must attaine this and that profit, and pitch of estate, I must compasse such and such a project, and then I will become religious and devout: contrary to our Saviours counsell, Mat­thew 6. 33. First seeke the King­dome of God.

2. Out of measure: both seeking 2. [Page 162] more than is sufficient, and with more care and affection than is warrantable: when for the mat­ter, nothing is sufficient for their desire, but they are as the grave and Horse-leach, and say ever, Pro. 30. 15. Give▪ give, Eccl. 5. 9. he that loveth silver, shall not bee satisfied with it. And for the manner, their care is immoderate, cutting, distra­cting the heart, engrossing the thoughts and desires from better things, extinguishing faith, con­suming the time, deadning pray­ers, cutting off testimonies of love, resolving to part with no­thing for Christ, and to suffer▪ lesse for him if it were possible; and in a word, not knowing any moderation.

Object. But then we are in good case, and none of us so bad.

Ans. It is hard to find a man not entangled for wealth, or by wealth; and the lesse the danger is seen, the more it is.

[Page 163] All which may lead us into our selves, to take notice of our Use 1. pronenesse and propensity to this sin, which no man willingly con­fesseth, and those that are deepest in it, and swarm with all sorts of evils flowing from it, doe least discern it in themselves. For why? 1. The Apostle (1 Thess. 2. 5.) cal­leth it coloured covetousnesse: it Covetous­nes a sin hardly no­ted & con­fest: why maskes and hides it self by many subtle evasions. 2. It is an inward sin, lurking in the spirit of a man. 3. The dust of earthlinesse putteth 1. out the eye of the minde, or at 2. least darkneth the understanding, 3. that it doth not easily discerne it. Yet,

Must we be convinced of it in our selves, and of our danger by Markes of it. it: for first, while we have more care for earth than heaven: se­condly, 1. while wee more joy and 2. trust the meanes than Gods pro­mises or providence: thirdly, 3. while we can compasse our gain [Page 164] by fraud of speech or deed: fourthly, while we are remisse in 4. meanes of salvation for love of 5. the world: fiftly, while wee are distracted and discontented with the things we have. All the world may see our conversation is not without covetousnesse: and Heb. 13. 5. where is he that can say his heart is cleane? Let us therefore be­waile our selves, who thrust our selves into such dangers by so base a vice as should bee found in none but Heathens & Infidels. Mat. 6. 32.

Also it may moderate our de­lights in these outward things: Use 2. Overjoy not these dangerous comforts. We think our selves happy & be­loved of God, when wee prosper in the world. We rejoyce in our wealth & in-comes, and beare up our head aloft, because wee have gotten more than many others. But may not many see in their wealth, how they have endange­red & hazzarded their souls? How many do highly conceit of them­selves, [Page 165] & are well conceited of by others, because they are rich? but if either themselves or others should see how farre off salvati­on they are by means of their ri­ches, they would soon change their note and minde: And why may they not see this? Is not the Word a dead letter to them, or choaked in them? Is not Christ kept out, & his Spirit beaten out by the god of the world? Are not religious duties laid aside? & they so much the more forgetfull of God, as he is more bountifull to­ward them? Is there not as much crop of the seed sowne in a thic­ket, or a thorne hedge, as of fruits of grace from them?

Likewise it may moderate our Use 3. sorrows in afflictions, in losses, & in the bitter suffrings here below: seeing thereby the Lord weaneth us from the world, and from the love of those things which are so dangerous to our selves. Well we [Page 166] may as children cry, when the fa­ther takes away a knife from them: but it is our safety to want what may hurt us so much.

Lastly, let it moderate our de­sires, to use the world weined­ly, Use 4. How to a­void the danger of earthly gaine. even as the Mariner the sea, he cannot leave the sea, only he must avoid the rockes and dangers.

Quest. How?

Answ. By foure rules.

1. Labour to descry those 1. rockes: note the fearfull atten­dants of this sinne, how easily it swalloweth unlawfull things, what mischiefes usher it, and are perpetrated for mony; the poore shall be sold for shooes, their fa­ces ground, justice perverted, lit­tle and false measures, great and unjust prices: Balaam will curse, Gehazi will bribe, Demetrius will cry downe Paul for his Ima­ges, Judas for a little mony will sell his Master, and Christians will deny their profession for a [Page 167] vile price: here is Mammon of Luk. 169. iniquity, the next odious name to the Divell himselfe.

2. Consider the distance of 2. that we desire, and that we haz­zard for it: in the vanity of this life, and the eternity of that wee expect; in the basenesse of earth which we covet, made to tread under our feet, and the precious soule of man, which is from hea­ven, and hath no earth in it: Nay, God hath made the body of man upright, and his face lifted up from the earth, that hee might conceive how high his soule should be elevated from it. And why should he take that into his heart, which the Lord hath cast under his feet?

3. Labour to esteeme of the 3. world, as Israel of Manna, and that wealth is but for the day; and if this dayes gathering or la­bour will serve this daies food, so shall to morrowes labour sup­ply [Page 168] for to morrowes meate: E­steem it a moveable, but God is the portion: Esteem it a meanes, but man lives not by bread onely, Mat. 4. 4. God is our life, and the maintainer of it: Why then doest thou not cast over thy care to him, and confine it to the day? Hee gave thee thy body, will hee not give rayment also? Hee gave his Sonne for thy soule; will hee then deny food for the body? He made the mouth; and will he not give meat? Doest thou trust him for the salvation of thy soule, and not for the provision of thy body? for heaven, and not for earth?

4. Pray to finde the extreme 4. need of Christ and his righteous­nesse, and that all other things are but conditionally necessary. Pray that GOD would incline thine heart to his testimonies, that it may be so much the more drawn from covetous cares which are [Page 169] opposed to all Gods commande­ments, Psal. 119. 36. Pray for wis­dome to conceive thy selfe a stranger and pilgrime here, so to intend principally thy departure Psal. 39. 12. hence: for ere long, gather as fast and as dangerously as thou canst, the poorest mans Omer shall be as full as thine.

So of the former point of in­struction.

2. Many Christians do not on­ly Doct. 2. Many lose their soules for the world. endanger, but even lose their soules for the world: so our Savi­viour implyeth: Numbers of men, to winne the world, do lose their soules. And though a man would thinke, that no man were or could be so mad, as to part with his soule on such base termes; yet millions of men ex­change heaven for earth, and barter away their soules (not for the whole world, but) for an handfull of earth. As for example: 1. Instances & proofes thereof.

1. He that loseth Christ, loseth [Page 170] his soule. But for the winning of the world many lose and forgoe Christ. The yong man left Christ, because hee had great possessions, Mat. 19. 22. Many of the Jewes heard Christ, knew him, and beleeved in him, but durst not confesse him, for that they feared to be losers in the world, Joh. 12. 42, 43. And thus doe all they, who being convinced in them­selves, and having some good af­fections joyned to illumination, yet give the day to the world, and the night to Christ. Great and rich men dare not be seene in the profession; when poore fisher-men come by day, they dare not come by night.

2. Hee loseth Christ for the world, that giveth priority to the 2. world above Christ: as the Ga­de [...]ens preferred their hogges be­fore the presence of Christ: and as Esau preferred the broth be­fore the blessing. He onely hath [Page 171] wonne Christ, that esteemes all▪ things as drosse and dung in com parison of Christ, Phil. 3. 7, 8. The wise Merchant that found the pearle, lost all to buy it. The Disciples left all for Christ. But easily may we see, how millions of men undervalue Christ in comparison of the world: for,

First, what is the chiefe la­bour, Signes of Christ un­dervalued fo th wrorld. studie, time, costs and paines of men employed upon? is it not for the food that pe­risheth, and profits of the world? in the meane time the labour for 1. that durable food, and the Manna that came downe from heaven, is either none or formall, sleight, seldome.

Secondly, how are the affecti­ons of men generally bent? is 2. Christ their chife joy, or trea­sure? hath. Shee gained their thoughts? delight they in his love, more than in life? Or see we not the multitude preferre the [Page 172] world before their chiefe joy, set their hearts upon it, doat upon it, their thoughts runne first and last, and all day long after it, with unwearied delight and comfort? when in the meane time they banish thoughts of Christ, of their treasure, portion, and coun­try in heaven. How doe most men feare the losse of the world, more than the losse of Gods fa­vour, their soules, and salvation? How doe they more grieve and sorrow in a trifling losse of the world, than when by sinne Gods favour and the grace of Christ is forfeited?

Thirdly, how do the speeches 3. of men bewray them to bee worldlings? and if the speech be according to the abundance of the Mat. 12. 34. heart, Christ hath small roome there. Esa. 32. 6. the niggard speaks of niggardlinesse: and 1 Joh. 4. 5. They speake of the world, and the world heareth them. But how [Page 173] long should a man watch in vaine for a [...]avorie word concerning Christ, or the salvation of their soules? or speake to them the language of Canaan, it is He­brew? or thrust in a savory speech, of God, his word, or grace, how strange and unwel­come is it? their pennes tell us, that their hearts indite no good Psal. 45. 1. matter. Is not this to underva­lue Christ in comparison of the world? or is this to be a pilgrim, or to possesse, or rather to bee wholly possessed of the word?

Object. There is no man, whose ordinary theme is not more of the world, than of GOD or Christ: and will you therefore Speeches of the world, how to bee li­mited. conclude, that there is no man but loves the world better than Christ?

Answ. 1. Wee are all more carnall than spirituall, and there­fore 1. our thoughts and speeches, will be wandring: but wee must [Page 174] not please our selves herein, but mortifie and subdue carnall words as well as desires, and groane under this corruption: for, is it not a wofull and won­derfull errour, that earth and pe­rishing things should more af­fect and possesse us, than the great things given us of God in Christ?

Secondly, I grant wee have callings, and earthly affaires, 2. which tye us ordinarily to speak and thinke of such things: but the speciall calling of a Christian must bee ever subordinate to the generall, and in all earthly busi­nesse a man must carry an heaven­ly minde. God gives no leave to be earthly-minded, even while a man is earthly-employed.

Thirdly, the speaking and thinking more of a thing upon 3. necessitie doth not ever argue more love unto it, but the spea­king and thinking of things out [Page 175] of the valuation of judgement: for instance, A workeman thinkes more of his tooles, and an hus­bandman speakes more of his husbandrie, than of his wife or children, because these are the object of his labour; but it fol­lowes not, hee loves them better, because he doth not in his judge­ment esteeme these better. Now let a Christian preserve in his judgement a better estimate of Christ, and heavenly things, and his speeches in things earthly will still preferre that, and runne upon it.

So of the two former proofes.

Thirdly, he loseth his soule for 3. the world, that for wealth or by wealth hinders his owne salvati­on: as numbers doe by unlaw­full getting the world, falling downe before the divell for it: wealth is even the divels wages for some sinne committed, being either gotten or kept by evill [Page 176] meanes, or against good consci­ence, viz. either in the use of an unlawfull calling, or by the abuse of a lawfull.

Of the former sort are such as live by dicing houses, filthy Unlawfull callings make wealth dangerous, when got­ten. houses, and the like places of hel­lish resort, which may be right­ly called the divells houses of office. And those that live by unthriftie gaines, by usury, ma­gicke, making the instruments of pride and sinne, or a calling to which they are not fitted, as in­sufficient Ministers, who runne but are not sent, because they are not gifted: God need not send a message by the hand of a foole.

Of the latter sort are, first, those Or the a­buse of lawfull. that enrich themselves for doing a dutie which they doe not, as grosse Non-residents, that feed 1. themselves, but not the flocke: or for doing that they ought not to doe, as Lawyers, who take re­ward for pervertings equity and [Page 177] right, or perhaps are fee-ed on both sides, by one to speake, by the other to hold their peace, or as good.

Secondly, tradesmen that use false weights, measures, words, [...]. Is. Pel [...]s. lib. 3. epist. 24. wares sophisticall and insuffici­ent: as many who rise by couse­nage, and the craft of their trades, by lying or swearing: or by trickes in bargaining abuse the simplicitie or necessitie of men: especially by promise breaking, and slipperinesse in contracts; and by breaking up their estate to de­fraud men, and cheate their Cre­ditors: an horrible theft, and an arrow shot lately from hell to the overthrow of many: they wil be sure of a rich bootie, that shall make them Gentlemen-theeves ever after, when their poore fel­lowes, who never did halfe so much hurt, goe to the gallows.

Thirdly, in the same sort and ranke are Painters, that make ido­latrous [Page 178] or filthy inflaming pi­ctures, as so many wanton and alluring harlots: Stationers that sell filthy and lascivious pam­phlets, the divels trumpets to spread his poyson and unclean­nesse: All these will one day prove heavie gains, when the eye is open to see the soule lost for getting such an handfull of the world. Here is a great deale of the Mammon of iniquitie, as pro­fitable as Judas his thirtie silver­pieces.

We come now to the lastproof.

Fourthly, hee loseth his soule for the world, that by the world 4. Wealth casts men backe in the way of salvation, how. casteth himselfe back in the way and meanes of salvation: as,

First, when his wealth blocks up the way of salvation, becom­ming thornes to choake the 1. word, or as water to quench zeale, or as weights oppressing the motions of the Word and Spirit: when riches distract the [Page 179] owners, not suffring them to keep watches with God in reading, prayer, meditation, and the like godly exercises: when they are incentives to pride, and back­byasses to repentance, &c.

Secondly, when they are per­verted 2. to hold men, and uphold them in a course of sinne and damnable lusts, as riot, gaming, drinking, whoring, pride, idle­nesse, or the like: or when men waste them in contentions and quarrels needlesly, as some penu­rious snake that cannot finde a groat in many yeares to uphold the ministry, or any good motion, yet can finde pounds and pieces good store, to spend against his Minister or neighbours, to com­passe his rotten and crooked wil. But it is good to consider the doome of such wicked servants, that have thus wasted their Ma­sters goods: bind them hand and foot, cast them into hell, there [Page 180] shall bee weeping, and wailing, and gnashing of teeth.

Now conclude from hence, that there is no hope of thriving Use 1. No cleare gaine nor thri­ving in an evill way. Lucrum fraude par­tum, dam­numest, non lucrum. La­ert. l. 1. c. 1. by iniquity, or indirect meanes of getting wealth; because Gods curse goes with it, and the plague ever accompanies it: as if a man should eat good cheere, but in a plaguie house; or weare silke and sattin, but it is all infected appa­rel; or as a felon by robbery gets a bag of money, but hath for it lost his life, & is pursued with huy and cry to be apprehended for judge­ment: Hab. 2. 6. thou increasest that which is not thine. But sup­pose it were thine by good meanes, it is but as thicke clay wherewith thou loadest thy selfe, as a pack-horse that hath no other benefit of his load, than the heavie burden of it. What were a man richer for an estate never so great, if he were sure it should all bee suddenly consumed by fire? [Page 181] yet such is the wealth of wicked worldlings, who are well-pleased without any other portion: the curse of God as a spark of fire kin­dles in that estate, and moulders, and consumes it, that oftentimes not the third or second heire re­joyceth De male quae sitis vix gaudet terti­us haeres. in it.

And it will bee wisedome to consider, whether fraud and guile have not brought such a guest as povertie, into many hou­ses. Looke upon shifters, game­sters, couseners, and deceitful per­sons, who by all their trickes and shifts profit themselves little or nothing in their estate, and can­not shift off contempt, reproach, and beggerie: and many unjust persons who have risen and ruf­fled by deceitfull courses, have as suddenly sunke and withered; and no reason could be imagined, but the falshood of their founda­tion, and a secret and insensible curse of God, fretting the very [Page 182] timber of their houses; some­times [...]alè parta, malè dili­bun [...]ur. in their owne dayes, some­times in their heires after them, wasting and consuming as wic­kedly and speedily as ever their father, got it; whereof our age affoordeth many fearefull exam­ples.

Now if God have spared the arrest of those goods forfeited by falshood, speedily labour to pre­vent it by repentance, by mercy, by restitution, by reformation. Never trust to rise by that, which so many others fall by. Thinke not to turne that to a cleare gain, which is to all others a losse: yea, and the greatest losse to thy selfe, in earthly things and heavenly, in body and soule, nay, of body and soule, which is the greatest of all losses, and most irrecoverable.

Againe, our care must be, to be Use 2. Further thy salvati­on by the world. so far from losing our soules for the world, as that by the world we further the salvation of them.

[Page 183] First, for that God gives not Motives. these things as snares and hinde­rances, 1 but as staves in our hands to helpe us in our way, and as a prosperous winde to him that is sailing to heaven.

Secondly, he hath comman­ded 2 us to Honour the Lord with our riches, Pro. 3. 9. to use them as our Masters talents, to our Masters advantage: to use them as our servants: and a slave is intolerable, when he takes on him to rule the house, especially when as a rivall he wooeth his Mistresse to gaine her love from his Master: so riches are good servants, while servants; but if they allure the soule, and withdraw the heart from the husband, they must be turned away.

Thirdly, what a lamentable thing is it, to pervert the good 3 gifts of God to our owne perdi­tion? as for a glutton to kill him­selfe with that which should [Page 184] preserve his life.

Quest. But how may I by rich­es promote mine owne salva­tion?

Answ. First, make friends of Meanes. 1. Five sorts of friends to be made them, to helpe thy selfe into ever­lasting habitations, Luke 16. 9. First, make God thy friend by maintaining his worship, and the 1. persons and places belonging unto it: buy the meanes of grace, and settle the Ministery: buy the truth and sell it not. Once the people brought too much to the Taberna­cle: but the fault is now on the contrary side: see Exod. 36. 5. and Pro. 17. 16. Secondly, make Christ thy friend, by relieving his poore 2. members, whom wee have al­wayes with us, not onely to exer­cise their humility and patience, but also the mercy and liberality of the rich: and Christ acknow­ledgeth, what is done to them is done to himself: and who would not relieve Christ, if he stood in [Page 185] need? Thirdly, make the poore 3. thy friends, that they may re­ceive thee, by their prayers, and testimonie of thy charity. The loynes and bellies of the poore blessed Job: Obadiah fed the Pro­phets of God: Dorcas made gar­ments for the poore: Cornelius his almes came up before God, and obtained a remembrance. Fourthly, make all men thy 4. friends; To do good and distribute, forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well-pleased, Heb. 13. 16. Doe good unto all, especially the houshold of faith, Gal. 6. 10. How fit is it, that the necessities of men in want should bee relieved by such as are laden with super flui­ties, to this very end, to doe good to others?▪ for the gathering of wealth should be like the gathe­ring of Manna (Exod. 16. 17.) whereof some gathered more, and some lesse, but so as hee that ga­thered more, had no overplus, [Page 186] and hee that gathered lesse, had no want. Fiftly, make thy selfe 5. Terrena om­nia, qu [...] servando a­mittimus, largiendo servamus. Greg. 2 Cor. 9. 6. thine owne friend, by laying up a good foundation in good works, by an hopefull and liberall seed­time: for he that soweth sparingly, shall reape sparingly: and by workes of mercy further both thy reckoning, and reward of mercie: All which blessing and reward they wilfully deprive themselves of, who neither for their Masters honour, nor the good of their fellow-servants, no nor for heaven and salvation it selfe, will part with any thing; but in stead of blessing lay up judgement mercilesse for them­selves, shewing no mercie.

So of the first meanes.

Secondly, use riches to serve God with more cheerfulnesse, 2. and with a good heart in the midst of abundance. A rich man Deut. 28. 47. may have more freedome to en­joy the word, more time for me­ditation, [Page 187] prayer, reading, and godly conference; which time and spare houres the poore want, who are bound to their daily la­bour; and must not bee spent by the rich in riot, in lusts, in gaming and idlenesse, but in doubling their measure of grace, and la­bour in the meanes of grace, rea­ding, hearing, praying, medita­ting so much the more, as God hath freed them from the inces­sant labour, care and travell of others. For, if thou hast so many spare houres, thou must give ac­count whether thou art richer in grace, according to the propor­tion of those houres, than those that have no such release from their labour. But in stead hereof, how have the things of the world thrust in upon many, to take up their thoughts, to unsetle good resolutions, to resist good motions and duties, to justle out the course of fruitfull conversing [Page 178] with God! Oh what hurt have their soules sustained in all these particulars!

Thirdly, draw out of these 3. outward things a spirituall use: for else the beasts use them as fruitfully as wee. For example: when I see my selfe or others so intent to treasure in earth, I must turne mine eyes upward, and say to my selfe, Alasse, what am I doing! I professe my selfe cho­sen, and called out of the world, that I am a citizen of heaven, that I am risen with Christ, &c. and must I drowne my thoughts in earth, and not seeke things above? I professe the pure religion, which keepeth it selfe unspotted of the world: and being called out of the world, I must in the world looke for affliction which ever attendeth the chusing of the better part: I must not now live after the cours of the world, as in times past: I am crucified to the [Page 179] world, & the word to mee: I can­not serve two Masters, comman­ding so contrary things, nor share my heart betweene God and the world, nor have one foot in hea­ven, and another in earth; sinfull pleasures will never suit with spirituall joyes and delights. A­gaine, doe I cast mine eyes upon my own or other mens full cups, and large revenues? and is my earthly heart working it owne contentment in the abundance of outward blessings? now must I checke it, and bend it backward, and say to it, Alasse, what will it availe mee to leave barnes full, houses full, chests full of treasure, and carry my soule emptie away in respect of true grace? And thus, one way or other, a good heart may still helpe it selfe by temporalls.

4. Labour to hold and use them 4. alwayes: First, in Christ, by whom our right is restored unto [Page 190] them: Secondly, with Christ, ac­counting himselfe the chiefe treasure, and his grace and ser­vice the one thing necessary: Thirdly, for Christ, employing them to his glory, and the bene­fit of our selves and others his members.

A notable meanes by riches to further the salvation of our soules.

Lastly, consider seriously the reason of our Saviour, saying, Use 3. Riches thus un­profitable, how. there is no profit in that wealth for which a man loseth his soule, or by way of question, What shall it profit a man to winne the whole world and lose his owne soule?

First, they are not able to make his person better: they make ma­ny 1. a man worse, but can make no man better: or better they can make him, that is, of better place among men, who measure good­nesse by goods, but not the person better before God: for, did they [Page 191] better a mans person, why have the worst most store of them? how is it that my Lord Esau go­eth strutting with foure hundred men at his heeles, and poore Ja­cob comes creeping and crouch­ing unto him? why doth Pha­raoh sit on the throne, and his Iust is his law, and Moses and Aaron humble suiters unto him? why doth Nabal abound in superflui­tie, and David become his petiti­oner for some reliefe? why are false prophets set up at Jezabels table, and Elias the meane time in commons with ravens? Or if they were so profitable to better a mans person, why did not Christ furnish his Disciples with them? why did hee forbid them to possesse gold or silver? why must Judas have the bagge, while Peter saith, Gold and silver have I none?

2. Though they can thus farre better a mans outward estate in 2. [Page 192] temporalls, tha [...] he hath what to eate and drinke, and put on more than others, which not onely poore men enjoy in some good measure, but the very brute beasts themselves also: Yet what can they profit a mans inward estate? can a jewell buy faith, or repentance, or pardon of sinne? can cloathes of gold get a suit from God, or the spirit of God, or the hearing of prayer? nay, do not riches rather hinder all these?

Thirdly, though they seeme 3. to profit a man for a time, yet when hee hath most neede of them, they faile him; and prove most unprofitable, and either fly away as very vagrants, or, if hee hold them in his hand, and leane on them, they become very [...]eeds, which breake and pierce the hand that holds them. See some instances.

First, in time of danger, and 1. [Page 193] Gods visitation: when they have Instances of times and cases wherein wealth will doe us no good. caused us to forsake GOD our helpe, they prove helplesse: 1. Sam. 12. 21. they are called vaine things which cannot profit us, nor deliver us, because they be vanities: Pro. 11. 4. Riches avayle not in the 1. day of wrath, that is, they cannot stop or hide from Gods judge­ment, they cannot wall out the plague, nor the sword, nor the famine. The full purse never kept a man from the robber, nor the full chest from the theefe.

Indeed in time of peace and frozen securitie, they may as ice beare us up a while: but when the fire of Gods wrath comes, they melt under us, and leave us in the suds: Compared therefore to the brookes of Arabia, that for one time of the yeare are covered with ice, and the other part dryed up with heat, when the passenger hath most need of them; Job 6. 16.

[Page 194] Zeph. 1. 18. Silver and gold can­not deliver in the day of the Lords wrath: nay, they are so farre then from being helpes, as they are heavie burdens to the owners, as Ezek. 7. 19. The rich man shall cast his silver away, and his gold shall be farre off: nay, the greater his wealth is, the greater plague, the greater griefe, and spoile awaites him: as a tree that hath thicke and large boughs, every man desires to lop him. And how many have wee knowne over­throwne by the finenesse of their garments, who if they had had a shorter traine, had in likelyhood stood out many yeares longer!

Remember that Riches have wings: under which let the Ma­ster hide himselfe a while (as Esa. 28. 15.) making falshood his re­fuge, and hiding himselfe under vanitie: yet with these wings will they fly away, like a runna­gate servant when his Master [Page 195] hath most need of him.

Secondly, in time of sicknesse they are unprofitable. The ho­nourable 2. Nugas Scy­ [...]ha orna­menta missa à Michaele Palaeologo aspernatus, rogavit nun­quid calami­tates, morb [...]s aut mortem depellere possint? Pachy. mer. hist. l. 5. Garter cannot cure the gowt, nor the Chaire of Estate ease the collicke, nor a Crowne remove the head-ache. Can a man by all his wealth buy a good nights sleepe? can it help him to a good stomacke? or free him of one shaking or burning fitt of an ague? Nay, as wormes breed in the softest woods, and cankers in the most sappie trees; so softnesse, idlenesse, fulnesse, intemperance, and effeminate delicacie in the rich, procure peculiar and most incurable diseases.

Thirdly, in the day of death 3. they cannot profit: Job. 27. 8. What hope hath the hypocrite, when he hath heaped up riches, and God takes away his soule! for as they cannot help to life or birth (in which case some would give thousands or millions for an heir) [Page 196] so they cannot help in life to put off death. Doe not Princes fall Psa. 82. 6. 7. like others, and these gods dye like men? Could all the rich mans wealth hold his soule one night? no, the foole found his life stood not in abundance. It is righteous­nesse, Luk. 12. 15. 20. not riches, that delivereth the soule from death, Prov. 10. 2. Nay, at death they bring much bitternesse: for it is as great a pang of death to part with wealth, as to part with life: so as a rich man without better hopes dyeth a double death here: And one mi­serie abides with him, that while he leaves his wealth, hee carries his sinnes with him, occasioned in the getting, keeping, and dispo­sing of them; these lye downe in the dust with him.

Fourthly, after death they pro­fit 4. not: they cannot keepe the soule from hell, nor ease that tor­ment one moment: they cannot keepe corruption from the body: [Page 197] open the grave, and see if thou canst discerne a difference be­tween the rich and poore: tell me if the wormes spare either of both: but if the living be wrong­ed by cost about embalming, en­tombing, or the like, it is but a corpes still, no sweeter to God, if not sweetned by the embal­ming and buriall of Christ.

Fiftly, at the day of judgment 5. the whole world cannot profit a man, being then set on a light fire; then shall gold and silver, and pre­cious stones, and common stones be all one: the Judge will not be corrupted, nor can causes be gil­ded, nor sentence pronounced ac­cording to our wealth in goods Verae divi­tiae, non opes sunt, sed virtutes quas secum conscientia portat, ut in perpetuum dives fiat. B [...]rn. or lands, but according to our graces, & riches in good workes: This will be then the only profi­table wealth; not gold in our chests, but faith and pietie in our consciences, shall avayle us: and, not that we had abundance, but [Page 198] that wee were abundant in faith­full dispensing, shall be our ac­ceptance. Pro. 21. 21. Hee that followeth righteousnesse and mercy, shall finde righteousnesse, life, and glory.

And now after all this say, What profit is it to winne the whole world, and lose his owne soule?

Or what recompence shall a man give for his soule?

Two meditations arise out of these words.

1. The soule of a man is a most Doct. 1. Mans soule a most pre­cious thing precious and invaluable thing: seeing all the world gained is not comparable to the losse of one soule: Pro. 6. 26. it is called the precious soule, or life of man. See it farther, 4. wayes:

1. Consider the soule in it self: Declared 4. wayes. it is a particle of divine breath: 1. not created as bodily things, con­sisting of matter and forme, but inspired of God. For the soule is neither traduced from the soules [Page 199] of Parents, and much lesse genera­ted of any corporall seed or mat­ter, but the Lord that spred the hea­vens, and founded the earth, for­med the spirit of man within him, Zech. 12. 1. neither was it crea­ted without deliberation of the whole Trinitie. Gen. 1. 26. Let us make man in our owne image, or likenesse: as being the exquisite Master-piece above all other.

2. Behold it in the faculties of it, and wonder that God should 2. Anima dum vivifi [...]at corpus, ani­ma est: dum vult, animus est: dum s [...]it, mens: dum recolit, me­moria: dum rectum [...]u­dicat, ratio: dum spiral, spirit us est: dum aliquid sen [...]i [...], sensus est. Isid. E [...]ym. 11. put in such a piece of clay so di­vine a soule: And that, not onely in regard of supernaturall quali­ties, of holinesse and righteous­nesse, in the entire nature of it; but also in respect of natural qua­lities and operations, resembling God in his understanding and wisedome, it hath a facultie to understand and know Him whom it ought chiefely to love, and is almost infinite (at least, insatiable) in seeking knowledge; a facultie [Page 200] to will, even that which God wil­leth, nor resteth it in any thing of this life, nor is contented with any thing below, but willeth principally things beyond the sight, blessednesse and happinesse, and respecteth good estimation after death; and so argueth it owne immortalitie, as God is immortall: a facultie of conscience, that stands in awe to sin though none looke on, or citeth the per­son [...]. Menan. before Gods tribunall, as Bel­shazzar and Felix who trembled. It hath likewise all his operati­ons above sense, to love GOD, feare God, beleeve in God, em­brace Religion, meditate on hea­venly things: with an aptnesse to proceed in the knowledge of God, which other inferior crea­tures 3. Creatio cor­poris & membrorum est propter a­ni mam. A­rist. l. 2. de animalibus. cannot doe.

3. Behold it in the end of it: it was not made for the body, but the body for the soule, and, not onely to be the tabernacle of the [Page 201] soule to dwell in, but the instru­ment of the soule to worke by: for the soule tyed to the body cannot put forth his faculties without organs and senses of the body, to expresse love and dutie unto God. But, the primarie and pro­per end of the divine soule is, to live to God in this life, and with God in the life to come.

Fourthly, behold it as redec­med 4. by Christ, and created again to Gods image. What a price did God and Jesus Christ set upon it? what more precious than the blood of him that was God? The ransome of the soule must be a bove all corruptible things, 1 Pet. 1. 18. Also as it is sanctified by the Spirit: what can bee compa­rable to his unmatchable graces? no pearles are to be compared to wisdome, to precious faith, to the feare of God which is a rich trea­sure. And if the hangings bee so precious, what may we thinke of the roome?

[Page 202] Then bee so much the more Use 1. Bee the more care­full, that nothing hurt it. warie to shunne any thing that may hurt the soule. We esteeme our naturall lives precious: and therefore are carefull to avoyd whatsoever is prejudiciall to the body. But the divine nature of the soule, & the excellencie of it above the body, calls for more care and watchfulnes about it: as,

1. Abstaine from fleshly lusts which warre against the soule: Instances. 1. (1 Pet. 2. 11.) beware of inward uncleannesse and impuritie, the projects of the flesh, pleasures of the flesh, or pleasing of the flesh, which savoureth not the things of God, but fighteth against the spirit: Rom. 8. 7. and lusteth against it, Gal. 5. 17. Once al­ready Animam non mors, sed mala vi­ta perdit. it hath robbed us of Gods image and our owne happinesse: and cannot but serve us so again, if we listen unto it.

2. Beware of earthly lusts, worldly desires, and seeking af­ter 2. [Page 203] these transitories which drowne the soule in perdition, [...]. 1 Tim. 6. 9. How carefull will a man bee of falling into a whirle­pit, where if good helpe come not in time, hee is sure to bee drowned? it is the word there used: noting a certaine danger of drowning in a well or pit: and such a danger as covetous rich men seldome or never get out of.

3. Beware of false doctrine, er­rours, and heresies against the 3. truth received, which are the poyson and plague of the soule. A man would not for a world drinke a draught of poyson: and a carefull Christian will not wil­lingly drinke-in any poysoned or infected doctrine, which is infi­nitely more deadly to the soule, than the other to the body.

4. Beware of all sinne, but espe­cially of sins against conscience, 4. which are called wasting sinnes; Peccata ve­stantia. [Page 204] and of David, prevailing sinnes, Psal. 19. 13. Presumptuous sins make great gashes in the soule: no sword can so gash and cleave the body. Who would not avoid a mortall wound from a keene and mortall weapon? Every sinne is a mortall wound, but these farre more desperate and incurable.

Againe, is the soule so preci­ous? Use 2. Murder of soules an horrible sinne. then the murder of the soule is the most horrible sinne that can be: to destroy the body of a man, is to destroy Gods image: yet a greater sinne to de­stroy his soule. Ah fearefull sinne of non-residencie, which de­stroyeth so many soules▪ for if vi­sion faile, people must perish, Prov. Cadit a [...]i­nus, & in­veniet qui ipsum suble­vet: cadit anima, & non est qui manum ap­p [...]nat. Bern. in Cant. 29. 18. The carelesse neglect of so many soules as are under our charge, is a fearefull, and unre­garded sinne. Nature teacheth to prevent death and mischiefe from the bodies of all that are within our gates, even beasts [Page 205] themselves: and shall wee do no more for our brethren and bow­ells, than for our beasts? Never a soule thou standest charged with­all, but if it miscarry by thy default, thy life shall goe for his life: see 1 King. 20. 39. and Ezek. 3. 18.

On the other side, is the soule Use 3. To save soules, a worke of highest na­ture and worth. so precious? then the saving of a soule is one of the best and high­est workes of mercy, and shall re­ceive the best reward: to shine as the starres in the firmament of hea­ven, Dan. 12. 3. How should this stirre up the Ministers to di­ligence in preaching, so to feede and save soules? The gaining of one soule is above the gaine of the world. Therefore as the Lords nourses be ever laying out your breasts, and afford the Lords children his owne provision, in Anima eli­am pess [...]a, melior opti­mo corpore. Aug. the word and sacraments: la­bour to bring them to faith, by which they receive the food: [Page 206] and pray for the spirit, by whose heat it is digested and turned into the nourishment of the soule.

How should it excite Parents and Masters to tender the preci­ous soules of their children and servants, to winne them to God by instruction, counsell, prayer, example, every way helping them out of sinne? The chiefe love and care should bee set on that, which is most precious. But great is the sinne of most men, who no more regard the soules of their children and ser­vants, than if they had no soules at all.

How should it stirre up able men to set up and hold up the Ministery every where, accor­ding to their power, which is the highest worke of mercie tending to save soules? Ordina­rily rich men at their death give (if any thing) to hospitalls, or [Page 207] workes of charitie to the poore. And these workes of mercy to the bodies of men, being fruits of faith, are worthy evidences of the power of the Gospell, and shall not want their reward, Mat. 10. 42. But if any man would runne at the best prize, and doe a Si magn [...]e mercedis est à morte eripere car­nem, quan­quam mori­ [...]urā. qu [...]i est meati à morte ani­mim libera­re, in coelesti patria sine fine victu­ram? Greg. mor. 26. worke of truest mercie, doe it to mens soules, provide for their instruction, get them food for their soules, and the cloathing of Christs righteousnesse: this is the better part, (Luke 10. 42.) to shew mercy to the more preci­ous part: the saving of one soule is a more happie worke than the provision of a thousand bodies: that must bee done, and this not neglected.

More: how careful should every Use 4. Be special­ly carefull to save thy soule. one be for his owne soule, which is here prized at so deare a rate? all other things of price we are charie of: for our bodies we are excessively carefull, both to free [Page 208] them from annoyance, and sup­ply them with abundance of good things: how much more would we doe so for our soules, if wee prized them above our bodies? but generall is the folly of that foole in the Gospell, Luke 12. 20. who provided for every thing but his poore soule.

Consider: even in this life the Si animam negligamus, nic corpus salvare po­terimus. Non enim anima pro corpore, sed corpus pro anima factum est, &c. Chrys. de repar. lapsi. welfare of thy body depends on the good estate of thy soule: and if the soule bee well provided for, and saved, the body is sure to be saved too. Remember the pro­mise, Exod. 23. 25. If thou clea­vest to the Lord, hee shall blesse thy bread and thy water, and take all sicknesse from the midst of thee. And the keeping of the words of wisdome is life to those that finde them, and health to their flesh, Prov. 4. 22. Hence the godly in death were ever and onely care­full of their soules: as Steven (Act. 7. 59.) Commended his soule [Page 209] into the hands of God: and Christ, himselfe, his spirit into the hands of his Father, (Luke 23. 46.) not mentioning their bodies: they knew one cure implyed the o­ther.

Lastly, note the madnesse of Use 5. Madnesse to lose the soule for the world. men undervaluing their soules, and exchanging them for an hand­full of earth, when indeed the world cannot profit them after this losse. Once Adam and all his sonnes exchanged an innocent estate for a sinfull abd miserable: and so it is still. And with the prodigall sonne, wee forgoe wil­lingly our fathers favour for har­lots and harlotrie, our fathers house for a strange country, our fathers bread for huskes. What an extreme folly this is, appea­reth thus: lay a man the wealth of a Kingdome, a Crowne, and all the world in his hand for his life, he will not forgoe it at any hand, but will readily say, what will [Page 210] all this doe mee good when I am dead? hee is wise to esteeme his life at an higher rate than the whole world, because all the world cannot recompence or make up his losse. But offer him a morsell of unjust gaine, or a slight unlawfull and stolne plea­sure for his soule, hee makes a present exchange: Ah seely man, whose soule is so small a moate in thine eye, which a thousand worlds of men and Angels could not redeeme! God set it at the highest rate: and the divell would give a whole world for one soule: but thou countest it not worth any thing. Hell shall be filled with soules at a cheaper rate, than one soule can get to hea­ven by.

So of the first meditation.

The second is this: For a lost Doct. 2. No helpe for a soule once lost. soule there is no remedy nor recom­pence: all the world cannot redeem a lost soule: for a soule not yet quite [Page 211] lost, may be a recompence by the blood of Christ; but for a soule lost is no remedie nor ransome, no not in Christ himselfe.

To conceive this, consider,

  • 1 What is the estate of a lost
    3. things to under­stand it.
  • 2 What it is, that being once lost makes it irrecoverable.
  • 3 The worthlesnes and impoten­cie of all earthly things to help it.

For the first of these: see what goeth to the losse of a soule. I. The estate of a lost soule, what.

1. There is the losse of Gods fa­vour, fellowship, and presence; whose favour and presence is bet­ter than life: for with him is the 1. Psal. 63. 3. Well of life. And not that onely, but the soule is thrust under Gods most heavie displeasure, and his hot wrath, which is a consuming fire.

2. The losse of Jesus Christ, and all the benefits of his redempti­on: and 2. so the soule is cut off from remission of sinne, to which onely Psal. 32. 1. 2. [Page 212] belongeth blessednes; from impu­tation of righteousnes, which only entitleth to life; from the digni­tie of adoption, to which only be­longs the inheritance; from the benefit of Christs intercession, that hee will not so much as pray for such. Now the soule lying with­out Christ, lyeth under the whole rigour of the Morall Law, under the curse and sentence of condem­nation and malediction, for pro­voking so high justice; and un­der the power of Satan, as a Jay­lor, holding the sinner unto exe­cution in everlasting chaines.

3. The lost soule hath lost the blessed presence of the Spirit of 3. God, which is the soule of the soule; and as the Sunne to the world, so is hee to the Elect for light and comfort. There is a losse of the Spirit in all his saving of­fices: his illumination, further than to make them unexcusable: his consolation and joy, having left [Page 213] them to eternall horrour and hea­vinesse: and his assistance of lea­ding them into all truth, or raising requests in them. Thus wanting the spirit, they want all degrees of mortification, from first to last, in life and death. They are layd under the whole power of their vain conversation, & under all the corruption of the present evil world, that they may eternally lye under as much power as guilt of sinne.

4. There is the losse of heaven and happinesse, and that eternally: 4. and not that onely, but the sense of horrible torment, expressed in Scripture by unquenchable fire: Mat. 3. 12. which notes them infinitely mi­serable, in the eternitie and du­rance of most exquisite torments: for their worme dyeth not, and their fire goeth not out, Esa. 66. 24. and they have no rest, but the smoake of their fire ascendeth con­tinually, Rev. 14. 15. so as they Rev. 9. 6. Ipsumesse, iis poena. shall seeke death, but shall not find [Page 214] it: their very being is a punish­ment.

Next, what is it, that makes II. What makes a lost soule irrecove­rable. the soule, once lost, irrecove­rable?

1. An invincible wicked and hard heart, setled upon sin, and sending out all cursed practises of 1. lying, swearing, despighting grace in the means and bringers, crueltie, injustice, vaine confi­dence, and all manner of sin. They that doe such things, are shut out of the kingdome of God, and of Christ, 1. Cor. 69. Gal. 5. 21. For such be wray themselves given up of God to a reprobate minde, cal­ling Rom. 1. 28. Esa 5. 20. good evill, and darknesse light; whose consciences are seared a­gainst 1. Tim. 4. 2. all goads and prickings of the word: no counsell or admo­nition toucheth them, nor trou­bleth them: all the threats and menaces of the law are to them as iron-weapons to Behemoth, esteemed as straw. Here is a man [Page 215] in a lost estate. Judas is a lost son of perdition: how know you him? all the counsels and admo­nitions of Christ are lost upon him, nothing workes upon him for reformation: and obstinate Pharaoh will be broken all to pieces, before the powerfull mi­nisterie of Moses and Aaron can bend him.

If we meet with such knottie pieces, on whom in vaine wee breake many wedges; who, if Moses and Aaron were immedi­ately sent with as many miracles as messages, or if Christ himselfe in person should perswade with them, yet still would remaine ob­stinate, alas, what remedie? who can save a lost man? a man that will not bee saved? A man that chuseth death, must dye: he will not live.

2. This also makes the lost 2. soule irrecoverable, for that it hath trod under foot the blood [Page 182] of Christ; so as there is no more price or sacrifice for his sin, Heb. 10. 29. And they doe this (saith Ambrose) who sin voluntarily, without feare, not regarding the blood that was shed for them, nor fearing Christ the Judge who som­times shed his blood for their re­demption. This is to crucifie Christ againe daily to themselves, and to put him to death daily, Heb. 6. 6. who having dyed once can dye no more. Slight this blood of Christ, and sin against it, what can save thee?

3. The Spirit of grace in the 3. Ministery hath beene despighted, his motions and knockes all reje­cted, himselfe grieved and bani­shed. And now that he is driven out with despight, hee never Heb. 10. 29 comes more, let that soule sinke or swim: the Spirit of life is gone.

4. The day of mercy hath beene despised, the season of grace hath 4. [Page 217] beene slipped, the doore of grace is now shut, a world of teares and sorrow cannot now quench the fire of wrath kindled against the sinnes, and soules: now the bles­sing is too late sought with teares: teares of horror and despaire (a full sea of them) cannot wash the guilt of one sin: repentance is now unseasonable. Time was when Christ called Jerusalem with tears, & would have gathered her as the hen gathers her chickens, but she would not, the things of Mat. 23. 37. her peace were then hid from her eyes, and afterward all her sorrow was too late.

Next, see the worthlesnesse III. All unable to recover a lost soule, how and why. and impotencie of all earthly things to recover a lost soule.

First, in their rankes. Whatsoe­ver is in the world, is reduced to one of these three heads (1. John 2. 16.) Lust of the flesh, voluptu­ousnesse, 1. pleasures; wherein if there be any excellency, the brute [Page 218] beasts led with sensualitie enjoy it above men; for they enjoy their appetite without all restraint and checke, of reason or religion. Lust of the eye, desire of wealth, riches, abundance, whereof worst men are greatest gainers, and those that have no true treasure, a­bound in these: beside, the Scrip­ture calls them shadows, lyes, thicke clay, uncertaine and decei­vable riches. And pride of life, [...]. Epict. c. 1. & 2. honor, ambition, preferment, esti­mation of men; which are so much the more worthlesse, be­cause they depend upon other mens breath and opinion: beside, the whole world is witnesse to the levity and inconstancie of them. And can these things, so vaine in themselves, recover so infinite a losse?

Secondly, see them in their 2. Anima [...]re­ [...]iosior est corpore, & omni posses­sione, & om­nibus aliis bonis. Arist. pol. 7. properties. As they are vaine in themselves, so are they not ours, but some from parents as inheri­tances, [Page 219] some from Princes as ho­nors, some from people as praise, name, reputation, and all in other mens power so long as they will conferre or retaine them. But our soules are properly ours: as also our sinnes: and no man can re­deeme the soule of his brother, Psal. 49. 7. Againe, they are changeable and temporarie. For wealth, a man may out live a world of it, and dye a begger. Mens favors are no inheritance. Beautie will not stand before one fit of sick­nesse: nor strength the shake of one ague. One snuffe of a candle may suddenly overmaster the greatest estate: and the greatest pleasures are but for a season. Heb. 11. 25. Whereas the soule and faculties of it are immortall, and capable of eternall weale or wo.

Thirdly, that which must ran­some 3. What goes to the ran­some of a soule: in 3. things. the soule, must appease the infinite wrath of God; which all finite creatures are not able to [Page 220] doe: Pro. 11. 4. they avayle not in the day of wrath. Only the blood of Christ is a plenarie expiation. Againe, that which must ransome a soule, must buy backe the sen­tence, and procure a righteous­nesse answerable to the law: but the whole world cannot do that: onely Christ frees from the sen­tence of condemnation, and his blood onely obtaines for us bet­ter conditions by vertue of a new covenant, than the law affords us. Lastly, that which ransomes a soule, must help us out of corru­ption, pull us out of the power of Satan, keepe the soule from hell, and invest us into life and immortalitie: But a world of worlds cannot doe the least of all these: and therefore can be no proportionall recompence for a lost soule.

Fourthly, all the world can­not 4. offer a recompence to God, of any thing which is not his [Page 221] owne: whereas our ransome must be of a thing undue, an offering above that the law requireth, a free-will offering: so that no sin­ner can offer a ransome of sin. And by all this it appeareth, that the whole world cannot afford a re­compence for one lost soule.

Which serves to condemne the extreme blasphemie of the Use 1. Confutati­on of Pa­pists. Romish Church, teaching that masses, pardons, indulgences, sa­tisfactions, humane merits & pil­grimages, and a thousand such toyes can become a recompence for a lost soule: whereas no man nor Angell can become a recom­pence for a lost soule, it is too great a price to pay, the person must be no lesse than GOD and man: 1 Pet. 1. 18. Yee are not re­deemed with corruptible things.

2. Let such rich men, as to 2. How to be affected to the world so worth­lesse. whom our Lord directeth this speach, consider of their wofull estate; while they abound with [Page 222] wealth, & trustin nothing so much as that. A broken reed: and for all their wealth, being wicked, they must to hell; their riches cannot ransom thē, yea they rather plunge them into the pit than help them out; as a wedg of gold helps more to drowne a man that is cast into the sea, thā to save or deliver him. Which should be of use to all, the more willingly to want them, the more weinedly to hold them, to grow into an holy contempt of them, and to raise our desires to better & more durable riches.

3. It may humble us, for that it 3. Be hum­bled for so great losse, or hazard. imports the extreme miserie into wch wee have plunged our selves by sin: we have lost our soules, and cast them into so ruinous a condi­tion, as the whole world is not sufficient to ransom them. The greatness and desperateness of the cure amplifies the greatnesse and desperatenes of the disease. What earthly danger is it, which the [Page 223] world cannot buy out? but gold and silver cannot purchase a Church: no not one soule. It must be an infinite ruine and breach, the repaire whereof must be of such infinite value and sufficiency.

4. It calls us to behold the ex­cellencie of Christ, and fixe our 4. Admire Christ the redeemer of soules. eyes upon the wonderfull vertue of his precious blood, which did redeeme our lost soules, when all corruptible things in the world could not. How should it excite us to love him, and admire his goodnes? and raise the price of grace, which is be­yond all treasures? yea and teach us to esteeme the rebukes of Christ greater riches than the trea­sures of Egypt? Paul would bee Heb. 11. 26. Phil. 39. 10. set downe a nothing in himselfe, that he might finde the vertue of Christ his death and resurrecti­on: the worth and value wherof is beyond the worth of many worlds; even so farre as infinite [Page 224] is beyond finite, which holds no comparison.

Lastly, it may raise in us the true valuation and respect of our 5. Be the more care­full to save soules, thine own & others. owne soules. Is the soule at such a rate, as being lost a whole world cannot redeeme it? what an extreme madnesse then is it, for men so to live as if they had no soules? or if they have, they are but as salt to keepe their bo­dies sweet: void of all care, either to keepe or save them: never an horse or hog about their houses, but their lives are more regarded than their precious soules. Cer­tainly there is nothing of price, no pearles, no grace, nothing worthy of care, where men are so care­lesse.

Let us bee exhorted to looke better to our soules, than to lose them for any baites which the di­vell or the world layes in our way. Prize them above all the world, as Christ doth. Be serious [Page 225] in the saving of thy soule, above the winning of the world. Use the ordinary means diligently. Get the Spirit of faith, love, pray­er, &c. which are utterly con­temned by the most, & too much neglected by the best. And with thine owne soule pitie and prize the soules of others, especially such as are committed to thee, as a Pastor, as a Parent, as a Master: lose them not for want of instru­ction: esteeme the soules of thy wife & children, precious things: bring them to the means of salva­tion: teach them, pray for them, help them out of danger of per­dition: if by thy default one soule be lost, all the world cannot make up the losse, either to thee or to that person.

Verse 27. ‘For the Sonne of man shall come in the glory of his Father, with his Angells, and then shall hee give to every man according to his deeds.’

OUr Saviour having enforced 3. Argu­ [...]nt: from [...] last judgment. his doctrine of selfe-deniall by two strong arguments alrea­dy, the inevitable danger of fay­ling herein, and the unprofitable­nesse of that unhappie match of winning the world with the losse of the soule; in these words ad­deth another, of no lesse force than the former, drawne from the consideration of the last judgment, wherein all those his sayings shal be fully accomplished: for, how­soever he was now abased, and rejected, as not worth the fol­lowing and owning, yet the time commeth that hee will come in the glory of his Father, attended [Page 227] with his most glorious Angells, and then shall hee give to every man according to his workes, that is to say, to the wicked, who for avoyding the crosse & perill have rejected him, and the profession of his Gospell, eternall perdition; but to the godly, who have persi­sted in the constant confession of his Name (according to their workes) life eternall.

This application of these words to the former matter, is the true connexion of them: wherein consider five things,

  • 1. The person that must come, the Sonne of man.
    5. things to bee ex­pounded.
  • 2. The action of comming, shall come.
  • 3. The manner of comming, in the glory of his Father.
  • 4. His attendants, with his An­gells.
  • 5. The end of comming, to give to every man according to his deeds.

[Page 228] For the first. The person that 1. must come, is the Sonne of man: which title is used in the Scrip­ture, either commonly, or singu­larly.

In the former sense, for any common man borne of another Christ cal­led the son of man, how. Job 25. 6. How much more the Son of man, which is but a worme? In the latter it is taken for the eter­nall Sonne of God, being made man: Matt. 8. 20. the Sonne of man hath not where to lay his head. For by the sonne of man is meant here whole Christ, by an ordina­ry figure, whereby that which belongeth to one nature, is ascri­bed to the whole person: so in Mat. 9. 6. the sonne of man hath power to remit sinnes: which pow­er agrees not to Christ as the son of man, or in respect of his humane nature, but in respect of the eter­nall Person, as hee is God: for, [...] sup­ [...]ti. [...]ohn. 3. 13. who can forgive sinnes but God onely? Beside, Christ while hee [Page 229] was in the world, said, that the sonne of man came downe from heaven, & is in heaven; which then could not be in regard of his hu­mane nature, but of his divine.

Nay, by this title our Text must needes understand whole Christ, God and man, the Sonne of God, and the Sonne of man: for though his speech expresse him the Sonne of man, yet the action here refeired unto him (to be the just Judge of all the world) pro­claims him to be the Son of God: and, hee is indeed the Sonne of man, but comming in the glory of his Father.

Quest. But why doth Christ ordinarily, speaking of himselfe, call himselfe the sonne of man? he might have said, the Sonne of God shall come in the glory of his Father: which might seeme to have added more weight to his words.

Answ. Yet he useth the other title,

[Page 230] 1. In respect of himselfe. To Why cal­led ordina­ [...]ily the Sonne of man. note that hee was a true man: be­ing not onely a man, but the sonne of man: that borne man, having flesh and blood no where else but from man. And herein this se­cond Adam was opposed to the first, who was a man, but not the sonne of man: for hee was the Sonne of God by creation, Luke 3. 38. The first Adam was framed of the earth, and so was made a man, but not the Sonne of man: the second Adam tooke flesh of the Virgin, and so was not onely man, but the Sonne of man also.

Againe, it implies that he was a weake and fraile man, as the He­brew phrase soundeth: Psal. 8. 5. Lord what is man or the sonne of man, that thou shouldest respect him? being so base and vile. Esay 51. 12. Who art thou that fearest a mortall man? or the sonne of man, that is, a weake and fraile crea­ture. And hereto serves that di­stinction [Page 231] among the Hebrewes, of filii viri, and filii hominis: Beni­ [...]sh, noteth men in excellencie, e­minencie, dignitie, and autho­ritie: Beni-adam, obscure per­sons, and men of common and low condition. In the same sense Ezekiel, because he was astonied and throwne downe by a glori­ous vision (Chap. 1.) was so of­ten afterward called sonne of man, and bid to stand up on his feet. As if the Lord had said, Ezeki cl, I know thou art a sonne of man, a weake man, not able to behold the brightnesse of such Majestie; but gather thy selfe, bee of good cheare, and stand on thy feet.’

And thus Christ the sonne of man, takes on him our frailties and weaknesses; undertook an ab­ject, low and base condition, and appeared in the forme of a ser­vant, in his nativitie, life, and death; in all our basenesse like un­to [Page 232] us, sinne onely excepted. Yea and more, in this very phrase hee impropriateth our miserie to himself, that as all sons of men are base and miserable, yet of all sons of men none was ever so abased as hee was; no sorrow was ever like his, no not all the misery of all sonnes of men was compa­rable to his: and therefore hee doth after a sort appropriate this title to himselfe.

2. In respect of his hearers, and mens judgement, who commonly 2. esteemed him no other, and rose no higher in their judgement of him, than of a meere man, though perhaps a great and holy man. He would tender the weaknesse of his hearers: for scarce the Disciples themselves after a great while could come to acknow­ledge the Majesty of the Sonne of God, in this sonne of man: and therefore he speakes of himselfe, as they are able to conceive him, [Page 233] more intending their instruction, than his owne reputation.

3. In respect of the argument. 3. For the manner of Scripture in speaking of the last judgement, is, to use this phrase above other: 1. because this was appropriated to Messiah by Daniel, chap. 7. 13. to which Christ undoubtedly had reference: I beheld, and there came as a sonne of man in the clouds of heaven. 2. To shew, that as he shewed himselfe in the nature of man to be judged on earth, so hee would shew himselfe in a visible manner a Judge from heaven: for it is meete, that the Judge of all should be seene of all: In regard of which manner of judging the Sonne onely shall judge, al­though the Father and the holy Ghost judge also, but after ano­ther manner.

Ob. Christ was as a sonne of man, Dan. 7. and Revel. 14. 14. I saw upon the cloulds one sit­ting [Page 234] as the sonne of man: there­fore Christ is not, but onely like the sonne of man. So Phil. 2. 7. He tooke upon him the forme of a servant, and was made like a man.

Answ. For the two former places, Christ was seene figura­tively in vision. When Daniel saw his vision, he was not yet the son of man, but was to be born & be in time the son of man. And af­ter he was incarnate & ascended, being by S. John seene in vision, hee is said to bee [...] the sonne of man, for that he was not seene of either in substance, but in figure onely.

For the place in the Philippi­ans, well answers M. Calvin, Saint Non loqui­tur de essen­tia humane naturae, sed des [...]. Paul speakes not of the essence of his humane nature, but of his state; hee came a true man, but in a lowly state and condition, even the base condition of a servant.

Note here, how our Lord doth Observ. willingly acknowledge the humili­tie [Page 235] and basenesse of his humanitie, Christ con­tented with mean titles. & speaketh lowly of himself in such an argument as wherein hee shall shew his greatest glory. He might have stiled himselfe the Sonne of God, as hee was, not onely as God by eternall generation, but also as man; though not by crea­tion as Adam, nor by adoption, as the beleeving sonnes of Adam, yet by personall union of the Deitie with the humane nature. Or if he would by his forme of speech make us know, that hee is in his humanitie visibly to come, and bee seene the sonne of man, yet hee might have used a more royall title, as that hee was the sonne of David, or the sonne of Kings. But this base title for the time of his abasement best plea­sed him:

1. Because he was to be a pat­terne And why? 1. of humilitie and low linesse of minde. His example was to bee our rule, his action our in­struction.

[Page 236] 2. His office and calling was 2. not to be served, but to serve; nor to seeke to raise himselfe in the world, but to raise our estate. He must abase himselfe, and make himselfe of no reputation, to take our nature and sinnes upon him. Hee hid for a time the glory and divine Majestie of his person. He avoided often the applause and fame of men, for that hee sought not the honour of men. Hee re­fused preferments offered upon bad termes, both by Satan who promised him all the glory of all Mat. 4. 8. the Kingdomes of the world: and by men who would have made him a king. Hee suppressed Joh. 6. 15. his owne praises, Joh. 5. 34. 41. In a word, his whole life was devoted to profit and helpe o­thers, with neglect of himselfe.

Now let the same minde bee in Use. Phil. 2. 5. you that was in Christ Jesus. Get humilitie into the minde, the seat most proper for it, and then [Page 237] it will outwardly appeare in speeches and behaviours. Get the same minde; not the same measure or degree of humilitie: for no creature can fall from such height as our Lord did. But, who­soever will bee chiefe of all, let him be servant of all: for so was Christ. The primacie of a servant and Disciple of Christ is, to bee servant to all Gods Saints. Not that Christianitie brings in dis­order or confusion, or doth not observe this distinction of place, gifts, and condition, in Church or commonwealth: for Saints, as Starres, differ in glory: But to shew, that the highest place and advancement in the kingdome of Christ must expresse humilitie of minde, and a willingnesse to lay hands under the feete of the least and lowest of the Saints, for their good.

Now let us trie our selves a little.

[Page 238] 1. Christs humble mind makes A triall whether wee bee humble of minde as Christ. 1. him speake lowly of himselfe, and call himselfe ordinarily the sonne of man, being the Sonne of God. But how doe wee boast our selves, that every man shall know what wee are, if wee bee borne of a little higher stocke than ordinary, if wee have a little more knowledge, or wealth, or honour, or friends, than other men? Alas, what would wee doe if wee had Dei­tie and heavenly glory to stand upon? Christ might have stood on his royall descent, on his high birth, on his wealth, being Lord of heaven and earth, and heire of all things. But he emptied him­selfe, and brought himselfe al­most to nothing: that his ex­ample might plucke downe our top-sailes, and wee learne to decke our selves with lowlinesse of minde.

2. Christs humilitie made him [Page 239] beare the infirmities of others, and seeke the things of others more than his owne life: Yea though, when hee became man, he ceased not to bee God, yet hee comes to his enemies, seekes reconciliati­on with them, stoupes to helpe them, and save them with losse of his life. Now if hee bee our root, why draw wee not vertue from him? if wee bee implanted into him, why grow wee not up in all things in him? Where is our charitie and compassion to our brethren? yet he was compassio­nate to his enemies. When doe wee emptie our selves, to goe to our enemies, and to seeke recon­ciliation? nay wee can reject it, and live in rancour, hatred, ma­lice, and contentions, yeares and ages almost, more like Scythi­ans and Barbarians, than Christi­ans.

3. Christ cast himselfe un­der 3. all men, to doe good unto all. [Page 240] But where is our submitting one to another, and that better estee­ming of every one, than of our selves? no: wee stand on our tur­ret, and full height, and what should I yeeld to him? &c. Oh how many good lessons are lost, and abuses unreformed, and godly motions or duties stopt and cros­sed! why? because such and such move it, and like of it: and, ra­ther than please their humours, let all things runne to ruine and wracke. Did Christ so? no: had hee stood on his height and reputation, and beene so stout a­gainst thee, as thou art to his Mi­nisters and members, thou hadst ere this beene in the bottomlesse pit of hell.

What had become of thee, that wilt beare no infirmitie in thy brethren, if he had not stoup­ed to beare all thine? what had beene thy lot, who wilt shew no mercie nor bowells of love in [Page 241] the distresses of the Saints? thou passest by, as the Priest and Le­vite: thou cloathest not, feedest not, visitest not the afflicted members of Christ: if he had so shut up his bowels against thee, where hadst thou beene?

4. As Christ by his speeches 4. declared himselfe the sonne of man, but by his workes the Son of God: so must wee bee lowly in our speeches, but let our works testifie wee are the sonnes and daughters of God, expressing his vertues, and shining as lights in the midst of a crooked genera­tion.

So of the first thing in these words.

The second is the action of II. Christ comes in spirit and person. 1. comming, shall come.

Christ com­meth to us
  • either in spirit,
  • or in person.

In spirit hee comes, 1. in the Ministry, to win and perswade us to come to him: thus hee went [Page 242] and preached in Noahs time, to the spirits now in prison, 1 Pet. 3. 19. 2. In some speci­all manifestation of his pre­sence, in mercie or judgement. The former when hee meets us with comfort, strength, and in­crease of any grace: Joh. 14. 18. I will not leave you comfortlesse, but will come unto you: & vers. 23. My father will love him, and wee will come unto him, and make our abode with him. The latter in judgement, and testification of displeasure: Rev. 2. 16. repent, or I will come against thee shortly: so in Joh. 16. 8.

In person, he comes two waies, 2. in carnem, and in carne, first into flesh, afterward in flesh; first in humilitie, then in glory; first in his incarnation, at his first appea­ring, the other in his glorious re­turn at the last day; the former to be judged, the latter to judge all flesh, and all things done in the [Page 243] flesh, good and evill. Of this lat­ter he speakes here:

Where consider
  • 1. Whence hee com­meth.
  • 2. Whither.
  • 3. When.

For the first, He commeth from 1. He comes from hea­ven, and why. heaven: 1 Thess. 4. 16. The Lord himselfe shall descend from heaven, that is, the third and highest hea­ven.

And why?

1. Because it was (according to Gods decree) foretold, not on­ly 1. by the Prophets, as Jude 14. in the ancient prophesie of Enoch: but also by Christ himselfe, Mat. 26. 64. Hereafter yee shall see the sonne of man come in the clouds of heaven.

2. That was the place whither 2. he ascended, and from thence he must descend: as Act. 1. 11. Yee men of Galilee, why stand ye gazing into heaven? this Jesus which is taken from you into heaven, shall so [Page 244] come as yee have seene him goe into heaven.

3. It is meet that Christ should 3. come from heaven to judge, be­cause it is not meet that wicked men and Angels should come thither to him, although to re­ceive their sentence; for that ho­ly Citie can admit no uncleane thing, Rev. 21. 27.

4. As it is in earthly judge­ments, 4. so must it be in this great Assise, which must be held, and the judgement set up in the same country, or about the place where the facts and crimes to bee judg­ed were committed.

But whither shall he come?

Some thinke into the valley of 2 Whither CHRIST comes to judgment. Jehosaphat, which lyeth situate between mount Sion, and mount Olivet, neare Jerusalem: so cal­led from the noble victory, which God gave Jehosaphat over the enemies of the Church: for which they alledge, Joel 3. 12. [Page 245] Let the Heathen be wakened, and come to the valley of Jehosaphat: for there I will sit to judge all the Heathen round about. But allegoricall and typicall prophe­cies are not to be expounded ac­cording to the letter, but accor­ding to the type and similitude; which seemes to be this: As that valley of Engeddi (called the val­ley of Jehosaphat from the noble victory of Jehosaphat against the Moabites, Ammonites, and other enemies gathered against the Church) was situate in the sight of the city Jerusalem, and mount, a type of the Church: so the Lord will revenge and judge all his enemies, before or in the last judgement day, in the sight of all his holy people, and Saints, who in their manner shall judge the world. And hence some godly and judicious Divines have pro­bably conceived, that the judge­ment-seat shall bee set up in some [Page 246] place neare Jerusalem, both to increase the terror of the judge­ment, and the glory of Christ, to sit there as Judge where him­selfe was judged. But to con­clude it as a resolved opinion, is rash and ungrounded.

Others thinke it shall be upon the earth, that the sentence may bee given where the facts have beene committed, that Christ may shew himselfe a Conqueror where the combate was, and justly condemne others where himselfe was unjustly condem­ned. And sundry things of the Fathers sound hereunto. But in vaine should wee seeke a reason of that, which whether it selfe shall be, is altogether unknown. If the Scriptures had said it should bee on earth, then the reasons were good. But, wherever it is, the wicked shall looke on him whom they have pierced. Zech. 12. 10. Rev. 1. 7.

The Apostle seemes to settle [Page 247] the place of judgement in the aire, 1 Thess. 4. 17. the elect shall be caught up to meete the Lord in the aire. And as hee was carried up in a cloud, so the Scripture saith hee shall come in the clouds of heaven. So as it is most pro­bable, where wee shall meet him, the judgement shall bee, namely, in the clouds of the aire neare the earth: where the divells shall be conquered and sentenced in the very place, where they have ru­led all this while as Princes. But whether over mount Olivet whence hee ascended, or above the valley of Jehosaphat, or the City of Jerusalem, were folly to define, seeing Gods wisedome hath not clearely determined.

The conclusion is, that the Judge is of power and wisdome to set up the throne of his glory, wheresoever himselfe thinketh most fit. 3. When he will come thereto.

But when shall he come?

[Page 248] In the end of the world. But the 3. When he will come thereto. particular age, yeare, or day is not knowne to man or Angell: Mark. 13. 32. Of that day and houre knoweth no man, nor the Angels of The time unknowne for sixe rea­sons. heaven, no nor the Son himselfe, but the Father onely: because, 1. the end of the world is fit to bee knowne to him onely, who one­ly 1. knew a fit time for the begin­ning of it: 2. this secret is none 2. of them which Christ had heard from his Father; for then had he revealed it to the Apostles, and so to the Church. Neither, 3. was 3. it among them which the Spirit (promised and sent) revealed or taught the Apostles, who yet were led by him into all necessa­ry truth, Joh. 16. 13. 4. Christ 4. must come as a theefe in the night, and as in the dayes of Noah, when men knew nothing: which could not bee, if the time were knowne. 5. Of what va­liditie 5. were all those exhortati­ons, [Page 249] to watch and be warie, be­cause wee know not the houre, un­lesse the time were concealed? Mat. 24. 42. 44. 6. Many are the 6. reasons, why God would not have us to know it: as, not knowing the set houre wee may Ideò la [...]et u­nus dies, ut observentur omnes. bee prepared every houre: our faith and patience may bee exer­cised, and our hope upheld, not limiting the Lord to times and seasons which are in his owne power.

The greater hath beene the sin and folly of many learned men, Opinions of the time of old and of late, who have set their wits so childishly to play in so serious a businesse. Augu­stine De Civ. Dei l. 10. cap. 35. relates, that many about his time defined the day of the Lords comming; some to an hundred, some five hundred, some to a thousand yeares after his ascen­sion. Since that time, Joachimus Abbas, who set the yeare 1258. Arnoldus de villa, nova, the [Page 250] yeare 1345. Michael Stiphelius, Saint Lukes day in the yeare 1533. Cyprian [...]s Leovitius Italus, the yeare 1583. Johannes Regiomon­tanus, the yeare 1588. Adelbertus Thermopedius, the yeare 1599. and third of Aprill: Nicolaus Cu­sanus, the yeare 1700. Cardanus, 1800. Ostander out of Cabala, 1689. Picus Mirandula, 1904.

I will not name some worthy Writers on the Revelation, but wish they had forborne that cu­riositie in this computation, wherein I thinke they ungroun­dedly troubled themselves, and many others. The most I have named, carrie alreadie the cha­stisement of their temeritie, and have reaped onely the scorne of their errour: that wee by them might learn to be wise to sobrietie, Rom. 12. 3. and not seeke to know or make knowne that which the Angels, and Christ himselfe was content to be ignorant of.

[Page 251] But though Christ knew it not Ob. then as man, being for our sakes ignorant of many things which hee was not bound to know, as of this day, and the time of figs, &c. yet now he knoweth it, and so it may now be communicated to the Angels and blessed spirits: and why then may it not bee re­vealed to the Church?

True it is, that Christ now Ans. glorified hath laid downe all in­firmities, and knowes both the day and houre, and in this his exalted estate is ignorant of none of the workes of God, which have beene, are, or shall bee, his Deitie enlightning his humane soule. But therefore to conclude, that every such thing is revealed to the Angels and blessed spirits, is frivolous. For if every thing which belongs to the exalted head, were necessary to bee com­municated to the principall members, they should bee in the [Page 252] same degree of glory with the head; which they are not capable of. The King revealeth not every thing to the privle Councell, but holds distance from them. And to say they must needs see every thing in him, as in a glasse, because they see him that seeth every thing, it is vaine, and failes even in a corruptible creature: for hee that sees the Sunne, doth not see by that sight all that the Sunne by his beames beholdeth.

Others thinke the day uncer­taine, but the houre of an uncer­taine day certaine: namely, that Christ will come the same houre to judge, that hee rose againe in: as Rabanus and Lactantius. But with as little reason: if I should say, he may come the same houre that he ascended, or shall come to judge at the same houre that hee was judged of men, I shall speake as probably: yet I know not: no more do they. 1 Thes. 5. 2.

[Page 253] Of the same strength is their conceit, who say hee must come in the night, because he shall come as a theefe in the night, and be­cause the Egyptians were de­stroyed at midnight. Yet know they not, whether the Master will come at midnight, or in the Mark. 13. 35. morning watch: and forget it is called the day of the Lord.

The conclusion is: Secret things belong to the Lord, but things revealed to us and our chil­dren for ever, Deut. 29. 29.

Now if Christ must come Use 1. Against Consub­stantiation & Transub­stantiation from heaven, then hee is now in heaven, and his body not every where, as Ubiquitaries teach; nor yet substantiall under the formes of bread and wine, as Papists. That which is every where, can­not come from one place to ano­ther. And Christ comes not in bodily presence from heaven, but visibly, whether we consider his first comming, or his second. As [Page 254] for any other invisible presence of his body, such as they say is in the Sacrament, the Scripture knowes none. And whereas they flie to a miracle, let them give us in­stance of a miracle in the Scrip­ture, which was not visible, and whereof the senses might not be judges.

This also serves to terrifie wic­ked men from sin. Christ comes 2. from heaven to revenge sin and sinners: and comming from hea­ven to doe it, it shall be done to purpose. If a man were to come out of some corner of the earth with an hand of revenge, the dan­ger were the lesse, and the feare not so great: But the mighty God comes from heaven to doe it, &c. Great men may stand upon their power and priviledges, and often by wealth and friends make their partie good against earthly re­venge: but when Christ shall shew himselfe from heaven, the [Page 255] great worke of Gods justice shall be done to purpose.

And, if Christ come from hea­ven, we must look for him thence, 3. yea and long for him: Phil. 3. [...]0. Our conversation is in heaven, from whence also we looke for the Savi­our, the Lord Jesus Christ. The Rev. 22. 17. 2 Tim. 4. 8. bride saith, Come: and the Saints are described to be such, as looke for his appearing. A loving wife cannot but looke for, and long for the returne of her husband from a farre countrie. A carefull ser­vant will looke after his Master through the casements, and expe­cting his returne will make all things readie. If the bridegroome be comming, let the bride decke her selfe, as Rebecca espying Isaac Gen. 24. 65. a farre off. As Joshua exhorted Is­rael, chap. 3. 5. be sanctified: for to morrow the Lord will worke wonderfull things, and lead you through Jordan into the land of Canaan: so our Joshua commands [Page 256] us to bee sanctified, because the Lord in that day from heaven will doe wonders in leading us to heavenly Canaan.

Lastly, if Christ be comming from heaven, meet him in the way. 4. Meet Christ comming from hea­ven, how. 1.

1. Meet him in his Ordinan­ces: as the ancient Beleevers, who waited for his comming in the flesh, were ever found in the Temple. A loving spouse will en­joy her husband as much as shee can, in his long absence: if she can heare of him, or receive a let­ter from him, or a token, she is glad she hath something of him: yea her love will make her meet him afarre off, as farre as she can see him, as the father of the pro­digall, and as Jep [...]haes daughter did. And if thou longest for him indeed, thou wilt enjoy him on earth as much as thou canst, in his word which is his letters, in his graces which are his pawnes and pledges, &c.

[Page 257] 2. Meet him with thy affecti­ons, 2. prayers, and wishes after him: send thy prayers and holy requests daily, as presents unto him.

3. Meet him in heavenly con­versation. 3. He commeth from hea­ven the first and second time, to draw thee thither: and shall hee not by all this paines gaine thy heart, affection, and conversation, Rules of an heaven­ly life. from earthlinesse to heavenly­mindednesse? Begin heavenly life here. First, spend thy life in cheer­full 1. praises: keepe a perpetuall Sabbath. Secondly, enjoy God a­bove all means, and in all means: 2. hee is all now, as well as here­after. Thirdly, walke by the 3. Charter of heaven: the law of righteousnesse must be the rule of all, and weights to weigh all, in and out. Fourthly, wait still for further perfection of glorie: stay 4. not in first fruits.

[Page 258] In the glory of his Father. III. Christs se­cond com­ming shall be glori­ous.

Here is the manner of Christs second comming: wherein it is op­posed to the first: there he cove­red and vailed his glory, but now he will reveale and display it, a­bove the shining of a world of Sunnes. Where consider three things, and then the Uses:

  • 1. Why he calleth it the glory
    3. Things in that glory.
    of his Father.
  • 2. Whether it be not his owne glory.
  • 3. Wherein this glory confisteth.

For the first of these: Christ calleth it the glory of his Father,

1. Because it is a most divine glory, agreeing to none but the 1. Why called the glory of God the Father. Father and himselfe with the blessed Spirit. 2. Because the Fa­ther is the fountaine, as of the dei­tie, so also of this divine glory, wherewith he hath crowned his Sonne. Thence hee is called the Father of glory, Eph. 1. 17. and the God of glory, Act. 7. 2. & the King [Page 259] of glory, Psal. 24. 7. And Christ is said to bee taken up into glory, 1 Tim. 3. 16. namely, by his Fa­ther: for we must conceive God not onely glorious by his nature, in himselfe, but the fountaine al­so of all that glorious life and mo­tion which is communicated with any of his creatures. 3. Because, as all glory is from him, so all is due unto him: whom therefore his Sonne glorified, and wee ought also to glorifie.

But was not this glory Christs 2. Whe­ther it be not Christs own glory. owne, in which he shall appeare?

Answ. Yes: for, consider him as the Sonne of God, he was of equall glory with his Father in all eternitie: Joh. 17. 5. Glorifie me with thine owne selfe, with the glory which I had with thee before the world was: And his incarna­tion abated nothing of that glo­ry. And, consider him as the son of man, and mediator, 1. hee is worthy of all glory by the desert [Page 260] and merit of obedience, Rev. 4. 11. insomuch that hee pleadeth with his Father for his glorifica­tion, because hee had glorified him on earth, Joh. 17. 4. 5. 2. All glo­ry is due unto him as the sonne of 2. man, by the donation of his Fa­ther. Mat. 28. 18. All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth: So as it is Christs owne glory, as the sonne of man; as that is a mans owne, which is given him. Therefore in Mat. 25. 31. the phrase is changed: Christ challengeth it to bee his owne glory: when the sonne of man com­meth in his glory. But yet in spea­king of himselfe, as on the one hand he advanceth that great ma­jestie hee shall appeare in, so on the other he forgetteth not to re­ferre all that glory to his Father: which may bee a glasse held be­fore All our glory must still be re­ferred to the glory of God. our eyes, that when wee speake of our selves, or any endow­ment or gift belonging to our selves, [Page 261] wee so speake of it and so use it, as still our eye be fixed on Gods glory, from whom and for whom wee have received it.

When Christ shall appeare in such glory as never creature was capable of, nor can be, then shall [...]e most of all advance the glorie of his Father. But contrarily, when God most honours some men, they most forget his ho­nour: so they may advance them­selves, they litle care how his glory bee troden under foot. Happie is that man, who is so faithfull in these small things, as that the Lord shall be then occa­sioned to trust him with much.

But wherein shall this glorie appeare?

Partly in his person, partly in

[...]is office: both for
  • preparation,
    3. Wherein Christs glory at the last day consi­steth. 1.
  • execution.

1. In his person he shall be ad­vanced above all the glory of all [...]he Judges and Princes of the [Page 262] earth; whether wee consider his divine nature or humane.

For the former: hee shall bee manifest to be the mighty God: for howsoever hee shall exercise his judiciary power visibly, and appeare the sonne of man, yet shall hee be mightily declared to be the Sonne of God; in that the personall union of his two na­tures shall shine out as the Sunne in his strength, which before was vailed and obscured.

And for his humane nature, he shall be therein exalted in glorie as the head of his Church; that even his glorious body shall car­rie such majestie with it, and be seene in such admirable bright­nesse, as that the sunne which da­zelleth our eyes, can scarce re­semble it. For if the just shall shine in the glory which shall obscure Mat. 13. 43. the Sunne in the Firmament, how shall their justifier shine in glo­ry? And if his Attendants shall [Page 263] be so glorious, as no man is able to behold the glory of the least of —Velut inter ign [...]s Luna min [...] ­res. them, what and how glorious must he be, who shall so farre surpasse them all put together, as the Sunne doth the lesser starres in brightnesse?

2. If we consider his high office, 2. we shall behold him as the just Judge of all the world, clothed with all the robes of glory and majestie; such as shall well suit with the throne of his glory, and such as shall fit him to the great worke in hand.

How glorious and magnifi­cent was the giving of the Law? and how solemne the preparati­on? the earth shooke, the moun­taines trembled, the Lord came downe in fire, and out of thun­drings, lightnings, and a thicke cloud sounded his trumpet so lowd, as all the people trembled and shooke, and afterward a terrible voice was heard of six [Page 264] hundred thousand men beside women and children; yea in such glory appeared the Lord on mount Sinai, that Moses himselfe said, I quake and feare. Heb. 12. 21.

But when the Lord Jesus shall shew himselfe from heaven to judge the transgression of that law, his glory shall not onely shake mount Sinai, but the whole frame of heaven and earth all to pieces: when fire shall not com­passe one mountaine, but the whole world shall be set on a light fire: when the last trumpet shall sound, and not onely the li­ving shall heare it as then, but the dead and all that are in the graves: Joh. 5. 28. when the Lord of glory with one shout shall not raise one man, as Lazarus, but all that ever have beene dead, from the first man to the last which hee shall finde standing on the earth.

But to behold more specially Glorious preparati­on of this Judge. the particular robes and rayes of [Page 265] glory, wherewith the Judge is prepared to the judgment:

1. He shall come armed with 1. an infinite power and dominion over all creatures, which shall be acknowledged by them all: the Angels shall all observe and at­tend it: the heavens, and earth, and all elements shall bee dissol­ved by it: the dead bodies of men shall be raised by it, and called out of the graves, the sea, the bellies of beasts in all corners of the world: the voice of the Son of God shall be heard of all in the graves, and obeyed, none shall be able to resist it.

2. Hee shall come furnished 2. with a glorious and unconceivable Omniscience, to which nothing shall be hid or covered: he shall reveale all counsels of hearts, and all secret contrivances never so long hid. All things are naked to Heb. 4. 13. him, with whom we have to doe: for to him the day and darknesse Ps. 139. 12. [Page 266] are alike: there can be no conceal­ment of things from this all­feeing Judge.

3. Hee shall come covered 3. with divine justice as a robe, which shall confound all the ene­mies of his glory: Jer. 2. 16. as a theefe is ashamed when he is taken in the manner, so shall all wicked doers. And there is no avoiding, no deluding, or perverting the justice, neither the processe or finall sentence, unlesse any mans power or policie were above his.

4. Hee shall come prepared 4. Divers sorts of e­vidences. with glorious evidence and testi­monie against all wicked men for their conviction; that they shall not be able to implead the justice of the Judge or judgment. For,

First, hee shall have evidence and witnesse in their owne con­sciences, 1. which shall then accuse them to the Judge, and their [Page 267] owne confessions shall be as a thousand witnesses. Therefore (saith Augustine) Doest thou feare Judicium times? cor­rige consci­entim. the last judgment? rectifie thy con­science, and all shall be well.

Secondly, hee shall command 2. the creatures and elements abused by their sinnes, to give in evi­dence against them: Job 20. 27. The heavens shall reveale their wickednesse, and the earth shall rise up against them: all creatures shall serve their Lord.

Thirdly, the good Angels whom 3. Incentores in culpis: tor­tores in poe­nis Greg. they have in their kinde grieved and driven away from them by their sin, shall witnesse against them. And the wicked Angels who were first in tempting, shall then bee first in accusing, and first in tormenting.

Fourthly, the Scriptures of God against which they have 4. sinned, yea the word of mercy, the offer of mercies, their abuse of mercies, the resisting of means [Page 268] of grace and mercy, all shall wit­nesse against them; not so much to informe the Judge, as to con­vince themselves, and promote justice.

Fiftly, all their sinnes shall wit­nesse 5. against their authours and patrones. Every iniquitie hath his secret and still voice, saith Gre­gory: Omnis ini­quitas secre­tas suas vo­ces habet. Greg. but then it shall have a lowd voice. Blood shall crie, and the voice of it ring betweene heaven and earth. Oppression shall crie, usury shall crie, the wages of hirelings and labourers shall crie in the owne conscience. It cryes now, and thy conscience, if thou hast any, tells thee of thy wickednesse in defrauding Gods servants, his Ministers, and Christs members of their right: but the voice will not bee now heard: but then it will be heard, and thou shalt heare it; and thy gold and silver, and the rust of them shall crie against thee, and [Page 269] never be still till they have cryed thee downe into the pit, as Jam. 5. 3. 4.

Sixtly, if all other conviction 6. and witnesse should faile, there is one more that will bee a sure and infallible witnesse, and that is God himselfe: Mal. 3. 5. who can abide the day of his com­ming? for behold, I will be a swift witnesse against sorcerers, adulte­rers, false swearers, and all that feare not the Lord.

Thus the Judge is gloriously The exe­cution likewise glorious. prepared.

And he shall be as glorious in execution, as in preparation. For in passing a righteous sentence, and irrevocable, hee shall shine in surpassing glory,

both in re­spect of the
  • wicked,
  • godly.

1. Upon all the ungodly he shall 1. get himselfe a greater name, than ever he did upon Pharaoh; when all the wicked Princes and peo­ple [Page 270] that ever lived, shall be cited and assembled in the twinkling of an eye, before his Tribunall, and in terrour of his presence shall flie Rev. 6. 16. to the hils and mountaines to hide themselves; yea when all the powers and gates of hell, all wic­ked angels and men, shall be by one word of his cast out, and commanded out of presence, and confined to their prison, never to molest him or his Church any more.

2. In respect of the godly, hee 2.

shall be marvel­lous at that day,
  • 1. to the Saints
  • 2. in the Saints.

To the Saints: when they shall behold him that was betrayed, spitted upon, crucified, pierced, dead, buried, now advanced above all men and Angels, and crowned with honour above all that crea­ted nature is capable of.

But in the Saints also hee shall be marvellous: 2. Thess. 1. 10. for when Christ who is our life, shall [Page 271] appeare, we also shall appeare with him in glory, Col. 3. 4. First, the members shall partake of the glo­ry of the Head, that the Head may bee exalted in the glory of the members. Secondly, the Saints shall admire, not only his glory in himselfe, but in them­selves. How admirable will it be to see themselves, who were in the world accounted the out­sweepings, and driven out of the world with obloquie, contempt, fire and sword, yea who were but even now dust and ashes, newly crept out of the grave and rot­tennesse, so suddainly to attaine that fulnes of the glory of Christ, in their soules and bodies! In their soules, such a wonderfull perfection of Gods image, such deepe knowledge of the secrets of heaven and earth, such con­formitie in their wils unto God, clothed with such righteousnesse as God in his presence-chamber [Page 272] is delighted to behold. And their whole bodies changed, and aray­ed with immortalitie, incorrup­tion, and made spirituall bodies like the glorious body of Jesus Christ. And the whole man filled Phil. 3. 21. with rivers of pleasures at Gods right hand, and swallowed up with that happinesse which eye hath not seene, nor ever entred into the earth of man. This glory have all the Saints, in whom the glory of Christ in his appearing is complete.

Note hence the long-suffering and patience of our Lord Jesus Use 1. Christs pa­tience to be noted, who suffers his glory to be so long hid. Christ, who for his Elects sake is contented so long to be hid, and not shew himselfe in his glory till the end of the world; nay, not only suffers his glory to bee vailed, but trampled on by the wicked. For,

1. Now the heavens are as a curtaine betweene him and us, 1. which then shall bee undrawne, [Page 273] that all eyes may behold him in a glorious bodily presence, as the head of his glorious body.

2. He is now out of sight, and 2. out of minde; not knowne, nor beleeved among the wicked, who despise his patience because he sheweth not himselfe in ter­rour.

3. Neither is he so beloved or 3. admired of his Saints, as hee should, while he seemes to shut up and hide himselfe from their miseries and sufferings, as one not wel knowing or weighing them: And if he did not preserve a grain of faith in their hearts, to make things absent to bee present, his delayes would quite dishearten them.

But yet Christ will not al­wayes One day it sh [...]l be su [...] re­vealed. neglect his owne glory, nor will ever bee robbed of it: a day comes, wherein he shall ap­peare in surpassing glory. 1. In himselfe: not onely by that ex­ternall 1. [Page 274] and accidentall glory of his attendance, and most power­full manner of appearing, but by that internall and personall glory whereby hee shall obscure and darken the glory of all creatures: A shadow of which, Peter and John saw in the mount, when his face did shine as the Sunne, and his garments were as the light, Mat. 17. 3. not as Moses, when he came from the mount, very glorious, so as Israel could not behold his face: for that glory was not his owne, but his Lords: but Christ shall appeare in his owne glory. 2. His glory shall shine out unto 2. and in his Saints, in manifesting the power of his mercy as never he did before: v. c. Raising them from the dead by a word, as La­zarus. Gathering them to him­selfe, as the Eagles to a dead body. Loosing them eternally from all bands of sin and corrup­tion. Investing them in soule and [Page 275] body with his owne glory. And glorifying himselfe (as never be­fore) not as head of the Church, but in his whole body: for some of his owne glory was wanting, till his spouse be perfectly glori­fied. 3. His glory shall shine out 3. to the wicked, but not in mercy, but majesty; not in grace, but in the power of his justice: He will be glorified on them as on Pha­raoh, putting forth his power in their finall destruction.

Againe, let this bee a ground of patience and contentednesse, if Use 2. In obscu­titie bee yet pati­ent. we also be despised, if our glory and worth bee hid, and appeare not in the world till that day. Shall Christ our Lord bee content to be abused and despised now in his glory, till that day, and shall the servants bee above their Ma­ster?

1. Looke upon the Lords con­dition: 1. if wee suffer together, wee shell raigne together: and if [Page 276] Christ cannot expect the crowne before the Crosse, no more may wee.

2. Looke on thy condition: 2. thou art a stranger here, among strangers who know not thy birth from heaven, nor thy pa­rents: they know not God thy father, nor his image on thee, nor thy mother the Church, and spouse of Christ; nor thy worth through Christs worthinesse, nor thy inheritance and expectation. Bee content therefore as a stran­ger, in this strange countrie, with strange and course usage: onely let it make thee love thy owne countrie so much the better, and hye thee home where thou may­est expect better.

3. It is great reason, that Christs glory should appeare be­fore 3. ours: the members shall shew their glory, when their head doth: for their glory de­pends upon his: Col. 3. 4. Wee [Page 277] know that when Christ our life doth appeare, wee shall also ap­peare with him in glory: but now his glory is hid, and must ours appeare? In the winter all the sap, life and fruit is hid in the roote, and then the tree appeares not what it is: but the summer comes, and all that was within, appeareth: so in this our winter, though now wee bee the sonnes of God, yet it appeares not what wee are; but when Christ shall ap­peare, wee shall be like him, 1 Joh. 3. 1. 2.

Ob▪ But are we not now like him?

Ans. Yes, there is now a like­nesse betweene the head and members: the branches must have the same life, sap, and green­nesse in some proportion to the roote: the spouse is now sutable to her husband. But, first, this is a likenesse in grace, that is a like­nesse in glory: secondly, this is in [Page 278] part and imperfection, that in per­fection and fulnesse: thirdly, this is obscure and vailed, but that manifest, and revealed to men and Angels.

Waite then, and wish for this Use 3. Vaite and [...]ish for [...]he appea­ [...]nce of [...]is glory. [...] 1. 2. day of the revelation of Christs glory, and of thine in his: for,

1. Christ shall come the second time to the salvation of those that waite for him, Heb. 9. 21.

2. Love to Christ thy head now in a farre country will make thee long after him: Come saith the spouse, Oh that I might come to a sight of him whom my soule loveth. This must whet thy desire, that Christs glory may shine in that day, yea and en­larged in thy owne glory.

3. Hast thou received the first 3. fruits of glory? then thou canst not but long for the full harvest: Rom. 8. 23. Wee that have received the first fruits, sigh in our selves, waiting for the adoption, even the [Page 279] redemption of our bodies.

4. Never was there so happie 4. and joyfull a day; wherein, in their head, all the heads of the Saints shall bee lifted up into un­conceivable happinesse; who shall stand amazed to see their nature so exalted in their head, and be swallowed with unspeak­able joy to see themselves, who have beene by his first appearing in humilitie justified, now by his second appearing in glory to bee glorified. When the Disciples saw but a small glimpse of this glory in the Transfiguration, they were so ravished and transported out of themselves, that they wist not what they said, Luks 9. 33. How then shall the whole brightnesse of it so swallow up the Saints, as that they shall ever thinke it good to be where Hee is, to see his glory? Hereby should wee excite our selves, to wish for the longed day of our glori­ous [Page 280] deliverance: And as the Jewes, the nearer the day of Ju­bile came, the more the joy of prisoners and debtors was increa­sed; so should wee lift up our head when the day of our re­demption approacheth: & as the bird about to flie stretcheth out the wings, so should wee our af­fections and desires to heaven where our Lord his dwelling is.

Againe, prepare for this day: to stand before the sonne of man in Use 4. Prepare also for it: and how. this glory: Luke 21. 36. Watch and pray that yee may bee counted worthy to escape all these things, and may stand before the sonne of man.

Quest. How should I prepare duely?

Ans. 1. Acquaint thy selfe with 1. thy Judge afore-hand: which is done by faith and love: Rom. 5. 2. By faith we have accesse, both here and hereafter. And if love bee perfect in us, wee shall have [Page 281] boldnesse in the day of Judgement, 1 Joh. 4. 17. Hee that can stand before his presence of grace, shall stand boldly before his presence of glory. Stand therefore humbly before him in his Ordinances: enjoy as much of him now as thou canst.

2. Part from sinne: watch a­gainst 2. it: let the fire of grace con­sume it. A malefactor cannot stand before the Judge. Psal. 1. 5. The wicked shall not stand in judgement. See Esa. 33. 14. 15.

3. Get sinceritie and upright­nesse of heart: for no hypocrite 3. shall stand before those everla­sting burnings. A sincere heart hath this propertie, to set it selfe before God continually, as a wit­nesse and Judge: Gen. 17. 1. Walke before mee, and bee upright. And that soule that can walke with God here, shall stand before the glory of his power at that day.

4. Get love of the Saints on [Page 282] earth: for the terrour of that day 4. shall devour the Adversarie, 2 Thess. 1. 6. And Christ shall clothe himselfe with the robes of glory, to destroy the destroyer out of the earth. Only the Saints shall stand before him. Stand with them here, if thou wouldest stand with them hereafter: but if here thou wilt shake hands with sinners, hereafter thou shalt scarce part company.

Lastly, this glory of the Judge is the greatest terrour and tor­ment Use I. Terror to the wicked by the glory of Christ. to the wicked. Oh the wofull estate of such persons, when the presence of God and of Christ is the greatest torment [...] yet how can it be other?

For first, the true and proper cause of perdition is in them­selves, 1. not in this glory: the wicked must bee cast out for his malice. They have despised his humilitie, and were ashamed of him: & now must be ashamed of [Page 283] themselves, when hee shall bee a­shamed of them. They have con­temned his soft voice in the Mi­nistry of the Gospell, and must hear that dreadfull voice to drive them to their wits ends: they have pierced him with horrible sins, and shall now see him whom they have Rev. 1. 7. pierced, and pierce themselves with shame and utter confusion. Yea their owne accusing consci­ences shall make them shrinke and melt as ware at the fire, and as chaffe driven before the tem­pest of his wrath. Thus shall all wicked men and Angells perish at the presence of God, Psal. 68. 2.

Secondly, as a King sitting in 2. judgement chaseth away evill with his eies, Prov. 20. 8. so shall they see the face of this Judge, set a­gainst all evill doers, 1 Pet. 3. 12. they shall read revenge in his ve­ry eye and visage: his looke shall drive them to the hils, to hide them: they shall know the [Page 284] wrath of this King as the roaring of a Lyon, to whom Kings are lesse than wormes to men: and if the wicked flye when none pursueth, Prov. 28. 1. much more when pursued with such wrath and power as this Judge shall bee cloathed with.

Thirdly, as all the power of the country attends the Judge to exe­cute 3. malefactors, so Christ hath obtained great might and king­dome to destroy the wicked, Rev. 11. 17, 18. so as his revenge must be proportionall to his power, and his power shall make his processe short, and his dispatch speedie. A resemblance hereof is in Joh. 18. 6. the very word of Christ (I am the man) in his state of humi­liation cast the stoutest of his ene­mies to the ground: How much more in his glorie, when he shall be armed with power and glory to this purpose? GOD shall no sooner arise, but his enemies shall [Page 285] be scattered, they also that hate him, shall fly before him, Ps. 68. 2.

O therefore, considering these terrours of the Lord, what manner of persons ought we to be in all ho­ly conversation! 2 Pet. 3. 11. If Daniel (chap. 7. 15.) was so troubled in his spirit, and perplex­ed to see but in a vision the man­ner of Christs glorious comming to judgement, how much more dreadfull shall the judgement it self be! when all secrets shall be revealed, as packes and fardels are opened in the market [...]: Oh? how carefull should wee bee of the wares we lay up in our hearts and consciences, seeing that day shall disclose them to a Judge of such [...] power and glory▪

With his Angels.

The fourth thing considerable IV. Atten­dants of Christ in comming to judge­ment. [...] the comming of Christ to judg­ment, is, his Attendants, that is, [...]e Angels, in whom the glory [...]d magnificence of his second [Page 286] appearing shall manifest it selfe. For as formerly we have shewed, that hee is not sent as a Legate with commission from the side of any earthly Monarch, but must shew himselfe from heaven; so now wee shall see, that the glo­ry and state wherein hee shall ap­peare, is not from earth, but hee shall bee wonderfull in the glory of heaven: (Luke 2. 13.) for his guard shall not bee a troope of men, but of Angels; nor an army of earthly warriours, but of hea­venly souldiers; nor weake and feeble, soone overcome, but mightie Angels, or Angels excel­ling in power, Psal. 103. 20. This glorious appearing of Christ is shadowed by the comming in of earthly Judges, to hold Assises, attendeded with the honourable, the Nobles, Justices, and Gentry of the countrie, yea with the High Sheriffes power, besides all their own followers and retinue; [Page 287] by which great state and atten­dance, they are both honoured and aided in their service, and made formidable to adaunt and quell malefactors, as becom­meth such publike ministers of justice.

Here con­sider.
  • 1 Their number, Angels, in the plurall number.
  • 2 Their relation, his An­gels.
    4. things about the Angels.
  • 3 Their office and mini­strie in the judgement.
  • 4 How they can come with him.

For the number: he saith An­gels 1. the num­ber of them. indefinitely, not one, or two, or a few, but a number finite in it selfe, because created, but to our apprehension infinite and num­berlesse. Heb. 12. 12. the innume­rable company of Angels. And the Scriptures expresse their num­ber by the greatest and roundest numbers in use among men: Jude 14. The Lord commeth with thou­sands [Page 288] of his Saints, that is, holy Angels and men attending him. Dan. 7. 10. Thousand thousands minister unto him, and ten thousand thousands stand before him, when the judgement was set up. But our Lord speakes of many more, Mat. 24. when the sonne of man shall come and all his holy Angels with him: not an Angell shall bee left in heaven, which shall not come with him. What a great glory is it, to see a great Prince in the midst of his whole trained band, & armed with all the power of his Kingdome? yet all this is but weaknesse to this of Christ, who brings the whole hoast of heaven with him, to make his throne surpassing glorious.

Next, of the relation, his An­gells: 2. Their re­lation to Christ. How his Angels: how are they his?

Answ. 1. By creation; 2. by confirmation in grace: other fell from him, and became not his; but these by his grace cleave [Page 289] for ever unto him in the holinesse of their nature. Thirdly, His by speciall attendance and ministrie; hee being Lord of the holy An­gels, they are his subjects and mi­nisters, readie to execute his will.

Ob. They are our Angels, and therefore not Christs; Mat. 18. 10. their Angels behold the face And yet ours. of the Father in heaven.

Answ. They are called our An­gels, so farre as appointed our keepers or guardians against Sa­tan and impure spirits: but in all this ministery to the Church, they are his Angels; for they at­tend us for our heads sake, and at­tend his body which is himselfe.

Next of their office, and why Christ shall bring all his Angels 3. Their of­fice and ministrie in the last judgment. 1. with him.

Ans. 1. Their ministrie serveth to set forth the glory of Christ the head. The most potent Mo­narchs that ever were in earth, in [Page 290] their most stately and most mag­nificent showes were but seely creatures and wormes to this, and attended with weak men and flyes in comparison of this pre­sence.

2. That by their ministery the great worke of the great day 2. may bee powerfull, and speedily dispatched. For,

First, being the Angels of his power, they shall performe it The judg­ment by them exe­cuted po­werfully: mightily and powerfully. No sooner shall the sentence of abso­lution or condemnation bee pro­nounced, but it shall bee fully executed. For besides that eve­ry of them is mighty in his owne nature, and thence denominated principalities and powers, and said to excell in strength, Psal. 103. 20. so shall now for the time the power of Christ bee added to their owne, which shall bee of such invincible strength in every one, as Satan and all the gates of [Page 291] hell cannot, much lesse the wic­ked of the world shall be able to resist any one of them.

Secondly, they shall doe it wil­lingly, because their wills are Willingly: wholly conformable to the will of Christ, whom they love with all their strength. Their readi­nesse appeareth, Mat. 13. 28. the servants said, shall wee gather up the tares? Those that desire com­mission afore-hand, will be ready enough when they have it.

Thirdly, they shall performe Justly: it justly, purely, [...]aithfully, Rev. 15. 6. the seven Angels that had the seven plagues, are said to bee cloathed in pure and bright linnen; noting their righteousnesse, not mingling corrupt passions in their executions, nor corruptly respecting any persons. And they are girded on their breasts with golden girdles: gold is the purest of all metals, noting their purity and faithfulnesse in performing [Page 292] the will of God, in whole and in every part.

Fourthly, they shall doe it di­ligently Diligently: and perfectly, in most strict and exact manner. For they could not continue in their glori­ous estate, if they should not bee every way answerable to the law of God, both in the puritie of their nature, and in the perfecti­on of their worke: for how soe­ver the Angels compared with God are imperfect (Job, chap. 4. vers. 18.) yet in comparison of Gods Law they have perfection, and no spot of sinne cleaveth to them.

Fiftly, it shall bee done speedi­ly, Speedily. Rev. 4. 8. and in the twinkling of an eye, with unconceiveable quicknesse and celeritie; which is noted by their wings and girded breasts, readie and prest to the businesse of their Lord.

So of the second thing.

3. Their ministry & office shall 3. [Page 293] be of use against all wicked per­sons. First, to force them, and present them before the Judge, be they never so rebellious: for they shall blow the trumpet, that all 1 Thess. 4. 16. Mat. 13. 41. shall heare: they shall runne through earth and sea in an in­stant, to gather out all that offend: they shall compell mightie and rebellious Potentates to present themselves. Secondly, to be (per­haps) witnesses, and give evi­dence against the ungodly, of ma­ny secret sinnes: sure wee are, they attend our Congregations (1 Cor. 11. 10.) and why not in our private chambers? Thirdly, to be instruments of Gods venge­ance on the wicked, Mat. 13. 41, 42. the reapers shall gather the tares, and cast them into unquench­able fire.

So of the third.

4. Their service and Ministry 4. shall notably serve for the com­fort and salvation of the Saints in [Page 294] that day, for first they shall with admirable expedition gather the Saints out of their graves from all the foure windes, and bring them into the presence of Christ: secondly, as they attended them in their humilitie, so now shall their service be exceeding com­fortable in that day: never was Hagar so comforted by an Angell in her distresse, when hee refresh­ed her with water, as they shall be by the Angels in this day of refreshing: for,

1. These Angels which had Good offi­ces which Angels then doe for the godly. carried their soules into heaven, as Lazarus (Luke 16.) shall now bring their bodies out of the earth. As the Angell loosed Pe­ters chaines, and brought him 1. out of prison, Act. 12. so now shall not one living body as his, but all the dead bodies of the Saints bee brought out of their prisons, and set into perfect freedome: All stones shall bee rolled away, and [Page 295] all chaines of corruption broken asunder.

2. When all elements shall bee 2. dissolved, and set on [...]ire, the An­gels shall helpe and hide them, that the fire shall not hurt them; that looke as the three servants of GOD walked in the midst of the fire, and had no hurt, onely their chaines were loosed, be­cause God sent his Angell among them, Dan. 3. 25. so here all the godly shall bee safe in that fire, which shall drive the wicked to desperation, not able to stand be­fore those terrible burnings. And that fire shall resemble the wa­ters of the red sea, which was a wall to Israel, but a well and pit to drowne Egypt. Yea and as that fire of Nebuchadnezzar, that sheltred Gods servants from the Tyrant, but licked up and devou­red the enemie.

3. Whereas Satan at that day, being at his last & most desperate [Page 296] assault, shall bee most raging a­gainst the Saints, they shall stop the mouth of this raging Lion, as once they did for Daniel, and by their power quell the forces of the divell. And their very mul­titude shall afford this comfort, that there shall appeare infinite more with us than against us, 2. King. 6. 16.

4. As they shall bind the tares, to cast them into the fire, so shall 4. they carry the wheat into the garner; and so appeare glorious ministring spirits for the good of the heires of salvation, Hebr. 1. 14.

Thus the office and ministrie of the Angels shall marvellously set out the glory of Christ, pro­mote the worke of the great day, bee serviceable for the fi­nall ruine of all enemies, and hap­pily advance the comfort and salvation of the Saints, in these particulars. But I read not in the [Page 297] Scripture a word of those chil­dish and ridiculous conceits of Petrus Thyreus a Jesuite, who in Jesuites feigned of­fices for Angels at that day. the description of Christs glori­ous appearing appoints some An­gels to beare up the cloud, and hold up the seat of the Judge, and some to beare the crosse before him, others the crown of thornes, others the nailes, others the speare and other instruments of his passion: Which he hath grave­ly confirmed, because hee hath seene these things finely & artifi­cially painted upon tables: Sound proofes of Jesuites: when they want grounds from Prophets and Quidlibet audendi semper fuit aequa po­testas. Hor. Apostles, they can supply them out of Poets and Painters, to both whom was ever granted equall leave to devise what they listed.

But how can the Angels come IV. How the Angels c [...]n come with Christ. with Christ, seeing they are no bodily substances, in their nature being without magnitude, figure, or sense; and seeing they occupie [Page 298] no place, how can they move lo­cally from heaven into the a [...]re, and into the earth?

Ans. The Angels being crea­tures, though they fill & occupie no place, yet must needs be defini­tively in some place, now in one, and then in another, and some­time locally ascend, and locally descend, after a manner unknown to us. Hence in Jacobs ladder Gen. 28. 12. the Angels are said to ascend and descend: and not onely in vision, but actually, Luk. 1. 26. Gabriel was sent from GOD to a Citie in Galilee. So our soules are spiritu­all substances, and yet they local­ly ascend to heaven, and at the re­surrection descend from heaven to be united to their bodies. In like sort the Angels are described to be of most quicke motion, and for their celeritie and swiftnesse are compared to the windes, and have wings ascribed to them, as flying with most swift motion about [Page 299] their Lords commands. And so must it needs bee: for,

1. Their motion is without all The nature of their motion. resistance of bodily substances: no body can resist an unbodily sub­stance, and all resistance is be­tweene 1. bodies.

2. Being without resistance, 2. their motions are without all la­bour or wearinesse: they are rest­lesse in their motion.

3. It must be most speedy, be­cause by no meanes hindred: so as 3. [...]. in a short time, above that wee can perceive, they can move be­tweene heaven and earth. I say not, in a moment; for Angels can­not locally move betweene ex­tremes, as from heaven to earth, but by passing the meane, which is to be done in time, though ve­ry short.

Thus wee conclude, that the spiritual nature of Angels, though it occupie and fill no place as bo­dies doe, nor hath any circum­scriptive [Page 300] place assigned them as they, and though by their motion in place they neither expell nor move any body out of place; yet are they moved locally, and shall descend with Christ to judge­ment, and quickly expedite all things belonging to it by their Ministrie.

Observe hence a difference be­tweene Use 1. Difference betweene Christs first and second comming. Christs first and second comming.

For first, hee comes now with another manner of traine, than hee had following him upon earth: Then he had twelve poore fisher­men, 1. Joh. 18. 36. despised persons, following him (for his Kingdome was not of this world) but now his traine are all the Angels of heaven. Second­ly, 2. hee was then to shew him­self the son of man, and in the form of a servant: but now hee will shew himselfe the Sonne of God, and the Lord of glory. Thirdly, he was then to preach righteous­nesse, 3. [Page 301] and to suffer for sin: but now he is to judge righteously, and to revenge sin. Fourthly, he was e­ver 4. the Lord of the holy Angels, and therefore in his temptations and agonie, they were readie to Mat. 4. 11. Luk. 22. 43. comfort him: and when hee was at the weakest, hee was of power to command many legions of Mat. 26. 53. them: but that was not the time to shew forth his Majestie by their attendance, as this appea­ring is. Fiftly, those Angels 5. which ministred unto him in his incarnation and birth, in his life and death, were Angels of grace, Preachers to shepheards, Disciples, women and others, appearing sometimes by one or two, to one or two persons. But these are Angels of power, appea­ring in millions to all the world, who in their wonderfull glo­rie shall behold the glory of their Lord.

Again, the Lord Jesus is hence Use 2. [Page 302] proved the Lord of glory, in that the holy Angels serve him as Advance­ment of Christ by the Angels ministrie. their head & King of the Church: so the Apostle (Phil. 2. 9.) pro­veth him to have a Name above all names, because all things in heaven and earth, and under the 1. earth shall confesse him: and Christ himselfe, to prove his headship, useth the same argument, Joh. 1. 52. Hereafter shall yee see the An­gels ascending and descending on the Sonne of man, that is, mini­string to him as the head of the Church, as was figured in Jacobs ladder, Gen. 28. 1 [...]. for Christ is the ladder, by which onely wee ascend to heaven: this ladder reached from heaven to earth, noting his two natures, divine from his Father in heaven, and humane from Jacobs loynes on earth: Angels ascend and descend on it, noting their emission and admission, descending to their of­fice, and ascending to give ac­count.

[Page 303] Besides, he must be greatest of 2. all, who is honoured of all: and so Christs eminencie above all crea­tures is proved, because all the Angels of heaven must honour him, Heb. 1. 6. And the more, and more honourable the Attendants and Ministers be, the greater is the personage so attended: but the Angels are every where spo­ken of, as the excellencie of the Creation; and in the glory of these servants behold the glory of their Lord.

Againe, their incessant service 3. to Jesus Christ advanceth his glory: Exod. 26. 31. the vaile of the Tabernacle which covered the most holy (expresly signi­fying the flesh of Christ which hid and covered his Deity) must bee made of broydered worke with Cherubims: not without Cherubims, which noted the multitude of Angels serving Christ. Exod. 25. 20. The Che­rubims, [Page 304] signifying the Angels, must lift their wings on high, as attending Christ, and their faces must bee to the Mercy-seat; which lively resembled Christ, on whom their eyes must still be cast, as the eye of the handmaide to the hand of her Mistresse.

Thus wee shall see how they served Christ as man, even in his lowest estate, as well as in his highest. In his birth they sang glory to God, and were prea­chers of him to shepheards. After his temptations they ministred to him, spreading a table for him in the wildernesse, and waiting at his table, Mat. 4. 11. In his ago­nie in the garden they comforted him, Luk. 22. 43. In the grave they roll away the stone for his re­surrection, Mat. 28. 2. In his as­cension they waite upon him, and lead him to the Ancient of dayes, of whom he received a kingdome over all creatures, Dan. 7. 13. [Page 305] But much more now they attend him, and assist him in the judge­ment of the great day, wherein hee is to put forth his greatest power and glory, in the most glorious worke that ever was or can be.

3. Here is matter of terror to Use 3. Terror to the ene­mies of Christ. the enemies of Christ, even all wicked and impenitent persons: in that Jesus Christ commeth ar­med with such power and glory against them: for now he rideth in his chariot of triumph against all his enemies, and now all the mountaines in the world cannot hide them from the Judge, but the power of the Angels shall present them. Neither can the sentence bee avoyded, nor the execution reprived: for if hea­ven and earth bee mingled toge­ther, whatsoever sentence of death is pronounced on them, the Angels shall speedily exe­cute. How comes it then to [Page 306] passe, that men are so carelesse, and passe over these great woes as a tale that is told? shall this Judge pronounce the sentence, and the Angels undertake the ex­ecution, and yet the thing falle of execution? Wo worth the deadnesse and securitie of wilfull sinners, that dare contemne so dreadfull a sentence as shall eter­nally torment them!

4. Here is assured comfort for the Saints: that all this glorious Use 4. Great comfort to the godly. attendance of the Head shall bee the glory of the members. What a great comfort shall it be, to see the Angels mustered together, to become our servants also, and performe the greatest service to us as ever was performed by them? While the Saints lived here, the good Angels attended them, and kept them in their hands: when they dyed, the An­gels carryed their soules to hea­ven, Psa 91. 11. which was no meane ser­vice. [Page 307] But now in this great day they shall reunite the soules and bodies of the Elect, they shall separate the whole man from all corruption, and communication with sin and sinners, and gather out all that offend, and shall not leave them till they be set quite free from all danger, as the An­gell did Peter, Act. 12. no nor till they have placed them in the glory of God. Now what an ho­nour is it, that these glorious spirits who dwell in heaven, should serve them that dwell on earth, yea dwelt lately in the grave? that meere spirits should serve flesh and blood? and crea­tures so elevated in their nature, above all sin and mortalitie, should stand charged with them who immediatly before were clothed with miserie and corrup­tion?

Quest. How comes this to passe, seeing they are his, that [Page 308] is, Christs Angels?

Answ. This must neither im­peach Christs glory, nor lift us up to glorie in any thing in our selves: For they serve Christ and us, but not after the same man­ner, Difference in their ministery to Christ and us. nor upon the same grounds: 1. Their service to him is imme­diate, as to the head of the Church, to us mediate, as mem­bers 1. of this head. 2. Their ser­vice 2. is due to him as to their Creator and Lord, of dutie, to us as creatures, of charge from him. 3. Their service is proper to him, 3. and invested in him as in his own right, to us communicated onely by vertue of our communion with him. 4. They are his An­gels 4. by speciall proprietie, and they doe him all homage and service by speciall prerogative, as the authour and preserver of all their excellent gifts, and condi­tion: but our Angels by speciall commission, and direction from [Page 309] him, entrusted to employ their gifts for our good. In one word, never did they minister to a member, but for the honour of their head.

5. It teacheth us to admire the surpassing love of our Lord, in Use 5. Honour Christ for these at­tendants given us. that hee tooke our nature, and bound us straiter to him than hee did the Angels of heaven; and hath vouchsafed us his owne spe­ciall servants to attend us, and charged them with our safetie in all our wayes, in life, in death, in Psal. 91. 11. judgement, till we be set out of the reach of all danger. Well knew our Lord, what weake creatures wee are in our selves, what dangerous combats wee were to stand in, with how ma­ny spirituall and invisible enemies we were to be beset: and there­fore out of his love and wisedom hath appointed us so many spiri­tuall, invisible, and more power­full ayders and assisters.

[Page 310] 6. If wee expect this happie Use 6. Grieve not the holy Angels. ministery from the Angels, let us beware that in the meane time wee grieve not by our sin these holy Angels, nor drive them from about us, whose protection un­der God is safer than if wee lay under shield and speare, Psal. 91. 4. 11. While wee desire they Si vis habe­re ministeri­um Angelo­rum, fuge consolationes seculi, & tentationi­bus resiste diaboli. [...]ern. should stand for us at that day, beware of ministring matter to them to witnesse against us. Yea let us furnish them with matter of our defence, as those that have beene both witnesses and defen­ders of our pure conversation. 1. Cor. 11. 10. Women must bee seemely in the Congregation, be­cause of the Angels. And because of the Angels, both in Gods house, and our owne houses, and all meetings, the Saints must walke holily and reverently, a [...] those that have not onely Gods eye, and the eye of Christ upon us, as Judges, but the Angels as [Page 311] witnesses. Let no sinner that shall stand in need of so much comfor­table service from them, goe on to grieve or offend them, but ra­ther afford them matter of rejoy­cing, in their sound conversion, and daily renewing of their re­pentance, Luk. 15. 7.

7. Learne to imitate the An­gels in their service and ministe­rie, Use 7. Imitate them, and doe service as they. as it hath beene described. First, they honour Christ in all their ministerie: so all the scope and aime of our lives and labours 1. must bee the glory of our head. Secondly, they are expedite and readie: they have besides the agi­litie 2. and swiftnesse of their na­ture, wings to flie withall: let their wings speed us in his ser­vice, who are nearer than they: should the members be heavie and uncheerefull in the service of the Head? Thirdly, they are in all things ruled and moved by his 3. mouth and spirit: they doe none [Page 312] of their owne, but his will: Ezek. 1. 20. Whither the spirit led them, they went. Let us in all things give up our selves much more, to the leading of his Spi­rit, not running in any businesse unsent, or without our warrant: doth the member any thing, or move any way without the heads direction? Fourthly, they re­joyce 4. in all good things, in the glory of Christ, in the victory of Christ, in the conversion of sin­ners, in the eversion of all wicked enemies, in the finall salvation and glory of all Saints, and doe promote all these. But why doe not wee more rejoyce in these things, the benefit of which more redoundeth to us, than to them? How unlike is it to the Angels, to rejoyce in evill, in sinfull courses and companie? why hate wee and scorne such, as most partake in Christs victory, and are set out of the divels pow­er? [Page 313] Fiftly, they are unweariable in 5. Patienter & fortiter perseveran­dum: ut qui ad coronam la [...]de [...]am proxima ni­titur, duran­te patientia coronetur. Cyp. de Bon [...] Patientiae. performing their service to Christ: and much lesse should a member be wearie of being offici­ous to the head. When did any good Angell shrinke and recoyle from the commandement of Christ, or account any thing too much he could doe for Christ, or his members, as many Christians be? Therefore my Beloved (1 Cor. 15. 58.) Be stedfast, unmo­veable, unweariable, and abun­dant in the worke of the Lord. The time comes when we shall be in our condition [...], like or e­quall to the Angels, Luk. 20. 36. and when we shall be children of the resurrection. Let us frame our selves to the good Angels before­hand in this first resurrection, that we may have comfort and glory Rev. 20. 6. in that second.

[Page 314]

And then hee shall give to every man according to his workes.

Here is the fift and last point, V. The end of Christs comming to judge­ment. namely, the end of Christs com­ming to judgement: where are five things to be considered;

1. A just retribution, in the 1. [...]. word [...], which signifies both a returne of justice, and a gift of favour: Matth. 20. 8. Call the worke-men, and give them their wages, returne both to those that came into the vineyard first, and seeme to have deserved it, as also those that came in last, to whom it was given of favour. For it is observable, that the compound is changed into the simple, vers. 14. I will give to this last, as unto thee: and therefore is most fitly [...]. used here, in respect of the two sorts of subjects to bee judged: The wicked, who must receive a just retribution according to [Page 315] their workes, and desert of them: And the godly, who are to re­ceive life everlasting of the free favour of God in Jesus Christ. And this is the end of Christs comming; that secondary and subordinate end, in the felicitie of the Elect, and just damnation of reprobates; which promoteth that chiefe and primary end of all his great workes, even the praise of the glory of his grace, in the consummation of that his king­dome which hee set up in this world.

2. The person retributing: 2. Hee: the just Judge of all the world: hee that loveth righteous­nesse, Psal. 45. 7. and hateth iniquitie: hee that exercised and fulfilled all righteousnesse in his humilitie, shall now much more exact it in his glory. And here in is the dif­ference between this Judge, and other judges: First, hee is ap­pointed to bee judge of all the [Page 316] world, and now to come to de­stroy 2 Chron. 19. 11. Psal. 82. 1. and revenge all unrighte­ousnesse: they not so. Secondly, the Lord is with them in their pas­sing of righteous sentence, but he is the Lord: God sits with them, hee sits as God. Thirdly, they may be mis-led: for they of­ten passe sentence before due hea­ring and triall; but not so He, as in Adams case, first all were exa­mined. Or they when they have heard the right, may be carryed away by affection, petition, mo­ney, importunitie, or the com­mand of a superiour, as in Naboths case: this Judge not so, most righteous, and will deale righte­ously.

3. The persons to whom: To every man: he saith not, to all men 3. in generall, but the word noteth the particular judgement of eve­ry singular man: none shall avoid judgement; Kings nor subjects, rich nor poore: the greatest Mo­narch [Page 317] that ever was, must ap­peare, if his power be not supe­riour to Christs. The poore soule shall not bee neglected, nor for­gotten. None shall answer by Proctours, but every man shall 2 Cor. 5. 10. receive according to that he hath done in the body, be it good or evill. Hence the Scripture, that it may omit none, rangeth them into sundry rankes: namely, of just and unjust, Act. 24. 15. of quicke and dead, Act. 10. 42. of great and small, Rev. 20. 12. Christ now calls, and men will no [...] come, but then they must come in.

4. The time: then shall he give 4. 2 Pet. 3. 13. to every one: now is not the time or place in which dwelleth righte­ousnesse: now it is well with the wicked, and not so well to the godly: now in mens tribunals many things are carried unjustly and partially, but we know that then the judgement of God shall [Page 318] be according to truth, Rom. [...]. 2. Now in this world a man may Eccle. 8. 14. see a just man, to whom it is ac­cording to the worke of the wicked: A poore wise man by his wise­dome 9. 15. 3. 16. delivering the Citie, and none remembreth this poore man: The best worke receiving the worst wages, and iniquitie in the place of justice. But then is the time, when the godly shall have a full reward and honour, and the wicked everlasting shame and sorrow.

5. The rule of this recom­pence: according to his workes: 5. where,

First, what is meant by works. 1. Namely, not onely actions good or bad: but we must include the [...]. originall and attendants of them, even the worke of our fall in A­dam, which was our worke as well as his; originall sinne, and corruption of nature, of which workes are the fruits; and so [Page 319] comprehended in them. So out of workes of the Saints faith is not excluded, being the rise of them, and indeed the noblest of all workes, the chiefe obedience required in the Gospell. The at­tendants of good workes are also included under them, as namely, thoughts and speech [...]: for accor­ding to every idle word & thought Mat. 12. 36. wee must bee judged; but the workes will manifest what they have beene.

Secondly, the appropriation: 2. his workes: His owne, not other mens: every man shall give ac­compt of himselfe unto God: every Rom. 14. 12. vessell must stand on his owne bottome: the father shall not beare the sonnes burden, &c.

Ob. In the second commande­ment God will revenge the sins of Parents in their children to the third and fourth generation.

Ans. Not except the children be found in the same sins: none shall [Page 320] suffer for anothers worke, further than he is some way guiltie of it, as the childe often is by consent or imitation. And thus the Phari­sees Mat. 23. 35. shall goe to hell for Abels blood, and Za [...]haries, shed ma­ny thousand yeares before their age, because they were not war­ned by that example to avoid blood-shedding. But hee will vi­site the sinnes, that is, first en­quire, and, if hee finde them not, hee will not revenge: see Ezek. 18. 14. and the examples of He­zekiah, Josiah, and other good children of wicked parents.

Thirdly, what is meant by 3. the phrase according to workes?

Ans. 1. The phrase noteth plain­ly, that as our workes are good or bad, so our doome shall bee: for so it is evidently expounded, Rev. 22. 12. My reward is with me, to give to every one as his [...]. worke shall be: so as the sentence shall run according to the evi­dence [Page 321] that workes shall bring in, as sure witnesses either of their faith or infidelitie. 2. The phrase implyeth the qualitie of the worke, but not the merit: which wee observe, because the Papists hence ignorantly build up their merit of workes, and thus argue, God will render to the wicked according to the merit of their workes, and therefore the godly must receive according to the Good works not meritori­ous, as evill ar [...]: why. merit of their workes. Answ. The argument followes not from the merit of evill workes to the merit of good workes: for first, good workes are Gods, not ours 1. properly, as our evill workes are: faith, and workes of faith are the gift of GOD: secondly, good 2. workes in us are imperfectly good, but our evill workes are perfectly evill: thirdly, good 3. workes are done upon dutie, but evill workes against dutie; merit and debt are opposed, and what [Page 322] meriteth he, who hath but done his dutie, and failed in doing too? fourthly, who can bring these me­rits? Not the unregenerate: for 4. the wrath of God is revealed from heaven against all the un­righteousnesse of men. Or can the sonnes of God, when Abraham himselfe hath not wherein to re­joyce before God? surely if hee could bee justified by no other means than faith, much lesse can we: Therefore by the workes of the law can no flesh bee justified, Rom. 3. 28.

Quest. Why then shall good Why workes are the rule of judgment, not faith. workes bee inquired into in that day, rather than faith? and why shall Christ judge according to workes, not faith?

Answ. 1. Workes shall bee inquired into, not as meritorious 1. causes of salvation, which is on­ly merited by Christs workes which onely had perfection; but as conditions of Gods promises con­cerning [Page 323] reward in heaven, gi­ven not for merit, but of Gods Nil Deus in nobis p [...]aeter sua dona coro­nat. frce grace: for hee crowneth his grace in us, not our merits, saith Augustine. Workes are requisite conditions to the person, but no causes of reward.

2. To shew that Jesus Christ 2. shall accept no persons, but looke to causes.

3. To shew that faith must 3. not bee idle, but put forth the life in good motions and actions.

4. Because the judgement and 4. equitie of it must be visible, and run into the eyes of all mankind: and therefore must be passed ac­cording to the fruits and workes which men may see; whereas faith, by which alone wee are ju­stified before God, is an inward and spirituall grace in the heart, knowne onely to God who seeth the heart, and it flieth the sense of man further than by the works of love, as fruits, it discovereth it selfe.

[Page 324] Object. But if the judgement Whether the Law or Gospell be the rule of judging. were according to workes, then the rule should be the Law: but God will judge the secrets of men according to the Gospell, Rom. 2. 16. which is the doctrine of faith, not of workes.

Answ. The word [...], accor­ding, signifieth there not the ruls of judging, but the certitude of it: and the sense is, According as I have taught you in the Gospel: my Gospell, or my preaching it among you. Or if it be taken for the rule, it must be meant of the Elect only, who by the Gospell shall be absolved, as the wicked by the Law condemned.

But how shall they be judged, Ob. who have no works, as such who repent at last cast, whose workes have beene all against God, and poore men that want means?

For such as repent at last, as Ans. 1. the theefe on the crosse, they shall receive according to their works: [Page 325] for true faith is never without the witnesse of workes, but wor­keth Gal 5. 6. by love, let their time be ne­ver so little. So the theefe on the suddaine confessed his sin, be way­led his life, professed Christ when his disciples left him, reproved his fellow, and prayed earnestly for salvation, and would further have expressed his faith, if hee had lived longer. So those that are called in the article of death, have a true purpose, if they live, to expresse their faith, and Gods mercy accepteth this will for the deed done. Let not thine eye be evill, because the Lords is good.

And for the godly poore, who 2. can give no almes, yet they doe workes of pietie, justice, dili­gence in the calling, and workes of truest mercy, in prayer, in­struction of the familie, comfort, reproofe, and the like to these.

Object. But some are not jud­ged Of double punish­ment for sin. according to their workes, [Page 326] but receive an unequall sentence, Rev 18. 16. Give her double ac­cording to her works, that is, twice as much punishment as her workes are.

Answ. By double is not meant double of punishment to her sin (for no punishment can be double to the least sin:) but double af­fliction, that is, a much more grie­vous punishment than shee hath afflicted the Church withall: and this, Babylon hath well deserved, and shall be sure of. So some wic­ked men are p [...]nished for one and the same sin, here and hereafter; as for murther, theft, or the like: this is not a double punishment, but a further degree of the same punishment; one begun here, and the other eternally continued hereafter: both due by that just sentence, In the day thou sinnest, thou shalt dye the death.

Doctr. The last judgement shall Doct. The last judgement be not more glorious than righte­ous: [Page 327] for if Jesus Christ be the glorious and righte­ous. Judge, and if every person to bee judged shall receive according to his workes a righteous sen­tence, the judgement must bee most just. Rom. 2. 2. We know that the judgement of God is true, that is, equall and just. And the Apo­stle abhorreth with detestation the least thought of any unrighte­ousnesse in God, c. 3. 5. Is God un­righteous? God forbid: how should he then judge the world? this will not stand with the proper office of God, which is to be the Judge of all the world: shall not hee deale justly?

1. Where all helpes of righte­ous Reason 1. Helpes of righteous judgement in Christ. judgementare, the judge­ment must needs bee righteous: but so are they here: for first, in the person of the Judge there is wisedome [...], and piercing under­standing farre above Salomans, to finde out the truth and equitie of things: He discernes persons and [Page 328] causes truly and infallibly, as they are: Hee can disclose and disco­ver all secrets of hearts, intenti­ons, and purposes, which no crea­ture can discern. All other Judges may be deceived, who judge on­ly of the worke running into the senses, and so mis-judge of men as David himselfe did of Mephibosheth. But this Judge seeth the heart and hidden coun­sels of it. This ground of righte­ous judgement is laid in Jeremy▪ 17. 10. I the Lord search the heart and reynes, to give to every man according to his workes. Here­in is this Throne exalted above all tribunals, in that the most se­cret thoughts escape him not, which the highest seats of justice in earth can take no notice of. All things are naked to him, Heb. 4. 13. Another helpe of righteous judgement is the opening of the bookes, both in Gods custodie, and in the custodie of the parties.

[Page 329] God hath a booke of providence, in which all things and causes are written, Psal. 139. 16. and a booke of memorie, wherein all the good services of his Saints are recor­ded, Mal. 3. 16. and a booke of life, in which the names of the Elect are written, Phil. 4. 3. these bookes shall be opened and read, Rev. 20. 12. And I saw the dead both great and small stand before God, and the bookes were opened, and another book was opened which is the booke of life, and the dead were judged of those things which were written in the bookes, accor­ding to their workes.

The booke in the parties cu­stodie is the book of every mans conscience either accusing or ex­cusing, Rom. 2. 15. These bookes shall be opened, and if the, consci­ence accuse, God is greater than the conscience, 1 Joh. 3. 20.

2. Where all letts are remo­ved, that judgement must bee 2. [Page 330] most righteous: but so is it here: for this is a white throne, like Lets of righteous judgment, removed. Salomons white ivory throne, for the puritie of the Judge and judgement. First, here is no con­cealement of things, no dawbing 1. up of bad matters in corners, no pleading of Lawyers to varnish falshood, and cloud the truth; no Proctors, no Advocates, but eve­ry man must give account of him­selfe to God. Secondly, here is no respect of persons, but causes: 2. no friends to gratifie: no mans cloth or service shall protect an offender. Thirdly, here shall be 3. no inducement by gifts: gold shall gild no bad causes. Fourth­ly, 4. here shall bee no sanctuaries, no priviledged places to disturbe the course of justice, no appeales, no protections to avoid the sen­tence which shall lye eternally upon sinners. From all which grounds we conclude the righte­ousnesse of this judgement.

[Page 331] Which serves first, according Use 1. Live well, and fare well in judgment. to the scope of our Saviour, to excite every one in the care of saving his soule, and worke in us selfe-deniall, taking up of our crosse, and following of Christ: for then shall every man receive according to his worke: As the seed hath been, so shall be the har­vest: As the worke hath beene, so shall the wages bee. Hee that hath sown to the flesh, or to the world, shall reape corruption: but hee that hath sowne to the spirit, shall reape immortalitie and life. 1 Cor. 3. 8. Every one shall receive according to his owne labour.

Secondly, here is a ground of Use 2. Time to re­pent of sin before judgment. repentance, Act. 17. 31. He admo­nisheth all to repent, because hee hath appointed a day in which hee will judge the world in righteous­nesse. The reason is strong: now the Lord after a sort hideth his righteousnesse, and useth patience [Page 332] and connivence with many sin­ners: but then he shall draw it out. Yea thou mayest now hide thine owne sinne with Adam, and carry it close from men, but that Rom. 2. 4. 5. is a day of revelation, then shall the bookes be opened, and all thy sins (except thou hast repented and got a cover in Christ) shall hee manifest, and openly read before God, men and Angels. Thinke not to avoid or [...]lude the justice of this throne: but stand in awe, and sinne not: get an awfull reve­rence of that God, whose pure Psal. 4. 4. eyes behold all the wayes of man, whose soule perfectly hateth all iniquitie, whose hand will not spare, but without respect of persons judge every mans workes, and whose justice will reward every one according to that he hath done in the flesh, be it good or evill.

By what stronger argument would the Apostle affright the [Page 333] the hard-hearted sinner, who heapes up wrath against the day of wrath, and declaration of the just judgement of God, but this same, that God will reward every man according to his workes? Rom. 2. 5, 6. So, what more affectuall motive can wee use to terrifie wicked enemies out of their sinnes, than that of the spirit of God? Rev. 22. 11. He that is un­just let him be unjust still: and hee that is filthy let him be filthy still: let the enemies of grace, of the word of grace, of the preachers of grace, be unjust, malitious, and scornfull still, at their perill: let the swearer sweare still: so the drunkard, harlot, usurer. But take the next verse with it, vers. 12. Behold I come shortly, and my re­ward is with mee, to give to every one according as his worke shall bee.

Thirdly, here is a ground of Use 3. patience in the midst of the con­fusions [Page 334] of the world, and the ma­ny Be patient in all con­fusion, and injustice. contempts and opprobries cast against the godly: seeing eve­ry man shall receive a righteous sentence according to his works. Phil. 4. 5. Let your moderation bee knowne unto all men, the Lord is at hand. Beware of revenge in the meane time: commit all to him that judgeth righteously. Storme not to receive unjust sentences against us, to see our righteous wayes depraved, our good re­paid with evill, every Barrabas preferred before Christ. There is a day wherein God shall make our righteousnesse breake out as the Sunne in his strength. And even from hence the Scriptures conclude a providence and a fu­ture judgement: Eccles. 3. 16. When thou seest iniquitie in the place of judgement, then thinke in thy heart that God will judge the just and the wicked. and cap. 5. 7. If in a country thou seest the op­pression [Page 335] of the poore, and defrauding of judgement, bee not astonied: for he that is higher than the highest regardeth, and there be higher than they. Now bee patient, and ap­peale to this day, from all unjust sentences, as John Hus, Jerome of Prague, &c. so did Zachariah, 2 Chron. 24. 22. The Lord looke on it and require it.

Fourthly, this must teach us Use 4. Be sincere in matter of religion. sinceritie and truth in all our wayes before God and men: see­ing this judgement is not accor­ding to outward appearance, but according to the truth: then shall all showes and powerlesse forms of godlinesse bee blowne off, as leaves in Autumne by violent windes, and thou shalt bee layd open as thou art, and not as thou seemest: thou mayest now be as Ananias among beleevers, and as Judas among the twelve, and car­ry it smooth away; but this day will set thee among hypocrites, [Page 336] and thou shalt stand among thy fellowes. Then shall the hope of the hypocrite perish: and onely soundnesse of heart shall abide this exact triall. It must bee gold that must abide the fire of this day, and not a gilded hy­pocrite.

Fiftly, this must teach us Use 5. Watch, and judge thy selfe before­hand. watchfulnesse in all our wayes, and see they bee righteous: Ec­cles. 12. 13. Feare God and keepe his Commandements: for God will bring every worke into judgement: feare God in his presence, power, and justice: do nothing in secret, which thou wouldest not have preached on the house-top: And keepe his Commandements; for, whatsoever is not answerable to some commandement, this judg­ment must condemne and dis­prove; whatsoever the word now alloweth, it will then justi­fie, and then will condemne whatsoever it now condemneth. [Page 337] Judge thy selfe afore-hand, and put thy selfe upon the tryall, 1. Of How: 1. the word: how will those words and actions abide that tryall, which now it passeth sentence a­gainst? 2. Of thine own conscience: 2. if now thy conscience have a voice against thee, but thou wilt choake and sti [...]le it, yet it shall bee heard at this day. 3. Of 3. thy experience: if any action now bring guiltinesse, feare, shame, or heavinesse, what else shall it bring then, when it shall set before the Judge thy oppres­sions, cruelties, usuries, wrongs, oathes, revenges, filthinesse, drun­kennesse, contempt of the word of grace, the day and meanes of grace, and shall doe God good service in bringing backe all old reckonings, not reckoned for by Christ? 4. Of thine owne present 4. apprehension of that day: if now the mention of this day make thee out of guiltines to tremble, [Page 338] what shall the day it selfe doe?

Sixthly, out of this doctrine a Use 6. How to know what will be­come of us in the day of judge­ment. man may gather evidence of his future estate, & whether he shall speed well in the last judgement. For as the tree leaneth, so it is likely to fall; and as it falleth, so it lyeth.

But to helpe this inquisition, the Scriptures afford us some notes of triall.

1. That in Gal. 6. 7. What a man 1. sowes that shall hee reape. Sowest thou cockle, and wouldest thou reape corne? sowest thou to the flesh, and expectest to reape any thing but corruption? To sow to the flesh, is to live according to the lusts of the flesh, and com­mand of lusts: as to sow to the Spirit, is to live aftet the moti­ons of the Spirit. Thou art in GODS field, either wheat or chaffe: and the reapers of this great harvest shall gather the wheate into the garner, but the [Page 339] chaffe shall be cast into unquench­able fire.

2. Another note is in 2 Thess. 2. 1. 8. in flaming fire, rendring ven­geance to them that know not God, and obey not the Gospell. All igno­rant and disobedient persons, that love not the knowledge of God, nor obedience to the Go­spell, may now read their doome in that judgement: nothing but timely repentance preventeth it.

3. Another note is in 2 Thess. 3. 1. 6. It is a righteous thing with God to trouble them that trouble you. It shall then goe hard with those evill servants that beate their fellow-servants, that revile Christ in his members, or dis­grace the profession of godlinesse: whereas they shall finde it had beene their happinesse to have fed, clothed, comforted, and ho­noured Christ in his members, Mat. 25. 45.

4. Another note is in the parabl [...] 4. [Page 340] of the talents, Mat. 25. 30. the faithfull servant, having received talents, used them, and gained as many more, was made ruler over much: but the evill and sloath­full servant, that hid his Masters talent, and employed it not for his Masters advantage, was taken and cast into everlasting dark­nesse. What shall be their hope, that are so farre from employing their talents, that they declaime against them that doe, and molest them for so doing? Woe to such Scribes and Pharisees hypocrites, that neither enter themselves, nor suffer others, but shut up the King­dome of heaven before men, Mat. 23. 13. What is the sound preach­ing of the Gospell, but the key of the Kingdome, given into the hand of Pastors to open the doore of heaven to beleevers? Where then shall such Pharisees stand, who not onely hinder others by their wicked example, but wrest [Page 341] the key out of the Pastors hands, and so bolt up the Kingdome of heaven, that people should not enter? Who sees not halfe the sentence executed on many such already? even their talent al­ready taken away: and the other halfe remaines, the taking away of the man himselfe, the binding of him, and casting him into the fire, as a bundle good for nothing but for fewell of the fire of hell.

5. The Apostle in Rom. 2. 7. 5. gives other two certaine notes of him that shall speed well in judgement: 1. Hee seekes glory, that is, by faith and repentance he seekes the kingdome. 2. Hee per­severes in good, and stands out to victory: for good fruits from a sound roote abide, and good works flowing from sound faith are not vanishing. When those that are contentious against the truth, and given up to unrighte­ousnesse, shall meete with tribu­lation, [Page 342] woe and anguish, then shall these attaine glory and immor­talitie.

Vers. 28. ‘Verily I say unto you, there bee some of you that stand here, that shall not taste of death, untill they have seene the sonne of man come in his Kingdome.’

IN these words our Saviour, The drift of the words. partly to mitigate the former doctrine concerning self-deniall, bearing the crosse, and suffering for Christ, partly to confirme what he had said concerning his glorious comming to judgment, and partly to support and com­fort his Disciples, who by rea­son of his base and low estate could see nothing lesse than the great glory that hee speaketh of: doth now make a gratious pro­mise, Vult ut con­solationis a­liquid habe­ant tempore crucis & af­flictionis, &c. Bucer. that although hee was now in an abject condition, and after a while was to bee more humble and abased, even to the death, the [Page 343] shamefull death of the crosse, and to be laid up a while in the house of death, yet ere long hee should manifest his glory; and though his greatest glory should bee de­ferred till the last judgement, yet would he before that time shine out in brightnesse and glory to the whole world.

And whereas they, as his nea­rest In desiderio celeritas quoque mo­ra est. and most faithfull servants, might earnestly desire to see him their loving Master thus exalted, and grieve that it should bee so long deferred, as that they might be worne out of the earth before that time; hee meetes them in their desire, and tels them it is not so farre off, but some of them should behold it before their death.

For the meaning. Amen, or verily: a forme of speech or as­severation Expositi­on. [...]. which Christ the true and faithfull witnesse often used to avouch the truth: and he that [Page 344] saith here, Amen, is called Amen, Rev. 3. 14. these things saith the Amen: to shew, that whatsoe­ver hee saith, is yea and amen, 2 Cor. 1. 20. that is, most firme, certaine and constant.

I say unto you.] Our Lord pro­poundeth his doctrine in his owne name, that hee may bee knowne the chiefe Doctor of his Church, even that Doctor of the Chaire, whose voyce alone must be heard of Pastors and people. Thus did none of the Prophets, but onely verbum Domini, the word of the Lord: none of the Apostles, but delivered what they had heard and seen, 1 Joh. 1. 1. and what they had received of the Lord, 1 Cor. 11. 23. Nor none of the Pastors of the Church, but as good Stewards they dispensed their Masters allowance. 1 Cor. 4. 1.

And further, this being a pro­phecie uttered in this forme, hee showes himselfe the chiefe Pro­phet [Page 245] of the Church, prophecied of by Moses, Deut. 18. 18. like unto Moses, Act. 3. 21. and like Christ like Moses in five things. him in 5. things. 1. As the truth hath a likenesse with the shadow, 1. the mediation of Moses be­tweene God and his people be­ing a shadow of Christs media­tion. 2. 2. Like him in respect of 3. Heb. 3. 5. 6. divine calling to his office. 3. In respect of his faithfulnesse in his calling, being faithfull in all the house of God as the Sonne, Moses 4. as a servant. 4. Like him in his authoritie, he being appointed to teach us all things, & we to heare him in all things. 5. In the event 5. or sanction: whosoever will not heare him, must dye the death.

But superior to Moses, as be­ing the Lord of the holy pro­phets, as being God, the seer of things properly and à priori, as being faithfull in the house as the Sonne, as onely able to say, I say unto you, preaching in his own [Page 346] name, which none but the head of the Church can doe, and none but hee that hath power in the heart and conscience.

Some that stand here, shall not taste of death. [This is an Hebrew phrase: not to taste of death, is, not to die; but alluding to the cause of death, which was tasting of the forbidden fruit; this was the first tasting of death. So in Joh. 8. 51. He that keepeth my word, shall not see death: and Heb. 2. 9. Christ tasted death for all the Elect.

Till they see the sonne of man come in his Kingdome.] Here is some difference and difficultie in the interpretation.

1. Some referre it to the last Opinions. 1. judgement, of which Christ had spoken immediately before, and erroneously conceive that Christ meant of John, who they thought should not die till Christ came a­gaine to the last judgement. And [Page 347] no marvell though sundry have beene over-carried in this error, seeing the Disciples themselves, till the sending of the Spirit to lead them into all truth, were wrapped in it. But this is suffi­ciently confuted in the Text, Joh. 21. 23.

2. Others, both ancient and 2. new writers, as Hilary, Bullinger, Chytreus, and Piscator, under­stand it of Christs Transfigurati­on which immediately follow­ed, as if hee had said, Some of you, as Peter, James, and John, shall shortly see mee (so farre as you can comprehend) in that forme and habit wherein I will thus come to judgement; as sixe daies after they saw him on mount Ta­bor in great glory. But first, the speech (yee shall see it before your death) seemes to carrie it to something beyond the com­passe of so few dayes. Secondly, wee doe no where reade that the [Page 348] transfiguration is called the com­ming of Christ in his Kingdome. Thirdly, in so short a time none of the disciples were to taste of death. Therefore,

3. We shall best finde out the sense by enquiring, 3. Emphasis hujus loci non est, in verbo veni­endi, sed videndi. Bucer. Kingdome of God ge­nerall and speciall.

What is meant here by the Kingdome:

What is meant by the com­ming of this Kingdome: and

Seeing the best interpretation of a prediction is the accomplish­ment, we shall enquire how some of the Disciples did see the com­ming of this Kingdome before they tasted of death. 1. I.

For the first: the Kingdome of

God is twofold,
  • Generall, and
  • Speciall.

The former is called the King­dome of power, whereby the Lord powerfully governeth the whole world and every particular, to the very sparrows, and the haires of our head: unto which king­dome [Page 349] of power all creatures, men and Angels, yea devils them­selves are subject.

The speciall Kingdome of God 2. is his gracious rule and governe­ment over his Elect: called the Kingdome of Christ, because he is the head of it: and the King­dome of heaven, because it tends directly thither: and the King­dome of the Sonne of man. Of this Kingdome are two degrees: of grace: of glory. The difference of these two, is, 1. In time: the former is begun on earth, the lat­ter is consummate in heaven. 2. In manner of government: the former is governed mediatly, by his servants and ministers, the lat­ter immediatly, by himselfe, when he is all in all. 3. In the manner of subjection: the former in the militant estate is environed by e­nemies and assailants: the latter is triumphant, in perfect rest and peace, without all assault.

[Page 350] Quest. Of whether of these doth our text meane? Which here meant, and what it is.

Answ. Our Saviour here spea­keth of the former Kingdome, of grace, here in this world, which is an estate wherein men are brought to be subjects to Christ in this life, being enlightned, guided, and effectually moved to beleeve the promises of salvation, and obey the will and lawes qf God. For it is a comming into the kingdome, before the disciples decease.

For the second: what is meant II. by the comming of this King­dome?

Answ. The comming of the Kingdome is nothing else but the How the Kingdome of Christ comes. erecting of it, by the powerfull means of it, in the hearts of men where it is not begun, and a conti­nuance of it with much successe and increase where it is begun: being all one with that petition, Thy Kingdome come. Mat. 6. 10.

And thus many Interpreters, [Page 351] Calvin, Beza, Bucer, Tossanus, fitly applie it to the power and efficacie of the Gospel, by which the Kingdome of Christ was farre and wide, with great pow­er propagated after the time of Christs Ascension: but yet in the dayes of some of the Apostles. And to this interpretation the change of the phrase (Mark. 9. 1.) giveth light: some that are here, shall not taste of death, till they have seene the Kingdome of God come with power: Now what else is it, to see the Kingdome of God come with power, than to see the enlargement and increase of the Kingdome of God, by the prevailing of the Gospell, brin­ging in men to the obedience of faith? whence, Rom. 1. 16. the Gospell is called the power of God to salvation.

But thirdly, let us looke into III. Of the ac complish­ment hereof. the accomplishment of this pro­phecie, which will notably en­lighten [Page 352] the true meaning; be­cause wee shall here see Christ now ascended, mightily decla­ring himselfe the King of his Church, and that hee was not on­ly exalted unto the right hand of God, but that, even in the dayes of some of the Apostles, he came Evidences of Christs Kingdome enlarged. 1. in the mighty power of his king­dome of grace: As appeared,

1. In the emission of his Apo­stles: Christ immediatly before his Ascension did call and send out his Apostles, with speciall promise of his presence in their Ministerie to the end of the world, Mat. 28. 18. Goe and reach all na­tions: their commission was, to make Disciples every where. This great worke the Apostle magni­fieth, Eph. 4. 11. When hee ascen­ded, hee gave gifts to men, some to be Apostles, &c. for the gathe­ring [...]. of the Saints, for the worke of the Ministerie, and the edificati­on of the body of Christ. This was [Page 353] one most powerfull means for propagating his kingdom, which was herein seene gloriously to come out through the world.

2. In the descending of the 2. holy Ghost, fiftie dayes after his Ascension, upon the Apostles; when the Spirit promised came rushing upon them as a mighty winde, and filled all the house: whereupon forthwith they prea­ched the Word of the Gospell to every nation under heaven, at Je­rusalem, in their owne tongue, Act. 2. 2. which was a fruit of his Ascension and Exaltation, v. 33. and a comming in his kingdome with power.

3. In the Apostolicall gifts, 3. we may see how powerfully the Sonne of man came in his King­dome, in their dayes: as the gift of knowledge in deepe mysteries of the Kingdome, without stu­die: the gift of prophecie: the gift of miracles, of healing by im­position [Page 354] of hands, of casting out devils, of raising the dead, and the like, for confirmation of their doctrine: the gift of tongues, and of immunitie from errour in tea­ching or writing: the gift of the Apostolicall rod, in smiting of­fendors, as Paul did Elymas with blindenesse, and Peter Ananias & Sapphira with suddaine death. Which peculiar gifts were pro­mised and given them, that by the admirable use and power of them the Sonne of man should come gloriously in his Kingdome, and the Church more and more con­firmed in the faith, and more al­lured in the beginning and cradle of it, to the love of Christ and his truth, who a little before was so hated and despised.

4. In the Apostolicall dili­gence, which was wonderfull, 4. and all to this end, that the Sonne of man might come gloriously in this his Kingdome. The travells [Page 355] of Paul alone were such, as hee carried the word of the King­dome, and set up Christ as a King, unto a third part of the knowne world, Rom. 15. 19. 20. Yea in his time hee sheweth, that the Gos­pell was preached not at Colossus onely (as Col. 1. 16.) but by the diligence of the Apostles it was fruitfull in all the world, v. 23. How instant were they in prea­ching, writing, disputing, and suffering, and all to set up the Son of man glorious in his king­dome?

5. In the successe of the Apo­stles 5. in their Ministerie: which if we consider, wee shall see the truth of Christs speech, that they did more in the means of conver­sion of men, than himselfe did. Joh. 14. 12. Act. 2. at one Sermon of Peters, three thousand were converted: this was the first famous draught of this fisher of men, by which three thousand subjects were ad­ded [Page 356] to Christs Kingdome in one day: here came the Sonne of man gloriously in his Kingdome. And what wonderfull increase it took in all quarters, all the Epi­stles of the Apostles do witnesse: especially twenty yeares after Christs Ascension, in which times howsoever some of the Apostles were extinct, as James slaine with the sword by Herod, Ast. 12. yet some other of the Apo­stles, and of others who heard Christ speake these words, were living: witnesse that Synod of the Apostles, which was fifteene yeares after Christs Ascension, at Jerusalem, wherein James sonne of Alphens was President; which sheweth both the flourishing estate of the Church at that time, and that many of the Apostles were then living: and so this prophecie of Christ was accom­plished. But,

6. Fortie yeares after Christs 6. [Page 357] Ascension, when all the Jewish [...]orship and ceremonies, toge­ther with the Temple, were so [...]olished and destroyed, as one [...]one was not left upon another; [...]e whole house and all the uten­ [...]ls and shadowes were burnt with fire, so as none of them [...]ould longer stand up against Christ, the truth and substance of them: Then was the sonne of man let into his kingdome most [...]erspicuously, all va [...]les were [...]ow rent, all shadowes vanished, [...]ll partitions broken downe, and Christ with open face trium­ [...]hantly conquering and prevai­ [...]ing in the world. And this, John [...]he Evangelist saw, who dyed in the 101. yeare after Christ, about [...]0. yeares after the destruction of the Temple, as Chronologers have collected.

Object. Christ was come in his Mat. 3. 2. Kingdome before: so John Bap­tist preached, Repent, for the king­dome [Page 358] of God is at hand: and Christ himselfe said in Matt. 12. If I by the Spirit of God cast out di­vels, then is the kingdome of God come unto you.

Answ. True it is, the sonne of man was come in his kingdome before: 1. in the beginnings of it: 2. to Judea: 3. in a dim & obscure light in comparison. But now it is come in the power of it, and to all the world, even in the Apo­stles time, whereof our Saviour here speaketh.

Wee might adde hereto the writing of the Evangelists: Mat­thew, Of the times when the Gospels were writ­ten. who wrote his Gospell eight yeares after Christ, Marke ten, Luke fifteene, and John forty two; wherein Christ came in his Kingdome apparently to all the world, in all the Churches of the New Testament. Yea this last of the Apostles, John, saw Christs comming in his Kingdome most gloriously, in the undaunted con­fession [Page 359] of his Name by many thousand Christians, that gave their lives for the testimonie of his truth. For hee lived to see three of those bloodie persecuti­ons of Roman Emperours, as of Nero, under whom Peter & Paul suffered, of Domitian, under whom himselfe was banished in­to the Isle Pathmos, where hee wrote his Revelation, and of Tra­jan, under whom were many thousand Christians drawne to death daily, as Plinie the second Euseb. hist. Eccles. lib. 3. cap. 33. testifieth, writing in their behalfe to Trajan the Emperour; in whose dayes John wrote his Gospell, and dyed the 10 [...]. yeare of his owne age. All which hath notably cleared the sense of our Saviours prediction. Now fol­lowes the observation.

Where the Word of God is most Doct. By prea­ching and obeying the Word powerfully preached, and most cheerefully obeyed, there Christ commeth most gloriously in his [Page 360] kingdome. The whole 110. Psalme Christs kingdome is advan­ced. is a prophecie of Christs King­dome, who is appointed to rule in the middest of his enemies. 1. 1. The place or countrie, over which he is King, is Sion, v. 2. that is, the Church of God, fi­gured by Sion at that time. 2. 2. His government over his Church is called a Kingdome, for the si­militude it hath with earthly Kingdomes: and in all wee shall see the comming of Christs king­dome to bee by the powerfull preaching and obeying of the Gospell.

1. Earthly Kings have royall Shewed by simili­tude of earthly Kings and kingdomes 1. titles, and stiles of honour: So for the name and title of this King, hee is called the Word of God, Rev. 19. 13. Even that eter­nall Word (Joh. 1. 1.) which was before all beginning, but now in­carnate. And he is called faith­full and true, vers. 11. not onely faithfull, in defence of his sub­jects, [Page 361] but true in his promises and retributions of reward to those that valiantly fight his battels.

2. Other Kings have subjects: 2. and here must be subjects, which heare his voice and follow him, Joh. 10. 28. called a willing people, Ps. 110. 3. Elect, and drawne of the Father: all gathered by the word and voice of Christ, and of unwil­ling made a willing people, be­cause his redeemed ones, both by price and power.

3. Other Kings have their 3. lawes and statutes for the go­vernment of their subjects. The lawes of this King are the lawes of heaven, the Charter of heaven, the Word of God in the two Te­staments, the law of entire na­ture renewed in the former, and the law of faith revealed in the latter. It is hence called the word of the Kingdome, Matth. 13. 19. because his Kingdome is erected and preserved by it. And these [Page 362] lawes are bounded with rewards to the Observers, and penalties to the transgressours; all these being comprehended in the promises and threats of the word.

4. Other Kings ride in great state and glory, both to make and 4. execute lawes, as also in their just warres for the defence of their right and subjects, and just revenge of wrong-doers. So this King rideth upon a white horse, and every where triumpheth by his truth, being faithfull and true, fighting and judging righteously, Rev. 19. 11. and Psal. 45. 4. Pro­sper with thy glory, ride upon the word of truth and meekenes. And how gloriously he rode on upon his word, through all the world, after his Ascension, wee have shewed. 5. Eminencie of Christ above o­ther Kings. 1. Rev. 19 12.

5. Other Kings have their crownes, sword, and scepter, but with much difference from this King: 1. He hath many crownes [Page 363] upon his head, whereas other Princes seldome have above one; to note the many victories, which according to the word, and by the word hee hath obtained against Satan, sin, death, hell, for him­selfe and his subjects. 2. His 2. Eph. 6. 17. sword is the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God, which he holds not in his hand as other Princes, but in his mouth, Rev. 1. 16. Out of his mouth went a two edged sword: Esa. 11. 4. Hee shall smite the earth with the rod of his mouth, and with the breath of his lips slay the wicked: where the rod of his mouth, and breath of his lips are all one, namely, his word; by which sword hee subdued three Act. 2. 41. thousand at one Sermon. 3. His scepter is that rod of his power 3. which he sends out of Sion, that is, his word as is expounded, Esa. 2. 3. The law shall goe out of Sion, and the Word of God out of Jeru­salem. Psal. 110. 3. But, other Princes hold [Page 364] their scepter in their hand, hee in his mouth.

6. Other Kings have their 6. guard and armie to attend them: So hath he those, who know the time and place of their atten­dance, Psal. 110. 3. Thy people shall come willingly at the time of assembling thine army in holy beau­tie: whereby wee know who they be, that waite on Christ as his servants, namely, those that waite at the time and place of ho­ly assemblies, called his holy beau­tie: these have free accesse unto him in his presence-chamber, and follow him into their owne hearts, where hee is present by his Spirit to guide and comfort them.

By all this plainely appeareth, that where the Word is prea­ched and obeyed, the Lord Jesus commeth in glory, and in his Kingdome. His name is the Word of God, his subjects ga­thered [Page 365] by the word, his lawes the word of the kingdome, his white horse on which hee rideth in tri­umph, is the word of truth, his crownes are put and held on his head by the word, his scepter the rod of his mouth, his sword the two edged sword going out of his mouth, his attendants and guard waiting on him in the place of holy beautie.

Which serves to convince all Use 1. Enemies of the word, ene­mies of Christ. the enemies of the truth, as rebels to the Kingdome of Christ: the greatest enemies and rebels hee hath, are the hinderers of his word and ordinances, let their pretences be what they will: and manifestly are they discovered to be hypocrites, who will say eve­ry day, Thy Kingdome come, and yet by all their power hinder the passage and power of the Gospel: nothing is such a [...]ion to them, nothing is such burden to the place where they live, as [Page 366] Christs comming powerfully in his Kingdome: themselves will not enter, nor yet suffer such as Mat. 23. 13. would enter into the Kingdome. And the like of our wilfull Re­cusants, and such as refuse to heare the word preached, which is the Proclamation of this great king, investing him into his king­dome: Were not he a disloyall subject, that would wilfully de­nie his presence at the Proclama­tion whereby the king is proclai­med the lawfull heire and succes­sour into his kingdome? And will not the Lord Jesus reckon him an enemie, that refuseth to be pre­sent while he is by publike prea­ching and proclamation set into his Kingdome, as the Lord of his Church? hath Christ any place in his heart, that cannot abide to heare he should be set in his law­full inheritance?

Oh that all these, either secret A [...]oniti­ons to them. or professed enemies of Christ, [Page 367] would seasonably consider what a fearefull thing it is, to enter into combination against Christs Kingdome and government!

1. Hath his Father established 1. Psal. 2. 6. him on his Throne, and set his King on Sion, and will the rebels displace him? will they wrong and resist him, whom the Lord hath set up? will they pull his crowne from his head, dethrone him from his government, wrest the sword out of his hand, breake his scepter in pieces, violate his lawes, and thinke to prosper in their high treasons, and in taking up armes against the Lord?

2. Looke on the dangerous 2. [...]. Hom. issue and estate of enemies, Luk. 19. 27. Those mine enemies that will not I should raigne over them, bring them hither that I may de­stroy them. Wilt thou not stoupe to the rod of his mouth? his rod of iron is readie in his hand to breake thee to pieces as [...] potters [Page 368] vessel, Psalme 2. 9.

On the other side, it must bee Use 2. Rejoyce in the thri­ving of the Gospell. the greatest comfort of a godly man, when Christ comes most powerfully in his Kingdome: so our Lord here comforteth his Disciples in their sorrow, that they shall see their Lord after a great deale of contempt and pas­sion, lifted up againe in the glory of his Kingdome. A child will rejoyce in the advancement of the Father: a servant in the ho­nour of his Master: especially a loving spouse in the advancement of her husband: And how should we cheere up our selves and o­thers, to see the Lord Jesus ho­noured in a powerfull Ministerie, his enemies throwne downe be­fore him, our brethren drawne by multitudes under his allege­ance? &c. Contrarily, it should be the griefe of our hearts, when any thing crosseth his kingdome, when any designe prevaileth a­gainst [Page 369] his word, when any holy Ministerie is cast downe, when the Lord loseth an ensigne, &c.

Wee must also every one doe Use 3. In helping the word, helpe up Christ into his throne. our best to set up Christ in his Kingdome, and that hee may lift up and hold up his scepter every where: thou prayest his king­dome may come, use meanes for that thou prayest, in what place soever.

If a Magistrate, thou must pu­nish 1. offenders against his lawes, as well as against the Kings: thou must order thy government as well by his Iawes, as the Kings: By thy example thou must grace the word, as well as by thy pre­sence thou wilt grace the execu­tion of the Kings lawes.

If a Minister, thou art the Lords 2. Scepter-bearer: thou must hold up this Scepter and mace of Christ, preaching the word plainly, pure­ly, sincerely, instantly: as Johns, goe next before him, and make [Page 369] way for him: as friends of the bridegrome, be sure hee increase Joh. 3. 30. though wee decrease. How doe they this, that preach not at all, or now and then, or preach a­gainst preaching, and declaime a­gainst those that most zealously advance the Scepter and glory of Christ? that were not Christ too strong for them, and truth stron­ger than all, Christ should never come in his Kingdome: if hee were a King, he should be such an one as Ishbosheth, a King without a Kingdome, without subjects or lawes.

If thou bee a private person, shew thy selfe a good subject to 3. this King, and set up his King­dome both within and without thee.

Without thee: thou must set up his lawes and authoritie in thy familie, by instruction, catechi­zing, prayer, and holy orders, by which faith and the feare of God [Page 371] may bee planted and cherished; that there may bee a draught of a Church in thine house: and by Christian conference admonish­ing and exhorting one another, to containe every one in his allea­geance and subjection to Jesus Christ.

Above all, wee must bee care­full to set up this Kingdome within our selves, and maintaine the rule and soveraigntie of Christ by his word in our owne consciences.

Quest. How may wee doe this?

Ans. 1. If as good subjects we How Christs Kingdome is erected and main­tained within us. frame and compose our selves to this Kingdome: Both to the lawes of it, for Christians are a people under lawes, and hee that acknowledgeth not the funda­mentall lawes of this Kingdome, 1. and will not bee ruled by the word of Christ, is none of Christs subjects: As also to the holinesse [Page 372] of it, by daily putting on a divine nature, 2 Pet. 1. 4. The subjects of Christ are people of a pure lan­guage: and though sanctitie bee Zeph. 3. 9. scorned, and hunted with dis­grace out of the world, this is the Rev. 15. 3. King onely of Saints.

2. If as good subjects we serve 2. with chearfulnesse and joyful­nesse this King of glory. With chearfulnesse: for his people are a willing people, and bring free-will offerings, Psal. 110. and besides, to serve him is to raigne, all his subjects are Kings, the estate of the meanest Christian is a King­dome. With joyfulnesse also: Psal. 149. 2. Let the children of Sion rejoyce in their King: blesse GOD that hath shewed us the way to this Kingdome, who else had beene still in the Kingdome of darknesse: and that hee hath made an entrance for us into this Kingdome, Col. 1. 12, 13. and the rather, because hee hath passed by [Page 373] the Angels that fell, and made no entrance for them, yea passed by many nations and millions of men, and out of all the world brought us under the subjection of this King.

3. If as good subjects wee maintaine the honour and autho­ritie 3. of our King, and our owne liberties and priviledges obtai­ned by him for us.

First, wee maintaine his right, Christs right de­fended, how. when wee set up his word every where, and suffer it to command and rule our owne thoughts, words, actions, and [...]tions, 1. and bring all into the [...]dience of Christ. If we cannot prevaile, that his word may command and rule others, yet see it rule and command our selves. Againe, 2. when wee maintaine warre, and take up armes against all his and our enemies, that rise up a­gainst his honour and our salvati­on. We must be stout and invin­cible [Page 374] against all that would in­croach and raign over us in stead of Jesus Christ, as namely, wee must levie forces, and serve in his warres against the temptations of Satan, the corruptions of the world, and our owne lusts, and the evils of our owne hearts and lives: all which wee must resist instantly, for the Adversary is restlesse in assaulting: wisely, stan­ding on our watch, and in the complete armour of God: stout­ly, for the warre is difficult, but the victory certain and glorious.

Secondly, as good subjects we And like­wise our own right. must maintaine our owne liber­ties: Gal. 5. 1. Stand fast in the li­berty wherewith Christ hath made us free, and be not intangled againe with the yoke of bondage. Resolve never to come under the bondage of sinne and Satan any more: it was basenesse and madnesse in Is­rael, that being free from Pha­raohs oppressions, they would [Page 375] run back into Egypt in all haste. Nor under the yoke & bondage of humane traditions, or yokes of Antichrist, Christs greatest ene­mie. Of all slaves and vassals let us esteeme the slave of sin the greatest: and seeing the Son hath Joh. 8. 36. made us free, let us highly prize & stoutly maintaine this freedome.

To perswade all this,

1. Consider what an absolute Monarch Christ is, of what pow­er Motives to be loyall to Christ. to constraine obedience, and restraine rebels: he can get him­selfe a name, and lift up his Scep­ter 1. without thee, and against thee, being God and man, and Lord of all things: but for thy good hee would take thee in as anassistant in his government, and if thy service bee his, his honour is thine.

2. Consider what a good and 2. gracious Lord thou servest, one that no way burdens his servants and subjects, but every way en­richeth [Page 376] them, by bestowing large gifts upon them, even his whole Kingdome to every of them; yea whose love is experi­enced by his death for his ene­mies.

3. Consider his presence with his subjects in all places and oc­casions: 3. Hee seeth who makes his heart a presence-chanber for Christ, who sets up his chaire of estate there, who they be that take care nothing be done or defended against his lawes in his owne presence, and who they are that suffer his word to sway against lusts. The very sight of the Kings sword should adaunt of­fenders: that is, the presence of his word in the heart: How Ps. 119. 11. much more should his owne presence provoke us to all dutie and sub­jection?



1 COR. 9. 24.‘Sor [...]nne that you may obtaine.’

THe holy Apo­stle hath at The Apo­stles drift in this place. large disswa­ded these Co­rinthians, late ly converted from heathe­nisme, from sundry relickes of superstition still continued a­mong them; as namely, from eating meats in the Idol-Temple offered unto Idols; from which feasts and meetings they were the hardlier restrained, because [Page 350] they were much addicted to gluttony, and pampering of the flesh: And therefore more strongly, both from his owne example, and by other reasons, he urgeth the duties of Christian sobriety and mortification: as if hee had said, If ye shall ob­iect, that now your Christian liberty affords you more interest in the creatures, and comforts of life, than before; I answer, that I have as much liberty in them, as any, but for the Gospels Vers, 12. sake I forbeare my libertie in greater matters than these; I might marry a wife, or I might require my maintenance from the Church, as my right; but I for the Gospell deny my selfe in all, I worke with my hands to avoyd offence: so your liber­ty in Christ allowes you not any use of the creature with the hin­derance of the Gospell, or the scandall of others. The si [...]ili­tnde he here useth

And to this hee addeth a [Page 351] strong reason, from a pleasant similitude, comparing the life of a Christian to a Race: those that runne in a race, either for praise, or a garland of flowers, or a small temporall reward, pam­per not their bodies, nor load and stuffe themselves with meats and drinkes, but are absti­nent, and put themselves into a spare diet, and forbeare and strip themselves of al encumbrances, and the use even of the best things, which would make them heavy & unweldy in their race. Much more should you, in this spirituall race, for the attaining of another manner of Crowne or prize, cast off all things that presse downe and encumber you, Heb. 12. 1. and so runne the race set before you, as you may obtaine, and not be frustrate of your expe­ctation.

These Corinthians were well Thereason of it. acquainted with the manner of runners: Know ye not, that they [Page 352] which runne [...], in a race, &c. as if he had said, Yee cannot but know. There were the games of Olympus, celebrated every fift yeare in the honour of Iupiter: and there were the Istmian games, instituted of Theseus in the honour of Nep­tune, their Sea-god, which were every fifth yeare exercised at Istmus, a streight in Gre [...]ce, in the sight of Corinth.

Obi [...]ct. But why doth the A­postle draw his argument from Ita simili▪ tudo Circen­sium Augu­stin [...]ana c [...]nvertit [...]pium Confess. l 6. c. 7. prophane games, used among heathens in honour of their I­dols?

Answ. The Apostle approves not the games, nor shewes how well or ill they doe in running, but from them deduceth what we may turne to a good use in a better race, for a better prize. Our Lord approves not of an uniust steward, but onely shewes Luk. 16. 8. how wee may and ought wisely to provide for our selves, as hee [Page 353] did. Christ approves not a theeves comming in the night, when hee compares himselfe to one, Rev. 16. 15. onely hee ex­cites our watchfulnesse to be al­wayes ready for his comming.

And even from this practice Note. A rule of Christian prudence. of the Apostle wee may gaine a rule of prudence: when we must see many things we mislike, but cannot reforme, to make the best use of them we can. A wise man may gather good, from that which is not so good. A man may sometime light of a peece of gold on a dunghill: and will he not take it up? The Bee will sucke sweet honey, even out of stinking herbes. Wee may not presently tumult against things Use. we dislike, no more than our A­postle: but if we cannot amend them; so to take notice of them, as they may doe least hurt; and if wee may, gather some good from them: and we see, that we may make good use of things we [Page 354] approve not.

Now to the words. In this Parts of the Tex's three. short Apostolicall injunction are three things: 1. The precept, to runne: 2. The manner, so run: 3. The end, that ye may obtaine; namely, the scope and ayme.

In the Precept are, I.

  • 1. Who must runne.
  • 2. Why he must runne.
  • 3. When he must runne.
  • 4. The use thereof.

For the first of these. Every Doctr. 1 Christian life is a kinde of race. Christian must runne: for, Chri­stianity is nothing but a race, and every Christian must runne the race set before him, Hebr. 12. 1. In other races, as that of Istmus neare Corinth, to which our Apostle alludeth, some runne and some stand still, or looke on: but here, in this Christian race, all must run, men and women, high and low, rich and poore, and none must looke on.

Now Christian life is compa­red And that in siv [...] re­spects, to a course or race, in Scrip­ture, [Page 355] for five respects conside­rable:

1. As all running must be in a way, and within bounds and 1. limits: so here, the way to run in, is the way of Gods Comman­dements, Psal. 119. 30. This is the right and good way, the lightest and shortest way, the fairest and cleanest way, with­out all windings or turnings to the right or left hand.

2. In running is a strife and 2. contention: so in the Christian race: but the strife is not by speed or swiftnesse of feet, but a spirituall strife, of faith, vertue, piety, good conscience and obe­dience. And as in a race the whole man runneth and striveth and every part of the runner: so in this race, a man cannot have religion in his mouth and pro­fession, and say hee will runne, but scarce move hand or foot in any good duty: no man can run with his tongue, and his foot [Page 356] stand still. Israel professed, that whatsoever the Lord commanded Deu 5: 27 they would doe: here were good words: but how often did they tempt him in the Desart? Paul would not runne, as beating the ayre with bare words, 1 Cor. 9. 26. Neither doth the kingdome 1 Cor. 4. 20 of God stand in word, but in pow­er: which is, when in all things wee labour to keepe faith and good conscience, in all things, before God and all men.

3. In running there is a goale 3 or prize which we run for. The prize or Crowne for which we runne, is everlasting glory: not a crowne or wreath of flowers, but an incorruptible crowne, 1 Pet. 5. 4.

4. As in a race are spectators, 4. and the Vmpire that gives the crowne or prize: so here, the spectators are men and- Angels, 2 Cor. 4 9 and the Vmpire is God, an in­corrupt Iudge, who, having ap­pointed the race, giveth the [Page 357] crowne to every one that run­neth well.

5. As at the end of the race, 5. the wager is wonne or lost, and the crowne received or mist: and as the race is runne, so it is disposed: so at the end of our life, the prize of eternall life is either wonne or lost; and if it be in the race lost, it can never be recovered, neither by bribe nor intreaty. If in this life we win it, we weare it, or else it is lost for eternitie.

Thus Christian life is a race.

Next, why must we runne this race? 2. Reasons why wee must run this race.

Answ. 1. There is no standing in Religion: and the way is ve­ry long which we have to goe: we have a large journey, as farre as betwixt heaven and earth; and 1 though we runne, we shall come in slow enough.

2. The time is short which 2. is allotted to runne this race: namely, the time of this life, [Page 358] which is but as a vapour, a post, an arrow flying in the ayre: the day is short, the night hastens, and our feare of being benigh­ted should hasten us thorow.

3. The parties against whom 3 we runne, are very swift and cunning to supplant: sor wee runne against Principalities and Powers, the devill, our flesh, sin Ephe. 6. 12 and sinners, who incessantly seeke to slacke our course in this race; sometimes casting in our way (as Medea) a peece of flesh, and sometimes golden Apples (as the Poets feigne, of Atlanta) that is, the profits or pleasures of this life, all to cast us backe in our way: nay, our owne incumbrances are so many, as wee need no other to slow our pace: So as the swif­test runner shall come slow e­nough; and if the runner scarce­ly be saved, where shall the loy­terer appeare?

4. Wee must runne, to wit­nesse 4. [Page 359] both our disaffecting and distasting things below, which we hasten from, as also our ear­nest affecting and desire of the goale and crowne which is in our eye: as the two Disciples, Peter and Iohn, runne to out­runne Ioh 20, 4. one another, through earnest desire which of them should first see Christ being ri­sen: so the Christian must ha­sten and strive who may enjoy Christ first and most, and see him as he is.

But when must we runne?

Answ. Our whole life must be 3 Al our life, the time of this race. a race. 1 Pet. 1. 17. Passe the whole time of your pilgrimage here in feare. Now is the time to winne or lose the goale. E­ternall life is wonne or lost in this life. Spare thy paines here, and there shall bee no spare of thy paines hereafter. Now ther­fore take the time, even this day: as a wise runner will set out betime, and get the start if [Page 360] he can, of his Adversary: Psal. 119. 60. I made hast, and delayed not to keepe thy Commandements.

Many foolish men in their life and health stand still, and idle all Not the end of life onely. Reasons. the day, and would same runne apace when they are sicke or dying. But consider in time, 1. 1. What an unfit businesse a race is for those times: a man to run had need of health and strength and not bee bound on his bed of sickenesse. 2. It is very un­likely, that hee should runne to 2 heaven in his death, that hath beene running to hel all his life. for as the tree leaneth, so com­monly it falleth and lyeth. 3. Wisedome will tell a man, 3 that sicknesse and death are the time to end our running, not to beginne it: and that Christia­nity is a race to heaven, not a jumpe: and the way is long, and needs both a long time, and good speed to attaine it. 4. Use. 1.

Now if wee must runne in the [Page 361] Christian course, we learne how Conceit a­right of a Christian course. to conceive of the sound Pro­fession of Religion; namely, that it is a laborious and painefull course, as running is a violent motion, and a straining exercise wherein the whole man must runne; especially when a man runneth up an hill, as we doe to­wards heaven. And therefore Who doe not.

1. They are deceived, that 1 thinke a sound Christian can live at ease, or in security. Is a gar­land of flowers denyed to him that loves his ease better than the toyle of the race; and is the Crowne of eternall life given without labour? or can it stand with the excellency of salvation to be so easily attained? or is it not worth all our diligence, to 2 Pet. i. 10 make our election sure?

2. The lukewarme Gospeller 2 deludes himselfe, that thinkes to get heaven with good hopes and wishes, but will bee at no strife either against sinne, or in per­formance [Page 362] of good duties: as if Christianity were such a Gentle­manly life, as to have their rents come in by Stewards, whether they sleepe or wake, worke or play. No: thou must strive to Luk. 13. 2 [...] enter, and runne, and pant, and sweat, and bee happy if all thy labour can attaine the Crowne. But if heaven bee worth no­thing, take thine ease, stand still, or lye still, meddle not with grace. But if it bee worth any thing, thou shalt know it is not gotten with nothing.

Againe, if Christianity bee a Vse 2. Ourgo one another in holinesse. Instat equis auriga suos [...]ntibus illos pr [...]te­ritos tem▪ neus, &c. Hor. serm. 1 sat. 1. Motives. 2 race and strife, then must we all strive to goe one before another in knowledge, faith, obedience, and all graces. Runners in a race strive who may bee foremost: and runners in a spirituall race must contend, who may first ap­prehend the grace of eternall life in the means and beginnings of in. For,

1. This is the onely holy and [Page 363] warrantable ambition, emulati­on, and covetousnesse, to covet after the best gifts, 1 Cor. 12. 31.

2. Wee see how men strive 2 to be before others in wealth, in good bargaines, in pride of appa­rell, in dainty fare, and whatso­ever may set forward the de­lights of this present life. And ought wee not much more to striue to bee first in the bargaine of eternall life, in the riches of grace, and in the wealth of an haavenly inheritance? why should the children of this world be wiser in their generations than the children of light? Luk. 16. 8

3. See wee not wicked men runne fast to hell, and strive who 3 may bee soonest there, and which may fill up his measure first? See we not how wretched and debaucht persons glory when they can out-sweare, out­drinke, or out-brave another? and yet the issue of all is that hire that belongs to Captaine­sinners, [Page 364] and such as being in the highest forme of sinne, must also bee in the deepest dungeon of wrath and revenge. And shall wee, who have so faire a marke in our eye, to encourage and improve all our labour, suf­fer every one to get before us in the way of God, who yet are behinde us in the meanes and encouragements?

These are the Motives:

Directions for running aright follow in the next point. And so from the precept wee come to the manner: So runne.

Not every runner or striver II. Manner of running. 2 Iim. 2. 5 obtaines, but hee that runs and strives lawfully, which is so to runne, namely with limitation.

Quest. Which are they?

Ans. They consist, 1. In right preparation: 2. Conditions.

No man can runne so as to Preparati­on to run, necessary, & wherein attaine, that is not rightly prepa­red to the race. And the prepa­ration stands in two things: [Page 365] Putting off all hindrances: Pro­viding all needfull helpes.

First, we must cast off all bur­dens Hindran­ces put off and remo­ved and weights that preste us downe: Heb. 12. 1. the Apo­stle enioynes first to cast off all that presseth downe, and then runne the race that is set before us. And thus the runner for a temporall prize will cast off such garments and carriages as he can well part withall: wee much more. The Scripture points us to sundry burthens which must be cast off: as,

1 Sinne, which presseth downe as an intolerable clogge 1 [...]. and burthen: Hebr. 12. 1. The sinne that so easily besets us: and as a garment that wraps us about and hinders the free use of our joynts and limbs: so many sins are so many chaines and ferters; and hardly can a man runne, with his fetters on his heeles: Iam. 1. 21. Lay aside all filthi­nesse.

[Page 366] 2 The immoderate care of the world must be cast off: for, 2 how doe wee see worldlings, who have clogg'd themselves with the weight of earthly cares and desires, runne but hobling­ly? no duties of piety or mercy can be seene in their hands: no incitements or perswasions can prevaile to quicken them: earthly cares, as thornes, choake Luk. 8. 14 all the seed. How can a man runne through a thicket, or stiffe [...]lay? so here, Hab. 2 6.

3 We must cast off the im­moderate use of the world, and 3 the things of it, and beware we oppresse not our selves with sur­fetting, Cap. 21. 34 or drunkennesse, or plea­sures of life; but by mortifica­tion keepe our selves thinne and spare, If hee that were to run a race should stuffe himselfe with eating or drinking, fol­lowing his appetite, hee would runne but heavily, his adversary would wish no greater advan­tage. [Page 367] Therefore the Apostle Paul would in his owne exam­ple teach us to beat downe the body, and bring it into subiection, lest wee should runne in vaine, 1 Cor. 9. 27. Full dyet breeds gowt in the feet, which spoyles our running.

These are the hindrances.

The second thing in this pre­paration, is the providing of needfull helpes to [...]further us in our race: for so doe runners. I will onely mention three. Helpes in running the Chri­stian race, 1

1 Faith, to get Christ with us, without whom wee can doe no­thing, and by whom we shall be able to doe all things, Phil 4 13. Joh. 15. 4. If we abide in the vine we shall bring forth fruit. Faith establisheth our union with Christ: whom wee must take with us, to draw us that we may Cant. 1 4. runne after him, to quicken us with new life, and to enlighten us in our way: else we runne in the darke, to our owne ruine. [Page 368] To give influences as an head, and also a cover for all defects.

2 The Apostle adviseth us to prouide patience, Heb. 12. 1. and 2 Heb. 10. 36 we have need of patience, that we may enioy the Promises: also to endure the crosses and affli­ctions, wherewith all the way is strawed. And indeed Patience notably speeds the runner in his way; because it helpes him o­ver many rubs and hindrances that lye in it. If a runner should stoope to take up and remove out of his way every straw, or pibble, or obstacle, hee should lose much ground, and cast him­selfe behinde; and therefore with courage and resolution he leaps over all, and speeds him­selfe by them: So patience makes us passe by the reproches of Atheists, that are so farre from running themselves, that they scorne others that doe; and suffers us not to take notice often of such things, which we [Page 369] might trouble our selves with­all, if our eye were not fixed on the goale and prize, in the end of our race. Besides, Patience is of notable use to make the Christian runner long-winded, and so enables him to hold out the labour to the end.

3. Another helpe is prayer to God for good speed: so the 3 Church, Cant. 1. 2. Draw mee, and I will runne after thee. For we are not sufficient of our selues to any thing, but all our suffici­ency is of God, 2 Cox. 3. 5. And therefore David every where prayes the Lord to direct him, to lead him in the way, to up­hold him in the way, and to en­large his heart for receiving grace that hee may runne the way of his Commandements, 2 [...]orditi­ons of run­ning the Christian race a [...] right▪ five. Psal. 119. 32.

This is the Preparation for running

Then the conditions of run­ning are five:

  • [Page 370]1. At a right marke.
  • 2. In a right way.
    1 Run at a right mark
  • 3. With a right foot.
  • 4. With a right motion.
  • 5. To a right end.

First, for the right manner of running, wee must bee sure to runne at a right marke: Christ must be our marke to runne at, as he was Pauls, Phil. 3. 10. to know him, and the power of his resurrection. If wee must runne for life, wee must runne to him who is our life: And the rather, because hee is no dead marke Col. 3. 4 that affords the runner no helpe in his way, but he runnes as fast to us, that wee may runne to him: Oant. 2. 8. As a Roe or young Hart he comes leaping and skipping over the mountaines: and being come, he calls us after him, (Come to mee all that are we ary and heavy laden,) that he Mat. 11. 28. may refresh us: and whereas we come not at his call, himselfe drawes us to runne after him.

[Page 371] Now consider, if Christ bee the chiefe and onely ayme of thy life, thy prize, thy purchase, thy all in all, in comparison of whom all else is drosse and dung. Men runne after wealth and riches most painefully: others runne after honours and prefer­ments: many after ease and pleasures: some after knowledge and profession of Christ: on these they fixe their eyes and minds, as their chiefe marke; and having attained these, they sit downe and rest in them. But very few make Christ the marke whereat they runne: few hold him in their eyes and thoughts. And what can they hope to at­taine at length, that never runne at a right marke? O silly men! can they chuse a better marke? may they choose another, and not choose death by refusing the Lord of life?

The second condition is, to run 2 Run in the right way. in the right way, and within the [Page 372] lists, or else the faster thou run­nest, the further thou art from obtaining. Now Christ is the way: and there is no running Ioh. 14. 6 to Christ, but by Christ: thou must still keepe him in sight. Pa­pists must needs fall short, that runne from Christ to Saints, Angels, merits, humane satisfa­ctions. Heathens must misse of salvation, who runne without Christ. And many str [...]gling Christians who professe Christ, but breake out into by-lanes of lusts and fleshly courses, and so misse the goale.

Now to those that are care­full to enquire of the antient Notes of the way that is right. safe way, they may discerne it by these notes: 1. It is a cleane way: the way is holy, and the path is holy, and the holy walke Esa. 35. 8 Hos. 14. 9 in it. 2. It is a strait way, and few walke in it, in respect of the Mat. 7. 14. multitude. 3. It is all strawed with crosses: and all that will live godly in Christ, must suffer 2 Tim. 3. 12 [Page 373] persecution. Christ and his crosse are inseparable.

The third condition in the 3 Run with a right foot. What is requisite thereunto right manner of running, is, We must runne with a right foot: Hebr. 12. 13. Make streight paths for your feet Hereunto are required, 1. Light of the Word to direct us, that we may runne stedily and boldly, not staggering or wavering; but doe all things in saith, which ever leaneth up­on the warrant of the Word; Whosoever walketh by this rule, walketh boldly. 2. The Prov. 10. 9 eye of wisdome and discretion, looking at the same time both to our feet, and to our marke: the Commandement is, to pon­der the path of our feet: and a Prov. 4. 2 [...]. note of a godly wise runner, to order his way with discretion. And the wisdome of a man is, to observe his way. 3. Sinceri­ty and uprightnesse: not to run Psal. 112. 5 halting or dissembling: Gon. 17. 1. Walke before mee, and be up­right.; [Page 374] Politicians runne hal­ting betweene God and Baal, betweene the Arke and Dagon, betweene Protestants and Pa­pists; as Peter in policy would play on both hands, betweene Iewes and Gentiles, Galat. 2. but the Text saith, that hee dis­sembled, [...]. and went not the right way to the Gospell: so doe these men of two hearts, but of no Religion; Gallio's, neuters, un­stable in all their wayes, being double-minded, Jam. 1. 8. The like of formall Protestants, who dis-joyne justification from san­ctification, and [...]ver remission of sinne from mortification of sinne: they runne crookedly and lamely, and are farre from uprightnesse.

The fourth condition is, to runne with a right motion: and 4. Run with a [...]ight motion. What it is then is the motion [...]o, when it is performed humbly, chearfully, constantly.

1 Humility quickens the 1. [Page 375] soule, when it considers, that, what progresse soever it hath made, yet he hath not hitherto attained. The Apostle Paul did therfore follow hard to the mark, Phil. 3. 13. because he had not yet attained. Doe thou likewise nourish low Good cause to be still hum­ble. conceits in and of thy selfe, as knowing, 1. that thy knowledge and faith is but in part, till that perfect come: 2. that the high prize is not here wholly below, nor the prize of immortality to be had in this mortall estate. A­way then with that proud con­ceit of merit: thou hast attai­ned enough, that hast attained to merit: thou art gotten farre beyond the Saints in heaven. A­way with the franticke conceit of perfection here: the Gospell and faithfull Preachers cast downe such high imaginati­ons 2 Cor. 10. 5 against grace. Who art th [...]u that art got before the Apostle Paul? he forg [...]t all that he had done, and pressed hard to the [Page 376] marke before him: as good runners looke not backe to see how much they have runne, which would cast them backe, but their eye is on that before them, by which they see how farre they are behind that they must reach. Bewaile then thy slownesse, stiffenesse, or lame­nesse in running, and presse for­ward still.

2 The motion must bee 2 chearefully performed. Wee must runne our race in earth, as the Angels in heaven runne theirs: now they are described with wings to flye: so must we doe all our services willingly, not by constraint; and earnestly, with all earnestnesse of affection, as those that meane to attaine, and of action, putting forth all our speed, as hee that runneth, intendeth the whole force of his body to advance himselfe for­ward, and (as the Apostle) pres­seth hard to the marke. Phil. 3. 14

[Page 377] 3 Our motion is right, when 3 it is constant: both without in­termission, and without cessati­on.

First, we must not sometimes runne, and sometimes sit still, Be con­stant with­out inter mission. and rest us as being weary: nor as some, runne apace in the Sun­shine of the Church, and stand still or goe backe in her storme: nor as some, that will bee good and runne apace, while some sharpe affliction, as a spurre or goad, is thrust into their sides, but afterwards grow as lazy, or worse than before. But our course must be as the course of the Sunne, which comes forth as a Gyant to runne his course from East to West, and never Psa. 19. 4, 5 stands nor remits of his speed. And as a man who is to runne for a great wager, hyes himselfe with all speed through thicke and thinne, so wee, having so great a prize in our eye, must hold our pace through all e­states [Page 378] of the Church, and of our selves, holding it the greatest fa­vouring of our selves, not to fa­vour our selves in any condi­tion.

Secondly, wee must runne As also without cessation. Motives constantly without cessation; not making good our race a great way, and then failing, but to the very goale: for 1. It is unsound­nesse, 1 that is a temporizer: the Iewes rejoyce in Iohns light but for a season: and many beginne Ioh. [...]. 35 Gal. 3. 3 in the Spirit, but end in the flesh. Much seed springs up, fhoots forth, and [...]ladeth, but never see­eth perfection, nor the garner. 2. Both naturall and supernatu­rall motion is swifter to the cen­ter-ward. 2. True piety never wants the crowne of perseve­rance: and this never wants the crowne of eternall life. 3. Vnhappy runners they are, 3 that lose all even at the goale: and unhappy passengers, that suffer shipwracke in the haven [Page 379] and harbour.

Obiect. I have runne apace; but now I cannot runne so fast.

Ans. With distinction. 1. Art How this is to be under­stood. thou in temptation, or wrestling with God, as Iacob? then, though thou goest halting, yet goe forward, it is toward Ca­naan. 2. Art thou weake? yet a childe, though never so weake, will creepe when it cannot run to the fathers house & bosome. 3. Art thou secure? oh repent, doe thy first workes, overtake thy selfe, bewaile thy sinne, and in all pray the Lord to enlarge thy heart, and enable thee again to runne the way of his Com­mandements.

So of the fourth condition.

Lastly, to run in a right man­ner, wee must propound to our 5. Run to a right end. selves a right end in running: and that is, first and principally Gods glory, 1 Cor. 10. 30. se­condly, the obeying of Gods Commandement; the love of [Page 380] God must constraine us to run: 2 Cor. 5 14 thirdly, that we may obtaine the crowne of eternall life, as here it is in our Text.

Quest. But must our obedi­ence and service be mercenary? for so it seemes to bee, if wee runne in expectation of the re­ward.

Answ. No: it is not merce­nary: for first, faith subordina­teth We run for the prize, yet no merce­naries: how. our salvation to Gods glo­ry: secondly, looketh on a re­ward freely promised and perfor­med, not merited: and so, thirdly beholdeth the reward; as the eye of the soule is principally fixed on Christ, who hath meri­ted it by his death, propounded it in his Word, and now holds it in his hand, in our eye, to sweeten our labours and suffe­rings in the way unto it.

These cautions observed, the Saints may runne in expectation of reward: so Moses had re­spect to the recompence of re­ward, [Page 381] Heb. 11. 16. so Paul pres­sed on, as having the marke in his eye. Nay, our Lord himselfe for the ioy set before him, endu­red Heb. 12. 2 [...]. the crosse, and despised the shame. And the Scripture eve­ry Mark held before us, why? where holds the marke in our eye: 1. To containe us in the right way to that marke. 2. To maintaine and cherish in us a servent love and desire of hea­ven, and of eternall life. Faith will be wishly looking at things 2 Cor. 4. 18. within the vaile. 3. To encou­rage and sustaine the Saints in all the difficulties of the way; the more easily to digest and [...] ­verpasse them, and so to hasten them to the fruition of that they beleeve.

That ye may obtaine.

From the action, and the man­ner, III: The end of running this race. we come to the end. As we have enquired whether wee must runne to attaine, so now [Page 382] we must enquire whether wee may attaine by running.

Answ. Wee must runne for thi [...] prize, which wee attaine not without running; yet not for our running, as the merit of it, but by it as a meanes of obtai­ning. Obtaining is not of merit, but mercy. Rom. 9. 16. It is not in him that willeth, or runneth, but in God that sheweth mercy. For, neither is our running our owne worke, nor undue, nor in any proportion to the crowne, nor yet perfect, but in the best very heavy and blame-worthy. And therefore, howsoever lawfull running attaineth, yet it is not as a cause, for the worke or me­rit of it but as a way and meanes of obtaining mercy.

Quest. But is not the prize the reward of our running?

Answ. Yes: Matth. 5. 11. Great is your reward in heaven: How it in called [...] reward. and none shall runne well, and be unrewarded. But first, it is called a reward, not properly, [Page 383] but by similitude, because it is given at the end of the worke. Secondly, it is a reward, not legall, but Evangelicall; pro­mised in mercy, and in like mer­cy performed to the runner, though not for his running. Therefore the Apostle ran hard for the prize (Phil. 3. 14.) but for the prize of the high calling of God; that is, not which hee could attaine for running, or for the merit of his strife, but for the mercifull calling of God, vouchsafing him a part in the free promise of his free grace. Hence it is also called (Col. 3. 24.) the reward of inheritance: Now an inheritance is not me­rited, but freely descendeth on sonnes, because they are sonnes: and how absurd were it for a son to goe and offer to buy his inhe­ritance of his father?

Obiect. But I may run, and no [...] Whether al runners do obtain. Luk. 13, 24 obtaine; as it is said, Many shall seeke to enter, and shall not bee able.

[Page 384] Answ. They runne, and at­taine not, that runne amisse, not observing the former, conditi­ons of right running: but every one that runneth aright, shall attaine the crowne. Here is a difference: In temporall races many runne, and one gets the prize, that comes first: but here, all that runne through, attaine the crowne, whether they come first or last.

Quest. What are the best dire­ctions, How wee may be a­ble to run rightly, and so ob­taine. to helpe us to attaine, and improve all our labour, and make good our race at the last?

Answ. The directions are sun­dry:

1. Put thyselfe in good brenth; I. The holy Ghost p [...] [...] [...] inbreath for this race. be cherishing the Spirit of God, & preparing him a sweet roome in thy heart, who will notably fit thee to the race. For first, hee is the Spirit of liberty, and will set the feet of thy soule at liberty: 2 Cor. 3. 17. Where the [Page 385] Spirit of the Lord is, there is li­berty. He is that holy an ointing, that brings the oyle of grace to supple and make nimble the joynts and sinewes of the soule, and supply activity and agility to speed thee forward: as David professeth, Psal. 1 19. 32. I will runne the way of thy Commande­ments, when thou shalt enlarge my heart, Secondly, he not one­ly strengthens the inner man, Ephes. 3. 16. but helpeth all our infirmities, which would faint and faile us, Rom 8. 26. Third­ly, he is the Spirit of supplicati­on, Zach. 12, 10. and makes us able and wil­ling to pray, and so helpes us as it were with wings toward the marke. Great need is there of this breath of the Spirit: and great is the strength of prayer: and therefore holy men have beene much and often in it: as David, that the Lord would make his way plaine before him, Psal. 5. 8. and would hold up his [Page 386] goings in his paths, Psalm. 17. 5. and that his good Spirit would convey him into the good land, Psa. 143. 10. Whosoever knows that no prayer but of the Spirit is heard of God, will easily dis­cerne the need of the presence Rom. 8. 26. and assistance of the Spirit, and will bee so much more carefull not to grieve him by sinne.

2. Take the rule of our Sa­viour, Beware of looking backe. 2 Take heed of looking backe, in this race. Remember Lots wife; and Luk 9. 62. no man that sets his hand to the plough, and looketh backe, is fit for the kingdoms of God. They looke backe, that turne aside from received truths to old damned errors, and lay them­selves under Saint Pauls checke, O foolish Galathians, ye did run [...]ell, who hath bewitched you? Gal. 3. 1 and under that heavy threatning 2 Pet. 2. 21. Better had it beene, never to have knowne the way of truth, then after knowledge to depart from the holy Commande­ment. [Page 387] And they looke not for­ward, that looke asquint with the Galathians, partly at Iesus, and partly at Moses; partly nt faith, partly at merits, as Papists; whereas the eye of faith lookes right forward at Jesus, the author and finisher of faith and salvati­on, Heb. 1. 2. 2. How many looke backe to the profits, honor, ease, or favour of the world, as Iudas and Demas? But where is now the marke? is it before thee, or behind thee? if the marke be not behinde thee, why lookest thou backe?

3. Intend thy way, not thy company. Many will net runne 3 Minde not thy com­pany, but thy way. in that way, wherein they see not multitudes and great ones runne with them: who attend not the marke so much, as their company, and enquire not so much whither, as who runne. But we must remember; first, wis­dome walkes by rule, not by example; lookes at truth, not Gal. 6. 16. [Page 388] at numbers; cares not so much what is done, as what ought to be done. Secondly, it is better to walke or runne with few to heaven, than to hell for compa­ny. Thirdly, if we looke at com­pany, we must runne with such as feare God, who have set their faces toward heaven: this is the most helpfull and fruitfull com­pany: these will further thee by their counsell, example, and prayers.

4. To attaine in this race, 4. Despise carnall counsels, friends, & scornes. we must contemne carnal coun­sels, carnall friends, and the scornes of carnall men.

First, carnall counsels. Many will not runne with such a sect, as they heare every where revi­led 1 Acts 28. 22 and contradicted, though Paul himselfe bee of that sect, and such as adhere to his do­ctrine. But in this way, general­ly esteemed heresie, must wee worship the God of our fathers. Others will not runne in that Cap. 24. 14 [Page 389] way, being all strawed with crosses, but will choose a faire broad way though it carry them cleane from the marke. Why doe they not consider, that they leave the way wherein Christ himselfe walked, and his Apo­stles? and that the way to hea­ven is a strait way, and few find it?

Secondly, carnall friends and 2 bad society is as a chaine to fet­ter, and as a leaden weight han­ged on the heeles of many, that say they run for heaven: These will perswade, as Peter did Christ, Master, pitty thy selfe, Mat. 16. 22. cherish thy selfe, deny not thy selfe, thy liberty, thy reputati­on, and force them, not to stop onely in the race, but to flye backe, as Peter among a com­pany of rake-hels will deny and forsweare his Master as fast as a­ny.

Thirdly, scorns of carnall men. 3 A Christian runner must not bee [Page 390] much moved, or much regard the speeches of men. Lookers on will have their sayings: some will say thou runnest too fast, some that thou settest out too late, and a softer pace would goe further; some that thou out­runnest thy fellowes, but in hy­pocrisie, and that thine eye and ayme is on every thing but the marke, &c. But thou must bee wiser than to attend them: thou hast thy course to intend, and thine umpire, and thy prize. Passe on thy way therefore, 2 Cor. 6. 8. 1. Cor. 4. 3 through good report and evill: resolve with holy Paul, I passe not to be iudged by any man, it is the Lord that judgeth mee; I must stand or fall to mine owne Master.

So of the fourth rule.

5. To attaine this marke, thou 5 Renew strength continu­ally: and how this may be. must be carefull to preserve and renew thy strength: for so must a runnner doe.

Quest. How may I doe so?

[Page 391] Ans. By three rules: First, hold fast the doctrine of grace: hold it strongly, both in thy judgement, and in thy affection: get not onely knowledge, but the love of knowledge: sticke conscionably to the meanes, both publike and private. For spirituall strength is maintained by spirituall meanes, as naturall by naturall. And by meeting God in Sion, in his owne Ordi­nances, Gods people walke from strength to strength, Psal. 84. 7. Secondly, hold fast the degree of grace, that thou fall not from thy first love, first zeale and heat. What hope of his attaining the Rev. 2. 4. marke before him, that goeth backward? Now the way to keepe grace in the degree, is, partly to repent of all, to cast out and keepe out all sinnes, small and great, open or secret; partly to respect all Gods Com­mandements, Psal. 119. 6 even the most dif­ficult, costly, and dangerous. [Page 392] Thirdly, hold on the act of grace: by keeping al graces in exercise, and blowing up every grace which else wil lye hid and cove­red in corruption, asfire in ashes. Every new act wil grow into an habit and custome, and habits are easie. Thou that intendest to attaine, must get forward, and gaine ground; never contenting thy selfe with one gift of grace, nor with one degree of that gift, nor with one or a few acts or exercises; but be adding, as to vertue, faith; so faith to faith: see 2 Pet. 1 5. and Rom. 1. 17.

6. A runner, through haste in his way, may easily stumble 6. Recover speedily out of eve­ry fall. and fall: and if thou fallest in thy running, thou must speedily rise by humble confession, pray­er, and repentance. Hee that lyes in his fall, shall never at­taine the marke. Wee say it is no shame to fall, but it is a shame to lye still. But in our spirituall course it is a great shame, in such [Page 393] light and meanes to take a fall, but a farre greater to [...] still in it. Hast thou falne in [...]y way? remember whence thou hast fal­len, up againe, and doe thy first worke, repent and arise, Rev. 2. 5. which is the onely way to pre­vent utter shame and confu­sion.

Quest. But how may I be en­couraged, Motives so to runne, that we may obtain 1 thus to strive to at­taine?

Ans. 1. Consider this: what­soever else thou attainest, is no­thing but a shadow, smoake, va­nity: all thy wealth is but beg­gery, all pleasure but bitternesse, all mirth but madnesse. If thou attainest not this goale, nothing that thou attainest can make thee better, every thing makes thee much worse.

2. As good never run, as not 2 attaine: for, not attaining, thou losest all thy beginnings, and pro­ceedings, and all thy labour is lost; thou hast done and suffered [Page 394] many things in vaine. Besides, thou loosest all thy talents, gra­ces, Cal 3. 4. profession, hearing, prayers, sufferings: all is lost. Finally, thou loosest all thy righteousnes, charity, mercy, reward and glo­ry; all thy hope and expectati­on: E [...]ek 18. 24. Righteousnes departed from is soone forgot­ten.

3. It is farre worse and more 3 unhappy, to run and not attaine, then not to run at all. For, not to run, is a note of an Atheist: but to run and not to attaine, is a note of an Apostate, a dogge, 2 Pet 2. 22 a swine, returned to filthinesse, whose end is worse then th [...] be­ginning. Beside, it gives Satan a stronger possession then before; he was a slave before to one di­vell, but now to [...]even worse then before.

4. Consider the goale, for 4 Excellen­cy and e­ternity of this goale. which thou runnest: both for the excellencie, and the eternity of it: and if any spurre can [Page 395] pierce and prevaile, this will.

The Excellency is in the worth, content, fulnesse, perfe­ction.

The worth: thou runnest for a crowne of life and glory: no­thing 1 in earth is so worthy, as a crowne and kingdome: but these are dead things in compa­rison, and may end in disho­nour.

The content and delight is in 2 enjoying a perpetuall rest from labour, an euerlasting Sabbath, a lasting feast and supper of the Lamb, a marriage-feast for eter­nity.

For fulnesse and abundance: here we only taste the goodnesse 3 of God, there we drinke at the well-head, even fulnesse of ioy at Psal. 16. 11. his right hand. Here wee have drops, there we shall swim with rivers of pleasure. Here are spoonfuls, there a Well of life.

For perfection: we shall attaine spirituall bodies, perfectly re­newed 4 [Page 396] soules, a full image of God, perfect vision of God, and society with Iesus Christ, in per­fect glory: and this is the top and perfection of our happinesse when in our selves we shall at­taine compleat holinesse, with­out spot or wrinckle, and ful per­fection both of nature and grace

Lastly, adde to all this the du­ration, which is the crowne of all. This good attained shall ne­ver perish, nor ever change. Of this Kingdome shall be no end. The pleasurs at our fathers right hand are for evermore. The crowne at which we run, is in­corruptible, 1 Cor. 9. 25 and so we shall finde it in all eternity.

If all this will not excite us to earnest labour, that we may at­taine, nothing will.


PSAL. 119. 33.‘Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy statutes; and I will keepe it unto the end.’

THIS Psalme notably draw­eth The scope of this whole Psalme. and allu­reth men to the study and love of hea­venly doctrin, in the knowledge and practise whereof consisteth the holinesse and happinesse of every Christi­an. The Sunne in the heavens [Page 398] were unprofitable to us, if wee had not some beames from his body. The huge Ocean were unusefull to us, if some of his streames were not derived unto us. So all that light of know­ledge and wisdome in God, the Sunne and father of lights; and all that Ocean of grace and glo­ry in God, the full Sea, were helplesse and uncomfortable un­to us, further then the beams of this Sunne, and streames of this Ocean are conveyed unto us, yea into our mindes and hearts, to enlighten and purifie the darke and nasty corners of them.

This our Prophet well know­ing, The Pro­phets holy desire. makes no end of study, paines, prayers, search and in­quisition, how he may store and furnish himselfe with that Di­vine Doctrin, which as a stream may lead him backe to the Sea againe, and bring him to the true knowledge of God in the Messiah, which is eternall life. [Page 399] A good glasse and patterne to see how farre our negligence hath cast us behinde that vvee might and ought to have attai­ned: that shaming our selves, and bewailing our former secu­rity, we may now provoke and excite our selves to lay better hold upon wisdome, and redeem our future opportunity in the meanes of grace and salvation, so graciously still continued unto us. Parts of the [...]ext.

This verse hath two parts:

  • 1. An holy prayer, Teach me, O Lord, the way of thy Statutes:
  • 2. A religious promise, or vow, And I will keepe it unto the end.

In the prayer we have

  • 1. The Object, God, O Lord.
    I. Of the prayer.
  • 1 The Petitioner, teach me.
  • 3. The Petition, to be taught in Statutes.

Which Statutes are described, 1. By the Author, or efficient, thy Statutes: 2. By a metaphor [Page 400] or similitude, the way of thy Statutes.

For the meaning of the words, wee must enquire and finde Expositi­on. out,

  • 1 What be these Statutes.
  • 2 Whose they be: thy.
  • 3 Why called the way of Statutes.
  • 4 Why David desires to be taught in this way.

For the first of these: By Sta­tutes, sometime the Scriptures 1. What these sta­tutes are. understand the Ceremoniall or Leviticall Law of Moses, di­stinct from the morall and judi­ciall: as in many places of Deu. 6. and 7. where Ordinances or Statutes are opposed to Lawes and Commandements. So in Psal. 89. 30, 37. are foure words: Lawes, that is, the whole Do­ctrine of the Word: by Judge­ments are meant Iudicials: by Statutes, rites and ceremonies: by Precepts, the morall Law.

But in this Psalme, David Reasons of severall [Page 401] useth many words to expresse titles gi­ven to the Word. the same thing. The whole Word extant is called a Law, because it bindes to obedience as a Law. A Testimony, because it testifieth the Wil of God con­cerning his Service: and his good will and fatherly affection concerning his servants and children. Iudgements, because in them right and truth is dis­cerned from wrong and false­hood. Commandements, imply­ing the soveraignty and autho­rity of God the Commander. Statutes here, a statuendo: 1. Because as a statute-law the Statutes for two reasons. Word written sets down limits and rules, how farre wee are to goe, and what to doe, and leave undone: for all Kings make sta­tute-lawes for their subjects. 2. Because as statutes are enfor­ced with rewards and penalties, so are the Lords precepts, in keeping of which is great re­ward, Psal. 19. 11 and no lesse danger in [Page 402] transgressing any of them.

For the second generall [...]. Whose Statutes they are. 1 Whose be they? thy statutes.

1. Because God is the Author of them all: and although hee used his Aman [...]enses, who them­selves used great diligence in writing of the common salvati­on, Iude 3. yet all holy men wrote the whole Word as they were moved by the holy Ghost, 2 Pet. 1. 21.

Obiect. But it seemes uncer­taine, whether all were written by the Spirit of God: for Saint Paul (1 Cor 7. 6.) speakes by permission, not Commandement: 1 Cor 7. 6. opened. and vers. ult. I thinke I have the Spirit of God: he seems to doubt of it.

Ans. 1. Saint Paul speakes by permission, not Commande­ment: not in respect of the Ef­ficient, by whom he was moved, which was the Spirit of God: but in respect of the matter, which being a thing not of such [Page 403] absolute necessity, he was dire­cted to choose a manner of deli­very proportionall; conceiving it [...]itter to perswade them in a thing indifferent, as more con­venient, than to lay an absolute command, as if it were a thing absolutely necessary. 2. Where he saith he thinkes hee hath the Spirit of God, hee speakes not doubtfully, (for he was sure hee had:) but humbly, by an em­phaticall meiosis or diminution, so to checke the boasting of proud and false Apostles, who to magnifie themselves, and exte­nuante and elevate Pauls autho­rity, made great brags of the Spi­rit of God, which they said Paul wanted.

2. They are called Gods sta­tutes, 2 because hee is also the principall obiect, or subiect mat­ter of them: as the bookes of the Kings were so called, not because they were Writers of them, but because themselves, [Page 404] their persons and acts are the principall matter of them.

3. Because hee is the preser­ver 3 and maintainer of them: for else had they long since beene lost and perished, by the rage of Tyrants and Heretickes, but chiefly by the wrath of Satan a­gainst them.

4. His by eminency, for the 4 Eminency of these statutes a­bove other excellency and perfection of them, and to distinguish them from all the lawes and statutes of men: for,

First, all mens lawes are im­perfect, 1 alterable, abrogated or changed at their pleasure: but Psal. 19. 7 the Law of the Lord is perfect, and as unchangeable as him­selfe.

Secondly, they are tempora­ry, and for this present life one­ly, 2 and bind not beyond it: but these are eternall, the charter and rule of heaven.

Thirdly, they may direct and command, but give no ability to 3 [Page 405] performe, as they doe. They may curbe and represse the e­vill of nature, but cannot change the nature, nor alter the man: but Gods statutes not onely di­rect the way, but lead into the way; not onely restraine cor­ruption, but abolish it. It con­verts the soule, and changeth the heart and life:

Fourthly, they for their end conduce to a well ordering of a 4. civill and sociable life amongst men, in peace and honesty: but Gods statutes to the ordering of a spirituall and holy life among Saints, before God, for the at­taining of grace and glory.

Fifthly, those being trans­gressed, 5 the Law-maker may pardon; or he may give a dis­pensation to himselfe to violate them, and none is above him in his Kingdome to punish him. David the King needs not much to feare any law of man: but Gods statutes transgressed, none [Page 406] but God can pardon; from whom no flesh can get dispensa­tion to offend in the least branch but it shall be revenged in him­selfe or his surety.

So of the second generall.

But thirdly, why doth David 3. Why it is called the way of Gods com­mande­ments. Metaphor of a way, what it implyes. 1 call the word the way of Gods statutes? which hath a meta­phor, and noteth singularity.

Answ. 1. The Metaphor im­plyes, that we are all travellers here in a strange countrey, and travelling home, Heb 11 13, 14 But the way we know not, nor can man or Angell teach us the way, unlesse God shew it to us, as he did to Adam, who could lose his way, but of himselfe could never finde it.

2. It implyeth, that God hath 2 made knowne the way in his word: called the way, both be­cause it points us the way, as also because it leads us to heaven and happinesse, as a way tends to some end, or intended place. [Page 407] Hence it is called the way of God, Acts 18. 26. the way of peace, Luk. 1. 79. the way of sal­vation, Act. 16. 17. the way of life, Psal. 16. 11. because it leads us to these, as a way to a City.

3. It implyeth, that this way 3 and word of God must be known of us, as the way must be of a traveller: And therefore as tra­vellers, and as David here, wee must bee ever asking after the way.

4. It implyeth, that as a tra­veller must keep the beaten and 4. high-way, so must these Statutes be pathed and trodden of all the travellers of heaven; neither must wee turne out of this way to the right or left hand. Our thoughts must not stray out of Esa. 30. 21 the way, as it is said, Th [...]u shalt not covet. Our words must bee kept in this way, seeing of every Mat 12 36 idle word account must be given. Our actions and metions must be held in this way, whether na­turall, [Page 408] as eating and drinking, all must be to the glory of God: or [...] Cor. 10. 31 civill, authority, subjection, marriage, and duties of the spe­ciall calling, and oeconomicall duties, all must bee contained within the limits of Gods word: or religious, duties of Gods wor­ship, publike or private; What­soever Deu. 12. 32 I command thee, that doe onely: all the Tabernacle, the whole and parts, even to the smallest pinnes, must be framed to the patterne in the mount: or ludicrous, sports, recreations; Gods statutes must direct, which are lawfull, which not; how far lawfull, or not: and so for cir­cumstances, of time, place, and persons; and for manner and end, all to helpe matters more seri­ous.

5. David implyes in this si­militude, that whosoever are 5 out of this way, and transgresse these statutes, they wander from the God of peace, and from life, [Page 409] are out of Gods protection, and lyable to all the curses of the Law, as men out of the Kings high-way are out of the Kings protection. Hence it is said of wicked men, Psal. 14. 3. They are all gone out of the way: and, the way of peace they have not knowne. And as a man having lost his way, knowes not where he shall lodge, so such as goe on their owne wayes, following the lusts of their hearts and eies, are blind-folded and carried by Satan to the lodging of death, e­ven eternall.

These things lye in the Me­taphor.

Then for the singularity of 2. Singulari­ty of this way. this way: he saith, thy way, not wayes: for Gods way is but one, but by-paths are many. Many are the sciences, and other knowledges worthy our labour and paines: but David above all, desires the knowledge of this one, and onely way of God, and [Page 410] of salvation.

Obiect. 1. The heavenly Ie­rusalem hath twelve gates: ther­fore Rev. 21. 12. the way is not one.

Ans. The place speaks not of so many wayes, but that from all coasts the Israel of God en­ters by this one way.

Obiect. 2. Wee read of the wayes of God, Acts 13. 10.

Ans. Those be so many steps in the way of God, but not so many severall wayes. David knew but one way of statutes, which he would be taught, that hee might avoyd all by-paths, and so come happily to the end of his way.

But for the fourth generall: 4. Why David de­sires to be taught in this way. why doth David desire to bee taught of God? he had Gad and Nathan, the Prophets: hee had ordinary Levites: hee had the Scriptures: why then doth hee not apply himselfe to the means to which God tyeth him?

Ans. 1. David had good 1 [Page 411] meanes, and was most diligent in the [...]se of them: he was a di­ligent reader, and spent nights and dayes in meditation of the Wo [...]rd: but yet to all these, and above all these he desireth Gods teaching, without which all th [...]se are in vaine. Paul may 1 Cor. 3. 6. pl [...]nt, and Apollo water, but God giveth the increase.

2. Hee knowes that all other Teachers can but teach the eare: 2 God alone teacheth and openeth the heart, as Lyd [...]a, Acts 16. 14. And whereas Satan and wic­ked men may have a great deale of speculative knowledge, and goe to hell; hee desires an in­ward Teacher, and to bee in­wardly taught by the teaching of the Spirit.

3. Hee here [...]raveth foure 3 Foure things de­sired which man can­not reach. things in this one petition, be­yond all mens teaching.

First, teach me to attend the way of thy statutes, that I may understand them, and thy word 1. [Page 412] be not a clasped booke unto me; Esa. 29. 11 neither may I, by missing the right scope, pervert the same 2 Pet. 3. 16 to mine owne destruction, a [...] ma­ny abuse many places to streng­then their owne lusts, v. c. that place of providing for the fami­lie, to maintaine covetousnesse; and the sinnes of Patriarkes to defend the like, where the right scope and sense is not attended.

Secondly, teach mee to affect 2 the way of thy statutes, that my heart may melt as Iosiahs at the hearing of the Law, and be pric­ked and broken with the threats of it, as were those Converts that cryed, Men and brethren, what shall we doe to be saved? Acts 2. 37. When the Promises are preached, or promulgated, let my heart dilate and open it selfe, as the thirsty ground, and reioyce that it understandeth the, Word taught, as Neh. 8. 13. This must we pray, that the more we know, the more wee may love [Page 413] God: that the Word of God, by the worke of the Spirit, may be as fire, not onely for the light of knowledge, but also for the heat and warmth of affection, &c.

Thirdly, teach me to beleeve thy statutes, for all true and 3 comfortable knowledge is ap­plicatory: it rests not in the un­derstanding, but is a firme assent in the Will, laying hold on the thing knowne. And this must we pray, seeing all knowledge, not mingled with faith, is unpro­fitable. Heb. 4. 2 And then we are taught to beleeve, when according to the word of the Law we choose and worship the true God for our God: and according to the voyce of the Gospel we beleeve in him whom the Father hath sent, acknowledging him not onely a Christ and Iesus, but Ioh 20. 28. Iob. 19. 25. mine, at Thomas said, My Lord and my God; and as Iob, My Redeemer liveth; and that Ie­sus Christ brings salvation to me [Page 414] through remission of sinnes, Luk 1. 7. 7.

Fourthly, teach mee to obey 4 thy statutes: for all sound know­ledge is practicall: and to know Ephes. 4. 21 22. Christ as the truth is in Christ, is, to cast off the old man with his lusts, and put on the now. This must bee our prayer, that the Lord would so teach us his way, as we may walke in it: that hee would so take us into his schoole as to become both more skilfull and more holy: that seeing not Iam. 1. [...]5 hearers, but doers are [...]ustified, our portion may bee in their blessednesse, that heare the Word Luk. 11. 28. and keepe it. This was Davids ayme in this prayer,

Quest. But why is he so ear­nest, being a man of so deepe Why Da­vid, a man of such knowledg, desires to be still taught. 1 knowledge and understanding already?

Ans. 1. A good heart, in­flamed with love of God, can never bee neare enough: love loveth and liveth in union. If [Page 415] it be in the way to him, it would get further still.

2. Though hee bee taught in 2. part, yet he seeth what a small measure hee hath attained, and desireth to bee taught further. No marvell, if hee that hath [...] taste of this knowledge, desire [...]is fill and satiety. He that see­ [...]th but in part, desireth to see more perfectly. Nature abhors [...]acuity and emptinesse: and much more, grace.

3. Hee is earnest to know the way, to shew that he shall never 3 come at God, who cares not to [...]eepe the way to him. Many desire to come to God, but it must be in the way of the world, or of pleasure, or of custome, or carnall fellowship, or lusts of their owne hearts. All these are dead desires, leading from God. David will desire the way, as well as the end. And wee also must not bawke the meanes, if we ayme at the end.

[Page 416] This of the Exposition of our Text.

Now follow the instructions. Doctr. 1 All true knowledg is from God. 1 Pet. 5. 10

Doctr. 1. In that David goeth to the Lord to be taught, learne, that all true knowledge is from God: whence hee is called the God of all grace: and 2 Cor. 4. 6. God that commanded light to shine in darkenesse, hath shined in our hearts. Dan. 2. 20. the God of heaven revealeth secrets. And therefore he is called light: not 1 Ioh. 1: 5 onely essentiall, in himselfe, but by participation.

Reason 1. Gods way wants a Reasons. 1 teacher, the way of sinne wants none. And this teacher must not be man himselfe, but God: for the naturall man perceives not the things of God (1 Cor. 2. 14.) nor can discerne them, no more then a blinde man can judge of colours. He walketh in the darke of his owne night and nature, and knowes not whither he goeth Ioh. 12. 3. 5. The vayle [Page 417] upon the heart must be removed [...] Cor. 3. 16.) and the Father must draw, or else none can [...]ome to the Sonne.

2. A naturall man is so farre 2 from helping himselfe out of darknesse, that hee increaseth his blindnesse every day, and thickens the mist of his minde. And were it a bodily darknesse, Darknesse of soule far worse than that of Egypt. [...]s that of Egypt, it were lesse dangerous: but this is far more desperate. That was on the bo­dy, endangering the outward man: this on the soule, endan­gering that. In that, men desi­ [...]ed light: in this they hate the [...]ight, and love darkenesse. In that, they would bee glad of guides: in this, refuse guides, [...]orne, and revile them. In that, they were afraid and sate still three dayes together: here ad­ [...]entrous, more forward to lead then a seeing man to follow. In that, they were sensible of their misery: in this, they thinke [Page 418] themselves in a good case, and in the way to heaven till they find themselves at the gates of hell; as the Aramites thought them­selves going to Elisha his house, 2 Kin. [...]. 20 till their eyes were open and saw themselves in Samaria, in the midst of their enemies. So as no way can a naturall man wind himselfe out of his natural darknesse.

3. True knowledge hath two things above the reach of na­ture. 3 Two things in true know­ledge, be­yond na­tures reach First, a sound Object, namely holy things, Prov. 9. 10. Now all the strength of Nature is too low and weake to reach them. A naturall man may bee wise in naturall things, or in ci­vill actions, yea wise to doe evil: but to doe well in spirituall things, hee is without all wise­dome. For nothing works be­yond his ability. Secondly, it must have a sound Agent: it must be wrought by the Spirit: it is the inspiration of the Al­mighty [Page 419] that giveth understan­ding, Job 32. 8. Flesh and blood reveales it not, Mat. 16. nay the holiest men cannot reach it without Gods teaching: Esa. 54. 13. they shall be all taught of God: and, 1 Cor. 2. 12. we have received the spirit of God, that we might know the things of God.

Then if any want wisedome, Use 1. Iam. 1. 5 Psa. 119. 18 let him aske it of God: with Da­vid, let him goe to God for the opening of his eyes. Salomon begged true wisedome, and an understanding heart, and obtai­ned it of God, 1 King. 3. 9. And the rather ought wee to doe the like, because we see in Salomon how God is well-pleased with this petition; who suffers not a suit, so pleasing to him, to goe away unanswered. And how can it bee other unto the Lord, when in this request wee ac­knowledge the mournfull dark­nesse and blindnesse of our own minds, the infinite depth and [Page 420] boundlesse Ocean of wisedome and knowledge in him, and that we depend on him for know­ledge, which wee professe a treasure in his custody alone, and that in the seeking of sound knowledge wee have an earnest desire to obey and please him?

And as this is a great meanes of Gods glory, so also of our owne good: for by this meanes, as by a key, wee unlocke unto our selves the rich treasury, and full store-house of grace and wisdome; prayer being the key of heaven.

Obiect. But hath not God decreed unchangeably what to doe, whom he will teach, whom not? so as our prayer or not prayer can never alter his de­cree?

Ans. 1. God hath decreed as well how to doe things, as what he will doe: and therefore Gods decree takes not away prayer, but stablisheth it.

[Page 421] 2. God hath decreed to doe some things immediately, by himselfe; other things medi­ately, by the creature. Imme­diately by himselfe, without the concurrence of the creature, he decreed to create Adam. Medi­ately, by the concurrence of A­dam and Eve, hee decreed the being of Cain. So for the effe­cting of many things, in matters of regeneration and salvation, he hath decreed that his servants shall concurre with him, or else the thing shall not bee done: as in this instance, no prayer no teaching.

Never therefore seeke know­ledge in the meanes, without Vse 2. In the use of meanes [...]paire to God. prayer to the Lord, whose onely it is to give. Thou commest to Church to heare the Word, to get thine eyes opened, to bee taught in the way of Gods sta­tutes: why now failest thou of that thou seekest? but because thou seekest it at the mouth [...] [Page 422] man, and failest in seeking God for blessing. Many heare and read a long time, but the Word thrives not, prospers not, lives not in their hearts nor lives: they are ignorant, not infirmed; they are prophane, and not re­formed: And why doth that word, which prevailes with o­thers, doe them no good, but because one prayes for blessing, and seekes higher than the Mi­nister, the other prayeth not, or to no purpose? And marke such as having heard the Word, run out before prayer for blessing; never looke the Word should prosper there: ye shall never see a sound worke in such per­sons, on whom is the brand of such prophanenesse, as to flye from the face and presence of God. Luther professed hee got more knowledge by praier, then by all his study: And thou shalt never prosper in the Word, that neglectest prayer.

[Page 423] Ministers especially must pray for themselves and their people.

1. For themselves, as Daniel, Vse 3. Ministers should pray for themselves cap. 2. 17. hee and his fellowes beseeched the God of heaves for grace in those secrets: and much more need we for grace, to o­pen to us the mysterie of this Kingdome. Many good wits which are as laborious in study and reading, are not so profita­ble, and marvell that they can­not reach to such a gift, as some other. The very reason is; they study, read, and meditate, but pray not, or sleightly; and not craving a blessing, they have none.

2. For the people: that God And their people. would prosper his Word to them, and adde his teaching to theirs. 2 King 6 20. Elisha prayed, that the Lord would o­pen the eyes of the Syrians, that they might see themselves in the midst of their enemies: so [Page 424] must Ministers be often on their knees in secret, that their peo­ple may see themselves in the midst of their hellish enemies, and discerne the danger, so as to apprehend the meanes of their safety.

Thus of the first point.

2. In the person praying, teach mee; David a man after Gods owne heart, a Prophet, a Teacher, a Pen-man of Scripture one that had a singular measure of knowledge already, yet hee desires to bee further taught; learne, that

Sound and saving knowledge Doctr. 2. Sound knowledg is ever humble. is an humble knowledge. Gods childe thinkes his knowledge to bee ignorance, his sight to bee blindnesse: not out of basenesse of mind, or mistaking the gift, but

1. Because no man seeth him­selfe so well, as he that is in the Reasons. 1 clearest light: and he that hath most wisdome, best seeth his [Page 425] owne wants. How doth Moses, learned to admiration, debase himselfe, and derogate from himselfe, when God calleth him? Exod 3. And how doth Agur deject himselfe, as not ha­ving the understanding of a man in him, Prov. 30. 2. whose praier, what is it but a mournfull com­plaint of his owne ignorance?

2. True knowledge shewes a man his own imbecillity, even 2. after conversion, that although he be now light in the Lord, yet he shall see he seeth but in part, Eph 5. 8 and knoweth but in part, be­cause of his owne weake capa­city, 1 Cor. 13. 9 to comprehend the myste­ries Causes of defect of knowledg. farre above his reach; clouds of corruption left in him, obscu­ring the Sunne-shine of the Word, in it selfe cleare enough, but wee looke through blacke glasses; resistance of will, which is but in part renewed: obedi­ence being but in part, plainly argueth our knowledge so to [Page 426] be: Ioh. 7. 17. And the under­standing is not yet so captiva­ted, nor the affections so pure, but that they would shape the Word to themselves, not them­selves to it: hence they see themselves as the man (Mark 8. [...]3.) restored to sight, but at first saw men walking like trees; they are not stone-blinde as be­fore, but have now a weake and indistinct sight, so as Christ must follow his owne worke againe, and again put his hands on them; so as their sight growes stil clea­rer, but never perfect till they come to see God as hee is: the case of the Beleever being the case of Paul in his Conversion, being strucke blinde, his sight was restored by the falling off of the skales before his eies. These [...], skales of false conceits and naturall opinions are long in falling off our eyes, even from our conversion till our dissolu­tion.

[Page 427] 3. Sound knowledge is hum­ble, because of the excellent ob­ject 3 A double Obiect, which keepes it humble. of it, which is two-fold: first, the statutes of God, the matters of God which are deepe and high mysteries, farre beyond the reach of highest capacities: there are mountaines as well as vallies, gulfes for Elephants to swimme as wel as shollow fords for Lambes to wade: there are the depths of Predestination, In­carnation, Trinity, and the like, in which the Angels may pose their understandings. Secondly, God himselfe whom wee must know in Iesus Christ, the nearer whom wee come, the more humble we will be. Moses, as familiar as hee was with God, yet comming neare unto him, cast himselfe on his face, and professed that hee was but dust Exod. 34. 8 and ashes. A man by beholding the Sunne discernes the weake­nesse of his eye: so here.

4. Sound knowledge is hum­ble, [Page 428] given onely to the humble; and in such a measure as they may bee kept humble still. For the Lord in great wisdom gives not knowledge, either in kinde or measure, to puffe us up, but in his dispensation preventeth the Laodicean pride of our hearts, knowing how hardly we could guide any perfection here. A­gaine, he deales with us as Pa­rents with children under age, and gives us knowledge in the measure of children, and not of strong men Paul himselfe knew as a childe, and in part, 1 Cor. 13 and the best must know they have but inchoation of grace here, and must grow in grace, and 1 Pet. 3. 18 in the knowledge of Iesus Christ. Besides, God gives such a mea­sure of grace here, as may stand with an holy covetousnesse of wisdome, and such a desire after it, as is insatiable; that we might search the Scriptures, with those noble Bereans, as for silver and [Page 429] gold, and know the price of wisedome to bee farre better. Lastly, that wee might not rest in this darke and petty Schoole on earth, but long and desire that happy estate of heaven, where is understanding without error, knowledge without igno­rance, wisdome without folly. This made Paul cast his eye be­yond the present, and set his af­fection upon that perfect which was behinde: 1 Cor. 13. 9, 10. N [...]w we know in part: but when that perfect is come, then that which is in part, shall be aboli­shed. Now we see as in a glasse, but then we shall see face to face. And withall, it will make us prize Iesus Christ, and flye unto him, in whom we recover per­fection of knowledge, being made to us of God wisedome as 1 Cor. 1. 30 Use 1. See thy want of wisdome and know­ledge. well as righteousnesse.

Hence then the best men that know most, must see they want much wisedome, and much [Page 430] knowledge. Let mee see a man gotten beyond David in found knowledge of God and him­selfe: and yet in this Psalme he can make no end of this desire: and let this serve to beat down the idle conceit of knowledge: if David who was of extraordi­nary knowledge and grace, saw such darkenesse in himselfe, and wanted so much of Gods teach­ing, what doe we? what may wee? shall any man content himselfe with his measure attai­ned, as needing no more? shall Davids measure humble him, and shall thy measure make thee swell? Consider the Apo­stles checke to the Corinthians, 1 Epist. 8. 2. If any man thinke hee knoweth any thing, let him know he knoweth nothing as hee ought to know. And cast thine eyes upon the best examples in Scripture: see the errours of Saints both in iudgement, as Pe­ter (Gal. 2. 8, 9, 11.) and in pra­ctise, [Page 431] as David, and tell mee whether the best had not need be still taught in the statutes.

Againe, examine thy know­ledge, Vse 2. Difference of good men, and evil, in re­spect of knowledg. 1 and the soundnesse of it by this note, if it be humble: For there is a notable difference be­tweene the godly and wicked, in regard of their knowledge.

1. The wicked man is proud, and boasteth of that hee hath not: the Pharisee of a key of knowledge: an ordinary man, of as much knowledge as the Mi­nister, or as much as he needeth: whereas the godly man, being humble, scarce acknowledgeth the treasure that he hath.

2. Whereas the wicked man, having a slight measure of 2. knowledge, gives up the means, and rests in that measure: the godly, what measure soever they have, still follow God in the meanes, even for that they have, as if they had it not. Da­vid being well taught, prayeth [Page 432] to be taught more.

3. Whereas a wicked man, having a small measure of know­ledge, 3 referres it to himselfe, as gotten by his owne meanes or industry, and for his own ends; as also fwels in himselfe, and despi­seth others, and will be knowne to have somthing above others: the godly still flyes to the same grace that first gave it, and re­ferres it to the praise of the gi­ver; and yeeldeth to all other, though not in gifts, yet in his mind and affection.

Thus the true knowledge of Christ, as the truth is in Christ, teacheth to be like Christ who is meeke and humble. Whence [...]at 11. 29. Co [...]olla­rics. 1 must follow,

1. That a boasting of puffing knowledge is not sound. Good men never boast of sharpenesse of sight, or quicknesse of under­standing, but see the vaile unre­moved, and the skales not quite fallen off. They are not blinde [Page 433] as before, but by reason of fogs and lusts, and mists of sinfull af­fections and motions, can some­times see as little the things be­fore them, as Agar could the Well before her (Gen. 21.) by reason of her passion or griefe, as Calvin judgeth. And although their eyes be open, yet they see how beavy they be, and hardly kept open; as the Disciples when Christ warned them to watch, by reason of sleepinesse and dulnesse of flesh: [...]o as they may say with the Church, their eyes sleepe when their hearts Cant 5. 2. awake. They may indeed pro­fesse with the blind man, Ioh. 9, 25. One thing J know, whereas J was blind, now J see: but must adde withall; yet I see how lit­tle I see, even a glimmering of things rather than things them­selves.

2. It must follow, that sound knowledge must continually be­waile 2. ignorance and darknesse: [Page 434] for why hath the Lord left it in us, but to humble us, that with the rest of the law of the mem­bers it might bee as the Canaa­nites to exercise us, or as the pricke in the flesh lest we should be exalted out of measure by a­bundance of revelations? Nay, as light and darkenesse have a daily and interchangeable fight in nature: so the soule must maintaine a continuall combate betweene knowledge and igno­rance.

3. It followes, that found 3. knowledg cannot be that which in sense of want or weakenesse striveth not in the meanes to a further measure, that of weake is not made strong, that riseth not to a further assurance, or the like: for all sound knowledge is Prov. 4. 18. proveable, and the way of the just shineth more and more till perfect day.

Thus of the second point.

3. The child of God most ear­nestly Doctr. 3. [Page 435] desireth to know the wayes Good men ever desi­rous of more holy knowledg. of God: as our Prophet through this whole Psalme. Daniel, though a most worthy Prophet, yet read the Prophecies of Iere­mie, Dan. 9. 1, 2. And all things are dung to Saint Paul, in re­spect of the excellent knowledge of the vertue of Christs death resurrection, Phil. 3. 7, 8, 9, 10. But why?

1. Because they know it to be the way of God, and there is Reasons. 1. no other: the way, not onely wherein God himselfe walketh, who is the most perfect pattern of his owne law, but especially because it is the way hee hath chalked out for us to walke in, who can walke toward him in his owne way onely; as we can see the Sunne onely by his owne light, and come to the Sea by his owne streames. 2 Fearefull effects of ignorance 1.

2. They onely discerne the danger of spirituall darkenesse and blindnesse: How it wraps [Page 436] in manifold errors of judgment; false doctrines and opinions a­gainst the Word: Ye erre, not knowing the Scriptures, Matth. 22. 29. and, Prov. 19 [...]. Without knowledge the minde is not good; How it wraps in errors of life 2 and conversation; for so the Scriptures ascribe all corruption of manners to ignorance: Paul persecuted and wasted the Church, why? the did it of igno­rance. And in ignorance the Ru­lers 1 Tim. 1, 13 put Christ to death: had they knowne, they would not have crucified the Lord of glo­ry. How it wraps men under the power of sinne, and delivers 3. them as voluntary subjects in kingdome of darknesse, under the Prince of darkenesse, to be ruled at his will, as 2 Tim. 2. 26, and, when men regard not to know God, how justly doth hee give them up to a reprobate sense as he did the Heathens (Rom 1. 24.) to commit things against [Page 437] reason and nature? And finally, how it wraps them under the 4 curse of God, both temporall and eternall. My people perish Hosea 4. 6 (saith the Lord) for want of knowledge; that is, are in state of perdition: they lye in unbe­leefe; for, no knowledge, no faith; and not beleeving, they are condemned already, Ioh. 3. 1 [...]. And they are lyable every where to those judgements which the Prophet prayes to be powred out upon them that know Ier, 20. 25. not the name of God. Then for the eternall curse: when Christ shall come from heaven in fla­ming fire, hee shall render ven­geance on all that know not God, Eph. 4. 18 2 Thes. 1. 8. and justly: for death hath seized on them already: they are destitute of the life of God, by the ignorance that is in them: their minde and consci­ence is dead, and being strangers to the life of God, they are thrust under the power of eter­nall [Page 438] death: Prov. 10. 18. The foole dyeth for want of know­ledge.

Therefore the Saints seeke after knowledge, as David here.

3. They see the necessity of 3 the word of God, and the know­ledge thereof: the Word is the food of the soule; an hungry man longs after his food; and a good heart hungers after the Word. Hence the Prophets and men of God are said to eat up the little booke (Ezek. 3. 1.) Rev. 10. 10 and to fill their bellies with it, as hungry men when they come at a good meale.

The word of God is the wa­ter of the Well of Life: and how necessary is water? how doth a thirsty man desire to be refre­shed with water? so doth the godly after the knowledge of God: and none but thirsty soules are called, or doe come to these waters, Esa. 55. 1.

[Page 439] How earnestly doe blind men [...]esire to see the light? so doe [...]he Saints, seeing what a weake [...]immering and sight they have [...] Divine things. They know [...]he Sunne in the heavens is not [...] necessary to enlighten the world, as is the Sonne of grace [...]nd righteousnesse to enlighten [...]e Church. And as without the [...]unne there would be a perpe­ [...]all night, so without God and [...]e saving knowledge of him, [...]ere were an eternall night in [...]verlasting darknesse.

4. They earnestly desire sa­ [...]ing 4. Benefits of knowledg within us. knowledge, because they [...]ee the profit and high excellen­ [...]y of it, both within themselves, [...]d without them.

First, within themselves, they [...]ee Gods Image renewed in [...]em by knowledge, and them­selves Col. 3: 10 framed to his likenesse, who is light, and in whom is no [...]arknesse. Also they see them­selves brought into better frame [Page 440] by it daily, and changed into [...] selfe from glory to glory: with 2 Cor. 3. 18 out which they could never at­taine any right motion in their wils, or affections, nor any righ [...] manner or end of doing any thing, nor any happy fruit o [...] their endevours, but the losse o [...] all their labour, time, hope, and reward.

Secondly, without them; they And with­out us. see the worth and excellency of this knowledge above all other things in the world, and that no­thing else can make them truly happy: Prov. 3. 13. Blessed i [...] the man that findeth wisdoms, and that getteth understanding. But how can Salomon prove this?

By two reasons: The former in the 14. verse, by comparing this wisdome of God with silver and gold which are so desirable: but the gaine of this is better. Oh but some things out-weig [...] silver and gold, and are in much [Page 441] more request, as Diamonds, Ru­ [...]ies, and Pearles: True; yet these are but the shining dust of the earth: but wisdome (faith [...]e) is better than all pearles, be their price never so great.

Obiect. But some things a man may desire above all these, [...]s life, liberty, health, honor, &c.

Ans. In verse 15. All things thou canst desire, are not to bee compared to wisdome.

The second reason is from the [...]ffects: shewing what wisdome bestowes and brings with her: [...]. Riches in her left hand: [...]. Length of dayes in her right: [...]. Honour, advancement, and prosperity: 4 Life, the swee­test of all: Shee is a tree of life [...]o them that lay [...]old on her. And so he concluds as he began, [...]h blessed is hee that retaineth [...]er.

We see now what reason the godly have, and on what just grounds they most eagerly de­sire [Page 442] with David to be taught [...] the way of Gods statutes.

The Vse is three fold;

  • 1. Of incitation.
  • 2. Of reprehension.
  • 3. Of examinati [...]n.

1. It serves to incite us to th [...] Vse 1. Incitation to get hea­venly knowledg. holy and earnest desire after th [...] word of God, without whi [...] no man can have any comfort [...] any sound grace.

For first, as light was the fir [...] thing in the Creation, so the fi [...] Motives. 1 word of this second Creation, i [...] Fiat lux, let there be the lig [...] of heavenly knowledge: a [...] as the word of God let light i [...] to all his worke, which befo [...] was a confused Chaos, and [...] things rolled up in blacke dark­nesse; so till this word of G [...] let light into the soule, t [...] whole man lyes in a confusion [...] blacke darknesse, without a [...] light of direction or conso [...] on.

You know, no babe is bor [...] [Page 443] alive into the world, but it cryes for the milke and breast; and if it doe not, it is still-borne. So the new-borne babe in grace, cryes after the sincere milke of the Word, 1 Pet. 2. 2. and with­out this, thou art not borne of God. Nor the friend of Christ, no acquaintance or kindred of his, no Christian but in name, unlesse with an hungring heart thou heare the Word and keepe it. Mark. 3. 35 And, an ignorant heart is not on­ly a gracelesse heart, but desti­tute of desire of grace: it cannot aske grace, Ioh. 4. 10 hadst thou knowne, thou wouldest have as­ked.

Secondly, consider the come­linesse 2 and seemelinesse of sound knowledge in him that profes­seth himselfe to be the Lords: Prov. 4. 9. Salomon calls it a comely ornament and grace for the head, and a chaine for the necke; yea, and a crowne of glo­ry. And what else makes a mans [Page 444] face to shine, but wisdome? whereas, what an unseemely thing is ignorance of Gods sta­tutes to a man, either as a man, or as a Christian?

1. As a man: God having Ignorance unseemely to a man, as a man. given a man a minde and reaso­nable soule, beyond a beast, whereby he hath enabled him to conceive of heaven and heaven­ly things, and hath elevated him with a particle of Divine na­ture for this very end, that hee should rise above the beasts in high contemplations of Divine things, and in the knowledge and obedience of the minde and will of his Creator: how un­seemely is it, that that Divine minde should bee taken up with base, transitory, and sinfull things? that a man should thus degenerate, and fall backe to a brutish condition, forgetting he hath a reasonable soule, which David rates in himselfe, whose Psa 73. 22. ignorance or inconsideratenesse [Page 445] in one point of Gods providence and administration, makes him as a beast before God.

2. As a Christian man, yet Especially as a Chri­stian man. much more unseemely: for a Christian professeth himselfe to be a Citizen of heaven, heaven to be his Countrey, God to be his King, his Word and Statutes to be his Charter: now is it not absurd and unseemly, that a man should be ignorant of the fashi­ons, lawes, and customes of his owne Countrey? A Christian professeth himselfe a childe of his heavenly father, and his fa­thers house to be his house: and is it not unseemely a man should neither know his father, nor his fathers name, nor pleasure, nor how to demeane himselfe in his fathers house? A Christian pro­fesseth heaven to bee his home and inheritance, and the Word the deeds of that Inheritance, without which he hath no [...] title to one foot in heaven: how un­seemely [Page 446] and unreasonable were it for him to cast away the deeds of his land, to breake off the seales, to bee wilfully ignorant of the clauses that convay such an estate unto him and his?

So of the second Motive.

Thirdly, consider the delight and pleasure in the Statutes of God, which are full of sweet ravishments to such as attaine them, and should quicken us to the taste and feeding on them. In other things we see what paines men will take to com­passe their pleasure. Now as ig­norance is most uncomfortable, fitly therefore compared to darknesse, to blindnesse, to fal­ling into a pit, and to lying in a Prov 4. 19. blacke and stinking dungeon: So knowledge and wisdome, which is compared to light, and the bright shining of the Sunne, Prov. Knowledg delightfull to mans understan­ding. 4. is most delightful to the soule, as the light to the eye:

1. In it selfe: because know­ledge [Page 447] is the proper worke of understanding, and the highest part of man: and as a man na­turally delighteth in the know­ledge of naturall things, so an enlightned minde in the know­ledge of Divine and spirituall.

2. And especially in respect Specially for the excellent obiects. of the Object, which is spiritu­all things: This made Salomon say Prov. 3. 17.) all the wayes of wisdome are wayes of plea­sure. For what man, unlesse he have an infinite distemper in his soule, would not be ravished to know in some measure those infinite perfections of our hea­venly Father, whereto we are commanded to strive? yea, to see in some sort the unsearcha­ble depths of Gods wisedome and knowledge? and to appre­hend in some measure the bot­tomlesse mystery of mans re­demption and salvation? Was it not an admirable delight, when Moses stood upon the top [Page 448] of mount Nebo, and viewed all that land of Promise? yet Mo­ses must see it, not enjoy it: see it a farre off, but not come neare it: he must dye there, and goe no further. But for a man to stand here on Mount Sion, the Church of God, and view all the promised Canaan, that hea­venly Ierusalem, with all her towers, and enjoy them, toge­ther with all the pleasures at the right hand of God; can the knowledge of any thing bee so delightful to an heavenly mind? The taste of the Word in this one particular, maketh it exceed the sweetnesse of the honey and the honey-combe, if a David taste Psal. 19. 10: it.

This of the third Motive.

Fourthly, consider the way wherein we are to walke: the 4. Excellent properties of Gods way. way of Gods Statutes: the pro­perties whereof are such, as may allure us into it: for,

1. It is the old way, which 1 [Page 449] wee must enquire of, Jer. 6. 16. beaten by the feet of ancient Beleevers, and Patriarkes; all the Prophets, and Apostles, and all holy men, yea of Iesus Christ himselfe; and therefore is the way wherein we shall want no good guides nor company.

2. Every one in his journey would enquire and choose the 2 rightest way: but the wayes of the Lord are right, and the iust walke in them, Hos. 14. 9. Ely­mas ceased not to pervert the right wayes of God, Act. 13. 10. All other wayes are crooked paths, and by-lanes, Psal. 125. 5.

3. This is the lightest and most 3 comfortable way: Psalm. 19. 8. the statutes of the Lord are right, reioycing the heart. In this way is peace of conscience, joy of the holy Ghost, comfort of heart in life and death: and this joy shall none take away. No mar­vell when Ezeki [...]l ate this little [Page 450] booke, that it was sweet as honey in his mouth, chap. 3. 3. Queene The divine saying of a gracious Princesse. Elizabeth, of blessed memory, laying the Bible to her heart, said It was her comfort in her trouble, and therefore should bee in her Rule her rule. But the way of the wicked is darkenesse, Prov. 4 19. they know not where they shall erre and fall.

4. This is the cleanest way: 2 Sam 4. 22. 31 the wayes of God are un­corrupt and pure: Esa. 35 8 The way shall be called holy, and the polluted passe not by it: Deut. 4. 8. What nation hath so righteous lawes? what passengers have so faire a way? Silver tryed seven times is not so pure as these sta­tute,, Psal. 19. 9. who would preferre the myrie and dirty wayes of sinfull pleasures before it?

5. This is of all other the sa­fest 5 way, freest from robbers and theeves, in which thou art un­der the Lords protection, being [Page 451] the Kings high-way; yea, wher­in thou hast a guard of Gods An­gels to keepe thee safe to the wayes end: Psal. 91. 10, 11. they are charged with thy safe­ty.

6. It is the shortest and most compendions way, leading to 6. life; and in keeping this way shall be great reward. All other are by-wayes, that lead to the gates of death.

Now let the wisdome of God rule us to choose this oldest, rightest, lightest, cleanest, safest, and shortest way, as ever wee desire to come to an happy end of our way.

This is the Vse of incitation.

Now followes the second, of Vse 2. Reprehen­sion of them that desire not knowledg in the meanes. 1 reprehension.

And first of Recusant Papists, who wilfully refuse the know­ledge of God, scorne and con­temne the Preachers and ex­pounders of those statutes; yea, hate them to the death, and shun [Page 452] all the meanes of skil and instru­ction in those Statutes. Can they be good subjects, that will not know their Princes lawes, that burne the Statute-bookes, and their expounders too? yet such good subjects are these to God: who have chose the curse that Cain bewayled, namely that he was cast from the face of God in Gen. [...]. 14. his fathers house: they willing­ly excommunicate themselves.

And adde unto these our mun­grill Church-papists, who some­time slip into the Church for odde respects: Recusancie proves disgracefull, or chargea­ble, and would put them to more cost then their Religion is worth, They can heare the Word, when and of whom they list, or must: but to heare Pope­ry refuted or disgraced, is, to cast dust in their eies. They can heare a Sermon, but detest and raile upon the Preacher. Very de­vout they seeme, and scrupulous [Page 453] in the least ceremony, but like those devout women who stoned Act. 13. 50 Paul.

To both these our Lord saith, If ye were of God, ye would heare Ioh. 8. 47 his voyce. Were their Religion of God, they would love his statutes above their daily food: and love the bringers, so as to account their very feet beauti­full. Rom. 10. [...]5 Did they love Christ, they would not hate his Disciple: neither could the Temple of Da­gon and the Arke stand together in the Temple of the heart. Heare the counsell, to be as thou seemest, or seeme as thou art: assuredly God will have no part of a divided person.

Secondly, they are farre from 2 the comfort of a good estate, who will not be brought out of their dores, their shops, their Counting-houses, to learne the way of Gods statutes, but living in places of knowledge, suffer ignorance to reigne in their [Page 454] hearts How farre are they from Davids minde and desire? his heart brake within him for the desire of Gods judgements, Psa. 119. 20. he esteemed the place of Gods worship, Bethel, the ve­ry house of God, and the gate of heaven: hee accounted them blessed that might dwell in or neare the house of God, Psa. 84. But so farre are many from di­scerning this an happinesse, that they esteeme every Sermon (as the old prophecies) the burden Prov. 1. 7 of the Lord: a straw-matter can keepe them from Church: and they are of the number of Salo­mons fooles, that scorne wisdome and instruction.

They will alleage their hearts Obiect. are good enough, and their mea­ning is good though their skill be small; and God will accept their good meaning.

But 1. that is false: no mea­ning Ans. is good without knowledge: Prov. 19. 2. Without knowledge [Page 455] the mind is not good. 2. Meane what thou wilt, if thou hearest not Gods word thou art not of God, Ioh. 8. 47. 3. What a de­ceit of heart is it, that can shrowd all under good meaning, while it meanes never to bee good? or thinke that God will accept an ignorant and unrege­nerate heart for a good heart? 4. Examine this good heart of thine by that which issueth thence: see if there come not out of it, adulteries, oaths, blas­phemies, lyes, rotten speeches, injustice, contempt of Gods Ordinances and servants: And is this good?

Others love God above all, Obiect. and their neighbour as them­selves: what needs more?

But nothing is more bold than blindnesse. Neglect the meanes Ans. of knowledge, thou neither lo­vest God, nor thy neighbour, nor thy selfe. Not God: for if yee loved me, saith Christ, ye would Ioh. 14. 15. [Page 456] keepe my Commandements. Not thy neighbour: if not him that begate, not him that is begot. Ioh 5. 1. 2. Not thy selfe: hee that hates wisdome, hates his owne soule, Prov. 8. 36. and, chap. 4. 13. shee is thy life. If thou lovedst thy soule, thou wouldest heare and hide the Word in it, and not hide thy selfe from the Word.

Others will pray, and let o­thers Obiect. preach: they will be de­vout, let others runne to Ser­mons: they will be active Chri­stians, while others are passive.

But 1. this is from the foolery of some Preachers, who sever Ans. what God hath joyned, and set two so neare friends, and twins of the same wombe, by the eares.

2. Canst thou pray without teaching and hearing? Consi­der; wilt thou pray to an un­knowne God, or a God whom thou wilt not know? Canst thou call on him, on whom thou [Page 457] beleevest not? or beleeve with­out hearing? or can a right Rom. 10. 1 [...] prayer be severed from much knowledge, both of thine owne wants and unworthinesse, of Gods mercy, power, and will to supply, of the meanes of meri­ting that supply, which is by Ie­sus Christ made thine owne, and how to expect patiently, and be delayed or denyed thankefully, or else Christianly to use mercies received, to the glory of the gi­ver, and good of the receiver? Come hastily, without all this knowledge, and offer the sacri­fice of fooles, Eccles. 5. 1.

3. Can God heare thee pray­ing, who rejectest his Word? Prov. 28. 9. Hee that turneth a­way his eare from hearing the Law, even his prayer is abomina­ble. Besides, prayer is a seeking of God: and canst thou find him whom thou seekest, while thou runnest from him who seeketh thee?

[Page 458] But we have callings to follow, Obiect. and families to maintaine, and cannot spare an houre in a week­day to heare a Sermon. Ans.

I say as Salomon, Eccles. 7. 20. it is good to lay hold upon this, but withdraw not thy hand from that: worldly businesse must be followed, but never so as to be worldlings; and this is, when the whole time is ingrossed, to pro­phane or worldly uses, and none set apart for holy, or the one thing necessary.

Againe, to feed the body, men can allot two houres in a day, but not one in a weeke to feed the soule: as if bread that perisheth, were to bee preferred before that which endureth to eternall Ioh. 6. 27 life, or the soule were to be lesse regarded than the body.

And can these men spend foure, five, or moe howres at cards, dice, bowles, vaine Enter­ludes, to the destruction of much time with themselves, and not [Page 459] one howre in a weeke for their instruction? Can some of them watch whole nights and dayes at Satans suit, and the service of sinne, and not possibly watch one howre with Christ in the day, yea in many dayes? Cannot they sit up one halfe howre later, or rise one halfe howre sooner, to redeeme one howre for their e­verlasting good? or will they find it profitable to winne the whole world with the losse of their soules?

Lastly, how have we heard not a few such carelesse men rate themselves on their death­beds; with horrible terrors in their consciences, that so wret­chedly they stopt their eares at so many calls of God, and neg­lected the hearing of so many Sermons, and too late wish, that they might heare but one Ser­mon more? and now all their hunger and thirst after the world, onely enlargeth their [Page 460] hearts sorrow, and can no way ease it.

Others say they are not Obiect. book-learned, and cannot attain this knowledge.

But thou oughtest to be book-learned: Ans. God hath given thee both a booke and Teachers, and wisdome is easie to him that will understand, and she invites thee into her Schoole, calling the simple to be wise in heart, Pro. 8. 5. and pronounceth those blessed, that watch daily at hee gates, vers. 34.

But I am so crossed in the Mi­nistery, that I cannot endure it, Obiect. nor will heare such and such.

Know: 1. All the froward­nesse is in thy selfe, there is no Ans. frowardnesse in the Word, Prov. 8. 8. 2. Crosse thy sinne, and the Word will not crosse thee: but if thou wilt rather crosse the Word than thy sinne, thank thy selfe, God and his Word will meet with thee: as in Ahabs case.

[Page 461] Now we come to the use of Examination, whether God hath Vse 3. Notes of divine and saving knowledg. 1 Enemies of it: fix. taught us in his way, or no. The notes of tryall are three.

First, a continuall strife to re­move all the hinderers of saving knowledge; for light ever figh­teth against darknesse. And the lets to be removed, are,

1. Originall corruption: a chiefe part of which is darknesse of understanding. Labour in mortifying naturall corruption, which as a blacke cloud hinders the shine of this Sunne.

2. Hardnesse of heart: Heb. 3. 10. They erred in heart, and have not knowne my wayes: and vers. 12. Take heed of an evill and unbeleeving heart to depart from the living God. The light of the Sunne may shine on the outside of a stone, but cannot get within it, while unbroken.

3. Satanicall temptation: the god of the world blindeth Infi­dels, that the light of grace should 2 Cor. 4. 4. [Page 462] not shine upon them: whom we must therefore resist, stedfast in the faith. No marvell if Satan can blind the wicked, seeing he can raise a cloud of dust to trou­ble the sight of the godly them­selves, and let them see every thing in a false glasse; all to hide the light of Gods countenance from them.

4. Actuall sinnes: the nature of all which is, to increase igno­rance, and blind the minde yet further. Of these, some keepe out knowledge, some drive [...] out. Of the former sort are co­vetousnesse (resembled by cho­king thornes, Luk. 8. and Ezek 33. 32. they heare, but jest, for their hearts goe after covetous­nesse:) and wrath, envy, hypo­crisie, with the like, which must be laid aside, or there is no grow­ing by the Word, 1 Pet 2. 1, 2. Of the latter sort are the foule sinnes of flesh, as whoredome, drunkennesse, intemperancy, [Page 463] which besot men, and diminish even naturall knowledge: see Hos. 4. 11.

5. The pleasure of sinne: as Eve in tempting, and Adam in attempting the sinne, the very sight and beauty of the Apple dazelled the cleare knowledge of innocency. And as the sinne of the Sodomites smote them with blindnesse of body, that they could not finde the doore: so doth it much more the soule of the sinner, that he cannot find Christ who is the doore of life.

6. Custome of sinne: the pleasure of which hath begot an habit: this keeps and holds under the dominion of the Prince of darknesse; and the Lord will not put his precious liquor into so nasty vessels, but gives them up ordinarily to re­probate sense, Rom. 1. 28.

Now as nature teacheth us to fight for all these, so grace lea­deth us into the field against [Page 464] them: for, till they be in part subdued, there is no possibility of saving knowledge, no more then of Sun-shine at midnight.

This is the first tryall.

The second is this: As all that indisposition must be remo­ved, 2 Dispositi­on to sa­ving know­ledge, in 4 things. so there must be a dispo­sition wrought in the party, whom God teacheth in his way; which where it is, the Lord hath begunne to teach that man.

Quest. Wherein stands the disposition to saving Know­ledge?

Ans. 1. In humility: God teacheth the humble in his way: and he that must receive the Psal. 25. 9 Kingdome, must be as a little Ma [...]. 18. 4 child. Esa. 28. 9. whom shall I teach, or make to understand? not conceited persons, who make Divinity onely a matter of discourse, or fill their braines and speech with vaine questi­ons and idle speculations, or [Page 465] such as come to sit as Iudges, or Critickes, on their Ministers gifts; but such as are weaned from the milke, or drawne from the breasts. It was a proud and prophane speech of Hermolaus Barbanis, and Angelus Politi­anus, that by reading the Bible they forgat Latin.

2. A soft and tender heart. A sure signe that God hath spo­ken to it. For none can reach the heart, to change it, but one­ly that Doctor whose chaire is in heaven. He onely can write in the Tables of the heart. Ier. 31. 33.

3. A crossing of humane wis­dome: which nature teacheth not. Selfe-deniall is a note of a Disciple. For, who can frame Mat. 16. 24. the affections, to hold and fa­sten on such a doctrine as cros­seth nature, mortifieth lusts, de­priveth of deare pleasures, and sweet profits, which are as neare as right hands and eyes? can the [Page 466] worldling, who esteemes his profits before his profession, and therefore turnes a deafe eare to such voyces? no: onely he that made the affections at first, can thus renew them, & change them at his pleasure.

4. An embracing of all truths, one as well as another, because all are from the same fountaine: and a constant cleaving to all truth, in judgement and pra­ctise, then, when reason, custom, practice, sense and common opi­nion crosse and contradict it: Now who can teach wisdome in a mysterie, but God alone? 1 Cor. 2. [...]. that a Virgin should beare a Sonne: that a Sonne should be eternally begotten: that all things should bee made of nothing: that life dy­ed upon the Crosse, and fet­ched life out of death: that hea­ven must be had out of hell, and death swallowed up by death, and the same body arise againe. [Page 467] Who can give simple and shal­low wits capacity, to reach these high mysteries which Festus ac­counteth madnesse, and Iewes thinke the Apostles out of their wits to utter them, and the great wits of the world account foolishnesse and fables? Is it not hee that chooseth weake things to confound the mighty? Nay, who is it that can perswade these high and strange things with such certainty, as the sim­ple Beleever-dares, and doth dye in defence of them? Surely (as Christ said to Peter) Flesh and Vers. 17. bloud reveales it not, but the Fa­ther that is in heaven.

This is the second signe of sa­ving knowledge.

The third is a conscionable and 3 fruitfull following of the means of knowledge: as 1. An humble sitting downe with many at the feet of Christ. 2. Binding the Word to our eyes, by frequent, constant, and orderly reading. [Page 468] 3. Whetting it on the heart, by deepe meditation, so to make it our owne. 4. Tying it to the hands and fingers, by practising it: If yee doe these things, yee Ioh. 7. 17 shall know the Doctrine: a good understanding have all they that doe thereafter. 5. Prayer, to be continually taught of God, as in the Text, and Iam. 1. 5. Aske Wisdome of God. 6. Teaching, strengthning, and comforting of others: this returne increaseth Dum d [...] ­ces, di [...]cis. thy Talent, as oyle in the Cruise increased by imparting.

Adde hereunto a fruitfull use of the meanes, prospering and profiting daily in the Image of God, and conformity with God in true wisdome, holinesse, and righteousnesse: 2 Cor. 3. 18. We behold i [...] a mirror, and are chan­ged from glory to glory. This is, to be taught by Christ, as the truth is in Christ. To be led by God in the way of God, is, to get nearer God every day than [Page 469] other. We must walke in the light, as hee is light, and so have [...]Iohn 1: 7. communion with him. To walke in light, is, in regard of God to walke in the light of his directions: in regard of our selves, to walke in truth and light of sincerity: in regard of our brethren, to walke in love, as the Apostle Iohn expresseth it; here by the vision of faith, and hereafter by the vision of fru­ition.

And I will keepe it unto the end.

Here is the second part of the II. Of the vow: where. Text, containing a religious vow or promise of David, in case the Lord will vouchsafe to teach him.

Where consider,

  • 1. Why he voweth.
  • 2. What he voweth.

For the former: 1. He vow­eth, [...] Why Da­vid thus voweth. 1 to shew his resolution, and forwardnesse to keepe the way [Page 470] of God. A maine helpe of god­linesse is to resolve to be godly: and the beginning of goodnesse are good purposes and resoluti­ons to be good: which if wee find, we must cherish; and if they faile, renew them.

2. He voweth, to move the 2. Lord after a sort, to grant his desire, because he desires it for a right end: if God will make him know his way, he will keep it: so Hanna moved for a sonne, which if God vouchsafe to her, she will dedicate him to his ser­vice, and God heard her, 1 Sam. 1. whatsoever we aske of God, it will be an easie suit, if we re­solve to referre it to his glo­ry.

3. To shew his thankfulnesse for the blessing received, as also 3 Hanna did: which cannot bet­ter be expressed, then in an o­bedient and holy course, which is the tribute and returne the Lord expecteth for all his good­nesse [Page 471] received. And actuall mer­cies call for actuall thankfulnes. 1 Thes. 5. 17, 18. Pray continu­ally: In all things give thankes.

4. To binde himselfe more 4 firmely to duty and service: which is not superfluous, though we be tyed already, as Bellar­mine De Monac. l 2. 19. affirmes. For as it is con­trary to Christian liberty, need­lesly to bind our selves where God hath left us free; so in things commanded and neces­sary, directly and immediately concerning the worship of God, we may binde our selves more straightly.

For first, we are bound by the Good vowes not superflu­ous. law of Creation to serve God: and is therefore the vow and promise of Baptisme superflu­ous?

Secondly, looke to the pra­ctice of the Saints. Iacob was bound by Creation, and by Cir­cumcision, and yet (Gen. 28. 20.) he vowed a vow, that the Lord [Page 472] should be his God. David here, having made the Covenant in Circumcision, renewes his uow: and Psa. 119. 106. I have sworne and will performe: that a three­fold cord might not easily bee broken.

Thirdly, in the defiance of evil, and strife against the lusts in the members, resisting the law of God, besides the generall bond of Baptisme a Christian may advisedly and profitably lay on himselfe a particular vow as a remedy and helpe against some evill, or a furtherance to some good: As for example: a man subject to be drunke with wine or strong drinke, may vow for a time to abstaine from it, and so cut off an hand or eye of­fending. One finding the stirring of concupiscence, may solemn­ly vow to refraine the company and presence of wanton women and make a covenant with his Iob 31. 1 eyes, as Job, not to looke on [Page 473] them. Or finding dulnesse, slacknesse, or distractions hinde­ring prayer, reading, or other dutie, he may vow to bestow some time thereupon.

For the latter.

  • 1. In generall, David vowes
    2. What he voweth.
    a lawfull thing.
  • 2. In speciall, to keepe the way to the end.

In generall he vowes a thing commanded, and acceptable to God, a thing within the com­passe of his calling, and not a­gainst Christian liberty. Hee vowes not perpetuall single life: for it is better to marry, than to 1 Cor. 7. [...] burne. Nor voluntary poverty: for the Commandement is, Let there be no begger in Israel, Deu. 15. 4. Nor to goe to Rome, or Compostella, to worship an Image, against the Commande­ment. Nor to visit the holy land, or kisse the Popes feet; in all which the calling is laid aside, for idle and impious devices. [Page 474] Nor to revenge an injury, which is against the Commandement of charity. Nor impiously not to eat or drinke till they have slaine Paul, Act. 23. 12. Nor a­ny such sinfull thing: whereof the rule is good, In case of un­godly or dishonest vow, alter thy In turpi [...] [...] [...]. [...] ­ [...] non si [...] vi [...]cu [...]um [...]iquitatis. purpose. And, a vow must never be the bond of iniquity. Davids vow helpes forward Gods wor­ship, and Gods way hinders not. Thus frame thy vowes, and it will be commendable.

In speciall, he vowes to keep the way that God shall teach him. Where are two things:

  • 1. How he will keepe, the way:
  • 2. How long, to the end.

For the former: There is a twofold keeping of the way:

  • Legall.
  • Evangelicall.

The Legall stands in perfect Keeping o [...] Gods way legall and evangeli­call. fulfilling of the law. But holy David was no Papist, nor Per­fectist: he knew hee could not [Page 475] thus keepe the Law, and much lesse attaine a further perfecti­on, which were to get beyond Adam in innocency.

The other is Evangelicall, The latter wherein it standeth. which stands 1. in an endevour and desire of keeping, and is ra­ther in affection than action: 2. with condition, so farre as humane frailty and the state of this life will permit; in which all things are in part, and imper­fect: 3. in imputation of Christs perfect righteousnesse, so as the sinner is reputed a perfect kee­per: 4. in condonation of de­fects and wants, seene and be­wailed. Thus David professeth he will keepe the way: he will retaine a study and endevour to keepe it; and if by humane weaknesse he be turned aside, he will be carefull to returne in­to the way againe: and because all his endevour and strength is nothing, he will by faith fasten upon that perfect obedience of [Page 476] the Messiah, which being im­puted unto him, all his wan­drings shall not be imputed, but he still in Christ accounted a kee­per of the way.

But for the latter: how long will David keepe the way? e­ved to the end: else all labour is lost: the end crownes the worke.

But is not this presumption? how can David promise this of Quest. himselfe?

  • 1. His vow is dependant on
    grace, as all deliberate vowes are.
  • 2. So farre as God gives strength, and confirmes his reso­lution and endevour.
  • 3. Still with prayer for grace, that he may keepe it, vers. 106. 107. quicken me, &c.

Now shall David, in a duty absolutely necessary to salvation, and ordinary to all Gods chil­dren, vow with condition, so farre as God gives grace: and [Page 477] shall a bold Papist vow an arbi­trary vow absolutely, and with­out all condition, never consul­ting with his owne imbecility? as suppose that of perpetuall chastity, which is neither abso­lutely necessary, nor an ordina­ry gift to all Christians, nor pro­mised without condition from God. And yet presumptuously will they promise it to God without all condition, or limi­tation.

Doctr. The scope and reso­lution Doct. End of sound knowledg is obedi­ence. of every godly man in hearing the Word must be, to keepe the way of God. In which similitude is implyed, 1. That the whole life of a Christian is a very pilgrimage on earth: 2. That the Christian Pilgrim, now absent from God, must be very choyce of his way, in which he must come backe a­gaine unto God. 3. That see­ing the Sunne is seene onely by his owne light, and every man is [Page 478] as a blind man in the things of God, without all direction in himselfe, therefore every one must pray with the Prophet, that the eternall Sunne would strike if it be but one beame of this saving light upon his heart; and by that, he will be directed to the whole body; with holy re­solution, that if the Lord please to afford him but a small streame out of his fulnesse, he will fol­low that riveret untill it bring him to the well-head.

But why is this the scope of a godly man in learning Gods sta­tutes?

1. Because this is the conditi­on Reasons. 1 of Gods teaching, and his intention in teaching: Deut 4, 5, 6. These are the Statutes and Commandements, which I have taught you: keepe them, and doe them, for this is your wisdome. And the Lord cheare­fully teacheth him the way, who with David resolveth to keepe [Page 479] it: Psal. 25. 12. What is the man that feareth the Lord? him will hee teach the way, that hee shall choose.

2. The knowledge of a way 2 will bring none to his end and desired place, but the keeping of the way: whence the Lord en­joynes a narrow keeping of the narrow way: Prov. 7. 1. My sonne, keepe my words, hide my Commandements, binde them on thy fingers; that is, keepe them in thy whole practice: nay, keepe them as the apple of thine eye; implying, that as nothing can be so small or slight, but it hurteth and disturbeth the eye, which naturally shuts it selfe a­gainst the least dust, so not the least erring from the Word but disturbeth in this way. And therefore we must take up that holy counsell, Prov. 4. 26. Pon­der the path of thy feet, and let all thy wayes bee ordered a­right.

[Page 480] 3. So many as are the Lords, 3 have the guidance of the Spirit, who leads and preserves them in this way: whence the godly, who are taught of God, are de­scribed to be led by the Spirit, whose office is to lead out of er­ror, Rom. 8. 14 into all truth. And from hence is this way called the way Prov. 2. 20. of good men: because onely they have the conduct of the Spirit in it: and it is unknowne, or un­frequented by the wicked.

4. To hold this way, is to im­prove all our labour, and pro­mote 4. our owne comfort. But all the labour is lost, when the way is lost. Thou canst never so lit­tle decline this way, but thou sli­dest into some one of those ma­ny roads that lead unto destru­ction. But in keeping this way is great reward, Psal. 19. 11. for it leads to God, who is an excee­ding great reward. Againe, on­ly this is the way of comfort and pleasure. It hath comfort for [Page 481] the present: whereas stragling Christians have no comfort in the way: a wandring man is an uncomfortable creature. Also it hath comfort hereafter: for it leads to life, Prov. 7. 2. keepe my Commandements, and thoa shalt live. It is the way of life, shewed by God, leading to ful­nesse of joy in his presence, and to the pleasures of his right hand for evermore, Psal. 16.

Hath God then taught thee this way? bee conscionable to Vse. Keepe the way, [...]hen once knowne. keepe it, sinne not against the knowne truth, Psalm. 119. 3. Surely they work no iniquity that walke in his wayes.

Now because Satan and his in­struments will make this way as uneasie and asperous as they can, and assault thee on every hand to turne thee out of this way, thou must come armed with such meanes as may helpe to containe thee in this good way: as,

[Page 482] 1. Resolution to hold it, as Meanes here David, J will keepe it to the end: sound purposes and reso­lutions 1. in godlines promise con­tinuance.

2. Selfe-denial and contempt of the world: for thou must 2 make account, that all who are out of this way, wil scorne thee, and reproach thee for a dissem­bler, a Puritan, or the like, for thine endevour to keepe the way. But Gods Spirit never re­proached any for walking with God, even accurately. When Israel goeth out of Egypt, they must looke for Egyptians to pur­sue them: And thou, as a good Souldier, must suffer afflictions, 2 Tim. 2. 3.

3. Zeale and courage for the 3 truth, for God and every good course: arming thy selfe against the loosenesse of the times, and contrary perswasions. If a man walke haltingly in this way, and make no great bones of tripping [Page 483] or stumbling in it, or appeare not precise above the scantling of a civill, wise, and wary man, hee may passe not much disaffected, and yet in good showes not be altogether allowed. But if hee will be strict in keeping his way, that he will walke with God as Enoch, or set the Lord still in sight as David, or with the Apo­stles endevour to have a good conscience in all things, and yeeld to no corruption of times, no not an hoofe at Pharaohs re­quest, no not a graine at the Emperours: oh these men are sit for another age, and another Climate, not worthy to live in this: Away with such a fellow from the earth, for it is not fit that he should live, Act. 22 22.

4. Fence thy selfe with spi­rituall armour. Israel in their 4 way to Canaan must gird up their loynes, and take sta [...]es in their hands: so the Christian traveller being set out of Egypt, must [Page 484] gird up his loynes with the gir­dle of sincerity, faith, love, hope; the staffe of the Law and Gospel in their hands, to establish their feet; their feet shod with pre­paration of the Gospell, to goe wheresoever the Gospel calleth, What man runnes into the field without his weapons and provi­sions.

Conclude with notes of a Notes of one care­ful to keep his way. 1 Ier. 6. 16. man carefull to keepe his way.

1. Hee will be very inquisi­tive, and will aske of the simplest that knowes the way better. Be­ing in the wildernesse, hee will enquire of the way to Canaan. The Iaylor askes it of his priso­ner, Acts 16. 30.

2. He is circumspect, doubt­full, sollicitous, lest he have stept 2 out of the way. Hee is easily reduced, if he have erred. Hee knowes it is easie to wander, but a mad part not to bee willing to returne: and that he can onely attaine his end in this way, [Page 485] and no other.

3. He goes in the day, and walks in the light, and so knows 3 whither he goes; he walkes and workes while day lasteth, afraid to be cast into the night: Ioh. 12. 35, 36.

4. He suspects every faire 4. way, for his way is strawed with crosses: and every foule dirty lane; for his is an holy and cleane way: and every crosse way, where are many turnings, to the right or left hand, for his is a right way, without turnings.

5. Hee followes Christ his guide, and will not walke with­out 5 him as the heathen; but wise­ly so fix his eyes on Christ, as that he looke warily both to his own feet, and the end of his way.

6. He will be sure to goe with 6. good company: he joynes him­selfe with men fearing God, and Psal 16. 3 the Saints that excell in vertue, with whose feet this way is bea­ten. Nay, not content with these [Page 486] he will get God himselfe to goe with him: as Iacob prayed the Lord to goe with him in his journey: and Moses, Exod. 33. 15. If thy presence goe not with us, carry us not uphence.

7. Hee goes on constantly, 7 through droughts and drops, through thicke and thin, through all estates, without intermission, as the Sunne like a Bridegroome hastneth his course. He leaps o­ver blockes, pibbles, rubs, oppo­sitions, wrongs, slanders: none can cast him backe, nor turne him out, but with our Prophet he keepes the way, even to the end.


EXOD. 32. 6.

And the people sate downe to eat and to drink [...], and rose up to play.

AFter that God had delivered Cohe­rence. his Lawes in the former chapters, here wee see how his own peo­ple addresse themselves to obe­dience For, w [...]ile Moses in the [...]ount stayeth with God to re­ceive [Page 488] more directions, some­what longer then they think fit, they fall to commit most horri­ble Idolatry: which in the first verse the people propound to Aaron, make us gods: and vers. 2. Aaron against his conscience yeelds to it, setting them in a way to bring their Iewels. Vers. 3. the people contribute to it, being as ready to bring, as he to desire them. Vers. 4. Of the Iewels an Idolis made by Aa­ron, and with the Calfe an Altar set up. Then is an holy-day pro­claimed to the Idol, on the mor­row after, vers. 5. Afterward the consummation of their idolatry, vers. 6. the people offered sacri­fices before the golden Calfe. Lastly, in the Text is set downe the inseperable adjunct of Ido­latry, namely, excesse and idle­nesse, or luxury and wantonnes, The people also sate downe to eat and drinke, and rose up to play.

[Page 489] At this time consider.

  • 1. Who did this, the people.
  • 2. When they did sit downe to eat and drinke.
  • 3. Whether it be a sinne to eat and drinke.
  • 4. The use thereof.

For the first of these. Who I. did this? The people: who had impiously presumed to set up a worship without, yea, a­gainst God. They thinke much to spend whole forty daies with­out some ceremony, or publike testimony of duty: And they had seene such a worship in E­gypt, wherewith God (of whom they heard nothing) might per­haps be appeased: and therefore as the Egyptians worshipped their Apis in the form [...] of a Bull, for their tillage sake, so would they worship the Calfe, and af­terward Note. Idolatry ever atten­ded with sloth and luxury. give themselves to ex­cesse and idlenesse.

Whence note, that feastings and idlenesse are the undivided [Page 490] companions o [...] Idolatry. These people are first Idolaters, from Idolatry they fall to gluttony, from gluttony to wanton­nesse. Yea, such inseparable attendants they are, that the A­postle (1 Cor. 10. 7.) proves the Isra [...]es to bee Idolaters, by this testimony, because they sate downe to eat and drinke, and rose up to play.

It appeares in heathenish Ido­latry: for the Heathens, in all their false and idolatrous wor­ships, celebrated the honour of their gods with feastings, ban­quettings, playes, and dancings. Both the Greekes and Romans used many filthy sports and a­ctions, in their solemne services. The Romans, to magnifie their heathenish idolatry, instituted their Saturnalia, that is, a feast of five dayes, ordained by Ianus in honour of Saturn [...], in who [...]e time all things were used in common. These five dayes [Page 491] were kept in December, with great cost in sumptuous feasts, with variety of sports & games, and presenting of rich gifts. In these dayes servants had equall power with their Masters, and authority to sit at table with them, and have a common com­mand with them. We read al­so of the obscene spectacles in the sacrifices, called Floralia, wherein harlots were brought in naked on the Theater, &c.

But whence comes this? Reasons. 1

1. Because the Heathens would imitate the Iewes, who by Gods Commandement must eat and drinke, and feast before Deu. 14. 1 [...] the Lord in offering their sacri­fices; whence both Iewes and Gentiles tooke occasion of all carnall liberty and excesse, and to adde what God never pre­scribed, as to rise up to play.

2. Because idolatry must bee 2. contrary to the true worship of God, wherein repentance, god­ly [Page 492] sorrow, and a contrite heart is most acceptable. Of all crea­tures an Idolater is most de­parted from God, and expresseth it in these carnall fruits: so Ambrose, alleaging this Text, [...]e [...]ose luxni com­mittit, nisi qui recedit a praeceptis Dei: epist. 4. 36. No man gives up himselfe to luxury, but hee that departeth from the Commandement of God.

3. As the Idolater is furthest gene from God, so God is fur­thest gone from him, and leaves 3 him to vilest and foulest lusts, as the heathen, Rom. 1. 26. to infi­nite bodily uncleannesse, the Lord revenging spiritual whore­dome with corporall: as his owne Israel, joyning with Baal-Pe [...]r, Num. 25. 1, 2. not onely committed spi­rituall fornication, in bowing to their gods, but defiled their bo­dies with the daughters of Moab.

4. Our nature is most pro­pense 4. and ready to pleasure and carnall delight: so as wee wil­lingly annexe unto Gods wor­ship, [Page 493] whatsoever pleaseth us, that under that cover or pre­tence we may more freely en­joy it.

The counsell then of the A­postle, Vse. upon this ground, is not unseasonable, 1 Cor. 10. 7. Be not idolaters, as they were. Hard it is for us to sit down to eat & drink, and rise up to play, but we must make our belly our god, and of­fer sacrifices to it, as the Romans did to Bacchus in their Baccha­nalia.

Obiect. But we are the peo­ple of God, and baptized in the name of Christ: there is no feare we should be Idolaters.

Ans. The Iewes were Gods people, yet set up the golden Calfe. The Corinthians were Christians, converted, and bap­tized into the name of Christ, and yet they must beware of the sinne of the Iewes. And if we be Christians, wee must avoyd not onely the Calfe it selfe, but [Page 494] even the shows and appearance; excessive feasts & wantonnesse, which are inseparable fruits of it: and thinke how easie it is, to be found in the skirts of this sinne: which is the use the A­postle makes of this allegation, 1 Cor. 10. 7.

For the second generall. II. The sinne aggravu­ted by cir­cumstance

When did this people sit down to eat, and rise up to play?

Answ. Even when their case was most miserable, then were they most insensible: for,

1. They had robbed them­selves, and made themselves 1 poore, in that the eare-rings and jewels which God had given them from the Egyptians, they bestow upon an idoll.

2. They had committed an horrible sinne, aggravated sun­dry 2. wayes. They had turned the glory of an incorruptible God into the similitude of a Calfe that eateth hay. They that had opened their mouthes a little [Page 495] before in singing praises to God for their deliverance out of the Sea, and for the destruction of the enemies, with the same mouth sing now to their Idols, These are thy gods, O Israel, that brought thee out of Egypt. They had used their feet, not many dayes or weeks before, to walke through the Red Sea by a mira­cle, and now with the same feet they dance before the Calfe. Thus was their sinne great.

3. For this fearefull sinne they 3 lye under an heavy punishment: they were now naked, and God was comming to revenge upon them: and after he was intrea­ted, at the instance of Moses, to spare them, yet for example 3000. of them were presently slaine the same day. They had more need have beene fasting, and praying, and weeping for their sinne: but now they sit downe to eat and drinke, and rise up to play.

[Page 496] Observe this: Never are men nearer mischiefe, then when they Note. Secure in sin, nearest to mischief are most iolly and m [...]rry in their sinnes. Commonly when men cry peace, peace, then is peace furthest off: and God comes on the wicked, when they looke least for him, as David on the Amalekites (1 Sam. 30. 16.) when they were drinking and dancing, and most secure. We in this land specially, if we would Use. enquire what causes of mour­ning we have, should finde small cause of sitting downe to eat and drinke, and of rising up to play.

1. If we behold the inunda­tion of sinne, the increase of sinnes against God and the light of the Gospell, horrible Idola­try, excesse of pride and wan­tonnesse, a deluge of drunken­nesse, a confusion of manifold disorders, &c.

2. Our security in the midst of judgements: the sword hath [Page 497] fed upon us, and wee have for­gotten it: the plague hath de­stroyed thousands of us, and threatens still, hovers about us, Preached ann dom. 16 [...]0. and shewes his Commission to be still in force: and other war­nings serve not: we are corre­cted, but not instructed: Wee eat, and drinke, and play, as those that remember not what rec­koning is behinde for all these things.

3. Would every man serious­ly looke over his owne accounts hee might finde himselfe other businesse, then sit downe to eat and drinke, and rise up to play.

But is it not lawfull to eat and drinke? III. Vse of creatures most law­full, and how.

Yes, it is not lawfull onely, but necessary to nourish our life, to repaire strength decayed, and enable us to our duties and callings. Nay, more: we may use the creatures, not onely for necessity, but for delight: God hath given us leave, liberally to [Page 498] use his mercies, and furnished us with variety, farre beyond necessity: he hath not given Psa. 104 15 bread onely, to strengthen the heart, but oyle to make the face shine. And hee hath allowed us to feast together, and to invite one another, for the maintaining of Christian love, and cherishing of mutuall fellowship: as in the case of Jobs sonnes, which was not unlawfull, though their fea­sting ended so fearefully: and the Primitive Churches had their Agapas, or love-feasts, mentioned and approved, Acts 2. 46.

Quest. What then did this people other?

Answ. They failed in many How the Israelites [...]ff [...]nded herein. 1 things:

1. Whereas the chiefe end of eating and drinking, is, to glorifie God, 1 Cor. 10. 31. the end o [...] this eating and drinking was, to dishonour God, and ho­nour the Calfe.

[Page 499] 2. Whereas eating and drin­king 2. should sit us to our duties and callings, both generall and speciall, they by eating and drin­king made themselves fit for no­thing but play and wantonnesse.

3. Whereas men ought to 3 eat and drinke according to the call of nature, in sobriety and moderation, the Text noteth an intemperate and excessive wast both of time and creatures; they sate downe to it, addicting themselves to the creature, and nothing else.

4. Whereas feastings are seasonable in times of joy and 4 gladnesse, these feast in a time when Gods judgements are comming on them for their sin, and so the deepest sorrow would better beseeme them: as also did they in Noahs time, They ate and dranke, &c. and Esa. 5. Luk. 17. 17 12. not considering the worke of God.

Now these are types to us Use. [Page 500] (saith the Apostle) that is, com­mon examples for our instructi­on, 1 Cor. 10. 6 to beware of immodest, in­temperate, and sinfull eating and drinking, that it may not be said of us, as of them, The people sate downe to eat and drinke.

Hereunto must sundry rules Rules to [...]e obser­ved in ea­ting and drinking 1 be observed:

1. Wee must eat and drinke our owne: the sweat of our owne brows, not other mens, as many that cut large shives into other mens loaves; I meane, that which they know is not theirs, but other mens, if all debts were paid: this were an high kinde of injustice, condemned, 2 Thes. 3. 12. Yea, we must so eat and drinke, that we allow some part for the poore, and other occasi­ons, publike or private.

2. For measure, it must bee 2 according to the call of nature, or of honest and moderate de­light, to keepe us in a fitnesse to godly duties, of hearing, and the [Page 501] rest. All that eating or drinking, by which wee make our selves heavy, sleepy, unweldy, and un­fit for duties, is sinfull. For this is not a refreshing, but oppres­sing; not a refection, but a de­struction of nature.

3. For season, it must be so, that we eat not up too much 3 time, which would hinder our callings: but rather redeeme time, Ephes. 5. 16. A sinne it is, to sit downe to feasting, and not feele the passage of three or foure houres; whereas perhaps one houre is tedious to sit out a Sermon.

4. We must eat with mode­ration 4. of affection; not to fit at it, as men that have nothing else to doe; nor suffering our selves to be brought under the power of the creature, as those that cannot be without the pot or pipe, corrupting themselves with the creatures, oftentimes losing sobriety, modesty, cha­stity, [Page 502] health and reason it selfe; thereby utterly perverting Gods Ordinance, who hath ordained them for servants and helps, not masters and hindrances.

5. The best appetite is, to taste the sweetnesse and good­nesse 5 of God himselfe in his creatures: saying within our selves, O Lord, how sweet and good art thou in thy selfe, who canst put such sweetnesse into thy creatures!

6. The best Sawee is good and 6. Col. 4, 6 savoury speech, as salt on our tables: acknowledging Gods bounty and goodnesse, both to praise him, and edifie others: whereas commonly our barren and empty hearts know not how to weare out the time of fea­sting, but either in trifles, or inviting others to eat and drink, who need in truth rather bridles then spurres.

What? no other speech but Quest. of Scripture? how then shall [Page 503] we be merry?

Indeed commonly all speech Ans. but carnall is unsavoury: but first, we must eat and drinke be­fore the Lord, and our speeches must be such asbeseeme his pre­sence, and may be approved of God that heares them. Second­ly, all speeches of Christians ought to be better then silence, and to savour of [...]obriety, wise­dome, and grace in the heart: for, whom call wee to our ta­bles, but Gods children by pro­fession, who must every where be like themselves and their Fa­ther? Thirdly, God hath given us leave to be merry, but with this onely restraint, Be merry in the Lord, and not against him. Psal. 32. 10. Never must God be set out of sight, in our merriments: as doe they, who never think they can be merry, but in rude and ungodly behaviour, and wanton naughty speeches, unbeseeming Christians. Plato and Xenophon [Page 504] thought it profitable, that mens speeches at their meales might be written. If Christians should doe so, what kinde of bookes would they be?

7. In eating and drinking we must season our hearts with 7 Meditati­ons in ea­ting and drinking. 1 Chap. 1. 6. these or the like meditations:

1. How prone we are to im­moderate joy, and so provoke God in our feasts. Iob suspected his sonnes, being in likelihood good men, and sent to them to sanctifie themselves, and him­selfe sacrificed for every one of them all.

2. Watch against incitements 2. which we shall not want to for­get our selves, and arme against them. We read of Antigonus, that being invited to a feast where a notable harlot was to be present, he asked counsell of Menedemus, what hee should doe? who bade him onely re­member, that hee was a Kings sonne. So good men may be in­vited, [Page 505] where none of the best may meet: the best counsell is, Keepe ever in minde that you are Kings sonnes, Gods children, and a base thing it were for such to be allured by the wicked to things unseemely.

3. Mingle our feasting with a meditation of our end and 3 mortality. Joseph had his tombe in his garden, to season his de­lights with meditation of his death: The Egyptians had a Skeleton or carkasse brought in­to their feasts, for the same pur­pose. So set thou thine owne carkasse before the eye of thy mind, and it will moderate thee from pampering it: alas (say thou) this feeding and feasting is but a little repaire of a ruinous house, that must downe short­ly.

4. Consider how many of Gods servants want some part 4. of thy superfluity, and how ma­ny of them never sate downe [Page 506] at such a table: then follow the meditation, Who am I that I should be full, when so many are hungry? that I should abound when so many doe want? how am I engaged to God for thank­fulnesse? how should I sinne to requite his love and bounty with such unkindnesse, as by it to grow wanton, idle, forget­full of him most when he is most mindefull of me? must I eat and drinke, to rise up to play? Oh no, I must bestirre me in duties, in which I may expresse love for love: neither may I sinne as those great men, Amos 6. 6. who ate the fat, dranke the sweet, and had wine in bowles, and forgate the afflictions of Io­seph: no, if I eat the fat, and drink the sweet, I must remem­ber to send some part to them, for whom none is prepared, Nehem. 8. 10.

This of the peoples eating and drinking.

[Page 507] Now of those words, And rose up to play.

This being a practice condem­ned Sports and recreati­ons, lawful and how. in this people, it will be a question, Whether it bee not lawfull to sport, or play? To which I answer: it is lawfull: as in the former branch, not eating and drinking were condemned, but their sitting downe to eat and drinke: so in this latter not all play and sport is taxed, but their rising up to play: for,

1. There is a time to laugh, Eccles 3. 4. but this time, when 1. they lay under the curse of God, and danger of sinne, was not it.

2. Wee are commanded to 2 Phil. 4. 4 rejoyce, yet in the Lord, not a­gainst him. But these were laughing, and singing, and dan­cing about the Calfe, in honour of their Idoll.

3. Recreation is Gods Ordi­nance for the necessary refre­shing 3. of body or mind, or both; and the sitting of either or both [Page 508] to the calling. But these rose up to play, thrust themselves out of their callings, and did nothing but eat and drinke to play; as many turne their recreations in­to vocations, and intend nothing else.

4. The Scriptures allow, both 4. exercises of body, as the use of the bow, 2 Sam. 1. 18. and of musicke, Neh. 7. 67. and of hun­ting, hawking, or birding, so that such sports bee without swea­ring, disorder, and needlesse tor­menting of the silly creatures: As also exercises of the minde and wit, suppose honest riddles (Judg. 14.) and such games, as the ground of which is wit or skill, Chesse, Draughts, and the like. And farre are wee from disallowing any delight, which Gods Word alloweth his chil­dren. And as farre be it from any Christian, not to bee gover­ned or bounded by Gods word in every thing.

[Page 509] But note here: though play and recreation bee lawfull, yet Note. In sports is much sinne. much play as we so call, is sinfull: and much sinne lyeth oftentimes in playes and sports, lawfull in themselves, as our Text gives instance. And I thinke the rule will prove generally true, that Christians doe more multiply their sinnes in abuse of things lawfull, then in adventuring on things unlawfull; and faster doe they rivet themselves in those sinnes which lye in lawfull things, then in such as are easily convinced to be unlawfull. An hard taske it is for a Teacher to winne Christians by profession, either from wicked practices if they please to call them play, oh meddle not with mine eyes! or from the usuall sinnes attending such recreations, as in the sub­stance of them are not unlaw­full: In both, resembling Salo­mons mad-man, that casteth darts and firebrands, and saith, [Page 510] Am I not in sport?

But a wise and teachable Chri­stian will confine himselfe to Gods allowance, and neither in jest catch at any forbidden fruit, be it never so pleasant in it selfe, or strongly perswaded; nor in the use of allowed delights, straine beyond the bounds and limits of the Word; nor com­plaine of us as injurious, when we disallow in men nothing, but what God himselfe in the Scriptures restraineth them in.

And if we will be ruled by God in our sports & rejoycings, we must listen to his directions, 1. in the choyce, 2. in the use of our play.

First, our choyce must be of sports in themselves lawfull. 1 Choyce is to be made of sports. We may not play with holy things, suppose Scripture-phra­ses: wee must feare the holy name of Iehova, not play with it: nor with oaths, our owne or others: nor with lots, which [Page 511] are a part of the Name of God, yea more solemn then any oath, and must not be vainly used, or for recreation. Neither on the other side may we play with sinne, or things evill in them­selves, viz. to make one drunke or sweare, or to laugh at such persons: it is a matter of sor­row, to see Gods Image so de­faced, his honourable name so disgraced; and Davids eyes will gush out with rivers of teares Ps 119. 136 for such sinnes. So in other sinful merriments.

Or if wee have not warrant for them, by generall rules of the Word: if the lawes of the land prohibit them, as unlawfull: if honest heathens have on good ground condemned them: if the Fathers and judicious Di­vines have blotted and disgra­ced them, &c. Here pause on that rule, Phil. 48.

And Christian wisedome will also guide us to the choyce of [Page 512] the best spots. A spirituall mind will chuse spirituall recreations, as a carnall mind will use carnal. And although there be time and place for bodily, yet a wise Christian must in the highest roome set heavenly delights, vi [...]. comforts of the Spirit, joy in God and his Word, walking in the garden of Christ, where is most sweet and ravishing de­light, in hearing, reading, medi­tating, holy conference, and in gathering and smelling the sweetest flowers of knowledge, faith, love, hope, holinesse. Here is a profitable, and a lasting de­light. And here is a tryall of the constitution of thy soule: the soule that more contents it selfe with carnall delights, then these, is of a carnall constitution, if it be so constantly.

Secondly, when we have cho­sen warrantable sports, we must 2. Vse law­full, law­fully. beware we sinne not in the use of them. And to keepe us from [Page 513] sinne in our recreations, wee must looke to our neighbour, to our selves.

1. For our neighbour, the rule of wisdome to be observed, is, we must wisely sort our selves 1 in our sports, with the most so­ber, godly, and wise of our de­gree, condition, and sort of life, that may rather watch over us, that we offend not in them, then any way draw and provoke us so to doe. No pestilentiall ayre so contagious, as where swearers and riotous gamesters are met. And as thy company is, which thou chusest and usest, so art thou.

2. We must looke carefully 2 Our selves how to be ordered in sports. to our selves.

First, for our affection; that it be moderate. Wee may use lawfull sports, but not love them. Hee that loves pastime, 1. shall be a poore man, saith Salo­mon, Prov. 21. 17. And the A­postle commands Christians to [Page 514] reioyce as not reioycing, 1 Cor. 7. 30. that is, to bee so moderate and retired in our joyes, as not over-value them, nor set affe­ctions on them, as having grea­ter things to doe. Moderation will observe due circumstances: it suffreth not a man to be given over to sport, nor to sit up night and day, and turne dayes into nights, and nights into dayes, as intemperate and riotous game­sters doe: nor will it let the duties of generall or speciall cal­ling lye aside for daies and weeks together; because the least com­manded thing is better than the best that is indifferent, and sports were not ordained to hin­der our callings, but to fit us for them, as whetting a sythe to forward the mower; but if a mower shall doe nothing but whet, whet, for a whole day to­gether, wee would say hee is mad, &c.

Secondly, for our ends. Our 2 [Page 515] ends must not be, to passe the time, which passeth whether we will or no, and we ought to redeeme our time, and not let it passe without gaining somthing Eph 5. 16 better than it selfe. Nor yet to maintaine idlenesse, as men that cannot tell what to doe with themselves else, which is no bet­ter then idlenesse; for idlenesse is not onely not-working, but a doing of trifles, and that which we dare not bring to God in ac­counts. And is not the case piti­full, that Christians having so much good worke to doe, and so many meanes, and so many cals, and so little time, should finde nothing so necessary as cards and dice?

Againe, the end of sport is preservation of our health, both of soule and body, and not to impaire the health of either; as many by watching at play, and forgetting or forgoing their diet and rest for play, destroy their [Page 516] health, and call in numbers of disease [...]on themselves, and of­tentimes untimely death.

Lastly, seeing nothing can be lawfull, wherein some glory ac­crewes not to God, therefore if the end of our sports be not to enable us with chearefulnesse in duties of Religion and Chri­stianity, it will all be returned as sinne in our reckoning. Thus of the ends.

Thirdly, we must guide our selves in our sports by remem­bring 3 Rules for our sports these rules:

1. That we may not recreate the outward man, but to better the inward: for Gods wisdome hath subordinated all inferiour things to the furtherance of the best things; the seeking of all other things (even necessaries, much more indifferent) to the Kingdome of God, and his righte­ousnesse. And he wils, that all Mat. 6. 33. earthly joy [...] helpe forward our spirituall joy, in God and his [Page 517] Christ, and the eternall joyes of Kingdome. But when they will step in competition with these, they are to be snibb'd, and cast out. Never must our chiefe joy be abated for these: nor our chiefe affections unsetled of that fulnesse of joy at Gods right hand for evermore.

2. Remember we have a spi­rituall 2. course and race to runne, and beware we clogge not, nor oppresse our selves with pleasures Luk. 21. 34 that instead of speeding us in our way they become the Divels birdlime to entangle us; in which while we flutter, we are not able to mount aloft in hea­venly meditations, but having escaped we are as long in unly­ming and setting our hearts, as would have done the duty.

3. What ever wee winne 3 What may not be l [...]st in play. 1. or lose, wee must watch heed­fully.

First, that we lose not our pa­tience, meeknesse, and love to [Page 581] our companions; as they that scorne, and quarrell, and storme, and rage like heathens, against lucke, and chance, and fortune; yea, sweare and curse, if never so little crossed, as they that never heard of Religion.

Secondly, we may not lose 2 our goods, nor waste our sub­stance, nor play away more then without any doubt or scruple of conscience we may bestow on honest delights; the necessary maintenance of other things, and contributions to the Church and poore, first liberally provi­ded for.

Thirdly, wee may not lose our 3 good name, which is a precious thing; nor runne into the infa­my, to bee accounted dicers, gamesters, idle persons, or com­panions with them; nor by rude, scurvilous, or obscene words or actions get a brand of a rude and disordered mate. This they justly winne, that lose their [Page 519] mastery, and are at the command of play.

Now certainely in this Vse alone must all recreations become good and comforta­ble, though corrupt nature cannot brooke to bee so confi­ned. But to those that are ready to object the use and cu­stome of the world, the Apo­stle answereth, Rom. 12. 2. Fashion not your selves accor­ding to this world, but prove what is the good and acceptable will of God. And if any say, Oh but others are of another practice, that know more then you; I say, if they know not the truth of Do­ctrine, now backed by the authority of Scripture, they know not so much as I, and whosoever walke not by Gods rules, sinne against their owne soules. And sanctified hearts will inure themselves to hea­venly [Page 520] joyes, and preferre them above carnall; and little affect those, which loose persons so much, and so dangerously deat upon.


1 COR. 15. 32.

Let us eat and drinke, for to mor­row we shall dye.

WHich words con­taine an argu­ment to prove the resurrecti­on, taken from an absurdity that would follow upon the deniall; viz. If therebe no resurrecti­on, then let us turne absolute Atheists and Epicures, and doe as they say, Let us eat and drink, for to morrow we shall dye.

[Page 522] Certainly it is not unlawfull to eat and drinke, to play, to Onely the abuse of creatures is unlaw­full. recreate our selves with sport, pastime, and musicke, or to en­joy the naturall and civill com­forts and blessings of God in this life.

For God hath ordained, not bread onely to strengthen the heart of man, but wine to make his heart glad, and oyle to make his face shine, Psalm. 104. 15. things as well of pleasure as ne­cessity, things comfortable as well as profitable; both to make knowne his owne bounty and large grace, and to encou­rage his servants in chearefull o­bedience.

As for matter these outward delights are the good gifts of God, so likewise are they ne­cessary and wholesome for our selves, to fit us both to the chearefull service of God, and to the performance of duties in the speciall calling, which are [Page 523] painfull and would be todious, if we were not cheared and strengthened with such batts and refreshings in the way. For such is our frailty here, that both our minds would grow dull and sluggish, and our bodies be ti­red out, if they stood alwayes bent. And therefore a mans life without pleasures and delights is like a long journey without Innes, in which is all travell, little or no comfort, or refre­shing

So that, not the use of these As in Hea­thens and Epicures. things is here condemned, but the abuse onely, when Christi­ans use them unchristianly, ra­ther like Heathens, Atheists, and Epicures, then Christians. As thus:

First, the Heathens and A­theists abused those things, for Foure wayes, 1 that their persons were unclean: Tit. 1 15. To the impure and unbeleeving is nothing pure. And if thy person be not in Christ, [Page 524] reconciled, and by faith justifi­ed, thou canst have no true plea­sure in any thing: all true joy being an effect of peace with God, Rom. 5. 3. Thou that art in thy sinnes, impenitent, lyest un­der the curse of God, and guilt of sinne, hast indeed another bu­sinesse in hand than to follow thy pleasure: thou art like a condemned prisoner going on to execution: a man would thinke he had other businesse to doe, then to stay by the way to eat and drinke and make merry, to play at cards, dice, and the like. The Psalmist saith, Re­ioyce ye righteous: but thou that Psal. 32. 11 art a wicked man, a prophane, carnall, and carelesse wretch, hast no call nor right to rejoyce, but rather drowne thy selfe (if it were possible) in the teares of sad and timely repentance. 2

Secondly, the Heathens and Epicures missed in the matter of their pleasures, in that they [Page 525] understood only that to be plea­sure, which was sensuall, to be seene, heard, tasted, touched, or the like. And whatsoever de­lighted their senses, that they swallowed as a warrantable pleasure. So the young Atheist is said to walke in the wayes of his heart, and in the sight of his eyes, Eccles. 11. 9. And Salomon, when he would try the life of an Epicure, saith (Chap. 2. 10.) Whatsoever mine eyes desired, I with held it not from them, I with-drew not mine heart from any joy. Even so, when thou carest not (in comparison) for any higher joyes, than those that runne into thy senses, what art thou but a Christian Atheist? And when instead of naturall, honest, and civill pleasures, thou layest hold upon carnall and worldly delights, as surfetting and drankennesse, chambering and wantonnesse, lust and un­cleannesse; unlawfull sports and [Page 526] recreations, which thou canst not warrant by Gods word, and because they please the sense and carnall minde, though by Gods rules and in themselves they be hateful and to be abhor­red, yet stil thou followest them; what art thou all this while but an heathenish or brutish Chri­stian?

Thirdly, the Heathens and E­picures 3 failed, in that they over­prized their pleasures, making their belly their god, esteeming voluptuousnes the chiefe good, as men that knew nothing bet­ter then the pleasures of this life. And as they over-valued them in their judgement, so al­so they immoderately affected them, and excessively used them.

So suppose thou layest hold onely on lawfull and warranta­ble pleasures, but settest them up above their hlace, as judging them more fit to spend time up­on, [Page 527] then upon Christian exerci­ses, as reading, praying, medi­tating; or more worthy then the duties of the calling, all which are necessary, and abso­lutely good, but these at the best are but indifferently good, good as they are used, change­ably good, and in no high degree of goodnesse: What difference is there betweene thee and an Atheist, or Epicure? but this: thy sinne is farre greater then his: he might see his sinne if he were taught better: but thou art taught better, and sinnest a­gainst thy knowledge.

Now when didst thou cast off thy calling by dayes or weekes together for religious exercises, as thou doest yearely for plea­sures? How unreasonable a mo­tion were it, to call men to a fast of 12. dayes together? when could we perswade men to it? And yet they will tell you, they love religion better then their [Page 528] pleasure. But beleeve them who knowes not, that the thing a man most loves, he will em­ploy most time to enjoy.

Fourthly, the Epicures failed, in that all their pleasures were 4. severed from religion: they cha­sed away thoughts of God: they denyed the resurrection, and be­leeved no judgement to come. They thought this was the one­ly life, and therefore the best religion was to eat, and drinke, and play, and be merry; to fill the skin with present delights, and powre out themselves upon pleasures, while they could en­joy them: for after death they looked for no more pleasure, or being, then the brute beasts themselves.

So if thou canst then please thy selfe, when God is set out of sight, and out of mind: in thy delights, thoughts and speeches of God are unsavoury: thou art so exercised, as thou wouldst not [Page 529] have God to behold thee, or Christ to come to thee: thou doest in thy eating, drinking, and gaming so runne inao excesses of furfetting and drunkennesse, of swearing, coveting, wrath and reviling, and so layest the raynes in thy owne necke, as no bridle of humanity, and much lesse religion ruleth thee: Wherein dost thou differ from an heathenish Atheist, whose pleasures are as irreligions, and as unfavoury as his? onely more hatefull then his, in that thou knowest there is another life and reckoning, he doth not.

Quest. How then may a Rules of right u­sing natu­rall com­forts. 1. Religi­ously. Christian rightly use these good things?

Answ. 1. If he use them re­ligiously. Religion must alwaies bind him to the good behavi­our, even when he lets himselfe loose to pleasures. Now the re­ligious use of pleasures is in three respects: When wee use [Page 530] them lawfully, by warrant from God, and are sure wee taste no forbidden fruit, no unlawfull game. When we use them in the presence of God, as the Is­raelites Exo. 24. 11 are said to eat and drink before the Lord: still setting God at our right hand, and our selves in his sight. And when we use them as those that mean to make account of them to God, Eccles. 11. 9. Rejoyce oh young man, and let thy heart cheare thee in the dayes of thy youth: but know, that for all these things thou must come to iudgement.

2. If hee use them soberly 2. Soberly and weignedly: and that, both in respect of affection, measure, and time.

For affection: why should reasonable men affect such de­lights, 1 as the natural brute beasts enjoy more freely then man, and which are cast in common to good and bad, and the worst men enjoy most? If grace [Page 531] should not carry a Christians mind to better delights, yet reason at least should lift him higher, as he is but a man.

Why should Christians affect those delights, which they know not whether they shall taste of, or no; or whether they will lodge with him all night? as that Epicure, Luk. 12. 20. Thou hast enough, soule, for many yeares, eat, drinke, and take thy plea­sure: but that night was his soule required of him.

Why should a Christian af­fect those things as pleasures, which being ended leave no­thing behind them? Of other exercises beside eating, drinking and gaming, some fruit remains after them, whether in our ge­nerall calling, or speciall. But of these no fruit remaines behind them, but some sighes or pangs of conscience for wasting that time, that ought to have beene better improved and imployed: [Page 532] which hath marred all the play.

These are things to bee used, but not affected; as it were not used.

As in affection, so in measure, Christians must use them all so­berly. 2

1. Because God so ordereth his children, that in this life they shall rather taste of these de­lights, then feed on them: and he commonly scants them in these, that they may have a lar­ger appetite to, and measure in better delights.

2. The abstemious use is bet­ter then free fruition, both for body and soule.

3. They generally never grow in greatnesse, but they remit so much of their goodnesse. See in Salomon himselfe, when hee would addict himselfe to plea­sures and wine, how his wise­dome was abated, and grace ec­clipsed; how he grew into pro­digious lusts, to get him 700. [Page 533] wives, and 300. concubines, 1 King. 15. 3. And therefore of voluptuous persons, that will hold up their hearts with laugh­ter, and immoderately follow these outward delights, wee may say they are mad men, and out of their minds, as Salomon by wofull experience said of laughter, Thou art madnesse, Eccles. 2. 1, 2.

Time also must be conside­red, 3 if we will use these de­lights soberly. There is an ap­pointed time for laughter, and for weeping: Eccles. 3. 4. There are times of fasting, and times of feasting. The rich Glutton was convicted of intemperance that he went in purple, and fa­red deliciously every day. He Luk. 16. 19 did not distinguish of times, as holy sobriety would have taught him. And so it teacheth us: Times un­seasonable for sports. 1

1. That the time of Gods worship is not time for unneces­sary pleasures; because there [Page 534] is a better delight enjoyned.

2. That working-dayes are 2 neither wholly nor principally the dayes of pleasure and de­light: not being appointed for recreation, but occupation and the calling. You must either prove your gaming an occupa­tion, or lay it aside and fall to your vocations; or else goe on (as many of you doe) to play away your dayes and lives, in despight of Gods Words and servants.

3. That dayes of sorrow and humiliation are on times to ad­dict 3 our selves to naturall and civill delights.

For our particular estates. Are we obnoxious to so many mise­ries, loaded with so many sins, beset with so many enemies, and yet even now set upon a merry pinne? Certainly now to be given to pleasures, differs Preached at Reding, in Decem­ber, 1621. not much from madnesse. Is our Towne so afflicted, our [Page 535] poore so destitute, and yet we still feed up our hearts with merriments and pastimes? It were grosse senslesnesse.

For the publike estate. Is the Church of God in distresse? doe the enemies breake downe the carved worke of the San­ctuary? is the Arke of God and my Lord Ioab in the fields? good Vriah cannot now goe home, and take his lawfull de­lights, though the King com­mand him so to doe. All evils, at home and abroad, are so ma­ny trumpets blowne by the Lord for our humiliation. And if now, when he lowdly calls us to mourning, weeping, bald­nesse and sacke-cloth, yet still there be joy and gladnesse, stay­ing of Oxen, killing of sheepe, eating of flesh, and drinking of wine, what followes? Surely this iniquity shall not bee purged from us till we dye, saith the Lord of hosts, Esa. 22. 12, 13, 14.

[Page 536] And lastly, whole nights or dayes together were unseasona­ble 4 times for delights. It would impaire the health of the body. And no man will doe so much for the health of his soule.

Thus of sobriety in the use of outward delights.

3. We must use them wise­ly 3. Watch­fully. and watchfully: and that in three respects:

First, carefully watching a­gainst 1 Satans subtilties, who most usually layeth his nets to catch us with these baits. Hee well knoweth, that in nothing we are more prone to unbridle our affections, then in these li­berties. The Serpent lyeth in the greene grasse. And this Ser­pent laid his temptation in the faire apple, and Eves appetite. And if once we moyle our selves in this birdlime of Satan, we are as unable to mount up­ward in divine meditations, as a Bird taken by the twigs, which [Page 537] the more she strives, the surer she is. Satan catcheth more by lawfull liberties, than by unlaw­full.

Secondly, we must carefully 2 watch our owne corruptions; who can easily oppresse our selves by surfetting and drun­kennesse, and that day come on us unawares; and pervert good things to bad ends. Now the Right ends of our liber­berties. 1 right ends in the use of all our lawfull liberties, are, 1. To be matter of Gods praise, for his bounty and mercies toward us: 2. To set us forward in our Christian race, and sit us to the 2 duties of piety. Take heed of all that eating, drinking, and playing, which unfits thee for Gods service, &c. 3. To refresh 3 us, and sweeten our labour, when body or mind is likely to be oppressed with study or la­bour. But to pursue pastimes too eagerly is utterly unlawfull; or when they that need least, play [Page 538] most, and instead of surfet of la­bour, surfet of idlenesse, eating, drinking, and pastime. 4. To put us in minde of those lasting, e­ternall, 4. and unconceiveable pleasures, reserved at the right hand of God for us. For, if the pleasures of our prison bee so sweet, what are those in our palace? and, if they be super­excellent, wisdome will make us watchfull that we hinder not our selves from those by these.

Lastly, we must watch care­fully 3 against evill companies, drunkards, and gamesters, who are principall factors for the di­vell. For being overtaken themselves, they never cease to make others the children of hell like themselves, and re­joyce in evill. Take heed of drinkards, a kinde of divellish poysoners, who have skill to poyson both soule and body to­gether. It is Saint Ambrose his Vina prae­tendis, ve­nena suf­faudis: ma­ior vis vini quàm vene­ni: ven [...]o caro vulne­ratur, vin [...] mens. De Elia▪ & je­junio, c. 14. comparison; Thou pretendest to [Page 539] reach forth wine, but withall thou ming lest poyson: greater is the force of wine, then of poyson: with poyson the body is wounded, with wine the soule it selfe.

Avoyd therefore, and abhorre them. And chuse such compa­nions as may by godly admoni­tion restraine thee, and lay a bri­dle on thy corruption, not spurre or provoke thee, be they never so neare or deare unto thee.


LVK. 5. 31.

The whole need not the Physici­an, but those that are sicke.

CHrist is bid­den to Levies Connexi­on. house: hee is ready to come, where he is kindly invited. The Pharises carpe at his person, and his fact: he eateth with sinners: like to like, say they; were he [Page 541] not a sinner, he could not sort and suit with sinners.

See the disposition of an hypo­criticall Note 1. Christ ne­ver is plea­sing to the wicked. enemy of Christ. Nei­ther the Doctrine of Christ can please him, vers. 21. Who is this that blasphemeth? can any for­give sinnes but God? nor his life here. And both are still quar­relled at, in his servants and Ministers.

Yet dare they not come o­penly before Christs face, whom Note 2. Grace and innocency traduced in secret they knew able to defend him­selfe; but whisper behinde his backe, to his Disciples: either because they suppose them not to be so ready to answer them, or to bring them into suspition of Christ, of whom they con­ceived reverently. And thus do hypocrites spitefully at this day: they dare not openly as­sault Christ and his servants (for they know they can defend themselves:) but shoot arrowes in secret against their Doctrine [Page 542] and practices, to wound them in their names, estates, or per­sons. For all wicked men are led by one spirit against Christ.

But marke: they want no faire pretences. What? a man Note 3. Pretences ever rea­dy against good men, professing such strictnesse and holinesse, to eat, and drinke, and be familiar with finnes? may not a man by a mans company know who and what he is? A plausible reason, and true in the generall, but maliciously and falsly applyed to this particular. So wicked men have their pre­tences plausible enough: Oh they stand for the Church, for holinesse, for Gods service, and piety, for order, for charity; when all that while they intend mischiefe against Christ and his Ordinances.

Marke againe: If they can­not accuse him of evill, they can Note 4. Godly ac­cusedd f [...] wel d [...]ing at least. for well-doing; as here, for ex­ercising his calling: sometimes for casting out divels: some­times [Page 543] for working miracles on the Sabbath day, as a man with­out conscience of the Sabbath. And indeed, what are the most accusations of enemies against Gods servants, but for the per­formance of their duty, and ex­ercise of their calling, either ge­nerall or particular.

Lastly, these men had lear­ning, Note 5. [...] wicked men all good is turned a gainst good. gifts, authority, wealth, the key of knowledge; but all bent against Christ, and his Go­spell, and Religion, and grace. So wicked men: looke whatso­ever meanes, wealth, authority, or place they have, all is bent a­gainst Christ and grace, and re­ligion must-looke for no helpe there, but hinderance and resi­stance.

Now Christ in this verse an­swereth Christ an­swers still for his. the challenge. The que­stion was not propounded to him, but to his Disciples: yet he takes on him to answer for them: where he shewes his [Page 544] readinesse to take all our causes on himselfe: Oh we serve a good Lord, who is able and wil­ling to stop the mouth of Satan, hell, the law, and all Calumnia­tors, who call in question our righteousnesse, and will in the last day much more acquit us of all accusations, and make our innocency shine as at noon-day. Feare not accusers: it is God Rom 8 33 that iustifieth. If the Disciples cannot answer for themselves, Christ can and will.

In this answer,

1. He blameth them of hy­pocrisie, Parts of our Savi­ours an­swer. who thought them­selves so just, as that all other were sinners beside themselves: 1 the whole need not the Physi­cian.

2. He defends himselfe and 2 his fact by a proverbiall speech, The sicke need the Physician: viz. ‘I came not amongst sinners, to boulster them up in their sins, but to helpe them out and [Page 545] heale them. It is my calling, being the Physician of soules, to be among sinners. Where should the Physician bee, but amongst his Patients?’

Thus our Lord by his answer, if he can doe them no good, yet doth good to the truth, confir­meth his Disciples, justifieth himselfe, convineeth his ene­mies: Which by Gods over­ruling power is the end of all In the end truth [...]s by opposi­tion. opposition of the truth, which in the conclusion must be no loser, but a gainer and conquerer.

The Text hath three parts: Parts of the Text 1 the Patients: 2. the Physician: 3. the Cure.

The Patients are propounded 1 Patients

Negatively: not the whole.

Affirmatively: but the sicke.

Quest. Is any man whole?

Answ. 1. No man is whole by nature: in Adam all are Who are whole, and how. 1 deadly sicke. No man doth good, no not one. God hath concluded all dead in sinne. On­ly [Page 546] some are healed by grace, as Simeon, Ioseph, Hanna, Zacha­ry, and the like.

2. Some are whole in con­ceit 2 onely, and thinke them­selves found, just, and holy e­nough: as did these Scribes and Pharises, who needed no Phy­sician: they no more saw their need of a Physician, then they saw their sicknesse. And th [...] there be many whole men in the world, and almost al men are generally whole in these daies. Hos. 7. 9. Ephraim saw not his gray haires, nor the consumpti­on of his strength. Revel. 3. [...]7 Laodicea saith, she is rich, and needs nothing. The Pharisie blesseth God he is not as others: Luk. 1 [...]. 11 he seeth in himselfe no hypo­crisie, nor pride, nor contempt of others: he is a whole man.

Many a civill man liveth ho­nestly: Civility makes men thinke themselves [...]le. he doth no man harme: he is beloved of his neighbours: he keeps the Commandements [Page 547] as well as God will give him leave. This mans case (in his owne conceit) is sound and good, and he hopes he shall live in his righteousnesse.

And in thousands, presumpti­on And pre­sump ion. is as a chaine to the necke; who tell us they love God with all their hearts, have a strong saith, never had any doubt they thanke God, no not so much as any grudgings of unbeleefe, and it were pitty he should live that doubteth of his salvation. These are sound men and whole: but, as they never beleeved, so they never bewailed their infidelity, never groaned under the bur­then of their sinnes, are enemies to God, to his Word, to all righ­teousnesse; worldlings, oppres­sors, deceivers, swearers, cur­sors, otherwise abominable; yet still found and whole men, in their owne conceit.

And another cause of concei­ted And the extenua­ting of sin soundnesse, is, the extenua­ation [Page 548] of sinne. Some qualmes and grudgings they have: and all men are sinners, and crazy: but themselves are no great sinners, or no greater then other men. Thus they mince and les­sen their sinnes. They are not sicke enough to seeke out to the Physician: they have ease e­nough yet, if it would hold with­out Christ.

Now see the miserable and Use 1. Whole men, in most dan­ger. damnable estate of these men.

First, they are eaten up with griping diseases, and deadly pangs, and yet feele nothing. Paines of sinne are like the pains of sicknesse: the lesse felt, the more dangerous and deadly.

Secondly, as they need not the Physician, so certainely the Physician needs not them: hee came not for them: they have as much helpe from him as they seeke. He came not to call the righteous. He calleth and cu­reth onely the sicke, and hea­vy [Page 549] laden with the sense and bur­den of sinne.

Let this therefore serve to Vse 2. See thy selfe not whole. convince these whole men, and let them see their estate, so as they may seeke to the Physici­an, and not dye senslesse. The markes and spots of a deadly disease are these:

First, an ill stomacke argueth Tokens of deadly sicknesse. 1 bodily disease: so Spirituall: If the Word, (the Manna from heaven) be bitter, if thy minde rise against it, and the mouth of thy soule be out of taste, if thy memory keepe not the doctrine of God, if by meditation thou digestest it not, and so sendest it not into all parts of thy life, thou art sick iudeed, though thou sec­most never so whole.

Secondly, when the body 2 consumeth, the parts are weak­ned, the knees bowe under a man, and with much adoe he draggeth his limbes after him, there is certainly a bodily dis­ease, [Page 550] though there bee no com­plaint. So in the soule: when men are weake to deeds of pie­ty, have no strength to conquer temptation, to suffer crosses and trials; to workes of charity, mercy, or justice; but all strength of grace seems to be exhausted: here is a dangerous disease: here may wee justly feare a spirituall hecticke, which is no sooner dis­cernable, then deadly.

Thirdly, when the senses 3 faile, the eyes grow dimme, the eares dull, it is an apparant signe of a bodily, or spirituall disease. A senslesse man is the sickest man, because he is sicke though he be not sensible. Even so, when the eye-strings of the soule are broken, that they see not the light of grace, nor of God, which as the Sunne shines round about them; the eares heare not the voyce of God, the feeling is gone, they have no sense of the great gashes and [Page 551] wounds of the lusts of unclean­nesse, drunkennesse, covetous­nesse, swearing, lying, malice against God and his servants; nay, no complaint, but rather rejoycing in these; neither is there any fellowship in the af­flictions Amos 6. 6. of Ioseph: the soule of such a man lyes very weake, as a man for whom the Bell is rea­dy to toll.

Fourthly, difficulty of brea­thing, 4. or to be taken speech­lesse, is a signe of a disease and death approching: So in the soule, prayer being the breath of the soule, when a man can hard­ly fetch this breath, cannot pray, or with much adoe can begge mercy, strength, and supply of grace; or when he is speech­lesse, a man cannot heare him whisper a good and savoury word, but all is earthly, fruitlesse or hurtfull; here is a living Corps, a painted sepulcher, not a man of a better world.

[Page 552] Would men try themselves by these notes, they would soone discorne their sicknesse, and runne out to the Physician. But oh what an hard taske is it, to bring a man rightly to know his estate? A singer of the body cannot ake, but men complaine and bind it up. But the soule lies gasping, and there is no such care, &c.

Thus negatively of the Pati­ent, or party fit for cure.

Affirmatively it is the sicke Who are sicke. man. And he is the sicke man. that feeles and groanes under the paine and burden of his sin. The point this,

Sinne is the most dangerous s [...]ickenesse in the whole world, Doctr. Sin a de­sperate sicknesse. Resem­blances of corporall and spiri­tuall sick­nesse. 1. and fitly resembles bodily sicke­nesse: For,

First, sicknesse comes by in­temperance: the temperate bo­dy is never sick: while we were in innocency, we were in sound health, but through distempe­rature [Page 553] in our natures we were [...] tem­peratevixit Socrates, ut cum A­thenas pe­stis sape vastaret so­lus ipse nunquam agrotaverit Dio. Laer. l. 2. poysoned at first, and ever since; our sinnes and lusts conceiving, bring forth sinne and death. And as some sicknesses be hereditary and propagated, so the sicknesse of sinne is propagated from A­dam to all his posterity, and eve­ry man hath added to his dis­ease by his owne wilfull trans­gression.

Secondly, sicknesse weakneth the body, and impaireth the vi­gor 2 of nature: so doth sinne in the soule: experience sheweth, that after some sinne we very hardly and weakly attempt any good thing for along time. Sin hath weakned the faculties, darkened the understanding, corrupted the will, disordered the affections: thence this sick­nesse.

Thirdly, sickenesse brings 3 paine and torment into the bo­dy: so doth sinne into the soule, first or last: There is no peace to Esa. 57. [...]1 [Page 554] a wicked man, but terrors soule, horrors of conscience, and de­sperate feares doe ever attend him.

Fourthly, sicknesse continu­ing and lingring on the body, 4. threatneth death, and without timely cure bringeth it: Sinne also, not removed by repen­tance, menaceth; and bringeth certaine death to body and soule.

Fifthly, sicknesse is generally 5 incident to al men. So the soules of all men are diseased by na­ture; even the soules of the E­lect, till they bee healed by Christ. And these diseases are most foule, and incurable: com­pared in Scripture to a gangrene which suddenly eateth up the body, 2 Tim. 2. 17. and to the Leprosie, the contagion where­of not onely reacheth over all the parts of a man, but to others also; and for the effect, casteth a man out of the Congregation.

[Page 555] Conceive then of sinne, as of Use 1. Thinke of sinne as a sicknesse. a sicknesse, and beware of it. How carefull are wise men of their health, to prevent sicke­nesse? and againe, how foolish and negligent are infinite num­bers of people, who are excee­ding carefull to preserve the health of their bodies, yet think not at all of their poore soules, which lye languishing of lamen­table deadly diseases? Well: prevent beginnings: breake off sinne betimes: A disease suffe­red long, growes incurable.

Others may learne to groane Vse 2. Mourn for it as sicke­nesse. Psal. 31. 17 under the burden of sinne. Lit­tle is the hope of him, who is deadly sicke, and senslesse of it. It is the contrite heart, and bro­ken spirit onely, that is capable of cure: one that feeleth, and cryeth out of the paine of sinne, originall and actuall, that feeleth the want of Christ, and prizeth him and his merits above gold silver, and all. He must be sicke, [Page 556] that must be well. Christ can worke no cure on a sound man. The Paschall lambe is to be ea­ten Exod. 12. 8 with bitter herbs: signify­ing, that Christ can never be sweet, till we have conceived sorrow and griefe of heart for sinne. It is observed of the Angels, that their sinne is not mentioned in Genesis, because they were not to be restored by repentance; but the sinne of man is enlarged in all the cir­cumstances, Note. that he might bee sensible, ashamed, and penitent of his sinne. As in bodily cures, so in spirituall: the more sense of paine, the better it is to be liked; more then if the wound should be ranckled, and stuffed with dead flesh. A senslesse le­thargie is as deadly, as the most tormenting disease. Cry thou out of thy pride, lying, decei­ving, swearing, other sinnes, as a man in paine, longing after de­liverance: say as Saint Paul, [Page 557] O wretched man that J am, who shall deliver me from the body of Rom. 7. 24. this death! and, O that I may never feele the like paine a­gaine?

Or if Christ have given thee any ease, or freedome from sin Vse 3. Vpon re­covery glorifie Christ the Physician. and lusts, magnifie his grace. How glad are men when they have out-stood a bodily weake­desse? How glad was David when he had beene stopped in his rage against Nabal? Blessed be the Lord, blessed be thy coun­sell, 1 Sam. 25. 32, 33 and blessed be th [...]u. When Christ had cured a blind man, he followed him, and praised God, and all the people praised him likewise for what was done, Luk. 18. 42. And when Christ had cast out the Divell (chap. 8. 30.) the man would have fol­lowed Christ, but he bade him goe to his house, and shew what great things God had done for him: and he went his way, and preached those things through [Page 558] all the City.

Againe, beware of relapses, Vse 4. Beware of relapses. Ioh. 5. 14 being far more dangerous then the first disease. Goe, and sinne no more, lest a worse thing come unto thee. Beware of occasions of sinne, especially wicked and infectious company: no plaguy house so infectious as that.

Lastly, pitty and helpe others. Vse 5: Pity and help out of sinne. We despise not, nor scorne, nor laugh at a sicke man: nor will one sicke man scorne another. It is thine owne case, and thy brethrens, spiritually. Were it a Nesas pr [...] terire, &c. Herodot. O [...]io. jest to see men dying? no, we pitty them, we pray for them, we doe them all offices of cha­rity: And so it should be here.

Hitherto of the Patients. 2. Physici­an.

We come now to the Physi­cian.

The Physician is our Lord Ie­sus Doct. Christ is the Physi­cian of soules. Christ: as in the next words, I came not to call the righte­ous, but sinners to repentance. Exod. 5. 26. J am the Lord, that [Page 559] healeth thee. God challengeth this as a part of his owne glory, by Christ to heale us. Iob 5. 18. He maketh sore, and bindeth up: he woundeth, and his hands make whole. Psal. 103 3. who healed thee of thine infirmities: and, Mal. 4. 2 of Christ it is said, that healing is under his wings.

For first, as a skilfull Physici­an he kno weth every mans e­sta te Reasons. 1 perfe [...]ly: hee knoweth what is [...] man, Iohn 2. so doth no other Physician; they can gh [...]sse by inspection and see something, but hee seeth our secret corruptions, in as much as hee seeth our hearts and thoughts, and cannot be decei­ved. He saw the woman at the Well to bee an harlot. And, (Matth. 16. 7.) he saw the rea­soning of their hearts, when they thought he spake because they had no bread.

Secondly, he knowes the cure 2. as perfectly as he doth the dis­ease. [Page 560] No Physician knowes all the vertues of all the simples and drugs he administreth: and besides, he is wholly ignorant of many. But Christ our Physician knowes the infallible worke of his remedies: so that, whereas it may be said of many young Physicians, they need a new Church-yard, yet never any mis­carried under his hands, whom he undertooke to cure. Of all Ioh. 17. 18 whom thou hast glven me, J have lost none.

Thirdly, as a skilfull Physician 3 he prescribeth the fittest reme­dies. For in his Word hee ap­pointeth, physicke for every dis­ease of the soule; for pride, en­vy, covetousnesse, trouble of conscience, and other. Yea, he appointeth most proper reme­dies What can be more proper, to cure the corruption of our nature, then the purity of his? for our actuall disobedience, his actuall obedience? for the guilt [Page 561] and curse of our sinnes, that him­selfe was made a curse for us? Gal. 3: 13 4

Fourthly, as a Physician pre­pareth his Patient for his phy­sicke, so Christ prepareth the party by faith to apply his reme­dies; by perswading the heart to beleeve, and to apply to the fore and wounded conscience, the precious Balmes which him­selfe hath prepared. Else, as phyficke, not in the receit, or box, or cupbord, or pocket can profit unlesse it be applyed and received, though it be never so soveraigne; no more can this.

Fifthly, Christ goeth beyond 5. Christs excellency above o­ther Phy­sicians. 1 all Physicians; two wayes.

1. In the generality of his cure. Some diseases are despe­rate, and all the physicke in the world cannot cure them. But Christ can cure all: no disease is so desperate, as to foile him. The sinne against the holy Ghost is not desperate in it selfe, nor to him, but onely in the wilful­nesse [Page 562] of the party. This was suf­ficiently testified by those pow­erfull and miraculous cures, which he wrought in the dayes of his flesh, both upon the soules and bodies of men; casting out divels by his Word, pardoning of sinnes, working faith, curing all sicknesses and diseases, resto­ring all senses, yea and raising the dead to life, which all Phy­sicians in the world could not doe: And all this, that it might be fulfilled, which is spoken Esa. 53. 4. He tooke our infirmi­ties, and bare all our sicknesses, both bodily and spirituall.

2. In the freedome of his cure. For first, he offereth his 2 His free­nesse in his cures. helpe and physicke, even daily in the preaching of his Gospell: Ier. 3. 2 [...]. O disobedient children returne, and I will heale your re­bellions. 1. This Physician seeketh to the patient. Secondly, hee takes nothing for his cure: Hos. 2. 14, 4. I will heale your rebyllions [Page 563] freely. He will doe it for as­king, and for all that aske it. Psal. 30. 2. O Lord, J cryed, and thou didst heale me. Thirdly, he 3 attendeth his Patients most di­ligently: other Physicians visit their Patients sometimes, in ex­pectance of good reward: but he, onely out of his wonderfull care and compassion is ever pre­sent, and about his Patient: Psal. 34. 18. he onely is neare to the afflicted in spirit, and will save the contrite heart.

Now if Christ be the Physici­an, Use 1. Magnifie this Physi­cian ac­cording to his worth. Christ must be magnified for our health. We may say of our sicknesse by sinne, as himselfe did of Lazarus his sicknesse. This sicknes is not unto death in all, but that God may be glorified. For no man can cure himselfe: Ioh. 11. 4 our owne merits, workes, or free-will cannot cure us: we can poyson our selves daily, but cannot helpe our selves. O Is­rael, thy destruction is of thy Hos. 13. 9 [Page 564] selfe: but in me is thy helpe. We can surfet our selves in sinne, and breed sicknesse, but cannot helpe our selves.

The Pope by his pardons, mas­ses, pilgrimages, and the like cannot cure us. It is too great a price to pay. No supererogati­ons or satisfactions can doe it. Who can forgive sinnes, but God onely? Who can remit a debt, but he to whom it is due?

Nay, the Angels can conferre nothing to this cure. The Lord reserves the honour of this mer­cy to himselfe, to whom it is proper to say, I will forgive sins, and heale rebellions freely. The very name given to Christ by the Angels, and in his circum­cision by his Parents, was Iesus, and there is no other name to be saved by, Acts 4. 12.

Obiect. Was not Peter a good Physician when he healed the lame man, Act. 3. and Philip, Act. 8. and Paul, who cast out di­vels, [Page 565] Act 16. 18. Are not Mi­nisters good Physicians, who re­mit and absolve men from their sinnes, and save themselves and others.

Answ. The Apostles in all Others heale by his vertue and com­mission. those places did what they did, in the name, and by the power of Christ; as is sometimes ex­pressed, In the name of Iesus Christ I command thee, come out of her, &c. but Christ did all by his owne divine power. And Ministers are Gods Physi­cians for his people, but onely ministerially, by power and di­rection from him: but hee by proper authority.

Againe, if Christ be the Phy­sician of soules, let every one Vse 2. Ever re­paire to this Physi­cian. seeke to this Physician: seeke to have the presence and helpe of Christ. If the body be sicke unto death, there is running and riding to the Physician, and no man is so welcome as he is. The world is as a common Spittle: [Page 566] every man is deadly sicke: it stands us now in hand, to get Christ to cure us. Israel, stung with the fiery Serpents, must only looke to the brazen Serpent, Numb. 21. 8. We are all as the man fallen among theeves dead­ly wounded. It is onely this good Samaritan, that can binde up the wound. Or as the poore man that lay at the poole of Be­thesda 38. yeares, and could never find cure till Christ came, Ioh. 5. 5. And if we would be cured, we must doe as the Inha­bitants of Genezareth, when they heard Christ was there, they ranne about all the region, and carried after him in beds all that were sicke, and diseased, and he healed them all. Goe a­ny where else, and it will be fall you as that woman (Mark. 5. 26.) that spent all shee had on Physicians, and was as far from cure as at first, till Christ came and healed her.

[Page 567] But Christ is in heaven: how Obiect. shall I have his presence?

His promise is, to be with his Ans. Church by his Spirit and grace, to the end of the world.

But where may we have him? Quest. Ans. Where to meet Christ.

Thou shalt not misse of him in the midst of the seven golden Candlestickes: thou shalt finde him in the Temple teaching, as his parents having lost him: get thee to the steps of the flolkes, Cant. 1. 7. there thou shalt finde him at noone. The Word and Sacraments holily received, af­ford his speciall presence. And as the poore Cripple got cure from Peter and Iohn, lying at the beautifull gate of the Temple, so must we, Act 3.

But I am so weake and sicke Obiect. I cannot get to Christ.

The poore man who lay Ans. bound on his bed, sicke of the palsie, not able to stirre himselfe, got others to bring him to Christ, and when they could [Page 568] not come neare, they uncove­red the house, and let him down with cords before Christ: so doe thou in the great weaknesse of thy soule, and of thy faith: com­mit thy selfe to some faithfull men, who by their strength may helpe thee; by their counsels, comforts, and prayers, as by cords, may let thee downe be­fore Christ, and thou shalt get helpe, Luk. 5. 20.

If Christ be the Physician, then being come unto him we Use 3. Make all knowne to him and [...]at his helpe. should daily lay open our sinnes, and our very hearts before him, with earnest intreaty to heale us, and helpe us. Wee lay open all our sores and sicknesses to the Physician, be they never so foule and shamefull in themselves, or in shamefull parts; with the causes, occasions, and effects: we hide nothing, dissemble no­thing, but confesse all against our selves: we put our selves into the Physicians hands, with [Page 569] earnest suit and large rewards to helpe us. And so ought we here for cure doe unto Christ; con­fesse all against our selves, en­tertaine no secret and close sin: for that may be the cause of our griefe: and never cease impor­tuning him for mercy, till we feele some cure to eternall life.

If we were in danger to be ea­ten up with wormes, as Herod Acts 12. [...]3 was, we would spare no cost, no paines, no prayers, but would have the counsell of the whole Colledge of Physicians, before we would so wretchedly end our dayes. Yet our case spiritu­ally is farre worse: sinne is a worme in the conscience, and hath a poysonfull sting, which will gnaw in the soule to eternal death. This worme is in every man, comming of Adam, and none can cure it but the second Adam: for none but he knowes to make the confection, to kill this worme: And whosoever [Page 570] goes on carelesly in sinne, suf­fers this worme to eat out the bowels of his soule, and there is no way but death with him.

Suppose a man had the falling­sicknesse: what would he not doe or suffer, to be cured of that desperate disease, rather then be in continuall danger of falling into the fire, or water, or other mischiefes? But the most dan­gerous falling sicknesse, is, to fall into sinne: the impenitent sinner knowes not when or where he shall fall: every mo­ment he may fall into the deepe waters of Gods wrath, or into the fire of hell.

Oh then come in time to Ie­sus Christ: fall downe before him in confession of thy deplo­red estate: mourne under thy sicknesse, as Hezekiah in his sicknesse: turne thee to thy Physician: confesse thy blind­nesse, as the blind men in the Gospell, and begge as they, Lord [Page 571] that our eyes may be opened. Cry out of the stone of thy heart, and of the running issues of sinne. Get unto Christ, and touch the hemme of his gar­ment (as the woman having the issue of blood) and get cure. Hide thy sinne with Adam, and there is no cure, no prosperity. While I held my tongue, my bones consumed in my roaring all the day long, Psal 32. 3, 4. But the very opening of the sore is a part of the cure; because the core of sinne is let out by con­fession; and, to confesse and for­sake Pro 28. 13 sinne, is the way to mercy. Confession which brings guilti­nesse before men, brings pardon and discharge before God. And besides, thy Physician is of such skill & experience, as thou canst conceale nothing from him if thou wouldest.

Lastly, if Christ be the Phy­sician, Use 4. Comfort by this Physician here is marvellous com­fort for afflicted soules, pained [Page 572] and pined under the burthen of sinne.

First, he is a skilfull Doctor: he knowes all our diseases, and 1 the remedies: thou mayst safe­ly commit thy selfe into his hands, as his mother said to those servants, Ioh. 2. Whatsoe­ver he commonds, that doe. Sim­ple obedience is required, with­out reasoning or enquiry. All his sayings must we doe.

Secondly, he is able enough 2 to cure us, because hee is God Omnipotent, able to worke an infinite cure: and onely such a Physician can bestead us: for all created power cannot helpe us.

Thirdly, he is as willing to helpe, as able: being a mercifull 3 High-Priest, compassed with infirmities, to have compassion on them that are out of the way. How willing would a tender husband be, to helpe his wife out of a deadly sicknesse! no [Page 573] lesse willing is Christ to helpe his Spouse.

Fourthly, he is ready to answer 4 all objections.

Obiect. 1. I am unworthy he should looke on me, or that I should speake to him. No unwor thinesse of ours can hinder the cure. Mat 11▪ 28

Answ. Oh but be of good comfort, he calls thee, Come to me all that labour and are heavy laden. Looke not for a merit in thy selfe, but in him whose mer­cy is thy merit. The poore wo­man, having the bloody issue, thought her selfe unworthy to speake to him, or looke him in the face; yet she could creepe behind him, and touch the h [...]m of his garment. So in thy humi­lity, thrust in to touch (by the hand of thy faith) the hem of his garment: for, Whosoever touched it, was made whole, Mat. 14. 36.

Obiect. 2. But oh the great­nesse and multitude of my sins is such, as how can I but de­spaire [Page 574] of cured they are deeply grounded in me, and of long cou­tinuance.

Ans. No disease foiles Christ: Nor mul­titude of diseases: nor grie­vousnesse. not Peters denyall, not Davids murder, not Pauls persecution and blasphemy, not Manassehs sorcery can foyle him: not sins of a crimson dye: if thy sinnes be as red as searlet, he can make thee white as snow, Esa. 1. Not multitude of diseases, not com­plicated diseases, which are most dangerous in the body. It is all one with him to forgive tenne thousand talents, as one: to cure deadly sicknesses, as well as cra­zednesse, Hos. 14. 5. Long dis­eases foyle him not, who stret­cheth out his hand all the day long, if thou come in any time. Say not then of any sinne, My Gen 4. 13 [...] Cai [...]. Aug. sinne is greater than can be for­given: this was a lye in Cain, saith Saint Augustine.

Obiect. 3. But it is appointed for all men once to dye: and I [Page 575] am infinitely afraid of death.

Answ. Thou hast a Physician Death cu­red by this Physician that can command death, that hath beene the death of death, and hath raised himselfe from death, and much more can and will raise thee, a member, from the dead: Else should he be im­perfect in his glorious body, which he will not endure.

Obiect. 4. But after death comes judgement, and how shal I stand before the Iudge?

Answ. Thy Physician shall Iudgment not terri­ble. be thy Iudge: hee that cured thee, shall cover thee: he that knowes thy debt is wholly paid by his owne hands, must needs acquit thee.

Obiect. 5. But how shall I be regarded among those infinite millions of men that shall stand before him?

Answ. Get faith, by which thou art contracted unto Christ, Respect to every soul particu­larly. and that shall be thy marriage­day. A loving husband will be [Page 576] carefull of his loving wife above thousands of others.

HAving spoken of the Pati­ents, 3. Cure: where. and of the Physician, wee come now to the Cure, which is the third generall: wherein consider,

  • 1. The confection.
  • 2. The application.

In the confection are, 1. the 1 The Con­fection. Author, 2. the Matter, 3. the Vertue.

The Author must be a man, and above a man.

He must be a man, because Whose Au­thor is a man. man had sinned, and mans na­ture must satisfie: else Gods justice and menace had not ta­ken place, In the day thou sin­nest, Gen. 2. 17 thou shalt dye the death. Beside, the manner of satisfacti­on requires him to be a man: because he must subject him­selfe, both to the perfect obedi­ence of the Law, and to the suf­fering [Page 577] of death for our disobe­dience. And finally, he must be the seed of the woman, that must Gen. 3. 1 [...] bruise the Serpents head; that is, a man spotlesse, innocent, pure, one that needs no medi­cine for himselfe. He must be a man of Adam, but not by A­dam: even borne of a Virgin, to stop originall sin in the course of it.

But withall, he must be above And yet a­bove a man too. Our Phy­sician must be God: why. a man: even our Emanuel, Esa. 7. 14. God with us: yea, that great Ithiel and Ucal, Pro. 30. 1. a strong and mighty God: first, for the proportion between, the sinne and punishment; the 1 sinne being infinite, so also must the punishment be: which none but an infinite person could su­staine. Secondly, he must be God manifested in the flesh, to 2 remove those infinite evils which attend sinne, Gods wrath and Satans power, damnation, death, &c. All this must our Phy­sician [Page 578] doe, by his lowest abase­ment. He must satisfie Gods justice, appease his anger, tri­umph against enemies of salva­tion, subdue sinne, foyle the di­vell, overcome death, dis­charge all debts, cancell all ob­ligations and hand-writings a­gainst us, and after all be exalted 3 to glory. Thirdly, he must be God, to procure us those infi­nite good things we need, viz. To restore us Gods Image lost and with it righteousnesse and life eternall. To defend soule and body against the world, the divell, hell, and all enemies. To recover us to an excellent and firme estate of sonnes, by adop­tion, by meanes of a lasting and eternall covenant. And to lead us into eternal happine [...], as our great Joshua, into that good Land, that Paradise of God, whence the Divell and our sin hath cast us.

Thus of the Author.

[Page 579] Next the Matter of the Cure, Matter of the confe­ction. and that is the Physicians owne blood, by which is meant his whole Passion, 1 Pet. 2. 19. By his stripes we are healed: his sicknesse brings us health.

It must be by blood. All our ransome must be paid by blood: for without shedding of blood there is no remission of sinnes, Heb. 9 31.

And it must be by his blood, not the blood of beasts, which only sanctified outwardly in respect of the Commandement, and signi­fication, Heb. 9. 12. [...]0. but this blood is the laver, which pur­geth away all sinne. Not the blood of Saints, Martyrs, and ho­liest men can make attonement, but onely his blood which re­moveth the curse of the Law, by satisfying for our sins, which opens heaven now shut upon us, and obtaines a perfect redemp­tion, Heb. 9. 2 [...].

Next the Vertue and Preci­ousnesse [Page 580] of this Cure: Oh it Virtue and precious­nesse in 5 respects. was a powerfull and precious blood! and that in five re­spects:

1. In respect of the quality: 1. it is the blood incorruptible: All other diseases are cured with corruptible things, but this is opposed to all corruptible things in the world, 1 Pet. 1. 18. Yee are not redeemed with corrupti­ble things, but with the precious blood of Iesus Christ.

2. In respect of the person: it was the blood of God, Act. 20. 28. 2 and therefore of infinite merit and price to purchase the whole Church.

3. In respect of the subject of it: no other cure or remedy can 3 reach the soule. All others drugs conduce for healthfull life, and worke upon the body: but this makes for an holy life, and workes upon the soule, the sicknesse whereof the most pre­cious thing in the world cannot [Page 581] cure. Minister to a wounded spirit Aurum potabile, Bezoar, Alchermes, dust of Pearles, all is in vaine; it is onely this blood which heales soules and spirits.

4. In respect of the power­full effects of it, above all other 4. Powerfull effects of it cures in the world: for first, they may frame the body to some soundnesse of temperature, but this makes sound soules, accor­ding to the conformity of Gods Law. Secondly, they may pre­serve naturall life for a while, but this brings a supernaturall life for ever. Thirdly, they may restore strength and nature de­cayed; but this changeth and bringeth in a new nature, accor­ding to the second Adam. Fourthly, they cannot keepe a­way death approaching, but this makes immortall. Fifthly, they cannot raise or recover a dead man, but this raiseth both dead in sinne, dead in soule, and dead in body.

[Page 582] Lastly, in respect of time. All other physicke is made of drugs, 5. created with the world, but this was prepared before the founda­tion of the world, 1 Pet. 1. 18. Againe, all the worke of all o­ther physicke is done in death: but the perfection, and most powerfull worke of this is after death.

By all this take we notice of Use 1. Extreme misery by sinne set forth hereby our extreme misery by sinne: seeing nothing else can cure us, but the blood of the Sonne of God. Gold enough can ransome the greatest Potentate on earth: but here, nothing can doe it but the blood of the Kings sonne. If we had such a disease as no­thing but the heart-blood of our dearest friends alive (suppose our wife, husband, mother, or childe) could cure us, what an hopelesse and desperate case were it? it would amaze and astonish the stoutest heart. But much more may it smite our [Page 583] hearts, that we have such a dis­ease, as nothing else but the heart-blood of the Sonne of God can cure. Looke upon the execration of thy sinne in this Hatred of sin hereby wrought. 1 glasse. If any thing can worke the hatred of sinne, this may: 1. To see the fire of Gods wrath kindled, and nothing but this blood can quench it. 2. To see 2 the deadlinesse [...] the disease in the price of the physicke, and the dearenesse of the remedy. 3 3. The danger of sinning against so precious a blood: for if Abels blood being shed cryed from earth for vengeance, much more will this blood trod under foot.

But those never saw their Who sin in this respect. 1. sinne in this glasse, who con­ceive the cure as easie as the turning of an hand, a light Lord have mercy, or an houre of re­pentance at death; and have li­ved in sinne, and loved their sinne, as if there were no dan­ger [Page 584] in it; passe away their daies, and live in ignorance, swearing, cursing, Sabbath-breaking, lying, covetousnesse, filthinesse, and all unrighteousnesse; whereas, had they eyes to see, they might out of the price and greatnesse of the remedy gather the danger and desperatenesse of the dis­ease. For all the earth affords not any herbe or simple, nor drug of this vertue: but the Sonne of God from heaven must shed his blood. Nay, all the men on earth, and all the Angels of heaven could not make a con­fection to cure one sinne, or sinner.

Neither any of Salomons fooles, who make a mocke of 2 Pro. 10. 23 sinne, ever saw it in this glasse. Is it not extremity of folly, to make a tush of sinne, and to take pleasure and delight in it? O consider in time, that the sinne thou makest so light of, cost Christ deare, and the least sinne [Page 585] thou delightest in, must either cost Christ his blood, or thee thine in endlesse torments. It is no safe jesting with edged tooles, and to east darts and fire-brands, and say, Am I not in jest?

In this Cure we may observe Vse [...]. A world of wonders in this cure 1 a world of wonders:

First, wonder and admire this Physician, who is both the Phy­sician and the Physicke. Was ever the like heard of in all na­ture?

Secondly, admire the confe­ction: 2. that the Physician must temper the remedy of his owne heart-blood. He must by passi­on be pounded in the mortar of Gods wrath: he must be bea­ten, smitten, spit upon, woun­ded, sweat water and blood, be trodden on as a worme, be for­saken of his Father; the Lambe of God must be slaine; the just suffer for the unjust: Doest thou not here stand and wonder? [Page 586] [...] there ever such a Prece­ [...] [...] the world, that the wo [...] [...] one man should heale ano [...] [...] [...]ound? or that the wo [...] [...] Captaine should heal [...] soul­diers? The [...] suffered darkenesse, the earth quaked, the rockes rent asunder, the graves opened, the dead arose, to shew the admirable confecti­on of this Cure: and are we sens­lesse still?

Thirdly, admire the power of weaknesse, and the Omnipotent 3. worke of this Cure by contra­ries, as in the great worke of Creation; there the Sonne of God made all things, not out of something, but out of nothing: so in this great worke of our Cure by Redemption, he works our life, not by his life, but by his owne death: he makes us infinitely happy, but by his owne infinite misery: he, opens the grave for us, by his owne lying [Page 587] in the grave: he sends us to hea­ven by his owne descending from heaven; and shuts the gates of hell by suffering hellish torments. He honours us by his owne shame: he breakes away our temptations, and Satans mo­lestations, by being himselfe tempted. Here is a skilfull Phy­sician, tempering poyson to a remedy, bringing light out of darkenesse, life out of death, heaven out of hell. In the whole order of nature one contrary refisteth another, but it is be­yond nature that one contrary should produce another. Won­der.

Fourthly, admire the care of the Physician, who provided us 4. a remedy before our disease, be­fore the world was, or we in it: together with his bounty, who bestowed on us so precious a balme when there was none in Gilead; when neither all the gold in India, nor all the metals [Page 588] or minerals in the bowels of the earth could save one soule, nor all the wealth in the world oure one sinner, but onely this blood of an infinite price, power, and merit. Here was a rich and free mercy, to part with his owne life, and dearest pledge of his love, and voluntarily submit himselfe to death, which was of more strength then all the lives of men and Angels. Won­der.

Fifthly, admire his match­lesse love, who to save our soules 5. made his soule an offering for sinne, and healeth our wounds by his owne stripes. A Phyfici­an sheweth great love, if he take a little care above ordinary, though he be wel rewarded, and made a great gainer by it. But this Physician must be a loser by his love: he must lose his glory, his life: he must lose heaven, and happinesse, and all, and be­yond all this be unmatchable in [Page 589] abasement, and torment, in so much that he calleth all us who are ready to passe by all, to con­sider if ever any sorrow were like to his sorrow. Here was a sound love to us, who endured to be so afflicted, and abased by God, men, and divels for our sakes, when he could have pre­vented and refused it, if it had pleased him; but this love was stronger than death, and under­valued his owne life to save ours. Wonder, and wonder for ever.

And let it stirre us up to love this Physician dearely: for great [...]se 3. Love this Physician the more. love is a great loadstone, and at­tractive of love. What love owe we to God the Father, for gi­ving his Sonne to the death for us? as it a King should deliver the Prince apparant, to death, to save a condemned r [...]bell. What great love made him not ac­count his life deare for us? Oh the deadnesse of our hearts, that [Page 590] can heare this with so little sense, and provocation to love him againe:

Quest. How may we testifie our love to Christ?

Answ. We must not love him And how this love must be testified. in tongue and word onely, but in deed and truth; framing our love in some proportion unto his, which was both in word, worke, and suffering.

First, in profession and word we must magnifie his great worke of Redemption, and advance it in the perfection and vertue of it, as able of it selfe to purchase the whole Church; a blood able of it selfe to save from the de­stroying Angell, and make a per­fect peace betweene God and us.

Secondly, as Gods love was 2 Ioh. 14. 15 actuall, so wee must settle our selves to his service. If ye love me, keepe my Commandements. Hee was a servant to doe our worke: his love onely made [Page 591] him so. And shall we refuse his worke? Ours was a painefull taske that he undertooke: and he left us an easie yoke, to shew Mat. 11. 30 our obedience, and gives us also strength to beare it. Hee hath given himselfe for us, and will giue himselfe to us: and shall not we give our selves to him? Certainly we serve a good Lord, and want no encouragement.

Thirdly, according to his ex­ample, let us not love our lives 3. to the death for his sake: Rev. 12. 11. He that hateth not his life, in comparison of Christ, cannot be his Disciple, Luk 14. 26. The direct end of Christs life was our glory: the direct end of ours must be his glory. He maintained our cause to the death: by his death hee now pleads our cause in heaven. It is therefore not onely honourable, but equall and iust, that wee should sticke to him and his causes, in life and death; and [Page 592] that love which is sound, is like his, even stronger then death, Cant. 8. 6.

So of the Cure in respect of the Confection.

Now we are to consider it in The Ap­plication. the Application. For, what would it availe, to have the most skil­full and carefull Physician, and the most rare, proper, and pow­erfull medicine under the Sunne prescribed by him, if either it be not for me, or not applyed to the disease or sore? And so our heavenly Physician hath ta­ken care, not onely for directi­on and confection, but also, for application. Medicines must be received: for we must not looke to be cured by miracle, but by meanes. Where consider,

  • 1. The persons to whom the cure is applyed.
  • 2. The meanes whereby.
  • 3. The time when.

For the persons, the Text saith, all that be sicke: that is, sensible, Who are cured. and languishing under theirsick­nesse. [Page 593] And Psal. 147. 3. He heales those that are broken in heart, and binds up their sores.

For the meanes whereby the How ap­plication of the me­dicine is made. cure is applyed: it is faith: we must bring faith to be healed. Christ required mens faith, in healing of their bodies; much more must wee bring it to the cure of our soules. By faith I meane speciall faith, which is not Faith, what. [...]w Christ hystorically: for so did many (Ioh 2.) to whom Christ would not trust himselfe: viz. that he is the Son of God, who shed his blood, and died for sinners: for this, the divels be­leeve, and tremble. Neither is it Iam. [...]. 19 onely to beleeve him: the Iews heard him, saw him, beleeved many things to be true, but re­ceived him not. But,

To beleeve in him, stands in And wher in it stands 1. two things. First, to receive and apply him: for, to receive Christ, and beleeve in him, are all one, Ioh. 1. 12. so many as received [Page 594] him: But who were they? so many as beleeved in his Name. Secondly, to trust and rely on him for cure, and salvation: Can. 2 8. the Spouse leanes on her wel­beloved. And that we may not be deceived in it, this faith hath two qualities: 1. It must be proper: 2. Impropriate Christ.

First, it must be thine owne proper speciall faith: Hab. 2. 4. And what be its pro­pertie [...]. 1. the iust man lives by hi [...] ▪ faith. The Physician makes his whole confection without thee, but calleth thee in to the appli­cation: and none can apply this medicine, but thine owne faith. It is no implicit faith of thine own, nor the faith of the Church, without thine owne, that thou canst live by. The Ministers may leave it with thee, and declare it, but thine owne faith must apply it. Foolish Virgins they are, that thinke to be received with the oyle in the wife Vir­gins lamps, when their owne is [Page 595] spent: the answer is, We have not enough for us and you: and every mans garment is short e­nough for himselfe: the righte­ous L [...]òserm [...]. de possi­o [...]e, 2. receive Crownes (said Leo) but give not Crowes.

Secondly, as this faith must be thine owne, so it must impro­priate Christ, and make him thine owne. This is that faith in the blood of Christ, Rom. 3. 25. ap­plying the blood specially to himselfe for life When the faith of the soule brings home Christ to his owne heart, and saith with Thomas, My Lord and my God; and with Paul, who loved mee, and gave himselfe for mee: and with that Father, Totus Chri­stus meus est, totus Christus n meos usus impensus est, Whole Christ is mine, and bestowed for my utmost benefit. This speci­all and spirituall application was alwayes resembled in Scriptures of the old Testament, by the sa­crifices of the sinne-offering; [Page 596] when the beast was slaine, the Party must lay his hand on the Levit. 1. 4 head of it, and confesse, that not the beast, but the Owner deser­ved death: and, the blood that was shed, must be sprinckeled; 5 which sprinkling notes the ve­ry applying of Christs blood to the soule of a sinner.

But when is this medicine ap­plyed? Quest.

For time, there is no applica­tion, Ans. Applicati­on [...]o be made in this life. but in this [...]fe: no curing after this life: no procuring of oyle after the Bridegroomes comming. And consequently, there is no purgatory, no satis­factions, no helpe from men or Angels hereafter. Detestable is that wicked heresie of Bellar­mine, that the sufferings of the [...] indulg cap. 14. living helpe the dead three wayes: 1. By way of merit, of congruity. 2. By way of intrea­ty. 3 By way of satisfaction. Contrary to that of Augustine, Ibi erit paenitentiae dolorem ha­bens, [Page 597] sed medieinam non habens: Repent they doe after death, but without any cure. That is the time of justice, onely this is the acceptable time. In vaine 2 Cor. 6. 1 should you minister physicke to a dead man. And, faith then cea­seth, with all the workes of it.

Seeing onely beleevers have the benefit of Cure, above all Use 1. Labor for faith. things labour for faith. Want faith, thou perishest, art deadly sicke without recovery. Christ could doe no great worke in his owne Countrey, because of their unbeleefe. He that belee­veth not, the wrath of God abi­deth on him, Ioh 3. uls. Hast thou faith? be of good comfort, ac­cording to thy faith it shall bee unto thee, not according to thy money, wealth, friends; but thy faith makes thee whole. If God hath not given thee so much wealth, so fine clothes, so liberall fare as to others, yet if he hath given thee so much faith [Page 598] he is liberall enough.

Oh that I had never so little Obiect. a graine of faith! but I have none: so this blood can doe mee no good: it is impossible for me to be cured.

But first, hast thou none? la­bour Ans. for it: thou mayest have it. If thou beleevest, all things are possible.

Secondly, distinguish betweene want and weakenesse of faith, betweene the want of the grace [...] and the want of sense. If thou hast any faith, never so weake, as these grones & desires prove, then remember that excellent place, Rom. 14. 3 God chuseth the weake in faith. Hee makes choyce of thee: then doe not thou refuse him. And remem­ber, that the Cure was not or­dained for Angels in heaven, nor for Saints triumphant, but militant, that fight with unbe­leefe, corruptions, and lusts. If thou we [...]t perfect, thou shouldst [Page 599] not need it. If thou beest not perfect, thou hast no cause to renounce, but embrace it. Come sicke as thou art, come weary, come bruised, come despairing in thy selfe: it is a medicine for the sicke, a refreshing of the weary, a builder up of the bro­ken spirit, nay, and a quickener of the dead. Here is that tree of Revel. 22 2 life, the leaves whereof doe heale the nations: Let not thine owne unbeleefe be as a shaken sword in thine owne hand, to keepe thee from it: Remember the Text, The whole need not the Physician, but they that are [...]ke.

Againe, seeing there is a time Use 2. to heale, come in season: Ec­cle [...]. 3. 3 neglect not the oppor­tunity: get into the water, so soone as the Angell moveth: make benefit of advantages, worke with God and the means, accept the offers and invitations for thine owne welfare. Thou mayest seeke oyle too late, bles­sing [Page 600] too late, the Word and faith too late, and repentance too late.

Againe, content not thy selfe, onely to heare of this remedy, but seeke to know that it is ap­plyed Use 3. to thee in particular, and to feele the vertue of it in thy selfe: as Paul desired to know nothing but the vertue of Christs death and resurrection, Phil. 3. 9, 10.

Quest. How may I know it?

Answ. As Physicke taken in­to How to know [...] sound [...]p­plication of this Physicke. [...] the body workes often so painefully, that men are even at the gate of death, in their pre­sent sense, and no other but dead men: so this Physicke wor­keth kindely, when it worketh paine in the Party, through the sense and sight of sinne, and ap­prehension of Gods anger, feare of damnation, and utter despaire in themselves. For this is the worke of the spirit of bendage; Rom. 8. 15 namely, generall faith in the [Page 601] Beleevers, applying the Law and threatnings to their owne deepe humiliation. No man can saile to heaven but by the gates of hell.

2. As Physicke kindly wor­king delivers the party, not on­ly 2 from death, but such humors as were the cause of his sicke­nesse, at least that they be, not predominant: Even so must this Physicke rid us of our sinne, and these peccant humors which were the matter of our sicke­nesse: and that, both from the condemnation, and corruption of them: 1 Iohn 1. 7. The blood of Iesus Christ, his Sonne, purgeth us from all sinne.

First, from the condemnation Condem­nation of sin purged away. of sinne: this blood is shed for the remission of sinnes: Galat. 3. 13 Christ redeemed us from the curse of the Law, being made a curse for us. Otherwise it must be with us, as with him [Page 602] who in a desperate disease with­out Physicke must dye.

Secondly, from the corrupti­on And cor­ruption. of sinne: both the disease of naturall and originall sinne, and the leprosie of actuall sinnes. Now looke into thy selfe, exa­mine whether this blood be a corrosive in thy soule, to eat out the corruption of nature; whether it purge the conscience from dead workes, Hebr. 9. 14. whether it hath quitted thee, as well from the dominion of sinne, as from the damnation of it; whether it hath brought thee to leave sinne, &c. Rea­son with the Apostle: hath Christ dyed to kill sinne in me, and shall I live to quicken it? nay rather, as 1 Peter 4. 1. for­asmuch as Christ hath suffered for us in the flesh, we must arme our selues with the same minde: for that hee which hath suffered in the flesh, hath ceased from sinne.

[Page 603] Thirdly, as physicke is profi­tably applyed, when it brings 3 ease and rest, having carried a­way the matter of the paine: So is this physicke well apply­ed, when faith quiets the heart, by assuring it that Christ and his benefits are his, and hath set him above the Law, sinne, hell, death, even in this life, as a Conquerour; and all this, be­cause he beleeves the Gospell. Now come in peace of consci­ence, and joy in the holy Ghost. Beleeving, yee reioyce with ioy unspeakeable and full of glory, Rom. 14. 17 1 Pet. 1. 8. When these take place instead of former gripes, and stings of conscience, this blood is soundly applyed. For as nothing could cure the stung Israelites, but the beholding of the brazen Serpent; so nothing can pacifie the stung conscience but the blood of Christ lifted on the Crosse.

[Page 604] 4. As after application of proper physicke wee finde a great change in our bodies, as if wee had new bodies given us: so after the kindly worke of this physicke we may finde our selves cast into a new mould; this blood applyed, makes us new Creatures, new 2 Cor. 5. 17 men, having new mindes, new wils, new words, new affecti­ons, new actions, new conver­sations. Our strength is renew­ed to Christian actions, and pas­sion. Wee are strong for our journey, for our combate, and strong to carry burdens, with a strong appetite, and digestion of the Word: every way more hearty and chearefull.

Thus having received our health, by meanes of this Cure, Vse 4. Preserve health of soule, once obtained. wisdome commands us to be as carefull to preserve our health, as to attaine it. Every wise man will be as carefull to keepe him­selfe [Page] well, as to get himselfe well. And to this purpose, wee must remember the counsell of our Physician, for maintaining our health attained.

Amongst many directions pre­scribed, Meanes so to doe. I mention foure.

First, not to be tampering with our owne medicines, nor 1. the medicines of Egypt, merits, pilgrimages, penance, or the like; nor any quintessence or minerall from the hand of any libertine Teacher: but onely such as wee finde prescribed in the word of God, by our great Doctor.

Secondly, to keepe our health, 2. we must keepe good dyet, both for soule and body. The best dyet for the soule, is, to keepe Gods houres for our daily repast by the Word, in reading, and meditating on it: which David regarded above his ordinary food. A liberall dyet is best for [Page] the soule: but the best dyet for the body is a spare dyet, a so­ber and moderate use of meat, drinke, and pleasure, for beating downe and mortifying corrupt affections and lusts.

Thirdly, to preserve our health, we must strive to live in 3 a good and wholesome ayre. If thou livest in a corrupt ayre, change it for a better. The worst ayre that can be, is, where worst men and worst company are. The ayre of an hot plaguy house is not so infectious, as the conta­gious ayre of wicked company. The former brings not so many to death of the body, as this to death of the soule. Live amongst Gods people, and where Gods word is purely preached; for there is the purest ayre: Psal. 16. 3. All my delight is in the Saints, excelling in vertue.

Fourthly, to preserve health, Physicians prescribe the use of 4. [Page] good exercises. The be [...] [...]er­cises to use for the health of the soule, [...] are hearing and reading of Gods Word; pray also; and meditate when thou art alone: with conference of good things in company. These are notable helpes to bring thee through weaknesses, and keepe thy soule in good plight, health, and chear­fulnesse.


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