WRITTEN BY THE GODLY AND Learned, WILLIAM A [...], Doctor, and Professor of Divinity, in the famous Vni­versity of [...] in Friesland.

TRANSLATED OVT OF LATINE into English, for more publique benefit.

Io [...] ▪ 34. 29.
When he giues quietnes▪ who can make trouble? when he hides [...] ▪ who can behold him?
Acts 24. 16.
And herein doe I exercise my selfe, to haue alwaies a Conscience voide of offence toward God▪ and toward men.

Jmprinted, Anno MDCXXXIX.


I Purpose not (Honourable LORDS) to insi­nuate my selfe, or my endevours into your Favour, by fine words, and feined com­mendations of your Vertues. For I doe not thinke it wil be acceptable unto wise mē, who both suspect that Art, and account it base; Though of my selfe I am not apt to flatter, yet the very name of Consci­ence that is set before this Treatise, chargeth me to avoid it. Many indifferent good Bookes are in the very begin­ning disgraced by it. I will onely shew the true cause, by which I was perswaded (though my name perhaps be more obscure, then to be knowne unto you) to set downe your Name in the forefront of this Treatise.

It is reported over all places neere hand, that the Do­ctrine according to Godlinesse, is both more Practically Preached by the Pastors, and more put in practise by the Hearers in your Churches, then yet hath beene marked in many others, though they hold the same Doctrine.

That worthy Servant of the Lord, Master WILLIAM TEELING, who was by this meanes in great admiration, and famous throughout all the Low-Countrey Chur­ches, (to say nothing of others, that both haue, and doe take the same course) tooke such painfull paines this way, [Page] both publikely and privately, by word and writing, that it may be truely said, The zeale of Gods house hath eaten him up: whereby also (Envy the follower of such a Ver­tue, being now overcome) he hath obtained that Crowne, which God hath prepared for those that haue instructed many unto righteousnesse.

Because I hope this Treatise will more excite to this kind of study, it being also desired by many, who were not to be neglected. Its fittest it should be sent, where it may finde those running this race, who will be easily put on, and where others also may take example of that course that is taught heere.

This being the true cause of the Dedication, giues me cause to hope, that this intention and service will not bee unacceptable unto you. This onely remaineth (Noble Lords) The good and great God in Christ, vouchsafe to blesse you more and more, and your Churches, with a true faith, a good Conscience, and perfect Happinesse.

Your Honours most addicted W. Ames.


I Gladly call to minde the time, when be­ing yong, I heard, worthy Master PER­KINS, so Preach in a great Assembly of Students, that he instructed them sound­ly in the Truth, stirred them up effectu­ally to seeke after Godlinesse, made them fit for the kingdome of God; and by his owne example shew­ed them, what things they should chiefely intend, that they might promote true Religion, in the power of it, unto Gods glory, and others salvation:

And amongst other things which he Preached pro­fitably, hee began at length to Teach, How with the tongue of the Learned one might speake a word in due season to him that is weary, out of Esai. 50. 4. by unty­ing and explaining diligently, CASES OF CON­SCIENCE (as they are called.) And the LORD found him so doing like a faithfull Servant. Yet left he many behinde him affected with that study; who by their godly Sermons (through Gods assistance) made it to runne, encrease, and be glorifyed throughout Eng­land.

My heart hath ever since been so set upon that Study, that I haue thought it worthy to be followed with all care, by all men. Since also (Gods good providence so disposing it) that I lived out of mine owne Coun­trey, I did obserue that in divers Churches, pure both for Doctrine and Order, this Practicall teaching was much wanting, and that this want was one of the chiefe causes of the great neglect, or carelessenesse in some [Page] duties which neerely concerne Godlinesse, and a Chri­stian life. My minde was set on, as it were by violence, to try at least in private, whether I were able to pre­vaile with some young men that purpose the Ministry, more to apply their mindes to this kinde of handling of Divinity; whence no small fruit was to bee hoped for. Being afterwards called to a publike charge of Teaching in the Vniversitie, I esteemed nothing bet­ter, or more excellent, then to goe before those that were Students for the Ministrie, in this manner of teach­ing.

This part of Prophecie hath hitherto beene lesse practised in the Schooles of the Prophets, because our Captaines were necessarily inforced to fight alwaies in the front against the enemies to defend the Faith, and to purge the floore of the Church; So that they could not plant and water the Fields and Vineyards as they desired; as it useth to fall out in time of hotte warres. They thought with themselues in the meane while (as one of some note writes) If we haue that sin­gle and cleare eye of the Gospel if in the house of our Heart the candle of pure Faith be set upon a Candlesticke, these small matters might easily be discussed. But experience hath taught at length, that through neglect of this husbandry, a famine of Godlinesse hath followed in many places, and out of that famine a grievous spiritu­all plague; insomuch that the counsell of Nehemiah had need be practised; namely, that every man should labour in this worke with one hand, holding in the o­ther a Speare or a Dart, whereby he may repell the vi­olence of the enemies. The same Experience hath like­wise taught, that these small matters (if so be that so necessary things may bee so called) are despised with [Page] no lesse madnesse, then if one would suffer the fingers and toes of his hands and feete to bee cut off, as some small things, without which he hoped to walke and use his hands well enough. All things therfore being right­ly weighed, I haue taken in hand (God also liking it, as J am perswaded) these instructions touching the power of Conscience. Not that I hope that any perfect thing, in this kinde, can come from me: (for there are more kinds of things this way, then that certaine an­swers can be given (by me at least) to every one) but that I might doe something, whereby the unlearned, and such as are destitute of better helpe, might some­what be helped; and that the more learned might bee excited to set forth some more perfect and exact thing. Of which duty the godly, learned, graue ancient Prea­chers are properly the Debtors, whose dayly labour it is to deale with the Consciences of men; who through their experience haue learned much better, what those questions are, in which the Conscience u­seth most to doubt, and out of what grounds they may be best unfolded; then can easily be vnderstood by one that liues privately in an Academicall profession. And indeede, if such things were handled in the meetings of Preachers, according to the variety of Cases that fall out; and the more remarkeable decisions set downe in writing; the children of Israel should not neede to goe downe to the Philistims (that is, our Sutdents to Popish Authors) to sharpen every man his Share, his Mattocke, or his Axe, or his weeding Hooke, as it fell out in the extreame necessity of Gods people, 1 Sam. 13. 20.

Furthermore if such as are addicted to the Ministry, were first instructed in these things, and were seriously [Page] tried in them at the Examination, before they were ordained, one might well hope, to haue as well Prea­chers as Churches, more according to Gods heart and Christs, then now we haue.

The Papists haue laboured much this way, to in­struct their Confessors: and in a great deale of earth and dirt of Superstitions, they haue some veines of Silver: out of which, I suppose, I haue drawne some things that are not to be despised. But they are without the life of this Doctrine: and death is in their pot. The thing it selfe requires, that by others, other things bee taught, and the same things, after another manner. I haue gone about to performe this in part: and others I make no question, will indeavour it.

I follow here the same methode, that I did in my Marrow of Divinity. Of the second part whereof, theMed [...]la Theologi [...]. three last of these Bookes are a full Exposition: which perhaps, those did expect that desired importunatly, as it were by dayly reproaches, that the publishing of this Treatise might bee hastened. But (to make an end at length of my Preface) I will conclude many things in few words, and that in the words of G. Parisiensis, Con­cerning these things, many things we haue not written for unskilfulnes, many for other necessary businesse, many for dulnesse, many through feare of being tedious, many more because of our sinnes, which most of all hinder both us and others in such things. We doubt not, but we are subject to the danger of slanderous Backbiters; But by doing what we may, we have given some fit occasion unto wise men; and we haue set foorth, not a dry sandy ground of fruitlesse Disputations, but a most profitable and healthfull place for Wits to exercise themselues in.



CHAP. I. The definition of Conscience.

THe Conscience of man (for I doe not intend to treat of the Conscience of Angels) Is a mans judgement of himselfe, according to the judgement of God of him. Esai, 5. 3. Iudge I pray you betweene me and my vineyard: 1 Cor. 11. 31. If we would judge our selues, wee should not be judged, &c.

1 I call Conscience Iudgement, First, to shew that it belongs to the Understanding, not to the Will. The very name of Conscience sheweth it to bee so. But this proveth it, because all those actions, which in the Scrip­tures are attributed to mans Conscience, doe properly belong to the reasonable power, or faculty; though the Will by some act or inclination can both command the Vnderstanding to judge, and also follow that judge­ment. This inclination, by some, is called Conscience; by others, a part of Conscience; but not rightly.

2 Conscience being referred to judgement, it is distin­guished from the bare apprehension of truth. For Con­science [Page 2] doth alwaies suppose an assent that is firme and setled.

3 By the definition of Conscience, it appeareth that Conscience is not a contemplatiue judgement, whereby truth is simply discerned from falsehood: but a practi­call judgement, by which, that which a man knoweth is particularly applyed to that which is either good or evill to him, to the end that it may be a rule within him to direct his will.Whether Con­science be a Fa­cultie, Habit, or Act.

Seeing that this name of judgement, is sometimes taken for a power and faculty, sometimes for an habit, sometimes for an act; this question ariseth, to which of all these Conscience is properly.

4 The most graue Divine, William Perkins, who onely of our Countreymen hath set foorth a peculiar Treatise of Conscience, doth place it among Faculties; and he doth so define it, as he putteth for the generall nature of it a part of the Understanding, that is to say, as he explaines himselfe, A naturall power or facultie. He giues this reason of his opinion, namely, because the act of Accusing, Comforting, Terrifying, &c. can­not bee ascribed to the Conscience, if it selfe were an act. Put this reason is weake: because in the Scriptures such kindes of effects are attributed to the thoughts themselues, which undoubtedly are acts. Rom. 2. 15. Their thoughts Accusing one another, or Excusing. The reason is, because things done, are the effects not onely of the Mover, but also of the motiō it selfe. Besides, Ma­ster Perkins maketh Conscience, Vnderstanding, Opini­on, Knowledge, Faith, and Prudence, to be of one kind or sort; but none would define these so, as that they should be taken for distinct faculties of the soule.

5 Some of the Schoolemen will have Conscience [Page 3] to be an habit: as Scotus, Bonaventure, Durand. Which though it might be granted of some part; or of the principles of Conscience: yet it cannot be granted simply of all that which is signified by the name of Conscience; for the onely office of an Habite, as it is an Habit, is, Inclinare ad prompte agendum, to make one doe a thing readily: but Conscience hath other o­perations, which belong properly to it, as to Accuse, Comfort, &c.

6 By Iudgement therefore, in the definition of Con­science, (I understand most properly with the best Schoolemen) an act of practicall judgement, procee­ding from the Vnderstanding by the power or meanes of a habit.Iudicium. Noeticum. Dianoeticum.

7 The acts of judgement are, either a simple apprehension, or a discourse. Whence it may be asked, to which of these belongs Conscience.Quest.

It belongs to judgement discoursing, because it can­notAnsw. doe its act of Accusing, Excusing, Comforting, unlesse it be through the meanes of some third argu­ment, whose force appeareth onely in a Syllogisme, by that which is deduced and concluded out of it.

8 The force and nature of Conscience therfore is contained in such a Syllogisme.

He that liues in sinne, shall dye:
I liue in sinne; Therefore, I shall dye.

Or thus.

Whosoever beleeues in Christ, shall not dye but liue.
I beleeue in Christ: Therefore, I shall not dye but liue.

9 Conscience in regard of the Proposition is called a Light, and a Law; in regard of the Assumption and [Page 4] conclusion a Witnesse; but in regard of the assumption it is most fitly termed an Index, or a Booke, and in re­gard of the conclusion, most properly a Iudge.

10 That which doth dictate or giue the proposition is called Synteresis, by the Schoolemen Synderesis. The assumption especially and peculiarly is called Syneidësis, the conclusion is the Krisis, or Iudgement.

11 There be many other Syllogismes which be­long to Conscience, as either they doe prooue the pro­position of such a principall Syllogisme, or illustrate the conclusion it selfe: but in that Syllogisme alone is con­tained the whole nature of Conscience. The Propo­sition treateth of the Law; the Assumption of the fact or state, and the Conclusion of the relation arising from the fact or state, in regard of that Law; The Conclusion either pronounceth one guilty, or giveth spirituall peace and security.

CHAP. II. Of the Synteresis, or storehouse of Principles.

THat Synteresis out of which the proposition of this syllogisine or the Law of Conscience is taken, is most properly a habit of the understanding, by which wee doe assent unto the principles of morall actions, that is, such actions as are our duty, because God hath willed, or commanded them; whence it hath the name in Greeke from conserving; for through the goodnesse of God, the knowledge of many things which wee ought to doe or shun, are still conserved in mans mind, even after his fall.

That exposition of Durand who dreames that the Greeke word Synteresis signifies a Co [...]lection, is too harsh and absurd.

[Page 5]2 Because this Synteresis is an habit, therefore many doe call Conscience, an habit: but it is onely the prin­ciple of conscience, neither doth it make up any part of conscience, but only as conscience is in its excercse.

3 This Synteresis is termed a naturall habit in re­spect of the light, whereby the understanding of man is fitted to giue assent unto Naturall principles; it is like­wise called an acquired habit, in regard of the Species, or of the fuller understanding of that whereunto the understanding is naturally inabled, and can (as it were) understand presently.

4 This Synteresis differs onely in respect or appre­hension from the Law of Nature, or from that Law of God, which is naturally written in the hearts of al men; for the law is the obiect, and Synteresis is the obiect ap­prehended, or the apprehension of the obiect.

5 This Synteresis may for a time be hindred from acting, but cānot be utterly extinguished or lost. Hence it is that no man is so desperately wicked as to be void of all Conscience.

6 To Synteresis being taken after a large sense, ought to be referred, not onely generall conclusions touching right or Law, which are deduced by good consequence out of naturall principles, but likewise all practicall truths, whereunto wee giue a firme assent, through the revelation wee haue by faith.

7 From hence ariseth the distinction of Conscience into that which is Naturall, and that which is Inlighte­ned. Naturall Conscience is that which acknowledgeth for law the principles of nature, and the conclusions arising from them. Inlightened is that which doth beside those, acknowledge whatsoever is prescribed in the Scriptures. The Scripture sometimes speaketh of this [Page 6] last: as Rom. 6. 3. and sometimes of the other as 1 Cor: 6: 8.

8 From hence it appeareth that the perfect and only rule of Conscience is the revealed will of God, where­by a mans duty is both showne and commanded. For Synteresis in a more large sense consisteth, partly of mo­rall principles that are naturally in us, together with their conclusions; and partly, of those which God be­sides them hath injoyned. But the revealed will of God whereby man knowes his duty, containeth both these.

9 Hence it is that the Law of God onely doth bind What it is that bindes the Con­science. the Conscience of man. By the Law of God wee un­derstand that revealed will of God, whereof we haue made mention: viz. as it doth also containe those things which are commanded in the Gospell.

10 To binde (in this morall sense) is to haue such an authority, as the Conscience ought to submit it selfe unto: And it were a sinne to doe any thing contrary to it.

11 Hence it is, that though men be bound in Con­science by God to observe in due and iust circumstan­ces the lawes of men, yet the same lawes of men so far as they are mans lawes, doe not bind the Conscience.

12 The Conscience is immediatly subject to God,Why mens laws doe not bind the Conscience. and his will, and therefore it cannot submit it selfe unto any creature without Idolatry.

13 God onely knowes the inward workings of the Conscience; he therefore onely can prescribe a law unto it, or bind it by one.

14 God onely can punish the Conscience when it sinneth; he therefore onely can forbid any thing to it.

15 Even a promise (which in it selfe is sacred) [Page 7] though it be confirmed by an oath: as it is an act of man doth not properly bind the Conscience, for the former reasons; though men are bound in conscience by God to a strickt and faithfull keeping of them. For as it hath beene said before of the lawes of men, it may also in some sort be affirmed of all covenants and other conditions, which being made, a man is bound to keep out of Conscience to God; as for example, the sicke person is bound in Conscience to obey the counsell of Phisicians for his health: But the receipts prescribed by Phisicians, doe not binde the Conscience. So a­gaine, Parents and Children are bound to mutuall du­ties; he that hath received a benefit is bound to shew himselfe thankefull, (and the like may be said of many other things) yet none of these, either Parent, Bene­factor, relation, or benefit, doe of themselues binde the Conscience, but the will of God in them.

CHAP. III. Of the Office of Conscience.

THe office of Conscience, (if we speake with re­spect to the Synteresis or Lawes of it,) is one in Necessary things; Another in things of middle and in­different nature. In necessary things Conscience hath two acts. 1 To binde, 2 To inforce to practise.

2 Conscience bindeth according as it is informedThe acts of Conscience a­boue things necessarie. of the will of God: for in it selfe it hath the power of a will of God, and so stands in the place of God him­selfe.

3 Gods will as it is understood, or may be under­stood, binds the Conscience to assent; As it is ac­knowledged and received by Conscience, it binds the [Page 8] whole man to obey and doe it presently.

4 Conscience bindeth a man so straitly that the command of no creature can free a man from it.

5 Hence man, as he maketh Conscience of the will of God commanding him some duty, is in that regard called a Debtor, Rom: 1 14. a servant, Rom 6. 16. is said to be bound, Acts 20. 22. constrained, 2. Cor. 5. 14. to haue a necessity laid upon him. 1 Cor. 9. 16. so that he cannot doe otherwise. Acts 4. 20.

6 Conscience inforceth to obedience by vertue of this its act of Binding. For that is to the will an impul­siue cause to make it carry it selfe conscientiously.

7 This inforcement is signified in the fore-named places and phrases: the strength and power thereof is declared, Ier. 20. 9. Wherefore I thought from henceforth not to speake of him, nor to preach any more in his name, but the word of the Lord, was a ve­ry Burning fire in my heart, and in my bones: Amos. 3. 8. The Lion hath roared, who will not be afraid? the Lord hath spoken who can but Prophecy? Acts. 17. 16. his spirit was stirred in him.

8 If there be a constant disposition of will in a man consenting to this instigation of Conscience, they doe together make up a Conscience morally good.

9 In Indifferent things the Actions and Duties ofThe acts of Con­science about in­differen [...] things. Conscience are likewise two. 1. To discerne. 2. To Direct.

10 To Discerne is to shew and declare the diffe­rencesThe discerning of Conscience. of things what is necessarie, what is free, what is lawfull, and what is unlawfull.

11 To Direct is with regard had to circumstances,The direction of Conscience. to order lawfull actions unto a good end.

12 The ends which are alwayes to be aimed at, even [Page 9] in indifferent things also, are the Glory of God, the E­difying of our Neighbour, and the Helpe of our ne­cessarie Actions.

13 The power of this direction is so great, that it makes an action to be good, which in its owne nature is but indifferent; as on the other side, not onely an e­vill direction, but the want of a good direction, makes the same action to be bad.

CHAP. IV. Of an erroneous Conscience.

TOuching this doctrine, of the first acts and offices of Conscience, divers questions are moved, which being of great weight and moment, for the directing of our Actions aright throughout our whole life, ought of necessitie to bee heere expedited, though briefly.

Quest. The first question is, Whether an erroneous Conscience doth bind?

Answ. To unfold this question rightly, these fiue things are briefely to be opened: 1. What an errone­ous Conscience is. 2. About what things it is conver­sant. 3. Whence the errour of Conscience commeth. 4. The generall differences of these errors. 5. The se­verall waies of binding.

1 An erroneous Conscience is either opposed pri­vatiuely Error privat [...]ve and positiue. to a good Conscience, so it comprehendeth e­very Conscience that judgeth not rightly when it ought, even the doubtfull and scrupulous Conscience also: or positiuely, so it signifieth onely that Consci­ence, that judgeth otherwise then the thing is. This kinde of erroneous Conscience, is distinguished from [Page 10] a doubting and scrupulous Conscience, by the sinne assent it giveth, though it erreth in giving it. In this question we speake of a Conscience positiuely erring.

2 There are some principles so cleare, and written in the hearts of all men, that they cannot erre to obey and practise them: such as this is, That God ought to be loved▪ Perjurie ought to be eschewed: no mans Con­science can erre in such like things as these, or doe them against Conscience. A man cannot loue God against his Conscience, &c. Conscience therefore doth erre properly about conclusions that are gathered from such principles.

3 The error of Conscience comes, either becauseThe cause of the error of Consci­ence. that the particular conclusions are not rightly drawne out of the generall principles: Or because those things which God in the Scripture hath commanded us to beleeue, are not sufficiently understood: Or finally, because the assent of Faith is not given to those things which ought to be beleeved, though they bee under­stood. The cause of this (besides Gods secret judge­ments) is either the not considering of those things which ought to be considered, or some evill dispositi­on, which either keepes the minde from due inquirie, or averts it from judging rightly.

4 The error of Conscience is either about the Act, [...] or the rule of it. The error which is about the rule, is either after the action done, or before it. The error a­bout the rule before the action be done, consists, Either in that it judgeth that to be lawfull, which is unlawfull; Or in that it judgeth that to be unlawfull, which is law­full; Or in that it judgeth that to bee bounden duety, which either is unlawfull, or but lawfull.

5 To binde to a thing, and to binde, are distingui­shed [...]. [Page 11] by some; Conscience is said to bind to a thing (Obligare) when its not onely a sinne to doe any thing against it, but also not to doe according to it. Consci­ence is said to bind (Ligare) when one cannot lawfully doe a thing, whilst he maketh such a Conscience of it. One shall sinne in doing against it, and sinne though he doe according to it. The sense and meaning of this di­stinction is to be approved; as for the termes of it, let the Authors thereof answer.

To binde to a thing, (Obligare) is by some in regard of the object, or thing bound to, distingui­shed thus. One is either bound to doe according to Conscience erring, or to lay aside that Conscience. But this distinction is not exact, because Conscience bindeth not, but so farre as it doth dictate, or declare a thing: now no Conscience while it erreth doth de­clare, that the error thereof is to be left, Or that it selfe is not to be regarded, because it is erroneous.

Others put a difference between that Obliga­tion, whereby one is tied to doe what Conscience commandeth, and that wherby one is tied not to do the contrary. But neither is this distinction alwaies good. For if a mans Conscience told him he might lie to saue his life, he must either lye, or of necessitie goe against his Conscience.

6 Out of these grounds the question may bee thusThe Conscience erring bindes. answered: First, conscience, though erroneous, bindes alwaies so, that hee that doth against it, sinneth. The reason is, because he that doth against conscience, doth against Gods will: though not materially, and truely; yet formally, and by interpretation: because what the conscience doth declare, it declareth as Gods will. As for example.

[Page 12]He that useth a private man contumeliously, taking him for the King, & not to be a private man, he is inter­preted and judged to haue done it to the King himself; so likewise, he that contemneth Conscience, contem­neth God himselfe; because that which Conscience doth dictate, is supposed to be the will of God. HenceWhy he alwayes sinnes who goes against his Con­science? it is that he alwaies sinneth who doth any thing against Conscience: but if the conscience doth not erre, but the thing is as erroneous conscience supposeth, then he sinneth doubly. First, in doing that which is ill in it selfe▪ and secondly, in doing it after an evill manner: evill it is in its owne nature, and evill because of the despising of conscience: but if the conscience doth erre, that which it doth is not evill, but it doth it after an evill manner; so that the evill is onely this, namely, the contempt of Conscience.

7 The error of conscience which is about an action [...]rror of Consci­ence is somtimes blamlesse: som­times worthy of blame. (that is, the error which is about the object or matter, about which an action ought to be exercised) is either unvoluntary and blamelesse, or voluntary and worthy of blame. If it be unvoluntary and blamelesse, then conscience binds to do a thing as much, as if it did not erre. For example, If a man should verily beleeue some thing to be his owne, which is an other mans, he may, and ought in conscience to make use of it as his owne. If one doe verily beleeue hee is his Prince, that is in truth a Tyrant; or that he is a lawfull Magistrate, who indeed usurpes the title; [...]e is bound to yeeld due obe­dience unto him. We haue an example hereof in Iaa­ [...]ob that went in to Leah that was none of his wise, whom he verily thought was his wife Rachel.

8 If the error be voluntary, then it is to be judged of, as an error is which is of the law or rule.

[Page 13]9 Conscience erring touching the Lawe after the fact, (in beleeving that which it hath done well, to be sinne; or contrariwise;) hath no power to binde in re­gard of that action which is past: because binding and obliging haue ever a regard to future actions: and a morall action (as the will it selfe) is alwaies guided and informed by a foregoing apprehension, and not by that which followes after. Hence no action is made better or worse, for that conscience which is after it. Yet doth this conscience so farre binde (through occasion of that which is done) that one cannot lawfully goe on to doe the like againe, so long as he hath such a conscience: viz. That hee hath sinned (though he hath not) in doing so before.

10 Conscience through error, judging that to bee lawfull which is unlawfull; as that it is lawfull for one to lie, to saue his owne, or his neighbours life; bindes indeed, but doth not binde to doe so. It bindes; because he that hath such a conscience, can neither lie, nor abstaine from lying, without sinne. Hee cannot lie, because this is simply unlawfull. Hee cannot ab­staine from lying, with such a conscience, because such manner of forbearance is forbidden by God, though forbearing it selfe bee commanded: for God requires not only that we doe good, and abstaine from doing evill; but likewise that wee performe both these with a good conscience, and not with a bad one. Such a conscience doth not binde to doe what it saith. First, because their is no obligation to unlawful things. Secondly, because Conscience bindeth not to doe, but by vertue of some command of God; but such a con­science is not grounded upon any command: for the Law of God can neither incline nor bind any man to [Page 14] sinne. Thirdly, because this error is alwaies a sinne, but a sinne doth not bind to practise it. Fourthly, because such a Conscience hath never so sure a ground, as that there needeth not further examination and inqui­ry into things. Fiftly, because man is bound to lay downe such a conscience; for although that be not ex­actly enough spoken which some doe affirme, namely, That such a Conscience bindeth a man to lay downe it selfe; yet it is most certaine, that a man is tied to lay downe such an erronous Conscience, for it is a part of that old man, whom we are commanded to put off, Ephes. 4. 22.

11 Conscience iudging that which is lawfull to be unlawfull, bindeth to abstaine from the practise and use of it. Rom. 14. 23. The reason is, because one may abstaine from lawfull things without sinne.

12 conscience iudging that to be bounden duty which is unlawfull, binds, but not to the practise of it, for the reasons set downe in the ninth Thesis.

13 conscience Iudging that to be bounden duty which is onely lawfull, bindeth to the practise of it; as for example, If any mans conscience tell him that it is necessary to uncover his hands alwaies when he prayes publiquely; He must pray so, because lawfull things may be observed constantly without sinne.

Object. If an erroneous conscience doth so bindeOf the perplexi­ty of [...] errone­ous Conscience. that we may neither follow, nor not follow it without sinne, then there lies a kind of necessity of sinning on those that do thus erre, which cannot stand with the e­quity of Gods Law.

Answ. This necessity of firming when one is en­tangled by his owne erroneous conscience, is not the same both wayes: viz. whether one do, or do not, accor­ding [Page 15] to conscience; for if one do according to his erring conscience, the sin is in the action done; If he doe what is not according to it, the sin is in the manner of doing.

2 It is not an absolute necessity, but upon supposi­tion; namely, if he keepe still such a conscience, which he both may, and ought to lay downe.

3 This necessity doth not flow from the nature of Gods law, but is contracted and continued through mans sin, for no man is thus intangled without his owne fault.

Quest. Whether is it a greater sinne to doe a­gainstWhether it be a greater sinne to doe with, or against an erro­neous Consci­ence. such an erroneous conscience, or to doe accor­ding to it.

Answ. We ought to iudge of the greatnesse of sin according to the quality of the thing which is to be done or omitted, as it is in its owne nature, and as it is apprehended by us. If any man through errour of conscience should hold it to be an unlawfull thing to goe to the Church, and serue God there (which other­wise he is tyed to doe) because he knowes the Prea­cher to be a lewd and naughty man, and thinkes that he shall be partaker with him in his wickednesse; his sinne is greater in staying away, then if he were present there: because it is a greater sinne, to neglect Gods service, then to communicate with an others personall wickednesse in that service. But if he should thinke it unlawfull to be present at holy duties for Idolatry, which he iudgeth will be committed there, he should sinne more hainously if he should be present there: be­cause the sinne of Idolatry, is greater then a neglect of true worship. In the first instance; he sins more that followes his conscience, then he that doth against it; but in this, his sinne is greater that doth contrary to [Page 16] it: No certaine and generall rule therefore can bee set downe in this matter.

CHAP. V. Of a surmising and doubting Conscience.

Quest. 1. WHether a man may content himselfeOpinante. What opinion is? with a doubting Conscience?

Answ. For the unfolding of this question, it is to be noted, that Opinion sometimes signifies a certaine and setled judgement without all doubting. A certaine judgement nor arising from Sense, Knowledge, or true Faith, but Reason. Sometimes it is taken more strictly; For that judgement whereby indeede we as­sent to the truth of a thing, but not without suspition, feare, or doubting of its being otherwise.

Vpon this distinction, I answer: First, in such things as are necessarie to salvation, and Gods worship, no opinion can be sufficient, though it haue never so great certainety of reason; because Faith is required to these, and Faith takes onely the infallible word of God.

2 In such things which are more remote from their principles, diligent care is to be had, that we also get a certaine perswasion, or beliefe of them, out of the Scriptures; but if that cannot be obtained, it is lawfull in our actions to follow some such opinion, as is certaine and tried by the rule of Scripture.

3 Vsing also all diligence to bee certaine (though we be not) it is lawfull in many things to follow that opinion, which is most probable.

4 It is never lawfull to doe against our owne opi­nion, whether it be certaine, or probable, for respect to other mens authority.

[Page 17]5 No man can at the same time haue two con­trary probable opinions, concerning the same thing; so as he may lawfully leaue the one, and follow the other.

Quest. 2 What shall one doe when his Conscience is doubtfull?

Answ. For the declaration of this question, wee must obserue: First, Conscience is said to be doubtful in a large sense, as when the assent even of Faith, or O­pinion prevaileth; yet there is some doubting joy­ned. But strictly, and properly, that Conscience is na­med doubting, which yeeldeth to neither part of the question in hand, but stickes and staggers betweene assent and dissent, not knowing which to doe.

Touching the first sort of doubting, it hath part­ly beene spoken in the former question, and shall part­ly be spoken of in the question following. Heere wee treat of that Conscience, which in a proper and strict sense, is called doubting.

Secondly, doubting is either Speculatiue, or Practi­call. A speculatiue doubt, and a practicall doubt. Speculatiue is that, which is not immediately con­versant about a practise or action: as when one doubt­eth, whether this or that thing be his or not. Practicall, is that, which immediately is conversant about some particular action.

Answ. These things being laid downe, it is an­swered;

First, in all those doubts which doe any way belong to our practise, diligent enquiry is to be made, that we may clearely perceiue the truth and not doubt; because while the minde remaines in doubt, the action must of necessity want that perfection which it would haue, if it were done with Knowledge, and certainty of judge­ment. [Page 18] For the more certaine our knowledge is, touch­ing those things which we doe, the more confident we are in doing, and more ioyfull when wee haue done them.

2 Oft times it is lawful to do a thing, though a specu­latiue doubt remaine, because he that doth so, doth not necessarily doe either against a doubting Conscience, nor without a perswaded Conscience; for notwith­standing that speculatiue doubt, he may assuredly con­clude with himselfe; that, that which hee doth, ought to be done. As for example, A man possesseth a peice of ground lawfully, and begins to doubt whether it be his owne or not; yet if he know not, that it belongs to any other body, he may lawfully keepe the same still, because other things being considered, possession is a better ground to keepe it, then doubting is to leaue it.

3 It is not lawfull to doe any thing against a Practi­call doubt; that is, a doubt whether the thing to bee done be lawfull: The reason is, 1. Because a man can­not doe it of faith, Rom. 14. 23. 2 Because, he that doth so, doth not sufficiently abhorre sinne: for wil­lingly and wittingly he exposeth himselfe to the dan­ger of sinning. 3. Because he is not fully enough ad­dicted to Gods will; for as he that doth that willing­ly, whereof he doubts, whether it bee acceptable to his friend or no, doth against the law of friendship: so he that doth that, whereof he doubts, whether it be acceptable to God or not; doth against the law of loue to God. 4. In things doubtfull, the safest way is to be chosen; but that is the safest part, which if we fol­low, it is certaine we shall not sinne. As for example, A man doubteth whether Vsury be lawfull or nor? the safest way is to abstaine; for herein is no danger of sin­ning.

[Page 19]Some of the Philosophers had some knowledge of the equity of this rule, whose Iudgement thereof Tully relates, and approoues: Office: Lib. 1. Those giue good counsell (sayeth he) who forbide to doe any thing whereof one doubts, whether it be iust or uniust: the equity thereof is apparant in it selfe, because Doubting imports, thought, or feare of being hurt.

CHAP VI. Of a Scrupulous Conscience.

Quest. WHat is to bee done when the consci­ence is scrupulous?

Answ. For the understanding of this question, wee must consider;

1 That a Scruple is a feare of the minde concerning its practise, which vexeth the conscience, as a little stone that cannot bee discerned in a mans shooe, pai­neth his foote.

2 Every feare is not properly a Scruple, but that which ariseth from slight, or no arguments.

3 One is scrupulous either in examining what hee hath done, or in ordering what he is to doe.

4 Scruples doe arise, (God so ordaining) to the end he may either punish, or try men: sometimes out of the suggestion of the Devill, somtimes from want of knowledge, sometimes from Melancholy, or some such like constitution of body; sometimes from the society of scrupulous men.

5 A Scrupulous conscience differs from a Doubtfull one, in this, that a Doubtfull conscience doth assent to neither part of the question; but the scrupulous consci­ence doth assent to one, but is sollicited to the other part, by a kinde of feare.

[Page 20]These things being set downe, it is answered to the question. 1. (God being instantly called unto for grace,) one must labour dilligently to remooue these scruples, which reason can take away by due triall of the grounds of them. For then is the conscience most quiet, when it hath most certaine knowledge. 2 It hel­peth much (if it may be conveniently) that the thinking upon those things be shunned, from which scruples may rise; for the fancy being once stirred, many thoughts arise, which cannot be suppressed againe, without greate difficulty. As we see in Tyles, that are linked together in order, if one happen to fall downe, the rest will follow: and from hence are scruples multiplied in timorous consciences.

3 Many scruples when they cannot well be taken away by some contrary reason, ought to be laid downe as it were by violence, refusing to thinke or consider of them. For so long as scruples are not actually apply­ed, they are not troublesome: And some be so trou­blesome that the weaker and more unskilfull sort, can by no other meanes be ridd of them. The bending of the mind attentiuely to remooue a scruple by reason, doth often either ingender or encrease a scruple: as for example, All people know that the name of God ought to be called upon dayly: yet one may bee so vexed with impious thoughts, that this scruple may arise in a man, whether he ought to pray or not? Here it is not alwayes a safe way to examine th [...]se thoughts, no [...] yet to dispute about this question long, but to throw away this feare, as it were with violence, and to fall upon the duty of prayer so well as one can. 4 If they cannot be so remooved, but that they doe still molest, it is lawfull, and the best course, to do a thing [Page 21] against such scruples. As for example, If there be any man that is so molested through the consideration of his unworthinesse, that he dare scarce be so bold as to come to the Lords Table, though he finde in him­selfe true Faith and Repentance; he may and ought notwithstanding this scruple come to the Lords Sup­per. Neither is this to doe against Conscience, but according to Conscience. For a scruple is a rash feare and without any ground, and so cannot binde to doe according to it; yea through custome of doing against such like scruples, Conscience it selfe is made more strong and setled.

CHAP. VII. Of the attention of Conscience to its Facts.

HItherto we have spoken of that Synteresis, or Pro­position, whence Conscience telleth what is Law. Now followes the second part of the judge­ment, whereby a mans conscience beares witnesse of his fact according to that Law. By reason of this act Conscience is named a witnesse, and in the common Proverbe, a thousand witnesses. It is likewise called a Booke, Revel. 20. 12. because it is left written in mans minde, at it were in a register, what he hath done, and with what intent, and at length is read and spoken of by Conscience.

The Assumption of that practicall Syllogisme wherein Conscience consists, is nothing else, but the recognizing, or considering of our action, or estate, as it hath respect to that Law which Conscience giveth. For the better understanding of the nature hereof, some things must bee made cleare concerning the action which is recognized; and some things concerning the [Page 22] recognizing itselfe.

The action is either agreeable to that which Con­science teacheth, or is contrary to it.

The dictate of Conscience, whereunto an action is to be conformed, doth sometime goe before and ac­company the action, and sometimes follow it. Against the dictate of Conscience that goeth before, or accom­panieth the action, we haue an example in those, of whom the Apostle speakes, Rom. 1. 32. Who knowing the Iudgement of God, that they which commit such things are worthy of death, not onely doe the same, but haue plea­sure in them that doe them. Wee haue an example of an action committed against the judgement of Con­science, following the fact, in those Iewes which put Christ to death through ignorance, Acts 3. 17. 1 Cor. 2. 8. yet being afterwards better taught, they judged far otherwaies of their fact, then when they did com­mit it, Acts 3. 37.

Quest. From hence ariseth a hard question, how aHow a man sins against his Con­science. man can do any thing against the dictate of Conscience which goeth before, or accompanieth his action? the Question ariseth thus.

The Will, as it seemes to many, cannot will or nill any thing, unlesse Reason haue first iudged it to bee willed or nilled; neither can it choose but follow the last practicall judgement, and doe that which Reason doth dictate to be done: and by consequent, the Will cannot moue against the determination of Conscience.

Answ. For the unfolding of this matter, these con­clusions are to be laid downe. It is so cleare that no man can question it,

1. That many both may doe, and doe against Con­science, as it is an habite, or Sy [...]sis Summary of Principles: [Page 23] and in so doing, they doe in some sense, goe against Conscience.

2. Against Conscience as it is an act, all those doe, who do any thing against that Iudgement which they had actually, and yet haue virtually or in the principle, though actually they judge not as they haue done for­merly.

3. The Will cannot will, desire, choose, or follow after any thing, without a speculatiue apprehension of it, because the object of the will is knowne Good. No man was ever knowne to desire what hee no waies knew.

4. A bare and simple apprehension of the object, without any practicall judgement, that forthwith it must be prosequuted, or avoided, may be sufficient to draw forth the Act of the Will. This appeareth sufficient­ly in Mad men, Infants, and in every undeliberate mo­tion of the Will. The reason of this is, because a Good, apprehended or knowne, hath all those Conditions, which are required to the Object of the Will. The Will is as able about its Object, as the sensitiue appetite is a­bout its: But Sense is stirred up at the apprehension of its object, as the Eye at sight of Colours, the Eare at Sounds, &c.

5 The Will can at pleasure suspend its act about that which is apprehended and judged to be good, without any foregoing act of judgement, that it should doe so; for if to suspend an act, and to leaue of acting, an act of judgement, bee necessarily required; then to suspend that judgement, another judgement is requisite; and to suspend that, another; and so in infinitum.

6 The Will can turn away the understanding frō the consideration of any object, which at present it appre­hendeth [Page 24] and judgeth to be good, to the consideration that it hath formerly apprehended and judged to be so. By reason of this commanding power, the Will is the first cause of unadvisednesse, and blame-worthy error in the Vnderstanding. When the Will doth first begin, to draw away the understanding from that, which it hath judged to be good, it doth it, by its owne inclina­tion without any judgement that it should doe so; o­therwise these two judgements should bee together; namely, this ought to be followed, and this ought not, which were absurd.

7 The Will can moue it selfe, towards an object that is apprehended and iudged good for profit or pleasure in some respect, though reason iudge that it is not lawfull but sinfull. The reason is: 1. Because whatsoever good the understanding propoundeth to the will, in this life, it propoundeth it with a kind of indifferency of Iudgement, as not having any necessa­ry connexion, with the universall good. Vpon which the will is naturally set and determined. Hence it is that freedome or liberty in an action, is said to bee radically in the iudgement and reason. 2 Though the will bee determined by the under­standing in regard of the specification or kinde of thing to be willed, because it willeth nothing but that which the understanding hath first apprehended; yet in re­gard of excercise or act of willing, it mooveth both it selfe, and the understanding with the rest of the facul­ties. And hence it is that liberty is in the will formally, which should not be true, if it were necessarily deter­mined by the understanding. 3 If the iudgement being right, the will could not but will aright; then before the first sinne of Angels and men, (which was [Page 25] in the Will) there must necessarily bee an error in the Vnderstanding: and if so, then the punishment of sinne should be before the first sinne; for all Practicall error in the Vnderstanding, is either sinne, or the punish­ment of it. 4. If the Will doe necessarily follow the judgement of the understanding; then there should (in proper speaking) be no sinne of malice, distinct from those sinnes, which are committed through ignorance, or passion. But it is manifest, that this kind of sinne is found in Devils, & likewise in some men. 5. If the Will doe necessarily follow the Vnderstanding, then in Re­generation the will it selfe neede not bee internally renewed grace: for the inlightening of the Vnder­standing would be sufficient. But this is repugnant to Faith and godlinesse.

8 Though the Will doth not alwaies follow the Iudgement, yet doth it ever follow that command whereto it is subject; and that agreeth oftentimes with Iudgement. But this command though as touching the direction, it doth belong to the understanding; yet as touching the power and efficacy, it belongeth to the Will. From hence we speake truely, and by the con­sent of all Nations, say, I will Will. [...] velle.

CHAP. VIII. Of Conscience examining and reviewing actions.

WE are to treat next of that reviewing, which is conversant about our actions and state.

1 I call this a Reviewing, rather then a knowledge, First, because a bare and naked knowledge is not suffici­ent for this act of Conscience, but things must bee weighed over and over. Secondly, because there is a [Page 26] knowledge which goeth before, and accompanieth the action, but this Reviewing followeth it.

2 This Reviewing is a reflect act of the Vnderstan­ding, whereby a man understandeth, and with iudge­ment, weigheth his owne actions with their circum­stances. It is commonly called, Cōsideration, or medita­tiō on our wayes. It is called in the Scripture, A respect or beholding by the mind, Psal. 119. 15. Considering, Psal. 50. 22. Thinking, or thinking againe, Psal. 119. 59. Lay­ing of the heart. Hag. 1. 5. a Saying in the heart, Ierem. 5. 24. Saying to the heart, Hos. 7. 2. Returning to the heart, 1 Kings 6. 47. a Laying to heart, Ier. 12. 11. Mal. 2. 2. and lastly, a Proving or examining of our selues, 2 Cor. 13. 5.

3 The cause of the Reviewing of our actions ought to be, First, a care to please God in all things. Second­ly, a feare of sinning: For if we review our actions up­on other grounds, it is not an act of Conscience: be­cause it respecteth not the judgement of God; which without doubt, it is necessary an act of Conscience should doe.

4 The manner of this Reviewing doth consist in these two things: First, that wee consider our owne actions, not materially onely, but formally also, that is, that we consider not onely, what we haue done, as it isIn ordin [...] Naturae Mor [...]m. an action, but likewise what, and after what manner it is done, as it is good or evill. As for example, It is not an Act of Conscience, for a man to thinke, whether he hath overcome his adversary, or not; but whether in so doing, he hath committed murther or not? whether it be just, or unjust, that he hath done? 2. The acti­ons and the rule must be compared together. For as he that speaketh the truth, knoweth not that he spea­keth [Page 27] truth; unlesse he compares his speech with the thing it selfe: So hee that doth well or ill, can­not know the same, unlesse he compare the fact with its proper rule. The rule of this triall or judgement, must not be our natural reason, the custome of others, or the like; but the Law, or revealed will of God; For o­therwise Gods judgement is not respected (to which Conscience looketh) but mens.

5 The time which is to be allotted to this Review­ing; In regard of evill deedes, is in Scripture noted, sometimes to be before some threatning of God, 2 Sā. 24. 13. sometimes after a threatning, but before the Iudgement be executed. Mal. 2. 2. and sometime after that God hath inflicted his Iudgements, Hag. 1. 5. but the sooner we goe in hand with it, the more accepta­ble it is unto God, and more profitable it is unto us. Hence it is, that this Meditation of what we doe day­ly, is reckoned amongst the dayly exercises of the god­ly, Iob 1. 5.

6 Through want of this Reviewing, comes 1. Im­penitencie in the greatest sinnes, Isai 44. 18. Eccles. 4. 8. Presumption in greatest misery, Reu. 3. 17. and so great a Stupiditie, that those which know many other things, are altogether ignorant of themselues, and what they doe. Hence it is, that some after they haue sworne rashly, and are admonished of their sinne, almost with the same breath affirme with an oath, that they did not sweare.

7 The peculiar effects of this Reviewing of our waies, are 1. in regard of God, A right judgement of our waies. Ezek. 19. 25. and thankefulnesse. 2. In re­spect of ourselues, Humility: and 3. In respect of o­thers, Equity and Gentlenesse, Tit. 3. 3. 4.

CHAP. IX. Of the application of the Law by Conscience to the person, upon the Reviewing of the Action.

1 THe third act of Conscience followeth, where­by the conclusion is gathered from the premi­ses. This conclusion is an act of Conscience, whereby a man applyeth unto himselfe the Law of God, which concerneth either his Action or Condition.

2 This conclusion therefore dependeth partly on that generall Law, which is pronounced by the Synte­resis, in the major Proposition; and partly, on that Reviewing of the action or condition which is contai­ned in the minor Proposition. So that it gathereth to­gether the strength of the former acts of Conscience, and maketh the Iudgement thereof perfect.

3 Like as therefore Conscience is a Law in the ma­jor Proposition, Rom. 2. 14. and in the minor a Witnes, Rom. 2. 15 So in this conclusion, Conscience is most properly a Iudge, 1 Ioh. 3. 20. For as in the Proposition Gods Law is declared, and in the Assumption, the fact or condition of man is examined, according to that Law; So in the conclusion, the sentence concerning man is pronounced according to his fact, or condition, by vertue of the Law that hath beene declared.

4 It is well defined therefore by Application, be­cause in such a conclusion, Gods Commandement and mans fact are mutually joyned together, and as it were linked with man, whilst both passe sentence on him.

5 This Application, though in its owne nature itThe flownesse of Conscience in the making of the Application. follow the former acts of Conscience, like as the con­clusion [Page 29] of a syllogisme is sayd to follow necessarily from the premisses yet through mans fault it falleth out often, That Conscience doth not doe it for a time. Both propositions are granted, yet the cōclusion is not made: as for example; A man may in generall know and grant that every man that worshippeth not God, is cursed: and may also be conscious to himselfe, that he is no true worshipper of God: and yet not Iudge himselfe accursed. One may also understand suffici­ently, that God is ready to pardon him who repenteth of his sins; He may likewise haue witnes in himselfe of his owne repentance: yet cannot presently apply to himselfe pardon, and the mercy of God.

6 This Staying, or Hind [...]ing the Conclusion, is more usuall in passing Iudgement upon evill actions, but hap­peneth sometimes also in such, as are good.

7 Wee haue an example of the first sort in those Iewes of whom the Apostle speaketh. Rom. 2. 18. 20. 21. And in David himselfe. 2. Sam. 12. 5. 6. who knew well enough, what his most evill fact deserved by law, and likewise could not be ignorant of that which he had committed: but halted in the appli­cation of the conclusion.

8 An example of the latter kind, wee haue in all those Believers who repent truly, yet for a long time cannot apply Gods mercy to themselues. The causes why Sinners doe it not, are; 1 Because they doe not consider seriously enough, Gods law, and their owne facts; for the conclusion proceedeth from the power & efficacy of the premisses. 2. Because they haue flat con­trary conclusions in their Iudgements to the Law of God. Deut. 29. 19. 3. Because they are afraid of, and avoid these conclusions of Conscience, as most oppo­site [Page 30] to themselues and their purposes, Ioh 3. 20. 4. Be­cause they are carelesse and forgetfull of such things, Iam. 1. 23. 25. From such like causes wicked men use to gather false conclusions, and deceiue themselues, Iam. 1. 22.

9 The causes why beleevers, and godly men, oft­times doe not conclude for their owne consolation, are 1. Some prevailing temptation. 2. The rem­nants of unbeliefe, which remaine even in those that are regenerate. 3. The greatnesse of that mercy which they ought to apply unto themselues. And 4. the Conscience of their owne unworthinesse, especial­ly after they haue committed some grievous sinne.

10 Because of this slownesse in men to conclude, and apply, there is a necessity laid on all Ministers, not onely to declare Gods will generally; but likewise so farre as they are able, to helpe, and further, both pub­likely and in private, the application of it, so farre as mens condition and consciences require.

CHAP. X. Of the effects of this Application, in the Consci­ence it selfe.

1 FRom the conclusion of Conscience, some effects follow, according as the judgement thereof is.

2 These effects are either Acts of Conscience, which are virtually contained in the conclusion, or Affections and Acts of the Will, which arise from those acts of Conscience.

3 Amongst the acts of Conscience, some there be that respect that which is well done: some respect sin.

4 Those that respect what is well done, are Excu­sing, [Page 31] Absolving, and Aprooving, Rom. 2. 15.

5 Excusing is an act of Conscience, whereby a manAn Excusing Conscience. is freed from the guilt of sinne in what he hath done: For Excusing heere is not taken in that stricter sense, whereby it signifieth a [...]essening or extenuating of the fault, but in that sense which importeth, a perfect ta­king away of the fault, and guilt.

6 Absolution is an act of Conscience, whereby itAbsolution of Conscience. pronounceth a man need not feare punishment for what he hath done.

7 These two acts are tyed so closely and fast toge­ther with a bond that cannot be loosed, that they dif­fer onely in our apprehension not really. For Excusing doth most properly respect guilt, and Absolution the punishment; but neither is the guilt taken away so long as the punishment remaineth; neither doth the guilt remaine, the punishment being once taken away.

8 Approving is an act of Conscience, pronoun­cingApprobation of Conscience. that a man in his action hath pleased God.

9 Absolution and approbation differ from Excusing in this, that in Excusing, Conscience doth the part of the Law, and hath respect unto God, as he is a Iudge, before whose judgement seat it excuseth a man as a witnesse; but in Absolving and Approving, Conscience properly doth Gods part, and hath respect unto man, whom like a Iudge it absolveth, and approveth.

10 The acts of Conscience, which respect sinne, are Accusation, and Condemnation.

11 Accusation is an act of Conscience, convincingAccusation. and prooving a man to be neere unto punishment, be­cause of his sinne.

12 Condemnation is an act of Conscience, judgingCondemnation. a man that is guilty, to the punishment of eternal death

[Page 32]13 Accusation and Condemnation differ in the same degree and manner, that Excusing differeth from Abso­lution and Approoving.

14 Accusation and Condemnation sometimes fol­low presently upon the fact, as in David, 2 Sam. 24. 10 Sometimes a little while after it, as in Iudas, Matt. 21. 3. Sometimes a long time after, as in Iosephs bre­thren, Gen. 42. 21. 22. For a man is not free from them by length of time, but by repentance onely.

CHAP XI. Of the affections which arise from the judgement of Conscience.

1 THe first affection that riseth in the heart, from Excusing, Absolving, and Approoving of Con­science,Ioy. is Ioy, whereby a man taketh delight in that he hath done well, as in a true good that is come to him, Prov. 15. 15. 2 Cor. 1. 12. Now this Ioy differeth much from laughter, and vaine joy: 1. Because it ma­keth the heart glad. 2 Because it is a serious disposi­tion of the heart, not a light stirring of it. 3. Because it hath a good ground, and therefore growes stronger by right meditation. 4. Because it bringeth foorth found and good fruit. None of which things are to be found in common and ordinary laughter and joy, Eccles. 2. 2.Confidence.

2 The second affection is Confidence, whereby the heart is setled and strengthned against the feare of evill, and the weake hope of good, Prov. 10. 9. & 28. For all miserie springeth from sin; and to those that do well, all good things are promised, 1 Tim. 4. 8.

3 The first affection rising from the accusation and [Page 33] condemnation of Conscience, is Shame, whereby a sin­nerShame. is displeased with himselfe, in and for that sinne hee hath done. For sinne alwaies changeth a man from better to worse, Gen. 5. 7. This shame if it be because of sinne, and if it make a man forsake it, it is one of the signes of repentance, Rom. 6. 21. as impudency in sinne, is alwaies a token of an impenitent and lost man.

4 The second affection is Sadnesse, or Sorrow, wher­bySorrow. the heart is troubled, because of the evill that is come upon it, 1 Sam. 25. 31. Acts 2. 37. For the ac­cusing and condemning of Conscience, doth not onely make the sinne, and the guilt thereof to be in a manner present, but likewise the punishment.

5 The third affection is Feare, whereby the heartFeare. flyeth from the evill that hangeth over it, and from God himselfe, as from a severe Iudge, Gen. 3. 10. Prov. 28. 1. Revel. 6. 16. because the fulnesse of misery is ex­pected. The great degrees of this feare, are called Trembling and Horror.

6 The fourth affection is Dispaire, whereby theDispaire Soule casts away all hope of escaping, Heb. 10. 27.

7 The fifth and last, is Anguish and vexation of spi­rit, Anguish. because of the misery, which lyeth on it. This is that spirituall worme, that perpetually tormenteth the damned soules in hell. Mark. 9. 44. Isai. 66. 24.

CHAP. XII. Of a good Conscience.

HItherto we haue spoken of the nature of Consci­ence, according as it was laid downe in the defini­tion: Now followeth the distribution of Conscience, ac­cording to its adjuncts.

[Page 34]1 Conscience is either good or evill:

2 Conscience may be called good, either for its ho­nesty Quoad honestatem. Quoad qui [...]em. and integrity, or for its quietnesse and peace.

3 That Conscience is honestly good, whose judgementConscience ho­nestly good. is Right and Powerfull.

4 That the Conscience therefore be honestly good, 3. Things make Conscience ho­nest. it is required: 1. That it uprightly and sincerely judge that thing to be good, which God judgeth so; and that to be evill, which God judgeth evill. This uprightnesse must first be in the judgement, of what is to be done, which belongeth to the major Proposition; and 2. in the judgement of what hath been done, which belongs to the minor.

5 To a Conscience honestly good, its 3. required that it excuse, absolue, and approve a man in what is well done; and accuse and condemne him, for what is evill.

6 Concerning the first office, which consisteth in Excusing, Absolving, and Approving, there is no con­troversie amongst Divines: But of the second, which consisteth in Accusing and Condemning, some doubt, and thinke that the goodnesse of Conscience doth no waies consist therein, but in Excusing onely.

7 They bring two reasons: 1. Because Adams conscience by creation, did onely Excuse, and not ac­cuse. 2. Because a good Conscience is troubled and wounded when sinne is committed, and occasion is ministred to accuse. But the first reason is not good; because though Conscience in state of Innocency, did not accuse actually, yet had it a power to accuse, if there had beene occasion. Neither could the Conscience be more blamed for accusing and condemning justly, [...] the Law selfe, and the chiefe Iudge, who did so after sin had once entred, and not before.

[Page 35]8 So farre is the just Accusation of Conscience from being to be blamed, that Sinners haue most need of it, as the onely way to make them repent them of the sinnes which they haue committed. For to the end a Sinner may escape Gods judgement, hee must judge himselfe: that is, doe justice and judgement upon him­selfe, as in Gods roome, whom he hath offended, 1 Cor. 11. 31. He doth this, by pleading Gods cause a­gainst himselfe, that is, by accusing himselfe, witnessing, alledging, and confessing, or by acknowledging Gods Law against himselfe, by revealing the secrets of his heart, and his hidden filthinesse, to his owne ignominy and shame. Then by condemning himselfe, that is, by decla­ring what torment and punishment God may justly inflict upon him; or by Proclaming of himselfe guilty of everlasting death. Vnto this judgement of Consci­ence, stirring up sutable affections; if God of his great mercy adde a change of minde, with an appealing by Faith to the Iudgement Seat of Gods mercy in Christ; then is that true (which some use to say) that the Iudge­ment Paenitentiale iudi­cium evacuat iudi­cium paenale. of repentance maketh voide the judgement of pu­nishment; that the accusation, witnessing, and condemna­tion to wrath to come, are prevented by these Actions which supply there roomes; Yea, that God himselfe, in Christ shall be an Advocate, a Witnesse, and Iudge; for those that haue pleaded against themselues, in the court of Conscience by repentance.

9 Neither are we bound onely to this Accusation and condemnation of our selues, as to a meanes of Salvation, but by naturall justice also. For if wee sinne against a man, wee ought to doe him justice on our selues, by Accusing, Condemning, and Acknowledging our [Page 36] offence; much more then are we bound to doe this to God. Besides, we are related to God as his servants, by which we are bound to take his part in all controver­sies, debates, or quarrells, that he hath against sinne, and chiefely against our owne sinne, which doth us most hurt, and against which we are able to doe much more, then against other mens. Adde to these, the conside­ration of the equity of it, if we be bound (when it will be no hurt to us) to assist a brother, in any of his law­full and iust suits, or judgements, either in appearing as a Witnesse, or as an Accuser, in his behalfe: how much more are we bound to do the same for God? for with­out comparison, each person is more bound to sticke close to God, then to himselfe: and to assist God by accusing, testifying, judging, though it be in the contro­versie which he hath against himselfe.

These particular illustrations (which upon another occasion are propounded and urged by G. P.) I haue [...]uliel Paris. thought good to relate, both for the light wch they giue to this present question, and for the excellent use, that they haue in exhortations to the practise of repentance.

10 The second reason (wherein the trouble of con­science upon accusation, was brought to prooue that an accusing Conscience, could not be good) is also of no strength: Because that trouble and wounding, is either the accusation it selfe, or an affection following it. The same Iudge that condemneth rightly and iustly, may, and useth to be sorrowfull, that he hath occasion to doe so: for he absolveth more willingly those that are good, then he condemneth malefactors.

11 To speake home to the Matter; The act of Ac­cusation followeth indeed from sinne, not as a sinne, but [Page 37] a punishment; Conscience therefore accusing, so farre as it accuseth rightly, is honestly good, though in respect of the trouble it bringeth, it useth to bee called evill, as all other punishments are. It may also be called evill, because the ground of it is alwaies some sin cōmitted.

12 Thirdly, that the Conscience be honestly good, it is requisite that by this upright judgement, it stirre up strongly to doe good, and draw backe strongly from that which is evill, Heb. 13. 18. but this cannot be done byIntentio Voluntatis. Conscience alone, there must be also an honest dispo­sition, and bent of the Will, answerable to the judge­ment of Conscience.

13 A Conscience peaceably good, is that, which Ex­cusetb, Absolveth, Comforteth, Acts 24. 6. Hence al­so unto a good Conscience, in this respect, doe belong the affection of Ioy, Confidence, Security, and Freedome.

14 A Conscience that is both honestly and peaceably [...]. good, is that, which by the Apostle is called pure and cleane, 2 Tim. 1. 3. Beautifull, Heb. 13. 18. Without of­fence, or not offended, which is the consolation and re­joycing of the faithfull, 2 Cor. 1. 12. To keepe which they are content to suffer all sorts of trouble unjustly, 1 Pet. 2. 19.

15 Conscience since the fall, or after sinne, is madeHow Conscience is made good. good againe: 1. By the blood of Christ applyed through Faith, whereby the guilt, accusation, and con­demnation of it, are taken away, Heb. 9. 13. 14. and 10. 22. 2. By the vertue of the same blood, in repen­tance and sanctification of the spirit, 1 Tim. 1. 5. Acts 15. 8. 9. whereby beleevers haue a setled and constant purpose to serue God. 3. By the witnesse of the Spi­rit, whereby we are assured of the grace of God, not onely for the present, but also for the continuance of [Page 38] it, to the doing of every good worke, Ephes. 1. 18. 14. Rom. 9. 5. & 1 Pet. 1. 5. 6.

16 A good Conscience is maintained by that exer­cise, whereof the Apostle speaketh, Acts 24. 16. Now this exercise doth chiefly consist in these things: 1. That the feare of God bee alwaies liuely and fresh in our hearts, Psal. 36. 2. For this maketh us looke what Gods judgement is, in all things, Psal. 119. 6. 2. That we me­ditate on Gods Law both day, and night, Psal. 1. 2. For by this the Major Proposition or Rule whereby Conscience judgeth, is established. 3. That we ex­amine our owne waies with quicke and sharpe judge­ment, Psal. 4. 5. For this inferreth the application in the Minor Proposition. 4. That by dayly repen­tance and renewing of Faith, we wash off the filth that we contract, 1 Iohn 3. 3. For therein lyes the strength of the conclusion or judgement of Conscience.

CHAP. XIII. Of a weake, and of a strong Conscience.

1 A Good Conscience admits of degrees, for which cause it is by the Apostle distinguished, into a weake and a strong Conscience, Rom. 15. 1.

2 A weake Conscience is that which is purged by unfained Faith, but is troubled with these imperfecti­ons, which all beleevers, for the most part, doe out­grow by time.

3 True Faith is supposed to be in a weake Consci­ence, for he that is weake, is a Brother, Rom. 14. 15. 21. not to be condemned or set at nought, vers. 10. One for whom Christ hath dyed, 1 Cor. 8. 11. This Conscience therefore being good, differeth in kind from that which [Page 39] is weake through malice, Presumption, or Superstition.

4 The imperfections wherewith this weake Consci­enceThe imperfecti­ons of a weake Conscience. is diseased, are, 1. Lacke of knowledge, because as yet it understandeth not well what is lawfull and pure, 1 Cor. 8. 7. Rom. 14. 14. This weaknesse of Con­science, is called the weakenesse of Faith, Rom. 14. 1.

5 The second imperfection which dependeth on the first, is in Affection, because it easily is made sor­rowfull, and disquieted, when it seeth others doe that which it selfe approoveth not, Rom. 14. 15. Because of meat thy brother is grieved.

6 The third imperfection is in Iudgement, because it quickly Iudgeth and condemneth the liberty of others, 1. Cor. 10 29. Rom. 14. 3. 15. Why is my liberty iudged by an other mans Conscience? Let not him that eateth dispise him that eateth not.

7 The fourth imperfection, is in the purpose and setlednes of heart, being easely drawne to what is evill. 1. Cor. 8. 10. For if any man see thee which hast knowledge, sit at meate in the Idols temple: shall not the Conscience of him which is weak, be Emboldned to eate those things, which are offered to Idols? From this, a man is most properly said to bee Offended, Scandelized, wounded, destroyed. Rom. 14. 21. 1 Cor. 8, 9. 12. Rom. 14. 15.

8 A strong Conscience, is that which is established in the truth. Rom. 14. 5. Perswaded in his owne minde. 2. Pet. 1. 12. Ye know and are established in the present truth.

9 This stability consisteth in knowledge, yet not so much in the clearnesse thereof, as in the certainty. 1. Cor. 8. 4. 7. Wee know that an Idoll is nothing in the world, but there is not in every man that knowledge, and [Page 40] their Conscience being weake, is defield. For certainety belongeth more to Faith, which wee are here to un­derstand by Conscience, then Evidence or Clearnesse, which belongs to knowledge, taken in the proper sense. 2 In such an affection, whereby it is alwayes willing to beare with, and beare the infirmities of o­thers. Rom. 15. 1. Wee which are strong ought to beare the infirmities of the weake. 3. In Iudging so, as that nothing be set before a brother, at which he may stumble or fall, Rom. 14. 13. but Iudge this rather, that no man put a stumbling blocke, or an occasion to fall in his brothers way. 4. In such a resolution and setlednesse of heart, whereby it is so strengthned in truth and god­linesse, that it cannot easily be remooved, Heb. 13. 9. It is a good thing, that the heart be established with grace.

CHAP. XIV. Of an evill Conscience.

1 COnscience is said to be Evill, either because its Acts are sinnes, or because it brings trouble and sorrow.

2 A Conscience Evill because of sinne in its Acts, is that which giveth not a right and powerful judgement▪ such is the Conscience of all men that are unregenerat, for it is in men according as Originall corruption is. Of this a polluted Conscience is not the smallest part. Tit. 1. 15.

3 The first fault of an evill Conscience is Blindnes, whence it judgeth of Good and Evill no otherwise: then one that is bodily blinde useth to judge of colours: He calleth good evill, and evill good, Esai. 5. 10.

4 The second fault, is a kind of spirituall dulnesse, [Page 41] whence it neither stirreth up powerfully to that, which it seeth is good, nor draweth backe from that which it acknowledgeth evill, Rom. 1. 18 Which withhold the truth in unrighteousnesse.

5 The third fault, is false-witnesse-bearing, which principally appeareth in Excusing, and Accusing falsely.

6 An Evill Conscience doth Excuse falsely, either when it doth not accuse where it ought, or absolveth and approoveth where it ought to accuse and condemne.

7 The former fault is esteemed as a piece of Reli­gion, by the dangerous Sect of Libertines, who place their chiefe happinesse and perfection to haue the sense of sinne extinguished.

8 It prevaileth also in all those, who being free from great and grosse sinnes, doe seeme unto themselues to be as it were perfect, and not to be blamed for any sin, Luke 18. 20. Marke 10. 20. All these things haue Iob­served from my youth.

9 The second sort of Excusing falsely, when an evill Conscience approoveth, where it ought to condemne; is chiefely to be found in those that are superstitious. They think to be heard through their much babling. Ioh. 16. 2. The time commeth that whosoever killeth you, will thinke that he doth God service, Rom. 10. 2. I beare them record that they haue a zeale of God, but not according to knowledge.

10 A'false Accusation of an evill conscience is, when it accuseth and condemneth, where it ought to excuse: viz. For well doing: Rom. 14. 22. Happy is he that con­demneth not himselfe in that thing which he alloweth.

Conscience Evill, through trouble and sorrow is that, which accuseth and condemneth: 1 Iohn 3. 20. If our heart condemne us.

[Page 42]12 When Conscience is evill in this kinde, these affections follow. Sadnesse, Feare, Anguish.

13 This Conscience is honestly good, if it accuse iust­ly: it is sinnefully evill, if it doe it uniustly.

14 A Conscience evill through trouble, and honestly good, is to be found both in beleevers and unbeleevers. In such as beleeue not, it is a preparation unto true re­pentance and Faith. Acts 2, 37.

15 A Conscience Evill, both through trouble and sinne, is common also both to beleevers, and those who beleeue not. But in those that beleeue, there is a principle of grace, by strength whereof they are up­holden, they wrastle and withstand, and by little and lit­tle are healed of it.

CHAP. XV. Of divers degrees and sorts of an Evill Conscience.

1 AN Evill Conscience may bee distinguished into divers degrees: 1. In respect of defect, into a benummed▪ stupid, and seared. 2. In respect of ex­cesse, into a troubled and desperate one.

2 A benummed Conscience is that, which is so dull A benummed Conscience. and heavy in its Acts, that there followes no strong stir­rings of heart after it; nothing to purpose comes of it. Those that haue such a conscience, are oppressed with a kind of spiritual sleepe, wherein the sense of conscience, is so bound, that it is no more moved, then a man that sleepeth is by his owne dreames.

3 This dulnesse appeareth, 1. In a dull or faint pricking on to good: We haue an example in Agrippa, Acts 26. 28. thou almost perswadest me.

[Page 43]4 It appeareth secondly in a dull accusation for the evill that is committed, we haue an example in Saul, 1 Sam. 24. 18.

5 The cause of this benummednesse in many that are not apparantly wicked, is a certaine carnall security, which creepeth secretly upon them, from long peace and prosperity, Ier. 48. 11.

6 A stupide Conscience is that, which doth not its officeA stupide Con­science. in accusing and condemning, unlesse it bee for the grea­test sinnes, and when it is forced by most grievous Iudgements. For like as men sicke of a Lethargie or Drowsinesse, are not wakened commonly, unlesse it be through some great noise: so likewise this Conscience is not mooved, unlesse it be by the thunder of Gods Iudgements. Wee haue an example in Pharoah. Exod. 8. 9.

7 The cause of this stupidity is unbeleife, and custome in sinning, which taketh away the sense of it.A cauterised Conscience.

8 A seared or cauterized Conscience, is that which no waies can be mooved, no not by greatest sinnes, 1. Tim. 4. 2. Which haue their Consciences seared with an hot Iron: This sort of Conscience is found chiefly in those, who after they haue been enlightened, against their Consciences, doe giue up themselues to a wicked life.

9 In these the Synteresis it selfe, or Law of Conscience, hath its course stopped, & for time is in a manner extin­guished, Iude. 10. Whatsoever they know naturally, as beastes which are without reason, in those things they corrupt themselues. This suppressing of the naturall practicall knowledge, which is ingraffed in all men, is by the Philosophers called [...] because such kind of men are changed as it were into stones, as in the [Page 44] Scripture they are said to haue a hard and stony heart, by other Philosophers it is called [...] and [...], because such men become altogether brutish. 2. Pet. 2. 12. Or rather put on the nature of the Divell. Ioh. [...]. 44.

10 The signes of such a kinde of Conscience are, 1. If one reioyce in sinne. Prou. 2. 14. 2 If af­ter he hath sinned he will not bee reformed, Prou. 27. 22. 3 If hee giue up himselfe to commit knowneSi certatim se de­dat sinne, with all his might striving to sinne more then others. Ephe. 4. 19.

11 Contrary to this evill Conscience, or hard heart, is a tender Conscience which is easily moved by the wordA tender Con­science. of God, whereof wee haue an example in Iosiah. 2. Kings. 22. 19. Because thine heart did melt and thou hast humbled thy selfe before the Lord, when thou heardest what I spake.

12 A troubled Conscience, is that which accuseth in such a manner, that it suffereth not the Conscience toA troubled Con­science. be at rest.

13 It bringeth with it an astonishing feare, and op­pressing griefe.

14 It is called in the Scripture, sadnesse, a casting downe, affliction, or disquieting of the minde, a broken spirit, Prov. 18. 14.

15 A troubled Conscience is sometimes honestly good: and sometime sinnefully evill.

16 Honestly good it is, when it accuseth justly. This is properly in those which yet beleeue not in Christ: but happens sometimes to be in those, who haue true Faith.

17 In those which yet beleeue not, the Conscience evill indeed through trouble, but honestly good, doth [Page 45] make this kinde of Syllogisme.

He that beleeveth not in Christ, is subject to the wrath of God:
But I beleeue not in Christ: Therefore, I am subject to the wrath of God.

This whole argument is to be granted; The onely way to pacifie such a Conscience is, to bring him that is so troubled, into another state, by true conversion and Faith. For then the Minor of that Syllogisme, which before was true, will be false, and may lawfully be de­nied.

18 In such as haue true Faith, After grievous sinnes, which waste the Conscience, the Conscience Evill through Trouble, but honestly good, maketh this kind of Syllogysme.

He that hath sinned grivously, and hath not duely re­pented of his sinne, cannot by true Faith finde com­fort in God.
I am such a one. Therefore, I cannot by true Faith comfort my selfe in God.

Here likewise must Conscience accusing be belee­ved, and true Repentance be gotten, that he who is so troubled, may at length rightly deny that Assumption.

19 A troubled Conscience, Evill through fault, or faulty in being troubled, is most properly in those that are true beleevers. For although unbeleevers doe sinne most highly, in not seeking after the true remedy in Christ, when Conscience accuseth justly, (but either fall downe under the burden, or through hard­nesse of heart keepe out trouble, or seeke ease from things that are most vaine, as it were from the leaues of the Figge tree) yet the sin properly is not in the judge­ment [Page 46] of conscience, or in conscience so judging them, but in the Conclusions, which are deduced and drawne from it.

20 The Conscience of Beleevers is sinfull, in being troubled, many wayes. In such a case the reasoning of Conscience is diligently to be examined. For the ma­jor or minor may, and ought alwaies to bee denied and confuted, that Conscience may bee healed. As it is in those Accusations which come from want of sense of Gods favour, from the sense of Gods wrath, from out­ward afflictions, from horrid temptations to sinne, and from divers kindes of sinnes.A dispairing Conscience.

21 A Desperate Conscience is that which so accuseth and condemneth, that it taketh away not onely quietnes and peace, but hope also of any quietnesse, or remedy.

22 That manner of Despaire, that taketh away all such Hope as may come from our merits, or strength, is honestly good.

23 But that kinde of Despaire, which in this life ta­keth away all such hope as commeth from the free mer­cy of God, is not onely Evill in respect of trouble and vexation, but of sinne.

24 The Despaire of the damned, which utterly rooteth out all hope of remedy, is the bottomlesse pit of misery.

25 Hence it is, that a Desperate Conscience (fully re­presenting all sinnes, together with their exceeding great and unpardonable guilt, and Gods feareful wrath abiding upon Sinners, with the endlesse misery that followes thereon) is Gods most powerfull meanes to torment the Reprobate; like unto a worme, that most sharply biteth and gnaweth their hearts for ever: Mar. 9. 46. their Worme dyeth not.

[Page 47]26 To Trouble and Despaire; Full Peace, Tranquil­lity, and the joy of a good Conscience are contrary: which properly riseth from perfect hope in God, whereby the unchangeable injoyment of happinesse, is appre­hended.

27 Hence it is, that a good Conscience, that is perfect­ly peaceable, and joyfull (as it representeth to the soule, a full deliverance from the Evill, both of sinne and pu­nishment: Such a life to be led with God, as is with­out all trouble or end; consisting in union and com­munion with him in peace, and greatest joy) is the for­mall and essentiall happinesse of the Saints in the life to come: Matt. 25. 21. 23. Enter into thy Masters Ioy: Ioh. 15. 11. That my Ioy might remaine in you, and that your Ioy might be full; 1 Pet. 1. 8. Rejoyce with Ioy unspeakable, and glorious.

A SVMMARY COLLECTION OF THE FOR­mer Treatise, according as it was set foorth in a publike Disputation, to encourage and stirre up to the study of Practicall Divinity.

DIVINE POSITIONS concerning Conscience.

1 KNowledge puffeth up; Loue edifieth: But grea­test conscience ought to be made of edifying the Conscience, 1 Cor. 8. 1. 10.

2 Conscience is a mans judgement of himselfe, accor­ding to Gods judgement of him, Isai. 5. 3.

3 There is a certaine inclination of the will, whereby it can naturally both stirre up the understanding to this kinde of judgement, and also follow it: This inclination by some is named Conscience, by others a part of Consci­ence, but not truely; For neither the name of Conscience, nor the acts thereof, which are mentioned in the Scrip­tures, import any other power or faculty, then the under­standing, Rom. 2. 15.

4 Yet every of understanding is not Conscience, but onely those which make up such a Practicall judge­ment, as was before handled in the second Position.

5 By Iudgement, is most properly meant the act of judging, and not the habit or faculty onely, Rom. 2. 15.

[Page 50]6 The whole nature of Conscience is contained in no o­ther judgement, but what is Dianoëticall, or Discursiue; because Accusing, Excusing, Comforting, and such like acts of Conscience, cannot be, but by some middle or third argu­ment, whose strength appeares in a Syllogisme, onely by the consequence, Rom. 6. 11. The word translated, Reckon your selfe, signifies Reason out. [...]

7 The Major of that Syllogisme, wherein the whole judgement of Conscience is layd open, treateth alwaies of the Law, the Minor of the fact and state; and the Conclu­sion of the relation that ariseth from our fact or state, by reason of that Law; which is either guilt, or spirituall Ioy. For example,

He that liveth in sinne, shall dye,
I liue in sinne: Therefore I shall dye.

Or thus, Whosoever beleeveth in Christ, shall not dye, But I beleeue in Christ:

Therefore I shall not dye, but liue, Rom. 8. 13. 33. 34. 1 Ioh. 3. 19. 20.

8 Conscience in regard of the Major, is called a Law: in regard of the Minor and Conclusion, a Witnesse; but in regard of the Minor most properly, an Iudex, or Booke: and in regard of the Conclusion, most properly a Iudge, Rom. 2. 14. 15. Reu. 20. 12. 1 Ioh. 5. 10.

9 The Major is given by the Synteresis, which the Schoolemen call Synderesis: the Minor is peculiarly cal­led Syneidesis, or Conscience, the Conclusion is the Krisis it selfe, or Iudgement.

10 Synteresis is properly an intellectual habit, where­by we giue our consent to the principles of morall actions. It differeth not therefore from the Law of nature which is naturally written in the hearts of all men: but in respect onely.

[Page 51]11 Though therefore Conscience may be hindred from working for a while, yet can it not bee fully extinguished or lost. No man is so desperatly wicked, as to bee with­out a Conscience altogether: No not the Libertines, who place their deadly perfection, in putting out the Conscience of sinne:

12 To this part of Conscience Synteresis being largely taken, belong all Practicall truthes whereof wee are per­swaded; whether they be drawn out of naturall principles, by consequence, or communicated by Divine revelation.

13 Hence ariseth the distinction of a naturall and an inlightened Conscience. The Scripture sometimes doth ap­peale to this, as Rom. 6. 3. sometimes to that, as 1 Cor. 6. 9. and 11. 14.

14 Hence the adaequate or full rule of Conscience is the revealed will of God, which both declares and prescribes mans duty.

15 Conscience therefore is properly subject to Gods will and authority alone, Iam. 4. 12. Neither can it be subject to any creature, without Idolatry.

16 Hence also it is, that though men be bound in Con­science before God, to obey and keep the iust Lawes of men after a just manner, Rom. 13. 5. Yet those Lawes of men, as they are mens Lawes, doe not bind the Conscience.

17 Conscience so bindeth man, in al those things which it judgeth are his duty, by the will of God; that he cannot be free from it, by the authority of any creature, Act. 4. 19. In this respect it is, that he that knoweth Gods will, is said to be debtor, Rom. 1. 14. a servant, Rō. 6. 16. bound, Act. 20. 22. constrained, 2 Cor. 5. 14. to haue necessity laid upon him, 1 cor. 9. 16. so that he cannot do otherwaies, Act. 3. 20

18 The power of Conscience is so great, that it ma­keth [Page 52] an action, which in its owne nature is indifferent, to be either good or bad: and that which in its owne na­ture is good, to be evill: although it cannot make that be­come good, which is evill in its owne nature.

19 Yet no action is better or worse, for that Conscience that one hath after he hath done it.

20 An erroneous Conscience bindeth alwaies so far, that he that doth against the judgement thereof, sinneth. For formally, and by interpretation hee doth it against Gods will.

21 If the error of Conscience about the action (that is, the object or matter about which the action is) bee not sinnefull, the Conscience erring, binds as much as if it did not erre.

22 Conscience, through errour, judging that to be law­full, or necessary, which is unlawfull, doth so farre binde, as that a man sinnes, who doth contrary to it; and sinnes also, if he doe according to the direction of it.

23 Yet this necessity of sinning, wherein some are in­tangled, is not contrary to the equity of Gods Law: 1. Be­cause the sinne is not the same on both handes: on the one hand a mans sinnes in doing what is unlawfull; and on the other, in doing it unlawfully: viz. without or against Conscience. 2. Because it is not an absolute necessity, but upon supposition onely, viz. if they keepe still such a Con­science, which they ought to lay downe, Ephes. 4. 22. 3. Because it doth not flow from the nature of the Law of God, but both is contracted and continued by mans sinne. For no man is thus intangled but by his owne fault.

24 Conscience judging that to be unlawfull, which is lawfull, bindeth to refraine from that lawfull thing, Rom. 14. 14. 15. He likewise that judgeth that to be necessary, [Page 53] which is but lawfull, is bound to the doing of it: because a man may abstaine from lawfull things: and may also constantly practise them without sinning.

25 Nothing may bee done whereof the Conscience doubts, Rom. 14. 23.

26 In doubtfull cases, the surest part is to bee chosen; now that is the surest part, in doing which, its sure there is no sinne.

27 It is lawfull, and the best sometimes, to doe against some scruple of Conscience.

28 The reviewing of our actions, or estate, as it re­spects the Law, which Conscience dictates, maketh up the minor of that practicall Syllogisme, which the Conscience maketh. It is called in Scripture, a beholding of the mind, Psal. 119. 15. Vnderstanding, Psal. 50. 22. A casting up ones waies, Psal. 119. 59. A laying of the heart, Hag. 1. 5. A saying to the heart, or in the heart of them, Hose. 7. 2. A turning againe unto the heart, Ier. 12. 11. Mal. 2. 2. And lastly, a proving and examining of our selues, 2 Cor. 13. 5.

29 In the conclusion of that Syllogisme, a man appli­eth to himselfe the Law of God, which concerneth his Ac­tion or condition, and passeth sentence on himselfe: whence there followeth necessarily, either an Excusing, Absol­ving and Approbation; or an Accusation and Condem­uation, with affections answerable to them, Rom. 2. 15.

30 Though this application in its owne nature follow the former acts of Conscience, as a conclusion doth the pre­misses: yet through mans wickednesse, it falleth out oft­times, that though the Major be fully and firmely acknow­ledged, and the Minor also in a sort; yet the Conclusion and Application is not made, Rom. 2. 18. 20. 21. 2 Sam. 12. 5. 6.

[Page 54]31 Hence it is, that a necessity lyes upon all faithfull Pastors, not onely to propound Gods will in generall, but according to their abilities, to helpe men, both in publike and private to apply it, according as their under­standings, and consciences shall require, Rom. 12. 7. Matt. 14. 4.

32 A Conscience honestly good is, that which judge­eth rightly and powerfully, Heb. 13. 18. that which doth otherwise, is sinnefully Evill, Isai. 5. 20. Rom. 1. 18.

33 A Conscience peaceably good, is that, which ex­cuseth, absolveth, comforteth, Acts 24. 16.

34 Conscience since the fall, is not both honestly and peaceably good, but by the sprinkling of the bloud of Christ Heb. 9. 13. 14. and 10. 22. and the vertue of him in the sanctification of the Spirit, 1 Tim. 1. 5. Act. 15. 8. 9.

35 A Conscience peaceably good may be sinnefully e­vill, and that which is evill through trouble and accu­seth, may be honestly good.

36 A weake Conscience differeth in kinde from that which is acted, either by malice, or arrogance, or Super­stition.

37 There is but this one way, to pacifie a Conscience troubled upon good grounds: to bring him that is troubled into such a state by true Faith and repentance, that the Minor of that Syllogisme which troubleth him, may up­on good grounds become false, and prooue such as may be lawfully denyed.

38 When the Consciences of [...] beleevers are sinne full in being troubled, the Major or Minor of that reasoning which caused the trouble, must alwaies be denied and con­futed. This also is the onely way to heale such a Consci­ence.


1 The greatest violation of Conscience is the greatest sinne.

2 The greatest anguish of Conscience is the greatest punishment.

3 That uncertainety of Gods favour, which the Pa­pists hold, and that uncertainety of Persevering in grace, which others teach, is cleane contrarie to that solid joy, and strong confidence, which proceedeth from a Conscience tru­ly good.

4 The interpretation of the Scriptures, or a judgement to discerne Gods will for a mans selfe, in his owne Consci­ence, belongs to every man.

The End of the First Booke.


In which those Cases are handled, which concerne the state of man.

CHAP. 1. Of a case of Conscience, and the state of man in generall.

Hitherto we have spoken of the Nature, now we are to intreate of the Cases of Conscience.

_1. A Case of Conscience is a practicall que­stion, concerning which, the Conscience may make a doubt.

2. It is said to be a question, because it is not an axiome or proposition that is ma­nifest of it selfe, but hath need of illustra­tion and proofe, by some third argument.

3. It is a practicall question, because of the doubts which doe not immediately belong to practise, doe not im­medatly [Page 2] [...] ▪ to the judgement and act of Conscience, which thing is not well observed by them who under the name of cases of Conscience doe handle many things, which do [...]o more belong to Gonscience then any other head of Divinity, purposely omi [...]d by them.

4. It is called [...] [...], because it is wont to fall out, or toCafus quia di­citur cadere solet. happen in the course of mans life, and a case of Conscience, because when it falls out, the Conscience ought, with all pos­sible care, to give judgement about it.

5. Of this sort are all those questions wherein (supposing the generall doctrine of Faith and Obedience) wee enquire what our duty is, upon any particular occasion.

6. Of these questions one saith well. Because that Law which is written and ingraven in nature, containing the rules of honesty and naturall justice, is in a manner wholly buryed by originall corruption, and almost totally over whelmed by custome in sinning, as it were with some heape of evill lusts laid upon it; and because also the light of the understanding is invilved, and obscured with manifold darkenesse, so that neither those rules of honesty, which are within the booke of the mind, are fully and perfectly legible, nor can our understanding read any thing therein, distinctly and plainly: Hence it is, that God, in his mercifull providence hath given us three helps, viz. The light of Scripture, the assistance of his Grace, and the helpe of teach­ing. About this last, we are now to intreate.

7. Now every question, or case of Conscience (as the nature of the thing it selfe, and experience sheweth) is either about the state of man before God, or about those actions which in that state he doth put forth, and exercise.

8. The state of man belongs to the first part of Divinity, which is about Faith, and the actions to the second part which is about obedience.

9. The state of man before God, is that relation which man hath to God, as he is the originall of spirituall life, and happinesse.

10. Concerning this state, the Consciente ought 1. to de­clare and determine what it is. 2. to judge, that it is to be es­chewed if it be evill, and to be preserved, and increased if it be good.

[Page 3] 11. Concerning the state of man in generall there be three questions: The first is whether a man can certainly know in what state he is?

Ans. He may, 1. Because without this knowledge he can­not have anaccusing, or excusing Conscience in respect of his estate, But such a Conscience men both may and are wont to have, Rom. 2. 15. 2 Because no man can either es­chew or desire an unknowne state: But one of these states a man ought to eschew, and to labour for the other, Mat. 7. 8.

12. Quest. 2. Whether men ought to make inquiry into their estates.

Ans. Yes, and that with all diligence possible, for 1. This is a thing that God requireth, 2 Cor. 13. 5. 2. without this knowledge a man cannot have peace, or tranquillity in his Conscience, Rom. 5. 1. & 8. 1. 3. Otherwise a man cannot performe worship to God, with that preparation which is re­quisite, 1 Cor. 11. 28., 1 Cor. 11. 28.

13. Quest. 3. By what meanes comes a man to the know­ledgeHow a man may come to the knowledge of his estate. of his estate?

Ans. 1. By consideration of those actions externall, and in­ternall, which proceed from him, Mat. 7. 17. 2. By the in­clinations, and dispositions, from whence those actions flow, Rom. 7. 15, 16, 17. 3. By that reflex act, which is proper to man, whereby he hath a power, as it were to enter into, and perceive what is in himselfe, 1 Cor. 2. 11. 4. By a kind of spi­rituall sense, Luke 24. 32. Rom. 7. 21. 28.

14. Quest. 4. what is it that hinders this knowledge?The hinder­ance of this knowledge.

Ans. 1. Wicked and prophane thoughts in many, Psal. 14. 1. 2. 2. Presumption, Apoc. 3. 17. Mat. 7. 21. 23. 3. The o­vercharging of the heart by the lusts of the flesh, and care about the things of this life, Luke 21. 34. 4. An evill Con­science, Iohn 3. 20. 5. Spirituall sloth, and idlenesse, Esay [...]4. 11▪ 6. Ignorance, Rom. 6. 11.

CHAP. 2. Of the state of sinne.

1. THe state of man since the fall of Adam is twofold. A state of sinne, and a state of grace Acts [...]6. 18. [...] Iohn 3. 10. 14.

2. The state of sinne consists in the privation of spirituall life, and happinesse. From this estate therefore we are to fly, as from death and the greatest evill: Concerning this state of sin the first question is, how a man may discerne, whither he do still continue in it?

3. Ans. The signes, o [...] arguments, whereby this state maySignes of the state of sin. certainly be discern'd, are in generall, all those which are opposite to a state of grace, and spirituall life. For if a man be not in the one state, he must necessarily be in the other.

4. The first signe is a grosse ignorance of those things, which belong to spirituall life, Ep. 4. 18. for hereby▪ men are strangers to the life of God. The reason is because it is impossible that any man should please God without faith, Heb. 11. 6. And for Faith it is impossible to be had without the knowledge of the will of God, which comes by the preaching and hearing of the Word, Rom. 10. 14.

5. The second signe, is a perverse disposition of will wher­byThe signes of raigning sin. it is in subjection to the rule, and dominion of sin, Rom. 6. 12. The reason is because those who do yeild themselves servants to obey sin, are in a state of slavery to sin, unto death Rom. 6▪ 16.

6 Now the signes of raiging sinne, are first if a man do not seriously, and in good earnest, make opposition against the lusts of sinne, but rather yeild up himselfe unto them. Rom. 6. 13. Secondly, I [...] in delibr [...]ate counsell either profit, or plea­sure be preferred by him, and prevaile more with [...] ▪ then either honesty and piety, Phil. 3. 19. Thirdly, if the committing of sinne stir him up rather to pleasure, then griefe, Pro. 2. 14. Fourthly, if he take delight in the company of the wicked, Ps. 50. 18. 2 Cor. 6. 14.

[Page 5]7. The third signe, whereby it may be discerned whether a man be in the state of sinne, is the disposition of will, whereby a man opposeth himselfe, to the will of God, Rom. 8. 7.

8. The signes of this perverse disposition are, 1. To reject the knowledge of Gods wayes, Iob. 21. 14▪ 15. 16. 2. To hate correction, and instruction, Psal. 50▪ 17. 3. To contemne the threatnings, and judgements of God, Psalme 36. 1. 2. Dent. 29. 19.

9. The fourth signe, is perversnesse of the affections wher­by men, turne away from God, and wholy cleave, and adhere, to worldly things, 1 Iohn. 2. 15.

10. The aversnesse of a man from God, is wont to be seene, 1. By his alination from the Word of God, especially when it is preacht to him powerfully 2 Tim. 4▪ 3. 4. 2. By a neg­lect of prayer, and other parts of Gods worship, Psal. 14. 3. 4. Psa. 79. 6. Ier. 10. 25. 3. By an alienation from the ser­vants of God, Pro. 29. 27. 1. Iohn 3. 10.

11. The signes of a man cleaving to, and as it were drownd in the things of this world are, 1. If he imploy his chiefest care, and diligence about these things Mat. 6. 25. 31. 32. The reason is given Verse 21. & 24. for where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. 2. If he be ready rather to forsake God and his righteousnesse then these worldly things▪ Mat. 37. 38. 3. If he do in his heart judge those men to be happy which have an abundance of these worldly goods. Pro. 11 28. & 18. 11.

12. The fifth signe is the corruption of a mans life; or of the works of life Rom. 8. 13. This corruption of life doth not consist in those sins which even the godly sometimes through infirmity fall into, but in a continued course, and tenour of sinning. It is called in Scriptures the way of sinne, Psal. 1. 1. A working of iniquity, Mat. 7. 23. A walking in sinne, Psal. 1. 1. Pro. 1. 15. A walking after sinne, Jer. 9. 14. And a custome in sinne, Jer. 13. 23. These works of the flesh are manifest by them­selves, Gal. 5. 19.

13. The sixt and the most desperate signe is, obstinancy in evill, whereby a man shuts and stops up the way to all amend­ment, Esay. 6. 9. 10. Ier. 6. 10.

CHAP. 3. Of deferring or putting off ones Conversion.

QUest. The second question is, whether a man may safe­ly, rest for any time, in a state of sinne, especially if he purpose with himselfe to reforme and amend his life afterward.

1. Answer, it is not lawfull to make the least delay at all in our conversion unto God. The reasons are, 1. Because God requires this for the present, Psal. 95. 7. Heb. 4. 7. And seing sinne is a debt, and an injury done to God, it is manifest, that repentance for the same ought not, unlesse God con­sent and like of it, to be defer'd for one moment. As soone therefore as God shall require us to correct our lives, and to be converted; so soone ought this duty to be perform'd, be­sides this, no subject can keepe and receive atheise, and mur­derer, or a publike enemy, against the will of the magistrate, but he shall be guilty of a hainous crime. Now sinne is a theife, a murderer, and an enemy to Gods glory. Whosoever therefore shall keepe and nourish sinne against Gods Will, although he determine to do it but for a certaine time, he thereupon doth bring upon himselfe a very grievous guilt.

2. Because all delay of Repentance increaseth hardnesse of heart, Heb. 4. 7. It doth produce a custome of sinning, and makes the worke of repentance to be harder and har­der Ie. 13. 23. The reason is, because thereby evill habits are more strengthen'd and confirm'd, the understanding becomes darker, Ep. 4. 18. The will growes more obdurat, and addicted to sinne, Heb. 4. 7. All the faculties are more bound, and tied, as it were with chaines, and knots, Acts 8. 23. A yong plant is more easily pluckt up then that which hath taken deepe roote. A nayle the o [...]tner it is beaten with a hammer the more firmly it is fastned, and the more hardly drawne out.

3. Because continuance in sinne doth increase the num­ber of sinnes, our guilt, and the wrath of God, Psal. 95. 10. 11. For that sinne which by repentance is not taken away, [Page 7] hath through its owne naturall inclination, the course of God something in it like to the which in Gods things proceed from Gods blessing, that is, it increaseth and multi­plies, and it doth, with its owne waight draw unto other sins, even as the deepe is said to call unto the deepe.

4. Because the duration of our life is altogether uncer­taine, Iam. 4. 13, 14. Delay breeds danger. Thou foole this night shall thy soule be required of thee and then where will that conversion be, which thou hast defer'd? when therefore we have opportunity, let us set upon this businesse.

5. Because repentance is the gift of God, which he be­stowes at his owne appointed times, not at our pleasure, 1 Tim. 2. 25. 2 Cor. 6. 2. Luke 13. 9. We must therefore let slip no occasion, but convert to day; And it is just with God that (if we neglect our duty, in this point, and refuse to fall to it, while we may) through his judgement and leaving▪ and forsaking of us, we should not be able to do it, when wee would.

6. Because the purpose of deferring repentance cannot stand with a sincere purpose to repent, 1 Peter 4. 3. It is a point of dishonesty, and fraud, and a signe of a debtor that never meanes to pay what he owes, when a man because hee is not minded to pay, defers, and puts it of, from one day unto another.

7. Because late repentance is very seldome true, and almost alwayes suspitions. The example of the theife which we read, of in the Scriptures is onely one, neither yet do we reade of him, or of any other that was afterward converted that did defer and put off his repentance. Yea the cleane con­trary is threatned to such a man, Mat. 24. 48.

8. Because though we could be certaine that we might afterwards repent truly, yet it were a base and unworthy part to deale so with God, as it is not fit we should deale with men, Lev. 19. 13 Ro. 3. 28. And as we would be loath God should deale with us, Ps. 13. 2. 8. & Cor. 3.

9. Such kind of delayes may be convinced of folly, and of madnesse, even by common sense, and experience, for all men would account him for a bedlam, that should when his house were on fire, defer the quenching of it, though but fo [...] [Page 8] one houre. Or that having received some poyson into his body, should not indeavour instantly to expell it; or the have­ing received some greivous wound, should not with all pos­sible speed seeke for remedy. But in neglecting the burning, the poyson, and death of sin, as there is more danger so the folly is much more pernicious.

CHAP. 4. How the sinner ought to prepare himselfe to conversion.

QUest. 3. What ought a man to do, that he may be trans­lated out of a state of sin, into the state of grace?

Ans. Of those things which are necessarily required to this purpose, some pertaine to the pulling a man out of the state of sinne, and some to the setting him in the state of grace, Those things which pertaine to the pulling a man out of the state of sinne, are such as serue to shake a man out of that carnall security, in which he slept before, and to worke in him a carefulnesse of his salvation above all things else Act. 2. 37. & 16. 33. That this may be done, many things are ne­cessa [...]y.

1. For it is first of all required, that a man seriously looke into the Law of God, and make an examination of his life, and state according to 1. Iam. 1. 23. 24 25.

2. It is required, secondly that upon that comparing of our state with Gods Law, there do follow a conviction of Con­science which in Scripture is call'd [...] a being without excuse, Rom. 1. 20. And a concluding one under sin, Rom. 11. 32. Rom. 2. 20 & 7. 7.

3. Thirdly, after this conviction of Conscience, there must follow, a despare of salvation, both in respect, of all strength of our owne, and of any helpe which is to be had from the Creatures, Rom. 7. 9. 11. 13.

4. Fourthly, after all these; there must follow, a true humiliation of heart, which consists in griefe and feare be­cause of sin, and doth bring forth confession, Mat. 9▪ 12.

[Page 9]5. For the procuting of this humiliation, it is alwayes ne­cessary that there be a distinct consideration of some parti­cular finnes: for a generall apprehension of sinne, causeth a confused astonishment, but no right and true humiliation, Rom. 7. 7.

6. This humiliation is oftentimes occasioned by the sight of some one sin, Act. 2. 23. 37.

7. It is helped forward oft times by some heavy affliction, as in Manasses. 2 Chro. 33. 12. The degrees of this humiliation are not the same, in all that be converted: for some feele greater trouble, and some lesse. But all those that are truely converted are also truly humbled. So put a man in the state of grace, it is required, that there be 1. Such an apprehension, upon the Gos­pell, as whereby a man judgeth it possible that his sinnes should be forgiven, Rom. 12. 23. Psa. 130. 4. 2 An earnest desire to ob­taine that mercy, which in Scripture is called a spirituall hunger, or thirst, Esa. 55. 1. Iohn. 7. 37. Luke 1. 53. 3 An actu [...]ll union with Christ, which consists in Faith, that is wrought in us by effectuall vocation, Iohn 15. 1. 4. True re­pentance, whereby forsaking all sin, we give up and con­secrate our selves wholy to God in Christ, Acts 2. 38. & 3. 19.

CHAP. 5. Of the effectuall Vocation.

BY effectuall vocation, we have the first entrance into the state of saving grace; But here (in generall) arise foure questions, which doe neerely belong to Conscience, The first question is, whether he that hath Faith, may by ordina­ry means certainly know, that he is effectually called of God and in the state of grace?

Ans. He that hath Faith, may, and is wont to knowThe Faithfull may be certain of their voca­tion. certainly that he is in the state of grace. Divers reasons of this assertion, (besides those which before were, delivered in the questions of the state of man in generall) may be produced.

1. It is the office and the worke of the spirit of God which [Page 10] the faithfull have received, to certify and assure them of those things which God of his free grace hath conferd upon them, 1 Cor. 2. 12. Ro. 8. 15.

2. The faithfull are commanded to make their calling and election sure, neither is this a legall precept but an evangeli­call, 2 Pet. 1. 10.

3. That grace which we have received hath the nature and force of an earnest, in respect of that inheritance which is promised to us, Es. 1. 1, 4. & 4. [...]0. 1 Cor. 13. 14. 2 Cor. 1 21. 22. For asmuch therefore as it serves for the assuring us of the certaine of something which is to come, it ought not it selfe to be uncertaine: for no certainty can be grounded upon an uncertainty.

4. A certaine knowledge of the grace of God is required, as a necessary foundation for that joy and thankfulnesse which God requires of us, in regard of that grace, 1 Peter 1. 6. 8.

5. A Conscience purged from dead works doth necessarily bring with it a certaine knowledge of grace, Heb. 10. 20. Rom. 8. 16. & 9. 2.

6. The faithfull are expresly said to have had this assu­rance, and that by such arguments as are common to all be­lievers, 2 Cor. 13. 5. 1 Iohn 3. 14. & 4. 16. &▪ 5. 20.

The second question is by what signes the certainty of this effectuall vocation, and grace may be confirmed.

7. Ans The first signe is, a constant inclination of the will towards God, as towards the chiefe good, Psal. 119. 57. For there is no man that can indeed place his chiefest good in the injoying God, but such a one as is called by God out of the world, and converted from his idolls, which before he had set up to himselfe in his heart.

8. The second signe is a purpose, and readinesse of mind to hearken unto God in everything, 1 Sam. 3. 10. Acts 9. 6. Psa. 40. 8 9. For in so doing a man answers to the call of God, and becomes call'd▪ Ps. 27. 8.

9. The third signe is, a vehement longing after the word of God, 1 Pet. 2. 2. For by this word the faithfull are call'd, and regenerated▪ 1 Pet. 1. 23.

10. The fourth signe is a singular love towards them which [Page 11] are borne of the same seed, and bloud, 1 Iohn 3. 14.

The third Quest. is, what a man ought to do that he may beThe duties of a man call'd to helpe forward his vocation & to make it sure unto himselfe. partaker of this grace?

11. Ans. Although God of his unspeakable Grace be often times found of them that seeke not after him, yet there be diverse duties, which ly upon a man about his vocation, and which both ought, and are wont ordinarily to be performed before the certainty of this grace can be gotten.

12. He therefore that desires to apply himselfe to Gods Call ought to settle in his mind an estimation of the Word of God, above all riches, Psal. 119. 14. The reason is, because a man will never seeke the Kingdome of God to purpose, un­lesse he esteeme it so highly that he judge all other things to be set after it, Mat. 10. 37. Luke 14. 26.

13. Secondly, hee ought to imploy his greatest care la­bour and industry, about this businesse, Iohn 6. 27. Pro. 2. 4. & 8. ver. The reason is because there can be no serious, and so­lid estimation of a thing, where there is not an answerable in­deavor to obtaine it.

14. Thirdly, he ought with all diligence, care, and con­stancy, to apply himselfe to the use of all those meanes which God hath sanctifyed for the communicating of his grace. Pro. 8. 34. The reason is, because God only who is the author of grace, can appoint meanes, and make them effectuall. He ought therefore to imitate those sick persons which lay at the poole of Bethesda, waiting for the moving of the water, Iohn 5. 3 4 7.

15. Fourthly, he ought to bring himselfe to that passe that he may sell all that he hath to buy this pearle, Pr. 23. 23. Mat. 13. 45, 46. For although God doth freely bestow life upon us, and receive nothing at our hands in liew of it, Esa. 55. 1. 2. Yet we ought to forsake all unlawfull things actually, and all externall and naturall goods also, in the purpose, and dis­position of our minds, else we cannot obtaine the grace of God.

The fourth Question is by what motives a man may be stird up to embrace the call of God.

16. Answer, first if he do seriously, and much consider with himselfe, who it is that calls him: for it is an omnipotent God [Page 12] to whom we ought to hearken and give eare; although we should not know what the event would be, Heb. 11. 8.

17. Secondly, if he do consider attentively often what it is to which God calls him: For it is no small matter, or light thing, but even eternall happinesse, and glory, 1 Pet. 5. 10. Ep. 1. 18.

18. Thirdly, if he do also waigh what that is out of which he is call'd: For he is perswaded to forsake nothing, besides sin, and death, Acts 26. 18▪ Luke 3. 7.

19. Fourthly, if he doe also consider what the cause is that moves God to call him, which he shall finde to be nothing else but Gods incomprehensible mercy towards his enemy▪ Rom. 8. 10. 2 Cor. 5. 10. He must have a heart of Iron, that is not moved with such goodnesse as this, as we may see by Saul, 1 Sam. 24. 17. 19.

20. Fiftly, if hee doe humbly compare himselfe with others, to whom this grace of vocation is denied. 1 Cor. 1. 26.

21. Sixtly, if he doe call to mind how hainous an offense it is to neglect this call of God, much more to despise it, Mat. 22. 7. 8. L [...]. 4 24.

22. Seventhly, if he do also consider of that misery, which he doth by the Law of equity bring upon himselfe by this sin, Pr [...]. 1. 24—32.

CHAP. 6. Of Faith.

THe worke of effectuall vocation, is to worke in man a true Faith in Christ, and repentance towards God.

Concerning Faith, the first question is what a man is to doe that he may obtaine true Faith in Christ.How to ob­taine Faith.

1. Ans. Besides those things which were propounded be­fore, it is further required, 1. that a man do go altogether out of himselfe, renouncing his owne righteousnesse▪ Rom. 10. 3. Phil. 3. 9. The reason is because no man will seeke righte­ousnes out of himselfe by Faith, unlesse he do first acknow­ledge himselfe to be destitute of all righteousnesse in himselfe.

[Page 13]2. Secondly, hee ought to propou [...]d unto himselfe the righteousnesse of Christ, as his chiefest aime, and scope, so that he doth contemne all things in respect of that, Phil. 3. 9. 12. The reason is, because Christ is never sought as he ought to be, unlesse he be preferr'd before all things else, as the onely meanes of eternall salvation.

3. Thirdly, he ought to fasten the eyes of his mind, upon the promises of the Gospell; For the Gospell is the Ministry of the spirit of righteousnesse and of life, 2 Cor. 3. 6. 8. the reason is, because Christ is neither offer'd of God, nor can be apprehended by man, but onely in the promises of the Gospell.

4. Now in fastning our eyes upon the promises of the Gos­spell, we must consider first, that Christ onely is propoun­ded in them, and that crucifyed, 1 Cor. 1 23 34. & [...]. 2. 2. Secondly, that in Christ there is a perfect sufficiency of re­demption, and salvation, provided for them that be in him, Iohn 3. 16. Whence also in Scripture it is call'd a rich, and plenteous, abundant, and plentifull grace, Ep. 1. 6. 7. & 2. 4. Rom. 5. 10. 1. Tim. 1. 14. Thirdly, that this grace is particularly offer'd to all those to whom it is preacht, Mark [...] 16. 13.

The second question is by what motives a man may be stirr'd up to believe in Christ.

5. Ans. First, if he consider that this is the CommandmentMotives to Faith. of God, that he doe believe in Christ, 1 Iohn 3 23. Secondly, if he meditate of that misery, to which all those are subject which believe not, Iohn 13. 18.

6. Thirdly, if he do meditate of the happinesse of those which do truly believe, 1 Iohn 3. 16.

7. Fourthly, if hee consider that there is no other way whereby hee can escape that misery, or obtaine that happi­nesse but onely by Faith in Christ, Acts 4. 12. Heb. 11. 6.

8. Fifthly▪ if he doe consider the injury which is offer'd to God by the man that believes not, 1 Iohn 5. 10.

9. Sixtly, if he waigh with himselfe how much they do honour God, which believe in him, Rom. 4. 20. Iohn 3. 33.

10. Seaventhly, if he looke upon the cloud of examples, which he hath of those which have believed and have beene saved by Faith, Heb. 12. 1. For they were for patterns to [Page 14] them which should afterward believe, 1 Tim. 1. 16.

The third Question is by what signes true Faith may be discern'd?

Ans. Faith in respect of the adjuncts, may be distinguisht into a sick Faith and a lively.

11. A sickly Faith is that which is oppressed and hin­dredA languishing Faith. so by temptations, and corruptions, that it cannot put forth it selfe in those Fruits, which bring to the Conscience the sense of peace, delight and joy, Ep. 4. 30. an example hereof we have in David, Ps. 51. 14.

12. A lively Faith is that which doth freely exercise itsA lively Faith. acts▪ so that it is felt of the believer himselfe with a great deale of comfort, 1 Pet. 1. 8.

13. Faith also in regard of the degrees is distinguisht into a weake and strong Faith.

14. A weake Faith is that which is easily hindred in its course, Ro. 14. 1. Ga. 6. 1. It is call'd in Scripture [...] little Faith, Mat. 16. 8.

15. A strong Faith is that which overcomes all difficulties,A strong Faith. & proceeds freely in its course, it is cal'd in Scripture [...] a full perswasion, Rom 4. 24. Luke 1. 1. 1 Thess. 1. 5. Col. 2. 2.

16. A lively and strong Faith is easily manifest and known to them in whom it is, first because they have the testimony thereof in themselves, 1 Iohn 5. 10. viz. the Spirit of God bearing witnesse with their spirit that they ar the children of God, Rom. 8. 16. Which spirit they have as the earnest of their inheritance, 1 Ep. 13. 14. and by it they are seald till the day of redemption, Ep. 4. 30. 2 They have the Love of God shed abroad in their hearts by the same spirit, Rom. 5. 5. Whereupon it is that they have peace, and joy unspeake­able, and full of glory, 1 Pet. 1. 6. 8. Rom. 5. 1. 2. 3▪ They have and bring forth those Fruits, whereby true Faith is wont to be manifested, and perfected, Gal. 2. 18. Gal. 5. 6.

17. A languishing, and weake Faith may be discern'd to be true, and sincere, principally by these notes.The signes of true Faith.

First, if there be a sincere desire of Union, and Commu­nion with Christ, 2 Cor. 8▪ 12. This desire is distingu [...]sht from that which may be found in the unregenerate, 1. because it is not a conditionall desire, or a kinde of wishing, which [Page 15] even many wicked men have after these spirituall good things, if they might also enjoy and still keepe their sinnes, but it is an absolute choise, Heb. 11. 25. 2 Because it is not caried after these spirituall things, onely as beneficiall unto a mans selfe, but as simply, and in themselves good, and things for their owne sake to be desired of all, Psal. 73. 25. & 43. 3. 3 Because it is caried after all choise that is as well after the sanctification, as after the justification and redemption which are in him▪ 1 Cor. 1. 30. 4 Because such a man more esteemes of Christ then of all things else, 1 Pet. 2. 6. 5 There is alwayes joynd with this desire, a sense of sinne, and a seri­ous sorrow for it, Mat. 11. 28. 6 This desire is not vanishing, and fickle, but constant, Luk. 18. 1. 7 It is not slothfull but in­dustrious, Pro. 21. & 26. 15.

18. The sincerity of Faith appeares also, if it hath been begotten, and is preserved and stirred up by the powerfull Mi­nistry of the Word, Rom. 10. 14. Whereupon it comes to passe, that a man is affected towards the Word, as towards spirituall Food, 1 Pet. 2. 2. The reason is because such a kind of desire being a motion of spirituall Life, must needs presup­pose life it selfe which consisteth in Faith; for carnall presumption both consisteth without the Ministry of the Word, and can by no meanes indure the effectuall applica­tion, and setting home of those things which belong to the power of godlinesse, 2 Tim. 4. 3. But Faith cleaves unto the word as its principall and foundation.

19. The sincerity of Faith appeares in the third place from hence, that although it seeke justification in Christ, yet it embraceth, with a sincere assent, and subjection of heart, the whole Word of God, that is every precept, prohibition and threatning, which comes from God, Psal. 119. 6. Iam. 2. 10. 14. Herod did assent unto many things, Marke 6. 20. The rea­son is because Faith doth unite a mans heart to God, and deliver it, up unto him, simply without any exeception.

20. Fourthly, it appeares by this, because as touching the purpose of the minde, and his uttermost indeavor, it purifye [...] a mans heart from all sinne▪ Acts 15. 9. Mat. 5. 7. The rea­son is because Faith doth principally, and singularly seeke in God the utter abolition or sin.

[Page 16]21. Fifthly, it appeares by this, that it stirs up in the heart a sincere affection of love towards God, whereby it comes to passe, that we prefer the glory of Gods Name above all things else, 1 Iohn 4. 19. Hence it is that the faithfull in the Scriptures are wont to be described by this property of their love towards God, Rom. 8. 28. 1 Co. 16. 22. Ep. 6. 23, 24. The reason is, because they place and apprehend their chiefe good in God.

22. Sixtly, it appeares by that sincere love which it works in a mans heart towards his fellow Brethren, 1 Iohn 3. 14. & 5. 1. The reason is because the Image of God appeares in them.

CHAP. 7. Of those temptations which fight against FAITH.

BEcause the whole spirituall life of a man doth depend upon his Faith, Heb. 10. 38. And by Faith as by a sheild, a man is preserv'd safe against all the temptations of the De­vill, the World and the Flesh, Ep. 6. 16. 1 Pet. 5. 9. Heb. 11. 25. Therefore it is that these three enemies doe bend their forces principally against Faith. It will be profitable there­fore to be acquainted with the principle assaults in this kind, as also with those means whereby through the grace of God, we may repell them, that they do not overmuch weaken our Faith.

The first Question then is, how the believer may supportOf the want of the sense of grace. himselfe against those temptations, which are drawne from hence, that there are no notable Fruits of his Faith to be seene and discern'd.

1. Ans. first he ought to consider that Faith in its owne nature is of those things which are not seene or felt, Heb. 11. 1. And in this it differs from vision, Rom. 8. 24. 1 Cor. 13. 12. And therefore there is no more required to the being of Faith but that man do with his whole heart make choise of Christ for his Saviour, and with his whole heart adhere unto him. Other things belong to the well being of Faith, not absolutely to the being of it, Col. 2. 7.

[Page 17]2. Secondly, he ought to consider, that the want of many fruits may argue Faith to be languishing, or weake, but it can­not argue that there is no Faith, 2 Pet. 1. 8.

3. Thirdly, he ought to consider that the Conscience is often supported much by the remembrance of what is past, though for the present grace appeare not, Psal. 77. 6. 7. 12. And by the judgements of others that are godly, and wise concerning us, when our own judgement is troubled, Heb. 6. 9. 2 Cor. 2. 7. 8.

The second Question is, how a man may support himselfeOf the sense of the wrath of God. against those temptations which are drawne from hence, that he feels upon him the signes of the Wrath of God?

4. Ans. First, he ought to consider, that many signes of Gods wrath may stand with his love and favour. Psal. 99. 8.

5. Secondly, he ought to remember that Christ himselfe who was the Sonne of Gods love, did tast the wrath of God in this sort, Mat. 27. 46.

6. Thirdly, he ought to consider that it is required of the Faithfull that they believe against hope under hope, Rom. 4. 11. And that they do, and they wrastle as it were with God, by Faith, Gen. 32. 24. Hos. 12. 4. 5.

The third Question is how hee may hold up his head aOf the want of growth and progresse in Faith. gainst those temptations, which arise from hence, that his Faith increaseth not, Rom. 1. 17.

7. Ans. He ought to consider first that it is with Faith, as it is with plants and living Creatures, which wee may more easily perceive to have growne, then to grow. Secondly, that the increase of Faith is not to be expected at every moment, and at all seasons of our life, Heb. 5. 12. But then especi­ally when the Sun of righteousnesse approacheth nearer to our Horizon, by a more mercifull communication of his grace, Acts 9. 31. 2 Pet. 1. 2. 3. Thirdly, that those tempta­tions which do hinder the increase of Faith for the pre­sent do advantage it for the future, like the winter to the Plants, and like diverse sicknesses to the bodies of young Folke.

Fourth Question is how a man may comfort himselfe a­gainst those terrors which arise from the guilt of his sins, es­pecially if they be greevous?

[Page 18]8. Ans. He ought to remember, 1. That such temptations as these, do proceed from a defect in Faith, Rom. 6. 11. Ep. 6. 16. 1 Pet. 5. 9. And therefore that we are not to cast away our Faith because of such sins, but rather so much the more to strengthen it, Lu. 22. 32.

9. He ought secondly to consider that it is the duty of the faithfull not for sinne to fly away from God, but rather for God to fly away from sinne, and to adhere to God in Christ, that sinne may be remitted, and abolisht, Iohn 3. 14. With Num. 21. 19.

The fifth Quest. is how a Christian may sustaine himselfe in time of affliction?

10. Ans. He ought to consider, 1. That such kind of tryalls are fruits of Gods love, Heb. 12. 6. 2 They shall worke for his good, Rom. 8. 28. 3 The grace of God in all these ought to be sufficient to him▪ 2 Cor. 12. 9. But of afflictions more hereafter.

CHAP. 8. Of Repentance.

COncerning Repentance the first Question is, what a man is to doe that he may repent?

1. Ans. He ought, 1. attentively and seriously to consider his sinnes, according to that nature which is most detestible, Esa. 1. 4. Apoc. 3. 17. For as the consideration of sinne un­der some false shape as a thing lovely, and desirable, doth draw a man to sinne: so the true consideration of sinne▪ as a thing abominable, and by all meanes to bee eschew'd, doth withdraw the minde from sinne by true Re­pentance. To set on this consideration it will be profitable, 1. To meditate upon the Majesty of God, which is by our sinnes most grievously offended. 2. Weigh well the in­finite and manifold obligations whereby wee are bound to please God, which yet we have not ceast wickedly to vio­late. 3. To thinke upon the terrible wrath of God, which like a consuming fire, remaines upon impenitent sinners. [Page 19] 4. To set before our eyes, those supernaturall good things of which our sinnes deprive us. 5. To call to minde those great evills which by our sinnes we bring upon our selves, and others, and the dishonor which we do to God. And to this purpose it will be exceeding profitable religiously to medi­tate upon the unsufferable torments, death, and curse which befell Christ for our sins.

2. He ought, 2. to set before his eyes, Obedience to­wards God, as a thing absolutly to be sought, necessarily to be followed after, Luke 13. 3 & 10. 42. They which are caried after any other thing, as absolutely necessary, are by that very affection by which they are so caried, drown'd in perdition. 1 Tim. 6. 9.

3. He ought, 3. to confesse his sinnes before God, 1 Iohn 1. 9. Psal. 32. 5. & 51. 5. For confession of sinne makes a man take all the guilt, and shame unto himselfe, and ascribe all the glory to God, Daniel 9.

4. He ought, 4. by Faith in Christ to expect, and pray for the change of his heart according to that promise which we have, Ez. 36. 26. 32. For those which go about the worke of conversion leaning upon their owne strength, do no­thing to the purpose in this businesse, 2 Cor. 3. 5,

5. He ought, 5. in the power of God, to turne himselfe with all his heart from that which is evill, and to convert himselfe to that which is good in the sight of God, Psalme 34. 15. Now turning from evill, consists primarily in the hatred of evill, Psal. 45. 8. Which hatred in respect of those sinnes which are past, doth necessarily bring forth an un­feigned sorrow, Zach. 12. 10. Together with a shame, and dis­like, Rom. 6. 21. And conversion to good, doth pri­marily consist, in a desire, and purpose to doe well, Psalme 119. 33. 106.

The second Question is, by what motives a man may be stir'd up to true repentance?

6. Ans. Let him consider, 1. That this repentance is a thing very pleasing to God, Psal. 51. 19. The force of the argu­ment lies here, because he which hath given himselfe up to God by Faith, cannot but indeavour after all those things, by which God is well pleased. 2. That it is absolutely [Page 20] necessary to salvation, Luke 13. 3. The reason of the con­sequence lies here, because he which desires the end, desires also those means, which hee sees to have a necessary con­nection with that end, 3. That sinne is the cause of our se­paration from God, Esa. 59. 2. This reason holds because the believer by his Faith doth adhere to God, and therefore turnes away from all those things which worke a separation twixt God, and him, 4. That there is an utter opposition betwixt sinne, and ou [...] vocation and Faith and Life, 2 Cor. 6. 15, 16. 1 Thess. 4. 7. 1. The argument is strong because he which affirmes one of the contraries denies the other, 5. That the mercies of God towards him, (by all which he is lead unto repentance) are exceeding great, Rom. 2. 4. 5. Ier. 84. 5. 12. 6. That Christ suffered most grievous anguish for our sins. Zac. 12. 12. By which we may learne how horrible they be, and how much to be detested, 7. That impeniten­cy in it selfe is the most grievous sinne, and that it is the con­tinuation, the sealing up, and the amplification of all sinnes besides, 8. That there are great promises made, and that the Kingdom of Heaven stands open to all such as repent, Esa. 1. 18. 1 Kings 8. 48 49, 50.

The third Question is, what bee the signes of true Re­pentance?Signes of Re­pentance.

7. Answer, First a griefe for sin in respect of the offence done to God by them, and not onely in respect of punish­ment; the reason is because repentance doth turue a man from sinne as it is sinne, now it is sinne as it doth transgresse the reveal'd will of God, and so offendeth him, and pro­vokes him to anger. This griefe ought to be the greatest of all griefe, Zach. 12. 10, 11. At the least intellectively, in regard of the displeasednesse of the will, although in respect of the sense other griefes may sometimes appeare more vehement. Griefe, or sorow is an offense of the soule, arising from hence that it suffereth something which it abhors as being a thing whereby it feels it selfe to be hurt. Griefe therefore for sinne doth necessarily accompany true conversion, for the mind while it converts it selfe from sinne, beginneth to nill sinne, or to abhorre it, It perceiving therefore that somewhat sticks to it which it doth abhorre, cannot chuse but be troub­led. [Page 21] And because the chiefe reason why the converted soule doth abhorre sinne, is that repugnancy which sinne hath to the will of that God, to which the soule being converted is now joyned, hence it is, that griefe for sinne if it be right ariseth rather from this ground, because God is thereby offended, then because any misery is brought upon our selves.

8. Secondly, a hatred of sinne, as a thing above all others most detestable, Apocal. 2. 6. This hatred if it be sincere, 1. Is caried against all knowne sinnes without any exception, 2. It is constant without intermission, 3. It is implacable without reconciliation, 4. It is vehement without tole­ration.

9. A third signe is an earnest desire, and setled pur­pose to avoyd all sinne, and to live after Gods Law for the future; The reason is because he which doth detest, and hate sinne, for this reason because it is sinne, and offends Gods Majesty, will as well abhorre future sinnes, as those which are past, for these do every whit as much offend God as the other: and no man can avoid future sinnes unlesse hee do purpose and determine with himselfe, as strongly as he can that he will never, upon any condition commit sinne againe. This purpose if it be sincere, 1. Doth cause a separation as far as possible may be from present sinnes, and from occa­sions of future sinnes, 2. It intendeth every thing that it is good, 3. It seekes for it effectually in a diligent indeavour and use of the meanes, 4. It carefully labours to remove all im­pediments as well internall, as externall.

The fourth Question is how a man can repent of such sins asRepentance for sins un­known. he cannot come to the knowledge of?

10. Answer, He which formally and distinctly repents of all his knowne sinnes, hath a virtuall, and con [...]used repen­tance even for those sinnes which hee knoweth not, Psalme 19. 13.

The fifth Question is, whither it be sufficient for a man toOf the conti­nuation and renovation of Repentance. repent once?

11. Ans. First, past sinnes are not to be forgotten, Deut. 9. 7. No not those which were committed in youth, Psalme 25. 7. 2▪ This remembrance of former sinnes is profitable, 1. [Page 22] to humble us, Deut. 9. 6. 7. 2. To stir up thankefulnesse to­wards God, 1 Tim. 1. 12. & 3. 10. 3 To make us pitifull and gentle to other sinners, Titus 3. 2. 3. But as oft as our sinnes come to minde we ought to be affected with shame, and sor­row for them, Gen. 41 9. Ez. 16. 61. 63. 1 Cor. 15. 9. It is true that horrour which is wont at ones first conversion to ceize upon the soule, returnes not to the faithfull by the remem­brance of their old sinnes, because of the Mercy of God, which thorough Christ they have obtained, but yet shame, and blushing is a thing that doth become Saints very well, Rom. 6. 21. So that it is made a note of a wicked man that hath not yet repented of his sinnes if hee can thinke on them, and call them to minde with pleasure, Iob. 20. 12. Pro. 2. 14.

12. Secondly, Repentance is to be renued dayly, as sinnes are renued, 2 Tim. 1. 6. Ier. 8. 6. For as a Candle newly put out, and yet smoaking, is kindled againe and reviveth by a small blast, so the soule is freed from ordinary straights and dangers by a seasonable, that is by a dayly renuing of Repentance. A member out of joynt is to be set as soone as may be. 3. After extraordinary sinnes extraordinary repen­tance also is necessary, Psal. 51. 1. 1 Corin. 5. 2. 2 Cor. 7. 9. & 12. 21.

CHAP. 9. Of Adoption.

VPon Faith in Christ followes justification and adopti­tion, but because justification doth properly consist in relation therefore there is no peculiar thing about it that belongs to Conscience, besides those which either were spoken of before, in the Questions about Faith, or are here­after to be spoken of, amongst those things which belong to Sanctification, Glorification, and Obedience.

If any one be certaine of his Faith in Christ, and yet do doubt in Conscience whether he be justified before God, this happens through want of wisdome to infer the con­clusion [Page 23] out of the promises. This defect therefore is reme­died by a right information about the nature of justification. For all the promises of the Gospell concerning remission of sinnes, justification, and life eternall, do as well belong to every particular believer, and may and ought as well to be apprehended, and applied by him unto himselfe, as if his owne name were written in the Scriptures. The reason is, because whatsoever is promised to Faith, or to the faithfull in generall, is promised expresly to all and every true believer in particular.

There is the same reason for adoption also, save onely that to this benefit, there is attributed as an adjunct a cer­taine operation of the spirit in respect whereof he is called the spirit of adoption. For although it be the same spirit, which doth, 1. convince men of sinne, and of righteous­nesse, and judgement, Iohn 16. 8. 2 Illuminate them with the saving knowledge of Christ, 1 Corinthians 1. 10. 13. Ep. 1. 17. 18. 3 Ingraft them into Christ, Ep. 3. 6. & 4. 4. 4. Quicken them being ingrafted, 2 Cor. 3. 6. 5. Lead them into all truth which is necessary to salvation, Iohn 14. 17. & 16. 13. Iohn 4. 16. Yet because adoption hath a primary place among those benefits which are seal'd to us by the holy spi­rit, hence it is that he receiveth a singular denomination there from, and is cal'd the spirit of adoption, Romans 8. 15.Meanes to ob­taine the spirit of Adoption. Concerning this spirit the first Question is, what a man ought to do that hee may obtaine the lively act, and sense of it?

1. Ans. Hee ought, 1. to give diligent attention to the preaching of the Gospell, 2 Cor. 3. 6. 8. The Ministers of the new testament are call'd the Ministers of the spirit, and the Ministry thereof the Ministry of the spirit, because by that meanes God doth offer, and communicate his spirit, Gal. 3. 2. Yee have received the spirit by the hearing of Faith, Ep. 1. 13.

In whom yee also trusted after that yee heard the word of truth, the Gospell of your salvation, in whom also after that yee believed, yee were seal'd with the holy spirit of promise.

2. He ought, 2. to beg this spirit of God, Luke 11▪ 13. Your Heavenly Father will give the holy spirit to them that ask him.

[Page 24]3. Hee ought▪ 3. To open the dores of his heart that the spirit may enter in, Psal. 24. 7. Apoc. 3. 20. That is to call off his minde from earthly things and to raise it upwards and to prepare himselfe, by all means to entertaine the motions of the spirit.

The proper Question is, what be the signes of the spirit ofSignes of Adoption. Adoption.

4. Ans. The first signe is a spirit of Prayer, whereby we call upon God as a Father. Zach. 12. 10. Rom. 8. 15. 26. Gal. 4. 6. For no man can have a true filiall affection toward, and confidence in God, but by communion of the spirit.

Now this is in that regard proper in a sort to the time of the Gospell, or new Testament, because God hath declared himselfe principally, [...]tly, and in a more excellent manner then formerly to be our Father.

5. The second signe is an high estimation of the dignity of Adoption, Ioh. 1. 12. 1 Ioh. 3. 1. For the spirit doth not on­ly seale unto us our Adoption, but doth also shew us how great a blessing it is, and how much to be prised.

6. The third signe is the feare and honour of God, 1 Pet. 1. 17. Mat. 1. 6. For true reverence followes upon an apprehen­sion of great love and kindnesse mixt with great power.

7. The fourth signe is filiall obedience, 1 Pet. 1. 14. Which proceeds not so much from hope and reward, as from love and desire to please God, Rom. 8. 14. For obedience sprin­geth from a religious reverence.

8. The fifth signe is conformity to the Image of God our Father, and Christ our elder brother, Mat. 5. 48. Ro. 8. 29. 1 Ioh. 3. 9. For the Son is begotten after the similitude and likenesse of his Father.

9. The sixth signe is a firme hope of the eternall inheritance Ro. 8. 17. For the inheritance and the expectation thereof is proper to some, not to peccants or strangers.

The third Question is how the testimony of the spirit may be preserved?

8. Ans. 1. If we extinguish and quench it not by contempt or neglect of the meanes of grace, 1 Thess. 5. 19. 20. The reason is, because the word with the like means of grace are the force of the spirituall life, by the use of which the spirit is strength­ned [Page 25] within us, and in the want of which the spirit in regard of its inhabitation failes in us, and is said to be quenched.

11. 2. If we grieve it not by the filthinesse of sinne, Eph. 4. 30. The reason is because as naturall griefe ariseth from the presence, or representation of some repugnant, and un­welcome object, which is incumbent and prevailes against us, so that spirit is in a sort grieved by the prevailing of sinne, a thing to him most odious and repugnant.

12. 3. If wee stir it up by holy exercises. 2. Tim. 1. 6. The reason is because as fire in greene wood burnes not but by the help of bellowes and blowing, so neither doth any spirituall heate continue in the hearts of sinners, unlesse due meanes be used for the stirring it up.

CHAP. 10. Of Sanctification.

COncerning Sanctification the first question is, what aHow to ob­taine Sancti­fication. man ought to doe that he may be sanctified?

1. Ans. He ought▪ 1. wholy to submit himselfe to the word of God. For the word of God is that truth which sanctifies u [...]. Ioh 17. 17. Ier. 31. 33. And it is effectuall to worke san­ctification, 1. Because of that utter opposition which it hath against sinne, by reason whereof it repells sinne out of the heart, where it is seated, 2. Because it is the powerfull in­strument of God to regenerate men, 1. Pet. 1 23.

2. He ought 2. By Faith to apply Christ unto himselfe, as in Sanctification, 1 Cor. 1. 30. Hee ought therefore, 1. To suck as it were holinesse out of Christ, that is, Considering that Christ is the Fountaine of all spirituall life and Sanctify­ing grace, Ioh. 1. 16. Col. 1. 19. & 2. 9. He ought to rely & put his confidence in Christ for the obtaining of Sanctification, and to draw it ought of that Fountaine, Esa. 12. 3. He ought, 2. To provoke himselfe unto it by the meditation of Christ, that is, seriously weighing and considering the blessings of God in Christ, he ought to stir up himselfe to such an endeavor after Sanctification as becometh such benefits.

[Page 26]3. Now because there are two parts of our Sanctification, namely mortification, whereby sinne or the old man is put off, and vivification, whereby grace or the new man is put on, Eph. 4. 22. 24. Col. 3▪ 8▪ 10. Therefore there are two parts of the application of it for Sanctification, the first is the appli­cation of his death, the second of his Resurrection and life, Rom. 6.

4. The application of the death of Christ to the mortifying of sinne, is when Faith doth effectually collect this mortifi­cation of sin, from the death of Christ, Rom. 6. 11.

5. By this application sin is said to bee crucified▪ Romans 6. 6. Gal. 5. 24. To be killed, Romans 6. 2. And to be buried, Rom. 6. 4.

6. The Nailes whereby in this application sinne is fastned to the Crosse, are the very same with those, whereby Christ was fastned to the Crosse. For there is nothing more effectu­all, then if one would consider seriously, 1. The nature and desert of his sinnes. For he which seriously considers that his sins doe deserve, and will procure his death, and destruction, he cannot but seeke by all meanes to prevent it, by the mor­tification of sinne; for either sinne, or the sinner must needs die, Rom. 8. 13. 2 The love and mercy of God the Father toward him a sinner, in sending Christ to take away his sin. For the love of God will constraine us to seeke that for our selves, which God so earnestly sought for us, 1 Iohn 4. 11. 3 The love of Jesus Christ in undergoing, and fulfilling all things that were required for the taking away of our sinnes. For this grace and love of Christ, if it worke but upon us as it ought, will constraine us to set about this worke, 2 Cor. 5. 14, 15. Those were the very Nailes whereby Christ was fastned to the Crosse, and not those materiall ones, which his murtherers did use for this purpose.

7. The application of the resurrection and life of Christ unto vivification, is when Faith doth effectually collect this life of grace, from the resurrection and life of Christ. Rom. 6. 11. Now it is effectually collected, by a meditation of the efficient cause, and end, and fruits of the resurrection of Christ, Col. 3. 1. The meditation of the efficient cause affordeth this argument; If the said spirit which raised up [Page 27] Christ from the dead, dwellin me, it will also raise up my soule from the death of sinne, to the life of grace, Rom. 8. 11. The meditation of the end, this; As Christ was raised up, that sinne might have no more dominion over him, but that he might for ever live to God, so also must we, Rom. 6. 9. 10. The meditation of the fruits yeilds this argument: As Christ being raised up sitteth at the right Hand of his Father in Heaven, so ought we also to live as Citizens of Heaven, Phil. 3. 20.

8. He ought, 3. by a lively Faith, not onely to apprehend the generall promises of salvation, but those particular ones also, which doe in a singular manner pertaine to sanctification Ex. 30. 24.

9. He ought, 4. To yeeld up himselfe wholly to the holy Ghost, to be acted and led by him in all things. Ro. 8. 13. 14.

The second Question, by what motives may a man be stir'dMotives to Sanctification. up to labour for Sanctification?

10. Ans. If he consider, 1. That without holinesse no man shall see God. Heb. 12. 14. Mat. 5. 20. 2 That holinesse is the Image of God, and that perfection, wherein we were created at the beginning. Eph. 4. 24. 3 That holinesse is the end of our election, redemption and vocation, Eph. 1. 4. 1 Tim. 4. 7. Tit. 2. 14. 1 Cor. 1. 2. 4 That it is not the least part of glory and eternall blisse. Eph. 5. 27. 5 That there can be no true Faith or justification, or adoption without sanctification, Iac. 2. 26. 2 Pet. 1. 10. 1 Cor. 6. 11.

The third Question, what are the signes of true sancti­fication.The signes of Sanctification.

Ans. 1. A reformation of all the powers, and faculties of the whole man, 1 Thess. 5. 23. 2 A respect to all the Com­mandements of God, Psal. 119. 6. Iames 2. 10. 3 A constant care to avoid all sinne, Pro. 28. 14. 4 A walking before God, Gen. 17. 1. Acts 24. 16. 1 Cor. 10. 31. Col. 3. 23. 5 A com­bat betwixt the flesh and the spirit.

CHAP. 11. Of the combate of the Spirit against the Flesh.

QUestion, how may the combat of the spirit against the flesh which is in the regenerate, be distinguisht from that fight which is oft found in the unregenerate when they sinne?

First, Ans. 1. They differ in the causes. For, 1. the relucta­tion which is in the wicked proceeds either from horrour, and a s [...]vish feare of punishment, or from some evill dispo­sition, which is easily overcome, but the spirituall combat ariseth from a certaine new nature, which of its owne ac­cord, is carried after those things which are pleasing to God, and doth firmly, and constantly shun, and make op­position against whatsoever is contrary, 2. That fight and reluctation, which is found in wicked men, takes place on­ly, in such grosse sinnes, as either are condemned by the Law of nature, or are wont to be abhor'd by all such as are in any small measure illuminated: but the spirituall combat of the regenerate▪ is exercised against all sin, though it never come to be perfected in any grosse crime.

Secondly, 2. They differ in the objects: For that fight which is found in the wicked, is either betweene the dictate of their Conscience and the inclination of the will, or between some light inclination of the will to some morall good things, and heady affections which rule, and beare sway: but that combate which is in the regenerate, consisteth in the opposition and strife of a certaine new and supernaturall quality of spirituall life, which hath its seat principally in the will, against corrupt inclinations, which dwell indeed within them, but beare no sway over them.

Thirdly, 3. They differ in the effects. For 1. that fight which is in naturall men, may and is wont to consist with a dayly and ordinary course of sinning: But the combate of the spirit, doth alwayes cause that (although there may be many slips, and infirmities) the course, and tenour of a mans life be squared, and ordered according to the will of [Page 29] God, 1 Iohn 3. 9. 10. 2 That opposition in naturall men, al­though it may sometime be a cause, why some good is done by them, yet it cannot make a good principle, a good end, and a good manner of working ▪ all which the combate of the spirit against the flesh doth bring along with it, 3. The fight of naturall men, doth ordinarily admit such actions as are for the substance of them evill: but the spirit doth so prevaile for the most part that it admits not a sinne in the fact it selfe although there may be a failing in the degree, and manner of doing, 4. For those evills which the unrege­nerate man doth commit, this fight that is within him hin­ders not, but that the sinne may be, in all respects consumma­ted, in regard of the precedent consultation, and purpose, the concomitant pleasure, and delight, and the following obstinacy and impenitency: but the spirit by its combate with the flesh doth abate the power of sinne, partly before the commission, party in the commission, and doth afterward utterly breake it, 5. That reluctation which is in naturall men seekes onely to represse, and keepe sinne under, but the spirit in its combate contends alwayes for the very mortifica­tion of sin, and the highest perfection of grace, although be­fore death it be not attainable.

CHAP. 12. Of growth in Sanctification.

THe fifth Question is whether wee ought to content our selves with this, that wee have some beginnings of san­ctification?

1. Answ. No, there are two duties to be performed yet by us, in either of which if wee be negligent all our labour is lost.

2. The 1. Is a care to keepe that holinesse we have, 1 Tim. 1. 19. The reason is because that many have escapt in some degree the pollutions of the world, and yet have beene intan­gled therein and overcome, and so the latter end hath beene worse with them then their beginning, 2 Pet. 21. 22.

[Page 30]3. Now wee shall hold fast our holinesse, 1. If wee be mindefull of the Covenant which wee made with God, Iob. 31. 1. And of our redemption, 1 Cor. 6. 19. 20. 2 If we take diligent heed, that we never repent of any repentance, Ier. 34. 11. That is if we be carefull that we never fall in love with that sin which we have hated, or slight any duty which our Consciences have approved, no not in those things, which the world counts small and as nothing.

4. The 2. duty is a study, and care to increase in holinesse, with the increase of God, Col. 2. 19. 2. Peter 1. 5. Phil. 1. 9. 1 Tim. 4. 15.

5. The reason is, 1. Because such is the nature of grace that it alwayes stirs up them in whom it is to an earnest desire of a larger fruition of it, 1 Pet. 2. 2. 3. So that although that thirst which is a thirst of totall indigence or want be exclu­ded by grace, Iohn 4. 14. Yet that which is for a more plenti­full fruition is no taken away but increast, 2. Because as the vitall heat of our bodies doth never continue in one state, but is either increasing, or decreasing alwaies, so in this life of grace, unlesse we do give all dilligence that we may be on the growing hand, it cannot be avoided but there will be a consumption through that opposition which the spirit meets with from the flesh.

6. Now we shall make a progresse in Sanctification, 1. If we exercise our selves dayly to a more perfect denying of sinne, and of the world, and of our selves, and to a more ear­nest and serious seeking of God and his Kingdome, 2. If we have our end alwayes in our eyes, Pro. 4. 23. 3 If we keep our hearts with all dilligence, Pro. 4. 23▪ 4 If we watch to [...]e holy use of all those meanes which make to sanctification, and joine earnest prayer with them.

CHAP. 13. Of the first fruits of Glorification consisting in the sense of Gods Love.

ull in this life, the apprehension and sense of Gods Love is the chiefest, for as the procurement of our salva­tion, had its begining, and first foundation, in the election, and love of God, so the beginning of the perceiving thereof is in the perceiving of the same love, now concerning this love, the first Question is how a man may obtaine the appre­hension and sense of the love of God?

1. Ans. The proper cause of this apprehension is the holyHow to obtain the Sense of Gods Love. Ghost, who sheds this love of God in the hearts of believers, Rom. 5. 5. That is, certifies them particularly that this love of God is extended abundantly to them. But yet there are ma­ny meanes whereby this worke is promoted, and whereby also beleevers come to bee rooted, and grounded in this love, Ephesians 3. 18. The principle of them are these that follow.

2. First, if the beleever do apprehend that (God in regard of that relation wherein he stands to him and the rest of the faithfull is meerely love) 1 Iohn 4. 8. For so that phrase is to be understood, not of God considered absolutely, but in relation unto the faithfull, because all things which God doth, to and about beleevers, proceeds in some sort from his love, for the love of God is to be sought for, and to be con­fidered in the effects thereof.

3. Secondly, if he consider how admirable all the circum­stances be in the love of God, Iohn 3. 16. 1 In respect of the person loving. For God who hath in himselfe all good, all sufficiency, and perfection, that could receive no profit, ei­ther by man, or by mans love and besides that was grievously offended with man, this God notwithstanding loveth man 1 Iohn 4. 10. 11.

4. Secondly, in respect of the person beloved. For God hath loved man, that deserved no such thing from him, man his enemy, man unthanfull, Ro. 5. 8.

[Page 32]5. Thirdly, in respect of the gifts which are the fruits of this love. For God out of love hath given man his owne Son, and in his son himselfe, 1 Iohn 2. 24. And with him all good things, Rom. 8. 32.

6. Fourthly, in respect of the manner of the giving, which was out of meere and abundant grace, without mans request, and beyond his expectation, Rom. 10. 20.

7. Fifthly, in respect of the continuance, for this love of God was from eternity, and shall remaine immutably unto all eternity, Ep. 1. 4. Ier. 31. 3. Iohn 13. 1.

8. The third meanes to promote the sense of Gods love in the heart of a believer is for him to labour with all his might in the use of those meanes which tend to this purpose to get a more plentifull taste of this love, Psalme 34. 9. 1. Pet. 2. 3.

The second Question is how a man may know that God loves him?

9. Ans. 1. If he be certaine that Christ is his, Gal. 2. 20. that is, if he be certaine that he hath a true Faith in Christ. For Christ is the Son of Gods love, by whom his love is de­rived unto others.

10. 2. If he be certaine of his love to God, 1 Iohn 4. 10.The signes of Gods love to us. Pro. 8. 17.

11. 3. If he follow after righteousnesse, Pro. 15. 9. For God cannot but love his own Image.

12. 4. If the love of God do constraine, and effectually stir him up, to all duties of piety towards God, and of love, and Justice towards men, [...] Cor. 5. 14. 1 Iohn 4. 12.

A third Question is, whether a man may not collect the Love of God, from the common good things which he bestowes?

13. Answ. All the benefits of God, of what sort soever they be, do bring with them an obligation, to love and o­bey that God which is the donor, but it is proper to some of them to bring besides that, solid and spirituall com­fort to the receiver, by a demonstration of the singular love of God, which is made by them. For nothing that is com­mon, can demonstrate any speciall love. Creation therefore, and preservation, and earthly and naturall good things [Page 33] cannot by themselves be any signes of a supernaturall love, Eccles. 9. 2. But yet these common good things, when they are received by Faith, as given in Christ, are (in respect of the manner wherewith they are then clothed) proper to the faithfull, and are secundary signes of Gods love to them, Psal. 22. 10, 11, 12. For Faith maketh such a kinde of argu­ing as there the Psalmist useth, to be of force, whereas with­out Faith there could no such consequence be drawne from them.

CHAP. 14. Of the hope of eternall life.

FRom the apprehension, and sense of Gods love, followes a confirmed hope, or confidence, and undoubted expecta­tion of eternall life. Now concerning this hope, and certainty, the first Question is whether a believer may be infallibly be assured of his salvation?

1. Ans. There is not onely a possibility for the believer toHope may and ought to be certaine. come to this certainty, but it is his duty also, never to rest contented till he have obtained it, Heb. 6. 11. & 10. 22. Rom. 4. 21 & 8. 35.-39. For

2. First, God hath confirmed this to every believer by promise, by oath, by earnest, by seals, Iohn 3. 16. Ier. 31. 40, 41. Heb. 6. 17. Eph. 1. 14. Mark. 16. 16.

3. Secondly, Faith ought to receive all that which God hath thus confirmed, Heb. 4. 2.

4. This certainty is perfected in us by three Acts, 1. by an act of Faith properly so called whereby we rest upon God by Christ, for the certaine obtaining of salvation: 2 By an act [...] of knowledge, whereby we believing do un­derstand that God hath certainly adjudged this salvation unto us. 3. By an act of confidence or of hope, whereby we cer­tainly looke for this salvation, which is thus adjudg'd to us and made ours. But yet for all that the whole application is attributed to Faith, because it dependeth first, and chiefly on faith.

[Page 34]5. Thirdly, salvation, and life eternall is contained in the object of Faith. For we believe life everlasting, 1 Peter 1. 3, 4, 5.

6. Fourthly, true grace (of the certainty of which we spake before) is never separated from life eternall, Heb. 6. 9. For the grace of justification is a more certaine cause of life, and the grace of sanctification is a part of eternall life, Iohn. 17. 3. Gal. 2. 20.

7. Fifthly, God the Father hath decreed to bring to eternal life all those that believe, for Faith is a fruit of election, Acts 2. 47. & 13 48.

8. Sixthly, Christ our Saviour d [...]th perpetually intercede for the faithfull, that they may be preserved from evill, Iohn 17. 15.

9. Seventhly, the holy Ghost doth direct, and keepe the faithfull to life eternall, Iohn 16. 16. Ez 36. 27.

10. Eighthly, by the power of God, and Christ, the faith­full are preserved, Iohn 10. 28, 29. 1 Pet. 1. 5. And strengthned, Eph. 3. 16. Col. 1. 10. Pil. 4. 1.

The second Question by what motives a believer may beMotives to in­deavour for certainty of hope. stirred up to seeke for this certainty of hope with all dili­gence?

11. Ans. 1. God requires this, Rom. 15 13. Col. 1▪ 23. Heb. 6. 11. & 10. 22. 1 Pet. 5 9.

12. Secondly, this hope is as necessary for a believer in time of temptation, as a helmet is for a Souldier, and an anchor for a Ship, Ep. 6. 17. 1 Thess. 5. 8. Heb. 6. 19.

13. Thirdly, it brings with it freedome, and strength and courage, and constancy, in every worke of the Lord, Heb. 3. 6. 1 Cor. 15. 58. The reason is because the end, and fruit of a mans worke doth allure, and wh [...]t him on to industry, and constancy in working. For although our salvation be not the chiefe, and last end of our obedience, yet it is the fruit of it, and in that respect, partaketh of the nature of an end, Rom. 6. 22. So that it is not only lawfull but very expedient also, for the helpe of our infirmity to set about the worke of piety, with an eye upon the recompence of reward, Iames 5. 7. Gal. 6, 7, 8▪ Heb. 12. 2. Ps. 19. 12.

14. Fourthly, it is the end of the calling of the Faithfull, [Page 35] whence also it is stil'd the hope of their calling, Eph. 1. 18.

15. Fifthly, this hope maketh not ashamed, because it is never vaine, neither doth it deceive, Rom. 5. 4, 5. Rom. 8. 24.

16. Sixthly, it is hope by which a beleever is saved, Romans 8. 24.

The third Question is what a beleever ought to do for the obtaining and preserving of a lively hope.

17. Ans. He ought, 1. to preserve his Faith firme, and lively. For hope flowes from▪ and depends upon Faith, and that not only, the being of Faith, but the degree, the measure, and the sense of it. Heb. 11. 1.

18. Secondly, he ought with all care to keepe a good con­science: for such a Conscience doth make much for the con­firming of Faith and hope, 1 Tim. 1. 19. 2 Tim. 4. 7, 8.

19. Thirdly, he ought diligently to observe the experiment which he hath had of Gods love towards him. For experience causeth hope, Rom. 5. 4.

20 Fourthly, he ought oftentimes to set before his eyes the examples of those, who have with happy successe placed their hope in God, Iames 5. 10, 11.

21. Fifthly, he ought to be frequent in the exercises of pie­ty, Rom. 1 [...]. 4.

The fourth Question is what are the signes of a true andThe signes of true hope. lively hope?

22. Ans. 1. True hope is carried upon God onely, who is therefore cal'd the God of hope, Rom. 15. 1 [...]. And the hope of Israel, Ier. 14. 8.

23. Secondly, it rests upon that free mercy of God which is manifested in justification, and not upon any humane merits, or strength, nor upon any externall and common blessings of God, Rom. 5. 1.

24. Thirdly, it doth expect not only happinesse, but sancti­fication also, Gal. 5. 5.

25. Fourthly, it is begotten, and preserved by holy exercises, Rom. 15. 4.

26. Fifthly, it brings forth patience, 1 Thess. 1. 3.

27. Sixthly, it causeth spirituall joy, Heb. 3. 6.

28. Seventhly, it begetteth a constant care of holynesse, 1 Iohn 3. 3.

CHAP. 15. Of Consolation.

FRom Christian hope or confidence, ariseth consolation, which is, a confirmation of the soule, against the griefe and feare that doth oppresse it, for it is not properly a re­joicing of the soule (as some thinke) but rather a repression, or a mitigation, o [...] an allaying of griefe, feare, or sadnesse. For that man is said to receive comfort and consolation, when he hath in some sort put away griefe, although joy be not yet come in the place, or if his sadnesse, and sorrow, be at least in some sort mitigated, and lessend. For sometimes there may be a mixture of sorrow and consolation together. Nei­ther are men either perfectly well or perfectly ill, when they begin to receive consolation, Esa. 40. 1, 2. Now concerning this consolation

The first Question is, whether a believer may attaine unto solid comfort against all kinds of evill?

1. Ans. He may. For▪ 1. God the Father in respect of the faithfull is the God of all consolation, comforting them in all afflictions. 2 Cor. 1. 3, 4.

2. Secondly, Christ is the principle, or fountaine by which the comfort of the faithfull doth flow. 2 Cor. 1. 5.

3. Thirdly, the holy Ghost is the comforter of all believers imparting unto them all consolation, Iohn 14. 16. 26 & 15. 26. & 16. 7. 13.

4. Fourthly, the whole Scripture maketh for the consola­tion of the faithfull, Rom. 15. 4.

5. Fifthly, this consolation is made strong by the immu­table counsell of God, and by his strengthning of believers, Heb. 6. 17, 18.

6. Together with this consolation God doth joyne the confirmation of his grace, which consists in a reparing of their strength, and in a fortifying of them against troubles. For whereas the faithfull oft times like weake women, through the apprehension of some terrible evill, doe fall as it were in­to [Page 37] a swound, and all their strength is dissolved, God on the other side in this defect makes a supply by his grace of con­firmation: we have a notable example of this, Dan. 10. & 8. There remained no strength in me, & 10. And behold a hand touched me which set me upon my knees, and upon the palms of my hands, and he said unto me, stand upright, and 18. Then there came againe and toucht me one like the appearance of a man, and he strengthned me and said, O man greatly beloved feare no [...], peace be unto thee, be strong, yea be strong, and when he had spo­ken unto me I was strengthned, and said let my Lord speake [...] for thou hast strengthned me. And this is a grace which we are com­manded to seek for, Heb. 12. 12.

CHAP. 16. Of Afflictions.

THe second Question is, what those evills be against which the faithfull ought to seeke consolation?

Ans. They are either corporall as the afflictions of this life and death, or spirituall, as spirituall temptations and sins.

The third Question is, by what arguments, a believerConsolation for the afflict­ed. may be confirmed, and comforted against the afflictions of this life?

1. Ans. First, such kinde of afflictions are common to man, 1 Cor. 10. 13. And are wont to be accomplisht in believers while they live here, 1 Pet. 5. 9. Act. 14. 22.

2. Secondly, without Gods Providence not so much as a haire of our head shall perish, Mat. 10 30. Luk. 21. 18.

3. Thirdly, the fatherly love of God is wont to be manifest in the afflictions of the faithfull, Heb. 12. 6.

4. Fourthly, Christ himselfe hath suffered and overcome all the afflictions of the World, to the intent he might succor us, Heb. 4. 15.

5. Fifthly, God together with the temptation, will strenth­en by the spirit, and make a way to escape, 1 Cor. 10. 13.

6. Sixthly, the time of affliction is but short, 2 Cor. 4. 17. 1 Pet. 5. 10.

[Page 38]7. Seventhly, the fruit of afflictions is saving. For every chastening yeildeth the peaceable fruit of righteousnesse, unto them that are exercised therewith, Heb. 12. 11.

The fourth Question is whether we are to comfort our selves after one sort in all afflictions?

8. Ans. There be diverse kinds of afflictions, so there be seve­rallDiverse kinds of afflictions. wayes of consolation. For some afflictions are brought upon us by men for righteousnesse sake, for the cause of Christ and his Gospell and Kingdome, Mat. 5. 10. & 11. Marke 10. 29. Luke 18. 29. These afflictions are commonly styled by the name of persecution, or the Crosse, because of the resemb­lance which they have to, and participation with the Crosse of Christ, Phil. 3. 10. In these kindes of afflictions, consola­tion is easy and at hand, for we ought even to account the afflictions of this nature, and for such a cause to be them­selves an argument of great comfort, Mat. 5. 12. Acts 5. 14. Iames 1. 2. 1 Pet. 4. 14. 16. The reason is because in those persecutions which wee suffer for righteousnesse sake there is the nature of a testimony, m [...]tyrdome, and exam­ple whereby we glorify God before men. And so out of the eater comes forth meat according to Sampsons riddle, Iud. 14.

9. Some afflictions are laid upon us by God to prove us, and to trie us, Exo. 15. 25. & 16. 5. Deut. 8. 2. 1 [...]. These are properly call'd tryalls and temptations. In these kinds of afflictions our consolation is not to be fetcht from the tem­ptation it selfe, but from our manner of bearing is, when we through the grace of God in such a condition, do sanctify and glorify his Name, Iob. 1. 24. Our principall care there­fore ought to be to frame and compose our selves to a right bearing of these afflictions, and the comfort will follow of its own accord.

10. Some afflictions are laid upon us, as punishments and corrections, Iob. 36. 9, 10. H [...]. 12 6. For these although there be some comfort contain'd in Gods Fatherly manner of cha­stening, Heb. 1 [...]. 7, 8. Yet this comfort cannot [...] solidly ap­prehended, but onely in making right use of the afflictions themselves, Ibid. 6. 11. Here therefore our first care must be to make right use of these visitations before we seeke after com­fort.

[Page 39]11. These kind of afflictions are not so different but that they may meete together, in one, and the same trouble. For in persecution the faithfull are alwayes tried, sometimes cor­rected, but yet there may be trials and corrections often times without persecution, and when they do meet toge­ther some of these kinds may more appeare in some then others.

The first Question is what a man in afflictions ought toThe duties of the afflicted. do to the end that he may obtaine true and solid comfort?

12. Ans. First, he ought to acknowledge the hand of God af­flicting him, Esa. 26. 11. Iob. 5. 6. 8. Amos 3. 6. For this con­sideration is the foundation of patience, 1 Sam. 3. 18. Ps. 39. 10. And of all those saving truths, which are received by afflictions, Esa. 9. 13.

13. Secondly, he ought to search his wayes and acknow­ledge his sinnes, Lam. 3. 39, 40. Iob. 36 9, 10. For although all afflictions are not alwayes sent directly and princi­pally for sinne, yet sinne is the fountaine, and foundation of all afflictions, Rom. 5. 1 [...]. It is therefore a course most equall, most safe, and most pleasing to God, that in our afflictions, we behold our sins, which either have directly procured them, or at least deserved them.

14. Thirdly, he ought to submit himselfe in the presence of God, and under his mighty hand, Iames 4. 10. 1 Pet. 5. 6. 2 Sam. 15. 20▪ Levit. 26. 41. Otherwise the chastening of God is contemned, and men shew their security and vaine confi­dence, Pro. 3. 11. Heb. 12. 5.

15. Fourthly, he ought by humble repentance to seeke the face, and favour and mercy of God. Psa. 57. 2. Lam. 3. 41. Amos 4. 12. Hos. 5. 15. & 6. 1 & 14. 2. There are three seasons wher­in we ought to seeke God by repentance, 1. presently after sinne committed, 1 Cor. 5. 1. 2. 2. after some feare of punish­ment, or some threatning of God, Eph. 2. 1. 2. 3 After that the wrath of God hath in some sort broke in upon us Dan. 9. 13. Those Christians are the best which lay hold upon the first opportunity, for they declare that they do hate sinne simply for it selfe, those that make use of the second season come next to them. For such believe although they see not, but those that repent not in the third season are altogether desperate.

[Page 40]16. Fifthly, he ought to see that he profit by his affliction in all the parts of new obedience. 2 Cron. 28. 22. Esa. 26. 9. Iob. 36. 10. Hebrewes 12. 10. Esay 27. 11. Leviticus 26. 18. 21.—28.

17. Sixthly, he ought patiently to expect what end the Lord will make, 1 Cor. 10. 13. Iam. 5. 7. 8. 11. 2 Sam. 15. 25. Mica. 7. 9. He that seekes freedome by unlawfull meanes doth offend God more, 2 Kings 1. 3. Neither yet is he free but by an exchange of a lesse evill for a greater, Esa. 24. 18. Amos 5. 19.

CHAP. 17. Of Death.

COncerning Death the first Question is whether it be a thing to be contemned?

1. Ans. Death is not simply to be contemned, 1. becauseOf the con­tempt of Death. it is in its own nature a grievous judgement of God against the sinnes of men, and so doth represent, both our desert and Gods wrath, 2. because it is in its owne nature, a passage to an eternall separation from God, so that it is a point either of desperate security, or affected wisdome, and valour, to contemne death after that manner that some of the heathen have done, who have been prais'd for so doing. But yet com­parison being made betwixt death and those things which after death are prepared for the faithfull, death may, and ought in some sort to bee contemned by all believers, Heb. 12. 2.

The second Question is whether a believer ought to desire and pray for death?

Answ. Death is not simply and absolutely to be desired, 1. Because it is in it selfe a evill, 2. Because God as a Generall hath placed us in our station of this life, and without his Commandement we ought not to forsake, nor simply to de­sire to be dismist before the time that hee hath appointed, 2 Cor. 5. 4. 9. But yet the faithfull may and ought so to ex­pect the life which is to come after death that they do ac­count it much more pleasing to them then this present life, [Page 41] 2 Cor. 5. 8. And to tend thither, with the des [...]e that is mode­rate, [...] subject to the will of God, as being a condition much better, Phil. 1. 13. Ro. 8. 23. 2 Tim. 4 8.

The third Question is, by what arguments the mind of a believer may be strengthned against the feare of death?

2. Ans. First, if he seriously consider, and by faith appre­hendHow to dimi­nish the feare of death. that Christ hath by his Death destroyed the power of Death, H [...]b. 2. 14. and taken away its sting, 1 Cor. 15. 56. So that death hath beene swallowed in victory by Christ, and that victory is imparted to beleevers, Ibidem & 54. 57.

3. Secondly, if he consider also that this was one end of Christs death, to free us from the feare of death, as being a great bondage, Heb. 2. 15.

4. Thirdly, if he consider also with faith, that the love of Christ and of God in Christ is so firme and constant that no death can seperate us from it, Ro. 8. 35.

5. Fourthly, if he consider with himselfe that for Christ the death of the faithfull is pretious in Gods eyes, Psal. 72. 14. And be also fully persuaded that the good hand, and fatherly providence of God, is present with, and watcheth o­ver the faithfull for good both in life and death, Mat. 10. 28, 29, 30, 31.

6. Fifthly if he well consider from how many, and from how great evills hee shall be freed by death, as, 1. From sin, 2. From those miseries that follow sinne, Esay 57. 1. 2. 5. Which cause others often times to seeke for death, Apoc. 9. 6. 3 From the temptations of the Devill Apoc. 12. 8. 4 From the opposition and vexation of the World and the flesh, Apoc. 14 13. Eccles. 4. 1. 2. Hence it is that death is ca [...]'d a rest and a sleepe, Esa. 57. 2. 6. 1 Thess. 4. 13▪ 14. Thus much the Devill himselfe in the shape of Samuel did acknowledge 1. Sam. 28. 15.

7. Sixthly, if he cast his eyes alwayes upon that happinesse to which we shall come by death, For after death. 1. The grace of God shall be perfected in us, 1 Cor. 13. 10. 2 We shall be with God, 2 Cor. 5. 8. With Christ and the blessed spirits, Phil. 1. 23. 3. We shall injoy a firme and immu­table estate of heavenly life, 2 Corinth. 5. 1. Heb. 11. 10. 16. Luke 16. 9.

[Page 42]8. Seventhly, if he seriously set his minde to consider the vanity of all those things which depend upon this preseut life, and which we forsake at our death, Eccl. 2. 18▪

9. Eighthly, if he persuade himselfe that Gods providence without him is sufficient to provide for all those things con­cerning which he can be carefull, and do know withall that without it, no good can be done, though he should continue in life.

The fourth Question is what a beleever ought to do that he may injoy this consolation?

10. Ans. First, he ought to labour that he may have a spe­ciall faith in God through Christ, and that this faith be lively, and strong, Luke 2. 28. 2 Tim. 1. 12. 1 Iohn 5. 4.

11. Secondly, he ought with all care to preserve his Conscience pure and without offence, Acts 24. 15, 16. Heb. 10. 22.

12. Thirdly, he ought with this faith and Conscience to live in a continuall expectation of the comming of the Lord, so carying himselfe here as becomes a Citizen of heaven, Phil. 3. 20. 2 Pet. 3. 12.

13. Fourthly, he ought alwayes to thinke the hower of his death to be neare and at hand, Psalme 19. 20. Esa [...]. 28. 15. 2 Tim. 4 6.

14. Fifthly, he ought alwaies to exercise himselfe to a de­niall and forsaking of the world, 1 Cor. 7▪ 29, 30, 31. Gal. 6 [...]4.

15. Sixthly, he ought to make death familiar in a sort to himselfe both by a frequent meditation of it, and by those exercises to which God calls him, 1 Cor. 15. 31. 2 Cor. 1. 9. & 4. 10, 11.

16. Seventhly, he ought to labour that as the outward man drawes to corruption, so the inward man may be renew­ed more and more, 2 Cor. 4. 16.

17. Eighthly, he ought not to thinke so much upon death it selfe, as upon Gods grace both in death, and in those things which follow after, 2 Tim. 4. 8.

18. Ninthly, he ought in all humility to commend his soule unto God as unto a faithfull Creator, 1 Pet. 4. 16.

CHAP. 18. Of Temptations.

COncerning temptations the first Question is by what arguments a beleever may strengthen himselfe against their assaults?Of resisting temptations.

1. Ans. First, if he consider seriously that these temptations are part of that warfare to which the faithfull are called, Eph. 6. 12. and unto which they have given up their names in baptiime, and have bound themselves by oath.

2. Secondly, if he consider that Christ is our Captaine and Generall in this war, Apoc. 12. 7. That he is every where present and beholds the combate with his eye. This must needs be a strong incitement to provoke us to do valiantly. For he doth exhort us to fight, helpes us to overcome, aids us when we faint, and crownes those that conquer.

3. Thirdly, if he consider that the direction of the temp­tations themselves doth depend wholy upon the providence and disposing of God, Mat. 6. 13. 2 Thess. 2. 11. 2 Cron. 18. 21. R [...]. 4. 1.

4. Fourthly, if he meditate upon the fruit and the use of temptations, Lu. 21. 31. 2 Cor. 12. 8, 9.

5. Fifthly, if he propound unto himselfe Christ who was tempted, overcame temptations, and succors them that are tempted, Heb. 2. 18 & 4. 15. Col. 2. 15.

6. Sixthly, if he distinguish betwixt the evill of temptati­on, and temptations themselves.

The second Question is, what a beleever ought to do that hee may apprehend this comfort in the hower of tempta­tion?

7. First, he ought to account all those temptations which intice him unto sin as his utter enemies, 1 Pet. 2. 11.

8. Secondly, he ought to abhor and detest those very sug­gestions themselves which lead unto sin, Rom. 7. 15.

9. Thirdly, he ought to arme himselfe diligently against his spirituall enemies, Eph. 6. 13.

[Page 44]10. Fourthly, hee ought to resist them with all his might, Iames 4. 7. 1 Pet. 5. 9.

11. Fifthly, he ought in this combate not to trust unto his own strength, but to implore the helpe of God, and to rest up­on him, Mat. 6. 13.

12. Sixthly, hee ought in foule temptations to abstaine from all disputation, and speciall deliberation about the thing suggested, resting himselfe satisfyed in that he doth de­test them, Mat 4 10. For such temptations are vile and do easily cleave to us.

13. Seventhly, he ought to avoid all those occasions which may further the temptation, Pre. 4 14, 15.

14. Eightly, he ought to repell and exti [...]guish with all possible strength troublesome suggestions, Eph. 6 16. Yea, and sometimes to contem [...]e them also, when after all means used they cease not to be troublesome.

15. Ninthly, he ought (if they re [...]ne againe and againe with new assau [...]ts after that they have beene oft repel'd) to remember that it is the part of a valiant Souldier not onely to suffer, and come cleare off from assaults and sk [...]mishes of his enemy, but also to indure the ted [...]ousnesse of a long siedge when there is occasion.

The third Question is, how a man may discerne whether a temptation have prevailed against him yea or no?

16. A [...]s. First, this is not to be judg'd from hence thatSignes of a preva [...]ling temptation. a man is either troubled in his mind, or doth retaine his calm­nesse. For a vexation of mind for the most part, which fol­ [...]owes upon foule temptations, is not onely no signe of their prevailing, but is also a demonstration of a sanctifyed heart, and a quiet security doth often times shew that the tempta­tion hath prevailed. The reason is because the opposition which is apparent in this perturbation▪ is a signe that there is some thing in the soule contrary to the temptation, and a quietnesse doth betray some consent. For water is not troubled by the powring in of water but by the casting in of fire. He which finds least trouble is in most danger, Luke 11: 21. So Ananias and Saphira were quiet, Act. 5. 3. 8. But Paul found a great deale of inward trouble, Ro. 7. 24. 2 Cor. 12. 7, 8. [Page 45] But if this trouble be such that it drives away a man from God, and doth not rather stir up to seeke him, it is not to be allowed or cherished, for then the temptation is, (although not directly and of its owne nature) yet indirectly and through the perversnesse of our nature; effectuall, and the temp­ter hath obtained his desire.

18. Secondly, a manifest signe of a prevailing temptation is the commission of that sinne to which the temptation did provoke, Mat. 6. 13. But here it is to be observed that this falls out not onely when the sinne is fully acted and com­mitted, but also when there is even the very first degree of it, in the consent of the will, or in the least delight in the evill thought of, although there be no purpose to commi [...] i [...]. Iam. 1. 14, 15. And this is so much the worse if the delight be as they say Morosa, that is, if it continue for any while, and be not presently repeld.

19. Thirdly, although we give no consent unto the temp­tation, yet if the temptation arise from our selves, there is a sinne of ours in it, even in its first conception, because it flowes out of our flesh and from our corruption, although it may be kindled and blowne up to a flame by the Devill, Mat. 15. 18▪ 19. Gen. 6. 5. & 8. 21. Iames 1. 14. But this degree of sinne is such that though it requires perpetuall [...]umiliati­on, yet it ought not to deprive us of comfort, because it is the common condition of all the faithfull, who this notwith­standing are in Christ beloved, and accepted of God. But if the temptation proceed meerely from the Devill we ought to detest it, as much as possible we can, but are not to acknow­ledge it for our own sin, Mat. 4▪ 36. 9.

20▪ Now a temptation is then to be judged to proceed from the devill alone and not from our selves, 1. when it is repug­nant to the light of nature, or to reason it selfe, and to our naturall inclination, 2. when is ariseth not as other ordi­nary thoughts, but ceaseth upon, and invades the minde sud­denly, and with a kinde of vehemency, after the manner of flashes of lightning.

21. Fourthly, so long as by fervent prayers and such like spirituall weapons we do resist and wrastle with any tempta­tion. [Page 46] we may be sure that it hath not yet prevailed over us, and that it hath not [...] yet gotten us within its power, 2 Cor. 12. 7, 8, 9. Iames 4. 7.

The fourth Question is how the Conscience of a beleeverSpirituall Desertions. may be supported in a temptation of God, that is, in some spirituall desertion upon which there followes much anxiety?

22. Ans. First, we must remember that even the best of Gods servants have had experience of these desertions, as Iob. 6. 4. 9. 13. 26. & 16. 9. David Psalme. 6. & 77. And even Christ himselfe the beloved Son of God, Mat. 27. 46.

23. Secondly, we must know that these desertions are not so much reall and in very deed, as in our sense, and apprehen­sion, Heb. 13. 5.

24. Thirdly, we must know that God doth not forget his people, no not then when he seemes to have forsaken them, Esa. 49. 15, 16. But doth for his own glory and their good on­ly seeme to do so.

25. Fourthly, we may be sure by Gods Word and Cove­nant that this desertion shall be but short, especially if i [...] be compar'd with the time and continuance of his mercies, Esa. 54. 7, 8. & 57. 20.

26. Fifthly, we must make inquiry in our Consciences with all diligent examination whether our owne sinnes have not beene the cause of Gods so dealing, Esa. 57. 21. Which if we shall find to be so, we must confesse them humbly, intreate for mercy, and seriously forsake them, Psal. 51.

27. Sixthly, we ought to live by Faith, Heb. 2. 4. waiting for the Lord which hideth his face from us, Esa. 8. 17.

28. Seventhly, we ought to stir up our selves to lay hold upon God, Esa. 64. 7.

29. Eighthly, we ought alwayes to remember that although God do seeme to be absent from us a long while, yet he doth only wait for a fit time to shew mercy, Es. 30. 18.

CHAP. 19. Of the Conscience of sinne.

COncerning sinnes the first Question is, how a Christian may be comforted when his Conscience doth reprove him for, and accuse him of diverse sins?

1. Ans. Sinnes are of two sorts. For some be properly cal'd infirmities, or faults, which do commonly cleave to the best and most vigilant of the faithfull, 1 Cor. 6. 7. Others are more hainous wickednesse which neither are to be found in all the faithfull nor in any of them at all unlesse very seldom; and by reason of some violent temptation, Romans 6. 13. Gal. 6. 1.

2. An infirmity is when a purpose to do well is present, but power of performing it is absent, Rom. 7. 18. A wickednesse is when the purpose it selfe at least in some particular fact is impious, 2 Sam. 12. 10. Now in case of infirmities these following arguments may serve for consolation.

3. First, even the best and most perfect of Gods Children while they live here are subject unto these failings, Iames 3. 2. 1 Iohn 1. 8.

4. Secondly, God doth pitty his servants in their infirmi­ties as a loving Father pitties his little children, Ps. 103 13. Mat. 3. 27.

5. Thirdly, Christ himselfe is touched with the sense of our infirmities, Heb. 4. 15.

6. Fourthly, Christ himselfe is such a propitiation for such kinde of sinnes, that he offers us consolation for them before they be committed, 1 Iohn 2. 1, 2. Ro. 6. 14.

7. Fifthly, by Christ we have accesse with boldnesse to the Throne of grace, that wee may obtaine mercy, Heb. 6. 14.

8. Sixthly, God at our prayer will cure our infirmity, Esa. 40. 29. Ps. 103. 3.

9. Seventhly, the spirit helpeth our infirmities, Rom. 8. 26.

[Page 48]10. Eighthly, these infirmities shall not be imputed to us for sins, Rom. 7. 17. 10.

11. In more hainous sinnes, there can be no solid comfort had, till they be taken away, 1 Cor. 5. 2. 6. The reason is be­cause such kind of sinnes make even beleevers themselves sub­ject to the threatnings of the Law, and do in a great degree, exclude them from the promises of the Gospell, wast the Conscience, Heb. 10. 22. And expose them to the wrath of God, as being partakers with the wicked and unbeleevers. Eph. 5. 6, 7. Gal. 6. 17. And therefore have in them a cause of terror not of consolation. Heb. 10. 31. Yet a beleever may in some sort sufreine himselfe even in the greatest sinnes with the possibility and hope of mercy, Romans 11. 23. Luke 22. 23.

The second Question, what a beleever is to do that he may have consolation, in case his Conscience accuse him for his sinnes?

12. First, he ought to be affected with sinne, and to groane under it as a burden, Mat. 11. 28, 29.

13. Secondly, hee ought continually to detest all sinne, Ro. 7. 15.

14. Thirdly, he ought evermore to have a care that he ful­fill not the lusts of sinne, Gal. 5. 16.

15. Fourthly, he ought to indeavour the mortification of them. Ro. 8. 13.

26. Fifthly, he ought looking upon the promises to fly unto Christ and to cleave unto him more and more, Rom. 7. 25. Phil. 3 9.

27. But grosse sinnes must first be removed and taken away before a man can be fit to receive solid consolation, Esa. 1. 16. 27, 18.

Certaine collections out of the Booke of William Paris concerning temptations, and the resisting of them, which I thought good here to set down for the further illustration of the Doctrine of tempta­tions, because they are not read in the Au­thor, except by a very few.

FIrst, Temptation in one sense is nothing else but a triall, and to tempt is nothing else but to make a triall or experiment of anything, that we may know it, that is, that it may be dis­cover'd, and become manifest, and this is all that the Devill can doe, hee cannot with strength conquer us, or cast us down. For unlesse we of our owne accord trust him, and deliver our selves into his hand, he can have no power over us. He can prevaile no farther against us, then we give him leave or permit him. All that he can do therefore is to tempt us, that is to make an experiment what we are, whether weake or strong, whether we be such as will yeild to him, or whether such as will resist him valiantly. And if in the begin­ning of the temptation, he finde that we make valiant re­sistance, he despairing of the victory, and being overcome and confounded, for the most part departeth presently. And this is the property of a tempter when hee hath made his ar­gument, and found what he sought for, to surcease the work of temptation.

II. In another sense temptation signifies, a fighting a­gainst one, or a war, or a battell, and it is very likely that what­soever the Devill attempts against us is by way of such a fight, if we consider the matter but diligently. For he doth all that he doth with a purpose and desire to conquer, whether he lay snares for us, or whether he make tryall of us, or whether he pretend some good things to deceive us, or whether he smite us with the staffe, or sword, whether he undermine the wall of our defense, or whether he take from us our spirituall food, or procure it to be taken away, for he doth do all these things with a desire to do us a mischiefe. And in very deed, all these are parts of that war, or combate, wherewith hee fights a­gainst us.

[Page 50] III. Every sinne hath its temptations, and against the mind of man doth the devill fight, besieging it, in a circum­venting way, and ordering his armies, and forces, against the armies of vertues, and against the Castle of mans soule.

IV. The fightings which arise from the faculty of reason within our selves are these, 1. Curiosity, that is a lust to know things not necessary, and things the knowledge of which tend nothing to, nor helpe forward at all salvation, 2. Slow­nesse to believe, 3. Levity in believing every thing 4. Doubt­fulnesse, 5. Suspitiousnesse, 6. A spirit of blasphemy which is a spring and fountaine of abominable thoughts, and of thoughts so horrible and troublesome, that such a kind of temp­tation is like a martirdome, and there have beene some that have rather desired to suffer Martyrdome then to endure such thoughts.

V. Any one may resist any temptation of the Devill, if he do simply and purely will it, without any mixture of unwilling­nesse. For no man is overcome, or yeilds to the temptation ut­terly against his will, for so his will remaines unconquered, and victorious and uninclined to consent unto the temptation, and so a man should both yeild, and not yeild. But that a man [...]ay, simply, and purely be willing to make resistance it is not from man himselfe, or from any naturall power in him but from the gift of God, and the helpe and assistance of his grace.

VI. Now wee must observe that when the question is, whe­ther a man may have a will to resist temptation? this word may doth admit two significations; For it signifies sometimes a possibility which is passive, in respect of capacity, and some­times in regard of vertue or power, or efficiency, now it is ma­nifest, that no man can resist any temptation by way of effici­ency, but by way of possibility, or passibility.

VII. Besides the gifts of graces and of vertues the provi­dence and protection of God is necessary for believers, that they may resist temptations, and so are those manifold helps wherwith God succors his elect in the combate.

VIII. The first of these helpes is a driving away of the enemies whereby they are sometimes not suffered to tempt the Elect, Job. 1.

[Page 51] IX. The second helpe is a bridling of the enemies that they cannot tempt so much as they would, Job. 2.

X. The third helpe is from the tempter himselfe, when even that very shape under which he tempts affords us some helpe and instruction, so the forme of the Serpent might have caused Eve to have suspected his temptation.

XI. The fourth helpe is from the temptation it selfe, when it ei­ther stirs up feare in us, which is the best keeper▪ or stirs us up to fight, and incourageth us against the enemy.

XII. The fifth is, a new grace, or an increase of the former. For to those that imploy their talents well God gives an in­crease either in the greatnesse, or number, Mat. 25. Luke. 19.

XIII. The sixth is a cessation, or peace, or rather a truce from the temptation.

XIV. The seaventh is a refreshment in the heate of temp­tation, which is a mitigation of it, as when the tribulation is turned into a sollace.

XV. The eighth is a comforting, that is a stengthning, and lifting up of the heart by a promise of strength and victory, and by a demonstration of the weakenesse of the enemies, and the lightnesse of the fight.

XVI. The ninth is consolation, that is a chearing of the heart, in troubles, in sorrow and griefe.

XVII. The tenth is a bestowing of Faith and Hope, and a con­firmation of the same, against the shaking of feare, which ari­seth from our own defect and infirmity.

XVIII. The eleventh is an upholding of them that are set upon that they faill not, that is, that they receive no hurt. Now they are oft times so assaulted that they are ready to fall, and that for this end that they may acknowledge their own infirmi­ties, and may ascribe it to Gods mercy and not their own pow­er, that they are kept from falling.

XIX. The twelfth is, Gods receiving of them that fly unto him, in respect of which he is called, the hiding place of the Elect.

XX. The thirteenth is Gods fighting against and overthrowing the enemies.

XXI. The fourteenth is outward tribulation of which there are many profits helping this way.


where the [...] children as I may say insuasibili­ [...], A [...] children of disobedi­ence. that are not to be [...]. [...] they are opposed to those which 1 Pet. 14. are cal'd [...] obedient chil­dren. Opposite to this disposition is a hard, and stony heart.

3. Thirdly, if we do prepare our selves to follow the will of God in all things, Deut. 5. 33. Even in those which seeme to be opposite to, and to crosse our profits, so that the flesh apprehends them to be evill, Ier. 42. 2. Heb. 11. 8. Phil. 2. 8.

4. Fourthly, if we do apply our selves to the obedience of Gods will, even then when we see no reason for it, Iohn 13. 7, 8. 1 Sam. 5. 9. 15. Otherwise we follow not simply Gods will, but the reason of it.

5. Fifthly, if we be ready in regard of the disposition and bent of the heart, to obey Gods will not only in those things wherein we know his pleasure, but even in those wherein for the present we are ignorant of his will, Ex. 10. 27.

6. Sixthly, if we desire most of all, to know that part of Gods will that concernes our selves, and our own duty, Ps. 119. 33, 34. Acts 9. 7. Iob. 21. 13, 14.

7. Seventhly, if the feare of God be continually before our eyes, so that we take heed of diligently, and shun carefully the offending of him, Heb. 12▪ 28. 29. 1 Pet. 1. 17.

8. Eighthly, if we depend not upon that successe, and event of our obedience which we find in this world, but resolve to hold on, though our obedience procure us never so many af­flictions, 1 Pet. 2. 19, 20, 21. & Dan. 3. 17.

9. Ninthly, if wee exercise our selves in the use of those mercies whereby our hearts may be framed to obedience, 1. Cor. 29.

The second Question is, by what motives a man may be stird up, to yeild obedience unto God?

10. Ans. First, If he apply his mind to consider of Gods [...] to [...]. Authority, Matthew 1. 6. Ieremy 35. Romans. 6, 18. 20. 1 Co [...]. 6. 19.

11. Secondly, if he consider also Gods power, Ier. 18. 6.

12. Thirdly, if he consider that the obedience that God re­quires of us, tends not at all to his advantage but to ours, Iob. [...] [...]. & 35. 6 7.

[Page 47]13. Fourthly, if he consider, the benefits of God bestow­ed upon him, what and how great they be, Rom. 12. 1. Ex▪ 20. 2. And upon this point our soule should settle as upon a con­sideration most effectuall; for it is manifest, that the obliga­tion of debt, towards a benefactor is augmented and increa­sed, according to the greatnesse of the benefit. For there is no Question, but that every benefit doth bind him that re­ceives it to the benefactor, and the greater the benefit is the greater the bond. ‘Well therefore doth William Par. urge this consideration after this manner: if any man should give to another a 1000 marks; questionlesse he which receives such a kindnesse should be much bound to the giver, and if he should give him 2000 marks, the bond would be doubly greater, and so on infinitely. If therefore he should give him any thing which were infinitely better, or more pre­tious, the receiver would be infinitly more bound. Now a mans eye, or his tongue alone, (much more his whole body) is incomparably better, then a 1000▪ markes, therefore e­very▪ one is infinitly more bound to God, for his tongue, or eye alone, then he should be for the gift of a 1000 marks. Againe let us suppose that God should give to one man, a 1000 marks only, and to another a 1000000 it is manifest that the obligation and debt of thankfulnesse, and service, from him that received the greatest benefit infinitly, is in­finitly greater then the bond, and obligation of him that received the lesse; seeing therefore the obligation whereby a man is tied to God for his tongue, or eye alone is infinitly greater then the other, it is manifest that this obligation is infinite. Now then that obligation, wherein a man is tyed to God, for his whole body is after a sort more infinit, and that for his soule is yet greater, and that againe for eter­nall & everlasting life, must needs be much greater, and so in the rest, it is manifest therefore that our obligation and debt to God, of thankfulnesse and service is in many res­pects infinite.’

13. Fifthly, if he consider that the end of Gods greatest mer­cie is obedience, Luke 1. 74 1 Pet. 1. 18.

15. Sixthly, if he do attend how he is called upon by God [Page 48] continually to obedience, Titu [...] [...]. 12. 1 Thessa. 4. 7. 1 Pet. 1 15.

16. Seventhly, if he remember how we are bound by a most firme covenant to serve God, Iob. 31. 1. Heb. 8, 10.

17. Eighthly, if he consider the misery of those, that obey not God, for hee is the servant of sinne, to death, Rom. 6. 16. 21.

18. Ninthly, if he meditate of the promises that are made to obedience, 1 Tim. 4. 8. 2 Cor. 7. 1. Heb. 5. 9.

19. Tenthly, if he alwayes set before his eyes the threat­nings against, amd the vengeance which is prepared for the disobedient, 2 Thess. 1. 8.

The third Question is by what meanes a man may be made fit, to yield obedience unto God?

20. Ans. 1. He ought to have a speciall care that his FaithThe manner how to stir up, and p [...]ote the [...] of Obedience. be solid and lively. For all the obedience which is acceptable unto God, is obedience of Faith, Rom. 1. 5. & 16. 26.

21. Now faith brings forth obedience foure wayes, 1. be­cause while it cleaves unto the Word of God, as the Word of eternall truth, it makes all those motives to obedience, which are found in the Scriptures to be forcible, and effectu­all, 2. Because it doth obtaine all grace from God, 3. Because it doth joyne us to Christ, as to our head, without whom we can do nothing, and in whom we can do all things, Iohn 15. Phil. 4. 13. 4 Because it doth as it were drive such a spirit of life out of Christ.

22. Secondly, he ought to yield himselfe up to the spirit 1 Pet. 1. 22. that he may be in the spirit, Rom. 8 9. And that the spirit may dwell in him, Ver. 2. that he may be moved by the spirit, Ver. 14. walke in the spirit, Gal. 5. 16. be led by the spirit, Ver. 18. Live and go in the spirit, Ver. 25.

23 Thirdly, he ought to apply his mind to receive the word of God in the power of it 1. Thess. 1. 5. 2 Cor. 10. 4. 5. Rom. 6. 17.

24. Fourthly, he ought to use all his indeavour to present himselfe obedient unto God, according to his Word Rem. 6. 13. 19.

CHAP. 2. Of Knowledge.

BEcause to the performing of Christian obedience there is necessarily required some knowledge. Concerning knowledge therefore.

The first Question is, what a kind of study of knowledge ought to be in us?

1. Ans. First, wee ought in this study to take heed of all affected ignorance, 2 Pet. 3. 5. Pro. 2▪ 22. 29. 7.

2. Secondly we ought al [...]o to avoid all curiosity, Deut. 29 29. Pre. 2 [...]. 1. 1 T [...]m. 6 20. 2 Tim. 2. 23. Titus 3. 9. Iohn 21. 22 Acts 1. 6 7.

3. I here is a fivefold curiosity of knowledge, 1. when we would know those things that God hath not reveal'd, 2. when we seek to know those things which belong not to our selves, but to others 3. when we spend most study about things least necessary, 4. When we desire to know the hardest things, and neglect the principles, and fundamentalls, 5. When we rest not simply in the Will of God, but would see a reason of it.

4. Thirdly, we ought to study for the knowledge of those things especially which are most necessary for us in our life, Pro. 9. 12. 1 Tim. 6. 8.

5. Fourthly, we ought to labour for a growth in knowledge, not contenting our selves to be children in understanding 1 Cor. 14. 20. Heb. 5. 12. Cor. 3 16.

6. Fifthly, we ought to take heed of all pride, which is wont to spring from knowledge, 1 Cor. 8. 1.

The second Question is what a man ought to doe thatMeanes to ob­taine know­ledge. he may obtaine solid knowledge?

7. Ans. First the mind is wholly to be devoted unto piety, Pro. 1. 7. 9 10. Psal. 25. 14 Iohn 7. 17. For as knowledge is easy to the godly, Pro. 8, 9. & 14. 6. so to the wicked it is im­possible, Pro. 24. 7.

8. Secondly, we must deny our carnall wisdome, 1 Cor. 3. 18. Pro. 26. 12.

[Page 50]9. Thirdly, the lusts of the flesh are to be avoyded, because they blind the mind, Eph 4. 18. By abusing, disturbing, allure­ing and pressing it down.

10. Fourthly, Heavenly wisdome is to be highly prized and to be sought with proportionable care, Pro. 2. 4. & 3. 14. & 47.

11. Fifthly, it is to be desired of God by earnest prayer, Ia. 1. 5.

12 Sixthly, humility and modesty and sobriety must be ob­served, Pro. 11. 3. Rom. 12. 3.

13 Seventhly, we must confer and consult with those that God hath indowed with a larger measure of this knowledge, Pro. 15. 12.

14 Eighthly, we ought to glory in a holy manner in the possession of Heavenly knowledge, Ier. 9. 24.

15. Ninthly, this wisdome is to be sought, in a daily and religious heeding and hearing of the Word of God, 2 Tim. 3 16.

16. Tenthly, that knowledge which we have obtained must be turn'd into use and practise, Muthew. 25. 29. Ioha 13. 17. [...],

The third Question is by what arguments a man may be stir'd up to seeke this Divine knowledge?

A [...]s. 1. Because knowledge pertaines to the naturall per­fection of a man, as appeares by the temptation of our first parents, G [...]n. 3. 5. 2. It is that which makes a difference be­twixt man and the bruit beasts, Psal. 32. 9. 3 They which are destitute of this knowledge are in some sort more stupid then the bruit beasts, Esai. 1. 3. 4 Knowledge brings along with it a certaine singular, and honest delight, Pro. 14 13. 14. 5 [...] knowledge the heart of man cannot be good, [...]. 1 [...]. 2. 6 Knowledge is the key of the Kingdome of Hea­ven [...] 1 [...] [...]. ▪ Knowledge is the spirituall food of the [...]. [...]. 3. 10. 8 his knowledge is necessary to make us [...] of God, Heb. 8. 11. 9 The faithfull [...] of ligh [...] not of darkenesse, Ephes. 5. 8. [...], and averiness [...] to it is foo­ [...] [...]. [...]. [...]. [...]. 11 [...] is the cause of all wicked [...]sse, [Page 51] 1 Cor. 2. 8. 12 It doth so corrupt good affections that it makes them become evill, Rom. 10. 2. 13 It is a cause, and note of perdition, Hos. 4. 6. 2 Cor. 4. 3.

CHAP. 3. Of the Feare of God.

THe feare of God, hath very neare affinity with the know­ledge of God, Psal. 119. 79. Concerning this feare therefore:

The first Question is whether all kind of feare of God beA good and evill feare of God. good?

Ans. There is both a good and evill feare of God, Ex. 20. 20. And hence it is that feare is sometimes generally com­mended, Pro. 28. 14. Sometimes againe it is generally found fault with, Apoc. 21. 8.

The second Question is what is that feare of God that is to be found fault with?

2 Ans. 1. That feare which scarres men away from God,An evill feare. or which drives them to fly away from him, Ex. 20. 18. Gen. 3. 8. Apoc. 6. 16. 2 The feare of them also which are onely affraid of Gods anger. Ia. 2. 19. Ro. 8. 15.

The third Question is what is that feare of God which is commendable?

Ans. 1. When we reverence the Majesty and Power of God, so that the principal cause of our feare is not any evill which we are in danger of, but the excellent perfection of God, Gen. 28. 17. & 31. 42. 53. Eccles 5. 2. 2 When we are most affraid of offending God, Eccles 9. 4. Pro. 13. 13. 3 When we are affected with trembling upon the sight of Gods wrath, Psal. 90. 10.

The fourth Question is whether the feare of punishment be not a servile feare?

4 Ans. If it be only in respect of punishment it is meer­lyServile [...]. servile, and vi [...]ious, 2. I [...] in punishment we have a chiefe respect unto our own misery. so far it is servile 3. But if [Page 52] punishment be respected only secondarily, and be fear'd es­pecially for this cause that it separat's from God, and tend's to this end to make us more wary in waiting before God, such a feare is laudable. 4. If the Minister of God, and the revenger be to be fear'd for wrath, Ro. 134. much more is God himselfe, Heb. 12. 29. Amos. 3 &. 8.

The fifth Question is what be the signes of the true feare of God?

5. Ans. 1. If we seriously and carefully avoid those things that are displeasing in Gods sight, Pro. 37. & 14. 16. & 16. 6. 2. If out of Conscience to God, we abstaine [...]rom those sinnes that are most secret, and those which in respect of men, we might with safety enough commit, Lev. 19. 14. Gen. 42. 18. Iob. 31. 21. 22, 23. 3 If we not only abstaine [...]rom sins but even hate them and that for this cause especially because God doth detest them, Pro. 8. 13. 4 If we be most carefull to take heed that we depart not away from God. Ier. 52. 40. 5 If we not onely abstaine from evill but study to do that which is good Ecclesiastes 12. 13. Deut. 5. 20. 6 If wee labour af­ter perfection in every part of Sanctification, 2 Cor. 7 1. Phil. 2. 12. 7 If we neither feare men nor any creature so that they can scarre us from doing our duty, Mat 10 28. [...]la 8. 12. 13. 1 Pet. 3. 14, 15. 8 If we imploy our selves in the Word of God, and other holy things with feare, 1 Cor. 7. 25. 9 If we use the very name and attributes of God with reverence, Deut. 28. 58.

The sixth Question, by what motives a man may be stir'd [...] G [...]d. up to feare God?

6. A [...]s. 1. By a consideration of Gods Omnipotency, Ier. 5. 22. Iob 37. 23. 24. Psal. 76. 4▪ 7. 2 By a consideration of the Kingdome of God Psal. 99. 1. Ier. 10. 7. Dan. 6. 26. 3 His powerfull government of all things, Es [...]. 25. 1, 23. 4. 4 His particular judgements against sinne. Psal. 119. 118▪ 119▪ 120. 17, [...] [...] 16. Ep [...]. 3. 5. [...]. 5. His universall judgement of the [...] W [...]rld, [...] 12 13, 14. 1 P [...]t. 1. 17. 6 His threat­ [...] 2 [...] [...]. [...]. Heb. 3. 16. 7. The punishments that lie [...] [...] 2. [...]. 8 [...] er [...] of God, P [...]al. 13 [...]. 4. 9 His [...] [...]. 5. 24. [...]. 7 [...]. 5. 10 The promises that are made [Page 53] to them that feare God, Psalm [...] 25. 12, 13, 14, & 34. 9. & Proverbes 10. 27. & 13. 13. & 19. 23. & 22. 4. Eccles 8. 12.

CHAP. 4. Of humility towards God.

BEcause the nature of obedience stands in subjection, there­fore in the next place we must treat of humility towards God in which there is a submission, In. 4. 6, 7. which is joyn­ed with the feare of God, Pro. 2 [...]. 4.

The first Question is what are the signes of true humility towards God?

1. Ans. First, A serious acknowledgement of our owneSins of hu­mility. imperfection before him, Psal. 30. 2. 3. Esa. 40. 6. 1 Pet. 1. 24. For pride stands in an imagination and affectation of ex­cellency;

2. Secondly, an acknowledgement of that same great guilt which lies on us by reason of our [...]ins committed against, him Rom. 3. 19. For pride doth exclude the serious confession hereof, Luke 18. 11.

3. Thirdly, a submission with silence to the judgements of God, Psal. 39 5. 1 Rom. 3. 18. Iob. 1. 21. & 39. 37. For a proud man answer [...] againe, Rom. 9. 20.

4. Fourthly, an amplification of the grace and mercy of God in all his benefits, 1 Chron. 29. 14 For a proud man doth in some sort thinke himselfe worthy of all good things, and that they are no more then his due, Deutri. 8. 14. 17. & 9. 4.

5. Fifthly, an holy admiration of those wayes of God which are past finding out, Iob. 42. 3. Rom. 11. 33, 34. Psal. 13. 1. For a proud man thinks himselfe able to comprehend all things, and that all things ought to be communicated to him.

6. Sixthly, a laying aside all our dignity and excellency above others, in the presence of God and duties of his wor­ship, [Page 54] Apoc. 4. 10. For a proud man hath his thoughts upon his owne excellency, and doth contemne others even in the presence of God. Luke 18. 11.

7. Seventhly, an apprehension of our owne meanesse and basenesse in the presence of God, and a trembling because of of his Majesty, Ge [...]. 18. 27.

8. Eighthly, an holy modesty in the worship of God, Eccles 5. 1, 2, 3.

9. Ninthly, a voluntary undertaking of those taskes which God puts upon us although they may [...]eeme to be but men and ba [...]e, P [...]l. 2. 8. Iohn 13. 14.

The second Question is by what arguments a man may be stir'd up to the study of humility towards God?

10. Ans. First, if he se [...] before his eyes the majesty andMotives to [...]. power of God, 1 Pet. 5. 6.

11. Secondly, if he consider of the nature of this humility to wit that it makes the soule of man fit, that it may become an house or temple of God, Esay. 66. 3. That it may be a sa­crifice for God▪ Psal. 51. 19. that it may be a receptacle for the grace of God, pro. 3. 3. 5▪ that it may be capable of wis­dome, pro. 11. 2. For this is the mother of all other ver­tues, and is also it selfe a singular ornament of the soule, 1 pet. 5. 5.

12. Thirdly, if he consider of the promises which are made to the humble. God will respect them, Esai 66. 2. He will give them his grace Iam. 4. 6. 1 pet. 5. 5. He will exalt them, Iam. 4. 10. 1 pet. 5▪ 6. Luke 18. 14. He will reward them with all kind of good things, pro. 22. 4.

13. Fourthly, if he consider that humility is necessary to the end that we may seeke God and turne away his anger, [...]. 2. 3. 2 Chron. 12. 7.

14. Fifthly, if he consider that humility is required in every duty that we performe to God, M [...]ca. 6▪ 8.

CHAP. 5. Of Sincerity.

BEcause sincerity is a proper quality of obedience▪ concer­ning it therefore.

The first Question is, wherein consists the sincerity of obe­dience?What since­rity is.

1 Ans. First, that it be not only externall, but chiefly, and principally, internall, Psal. 51. 8. Mat. 23. 25.

2. Secondly, that it respect God especially, and not men. Col. 3. 23. Mat. 6. 1.

3. Thirdly, that there be a shunning of all mixture of cor­ruption, and by-respects, 1 Cor. 5. 8.

4. Fourthly, that nothing be omitted, or neglected, which belongs unto perfection.

5. Fifthly, that it expect its fruit from, God, and not from man, Rom. 2. 29.

The second Question is, what are the signes of sincerity?Signes of sincerity▪

6. Ans. First, if a man love the light of the Word, and come to it that his deeds may be made manifest, Iohn 3. 21.

7. Secondly, if he be obedient in the absence, as well as in the presence of lookers on, in secret as well, yea and more, then in publike, phil. 2. 12. Mat. 6. 6. Not only when God makes his presence manifest by his judgements, but even when he seemes to be absent, psal. 78. 34.

8. Thirdly, if he cleave fast unto God in adversity, as well, as in prosperity, Iob. 1. 8, 9, 10, 11.

9. Fourthly, if he have a care of all Gods Commandements, even of those which seeme to be least, Mat. 5. 19.

10. Fifthly, if he abstaine from all appearance of evill, Thess. 5. 22.

11. Sixthly, if he neither cover, nor excuse his sins, but con­fesse them, and forsake them, Pro. 28. 13. 2. Cor. 7. 11.

The third Question is, by what Motives a man may be stir'd up, to endeavour after sincerity?

[Page 56]12. [...]s. First, because God is the searcher of the heart andMotives to sincerity. reins, Pro. 16. 2. & 21. 2 Psal. 7. 10. & 26. 2. Apoc. 2. 23. Iob. 31. 4.

13▪ Secondly, because it is the means to procure true peace, joy, and security, Pro. 10 9.

14. Thirdly, God is delighted in sincerity. psal. 51. 8. pro. 10. 20. And will blesse those that be upright with all sorts of blessings, pro. 28. 10. 18.

15. Fourthly, a double heart is a base, monstrous, and abho­minable thing.

CHAP. 6. Of Zeales

BEcause the highest degree of our obedience towards God, consisteth in zeale. Therefore concerning this zeale.

The first Question is wherein the nature of zeale dothThe nature of [...]eale. consist.

1. Ans. It consists in that, that the affection of pleasing God, and promoveing his glory be, in the highest degree, Apo. 3. 15. 19. Now because such a kind of vehem [...]ney doth prin­cipally shew it selfe in the resisting of those things which op­pose the will and glory of God; Therefore for the most part it is referred to that opposition, which is made against evill.Signes of [...] zeale.

The second Question is, what be the signe [...] of true zeale?

2. Ans. First, if it be according to Knowledge, Rom. 10. 2.

3. Secondly, if a man be ready to performe whatsoever duty may be injoyned, according to his strongth, yea and above his strength, 2 Cor. 8. 3.

4. Thirdly, if he be diligent in the execution of his duty, Act. 18. 25.

5. Fourthly, if hee put no other limits and bounds to his obedience, then those which God himselfe shall set, Exod. 36. 6.

[Page 57]6. Fifthly, if a man be milde in his owne cause, and in those things which concerne himselfe, and servent in those which concerne God, Numb. 12. 3. with Eoxod. 32. 19. Galati. 4. 12. with Acts 13. 9. 12. For true zeale is therefore called the zeale of God, because it is principally carried toward God; Whereupon one saith, it is an affection to revenge the injuries of God, or to root out the enemies of God, or a jealousy persecut­ing the adulteries of Christs Spouse, together with the occa­sions and signes of Adulteries; or a vohement love which doth by a close and strait guard seclude the Spouse of Christ from the World.

7. Sixthly, if that fervour and heat of it lie not principally in contentions about questions and controversies, but in the study of good works. Tit. 2. 14.

8. Seventhly, if a man be affected in greater matters more, and in smaler, lesse. Mat. 23. 23.

9. Eighthly, if he be no more indulgent unto himselfe then he is to others, Math. 7. 4. An example of the contrary wher­of we have, Gen. 38. 24. 2 Sam. 12. 5.

10. Ninthly, if he cannot beare with such as are evill, Apoc. 2. 2. though they be such as in other respects are neere unto him, 1 Reg. 15. 13.

11. Tenthly, if his indignation against sinne be joyned with griefe and pity in respect of the sinners, 2 Cor. 12. 21. For so, aswell that dull remissenes which is opposite to zeale, as that fu [...]y which looks like the heat of zeale, will be with equall care avoyded.

12. Eleventhly, if it be constant and the same in every con­dition, Gal. 4. 15. 18.

The third Question is by what motives a man may be stir­red up to a zeale of God?Motives [...]o zeale.

13. Ans. First, because zeale is the property of the people of Christ, and one of the things which Christ intended to our redemption, Tit. 2. 4.

14. Secondly, because those things which belong to God, to our duty toward him, are (above all things) most wor­thy to be gone about, and done with zeale, Gal. 4. 18. Although we should be even as it were eaten up with it, psal. 69. 10. Ioh. 2. 17.

[Page 58]15. Thirdly, because there can be no true religion without zeal, Ap. 3. 15. 16. 19.

16. Fourthly, because if zeale be wanting, sinnes and scan­dals are not taken away, but nourished in our selves, and o­thers, with the offence of God, and dishonour of his name. 1 Sam. 2. 29. Apoc. 3. 19.

17. Fifthly, because the want of zeale provoketh God to inflict heavy judgements, Apoc. 2. 5. & 3. 16. 2 Thess. 2. 10.

18. Sixthly, because there is a singular promise of Gods presence and communion with Christ, made to such as are zealous, Apo. 3. 20.

19. Seventhly, because zeale perfecteth, and maketh more ac­ceptable all the duties which we performe unto God. Iam. 5, 16. Rom. 12▪ 11.

20. Eighthly, because that is the way and fittest manner of seeking the Kingdom of God, Mat. 11. 12.

21. Ninthly, because that many that make only a shew of Religion, are zealous persecuters of Religion. Matthew 23. 15.

The fourth Question is, what is to be done of us, that we may get, confirme, and excite the true zeale of God in our selves?

22. Answer, We ought, 1. to take heed of all those things which are enemies to zeale. Such are, 1. Sundry speculations, and questions, which tend not to the edification of men in Faith, and obedience. 1 Tim. 14. & 4. 7. 2 Tim. 2. 14. 23. Tit. 3. 9. For the intention of the mind about those things which are meerly speculative, although it may be a means to find out the truth, yet it hindreth the intention of the affections about things practicall. And this is the reason why there is more true zeale often found in poore simple Christians, then in our Doctors and Masters, 2. Intention of the affections about worldly things, Luke 8. 14. 3 A spirituall satiety or fulnesse, that is, a presumption of our own sufficiency, and a resting in that degree and measure to which we have attain­ed, Phil. 3. 13 14. 4 Sloth, Feare, and carnall wisdome. Iud. 1 19. 21. 27▪ 28. 29, 30. 31, 32. 33. 5 Familiarity with the world, or the commonesse of sinne abounding in others. Mat. 24.

[Page 59]22. 6 The practice of such things as our conscience allow­eth not, Rom. 14. 20. 21. 7 Indulgence to our selves in our own corruptions, 1 Cor. 5. 6. 2 Corinthians 7. 11. Ephes. 4. 29. 30.

23. Secondly, we ought often and seriously to meditate up­on the love and mercy of God toward us, Pro. 25. 21. 22.

24. Thirdly, we ought to meditate daily of our imperfecti­ons, Phil. 3. 13, 14.

25. Fourthly, we ought to be diligent in the use of all those meanes, which God hath appointed for the begetting of grace in us, 1 Thess. 5. 16. 20.

26. Fifthly, we ought to associat with them, that have the zeale of God, Pro. 22. 24, 25. & 27. 17. Among such we must especially desire those Ministers whose tongues have beene touched with a coale from the Altar, Esay 6. For by notori­ous and lamentable experience (even in reformed Churches) that is found to be true, which the author (heretofore praised) writ long since. The words of life in the lips of many Doctors & preachers are dead, in regard of the vertue, and efficacy; For they doe so coldly and dully preach the words of God, that they seem even to be dead in their lips: Whence it comes to passe, that as they them­selves are cold and dead, even so doe they leave their hearers cold and dead, and I would to God they did not make them so. I knew a man that for this cause left the City Paris; For he said that he was made colder, and colder daily, with the Lectures and Sermons in Paris: And that he was affraid if he should stay longer there, he should be quite frozen to death stiritually. Wherefore he got him to certaine zealous persons, as unto hot coals, that conversing among them he might nourish and increase his heat.

The fifth Question is whether zeal is to be judged accord­ingHow wee must judge of zeal▪ to the sence thereof, and the manner of exercising?

27. Ans. Not alwayes; For zeale is greater essentially, in regard of the things about which it is conversant, or acci­dentally, in regard of some circumstances which happen, and doe not alwayes remaine the same. For example, mar­ried folks loving one another dearly▪ are sometimes more affected upon the very marriage▪ then in that constant so­ciety of life, which afterward followes. But this is by [Page 60] accident, because of the novelty of the thing; But in very deed they may afterward rejoyce as much, or more.

28. So also the faithfull in the first conversion may finde often greater motions of their affections, then afterward; because of the novelty of the thing, though there be after­ward an increase in the true zeale of God. Some such thing is affirmed even of the Angells, Lu. 15. 7.

29. In old age, or in some such like decay of strength, al­though there may be the same zeale, or more then was before, yet it is not put forth in some, in the same manner, that it was in, in their younger dayes.

30. Variety of education may bring a great diversity in the manner of exercising ones zeale, when yet there may be an e­quall zeale in respect of the essence of it.

The sixth Question is whether one and the same thingHow zeale and laughter doe agree. may be lawfully a matter of zeale and laughter?

31. Ans. That this may be, appeareth in the example of Eliah, 1 Kings 18. 27. with 19. 10. 14. But yet not in the same respect. For zeale hath for its object something either honest, or filthy, but laughter is caused by the apprehension of an unexpected thing that lightly pleaseth, without the conside­ration of honesty or filthinesse.

CHAP. 7. Of peace and tranquillity of Conscience.

BEcause the concomitant object of obedience is a quiet Conscience. Concerning peace of Conscience.

The first Question is how peace of Conscience doth de­pendHow peace of Conscience followeth upō obedience. upon our obedience?

1. Ans. It depends not upon our obedience as upon the principall cause, but rather upon that justification which we have by Christ Jesus, Romans 5. 1. Heb. 10. 22. 1 pet. 3. 21. 1 Cor. 4. 4.

2. They which goe about to rest in themselves, or in their own works, can never finde any solid tranquillity in their [Page 61] Consciences, both because of the diverse falls, and because of the manifold imperfections, which adhere to the endea­vours of the best men, while they live in this World. And hence it is that those that are popish must needs be vexed with perpetuall doubts, both in life, and death, because of the opi­nion which they have of the Righteousnesse, and Merits of their works, which are yet by their owne confession un­certaine.

3. Secondly, it depends upon our obedience, 1. as upon that whereby the contrary is removed, or as upon that which removes the impediment, 1 Sam. 25. 31. 1 Ioh. 3. 18. 21. 2 As upon the proc [...]eant cause, or secondary reason thereof, 2 Cor. 1. 12.

4▪ Now this is so to be understood, as that the tranquillity of Conscience in regard of those actions which are agreeable to the Law of God, is to be conceived to depend upon o­bedience in regard of the thing it selfe: But that tranquillity which respects our state before God, it to be [...]scribed [...]o o­therwise to our obedience, as to the cause, but only in res­pect of the certainty of our perceiving of it, and that our obedience respecteth the thing it selfe, as the signe and effect thereof: hence that phrase so of [...] used by Iohn, By this we know, and such like, Ioh 2. 3. 5. 29. & 3. 10▪ 14. 19. & 4. 13.

5. Peace of Conscience also depends upon obedience, as upon the conservant cause. For righteousnesse (not impu [...]ed, nor inherent) but of the life and conversation, is the brest­plate of a believer, whereby he is guarded, and defended and is perfectly safe, and quiet. Eph. 6. 14. 1 Ioh. 3. 7. 1 Cor. 4. 3. Hence it is that that righteousnesse which consists in obedience, is called the righteousnesse of a good Conscience, Acts 24. 10.

6. Now obedience doth, preserve and maintaine peace of Conscience, not only as a signe of our reconciliation with God, but also as a continuation and an exercise of that life which is acceptable, and pleasing unto God, Col. 1. 10. Thess. 4. 1. Heb. 12. 28. Not that there is any such perfection in our obedience, as can satisfy the Law of God, but because that after our persons by faith in Christ, become acceptable to [Page 62] God, then by vertue of the same faith, for Christs sake, our o­bedience though weake, and polluted, is accepted before God, 1 Pet. 2. 5.

The second Question is, what is that obedience, by theWhat kinde of obedience is requisite to make the con­s [...]ence peace­able. presence whereof the Conscience may enjoy peace?

7. Ans. First, an absolute perfection is not required to this tranquillity, for then it were a vain [...] thing to seeke for it in this life. Iam. 3. 2. 1 Ioh. 1. 10.

8. Yet such a porportion is necessary, as by Gods own testimony in his holy word is acceptable to him, Heb. 11. 2.

9. Thirdly, this perfection consisteth properly in this, that all our studies, and endeavours be good: and the imperfecti­on be only in the manner of performing, Ro. 8. 4.

10. Fourthly, all those imperfections which adhere to our obedience, are with all humiliation of soule to be acknowledged, and pardon for them is to be begged in Faith, Pet. 5.

The third Question is, what kind of tranquility it is which doth arise from such obedience?

11. Ans. First, Such as the obedience it selfe is, that is, various, and imperfect. 2 Cor. 1. 24.

12. Secondly, it doth not therefore exclude motion from e­vill, unto good, but only that perturbation which ariseth from the apprehension of Gods Anger.

13. Thirdly, Yet notwithstanding it doth as with a guard keepe the soules of the faithfull, Phil. 4. 7. And govern them. Col. 3. 15.

The fourth Question, how may the peace of a good con­scienceDisteren [...] twixt the peace of the godly, & the wicked. be distinguished from that peace, which is in wick­ed men?

14. Ans. First, the peace of the wicked is not founded up­on the Word of God, but upon vaine words, and imaginati­ons, Ier. 23. 17, 18. 1 Thess. 5. 3.

15. Secondly, the peace of the wicked is not wont to be constant, but is interrupted with many grrpes, and pangs, that come between; and is wont to vanish, when the judgements of God begin to light upon them.

16. Thirdly, the peace of the wicked continues, whe­ther [Page 63] duties of piety, and righteousnesse be done or omit­ted, so that only those crimes be abstained from, which their natures, abhor.

CHAP. 8. Of Vertue.

QUestion. 1. Whether it be not enouh sor a man to doeThe necessiy of vertue. that which is good, unlesse we labour also for an ha­bit of vertue, whereby our hearts may be inclined to that which is good?

Ans. We ought to give all diligence to adde to our Faith, Vertue, 2 Pet. 1. 5.

1. Because the Word of God, whereby we are in speciall manner called upon for the performance of our duty, ought to be ingrafted within us, Iam. 1. 25.

2. We ought to deliver up our selves unto the same Doctrine, as to a pattern, or mould, the likenesse of which is to be expressed in our heart 8, Rom. 6. 17. Now this inward image and likenesse, is vertue.

3. As we ought to put off the old man together with his members, which properly are internall vices, Col. 3. 5. So we ought to put on the new man with his members, which pro­perly are vertues.

4. We ought to be framed and fashoned after the Image of Christ, Col. 3. 10. In whom did dwell all the fullnesse of vertues. Esay 11. 2. Col. 1. 19. And that for this end, that of his fulnesse we may receive grace for grace, Ioh. 1. 16.

5. If the habit of vertue be absent, although we should doe some good works, yet we are not rooted and grounded in good, but are rashly carried away with evill, and that good­nesse soone vanisheth. Mat. 13. 21. Col. 1. 23.

6. That good which we doe without vertue, we doe it not with an honest and good heart, which yet is required to make it pleasing unto God. Lu. 8. 15.

7. Such kind of works, are not the obedience that is accep­table to God. Mat. 7. 18. & 15. 8.

[Page 64] Question, [...] Wh [...] [...] [...] [...] to do [...], that he mayMeanes to obtaine vertue. grow and increas [...] in any vertu [...]?

8. Ans. First, he ought seriously and in a speciall manner to acknowledge his failings, and weakenesse, [...] Cor. 3. 5. 1 Cor. 3. 18.

9. Secondly, he ought in Christ to apprehend that grace especially, which he wanteth, that in time he may be strong, and compleat, Phil. 4▪ 13. Col. 2▪ 10.

10. Thirdly, he ought diligently to take heed of all such things, as are contrary to that vertue, which he labours for, Pro. 4. 14, 15. Eph. 4. 29. 31.

11. Fourthly, he ought to employ himselfe in those things, wherby that vertue may be promoted, 2 Pet. 1. 12. 15.

12. Fifthly, he ought to seek the same vertue at Gods Hand, by daily and earnest prayer, I [...]. 1. 5. Act. 4. 29.

13. Sixthly, he ought frequently and diligently to exercise himselfe in those things, which are proper to his vertue, 1 Tim. 4. 7.

Question, 3. What be the signes whereby a man maySignes of vertue. know that he hath gotten, any vertue?

14. Ans. First, a propension and readinesse in a manner naturall to the exercise of that vertue, 2 Pet. 14. 1. Thess. 4. 9.

15. Secondly, firmenesse and constancy in that exercise, E [...]b. 4. 1 [...], 15.

16. Thirdly, a joy and delight arising from that exercise. Pro. 21. 15. 2 Cor. 8. 2. & 9. 7. 13.

17. Fourthly, an abomination of the contrary vice, 119. 163.

18. Fifthly, an alienation from those which are given to that vice, Pro. 29. 27.

19. Sixthly, universality, whereby it comes to passe, that, a man doth not only in part, and in some respect follow that which is good, and oppose that which is evill (admitting a limitation, and measure according to carnall wisdom) but simply, and absolutly. 1 Cor. 13. 7. Col. 1. 10.

CHAP. 9. Of Prudence.

AMong those conditions which are necessarily required to vertue, after that generall justic [...], which notes out its essentiall rectitude, followes in the next place, Prudence, or spirituall wisdom. Concerning it therefore.

Question, 1. In what thing doth true prudence consist?The nature of Prudence.

1. Ans. First, spirituall wisdom doth generally consist in such a discerning, circumspect looking to, considering, and ordering those things which belong to Gods Glory, and our duty, and salvation, that as much as may be, they may be brought unto perfection. Pro▪ 14. 8. 15. & 15. 24. & 22. 3. But in a more speciall manner it belongs to wisdom, 1. To pro­pound a right end evermore unto our selves, and to be en­deavoring after it: Ieremy 4. 22. 2 Tim. 3. 15. 32. 29. For, that mans wisdom is in vaine, who is not wise for himselfe, and for his own good.

2. Secondly, to make choice of such meanes as do tend cer­tainly to that scope, Pro. 2. 9.

3. To walke accurately, and precisely in the use of those means, Eph. 5. 15.

4. To take hold of, and to redeem every opportunity, for the advanceing, and helping forward of this study, Col. 4. 5.

5. Carefully to take heed of, and avoid all such things, as do hinder this study, Iob. 28. 28.

6. To forsake all things else, for the attaining of this chiefe good, Mat. 13. 44. 45.

7. Not to trust to a vaine hope, but to lay a solid foundation in all things, Mat. 7. 24.

Question, 2. By what meanes may this wisdome beMeanes to get wisdom. gotten?

8. Ans. First, it comes from none other then God alone, by the Holy Ghost, Iob. 28. 12, 13, 14. 20. 21. 23. Esay 11. 2. 3. Eph. 1. 8. 17 Iam. 3. 15.

[Page 66]9. Secondly, that we may obtaine it from God, we must seriously acknowledge and confesse our owne foolishnesse. 1 Cor. 3. 18.

10. Thirdly, we ought to seek it in the Word of God. Psal. 19. 7. & 119. 98. 99 104. Ier. 8. [...].

11. Fourthly, we must seek it of God in a due manner. Iam. 1. 5. 2. Cor. 1. 10. 11.

12. Fifthly, we ought to direct all our observation and ex­perience to the getting of wisdom, Ps. 90. 12.

Question, 3. By what arguments, we may be stir'd up, toMotives to seeke for Pru­dence. labour after this spirituall wisdom?

13. Ans. First, because therein lies the perfection of man above other Creatures, Ps. 32. 8. 9.

14. Secondly, because it is a maine part of Gods Image, Col. 3. 10.

15. Thirdly, because it delivers from all evill, Proverbs 2. 11. 12.

16. Fourthly, because it conduceth to all good, Proverbs▪ 3. 13. 14. 19.

Now because in Scripture there is mention made of an human wisdom, or prudence, opposed to this spirituall wisdom▪ therefore the Question is

Question, 1. Whether all humane wisdome is to be con­demned?Humane wisdom.

17. Ans. Humane wisdom is considered, 2. wayes; either as it is simply an humane perfection, or (as they call it) an intellectuall vertue, whereby the businesses that a man hath to doe, though they be many and great, are easily conceived, judged, and directed; or as it is a corruption and abuse of that faculty, and hath some finne adhering to it, or mingled with it. In the former sense it is a thing good in regard of nature: and so to be commended and labour'd for: although in respect of any morall goodnesse, it is a thing of an indif­ferent nature, neither good nor evill, as all other naturall perfections also are. Civill wisdom therefore considered in it selfe, is not opposed to spirituall wisdom, but only as a disparate. But in the latter sence, it is a thing evill in regard of the morality of it, and to be condemned, and avoyded. [Page 67] For it is opposed to spirituall wisdom as a thing adverse: For which cause also it is called fleshly wisdome, earthly, sensu­all, divelish, Jam. 3. 15.

Question, 2. When is humane wisdom carnall, and inCarnall wis­dom. that respect to be condemned?

18. Ans. First, when it opposeth it selfe directly to the wisdom of God, in devising any evill, Exod. 1. 10. Pro. 21. 30. Pro. 6. 13▪ That is, when it becomes an instrument of any impiety, or injustice. For wisdom when it is joyned with ungodlinesse, is nothing but wickednesse armed. And to be wise to do evill, is not to be wise, but to be unwise.

19. Secondly, when it contemneth the wisdom of God, and accounteth it foolishnes, 1 Cor. 1. 23.

20. Thirdly, when it will by no meanes be subject to the wisdom of God. Ro. 8. 7.

21. Fourthly, when in some sort it yieldeth to the wisdom of God, in regard of the thing it selfe, which it seeketh; but in regard of the meanes and manner of seeking, trusts to it selfe, 2 Reg. 5. 11. 1 Cor. 2. 14.

22. Fifthly, when it makes a man more uncapable of those things which are of the spirit of God, 1 Cor. 2. 14.

23. Sixthly, when it is made a matter of boasting, Ier. 9. 23. Ez 28. 17.

24. Seventhly, when trust and confidence is placed in it, Pro. 3. 6. & 26. 12.

25. Eighthly, when it is separated from innocency, and sin­cerity, Rom. 16. 19. Mat. 10. 16. 2 Cor. 1. 12.

Question, 3. By what means may a man be brought to contemne this carnall wisdom?

26. Ans. 1. Because it sets men further off from the King­dom of God, then simple foolishnesse. 1 Cor. 1. 26, 27. Mat. 11. 26. 2 Because God doth use to infatuate, and bring to nought such wisdom. 1 Cor. 1. 19. 20. 3 Because it is serpen­tine, and diabolicall, Gen. 3. 1. Iam. 3. 15. 4 Because it destroy­eth those in whom it is. Pro. 11. 3. 5. It overthroweth all humane society, and takes away the comfort of life, 2 Sam. 16. 22. 23.

CHAP. 10. Of Watchfulnesse.

BEcause the exercised force, and (as I may say) activity of patience is usually in Scripture set forth by the name of watchfulnesse. Concerning it therefore.

Question, wherein doth it properly consist?

1. Ans. Watchfulnesse is nothing else but an heedfull atten­tion, whereby a thing is gone about with diligence, Luke 2. 8. Heb. 13. 16. But this spirituall act of vigilancy, which is required of all men, is in Scripture referred to three objects. 1. To the watches themselves, that they keepe a watch over themselves, Pro. 4. 23. & 2 To their duty, that they watch unto that, Eph. 6. 18. 3 To the future, for which they by this duty prepare themselves, Mat. 24. 43. 44. 45. The first may be called the object over which, the second the object for which, The third the object to which. But although for teach­ing sake we doe distinguish these three, in practice they ought always to be conjoyned, so that we alwayes observe our selves, watch to those duties whichly upon us, and prepare our selves for the future. Eccles. 5. 1. 2, 3, 4, 5.

2. Watchfulnesse over our selves in generall is nothing else, but a vigilant observation of the Will of God, Psalm. 119. 4, 5, 6.

3. Particularly, there is required in it, as in the watching of a City that is besieged, or any other way in danger, that we observe, and inquire, 1. Into all commers in, whence they come, and whither they tend; and to all those things which come in by our senses, as by the City Gates, that if they be hurtfull, they may be excluded, Psal, 119. 37. Iob. 31. 1. [...] Into all that goe out, as into all our thoughts, words, and actions, which proceed from us. Pro. 4. 23, 24. Ps. 39. 2. Eccles 5. 1. Iam. 3. 2.

4. Vigilancy as it respecteth our duty, is nothing but a carefulnesse about th [...]se things, which God hath [Page 69] commanded, how we may please him in them, 1 Cor. 7. 32.

5. Vigilancy is particularly required, 1. Before the duty is perfourmed, that the matter be duely weighed, Pro. 14. 15. That all impediments, (whether they be things in themselves lawfull, or unlawfull) may be removed, 1 Pet. 2. 11. 2 Tim. 2. 4. That we may be fit and prepared for the doing of our duty. Lu. 21. 34. 36. And that we may lay hold on the occasions of doing it, that are offered, Gal. 6. 20. And the contrary be avoided. Pro. 4. 15. & 5. 8. 2 In the very duty, that it be done in an exact, and accurate manner. Luke 8. 18. 3 After the du­ty, that it be not marred by any following corruption. 2. Io [...]. 8. Because it is easily wont, either to be corrupted by pride, 1 Cor. 4. 7. O [...] by inconstancy, and levity to be over­thrown, Ier. 34. 11.

6. Watchfulnesse as it respects the future, which we are to have before our eyes, is a due preparation, such as that, which we expect, doth require, whether it be good, that it may be received, or evill, that it may be avoyded. Mat. 2 [...], 42. 44. Particulary here is required, 1. That this preparation be made in time, Mat. 25. 3. with 11. 2. That it be used constantly, and without ceasing, Lu. 21. 36.

Question 2. What is principally required for the obser­ving of this watch?

7. Ans. First, sobriety in the use of worldly things, 1 Thess. 5. 6. 1 Pet. 47. & 5. 8. For the heart is overcharged, not only with sur [...]etting and drunkenesse, but also with the cares of this life, Lu. 21. 34. 36.

8. Secondly, a frequent consideration of Gods owne presence, and beholding of our wayes, Pro. 1. 20. 21. Psal. 119. 168.

9. Thirdly, a frequent examination of our wayes, with a just censure, and judgement passed upon them, Ps. 4. 4. Ps. 119. 59. 1 Cor. 11. 31.

10. Fourthly, the fellowship, and society of them, which wil be to us in this care, Phil. 2. 4. Heb. 10. 24. 5. frequent prayer. Mat. 26. 41.

Question, 3. By what arguments m [...]y we be stirrd up to this watchfulnes?

[Page 70]11. Ans. There is one essentiall reason, which is taken fromMotives to watchfulnesse that danger, in which both we our selves are, and the Name of God by reason of us, 1 Tim. 6. 1.

12. Now we are subject to that danger. 1. Through the infirmity of our flesh, Mat. 26. 41. 2 Through the deceits of the divell, and the world. 1 Pet. 5. 8. 3 Through the uncer­tainty of the time of Christs comming to judgement, either generall, or particular. Mat. 24. 42. & 25. 13. Mar. 13. 33. 35. Lu. 21. 35. 36.

CHAP. 11. Of Fortitude.

BEcause next after prudence, fortitude is requisite to the perfection of vertue: concerning it therefore.

Question, 1. Wherein doth Christian fortitude consist?

1. Ans. It is not to be confounded with animosity, or stout­nesse, which is to be found not only in men voyd of all ver­tue, but also in the bruit Creatures, the Lion, the Horse, the Bull, the Dog. Pr [...]. 31. 29. 30. 31.

2. Secondly, yet courage or greatnesse of mind, hath the na­ture of a Genus, or Generall, in respect of true fortitude: which therefore consists not so much in the moderation of bold­nesse, or hope, as in the moderation of feare, and desperation, Iob. 6. 11. 19.

3. Thirdly, it doth not only consist in adventuring upon dangers, or undertaking hard things, but also in suffering, and bearing evills, and adversity, Hebrewes 11. 34, 35. 36. 2 Tim. 2. 1. 3.

4. Fourthly, but true fortitude adventures upon dangers, and suffers adversity, for vertues sake, and for the performing of his duty, 1 Pet. 3. 14. & 4. 14, 15.

5. Fifthly, fortitude therefore is that courage, where­by we are ready to performe our duty, even because it is our duty, what difficulties soever happen. 1 Cor. 15. 58. & 16. 13.

[Page 71]6. Sixthly, he cannot be said to be truely couragious, which offers himselfe to dangers, not one [...] considering what they are, or why to be attempted, or intangled in them by [...], or compell'd by necessity, and not led ther [...]to by vertue. It was not from fortitude, and courage, that the Demoniack, Mark. 9. Often leap't into the water, often into the fire, but through the violence of the evill spirit; so it is not from the vertue of fortitude, that many are strong to powre downe drinke, Esa. 5. 22. Yea, many attempts, by which men are judged valiant and couragious, by foolish Acts, are nothing but made furies.

7. Seventhly, neither hath he this vertue, who is scarred, or doth desist from doing his duty, through any feare, or dan­ger, Pro. 24. 10.

8. Eightly, yet it is here to be remembred, that the courage of the faithfull in this life, is joyned with infirmity, and so some momentany shaking, wherewith the godly sometimes are made to stagger, may consist with the fortitude of vertue. Ier. 20. 9. 2 Cor. 4. 8.

9. Ninthly, and although in regard of purpose of mind, and preparation of heart, the faithfull doe arme and fortify themselves against all such things, as may hinder them in their duties. 2 Cor. 6. 4. Yet notwithstanding they are not alwayes equally prepared to the suffering and undergoing of all kinds of molestations, as Satan observed, Iob. 1. & 2. And the event in Iob in some sort proved. For that which ex­perience teacheth in corporall fortitude in a due proportion, holds also in spirituall; Some are strong to suffer labours; o­thers to exercise warfare; others to carry burthens; others to repell things that are hurtfull; and many which are strong in one or other of those things, are found infirme, and weake in the rest.

Qu. 2. By what meanes may this Christian fortitude be stir­red Meanes to stir up forti­tude. up in a man?

10. Ans. First, if he acknowledge his owne weakenesse, Rom. 5. 6. 2 Cor. 3. 5.

11. Secondly, if he consider that he is chosen and called of God to perform that duty, which he goes about. 1 Chron. 28.

[Page 72]12. Thirdly, if he perswade himselfe that God will be pre­sent with him in that which he hath commanded him, Deut. 20. 3. 4. Ps. 27. 1 [...]. 2 Reg. 6. 16.

13. Fourthly, if he expect and looks for all sufficiency of strength from God. Eph. 6. 10. Phil. 4. 14. Ps. 73. 26.

14. Fifthly, if he call to mind, how the victory hath beene long since gotten for [...] by Christ; and that nothing is required of him, save onely, that he adhering unto Christ, become a conquerour with him, and in him. Iohn 16. 33. Rom. 37.

15. Sixthly, if he stick close to that promise, which testifies, that all things shall work together for good to them that love God, Rom. 8. 28.

16. Seventhly, if he have the recompence of reward, which is laid up for him, alwayes before his eyes. 1 Cor. 15. 58.

CHAP. 12. Of Boldnesse which is contained under fortitude

BEcause under fortitude is contained boldnesse, or con­fidence, perseverance, and pa [...]ence; of these therefore briefly.

Qu. 1. What is this boldnesse of fortitude?

1. Ans. First, by it we understand not here properly that confidence of Faith, whereby we rest upon God by Christ, unto salvation; Nor simply that confidence of hope, where­by we expect the things, which God hath promised: but that confidence, whereby we being full of Faith, and hope, do [...] cheerefully and boldly set upon the duty laid upon [...] by God. Ier. 1. 7. 8. 19. Act. 4. 13. 29. & 9. 29. Ephes. 6. 19. 20. Phil. 1. 14. 20.

Qu. 2. What are those adverse evills which are properly over­come by this confidence?

2. Ans. Two especially, 1. The difficulties which hinder us in the performing of our duties Pro. 22. 13. & [...]6. 13. Eccles. 11. 4. Cor. 16. 9. (2) The uncertainty of the successe or [Page 73] event, which will follow upon the performance of the duty, Daniel. 3. 17. 18.

Qu. 3. By what meanes is the mind confirmed against those vexations?

3. Ans. First, by the fervour, and heat of the spirit, or zeal Act. 18. 25. 26. Act. 4. 8. with 13. Amos 5. 24.

4. Secondly, by a true trust placed in God, Pro. 16. 3. Ps. 37. 5. & 55. 22 1 Pet. 4. 19. & 5. 7. Esa. 58. 11.

5. Thirdly, by faithfull prayers, commending our selves to God. Phil. 4. 6. Esth. 4. 16.

6. Fourthly, by a right judgement concerning the ter­rours, whereby we are astonished. For sometimes the things which terrify us, are utterly to be contemned, as the speeches of vain men, &c. Sometimes they are meere figments, which if we passe an exact judgement of them, vanish presently, and they are such alwayes, that if they be compared with the dignity, fruit, and necessity of our duty, they are of no force at all.

CHAP. 13. Of Constancy.

QUestion, 4. Wherein doth perservance, or constancy of vertue consist?

1. Ans. First, In a perpetuall continuation of the same purpose, and disposition of well-doing. Gal. 4. 18. Psal. 106. 3. Rom. 2. 7.

2. Secondly, in a frequent [...]teration of the same kind of actions, with fervour, and zeale. 1 Thess. 5. 17.

3. Thirdly, in a care to proceede and goe on in a way of vertue. Phil. 3. 13, 14.

Qu. 5. Which are the evills which are opposed to this Constancy?

4. Ans. First, declining out of the right way. Iob. 23. 11. 12.

5. Secondly, wearisomnesse, and fainting, Gal. 6. 9.

[Page 74]6. Thirdly, a desultory lightnsse whereby men are changed every houre, and become unlike themselves. It is called childish­nesse, Eph. 4. 14. And madnesse, and bewitching, Gal. 3. 1.

Qu. 6. How are men stirred up to constancy?

7. Ans. Because the reward is not promised, save only to them that persevere, Apoc. 2. 10. 26. And therefore it is vaine for a man to begin, unlesse he hold on, and goe through with it. Gal. 3. 4.

CHAP. 14. Of Patience.

QUestion, 7. What is the nature of patience?

1 Ans. Christian patience hath reference to a three­fold object. 1. To God, according to whose pleasure all adverse things, are ordered. Iob. 1. 20. & 2. 9. 10. In which respect, murmuring against God is opposed to patience, 1 Cor. 10. 10. 2 To men, or those means which doe directly afflict us. 2 Thess. 1. 4. with 6. 1 Pet. 2. 2 [...]. & 3. 9. In which res­pect desire of revenge is opposed to patience. Rom. 12. 17. 19. 3 To that office, or duty, which by the molestations of ad▪ advesity, we are tempted to forsake. Heb. 10. 36. Lu. 12. 19.

In which respect, faintnesse of mind is opposed to patience, Heb. 12. 5. And drawing back, and departing out of the right way, which followes there, Heb. 10. 36. with 38. 39. & 12. 7. with 13.

2. In the first consideration, patience pertaines to Religion towards God; In the second to charity toward our Neigh­bour. In the third, it is a part of fortitude, and a generall affection of vertue. Yet to the third confideration, may the other two be referred, so far as our duty, either towards God, or man, is considered in them: Although, besides this generall nature, they have speciall difference, by which they may be profitably distinguished from this, and betweene themselves.

Qu. 8. How is this patience, and sufferance, to be distinguish­ed [Page 75] that, fortitude, which consists in confidence, and Constancy?

3. Ans. Those three are alwayes joyned together in true fortitude; but confidence or boldnesse doth properly respect the setting upon a duty, constancy the continuation of it▪ pa­tience, the defence of it.

Qu. What be the signes of this patience?

4. Ans. First, if we neither utterly contemne the difficul­ties, that we meete with, nor [...]aint under them. Heb. 12. 5. But doe overcome all oppositions duely weighed in a right judgement.

5. Secondly, if we be prepared in mind for righteousnesse sake, not onely to suffer those troubles, which are lesse, but even those which are most fearfull. Acts 21. 13.

6. Thirdly, if we do not only, not quite forsake our du­ty, because of difficulties, wee meet with, but not so much as remit, or lessen any thing of our zeale, Hebrews, 10. 35. & 12. 13.

7. Fourthly, if we undergoe these troubles not as by con­straint and unwillingly, but with spirituall joy and exultati­on, Mat. 5. 12. Col. 1. 11. Heb. 10. 34.

Qu. 10. By what motives may we be confirmed in thisMotives to patience. patience?

8. Ans. First, because without this patience no good thing can be perfectly accomplished▪ Iam. 1. 4.

9. Secondly, because without patience we want the posses­sion of our own soules, Luke 21. 19. Neither can we attaine to have our hearts established in any thing that is good, Iam. 5. 5. 10. Pro. 24. 10.

10. Thirdly, because by these troubles we are brought into triall by God who takes a proofe of us by the Devills tem­tations, Heb. 10. 32. Wherein unlesse by patience we get the better we must needs to the dishonor of God, and our own hurt be overcome by the Devill, Rom. 12. 21.

11. Fourthly, because in this triall God himselfe will give both a supply of strength and a happy issue, 1 Cor. 10. 13.

CHAP. 15. Of Temperance.

BEcause to the constitution of vertue there is required (besides the uprightnesse of justice the direction of pru­dence and the firmenesse of fortitude) the custody also or the guard of Temperance, therefore some thing must be said of Temperance.

Qu. 1. Wherein lieth the nature of Temperance.

1. Ans. First, As fortitude doth arme vertue against those things, whereby men are wont to be deterred and made af­fraid of doing their duty: so Temperance doth defend it a­gainst those things which are wont to allure, and entice men away from the same.

2. Secondly, although in that victory which Temperance obtaines over flattering Temptations (in the resistance of which there is oft times much molestation) and in that con­stancy also which is properly a fruit of Temperance, there be to be found a magnanimity and heighth of mind neere of kinne to fortitude: yet there is a difference betwixt it and for­titude because of the difference of the objects.

3. Thirdly, because every object, that doth allure and intice, hath some shew of good; and the appearāce of an honest good, as such, doth not allure to sinne, but to honesty: therefore the object of Temperance are things that have a shew of profit and delight; or profits and pleasures.

4. Fourthly, also love, desire, and delight are conversant about such kind of good things; therefore temperance pro­perly is occupied about the moderating of these affections, about such objects.

5. Fifthly, Temperance doth not utterly take away these affections, as being naturall, but doth govern them, that is, takes away their inordinatnesse, in regard of their degre, eex­tent, and manner.

6. Sixthly, this mordinatnesse, because in beleevers, it is [Page 77] taken away onely in part, therefore these affections are in some sort, but not perfectly mortified. Hence it is, that Tem­perance is said to restraine, and keepe under the remainders of them, and to abstain from them.

Qu. 2. What are the signes of Temperance?Signes of Temperance▪

7. Ans. First, if a man be not led with carnall and worldly affections, but keepe them tamed under the yoke of reason and Religion, and do, as it were, deny them. Tit. 2. 12.

8. Secondly, if he abstaine especially from those lusts, to which (either by reason of the condition of [...]isoife, or by evill custome, or by the example of those amongst whom he lives) he is most inclined. 2 Timothy 2. 22. 1 Peter 4. 2, 3, 4.

9. Thirdly, if he abstaine, not only from the outward works, whereby such lusts are wont to be fulfilled, but also study to roote out and mortify the very inward inordinate affections, Col. 3. 5. 8. Rom. 8. 13.

10. Fourthly, if he be neither lifted up inordinately in the fruition of the commodities, and pleasures of this World, nor troubled in the want of them, but when he hath them, be as if he had them not, 1 Cor. 7. 29 30. 31. And when he hath them not, be as if he had them. 2 Cor. 6. 10.

Qu. 3. What is to be done by us, that we may attaine ChristianMeanes to attaine Tem­perance. Temperance.

11. Ans. First, we ought to endeavour by all meanes to di­minish and resist the love, desire, and delight of the World and of worldly things, 1 Io [...]. 2. 15. 16.

12. Secondly, to this purpose it will be profitable to turne away our thoughts, and senses from things perversly belo­ved: lest the appearance of good which seemes to be in them prove to be an incentive, and nourisher of perverse love, Iob. 31. 1. For it is remarkable that the two first perverse loves wch we read of in the Scripture, are said to come by the sight, Gen. 3. The Woman saw that the Tree was good and plea­sant to the Eyes, and Gen. 6. & 2. The Sonnes of God saw the daughters of men that they were faire.

13. Thirdly, it is profitable also seriously to ponder of the fading vanity of all worldly things, 1 Ioh. 2. 17. Eccl. 1.

[Page 78]14. Fourthly, to the end that we be not taken and carried away with the sh [...]w of pleasures, it is good to behold them not as they come flatteringly, but as they goe away, that is full of shame and sorrow, R [...]. 6. 21.

15. Fifthly, we must be watchfull that the motions of con­cupiscence get not strength by long delay, but we must doe our endeavour that they be presently and in the beginning re­pressed, Ro. 7.

16. Sixthly, we must often and seriously revolve in our minds how all those that ever were wise and godly here, not without just cause despised these pleasures, and judged them fit to be despised and eschewed by others.

17. Seventhy, the minde is to be occupied in other things; and our love, desire, and delight, are to be turned to those things which are Spirituall, and Divine, that so evill love may be driven out of the mind by good love, as one naile is driven out by an other.

CHAP. 16. Of Drunkennesse.

1. AMong the sinnes which are opposite to Temperance, those are most remarkeable which are conversant a­bout the delightes of touching, as Gluttony, Drunkenesse, and such like, because such kinde of abuses have most mani­festly in themselves, and of themselves a morall badnesse as appeares by the Law of nature, of God, and of man, all which do condemne them.

2. In all those kinds of excesse, the inordinatenesse is commonly found to be either in regard of the substance when more pretious things are desired, then doe agree to a mans state; For in regard of the quantity when more is consumed then reason requires, or in regard of the quality when too much curiosity is used for the satisfying of ones lust, or in regard of the manner when a just decorum is omitted, or lastly in regard of the [...]ime when men give themselves unto [Page 83] such things oftner then they should or when they ought not.

3. Now of drunkennesse there is something in speciall to be considered before other sinnes of the like nature, because of that singular opposition which is betwixt it and the offices and works of vertue.

Qu. 1. What is drunkennesse?

4. Ans. First, drunkennesse is oftentimes taken for the privati­on of reason which followes upon immoderate Drinking. And so it is not properly a sinne by it selfe, but rather an effect and punishment of sin.

5. Secondly, as it doth note either a desire of immoderate drinking, or the voluntary drinking it selfe so far immoderate, that a man by it is violently deprived of the use of reason, so it is a grevious sin. Pro. 23. 30. 39. Esa. 5. 11. Hos. 4. 11. Luk [...] 21. 34. 1 Cor. 6. 10. Ephes. 5. 18.

6. The deformity and filthinesse of this sin doth appeare from these grounds, 1. Because the Drunkard doth for a con­temptible pleasure sell that which is the excellentest thing in the nature of man whilst he deprives himselfe of the use of reason, 2. Because by this meanes he makes himselfe unfit not onely for the duties of piety. Luke 21, 34. But also for all honest actions, Hos. 4. 11. 3 Because he exposeth himselfe to the danger of almost all kinds of sinnes, whilest he deprives himselfe of the power to avoid those things which other­wise he knowes to be grosse sins. For which reason and that which went before it is apparent that Drunkennesse is not so much a speciall sin, against any one Commandement of God, as a generall breach of the whole Law, 4 Because he doth so deforme the Image of God in himselfe, that he doth in a sort cast himselfe below the Beasts. 5 Because he doth bring hereby many mischiefes to his body, name, and out­ward condition, 6. Because he which is accustomed to this sin proveth in a sort incurable. For a Drunkard is seldome or never reclaimed either from Drunkennesse, or any other sin because his heart is taken away. Hos. 4. 11.

7. Drunkennesse is voluntary not only when it follow's from a direct intention, but also when it commeth of a nota­ble negligence in preventing it.

[Page 80]The outrage [...] which a man committeth in Drunkennesse are so far to be imputed to him for faults, as the Drunken­nesse was voluntary; Now then especially, they are both voluntary, and accompted faulty, when (all circumstances being considered) a man might, and so ought to have fore­seene, that he would commit such things in his Drunken­nesse, either because he had tryed it by experience before, or because in the like case of Drunkennesse, or upon the like opportunity, drunken men are wont to commit such things, or at least doe expose themselves to the danger of commit­ing them.

9. Now, although compleat Drunkennesse doe consist in the losse of the use of reason by Drinking, whereby a man is made altogether unfit for the duties he hath to doe; Yet all perturbation of the phantasie by Drinke whereby a man is notably made lesse fit, for the ordinary exercise of piety (as prayer and reading) is a degree of the same sinne, Lu. 28. 34.

10. Those also which are strong to drinke, so that though they drinke above measure, they find no perturbation of their forces, yet if they like to sit at their cups, to stay at the Wine, and to extend and prolong their drinkings, they are not free from this sin. Esa. 5. 11.

11. He is a partaker in this sinne, who doth wittingly and willingly give wine or drinke to another, to make him drunk. For he doth cooperate to his sin.

12. But much more are they guilty, who induce others to make themselves drunke, whether they intend it directly, or indirectly, by inviting them to drink, by calling for grea­ter pots, by striving, by urging them without all reason, to drink as much, and take their turne, as they call it.

13. We ought to abstaine, not only from the imitation, but also from the fellowship of such kind of sinnes, according to that of the Apostle: if any that is called a brother, be a Drunk­ard, with such an one no not to eate, 1 Cor. 5. 11.

14. We are to abstain therefore (even from this ground▪ if there were no other) from those rites, whereby drunken­nesse is artificially wont to be brought about: of which [Page 81] sort are the adjuring of others to drinke by the names of some that are great, or deare to them; the sending of cups about, that all and every one in his order may drinke them off; that abuse of lots (as it is in some places used) to impose a fained and (unwritten) Law and necessity of drinking upon the guests, and such like mysteries of Bacchus, and introducti­ons to the excesse of drinking.

CHAP. 17. Of Good Works.

BEcause from vertue proceed good Workes; concerning them therefore.

Qu. 1. What is here to be understood by a Worke?

1. Ans. A worke in this place ought not to be distinguish­ed from an action, as it is distinguished by them, who doe account those only for good works, which produce some­thing, that is good and profitable unto men; such as are almes, the building and endowing of Temples, Colledges, Hos­pitalls, &c. For although among men, which are affected with their owne commodities, such workes are in a singular manner above others extolled. Yet such works may be so done, that that action from whence they come, may be in many respects evill; although the things done may be usefull and good unto other men.

2. Againe▪ even when in such works, not the works on­ly, but the actions be truly good: yet they cannot be equal­led to some other actions, which carry not so great a pompe 1 Tim. 3. 1. Iam. 5. 20.

3. This thing ought so much the more diligently to be observed, because it pertains much to the comfort of the poorer sort of believers, who have hardly any power to doe any thing, that may tend to the externall good of others. It serves also to abate the insolency of certaine rich Men, who thinke that they onely doe good workes, and none but they.

[Page 82] Q. 2. Concerning the efficient cause of good works, it may be domanded, whether the works of [...] unregenerate, (whereby they doe in some sort the same thing which the regenerate doe in their good works) be good works, or no:

4. Ans. In such kind of works, we are to distinguish bet­weene the substance (as I may say) of the worke, and the fault of the person, wherewith it is defiled: the substance of such works is good, because they are the things of the Law. Rom. 2. 14. Now, every worke so far as it agreeth with Gods Law, is good. But for all that, there be some vices cleaving to them, which come, partly, from the person that doth them, partly, from the manner of doing, whereby such works are so defiled, that though in their owne nature, and in respect of others they be good, yet in respect of any spi­rituall obedience yielded by them unto God, they are not good, Esa. 1. 13. Esa, 66▪ 3.

Qu. 3. How then can the works of the regenerate be good, seeing they are many wayes defiled?

5. Ans. Although evill doth alwayes cleave both to the per­sons and the actions of the godly, Rom. 7. 21. Yet this evill in their holy duties takes not away the essence of a spirituall du­ty, but hinders and diminisheth the degree and perfection thereof; because all the causes of such works are good, and only the adjuncts evill: and so the imperfection being covered in Christ, the works are for Christs sake acceptable, and plea­sing unto God 1 Pet. 2. 5.

Qu. 4. Concerning the matter of good works, it may be de­manded, whether it is not lawfull for us at our owne pl [...]asure to make choice of something, in which to yield honour and obedience unto G [...]d?

6. This is expresly forbiden, Deut. 12. 8. 32. Num. 5. 39. Mat. 15. 9. Mark. 7. 7.

7. Secondly it doth imply a contradiction that we should yield obedience to God in those things, whereof he hath given us no Commandement: Neither without obedience can we give any honour to God, that may be pleasing to him. All works therefore of our owne chusing are only good before men through a fained and vaine persuasion, but not before God.

[Page 83]8. Thirdly, yet there is some difference to be observed in good works, in regard of the matter; for some are ex­presly and immediatly enjoyned to all, as the duties of the morall Law; others are not commanded to all, but to some only, and that is not expresly and immediatly, but conse­quently, and upon the supposition of certaine circumstances, by which it comes to passe that (bic & nunc) in some particu­lar case, they partake of the nature of precept [...].

9. In such things, the will of God is to be gathered and collected by a fillogisme, whose generall proposition is con­tained in the Scripture; the assumption dependeth upon gift, call, or such like speciall circumstances; and the conclusion is out of the proposition so derived by the assumption, that in respect of this or that man, such or such a time, it hath the same force of binding, with a generall Commandement. For example, all ought to cut off occasion of calumny and scandall, and to take that course which make▪ most for the furtherance of the Gospell, and the edification of the Church. This is the proposition. 1 Cor. 10. 31. 32. 33. Now Paul, con­sidering all circumstances, did thus assume, I Paul, if I shall freely preach the Gospell, shall cut off occasion of calumny. 2 Cor. 11. 12. I shall further the Gospell, 1 Cor. 9. 23. And edify the Church, 1 Cor. 9. 19. Hence this conclusion fol­lowes, therefore I Paul ought to preach the Gospell freely, 1 Cor. 9. 15. Againe, all ought according to the gifts which they have, and their vocation, to promote the Gospell, 1 Cor. 7. 17. I have the gift of continency, and the present necessity makes the single life more fit to further the Gospell, then marriage, 1 Cor. 26. Therefore I ought to continue in that single estate.

10. If this explication be duely observed, it will easily without any longer dispute, overthrow the Doctrine of the Papists, who make distinction betweene Evangelicall coun­sells, and the Lawes of God.

Qu. 5. Concerning the end of good worke▪ it is demanded, what force intention hath to make an action either good, or bad?

11. Ans. A good intention by it selfe cannot make a good [Page 84] action, because goodnesse is a perfection, and doth arise from the perfection and integrity of all the causes. Neither is there any action so wicked, but may be committed out of some good end: the incest of Lots Daughter was upon a good end. Gen. 19. 32. And many doe kill Christians, thinking thereby to doe God service. Io [...]. 16. 2.

12. Yet an evill intention doth make an action evill, be­cause evill, is a defect, and doth arise out of any defect, Mat. 6. 1. Take heed yee doe not your almes before men to be seene of them, &c.

Qu. 6. What kind of intention is necessarily required to make an action good?

13. Ans. First, it is absolutely necessary that it be done with a respect to honesty, and in reference to the pleasing of God, and obeying his Will. Acts 24. 16. For an action can­not be good, unlesse it be don under the notion of good­nesse; Now to doe a good thing under the notion of good­nesse, is to have a respect to honesty and goodnesse in the doing of it. For hee that doth a thing that is honest, be­cause it is delightfull, or profitable, may be said to doe rather a thing profitable, or delightfull, then honest. 1 Tim. 6. 5.

14. Secondly, a secondary intention of profit, or pleasure doth in no sort take away the honesty of an action, but adorn it rather. Rom. 1. 12. & 15.

15. Thirdly, it is also absolutely necessary, that there be a reference of the action to the glory of God, 1 Cor. 10. 37. This is done vertually in the intention of our doing our duty: but the more distinct and direct respect is unto God in action, the more perfect it is, Ps. 16. 8.

16. Fourthly, it is meet also there be a secondary intention of setting our own salvation. 1 Cor. 9. 24.

17. Fifthly, in such works as come to the notice of others, it is requisite also that we thinke of stopping the mouths of the wicked, 1 Pet. 3. 16. And of furthering others in the way of salvation. Mat. 5. 16.

18. Sixthly, the cause is otherwise in evill actions; for to make an action evill, it is not required, that there be any [Page 85] respect to evill, or expresse intention of dishonouring Gods Name, or of bringing death, or giving offence unto others: because as the nature of sin consists in privation, so the want of good intention is [...]n evill intention, and (as it is chosen by the will) interpretatively is reckoned for the in­tention of all those evills, which are opposed to good inten­tions: and hence it is that the sinner is said to love death, Pro. 8. 36.

Qu. 7. Of the forme of a good action wherein it doth consist?

19. It consists properly in the manner of doing, when the agent is not onely well disposed, and that thing which he doth is approved of God, but also the action is so ordered in respect of all the circumstances, as God prescribeth, what and of what nature this is, appeareth by the defect. 1 Cor. 11. 27. 28. 29. Comande. 3.

Qu. 8. Because the information and force of Conscience d [...]th neerely pertaine to the forme of doing concerning it may be deman­ded, whether the Conscience of man be a sufficient and absolute rule to worke by?

20. Ans. The Conscience of a man since the fall is defiled, Tir. 1. 15. And so by it selfe cannot be a perfect, and pure rule, yea: if we simply follow it as a leader, we shall be brought oftentimes into vil [...] wickednesse. Io [...]. 16. 2. Acts 26. 9. Phil. 3. 6. It is therefore only a subordinate rule, so far of force, as it is directed by the Word of God. Hence an erring Conscience hath not that power to bind, that we are simply bound to follow the judgement of such a Conscience. For we ought never to content our selves, till our Conscience be certainly informed in those things which concerne our duty; although in this sence it may be said to bind, be­cause against such a Conscience, while such, we are to doe nothing.

Qu. 9. What is to be done when the Conscience is in doubt?

21. Ans. If the Conscience doe doubt whether the action be lawfull we ought to abstaine from that action, till we be certain concerning it. Ro. 14. 23.

[Page 86] Qu. 10. What if the Conscience be in a perplexity, so that it thinks it a sin aswell to abstain [...] from the action as to doe it?

22. Ans. Out of the nature of the thing it selfe, and of the Conscience considered by it selfe, such a case cannot fall out: for it cannot be that the judgement of the Conscience should at the same time assent to both parts of the contra­diction.

Qu. 11. What is to be done when the Conscience is troubled with scruples?

23. The conscience is then said to be troubled with scru­ples when it doth give assent to one part of the question being hereunto induced by sufficient arguments, but yet in some sort troubled with the objections of the other side, which it cannot easily answer. Such kind of doubts (if it may be) ought by a certaine judgement to be laid downe; but if this cannot be such an imperfection of judgement (in asmuch as it doth not hinder assent by a doubtefull wavering, but only make that assent to be more weake) is no just cause to make us forbeare that, which such an assent leads us unto. Deut. 13. 1. 2. 3. 1 Kings. 13. 21▪

Q [...]. 12. How ought a man to carry himselfe between con­trary opinions, when he is uncertaine of the truth?

24. Ans. First, it is not enough for a good conscience to adhere to the authority of men, though they be learned and godly; because the conscience is not by it selfe to be subjec­ted to the judgement of man: Neither hath any humane tes­timony, sufficient strength to argue Gods approbation of a thing▪ or to excuse in Gods presence. Rom. 14 12. 1 Cor. 8. 10.

25. Secondly, every one ought to follow that opinion, which (after due diligence to search the truth) he judgeth to be improbable out of the nature of the thing and the Law of God compared together, whether that probability ap­peare to him by his owne search, or by the helpe of others. 1 Cor. 8. 4. with 7.

26. Thirdly, if after due inquisition made the minde be wholly in suspence, whether the action be lawfull or unlaw­full, [Page 87] then that doubtfullnesse remaining, the safer part is to be chosen. Now that is the safer part in which there is no danger of sinning, and in this case he sinneth not, who sim­ply abstaines from such an action, so that he condemnes not another which doth it. Rom. 14. 5. with 4. 23. We are there­fore to abstaine from all such things, about which (after due diligence used) the conscience is in doubt, whether they be lawfull or no. They which doe otherwise, doe not only expose themselves to the danger of sinning in the very action it selfe, but without doubt doe [...]in in the very manner of doeing.

Qu. 13. When a man doth apprehend, that, of two sins he must needs commit one, which is he to choose?

27. Ans. The precepts of God doe never so jarre of their own nature, that it is necessary to break one of them by sin: For when a lesse Commandement is neglected, that a grea­ter may be observed, that lesse Commandament doth cease for the while to bind; so that they who upon such an occa­sion neglect it, are altogether blamelesse, that is, sin not. Math. 12. 5. 7.

28. For that usuall saying, that of two evills we must chuse the least, it is meant of evills of punishment, not of sin.

29. A man ought therefore alwayes to have a fixed resolu­tion to eschew and avoid all sin.

30. There is no necessity of feare, danger, or outward con­straint whereby a man can be excused, if he doe upon that pre­tence commit the least sin.

31. Neither indeed is there properly any constraint, when any thing is done with certain counsell, and the will (which cannot be compelled) induced by feare, consenteth to the actinn.

32. Thirdly, if any through weaknesse be brought to those straits, that he thinks he must needs of two sins commit one, the conscience cannot give judgement in such a case, because that deliberation is made against the conscience. Yet it can­not be doubted, but he sins lesse, which commits the lesser sin.

CHAP. 18. Of things indifferent.

QVestion, 1. Wherein consists the nature of a thing indif­ferent?

1. Ans. First, adiaphorum (for so it is called) according to the interpretation of the word, is that which hath such a respect to two extreams, that it is inclined no more to the one, then the other, and in the same sense is called an indiffe­rent thing, or a thing of a middle nature.

2. Secondly, now although according to this large accep­tation of the word, any middle thing may be called indiffe­rent or adiaphorum, yet the word doth commonly signify on­ly such a thing as is in the middle betweene morall good and evill.

3. Thirdly, the middle betweene good and evill is either, 1. of meere deniall (as they terme i [...]) in which there is neither good nor evill to be found; and so all substances, whether they be things naturall or artificiall, are middle things or in­different: or it is, 2. a middle of participation, which doth so far agree with both extreams, as the extreams agree bet­weene themselves; and thus no substances are properly things middle and indifferent by themselves, because none of them are either good or evill, but only actions, and dispositions to actions.

4. Fourthly, such actions therefore as are neither com­manded nor forbidden, and that be in their owne nature neither points of obedience, or disobedience, are indifferent or middle.

Qu. 2. Whether there be any actions indifferent in regard of their kind?

5. Ans. First, this may be understood two wayes: either that indifferency be of the specificall nature of any action, which is false: or that the common nature of an action should have an indifferent respect to good or evill, which is true.

[Page 89]6. Secondly, there is therefore no action of its own nature so indifferent, but by circumstances it may be made good, or evill; but there be divers actions which in their common and bare nature, before they be as it were clothed with circum­stances, doe include in themselves no goodnesse or badnesse; as, to eat, to drink, to take a journey, to walke, &c.

Qu. 3. Whether indifferent actions differ nothing among themselves, but are all equally distant from good and evill?

7. Ans. In their owne intrinsecall nature they differ no­thing at all; but yet there are some▪ which for the most part have evill circumstances annexed to them, and so bend more toward evill, and have an evill name, as to doe the worke of an accuser, the office of an hangman, &c. Some there be also which for the most part have good circumstances, and so bend toward good, and have a good name, as, to till the ground▪ to follow our study diligently▪ &c.

Qu. 4. Whether doe things indifferent make any thing for order and comlinesse?

8. Ans. Whatsoever it is that of its owne nature serves for order or comlinesse, or edification, is not indifferent: for when they doe participate the nature of goodnesse, they are not in the middle betwixt good and bad. And when they pro­duce good, they must needs have some good force and efficacy in them: every thing brings forth its like.

Qu. 5 Whether do indifferent things cease to be indifferent when any certain thing is set down concerning them, by such as are in authority?

9. Ans. Nothing ought to be commanded, but that which is good, nor to be forbidden, but what is evill; That which is indifferent cannot simply, absolutely, and for ever be ei­ther injoyned or forbidden; but commanded, as it drawes neer to good, forbidden, as it approacheth to evill.

Qu. 6. Whether any singular and individuall action be indifferent?

10. Ans. First, there be some actions which though they be actions of a man, yet they are not humane actions; such are those which proceed from imagination only, and not from deliberate reason, as the rubbings of mens hands, [Page 90] [...]o scratch the head or beard, to take up a straw, &c. while we are thinking of something else: these actions are not morally good or evill, they want that which is required to make them so, namely counsell and deliberation. For although a man may sin by those actions, as if in time of Prayer he suffer his imagination to wander; and do give way to such toyings as those. Yet these actions considered in themselves are neither good nor evill. It is true these motions are subject to the command of mans will, but yet they are so subject, that they may be exercised without any precedent act of reason: Nei­ther are we bound any further by reason to prevent them; but only so far that they hinder not the duties we are about. So for moving of the eye lids, reason and the will have power to moderate them, but it is not worth the while to take notice how often we winke, if so be we take heed that in such things nothing be done which is undecent, [...]r against our duty.

11. Secondly, every action which proceeds from deliberate reason, and is properly called humane, considered singularly and in the individuall, as it is an exercised action, is either good or evill. For such a kind of action is either ordered to a good end, or it is not; If it be, [...]hen it hath the nature of a good action, if other circumstance [...] be correspondent; if it be not ordered to a good end, it is an evill action because it wants the perfection, which ought to be in it, and is not ac­cording to its rule.

12. Yet is not required to the goodnesse of naturall action, that it be alwayes actually and explicitly referred to the due [...]nd, so that this be done implicity and vertually; because reason in that exercise of such kinde of actions, may often with more profit be conversant about those objects.

13. Thirdly, some one or two circumstances of an human action may be indifferent, as if one scholler be speaking with another, it is sometimes indifferent whether they use the Latine tongue, or any other. But their talke taken with all thee circumstances is necessarily either good or bad: the reason is, because the determination of an action doth not depend upon one circumstance apart, but upon all jointly together.

[Page 91]14. Fourthly, there may be some singular action in which there is no goodnesse speciall to be found, which may not be found in another, and so, that at this time we doe this or that, rather then another thing, therein is oftetimes nei­ther good nor evill. Opportunity, or the suggestion of our minds without any respect of morall goodnesse, may be of weight sufficient to make the determination▪

15. Fifthly, although therefore there b [...] no singular acti­ons humane, that is neither good, nor evill; yet there are divers, which singularly and in comparison of others are neither necessary nor unlawfull. For as the C [...]rver hath oftentimes no certain reason, why he rather makes this image, then that: yet if he make any, it is necessary that he either follow the rules of his Art, and make a good one, or faile and so make a bad one. So it is in many singular actions of men, which in respect of the exercise, have no proper reason beside the inclination of the mind, but in the doing they are either good or bad.

CHAP. 19. Of a voluntary Act.

QUest. 1. Whether in a good or evill act there be necessarily required an inclination of the will?

1. Ans. First, the will is the principle and the first cause of all humane operation in regard of the exercise of the act. For we therefore doe this or that rather then another thing, because we will; As God himselfe is said to do all things of his owne Will. Eph. 1. 11. So also doth man who is made after the Image of God. The first cause therefore of the goodnesse or sinfulnesse of any Act of man, is in the Will.

2. Secondly, liberty also of election is formally in the will: that therefore any one doth yield obedience to God, or refu­seth to do so, proceeds from the will.

3. Lastly, our obedience stands in our conformity to the [Page 92] Will of God▪ and the disobedience, in our unconformity thereunto. Now our conformity with the Will of God is first and principally in our will, Apoc. 2. 6.

Qu. 2. What are those things which make an action to be­come not voluntary.

4. Ans. Nothing at all but either absolute violence of con­straint, or chance which could not be foreseen, or prevented. And for such things as are done through absolute violence or meere chance, they have neither the nature of Obedience or sin. As if one should be forced to offer incense or bow the knee before an Idoll, or should meerely by chance kill a­nother, D [...]ut. 19. 56▪ 10.

Q. 3. What are we to thinke of those actions which are doneOf actions done through ignorance. through ignorance?

5. Ans. First, that ignorance which is in some sort a cause of the action (so that if a man knew what he did he would not Doe it) if it be unvoluntary both in it selfe and in its cause, that is, not affected, nor procured, nor tolerated, doth make the action meerly casuall and unvoluntary and so excuseth from sin.

6. Secondly, ignorance of the Law doth nevev wholly excuse, because all men are bound to know the Will of God: but yet it doth somewhat lessen the fault if it be not affected, 1 Tim. 1. 13. Iohn 4. 41. Acts 3. 17. But if it be affected it is of it selfe a sin and so doth not diminish but rather in­crease the guilt of other sins, 2 Pet. 3. 5.

7. Thirdly, an Ignorance of the fact if a man [...]ath used such diligence as he ought, doth excuse him▪ because by such an ignorance the fact is made casuall. So Iacob being de­ceived lay with Leah whom he tooke to be Rachell, Gen. 29. But if due diligence have not beene used, ignorance of the fact, doth not altogether excuse although it do somewhat lessen the fault. And this seemes to have beene the case of Abimil [...]ch Gen. 20. 5.Of actions [...] through [...].

Qu. 4. What are we to judge of those actions which are done through feare.

8. Ans. First, feare doth not simply make an action un­voluntary: but doth considering the circumstances of time [Page 93] and place, &c. impell a man to will this or that. As appeares in that knowne instance of the merchant, who is induced through feare of death to throw away his merchandize into the Sea. Feare therefore doth never wholly excuse from sin: yea more, feare it self is oft a sin forbidden, and a cause too of most grievous sins▪ Mat. 10. 26. Phil. 1. 28. 1 Pet. 3. 14. Apoc. 21. 8. Although therefore a great feare or terrour such as is wont sometimes to trouble even a man of good courage be­fore men, be accounted for a good excuse, and is of force to make contracts done through feare void, yet before God such an excuse will not be taken.

9. Secondly, yet that sin which is committed through some strong terrour, is not so grievous (if other things be a­like) as that which is committed of the voluntary inclina­tion of the will without any such feare of danger, because in feare the temptation is stronger: and such a fall, if repen­tance follow, doth proceed not so much from malice, as from infirmity and perturbation. And this was Peters case when he denied Christ.

Qu. 5. What are we to judge of those actions which are doneOf actions done through concupiscense. through concupiscense.

10. Ans. Concupiscense doth not make an act cease to be voluntary, neither doth it indeed diminish the voluntari­nesse of it in respect of the act, but increaseth it rather. For he that doth a thing out of concupiscense, hath a will strong­ly inclined to that which it doth, as is appeares either de­lightfull or profitable to him, if therefore the concupis­cense be fixt the sin's the greater. as it was in [...]das, who be­trayed Christ out of coverousnesse of [...].

Qu. 6. What are we to judge of those actions which areOf actions done through Inadvertency. done through inadvertency▪ or [...]hrough not minding of what we doe?

11. Ans. Inadvertency or mindlesnesse is of the same na­ture with ignorance: because it di [...]ers not from it, but on­ly as the privation of an act doth differ from the privation of a disposition. Inadvertency therefore is it selfe often a fin and is opposed to watchfulnesse. At such a time therefore as wee are bound to watch and attend, if we watch not [Page 94] and attend, not we may be rightly said to will this watchful­nesse, not to will it, yea to will our inadvertency, Esa. 1. 3.

12. Againe this inadvertency is sometimes voluntarily chosen in it selfe. Amos 6. 10. Sometimes it is voluntarily chosen in its cause. Mat. 13. [...].

Qu. 7. How are we said to will a thing in its cause?How a thing is willed in its cause.

13. Ans. When we doe wil something upon which an other thing followes. He which will be present at immoderat­drinkings may be said to will drunkennesse. He which wil­lingly gives himselfe to sleepe, and idlenesse, may be accoun­ted guilty of a willing neglect of the duties of his calling-He which will please men, may be said with his will to dis [...] please God. Gal. 1. 10.

CHAP. 20. Of the sins of the Heart.

QUestion, 1. What are the sins of the Heart?

1. Ans. The sins of the heart are partly thoughts, part­ly delights, and partly desires.

Qu. 2. What thoughts are to be accounted as sins?

2. Ans. Ther's a threefold thought of the heart about that which is evill. 1. In the bare and simple apprehending of evill.Of thoughis 2. When with that apprehension ther's joyned some moti­on of the heart to consent to the evill. 3. When there is a full approbation of and consent unto the evill. In the first of these there is of it selfe no sin. For it was in Christ. Mat. 4. 1. Hence it is rightly said to know evill is not evill. But the other two kinds of thoughts are not without sin. For the third none makes question, and for the second the Scripture is plaine. Iames 1. 14. Where we are also taught how to distinguish those thoughts which are evill from others, name­ly when some thought about an evill thing begins in the least manner to draw us towards it, when we begin to nibble upon it and are tickled with it. The reason is because then it bgins in some sort to be received by us, and stick in all, so [Page 93] that the evill of which we thinke becomes in a sort ours whilst we begin to be moved towards it as towards an ob­ject betwixt which and us ther's some agreement. For al­though we stop heere and proceed not, to a full consent: yet even this fasten's some blot and defilement upon us (now we ought to have such a care of our soules which were made after Gods Image, that we keepe them pure from all even from the least pollution and defilement. For it is well ob­served by a great author that every man is appointed by God to keepe, and defend his owne heart as Souldiers are some­times appointed to defend a Castle, or Towne against the enemies. If therefore without seeking of any aid, and without expecting succour from GOD hee should upon the first attempt of the enemy yield up this Castle, hee commits manifest treason. What then shall we say, if he should give up the Keyes of this Castle before there be any assault made? now the Keyes of the Castle are the thoughts. For these open the heart, and let in the devill. Certainly, he which voluntarily gives this Key to the Devill shall never be able to cleare himselfe from guilt of treason. Now a man delivers this Key to the Devill, as oft as he gives up his thoughts into the Devills hands, or frames his thoughts to the Devills will. The roling of the thoughts in the minde is like the turning of the Key in the Lock to open it.

Qu. 3. What delight about evill is to be accounted asHow the heart sins by delight. sinfull?

3. Ans. Not that onely which comes from evill in the commission of it, or after the Commission or while we have a purpose to commit it, Pro. [...]. 14. 10. 23. But even the simple, bare, and ineffectuall complacency in an unlawfull thing, although there be no purpose ever to commit it. This delight is usually called delectatio morosa not from the length of time, but from the stay of the understanding which stayes, and prolongs the time in the contemplation of an unlawfull thing with some pleasure. Now the reason why this delight is a sinne, is because that delight is a conformity of the affection with the thing thought upon, and doth containe some appro­bation of it. Ro. 7. 22.

[Page 94] Qu. 4. Is all delight in an unlawfull thing sinfull?

4. Ans. Yes, if 1. It be in an unlawfull thing or an evillWhether s [...]e delight in an unlawfull thing may not [...]. action as its unlawfull and evill, 2. If it proceed from an af­fection tending and inclining towards such things, or from any unlawfull provocation, 3. If it be such a delight as in its owne nature may have the force of a cause, or an occasi­on to stir up evill affections. In these three cases it cannot be doubted but such a delight is a sin▪ But if one be delight­ed in the thought of an evill thing not as it is evill, but as there is some naturall perfection excercised, and put forth in it, without any danger of consenting to the evill, such a de­light is not simply, and of its selfe a sinne. As when one takes delight in that cunning dexterity, constancy, and courage, which appeares in another, in an unjust duell: the reason is be­cause this delight is not properly, and formally conversant about an evill thing but about a good thing.

Concerning absolute desires ther's no doubt but if they beWhat [...]desires [...]e sinfull. carried to things that are evill they are sinfull; but concer­ning such desires, as are only with a condition there may be some question made.

Qu. 1. Whether is it lawfull for a man to wish any evill of punishment, or misery to himselfe upon any condition?

5. Ans. That this is in some sort lawfull appeares, 1. By the example of Paul Rom. 9. 3. Who wished himselfe accursed for the Iewes sake, 2. By the thing it selfe, because actually to undergoe and suffer such a kinde of evill is not onely law­full, but expedient often upon some condition, Gen. 44. 33. 3 By reason, because to suffer evill is not of it selfe an evill, or a sin: if therefore the condition under which it is desired be good, the desire is good also.

Qu. 2. Whether can the desire of an unlawfull thing upon a condition become lawfull?

6. Ans. First, in those things which are only unlawfull by mans Law such kinde of desires may be lawfull, because such things have no intrinsecal evillnesse in them; As if I would go out of the City over the Walls when the Gates are shut, un­lesse it were forbidden.

7. Secondly, in some things also that are forbidden, even [Page 95] by Gods Law which have no such intrinsecall evill annexed to them, but that it may in thought be abstracted & separated; such desires may be lawfull by themselves, if there be no dan­ger of an absolute consent. As if a man should say I would take such a Woman to be my Wife, if she were not too neere of kin to me.

8. Thirdly, The desire to doe that which is plainly, and intrinsecally evill upon condition, if it were lawfull and not forbidden, cannot be excused from sin. As if a man should say I would commit fornication if it were not forbidden. For our desires ought to stand at as far a distance from sin as from any thing in the World, and to abhor it utterly: but in such kinde of desires there doth appeare some inclination, and propension to sin.

9. Fourthly, the desire to doe any thing which is in it selfe evill, unlesse the singular condition and state of ones life hindred it, is a sinne. As if a man should thinke I would be revenged upon such a one if I were not a minister. Or I would keepe company with such and such boon fellowes, if I were not towards the Ministery. For such men doe not abstaine from evill simply because it is evill, but because it be­comes not men of their callings or may tend more to their prejudice then to the prejudice of others.

10. Fifthly, when the condition is such an one as doth not except the evill in the action, but the danger of punish­ment onely, then the desire is a grievous sinne, and a signe of much inward wickednesse. As if a man should say I would kill such an one if I might doe it, and it never be knowne. I would play the Fornicator, or adulterer if there were no Hell: for although such a condition, or wish puts nothing in esse, (as they say) that is, in being, in respect of the thing it selfe, yet in the will it doth suppose an affection towards such a sin, and shewes also that he which is so affected would com­mit those sins, if he might escape punishment.

11. Sixthly, all such conditionall desires in a manner are temptations of the devill which we cannot admit without a great deale of danger.

CHAP. 21. Of the sins of the Mouth.

QUestion. 1. Whether if a man have conceived a sin in his Heart, is there no evill added to it by the [...] of it?

1. Ans. If one doe refraine from uttering with his mouth that evill which he hath in his heart, that he may the e [...]sili­er commit it without being hindred, then the silence it selfe is a sin, and tends to the aggravation of the evill which he h [...]th conceived in his thoughts: and a much greater sin is it if he should in his words make a shew of the cleane contrary. Pro. 26. 24. 25. & 10 18. But if one doe therefore abstaine from uttering the evill which he hath thought, because it is evill and shamefull, such an one stops the course of sin and doth well. Proverbs 30. 32. And if he should when he hath thought evill, proceed to utter it with his tongue, [...] increa­seth his sin by making it more compleat then it was before the speaking.

Qu. 2. Whether is an idle word a sin?Of idle words▪

2. Ans. 1. An idle word properly and stricktly is an unfruitfull word, or a word of no use, fruit, or profit. Now such a word can hardly ever proceed from deliberate reason: because reason and the will of man doth alwayes propound unto it selfe some end, and some good either morall or naturall: so that of necessity every word proceeding from deliberation must be either good or evill, and so no word properly and rigidly can be said to be idle.

3. Ans. 2. This notwithstanding, those speeches in Scripture are called idle Mat. 12. 36. Which are little or nothing regarded by the most, and of which they thinke they shall never give account. Now of th [...]se words our Saviour saith ther's such an account to be given before God, as that even in them there will bee found matter enough, and [Page 97] desert enough for the infflicting of eternall Condem­nation.

Qu. 3. Whether are all words uttered in jest or sport, or by wayOf words spoken in sport, and just. of m [...]rriment, idle and sinfull?

3. Ans. They are not alwayes idle because they have some­times their use, at least for recreation and to make mirth. Neither are they alwayes sinfull: because they may have a lawfull and honest use, Pro. 29. 9. 1 Kings 18. 27. Such kinds of [...]ests therefore may be both good and evill as they may be used.

Qu. 4. Whether are those words sinfull wherein men doe make profession of some good, without any intention of performing it, James 2. 16.

5. Ans. They are sinfull, and that not onely in regard of the defect, because a due intention is wanting, but also in re­gard of the deceit and fraud which doth accompany such words and hath in some sort the nature of a lie.

Quest. 5. Whether is multiplicity of words a sin:

6. Ans. It is not o [...] it selfe a sin for a man to use many words: but it is often an occasion of sin, Poverbs 10. 19.

CHAP. 22. Of sins of Works.

QUest. 1. Whether the externall Work of sin joyned with the internall doe increase the evill of it?

1. Ans. 1. If one have an effectuall will of sinning, viz. be so affected in regard of his will towards sinne, that no­thing hinders him from the eternall Worke, but onely that the occasion is wanting, such a man before God is accoun­ted as great a sinner, as if hee had performed the outward action; this appears by the contrary acts of obedience. 2 Cor. 8. 12. Heb. 11. 17.

2. Ans. 2. And yet such a sinne in regard of the extension of it is made great by the externall worke. For as sancti­fication [Page 98] is great when it hath renewed the spirit, soule and body, then if it should reforme any one part alone, 1 Thess. 5. 23. 1 Corinthians 6. 20. 2 Corinthians 7. 1. So also sinne in the like manner is greater when it hath as it were invaded the body, then if it should keepe possession onely of the soule.

3. Ans. 3. In regard of that hurt and mischiefe which is done to others, either by reason of scandall, or by reason of some reall discommodity, sin is made greater by the exter­nall work. 1 Sam. 25. 32. 33.

4. Ans. 4. Hence it is that some punishments are justly infflicted for the externall act of some sinnes wh [...]ch are not infflicted for the internall. As a divorce is made for the act of adultery but not for the intention.

Qu. 2. Whether doe those discommodities which fall out in the event of an evill work increase the sin.

5. Ans. These kinds of events may have a fourefold respect unto the will of the sinner. 1 Sometimes they are directly intended, and then they doe increase the sinne, in the internall nature of it whether they follow or follow not, 2. Sometimes they are foreseene, although not direct­ly intended, as, when one seeth an innocent person like to be much indammaged by the theft which he intendeth, and then interpretatively, and indirectly they are said to be increased, and likewise aggravate the sinne, 3. Some­times they are neither intended nor foreseene, but yet they ought by some meanes to be foreseene and prevented: and then also they aggravate the sin, because they are in some sort presumed to be foreseene, 4. Sometimes the ignorance of them is void of sinne, and then they are not imputed as sins.

Qu. 3. How is the act of sin broken off?

6. A. 1. No [...] by every physicall interruption of the act: for if it be in a morall sence continued, the sin it selfe re­maineth.

7. 2. Not by a simple cessation of the act of the intention or will: for that may come to passe through inadvertence, and distraction about other things.

[Page 99]8. The morality therefore of it is onely broken off by a contrary will and resolution: and yet that breaking off is imperfect; unlesse there be withall such a change of the will, as is required to true Repentance.


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